Germany's Fabio Sperling is the man to catch at the end of Day 4 at the European Poker Tour 11 Prague Main Event. Sperling bagged up 4,357,000 after five levels of play to lead the 22 players still in contention.
Stephen Graner from the USA is in second with 3,228,000 chips. Fellow American Vanessa Selbst will enter Tuesday fifth in chips, and likable pro Sam Grafton is in third. Grafton is from the U.K. but has recently made Prague his home. The popular “SquidPoker” spent the day talking up a storm on his way to finishing with 2,610,000.
Day 5 Table and Seat Draw
|3||2||Jakub Slemr||Czech Republic||1,278,000|
Day 4 began with 61 players, and losing the first 30 happened very quickly. Team PokerStars Pro George Danzer finished in 53rd for €16,970 after losing a flip with fours against the ace-queen of Tamer Kamel. The eliminations slowed a little after the first flurry of exits, with the average stack then around 80 big blinds, but the field was gradually whittled down to the 22 by the time the day ended.
Sperling grabbed the chip lead from Graner when they got to the river of a board reading . Graner bet 215,000 and then faced a raise to 628,000 from Sperling. Graner asked him if he had flopped a set, and he would get his answer when he called and was shown Sperling’s for a full house.
This is Graner’s first EPT; his best live result is a sixth-place finish in the 2014 WSOP Millionaire Maker event for $273,854. His total live tournament winnings amount to $676,642.
Selbst is the last remaining Team PokerStars Pro in the tournament and she endured a few swings but stuck to her game plan on her way to a fifth place end-of-day finish with 2,040,000 chips.
It was an impressive display of aggressive big bet poker from Selbst, who rarely gave up on a pot when there were chips to be won and she frequently put her opponents to the test on the river.
One player who tangled repeatedly with Selbst was Panagiotis Papaisidorou. In one memorable hand Selbst called a 44,000 bet on a flop of from Papaisidorou and when the turn card brought the she raised a 180,000 bet to 370,000. Papaisidorou called that bet and checked the river only to face a bet of 190,000 from Selbst. He called and mucked when Selbst showed him .
Davidi Kitai briefly held the chip lead and he finished in fourth with 2,307,000 in chips, while Simon Mattsson, who started the day as chip leader, ended with 1,172,000. Nandor Solyom will return as the short stack with 182,000 after losing a flip to Francesco Grieco just before the day ended.
Online qualifier Brian Altman was the chip leader at the end of Day 2 but at one point today he was down to one big blind. A series of improbable double ups, including cracking aces with king-deuce all in preflop, saw him escape elimination several times before he finally busted in the very last hand of the night to finish 23rd for a €32,270 payday.
Play resumes on Tuesday at noon CET and the plan is to play down to the final six. The tournament is just two days away from crowning an eventual champion from this record breaking field in Prague and the winner will take home a huge €969,000 payday.
Be sure to follow our coverage when play resumes on Tuesday! In the meantime, check out Remko Rinkema's interview Vanessa Selbst from early in the day.