EPT Berlin: Final table, level 26 (cont.), 27 & 28 updates (blinds 40,000-80,000, 5,000 ante)

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3.22pm: Cooler for Jacobson and Heinzelmann
Martin Jacobson opened under-the-gun for 160,000 and was called by Max Heinzelmann in the big blind. Jacobson c-bet 165,000 into the 5♥J♣T♥ flop and was check-raised to 470,000. Jacobson moved all-in and was instantly called.

Jacobson: J♠T♣
Heinzelmann: Q♥J♥

It was a huge flop and a massive flip with relatively balanced equity for the two players in the pot. The 6♥ turn all but finished the pot with the 2♣ river sealing it. Jacobson down to 1,500,000, Heinzelmann up to 3,000,000.

Darren Kramer moved all-in for 925,000 to take the blinds and bring the level to a close. -- RD

3.14pm: The will of Wilinofsky
"How much do you have?" asked Martin Jacobson of Ben Wilinofsky after the chip leader three-bet to 420,000 from the big blind. Jacobson opened the pot with a raise to 160,000 and obviously knew well that his opponent had him covered. He elected to wait for a better spot and passed. -- MC

3.10pm: What's the Matte?
Armin Mette moved all-in without getting any takers then tried again on the next hand from the button for 620,000. It was folded around to Maximilian Heinzelmann who also folded. Matte lives. -- SB

3.07pm: Heinzelmann fights back
Maximilian Heinzelmann has just shoved all-in for 1,500,00 from the button over the top of Ben Wilinofsky's min-raise from the cut-off. Wilinofsky passed and said: "You win, Max." Indeed he did, but with just 1,800,000 he's still well behind Wilinofsky. -- RD

3.03pm: Two barrels enough for Jacobson
Martin Jacobson has made up some ground on chip leader Ben Wilinofsky. He raised to 160,000 from under-the-gun and Wilinofsky called from the small blind. The flop came down a coordinated Q♣9♣J♠ and he check-called a 185,000 c-bet for the Swede. The turn came A♦ and Wilinofsky had enough, check-folding to a 550,000 from Jacobson. -- MC

3pm: Wilinofsky still dropping the hammer
Despite conceding position to Maximilian Heinzelmann, Ben Wilinofsky has been smashing the German to pieces. Heinzelmann opened to 165,000 from under-the-gun and Wilinofsky three-bet from the button to 465,000. Heinzelmann quickly passed. -- RD

2.54pm: Mette matters
On a flop of 6♠J♥9♥ with 405,000 in the middle, both Armin Mette in the big blind and Ben Wilinofsky in early position checked for a 4♠ turn. Mette checked to the Canadian who bet 225,000 which was called. On the 2♥ river Wilinofsky bet 750,000 to take the pot. - SB

2.51pm: Manoeuvring
There's been a little bit of dancing around in the last few hands. Darren Kramer raise-folded to an Armin Mette three-bet and Maximilian Heinzelmann scooped the blinds with an open from the cut-off. All this side-stepping surely means that there's a big pot brewing. -- RD

2.47pm: Mette game
Armin Mette is up to second in chips, with around 4,000,000, after shoving on the river against Maximilian Heinzelmann. Heinzelmann raised to 165,000 from under-the-gun and Mette called from the button to go heads-up to the 4♥J♠9♣ flop.

Heinzelmann fired in 240,00 and a further 485,000 on the T♣ turn. Mette called both bets and then shoved on the 9♦ river when Heinzelmann checked to him. Heinzelmann didn't have the goods to call and mucked, dropping down to around 1,700,000. -- MC

2.36pm: Jacobson double-up
Martin Jacobson just doubled up to around 3,000,000, shoving with A♦K♦. Darren Kramer called with A♣8♥ but failed to hit on a board of 6♥T♣3♦Q♥9♦. Jacobson doubles. Kramer down to 1,400,000. - SB

2.32pm: Mette up to 3,000,000
Armin Mette is up to 3,000,000 after turning the nuts against Martin Jacobson.

