PokerStars Marbella Festival: Day 3, level 19-22 updates (10,000-20,000, ante 3,000)

4.40pm: Level 22 complete; break
Another two levels have passed and so a fifteen minute hiatus is due.

See you shortly. -- RS

4.35pm: Abellan spikes McDonald
With two minutes left on the tournament clock, Stuart McDonald four-bet all-in against Miguel Abellan, who called. It was A♦ Q♠ for McDonald and K♠ Q♥ for the covering bull-fighter. Over a million chips hung in the balance.

The flop? 5♦ 9♦ 7♥

The dealers here, once players are all-in, don't wait for the cameras, and the next two cards rolled off the deck quickly...

9♥

K♦

"Oh my god. Oh my god!" Abellan could be heard saying, while Dave Masters (who else?) consoled McDonald that he "got it in good."

"Terrible call there," Masters continued, "terrible luck too."

McDonald has come all the way from Australia. He cashed for 4,395 Euros to cover his travel costs and then some. But he's not happy, and who could blame him?

Abellan came and shook the disparaged man's hand before giving his girlfriend, whose been railing him from day 1, a kiss and hug. He is genuinely pumped up -- high stakes will do that to you, whether you face charging bulls for a living or not. -- GC

4.30pm: Masters back on the sauce
Dave Masters is not going to let a mere poker tournament get in the way of the day of drinking he had planned.

Moments ago, a bottle of beer slipped from his hand and shattered on the floor. He was apologetic but unfazed.

"My fault," said Masters. "Get us another two!" -- RS

4.18pm: Another Spaniard tumbles - Gonzalez down

Victor Patiño Gonzalez has just become the latest Spanish face to suck on the bitter dummy of elimination - though at least he had a throng of countrymen railing to console him as he walked off to the cash desk.

His exit was a standard race - pocket jacks failing to hold up versus the ace-king of Kamil Hrabia, whose stack is looking more and more threatening all the time - now over the million chip mark. -- RS

4.00pm: Slowroll with caution
David Masters told us a story that I don't think we can repeat here, even if we cleaned up the language. What's worth telling you was that he was reminiscing with TD Toby Stone, and it concerned fisticuffs with another, here unnamed, tournament director. Masters has given Stone trouble before, but the two are on jovial terms today.

The same cannot be said of Francisco García and Richard Black Milne Senior. Soother, dummy, pacifier -- call it what you will -- it was in Garcia's mouth when we arrived on the scene. TD Toby asked the table "Who insulted who?"

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An empty mouthed moment

"I insulted him!" Milne copped to the deed straight away, pointing at Garcia.

A stern warning was issued, but no penalty. The cause of the outburst? Garcia had slowrolled Milne's river shove with pocket kings on a king, deuce, deuce, ten, three board.

Garcia is not exactly an experienced player and in the Spanish speaking world, where slowrolling isn't punishable by death, it may have been all fun and egos for him.

"I'll have a couple of these and be over it," Milne raised his alcoholic beverage as he spoke to his rail. -- GC

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Richard Milne is not pleased

3.55pm: Roll-call of the damned
Well perhaps that's overstating things a little.

All these recently busted players can at least console themselves with a four figure cash, even if this time, tournament glory eludes them.

27th Chris Derrick United Kingdom  PokerStars Qualifier 3,850.00 €
28th Andrew Abernethy United Kingdom  PokerStars Qualifier 3,850.00 €
29th Juan Antonio Garcia Barba Spain  PokerStars Qualifier 3,850.00 €
30th James Mitchell United Kingdom  PokerStars Player 3,850.00 €
31st Petre Bogdan Ionescu Romania 3,850.00 €
32nd Alejandro Alonso Sanchez Spain  PokerStars Qualifier 3,850.00 €
33rd Ondrej Vinklarek Czech Republic  3,480.00 €
34th Michael Gloning Germany  PokerStars Qualifier 3,480.00 €
35th Joaquin Alcazar Lopez Spain  PokerStars Qualifier 3,480.00 €
36th Elie Abougoche France PokerStars Qualifier 3,480.00 €

3.42pm: Tip from the Masters: don't want the money
Irish permanent mid-stack Dave Masters is not under 400k because he's afraid to get it in when he thinks the timing is right. Just now he faced a three-bet preflop from Andrei Vlassenko in the big blind (up to 70,000) and swiftly applied maximum pressure with a shove for around 450,000. An unblinking staredown of laser-like intensity from Vlassenko did not provoke a reaction from Masters, who got a fold in the end.

