EPT12 Grand Final: €25K high roller Day 3 live updates


12:35am: Alexandru Papazian wins EPT Grand Final high roller (€ 1,197,000), Alexandros Kolonias (€ 805,900)
Level 32 - Blinds 125,000/250,000 (ante 25,000)

Oh the irony. Alexandros Kolonias had got it in bad a few times and doubled up to survive, but when he got it in ahead he couldn't hold up.

Alexandru Papazian shoved from the button with A♠4♥ and Kolonias called all-in for around 1,900,000 with 9♣9♥. The 3♠4♦2♣ board left Papazian's enthusiastic rail calling for a five. The J♣ turn was a blank but the A♦ river gave Papazian the best hand, the title and the trophy!

Papazian's fans embraced him and they celebrated wildly! Stay right here for a recap of how this fascinating final day unfolded. --NW

12:30am: Huge doubles for Papazias gives him dominant chip lead
Level 32 - Blinds 125,000/25,000 (25,000 ante)

Alexandru Papazias limped, and Alexandros Kolonias put him all-in. The Romanian had 4.93 million and thought for about 20 seconds before announcing the call.

Papazias - A♦6♣
Kolonias - K♠Q♦

It was a good call from Papazias who ahead, and it was an even better flop as it came the A♣4♦5♠, followed by the 8♦ and the 3♥.

Papazias now has 9.9 million, while Kolonias has 1.6 million. --JS

12:10am: Short stacked
Level 32 - Blinds 125,000/250,000 (ante 25,000)

For the record some four hours after heads up play began the average stack is now 20 big blinds. Players just had a request for a short break denied. Possibly on humanitarian grounds. 


11:55pm: We're about to reach Saturday
Level 31 - Blinds 100,000/200,000 (ante 25,000)

It's starting to feel a little bit weird here. The tournament room is deserted, things are actually being packed away, and yet the last remaining high rollers play on as if this were an afternoon warm up.

Another all-in. This one from Kolonias worth 2.71 with J♥8♥. Papazian called with A♥7♠. But the poker Gods are not done with this season. They delivered a board that ran: T♦6♠K♦J♣2♠. That left most people here speechless.

We play on. Kolonias doubles to 5,470,000 whilst Papazian is down to 6,080,000 -- SB

11:45pm: Papazian holding firm
Level 31 - Blinds 100,000/200,000 (ante 25,000)

There's been some back and forth between the two but Papazian is still holding a firm grip on the chip lead. He's got 8,100,000 to the 3,000,000 of Alexandros Kolonias. --NW


11:25pm: Alexandros Kolonias doubles up
Level 30 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

Down to under ten big blinds Alexandros Kolonias shoved twice and got a walk to climb to 1,740,000. When he shoved that over the line he got a call.

Kolonias showed K♣8♥ and Alexandru Papazian was hoping to seal the deal courtesy of Q♣J♥.

The 6♠3♦4♦3♣A♥ board doubled Kolonias to 3,500,000 and drops Papazian to around 7,800,000. --NW

11:15pm: Too much now for Kolonias?
Level 30 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

It was arguably the biggest pot of the tournament, unquestionably the most dramatic.

On a flop of K♣8♦6♥ Papazian bet 350,000 which was called. The turn was the J♣ which Papazian bet at again, 900,000 this time. Again this was called. Now the K♦ on the river. Papazian carried on with a bet of 1.3 million. Then over to Kolonais.

He tanked for about five minutes. Throughout there was silence from the crowd, and from both players, save the cricket rattle of riffled chips, a sound that carried across the now empty Salles des Etoile, marking the passing of time as Kolonias considered how to act.

Then the riffling stopped.

Kolonias had a chip in his hand ready to toss into the middle. He hesitated, and for a second time stood still and there was silence. Would he throw it in? He did.

Papazian turned over J♠9♦. It took a beat for Kolonias to realise he was beaten. Papazian knew it all along, and taunted Kolonias, flicking the fingers on each hand as if to say "gimme". Kolonias was unimpressed, but it may now be too late. He's down to 1.45 million. Papazian on more than 10 million. - SB

10:55pm: Papazian scoops a big one
Level 30 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

Alexandru Papazian is back in the chip lead after winning a 4,200,000 chip pot on the first hand back from the break.

He three-bet to 800,000 from the big blind and Alexandros Kolonias flat called. The pot swelled further on the 7♣A♠3♥ flop with Kolonias calling a 450,000 chip c-bet from Papazian.

The J♥ turn checked through and the 9♦ rounded off the board. Papazian fired out 1,200,000 and Kolonias tank-called. The Romanian rolled over K♦J♠ to climb to 7,220,000 whilst Kolonias is down to 4,330,000. --NW


10:50pm: New level
Level 30 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

We play on into level 30. Kolonias has 6,430,000 to Papazian's 5,120,000. 

10:35pm: Kolonias makes a big call
Level 29 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

The stacks have flip-flopped once more with Alexandros Kolonias now enjoying a 6,000,000 to 5,150,000 chip lead. That he has it is down to a great call.

In the hand in question Kolonias opened to 240,000 on the button, Alexandru Papazian three-bet to 725,000 and Kolonias called.

The Greek player then called bets of 400,000 and 1,200,000 on the Q♣6♥4♠8♥ board before both players checked the river. Papazian showed J♦5♥ whilst Kolonias had called down with 7♦6♦. --NW

10:15pm: And Papazian's back in the lead...
Level 29 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

Time for the old 'bad dog handler' joke. Yep no one can hold onto a lead. Alexandru Papazian is back on top. His ascent back to first place came courtesy of a hand where he check-raised a 3♥A♠3♠ flop to 600,000. Alexandros Kolonias had 200,000 in the middle already and put in the extra.