Mette had opened from early position and was called by Jacobson in the small blind and Vadzim Kursevich in the big. All three checked through to the Q♥J♠6♥T♦ turn before Jacobson led 225,000 which was called by Mette alone. The K♥ river card gave Jacobson top two, and he led 425,000, which was quickly called by the German who tabled ace-king for the turned Broadway straight. Did he miss value on the turn? -- RD

2.25pm: To the Maximilian
Maximilian Heinzelmann moves back up to 2,600,000 after three-betting from the small blind to 450,000 after an opening bet of 135,000 from Vadzim Kursevich under-the-gun. -- SB

2.20pm: The fight back against Wilinofsky begins
Ben Wilinofsky has had almost everything his own way so far but the player fight-back is beginning. The Canadian raised to 165,000 before Armin Mette three-bet all-in for 1,855,000 from the big blind. Wilinofsky said it was too much to call and let his hand go. -- MC

2.15pm: Chop it up
Vadzim Kursevich made it 200,000 to go from the small blind and Darren Kramer made the call from the big blind. Kursevich bet 150,000 into the 9♦9♣A♥ flop and was called again by the South African. Both players checked the 8♥ turn before Kursevich pushed out a large 450,000 bet. Kramer slowly called for a chopped pot with A♣5♦ for the Belorussian, and A♦7♠ for the South African. -- RD

2.05pm: All-in call? Joep
Joep van den Bijgaart moved all-in on the button for 1,035,000 and was called by Maximilian Heinzelmann. Action turned to anti-climax as both players turned over ace-eight. The board did nothing. Absolutely nothing. Van den Bijgaart plays on. - SB

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Joep van den Bijgaart

2pm: Play resumes
In the first hand back Martin Jacobson wins a pot uncontested after an opening bet of 160,000. Joep van den Bijgaart thought about it but passed. -- SB

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 40,000-80,000, ANTE 10,000


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The feature table

1.42pm: That's the end of the level
Vadzim Kursevich brings the level to an end. After Martin Jacobson opened for 125,000 from the cut off, Kursevich raised to 295,000 to take the pot.

The level ends. Players are now on a 15 minute break. - SB

1.40pm: Kramer enters the fray
Darren Kramer has decided to get involved for the first time today. He called a Martin Jacobson button raise whilst sitting in the big blind. The flop came 6♥3♠Q♥ and he check-raised Jacobson's 145,000 c-bet up to 350,00. It did the trick as the Swede quickly folded. -- MC

1.38pm: Heinzelmann continuing to chip up
Max Heinzelmann is back up to 2,500,000 after firing three barrels into Vadzim Kursevich. Heinzelmann opened for 125,000 from the button and was called by Kursevich in the big blind.

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Maximilian Heinzelmann

Kursevich check-called 115,000 on the A♥T♥2♦ flop and 245,000 on the J♠ turn but couldn't find a call once facing a 480,000 bet on the 7♠ river. -- RD

1.35pm: Jonas Gutteck eliminated in 8th place (€66,000)
Jonas Gutteck's day has come to a premature end after a miss-timed move. The action folded around to him in the small blind and he moved all-in for 670,000. Maximilian Heinzelmann was in the big blind and snap-called when he looked down at his hand.

Gutteck: J♠9♠
Heinzelmann: K♣K♠

The flop came down K♥T♥2♦ giving Heinzelmann top set but Gutteck still had outs with a gutshot straight draw. It was all over on the K♦ turn though as Heinzelmann had a lock on the hand with quads. The river came 6♣ and Gutteck said his goodbyes and left the stage. Heinzelmann is back to being happy now.-- MC

1.28pm: Four to the flop
Four players saw a flop of Q♥7♠A♥. Armin Mette checked in the small blind, as did Ben Wilinofsky under the gun. Then Martin Jacobson bet 275,000 from the hijack, enough to force folds from Vadzim Kursevich and the others, to take the pot. - SB

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Armin Mette

1.26pm: Heinzelmann looking unhappy
Maximilian Heinzelmann entered today second in chips and is now down to 1.4 million. He's not looking that happy about that situation and he's just lost another important slice of his pie to Ben Wilinofsky.

Wilinofsky opened for 125,000 and was called by Heinzelmann in the cut-off. Wilinofsky decided not to take his usual c-bet line and checked the Q♦9♦4♥ flop over to Heinzelmann who stabbed 130,000 at the pot. Wilinofsky then check-raised to 365,000 and Heinzelmann passed.

Wilinofsky has become super-chatty (yes, that is a real phrase) but no-one wants to engage with the young Canadian who is, as commentator Nick Wealthall pointed out, "brutalising" the table with 10.36 million chips, which is approaching half the chips in play. -- RD


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Early downswing for Heinzelmann


1.20pm: Jacobson takes Mette off a hand
Armin Mette has dropped below the 2,000,000 mark after Martin Jacobson did the old check-raise manoeuvre. Mette min-raised to 120,000 from early position and Jacobson was the only caller from the small blind. The flop came down T♠2♠[jc[ and Mette's 150,000 c-bet was check-raised up to 425,000 by the Swedish PokerStars qualifier. It did the job as Mette folded. -- MC

1.12pm: Lull
Martin Jacobson opened but took the blinds without opposition, something that Max Heinzelmann did a hand later by moving all-in, at the same time ignoring the Wilinofsky powered conversation about drinking habits.

In the next hand Heinzelmann clawed back a little more from the small blind, betting on a flop of 3♠2♣2♥ to force out big blind Jacobson. - SB

1.09pm: Enter Kramer
It's the first hand Darren Kramer has played at the final table and he came in for a three-bet from the button for 320,000, over a 125,000 open raise from Maximilian Heinzelmann.

The German passed as the South African chipped back up to 2,300,000. Wilinofsky is still looking happy as Larry. Who can blame him? -- RD

1.05pm: More for Wilinofsky
Ben Wilinofsky is up to a massive 10,200,000 chips after taking another pot, this time from Vadzim Kursevich.

The Canadian raised from early position and picked up Kursevich on the button, en route to a T♣Q♣K♠ flop. Wilinofsky c-bet for 175,00 and Kursevich called to see the 4♦ turn.

There was no slowing down Wilinofsky who fired 800,000 in to the 730,000-chip pot. Kursevich was going nowhere and made the call. The river fell J♠ and Wilinofsky bet 1,300,000. This sent Kursevich into the tank and he came out folding, dropping down to 2,700,000 chips.

Wilinofsky now has 44 per cent of the chips in play. "It's an easy game when you always have it," he said. -- MC

12.50pm: Jacobson mucks, Mette moves up
Martin Jacobson stack has taken a dent after defending his big blind from an open raise of 125,000 from Armin Mette, who entered the pot from middle position.

Jacobson decided to lead both the K♦4♦8♥ flop for 125,000 and the J♥ turn for 300,000 before checking the K♠ river. Mette showed pocket tens to take the pot. Jacobson down to 1,900,000. -- RD

12.44pm: A tournament changer
A huge hand develops between the two chip leaders that will likely change the direction of the final.

On a flop of 6♦5♣7♥ Ben Wilinofsky bet 200,000 from the button which Max Heinzelmann check-raised form the big blind, making it 560,000. Wilinofsky called for a A♦ on the turn. With 1,400,000 in the middle Heinzelmann bet another 725,000 which Wilinofsky called for a J♥ on the river. Already a huge pot Heinzelmann checked before Wilinofsky bet another 1,700,000, having asked the German for a count. It put 4,500,000 in the pot - larger than any of the other stacks at the table.

Heinzelmann called, Wilinofsky showing pocket fives to win the hand. Heinzelmann, who now goes from second to sixth in chips, mucked his hand without showing.

Heinzelmann down to 1,700,000. Wilinofsky moves up 9,000,0000. -- SB

12.35pm: All in? Joep
Joep van den Bijgaart shoves for 1,070,000 after an opener from Max Heinzelmann for 125,000 under the gun. No takers. -- SB

12.30pm: Wilinofsky applies early pressure
Chip leader Ben Wilinofsky didn't wait long to apply pressure to one of the other big stacks at this final table.

