European Poker Tour Berlin Day 3

It’s been a slow week for poker news both online and in the U.S., but things have only started to heat up over in Europe where the EPT Berlin tournament just finished Day 3. As we reported yesterday, Day 2 ended with Frenchman Fabrice Soulier well in the lead. Not only did Soulier lose his lead, but he fared so poorly today that he fell toward the back of the pack going into Day 4. The new big stack is Daniel Gai Pidun whose super hot winning streak has him sitting on a pile of chips numbering nearly 2.5 million.

Unlike yesterday, though, Pidun’s competitors aren’t nearly as far behind with two other players topping the 2 million chip mark going into Day 4. Day 3’s field of 119 players was packed with talent with a total of six returning EPT champs among them, but by the end of Day 4 none of those repeat title hopefuls had survived. That’s not to say that all the notables were weeded out, though.

Team PokerStars pro Henrique Pinho is not only still in the running, his chip stack puts him in the sixth position. He’s got four teammates still on the board, too, including Ben Wilinofsky with the third stack and Jeff Hakim who’s sitting toward the back but surviving nonetheless. Two-time EPT runner-up Martin Jacobson also deserves a mention, though it looks like he may once again fall short of a title win unless he pulls out some serious short-stack skills tomorrow.

With only 24 players returning tomorrow, it’s hard to make predictions, and the close chip counts only make it that much harder to name odds-on favorites. That said, the top ten is always a fair indicator of who will survive Day 4 to proceed to the final table. Here, for your edification, are the 2011 EPT Berlin’s top ten players leaving Day 3:

Daniel-Gai Pidun – 2,429,000

Maximilian Heinzelmann – 2,140,000

Ben Wilinofsky – 2,046,000

Kristijonas Andrulis – 1,650,000

Joep Van den Bijgaary – 1,454,000

Henrique Pinho – 1,282,000

Armin Mette – 1,230,000

Rodin Ylitalo – 1,221,000

Cuello Jorge Mariano – 1,060,000

Darren Kramer – 1,004,000

By now the payouts are up to a more respectable €20,000, but after three grueling days of play it seems unlikely that any of the remaining 24 competitors would be happy to leave with anything less than a final table title and payout. With a total prize pool of €3.5 million, the eventual winner will obviously pocket a pretty tidy fortune of €825,000 (well over $1.1 million).

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