EPT Barcelona: Day 4, level 23-25 updates (15,000-30,000, 4,000)


3.55pm: Break
Level 25 was nice, and all that, but we have to let it go. We've got a 15-minute break, and then we welcome level 26. -- SY

3.50pm: Perez makes a huge laydown
We didn't get to see what Juan Manuel Perez passed but it must have been a biggie. I've personally only seen him four-bet once so far and that was ace-king.

Perez opened the button for 65,000 and was three-bet by Raul Mestre to 170,000 out of the big blind. Perez came back over the top for 387,000 and Mestre moved all-in.

Perez looked a little sick. He had just over 1,500,000 behind and was facing a five-bet shove when he obviously had a big hand. Large money jumps are just around the corner and Perez finally forced himself to pass what may have been the best hand - we'll never know. -- RD
3.40pm: Martinez doubles
Massimilano Martinez just doubled up to keep his tournament alive, at the expense of Jose Miguel Esteban.

Raul Mestre opened from under the gun for 66,000 before Martinez shoved for 624,000 in the cut off. Next to him was Esteban on the button who tanked, then also moved all-in for 1,400,000, forcing the blinds, and Mestre, to fold.

With the cameras in place Martinez showed A♦K♠ while Esteban turned over A♠Q♣.
The board ran 3♥J♠9♣6♦5♣ to double up Martinez, halving Esteban's stack in the process. - SB

3.35pm: Katchalov loses a chunk
Eugene Kachalov lost nearly 500,000 on this hand, sending him down to below 2 million. It was a battle of the blinds, with Tomeu Gomila raising to 65,000 from the small blind and Katchalov calling from the big.

Both checked the 5♦A♣J♣ flop. But on the K♦turn, Gomila bet out 60,000 and Katchalov re-raised by another 120,000. On the Q♣ river, Gomila bet 300,000 and got a call. The Spaniard's A♥[10h] was good for a straight and he picked up another sizable pot to take him to 4.6 million. -- SY

3.23pm: Fernandez gets it through
Marcos Fernandez shoved 216,000 from under-the-gun and the action passed around to Saar Wilf in the big blind. He looked at his stack, at his hand, and back at the stack. He passed. Fernandez flashed the A♣. -- RD

3.18pm: De Meulder and Katchalov dance (but only a little)
Eugene Katchalov opened the cut-off for 65,000 and Matthias de Meulder three-bet to 133,000 from the button. Katchalov opted to pass. -- RD

3.15pm: De Meulder lives on as Mestre takes control
Matthias de Meulder just moved all-in for around 700,000 after a raise from Dragan Kostic on the button. De Meulder, in the small blind, waited as Michael Schleich tanked in the big blind. When he passed Kostic passed also. De Meulder plays on.

On the outer table Raul Mestre opened from middle position and was called by Juan Manuel Perez on the big blind. The flop came 3♠9♥4♦ and Perez check-called Mestre's bet of 125,000, Mestre in the bored college student pose, Perez in the trouble artist pose.

The turn came 6♠ and Perez checked once more. Mestre went to his chips and counted out 365,000 pushing it forward. Perez didn't fold quickly but would eventually. Mestre still in command. - SB

ept barcelona_day 4_raul mestre.jpg

Raul Mestre building and bullying

3.05pm: Katchalov slays another
There's no hanging around today. Eugene Katchalov, the Team PokerStars Pro, is now on more than 2.4 million after busting Javier Contreras. Contreras had shoved with A♥K♣ and Katchalov called with J♠J♥. No help on the board for Contreras, and his few hundred thousand headed to the man with the Team Pro badge. He was out 14th-place finisher. -- SY

3pm: Zaytsev busts in 15th (€24,000)
Evgeny Zaytsev wasn't in the worst shape in the world when he got it all in against Martin Schleich. Zaytsev held A♠K♥ to the Q♦Q♥ of Schleich.

Unfortunatelty for the Russian a queen on the flop all but settled the hand and Zaytsev rose to his feet, a smile on his face. He wouldn't have to sweat until the river.

At the outer tableMarcos Fernandez doubled to 320,000 shoving the button with A♦5♣ and getting looked up by Massimilano Martinez in the small blind with Q♠3♠. The Italian drops to 380,000. -- RD

2.55pm: Enter the Dragan
Dragan Kostic has been busy on the TV table, throwing in a couple of raises, moving all in with what would be considered an over bet. Meanwhile on the outer table Saar Wilf folded to an all in by Massimilano Martinez, despite stating he thought he was ahead.

