UKIPT4 Marbella2: Level 25-29 updates (50,000/100,000 ante 10,000)

5:55pm: Pokerstars Qualifier Rodrigo Espinosa wins the PokerStars Marbella Festival Main Event and €136,000
Rodrigo Espinosa became the second champion of this amazing joint festival hosted by UKIPT and ESPT tours. Last year, Ludovic Geilich took the title home to the UK but this year the title will stay on Spanish soil.

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Rodrigo Espinosa in the champion!

Congratulations to all the final table players, especially your champion Rodrigo Espinosa!

A full wrap of the day's play will be up for your reading pleasure shortly. -- MC

5:50pm: Christian Bauer eliminated in 2nd place (€82,900)
Heads up play lasted five hands before Christian Bauer was eliminated in second place.

Rodrigo Espinosa raised to 225,000 from the button and Bauer defended his big blind to see a 9♠K♠6♥ flop appear.

Espinosa continued for 255,000 and was check-raised to 825,000 by Bauer. The German was playing 2,450,000 and was asked a question for all of it as Espinosa shoved. Call!

Bauer: K♣3♣ for top pair.
Espinosa: 9♥7♠ for second pair.

The board ran out 7♣2♦ to see Espinosa suck out and make two pair, good for all 15 millions chips in play.

Bauer played a really great game where he never seemed to be in trouble, the deck just wouldn't work with him at the end. -- MC

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Bauer defeated after quick heads up battle

5:40pm: First two pots to Espinosa
Rodrigo Espinosa moved up to 12.3 million chips after he won the first two pots of heads up play.

The first pot was won with a pre flop three-bet but the second made it to the turn.
Espinosa raised to 250,000 and Christian Bauer peeled to a J♥K♠6♣ flop where he check-called 325,000. Call. The turn was the K♦ and the Spaniard fired 550,000. Bauer folded. -- MC

5:30pm: Heads up play commences
Tournament director Toby Stone announced the two heads up players to the room and cards are back in the air. Spain versus Germany, with home advantage for Rodrigo Espinosa. -- MC


Heads up play gets under way

5:20pm: Break before heads up
The two remaining players are on a short break before heads up play commences. Here's how the two players stand:

Rodrigo Espinosa, Spain, PokerStars Qualifier, 11,525,000 (115 bbs)
Christian Bauer, Germany, 3,360,000 (33 bbs)
-- MC

5:15pm: Katja Svendsen eliminated in 3rd place (€58,700)
Katja Svendsen's run has come to an end after she gambled on a flush draw and missed.

She was sat in the big blind with 6♦8♦ and called a raise from Rodrigo Espinosa on the button with K♦K♥. The flop fell 9♦T♠3♦ and Espinosa continued for 250,000 before the Norwegian check-raised to 500,000.

Espinosa came back with a three-bet to 1,000,000 and then announced all in a second after Svendsen said raise. She hadn't announced how much she was going to raise though and the floor was called. Toby Stone ruled that Svendsen had to raise but only minimum if she wanted. That's what she did and Espinosa still shoved and Svendsen called all in for 4,860,000.

The board ran out J♥J♣ and the UKIPT/ESPT wait for a female champion will continue. -- MC

UKIPT4_Marbella2_Katja Svendsen.jpg

Katja Svendsen - 3rd place

5:05pm: Espinosa continues to leak chips
Katja Svendsen just made a nice play and got Rodrigo Espinosa to fold the best hand. Pre-flop she raised to 225,000 from the small blind with 9♥7♥ and then called when Espinosa three-bet to 525,000 with Q♦J♥. The flop fell A♠Q♠4♣ Svendsen elected to lead and her bet of 625,000 was enough to make Espinosa fold the best hand. -- NW

5pm: Svendsen reassertion continues
Katja Svendsen moved up to 3.8million after a rare three-way raised pot.

