EPT13 Prague: Czuczor leads, Peters second heading into Main Event finale

marton_czuczor_chip_leader.jpg

Marton Czuczor: Leading the finale

A surprise ending confirmed the final six players who will return tomorrow for the last ever EPT Main Event final table, a hand that might be described as a blow up, and might well keep the victim reliving it as he stares at the ceiling trying to sleep tonight.

With the board dealt to the turn and reading 6♥T♣Q♥2♠ a big pot got even bigger when David Lopez, armed with 8♠9♠ took a chance.


david_lopez_prague_18dec16.jpgDavid Lopez

He shoved for the last of his stack hoping to tempt the implacable David Peters into folding. But Peters, arguably the best player in the tournament this week, and playing with an almost monkish serenity, called, his A♦Q♠ ending Lopez's hopes and ending play for the day.


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It came out of nowhere, the last hand of the level before a proposed dinner break that was suddenly not needed.

Peters restored his stack to nearly 9 million in that hand, but will return tomorrow in second place behind Marton Czuczor, who led for most of the day, and will return tomorrow with the lead.


marton_czuczor_prague_final_18dec16.jpgMarton Czuczor

Here's how they'll line up.

NameCountryChips
Marton CzuczorHungary9,710,000
David PetersUSA8,880,000
Sergei PetrushevskiiRussia5,265,000
Sam CohenUSA4,520,000
Jasper Meijer van PuttenNetherlands3,815,000
Marius GierseGermany3,555,000

First the story of the day.

The day started this afternoon the same way it ended last night, with Martin Kabrhel in full voice. His lengthy decision making had bothered/amused people yesterday, and there was a sense that more was to come. It might well have too had he not busted first, silence descending when Stefan Fabian sent him to the rail, to the relief of at least one other player at the table.

martin_kabrhel_prague_18dec16_v2.jpgMartin Kabrhel

Jukka Paloniemi and Josip Vidovic followed soon after before Team Pro Felipe Ramos, seeking his first EPT final table appearance in the last chance possible, busted in 15th place.

felipe_ramos_prague_18dec16.jpgFelipe "Mojave" Ramos couldn't quite reach a first EPT final

If anyone thinks a sizeable payout compensates for a lost opportunity they need only have seen Ramos when Janos Kurtosi knocked him out. In between the endless procession of players and staff wishing him well was Ramos, holding back a few tears. No EPT title perhaps, but the first PokerStars Championship is now just weeks away.

Andrew Hulme also had his eyes on a final table.

andrew_hulme_prague_18dec16.jpgAndrew Hulme

A former "Octo-champ" (eight-in-a-row winner) on the British TV quiz show Countdown, figured aggression, not passivity, was his best chance of reaching the final six and had one hand against Sergei Petrushevskii gone differently he might have proved that. But he would go no further than 12th place.

Gang Wang was eliminated in 10th place, moments after Cristenel Dumitru was meeting the same fate on the feature table. That reduced the field to nine.

Czuczor took it from here, his stack bolstered by victories that sent Wang and Fabian to the rail.

The final table wasn't officially so until someone was eliminated in ninth place. That would be Janos Kurtosi who was caught bluffing by David Peters, whose flush swept him aside, a pot that restored Peters to second in chips.

janos_kurtosi_prague_18dec16.jpgCaught bluffing: Janos Kurtosi

Kiryl Radzivonau went out in eighth for what was officially his second EPT final after Barcelona. The Belarusian looked despondent as his pocket nines were crushed by Czuczor's pocket kings - a cruel punishment for a talented player, who had vast swings, as well as a seat next to Kabrhel for much of this event.

kiryl_radzivonau_prague_18dec16.jpgA second EPT final table for Kiryl Radzivonau

It took longer to get down to six, and the "blow up" took everyone by surprise. But now we can look ahead to the conclusion of the final table tomorrow.

Czuczor never really looked like conceding the lead tonight, being the first player to stack up more than 10 million chips, and is arguably as much as a favourite as Peters. He also beats his previous best EPT finish of 11th at EPT Barcelona back in 2011.

Then there was Peters himself, who has not put a foot wrong all week. Ask any of the players he took apart and they'll tell you the same.

david_peters_prague_final_18dec16.jpgDavid Peters

The surprise package was arguably Petrushevskii. The Russian had spent much of the day with a short stack, but doubled up at crucial times. Then he found kings, and more importantly a caller in Peters with ace-king. That catapulted him into second place, and he goes into tomorrow third in chips.

sergei_petrushevskii_prague_18dec16.jpgSergei Petrushevskii

Sam Cohen played her way to the final day with some well-timed moves. She seeks to become only the fourth woman to win an EPT, returning fourth in chips ahead of Jasper Meijer van Putten and Marius Gierse. Scrolling down through the live updates below tells their stories.

van_putten_cohen_prague_18dec16.jpgJasper Meijer van Putten and Sam Cohen

marius_gierse_prague_18dec16.jpgMarius Grierse

That leaves just one more day to play in Prague, and indeed on the European Poker Tour. Live coverage of the Main Event final table begins tomorrow with EPT Live starting at 1pm (incorporating the one hour cards-up delay). We'll have live updates on the blog from start to finish from then.

Meanwhile the €10K high Roller event plays on into the night. You can follow live updates of that one here.

See you tomorrow.- SB


Live coverage archive

8pm: David Lopez eliminated in 7th place (€104,510)
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

In the very last hand of the level, David Peters raised to 200,000 from under the gun, then David Lopez three-bet to 650,000 from the button. When folded back to Peters called, and the flop came 6♥T♣Q♥. Peters checked, Lopez fired 600,000, and Peters called, bringing the opt up to 2.72 million.

The turn brought the 2♠, and when Peters checked Lopez sat quietly for just a short well before announcing he was all in -- a shove for 2.91 million.

Peters studied the board and riffled  a bit, then called.

Lopez: 9♠8♠
Peters: A♦Q♦

Peters had top pair of queens while Lopez was well behind but had a double-gutter with one card to come.

The river was the 2♦ and Peters's hand held, and Lopez is out in seventh while Peters is up to 8.88 million. Back in just a few to wrap up this exciting Day 5. --MH


8G2A7822_David_Lopez_Llacer_EPT13PRA_Neil Stoddart.jpg

David Lopez - 7th place

7:50pm: Gierse gets some for Czuczor
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Following another Marton Czuczor raise (from the button), Marcus Gierse called from the big blind. The flop came 7♣Q♣T♠, Geirse checked, Czuczor continued for 350,000, and Gierse called.

