Kevin MacPhee grabbed the chip lead with 1.576 million in his bag at the end of Day 2 in the 2015 PokerStars.com European Poker Tour Prague €10,300 High Roller. There are just 18 players that remaining and €595,400 up top, but MacPhee has plenty of top competition to fight through. Other top contenders after the 13-hour second day of play included Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Selbst (1,190,000), Daniel Cates (997,000), and Davidi Kitai (446,000).
The High Roller in Prague broke last year's record (309) with 315 entries, creating a prize pool of €3.15 million. A total of 47 places got paid, but it took until a full level after the dinner break for the bubble to burst. Team PokerStars Pro members Eugene Katchalov, Jason Mercier, Liv Boeree, and Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier were among the unlucky ones not to make it far enough for a cash.
Danish pros Frederik Jensen and Henrik Hecklen were also knocked out short of the money, along with with Jeff Rossiter and Ami Barer. Once the €17,420 bubble burst, the tournament saw a flurry of eliminations, as no less than 14 players were knocked out in one hour. Four Brits — Craig McCorkell, Iaron Lightbourne, Senh Ung, and Simon Deadman — all min-cashed, while their countrymen Tamer Kamel and Keith Johnson managed to make it to the next pay jump worth €19,550.
Former EPT winner Anton Wigg finished in 33rd place for €19,550, while former EPT Berlin runner-up and EPT London High Roller winner Andrew Chen got knocked out in 31st place for €22,300. The last remaining local player was sent home in 30th place, as Vojtech Ruzicka collected €22,300 for his efforts.
The most entertaining table of the day was without a doubt that of Selbst and Cates. The two phenomenal pros battled in numerous hands, one which took almost 15 minutes.
In that hand, it was Pavel Plesuv who raised under the gun to 14,000. Ihar Soika three-bet from his left to 34,000, and Selbst four-bet from the cutoff seat to 71,000. Cates then cold-five bet to 115,000, and Selbst was his only caller. Cates bet 90,000 on the f rainbow flop, and Selbst called. On both the turn — a — and the river — — the hand was checked by both players, and Cates won the pot showing two black kings.
Cates offered Selbst €100 to tell her hand. She took it, and claimed to have had pocket tens. That pot put Cates at the top, and he and Selbst exchanged the chip lead a few times during the second half of the day.
As the night went on, Stephen Chidwick busted to Cates in 23rd place for €28,420, and Mike Watson was sent to the rail in 20th place for €31,480. Swiss player Felix Bleiker challenged Selbst's chip lead by doubling through Alexandru Papazian, who busted in 19th shortly thereafter, but it was a massive double up for MacPhee that decided the overnight lead.
MacPhee raised from the hijack seat to 45,000, and Selbst called from the big blind. On a flop, Selbst check-called 45,000. On the turn, she check-called 105,000 when the hit. The river was the , completing a possible backdoor flush draw, and Selbst checked again. MacPhee bet 245,000 with 363,000 behind, and called when Selbst check-raised him all in. Selbst showed ace-nine of hearts, but MacPhee had ace-three of spades for trips and doubled.
Heading into the final day of play, there are plenty of big names still in contention. One of Italy's finest, Rocco Palumbo (1.257 million), sat on a big stack all day, as did Belarusian EPT Barcelona High Roller winner Ihar Soika (1.012 million). The Greenwood family is represented on the final day as well, as Luc Greenwood bagged up 1.065 million, giving him a chance to outshine his brother Sam Greenwood who finished second in the €50,000 Super High Roller at the beginning of this festival for €583,500.
Stay tuned for coverage of the final day of this event right here on PokerNews.com. The final day will commence at 12:30 p.m. local time.