Eureka Poker Tour Nova Gorica: Day 3, levels 23-27 updates (blinds 25,000-50,000)


1.25am: Antonio Dieguez Rodriguez wins Eureka Poker Tour, Nova Gorica (€40,010)
On the button Antonio Dieguez Rodriguez made it 125,000 to play and Plamen Todorov called from the big blind. On the flop of J♦5♦7♥ Todorov led for 160,000, Rodriguez moved all-in and Todorov called. On their backs:

Todorov: A♦4♦ - overcard and nut flush draw
Rodriguez: 7♦6♥ - second pair.

The turn was the 2♥ and Rodriguez let out his catchphrase, "Vamos, Vamos". The river was the 8♣ and Rodriguez bent down hugged the trophy, pulled his baseball cap over his eyes and began to cry a little. But soon he was all smiles again and he adds a Eureka Poker Tour title to the Estrellas Poker title he won in March.

Congratulations must also go to Plamen Todorov who led for much of the final table and at times looked unstoppable. He takes home €24,500 for his efforts.

A full wrap of today's play is on the way.

1.15am: Rodriguez ramping it up
Since taking the lead Antonio Dieguez Rodriguez has been super-aggressive, just now he moved all-in after Plamen Todorov had opened to 140,000 from the button.

1.05am: Spain seize the lead
From the button Antonio Dieguez Rodriguez made it 135,000 to play and was three-bet to 335,000 by Plamen Todorov, back on Rodriguez he four-bet to 535,000 and forced a fold from Todorov. The Spaniard showed the A♣ as he took the pot. Chip counts now roughly 1.7m to Rodriguez, 1.4m to Todorov.

0.45am: Rodriguez gets some back
Plamen Todorov raised to 100,000 from the small blind and Antonio Dieguez Rodriguez made the call. The flop was Q♠5♣9♠ and Rodriguez checked to Todorov who c-bet 120,000 a bet that the Spaniard min check-raised to 240,000. After a long think Todorov gave it up. Stacks are now 1.7m to the Bulgarian and 1.4mil to the Spaniard.

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Heads up in Slovenia

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 25,000-50,000

0.25am: First big pot a split
Plamen Todorov raised to 100,000 from the button and Antonio Dieguez Rodriguez called. The flop was J♠4♦8♦ and Rodriguez check-called a bet of 100,000. The turn was the [10d] and both players checked to see the 5♥ fall on the river. After a bit of a think Rodriguez led for 190,000 and Todorov made the call. Both players had [7][6] for the straight.

0.20am: Bulgaria versus Spain
There have been famous battles that we remember between Bulgaria and Spain, so this is a first. It's advantage Bulgaria at the moment with Plamen Todorov having a 2.1m to 1m chip advantage over Antonio Dieguez Rodriguez.

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Seconds out...

0.15am: The trophy and the glory
So Antonio Dieguez Rodriguez is heads-up for a Eureka Poker Tour main event title again, he's got about a two to one chip deficit to Bulgarian, Plamen Todorov. They're playing for, amongst other things, this lovely trophy.

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The Eureka Poker tour trophy

0.05am: Franco Recchia eliminated in third place (€13,800)
Down to around 350,000 he shoved from the small blind with K♦8♠ and Antonio Dieguez Rodriguez made the call from the big blind with [10h]9♠. The flop of [10c]2♥4♦ vaulted Rodriguez into the lead. The 8♥ gave Recchia more outs, but the J♠ was not one of them. There's now a short break before heads-up play begins.

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Franco Recchia

11.55pm: Plamen ploughing on
The chip-leader Plamen Todorov has extended his lead purely by picking up more small pots than anyone else, he's up to about 2,100,000, Antonio Dieguez Rodriguez has around 600,000 and Franco Recchia about 425,000.

11.45pm: Open shoving
Franco Recchia is short enough now that he's just taken to open shoving when entering a hand, no call as of yet.

11.40pm: Rodriguez puts in a three-bet
The chip leader Plamen Todorov is not having it all his own way three handed. He raised to 90,000 from the button, but folded once Antonio Dieguez Rodriguez had three-bet to 240,000.

11.35pm: Chip counts
Current chip counts are:

Plamen Todorov - 1,900,000
Antonio Dieguez Rodriguez - 700,000
Franco Recchia - 540,000

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Plamen Todorov - dominant

11.30pm: Back from the break
Players are back in their seats and we're underway again.

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 20,000-40,000, ante 4,000

11.20pm: Break time
Players are now on a 10 minute break.

