PokerStars.com EPT Barcelona Main Event Day 3: Money Bubble Bursts, Tom Middleton Leads

Posted at 19:30 2013-09-05 by Josh Cahlik

It was an intense day of poker at the lovely Casino Barcelona as 235 players from a staring field of 1,234 returned for Day 3 of the European Poker Tour Season 10 Barcelona Main Event. By the end of five 90-minute levels only 79 players remained in the running for the title of EPT champion. Tom Middleton (pictured) sits closest to that goal after bagging 1,030,000 in chips, good enough for the largest stack in the room.

As the day progressed, the field size was whittled down to the top 10% and beyond, meaning the money bubble was popped and the top 183 players were guaranteed to take home a prize of at least €8,680. While the players who cashed were certainly thrilled to do so, it is the top prize of €1,067,000 that everyone is eyeing up heading into the final days of this illustrious tournament.

While Middleton sits on the largest stack in the room, others were also able to bag up impressive stacks and are still in contention. Players returning for Day 4 include Kevin Vandersmissen (970,000), Niall Farrell (912,000), Thomas Butzhammer (827,000), Andreas Christoforou (825,000), Kimmo Kurko (581,000) and Team PokerStars Pro Christophe De Meulder (334,000).

The possibility of a first-ever two-time EPT Main Event champion still remains, as Kent Lundmark Season 7 Barcelona champion), Dimitar Danchev (Season 9 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure champion), and Mikalai Pobal (Season 9 Barcelona champion) are still sitting on stacks. Lundmark will bring a stack of 501,000 into Day 4 while Danchev will be at 376,000 in chips. Defending champion Pobal, however, has quite the uphill battle on Day 4 as he will return with merely 71,000 in chips.

The day began a mere 52 eliminations away from the money and the bustouts began racking up at a rapid pace. This, of course, meant heartbreak for the 52 individuals who would fall before the bubble burst. One such individual was PokerStars Team Pro Angel Guillen who was eliminated fairly close to the bubble. Guillen, who moved all in before the flop holding {A-}{K-}, was called by Mike Watson with pocket sevens. Guillen bricked once the community cards were displayed and he was forced to settle for a near-bubble situation. Other players eliminated before the money included the likes of Jake Balsiger, Andrew Moreno, Tomasz Cybulski, Igor Kurganov, and Dani Stern.

The bubble burst in an interesting way as Nuno Da Camara, the bubble boy, never showed up for Day 3. His stack of 83,500 was blinded and anted down as the day progressed. During hand-for-hand play, his last 3,000 was subjected to the blinds and, because no one else in the room was eliminated during that hand, Camara became the man responsible for 183 other players' paydays.

As per usual, the bursting of the bubble caused the rate of eliminations to increase and suddenly players were falling left and right. Notable names to fall in the money include Shannon Shorr (181st), Yann Dion (161st), Marvin Rettenmaier (160th), Toni Judet (159th), Leo Fernandez (158th), Victor Ramdin (147th), Kevin MacPhee (126th), Ole Schemion (123rd), Kitty Kuo (115th), and Byron Kaverman (107th). Also exiting post-bubble was current November Niner David Benefield, who fell in in 110th place and cashed for €11,350. Racking up a cash in one of the largest EPTs in history is an excellent addition to Benefield's already stellar 2013.

Also making a deep run but falling before the end of play was Alexander Stevic who is best known for winning the EPT Season 1 Barcelona Main Event. Stevic fell late in the day, a victim of PokerStars qualifier Kresten Nielsen.

Day 4 will kick off on Thursday at noon CET from the tournament area at the Casino Barcelona. As always, PokerNews will be on hand to provide you with all of the latest updates from the tournament floor!

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