The only other hand of note was opened by Jose Miguel Esteban under the gun and called by Martinez on the big blind for a flop of 7♥4♣8♠.

Martinez checked to Esteban who bet 110,000 which was called for a 9♣ turn. Again Martinez checked, then folded to Esteban's bet of 230,000. - SB

2.40pm: Mikka Anttonen bust
Miikka Anttonen thought he was right back in this. But Lady Luck can be cruel if she's not sitting on your shoulder. Instead, Isabel Baltazar had that pleasure.

The hand started innocently enough, with Massimilano Martinez raising to 50,000. Baltazar, on the button, gave him quite a stern stare. It frightened me, anyway. She then reached for chips, 150,000 of them. Unexpectedly, Anttonen then moved all-in from the small blind for another 560,000.

Martinez knew the game was up and folded, but Baltazar was not going anywhere. She called. She had the man from Finland covered, but only just.

Anttonen: Q♦Q♣
Baltazar: J♦J♥

Anttonen's world was suddenly a better place... for all of ten seconds. The flop came 6♥4♦J♣, causing him to give out an involuntary yelp. The 2♦ turn and 5♣ river failed to bring one of the remaining two queens, and he was out 16th-place finisher, earning €24,000. -- SY

2.22pm: Eight to go
Play has restarted. Mission? To reduce the remaining 16 players to 8. -- SY

1.56pm: Baltazar survives a flip before the break
Isabel Baltazar just doubled up through Saar Wilf, which was one of two things that irritated the big Israeli.

Baltazar had open shoved 450,000 and Wilf had made the call in the small blind. As the TV cameras gathered themselves to film the showdown Wilf asked: "Pair?"

The answer was no.

"Ace?" Wilf probed further.

The answer was no again.

The players were given the nod to show their hands and Wilf showed A♥K♥ and expected to far ahead of Baltazar, who showed 9♦9♠. Two nines counted as a pair last time I looked.

The board ran out 5♠3♦7♣T♣Q♥ and Baltazar moved up to 950,000. Wilf still huge.

We have a 20-minute break now as we move down to two tables, 16 players remain. -- RD

ept barcelona_day 4_isabel clemente.jpg

Isabel Baltazar

1.50pm: Tome Moreira busts
What goes up must come down. First Moreira doubled up to 400,000 when his A♣2♣ beat Marcos Fernandez' K♣Q♦. That left Fernandez with just 190,000.

But Moreira's new-found wealth (although he was still short-stacked), lasted only a matter of hands. First we had Fernandez moving all-in but getting no takers. He showed A♠[10s].

Then Moreira got to work. Raul Mestre had bet 51,000 and Moreira moved all-in for 402,000. Juan Perez was still thinking when Mestre mucked out of turn. It mattered not - Perez called.

Perez: J♣J♥
Moreira: K♠8♠

The board ran 6♣4♥2♥7♦9♣ and Moreira was our 17th-place finisher, earning €20,000. The pay jump is now up to €24,000. -- SY

1.45pm: Down to 17 as Eskelund departs
Sigurd Eskelund's main event is now over as Saar Wilf's tournament comes alive.

Eskelund opened for 53,000 in the cut off which Wilf flat called on the button. The flop came K♥3♦7♥ and Eskelund bet 72,000. Wilf then raised to 135,000, corrected to 144,000 before Eskelundmoved all in for just short of 400,000. Wilf said "I call" at once.
The pair waited for the cameras and chatted briefly.

"You have aces?" said Eskelund resigned. "I'm out then."

Wilf duly turned over A♥A♣ against Eskelund's A♦9♣. The turn came 3♥, the river K♦.

Wilf up to nearly 5,000,000 chips now as Eskelund departs in 18th place. - SB

1.35pm: Kovacs out in 19th (€20,000)
Andras Kovacs has busted. The Hungarian PokerStars qualifier had been short stacked. No details, I'm afraid, but that leaves 18 players. -- RD

1.30pm: Our fallers so far
We've lost five players so far today and they are as follows:

20. Mikel Allende, Spain, €20,000
21. Rumen Nanev, Bulgaria, €20,000
22. Anthony Picault, France, €20,000
23. Benjamin Juhasz, Hungary, €20,000
24. Xavier Carruggi, Italy, €20,000

If you'd like to see who else has been knocked out and what cash is up for grabs at the final table then click on this link here. - RD

1.25pm: All ends for Allende
Mikel Allende is out, but you have to rewind a few hands to get the whole story. He was all-in with A♥6♥ against Miikka Anttonen's A♣K♣, and both had similar stacks - Allende slightly more. He needed to catch, but the 4♥2♠9♣4♦5♣ board sent the pot Anttonen's way, doubling him up to 750,000.

