EPT Barcelona: Day 3, levels 17 & 18 updates (blinds 4,000-8,000, 500 ante)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg3.25pm: Level done
That's it for this level. Players are now cast aside the ropes and embarked on a 15-minute break. -- SY

3.20pm: Double elimination
These are always fun to watch - unless you're one of the two to bust. There was a three-way, all-in showdown when we got through the scrum to the table.

Francesco Notaro: K♥K♦
Marcus Balmert: J♣J♥
Iddo Feinberg: [10d]6♦

Notaro was the biggest of the three stacks, followed by Balmert. The board ran 9♦9♣7♣4♣7♠, and Balmert's 180,000 went to Notaro, as did the 40,000 or so belonging to Feinberg.

Notaro is up to 500,000 now, and we're down to 66 players. -- SY

3.15pm: Another gone
Andrei Bucica is out, getting his last few chips in with [10h]J♥ against Konstantin Puchkov's J♣J♦. It was bleak, but although a 10 on the flop brought some hope, that was it. -- SY

3.10pm: The biggest pot so far
A pot worth over a million has just played out and that makes it the biggest, by some distance, so far. There was a raise to 16,500 before Marco Bognanni three-bet to 35,500 and Haykel Vidal four-bet to 125,000. The original raiser folded but Bognanni moved all-in and Vidal snap called.

Vidal: A♣A♠
Bognanni: K♥K♣

The board ran K♠2♦3♦9♣8♣. It was a massive cooler between the two big stacks at the table. Vidal exits in shock whereas a happy Bognanni is up to 1.2 million chips. -- MC

3.07pm: Filippo heck for Pelayo
Oscar Garcia Pelayo has been eliminated by Filippo Marcolini after a button/small blind raising war that saw both players all-in. Pelayo called all-in from the button with A♠T♠ but was behind to Pelayo's A♦J♦. The board ran 8♦Q♣2♥2♦7♦ to confirm the Spaniards exit. -- MC

3.05pm: So long Tsolakos
A toothy grin from Kristoffer Thorson as he eliminated George Tsolakos, taking his own fortune back up to close to 700,000 chips.

Tsolakos had shoved pre-flop with K♠J♥ which Thorsson called with Q♥Q♦. Tsolakos left his seat before the board of 6♦4♥2♥5♣2♣ had been dealt, but ultimately had no reason to return. - SB

3pm: Candido and Julio
With a flop of J♣8♥A♣ and a check before him, Julio Belluscio raised to 25,000 from the cut-off. The action returned to the checker, Candido Gonçalves in the hijack, who called for an A♠ turn card. Both checked for a 9♦ river card which Candido Gonçalves bet 25,000 at. Belluscio, who stacks his chips in an unconventional way - on their side in a long row - called. Candido Gonçalves turned over T♠A♥, which looked good and was, Belluscio showing K♣K♠. Candido Gonçalves up to 400,000 while Belluscio slips back to 130,000. - SB

2.55pm: Squeezed out
Isaac Schachtel is gone. Luis Rufas kicked it off with a raise from the button to 18,500, a quite regular event so far today (and yesterday, for that matter). Marc Naalden was in the small blind and he called, only for Schachtel to move all-in from the big blind. A squeeze play. Rufas got out of the way, but Naalden called quickly.

Naalden: [10h][10d]
Schachtel: 9♣9♠

Naalden dodged any mishaps on the Q♠5♦8♥5♣J♠ board, and moved up to 560,000. Schachtel moved over to the cash desk. -- SY

2.52pm: Thorsson back up
Kristoffer Thorsson is back up to 700,000 after getting it all-in against George Tsolakos with queens to K♠J♥. The Greek is out. -- RD

2.47pm: Thorsson skewered by Sekularac
Ognjen Sekularac's small fist pump was understandable. He had after all just won an 800,000 pot. Kristoffer Thorsson opened from middle position to 17,000 and was three-bet to 46,500. Thorsson took his time before sliding before a stack of yellows to make the total bet 117,000. Sekularac moved all-in and it was an instant call from Thorsson.

