McClung Lays Sick Beat to Keep Lead at EPT San Remo

Christopher McClung
Chris McClung.

Canadian pro Chris McClung started and ended Day 4 at EPT San Remo with the chip lead, but it took a brutal beat he laid on Joe Cheong to keep him there.

McClung sits at 3.14 million in chips and leads the final 24 players heading into Day 5 with a substantial edge over Australian pro Daniel Neilson in second at 2.01 million.

He essentially has all of Cheong’s chips to thank for the advantage.

The devastating hand for Cheong came late in the day when, after Mustapha Kanit opened the pot to 41,000, McClung three-bet to 104,000.

Cheong four-bet to 220,000 from the cut-off. Kanit thought about it and folded but McClung shipped in over the top for what amounted to the rest of Cheong’s chips – about a million more.

Cheong snap-called with KK and McClung had to turn over Q 7.

Luckily for McClung, he had a flush by the turn and Cheong’s chips in his stack by the river, putting him in a great position to make a run for the final table when action resumes tomorrow.

Strong competition awaits however as several big names are still in contention.

Sitting third in chips is the aforementioned Kanit, the 2011 IPT Nova Gorica champ, who’ll hit Day 5 with 1.76 million. Fourth in chips is Italian Alessio Isaia with 1.52 million

Canadian pro Kevin "ImaLuckSac" MacPhee (1.44 million), Hendon Mobster Barny Boatman (1.25 million) and PokerStars pro Johnny Lodden (1.22 million) round out the top seven.

Also notably surviving to see tomorrow are Lex Veldhuis (877k), 2011 WSOPE Europe Main Event champ Elio Fox (377k) and former EPT champ Mike “Timex” McDonald (292k).

Big names busting out today along with Cheong included Vanessa Selbst, EPT founder John Duthie, David Bach and 888 Poker pro Tyler Bonkowski.

The 24 remaining players will play down to the final eight starting at 2 pm tomorrow from Casino San Remo. Check the PokerStars blog for ongoing chip counts and live updates.

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