PokerStars Marbella Festival: Day 2, level 15-18 updates (4,000-8,000, ante 500)

9.54pm: Derrick snatches Day 2 chip lead at the PokerStars Marbella Festival

Day 2 of the PokerStars Marbella Festival saw the dual Day 1 flights combine to wage war at the felt in the sunny Casino Marbella - Canadian Nick Boehler returning as the chipleader and man to beat although ultimately it was Chris Derrick who bested the field with a seven-figure stack once the smoke had cleared on an incendiary day.


Derrick prospered in the hostile conditions

With a host of shortstacks returning, it was always likely that we'd see a fast start and so it proved - a flurry of eliminations in the early few levels leaving the field shorn of a vast swathe of its previous bulk.

Throughout the carnage, Boehler cut a calm and placid figure, steadily increasing his stack in the eye of the hurricane and it looked for all the world as if he would effortlessly maintain his chip lead throughout the day.

Variance is a cruel mistress however and though Boehler made the cash spots, he crashed out just short of the end of the day, ending hopes of a Canadian champion.

Meanwhile, British hopes appeared to be taking a nosedive, Martins Adeniya and Thomas Hall failing to negotiate a tricky field, though the rise of 2010 Irish Open winner James Mitchell, who showed skill and good fortune to build a big stack, and the impressive shift Chris Derrick put in to accumulate a gargantuan one million chip stack redressed this balance.


James Mitchell took advantage of the carnage

Derrick will return with the chip lead, though he has a host of talented Spaniards, led by the swashbuckling bull-fighter Miguel Abellan Hernando, to contend with on day 3. Ireland's experienced campaigner Dara O'Kearney also lurks menacingly inside the top ten and there will be challenges and obstacles aplenty for anyone with designs on the title.

Ultimately just 48 players made it through from the 240 who started the day and these hardy souls will return at 12:00pm tomorrow to play down to a final table.

For the final chip counts at the end of day 2 click here.

We'll be back to follow their progress and we hope you can join us as the path to championship glory continues.

9.15pm: Level 18 is complete- day 2 is over!
It looks as though the one million plus chips that Chris Derrick has accumulated will see him announced as the chip leader, although we are are awaiting the results of the bagging and tagging before we confirm that,

A full wrap will follow this post shortly, confirming details of the day, the men who look to be favourites to win the tournament and later on the full chip counts, but for now thanks for following! -- RS

9:13pm: Its not over... until its over
Spanish National Matias Dominguez waited for the last hand of the night to put his paltry final 20,000 across the betting line. He would have to win at showdown once Mohamed Haddu flat called in middle position. The players then folded to Richard Black Milne Senior, who had malevolent intentions.

"This is the last hand of the night right?" he quizzed the dealer multiple times. It was.

After a long horse and pony show Milne moved all-in for 97,000 total, sixteen big blinds. Mohammed couldn't make the call as it was an appreciable portion of his stack.

Dominguez was now in a great position to double up, flipping A♣ T♦ to the nefarious Milne's K♣ 6♥.

On the A♥ Q♠ T♥ flop it was smiles and fist pumps for the player at risk. But he was far from free of danger.

Sure enough the 2♥ turned. Could this really happen? The entire table was seemingly thinking that thought simultaneously.

Boom. The 7♥ cued Dominguez's swan song while Milne couldn't hold back a Cheshire grin. Just another reminder that unless you have a portly woman on hand whose willing to hit the right notes, you shouldn't consider two pair invincible. -- GC

9.10pm: Popular Masters in contention
Irishman David Masters, seen singing at the table, has reason to be jolly. With thirty minutes left in the day he was spotted returning to the table with a Heineken in either hand. A round of applause from his Spanish table mates greeted him.

"I went on the beer because I got a penalty," Masters told us.

"That was when I had 10k, now I have over 250,000."

To what does the gregarious chap attribute his change of fortune?

"I'm not going to pretend I'm a good player. I got lucky, really lucky. I got the luck of the Irish."

We suspect David is being a wee bit humble, deceptive perhaps - a string of previous results suggest he's no slouch. -- GC


David Masters, with bar close by

9.10pm: McDonald - the verbal force of nature
Stuart Burton McDonald is buzzing right now - having come into the day with a lowly stack of 50k, he now boasts a fine 300k with the end of day 2 fast approaching and he is a hard man to keep quiet!

Chatting almost constantly through every hand the Australian is a chirpy presence at his table, though his tablemates seem happy to listen to Mcdonald's incessant stream of consciousness observations - his banter keeping the right side of genial. -- RS

8.53pm: Mitchell moving up
James Mitchell's A♦ Q♥ just busted a short-stacked Jairo Garcia Serrano's A♠ K♣ in a rather standard preflop encounter. Mitchell is putting himself in a position to do some damage, having come into the day with basically starting chips at 26,800. Mitchell's resume speaks for himself, he'll likely be the most intimidating force when play starts up tomorrow. The pace of eliminations is dizzying right now, and hasn't slowed down since the bubble burst.

About his moving day Mitchell told us he came in quite easy going, "because we're in Marbella, I didn't really care if I busted." That attitude led to solid decisions from Mitchell, including one pivotal one where he moved all-in "with no fold equity" on the turn holding thte nut flush draw. His opponent folded and Mitchell doubled up without showdown. -- GC


Familiar territory for James Mitchell

8.46pm: Disputes, disputes, disputes
The floor staff here is having a heck of a time as the stakes go up. It seems like everyone has suddenly become a stickler for procedure at the table, while dealers are reticent to make an egregious error. There has been nothing impactful since the Daniel Willis debacle (below), but plenty of false alarms. -- GC

8.35pm: The big dogs
Here are the players who have started pulling away from the pack with 64 remaining...

Chris Derrick United Kingdom 790000
Fernando Curto Gonzalez Spain 495000
Ludovic Alexander Geilich Germany 450000
Alejandro Alonso Sanchez Spain 440000
Michael Graydon Ireland 435000
Miguel Abellan Hernando 415000
Lucas Blanco Oliver Spain 410000
Kamil Hrabia Poland 365000
Moris Yalcin 315000


Derrick looks ready to take his chip lead into day 3

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 4,000-8,000, ante 500

8.18pm: Hero call halves Shubin's stack
The man who finished atop the chip counts at the end of day 1a, Andrey Vladimirovich Shubin, just made a call he may later come to regret.

The hand in question saw Shubin open to 12k from middle position, only for Per Jonatan Soderstrom to put the pressure on the Russian, moving his 20 big blind stack (120k) into the middle.

Shubin looked pretty unhappy at this turn of events , running his hands through his slicked back hair before finally making the call with the surprising holding of Q♣T♣.

A few eyebrows were raised at the table when he showed his hand, though he held live cards at least versus the K♦J♦ tabled by Soderstrom.

A flop of A♥9♥K♣ sent Soderstrom blazing into the lead, a pair of kings looking in good shape for the pot. Needing to spike a jack to complete a gutshot, Shubin instead saw the 9♦ and T♥ peel off on turn and river.

Unable to repress a slight roar and a fist strike into his spare hand, Shubin relinquished the pot before reassuming a calm facade, whilst Soderstrom simply smiled and stacked his bounty - up to 250k with Shubin knocked back to 90k. - RS

7.51pm: Ambitious plays with Francisco García
For two days, one man has separated himself from the rest of the field; one man is not like the others. That happy man, or infant as it were, is Francisco García, and he has been sucking on the same adult-sized pacifier since the first shuffle up and deal.

We've seen some strange plays from Garcia, including a recent tangle with new chip leader Chris Derrick. Garcia opened to 13,000 under the gun and Derrick three-bet to 28,000 next to act. It folded around and Garcia quickly called, which resulted in a 9♥ 7♣ 2♦ flop. Garcia threw his cards out with the bathwater, mucking to no action from the in position Derrick. Better lines may have been available, but Garcia appeared to know something the adults didn't, since Derrick flashed the 9♣. -- GC


Loving every minute of it

7.38pm: Four ways for Ionescu
Nick Boehler has come through the bubble with an average stack. As predicted he did battle with Fernando Gonzalez, but didn't get the best of it.

In the money he opened UTG to receive calls from the button, the small blind, and the (reluctant) big blind. The flop was a juicy one, T♦ J♣ Q♥, and when Boehler continuation bet 24,000 we were expecting fireworks. Only the button, Romanian Petre Ionescu, called. The turn was the T♠, complicating the board. But Nick check-folded with a touch of frustration when Ionescu slid 27,000 across the betting line. -- GC

7.26pm: Derrick leads the charge for the title
Chris Derrick has established himself as the out and out chip leader of the tournament with 790k. With all the close focus on the bubble boy, we missed the hand in question that saw Derrick ascend to the top of the pack, but he happily recounted the tale for us.

"There was a standard raise from him {Thomas Hemming}, and seat 7 (we think Ville Joakim Stromberg is the man in question) now three-bet. I felt like he would be doing this really light with it being around the bubble so I four-bet with 6♥8♥.

