Monte Carlo might as well be a million miles from anywhere. Its laws, luxury and extravagance sets it apart even from Luton, and this poker festival at the end of the EPT calendar is like nothing ever seen on the continent. By the strictest rules of geography, however, Monaco is surrounded by France – and at the end of day three of the EPT Grand Final, it’s a local boy and a player far, far from his home in Maine, USA, leading the pack.
Ludovic Lacay, a regular on the EPT and a regular in the money, bagged up close to 2,300,000 chips this evening. Matt Woodward, a new face on the tour but clearly steeped in talent, had more than 2,700,000. The two of them are the closest of 31 remaining players to the EPT Grand Final first-prize of €2,300,000.
Woodward occupied the same seat pretty much all day, and watched his stack grow and grow. He began today with 440,000 but had multiplied that more than six times by day’s end. For his part, Lacay picked off a huge bluff from Andreas Hoivold to surge to more than a million in chips, then he despatched the Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano to clamber another rung closer to the top of the leaderboard.
That, of course, wasn’t before Pagano had recorded his record-breaking 11th cash on the EPT. Actually, that’s not quite right. Pagano already held the record for all-time cashes, so this was a record extender. It’s a measure of Pagano’s expectations, however, that he was sickened by his exit — kings against Lacay’s A-J, an ace coming on the river — as his superlative performance through days one and two had brought the elusive title very much into his sights.
Ultimately, Pagano was a victim of one of the fiercest tables seen at any event this season, one wholly fitting of the Grand Final. At one point or another today Annette Obrestad, Sebastian Ruthenberg, Sandra Naujoks, Joe Ebanks, Michael Watson, Ami Barer, Pagano and Lacay occupied seats on table seven. Its denizens either busted (Watson, Ebanks, Pagano, Ruthenberg, and Naujoks, in that order) or dug deep into contention for the massive prizes. Obrestad and Barer join Lacay in the hunt for the millions.
Marc Naalden, yesterday’s chip leader, is still also very much in the shake up, with more than 1,700,000 in chips. Likewise the young American Steven Silverman, fresh from a cash in San Remo last week, who joins Johannes Strassmann, George Danzer, Peter Traply and Dag Martin Mikkelsen as the sharks still floating in the pool. It’s a noon-time start tomorrow as they will play to the final table of eight.
Spare a thought tonight, though, for Marcel Luske, the Flying Dutchman whose elimination in 89th place made him the bubble boy, but the darling of the assembled press corps. Anyone who was in Monaco for last year’s Grand Final is still nursing the wounds from the two-hour bubble. But Luske’s A-9 lost to Ruthenberg’s flopped set of deuces on only the second deal of hand-for-hand play. Cheerio Marcel, but thanks.
The full list of players who outlasted Luske but will not return tomorrow can be found on the prizewinner’s page. The full chip counts going into tomorrow’s play can be found by scrolling to the bottom of this post, else clicking through to the chip count page.
And for the inveterate tweeters among you (ie, everyone), PokerStars Blog now has its own 140 characters with which to bother you. Follow us on Twitter for more updates and breaking news.
Until then, goodnight.
Full, official chip counts at the end of EPT Monte Carlo, day three
|Steven Silverman||USA||PokerStars player||1509000|
|Peter Traply||Hungary||PokerStars Qualifier||1449000|
|Alexander Morozov||Russia||PokerStars player||1202000|
|Alem Shah||Germany||PokerStars Qualifier||846000|
|Jason Somerville||USA||PokerStars Qualifier||845000|
|Christopher Rossiter||UK||PokerStars Qualifier||645000|
|Leonardo Patacconi||Italy||PokerStars Qualifier||578000|
|Pieter De Korver||Holland||PokerStars sponsored player||565000|
|Dag Martin Mikkelsen||Norway||553000|
|Jaime Vilela||South Africa||253000|
|Patrick Wymann||Switzerland||PokerStars Qualifier||225000|