The 2021 PokerStars EPT Prague €5,300 Main Event is one step closer to crowning a champion. After five levels of 90 minutes each, the 1,190 entry strong field has been cut down to the final 42 hopefuls in the King's Casino at the Hilton Hotel Prague. Three EPT champions of the popular live poker circuit remain in contention to potentially become the third two-time winner and this also includes Hossein Ensan, who lifted the coveted trophy back in 2015.
However, it is South Korea's Gab Yong Kim at the top of the leaderboard with a stack of 2,300,000. Kim knows what it takes to run deep in the marquee event in the capital of the Czech Republic as he finished 9th for €74,770 in the last live edition back in 2019. Trailing Kim by only five big blinds is Dawid Kuliberda (2,200,000) while Demetrio Caminita follows not far behind with 1,850,000.
EPT Prague €5,300 Main Event Day 3 Top 10 Chip Counts
|Position||Player||Country||Chip Count||Big Blinds|
|1||Gab Yong Kim||South Korea||2,300,000||115|
|4||Duco ten Haven||Netherlands||1,550,000||78|
|7||David Huspeka||Czech Republic||1,350,000||68|
|9||Jack Sinclair||United Kingdom||1,230,000||62|
The overnight top ten also includes Dutch High Roller Teun Mulder (1,510,000) and the 2018 WSOP Europe Main Event champion Jack Sinclair (1,230,000). Dimitar Danchev leads the trio of former EPT Main Event winners with a stack of 845,000, followed by Ensan (765,000) and Adrian Mateos (495,000). Fellow former champions Dominik Panka and Piotr Nurzynski were sent to the rail in the penultimate level of the night.
Notables returning for Day 4 include Armin Rezaei, Robert Heidorn, Bruno Fitoussi, Paul Tedeschi, Antoine Saout, Luigi Shehadeh and Alexandros Kolonias. PokerStars ambassador Rafael Moraes was among the 119 returning contenders but ran out of chips early on, finishing in 102nd place for €11,140. He was joined on the rail by the likes of Jorryt van Hoof, Ana Marquez, Conor Beresford, Martin Kabrhel, Masato Yokosawa, Simeon Naydenov, and Daniel Dvoress.
Moraes lost a flip to Mario Navarro when ace-king failed to catch any help against pocket tens. Kabrhel was also among the early casualties when he was unable to solve a kicker problem with a dominated ace. The popular Youtuber and GPI award winner Yokosawa saw his hopes vanish after he flopped top pair only for Boris Angelov to turn two pair.
Eventual chip leader Kim consistently added chips to his growing stack and scored several knockouts including a memorable double elimination. The biggest pot of the day was awarded to Caminita over on the feature table when Germany's Andreas Boelling got it in with top pair and the nut flush blocker.
In the late stages of the day, the pace of eliminations slowed down. High-profile casualties included the two former EPT champions Panka and Nurzynski, who departed within a few minutes from each other. Nurzynski saw his pocket aces cracked by ace-ten when Alexandre Amiel hit running cards to a straight.
The remaining 42 contenders have locked up a payday of €17,780 so far but all eyes are set on the top prize worth €1,033,520. Another three tournament days remain to crown a champion and Day 4 will commence on Monday, March 14, 2022, at noon local time. The blinds will then continue in level 22 at 10,000/20,000 and a big blind ante of 20,000.
It is expected that Day 4 will consist of five 90-minute levels while Day 5 will then play down to the official final table. PokerStars will be broadcasting the live stream action on a security delay of 30 minutes on the YouTube and Twitch channels. Furthermore, the PokerNews team will be on the floor from start to finish.