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Unibet Open Bucharest: Eli Heath Leads Final 15; Dan Murariu Gunning for 3rd Title

  • Christian ZetzscheChristian Zetzsche
Dan Murariu
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  • Eli Heath leads the final 15 in the Unibet Open Bucharest. Dan Murariu is gunning for his 3rd title.

The record-breaking 603-entry strong 2016 Unibet Open Bucharest €1,100 Main Event saw 156 hopefuls return to the tables in the Grand Ballroom of the stunning JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel and almost half of them left empty-handed. Not only did the bubble burst within the 11 levels of 60 minutes each, the field was whittled down to the last 15 contenders for the elusive Unibet Open trophy and first-place payout of €100,000.

Leading the finalists for tomorrow is Eli Heath with 2,460,000 closely followed by Eugen Chiva (Eugen Chiva), whereas start-of-the-day chip leader Gabriel Gavrila claims the last spot on the overnight podium with 2,080,000. The big story of the day may very well be Dan Murariu (photo) though, as the two-time Unibet Open champion navigated through the minefields of an action-packed day and made the final day with 880,000 to keep the hopes of a third title alive. Also still in is Unibet qualifier William Hens, who will return with 10 big blinds and already has €7,120 locked up for his efforts.

Main Event Day 2 top 5 Chip Counts

1stEli Heath(Ireland)2,460,000
2ndEugen Chiva(Romania)2,400,000
3rdGabriel Gavrila(Romania)2,080,000
4thIonut-Alin Tambura(Romania)2,075,000
5thNikita Malinovskiy(Russia)1,935,000

The day started with plenty of eliminations in the first two levels and early casualties included Jozsef Liszkovics, Lee Egan, Anti Reinthal, Alexandru Papazian, 2016 Copenhagen champion Joni Liimatta, James Mitchell as well as Mate Mecs. Dan Glimne and Olof Haglund also missed out on the money while another former Unibet Open winner then became the bubble boy. Farook Ghafoor had just scored a massive double up with pocket aces and runner-runner full house against a flopped straight. Martin Soukup on the same table was then all in for less than a big blind with pocket sevens and Eszter Fabian in the big blind flopped two pair with six-deuce off suit to let the bubble burst.

Jessy Marillaud, Daniel Wittikko, Slaven Popov and Viliyan Petleshkov were among the first two dozen players in the money. Quentin Lecomte and Jeroen van Belzen followed soon after, before Dehlia de Jong had to settle for 50th place. She first lost most of the stack with king-eight suited against the ace-jack of Daniel Juul, then her pocket fives were counterfeit by the ace-three of Hens. Quentin Laurentjoye lost a big flip with ace-king against the pocket queens of Martin Wendt and Ghafoor ran with a flopped gutshot and top pair on the turn into pocket aces.

The very active Alexandre de Zutter never recovered from an unfortunate move with ace-king against the ace-six suited of Malinovskiy, who had flopped trips and even made quads on the river, and the Frenchman then bowed out in 40th place for €3,270. Day 1a chip leader Markus Heikkila (37th), Jonathan Spicer (30th) and Krzysztof Idziak (29th) missed out on the last three tables. By then, Gavrila was the dominating chip leader and he also sent Fabian to the rail in 22nd place with queen-eight suited versus ace-ten, spiking a queen on the flop. Aldo Monteleone went from hero to zero in two hands after doubling up Roei Motola with sixes versus kings and then jamming with ace-five into the kings of Gavrila.

The hot run of Heath then started on the last two tables. He first turned trips with five-six suited against the ace-king of Malinovskiy before rivering a straight against the flopped set of Nicolay Langfeldt to take two third of his opponent's stack. Dejan Govedic ran with tens into queens and lost the remaining few big blinds with ace-jack against the pocket nines of Ionut-Alin Tambura. Langfeldt eventually bowed out in 17th place, sending the remainder of his stack with king-queen to Heath who held ace-queen suited. Last but not least, Bogdan Diaconu became the last casualty of Day 2. Short, he shoved with ace-six and Tambura looked him up with pocket queens.

Main Event Day 3 Seat Assignments

SeatPlayerNationalityChip Count
1Eli HeathIreland2,460,000
2Cosmin CimpeanuRomania635,000
3Gordon PlompNetherlands565,000
4Nikita MalinovskiyRussia1,935,000
5Cristian DanRomania1,270,000
6---
7William HensNetherlands405,000
8Dan MurariuRomania880,000
9Traian BostanRomania570,000
    
1Adrian Stefan CalusaruRomania910,000
2---
3Martin WendtDenmark345,000
4Ionut-Alin TamburaRomania2,075,000
5Roei MotolaIsrael880,000
6Eugen ChivaRomania2,400,000
7Juho LaunonenFinland660,000
8Gabriel GavrilaRomania2,080,000
9---

Besides Day 2 of the record-breaking Main Event, the €2,200 High Roller kicked off as well. There were 64 entries in total and the top nine spots share a portion of €124,160 prize pool. Leading the field of the 15 survivors is Sam Grafton with 287,000, Keith Cummins (220,000), Jessy Marillaud (218,500), Mihai Manole (144,000) and Jasper Wetemans (72,000) are in contention. The top nine spots will claim at least €3,600 and the winner can look forward to a payday of €36,300.

The PokerNews live reporting team will provide updates of the Main Event until a winner is crowned and action resumes at 12 p.m. local time on Sunday with level 23 and blinds of 20,000-40,000 and a running ante of 5,000. There may be some security delay though, as the live stream with hole cards will be running as well.

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