Thorsson: A♥Q♠
Sekularac: A♣K♥

'How can you call with that?' said Sekularac forgetting his table manners. The gods of poker etiquette were obviously not listening and didn't provide an outdraw. Sekularac is up to over 800,000 now as Thorsson drops to 360,000. -- RD

2.40pm: Another double for De Meulder
It's been quite a level for Team PokerStars Pro Matthias de Meulder as he's doubled up again. Moshe Vaizman raised and then four-bet all-in when the Belgian three-bet from the button. De Meulder snap-called with K♣K♠, ahead of the Israeli's A♦Q♣. The board ran 9♣6♠8♦4♠T♦ to send De Meulder up to 450,000 and Vaizman down to 70,000. -- MC

2.35pm: Another scalp for the Dom
PokerStars qualifier Dominic Nitsche has taken another scalp to move up to 800,000. Yury Kerzhapkin open shoved for around 100,000 from under-the-gun and was isolated by Nitsche who moved all-in from the button.

Kerzhapkin: A♠J♦
Nitsche: J♥J♣

The board ran 3♦3♥9♥4♦T♦ to see the jacks hold up. -- MC

2.30pm: Who is in, who is out?
The eliminations continue to come at a heady rate, all of which can be followed on our prizes and payouts page.

2.25pm: The Jesus effect
Jesus Cortes Lizano opened for 19,500 in late position. In the small blind was Frenchman Candido Gonçalves who raised to 47,500, sending the action back round to Lizano. As he thought things over Gonçalves danced a short cocky bravado dance, ducking from side to side. This ended just before Lizano raised again, 103,000 this time.
Gonçalves was still now, the cold grip of defeat steadying his shoulders. He passed. Lizano up to 350,000. -- SB

2.15pm: Finn feeds Finneran
Thomas Finneran has doubled up. He moved all-in for 114,000 and got a call from Finland's Lari Sihvo in the next seat. The Finn had Finneran covered. Moshe Vaizman looked interested in making it a threesome, but elected to fold his 6♦6♥ face up.

Finneran got the double up when his A♣7♣ stayed ahead of Sihvo's K♦J♠ on the 9♦2♣[10s]5♣2♦ board. -- SY

2.10pm: Champion gone
EPT Grand Final winner Nicolas Chouity has been busted by Thor Stang from Norway. No details just yet. -- SY

ept barcelona_day 3_nicolas chouity.jpg

Chouity: looking happy before his bust out

2.05pm: Kaspar the ghost
Kaspars Renga is gone. His K♣Q♦ never catching up, let alone overtaking, Ognjen Sekularac's A♥K♠. -- SY

1.57pm: Kenney crashing
Overnight chip leader Bryn Kenney's stack is taking a hammering. It's gone from monstrous to just above average in the last hour. A large chunk has just been removed and handed over to Alessandro Longobardi with the key action taking place on the river. Kenney had bet T♣Q♣8♥4♥ in position and was called by Longobardi but was not convinced by the Italian's check-raise on the river. Kenney had bet 44,500 on the K♦ river and had called the extra 100,000 when Longobardi had dropped the hammer.

The Italian turned over A♣J♣ for a carefully played royal flush draw. Kenney is down to around 350,000.

In other news, Leo Margets is out. -- RD

ept barcelona_day 3_alessandrio longobardi.jpg

Alessandro Longobardi: perfect river card forced Kenney to pay out

22.20pm: Feel for Kenney
Bryn Kenney is a bit less happy than he was. His life had already been difficult today as he's had a maniac short-stacked ElkY punishing him with three-bet all-ins almost every time he opened. Now he has to deal with ElkY holding a decent sized stack. The Frenchman just got very lucky to nearly double to 370,000.

There was an under-the-gun raise that Carlos Lopez Neira flat called on the button before ElkY moved all-in from the big blind. Te initial raiser folded but Neira snap called with A♣A♠. ElkY tabled 9♠9♦ and got lucky on the 4♥3♦6♠9♥6♦ to eliminate the Spaniard. -- MC

2.10pm: Double De Meulder
Arie Ori Miller opened for 17,500 from early position which Jedynak Radoslaw raised to 45,000 on the cut off. Mathias de Meulder was waiting in the small blind and moved all-in for around 95,000. Cue a mass of humanity crowding round the table and a pantomime horse, also known as a TV crew and sound man, moved into position. Miller folded but Radoslaw called showing A♠Q♥ to de Meulder

The board ran 6♦2♣5♥9♦K♠ to double up De Meulder. Miller admitted to have pocket jacks. - SB

2pm: Play resumes
The players are back in their seats. Let the carnage recommence.

