EPT Madrid: Final table, level 30 (cont.) & 31 updates (blinds 80,000-160,000, 20,000 ante)

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12.52am: Ivan Freitez wins EPT Madrid and €1,500,00
Ivan Freitez has won the EPT Madrid Grand Final beating German Torsten Brinkmann heads up to claim €1,500,000, as well as a place in the Champion of Champions tournament tomorrow. Freitez opened his button with T♦9♦ and Brinkmann shoved A♦K♣. Freitez made the call.

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A very happy Ivan Freitez and friends


The 5♥2♠9♠ flop put Freitez way ahead but Brinkmann still had outs, six of them to be precise. The 6♦ turn and 8♣ river blanked out and the South American rail exploded as Freitez held his hand aloft in victory. -- RD


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Torsten on the Brinkmann


12.42am: Brinkmann shoves again
That's two shoves on the bounce from the button by Brinkmann. First he shoved Q♦T♦ and then pocket fives. Both times Ivan Freitaz passed. -- RD

12.40am: Jacks, no action
Ivan Freitez has had a great run of cards - and to his credit he' s played them well - but has the tide finally turned? Freitez opened the button with J♥J♣ and found no action. Heads up player Brinkmann is definitely in with a shout despite being largely outchipped. -- RD

12.35am: Freitez takes another
Torsten Brinkmann opened for 320,000 on the button with J♦4♣ which Freitez called in the big blind with J♠8♣. The flop came 3♣2♥T♦. Freitez checked to Brinkmann who bet 320,000. Freitez called for an 8♦ turn card. Another 200,000 from Freitez was good enough to take the pot. -- SB

12.25am: Disciplined fold
Ivan Freitez just opened the button with pocket fives and Torsten Brinkmann passed K♠3♥. The German looks really rattled at the moment. He's got little over 10% of the chips and will need a big mental boost to recover.

Brinkmann picked up A♣5♣ and shoved the button for 2,400,000 and Freitez peeled Q♥Q♣. Quick call from the Venezuelan. It seems that nothing can go wrong for Freitez. Well, not until the 7♠A♦9♠ flop. The turn and river bricked out and Brinkmann returns to his heads up starting point. Brinkmann looks a man resurrected. It's on! -- RD

12.22am: Chip counts
Ivan Freitez -- 18,000,000
Torsten Brinkmann -- 2,600,000

12.20am: Freitez unstoppable
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas for Ivan Freitez, the momentum clearly with hi,. Brinkmann looked down at 9♥4♥ and raised to 320,000 in the button/small blind. Freitez found 2♣2♦ and called in the small blind for a flop of 8♣T♦6♠. Both checked for a K♣ turn card.

Brinkmann bet again, 370,000 which Freitez check-called. On the river Freitez checked the action to Brinkmann who bet again, 680,000. But Freitez has the Big Mo, and called, watching Brinkmann admit to "nine-high." He slammed his pocket deuces down and the crowd erupted. Freitez unstoppable. - SB

12.08am: Heads up counts
Ivan Freitez is up to 16,000,000 and Torsten Brinkmann is on 4,500,000. It's quite a lead but Brinkmann is a regular heads up cash game player so Freitez is not going to be able to walk over the German. Brinkmann has won the last couple of heads up pots pre-flop. -- RD

12am: Tamas Lendvai eliminated in third place, earning €550,000
More amazing scenes with an all-in, a call and a bit of luck, and it's Ivan Freitez the beneficiary.

It all centred around Tamas Lendvai, the short stack, who in a break from folding, moved all-in when he found 9♦9♠ on the big blind for 2,200,000, after Brinkmann opened for 350,000 with J♣8♠ on the button.

Freitez thought about things, then thought some more before announcing a call with A♥9♥. It was, what David Williams dubbed, an "amateur mistake" but one that would be profitable, with a flop of 3♦A♠T♥.

Freitez, on seeing the ace, performed a kind of dance on stage. The turn came Q♦ and left with one out Lendvai was on the brink. The river came J♦ and Lendvai's adventure was over. We're heads-up. -- SB


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Tamas Lendvai busts to take the action heads up


11.50pm: Brinkmann pushes ahead of Lendvai
Torsten Brinkmann has moved past 5,000,000 after taking a two million pot from Ivan Freitez. Brinkmann opened for 350,000 from the button with Q♥8♣ and Freitez called the big blind with A♥4♠.

Freitez check-called 325,000 on the Q♦J♣4♥ flop before Brinkmann checked back the 5♥ turn. Freitez led 325,000 into the J♦ river and Brinkmann made the call. The German has 5,100,000, Freitez drops to 11,400,000. -- RD

11.48pm: Scores on the door

Ivan Freitez - 14,000,000 (88 big blinds)
Torsten Brinkmann - 4,000,0000 (25 big blinds)
Tamas Lendvai - 2,500,000 (16 big blinds)

It's a huge lead for the Venezuelan. -- RD

11.45pm: Brinkmann all-in
Ivan Freitez wakes up with 5♣6♣ and opened for 375,000 on the button. Torsten Brinkmann found K♣Q♣ and raised all-in for 3,500,000. Tamas Lendvai joked that he hoped he would find aces, but found T♠8♠ instead and folded.

