Day 3 of the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo® Casino European Poker Tour Grand Final Main Event came and went over the course of five levels today. By the end of play, just 34 players remain with a familiar name is ahead of the rest. Team PokerStars Pro Johnny Lodden started the day as chip leader, but more importantly, he ended it that way with 1.232 million in chips.
Top 10 Day 3 Chip Counts
The big talking point of the day surrounded the bubble that actually happened sooner than planned. It took eight hands and more than half an hour to navigate the hand-for-hand period that ended with two players being eliminated. Those eliminations meant Team PokerStars Pro Chad Brown was the real bubble boy after he ran queens into aces to bust in 82nd place.
Eightieth-place money was chopped between David Vamplew and Taylor Paur after both were eliminated to the joy of all the short stacks among the remaining 79 players. Oleksii Kovalchuk took care of Paur in a battle of the blinds; the American's king-queen failed to come from behind to beat Kovalchuk's ace-jack.
Calvin Anderson and Vamplew were locked in battle on an adjacent table and the latter committed all his chips on the turn when drawing dead for the win. His top pair with ace-king was crushed by Anderson's jack-three that had made a wheel. Vamplew's only hope was for the board to complete as a straight. It didn't, and he had to be content with €8,000 along with Paur.
That pot put Anderson up to 880,000 chips, which was good for the chip lead at that point. His day from there spiraled downward and ended in elimination at the hands of Vasili Firsau in the last level of the day. It was a straight race, but Anderson couldn't hit with ace-queen versus two sixes.
Back to Mr. Lodden. He spent the first half of the day locked away on the feature table where he just maintained his stack. His luck changed when he was out on the main floor, though, and he accrued some chips. Then, his table broke, and he quickly found himself embroiled in the biggest and only million-chip-plus pot of the tournament thus far. Panagiotis Gavriilidis may be wondering tonight why he turned pocket deuces into a bluff on a jack-high board. The pot was three-bet preflop and four-bet on the flop before Gavriilidis made a huge shove on the turn. It put Lodden in a tricky spot, but after thinking for a few minutes, he made the correct call with pocket kings. For full details of the hand, click here.
It was a great day overall for those representing the red spade. Team PokerStars Pros Jason Mercier, Daniel Negreanu, Jake Cody, Ville Wahlbeck and Victor Ramdin will all be back for Day 4, along with Team Online's Mickey Petersen. Other big names back for more Friday include: Steve O'Dwyer, Paul Volpe, Freddy Deeb, Luke Schwartz, John Juanda, Noah Schwartz and Noah Boeken. Counts of all the remaining players can be found by clicking here.
To say the final four tables of the final main event of season is stacked would be an understatement for sure. The final three days promise to be something not to miss. On Friday, play will resume at the delayed time of 3 p.m. CET because of the television set being used to film a charity celebrity sit-n-go tournament. From there, the day will last as long as it takes to get down to 16 players.
The PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be back providing coverage sooner than that, though, as the €25,000 High Roller kicks off its Day 1 at 12 p.m. CET. Needless to say, there will be plenty of poker action all day long.