The turn was the Q♦ and both checked. The 9♣ river card completed the board, and Gierse led for 570,000 (about half the pot). Czuczor thought a while and folded, and Gierse took the pot.

Gierse is seventh of seven, but now has 3.72 million. Czuczor meanwhile continues to lead with 9.72 million. --MH

7:40pm: Cohen over Czuczor
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Sam Cohen limped in from the small blind, Marton Czuczor checked his option in the big blind, and the flop came 3♠6♥5♣. Cohen check-called a bet of 125,000 from Czuczor, then both checked the 4♠ turn and A♣ river.

Cohen tabled A♦J♣, and that was good as Czuczor mucked. She has 4.55 million now, and Czuczor 10.4 million. --MH

7:30pm: Petrushevskii finds huge double
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

It looked like a pretty tight fold on the previous hand from Sergei Petrushevskii, but he'll say it was absolutely the right decision. That's because he found a monster on the very next hand and scored the double up that moves him to second on the leader board.

It started when Marton Czuczor raised to 225,000 and Petrushevskii's three-bet to 505,000 looked especially strong, especially given the circumstances. Then David Peters moved all-in over the top of Petrushevskii from one seat along, indicating strength in at least two spots at the table.

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Clear strength from Sergei Petrushevskii

Czuczor left them to it, but Petrushevskii called. He had the goods: K♠K♣. Peters had A♠K♥ and needed to find an ace, but it did not come on the flop of 6♦9♥8♥.

The Q♠ on the turn didn't much help either, and the T♠ was a blank on the river. That puts Petrushevskii up to 5.425 million and leaves Peters with 3.82 million. -- HS

7:25pm: Czuczor shove pains Petrushevskii
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Marton Czuczor continues to exert pressure on the table, adding chips steadily over the last couple of hours. Just now he re-raised before the flop again, this time from the cutoff for 225,000, then Sergei Petrushevskii decided to fight back with a three bet to 505,000.

Czuczor asked about Petrushevskii's remaining chips -- just under 2.6 million -- then announced he was reraising all in.

That sent Petrushevskii into the tank. He thought for two minutes, rubbing at his head as though trying to massage out the right decision. He then retrieved his black baseball cap and put it on, holding it with his left hand while looking down and riffling chips with his right.

After three more minutes Petrushevskii pushed his cards away, and pushed himself from the table as well to take a short walk.

Put Czuczor on 11.08 million now. --MH

7:15pm: Cohen four-bet shoves
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Following a Marcus Gierse open to 200,000 and a three-bet to 540,000 from the cutoff by David Peters, Sam Cohen re-raise-shoved from the small blind and all folded.

Cohen has 4.55 million. --MH

7:10pm: Leader Czuczor nears 10 million
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

A few small hands went by without showdowns, then one arose that saw leader Marton Czuczor raise to 225,000 from under the gun, then Marcus Gierse three-bet to 625,000 from the hijack. Everyone folded, then Czuczor confirmed Gierse had about 3.3 million behind before making the call. 

The flop came 7♥J♦Q♦, and both checked. The board-pairing Q♥ came on the turn, and this time Czuczor bet 875,000. Gierse though a moment, then let his hand go. 

Now Czuczor is up to 9.785 million, while Gierse has just under 3.4 million. --MH

6:50pm: Four-way action
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

There were a couple of raise-and-takes -- one won by Marton Czuczor, the other by David Lopez -- then a hand arose in which Lopez raised again for 220,000 from middle position, and David Peters (button), Meijer van Putten (small blind), and Sam Cohen (big blind) all called.

The four saw the flop come 6♠3♣8♦ and it checked around to Peters who bet 330,000. One by one all folded, and Peters is now up to 7.42 million. --MH

6:40pm: Chips for Cohen
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Sam Cohen raised to 220,000 from the cutoff and got called by Marcus Griese in the big blind. The flop came 8♠3♥5♦ and after Griese checked, Cohen bet 225,000, and Griese called.

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Sam Cohen: Looking to be last woman at EPT final table

The turn was the 7♠ and both checked. The river then brought the 9♦ and both checked again. Griese showed A♠T♦, but Cohen's A♦Q♥ was better and she claimed the pot. Both players are right around 3.5 million now. --MH

6:30pm: Small river bet does it for Peters
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

David Peters raised to 220,000 from the button, Sam Cohen defended her big blind with a call, then the flop came J♦8♠T♥.

Cohen checked, and Peters continued for 340,000. Cohen spent some time counting out chips, held her hand over her cards for a moment, then called.

The turn was the Q♥ and both checked, then the river was the Q♣. Cohen checked, and Peters sat motionless for about a minute before betting 250,000.

That small bet -- just 1/5 pot -- gave Cohen pause, and she considered for about two-and-a-half minutes before folding.

Peters moves up over 6.5 million on that one while Cohen slips to about 3.4 million. --MH

6:20pm: They're back
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

They're back at it as we head into Level 29.

6pm: Break time
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

The remaining seven players are off to a 20-minute break. Here are their stacks:

NameCountryChips
Marton CzuczorHungary8,555,000
David PetersUSA5,905,000
David LopezSpain5,780,000
Sam CohenUSA3,985,000
Marius GierseGermany3,580,000
Jasper Meijer van PuttenNetherlands3,965,000
Sergei PetrushevskiiRussia3,430,000

We're playing to a final six tonight. -- HS

8G2A7781_TV_Table_EPT13PRA_Neil Stoddart.jpg

5:55pm: Kiryl Radzivonau eliminated in 8th place (€74,850)
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

In the next-to-last hand before the end of the level, Marton Czuczor opened from middle position and after it folded around to the small blind Kiryl Radzivonau pushed all-in with his last 1.03 million. The action quickly returned to Czuczor and he called right away.

Radzivonau showed 9♠9♥ but was in trouble versus Czuczor's K♥K♦. The board came an uneventful 4♠3♠T♣6♦2♦, and Radzivonau wished the table well before departing in eighth place.

kiryl_radzivonau_ept13_prague_day5_out.jpg

Kiryl Radzivonau

Czuczor extends his lead among the last seven as he has 8.565 million now. --MH

5:45pm: Meijer Van Putten takes from Peters
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

This level has mostly gone David Peters's way, but some of his chips just went someone else's way as they near the next break.

Peters raised to 175,000 from middle position and both Jasper Meijer van Putten (hijack) and Marcus Gierse (big blind) called. After a 9♣3♣4♦ flop it checked to Peters who continued for 250,000, and only Meijer van Putten called.

