EPT12 Malta: Main Event field cut in half in double quick time

The plan for today in the Main Event is to play five 90 minute levels or down to 16 players, whichever comes first. Right now it looks like being the latter as the field of 40 has been reduced to just 20 in a little over two levels of play...

Mid-day update

Sometimes the latter stages of the Main Event go slow and sometimes they go fast. Today the speedometer has been stuck at light speed. In just over three hours of play 20 players have been eliminated.

Leading the way right now is Swedish pro Alexander Ivarsson. He led at end of Day 2, was second at the end of play yesterday and has, on Day 4, increased his stack of 1,306,000 to 2,208,000. But that's not really the full story, he was down to 825,000 at the end of the opening level and was ninth of the 28 remaining players.


Ivarsson has bounced back to lead

The second level of the day went far better for the Swede, who finished 24th here in Season 11 back in March. Flopping top set with aces against Niall Farrell helped and by the time level 21 came to an end his was behind only Faraz Jaka and had built his stack back up to 1,886,000. Since then Ivarsson has taken another chunky pot from Farrell whilst Jaka has dropped to 1,421,000.

Other notables left in the Main Event include: Sam Greenwood, Darell Goh (who won the IPT High Roller earlier this week), Daniel Dvoress and Kitty Kuo.


Greenwood is enjoying another deep run in Malta

Full Chip counts

Below are the counts of all 20 remaining players, they're about 25% of the way through Level 22 in which the blinds are 8,000/16,000 ante 2,000. Due to the rapid elimination of players the average stack is 976,500 which equates to a little over 61 big blinds.

Alexander IvarssonSwedenPokerStars player2,208,000
Giulio SpampinatoItaly 1,840,000
Sam GreenwoodCanadaPokerStars player1,738,000
Faraz JakaUSAPokerStars qualifier1,421,000
Jaroslaw SikoraPolandPokerStars player1,404,000
Niall FarrellUKPokerStars player1,385,000
Darrell GohIreland 1,360,000
Alen BilicBosnia and HerzegovinaPokerStars player1,060,000
Nabil CardosoSpain 1,058,000
Gianluca EscobarItaly 1,037,000
Daniel DvoressCanadaPokerStars qualifier886,000
Michael HoCanada 831,000
Ferdinand Le PichonFrance 592,000
Antonio ChemiItaly 519,000
Rainer KempeGermanyPokerStars qualifier487,000
Apostolos BechrakisGreecePokerStars qualifier462,000
Bjorn GeissertGermanyPokerStrars player436,000
Kitty KuoTaiwanPokerStars qualifier348,000
Akim AouineFrance 238,000
Natasha BarbourUSA 168,000


Darrell Goh (left) and Daniel Dvoress (right)

Notable eliminations

Only one place to start in this section sadly. As we reported yesterday Team PokerStars Pro Johnny Lodden scored a record breaking 21st Main Event cash when the bubble burst on Day 3. He was in the middle of the pack when play started today but busted out in 29th place. He was actually one of two players knocked out in the same hand when he was involved in a three-way all-in on the feature table 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.


Lodden - entertained and enthralled

He's not the only big name to hit the rail today and many of those that have are now playing the €10,000 High Roller.

First man out today was Paul Berende his pocket sevens well and truly trounced by Nabil Cardoso's A♣Q♥ when the flop came T♠J♦K♦. Bryn Kenney had his kings cracked by Erik Scheidt's ace-king (ace on the flop) to finish 34th, Ivan Luca lost a race with ace-queen against Shannon Shorr's pocket tens to crash out in 33rd and Thomas Muehloecker followed shortly afterwards in 32nd.

There will be no double EPT winner here in Malta, Mike McDonald was the last remaining Main Event champion remaining and, as we reported, he busted in 27th place with most of the damage done in a pot against Ferdinand Le Pichon. The big name bust outs didn't stop there as Anton Bertilsson, who finished runner-up at EPT11 Prague, went in 23rd and Shannon Shorr exited in 22nd.


Kings cracked means no King Kenney

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