Of the 85 players who started Day 2 of Eureka Croatia just eleven are still in with a shot of winning the €47,298 first prize.
And whilst all 11 will no doubt have their eyes firmly set on the prize, only one can win and the man looking most likely to be lifting the trophy is Vasileios Chantzaras from Greece. He ended on top of the pile today and he’ll take an absolutely monstrous chip lead into the final day’s play with more than double second place.
The youngster started the day with an above average 52,800 and though it took him a while to get into gear, by the end of the sixth level of today he’d nudged to the front of the pack.
Then came the pivotal hand, he picked up pocket kings at the same time as his compatriot Pontos Paniteleimon, who was second in chips, picked up pocket aces. The chips flew in and a king on the turn saw him win a 675,000 pot when the average was 160,000. From that point nothing seemed to go wrong for him and he ended the day on 1,251,000.
Whilst Chantzaras may have more than double his nearest challenger there’s plenty of talent in the chasing pack; both Ricahrd Bodis (530,000) and Carsten Luxig (511,000) have over half a million. Whilst they’re the only other two players with an above average stack there are six nationalities still in with a chance of winning, including five Croats Blinds will be 5,000 – 10,000 ante 1,000 when play re-starts.
The final 11 shape up like this:
Vasileios Chantzaras, Greece , PokerStars Qualifier, 1,251,000
Richard Bodis, Hungary, 530,000
Carsten Luxig, Germany, 511,000
Marko Gasparovic, Croatia, 312,000
Pavao Vujnovac, Croatia, 241,000
Micha Lundquist, Denmark, 228,000
Matej Marinovic, Croatia, 205,000
Andreas Leledakis, Greece, PokerStars Qualifier, 188,000
Marko Milkovic Croatia, 154,000
Carlos Jose Fibla Lopez, Spain, 151,000
Zvonko Petrovic, Croatia, 68,000
Whilst 11 prospered 74 fell and at the beginning of today all eyes were on Team PokerStars Pro Chris Moneymaker. The 2003 WSOP Main Event champion came back with 52,900 and despite a bad table draw which saw two bigger stacks perched to his left, he soon ran that up to over 80,000.
From there though the wheels fell off and he seemingly couldn’t win a pot. Despite doubling up with pocket sixes against A♥Q♠ to get back to 60,000 he lost a race for a 120,000 pot with pocket tens against Ioannis Triantafyllakis’s [A][Q] to bust shortly into the fourth level of the day.
“Overall I enjoyed this tournament, I just wished I could’ve gone deeper,” said Moneymaker after his exit.
The 11 remaining players will return at 2pm tomorrow as we play down to a winner here in Zagreb. Until then it’s goodnight from me. To catch up on all of today’s action and see who made the money click on the links below.
PokerStars Blog reporting team at Eureka Poker Tour Croatia: Nick Wright. Photos courtesy of Manuel Kovsca