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2015 EPT Malta Main Event Day 4: Duda Leads Final 23; Holz Sits Second

Antonin Duda

At the start of Day 4, just 56 players remained in the European Poker Tour Malta Main Event, but after five 90-minute levels of play, the field was cut down to the final 23. The man best positioned to make a run at the €810,400 first-place prize is Antonin Duda, who bagged up the chip lead with 3,476,000.

The 28-year-old poker pro hails from the Czech town Jablonec nad Nisou. To date, his biggest cash was €125,950 for a seventh-place finish in the EPT Barcelona Main Event in Season 9. Duda, who qualified for EPT Malta on PokerStars, has had a decent March so far having won two major tournaments on Full Tilt for over $62,000 combined.

Duda vaulted to the chip lead thanks to the last hand of the night. It happened when Duda raised to 52,000 was called by Alexander Ivarsson in the cutoff seat and Sergio Aido in the small blind. The flop came {9-Spades}{j-Diamonds}{2-Hearts} and Duda continued for 105,000. Only Ivarsson called, and Duda slowed to a check on the {a-Diamonds} turn. Ivarsson bet 130,000, Duda called, and the {9-Hearts} completed the board on the river.

Duda checked, Ivarsson quickly went all in for his last 500,000, and Duda flicked in one chip to call. Ivarsson opened the {k-Spades}{q-Hearts} for a king-high bluff and was quickly out of his seat with a look of despair on his face. Duda opened the {a-Spades}{8-Spades} and raked in the pot that confirmed his status of overnight chip leader.

Others who've navigated the 895-player field to make it through to the penultimate day are 2014 WCOOP Main Event champ Fedor "CrownUpGuy" Holz (3,146,000), EPT London champ Robin Ylitalo (972,000), and 2014 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure winner and PokerStars-sponsored player Dominik Panka (391,000).

The plan for the day was to play down to the final 16 players, but action didn't allow for it. Still, plenty of players saw their hopes of becoming the first-ever EPT Malta champion come to an end including Steven Watts (€14,750), Mortiz Dietrich (46th - €14,750), Yann Dion (43rd - €14,750), JC Alvarado (38th - €17,100), and Liviu "0Human0" Ignat, who was the center of a great name debate at the beginning of the day.

Another player to fall was Sam Chartier, who fell in the last level of the night when Mateusz Moolhuizen, who qualified via the very last EPT Malta Main Event satellite, opened for 55,000 under the gun and was met by a three-bet to 120,000 from Valentin Messina, who was to his direct left. Chartier then four-bet jammed for 358,000 from the hijack. Moolhuizen looked him up and Messina got out of the way.

Moolhuizen: {k-Hearts}{k-Spades}
Chartier: {a-Diamonds}{a-Spades}

It was a cooler of a hand, but Chartier was on the good end. The tables were turned when the {8-Diamonds}{k-Diamonds}{7-Diamonds} flop delivered Moolhuizen a set, though Chartier at least picked up a flush draw. The {2-Hearts} turn was no help to Chartier, and neither was the {Q-Clubs} river. With that, Chartier bowed out in 26th place while Moolhuizen chipped up to 1.2 million.

George Danzer won Poker Ambassador of the Year at the 14th Annual European Poker Awards. Check out what he had to say about it by clicking here.

Others joining Moolhuizen on Day 5 are Hossein Ensan (2,639,000), Aido (1,187,000), and Jorma Nuutinen (870,000), just to name a few. Here's a look at the remaining players:

Feature1Carlo Citrone525,000
Feature2Glib Kovtunov372,000
Feature3Bjorn Lundgren237,000
Feature4Hossein Ensan2,639,000
Feature5Bart Kuiper361,000
Feature6Remigiusz Wyrzykiewicz2,104,000
Feature7Dominik Panka391,000
Feature8Robin Ylitalo972,000
11Antonin Duda3,476,000
12Valentin Messina909,000
13Javier Gomez Zapatero1,877,000
15Jacek Ladny445,000
16Sergio Aido1,187,000
17Jorma Nuutinen817,000
18Julien Duveau737,000
21Mateusz Moolhuizen1,249,000
22Rudolf Wilhelm Zintel780,000
23Koray Aldemir1,667,000
24Bruno Volkmann248,000
25Stefan Schillhabel900,000
26Jean Montury1,363,000
27Fedor Holz3,146,000
28Dennis Kaj Smit342,000

Action will recommence at 12 p.m. local time on Friday, and the plan is to play down to the final six players. Of course the PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be there every step of the way. While you wait, check out this comprehensive video of the 14th Annual European Poker Awards:

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