EPT Madrid: Final table, level 28 (cont.), 29 & 30 updates (blinds 60,000-120,000, 15,000 ante)


6.15pm: End of Part I
Well that's the afternoon session complete. The remaining four players now depart for what is being described as an "extended dinner break," until they return to the TV table to play down to a champion at 9pm tonight.

As you'll now be aware, that will involve their hole cards shown face-up, for the first time on the EPT. So with that comes a two-hour delay to ensure the integrity of the game. That means our coverage will continue on the blog at 11pm local time.

If you're based in Europe or Canada there's a good chance you'll be able to watch proceedings on television, with the full list of networks showing the final available here. If not, simply tune back in to EPTLive later tonight to follow all the action, uninterrupted.

We're now going to twiddle our thumbs for five hours. We'll meet you back here at 11pm. -- SB

6.10pm: Adios, Maceiras departs in 5th (€315,000)
Juan Maceiras, the final remaining Spaniard and Team PokerStars Pro, has been knocked out by Torsten Brinkmann in a button to big blind battle.

Brinkmann raised to 250,000 from the button and Maceiras, down to 1,900,000 moved all-in. Brinkmann made the most definitive of snap calls.

Maceiras: T♥J♥
Brinkmann: A♠K♥

Maceiras was far from out with 41% of the pre-flop equity but quickly dashed away from the table to his rail, nervously waiting the dealer to decide if this was the end of his tournament life or whether he would double up to second in chips. This moments of high variance are the most nerve juddering. The flop brought 2♣Q♠4♠, not a flash of red for the Spanish Team Pro. He needed help.

The 4♣ failed to supply any supplementary outs to Maceiras' jacks and queens. Just six outs and Brinkmann, who was out of his chair and on his feet, watched on nervously, knowing how far ahead he was, yet how tenuous that lead really was. The river card blanked with the 6♥ and Maceiras left the table taking with him the chance of the EPT crowning its first ever Spanish EPT champion. -- RD

5.55pm: More for Brinkmann
Torsten Brinkmann extends his lead a little. After Andrey Danilyuk opened for 255,000 on the button, Brinkmann called on the big blind for a flop of 9♥9♣6♥.

Brinkmann then bet another 235,000 which was also called for a 5♥ turn card. Brinkmann bet another 425,000 to take the pot. -- SB

5.53pm: Yanayt departs in 6th for €250,000
The last American left in the tournament, Eugene Yanayt, has been eliminated after running into an over-pair in the hands of Ivan Freitez.

Freitez raised to 245,000 from under-the-gun before Yanayt thought hard before three-betting all-in for 2,600,000. The raise was worth more than half the Venezuelan's stack and he called after dwelling for two minutes.

Yanayt: 5♠5♦
Freitez: 9♦9♥

The Triple-draw specialist was in deep trouble and failed to get out of it through the T♠Q♣6♦A♣6♥ board. Fretez has around 7,500,000 and 40% of the chips in play now. -- MC

5.40pm: Brinkmann creeps into the lead
Torsten Brinkmann takes a narrow lead and didn't even have to show a card.

After Andrey Danilyuk opened for 260,000 on the button which Ivan Freitez raised to 650,000 in the small blind. Brinkmann didn't fold immediately and instead asked how much was involved. Then he announced that he was all-in for 3,600,000.

Danilyuk passed but Freitez waited, asking for a count before eventually folding. He slips to 4,400,000 while Brinkmann jumps into the lead, with 4,630,000. - SB

5.36pm: Blogging issues
I'd love to be in the position of having to admit that a lack of updates over the last half-an-hour had been because we had stripped down to our smalls and ran out the casino to bathe in the Madrid sun, unfortunately that isn't the reason for the radio silence. We've had trouble accessing the PokerStars Blog but we're back now. Stay with us, people. -- RD

5.35pm: Lendvai keeping his momentum
Tamas Lendvai started as a short stack today but has played his stack well to get back into this final table and has since become of the more active players. Lendvai opened under-the-gun and was looked up by Eugene Yanayt in the big blind. The Hungarian c-bet 345,000 into the J♦2♦6♠ flop to take the pot down. He's now up to 3,200,000. -- RD

5.15pm: Danilyuk Up
Andrey Danilyuk doubled up through Eugene Yanayt, moving up to 4,00,000.

The Russian opened for 255,000 from under-the-gun before Yanayt raised to 675,000 on the button. Danilyuk then moved all-in for 1,190,000 more and Yanayt called, showing 9♣9♠ to Danilyuk's T♥T♦.

The board ran A♣K♠Q♥6♠8♥. Danilyuk doubles, Yanayt slips to 2,800,000. - SB

5.10pm: Play resumes
We're off and running again.

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 60,000-120,000, ANTE 15,000

4.53pm: Break time
That's the end of the level. Players are taking a 15 minute break. -- SB

4.50pm: Raising and folding
Torsten Brinkmann opened for 200,000 from early position and Ivan Freitez raised to 450,000 from the big blind. Brinkmann passed.

