EPT Monte Carlo: Day 4, levels 25 & 26 (20,000-40,000, 4,000 ante)
6.10pm: Dinner time
Level 26 has counted to a close - and that's now a 75-minute dinner break for the Main Event. There are 11 players remaining and their counts are on the chip count page (updated in a couple of minutes).
We'll return to identify the "unlucky" lucky three and we'll be down to our final of eight. -- HS
6.05pm: Klinger takes one
Josef Klinger may have been floating, but Matt Perrins was not prepared to risk it. Perrins had raised under the gun to 110,000 and only Klinger called from mid position. On the K♥2♣Q♦ flop Perrins continued with a bet of 130,000 and Klinger called.
That slowed Perrins down and both checked the 7♠ turn. Perrins also checked the 6♥ river and was forced to fold when Klinger made it 350,000.
Perrins drops to 2.8million and Klinger is up to 1.6million
6.02pm: How well do you know EPT Monte Carlo?
With the approach of the dinner break, now is a good time to see who can name the past five Grand Final champs. Our special guests had mixed fortunes...
6pm: Sal Bon-bon-bon
Salvatore Bonavena has moved all in twice. The first time he moved over the top of Andrew Chen's opener and showed pocket tens once Chen had folded. The second time was an open shove and it also got through. -- HS
5.56pm: Costa calling
Perrins opened with a chunky 500,000 from the small blind knowing it would be all in for Herve Costa to call in the big blind. He did and turned over T♥T♦. Perrins showed T♣6♥ and waited for the flop.
The French players in the crowd went a bit nuts as Costa doubled up. - SB
5.55pm: Hairabedian of the dog
Roger Hairabedian opened for 150,000 from the cut off. Dominykas Karmazinas called from the small blind, seeming to do so accidentally as he didn't initially spot Hairabedian's raise.
Regardless, the flop came 3♣T♠A♥. Both checked for a J♦ turn. Karmazinas bet 180,000 which Hairabedian called for a Q♦ river card. Both checked. Karamzinas showed a sheepish 8♦9♦. It was good, much to Hairabedian's irritation. - SB
5.50pm: Kelopuro in action
Sami Kelopuro opened with a request to buy-in to the high roller. The tournament official called but the tournament director re-raised with a "no". Kelopuro folded. - SB
5.45pm: Kelopuro canned
Sami Kelopuro is out in 12th, re-raising all in from the small blind after Craig
McCorkell had opened from the button. Kelopuro's A♦5♦ was no good against McCorkell's A♣7♣. Both missed the flop, but there were two clubs. And another club on the turn finished it for LarsLuzak. --HS
5.40pm: Olive busted
We've lost another. It was folded around to Laurent Olive in the small blind and he bet 225,000. Dominykas Karmazinas, who had him covered, looked down at his cards and announced he was all in. Olive called.
The 6♠6♣8♠ brought a "no, no" from the man from Lithuania as he feared an approaching chop, but the 9♣ turn and 3♥ river ensured he took the lot and sent Olive to the rail in 13th place, good for €70,000. -- SY
5.35pm: Klinger can't crush Olive
Laurent Olive has arrived at the outer table to make up the numbers. He wasted no time moving all-in behind a bet of 130,000 from Josef Klinger which Klinger eventually passed.
A few hands later Matt Perrin opened for 105,000 and Klinger fired off a raise of 380,000. Perrin only needed to reach for his chips for Klinger to pass. - SB
5.30pm: Rugini roasted
It's been a bad couple of minutes for Italy as Emanuele Rugini has now joined Domenico Iannone on the rail. Rugini raised to 120,000 from the button and Chen moved all in for 1,550,000 from the big blind. That actually put Rugini all in for his last 750,000 - and he called.
Chen was ahead with K♣K♥ against Rugini's 8♠8♣. The board did not bring any horrors - coming 3♦6♦3♥[10c]3♠ and Chen's boat was the bigger. Rugini is out in 14th. -- HS
5.25pm: Iannone gone
Domenico Iannone is our 15th place finisher, sent to the rail (and to collect his €60,000) by Britain's Matt Perrins. Iannone had opened for 120,000, Perrins re-raised to 310,000 and Iannone called. Both checked the 6♥K♠J♣ flop, then on the 6♠ turn Iannone shoved all in for his last 400,000. Perrins snap called, and it's easy to see why:
The Italian was drawing dead, killed off by Perrins' turned full house, so the 7♥ river counted for nothing. Perrins is up to around 2.5million after that. - SY
5.20pm: Guerfi hits river to stay on
Mesbah Guerfi raised from the button to 115,000 and Emanuele Rugini re-raised from the small blind, making it 340,000. Guerfi moved all in and Rugini called. Guerfi was the player at risk, and he had the inferior hand.
But card by card, the dealer kept Guerfi in this one. The board came [10c][10d]8♣7♥9♣ and the straight took it. Guerfi has more than a million and, more importantly, is still breathing. -- HS
5.15pm: Kevin Eyster eliminated in 16th place
Roger Hairabedian opened for 135,000. Kevin Eyster then moved all-in from the small blind for 960,000. Hairabedian took some time over his decision, the Frenchman's railbirds getting ever closer. Eventually he called showing Q♦Q♥. Eyster showed A♠Q♣.
After handshakes the board ran 9♣7♣3♥9♠T♠.
Eyster heads to the rail and Hairabedian adds more than a million to his stack. - SB
5.10pm: Chouity chokes Kelopuro
This is an interesting one from the featured table. Sami Kelopuro opened from mid position, making it 120,000 to go. Nicolas Chouity, our tournament chip leader, three bet to 285,000 and Kelopuro called.
The flop came 2♥7♣5♦ and Kelopuro check-called Chouity's 355,000 bet. They both checked the 9♠ turn and then when Kelopuro bet 575,000 on the Q♠ river, Chouity snap called.
Chouity showed A♥A♣ and Kelopuro's A♦Q♦ had hit on the river. But not enough. Chouity takes some more, Kelopuro crumbles. -- HS
5.05pm: Nothing to see here
It might look as though we're being tardy - and sometimes we are. But really there's not that much to report here at the moment.
On the featured table, Craig McCorkell opened to 110,000 and Sami Kelopuro three-bet to 265,000. That was enough. -- HS
5pm: Klinger unchallenged
Two hands since the color up (1,000 chips removed), both times Josef Klinger raised to 130,000, both times everyone else folded. -- SY
LEVEL UP, BLINDS NOW 25,000-50,000, 5,000 ANTE IN LEVEL 26
4.50pm: Chip race
And almost as soon as we restart, we stop again. That's the official end of level 25 so they're racing off the red 1,000 chips. -- HS
4.45pm: Off we go again
Play is restarting, with our two tables looking like this:
1: Salvatore Bonavena - 1,518,000
2: Mesbah Guerfi - 786,000
3: Emanuele Rugini - 1,908,000
4: Craig McCorkell - 3,094,000
5: Laurent Olive - 754,000
6: Sami Kelopuro - 1,778,000
7: Nicolas Chouity - 4,165,000
8: Andrew Chen - 1,937,000
1: Domenico Iannone - 798,000
2: Dominykas Karmazinas - 1,100,000
3: Matt Perrins - 1,746,000
4: Herve Costa - 715,000
5: Josef Klinger - 1,561,000
6: Kevin Eyster - 937,000
7: Aleh Plauski - 1,833,000
8: Roger Hairabedian - 1,424,000
Still on a break, which will likely mean that they will play through the last six minutes of the level and straight into level 26.
4.15pm: Take a break
Players are on a break as the final two tables are re-balanced with just 16 players remaining. -- SB
4.10pm: Jean Francois Talbot, eliminated in 17th place
Talbot opened for 90,000 which Chouity called from the button. On the flop of T♥9♠T♣ Talbot bet 125,000 and Chouity raised to 270,000. Talbot moved all in and was called immediately by Chouity who showed A♥T♦ which had Talbot's A♣A♦ beaten. The turn came K♣ and river K♥. Talbot gutted but now out. -- SB
4pm: Nick Schulman bust
Andrew Chen, who recently doubled up, open raised to 90,000. It was folded around to Nick Schulman who looked down and found A♦9♦ - and he moved all in for 320,000 more. Chen insta-called with [10d][10s].
The board ran with no dramatics, coming 6♣2♣2♦6♥K♠ and Schulman's work in Monte Carlo is done. Chen, however, continues his extraordinary rise to 1.5million from the 15,000 he had left at the 5,000-10,000 blind level yesterday. -- SY
3.58pm: The short version
Emanuele Rugini raised, Jean Francois Talbot re-raised and Rugini moved all in. End of story. -- SB
3.57pm: Dancing in the streets of Vilnius
Kevin Eyster's day goes from bad to worse as he's just sent another 575,000 over to Dominykas Karmazinas. The Lithuanian moved all in from early position and it was folded back to Eyster in the big blind. He called and they were racing:
The board bricked - A♥6♠9♠8♦5♣ - and Karmazinas doubles. Eyster is down to 600,000-ish. -- HS
3.55pm: Talbot all-in
Jean Francois Talbot opened for 90,000, was raised to 255,000 by Kelopuro before moving all-in for 1,399,000. Kelopuro mucked. -- SB
3.50pm: Double up for Chen
Someone had to stop the surge of Roger Hairabedian - and that man was Andrew Chen. He had raised to 90,000 and the Frenchman called. Then it all kicked off on the 6♣2♦5♦ flop - Hairabedian bet around 400,000, Chen moved all in for 475,000 and got the routine call:
Chen was ahead, but only to the nut flush and inside straight draw.
But he managed to fade both on the J♠ turn and Q♣ river. Chen now on more than a million - and to think he was down to just 15,000 at one stage yesterday! - SY
3.45pm: Nothing better to do
Paul Berende, who busted in 24th place in the first hand played today, is now playing in the high roller tournament.
3.40pm: The new boy
Craig McCorkell arrives as a replacement player on the feature table. Play will resume shortly.
3.35pm: Ramzi Jelassi is out in 19th place
Ramzi Jelassi is out of the main event. He moved in from under-the-gun with Q♦T♦ and was called by Jean Francois Tabot with A♦K♦. Talbot had Jelassi covered by a sliver as the board came 4♦9♠6♥T♠A♥. The turn had flipped things into Jelassi's favour but the river card rescued Talbot, condeming Jelassi to the rail. -- SB.
3.30pm: If it's there, take it
That seems to be the attitude of Roger Hairabedian, who just took down a succession of pots uncontested.
Hand 1: He makes it 160,000 from the small blind and Salvatore Bonavena folds the big blind.
Hand 2: He makes it 95,000 from the button, Bonavena folds, as does Andrew Chen in the big blind.
Hand 3: Hairabedian makes it 85,000, folded around to Domenico Iannone in the big, who mucks as well.
Hand 4: This time it's 100,000 and it's good enough.
Hand 5: Roger Hairabdian folds - and Nick Schulman gives him a round of applause (more in sarcasm, I suspect). -- SY
3.24pm: McCorkell takes chunk out of Eyster, assumes lead
Craig McCorkell has just taken over the chip lead with a massive double up through Kevin Eyster. McCorkell made it 91,000 under-the-gun and Eyster raised from late position to 240,000.
McCorkell moved all in - a total of 1,525,000 - and after asking for a count, Eyster called. This was the two big stacks going at it, and they were both packing. But Eyster's queens were behind McCorkell's K♠K♥ and stayed there through flop, turn and river.
It was 3,100,000, which all goes to McCorkell. Eyster is back in the pack.-- HS
3.21pm: Perrins clatters into Klinger
Matt Perrins raised his small blind, and got it through, but faced much more significant resistance when he tried it from his button. Josef Klinger called from the big blind and they went to a 5♣5♦[10d] flop.
Klinger checked, Perrins bet 85,000 - so far so standard - but then Klinger raised 175,000 more. Perrins called. The 5♠ turned and after Klinger checked, Perrins bet 210,000, which Klinger called.
The river was 9♦ and Klinger counted out a 500,000 chip bet. Perrins certainly considered that too much and folded. -- HS
3.20pm: So long Claudiu Saizu, eliminated in 20th place
Claudiu Saizu is out, moving in with A♠7♥ and getting called by Emanuele Rugini with A♣J♠. The board ran 3♠6♠A♥6♥3♦. Rugini sends the Romanian to the rail in 20th place.
3.15pm: Small pot
Sami Kelopuro wins a hand against Ramsi Jelassi, showing a full house with A♥7♥ on a board of T♦7♠A♦A♣8♦ that was checked from flop to river. -- SB
3.10pm: Big stacks go head to head
The two big stacks at the table go at it. Kelopuro opened for 95,000 and Nicolas Chouity raised to 240,000. Kelopuro asked how much and called. The flop came 4♦T♥4♣. Kelopuro checked and Chouity made it 325,000. Kelopuro called quickly for a T♦ turn. That was checked, as was the 3♦ on the river. Chouity showed first 6♠6♣ then immense relief as Kelopuro mucked. Chouity into the chip lead with 2.8 million. -- SB
3.05pm: From the off
An all-in from the off. Emanuele Rugini moves in with Q♠Q♦ and is called by Claudiu Saizu with A♥A♦. No end to the drama on the TV table with a board of Q♥6♣8♦5♣2♠. Rugini doubles up and Saizu is down to just 126,000. -- SB
2.55pm: Nearly ready
Players are returning to their seats. We should be under way again shortly.
PokerStars Blog reporting team in Monte Carlo (In order of spectators removed from the media area): Howard Swains (12), Stephen Bartley (6), Simon Young (a desk based 0).