EPT12 High Roller: Final table set, Kamatakis leads elite eight
Day three of the €10,000 High Roller has so far been all about one player. That player is Iliodoros Kamatakis. The Greek entered the day with 1,230,000 and by the time the start of day field of 18 had been whittled down to 11 he'd more than trebled that stack. At that point he had more than double his nearest challenger.
By the time the unofficial final table of nine had been reached he'd dropped a few chips and Kenneth Smaron had closed in on his lead. It didn't take long to go from unofficial final table to final table as Davidi Kitai was down to around nine big blinds and lost a race with A♣J♣ against Rocco Palumbo's pocket tens to bust in ninth, earning €61,110.
The final eight players will line up as below. For Kamatakis, he's already locked up the biggest cash of his career and by the end of the day he may well also have his first tournament victory. Blinds are now 25,000/50,000 ante 5,000
|8||Vanessa Selbst||USA||Team PokerStars Pro||840,000|
The opening two levels saw plenty of action, with seven players sent packing and reducing the field to just 11. The first elimination of the day occurred less than five minutes after play started when Artem Metalidi was eliminated by Rocco Palumbo. The Ukrainian only had around seven big blinds and got them in with pocket sixes. He was dominated by Palumbo's pocket sevens though and didn't hit his two outer.
Nicholas Palma's tournament came to an end in similar fashion. He open shoved for just over six big blinds with pocket threes and was duly dispatched by Luc Greenwood who woke up with jacks. The American's exit took the field down to 16 and the final two tables. Another American would go in 15th and it was Bryan Paris who was that man and again it was pair against pair. His nines were crushed by Kenneth Smaron's pocket kings and the 4♣A♦7♠6♠T♥ board was no help and he was out in 16th earning €36,060.
By the time Mikkel Lokkegaard Hansen was eliminated in 15th place the blinds had ticked up to 15,000/30,000 ante 4,000 and it was William Foxen who was next to go. His exit was the start of Kamatakis' charge, as Foxen four-bet shoved deueces (button versus small bind) for right around 27 big blinds and Kamatakis called off with nines. Yet again the dominating pair held up and we were down to thirteen.
There was, at this stage, no stopping Kamatakis as he was the executioner once more, sending Greenwood to the rail as the Canadian's A♣J♦ failed to spike against the Greek's pocket kings. The theme of the day then was the best hand holding up in the all-in situations.
This left two six-handed tables, but not for long as shortly afterwards Mihails Morozovs got his final 11.5 big blinds in the middle with A♣Q♣ and was racing for his tournament life against Jaroslaw Sikora's pocket eights. It's the time of year for snowmen and the pair won the race on a T♦5♦8♠J♠A♠ board.
Not long after the players returned from the first break of the day the field was reduced to the final ten and it was Aleksandr Denisov who fell in 11th spot. He found himself down to about four big blinds and they went in with A♦4♥. He was in a bad spot though as Kamatakis (who else) had him dominated with A♥9♣. The J♠9♥3♦ flop left him drawing thin and after the 8♦ turn he was drawing dead.
With ten left Kenneth Smaron doubled through Ihar Soika with A♣9♥ against K♥Q♥ and that meant that the American had more chips than Kevin MacPhee when they played an all-in about 30 minutes later. MacPhee four-bet all-in for around 900,000 (22.5 big blinds) with A♣J♦ and Smaron snapped him off with A♥K♦. The J♣5♠T♠ flop gave MacPhee the lead, but the Q♥ turn saw Smaron re-take the lead, which he held on 3♠ river.
It's shaping up to be a fascinating final table, a reminder below of the prizes on offer:
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