The third day of a PokerStars European Poker Tour Main Event is traditionally the day the money is reached. Day 3 of the 2015 stop in Deauville, France, was no exception. Within a couple of hours of play some left with a sad face while others celebrated. The day started with 138 players hopeful of making the money, but in the end, only 87 would succeed in that endeavor.
Benjamin Pollak arrived at the table to find his bag of chips wrapped in another bag. When he opened them he discovered that he didn't have as much as he had written on the bag the night before. He thought he had 275,400, but at the start of the day he counted 267,000, a shortfall of just under three big blinds. The floor was called over and it was explained that an extra bag was sometimes used when it was felt the first one wasn't secure enough for some reason. The floor went off to investigate and came back shortly after to say there were no unaccounted for chips, and therefore nothing could be done.
That got the first bit of "excitement" out of the way. All other commotion today would come from play at the tables.
PokerStars-sponsored player Dominik Panka was the first of many notables to get eliminated. His ace-king couldn't win against Pierre Peretti's queens. Team PokerStars Pro Jan Heitmann wouldn't reach the money either. He first lost a big pot to a flopped straight, and eventually lost the rest of his chips limp reraising ace-king into jacks.
EPT Berlin winner and EPT London runner-up Kevin MacPhee lost some chips early on, only to bust Bernd Vogelhuber an hour later and pocket 160,000 in chips doing so. That wasn't even the biggest pot MacPhee would win today. He made a straight flush holding eight-seven suited and got paid off by Robert Schulz to get close to 600,000 in chips. He just about doubled that in the levels that followed.
After PokerStars Caribbean Champion champion Dimitar Danchev busted (tens to queens), the bubble was in sight. This reduced the speed of play as people were eager to take their time and attempt to sneak into the money. At one point, hands were taking so long that the tournament director decided to start hand-for-hand a bit earlier than normal.
Luciano Santos De Hollanda would bust in 89th place, not being able to outrun aces with his ace-queen suited. EPT Campione winner Jannick Wrang became the unluckiest player in the room some time later. With the cameras of the feature table buzzing around him, he made his move with ace-nine and ran his short stack into David Jaoui's pocket tens. The ten-high flop hurt Wrang and he wouldn't recover, despite picking up a gutshot on the turn. Wrang became Deauville's bubble and the 87 others celebrated.
As per usual, right after the bubble short stacks bust left and right. Some got eliminated in dramatic fashion, others quietly committed the last big blinds they saved to get into the money.
Eugene Katchalov, runner-up in this event here last year, was one leaving in silent fashion. He was one of the first to go after the bubble, ending his run in 86th place (€8,810). Simon Ravnsbæk was next on the list. The Dane spend the least time in the Main Event to earn that €8,810 as he was the last player registering for the tournament at the start of Day 2.
Katchalov's good friend Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier would do much better, keeping his stack up to par for most of the day. Just the last two levels saw Grospellier slipping, losing coin flips and hands that he was originally dominating. Grospellier seemed frustrated as he ended the day with 120,000 (12 big blinds).
Romanian player Dany Parlafes catapulted into the chip lead early on when he won a huge three-way all in with aces to the fours of shorty Jerome Zerbib and the queens of fellow big stack Vadim Shlez. He busted Tobias Peters with an over pair to the Dutchman's open-ended not much later to get to 1.4 million. He ended the day with 1,220,000, just not enough for the chip lead.
Parlafes wasn't the first to get to the million mark and wasn't the one with his name on top if the final list. That honor went to Georgios Kapalas from, you guessed it, Greece. The biggest pot Kapalas won was a hand where he flopped a pair and flush draw and got it in against pocket aces. Kapalas rivered trips to bust Boutros Naim, and boost his stack considerably. Kapalas ended the day with 1,398,000, just ahead of MacPhee who collected 1,313,000.
And for a little tournament tip, Remko Rinkema chats with Rhys Jones about how one can better stay focused during a poker tournament:
Day 4 Seat Draw
|8||2||Joseph El Khoury||Lebanon||362,000|
|10||6||David van den Berg||Netherlands||426,000|
|12||5||Milan Tomasz Rabsz||Poland||1,005,000|