Day 3 at PokerStars.net European Poker Tour Berlin saw 124 players whittled to just 24 in nine hours. By the end of the day, Kevin "ImaLuckSac" MacPhee had maneuvered to the front of the pack. MacPhee, a 29-year-old from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, is the only American left in the tournament. He's been crushing the online tournament scene for the last several years, racking up tons of online player-of-the-year points.
Lately, MacPhee has been putting time in on the EPT circuit, hoping to add more live accomplishments to his resume. In Berlin he steadily built his stack over the the first three days, showing patience and picking his spots to stay in contention. As the night was ending, Macphee won a giant coinflip with big slick to jump into the lead.
Respected Danish pro Theo Jorgensen is just behind MacPhee on the leader board heading into Day 4. French player Marc Inizan and British pro Ketul Nathwani are also close behind. The whole remaining field is closer in chips than usual. The four chip leaders range from 2.5 million to 2.05 million, and several stacks are just under 2 million.
Two PokerStars Team Pros, Jude Ainsworth and Johannes Strassmann, are among the shortest stacks but still have a shot at the final table if they can accumulate chips quickly on Day 4. Russian player and poker writer Ilya Gorodetskiy will also return on Saturday, as will Portuguese pro Joao Barbosa.
Plenty of other big-name players made deep runs on Day 3 but finished just short of the final three tables. Vlad Zguba, a new Team PokerStars Pro from Ukraine, impressed everyone with his 27th-place finish. French soccer star Vikash Dhorasso also earned some credibility, finishing 37th. The Dutch poker world was crushed when Marcel Luske amassed a sizable stack early in the day only to dispose of it all in a few big hands. The Flying Dutchman was eliminated in 48th place, earning €17,500.
Other Team PokerStars Pros to cash included Julian Thew, William Thorson, Ben Kang, George Danzer, and Vadim Markushevski. Max Pescatori, Bruno Fitoussi, Guillaume de la Gorce, Sam Chartier, and Chris "cdbr3799" Dombrowski also finished in the money.
The final 24 players will return at noon CET on Saturday to play down to a televised final table of eight. The action will be intense as the mix of tough Internet-bred competition and European novices try to catch chip leader Kevin MacPhee and earn a spot at the final table to compete for the €1 million first prize. Can "ImaLuckSac" hold on to the lead? Stay tuned here for up-to-the-minute news from the PokerNews Live Updates team.