EPT Monte Carlo: Mr Consistent David Peters heads last 45 in Main Event

Day 3 of the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino European Poker Tour (EPT) Main Event was all about delivering on promises. We promised we'd burst the bubble--check! Jean-Jacques Zeitoun hit the rail in 112th with pocket jacks. We promised a day of extreme havoc--check! The overnight field of 120 was sliced to 45. And we promised that David Peters would be the chip leader by the end.

OK, so that last bit was not strictly a promise. But it should have been. There's nothing so consistent in the world of tournament poker as the sight of the silent Ohio native sitting at the top of a Main Event chip count. Peters is a machine, designed effortlessly to chop through fields and soar through the rankings, all the while never appearing even to move.

David Peters: The relentless machine

Well, he bounced around a few tables today, on to and off of the stage, but all the time just carrying more and more chips. He also was on the right side of a three-way cooler--aces vs. kings vs. queens--but this is David Peters we're talking about. He would be top of the counts anyhow.

That cooler put Peters en route to a stack of 1.839 million, with which he heads this field into Day 4. He's in pole position in the hunt for the €712,000 first prize and trophy, although he won't be eligible for the Platinum Pass being handed out to the winner. He's already got one. Obviously.

FULL CHIP COUNTS | PAYOUTS TO DATE | DAY 4 SEAT DRAW

Peters' closest challengers tonight are Josip Simunic (1.547 million) and Javier Fernandez (1.605 million), both of whom were also on the right side of pretty much everything today. Scroll through the coverage below to read about how they got all of their chips. Also down there you can find out full details of how the bubble played out (and it took far longer than we were expecting) and what happened to all the other heroes.

Javier Fernandez: A fine day

It was a mixed day for our two Team PokerStars Pros. While Randy Lew crashed and burned in 92nd (he held the queen in the three-way all-in that gave Peters his dominant stack), Andre Akkari flies the Red Spade into Day 4. Akkari spent the last period of the day on the feature table, with Ole Schemion and Philipp Gruissem for company, among others, and bagged 218,000 at the end.

Andre Akkari: Lone Red Spade


Philipp Gruissem: Looking good, playing better

Both those two German crushers remain in the hunt too, as well as former champions Adrian Mateos, Davidi Kitai, Patrik Antonius and Dimitar Danchev. Why is it always the same people deep in these events? Anyone would think they have some special secret.

Adrian Mateos: Loves Monte Carlo

Whatever the truth of their witchcraft, tomorrow will be another tremendous day. That's a promise. -- HS

Tournament area


Day 3 coverage archive:

• PLAYERS: 45 (777 entries inc 201 re-entries)
CHIP COUNTS | SEAT DRAW | LIVE STREAM | PAYOUTS
ALL EPT INFO | TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
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9:20pm: Qu goes on the last hand
Level 18 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

Eric Qu fell on the very last hand of the night on his table, falling to Javier Fernandez to secure the Spaniard's place in second on the overnight counts.

The chips went in on the turn of a 2♣T♥Q♣A♣ board.

Qu: A♦2♦ for two pair
Fernandez: 6♣4♣ for a flush

The 8♠ river was a blank and Fernandez ended with a mammoth 1.605 million. --MC

9:20pm: Wanna see?
Level 18 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

We arrived at the table to find Gary Miller and Eric Sfez tangling in what must have been a three-bet pot. There was a 4♥A♦2♣ flop out there, and Miller checked it letting Sfez lead for 32,000. Miller then popped it up to 102,000, and Sfez made the call.

The turn was the Q♥ and after 30 seconds of thinking Miller continued his aggression for 216,000. This gave Sfez a real problem as he clearly liked his hand. He would ultimately use up three time bank cards before he decided to lay it down.

"Wanna see?" asked Miller, as he raked in the pot. Sfez of course said yes, and was shown the 5♥5♠. Looks like Miller had turned his fives into a successful bluff, as Sfez revealed after the hand that he had ace-king.

Miller is up to 900,000 now, while Sfez dips to 800,000. --JS

9:15pm: Four more hands
Level 18 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

The duration of time before the end of Day 3 is now being measured in hands played -- four per table, then come the bags. --MH

9:10pm: Demirdjian takes one from Koplimaa
Level 18 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

Markku Koplimaa's brief flirtation with average-stack status is over thanks to Mark Demirdjian.

Demirdjian opened for 18,000 in the lojack and Koplimaa called from the big blind, bringing a 4♦9♦4♠ flop. Koplimaa checked and called Demirdjian's bet of 22,000. The turn was the A♦ and again Koplimaa check-called, this time for 64,000. The river was the 5♦ and the action was the same -- check, bet 55,000, and an eventual call as Koplimaa's shot clock ran down. He mucked, though, when Demirdjian showed K♦T♦ for the diamond flush.

Koplimaa drops to 219,000 with that loss. Demirdjian is now on 1.28 million. --JK

9:05pm: Mansouri tries to mess with Antonius
Level 18 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

Ouassini Mansouri tried a pure bluff versus Patrik Antonius. It didn't work, and even though he picked up some showdown equity, he still lost the hand.

Ouassini Mansouri in idea-hatching mode

Antonius opened from the button and Mansouri peeled from the big blind. The flop fanned 3♥4♦8♣ and Antonius' 20,000 c-bet was checked-raised to 80,000. Antonius called that and another 80,000 on the 7♦ turn before the K♥ river was checked through.

Mansouri opened 7♠J♠, but dropped to 405,000 after Antonius tabled a winning Q♦8♠. Antonius rises to around 800,000 with that pot. --MC

9pm: Fatehi finally falls
Level 18 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

Ali Reza Fatehi had managed to build his stack back up to 140,000, but that's as far as he'd go.

He moved it all-in from the button and then Adrian Mateos rejammed from the button for about 500,000. The rest of the table got out of the way and let these two duke it out.

Fatehi turned over K♠J♦ and was flipping against Mateos's 8♥8♠. Fatehi did hit a king on the 9♦K♥8♣Q♣4♦ board, but Mateos hit a set of eights. Fatehi busted in 47th while Mateos chipped up to 655,000. --AV

Good game, good luck - Fatehi bids Mateos adieu

8:55pm: The Sfez line
Level 18 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

Eric Sfez doesn't care for your "standard" poker plays. This is a guy who forges his own path. We took a walk with him along that path in this hand, and it certainly took us down an odd line.

The hand started with a 17,000 open from Sonny Franco, which had one caller before Sfez called from the small blind. The flop then came Q♦T♣T♦ and Sfez led out for 20,000. Only Franco called.

The turn was then the 6♣ and Sfez now fired 100,000 for an almost-pot sized bet. Franco didn't budge, though, and called, then the dealer completed the board with the Q♥.

What do you think Sfez would bet into a 300,000 pot if he was aiming to continue telling his story? 170,000? 200,000 perhaps?

Screw that. Sfez bet 8,000.

Naturally Franco wasn't folding to such a small bet, and when he tossed in the call Sfez turned over T♠2♠ for tens full. Franco looked disgusted and showed his A♠A♣.

That line brings Sfez up to 1.01 million and Franco down to 176,000. --JS

Sfez zigs, Sfez zags

8:52pm: Teltscher taken out
Level 18 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

Former EPT champion Mark Teltscher is out. Down to his last 37,000, he was all in with K♥J♣ against Maxim Panyak's 8♦7♣, and a 9♠T♦8♣2♣A♦ board went Panyak's way to send Teltscher railward. --MH

8:48pm: Two all-ins, one tie and one win for Koplimaa
Level 18 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

Markku Koplimaa just pushed all-in twice and was called both times in an effort to double-up. The first time he almost got there, but didn't quite. The second time he accomplished his goal.

In the first hand, Koplimaa watched Maxim Panyak open and responded with an all-in jam that Panyak called. Koplimaa had Panyak dominated with A♠K♠ versus the latter's A♣Q♦, but the board came 7♣5♥A♥5♠A♦ and they chopped. Could have been worse. Panyak exhaled in relief as he stacked up 365,000 after that one.

Soon after Mark Teltscher opened, Sadri Saleh called, then Koplimaa shoved again, this time for 174,000. Teltscher called and Saleh folded, and again Koplimaa was in favorable shape with K♣K♥ against Teltscher's J♥J♦.

The board went 9♦A♠3♣8♠5♣, and now Koplimaa is up around 400,000 while Teltscher is in dire straits with 30,000. --MH

8:45pm: Haneberg doubles Saleh, then busts
Level 18 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

Sadri Saleh was down to 90,000 and moved all-in from the hijack. Action folded to Andre Haneberg's big blind and he called for just a sliver more.

Saleh showed K♠T♥ while Haneberg was holding Q♣J♠. King-ten stayed in the lead after the 3♣6♦9♥9♦9♠ board and Saleh doubled to about 190,000 while Haneberg was left with just 3,000.

Day is done for Andre Haneberg

Haneberg was on the small blind the following hand and his chips were automatically all-in. Ekrem Sanioglu raised to 20,000 and then Francesco Grieco moved all-in for about 120,000. Sanioglu folded when action folded back to him and we had to settle for a two-way all-in. Haneberg showed Q♥6♦ for his tournament life and Grieco had J♦J♣. The 5♦5♠6♥A♠A♦ board brought no help for Haneberg and he busted in 49th while Grieco's stack rose to 150,000. --AV

8:40pm: Peters pushes Sissonen around
Level 17 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

David Peters just can't be stopped.

Ville Sissonen opened for 17,000 in the hijack and Peters called in the big blind. Peters checked the Q♦T♠T♦ flop, Sissonen bet 15,000, and then Peters check-raised to 47,000. Sissonen called. Peters maintained his line on the K♥ turn, betting 60,000, and Sissonen called once more.

David Peters just can't be stopped

Peters took about 10 seconds after the 7♦ hit the river to announce himself all-in. That left Sissonen with a decision tough enough to spend two time bank cards. That minute-and-a-half of contemplation convinced him to fold and hang on to his last 160,000 chips. Peters, meanwhile, is up to about 1.6 million. --JK

8:35pm: Grieco hanging on
Level 18 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

Francesco Grieco is clinging on to his tournament life. He was one card away from being eliminated and up out of his seat, but was saved at the last and sat back down.

Sadri Saleh, a player also in trouble, moved all-in for 90,000 from the button and Grieco called all-in for 52,000 from the big blind.

Grieco: Q♥8♥
Saleh: A♣8♦

It was a bad spot for Grieco and it got worse on the all club K♣2♣9♣ flop. There was only two outs in the deck for Grieco to hope for and after the blank 4♥ turn, it duly came in on the Q♠ river. That dropped a disbelieving Saleh to 38,000. --MC

8:27pm: Fleur's revenge, eliminates Altman
Level 18 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

Alexis Fleur has managed to get revenge on Brian Altman after the latter's A♣9♣ sucked out to beat Fleur's A♦J♥ (see 8:05pm).

Fleur opened to 18,000 and Altman called to see a J♠5♠Q♦ flop. It checked to Fleur who continued for 16,000, only for Altman to shove for 95,000. Fleur snap-called.