Rodrigo Espinosa raised with K♦J♠ and Christian Bauer (7♥7♣) and Svendsen (Q♦6♠) both called to a 2♠Q♠5♥ flop from the blinds.

Espinosa continued for 320,000 and was called by the German before Svendsen check-raised to 800,000. Both opponents folded and she scooped. -- MC

4:55pm: Bauer barrels
Rodrigo Espinosa has proved himself to be a sticky player and it took a couple of barrels from Christian Bauer to get the Spaniard off a one pair hand. Bauer opened the button to 200,000 with J♠3♠ and Espinosa defended from the big blind with K♦5♠.

The 8♠5♥2♦ flop connected only with Espinosa, nonetheless Bauer bet 225,000 and Espinosa smooth called. The A♣ fell on the turn, after Espinosa checked Bauer decided to continue to sell the story that he had it and bet 425,000. Espinosa obviously believed him as he elected to fold his hand, Bauer is up to 4,300,000 as a result. Could we be seeing a shift in momentum at this final table?

4:50pm: Ups and downs for Svendsen
There's a trend devolving today with Katja Svendsen. She's lost ground a few times today before reasserting herself.

She lost a pot to Christian Bauer after she three-bet him pre flop and won one the very next hand versus Javier Espinosa.

She completed from the small blind and called after the Spaniard raised to 300,000 from the big blind. The flop fanned Q♣7♠8♠ and she checked to face a 360,000 c-bet that she check-raised to 720,000.

Her K♣7♣ was ahead of his 9♣3♦ and he correctly folded. Her stack rose to 2.8 million. -- MC

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 50,000-100,000, ante 10,000

4:35pm: Chips still being passed around
There's been little change in the chip stacks in the last 30 minutes, but Katja Svendsen and Christian Bauer have traded places as the German is now in second place.

Rodrigo Espinosa, Spain, PokerStars Qualifier, 8,295,000
Christian Bauer, Germany, 3,455,000
Katja Svendsen, Norway, PokerStars Qualifier, 3,155,000

4:30pm: Chips being passed around
The players are staying aggressive and we're seeing some three-bets and bluffs, just no hands are matching up to create any big pots. Watch this space though as action is bound to be around the corner. -- MC

4:17pm: Chip counts
Rodrigo Espinosa is still in the lead and he now has 54,5% of the chips in play.

Rodrigo Espinosa, Spain, PokerStars Qualifier, 8,175,000
Katja Svendsen, Norway, PokerStars Qualifier, 3,415,000
Christian Bauer, Germany, 3,295,000

4:15pm: Final table poker face
Roll up, roll up for a game of final table poker face. We particular like Jake Cody's little nod. It's as if he's saying, "I know, another final table!".

4:10pm: Svendsen four-bets to a win
Katja Svendsen stopped the small slide she was experiencing by four-betting her way to victory against Rodrigo Espinosa.

She was in the small blind with A♦T♣ and min raised to 160,000. Espinosa was in the big blind and three-bet to 360,000 with A♠4♠. The Norwegian wasn't going to be pushed around though and forced a fold from the Spaniard by four-betting to 800,000. That got her back up to 3.1 million. -- MC

3:55pm: Javier Elorza eliminated in fourth place (€44,450)
And just like that we're down to three...
During this final table Christian Bauer has shoved on Javier Elorza a few times when it had folded to him in the small blind. On one occasion Elorza folded a weak king when Bauer had Q♦8♦.

When Bauer did it again Elorza decided to call all-in for 760,000 with K♣7♥ but picked the wrong time to make a stand as Bauer held A♦K♦. The board ran 8♣8♠Q♥3♠4♣ and Elorza is out in fourth place. Bauer is up to 3,400,000 and is second in chips. -- NW


Elorza has scored his biggest ever live cash here in Marbella

3:45pm: Gareth Hamilton eliminated in 5th place (€35,150)
Gareth Hamilton's eventful Main Event has come to an end and he was unlucky to bust in his last hand.

