World Cup of Poker VI: Heads up begins

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Live updates from Day 1b of the World Cup of Poker VI brought to you by Stephen Bartley and Marc Convey. You can find the teams in our tournament introduction as well as a run down on what's in store today

5.45pm: Play concludes
With that last match complete all our national teams are done for today. They will all be back at midday tomorrow where the final will be played out to an exciting climax. A full wrap of today's play will be with you shortly.

5.40pm: Clean sweep
Finland have completed a clean sweep over Chile with their fifth victory in a row. Jani Vilmunen ground Mauricio Zeman down through the first level before the Chilean doubled-up, flopping a full-house to his opponent's trips. Vilmunen then ground him down again and by the time the 100/200 blinds were in play all Zeman could do was push.

The final hand came when Zeman moved all-in for 1,150 holding A♥6♥, called by Vilmunen with Q♥T♠. The board ran Q♦5♠5♦7♠9♣ to end it all there.

5.10pm: Yet another one for Finland
The clean sweep is looking ever more likely now with another victory for Finland. Their places as second in chips to Croatia (top of today's teams) is secured for tomorrow. Nicolas Campos Leal was defeated by Mika Korpela after the former's A♦5♠ couldn't better the latter's K♠K♥ on a T♠5♥T♦Q♦J♦ board.

The final match will take place between team captains Mauricio Zeman of Chile and Jani Vilmunen of Finland.

4.50pm: Here's how things stand
Most results are already in, just Chile and Finland are still playing - Nicolas Leal and Mika Korpela playing right now before the team captains Mauricio Zeman (Chile) and Jani Vilmunen (Finland) step in.

The scores so far (position this morning):

Canada (3rd) - 110 points
Chinese Taipei (4th) - 109 points
Norway (2nd) - 103 points
Italy (9th) - 96 points
USA (7th) - 89 points
Germany (8th) - 87 points

Chile (currently on 83 points)
Finland (as it stands after three matches, 107 points)

It means Finland need to win one more game against Chile to take top spot today.

4.35pm: Tie wrapped up but still plenty to play for
Chile has slumped to another loss to Finland and slip to a 0-3 deficit. Rodolfo Awad
of Chile had few chips to play with and only one move. He moved all in from the button with 5♥6♣ and was called by Finland's Kirsi Korpi with K♠9♦ before the board ran out 6♥9♣4♠2♦J♠.

Finland will be thinking of the bonus points on offer for a clean sweep win but they must also keep in mind that they need only one more victory to overtake Canada and move into second in the point standings.

4.25pm: The state of play
That result puts Canada on 110 points, a total that only Finland, if my loose arithmetic still holds, can beat.

4.20pm: Canada top Germany
Jan Heitmann bet, Darus Suharto raised and Heitmann moved all in. Heitmann had suffered in this tie and needed to act. When Suharto called Heitmann showed A♠J♣ to Suharto's K♣J♥. The flop came T♥9♦2♦. Team mates rushed in to watch the board, the Canadians calling for a queen. Q♣ on the turn.

"Yeah!" they cried.

"King!" said Jan. "As long as we're wishing for stuff."

But no. A♥ on the river no good and Canada take the match and 25 points.

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Captain Canada - Darus Suharto

4.15pm: Italy win
The first tie is over. Italy are the first to win their match, picking up 5 points for each of their three heats and an additional ten for winning the match overall. Luca Pagano bet pre-flop, was raised by Lodden and then moved all-in with K♦Q♦. He was behind to Lodden's A♠4♣ when he called. The board ran: 8♠4♥6♦7♥K♠, the king on the end swinging it to the Italians. "See, sometimes I suck out, " said Pagano. Lodden just kind of growled.

4.10pm: Another tie goes to decider
The fourth match between USA and Chinese Taipei saw Ryan Alan Templin take on
Wen-Aho Pan. There was some early play but once Pan took a lead and the blinds went up to the 100/200 level it become a pre-flop shove fest. The first all in saw Templin dominated by his opponent but managed to come away with a split pot.

The very next hand they were all in again and this time Templin had the dominating hand with A♦T♦ to his opponent's A♥6♥. The Chinese Taipei team shouted for a six and they duly got it on a 5♣6♣7♣9♥J♦ board. 2-2 is now the score so bring on a decider.

4pm: Drama!
All square in the Germany v Canada match! Steve Deschesnes re-raised all-in with K♠J♣ and was called by Rasmus Ludke with A♠K♦. The teams crowded the table as the board was dealt 3♦T♣A♦2♠3♥. Boom. Two each as team captains Jan Heitmann and Darus Suharto move in for the decider.

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3.45pm: Germany on the back foot
Canada just edged into the lead against Germany, Michael Dietrich beating Frank Boehrens. The money went in, Boehrens showing A♣5♦ to Dietrich's K♦T♦. The board of 9♣J♠K♠Q♥5♣ sent the chips to Canada. 2-1 Canada.

3.40pm: Finland go two up
A cagey second match between Finland and Chile just came to an end. They were at the 200/400 level when Shaun Sheffield of Chile moved in for his last 1,475 from the button with 6♥7♥. Tommi Saarinen made the call with K♦4♣ before a board of 4♠5♠J♥2♥Q♦. The Chilean team have work to do if they're going to come back and win this tie.

