EPT8 Copenhagen: Neuville stuns everyone to lead into Day 4


Like cheap wine, Day 3 never really got good until we'd had a few gulps of it. The early levels were a bland procession as players politely made their way to the rail, reaching the bubble after two levels and getting that little exercise wrapped up in the space of half a dozen hand-for-hand hands. Then, with four tables remaining, the taps were opened. Quite literally all sorts of stuff started going off, a madness that tonight leaves the right honourable Pierre Neuville with the chip lead.

The Belgian is sometimes written off as too good natured to be a poker player of the cut- throat mould. But while he may appear to be the jovial amateur he is no less brutal than the youngsters when it comes to winning chips. The former PokerStars Qualifier of the Year (Season 6) finishing the day with 780,000 chips. He's not going anywhere.

Chip leader Pierre Neuville

It was a day in which the chip lead never looked settled, the chip leaders neither. For much of the day any one of three players would finish on top. But there's something about Copenhagen that always throws a sausage in the works, rewriting everything to produce something you didn't see coming.

The biggest news of the day came in the surprise departure of Melanie Weisner. The chip leader at the start of play, Weisner was confident of a deep run and looked set for just that, regaining the lead after she was inevitably overtaken, and building on that as the day progressed. Then Steve O'Dwyer struck.

Melanie Weisner

For his part O'Dwyer, the chip leader on Day 1, was mounting his own recovery. Having spent much of the day playing small ball with a pittance (down to 45,000), he worked his way back up to 200,000 (eventually finishing on 423,500) before clashing with Weisner, his aces toppling her ace-queen.

Steve O'Dwyer

The effect was dramatic. Weisner was cut down to 90,000 but perhaps it was the spirit that suffered most, and the American was on the rail shortly after.

Had Neuville not claimed the lead Michael Tureniec would have been the likely headline.

The Swede, who let's not forget is the defending champion, is on another deep run, and has consistently excelled this week, continuing the form he displayed yesterday that has kept him in touch with the leaders throughout. That was until he lost the post that gave Neuville the lead.

It's still too early to present evidence of possible double-winners, but Tureniec remains Exhibit A.

Down, but not out: Michael Tureniec

Joining them tomorrow will be others worthy of bold type.

Texan Spencer Hudson deserves a mention for his travails, in the top five for much of the day. Team PokerStars Pro Martin Staszko will also return. Team Online Pro Mickey Petersen was another showing spirit, rescuing his short stack (7,000 at one point, or four big blinds) to finish well, eliminating Juha Helppi, a finalist here last year, and doubling through Staszko in the process. Peterson closed on 451,500.

Mickey Petersen

For the list of others, check out our live coverage from today which also features the overnight chip counts and the prize winners so far. For everything else there are the features from the day, below...

Weisner leads as charge for the money begins
What does it matter being the chip leader?
A tale of two Scandinavian legends
Big names on the brink
The accidental slow roll
The best bubble in the world?
Weisner earns herself a sausage as the bubble bursts
Terrible turn of events sends Weisner to the rail

Play continues tomorrow at 12 noon when three tables will be worked down to just one, eight finalists who will return to play down to a winner on Saturday. Time now to find this Zen place for the EPT Party and some binge meditation.

Until tomorrow, it's goodnight from Copenhagen.

All photography © Neil Stoddart

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in European Poker Tour