Daniel-Gai Pidun leads as EPT Berlin enters penultimate day

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Wherever it goes there are familiar roles to be filled in any European Poker Tour main event, positions refined over several seasons and proven to effectively serve as a stereotypical comforter; a blankie to rub against your face for some artificially introduced poker continuity.

Vacancies for those positions began to be filled today as EPT Berlin played down from 199 players to a last 24. There was the over-achiever for example, destined to score his best ever result, and the player running good and confusing it with genetic advantage. There was also the best Team PokerStars Pro along with the people's champion, the sentimental pick and the new-boy Italian with emotional friends on the rail.

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The feature table

That doesn't even touch upon the chip leader. That's Daniel-Gai Pidun, who tonight ended a long hard-fought day with 2,429,000 and a near 300,000 advantage over second placed Maximilian Heinzelmann, who began the day with just 93,000, who bags up 2,140,000.

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Chip leader, Daniel-Gai Pidun

That's certainly no guarantee of success when play enters its fourth full day tomorrow, but the trio will feel that their chips, together with top drawer performances, will take any restlessness out of their sleep. With youth on their side, slicked hair and little concept of the real value of mortgage-money, they at least look like champion material.

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Pidun powered into the lead

With Chip Leader taken care of, that left Alessandro Laubinger's application for Player Running Good. As though his uncle was the boss, Laubinger was a shoo-in.

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Alessandro Laubinger

It's perhaps a little unfair to put Laubinger's progress down to simply two-outers, flopping top sets and running into rubbish, but like Geshkenbein an event before him, Laubinger swaggered his way through Day 3 like a teenager, convinced of his own immortality and taking on the adults with an ever increasing stack of chips. A more accurate analysis will surely come to light tomorrow.

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Vladimir Geshkenbein

The same goes for overachiever Ben Wilinofsky, who had already secured his best live result when he arrived this morning, and who now sits in third, poised to win at least €20,000. His 2,046,000 chips should secure him a good deal more.

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Ben Wilinofsky

As far as the Team PokerStars Pros were concerned six became two, led by Henrique Pinho, from Portugal, who showed consistency in turning 500,000 at the start into 1,282,000 by the end. Pinho, scoring his first EPT cash, is not the only Team Pro remaining; Joep van den Bijgaart also storming into the penultimate day, closing on 1,454,000.

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Henrique Pinho

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Joep van den Bijgaart

Konstantin Puchkov takes the People's Champion role, representing anyone above the age of 25; Fabrice Soulier, chip leader this morning, is the guardian of the sentimentalists, for all the reasons we detailed yesterday. If you need a spare, give a hat tip to Martin Jacobson, looking to go one better than the two second places he's already scored this season.

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Fabrice Soulier

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Martin Jacobson

It leaves just one place to fill for our text book finale. That's Italian Gerardo Muro, who fills the gap Giacomo Maisto left in Snowfest two weeks ago. Muro is a player who could easily throw a proverbial spanner in the works of others, at the same time turning to friends on the rail to make elaborate victory gestures. His progress to the final will be an unexpected surprise, and by unexpected we mean completely expected.

Today we once more dusted off the leather board record book, turned to the page titled "First double EPT winner" and sat ready with the inked quill. There were six in contention and at the close all had found their way to the rail, closing the book on that idea again. First Geshkenbein went (107th), then Sebastian Ruthenberg (96th), Joao Barbosa (78th), Roberto Romanello (75th), Kent Lundmark (47th) and Kevin Stani (45th).

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Sebastian Ruthenberg

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Kevin Stani

We also lost Fatima Moreira de Melo, who recorded her second EPT cash in a row in 105th place. Peter Eastgate cashed in 95th as did Juan Manuel Pastor in 92nd and Thomas Bichon in 90th. Old school English pro Ben Roberts busted in 71st while new school George Danzer busted late in 26th.

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Fatima Moreira de Melo

You can read all about today, the eliminations, the double ups (there were a lot) and all the incidents, by reading back through today's coverage at the links below. You'll also find the official chips counts on the relevant page when they're made official by tournament staff and those that have already been eliminated are inked in to our prize winners and payouts page.

Level 15 (cont.), 16 & 17 updates
Level 18 & 19 updates
Level 20, 21 & 22 updates

Here's your Dutch, and your German. Do with them what you will. Thanks also to photographer Neil Stoddart.


Coverage continues tomorrow at the later time of 1pm, when we start with 24 players and go on until just eight remain. Join us then.

For now, it's goodnight from Berlin.