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EPT Grand Final: Antonio Esfandiari Magically Leads, Joe Hachem Gets 'Salty' with Woody Deck

Antonio Esfandiari leads on Day 3 of the EPT Grand FinalThe new World Poker Tour poster boy and leader of the long-forgotten "Magician Invasion" of 2005, Antonio Esfandiari is the current chipleader at the PokerStars.com EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo, where 50 or so players remain gunning for the €2,020,000 first place prize.

Stacked at 655,000, according to PokerNews.com, Esfandiari hasn't won a major event since Bush's first term in office, which either means the guy is due or has no chance to pull this off. Could go either way. Yes, we're feeling especially noncommital today after watching the Brittany Lee Hustler video. With our pants down.

In second right now is Peter Traply from Hungary, who's been gobbling up chips all day amassing 590,000 last we checked. Sitting in third, Norway's Johnny Lodden with 550,000.

Still in and feeling especially salty today is "Salty" Joe Hachem (195,000), who is looking to complete the poker tour trifecta here by adding an EPT win to his WSOP and WPT titles. Word from the floor is that Hachem, who earned his nickname from us because he's quick tempered and feisty, was quick tempered and feisty today when the unfortunately named Woody Deck accused him of angle shooting and called him an asshole. An enraged Hachem looked as if he was going to pummel the cocky Deck when Antonio Esfandiari hopped on over, in total Rocks & Rings style, to hold him back. PokerNews.com reporter TassieDevil has the scoop over in their live reports section. Try to find it here if you can, or scroll down or click another page or give up trying to find it 'cause the PNewsers don't have permalinks for their posts. Web 2.0 Tony G. Help a brother out.

Besides Esfandiari, the hopes of US America pulling off a third consecutive EPT Grand Final win rest in the hands of some decent players, a few who don't necessarily sound like they're from U.S. America, like Rami Boukai (469,000), Isaac Baron (410,000), Noah Siegel (260,000), David Shade Kruger (243,000), Michael Martin (240,000) and CardRunner's Eric Lieu (237,000).

Most recent big name bust was Sorel Mizzi who exits in 55th place for €25,200.

Chip counts here.

The Matt and Martin Show here.

Otis and the PokerStars gang here.

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