EPT11 Malta Main Event- Antoin Duda Leading Remaining 236 years ago
Things are getting ever closer to the final resolution in the EPT11 Malta Main Event. The starting field of nearly 900 players has been reduced to just 23. The man baggin the chip lead is Antoin Duda, who had just shy of 3.5 million chips when the last river card hit the felt. Not far behind him is Fedor 'CrownUpGuy' Holz on 3.1 million.
While today was all about making the stack to ensure the best chances of getting to the final table, yesterday was more about bursting the bubble, as some 200 players came back to play, with only 127 getting paid.
Atanas Kavrakvo was the name of the man who earned the dubious honor of being the bubble boy of an EPT Main Event. It is still better than busting first on the day. Or maybe it's not; it really depends on how you look at it.
Either way, with his exit, the proverbial monkey was off the players' backs, as they knew that their efforts would at least not be in vain. As the day started with many well known names still in, a great number of them was naturally still in after the bubble, trying to secure their place for tomorrow.
Many fell in the battle for chips. Connor Drinan, who finished second in the €25k Special High Roller just couple of days ago was the first one to go to the cashier to pick up a min-cash of €9,120. He was soon followed by Dan Smith, Olivier Busquet, Griffin Benger, Jonathan Duhamel, Alec Torelli, MSam Trickett
Only 56 players returned today, led by a Spaniard known as Javier Gomez Zapatero. He was carrying the banner for Spain, the country which, to this date, has not produce an EPT winner. But there was (and still is) a big mountain to climb before that happens.
Torsti Kettula was the first one to visit the rail today, and others followed the suit, as it is common in tournament poker. More familiar names who will not be joining the hunt for the title today include JC Alvarado, Liviu Ignat and Sam Chartier. By the time it was all said and done for the day, there were only 23 players left with some chips to bag.
Czech Antonin Duda who is leading the way is no stranger to tournament poker, and his live cashes to date amount to $295,000. Almost half of those winnings came from the seventh place finish in the EPT Barcelona Main Event back in 2012.
Second place on the leaderboard, German Fedor Holz $377,000 in live earnings, but he is better known to the wider poker audience and forum members as the 'CrownUpGuy'. This is Holz's PokerStars alias under which he accumulated rather impressive $2.6 million in winnings, including the victory in the $5,200 WCOOP Main Event which brought him in excess of $1.8 million.
Should young German be able to snatch the victory in this big event, it will be another proof that he is no fluke, as they say, and that he has every intention of dominating both live and online circuit for many years to come.
Despite these two holding the lead and being only two over three million in chips, 21 remaining players most certainly don't intend to just let them to solve the matter between themselves. Zapatero, who has his own small historical task, has lost some chips but still has a very healthy stack of close to 1.9 million.
Then, there is Hossein Ensan, third place finisher from the huge field anniversary EPT Barcelona event; the finish that brought Ensan $860,000 in cold, hard cash. He will be coming back tomorrow as the third biggest stack overall.
EPT London champion from 2013, Robin Ylitalo, is under a million in chips, but this will most certainly not deter him from doing his best to try and capture the title and add to his $1.6 million winnings. Dominik Panka, with almost $2 million in live earnings, may have some problems with chips, but there is no doubt that he is as familiar with short stack strategy as he is with any other tournament strategy out there.
It will be an interesting day in Malta tomorrow as players play down to the final table and come one important step closer to the first place of €810,400 and a cool, stylish Swiss SLYDE watch.
Photo: Neil Stoddart, PokerStars Blog
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