EPT Barcelona: Level 16-18 updates (3,000-6,000, 500)


Break time
Players are currently on a 20 minute break. Click through to the new blog post for updates of level 19. -- SB

4.54pm: Jacobson denied
Two-time EPT runner-up Martin Jacobson has crashed out of the Main Event, running into one of the days in-form players Raul Mestre.

Mestre opened the betting pre-flop which Jacobson raised 15,500 more. Mestre has been busy today and now four-bet 51,500. Jacobson, perhaps unaware that Mestre was staring at him, moved all-in for 255,000 in that silent way of his. Mestre called.

Jacobson showed A♥Q♥ while Mestre turned over T♦T♥. Mestre is an expressive guy and performed various shrugs and facial changes during the course of the hand.

The flop came 8♣J♦6♦. More grimaces and shrugs from Mestre. The turn 9♦ gave Mestre more outs and flipped what each players wanted - Mestre the queen (or seven), while Jacobson needed one of the last two tens, or an ace. Mestre got his queen, the Q♠ hitting the river.

Jacobson was out, collecting his things and leaving, looking miserable really. Mestre allowed himself a smile as the bell for the break went and he stacked up more than 850,000. - SB

4.53pm: More bust outs confirmed
Players continue to fall here in Barcelona in the lead up to another break. Find out the most recent confirmed knockouts by clicking here. -- RD

4.45pm: And relax...
While some players are feeling the pressure of the tournament and others now playing as if a huge burden has been removed from their shoulders (it was a heavy bubble after all), some are acting as if it's just another day at the office.

"Should have taken a picture while she was pulling your face. It looked very funny," said Matthias de Meulder.

The face that looked funny was fellow Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari's. He was enjoying a lengthy massage, much of which seemed to involve using his face as Play-Doh. Both players have enough chips not to panic quite yet. -- RD

ept barcelona_day 3_matthias de meulder.jpg

Matthias de Meulder

4.37pm: The elephant in the room
Svein Erik Kristiansen is out, busted by Pierre Milan who called his all in from the big blind. Kristiansen was on the button and showed K♣9♠ against Milan's A♥Q♥.

The board ran 3♦3♣2♠A♠9♥ and the chips were pushed to Milan. Kristiansen sat in his chair for half a minute before moving. A bit awkward. - SB

4.35pm: De Meulder back
Mathias de Meulder is back in the game, back up to close to 200,000 after he won a big pot, then took the blinds with an all-in shove in the next. - SB

4.30pm: Your chip leader...
Chip leader at the moment is Marcos Fernandez from Spain, who must now be thinking this poker lark is a breeze. What's all the fuss?

Fernandez, who is now the last Spanish qualifier remaining in the field, is performing the good old fashioned "qualified-for-$27-on-PokerStars-and-this-is-my-first-EPT" trick, and it's working perfectly.

For an EPT beginner he's doing rather well, up to 715,000. - SB

4.25pm: Katchalov doubles
Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov rockets up to 250,000 after his pocket aces held up against pocket jacks. -- SY

4.33pm: Selbst out
Like Juan Manuel Pastor, Vanessa Selbst was on the feature stage, which makes getting details difficult. However, the important thing you need to know about this is that Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Selbst is out, her A-K losing out to Juan Azon's A-J when a jack hit the flop. Selbst had around 200,000 going into the hand. -- SY

4.31pm: Pastor-ised
Juan Manual Pastor is no more, his 4♣4♦ failing to catch up with an opponent's pocket kings. -- SY

4.30pm: De Meulder gets there
Matthias de Meulder was all-in and at risk against fellow Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari. De Meulder, with around 60,000 left, had 7♠7♣ but was in bad shape against Akkari's J♠J♣. The flop was good, coming 5♣4♥6♦ to give de Meulder a straight draw, the 4♦ turn was not so good, but the 8♥ river filled up his straight to double him up to 125,000. Akkari slipped to 450,000. -- SY

4.25pm: Ramdin rattled
On 9♣A♦3♥3♣3♠ board, and with around 150,000 in the pot already, Robert Firestone put out a big bet of 110,000, enough to put his opponent, the Team PokerStars Pro Victor Ramdin, all in.

Ramdin, his tournament life at risk, thought for a good four minutes. His leg was hopping up and down as he mulled a decision, he checked his stack and counted it, he checked back on his cards. It was as if Firestone's bet did not make sense.

Eventually, Ramdin mucked in disgust. He was mortified, therefore, to see Firestone turn over 5♣7♣ for the triumphant bluff. Had Ramdin called, Firestone himself would have been left with only a handful of chips. -- SY

4.20pm: Wilf miffed
Saar Wilf was not too pleased about this one. On a 5♥8♣5♠ flop, he had managed to get Chris Lastiwka to commit all of his 115,000 to the pot. Lastiwka had 6♥8♥ but Wilf had him beaten with his 8♠J♥. Beaten, that is, until the 8♦ turn gave them both the same full house. Choppety-chop. -- SY

4.15pm: They're in the money!
If you click on the following handy link you'll see the players that have fallen since the bubble burst and exactly how much they have won for their tournament travails. We'll harvest the players names from the cash desk whenever we get a chance. -- RD

ept barcelona_day 3_jack ellwood.jpg

Online crusher Jack Ellwood is busto

4.05pm: What a Mestre
Raul Mestre just sent Filippo Candioto the rail. Mestre opened from the hijack for 13,500 which Candioto raised to 38,500 from the small blind. Putting him to the test, Mestre moved all-in, which Candioto called at once, turning over K♠K♥ against Mestre's A♦9♠.

Candioto stood up to await his fate as cameras were called over to record it for posterity. The flop came T♦T♣8♠ which did Candioto no harm, but the A♥ river gave Mestre the advantage. A river card 5♣ couldn't save Candioto, the latest faller. After shaking Candioto's hand Mestre looked up at the ceiling, perhaps to thank a deity which had at that moment decided to be really cruel towards Candioto, and then smiled. - SB

3.55pm: More bust outs
Last remaining EPT champ Jan Skampa has busted as has Jack Ellwood and Sam Razavi. We're getting a full list of the bust outs sorted now. A link to the payouts page will magically appear shortly. -- RD

3.48pm: Kravchenko doubles
Team PokerStars Pro Alex Kravchenko is up to 110,000 after doubling through David Hoffer with T♣8♦ over 3♠3♦. Krvachenko caught the flop, Hoffer shrinking. -- RD

3.42pm: Becker out
Boris Becker has scored his first EPT main event cash finish here today but will have to settle for a min-cash this time.

Becker was down to his last 30,500 when he shoved it in with K♥4♥. He was looked up by Benjamin Juhasz with pocket sixes. The 2♠6♦J♥ flop crushed Becker but the A♥ on the turn gave the Team PokerStars SportStar some flush outs. Is it cruel to admit that I was holding out for the 2♥, just to see one of those yes-I've-hit-my-flush-oh-no-that's-given-you-a-boat moment? Great showing from a fierce competitor. -- RD

3.33pm: Level 18 right here
Level 18 has started, and blinds are now 3,000-6,000 with a 500 ante. We should have a whole new list of official chip counts shortly. -- SY

3.16pm: Break
Level 17 is over and players have been sent out to the playground for 15 minutes. -- SY

3.12pm: Pastor survives
Juan Manuel Pastor would be a local hero if he took down this event. But the Spanish Team PokerStars Pro has it all to do - he's down to 47,500. In need of double ups, he pushed from under the gun with A♠[10d], and could not have been too pleased when fellow Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Selbst called from the very next seat.

It was folded around and Selbst revealed her hand... drum roll... A♥[10s].

Aside from any flush horrors, this had split pot written all over it. The board ran an uneventful 8♠[10h]Q♦6♦9♠. Choppety-chop. -- SY


Juan Manuel Pastor

3.10pm: Adinolfi donates back
Mario Adinolfi has been hovering up chips like they are going out of fashion, often with slightly unconventional hands. Just now he had to give some back when his K♦[10d] was no match for David Hoffer's K♣Q♣ on a 2♣A♣Q♥4♦8♦ board. Hoffer is now up to 290,000, while Adinolfi slips back to 550,000. -- SY

3.05pm: Akkari takes a knock
Andre Akkari is down to 120,000 after a hand against Simon Charette.

On a board showing A♣A♠4♠4♣ both players checked for a J♥ river card. Charette again checked leaving it to Akkari on the button to bet 41,500. Charette eventually called showing 8♠8♦. Akkari didn't show, just mucking instead. Charette moves up to more than 500,000. - SB

3pm: Reinkemeier out
Tobias Reinkemeier has just been flipped out of the tournament after getting queens in against ace-king.

Bartolome Gomila Romero had opened for 11,500 and Reinkemeier had shoved for 84,500 from the button. Big blind Denys Larin slowly made the call.