Altman - 7♥5♦
Fleur - A♠8♠

Altman was actually ahead with his pair of fives, but Fleur had plenty of outs with the flush draw. Instead he hit an ace on the A♥ turn, and the K♥ river changed nothing.

Brian Altman: No more

Altman made his exit, and Fleur now stacks up 417,000. --JS

8:25pm: Fatehi avoids being felted
Level 18 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

Shortly after suffering that loss in the kings-versus-tens hand versus Adrian Mateos (see just below), Ali Reza Fatehi watched a player open from middle position, then called with his last 17,000 from the button. Jan Bednar then reraised all in to force out the original raiser, and the remaining pair showed their hands.

Bednar: A♥Q♦
Fatehi: Q♥8♠

Ali Reza Fatehi: Survives

This one went the at-risk player's way, with a board of 8♦K♥T♥9♥K♣ dancing around Bednar's hand but hitting Fatehi's eight. Fatehi survives with 65,000, while Bednar has 235,000. --MH

8:23pm: Jozonis busts Byrne
Level 18 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

So immediately after Adrian Mateos left Ali Reza Fatehi with a few big blinds, we had another all-in. Surprisngly though it wasn't Fatehi. Tomas Jozonis raised to 18,000 from the cutoff that hand and Paul Byrne moved all-in for 191,000 from the small blind.

Paul Byrne: Busts

Fatehi was on the big blind and folded, leaving himself with less than three big blinds. Jozonis called and turned over a dominating A♥J♣ to Byrne's A♦T♠. Jozonis was already in the lead but improved to a pair of jacks on the 7♦J♦2♣Q♥8♦ board. Jozonis chipped up to 750,000 while Byrne busted. --AV

8:22pm: Crazy feature table
Level 18 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

There's a pretty sweet feature table to watch over there at PokerStars.tv at the moment. They're beginning Level 18 (on a 30-minute security delay) with all of the following at the table:

Ole Schemion, Dimitar Danchev, Andre Akkari, Saar Wilf and Philipp Gruissem. They also have today's pantomime villain Pierre Morin and bellowing hero Federico Petruzzelli, who has twice come within a hair's breadth of winning a Platinum Pass. Should be fun. -- HS

Hey Philipp Gruissem, you see who's on the feature table?

8:20pm: Mateos doubles through Fatehi
Level 18 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

Ali Reza Fatehi is on life support after doubling up Adrian Mateos. Fatehi raised to 18,000 from under the gun and Mateos raised it up to 55,000 from early position. Action folded back around to Fatehi and he moved all-in for about 250,000. Mateos called and turned over K♥K♠ to Fatehi's T♥T♠.

The A♦8♥7♦J♦6♦ changed nothing and Mateos doubled to nearly 600,000 while Fatehi was left with 27,000. --AV

8:15pm: O'Rourke flattens Ferrero
Level 17 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

Olivier Ferrero's tournament is finished courtesy of a cooler in the blinds. Ferrero opened for 25,000 in the small blind and shoved all-in over the top of Gavin O'Rourke's re-raise to 75,000 in the big. O'Rourke snap-called and they turned their cards over:

O'Rourke: A♦K♣
Ferrero: K♦K♥

Ferrero had seven outs after the flop but the board finished T♥Q♦5♣4♠2♦ and he headed for the payout table. O'Rourke is now up to an even 500,000. --JK

8:10pm: Dumont downs Macalou
Level 18 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

Down to his last 161,000, Silma Macalou open-pushed his stack from early position and got one caller in Nicolas Dumont a couple of seats over. The pair showed their hands, with Macalou turning over A♦K♣ and Dumont J♦J♥.

Macalou pointed to his cards as if to will the dealer to produce some matching them, but the board came 9♥2♠8♦J♠2♥ to give Dumont a set and leave Macalou drawing dead by the turn.

Macalou finishes 55th while Dumont is now at 625,000. --MH

8:05pm: Tough Altman doubles Antonius
Level 18 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

Patrik Antonius started the last level of the day with a bang, doubling through Brian Altman. The latter was left short but found an unlikely double himself the very next hand.

We approached the table after all the preflop action had taken place, with Antonius all-in for 246,000 with J♣J♠. Altman was dominated with T♠T♥ and stayed that way as the board ran Q♣6♦9♣A♣A♦.

Bad news for Brian Altman

Altman was left with exactly 50,000 chips and three-bet them all the very next hand. Alexis Fleur had opened to 13,000 from under the gun and made the call.

Fleur: A♦J♥
Altman: A♣9♣

The J♠J♣3♣ flop prompted Altman to say, "Tough one to get out of!"

He managed just that though as he made a flush with the help of the 2♣ turn and 7♣ river.

Patrik Antonius: Stayin' alive

Altman - 112,000
Antonius - 524,000
Fleur - 270,000
--MC

8pm: Bendinelli busts to Peters
Level 18 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

Giuliano Bendinelli returned from the break with just 30,000, and in one of the first hands back he managed to double up through chip leader David Peters.

However, he wasn't able to spin up the 60,000. He shoved under the gun with A♣6♦ and Peters made the call from the small blind holding J♣J♥. The board ran out 4♥T♠Q♠9♣K♠, giving Peters a straight and the KO.

Peters has now extended his chip lead to 1.57 million. --JS

7:55pm: Play resumes, 56 remain
Level 18 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

Players have returned from the half-hour break and now all 56 of them are at it once again, all trying to make it to tomorrow and continue their Main Event runs.

After relinquishing the lead briefly that level to Javier Fernandez, David Peters is back on top heading into what should be tonight's final frame, but Josip Simunic is less than four big blinds (or big blind antes, if you like) behind him.

Keep an eye on our constantly updated chip count page. Meanwhile, below are the top 10 stacks.

NameCountryChips
David PetersUSA1,499,000
Josip SimunicAustria1,470,000
Javier FernandezSpain1,380,000
Mark DemirdjianLebanon1,151,000
Davidi KitaiBelgium980,000
Dimitar DanchevBulgaria778,000
Davor LaniniItaly750,000
Federico PetruzzelliItaly673,000
Eric SfezFrance645,000
Ouassini MansouriFrance628,000

Ole Schemion is right outside this list, with Phillip Gruissem, Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari, Maxim Panyak, Antoine Saout, Adrian Mateos, and Patrik Antonius among the others still in the mix.

Meanwhile, they've opened the windows here in the Salle des Etoiles tournament room, thereby creating a mood-altering ambience as the night's last level begins. --MH

In the mood


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7:23pm: Break time

Players are now taking a 30-minute break. This is the last break of the day and they'll return to play one more 90-minute level. -- HS


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7:20pm: Madness from Simunic
Level 17 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Somebody pass Josip Simunic the rulebook on poker. It clearly states that one should never try and bluff Davidi Kitai. Ever. Luckily for the chip leader it was an inexpensive lesson for him to learn.

Simunic, from Austria, opened from the button and Kitai defended his blind. Kitai check-called 16,000 on a 7♣2♣Q♥ flop before both players checked the 9♥ turn. Simunic then bet 25,000 on the 3♠ river and was check-called by Kitai after his customary soul-read-stare.

"Jack-high," declared Simunic as he opened J♦T♣. Kitai scooped with A♥4♦ for ace high and moved up to 930,000. Simunic is still on around 1.5 million. --MC

7:17pm: Saout earns multi-part double-up from Mansouri
Level 17 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

With the board showing 8♠K♣A♦6♣ and approximately 200,000 chips in the middle, Ouassini Mansouri checked from the blinds and Antoine Saout bet. Mansouri took enough time to spend a time bank card before making the call.

The river was the 6♠, and this time when Mansouri checked, Saout pushed all in with the 83,000 he had left. This time Mansouri acted right away, flicking forward a chip to call, and leaned forward to see Saout tabling A♣6♥ for a full house. Mansouri let out a wordless groan as he sat back in his chair, then after being reminded he had to show turned over his A♥5♦.

Saout gets to about 370,000 with that multi-part double-up, while Mansouri still has 625,000 just a couple of minutes shy of the break. --MH

7:15pm: It's always Sonny in Monte Carlo
Level 17 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Sonny Franco has just found a double up through his fellow Frenchman Yorane Kerignard.

The two had already reached a 5♦2♥3♣ flop when we arrived, and Kerignard checked. Franco then led for 15,000, only for Kerignard to raise it to 41,000. Franco shoved for 142,000 total, and Kerignard snap-callled.

Franco - 7♣7♠
Kerignard - 4♣5♣

Franco had the best of it with his overpair to the board, but Kerignard had a ton of outs with a pair of fives and open-ender. The T♥ turn didn't change anything though, and nor did the Q♦ river.

Franco fist-pumped the air before dragging in his new 290,000 stack. Kerignard is down to 153,000 after that one. --JS

7:12pm: Koplimaa takes some off Peters
Level 17 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Up on the feature table, the board showed J♠A♥6♦ when David Peters checked, Markku Koplimaa bet 10,000, and Peters called, bringing the pot up to 58,000. The turn brought the 6♠ and both players checked.

The river was the K♣. Peters checked again, and Koplimaa bet 45,000 -- nearly half what he had behind. Peters called right away then saw Koplimaa table J♥J♣ for jacks full of sixes. That was better than the A♦T♠ Peters had, and Koplimaa won the pot.

Peters is still cruising with just under 1.5 million, while Koplimaa has 209,000 now. --MH

7:10pm: Akkari doubles
Level 17 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari raised to 13,000 from middle position and Gary Miller made it 45,000 when action folded to his big blind. Akkari then moved all-in for 204,000 and Miller called.

Andre Akkari: Double incoming

Miller showed T♥T♠ and Akkari turned over A♠K♠. The Q♠8♣K♣4♣A♥ board gave Akkari a king on the flop and an ace on the river for a double. Akkari chipped up to 410,000 while Miller dipped to 255,000. --AV

7:08pm: Kitai cuts Butba's stack
Level 17 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

"Would you mind putting your chips in stacks of 20?" asked Javier Fernandez. "It's much better for everyone."

The man he was asking was Said Butba of Russia, who had just opened the button to 15,000. Butba had only blue 5K chips in one large stack, totalling 180,000. Fernandez wasn't in the hand though; the action was on Davidi Kitai when we arrived, and Butba separated his chips for the Kitai to see. Once Kitai defended the big blind, Butba put his chips back into one large stack.

The flop came 9♦Q♠5♥ and Kitai check-called a 15,000 c-bet. That took them to the 8♣ turn, on which Kitai led out for 35,000. Butba then confidently raised it to 75,000, only for Kitai to put him all in. Butba snap-folded.

That leaves him with just 75,000 - not even enough for a stack of 20. Kitai, meanwhile, is up to 915,000. --JS

7:05pm: Petrangelo finished off
Level 17 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Nick Petrangelo is out. Details are scarce, but it seems he lost a queens vs. ace-king classic to Federico Petruzzelli. -- HS

No more Nicky P

7:04pm: Simunic takes a piece of Schemion's stack
Level 17 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Josip Simunic is directly to Ole Schemion's left -- a good place to be when the aggressive German misses his draws.

