EPT Baden: Ready for day three

Preparations underway for day three

Welcome again to Baden, Austria, for a crucial day three of the €8,000 PokerStars European Poker Tour event.

There's an argument to be made that all days in such a massive tournament are crucial, but today has special claims: we start with 40 players, we will end with eight. The player out first will go home with nothing; those who remain will win at least €60,000. And one of them will take €670,000 by the end of tomorrow night.

That means that today is not only bubble day, but also the day on which tomorrow's television stars and fortune holders are decided. In other words, today is a crucial day on the European Poker Tour.

So, who's in the running?

As usual, the field here has thinned to include an attractive smattering of big-name stars, wily veterans, young guns and online stars. Some players already fit into more than one category; others are busy making the transistion.

The hopes of Team PokerStars rest on the ample shoulders of Hevad "RaiNKhan" Khan, although he has some work to do. RaiNKhan has played an near-perfect tournament so far, but late last night had his jacks cracked by Julian Thew's 5-3, the Englishman hitting a straight on the river and knocking the Team PokerStars pro down to 21,300 in chips. It's not all over for the New Yorker, but he's looking up at 36 of the remaining 40.

Nearer the top of that pile is Michael Durrer, a PokerStars qualifier from Dusseldorf in Germany. Durrer was also close to the chip lead at the end of day one, but was circumspect when asked at the beginning of yesterday to relate the tale of his tournament. "The story happens on Wednesday," he said, referring to the day scheduled for the final table. Durrer might well feature prominently in that.

David Sonelin, a serial PokerStars qualifier from Sweden, is also in the top ten overnight. He survived a huge all in late in the day against Gunnar Rabe (who is, you guessed it, a PokerStars qualifier from Sweden) and finished with 115,500. Rabe is still alive himself, and has a healthy 81,300.

Among the rest of the field are Pascal Perrault and Andreas Hoivold, both previous EPT winners, Alan Smurfit, from Ireland, who won a bracelet at this year's WSOP, Surindar Sunar, the English professional, Alexander Kravchenko, who made the final table of the WSOP main event, and the aforementioned Julian Thew, another English professional and regular high-placed finisher on the EPT.

The featured table, which you can watch in any of six languages by clicking HERE, will begin with Sunar, Thew, Perrault, Smurfit and Durrer.

We'll have all the action from there and the outer tables here on PokerStars blog. Continue to check back for the remainder of the day.

It's crucial.

A reminder of the payouts:

1st - €670,800
2nd - €375,000
3rd - €225,000
4th - €160,820
5th - €132,900
6th - €105,000
7th - €83,600
8th - €60,000

9th-10th €38,600
11th-12th - €30,000
13th-14th - €25,700
15th-16th - €19,300
17th-24th - €12,860
Brad Willis
@BradWillis in