The 341 survivors from the two starting flights met in a unified field Tuesday at the Royal Dublin Society to continue the track toward the final table in the 2016 European Poker Tour (EPT) Dublin Main Event. Croatia’s Ivan Banic takes the lead into Day 3, topping the remaining field of 127 players with 381,200 chips.
This is relatively rare territory for Banic, as he has just two cashes on his live tournament resume (results courtesy TheHendonMob.com), totaling less than $6,000. Those two cashes, though, were very recent, both coming in preliminary events at EPT Prague in December. Banic is no novice, however, as he plays primarily online and has over $900,000 in recorded tournament cashes on PocketFives.com. He currently ranks 52nd in the world in PocketFives’ rankings and is the top online tournament player in Croatia.
Should Banic make the money, he will win at least one and a half times what he pulled down in both those cashes last year. With 15 late entrants before play started yesterday, the total field came to 605 players, generating a total prize pool of €2,934,250. 87 players will make at least the €9,100 minimum prize while the winner will get €561,900. The final six players will cash in six figure territory.
This is one of those seemingly rare major tournaments in which there is a legitimately good competition at the top of the leader board. Typically (or at least that’s what it feels like to me – maybe I just have selective memory), one or maybe two players have huge leads over the rest of the field, often the result of a significant pot late in the day. Today, however, Banic only leads Alex Difelice by about 22,000 chips, who himself is not that far ahead of a group of four players all with 320,000 to about 324,000 chips. Eight players have more than 300,000 chips, with several more lurking just under the 300,000 chip plateau.
With 127 players remaining, it might be slow going for a while as the competitors try to stay alive for 40 more eliminations in order to crack the money bubble. After that, expect the knock outs to come quickly. There is only a 2,340 spread from 87th to 40th place, so most players with low stacks will be willing to risk a bust out for the chance to double-up and perhaps have a better shot at bigger bucks.
European Poker Tour Dublin Main Event – Day 2 Chip Leaders
1. Ivan Banic – 381,200
2. Alex Difelice – 359,500
3. Tudor Purice – 323,700
4. Jiachen Gong – 323,200
5. Mikhail Petrov – 322,600
6. Mikael Jean – 320,000
7. Gilles Bernies – 311,700
8. Christopher Kruk – 303,400
9. Ivan Deyra – 297,100
10. Adrien Allain – 297,000