The final 69 players were whittled down to just 24 on Day 3 of the record breaking PokerStars European Poker Tour Vilamoura. The money bubble burst to send 13 unlucky players home disappointed and everyone else to pocket at least €7,263 for their troubles. Martin Jacobson will be going into Day 4 of the competition with the chip lead after he wrested control of the big stack late in the day, finishing with 1,362,000. Jacobson had been the scourge of the British players during the day, knocking out Paul Foltyn in a flip just before the money was reached and then later Team PokerStars Pro JP Kelly toward the end of the day when Jacobson's outlasted the double bracelet winner's all-in preflop.
Jacobson also kocked out Ayaz Sadrudin Manji just before tournament director Thomas Kremser could even announce hand-for-hand play. Manji had put his tournament life at risk with two jacks on a ten-high flop, but Jacobson turned over pocket aces to win a huge pot and send more than a couple of relieved short stacks into the money.
After running up a huge stack on Day 2, Brandon Cantu started the day as the big chip leader. Early on, it looked as though he was going to hold on to it. A quick start saw him make a full house, pick up aces twice and then win another sizable pot with two pair. But that was to be his highlight of the day as he soon lost a big pot to Pedro Guedes and subsequently a flip to Martin Czuczor whose nines outran Cantu's ace-queen. It was nines that would eventually prove to be the pro's downfall, as well. Cantu doubled up Dmitry Gromov and then a short while later, the Russian finished him off with nines against Cantu's big slick, with third nine on the flop sealing the deal. Cantu said in an interview with Gloria Balding that he desperately wanted an EPT title to win the fabled "Triple Crown" but this time he would have to settle for his first EPT cash, a disappointing 36th place for €8,381.
Other players who ended up having an unhappy day included Arnaud Mattern, who could not follow up his third-place finish in Tallinn with another cash. Luca Pagano, on the other hand, cashed but left unhappily when his was rivered by Marco Leonzio's on a board after all the chips had gone in on the flop. Joe Ebanks also managed to scrape into the money, but only just, managing to finish in 56th place.
Teddy Sheringham (381,000), who won multiple Premiership titles and the European Cup with Manchester United, is still in on the action. He had a moderate stack but after a big clash with William Thorson managed an impressive double-up. He moved in on the river of a board. Thorson took a while but eventually called only to see the of the former international footballer. This crippled Thorson in the process and the Swede was eventually knocked out in 26th place.
The two other remaining Brits, Toby Lewis (396,000) and Sam Trickett (712,000), also managed to make it through the day, as did the flamboyant Italian, Fabrizio Ascari (485,000). The latter caused quite a bit of a stir thanks to his crazy table talk, loud celebrations after winning pots and occasional bouts of singing "Forever Love" by Alphaville. It is impossible to deny, however, that he has brought something completely different to the tournament although you can help but suspect most players would rather not be seated next to him on Day 4.
Speaking of the fourth day, tomorrow's field will be playing down from 24 players to the final table of eight, and with €467,835 for first place, it's about to get very serious. They'll be starting at 12 p.m. local time once again, so join the PokerNews Live Reporting team to get your full EPT fix!
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