EPT10 Prague: Ludovic Lacay knocks on the door of the double champions club

When Ludovic Lacay won EPT Sanremo last season, Kevin MacPhee, himself a former champion, tweeted the following: "The first year I played on the EPT circuit I thought Ludovic Lacay was the best player I played against. Very happy to see him join the club."

Since then, much like during the first eight years of the EPT, the search has remained on for someone to open the two-time champion's club. No one has yet managed it, even as close to 100 players now have the chance.

However, the opportunity is greater now for Lacay than any other of his closest competitors. After another swashbuckling day of poker in Prague, Lacay bagged up 1,700,000 chips tonight, which is the most of the 61 remaining.

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Ludovic Lacay, leading into Day 4

Lacay was in irresistible form, never shying away from a huge confrontation, but doing most of his climbing in steady, smaller increments. He is rarely not in a hand, and few get as far as showdown. But if you want to tangle with Lacay, you need to be prepared to risk the whole lot.

Day three offers the perfect environment for players like Lacay to prosper. The first point of business was the bubble, a passage of play that allows the aggressive to get way out of line and pick on anyone clinging on for a min-cash. The bubble deflated rather than burst, with three players busting simultaneously and the remaining players easing into the money.

After that, a number of big names slipped out of the room -- such as ElkY, Eugene Katchalov, Jonathan Duhamel, Marc-Andre Ladouceur, Amir Lehavot and Sylvain Loosli -- while others went on a tear.

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ElkY: A cash, but not much more

Stevie Chidwick was the early wrecking ball, assuming the chip lead in early afternoon. But he suddenly started losing the races he had previously been winning and he slipped back to the pack, finishing with 869,000. That allowed Lacay to fly up the leader board, hotly pursued all day by a trio of Germans.

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Stevie Chidwick: On a roll in Prague

Almost nothing is known of Julian Track (1,187,000) but Lasell King (1,070,000) came 13th in the Eureka Main Event last week, so he is in good form. Meanwhile Ole Schemion (1,030,000) has had a sensational 2012 and 2013, and is many commentators' tip to seal his first EPT Main Event title this season. He is also playing the game of an expert.

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Ole Schemion: Star

Other notable counts are as follows:

Ciaran Burke - 889,000
Ana Marquez - 870,000
Andrew Chen - 650,000
Max Silver - 554,000
Tamer Kamel - 515,000
Ari Engel - 459,000
Sigurd Eskeland - 304,000
Kevin Iacofano - 227,000
Jonathan Little - 112,000

Tomorrow we will likely play down to our final 16, which should sort the men from the boys even more. (Any departed can head to the €10,000 High Roller, which begins tomorrow.) Tuesday we'll go down to our final table of eight, before naming our champion on Wednesday. Stick with us.

Today, we chatted to Peter Barrable, a rally driver now getting his thrills at the poker table, and heard from the Team PokerStars Pro David Williams.

Marc-Andre Ladouceur discussed bubble ranges, made it into the money, but bust in 81st.

Ke Kwan Lau's (747,000) sad eyes saw him into the money too, while Sebastian "bassysaffari" Saffari admitted that he was looking for second place, at least.

Duhamel and Ladouceur played some credit card roulette and we then went a round with their difficult table. Max Silver talked about swapping action, while Jonathan Little wrote everything down.

Meanwhile Moshe Elazar told his stories of being Eli Elezra's kid brother, which involved dealing for Phil Ivey and Doyle Brunson on a private jet.

That's it for tonight. Goodnight.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour