EPT Vilamoura: Final table level 23 & 24 updates (15,000-30,000, 3,000 ante)

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3pm: Break time
Players are taking a 15 minute break after level 24. Here's how things stand after the best part of two levels:

Teddy Sheringham - 1,715,000
Toby Lewis - 4,150,000
Martin Jacobson - 940,000
Jason Lee - 1,890,000
Sam Trickett - 1,840,000
Fredrick Jensen - 840,000

2.57pm: Trickett wins battle of aggression
Sam Trickett opened with his usual raise to 60,000 from the button. Teddy Sheringham was in the big blind and having seen Trickett do this countless times already made it another 125,000 on top. Trickett was going nowhere, however, and thought for a moment or two before making it another 225,000 on top.

That stopped the action dead in its tracks as Sheringham mucked. -- SY

2.52pm: Another set-up
Frederick Jensen was the recipient of a huge double just moments ago, flopping a house into Sam Trickett's top trips. It was the Dane this time who found himself on the wrong end of a set-up. Jason Lee raised the button to 65,000 and was called by Trickett in the small blind and Jensen in the big. Both blinds checked the 6♥7♣7♥ flop to Lee who bet 82,000. Trickett passed and Jensen raised to 215,000. Lee sat still for a shirt while before announcing that he was all-in. for 762,000. Jensen called.

Jensen: 3♠7♠ for top trips
Lee: 7♦9♦ for top trips with a better kicker

Jensen was in need of a three for the win, or two cards higher than a nine or a six for the chop. None of those combinations came and Lee doubled to 1,720,000. -- RD

2.46pm: Don't push me
Toby Lewis made it 75,000 from the small blind, and Martin Jacobson took one quick look at his cards before moving a tower of orange 25,000 chips worth 500,000 into the middle. Lewis did not like that one bit and mucked instantly. -- SY

2.42pm: What a set-up
Trickett limped the small blind and Jensen checked behind. Trickett led the T♣T♠4♥ flop for 50,000. Jensen called. Trickett fired another 105,000 at the 9♣ turn. Jensen called again. Trickett slid out a huge 405,000 bet on the K♥ river and Jensen moved all-in for 665,000. It was Trickett's time to make the call.

Trickett: T♦5♦
Jensen: 4♠4♣

Both players had flopped massively in the limped pot and Jensen is now up to 1,620,000 taking an 800,000 chunk out of Trickett. -- RD

2.34pm: Donk lead works
Sam Trickett just took down a pot worth nearly 200,000 after leading for 100,000 on a K♣Q♣2♠ flop. Toby Lewis started the action with a 68,000 raise from the hi-jack that both Trickett and Fredrick Jensen called from the blinds. Trickett took the initiative with his bet and that did the trick. -- MC

2.30pm: Pulling the trigger
It was folded around to Martin Jacobson in the small blind, a perfect spot to push for his last 551,000. Jason Lee had a long look at his cards, but the more he looked the more he disliked them. He mucked.

Next hand it was folded around to Lee in the small blind. With 600,000 behind he might have fancied open shoving against Sam Trickett in the big blind. Alas, Lee looked down and saw 7♠2♣, not quite good enough to go with. Trickett showed Q♠J♣. -- SY

2.25pm: pm: Wet board, big hands, small pot
Sam Trickett opened from the cut-off to 60,000 and was three-bet to 150,000 by Teddy Sheringham in the small blind. Trickett made the call. Both players checked the 8♥T♦9♥ flop. Then they checked the A♣ turn and finally they both quickly checked the 7♠ river. Sheringham showed K♦K♥ and Trickett showed pocket queens.

The pot? Just 345,000. -- RD

2.20pm: Lewis takes a bigger chunk this time
Fredrick Jensen lost a bigger chunk to Toby Lewis on the very next hand. Jensen raised to 60,000 and once again the 20-year-old Brit three-bet. The amount was 175,000 and the Dane called to see a K♥3♦2♥ flop. Lewis continued with the aggression and led for 195,000. Jensen called before the 8♠ turn and Q♥ river were checked down.

