EPT Madrid: Day 3, level 16 & 17 updates (blinds 3,000-6,000, 500 ante)
3.15pm: Break time
The players are on a 15 minute break. -- MC
3.10pm: Van Den Berg! Dead ahead!
Erik van den Berg open shoved for his last 80,000 which was folded to Tim Finne in the small blind. He announced that he was all-in, keeping in Fernando Brito, in the big blind, from getting involved.
Van Den Berg: J♠A♣
The board came 2♥J♣4♣2♣T♣ giving Van Den Berg the double up. Finne slips to 220,000. - SB
3.05pm: Brinkmann continues to chip up, Thorsson crawling back
Torsten Brinkmann is now on close to 1,250,000 following that three-way all-in against Kristoffer Thorsson. While Brinkmann has raked in a couple of medium-sized pots, Thorsson just four-bet shoved 120,000 into Simon Higgins who had three-bet from the button. The Englishman passed and Thorsson sits on a healthier looking 160,000. He's certainly aggressive enough to get back into this tournament.-- RD
2.55pm: Three-way all-in
Kristoffer Thorsson opened for 14,000 in the cut off which Torsten Brinkmann raised to 36,000 from the button. McLean Karr then moved all-in for around 180,000. It was about then that the fireworks started. Thorsson went all-in and then Brinkmann announced he called.
A three-way all-in, with Karr the short stack on 180,000, Brinkmann with around 400,000 and Thorsson covering them all, topping Brinkmann by about 350,000.
The camera teams swooped into action as Karr, standing now and in good humour, called for a ten.
The board came 2♣9♠5♥7♦K♣.
Brinkmann allowed himself a stifled "yes!" and allowed Thomas Kremser to step forward and move chips around. Karr left quietly. Thorsson said nothing, down to 350,000. Brinkmann is up to about 1,000,000. - SB
2.46pm: Forrest aces Cornell
Tyler Cornell has just been knocked out by Ted Forrest after making a move against him with 5♦4♦. Forrest held A♠A♦ despite a draw heavy T♦6♥5♠2♥J♥ board to move up to 250,000. -- RD
2.40pm: Higgins breaks Placer and the million mark
Simon Higgins has just knocked out Juan Carlos Placer with K♣Q♠ to 8♦8♥. Spaniard Placer had a little over 150,000 and that stack takes Higgins over a million. -- RD
2.38pm: Nergard pots Billard
Francois Billard was down to his last 50,000 chips when he moved all-in from the button with 9♣T♥ and Ole-Kristian Nergard took another shot at knocking a player out when he made the call from the big blind with A♦6♥.
The board ran 9♦8♠4♦T♦Q♦. The Canadian made two-pair by the turn but the young Norwegian hit a fourth diamond on the river to make the nut flush. -- MC
2.30pm: Demidov crashes out
Ben Wilinofsky opened for 12,500 which was called by Shiraz Soltaninassab. Ivan Demidov raised to 31,000, forcing a fold from Wilinofsky. Soltaninassab called for a flop of 3♠5♠8♠. Demidov then fired 25,000, Soltaninassab tanked, then raised to 63,000.
Demidov then tank-shoved. Soltaninassab called showing J♠T♠ against Demidov's 7♥7♣. The turn came J♥ and the river 4♣, sending Demidov to the rail. - SB
2.20pm: Stosser races away
Domantas Klimciauskas' hot streak continues, as he eliminates another player.
Benjamin Stosser raised from early position and called all-in when the Lithuanian set him in from the big blind.
The board ran 9♥K♠8♠J♥4♠ to pair Klimciauskas' king on the flop. -- MC
2.10pm: Cohen river doubles through Nergard
EPT Deauville winner Lucien Cohen open shoved for 92,000 with A♣K♦ and was called by chip leader Ole-Kristian Nergard, who was still trying to un-rack his 900,000 stack following a table break. Nergard tabled T♥T♣ and the Cohen Show began.
"Go, go, go. I go," said Cohen, now complete with his large plastic rat which he used to poker his cards: "Ace, king, no ten," he repeated over and over. Negard gave the smallest of shrugs. Camera crew ready, the flop was dealt; 4♠9♠J♦.
"Nooo," said Cohen.
The 5♠ turn was the next card revealed: "No, no, noooo," wailed Cohen.
The A♥ hit the river and Cohen exploded: "YEAH! YEAH!" he screamed, all heads turning towards him.
Cohen doubles to 200,000, Nergard pegged back to 800,000. -- RD
2pm: Cards in the air
1.45pm: Break time
Players are taking a 15 minute break.
1.44pm: Molson crippled
Will Molson is all but out after he lost all but 9,000 of his stack. His chips went in with J♣J♠ and 902 called with Q♦Q♠. It was unclear at this stage who had whom covered but when the board came 9♦3♦3♥K♦5♣ the chips went to 902, up to 154,000.
Molson shoved from the big blind in the next hand, with 8♥2♦. 901 opened for 13,000 before Molson made his move, showing J♣T♥. The board ran 8♠K♦5♦5♥9♣ to give Molson "some" hope. -- SB
1.43pm: Out of the woods
Ted Forrest also just doubled up, moving on a flop of 7♣5♦Q♥ with A♠T♥ and getting a call from 504 with 4♦A♥. The turn came J♠ and the river K♣ to double-up the American to around 35,000. - SB
1.42pm: Where there's a Wilinofsky
Surinder Sunar moves up to 380,000 after a hand against Ben Wilinofsky. The board read Q♠5♠9♣K♦ and Wilinofsky checked in middle position. Sunar, eating a yoghurt, licked the spoon he was using and re-engaged. "Check?" he asked, and went to his chips, throwing in 33,000. Wilinofsky folded. - SB
1.40pm: Sonelin goes out in style
PokerStars qualifier David Sonelin is out after five-betting all-in with 9♥7♥ and running into an opponent holding pocket tens.
Another player busting right around the same time was Fabrizio Gonzalez. That means more than 30 players have busted in the first level alone. -- MC
1.38pm: Forrest crippled by Mora
Carlos Mora started the day short with 60,000, but less than one level later is up to 172,000 having squeezed all-in for 72,500 into Ted Forrest who had flatted a Will Reynolds 12,000 open raise. Mora shoved A♦A♣ and Forrest called with 7♣7♦ and failed to outdraw. Forrest down to just 30,000 or so. -- RD
1.35pm: Xuan loses hers stack
Xuan Liu has been eliminated, recording her second EPT cash in a row after her brilliant third place finish last week in San Remo.
She was in the big blind with pocket sevens and facing a cut-off raise and a small blind call. She only had 20 big blinds left so it was a great spot to get them in the middle but original raiser had aces and took her out. -- MC
1.32pm: Nergard near a million
Ole-Kristian Nergard is nearly at that magical million mark. He's sat just a few blinds away with 980,000. Scotsman Dean Lyall is sitting to his right and not looking thrilled by the prospect of his new seat since the outer tables have broken. All players are now within the Mandalay room.
EPT Berlin winner Ben Wilinofksy is also chipping up well and is packing 710,000. Huge Lemaire is up to 700,000. -- RD
1.25pm: Double-up number three
Liviu Catalin Toderita moved all-in from the small blind with 2♥5♥ for about 100,000. Kristoffer Thorsson then called in the big blind showing K♦Q♥. This was on a board of 7♣2♣Q♦5♣. The river came 6♥ to double-up Toderita. - SB
1.22pm: Double-up number two
An all-in and a call, Ruben Velasco all-in for about 110,000 with 4♦4♣, called by Ben Wilinofsky who showed 8♦8♠. Velasco to watch his fate unfold. Wilinofsky shook his hand. The board ran 7♠K♦J♣3♠4♠ giving Velasco the miracle double-up on the river. - SB
1.18pm: Double-up number one
Tobias Reinkemeier opened from the button for 10,500 which Andrew Li raised to 21,000 in the big blind, leaving himself 150,000 behind. Reinkemeier then raised to 65,000 before Li shoved. Reinkemeier insta-folded. - SB
1.15pm: Neuville busted by a two-outer
The dream, this season, is over for Pierre Neuville and he leaves with a bitter-sweet taste in his mouth.
I caught him on his way out and he explained that he lost after Domantas Klimciauskas hit a two-outer on him. Neuville had ace-queen on [a][q][x] board and this is where all the chips went in. The Belgian was in great shape against Klimciauskas's ace-eight but powerless to the eight that fell on the river. -- MC
1.10pm: Hurricane Higgins
Simon Higgins has coming flying out of the gate today. Starting the day with a well over average 517,500, he is now up to 800,000 gusting into the chip lead, precarious as it might be.
Higgins told me that he had knocked out seat two (Viacheslav Goryachev) after calling with [a][q] and flopping an ace-high flop with a larger kicker. One opponent blown out the way.
Jean Noel Thorel was the next player to feel the force of Higgins in seat eight. Thorel, who had already doubled up to 200,000, min three-bet Higgins with K♥9♥ and Higgins had made the call with K♠Q♠. Thorel bet the nine-high flop and Higgins check-raised all-in, with his over cards and a king-high flush draw. "I got there," said Higgins, matter-of-factly. He's got a huge stack of chips in front of him now. -- RD
1.07pm: Wu had a ratty time of it today
Raymond Wu has been eliminated by EPT Deauville champion Lucien Cohen. The Team PokerStars Pro got his chips in with ace-nine but ran into the Parisian's pocket kings. -- MC
James Bord just moved all-in, but got no takers. A table along Ole-Kristian Nergard was about to send another player to the rail. With the board reading 6♣J♠6♥A♥2♦ Stefano Demontis checked to Nergard who bet 200,000. After a short pause Demontis called, Nergard summarily despatching him with a well-timed 6♠9♠. Demontis was not happy, and was on his way to the door immediately. - SB
12.55pm: Hit for sixes
On a board of T♠7♥Q♠J♣ Frederic Bussot Fuentes was all-in with 6♥6♣, called by Vasily Fursov holding A♠J♠. With the cameras rolling the river card was dealt, and despite Fuentes's calls for a six, it came 8♥. Fuentes out. - SB
12.50pm: It's just like Battlestar Galactica?
