The European Poker Tour is enjoying their time at the Casino de Monte Carlo in Monaco this week, battling their way through their €5000 Main Event. The field has now been whittled down to the final 30 players, with Timothy Adams holding a slim lead over former EPT champion Nicolas Chouity.
Working to the Final Table
With 112 players remaining, the plan for the day was for the players to play six, 90-minute levels and potentially get down to the final 20 players or so. The start of day chip leader was Wiktor Malinowski, who has been hovering around the top of the leaderboard seemingly since the start of the tournament. Malinowski’s 769,000 in chips was closely marked by Julien Martini’s 735,000 stack, however, and a host of top pros including Seth Davies, Christoph Vogelsang, Manig Loeser, Ryan Riess and Adams were all in pursuit.
There was the normal course of early eliminations, the “double or go home” crowd, that made the early moments of Day 3 interesting. Artur Martirosian would only have six big blinds and, when he found an A-J of diamonds on the second hand of the day in the small blind, his final 20K in chips went to the center after a raise from Erwann Pecheux on the button. The big blind got out of the way and Pecheux made the call, with his 10-9 off suit at a disadvantage but live. The board never presented any challenges to Martirosian, running out 5-A-K-8-Q, and Martirosian nearly tripled up.
The news wasn’t as good for some other players. PokerStars Players’ Championship victor Ramon Colillas, Morgan Aceto, Michel Bouskila, and Vincas Tamasauskas all would be ejected from the Casino de Monte Carlo, but they would at least leave with €9600 for their efforts. The battle would continue for the rest of the pack as some players set themselves apart.
The Champ Returns!
Chouity, who was the champion of the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo in 2010, almost didn’t find his way to the end of the day. After Chouity raised a pot off the button, Malinowski chose to just call out of the small blind. A 9-4-J flop seemed innocent and it initially brought a check from Malinowski but, after a bet from Chouity, Malinowski would move all in. Just as quickly, however, Chouity made the call and the cards went to their backs:
Chouity: pocket Kings
Malinowski: pocket Queens
The cooler was on Malinowski as he looked for one of the other two ladies in the deck. A ten on the turn opened some doors to Malinowski as it took the remaining Kings in the deck out of play for Chouity and opened a path to a straight for the win, but a meaningless six on the river didn’t help Malinowski. The chips shoved to Chouity gave him a stack of 160K and he would charge up the ladder from that point.
Adams also was one of the bright marks on the day. He would eliminate Eusebiu Jalba, his pocket Jacks knocking off Jalba’s pocket tens, to reach 875K in chips and continued to add to his stack through the remainder of the day. By the time that the final bell rang on play in Day 3, Adams and Chouity were atop the standings with the lone female left in the final 30 players, Melika Razavi, holding down the third place slot as the only three players over the two million mark.
1.Timothy Adams, 2.19 million
2. Nicolas Chouity, 2.155 million
3. Melika Razavi, 2.05 million (She)
4. Manig Loeser, 1.635 million
5. Aladin Reskallah, 1.6 million
6. Paul Michaelis, 1.48 million
7. James Romero, 1.31 million
8. Viktor Katzenberger, 1.255 million
9. Bruno Volkmann, 1.21 million
10. Jorden Verbraeken, 1.1 million
Day 4 will be the day that the official eight-handed EPT final table is determined, with play continuing until that point is reached. Everyone left in the tournament is guaranteed €19,900, but the eyes are on the top of the mountain. The victor on Saturday will take down €827,700 and the latest championship on the European Poker Tour.