10.05pm: Level and color up
That’s the end of level 16. The purple 500 chips are being raced off and we’ll be back shortly for level 17 where blinds will be 4,000-8,000 with a 1,000 ante.
10pm: Unexpected lifeline
Alexander Luber thought he was out until he stared at the river. He had moved all-in for 75,000 with A♣7♦ and looked in good shape against Philipp Gruissem’s K♠7♥. But a king on the turn sent Gruissem ahead. Just as Luber was preparing to leave, he realised the 3♠ turn had filled up his wheel for a straight. Happy days for him, he’s up to 150,000.
9.45pm: Luke Schwartz expires
Luke Schwartz is out, and he can count himself a little unlucky. Philipp Gruissem had raised and Schwartz shoved with pocket tens only to walk into Gruissem’s pocket queens. The board ran 2♥A♠4♠4♣J♣ and Schwartz was on his bike. We’re down to 11 and need to lose three more.
9.35pm: Stacked table
We have two tables in play but one is more weighted with chips that the other. The three big stacks–Galen Hall, Alex Repik and Benny Spindler–all sit at the same table.
9.25pm: Karr unlucky
McLean Karr shoved from under the gun for the second orbit in succession. This time he had Q♥Q♠ and his 103,000 looked a safe bet when Benny Spindler called with A♥Q♦. But the board ran A♠5♦K♠5♣J♠ to send the unfortunate Karr, from the US, to the rail. We’re down to 12.
9.20pm: Spindler squeeze
ElkY opened with a raise to 13,000 from the cut-off before Galen Hall made it 31,000 from the button. As I mentioned a little earlier, these two have been ‘at it’ with each other, .and Benny Spindler, lurking in the big blind, sensed it. He squeezed to 60,000 and that forced pretty instant folds from both of them.
8.55pm: Lichtenberger out
Andrew Lichtenberger shoved pre-flop for 105,000 with A♥10♥ but was up against Galen Hall’s A♦Q♦. The board ran 8♠J♠4♥4♦7♥ and Hall moved up to 480,000.
So we’re down to 13 already. Maybe that 2am prediction was a little wide of the mark?
8.45pm: Two down
Two of the shorter stacks have made an early break for freedom. Both Sam Chartier from Canada and Lithuania’s Kristijonas Andrulis are out.
8.40pm: Time for lots of coffee
Those in the know predict this could go on until 2am before we get down to our final table. Uh oh, I need coffee.
8.35pm: Hall and ElkY
There are a number of little battles being played out over the final two tables, but one is catching the eye. ElkY and Galen Hall are sitting next to each other and seemingly involved in most pots at their table. Hall has position on the Frenchman and is winning more as a result.
They have not clashed big yet, but you feel it is only a matter of time.
8.20pm: Chartier doubles through the same route
Philipp Gruissem has now doubled up Sam Chartier just minutes after breathing new life into Vanessa Rousso.
This time it was Chartier in with A-K against Gruissem’s Q-10 and nothing dramatic happened on the board. Chartier is on 120,000 while Gruissem falls to 83,000.
8.10pm: Rousso doubles
Vanessa Rousso got a key double up. She was all-in with pocket fours again Philipp Gruissem’s A-7 and stayed ahead on the J-8-5-K-2 board. Rousso is now up to 125,000.
8.05pm: And away we go
Play has now resumed on two tables, and this is how they shape up (you can see their chipcounts below):
7.55pm: Play will resume…
Players are now on an 80-minute dinner break. With the elimination of Viktor Blom, we are down to 16 players, and there will be a redraw to two tables. One of those tables still need to bust before we’re done for the night.
Here are the chip counts as they tuck into dinner:
Alex Repik Russia 423,000
Galen Hall USA 312,500
David Sands USA 295,000
Benny Spindler Germany 290,000
Philipp Gruissem Germany 269,000
Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier France Team PokerStars Pro 250,000
Galen Hall USA 312,500
Juha Helppi Finland 177,000
Alexander Luber Germany 165,000
Andrew Lichtenberger USA 143,800
Peter Jetten Canada 132,500
David Sonelin Sweden 116,000
McLean Karr US 107,000
Kristijonas Andrulis Lithuania 72,000
Sam Chartier Canada 65,000
Vanessa Rousso USA Team PokerStars Pro 61,000
Luke Schwartz UK 47,000
6.35pm: Viktor Blom busts
He started the day as overnight chip leader, but now Team PokerStars Pro Viktor Blom is out. He never really recovered from doubling up Vanessa Rousso earlier, and pushed his last 90,000 over the line in the face of a raise by Philipp Gruissem. Unfortunately for Isildur1, he was in bad shape:
Blom was well behind but the Q♠5♠9♦ flop gave him home of landing a flush. The 5♥ turn and 3♣ river did not help.
