After nearly nine hours of play, 49 players have been whittled down to the EPT National final six with Jean-René Fontaine returning as the chipleader at noon on Sunday, August, 26.
Fontaine bagged a stack worth 42,500,000 and will be joined by Julien Martini, Jerome L'Hostis, Alberto Ah-Line, Jan 'The Wolf' Teunis, and Claudio Di Giacomo.
The EPT National started back on Wednesday, August,22 as the curtain raiser for the PokerStars European Poker Tour Barcelona and has seen four days worth of packed poker action so far at the Casino Barcelona.
Final Day Seating and Chip Counts
|Seat||Player||Country||Chip Count||Big Blinds|
|5||Claudio Di Giacomo||Italy||7,700,000||15|
Action of the Day
The play got off to a fast start with all-ins, double up and eliminations a regular occurrence. The field had been reduced to 18 within the first four levels, and at that point, the play slowed down a little.
Before that point, defending champion, Pedro Cairat was eliminated in 34th place for €11,950 after he ran pocket fives into pocket sixes to end his dream of back-to-back titles.
Ludovic Geilich started the day among the big stacks but took a huge knock when he saw his pocket aces lose to Claudio Di Giacomo's pocket nines. Geilich was able to rebuild and even saw his ace-two hit runner runner nut flush, but not long after the final three tables were drawn he departed in 24th place after he ran ace-queen into ace-king and found no help from the board.
Joris Ruijs had quite the battle with Day 3 chipleader Valentin Cristea with the two players regularly exchanging large amounts of their stacks. Ruijs got the better of Cristea on the first occasion when his ace-king hit a flush against pocket aces to secure a vital double-up, but later on, it was Cristea who won the battle when he survived against Ruijs with pocket eights against king-jack. However, both players were unable to reach the final table with Ruijs taking 14th place shortly after Cristea exited in 16th.
Arni Gunnarsson (12th place - €39,150), Yunsheng Sun (11th place - €44,350), and Giovanni Gallo (10th place - €44,350) departed before the final table of nine came together.
Roger Taieb was the first player to depart after he got his last ten big blinds into the middle with pocket jacks, only to see Jerome L'Hostis win the pot after he hit a higher pair with queen-ten on the queen-king-six-four-deuce board.
And there was to be another unfortunate exit after Mariano Leandro Hyon saw his ace-queen lose to Julien Martini's ace-nine after the two of them got all their chips into the middle. Martini paired his nine to send Leandro Hyon to the rail in 8th place for €64,800.
With just one more elimination required before the final six came back for the last day, the play tightened up for most of the player except Jean-René Fontaine who managed to flip Martini's big chip lead into his own. Fontaine made an amazing call with pocket tens on an ace-jack-eight-four-six board, and further increased his stack when he got paid with a full house against Jan Teunis.
Jan Dentler was the final player to miss out on a spot in the final day after he saw his three-bet shove with ace-nine called by Julien Martini who held ace-ten. Martini's dominating ace held and Dentler was confirmed as the 7th place finisher for €91,220.
PokerNews will be back with all the action at noon as the EPT National crown's its 2018 champion.