The action opened with Schemion limping under the gun. Simunic called in the lojack and Ouassini Mansouri did the same in the hijack, taking us to a Q♥5♦8♣ flop. Schemion checked, Simunic bet 37,000, and both Mansouri and Schemion called.

Ole Schemion: A small slice lost


The turn was the K♦ and this time Schemion led for 91,000. Simunic thought it over for a bit and then raised to 205,000, chasing Mansouri from the pot. Schemion considered his move and then called the raise. Both players then checked the 5♠ river. Schemion turned over J♦T♦ for a busted combo draw, and Simunic took down the pot with A♥K♣ for a pair of kings.

Josip Simunic: A big stack gained

Simunic is now on 1.55 million, Schemion 675,000. --JK

7:01pm: A new dawn of peace with Morin?
Level 17 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Pierre Morin was seen chatting away from the table with Tournament Director Toby Stone a while ago and it seems the peace talks went well. Morin has been given some time bank chips back and the normal shot clock rules seem back in place for him.

And, he just snap folded to a flop three-bet jam from neighbour Nick Petrangelo. What a turnaround.

Petrangelo (BB) led out for 13,000 on a 9♣5♥8♠ flop to watch Morin (UTG) raise to 49,000. Petrangelo then jammed for what looked like 210,000. Morin folded and passed the chips to his opponent all within two seconds to drop to 136,000. Petrangelo up to 270,000. --MC

7pm: Counterfeited
Level 17 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

They've been stuck on 57 left for a while now as the pace has slowed a bit with half an hour left in the level. I just watched the short-stacked Gary Hasson play a hand that had to have been a bit frustrating, but at least he's still in the game.

First off, don't get too excited -- it was a small pot, and in the grand scheme of things, a relatively minor detail in the story of this tournament. But there is a somewhat fun twist ending. Except for Hasson, anyway.

Down to just under 80,000, Hasson limped in from middle position, Gavin O'Rourke called from late, and Eric Sfez called as well from the big blind. The flop came K♣4♠K♦, it checked to Hasson who bet 7,000, and only O'Rourke stayed in. The turn was the 7♠ and this time Hasson bet 16,000. O'Rourke called once more.

The river brought the 7♣, putting a second pair on the board, and Hasson checked. O'Rourke checked behind, then watched Hasson table 5♠5♣ to show he'd been counterfeited on the end and now only had the two pair on the board plus a five-kicker.

O'Rourke showed his hand somewhat hesitatingly, looking again at the board to be sure he was best. He was -- and with only 6♥4♥ for a six-kicker.

We'll sympathize with Hasson a bit, who is down to 55,000. O'Rourke has 365,000. --MH

6:55pm: Melogno claws some back
Level 17 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Pablo Melogno has been making some moves since losing the majority of his stack to Federico Petruzzell (see our 6:30pm post).

In this latest pot, Dimitar Danchev opened the cutoff to 13,000 and Saar Wilf called on the button. Melogno was in the big blind and opted to call and see the J♠T♦Q♥ flop. It checked to Danchev who continued for 21,000, and both players called.

That took them to a Q♦ turn, which paired the board. Interestingly, Melogno now opted to lead out for 18,000. That got a fold from Danchev, followed by Wilf too.

Melogno is back up to 195,000 now, having been down to 11 big blinds 20 minutes ago. Danchev sits with 965,000, while Wilf has 200,000. --JS

6:50pm: Fatehi finds a flush on the river, doubles
Level 17 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

There was about 120,000 in the pot and an 8♣9♥8♥ flop on the board. Ali Reza Fatehi was in middle position and moved all-in for 132,000. Adrian Mateos folded from the hijack and Jan Bendar called from the cutoff. Bendar showed an overpair with J♥J♣ while Fatehi showed Q♣3♣ for...something. Not much, but something. It turned into a whole lot though after the 7♣ and 5♣ completed the board and gave Fatehi a flush.

Fatehi doubled up to 420,000 while Bednar dropped to 180,000. --AV

6:45pm: Antonius dips, then triples with a runner-runner straight
Level 17 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Patrick Antoinus was down to 90,000 after clashing with Alexis Fleur.

Antonius raised to 12,000 from early position and Fleur three-bet to 36,000 from middle position. Action folded back to Antonius and he called.

He did that a lot in this hand.

Antonius called a bet of 27,000 on the A♥7♠2♠ flop and called one of 38,000 after the A♦ came on the turn. Both players then checked the K♣ on the river and Antonius tabled 9♠8♠ for a busted flush draw while Fleur also showed a busted flush draw with A♠4♠.

Fleur's hand gave him trip aces though. Fleur chipped up to 650,000 while Antonius was left with 90,000. But then he tripled up a few hands later.

Fleur kicked off the action with a raise to 14,000 from under the gun and Honglin Jiang called from the hijack. Antonius did the same from the big blind and they went to the 5♦J♥8♥ flop. Antonius moved all-in for about 75,000 and Fleur called.

Jiang then thought for a while and rejammed for 415,000. Fleur couldn't find another call and let the two players have it. Jiang turned over 5♣5♥ for a set of fives while Antonius showed J♣7♠ for a pair of jacks.

Antonius was drawing slim, but the 6♦ on the turn and the 4♣ on the river gave him exactly what he needed. Antonius tripled to 270,000 while Jiang dipped to 330,000.

"Welcome to my life," Antonius said. "Should have folded preflop, but this is poker. Sorry guys."

Patrik Antonius: What a life

Antonius then mentioned he has to put those chips to good use. We'll see if he does. --AV

6:38pm: Kitai keeps collecting
Level 17 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

It's no surprise to see Davidi Kitai once again in the money in a major PokerStars event. We were just watching the Belgian get all of the way to ninth-place in the APPT Macau Main Event in March, and of course have seen him consistently succeed here on the European Poker Tour, including capturing a Main Event title in Berlin in 2012.

Davidi Kitai in the running? Quelle surprise?

Kitai certainly has his eyes on the prize here in Monaco, having chipped up quite a bit over the course of this Day 3. Just now he made an all-in bet on the turn on a nine-high board, forcing a frustrated fold from Said Butba who preserved his 180,000.

With that pot, Kitai is up around 880,000 now and near the top of the counts with 57 left. --MH

6:36pm: Baumann busts
Level 17 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Gaelle Baumann's Main Event has just come to an end.

Andre Akkari had opened under the gun to 13,000 which Josip Simunic flatted from the hijack. Baumann was in the big blind and she came along to see the 9♥4♠J♥ flop. Baumann checked, and Akkari opted not to c-bet. Over to Simunic, he led for 27,000. Baumann then moved all-in for what looked to be around 80,000, Akkari let it go, and Simunic snap-called.

Baumann - A♦J♦
Simunic - 9♠9♦

Gaelle Baumann: Bad news

It was top pair for Baumann but a set for Simunic. The Q♦ left Baumann drawing dead, sending her out in 59th and bringing Simunic up to 1.22 million. Akkari, meanwhile, sits with 215,000. --JS

6:35pm: Easy come, easy go for Petruzzelli
Level 17 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Federico Petruzzelli didn't hang on to those new-found chips too long. A cooler versus Dimitar Danchev saw him drop back down to 225,000 as the former PCA winner doubled to just under a million.

Dimitar Danchev: Monster

Petruzzelli opened to 14,000 from under the gun and called after Danchev three-bet to 42,000 from the cutoff. Danchev continued for 35,000 on an A♣6♠5♥ flop and was check-called before the 4♦ was checked through.

Things got ever so interesting on the T♣ river as Petruzzelli check-raised Danchev's 105,000 bet up to 259,000. The Bulgarian pro used a time bank chip before jamming for 410,000. Call!

Danchev opened A♥A♠ for top set and Petruzzelli cried, "Ohhhhh! Nice hand" before showing his smaller set with 6♥6♣. --MC

6:30pm: Melogno cut down by Petruzzelli
Level 17 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

We didn't catch the full action on this one but the uproar it caused brought us running over to Table 5.

The board read 9♥7♣T♣7♥6♥ and all of Federico Petruzzelli's chips had gone in on a raise of Pablo Melogno's river bet. Melogno had made a straight with Q♣8♣, but Petruzzelli had rivered himself an ace-high flush with A♥Q♥. So how did they get there? Per Nick Petrangelo (currently receiving a massage in Seat 1), Melogno four-bet Petruzzelli for 75,000 before the flop. Ouch.

Federico Petruzzelli: Causing a commotion

Melogno's misfire left him with only 67,000 chips. Meanwhile Petruzzelli has around 650,000. --JK

Pablo Melogno: Looking for consolation

6:25pm: Hasson survives against Sheshukov
Level 17 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Gary Hasson just earned a small double-up through Aleksandr Sheshukov.

With about 50,000 in the middle, Hasson got the last of his 37,000 chips in on the Q♥T♥3♥ flop with K♦Q♠ for top pair, and Sheshukov eventually called with 7♥7♠. The turn was the J♠ and river the 5♠, and Hasson survives with about 125,000. Sheshukov is short, too, with 143,000. --MH

6:20pm: Miller gets the better of Haneberg
Level 17 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Gary Miller just picked up a nice pot without having to go very far.

Miller was in the cutoff and re-raised to 42,000 after Andre Haneberg opened the action for 13,000. Haneberg took about 15 seconds and then made it 125,000 to go. Miller called and the flop came T♠9♥Q♥. Haneberg bet 52,000 and auto-mucked when Miller announced himself all-in.

Miller's now on 590,000, Haneberg 290,000. --JK

6:15pm: Big flip busts Glick, puts Fernandez in the lead
Level 17 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Of all the preflop flips we've seen today, this one was the biggest. It was flipping a coin the size of a textbook.

Michael Glick started things off with a raise to 14,000 and then Javier Fernandez three-bet to 51,000 from the button. Action folded back around to Glick and he clicked it up to 128,000. Then Fernandez raised the stakes again and moved all-in.

Javier Fernandez: Back out front

Fernandez started the level with more than 800,000 and was the only player at the table who had Glick's 640,000 covered. Glick thought, used up a timebank card, and thought some more. Glick ended up cashing three timebank cards before he called.

Fernandez turned over A♠K♣ and Glick turned over Q♠Q♦ for the mega flip. The 2♥A♥9♣6♣T♥ board landed in Fernandez's favor and he chipped up to 1.4 million while Glick hit the rail. --AV

6:13pm: Sfez's stack getting higher
Level 17 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Eric Sfez has chipped up to 420,000 this level, partly due to a couple of small pots on the bounce.

He opened to 19,000 from the hijack and Gavin O'Rourke defended his big blind before check-calling a 25,000 c-bet on a 9♠4♦6♥ flop. That was all the betting as the 2♠7♥ turn and river were checked through. O'Rourke opened A♥8♥ to lose out to Sfez's T♥T♣.

