Day 3 of the 2011 World Poker Tour Prague began with 63 players in the money and looking to reach a final table at the largest European event in WPT history. The €3,500 buy-in tournament began with 571 players, passing WPT Vienna from Season IX as the largest event ever, and the field was reduced to six by the time play ended on Sunday.
British pro Martins Adeniya led the way as Day 3 kicked off, but he and several other well-known pros hit the rail short of the final two tables. Mike "Timex" McDonald (63rd), Vinny Pahuja (62nd), Mohsin Charania (61st) and Eugene Katchalov (60th) were the first four players eliminated on Day 3. They were joined later by Casey Castle (38th), Chris McClung (27th) and Jamie Rosen (24th). Adeniya's stack had dwindled to just ten big blinds when his couldn't outrun the of Russian pro Andrey Pateychuk. Adeniya departed in 19th place with €12,272.
While those players faltered, Germany's Stanislaw Kretz built a massive stack on Sunday to take control of the tournament. Kretz got a major boost when he flopped jacks full of eights against the always unpredictable McClung to scoop a 2 million chip pot, and he then eliminated Agris Klaise (13th), Tobias Reinkemeier (12th), Denis Pisarev (11th), Thomas Frandsen (8th), and Jan Bendik (7th) en route to the final table to finish the day with 6.3 million chips.
Kretz's next closest competitor was Benjamin Pollak, who finished Day 3 with 4,865,000. Pollak sent American Zachary Korik to the rail in 10th place when his pocket queens held up against Korik's , and he then coasted through the end of the day to earn his seat at the final table. Former WPT champion Mike Watson made his exit in ninth place at the hands of Pateychuk, and Kretz handled the rest of the dirty work to put an end to a long penultimate day in Prague.
Joining Kretz, Pollak and Pateychuk at the final table were Norway's Sigurd Eskeland, Spain's Adria Balaguer, and Canada's Russell "rdcrsn" Carson, one of the most accomplished online tournament players of all time. Carson entered the final table as the short stack, but he was just a double-up away from climbing back into contention for his first-ever major live victory (he took second place at the 2010 PokerStars European Poker Tour Snowfest Main Event for $424,000).
Pateychuk, meanwhile, was looking to build on an impressive year that had already seen him earn more than $1.4 million on the live circuit, including a victory at the PokerStars EPT San Remo Main Event and a 15th-place result at the World Series of Poker Main Event. Like Carson, Pateychuk is a feared online player under the moniker "ThePateychuk."
The WPT Prague final table began Monday at 1500 CET (0600 PST) with a live stream hosted by Jesse May and Olivier Busquet. Be sure to return to PokerNews on Tuesday to find out who won the top prize of €450,000.
Here's a look at the seat draw for the final table:
WPT Prague Final Table Seat Draw
*Photo courtesy of the World Poker Tour.