EPT10 Sanremo: Raul Mestre takes lead into Day 4 ahead of Berglund and Busquet

Day three is kind to those looking for a story. It comes ready-made in the form of the bubble. The arrival of the money was the big event at the start of the day, but while Mark James endured the indignity of being the last to leave empty-handed, the story at the close is that of Raul Mestre, the Spaniard taking the lead after a frenetic day.

raul_mestre_ept10sanremo_d3.jpgChip leader tonight: Raul Mestre

Lukas Berglund had come into the day with an enormous lead, and spent today building on it. Then it appeared as though Olivier Busquet would take the advantage into Day 4. But instead Mestre, widely considered one of the best players in Spain, snatched the advantage, bagging up a stack of 942,000 chips, with Berglund (867,000) and Busquet (806,000) close behind in third and fifth place respectively.

olivier_busquet_ept10sanremo_d3.jpgOlivier Busquet

Lukas_Berglund_ept10sanremo_d3.jpgLukas Berglund

We wrote earlier this week of Mestre's previous EPT results, and of his appetite for all things poker. Spain is still without an EPT winner (Mestre himself has reached as far as fourth in Barcelona), but Mestre must surely count as one of their better hopes.

Any advancement towards the final table will not be straightforward given the quality of opposition. You can find all the hand for hand action from today in our live coverage, with the chip counts ahead of Day 4 below. Note the three former champions in Vicky Coren, Dimitar Danchev and Michael Tureniec.

Raul Mestre - 942,000
Andrija Martic - 885,000
Lukas Berglund - 867,000
Jorma Nuutinen - 852,000
Olivier Busquet - 806,000
Andre Benelli - 721,000
Eros Nastasi - 711,000
Jeffrey Hakim - 651,000
Andreas Goeller - 643,000
Jordan Westmorland - 638,000
Dinesh Alt - 592,000
Shyam Srinivasan - 590,000
Xia Lin - 517,000
Ariel Celestino - 480,000
Stefano Garbarino - 468,000
Vicky Coren - 455,000
Stephen Chidwick - 429,000
Denis Pisarev - 395,000
Alex Kravchenko - 390,000
Andrey Lobzhanidze, 358,000
Zachary Korik - 342,000
Giacomo Fundaro - 304,000
Dimitar Danchev - 302,000
Bruno Stefanelli - 289,000
Emmanuel Pariset - 284,000
Miguel Gurrea - 270,000
Rocco Palumbo - 229,000
Vincenzo Scarcella - 226,000
Louis Salter - 217,000
Michael Tureniec - 213,000
Pedro Pellicer - 178,000
Federico Cipollini - 177,000
Cristiano Viali - 174,000
Dan Murariu - 165,000
Ludovic Riehl - 148,000
Piotr Shautsou - 139,000
Pawel Brzeski - 116,000
Igor Nekazakov - 80,000

The remaining 39 players return tomorrow for what will be a short sharp scrap down to 16, with coverage from the start on EPT Live. That will not include the likes of Aku Joentausta, Nicholas Chouity, Pius Heinz, Paul Berende and Mickey Petersen, all of whom found their tournament at an end today. Others would follow but with the consolation of a cash finish. In the money today were Victor Ramdin, Roberto Romanello, Johnny Lodden, David Yan, Alex Bilokur, Dominik Nitsche and Michael Telker.

Michael_Telker_Vicky_Coren_ept10sanremo_d3.jpgOne out one still in: Michael Telker and Vicky Coren

Our coverage started today with one eye on the bubble, and the given assumption that someone will win, someone will lose, and someone will smoke in the toilets. We also looked at surviving the bubble.

the_bubble_ept10sanremo_d3.jpgPlay on the bubble

Meanwhile Michael Tureniec, Busquet, Jordan Westmorland, Dominik Nitsche and Roberto Romanello, shared their thoughts and wisdom. One last hat tip to Emmanuel Pariset, featured in our coverage first thing, who not only cashed but bagged up 284,000 tonight.

sanremo_harbour_ept10sanremo_d3.jpgSanremo Harbour

Play continues at 12 noon tomorrow. Don't be late, it may not last long.

Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.