Break time
The end of the level has brought the first 15-minute break of the day. -- MC

1.45pm: Roman empire
We have not seen how this happened exactly. But Roman Makhlin, the Russian PokerStars qualifier, is sitting on a monster stack that has surged through the 900,000 mark. We'll catch with him after the break for more details. -- SY

1.41pm: ElkY doubles
Team PokerStars Pro ElkY is up to more than 180,000 after doubling through Bryn Kenney. ElkY had K♠2♠ and had made a flush on the river, getting paid off handsomly. -- SY

ept barcelona_day 3_elky.jpg

ElkY is back in the game with 30 big blinds

1.43pm: Sice chipping up
Allan Sice, a PokerStars qualifier from the UK, is going along nicely on a table that includes Bryn Kenney and ElkY. On this one, Andrey Danilyuk raised to 14,000 and Sice called. The flop was 3♥2♥J♦, and Sice quickly bet 26,000 to take the pot. He's up to 340,000 now, Danilyuk is on 190,000. -- SY

1.42pm: Regal exit
Artem Litvinov is out, pushing all-in with 8♣8♠ but walking into Iddo Feinberg's J♣J♦. It was over very quickly for the man from Russia - the flop came K♣K♦K♥, and the A♣ turn meant only the one remaining king could save him on the river for a chopped pot. It was 9♣. -- SY

1.40pm: Spades everywhere
Christopher Conlon re-raised all-in with A♠4♠ and got called by Jan Collado with K♠[10s]. With Conlon at risk, he was happy to see a 6♠Q♥3♠ flop, followed by a 9♠ turn. The 3♦ river mattered not. Conlin up to 120,000. -- SY

1.39pm: Sunar rather than later
Unfortunately for Surinder Sunar his tournament life came to an end a bit earlier than he would've liked. He raised and then called off all but 25,000 of his stack pre-flop. The flop came 5♠A♠3♣ and Sunar called all-in when his opponent, Zachary Korik, asked the question.

Sunar needed help with his 9♥9♦ as Korik held A♥Q♦ but it failed to appear on the K♥7♥ turn and river. -- MC

1.38pm: Navarro bogged down
Marco Bognanni is up to 410,000 after winning a pot against Jose Navarro. Bognanni opened from the cut off which Navarro raised, making it 24,000 more to play from the small blind. Bognanni called for a K♠T♦T♣ flop. Navarro bet 45,000 this time, leaving Bognanni in the tank for a few moments before he called for a K♦ on the turn. Navarro now checked, leaving it to Bognanni to bet 55,000. Navarro passed, then tapped the table when Bognanni showed his A♦J♦. - SB

1.37pm: ElkY making himself a nuisance, Kenney still large
Team PokerStars Pro ElkY started the day on 63,000 and has managed to chip up to almost twice that with some circumspect shoving and raising. He is sat directly on the left of Bryn Kenney and given a few more chips could prove to be a real nuisance to the American.

Kenney just knocked out Oskar Lind after the Finn moved his remaining chips across the line with A♣5♦ from the button and was cut down by Kenney's big blind K♣T♦. Kenney is on circa 760,000.

You can check out the chip counts here and those that have fallen here. -- RD

1.36pm: Metaal melts and reforms
Govert Metaal lost a race to be crippled down to 19,500 before doubling up two hands later. In the first hand he raised to 14,500 from the button before calling when Mark Alfred Bolliger moved all-in for 94,500 from the BB. It was a straight race with Bollinger's A♦7♠ getting there against Metaal's 5♦5♠ on the K♥7♥7♣T♠A♠ board.

Two hands later he moved his short stack in and received a call from Christopher Conlon in the big blind with J♦8♦. Metaal tabled A♣9♥ and is stayed ahead on the 8♠2♥9♠2♣T♥ board. -- MC

1.34pm: None Carlos Mortensen
Carlos Mortensen is out. He moved all in with A♦5♦ for 75,000 which was called by Oscar Garcia Pelayo who showed A♣T♣.

