EPT Barcelona: Players return for day three

There's always something exciting about any EPT day. And as we get closer to the final, it can only increase. And so, welcome to day three where we're approaching the very serious end of this tournament: just 37 of the original 619 players return today, some riding a tidal wave of momentum, others knowing that it's just a matter of time before they need to push all in and double up, or be damned.

That will be of least concern to David Kitai. The Belgian player bagged up 544,500 chips last night, a clear lead of nearly 170,000 over second placed Dren Ukella of Germany and the Italian Daniel Mazzia, who both had stacks of 374,000.

Leading the PokerStars charge was a player whose stature continues to grow on the EPT: Jason Mercier. The champion in San Remo last season certainly had the most visually impressive stack, an architecturally stunning four-tiered defensive perimeter that no one seemed able to breech as he wound up on 345,000 by the close of play.

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Jason Mercier

The PokerStars sponsored player Sebastian Ruthenberg also finished at the safe end of the chip counts. The World Series bracelet winner closed with 326,000, 66,000 ahead of the last remaining Team PokerStars Pro left in Barcelona, Chad Brown. Brown steered a less volatile course than many others yesterday, closing on a 259,000 stack.

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Team PokerStars Pro Chad Brown

So yes, that was yesterday. This is today. Hold on for non-stop drama between now and whatever small hour strikes tonight when we pack up. Apparently it's sunny outside, with clear blue skies and thermometres bubbling at 26 degrees. But who in their right mind would opt for that over the confines of the tournament room in Casino Barcelona?

For a full list of the remaining 37 players and their chip counts you can go HERE. You can also keep updated on all the eliminations as the play goes on by going to the PRIZES page to see just what share of the almost €5 million prize pool each player will receive.

And don't forget you can keep track of all the action live as it happens on Pokerstars.tv, the perfect accompaniment to the PokerStars blog for day three.

All the action will be here. Play starts in just a few minutes. Here's how the players will line up:

Table 1
1. Fintan Gavin -- PS qualifier -- Ireland -- 164,000
2. Voitto Rintala -- Finland -- 171,500
3. Pierpaolo Ruscalla -- Italy -- 123,500
4. Samuel Chartier -- PS qualifier -- Canada -- 95,500
5. Marko Tapio Vainio -- Finland -- 68,000
6. Martin Nielsen -- Denmark -- 95,000
7. Davidi Kitai -- Belgium -- 544,500
8. Mark Randal Flowers -- PS qualifier -- USA -- 119,000

Table 2
1. Benianmino Speroni -- Italy -- 59,000
2. Jonas Molander -- Sweden -- 113,000
3. Andrey Chesnokov -- Russia -- 17,500
4. Ronny Johansen -- Norway -- 62,500
5. Alessandro Longobardi -- Italy -- 102,000
6. Salavatore Pengue -- Italy -- 105,500
7. Claudio Cecchi -- Italy -- 120,500

Table 3
1. Chad Brown -- Team PokerStars Pro -- USA -- 259,500
2. Alexander Grishchuk -- Russia -- 93,000
3. Stephen Chidwick -- UK -- 355,000
4. Jose Vazquez Ortega -- Spain -- 68,500
5. Mikael Lundell -- Sweden -- 155,000
6. Jason Mercier -- PokerStars player -- USA -- 345,000
7. Daniele Mazzia -- Italy -- 374,000

Table 4
1. Helfried Bernhardt -- Germany -- 123,500
2. Alessandro Lusso -- Italy -- 70,500
3. Dren Ukella -- Germany -- 374,500
4. Ramzi Jelassi -- Sweden -- 133,000
5. Michael Keiner -- Germany -- 293,000
6. Henri Juho Kristian Koivisto -- Finland -- 81,500
7. Jonas Klausen -- PS qualifier -- Denmark -- 237,000

Table 5
1. Malte Strothmann -- PS qualifier -- Germany -- 138,500
2. Mauro Corsetti -- Italy -- 64,500
3. Joel Nordkvist -- 109,000
4. Sebastian Ruthemberg -- Germany -- 326,000
5. Cornelis Alblas -- Holland -- 133,000
6. Steven Weusten -- PS qualifier -- Holland -- 332,000
7. Joseph George Pelton -- USA -- 226,000

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in European Poker Tour