Ekrem Sanioglu, a French amateur player, finished as the chip leader at the end of Day 3 of the PokerStars.fr European Poker Tour Deauville Main Event. He will be bringing back 1,300,000 in chips. Not afraid to play big pots against anyone, Sanioglu's fearlessness was well rewarded. He is followed closely by Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov, who was around the top of the leaderboard for most of the day and will return with 1,191,000. Katchalov is also the only Team Pro remaining. Norbert Szecsi is third with 1,184,000 in chips.
Day 3 commenced with 137 players still in contention. With 95 spots getting paid, it would be a tense first few levels. The prize pool totaled €3,355,000 with the winner looking to earn €614,000, but when play began there was still a long way to go and the immediate target for many players was simply to survive the dreaded money bubble.
Level 15 exits included Team PokerStars Pro Jan Heitmann and Friend of PokerStars Pierre Neuville. Another Team PokerStars Pro, Alex Kravchenko, lasted a bit longer, but he too failed to make it to the end of the day.
The UK's Stephen Chidwick was the unlucky bubble boy, falling with one minute of Level 16 still to play. Tobias Wagner from Germany raised and called Chidwick’s all-in shove. The British player held the against the of Wagner. After another player claimed to have folded an ace, the cards ran out to knock Chidwick out and send the remaining players into money.
As play resumed at the start of Level 17, Szecsi was in the lead followed by Anthony Lerust and then Katchalov in third. A string of bust outs soon followed as short stacks looked to spin it up or go home happy with their €9,500 min-cash.
Alex Goulder, a PokerStars player from the UK, small-balled his way through the day, chipping up steadily. Even a table change with Alexander Lakhov directly to his left could not persuade him to change his style. He ended the day on a healthy 696,000 in chips.
PokerStars player Jamila von Perger fell in the last level of the day when her went up against the of Chun Ho Law. Von Perger couldn’t believe her luck on the flop and her frustration showed as the cards ran out . Another German, Artur Koren, also fell late when his with clashed against Szecsi’s . The board came out .
Play resumes on Thursday at 12 p.m. local time when 41 players will return. Follow all the stories, chip counts, and bust outs right here at PokerNews, and follow the action live on the feature table at PokerStars.tv as we head into the final three days of the tournament looking to crown a new PokerStars.fr EPT Deauville champion.