Mike McDonald final table bubble-boy at EPT Madrid

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Mar 16, 2012 Posted in EPT News, Tournament News | No Comments »

24 players took their seats at the Casino Gran Madrid on Friday with eight spots at the Season 8 EPT Madrid Main Event televised final table up for grabs. The story of the day, and perhaps of the tournament, has to be the final elimination, which sent the most accomplished left in the field, Canadian Poker Pro Mike “Timex” McDonald, to the rail, one spot shy of the Final Table.

McDonald caught a dream flop (T-J-Q with two hearts) after putting his remaining chips into the middle pre-flop holding Pocket Tens. The problem was the flop was even better for the one player who called McDonald, Andrei Stonescu, whose AK of hearts flopped the nut-straight with a redraw to a Royal Flush! Unfortunately for McDonald the board failed to pair on the Turn or River, and he was sent home in 9th place, earning a respectable, but still disappointing, €35,000.

McDonald wasn’t the only big name to hit the rail on Friday, as perennial online poker Player of the Year contender Taylor Paur was also sent packing (by McDonald no less) in 13th place, while another online superstar, Tristan Clemencon hit the rail in 11th place.

The eliminations of the three young, talented, players leaves the door wide open for virtually anyone to walk away with the EPT Madrid title on Saturday, where most of the players are within striking distance of the chip-leader Ricardo Ibanez; especially since the player with the most accomplished resume at the final table, Nicholas Levi, will enter Saturday as the short-stack.

Levi is still in search of his first major tournament victory, and the Frenchman will definitely have his work cut out for him on Saturday as he enters the day with just over 20 Big Blinds in his stack. Levi is coming off a 3rd place finish at the EPT Prague Main Event in December 2011, and has amassed over $1.6 million in career tournament earnings for his career according to thehendonmob.com. This will be his 3rd EPTY Final Table appearance, to go along with his three WSOP Final Tables.

Here is a look at the official chip-counts and seating assignments for the eight remaining players in the EPT Madrid Main Event:

* Seat 1: Ricardo Ibañez — 3,216,000

* Seat 2: Frederik Jensen — 2,144,000

* Seat 3: Fraser Macintyre — 2,473,000

* Seat 4: Bruno Lopes — 1,452,000

* Seat 5: Andrei Stoenescu — 1,974,000

* Seat 6: Ilan Boujenah — 1,382,000

* Seat 7: Jason Duval — 963,000

* Seat 8: Nicolas Levi — 709,000

When the remaining players return on Saturday the tournament will recommence in Level 25 with 15,000/30,000 blinds and a 4,000-chip ante. Play will resume under the bright lights of the televised EPT Final Table set at Noon local time.

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