On the 7♣ turn Papazian bet 800,000 and that was enough to earn him the pot. He's up to 6,150,000, Kolonias has slipped to 5,000,000. --NW

9:55pm: Swingy heads-up battle
Level 29 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

This heads-up battle continues to swing back and forth and Alexandros Kolonias has just vaulted into the lead.

In the hand that took him there he called Alexandru Papazian's pre-flop raise of 300,000 and the two players saw a Q♥K♣A♣ flop hit the felt.

The Greek player checked to Papazian, he bet 200,000 and Kolonias check-raised to 600,000 straight. Call from Papazian. There was no betting action on the 9♦ turn but Kolonias came out firing on the J♣ river. He bet 1,000,000 and Papazian folded.

It's roughly 7,425,000 plays 4,125,000 now. --NW


9:45pm: Papazian gets some back
Level 28 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Alexandru Papazian has, once again, put some daylight between himself and Alexandros Kolonias as he just won a 2,500,000 chip pot.

The Romanian opened to 250,000 on the button and called after Kolonias three-bet to 750,000. On the A♦4♦J♣ flop Kolonias c-bet 500,000 and Papazian stuck around. Both the 2♠ turn and 2♥ river were checked through, Kolonias opened 9♠7♠ for just nine high, whilst Papazian revealed 5♥5♣ to take the pot.

He' s up to 6,800,000 and Kolonias is down to 4,800,000. --NW

9:40pm: All-in - called!
Level 28 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

After Papazian won a big pot moments earlier, it was followed by a hand that doubled up Kolonias. 

It began with an opening bet of 250,000 from Papazian which was raised to 750,000 by Kolonias. Papazian then went all in with his K♦Q♠ which was called by Kolonias with A♠K♥.

The board ran T♣2♦T♠J♥6♥

A double up for Kolonias who was all in for 2.9 million. The heads-up stacks are now relatively even. - SB

9:20pm: Play continues
Level 28 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Play continues with 24 minutes left in this level.

8:15pm: Dinner break

Following that second double-up by Alexandros Kolonias, the two players had a quick discussion and decided to take a one-hour dinner break. Here are their counts for when they return. --MH

Alexandru Papazian - 7,390,000
Alexandros Kolonias - 4,160,000

8:12pm: A second double for Kolonias
Level 28 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

The third hand of heads-up saw Alexandru Papazian opened for 200,000 from the button, Alexandros Kolonias jam all-in for his last 2 million-plus, and after a little bit of thought Papazian call.

Papazian: Q♦J♦
Kolonias: K♥T♦

The A♣T♥5♦ flop gave Kolonias a pair and Papazian a gutshot to Broadway, but both the 3♥ turn and 9♣ river were blanks and Kolonias doubled again. 

Kolonias is up to almost 4.2 million after that while Papazian slips to 7.3 million. --MH


Alexandros v. Alexandru

8:08pm: Papazian gets some back
Level 28 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Hand #2 of heads-up saw action as well. Alexandros Kolonias began things with a raise to 200,000 from the button, Alexandru Papazian three-bet to 600,000, and Kolonias called.

The flop came 3♠A♣J♥ and when Papazian led for 350,000, Kolonias folded.

Kolonias has about 2.08 million now and Papazian just under 9.5 million. --MH

EPT12_MON_Velli-1233_Alexandru Papazian.jpg

Papazian still on top

8:06pm: Kokonias doubles
Level 28 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

On the first hand of heads-up play, Alexandru Papazian open-shoved from the button and Alexandros Kolonias called right away. Papazian had 9♦7♣ while Kononias was ahead with K♣T♦. The board ran out 6♥Q♠J♥J♣2♠, and Kolonias doubled up to just over 2.75 million while Papazian still has 9.75 million. --MH

8:04pm: Heads-up begins!
Level 28 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

The first hand of heads-up play is being dealt, with Alexandru Papazian enjoying a big lead to begin the duel with 10.15 million to the 1.35 million of Alexandros Kolonias. --MH

8pm: Rafael Da Silva Moraes eliminated in third place (€568,200)
Level 28 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

We're heads-up and it's Rafael Da Silva Moraes who's been eliminated in third place. He min-raised on the button and Alexandru Papazian called from the big blind.

On the 7♠3♦Q♦ flop Da Silva Moraes bet 200,000, Papazian set him all-in and Da Silva Moraes called all-in for 1,250,000 total.

Papazian opened Q♠J♦ whist Da Silva Moraes had Q♣8♣. His fans began shouting for an eight but it didn't arrive on the 6♠ turn or 2♥ river. --NW

EPT12_MON_Velli-1296_Rafael Da Silva Moraes.jpg

Rafael Da Silva Moraes - 3rd place

7:54pm: Papazian takes one
Level 28 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

There were no flops for the first few hands of the level, then finally came a hand that saw Alexandru Papazian raise to 200,000 from the button and Alexandros Kolonias call from the big blind.

The flop came J♣K♥Q♥, and after Kolonias checked, Papazian continued for 175,000 and Kolonias called. Both checked the 7♣ turn, then after the 4♦ river Kolonias checked, Papazian bet 500,000, and Kolonias let his hand go.

Papazian is up over 8 million now while Kolonias is at 1.75 million and Rafael Da Silva Moraes also has about 1.75 million. --MH

7:35pm: Three players, one trophy
Level 28 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

The three players are back and with Papazian well in front a new level is underway. This level will last only 50 minutes. --MH


7:20pm: Zvi Stern eliminated in in 4th place (€460,700)
Level 27 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (10,000 ante)

And then there were three. Zvi Stern was chip leader for most of yesterday and carried that pole position into today, but his tournament has been cut short.

He was the short stack at the table and moved all-in on the button for 930,000. Alexandru Papazian raised it up to 1.935 million, and Rafael Da Silva Moraes looked frustrated. He was probably planning on calling Stern, but wouldn't tangle with Papazian and folded.

