As Day 3 of the PokerStars European Poker Tour dawned at the Casino San Remo - at the nontraditional dawn hour of around lunchtime - 194 players remained of the record-breaking 1,240 who started, with Russian high roller Dmitry Stelmak in pole position. By the time play finished, a mere five levels later, the field had shrunk to just 66 with Jakob Karlsson in the chip lead at 1,800,000.
Only 184 players of the 194 Day 3-onauts were going to get paid, which meant heartache for ten unfortunate souls. 2008 November Niner Kelly Kim was one of the unlucky ones, smacking his pocket kings into Antonio Maranzano's pocket aces to send him home with nothing. Vittorio Fiume survived the bubble by a whisker when he got his last in with pocket kings against Miltiadis Kyriakidea's only for an ace to fall on the flop. As the whole room held its collective breath, the turn came a blank - and then the case king dropped on the river to keep him in the running. The actual bubbler was Cole Robinson, who got his stack in on a flop with (10h} against Michael Piper's . Drawing dead by the turn, he was a true gentleman about it and posed for photos, even trying to smile for the camera, before trudging off with the wooden spoon.
Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier had a good start to the day but lost a key hand before the bubble burst when he called a huge push from Kadir Karabulut on the turn of a board with pocket sixes, only to find the Turk ahead with for a flush. Grospellier failed to river a full house, and then failed to recover from this setback - although he made the money and lasted a couple hours after that, he never got back his big stack status and had to settle for a small cash. Karabulut on the other hand continued to build his stack and finished in second place on 1,577,000.
Other players who made it into the money but not into Day 4 included EPT Berlin finalist and editor of PokerNews UK and Europe magazine Ilya Gorodetskiy, garrulous Swede Peter Hedlund (incidentally the only player so far this EPT to kick over a table upon busting out), Steven "gboro780" Gross, Chris Bjorin and Team PokerStars Pros Jason Mercier and Thomas Bichon.
Those who will be returning tomorrow for Day 4 include Michel Abecassis, APPT Macau winner Dermot Blain, Joe Serock, Liv Boeree, PCA winner Harrison Gimbel and Team PokerStars Online pro and EPT Warsaw runner-up Alfio Battisti. Allan Bække, fresh off his win at EPT Snowfest, won a big last-minute pot from Paul Berende to put him up to third in chips on 1,485,000 - we could yet see our first ever two-time EPT winner by the time this tournament is over. Yesterday's chip leader Dmitry Stelmak is in fourth place overall.
We have three days left of this tournament and only 66 runners, so it looks like it's going to be a fairly speedy Day 4. We'll be playing down to 24 tomorrow starting at noon local time. The PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be on the floor from the start to bring you all the action, so be sure to drop back in then.
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