EPT Deauville, Day Three: Shahaf Hadaya Takes The Helm, 51 Players Remaining

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Day Three of the European Poker Tour stop in Deauville, France has wrapped up after bursting the money bubble on Wednesday. 51 players will head back to action this morning (East Coast time) with the relatively-unknown Shahaf Hadaya at the helm of the ship.

154 players stepped back into the tournament battlefield of the Casino Barriere in Deauville on Wednesday, looking to lose 34 players before anyone would earn some money. Vanessa Rousso ended up ten spots short of the money, but there was already plenty of company waiting for her on the rail: Steve O’Dwyer, Ana Marquez and Todd Terry were dispatched early in the day. It would take over three hours of play to determine those 34 unfortunate players and, after Said Basri was knocked off in a four way hand, the remaining combatants were all in the money.

Vladimir Velikov had surged to the lead at this point, with Jason Koon and Fernand Michelet lurking just about 100K in chips behind him, as the tournament ramped it up a gear. The short stacks that looked to survive to the money quickly made their way out of the EPT Deauville.

Sandra Naujoks, one of only three women to ever win an EPT Main Event (alongside Liv Boeree and Vicky Coren), found her short stack in the center against Pascal Leyo. Her K-10 was dominated by Leyo’s A-Q, but the A-J-2 flop brought a potential double up in the form of a gut shot straight draw. Another Jack on the turn didn’t help and an innocuous five on the river ended the run of the German pro.

Fabrice Soulier, one of the best French players in the event (and considered one of the best tournament players in the world) also hit the exits in Deauville. Down to only 10K in chips at one point, Soulier would milk that stack to make it past the 100th place mark. His demise would come after he was forced all in with an A-5 against Romain Baert’s pocket tens; once the board failed to bring any help (although it provided a sweat on the Q-9-J-K flop and turn), Soulier was out in 96th place.

Hadaya would make his big move at the midpoint of Wednesday’s action. In a battle against Day 1A chip leader Jesper Feddersen, the board would roll out 8-10-A-2-8, with Feddersen firing at every betting street (by the river, he was all in) and Hadaya check-calling every bet. At the showdown, Feddersen showed a pocket pair of sixes which were no match for Hadaya’s A-Q that improved on the flop. As Feddersen headed for the door, Hadaya stacked up 731K in chips to move up to the top of the leaderboard.

Hadaya would use that stack to become the first player to eclipse the million chip mark as the rest of the field attempted to keep pace with him. Samuel Grafton, masking a huge hand in a full house, was able to get Matthew Frankland to look him up and Grafton would take a huge pot. That hand would push him up the leaderboard, but not to the rarefied air that Hadaya was enjoying by the end of the night:

1. Shahaf Hadaya, 1.237 million
2. Matthieu Herve, 1.050 million
3. Samuel Grafton, 985,000
4. James Mitchell, 983,000
5. Aurelien Guiglini, 942,000
6. James Bills, 877,000
7. Hugo Pingray, 768,000
8. Jeffrey Hakim, 714,000
9. Cyril Andre, 669,000
10. Enrico Rudelitz, 643,000

There are a few familiar faces left in the crowd at the EPT Deauville, including Walid Bou Habib (531K), Joseph El Khoury (506K), Alexander Dovzhenko (459K) and Koon (386K).

It will be a short day of play on Thursday for those still in contention for this latest EPT championship. The 51 players will whittle themselves down to only 24 survivors (if the pace of bust outs is faster, EPT officials have reserved the right to play down to sixteen), but today’s pace will still be deliberate. At stake for those still in the field is a minimum payday of €13,500, with the big prize of €770,000 and the EPT Deauville championship to be determined this weekend.

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