Eugene Yanayt opened for 200,000 from under-the-gun which Tamas Landvai raised to 550,000. You know how this works by now. Yanayt passed. -- SB

4.47pm: Another double-up for Lendvai
Tamas Lendvai is on a real rush right now and is back in the hunt after doubling up yet again. This time it was chip leader Ivan Freitez who donated to his cause when he raised to 120,000 from early position before tank calling Lendvai's 1,350,000 shove from the small blind.

Lendvai: A♣K♠
Freitez: A♦J♠

The board ran 7♠7♦5♦8♥A♥ making both players two-pair but Lenvai's kicker played to hand him the pot and a shiny new 2,860,000 stack. Freitez meanwhile is looking down at a battered yet still very valuable 5,200,000 stack. -- MC

4.39pm: Lendvai doubles with quad aces
Short stack Tamas Lendvai shoved from the hijack for 695,000 and it was left to Torsten Brinkmann to decide whether Lendvai should be take the blinds unopposed. The German decided that was unacceptable and made the call.

Lendvai: A♦7♣
Brinkmann: T♠4♠

It was a big call from Brinkmann but given how wide Lendvai could be shoving you can understand why he put he moved his chips across the line. Lendvai flopped huge with 4♥A♣A♠ before catching the A♥ on the river. Lendvai up to 1,480,000, Brinkmann is down to 3,500,000. -- RD

4.32pm: Maceiras has to let another one go
Juan Maceiras opened from the button to 215,000 and Ivan Freitez three-bet to 675,000. The Spanish Team Pro let it go. -- RD

4.25pm: Skirmishes
Juan Maceiras opened for 230,000 under-the-gun which Tortsten Brinkmann raised to 510,000 from the cut-off. Maceiras was happy to fold. In the next hand Ivan freitez rasied in early position, with no takers, which is exactly what happened when Brinkmann raised int eh next. - SB

4.20pm: Triple-crown dream over for Gomes as he departs in 7th (€185,000)
Alex Gomes' dream of adding an EPT title to his WSOP and WPT titles is over after he was eliminated by Eugene Yanayt.

It was a case of bad timing for the Brazilian as he shoved from the small blind and was snap called by Yanayt in the big blind.

Gomes: 8♠7♠
Yanayt: T♦T♣

The board ran K♣5♣3♣8♥5♠ to hand the pot to the American who is up to nearly 5,000,000 chips. -- MC

4.10pm: Raise, raise, shove
We still have seven players left here in Madrid and thanks to the stack dynamics it's generally raise-and-take or all-in. Ivan Freitez scored the first blind sweep with a raise to 300,000. He was followed by Torsten Brinkmann who min-raised to 200,000 and took the pre-flop pot down.

The next raise was courtesy of Eugene Yanayt who opened the cut-off to 200,000, but he did not enjoy the same levels of success. Team PokerStars Pro Juan Maceiras jammed for 2,700,000 from the small blind, which was more than enough to win the pot. Maceiras up to 3,120,000. -- RD

3.55pm: Brinkmann doubles
Eugene Yanayt opened for 200,000 from early position which Juan Maceiras called. Torsten Brinkmann was waiting and shoved all-in for a total of 1,500,000. Yanayt thought for a while, then called. Maceiras folded, but admitted that had Yanayt passed he would have called with ace-queen.

Brinkmann J♣J♦
Yanayt 8♣8♥

The board ran 7♠7♥K♠Q♥Q♠ to double up Brinkmann to 3,300,000. - SB

3.45pm: Yanayt chips up some more
Eugene Yanayt is up to 5,270,000 after picking up on and picking off a move from Juan Maceiras.

He raised to 200,000 and the Team PokerStars Pro called from the small blind to go to a 4♦T♦2♠ flop. Yanayt c-bet for 225,000 and the Spaniard check-called before leading out for 480,000 on the 9♣ turn. Yanayt sat and one could tell he was deep in thought, trying to figure out what his opponent was up to. He came in with a raise to 1,100,000 and it did the trick as Maceiras quickly folded. -- MC

3.40pm: Yanayt chipping-up
Ivan Freitez opened for 175,000 which Eugene Yanayt raised to 500,000 form the big blind. Freitez called for a flop of A♠3♥9♥. Yanayt bet another 625,000 to win the pot. -- SB

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 50,000-100,000, ANTE 10,000

3.38pm: No action for Freitez
Chip leader, Ivan Freitez, just took a long time to raise to 180,000 from the button. Alex Gomez was in the big blind and didn't have a hand to defend. Bad luck for Freitez as he flashed Q♣Q♠. -- MC

3.32pm: Li counterfeited, out in 8th (€130,000)
Online prodigy Andrew Li is out first from this final table. He made a brave shove with 3♦3♠ for 1,500,000 from the small blind over the top of a Eugene Yananyt open raise. Yananyt didn't insta-muck, but he didn't look thrilled by the prospect of taking a flip or worse with his hand. He finally called and showed A♣Q♣.

The 3,300,000 pot was dragged into the middle, Yanayt the player with chips back, some 450,000. The 9♥9♦4♠ flop was picture free, but the paired board did create some issues for Li's small pair. The 7♥ kept Li ahead as a three to one favourite but a paired four on the river sent the Supernova Elite to the rail. Some great poker was played by Mr Li these last few days. I guarantee we'll see him again. -- RD

ept madrid_final table_final table shot.jpg

Andrew Li (third from left) is our first faller

3.23pm: Lendvai firing
We're playing again and it's Tamas Lendvai getting busy. First he moves all-in from the small blind, getting no takers, then opened for 170,000 from the button. Juan Maceiras raised to 600,000 in the small blind, which was good enough to take the pot. - SB

3.20pm: Cards in the air...
... again. -- SB

3.15pm: Technical issues and teething problems
Torsten Brinkmann opened the hijack with 8♠8♣ and... hold on, Brinkmann did what? How do I know what he opened with? Because I saw it onscreen as a graphic. That's not meant to have happened, right? No. Not at all.

Whether that was his genuine hand or not, this live webcast is not meant to be showing hands until the later televised broadcast. Play has been paused as the production crew scurry to sort out the problems. -- RD

3pm: All-ins two hands in-a-row
Two players just put their tournament at risk just now.

First off it was Alex Gomes. The Team PokerStars Pro three-bet all-in for 1,640,000 after Andrey Danilyuk opened to 175,000 from the cut-off. The Russian folded.

Next up was Andrew Li. He opened the pot by moving his whole 1,400,000 stack over the line and got no callers. -- MC

2.50pm: Early action
A slow start to the final with little to report on the first six hands. Torsten Brinkmann opened to 160,000 from under the gun which Ivan Freitez raised to 380,000 in the big blind, taking the pot. Andrew Li raised pre-flop and took a pot. That's your lot. - SB

2.40pm: We're off
Play has begun. -- RD

2.20pm: Play set to start shortly
We can see the players moving around on the set, play is due to start (late) shortly. -- RD

1.50pm: Before you send Grandad onto the roof with the TV aerial...
As mentioned earlier you'll be able to watch the final stages of this event "live" on television across Europe and the world tonight. Here's a list of those networks.

Germany: Sport 1 - 23.30-03.30 CET (German commentary)
Netherlands: RTL7 - 01.30-End of play CET (Dutch commentary)
Spain: Antenna3 - 01.45-04.45 CET (Spanish commentary)
Russia: TV3 - 23.00-03.00 CET (Russian commentary)
Romania: Sport.ro - 23.00-03.00 CET (Romanian commentary)
Slovenia: Sport TV - 23.00-03.00 CET (Slovenian commentary)
Belgium (North): Jim - 23.30-End of Play (Dutch commentary)
Belgium (South): Plug RTL - 23.30-End of Play (French commentary)
Canada: The Score - 17.00-22.00 ET (English commentary)
PokerStars.tv: 23.00-End of play (English, Spanish, German, Russian, Dutch, Italian)

12pm: Welcome to Grand Final day
Welcome back to the final day of the EPT Season 7 Grand Final, at the Casino Gran Madrid, a day that, when complete, should become one of the tour's most memorable.

There will be ample opportunity for hyperbole and bluster today, so why use it up right away. Only to say that I already have that Christmas feeling, one you also get on FA Cup final day or Super Bowl day. I imagine inmates get the same sensation on the day before release.

Here's what will happen during the course of today.

Play starts at 2pm, when the final eight players, profiles of which can be found here, will stride forwards (they did actually stride forward last year), to take their seats on the feature table. You'll be able to watch every hand on EPT Live, as play continues until either 6.30pm local time, or when four players remain.

At this point you're free to get dinner, go to the gym; even go to work. This is the pause before the real show begins. At 9pm the remaining players will return; only they will be sequestered in a sealed room, with armed guards posted on the doors.

That's because at 11pm, allowing for a two hour delay, events from Casino Gran Madrid will be televised across Europe, as well as continuing on EPT Live, until there is a new champion. Why the seclusion and security? Because you, the viewer at home will be able to see the hole cards.

Finishing touches being made to the TV table

It promises to be a long day but a great one, which is why the Blog team have been in isolation chambers (also known as hotel rooms) for the last 12 hours in preparation. Rick Dacey for example, turned up for work looking like Martin Sheen on his way to bash Kurtz, while Marc Convey jumped out of his room like Cato in the Pink Panther films. That's the level of seriousness.

That's all to come in a few hours from now. You won't want to miss it, and thanks to the PokerStars Blog, and EPT Live, you won't.

See you at 2pm. -- SB