Simao, Timex Star in Final 24 at EPT Madrid

Mike McDonald
Mike "Timex" McDonald.

Brazilian João Paulo Simão and Canadian Mike “Timex” McDonald book-end the top five in chips as EPT Madrid has wrapped Day 3 and shrunk to 24 players.

Simão earned his spot as the outright chip leader at 1.9 million thanks to a double elimination on the last hand of the night.

Simão, Andries Swart and Konstantinos Nanos all got it in pre-flop with Simão holding AK to Swart’s QQ and Nanos’s 77.

A king on the river pushed the huge pot to Simão and he’ll lead the pack by about 800k heading into Day 4.

A respected online pro with over $700k in career earnings, Simão is looking for his first big score on the live circuit.

McDonald earned his top-five spot after an up-and-down day that saw him lose a 420k pot on the very first hand but battle back to finish with 883,000 in chips.

Already an EPT champ and EPT runner-up, McDonald is looking to become the first-ever two-time winner on the European Poker Tour.

Kool Shen, Levi and Clemencon Challenge

Sharing the spotlight with Simão and McDonald and threatening to steal a bit of thunder in the playdown to the final eight is Bruno “Kool Shen” Lopes.

The French rap icon sits in third with 1.1 million in chips and is looking for his first major tour win to add to his $380k in career earnings.

Lopes is sandwiched by Ilan Boujenah in second with 1.15 million and Jason Duval in fourth with 946,000.

Well known online pro Taylor Paur sits eighth with 734,000.

Also still in contention heading into Day 4 tomorrow are French pros Nicolas Levi and Tristan Clemencon.

Bubble boy.

Levi, the well known Winamax pro, sits just outside the top 10 in twelfth spot with 526,000.

Clemencon, one of France’s young guns, is slightly behind with 395,000.

Weisner, Busquet Bust; Karr Bubbles

A number of notable American names made decent runs on Day 3 but fell just short.

Up-and-coming pro Melanie Weisner built a stack early but busted in 30th for an €11,000 payday.

Olivier Busquet equaled that payout, riding a short stack most of the day before busting 34th.

Alex Kravchenko, Kevin MacPhee, Dermot Blain, Toby Lewis, Johnny Lodden, Barny Boatman, McLean Karr (on the money bubble) and David Benyamine were other notable names to hit the rail today.

Action resumes at Casino Gran Madrid at noon tomorrow with sights set on a final table of eight.

Follow along with the live updates on the PokerStars blog.

The official top 10 and chip counts after Day 3:

1. João Paulo Simão 1,973,000

2. Ilan Boujenah 1,153,000

3. Bruno "Kool Shen" Lopes 1,103,000

4. Jason Duval 946,000

5. Mike "Timex" McDonald 883,000

6. Siyu Sha 848,000

7. Clayton Mozdzen 783,000

8. Taylor Paur 734,000

9. Fraser Macintyre 717,000

10. Ricardo Ibanez Rodriguez 635,000

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