The European Poker Tour Barcelona Main Event continued on Thursday as the final 79 players from a 1,234-player field returned for five more 90-minute levels. At the end of that time, just 24 players remained with Tom “hitthehole” Middleton leading the way for the second day in a row.
Last year’s EPT Barcelona Main Event champ, Mikalai Pobal, was looking to defend his title, but he faced an uphill battle as the third shortest stack at the start of play. Indeed, any hope of a repeat ended straight away when Pobal became the first elimination of the day.
It happened when Sergei Chantcev opened for 20,000 and got a call from Glib Kovtunov. Pobal then moved all in from the big blind for his last 71,000. Chantcev folded after some thought and then Kovtunov made the call. Pobal flipped over the and was racing against the of Kovtunov. The race was over on the flop however when it came down . Chantcev flopped quads, which meant both the turn and river were irrelevant.
World Series of Poker Octo-Niner Russell Thomas was then eliminated on the second hand of the day in 78th place. The eliminations continued to mount throughout the day and included Henri Benoni (77th - €12,700), Sebastian von Toperczer (75ht - €12,700), Albert Daher (72nd - €12,700) and Season 7 EPT Barcelona champ Kent Lundmark (64th - €14,960).
Lundmark fell in Level 21 (6,000/12,000/2,000) when he and Pasi Sormunen, who was on the button, saw a flop of . Lundmark checked from the cutoff and Sormunen went for a bet of 25,000. Lundmark then check-raised 66,000, Sormunen shoved and Lundmark, who had the , snap-called. Unfortunately for him, he had run into the set of Sormunen. The final two cards were and Lundmark was out.
As the day wore on, he was joined on the rail by the likes of Ryan Spittles (60th - €14,960), Sean Wilson (55th - €18,200), Dermot Blain (52nd - €18,200), Douglas Souza (50th - €18,200), Mike Watson (47th - €18,200) and Dimitar Danchev (44th - €18,200).
When Danchev, who won the 2013 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event back in January for $1,859,000 and was the last former EPT champ in the field, was eliminated, it ensured the streak of not having a two-time EPT winner would continue further into Season 10.
Two other players who fell before the end of the night were Christophe De Meulder, the last Team PokerStars Pro standing, and the Czech Republic's Martin Staszko. There were just two minutes left in Level 24 (12,000/24,000/3,000) when the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event runner-up was eliminated in 25th place.
It happened when action folded to Niall Farrell in the small blind and he put in a raise. Staszko responded by moving all in from the big for approximately 375,000 and Farrell snap-called.
Staszko knew he was in trouble even before the cards were turned up. Indeed, the PokerNews Odds Calculator gave him just a 23.70% chance of surviving the hand while Farrell would win 75.09% of the time.
The flop dropped Staszko's chances to 16.97%, and the turn knocked it down even further to 6.82%. Staszko needed a seven on the river to stay alive, but it wasn't in the cards as the useless peeled off.
Headed into the penultimate day, just two players are left in the Skrill Last Longer competition – Middleton and Bulgarian player Valentino Konakchiev. Whichever player lasts longer in the tournament will received their €5,300 buy-in back courtesy of Skrill, the official payment provider sponsor of EPT Season 10.
Others who survived the day were last year's fourth-place finisher Anaras Alekberovas (2,638,000), Kimmo Kurko (2,427,000), Eduard Bhaggoe (1,637,000), Rens Feensta (1,255,000), Pasi Sormunen (703,000) and Julian Thomas (230,000).
Day 5 will kick off Friday at noon CET at the Casino Barcelona as the final 24 look to play down to the final table of eight. Be sure to stay tuned to PokerNetwork's live coverage as we bring you all the action and eliminations from the tournament floor.
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