He made the call with around 300k and we went heads-up to a flop which came heart heart heart! I led out 45k...he called. The turn was a brick and I now bet 85k...and he moved all-in!

I made the call with the flush and he tabled ace-four offsuit - no draw. I was kind of surprised he turned up with a hand that weak in that spot!"

That monster pot leaves Derrick placed in prime position for a strong run at the title. -- RS

Derrick spoke to PokerStars in more depth on Day 1A :

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 3,000-6,000-1,000

7.25pm: Back for level 17
The players are once more back in action. We have news of a giant pot that occurred just before the break to follow... -- RS

7.12pm: Level 16 ends: Break time!
After that breathless period, the players can once more take a quick rest for 15 minutes before taking up arms once more. We'll be back shortly. -- RS

6.55pm: One for the rulebook
OK. This one is going to require some attention, so follow along. Many were saying they "had never seen this," at a poker table. It all started with an innocuous open raise by Daniel Willis in early position. Alexis Abreu Abrante responded in kind by moving all-in for eight big blinds. Action passed back to Willis who made the call. Or did it? The action that is, which apparently was still on Tomas Lagarra, who, as we already detailed below, is quite slippery. Lagarra not only went unnoticed, but also had his hands over his cards, an unhappy truth for Willis.

It wasn't all sorted out in time, because Abrante exposed his black sevens, which prompted Willis to show his queen jack offsuit, all while Lagarra sat in silence.

Once the fog was dispersed, tournament officials explained the following:

"The usual rule here is that {Willis} is allowed to take his bet back, should the action in front of him change. Unfortunately, because cards have been exposed, I can't do that. That wouldn't be fair."

Hence action remained on Lagarra, the world his oyster. If he moved all-in Willis would be forced to fold his queen jack surely, sacrificing his nearly 40,000 chips in the pot, and Lagarra was a likely flip, for three-stacks, with two sevens.

Instead, perhaps misunderstanding the opportunity afforded to him, Lagarra just called.
The flop removed all worries about Willis being shortchanged - it was 7♥ 6♦ K♦ - Abrante had spikes his set. It got checked down quickly, Lagarra's ace-ten offsuit, in addition to the turn and the river, all got scooped up quite quickly, the dealer surely hoping to put this nightmare behind her. -- GC

6.42pm: When shortstacks go wild
The passing of the bubble is a licence for those players who've been folding for 15 orbits to suddenly spring into action with a new lease of life, liberated from the notion that cashing may evade them.

No less than 15 minutes after the bubble burst and a huge cheer rang out throughout the casino, 11 shortstacks have managed to bust in a bid to double up.

Here are those plucky eleven:-

78 Dominic Mahoney € 2,015
79 Leo Armino Netherlands PokerStars Qualifier € 2,015
80 Gavin O'Rourke Ireland PokerStars Qualifier € 2,015
81 Alfonso Jesus Fernandez Martinez Spain € 2,015
82 Emilio Domínguez Muñoz Spain PokerStars Player € 2,015
83 Flavius Iones Gherca Romania € 2,015
84 Carmelo Vazquez De Paz Spain PokerStars Qualifier € 2,015
85 Julio Castell Perez Spain PokerStars Qualifier € 2,015
86 Georgy Gukasyan Russian Federation € 2,015
87 Kevin Santner Germany PokerStars Qualifier € 2,015
88 Tanel Tääker Estonia PokerStars Qualifier € 2,015 -- RS

6.29pm: Its official, we are in the money
The all-ins were fast and furious. So fast, in fact, that the tournament never paused for hand for hand. The final bubble victim was France's Robert Andre Cazali, whose A♠ K♦ could not hold facing the Q♦ T♦ of Ludovic Geilich. The board was J♦ J♥ 2♣ 3♥ T♥, one measly pair of tens good enough to bring Cazali's hopes of glory to an ignominious end. Fare well, bubble boy! -- GC

6.22pm: Pawel Keller bubbles
On an A♣ Q♣ 9♠, 2♦ board, one time big stack Pawel Keller moved all-in against the excitable Renzo Cambianica. Cambianica looked him up with A♠ J♣. Keller had many outs, 13 to be precise, with 9♣ 7♣, good for a pair and a flush draw.

"Viva Italia! Viva Espana!" cried out Cambianica euphorically.

"I didn't expect him to call on the bubble," Keller said. He had a good bit of back-up, but it was not to be.

