When the youngest-ever World Poker Tour (WPT) Champion, Lukas Berglund, was eliminated in 19th place at WPT Barcelona, any hopes of a star-studded final table went with him. The final European event of Season XI had attracted more stars than most, but each faded away into nothingness, leaving the Spanish event woefully short of big name players.
The third day of action was as quick as the three days that had gone before it. It was a case of ‘premature ejection,’ as level-by-level players headed for the sidelines quicker than the bird runs away from Wiley Coyote. Reaching 13-players by the 20th level is no mean feat, and with four players holding less than 33BB we could reach the final table before you can say, ‘Ole!’
Stars who fell by the wayside, during the Day Three feast of fun, included the Global Poker Index (GPI) number one ranked American Bryn Kenney, fellow countryman Steve O’Dwyer, Serbian star Ognjen Sekularac and of course Berglund. Two players in particular were cleaning house in Sergio Fernandez and Chanracy Khun – the two chip leaders.
The story of Fernandez is particularly impressive. The local boy grabbed everyone’s attention with a dominating performance that saw him head the chip counts at the end of Day 1B. The cash game player, and relatively inexperienced live MTT player, played a crucial pot against Sekularac on Day Two that not only dented his chip stack but his confidence as well. Fernandez plummeted to the bottom of the chip counts and by the time the bagging, and tagging, was being done on Day Two his name was not worthy of mention. But like the true Matador that he is, Fernandez sprung back into action with a series of gifts, great play and wonderful cards to take the chip lead with 500,000 chips to spare between him and Khun in second place.
Chanracy Khun is a Canadian citizen who also came to life during Day Three, promulgating himself from mid-stack mediocrity to towering heights. Khun was also doing his level best to dispose of players and between them they boiled and simmered our stock down to a bowlful of thirteen very different ingredients.
Day Four might well be the quickest day that the Casino Barcelona has had to date. The task is to play down to a final table of six players, and if the past few days are anything to go by, then this could be all over bar the shouting. Joining Fernandez and Khun as likely final table candidates includes Benjamin Pollak. The cash game player from France finished in fourth place at WPT Prague in Season X and has cashed in three WPT National events this year: Mauritius, Brussels and London. Pollak is a deep-stacked player and with 125BB sat in front of him he has a better chance than most of getting to that final table. Also, keep an eye out for experienced stalwarts Erich Kollman and Paul Testud, who both have enough, know how to also sneak into that final table.
Day Four action starts at 14:00 (CET) and we will be bringing you news and interviews live from the Casino Barcelona.