Thursday, 29th February 2024 17:55
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Nuno Coehlo, Portugal, wins heat five and earns 15 points.

Victory for Coelho but Portugal are still out

11.55pm: Magnus Johannesson, Iceland, eliminated in second place
The heads up battle was customarily brief, and Nuno Coelho’s final blow was assisted by pocket aces. He slow played them and got all the chips in on a queen-high flop. Magnus, of Iceland, had picked up a spade flush draw and called for all his chips. But it never made it and we have a decision in heat five.

Icelandic chill-out

11.50pm: Shaun Deeb, USA, eliminated in third place
Shaun gets his remaining chips all in behind the mighty 7-5. He’s looked up by Portugal’s K-10 and a king flopped, ending it for the USA. They’ll be back tomorrow, though, for the final.

11.45pm: A double up for Iceland in the three-handed battle. Magnus Johannesson has been quiet during the heat, slipping silently into the top three. But he just managed to outdraw Shaun Deeb’s Q-Q with K-6; two sixes hitting on flop and river. Portugal leads, Iceland second and USA now third.

11.35pm: Ed Byrne, Canada, eliminated in fourth place
All over in this heat for Canada, who become the latest victims of Hurricane Nuno. Ed had 9-3, Portugal had 5-6 and Portugal slow-played a straight: by the turn there was a 2-3-4 on the board. “You’ve done what you had to do,” says Daniel Negreanu to his team-mate. And he’s right. Canada are in the final thanks to Byrne’s solid performance and seven points.

Michael Watson high-fives team mate Ed Byrne

11.25pm: Immediately after a Canadian timeout, there’s an all in move from their representative, Ed Byrne. He’s looked up by Shaun Deeb in the big blind, who shows A-K. Byrne has Q-7 and can even cope with the ace on the flop because he hits a queen and a seven for two pair and the double up.

11.10pm: The calculators have been out, and we already now know our final four. Teams USA, Canada, Iceland and Romania will contest tomorrow’s final, with Mexico, Germany, Ireland and Portugal taking a plane home. Heat five is still alive – and they’re playing for the $5,000 heat prize – but the player of this round, Nuno Coelho, will not be returning. Despite his grand-stand performance, Portugal cannot now make the cut.

Nuno Coelho

11pm: Hector Rodriguez, Mexico, eliminated in sixth place
Micky McCloskey, Ireland, eliminated in fifth place

A double knock out at the hands of Nuno “Maniac” Coelho. Micky McCloskey, of Ireland, moved his remaining 3,000 into the middle, then Hector Rodriguez under-called all in for his, and Mexico’s, final 430. Nuno, of Portugal, had a decision in the big blind, but called with Q-Jc. The flop brought a little something for everyone except Hector: 9c-3c-Qh. And when the third club fell on the turn, Portugal were looking flush and Ireland and Mexico were looking for the door. None of Ireland, Mexico or Portugal can qualify for the final now. USA are guaranteed fourth place in this heat now, which will give them more points than Portugal can accumulate.

A wistful Hector surveys the flop

Current standings:

Final totals:

Romania – 44 points
Ireland – 31 points
Germany – 21 points
Mexico – 19 points

Still playing heat five:

Canada – 33 points
Iceland – 33 points
USA – 28 points
Portugal – 18 points

10.50pm: Mehmet Ogruk, Germany, eliminated in seventh place
It’s been tough out there for the short stacks, especially those who need to grind out a result to edge into the final. Mehmet Ogruk, of Germany, was one of those – and his day is now done. He got all his chips in with a diamond flush draw against Shaun Deeb’s pocket queens. But the diamond missed both turn and river and Germany is out of this heat – and out of the tournament. With just 21 points, they can’t qualify.

Germany depart: exit stage right

10.45pm: “He’s a maniac … maniac!” So sing the Portugal fans whenever Nuno Coelho enters a pot, which is pretty much every hand. He’s got the chips and is adding to them with each re-raise. Still seven here, but there’s a lot of play.

10.30pm: More chips go the way of the USA when Shaun Deeb gets involved in a three-way pot with Portugal and Germany. He leads out for 800 on a queen-high flop and finds a caller in Nuno Coelho, of Portugal. Mehmet Ogruk, of Germany, gets out the way. The last two players see an ace on the turn, and another queen on the river, but check it all the way. Shaun’s A-J scoops.

10.20pm: Double up for the USA. Shaun Deeb pushed from the button with A-10 and was called by the dominant Portugal player, Nuno Coelho. Deeb survived a straight draw on the flop to double up.

10.05pm: Back from the dinner break and there are Mexican chips in the middle. Hector Rodriguez had A-7 and was called by the K-J of Mehmet Ogruk, of Germany. Neither king nor jack hit so Hector doubled up.

10.00pm: Dinner break chip count:

Hector Rodriguez, Mexico, 440
Mehmet Ogruk, Germany, 3,840
Shaun Deeb, USA, 4,300
Cristian Dragomir, Romania, OUT
Nuno Coelho, Portugal, 15,850
Ed Byrne, Canada, 4,680
Magnus Johannesson, Iceland, 5,740
Micky McCloskey, Ireland, 5,150

8.50pm: There’s a dominant force at this final heat table, and he’s wearing the purple colours of Portugal. Nuno Coelho just took down a huge pot on the last hand before the dinner break, leaving Mexico crippled and needing a miracle. Hector Rodriguez, the Mexican representative, tried to raise pre-flop but only threw in one chip and it went as a call. That allowed four others to see a flop, one of whom was Coelho. It came 4s-Qd-6h and Hector bet 300. Nuno called. The turn was the 7s and Nuno bet 500 after Hector checked. Hector now re-raised 2,000 but Portugal moved all in. Mexico called and showed pocket kings, but was already drawing dead to Portugal’s 3-5s which had made a straight. That improved to a flush on the river, when the spade appeared. Mexico crippled.

Portugal cheer….

….while Mexico weep

8.40pm: It’s really erupted here in Barcelona, with everything to play for in the final heat. So far, the tactics seem to be to cheer on anyone who’s not American – Team USA is positioned in the middle of the pile and could qualify for the final with a good result, but could be banished back across the Atlantic if not. Most recently, Hector Rodriguez, of Mexico, re-raised Shaun Deeb’s flop bet to take down a medium sized pot, and earn huge cheers from the bleechers.

8.25pm: Christian Dragomir, Romania, eliminated in eighth place
Romania has already booked a spot in the final, and played this heat fast, loose and quickly. After Shaun Deeb, of the United States, raised on the button, Dragomir, of Romania, moved in from the small blind. He didn’t have much – in terms of chips or cards – and his 6-7h didn’t improve against Deeb’s A-8. The partisan crowd all wanted the Romanian double up, knocking the USA down, but it never came and Team United States is a conteder here.

8.10pm: Heat five is underway, where team strategy comes very much into play. Portugal needs the win and is the first team to move all in, check-raising Germany on a ten high flop. It’s enough to take it down.

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