World Cup heat 3 - all the action
Cristian Mihai, Romania, wins heat three. He earns 15 points for Romania
11.15pm: Daniel Negreanu, Canada, eliminated in second place
Three all-in double-ups back to back proved decisive for Cristian Mihai, of Romania. Firstly there was the hand detailed below, then Romania makes a straight with A-4 against Romania's J-5. The final blow came when Cristian showed A-3 all-in pre-flop and Daniel showed J-10. The jack flopped but the ace rivered and it was over. Daniel Negreanu takes 12 points for second place.
11.05pm: After some small pot poker heads up, Daniel Negreanu, of Canada, manages to grind himself into a sizeable chip lead. But he ends up doubling up Cristian, of Romania, when the latter moves in in the dark and tables Q-9. Negreanu has J-6 and there's no improvement. We go on.
10.45pm: Big double up for Romania in the heads up battle. Daniel Negreanu, of Canada, has Cristian Mihai, of Romania, covered and makes a call of Romania's all in holding pocket twos. Mihai, however, has nines and survives a non-threatening board to double up. He now has the chip lead.
10.15pm: Daniel Bolton, Ireland, eliminated in third place
Back from the dinner break and straight into the action. Daniel Negreanu, of Canada, raises from the small blind and his namesake from Ireland moves in over the top. It's a mandatory call for Negreanu with his K-10 and they're racing when Bolton shows 4-4. And Canada wins the race: a king and a ten flop, another ten turns, and that is that. Daniel Bolton takes nine points for third.
8.55pm: A reprieve for Daniel Negreanu and Team Canada. He's got kicker trouble when he gets it all in with A-3 against Romania's A-7, an ace on the flop. But the board pairs on the river and they chop it.
8.45pm: Three-handed chip count:
Daniel Negreanu, Canada, 15,100
Rajala Cristian Mihai, Romania, 13,200
Daniel Bolton, Ireland, 11,700
They're playing level eight, where the blinds are 800-1,600.
8.35pm: Randy Principe, USA, eliminated in fourth place
He brought his A-game, but he was outdrawn at the death and was sent to the rail. Daniel Bolton, of Ireland, pushed all in pre-flop and Randy, of the United States, made the call with A-10. Greg Raymer, in the stands, approved of the call and he was right to: Principe was way ahead of Bolton's 9-4. But a nine flopped and Randy never caught up. He takes seven points for fifth place.
8.30pm: The Romania contingent is singing again as their man, Rajala Cristian Mihai, doubles up to more than 13,000. He called all-in with A-8 after Daniel Bolton, of Ireland, open-raised all in from under the gun. Bolton turned a flush draw, but it didn't hit and Romania, already leading the overall standings, is now among the chip lead here.
8.20pm: David Windisch, Germany, eliminated in fifth place
But it didn't last long for Windisch, who got it all in the next hand with just 10-4d. Unfortunately for him, Rajala Cristian Mihai, of Romania, found A-K and made the call. The king on the turn gave Germany an inside straight draw, but there were no miracles. Down to four. Windisch earns five points for fifth.
8.15pm: David Windisch, of Germany, doubles up courtesy of Daniel Bolton, of Ireland. Germany moved in for 2,000 and Ireland didn't like it, but was obliged to call to try to knock out a player. Bolton had K-8d, Windisch a pair of tens. No help on the board for either player and Germany takes it.
8pm: Big hand here in Barcelona. It's dog eat dog, or Daniel eat Daniel. The two big stacks: Daniel Bolton, of Ireland, and Daniel Negreanu, of Canada, got all their chips in on a board of 8c-10h-5s. Bolton had Negreanu comfortably covered, but had to make a tough call. He had J-9 for an open-ended straight draw, while Negreanu's J-10 had made top pair. Eventually Bolton did make the call but missed all his outs and Negreanu doubled up.
7.45pm: We're in a calm before a probably storm. David Windisch, of Germany, Randy Principe, of the US, and Cristian Mihai, of Romania, are pushing their short stacks forward and not picking up any callers. Meanwhile Daniel Bolton, of Ireland, continues to build his chip-leading column.
7.25pm: Play has tightened up a little here in heat three, which plays into the hands of the big stacks. Daniel Bolton, of Ireland, is bossing at the moment, taking down whatever he can through the power of his strong right arm. Germany and the United States are on the short stacks, but a double up can change everything.
7.05pm: Luis Medina, Portugal, eliminated in sixth place
Returning from the break, Luis Medina, the short-stack, moved it all in behind A-2. He was called by Daniel Bolton, of Ireland, holding a big stack and A-8. The turn brought the deuce to give plenty of hope for a double up, but the river was an eight and Portugal is out. They take three points to bring their team total to 13 points after three heats.
7pm: Chip counts:
1 - Randy Principe, USA, 5,200
2 - Luis Medina, Portugal, 2,800
3 - David Windisch, Germany, 4,700
4 - Martha Herrera, Mexico - OUT
5 - Rajala Cristian Mihai, Romania, 6,600
6 - Einar Sveinsson, Iceland - OUT
7 - Daniel Negreanu, Canada, 10,700
8 - Daniel Bolton, Ireland, 10,000
6.40pm: Einar Sveinsson, Iceland, eliminated in seventh place
Daniel Negreanu is the assassin again after Einar Sveinsson, of Iceland, moves all in pre-flop. Iceland had A-Q but Canada had Q-Q. Although an inside straight draw came for Iceland, neither it nor the ace hit and Sveinsson's day is done. He'll take two points for seventh.
6.20pm: A come-from-behind double up for USA. Randy Principe gets it all in with A-8 and is called by Einar Sveinsson, of Iceland, with A-10. The flop brings an eight and not a ten. Team USA is back in the mix.
6.10pm: Play has remained significantly looser in heat three than it was in the previous two heats. Luis Medina, of Portugal, and Daniel Bolton, of Ireland, just tangled. By the river, both had made sets: Luis had matched his pocket sixes; Daniel his pocket nines. The only reason all the money didn't go in was because the board showed four diamonds and neither player had one in the hole. Bolton picked up a pot of around 2,000.
Sunglasses and stories: A couple of stories picked up during the break here in Barcelona. Firstly, Mad Harper, our roving reporter, spoke to Einar Sveinsson, of Iceland, and asked him of his previous poker experience. He remembered qualifying for the World Series 2006 on PokerStars, but also recalls when it all went wrong near the end of the first day.
Glancing around his table, he noticed every single player was wearing sunglasses and, as a newbie, didn't want to be left out of the crowd. So he nipped off during the break to buy his own pair and returned to take his place among the be-shaded crowd.
Problem: sunglasses make things notably darker and Einar ended up missing a possible flush on the board. He bet his top pair hard, and shipped a load of chips to an opponent who had made the flush. Einar is sunglasses-free here in Barcelona.
On the other hand, Randy Principe, of Team USA, is putting his faith in shades. Not just any old shades, though. Greg Raymer has just loaned his trademark lizard-eye sunglasses to his team-mate as Principe attempts send some cold-blooded shivers through his opponents. Principe is the short stack after the break, but who'd bet against him while sporting the world champion's eye-wear?
5.30pm: The remaining seven players are on a ten minute break. They will return to stacks looking like:
1 - Randy Principe, USA, 3,040
2 - Luis Medina, Portugal, 4,870
3 - David Windisch, Germany, 4,770
4 - Martha Herrera, Mexico - OUT
5 - Rajala Cristian Mihai, Romania, 5,180
6 - Einar Sveinsson, Iceland, 3,970
7 - Daniel Negreanu, Canada, 10,320
8 - Daniel Bolton, Ireland, 7,850
When they return, the smaller denominations will have been coloured up.
5.20pm: Luis Medina, of Portugal, takes a pot off Daniel Negreanu. He flops two-pair and bets it all the way, finding a willing caller in the Team Canada colours. Daniel mucks on the end, but is still chip leader.
5.10pm: The fun continues. This time it's USA and Ireland, represented by Randy Principe and Daniel Bolton, respectively, who go to battle. Randy calls Daniel's pre-flop raise, then bets out on the flop of 6h-4c-Ac. Ireland calls. The turn is 5c and this time Ireland comes out firing: all in. Randy thinks, and maybe suspects he's been trapped. He lays it down and Ireland takes it down.
5.01pm: Martha Herrera, Mexico, eliminated in eighth place
Martha got her final chips into the pot on the very next hand. But the miracle double up didn't occur and she's our eighth place finisher, taking one point. Mexico are in trouble. They were propping up the standings going into this heat, and that solitary point is nowhere near good enough.
5.00pm: Huge pot. Martha Herrera and Daniel Negreanu get it all in on a flop of Qd-4s-2s. Martha has Daniel covered by about 60 chips, and shows Ks-10s for the flush draw. Daniel has aces for, well, aces. He has to miss two bullets on turn and river - and dodge them he does: they're both red fives. Daniel doubles up and Martha, of Mexico, is in big trouble.
4.50pm: We're really seeing some poker here. Daniel Negreanu, of Canada, just folded 9-9 face up after a re-raise from David Windisch, of Germany. He then called a raise pre-flop with 4-4 and scooped when it was checked all the way down. Then Daniel Bolton, of Ireland, joined the fray, check-raising a flop bet from Luis Medina, of Portugal. It was good enough.
4.40pm: Today, the steady rhythm of "pass, pass, pass" that beat through yesterday is being regularly punctuated by a new sound. It goes: "Daniel raises 250." The Team Canada celebrity just tried it three times in a row, picking up two pots, but also picking up an aggressive re-raise from Daniel Bolton, of Ireland. Bolton picked up that one.
4.30pm: The cards are in the air and already it looks like being an action-packed heat. In the early exchanges, Martha Herrera, of Mexico, has been doing a lot of pre-flop raising, enough to encourage Daniel Negreanu, of Canada, to defend his big blind. The flop brought 8c-Kd-9d and Martha bet 500. Daniel called. They then both checked it all the way and showed down 8-5 for Daniel (a monster) and 8-7 for Martha, not much more monstrous. They chopped it, but showed that there's going to be a lot more play in this heat.