EPT11 Malta: Ensan charges to the top as mid-point hits

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Hossein Ensan: Barcelona finalist crushing in Malta too

Day 4 at EPT Malta is about halfway through -- assuming, that is, you reckon this is going to last the five scheduled levels. Remember, today is the day that will also end if we reach 16 players, a relative long shot, but far from impossible.

At time of writing, which is approximately halfway through Level 22, there are 35 players still involved, with Javier Gomez Zapatero still sitting with a big stack. The overnight leader is armed with 970,000, which is still plenty. Significantly, however, it is not the most in the room. It's not even the most at his table, nor among the Spanish players still left.

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Javier Gomez Zapatero: A lot, but not the most

For much of the early part of the day, Zapatero was spending at least as much time playing his own cards as he was sweating his friend and neighbour Sergio Aido, who invariably plays a high variance line. Aido was actually all in and covered by Ronny Voth towards the end of Level 21, but Aido had made a flush with his 8♥9♥ on a board of 6♥5♥4♦K♥8♠. Voth paid him off with 7♠8♦, doubling Aido to nearly 800,000 and crippling Voth.

Voth didn't recover and went out in 40th, but Aido has gone from strength to strength. Zapatero is now sitting at the same table as Aido and will be looking over at 1,280,000.

Both of them, however, now trail Hossein Ensan, who has about 1.7 million at this stage. Ensan, who is sitting at the same table as Carlo Citrone and Jorma Nuutinen, is considerably more animated than most players: standing up, going through exercises and building his stack as he builds his abs. Ensan is over 50 (he has won a seniors event this season) but could pass for someone in his 30s, both in his appearance and style of play.

He has headphones clamped over each ear, with a flashing blue light warding off conversationalists, and dark shades over his eyes. It's all working for him today.

The other big mover of today is Sam Chartier, who began the afternoon on the feature table and managed to double his overnight stack to about 1.2 million. Chartier was the chip leader at the end of Day 2, took a bit of a hit when sitting next to Aido on Day 3, but is heading in the right direction again now.

The other reliable presence towards the top of the charts is the man in black, Nuutinen. The Finn, whose table demeanour combines apparent existential fury and almost insulted indifference, has close to 1.2 million and is content to continue to do his thing without any histrionics whatsoever.

We still have three former champions involved as well. Robin Ylitalo has about 1.2 million, Dominik Panka has about 400,000 and Jannick Wrang 400,000.

Selcted counts:

Hossein Ensan - 1.7 million
Sergio Aido - 1.3 million
Robin Ylitalo - 1.2 million
Sam Chartier - 1.2 million
Jorma Nuutinen - 1.1 million
Javier Garcia Zapatero - 970,000
Fedor Holz - 950,000

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 starts at 1pm. 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