As the high rollers returned today a few people may rightly have wondered how on earth a field of 176 players could fit into an 11-level shaped hole. And it was a fair point. At the dinner break they were still some way off the money, but even when the bubble bust, with Dong Kim the last player to leave empty-handed, it was already getting late, with a final table of nine the intended target.
The answer is they aren’t going to reach nine. As we write, with the clock about to strike 1am , some 31 players remain, led, as of now by Ismaeil Erkenov, with play scheduled to stop at roughly 1.45am, regardless of the situation on the clock.
The reason is obvious. The EPT11 Barcelona High Roller was an enormous record-breaker, just like everything else it seemed that took place in Barcelona over the course of the festival.
For much of the latter stages of the day the chip leader scrap involved Gereon Sawa and Alexander Roumeliotis, then Stephen Chidwick before Erkenov made his way to the front, being the first to reach the million mark. As of now he has some 1.6 million.
Gereon Sowa among the chip leaders tonight
At the other end of the chip count list the list of those eliminated is full of the type of players that frankly made this a world class event–a treat for spectators who look for a familiar face. In this event everyone was recognisable.
But there had to be fallers. Jonathan Duhamel, Ole Schemion, Eugene Katchalov, Super High Roller winner Olivier Busquet, Scott Seiver, Jonathan Little, Fabian Quoss, Dimitar Danchev, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Robin Ylitalo, Tobias Reinkemeier, Alex Kravchenko, Mike McDonald and Steve O’Dwyer were all sent to the rail.
As we sign off here are some of the latest developments.
—Jason Mercier, who has nursed one of the shorter stacks for some time, has fought his way back up to the average, doubling up with pocket nines through former chip leader Alexander Roumeliotis.
Jason Mercier fighting back
— Timothy Adams and Ruben Visser are eliminated, Carlos Chadha dispatching Adams and Ismail Erkenov seeing off Visser.
— Remaining Team Pros include Jason Mercier and Marc-Andre Ladouceur.
–Play continues for one more level before the close, by which point tournament staff estimate there will be 21 players remaining. Play resumes at 12 noon tomorrow.
It leaves the remaining field looking at a long final day of this 100th EPT festival, but one that could prove a quite thrilling finale as the Main Event plays on nearby.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.