Roberto Lanero Posts Decisive Day 2 to Lead 2016 Battle of Malta

Roberto Lanero IMG 1491
Happy times for Spaniard Roberto Lanero Carrillo

Spaniard Roberto Lanero rode a late surge to the overnight chip lead of 2,229,000 chips on Day 2 of the 2016 Battle of Malta.

He’s followed closely by Swede Rasmus Eriksson who bagged 2,190,000 and was the only other player to end the night over two million chips.

A total of 72 players remain with the nine-player final table looming. Every player left has locked up €1,760 but the ultimate goal is the €160,000 for first-place.

Double Bubble Surprises

It was a rapid-fire day with 566 eliminations in less than 10 hours of play.

Maria Ho, Konstantin Puchkov, Nicolas Proust and Chris Bjorin all finished shy of the money.

Silje Nilsen IMG 0354
Silje Nilsen made the money.

The money bubble awaited at 179 players remaining and it proved to be an interesting one with two players busting in hand-for-hand play.

Martin Ilavsky and Manuel Raffl ended up sharing the payout of €945 for 179th place, which meant they nearly recouped their €550 buy-in.

Once the bubble burst the bustouts cranked up a notch with over 100 eliminations in the final four levels of play.

Spirit of Poker award winner and sponsored player Silje Nilsen was one of the casualties as she finished in 145th place for a min cash.

Action ended around midnight local time with Lanero on a dizzying hot streak that peaked at well over 2.2 million chips. Lanero's lifetime live tournament earnings are $7,605 so he has a chance at doubling that number just by making the final table.

Play will resume tomorrow at 2 p.m. and we'll be on hand to live update the final push to the final table.

Here's a look at the top 10 chip counts to end the day:

1. Roberto Lanero -- 2,290,000
2. Rasmus Eriksson -- 2,190,000
3. Robert Berglund -- 1,825,000
4. Flaviano Cammisuli -- 1,585,000
5. John Finnighan -- 1,400,000
6. Davide Fichena -- 1,370,000
7. Gabriele Zappala -- 1,315,000
8. Alessandro Stena -- 1,152,000
9. Patrick Clarke -- 1,100,000
10. Knut Mo -- 985,000

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