"Don't try and play back at me!" he advised as he raked in the pot. "No good. You want the money too bad. I saw you looking around before."

He showed the 2♣ revealing how his observational skills alone had led to this sub-premium hand being a calm four-bet shover. For his next feat, Masters assembles the High Roller Day 1 survivors in the billiard room and reveals who was guilty of throwing the empty beer bottles into the pool last (thanks to guest blogger Jen Mason for providing that hand) -- RS

Pokerstars_marbella_festival_dave_masters

It's not all about the Benjamins, says Masters

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 10,000-20,000 ante 3,000


3.40pm: Down to three
We are down to 24 players which means three tables remain. They've paused the clock and are rearranging the runners. -- GC

3.31pm: Geilich on a tear, eliminates Shubin
Ludovic Geilich was back at it, raising to 40,000 under the gun. Andrey Shubin three-bet shoved from the button for twenty big blinds, or 400,000. After getting a count Ludovic called with T♥ T♣, besting Shubin's 7♣ 7♥.

The board ran out uneventfully, J♦ 3♦ 8♠, followed by 2♣ A♦.

Surprising there was no hard feelings for Shubin, who finally cracked a smile and shook hands with both McDonald and Geilich. All is fair in love and war and all that. -- GC

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A long face no longer

3.18pm: Geilich takes on McDonald
Ludovic Geilich was strangely quiet in the midst of a four-bet pot with Stuart McDonald. He had three-bet on the button to 81,000, McDonald entering the fray with a cold four-bet to 140,000 from the big blind, which Geilich flat-called. There was over 300,000 in the pot when the flop came 8♦ 2♠ 7♣. It went check-check.

On a 9♦ turn McDonald made a delayed continuation bet of 85,000. This elicited a quick call and the river fell the 6♠, putting out an obvious four-straight. But who, if either, had hit it?

McDonald checked and after a think Geilich moved all-in, covering, for around 350,000 chips effectively.

"If that's some crazy bluff, good for you," said McDonald after folding. The players declining their usual back and forth.

We inquired with McDonald what he held. Forthcoming, he obliged .

"Oh, I had ace-jack."

Two hands later McDonald three-bet on the button and Geilich was having none of it, coming over the top with an all-in four bet. McDonald gave it up. -- GC

3.06pm: Derrick rues making a flush as he busts
Three levels is a long time in poker and Chris Derrick just proved that - coming into the day as chip leader, he now finds himself on the rail following a big pot versus Fernando Curto Gonzalez.

The critical hand saw Derrick call a raise from the big blind with 8♠6♠ only to see a flop peel off with two spades and an eight. Given all that equity, Derrick was never going to lay a pair and flush draw down and when he led out and Gonzalez raised, he moved his stack into the middle, only for Gonzalez to make the call.

Before the cards were on their backs, Derrick might have been hoping for a spade but when Gonzalez turned over Q♠9♠ for a higher flush draw, Derrick was hoping to fade the remaining spades in the deck.

No such luck, both players made a flush on the turn but Gonzalez' superior hand consigned Derrick to the sidelines. -- RS

3.02pm: Rodriguez flipping his way back into contention
Jesus Arroyo Rodriguez had nursed his shortstack long enough so when he found ace-jack in the cut-off, there was no messing about, he instantly wagered all his betting discs - around 80k.

Compatriot Sergio Sanchez Lopez took him on in the big blind with pocket eights but a board of 3♣J♥Q♥5♠2♠ secured Rodriguez a double-through to 180k. -- RS

2.53pm: Geilich reads Shubin at chirpy table
The final board was A♣ J♥ J♠ T♠ 2♠ and new chip leader Ludovic Geilich checked to the man on the button, Andrey Shubin, who decided to wager a hefty 82,000.

"Jack-ten diamonds?" inquired Geilich, not exactly politely.

"Jack-ten diamonds? You have jack-ten diamonds?" Shubin smirked slightly at the excess of kinetic energy.

Geilich folded and Shubin showed A♠ J♣.