Freitez stood, shook hands with Brinkmann and... folded. - SB

11.42pm: Bully poker
If you have a decent chip lead three-handed it's a good idea to use it to keep up the pressure on your opponents. Ivan Freitez seems to understand that concept and this last hand showed just that.

He raised to 320,000 from the button with 5♦3♥. Torsten Brinkmann was in the big blind and defended with the dominating K♠5♥. The flop came down 2♣8♣A♥ and the Venezualan c-bet for 320,000 and that was good at Brinkmann folded. -- MC

11.40pm: Brinkmann refusing to blind out
Torsten Brinkmann is in second spot here to mega stack Ivan Freitez and is refusing to sit back and let Tamas Lendvai get knocked out first. Brinkmann opened the button with 7♣4♥ and got it through past Freitez's big blind. Lendvai is waiting for a top end hand or for Brinkmann to bust. -- RD

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 80,000-6,000, ANTE 160,000


11.35pm: Andrey Danilyuk eliminated in fourth place, earning €400,000
Amid amazing scenes in Madrid, (not including Casey Kastle, who just strolled past to say he can't bear to watch an EPT after he's been eliminated), Ivan Freitez has just eliminated Andrey Danilyuk.

The Russian shoved from the button before Freitex re-shoved to isolate from the small blind. The cards? A♦9♣ fro Freitez, 3♠3♦ for Danilyuk.

The board was clear to the river, coming J♣7♥T♦K♥A♥.

The river sent Danilyuk, the last PokerStars qualifier in the event, to the rail. Meanwhile Freitez and his railbirds danced in celebration. We're down to three, Danilyuk collected €400,000 for fourth place. - SB


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The final eight players at EPT Madrid


11.30pm: Freitez looking great, flopping better
It's easy to look like a poker God when you're hitting hard so it will be interesting what happens when Ivan Freitez stops connecting. After catching the turn in that large pot against Torsten Brinkmann, Freitez raised the button with A♦8♠ and was called by Brinkmann with T♠9♠. The flop came down A♥6♥8♥ giving Freitez top two.

With a stack this big it's going to be impossible for the others to catch up if he keeps hitting like this. Great time to go on a heater! -- RD

11.25pm: Freitez pulling ahead
Ivan Freitez pushes Tamas Lendvai off of a pot. Lendvai opened with 260,000 from under-then-gun before Freitez raised to 560,000 from the small blind. Lendvai passed.

Then Freitez opened for 250,000 from the button with J♣9♦. Torsten Brinkmann then raised to 680,000 from the small blind. Freitez called for a flop of 5♣3♣T♣. Brinkmann checked to Freitez who bet 1,500,000. It's a big bet that Brinkmann called, making it a 4,500,000 pot.

Now the 9♥ turn. Again Brinkmann checked before Freitez moved all-in. Brinkmann made the fold. - SB

11.15pm: Freitez off to a flying start
Freitez starts off on an aggressive footing having successfully c-bet one flop against Torsten Brinkmann and then taken the blinds with a J♦T♦ button raise. It's big money and no-one wants to put a foot wrong. -- RD

11.10pm: Say what?
Don't forget (as the first couple of hands go uncontested), you can talk to us directly via the comments box below. Points awarded for good grammar and punctuation. -- SB

11.05pm: We're off
And right on five minutes late Thomas Kremser gives the order to shuffle up and deal. - SB

10.45pm: Welcome back to Part II of the Grand Final
Welcome back to the final table of the European Poker Tour Grand Final main event. The story so far...

Play started this afternoon with eight players. Now there are four. First out was Andrew Li, the American, who impressed throughout the week. Li got his chips in with pocket threes but Eugene Yanayt's ace-queen counterfeited Li when the board double paired.

Out in seventh place went Team PokerStars Pro Alex Gomes, and with him any thought of only a third ever Triple Crown winner. Then, 90 minutes later, it was Yanayt heading for the door, his pocket fives no match for the nines of Ivan Freitez.

Then, to bring the early session to a close on the strike of 6pm, Team PokerStars Pro Juan Maceiras's dream of becoming the first Spanish EPT Champion came to an end when his last dance with jack-ten waltzed right into Torsten Brinkmann's ace-king. Four down, four to go.

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The final table

Now, five hours later, you join us live from the lobby of the Intercontinental Hotel in downtown Madrid, for coverage for the closing stages of the EPT Grand Final. From these suitably lavish surroundings we'll be bringing you parallel coverage of tonight's play, which can be viewed with unique "hands face-up" technology, both across European television and on EPTLive.

Here's how they'll line up.

Ivan Freitez - 7,720,000
Torsten Brinkmann - 6,750,000
Tamas Lendvai - 3,790,000
Andrew Danilyuk - 2,460,000

You'll find all the action right here, as well as comment from any of the late night revellers coming back from the EPT Awards that we can corner on their way to the bar, as we knock back fruit juice and coffee to see us through the night.

There's a New Year's Eve feel to this one, the final table already in full flow a few miles away in Casino Gran Madrid, in a sealed room of course, full of unionized TV people who know they have a two hour quarantine period to follow once the new champion is crowned. It could already be over, it might not yet have lost a single player, but you'll find out either way right here.

Play "starts" at 11pm. -- SB