FPS Monaco: Main Event Day 3 coverage archive

There were 1,261 to start. Then 339, then 60. Now, just six players are still with a chance at the France Poker Series Monaco Main Event title and the €218,000 prize that goes with it. One of those six will have an edge to start play tomorrow, France's own Stephane Dossetto who took the lead during the early evening, lost it to the UK's Niall Farrell briefly, then secured the night's final knockout to grab it again and end with 9,525,000 -- just ahead of Farrell's 9,165,000.


Stephane Dossetto

The pace was rapid to start today, with more than a third of the field gone within two hours of play. Early knockouts this afternoon included start-of-Day-1 leader Andrey Andreev (57th), Thierry Morel (55th), Yannick Dupont (51st), and Romans Voitovs (44th), Oleksandr Vorobii (35th), and the last woman to be eliminated, Jessica Drissi (31st).

That whittling away continued steadily thereafter, during which time the Romanian Tudor Purice -- known by many as "a.S.e high" on PokerStars -- had moved up into the chip lead, a spot he maintained as others like Julien Brecard (25th), Keith Johnson (22nd), and start-of-day-2 leader Philipp Wenzelburger (21st) hit the rail.

By dinner time they were down to two tables, and it was just before that break Dossetto moved ahead of Purice. Meanwhile Alexandre Sette (16th), Mauro Tarantini (15th), Laurent Badin (14th), Olivier Armougon (13th), and Benoit Veres (12th) were successively felted, all Frenchmen like Dossetto aside from the Italian Tarantini.

Next it was Arman Nugmanov of Kazakhstan going out in 11th. A former professional footballer, Nugmanov won the first of the Hexathlon challenges here at the EPT Grand Final, picking up a Baby PokerStars Spade for doing so. On the very next hand Kidhir Megrous of France was knocked out in 10th by Niall Farrell, and after a lengthy final table bubble Gaetano Preite of Italy ran pocket kings into Farrell's aces to go out in ninth.

During that bubble Dossetto thrived, giving him a healthy lead for the day's final stage, at one point sitting with twice the stack of nearest challenger Farrell. Stefano Terziani then felted a short-stacked Purice in eighth, before Dossetto took out the Frenchman Romain Matteoli in seventh to end Day 3. Click here for a look at all of the payouts thus far in the event, from 7th down to 183rd.

Here's how the counts will look to start play on Sunday:

SeatName CountryStatusChips
1Stefano TerzianiItalyPokerStars Qualifier7,565,000
2Stephane DossettoFranceLive Satellite9,525,000
3Niall FarrellUKPokerStars player9,165,000
4Julian FernandezFrance 3,200,000
5Jean-Baptiste BertrandFrance 1,105,000
6Miguel SilvaPortugalPokerStars player1,260,000

Play will resume tomorrow with just over a half-hour left in Level 30, where the blinds are 60,000/120,000 with a 20,000 ante.

The schedule calls for Sunday's final table to start at 1pm local time, and EPT Live will be on hand for cards-up coverage. That means like them we'll also be here on a one-hour delay presenting all the action as we find out together who among these eight will be the next FPS Main Event champion.

Until tomorrow, Bon soir! --MH


12:31am: Romain Matteoli eliminated in 7th place (€ 29,350)
Level 30 - Blinds 60,000/130,000 (ante 10,000)

We're down to six and it's Romain Matteoli who's gone in seventh place.

In his exit hand Stephane Dossetto opened from early position, Matteoli shoved for 1,700,000 from the small blind and Dossetto instantly called.

Matteoli: 2♥2♣
Dossetto: T♥T♠

The A♦7♥Q♠3♥A♠ run out meant the chip leader got richer and Mattel's run ended in sixth place.


Romain Matteoli - 7th place

That's the end of the action for today. The final table begins at 1pm CEST tomorrow, but our coverage won't begin until 2pm due to the coverage being cards-up on EPT Live. --NW

12:15am: Fernandez gets short then doubles
Level 30 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

A tale of two hands, both involving Julian Fernandez. In the first Stefano Terziani opened to 250,000 from under-the-gun and picked up calls from Fernandez (cutoff) and Romain Matteoli (big blind).

The flop fell K♥7♥3♣ and when it was checked to Fernandez he bet 270,000. Terziani was the only caller. The turn card was the J♥, again Terziani checked, and once more Fernandez bet. The Frenchman fired out 450,000, but Terziani was not calling this time, instead he check-raised all-in. Fernandez only had about 800,000 back but he found a fold.

Fernandez got one shove through uncontested (he showed ace-king) but the second time he shoved he got called. It was Jean-Baptiste Bertrand who put him at risk, calling with J♦J♥. It was a race as once more Fernandez had A♥K♠.

The K♥3♣2♣8♥6♠ board connected with Fernandez's hand and he survived. He was all-in for 1,280,000 and so he doubled to around 2,880,000 whilst Bertrand drops to 1,400,000. --NW

12:01am: Last level of the night begins
Level 30 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

Whatever happens, this will definitely be the last level of the night as they'll either play out the hour or stop at six players. --MH


11:59pm: A Silva double
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Miguel Silva opened for his entire stack of 890,000 from the button, and after a short period of reflection Stefano Terziani decided to call the push from the big blind.

Silva had A♣3♥ and the preflop edge over Terziani's Q♠T♣, but the A♦6♦J♥ flop and Q♣ turn didn't necessarily make Silva feel any more comfortable. The 5♠ river was a safe card for him, however, and he exhaled with relief while doubling to about 1.9 million. Terziani, meanwhile, still has about 6.2 million. --MH

Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

11:57pm: Tudor Purice eliminated in 8th place (€20,900)
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

It didn't take long for the first elimination of the final table and it's Tudor Purice who's gone in eighth place.

He was one of three players who saw a [T][6][5] flop, Niall Farrell bet, Purice check-raised all-in with [8][7], Stefano Terziani called with ace-ten and Farrell folded the same hand.

Purice didn't connect with the turn or river and he's out in eighth. --NW


Tudor Purice - 8th place

11:55pm: Final table begins
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

After a short pause for the official final table photos the action has begun again. --NW


The official final table

11:50pm: Gaetano Preite eliminated in 9th place (€16,160)
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

It seemed like it was going to take an unavoidable cooler to set the final table and that's exactly what happened.

Gaetano Preite opened to 250,000 from the hijack, Niall Farrell three-bet to 620,000 from the cutoff, Preite raised to 1,300,000, Farrell shoved all-in and Preite called all-in for around 3,200,000.

Farrell: A♥A♦
Preite: K♥K♠

Ouch! What a cooler. The 6♥2♦J♠T♠9♣ board kept the aces in front and Preite was eliminated. Farrell is up to around 8,000,000 and challenging Stephane Dossetto for the chip lead. --NW


Gaetano Preite - 9th place

11:45pm: Updated chip counts (nine remain)
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

SeatName CountryStatusChips
1Romain MatteoliFrance 1,850,000
2Stefano TerzianiItalyPokerStars Qualifier5,100,000
3Stephane DossettoFranceLive Satellite8,900,000
4Gaetano PreiteItaly 3,220,000
5Niall FarrellUKPokerStars player4,350,000
6Julian FernandezFrance 2,350,000
7Jean-Baptiste BertrandFrance 2,895,000
8Miguel SilvaPortugalPokerStars player1,100,000
9Tudor PuriceRomaniaPokerStars player1,475,000

11:42pm: Big boost for Bertrand
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

The hand started slowly, was slow in the middle, then ended swiftly and dramatically. Let us explain.

It folded initially to Gaetano Preite in the cutoff who took a half-minute before letting his hand go. Then Niall Farrell promptly opened for 215,000 from the button, and after a bit of thought Julian Fernandez reraised to 580,000 from the small blind. Jean-Baptiste Bertrand then didn't take that long before announcing he was all-in for 1.405 million.

Farrell tossed his hand right away, but Fernandez took more than three minutes before finally spinning a chip forward to signal a call.

Bertrand tabled A♠J♠ and Fernandez K♥J♥, and the dealer efficiently dealt out the 9♥2♥J♦ flop (giving both jacks and Fernandez a flush draw), the T♣ turn (providing a gutshot, too, for Fernandez), and 4♣ river (a safe finish for Bertrand).

Bertrand is up close to 3 million now, while Fernandez sinks to 2.35 million. --MH

11:30pm: Still on the final table bubble
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

A reminder that we're one elimination away from the official final table in this event. However play will continue until six players remain or we reach the end of level 30, whichever comes first. --NW

11:20pm: Preite moving on up
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Gaetano Preite started level 29 as the shortest stack but he's now up to fifth in chips after winning a big pot.

It was Tudor Purice who started the action, raising it up to 225,000 from early position. He got calls from Stephane Dossetto (button), Preite (small blind) and Niall Farrell (big blind).

On the 4♣9♣4♦ flop Purice continued for 340,000 and Dossetto flat called. Preite then reached for chips and check-raised to 700,000 total. That equated to about half his stack and it got the job done as everyone folded. He's up to 3,000,000 now, whilst Purice is into the danger zone as he's down to 1,500,000. --NW

11:10pm: Battle of the blinds wounds Matteoli
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Action folded to Romain Matteoli in the small blind, he raised to 275,000 and Stefano Terziani called from the big blind. On the 3♠K♣Q♦ flop Mattel continued for 325,000 and Terziani smooth called. The 4♣ fell on the turn and Matteoli fired again, his bet was 575,000 this time and again Terziani stuck around.

The 5♠ rounded off proceedings and Matteoli check-folded to a bet of 815,000. He's down to 1,600,000 whilst Terziani climbs to 5,500,000. --NW

10:55pm: The short stacks aren't waiting around
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

If you followed our coverage of the super high roller yesterday you'll know that on the stone bubble the short stacks got very short indeed - sub five blinds we're talking - well the short stacks in this tournament aren't as patient.

Since the break Jean-Baptiste Bertrand has shoved twice - once over a Niall Farrell raise - and Gaetano Preite has min-raised and won a pot uncontested. --NW

10:45pm: Chip counts
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Here are the counts of the remaining players as level 29 gets underway. Stephane Dossetto has a large chip lead with Niall Farrell his nearest challenger.

SeatName CountryStatusChips
1Romain MatteoliFrance 3,345,000
2Stefano TerzianiItalyPokerStars Qualifier3,690,000
3Stephane DossettoFranceLive Satellite9,460,000
4Gaetano PreiteItaly 920,000
5Niall FarrellUKPokerStars player5,200,000
6Julian FernandezFrance 4,270,000
7Jean-Baptiste BertrandFrance 1,090,000
8Miguel SilvaPortugalPokerStars player1,320,000
9Tudor PuriceRomaniaPokerStars player2,040,000


Dossetto has a large lead


10:30pm: End of the level
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Level 28 has just ended and the players are now on a 15-minute break. --NW

10:20pm: No major action yet
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

There haven't been any other major hands to speak of. At the moment the two players who are most in danger of bubbling this final table are Gaetano Preite (915,000) and Jean-Baptiste Bertrand (1,180,000). --NW

10:10pm: Dossetto dents Purice to extend his chip lead
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Stephane Dossetto is up to 9,300,000 after winning a big pot against Tudor Purice. The Frenchman opened to 225,000 from under-the-gun and Purice smooth called on the button. The Q♦A♦5♥ flop was checked through and the 7♥ fell on the turn. Dossetto checked, Purice bet 375,000, Dossetto check-raised to 850,000 total and Purice smooth called.

The J♠ completed the board, Dossetto led out for 1,300,000 and Purice snap called. Dossetto slammed 7♣7♦ on the felt and Purice mucked. "Nice turn," he offered as Dossetto took the pot. Purice drops to 2,375,000 after that loss. --NW

9:51pm: Seat draw for nine-handed table
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

They are down to the not-quite-official final table. Here's a look at where the final nine are seated. --MH

1Romain Matteoli
2Stefano Terziani
3Stephane Dossetto
4Gaetano Preite
5Niall Farrell
6Julian Fernandez
7Jean-Baptiste Bertrand
8Miguel Silva
9Tudor Purice

EPT12MON_9 left_0963_JulesPochy.jpg

9:37pm: Kidhir Megrous eliminated in 10th place (€13,450)
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

On the hand after Arman Nugmanov was eliminated we lost another player and are now down to the unofficial final table of nine.

Stephane Dossetto opened to 200,000 from under-the-gun and picked up calls from Niall Farrell and Kidhir Megrous. The flop fell Q♥6♥9♣, Dossetto checked, Farrell bet 315,000 and Megrous leaned forward, counted his chips and then moved all-in for 750,000 total.

Dossetto folded and action was on Farrell. "I'm getting 3.5:1," he said. "If you've got a nine I'm supposed to call." And call he did.

Farrell: A♥J♦
Megrous: 9♦7♦

The 6♦ turn changed nothing but the A♠ river did. Megrous let out some choice words in French after he saw the river card. Farrell is now up to around 5,000,000. They'll be a short break whilst there's a complete re-draw of the final nine players. --NW


Kidhir Megrous - 10th place

9:30pm: Arman Nugmanov eliminated in 11th place (€13,450)
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

From the cutoff Niall Farrell opened to 165,000 and action passed to Kidhir Megrous in the small blind. He got some calling chips out of his stack of around 1,050,000 and held them in his hand over the line. He seemed unsure what to do leaving his had hovering for about 20 seconds before calling. But he hadn't put enough chips in and had to put in another 50K to make up the shortfall.

Perhaps this influenced Arman Nugmanov's decision (but we'll never know), he moved all-in for 930,000 total, Farrell re-raised all-in and Megrous tanked before folding.

Farrell: Q♠Q♥
Nugmanov: A♣7♣

The board ran K♠3♠3♣9♣J♠ and Farrell's hand held to boost him to 3,800,000. We are now on the unofficial final table bubble. --NW


Arman Nugmanov


9:29pm: Preite doubles through Purice
Level 27 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Gaetano Preite open-raised all-in for 630,000 from middle position, then Tudor Purice reraise-shoved from the small blind to isolate.

