EPT Madrid High Roller: Day 2, level 17 - 19 updates (6,000-12,000, 1,000)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg12.55am: Luber loses out, final table set
It was so nearly a dream comeback for Alexander Luber. Down to his last 3,000 just a couple of levels ago he made it up to 160,000 at one point before crashing as the bubble boy to Benny Spindler.

Luber shoved with pocket queens but was called by Spindler with pocket aces. It was folded around to David Sands on the big blind who open-folded pocket sixes.

The board bricked, and Luber was eliminated in ninth place, the last person to leave with no money.

With that, our final table is set for a 1pm start tomorrow. Chip leader is Galen Hall, followed by Spindler. We'll have two Team PokerStars Pros in the shape of ElkY and Vanessa Rousso on the final table.

A full wrap of today, plus chip counts will be with you shortly.

12.45am: Let's try this again
Players are back and we return to the troublesome task of getting rid of one more player.

12.30am: Level up
That's the end of the level. Players are now on a 15-minute break and will come back to blinds of 6,000-12,000 and a 1,000 ante. We still have to lose one more.

Galen Hall appears to have the chip lead over Benny Spindler... just. Both are hovering over 650,000.

benny_spindler_madrid.JPG

Benny Spindler

12.25am: ElkY doubles
Team PokerStars Pro ElkY moved all-in with K♠Q♠ and got a call from Peter Jetten with A♥9♠. The board ran 8♣K♦3♣[10s]6♦ to send ElkY up to 180,000 and Jetten down to 95,000.

12.20am: Big one for Helppi
Alex Repik has been bleeding chips in the last hour, and seasoned pro Juha Helppi just took advantage of the wealthy businessman's relative inexperience. On a Q♦9♣J♥ flop Repik checked, Helppi bet 42,000 and Repik check-raised to 84,000. Call. The turn was 8♣ and now Repik bet 100,000. Helppi called. On the 3♥ river Repik slowed down to a check and then called when Helppi lumped out 100,000. Helppi showed A♠[10c] and that was good for the meaty pot.

That left Repik down to 180,000. He was on more than half a million not long ago.

alex_repik_madrid2.JPG

Alex Repik

12.10am: Morning all
As we ease into the morning, we're no closer to setting our final table. This is one long bubble period. Then again, with eighth place getting €45,000 and ninth place nothing, it is quite a big bubble.

11.55pm: Double for Hall
Alex Repik limped under the gun and Peter Jetten raised to 50,000. Galen Hall, who had fallen back to 242,000, shoved. Repik scarpered, but Jetten checked back on his cards once before making the call. He had Hall covered.

Hall slapped down A♠A♣ and Jetten was devastated, turning over K♠K♦. Nothing changed and Hall soared to 500,000, second to Spindler who has been accumulating this level.

11.40pm: Luber at it again
Alexander Luber, who was down to just 3,000 in the last level, has just doubled up again, and now sits with 122,000. He open-shoved with A♣K♣ and was called by Benny Spindler in the big blind with pocket eights. A kings on the flop continued his fairytale comeback.

11.20pm: Blinds up
We're into level 18 where blinds are 5,000-10,000 with a 1,000 ante. Here's what some of 'em look like...

last_table_madrid.JPG

11.15pm: Last table
Not the final table, of course. But a last table of nine players after Philipp Gruissem busted. Peter Jetten had raised to 24,000 from under the gun and Gruissem pushed for 190,000 with K♠J♥. Jetten called with pocket sevens and stayed ahead throughout the board to move up to 290,000.

We're redrawing for the last table and have one more player to lose.

10.55pm: Sonelin done
In a battle of the blinds, David Sonelin shipped in his last 203,000 with A♥8♦ and was called by Benny Spindler with J♣J♠. The board changed nothing and we're down to 10.

10.45pm: The Alexander Luber story
This could be escape act of the decade. After being left with just 3,000 after that tangle with Vanessa Rousso, Luber had to put 1,000 in as an ante on the next hand. In other words, he had just 2,000 left. No matter: Peter Jetten raised to 17,000 and Luber calmly put his last two chips in the middle.

Jetten had pocket sixes to Luber's 4♣J♦ and the board ran 2♣4♦5♥K♦J♣ to win Luber the hand and send him up to 12,000.

Next hand he was at it again. This time he moved all-in for his 12,000 and Rousso called before Jetten moved all-in, sending Rousso running for the hills. This time Jetten had pocket nines, but again he was outdrawn when Luber's K♣5♠ caught on the 3♥K♦[10d][10c]5♣ board.

alexander_luber_madrid.JPG

Alexander Luber

That put Luber up to 36,000. But he wasn't done yet. Next hand Jetten moved all-in from the small blind with J♥9♣, jesting that it was his turn to get lucky as Luber was ahead with K♥7♣. It looked bleak for Luber when the flop came 9♠J♠3♣ sending Jetten into the lead. But remarkably the turn was Q♠ and river [10s] to give Luber a straight and send him up to 80,000.

And that, folks, is how you turn 3,000 chips into 80 chips in three hands.

10.40pm: Rousso doubles again, Luber crippled
Vanessa Rousso is on a tear and now up to 291,000. Alexander Luber had made it 16,000 and Rousso moved all-in. Call!

Rousso: A♥[10h]
Luber: A♠6♠

The board ran an innocent Q♠3♦7♦K♣Q♣ and Rousso left Luber with just 3,000.

10.35pm: Rousso up to 140,000
Somewhere along the line, Vanessa Rousso has doubled up. Since David Sands is down to 265,000, I have to assume that is where she got her chips from.

10.30pm: Jetten doubles
Peter Jetten was all-in for 74,000 with 6♠6♦ and in good shape against David Sands' 4♣4♠. He stayed ahead on an uneventful board.

10.20pm: Welcome back
This is level 17 and we have just 11 of our original 58 players left. Here's the score: we need to lose three more before we can call it a night and look forward to our final table tomorrow.

Our chip leader is, once again, Galen Hall, who picked up $2.3million when he won the PCA in January. Here are the full counts, while you can look back at previous coverage today here:

Galen Hall 510,000
Alex Repik 454,000
David Sands 408,000
Benny Spindler 360,000
Huha Helppi 355,000
David Sonelin 350,000
Philipp Gruissem 225,000
Alexander Luber 161,000
ElkY 82,000
Vanessa Rousso 67,000
Peter Jetten 48,000

galen_hall_madrid2.JPG

Galen Hall

PokerStars Blog reporting team (in order of 1,000-yard stare): Simon Young