And so the internet railers lose their man.
6.30pm: Lodden out
It was a rough day for Johnny Lodden. He had built a decent enough stack, but at the crucial time it stood stagnant to such an extent that when he found A♥Q♥ he had little option than to push pre-flop when raised by Alex Repik. Lodden was not in too bad a shape, in a race against Repik’s pocket jacks, but the board ran dry, coming 3♠10♥8♦5♣J♣.
The Norwegian Team PokerStars Pro leaves empty-handed, but will no doubt be back at Casino Gran Madrid for the main event.
Repik, meanwhile, shoots up to 423,000 after that hand and the certain chip lead.
6.20pm: Hall at the summit
There’s been a lot of chip movements in the past hour. ElkY is still looming large, but it seems Galen Hall, who won the PCA in January, is continuing that form here in Madrid. He’s up to 320,000 and is followed by Alexey Repik on around 300,000.
Among those missing and presumed out, Tobias Reinkemeier, which means I will no longer have trouble trying to spell his name every time I mention him. That won’t be much consolation to him though, seeing as he’s €25,000 out of pocket.
6.05pm: Blom down
Viktor Blom just took what could be a tournament-defining hit to his stack. After managing to keep steady with his overnight chip lead for much of the day, he’s now down to only around 50,000.
He had opened the pot to 8,000 before David Sands made it 23,700. Blom asked how much Sands was playing before putting out a tower of yellow chip that effectively put Sands all-in. Sands called for 133,000 total. Blom had pocket nines but Sands had pockets tens. The flop gave Sands a set, coming 10♣K♥7♥, then Blom made a lower set on the 9♠ turn. The river was Q♣ and Blom’s chips shipped over to Sands.
5.55pm: Blom up
Viktor Blom made it 8,000 and got a call from Vanessa Rousso in the big blind. On the 4♠J♣5♥ flop, Blom bet 11,600 and again Rousso called. Both checked the 3♠ turn, and on the J♥ river Blom made it 37,000, again getting a call from Rousso who mucked when shown J♠10♥ for Blom’s trips.
5.50pm: Sonelin up
Thanks to Mad Harper for the info on this hand: David Sonelin took a chunk of chips off Benny Spindler with pocket aces. There was around 22,000 in the pot before the flop of J♥10♥3♦. Sonelin bet 12,000 with a call from Spindler across the table. Sonelin then checked the K♦ turn, then flatted Spindler’s 22,000 bet. Sonelin checked again when the river paired the board with a second 3, the 3♠. Spindler tanked before moving 55,000 into the middle. Sonelin called and flipped over A-A, nicely ahead of Spindler’s K-J.
5.40pm: We get food
Oh yes, but it’s a double-edged sword. While the announcement that there will be a dinner break at the end of this level will fill the stomach, it will add an extra 80 minutes or so to the day.
5.30pm: Dwan out
Despite rebuilding his stack in the pot below, Tom Dwan is now out. He shoved on an A-7-10-8 board with Q-10 but was up against A-7 for two pair. Having started the day with little more than 16,000, Dwan’s rise to 140,000 was spectacular. All that means nothing (literally) now.
5.20pm: Three-way drama
Thanks to Neil Stoddart for the info on this one. Luke Schwartz, Tom Dwan and Tobias Reinkemeier were in all-in pre-flop, with the German covering both Schwartz and Dwan. Schwartz had J♥J♠, Dwan A♦Q♠ and Reinkemeier A♥10♥.
The flop board ran Q♣4♥5♠J♣7♠ and the short-stacked Schwartz tripled up. Dwan more or less doubled as well, taking a side pot off Reinkemeier. Dwan was on 74,000 after that.
5.15pm: Rousso soaring
Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Rousso is up to 194,000, a fine day’s work so far considering she started with less than 30,000. On a board showing 10♥7♦K♦6♦A♥, Rousso bet 30,000 into a pot of around 75,000. Kevin Stani made the call but mucked when Rousso showed 8♦9♦ fro the flush. He looked like a man who had lost with a set.
5.10pm: Helppi doubles
Juha Helppi doubled up to around 70,000 through Luke Schwartz. They got it in on a 5♠6♥3♦3♣2♠ board, with Helppi out-pipping Schwartz with A-3 against K-3.
4.45pm: Back again
After that frenzied last couple of levels, when ElkY went to the chip summit and Tom Dwan bluffed off a significant chunk of his stack to Tobias Reinkemeier, we’re now at the business end.
Just over 20 players remain, and we need to get down to eight players before stopping for the night and reconvening for the final table tomorrow.
Latest chip counts are on the chip count page, and feel free to comment/abuse/send money via the comment form at the bottom of the page.
Here’s a picture of Mr
PokerStars Blog reporting
team person in Madrid: Simon Young