EPT Barcelona: Day 4, level 23 & 24 updates (blinds 15,000-30,000, ante 3,000)
3.07pm: Early break
With 12 minutes left of the level the players are on an earlier than scheduled 15-minute break. This will enable the tournament directors to take out one table and balance the remaining 16 players over the two remaining tables. When they come back we'll play the remaining 12 minutes and head straight into level 25. -- MC
3.05pm: Roman Makhlin out in 17th for €20,000
Roman Makhlin is the latest faller, moving all-in with A♠4♦ and called by Kent Lundmark with A♣K♣. The board ran an inoffensive 7♥9♣3♣3♦Q♦ to send the Russian to the rail in 17th place.
There will now be a redraw for the remaining two tables. -- SB
3pm: The unlikely chop
Marco Bognanni shoved with A♣8♠ and was in terrible shape when Giuseppe Pantaleo called with 8♣8♥. But the board ran 9♣[10s]J♥7♣6♠ to ensure nothing happened at all. -- SY
2.58pm: Miracle flop for Jesus
Jesus Cortes Lizano has just had a miraculous double up after shoving K♥6♥ from the small blind for 450,000. Georgios Skotadis called in the big blind with A♠K♦. 'You know what, I don't like this hand,' said the Greek, despite being well ahead but he could obviously sense something lurking in the deck.
A very kind 8♥Q♥J♥ flop gifted the pot to Lizano who is now back in this tournament with 900,000. -- RD
2.55pm: Saved by the river
Alessandro Longobardi doubled thanks to the river. He open-shoved for 344,000 and fellow Italian Marco Bognanni re-raised all-in over the top. Giuseppe Pantaleo (who, judging by that name should be Italian but is actually German) folded what he claimed was pocket fours.
Longobardi was in bad shape with A♦[10c] against Bognanni's pocket tens, but an ace on the river saved him. -- SY
2.50pm: 'VAMOS VAMOS!'
Were the cries heard from the mouth of Georgios Skotadis upon seeing the Q♣J♣Q♥ flop. He was heads-up versus Kent Lundmark and the two were all-in pre-flop after a raising war. Skotadis was happy as he had A♥Q♠ to the Swede's 9♦9♣.
Kent failed to find a super turn or river as the board ran out 3♥K♦. Skotadis is up to 1.6million now whereas Lundark is down to 875,000. -- MC
2.40pm: Sisley busted
Todd Sisley has become the 18th place finisher. Shoved behind a bet of 100,000 from
Candido Gonçalves for about 300,000 more. Gonçalves quickly called showing J♦A♠ to Sisley's red queens. The shook hands and awaited the board.
It was over on the flop. Sisley wished the others good luck and made his way out. - SB
2.35pm: If the cap fits
I think I spotted a tell with Georgios Skotadis. When he has a decision to make, he twizzles his baseball cap around on his head. First he turned it back to front, then forwards again, then back again, then did a whole 360 with it.
All this was started with him raising pre-flop to 66,000 and getting a call from Ognjen Sekularac. They saw a J♣Q♥6♦ flop and Skotadis bet 70,000, only for the Serbian to re-raise by 100,000 more.
That's when the cap swiveling began.
"What did you have to do that for?" he asked Sekularac. "I thought people from Belgrade were meant to be nice."
"We are nice, but I think I have a better hand," replied Sekularac.
"Well I think that I have the better hand. And that is the problem," reasoned Skotadis as he moved his cap back to front once more.
Eventually, the Greek moved all-in for around 400,000, and that prompted an insta-fold from Sekularac.
"You want to see my hand?" asked Skotadis. He turned over A♣A♥, and that capped a fine hand. -- SY
Konstantin Puchkov opened the action from the hijack and was three-bet to 204,000 by chip leader Giuseppe Pantaleo. Puchkov made the call leaving himself around 850,000 behind. Pantaleo fired 200,000 (from what I could see on the TV table) and Pantaleo made the call before shoving all-in on the turn for his final 600,000.
'I will show,' said Puchkov.
'I have so much outs,' replied Pantaleo who folded claiming that he thought Puchkov had top set (well, that's what he said anyway). Puchkov showed king queen.
'You're such a sicko,' said Pantaleo to Puchkov. 'You have just top pair.'
Sicko or not, Puchkov is up to 1,400,000. -- RD
2.33pm: Rufus' turn
Luis Rufas got right back on the poker horse after losing that big pot. He took a couple of hands off before raising three hands in a row. The first one he took the blinds and he was forced to fold to a three-bet on the second hand. The third hand got very interesting though.
He raised to the usual 75,000 and was called by nemesis Candido Gonçalves on the button and Thor Stang in the big blind to go to a 9♠T♠J♠. Rufas moved all-in for 472,000 when it was checked to him and Goncalves snap called to get it heads-up.
Rufas: J♣9♣ for two-pair.
Goncalves: K♦Q♣ for the nut straight.
The turn came J♥ to make a full-house for Rufas. Both players now know how the other felt a little wile ago. The river came 2♠ before Rufas scooped in the 1.1 million pot. -- MC
2.22pm: Korik all-in
Three-bet shoves are very much order of the day for some players here in Bareclona and that includes Zachary Korik. The American started the level with just under a million but has lost some of that in early exchanges. His latest three-bet shove has helped him back up to around 700,000 (from what I can see on the monitor). -- RD
2.18pm: New chips
We're all grafting hard to keep the chips up to date here in Barcelona. It's quite the team effort I'll have you know. We're getting fresh chip counts every level and adjusting any major swings and knockouts. Click on the link here or on 'Latest chip count' on the right of this post to see them. -- RD
2.15pm: Double up
On a flop of J♠5♦7♥ Candido Gonçalves moved all-in with A♥J♦ which Luis Rufas called with Q♦Q♥. Oddly, Thor Stang was showing more emotional involvement than Rufas was, having folded his hand.
The turn came A♣, which naturally delighted Gonçalves, so too did the J♥ river card.
"Yeah!" said Gonçalves, now up to 2.4 million. - SB
2.07pm: Cheerio, Sihvo
Lari Sihvo is our latest victim. Ognjen Sekularac had raised to 70,000 before Sihvo moved all-in for 384,000 more with K♠J♠. Sekularac thought for a short while before making the call with 7♥7♣. The board ran an uneventful 4♣A♦6♣A♥Q♠ and we're down to 18.
Thanks to our Swedish cousin Lina for the info - we were busy listening to a horse race after lumping on some cash on a Stephen Bartley "dead cert". Needless to say, it lost. -- SY
2.03pm: Venga cinco!
Ognjen Sekularac opened from the button for 66,000 and Jose Navarro moved all-in from the small blind for 338,000. Shander de Vries had a long think and made the call. Sekularac passed.
De Vries: A♥A♠
'Venga cinco,' cried Navarro who was now on his feet. The deck obviously did not speak Spanish and De Vries pocket aces held up to knockout Navarro in 20th. -- RD
Back again - and by the sounds of it we've just lost a player. Corporal Dacey is on the tournament floor and will report back shortly. -- SY
1.42pm: Break it up
That's the end of the level. There will now be a 15-minute commercial break. -- SY
1.40pm: No Oscar winner
Oscar Pelayo is our latest victim, making it tantalisingly close to being able to give a winner's speech, but instead falling short and never getting up on the main stage. He raised to 50,000 and got a call from Jani Rasinen in the big blind. Both checked the J♥7♠9♣ flop, but on the 3♣ turn Rasinen bet 70,000. Pelayo then re-raised to 150,000, prompting the Finn to move all-in for around 500,000. He had Pelayo covered.
Pelayo, despite missing out on the big prize, did manage to put in a great acting performance at this point, trying to tease out information from his opponent. He called.
Pelayo: A♣8♣ for the gutshot and flush draw
Rasinen: J♠[10d] for top pair and gutshot draw
The river was 9♥ despite Pelayo's pleas for a winner. Rasinen is up to 1.30 million, Pelayo gets €20,000. -- SY
An all-in from Todd Sisley on the button for 425,000. Next to him is Luis Rufas who said he too was all-in from the small blind. Oscar Garcia Pelayo was in the big blind and didn't immediately fold. He started talking to Rufus, then tanked a little longer. Rufas looked thoughtful, Sisley looked bored.
He would fold though, leaving Sisley to show 2♦A♦, behind to Rufas's A♥J♥.
Palayo immediately expressed his irritation.
The flop came T♠J♣K♣, putting Rufas ahead but leaving 'chopportunities'. The turn card Q♥ delivered that immediately, rendering the 7♣ river redundant. A split pot.
A friend of Sisley yelled from the rail: "On a scale of one-to-I like that, I like that!" -- SB
1.30pm: The hips don't lie and neither do the cards
Juan Ramon Marquez Garcia is our 22nd place finisher after losing all his chips to Ognjen Sekularac. The Serbian raised to 57,000 from under-the-gun to face to 211,000 all-in push from the Spaniard in the hijack.
"Do you have ace-queen?" asked Sekularac.
"Sorry, I can't hear" replied Garica, pointing to his headphones.
"Take them out" came a quick reply.
"I like" said Garcia back. "It's Shakira!"
Everyone at and around the table, including Thomas Kremser, started laughing. Sekularac thought for another two minutes before making the call.
