There was plenty of poker action and drama at the penultimate day of the EPT Barcelona Main Event. There were 13 players at the start of that day and just six of them made it through the end. They will resume play at noon today at Casino Barcelona to fight for the title and the €1.6-million first-place prize.
There were two former EPT champs among those final 13 as well as a number of other accomplished players. However, it was the player with the shortest poker resume to create most of the excitement at the tables throughout the day. Haoxiang Wang, a young player from China with one previous small cash from earlier this year, showed aggressive style and expert bluffing skills yesterday at Casino Barcelona. And those helped him build a solid stack and soar well above his opponents in the temporary leaderboard.
At the end of the day, the young player had a total of 16.1 million in chips, good for 81 big blinds. Wang will thus lead the six remaining survivors into the final day of play. Six-handed action is set to kick off today at noon local time at the host venue. The finalists will battle it out until there is a single player left.
Ognyan Dimov Still in for the Title
There were to former EPT champions in the mix at the beginning of Saturday action – John Juanda and Ognyan Dimov. Both players were in the bottom half of the chip counts chart and both players were eyeing a seat into the finale and vying for their second title from the series. However, it was not meant for Juanda to make it to the Main Event’s final table.
The player won his EPT title three years ago exactly in Barcelona. He entered action yesterday as the short stack and it did not really get any better for him. Eventually, Juanda was eliminated in ninth place by the other former EPT champ.
Dimov won his title in Deauville in 2015 again. The Bulgarian entered yesterday action with one of the shortest stacks but quickly gained momentum to improve his situation significantly. He eventually built the second largest stack with Wang being the only player ahead of him. And it was for the better part of the day that Dimov kept his second spot in the chip counts chart.
However, on the very last hand of the day, Poland’s Piotr Nurzynski eliminated Irishman Mark Buckley in seventh place to win a massive pot that raised him in the counts. Nurzynski thus finished the penultimate day of play second in chips with 15.425 million. Dimov dropped in third place with 10.125 million. Matthias Tikerpe from Estonia with 7.1 million, Pedro Marques from Portugal with 6.95 million, and Rodrigo Carmo from Portugal again with 2 million were the other three players to make it through the day and secure a spot into the final day of play.