11.10pm: Chip counts
Current chip counts are:

Plamen Todorov - 1,650,000
Antonio Dieguez Rodriguez - 870,000
Franco Recchia - 700,000

11.05pm: Rodriguez takes one from Recchia
Franco Recchia raised to 85,000 from the small blind and Antonio Dieguez Rodriguez called from the big blind. On a flop of Q♣8♣5♥, Recchia check-folded to a bet of 85,000 and Rodriguez showed 8♣3♣.

10.55pm: No major action just yet
Play is still three handed here and there have been no major chip swings. Players just taking a bit of time to feel each other out here.

10.40pm: Dorde Jovanovic eliminated in fourth place (€11,000)
He shoved all-in for 156,000 and Plamen Todorov made the minimum re-raise to isolate him. It did the trick as Franco Recchia open-folded pocket jacks. The chip leader revealed pocket nines, whilst Jovanovic had A♣6♥. The board ran out K♣6♥4♣K♦7♠ and just like that we're three handed, having lost three players in 15 minutes.

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Dorde Jovanovic

10.35pm: Chip counts
Here are the current chip counts, chip leader Plamen Todorov has more than the other three players combined.

Dorde Jovanovic, Serbia, 160,000
Antonio Dieguez Rodriguez, Spain, 600,000
Plamen Todorov, Bulgaria, 1,600,000
Franco Recchia, Italy, 750,000

10.28pm: Aleksandar Kaludercic eliminated in fifth place (€9,250)
The very next hand Aleksandar Kaludercic moved all-in with A♦9♥ and Plamen Todorov called with A♠J♣ the board ran out 5♦3♠2♣7♠5♥ and Todorov extends his chip lead still further. It seems his tournament to lose now.

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Aleksandar Kaludercic

10.25pm: Simon Andrei eliminated in sixth place (€7,700)
He was down to around seven big blinds and found K♥6♥ and went with it, unfortunately for him Plamen Todorov woke up with pocket aces. News of another exit coming right up.

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Simon Andrei

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 15,000-30,000, ante 3,000

10.20pm: Seeing plenty of Plamen
Chip leader Plamen Todorov is involved in a lot of pots. Two hands in a row illustrate that:

Hand One: He raised to 60,000 from under-the-gun+1 but folded after Dorde Jovanovic raised all-in from the small blind for 290,000 total.

Hand Two: He raised from under-the-gun to 60,000 and called Aleksandar Kaludercic's 200,000 shove. But both players had king-queen and neither hit a flush.

10pm: Show the bluff
From under-the-gun Plamen Todorov raised to 55,000 and Antonio Dieguez Rodriguez defended from the big blind. The flop was 5♠9♦4♣ and it checked to Todorov who bet 62,000 but Rodriguez then check-raised to 150,000 total and took the pot. Todorov implored him to 'show the bluff' but the Spaniard elected to keep his cards face down.

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There's banter, but it's friendly

9.55pm: Show one to all
Flops have been rare at this final table but the players just took one, well two of them did. From the cut-off the chip leader, Plamen Todorov made it 55,000 to play and then from the small blind Franco Recchia three-bet to 110,000 total, a bet that Plamen called.

The flop was 9♦2♦7♥ and Recchia checked to Todorov who bet 105,000 into a pot of 264,000. After thinking for at least five minutes Recchia folded showing the A♥, Todorov responded by showing the K♣. With that pot Todorov becomes the first player to break the million chip mark and he now has almost a third of the chips in play.

9.35pm: Get it quietly VAMOS VAMOS
Yes the headline should give you a clue that Spanish player Antonio Dieguez Rodriguez has doubled up as he's never shy to let you know about it.

Dorde Jovanovic raised to 57,000 and Rodriguez moved all-in for 209,000 with pocket sixes and Jovanovic called with A♦8♠. The flop of 2♦K♦6♣ saw Rodriguez let out a cry of "Vamos, Vamos," and bang his fist on the table. The turn and river were the 5♥3♥ and Rodriguez could still go one better than in Prague.

9.25pm: Play underway
Play is underway the current chip counts are as follows:

Aleksandar Kaludercic, Bosnia Herzegovina, 398,000
Dorde Jovanovic, Serbia, 624,000
Antonio Dieguez Rodriguez, Spain, 212,000
Plamen Todorov, Bulgaria, 910,000
Simon Andrei, Romania, 326,000
Franco Recchia, Italy, 750,000

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 12,000-24,000, ante 3,000

9.15pm: Final table bios
Below are the bios of the eight players who made the final table, please note the chip count refers to the amount they started the final table with.

