PokerStars Championship presented by Monte-Carlo Casino®: Main Event Final Table live updates

10:25pm: Raffaelle Sorrentino wins the PSC Monte Carlo Main Event
Level 32 - Blinds 100,000/200,000 (ante 30,000)

It's all over and it took a massive cooler to end it. It started with a raise to 450,000 from Andreas Klatt. He had a premium hand, Q♠Q♦ to be precise. Raffaele Sorrentino looked down at an even better hand, he had A♦A♠.

He counted out a three-bet and made it 2.025 million to play. Klatt had 5.59 million total, he moved all-in and Sorrentino snap called. The Italian was an 80% favourite to win the title right here and he did just that as the board ran 8♦2♥2♠K♦2♦.

He is the champion and collects €466,714 while Andreas Klatt pockets €402,786 for his runner-up performance.

You can find a wrap of the entire tournament here. --NW

10:10pm: Klatt gains some ground
Level 32 - Blinds 100,000/200,000 (ante 30,000)

Andreas Klatt still faces a 2:1 chip disadvantage but he just got some chips back. Raffaele Sorrentino raised with Q♣T♠ and Klatt called from the big blind with J♦7♠. The latter connected best with the 3♠8♠J♣ flop and he checked to Sorrentino. The Italian checked behind and the 2♠ hit the turn.

Klatt fired out 575,000 and Sorrentino, with spade and straight draws, made the call. The 8♦ river was a brick and Klatt's bet of 850,000 earned him the pot. --NW


NEIL9384_Andreas_Klatt_PCMON2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Klatt on the up

10pm: Sorrentino scoops a big pot
Level 32 - Blinds 100,000/200,000 (ante 30,000)

Ok, so this pot was only worth 20 big blinds, but at this stage of the tournament that's fairly chunky. Andreas Klatt raised the button with T♣9♥ and Raffaele Sorrentino defended with 8♦7♣.

Sorrentino flopped the joint on 5♥6♠9♠ and checked it to the pre-flop raiser. Klatt had top pair, so he understandably bet. He fired out 575,000, Sorrentino raised to 1.525 million and Klatt called.

This pot was now bang on 4 million and the 4♠ fell on the turn. Sorrentino pushed out a large bet of 2.5 million, Klatt had seen enough and he folded. That takes Sorrentino up to 15.45 million and drops Klatt down to 6.365 million. --NW

9:55pm: A great Klatt call
Level 32 - Blinds 100,000/200,000 (ante 25,000)

Andreas Klatt limped in with the Q♥8♣ and Sorrentino checked his 5♥3♠ to see the 8♦7♥A♠ flop. Sorrentino made it 225,000, and Klatt called with his middle pair.

The turn was the 6♦ and that slowed Sorrentino down. He checked, as did Klatt.

When the J♣ river landed, Klatt checked again and Sorrentino knew the only way he could win the pot was with a bet. He made the 825,000, and Klatt made a great call.

It's now 8.37 million to Klatt, and 13.45 million to Sorrentino. --JS

9:45pm: Level up
Level 32 - Blinds 100,000/200,000 (ante 30,000)

It's all been a bit touchy feely over the last few hands with no real pots of note. The following hand is a good example of what's been happening. Raffaele Sorrentino raised to 450,000 with K♠8♣ and Andreas Klatt called with A♥5♠.

The two players then checked it all the way down on a 6♥2♣J♥J♦9♦ board and Klatt took the pot. The stacks are very similar to when the heads-up match started. Sorrentino has 14.95 million and Klatt has 6.87 million.

The blinds have just gone up so Klatt now has just 34 big blinds. --NW

9:30pm: Yachts and boats
Level 31 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

Outside, parked in the water and in direct vision of the tournament room, there are two of the most expensive yachts in the world. They're amazing and you can read more about them here.

Inside the tournament room though, it's all about boats. In the first decent pot of this heads up battle, Klatt opened to 350,000 with the [7 ]4♠ and Sorrentino defended with his 2♠2♦. They went to a 7♠7♥9♠ flop; pretty favourable for Klatt.

He'd check it though, and the turn came the 4♥. After Sorrentino checked again, Klatt made it 400,000 but his flop check had clearly deceived the Italian as he called. The river was then the J♣ and after another check Klatt went for full value with an almost pot-size bet of 1.25 million. That was too big though as Sorrentino folded.

Klatt has 6.49 million now, Sorrentino has 15.33 million. --JS

9:15pm: Back to it
Level 31 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

Players are back to it, finishing off Level 31 and then finishing off this tournament.

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Heads up in Monaco

8:15pm: Dinner and a deal
Level 31 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

With 15 minute left on the level, and just two players now still standing, they have gone for a one-hour dinner break. Just before departing, they negotiated a deal, however. The details are as follows.

Raffael Sorrentino is guaranteed €451,714
Andreas Klatt is guaranteed €402,786

They have left €15,000 to play for on the side.

sorrentino_klatt_deal_scratch.jpg

Sorrentino and Klatt: To deal or not to deal

sorrentino_klatt_deal_handshake.jpg

Deal!

The chip counts when they come back to play heads-up are as follows:

Sorrentino: 15.465 million
Klatt: 6.350 million

They're off to dinner now. We'll be back in an hour. -- HS

8:10pm: Andrey Bondar eliminated in third place (€271,500)
Level 31 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

We're heads-up here in Monte Carlo and it's Andrey Bondar who's out in third. In his exit hand Raffaele Sorrentino raised with 6♣5♥ from the small blind and Bondar defended from the big blind with J♣8♣.

The flop fell 5♦4♦8♥ and to no great surprise Sorrentino fired out a bet of 425,000. What was surprising is that Bondar - who has been playing pretty tight - decided to raise. He made it 1.2 million to go and Sorrentino wasn't budging.

There was now 3.2 million in the pot and Bondar only had 3.41 million behind. The 6♠ turn gave Sorrentino the lead but Bondar didn't slow down. He shoved all-in and Sorrentino quickly called. The Russian had eight outs to survive but the 9♣ wasn't one of the cards that helped him. Bondar is out in third and collects €271,500. -NW

andrey_bondar_psc_monte_carlo_day6_out.jpg

Andrey Bondar knocked out in third

8:05pm: Klatt moves into second place
Level 31 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

Andreas Klatt's tear shows no sign of slowing down. He just won another pot against Raffaele Sorrentino to climb above Andrey Bondar in the chip counts.

Sorrentino raised to 320,000 with 3♣2♣ and Klatt got a little tricky by just calling with A♥J♣. On the A♣3♦6♦ flop Sorrentino continued for 330,000 and Klatt check-called. The Q♥ turn was checked through and Klatt improved to trips on the A♦ river. He came out firing for 750,000 and Sorrentino released.

Klatt is up to 5.87 million, Sorrentino slips to 10.925 million and Bondar has 5.02 million. --NW

8pm: Great shove from Klatt sees him over 5 million
Level 31 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

Andreas Klatt is on form right now. After opening to 325,000 with the A♣7♣ he was three-bet by chip leader Raffaelle Sorrentino with the K♣7♥. However, Klatt must have picked up on some weakness and shoved, which got a snap-fold.

andreas_klatt_rail.jpg

Andreas Klatt's rail impressed by their man's guts

Klatt is up to 5.09 million now. --JS

7:55pm: Klatt chips up
Level 31 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

Andreas Klatt just won a decent sized pot to close the gap between Andrey Bondar and himself. Klatt limped from the small blind with A♥2♠ and Raffaele Sorrentino checked his option with Q♥5♠.

Both players hit the 9♠A♣Q♠ flop but it checked through to the 4♠ turn. Klatt bet 240,000 and Sorrentino stuck around. On the 7♣ river Klatt went for value. He bet 465,000 and Sorrentino flicked in the call. Klatt showed the winner and he's up to 4 million now. --NW

7:50pm: Panyak eliminated in fourth for €199,900
Level 31 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

It's been a pretty slow final table so far, but perhaps things are picking up. Just three now remain after the elimination of Maxim Panyak.

Raffaelle Sorrentino opened with the K♠J♠, only for Panyak to jam for 1.57 million with the A♥T♥. The Italian chip leader got a count, then called.

But the 4♠2♠K♦ flop was about as bad as it could be for Panyak. The 4♥ turn and 7♣ river changed nothing and he was sent to the cage.

panyak_busts_psc_monte_carlo_day6.jpg

The end of the road for Maxim Panyak

Sorrentino now has 13.06 million. --JS

7:41pm: A tale of two aces
Level 31 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

Raffaele Sorrentino has really upped his aggression since play went four-handed. He's been opening most pots and did so again from under the gun with K♦6♣.

In the small blind Andrey Bondar looked down at A♠J♣. He then folded. Yes, you read that correctly, he folded.

He had a stack of 6 million so is comfortably in second place and with Panyak and Klatt both short that perhaps was playing on his mind.

Speaking of Klatt, he was still to act and he held A♣9♥. He wasn't folding. He shoved all-in for 1.99 million and he picked up the pot. --NW

7:40pm: Panyak picks off the bluff
Level 31 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

This hand started off strangely. Andrey Bondar folded A♠9♥ from under the gun. Andreas Klatt folded on the button and the action was now on Raffaele Sorrentino.

Sorrentino raised with T♦9♣ and Maxim Panyak defended with Q♣4♥. The latter flopped a gutshot on a 5♦2♦6♠ flop and Panyak called a 190,000 c-bet.

The turn was the 2♥ and both players checked. On the 4♠ river Panyak paired his kicker. Sorrentino bet again, this time it was 425,000 for Panyak to call and that's what he did.

Panyak climbs to 2.56 million after that win.--NW

7:30pm: Set-checking Bondar
Level 31 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

Andrey Bondar is definitely on the tighter side, and that image might be costing him chips now. After opening to 365,000 with the 7♠7♥, he got a call from Raffaelle Sorrentino with the Q♣J♦ in the big blind and the two saw a 5♥K♠7♦ flop. Sorrentino checked, but Bondar checked back his set.

On the 3♥ turn, it checked to Bondar again, and his 375,000 bet got no more action. --JS

7:20pm: Bondar breaks Sorrentino's streak
Level 31 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

Two big hands resulted in a relatively small pot between Raffaele Sorrentino and Andrey Bondar. The former raised to 330,000 from under the gun with A♣K♣. Andrey Bondar was in the small blind and he looked down at 9♠9♥. These were the two biggest stacks at the table and he just called.

andrey_bondar_psc_monte_carlo_day6_scoop.jpg

Andrey Bondar drags in chips

On the 4♥J♥6♠ flop Bondar check-called and the T♥ landed on the turn. It was an overcard to Bondar's hand, but it did give him a flush draw. Both players checked and the A♥ landed on the river. That card completed Bondar's flush and gave Sorrentino top pair. Both players checked though and Bondar took the pot. He's up to 5.2 million now. --NW

7:10pm: Kolkowicz busts in fifth (€147,120)
Level 31 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

Wow. Well, if we were talking about some tight play earlier on, Michael Kolkowicz just put an end to it. Unfortunately for the man who was married in this very room, he also put an end to his tournament.

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Michael Kolkowicz sees the bad news

It folded to Raffaelle Sorrentino on the button and he opened to 330,000 with the A♣5♣. Kolkowicz then jammed for 1.97 million out of the small blind with only the 6♠2♥. Sorrentino got a count and made a pretty quick call.

The 5♦4♦5♥ flop gave the Italian trips and the Frenchman a gutshot. He'd need a three to survive, but the 7♦ turn and 7♠ river only improved Sorrentino to a full house.

We're now down to four, and Sorrentino has a massive chip lead with 12.22 million. --JS

michael_kolkowicz_out2.jpg

Kolkowicz busts to Sorrentino

7:08pm: Sorrentino over 10 million
Level 31 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

Raffaele Sorrentino is closing in on 50% of the chips in play after winning yet another pot against Michael Kolkowicz.

It was a blind on blind battle with Sorrentino raising from the small blind with A♦Q♥ and Kolkowicz called from the big blind with Q♦T♣.

The chip leader came out firing on the 5♣2♣J♠ flop. He bet 450,000 and Kolkowicz made the call. On the 8♠ turn Sorrentino fired a second barrel of 850,000 and Kolkowicz folded. He's down to just 1.99 million, Sorrentino is up to 10.05 million. --NW

7:05pm: Around the room
Level 31 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

Most of the eyes at the moment are on the main event, but there's plenty else been going on here this week. Our blogging team caught up with both Igor Kurganov and Celina Lin to hear about their festivals to far, and hear their future plans. Both are hitting the road pretty hard.

7:02pm: Kolkowicz drops, Sorrentino increases
Level 31 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

Once again, this a pot that seems like it should have been bigger. Sorrentino opened to 350,000 under the gun with the A♦Q♥ and Kolkowicz called from the cutoff with his A♠9♠. Over to Klatt in the big blind, he looked down at the 4♠4♦ and was getting a good price to call, which he did.

The flop came 8♠6♥A♣ and Sorrentino continued for 400,000 when Klatt checked to him. Kolkowicz made the call, and Klatt folded.

Over to the turn, the dealer put down the J♦ and that brought a check from Sorrentino. Kolkowicz bet very small - just 300,000 - and the Italian went nowhere. The 5♥ then hit the river and both quickly checked.

With his bigger kicker, Sorrentino increases his chip lead up to 9.25 million, while Kolkowicz dips down to 2.89 million. --JS

7pm: No action for the rockets
Level 31 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

Michael Kolkowicz just found pocket aces and opened to 375,000. However, despite Andrey Bondar picking up a defendable queen-nine in the big blind, everyone folded. --JS

6:55pm: Of they go again
Level 31 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

There were no eliminations in the previous level and as the players return it's only really the top two who have anything approaching a playable stack. Check out how few blinds they have now:

NameCountryChipsBig Blinds
Raffaele SorrentinoItaly7,710,00048
Andrey BondarRussia5,725,00035
Michael KolkowiczFrance3,635,00022
Andreas KlattGermany2,880,00018
Maxim PanyakRussia1,865,00011

6:35pm: Five still alive at the end of the level
Level 30 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

The final hand of the level went to Andrey Bondar. He raised to 275,000 with A♠Q♥ and picked up a call from Michael Kolkowicz from the small blind.

Kolkowicz had pocket fives so the A♣J♣7♥ flop wasn't the greatest for him and he check-folded to a bet from Bondar.

That's the end of another level without an elimination and things are getting shallow. Here's how they stack up now. --NW

NameCountryChips
Raffaele SorrentinoItaly7,710,000
Andrey BondarRussia5,725,000
Michael KolkowiczFrance3,635,000
Andreas KlattGermany2,880,000
Maxim PanyakRussia1,865,000

6:25pm: Panyak pushes
Level 30 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

Fold, fold, fold, fold, ace-king ship.

That's an accurate description of what Maxim Panyak has been up to recently. He just picked up A♥K♣ on the button and shoved all-in for 1.54 million. There were no takers and Panyak picked up the pot. Panyak picked up ace-jack two hands later and shoved again. Again, no takers. --NW

maxim_panyak_psc_monte_carlo2.jpg

Push the Panyak button

6:20pm: Ship a million to Bondar
Level 30 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

Maxim Panyak opened to 260,000 with the 5♠5♣ and was called by Bondar with the Q♥T♣. A T♠K♣8♦ flop put the latter in the lead, and he called a 285,000 c-bet to see the A♥ turn. That checked through, as did the K♥ river, so Bondar took down a million chip pot. --JS

6:15pm: Somehow Kolkowicz gets it through
Level 30 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

From under the gun Michael Kolkowicz raised it up with pocket tens. Andrey Bodnar was on the button with Q♠J♠. Here comes the call, hang on, no he folded. Surely Raffaele Sorrentino would stick around with A♥8♣. He was in the big blind so would be closing the action. However, he too folded and Kolkowicz took the pot. He showed his hand as he took the pot too. --NW


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6:05pm: Klatt attack
Level 30 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

Andreas Klatt hasn't had too much go his way so far today, but he just picked up a pot against Andrey Bondar. Klatt opened to 260,000 from under the gun with A♠9♠ and Bondar called with a worse ace from the big blind.

His A♥4♠ flopped a wheel draw on 2♦2♥3♣ and he check-called a bet of 200,000. The 8♦ turn checked through and Klatt hit his kicker on the 9♥ river. When checked to Klatt bet 600,000 and he took the pot. He's up to 3 million after that hand. --NW

5:55pm: Bondar's boat beats Klatt
Level 30 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

Andrey Bondar opened with the A♥8♦ to 250,000 and got two callers: Andreas Klatt with K♥T♦ and Michael Kolkowicz with J♥9♥. The three saw a K♠9♦8♣ flop, giving everyone a pair. Klatt's was best, but he decided not to c-bet when it checked to him.

That was a decision he'd regret though as the A♣ hit the turn, giving Bondar the best hand. But again, it checked through.

On the A♦, Bondar couldn't check back again with a full house and he made a small bet of 250,000. Klatt was somewhat priced in with his pair of kings and made the call while Kolkowicz mucked.

That hand brings Bondar up to 5.39 million, and drops Klatt to 2.68 million. --JS

5:45pm: Sorrentino stacking chips; extends his chip lead
Level 30 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 120,000)

Raffaele Sorrentino and Michael Kolkowicz have clashed in a number of pots over the past two days. For much of that time it's been Kolkowicz who's had the upper hand but the momentum has swung to Sorrentino today.

In their latest skirmish Sorrentino raised to 240,000 from the button with Q♣J♠, Kolkowicz three-bet from the small bind to 640,000 with A♥K♥ and Sorrentino called. The flop fell 2♥4♠T♠ and Kolkowicz elected to check. Sorrentino did likewise and the J♥ fell on the turn. Kolkowicz checked again, Sorrentino bet 500,000 and the decision was on Kolkowicz.

raffaele_sorrentino_psc_monte_carlo_final_point.jpg

Raffaele Sorrentino is coming for your chips

Daniel Negreanu is in the commentary booth and he thought this was a good check-raise spot for Kolkowicz given that he had two overs and the flush draw. However, Kolkowicz just called and that took the two players to the 2♣ river.

Again Kolkowicz checked and Sorrentino bet small. He fired out 600,000 and Kolkowicz couldn't resist calling. After that hand Kolkowicz is down to 2.47 million while Sorrentino is up to 8.54 million. -- NW

5:30pm: Klatt halts Panyak's momentum
Level 30 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

Andreas Klatt is bowing down to the Poker Gods right now. He just hit a two-outer to survive.

He open-jammed for 1.64 million with the 5♠5♥ and Maxim Panyak called with the 8♥8♣. Klatt was at risk, but the Q♠4♠5♣ flop gave Klatt a set which held up on the J♦ turn and A♣ river.

andreas_klatt_two_outer_psc_monte_carlo.jpg

Andreas Klatt: Two outer to survive

Klatt now has 3.44 million, and Panyak drops to 2.37 million. --JS

5:20pm: Three in a row
Level 30 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

Make that three hands in a row for Maxim Panyak. He's opened the past three hands with decent holdings but everyone else has folded. --JS

5:15pm: Bondar tightens
Level 30 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

Having just doubled up, Andrey Bondar isn't ready to start mixing it up too light yet. Maxim Panyak opened to 250,000 with the 7♦7♣, and Bondar didn't even call with the K♦J♦. --JS

5:10pm: Bondar doubles up through Kolkowicz
Level 30 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 120,000)

On the first hand back from the break we had an all-in and call. Michael Kolkowicz raised to 360,000 from the cutoff with K♥Q♦. Andrey Bondar had him dominated with K♠K♣ and he moved all-in for 2.145 million.

It passed back to Kolkowicz and he tanked for a couple of minutes before calling. He grimaced when he saw Bondar's hand, but the 8♥Q♠3♥ flop was one of the better ones for Kolkowicz. The 4♠ turn took away his heart draw though and the J♣ kept Bondar in the lead.

andrey_bondar_moving_up_psc_monaco.jpg

The name's Bondar, Andrey Bondar

The stacks of these two players are now very close, Bondar is up to 4.15 million while Kolkowicz is down to 4.67 million. --NW

5pm: And we're back
Level 30 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

We really are. We're edging nearer this:

trophy_psc_monte_carlo.jpg

4:45pm: Level end

That's the second break of the day, with Raffaele Sorrentino now at the top of the counts. Back in 20 minutes.

NameCountryChips
Raffaele SorrentinoItaly7,685,000
Michael KolkowiczFrance6,855,000
Maxim PanyakRussia3,390,000
Andreas KlattGermany1,920,000
Andrey BondarRussia1,855,000

4:40pm: A round-up
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Here's what's been happening the past few hands.

Panyak opened to 230,000 under the gun with the T♣ and another mystery card. It folded Sorrentino and he three-bet it up to 640,000 and got a fold.

Kolkowicz then picked up A♥K♦ but found no action after opening to 360,000 from the small blind.

And finally, Klatt limped from the small blind with the Q♥5♣ only to get shoved on by Sorrentino from the big with the A♦2♣. Klatt snap-folded. --JS

4:30pm: Cowboys get no action
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

This one had potential, but that was quickly quashed.

Raffaele Sorrentino picked up pocket kings in the cutoff and opened to 230,000, which Panyak called with queen-jack off (small blind) and Bondar called with king-jack off (big blind). The flop came 2♠5♣5♥, and when Sorrentino c-betted both opponents folded. --JS

4:25pm: Kolkowicz bounces back
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Shortly after losing a big pot against king-jack, Michael Kolkowicz bested the same holding to win a 2 million chip pot. It was Andrey Bondar with that hand - K♥J♥ to be precise - and he raised to 280,000 from under the gun. Kolkowicz called from the small blind with A♠Q♥ and Maxim Panyak called from the big blind with 9♣5♣.

The J♦7♠A♦ flop paired two of the players and the action checked to Bondar. He bet 630,000 and Kolkowicz was the only caller. The 4♥ turn checked through and Kolkowicz bet small for value on the 3♠ river.

There was 2 million in the pot and he bet just 260,000. Bondar flicked in the call and mucked when he saw Kolkowicz's hand. He drops to 2.58 million, while Kolkowicz is up to 7.34 million. --NW

4:20pm: Momentum swings for Sorrentino
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

One of the biggest pots of the final table so far has resulted in plenty of new chips for Raffaele Sorrentino.

As so many hands so far have, this one started with a Michael Kolkowicz open under the gun with the 9♣7♣, which was called by Andrey Bondar on the button with the A♥9♥ and Andreas Klatt in the small blind with the 3♥3♦.

The flop came 9♦5♠J♣, bringing something for everyone. Sorrentino had the lead with his jack but checked it to Kolkowicz, who continued for 315,000 with his middle pair. Bondar then called with his better kicker, and Sorrentino called too.

The 7♠ came on the turn and it checked to Kolkowicz again. He fired for 670,000 having just picked up two pair and the lead, which got Bondar to fold. Sorrentino called though.

Then the 5♣ river was dealt, and that counterfeited Kolkowicz by giving Sorrentino a bigger two pair. Both checked it quickly, and Sorrentino's win brings him up to 5.71 million, not far behind Kolkowicz who now has 6.15 million. --JS

4:15pm: Kolkowicz continues to dominate
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Another hand has gone to the chip leader and Michael Kolkowicz now has a 30 big blind lead over his nearest challenger. The hand began with a raise from the cutoff by Raffaele Sorrentino with A♠4♠. Kolkowicz was on the button with a suited connector - T♣9♣ - he called and Andrey Bondar came along from the big blind with 5♦4♦.

michael_kolkowicz_fist_clench_psc_monte_carlo.jpg

Michael Kolkowicz: Continuing to crush

A 3♦8♣6♥ flop hit the felt and the action was checked to Kolkowicz. He bet 260,000 and Bondar was the only caller. Kolkowicz improved on the 9♥ turn and he bet again. This time it was 480,000 for Bondar to continue and he didn't fancy it. He slips to 4.35 million while Kolkowicz is up to 7.38 million. --NW

4pm: Klatt sliding towards the danger zone
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Andreas Klatt is down to 18 big blinds after losing a hand against Maxim Panyak.

andreas_klatt_peek_psc_monte_carlo_day6.jpg

Andreas Klatt: Slipping down

Klatt opened to 235,000 from the cutoff with T♦9♦ and yet again a player picked up ace-queen. This time it was Maxim Panyak's turn to be dealt it and he three-bet to 590,000 from the big blind. Klatt got confirmation of the raise size and then called.

The 2♣8♣K♥ flop missed both players and a c-bet from Panyak was enough to take it down. --NW

maxim_panyak_psc_monte_carlo_day6.jpg

Maxim Panyak: Ace-Queen this time

3:55pm: Firework flop, but the action stopped
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Andrey Bondar found the 9♥9♣ in the cutoff and came in for a 230,000 open. It folded to Michael Kolkowicz in the big blind who had the 8♣6♣ and he defended to see a flop. The usual suspects were at it once again.

A Q♣3♣3♥ flop brought the potential for fireworks. Bondar still had the best hand with nines, but Kolkowicz had flopped a flush draw. He check-called a 210,000 c-bet and they went to a turn.

That was the T♦, which only deflated any potential further action, as it was an over-card for Bondar and not a club. Both checked, unsurprisingly, and the 9♠ hit the river, improving Bondar to a full house. He bet 565,000, but Kolkowicz snap-folded. --JS

3:45pm: Slow play from Bondar doesn't work out
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

From under the gun, Andrey Bondar opened to 235,000 with A♥Q♥ and Raffaele Sorrentino called from the button with 4♠4♦. Michael Kolkowicz held K♠J♥ but he folded the small blind and the big blind folded as well.

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Raffaele Sorrentino: Pocket fours good

After the 3♦K♥7♥ flop, Bondar had the nut flush draw and was a 57 percent favourite, even though Sorrentino had the best hand. Bondar checked his draw though, Sorrentino bet 240,000 and Bondar just called.

The 3♠ turn and 6♦ river checked through and Sorrentino took the spoils.

He's up to 4.3 million and Bondar is down to 4.75 million. --NW

3:40pm: Bondar building
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

This huge pot has seen Andrey Bondar shoot up into second place on the counts.

Michael Kolkowicz looked down at A♦Q♣ under the gun and opened it up to 340,000. It folded to Bondar on the button and he looked down at an even bigger hand: A♣K♦. He just called though, and the blinds folded.

The 8♥9♥K♥ flop paired Bondar, but the three hearts on board might have slowed down the action. They didn't stop Kolkowicz from c-betting to 275,000 though. Bondar called.

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Great call by Andrey Bondar puts him second

The 8♣ then paired the board on the turn and Kolkowicz fired once again for 540,000. There'd be no raising this time either as he flatted.

Over to the 2♦ river, there was just over 2.5 million in the pot and Kolkowicz asked Bondar for a count. He had 2.2 million behind, and the Frenchman fired a third bullet worth 540,000 who snap-called. His two pair was obviously good, bringing him up to 5.25 million. Kolkowicz takes his first big hit of the final table, but still has 6.99 million and the chip lead. --JS

3:20pm: Diego Zeiter eliminated in sixth place (€108,300)
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Down to just 11 big blinds Diego Zeiter moved all-in with A♦J♠ from UTG+1. Michael Kolkowicz was on the button and the chip leader looked down at A♠Q♦. He called and both blinds folded.

The hands were turned over and Zeiter saw the bad news. It didn't get any better for him as the flop fell 3♦Q♣A♥. The 3♥ turn meant Zeiter was drawing dead and the 6♣ completed the board.

Kolkowicz increases his lead, he is up to 8.3 million now. We're down to five.--NW


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Diego Zeiter, left, sees his last against Michael Kolkowicz

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Zeiter bids farewell

3:15pm: Bondar with the ace
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

They're off again at the final table, and Andrey Bondar picked up A♦T♦ under the gun and raised to 230,000. Everybody folded. -- HS

2:56pm: Break time
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

That's the end of the partial level in which they began the day. They're taking a 20-minute break and will then return to the following stacks:

NameCountryChips
Michael KolkowiczFrance6,920,000
Maxim PanyakRussia3,805,000
Raffaele SorrentinoItaly3,550,000
Andrey BondarRussia3,340,000
Andreas KlattGermany2,860,000
Diego ZeiterArgentina1,340,000

2:55pm: Kolkowicz extends
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

There are an absolute abundances of aces being dealt in the early hands of this final table. Three more were out there in this hand before a flop had even been dealt.

Raffaele Sorrentino opened under the gun to 180,000 with the A♥J♥, and that was called by Michael Kolkowicz in the UTG+1 seat with the A♥T♠. It folded to Diego Zeiter and he called too with the A♠2♥ from the big blind.

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Sorrentino and Kolkowicz: Best of friends, best of enemies

The dealer spread an 8♣K♦T♥ flop, which gave Kolkowicz the lead. Sorrentino made a 195,000 c-bet when it checked to him, and Kolkowicz called. Zeiter got out the way.

On the 9♥ turn, both checked it through to see the K♠ river. There'd be no more betting, and with his pair of tens Kolkowicz took down yet another pot. He's up to 6.93 million, while Sorrentino is now playing 3.34 million. --JS

2:45pm: Ace hand for Panyak
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Has anyone checked the deck to see if there are only four aces? Yet again three players picked up an ace and it's amazing that this pot didn't get bigger than it did.

It started with Diego Zeiter raising from under the gun with A♥T♥. Maxim Panyak held A♠4♠ and he called from the button. Klatt could top both of them with A♣Q♥ and he just called from the big blind.

So it was three to a flop and the final ace appeared as it fell 4♣8♥A♦. Panyak had gone from worst to first as he flopped two pair. Klatt checked to Zeiter and the pre-flop raiser bet 200,000.

Panyak decided that now was the time to get more money in the pot and he raised to 585,000. Klatt made a good fold and Zeiter also released his hand!

Panyak collected a decent sized pot but should it have been a bigger one? --NW

2:40pm: Guess who won this one...
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Yep. You guessed right. There's no stopping Michael Kolkowicz.

It folded to Raffaele Sorrentino in the small blind and he chose to complete with the 8♣2♣. Kolkowicz looked down at the J♣5♦ and he checked his option. They went to a J♥J♠A♥ flop, giving Kolkowicz trips and leaving Sorrentino drawing dead.

michael_kolkowicz_psc_montecarlo_day6.jpg

Fast start for Michael Kolkowicz

That didn't stop him betting though. Sorrentino led out for 85,000 and that was called, leading to the K♥ turn. Sorrentino bet again for 140,000, and Kolkowicz called again.

The 5♣ completed the board, improving Kolkowicz to a full house. Sorrentino gave up at this point and checked, so Kolkowicz went for value with a 385,000 bet. "Flush?" Sorrentino asked, as he laid down his hand. Kolkowicz showed him the boat. "Ah. No flush!" Sorrentino said.

It's 6.36 million for Kolkowicz now, while Sorrentino dips to 3.76 million. --JS

2:35pm: Sorrentino makes trips, but can't find value
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

There are a lot of aces about here in the opening orbits of the final table. Andrey Bondar was the latest to be furnished. He looked down at A♦6♦ and raised to 190,000 from the cutoff. Raffaele Sorrentino picked up T♥9♥ in the big blind and he defended.

The T♣J♦K♠ flop checked through and Sorrentino hit trips on the T♠ turn. He checked again though and Bondar did likewise. The 4♥ fell on the river and Sorrentino went for value. He bet 280,000 and Bondar folded in short order. --NW

2:32pm: Aces all-round, but Zeiter collects
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Three late position players and three aces. Here's what happened. Andrey Bondar raised to 245,000 from the button with A♣7♦, Andreas Klatt called with A♦6♦ from the small blind and the action was on Diego Zeiter. He peaked down at A♠Q♦ and with 1.54 million he really only had one move.

Sure enough he moved all-in and both players folded. --NW

2:30pm: Short stack vs chip leader
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Short-stacked Diego Zeiter opened to 180,000 from the under the gun with the A♥J♥, and that was called by Michael Kolkowicz in the cutoff with the K♦Q♠. Heads up to flop, it came 7♦2♣8♦ and both checked.

On the Q♦ turn, Kolkowicz took the lead with his pair and picked up a diamond draw too. After Zeiter checked again, Kolkowicz made it 235,000 and got a fold.

He's up to 6.02 million, and Zeiter is down to 1.55 million. --JS

2:25pm: Two more for Kolkowicz
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Michael Kolkowicz took another two pots and the start of day chip leader is now up more than a million chips on the day.

In the first, Raffaele Sorrentino got frisky by raising 5♦2♦ on the button. Kolkowicz was in the small blind and he peaked down at A♦J♦. He peeled some chips from his stack and placed out a three-bet. Sorrentino quickly released his hand.

On the next hand Kolkowicz picked up another ace. He raised with A♥6♣ from the button and Andrey Bondar defended from the big blind with Q♠9♣. The flop fell A♣7♣7♥ Bondar checked and Kolkowicz decided to check his top pair.

On the T♠ turn Kolkowicz put out a delayed c-bet of 185,000 and he took the pot. --NW

2:15pm: Kolkowicz wins first "proper" pot
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

The fact that this hand went to a flop, turn and river makes the third hand the first "proper" pot of the final table so far.

Andreas Klatt opened to 185,000 with the 2♥2♦ from the cutoff and Michael Kolkowicz defended his big blind with the A♦2♣. They saw a K♦4♠5♣ flop which both checked, before the A♣ turn gave Kolkowicz the lead with the top pair. He checked though, as did Klatt.

The J♠ completed the board and Kolkowicz went for some value with a 245,000 bet. However, Klatt laid it down. Not a big pot, but a pot nonetheless. --JS

2:10pm: Thrilling start!
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Boy did the fireworks fly on the first hand of the final day. Diego Zeiter got a walk in the big blind!

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Stefan Huber, who finished 19th in this event, on the Diego Zeiter rail

2:05pm: All seated and play is under way
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

After formal introductions, players are now seated and action is under way. Here's what we know about our last six. The only thing we don't know (yet) is which of them is winning €500,800 and the glittering trophy. -- HS

1:55pm: Ready to race to the line
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Play finished last night with around 45 minutes still to play in Level 28, so they'll continue for the first part of the final table with blinds at 40,000/80,000 and a 10,000 ante.

Here's something we know for sure: your champion is photographed below:

psc_monte_carlo_day6_players.jpg

Final table players: Standing (l-r): Diego Zeiter, Maxim Panyak, Andreas Klatt, Michael Kolkowicz. Seated (l-r): Raffaele Sorrentino, Andrey Bondar.


It all comes down to this. After five days of play, just six players remain in with a chance of becoming the PokerStars Championship presented by Monte-Carlo Casino® champion. Whatever happens today they'll be a first for the PokerStars Championship era. Whoever wins will have the honour of being the first European winner of a PokerStars Championship Main Event.

When play begins it's Michael Kolkowicz who'll start as the chip leader. The Frenchman cracked aces late last night to assume that position. Amazingly the Estate Agent got married in the Salle des Etoiles, meaning should he win it'll be the second best day of his life in this room.

PSC_Monte_Carlo_main_event_day_5_michael_kolkowicz.jpg

Kolkowicz collected the most chips on Day 5

This is how the final six stack up:

SeatNameChipsBig Blinds
1Andrey Bondar4,350,00054
2Andreas Klatt3,580,00045
3Diego Zeiter1,780,00022
4Raffaele Sorrentino4,160,00052
5Michael Kolkowicz4,600,00058
6Maxim Panyak3,345,00042

Curiously for a final six two things stand out. No one is really short on chips. Diego Zeiter - who starts the day in sixth place - has 22 big blinds. He's under no pressure to get busy then. Secondly, once Zeiter is out of the equation just 16 big blinds separate the other five players. What a story it would be if Andreas Klatt could take the title. Earlier this week the 30-year-old German pro outlasted the 1,252-entry PokerStars National Championship here, pocketing €151,445. This looks, on paper, one of the most open final table in years so he's got every chance. The winner will collect €500,800 and everyone is guaranteed €108,300.

As usual on final table day we're blogging via the cards-up live stream. That means we're subject to a one hour delay, so our coverage will begin at 2pm CET.

final_table_monte_carlo_day6.jpg

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PokerStars Blog reporting team on the Main Event: Jack Stanton, Howard Swains and Nick Wright. Photography by Neil Stoddart.

Live reporting team
@PokerStars in Monte Carlo