EPT London: Day 4, level 26, 27 & 28 updates (40,000-80,000, 5,000 ante)
8.35pm: How it ended for Hull
As had become customary in this rather tense nine-handed battle, Kyle Bowker came in for an opening raise. If it wasn't Bowker, it was normally John Juanda. John Hull, who like many of the shorter stacks had been folding a lot in recent levels, thought he'd seen enough and re-raised all-in for around 670,000.
What he, and quite frankly the rest of us, hadn't banked on was Artur Wasek suddenly waking up and moving all-in himself for just over a million. Bowker realised his opening range was a little under pressure here, and got out of the way. So we had a showdown:
Wasek had got the bullets at the perfect time. The flop was 2♣[10h]A♣, making a set for the man-mountain from Poland. The Q♣ on the turn opened up gutshot chances for Hall, who now needed a king on the river for an unlikely straight. But it came 5♥ and our final table was set.
So with that, we get a reasonable night's sleep before the big day tomorrow, when one of our eight finalists will walk off with £900,000.
8.30pm: John Hull busts in 9th for £45,000
Final table set
That's it, Hull was busted by Artur Wasek - details to follow. -- SY
8.07pm: Break time
This tense affair is breaking for 15 minutes before level 28 begins. -- MC
8.05pm: Cagey stuff but Juanda takes it
It was folded around to Kyle Bowker in the small blind who made it 150,000. John Juanda called from the big blind. On the J♣6♠J♠ flop Bowker made it 100,000 and Juanda called. On the 5♦ turn Bowker checked and now Juanda seized the initiative, betting 175,000. Call. Finally, both checked the 3♠ river - Juanda turned over pocket sevens, and the pair was good. -- SY
7.55 pm: Bowker playing real poker
Kyle Bowker just forced David Vamplew off a pot to extend his chip lead. Vamplew min-raised from mid-position and Bowker defended from the BB to see a 3♦5♠5♥ flop where he check-called a 155,000 c-bet. The turn came 2♦ and Bowker led for 325,000. Call. The river came A♠ and Bowker led for a polarizing 1.1 million. Vamplew looked in pain as he pondered his decision and after five minutes of deep thought he let it go. -- MC
7.45pm: Strange hand
John Juanda just took down a strange three-way pot involving Fernando Brito and Per Ummer. Juanda made it 145,000 to go from mid-position and was called by Brito in the small blind before Ummer made a small raise to 25,000 from the big blind. Both players called to see a K♦9♥Q♦ flop where all three checked although it looked like Juanda wanted to bet. The turn came 4♠ and Juanda took the pot with a 380,000 bet.
"Miss-click, maybe" was how a railing William Thorson described Ummer's raise pre-flop. -- MC
7.30pm: Chop, chop
John Juanda and John Hall got all-in on the turn on a [10s]J♥K♣A♣ board - but both had a queen and the 4♣ river changed nothing. On we go. -- SY
7.25pm: Shorties pushing
Both Fernando Brito and John Hall have been all-in in the last orbit but didn't receive any callers.
Brito was the first to push. He called a David Vamplew min-raise while sat on the button. Artur Wasek called as well from the BB to see a 6♣9♠J♣ flop. The action checked to Brito and he moved all-in for his remaining 650,000. Both opponents folded.
Two hands later Hall moved in for his last 725,000 from mid-position to steal the blinds and antes. -- MC
7.10pm: Ummer doubles
John Hall is down to 1.1million after doubling up Per Ummer, who is now just shy of 2million. Ummer, who looks a little like a James Bond villain, had made it 150,000 before Hall re-raised to 450,000. Ummer gave a little shrug and moved all-in - it was for around 500,000 more. Call!
The flop came 3♣[10c]Q♠ to send Ummer into the lead, but the 8♣ brought a flush draw for Hall. However, the 8♥ river meant the money went Ummer's way. We play on. -- SY
6.55pm: Vamplew surge
After his big pot to knock out Steven Levy just before the break, David Vamplew continues to step on the gas. Kyle Bowker had raised for the second hand in a row to 145,000 and only Vamplew called. On the Q♣9♣6♦ flop, Bowker checked then called when Vamplew made it 240,000. Both slowed to a check on the A♥ turn, and finally on the 2♠ river Bowker checked then mucked when Vamplew made it 490,000.
That sends Vamplew up to 4.4million, Bowker down to 5.4million. -- SY
6.50pm: Seating order
Below is the seating order for our final nine. The order will stay the same for tomorrow minus the unfortunate soul who busts in 9th.