Javier Elorza was in the cut-off and tanked before folding ace-deuce. No such tanking for Hamilton though who shoved from the small blind and was called by Rodrigo Espinosa in the big blind.

Hamilton: K♦K♣
Espinosa: A♦8♦

The board ran 4♠9♥T♦J♦6♦ to make the chips leader a flush. Hamilton shook his hand and was all smiles in defeat. Espinosa rose to 8.5 million chips, more than half of those in play. -- MC


Hamilton - was the short stack coming in but finished fifth

3:25pm: Gareth Hamilton doubles through Katja Svendsen
Gareth Hamliton has got the double up he was looking for, but he's still short stacked...

He three-bet shoved for 470,000 with pocket tens and Katja Svendsen, who already had 160,000 invested in the pot, called the extra with A♣J♥. The 7♦K♥8♣K♠Q♦ board kept Hamilton in front and he's up to 1,010,000 as a result. -- NW

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 40,000/80,000, 10,000

3:20pm: Don't miss out on the Flipout
Attention players in Marbella! If you've qualified for the PokerStars Flipout Freeroll, or want to see if you have, then you need to head to the welcome desk in the hotel lobby to collect your token. Once you have token in hand then at 5pm head to the 'La Cassata' card room where the Flipouts will be run on a first come, first serve basis between 5pm and 6pm. -- NW

3:15pm: Official break time counts
The first 20-minute break of the day for the players.

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Final table

Katja Svendsen, Norway, PokerStars Qualifier, 3,120,000
Gareth Hamilton, Ireland, 480,000
Rodrigo Espinosa, Spain, PokerStars Qualifier, 7,895,000
Christian Bauer, Germany, 2,430,000
Javier Elorza, Spain, PokerStars Qualifier, 960,000

3:10pm: Javier Elorza doubles through Gareth Hamilton
After a brief lull in the action the table was woken from its slumber by an all-in and call. It was Javier Elorza doing the shoving - all-in for 490,000 with A♥3♥ - and Gareth Hamilton doing the calling with A♦J♠.

However, a 9♠5♦3♠6♦A♣ board gave Elorza the winning hand, he's up to 1,090,000 whilst Hamilton is down to 440,000. -- NW

3pm: Espinosa turning the screw
Rodrigo Espinosa's great start to the day has shown no signs of slowing down. He won two pots off Christian Bauer to move up to 6.7 million.

In the first hand he opened with A♦T♣ and was only called by Bauer who held A♥K♣. Both checked the flop before Bauer barrelled 155,000 and 350,000 on the turn and river. The final board read 2♣7♠2♦Q♥J♠ and Bauer gave up on the river.

A couple of hands later Espinosa raised with 4♦5♦ and Bauer called with 7♥5♥. The Spaniard flopped a wheel on a A♣2♣3♠ flop but failed to get any action. -- MC

2:45pm: Espinosa extends his lead
When you're the chip leader and looking to extend your lead taking chips from the player in second is flat out the best way to do it, which is exactly what Rodrigo Espinosa just did.

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Espinosa is the man to catch

After Katja Svendsen raised to 120,000 from the cut off with 9♣7♣ he defended from the small blind with Q♦[10d]. The 7♦6♥4♠ flop gave Svendsen the lead which was all the impetus she needed to continue for 130,000, it wasn't the end of the hand though as Espinosa stuck around.

The [10s] fell on the turn he checked, then she checked and the 2♦ completed the board. First to act Espinosa threw out a bet of 205,000 and Svendsen thought for a while before calling, Espinosa showed the winner and Svendsen mucked. -- NW

2:40pm: Chip count update
Katja Svendsen, Norway, PokerStars Qualifier, 4,0700,000
Gareth Hamilton, Ireland, 1,220,000
Rodrigo Espinosa, Spain, PokerStars Qualifier, 5,570,000
Christian Bauer, Germany, 3,245,000
Javier Elorza, Spain, PokerStars Qualifier, 780,000

2:35pm: Daniel Rodriguez eliminated in sixth place (€26,550)
From under-the-gun Christian Bauer raised to 120,000, it passed to Daniel Rodriguez in the big blind and he moved all-in for 940,000 with 8♠8♦. There then followed a snap call from Bauer with Q♣Q♦ and the board ran 4♠J♦5♠K♦2♦ meaning we lose Rodriguez in sixth place.

