It takes all sorts of personal attributes to lead an EPT at the day three stage. Talent of course, some luck, courage, patience and a spot of good timing. For one player today though, the day would need just a little more.
Roberto Romanello has the chip lead tonight thanks to some Celtic poker prowess and an unlikely cure-all recipe, handed down from the mother-in-law of tournament director Gerard Serra. Serra passed it on to Romanello to calm the Welshman’s sleepless mind and food poisoned stomach, restoring order to both his game and internal workings.
The effects were remarkable. This hand-me-down concoction (recipe not for general release, although not unlikely to rule him out of any future Olympic competition) powered Romanello from 349,200 at the start to 1,400,000 at the close. All the more staggering when you consider the state of the Welshman’s stack on day one – just 6,000 at one point. Today he illustrated that by picking off a red and yellow chip from his three tiered tower of over a million. “Great comeback,” said Annette Obrestad watching on the rail. That summed it up perfectly.
Andrew Teng’s day took a similar route, albeit without the need of a nurse.
Teng made it a British one-two by busting a string of players to take over as Romanello’s main rival. The size of the pair’s lead was easy to judge late in the proceedings when Teng was moved to Romanello’s left, their two stacks casting a shadow over the others, and putting the load-bearing capabilities of the table legs to the test.
Those two look the most likely source of carnage tomorrow, picking up where they left off today. But at least elimination for those less fortunate now comes with financial compensation. The bubble burst today after a drawn out spell mid-afternoon that featured no less than ten all-ins before Craig Hopkins fell in the 11th.
Craig Hopkins (center) faces up to life on the bubble
Those eliminated included a few surprises, each detailed on the prize winners and payouts page. Roberto Romanello should take note that no overnight chip leader has yet made it through the following day. That curse applied to Csaba Toth today who’s earlier lead crumbled, instead turning into a 41st place finish. Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier followed him in 40th place, one of 11 Team PokerStars Pros, players and qualifiers who cashed today.
If Romanello and Teng are to hold on to their lead they’ll have to beat away some fearsome adversaries, not least the figure of local boy and former World Champion Peter Eastgate who bagged up 726,000 tonight, good for fourth place.
Even better placed was Anton Wigg from Sweden, in third with 949,000. That bunch, and the likely lads listed on the updated chip count page out to steal their thunder, should make the race to the final tomorrow a quality page turner.
We of course live only for that and head off now to be plugged back into our stasis booths until things restart tomorrow at 2pm, once we’ve scraped a few things into the ice lake across the road of course. You on the other hand can look back through all of today’s action at the links below.
What can we say about our sister blogs that hasn’t been told before with casual innuendo and mildly offensive stereotypes? So check out natural blondness on the Swedish blog, the engineering on the German version and the, um, pages on the Dutch blog that were once below sea level. After that nonsense, let’s just thank Neil Stoddart for the photography and be on our way.
So that’s it. Be back here tomorrow afternoon where we’ll have everything on the blog and live coverage on EPTLive.com. Till then.