Ekrem Sanioglu opened to 13,000 the very next hand and called after Sfez three-bet to 46,000 from the next seat. Sfez's post-flop heat was too strong for Sanioglu to cope with though as he check-folded to a 36,000 bet on a 2♥4♣7♦ flop. --MC

6:12pm: Franco avoids Sanioglu's trap
Level 17 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Ekrem Sanioglu won the pot, but he seemed the most displeased by the way the hand concluded.

It began with Sanioglu raising to 18,000 from the small blind and Sonny Franco calling from the big blind. Both checked the 8♠T♦A♦ flop, then after the J♠ turn Sanioglu bet 35,000 and Franco called.

The river T♥ paired the board, and after Sanioglu checked Franco quickly checked behind, causing Sanioglu to react with a little frustration as he tabled A♣T♠ for a full house. Meahwhile, Franco didn't seem to mind that much he'd lost a small one with his A♥2♣.

Franco still has 390,000, while Sanioglu has climbed to 335,000. --MH

6:10pm: Big stacks under lights
Level 17 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

The heavily-stacked table featuring David Peters, Mark Demirdjian and Maxim Panyak is now at the PokerStars.tv feature table. You can watch it cards up, with a 30-minute security delay. And you can tell us how it's going too. -- HS

Maxim Panyak, left, with David Peters keeping close tabs

6:05pm: Who's sat in the satellite?
Level 17 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

While the Main Event ticks along over in the main room, a €2,700 unlimited re-entry satellite to tomorrow's €25K High Roller has just got started in another.

A few of the faces we recognise in the field include Sosia Jiang, who soft-bubbled the Main Event just a few hours ago. She's joined by Platinum Pass winner Kalidou Sow, as well as Orpen Kisacikoglu, James Mitchell, Julian Thomas, and Vladimir Troyanovskiy. --JS

6:05pm: Blanchard bluffs it off
Level 17 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Anthony Blanchard is out in 63rd after his triple-barrel bluff was picked off by Pablo Melogno.

Melogno check-called to the river of the K♣A♥7♦4♥8♠ board, and when he checked the river Blanchard shoved for 137,000. Melogno used a time bank card before making the call with A♦3♠, and the lone ace was best as Blanchard held K♠Q♠ for air.

Melogno is up to 410,000 now. --JS

6pm: Greenwood chopped down by Franco
Level 17 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Soon after the level began, Sonny Franco opened from the hijack seat, then Sam Greenwood jammed all in from the cutoff for about 70,000. It folded back to Franco who called and showed K♠Q♣, and Greenwood tabled his A♣9♥.

The flop fell K♥6♥8♠, instantly swinging the edge Franco's way, and after the 2♠ turn and 4♣ river Greenwood was done. Franco bumps up around 460,000 after that hand.

Prediction: Greenwood will be back for the €25,000 High Roller, which starts tomorrow. --MH

5:45pm: Another level
Level 17 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Off they go again. Full chip counts are coming very soon. -- HS


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5:25pm: Break time

They've reached the end of another level, and players are once again taking a 20-minute break. --MH

5:23pm: Sneaky, sneaky
Level 16 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Slow playing aces is a risky business, but Olivier Ferrero just got incredibly sneaky and picked up a nice pot. It was genuinely a sneakier slow play than most. I liked it.

The hand began with five folds around to Thierry Gogniat on the button. Something must have gone wrong for Gogniat in recent orbits because he had only 17,000, slightly more than three big blinds, and he moved all-in.

Ferrero, in the small blind, put out a call. And then Makoto Haga, the lone Japanese player in the field, called in the big blind.

There were only two active players to the 2♣4♠3♥ flop, with Gogniat's fate now in the lap of the gods. But they didn't show much activity. They both checked.

Ferrero then also checked the 4♥ turn, which prompted Haga, who has been pretty active in recent levels, to bet 21,000. Ferrero called, leaving himself 90,000 behind.

The A♠ completed the board and Ferrero checked for a third time. Haga now put out a bet of 25,000.

Ferrero took a while to think about what to do, and opted to bump it up to 75,000, leaving himself only about 15,000. Perhaps it was the suspicious "not" all-in that tipped off Haga. He folded.

Ferrero then tabled his A♣A♦ leaving Gogniat to show down his 9♦6♦ which, one suspects, he might have known was't going to win him this pot. Hats off to him for sitting patiently while the pot played out, and for not tutting or sighing or giving anything away about the weakness of his hand.

Thierry Gogniat, waiting patiently

But, well, that's not going to win him any more money. He's out and will take €11,900. Haga now has 125,000 and Ferrero about 210,000 after his slow-play worked out for him. -- HS

5:20pm: Demirdjian dusts Newey
Level 16 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

The David of stacks went against the Goliath of stacks and the little stack lost. Mark Demirdjian raised to 11,000 from early position and then Paul Newey moved all-in for 35,000.

Demirdjian snap-called and turned over Q♦Q♥ to Newey's J♦T♣. THe 5♣4♠4♣K♠5♦ board brought no help for Newey and he was eliminated in 67th place. Demirdjian on the other hand is up to 1.27 million. --AV

Paul Newey

5:15pm: Morin time
Level 16 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

A very interesting situation has broken out over on Table 5.

The tablemates of Frenchman Pierre Morin complained to the tournament directors that Morin is taking too long to act every hand, despite the shot clock. As we hung around, it became clear that Morin was being accused of waiting until there was 15 seconds left on the clock before acting, even if his action was ultimately just open-folding.

"The shot clock is to speed up the game," explained tournament director Luca Vivaldi. "Not for you to avoid timing tells."

"I don't want to speed up the game, sorry!" replied Morin, who explained he always takes the same time to act even before the shot clock was introduced.

Pierre Morin, unhurried

After a few more tanks and arguments, Morin was told he now only had 10 seconds to act rather than 30, and if he went over 10 seconds he'd have to give up one of his time bank cards. Morin threw all three of his remaining cards in the middle at once, claiming he no longer wanted them (although they were returned to him shortly after).

A crowd had gathered as the cards for the next hand were dealt. It folded to Morin in the hijack and 10 seconds went by before he opened to 12,500. After a small blind call, Philipp Gruissem defended his big blind to see a 4♠5♥Q♦ flop. It checked to Morin who continued for 17,500 after 10 seconds. It folded to Gruissem and he check-raised it up to 42,000. Morin tossed in a time bank card prematurely, knowing he would take longer than 10 seconds, and after 30 seconds he made the call.

The turn was the 4♦ and now Gruissem checked. After 10 seconds Morin led for 30,000 and that got a fold, bringing his stack up to 250,000.

How will things play out for Morin from here? Only time will tell. --JS

5:10pm: Haneberg, Schemion tangle
Level 16 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

There aren't quite as many chips at Ole Schemion's table as there are at David Peters's, but it's pretty close. Schemion (700,000), Andre Haneberg (400,000), and Josip Simunic (1 million) are seated all in a row and they're tangling with each other plenty, as they did in these two hands.

First Simunic limped in under the gun. Haneberg called in the small blind and Schemion checked his option in the big, bringing the 2♦K♥9♦ flop. Haneberg checked and then he and Simunic both called Schemion's bet of 25,000. Haneberg checked again on the A♠ turn and then he and Simunic both folded to Schemion's bet of 70,000.

On the next hand Haneberg opened for 12,500 on the button. Schemion re-raised to 40,000. Then he let his hand go when Haneberg moved a stack of blue chips, worth 100,000, into the middle as the fourth bet.

With those three players and their big stacks to his left, new arrival and Team Pro Andre Akkari is going to have his work cut out for him. --JK

5:05pm: Peters the boss, even when he's losing
Level 16 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

David Peters has already won the biggest pot of the tournament to date, and there's plenty of potential on Table 6 for the bar to be raised. As mentioned below, he also has Mark Demirdjian for company, with a stack of 1.2 million, but that table also features Max Panyak, whose 590,000 stack will likely be put to work.

At the other end of things, Paul Newey is probably the tournament shortie at the moment with 45,000 (but bundles of patience). Former EPT runner up Georgios Karakousis is there with 100,000, while Mark Teltscher, a former winner, has 155,000.

There was the potential for fireworks in a recent pot, where Peters opened to 12,000 from early position. Demirdjian was the only caller, which took them to the flop of A♦7♥2♣. Demirdjian checked and Peters bet 11,000. Demirdjian called.

The T♦ turn brought a hefty bet of 42,000 from Peters (after another Demirdjian check). Demirdjian called. The A♣ completed the board.

At this point Demirdjian checked again and Peters seemed to be pondering another bomb. But then he checked and Demirdjian showed his Q♠Q♥, which was good when Peters mucked. -- HS

5pm: O'Rourke finishes off Korn, takes Naim with him
Level 16 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

This one is a doozy ladies, gentlemen and pets gifted with the ability to read.

Davidi Kitai kicked things off with a raise to 12,000 and he probably didn't expect as much action as he was about to get. Boutros Naim called from early position and Gavin O'Rourke called from middle position.

Then Andres Korn, who had lost most of chips to O'Rourke about two updates ago, moved all-in for 19,500. Kitai called... wait... no, he raised to 27,000 and both Naim and O'Rourke called. The flop came down T♦8♣4♥ and Naim bet 30,000 when checked to. There were two callers and one more card. The 5♠ came on the turn and Naim moved all-in for about 150,000. O'Rourke called but Kitai got out of the way.

Korn: K♠7♦
Naim: K♥T♠
O'Rourke: 8♦8♠

It was king-high versus top-pair versus set and a 2♥ on the river kept the set of eights in the lead. Naim and O'Rourke were fairly even in chips but a count revealed he had Naim covered.

Korn finished 76th while Naim followed him out in 75th. O'Rourke on the other hand chipped up to 510,000. --AV

Andres "Cacho" Korn


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4:55pm: Demirdjian catching Peters
Level 16 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

There are an awful lot of chips on Table 6. David Peters still leads the way at the table (and tournament as a whole) with 1.6 million but he's being caught by Mark Demirdjian at a rapid pace, who's risen to 1.25 million.

The Lebanese player got a little lucky when adding to his stack just now. He was in the big blind with A♣9♣ and called Aroldo Fioroni's 80,000 all-in. The latter opened 9♥9♠ but couldn't survive a 4♠8♥A♥5♣4♣ board. --MC

Mark Demirdjian on the move

4:50pm: O'Rourke pops Korn
Level 16 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Gavin O'Rourke and Andres "Cacho" Korn started this hand off with fairly similar stacks, both well below the current 306,000-chip average with Korn holding a slight edge. Now O'Rourke is in better shape and Korn is on tournament life support.

Korn opened the action for 12,000 under the gun, drawing calls from O'Rourke on the button and Tomas Jozonis in the big blind. Jozonis checked the J♠J♦6♥ flop and then folded after Korn bet 12,000 and O'Rourke called.

Korn checked on the A♥ turn and called when O'Rourke bet 20,000 -- about a quarter of his remaining stack. Then Korn check-called for 59,000 more on the 3♠ river, only to muck his cards when O'Rourke showed 6♣6♠ for the flopped full house.

The loss takes Korn down to a desperate 35,000, while O'Rourke is still below average but out of immediate danger with 215,000. --JK

4:45pm: Kolonias goes in 77th
Level 16 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

The formerly big-stacked Alexandros Kolonias' ride has come to and end after he lost a flip to Pablo Melogno.

