One of the reasons the European Poker Tour has become so successful is that the destinations aren’t just great places to play, they are also great places to visit. No player likes to bust from a tournament but the blow is softened, and the mind happily distracted, when there’s a wonderful city waiting to be explored. PokerStars decided to take this idea a step further last season, stopping at destinations where great activities were on offer alongside the poker. EPT Snowfest was the prime example of this, where players could hit the Alpine slopes in the morning and the poker table in the afternoon.
Then there’s Vilamoura and golf…
Vilamoura is a relatively new resort (founded in 1974) on the Algarve. It’s a region famous for its outstanding golf courses and weather to match. There are four world-class courses nearby and PokerStars is utilising one of them for a unique tournament concept; the Fairways and Felts challenge. It’s a two-day event starting tomorrow combining golf and poker (if you hadn’t already guessed) and a great way for those who didn’t make the cut to enjoy time away from the baize without taking an eye off it completely.
If this was a golf tournament we are now into the weekend stages, and the player most under par, leading the way is Martin Jacobson from Sweden with 1,362,000 chips. He had a storming day three, his stack growing consistently before an Albatross of a pot against Team PokerStars Pro JP Kelly late on sent him soaring away from the pack. His ace-king bested the Brit’s ace-queen in an 800,000 coup.
A fair few shots back but still in with a chance in the closing rounds are Guillermo Garcia (766,000), Marco Leonzio (788,000), Sam Trickett (712,000) and Rob Hollink (696,000) who is the only former EPT champion remaining.
Friend of PokerStars Teddy Sheringham will have to miss the golf tomorrow as he returns with 381,000. His key day three moment came when he made a full house versus William Thorson, not long after he had texted a mutual friend of theirs that he planned to take the Swede’s chips. That pot crippled Thorson who went on to make a remarkable comeback, only to lose two big pots late on to Guillermo Garca and finish in 26th place (€9,312).
It wasn’t the greatest of days for Team PokerStars Pro. All failed to make it through the day. In golf terms JP Kelly was hitting most fairways and greens in regulation until his ball found the water and sunk to the bottom (explained above) for a 29th place finish (€9,312). Luca Pagano achieved a record-breaking 16th cash with his 52nd-place finish for €7,263. Cashing for him is par for the course but the Italian craves an EPT title more than anything else and for the second EPT in a row he was eliminated by an opponent hitting a two-outer on him.
Marcin Horecki finished in 35th (€8,381) and Nuno Coelho and Andre Coimbra (PokerStars Team Online) also managed small cashes in this their home event, finishing in 54th and 49th respectively. Arnaud Mattern and Antonio Tarantino (PokerStars Team Online) both came back today but failed to make the cut (cash).
Notable players who made the cut, but who are not coming back for the rest of the weekend, are overnight chip leader Brandon Cantu (swung his driver wildly today) and Evgeniy Zaytsev (got stuck in the rough a lot). Those who didn’t even make the cut included Stephen Chidwick, Max Lykov and Paul Foltyn (out of bounds just short of the money).
So, the dynamics for tomorrow are simple; the 24 players remaining players will come back for the penultimate round of poker and we will play until our final table of eight remain.
And if a fish and chips styled blog isn’t your thing, then a try a foreign linguistic flavour by visiting the sites of our culinary cousins on Pizza loving Italian blog, Wiener Schnitzel loving German blog, Mayonnaise on everything Dutch blog, and the Piri piri spiced Portuguese blog.
Full chip counts are on the, chip count page, and you can watch all the video blogs and more on pokerstars.tv, while all exterior pictures (no internal shots allowed) are provided by a tanned Neil Stoddart.
Until midday tomorrow that’s all from us folks.
All pictures (c) Neil Stoddart