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EPT13 Malta: Macnamara bursts bubble, goes on to chip lead


Tomas Macnamara: Peeks down at the chip lead

EPT Malta played through another four levels today and it kept up its unremitting pace. Although they played extended hand-for-hand last night, and the stone bubble period went on for about an hour-and-a-half today, the rate of eliminations was such that 90 players became 30 in a full level fewer than had been planned.

The quantity may be low, but the quality remains high. Former champions Dominik Panka, Davidi Kitai and Frederik Jensen have chips, and a fellow named Ole Schemion eased through the gears today too. They will all return for a battle to the last two tables tomorrow.

None did quite well enough to head the field, however. That accolade falls to Tomas Macnamara, a British player whose only previous final table appearance came in a UKIPT High Roller event in Dublin this year. He also finished 13th in the Main Event in the Irish capital, and has rediscovered that form here in Malta.

Macnamara bagged 1.028 million chips tonight, and is the only player into seven figures at this stage. Dmitry Yurasov, a previous visitor to three EPT High Roller final tables, has 844,000. Sarah Herzali has 753,000. As for those champions: Jensen has 481,000, Kitai has 627,000 and Panka 368,000.

The full counts for the final 30 are on the chip-count page already.

So, to dwell briefly again on the bubble: the last player to head out the door without a cash was Benjamin Philipps, from the United Kingdom. Late last night, during the hand-for-hand period, Philipps might have had a more joyous role in bursting the bubble when he took his A♠J♥ against Alexadru Baron's pocket queens.

But he could't hit the ace and Baron doubled up, leaving Philipps deep in the mire when they returned today. He had only an ante behind after posting the big blind at one point, but managed to win that hand. However, the rest of the field had the wisdom to wait it out until Philipps was all-in for a second time, and this time it was that man Macnamara's pocket sevens that beat Philipps' Q♦2♣.

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The traditional bursting of the bubble ceremony

The prompted the usual flurry of bust outs, and Maria Ho, Dietrich Fast, Stephen Chidwick, Sylvain Loosli, Roberto Romanello and James Akenhead were among those swept away. We also lost the first ever EPT Malta champion, Jean Montury.

All of the players down on their luck, but with bank accounts boosted, can be found on the payouts page.

Enjoy your evenings, everybody, then join us tomorrow at noon when we'll play down to 16 players. It could be another short day, but high on drama without a doubt. - HS

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