It was a windy day outside on the shores of the Mediterranean in the Olympic Village in Barcelona and inside the basement of the Gran Casino the air smelled sweeter, but the crowds were just as dense on Day 2 of the first tournament of EPT4. A field of 204 survivors returned to the crowded confines of the poker facility at 5 p.m. CEDT (11 a.m. EDT/8 a.m. PDT) to play at most eight levels, and with the money looming at 56th place it promised to be a tumultuous day.
Among those returning for more action were chip leaders Daniel Stern, Thomas Wahlroos, Fabrice Soulier and Rob Hollink.
Shortly after Chan's elimination, tournament director Thomas Kremser decided to ban all poker press from the tournament floor, a necessary action given the increasingly crowded tournament area and the willingness of the EPT to give press credentials to 200 disreputable outlets along with the only reputable source in tournament coverage (obv. PokerListings.com). Thus were we banished to the rail for the remainder of the day, forced to crowd around the fringes hoping for scraps from the tables closest to the edges as though we were back in North America again.
Thankfully, by this time the bubble was approaching and Kremser announced we'd play only to 56 tonight. It wasn't with too much frustration, then, that we saw Thor Hansen, Gunnar Ostebrod and Thomas Wahlroos hit the road without having any idea how or by whom. We were, however, able to note that Fabrice Soulier had more or less all of the chips in play stacked as high as his hat brim.
The French pro was first to break the $200,000 barrier and further augmented his stack by banishing Rayan Nathan to the bar, sending the soft-spoken Australian pro home in about 66th place when he flopped a set with pocket tens and found Nathan moving all-in into him with an unlucky pocket pair of aces. Soulier would cool off, however, and wound up with $60,000 by day's end.
Paul Wasicka would be eliminated even closer to the money, busting after a strange hand that saw the player to his right move all-in blind with the big blind promising to call if the action folded around. Wasicka, possessed of barely $28,000 with the blinds at $1,200/$2,400 and looking at pocket sevens, couldn't afford to lay down the hand and made the call, only to see his opponent turn up K-Q and make a straight on the flop. Kwickfish would go out in 59th.
After some protracted hand-for-hand play that saw PokerListings.com jostle at the rail for a glimpse of every raised pot, Martin Wendt was able to put the field to bed when he got a short stack's chips with A-K against Q-8 of diamonds. A king on the turn killed the suspense and at about 1 a.m. CEDT the day was done.
The 56 remaining contenders for the €1.17 million first prize are all guaranteed at least €10,500 and will return at 5 p.m. tomorrow to play down to the final table of eight. Chip leader at day's end is Sweden's Mohamad Kowssarie with $332,200, followed by Mark Teltscher ($300,600), Patrick Bruel ($267,000) and Pete Giordano ($253,900). Also still in contention are Dag Martin Mikkelsen, John Spadevecchia, Fabrice Soulier, Michael Greco, Mark Vos and Katja Thater, who limped into the money as the sole remaining female player with just $19,200 to her name.
Action will resume tomorrow and PokerListings.com will be there. Tune in from morning to night as we bring you the most comprehensive coverage and most cringe-worthy puns throughout the tournament day. Buenos noches, as they say.