Purice had 8♠8♦ while Preite showed A♦K♦. The 2♦J♦6♠ flop kept Preite in front, but the 7♦ gave Preite a flush and made the river no matter. Preite is up to 1.37 million now, while Purice still has a big stack of 4.55 million --MH

9:19pm: Benoit Veres eliminated in 12th place (€12,050)
Level 27 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Benoit Veres had battled with a short stack for several hours before finally getting his last 670,000 chips in the middle with K♣T♦ and facing one caller in Niall Farrell who held A♠J♣.

The board ran out nine-high -- 9♦6♣6♠8♥9♣ -- and Veres was knocked out in 12th. Farrell meanwhile bounced back to 3.12 million with that pot. --MH


Benoit Veres - 12th place

9:15pm: Nice call!
Level 27 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Niall Farrell's slide down the chip charts continues as Stefano Terziani just made a nice river call against him to win a decent sized pot. Farrell opened to 125,000 from the cutoff and Terziani called from the button.

On the 8♥7♠6♥ flop Farrell fired out a 185,000 c-bet and Terziani stuck around. The J♦ turn got checked through and the 7♣ fell on fifth street. Farrell reached for chips and pushed out a bet of 250,000. His Italian opponent dwelled for a minute or so and then called. Farrell turned over K♣T♠ for king high and Terziani opened A♠Q♥ for an ace high hero call.

After that hand Farrell is down to around 2,500,000 whilst Terziani climbs to 3,700,000. --NW

9:05pm: The "shove on Farrell" orbit
Level 27 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Whilst the big Purice vs Fernandez pot was taking place (see below) the other table played a full orbit. During that orbit Niall Farrell raised four pots in a row (one of them was a three-bet). He got shoved on three out of the four occasions and folded every time with the minimum of fuss. --NW


Patience... patience...

8:55pm: Purice and Fernandez play a big pot
Level 27 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Tudor Purice and Julian Fernandez, who are two of the top five stacks in the tournament just clashed in a big pot. It was actually Miguel Silva who got the action started, he opened to 125,000 from under-the-gun, Purice flat called and Fernandez then raised it up to 325,000 from the button. Purice was the only caller.

The flop fell 8♠T♣4♣, Purice checked, Fernandez bet 530,000, Purice check-raised to 1,275,000 and Fernandez went into the tank. Purice had about 2,075,000 back and Fernandez, who had about 3,600,000 behind puffed out his cheeks a few times as he thought about what to do. He tanked for over five minutes before folding the J♦ face-up.

Purice is up to 4,600,000, whilst Fernandez is down to 3,600,000. --NW

8:46: Olivier Armougon eliminated in 13th place (€12,050)
Level 27 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Olivier Armougon open-raised for his last 240,000 and got one caller in Gaetano Preite. Armougon tabled K♠8♦ while Preite had A♣9♦, and after the J♦J♥3♥3♣2♣ runout, Armougon bid the table goodbye. --MH


Olivier Armougon - 13th place

8:38pm: Better kicker for Terziani
Level 27 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Kidhir Megrous raised to 150,000 from under the gun and it folded around to Stefano Terziani who called from the big blind. The flop came 5♦2♠A♥, Terziani checked, Megrous bet 225,000, and Terziani called. The turn was the A♠, bringing another check-call from Terziani, this time for 275,000.

The 8♠ river completed the board. Terziani checked again, and after hesitating a couple of beats Megrous checked behind.

Terziani showed A♣Q♦ for trip aces, and Megrous showed his hand briefly -- ace-jack, also for trips but with a worse kicker -- before mucking.

Terziani is up to 2.4 million now, while Megrous slips to 680,000. --MH


Terziani takes a few

8:35pm: Romain Matteoli doubles through Tudor Purice
Level 27 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Action folded to Romain Matteoli in the small blind and he raised it up to 160,000 total. Tudor Purice thought for a little bit and shoved all-in. He was the covering stack and Matteoli, who had 1,560,000 total, thought for about 30 seconds and then called.

Matteoli: K♥Q♥
Purice: 3♥3♣

Matteoli needed to win a flip to stay alive and he did just that as the board ran 2♣T♠Q♣K♣9♥. He's up to 3,180,000 whilst Purice drops to 3,000,000. --NW

8:25pm: Laurent Badin eliminated in 14th place (€10,810)
Level 27 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

On the first hand after the dinner break Laurent Badin was eliminated when his ace-jack failed to spike against the pocket queens of Julian Fernandez. Badin's all-in was for 570,000. --NW

8:23pm: Play resumes
Level 27 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Players are back. These final 14 will be playing down to eight tonight. --MH


Laurent Badin - 14th place


7:06pm: Dinner break
Level 26 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

The 14 remaining players are now on a 75-minute dinner break. Take a look at their updated counts below. --NW

Stephane DossettoFranceLive Satellite5175000
Tudor PuriceRomaniaPokerStars player4300000
Julian FernandezFrance 4150000
Niall FarrellUKPokerStars player4070000
Stefano TerzianiItalyPokerStars Qualifier2360000
Miguel SilvaPortugalPokerStars player2275000
Kidhir MegrousFrance 1655000
Romain MatteoliFrance 1600000
Jean-Baptiste BertrandFrance 1535000
Arman NugmanovKazakhstan 1365000
Gaetano PreiteItaly 1240000
Benoit VeresFrance 680000
Laurent BadinFrance 580000
Olivier ArmougonFrance 430000

7:05pm: Mauro Tarantini eliminated in 15th place (€ 10,810)
Level 26 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Stephane Dossetto opened to 150,000 from early position, Niall Farrell flat called and Mauro Tarantini then moved all-in for 845,000 from the big blind. Dossetto tanked and then folded, Farrell also tanked but he called!

Tarantini: 7♦7♣
Farrell: A♠Q♥

The board ran 3♠K♠A♦3♣9♦ and Tarantini was eliminated, whilst Farrell finally won a big all-in. His first of the day. Dossetto told Farrell that he'd folded the same hand. "I thought when you tanked for that long you might have the same hand, which is why I thought for so long," said Farrell.

He's up to around 4,050,000 after that hand. --NW


Mauro Tarantini - 15th place

7pm: Fernandez takes a big pot from Preite
Level 26 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Julian Fernandez opened to 135,000 in early position and called after Gaetano Preite min-raised to 220,000 total. On the 3♠6♥Q♥ flop Preite bet 300,000 and Fernandez, using a high chip toss, called immediately.

The Q♣ turn checked through and the 5♦ completed the board. Fernandez led for 200,000, Preite raised it up to 600,000 and Fernandez grimaced before calling. Preite rolled over A♥J♠ but Fernandez had him beat with pocket tens. He's up to 4,100,000 whilst Preite is down to 1,250,000. --NW

6:50pm: Battlin' Badin
Level 26 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

With 15 left Laurent Badin has become the short stack, and while he's tried to improve his status of late with a couple of preflop all-ins, no one is taking him up on the offer.

