PokerStars Marbella Festival: Final table, level 30-32 updates (100,000-200,000)

8.35pm: Ludovic Geilich (€130,000) wins the PokerStars Marbella Festival!
It was four aggressive days of poker from our champion, who bested 763 runners, fueled by guts and favoured by fortune. The gregarious Pablo Rojas, who already had an Estrellas title - the 2012 Ibiza leg - on his C.V. finishes runner-up, cashing for a sizable 98,000 Euros.


Performance of a lifetime from Geilich

Today's final table started quickly, with Fernando Curto Gonzalez (€12,820) eliminated 8th having four-bet shoved pocket sixes into the aces of Geilich. That domination would be a sign of things to come. Next disposed was Jorge Eguaras (€17,580), who made an ambitious bluff-shove with a gutshot and two overcards on a four-straight board. Unfortunately Pablo Rojas had the fifth piece of that puzzle. The genial Jonatan Soderstrom (€23,800) had been plying his short stack into pay jumps for a long spell, his patience well-rewarded, his spots well picked. But all good things come to an end and he was busted by Kamil Hrabia's ace-nine suited when he shoved king-eight offsuit under the gun.

Lucas Blanco (€35,710) began the day with the largest rail but his run only lasted two hours as he was brutalized by the turned set of Geilich holding top pair, top kicker. The pay jumps were now substantial and Asier Crespo took home €48,520 after his ace-queen was bested by Hrabia's pocket queens in a preflop confrontation.

That left three, which lead to deal-making. It was struck after much conferencing, Hrabia guaranteed 95k, Rojas 98k, and Geilich 116k, with 14k left to play for. It was shortly thereafter that Geilich absolutely eviscerated Hrabia in Ivey-esque fashion, check-raising all-in on the turn with two napkins and forcing a dejected Hrabia off third pair. Hrabia was all-in with king queen not soon after and it was Pablo Rojas who woke up with the aces to curtail the Pole's run.


Rojas gave Geilich a run for his money

The final table had played out in brisk fashion - the fierce action eliciting frequent eliminations. That pace meant the heads up pair of Rojas and Geilich began their duel with stacks like Good King Wenceslas' snow - deep and crisp and even.

A protracted battle was on the cards.

It was Geilich who had the run of the early action, building up a 3-1 chip lead prior to the dinner break. As it turned out, he would never relinquish this advantage, though the pair tussled back and forth for close to four hours and Rojas put up stiff resistance to Geilich's unbridled aggression and fearless style.

It wasn't to be enough though - Geilich ground the Spaniard down, a coin flip with pocket nines delivering the death blow to Rojas and ensuring a maiden UKIPT/Estrellas victory for the young Scotsman with a German passport. Moments later a blinking Geilich was lifted to the rafters by his enthusiastic group of friends - cries of "Ludooo, Ludooo" echoing throughout the poker room.


Ludovic's boisterous rail provided fervent support

We caught up with Geilich following his victory and asked him how he was feeling:

"I don't know really," he told us. "I'm happy of course, but I'm dead mellow, I don't go nuts like these guys [indicates his cheering rail with a smile.] When I get knocked out I don't get emotional. I'm out, I just leave. It feels good though!"

Geilich formed quite a friendship with his heads-up rival Pablo Rojas during the final table and was keen to praise him.

"What a gentleman, I really like the guy. I didn't want to beat him heads-up, I wanted us both to win but that's the deal. I'd have been devastated if I beat him with a bag of spanners. I didn't want it to end like that."

As for his later plans, he said, "They[his railing friends] are all going to get smashed. I don't know what we'll do. I've only had 10 hours sleep since I got here. It doesn't affect my play though." We could tell.

Congratulations to Ludovic Geilich for his sterling performance, his win fully merited. We're sad to wish lovely, sunny Marbella goodbye but the UKIPT will be back in action in Galway, Ireland - the festival running from the 27th July to the 12th August with the UKIPT beginning on the 8th August and finishing the 12th.

We'll be back to cover all the action from the emerald isle then but for now thanks for following our coverage. We've had a blast. - GC & RS

8.15pm: Eruption! Ludovic Geilich is your PokerStars Marbella Festival champion! It began as they had been beginning. The pot that is. Ludovic Geilich opened for 400,000 and Pablo Rojas moved all-in. Geilich checked his cards and made the quick call. Each players' contingent rushed past the rail and crowded the table.

"Out," Tournament Director Toby Stone ordered. The staff moved everyone back, but they were busting at the seams.

Geilich tabled 9♠ 9♦, a hand he was quick to point out was Phil Hellmuth's to win the Main Event way back in 1989.

Rojas flipped Q♠ J♣, his life now resting on a coinflip.