After that hand Bauer is up to 3,155,000. -- NW


Rodriguez's race is run

2:25pm: Espinosa, the five million chip man
Rodrigo Espinosa escaped a dominating position in a hand versus Katja Svendsen to re-take the lead from her.

He was in the big blind and called a raise to 125,000 from Svendsen. Both players checked the 3♠J♣9♠ flop before Espinosa check-raised Svendsen's 150,000 bet up to 360,000 on the Q♥ turn. Svendsen made a quick call but took a lot longer to call 500,000 on the 5♠ river.

Espinosa opened A♠J♠ for a flush and rose to 5,070,000. Svendsen's A♦Q♣ was no good and she dropped to 4,200,000. -- MC

Blinds up: 30,000/60,000, ante 10,000

2:15pm: Big ace vs big ace
In the time it took to go from 18 players down to eight Christian Bauer and Katja Svendsen played quite a few pots together with the Norwegian coming out on top more often than not and she just repeated the trick as the two of them just clashed in a pot.

From the button Bauer raised to 100,000 with A♥[10h], Svendsen three-bet to 240,000 from the big blind with A♠K♠ and Bauer smooth called. The 7♠[10s]Q♦ flop gave Bauer the lead but Svendsen a big combo draw. She bet 150,000, Bauer made the call and the K♣ fell on the turn. Despite taking the lead Svendsen checked, but Bauer didn't fall for it as he checked behind. The K♥ completed the board and Svendsen bet big, firing out 500,000 into the pot, although Bauer dwelled for a short time he ultimately elected to fold. -- NW

2:05pm: Chip count update
Katja Svendsen, Norway, PokerStars Qualifier, 4,390,000
Gareth Hamilton, Ireland, 1,500,000
Marcin Barwinski, Poland, PokerStars Player, 7th place
Rodrigo Espinosa, Spain, PokerStars Qualifier, 4,495,000
Jake Cody, United Kingdom, Team PokerStars Pro, 8th place
Daniel Rodriguez, Spain, PokerStars Player, 860,000
Christian Bauer, Germany, 2,525,000
Javier Elorza, Spain, PokerStars Qualifier, 1,050,000

2pm: Marcin Barwinski eliminated in 7th place (€19,050)
Gareth Hamilton came back and finished the job off he started on Marcin Barwinski.

The action folded to him on the small blind and he set Barwinski all in. The PokerStars qualifier called all in from the big blind.

Hamilton: A♠J♥
Barwinski: Q♣J♦

The board ran 8♣K♣2♣K♦4♠ and Hamilton cheered at his progress. -- MC


Hamilton and Barwinski battle

1:55pm: Jake Cody eliminated in eighth place (€13,030)
We've lost the first player at the final table and the other seven players will be breathing a sigh of relief as its Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody who's been eliminated. Rodrigo Espinosa opened to 105,000 from under-the-gun+1 with pocket aces, next to act Cody moved all-in for 1,180,000 with pocket nines and when it folded back to Espinosa he snap called.

Cody was on his feet as the K♣4♠6♦8♦Q♦ board was dealt and even that little trick couldn't persuade the Poker Gods to put a third nine amongst the community cards. Cody shook hands with his opponent's and it's back to Vegas tomorrow for Cody. -- NW


Cody - nothing he could do about his exit hand

1:50pm: Hamilton doubles through Barwinski
Gareth Hamilton very much needed a double up and he found it.

Down to 490,000, he moved all in from early position with A♦K♠ and found a customer in Marcin Barwinski who held A♥J♠. The board ran 8♠7♣2♣7♠T♠.