3.25pm: Down to the decider
Another win for Norway, levelling the series to 2-2 before the decider between Pagano and Lodden. Geir Plassen saw off Giovanni Manucuso with his 7♦6♦ with the money in on the flop. Manucuso had 3♥8♥ with 2♦Q♦3♦K♠3♣ on the table.

3.20pm: One more for USA
Salvatore Buccieri of the USA just dispatched Yen Ming Chen of the Chinese Taipei. The chips went in on a 3♦9♥2♦ flop with Chen holding 6♠3♠ to Buccieri's monster holding of 9♦T♦. The turn came A♥ and river 5♠ to give the USA the win and a 2-1 lead.

3.05pm: Canada day
A first win for Canada today as Wade Ackerman beat Sasha Cornils. The chips went in pre-flop, A♠3♦ for Cornils, J♣T♣ for Ackerman on a board of T♠5♥7♦5♠6♠.

3pm: Rousso rockets past Wu
Vanessa Rousso just made a great comeback to beat Wu in the feature match up of the Taipei v USA match. Wu had dominated the early stages, keeping Rousso on the back foot and reducing her to begging the dealer for help. But a vital double up with pocket threes swung things in Rousso's favour, finally getting the better of Wu with A♣5♠ to Wu's Q♣3♣, the board running 3♠A♦7♣9♥8♣.

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Vanessa Rousso

2.50pm: Happy Valeria
Five more points for Italy as they see of Norway in the third tie. Italy's Valeria Bucciarelli dispatched Norway's Christian Stokkeland, earning a valuable five points over a Norway team with a sizable lead.

A limped pot brought a 9♦4♣5♠ flop where Bucciarelli check-raised her opponent's 125 bet all in. This girl doesn't like to play small ball and you can see why she wanted to get all the chips in as when Stokkeland called all in she revealed 4♠5♦ for two-pair. Stokkeland was the shorter stack and at risk with his drawing 6♦3♦. The turn came 9♥ and river 3♥ to see the Italian's hand hold and she celebrated by jumping in to the arms of her team.

2.35pm: All squared-up
It's hardly surprising to see Italy and Norway racing through their matches quickly considering the reputation the country folk have for aggressive play. Norway have just squared things up in the tie.

All the chips went in at the turn stage with the board showing 5♣A♦A♥7♦. Bjørn Andre Hovden of Norway revealed 3♠7♣ for two-pair to Alessandro Sciolti's K♦5♦ for a worse two-pair. The river 2♥ changed nothing and the 5 points go to Norway.

2.25pm: Chile take a beating
It's all over in the first Chile v Finland clash. With the money in the middle Antti Marijarvi had K♠K♣ to Ibbara's A♣5♥ and it was Finland with the five points on a board of 2♣J♦2♥J♥5♣.

2.20pm: Clinical and efficient cooler
Germany just took the first points of their tie. The chips were always going in on a 5♣9♠J♦Q♦K♦ board with Kevin Burrill of Canada holding K♥J♥ and Ole Carstens of Germany K♣T♣. The last time I checked a straight beats two-pair. Round two between Wade Ackerman and Sascha Cornils about to get under-way.

2.15pm: Taipei delight
Unbelievable leaping for joy from the Taipei team after Lau Wan Hsan just won her match against a devastated Andy Schultz of the United States. Schultz had made a house on the flop but Hsan found a better one on the river much to the delight of her team. Vanessa Rousso now steps in to play Raymond Wu for the glamour tie of the encounter.

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A delighted Lau Wan Hsan

2.10pm: First blood to Italy
Italy's Vincenzo Bevilacqua wasted little time in dispatching Jan-Idar Lerbrekk of Norway. Lerbrekk moved the last of his chips in on a 3♥J♣2♥Q♥3♦ board. Bevilacqua announced "all in" and then "full" before revealing 3♠2♣ for a full house. First points of the day go to the Italian team.

2pm: We're underway!

1.45pm: Still waiting
You may have noticed we haven't started yet. That's because the procession of the teams filmed in the corridors outside of the tournament area took one or two more takes than anticipated. It's done now but you'll have to wait for the TV broadcast to see the pride in Luca Pagano's eyes as he waved that Italian flag.

That's all done with. Players are milling around the tables waiting for the first match ups. Here's the order of play:

Norway (2nd) v Italy (9th)

Lerbreckt v Bevilacqua
Horden v Sciotti
Stokkeland v Bucciarelli
Plassen v Manucuso
Lodden v Pagano

Canada (3rd) v Germany (8th)

Burrill v Carstens
Ackerman v Cornils
Dietrich v Boehrens
Deschesnes v Ludke
Suharto v Heitmann

Chinese Taipei (4th) v USA (7th)

Lau Wan Hsan v Schultz
Wu v Rousso
Chen v Buccieri
Pan v Templin
Ming v Burmeister

Chile (5th) v Finland (6th)

Ibbara v Marijarvi
Sheffield v Saarinen
Awad v Korpi
Leal v Korpella
Zeman v Vilmunen

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Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in World Cup of Poker