EPT Barcelona: Final table, level 27 & 28 (40,000-80,000, 5,000 ante)
3.05pm: End of the level
That's the end of the level. Players are now on a 15 minute break. -- SB
3pm: Stang shrinking
It's a big hit for Thor Stang. The Norweigian had raised to 165,000 and flat called Kent Lundmark's button 335,000 three-bet. The board was checked down to the Q♠2♠K♠5♥9♣ river which Stang led for 500,000. Lundmark called with ace-queen beating Stang's king-jack. -- RD
2.57pm: Lundmark hand
Jesus Cortes Lizano opened on the button to 175,000 and got calls from Kent Lundmark in the small blind and Konstantin Puchkov in the big. All three checked the A♥4♠2♥ flop, but on the A♠ turn Lundmark fired out 235,000 and the other two gave it up. -- SY
2.40pm: One for Stang, one for Cortes Lizano
First Shander De Vries opened for 160,000 and got a call from Thor Stang. Both checked the K♣[10s]9♠ flop, but on the 6♣ turn Stang made it 185,000 and took the pot.
Next hand Jesus Cortes Lizano bet 185,000 and was called by Kent Lundmark. Lundmark folded quickly when Cortes Lizano bet out 265,000 on the 5♠5♣8♠ flop. -- SY
2.36pm: Five to the flop
Five way to a flop after a minimum raise by Kent Lundmark. Konstantin Puchkov called in the cut off, as did Shander De Vries on the button, as well as Giuseppe Pantaleo and Thor Stang in the blinds.
The flop came A♠2♦5♦
Pantaleo bet 235,000 at this, chasing out everyone but Lundmark for a turn card 6♣. Both checked that and the 8♣ river. Pantaleo showed pocket fours but Lundmark took it down showing ace-jack. - SB
2.32pm: Small one for Stang
Thor Stang has just taken a small pot from Shander de Vries on a K♣T♠9♠6♣ board. I would say more about it but, well, that's pretty much it. -- RD
2.25pm: Puchkov cranks it up
Konstantin Puchkov limped from the small blind and Shander de Vries checked his option. Both players checked the 2♠A♠K♥ flop but Puchkov led 80,000 into the 9♣ turn. Call. Puchkov then fired a large 350,000 into the Q♥ river. De Vries raised his eyebrows and passed. -- RD
2.20pm: Four-way flop
When Kent Lundmark open-raised to 160,000 he probably did not want calls from Giuseppe Pantaleo, Thor Stang and Jesus Cortes Lizano. But that's what he got. The flop came Q♦Q♠2♥ and everyone checked around to Pantaleo, who made it 190,000. Only Lundmark called. That was enough to scare both of them, and they checked down the J♠ turn and the 4♥ river.
Lundmark turned over pocket tens, and they bested Pantaleo's pocket sixes. -- SY
2.10pm: Folding the winner?
A hand that may haunt Pantaleo for some time yet that resulted in Jesus Lizano scooping a pot worth 2million, and the German enduring a TV camera close up.
On a flop of 2♣Q♠6♣ Lizano checked the big blind as did Pantaleo on the button. On the Q♣ turn Lizano bet 230,000 which Pantaleo called for a 2♥ river card. Now Lizano bet another 330,000. Pantaleo took his time, carefull assembled not a call, but a raise, 790,000 in total.
Now Lizano tanked for a moment, finally calling. Pantaleo immediately mucked his cards, a crucial detail, before Lizano showed jack high to win the hand. But it was written on the face of Pantaleo that he may well have just mucked the winning hand. - SB
2.05pm: Cagey kings for Puchkov
Konstantin Puchkov, who I have just picked in the final table sweepstake so he is bound not to win, just picked up a pot from Kent Lundmark. But it was all a little restrained.
Lundmark had raised to 160,000 and Puchkov called to see a 8♣7♥5♠ flop. Both of them checked that, and on the 4♠ turn Lundmark check-called Puchkov's 200,000. Both then checked the [10h] river, and Puchkov turned over pocket kings to take the pot. -- SY
2pm: One for Lundmark
Kent Lundmark opened for 160,000 from the button and was called by Shander de Vries in the big blind. Lundmark's delaayed three-bet on the 9♦T♥3♦7♦ board caused De Vries to insta-muck his hand. -- RD
1.53pm: Level up
That's the end of the level. Blinds are now up to 40,000-80,000 with a 5,000 ante.
1.52pm: De Vries and Pantaleo on the turn
Giuseppe Pantaleo opened for 125,000 from under-the-gun which was called by Konstantin Puchkov and Shander De Vries in the blinds for a flop of 7♦3♦9♥.
Puchkov and De Vries checked to Pantaleo who bet another 190,000. Puchkov folded but De Vries raised to 525,000 which Pantaleo called for a 2♠ turn.