Reinkemeier: Q♦Q♣
Larin: A♣K♠

The flop was good for the German: 9♥2♦4♥. The turn was not: K♥. The river blanked and Reinkemeier calmly tapped the table with both hands and said: "Good game."
Larin now up to 370,000. - RD

2.50pm: Carruggi passes 600k mark
From a distance it looked like Xavier Carruggi had dropped a lot of chips. On closer inspection he was in a hand against his earlier rival Michael Schleich with a board already showing 5♦8♠T♦2♣Q♣

Carruggi had bet 95,000 from the hijack and Schleich was thinking about it. Both players seem to have a natural grin when in the relaxed position and if you didn't know otherwise you'd think they were trying to out-smug each other.

There was lots in the middle to think about and suddenly, after looking at Carruggi for a second, Schleich made his decision. Had he seen something in Carruggi's face? Who knows, but he called. He was quickly mucking though when Carruggi turned over Q♥8♥.
Schleich down to 260,000 while Carruggi moves up on the day, with a stack of 630,000. - SB

2.40pm: Play restarts
We play on.

2.27pm: Table balancing
Short break as we balance tables.

2.25pm: Catch-22
The bubble breaks, much to the relief of almost everyone of table 22. For some the bubble is a period of relative boredom. Eugene Katchalov for one seemed uninterested in the shenanigans of all-ins taking place on nearby tables. For others though it's a tense period of do-or-die.

While the big crowds got lost in the middle of the tournament floor, table 22, on the outer edge of the playing area featured no fewer than six short stacks on a table of eight. This is the headquarters of do-or-die campaign. Alan McIntyre had 44,100 at the start of the bubble, Javier Etayo had 56,000, Balhar Singh 41,5000 and Dmitry Gromov 55,000. Ali Amelipour had only 102,000 but in this company that looked like a monster.

Relief then as the bubble burst. All of those number as now much lower by the way. - SB


Tournament boss Toby Stone sings at the local karaoke bar directs hand-for-hand play

2.20pm: Adinolfi knocks out Hakim to burst bubble
Jeffrey Hakim has just bubbled EPT Barcelona after getting Adinolfied to leave 120 players in the cash and the chase for the Season 8 EPT Bareclona title.

Mario Adinolfi had opened to 13,000 from the button and Boris Becker had passed in the small blind. Hakim pushed his stack forward and Adinolfi, after a bit of mulling, made the 72,000 call. As play was hand for hand we had to wait to see their hands as players, press and annoying spectators (who weren't meant to be so close) crowded around the table.

"Straight at the end," predicted Adinolfi. He didn't need it.

Adinolfi: 8♠4♦
Hakim: A♥J♠

The 3♣T♣8♣ flop put the big Italian ahead and Hakim failed to catch up as the 3♦ turn and 7♦ river were dealt.

Would Hakim have made that shove if he realized that he had approximately 0% fold equity against Adinolfi? -- RD

ept barcelona_day 3_jeffrey hakim.jpg

Jeffrey Hakim couldn't topple Adinolfi's mighty eight-four

1.50pm: Play on, bubble set to burst
There are just three players left to bust before the money kicks in. Let's play.

1.25pm: One out one up at the break
Francesco De Martini is out in 124th place, moving in for 96,000 with A♣Q♠ against Marcos De Espada's A♦K♣. The board ran 8♣2♥4♣J♠2♦ to send De Martini out.
It was a different story for Miguel Magan Tier who just doubled up through Julian Herold.

On a board of 5♣7♣K♦T♠Q♠ and around 160,000 in the middle, Herold moved all-in from middle position. Tier, in the cut off, was easily covered. He leaned back, folded his arms and closed his eyes. Then, eyes open, he looked at his cards again. After a minute's thought he suddenly pushed his chips in, a mess of red, yellow and black.
Herold showed Q♦8♦. Relieved, Tier turned over K♥J♥.

"Good hand," said Herold.

"Thank you," replied Tier. If you'd talked a little more I would have fold. It's not the first time I've bubbled so I thought ok, let's see.

Tier up to 330,000 now while Herold drops to 175,000 as play reached the first break of the day. Players are taking a 20 minute break for the colour up. - SB

1.22pm: Pre-bubble pressure
"You pay, you see," said Manuel Lopez to Arkadiy Tsinis.

Lopez had three-bet shoved for around 130,000 and it would have taken most of Tsinis stack to call. He eventually passed and Lopez showed the A♠. -- RD

1.20pm: All-in, chop
Benny Spindler was all-in with A♠K♣ against Nikolay Poltaratskiy's A♦K♦. The board provided no flush nastiness and the two of them shared out the blinds and antes.

