It was a long haul from 128 players down to 24 today at the Hilton Metropole as the PokerStars.com EPT London came back for Day 3, with everyone in the money and young Scottish pro David Vamplew leading the field. After almost 12 hours, the field had shrunk to 24, and young WSOP bracelet winner Chance Kornuth holds a convincing lead over an eclectic but exciting field.
All 128 were guaranteed at least a £7,500 payday, and among those who managed a min-cash exit early in the day were Noah Boeken, JP Kelly and November Niner John Dolan. Following them out the door a little later in the day were Arnaud Mattern, Greg Raymer and former Chelsea footballer Tony Cascarino (£9,000 each), Benny Spindler (£11,000), and English international footballer Teddy Sheringham (£13,000).
Daniel Negreanu came back today satisfied that he had scored his first ever EPT cash, but it was to be a relatively small one. He doubled up early in the day with against and was for a while in decent shape to take a shot at the big money. To the disappointment of both the Canadian Team PokerStars Pro and the cameras, however, Negreanu was crippled when he ran his pocket queens into aces, and he busted a few hands later.
Other players were attracting at least as much attention as Negreanu, though. Phil Ivey, fresh off a deep run at the WSOPE last week, came back today with more than the average stack, but he found himself short-stacked in the early evening and pushed with . Jamie Brown found to knock him out and Ivey had to settle for 58th place.
2008 WSOP finalist Chino Rheem held the chip lead for some time, but suffered a disaster when two separate opponents flopped two full houses against him in the space of just a few hands. In mere minutes he went from big stack to busto, and though he was denied a shot at the title, he picked up £19,000 for 25th place.
John Juanda returned today with an average stack, but enjoyed an early double up with against Benny Spindler's . Spindler was crippled and exited soon after, but Juanda made good use of his chips and finished the day a little above average in chips. He now stands a decent chance of adding an EPT title to his four WSOP bracelets. Also still in with a shot at the title are WSOP and WPT champion Joe Hachem going for poker's Triple Crown, and his fellow Team PokerStars Pros Thomas Bichon and Chad Brown. Allen Bari and UKIPT winner Jamie Burland are also still in with a shot at EPT glory.
Our chip leader heading into the penultimate day, though, is Chance Kornuth, the winner of the WSOP $5,000 PLO bracelet in Vegas this summer. As chance would have it, he flopped quad tens to eliminate Jason Gray right before the dinner break, propelling him into big stack status, and he will be sleeping the most comfortably of all our remaining runners tonight - with 2,302,000 in his stack, he is head and shoulders above the next man, two-time WPT finalist Per Ummer.
Everyone still standing is now guaranteed £21,000, but that rather nice payday pales in comparison to the jaw-dropping £900,000 on offer for the eventual winner. Play resumes for the final 24 at noon London time, and they'll be playing until only eight of them remain. PokerNews will be back on the tournament floor with them from the words, "Shuffle up and deal," so join us then for all the action, direct from our notepads to your computers.