Keller was elimination number 90, in other words, the runner-up bubble boy. -- GC

6.16pm: Linnemann holds to triple-through on bubble
Kasper Linnemann looked very likely to slip out of contention prior to the payout slots - with a mere 12k - there was no way he would be able to get a shove through uncontested.

"No fold equity huh!" he joked to his table as he juggled his patry collection of tokens.

He did find a hand he deemed worthy of a shove, pushing his minute stack into the middle and picking up 2 callers.

The pair of active players checked down the 7♣6♠3♠9♥J♣ board, turning over Q♦T♥ and Q♠7♠ respectively but Linneman broke out a toothy grin as he showed down pocket kings to claim the pot, triple through and temporarily at least avoid the unwanted moniker of bubble boy. -- RS

6.02pm: Hand for hand!
We've fair ripped through the 240-strong field and with just 90 remaining the tournament is about to be played out hand-for-hand as we prepare the crown the unlucky bubble boy or girl.

Sweaty palms and dry mouths abound....who will it be? -- RS

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 2,500-5,000, ante 500

5.54pm: Lalor sunk by judicious river
Joseph Lalor went searching for a double-through, shoving preflop with A-Q, only to run into the imposing presence of Swede Peter Kvisthammar - who took him on with pocket kings.

An ace-high flop looked like it was going to see Lalor home to a swift double-through, though with Dave Masters calling for a king in seat 8, a king duly arrived on the river to leave Kristhammer collecting the pot and sending a shell-shocked Lalor to the rail.

"I could just feel it coming," Masters commented.

"The luck of the Irish, eh," Kvisthammer noted as he re-stacked his newly-won 110,000 in chips. -- RS

5:45pm: Check it down? Think again
Pablo Rojas hasn't just been building sand castles today. He's been playing some tricky poker and maintaining an above-average stack. Gerard Walsh found himself in a 26,000 chip pot with the artist, which got checked to the river. Then Walsh decided the K♠ J♦ 9♥, 2♦, 5♦ board was worth a bet of 10,000. Not a traditional bluffing line, that's for certain. The previous subdued Pablo took the opportunity to raise it up to 34,000, much to the delight of the growing Spanish rail. A bubble play, or did he backdoor a flush? Walsh found the price to find out too steep and folded after a stew. Less than ten eliminations now until the money.


Not just a pretty sculptor

5.37pm: Hot in here
The speed of play has remained brisk, no major outbreaks of hollywooding or stalling yet, but showdowns are hard to come by. The three-bet shove is king right now, with some fearless re-shove stacks taking advantage of the big stacks would-be bubble abuse.

Nick Boehler and Fernando Curto Gonzalez seem primed for an explosion. The two have been the most active at their table and have frequently skirmished postflop. Gonzalez has enough chips to do serious damage, but one gets the feeling that, at least in a poker context, these two just plain don't like each other. We'll be keeping an eye out.

5.22pm: Bitter Pihl - two swallowed
Swede Axel Pihl has been smacking his table around in recent times, seemingly busting tablemates for fun.

The first opponent to see his stack devoured was Jose Vicente Robles Diaz - committing his stack with queens up (Q♦J♥) on the turn of a A♣Q♠9♣J♠ board, only to get the bad news that Pihl had him in a coffin with A♠9♦ for a superior two pair.

A brick river left him virtually out with just one and a half big blinds.

Pihl up to 125k but he wasn't done yet, the very next hand calling a shove from shortstack Francisco Arce Bueno, whose ace-king it turned out was racing Pihl's sixes.

The pair saw a 5♣2♥5♦9♠J♣ board roll off to leave sixes-up the best hand and consign Bueno's hopes of claiming the title to the trash can.

Pihl breaks through the 160k mark and if he continues to deliver knockout haymakers at this rate, it could be a short day... -- RS

5.10pm: The bubble man cometh
The 25,000 chips are now in play, simplifying many people's stacks, including still chip leader Nick Boehler, who controls 355,000. More pressingly, we are less than twenty away from the money as only 105 players remain in contention. Who will freeze up?

4.55pm: Level 15 in effect
A bruising four levels have played out, just 117 players making it through the day so far.
Another incremental and inevitable increase in the forced blinds can only serve to raise the temperature at the felt as we move into level 15. -- RS


The chip version of the wicker man

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 2,000-4,000, ante 500

To see updates from levels 11-14, here.

PokerStars Blog reporting team at PokerStars Marbella Festival brought to you by UKIPT and ESPT: Rod Stirzaker and Gareth Chantler. Photos by Eric Vogel.