The board ran J♥6♥9♦J♠T♦ to send the former World Champion to the rail. - SB

ept barcelona_day 3_carlos mortensen.jpg

Carlos Mortensen won't be adding another deep run to his fearsome resume

1.30pm: Naalden up
Sebastien Bovyn opened for 18,000 which Marc Naalden raised to 42,000. With the action back on Bovyn he quickly announced that he was all in, which Naalden called without hesitation, showing T♠T♣ to Bovyn's A♣A♦.

The board was not good to Bovyn - T♦5♥K♦J♠3♠ - but he proved gracious in defeat.

"Thank you very much," he said to his table mates as he shook their hands. "It's just a game."

Naalden now has 385,000 chips to play that game with. - SB

1.27pm: Thorsson runs cold
Kristoffer Thorsson got off to a great start today but things have just taken a turn for the worse for the young Swede. He opened for 13,000 and was called by Julio Belluscio on the button and George Tsolakos in the small blind. Tsolakos led 18,500 into the J♦3♣T♠ flop, Thorsson called and Belluscio raised to 38,500. Tsolakos then moved in for 128,500 total and Thorsson made the call. Belluscio passed.

Thorsson: K♣K♠
Tsolakos: 3♥3♠

Thorsson failed to make any crazy outdraw and dropped to 430,000. Tsolakos is up to 300,000. -- RD

1.20pm: Smokin'
There's an interesting table tucked away in the corner of the room. Here sits Roberto Romanello and Julio Belluscio, who spent much of yesterday together on the TV table. By all accounts they made quite a double act. Also here, in seat eight (we're now eight-handed all the way to the finish), is Mark Bolliger from Switzerland, who is puffing away on one of those fake cigarettes which let off realistic smoke.

If I hadn't given up smoking 66 days, six hours and 11 minutes ago (and saved £406.16 according to my iPhone app), I'd be joining him.

Give it up, kids, it'll be the death of you. -- SY

1.17pm: Rufas ruffian
Luis Rufus bet out 21,500 on a 4♦7♥J♠ flop and got a call from Tomer Berda. On the 9♥ turn Rufas bet out again, 38,500 this time, and Berda could not bring himself to continue with the hand. -- SY

1.15pm: Stop, thief!
Carlos Mortensen was caught with his hand in the till. Having bet all the way on a K♠[10s]A♣7♣2♦ board, he could only say "queen high" when Tomer Berda called him to the end with A♦8♦. In fairness, Mortensen was on a gutshot draw with his Q♣8♠, but now drops to 90,000. -- SY

1.10pm: Sekularac races well
Ognjen Sekularac shook off doubling up Vladislav Varlashin by busting Santeri Valikoski. Sekularac raised from the button and called when moved all-in for 92,000 from the big blind.

Sekularac: 9♠9♦
Valikoski: K♠Q♠

The board ran 8♦J♦2♥6♠8♠ to see the nines hold up and send the Finn to the rail. In true Finnish style Valikoski showed no emotion at busting; he simply stood up and left. -- MC

1.05pm: Bust out and double up
Alex Gomes is out. No details, but he was spotted at the pay-out desk, eliminated in 99th position. Meanwhile Vladislav Varlashin has doubled up through Ognjen Sekularac. Varlashin shoved for 48,500. Sekularac turned to look at Varlashin. "Do you feel lucky?" he asked. That conversation went no further though and he called, showing A♠T♠ to Varlashin's 5♥5♦.

The board ran 5♠Q♥3♥3♣A♥, which elicited a "yeah," from Varlashin. - SB

12.59pm: Kenney leaks
Bryn Kenney came in today with the biggest chip stack but has since lost a few chips, nothing major, but Vitalijs Zavorotnijs has been one of the grateful recipient. Zavorotnijs entered the pot from middle position bringing Kenney (small blind) and ElkY (big blind) along for the ride. Kenney called a 24,500 bet from Zavorotnijs on the 9♥3♦4♦ flop.

An uncharacteristically short stacked ElkY has also benefited from Kenney a couple of hands later. The American raised to 14,000 from the cut-off and ElkY shoved for around 60,000 from the button. Kenney folded and showed an ace. That's giving the Frenchmen quite some credit - and free chips. ElkY is up to around 85,000. Will Kenney come to regret that? -- RD

12.54pm: Pipino pipped by deuces
Jan Collado set Giuseppe Pipino all-in with 2♠2♥ from the small blind and was snap called by the short stacked Italian with K♦Q♠ in the big. The 9♥A♦9♣ flop wasn't the worst for Pipino but he failed to catch up on the turn or river. Collado is up to 230,000. -- RD

12.50pm: Gomes gone
We didn't see what happened because it was tucked away on the TV table. But what was clear was that Team PokerStars Pro Alex Gomes was on his feet, shaking folks' hands, and leaving.