Less than 10 minutes remain until the end of the level, at which time they'll be taking a 75-minute dinner break. --MH

6:41pm: Alexandre Sette eliminated in 16th place (€9,580)
Level 26 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

After shoving all-in for his last 500,000 or so from middle position, Alexandre Sette watched Stephane Dossetto call from the next seat over and the rest of the table step aside.

Sette had A♥9♦ but needed help against Dossetto's A♦J♥. The board came J♦A♠6♦7♥8♥, which meant Sette was drawing dead by the turn to go out in 16th place.


Alexandre Sette - 16th place

Dossetto is way up to 5.15 million now. --MH

6:33pm: Two flush draws are better than one
Level 26 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

An absolute sicker for Stefano Terziani who just doubled up Kidder Megrous even though they both had the same hand.

Terziani raise-called with A♠K♠ and a chop looked liked likely as Megrous had A♥K♦. Before any community cards were dealt Megrous, who was all-in for 875,000, pointed at the king as if to say: "I'll make a flush with that one," and he did.

The 9♦A♦T♣5♦4♦ making him a diamond flush on the river and wounding Terziani in the process. He's up to 1,800,000 whilst Terziani is down to 2,200,000. --NW

6:30pm: Final two tables
Level 26 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Below is how the final two tables shape up:

11Alexandre SetteFrancePokerStars Qualifier405,000
12Stephane DossettoFranceLive Satellite4,300,000
13Miguel SilvaPortugalPokerStars player2,300,000
14Niall FarrellUKPokerStars player2,800,000
15Stefano TerzianiItalyPokerStars Qualifier3,300,000
16Kidhir MegrousFrance 890,000
17Benoit VeresFrance 875,000
18Mauro TarantiniItaly 625,000
21Romain MatteoliFrance 1,205,000
22Laurent BadinFrance 575,000
23Tudor PuriceRomaniaPokerStars player4,200,000
24Jean-Baptiste BertrandFrance 1,375,000
25Olivier ArmougonFrance 1,175,000
26Arman NugmanovKazakhstan 1,550,000
27Julian FernandezFrance 3,300,000
28Gaetano PreiteItaly 1,900,000


Dossetto setting the pace with two tables left

6:20pm: Gleb Tremzin eliminated in 17th place
Level 26 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

We're down to the final two tables in the FPS Main Event and it's EPT12 Prague runner-up Gleb Tremzin who's fallen in 17th.

He shoved for 615,000 with A♦J♠ and Arman Nugmanov looked him up from the big blind with 7♠7♥. The 8♦2♠K♦9♣7♣ board meant Nugmanov's hand held up. He's up to 1,700,000 and there's now a short break for a re-draw of the final two tables. --NW


Goodbye, Gleb

6:10pm: Silva doubles up
Level 26 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Gaetano Preite and Miguel Silva had reached the river of a 7♥T♦J♠7♦J♥ board and there was about 800,000 in the pot. It was a blind on blind battle and Preite checked to Silva and he moved all-in for 740,000.

Preite tanked and then called it off, Silva showed J♣6♦ for trips and Preite tapped the table before showing A♥T♥. He's down to 1,525,000 whilst Silva is up to 2,300,000. --NW

6:06pm: Hopkins cut down in 18th
Level 26 - Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

After Gaetano Preite opened for 125,000 from middle position, it folded around to Mathew Hopkins in the small blind who reraised all-in for 340,000, and Preite called.

Hopkins had K♦J♠ and the edge over Preite's 8♣6♣. But the flop came 3♥8♠6♠ to give Preite two pair, and by the Q♣ turn Hopkins was already drawing dead to finish in 18th place.

Preite has 2.85 million now. --MH


Hopkins eliminated


5:51pm: Oliveira eliminated in 19th
Level 25 - Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Right after Florian Pral's bust, Pedro Oliveira watched Stephane Dossetto raise from under the gun and the table fold back to him in the big blind. Oliveira then reraise-pushed all-in for about 900,000, and Dossetto called in a snap.

Oliveira: T♦T♠
Dossetto: A♥A♠

Bad timing for Oliveira, and five cards later -- 9♣7♦7♠Q♣9♠ -- he was out in 19th place. Dossetto is now stacking up about 3.925 million and is challenging Tudor Purice for the chip lead. --MH


Oliveira out

5:45pm: Pral punches out in 20th
Level 25 - Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Florian Pral pushed all-in with his short stack from middle position with A♣6♦ and was looked up by Miguel Silva who reraise-isolated from the button with A♥9♦. The board ran 3♣Q♣J♦7♣Q♦, and Pral's run was stopped in 20th place.

"Nice hand," said the short-stacked Mathew Hopkins from across the table to Silva. "And thank you!"

With 19 left now, Silva sits with 1.475 million. --MH

5:39pm: Wenzelburger falls in 21st
Level 25 - Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Philipp Wenzelburger started the day as the chip leader with 60 players left, though during the afternoon gradually slid back to the pack as others challenged for the top spot.

At last Wenzelburger got the last of his chips in the middle with T♠T♦ but unfortunately for him had run into the Q♦Q♣ of Tudor Purice.

The board ran out A♦6♥9♣6♣7♣, leaving Wenzelburger unimproved and sending him railward in 21st place. Meanwhile Purice is now way up to 4.55 million --MH


Wenzelburger out

5:35pm: Johnson loses flip to bust in 22nd
Level 25 - Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

The previous hand Keith Johnson had three-bet all-in over the top of a Jean-Baptiste Bertrand open and Julian Fernandez looked like he really wanted to call. The Frenchman folded on that occasion but on the next hand they got it on.

Johnson opened to 100,000 from late position, Fernandez three-bet to 350,000 from the small blind, Johnson shoved for what looked like 870,000 and Fernandez flicked in a chip to signify a call.

Johnson: T♥T♣
Fernandez: A♠K♦

The 9♦9♠3♣ flop was safe for Johnson, the K♥ turn gave Fernandez the lead and the A♣ river only improved his hand. He climbs to 3,975,000 whilst Johnson picks up € 7,160 for his 22nd place finish. --NW

5:40pm: Benoit Veres doubles through Gaetano Preite
Level 25 - Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

From under-the-gun Benoit Veres moved all-in for 590,000 and he got a call from Gaetano Preite. First to show was Veres, he had A♥K♥ and was dominating the A♦J♦ of Preite.

The board ran 5♣9♦6♣2♠6♠ and Veres shouted: "Allez, allez, good morning," as he won the pot. He's up to 1,300,000 whilst Priete is down to 2,300,000. --NW

5:30pm: Big double for Tarantini
Level 25 - Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Romain Matteoli opened to 90,000 from middle position and Mauro Tarantini called from the big blind. The flop fell 5♥7♥4♦, Matteoli c-bet 105,000 only for Tarantini to check-raise all-in for 605,000 total. Matteoli tanked for a few minutes before calling.

Tarantini: 7♣7♠
Matteoli: 3♥3♣

The 4♠ turn made Tarantini a full-house and the meaningless A♣ completed the board. He's up to 1,500,000 whilst Matteoli is down to 460,000. --NW

5:16pm: Olivier Decamps eliminated in 23rd
Level 25 - Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

They are down to 22 now as Olivier Decamps has been knocked out.

