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ESPT7 Barcelona: Chris Moorman bags final table chip lead after long Day 3

After 14 hours inside the Casino Barcelona, the remaining players of the 97 who came back this morning for the Estrellas Main Event could finally fit around one table. It made me think back fondly to Day 2, when for the first time the entire field could fit inside one room. At the beginning of that day that seemed highly unlikely. 

But now, at the end of Day 3, just nine players remain of the 3,447 who entered. The man who has the most chips right now is a very familiar one indeed. He's the biggest winner in online tournament poker history. He also has more than $4 million in live earnings - which after tonight you can add at least €45,980 to. Yep, Chris Moorman is the final table headliner, bagging up a monstrous stack of 20,550,000.

EPT13_Barcelona-703_Chris Moormana.jpg

Moorman1 is no.1

He's got his eyes set firmly on the €423,600 first place prize, but hot on his heels is the Netherlands' Teunis Kooij with 1,790,000.

EPT13_Barcelona-683_Teunis Kooij.jpg

Kooij and the gang

Filling out the rest of the table are Ireland's Nick Newport (5.3 million) and Daniel Wilson (8,675,000), France's Jerome Brion (9,990,000) and Mohamed Samri (4,825,000), Norway's Lars Farstad (6,175,000) and Marius Enebakk (6,300,000) and Switzerland's Jean-Marc Bellini (6,225,000).

We had known names still in the field at the start of play today including Christopher Frank, Rodrigo Strong, Lucas Greenwood, Scott Margereson, Steven van Zadelhoff, Louis Salter and Joao Vieira. However, they'd all fall as the day went on. Salter made it the furthest, but busted just after the final three tables had been assembled.

EPT13_Barcelona-583_Louis Salter.jpg

Salter finished in 24th place (€10,930)

The chip lead was with Ongun Yagci for much of the day's later levels, but around 11:30pm he'd be eliminated by Moorman in the biggest pot of the tournament so far. He jammed over Moorman's three-bet for his entire 7 million stack with the A♣2♣, and Moorman was happy to call for virtually all of his stack with pocket Kings, which he'd then flop a set with. 

From then on Moorman increased his lead and stayed out front until the end.

Thumbnail image for EPT13_Barcelona-699_Ongun Yagci.jpg

Big misstep for Yagci

Our final nine will return at 12pm tomorrow (Monday) where they will play down to an official final table of eight. Blinds at the start of the day will be 150,000/300,000 with a running 50,000 ante. Here's the seat draw:

Seat 1: Chris Moorman 
Seat 2: Nicholas Newport 
Seat 3: Jean-Marc Bellini 
Seat 4: Teunis Kooij 
Seat 5: Mohamed Samri 
Seat 6: Daniel Wilson 
Seat 7: Lars Farstad 
Seat 8: Jerome Brion
Seat 9: Marius Enebakk

Make sure you join back here tomorrow as we play down to a winner in the ESPT7 Barcelona Main Event. Until then, get some shut eye. --JS


1:56am: Day 3 concludes 

They've reached the end of Level 33 and that means nine players will be returning for tomorrow's final day of play. Chris Moorman ended the night with the chip lead with more than 20 million.

Back in a few to wrap up a long, exciting day in the Estrellas Barcelona Main Event. --MH

1:50am: Brion over Moorman 
Level 33: Blinds 125,000/250,000, Ante 50,000

Chris Moorman raised from under the gun and got a caller in Jerome Brion playing from the small blind. Both checked the 8♠9♦Q♥ flop, then after Brion checked the 2♠ turn, Moorman bet 625,000 and Brion called.

The river was the 8♦. Both players checked, and when Brion turned over T♣T♥, Moorman mucked.

