'The Fast & The Furious' is a hugely popular action movie series, but we might as well use it to describe Day 4 of the 2015 PokerStars.com EPT Season 12 Malta Main Event – a tournament that attracted 651 players and created a prize pool of €3,157,350. Thursday started with just 40 players and the goal to either get to 16 or play five levels. In the end, it took just three and a half levels to get to the final two tables of the tournament.
Dutch pro Paul Berende was the first to go. He tried to time bank himself into the early pay jump but ended up busting in 40th place anyway when his pocket sevens couldn't hold up against Nabil Cardoso's ace-queen. The fact Cardoso had already exposed his cards by accident, didn't factor too much into Berende's decision.
It was a bonanza of bustouts in the early minutes of the day as Enrico Camisci (tens to ace-queen), Marcin Wydrowski (eights to ace-five), Hani Bahna (king-four to queen-seven) and many more hit the rail before even the first level was over.
Several big names didn't make it through either, sometimes with bad beats, sometimes in cooler situations, and sometimes both, like Bryn Kenney busting out with kings against Erik Scheidt's ace-king all in preflop. The ace on the flop made it so that Kenney had just a single out, but he didn't hit it.
Shannon Shorr hit a one outer yesterday, but his run good didn't continue on Day 4 as he ran his treys into Gianluva Escobar's aces to bust.
From there, Thomas Muehloecker lost with king-ten to king-three preflop all in, Ivan Luca couldn't beat tens with ace-queen, and Mike "Timex" McDonald's ace-king needed help when he got his chips in with top pair and top kicker against Ferdinand Le Pichon's two pair with four-five suited. A blank on the river ended McDonald's tournament, and like many others, he hopped straight into the €10,000 High Roller.
The last PokerStars Team Pro in the tournament, Johnny Lodden, got it all in three way with ten-eight suited against queens and aces. Despite flopping an open-ended straight draw, he hit the rail when the turn and river both blanked.
Natasha Barbour, the girlfriend of Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier, lost with jacks to queens, and Faraz Jaka joined her on the rail a short time later. Jaka first folded jacks in a big pot against the very aggressive Alexander Ivarsson, and got the last of his chips in with ace-king against Jaroslaw Sikora's queens. The king on the flop likely filled Jaka's heart with joy, but that was gone when a queen hit the turn to leave him drawing dead.
After Michael Ho (sevens into aces) and Le Pichon (ace-jack into ace-king) busted in 18th and 17th place respectivley, the tournament was down to 16 players and play was stopped. With 41 minutes and 46 seconds left on the clock in the fourth level of play of the day (10,000/20,000 /3,000), the dust settled and the final 16 players were redrawn into the final two tables.
While a lot of big names fell prematurely, some familiar faces are still alive and kicking. Kitty Kuo won a flip early on to bust Andreas Chalkiadakis, but lost some chips in smaller pots. Luckily for her she doubled with fours against pocket sevens all in preflop after hitting a four on the flop.
Rainer Kempe is still on track to make back-to-back final tables. After finishing fifth in the EPT Barcelona Main Event not too long ago, he's bringing 1,726,000 in chips to Day 5 of the EPT Malta Main Event.
Topping the counts is Ivarsson, who gave a master class on using your stack to gather more chips. He was involved in just about every other pot, not backing down by dangerous flops or scary turns. With a poker face only a Scandanavian player can have, he bossed around anyone that got in his way. He finished the day with 2,418,000.
|1||7||Alen Bilic||Bosnia and Herzegovina||1,000,000|
|2||8||Niall Farrell||United Kingdom||1,902,000|
Friday's Day 5 will see the field of 16 diminish to the final six, or at least that's the plan. PokerNews will again be your source for live updates from the tournament floor. Until then, check out our coverage of the €10,000 High Roller and watch Sarah Herring catch up with Alen Bilic, who's also still alive in the Main Event.