Today’s Day 3 of the Monte Carlo Grand Final was full of excitement, but let’s go step-by-step. The first order of business was bursting the bubble. As it was announced yesterday, 95 people would make the money. Since 128 came back to play today, it meant there was still some play left before we would finally reach that number.
Still, it was unavoidable, as growing blinds were forcing those with shorter stacks to try their luck and it was right around the second break when the tournament reached the bubble phase. It was expected that it wouldn’t take long before that single elimination, but once again the expectations and reality were quite different. The bubble phase alone lasted for more than an hour as everyone refused to bust. Those on the shortest stacks were biding their time and the hand-for-hand phase was taking forever. Eventually, the bubble burst, but a cooler was necessary for that to happen.
Agshin Rasulov held two pair by the turn and was prepared to commit his chips. Kenny Hicks was willing to oblige as he flopped a set of Queens and Rasulov got the bad news once the cards were on their backs. The river didn’t come to the rescue and he was the unlucky player who walked away closest to the money but with nothing to show for it (apart from a good story). As is standard, immediately after the bubble a number of eliminations followed, as all those who were waiting to cash were now ready to take the gamble and try their luck.
Some of the notables who busted even before the bubble include Dominik Panka, Andre Akari and Rono Lo. Once the bubble burst, numerous others joined the rail, including Stephen Chidwick, Sam Trickett (who was tweeting about his progress throughout the day), Johnny Lodden, who was the only remaining player to have made the final table of the Grand Final last year, Talal Shakerchi, who was going strong for a greater part of the tournament but ended up losing all of his chips, and Ole Schemion, who was one of the last players to leave the EPT Monaco Grand Final as play was nearing the end for the night. Although Schemion missed out on the final table, he locked down the race for the EPT Player of the Year. We also lost the one remaining lady in the event, Ana Marquez.
Once play ended and it was time for players to bag and tag for the day, 41 of them were still alive and in the hunt for the title. Leading that group is German Malte Monnig, who finished the day with 1,150,000 in chips and has already secured the biggest cash of his career. Trailing him are Eros Nastasi with 995,000 and Sebastian Von Toperczer sitting on 966,000.
Although many famous names have been ousted by this time, there are a few still remaining. Scott Clements has a stack of 797,000, Steven Silverman is on 605,000, David Yan is barely short of 600,000, while Vladimir Troyanovskiy will be coming back with 572,000. Dani Stern is still in, as well as Mark Teltscher and Pokerstars Pro David Williams.
Players will be returning tomorrow and the 41 will become only 16, as play will continue until the last two tables are formed. Step-by-step we are getting ever closer to crowning the EPT Monaco Champion for the year 2014. Come Friday, we will know the name of the overall winner who will be taking home more than €1.5 million. But whoever the player may be, they still need to overcome a few obstacles to get there!