The third day of play at the Spielbank Berlin brought the number of players remaining in the €5,000 European Poker Tour Berlin Main Event down from 119 hopefuls to just 24. Leading the field is Daniel Pidun with 2,429,000 chips, while ten players return with over a million. The next to leave the Main Event will do so with €20,000 in prize money, and by Saturday night the final table will be determined.
All 119 players returned Friday afternoon with the security of having already cashed and maybe this contributed to the early all-in frenzy. The first to be eliminated today received €7,500; the last person to fall short of Day 4 - Anton Thotatinsson - received €17,500. Cashing for the second time in a row on the EPT circuit was Team PokerStars SportStar Fatima Moreira de Melo who could not develop her short stack and joined Paco Torres, Jack Ellwood, Sam Chartier and Team Pro Sebastian Ruthenberg on the rail in the opening levels. Also finishing in the money were the top three players from EPT Snowfest: Vladimir Geshkenbein, Kevin Vandersmissen and Koen De Visscher.
In contrast, Maximilian Heinzelmann, who started the day in 91st place, clawed his way to second place (2,140,000) by the time the final hand was over. Anton Morgenstern also made a bid for the chip lead eliminating Felix Schulze in one of the biggest pots from early in the day, winning a queens versus ace-king flip to jump over the million-chip mark. He busted to Ben Wilinofsky late in the day, however, and Wilinofsky now sits in third with 2,046,000.
All the experience of a pro with a knack for the comeback did not stop George Danzer from exiting in 26th place after a roller coaster day in which the deck ran alternately hot and cold for the popular Team Pro. Start of day chip leader Fabrice Soulier’s stack also dwindled during his lengthy stint on the feature table, down to 890,000 as he prepares for Day 4. There’s no shortage of experienced players left in the field, although all prior EPT champions and all but two PokerStars Team Pros (Henrique Pinho and Joep van den Bijgaart) are now in the side events.
Among the players who’ve consistently been in the thick of the action today are young, aggressive Lithuanian Kristijonas Andrulis (1,650,000 chips) and Martin Jacobson, whose EPT cash list sports two runner-up finishes (both this season) and one third place. He’ll be looking to make the final for a chance to better this already impressive achievement.
After tables had broken speedily all day, the last stage (28 players down to 24) was a more contemplative, hard-fought affair, and the final table bubble could not help but raise the tension of all the players in the room, and slow them down accordingly. The pace was further slowed by the fact that "all in and call" has to be shouted whenever it occurs and the hands frozen so that their holders’ expressions may be captured on film for posterity. Meanwhile the heads-up, €2,000 and €1,000 events continued to pack every inch of the Spielbank.
Drifting into the weekend brings no rest for these 24 players. They return Saturday at 1 p.m. CEST (0400 PDT) to start the penultimate leg of the EPT Berlin Main Event journey: the climb to the final table. Join PokerNews for live coverage throughout the day, and check out the video below to meet some of the team behind the tournament.
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