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2011 EPT Tallinn Day 2: Liakos Takes Lead into Day 3

Nikolas Liakos

Day 2 of the European Poker Tour Tallinn has come to an end. The remaining 198 players returned to the Swiss Hotel on Thursday and after six levels of action that number was whittled down to 63. At the top of the chip leaderboard is Swedish player, Nikolas Liakos who bagged up 460,200.

Liakos began play with 86,000, and after a couple of levels, he had turned that into more than 250,000 chips. That is where his stack hovered for most of the day, until the last level that is. He went on a charge and surged into a lead that sits at more than 60,000 chips ahead of second.

A lot of those last-level chips came from local player, Henri Kasper, who was happy to get the last of his chips in the middle preflop on the second to last hand of the day. Why? He was holding pocket aces. His aces were powerless to the Swede’s force and his flopped set of fours however. Liakos seemed genuinely apologetic, but Kasper looked as pale as a ghost as he wandered off.

The chasing pack includes Lari Sihvo (400,100), PokerStars qualifiers Michael Graydon (349,800) and Liutauras Armanavicius (337,600) and Jani Sointula (333,300). All of these players had or threatened to take the lead throughout the closing two levels, but the really interesting stories of the day came from two players a little further down the list.

Lauri Meidla finished in 14th place with 204,800 chips. When half of Day 1a was completed, Meidla had accumulated a stack of 50,000. That's when he decided to buy in to the €5000 Omaha Turbo event and after a couple of hours of multi-tabling he finished in third place for €17,812. He was eliminated from the Omaha tournament just after he had bagged his 37,250 chips in the Main Event. That didn’t stop him performing admirably on Thursday, and he’s now freerolling!

The other great story belongs to Johan van Til. This online phenomenon, who plays under the handle "busto_soon", came to play on Day 2 as the short stack with only 5,300 in chips. He somehow managed to turn that into 199,000, way ahead of the end-of-day average of 132,000. To add more grandeur to his feat, he managed to do this despite being drawn alongside the likes of Praz Bansi, Jani Sointula, Matt Frankland and Team PokerStars Pro Ville Wahlbeck on the “Table of death.”

Other notables who made it through the day included the already mentioned Bansi (120,200), along with Sami Kelopuro (224,800), Jeff Sarwer (102,900), Fernando Brito (46,600), John O'Shea (44,800), Joe Ebanks (41,600) and Anton Ionel (32,900).

We also cannot forget the two remaining EPT champions. Roberto Romanello (80,800) and Arnaud Mattern (58,200) will be trying to make history as the first double EPT champion. Mattern is yet again the last remaining Team PokerStars Pro in Tallinn. Last year he went on to take the third spot for €160,000.

Play for Day 3 begins at 1200 EEST (0200 PDT) on Friday and the field will be reduced to 24 players. This is expected to take around five 75-minute levels. Please come and join the PokerNews Live Reporting Team as they bring you all the action, through the bubble and beyond.

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