The Day 5 starting field of 21 players was particularly open this morning, with only a couple of definite short stacks and even fewer players comfortable at the top. The vast majority started with between one and two million in chips, meaning that any major skirmishes could vault the victor into contention and send the loser out the door. All were both vulnerable yet poised to pounce.
As we now approach the mid-point of the day, the most high-profile players to have departed are Sergio Aido Espina, who previously had the fifth-largest stack in the room, Jeff Sarwer, who had one of the biggest reputations, and Dany Parlafes, who was many commentators’ tip for the top. There was also a brutal beat for Mads Amot, which accounted for one of our two Norwegians.
Oddly, all of those players seemed to take pots off of one another, leaving them all in peril. And then when it came to the crunch, they couldn’t win the big all ins for their tournament lives and were sent packing.
Sarwer lost an enormous pot with pocket aces (he has done that before in major tournaments) and was out soon after in 18th (€25,000). The problem for Espina was that Sarwer had taken some of his chips shortly before busting, leaving the Spanish player with a short stack. He soon ran into Mark Herm‘s pocket queens and was out.
Mikhail Petrov, who had cracked Sarwer’s aces with pocket sevens, then found queens to bust Jose Manuel Nadal. But then when Parlafes found queens, he couldn’t out-race Sotirios Koutoupas‘s suited big slick, and he was gone in 15th.
Prior to that flurry of action among the medium stacks, we had lost the two legitimate shorties. Roberto Romanello‘s slim hopes of an unprecedented EPT Prague double couldn’t last a single orbit. Pocket tens won him this tournament two years ago, and they would be the last cards he played this time too, only he lost with them to Amot’s pocket jacks.
Iosif Beskrovnyy went next, also losing a race with a small pocket pair. At one point Beskrovnyy had looked like achieving a remarkable wire-to-wire success – he had led days one and two – but was vanquished in 20th for €25,000.
Back for a moment to Amot, though, who must have thought he would be doubling up when he flopped a set of eights and got it all in against Mariusz Klosinski‘s pocket kings. But a third king rivered to send Amot out and vault Klosinski through three million.
Throughout all this, the overnight big stacks Ben Warrington, Ramzi Jelassi et al stayed remarkably calm and out of danger. They consolidated their two million plus stacks and allowed the carnage to happen around them.
Warrington caught up with Kristy Arnett of PokerStars.tv to let her know how his day has been progressing.
There will significantly more action as we continue the search for eight. Remember, you can watch all this unravel on EPTLive and follow all the hand-by-hand action on the main EPT Prague page of PokerStars Blog.