EPT12 Malta: Mukal Pahuja leads High Rollers heading into final day

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Mukal Pahuja

It was a long day for the High Roller players today. Ten levels were scheduled and only nine were played but, due to a long protracted bubble period, the day still lasted 12.5 hours.

The remaining 19 players will return at 12:30pm CET and play this thing out, led by Mukul Pahuja who bagged up 1,488,000 after winning a big pot at the end of the night. He three-bet Mikita Badziakouski with pocket aces and managed to get an extra two streets of value out him (before he mucked on the river) on a board containing two jacks. Vladimir Dobrovolskiy closed the day a close second with 1,389,000. A lot of his chips came in the last level of the night when he flopped two pair versus David Yan and then won a half-million chip pot when eliminating Przemyslaw Piotrowski, his pocket kings surviving against the Pole's ace-king.

The bubble period dominated the period before and after the dinner break. Overnight chip leader Adrian Mateos fell two short of the money when his pocket jacks couldn't stay ahead of Bryn Kenney's king-queen in a 80 big blind pot, then followed a hand for hand play lasted more than two hours.

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Bubble boy Roberts

Tension and tiredness built as there were no all-in showdowns until Brian Roberts bubbled. He was down to less than a big blind when he called all in under-the-gun with ace-ten. He had to get past Sean Winter and Roberto Romanello but couldn't beat the latter's pocket fives and departed.

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Mercier had the bubble fear today

Two Team PokerStars Pros made the money but failed to make Day 3. Jason Mercier was the second shortest stack on the bubble and was at risk of bubbling a third event of the festival but he just crept into the money (30th for €17,930) and was joined by Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier who was one of the last to bust today (21st for €22,000).

The full overnight chip counts are:

NameCountryChips
Mukul PahujaUSA1488000
Vladimir DobrovolskiyRussia1389000
Byron KavermanUSA1147000
Patrick UzanFrance775000
Mikita BadziakouskiBelarus698000
Bryn KenneyUSA690000
Ezequiel KleinmanArgentina530000
Martin FingerGermany506000
Senh UngUK393000
Sean WinterUSA343000
Kevin MacPheeUSA332000
Ihar SoikaBelarus324000
Roberto RomanelloUK316000
Leslie PackerUK280000
Igor YaroshevskyyUkraine278000
David YanNew Zealand265000
Mikalai VaskaboinikauBelarus262000
Dominik NitscheGermany258000
David PetersUSA216000

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.

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Marc Convey
@The_Conv in European Poker Tour