Seat 1: Viliyan Petleshkov, 23, Bulgaria, PokerStars Qualifier, 96,000 chips,

Professional player Viliyan started playing online three years ago and is the only online qualifier to have made the final table and the youngest. His best result is a 23rd place in a WCOOP event, which netted him a tidy $44,000 payday. He claims that he never tells bad beat stories.

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Viliyan Petleshkov

Seat 2: Aleksandar Kaludercic, 47, Bosnia Herzegovina, 339,000 chips

Aleksander is the oldest player on the final table. He was a professional bridge player until 2006 before turning his attentions to poker. His best live result is a second place in a tournament in Belgrade.

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Aleksandar Kaludercic

Seat 3: Dorde Jovanovic, 36, Serbia, 579,000 chips
Last month Dorde won the PokerStars Montenegro Poker Tournament in Budva for a first prize of €28,275. He is the manager of a trading company and intends to play all the remaining events on the Eureka Poker Tour this year.

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Dorde Jovanovic

Seat 4: Antonio Dieguez Rodriguez, 33, Spain, 140,000 chips
Antonio was runner up in the inaugural Eureka event in Prague and since then he has gone one better by claiming victory in the Estrellas Poker Tour Malaga event for a first prize of €81,500. He has now continued his remarkably good run and by making this final he moves to the top of the Eureka Poker Tour Leaderboard.

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Dieguez Rodriguez

Seat 5: Plamen Todorov, 35, Bulgaria, 366,000 chips
Plamen is one of three players with the surname Todorov to have played in the tournament. Both of the others made the money including his brother Daniel (10th place), who just missed out on joining his sibling on the final table. Plamen, who is a professional poker player, has made many final tables, but is yet to taste victory.

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Plamen Todorov

Seat 6: Simon Andrei, 29, Romania, 469,000 chips
Simon is a professional poker player and has been playing for five years. This is his first Eureka event but he also intends to play in the Bulgarian event in June. He carries the hopes of his country on his shoulders for this event, sporting a Romanian football shirt for the final.

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Simon Andrei

Seat 7: Senadin Cosic, 45, Bosnia Herzegovina, 364,000 chips
Pet owner Senadin is a successful businessman and entrepreneur in his native Bosnia. He has been playing poker for a few years and his best result to date is second place in a tournament in Austria earlier this year, where he cashed for €9,300.

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Senadin Cosic

Seat 8: Franco Recchia, undisclosed age (we reckon mid 40s, unless he's had a very hard life), Italy, 813,000 chips.
Franco is the sole surviving Italian player out of 47 that started this tournament; however he goes into it as the chip leader. We don't know much about the elusive Franco, except that he works for a living and plays poker online at PokerStars.

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Franco Recchia

8.20pm: Dinner break
The remaining six players are now on a one hour dinner break. See you in 60.

8.10pm: Viliyan Petleshkov eliminated in seventh place (€6,250)
Bloggers law: write that there's been no action and there shall be action!

It folded to Viliyan Petleshkov in the small blind and he moved all-in for 140,000 with K♦Q♣ and Aleksandar Kaludercic called from the big blind with A♦5♥. The board of 2♥J♥Q♦8♥9♥ meant that Petleshkov was eliminated.

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Viliyan Petleshkov

8pm: No flops no drops
It's all gone a bit quiet recently at the final table, there's been very few flops seen with Plamen Todorov and Simon Andrei being the most active.

7.45pm: Chip counts

Viliyan Petleshkov, Bulgaria, PokerStars qualifier, 160,000
Aleksandar Kaludercic, Bosnia Herzegovina, 200,000
Dorde Jovanovic, Serbia, 450,000
Antonio Dieguez Rodriguez, Spain, 150,000
Plamen Todorov, Bulgaria, 950,000
Simon Andrei, Romania, 470,000
Franco Recchia, Italy, 705,000

Click here as I'll be updating the counts throughout the final table

7.30pm: Senadin Cosic eliminated in eighth place (€4,700)
Plamen Todorov opened to 49,000 from the hi-jack and Senadin Cosic moved all-in for 210,000 from the button. After getting a count and giving Cosic a good stare down Todorov made the call with A♦[10h] which was dominating Cosic's A♣5♥. The board of 7♦A♠6♥Q♥K♦ missed both players and we lose the first player from the final table.

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Senadin Cosic

7.20pm: Price of poker going up
All eight players still remain but with the blinds escalating once again a number of them are in short stack territory, expect a few exits this level.

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Antonio Dieguez Rodriguez (second left front row) has made back to back finals

PokerStars Blog reporting team at Eureka Poker Tour Nova Gorica: Nick Wright. Photos courtesy of Manuel Kovsca

Nick Wright
@PokerStars in Eureka Poker Tour