Day 5 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 – saw the surviving 16 players return to battle down to the final six.
Leading the pack with 7,635,000 in chips is 26-year-old online pro Alen Bilic, who currently sits #4 in the Bosnia & Herzegovina all time money list. PocketFives currently has Bilic ranked as his country’s #1 online tournament player with a string of amazing results on PokerStars and more than $2 million in lifetime cashes. His results include winning the Sunday 500 last year for nearly $80k, back-to-back wins in the Big $162, and winning the PokerStars Sunday 500 for $71,000 in March last year.
Others still in contention for the €602,400 first-place prize are Niall Farrell (5,115,000), Jaroslaw Sikora (2,455,000), Rainer Kempe (1,505,000), Sam Greenwood (1,615,000), and Giulio Spampinato (1,180,000).
The day kicked off with an elimination in the very first hand of play when Kitty Kuo, the last woman in the field, got her short stack all in preflop holding the and found herself racing against the of Bjorn Geissert. The flop was disaster for Kuo, and she watched helplessly as the blanked on the turn followed by the river. Kuo took home €27,120 for her 16th-place finish.
From there, Apostolos Bechrakis (15th - €30,280), Darrell Goh (14th - €30,280), Geissert (13th - €33,440), Akim Aouine (12th - €33,440), Gianluca Escobar (11th - €40,410), and Antonio Chemi (10th - €40,410) all hit the rail to set up the unofficial final table of nine.
At that point, in Level 27 (25,000/50,000/5,000), Bilic opened for 100,000 from the cutoff and Alexander Ivarsson, who began the day as chip leader, three-bet to 250,000 from the button. Both blinds folded, Bilic four-bet to 625,000 and the pressure was back on Ivarsson. The Swede tanked for a fair bit before moving in for 2,065,000, and Bilic called.
It was a huge flip, but not after the flop came to give Bilic the lead. The on the turn was a blank, leaving Ivarsson two outs. He didn't hit either one of them as the hit and Ivarsson hit the rail in ninth place for €49,560.
After the dinner break, a short-stacked Nabil Cardoso, who was looking to become just the second player from Spain to win an EPT Main Event, shoved his last 490,000 from the small blind holding the and Sikora called from the big with the . The board ran out , and Cardoso was ousted in eighth place for €62,570.
Not long after, Daniel Dvoress four-bet all for 1.62 million in holding the and found himself dominated by the of Farrell. Dvoress was dominated, and wound up drawing dead by the turn after the board ran out . Dvoress' exit in seventh place for €91,550 meant the final six were set.
Here's how things stack up:
|1||Niall Farrell||United Kingdom||5,115,000||85|
|5||Alen Bilic||Bosnia and Herzegovina||7,635,000||127|
Day 6 will commence at 1 p.m. local time, though our coverage will be on a one-hour delay to coincide with the live stream. While you wait, check out this video with finalist Niall Farrell: