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October 6, 2008 6:13 PM

Final table update 6 - £1 Million Showdown

The final table of the £1 Million Showdown event at EPT London is underway. Blinds are 10,000-20,000 with a 2,000 ante. Full details of the payout structure can be found here and you can follow all the action on EPT Live.

Click REFRESH to see the lastest up-to-the-minute updates

12.10am: Jason Mercier of the United States, wins the EPT £1 Million Showdown, earning £516,000 for first place.
Following a Juanda raise Jason Mercier moved all-in for a total of 1,210,000, the third time in about 15 minutes. John Juanda talked out loud about it, saying that he couldn't fold again and made a long slow call showing As-Jc. Mercier turned over Kc-Qd and it was all left to the dealer. The flop was a beauty for Mercier, Th-9s-Js for a flopped straight, delivered by the poker gods. The 5s on the turn ended it and no one really cared about the river. Jason Mercier wins the EPT £1 Million Showdown.

12.09am: John Juanda, USA, eliminated in second place, earning £327,000.

12.03am: First flop of Tuesday
We see a limped flop of Jd-9d-Ks. Juanda checks and Mercier made it 33,000, getting called. Both check the 7h on the turn and 3s river. Juanda shows a nine, good for the pot.

11.57pm: Latest chip counts
Jason Mercier - 1,173,000
John Juanda - 548,000

11.47pm: Flopping hands
The hand started with a Juanda bet and a Mercier call for a flop of Jh-6s-Jd. Mercier checked the flop and Juanda bet out 55,000. Mercier called for a turn card 7d which both players checked. Now to the river card, a 5h. Mercier raised, 75,000. By now it was a 285,000 pot. It took him a while but Juanda called. Cue Mercier’s J-6. He’d flopped the full house for another big pot.

11.40pm: Chip counts after the first all-in
Jason Mercier - 1,084,000
John Juanda - 637,000

11.38pm: First hand, all-in
We don’t have to wait for the first all-in of the heads-up match. On the first hand John Juanda moves all-in. Mercier smiles, pulls a few faces and calls, showing Q-J. Juanda had A-2 which puts him ahead. All they can do is wait for the board. The flop came th-8h-7c, giving Mercier more outs with a queen, jack or nine giving him the pot. The turn misses but the river brings a jack, doubling up Mercier.

11.34pm: The heads up chip counts
John Juanda - 1,185,000
Jason Mercier - 536,000

11.31pm: Michael Watson, Canada, eliminated in third place, earning £241,000.
Michael Watson moves all-in for 365,000. Taking everyone by surprise John Juanda calls, and with good reason, turning over A-K to Watson’s A-7. The board doesn’t bring the much needed seven for Watson, who busts out in third. Play goes to heads up.

11.26pm: Checking to the river
Juanda takes down a tentatively played pot, checked from flop to river on a board of Td-Ad-3c-Jd-Ah. Juanda shows K-T for aces with a ten kicker, enough to beat Mercier who passes.

11.22pm: The blinds are up to 10,000-20,000 with a 2,000 ante. Chip counts three handed:

John Juanda, 646,000
Jason Mercier, 610,000
Michael Watson, 465,000

October 6, 2008 8:18 AM

EPT London: The Showdown continues...

If you were up late last night in London, kept the computer on during Sunday night football or the Championship game back in the States, or just logged in this morning to check out the latest news, you’ll know that the biggest buy-in tournament on the EPT, the EPT £1 Million Showdown, creaked towards a final table last night at the Victoria Casino in London.


Watch EPT London 08: £1,000,000 Show Down on PokerStars.tv

As Michael Martin had bestowed upon him all the honours of becoming the EPT London champion, before being ushered towards a bar for some light refreshments to celebrate; three tables were slogging away a few feet along, 21 players. Now that figure stands at just 14.

What’s all the fuss? This is the first event of its kind, at least for the European Poker Tour, a £20,000 buy-in ($35,000) deep stack marathon. Then there’s the money – a first prize of more than £500,000.

The plan was to play down to a final table in just one day, like one of those extreme sports found on three figure TV channels late at night, and they nearly made it. But despite the protests of some players, famous for having little use for a 24 hour clock, officials drew the line at 14, calling time at 2.30am.

That’s good for us because if the standard of play is as good as yesterday you won’t want to miss a beat.

So who’s left?

For starters Team PokerStars Pro Isabelle Mercier. “No Mercy” played solid poker for 12 hours yesterday and found a little mercy for herself right when she needed it, catching a break when all-in with A-Q against A-K. The queen bailed her out, leaving her with close to 100,000 and an expression on her face that said she didn’t intend to waste it.

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Team PokerStars Pro Isabelle Mercier

David Benyamine leads going into today, a stack of 295,900 making him chip leader. Just two days ago the Frenchman finished 12th in the EPT London main event and this stands as a good way to make amends. Then there’s Jason Mercier, third in chips, who since winning the EPT San Remo seems to crop up at the top of chip count lists everywhere.

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Million Dollar Man Dennis Phillips

Others include WSOP H.O.R.S.E. champion Scotty Nguyen and recent WSOP Europe winner John Juanda, building on an incredible run of form this week. PokerStars players Michael Watson and Isaac Haxton are not far behind, and Million Dollar Man Dennis Phillips also eased his way into the last day yesterday.

It could have been even better for Team PokerStars. Daniel Negreanu busted when down to two tables and it was the same fate for Barry Greenstein.

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Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu

But you still won’t need much back ground info on the candidates for the final, all of whom have track records that glitter with credentials.

David Benyamine, France, 295,900
Alexander Roumeliotis, Sweden, 229,400
Jason Mercier, USA, 161,200
Scotty Nguyen, USA, 159,100
Masaaki Kagawa, Japan, 159,000
John Juanda, USA, 138,900
Michael Watson, Canada, PokerStars player, 118,000
Christopher Jetten, Canada, 105,100
Isabelle Mercier, Canada, Team PokerStars Pro, 99,200
Isaac Haxton, USA, PokerStars player, 83,200
Dennis Phillips, USA, Million Dollar Man, 73,200

Ghassan Bitar, Ghana, 58,700
Andrew Feldman, UK, 33,000
Jani Sointula, Finland, 6,500

We’ll have the official word on each of them when we reach the final, before that it’s all about the poker.
Right now a security guard stands over a one foot high pile of £50 notes, wearing a tunic of lapels and polished buttons, looking suspicious, under orders only to release the cash to the winner later tonight.

There’s only one way to find out who that will be. Let battle begin.

October 5, 2008 7:30 PM

EPT London: Making a million by Michael Martin

They came eyeing a £1m first prize and tonight it has become the opening deposit into the new European bank account of Michael Martin, the 24-year-old from Washing Cross, PA. The popular young American went from hero to zero to hero again and eventually stood firm against the buffeting of an especially brutal final table. At one point, he was down to just 95,000 in chips and in the big blind of 80,000. But he tripled, doubled and doubled up again to vault into a chip lead with four remaining and it was never relinquished from that point on.

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Martin's mother, girlfriend and good friend Brandon Schaefer all flew to see him at the final table and each was richly rewarded for their troubles. Despite a wretched opening couple of levels, which his supporters viewed through their fingers, Martin enjoyed a mini-renaissance, then another slump but then that surging comeback through just three remarkable hands. And when the fluctuations finally ended just before 11pm, Martin was a millionaire.

See the interview with Michael Martin shortly after winning the EPT London...


Watch EPT London 08: The Winner - Michael Martin on PokerStars.tv


The final table was notable for more reasons than just that £1m. It was the third appearance there within a year for the Frenchman Antony Lellouche and the second for Johannes Strassmann, who has also twice bubbled one short of the last eight. Lellouche had the chance to go one better than his second place in San Remo in April; Strassmann had the opportunity to make it two from two this season for the German Shooting Stars team after Sebastian Ruthenberg's success in Barcelona last month.


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How they lined up

But in the event, they were the first two out the door. Strassmann accounted for Lellouche with K-J versus A-9 - although Lellouche had previously lost a race on the first hand of the final, when his pocket fours lost against Philippe Dauteuil's A-K.


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Johannes Strassman

But then Strassmann again found himself on the ropes, thumped relentlessly by the gods of ill fortune. Martin doubled up through the German with the first vicious outdraw, and then the Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki also put Strassmann to the sword with Q-J against Strassmann's A-10. A jack rivered to take another chunk. Strassmann's final hand was jacks against king-queen. Martin had the K-Q but the queen flopped and the Shooting Star was sunk.

Next to fall was Alan Smurfit, the Irish player who probably has more experience of live poker than all of his opponents put together.

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Alan Smurfit

The 66-year-old describes himself as a recreational player, but only because he evidently enjoys it too much to describe it as work. But there's no doubt he could also make a living this way: he proudly uses his World Series of Poker bracelet as his card protector and frequently cashes in the major events across the world.

This was his first EPT final table (athough he made 14th here last year) and it would end with £153,351 for sixth place. After allowing himself to get short stacked, he pushed in with A-4 and it was that man Martin who called with J-J. There were no surprises for Smurfit and he was gone.

