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PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino European Poker Tour Grand Final Day 2: Max Martinez Leads

Posted at 19:00 2012-04-28 by Lee Davy

Day 2 of the PokerStars.com and Monte-Carlo® Casino European Poker Tour Grand Final has come to an end with Team PokerStars Pro Max Martinez sitting atop the chip count with a stack of 456,300. Martinez began Day 2 quickly growing his stack to join the plethora of players fighting for the higher ground. Then in the penultimate level of the day, disaster struck.

Martinez and Fabrice Soulier were involved in a 210,000-chip pot where Martinez was holding {A-Clubs} {A-Diamonds} and Soulier held {Q-Spades} {Q-Clubs}. The pot would have pushed Martinez right into contention, but a foul queen on the flop handed the pot to Soulier and left Martinez lamenting his luck with only 65,000 chips.

In the last level of the night, Martinez went on what can only be described as an almighty tear in which he grew his 65,000-chip stack to a sumptuous 456,300, climaxing in the elimination of Ivan Kudriavtcev after Kudriavtcev ran his pocket sevens into Martinez' pocket tens.

But long before Martinez popped up on our radar, Day 2 began with a number of high-profile eliminations. Team PokerStars Pros Vanessa Selbst, Ville Wahlbeck and Victor Ramdin joined Kevin MacPhee, David Vamplew and Samuel Chartier out of the door. PokerStars qualifier Malte Moenning began the day ninth in chips and was the first player to eclipse Nick Yunis at the top with 220,000 chips.

Team PokerStars Pro Pius Heinz started to gather some momentum as did his teammate Angel Guillen, while at the other end of things Joe Cada and Daniel Negreanu exited stage left. Sam Trickett left the field after a series of unfortunate coolers, and as Level 11 began, the newly crowned €100,000 Super High Roller winner, Justin Bonomo took the chip lead after eliminating two players in a three-way all-in to take him to 242,000 in chips. Hanging onto the coat tails of the €1,600,000 man were the likes of David Sands, John Eames, Nick Yunis and Malte Moenning.

In Level 12, David "Doc" Sands was the first player to pass the summit of 300,000 chips. Also in Level 12, Eames was eliminated, as was former EPT champion Vladimir Geshkenbein. Then there was a clash involving Mohsin Charania and Nick Yunis that thrust Charania into the EPT Grand Final spotlight for the first time.

With the blinds at 800/1,600 and an ante of 200, both Nick Yunis and Mohsin Charania had a 143 big blind stack and 131 big blind stack respectively. You would have thought that the pair would have sailed into Day 3 without breaking sweat, but Yunis had other ideas. Ben Vinson raised to 3,500 in first position, Mohsin Charania three-bet to 8,000, also in early position, before Yunis cold-four bet for 18,000 in middle position. Vinson stepped aside, Charania five-bet, Yunis six-bet for everything, and Charania was wondering if somebody was going to wake him up and tell him that it was all a dream. Charania had the preflop nuts — {A-Spades} {A-Hearts} — and Yunis had the dominated {A-Clubs} {10-Spades}. Five community cards later and Charania was the new chip leader with 380,000 chips and Yunis was down, and a few hands later, out!

When you have a man with an aura like Phil Ivey, then you need to get him on your TV table. It's just a shame that the man was eliminated in the very first hand that he played after the crew announced lights, camera and action!

Team PokerStars Pros Barry Greenstein and Humberto Brenes left the party and Brits Chris Brammer and Ben Vinson started to grow their chip stacks. Brammer doubled through Team PokerStars Pro Dario Minieri and Vinson just ground away on a table with Annette Obrestad and Mohsin Charania.

In the depths of the last level Dario Minieri, Liv Boeree, and Fabrice Soulier were eliminated and when the final count came in 130 players left to play poker on Day 3. Amongst those 130 players are two of our boys, Jonathan Karamalikis (158,100) and Christopher Hunichen (200,200). Here's hoping they make it into the money and beyond!

End of Day 2 Top 10 Chip Counts

PlacePlayerChip Count
1Max Martinez456,300
2Mohsin Charania413,500
3Erik Seidel362,200
4Anatoly Gurtovoy339,100
5Geert-Jan Potijk324,600
6Vadzim Kursevich317,800
7Lawrie Inman303,500
8John Andress301,200
9Giuseppe Pantaleo294,400
10Tudor Grangure293,900

Day 3 action begins at 1200 CET (0300 PDT) and the PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be there to bring you all the action as the field heads toward the money bubble.

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