"I thought you had a house. Ace-Jack, same thing," concluded Geilich, in case his tablemates doubted his read.

Shortly thereafter Geilich's re-raise got shoved on by Shubin for a sum of 530,000. No small change at this point, that's an average sized stack.

"You got AK?" the interrogation began. Which is odd, since Geilich always knows everyone's holdings.

"You were going to flat, then you change your mind and raise. You have ace-king." Geilich confirmed for everyone.

"I have a pair of nines. I know you have ace-king."

That summation seemed a bit incongruent with Geilich's decision to ultimately fold his hand. To add fuel to the chatterbox's fire, Shubin showed the A♣. -- GC

2.42pm: Mitchell's ship is sunk
It's been quite a day for James Mitchell, his stack fluctuating wildly as he was tossed from pillar to post at the whims of the poker gods.

Finally though one tidal wave of variance too many crashed across his deck and he went under.

His exit saw him contest a flop with Kamil Hrabia, the Polish qualifier holding ten-jack and calling Mitchell's shove with 7♦7♣ on a T♦8♦8♠ board.

Mitchell was in big trouble and though the 6♦ turned to give him some extra outs a Q♥ on the river spelt an end to his participation, the 2010 Irish Open champion bowing out after a deep run. -- RS

2.35pm: Barba at risk versus Derrick
Snakebitten Chris Derrick once again called an all-in from a short stack. Once again a short stack, Juan Barba this time, had Q9 -- Q♥ 9♠ specifically. Derrick tabled A♥ 6♦.

"Queen-nine? Remember what happened last time?" sighed Derrick.

"You don't race well this way," concurred Dave Masters.

The board started out well for Chris, 5♦ 5♣ 4♦. The turn and river produced no drama, T♠ and 2♠ the cards that fell. Barba was eliminated, but in good spirits.

"Finally won a race," Derrick shook his head. -- GC

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Due to win three flips

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 8,000-16,000


2.25pm: Back for Level 21
The break is over, and the players are back in their seats. Let battle commence once more. --RS

2.05pm: End of level 20
That's the first two levels of the day in the can and we've lost around 12 of our remaining players. There'll be the customary 15 minute break before we return for level 21. We'll have some up to date chip counts to follow shortly.

To check the players who haven't made it through, along with their prizes, click here for the payout lists-- RS

2.00: Derrick octuples Vlassenko
That headline might be a bit misleading, but maybe not. Three times last level Vlassenko moved all-in preflop nearing the button and three times Derrick called him on his direct left. They were all 60-40 situations, two of the three in our former chip leader's favour. All involved flops that put Vlassenko well ahead. On the third one the J♣ T♣ passing Derrick's A♠ 6♦ on a T♦ 8♥ 4♠ board that ran out 7♦ Q♥.

We're not sure if Vlassenko has precisely gone two times two times two for eight, but he has escaped the danger zone to comfortable. Derrick has joined the middle of the pack. -- GC

1.55pm: Ondrej Vinklarek eliminated
EPT season 8 Player of the Year Ondrej Vinklarek has been eliminated. We are playing 8 handed today until the final 9 and that means eliminations bring short-handed play before tables combine. Players were seven-handed when Vinklarek decided to go with his A♠ Q♦ in the cut-off versus Fernando Gonzalez's early position A♣ K♦.

"He put at least 450,000 in preflop with ace queen," table mate Dave Masters informed us. That figure was more or less accurate, a sum of forty big-blinds.

The flop came king high and by the turn Vinklarek was shut out, the river a foregone conclusion.

"If I do that, shoot me." he editorialized.

Gonzalez has now joined the million chip club. He had so many of the circular contraptions that, being in seat ten, the dealer mucked his cards before he could look at them the next hand. Gonzalez was informed by TD Toby Stone that he was responsible for protecting his own hand in this circumstance, but didn't hesitate to moan about it.

"Plenty of chips mate! Plenty of chips!" Masters consoled. -- GC

1:51pm: Starting Early
David Masters is on, at least, his third drink of the day.

"I'm going to have to start drinking non-alcoholic beer to keep this image up!" He told us.