Have you seen Battlestar Galactica? There's a story thread in a later series where several characters can hear what sounds like a New Age reversioning of Jimmy Hendrix. Everyone else appears to be entirely oblivious to the twangy sounds while those open to it are driven to the edge of sanity.
There seems to be something similar taking place here just feet away from the feature table. Aviv Meiri is listening to what I presume is some kind of middle eastern music through a large set of padded headphones, pincered around his jawline. The music blaring out features (from what I can hear) high-pitched string instruments and a wailing cacophony of vocals. I
am sure hope it sounds better at source.
I exchanged glances with a fellow blogger. Why has no-one asked Meiri to turn it down? Can't they hear it? That must be where it's coming from, right? Confirmation came when PokerStars snapper Neil Stoddart walked by, camera in hand, scowling disconcertedly at the back of Meiri's head. At a table which includes Victor Ramdin and Melanie Weisner - players hardly shy of putting themselves forward - I don't know why no-one has mentioned it. Meiri has 40,000 left, maybe they'll only ask him if he doubles up...-- RD
12.48pm: Battle of the lowlands
Pierre Neuville came back from just 12,000 chips yesterday to claim his eighth cash in 14 EPTs and he's on a new comeback trail again today as he has doubled-up his 100,000 stack already.
Shander de Vries raised from early position and called when Neuville moved all-in from the small blind.
De Vries: A♥J♠
The board ran 4♣2♠Q♦3♠9♣ causing the Belgian to shake with excitement. -- MC
12.45pm: Short TV career for Heimiller
Dan Heimiller had trouble getting into the casino this morning as he forgot his passport (security is very strict here) but he knows people and was let off this once. He probably wished they sent him back for it now as he busted from the TV table just now.
We can't get close to the table for obvious reasons but word on the street was that he three-bet all-in with king-six after an opening raise from Michael Friedrich. Friedrich called with a dominating king-queen and that was good all the way. -- MC
12.40pm: First of the fallen
Viacheslav Goryachev becomes one of the first fallers, despatched by Simon Higgins.
Higgins opened 12,000 in middle position which Joao Studart called in the cut-off. Goryachev did the same on the button. The flop came 9♥A♠4♣ which was checked to Goryachev who bet 20,000. Higgins then raised to 50,000, forcing out Studart.
Goryachev announced he was all-in for 25,000 more and Higgins called, turning over A♥Q♥ which was narrowly ahead of Goryachev's A♣J♣. - SB
12.35pm: From the blinds
With the action folded to the blinds Will Molson called in the small blind with Erik van den Berg waiting in the big. Van den Berg immediately shoved with his 75,000 stack, forcing Molson to fold. - SB
12.30pm: Hakim busts out, blinds rolled back
Jeffrey Hakim has just busted out to Raemon Sluiter with 9♥8♥ to A♠J♣. The board double paired and Sluiter's ace held up. More players dropping to the rail.
Thomas Kremser has confirmed that the last blind level has been rolled back to compensate for the lengthy hand-for-hand bubble late last night. -- RD
12.20pm: Shuffle up and deal
Cards are in the air for Day 3 of the EPT Gran final.
12.10pm: From the tournament floor
Gloria Balding introduces Day 3...
12pm: About to begin
Everyone is in place, apart from the odd player struggling to get by the security guards without a passport. We expect play to begin shortly. Find out where players will be sitting by checking out the Day 3 Seat Draw. -- SB
10.20am: Welcome to Day 3
If the European Poker Tour was a nationally syndicate drama series, starring an array of now mainstream actors, plus a couple who appeared in films a lot in the early nineties, we'd be getting close to the final episode now.
Yesterday a little more than six levels of play reduced the field from 299 to 104, the bubble bursting when Damien Rony was forced out, to the delight of the remaining players. Today we press on. Our target: a last 24 players who will contend the real business end of this EPT season.
There will be twists, and turns, some heroes will ascend, others fall, and, like the TV drama, characters from earlier on in the year will suddenly reappear, causing you to exclaim to whomever will listen: "I thought that guy was done with in episode two."
That's all to come later today when play restarts at 12 noon. Join us then. - SB
Lots of chips
PokerStars Blog reporting team in Madrid (in order of pastries, stolen from the breakfast buffet, and carried onto the mini-bus this morning): Stephen Bartley (0), Marc Convey (1) and Rick Dacey (6).