The remaining 240 players returned today to continue their quest in the Main Event of the 2009 PokerStars European Poker Tour Barcelona. It didn't take long for play to get hot and heavy as nearly 100 players were eliminated from action within the first two levels.
Among those to exit early were poker icons Freddy Deeb and Daniel Negreanu. Deeb had his queens crushed by an opponent's pocket kings early in the day and was left severely crippled and eliminated shortly thereafter. Deeb, however, did last longer than Negreanu, who lost two big pots within minutes to give away his six-figure stack. Sandra Naujoks, Leo Margets and Florian Langmann also made early exits to the rail.
Matt Woodward began the day as the chip leader with 193,300. A little more than two hours later, Woodward found himself yielding a stack twice that size thanks to a big boost when he took his ace-king up against Craig Bergeron's ace-queen. With his hand holding up, Woodward eliminated Bergeron and stacked up nearly 400,000 chips. Throughout the day, a couple of big pots failed to go his way, though, forcing him to finish up with around 200,000 chips.
Both Samer Rahman and Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier used their aggressiveness to build hefty chip stacks during today's play. Rahman was involved in numerous large pots, causing his stack to go through quite a roller-coaster ride. On the other hand, ElkY was quiet for most of the day but as the players approached the bubble his aggressiveness increased. He constantly raised and put as much pressure on his table as he could, abusing the tighter players and gaining valuable chips in the process.
Approximately eight hours into play, the bubble burst. Lex Veldhuis took a massive hit just a few spots off the money when he got his bottom set against a player holding a pair and a straight draw. The river card completed his opponent’s straight, causing Veldhuis to lose nearly all his chips. A few hands later, Veldhuis was sent packing. Just moments later, the money was reached and play ended for the night.
Among the remaining 72 players returning for Day 3 are Mike "Timex" McDonald, Roland de Wolfe, Thierry Van Den Berg, Marc Goodwin and Noah Boeken.
Canadian Matt Lapossie found himself atop the leaderboard when things were all said and done, closing out the day with a few big pots and filling his bag with around 700,000 chips.
Play will resume tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. local time (GMT+2) where the plan is to play down to the final three tables of action.