Decamps put his last 520,000 in the middle with T♣T♥ but unfortunately for him ran into Kidhir Megrous' A♥A♦.

The community cards came 7♣K♥7♠4♣9♣, and Decamps hit the rail. Megrous has 1.65 million at the moment. --MH

5:11pm: Puche put out in 24th
Level 25 - Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Shortly after play resumed, Olivier Puche put his short stack all-in with ace-jack versus the pocket nines of Tudor Purice, and when the board ran out eight-high Puche was done in 24th place.

Purice is now up to 3.3 million. --MH

5:10pm: A few snippets
Level 25 - Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Here are a few biographical items to help you get to know some of the remaining players. --NW

* Stephane Dossetto - won the FPS3 Deauville High Roller (2013)
* Kidhir Megrous - $260,000 in lifetime earnings, cashed in 2011 WSOPE Main
* Arman Nugmanov, played professional football for two years after leaving school, won the first of the Hexathlon challenges - and was rewarded with a Baby PokerStars Spade. The 37-year-old has been to the Grand Final twice as well as EPT Prague
* Miguel Silva - $133K in earnings, biggest win 3rd in a €1k Hyper at EPT12 Prague
* Keith Johnson - won the first ever Eureka event (it was in Prague) high stakes online/live cash player, final table of €25K HR in Dublin
* Pedro Oliviera - $154,106 in winnings. Results almost exclusively in Portugal.
* Gaetano Preite: $701,273 in earnings. Deep run (48th) in the 2013 WSOP Main Event. Won the IPT High Roller in Sanremo in 2014.
* Olivier Decamps - won a Winamax tour event in Paris in 2015.
* Romain Matteoli: 2nd in WPT Barcelona Main Event in 2011.
* Stefano Terziani: 2nd at IPT4 Campione in 2011. Cashed in PCA Main Event in 2015.

5:05pm: Updated chip counts (24 remain)
Level 25 - Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Gaetano PreiteItaly2775000
Tudor PuriceRomania2550000
Stephane DossettoFrance2500000
Julian FernandezFrance2300000
Niall FarrellUK2150000
Stefano TerzianiItaly1970000
Jean-Baptiste BertrandFrance1800000
Romain MatteoliFrance1600000
Kidhir MegrousFrance1420000
Pedro OliveiraPortugal1300000
Philipp WenzelburgerGermany975000
Alexandre SetteFrance955000
Gleb TremzinRussian Federation925000
Olivier PucheFrance900000
Arman NugmanovKazakhstan850000
Olivier ArmougonFrance840000
Laurent BadinFrance825000
Miguel SilvaPortugal800000
Keith JohnsonUK750000
Benoit VeresFrance690000
Mauro TarantiniItaly675000
Mathew HopkinsUK600000
Olivier DecampsFrance520000
Florian PralFrance460000


4:42pm: Take a break
Level 24 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 4,000)

When the three table re-draw was taking place Niall Farrell told Philipp Wenzelburger that there was a break, when in fact it was just a pause for the re-draw. When the re-draw had been completed Wenzelburger still hadn't shown up. A horrified Farrell was asking around if anyone knew how to contact him.

Fortunately Wenzelburger returned at this point and didn't miss a hand. But, the players are now on a 20-minute break. --NW

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4:37pm: Matteoli doubles through Tremzin
Level 24 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 4,000)

Romain Matteoli has just doubled up through Gleb Tremzin to push his stack up to 1.33 million.

Matteoli had 5♠5♦ versus Tremzin's A♥J♥, and happily flopped a set to secure the double-up. Tremzin falls back to about 950,000. --MH

4:30pm: Final three tables
Level 24 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 4,000)

Below is the re-draw of the final three tables. There's a break in about 10 minutes time, during which we'll be getting full chip counts.

11Philipp WenzelburgerGermany
12Pedro OliveiraPortugal
13Stephane DossettoFrance
14Tudor PuriceRomania
15Kidhir MegrousFrance
16Olivier PucheFrance
17Olivier DecampsFrance
18Stefano TerzianiItaly
21Olivier ArmougonFrance
22Mathew HopkinsUK
23Benoit VeresFrance
24Florian PralFrance
25Niall FarrellUK
26Gaetano PreiteItaly
27Alexandre SetteFrance
28Miguel SilvaPortugal
31Mauro TarantiniItaly
32Jean-Baptiste BertrandFrance
33Keith JohnsonUK
34Gleb TremzinRussian Federation
35Romain MatteoliFrance
36Julian FernandezFrance
37Laurent BadinFrance
38Arman NugmanovKazakhstan

4:18pm: Brecard falls in 25th
Level 24 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 4,000)

Julian Brecard spent much of yesterday and the first part of today as a short stack. He then managed to build his stack up considerably during the afternoon, but alas for the Frenchman his tournament has come to a close with a 25th-place finish.

In his last hand, Brecard committed his final chips behind Q♠7♥ and was up against Laurent Badin's A♥9♠. A runout of 8♣9♦5♦A♠K♥ added up to two pair for Badin and no improvement at all for Brecard, and the latter headed over to the cashier.

That means they're down to 24, and so a redraw is in order. Back in a few with details of where everyone gets relocated. --MH

4:11pm: Farrell push prompts Matteoli fold
Level 24 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 4,000)

With about 750,000 in the middle and the board showing 4♣3♠3♦K♠T♠, Niall Farrell checked, Romain Matteoli bet 295,000, then after getting a count on the bet and pausing a half-minute or so, Farrell announced he was check-raising all-in.

Matteoli tanked for a full four minutes, looking back at the board, Farrell, and his stack of about 560,000 as he did. Finally he let his hand go, and now Farrell is back up around 2 million. --MH

4:05pm: Arbanatskii takes 26th
Level 24 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 4,000)

Shortly after Leszczynski's bustout, Ivan Arbanatskii followed him to the rail in 26th, meaning one more elimination and they'll be pausing for a redraw around the final three tables. --MH

4pm: Leszczynski knocked out in 27th
Level 24 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 4,000)

Robert Leszczynski was just all-in for his last 300,000 with 7♥7♦ and at risk of elimination versus Kidhir Megrous' A♠Q♥. Alas for Leszczynski, the Q♠3♠6♥2♣K♣ gave his opponent the better pair and ended his FPS Monaco Main Event run in 27th.

Megrous is up to 1.47 million with that pot. --MH

4:05pm: Big stacks
Level 24 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 4,000)

The average stack is currently 1,167,600 but there are three players who've got over 2,000,000. Julian Fernandez has 2,550,000, Tudor Purice has 2,400,000 and Stephane Dossetto is sitting on a stack of 2,200,000. --NW

4pm: Murderers row
Level 24 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 4,000)

Table one is arguably the toughest in the room. More pertinently half of table one is arguably the toughest in the room. Sitting in a row you've got Niall Farrell (1,200,000, EPT12 Malta champion), Tudor Purice (2,400,000, IPT7 Grand Final runner-up), Keith Johnson (1,100,000 Eureka Prague champion) and Gleb Tremzin (1,750,000, EPT12 Prague runner-up).

