American Kevin Eyster is Day 3 Leader of EPT Grand FinalTweet Share
In what is becoming a precarious position, the top spot at the European Poker Tour Grand Final had a new leader after Day 3. American Kevin Eyster became the fourth leader (Day 1a and 1b both had a different leader) to move to the front of the pack, heading into Day 4 with 2.768 million chips, not far ahead of British player Matt Perrins and his 2.618 million.
On a day where 116 players all knew that would cash since the money line was at 128, play was loose and aggressive. Only 24 players remained after the dust had settled, assuring themselves of payouts over €50,000 each.
Eyster seized the lead near midday on the strength of a huge pot against Mikhail Smirnov. Smirnov went all-in on Q-J after pairing his jack on the flop. Eyster sent him to the rail, as his A-6 gave him two pair at the flop and held up against Smirnov’s two pair, giving the American a 1.3 million pot and the tournament lead.
For his part, Perrins moved into second on the day’s largest hand, a 2.6 million monster against Domenico Iannone and Kenny Hallert. Iannone was the aggressor early, holding A-K, while Perrins had Kings and Hallert held Aces. The strong bidding forced Iannone to muck his Big Slick, leaving Perrins to go all-in and Hallert to call. Luck fell on Perrins side as a King hit on the turn, winning the hand and crippling Hallert in the process.
Big name players had a tough time on Day 3. Salvatore Bonavena is the only former EPT winner still alive after Vicky Coren and Moritz Kranich were sent to the rail. Famed pro Chris Moneymaker also went home yesterday after being among the earlier leaders.
Eyster now leads the group of 24 into today’s action with cameras rolling and the pressure mounting. Play will most assuredly stay aggressive as each looks to make a claim on the €1,700,000 and the tournament crown.