As play ended last night Antonin Duda could look back on a good day at the tables. But he had to look twice.
Grabbing one of the polythene bags in which players let their chips rest for the night, Duda inked in his chip count: 147,000. He looked at it for a second, then signed the bag as form dictates. Then he looked at the count again. “You’re missing a zero,” said a voice, possibly in his head. Duda, an economics student, then smiled and made the correction: 1,470,000.
Antonin Duda: chip leader
Duda was one of several who could look back on a good Day 3. Two others joined Duda on more than a million. Samuel Rodriguez will return with 1,416,000 while the ever dangerous Ilari Sahamies has 1,269,000.
The lack of seven figures didn’t take the smile off Fatima Moreira de Melo’s face. She was unstoppable on her way to 955,000, good for fifth place behind John Juanda’s 968,000. They lead the last 61 returning today.
Just behind them is Zimnan Ziyard, with 940,000, one of two former champions in the last 61. The other, Roberto Romanello, has 671,000. Monte Carlo runner-up Lucille Cailly is also among the top ten, as is day one chip leader Aku Joentausta.
Any one of them would grace any final table but the task today is to reach the last 24, alongside players we’ll be getting to know today as the tournament progresses.
We’ll also be bringing you The Daily Strategy, in which Team Pro Ville Wahlbeck discusses his approaches to EPT festivals as a whole. If anything else crops up along the way we’ll bring you that too.
Don’t forget you can follow the action on EPT Live, where Moreira de Melo will be first on the feature table, opposite firebrand Ilan Boujenah.
No one will be miscounting their chips tonight.