EPT11 Malta: Antonin Duda sees out tempestuous day to lead


Antonin Duda takes the biggest stack into the penultimate day

There's a storm brewing at EPT Malta as the €5,000 Main Event heads in to its penultimate day. After five levels this afternoon, some of the European game's most volatile talents emerged largely intact from a wreckage of their own making.

As a Mediterranean tempest raged outside -- the tournament played its late stages tonight to a soundtrack of thunder -- three men in particular made waves in the deep stages of this event.

Antonin Duda, already a big stack, sent Nir Levy crashing on to the rocks when he rivered a straight with pocket sixes to beat pocket tens. And with the very last hand of the day, Alexander Ivarsson shoved into him on a king-high bluff, which Duda picked off with a pair of aces.

Fedor Holz smashed Niccolo Ceccarelli with T♦8♦ that became a flush. Ceccarelli's A♣K♥ was no good. Meanwhile Hossein Ensan, the third-place finisher from Barcelona at the beginning of this season, rediscovered his irrepressible form to crush everyone who came in his path.

Duda leads the final 23 tonight, with 3,476,000 in chips. Holz's 3,146,000 puts him in second, while 2,639,000 is enough for third.


Fedor Holz: Online champ, EPT too?


Hossein Ensan, left, on a day when everything went right

The day was all about unpredictable collisions, or unexpected outcomes if the accident was unavoidable. Sam Chartier, for instance, who had built his stack back up to challenge the leaders, lost it all when his aces were cracked by Mateusz Moolhuizen's pocket kings.


The end of Sam Chartier

Javier Gomez Zapatero, the overnight chip leader, was sliced down to about 400,000 at one point, but bounced back to 1,877,000. Jorma Nuutinen also led at one stage, but slipped to 870,000 by the time day was done. Remarkably, however, two of the three former champions who started today -- Dominik Panka and Robin Ylitalo -- are still in with a shot at a double. Panka has 391,000 and Ylitalo 972,000. Jannick Wrang lost a flip with A♥Q♣ and went out in 27th in the penultimate level.


Q: How much more Dominik Panka can we take? A: Loads


And a thumbs up to you too, Robin

The full counts of the remaining players look like this:

Antonin Duda, 3,476,000
Fedor Holz, 3,146,000
Hossein Ensan, 2,639,000
Remigiusz Wyrzykiewicz, 2,104,000
Javier Gomez Zapatero, 1,877,000
Koray Aldemir, 1,667,000
Jean Montury, 1,363,000
Valentin Messina, 909,000
Mateusz Moolhuizen, 1,249,000
Sergio Aido, 1,187,000
Robin Ylitalo, 972,000
Stefan Schillhabel, 900,000
Jorma Nuutinen, 870,000
Rudolf Zindel, 780,000
Julien Duveau, 737,000
Carlo Citrone, 525,000
Jacek Ladny, 445,000
Dennis Kaj Smit, 432,000
Dominik Panka, 391,000
Glib Kovtunov, 372,000
Bart Kuiper, 361,000
Bruno Volkmann, 248,000
Bjorn Lundgren, 237,000

Tomorrow we need to get down to a final table of eight. In comparison with other events on the tour this year, we are slightly behind schedule. We have been down to 16 by this stage many times. But there doesn't seem to be any real reason to expect an exceptionally long day tomorrow or Saturday, especially given the predilection of these guys to get their chips in.

On the contrary. It could be high octane and a lot of fun to watch. Join us then.

Our Main Event coverage today took in all of the following: Mr Universe, the latest graduate from the Israeli poker school, a whole host of champions elect, a clutch of award winners and some tables.

There's plenty more on the High Roller page, where coverage will continue into the night.

Follow coverage of the EPT Malta Main Event on the EPT Malta Main Event page. There are plenty of side events going on, and the €10,000 High Roller is also under way. Keep abreast of everything via the EPT App, available on Android or IOS. Snigger, snigger. He said "a-breast".

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour