Day 2 was money bubble day at the EPT Cyprus Main Event, with everyone looking to bag a chunk of the $6,402,000 prize pool.
That meant surviving through to the top 199, and for the likes of Niklas Astedt, Leon Sturm, and PokerStars’ ambassador Jennifer Shahade, it proved a bridge too far. Others, however, were having rather better luck, like Fabrice Bigot. He got it in on the wrong end of a spectacular three-way all-in.
Ignat Liviu: A♣ A♦️
Robert Ashelm: K♠ K♦️
Fabrice Bigot: Q♣ Q❤️
Liviu will have been livid to see the Q♠ drop on the river after a harmless flop and turn, and the hand saw him and Ashelm sent to the rail, while Bigot thanked the poker gods.
The last player to miss out on the money was Hungary’s Andras Vaczo, running his big slick into pocket kings and making a long, sad exit.
The #EPTCyprus Main Event bubble has burst.— PokerStars LIVE (@PokerStarsLIVE) October 18, 2023
It's time to start dishing out the $6,402,000 prize pool, and it's time for the post-bubble bustout bonanza.
Watch the madness at https://t.co/SB357usSaR or https://t.co/ZarB0RN21O pic.twitter.com/djSQ6gcGxA
The remaining players had locked up $8,325, though the post-bubble period saw a lot of players quickly fall as the short stacks took their chance to double-up or bust in the chase for the $1,042,000 top prize.
Sitbon lucky to be alive
Though still a long way off, one player who will count himself ever so lucky to lift the title is Julian Sitbon, who had to rely on a floor appeal to keep his tournament life alive.
The Frenchman was playing the 5♣ 9❤️ 7♦️ 8♠ 6♠ board when he semi-bluffed for almost all of his stack (leaving just 2k, one small blind, behind) but apparently didn’t hear Simeon Spasov’s all-in.
Tabling his hand, Q♠ 8♦️, Sitbon was stunned to hear he had been busted by Spasov’s 10❤️ 10♣, believing he had only been called. The floor was called, and when that initial ruling went against Sitbon, he asked for another, and eventually it was overturned.
Incredibly, Sitbon, automatically all-in next hand, then doubled up against Spasov, and two hands later, the final hand of the night, he somehow tripled up.
Julien Sitbon: K❤️ Q❤️
Michele Guerrini: Q♦️ J♦️
Michel Molenaar: A♦️ Q♠
The J♣ 4❤️ 4♠ flop was good for Guerrini, but the K♠ turn gave Sitbon the chance to recreate Jack Strauss’ famous chip-and-a-chair win.
As if that wasn’t enough drama, for reasons unclear at this point, Sitbon will reportedly be on a 5-second shot clock for the rest of his tournament.
PokerStars ambassador Parker Talbot bagged a top 10 stack and will be looking to break his tournament duck on one of the world’s biggest stages.
Meanwhile, Nicolas Chouity – winner of the 2010 EPT Monte Carlo – holds the chip lead going into day 3, with a field of 1,320 players now whittled down to just 155.
The action continues tomorrow on level 15 with blinds at 2000/4000/4000. You can watch all the action on the PokerStars Twitch channel, re-starting at 11.30am CEST.
EPT Cyprus Main Event – top 10 chips
|1||Nicolas Chouity (Lebanon)||906,000|
|2||Gary Miller (UK)||718,000|
|3||Francisco Benitez (Uruguay)||690,000|
|4||Andreas Tomazou (Cyprus)||648,000|
|5||Carl Shaw (UK)||628,000|
|6||Anton Wigg (Sweden)||614,000|
|7||Gerard Carbo (Spain)||568,000|
|8||Angelos Michael (Cyprus)||549,000|
|9||Viliyan Petleshkov (Bulgaria)||534,000|
|10||Parker Talbot (Canada)||532,000|
Images courtesy of PokerStars