EPT8 San Remo: McClung clear ahead going into Day 4
After the long war of attrition yesterday, Day 3 of the European Poker tour main event in San Remo was more a short skirmish this afternoon, as the field of 144 broke through the bubble at 128 and played on until 64 remained.
Not today a schedule based on levels, but instead a plan to invite eight tables of players back to Casino San Remo tomorrow. That's exactly what we have tonight.
We also have a new chip leader, in the shape of Christopher McClung who bags up 1,202,000, having not putting a foot wrong.
Chip leader Christopher McClung
We also have two champions remaining, with Kevin MacPhee (476,000) and Mike McDonald (648,000) each returning tomorrow.
We also have four Team PokerStars Pros left in the field, with Lex Veldhuis (687,000) and Johnny Lodden (793,000) each turning it up a notch, while John Duthie (319,000) and Vanessa Selbst (400,000) each steering safely through the day.
Team PokerStars Pro John Duthie
We also have a slew of top Italians looking for a win on home soil, and a first title for an Italian since Salvatore Bonavena in Season 5. Angelo Tarallo (840,000) leads the local heroes, with Alessio Isaia (818,000) also among the leaders.
What else? A bubble boy, a cursed position if there ever was one but at least dispatched in a fashion that minimised the public celebration taking place in his face.
As players departed for a 15 minute break while play was hand-for-hand, Christopher McClung check-raised Christian Troger all-in on a flop of T♠7♥4♦, Troger acted, calling for his tournament with A♠7♠. Alas, McClung showed pocket kings, which proved more than capable of dispatching Troger. At least we can reassure his loved ones that it was quick and relatively private.
On the bubble
It meant players returning from the break arrived to find themselves €7,000 better off, and, with pressure also off, the chips began to flow in all directions. Soon we'd broken the 100 player mark as players leapt from the main event frying pan into the side event fire.
Out went Michael Watson, then Melanie Weisner and Marco Traniello. Shaun Deeb, who had played solid gold poker all week, also went, as did Toby Lewis. The departure of Plamen Yakimov in 65th place brought this day's play to an end.
Shaun Deeb (yellow) and Vanessa Selbst (yellow) in action today, with McClung in the foreground
That brings a fairly brief Day 3 to an end. Our thanks to our German, Italian and French bloggers, as well as photographer Neil Stoddart whose copyright means he's now banned from every branch of Happy Snaps in North London.
Santuario Madonna della Costa in San Remo
Until tomorrow, it's goodnight from San Remo.