The season seven kickoff of the PokerStars.net European Poker Tour (EPT) could prove to be a memorable one, as history has already been made in Tallinn, Estonia and Team PokerStars Pro Arnaud Mattern has a chance to make history as the first two-time EPT Main Event winner.
The day began with a flurry of eliminations as the 84 players who began Day 3 of play at Swissotel Tallinn quickly whittled down to the 56 who made the money. One of the players who cashed was Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano, who notched a record-setting 15th time and was the final elimination of the day, coming in 26th place. The cash gives him the record for most cashes and propels him past Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier on the all-time EPT leaderboard. Pagano likely had higher hopes for the event, but he suffered a rough beat when his aces were cracked by Mikko Jaatinen’s pocket jacks when Jaatinen ran out a flush. Pagano held on to a short stack for a while after that big pot, but failed to make it thru to the final three tables.
While Pagano won’t be returning for Day 4 of play on Sunday, his Team PokerStars teammates Mattern and Ivan Demidov are both still in the hunt and in great shape when it comes to chips. Mattern finished the day third in chips with 1,155,000 while Demidov ended fifth in chips with 729,000. The chip leader of the 25 players returning for Day 4 is Perica Bukara, who held the chip lead at the end of Day 1B and regained the top spot on Saturday. Bukara will return to Day 4 with 1,326,000 chips at the 6,000/12,000 ante 1,000 blind level. Jonathan Weekes came into Day 3 with the chip lead and finished strong as well, bagging up 872,000, which is enough to put him fourth in chips.
The two Americans who began Day 3 of play made their exits Saturday, with Robert Peltecci missing the money and Daniel Aldridge finishing in 42nd place. Other notables who made the money but failed to survive the day included Tomer Berda (53rd) and Pierre Neuville (41st).
Saturday the remaining 25 players will reconvene for the penultimate day of play as te field is trimmed down to the eight players who will make the final table. Should Mattern advance, he will come one step closer to becoming the first two-time winner in EPT history. His first win came at the Season 4 stop in Prague.
Here are the top ten chip counts headed into Day 4 of play:
1. Perica Bukara – Serbia – 1,326,000
2. Konstantin Bilyaver – Russia – 1,240,000
3. Arnaud Mattern – France – 1,155,000
4. Jonathan Weekes – United Kingdom – 872,000
5. Ivan Demidov – Russia – 729,000
6. Johan Storakers – Sweden – 656,000
7. Carlo Bordogna – Italy – 554,000
8. Dmitry Vitkind – Russia – 541,000
9. Kevin Stani – Norway – 530,000
10. Toni Ojala – Finland – 489,000
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