EPT Monte Carlo: Day 2, level 16 updates (2,500-5,000, 500 ante)

ept-thumb-promo.jpgMidnight: That's that
The day is done. The chip leader overnight is Nick Schulman with 742,000, followed by David Sesso on 642,500 and Jean Francois Talbot with 635,000.

A full wrap is on its way. -- HS

11.53pm: Last three hands
Thomas Kremser has told each dealer to play three more hands and then we're done and dusted for the night. We'll bring any major late drama to you, but otherwise we're off to scour the room for the best chip counts. Don't go away. -- SY

11.48pm: Some early knockouts
These players valiantly held on until the bubble to make the money but they won't be becoming this year's EPT Grand Final champion either. They all pick up €15,000 for their efforts over these last three days:

124 - Jason James
125 - Ali Tekintamgac
126 - Martin Schmidkunz
127 - William Ross

11.45pm: SPQ
Pierre "Serial PokerStars Qualifier™" Neuville has doubled up. And if his middle name wasn't already "Serial PokerStars Qualifier™", which is already quite long-winded, we might have to call him Pierre "Durability" Neuville. Perhaps Pierre "Serial PokerStars Qualifier™" "Durability" Neuville. Anyhow, Neuville has just extended his stay here with a double up just into the money. He raised from the button, was re-raised by El Mostafa Bel Khayate, and moved all in. Call.

Neuville: A♣9♣
Mostapha: A♦K♦

The nine on the flop was all the SPQ needed to see. (That's an acronym.) -- HS

11.40pm: Team Pro in the money
Now we're in the cash, it's time to take stock. Here's a list of Team PokerStars Pros making the money:
Chris Moneymaker
Martin Hruby
Rino Mathis
Lex Veldhuis
Vicky Coren
Alexandre Gomes
Juan Manuel Pastor

And these two season six champions have definitely ridden their free pass into the dosh:
Kevin MacPhee
Anton Wigg

We're also trying to track down Aaron Gustavson, who was definitely still in about an hour ago, but has currently slipped out of sight. Will confirm. --HS

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Chris Moneymaker

11.36pm: And now the eliminations
The first hand back after the bubble and William Ross, with a short stack, was all in. He had 9♠9♦ but couldn't win a race against A♣K♥ on the 6♠Q♦K♠J♣Q♥ board. Ross is our first man to hit the cash cage. -- HS

11.32pm: Ake Olsson is the bubble boy
It took only two hands of hand-for-hand for the bubble to burst and the unfortunate player to just miss out was Swede Ake Olsson. He was in the small blind and only had 15,500 chips and they went in when it was folded around to him. Gilles Haddad called blind from the big blind to leave it at showdown. Players, spectators and press squeezed around the table as the cards were revealed:

Olsson: Q♦J♥
Haddad: T♠6♥

The flop came 6♠5♠T♣ to some cheers and groans. The turn offered hope for Olsson by coming Q♣ but his fate was confirmed on the 4♥ river. All the other players in the room congratulated each other knowing they are €15,000 better off. -- MC

11.30pm: Bubble bursts!
We've lost a player and everyone left is now guaranteed €15,000. Details with you very soon. -- SY

11.18pm: Sit tight
The first hand of hand-for-hand passed without incident. Next! -- SY

11.10pm: Good grace, even in times of sorrow
I like Andrey Gulyy. He's just gone out of this tournament in 130th place - running eights into kings - but left about as graciously as you could imagine. He turned to the pestersome reporter who wanted to know his name (Hello!) and said: "That's OK, it was close, but that's poker." And then he spelled his name into my pad. Good luck Andrey.

Gulyy's elimination now leaves us on the bubble proper and it's hand-for-hand until the next player busts. -- HS

11.09pm: Berende beaten by Peters
PokerStars player David Peters has just picked up a nice 125,000 pot from Dutchman Paul Berende. Berende had raised from early position to 11,500 and was called by David Peters in the blinds. Peters check-called 17,000 on the 2♥2♦A♣ flop and a further 22,500 after the K♠T♦ turn and river. Berende showed J♥T♥ and Peters A♦J♥ for top pair.

The action is getting really nervy as we move ever closer to the bubble-- RD

11.07pm: News just in
Exciting news from Alex Gomes's table who urged us to read his twitter: "Subo 13k do botão, Ocrowe 3bet pra 34k do Sb, eu reshipo tudo 200k com TJ...passou...weeee!!! Aqui não, filho!!! VAMO!" Sounds great. -- SB

11.06pm: Sweaty palms for Coren
Vicky Coren got put through the wringer by Davidi Kitai and came out with a double-up that'll probably see her into the money but leaves the Belgian very short and in danger. She raised from first position and was called by Kitai to go to the 2♥Q♥Q♠ flop. Kitai checked to face a 20,000 bet from the Brit. He moved all-in and she snap-called.

Coren: A♠Q♦ for trips.
Kitai: 8♥6♥ for a flush draw

The turn came 5♥ to complete the flush but Coren re-sucked out on the A♠ river to make her full-house. Kitai smiled and said "Good hand." Kitai, as we mentioned, in real trouble now on 70,000. Sit back and relax Ms Coren, 220,000 good for more that 40 big blinds. -- MC

11.05pm: The Gomes yelp, the Giaroni silence
There was a howl coming from the direction of Alexandre Gomes. Here's why. He had called Gianni Giaroni's all in pre-flop shove with K♣K♦ and was way ahead of the Italian's A♣7♥. But the flop, turn and river came A♦J♣Q♦J♠4♦ and Giaroni doubles up to about 160,000. Gomes has 150,000. Cruel game this. -- HS

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Alex Gomes

11pm: NH Funkii
Bubble up for Greg Dyer. He got his stack all in pre-flop with Q♣Q♠ and won the race against an A-K. He and his vanquished opponent had almost identically sized stacks but after a countdown it became apparent that Dyer just had him covered. That's an all but bubble up for Dyer (he has about 220,000), and we're down to 132. Remember, the bubble is at 129. -- HS

10.55pm: Tabatabai loses another flip and is out
John Tabatabai has lost a few flips today but this was the most important. From the button Tabatabai shoved K♦Q♣ and was called by Mesbah Guerfi in the small blind who tabled A♦J♣. An ace on the turn didn't even give Mesbah a sweat for the river and the Frenchman - described by tablemate Jerome Zerbib as "the best cash game player in Paris" - adds a few more thousand to his stack and a good scalp to his name. -- RD

10.50pm: Mitchell going strong
Jamie Mitchell is going along nicely and his stack is tipping over the 400,000 mark. He managed to get paid off by El Mostafa Bel Khayate after he bet 50,000 on a 6♥9♦K♦2♦T♥ board. There was over 60,000 in the pot and Khayate tank-called but mucked upon seeing his opponent's Q♣Q♦. Khayate down to 295,000. --MC

10.45pm: Pulling teeth on the bubble
It's massively slow going as the bubble approaches - and two of the players you'd least expect to slow action down have just clashed in a huge cooler. Sami Kelopuro opened, Yevgeniy Timoshenko moved all in and Kelopuro snap-called.

Kelopuro had aces; Timoshenko had kings. And even after "JovialGent" flopped a king, "LarsLuzak" turned an ace. That's set over set for two huge names, very close to the money bubble. Kelopuro had Timoshenko covered, and so Timoshenko is out. -- HS

10.35pm: Back again
We've got one more level to play - and with 137 players left we're getting mighty close to the money. You can almost smell it. A few more casualties, and the money kicks in at 128th place.

So who is top of the tree at this stage and having no worries about the looming bubble? Step forward Jean Francois Talbot with more than 620,000. "2eazy" online started the day with 40,000 and, as he told us at the break, knocked out Team Pro Johannes Steindl and came out on the better end of three coin flips, each featuring ace-king against jacks. It accounts for the big smile on his face. -- SB

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Jean Francois Talbot

PokerStars Blog reporting team (in order of supported soccer team's fortunes this season): Howard Swains (Tottenham), Rick Dacey (Sunderland), Simon Young (Ipswich Town), Marc Convey (Crystal Palace), Stephen Bartley (er, Tranmere Rovers).

Simon Young
@MrSimonYoung in European Poker Tour