Annette15 endures in EPT finale

Annette Obrestad
Annette Obrestad pulled herself off the mat to salvage a tough Day 3 in Monaco.

They're in the money and beyond at the European Poker Tour Grand Final in Monaco.

Day 3 action at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel and Resort saw a starting field of 138 players whittled down to just 31 over seven levels of play.

Among those still in the hunt with two days of competition remaining are Ludovic Lacay, Johannes Strassmann, Annette Obrestad and George Danzer.

Obrestad, for one, can count herself lucky to have survived.

The 2007 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event champion endured the toughest table draw of the day.

Obrestad shared space at the Table of Doom with such opponents as Lacay, Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano, "Miami" John Cernuto, Shooting Star Sebastian Ruthenberg and American Joe Ebanks.

It would prove a trying day for the young phenom, who saw her starting stack of 671,500 reduced to 150k before the table, mercifully, was broken.

"It was terrible," she told "I couldn't win a hand. Every time I raised, I would get re-raised and have to lay it down because I didn't have anything.

Ludovic Lacay
Owned Obrestad's soul on Friday.

"It just didn't work out. I think I three-bet four times and was four-bet twice. And I was playing two hands an hour."

Reduced to just eight big blinds by the time her table broke, Obrestad had no illusions about surviving the day.

"I was not expecting to do too well when I was moved," she said. "I was just trying to chip up for tomorrow or bust."

She would succeed in accomplishing the former, building her stack back up to around 668k without a called all-in, taking advantage of some fishy play and some aggressive shoves to take over the table.

"It feels so much better to have 600k after being down to 150k instead of building up to 900k and dropping to 600," she said.

"It was just a long day of folding."

George Danzer
It ain't no surprise!

Elsewhere, the Shooting Stars contingent continued their record of strong performances in EPT events.

EPT5 Barcelona champ Sebastian Ruthenberg and EPT5 Dortmund champ Sandra Naujoks both made deep runs before flaming out in 33rd and 36th place, respectively.

But teammates Johannes Strassmann and George Danzer remain in contention and poised to make deep runs.

"I'm not surprised [at the Shooting Stars' success]," Danzer told "There are a lot of very good players on the Shooting Stars and I think I'm one of the weaker players.

"It's a little unexpected; you have to have a little luck to go deep, but I'm not really surprised."

Danzer and Strassmann will find themselves chasing chipleaders Lacay and American Matt Woodward as play resumes tomorrow.

The EPT Grand Final will return at noon local time and continue until an eight-handed final table has been established.

You can follow along with all the day's action in the Live Tournaments section.

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