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PokerStars European Poker Tour Deauville -- Day 3

Bubble Finally Bursts On Day 3

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Raphael Kroll. Credit: Neil Stoddart and PokerStarsIt was no easy feat to lose 78 players and get from the 206 who started the day to the all-important money bubble on day 3 of the PokerStars European Poker Tour Deauville main event.

The day ended with 90 players remaining as once the prize pool was reached play picked up speed. Those returning for day 4 are guaranteed at least €9,000, but one of many with his sights set higher is Raphael Kroll.

The Frenchman finished runner-up to Team PokerStars Pro player Vanessa Selbst at the Partouche Poker Tour in Cannes towards the end of last year, and he now sits in prime position once again in France as chip leader with 829,000 in chips.

Next to him is German PokerStars qualifier Fabian Holling who had a fantastic final level on day 3, bumping his stack up to finish second in chips with 817,000. Swede Martin Jacobson managed to stay in the top 10 from the previous end of day chip count, and is accompanied by two Irish pros, Thomas Finneran and Rory Rees Brennan, along with an Egyptian, a Brit, a couple of Frenchmen, and American PokerStars qualifier Joe Ebanks.

Here is the top 10 going into day 4:

Raphael Kroll (France) 829,000
Fabian Holling (Germany) 817,000
Ahmed Abdel Fatah (Egypt) 799,000
Thomas Finneran (Ireland) 688,000
Zimnan Ziyard (UK) 662,000
Amin Karout (France) 610,000
Anthony Hnatow (France) 610,000
Martin Jacobson (Sweden) 605,000
Joe Ebanks (USA) 598,500
Rory Rees-Brennan (Ireland) 597,500

Others still in are Kenny Hallaert, Bruno Launais, Matthew Frankland, Cornel Cimpan, and Team PokerStars Pro members Thomas Bichon and Bertrand Grospellier. Brit pro Praz Bansi had an up and down day, starting off well, but losing some flips in the latter stages to finish up with 174,000.

Some of those Normandy waved goodbye to with no cash offering were one of the former chip leaders Guillaume de la Gorce, Isabelle Mercier, and Team PokerStars pros Salvatore Bonavena and Mathias de Meulder.

ElkY doubles on the bubble. Credit: Neil Stoddart.It took so much time hand-for-hand it was decided that level 17 would be replayed. After 90 minutes of bubble play, a frustrating time for many finally ended when Bernard Guigon let go of his final chip, worth just 500, and hit the rail in despair.

It wasn’t too frustrating for both ElkY and Rory Rees Brennan who managed to make use of the slow period.

ElkY was all in on the bubble with pocket queens versus Matthew Franklin’s pocket sevens. The queens held to put ElkY right back in the game. EPT Barcelona champ Kent Lundmark didn’t have as much luck with queens when after shoving all in, Rory Rees Brennan called with K-J and hit his king on the river to make Lundmark the first player to cash at this year’s EPT Deauville.

In amongst the 38 players who made the money before end of play were serial qualifier Pierre Neuville, and Team PokerStars pro Juan Manuel Pastor. Ninety players will become 24 after today’s play. You can check out all the action as it happens at the PokerStars blog feed or hop back tomorrow to find out who made it to the final three tables.