Philippe Dauteuil, from Canada, took fifth. He had led the tournament for long periods through days two and three, but struggled to get his game going on the final table despite some of the most vociferous support from the rail. Some of them might have been enjoying a beer or two as they hooted and honked from the bleachers, supporting their countryman, but they were silenced when he ran pocket eights into Horecki's pocket kings.


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Philippe Dauteuil

While all this sound and fury was playing out on and around the final table, one man had impressed just about everyone who knows anything about poker. His name was Eric Liu, from San Francisco, a high-stakes cash game player who committed himself earlier this year to learning to improve his live tournament play. If he improves it much more, he's going to be one of the all-time greats: he bossed the feature table for two full days hardly ever showing a hand down and building a massive stack.

With four left, Liu had more chips than all of his opponents combined. But even he couldn't survive this most crippling of contests and was knocked out in fourth. In his post-tournament interview, he blamed his inexperience for his demise, but there's not a great deal you can do when you fail to hit flush or straight draws, with an overcard, then run a suited ace into pocket rockets, then collide with a player (Martin) on the maddest run of cards ever seen at an EPT final table. There is no doubt whatsoever that Eric Liu will be back.

The final three were the aforementioned Martin, the Swedish PokerStars qualifier Michael Tureniec and another man we're going to hear a whole lot about: Marcin Horecki. The Pole is the newest member of Team PokerStars Pro, signed up after a glittering start to his poker career with some terrific results across Europe and then a call to poker's brightest Team for the World Series of Poker.


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Marcin Horecki


In his first outings in Team colours, he has been quiet and efficient, impressing table-mates with his solid aggression. And here in London it paid rich dividends as he found the right time to shove his short stack in over and over again until, at one point, it was the biggest at the table. Of course, he also couldn't account for Martin and lost a huge pot to him when the American's 10-2 made trips on the river. Eventually, the remainder of his chips were in the middle behind K-8 and it couldn't beat the K-J of Tureniec.

Third place is a terrific showing from the Polish player, matching the superlative exploits on the European Poker Tour of several of his Team PokerStars Pro colleagues. Welcome to the club, Marcin.

Horecki's departure, however, left two for the money. Two for a million pounds - somewhere north of a $1.7m and huge bucks in any language. As it always tends to, it went this way and that, hither and thither, with Martin's three-to-one chip lead reined in, then extended, then reined in again. The crucial pot came shortly into level 31, where the blinds and antes had been raised to 60,000-120,000, and Martin picked off a ballsy bluff from Tureniec. The Swede had a stab at a jack-high board with nothing but queen high, but Martin called for a huge chunk of his stack with second-pair 10s and they were good.

Soon after, it all went in pre-flop with Martin holding pocket fours and Tureniec holding K-9. The fours made a set on the turn and the millionaire was crowned.

A word, though, about Tureniec. He paid $800 to enter a last chance satellite for EPT London on PokerStars held the weekend before the tournament began.


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Michael Tureniec turned $800 into £500,000

He won his seat, found his way to Great Britain, and the super parlay began. He took more than half a million pounds for second place, joining that increasingly well-populated club of PokerStars players making fortunes from very little indeed.

But now the dust has settled, it's Martin with the million and the broadest smile. He was on the alternates list for this capacity tournament, not certain to even get his seat. But he was called in mid-way through level one and never looked back. A great champion and richly deserved.


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It's good-night from this half of EPT London.

Take a look back at the full list of winners here. Continue to follow the high roller event here. And look back on the day's play with any of these links below:

First days and finals
The contenders
Level 25 updates
Level 26 updates
Level 28 updates
Level 28 updates
Level 29 updates
Level 30 updates
Level 31 updates

And read all about it in numerous exotic tongues. There's German, Italian, Dutch and even Swedish!

And don't forget PokerStars.tv to keep you entertained for as long as you need entertaining.

October 5, 2008 5:05 PM

EPT London: Level 31 update

We're now into level 31 where the blinds are 60,000-120,000. Two players remained at the start of the level. Updates will be posted here until we have a champion. Click refresh to update the page. Don’t forget you can also watch the action live on EPT Live and click here for prize winners so far

Michael Martin, USA, wins EPT London, earning £1,000,000
Michael Tureniec, PokerStars qualifier from Sweden, is eliminated in second place, earning £525,314

10.50pm: Michael Martin announces all in pre-flop. That, of course, means that Michael Tureniec is covered and he calls! It's pocket fours for Martin, K-9 for Tureniec and the flop runs out 2d-3s-6h, then 4d! then 2s on the river, which means this is all over!

10.45pm: After some small pre-flop raising, the players check a flop of Jh-10s-6h. Then all hell breaks loose. The prompt is the seemingly-innocuous 3s on the turn but Tureniec likes it and bets 385,000 into a 500,000 pot. Michael Martin calls. On the river - Jd - Tureniec bets 680,000 and Martin calls. Tureniec shows Q-4 for queen high, but Martin's K-10 - a pair of 10s - rewards the hero call. Martin is now back up to 4.6m in chips against the 1.375m of Tureniec.

10.40pm: The blinds are sky high, but so are the stacks in front of both of these men. And yet this has gone quiet again, with Michael Tureniec dumbfounding EPT Live commentator John Duthie by folding his button heads up. "I have never seen a Swedish player fold his button," says Duthie.

10.30pm: The players return with their even stacks and this really could go either way. More peerless insights such as that will follow right here.

10.10pm: We'll start this level in 15 minutes where Michael Tureniec will be the chip leader in what is an exceptionally well-balanced contest. The Swede has 3,140,000; Michael Martin has 2,865,000.

October 5, 2008 4:04 PM

EPT London: Level 30 updates

We're now into level 30 where the blinds are 40,000-80,000 with a running 10,000 running ante. Two players remained at the start of the level. Updates will be posted here until we have a champion. Click refresh to update the page. Don’t forget you can also watch the action live on EPT Live and click here for prize winners so far

10.10pm: On the last hand of the level they get to see flop of 8h-Kd-3h and Tureniec bets 120,000. Martin lets it go and the blinds go up.

10pm: The momentum has gently shifted towards Michael Tureniec, even though Michael Martin just has the chip lead. Martin raises pre-flop, another 120,000. Tureniec reraises to 700,000, leaving Martin needing to find another 480,000. He can't find it and instead opts to fold.

9.55pm: Turneniec takes down another decent pot, about 760,000, when he bets out on a board of J-J-6. Michael Martin folds.

9.50pm: In an unraised pot, they see it all the way to the river and a board showing Kh-10c-2c-9h-8c. Tureniec checks on the end, Martic bets 120,000, and that's good enough.

9.45pm: Michael Martin raises on the button and Tureniec calls. They see a flop of 10h-Jd-Qs, which they both check and then Tureniec bets 220,000 on the dangerous Kd turn. Martin calls and this is looking very suspicious. The river is the 6s and Tureniec checks. Martin also checks and shows K-9 but Tureniec has trap-checked the ace. Martin does very well not to bet his wrong end of the straight and Tureniec's cunning plan is foiled. Still, he takes the pot of 800,000 and on we go.

9.35pm: These two have both been relentlessly aggressive on this final table, but it's all become might cagey in recent minutes. We even see a turn card - it's the 2h to add to a flop of 4s-Qc-7c - and Martin bets 300,000. Tureniec slides in the call. The river is the 9h and Tureniec checks again (he's check-called both previous streets) allowing Martin to bet 650,000. He calls and Martin shows Q-2. Tureniec doesn't show. That's a million-plus pot going to Martin.

9.20pm: It's heads-up in London after the elimination of the Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki. Horecki talked to our video bloggers earlier today about the final table experience:


Watch EPT London 08 Final Table: Marcin Horecki on PokerStars.tv

9.15pm: The chip counts have definitely leveled out here with Tureniec sitting with 2,330,000 and Martin with 3,675,000. There's still some poker to be played here. Martin raises pre-flop and Tureniec makes it another 450,000. Martin folds.

9.10pm: About two hands into the new level, they race for the title. Tureniec is all in with A-J and Michael Martin calls from the big blind with pocket sevens. One ace, two aces on the flop and no seven level this one up and we play on.

October 5, 2008 2:35 PM

EPT London: Level 29 updates

We're now into level 29 where the blinds are 40,000-80,000 with a running 5,000 running ante. We play uninterrupted from here all the way through to a new EPT London champion. Updates will be posted here level by level with the latest information at the top. Click refresh to update the page. Don’t forget you can also watch the action live on EPT Live and click here for prize winners so far

9.10pm: With a three-to-one chip lead, the portents look good for Michael Martin. Considering he was down to one big blind earlier this level, it's an amazing turn-aroud for the American and few would bet against him now.

9.10pm: The approximate heads up chip counts are as follows:
Michael Martin - 4,800,000
Michael Tureniec - 1,205,000

9.05pm: As they reset the final table to accommodate the final two players, why not take a look at the thoughts of Alan Smurfit, the final table player who went out earlier today:


Watch EPT London 08 Final Day: Alan Smurfit on PokerStars.tv

8.57pm: Marcin Horecki, Team PokerStars Pro, Poland, eliminated in third place earning £303,439
Michael Martin is unbeatable here and will now go heads up with Martin Tureniec. He accounts for the final Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki, who pushes all in from the button with Kh-8d. Martin re-raises all in from the small blind and has Horecki dominated with Ks-Jh. The flop is blank, but Horecki thinks he's pulled off a massive outdraw when the 8h turns. However it's not all over and the Js pops out on the river to give Martin all of Horecki's chips and a sizeable chip lead as they go head-to-head.

8.51pm: Michael Martin and Martin Tureniec play out a pot that Tureniec ends up taking with a hefty bet on the turn.

8.50pm: There has been a ludicrous switch in fortunes in this level, with the chip counts now looking like this:

Michael Martin - 3,670,000
Marcin Horecki - 1,390,000
Michael Tureniec - 945,000

8.40pm: The rush continues for Michael Martin who now takes down a pot of 955,000 on a board of 3h-Ac-10h-8c-10h and shows 10-2 for trips. Marcin Horecki, his opponent, mucks and shakes his head.

8.30pm: Three-handed chip counts are as follows:
Michael Martin - 2,665,000
Marcin Horecki - 1,995,000
Michael Tureniec - 1,345,000

8.22pm: Eric Liu, USA, is eliminated in fourth place, earning £234,920
Liu can't pull off the same miracles as Michael Martin and when he gets his chips in, with J-10, he gets a call from the newly-chipped up Martin with A-9. Liu picks up an inside straight draw but doesn't hit it and Martin ends up with trip aces. Liu, who has dominated this table from the start, is now finished.

8.19pm: Michael Martin double up again!
That's one hell of a rush. Martin is down to his last 100,000 but is back to 1.4million in three hands. He finds aces this time and gets a call from his pre-flop push from Tureniec with his Q-J. No miracles and Martin is back in second place.

8.16pm: Michael Martin doubles up through Michael Tureniec
A crazy hand of fluctuating fortunes as Martin gets them all in with pocket nines and Tureniec has king seven. The flop brings a king and a seven and the turn what looks like a pretty convincing second seven giving Tureniec a full house. But the miracle nine comes on the river and he doubles up again.

8.15pm: Michael Martin triples up
Michael Martin is pretty much all in from the big blind of 80,000. He raises it the only 20,000 he has behind. Marcin Horecki and Michael Martin check it all the way down and see 6d-Kd-2s-Ks- 4h. But it's the all in player with the best hole cards, that he hasn't even looked at. He has pocket eights and they hold.

8.11pm: Eric Liu doubles up through Michael Martin. The two short stacks go to war with A-10 v 2-2 and Liu flops a broadway straight when it comes J-Q-K. No redraw and Martin is own to about 100,000.

8.10pm: Eric Liu pushes his short stack in from the small blind. It totals 490,000 and Michael Martin thinks about it from the big blind, but folds.

8.05pm: Massive double up for Erik Tureniec who raises from under the gun and must have been delighted to see Eric Liu reraise all in from the big blind. Delighted because Tureniec has aces and Liu only A-6c. The board is dry for Liu and he slips down to less than half a million, while the Swedish PokerStars qualifier is leader with more than two million.

8pm: And we're back. These four players are looking at some monstrous blinds of 40,000-80,000 and Marcin Horecki moves all in from the small blind to pick up Michael Martin's big blind.

7.50pm: Here's some entertainment while we wait for the players to return from the break. Chris Moneymaker gives hi impressions on this final table.


Watch EPT London 08 Final Day: Chris Moneymaker on PokerStars.tv

7.45pm: Players are a little late back from the dinner break, but coverage will continue here the minute they return. The chip counts at the break were as follows:

Marcin Horecki, Poland, Team PokerStars Pro, 2,152,000

Eric Liu, USA, 1,666,000
Michael Tureniec, Sweden, PokerStars qualifier, 1,357,000
Michael Martin, USA, 860,000

October 5, 2008 12:16 PM

EPT London: Level 28 updates

We're now into level 28 where the blinds are to 30,000-60,000 with a running 5,000 running ante. We play uninterrupted from here all the way through to a new EPT London champion. Updates will be posted here level by level with the latest information at the top. Click refresh to update the page. Don’t forget you can also watch the action live on EPT Live and click here for prize winners so far

6.35pm: Players are on a 60 minute dinner break. Chip counts are as follows:

Marcin Horecki, Poland, Team PokerStars Pro, 2,152,000
Eric Liu, USA, 1,666,000
Michael Tureniec, Sweden, PokerStars qualifier, 1,357,000
Michael Martin, USA, 860,000

6.30pm: On the last hand before the dinner break, Michael Tureniec takes a pot off of Eric Liu. There's a min raise pre-fop, a call from the Swede, and then a flop of 2h-Jd-Kc. Liu bets 150,000 and Tureniec calls. They both check the 9h turn and they both check the Ks river, meaning Tureniec's jack is good.

6.25pm: Michael Tureniec takes back to back pots with two pre-flop bets. That puts him just ahead of Michael Martin in an increasingly tight chip leaderboard. The approximate counts at this point are:

Marcin Horecki - 2,162,000
Eric Liu - 2,006,000
Michael Tureniec - 967,000
Michael Martin - 900,000

6.15pm: Marcin Horecki doubles up through Eric Liu
Eric Liu again minimum raises from the button and Marcin Horecki call again from the big blind. They see a flop of 7d-Kc-8h and they both check. Horecki then checks the Qh turn and Liu slides in a tower of blue chips, worth 200,000. Horecki immediately announces all in, for 750,000 more. Liu ums and ahs ad eventually calls, showing A-10h for an overcard, a flush and inside straight draw. Horecki has twice checked top pair - he has K-10 - but the river bricks and Horecki is now the chip leader. Liu still has more than a million.

6.10pm: There's a familiar pattern developing. It's called getting out of Eric Liu's way. Horecki breaks the mould to call Liu's pre-flop minimum raise but then lays it down when Liu bets the ace high flop. Here's Kara Scott with some tips for online play:


Watch EPT London 08 Day 3; Kara Online Tips on PokerStars.tv

6.03pm: Horecki's evident willingness to raise pre-flop and then fold has clearly been noticed by his opponents who have now shoved all in over the top three times. The latest to do so is Tureniec and Horecki lets it go again.

6.02pm: Marcin Horecki button raises and Michael Tureniec moves all in from the small blind. They have similar stacks and Horecki decides to pass his pocket fours face up.

6pm: We're now four-handed and here's how they stand:

Eric Liu - 2,897,000
Marcin Horecki - 1,376,000
Michael Martin - 900,000
Michael Tureniec - 862,000

Liu has more chips than the rest of the players combined.

5.50pm: The dynamics have changed now that we're four handed and everyone now has a decent-ish stack. Marcin Horecki, second in chips, raises pre-flop and Michael Tureniec moves all in for about 570,000. Horecki tanks and folds.

5.43pm: Philippe Dauteuil, Canada, eliminated in fifth place earning £195,766
The Canadian player, who led the tournament for long periods between days two and three, is out. He had got short, moved all in from UTG with 8-8 but ran into the kings of Marcin Horecki. Horecki obviously called with his huge stack and there were no miracles on the flop, turn or river. We're down to four and there's a short break.

5.35pm: Here are the chip stacks after Smurfit's elimination:

Eric Liu - 2,367,000
Marcin Horecki - 1,025,000
Michael Martin - 960,000
Michael Tureniec - 657,000
Philippe Dauteuil - 606,000

5.30pm: Marcin Horecki and Eric Liu get involved when the Team PokerStars Pro raises pre-flop and the chip leader calls from the blind. The flop comes 10s-9d-8d and they both check. The turn is the Kc and Eric bets 200,000. Horecki calls. The river is the Qc and they both check. Liu flips 9-8 for two pair and that's good.

5.26pm: Alan Smurfit, Ireland, eliminated in sixth place, earning £153,351
The Irish player had left himself very short, found an ace and moved all in with about 200,000. He can't have like Michael Martin announcing all-in behind him and he will have liked Martin's jacks even less. Smurfit had one over-card with his A-4 but a jack flopped and although there was a gutshot straight draw, it didn't get there and the steady Irish player is out.

5.25pm: The levels have gone up again and this is getting exceptionally expensive.

October 5, 2008 10:55 AM

EPT London: Level 27 updates

We're now into level 27 where the blinds are to 25,000-50,000 with a running 5,000 running ante. We play uninterrupted from here all the way through to a new EPT London champion. Updates will be posted here level by level with the latest information at the top. Click refresh to update the page. Don’t forget you can also watch the action live on EPT Live and click here for prize winners so far

5.20pm: It's raise and take it for Eric Liu, who has shown down very few hands here on this feature table, over two days, and is building his stack reliably. At the other end of the scale, Alan Smurfit is down to 215,000 and in dire need of a double up.

5.10pm: Double up for Philippe Dauteuil and he gets slightly fortunate. He moves in pre-flop and Michael Tureniec calls and the Canadian has 7d-8d which is well behind the Jd-Kh of the Swede. Tureniec flops top two pair, but there's also a flush draw for Dauteuil when two of them are diamonds. It gets there when the 3d hits on the river.