Both remaining players checked the K♠ turn, then the river brought the K♣ and a check from Peters. Meijer van Putten took the invitation to fire a big bet of 745,000, and after pausing for a while Peters let his hand go.

Meijer van Putten is up to nearly 4.2 million now. --MH

5:40pm: Janos Kurtosi KO'd in 9th by David Peters
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Right after than 15-plus minute hand involving Jasper Meijer Van Putten and Marius Gierse, a 10-minute hand followed resulting in an elimination.

David Peters raised to 175,000 from the cutoff seat and Janos Kurtosi called from the next seat over on the button. It folded to Sam Cohen in the big blind and she came along with a call, and the three saw a flop fall 8♥A♣9♥.

Cohen checked, Peters fired 230,000, Kurtosi called, and Cohen folded. The turn brought the 2♥, and this time Peters checked. Kurtosi raised an eyebrow, waited about a minute, then handed out a bet of 425,000. Peters took about a minute himself and called, bringing the pot up close to 2 million.

The river brought the K♠ and Peters checked quickly. Kurtosi darted a glance in Peters's direction, and after another long pause announced he was all-in with the 1.16 million he had left.

janos_kurtosi_ept13_prague_day5b.jpg

Janos Kurtosi

Peters called instantly, turning over K♥Q♥ for a heart flush, while Kurtosi showed he was bluffing with J♣T♣.

Kurtosi is out in ninth, and now Peters is up around 6.35 million. --MH

5:30pm: Are you watching?
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (10,000 ante)

Don't forget, you can watch this on EPT LIVE! if you want. -- HS

NEIL9927_Sam_Cohen_EPT13PRA_Neil Stoddart.jpg

5:20pm: Gierse wins huge one from Meijer van Putten
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (10,000 ante)

Marius Gierse and Jasper Meijer van Putten have spent a lot of time in one another's company this week, and they have been all too prepared to tangle. They just played another pot--and this was a whopper.

Gierse raised to 175,000 from mid-position and Meijer three-bet the big blind, making it 485,000. Gierse called without too much delay.

The dealer put out the A♦J♥9♦ flop, which both players checked, but there was more betting on the 7♠ turn. Meijer van Putten checked and Gierse bet 490,000, which Meijer van Putten called quickly again.

The river was the 5♠ and Meijer van Putten checked again. But now, with only 1.925 million in his stack, Gierse moved all-in.

marius_gierse_big_move_ept13_prague_day5.jpg

Marius Gierse

Meijer van Putten had 3.5 million behind and knew that he would fly back into the chip lead if he called this and was right. But, if wrong, he would be among the short stacks and in danger of missing the last day.

He gave it due consideration. Indeed, he was in the tank for more than eight minutes. This was the first time it had slowed down between these two. Gierse looked straight forward, giving little away, and eventually Meijer van Putten put it down.

He now has slightly less than 2 million. -- HS

jasper_meijer_van_putten_ept13_prague_face.jpgGrim one for Jasper Meijer van Putten

5:10pm: Updated counts; 9 remain
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

An update of the counts shows Marton Czuczor still in front while David Peters has climbed up into fifth place now. --MH

NameCountryChips
Marton CzuczorHungary6,980,000
David LopezSpain6,085,000
Jasper Meijer van PuttenNetherlands4,525,000
Sam CohenUSA4,290,000
David PetersUSA4,090,000
Sergei PetrushevskiiRussia3,535,000
Marius GierseGermany2,910,000
Janos KurtosiHungary2,045,000
Kiryl RadzivonauBelarus1,285,000

5:05pm: A few more for Peters
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

The table folded around and David Peters limped from the small blind, Janos Kurtosi checked the big blind, and the flop came 7♦A♥Q♣. Both checked, then after the 7♣ turn paired the board Peters tossed out 125,000 and after thinking a beat Kurtosi raised to 400,000.

Peters looked over the situation for about 15 seconds then called, then the A♦ river put two pair on board.

Peters waited about a minute, then bet 275,000, and Kurtosi let his hand go. Peters has 4.1 million now, and Kurtosi 2.05 million. --MH

4:55pm: Lopez bets, Petrushevskii steps aside
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Starting the hand with a little more than 1.6 million, Kiryl Radzivonau raised to 175,000 from under the gun and it folded to David Lopez on the button. With about 5 million behind Lopez three-bet to 450,000.

It folded to Sergei Petrushevskii who had about 4 million after posting the big blind. He sat with head in hand for nearly three minutes, then finally slid chips out to cold-call the re-raise. It took Radzivonau about a minute to fold, then the two remaining players saw the flop come 9♦5♠9♠.

Petrushevskii checked quickly, and Lopez continued for 400,000 (about a third of the pot). Petrushevskii thought for another minute-plus, then let his hand go, keeping the 3.5 million or so he had behind.

Lopez is up around 5.8 million. --MH

4:45pm: Peters chips up
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

David Peters raised to 170,000 from middle position, then Janos Kurtosi three-bet to 440,000 from the next seat over. The rest of the table stepped out of the way, and Peters called the reraise to bring the pot up close to 1.1 million.

Acting with deliberation, both players checked the 7♣Q♠J♠ the flop and K♣ turn. The river was the 4♣, and after sitting quietly for a half-minute Peters fired 650,000 and Kurtosi quickly folded.

Peters moves up close to 3.75 million while Kurtosi has 2.57 million. --MH

4:40pm: More for Lopez
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

David Lopez just added a few more chips to his stack, hitting top pair on the flop (albeit a flop with a pair on it) and then getting some value from Sam Cohen.

Cohen opened the button, making it 175,000, and Lopez called in the big blind. They both checked the 7♣7♠8♥ flop, then Lopez took the lead on the 9♥ turn. He bet 240,000. Call.

The J♠ completed the board and both players checked. Only Lopez showed his hand--A♠8♦--as Cohen mucked. -- HS

4:37pm: Peters over Czuczor
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

David Peters raised to 175,000 from the hijack seat and Marton Czuczor called from the big blind.

Both checked down the 8♣6♠5♣ flop and 9♠ turn, then after the 2♥. Czuczor led for 225,000 and Peters called right away.

Czuczor showed Q♠8♥ for eights, but Peters had A♥9♣ for nines and took the pot. Peters has 2.18 million now while Czuczor stays in the lead with 7.08 million. --MH

4:35pm: Petrushevskii wins little pot with Big Slick
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

After a couple of small pot hands played out to end the previous level, Level 28 started with Sam Cohen winning a small one off of Jasper Meijer van Putten.