At this point Shander De Vries moved all-in for 1,740,000. Pantaleo asked for a count but this was merely a formality. He passed, leaving the pot to De Vries. - SB
1.48pm: Puchkov wins another
Shander De Vries opened with a raise to 125,000 and got a call from Konstantin Puchkov. On the 3♣4♣4♦ flop, Puchkov checked then called De Vries' 125,000. On the 4♠ turn, Puchkov check-called De Vries' 225,000. Both checked the 5♥ river.
Puchkov took the pot, but we cannot tell you what he had as it did not show on the TV screen! -- SY
1.40pm: Puchkov pushes Lizano
Jesus Lizano opened for 135,000 from the hijack and Konstantin Puchkov three-bet from the button to 290,000. Lizano flatted. Neither player bet the T♠7♥Q♣ flop but Puchkov's 350,000 wager on the 8♦ turn was sufficient to win the pot. -- RD
1.35pm: Stang stings Skotadis, out in seventh
Hot on the heels of Francesco Notaro, Georgios Skotadis is the next player eliminated a hand later. He moved all-in for 1,230,000 with T♦T♠ and Thor Stang immediately said he called, showing J♣J♦.
The board ran 2♦9♦Q♠Q♥7♠ to eliminate the Greek in seventh place for €90,000. - SB
1.30pm: Jesus miracle card: Fancesco Notaro out in eighth
Francesco Notaro has played big pot poker throughout this tournament and he wasn't about to change his style at this final table. The plucky Italian opened the pot to 200,000 (over three big blinds) and was three-bet to 570,000 by Jesus Lizano. Notaro moved all-in for 1,370,000 and was called by Lizano, albeit a little reluctantly.
While Lizano was a dog in the hand it was Notaro who was at risk. The board ran out T♣5♠2♣6♥ leaving just three outs for Lizano to scoop a giant pot and knock out the Italian. Call in variance, call it divine intervention but the Q♦ fell upon the river and Lizano's supporters on the rail and watching a giant TV screen roared. Heady stuff. Notaro is out in 8th and Lizano takes the chip lead. -- RD
1.20pm: Notaro not out
The first all-in of the day to be called. Giuseppe Pantaleo opened for 125,000 which Francesco Notaro moved-all in behind for 625,000. Pantaleo called with 6♣6♥ to Notaro's K♦Q♥.
The board ran K♥4♥5♥5♣A♦ to double up the Italian. -- SB
1.15pm: Pantaleo the bully
Giuseppe Pantaleo was sitting in the small blind, and when it was folded around to him he open-shoved for 5.5million. Only short-stacked Francesco Notaro stood in his way in the big blind, and he wasted no time in folding. -- SY
The first drama of the day. Georgios Skotadis moved all-in for 1,095,000 but got no callers. -- SB
We're off! -- SB
1.07pm: Players seated
All eight players are in their seats and play is due to start shortly. -- RD
12.55pm: Going live
The EPTLive teams just burst into life behind a curtain next to the media room meaning we're moments away from the start. You can follow all the action live for yourself, on EPTLive. Hurry, because your commentators James Hartigan and Nick Wealthall are currently talking to themselves... -- SB
12.50pm: Show me the money
While we stand around shuffling our feet with our hands in our pockets, why not remind yourself of what we're playing for today on the pay out page.
12.45pm: What's at stake
We're roughly 15 minutes to the off at EPT Barcelona and for some people here a prompt start is absolutely imperative. The PokerStars Party begins at 9pm at Catwalk, a bar next door to the Casino. A lengthy final could endager any chance of free food, free drinks and DJs Xavi Beat and Nico Hamuy, who we're reliably told are terrific. -- SB
You'll now notice pictures included in the player profiles below...
11.55am: Change of plan
We're now heard that the start of play will be at 1pm, and not 12 noon as previously stated. Plenty of time to read through yesterday's coverage, detailed here.
11.30am: Welcome to final table day
It's final table day at EPT Barcelona. Eight players remain, of the 758 who began, and while each of them is guaranteed €70,000, at stake is a first prize of €825,000.
Play is due to start at 12noon, give or take a few technical hitches, with all the events that unfold logged meticulously tright here on the PokerStars Blog. IF seeing is believing then you can also follow the action on EPT Live, coverage there beginning before the start of play. May we recommend both?
So who are the final eight? Funny you should ask and if you can't wait for the matchless James Hartigan to pinch our hard work and read it out aloud, here are the details in print:
Seat 1: Jesus Cortes Lizano, 22, Zaragoza, Spain - 3,800,000 chips
Lizano is a full-time poker pro from Zaragoza. He started playing poker when he was 18 and now divides his time between playing online and live, usually cash games. He only came to EPT Barcelona to play the cash games, but entered the live satellite on a whim, and now is on course for his best live result.