In fact, it appears all the cold bottles of Heineken on site have been imbibed, since after two Masters has been reduced to drinking beer from a glass. Imagine. -- GC

1.41pm: Derrick frozen out after cold four bet
A recent preflop war erupted at Chris Derrick's table, Fernando Curto Gonzalez firing the first bet with a 20k open. Ondrej Vinklarek now 3-bet to 62k and Derrick decided this was one party he wanted to gate-crash, pulling out a cold four-bet to 150k from the blinds.

When Gonzalez made the call and Vinklarek went away commenting "what's going on?!", the pair went heads-up to a 9♦5♠2♣ board. Derrick checked to Gonzalez before insta-folding to his 175k bet with a smile.

Derrick left with 900k following this hand... -- RS

1.22: Mitchell doubling shorties
Per Jonatan Soderstrom moved all-in for ten big blinds in middle position, and after a count, James Mitchell called with K♦ K♣. He was far ahead of the A♠ 2♥ from Soderstrom. The flop came Q♠ 4♥ 2♣, giving the Swede a conventional five-outer, and some hope. The turn was a static 8♥ , but the river the opposite, the 2♦. Mitchell didn't flinch. Soderstrom slammed the table, happy to live another day.

The subsequent hand Mitchell was dealt another monster, A♥ K♦, in late position. Micro-stack Sergio Sanchez Lopez's A♣ 5♣ caught up with him in brutal fashion, after flopping 2♣ T♦ 9♦, the two shared a run-out of T♣ K♣. Again Mitchell showed little sign of irritation, but he's now reduced to a twenty big blind stack with around 250,000. - GC

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Steady in a storm


1.12pm: Crashed and burned
Whoever wins this event will look back and see a trail of broken dreams in his wake. Here are some of the vanquished who will form that miserable vista. -- RS

42nd Tomas Guiu Larraga Spain 
43rd Dennis Wilke Germany 
44th Alberto Blasi Llado Spain 
45th Jose Antonio Palomares Spain 
46th Daniel Rodriguez Rivero Spain 
47th Alvaro Aspas Tarrazón Spain 

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 6,000-12,000, ante 2,000


12.52pm: Pablo doubles through Abellan
"Whammo!" Pablo Rojas slammed the table in delight. He had just made something out of nothing in an all-in preflop match with Miguel Abellan.

Abellan and Rojas have been seated side by side since the middle of yesterday's action, convivial normally, if not in this particular moment.

It all started on Abellan's button with Rojas in the small blind. A raising war ensued and a shade over 300,000 ended in the middle with Rojas making the last move with K♥ Q♠. Abellan had one by the horns, naturally, with Q♣ Q♥. The board however, bucked the odds, starting out innocuously, T♣ 7♠ 2♣. The J♣ turned some serious outs for Rojas, and sure enough, the 9♥ completed them.

"Cuanto?" asked Abellan, grudgingly paying up what he owed. -- GC

12.52pm: Mitchell stops the rot with timely double
It's been a first level to forget for James Mitchell, who has seen his stack take a hammering - down to 160k

He managed to turn thing round in the last hand though, simply three-bet shoving over a 21k open from Asier Crespo.

Crespo shrugged and made the call - but he tabled A♥J♦ to Mitchell's A♣K♦ and the Englishman duly doubled through as the board ran out 7♥5♥3♣4♠7♣.

Back to 350k, Mitchell has recovered some of the ground he lost earlier on. -- RS

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Mitchell in re-build mode

12.40pm: Ludovic Geilich making moves
The preflop action was heavy, Dennis Wilke in the cutoff raised to 21,000, and was greeted by a re-raise to 55,000 by Geilich. Things only escalated from there, the four-bet came out to 120,000 and the five-bet from Geilich responded, the total around 350,000. A quick call produced cards.

For Geilich, K♣ 6♠.
For Wilke, a more respectable, A♥ K♠.

Poker is not a game of fair and the bad news rolled out J♦ 2♦ 6♥. There would be no redistribution of favour when the board completed T♣ 4♥.

We tried to get a quote from the devastated Wilke, but he appeared to be lost in this world.

Meanwhile for those remaining at the table, things got a little testy.

"Did you say nice move?! Is that what you said?" questioned a snippy Geilich of his tablemate.

"Are you being sarcastic?"

