EPT12 Malta: Roberts leaves empty handed after long High Roller bubble

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Roberts was down to fumes when he busted

A frustrating bubble period has finally come to an end in the EPT Malta High Roller event. The unfortunate player to bust was Brian Roberts, out after his lost his final few chips to former EPT Champion Roberto Romanello.

In total, the bubble lasted just over two hours with a 75-minute dinner break thrown in the middle for good measure. As ever, hand for hand play started one away from the money after start of day chip leader Adrian Mateos busted in 32nd. The last ten minutes of the level played out with one all in showdown. After the dinner break, the whole of Level 17 passed with out a single all in and call. Then the Tournament Directors decided it was unfair to raise the blinds twice on the bubble, so they paused the clock. Another hour passed without an all in and call before the bubble burst to relief of the visibly drained players.


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One reason for the lack of big pots resulting in all ins was the fact that four players were super-short, Roberts and Jason Mercier being two of them. The Team PokerStars Pro had already stone-bubbled three events this festival and was edgy as he must've feared a fourth was a real possibility.

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Mateos just missed out

Let's take it all the way back to before dinner and the soft bubble of Adrian Mateos. The Spaniard entered the day as clear chip leader, the only player who had turned his 50,000-starting stack into one worth more than 300,000. He played with confidence today but, once at a tricky table sandwiched Mercier and Felix Stephesen, slid back somewhat. He still had 40 big blinds when he busted though but was in no mood to fold when battling with Kenney, both having big hands on the button and in the small blind respectively.

Kenney raised to 13,000 from the button with K♣Q♣ before Mateos three-bet to 40,000 from the small blind with J♣J♥. Kenney wasted little time in setting his opponent all in for his last 240,000 and Mateos quickly called off but couldn't hold as the board ran Q♠T♥5♦T♣A♦.

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Nick Petrangelo & Iacopo Brandi battle on the bubble

Before the players headed off for dinner, Nick Petrangelo tried to burst the bubble when he had Iacopo Brandi all in but the Italian dominated and doubled. Petrangelo limped in with K♠Q♠ and called when Brandi shoved with A♥K♣. The board ran a blank 3♣J♦J♣8♦4♣.

Fast-forward around three hours and Roberts committed his last 6,000 chips (bb 8,000) from under the gun and had customers in Sean Winter and Romanello in the blinds. The flop spread K♣6♥4♦ and Winters check-folded to Romanello's 20,000-bet.

"Wow, great protection!" said a player from another table after the hands were revealed.

Romanello: 5♦5♥
Roberts: A♦T♣

The J♥ turn opened up more outs for Roberts but he commented, "It's not coming, just give him the chips!" He wasn't wrong as the 2♠ river confirmed his exit.

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Tough, slow death for Roberts

After the hand the players were given a short break to recharge and when they returned to action the TD's told them that, due to the extended nature of the bubble, play would end one level earlier than scheduled. Therefore they would play two more levels, for nine total in the day, bag up and come back to play to a winner tomorrow.

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