He gained many plaudits for his sense of fair play when a mix-up on Day 4 awarded him 500,000 chips too many, chips that rightfully belonged to Shander De Vries. He alerted tournament staff who corrected the error and both players reached the final.
Lizano is being railed in Barcelona by two friends from home but more plan to come for the final.
Seat 2: Kent Lundmark, 22, Stockholm, Sweden - 3,025,000
Lundmark is an EPT regular and also a regular player in the Krukan cardroom. One of his first EPTs was the PCA last season where he was the longest-lasting Swede - finishing in 29th place. This is his third EPT cash and his biggest result to date, although he has reached final tables in Sweden and Estonia.
Lundmark started playing poker four years ago after finishing high school. He is also a keen footballer and plays for a team in Sweden's Fourth Division although he admits that poker takes the most of his time.
Seat 3: Konstantin Puchkov, 58, Moscow, Russia - 4,160,000
As amateurs go Konstantion Puchkov has a pretty impressive record. The Russian has notched up $771,606 in tournament winnings including a second place finish in the €5,000 six-max side event at the 2009 EPT Grand Final, and a bracelet-winning performance in this year's $1,500 World Series H.O.R.S..E. event. By brilliant coincidence Puchkov lists his profession as a horse breeder and trainer.
Puchkov has been playing poker since 1999 and while he prefers tournaments, he isn't afraid of a bit of $10/$25 action in the side games.
Puchkov has been an active player throughout the tournament and enters the final table second in chips. 'Today was the hardest day because I was all-in with aces and was drawing to seven outs,' recalled Puchkov on Day 4, who had Ah Ad against Luis Rufas' Js 8c on a Jc-flop. Rufas caught an eight on the turn before Puchkov rivered an ace. 'It was the first time that I was really at risk all tournament.
Seat 4: Shander De Vries, 26, Groningen, Netherlands - PokerStars player - 3,120,000 chips
De Vries began playing poker four years ago and has since built his bankroll playing the $4.40 180-player Sit & Gos on PokerStars. He later began to specialise in multi-table tournaments, achieving good results.
Making the EPT Barcelona final is by far his best result although he has previously cashed at both the 2008 World Series and at EPT Prague in season five. After graduating in economics in December, De Vries plans to travel and, if he wins the EPT, buy himself a nice apartment.
De Vries is being cheered on in Barcelona by his girlfriend.
Seat 5: Giuseppe Pantaleo, 22, Bielefeld, Germany, PokerStars qualifier - 5,655,000 chips
Pantaleo has been playing poker for three years, usually playing tournaments. In July he finished fourth in the PokerStars Sunday Warm-up then won it a month later.
EPT Barcelona is his third EPT cash after last season's events in Berlin (142nd) and San Remo (37th). Pantaleo, an international trade specialist, admits to playing cash, "but actually I'm bad in cash games!"
While he was born and raised in Germany but both of Pantaleo's parents, and his siblings, were born in Italy, and as he says "my heart is Italian."
Seat 6: Francesco "cecho1977" Notaro, 33, Galatina, Italy, PokerStars qualifier - 745,000
Notaro began playing poker 15 years ago and now plays regularly on PokerStars.it. He started competing in live events in 2006 in tournaments organized by Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano at Casino Sanremo.
Francesco is the owner of a betting agency and formerly a poker club before Italian law changed. Notaro enjoys live tournaments even though his best results are online. In 2009 he was runner-up the Sunday Special. His nickname is "cecho1977" on PokerStars.it.
Seat 7: Thor Stang, 27, Bergen, Norway - 1,290,000 chips
Stang, a student, has been playing poker for four years, mainly in cash games. He said "I don't really like tournaments that much. In cash games, you can reload if you get short but here I've been short-stacked all day! I came into Day 4 third in chips but then ran queens into Kings and since then I've never had more than 25 big blinds all day. It's very frustrating but on the other hand, tournaments are exciting."
This is Stang's best live result to date.
Seat 8: Georgios "NickDandolos" Skotadis, 35, Greece - PokerStars qualifier - 1,105,000 chips
Although he was born and raised in Dusseldorf, Germany, sports bar owner Skotadis considers himself to be Greek first.
At EPT Barcelona, Skotadis is not only playing his first EPT, but also his first major live event, while online he won the Sunday Million three weeks ago for $195,000.
Skotadis started playing poker two years ago in local poker rooms, playing both tournaments and cash games. Skotadis, who is engaged to an Irish girl, Aisling, said: "I'm living the month of my life - and it's not over yet!"
The winner's trophy
PokerStars Blog reporting team in Barcelona (in order of final table attire): Simon Young (ceremonial uniform of an honourary Brigadier of the Royal Green Jackets), Stephen Bartley (ceremonial uniform of a sergeant-at-arms of the Royal Tweed Jackets) and Rick Dacey (the working uniform of a deck hand on HMS Pinafore).