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PokerStars European Poker Tour Tallinn -- Day 3

Mattern Hunts for Double Title Glory; Selbst Beats Obrestad in Heads-Up Event

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Katja Thater wins EPT award. Credit: Neil Stoddart and PokerStarsBy day 3 of the PokerStars European Poker Tour Tallinn, a 420-strong field had been decreased to 84, and those survivors took to their seats in the hopes of not only making it into the money, but going all the way to the €400,000 reserved only for the champion.

Coming so close, Team PokerStars Pro players Katja Thater, Michael Keiner, and Vadim Markushevski couldn’t hang on long enough and made their exits before the money bubble was burst by Yotam Bar-Yosef during level 17. The Israeli and his pocket twos were knocked out by Chady Merhej’s pocket queens, and with this casualty, 56 relieved-looking players remained.

On a side note, during a break, Katja Thater was presented with her season 6 EPT award for Mixed Game Player of the Year. An eight-way tie at the end of last season made for an interesting online final at PokerStars.com, which Thater took down.

When things wrapped up on day 3, 25 players remained in the hunt for gold, with an exciting leader board shaping the latter stages of the event.

Here are the top 10 in chips going into day 4:

Perica Bukara (Serbia) 1,326,000
Konstantin Bilyaver (Russia) 1,240,000
Arnaud Mattern (France) 1,155,000
Jonathan Weekes (UK) 872,000
Ivan Demidov (Russia) 729,000
Johan Storakers (Sweden) 656,000
Carlo Bordogna (Italy) 554,000
Dmitry Vitkind (Russia) PokerStars qualifier 541,000
Kevin Stani (Norway) PokerStars qualifier 530,000
Toni Ojala (Finland) 489,000

As you can see, day 1B chip leader Perica Bukara regained his position on the top of the leader board, but he is nowhere near safe with players like Frenchman Arnaud Mattern hot on his heels in third place. Mattern took down EPT Prague in season 4 and since then has played almost all the Tour’s events in his dedication to become the first double EPT champion.

Jonathan Weekes began day 3 as chip leader but after a few levels filled with more downs than ups, the Brit’s stack had been badly damaged. However, he managed to climb his way back up to fourth place on the leader board, followed by the World Series of Poker main event runner-up, Ivan Demidov in fifth, and Johan “The Swedish Eagle” Storakers in sixth.

Some notables who busted in the money were Mark Dalimore €6,350 (55th place), recent WSOP bracelet winner Tomer Berda €6,350 (53rd place), Manuel Bevand €6,700 (46th), Friend of PokerStars Pierre Neuville €6,700 (41st), day 1A’s chip leader Ali Tekintamgac €7,200 (36th), Santiago Terrazas €8,000 (32nd), and Team PokerStars Pro member Luca Pagano €8,000 (26th place). With this result, Pagano has now extended his record to 15 EPT main event cashes.

Vanessa Selbst. Credit: Neil Stoddart and PokerStars.EPT Tallinn has a lot more than just the main event going on however. In the first round of the €3,200 buy-in Heads-Up event, Team PokerStars Pro player Vanessa Selbst beat highly-regarded Norwegian pro Annette Obrestad.

Selbst went on to beat Michael Tureniec in round 2 and is now in the semi-finals, where she will take on 2010 WSOP bracelet winner Valdemar Kwaysser from Hungary. The other pairing is American Kevin Eyster versus Russian Nikolay Evdakov.

Here are the payouts for the Heads-Up event:

First €41,000
Second €27400
Third €11,400
Fourth €11,400

The event attracted 31 players. Some notables lost along the way were Sorel Mizzi, Marc Gork, Rasmus Nielsen, Allan Baekke, and Max Lykov.

The two-day €10,000 buy-in High Roller event kicked off today with an abundance of talent taking part such as Team PokerStars pro Dario Minieri, last season’s EPT Grand Final High Roller champion Tobias Reinkemeier, Annette Obrestad, Juha Helppi, Kristoffer Thorsson, and Shaun Deeb to name just a few.

Stay with CardPlayer.com as we keep you updated on the highs and lows of the first stop of season 7 of the European Poker Tour via our daily recaps and the PokerStars blog feed.

Photographs courtesy of Neil Stoddart and PokerStars.