Who is to say -- the man now has close to a million chips though. -- GC

12.37pm: Stuart McDonald is in the building
The Aussie only missed a few hands to start the day.

"I couldn't sleep really," he told us, apparently no late disco trips to blame.

"I set my alarm for 10 to 12," he explained, "I'd just rather get the extra sleep than breakfast." -- GC

12.32pm: Oliver wants some more
Lucas Blanco Oliver has been a sprightly fellow in the opening few hands. We caught him raising to 20k from middle position - picking up a caller in big blind Moris Yalcin.

Oliver barreled the flop and turn of a A♣Q♦6♥2♦K♦ board with bets of 26k and 46k, but gave up on the river, mucking as Yalcin showed down A♠3♠ to claim the pot.

Unperturbed, Oliver also raised the next hand to 20k - only to see Marcos Paton Bao re-pop him to 54k. He was clearly sick of all this resistance and thought for a few moments before announcing all-in and moving his 540k stack into the middle.

Bao eyed him suspiciously before calling his 300k stack off as well.

High drama looked as if it would dissipate rapidly - Oliver and Bao showing down A♠Q♥ and A♦Q♦ respectively but the tension ratcheted up as the board was dealt Q♣7♥6♦5♦ to give Bao a one in five freeroll shot at scooping the lot with a backdoor flush.

A brick river however meant the pair chopped it up, Oliver letting out a sigh of relief at dodging that particular bullet. -- RS

12.14: Working on Aussie time
Stuart Burton McDonald is a talkative chap-- he didn't need inviting at any point yesterday to put a word or twelve in our ear. Well that gregariousness may have led to some ill-advised hi-jinx last night, as he was absent for the recommencement of play this morning. He has a pile of chips though, haphazardly arranged, at his seat. The full story? We're on it. -- GC

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What's a few missed hands between friends?

12.05: Early carnage
We are playing eight handed to start the day and the button has started on seat four. This led to the bust-out of button Marcus Van Opzeeland, at the hands of chip leader Chris Derrick in the big blind. Opzeeland shoved J♠ 9♣ and was called by K♦ 6♥. The board ran out Q♣ 9♥ 6♣, J♦, K♥ and Marcus was in great spirits leaving early to enjoy an absolutely spectacular day here on the coast of Spain. -- GC

Play begins!
Level 19 in effect, 48 players left. Let's get ready to rumble.

11.52pm: Derrick leads Day 3 survivors at PokerStars Marbella Festival

Yesterday our field dissipated rapidly, from 240 runners to a mere 48, in just eight levels of play. The action was unrelenting, and as we approached the bubble everyone braced for hand for hand. But with 91 left the next three players busted in rapid succession and the pace of play continued unabated. The structure here allows for some patience, we'll see if the pay jumps begin to inspire some caution as we play all the way down to the final table tonight.

Your chip leader is Chris Derrick, who surged past 800,000 on the bubble, in a four-bet pot, with 100% equity in the hand, having flopped a flush versus a stone cold bluff-raise-shove. Must be nice. He didn't sit on his good fortune, but continued to build past the million chip mark before play concluded. The Brit is chased by German Ludovic Geilich jwith bull-fighting Miguel Abellan close behind. Abellan can usually be found in a flamboyant, and tight traje de luces, which translates to 'suit of lights,' when performing under pressure. In this arena however, he's dressed casually, wields 669, 000, and has been trying to keep a low profile. It's not easy though, because he's a fan favourite.

The UKIPT's season 3's "Qualifier of the Year" Dara O'Kearney and the 2010 Irish Open winner James Mitchell are some of the heavyweights lying a little further back in the pack, ready to make their move should the opportunity arise.

For full chip counts, click here

Day 3 starts with everyone guaranteed 2,745 Euros, but they'll all be vying for the final table spots, and with it a guarantee of a €9,890 minimum payment. Of course top spot far exceeds that - a lucrative six-figure payday of €158,200 the enticing prize on offer..

The players have congregated outside the tournament area, pining for the doors to be open. We will be right there when they do, bringing you all the latest. -- GC


PokerStars Blog reporting team at PokerStars Marbella Festival brought to you by UKIPT and ESPT: Rod Stirzaker and Gareth Chantler. Photos by Eric Vogel.

Gareth Chantler
@PokerStars in UKIPT