5.05pm: Dauteuil's short stack is all in and he picks up the blinds and antes. All his chips are in again just after and he chops it with Liu when they both have A-9.

5pm: Marcin Horecki doubles up through Phillipe Dauteuil. They get it all in pre-flop and Horecki has A-K to Dauteuil's A-7. There are no miracles - despite a gutshot straight possibility for the Canadian - and the Team PokerStars Pro is back up, with only three big blinds for Dauteuil.

4.55pm: Michael Martin has made a decent comeback here and is able to put some pressure on the big stack of Eric Liu. He bumps it up pre-flop to 100,000 and Liu folds. Liu takes it out on Marcin Horecki, reraising all in from the small blind after Horecki's button-steal attempt goes awry.

4.50pm: We're now down to six and the men under most pressure are still Marcin Horecki and Alan Smurfit. At the other end, Eric Liu is comfortable with more than two million.

4.45pm: Johannes Strassmann, PokerStars.de Shooting Star from Germany, is eliminated in seventh place, earning £120,723.
Strassmann must be one of the unlukiest players around EPT final tables, and his run of ill fortune continues here. He gets his chips in with J-J but runs into Michael Martin's K-Q. It's a flip, but the queen is first out on the flop and that's that for the Shooting Star.

4.40pm: Marcin Horecki doubles up through Johannes Strassmann The Team PokerStars Pro has put his tournament life on the line on countless occasions, but this time he gets a call. It's from Johannes Strassmann, who makes the call with A-10 and he's ahead all the way against Horecki's Q-J. All the way, that is, until th river when the jack pops up and the Pole doubles up.

4.30pm: Much of the play has now been taken out of this one by the rising blinds. The big stacks are sitting back and waiting for their chance to knock out the short ones. The short stacks are moving in whenever they spot an opportunity. Most recently, Horecki, Smurfit and Martin have all picked up the blinds and antes with this tactic. Eric Liu, meanwhile, now has more than two million.

4.23pm: After the big stack Eric Liu wields his chips to pick up a couple of uncontested pots, Marcin Horecki reverts to his trademark all-in pre-flop move and puts Michael Martin to the test. Martin tanks a long time but folds.

4.19pm: First hand back, Marcin Horecki is al in pre flop and gets the blinds and antes for his troubles.

4.15pm: Players have returned, and while we wait for something to happen here's a video introducing the day for you to enjoy:


Watch EPT London 08 Final Table- Introduction on PokerStars.tv

4pm: Players are on a break. When they return, here's what they'll have in front of them:

Eric Liu - 1,667,000
Michael Tureniec - 1,051,000
Philippe Dauteuil - 1,015,000
Johannes Strassmann - 748,000
Alan Smurfit - 601,000
Michael Martin - 578,000
Marcin Horecki - 344,000

October 5, 2008 10:35 AM

EPT London: Level 26 updates

We're now into level 26 where the blinds are to 20,000-40,000 with a running 3,000 running ante. We play uninterrupted from here all the way through to a new EPT London champion. Updates will be posted here level by level with the latest information at the top. Click refresh to update the page. Don’t forget you can also watch the action live on EPT Live and click here for prize winners so far

3.57pm: Marcin Horecki makes a smaller pre-flop raise than usual, this time just 95,000. Philippe Dauteuil smells weakness and moves all in, another 777,000. Horecki is well covered and opts to let it go. Players take a 15 minute break at the end of the level.

3.50pm: Liu gets back in the saddle straight away after losing the coin-flip last hand. He raises it to 100,000 pre-flop and picks up the blinds and antes. Just after, Marcin Horecki moves all in again from the small blind and Michael Martin lets is go.

3.47pm: Eric Liu raises, again, and Johannes Strassmann moves all in with pocket 10s. Liu calls with A-Q and they race. The flop is 10h-Jh-4s, which gives a set and a straight draw, the turn is the 8h which extends the straight possibilties but the river is the harmless Ad. Liu is down to about 1.6m, Strassman up to 830,000.

3.45pm: Marcin Horecki's short-stack has been all in approximately once a round so far today and he's just got another one through. He shows A-K off suit. Eric Liu is also raising a lot pre-flop but his stack is big enough for him to bully anyone in his way.

3.40pm: Eric Lu is creeping up towards the two million mark. Here's how they stand at the moment:

Eric Liu - 1,909,000
Michael Tureniec - 1,155,000
Philippe Dauteuil - 888,000
Alan Smurfit - 557,000
Michael Martin - 654,000
Johannes Strassmann - 454,000
Marcin Horecki - 387,000

3.35pm: Two of the smaller stacks also do battle, with Alan Smurfit reraising Marcin Horecki's pre-flop raise. The Polish pro lets it go.

