The third day of play at the Casino Hohensyburg outside of the coal mining city of Dortmund began with a field of 149 players competing for 40 spots on the cashier's ledger. Leading a reasonably well-stocked field was one Chabot Cyrille, while also in contention as action began at the crack of 3 p.m. were here.
The beginning of the tournament's 12th level saw the departure of a number of big names, most notably Annette Obrestad and Daniel Negreanu. Obrestad was eliminated after trying to pull off a squeeze play with 9-8 off-suit and getting looked up by Johannes Strassmann, who tabled A-Q. The board brought no help for young Annette15 and there you have it.
Negreanu had a trying day, complaining of slow-rolling tablemates and falling prey to some fishy moves before finally committing the last of his short stack with four to a flush and failing to hit against an opponent who'd called him down with naught but a pair.
Fellow PokerStars player Katja Thater managed to make it work until just after the dinner break, when even a mealtime interview with PokerListings.com's own Marty Derbyshire could not help the German pro avoid a tough loss. No doubt to her chagrin, Thater got all-in for her last $50,000 with A-K against Cyrille Chabot's pocket fours. The flop brought an ace to give Thater the lead, but the turn was a dagger four and Chabot recovered the advantage, sending Thater to the rail just 18 spots from the money.
Play slowed considerably after Thater's elimination, but while the field idled its way toward the money, young Canadian Mike "Timex" McDonald was amassing a substantial stack that suddenly became a monster after he took down the biggest pot of the tournament so far.
In the hand, McDonald raised from late position and saw Mats Erik Ireman re-pop from in the blinds. McDonald, holding over $200,000 in his stack, put Ireman all-in for his last $140,000 and after some serious tankage, the Swede made the call with pocket jacks to Timex's K♦ Q♦. It was a race, and after the flop came Q♣ 7♦ 2♠ McDonald took the lead. The board finished out Q♥ 5♣ and Ireman was out while McDonald was chip leader.
A few minutes later, Brandon Schaeffer burst the money bubble when he sent Stefan Wrenger to the rail in 41st place. Wrenger got all-in on a Q♣ T♣ 5♣ board with middle set and saw Schaeffer call with Q-10 for top two, putting himself in a great position to double up. The turn, however, brought another queen and Schaeffer made the boat to win the hand and send Wrenger packing.
Shortly afterward, action commenced on the eighth and final level of the night. Before the surviving 40 players could play their 60 minutes, however, they'd managed to eliminate eight more players and thus earn themselves an early dismissal.
Johannes Strassmann would personally take care of Ramzi Jelassi and another unlucky player after a three-way all-in that saw Jelassi in with pocket aces, Russell Carson with pocket fours and Strassmann covering with pocket tens. The board was a heartbreaker, coming 9-5-2-4-10 to give Carson the set but Strassmann the better set.
Carson, Jelassi and 33rd-place Thor Hansen all earned €9,500 for their finish, while the 32 survivors will return tomorrow at 3 p.m. local time to play down to the final table. Spain's Diego Perez Marco is chip leader with $361,600 closely tailed by Canadian McDonald with $335,700, while also in contention are Strassmann ($276,400), Schaefer ($202,300), Marcel Luske ($123,000), Dan Carter ($105,900), Christian Harder ($101,900) and Steve Jelinek ($57,700). Tune in tomorrow for the thrilling almost-conclusion!
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