2016 EPT Dublin Main Event Day 3: Rapid Day of Action Brings Field to 16 Players, Patrick Clarke Leading

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It might have been thought that Day 3 of the European Poker Tour stop in Dublin, Ireland would have been a leisurely walk in the park on Thursday. If a player thought that, they wouldn’t have been prepared for the level of carnage that saw the 45 remaining players cut down to only 16 in four and a half hours. Just so that it was a round six hours of play for the day, another 90-minute level was played, but no one else departed the battlefield as Ireland’s Patrick Clarke assumed the throne of chip leader for Day 3.

The 45 players who came to the felt at the Royal Dublin Society on Thursday gave no indication of the rapidity of play that was about to occur. Great Britain’s Alex Goulder was atop the ladder at the start of the action as the only player over a million chips (1.02 million), but Frank Williams (881K) and Christopher Kruk (812K) were in pursuit. Day 1A chip leader Gilles Bernies continued his good run in the Emerald Isles, sitting in the Top Five, while Adrian Mateos, Rhys Jones, James Akenhead and Luca Pagano were arranged behind Goulder. Mateos would get off to a good start as, within the first couple of hands of action, he busted Adrien Allain in 45th to crack the 700K mark and get the day off to its rocket start.

From that point onward, it was easier to keep track of the players as they streamed past the cage than it was to keep track of who was still in the tournament. PokerStars Team Online Pro Jaime Staples, Nikolaus Teichert, Nick Petrangelo, Artem Litvinov, Pierre Neuville and Akenhead were all gone within an hour after Allain’s departure. Clarke would ignite the engines on his game by taking down Dominik Panka and, after the tables were redrawn with 24 players remaining, sniffed out a bluff from Williams to catapult up to the 1.25 million mark.

By the time the final 16 men had been determined – what was supposed to be the end of play for the day – Clarke was sitting in fourth place as Bernies, Kruk and Ivan Banic sat in front of him. EPT officials, with plenty of day left in front of them, decided to end the level they were currently on (which had 20 minutes left) and play another level before calling it a day. It was during this time frame that Clarke would seize the day and the chip lead.

The first step for Clarke came after Kruk raised the pot from early position and Banic called off the hijack. Clarke, sensing an opportunity, put the squeeze on with a three bet from the small blind and, after the big blind and Kruk tossed their cards to the muck, Banic made the call. An 8-K-3 flop brought two checks, but a second eight on the turn saw Clarke fire out for 190K. Banic called to see a four come on the river and, after Clarke fired a third bullet, a stubborn Banic called again. When Clarke turned up a 9-8 for turned trips, Banic slid his cards to the muck and Clarke saw his chip stack rocket over the two million mark.

The day wasn’t done for Clarke, however. On the last hand of the day, Clarke popped the play up to 50K and Kruk looked him up from the big blind. On an A♣ K♣ 9♠ flop, Kruk check-called another bet out of Clarke before both players checked the 9♥ on the turn. When the 8♣ came on the river, Clarke slid out a river bet of 425K and, after puzzling over the question facing him, Kruk made the call. After Clarke showed a Q♣ 5♣ for what would be the nut flush, Kruk could only shake his head and send his cards to the muck as Clarke’s stack neared the three million mark:

1. Patrick Clarke, 2.95 million
2. Gilles Bernies, 2.801 million
3. Iliodoros Kamatakis, 1.446 million
4. Dzmitry Urbanovich, 1.407 million
5. Kuljinder Sidhu, 1.26 million
6. Alexandre Meylan, 1.206 million
7. Rhys Jones, 1.095 million
8. Ivan Banic, 1.062 million
9. Alex Goulder, 1.012 million
10. Tomas MacNamara, 812,000
11. Mikhail Petrov, 663,000
12. Adrian Mateos, 651,000
13. Matias Ruzzi, 587,000
14. Christopher Kruk, 450,000
15. Jiachen Gong, 448,000
16. Frank Williams, 275,000

The champion of the EPT Dublin will come out of these 16 men, but they have to play down to the final eight to be eligible for the title. Friday’s action will determine those eight players, with Saturday’s action crowning the champion. That fortunate individual will take home a nice payday of €561,900 and the most recent championship of the European Poker Tour.

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