Tough crowd. The good news for them is that there's a redraw when we reach 24 players. 27 remain. --NW

3:45pm: Jacks fail Trissi
Level 24 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 4,000)

Jessica Trissi was all-in and at risk for her last 220,000 or so with J♦J♠ and hoping to hold against Stefano Terziani's A♣T♥. But the flop came K♣A♦7♠ to pair Terziani's ace, and after the 2♦ turn and Q♦ river, Trissi -- the last woman in the event -- was knocked out in 32nd.

With 31 players left, the average stack is now over 1 million. --MH

3:41pm: Oliveira doubles through Tarantini
Level 24 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 4,000)

Mauro Tarantini opened for 52,000, then Pablo Oliveira shoved all-in over the top for 476,000 total. It folded back to Tarantini who considered for a short while before making the call.

Tarantini had T♥T♣ while Oliveira was ahead with Q♠Q♥. The board ran out clean for Oliveira, coming 7♠6♣7♥A♦Q♥ to improve him to a full house, and he clapped his hands once in response.

Oliveira is back up over 1 million now, while Tarantini has about 810,000. --MH


Mauro still has more-o with which to play

3:34pm: Maisano out in 33rd, down to four tables
Level 24 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 4,000)

The blinds and antes go up, and the field size goes down. There are 32 players left now, gathered around four full eight-handed tables. --MH


3:33pm: Maisano out in 33rd, down to four tables
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 3,000)

Mirco Maisano picked up a strong hand, he just ran into an even better one. He raised to 55,000, Miguel Silva three-bet to 125,000, Maisano shoved for just over 500,000 and Silva snap called.

Silva: A♣A♦
Maisano: A♠K♥

It was bad timing for Maisano and his luck didn't improve on the 5♣Q♦6♣8♥4♥ board and he was eliminated. --NW

3:28pm: Farrell can't win an all-in
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 3,000)

"I've not been good at all-ins today," rued Niall Farrell as his stack took another hit.

He'd opened to 55,000 from late position and called when Philipp Wenzelburger three-bet to 115,000 out of the big blind. On the Q♠5♥8♠ flop Wenzelburger open shoved for his last 411,000 and Farrell went into the tank. He had about 1,500,000 back and after giving it a lot of thought he called.

Farrell: 9♥9♠
Wenzelburger: A♣K♦

It was a good call from Farrell but he still had overcards to dodge. The T♦ gave Wenzelburger some gutshot outs to go with his pair outs and he hit the A♦ river to survive. He's up to 1,070,000 whilst Farrell drops to 1,130,000. --NW


Keep losing these Niall-ins

3:14pm: Fernandez forces fold, finds first
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 3,000)

With about 130,000 in the middle and the board showing 8♦4♦2♠, Julian Fernandez led with a bet of 87,000, then start-of-day leader Philipp Wenzelburger raised just a tiny bit over the minimum to 175,000. Fernandez considered a while, then called, then both checked the 7♥ turn.

The river brought the A♣ and another check from Fernandez, and this time Wenzelburger pushed out a smallish bet of 100,000. Fernandez then check-raised big, and Wenzelburger instantly folded.

Wenzelburger is down around 520,000 right now while Fernandez is thriving, having chipped way up to 2.26 million and into first position currently. --MH

3pm: Guilbert doubles through Julien Brécard
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 3,000)

Julien Brécard raised to 60,000 from the small blind with A♦8♥ and called when Johan Guilbert shoved from the big for 189,000 with 7♠7♦. The pair held up on a K♠9♥2♦5♠3♠ board to double up Guilbert, whilst Brécard drops to 1,950,000.

No such luck for Toni Zengovski, Alessio Sabatini, or Thomas Popov, though, as they're all out. --NW

2:47pm: Parotti out, Drissi in
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 3,000)

Heading into Level 23, just two women were left in the field, and both of them were all-in and at risk during the first orbit after the break.

First Daniela Parotti pushed all-in for about 300,000 and got called by Olivier Puche sitting one seat over. Parotti had A♣Q♣ but Puche held A♦K♥, having her hand dominated and chip stack covered.

The board ran out 5♣7♥2♦7♣K♠, and Parotti is out.

On the next table over, Jessica Drissi was down to just 80,000 when she put it all-in behind J♦T♠ and was called by Olivier Armougon with A♣K♣. There the community cards came 2♥3♦2♦6♥T♥, that river ten saving Drissi for now, although she still appears to be shortest with 37 players left. --MH

2:45pm: Top 10 stacks
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 3,000)

As the level got underway the players below were in positions one through ten in the chip counts. Tudor Purice still has the lead, but Julian Fernandez isn't far behind. --NW

Tudor PuriceRomaniaPokerStars player2,037,000
Julian FernandezFrance 2,000,000
Olivier ArmougonFrance 1,800,000
Jean-Baptiste BertrandFrance 1,600,000
Julien BrécardFrancePokerStars TV Stars1,550,000
Stephane DossettoFranceLive Satellite1,240,000
Benoit VeresFrance 1,166,000
Mathew HopkinsUKPokerStars Qualifier1,150,000
Mauro TarantiniItaly 1,115,000
Arman NugmanovKazakhstan 1,100,000

2:35pm: Freitas doubles through Farrell
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 3,000)

Down to just 133,000 Fabio Freitas moved all-in from early position with K♣J♣ and Niall Farrell looked him up with A♠8♠. The T♦Q♥A♣ flop was gin for Freitas and the board ran out 4♥J♦ to keep the Brazilian in the lead. He's up to around 300,000 whilst Farrell drops to 1,000,000. --NW

2:26pm: Play resumes

The 39 remaining players are back in the seats and cards are back in the air. And landing back down on the felt. And being looked at and bet upon.

You know, the usual. --MH


2:06pm: Break time

After a busy first couple of hours that saw just over a third of the Day 3 starters knocked out, those who remain are taking their first 20-minute break of the day. Meanwhile we'll be counting up stacks to give you an idea where things stand on the other side. --MH


Time to get countin'

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2:05pm: Pral doubles
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Florian Pral is up to 465,000 after doubling through Niall Farrell. The Frenchman shoved for 204,000 with A♦J♣ and Farrell called with A♥Q♠.

The J♦3♥8♠7♣6♣ board saw Pral win the pot and drop Farrell to around 1,200,000. --NW

2:03pm: Everyone is ordering doubles
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

We're hearing "All-in and a call!" constantly as Level 22 nears its conclusion. But not so many instances of "Payout!" Just now there were four players all-in and at risk on four different tables, all within a few minutes, and all four survived.

Alessio Sabatini was all-in with a short stack with A♣T♦ versus Laurent Badin's A♦K♣, but the board made a wheel for both to force a chop and let Sabatini keep his seat.

Erick Levy Guedj then made it through with K♥T♠ versus Pedro Oliveira's 9♣9♠ when a king came on the turn. "Yea papa!" said Guedj, although he's still very short.

Francisco Acevedo then survived with pocket eights versus ace-king, followed by Julien Brecard doubling up with Q♣Q♠ versus Thomas Popov's J♣J♦.

Brecard's double was the biggest of the four, pushing him up around 1.1 million as the first break of the day nears. --MH


All-in and a call!

2pm: Purice piles on the pressure
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Tudor Purice is up to around 2,000,000 after winning a big pot against Gleb Tremzin. I picked up the action on the 9♠J♥6♣ flop to see Purice (small blind) betting 115,000. Tremzin, who was in early position, called. The Q♦ turn checked through and the Q♥ completed the board.

Purice fired again, this time 325,000 and Tremzin tank-called. The Romanian rolled over A♣Q♠ and Tremzin mucked. He's down to 800,000. --NW

1:55pm: Cooler alert!
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Our thanks to Fabio Freitas for telling us about a big pot he played, even more so given that he lost the hand in question.

He told us that he had pocket eights and Toni Zengovski pocket sixes. By the river the board was [A][5][6][6][8] and unsurprisingly the chips went in. Zengovski had about 300,000 to start the hand and he's up to 607,000, whilst Freitas is down to 350,000. --NW

1:42pm: Armougon trips up Hopkins
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

"All right, I need a minute."

So said Mathew Hopkins, and a quick survey of the situation made it immediately apparent he'd made a reasonable request.

The board showed 6♠Q♣A♥6♣, the cards in the middle surrounded on three sides by the 550,000 or so of chips in the middle. Hopkins' opponent, Olivier Armougon, had pushed all in from the cutoff for approximately 450,000, and Hopkins had to think a bit futher on the button.

Finally Hopkins called, then wincingly said "Oh!" when Armougon tabled 6♦4♥ for trip sixes. Hopkins showed his second-best A♠J♦, and Armougon is now way up around 1.5 million. Hopkins meanwhile sits with about 615,000. --MH

1:40pm: Guenoun departs
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

In a blind on blind battle Gleb Tremzin and Bertrand Guenoun got the chips in with Guenoun at risk for his final 340,000. Tremzin had 8♦8♠ and was ahead of Guenoun's A♥K♦.

This classic race went the way of the pair as the board ran 5♠3♦7♣5♣2♦ and Tremzin is up to 1,275,000. --NW

1:35pm: Badin busts Yared
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

All-in and at risk with A♣5♦, Ghassan Yared had the preflop edge against Laurent Badin's K♦T♣. But the flop came K♠2♦Q♣ to give Badin kings, and after the 7♣ turn and 8♠ river, Yared was eliminated.

With 46 players left, Badin has 425,000. --MH


It's good for Badin

1:25pm: Steinbicker doubles, still short
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Thomas Steinbicker had just 57,000 left and he stuck them in with J♥6♥ and was behind against Alexandre Sette's A♠T♠. The 6♦2♥9♦9♠Q♣ board favoured Steinbicker and he's doubled to around 140,000. -- NW

1:18pm: Brecard est très bien
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Julien Brecard open-pushed his short stack of 212,000 from the button, and after a while saw the shove get through.

"Nice hand," said Robert Leszczynski from across the table. "Finally!"

"No... I won one before," said Brecard with a laugh, noting how through the first hour-plus he did pick up a pot with tens. "Now I have like 260-270 thousand. Yesterday I had three big blinds on the bubble, so I'm okay."


As long as you have chips, all is bien

"Très bien!" clarified Leszczynski, and Brecard nodded with a laugh. They went on to talk nationalities. As a Team Pro for France, Brecard literally wears his nationality on his sleeve, but Leszczynski's is less obvious -- one parent from Poland, another from Vietnam, birth in Norway, and current residence in Norway.

Right now here in Monaco, Leszczynski has about 780,000 and an above average stack. --MH


1:17pm: The longest tank
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

This hand took so long that the blinds went up, there was a double up and an elimination at other tables whilst it took place.

Mauro Tarantini got the action started, raising to 35,000 from the hijack, Gaetano Preite then three-bet to 85,000 from the cutoff only for Pedro Oliveira to cold four-bet to 200,000 on the button.

Tarantini folded and then the tanking began. Preite had about 700,000 in total and was faced with, what was in all likelihood, an all-in or fold decision. He took his time, a lot of time and none of the players at the table called the clock. In fact they went as far to say that they realised how important the decision was and they were happy for Preite to take his time.

The clock ticked onwards and then eventually he made his decision. "All-in," he said. About half a second later Oliviera said call and we had a showdown!

Oliviera: K♣K♠
Preite: A♣A♦

Preite had tanked for ages with aces! Perhaps thinking that an extended tank was more likely to get a call from Oliviera. Of course with the hand Oliviera had he could have instantly shoved and Oliviera would've still called!

The A♥8♠7♣4♠9♣ board further improved Preite and he doubled to 1,470,000 whilst Oliviera is down to 720,000. --NW

1:05pm: Purice tank-folds, still has the lead
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Tudor Purice could've become the first player to break the 2,000,000 chip mark had he won the following hand.

He'd bet 129,000 on the turn of a 7♥2♣K♠Q♣ board only for Benoit Veres to move all-in for 373,000 total. "Do you want a call, do you want to gamble?" asked Purice, before he elected to fold. Veres showed 9♠9♥ as he took the pot.

"Oh my god," sighed Purice, who despite that dent still has 1,950,000. He didn't have a chance to get those chips back though as their table broke because the tournament is down to 48 players as Kamel Hamou, Bertrand Guenoun, Remi Picart and Vincent Antoine Cavailles are all out. --NW

12:54pm: A double-KO for Pedro O.
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Yannick Dupont stared down at his cards and chose to fire his last 109,000 forward from middle position, then Pedro Oliveira, next to act, decided to call the push. It folded to Christos Stefanidis in the small blind who confirmed the amount of the raise, then announced he was three-betting all-in.

The action got back to Oliveira who learned the reraise was for 283,000 total, and he decided to call again to set up a three-way all-in:

Dupont: 9♠8♠
Oliveira: A♦Q♠
Stefanidis: A♠K♠

The flop came 6♥Q♥3♠, prompting a sound equal parts surprise and delight from Oliveira. The A♥ solicited further sounds of approval as the Portuguese player called for the hand to hold, and the dealer obliged with the J♥ river.

That meant two more players have been sent to the rail in Dupont and Stefanidis, bringing the field down to just 50. Meanwhile Oliveira now has a little over 1 million. --MH

12:52pm: It's always you!
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Down to just over 200,000 Patrick Gervois shoved all-in from under-the-gun and one by one the players folded until Mathew Hopkins, who was in the big blind, requested a count. He weighed up his options and then called.

Gervois: 2♠2♥
Hopkins: 6♣6♦

The A♥A♠T♣ flop kept Hopkins in front as did the T♦ turn but it opened up a lot of chopportunities. The 7♠ river meant both players played the board. "It's always you," said Hopkins with a smirk to "Shaun the dealer" who was in the box at their table. --NW


Hopkins with a stack

12:45pm: Nervous Nugmanov gets his double
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Kamel Hamou raised it up from the button only for Arman Nugmanov to move all-in for 238,000 from the big blind. Hamou requested a count, received it and then called.

Hamou: A♥8♦
Nugmanov: T♦T♥

Nugmanov stood up and began jigging from side to side with nervous energy as he awaited his fate. The 2♦K♥Q♣8♣4♦ board meant the pair held up and he doubled to 502,000 whilst Hamou is down to 550,000. --NW

12:35pm: Freitas not kind to his guest
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

We're taught to treat our guests well but there are no friends at the poker table and Nicolas Guest just busted to Fabio Freitas in a battle of the premium hands.

The Frenchman had less than ten big blinds and they went in with Q♥Q♠. A fine hand, but one that was behind to the pocket kings of Freitas. The 4♠9♠6♣A♠6♥ board kept Freitas in front and sent Guest to the rail.

Vytautas Laurinaitis is also out. --NW

12:33pm: Purice calls Morel's push, grabs lead
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Arriving on the river with about a quarter million chips in the middle and a board showing T♣6♣A♦5♠4♥, Thierry Morel made a big all-in push for his last 420,000 or so to put Tudor Purice to a tough decision. Purice thought for a while but finally came up with a call, at which point Morel appeared ready to leave without showing his hand at all. His cards were turned over -- A♥8♣ for a pair of aces -- and when Purice turned over A♠J♠ to show the same pair with a better kicker, Morel indeed took his leave.

He's still stacking, but it appears that big pot pushes Purice up around 1.45 million and into the apparent chip lead with 54 players remaining. --MH


Purice on top

12:31pm: Andreev out
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

End-of-Day-1A chip leader Andrey Andreev survived Day 2, albeit with a short stack of just under 10 big blinds. He lost those chips within the first half-hour of play today to join others on the rail.


The endreev for Andreev

There are 55 players left. --MH

12:24pm: Guenoun hanging on
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Bertrand Guenoun looked destined to be one of the first knockouts of the day shortly after Florian Pral doubled through him with A♣J♣ versus 's 8♥7♥. That knocked Guenoun down to just over 30,000 or a couple of big blinds.

But Guenoun managed to earn a quick more-than-double-up just after, getting his chips in with 9♦8♠ and being up against the A♦Q♣ of Romans Voitovs. The board ran out 5♥5♦3♣J♥9♣, that river nine keeping Guenoun in the game with about 75,000. --MH

12:20pm: Early busts
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Atanas Kavrakov, Theodore Vives, and Noris Barcimanto all began today with relatively short stacks, and all three have unfortunately lost those chips to be the first knockouts of the day. 57 players remain. --MH

12:15pm: Fist pump for Sabatini
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Alessio Sabatini couldn't contain his glee at doubling through Stefano Terziani and did a couple of fist pumps as the river card hit the felt.

He'd shoved for 220,000 with K♦K♠ and Terziani understandably looked him up with A♦K♥. The 6♠5♣T♦J♥7♣ board kept the cowboys in the lead and Sabatini is up to around 480,000 whilst Terziani drops to 820,000. --NW

12:05pm: Cards in the air
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Day 3 is underway! Sixty players begin the day, all with hopes of making it to tomorrow's final. --MH


11:55am: The march to the final table begins

It's time for Day 3 of the FPS Monaco Main Event. If yesterday was about building a stack, today is about making sure you still have one at the close of play. If you do then you'll have secured a seat the final table. A final table that will play out with cards-up coverage on EPT Live tomorrow.

The man looking most likely to get that far right now is Philipp Wenzelburger, who bagged up a chip leader 1,389,000 at the end of Day 2. It's fairly tight at the top though with six players over a million. One of those is EPT12 Malta champion Niall Farrell, who'll begin the day with 1,122,000. EPT12 Prague runner-up Gleb Tremzin is still going strong too as he's got 865,000 to play with.

The full start of Day 3 seat draw is below. Play begins at noon.

12Francisco AcevedoChile 260,000
13Gaetano PreiteItaly 475,000
14Theodore VivesFrance 227,000
15Gleb TremzinRussian FederationPokerStars player865,000
16Bertrand GuenounFranceLive Satellite280,000
17Oleksandr VorobiiUkrainePokerStars player274,000
18Romain MatteoliFrance 761,000
21Alexis QueneauFrancePokerStars Qualifier524,000
22Abdulatif TaslimFinland 453,000
23Jean-Baptiste BertrandFrance 1,171,000
24Thomas SteinbickerMaltaPokerStars player117,000
25Johan GuilbertFrancePokerStars qualifier442,000
26Mauro TarantiniItaly 957,000
27Stephane DossettoFranceLive Satellite676,000
28Alexandre SetteFrancePokerStars Qualifier982,000
31Yannick DupontFrance 167,000
32Vytautas LaurinaitisLithuaniaPokerStars Qualifier89,000
33Pedro OliveiraPortugal 60,000
34Julien BrécardFrancePokerStars TV Stars289,000
35Olivier PucheFrance 570,000
37Erick Levy GuedjFrance 345,000
38Robert LeszczynskiNorway 508,000
41Arman NugmanovKazakhstan 276,000
42Makram SaberLebanon 83,000
43Stefano TerzianiItalyPokerStars Qualifier1,040,000
44Miguel SilvaPortugalPokerStars player288,000
45Alessio SabatiniItaly 220,000
46Ghassan YaredLebanon 206,000
47Kamel HamouFrance 963,000
48Jessica DrissiFrance 349,000
51Niall FarrellUKPokerStars player1,122,000
52Nicolaj D AntoniItaly 509,000
54Andrey AndreevRussia 155,000
55Fabio FreitasBrazilPokerStars player434,000
56Nicolas GuestFrance 214,000
57Toni ZengovskiMacedonia 379,000
58Remi PicartFrance 211,000
61Daniela ParottiItaly 220,000
62Philipp WenzelburgerGermanyPokerStars player1,389,000
63Mathew HopkinsUKPokerStars Qualifier1,120,000
64Patrick GervoisFrance 249,000
65Olivier ArmougonFrance 856,000
66Kidhir MegrousFrance 556,000
67Atanas KavrakovBulgaria 158,000
68Noris BarcimantoUSA 254,000
71Florian PralFrancePokerStars Qualifier136,000
72Tudor PuriceRomaniaPokerStars player917,000
73Olivier DecampsFrance 940,000
74Romans VoitovsLatviaPokerStars qualifier751,000
76Benoit VeresFrance 600,000
77Vincent Antoine CavaillesFrancePokerStars Qualifier187,000
78Thierry MorelFrancePokerStars Qualifier1,005,300
81Keith JohnsonUK 319,000
82Laurent BadinFrance 259,000
83Thomas PopovCanadaPokerStars player781,000
84Laurent OliveFrance 298,000
85Julian FernandezFrance 705,000
86Christos StefanidisGreece 330,000
87Mirco MaisanoFrance 578,000
88Ivan ArbatskiiRussia 897,000


PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at FPS Monaco: Martin Harris and Nick Wright. Photos by Jules Pochy. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog

Live reporting team
@PokerStars in Monaco