EPT Deauville: Day 5, level 26 (blinds 25,000-50,000, 5,000 ante)
6.10pm: Jacobson scoops huge pot, Polito busts in 9th
Martin Jacobson will be the chip leader heading into tomorrow as he busted Laurent Polito in a pot worth around six million. He raised to 110,000 from the button and called when Polito three-bet to 310,000 from the big blind. The flop was 8♠7♥J♠ and Polito checked to Jacobson who bet 300,000. Now Polito moved all-in for 2.7 million! Jacobson called in a flash and tabled 7♦7♣ for bottom set. Polito cried out loud and tabled Q♠Q♦. The A♥ turn and J♦ river changed nothing and our final table of eight is set.
The happiest player in the room is Kaspars Renga who had been folding every hand in an attempt to make this prestigious final table. He cheered to his supporters on the rail and pumped his fist. -- MC
6.05pm: All quiet
It's all raise and takes pre-flop right now with most players taking it in turn to pinch the blinds and antes. Except Kaspars Renga, who appears to be sitting tight. -- SY
5.50pm: Jacobson pressed in a Wice-like grip
Martin Jacobson opened from middle position to 120,000 and was called by Alex Wice in the small blind. Wice led for 200,000 into the 2♣6♠T♣ flop and Jacobson slowly made the call.
The 2♥ turn card was dealt. As Wice reached deep into his chip stack Jacobson was literally licking his chips, a sign of nervousness perhaps? Wice bet 610,000 and Jacobson made the call. The river completed the flush draw with the 5♣ and Wice led out again, this time for a huge 1.1 million.
Jacobson passed and the gap between first and second stretched out again with the Swede falling to around 360,000, Wice moving up over 6 million. -- RD
5.45pm: First all-in of nine handed play
Ruslan Prydryk was the first player to risk bubbling the final table after he three-bet all-in for over 900,000 after an opening raise from Julien Claudepierre. It was a good spot to shove as Claudepierre was raising into the big blind of the short stacked Kaspars Renga and so it proved as Claudepierre folded. -- MC
5.38pm: Renga v the bubble
Kaspars Renga is the shortest stack at this table, his 600,000 is around two thirds of the next smallest stack. He's been playing pretty tight and I don't see that changing anytime soon. The knock-on effect is that the other players don't really want to bust before he does. Not only is there the fact that he should be all-in before anyone else and that the next bust takes us to the final table, but that there's a €16,800 pay jump. Ninth place pays €50,000, eighth place €66,800.
He might be able to squeak up another pay spot but if he doesn't get his chips in soon his chances of going any further than that will be all but dead.
Laurent Polito has taken the blinds with a raise and Lucien Cohen has won a small pot as well. -- RD
5.30pm: Tentative stuff
No-one wants to leave as the final table bubble boy, a fate that befell Team PokerStars Pro ElkY here last year. As a result things on this last table are a little slow. That said, it's cracking poker but without the flops.
Ruslan Prydrk raised to 130,000 then folded when Laurent Polito made it 300,000. Next hand it was folded around to Alex Wice in the small blind who raised to 130,000, only to fold when Kenny Hallaert re-raised to 280,000 from the big blind. -- SY
5.22pm: Hnatow loses a chunk
Anthony Hnatow has handed over around a third of his stack to Martin Jacobson after he barrelled all the way to the river. He raised from the cut-off and Hnatow defended from the big blind to see the T♣3♣3♦ flop. Hnatow bet 90,000 here, 250,000 on the K♠ turn and 580,000 on the 5♦ river. Jacobson check-called all the way. Hnatow cringed when his river bet was called as he only had 7♦6♥, losing out to Jacobson's K♦9♦. He dropped to just over two million whereas Jacobson is up to over four and-a-half million. -- MC
5.15pm: The final nine
We have just one more player to bust before play stops for the day but the following draw will stay true for the final table tomorrow, obviously minus one player. Assuming he gets through this will be Martin Jacobson's third EPT final table.
1. Anthony Hnatow - 3,000,000
2. Julien Claudepierre - 3,100,000
3. Martin Jacobson - 3,600,000
4. Ruslan Prydryk - 1,500,000
5. Laurent Polito - 3,000,000
6. Kaspars Renga - 650,000
7. Alex Wice - 5,290,000
8. Kenny Hallaert - 3,069,000
9. Lucien Cohen - 3,000,000
Looking at how most of the final nine have played over the last few days this could actually be a fantastic final table. Plenty of aggression, for sure. -- RD
5.10pm: Down to one table!
Philip Jacobsen is out in tenth place for €50,000, meaning we are down to our last table. It will be the official final table once we lose one more player.
Julien Claudepierre had raised from the button and Jacobsen shoved for one million, getting an instant call. Not surprising, really...
Jacobsen was in all sorts of the trouble and the [10d]6♣5♦ flop did nothing to help. But the K♣ turn opened up the flush draw. Claudepierre sat still as a rock, as if knowing the last card would not be a club. It wasn't, coming K♥ instead and that ended Jacobsen's day.
Claudepierre is up to three million. -- SY
5.05pm: Franck Pepe pushed out in 11th (€37,500)
Franck Pepe fell just moments after Kevin Lambert. Pepe opened to 120,000 and Polito moved all-in from the button. Pepe, who started the hand with less than 500,000, called all-in.
The board ran out 6♠T♦Q♦Q♥3♣ and Polito raked in Pepe's chips to leave just nine players. -- RD
5pm: Time runs out for Swiss man, Lambert out in 12th (€37,500)
Kevin Lambert was eliminated in the first hand back from break and earns €37,500 for his 12th place finish. Martin Jacobson raised and called when Lambert shoved for 665,000.
The board ran 2♣T♥3♠7♦7♥. Jacobson moved up to around the 3.6million chip mark and is clear in second position. -- MC
4.55pm: Helloooooo Fiji
Just how much excitement can you handle in one day? Well, prepare yourself for our daily Helloooooo slot, featuring today the Pacific nation of Fiji. Our analytics tell us we have a single reader logging on from his/her home on the beach overlooking the Pacific Ocean*.
Fiji is made up of 332 islands, of which 110 are permanently inhabited, and more than 500 islets, amounting to a total land area of circa 18,300 square kilometres. Our sole reader there comes from Suva and enjoyed four pages on PokerStars Blog lasting eight minutes and 14 seconds.
Helloooooo! - SY
*Pure guesswork about the ocean view.
4.51pm: Current chips by table
Kenny Hallaert - 3,069,000
Martin Jacobson - 2,900,000
Lucien Cohen - 3,000,000
Kevin Lambert - 670,000
Ruslan Prydryk - 1,500,000
Kaspars Renga - 650,000
Laurent Polito - 2,500,000
Julien Claude Pierre - 2,056,000
Philip Jacobsen - 1,188,000
Alex Wice - 5,290,000
Franck Pepe - 480,000
Anthony Hnatow - 3,000,000
4.50pm: Back from the break
Players are back in their seats and play resumes with blinds at 25,000-50,000, 5,000 ante. -- SB
PokerStars Blog reporting team in Deauville (in order of ambivalance when asked "does anyone have any ideas for an 'in order of'?"): Stephen Bartley (desperate, this will have to do), Simon Young ("you'll think of something"), Rick Dacey ("I'm doing the chips") and Marc Convey ("I'm hungry")