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EPT Barcelona 2018: India’s Kunal Punjwani Makes Day 3 of Record-Breaking Main Event With 259 Players Remaining

Kunal Punjwani
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  • PG News August 30, 2018
  • 6 Mins Read

The flagship event at the 2018 European Poker Tour (EPT) Barcelona, the €5,300 Main Event registered a record-breaking 1,931 entries over two starting flights. After an exciting day of action, Day 2 of the event concluded, leaving only 259 runners in the fray.

From the massive €9,365,350 prize pool that was created by the record entry field, the winner will take home an impressive €1,611,500 payday!

From the Indian contingent, five runners had progressed to Day 2 with only Kunal Punjwani (cover image) among them advancing to Day 3 and will carry a stack of 232,000. Punjwani’s run on Day 2 was quite remarkable and while he faced a number of challenges, he kept up a steady momentum. Early in the day, Punjwani also sent poker icon and multiple bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu out to the rail when he hit a flush against Negreanu’s ace-ten.

Four other Indians namely, PokerStars Team Pro and GPL India Delhi Diehards Manager Muskan Sethi, Young Gun Abhinav Iyer, Samay Parikh and Charu Vikram Kaushik, who had reached Day 2 from the Day 1B flight, were eliminated short of the money.

Former EPT Berlin Main Event winner Ben Wilinofsky (850,000) headlines the 259 survivors moving on to Day 3.

Earlier on Day 2, the Crazy Pineapple Flip Out hand took place and Eric Lenoir emerged victorious to claim the coveted $30,000 Platinum Pass, and won an all expenses paid trip to the $25,000 PokerStars Players NLHE Championship (PSPC) to be held in the Bahamas in January 2019.

Meanwhile, Day 1 of the €10,300 Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller has also concluded and 17 out of the initial 80 entries remain in the field with Chris Dowling (509,000) bagging the overnight chip lead.

Day 2 Recap

With three PSPC Platinum Passes on the line, the 202 hopefuls from Day 1A were joined by 535 survivors from Day 1B making for an impressive 737 runners in the field on Day 2. Action was quite nerve-wracking and many familiar faces made their way out in quick succession, narrowing the field substantially over the first few hours.

Kunal Punjwani, who had returned to Day 2 with a stack of 32,000, maneuvered his way up the leaderboard well though there were many challenges along the way.

Punjwani clashed with Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu at the start of the day. Negreanu got all his chips in from the button with card 1card 3 and was called by Punjwani with card 3card 3 from the big blind. The card 1card 3card 3 flop kept Negreanu in the lead but Punjwani also got a flush draw and while the card 2 turn reduced Punjwani’s outs, the card 3 river gave him a flush, sending Negreanu to the rail.

In one hand, Punjwani lost to Leo Margets.On the flop card 3card 3card 3, Margets bet 4,500 and Punjwani made the call. The card 2 appeared on the turn and both players checked. On the card 1 river, Margets bet 16,000 and Punjwani tank called. However as Margets tabled card 2card 1 to hit a pair of aces, Punjwani mucked his hand and Margets scooped the pot.

Punjwani finally concluded the day with a stack of 232,000 for Day 3 and is the only Indian player left in the event.

Kunal Punjwani
Kunal Punjwani

Team PokerStars pro Muskan Sethi, who had carried a stack of 51,200 to Day 2, chipped up well in the initial levels. In one hand, the action began with a player raising to 3,800 that was called by Halim Tutki Kara from the button, as well as Sethi and Quentin Lecomte in the blinds. The card 3card 1card 1 flop saw Sethi and Lecomte checked while the initial raiser continued for 5,500. Kara folded and Sethi chose to check-raise for 15,700, enough to prompt her opponents to fold as she raked in the chips.

However, Sethi’s subsequent ride through the day was a roller-coaster and she first lost a big pot when her ace-king were cracked. Down to 10 big blinds, Sethi then moved all in with ace-queen from early position and was called off by an opponent from the big blind who tabled pocket kings to eliminate Sethi.

Three other Indian runners, Samay Parikh (51,200), Charu Vikram Kaushik (46,600) and Abhinav Iyer (44,000) who had made Day 2 were all relegated to the rail before the bags were brought out.

Among the 259 players to progress to Day 3, former EPT Berlin Main Event winner Ben Wilinofsky (850,000) holds the chip lead and close on his coattails are David Petrzelka (771,000), Almedin Imsirovic (723,000), Michal Lubas (712,000) and Tony Broekhof (703,500).

The payouts were announced on Day 2 and the top 296 places will be making it in the money. The bubble loomed after Zorlucan Er was eliminated and the bubble finally burst on Guillaume Diaz, whobecame the unfortunate bubble boy when his queen-four were cracked by Adrian State’s ace-king that improved to two pair on the flop.

Notables who managed to find a pay cheque despite being eliminated included Aymon Hata (260th for €8,900), Fabrice Maltez (264th for €8,150), Richard Kirsch (268th for €8,150), Benny Glaser (275th for €8,150), Aarom Lim (282nd for €8,150) and Heidi May (293rd for €8,150).

A number of prominent players including Dominik Panka (603,000), Mark Radoja (511,000), Ben Heath (476,000), Shaun Deeb (363,000), Taylor Black (313,000), Niall Farrell (220,000), Alexandre Reard (216,500), Seth Davies (198,000), Team PokerStars Pro Jaime Staples (196,000), 2017 PokerStars Championship Barcelona winner Sebastian Sorensson (84,000), Patrik Antonius (310,000) and Viktor “Isildur1” Blom (50,000) will be returning on Day 3.

Team PokerStars Pros Jeff Gross, Leo Fernandez, Randy Lew, Fatima Moreira de Melo, Andre Akkari and Maria Konnikova failed to find a bag for Day 3.

Ben Wilinofsky
Ben Wilinofsky

Top 10 Chip Counts At The End of Day 2

1. Ben Wilinofsky – 850,000

2. David Petrzelka – 771,000

3. Almedin Imsirovic – 723,000

4. Michal Lubas – 712,000

5. Tony Broekhof – 703,500

6. Fernando Pons – 678,500

7. Rifat Palevic – 641,000

8. Rene Kuhlman – 636,000

9. Klas Lofberg – 630,500

10. Oliver Weis – 628,500

Keep following all the latest updates from EPT Barcelona right here on PokerGuru!

Related Articles:

1. EPT Barcelona 2018: Main Event Breaks Record With 1,903 Entries, GPL India Delhi Diehards Team Manager Muskan Sethi Leads 5 Indians on Day 2

2. EPT Barcelona 2018: Main Event Day 1A Attracts 589 Entries, Ben Wilinofsky Leads 240 Survivors

3. EPT Barcelona 2018: Mikita Badziakouski Wins €100K Super High Roller For €1,650,300

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