As JP Kelly was just telling Laura Cornelius a short while ago, his Day 5 had been a battle, with a couple of hands in particular versus Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov — one won, one lost — an emblem of sorts of his up-and-down struggles as the field was carved down from 16 to 10.
Kelly’s end came not too terribly long after in Level 25, making him a 10th-place finisher in his first EPT Main Event in several years for a €41,200 payday.
Kelly first cashed in an EPT Main Event way back in 2006 at EPT3 Barcelona where he finished 24th. He’d make the money again in Main Events at EPT6 London (58th), EPT7 Vilamoura (29th), EPT7 Copenhagen (41st), and EPT8 Berlin (70th), never getting as close to an EPT final table as he did this week in northern France
Back from that last break and sitting on a below-average stack of 1.046 million (about 35 big blinds), Kelly watched fellow Brit Eli Heath raise his button to 45,000 and Katchalov call from the small blind. Kelly responded with a big blind squeeze to 190,000, then Heath made it 390,000 and Katchalov folded. Kelly paused a beat then pushed all in, and Heath was there with the call.
A “classic race situation” ensued as the EPT Live commentators’ styled it, with Kelly needing to improve his A♦K♠ to survive versus Heath’s 8♦8♠. The community cards weren’t agreeable for Kelly, however, coming but six-high, and soon he was tweeting the news to his followers.
10th. AK v 88 thx for support
— JP Kelly (@JP_Kelly5) January 31, 2014
Nine remain, now reassembled around a single table, and with one more elimination play will conclude for the night. Sotirios Koutoupas has kept the lead all day, and now sits with just over 5 million with Katchalov his nearest challenger with a little over 3 million.
Follow our coverage of the Main Event at EPT Deauville by heading to the main EPT Deauville page. There’s hand-by-hand coverage in the top panel, plus chip counts, and feature pieces below. Follow the High Roller on the High Roller page. EPT Live is also on, so tune in there for a close-up view of the action.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.