The board ran 3♣K♠2♥Q♠9♠ to make a flush for the Serbian on the river to the disappointment of the Spaniard and his railers. -- MC
1.21pm: Notaro noted
Francesco Notaro does not play by the same rules as everyone else. The standard raise at the moment is between a minimum 42,000 and a larger 55,000. Notaro? He prefers a slightly larger 100,000. To be fair to him he's refusing to let some of the glances from other players affect how he plays - or perhaps he hasn't noticed them... -- RD
1.12pm: We have achieved maximum polarisation, Captain
On a Q♦Q♥9♣ flop Oscar Pelayo check-raised Thor Stang's 54,000 c-bet up to 145,000. The out of position raise asked a big question of Stang who was able to make an easy fold. -- RD
1.10pm: Giner tonic for De Vries
Jose Giner opened up from the button with a raise to 48,000, only for Shander De Vries to move all-in from the small blind for 601,000 (for the second hand running, as it happens). Giner gave it a good, long think before calling. He had De Vries covered.
De Vries: 5♠5♣
It was race for De Vries' tournament life, a race he won when the board ran a harmless 3♠4♣[10h]9♣3♥. He's up to 1.2 million now, while Giner drops to 350,000. -- SY
1.04pm: Notaro up
Jani Rasinen opened for 52,000 which Francesco Notaro raised to 100,000 on the button. Rasinen called for a flop of 7♥9♦5♦. Both checked for a K♦ turn. At which point Notaro bet 50,000 to take the pot. - SB
12.56pm: Hammer down on Thorsson
Kristoffer Thorsson is the first player to be eliminated today. He three-bet all-in for 245,000 over the top of a Luis Rufas raise. Rufas checked his cards again before making the call.
The board ran 4♦6♥9♥2♥T♦ to send the PokerStars qualifier to the rail. -- MC
12.50: Two tables; same scenario
Two almost identical hands just played out at each of the two outer tables. Two pre-flop all-in show downs with the short stacks holding pocket kings to the big stacks pocket queens.
The first hand took place on table three with Kent Lundmark all-in with K♠K♣ versus Ognjen Sekularac holding Q♣Q♥. The board ran 3♥3♦T♠3♠4♥ to double-up the Swede to 1.5 million. Sekularac's drops him down to 820,000.
As soon as that hand finished the all-in was announced on table two. Jani Kristian Rasinen was all-in with K♠K♥ against Thor Stang of Norway holding Q♠Q♦. The board ran 4♥K♣J♣3♠8♦. Rasinen is up to 990,000 now whereas Sang drops to 900,000. - MC
12.45pm: Stick that in your pipe and smoke it
It all got a bit serious over on table two. Todd Sisley opened with a raise to 50,000 and got a call from Candido Gonçalves in the small blind. Kristoffer Thorsson let his big blind go.
The flop was a tricky K♣J♠J♣ and both players checked. On the 3♥ turn, Gonçalves checked and Sisley decided to take a stab with a bet of 71,000. The man from France was having none of that, however, and re-raised to 150,000 - call. As the 5♦ river hit the felt, Gonçalves quietly announced he was all in for around 600,000, easily covering Sisley's 400,000.
Sisley was not too impressed with that, and went into the tank . He was even less impressed when Gonçalves called the clock on him.
"It has not been two minutes yet," he complained to tournament director Thomas Kremser.
Kremser consulted with the dealer, then said: "OK, I will give you 30 seconds, then I will give you one minute on the clock."
Sisley then went back into the tank and Kremser announced the minute had started.
"What do you want me to do?" Sisley asked Gonçalves. He got a Gallic shrug in response. "You want me to call?" Still nothing.
Kremser then started the countdown... "Ten, nine, eight..." On zero he told Sisley his hand was dead.
With that, Gonçalves triumphantly turned over the mighty... 2♣2♠. -- SY
12.40pm: Nitsche shoving
Dominik Nitsche is in shove mode. With 220,000 left, he's pushed twice in the last orbit of the televised feature table. No callers yet, although Zachary Korik came mighty close on the last one, asking Marina Kremser whether he should call. She did not reply and he folded. -- SY
12.35pm: Aggression mentality
Most players seem to be focussed on the final table rather than hanging in for the money jumps with plenty of shoving. The first knockout can't be far away. -- RD
12.25pm: Early action
Did the dealer actually shuffle? Ognjen Sekularac raised to 42,000 from early position and was three-bet by Jose Navarro to 138,000. Sekularac made the call. The K♦A♥Q♦ flop made it look as if the dealer hadn't bothered to shuffle* and Navarro fired another 140,000 at the flop. Sekularac made the call and then moved all-in on the T♥ turn. It was more than enough to win the hand and Navarro rapped the table. The Serbian is up to 1,700,000. -- RD
* The dealer had, of course, shuffled.
12.20pm: Shuffle up and and deal
The penultimate day of EPT Barcelona is under way. Who will still be standing when we get down to eight players? Find out here. -- MC
12pm: Battle soon to commence
Players are taking to their seats, shredding their chip sack - so to speak - and preparing to take that final leap into oblivion or final table glory. Check the chip stacks here. Gird your loins, it's going to get lively. -- RD
PokerStars Blog reporting team in Barcelona (in order of blood pressure): Rick Marc Convey (Normal), Simon Young (prehypertension), Rick Dacey (Stage 1 Hypertension), Stephen Bartley (Stage 2 Hypertension)