Thirty-two players, comprising the final four tables, returned to the hallowed halls of the Vic for Day 3 action, all with a mind at landing a spot among the final eight combatants by the end of the night. Leading the field into battle on Saturday afternoon was chip leader Philippe D'Auteuil, a Max Pescatori, Full Tilt pro Beth Shak and, rounding out the list at the very bottom of the chip counts, the Prince of Poker himself in Scotty Nguyen.
Scotty came in short-stacked and he wouldn't last long, running sevens into an opponent's pocket queens shortly after the commencement of play. The Prince would be joined on the rail early on by Shak and Portal, the latter of whom claimed all-important "Last Woman Standing" status before finding that status revoked after her sevens lost a race against an opponent's ace-queen.
Meanwhile, American Carter Gill was doing very little for the reputation of American youths worldwide after losing in disgraceful fashion to Lellouche, who had the audacity to call Gill's reraise while holding K♣ Q♣ in a button-versus-small blind situation and to then immediately flop two pair.
"You're a @#$%ing idiot," Gill screamed at his rival when it became apparent his all-in shove with middle pair was a grievous error. "Nice @#$%ing call pre-flop."
The hand played out and Gill was eliminated, although his disqualification from contention did little to calm the storm inside. "You @#$%ing a$$hole," he was heard to yell, systematically and utterly embarrassing himself as he beat a reluctant, violent repeat from the room.
"But it was sooted," Lellouche was not heard to reply, although he could have been forgiven for worse. Instead he took the abuse like a professional, which is not a title we'll be bestowing on Mr. Gill anytime soon.
Elsewhere, Michael Martin was doing his bit to salvage the reputation of his countrymen, playing poker with aplomb and keeping his mouth shut in the process. Martin, the second-place finisher at the 2007 Master Classics of Poker, eliminated Mizzi midway through the day in a massive pot when his sevens held against Imper1ium's K-Q.
Martin would continue to roll, sending Ian Frazer and Peter Eastgate to the rail and becoming the first player in the tournament to crack the $1 million chip barrier. Later in the day he'd send Max Pescatori to Davey Jones' locker in one of the most coolerest hands of the tournament, with the combatants getting it all-in on the turn of an A-K-J-9-5 board, Pescatori holding pocket kings to Martin's aces. Yikes!
Sixteen players would break for dinner and upon their return, would settle down to the delicate business of reducing two tables to one. Canadian Christopher Wolters returned from break with an eye toward making a run at one of those final eight seats, but what followed was a roller-coaster session of monumental proportions, brought on by rapidly escalating blinds and the natural aggression of those on the European Poker Tour.
Wolters doubled through PokerStars.com Team pro Marcin Horecki and then returned the favor by doubling Horecki up shortly thereafter. Then he nearly tripled up with trip tens against David Benyamine and Alan Smurfit, before finally finding himself eliminated at the hands of Eric Liu, who engineered a bit of suck-resuck magic with pocket kings to Wolters' A-2.
An ace on the flop gave the Canadian hope, but a king on the turn snatched it right back, eliminating dude in unlucky 13th place for £26,102.
Liu would continue his run-good by sending PokerStars pro Gualter Salles home, A-J against J-J with a cruel ace on the flop, and would cap the eliminations at the tail end of the proceedings after busting Erik Sjodin in ninth place on the TV-table bubble when his pocket kings stood up to the Swede's A-J.
Liu would finish the day second in chips with $1,308,000, only $23,000 behind another Swede, Michael Tureniec. Also surviving to see action on Day 4 are Lellouche, Martin, D'Auteuil, Strassmann, Smurfit and Horecki.
Action will resume at the final table tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. London time and continue until someone's holding a giant novelty check and a funny-looking trophy.
PokerListings.com will be here bright and early to take a look at the EPT London High Roller's event, but please believe we'll be focusing primarily on the feature attraction throughout the day. Grab some shut-eye and please hurry back - Derbyshire's gone loco and I don't feel comfortable being alone with him.
Here are the seating positions and chip counts for the final eight:
|Seat 5||Michael Tureniec||$1,331,000|
|Seat 1||Eric Liu||$1,308,000|
|Seat 4||Antony Lellouche||$1,022,000|
|Seat 8||Michael Martin||$718,000|
|Seat 3||Phillipe D'Auteuil||$476,000|
|Seat 2||Johanness Strassmann||$434,000|
|Seat 6||Alan Smurfit||$396,000|
|Seat 7||Marcin Horecki||$309,000|