EPT12 Malta: Ivarsson goes deep again; leads final 16 in Main Event

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Ivarsson leads the final 16

Seven months is a long time in poker, a long time to think about bluffing off a stack deep in an EPT Main Event. Back in March at this very stage of the EPT11 Malta Main Event Alexander Ivarsson made a bold move, a big bluff on the last hand of Day 4 of the Main Event. It didn't end well. Tonight he's made it one hand and (at least) eight places further. What's more he has the chip lead.

The Swede bagged up 2,418,000 to lead the last 16. It's a position he's becoming familiar with having led at the end of Day 2. He began today second in chips but it wasn't a smooth ascent to the top of the chip counts, to go up he first had to go down. He was never in serious trouble - his low point of 815,000 equated to 68 big blinds - but it was over half a million less than he started the day with.

Under the glare of the #EPTLive cameras he bounced back winning two big pots against Niall Farrell, one where he got tricky when he flopped top set, to climb back to the top. He then took a chunk out of Faraz Jaka, forcing the latter to fold jacks on a ten high board when he set him all-in on the river. It certainly wasn't the path of least resistance.


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When play starts tomorrow it'll be the same players as today who occupy the top two spots, just with the roles reversed as Ivarsson has a narrow lead from Jaroslaw Sikora. This is how the final 16 will stack up with 41 minutes and 46 seconds left at the 10,000/20,000 ante 3,000 level:

NameCountryChips
Alexander IvarssonSweden2,418,000
Jaroslaw SikoraPoland2,300,000
Niall FarrellUnited Kingdom1,902,000
Rainer KempeGermany1,726,000
Giulio SpampinatoItaly1,725,000
Gianluca EscobarItaly1,537,000
Nabil CardosoSpain1,175,000
Bjorn GeissertGermany1,103,000
Alen BilicBosnia & Herzegovina1,000,000
Daniel DvoressCanada986,000
Sam GreenwoodCanada970,000
Antonio ChemiItaly804,000
Darrell GohIreland793,000
Kitty KuoTaiwan510,000
Apostolos BechrakisGreece290,000
Akim AouineFrance250,000

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Farrell's flying high

There are some talented players among the final two tables. Sam Greenwood is aiming to reach his second big final table of the festival - he finished sixth in the €25,000 High Roller, whilst Niall Farrell will be hoping to reach his first EPT Main Event final table having come oh so close in London in Season 9 (10th) and Barcelona in Season 10 (15th). Throw in the likes of Daniel Dvoress, Kitty Kuo and Darrell Goh - won won the IPT High Roller earlier this week - and it's shaping up nicely.

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Let's go Kuo

But today was ultimately the day of the big name bust out, and they don't come much bigger than Johnny Lodden. The Team PokerStars Pro recorded a record 21st EPT Main Event cash with his 29th place finish here but you sense he'll be disappointed not to go further. His exit hand was caught live at the feature table and he was involved in a three-way all-in that looked like this:

Lodden: T♣8♣
Mikko Turtiainen: Q♥Q♦
Jaroslaw Sikora: A♣A♥

The 9♠J♦J♥ flop actually gave Lodden a few outs, although queens would be no good. The K♥ turn and 4♥ river though meant Lodden and Turtiainen were both eliminated.

Still how's this for an EPT résumé:

-Cashed in 10 straight seasons (3-12)
-Cashed in 12 different countries (Malta now the 12th)
-Total number of cashes: 21
-Total amount cashed for: €1,283,182
-Best cash/result: 3rd at EPT9 Grand Final for €467,000
-Final tables: 3
-Top 20 finishes: 10

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Another deep run from the Main Event master

As alluded to above, Lodden was one of many high profile players who busted out today (many of whom have entered the €10,000 High Roller). We said goodbye to: Paul Berende (40th), Bryn Keneny (34th), Ivan Luca (33rd), Thomas Muehloecker (32nd), Mike McDonald (27th), Anton Bertilsson (23rd), Shannon Shorr (22nd) and Faraz Jaka (19th) to name a few. You can see the entire list of payouts so far here and read more about some of their bustouts here.

Day 5 starts at noon CET tomorrow and will play down at least to the final table of eight and maybe even six should time allow. Join us then, but for now good night.

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You can watch #EPTLive coverage here, whilst everything about EPT Malta is on the main EPT Malta page. More specifically, all the side event coverage can be found here.

Begin plotting your own bid for EPT glory by downloading the PokerStars client and having a crack. Follow this EPT event via the EPT app. There you will get all the latest news, chip counts and payouts. You can download it on Android or IOS


Nick Wright
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour