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EPT12 Grand Final: Adrien Allain leads last 28 as hunt for final hots up


Adrien Allain: First in the counts, and not only by alphabetical order

It's all getting pretty serious in the €5,300 main event of the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino EPT12 Grand Final. After five gruelling levels today, where action veered from tense and slow to tense and manic, there are only 28 players left of the starting 1,098 and the big money is inching ever nearer.

Although everyone left is now guaranteed at least €22,740, tomorrow's scrap for the final table, where prizes start at €91,860, will likely be brutal. Especially if today was anything to go by.

Tonight's leader is Adrien Allain, whose bag bulges under the weight of 3.9 million chips. But behind him only by a neck is Joao Vieira, who signed for 2.7 million.

Allain's day was filled with a succession of short-stacks falling at his hands, before he also knocked out yesterday's leader Marcin Chmielewski late on.

Vieira's, on the other hand, was defined by a ding-dong battle with Vanessa Selbst, the Team PokerStars Pro sitting to his direct left. Vieira ended up winning that one, particularly after he flopped a set, rivered a full house and let Selbst do the betting with King-high.

8G2A3617EPT12MON_Joao_Vieira_Vanessa_Selbst_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Joao Vieira's profit is Vanessa Selbst's misery

Selbst is still in. She doubled up after that hand and finished the day with 389,000. It's small by her standards, but gives her a chance.

That's more than can be said for Fatima Moreira de Melo, who had one of those days, to finish 44th. And it was also the end of the line for Randy "nanonoko" Lew, who heads back to the online tables after a 30th place finish.

You should head over to the payouts page to see the full list of prizewinners to date, then go to the chip-count page to see precisely how the remaining 28 stack up.

Scroll down through this page to see exactly how this blood and thunder day progressed. It's not for the faint-hearted.

The €25,000 high roller plays on into the small hours. The main event resumes for what will be a very long day from noon tomorrow.

Goodnight all from this side of PokerStars Blog.

Full coverage from Day 4 of the €5,300 EPT Grand Final main event:

9:05pm: Chauskin left short after three-way all-in but doubles twice
Level: 24 - Blinds: 12,000-24,000 (ante 3,000)

Natan Chauskin was living life on the edge at the day's play came to a close. He was involved in a three-way all-in, won a small side pot and then doubled twice in the next two hands.

He moved all-in for 307,000 from under the gun and Jan Bengelmann moved all-in for 265,000 from the cutoff. Enver Abduraimov was in the small blind and made the call to put both his opponent's at risk.

Chauskin: 9♥9♣
Bengelmann: K♠K♦
Abduraimov: A♣K♠

The board ran 4♥5♠3♣8♣J♥. Abduraimov turned the world but missed on the river.

Chauskin was left with 81,000 and Dario Sammartino set him in for them once the action folded to him in the small blind. He 5♣5♥ and Chauskin called after finding pocket nines again. The board ran Q♥6♥Q♥J♠7♦ to see the nines hold.

Chauskin wasn't finished and three-bet all-in for 180,000 with T♠9♠ the very next hand after an open by Kiryl Radzivonau. Radzivonau called with 7♥7♣ but couldn't hold on the J♠K♦K♥Q♣9♦ board. -- MC

9pm: The trials and tribulations of the short-stacked
Level: 24 - Blinds: 12,000-24,000 (ante: 3,000)

Over at Vanessa Selbst's table she's currently engaged in some table talk with Pierre Calamusa about grinding a short stack, something both have had to do a bit of here in the latter part of Day 4.

As noted below, Kyle Frey is also in that particular situation sitting across from them, and just now he fired his last 130,000 forward from middle position. Joao Vieira, meanwhile, has none of those short-stacked problems, and he plucked a few off the top of his big stack and easily called the push from the big blind.

Vieira had A♥7♥ and Frey A♣3♣, and Selbst opined she felt a chop coming. The flop came 8♦Q♠Q♣ -- "looks pretty choppy," she added -- and after the 2♣ turn and 9♥, the pair did indeed split the pot.

Frey endures with 150,000, while Vieira sits comfortably with 2.64 million with 20 minutes left for the day on the tourney clock. --MH

8:55pm: Confirmation of Randy Lew's elimination
Level: 24 - Blinds: 12,000-24,000 (ante: 3,000)

There was a double-knockout over on the feature table just now, something about to appear on EPT Live shortly. You can catch full details of the hand there when it comes, but here's the skinny.

A three-way all-in involving Team PokerStars Pro member Randy "nanonoko" Lew who had pocket nines, Chris Dowling who had ace-queen, and Jan Bendik who happily had picked up pocket aces. The best hand held, and Lew is out in 30th and Dowling in 29th.

Bendik is thriving up there on the stage, moving up around 2.35 million after that hand. -MH

8:50pm: Rocci road runs out
Level: 24 - Blinds: 12,000-24,000 (ante: 3,000)

After folding the second-nuts not so long ago, Andrea Rocci again found a second-best hand but went with it. And he's now out. His A♦9♠ looked pretty good on the turn, with the board reading 7♦T♠A♣9♥, but Adrien Allain had A♥T♥ and was only too happy to snaffle the last of Rocci's stack. The K♠ on the river was not one of Rocci's outs. -- HS

8:45pm: Sperling back in action; Frey in the danger zone
Level: 24 - Blinds: 12,000-24,000 (ante: 3,000)

Fabio Sperling is alive and kicking, doubling up with T♦T♥ against Kyle Frey's A♠K♥. They got it in pre-flop with pretty similar-sized stacks. After the board ran J♣4♣4♥J♥9♦ Frey had to pay Sperling 434,000 and was left with 139,000 of his own. -- HS

8:35pm: Big hand
Level: 24 - Blinds: 12,000-24,000 (ante 3,000)

News reaching us of a huge hand on the feature table. Tune in to EPT Live to catch it.

8:30pm: A very Rocci fold
Level: 24 - Blinds: 12,000-24,000 (ante 3,000)

Andrea Rocci was annoyed at himself after he tanked on the river for so long that he called the clock on himself, then open-folded the second nuts, only to find out he was wrong.

Adrien Allain raised to 52,000 from early position and was called in three spots en route to a Q♥4♥K♥ flop. The action checked to Rocci in the cutoff who bet 100,000 and he was only called by Oren Rosen in the next seat. The turn came as the 9♥ and Rocci check-called a 135,000 bet before he checked over the 6♣ river to face a 325,000 bet. He instructed the dealer to call the clock on him but he open-folded the J♥ before it ran down. Rosen wasted little time in opening K♣J♦ to move up to 1.41 million. --MC

8:15pm: Soika succumbs to Vieira
Level: 24 - Blinds: 12,000-24,000 (ante: 3,000)

Ihar Soika open-jammed his last 260,000 or so from the button and got himself a customer in Joao Vieira from the big blind.

ihar_soika_med4_4may16.jpgIhar Soika (in yellow, pictured earlier)

Soika had J♠9♠, not the most favorable holding against Vieira's K♠J♦, but the 5♠2♠2♦ flop did keep the door open slightly for Soika by giving him a spade flush draw.

But the turn was the 6♦ and river the 8♣, and Soika goes out in 32nd place. Vieira, meanwhile, is back up to 2.39 million. --MH

pm: Vieira tangles with Selbst
Level: 24 - Blinds: 12,000-24,000 (ante: 3,000)

Vanessa Selbst is back on the ropes after losing a huge hand against Joao Vieira. The Portuguese pro is now bossing his table and looks like a pretty solid bet to go very, very deep here.

Vieira got things started with a raise to 54,000 from under the gun, but he was faced with a quick three-bet, to 121,000, from the Team PokerStars Pro to his left. It folded back around to Vieira, who opted to call. That took them to a flop of T♣J♠3♣.

vieira_selbst_med4_4may16.jpgVieira and Selbst earlier today

I'm going to flash forward here and tell you what Vieira had. He had flopped gin with his T♦T♠. It must have been the kind of situation you dream about: flopping a set with a know tyro to your left.

Vieira checked, almost certainly praying that Selbst would fall into his trap. But she didn't. At least not yet. She checked behind.

That took them to the turn of A♥ and Vieira further baited the trap with another check. Selbst this time likely saw the ace as a card she could represent and bet 142,000. Vieira called.

The A♦ on the river made this tricky for both of them. Vieira now had a boat, but it was not the nuts. He checked again. Selbst bet at it. She slid out 370,000 from a stack of about 530,000. Vieira opted just to call.

Selbst turned over air. That was always in her range. (Specifically it was K♣4♣.) Vieira stacked 2.4 million while Selbst started licking her wounds.

Of course she didn't. She got her chips in on the next hand -- all 255,000 of them -- and Vieira looked her up again. This time Selbst's A♣J♦ stayed good against Vieira's A♥9♦ and she doubled beyond half a million again. -- HS

8pm: Allez Allain; Chmielewski out
Level: 24 - Blinds: 12,000-24,000 (ante: 3,000)

Adrien Allain is the runaway chip leader now, running his stack up to about 3.2 million and knocking out the overnight leader Marcin CTRL+V.

It started so innocuously, with Andrea Rocci opened to 54,000 from under the gun. CTRL+V called in the cutoff and both blinds took a flop too, with Allain in the small blind.

The board brought the 5♦Q♦6♦ and all four players checked. Then the 5♥ came on the turn and after three checks, CTRL+V bet 104,000. Allain was next to act and he raised to 300,000. The other two players folded, leaving CTRL+V with a decision.

He took the aggressive line and shoved for 928,000 total, which then put Allain into the tank. He asked for a count a couple of times, but then said the magic word, "Call." It meant that CTRL+V had to turn over his 7♦7♥ which had outs, but was behind Allain's J♦T♦.

The Q♣ came on the river to end CTRL+V's tournament. Allain's stack, already the biggest even before this pot, is now absolutely huge. -- HS

7:55pm: Chauskin flips to a double up
Level: 24 - Blinds: 12,000-24,000 (ante 3,000)

Natan Chauskin needed a double up and he got one. He was down to his last 263,000 when he found a hand to make his move with. His all-in was from second position and he found a willing customer in the big-stacked Mohamed Aissani on the button.

natan_chauskin_med4_4may16.jpgNatan Chauskin

Chauskin: 7♠7♦
Aissani: A♣J♣

Chauskin gave a running commentary to his friends as the hand played out. The board ran Q♣T♦5♥5♠2♦ and his friends on the rail celebrated when he broke the good news after the river had been dealt. Aissani dropped to around 900,000. --MC


7:46pm: Break's over

Play resumes with the plan remaining to play until the end of this level and stop for the night. 

7:16pm: Break time

Level 23 is over and this time they're taking a 30-minute break before returning for what is scheduled to be the last level of the day, although plans could change. Stay tuned. --MH

7:15pm: More for Celestino
Level: 23 - Blinds: 10,000-20,000 (ante: 3,000)

We mentioned how Jimmy Guerrero had slid in the counts this level. His neighbor to the left, Antoine Saout, has had a much better time of it as late, and in fact appears to be the chip leader with about 2.15 million right now with 35 players left. --MH

7:11pm: More for Celestino
Level: 23 - Blinds: 10,000-20,000 (ante: 3,000)

Jimmy Guerrero began Level 23 as the chip leader, but he hasn't had the best hour-and-a-half as he's now down to about 460,000 and the lower third of the counts.

Just now he check-called a bet from Ariel Celestino on the turn for 84,000 with the board showing Q♣7♣6♣J♦, then tanked long enough for the clock to be called after checking and watching Celestino fire 193,000 on the river. Guerrero finally called with just a second to go, Celestino showed J♣9♣ for a flush, and Guerrero mucked.

As Guerrero has gone down, Celestino has risen in the counts and has about 1.54 million with the next break nearing. --MH

7:02pm: Frey doubles through Soika
Level: 23 - Blinds: 10,000-20,000 (ante: 3,000)

Kyle Frey doubled through Ihar Soika just now when Frey's pocket sixes held versus Soika's ace-jack on a ten-high board. Frey got back to around 450,000 while Soika slips to 175,000. --MH

7pm: Et Tu Loc Tu
Level: 23 - Blinds: 10,000-20,000 (ante: 3,000)

There's a really interesting texture to the remaining field here, with seasoned professionals--Vanessa Selbst, Joao Vieira, etc--rubbing shoulders with less familiar players, such as Loc Tu. He is a PokerStars qualifier from Canada with a relatively meagre tournament record.

Tu just took a pretty tricky line in a pot against Vieira, which is doubly brave given the Portuguese player's reputation ($1.1 million in live winnings) and his stack (1.85 million).

Tu limped from under the gun, putting only 20,000 forward. Vieira, a couple of seats along, raised to 68,000 and everyone else put the decision back with Tu. He called.

The flop came 8♥6♥Q♣ and Tu checked. Vieira bet 67,000 and now Tu woke up. He raised to 150,000.

Vieira seemed tempted to take it further, but eventually thought better of it. He folded. --HS

6:45pm: Calamusa doubles through Selbst
Level: 23 - Blinds: 10,000-20,000 (ante: 3,000)

Vanessa Selbst got some chips back from Joao Vieira following that big hand between them earlier, although just now she sent a few to her other neighbor on the left when Pierre Calumusa doubled through her.

Calamusa was all-in and at risk for his last 173,000 with K♣K♠ versus Selbst's A♠8♥. A king on the flop and safe cards thereafter helped him back up to about 360,000, while Selbst sits with 825,000. --MH

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6:40pm: Lakhdari out
Level: 23 - Blinds: 10,000-20,000 (ante: 3,000)

Benjamin Philipps raised to 40,000 on the button, then Omar Lakhdari reraised to 130,000 from the small blind. The action back on Philipps, he pushed all-in and Lakhdari called with the 530,000 or so he had total.

Lakhdari: J♥J♣
Philipps: A♣7♥

The K♦A♦5♥ gave Philipps a pair of aces and the advantage, then following the 9♥ turn and 5♠ river Lakhdari was out in 36th. Philipps is now on 1.375 million. --MH

6:35pm: Nguyen wins
Level: 23 - Blinds: 10,000-20,000 (ante: 3,000)

Thi Xoa Nguyen now has about 1.8 million, and that is good for the tournament chip lead. She just bullied Natan Chauskin out of a pot, leaving him with about 400,000, which is his lowest ebb for the day.

The two of them had got about 210,000 into the pot by the time they got to the turn. The board read: 9♦Q♣7♦ | 6♦.

Chauskin checked. Nguyen bet 104,000. And then Chauskin check-raised to 246,000. That put Nguyen in the tank and she went through the now well-practiced script. "Will you show if I fold?" etc., etc.

Chauskin didn't reply, and normally the person laying down this speech folds in this spot. But not Nguyen. She shoved, covering Chauskin, and Chauskin immediately folded. -- HS

6:25pm: So long, Evangelos; down to 36
Level: 23 - Blinds: 10,000-20,000 (ante: 3,000)

Evangelos Terzoudis of Greece has lost the last of his stack to go out in 37th place. --MH

6:20pm: Daher done, Celestino collects
Level: 23 - Blinds: 10,000-20,000 (ante: 3,000)

They are down to 37 now following the elimination of Albert Daher. The player from Lebanon was knocked out in a hand versus the Brazilian Ariel "Bahia" Celestino, one taking Celestino up over 1.15 million.

Daher got his last chips in on a 6♠6♦2♥T♦ flop holding A♦9♦ for a flush draw while Celestino called Daher's shove with T♥9♥ for tens and sixes. The river was the 8♣, and Daher's day is done. --MH

6:15pm: Slow and fast
Level: 23 - Blinds: 10,000-20,000 (ante: 3,000)

Two hands played out simultaneously on neighbouring tables. One was a slow burn, that was ultimately unfulfilling. The other sped to a hasty climax.

The slow one featured Jan Bendik and Asan Umarov, a pair of players representing the unheralded poker nations of Slovakia and Kazakhstan, respectively. Bendik opened his button, making it 45,000 to play and Umarov, one seat westward, raised to 127,000.

The big blind gave it up but Bendik called and they saw a flop of Q♦5♣9♦. Umarov led. He bet 102,000 and Bendik called. The 5♠ came on the turn and Umarov checked. Bendik took over and bet 197,000.

Right about this time, the dealer from over the floor beckoned reporters to her table with a shout of "All-in and a call." We skittered in that direction to see Chris Dowling all-in with 7♣7♠ against Jimmy Guerrero's A♥K♠. But they needed to wait for the TV cameras to arrive, so time to check back in with Bendik.

There was no need. Umarov was still in the tank. Back to see Dowling's fate. The dealer was given permission to deal the flop. It came 9♣T♦ and a glorious 7♦ for Dowling. The 2♦ on the turn snuffed out any lingering runner-runner hopes for Guerro, and so the 6♥ on the river was irrelevant.

Smash-bang, and Dowling doubled to about 600,000.

Meanwhile back at that first table, Bendik called the clock on Umarov and Umarov duly folded. -- HS

6:10pm: Vieira vaults in front
Level: 23 - Blinds: 10,000-20,000 (ante: 3,000)

On the heels of his knockout of Koichi Nozaki in 40th, Joao Vieira soon got involved in another big pot, this one versus Vanessa Selbst sitting on his left.

joao_vieira_med2_4may16.jpgJoao Vieira

Picking up the action on the turn with about 225,000 already in the middle and the board showing an intriguing T♦K♥J♥, Vieira led for 133,000 and with some deliberation Selbst called. The turn brought the 4♣ and another bet from Vieira, this one for 237,000, and again after giving the matter close scrutiny Selbst called once more.

The river was the T♣, pairing the board, and after a brief pause Vieira noted he was all-in. Selbst eyed her remaining stack of 535,000, then let her hand go.

Vieira vaults into the chip lead with that pot, having moved up over 2 million. --MH

6pm: Vieira ends back-to-back prospects
Level: 23 - Blinds: 10,000-20,000 (ante: 3,000)

Koichi Nozaki's bid for back-to-back Grand Final main event final tables is over. He found himself on the wrong side of what Vanessa Selbst described as a "optimum runout" to bust at the hands of Joao Vieira.

There was about 300,000 in the pot and a board dealt all the way to the river: K♥6♠6♣9♦Q♠. Nozaki bet 126,000 and Vieira, one seat to his left, picked up a fistful of lime-coloured 25,000-denomination chips and bunged them over the line.

Nozaki paused momentarily, but then called for his tournament life, showing 6♦7♦. He had to do a bit of a double take when Vieira tabled his J♠T♥ for the rivered straight.

Nozaki didn't take it badly. He tapped Vieira on the shoulder, stuck his tongue out for the camera, and grinned his way to the payouts table. It would have been nice to see him record the back-to-back, but one suspects we'll see him again next year.

"That's what they call an optimum runout," Selbst whispered to Vieira as he began stacking up 1.4 million chips. --HS

5:50pm: Guerrero leading final 40
Level: 23 - Blinds: 10,000-20,000 (ante: 3,000)

After a stretch lasting more than half an hour last level that saw the players remaining number stay on 45, five players fell during the final minutes of the level, with Andrei Boghean (43rd), Yousef Finianos (42nd), and Hani Bahna (41st) the last three to fall.

jimmy_guerro_med4_4may16.jpgJimmy Guerro

Meanwhile as we were just noting (see below), following his knockout of Markus Durnegger near the end of the last level after flopping a set of fives, Jimmy Guerrero is leading the counts with 1.5 million. As it happens, he and Thi Xoa Nguyen (who knocked out Fatima Moreira de Melo) are a couple, and she's in the top five with her stack of 1.28 million. --MH

5:40pm: Big stacks
Level 23 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

As level 23 gets underway the top five stacks are as below. A quick glance reveals that the top five stacks are all French. Not all Frenchmen though, Thi Xoa Nguyen has flown up the chip counts to fifth place.

Jimmy GuerreroFrance1,500,000
Benjamin PollakFrance1,450,000
Mohamed AissaniFrance1,450,000
Adrien AllainFrance1,369,000
Thi Xoa NguyenFrance1,280,000

Of the 40 remaining players the following countries are represented:

France - 10
USA - 5
Belarus - 3
Italy - 3
Germany - 2
Greece - 2
UK - 2
Brazil - 1
Canada - 1
Ireland - 1
Israel -1
Japan - 1
Kazakhstan - 1
Lebanon - 1
Poland - 1
Portugal - 1
Russia - 1
Slovakia - 1
Sweden - 1
Ukraine - 1


5:20pm: Break time
Level: 22 - Blinds: 8,000-16,000 (ante: 2,000)

After that slow-paced level that saw just nine players eliminated, they are taking another 20-minute break.  --MH

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5:15pm: Winner for Nguyen means Fatima falls
Level: 22 - Blinds: 8,000-16,000 (ante: 2,000)

Team PokerStars SportStar Fatima Moreira de Melo has been eliminated after losing a preflop all-in versus Thi Xoa Nguyen.

Putting her last 270,000 or so on the line versus Nguyen following an 8♠5♠4♠ flop, de Melo had straight and flush draws with 7♥7♠. But Nguyen had already made a better flush with K♠9♠, and following a runout of A♦ and 5♥ de Melo hit the rail.

Nguyen has about 1.25 million now with 43 players left. --MH

5:10pm: Folding with intent
Level: 22 - Blinds: 8,000-16,000 (ante: 2,000)

Ben Pollak just invited Oren Rosen to play the biggest pot of the tournament so far, but though he seemed tempted, Rosen eventually passed up the chance.

Pollak opened to 35,000 from early position and Rosen raised to 83,000 from the button. It folded through the blinds back to Pollak and he said that he was all-in.

With a stack of 1.4 million, Pollak can't actually be knocked out by anyone at his table at the moment, so this was a decision for Rosen's tournament life. He had about 1.1 million at the start of the hand.

Rosen asked for a count, even though he knew he was covered. After long time thinking about it, somebody (possibly Pollak) called the clock. The tournament director came over, confirmed with the dealer that Rosen had had enough time to weigh up his options, and then gave him one minute more.

Barely 20 seconds more passed before Rosen flung his cards away in a manner that said, "This is something in the region of ace-queen, maybe ace-jack, perhaps a pair between sevens and tens, and I think this might be ahead, even though I'm also quite sure you're capable of making a move in this spot and you might be making a suspicious over-jam with a monster in a bid to psyche me out, but I can't be certain and I've still got a big stack so I'll live to fight another day and find a better spot."

Sometimes you just get a feeling when you watch someone fold, know what I mean? -- HS

5pm: Hero call doesn't work for Durnegger
Level 22 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Omar Lakhdari limped from UTG, encouraging limps from Jimmy Guererro sitting to his left, Andjelko Andrejevic in the cutoff, and Pierre Calamusa in the small blind. Markus Durnegger then raised from the big blind, and only Guerrero chose to call and see with him a 5♦8♣K♠ flop.

markus_durnegger_med4_4may16.jpgMarkus Durnegger

Durnegger led for 70,000 at that, Guerrero raised to 175,000, and Durnegger called. Durnegger then check-called another bet of 150,000 from Guerrero following the 4♥ turn.

The river was the A♣. Durnegger checked again, and Guerrero immediately pushed all-in for more than the 210,000 or so Durnegger had left. The Austrian went deep in the tank for several minutes, then after the clock was called on him he finally made a call, showing 8♠7♣. That was well behind Guerrero's 5♠5♣, and after more than half an hour we've finally seen another elimination. --MH

4:50pm: Bengelmann doubles
Level: 22 - Blinds: 8,000-16,000 (ante: 2,000)

Still 45 in the main event, even though Kiryl Radzivonau just did his best to trim the field by one. He called Jan Bengelmann's open-shove (it was for precisely 326,000) but A♦K♥ stayed good against A♥Q♥ through a board of 4♦8♠J♣9♣5♥.

Despite the setback, Radzivonau still has about 1.2 million which represents a considerable increase on the 331,000 with which he started the day. --HS

4:45pm: Lakhdari likes his hand
Level 22 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Omar Lakhdari raised from UTG for 38,000 and it folded around to Markus Durnegger in the big blind who called.

Durnegger would then check-call both the flop and turn as the board came 6♣7♦2♠6♠, building a pot close to 250,000, then check again to Lakhdari after the Q♥ river.

Lakhdari sat and fidgeted for several seconds, then tossed out a bet of 126,000. Durnegger studied the board, bet, and his opponent's line for about a half-minute, then decided to call. Lakhdari flipped over K♣6♦ for trips, and Durnegger mucked.

Afterwards Andjelko Andrejevic volunteered that he'd folded nine-six, and Jimmy Guerrero said "You thought he was bluffing, yea?" The table laughed in response, suggesting that even without that knowledge it did look like a bluff had been a real possibility.

In any event, Lakhdari was not and got paid, and now both and and Durnegger sit with just about the same amount of chips with 630,000. --MH

4:35pm: Stubborn Saout going nowhere with top pair
Level: 22 - Blinds: 8,000-16,000 (ante: 2,000)

Action has grown quite cagey in the main event, which would be consistent with a money jump. But actually another five players need to be eliminated before the €16,830 payout becomes €19,760, so this might just be a collective card-dead epidemic. There are 45 left and the money doesn't increase until the last 39.

Ariel Celestino is now down to about 490,000 chips after losing a pot to Antoine Saout. Celestino opened to 35,000 from the button and Saout defended his big blind with a call. They saw the 8♦J♠7♣ on the flop.

Saout check-called Celestino's bet of 36,000. And he check-called a follow up of 75,000 on the 3♥ turn. After the 3♣ came on the river and Saout checked again, Celestino clearly decided he wasn't going to do any more of his opponent's betting for him, and checked behind.

Saout opened K♣J♦ and Celestino sigh-mucked. -- HS

4:20pm: Two Dutch players sitting beside one another and one now has twice as many chips as before
Level: 22 - Blinds: 8,000-16,000 (ante: 2,000)

There were two Dutch players sitting beside one another and they played a pot in which one of them ended up with about twice as many chips as before. But I just can't think of a catchy headline. Any ideas?

Anyhow, those two were Govert Metaal and Fatima Moreira de Melo and the former open-shoved from the button. The latter called from the small blind. Metaal had 3♦3♣. Moreira de Melo had 9♣9♠. The board brought no help for the under-pair and, with the smaller stack, Metaal is now out. (The shove was for about 130,000.)

Moreira de Melo had about 300,000 before that hand so now sits with about 250,000. -- HS

4:10pm: Guerrero gets value
Level 22 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

While Pierre Tilamant was being eliminated elsewhere in 47th place, Omar Lakhdari and Jimmy Guerrero were locked in a hand that saw Lakhdari lead with an 80,000 bet -- just a third of the pot -- on the river with the board showing 8♥A♠T♥9♣T♠.

Guerrero riffled his chips while chewing the ever-present straw in his mouth, eyes darting back and forth between the board and Lakhdari as he did. Finally he began gathering chips, and pushed out a big raise to 294,000 -- a bet representing most of what he had left.

Lakhdari called instantly, and Guerrero quickly turned over his Q♠J♦ for a queen-high straight. Lakhdari paid off what he owed, stacking 480,000 after the loss. Meanwhile Guerrero is up around 775,000 now. --MH

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Level: 22 - Blinds: 8,000-16,000 (ante: 2,000)

Matthew Davenport had 180,000 chips at the recent break. Evangelos Terzoudis had about 1 million and Andjelko Andrejevic had about 450,000. But after a huge pot within the new level's first orbit, it's all change. Davenport is out, Terzoudis has about 650,000 and Andrejevic is pushing 1 million.

Terzoudis started it, raising to 35,000 from the hijack. Davenport shoved from the cutoff and Andrejevic reshoved from the button. Terzoudis called and it was a three-way pre-flop all-in situation, known as a TWPFAIS for short.

Terzoudis: A♠K♥
Davenport: A♣J♣
Andrejevic: Q♠Q♥

The board changed very little. It ran 9♦T♦J♦9♠2♣ and the queens held. That all but tripled Andrejevic, sent Davenport out and made Terzoudis with the queue to the bathroom had been longer and that he hadn't managed to get back to his seat in time. -- HS

3:50pm: Big stacks
Level 22 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

We got full counts on the recent break and we can tell you that Benjamin Pollak has taken the chip lead. The Frenchman finished fourth at EPT11 Deauville and looks set for another deep run in an EPT main event.

Benjamin PollakFrance1,400,000
Adrien AllainFrance1,200,000
Oren RosenIsrael1,200,000
Marcin ChmielewskiPoland1,200,000
Kiryl RadzivonauBelarus1,100,000

3:46pm: Rocci still with fighter's chance
Level 22 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Andrea Rocci got the rest of his chips in the middle following a 6♣6♠4♣ flop and was in the good spot of having 9♠9♥ versus Adrien Allain's 8♦8♣.

A nine on the turn made things even better for Rocci, ensuring the river didn't matter and enabling him to double to about 690,000. Allain meanwhile slips back to 860,000. --MH

3:45pm: Sammarino's kings crown Van Hoek
Level 22 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

On the first hand back from the break, Erik Van Hoek looked down at K♠T♥ in the cutoff and decided to open-push his last 185,000. It folded to Dario Sammartino in the small blind, who examined the bet for a short while, then called it, and after the big blind stepped aside, Sammartino showed his K♥K♦.

dario_sammartino_med4_4may16.jpgDario Sammartino

The flop was Q♠6♣8♠ and the turn the 9♠, meaning Van Hoek wasn't quite dead yet. But the 6♥ river sealed it and he's out in 49th. --MH


3:25pm: Break time

With 49 left, they've reached the end of another level and are taking another 20-minute break. --MH

3:20pm: Choice for Gustavson
Level: 21 - Blinds: 6,000-12,000 (ante: 2,000)

Aaron Gustavson's bid for a second EPT title just enjoyed a huge fillip as he doubled his stack to nearly 900,000 and accounted for Ruediger Weber at the same time.

Weber opened from the hijack, making it 29,000 to play. Gustavson was in the big blind and he raised to 90,000. By this point it was only those two involved and Weber asked for the all-in triangle.

Gustavson didn't wait for a count. He simply moved his chips over the line and flipped over his A♦Q♠. Weber was racing with his T♦T♣ and a made-for-TV run-out then followed.

The flop came K♥4♦J♦ and although the T♠ on the turn looked good for Weber, it was actually the worst card in the deck. Gustavson now had a straight. Although Weber now had outs to the full house, he missed on the 9♦ river.

Gustavson now counted out his chips. He had 444 (thousand) which, in a previous poker era (about three years ago) would have had a lot of people talking about taking a six-week sojourn to a self-improvement centre near Las Vegas. In this instance, Weber just counted out his own stack, learned that he had marginally less than that, and slipped silently away from the table.

Gustavson is now in control of his own destiny. -- HS

3:10pm: Gray, Soshnikov out; Aissani on the ascent
Level 21 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Shortly after Jason Gray was knocked out at a neighboring table in 52nd place, there was another all-in and call involving Ivan Soshnikov and Mahomed Aissani nearby.

The action came following a 8♣7♥T♠ flop, and resulted in Soshnikov begin all-in and at risk with Q♦8♦ (a pair of eights) versus Aissani's T♥9♥ (a flopped straight).

The turn was the 2♠ and river the J♣, and Soshnikov turned from the table, saying "Next time!" as he headed over to collect his winnings for finishing 51st.

Aissani is way up to 1.18 million. --MH

3:05pm: Selbst on fire
Level: 21 - Blinds: 6,000-12,000 (ante: 2,000)

Vanessa Selbst has hit the million-chip mark, knocking out Alexios Zervos. The Greek player was a chip leader for a long period yesterday and came into today with 700,000. But with Selbst to his left, he didn't have the best draw in the house.

His final hand was pretty standard. He opened to 28,000 from the cutoff, Selbst raised to 62,000 from the button and everyone else left the decision to Zervos. He shoved for about 300,000.

Selbst instantly called and flipped J♥J♣. Zervos had 6♠6♦. The board was no threat to the jacks: K♠8♥T♣2♣4♠.

Zervos departs but Selbst is into seven figures for the first time this week, and this doesn't bode particularly well for the rest of the field. -- HS

3pm: Saout doubles through Daher
Level 21 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Preflop action between Antoine Saout in middle position and Albert Daher in the big blind resulted in Saout being all-in and at risk for 230,000 even with A♦J♣ and in decent shape edge-wise versus Daher's A♣T♠.

The board ran out 6♦8♦8♥A♠J♦, and Saout now has about 475,000, putting him ahead of Daher on the leaderboard as he slips to 430,000. --MH

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2:55pm: Chop
Level: 21 - Blinds: 6,000-12,000 (ante: 2,000)

Fabio Sperling tried to knock out Ivan Soshnikov and found A♦K♦ in a bid to do so. But Soshnikov had A♠K♣ know, sometimes you start writing up a hand an wonder why you bother. -- HS

2:50pm: "He check-raised two people!"
Level: 21 - Blinds: 6,000-12,000 (ante: 2,000)

Vanessa Selbst isn't usually prepared to back down without a fight and she's spoiling for a huge dust up on Table 3 this afternoon. She just got embroiled in a pot with both Loc Tu and Koichi Nozaki, but emerged with barely a scratch.

Selbst opened to 27,000 from UTG+1 and Tu called on the button. Nozaki called from the big blind and the happy trio saw three happy cards: Q♦2♠5♥.

vanessa_selbst_med4_4may16.jpgVanessa Selbst

Nozaki checked, but Selbst didn't. She bet 37,000. Tu seemed keen initially to look her up, but folded eventually, which put the decision on Nozaki. He didn't call either. He raised. It was 80,000.

Selbst took a little while to assess her options, but came out all guns blazing. She said she was all in for around 500,000.

Nozaki made the face of a man who didn't want to fold, but eventually that's what he had to do. As Selbst stacked up the chips, her neighbour told her what only she really knew. "You didn't have a set," he said. Selbst defended against this accusation. "He check-raised two people," she said.

Who knows. -- HS

2:45pm: Kagawa out; Bechrakis doubles
Level 21 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Shortly after Rintaro Kagawa busted in 54th place, Apostolos Bechrakis opened from middle position, then when challenged by Chris Dowling from the blinds the pair eventually got all of Bechrakis' 334,000 chips in the middle.

Bechrakis tabled K♥K♠ and needed to avoid an ace versus Dowling's A♠K♠. A runout of 8♥T♠6♠J♥8♦ fulfilled that wish for Bechrakis, and now he has about 690,000 while Dowling is down to 135,000. --MH

2:35pm: A double for Tu
Level 21 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

After only winning a small side pot in that three-way all-in situation with Ihar Soika and Koichi Nozaki a short while ago, Loc Tu watched Soika open from UTG to 27,000, then Andrei Boghean call from late position.

Tu looked down at 7♣7♥ in the big blind and decided to reraise all-in for his last 120,000 even, and after Soika folded, Boghean called, turning over K♣T♣.

The dealer burned a card and spread the three flop cards, with a king in the window causing Tu to slump noticeably in his chair, but right underneath the king was a seven, the flop coming 6♥7♣K♦, and Tu sat upright again. The T♦ turn meant his flopped set couldn't be beaten, making the river no matter.

Tu has about 250,000 now while Boghean has 760,000. --MH

2:30pm: More casualities
Level 21 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Diego Zeiter went out in 58th a short while ago, just prior to Michel Abecassis' knockout in 57th (described below). Then Georges Hallak finally lost last of his short stack to finish 56th, and the Brazilian Thiago Nishijima fell thereafter in 55th. -- MH

2:23pm: Abecassis abecacan't. Lakhdari's dance continues
Level: 21 - Blinds: 6,000-12,000 (ante: 2,000)

Omar Lakhdari opened to 26,000 from the cutoff and Michel Abecassis moved all in from the button. Matthew Davenport was in the small blind and he wanted a count of both of his potential opponents' stacks. The dealer took care of Abecassis's counting, establishing that it was 255,000 and Davenport called.

Then Lakhdari counted his own chips, loudly and energetically, establishing that he had almost precisely the same amount as his all-in countryman. There really was only shrapnel between them. Lakhdari eventually tossed one chip over the line and made it pretty clear that he was in for his tournament too, turning over A♦K♠.

michel_abecassis_med4_4may16.jpgMichel Abecassis

The other two hands were also revealed. Abecassis had 5♣5♠ but Davenport was ahead with his Q♣Q♠. The dealer paused, as directed, to wait for the television cameras to come over and decide the players' fate, but Lakhdari wasn't having it. "Come on, come on," he insisted, frustrated that his tournament-defining agony had to be prolonged for the sake of those in webcast land.

He soon saw good news, though. The flop came A♥K♥3♣, putting him ahead. And then 7♦ turn followed by the 6♠ river kept him ahead. He triples to about 780,000. Abecassis is out and Davenport has 350,000.

Omar comin'. --HS

2:20pm: pm: Soika survives, triples up
Level 21 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

"Nobody busted. It's disgusting."

So commented the still-short-stacked Georges Hallak from a neighboring table following a three-way all-in next door that saw the two at-risk players both survive.

The hand started with Loc Tu opening from middle position, then Ihar Soika reraised all-in for his last 190,000 from the next seat. Koichi Nozaki called the three-bet, and when it folded back around to Tu he reshoved all-in over the top for nearly 270,000 total and Nozaki called that as well.

Tu: Q♠Q♦
Soika: J♣J♦
Nozaki: A♥K♠

The flop came K♥T♣Q♣, pairing Nozaki, giving Tu a set, and providing an up-and-down straight draw for Soika. Relatively speaking, the 5♦ was a dud, drama-wise, but the A♠ river picked things back up again, enabling Soika to survive with a big triple-up.

Soika has about 600,000 now, while Tu won the small side pot to keep his seat with 125,000. Nozaki, meanwhile, has 855,000. --MH

2:12pm: Sperling busts Riihela
Level 21 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Fabio Sperling keeps chipping up. He just collected a few more after taking the last 232,000 from Samu Riihela.

Riihela was all-in with 7♦7♥ but Sperling had that pipped with 8♠8♣. The A♠9♦8♥ flop then gave Sperling a set, with the A♦ turn improving him to a full house and making the K♦ river inconsequential.

Riihela is out, and with 58 players left Sperling now has about 1.1 million. --MH

2:10pm: Pollak making small fry of competition
Level: 20 - Blinds: 6,000-12,000 (ante: 2,000)

Ben Pollak is on the absolute charge today and is likely in the chip lead now. He has the best part of 1.5 million having accounted for the final 150,000-ish of Diego Zeiter.

This went open, shove, call: Pollak with K♣K♠ and Zeiter with A♠7♥. The board did not contain an ace and that was that. -- HS

2:08pm: Sperling busts Riihela
Level 21 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Fabio Sperling keeps chipping up. He just collected a few more after taking the last 232,000 from Samu Riihela.

Riihela was all-in with 7♦7♥ but Sperling had that pipped with 8♠8♣. The A♠9♦8♥ flop then gave Sperling a set, with the A♦ turn improving him to a full house and making the K♦ river inconsequential.

Riihela is out, and with 58 players left Sperling now has about 1.1 million. --MH

2:01pm: Bicknell busts to Nishijima
Level 21 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Soon after the start of the day's second level, Kristen Bicknell -- winner of the 2013 WSOP Ladies Event bracelet -- got all-in from the button with her last 130,000 with K♥2♥ and was called from the big blind by Thiago Nishijima who had A♣7♥.

The A♦3♣T♦ flop gave top pair Nishijima, a WSOP bracelet holder himself (having won his in a $3K NLHE event last summer). The 8♠ turn then left Bicknell drawing dead, and she wished the table luck before leaving for the payout desk.

Nishijima has 565,000 now. --MH


1:45pm: Chip leaders
Level 20 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

We'll be getting full chip counts on the break but these appear to be the biggest stacks in the room right now

Marcin Chmielewski, 1,470,000
Oriel Rosen, 1,176,000
Natan Chauskin, 1,150,000
Thiago Nishijima, 1,130,000
Benjamin Pollak, 1,100,000
Ariel Celestino, 1,037,000

1:38pm: Break time
Level 20 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

With Oleh Cherepianyi hitting the rail in the last hand of the level in 61st, the remaining 60 players are now taking their first break of the day. --MH

1:35pm: Nozaki continues his back-to-back bid
Level: 20 - Blinds: 5,000-10,000 (ante: 1,000)

All things considered, that first level has actually been relatively sedate. Fady Kamar became the 13th person eliminated over the 90 minutes (he went out in 62nd) and we have definitely seen more opening-level carnage than that.

Plenty still to report, however, including the continued rise of Koichi Nozaki. The latest non-believer was Kyle Frey, who paid Nozaki off in the following pot:

Frey opened from mid-position, making it 22,000 to play. Nozaki three-bet from the big blind--he's nothing if not aggressive--and Frey paid to see the A♠2♠9♥ flop. Nozaki had a stab. He bet 45,000 and Frey called.

They both checked the 4♦ turn, but then Nozaki found his tempo again on the 3♦ river. He bet 72,000. The rest of the field drifted to its break, but Vanessa Selbst was among those to hang around and watch what happened next.

Frey needed to see Nozaki's cards. He called and got his answer. Nozaki turned over A♣4♠, which was a winning two pair. -- HS

1:28pm: Bechrakis shoves, Selbst steps aside
Level 20 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Apostolos Bechrakis opened from from the hijack seat, then Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Selbst reraised to 48,000 from the next position. It folded back to Bechrakis who considered the situation for a while, checking his cards again as he thought it through.

Finally he announced he was all-in, and Selbst didn't need any time at all to know what her response would be to such an eventuality -- she folded.

With about 10 minutes to go until the day's first break, Selbst has about 745,000 while Bechrakis sits with 315,000. --MH

1:26pm: Lampagno leaves; title not in cards for Cardyn
Level 20 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Two more knockouts to report -- Paolo Lampagno in 64th and Nicholas Cardyn in 63rd. --MH

1:16pm: Barbero bounced
Level 20 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Two-time Latin American Poker Tour champion Nacho Barbero's effort to add an EPT title to his poker résumé here in Monaco has been cut short as he was just eliminated in 65th place during the day's first level. -- MH

1:15pm:  Chip counts
Level 20 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

We've just updated the chip count page and at the top it's very much as you were. Marcin Chmielewski, Roman Korenev and Natan Chauskin are still the top three and they're also the only players to have amassed a chip stack of more than a million. --NW

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1:04pm: Ace-king fails Jozonis; Celestino rising
Level 20 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Shortly after opening and then folding to a three-bet in the previous hand, Tomas Jozonis opened again with a raise, but this time put all 170,000 or so of his chips forward. It folded to Ariel Celestino who called from the cutoff, then after a bit of a tank Chris Dowling called as well from the cutoff and the blinds got out.

The two players still with chips to bet chose not to during the three postflop streets, checking down the Q♦5♠5♥J♠3♦ board.

"One time for ace-king" said Jozonis as he stood and turned over his A♦K♠. But Celestino's 7♥7♣ was better than that, and better as well than Dowling's A♥K♦.

Jozonis is out in 66th, Dowling has about 380,000 now, and Celestino is up to 1.06 million. --MH

12:59pm: Etcheverry eliminated
Level 20 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Tomas Jozonis opened for 25,000 from middle position, then Apostolos Bechrakis three-bet to 175,000 from the next seat. It folded to Juan Etcheverry who pushed his last chips in the middle as a call -- a little less than Bechrakis' reraise. The action got back to Jozonis and he folded, and the remaining two players tabled their hands:

Bechrakis: A♦K♠
Etcheverry: 7♦7♠

The sevens weren't so lucky for Etcheverry as the board came 2♦Q♣K♣8♥3♥ to give Bechrakis the better pair of kings. He's up to 495,000 now, while Etcheverry hits the rail in 67th. -- MH

12:55pm: Nozaki yet again
Level: 20 - Blinds: 5,000-10,000 (ante: 1,000)

Koichi Nozaki loves Monaco. This time last year, he was the Japanese tourist who gave the EPT Grand Final a crack, almost on a whim, and ended up finishing eighth in the main event for €120,700. He's back this year and is still involved as the tournament enters its fourth day. What's more: he's just doubled up.

nozaki_med4_4may16.jpgKoichi Nozaki

I don't know how any of this played out, but by the time there was a red triangle involved, the board showed 7♣J♠9♥2♠A♣ and it seemed as though Alexios Zervos had been the man to make the final aggressive move. I think Nozaki check-called all-in on the river.

These two would have been in the blinds pre-flop (Nozaki in the small; Zervos in the big) and they showed down 9♣T♣ (Zervos) and J♦K♣ (Nozaki). Zervos was startled. "He snapped!" he said, apparently referring to the haste with which Nozaki called for his tournament life.

"Did you see my hand maybe?"

That wasn't a serious accusation, but it was a pretty big call with second pair. Nozaki had 166,000 in his stack at that point, so Zervos had to pay that off, plus whatever was in the middle prior to that.

Nozaki's Monaco love affair continues. -- HS

12:51pm: No second EPT title for Mouawad
Level 20 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

EPT4 London Main Event champion Joseph Mouowad held on for awhile, but now he's lost his short stack to go out in 68th.

joseph_mouawad_med4_4may16.jpgJoseph Mouawad: OUT

That just leaves Aaron Gustavson, who won EPT London in Season 6, as the only former EPT Main Event champion left in the field. --MH

12:45pm: Andrejevic too slick for Davenport
Level 20 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Andjelko Andrejevic is up to around 350,000 after doubling through Matt Davenport. The latter opened with 9♥9♣, Andrejevic three-bet with A♥K♣, Davenport set him in and the American called it off.

The 6♣K♥8♦K♠Q♦ board saw Davenport ship a portion of his chips to Andrejevic, the Brit is down to roughly 470,000. --NW

12:44pm: Korenev KOs Finianos
Level 20 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Three more have fallen here in Level 20 -- Nikolas Menke of Germany (70th), Albert Sebag of France (69th), and Youssef Finianos of Lebanon (68th). For Finanos, it was a hand against big-stacked Russian Roman Korenev that spelled the end of his EPT Grand Final Main Event run.

In the hand, Thi Xoa Nguyen had opened from middle position for 22,000 and Korenev called from a seat over. Then Finianos reraised all in from the cutoff for a little under 80,000, and the table folded back to Nguyen.

She contemplated the situation a short while before folding, and after seeing how much the reraise was for Korenev called, tabling A♣T♠ while Finianos had T♣T♦.

The 2♣K♣Q♣ flop and 6♠ turn kept Finianos in front, but the 8♣ river gave Korenev the flush and the pot. With 67 players left, Korenev has about 1.15 million. -- MH

12:31pm: A Hallak comeback?
Level 20 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

The loudest player in the tournament room so far on Day 4 has been Canada's Georges Hallak, despite his entering the day with a short stack. Just now he became even more vocal after doubling up with ace-king versus pocket sixes.

"Oooh la la la la la," said Hallak when the king arrived on board to save him. "Je suis la encore!"

He's still here, all right, and now has about 250,000. --MH

12:25pm: Frey fries Faivre
Level: 20 - Blinds: 5,000-10,000 (ante: 1,000)

Vanessa Selbst opened two pots from late position and ended up having to fold twice when players behind her seemed even keener to pick up the blinds and antes. However, on the second such occasion, one of them ended on the rail.

Let's look at that second hand: Selbst opened to 22,000 from the hijack and Kyle Frey called on the button. Pascal Faivre attempted to move all-in instantly from the small blind, but a combination of fumbling fingers and a decision not to announce his intention verbally meant he ended up three-betting to 100,000, leaving 10,000 behind. The dealer explained the issue to him and he was fine with it.

Selbst eyed the size of the bet and Faivre helpfully spread the amount left behind the line. There were two blue chips, which it's likely Selbst had already clocked. Anyhow, the Team PokerStars Pro folded, but Frey snap-called and showed his 8♦8♠.

Faivre was racing with A♥9♥ but the board ran 5♣3♠6♥6♠3♥ and the pocket pair held. Faivre becomes another of the overnight short stacks to fail in the attempt to spin it up. -- HS

12:23pm: Two more hit the rail
Level 20 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Marco De Vincenti (73rd) and Antonio Rutigliano (72nd) have now hit the rail here during the first half-hour of Day 4. --MH

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12:22pm: Kamar doubles through Terzoudis
Level 20 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

All-in for his last 79,000 with Q♣T♣, Fady Kamar needed help against the 4♣4♥ of Evangelo Terzoudis. The board brought it for the player from Lebanon, coming Q♥2♠A♥8♥9♠ to give him the better pair and the pot.

Kamar has about 175,000 now, while Terzoudis sits with 920,000. --MH

12:20pm:  Boghean busts De Vincenti
Level 20 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

By the time I arrived at the tables the cards were already on their backs but it was clear the majority of Marco De Vincenti's 134,000 stack had gone in on the river in a hand against Andrei Boghean.

The board was 9♦8♦A♠J♦3♣ and De Vincenti had [A][J] for top two. A fine hand but not as strong as Boghean who had T♠7♠ and had turned a straight to cooler Di Vincenti. He's up to 600,000 now.

Antonio Rutigliano is also out. --NW

12:11pm: Van Hoek steps aside after Aissani shove
Level 20 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

With the board showing 8♦4♣6♣ and about 150,000 in the middle, Mahomed Aissani checked, then Erik Van Hoek fired 75,000 in an effort to win the pot, leaving himself about 235,000 behind. At that Aissani check-raised all-in, and Van Hoek went deep into the tank before finally letting his hand go.

Aissani has about 950,000 as Day 4 gets going in earnest. --MH

12:05pm: One down
Level: 20 - Blinds: 5,000-10,000 (ante: 1,000)

Action is under way in the main event and, predictably, we lost our first player within the first orbit.

Sebastian Lebaron got his sub 10 big blind stack in from early position and was called by Erwann Pecheux, who had closer to 85 BBs. Lebaron had K♣9♠ and plenty of potential against Pecheux's 3♣3♠.

But like so much promise (see: the journalism careers of the EPT media room), it fizzled to nothing. The board ran A♥8♠6♣2♦T♣ and that was that. The pattern is set. --HS

12pm: Play begins

We're underway on Day 4. 

11am: Preparing for Day 4

There are 74 players left as they head into Day 4 of the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino EPT Grand Final main event. They will likely play five 90-minute levels today, although the day could also end when only 16 players remain. It could go either way.

Marcin Chmielewski leads the way at the moment, but with the likes of Vanessa Selbst, Fatima Moreira de Melo, Joseph Mouawad and nanonoko in the hunt, anything could happen.

Play begins at noon. -- HS


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Take a look at the official website of the EPT, with tournament schedule, news and results.

Also all the schedule information is on the EPT App, which is available on both Android or IOS.

PokerStars Blog reporting team on the EPT12 Grand Final main event: Stephen Bartley, Marc Convey and Howard Swains. Photography by Neil Stoddart. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog

8G2A1593EPT12MON_Tournament_Room_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Tournament room

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