Also on that table is Paul Berende from Holland and former EPT Barcelona winner Jan Boubli.-- SY

12.45pm: Kenney's early burst
Overnight chip leader Bryn Kenney has already added to his stack, and is now over 800,000. First he had a little blip, however. He open-raised before Andrey Danilyuk moved all-in for 54,000. It was folded back to Kenney, who looked at his cards once more, sighed: "Okay," and called.

Kenney: K♠9♣
Danilyuk: Q♦Q♥

The board ran A♠[10d]8♥Q♠3♥ to give the Russian a set and a welcome double up.

But if you then thought Kenney might be in danger of releasing his chips too easily, he went and won it back, and more. Vitalijs Zavorotnijs from Latvia got it all in with A♥J♣ pre-flop for 195,000 having been unable to believe Kenney had the goods.

Kenney had K♠K♣

That was a little unfortunate for the Latvian, who missed his outs on the 7♥9♦3♣5♥4♥ board. So with a blip then a bounce, Kenney is up to 830,000. -- SY

12.40pm: Naalden the ham in a Spanish omelette
Marc Naaden, the PokerStars qualifier from Holland, finds himself sandwiched between some of Spain's finest. To his left, Luis Rufas, one of our big stacks, and further along that side is Oscar Pelayo. Meanwhile, on Naalden's immediate left is Carlos Mortensen, and on his left is Maria Maceiras.

12.37pm: Bye bye, Bisgaard
Anders Bisgaard Rasmussen is one of our first fallers in the initial post bubble flurry we begin play today with. Rasmussen raised from late position and then slightly over shoved the pot (a bet would have committed him anyway) on a 6♥4♥9♠ flop. Ognjen Sekularac tank called with A♠9♣ for top pair top kicker and Rasmussen failed to catch his straight draw. The online qualifier takes away €7,500. -- RD

12.30pm: Thorsson off to a flying start
A 100,000 swing to Kristoffer Thorson right from the off, courtesy of Yury Kerzhapkin who had bet 18,500 on the 4♠J♥K♦ flop. The effect this had on Thorsson was negligible. He simply raised his eyebrows and called for a K♠ turn. Kerzhapkin checked, and Thorsson checked to, for a K♥ on the river. Kerzhapkin paused, then bet 40,000, which Thorsson saw through immediately, calling fast. Kerzhapkin folded immediately. Thorsson up to 530,000. - SB

12.25pm: We're off
Cards are in the air for Day 3. We play on until 27 players remain. -- SB

12.15pm: Not yet...
Thomas Kremser is making a few last minute adjustments. We should be under way within five or ten minutes. -- SB

12.03pm: Correct
You guessed it. We did not start at noon. However, things seem quite slick in the tournament room today, and I suspect we'll be up and running within five minutes. Famous last words. -- SY

11.05am: What happened yesterday
If you missed the action from yesterday you can read the round up of Day 2 here, while the end of day scores can be found on the chip count page. -- SB

11.03am: Places please
The seat draw for today is available here. -- SB

11am: Welcome to Day 3
At times during Day 2 we lost a player a minutes. Were that to be the case today we'll be done and dusted in less than an hour and a half. Not that that's likely of course, yesterday's carnage was a typical display of the powerful manoeuvring into position while the others held on as long as possible. Now, the 112 returning for Day 3 will have to do it all again.

That does come with some comfort, €7,500 worth to be exact, the amount guaranteed to everyone in the field today. That will be the furthest thing in the mind of American Bryn Kenney who leads the field today with a stack of 693,500. The lure of a €850,000 first prize on Saturday may be more to his tastes.

Chip leader Bryn Kenney

It all starts at 12 noon, (yes, yes, more like 12.15pm). Join us then. -- SB

PokerStars Blog reporting team (in order of arrival this morning): Rick Dacey, Simon Young, Stephen Bartley - and Marc Convey (still waiting, tut tut)

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in European Poker Tour