EPT Monte Carlo: Obrestad and Naalden shine – plus full day three CHIP COUNT!

April 30, 2009

Today the EPT debuted its season six structure — rather like a sports team running out for the final game of the year wearing their all-new strip. After one-hour levels through days 1a and 1b, we went to 75 minutes and a whole new selection of blind levels. With a 30,000 stack at the tournament start, plus all this additional play, the best deep-stacked tournament players in the world had finally got what they wanted. And they duly stepped up to show their gratitude.

The day two chip leaderboard features 138 survivors and has the names Marc Naalden, Annette Obrestad, Johannes Strassmann and Joe Ebanks in its top bundle, jockeying for the ultimate chip lead. The Dutchman, Naalden, edged it at the very end with 777,000. But they will all sleep soundly in Monaco tonight.

Scroll down the page for the very latest, complete count

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Naalden made a final table in Copenhagen on season two of the EPT, finishing third for the Danish equivalent of $116,281. And since then, the former tournament chess player has put together a string of major poker results, including four World Series cashes (and one final table), victory in a side event at the Amsterdam Master Classics, and just last month another first place in a $1,500 buy-in tournament in Austria.

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Marc Naalden

As for Obrestad, we may not have heard much from her on the EPT this season, but form is temporary and class permanent, and the Norwegian sensation is among the classiest of all acts. How she got there was simply owing to that spectacular tournament nous. Whenever a reporter passed her table, she was in a pot. Moments later she had won it, usually without showing her hand. This pattern changed towards the end when a pot did go to showdown. Obrestad had a mere royal flush – her first in live play – and she bagged up about 670,000.

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Annette Obrestad

For the final levels of the day, Obrestad shared a table with Strassmann, the PokerStars.de ShootingStar, who is now shining the brightest among a continuing constellation of German talent. He won a monster pot late on – turning a straight with his mighty 7-8 – and kept his stack at the half-million mark until the bagging and tagging process began.

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Johannes Strassmann

Ebanks, or ender555 as he is known in cyberspace, has been working in recent months on translating his devastating online tournament game to the live arena. He made a final table on the LAPT in Costa Rica last year, cashed in a side event at the PCA in January, and took down the €1,000 supplementary tournament in San Remo only last week. Ebanks bagged up around 500,000 too – and is on form, online or off.

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Joe Ebanks

This man, Vadim Shlez, from New York, also hasn’t finished having his say.

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Vadim Shlez

Shlez finished off the serial EPT casher, Joao Barbosa, at around about the mid-point of today’s action – and went on an amazing run since then. He also has more than 500,000 and is hotly in the mix.

For Team PokerStars Pro, it was a day of consolidation. Lee Nelson began the day as chip leader and although he no longer wears that crown, he still has plenty of chips – 305,000 to be precise, which translates as a very sold day’s work. Luca Pagano is unlikely to hand over his title as the most solid, however, and he seems on course for another record-breaking cash on the EPT, finishing today with 400,000 and change.

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Lee Nelson

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Luca Pagano

They are joined in tomorrow’s redraw by Joe Hachem, Andre Akkari, Isabelle Mercier and Alex Kravchenko – their presence more than compensating for the loss of many of the others searching for glory. They’ll line up alongside others such as Michael Tureniec, Phil Laak and Sami Kelopuro in a glittering field.

And it’s some glory: tournament officials announced today that the total prize pool was €9,350,000, with the champion set to take €2,300,000 of that.

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Joe Hachem

The money bubble will burst sometime tomorrow. We reconvene at noon, and need to lose 60 players before we enter the slowdown preceding the elimination of our last non-casher. That, as ever, will be described in all its anxious majesty here, accompanied – as ever – by photography by Neil Stoddart and video blogs and player interviews courtesy of our friends at PokerStars.tv.

And we have friends overseas as well, equipped with funny tongues. They can tell you all about today in French, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian, German and Swedish. Enjoy.

And remember to follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter for more updates and breaking news.

That, then, is that. We leave you with Paul Testud on a bicycle.

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Goodnight!

Full, official chip count at the end of day two/start day three at EPT Monte Carlo