Papazian had Q♣Q♥ and Stern would need an Ace with his A♦7♣. However, the board ran out 2♥J♠J♣6♦4♠ and he made his exit. --JS

EPT12_MON_Velli-1281_Zvi Stern Eddy Maksoud.jpg

Zvi Stern - 4th place

7:15pm: Papazian has 60% of the chips in play
Level 27 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Alexandru Papazian is well and truly in charge of the final four as he's up to 7,000,000 after taking a pot from Rafael Da Silva Moraes. It was a blind on blind hand with Papazian raising to 220,000 from the small blind and Da Silva Moraes defending from the big blind.

On the 7♦9♠4♠ flop Papazian check-called a bet of 275,000 and the T♠ fell on the turn. Again Papazian checked, Da Silva Moraes bet again, this time 625,000 and Papazian again smooth called.

The 4♥ completed the board and both players checked it down, Da Silva Moraes opened 6♠3♠ for a flush but Papazian had got there on the river with Q♦T♥. After that hand Da Silva Moraes slips to 1,680,000. --NW

6:55pm: Eddy Maksoud eliminated in 5th place (€364,500)
Level 27 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (10,000 ante)

We've lost another player, and Alexandru Papazian has re-taken the chip lead because of it.

Eddy Maksoud is the man who's left us. He moved all-in from the cut-off for 440,000 and Papazian just called on the button. It folded to Alexandros Kolonias in the big blind, and he came along to see a flop too.

The K♦A♦7♣ hit the felt and both checked, but on the T♦ turn Papazian led for 400,000 when it was checked to him. The Greek player gave up his hand, and the hands were revealed:

Maksoud - A♣2♠
Papazian - A♥T♣

Maksoud saw the bad news as he was drawing dead. An inconsequential Q♦ hit the river and Papazian scooped the chips (he has 4.46 million now) while Maksoud went to collect his €364,500. --JS

EPT12_MON_Velli-1292_Eddy Maksoud.jpg

Eddy Maksoud - 5th place

6:40pm: Rafael Da Silva Moraes doubles through Eddy Maksoud
Level 27 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

There were lots of cries of "vamos" at the end of this hand as Rafael Da Silva Moraes doubled up to the delight of his rail.

Pre-flop the Brazilian raised to 160,000 from under-the-gun and Eddy Maksoud defended from the big blind. The J♦4♦4♣ flop was checked through and the 4♠ fell on the turn. Maksoud bet 175,000 and Da Silva Moraes smooth called.

The 2♠ completed the board and this is where the fireworks went off. Maksoud bet out 500,000, Da Silva Moraes jammed for 810,000 total and Maksoud called the extra. The Brazilian opened A♦A♠ for fours full of aces, whilst Maksoud showed Q♠J♣ for an inferior full house.

After that hand Da Silva Moraes is up to 2,350,000 whilst Maksoud is down to 510,000. --NW

6:25pm: Updated chip counts; 5 remain
Level 27 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Play moves into Level 27 with five players left and the Romanian, Alexandru Papazian, leading the way. --MH

Alexandru PapazianRomania4,150,000
Alexandros KoloniasGreece3,250,000
Eddy MaksoudLebanon1,600,000
Zvi SternIsrael1,310,000
Rafael Da Silva MoraesBrazil1,180,000


6:15pm: Papazian's check doesn't pay off
Level 26 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (10,000 ante)

Sometimes checking the best hand can induce your opponent to commit chips they otherwise wouldn't have. But then again, sometimes you just have to bet your big hands if you want to get paid.

That's what Alexandru Papazian was just reminded. Alexandros Kolonias opened to 120,000 from the cut-off and both Zvi Stern and Papazian called from the button and big blind respectively.

The 2♦6♦5♠ flop fell and Papazian checked to Kolonias who continued for 150,000. That got rid of Stern, but the Romanian came along to see the 2♠ turn. Papazian check-called an even bigger bet of 400,000.

That brought us to the K♠ river, and Papazian checked. Kolonias checked it back, and Papazian sighed; he was hoping Kolonias would put more chips in so he could call with his A♠9♠ nut flush. Kolonias mucked and is down to 3.6 million, while Papazian has 3.45 million. --JS

6:05pm: Anthony Zinno eliminated in 6th place (€ 276,750)
Level 26 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

After doubling up Rafael Da Silva Morae there was to be no comeback for Anthony Zinno. He'd got in all-in once and chopped but the second time he moved in and was called was to be his last.

He open shoved for 330,000 with Q♦J♥ and Alexandros Kolonias re-raised to isolate. It was soon clear why as the Greek player opened Q♣Q♠.

The 7♦A♦6♣T♣4♣ board kept things entertaining but Zinno didn't hit his gutshot on the river. He wished the table good luck as he went on his way. --NW

anthony_zinno_hr3_6may16.jpgAnthony Zinno - 6th place

6:03pm: Preflop skirmishes
Level 26 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Rafael Da Silva Moraes and Alexandru Papazian just battled over a couple of pots preflop, with each taking away one.

In the first, Papazian opened from the cutoff, then Da Silva Moraes reraised to 375,000 from the button. It folded back to Papazian who thought a bit, then set out a tall stack of blacks (100K chips), and Da Silva released his hand.

On the next one, Papazian raised to 150,000, then Da Silva Moraes three-bet all-in for exactly 1 million. It folded back to Papazian who looked like he wanted to call, but in the ended decided against doing so.

Papazian has just over 2 million now while Da Silva Moraes has about 1.3 million. --MH

5:55pm: Kolonias continues to build
Level 26 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

It's been a great level for Alexandros Kolonias and he's now up to 3,775,000 after winning a pot against Alexandru Papazian.

Papazian raised to 150,000 from middle position and Kolonias defended his big blind. The Romanian fired out bets of 75,000 and 180,000 respectively on the flop and turn of a 3♣8♠3♥4♠J♠ board before giving up on the river.

Kolonias confidently turned over 5♥5♠ and it was good, Papazian drops to 1,800,000. --NW

5:42pm: Da Silva Moraes doubles through Zinno
Level 26 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Rafael Da Silva Moraes open pushed his last 790,000 in the middle from the hijack seat, then Anthony Zinno didn't waste too much time before reshoving his stack all-in from one seat over, and everyone else skedaddled.

Da Silva Moraes had A♥T♥ and was behind Zinno's A♦J♠, but the flop came T♠A♠5♥ to swing the advantage suddenly to the Brazilian. The turn was the 6♠ and river the 8♦, and Da Silva Moraes survives with 1.65 million. Meanwhile Zinno is down to just 415,000. --MH

5:35pm: Kolonias takes some from Stern
Level 26 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

A fun hand to start the level, in which Alexandros Kolonias limped from the small blind and then called when Zvi Stern made it 180,000 to play.

The flop fell 7♥K♦2♥, no one bet and the 9♦ hit the turn. Kolonias fired out 80,000 and Stern smooth called. The 4♥ landed on the river and Kolonias check-called a bet of 105,000. Stern had Q♠Q♦ but had been rivered as Kolonias showed 7♣4♣. --NW

5:30pm: Updated chip counts; 6 remain
Level 26 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Players are back from break and a new level is underway, with Alexandros Kolonias currently leading the way. Updated counts below. --MH

Alexandros KoloniasGreece2,835,000
Alexandru PapazianRomania2,690,000
Eddy MaksoudLebanon2,160,000
Zvi SternIsrael1,780,000
Anthony ZinnoUSA1,265,000
Rafael Da Silva MoraesBrazil820,000


5:15pm: Zinno bluff picked off by Kolonias
Level 25 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (5,000 ante)

Alexandros Kolonias opened to 100,000 and Alexandru Papazian called from the button. Anthony Zinno defended his big blind and the three saw a flop.

It came the 6♠4♥J♠ and it checked to Papazian, who took a 150,000 stab at the pot. Zinno then raised it to 375,000, Kolonias called and Papazian folded.

The turn was the 4♦ and now the bet from Zinno was smaller at 275,000. It was called.

The 8♦ hit the river and Zinno's bet got smaller still - 145,000. Kolonias thought for a little while, continually asking how much the bet was as if he couldn't believe it was so small.

He eventually made the call and had the winner with the A♣J♣ for top pair, while Zinno showed the 3♠5♠ for a busted straight draw. He's down to 1.265 million, while Kolonias is up to 2.83 million.

Players are now on a 10-minute break. --JS

5:10pm: End of level 25
Players are now on a 15 minute break.

5:06pm: Papazian shows the bluff
Level 25 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

From under-the-gun Alexandru Papazian opened to 125,000. So far so standard. It folded round to Eddy Maksoud and he three-bet to 330,000 total. Papazian wasn't done with his hand though, he four-bet to 580,000 and Maksoud folded.

As he took the pot Papazian showed first the Q♥ and then the 5♥ and smiled as he did so. --NW

5:02pm: Stern doubles through Da Silva Moraes
Level 25 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Following an opening raise by Rafael Da Silva Moraes from the cutoff, it folded to Zvi Stern in the big blind who jammed his last 885,000. After getting a count the Brazilian called the Israeli's shove, turning over K♥Q♥ while Stern had J♣J♦. The board ran out 5♣T♠9♠T♣3♥, and Stern survived.

zvi_stern_hr3_6may16.jpgZvi Stern

Stern is back up to 1.83 million, while Da Silva Moraes falls to 880,000. --MH

4:55pm: Alexandros Kolonias doubles through Alexandru Papazian
Level 25 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

The all-ins just keep on coming!

Alexandros Kolonias was the latest to chance his arm, he moved all-in for 1,060,000 from the hijack with T♦T♣ and Alexandru Papazian made the call with A♥K♥.

alexandros_kolonias_hr3_6may16.jpgAlexandros Kolonias

The 6♣6♠4♦8♥J♣ board favoured the pair and Kolonias doubles to 2,200,000 whilst Papazian is down to 1,980,000. --NW

4:45pm: Max Silver eliminated in 7th place (€202,050)
Level 25 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

From chip leader to out in just a few hands; Max Silver has been eliminated in 7th place.#

He had just 105,000 when it was folded to him, and he slid 100,000 into the middle. The dealer mistakenly thought this was a shove and put out an all-in triangle, but Silver sent it back and pointed at his 5,000 chip behind.

It got to Zvi Stern and he went into the tank - something that we've come to expect by now. The clock was called on him again and he would eventually fold. Alexandru Papazian called from the big blind, though.

max_silver_out_hr3.jpgMax Silver bids high rollers farewell

Silver was ahead with the Q♦J♦ against the 4♦6♠, but all cards were live so anything could happen. The flop came the 4♠J♣8♥ cementing Silver's lead, but it also paired the Romanian. The 9♦ was a safe turn, but the 6♣ river gave Papazian two-pair and sent Silver packing.

It was a great run for the Brit who'll collect €202,050. --JS

4:40pm: Eddy Maksoud doubles through Max Silver
Level 25 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Huge pot!

Eddy Maksoud opened 110,000 from the hijack, Alexandru Papazian three-bet to 255,000 from the cutoff and Max Silver got an eye on the stack of Maksoud (1,295,000) before moving all-in for 1,420,000.

It folded round to Maksoud, he tanked and then shoved and there was no insta-muck from Papazian, could this be a three-way all-in? No. He tanked for a couple of minutes, got counts of both stacks and then folded.

eddy_maksoud_hr3_6may16.jpgEddy Maksoud

Silver was first to show, he had T♣T♥ and it would be a race as Maksoud opened A♣K♠. The K♥3♠6♣5♣4♥ board meant Maksoud doubled to around 3,000,000 whilst Silver is down to just 130,000. --NW

4:30pm: Vamos! Da Silva Moraes doubles through Silver
Level 25 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (5,000 ante)

There were huge cheers of 'vamos!' coming from the ever-increasing Brazilian rail, as Rafael Da Silva Moraes has just doubled up.

Max Silver jammed from the small blind with the K♥8♠ and Moraes made the call from the big with the A♠T♠. He had 780,000 at the time.

The J♣6♠K♠ flop gave Silver the lead, but the Q♣ turn gave Moraes the straight and that's when the celebrating started. The 6♦ hit the river and the chips went to Moraes, who now has 1.595 million. --JS

4:20pm: Two small blind shoves in a row
Level 25 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (5,000 ante)

First Zvi Stern moved all-in for 765,000 over Alexandru Papazian's under-the-gun open to 125,000 and got a fold; then Eddy Maksoud did the same over Anthony Zinno's 125,000 bet. --JS

4:15pm: Papazian takes the chip lead
Level 25 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

A hand just played out between the top two stacks and it's meant a switcheroo at the top of the chip counts.

Alexandru Papazian opened to 125,000 from middle position and called after Max Silver had three-bet to315,000 from the hijack. The 6♦Q♦6♠ flop was checked through and the A♦ fell on the turn. Silver bet 275,000 and Papazian matched the bet.

The 5♠ river was checked through and Papazian's A♥9♥ was good, he's up to 3,100,000, Silver is down to 2,400,000. --NW


4:05pm: Imad Derwiche eliminated in 8th place (€147,710)
Level 24 - Blinds 20,000/40,000 (5,000 ante)

The incredible back-to-back final table run of Imad Derwiche has sadly come to an end, as we've lost the entertaining Frenchman in 8th place.

imad_derwiche_hr3_6may16.jpgImad Derwiche out in 8th

Anthony Zinno played executioner, opening to 100,000 from the cut-off which Derwiche then jammed over for 325,000. Zinno made the call with A♠Q♠ and was up against the J♥J♠ of Derwiche.

The flop brought a sweat as the T♦5♠9♠ gave Zinno a flush draw to go with his two over cards. The turn came the 4♥, and the river the A♣ to pair Zinno. Dancing Derwiche is now gone, while Zinno is now playing 2.13 million. --JS

4pm: Saar Wilf eliminated in 9th place (€122,250)
Level 24 - Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

From late position Saar Wilf announced he was all-in, Anthony Zinno requested a count - it was 700,000 on the nose - and then he too requested the triangle. Everyone else folded and it was time for showdown.

Wilf: A♥J♠
Zinno: A♦Q♠

The Q♥6♦6♠ flop was pretty disastrous for Wilf and indeed another player at the table audibly said: 'gg'. The 9♦ turn and Q♣ river didn't earn Wilf a reprieve and he's bubbled the official final table. Zinno is now up to 1,715,000. --NW

Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.

3:54pm: Good start for Papazian
Level 24 - Blinds 20,000/40,000 (5,000 ante)

The final table has kicked off and it's Alexandru Papazian who's off and running.

Zvi Stern opened to 95,000 on the button and Papazian came along out of the big blind. The two saw a K♠8♦T♠ flop fall and Papazian check-called an 80,000 bet, which led us to the Q♥ turn. 

Papazian checked once more and Stern fired another barrel, this time worth 205,000. That was called and both players checked the 9♣ river, which brought four to a straight.

Neither had it though as Papazian turned over his K♦3♠ for top pair and Stern mucked. --JS

3:49pm: Miss you Charlie
Level 24 - Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Imad Derwiche is in the one seat, that's the seat closest to the rail. The Frenchman came second in this event last year, losing to Charlie Carrel heads-up. As mentioned below Carrel is on the rail and Derwiche turned to him and said: "I miss you Charlie, I need you here Charlie."

carrel_heath_rail_hr3.jpgCharlie Carrel and Ben Heath railing the high rollers

To which Carrel resposnded, "Someone else will have to double you up, it was always me last year." --NW

3:44pm: Small but talented rail
Level 24 - Blinds 20,000/40,000 (5,000 ante)

There's only a handful of people railing this high roller final table - mainly because it's positioned right in the corner of the room - but there's a lot of talent behind the bar.

Last year's winner Charlie Carrel and Ben Heath are here railing Max Silver, while Joao Pires Simao is here to support Rafael Da Silva Moraes to win. --JS

3:37pm: Meet the final nine
Level 24 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

The nine remaining players have redrawn to sit around a single table -- not quite yet the official final table of eight. Mad Silver still leads while last year's EPT12 Grand Final €25K High Roller runner-up Imad Derwiche is the short stack.

See below for current chip counts, then read about each of the final nine as we await the tournament to restart. --MH

Max SilverUK2,725,000
Zvi SternIsrael1,485,000
Eddy MaksoudLebanon1,010,000
Anthony ZinnoUSA1,120,000
Alexandros KoloniasGreece1,445,000
Rafael Da Silva MoraesBrazil790,000
Alexandru PapazianRomania1,710,000
Saar WilfIsrael800,000
Imad DerwicheFrance465,000

Seat 1: Imad Derwiche, France, 465,000

Derwiche returns to the final table of the €25K EPT Grand Final for a second-straight year here in Monaco, with the Frenchman this time hoping to do one better than his runner-up finish to Charlie Carrell a year ago. Derwiche earned a cool €750,000 for that finish, an amount representing about two-thirds of his career tournament earnings of $1.23 million.

Seat 2: Alexandros Kolonias, Greece, 1,445,000

Greek player Kolonias has just a few live scores on his tournament résumé, the largest previous coming in the $25K High Roller at the 2015 PCA where he finished 39th. His only other recorded final table was in a €1K event in a Greek Poker Cup series in Loutraki, so he'll hope to make a first one here. Meanwhile online he's racked up plenty of accomplishments, including earning a SCOOP title in 2014 in a $530+R six-handed NLHE event.

Seat 3: Zvi Stern, Israel, 1,485,000

Stern is a 37-year-old poker pro from Israel best known for his November Nine appearance in last fall's 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event where he ultimately finished fifth for a $1,911,423 prize. That represents the bulk of his just over $2 million in career tourney earnings, good enough for second all-time among Israeli players behind his fellow November Niner Amir Lehavot.

Seat 4: Eddy Maksoud, Lebanon, 1,010,000

The Lebanese Maksoud cashed in the Main Event this week (finishing 113th), pushing his career lifetime earnings over the $530K-mark. His biggest career score came from winning the 2013 Merit Winterfest in Kyrenia, good for $135,850.

Seat 5: Alexandru Papazian, Romania, 1,710,000

Hailing from Romania, Papazian has earned a little under $200K lifetime in tournaments thus far, including a couple of cashes here in Monaco. Last week he made the money in the €10K High Roller where he finished 19th, and has already ensured a deeper run and bigger payday in this one, no matter where he finishes.

Seat 6: Max Silver, UK, 2,725,000

British pro Silver has a UKIPT Dublin title under his belt, numerous WSOP and EPT cashes, and more than $2.3 million in total tournament earnings since 2010. The 25-year-old made the money a couple of times here in Monaco during this festival, including a cash in the Main Event where he finished 146th. Two near-misses in high rollers, though, mean he'll be happy to claim one of those eye-popping prizes up top here, in particular the €1,197,000 one awaiting the winner.

Seat 7: Saar Wilf, Israel, 800,000

With more than $570,000 in tournament winnings, the Israeli Wilf has been racking up scores since 2009. His best career score previously was for €145,000 after finishing sixth in the EPT8 Barcelona Main Event. He has one cash here in Monaco at this festival, having made the money in the FPS High Roller (where he took 37th).

Seat 8: Rafael Da Silva Moraes, Brazil, 790,000

The lone South American left, Rafael Da Silva Moraes had a breakout year in 2015 earning three cashes at the WSOP, then three more in Brazilian Series of Poker events including a third-place finish in the BSOP High Roller in Sao Paulo in July. Moraes also has a number of online scores at GM_VALTER on PokerStars, among them a Super Tuesday win in 2014.

Seat 9: Anthony Zinno, USA, 1,120,000

With this final-table showing, Boston poker pro Zinno continues a run of fantastic finishes stretching back more than a year, a time during which he's picked up no less than three World Poker Tour titles, a WSOP bracelet, and another €5K event title at EPT12 Malta. He also final-tabled the €10K High Roller here last week, taking sixth, to add to his more than $5.5 million lifetime in tournaments. - MH

3:23pm: Ivan Deyra eliminated in 10th place (€ 103,570)
Level 24 - Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

We're down to the unofficial final table of nine and its Ivan Deyra that's gone in tenth.

deyra_out_silver_hr3.jpgMax Silver shakes hands with Ivan Deyra

Max Silver opened to 85,000, Deyra committed half his stack from the big blind (285,000), Silver shoved and Deyra called off his remaining chips.

Silver: J♠J♥
Deyra: 6♣6♥

The 5♥4♠3♣ flop gave Deyra and open-ended straight draw and Silver just chuckled and nodded. It's never easy! The Q♣ turn and A♥ river were blanks though and Deyra shook hands with his opponents before leaving.

They'll now be a short break whilst they combine to one table of nine. --NW

3:20pm: Papazian doubles through Stern
Level 24 - Blinds 20,000/40,000 (5,000 ante)

Alexandru told us before he was the short stack, but not anymore as he's just doubled up.

Zvi Stern opened to 85,000 under the gun and Papazian shoved on the button for 815,000. Stern tanked once again, standing up and taking a puff on his e-cigarette. He eventually placed a stack of 100K chips in the middle to call and the cards were flipped.

Papazian had the A♥Q♣ while Stern had the 9♦9♣. Papazian and Maksoud had a chuckle, as they couldn't believe it took Stern that long to call with the nines.

The flop came the Q♥J♥3♦ to put Papazian in front, and he'd hold on to the lead on the 5♥ turn and 6♠ river. Papazian now has 1.7 million, while Stern has 1.575 million. --JS

3:17pm: To the Max
Level 24 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Max Silver is putting the pressure on his five-handed table now that he has the chip advantage.

Just now he opened from the button, watched Alexandros Kokonias three-bet to 270,000 from the small blind, then shoved all-in to force a fold from the Greek player.

He raised the next one from the cutoff to earn the blinds and antes as well, and now he's up close to 2.7 million. --MH

Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.

3:15pm: Deyra doubled
Level 24 - Blinds 20,000/40,000 (5,000 ante)

After Ivan Deyra opened for 85,000 Mac Silver lumped in one million chips, which he'd done on several occasions pre-flop since the black chips were introduced. Deyra moved all-in, which Silver called. 

Silver A♦6♦
Deyra A♥K♦

Silver tried to get some good ju-ju going, putting his six in the middle to encourage it's twin to appear. Actually he did this all the way through but the board, for him anyway, remained barren, coming as it did 9♣2♥9♠5♥T♥

Silver drops a little while Deyra is up to 1.7 million. -- SB

3:10pm: Maksoud shoves and gets a Stern fold
Level 24 - Blinds 20,000/40,000 (5,000 ante)

It folded to Zvi Stern in the small blind and he made a big raise to 265,000 - more than six times the big blind. Eddy Maksoud must have loved the look of those chips because he moved all-in from the big blind for 975,000 total.

Stern took off his shades and headphones, continually rubbing his palm over his face. He stood up in an attempt to somehow clear his mind and make the decision easier; and here's when Alexandru Papazian called the clock. "I'm short stack right now!" was his understandable reason.

Stern had 60 seconds to act and it got down to 10 before he made the fold. Maksoud is up to 1.25 million. --JS

3:04pm: Zinno gets aggressive
Level 24 - Blinds 20,000/40,000 (5,000 ante)

Eddy Maksoud opened to 90,000 on the button and it folded to Anthony Zinno in the big blind. He thought for about half a minute before announcing "all-in." Maksoud quickly let his hand go, and when Alexandru Papazian asked Zinno how much he was playing the answer was 1.25 million. --JS

3pm: Silver doubles through Moraes
Level 24 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

On the first hand back from the break, Max Silver opened for 90,000 from the button, and it folded over to Rafael Da Silva Moraes. He checked what Silver had left, then announced he was reraising all-in. Silver got up from his seat, took a second to look at the other table and the tournament clock, then called off for 1.15 million total.

Moraes: 5♠5♥
Silver: J♣J♥

The board came an uneventful 2♥7♣T♠4♥K♠, and Silver doubles into the chip lead with 2.34 million. Moraes suddenly becomes one of the short stacks with 690,000. --MH

EPT12_MON_Velli-1256_Max Silver.jpg

Silver streaks to top

2:51pm: 10 left; Stern still smokin'
Level 24 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Players are back and play has resumed, with Zvi Stern still the leader. Updated stacks below. --MH

Zvi SternIsrael2,050,000
Rafael Da Silva MoraesBrazil1,845,000
Eddy MaksoudLebanon1,300,000
Ivan DeyraFrance1,230,000
Max SilverUK1,180,000
Anthony ZinnoUSA1,100,000
Alexandros KoloniasGreece830,000
Alexandru PapazianRomania680,000
Saar WilfIsrael675,000
Imad DerwicheFrance650,000

EPT12_MON_Velli-1271_Zvi Stern.jpg

Where there's smoke, there's Stern


2:31pm: Break time

The remaining 10 players are now taking their first 20-minute break of the day. --MH

2:22pm: Deyra bluffs Silver, shows
Level 23 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Ivan Deyra opened for 70,000 from the button and got two callers in Saar Wilf (small blind) and Max Silver (big blind). The flop came 2♠J♠4♥, and when checked to Deyra pushed out a bet of 111,000. Only Silver called. Those two checked the A♣ turn, then after Silver checked the 5♥ river, Deyra bet 170,000.

Silver tanked for a couple of minutes -- during which that Maksoud double-up occurred on the neighboring table (see below) -- then released his hand. Deyra showed his before collecting the pot, revealing he'd bluffed with 7♥6♦.

Deyra is up to 1.27 million while Silver slips to 1.1 million with just a few minutes left before the break. --MH

EPT12_MON_Velli-1269_Rafael Da Silva Moraes_Ivan Deyra.jpg

Deyra steals one

2:12pm: Maksoud all-in
Level 23 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

A vital double up for Eddy Maksoud who moved in behind an opening bet of 60,000 from Stern. Ready to call was Papazian (Stern would fold pocket fives) with a call worth 642,000. 

Maksoud J♥9♥
Papazian A♣K♥

The board ran out 9♣4♠4♦5♠8♦

The nine was enough. Maksoud back to 1.3 million while Papazian drops to around the 1 million mark. - SB

1:59pm: Deuce-four works for Derwiche
Level 23 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

A short-stacked Imad Derwiche looked down at 4♠2♠ on the button and when folded to decided to fire his last 213,000 in middle (about seven BBs), and he got one caller in Zvi Stern sitting in the big blind with K♣T♥.

The flop was great for Derwiche, coming 8♠6♠9♠ to give him a flush. The T♠ turn actually presented a few chopportunities for Stern, but the river was the 2♦ and Derwiche doubles back to about 460,000. Stern still leads with 2.05 million. --MH

Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.

1:50pm: Papazian calls all-in on the turn
Level 23 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

On a flop of A♣3♣Q♠ Alexandru Papazian bet 90,000 which was called by Zvi Stern, who has been playing a lot of pots this afternoon. The turn was the 7♥. Again, a bet from Papazian, 225,000 this time. Stern, thinking, announced he was all in. Papazian called.
"Okay, what do you have?" he asked. 

"Flush draw," answered Stern. 

7♣6♣ for Stern
3♠3♦ for Papazian. 

It came down to the river card, which landed 5♥. Papazian sighed with relief. He's up to around 1.6 million while Stern drops a little to 1.8 million. - SB

1:40pm: Zvi wins, thinks he missed bet
Level 23 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Eddy Maksoud opened for 65,000 from under the gun, Zvi Stern defended his big blind, and the pair watched a flop come 6♥K♠9♠. Stern checked, Maksoud 75,000, and Stern called. The turn was the 6♦, and Stern checked once more. Maksoud fired again -- 145,000 this time -- and Stern hung around.

The river was the J♥. Stern rapped the table, and when Maksoud checked behind Stern immediately spoke. 

"Ah, I missed a bet," he said, showing his Q♣6♣ for trip sixes. Maksoud mucked, and Stern speculated that his opponent had a king and might have called a river bet.

EPT12_MON_Velli-1258_Zvi Stern.jpg

"You would have called, right?"

Maksoud slips to 820,000 while leader Stern is up to 2.54 million now. --MH


1:35pm: Kolonias takes on Silver
Level 22 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Max Silver and Alexandros Kolonias just played out a hand. On a flop of 4♠K♠A♣ Silver checked to Kolonias who bet 55,000. Called. Then on the 2♠ turn Silver checked called Kolonias's 150,000. On the Q♦ river Kolonias bet another 400,000. Silver paused for some time first, but then passed. Silver on 1.2 million while Kolonias moves up to 1.38 million. -- SB

1:30pm: The short version
Level 22 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Saar Wilf made it 55,000 under the gun.