With the situation under control, the dealer took three cards off the top of the deck:

K♣ T♦ T♣

To say it was loud would hardly capture the atmosphere. This was a sweat. Everyone was calling out, some bellowing, the card their hero of the moment would desire.

Rojas had flopped very well and it was still anyone's game.

The fourth card arrived:


Now the Spanish cheers reached a fever pitch, desperate for their man to continue in this event. One card to go, Geilich's contingent hoped.


Boom goes the dynamite. The fans could not be contained and the rail dispersed as if it had never been there in the first place. Geilich encircled by his friends, jumped up and down to "LUDO! LUDO! LUDO!"

Breaking away from the pack, Geilich found Rojas in the chaos, the two competitors turned friends embraced and exchanged hearty congratulations. Rojas takes home a treasure -- €98,000. But it is Geilich who is the envy of all, awarded €130,000.

That is what has been witnessed. Ludovic Geilich had conquered Marbella in a virtuoso display of no-limit holdem prowess. -- GC


Only an oversize cheque will do

7.58pm: Grinding, grinding, ground
The trend continued -- Geilich winning more than his share of small pots. Rojas was down to a re-shove stack, dipping dangerously below twenty big blinds. Two hands were representative of this stretch:

Geilich opens for 400,000 and Rojas moved all-in. Geilich folds.

Rojas folds his button.

Rojas was down to somewhere in the 2,500,000 neighbhourhood. Thirteen big blinds can not last long without an all-in confrontation. -- GC


Geilich, locked in

7.43pm: Ten hands in a row
There was a lot of folding in the first ten hands to start this level, with Rojas continuing to vary his open size. Here is the break down of how it began:

1) Rojas makes it 500k on the button, Geilich folds.

2) Ludovic Geilich opens to 400k, Geilich folds.

3) Pablo Rojas open folds his button.

4) Geilich makes it 400k and Rojas calls. The flop is Q♠ 6♣ 2♦ and Rojas leads for a suspicious 225,000, which Geilich calls. The turn was the Q♥ and Rojas lead again, but for 475,000. Geilich releases his hand quickly.

5) Rojas folds another button.

6) Geilich raises his button the minimum and Rojas folds.

7) Rojas raises to 450,000, Geilich says "all-in," and Rojas folds.

8) Geilich raises to 400,000 and Rojas folds.

9) Rojas shows T♣ 4♠ and folds his third button of the last four.

10) Geilich makes it 400,000 and gets one caller. Guess who? The community cards start K♥ 7♥ 5♣ and check matches check.

The K♦ turns and Geilich wins the pot for one quarter of the pot, betting 200,000 when checked to.

That's an eight to two tally in Geilich's favour. Rojas is going to have to start scrapping over the small pots if he is going to swing the match. This much is certain: Geilich will never take his foot off that gas pedal. -- GC

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 100,000-200,000

7.30pm: Level 31 is over
Wow next level is 100k/200k.

The chip stacks are like this currently, Geilich getting the better of the duel.

Geilich - 10,500,000
Rojas - 4,500,000 -- RS

7.15pm: Geilich pushes for dominance in the four-bet realm
With the blinds getting to semi-ridiculous levels and every single button opened, the number of three-bet re-steals is rising and naturally this has led to this aggressive pair increasing the regularity of a big four-bet re-re-steal.

RIght now Geilich is the one getting away with these lucrative manoeuvres most effectively. Two recent hands saw him pop the button to 320k, Rojas dig out a 700k move and Geilich pick up the Spaniard's chips with one final definitive act of aggression - betting 1.5 million and getting a pair of mucks for his efforts. -- RS

7.09pm: Value betting like a champion
These two love to play pots. You might think the fact the stacks are slow to change is down to nittery but the truth is the chips are ebbing and flowing back and forth almost every pot. The result is a very fluid dynamic between these two that is probably just favouring Geilich.

Recently the pair played out a very interesting pot - Geilich peeling a Rojas raise preflop, before the pair checked the J♦6♦6♥ board.

A 4♦ on the turn saw Geilich lead for 395k, called by Rojas with the comment, "let's see if your jack is better than mine then,"

The J♠ on the river saw Geilich consider his options before popping out a 975k bet.

Rojas called, only to muck when Geilich showed him A♠7♠ for ace-high.

Rojas was visibly annoyed at this, having made a hero-call with what we think was king-high.

"You make the same bet with any two cards," he grumbled. Geilich disagreed.

"No, no I don't!"

Is there trouble in paradise? -- RS

6.56pm: The mucking metagame
Here are the rules, if you want to see, you have to show. Last aggressor (ie who made the last bet) has to show first if called. If they don't show and muck their hand, the other player can take the pot without showing themselves. Got it? Good.

Geilich min-raised the button and Rojas called. Three cards were dealt face up (strange game this), and they were Q♣ 7♠ 3♥.

