By Simon Young
I don’t know what the players had for dinner, but when the 60 of them returned there was a burst of bloodthirsty aggression that scared the hell out of me. So bad was it, that by the time play ended for the night, just three hours later, the PartyPoker Million VI field had nearly halved to 33.
Things can turn in an instant, of course, but for now one man who can very happy with his night’s work is young German Johaness Strassmann, who has climbed to the chip lead with 218,000. He’s a man on form, after final tabling this season’s EPT Dortmund, and finishing ninth in the Prague event.
Johaness Strassmann’s stack grew at a rate of knots
We’re yet to receive the full counts, but it seems the German has more than twice as many chips as his nearest rivals: PartyPoker Late Night Poker 2008 winner Andreas Jorbeck, on 99,900, and German Thomas Bihl, one of the chip leaders at the start of the day and still right up there with 95,500.
Alexey Yuzikov, 82,400, Samir Shakhtoor, 70,200 and Alexander Jung – the man who earlier in the day flopped quad aces – has 58,000 as the chasing bunch make sure they don’t get left behind.
Some of the play was pretty brutal. Take the experience of Philip Hulse from the UK, who is more used to smaller live tournaments in his local casino in Stoke. He had battled all the way through day two, doubled up once with aces, and looked set to do so again with about 20 minutes left to play.
He got all his chips in against Austria’s Christoph Haller when the flop showed 6-9-J. The aces for Hulse were still a mile ahead of Haller’s A-J… until another jack fell on the turn giving Haller trips. It left Hulse shaking his head with just 5,000 left as blinds reached 600-1,200 with a 200 running ante.
As a former maths teacher, Hulse will appreciate that the probability of Haller hitting trip jacks to crack the aces was pretty low.
But at least the Englishman is still in with a chance of making the first money-paying position, 24th place.
Not so fortunate is Russian Igor Osipov, German Sebastian Ruthenberg and overnight chip leader Ludvig Lidviksson, from Iceland, who was crippled earlier in the day when his set of fours hit a set of kings. Ouch.
Play will commence at 4pm local time tomorrow, with players returning to their same seats. There will be a seat redraw when the bubble bursts and 24 remain.
Tournament director Matt Savage also confirmed that if we make it down to the final table of eight tomorrow, then there will be a day off on Wednesday before the planned final on Thursday.
We’ll get the remaining chip counts for you as soon as we can.
Meanwhile, the good ship MSC Poesia is steaming towards Izmir in Turkey. We then head to Istanbul on Wednesday for a stop that will leave plenty of time for sight-seeing.