EPT Madrid: Day 4, level 24 & 25 updates (blinds 20,000-40,000, 4,000 ante)

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6.45pm: Brinkmann takes on Yanayt
Torsten Brinkmann has just won an 830,000 pot against Eugene Yanayt. The American had opened fom under-the-gun and had been called by Brinkmann in the smallblind.. The German the check-called 90,000 on the 2♣7♣3♣ flop and 225,000 on the J♠ turn before leading 350,000 into the T♣ river. Yanayt passed his hand. -- RD

6.35pm: Tank folding is a blogger's biggest enemy
Bloggers or tournament reporters get irked about quite a few things, especially near the back end of tournaments when fatigue is starting to set in. One of the biggest issues (for me anyway) is when players tank over a decision for a long time before folding.

Thomas Pettersson called a Torsten Brinkmann raise whilst sat in the big blind to see a K♣5♠9♦ flop. The action was checked to the turn where the Swede check-called a 85,000 bet. Pettersson checked again on the 6♥ river and faced a 155,000 bet from Brinkmann.

This blogger had time to text a reply to his housemate to say he would very much like it if she stocked the fridge up with eggs, milk and sausages for his anticipated return home, and still Pettersson was thinking. He eventually smiled and slid his cards into the muck. -- MC

6.20pm: Final table just around the corner
Two tables left; six at one, five at the other. The pressure is on and the shortest stacks are simply refusing to budge. -- RD

6.10pm: Big stack to out, Higgins departs in 12th (€70,000)
I wouldn't be surprised if Simon Higgins is found wandering around Madrid later today dazed and confused, the speed with which he went from chip lead to out was terrifyingly quick. Concussion simply cannot be ruled out. Following that huge pot lost to Pedro Pellicer, Higgins has just lost his remaining million after getting it in pre-flop with A♦Q♦ against Ivan Freitez's A♣K♥.

The board ran out 9♣J♦7♣5♥6♦ and the South American rail erupted. Chip lead to out in ten minutes. Higgins departs in 12th. -- RD

6.05pm: Ankush Mandavia eliminated in 13th place, earning €60,000
Then suddenly an all-in and a call on the outer table, as Ankush Mandavia got his chips in from the small blind. Andrey Danilyuk was in the big blind and called, showing A♥J♠ to Mandavia's A♦4♦.

The flop came 9♠4♠6♦ to put Mandavia ahead. The turn A♠ then gave Danilyuk flush outs before the river card 9♦ counterfeited Mandavia's hand to send him to the rail in 13th place. -- SB


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Ankush Mandavia, out in 12th


6pm: Pellicer bounces back with huge win
The biggest pot of the tournament so far just played out on the feature table to send Pellicer up to 3,000,000.

That meant someone had to lose a big chunk and that player was Simon Higgins. All the chips went it pre-flop with Higgins holding pocket nines to Pellicer's ace-king. Big-slick worked out well for the Spaniard as the board ran [8][q][a][t][j] to make him a straight. Higgins is down to 1,100,000 chips now. -- MC

5.50pm: Double for Pettersson, monster fold from Yanayt
Thomas Pettersson has just doubled through Torsten Brinkmann after Eugene Yanayt made a huge ace-king fold pre-flop. Brinkmannn had opened to 90,000 from middle position and Yanayt had called on the button before Pettersson moved all-in for 530,000. Brinkmann made the call before Yanayt tank folded A♣K♥ face up.

Brinkmann: T♠T♣
Pettersson: Q♠Q♥

The board ran out an entertaining 9♠3♠2♥A♠7♠. Yanayt would have turned top pair but have lost out to both other players who would have hit a four flush. Pettersson up over one million. -- RD

5.45pm: Freitez triples up
Ivan Freitez just came from behind to triple up to nearly 1,300,000.

He open shoved for 420,000 and was flat called by Juan Maceiras before Pedro Pellicer moved in behind to isolate. It worked as the Team PokerStars Pro folded to leave it heads-up.

Freitez: T♣7♣
Pellicer: A♦K♣

The board ran 9♣Q♣2♣8♥3♦ to make the Venezuelan a flush. -- MC

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 20,000-40,000, ANTE, 4000


5.40pm: The show must go on
Play resumed with five more exits needed before play ends for today. -- MC

5.20pm: Pellicer packs Palovic off in 14th (€60,000)
Team PokerStars Pro Dag Palovic's Grand Final adventure is over after he lost a classic race to Pedro Pellicer. All the chips went in pre-flop to create the showdown.

Palovic: A♠K♦
Pellicer: Q♠Q♥

The board ran T♠6♠4♦J♣4♠ to miss all on the Slovakian's over cards.

That is also the end of the level so we're on a 15 minute break. -- MC


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Team PokerStars Pro Dag Palovic, out just shy of the final table


5.15pm: Fellini's dull train
Well, not much of incident taking place on the outer table. Eugene Yanayt and Torsten Brinkmann have been at each other again, usually alone and in the blinds, Yanayt coming out best both times.

Ankush Mandavia then raised Thomas Pettersson's big blind. The smiling Swede, looked at the raise to 85,000 and tanked for a minute. Then passed, Mandavia showing T♥. - SB

5.10pm: Soltaninassab goes in 15th (€50,000)
The Belgian's have had a great season with many representatives at final tables but the recent exit of Shiraz Soltaninassab means they will have none at this final table.

Soltaninassab got the last of his chips in with A♠J♦ and found a customer in the shape of Andrew Li with A♦Q♥. The board ran 2♥4♥5♠K♥Q♠ and Soltaninassab left the TV table with a big smile across his face. -- MC

5pm: Back and forth for Brinkmann
Torsten Brinkmann has lost a small pot to Alessandro Limblici but won that back and more from Eugene Yanayt.

Brinkmann opened under-the-gun to 65,000 and then passed to a 170,000 three-bet out of the big blind from Limblici. The next hand Brinkmann defended his big blind from a 60,000 open from Yanayt in middle position before check-calling 70,000 on the 5♣A♠J♦ flop. The 7♦ turn and 8♣ river were checked down. Yanayt showed the K♣ and Brinkmann took the pot with Q♦J♥.

Getting chip counts here is nigh on impossible as both tables are now well cordoned off. We'll get comprehensive counts at the break. -- RD

4.54pm: Banging hand from Lendvai
Tamas Lendvai just banged the table after winning a hand against Alessandro Limblici and I'm not sure if was out of anger at not getting more value, or joy at winning a hand.

Limblici raised to 66,000 from second position and Lendvai peeled from the big blind to a 6♠9♦K♥ flop. Limblici continued for 67,000 and Lendvai check called, as he did for 119,000 on 8♣ turn. The river came 8♣ and both players checked quickly.

Limblici only had ace high with A♥Q♦, losing out to Lendvai's T♣T♠. -- MC

4.42pm: The horror of pocket aces
The most exciting thing to happen in the last 15 minutes on the outer table was that Ankush Mandavia found aces in the big blind, but got a walk. "Oh my God!" he exclaimed, showing them, profiting to the tune of one small blind. - SB

4.36pm: Tricking blogging and a double-up
The TV table is impossible to access - can't get in camera shot - but we do have a TV feed in the press room. Unfortunately it has no sound and we have no control over the pictures shown to us...

A hand did just take place that we saw most, but not all, of. Andrew Li opened to 55,000 before Pedro Pellice three-bet to 155,000. Ivan Freitez cold-called the raise and that caused Li to folded.

The flop came down 3♠7♥K♠ and Freitez called Pellice's 170,000 c-bet before calling an all-in shove on the 7♠ turn. Pellice tabled pocket aces, ahead of Freitez's pocket eights. The river blanked so Pellice is up to 1,500,000, Freitez drops to around 600,000. -- MC

4.25pm: Palovic doubles through Gomes
Dag Palovic has just doubled through fellow Team PokerStars Pro Alex Gomes with A♦K♠ over A♣Q♥. The board blanked and the short stacked Palovic doubles up, but will have to keep getting it. -- RD


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Team PokerStars Pro Dag Palovic


4.10pm: Mandavia in shove mode
Ankush Mandavia is down to 550,000 having just swiped the blinds and antes with a shove from the cut-off into Tamas Lendvai who tank folded pocket sixes, or so he claimed. -- RD

4pm: Domantas Klimciauskas eliminated in 16th, earning €50,000
Domantas Klimciauskas beomces the 16th place finisher, eliminated by Eugene Yanayt. Klimciauskas opened on the small blind for 100,000 before Yanayt shoved in the big blind. Klimciauskas called showing Q♦T♠ to Yanayt's Q♣A♦.

The board ran K♦9♣2♦8♥A♦ to bust the Lithuanian. Only 15 players remain. - SB

3.58pm: The re-draw

Table 1
1 - Shiraz Soltaninassab
2 - Alex Gomes
3 - Simon Higgins
4 - Dag Palovic
5 - Ivan Freitez
6 - Juan Maceiras
7 - Andrew Li
8 - Pedro Pellicer

Table 2

1 - Alessandro Limblici
2- Tirsten Brinkmann
3 - Ankush Mandavia
4 - Andrey Danilyuk
5 - Domantas Klimciauskas
6 - Eugene Yanayt
7 - Tamas Lendvai
8 - Thomas Pettersson

3.55pm: Level up
The level goes up to number 24, with blinds of 15,000-30,000 with a 3,000 ante. -- SB

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Haven't been out yet, we assume this is somewhere in Madrid

PokerStars Blog reporting team in Madrid, brought to you by Advil (in order of Advil taken on this trip): Stephen Bartley (6), Rick Dacey (4) and Marc Convey (0).