The latter open-raised off the button and then called after Kolonias three-bet all-in for 56,000 from the big blind.

Kolonias: A♦Q♠
Melogno: 6♥6♣

The board ran 4♠6♦T♣9♠7♥ to make Melogno a set. He moved up to 340,000. --MC

4:40pm: Baumann bounces Mouawad (not that one)
Level 16 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Joe Mouawad (not that one)'s day is done. He got the last of his stack (about 60,000) in with pocket eights but couldn't beat Gaelle Baumann's K♣K♦ after a 9♦A♥T♠6♣K♠ board.

Mouawad moves on

Baumann now has 150,000 and that pot was effectively for her tournament life too. She had marginally more chips than Mouawad (not that one) but, crucially, the significantly better hand. -- HS

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4:32pm: 80th for Ensan, Fleur flourishing
Level 16 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

If Hossein Ensan had final tabled this event, it would have been the German's fifth EPT final table in four years. Alas for the EPT12 Prague champ. Alas, he's just busted in 80th.

Antoine Saout got the hand going with a hijack open to 12,000, which Ensan called in the cutoff. Alexis Fleur then put in a button three-bet to 42,000, which got a fold from Saout. Ensan would use a time bank card before announcing all-in for 162,000, and Fleur snap-called.

Ensan - J♦J♣
Fleur - K♣K♦

The Q♣A♣6♦A♦7♥ board changed nothing, and Ensan said his goodbyes. Fleur is now peaking in this tournament with a 630,000 stack. --JS

4:25pm: Grinning Altman takes from Ensan
Level 16 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Here's a double up for Brian Altman, who was grinning like the Cheshire Cat as Hossein Ensan (licking his wounds) asked a rhetorical question. "You didn't think I had an ace, right?"

I didn't see the action, just that Altman had K♦T♣ and was on the button and that Ensan, who would have been in the big blind, had A♠2♥. The board read K♣A♣Q♥T♦ and, I think, the K♥ (although the dealer swept it away as I arrived). I think they must have got it in on the flop, which would make the most sense given Ensan's slight needle.

Altman's stack is around 325,000 now and Ensan's is 165,000. That means they have effectively swapped places in the counts thanks to this pot. -- HS

Altman ascends

4:20pm: Wang scores a double against Saout
Level 16 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Antoine Saout started things off with a raise to 17,000 from early position and Alexis Fleur called from the hijack. Chaofei Wang was on the big blind and called, bringing a 5♠T♣8♣ flop. Saout then bet 25,000 when checked to and Fleur called.

Wang thought for a bit and then moved all-in for 119,000. Saout called, Fleur folded and players turned over their hands. Saout showed top pair with A♥T♠ while Wang turned over a set with 8♣8♥. A 5♣ came on the turn to fill Wang up and a 6♠ completed the board. Saout dipped to 195,000 while Wang doubled to 305,000. --AV

4:17pm: Bendinelli doubles through Petrangelo
Level 16 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Giuliano Bendinelli has just dealt a blow to Nick Petrangelo's stack. He moved all-in from the UTG+1 for 71,500, and when Petrangelo got a count he called from one seat over. Nobody else got involved, and the cards were flipped:

Bendinelli - Q♠Q♥
Petrangelo - 8♣8♥

The 7♦5♣K♠K♦T♦ board ran out safely for the queens, resulting in Bendinelli doubling to 155,000 and Petrangelo dropping to 285,000. --JS

4:15pm: Jozonis busts Banicevic
Level 16 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

The players at Table 10 were rotated off the TV table on the break. Probably just as well for Vlado Banicevic since he's no longer with us.

The hand that took him down opened with a Nick Petrangelo raise to 10,000 in the cutoff. Tomas Jozonis called on the button and Banicevic came along from the big blind to see a 6♠J♣K♥ flop. Banicevic and Petrangelo both checked, and only Banicevic called after Jozonis bet 13,000.

The turn was the T♠ and Banicevic checked again. Jozonis bet 37,000 this time and then called after Banicevic check-raised to 82,000. Banicevic snap-shoved on the A♠ river and Jozonis couldn't have called more quickly. Banicevic showed Q♠9♦ for a Broadway straight, but Jozonis took down the pot -- and sent his opponent to the rail -- with 8♠7♠ for a rivered spade flush.

That win takes Jozonis up to 640,000. --JK

4:10pm: Big hands and a big stack for Simunic
Level 16 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Two big hands to start the level here. Actually, four big hands in two big pots, with Fabrice Maltez and Mazin Khoury hitting the rail as a result.

Both coups were pretty straightforward given the holdings. Maltez got his last 135,000 in pre-flop with pocket nines, but he was called by Eric Sfez with pocket tens. The board was pretty, but these were pretty bricks. It was K♠A♦7♦Q♠Q♥. The tens held and Maltez busted, leaving Sfez with about 610,000.

Maltez makes his farewell

On a neighbouring table, everything was turned up a notch. Mazin Khoury had 420,000 in his stack and pocket kings in the hole. Josip Simunic had him covered both in chips (700,000) and cards (A♦A♥) and all the chips went in after a series of pre-flop raises.

There was nothing dramatic on this board either and that sent Khoury home and put Simunic to more than a million, the only man in sight of David Peters. -- HS

Josip Simunic climbing the counts

4:05pm: Wow, are you chip leader?
Level 16 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

It was a god job that David Peters had a million of his stack coloured up during the break, otherwise his table move just now would've taken a lot longer and required a support team. Just to clarify, no other player even has a million chips. No other player has any 25K chips as yet. Peters has two towers worth of them!

He quietly sat down at his new table while a hand was playing out. Georgios Karakousis is sat two to Peters' right and wasn't in the hand. He stared at Peters' chips for about 30 seconds with his mouth wide open, and he wasn't the only one.

The hand concluded with a Mark Teltscher fold, whose focus then turned to his new neighbour. "Are they 25k chips?" He asked. Once he got the nod, he continued, "Wow, are you chip leader?"

"Er, yes," came the reply. --MC

David Peters has heaps

4pm: Just how far in front is David Peters?
Level 16 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

The chip counts have all been updated during the break, confirming David Peters's enormous chip lead thanks to that double-knockout to end the previous level. Here are the current top 10:

NameCountryChips
David PetersUSA1,660,000
Mark DemirdjianLebanon927,000
Josip SimunicAustria700,000
Maxim PanyakRussia693,000
Javier FernandezSpain666,500
Dimitar DanchevBulgaria608,000
Ouassini MansouriFrance540,000
Tomas JozonisLithuania482,000
Eric SfezFrance481,000
Krisztian GyorgyiHungary480,000

Also thriving are Ole Schemion (480,000), Rainer Kempe (459,500), and Nick Petrangelo (365,000). Current short stacks include Paul Newey, Gaelle Baumann, and Jason Wheeler. --MH

Gaelle Baumann hoping to move up the leaderboard

3:55pm: Play resumes, 88 remain
Level 16 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Players are back from the break and in their seats, and another level has begun. Just 88 of them now with a chance at the title. --MH


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3:37pm: Break time, with a teaser

The level is over, and with it comes another 20-minute break.

Trivia time: If either Mark Teltscher or Patrik Antonius makes the final table here, they will smash the existing record for length of time between first and most recent final-table appearances. It's 4,963 days since Teltscher's first final table (London Season 2), while it's 4,978 for Antonius (Barcelona Season 2).

But they still have some way to go to actually reach the final, meaning this is purely hypothetical. However, here's your teatime teaser: which player currently holds the record for length of time between final-table appearances on the EPT? --HS

3:35pm: Peters soars, busts Cygan & Lubespere
Level 15 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

We didn't catch the hand but we walked up on David Peters getting an even million in chips colored up heading into the break. Turns out Peters picked up A-A when two of his opponents held K-K (Lukasz Cygan) and Q-Q, and the aces held on a low board.

Lukasz Cygan had the kings, and Team Online's Randy Lew the queens, which means neither of those two will be coming back from the break.

Peters, meanwhile, is sitting on about 1.65 million and appears to be far and away the chip leader with the average stack still worth just 259,000. --JK

3:32pm: Five-bet o'clock
Level 15 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

There's a time for five betting in tournaments, and apparently that time is now.

Mark Demirdjian took down one. Aroldo Fioroni started that hand off with a nice, modest raise to 10,000 from early position. Demirdjian then three-bet to 27,000 from the button and Maxim Panyak re-raised to 52,500 from the big blind.

Fioroni only had about 100,000 behind and folded. Demirdjian on the other hand five-bet to 132,000 and took down the pot. Demirdjian is now up to 950,000 while Panyak dipped to 575,000.

Then Alexis Fleur took one down on the other side of the tournament room. Brian Altman raised to 9,000 from early position that hand and Fleur made it 30,000 from the cutoff. Altman then four-bet to 68,000 and Fleur went for the old five-bet jam. Altman folded and was left with 130,000 while Fleur chipped up to 510,000. --AV

3:31pm: Von Toperczer doubles
Level 15 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

A welcome end to the level for Sebastian Von Toperczer, doubling up his 44,000 stack.

He three-bet all-in over the top of Eric Sfez raise to 8,000. Call.

Sfez: 6♦5♦
Von Tperczer: K♠Q♦

The board ran a sweaty 2♦K♥8♦8♠Q♠ and Sfez dropped to 365,000. --MC

3:30pm: Busto for Beresford, Barthelemy, Braco and Salter
Level 15 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

A recent flurry of all-in and calls has seen four players bust in quick succession.

Conor Beresford was the first casualty. He called all-in with Q♦T♦ on a 4♦5d]2♣Q♥ board with top pair and a flush draw after Lukasz Cygan set him in with K♦K♠. The river was the 6♣, eliminating Beresford and bringing Cygan up to around 300,000.

Meanwhile, Krisztian Gyorgyi was shouting for a jack and then cheering for joy after one-outering Pierre Barthelemy. Gyorgyi opened with J♦J♥ and then called Barthelemy's big blind shove. He was up against A♠A♦, and the board had ran out K♠6♠4♣7♥. Gyorgyi begged for the case jack (another player had said they folded a jack), and it arrived on the J♣ river. Barthelemy is out, Gyorgyi is up to 493,000.

And finally there was a three-way all-in on another table.

Mark Teltscher - K♣K♠
Jack Salter - A♦K♠
Pasquale Braco - J♦T♠

"Ace from space, baby! Let's go!" said Salter, but the flop fell 2♣K♥3♥ to give Teltscher a set. The turn was the 2♠ and river the T♦, securing Teltscher the double KO.

Jack Salter's Main Event run concludes

Teltscher is up to 172,000 now. --JS

Kings work for Teltscher

3:25pm: Another one for Peters
Level 15 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

David Peters is winning so many chips he's having to color them up to keep them in order. He just moved all-in on the river of a board reading T♦6♠9♣7♦8♥, chasing Gavin O'Rourke off a pot worth about 120,000. While he was picking up that win, the floorperson took away about 100,000 in small denominations and replaced them with blue 5,000-chips. Peters is at 850,000 and climbing. --JK

3:22pm: Mateos bounces back
Level 15 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

A dramatic reversal fortune for Adrian Mateos here near the end of Level 15 after he was earlier down to less than 20,000 just after the bubble burst.

