EPT11 Barcelona: Does having a big stack on Day 4 matter?

We're always shocked when the chip leaders at the end of Day 1 don't make the money and our disbelief extends further day by day should subsequent start of day chip leaders fail to make it through the day. But should we be surprised this is poker a game of skill and luck after all.

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Does having plenty of these mean much at this stage?

Take the Day 1 chip leaders here in Barcelona. Michael 'The Grinder' Mizrachi topped the Day 1A field with 186,000, whilst Jose Lamarca led overall heading into Day 2 after bagging up 193,300 after Day 1B. Whist their respective Day 1 performances were a great springboard towards making the money, that's all they were. With 1,496 entrants and 239 players getting paid it meant that the average stack come bubble time would be just shy of 188,000. So all their Day 1 exploits had done was give them the average stack as the bubble burst, far from a lock that we assume they'll be then. As it happens Mizrachi busted shortly before the bubble on Day 3, whilst Lamarca did make the money, before busting in 106th place for €12,050.

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Lamarca - Day 1 stack helped him make the money

What about the chip leader coming into Day 4? They've already traversed the bubble and less than 10 per cent of the field remain. How do they fare?

Shortly before the end of level 24, Andrei Konopelko, who began the day as chip leader with a stack of 1,451,000, was eliminated in 33rd place. Just 103 players began the day so on the face of it 39th seems like a poor return given where he was at the start of play.

But is it? We thought we'd delve into the archive and see just what Day 4 chip leaders from EPTs past had managed to do. What we found was that having a big stack at the start of Day 4 is important, it does matter, it matters a lot. Of the 14 events we looked at eight start of Day 4 chip leaders had what we called 'good' results, that is they made the final table, indeed two of them went on to win.

Four of our start of Day 4 chip leaders had what we loosely deemed a 'bad' result in that they defeated over half the field left at the start of Day 4, but fell before the final table. And two players had what we called an 'ugly' result, failing to beat over 50% of the Day 4 field. You can see the results below and one more thing - in before LOL sample size.

The Good:

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Ramzi Jelassi - Day 4 chip leader and EPT Champion

EPT9 Prague

Chip-leader at the Start of Day 4: Ramzi Jelassi
Players left at the start of Day 4: 55
Finishing position: 1st

EPT 10 Barcelona:
Chip-leader at the Start of Day 4: Tom Middleton
Players left at the start of Day 4: 79
Finishing position: 1st

EPT10 Sanremo:

Chip-leader at the Start of Day 4: Raul Mestre
Players left at the start of Day 4: 39
Finishing position: 2nd

EPT9 Grand Final

Chip-leader at the Start of Day 4: Johnny Lodden
Players left at the start of Day 4: 34
Finishing position: 3rd

EPT10 Grand Final

Chip-leader at the Start of Day 4: Malte Monnig
Players left at the start of Day 4: 41
Finishing position: 3rd

EPT10 Vienna

Chip-leader at the Start of Day 4: Pablo Gordillo
Players left at the start of Day 4: 50
Finishing position: 4th

EPT9 Barcelona

Chip-leader at the Start of Day 4: Antonin Duda
Players left at the start of Day 4: 61
Finishing position: 7th

EPT10 London

Chip-leader at the Start of Day 4: Martin Kozlov
Players left at the start of Day 4: 45
Finishing position: 9th

The Bad:

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Joentausta - didn't Finnish first

EPT9 Sanremo

Chip-leader at the Start of Day 4: Inge Forsmo
Players left at the start of Day 4: 66
Finishing position: 23rd

EPT9 Berlin

Chip-leader at the Start of Day 4: Aku Joentausta,
Players left at the start of Day 4: 55
Finishing position: 31st

EPT9 Deauville

Chip-leader at the Start of Day 4: Shahaf Hadaya
Players left at the start of Day 4: 51
Finishing position: 32nd

EPT9 London

Chip-leader at the Start of Day 4: Pasi Sormunen
Players left at the start of Day 4: 32
Finishing position: 15th

The Ugly:

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Lacay - Czeched out early in Prague

EPT10 Deauville

Chip-leader at the Start of Day 4: Ekrem Sanioglu
Players left at the start of Day 4: 41
Finishing position: 28th

EPT10 Prague

Chip-leader at the Start of Day 4: Ludovic Lacay
Players left at the start of Day 4: 61
Finishing position: 33rd

Follow all the action from the tournament floor on the main EPT Barcelona page. There's hand-by-hand coverage in the panel at the top, including chip counts, and feature pieces below. There's also EPT Live, which is streaming action from Day 4 of the Main Event.

Nick Wright
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour