2.52pm: Chouity out
Nicolas Chouity is out, running his A♦Q♦ into Sebastian Blom's A♣K♣. The former EPT Grand Final winner failed to get lucky on the 2♠4♠8♦5♣J♠ board, and Isildur1's little brother took the loot and shot up to 300,000. -- SY
2.50pm: Woolly bully
The big stacks are happy to bully and buy pots off those stressed by shorter stacks. Sometimes, however, it backfires and Martins Adeniya has just seen some of his hard-fought stack slide over to Christopher McClung.
The flop was 6♣6♠9♠ and Adeniya check-called McClung's 19,000 bet. On the Q♦ turn, Adeniya checked then moved all-in when McClung made it 30,000. McClung called instantly, turning over T♦6♦ for trips, way ahead of Adeniya's K♥T♥. The Brit was drawing to a jack for a straight, but the river came 8♣. That doubled McClung up to around 200,000, while Adeniya was pegged back to 450,000. -- SY
2.45pm: Still battling
Adria Balaguer has doubled up to 50,000 after his pocket jacks held up against James Wilson's pocket threes. -- SY
2.43pm: DIVE, DIVE, DIVE
James Wilson is a British Navy submariner who is currently looking a shoe-in for the money. He should be go for the later stages if he can keep his current table image.
I arrived at the flop to see Wilson lead 11,000 into the Q♦7♠5♠ flop from middle position and then jam over the top of Mustapha Kanit's button raise to 24,500.. Kanit didn't think for too long before mucking his hand. Wilson said: "I'll show the set," and showed Q♠Q♥ for the flopped nuts. Will that lead and show help Wilson pick up some fold equity at this table? Probably. Wilson chips up to 210,000. -- RD
2.40pm: Close but no cigar
Some of these players were so close to a minimum payday of £7,500 but get the same as the player who busted in 691st:
2.35pm: Liakos likes the river
Nikolas Liakos was halfway out of his seat but the river came to his rescue to double him up.
The action folded around to Daniel Neilson in the small blind and he raised and called when the Swede shoved for 74,700 from the small blind.
The board ran 9♦K♣6♦8♦7♣. Just before and as the river came out Liakos said, "Yup. Oh, there you go" and sat back down. Neilson still has 300,000 chips left. -- MC
2.30pm: How the champions fall
Jason Mercier is out. Nicolas Chouity saw him to the rail. He moved all-in from the hijack before Mercier did the same from the big blind for about 36,000.
The board ran T♦7♣5♣3♠A♥. Mercier had taken his headphones off on the flop and had gone before the river card.
A few moments before another former champion Anton Wigg was making the same journey. After Neil Pearce opened for 7,000 on the button Wigg shoved from the big blind for 45,000, which Pearce called, showing 9♥9♣ to Wigg's A♦8♥.
The board ran K♦Q♥7♥T♣3♠. Wigg out, and looking genuinely disappointed about it. - SB
2.21pm: Kings not the hand for Sarwer
Jeff Sarwer looked up and gave a palms up whatcha-gonna-do shrug. His pocket kings were flat on their back against the black aces of Jorge Cuello. Almost half of Sarwer's stack was in the middle matching Cuello's 49,000. Sarwer flopped a potential backdoor flush draw but no heart on the turn and no king on the turn or river and Spaniard Cuello raked in the 100,000 pot.
"I had a bad* feeling about it," said Sarwer who was left with around 50,000 after the hand. Sarwer had kings cracked late on for a big pot at EPT Tallinn, so I guess it's understandable that he had the bad feeling about them. -- RD
*Okay, he didn't say bad, he used a different word, one which I would have had to use *'s and #'s with and as I don't like doing so, I've substituted it with bad. So there.
2.18pm: Deeb joins Mercier in the fight
Freddy Deeb has (presumably) doubled to 30,000. Both still in trouble but Deeb now joins Mercier as a player a fighting chance. -- RD
2.17pm: Mercier plays on
Jason Mercier has doubled up. "I just want to make the money," he said after scooping the pot, Barny Boatman playing the part of donator.
With the cards on their backs Boatman showed A♣7♦ to Mercier's K♣4♣.
"I'd wish you luck," said Boatman. "But you know I wouldn't mean it."
The flop came A♦6♣K♥ and the turn T♣, causing a few "oohs". The river came 8♣ to make the flush for Mercier, back up to around 30,000. Boatman down to 90,000. -- SB
2.15pm: I'd like to use my 'one time'
Bad beat alert! Gerasimos Deres leaves EPT London a disgruntled man. He got his last 60,000 in with A-K against Daniel Rowlands' A-Q and was delighted when the flop came K♠7♣[3c ] to put him firmly ahead. Unfortunately for him, the turn was T♦ and river J♦ to make Rowlands an unlikely straight.
"I'd like that to me by official one time of the tournament," declared Rowlands, who was reminded by Phil Shaw that he cannot now use the 'one-time' again.
Rowlands shoots up to 140,000 after that, leaving the unfortunate Deres to tell his bad beat story to Jeff Sarwer before leaving the tournament floor. -- SY
2.10pm: Adeniya on a roll
Martins Adeniya continues his surge up the leaderboard and now sits with 560,000. A chunk of that came after he bet 77,000 on the river of a 7♦4♣J♣J♦K♣ board and got a call from Christopher McClung from Canada. Adeniya promptly turned over A♦J♥ to take a meaty pot. -- SY
2.05pm: Ruthenberg low
Team PokerStars Pro Sebastian Ruthenberg is down to 40,000 after doubling up Sakari Setala. The German had A♣Q♦ but was in bad shape against Setala's A♥K♦. The flop of 3♥5♥6♥ changed nothing, and although the 5♦ turn opened up chop possibilities, the 7♣ river settled things. -- SY
2.04pm: Deeb doing it his own way
Freddy Deeb is not exactly what you'd call a tournament fish, he has $7,579,581 in live winnings after all, which is why he did seem to take just the slightest amount of umbrage from Humebrto Brenes' criticism of his last hand.
The action folded to Deeb who was short stacked with around 15,000 who made up the 1,500 into Sam Macdonald's big blind. Macdonald was given his option. He chose to take it and announced he was all-in, his large stack dwarfing Deeb's. Deeb mucked.
"You only have two moves there; all-in or fold," said Humberto Brenes (you know, the one with the shark).
"It's okay, I can call and fold," said Deeb, who proved that he could but doing just that. "I had five-six, I can't bluff him."
Brenes is now past 200,000 and is increasingly vocal, something I attribute more to the proximity of TV cameras than I do the size of the stack. We haven't heard a peep out of Brenes for the first couple of days but today he's bobbing in his seat, singing and giving back chat. The fact that the TV crews are roaming as of today a coincidence? I think not. -- RD
1.55pm: Deeb doubles
Freddy Deeb just doubled up, taking his stack up to around 15,000. He shoved with Q♥T♥ against the A♦8♦ of Andrew Hinrichsen. The board ran T♦9♥Q♠5♣K♦ to keep Deeb alive. -- SB
1.50pm: Beware Blom
There may have been few showdowns but there's plenty going on at the table featuring Nicolas Chouity, Sebastian Blom, Barny Boatman and Jason Mercier.
Chouity opened one pot for 6,200 in early position which Blom, in the seat next to him, then raised to 15,000. Boatman folded, leaning back to look at the screen, as did everyone else, sending the action back to Chouity. He paused, pulled out some yellow chips, and raised to 29,000. Blom, taking half the time, called.
Blom is older than his brother Viktor. While Blom the younger turned 21 a few days ago (tweeting "Vegas here I come"), Blom the elder is 25, is the Swedish Online Champion (topping a field of 2,380 players), and his appearance is that of someone a little more comfortable sorting himself out in the morning. He wears a Pringle shirt and his hair is combed in just the one direction. He also wears a pair of sunglasses, which, as a point of interest, is the first time he has ever done so in a poker tournament.
Chouity checked the 9♣Q♦J♠ flop before Blom bet 22,000. Chouity played with the yellows as Blom, waited. No sense throwing good chips after bad - Chouity passed. Blom showed him the 8♣.
"Same hand..." said Chouity, who drops to 130,000. Blom is close to 300,000. That would be 6,600 less for Chouity in the next hand and the same amount more for Blom when Chouity bet 6,600 under the gun. Blom raised to 15,000 forcing the former EPT Grand Final champion out of the pot a second time. - SB
1.44pm: Clavet first to go
Mathieu Clavet was the first to go after the break finding himself all-in for 400 (one ante) against Gerasimos Deres with 3♥3♣. Deres caught an ace to send Clavet to the rail but not before he wished the table good luck. -- RD
1.42pm: In need of a comeback
If Jason Mercier is going to win EPT London as he predicted on his chip bag at the end of Day 1, then he'll need a Michael Martin style comeback to do it. His tweet in the break read:
"Was up to 110k then lost 190k pot AQs vs 88 all in pre. Board runs AK3J8 sooooo I have 6 bbs. 18k going to 1500/3k we r bout 20 away from $". -- MC
1.37pm: Those who wished they were back for this level
Georges Yazbeck -- MC
1.35pm: Money drawing near, short stacks in peril
The board currently reads 126 players left, so that means another 20-odd players will leave with nothing to show for their efforts bar a blue receipt for a £5,000 buy-in.
One player that is pretty much guaranteed to leave empty-handed is Canadian Mathieu Clavet who lost a 69,000 pre-flop pot with A♣T♣ to fellow short stack Daniel Rowlands who held K♥Q♥. Clavet was left with just 400 chips, four solitary black 100 chips, just enough for a single ante.
"Unlucky mate," said Rowlands as the Clavet walked off for the break.
"Don't say that to me again," said Clavet (or something very similar Rowlands has said).
Rowlands gave one of those looks, eyebrows raised as if to say 'I was only trying to be polite but seeing as you're being petulant I'm now doubly glad to have taken your chips,' but perhaps I'm reading too much into it. Rowlands now in with a better chance of cashing, Clavet's departure imminent. Phil Shaw is at the same table with 70,000 - another stack looking for a decent double up or pre-flop takedown.
Level 15 has begun.-- RD
1.22pm: Break time
One level down and the first 15-minute break of the day.
1.20pm: Mizzi triples
Sorel Mizzi came back short and has been short the entire first level and in need of a double-up. He couldn't find one but he did manage a triple-up.
First of, he shoved for 18,900 from the hijack and managed to steal the blinds and antes. The very next hand he shoved for 25,500 before Hugo Loureiro three-bet to 100,000 from the next seat and Georges Yazbeck called all-in from the big blind.
The board ran an uneventful A♥6♣4♥3♠8♠. Mizzi smiled wide and Yazbeck headed for the exit. -- MC
1.15pm: Make that nine
We mentioned earlier that there were eight former EPT winners still in the field - seven with the departure of Jake Cody. But careful examination of the field (hat tip: Howard Swains) reveals that number should technically have been nine as English player John Gale plays on. Gale was the winner of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure before the Bahamas was declared part of Europe by tournament officials. - SB
1.10pm: Boatman doubles
Barny Boatman was short-stacked with around 36,000 but found the perfect time to get aces against Stephen O'Dwyer's pocket nines. "I've seen worse flops," joked Jason Mercier, as the dealer put down K♠5♥7♠. The turn was 4♦ and river 5♠ to double up the Londoner. -- SY
1.05pm: That'll work
Simon Taberham was all-in for 14,000 with pocket queens, and concerned to be called by Rajesh Vohra's A♦T♥. Vohra tapped the ace card, intimating that he expected another ace to fall on the board to eliminate the Australian. Taberham need not have worried - another queen fell on the flop and another on the turn to make him quads. Easy game. -- SY
1pm: Good pot for Rosen
Jamie Rosen took a decent pot off Paul Alterman. Alterman had bet 5,400 before Rosen re-raised to 12,900. Call. The flop was A♦9♥Q♣ and Rosen continued his aggression with a bet of 9,600. Call. Now Rosen checked the 3♦ turn and called Alterman's 12,000 bet. At this point, neither really knew where they were at anymore and checked down the 8♣ river. Rosen turned over A♥K♠ and it was good. -- SY
12.56: Still the king
There has been another elimination from the feature table and this time it was Salman Behbehani. He hit top pair on the 5♥2♠8♣ flop and that was enough to make him commit the rest of his short stack with A♥8♠.
The problem for him though was that a certain Doyle Brunson was sitting in wait with K♥K♦. He made the call and safely saw his hand through the J♣T♦ turn and river. -- MC
12.48pm: Houghton taking on Demjan the degen
Sandor Demjan has a large stack weighing in at over 300,000 and isn't afraid to get involved with anyone in any position. Barry Greenstein said yesterday that despite his stack he was still a dog to make the money. Well Barry, we now wish we'd taken you on there. Just 36 players more to bust before the money and Demjan is still more than twice the 148,000 average stack.
That's certainly not stopping the table looking towards the Hungarian as a chip repository. Angled in at the big stack are Team PokerStars Pro Ana Marquez, Scott Shelley and online grinder Laurence Houghton, the last of whom just swooped to pick off 15,000 from the Hungarian's stack.
Houghton had raised to 5,000 from the cut-off and had been called by Demjan in the big blind. The big stack led 10,000 into the 9♥8♣3♠ flop; Houghton called. The 2♦ turn was not of interest to Demjan; he checked and rivermanl bet 23,500. Demjan passed as Houghton moved just past average to 160,000.
Alexander Millar had been knocked out in the prior hand losing a flip with A♦Q♦ to Justas Semaska's pocket sevens. Millar had shoved 35,500 from under-the-gun. -- RD
12.47pm: Jason Mercier speaks
Yes, he does. He can also walk, talk and wear basketball attire, not just destroy most tournaments he plays (but that's his speciality).
12.45pm: Against the run of play
A couple of double ups, in stark contrast to the stream of eliminations so far. Fowzi Baroukh plays on, doubling up through Nicolas Yunis with A♦5♦ against Yunis's J♠K♥. Elsewhere Christian Friedrich moved in with 9♣K♦ for 38,00 and was called by brother of Blom - Sebastian Blom - with 3♦3♣. The board ran J♦J♠K♥4♦6♥ to keep Friedrich alive. - SB
12.40pm: Make that seven former champs
Another highly ranked and dangerous British pro is out. Triple Crown winner Jake Cody has been eliminated by Fowzi Baroukh. The two were heads-up to a Q♣7♣7♦ flop and the rest of the chips went in.
Cody was confident with A♦Q♦ but Baroukh tabled K♦K♣. The board ran out 7♥7♣ and that was that fro the former EPT champion. -- MC
12.30pm: They just want to be like Akenhead
The following will not be cashing as their day was almost as short as James Akenhead's:
Kenny Shih -- MC
12.20pm: Eight left
For the stat freaks out there, we currently have eight former EPT winners remaining in the field, about five per cent of the field.
They are Joao Barbosa, Jason Mercier, Nicolas Chouity, Anton Wigg, Sebastian Ruthenberg, Roberto Romanello, Salvatore Bonavena and Jake Cody.
Make that seven. Jake Cody is out. Details to follow. - SB
12.10pm: First hand cooler on the feature table
The feature table is full of pure class today with the likes of Salman Behbehani, Benny Spindler, Paul Foltyn, Doyle Brunson and James Akenhead sitting in front of the cameras.
In the first hand one of these talented players was eliminated in a cooler. The set is hard to get to so we're not sure how the action went down but these three players all ended up all-in on the very first hand:
Elliott Peterman: Q♥Q♠
Ivan Tan Zhong Wei: T♦T♣
The board ran 8♥T♠8♠9♥7♥ to make Wei a full-house.
He was the short stack on 33,000 so tripled up. Petermen had about 15,000 more than Akenhead so takes the side pot worth around 200,000. The very dangerous Akenhead makes a very early exit and there will be no one at the table sorry to see him go. -- MC
12pm: Play starts
Cards are in the air.
11.50am: Seat draw
The seat draw can be found by clicking here. The action is due to start in ten minutes. Let the charge through to the money begin. -- RD
11.40am: Last night's final four
For a little wrap of yesterday's action you can watch the video below:
11.10am: Welcome to Day 3
Welcome back to London. For those still interested in the mystery "nice" weather we're enjoying in London, it's still here, although the forecasters predict the customary October gloom will be back within days and the moths will have a fight on their hands as we all try to reclaim woollen sweaters.
Not that that is of any concern to the 159 players returning today, none of whom have seen daylight all week. We expect to play no more than five levels today, with things moving along at a clip, taking organisers by surprise. Our chip leader, as you'll know if you've been following the action, is German pro Benny Spindler.
Spindler bagged up 469,800 last night, some way ahead of second-placed Jamie Rosen with 405,000 and Basile Taiche on 403,800, the only players on more than 400,000.
A number of Team PokerStars Pros are still in the mix. Juan Manuel Pastor is best-placed, with 217,300, ahead of Nacho Barbero with 177,600 and Sebastian Ruthenberg with 169,900. Humberto Brenes and Jason Mercier also return today. Their counts, and others, are detailed on the Official Chip Count Page.
The view on the way out of the tournament room*
Play begins at 12 noon with Day 3 marking the start of the television feature table. Time then for a coffee run, to call in sick, resign or do whatever you normally do before tuning in for a day's poker coverage. -- SB
* Not the view on the way out of the tournament room.
PokerStars reporting team in London: (in order of exasperation on hearing that people only like scrolling down to the bottom of the page to read the "In order of..."): Stephen Bartley, some way ahead of Marc Convey and Rick Dacey.