The bubble continues to loom large. -- SY

1.15pm: Vamooooooo!
Andre Akkari is likely going to cause many a Brazilian to write that title on Twitter/Facebook etc today. He just knocked out Yury Gulyy, a PokerStars qualifier from Russia, when his Q♠Q♦ did not trip up against Q♣[10h].

Gulyy was all-in for 53,000 and Akkari now sits with around 200,000. -- SY

1.10pm: Moorman exits
Chris Moorman is out. He got all-in pre-flop with Q♠J♦ against Mario Adinolfi's A♣9♦, and it went downhill fast for the Brit as the flop came 5♠8♠A♥. No dramas on the turn or river, and Moorman exited. Adinolfi stack is now more than 400,000. -- SY

1.05pm: Albertini busts Kaczka
Stephane Albertini has just bust Harry Kaczka after calling the American's four-bet shove in a cut-off and button battle.

Kaczka: 4♥4♦
Albertini: A♥J♦

The flop delivered a jack, the river an ace. Even Sorel Mizzi railing couldn't help Kaczka. Albertini up to 400,000. -- RD

1pm: Another player departs
Andre Barroco departs empty-handed in 129th place, moving in with A♦K♥ and being called by Javier Contreras with Q♠Q♥. The pair shook hands and the board was dealt 3♣4♣9♠8♣J♦ to send Barroco to the rail. We're one table of players away from the money. - SB

12.52pm: Darcourt drops some more
Guilluame Darcourt has lost close to half of his 380,000 starting stack, a large chunk of which he just bluffed off to Denys Larin in this hand.

Darcourt had c-bet 29,000 into a 6♠K♥4♣ flop but both players had checked the 9♦ turn before Darcourt tried to steal the river with a hefty 54,000 bet. Larin slowly made the call and Darcourt mucked. The pink-haired Frenchman is down to 210,000, Larin 260,000. Darcourt, who showed hints of tiltibility (come on, it must be a word) yesterday is showing some flashes of it again today. -- RD

ept barcelona_day 3_boris becker.jpg

Boris Becker is close to his first EPT main event cash

12.50pm: Two aces from Becker
Boris Becker just doubled up, fittingly serving up a pair of aces to take some chips from Mario Adinolfi.

Becker moved in for around 41,000, showing A♣A♦ to Adinolfi's 9♦9♣. The board came 3♠5♠Q♠Q♦Q♥ to double up the former tennis ace. Jeffrey Hakim, in the seat next to him, said something nice and Becker thanked him. He's up to around 87,000 now with ten players to go until the bubble. - SB

12.45pm: Fernandez busto
Another Team PokerStars Pro hits the rocks. This time it was Leo Fernandez picking up his bag and leaving. He and David Sonelin saw a J♦8♥7♣ flop, we're told Fernandez check-raised at this point and Sonelin called. The turn was [10h] and Fernandez bet 30,000, a little under half of the pot, and Sonelin moved all-in. Call.

Fernandez: [10c]J♣ for two pair
Sonelin: A♥9♠ for the straight

The river was a meaningless 2♣, Sonelin added Fernandez 140,000 stack to his own. He's up to 450,000. -- SY

ept barcelona_day 3_leo fernadez busted.jpg

Juan Manuel Pastor comes to watch Leo Fernandez's fate

12.43pm: De Meulder doubles
Mathias de Meulder just doubled up after moving all in with T♥T♣. He was called by Juan Enrique Company Iborra who showed A♦T♠ and the board ran 2♥3♠K♠K♣2♦.
The Belgian Team PokerStars Pro is now up to 120,000. -- SB

12.40pm: Ivan the horrible
Poor Ivan Demidov. He'd worked his socks off for two days (silly expression; never seen anyone actually work their socks off) and falls to a nasty bad beat. Just like that, his tournament is over.

On the feature table, and with Vanessa Selbst on his direct left, he had shoved for 65,000 with A♥Q♦ and got a call from Vadim Kursevich with A♠J♥. The flop was fine, coming 2♠7♠8♥. The 2♣ turn was marvelous, too. You can probably guess what happened on the river. Yup, J♦.

Demidov, the Team PokerStars Pro from Russia, is never one to show emotion. He got up calmly, and walked off. Cruel game, this. -- SY

12.36pm: Did we mention the bubble?
Thought not. With 120 places getting paid, and with around 134 players remaining, we're fast approaching that most exciting of tournament moments, the bubble.

Sadly, it means one person will be the last to go home with nothing. But happily for all the other players, they all get paid. And happily for us bloggers, it means the pace of exits will speed up and we edge ever closer to our appointment with a beach bar down the road. -- SY

12.35pm: Ramdin in a mess
Victor Ramdin was slow to unpack his chip bag. As a result, his chips were in towers (sort of), but full of assorted colours. Arranging them properly had to wait; he was involved in a hand against the fragrantly-named Denis Pisarev from Russia.