Player Country Status Chip Count
Marcus Naalden Holland 777000
Annette Obrestad Norway 671500
Joseph Ebanks USA 601500
Vadim Shlez USA 540000
Peter Traply Hungary PokerStars Qualifier 534500
Johannes Strassmann Germany ShootingStar 495000
Matthew Woodward USA 444500
Stephen Haughey UK PokerStars Qualifier 431500
Adrian Schaap Holland 430000
Luca Pagano Italy Team PokerStars Pro 411000
Jaime Vilela South Africa 407000
Diaz Gilbar France 393500
Amicha Barer Canada 389000
Dag Palovic Slovakia 367000
Jean Paul Pasqualini France 366000
Eric Mutrie Canada PokerStars player 352500
Julien Maugenest Holland 349500
Lacay Ludovic France 348000
Stephen Chow UK PokerStars Qualifier 347000
Carter Phillips USA 340500
Nicolas Chouity Lebanon 320000
Roland Lee USA 319000
Alexander Morozov Russia PokerStars player 315500
Niccolo Caramatti Italy 312000
George Danzer Germany ShootingStar 309000
Leonardo Patacconi Italy PokerStars Qualifier 308000
Olivier Douce France 306000
Faraz Jaka USA PokerStars player 300500
Sandra Naujoks Germany ShootingStar 296000
Daniel Zink Germany 287500
Suk Min Sung USA 279000
Shawn Busse USA 273000
Sven Leu Germany 266000
Eric Qu France 260000
Pierre Sakr Lebanon 256000
Fabrice Soulier France 245500
Grayson Physioc USA PokerStars player 245000
Rod Grierson Canada PokerStars player 242000
Derek Lerner Canada PokerStars sponsored player 241000
Alexander Kravchenko Russia Team PokerStars Pro 241000
Andreas Hoivold Norway 239000
Ismael Bojang Germany 237000
Sorel Mizzi Canada PokerStars Qualifier 230500
Mark Micula USA PokerStars player 230500
Sebastian Ruthenberg Germany ShootingStar 229500
Roger Hairabedian Morrocco PokerStars player 226500
Marcel Luske Holland 226500
Antonin Teisseire France 221500
Alem Shah Germany PokerStars Qualifier 221000
Xavier Detournel France 217500
Ilari Sahamies Finland 214000
Tristan Clemencon France 213000
Isaac Schachtel Venezuela 211500
Samuel Chartier Canada 204000
Michael Friedrich Switzerland 202500
Vitaly Lunkin Russia 196000
Liya Gerasimova Russia 194500
Dag Martin Mikkelsen Norway 194000
Julien Saille Switzerland 193000
Daniel Drescher Germany PokerStars player 186500
Garrett Beckmann USA 184500
Farzad Bonyadi Iran 184000
Jason Somerville USA PokerStars Qualifier 182500
David Atrubin USA 177500
Norman Gautron Canada 176500
Gregory Zima Belarus 174500
Patrick Sacrispeyre French 174000
Mikael Norinder Sweden 172000
Benjamin Spindler German PokerStars player 169000
Mikhail Tulchinskiy Russia 169000
Steve Berdah France 168500
Jerzy Slaby USA PokerStars player 167500
Maxwell Greenwood Canada PokerStars Qualifier 161500
Pieter De Korver Holland PokerStars sponsored player 161500
Gijsbertus Spijkers Holland 161000
Jan Joris Hlobil Holland 159500
Joanne Liu USA 153500
Jean Jacques Berger France 149500
Gaetano Mazzitelli Italy 149000
Michael Greco UK 147500
Ilan Rouah France 146000
Michael Watson Canada PokerStars player 133000
Lee Nelson New Zealand Team PokerStars Pro 133000
Anthony Donald Venturini USA PokerStars player 133000
Clyde Tjauw Foe Holland 132500
Sergio Castelluccio Italy 132500
Phil Laak USA 132000
Georges Yazbeck Lebanon 131500
Patryk Robert Slusarek UK PokerStars Qualifier 131500
Bruce Yamron USA 131500
Carl Olson USA PokerStars Qualifier 129500
Andreas Flury Switzerland 126000
Daniel Penz Germany 124000
Daniel Wach USA PokerStars sponsored player 124000
Henri Kasper Estonia 124000
Joe Hachem Australia Team PokerStars Pro 120000
Jan Bjoersland Norway 119000
Cort Kibler-Melby Germany 119000
Dmitry Stelmak Russia 117500
Sami Kelopuro Finland 117000
Kalman Csaba Racz Hungary 115500
Ilan Boubli France 113000
Jack Gergi Tarabay Lebanon 110000
Marc Uzan France 109500
Vlado Sevo Croatia 106500
Frank Robin Poulsen Denmark PokerStars Qualifier 106000
Daniel Gallardo Spain PokerStars sponsored player 105000
Toni Ojala Finish 104500
Alain Roy France 102000
Gregory Smith UK 102000
Patrick Wymann Switzerland PokerStars Qualifier 101500
Martin Hansen Denmark 101000
Tom Chambers USA PokerStars Qualifier 100500
Christopher Rossiter UK PokerStars player 100500
Jean Luc Benguigui France 98000
Marcos Rojo Alonso Spain PokerStars Qualifier 98000
Walid Bou Habib Lebanon 95000
Mohamad Kowssarie Sweden 93500
Isabelle Mercier Canada Team PokerStars Pro 91500
Sindre Lunberg Norway 91500
Ilan Boubli France 90500
Robert Firestone USA PokerStars Qualifier 87500
Andrey Danilyuk Russia 82000
Alessandro De Michele Italy 79500
Kim Wooka Japan 76500
John Cernuto USA 73500
Theodore Park USA 72000
Souhail Joseph Nassar Lebanon 67500
Brice Cournut France 66000
Oleksander Vaserfirer Ukraine 65000
Ivan Lehoczky Hungary 60000
Nenad Medic Canada PokerStars player 60000
Brent Wheeler USA PokerStars player 59500
Dan Dyke USA PokerStars player 59000
Steven Silverman USA PokerStars player 58000
William Austin Reynolds USA PokerStars player 52500
Andre Akkari Brazil Team PokerStars Pro 48500
Sylvain Taddei France 37000

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