The bubble was fast in getting here on day two, and as players dropped out it seemed there was no let up in the pace of eliminations. That was until the last hour or so which turned from a shooting range into a slow campaign of attrition – few all-ins and the ones that came along tended to be double ups, punctuated (if the player was an Italian) by loud cheers from a partisan rail.

The clock seemed stuck on 33 players with just five minutes remaining. Tournament director Thomas Kremser called time and announced there would be five more hands. Turns out that was plenty of time to lose two players.

Jonas Klausen, who earlier this week had contended a table featuring Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu, took out 33rd place finisher PokerStars qualifier Anthony Spinella with pocket kings, breaking the deadlock. Then in the opposite corner of the room it was typically Team PokerStars Pro Dario Minieri’s table providing the last minute drama when Alessandro De Michele of Italy moved in on a board reading 8-7-A-T.

“If I fold will you show?” asked Dario, getting a vague and generalised reply that was neither a yes or a no. Either way it was 133k more.


Team PokerStars Pro Dario Minieri… before the joy

Dario counted it out and called. Then De Michele looked disappointed all of a sudden, showing K-8. Dario slammed his victory cards onto the table showing A-Q, putting him ahead. When the river card eight was dealt Dario banged the table, letting the adrenaline flow moments before his railbirds’ victory roar rumbled in.

Kara Scott and the video blog team have a wrap up of the day…

It left 31 players from a day that is always hard to predict. Whilst day two’s bring with them the memory of a successful day one, they present a whole new range of barriers before the money comes into play. The gallant effort to get this far is quickly turned on its head as the short stacks are looked upon to do the decent thing.


Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu

Daniel Negreanu started with the toughest of objectives, to survive the day from the starting point of around 10k. It looked good at one stage, an early double up got him back on track but it would all end with A-K against A-Q a short time later, when the wretched queen turned up on the flop.

Whilst Luca Pagano’s day one was prosperous, his day two might be one he’d rather forget. He was dented and bruised by the first break, victim to a couple of hands that would ultimately lead to his exit before the dinner break.


Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano on the way out

It was a different story for his friend and countryman Team PokerStars Pro Dario Minieri, who had a Veni Vidi Vici day with the support of a few dozen Italian friends, who made the noise of a few thousand Italian friends. He flipped up and down over nine hours, taking huge pots one minute before losing huge ones the next, ending the day on the crest of one of these tidal surges. We’ll wait and see if that wave breaks tomorrow.

One casualty of the stormy weather was Team PokerStars Pro Raymond Rahme. The South African’s persistence saw him through the ugly moments (mainly against Minieri) to a point where he’d mustered his forces to the 140k mark. But the wear and tear of a volatile table took its toll, sending Rahme out in 43rd position for € 9,600.

PokerStars qualifiers and Sponsored players also put in solid performances today, notably Jason Mercier from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, who ended the day as chip leader on 684k. The 21 year old is on his first trip to Europe having only previously ever played the PCA. Worth the trip then – there’s good pizza here and he starts day three as chip leader a long way from where he started on just 24,300.

Danish PokerStars qualifier Jonas Klausen closed out the day alongside Mercier finishing on 589k, whilst across the way PokerStars Sponsored players Johannes Strassmann and Jan Heitmann left themselves in strong positions to do well tomorrow.


Eric Koskas and William Thorson looking on

Day three looks likely to throw together some interesting tables with the likes of Todd Brunson, William Thorson, Peter Roche, Anthony Lellouche, Eric Koskas, Markus Golser, Isaac Baron and Mark Sowers all still in the running – those last two guys labelled the top two internet players in the world, according to their pal Brandon Schaefer. PokerStars qualifier Ville Nyman started the day as chip leader. He made it through to tomorrow but will begin at the other end of the chip counts on 61k.

You can find a full list of chip counts for the 31 remaining players here.

We intended to play to 32, or a full nine levels, but in the end those two landmarks occurred at the same time. Tomorrow we’ll continue until just eight players remain, and that will be with the added pressure of a TV table, as the EPT Live Team pick up from where we left it tonight.


One of the biggest prize pools in EPT history is right there to play for. EPT Live coverage starts at 3pm local time. You can find the live video by clicking here, or on the links posted on the blog tomorrow.
That’s for tomorrow. To catch up on all that took place today, as well as the video blogs and photos of the action, click on the links below…

Players return for day 2

High and dry for Daniel Negreanu

Ups and downs for Italy’s finest

Raymond Rahme taking it to the opposition

Judging books by their results

Into the money

The best way to win an EPT

The deft and the defeated

End of the road for Raymond Rahme

Next Story!!