The Spaniard has was a short series of pots, including a double-knockout just now to improve all the way to 235,000.

That hand saw Makram Saber all in with 3♥3♦, Boris Kuzmanovic also all in with Q♣Q♠, and Mateos covering both with A♥K♠.

The board rolled out K♥T♠4♥, then 6♥, then 9♦, and Mateos sent both foes to the rail. --MH

Mateos trending upwards

3:20pm: Big moves on Table 14
Level 15 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

We just saw a couple of big moves on Table 14 -- one on the felt, and one of a different variety.

The first invovled Dan Abouaf, who started the day with more than 440,000 chips but has fallen dramatically from that spot. He's managed to get some chips back from Gary Hasson after opening for 9,000 in the cutoff and calling Hasson's reraise to 24,000. Abouaf check-raised all-in for 114,000 on the Q♦6♥T♥ flop to chase Hasson from the pot. Hasson is now on 400,000, while Abouaf climbs to 185,000.

The other big move we saw was Ouassini Mansouri's journey to the table during the Abouaf/Hasson hand. He was moved over from a recently broken tables and had his own entourage -- a waiter with food, a massage therapist, and a floor-person to help color up some of the three racks of small-denomination chips he brought along with him. A perfectly fitting arrival for a player sitting on 540,000 just after the bubble. --JK

3:17pm: Peters still piling up
Level 15 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

"How does he do it?" asked Conor Beresford. "Every pot."

Beresford had just lost a big pot to David Peters, who is now up to about 790,000. We got to the hand when there was about 25,000 in the pot and a 6♠A♠K♣ flop on the board. Beresford checked from the big blind and Peters bet 20,000 from the button.

Beresford called and then both players checked the 4♠ on the turn. The river brought a 9♣ and another bet. Peters made it 46,000 when action checked to him and Beresford thought for a while before calling.

Peters showed A♦K♦ after the call and Beresford mucked his hand. It must be hard enough to play against David Peters normally, but it must be damn near impossible when he's running hotter than an over-microwaved Hot Pocket. --AV

3:15pm: Wang wins one
Level 15 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

Chaofei Wang was just all-in and at risk with A♥Q♥ versus Alexis Fleur's A♦K♣.

It was a bad spot for Wang, but the 6♥5♥5♠ flop brought a flush draw, then the Q♦ turn hit his kicker. The river was the 6♣, and Wang now has 145,000 while Fleur slips to 322,000.

"Nice flop," grinned Hossein Ensan.

"Good," nodded Wang.

"Nice turn!" Ensan added.

"Better," Wang grinned. --MH

3:10pm: Khoury KO's Son
Level 15 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

Arianna Son has been eliminated here when the bustouts are still occurring within the min-cash zone of €9,400.

Son's last hand began with her pushing all in from the cutoff for about 80,000 with A♦T♦, then watching Mazin Khoury reraise jam from the button with A♠K♥ to keep the blinds on the sidelines.

The board came 4♣5♦6♠2♦6♥, and Son was eliminated. Put Khoury on 430,000. --MH

3:05pm: Evard almost gets out of it
Level 15 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

Francois Evard got it in bad, flopped a load of equity, turned some more, but ultimately busted for a min cash.

He was in the small blind with 27,000 and the action folded around to him. In the chips went and he was called by Sonny Franco in the big blind.

Evard: J♦7♦
Franco: A♠K♠

The board ran 3♦5♠K♦J♠3♠ to make Franco two pair and he moved up to 356,000. --MC

3:03pm: No calls on Table 13; Guenni gone
Level 15 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

Mark Teltscher's win a few minutes ago has left Table 13 with a bevy of short stacks. Teltscher, Adrian Mateos, Sebastian von Toperczer, and Jack Salter have all moved all-in at least once since the bubble burst. Teltscher's win was the only one that saw a call, though.

Meanwhile, Table 15 is suddenly much quieter than it has been this afternoon -- Jacques Guenni is no longer in the tournament. We didn't catch his bustout hand but we did see him stylishly walking to collect his hard-earned payout. What a shame for his former tablemates -- they're going to have to make their own entertainment now. --JK

3pm: Ryan Riess out in 110th
Level 15 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

Ryan Riess quickly followed Erik Seidel out the door. Riess was down to just 21,500 and moved all-in from the hijack. Brian Altman called from the big blind and tabled K♥7♦ for a flip against Riess's 5♦5♥. Altman paired his king on the K♣3♠8♠7♣2♦ board and Riess was sent packing in 110th. -- AV

2:57pm: Sam can't sack'em all
Level 15 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

Sam Greenwood was getting a little greedy. He'd just bursted the tournament bubble and then he tried to knock out another player at his table.

Francois Evard had been holding on to his tiny stack for dear life throughout the bubble and then moved all-in the first hand back in the money. He was down to just 14,000 and Greenwood re-jammed from the small blind. The big blind got out of the way and the tiny stack showed a monster hand: K♥K♠.

Greenwood tabled 5♦5♥ and couldn't improve on the 9♦A♣A♥8♠7♠ board. Evard chipped up to about 35,000 while Greenwood dipped to 185,000. --AV

2:55pm: Teltscher takes from Mateos
Level 15 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

Mark Teltscher just earned a post-bubble double-up through Adrian Mateos, leaving the latter on fumes.

Teltscher had 7♣7♠, Mateos A♥9♠, and a board of J♠3♦5♥4♠2♠ provided a runner-runner wheel for the at-risk player.

Teltscher sits back down behind a stack of about 90,000 after that, while Mateos has just 19,000. --MH

2:52pm: Seidel busts with a min-cash
Level 15 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

The cries of "all in and call!" are suddenly happening all around us now that the bubble burst.

One of the first came at Erik Seidel's table after he went all in for just a few big blinds with pocket fives, was up against the pocket sevens of Markku Koplimaa, and couldn't draw out to survive.

What was the board? "All high cards," Jason Wheeler reported.

"Call it ace-king-queen-nine-whatever." Go ahead and fill that in, those of you keeping scorecards at home.

That's a min-cash for one of poker's winningest tournament players, and a stack of 160,000 or so for Koplimaa. --MH

2:50pm: Jean-Jacques bubbles with jack-jack
Level 15 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

Sam Greenwood knows what it's like to bubble a tournament this week - he did so in the €50K Single Day High Roller - so he'll have some empathy for Jean-Jacques Zeitoun, who just bubbled holding pocket jacks.

The action folded around to Zeitoun on the button and he moved all-in for 15,500. Greenwood was in the big blind and called. After all the other tables had finished playing, cameras and press alike gathered around to see the cards...

Greenwood: A♠8♦
Zeitoun: J♠J♦

Zeitoun was in good shape but the board ran A♦4♥6♥Q♠A♥ to make Greenwood trips. He moved up to 200,000 and is one of 111 players now guaranteed €9,400.

Jean-Jacques Zeitoun

Now that you've read about the last couple of busts that burst the bubble, click below to watch them unfold. --MC

2:46pm: Schemion takes from Teltscher
Level 15 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

This hand seemed to stun Mark Teltscher. For about 20 seconds after it was over, he sat with his head tilted, staring at the same spot, before letting out a growling sigh.

He'd opened to 10,000 from early position, and Ole Schemion defended his big blind. The two went to a very wet T♦Q♦J♦ flop, and both opted to check and see the T♥ turn for free. Now Schemion took the betting lead for 17,000, and Teltscher made the call.

The river was the 8♥ and Schemion fired again, this time for 18,500. Teltscher took his time but would eventually make the call.

Schemion grabbed one of his cards and flipped it over: 9♣. That meant the river had given him a straight, while his other card - the T♣ - had turned trips. We never saw Teltscher's hand as he mucked, but Schemion took a guess.

"Aces?" he asked, but Teltscher had already entered his shocked state, and with just 46,000 left he was in no mood to answer.

"Yeah, I think he had aces," confirmed Schemion, who is now up to 518,000. --JS

2:45pm: The suspense continues
Level 15 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

Oh, the suspense...!

Another bubble-up for you.

In this one Krisztian Gyorgyi opened for 12,000 from the cutoff and was called by Sadri Saleh on the button, a decision worth about a third of Saleh's remaining stack. Erik Sfez called as well from the big blind, and the flop fell 4♠3♠A♠.

It folded around to Saleh who put his last 22,500 in the middle, and only Sfez called the short-stacked shove.

They waited for the cameras, with Saleh remaining leaned forward, resting on the edge of the table as he received a massage. Finally they tabled their cards -- Saleh 9♠9♥ and Sfez 7♥5♠ -- and Saleh was in pretty good shape to win it.

Keep calm and double-up, says Sadri Saleh

The 4♥ turn and T♣ river sealed it, and Saleh survives with about 90,000. Sfez still has a big stack of 460,000. --MH

2:42pm: Missed opportunity for Haneberg
Level 15 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 3,000)

Andre Haneberg missed a great opportunity to pick up chip at Mazin Khoury's expense here on the money bubble, thanks to the board.

Sitting in the big blind, Haneberg bet 4,500 into a 25,000-chip pot on the 5♥4♥3♣ flop and Khoury, on the button, raised to 16,500. Haneberg called and the turn was the A♦. Haneberg checked this time, then called 44,000 from Khoury.

The 2♣ put a wheel straight on the board on the river and Haneberg checked on more time. Khoury took his entire shot clock considering a bet, then smiled as he checked and turned over J♦7♦ -- he was playing the board. Haneberg shook his head and rolled over A♣2♥ -- he'd flopped the wheel only to have the board deliver it to his opponent as well. --JK

2:40pm: Déjà Vu-bble
Level 15 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

Once again, we had a double on the bubble. Once again it was Carl-Fredrik Tingvall moving all-in on the flop and getting called by an Ali.

But this time Tingvall doubled through Ali Reza Fatehi instead of Ali Chaieb. Tingvall started the hand with a call from middle position and Paul Byrne called from the button. Fatehi then made it 14,000 and both players called.

The flop came 6♥J♠6♠ and Fatehi bet 21,000. Tingvall then moved all-in for 65,000 and Byrne folded while Fatehi called. Tingvall showed a flopped full house with J♣J♥ while Reza tabled 8♦8♣. There was little hope for Fatehi and a 4♥ on the turn left him drawing dead.

Tingvall doubled to 180,000 while Fatehi dipped to 330,000. That Tingvall really knows how to double on the bubble versus guys named Ali. --AV

2:30pm: Two three-bets, one accidental
Level 15 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

Sam Greenwood was involved in two three-bet pots on the bounce. One went onto being a four-bet pot, the other one was never meant to one in the first place.

Sonny Franco opened to 8,000 from the hijack and then four-bet to 70,000 after Greenwood three-bet him from the next seat. The Canadian pro folded.

