The drama started before the bubble with the elimination of Jason Mercier. The Team Pro looked set to make the money, even more so when he found aces in a hand against Adrian Mateos, who got his chips in with ace-king.
The Spaniard, who won the EPT Grand Final a little more than three months ago, looked deflated. But then came a flash of hope to his face when the flop delivered a king. Mercier’s aces were still a long way ahead, with the Spaniard counting on one of two outs. One of which landed on the river to audible groans from those watching.
Hand for hand play soon followed, but it proved agonisingly slow. When it did break, more than an hour later, it was not the defeated player Wilfried Harig who got the attention. Instead that went to Daniel Erlandsson, who having been down to 2,000 chips had survived the improbable.
It all came about amid comic scenes in the tournament area. Anticipating Erlandsson’s demise, players gathered around his table, only to hear that on the other side of the room Harig was all-in with a call. They then shuffled across the room to watch like the Anthill Mob to watch Harig, the chip leader at the start of the day, bust out, his top pair flushed away on the turn by Leo Fernandez. There was nothing left for the Anthill Mob to do but dash back and high five Erlandsson.
His delight was, well, obvious.
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Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.