Seat 1, David Vamplew
Seat 2, Tom Marchese
Seat 3, Fernando Brito
Seat 4, Per Ummer
Seat 5, Artur Wasek
Seat 6, Kayvan Payman
Seat 7, Kyle Bowker USA
Seat 8, John Juanda
Seat 9, John Hall
As we prepare for the start of level 27, with blinds at 30,000-60,000 and a 5,000 ante, here are the chips: - -SY
Kyle Bowker, USA, 5,680,000
John Juanda, USA, 5,675,000
David Vamplew, UK, 4,075,000
John Hall, USA, PokerStars player, 2,120,000
Kayvan Payman, Canada, 2,085,000
Artur Wasek, Poland, PokerStars qualifier, 1,655,000
Per Ummer, Cyprus, 1,250,000
Tom Marchese, USA, PokerStars player, 1,195,000
Fernando Brito, Portugal, 835,000
6.15pm: Levy out in 10th for £45,000
We're down to our last table. Not the 'final' table - we need to lose one more player for that. But right now our remaining nine players are on a short break as it's also the end of level 26.
Steven Levy was the man to go, losing in a big race with David Vamplew. Levy had kicked it off with a raise to 120,000, only for Kyle Bowker to make it 280,000 from the button. But then Vamplew woke up in the big blind with a hand.
"How much have you got?" he asked Levy. It was around 1.4million. There was no point in asking Bowker - he had millions.
Vamplew made a raise to 620,000. Now it was Levy to act again. "How much have you got?" he asked Vamplew. It was a hundred thousand or so more than Levy.
"I'm all-in," announced Levy. Don't forget Bowker was in this as well - but he mucked quickly. Vamplew, however, called:
It all came down to a race, and it was Vamplew who one it when the board ran a dry 5♦3♠9♥9♣8♣. Vamplew now up to more than 3million. -- SY
6pm: Epic sweat for Vamplew
David Vamplew has doubled-up through Fernando Brito after flopping top set and fading a royal flush draw. Brito raised and then called when Vamplew shoved for just over a million. Vamplew tabled Q♣Q♦ to Brito's A♠K♠ and the board ran 8♦Q♠T♠5♥2♥. Brito down to 680,00 but Vamplew up to 1.2 million. -- MC
5.50pm: Tank folding
Ferdando Brito is down to 1.5 million after he tank-folded against Steven Levy. It was actually Tom Marchese who opened the pot with a raise to 110,000 from the cut-off but he folded when Levy three-bet to 250,000 from the button and Brito called from the BB. Brito checked before the Q♦5♥5♦ came out but then faced a 350,000 bet from Levy out of his remaining 1.05 million stack. Brito pushed forward 1.1 million like he was going to raise but he ultimately folded after thinking for five minutes. -- MC
5.35pm: So long Somaiya
We're down to ten players with the departure of Rumit Somaiya. John Juanda had opened to 120,000 and Somaiya moved all-in for 885,000 more. Juanda obliged and turned over 6♣6♠ to Somaiya's K♥T♦. The board ran 3♣4♠9♣7♦3♠. Somaiya was out, the chips were passed to Juanda and play continues until two more players have been eliminated. -- SB
5.30pm: Taking turns
Chips are being passed around although Kyle Bowker appears to be involved in most pots. He's taking a couple in a row then losing a third. No big swings in chips right now. -- SY
5.20pm: Wassup Wasek
Artur Wasek, a giant of a man, moved all-in a short while ago, but nobody wanted to play. Then the giant Pole tried again a few hands later. Stepping up was Per Ummer.
"Count them," said Ummer, pointing at the chips Wasek had shoved forward.
"Six," barked Wasek, holding up fingers as well, keen to get on with things.
Ummer had some thinking to do but would eventually call, standing up alongside Wasek to shake hands after he'd turned over A♦Q♦ and Wasek showed 7♠7♣.
The board ran 5♣5♥8♠ ("hold!" yelled railbird Marcin Horecki) 7♦ ("yes!" yelled Wasek) 2♠.
Wasek doubles up to around 1.4 million. Ummer slips down to 1,650,000. -- SB
5pm: Three to go
We're back again for level 26 of EPT London, and it's fair to say we're now at the business end of things. We have 11 players left, meaning just three more need to fall before our final for tomorrow is set.
Kyle Bowker is our chip leader, followed by John Juanda. It's still anybody's championship (and £900,000), though.
Here for your enjoyment is a picture of Rumit Somaiya, who is one of only two surviving Brits in their home EPT (the other being David Vamplew)...
PokerStars Blog reporting team (in order of apparent health today): Stephen Bartley (perky), Simon Young (pinky), Marc Convey (pukey)
All pictures (c) Neil Stoddart and Mickey May