Brion is up to 10.5 million now, while Moorman has 17.8 million. --MH

1:42am: Last level 
Level 33: Blinds 125,000/250,000, Ante 50,000

It has been decided that this will be the last level of the night. --JS

1:40am: Seating Assignments for Nine-Handed Table 
Level 33: Blinds 125,000/250,000, Ante 50,000

Here's how they've redrawn around a single table, with Chris Moorman in Seat 1 and first position in the counts:

Seat 1: Chris Moorman - 19,800,000
Seat 2: Nicholas Newport - 5,900,000
Seat 3: Jean-Marc Bellini - 3,700,000
Seat 4: Teunis Kooij - 17,800,000
Seat 5: Mohamed Samri - 4,200,000
Seat 6: Daniel Wilson - 11,800,000
Seat 7: Lars Farstad - 7,200,000
Seat 8: Jerome Brion - 7,800,000
Seat 9: Marius Enebakk - 6,850,000

1:36am: Marc-Olivier Perrault eliminated in 10th place (€36,340) 
Level 33: Blinds 125,000/250,000, Ante 50,000

It wasn't the most entertaining hand, I'm afraid. Marc-Olivier Perrault had gotten very short and moved all-in with eight-five. He was called by the Ace-Queen of Lars Farstad and the best hand held up. 

EPT13_Barcelona-698_Marc-Olivier Perrault.jpg

Marc-Olivier Perrault

The nine remaining players are now redrawing for one table --JS

1:25am: Sven Lucha eliminated in 11th place (€36,340) 
Level 33: Blinds 125,000/250,000, Ante 50,000

Not much more to report here. Lucha had 700,000 left and threw it in the first chance he got (under the gun). It folded around to Chris Moorman in the big and for less than two bigs more he made the call with the K♦6♦. That was good as Lucha had the K♠2♠ and was drawing dead after Moorman flopped trips. --JS

EPT13_Barcelona-706_Sven Michael Lucha.jpg

Sven Lucha - 11th place

1:20am: Always on the river (the radio edit) 
Level 33: Blinds 125,000/250,000, Ante 50,000

Losing a race is never fun. Just ask Sven Lucha.

He had PokerStars Qualifier Daniel Wilson all-in with basically identical stacks - his 9♦9♠ against Wilson's A♥J♦. The pot was worth 11 million to the winner, and it was almost - almost Lucha.

The T♦8♣2♠ flop was safe. So was the 2♦ turn. But the A♦ river was anything but. 

"Always on the f@#king river!" said Lucha, mainly to himself over and over.

He was left with just 700,000. --JS

1:13am: Ole Olsen eliminated in 12th place (€29,820) 
Level 33: Blinds 125,000/250,000, Ante 50,000

It folded to Teunis Kooij in the small blind who announced he was raising all-in, and Ole Olsen called right away from the big blind to commit his last 5 million or so.

Kooij had A♥5♥ while Olsen had 9♣9♠. The flop fell 8♦A♣K♣ to pair Kooij's ace, and after the Q♥ turn and 2♥ river it was all over for Olsen.

"That's life," he said as he shook Kooij's hand. Olsen goes out in 12th while Kooij now has more than 13 million, good for second position behind Chris Moorman --MH

EPT13_Barcelona-637_Ole Olsen.jpg

Ole Olsen - 12th place

12:58am: Kooij picks up a few from Samri 
Level 33: Blinds 125,000/250,000, Ante 50,000

Mohamed Samri raised to 625,000 from the button and Teunis Kooij called from the big blind. The flop came K♣7♣T♥, and Kooij check-called a bet of 500,000 from Samri. Both then checked the K♦ turn.

The 7♦ on the river put a second pair on board, and Kooij pushed out a bet of 500,000. Samri thought a while and called, and Kooij showed A♠7♠ for sevens full. Samri mucked, and Kooij is now up over 9 million. --MH

12:41am: Olsen makes tortuous fold 
Level 33: Blinds 125,000/250,000, Ante 50,000

Ole Olsen opened to 675,000 from the gun and it folded all around until Marc-Olivier Perrault in the big blind. He defended and the dealer spread an A♦8♦4♦ flop. There would be no c-bet, and when both players checked the 2♥ turn card was dealt. Now Perrault took control with a 975,000 wager, but Olsen didn't go anyway. He called to see the J♠ river but when Perrault put him all-in he had a serious decision to make.

He took his time; after all, we're playing for a lot of money here. After a good few minutes he began to hold his cards in hands and whisper to himself, desperately trying to see the light. Eventually that light must have shown him something bad as he decided to fold and live to fight another day. Olsen has 3,425,000 after that one. --JS


12:19am: Break time

The final dozen players are off now on another 20-minute break. --MH

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12:18am: The language of bluff
Level 32: Blinds 100,000/200,000, Ante 30,000

Frenchman Mohamed Samri opened for 405,000 from early position, then Teunis Kooij three-bet to 910,000 from a couple of seats over. It folded back to Samri who made it 2.2 million to go, and after a long think Kooij called, creating a pot of 4.85 million.