Rafael Da Silva Moraes raises to 207,000 in the small blind.

Wilf raised to 400,000.

Da Silva folded. -- SB

1:25pm: Moraes over Silver
Level 22 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Max Silver raised to 60,000 from the button and Rafael Da Silva Moraes called from the big blind. The latter then check-called a bet of 45,000 from Silver on the 8♠K♣8♥ flop, and another one of 100,000 following the T♣ turn.

Both then checked the 3♥ river, and when Moraes showed K♥T♥ for kings and tens, Silver mucked. Silver has 1.505 million now while Moraes has 1.08 million. --MH 

 1:10pm: More for Stern
Level 22 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Another boost for Stern. He opened the pot for 50,000 which Anthony Zinno called in the small blind as did Imad Derwiche in the big. The flop came 9♣8♦4♦ which was checked to Stern who bet 65,000. Zinno passed but Derwiche kept up with a call.

The 2♣ turn card was checked for a Q♥ river card. Derwiche bet 100,000 which prompted Stern to remove his hood and sunglasses. Derwiche took off his glasses and grinned back. 

Finally Stern called. His A♠8♠ was good. Derwiche's flush draw was broken. He showed J♦7♦

Derwiche has roughly 500,000 behind, while Stern moves up to just short of 2 million. - SB

12:49pm: River ace saves Wilf
Level 22 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Saar Wilf was just all-in and at risk for his last 370,000 with A♠8♦ versus Max Silver's K♠J♣.

The J♠6♥6♠ flop caused Wilf to stand up in disgust, and he was already getting his phone out to take a picture of the board as the 7♣ turn fell. Then came the river... the A♦! "Oooh!" said Wilf as he retook his seat, now behind a stack of close to 800,000. Silver is at about 1.54 million. --MH

Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.

12:46pm: Thomas Miller eliminated in 11th place (€103,570)
Level 22 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

A flop of 3♦9♣T♣ and both Thomas Miller and Max Silver checked for a 7♥ turn. This was about the point things went big. 
Miller made it 74,000 to play which Silver called for the A♠ on the river. Here Miller announced he was all in. 

Just to go back a second, when Miller announced 70,000 Silver needed to remove his headphone and check with the dealer. But there's something about the words "all-in" which cut through even the most belligerent music. He heard immediately. 

But he wasn't sure how to proceed immediately. Instead he paused and went through his options. Finally he decided Miller was bluffing, and called. It was a great call. 

Miller: 6♣4♣ 

Silver looked for a second, then with relief turned over 8♦8♥.

Down to ten in the high roller. Silver up to 1,850,000. "Groovy," he deadpanned. - SB

EPT12_MON_Velli-1237_Thomas Miller.jpg

Thomas Miller - 11th place

12:45pm: Stern takes from Papazian
Level 22 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Zvi Stern raised from the button to 50,000 and Alexandru Papazian defended his big blind. The flop came A♥Q♥K♦ and both checked, then after the 8♠ turn Papazian check-called a bet of 75,000 from Stern.

Both then checked the Q♦ river, Stern showed A♣9♦ which beat Papazian's J♦J♣, and the chip leader increased his stack to 1.85 million. Papazian is now at about 1 million. --MH

12:39pm: Ramin Hajiyev eliminated in 12th place (€92,250)
Level 22 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

It folded around to Ramin Hajiyev in the small blind who open-shoved his short stack of about 300,000, and Eddy Maksoud called right away from the next seat over.

Hajiyev had K♠Q♦ and a couple of overs versus Maksoud's T♥T♦, but the board came 3♣5♣2♥J♠6♥ and Hajiyev was eliminated in 12th. Maksoud now has about 1.2 million. --MH

EPT12_MON_Velli-1226_Ramin Hajiyev.jpg

Ramin Hajiyev - 12th place

12:37pm: Zinno takes from Derwiche
Level 22 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Early action saw Imad Derwiche defending his small blind versus an Anthony Zinno button raise, then continuing to stick around through a 6♣A♣J♥5♦T♦ board. The pot was up over 250,000 by then, and Derwiche at that point took a shot with an 85,000-chip bet. Zinno called it, though, and Derwiche responded with a nod while mucking his cards face down.

Zinno moves up to 1.1 million while Derwiche now has about 540,000. --MH

12:30pm: Shuffle up and deal
Level 22 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

The final 12 players are in their seats and the first hands of the final day of the €25K High Roller are being dealt. --MH


12pm: How things stand with 12 left

As we reported late last night, Zvi Stern had something of a perfect poker day yesterday. He took hold of the chip lead early on and stayed there. He will lead at the restart, unbagging 1,638,000 chips when play resumes at 12:30pm. The two players closest to him are Max Silver (1,342,000) and Alexandros Kolonias (1,338,000).

Here's are the chip counts for the third and final day:

Zvi SternIsrael1,638,000
Max SilverUK1,342,000
Alexandros KoloniasGreece1,338,000
Alexandru PapazianRomania1,231,000
Ivan DeyraFrance1,160,000
Rafael Da Silva MoraesBrazil1,026,000
Eddy MaksoudLebanon907,000
Imad DerwicheFrance840,000
Anthony ZinnoUSA816,000
Saar WilfIsrael509,000
Thomas MillerUSA383,000
Ramin HajiyevAzerbaijan366,000


Stern leads the dozen

Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.

Take a look at the official website of the EPT, with tournament schedule, news and results.

Also all the schedule information is on the EPT App, which is available on both Android or IOS.

PokerStars Blog reporting team on the EPT12 Grand Final main event: Stephen Bartley, Martin Harris. Photography by Rene Velli. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog