LAPT San Jose: The race to the final table

Level 17 updates:

9.05pm: On the other table, Alec Torelli, the PokerStars qualifier from the United States, is beginning to boss things.

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Alec Torelli

He's taken small pots from Natasha Ellis, Kwaysser Akos and Max Steinberg in the last orbit and is looking strong.

9.00pm: The inevitable slowdown has occurred here, with most pots being kept below 20,000. The only notable shift went from the stack of Steven Thompson towards Michael Hull. It was worth about 53,000 and was the result of an A-Q v A-10 all-in pre-flop battle, with the A-Q holding up to double Hull's short-stack.

8.45pm: A huge, partisan cheer greets another pot for Steven Thompson. The Costa Rican got involved in a post-flop raising battle with Josh Prager, eventually forcing a fold from the American. The board was 2s-9d-4c and Josh checked. Steven bet, Josh check-raised and Steven re-re-raised. Prager passed.

8.30pm: Natasha Ellis just survived what would have been a sickening elimination. She got it all in pre-flop with pocket eights and Kwaysser Akos called with pocket twos. The flop was all clubs, and the turn was a fourth club, giving Akos the smallest of small flushes with one of his deuces. Natasha was looking like being flushed out of this thing, but a fifth club rivered and they ended up chopping it, both playing the board.

8.25pm: Mario del Valle, Guatemala, is eliminated in 17th place, earning $8,686
The damage was done to del Valle in a monster pot against Steven Thompson. Steven raised pre-flop, Mario called. They both checked the ace-high rainbow board. Mario bet out 15,000 on the Kh turn, which Steve called, and then Mario fired 19,000 on the Js river. Thompson tanked, but made a hero call with ace-three. It was good. Mario got his micro stack in shortly after and couldn't double up. He becomes the first player from Guatemala ever to cash in a PokerStars event.

8.15pm: It's been a tad cagey since they returned from dinner, which gives me the perfect opportunity to pass on a message from Natasha Ellis to her father, Malcolm, who's following his daughter's progress. The message is this: "Hi, Dad." Natasha is the final remaining female competitor, and is also the last from Great Britain. She has around 90,000 at the moment, a short stack, but certainly not out of it. She also just made a shrewd laydown with three-high from the big blind. Sharp stuff.

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The players are back from the dinner break, and they all have their eye on the final table.

From now until the end of the day, we'll be taking a more functional approach to reporting. We'll bring the eliminations and the big pots until we know who will be involved on tomorrow's final day.

We're entering level 17, where the blinds are 3,000-6,000 (500).

Stay tuned and click refresh on your browser for the latest news. It will appear at the top of this post.