Rojas made an action we are told is referred to as a "check." Then Geilich cut out a 345,000 chip bet. Rojas called.

Another card was added to the board, the 6♥. Both players dabbled in the art of checking on this street.

Then, yet another card, the 5♣. Rojas fired out 425,000 and Geilich called. Rojas mucked and so did Geilich, in that order.

"I call so you need to show," reminded Geilich.

Rojas had a deep laugh about that, leaned across the felt, and the two exchanged fist bumps. A mutual respect has been mutually earned and the pre-chop bromance is back in full bloom. -- GC


Rojas with his defenses up

6.43pm: Five easy pots
Rojas and Geilich have entered into a protracted poker match. Who would have thought? Five recent hands went like this:

1) Ludovic Geilich raises to 320,000 and Pablo Rojas folds.

2) Pablo Rojas raised to 390,000 on the button and Geilich folds.

3) Geilich raises to 320,000 and Rojas folds.

4) Pablo Rojas raised to 380,000 and Geilich three-bet to 840,000. After a quick think Rojas made it 1,835,000. Geilich looked to have bad intentions, but folded.

5) Geilich raised to 320,000 and Rojas called. The flop came J♦ 2♠ 8♣.

Rojas checked, Geilich bet 315,000, and Rojas raised to 650,000.

"If I fold, will you show me?" Geilich asked. Rojas now has ear buds in and likely didn't hear.

When Geilich folded those ear buds came out.

"Show me?"

"The cards? You know that's not possible." Rojas grinned.

"I wish we had hole card cameras here," he continued, "so you could see everything tomorrow." -- GC

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 80,000-160,000, ante 20,000

6.34pm: Rojas fights back
Prior to the dinner break Rojas was beginning to show a few signs of frustration and dejection. Since the resumption though he has cut a different figure.

Little talking, sunglasses on, earphones in - Rojas looks the model of focus - a hermetic seal wrapped round his visage to protect him from leaking any useful information to the alert Geilich, who soaks it up like a sponge.

And you know what? His new strategy's working...he has won a series of small pots to reduce Geilich's lead ratio from 3:1 to 3:2 and the rail cries of "Vamoooo" that signal Spanish success are increasing in frequency.

Could the tide be turning?

9 million for Geilich, 6 million to Rojas... -- RS


The consummate professional

6.23pm: Preflop war breaks out
Both players are active on their buttons and a few moments ago the pair engaged in a game of preflop chicken. It started with a standard Ludovic Geilich preflop button open to 240,000 - Rojas looking to end the positional aggression with a three-bet from the big blind to 575,000.

Geilich pondered things in his usual way clicking chips and thinking it over before cutting out 2 big stacks of 25k chips totalling 1 million and scattering a number of 25k and 5ks on top as icing - 1,200,000 the giant 4-bet - before pushing the chips over the line.

Rojas looked briefly interested but something changed and he blinked first, mucking his hand leaving Ludovic to sweep up a tasty pot with no showdown. -- RS

6.05pm: Calm before the storm?
Rojas limped his button and Geilich checked. The flop?

Can't take the suspense?

It was 8♣ 3♠ 5♦ and both players checked.

2♥ turn and both players... checked.

The 9♦ smashed down on the table with a thunder usually reserved for Thor's hammer or Zeus' bolts of lightening. No, not really -- it arrived without even a soft whimper. Geilich quickly check-folded to a nearly minimum bet from Rojas. -- GC

5.55pm: Small pot procession
The final table may have began with a flurry but the melee has turned to a war of attrition between two heroes.

Geilich raised the button and Rojas called. The flop came A♥ A♣ K♣ and both players checked. On the 2♥ turn Rojas check-called a 245k bet from Geilich, who checked the 4♦ river back in position.

Rojas: K♥ T♠
Geilich: 4♥ T♥

On Rojas' button he raised to 325,000 which, after a handful of previous folds, elicited a call from Geilich. The flop was K♦ J♦ 4♣ and it went check, bet 375,000, call. Both players checked the 5♥ turn and the 7♥ river.

Geilich mucked when he saw Rojas hadn't deemed the J♠ 8♣ worthy of a river value bet. -- GC

5.45pm: Rojas is a chameleon
His words, not ours. But well said. Rojas was opening the button to 325k at 60k-120k, which was unusual enough. But in addition to that he's also been limping buttons, three at the least. Geilich doesn't quite know what to make of it at this point, but remains a confident bruiser. -- GC

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 60,000-120,000, ante 10,000

5.30pm: Two left gunning for the title
Folllowing the break, we're back heads-up with hand-reader extraordinaire Ludovic Geilich holding a roughly 3-1 chip lead over his sparring partner, Spaniard Pablo Rojas. --RS


Geilich: The man reads hands for fun

To view updates from levels 26-29, click 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.