The board was Q♦[10s]4♠2♦A♥ and Team PokerStars Pro Ramdin, who had a great finish yesterday, ending up with 250,000, bet out 16,500 to take down the small pot. Then it was back to work on his stack. -- SY

ept barcelona_day 3_victor ramdin.jpg

Victor Ramdin: thumbs up to messiness

12.33pm: Ellwood doubles
"Lol doubled. I min to 8k out of 68k, old guy 3b to 20k and calls my shove. My AK holds v his Q4o" Courtesy of Jack Ellwood's Twitter account. -- RD

12.30pm: Battle of the chip leaders
Chip leader Xavier Carruggi has been in action early, opening from middle position for 11,500. Martin Schleich, chip leader from Day 1B, called in the cut off as Carruggi received a phone call and told whoever it was he'd call them back.

The flop came Q♠J♣K♦ and Carruggi bet another 16,500. Schleich called for a 9♦ turn card. Check, check. The river brought an A♥. Both players looked afraid to move. Carruggi did so enough to check before Schleich flung out a bet of 40,000 to win the hand. - SB

12.28pm: Table draw
In case you've been unobservant or have come late to the party you may have missed the large text heavy post that lists the Day 3 seat draw. You can find it by clicking here. You'll see that the big names are spread out relatively evenly across the tables, no truly ridiculous draw to be found. That said we do have two of the largest stacks just two seats away from each other: breakthrough chip leader Xavier Carruggi (577,700) is sat conceding position to Martin Schleich (453,400). -- RD

12.25pm: We are the champions
As we approach the money bubble only one former EPT champions remain, that being Jan Skampa. Too early to start talking double-winners. We usually save that kind of nonsense until tomorrow. - SB

ept barcelona_day 3_martin jacobson.jpg

Martin Jacobson: close to a champion...

12.20pm: Bevand doubles
Manuel Bevand is among the early double-ups, shoving with J♠J♥ against the A♥T♦ of Daniel Hernandez De Lorenzo Galvan.

"Tell me you had an ace," said Bevand to Martin Jacobson, also at the table. Jacobson didn't have an ace but Bevand need not have worried. The board ran 5♠Q♠8♦4♦9♦ and Bevand lives. - SB

12.15pm: Darcourt straight back into it
Guilluame Darcourt has played the last two days with his foot on the gas and he doesn't look like he's going to take it off quite yet. Raising, three-betting and c-betting are his standard actions as Tobias Reinkemeier has just found out.

The German opened to 8,500 from middle position and was three-bet by Darcourt to 24,000 out of the cut-off. Reinkemeier made the call but folded to the Frenchman's 37,000 c-bet on the A♣3♥6♠ flop. -- RD

12.07pm: Shuffle up and deal
Day 3 is under way.

12pm: Give us a few mins
Players are still arriving, unbagging and settling down. We're probably five minutes away. Meanwhile, why not use our comments facility at the bottom of the post? Cheer on your favourite player, arrange to send PokerStars bloggers money, whatever you fancy. -- SY

11.40am: Day 3 about to begin
Welcome back to Day 3 of the European Poker Tour Main Event in Barcelona.

Yesterday's day of attrition wore the field down from 407 to 141, with the sound of eliminations providing a tense soundtrack to the day inside Casino Barcelona. Today, albeit with a reduced cast, we expect the same.

The task today is simple. Survive however long it takes to reach the last 24 players. Then, and only then, play will stop for the night. Using an elaborate computer programme sketched out on the back of a cigarette packet last night, we think that will take eight levels, each 75 minutes long. If nothing else you'll be getting your money's worth reading today.

That said it's hardly been a dull one. Xavier Carruggi surprised everyone last night, seizing the lead late to arrive today as the man to beat. It's only a tentative lead, with the likes of Toni Pettersson, Martin Schleich, Saar Wilf and Raul Mestre all within 150,000 of the lead. Then there are the threats buried on the pack, with Team Pros prominent, such as Vanessa Selbst, Victor Ramdin, Andre Akkari, Eugene Katchalov, Leo Fernandez and others set to do their stuff today.

Park Guell, or at least we've been told it is, in Barcelona

It all starts as noon. Until then why not catch up on the news from yesterday and check out the chip count page for all the scores. Then get some carbs down, maybe take a power nap and prepare the emergency supplies of energy bars. This should be a long one.

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

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in Barcelona