Ivarsson, Jaka, Timex Cruising as EPT Malta Main Event Hits Day 3


A short but power-packed Day 2 at EPT Malta has come to a close with 135 players left and Swede Alexander Ivarsson blazing to a half-million chip stack.

Just how smoothly did Ivarsson's day go?

"Well, I got it in with aces a couple of times," he told the PokerStars blog, "and that obviously helps.

"I've been drawing really good as well. I've got to be honest, I didn't lose too many pots."

Easy game, right? All of that good fortune added up to 529,000 chips in the bag at day's end, making the 27-year-old pro from Sweden the chip leader heading to Day 3.

Jaka, Timex, Farrell and More at EPT Malta

Ivarsson isn't alone, of course. Of the 135 players left a very healthy portion would make your hands shake a bit if they were at your table.

Alexander Ivarsson
Alecander Ivarsson

Faraz Jaka, who ended Day 1B with a giant pile of chips, did likewise on Day 2 and built his stack up to 375,200.

Mike "Timex" McDonald, who spent his day on the EPT Live feature table checking his phone and intermittently winning nice pots, ended with 314,200.

Both are in the Top 10 in chips. Other notables to bag up big stacks include Niall Farrell (280,000), Kitty Kuo (264,900), Christoph Vogelsang (240,300), Dan Smith (214,200) and Dominik Nitsche (167,700).

Shannon Shorr, Ludo Geilich, Isaac Haxton, Johnny Lodden, Steve O'Dwyer, Mohsin Charania and Davidi Kitai are also through to Day 3.

The official payouts are in as well with €602,400 on the line for the winner barring a deal. Check the PokerStars blog for the full end-of-day chip counts and a rundown of all the action.

Tune in right here for more feature-table live stream action from Malta tomorrow.

One Champion, One Orbit

Steve O’Dwyer doesn’t need much introduction for hardcore poker fans. He has over $10m in live tournament winnings, was victorious at the EPT Grand Final 2013 and just triumphed this week in the $10k 1-Day High Roller event.

We’re in Level 13, blinds 1000/2000/300 and O’Dwyer already seems prepared for another deep run as he has one of the largest stacks in the room in front of him – about 185,000 chips.

Steve O'Dwyer
Two hands, two wins.

With a lot more chips than anyone else at the table O’Dwyer is in a perfect position. He can either be the bully who pushes everyone around or he can play a little more cautiously and make sure that if he gets involved, he’s taken seriously.

O’Dwyer goes for the second option and he uses not only his stack but also position like a boss. In the first hand we see O’Dwyer sits on the button. It’s folded to him and he puts in a raise to 4,750.

The small blind calls and the big blind folds. The flop falls 8 Q 8 and both players check. The turn is the 5 and now the small blind takes the lead with a bet of 7,800.

O’Dwyer calls and the river is the 9. The small blind bets again, now 11k with not much more behind than that. O’Dwyer thinks about it and goes all-in.

The small blind, who actually holds Q-J, obviously finds it very hard to decide what to do but eventually opts to release his hand.

This is a very good example of the power of big stacks. O’Dwyer has so many chips that he can play a very broad range from the button and he can afford to lose this pot without it affecting his stack much.

The small stack always has to fear for his tournament life.

Two Hands Played, Two Hands Won

After this 24k pot O’Dwyer sits out a few hands until he’s in the big blind. It’s folded around to the small blind, who min-raises.

“How much do you have left?,” asks O’Dwyer. “32k,” says the small blind. O’Dwyer moves a stack of 5k chips forward and the small blind folds instantly.

In the last hand of the orbit O’Dwyer folds his small blind to an all-in by a shortstack in middle position.

Two hands played, two hands won, and O’Dwyer comfortably accumulates chips. It’s too early to tell but it wouldn’t be his first deep run …

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