PokerStars EPT Kyiv Day 2: Lykov Leads, 68 Remain
It was a day full of action at Day 2 of the PokerStars.com European Poker Tour Kyiv Main Event. Eliminations came at a rapid clip as players built stacks to position themselves to make the cash and, ultimately, land that €330,000 first prize. When play concluded, it was Russian Max Lykov leading the way, his stack of nearly 400,000 having made him the chip leader heading into Friday’s Day 3.
Coming into today there were 203 survivors from the original field of 296, all hoping to make it through the five 75-minute levels that made up Day 2. When play began, Viktor Ivanov of Russia held the chip lead with 153,825 — about 3.5 times the average stack. Ivanov was followed closely by Ukranian Mihalyo Demidenko, with Jason Kudron of the United States and Bernard Boutbol of France not too far behind.
Of that group, Ivanov and Demidenko preserved their chips early on, remaining atop the leaderboard for the first couple of levels. Both would end the day with better than average stacks. Boutbol also kept up the pressure, continually adding to his stack and remaining near the leaders all day.
By contrast, Kudron had a much less enjoyable Day 2, watching his stack dwindle rapidly during the first couple of levels. Having plunged into short-stack territory, Kudron had a most fortuitous double up through Katja Thater, crippling Thater in the process. A couple of hands later Thater had her small stack all in with against Italian Luca Falaschi’s . Two sevens flopped, but Thater’s bad luck continued when a queen fell on the river, ending her Main Event. Kudron lasted a bit longer with Thater’s chips, but he, too, hit the rail by mid-afternoon.
Other notables failing to survive Thursday included WSOP bracelet holders Vitaly Lunkin and Alex Kravchenko, as well as Cristian Dragomir, Ivan Demidov, Faraz Jaka, and Nicolas Levi. The rate of attrition was high from beginning to end today. More than 40 were knocked out during the first 75-minute level. Thirty more were eliminated in Level 9, and by the start of Level 11 there were already fewer than one hundred players left.
Jonas Kronwitter (Germany) had a good day as well. He began the day just behind the leaders, but soon pushed past them all, building a stack of a quarter million. Among those victimized by Kronwitter was American Shaun Deeb who had the misfortune of getting moved to Kronwitter’s right late in the afternoon. The two tangled frequently, their battle finally culminating in Deeb’s final hand. Deeb had raised preflop, Kronwitter had reraised, and Deeb called. There was about 30,000 in the middle when the flop came . Deeb checked, Kronwitter bet 17,000, Deeb check-raised all in for about 80,000, and Kronwitter called, tabling while Deeb showed . No trey came to save Deeb, and he was out.
Kronwitter continued to build his stack, ending the day with a gaudy 365,400. Vitaly Tolokonnikov (Russia) also had a particularly good final level, moving into second place with 371,100. All were bested by Lykov, however, who ended with 397,900.
Just 68 players made it through to Friday’s Day 3. More than half will be ending their Kyiv Main Event in the money, as the top 40 spots get paid. The cash bubble will burst tomorrow, as the tentative plan is to play down to the final 32.
Be sure to return to PokerNews’ live reporting to follow the tourney’s progress, including that of the many who qualified for the event through PokerStars. You too can follow their path and qualify for future EPT events by opening up a PokerStars account with us.