EPT9 Prague: Ben Warrington leads Jelassi, Lodden and Romanello in last 21
Day four started with three players with more than a million chips. It would end with one of them out and two different players on more than twice that, with 21 remaining in the main event.
Chris Brammer, Ramzi Jelassi and Sotorious Koutoupas led at the start and we had no reason to doubt they would continue in the same vein. Instead Brammer became the first high profile departure. Jelassi and Koutoupas pressed on, with some success, but it was another face would overshadow their million with his millions.
Ben Warrington, today's rocket man, set the high water mark at 2,618,000.
Chip leader: Ben Warrington
Warrington has not exactly had an easy route to the last 24. Yesterday he survived the bubble, doubling up with kings against ace-nine to return with 545,000 this afternoon. He turned that into the chip lead, first after a flip with ace-queen against eights and then a hand against Johnny Lodden, today's rollercoaster man, which sent the Norwegian into temporary decline.
Warrington was one of only two players to bag up more than 2 million tonight, a sum that isn't easy to stuff into the regulation plastic bag provided by floor staff. The runner-up here 12 months ago, David Boyaciyan, is the closest challenger to the lead, with 2,469,000. Jelassi is the top candidate to join that club, bagging up 1,975,000.
While Lodden fell short of joining them, his stack tomorrow should be ample, given his tendency this week to win big early in the day. It's happened every day this week, a good sign for the Norwegian who returns with 763,000.
Elsewhere there will be seats reserved for the likes of Aleh Plauski (1,450,000), Koutoupas (1,450,000) and the ever impressive Jeff Sarwer (1,233,000) who has a habit of making a mockery of his amateur status. Chip leader from days one and two Iosif Beskrovnyy remains, although his stack resembles the one he had earlier in the week, short at just 390,000.
Former EPT Prague winner Roberto Romanello also books his place in Day 4. The Welshman, who again proved difficult to dislodge, dragging a less than average stack with him all day. He'll drag it through Day 5 as well.
On the rail were Roger Hairabedian, Brammer, Fabrice Soulier, Cesar Garcia Dominguez, Denis Pisarev and Manuel Bevand. With a little extra played today an unlucky 13 will join them there tomorrow. Find their details here.
As far as today went it was a day in which an unlucky 31 would be required to leave (later to become 34), with the marker being set at one million. Of those left there were various frenemies, including Johnny Lodden, whose particular style of tournament poker was put into graph form not once, but twice. We also looked up Marc Herm in the main event. Finally, the High Rollers took their seats for the first day of their €10,000 jamboree
Play restarts tomorrow at 12 noon when 21 will become eight. For tonight to last word goes to Warrington: "It's been a brilliant day. It's nice to finish early. I'm going to go back, chill out, have a massage and come back tomorrow."