By Simon Young

The crystal-clear seas outside may be calm, but in Le Moulin Rouge room, at the back of the seventh deck of the huge MSC Poesia, there are stormy waters for some as numbers remaining in the PartyPoker Million VI falls to 93 from the 123 day two starters.

One of those who is struggling in the swell is the most surprising – overnight chip leader Ludvig Lidviksson is down, and nearly out. The man from Iceland, who started the day with about 45,000, looked down to find 4-4 in the hole, and got all his money in when the flop came 3-4-K. You know it’s not going to be your day, however, when the man to your left flips over K-K.

Lidviksson needs a miracle to rebuild, but he’s at a tough table, with Swede Samir Shakhtoor, a European Poker Tour final tablist in Copenhagen, looking threatening with a stack now approaching 50,000. Shakhtoor accounted for the first exit of the day, when his A-J saw off Manfred Manahan from Canada, who had pushed his 5,000 stack with A-4 suited.

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Samir Shakhtoor sitting comfortably with growing chips

The overnight table redraw had seen table 17 put together with three of the overnight chip leaders: Canada’s Jonathan Dsouza, who got off to a flyer yesterday, George Dunst of Australia, and Germany’s Tobias Reinkemeier.

While the latter two have continued to build, DSouza’s starting stack of 28,000 dwindled away until, down to his last 7,000, he pushed with K-10 and came up against the aces. The flop of 9-J-6 offered hope of a gutshot straight, but following 10 and 5 changed nothing.

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George Dunst, middle, and Tobias Reinkemeier, right

Moments later, the man with the aces busted Alan Smurfit. With blinds at 200-400 and a 50 running ante, Smurfit raised to 1,000, was re-raised to 3,000 and pushed for a total of 7,500. He turned over A-K, ‘Mr Aces’ had Q-Q this time and the 3-5-3-2-J board sent him to the rail.

Another big mover – though in a downward direction –  is WSOP Europe Horse bracelet winner Thomas Bihl, from Germany (the Germans make up 20% of our starting field). He’s down to 10,000 from his 35,000 starting point.

Yesterday I wrote that Austrian Christoph Haller found A-A just as I walked past, and that spurned his chip-building. Well, I walked past him again this afternoon and he only went and found the aces again. Sadly for him, everyone folded to his raise this time around. Perhaps they now realise Haller always has aces when I’m on the rail. Haller now has over 20,000.

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Christian Kruel, left, and Mike McDonald in battle

Meanwhile, Brazilian Christian Kruel has bitten the dust, but not until after a fine skirmish with Canadian Mike McDonald, known as Timex online. First off the pair were in the blinds and saw a flop of 4-3-4. Kruel bet, McDonald re-raised and the Brazilian folded, leaving only 2,000 or so behind.

One hand later, they were at it again. This time Kruel went all in with A-10, called by McDonald with A-J, but the 10-K-K-2-3 board saved the man from Rio. It would not spur Kruel on, though, and a few rounds of the table later he was out of the door, at which time McDonald was moved to the same table as Dunst and Reinkemeier, which could provide fireworks later.

The international flavour of this event – they’ve come from all over the world – sees several Russians at the table. One, Igor Osipov, wearing a natty white hat and yellow flowery shirt, is bulldozing his table, reaching the first break of the afternoon with more than 40,000. He won one 13,000 pot by leading out on the flop and turn with an open-ended straight draw which he reached on the river. His 7-8 nicely disguised on the 6-K-5-2-4 board.

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Hat’s the way to stack chips: Igor Osipov

We’re due to play a total of seven levels today during the long trip of the cruise from Katakolon in Greece to Izmir in Turkey.

Check back later for more thrills and spills from the tables.

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Katakolon from the top deck of MSC Poesia

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