26 players remain in hunt for EPT Grand Final title

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Apr 29, 2012 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

After three full days of play the starting field of 665 players has been pared down to just 26 at the PokerStars European Poker Tour (EPT) Grand Final in Monte Carlo. Day 3 of the tournament was scheduled to see the field shrink to just three-tables of eight players each, but a marathon session of 13 hours forced tournament officials to call it a day with 26 players still in the hunt.

The 26 remaining players will return on Sunday, the penultimate day of the tournament, where they are scheduled to play-down to the final table of eight players –a task that shouldn’t be as daunting as Saturday’s where 130 players needed to become 24!

Most of the big names fell by the wayside on Saturday, leaving a group of relatively unknown players to battle for one of poker’s most prestigious titles, as well as the €1.5 million that will be awarded to the winner. Erik Seidel, Justin Bonomo, Leo Margets, David “Doc” Sands, and Sandra Naujoks were all amongst the casualties on Day 3.

Five players crossed the million-chip mark on Saturday, with Luclle Cailly (the only woman remaining in the field) falling just short of being the sixth member of that group, finishing the day with 999,000 chips. There is an absolute log-jam at the top of the leader-board with the chip-leader, Geert-Jan Potjik sitting behind a 1.3 million chip-stack while the 14th place finisher on Saturday, Tudor Grangore, has 828,000 chips.

Here is a look at the Top 10 chip-counts heading into Day 4 of the EPT Grand Final:

1. Geert-Jan Potijk – 1,320,000

2. Bernard Guigon – 1,212,000

3. Georges Dib – 1,118,000

4. Andoni Larrabe – 1,071,000

5. Ben Vinson – 1,039,000

6. Lucille Cailly – 999,000

7. Pratyush Buddiga – 970,000

8. Anatoly Gurtovoy – 945,000

9. Sergio Castelluccio – 944,000

10. Vadzim Markushevski – 922,000

As far as big names go, only a pair of young guns was able to make it through to Day 4, as Jason Wheeler and Mohsin Charania finished the day in 11th and 12th place on the leader-board. Ahmit Makhija also survived to see Day 4, but is one of the shorter stacks left in the field.UK poker pro Andrew Pantling is currently sitting in 26th place, with the smallest chip-stack of all the remaining players at 322,000.

Even though the field is relatively unknown, you shouldn’t be surprised to discover that most of the remaining players are professional poker players, and the 2012 PokerStars EPT Grand Final could end up being their coming out party.

Play will resume at Noon local time on Sunday, and hopefully for the remaining players it won’t take another 13 hours to determine the final table!

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