2015 EPT Malta Day 5: France Leads the Way

2015 EPT Malta Day 5: France Leads the Way 0001

When 895 of the top poker players in the world get together on the PokerStars European Poker Tour (EPT), it takes five days to decide on the final six players. Day 5 of the 2015 Main Event saw France surge out to the front, with Valentin Messina and Jean Montury heading forward with top counts. As the only players with more than 7 million chips, and almost 15 million between them. the Frenchmen have more chips than the rest of the table combined.

German Stefan Schillhabel, who seemed to almost appear at this final table out of nowhere, sits on the third-biggest stack with 5,515,000. He, along with the fourth stack and Day 3 chipleader, Javier Gomez Zapatero (3,800,000), are looking to change their poker lives with this score. With everyone remaining guaranteed €153,700, both players are guaranteed to more than triple their lifetime earnings.

A couple of familiar faces lurk at the bottom of the counts. Polish phenom and PokerStars-sponsored player Dominik Panka is fifth with 1,680,000. Even with only 20 big blinds, the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure winner has the experience to make his stack dangerous for the rest of the table. At the bottom of the counts is the other German, Hossein Ensan, who barely bagged up 10 big blinds. Hossein is looking to improve on his third-place finish in Barcelona earlier this season and score his first EPT Main Event win.

The official final table of eight players also included Panka's countryman Remi Wyrzykiewicz, who busted in eighth for €76,000. The Pole was eliminated by Day 4 chipleader Antonin Duda, who was then himself eliminated in seventh position for €108,200, setting up the final day of six-handed play on Saturday.

The final table gets started at 1 p.m. CET tomorrow afternoon. Check back here to see if Messina or Montury can parlay their big stacks into a win, or if Panka or Ensan can claw their way back from a small stack, or perhaps if Schillabel or Zapatero will write a Cinderella ending to this tournament and take it all down. Check here tomorrow to find out all the action.

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