PokerStars EPT Monte Carlo: Woodward and Lacay lead at close of day three

May 01, 2009

EPTMonte 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.

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Matt Woodward

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Ludovic Lacay

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.

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Luca Pagano

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.

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Steven Silverman

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Dag Martin Mikkelsen

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.

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Marcel Luske at bubble time

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.

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Until then, goodnight.

Full, official chip counts at the end of EPT Monte Carlo, day three

Player Country Status Chip Count
Matthew Woodward USA 2726000
Ludovic Lacay France 2235000
Marc Naalden Holland 1770000
Johannes Strassmann Germany ShootingStar 1612000
Steven Silverman USA PokerStars player 1509000
Peter Traply Hungary PokerStars Qualifier 1449000
Bart Spijkers Holland 1377000
Grayson Physioc 1340000
Grigory Zima Russia 1313000
Alexander Morozov Russia PokerStars player 1202000
George Danzer Germany ShootingStar 881000
Alem Shah Germany PokerStars Qualifier 846000
Jason Somerville USA PokerStars Qualifier 845000
Olivier Douce France 788000
Daniel Zink Germany 723000
Roger Hairabedian Morrocco 676000
Annette Obrestad Norway 668000
Christopher Rossiter UK PokerStars Qualifier 645000
Leonardo Patacconi Italy PokerStars Qualifier 578000
Amicha Barer Canada 578000
Pieter De Korver Holland PokerStars sponsored player 565000
Dag Martin Mikkelsen Norway 553000
Vadim Shlez USA 518000
Alain Roy France 507000
Gilbert Diaz France 495000
Sergio Castelluccio Italy 466000
Eric Qu France 321000
Mikhail Tulchinskiy Russia 256000
Jaime Vilela South Africa 253000
Patrick Wymann Switzerland PokerStars Qualifier 225000
John Cernuto USA 166000

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