On the next hand, Petrushevskii raised to 160,000 from middle position, Cohen defended her big blind with a call, then both players checked down the J♠8♠J♥ flop, the 3♣ turn, and T♠ river.

Petrushevskii showed A♦K♣, and he claimed the small pot. --MH

4:30pm: Small pots only
Level 27 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Small pots only in the early stages of nine-handed play. Don't worry. It will explode soon. -- HS

4:20pm: Gierse bet claims orphaned pot
Level 27 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Sam Cohen opened with a raise to 130,000 from the hijack seat and got three callers -- David Lopez (button), Marius Gierse (small blind), and Sergei Petrushevskii (big blind).

The 4♦A♦6♠ flop and T♦ were both checked around, then after the 7♥ river Gierse checked and Petrushevskii bet 280,000. Everyone else quickly called, and Gierse picked up the pot to bump up to around 3.5 million. --MH

4:15pm: Updated counts; Czuczor leads final nine
Level 27 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Play has resumed with Marton Czuczor out in front. There are about 15 minutes left in the level. --MH

marton_czuczor_ept13_prague_day5_lead.jpg

Marton Czuczor: Our leader

4:05pm: Down to the last table
Level 27 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

They took the official tournament break as they prepared for the nine-handed last table. Now they are back to play the last 15 minutes of Level 27. Here's the new seat draw and chip counts:

SeatNameCountryChips
1Janos KurtosiHungary3,195,000
2Jasper Meijer van PuttenNetherlands4,670,000
3Sam CohenUSA4,880,000
4Marton CzuczorHungary6,755,000
5David LopezSpain4,820,000
6Marius GierseGermany3,180,000
7Sergei PetrushevskiiRussia3,470,000
8Kiryl RadzivonauBelarus2,030,000
9David PetersUSA2,745,000

final_nine_prague_day5.jpg

Final nine in Prague

3:30pm: Czuczor's big call knocks out Wang in 10th
Level 27 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

And just like that, they're down to nine.

On the outer table, Marton Czuczor began things with a pre-flop open from under the gun and only Gang Wang called from the big blind. The flop came all hearts -- 9♥A♥T♥ -- prompting checks from both players, then after the 5♦ turn Wang bet 130,000 and Czuczor called.

The river brought the 2♣, and without waiting too long Wang announced he was betting all in, with some post-bet counting by the dealer showing the bet was for 1.645 million, more than three times the pot.

"Why bet so big?" asked Czuczor at the start of what would be a tank of close to a couple of minutes in length. Finally he called, and Wang showed J♥J♠. Czuczor had better with A♠5♣ for two pair, and Wang is out in 10th.

There will be a pause now as they redraw for a single nine-handed table. Once they get settled we'll see just how much Czuczor has now -- something approaching the high-rent 7 million-chip neighbourhood, it appears. --MH

3:26pm: Cohen polishes off Dumitru
Level 27 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (10,000 ante)

Cristinel Dumitru didn't even last one more hand. He got his stack in with A♣2♣ and again his opponent was Sam Cohen, this time with Q♠J♠.

The board fell 9♥J♥T♥ and there was no way back for Dumitru.

cristinel_dumitru_ept13_prague_day5.jpg

Cristinel Dumitru: Plenty of time for explanations now

Dumitru leaves in 11th, while Cohen enters the last 10 with 4.8 million. -- HS

3:25pm: Dumitru in trouble
Level 27 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (10,000 ante)

Cristinel Dumitru is now the tournament short stack--or, to be precise, the tournament shorter stack--after losing a pot to Sam Cohen. Cohen is flying very high, with more than 4.3 million.

Dumitru opened to 130,000 from under the gun, leaving himself only slightly more than 600,000 behind. Cohen called in the big blind and the two of them saw a flop of A♦6♣T♥. They both checked.

cristinel_dumitru_ept13_prague_day5_out.jpg

Cristinel Dumitru: In strife

The 8♣ came on the turn and Cohen led for 115,000. Dumitru called, leaving himself even shorter.

The river was the 8♦ and Cohen's bet of 2 million effectively put Dumitru all-in if he wanted to call. He didn't. He folded, but it'll be a long way back from here. -- HS

3:20pm: Clock runs out on Hulme
Level 27 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (10,000 ante)

Andrew Hulme, the former Countdown champion, departs in 12th place after having the bulk of his stack taken from him from Sergei Petrushevskii. From the way he has played this Main Event he might feel he's leaving too early.

Liberated from the dreariness of having a short stack, Petrushevskii opened to 160,000 from the button, which moved to action to Hulme in the small blind. When he eventually, and reluctantly called all-in it was for 120,000. David Lopez was in the big blind and also called.

The board came A♥3♥3♦8♦6♥ with the flop turn and river checked down. Petrushevskii turned over Q♥Q♣, which in the circumstances felt like bringing a gun to a knife fight. Lopez showed his 9♦5♦ while Hulme could only manage 4♥K♠.

That was Hulme out. He wished players good luck, with Gang Wang graciously walking around the table to shake hands and wish him well. - SB

3:15pm: Hulme cut to almost nothing after blind-vs.-blind hand with Petrushevskii
Level 27 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

It folded to Sergei Petrushevskii in the small blind who made a 3x raise to 180,000, and Andrew Hulme called from the big blind.

The flop brought three low cards -- 5♦7♣4♣ -- and after pausing a couple of beats Petrushevskii bet 275,000. Hulme waited 30 seconds, then announced he was raising all-in, and after thinking just a moment Hulme decided to make the call, putting himself at risk.

Petrushevskii turned over 8♠7♠ for top pair and a gutshot, while Hulme had 8♥5♥ for fives and the same gutshot draw. The turn and river brought two queens -- Q♥, then Q♠ -- and suddenly Hulme is on fumes.

Petrushevskii's river call was for 1.37 million total, and at that point Hulme had only about 1.5 million, so he starts the next hand in the small blind with just 125,000. Petrushevskii meanwhile is up to around 2.15 million. --MH

3:05pm: Action Wang
Level 27 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (10,000 ante)

An action packed few minutes for Gang Wang, relatively speaking. Wang has been picking his moments, two of which - all-ins -- came in the last few hands.

In the first Andrew Hulme opened for 130,000 in the cut off and Wang moved all-in for 1.1 million. Hulme, thought about it, but opted not to call.

gang_wang_ept13_prague_day5.jpg

Gang Wang: Double shove

Then a few hands later another Wang shove, 1.3 million this time behind an opening bet of 125,000 from David Lopez and a raise by Kiryl Radzivonau to 340,000. Again though Wang got no takers, and now has 1.95 million.

That's Numberwang!- SB

3pm: Gierse moving up
Level 27 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (10,000 ante)

The slowdown in David Peters' chip-accumulation racket is largely because of both Marius Gierse and Jasper Meijer van Putten to his left, both of whom are happily getting heavily involved.

Here's a pot involving both of them, along with Cristinel Dumitru, with Gierse taking the spoils.

marius_gierse_ept13_prague_day5.jpg

Marius Gierse: Moving in the right direction

Dumitru started it, with a raise to 135,000 from UTG+1. Gierse three-bet to 280,000 in the cutoff and Meijer van Putten cold called in the big blind. Dumitru also called.

This was three-bet and three-way to a flop of A♣J♥8♣ and all of them checked.

The J♣ came on the turn and then, after two checks, Gierse found the continuation bet. He pushed out 200,000. Meijer van Putten folded and then, after a little while, Dumitru folded too. He has only 965,000 now, while Gierse has about 3 million.

Meijer van Putten has even more--about 4.5 million. -- HS

2:55pm: Czuczor picks off Radzivonau for small one
Level 27 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

On the outer table, Kiryl Radzivonau opened for 135,000 from the cutoff and got a couple of callers in Marton Czuczor (small blind) and Sergei Petrushevskii (big blind).

All three players checked down both the 4♠K♥T♦ flop and 3♥ turn, then on the 9♦ river it checked around to Radzivonau who pushed out a bet of 275,000. Czuczor considered for a moment, then called the bet while Petrushevskii stepped aside with a fold.

Radzivonau turned over his J♦7♦ to show he'd bluffed on the end, while Czuczor's A♣9♣ for third pair was enough. Czuczor is at 4.3 million after that one while Radzivonau has 2.95 million. --MH

2:50pm: Cohen leapfrogs Peters
Level 27 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (10,000 ante)

It's not been a great start of the level for David Peters and Sam Cohen has now overtaken him in the chip counts too.

Peters raised from the button, making it 135,000 to play and Cohen called in the big blind. The flop came Q♥8♦3♣ and Cohen check-called Peters' bet of 120,000.

david_peters_ept13_prague_cohen_hand.jpg

David Peters takes a slight dip

When the 7♥ came on the turn, Cohen bet 275,000. Peters folded, leaving his stack at 3.04 million. Cohen built hers to 3.5 million. -- HS

2:35pm: Bechrakis out in 13th place
Level 27 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (10,000 ante)

Apostolos Bechrakis's rearguard struggle is at an end.

apostolos_bechrakis_ept13_prague_day5_out.jpg

Apostolos Bechrakis

As the short stack it was only a matter of time before he got his chips in, and the sooner the better. He looked down at T♦8♦ and shoved for 535,000. Next to act was David Lopez, who had looked down at A♣Q♥ and called.

3♥6♠5♠Q♠6♣

It was over by the turn. He's out in 13th place while Lopez now has a stack of 5.1 million. - SB

2:25pm: Huge tank, huge hand on feature table
Level 27 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (10,000 ante)

A massive hand to kick off the new level on the television table, with Jasper Meijer van Putten check-raising to excellent effect on the river.

Marius Gierse opened to 120,000 from the hijack and Meijer van Putten called in the big blind. The flop came 5♦6♣T♠ and Meijer van Putten checked to face a bet of 125,000. He called.

The turn brought the J♠ and Meijer van Putten check-called a bet of 285,000 from Gierse. Then the K♥ appeared on the river.

The pattern continued with another check from Meijer van Putten and another bet from Gierse, this time 350,000. But now Meijer van Putten put in the check-raise that maybe he had been plotting all along.

jasper_meijer_van_putten_ept13_prague_day5.jpg

Jasper Meijer van Putten: Big check-raise

It was 1.06 million and, after about six minutes in the tank, Gierse folded.

The hand took ten minutes and put Meijer van Putten back up near the top of the counts. -- HS

2:15pm: Lopez takes small cut of Czuczor's stack
Level 27 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Martin Czuczor opened for 130,000 from the cutoff and got a single caller in David Lopez playing from the big blind.

Lopez would be calling some more postflop, sticking around through both the 5♣9♥9♠ flop after which Czuczor bet 125,000, and 9♦ turn after which Czuczor fired 320,000.

marton_czuczor_ept13_prague_day5.jpg

Marton Czuczor

The 2♠ fell on the river, and Lopez checked right away. Czuczor considered for a short while then checked this time, and Lopez turned over A♦Q♥. That was good as Czuczor mucked.

Lopez is up just over 4.3 million now while Czuczor still has 3.835 million. --MH

2pm: Where they stand
Level 27 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (10,000 ante)

Here are the counts for the last 13 players going into Level 27.

NameCountryChips
Marton CzuczorHungary4,420,000
Janos KurtosiHungary4,085,000
David PetersUSA4,005,000
David LopezSpain3,780,000
Marius GierseGermany3,390,000
Sam CohenUSA3,065,000
Jasper Meijer van PuttenNetherlands2,810,000
Kiryl RadzivonauBelarus2,630,000
Sergei PetrushevskiiRussia1,890,000
Cristinel DumitruRomania1,625,000
Andrew HulmeUK1,530,000
Gang WangChina1,465,000
Apostolos BechrakisGreece1,070,000

1:50pm: Break time
Level 26 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (5,000 ante)

They're going to their first break now and we'll have full chip counts very soon. It looks like David Lopez took the lead but was maybe cut back after that last hand against Sergei Petrushevskii. We'll find out for sure in a moment. -- HS

david_lopez_ept13_prague_main.jpg

David Lopez, left, discusses play with his friends

1:50pm: Theatrics and heroics
Level 26 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (5,000 ante)

Did we just see some theatrics from Sergei Petrushevskii? A short stack, he'd been giving off obvious - and entirely understandable - signals for a while now, and had taken to staring at the tournament clock as it counted down to the break. He knew he needed to do something soon or elimination was inevitable.

So when David Lopez opened for 105,000 he got involved, calling from the small blind for a flop of 2♣3♦A♣. Then Petrushevskii check called Lopez's bet of 100,000 for the 4♠ on the turn. They both checked that and the river card came J♥.

Again Petrushevskii checked. Lopez, perhaps sensing an easy way to force Petrushevskii out, bet 300,000. Petrushevskii then agonised, much like he'd done before. He looked like a man who knew that what was left of his stack - 696,000 - would be worth even less after the break, with a 60K big blind. So with a "What the hell shrug?" that had everyone fooled, he moved all-in. Lopez called.

sergei_petrushevskii_ept13_prague_day5_me.jpg

Sergei Petrushevskii: Getting into the swing of things

That was when Petrushevskii turned over A♠J♣, hardly a hand short on promise. Lopez meanwhile turned over A♦T♥.

I don't know anything of course, and Petrushevskii could easily have worried about his kicker. But one thing is certain. He seems a lot less worried now. - SB

1:45pm: Wang takes from Petrushevskii
Level 26 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Sergei Petrushevskii opened for 110,000 from under the gun and it folded around to Gang Wang who defended his big blind with a call. The flop came J♥2♣5♦ and went check-bet-call, then the turn brought the T♠ and a leading bet of 165,000 from Wang, called by Petrushevskii.

Wang checked soon after the 8♣ fell on fifth street, and after tanking for at least three minutes Petrushevskii tapped the felt to check as well. Wang tabled A♦J♣ for jacks, and that was good as Petrushevskii mucked.

Wang is up to 1.7 million or so as the break nears, while Petrushevskii is down to 915,000. --MH

1:43pm: Stefan Fabian out in 14th
Level 26 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Following that big hand versus David Lopez, Stefan Fabian was left with only 130,000. On the button for the next hand, he watched as Marton Czuczor opened for 110,000 from under the gun.

It folded to Fabian who looked down to see Q♣Q♦ and that was more than enough with which to commit his stack, and when it folded back to Czuczor he called the little bit he owed.

Czuczor had K♥Q♥ and a live card, and the flop hit it as it came T♠K♠A♠ to give him a pair of Kings. The turn was the A♦ and river the 2♥, and Fabian hits the rail in 14th place.

stefan_fabian_ept13_prague_day5_out.jpg

Stefan Fabian: Out in 14th

Czuczor is up to 4.3 million now. --MH

1:40pm: Hulme gets some back from Cohen
Level 26 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (5,000 ante)

Andrew Hulme opened to 105,000 from the cutoff and Sam Cohen called in the small blind. Cristinel Dumitru also called from the big blind and they saw a flop of 8♠J♠Q♥.

After two checks, Hulme continued for 180,000 and only Cohen called. Then after the 5♥ came on the turn, Cohen checked and Hulme jammed for his last 695,000. Cohen let it go. -- HS

1:35pm: Meijer van Putten does the impossible, pushes out Peters
Level 26 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (5,000 ante)

It takes guts--or an enormous hand--to go to war with David Peters. Jasper Meijer van Putten probably had both in a recent pot.

Marius Gierse opened to 100,000 from under the gun and Peters three-bet his button, making it 280,000. Meijer van Putten four-bet to 780,000 from the small blind and it worked. Both opponents folded. -- HS

1:30pm: Fabian in trouble as Lopez lands big pot
Level 26 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (5,000 ante)

Poker is a game of incomplete information, especially if you miss the action all the way to the river.

But with a board reading J♣5♥K♣9♥T♣ David Lopez bet 550,000 of his stack (leaving 1.4 million behind). Stefan Fabian had checked to him and was now considering what to do next. Lopez's bet was about half the pot, and Fabian had 2.1 million to play with. He moved all-in. Lopez called immediately.

Llacer: Q♠Q♣
Fabian: A♣9♥

Fabian thought his nine might be good, but the reaction of Lopez's friends on the rail told otherwise. Fabian now perilously short with fewer than three big blinds. Lopez meanwhile has close to 5 million chips. - SB

stefan_fabian_ept13_prague_day5.jpg

Stefan Fabian: Perilously short

1:20pm: More punishment from Peters for Hulme
Level 26 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (5,000 ante)

There's really no over-stating how horrible a spot Andrew Hulme is in today. He has the runaway chip-leader to his left. David Peters just took another load of Hulme's chips, leaving the latter in peril on the feature table.

Hulme completed from the small blind and Peters checked his option. Then they checked the flop of 4♣8♦J♦ and the turn of K♠. Hulme also checked the river of 5♣, but Peters bet 155,000 into a pot of about 130,000.

andrew_hulme_ept13_prague_day5.jpg

Difficult decisions all day for Andrew Hulme

The confusing over-bet put Hulme in all kinds of torment, but then he sigh-called. Peters turned over K♥5♦, and that was better than Hulme. He mucked, leaving himself about 950,000.

Meanwhile Peters is now beyond 5 million. -- HS

1:15pm: Ramos heads back to Brazil
Level 26 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (5,000 ante)

Despite a huge smile, despite a bright yellow Sparta Prague training top, despite a Red Spade on his sleeve, and despite the biggest virtual rail watching in Brazil, Felipe Ramos is out in 15th. He couldn't find a double with his short stack, and then missed a 40 percent chance when he finally got his chips in.

Janos Kurtosi raised from the button and Ramos moved all-in from the small blind. Andrew Hulme passed his big blind, but Kurtosi called and showed A♦J♥.

felipe_ramos_out_ept13_prague_day5.jpg

Felipe Ramos: Yellow

Ramos still had plenty of equity with K♠Q♦ but whiffed the board, which ran 7♥J♣7♠7♣5♠.

Ramos departs in 15th, just short of his first ever EPT final table. -- HS

janos_kurtosi_ept13_prague_day5.jpg

Janos Kurtosi: Ramos's assassin

1:10pm: Peters pushes out Hulme
Level 26 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (5,000 ante)

Andrew Hulme opened to 105,000 from the cutoff and David Peters called on the button, persuading Cristinel Dumitru to see the flop from the big blind too.

Those three cards were K♦T♣8♣ and Dumitru checked. Hulme continued with a bet of 160,000 and underlined his apparent strength with a penetrating stare at Peters, to his immediate left. Peters didn't care at all. He called. Dumitru folded.

The 7♥ came on the turn and Hulme bet again, this time 410,000. He continued to glare at Peters. Peters fought back with an all-in jam, covering Hulme's 1.3 million remaining stack, and Hulme folded.

He has a terrible seat. -- HS

1:05pm: Radzivonau reraise-shoves, collects
Level 26 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Following a min-raise open to 100,000 by Apostolos Bechrakis from middle position, Stefan Fabian re-raised to 255,000 from the next seat over and it folded to Kiryl Radzivonau in the small blind.

Radzivonau sat quietly for a few moments, temple resting on a closed fist as he thought. Then he announced he was re-raising all-in for the 1.9 million total he had left, and the big blind and Bechrakis folded quickly.

Meanwhile Fabian didn't act right away.

"Think I make a move?" Fabian asked. "I'm capable to make a move," Radzivonau said, not quite hearing the question.

"Do you think I make a move," Fabian clarified, and Radzivonau didn't respond.

About a minute passed, with more talk of four-betting versus shoving, and finally Fabian let his hand go.

Radzivonau has 2.34 million now, while Fabian is at 2.675 million. --MH

1pm: Vidovic perishes in 16th
Level 26 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

That's the end of Croatia's interest in this Main Event as Jo Vidovic has perished in 16th.

He open-pushed from under the gun, getting his last 725,000 in with K♣Q♣. Janos Kurtosi re-shoved for 2.45 million with a dominating A♣K♥ and there was no suck-out. The board ran 8♥5♦J♦3♥T♥. -- HS

12:58pm: Petrusheveskii shoves
Level 26 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (5,000 ante)

A double up for Sergei Petrushevskii who open-shoved for 750,000 with K♥J♥ and got a call from Kiryl Radzivonau in the big blind. Radzivonau had T♣T♠.

Petrushevskii needed to hit, and knew exactly how to do so - he stood up, holding his coat ready to leave. The board then came Q♠6♦K♦8♦K♠ to take Petrushevskii's stack up to the 1.5 million mark while Radzivonau drops to 2.1 million. - SB

12:55pm: Not so Dum
Level 26 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

It might be considered reckless to try to play a pot against David Peters in this kind of form, but Cristinel Dumitru just did so. And he won it.

Dumitru raised to 115,000 and Peters called in the big blind. Peters checked the 6♦9♦2♠ flop and Dumitru's bet of 155,000 took it down. -- HS

12:50pm: Seating assignments for the final two tables
Level 26 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

They've redrawn for the last two tables, with Felipe Ramos happening to land in the same seat on the feature table he was in before.

"I told you, I'm not leaving guys," Ramos said when others remarked on the coincidence.

Here is where they are:

Feature table
Seat 1: Josip Vidovic - 735,000
Seat 2: Cristinel Dumitru - 955,000
Seat 3: Marius Gierse - 3.45 million
Seat 4: Janos Kurtosi - 2.460 million
Seat 5: Felipe Ramos - 680,000
Seat 6: Andrew Hulme - 2 million
Seat 7: David Peters - 4 million
Seat 8: Jasper Meijer Van Putten - 2.655 million

Outer table
Seat 1: Kiryl Radzivonau - 2.74 million
Seat 2: Gang Wang - 2.135 million
Seat 3: Marton Czuczor - 3.89 million
Seat 4: Sergei Petrushevskii - 750,000
Seat 5: Apostolos Bechrakis - 1.35 million
Seat 6: Stefan Fabian - 3 million
Seat 7: Sam Cohen - 3.32 million
Seat 8: David Lopez - 2.21 million

There are about 55 minutes to go in Level 16. --MH

12:40pm: Cohen knocks out Paloniemi in 17th
Level 26 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Jukka Paloniemi open-shoved his last 955,000 from the cutoff seat, and when it folded to Sam Cohen in the small blind she called without much hesitation. The big blind folded, and the players opened their hands:

Cohen: A♦K♥
Paloniemi: J♣T♥

The flop fell 9♣3♣A♠, further increasing Cohen's lead, but the J♠ on the turn paired Paloniemi and kept him drawing live. But the river was the 6♥ and he's out in 17th. The pair shook hands across the table and Paloniemi wished the table good luck before departing.

jukka_paloniemi_ept13_prague_day5.jpg

Jukka Paloniemi

Cohen is up to 3.32 million now. A quick time out to redraw around two tables. --MH

sam_cohen_ept13_prague_day5_double.jpg

Big boost for Sam Cohen

12:35pm: Ramos qualifies
Level 26 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (5,000 ante)

Despite still sitting with the shortest stack at the feature table, Felipe Ramos is far from flustered. He just added about 50 percent to his stack with a talkative peel from the big blind and a check-raise jam on the flop.

Marius Gierse played the role of "opponent". He raised to 100,000. Ramos acknowledged that it's not necessarily the done thing to call from a ten big blind stack, but said he was hoping to "qualify" on the flop. He called.

The flop came 3♥T♥3♦ and Ramos, who had asked for an all-black flop, checked. Gierse obligingly bet 75,000, but then Ramos moved into gear.

"As I qualified on the flop, I'm going all in," he said. He put his chips where his mouth was.

Gierse played along, admitting: "I'm not qualified to call."

He folded. Ramos now has 14 big blinds. -- HS

12:35pm: Silence descends as Kabrhel busts
Level 26 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (5,000 ante)

Silence has descended on the tournament room, welcomed by some and mourned by others.

Martin Kabrhel is out after a typically Kabrhellian hand, involving a lot of talk, a lot of tolerance, but for the first time his defeat. Given his change in demeanour you can't help wondering what happens next for Kabrhel. He comes alive (however irritatingly) in a tournament like this. Now what? Silence doesn't really suit him.

martin_kabrhel_smile_ept13_prague_day5.jpg

Martin Kabrhel: Smiling to the rail

The hand began with an opening bet from Stefan Fabian, who made it 100,000 to play, an offer Kabrhel took up in typical fashion. With 430,000 left Kabrhel, on the button, bet 395,000, leaving him 35,000 left. Cue talking.

"What's your name?" Kabrhel asked.

"Stefan."

"Is that your first name or last name?"

"First name."

"Can I call you Stefan?"

"You can call me anything you like."

"I'd like to call you John."

martin_kabrhel_ept13_prague_day5_hand_out.jpg

Martin Kabrhel makes his case

This prompted laughter from those watching, although it was old material that he'd used on a player yesterday. None of which put Fabian off his game plan. So when the action was folded back to him he decided to put Kabrhel all-in. Only the tower he pushed forward, which he assumed would dismiss Kabrhel's quirky 35,000 behind, wasn't quite enough, as Kabrhel pointed out. A call then. They saw a flop.

6♠K♦K♥

Fabian checked to Kabrhel who put Fabian on Ace-high and asked if there were any chance he would fold. After two minutes of this he called for the 7♣ turn card. Kabrhel bet his last 35,000 (only after asking if this was allowed given the minimum bet right now is 50,000).

"It's not possible," Kabrhel said. "Fifty thousand is the minimum."

Ignoring the semantics and sophistry, Fabian called the 35,000, and turned over 8♦7♦. Kabrhel showed A♠J♥ and needed help with one card to come on the river.

"Maybe I hit my river," he said. Then the 4♣ came. "Maybe not."

Then followed an eerie silence and a total change of demeanour from Kabrhel who stood and wished everyone good luck. After being alive for five days in the Main Event Kabrhel was no longer part of it.

Good or bad? Everyone will have their own opinion. Including Kiryl Radzivonau, who after Kabrhel had departed leaned over to Fabian as he stacked up 3.3 million chips.

"Thank you," he said. "I owe you one beer." - SB

12:30pm: Ramos all-in
Level 26 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Felipe Ramos open-shoved his last eight big blinds and got folds around the table. That's one shove for Ramos, and counting. -- HS

12:27pm: Will Gierse torment Peters?
Level 26 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Marius Gierse has position on David Peters, and he also has one of the only stacks big enough to do damage to our chip leader. It's going to be interesting to see how he manages that particular dynamic.

Just recently, action folded to Peters in the small blind and he opted to limp. Gierse had the option to check or raise and opted for the latter. He made it 160,000 more. Peters called, and so the pair of them saw a flop.

It came 8♠5♣K♦ and both players checked. Then the A♥ came on the turn and they checked again. Then the 2♣ came on the river and they both checked again.

Peters tabled Q♠T♦ but Gierse's J♠J♥ were good. That said, he'd have liked to earn some more from a big pair. -- HS

12:25pm: The first rule of tournament poker
Level 26 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Kiryl Radzivonau raised to 110,000 and it folded Martin Kabrhel in the big blind, who as is his wont, chose to engage his neighbour to the left in conversation before acting.

Why did Radzivonau raise, Kabrhel wondered. "I would have had a walk if you had not raised," he surmised. Radzivonau grinned.

"When the fish is in the big blind, you raise..."

"Whoa, this is so offensive," Kabrhel said. "You call me fish?"

Finally Kabrhel folded. "Don't play the best player at the table," he said as he did. "It's the first rule of tournament poker, yeah?"

"And don't play against the bald guy," Kabrhel added while looking around. "Is there any bald guys left?"

Kabrhel keeps his 450,000, while Radzivoanau has about 2.8 million. --MH

12:18pm: Peters gets value from Kings, flies back into chip lead
Level 26 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (5,000 ante)

Sergei Petrushevskii took on David Peters early on the feature table and instantly regretted it. Peters won a massive pot, taking his stack up to around 3.9 million.

Petrushevskii called a Peters raise from the small blind after Peters opened the cutoff. The board brought the 4♠Q♦3♦ and then the T♠ turn. Petrushevskii check-called bets from Peters on each street.

The 4♦ came on the river and Petrushevskii checked again. Peters was undeterred by two calls from the man out of position and fired again, this time for 370,000, which was a third of the pot.

Petrushevskii didn't seem especially perturbed by any of the action he was facing, although he did plant his hand over his forehead staring at the big river bet. Petrushevskii called, but then mucked when Peters showed K♥K♣.

That took Peters back into the chip lead, especially in conjunction with Jasper Meijer van Putten's accident described below. -- HS

12:16pm: Czuczor and Meijer van Putten gets things started
Level 26 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (5,000 ante)

The first hand on Table 2 was a good one for Marton Czuczor. After Andrew Hulme opened for 105,000 in late position Jasper Meijer van Putten called in the small blind. Czuczor was in the big and raised to 375,000, which got a fold from Hulme but a call from Meijer van Putten.

The flop came K♦6♥J♦

Czuczor bet 300,000. Meijer van Putten called. Now the turn card 5♥. Czuczor went big, making it 720,000 to play.

Meijer van Putten thought about it, but then quietly passed, sending the pot to Czuczor. His stack is now up to 3.8 million. Meanwhile Meijer van Putten stack drops to 3 million. - SB

12:15pm: "Hippo is not happy"
Level 26 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Three hands in, and Martin Kabrhel is already at it, picking up his running monologue from yesterday.

After Kiryl Radzivonau and David Lopez both won small pots, the third hand saw Samantha Cohen open-raise all-in from the small blind, prompting Kabrhel in the big blind to discuss the situation at length.

"Yesterday she was my friend," he began. "Not so today."

Finally he folded, and holding up his hippopotamus card protector to Cohen added a last point.

"Hippo is not happy." --MH

12:05pm: Away they go
Level 26 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (5,000 ante)

They're off. Two players need to be eliminated before a redraw down to the final two tables.

There was an error on the overnight chip counts: Gang Wang actually had 1.5 million rather than 150,000. That's an early fillip for him: a ten-fold increase in his stack before a card was dealt. -- HS

11:45am: Who will fill the EPT's final final table?

We're getting very close to the end.

This time tomorrow, the European Poker Tour will be preparing for the last Main Event final table of its 13 years of excellence. And this time on Monday, we will know the identity of the tour's final champion.

In order to get there, however, there's one more day of multi-table action: Today we will go from 18 remaining players down to a final six.

The players below all have the chance to book their spot. There's a Team PokerStars Pro still in the mix (Felipe Ramos) and representatives of four continents. There are established stars of the game and spirited newcomers. It is, in short, a field representative of so many we have seen over the past decade and more.

Jasper Meijer van Putten, of The Netherlands, leads the way, but most eyes will land on David Peters as the most likely candidate to seize control of this tournament once again.

One thing is for certain: we will follow all the action from now until the end. Play begins at noon. In the meantime, have a quick look at how this all wrapped up yesterday.

NameCountryStatusChips
Jasper Meijer van PuttenNetherlandsPokerStars player3,770,000
Marius GierseGermanyPokerStars qualifier3,375,000
David PetersUSAPokerStars player2,985,000
Marton CzuczorHungaryPokerStars player2,935,000
Stefan FabianRomaniaLive satellite winner2,635,000
Kiryl RadzivonauBelarusPokerStars player2,590,000
David Lopez LlacerSpainPokerStars qualifier2,220,000
Andrew HulmeUK 2,205,000
Sam CohenUSA 2,065,000
Sergei PetrushevskiiRussiaLive satellite winner1,945,000
Janos KurtosiHungaryPokerStars player1,635,000
Apostolos BechrakisGreecePokerStars qualifier1,515,000
Gang WangChina 1,500,000
Cristinel DumitruRomania 1,400,000
Jukka PaloniemiFinland 1,100,000
Josip VidovicCroatiaPokerStars player705,000
Martin KabrhelCzech Republic 640,000
Felipe RamosBrazilTeam PokerStars Pro525,000

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PokerStars Blog reporting team on the Main Event: Stephen Bartley, Martin Harris and Howard Swains. Photography by Neil Stoddart. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog

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Live reporting team
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour