Cannes, France (October 2, 2012) -- The 2012 WSOP Europe Main Event continued today at the luxurious Majestic Barriere, in Cannes, France with the play and conclusion of Day Three of the five-day championship event.

With the winner still to be determined, the €10,450 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament has already produced several headlines.  Here are some of the major storylines entering what promises to be a critical day of this tournament coming on Wednesday:

Joseph Cheong Seizes the Chip Lead – 2010 WSOP Main Event third place finisher Joseph Cheong made a major move during the middle of Day Three and ended the session with an impressive chip lead.  France’s Paul Tedeschi ranks second, by some margin.

24 Players Remain – Players from seven nations are represented among the final 23 survivors, including the United States (9), France (5), Great Britain (3), Russia (1), Belarus (1), Canada (1), and Ukraine (1).

We’re in the Money – The day began with 94 players.  About midway through play, the money positions were reached, at 48 players.  Those still in are guaranteed to collect at least 26,611.

Defending Champ Elio Fox Cashes – The winner of the 2011 WSOP Europe Main Event posted another impressive performance, with his second-consecutive in-the-money finish at Cannes.  Fox (New York, NY) finished in 39th place.

Notable French Pros in the Money – After a rough year in the inaugural WSOP Europe stop held last October, French players are enjoying a superb run – with two victories out of six completed gold bracelet events, to date.  Although several top pros exited on Day Three, more than a third of the players in the money have been from the home country of France.  Among the more notable names on this list was Paris poker pioneer Bruno Fitoussi, earning his second career WSOP Europe cash ever with his 35th-place finish.

Bertrand Grospellier Eliminated – Early on, this tournament looked like it might be a monumental triumph for the French-born master gamesman and gold bracelet winner.  But the player better known as “Elky” suffered a brutal third day and exited in 25th place.

Steve Dannenman’s Return – The 2005 WSOP Main Event runner up (to Joe Hachem) is enjoying one is best performances in a top-flight event since his breakthrough run.  Dannenman enters Day Four in the middle of the pack, ranked in 15th place.

Daniel Negreanu’s 60th Career Cash – Four-time gold bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu cracked the top ten in all-time cashes at this year’s WSOP Europe, with three in-the-money finishes.  He finished 43rd in the Main Event.

Moreover, the 2012 WSOP Player of the Year race will come close to being decided after this week’s events (and pending the outcome of the world championship final table, coming at the end of October).

The tournament attracted 420 entries, which is slightly ahead of the overall six-year average for WSOP Europe Main Events. The top 48 finishers collect prize money, with the winner scheduled to receive €1,002,366.

Remaining players will return at noon on Wednesday for the play of Day Four.  The session will continue until the final table of eight players (rather than the standard – nine) is reached.

Here’s the leader board entering the start of Day Four:
1. Joseph Cheong (USA) - 1,381,000
2. Paul Tedeschi (FRANCE) - 1,071,000
3. Sergii Baranov (UKRAINE) - 1,055,000
4. Christopher Brammer (GREAT BRITAIN) - 956,000
5. Jason Mercier (USA) - 824,000
6. Phil Hellmuth (USA) - 741,000
7. Max Silver (GREAT BRITAIN) - 656,000
8. Curt Kohlberg (GREAT BRITAIN) - 607,000
9. Timothy Adams (CANADA) - 577,000
10. Joe McGowan (USA) - 518,000