3.30pm: A massive clash between the two tournament big stacks when they get their million-plus in the middle pre-flop. Liu and Turiniec both have ace-king, but Turiniec picks up a flush draw on the flop. Liu dodges it through turn and river and they chop it.

3.25pm: Michael Martin doubles up
The vociferously-supported American player gets all his chips in pre-flop against Johannes Strassmann and is behind against the German. It's king-jack versus ace-queen and it's looking bleak for Martin on a 10-high board. But there's a K on the turn and a miracle jack on the river to vault him into safety and leave Strassmann looking short.

3.10pm: Michael Tureniec raises to 70,000 and Alan Smurfit raises all in over the top. Again the Swede is forced to fold to the stong bet by the Irish player.

2.55pm: There are seven players remaining at the start of this level. They are:

Eric Liu - 1,783,000
Michael Tureniec - 1,079,000
Johannes Strassmann - 969,000
Philippe Dauteuil - 750,000
Marcin Horecki - 571,000
Alan Smurfit - 469,000
Michael Martin - 383,000

October 5, 2008 9:35 AM

EPT London: Level 25 updates

Tournament officials have pegged the blinds back to 15,000-30,000 with a running 3,000 ante for the start of the final. But from there we play uninterrupted all the way through to a new EPT London champion. Updates will be posted here level by level with the latest information at the top. Click refresh to update the page. Don’t forget you can also watch the action live on EPT Live and click here for prize winners so far

2.55pm: On the last hand of the level, Phillipe Dauteiul raises to 70,000, Michael Tureniec bumps it up to 200,000 and the Canadian folds.

2.32pm: Marcin Horecki doubles up
The Team PokerStars Pro, short-stacked, raises all in pre-flop and Johannes Strassmann calls with A-7d. Horecki is in good shape with A-Q and although there's a a flush draw on the turn Horecki survives and he doubles up.

2.25pm: Alan Smurfit doubles up
Michael Tureniec raises from the button into the blinds of Alan Smurfit and Marcin Horecki. Smurfit announces "Well, this is it," and pushes all in, meaning it's another 285,000 for the Swede. Eventually, he realises that he has to call and flips K-10. Smurfit shows A-K. The flop comes 5h-Qs-Jc, the turn is the Qh and the river the harmless 2c. Smurfit doubles up.

2.17pm: Anthony Lellouche, France, eliminated in eighth place, earning £81,569
Johannes Strassmann opens from the button for 80,000 and Anthony Lellouche pushes all in from the big blind. It's another 100,000 for the German and it's a mandatory call. Strasmann has K-Js and Lellouche is ahead with Ad-9h but the flop only favours Strassmann. It comes Kh-6c-10s, then the turn is 7s and the river 10h. Lellouche is gone: "That's poker," he opines in the post-match interview.

2.15pm: Marcin Horecki moves his stack all in again from early position and obligingly flashes an ace of diamonds when everyone folds.

2.12pm: After those early fluctuations, the latest chip counts are:

Michael Tureniec - 1,411,000
Eric Liu - 1,398,000
Michael Martin - 609,000
Philippe Dauteuil - 884,000
Johannes Strassmann - 868,000
Alan Smurfit - 330,000
Marcin Horecki - 312,000
Antony Lellouche - 222,000

2.10pm: Marcin Horecki moves all in and gets it through the big stacks of Eric Liu and Johannes Strassmann. Strassmann is itching to call but looks down at 8-4 and lets it go.

2.05pm: Aah, the good old three-bet. Johannes Strassmann bets, Lellouche reraises, Strassmann moves all in and Lellouche maked the mandatory call. But Strassmann has the goods - he has aces - which are crushing Lellouche's pocket sevens. There's some excitement when Lellouche picks up a straight draw on the turn but the aces hold and Lellouche is in reverse. He's now theshort stack with 222,000 having lost about a million in two hands.

1.55pm: Philippe Dauteuil's tournament life hangs by a thread on the first hand when he makes it 50,000 from the button and Antony Lellouche moves all in from the blind. Dauteuil insta-calls with As-Kc but he's behind Lellouche's 4-4. The flop is 8d-5c-2c and the turn is the Jc giving plenty of outs to the Canadian. One duly arrives on the river - the 3c, which makes a flush to the king, and he double up.

1.50pm: Play starts in the EPT London final. Brandon Schaeffer, a friend of Michael Martin and himself an EPT winner has flown in from Germany to cheer on his friend. He was the most vocal from the rail during the introductions.

Video blogs and interviews from the 2009 PCA


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