Barwinski was left with 540,000 after the loss. -- MC

1.35pm: Rodriguez shoves
After Jake Cody opened to 100,000 with A♥8♦ Daniel Rodriguez moved all-in for 605,000 with pocket aces. It folded back to Cody and despite the fact he was getting a decent price to call the 12 big blind shove, he did a quick count of his stack, decided it was too much to call and folded his hand. -- NW

1:30pm: Svendsen flush with chips
Katja Svendsen moved up to 4.7 million chips after making a flush versus Marcin Barwinski.

She raised from early position with A♣3♣ and went on to bet every street of a 6♣7♦2♣5♣9♦ board including all in on the river. Barwinski called all the way to the river with A♠Q♦ but folded the river and dropped down to 1.1 million. -- MC

1:25pm: Svendsen three-bet gets it done
The chip leader just added more to her stack but she was a touch unlucky not to add more given that Jake Cody and Christian Bauer both made disciplined folds. It was Bauer who got the action started, raising to 100,000 with K♠J♦, Svendsen then three-bet to 225,000 from the cut-off with A♥K♣ and it folded to Jake Cody in the big blind. He looked down at A♠Q♣ and thought for a minute or so before folding and Bauer swiftly followed suit. -- NW

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 25,000/50,000 ante 5,000

1:20pm: Barwinski semi bluffs with the best hand
Marcin Barwinski negated a positional disadvantage to oust Rodrigo Espinosa off a hand.

The latter raised with K♦Q♦ from under the gun and the Pole peeled from the big blind with A♥J♥. The flp came 4♥T♣7♦ and Barwinski check-called a 105,000 bet before he led for 125,000 on the 9♥ turn. Espinosa folded. -- MC

1:10pm: First blood to Barwinski
We had a showdown on the very first hand...

Marcin Barwinski opened to 80,000 and Rodrigo Espinosa made the call. On the 4♥3♠9♣ flop Barwinski c-bet and Espinosa stuck around. Both players checked the K♠ turn and the Q♦ landed on the river. Barwinski decided to stab again, he bet 80,000 and perhaps a little surprisingly Espinosa decided to look him up. Pot to Barwinski. -- NW

1:05pm: Shuffle up and deal!
There are eight minutes left in level 25 and cards are in the air. -- MC

12:50pm: Final table about to commence
It's final table day at the PokerStars Marbella Festival and eight players are still in with the chance of succeeding last year's champion, Ludovic Geilich, and claiming the top prize of €136,000.


Cody still in contention

Katja Svendsen leads the way with more than 3.9 million. A lot of those chips came from eliminating British pro Sam Grafton in ninth place last night. Grafton had nearly a fifth of the chips in play with 15 left but a dramatic downswing saw him leave as the final table bubble boy.

One British hero may have busted but another one is still very much alive. Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody flew in especially from Las Vegas where he's competing at the WSOP and he's justified his decision by making the final act.

Here's how the final eight line up today:

Katja Svendsen, Norway, PokerStars Qualifier, 3,910,000
Gareth Hamilton, Ireland, 590,000
Marcin Barwinski, Poland, PokerStars Player, 1,055,000
Rodrigo Espinosa, Spain, PokerStars Qualifier, 3,705,000
Jake Cody, United Kingdom, Team PokerStars Pro, 1,600,000
Daniel Rodriguez, Spain, PokerStars Player, 720,000
Christian Bauer, Germany, 2,425,000
Javier Elorza, Spain, PokerStars Qualifier, 880,000

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The final eight

Play got underway at 12:15pm CET but as the action is being streamed on with hole cards face up, we're abiding by a 45-minute security delay and will update alongside the stream which is due to start at 1pm.

To find out a little more about the finalists, click here to read through their profiles.

PokerStars Blog reporting team at PokerStars UKIPT4 Marbella2: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Danny Maxwell and Rene Velli.

Marc Convey
@The_Conv in UKIPT