You couldn’t have wished for a better start to Day 3 of the PokerStars.net European Poker Tour Vienna as the Kursalon Palace bathed in glorious sunshine. The day began with 79 men and 1 woman, all desperate to make it through to the final 24 players who would return to this fantastic venue for Day 4.
Team Pokerstars Pro Daniel Negreanu led the pack at the start of the day and all the way through until the final level of play when Konstantinos Nanos edged him out of that number one spot.
Most people can only dream of qualifying for such an event as prestigious as the EPT, but Nanos qualified for EPT Vienna online at Pokerstars three times! This is already the most significant cash in his career. His previous best was $9,596 for a side event at EPT Tallinn this year.
Snapping at his heels is Negreanu. It may surprise some of you to know that although Negreanu has a long list of achievements in his glittering career, this is only his second EPT cash. Both cashes were achieved this year, first in London and now in Vienna. This cash could be significant because if Negreanu can win EPT Vienna, he will take the top spot in the All-Time Money List overtaking Phil Ivey. One thing for sure is that Negreanu will be picking up his check with a very hairy face after he has vowed not to shave for the rest of his involvement in this tournament.
The early casualties of the day included the last remaining female, Maria Maceiras, Team Pokerstars Pro Nacho Barbero, birthday boy Anthony Roux , and one of the larger stacks starting Day 3, Daniel Biro. The luckless Luke Schwartz found himself ahead in significant pots twice, only to be clawed back, once ending in a split pot when he had the dominating versus of Andrew Gulyy, and once when he lost a significant portion of his stack holding pocket kings against pocket deuces pre flop, also to Gulyy. Schwartz's exit came when he eventually shoved his small stack with against — you’ve guessed it — Gulyy.
Then, midway through the day, several people started to emerge as serious contenders to Negreanu’s top spot. First was the young Dutchman Riekus Hein Wijermars who found himself with a stack to envy after ending the hopes of the American Jeff Williams. Then Pokerstars online qualifier Michael Eiler announced himself as a serious contender for the title after an impressive display of hands including a six-bet shove against Tonio Röder in an approximately 400,000 pot where we didn’t even see any cards after Röder folded. Team Pokerstars Pro Martin Hruby had an excellent day breaking the million chip mark for the first time with an excellent call against a 100,000 Peter Gavril river bluff and then eliminating Wolfgang Beyer toward the end.
Finally, it looked like Negreanu would finish the night as the chip leader when he called a pre flop all-in from the Dutch youngster Riekus Hein Wijermars in a million-chip pot with Negreanu holding pocket queens and Wijermars holding pocket jacks. But the night belonged to the Pokerstars Online Qualifier Konstantinos Nanos who proved what really is possible when you enter a $20 Satellite online on Pokerstars.
Team PokerNews will be back on Saturday to continue coverage of EPT Vienna, so stay tuned to the live reporting pages for more.