Greenwood opened the very next hand to 8,000 into the big blind of Olivier Ferrero. The latter went to call but put in 12,000 instead, good enough for a min raise. Greenwood called and the board ran 6♦4♦5♠7♦2♠ with no more chips venturing forward.

Sam Greenwood: three-betting

Ferrero opened A♦J♣ and dropped to 120,000 after he saw Greenwood had taken it with K♥7♥. Greenwood rose to 188,000. --MC

2:28pm: Bubble notables
Level 15 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

There are a handful of players on the super-short side here on the stone bubble, including several of tournament poker's best.

Adrian Mateos (56,000), Gaelle Baumann (51,000), Erik Seidel (36,000), and Ryan Riess (32,000) are among the shortest stacks in the room with 112 players left.

Erik Seidel: Main Event cash coming up?

All are used to earning notice for their winning ways at the table, and all now share the hope to avoid being part of the "bubble" headline in this one. --MH

2:22pm: First bubble double
Level 15 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

And then on to hand three. Ali Chaleb raised to 11,000 from the button that hand and Carl-Fredrik Tingvall called from the small blind. Tingvall's remaining 24,000 went in on the 8♥6♣A♣ flop and that's when action paused.

Carl-Fredrik Tingvall: Stone cold bubble up

When the cameras and bubble mob came back, Chaleb showed 5♠5♣ while Tingvall tabled A♠J♥. A 9♥ came on the turn to give Chaleb a gutshot straight draw, but the A♥ on the river gave Tingvall trip aces and our first stone-cold bubble double up.

Chaleb dipped to 450,000 while Tingvall doubled about 70,000. --AV

2:20pm: Sosia Jiang out in 113th
Level 15 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 3,000)

Sosia Jiang just caught a nasty break on the bubble. She opened under the gun with K♦K♠ and then four-bet-shoved after Javier Fernandez Alonso three-bet her from the cutoff. Alonso called and showed the only hand Jiang didn't want to see: A♠A♥. The board ran out 2♠3♠T♦T♣5♠ to bring her tournament to an end.

Sosia Jiang: So near, but yet so far

One more elimination and we'll be in the money, so we're still hand-for-hand. --JK

2:10pm: Voinea survives on the bubble
Level 15 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

Three all-ins here on one hand of hand-for-hand play, and they are being played out one at a time. There was no knockout on the first one, so let's get that out of the way first.

Ionut-Flavius Voinea open-pushed his last 60,000 from the cutoff and got a caller in Brian Altman in the big blind. Voinea had K♣K♦ and Altman A♠T♠, and after a runout of 3♥J♦J♠Q♥9♣, Voinea survived.

Ionut-Flavius Voinea: Bubble up

Voinea has 126,000 now, while Altman is at 265,000.

Sounds like some more interesting happenings involving the other two all-ins... stay tuned! --MH

2:05pm: Wang in trouble
Level 15 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

Chaofei Wang would have come back from break feeling pretty confident that he could cruise into the money with 140,000 but he'll be way less confident after losing a pot to Alexis Fleur to drop to 48,000.

We picked up the action on the turn where the board read A♣8♠5♦3♦. Wang was in the big blind and check-called 23,000 to see the J♥ river. Fleur bet 55,000 and Wang used a time bank chip before calling.

Fleur opened 3♣3♠ for a turned set and moved up to 335,000 after Wang mucked. --MC

Alexis Fleur: Turned set

2pm: Chaieb chipping up
Level 15 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

Ali Chaieb has used the bubble period to increase his stack, including adding more chips just now in the first post-break hand versus Rainer Kempe.

With the board showing T♠9♥J♥3♥, Chaieb (under the gun) bet 15,000 and Kempe (middle position) called, bringing the pot to about 70,000.

Then after the 6♠ river, Chaieb took enough time to spend one of his time bank cards, then bombed a big bet of 100,000, earning a fold from a wary Kempe.

Chaieb is up to 505,000 now, while Kempe has 285,000. --MH

1:50pm: Away they go again
Level 15 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

They're off again. It's still hand-for-hand with two players needing to be eliminated before the last 111 are all in the money. -- HS


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1:35pm: Break time

They were able to squeeze in two more hands of hand-for-hand play before the end of Level 14, and again there were no eliminations.

The 113 players left will now take a 20-minute break before coming back to battle further on the bubble. Don't go too far! --MH

1:33pm: Lew chips up
Level 14 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

No bubble bursting to report just yet, but we did catch a hand between PokerStars Team Online's Randy Lew and Conor Beresford that sees the former move up over 300K.

Beresford opened from the hijack to 6,500 and Lew would defend his big blind to see a 9♣2♠A♥ flop. It checked to Beresford who continued for 5,500, and Lew stuck around. The turn came the T♠, and Beresford didn't slow down once Lew checked. He continued to tell his tale with a 13,000 bet. Call.

Randy Lew: Pondering

The 3♦ completed the board, and when Lew checked again Beresford checked it back. Lew showed the A♣J♠ for top two pair, and Beresford mucked, taking his stack down to 240,000.

Lew is up to 310,000 now. --JS

1:30pm: Petrangelo over Naim
Level 14 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

Nick Petrangelo has taken over the chip lead on the feature table after winning a pot from Boutros Naim.

Petrangelo defended his big blind with A♦7♠ and then flopped trips on the 7♥2♠7♦ board. He check called at that point and then Naim, with A♥4♥, piled some more chips in the pot after the 6♦ turn too. This time it was a check-raise fromm Petrangelo. The J♣ came on the river and Petrangelo bet 82,000. Naim hero-called, but was wrong.

It build Petrangelo to 592,000, while Naim dips to 340,000. -- HS

1:25pm: Slow start to hand-for-hand
Level 14 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

There were no eliminations during the first two deals of hand-for-hand play. There are five minutes left in this level, then they'll take a 20-minute break. -- HS

1:20pm: Peters raising, Guenni holding court
Level 14 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

David Peters is still running the show on Table 12. He's leaning on his opponents wherever he can, raising from just about every position on the table and making up for any losses he might suffer by picking off the blinds and orphaned pots. That's got him at 560,000 and holding.

David Peters: Still the boss

Jacques Guenni is one of the players whose blinds Peters is picking on. Guenni is hanging on with about 50,000 chips but he's certainly not letting his short-stack status get him down. He's holding forth on seemingly any subject that crosses his mind while he lets his shot clock run down before folding, slowing down the action but simultaneously serving as entertainment for the entire table.

Some things we've learned from Guenni:

- He was on the TV table for a while yesterday and was dubbed "the most stylish man in poker" by one of our commentators. "That's only because he doesn't know me!" Guenni said.
- He doesn't usually take much time to make decisions because it's not in his nature.
- He's saving his red time bank cards for when he needs to make a big decision with €100,000 on the line.
- He's going to buy David Peters a beer after the bubble -- but only if he'll trade 10 percent of his action.
- One of the hands he folded in the big blind to a Peters raise was "a monster, but an ugly one, you know?"
- He also described himself as the "chip leader in time-bank cards"

The camera crew is dropping by with regularity so expect to see a fair bit more of the "most stylish man in poker" on television, whether he survives this bubble or not. --JK

1:15pm: Two to the money
Level 14 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

With Manuel Ruivo's knockout they are now two away from the money, as 113 players remain.

The clock has been paused for a moment with almost 15 minutes left in Level 14 as preparations are made to begin hand-for-hand play. --MH

1:10pm: Demirdjian up, Ruivo out
Level 14 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

Mark Demirdjian's tournament has gone from strength to strength. He ended Day 1A as chip leader, began Day 2 as chip leader, and now it looks like he has the chip lead once again after a huge pot versus Manuel Ruivo.

Demirdjian opened to 7,000 which got a call from Maxim Panyak. Ruivo then squeezed it up to 32,000, only for Demirdjian to four-bet to 84,000. That shook off Panyak, but Ruivo quickly moved all-in for 235,000 and Demirdjian snap-called.

Ruivo - Q♣Q♦
Demirdjian - K♠K♣

The 9♣8♥3♥2♥5♠ board never threatened the kings, and Ruivo was sent home just shy of the cash. Demirdjian is up to 790,000 now. --JS

1:05pm: Fernandez briefly in pole before dropping back
Level 14 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

Javier Fernandez won a pot to jump into first place with 610,000 but immediately lost a big one to Florian Maurer to drop back to 490,000.

He and Maurer had made it to the river of a 6♦Q♣4♠2♠A♠ board with a bunch of chips already in the middle. After hearing the all-in and call cry from the dealer at Table 3 we dashed over just in time to see that Fernandez had moved all-in with the a hand containing the K♠, the nut flush blocker (the other card was a six).

Maurer made the call all-in for 93,500 with T♠8♠ for a made flush and moved up to 235,000. --MC

12:58pm: Riess gets the small bubble-up
Level 14 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

Nicolas Dumont, one the biggest stacks with 114 players left, opened with a raise, then Ryan Riess, one of the shortest, reraised all in for 23,000 even. Dumont called to show J♦9♥, but Riess was in relatively good shape with K♥K♦.

Ryan Riess: World champ working the short stack

Things got a little hairy for Riess with the T♣8♦3♣ flop that gave Dumont an open-ender. But the turn was the 5♠ and river the 8♠, and now Riess has 53,500. Dumont is still near the top of the counts with 485,000. --MH

12:57pm: Guntis gets got
Level 14 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

We're down to 114 after Guntis Aleskins' pocket queens got quadded out by Chaofei Wang. Wang and Aleskins were nearly even in chips when they went all-in with Wang having a slight edge. Aleskins had the better pair though. Wang turned over T♦T♥ while Aleskins tabled Q♠Q♦.

Guntis Aleskins gets got

The 2♣3♥6♦ flop was safe for Aleskins, but then a T♦ came on the turn. Aleskins was hoping for a queen on the river to save the day, but it brought a T♣ instead to give Wang quads.

Wang almost doubled to 140,000 while Aleskins hit the rail. --AV

12:55pm: Three away from the cash
Level 14 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

Guntis Aleskins, Pavel Ignatov, and Emil Patel have been eliminated in quick succession, and now just 114 players are left -- three from the money. --MH

12:52pm: Kitai jams
Level 14 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

Play on the PokerStars.tv feature table is being broadcast on a 30-minute security delay but with cards up. That means we get to see exactly what's going on, but we have to wait a while for it.

On one of the day's earliest hands, Tomas Jozonis opened to 6,500 with A♠T♣ and Davidi Kitai found Q♠Q♥ on the button. With a stack of 150,000, Kitai three-bet to 20,000.

Jozonis seemed to think he was being bullied and four-bet to 45,000. But he then became the bullied as Kitai ripped it all-in and got the fold. Jozonis dipped to the 140s, while Kitai peeked above 200,000. -- HS

12:50pm: Beresford bounces back
Level 14 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

Conor Beresford had dropped a few more chips from his stack since we saw him play against Lukasz Cygan earlier, but he's just made up some ground against overnight chip leader David Peters.

Peters opened the action for 7,500 on the button and Beresford called in the big blind. He checked the 2♥J♥K♠ flop and called another 7,000 from Peters to see the Q♥ come on the turn.

