EPT Barcelona, season nine, is becoming one of the best tournaments there has ever been on the tour. There have been some virtuoso displays by established stars, breakout performances from future heroes, and a dude named Duda leading them all at the end of a frantic third day.
The Duda dude is Antonin Duda, 25-years-old from the Czech Republic. He made the biggest surge of all today, busting the Day 1B chip leader Guy Bachar and once soaring close to two million in chips.
“He tried to outplay me but I had it each time so it was really easy for me,” Duda said. “That was huge. He was unlucky.”
Duda is an economics student at university, and a semi-pro player. He ended with 1,470,000, which is marginally more than Samuel Rodriguez, of Spain, who leads home hopes with a stack of 1,416,000.
Breathing down both their necks is the man whose own neck must be the most supple in Barcelona. Ilari Sahamies employed the services of a massage therapist very early in the day when he already had a monster stack. He moved tables a couple of times, including onto the television stage, all the while tailed by one of Thee Best Hands’ finest.
Sahamies’ stack kept growing, the massage kept coming, and the two of them bagged up 1,269,000 at the end. Sahamies made the final table of the Super High Roller earlier this week and is now looking at a potential second.
The Team PokerStars Sportstar Fatima Moreira de Melo also enjoyed what must rank close to her best ever run on the European Poker Tour.
“I had a great day,” Moreira de Melo said. “I finished it off losing a hand. That’s always annoying even though I can be really happy with the day…A lot of things went good. Basically every hand I played worked out so that’s just running good I think. I managed to not get into too many difficult spots.”
Moreira de Melo was on the secondary feature table from start to finish, showing off a huge range of skills to confound all who came before her. Moreira de Melo had 955,000 at the end; few enjoy their poker more.
It is not only about those four, however. John Juanda, the overnight leader, has 968,000. Zimnan Ziyard, the EPT Loutraki champion, has 940,000. And Lucille Cailly, who was second at the Grand Final in May, ended with 902,000.
Today was the day we burst the bubble, and it was Aliaksei Boika who went out closest, but not yet in, the money. His pocket eights lost to the pocket queens of Jonathan Karamalakis.
(If only he had read our Daily Strategy piece, where Johnny Lodden talked us through bubble play.)
Two former EPT champions remain in the field. One is Ziyard (above) the other is Roberto Romanello.
The following won’t be winning EPT9 Barcelona, but all took something home with them:
157th – Joao Nunes – €8,400
153rd – Angel Guillen – €8,400
137th – Henrique Pinho – €8,400
118th – Daniel Negreanu – €9,950
115th – Ana Marquez – €9,950
92nd – Juan Manuel Pastor – €11,550
As the remaining 61 players plot their approach for day four (on which they will play down to 24), you have the opportunity to read or re-read our full coverage from the day.
We went behind the scenes at EPT Live, we checked in with the High Roller Heads Up players, we wandered around the room to look at the last 99 and, if you really want to do it in reverse order, we also wrote an introduction.
No doubt we will write one tomorrow as well, so please join us then.