Mark Buckley Leads Final 56 in PokerStars EPT Barcelona Main Event
With just 56 players left in the PokerStars European Poker Tour Barcelona Main Event, it is Irishman Mark Buckley who is chip leader.
The chip lead jumped between half a dozen players in the final few levels of the day before Buckley bagged 2,650,000 to top the pile heading into Day 4.
Close behind him is Brazilian Fabiano Kovalski (2,530,000) and Matthias Tikerpe (2,325,000), the latter of which eliminated Shaun Deeb (61st - €19,760) in the last level of the night to move to around the two million mark.
There are plenty of big names also still in contention including EPT champion Ognyan Dimov (1,730,000) and 2015 EPT Barcelona champion John Juanda (1,210,000). PokerStars Championship Prague winner Kalidou Sow started the day with just five big blinds, but ended up bagging a comfortable 1,450,000. But today saw the last remaining PokerStars Team Pro bust in brutal fashion. Jaime Staples (60th - €19,760) flopped a set of fours against the set of sixes of Ben Heath and when the board paired on the turn, the pair proceeded to get it in on the river and Staples was eliminated.
Unfortunately, former EPT Champions Benny Spindler (204th - €9,740), Patrik Antonius (196th - €9,740), Niall Farrell (149th - €10,770), Jens Kyllonen (137th - €12,080), Michael Tureniec (76th - €16,670) and Dominik Panka (64th - €19,760) won’t be adding another title to their poker resumes.
Short-stacked at the beginning of the day, Viktor Blom was among the early casualties collecting a Day 2 min-cash of €8,900, with last year’s PokerStars Championship Barcelona winner Sebastian Sorensson not far behind them (197th - €9,740), with Sorensson losing out to Frenchman Julien Sitbon in the early stages of the day.
Other notables include former professional footballer Jimmy Kebe (174th - €10,770), Anatoly Filatov (162nd - €10,770), Pedro Cairat (120th - €12,080), Leo Margets (€14,330), Day 2 Pineapple Flip Out Platinum Pass winner Eric Lenoir (117th - €14,330), Fernando Pons (100th - €14,330), Mustapha Kanit (92nd - €16,670), former EPT San Remo runner-up Jason Lavallee (77th - €16,670) and Mark Radoja (58th - €19,760).
Other eliminations on Thursday included Day 2 chip leader Ben Wilinofsky, who was eliminated in 123rd place (€12,080)when both he and Renato Kaneoya flopped trips, with Kaneoya emerging as the first major contender for overall chip leader.
Victor Chong and Ognyan Dimov were both among the big stacks in the room before Buckley’s first big break came when he eliminated Tony Broekhof in Level 19. Broekhof held top pair and called the shove from Buckley, but the Irishman showed an overpair in kings to send his opponent to the rail.
He chipped up further with pocket aces against Simon Mattsson, before a set of twos eliminated Yi Ang Lin from the Main Event. There was a late surge from Fabiano Kovalski, and Buckley was not infallible in the latter stages, but he held on and will take a healthy stack of 132 big blinds through to Day 4.
The PokerNews live reporting team is still in Barcelona capturing all the poker action from the EPT festival. Check the PokerStars EPT Barcelona Live Reporting for the full list of events.
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