EPT Prague Main Event Down To Final 21 Players, High Roller In Action

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The final major tournament event of the 2012 tournament poker calendar, the European Poker Tour stop in Prague, the Czech Republic, is working its way down to its final days, while the very last opportunity for players to earn valuable Player of the Year points – as well as a truckload of cash – is also underway in the €10,000 High Roller event.

55 players remained on Thursday from the 864 entries that began the tournament earlier this week, with Sweden’s Ramzi Jelassi at the head of the pack with more than 1.2 million in chips. He wasn’t alone at that plateau, with Sotirios Koutoupas (1.049 million) and Christopher Brammer (1.021 million) nipping at his heels and an international contingent of Johnny Lodden, the U. S.’s Todd Terry and France’s Roger Hairabedian all arranged to try to take Jelassi down.

Brammer took a hit in the early action when, on a 9-7-4-7-4 board, Mikhail Petrov was able to take a sizeable stack of his chips with only an A-10. Jelassi continued to storm through the field, knocking out Robert Peltecci in a hand that both players held the lead at one point or another. Peltecci (holding Q-J) was behind Jelassi (K-J) when the money went in pre-flop. The A-J-4 rainbow kept Jelassi in the lead, but a Queen would put Peltecci up and ready for the double. A cruel King would come on the river, however, pushing Jelassi back to take the hand, maintain his lead and knock out Peltecci ruthlessly.

Hairabedian, a recent World Series of Poker Europe bracelet winner, also suffered a cruel fate of the cards. After Ben Warrington started the action with a raise, Hairabedian moved all in from the big blind and Warrington made the call. He was way behind with his A-5 against Hairabedian’s A-J and the Q-7-3 flop did nothing to change the circumstances. A four on the turn opened up some outs for Warrington and, when a six hit the river, Warrington had hit a miraculous runner-runner straight to eliminate the Frenchman from the tournament.

As the tournament worked into the evening hours, some more notable names would drop from the event. Brammer wasn’t able to rebound from the early hit he took, falling at the hands of Sergio Espina, and he was joined on the rail by Fabrice Soulier, Jonathan Driscoll and Manuel Bevand as Warrington made a run to the top of the remaining 21 players after his knockout of Hairabedian:

1. Ben Warrington, 2.618 million
2. David Boyaciyan, 2.469 million
3. Ramzi Jelassi, 1.975 million
4. Sergio Espina, 1.792 million
5. Andreas Berggren, 1.619 million
6. Mariusz Klosinski, 1.524 million
7. Sotirios Koutoupas, 1.45 million
Aleh Plauski, 1.45 million
9. Diego Gomez Gonzales, 1.433 million
10. Mads Amot, 1.25 million

Boyaciyan finished this event in second place last year, only falling to eventual champion Martin Finger, so he is expected to make some more noise as Day Five action picks up on Friday.

While the EPT Prague Main Event was in action, the players flocked to the €10,000 High Roller event. According to the PokerStars blog, there was a bit of confusion as to where the tournament was actually taking place, but eventually all the combatants found their way to their chairs. The tournament would eventually bring in 113 entries (players could re-enter if they busted, and five did) and 41 players made it through the day.

The remaining players read like a “who’s who” of the tournament poker world. Jason Mercier sits atop the leaderboard as action begins today, with Anatoly Gurtovoy in second. Other names such as Eugene Katchalov, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Elio Fox, Steve O’Dwyer, Juha Helppi, Andrew Chen, Sorel Mizzi and Marvin Rettenmaier (making a run at the POY championship) are among the men left, but only twelve of them will receive anything for their efforts.

The EPT Prague Main Event and High Roller will continue today, with both tournaments crowning a champion tomorrow.

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