Lewis tabled Q♦J♣ for a rivered pair of queens. Jensen let out a gasp and showed 9♣9♥ and said "Nice catch!" -- MC

2.15pm: Back to the three-bet
Since Jensen and Jacobson doubled up there has been a little more depth at the table in terms of stacks, and that means less openings are all-in shoves. In turn that means the preflop three-bet is rearing its head more frequently. First Jacobson opened for 60,000 from the hi-jack and was three-bet by Jensen to 170,000 from the small blind. Jensen was then the one being forced to back down after min raising the button and getting attacked by Toby Lewis in the big blind with a three-bet to 175,000. -- RD

2.10pm: Passing chips around
It's been a slow few minutes. Sam Trickett raised and took the blinds and antes. Then Teddy Sheringham did the same. Finally we saw a flop when Jason Lee made it 65,000 and Frederick Jensen called from the big blind. The flop was 5♠9♣K♣ and Jensen check-folded to Lee's 75,000 bet. -- SY

2.07pm: Ask Teddy



2.05pm: Thin value bet chance declined
Sam Trickett brushed off doubling-up another opponent by raising the next two pots in a row. His first 60,000 raise took the blinds and antes but the next was called by recent nemesis Martin Jacobson.

The flop came A♦3♦J♣ and Jacobson check-called a 75,000 bet before both checked the 2♣ turn. Jacobson checked the 2♠ river and so did Trickett after a good deal of thought. Trickett tabled A♥T♥ which bested the Swede's A♣7♠. -- MC

2.01pm: Jacobson and Trickett all-in again
Martin Jacobson and Sam Trickett are all-in again with the Swede moving in for 418,000 from the cut-off and Trickett taking him on from the small blind.

Jacobson: J♠K♠
Trickett: A♦3♦

The board ran out 2♣4♠T♣4♣J♥ with Jacobson getting saved on the river. The Swede strode to the rail to celebrate with one of his supporters with a high-five. Jacobson is up to 860,000. -- RD

1.58pm: All-in! Call! Oh
Martin Jacobson moved all-in from the button for 405,000 and Sam Trickett called from the big blind. Great excitement until the cards were turned over... A♦6♥ for Trickett, A♣6♠ for Jacobson. The board ran a rather uneventful 9♠[10h]7♥Q♣[10d]. Nothing to see here. -- SY

1.55pm: Treading carefully
Sam Trickett raised under the gun to 60,000 and only Toby Lewis called from the button. Both checked the 8♥A♣Q♣ flop, and Trickett check-folded when Lewis made it 80,000 on the 6♠ turn. -- SY

1.50pm: That pesky monkey remains
There will be no double EPT champion crowned here in Vilamoura as Rob Hollink has been eliminated in 7th place for €55,872. The action folded around to him in the cut-off and he moved all-in for 150,000 and was called by Teddy Sheringham in the SB. Showdown:

Hollink: T♠8♠
Sheringham: A♥J♥

The board ran 3♦K♥A♦8♣7♠. The Dutchman got the generous round of applause he deserved and exited stage left. -- MC

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 15,000-30,000, ANTE 3,000


1.45pm: Back from the break
Play re-starts after the break.

1.38pm: Chips
Here is the current state of play:
Teddy Sheringham - 1,900,000
Toby Lewis - 4,000,000
Martin Jacobson - 445,000
Jason Lee - 908,000
Sam Trickett - 3,300,000
Rob Hollink - 175,000
Fredrick Jensen - 1,360,000

1.36pm: Level up
That elimination also marked the end of level 23. We're on a 15-minute break for level 24, when blinds will be 15,000-30,000 (3,000 ante). -- SY

1.35pm: Sergio Coutinho, eliminated in eighth place for €37,248
After a level spent calling all-ins Sam Trickett just eliminated the first player of the day. Sergio Coutinho open-shoved for around 160,000 on the button and Trickett called in the small blind. 8♥6♠ for Coutinho against the A♥8♦ of Trickett.

The two players shook hands and waited for the board. It ran 5♦9♦Q♠5♠Q♦. Coutinho had needed a six or seven after the flop but that was as close as he came to doubling up. Instead he's the first to go. -- SB

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Sam Trickett

1.30pm: A stack to play back
Two double-ups for Fredrick Jensen means he now has a stack to play back at the big boys - as Toby Lewis just found out. The Dane raised to 50,000 from the hijack to face a button three-bet to 135,000 from Lewis. Fredrick wasn't having any of it, though, and made it 295,000 to go, total. Lewis pulled a face and mucked his hand. -- MC

1.20pm: No reply
A series of hands with no real outcome. Sam Trickett moved all-in from the small blind, much to the irritation of Rob Hollink who had no option but to fold. Then Teddy Sheringham opened for two successive hands with no takers, before Hollink managed to get his chips into the middle, only to find no takers. -- SB

1.15pm: Straight back on the horse
Sam Trickett got straight back into the action after losing that big pot just before. He called a 53,000 button raise from Jason Lee while sat in the BB. The flop came Q♠Q♥A♣ and Trickett led for 65,000. Call. There was no slowing the Brit down on the K♥ turn as he led for 165,000. Lee went into the tank and ended up folding with a look of pain across his face. -- MC

1.10pm: Jensen has just the Trickett
Sam Trickett opened for 50,000 in early position and Frederick Jensen made it 90,000 more. With the action back on Trickett he announced all-in which Jensen called in a flash, showing Q♣Q♦ while Trickett could only muster J♣J♦.

The board ran 6♦A♦9♣5♦Q♠ for Jensen's second double up, both of them being through Trickett. Jensen up to 1,100,000. -- SB

1.07pm: Video time
Brit Toby Lewis introduces the final table...

1.05pm: Stealing his moves
Rob Hollink has the cut of a frustrated man at the moment. His stack has shrunk to 155,000 and he can't find a spot to move all-in because Sam Trickett keeps min-raising in front of him. He therefore he has to find a genuine hand if it's to be three-bet shove as he knows he will be called. Just as we were about to publish this the action folded to Hollink and he moved all-in and managed to take the blinds and antes to increase his stack by around 30%. -- MC

1pm: 'We love you, Toby!'
Toby Lewis has several railers here including Team PokerStars Pro JP Kelly, UKIPT leaderboard challenger Chris Brammer and WSOP bracelet winner James Dempsey. It was the latter that just shouted out: "We love you, Toby." The Brits, somewhat unsurprisingly, already have beers in their hands and the railing is likely to get louder - and more liquid - as the day goes by. -- RD

12.56pm: Coutinho down
Toby Lewis opened for 53,000 in the cut off which Sergio Coutinho called from the big blind. On the flop of 9♦7♥4♦ Coutinho checked to Lewis who bet 60,000. Coutinho called that for a K♦ turn, again checking and then calling Lewis's bet of 135,000. On the K♣ river Coutinho checked again. Lewis bet 280,000 this time which Coutinho called, grimacing as he turned over 8♦Q♦ for a flush when seeing Lewis's 9♣9♥ full house. Coutinho down to 290,000. -- SB

12.53pm: Lee less blind
Jason Lee took small pot off Martin Jacobson in the blinds. The Swede raised to 62,000 from the SB and the American called from the BB. The flop came 7♥9♥T♣ and Jacobson check-folded to a 55,000 bet from Lee. -- MC

12.50pm: Jacobson squeezes all-in
Sam Trickett started this hand with a min raise to 48,000 from middle position. Frederick Jensen called in the cut-off before the action folded round to Martin Jacobson in the big blind who moved all-in for over 500,000. Both players passed. Jensen has dropped 100,000 in the last couple of hands. -- RD

12.48pm: Sheringham strikes from the small blind
Frederick Jensen opened the button for 48,000 and Teddy Sheringham three-bet to 160,000 from the small blind. Lewis looked like he was considering a move but decided against it. Jensen passed and Sheringam adds close to 100,000 to his stack. -- RD

12.44pm: Lewis wins utg
It's as simple as that. Toby Lewis opened the action under the gun and took the blinds with Teddy Sheringham passing his big blind. -- RD

12.38pm: First of the all-ins
The first all-in to be called just featured Frederick Jensen doubling through Sam Trickett. Trickett opened from the button for 48,000 and Jensen moved all-in for a little more than 300,000. Trickett called showing A♣8♣ to Jensen's K♣7♣.

The board ran 5♣7♦6♥5♥7♥, the flop putting Jensen into the lead and the river keeping him there. He's up to nearly 700,000 while Trickett slips to the 3 million mark. -- SB

12.32pm: Trickett soars into lead
To be honest Sam Trickett sort of hopped into the lead he's been craving to claim back after the last hand of yesterday's play. The first hand of the day he raised to 48,000 from early position and was only called by Toby Lewis on the button to see the Q♠2♥A♥ flop. Check-check. The turn came 4♠ and Trickett led for 58,000 which was good for the pot as Lewis folded. -- MC

12.28pm: Play begins
The EPT Vilamoura final table is under way. We're just hours away from someone winning €467,835. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is not to be sneezed at. Here are your eight finalists... -- SY

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12.20pm: Nearly ready
The final eight players are now in their seats. Thomas Kremser is making the introductions, we'll be off in around five minutes. -- SY

12.15pm: What a relief
Followers of PokerStars Blog this week will know we've had a spectacular run of fortune, making more than $12million from kindly ladies in Africa wanting help with their deceased fathers' fortunes, plus a cheeky win on an Australian state lottery (which we never entered, but we're keeping quiet about that).

Imagine our horror, therefore, to receive an email at blog@pokerstars.eu from FBI Headquarters in Washington. We instantly feared the worst - perhaps the FBI was to tell us we had been conned and our bank accounts were being fleeced.

But no. It turns out this was another piece of good news. Dr Chad L. Fulgham was writing from the FBI to tell us his department had discovered we were owed $6million from China. We're not sure how, but we're certainly not questioning it, although his yahoo.cn email address is a worry (shouldn't it be fbi.com or something?). Nonetheless, we're sending him the $150 he needs to get the ball rolling.

So, we're now up to $18million this week. Quite impressive, we think you'll agree. -- SY

12.10pm: Delayed start
The players are here but not yet ready to play. Chips are on the table but the usual preliminaries are taking a few minutes. Play should be under way soonish. When play does start the blinds will be 12,000-24,000 with a 2,000 ante. -- SB


Welcome back for the final table of EPT Vilamoura, the culmination of five days of play that began with a field of 384. Those players are just a memory now as the last eight emerge to fight it out for a first prize of €467,835.

The leader coming into the final is Englishman Toby Lewis, who last night snatched the chip lead from countryman Sam Trickett at the bell, ahead by just 4,000. Behind them is soccer legend Teddy Sheringham, making the top three an all English affair that we couldn't believe either. The table will line up like this:

Seat 1: Teddy Sheringham, 44, UK, Friend of PokerStars - 1,783,000
Seat 2: Toby Lewis, 20, UK, PokerStars player - 3,322,000
Seat 3: Martin Jacobson, Sweden, PokerStars qualifier - 441,000
Seat 4: Jason "JaspudUF" Lee, 25, Florida, USA PokerStars qualifier - 1,167,000
Seat 5: Sergio Coutinho, 30, Oporto, Portugal - 872,000
Seat 6: Sam Trickett, 24, Nottingham, UK - 3,318,000
Seat 7: Rob Hollink, 48, Groningen , Netherlands - 259,000 chips
Seat 8: Frederik Jensen, 28, Denmark, PokerStars player - 375,000

Lewis seems confident, or at least he's looking forward to the final. His Facebook status this morning reads: "BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM! 1/8 into the FINAL! Lets f do this 480k euros yes." I think that says it all.

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Casino Vilamoura

And so to it. The players are arriving, well kind of. Martin Jacobson was just seen still eating breakfast back at the hotel and to be honest I can't see any of the others. But we're assured they're on their way, undergoing the rigours of a pre-match photo shoot with Neil Stoddart before taking their seats in Casino Vilamoura's tournament coliseum.

In honour of this momentous occasion the blog team are each decked out in ceremonial battle dress today, complete with staff blazers and ties, decorative sash, plus fours, tricorne hats and campaign medals. All except Rick Dacey, who follows us all making horse noises with two coconut shells. As leader Simon Young is entitled to carry a side arm.

Live coverage will begin shortly. You can find regularly updated chip counts throughout the day on the chip count page, while all the results will be posted on the prize winners page as we inch nearer to a winner. Fancy starting from the beginning? Then all news from Vilamoura is posted at this convenient link.

PokerStars Blog reporting team at EPT Vilamoura (in order of Octopus eaten this week): Rick Dacey (1), Stephen Bartley (1), Marc Convey (1 tentacle) and Simon Young (not on your life). Photos by Neil Stoddart.

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in European Poker Tour