Day 4 of the PokerStars.fr European Poker Tour Deauville Main Event started out with 41 players. The goal for the day was simple: either play down until 16 players remain, or play five full levels of 90 minutes. In the end it took 4.5 levels to get to the final 16.
Ekrem Sanioglu started Day 4 as the man to beat. The Frenchman, originally from Turkey but living in France for 41 years, had 1.3 million in chips to begin the day. That amounted to 130 big blinds, more than enough room to maneuver. However, Sanioglu liked the maneuvering part a little too much. He splashed around with his chips and before he knew it they were all gone. Early on he tried to bluff JP Kelly. The English pro ended up calling with ace high, which was good. Sanioglu ended up busting in 28th place which still netted him €15,950.
Long before Sanioglu busted, several other players had departed. EPT Season 8 Player of the Year Ondrej Vinklarek was one of the first to leave. He couldn't win the crucial coinflip against Jeff Hakim with ace jack to Hakim's pocket fives.
It was around that time that Sotirios Koutoupas made his first move up the leader board. He busted Frenchman Michel Pomaret in a remarkable hand where he made a gutsy call. It turned out to be a great call, one of many on Day 4.
One-time chip leader Dario Sammartino fell early on as well. His headsman was Tatu Maenpaa, another player, like Sotirios Koutoupas, that made a name for himself on the fourth day of play. The Finnish player busted Sammartino in a standard cooler situation where his ace-queen was good for the nuts on a board that included a king, jack and ten. Sammartino had pocket kings for a losing top set.
A short while later the biggest pot of the tournament took place. The 2,535,000-chip pot (at that time four times the tournament average) was played out on the feature table and it was a brutal exit for Robert Szecsi, making Tatu Maenpaa the overwhelming tournament chip leader.
Eugene Katchalov opened to 25,000, Maenpaa three-bet to 75,000 from the small blind only for Szecsi to four-bet to 185,000 from the big blind. Katchalov folded, but Maenpaa went into the tank. Both players started the hand with over hundred big blinds and Maenpaa elected to call.
On the flop Maenpaa checked to Szecsi who continuation-bet 145,000. Maenpaa took a look at his cards, then announced all-in for 1,101,000 total and Szecsi snap-called. He was all-in for 1,063,000.
According to the PokerNews Odds Calculator Szecsi was a 67% favorite to win the hand, however the turn meant that Maenpaa was now a 75% favorite to win the huge pot. Szecsi had some outs, but he missed them all on the river. Maenpaa had Szecsi barely covered and the shell shocked Hungarian exited stage left in 30th place for €15,950.
Hakim, last year's eighth-place finisher, had to leave in 24th place. His ace-king couldn't outrun Oliver Price's pocket fours.
EPT Loutraki winner Zimnan Ziyard was eliminated not much later, meaning there won't be a-two time European Poker Tour winner again in this tournament. He was crippled in a hand against Alexandre Amiel in a cutoff-versus-button situation. On an board he called a 100,000 river bet from Amiel, who showed . Ziyard was eliminated a few hands later by Carlo De Benedittis.
With the elimination of Russian player Konstantin Tolokno in 17th place (€27,680) the tournament was done for the day. Sixteen players remain and we'll be looking to lose eight more on Day 5 to make a final table.
Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov is still in. He dominated the field on Day 3, but was unable to continue the momentum on Day 4. He ended the day with slightly less than what he started with. JP Kelly was able to grind his way up, but besides the hero call we mentioned earlier he didn't play many big pots. Both pros will return on Day 5 with plenty of big blinds, so they'll certainly be two players to watch.
Here's a look at the table draw for the penultimate day:
|1||8||Chun Ho Law||UK||2,679,000||112|
|2||3||Carlo De Benedittis||Italy||417,000||17|
Blinds will start at 12,000/24,000 with a 3,000 ante on Friday. Bahram Chobineh is the shortest stack, but he's having the time of his life. PokerNews' Felicia Field talked to him in one of the breaks: