EPT Monte Carlo: Live action from Level 15

Day three is underway at the PokerStars.com EPT Monte Carlo Grand Final, now entering level 15 with blinds at 1,000/2,000 with a 200 ante. If you’re following the action throughout the day you can press refresh for the latest news which will appear at the top of each post. You can also keep tabs on the latest chip counts here. See previous action from Level 14 HERE.

8:05pm--Stars of Poker Update--We have a winner. Barry raised to 2500; John re-raises to 8000 and Barry moved in. John called all -in. Barry shows AsKs and 9h8h for John. The flop comes 9s-Jd-2s so both players have a piece of it but John is ahead. A Qc on the turn gives Barry some more outs and the Qs on the river gives him the win. Barry wins the $50,000 1st prize and John picks up $30,000 for 2nd.

7:21pm--Stars of Poker Update--At the start of level 9(400/800/50), Katja raised to 2200 from the button. John moved all in and Barry asked both players to count. John is all in for 8600 and Katja has another 10K behind. Garry moves in and Katja folds. Barry flips up KK and John has AQ. The board comes Q-Q-8-7-7 and John doubles through Barry.

Now, Katja Thater has just been eliminated in 3rd. She shoved from the button with 97s and Barry called in the BB with KQ. The board came J-2-3-4-Q to secure the exit. Katja wins $20,000 for her 3rd place

The players are taking a short break and then going into heads up play. The chips will be:

Barry 28,600
John 16,400

7:17pm--The final 80 players are in the money and getting a much-deserved dinner break. Still going, though is the Stars of Poker event. More on that in a few minutes. Until then...check out this...

7.07pm -- There’s also time to note a couple more EPT records. Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano will record his ninth EPT cash, a record he previous held tied with EPT Baden winner Julian Thew. The other record today stays in the Pagano family, with Luca’s father Claudio Pagano cashing also – the first father-son cash finish in the EPT.


7.06pm -- All-in and a call. Cue the mad rush for a place at the table. Cameras get priority and the gaps are filled in by press, railbirds and wandering players. It’s Surinder Sunar all-in, called by Ricardo Sousa, how finished second at the EPT Warsaw a few weeks ago.

First there’s the waiting. Freddy Deeb has squeezed in around the table to see this one play out. “Surinder won’t do anything without jacks or better” he says. After the waiting is done we see the cards. KhQh for Ricardo, those pocket jacks for Surinder.

First card out is the queen and that’s all it takes. Finally the bubble bursts with Surinder Sunar the fall guy after a hand-for-hand period of nearly two and a half hours. Needless to say players are now on a well earned dinner break.

7:05pm--Bubble bursts! Details to come.

7:00pm--BREAKING NEWS--Camper gets a bed!

Vincent "The Tent" Secher just offered up a quiet "Merci," to the PokerStars staff here in Monte Carlo. If you missed the story yesterday, Secher qualified for this event at the very last minute on PokerStars. In doing so, he was not able to secure a hotel room. So, he and his buddies have been sleeping in a tent in Nice for €18 a night. Now, Secher is on the bubble and looking good to make it into the money in the Grand Final.

Secher just learned that PokerStars has booked him a room, gratis, for the rest of the week, no strings attached. So, if he makes it to tomorrow (the top 40), he will at least be well-rested.

Now, back to the bubble.

6:56pm--Stars of Poker Update

We have now moved into level 8(300/600/50) and the first big hand is between Barry and John. Barry raised to 1600 which John called. Flop came down 2-9-2 rainbow. Barry bet out 2200. John asked him how much he had left - answer 10 with change. John raised all in and Barr called. 88 for John and 9-7 for Barry. A king and an ace on the turn and river secured Barry's double up. He is now the new chipleader by quite a distance.

6.39pm -- At the EPT Dormtund in season three hand-for-hand play stretched over two whole levels before the bubble finally burst, that's two hours. We passed that mark here seven minutes ago, making this the longest ever EPT bubble.

6.37pm -- Andreas Hagen, who started today as one of the leaders, has moved all-in with his last 20K. There are a few anxious minutes as they wait for other tables to complete their hands and then a showdown. AsJh for Andreas, a modest 4c2c for Gordon Vayo. A scary flop for Andreas 5-6-7 but the turn and river are no danger for the Norwegian who doubles-up.

6.36pm -- Ed de Haas bets 10K pre-flop, Mostafa Belkhayate calls. There seems minor jubilation in the fact there’s a flop. Td7dJc. Mostafa starts a constant stream of chatter as Ed figures his next play. He goes for some chips and Mostafa does the same.

“I haven’t even bet yet!” says Ed.

“If you want to be the bubble, I pay” says Mostafa. “This is Marrakech poker!”

Whether to quieten his new friend or just for the sheer drama of it all, Ed moves shoves in, which does the trick of calming the Morrocan. Mostafa folds A-T. Ed shows pocket queens.

6:29pm--The decision: Players will be continuing to play at the same blinds without the clock running. Nobody eats until a player busts. No more time will elapse off the tournament clock.

6:27pm--Stars of Poker Update--

John and Barry have been getting involved in a series of pots together. John made it 1150 which Barry called. Flop came 7s-5d-10c and both players checked. 2h on the turn and a 1600 bet from Barry was called. Both checked the river(9c) and a 7-6 was enough for the win for John. Barry had A8.

Shortly after we had a monster hand. Katja made it 1000 to play which John called. In the Big blind Barry shoved in and JOhn called. AJ for Barry and 99 for John. 10-4-6-A-3 and Barry doubles through John.

John got some of the chips back almost immediately. He limped and Barry made it 1700 to play which John called. 3s-Kc-2h and Barry bet 2200. John raised another 8000 on top and took it down. Katja has steadily been picking up pots but just avoiding the big confrontations.


6.10pm -- Another all-in, another showdown, another double up. This time William Martin is all-in with A-K, called by Antonio Esfandiari with A-T. The board came 2-2-J-5-8 to keep Martin in the tournament - a similar result earlier in which Esfandiari did the same, doubling up Martin after going to the trouble of betting the winning hand out of the pot. We play on.

6:08pm--Stars of Poker Update--We are 3 handed now and the button raise is becoming more and more commonplace. Barry makes it 1100 to go and John calls in the big blind. 9d-Qd-6s on the flop and a bet of 1400 is called by John. Both check the 7s on the turn and John leads out with 2200 on the river 4h. Barry folds.

Another hand of interest involved some serious pre-flop action. Katja made it 900 to go from the button. John riased to 2900 total in the small blind and then Barry pushed for 7975 total. The others gave him respect and both folded.

6:05pm--Well, we're just short of going through an entire level on the bubble. I'm sure I've seen something like this before, but I don't remember it.

5.55pm -- Freddy Deeb just came up with a novel suggestion to end the deadlock. How about everyone pony up $200 and give it to the 81st place finisher? Meanwhile Andreas Hagen smiles as he waits for the next hand - a cross between a nervous and resigned smile as he has twenty-something thousand. There’s good news though. “There are two other stacks with less...”

5.51pm -- Cryil Bensoussan just gave his tournament chances a much needed boost, taking a sizable pot on a board of J-Q-J-A-9 with K-Q against K-9.

5:49pm--Stars of Poker Update--Barry has just doubled through ElkY leaving him with under 2K. On a flop of 3c-10d-9s ElkY bet 550, Barry moved in and ElkY called. A king on the turn gave Barry his straight and ElkY with only 4 outs. They did not come and Barry is up to over 7000.

Barry has just doubled through ElkY leaving him with under 2K. On a flop of 3c-10d-9s ElkY bet 550, Barry moved in and ElkY called. A king on the turn gave Barry his straight and ElkY with only 4 outs. They did not come and Barry is up to over 7000. And then, history repeating itself. The first hand of level 7(200/400/50). John Duthie eliminates a player.A shortstacked ElkY moved all in from the button for 1000. John called in the BB with AJ, ElkY turned up AK. Flop was 3-3-J and two blanks on the end sealed ElkY's fate. That is the bubble bursting. Each of the remaining players is now guaranteed $20,000.


5.45pm -- Mostafa Belkhayate takes a pot from Oyvind Riisem, the board reading 3-6-6-A-K. Oyvind called on the end but couldn't beat the Morroccan's A-6.

5:34pm--Fresh chip counts for the Grand Final are available on the EPT Monte Carlo chip counts page.

5:33pm--Boris Becker has just busted out off the final table of the €500 rebuy event from yesterday. Arnauld Mattern and Andre Akkari are still in with seven players remaining.

5:27pm--In the interminable wait between hands on the bubble, Joe Hachem and Freddy Deeb are switch iPod ear buds and checking out each other's music while chatting in Lebanese. As we've been charging Deeb's iPod all week, we know he's listening to Lebanese music.

5:25pm--Stars of Poker Update--

On the 1st hand of level 6(150/300/25) John raises to 750. bigjoe2003 pushes in from the SB and John calls. JJ for bigjoe2003 and AA for John. A-10-3 and bigjoe needs running straight cards that do not come. bigjoe2003 out in 5th.

5:18pm--Nearly half a level gone and still on the bubble.

5:15pm--Stars of Poker Update--Chip counts:

ElkY 3600
bigjoe2003 8775
Katja Thater 10900
Barry 5150
John 16575

5.12pm -- Another all-in on the bubble, this time it’s Cyril Bensoussan with K-J calling the all in of Giovanni Nervo who holds A-J. Only a king would eliminated Nervo, a card that he dodged successfully. The hand for hand action continues.

5:06pm--Stars of Poker Update--There are only a couple of other hands of note in level 5. A lot of pots have been won preflop and players are possibly trying to avoid big confrontations as the money gets closer. An exception to this occured between ElkY and bigjoe2003. ElkY limped from the SB and Joe raises to 625 total which ElkY called. A-K-Q rainbow on the flop and a bet of 825 from Joe is called. 3s on the turn and ElkY fires out 1350. bigjoe2003 moves all in for a couple of thousand more and ElkY calls. Joe shows A9 and A3 for Elky. The river is a 9 and bigjoe2003 doubles up.

A couple of hands later ElkY made it 500 to go which Katja called. 7d-Ad-2s on the flop which both plaers check. 8h on the turn and a 700 bet from Katja is called by ElkY. Check-check on the river 9d and Katja turns up K8 for the win. We hope to get accurate chip counts soon but this is a TV table and hard to close enought o count.

4:50pm--William Martin just doubled up and he has Antonio Esfandiari to thank for it. It was a three-way pot with Martin all-in. Esfnadiary bet the other player (the one with top pair and the winner) out of the pot. Martin had Esfandiari out-kicked and doubled.

4:43pm--Getting a bit tense on the bubble. Hand for hand play has relegated all of us to the rail until the bubble breaks. We still have a decent view. Andrew Luetchford just had his tournament life on the line with pocket kings. They held--barely. Still at 81.

4:33pm -- Stars of Poker Update--Level 4 Blinds 100/200. This was quite a quiet level until a couple fo key hands near the end. Noah raised to 600 which was called by ElkY. Flop came down 2c-5d-Qh. Noah bet 950, ElkY raised to 2400. Noah moved in and ElkY called. AQ for Noah vs KK for ElkY. running 3s on the turn and river and Noah was crippled. ElkY moves up to around 10K.

Shortly after Noah moved all in for about 800 and was called by bigjoe2003. A9 for bigjoe and J8 for Noah. The board comes 4-5-6-3-4 and Noah is eliminated in 7th.


Moving into level 5(100/200/25) and we have lost another very early. John Duthie raised and Vicky Coren moved all in. Both had AK but when 4 hearts came on the board the ace of hearts counted for John. Vicky is out in 6th.


4:31pm--Players will be returning from break to hand to hand play. In the meantime, the €500 rebuy event from yesterday has reached the final table and guess who is there? That's right...Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari, Arnaud Mattern, and PokerStars ambassador Boris Becker.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in EPT Monte Carlo