Day 2 of the 2016 PokerStars.com EPT13 Malta High Roller saw seven players enter the competition with a fresh stack of 50,000 to boost the overall field to 144 entries. A prize pool of €1,396,800 emerged with the top 20 spots to be paid at least €8,070 for their efforts and after 10 levels of 60 minutes each, the field was whittled down to the last eight hopefuls.
2015 November Niner and serial qualifier Pierre Neuville claimed the lead with 1,695,000 and the Belgian is joined by the likes of Cristian Egues (1,515,000), Liviu Ignat (1,012,000), Team PokerStars Pro Theo Jorgensen (982,000), Michael Kane (810,000), Stefan "mindgamer" Jedlicka (443,000), Charlie Carrel (410,000) and [Removed:172] (334,000).
With 80 players taking to the tables, the first two hours saw 31 of them run out of chips entirely, among them were Max Silver, Koray Aldemir, Pratyush Buddiga, Sam Greenwood, Benjamin Pollak and Adrian Mateos. Simon Mattsson lost a big flip with ace-king against the pocket queens of Armando Collado and Davidi Kitai followed in same fashion against Stephen Chidwick.
Ignat became a big stack after the double elimination of Steve O'Dwyer and Govert Metaal, while [Removed:17] couldn't hold up with nines against the ace-king of Ben Heath. Sebastian Veghinas made the right call with ace-king only to see Alexander Ivarsson get there with a gutshot.
Down to the last three tables, Frederik Jensen lost his short stack to Egues before Felix Stephensen ran with pocket tens into the pocket aces of Philipp Gruissem. Piotr Franczak's roller coaster ride ended two shy of the money and a huge move by Collado with bottom pair let the bubble burst, as Ivarsson called with top pair and the flush draw.
Once the final 20 were in the money, Gleb Tremzin, EPT12 Malta High Roller third-place finisher Mikalai Vaskaboinikau and Jyri Merivirta busted in quick succession. Heath lost a flip to Ivarsson and the Swede was the dominating chip leader when the last two tables were set.
Marcin Chmielewski ran with pocket eights into the pocket aces of Neuville and the ace-queen of Egues and had to settle for 16th place. A short-stacked Chidwick followed in 15th and the field was suddenly reduced to 12 when Farid Jattin and Ivarsson were knocked out by Jorgensen. Christophe Larquemin's pocket nines could not fade the flush draw and two over cards of Kramer and the Frenchman, who survived the bubble with less than three big blinds was gone in 12th place.
Another double elimination set the unofficial final table with 40 minutes left in level 20. Cate Hall three-bet all in with ace-queen, Egues reshoved with pocket eights and Gruissem called with ace-king only to see Egues flop a full house. The remainder of the level saw just one further player bust, Hari Bercovici ran with queens into kings. Neuville then claimed the lead after winning a big three-way hand against Egues and Jorgensen.
Seat Assignments for the Final Table
|Seat||Player||Country||Chip Count||Big Blinds|
|2||Michael Kane||United Kingdom||810,000||40|
|6||Charlie Carrel||United Kingdom||410,000||20|
The PokerNews live reporting team will be back at 12.30 p.m. local time when the action resumes in level 21 and blinds of 10,000-20,000 with a running ante of 3,000. Tune back in to find out who will lift the elusive High Roller trophy and claim the payday of €335,200.