On day 3 of the PokerStars European Poker Tour Grand Final main event, 80 players went hurtling out the main doors of the Gran Casino in Madrid, leaving just 24 behind. They are led by PokerStars Player Eugene Yanayt after he burst into the lead towards the very end of play, knocking former leader Ole Kristian Nergard off his pedestal. The American will go into day 4 with over 2.3 million in chips.Battles of the grandest kind played out throughout the day. Many occurred between the likes of Surinder Sunar and Ben Wilinofsky , and Victor Ramdin versus Dean Lyall . Ramdin was the only one left standing from the four when the dust settled.Among early eliminations were Pierre Neuville (his eighth cash in 14 EPT ’s ), Xian Liu (her second consecutive EPT cash), David Sonelin who couldn’t keep the same chip-stacking pace as previous days, Fabrizio Gonzalez , Will Molson, Ivan Demidov , and Tyler Cornell .A massive hand broke out mid-session which saw Torsten Brinkmann win a three-way all-in. Kristoffer Thorsson bet 14,000 from the cut-off and Brinkmann made it 36,000 from the button. McLean Karr then made a stand and moved all in for around the 180,000 mark. Thorsson then moved all in on top and the German called. The three players then flipped over their cards. Karr had pocket tens, Brinkmann held A K , and Thorsson tabled pocket jacks. The board fell 9 5 2 7 K and Brinkmann moved up to more than 1.2 million.Karr was sent packing while Thorsson was left short and although he improved a little after, he could not recover from the damage and was soon put on the other side of the rail in 65th place place for €25,000. Brinkmann ended the day second in chips with just under 2 million.The two players battling for the chip lead at this stage were nineteen-year-old Ole Kristian Nergard and British PokerStars qualifier Simon Higgins. The two put many a player on the other side of the rail throughout the day. However, only one of the two would have a happy ending and despite much interest in the young Norwegian and the fact he impressed many of those playing around him, Nergard got into terrible trouble late in the day and ended play second from the bottom in chips.The hand that changed the leader board dramatically began when Eugene Yanayt raised to 32,000 from mid-position and Nergard three-bet to 102,000 from the button. Yanayt made the call. The flop came A Q 10 and both players checked. The 3 came on the turn and Yanayt bet out 115,000. Nergard made it 234,000 and Yanayt called again. The river was the 7 , Yanayt checked and Nergard moved all in covering the American. After a moment’s thought Yanayt made the call and turned over 3 3 for a set. Nergard turned over Q 4 and was left with just 74,000, which he moved into the middle in the very next hand and doubled up with pocket fours versus A-4.Yanayt ended play as the chip leader but Higgins would have been chip leader only for losing a big pot at the very end of play to move him down to third place with just over 1.7 million. Closing in on him with 1,308,000 is local hero Juan Maceiras who is to blame for quite a few casualties today.Thrown into the mix of day 3 survivor’s is Dutch tennis legend Raemon Sluiter . He was railed by girlfriend and Team PokerStars SportsStar Fatima Moreira de Melo who also made the money. The tennis-turned-poker player busted William Reynolds with pocket queens versus A K respectively. Both exclaimed that it was their first flip of the tournament, and it was to go Sluiter’s way when the river fell the Q . Reynolds took it on the chin and calmly made his exit with €30,000 to his name for 35th place.The hope of a double title went out the window when Ben Wilinofsky left in 44th place for €25,000 and was later followed out by Lucien Cohen in 33rd place for €30,000. Cohen’s exit confirmed this year’s Grand Final champ will be a fresh face to add to the EPT winner’s list.Other bustouts include Allen Bari (€25,000 for 50th place) who got it in with pocket tens versus Garbar Hauksson’s pocket nines. The board brought carnage when it fell 10-9-9-6-2 and Bari’s house was decimated by Hauksson’s quad nines, Melanie Weisner lost out when her A-K was beaten by Ivan Freitez’ pocket eights as the board fell J-10-9-3-9. Ted Forrest left after an unfortunate sequence of events. His last hand was A-2 versus Erik van den Berg’s pocket jacks. The Dutchman hit a set but he would also not last the day.Soon-to-be EPT Player of The Year Fernando Brito was knocked out late-session with A-J versus the pocket aces of Pedro Javier Piazuelo Ferrero , and the final player to bust was Russian Vasily Fursov in 25th place for €35,000.Here are the final 24 players and their stacks:Eugene Yanayt ( USA ) 2,374,000 Torsten Brinkmann (Germany) 1,959,000 Simon Higgins (UK) 1,705,000 Juan Maceiras (Spain) 1,308,000 Ivan Freitez (Venezuela) 1,279,000 Pedro Pellicer (Spain) 1,216,000 Domantas Klimciauskas (Lithuania) 1,198,000 Gerardo Godinez (Mexico) 1,009,000 Ankush Mandavia ( USA ) 910,000 Andrey Danilyuk (Russia) 806,000 Tamas Lendvai (Hungary) 787,000 Raemon Sluiter (Netherlands) 703,000 Georges Yazbeck (Lebanon) 692,000 Alex Gomes (Brazil) 655,000 Litterio Pirrotta (Italy) 648,000 Alessandro Limblici (Italy) 554,000 Jose Nadal (Mexico) 510,000 Victor Ramdin ( USA ) 489,000 Shiraz Soltaninassab (Belgium) 475,000 Hugo Lemaire (France) 292,000 Thomas Pettersson (Sweden) 246,000 Dag Palovic (Slovakia) 244,000 Ole Kristian Nergard (Norway) 105,000 Andrew Li ( USA ) 104,000 See note belowStick with CardPlayer.com for recaps and interviews and up-to-the-minute action via the live blog feed as the 2011 EPT Grand Final moves into its penultimate day.All photographs courtesy of Neil Stoddart.Edit: It appears that Andrew Li actually has 704,000 not 104,000. A mistake made from the way his “1” was written on the chip bag. This means Norwegian Nergard is bottom of the chip counts with 105,000.
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