Poland's Jakub Mroczek is the top man going into the penultimate day of the 2014 European Poker Tour London Main Event after bagging 1,790,000 at the end of Day 3. Mroczek (pictured) leads the final 36 players into Day 4 and is best positioned to claim the £499,700 top prize.
Only two other players finished with over one million chips and they are Portugal's Joao Vieira (1,151,000) and Germany's Artur Koren (1,126,000).
The first order of business for Day 3 was the money bubble. Of the original 675 entrants on 95 would get paid, so the 127 who returned — especially the short-stacked players — had to pick their spots carefully while at the same time avoiding getting blinded out.
As the bubble approached the pace slowed down considerably, and understandably so. At one table, Mateusz Zbikowski took it to the extreme, taking nearly five minutes to make a decision every hand. That decision was always a fold as he nursed his three-big-blind stack and tried desperately to creep in to the money. Sam Trickett and Niall Farrell were at his table and mercilessly teased him, but no-one called the clock. Zbikowski did eventually cash for the minimum £7,750.
There have been a number of dramatic bubbles at the EPT over the years but it was all fairly straightforward on Wednesday. In the second level, and before play had actually gone to hand-for-hand, Marco Caza opened the action with and then called a shove from Ignat Liviu who had . The cards ran out with the river delivering the fatal blow, busting Liviu, and giving the survivors a guaranteed payday.
The stampede for the pay-out desk after the bubble soon included Trickett, Team PokerStars Pros Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier and Eugene Katchalov, Sofia Lovgren, Paul Newey, Martin Staszko and Farrell.
Team PokerStars Pro Johnny Lodden had a predictably swingy day but he fell just before the close of play. Lodden had not long before doubled up with aces, but he contrived to give some back and then got it in good with versus the of big stack Mroczek. A board of finished Lodden off.
Remarkably, there are five former EPT champions still in contention including Team PokerStars Pros Jake Cody (794,000) and Liv Boeree (156,000), PokerStars Team Online's Mickey Petersen (143,000), as well as Kevin MacPhee (598,000) and Benny Spindler (911,000), all of whom are looking to join Victoria Coren Mitchell as the tour's only two-time champ.
PokerStars Sportstar Fatima Moreira de Melo started the day as one of the shortest stacks remaining but with a mixture of tenacity and good fortune she ended the day on 279,000. Getting it all in with against Alexander Trevallion’s certainly helped, and in the last level she played a big pot with Boeree when de Melo had and shoved the river on a board, Boeree folding what she said were jacks.
Just 36 remain and the plan for Thursday is to play down to 16 players with cards in the air at noon. Join us once again as the PokerNews Live Reporting Team brings you all the bust outs and double ups from the Grand Connaught Rooms as the EPT Main Event, sponsored by PokerStars.com in partnership with The Hippodrome Casino London, marches onwards to a conclusion where a champion will be crowned and take home a first place prize of nearly £500,000.