Day 3 of the European Poker Tour Season 12 Prague Main Event – a tournament that attracted 1,044 players and created a prize pool of €5,063,400 – saw 218 players return to the Hilton Hotel on Sunday looking to make the top 151 and secure a payday.
After five 90-minute levels of play, the money bubble had burst and just 67 players were left in contention for the €921,540 first-place prize. The man best positioned to make a run at it is Canada's Abbas Moradi, who bagged the chip lead with 1.384 million.
Others who bagged big stacks were Preben Stokkan (1,175,000), Hossein Ensan (1,120,000), Vlado Banicevi (1,096,000), and Samuel Vousden (1,010,000).
Among those to fall early were Fabrice Soulier, David Vamplew, James Akenhead, EPT11 Malta champ Jean Montury, Team PokerStars Pro Chris Moneymaker, Team Online's Mickey Petersen, and EPT7 Prague champ Roberto Romanello.
Then in Level 17 (2,500/5,000/500), Spain's Jesus Muriel Gracia was automatically all in from the big blind for his last 5,000. Ukraine's Anton Sulymka called under the gun, and one by one the rest of the players got out of the way.
Gracia was behind but drawing to two live cards. The flop was disaster for Gracia as Sulymka made a pair of tens. The turn sealed Gracia's fate, and he left empty handed in 152nd place, thus ensuring the remaining field at least €8,910 in prize money.
From there the in-the-money-finishes began to mount including those of Vitaly Lunkin (150th - €8,910), Rainer Kempe (144th - €8,910), who notched his third EPT Main Event cash in a row, Mike "Timex" McDonald (139th - €8,910), Team PokerStars Pros Johnny Lodden (117th - €10,280) and Matthias De Meulder (74th - €11,540), EPT11 Grand Final champ Adrian Mateos (81st - €11,540), and Bryan Paris (79th - €11,540), who suffered a particularly bad beat to bust.
It happened in the last level of the night when preflop raising war resulted in Paris getting his stack of 325,000 all in way ahead of the start-of-the-day chip leader, Gleb Tremzin.
Paris was a huge favorite, but the flop gave Tremzin a huge heart sweat. The turn wasn't what he was looking for — though it gave him two more outs — but the river was!
Among those to advance to Day 4 are Sebastian Gohr (868,000), Niall Farrell (828,000), Sam Chartier (817,000), Gavin O'Rourke (634,000), Iaron Lightbourne (550,000), Kitty Kuo (340,000), and the last Team PokerStars Pro in the field, Ivan Demidov (157,000).
Day 4 will kick off at Noon local time on Monday with the plan of playing down to the final 16 or to the end of Level 24, whichever comes faster. In addition the €10,000 High Roller will begin at 12:30 p.m. local time. The PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be on hand to capture the action from both events, so be sure to join us then. While you wait, check out this video to find out Jaime Staples' most awkward moment on Twitch.