EPT8 Deauville: Sam Phomveha snatches lead at the bell with 54 left
He started the day as chip leader and he almost ended the day as chip leader. Martins Adeniya put in another top draw performance today but was thwarted to the lead in the dying minutes of the day, when his stack dropped below the million mark as across the room Samphane Phomveha was about to double his.
Phomveha is the chip leader tonight. The Frenchman finished the day with a smile after a solid day of work.
Speaking after bagging up 1,471,000 chips Phomveha said he was quickly up to 500,000 chip, having started on 330,000, and quietly inched his stack up to 700,000 thereafter. The day was going well until in the closing hands of the day he doubled up; an ideal finish.
Chip leader Sam Phomveha
Few players had been as impressive as Adeniya today and you sense this could be the coming out party for an undeniable talent who has gone deep before but never so convincingly.
One of the principal rivals to Adeniya today, posing the greatest threat, was Frenchman Ludovic Lacay.
Lacay, who is equally as assured at the table, raced Adeniya to the chip lead. The pair shared a table for parts of the day and each somehow managed to chip build without clashing with the other. Ultimately though it wasn't Adeniya that proved to be Lacay's un-doer, but another Englishman, Chris Brammer.
Brammer, who ends the day well placed with 1,090,000 chips, saw off Lacay with an ace on the river after three-bet calling with Ace-Nine against Lacay's pocket jacks. Lacay would grace any EPT final. Alas, not this one.
We began play with one remaining Team PokerStars Pro in the field and we finish with that number. The story of Luca Pagano is oft told and familiar to everyone with a passing interest in the tour. At the PCA Pagano made it 19 EPT cashes. Here he makes it 20, nine more than the next on the list.
More significant though is the tournament leader board points he has already amassed. Pagano can bust first tomorrow and still be sure to return to the top of the EPT All Time TLB, ahead of Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier. The scale of Pagano's achievement is staggering, a longevity and success, as well as popularity, in one of the toughest professional environments.
EPT cash number 20 for Pagano
Pagano has already reached six EPT finals and tomorrow he'll pursue the seventh. Some 53 other players will be looking to do the same when play continues at 12 noon.
Read about the events of the day at the links below. Live coverage, as well as the latest chip counts, can be found here.
That's all from Deauville for today. Join us again tomorrow as we play down to 24.
Sunset in Deauville
Until then, goodnight from Normandy.
All photography © Neil Stoddart
* We originally reported than Sam Phomveha was a Super Nova Elite and had previously finished third in a £2,500 event at The Grosvenor Victoria Casino in London. This was later found to be incorrect. It was in fact his brother Sam Phomveha who was a Super Nova Elite and had the score at The Vic. The two Sam's (actually Samphane and Samlane) played the Deauville main event, although the SuperNova Elite Sam (Samlane) has since been eliminated. Apologies to both of them for the mistake.