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Pepe, Karr in Charge for Day 3 at WPT Grand Prix
After a short Day 2 that ended even before the dinner break, Frenchman Franck Pepe and American McLean Karr have staked their claims as favorites for the title at the WPT Grand Prix de Paris.
Pepe has worked his way into a small but ever-important chip lead, bagging up 432,000 as he looks to improve on his runner-up finish at WPT Amneville last year.
He’ll head into Day 3 tomorrow at the Aviation Club de France in Paris with a 31k chip advantage over the next-biggest stack of Christophe Lesage (401k).
Rounding out the top five in chips are Dori Yacoub from Lebanon (370k), Alexandre “kryptx00” Brivot from France (340k) and Day 2 chip leader from Finland, Mikko Sundell (334k).
Sixth in chips at 323k, and maybe the player with the most momentum coming into Day 3, is American McLean Karr.
Not only did Karr bust both Jason Mercier and Ludovic Lacay in a single hand today, he’s shown repeatedly over the last year that he knows how to close out poker tournaments.
Karr took down the Parx Open Classic Main Event for $74k and the Asian Poker King No Limit Hold'em High Roller event in Macau for $103k last month alone.
He also won the WPT Vienna No Limit Hold'em High Roller in March of this year for $263k and the EPT London Turbo High Roller event in October 2010 for $423k.
Also in the field of 61 players that will return for Day 3 and above average in chips are noted pro Matt Waxman, 2010 EPT Grand Final winner Ivan Freitez, Frenchman Guillaume Darcourt, 888 Poker pro Tyler Bonkowski and poker icon Joe Cassidy.
Knocked out over the course of Day 2 play today were Joe Ebanks, David Vamplew, 2011 WSOP November Niner Sam Holden, Natalia Nikitina, Joe Cheong, Mike Sexton and Sorel Mizzi.
Play will start up again at 2 p.m. tomorrow in Paris with the intention of making it down to the final 27 players.
Follow the live updates on the WPT site here.