EPT11 Malta: Smit and Wintel, two of the last 23

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There's nowhere to hide when you're down to the last 23 players and on the penultimate day of a European Poker Tour Main Event. But for Dennis Kaj Smit, he won't be panicking despite a 13 big blind stack. The one word he uses to describe his tournament so far is "swingy".

The 25 year old from Hoogeveen, in The Netherlands, plays hyper turbos online for a living ("I don't have any other job, so I guess that means I'm a professional," he says) and the volatility of that format has followed him into this event too.

He got off to a good start and bagged 88,500 at the end of Day 1 and began Day 3 with 153,800. But he found himself "fortunate" to survive into the money. He was all in on the stone bubble, three-bet shoving a Fedor Holz open. The WCOOP champion folded, keeping Smit in the tournament but missing out on a double up.

Did he have it? "Of course," he says.

He has been up to 1 million in chips yesterday, and then down to his present stack of 342,000, which is 11 big blinds in the 15,000-30,000 level. "I guess that when you're still in with 23 left, it's a good," he says.

Ah, and with slightly less than perfect timing, Smit has just busted this event in 21st place, earning €27,200. This was only his second EPT Main Event and, having cashed in Prague as well, is now two-from-two.

Smit shares shared a table today with Rudolf Wintel, who, at 59, is the oldest player still in the field. Wintel wasn't fooling anybody with his insistence that he was 31 -- his table-mates chuckled -- but he has been unafraid to mix it with the kids this week.

Wintel, from Saarbrueken in Germany, has recorded poker results dating from 2004 and in 2007 won the second-biggest event held during the EPT festival in Baden. As Julian Thew was swanning off with the EPT Main Event title, Zintel picked up €110,660 for winning the €2,000 event that week. He knows what he's doing.

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