He started the current level in second place but the Russian doubled up Tobias Reinkemeier when an all-in river overbet went wrong and slipped to sixth. He couldn’t recover.

In his exit hand Talal Shakerchi raised to 45,000 with , it folded to Kurganov and he peeked down at . “This is a trivial all-in isn’t it?” said Jesse May, “It is given the frequency that Talal has been opening,” added Phil Laak. “Don’t do it Igor, fold, fold,” implored Jennifer Tilly, who with 16 points wants Igor to collect points more than Talal.

But Kurganov moved all-in, Shakerchi called and held up on the board. With just eight points in total barring a very specific result Kurganov can, even if he wins Heat 4, only make the play-off zone given that Dan Shak and Tobias Reinkemeier already have more points than he can muster.


A few hands later Jason Mercier, who was down to just 206,000, shoved all-in from the small blind with only for Dan Shak to wake up with pocket queens. The ladies held up on the flop to send Mercier out in fifth. Mercier will take 10 points into the last heat and said: “If I want to make the final I’m realistically going to need to win the last heat. I need Tony to go out next, there’s quite a lot to think about and I need to figure out a plan.”

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