Brandon Cantu It Despite Promising Start At EPT Vilamoura
August 31, 2021
The PokerStars European Poker Tour Vilamoura main event, as of this writing, is down to only 24 players, after a wild couple of days that saw many player’s chip stacks grow massive to threaten only to tumble and crash, like the many waves off of portugal’s beautiful coast.  The 221 Day 1 surviving players were reduced down to only three tables quickly, and often in cruel fashion, perhaps best illustrated by examining poker pro Brandon Cantu’s surprising Vilamoura experience. 

Cantu, a highly respected young pro with over $3,000,000 in tournament cashes and victories at both the World Series of Poker and the World Poker Tour, appeared to be well on his way to possibly achieving poker’s triple crown, adding a European Poker Tour title to his other list of accomplishments.  After a fairly fortunate Day 1 in Vilamoura lead to a massively successful Day 2, Cantu found himself leading the field going into Day 3, with over a half-million in tournament chips and few other players even close to him. 

At that point in the event, many major threats at the start of Day 2 like Sorel Mizzi, Antonio Esfandiari, Dario Minieri and Alex Kravchenko had already been eliminated and it appeared Cantu was almost assured, if not a victory, at least a very large chunk of the €1,862,400 total prize pool.  Surprisingly though, that turned out not to be the case, and Cantu after a brutal Day 3 was forced to settle for a a 36th place cash and a mere €8,381, joining other shallow Day 3 cashers like Luca Pagano (52nd), Joe Ebanks (56th), Marcin Horecki (35th) and J.P. Kelly (29th) on the EPT’s rail.

With Cantu out of the way, it now appears Sweden’s Martin Jacobson, the chip leader with nearly the double the stack of his closest rival, is set to take this thing down but clearly that’s not a given, not only because other tough players like Rob Hollink, Sam Trickett, Jason Lee and English footballer Teddy Sheringham are still in the hunt, but because if Cantu’s story showed us anything it’s that no player regardless of their stack, is ever a lock when it comes to big buy-in, No-Limit Hold ‘em tournaments.

For more information on the wild happenings at the PokerStars European Poker Tour Vilamoura main event, check out the PokerStars blog.
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