Play has now extended into level 26 on day three, where the blinds are 20,000-40,000 with a 4,000 running ante. They are playing down to a final eight tonight, come what may, and we will be here until the end too.
3.35pm: Mikael Lundell, Sweden, eliminated in 9th place, earning €74,000
When play has lasted this long, and all the remaining players are looking for a sacrificial lamb to see themselves into the final, attention naturally turns to the short stack. Tonight that was Mikael Lundell. Faced with the prospect of a short stack Lundell pushed in with A-4 and was called by Davidi Kitai with Q-7.
It was not to be Lundell’s night with the first card out a queen, Q-J-2. Lundell needed an ace but the ten on the turn was no use. Neither was the river card eight. At a little after 3.30am local time day three was over with Lundell exiting in 9th place for €74,400.
3.30am: The latest nine-handed chip count:
Martin Nielsen 1,130,000
Davidi Kitai, 544,000
Dren Ukela, 793,000
Mikael Lundell 322,000
Jason Mercier 498,000
Samuel Chartier 943,000
Daniele Mazzia 383,000
Fintan Gavin 397,000
Sebastian Ruthenberg 1,026,000
3.25am: Big hand doubles up Sebastian Ruthenberg. He gets all the chips in pre-flop with pocket nines against Jason Mercier’s A-Q. They’re off to the races and for the second time, the nines hit a set on the flop. Mercier also hits an ace, but it’s largely academic. Ruthenberg vaults high on the chip ladder, Mercier takes a hit, although it’s Martin Nielsen who seems most aggrieved by the coup: the Dane claims to have folded jacks, which would have given him a higher set and knocked two players out.
3.20am: The EPT commentators have pointed out, quite rightly, that tomorrow’s final table (when it is finally set) will feature a number of short stacks relative to the blinds. This is a wonderfully deep-stacked structure, but the pre-final table play has now gone on so long, that several players will have fewer than 20 big blinds when it starts. There’s a chance that the blinds may be rolled back by the tournament director, but we don’t know yet.