Both players checked this time and the river was the 2♣. Beresford took about 10 seconds before leading for 36,000 there; Peters used a time bank card but eventually gave up on the hand. He drops to 557,000, and Beresford is now on 250,000. --JK

12:48pm: Saber gets what he needs
Level 14 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

Calling a double-up "much needed" is a bit of a cliché and somewhat redundant. All players who double to survive gets something they need in order to keep playing.

Makram Saber has been all-in multiple times already today, and just now he open-pushed his chips in again from under the gun -- 42,000 of them. It folded around to Mark Telscher in middle position who reraise-shoved, and everyone else got out of the way.

Saber had Q♠Q♣ and neede his hand to hold against Telscher's A♣J♣. It did through the 4♣4♥3♣5♥K♦ board, and now Saber is up to 90,000 -- just a little under Telscher's 92,500.

"I need it," said Saber. "I can play now."

Yes, and yes. --MH

12:45pm: Schemion shows Mateos the bluff
Level 14 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

I'm aware that the headline of this post is a massive spoiler, so I'll just reiterate the fact upfront: Ole Schemion was bluffing.

And he wasn't bluffing just anyone. His opponent in this hand was none other than Adrian Mateos. With their table mates being Jack Salter and Mark Teltscher, they're making this thing look more like a high roller than a Main Event.

Jack Salter: Former runner-up

Schemion kicked the hand off opening to 6,500 from the UTG+1 seat, and when it folded to Mateos in the small blind he three-bet to 24,000. Schemion made the call bringing a 6♥J♠4♣ flop, on which Mateos continued for 19,000. Call.

Both then checked the 7♠ turn, leading to the 9♣ river. Mateos checked once more, and now Schemion led for 51,500. This was the aforementioned bluff.

Ole Schemion: Crowd pleaser

Mateos ended up folding. "Show the bluff!" called Teltscher. "It's good for the game!" added Sebastian Von Toperczer.

Schemion pleased the crowd, and flipped over A♥T♥ for ace-high. Mateos could only laugh, as his chip stack dipped to 126,000. Meanwhile Schemion's bluff sees him climb to 320,000. --JS

Mark Teltscher: Show the bluff!

12:40pm: D'Anselmo flips out in 117th
Level 14 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

The tension is rising as the tournament moves one closer to the money with the elimination of Nicola D'Anselmo.

He moved all-in for 40,000 from under the gun and received no callers, that wasn't the case the next hand though.

Dimitar Danchev opened to 6,500 from middle position and was called by Philipp Gruissem on the button before D'Anselmo squeezed all-in for 44,500 from the big blind. Gruissem made the call after Danchev folded.

D'Anselmo: A♦Q♥
Gruissem: 4♦4♠

Nicola D'Anselmo: His last hand

The board ran 4♣K♠T♠[5♣9♣ to make the Gruissem a set. Gruissem moved up to 218,000, while D'Anselmo departs. --MC

12:39pm: Quick double near the bubble
Level 14 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

Action has slowed down considerably and some players are playing in slow motion. Paul Ignatov is one of the short stacks using up as much time as the shot clock will allow, but he recently moved all-in instead of folding.

Sonny Franco raised to 6,000 from the cutoff that hand and Ignatov moved all-in for 22,500 from the button. Franco called and showed K♦8♠ to Ignatov's A♦T♥. Ignatov then hit an ace and a ten on the A♥6♣4♠T♠6♠ board and he doubled to about 50,000 while Franco dipped to 195,000. --AV

12:37pm: Glick eliminates Chen
Level 14 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

Pete Chen joins David Yan on the rail here in the early going after putting his short stack at risk in a hand versus Michael Glick.

Following a Glick open to 7,500 from late position, Chen moved all in for his last 13,000 from the small blind and got called.

Chen had a pair -- 7♠7♣ -- but Glick's A♣A♥ was a much better one. The A♦2♦Q♠ flop brought Chen up out of his chair, with the T♣ and 8♠ completing the board just a bit of final trivia.

Pete Chen: Early departure

Glick is sitting with 238,000 now.

It appears there was a knockout elsewhere -- details coming -- which means there are now 117 players left, six from the cash. --MH

12:35pm: Fernandez flips, takes out Yan
Level 14 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

We've had our first bustout of the day. Javier Fernandez started the action with a raise to 7,500 from middle position and David Yan three-bet to 53,000 from the button. It was most of Yan's chips, the bet left him with just 30,000 behind.

Javier Fernandez: Fast start yesterday, fast start today

Action folded back around to Fernandez and he moved all-in. Yan called and showed 8♣8♦ for a flip against Fernandez's A♦Q♠. Fernandez then hit an ace on the 7♥9♥A♥3♣6♦ board and we had our first bustee of the day. Fernandez on the other hand chipped up to 525,000. --AV

David Yan: First faller

12:30pm: Cygan chips up through Beresford
Level 14 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

Lukasz Cygan had folded to Francisco Grieco's 50,000-chip all-in bet on the flop several hands earlier, but he made up for it against Conor Beresford.

Beresford opened in the hijack for 6,500 and Cygan called on the button. Randy Lew considered joining in from the big blind but folded, taking us to the A♣T♣4♦ flop. Cygan called 8,000 there and, after some thought, another 32,000 following the 2♦ turn.

That brought the A♦ on the river. Beresford checked and Cygan thought for a bit before checking behind. He showed down Q♦T♦ and his pair of tens was good against Bereford's busted flush draw with K♣3♣. Cygan climbs to 280,000 with the win, while Beresford slides to 310,000. --JK

12:27pm: Simunic's sixes sink Abouaf's aces
Level 14 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

No knockouts yet during the first 15 minutes of play, but here's another (big) double-up to report.

Josip Simunic opened from middle position, then saw the big-stacked Dan Abouaf three-bet from the button and the big blind Thierry Gogniat cold-call. Simunic called as well, then it checked around to Abouaf after the J♦5♣6♦ flop.

Abouaf put in a continuation bet and Gogniat folded, but Simunic check-raised. Abouaf responded with an all-in push, and Simunic called to put the rest of the 215,000 with which he'd begun the hand at risk.

Simunic: 6♥6♠
Abouaf: A♠A♣

Josip Simunic: Big double

Oof, thought Abouaf. The turn ws the 3♣ and river the 4♣, and Simunic earned a big pot worth about 450,000. Meanwhile Abouaf slips back to just over 200,000. --MH

12:25pm: Chen in trouble
Level 14 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

Pete Chen came into the day with just 47,000. He's now in even worse shape, having paid off more than half his stack to Michael Glick.

Chen opened to 7,000 from the UTG+1 seat and it folded around to Glick in the big blind. He defended to see the Q♦4♥2♦ flop, before check-calling a 5,000 c-bet. The dealer burned and turned the 8♥, and now both checked.

That brought the 6♣ on the river, on which Glick opted to lead out for 16,000. Chen only had 34,000 behind, but after 30 seconds of thinking he decided on a call. Glick turned over K♣Q♣ for top pair, and Chen mucked.

Glick is up to 172,000 now, while Chen has 18,000 remaining. --JS

12:20pm: Aye Qu poker
Level 14 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

Eric Qu hasn't come to mess about today. If he's going to play a hand, he's going to play it aggressively. It just cost him 50,000 chips, but could have cost him a lot more.

Anton Kraus opened to 13,000 from under the gun before Qu three-bet all-in for around 400,000 - that's more than 130 big blinds! Two players behind tanked before folding and Kraus used a time bank chip before calling all-in for just over 50,000.

Kraus: K♥K♦
Qu: Q♠Q♦

The board ran 5♥2♠T♦7♠A♦ and the kings held up.

Anton Kraus: Kings for the double

Krisztian Gyorgyi is sat to Qu's left and said he folded ace-king and that caused Andre Akkari to burst to laughing, and even more so when another player said he folded pocket jacks. Qu's line and being so close to the money meant there was nothing they could do. --MC

12:15pm: Big blind ante arrives for short stacks
Level 14 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

With just nine knockouts to go until the bubble bursts, Ryan Riess was among the shortest of the stacks to start today, so when the big blind reached him -- plus the big blind ante -- it was a not insignificant moment.

By then Sam Greenwood had raised to 6,000 from early position, and after Riess called the raise Greenwood asked him "Forty back?" "Thirty-five," answered Riess, referring to the 35,000 he had remaining.

Riess check-called another 3,000 bet from Greenwood after the Q♦8♥4♥ flop, but when the turn brought the Q♣ he checked and then folded after Greenwood fired another 7,000.

Make it 32 back now for Riess, although at least he doesn't have the big blind and big blind ante to worry about for a short while. Meanwhile Greenwood remains comfortable from all table positions with about 255,000. --MH

12:10pm: Former champs
Level 14 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

By my reckoning, today's 120-strong field contains six former EPT Main Event champions. They are: Dimitar Danchev, Hossein Ensan, Adrian Mateos, Davidi Kitai, Mark Teltscher and Patrik Antonius. How many will be standing still at the end of the day? I'm predicting three.

12:05pm: Cards are in the air
Level 14 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

Last night, play halted with about 70 minutes still left in Level 14. So, as is customary, they're picking up right where they left off. Let's go. -- HS

11:20am: Bubbly brunch for Day 3

Welcome to Day 3 faithful blog readers.

The sun has vanished behind a wall of grey here in Monte Carlo, but there's a lot of money on the horizon. A total of 120 players made it to Day 3 and 111 of them will make the money. We're expecting to burst that bubble early today and when we do, all our bustees will get a minimum consolation prize of €9,400.

If you manage to win the thing, that'll get you €712,000, a Platinum Pass and the Main Event Trophy valued at infinite bragging rights.

Check out the payouts page for more details.

But winning this thing will be far from easy. First of all, David Peters is in the field. Second of all, David Peters has the chip lead with 603,500. Third of all, it's David Peters. He's not the only threat in the field either. Nick Petrangelo started Day 2 fifth in chips and rose throughout the day. Now he starts the day fifth in chips again with 463,000. You'll also have to battle a short-stacked Erik Seidel to take the title.

Team PokerStars Online's Randy Lew (231,000) is also coming back to fight for the trophy and Platinum Pass as well as Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari (227,000). Click here for a full list of today's chip counts. If you want the seat draw, then click over here.

Day 2 ended about 20 minutes into Level 14, so we'll be finishing that level off and then play four more as we narrow the list of contenders even more. Action kicks off at 12pm South Africa time (which is the same as Monte Carlo time).

If you'd like to watch the feature table, then check out the live stream.

For more updates from all the other tables of one of the greatest poker tournaments in this quadrant of the galaxy, stick with us here at the PokerStars Blog. --AV

Download the PokerStars LIVE! app with all tournament information. Available for IOS and Android.

PokerStars Blog reporting team on the €5,000 Main Event: Stephen Bartley, Marc Convey, Jason Kirk, Martin Harris, Jack Stanton, Howard Swains and Alex Villegas. Photography by Joe Giron/PokerPhotoArchive and Neil Stoddart.


Live reporting team
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