That left Allended with just 64,000, and next hand he pushed that in from the under the gun without so much as a pause for reflection. It was, after all, not even three big blinds. Everyone folded until Saar Wilf called from the big blind.

Wilf: 5♥8♠
Allende: 4♣Q♠

The board ran J♠A♥3♦[10s][10c] to double Allende up, but he was to come a cropper on the next hand. This time it was folded around to Wilf in the small blind, and he raised to 150,000. Allende moved-all-in from the big blind for only a few thousand more. Call.
Wilf: K♣2♦
Allende: A♠7♦

It looked like Allende would double again, getting him at least a more threatening stack if nothing else. But the board ran K♠4♦A♦K♥5♥ to give Wilf trip kings.

We're down to 20. -- SY

1.20pm: Nanev no more, out in 21st
Another elimination, this time Rumen Nanev departing the feature table having been all in with T♦6♣ against Eugene Katchalov's A♣K♥.

The board ran J♥3♠J♦7♦8♥ to see him off. Down to 20 players remaining. - SB

1.15pm: Fernandez makes the wrong move, Perez wins a monster
Juan Manuel Perez has just won a huge pot from Marcos Fernandez to take him up to 1,500,000. Fernandez is left short with 440,000 and may look back on this hand with some regret.

Perez had opened the pot for 52,000 from the hijack and has been three-bet from the button by Fernandez to 130,000. Perez came back over the top for 282,000 and Fernandez, put to a shove or fold decision... made the call.

ept barcelona_day 4_marcos fernandez.jpg

Marcos Fernandez, before jamming his jacks

Perez to act first led 250,000 of his remaining 660,000 into the 7♦4♣K♦ flop. Fernandez moved all-in and Perez called.

Perez: A♣K♠
Fernandez: J♣J♠

It's a lot of pressure with a lot of money on the line. -- RD

1.05pm: Picault out in 23rd place
Another elimination, this time Anthony Picault departing, in 23rd place.

Sigurd Eskeland opened for 53,000 in middle position before Picault moved all in for around 400,000. Eskelund called showing A♣K♦ to Picault's A♦9♣.

The board ran 8♥K♣6♦8♦K♥ to send Picault to the rail. - SB

12.59pm: Eskleland catches the river and the bluff
Massimilano Martinez has just bluffed off a stack of chips to Sigurd Eskeland.

Eskeland had opened the cut-off for 53,000 and had been called by Martinez in the big blind. The Italian had check-called 77,000 on the J♠7♣Q♣ flop before both players checked the Q♥ turn.

Martinez then led 183,000 into the A♣ river and was called by Eskeland, A♦5♦ was called and beat T♥8♣. Eskeland up around a million.

The hand before Miikka Anttonen shoved all-in for 300,000 and was called by Saar Wilf. They chopped the pot with ace-queen. -- RD

12.52pm: Blinds up
With the remainder of level 23 completed (it had stopped mid-way through soon after 1am), we now move into level 24. Blinds are 1,200-2,400 with a 3,000 ante. -- SY

12.51pm: Perez active
On one of the two outer tables, Juan Perez is by far the most active. He made it 40,000 from under the gun and it was folded all the way around to Evgeny Zaytsev in the big blind, who re-raised to 104,000. Perez made the call.

The flop came J♣J♠6♣ and Zaytsev checked, then folded when Perez made it 150,000.

By way of contradiction, although he is active in the poker sense, Perez looks like a man who is about to nod off to sleep at any moment. Head in hand, he has perfected the Ivan Demidov look of 'tiredness'.

Next hand, through sleepy eyes, Perez raised again and took the pot without any opposition. -- SY

ept barcelona_day 4_evgeny zaytsev.jpg

Evgeny Zaytsev (artistically shot through the TV set by Mr Stoddart)

12.50pm: Carruggi departs in 24th as Martinez recovers
Massimilano Martinez has recovered some of the chips he lost against his earlier duel with Saar Wilf, this time clawing some back by sending Xavier Carruggi to the rail.

Carruggi, the Day 2 chip leader, became the first player to bust today. Sigurd Eskeland opened to 46,000 from under the gun which Martinez called in the hijack. Carruggi also called in the cut off.

The flop came 9♣5♣T♦ which Eskelund checked. Martinez then bet 76,000 which Carruggi raised to 175,000. Eskelund passed but without much delay Martinez announced that he was all in. Carruggi called, showing T♥9♥ to Martinez's T♠T♣.

