Day 5 Completed
Day 5 Completed
Messina Leads Final Six; 2014 PCA Champ Dominik Panka Still Alive
Day 5 of the European Poker Tour Malta Main Event saw the final 23 of an 895-player field return to battle down to the final six. Each of those players is guaranteed €153,700, but all of them have their eyes firmly fixed on the €810,400 and becoming the first-ever EPT Malta champion.
The man best positioned to capture the title is 34-year-old Valentin Messina, who leads the final table with 7.805 million. Messina, who is originally from France but now calls Malta home, first came to fame when he beat Freddy Deeb heads-up in the France Poker Tour in 2010 for €131,780. He wasn’t originally planning to compete in the Main Event but was talked in to it by other friends in Malta who had won their seats online.
He sold a percentage of himself and decided to buy in after all. Obviously it proved a wise decision. Messina, a former Supernova on PokerStars.fr, has been a Poker Coach Academy coach for several years. He now mainly plans online cash games and only plays tournaments on Sunday - that said, he won the Sunday Warm-up last October for €84K after cutting a deal heads up.
However, Messina faces some stiff competition in the form of 2014 PCA champ Dominik Panka, who celebrated his 24th birthday today; former pool champion Jean Montury; EPT100 Barcelona third-place finisher Hossein Ensan; Javier Gomez Zapatero, who has a chance to become the first-ever Spaniard to win an EPT; and German recreational player Stefan Schillhabel.
Day 5 kicked off with a bang as six players hit the rail in the first 30 minutes. Brazil's Bruno Volkman was the first to go in 23rd place, and Jacek Ladny and Dennis Kaj Smit followed him out the door in 22nd and 21st respectively. All three of them took home €27,200 for their efforts. After the pay jump to €31,500, Bjorn Lundgren (20th), Glib Kovtunov (19th), and Jorma Nuutinen (18th) joined them on the rail.
Nuutinen fell in Level 25 (15,000/30,000/4,000) when he opened with a raise from early position and then called when Antonin Duda three-bet to 130,000 from the cutoff. The flop saw Nuutinen check, Duda bet 155,000, and Nuutinen check-raise all in. Duda snap-called and when the cards were tabled it was no surprise why the chips went in.
Nuutinen had flopped a set, but it was no good as Duda flopped the nut straight. Nuutinen was looking to pair the board, but it wasn't meant to be as the blanked on the turn followed by the on the river.
From there, Rudolf Zintel (17th - €35,800), Koray Aldemir (16th - €35,800), Sergio Aido (15th - €40,100), and EPT10 London champ Robin Ylitalo (14th - €40,100) made their way to the payout desk. Ylitalo had high hopes coming into the day, but an ill-timed bluff saw most of his stack disappear, and he was eliminated a short time later.
After the elimination of Mateusz Moolhuizen (13th - €44,500), Carlo Citrone (12th - €44,500), Julien Duveau (11th - €49,700), and Bart Kuiper (10th - €49,700), Fedor "CrownUpGuy" Holz, who won the 2014 WCOOP Main Event for $1,820,700, bubbled the final table when his pocket aces were cracked by Montury's flopped set of fives. The 21-year-old, who just returned to the #1 spot in the world in the PocketFives Online Poker Rankings, was disappointed, but did reveal he enjoyed the live experience.
"I actually enjoy live poker more than online," Holz told PokerNews earlier in the day. "I like both quite a lot, but live gives me the opportunity to think about hands in a more in-depth way. Overall I found the transition from online quite easy."
Poland's Remi Wyrzykiewicz and start-of-the-day chip leader Duda fell before play concluded for the night, leaving six to return for the sixth and final day. Action will recommence at Noon local time on Saturday, but live updates won't begin until an hour later. That's because the final table will be broadcast with hole cards on a one-hour delay.
The PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be on hand to capture all the action, so be sure to check back then. In the meantime, check out this video on what it's like to become a millionaire courtesy of PokerStars:
Final Chip Counts
|2||Javier Gomez Zapatero||3,800,000|
Antonin Duda Eliminated in 7th Place (€108,200)
Jean Montury opened to 180,000 from the button and was called by Stefan Schillhabel in the big blind to see a flop of . The German check-called a bet of 210,000 and then the two of them checked down the on the turn.
After the river, Schillhabel made an almost pot-sized bet of 800,000 with trips nines and Montury called with for a full house to rake in the pot.
One hand later, Antonin Duda open-shoved from the button for 1.835 million in chips. Schillhabel checked his cards in the small blind and moved all in himself for around double the amount to isolate successfully.
The hopes of a flush or straight were destroyed after the flop and turn, leaving Duda with only two outs. The river was a blank and the Czech bowed out in 7th place, taking home €108,200 for his efforts. Play is thus finished for today and there are 32:45 remaining in level 29.
Happy Birthday Panka
It must be, and is, Dominik Panka's birthday. For the fourth time today he's found a big hand in a great spot, and it handed him a full double up.
Javier Gomez Zapatero opened to 160,000 and called after Panka shoved for 755,000 from the button.
The board ran to make the Polish player a full house.
Messina and Schillhabel Clash
Antonin Duda opened to 165,000 from the cutoff and Stefan Schillhabel three-bet to 385,000 from one seat over. The action reached Valentin Messina and he four-bet to 595,000 out of the big blind, which was only called by Schillhabel.
On a flop of , Messina continued for 625,000 and was called before the turn triggered a check from both players. The dealer then burned and turned the river and Messina grabbed chips.
The Frenchman made it 950,000 to go, just under one-third of the pot. Schillhabel folded the hands behind his cap and stared at the board. Some time passed by before the German mucked his cards and the French rail started clapping.
Cooler Flop Almost Busts Schillhabel
Stefan Schillhabel was one card away from busting in seventh place but instead has a stack of almost six million.
He opened to 160,000 from under the gun and was called in two spots, including Antonin Duda. The flop came and Duda came out firing for 260,000. Schillhabel looked confused at what Duda was up to before he put in a raise to 920,000. The third party folded and then Duda quickly moved all in and Schillhabel called all in for 2,670,000.
Duda: for a flopped straight.
Schillhabel: for middle set.
Some chopportunties emerged on the turn but the river filled up the German and he jumped out of his seat to celebrate with his friends. Duda, who had made a great comeback from being the short stack, has to start all over again.
Schillhabel Cracks Aces to Stay In
The action folded to Stefan Schillhabel on the cutoff and he moved all in for 1.38 million in chips. Javier Gomez Zapatero as well as Valentin Messina folded, but Hossein Ensan peeked at his cards and then snap-called.
It was a very bad timing for Schillhabel, but he improved on the flop and took the lead. After the turn, Ensan had deuces, queens and aces as outs to end the day early.
However, the on the river gave Schillhabel a full house and both Germans swapped the positions in the overall counts.
Counts from Level 29
Stefan Schillhabel moved all in for 1.36 million and scooped the blinds and antes.
Javier Gomez Zapatero raised to 175,000 and also received the blinds and antes, as did Hossein Ensan with a raise to 160,000 from the hijack.
The only hand that went to a flop was a 175,000 raise by Antonin Duda on the button and the call of Gomez Zapatero in the big blind. However, the Spaniard check-folded the flop to a continuation bet.
The Full Story of Dzmitry Urbanovich’s Record Breaking Fourth Title at EPT Malta
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