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Ben Wilinofsky

Vadzim Kursevich raised from the hijack and the Canadian defended to see the 5♦3♦J♥ flop. He led out for 175,000 and Kursevich called. The turn came Q♣ and Wilinofsky fired again and for 375,000. Kursevich checked his cards once more before conceding defeat. -- MC

12.25pm: Pot to Jacobson
Martin Jacobson wins the first pot played in anger against Armin Mette. On a flop of T♠8♣A♦ Mette bet 130,000 which Jacobson called for a 6♠. Mette checked to Jacobson who bet 260,000 to win the pot. -- SB

12.21pm: Cards in the...
... air. Ben Wilinofsky wins the first pot of the day uncontested. -- SB

12.20pm: Any second now
A minute away. When play does restart we will have three minute remaining on the level before the blinds go up to 30,000-60,000, with a 5,000 ante.

Here's how things look at the start.

Seat 1. Maximilian Heinzelmann - 4,970,000
Seat 2. Martin Jacobson - 2,085,000
Seat 3. Vadzim Kursevich - 4,345,000
Seat 4. Darren Kramer - 2,235,000
Seat 5. Armin Mette - 2,185,000
Seat 6. Joep van den Bijgaart - 1,060,000
Seat 7. Ben Wilinofsky - 5,225,000
Seat 8. Jonas Gutteck - 1,025,000

12.15pm: Dum de dum
You may have noticed play has not yet started. So now might be a good time to tell you that every hand of the final table will be broadcast live on EPTLive, which you can access on PokerStars.tv or by clicking on any of the red links you've just read through. -- SB

12.10pm: Here's to you Gloria Balding
Gloria Balding introduces the final day with a little help from Team PokerStars Pro Joep van den Bijgaart...


11.55pm: Almost under way
The players are here, currently undergoing the prerequisite wiring up. We expect play to begin soon. -- SB

11.30am: Final day
Welcome back to the final day of the EPT Berlin main event, where the final eight players will battle it out for a first prize of €825,000 today.

We started with 773 players, reduced now to one table after four long days of play. Who are they? Well I'm glad you asked. Find out more about the finalists below...


Seat 1: Max Heinzelmann, 20, Heubach, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany - 4,970,000
Heinzelmann is a familiar sight on the European Poker Tour, having played what he thinks to be about 20 events. The German's best result to date was 41st at EPT London, in Season 6, earning £12,800. He has also final tabled two side events, finishing runner-up in a €300 Turbo event in San Remo last season and sixth in the €1,000 NL event in Vilamoura, last September.

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Maximilian Heinzelmann

Heinzelmann has been playing poker roughly two years, starting when a friend sent him a few dollars to deposit online. Despite a few false starts, he's been doing well ever since.

His main game used be Sit and Go Heads-Up tournaments but now he prefers a range of events, anything up to $1,000 or $100 re-buys. His best results online have included a win in the PokerStars Sunday 500 a few years ago, worth £91,000, as well as the $100 daily rebuy tournament, for another $86,000. His online winnings now total more than $450,000.

"I'm feeling pretty good about my game at the moment," he said. "I've played well so far and I hope it's going to continue."


Seat 2: Martin Jacobson, 23, Sweden, PokerStars qualifier - 2,085,000
Martin Jacobson is having a phenomenal EPT Season 7, having already finished as runner-up at EPT Vilamoura in September, earning €297,985, and in EPT Deauville, in January, picking up another € 560,000. Jacobson has won more than $2,000,000 in live tournaments but to date has only ever won a single live event - a A$600 satellite in Adelaide, Australia.

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Martin Jacobson

Of his five EPT cashes four have been final table finishes, the first coming in Season 5 in Budapest, where he finished third. Elsewhere Jacobson was runner-up at WPT Venice last year, and came fourth in the World Series $1,500 side event last summer. He added a third place at the Nordic Masters of Poker, in Stockholm, to his tournament record last month and he currently leads the EPT Online Qualifier of the Year race.


Seat 3: Vadzim Kursevich, 24, Minsk, Belarus - 4,345,000
Vadzim Kursevich is a professional poker player from Belarus and has been playing for four years, mainly in live Pot Limit Omaha ring games. He occasionally takes breaks from these games to play live multi-table tournaments online, and major series like the upcoming SCOOP on PokerStars.

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Vadzim Kursevich

Kursevich's biggest cash to date was for $65,000, winning a tournament in Ukraine. Kursevich became best friends with Team PokerStars Pro Vadim Markushevski after they met at university and the two travelled to Berlin together. He is looking forward to his friend commentating on him tomorrow on EPT Live. Away from poker Kursevich is an ice hockey fan who likes to sing karaoke.


Seat 4: Darren Kramer, 27, Cape Town, South Africa - 2,235,000
Kramer might not be that well-known in Europe but he has multiple results in South Africa and Swaziland, and is currently ranked third in Africa's All Time Money list.

Over a poker career spanning seven years, five as a professional, Kramer's wins include the 2008 PokerNews Cup, for $ 140,575, and the All Africa Poker Tournament in Swaziland, for another $ 134,710.

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Darren Kramer

Being friends with British players Sam Trickett and James Akenhead, Kramer plans to spend a month in Europe, going on from Berlin to play in EPT San Remo and at the EPT Grand Final, as well as spending time in London, where earlier in the season at EPT London he won one of the nightly £300 Turbos.

"I only play Omaha cash games online but live events are just awesome," he said. "You get to see the place, meet people. It's a good vibe."


Seat 5: Armin Mette, 25, Heidelberg, Germany - 2,125,000
Mette, an Economics student, is celebrating his biggest ever live cash here in Berlin, which is also his first EPT main event. Mette took up poker about five years ago but has only played a handful of live tournaments, in Vienna, Bratislava and the LAPT in Rio a few years ago.

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Armin Mette

Online, Mette favours multi-table tournaments, winning a big event last year and coming second in a SCOOP event. When EPT Berlin was down to 24 players, Mette's friend David, and girlfriend Bettina, decided to jump in a car and drive 600 km to support him.

"I explained to them I could bust but they came anyway," he said.


Seat 6: Joep van den Bijgaart, 24, Amsterdam, Netherlands - Team PokerStars Pro - 1,060,000
Van den Bijgaart - known as Pappe_ruk online - was a Facilities Management student before switching to poker, considered now to be one of the best new talents in Holland.

A regular of the PokerStars major tournaments , Van den Bijgaart won $69,234 as runner-up in the PokerStars Sunday 500 in January 2009. Meanwhile his best live result came in November that year, when he came third in a Master Classics side event, in Amsterdam.

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Joep van den Bijgaart

His previous best results on the EPT include 34th in Deauville in Season 5, as well 39th place at this seasons London leg. He also finished seventh in a $1,500 limit hold'em shootout at the World Series in 2009.


Seat 7: Ben "NeverScaredB" Wilinofsky, 22, London, Ontario, Canada - PokerStars qualifier - 5,225,000
Coming into EPT Berlin, Canadian internet pro Ben Wilinofsky had never scored a live cash before. At the end of Day 2 this week, he wrote on his Facebook page "RIP legendary Hendon Mob page," a reference to his totally blank page on the results database. Now he enters the final table as chip leader.

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Ben Wilinofsky

Online, Wilinofsky has earned more than a million dollars, winning the PokerStars Super Tuesday event in November last year and the PokerStars daily $100 rebuy event six times in the past two years, event that alone amount to more than $300,000.


Seat 8: Jonas Gutteck, 30, Berlin, Germany - 1,025,000
Economics student Jonas has been playing poker for three years, taking up the game as a hobby but recording impressive results nonetheless.

EPT Berlin is only the fourth EPT event he's played but he has cashed in three. In Season 6 he finished 21st in Berlin, earning €23,500, and in Prague this season he finished in 70th place, worth €8,000.

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Jonas Gutteck

Gutteck likes traveling with his girlfriend, Silke, who is railing him at the final. He also has a lot fo friends within the German poker community, many of whom, such as Nasr El Nasr and Sebastian Ruthenberg, played the main event and will be rooting for him from the side lines.