It was all over by the turn card 7♣ with the river coming 4♠. Carruggi shook hands with Martinez before departing. Martinez back up to 1,530,000. - SB

12.42pm: Three all-ins, two doubles and a pass
We had three consequective all-ins at the outer tables. Hold tight, here they come:

All-in one: Andras Kovacs open shoved his last 200,000 from the cut-off and scooped the blinds to get back to 240,000.

All-in two: Isabel Baltazar doubled through Saar Wilf with J♠J♣ holding against 7♥7♠. Baltazar took a joker card from out of her bra and waved it at Wilf as she doubled up to 400,000. Wilf muttered: "First time you pushed in two days."

All-in three: Martin Schleich has doubled through Evgeny Zaytsev making quad kings on a K♣J♦3♠K♠5♣ board against Zaytsev's pocket fours to chip up to 770,000. So that's how he's been getting his chips... -- RD

12.33pm: Get out of my pot
Juan Perez opened for 41,000 and it was folded around to Raul Mestre in the small blind. "How much do you have?" he inquired politely. Perez had around 650,000 sitting in neat towers in from of him. With that, Mestre put in a re-raise to 115,000.

Perez went into the tank for a few minutes. Mestre had nearly three times as many chips, and Perez fancied taking some of them for himself. He raised again, this time to 248,000 total. Mestre looked slightly shocked, as if a young upstart had stood up to the leader of a pack. He decided to let his hand go. -- SY

12.25pm: Cagey
The table featuring one of the big stacks, Raul Mestre, has got off to a tentative start. Two small pots of note, although Tome Moreira would have liked to have won more from his turned full house on a A♠Q♣A♣9♠8♦ board. In the event, holding A♥9♦, he managed to pick up a pot of 100,000, most of it coming from Juan Perez. -- SY

12.20pm: A new chip leader
Right off the bat, Saar Wilf claims the chip lead for himself in a hand against Massimilano Martinez.

Wilf opened in middle position and watched as Martinez raised to 132,000 in the cut off. With the action folded through the blinds Wilf called for a flop of 6♦3♣5♣.

Both players checked for a 7♠ turn card which Wilf checked to Martinez. He then bet a further 163,000. After reflecting on this Wilf called, watching as the river was dealt 4♠.

With a straight now on the board the tensioned was turned up a notch. Wilf, his hands in the prayer position, his body rock steady throughout, looked at Martinez, then picked off 300,000 in orange from his stack. Then he picked off 300,000 more and bet 600,000.

In contrast to Wilf, Martinez's feet were jiggling under his seat. After a few seconds he called. In the most humane manner he could, Wilf turned over J♠8♠. Martinez simply mucked. Wilf had won an intriguing hand with perfect delivery, and moves up to 2,948,000. Martinez drops down to 845,000. -SB

12.13pm: And so it begins...
Cards are in the air. The race from 24 to 8 has begun. -- RD

12.10pm: Hold fire
Stand by, we're still a few minutes away from starting. With the TV stage in action, there are the usual delays for microphones, photos etc. Shouldn't be long now. -- SY

12.08pm: Get up to speed with the action
If you're late to the party you can read the last few days wraps, at least have a peek at yesterday's which tells of how Tomeu Gomila gained the chip lead and how Team PokerStars Pros Eugene Katchalov and Matthias de Meulder got chipped up. You can read it by clicking here. Or if you're feeling particulalrly lazy you can just watch the clip below. Or, better, hedge your bets and do both. -- RD

10.30am: Welcome to Day 4
Welcome back to Day 4 of the European Poker Tour main event in Barcelona, where just 24 players remain from what was a Spanish record breaking field of 811.

When the chips were bagged up after 13 hours at the tables last night, Tomeu Gomila had snagged the lead after a shock three-way all in that sent two players to the rail. He tops the chip list with 2,547,000.

Behind him is Raul Mestre, whose sensational day yesterday was, by his own admission, partly inspired by a pleasing run of cards, although those watching knew there was more to it than that. He starts with 2,363,000.

They lead, with the likes of Team PokerStars Pros Eugene Katchalov and Matthias de Meulder in the chase pack.

Katchalov is one of the top three tournament players in the world right now and armed with 1,452,000 chips, few would doubt the threat he poses to the rest of the field today.


The trophy awaits

To get a full recap of play so far check out yesterday's end of day report, while the starting chip counts today can be found on the chip count page. As for the dearly departed, you can find that honour role on the prize winners and pay outs page.

Play starts at noon, and the seat draw is here.

PokerStars Blog reporting team in Barcelona: Simon Young, Rick Dacey and Stephen Bartley.

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in Barcelona