EPT12 Malta: Alen Bilic leads Farrell and Greenwood in final six

As the theory goes, it's better to tear the band aid clean off, than pull it off gently. None of which will make Daniel Dvoress feel any better tonight.

He busted in seventh place tonight, bringing the day to an end. Short stacked after a long day, he shoved with ace-jack only for Niall Farrell to call with ace-king. The flop gave Farrell trip kings. Dvoress smiled. At least it was quick.

dvoress_out_30oct_malta12.jpgDaniel Dvoress

The result ended play, and gave a clear picture of how things look going into the last day of the EPT Malta Main Event, now led by Alen Bilic, with Farrell's last hand heroics placing him in second.

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Bilic took the lead by virtue of another shock hand, this one involving one of the feature players of the week: Alexander Ivarsson.

alen_bilic_malta12.jpgChip leader Alen Bilic

It was back in March that Ivarsson departed the Malta main event prematurely after his aggressive style turned round to bite him. In much the same way he met a similar fate tonight, crashing his queens into Bilic's ace-king.

That left Bilic with a stack he could coast with, and the lead with six left going into tomorrow.

SeatNameCountryStatusChipsBig Blinds
1Niall FarrellUKPokerStars player5,115,00085
2Rainer KempeGermanyPokerStars qualifier1,505,00025
3Sam GreenwoodCanadaPokerStars player1,615,00026
4Giulio SpampinatoItalyLive satellite qualifier1,180,00019
5Alen BilicBosnia and HerzegovinaPokerStars player7,635,000127
6Jaroslaw SikoraPolandPokerStars player2,455,00040

Just as Bilic is now turning heads, so too has Jaroslaw Sikora this week. A chip leader throughout the week, he was never too far from the lead, and deserves his spot in the last six. The same goes for Rainer Kempe, who makes back-to-back finals after he finished fifth in Barcelona in the season opener. Then there's Giulio Spampinato. Some doubted he would make it this far, but he nursed his short stack like a man on a budget to make the final day.

sikora_wrap_20oct_malta12.jpgJaroslaw Sikora

Then there were the familiar faces, those of Niall Farrell and Sam Greenwood. Farrell could easily have been leading had Bilic no run into Ivarsson, but has put in another confident performance this week. The same goes for Greenwood, a regular high roller, who now has an opportunity to add EPT Main Event success to his Super High Roller final table back at the PCA in January.

niall_farrell_22_wrap_malta12.jpgNiall Farrell

sam_greenwood_wrap_30oct_malta12.jpgSam Greenwood

It's a line-up that promises a thrilling conclusion.

Of course, as we look ahead to events tomorrow, there was a full day of play today to look back on.

Kitty Kuo was first to depart this afternoon, followed soon after by Darrell Goh, who can still claim a good Malta trip. Antonio Chemi put in a great rearguard display, squeezing every last penny out of a stack that at times looked like disappearing. He left in tenth place, before Ivarsson made way and Nabil Cardoso preceded Dvoress.

ivarsson_tv_camera_malta12.jpgAlexander Ivarsson

From 651 players to six. Tomorrow we will find a new champion.

It all starts tomorrow at 13,00 CET, but you can follow it "as live" on EPT Live, with cards up on a one hour delay from 14.00 CET. We'll also have hand for hand coverage and features along the way.

malta_view_malta12.jpgMalta tonight

That's all for now until then, unless you like high roller action. They're o the bubble in that one and ready to play on into the night. You can follow live updates of that event here through to the end.

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Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.