The flop came 4♦7♥T♣, and Samri fired 2.25 million as a leading bet. Kooij tanked for some time, asking Samri at one point if he spoke English. The answer was no, followed by Samri asking Kooij if he spoke French. 

"Un peu," said Kooij with a grin.

Finally he let his hand go, and Samri was the one smiling as he showed his hand -- K♦Q♣!

"Well played," said Kooij, still grinning. "Ooh la la!" said Samri. Both understood each other perfectly.

Samri has about 9.35 million heading to break while Kooij still has 5.85 million. --MH

12:10am: Mario Pagani eliminated in 13th place (€29,820) 
Level 32: Blinds 100,000/200,000, Ante 30,000

Chris Moorman opened for 405,000 from under the gun and it folded back around to Mario Pagini who called from the big blind.

The flop fell 9♠T♦K♠, prompting Pagini to push all-in with his last 2.55 million or so, and Moorman called instantly.

Both had flopped top pair plus gutshot draws, but Moorman had the kicker edge with K♥Q♠ versus Pagini's K♦J♥. The turn was the T♣ and river the 4♥, and Pagini is out in 13th.

Moorman pushes his leading stack up around 17 million. --MH

EPT13_Barcelona-701_Mario Pagani.jpg

Mario Pagani - 13th place

12:20am: Newport's times are a changin' 
Level 32: Blinds 100,000/200,000, Ante 25,000

Ireland's Nick Newport suffered some bad luck earlier, but his luck might be turning as he's just doubled up. Newport opened and got one caller in Marc-Olivier Perrault. The flop came A♣2♣6♥ and it checked to Newport who put out a c-bet, only to then get jammed on. He snap called with the K♣J♣ flush draw and breathed a sigh of relief to see Perrault also had one with the Q♣9♣. No more clubs fell anyway meaning the King-high sealed it, bringing Newport up to 7 million. --JS

12:10am: Cosmin Joldis eliminated in 14th place (€24,480) 
Level 32: Blinds 100,000/200,000, Ante 25,000

We've had a couple of bust outs in quick succession now as Cosmin Joldis is the latest to fall. He got his 1.475 million in good with the Q♣Q♥ up against Marc-Olivier Perrault's K♥J♥, but the flop had other ideas. It came 8♠J♦K♠ giving Perrault two pair, followed by the 9♠ turn which gave Joldis a gutshot. He'd need a Queen or a ten to survive, but it came the 4♥ and he was outta here.

Perrault moved up to 8.7 million after that hand. --JS

EPT13_Barcelona-636_Cosmin Joldis.jpg

Cosmin Joldis - 14th place

12am: Marek Grześka eliminated in 15th place (€24,480) 
Level 32: Blinds 100,000/200,000, Ante 25,000

As if Chris Moorman needed any more chips after the huge pot he played not long ago, he's just busted Marek Slawomir Grześka - aka the Shark - from this event. Grześka moved all-in for 1.67 million from under-the-gun plus one and it folded around to Moorman in the big blind. He peeked at his cards and said "I think I have to!" before making the call. 

It was A♥8♣ for the Brit and the J♦T♦ for Grześka, and the Ace hit the A♠4♥3♥ flop immediately. It was all over by the 7♠ turn, but Grześka paired with the T♥ river just to add salt. We're down to 14, and Moorman has added even more to his stack. --JS

EPT13_Barcelona-684_Marek Slawomir Grześka.jpg

Marek Grześka - 15th place

11:49pm: Yin Zhang eliminated in 16th place (€20,320) 
Level 32: Blinds 100,000/200,000, Ante 25,000

Just as the tables were about to break to form the final two, Yin Zhang jammed all-in with the A♥Q♦ and was by Sven Lucha's A♦K♠. There wasn't a lady to be found on the run-out and Zhang hit the cage to collect his winnings. --JS

EPT13_Barcelona-729_Yin Zhang.jpg

Yin Zhang - 16th place

11:48pm: Nick Mertens eliminated in 17th place (€20,320) 
Level 32: Blinds 100,000/200,000, Ante 25,000

Nick Mertens ESPT Barcelona run has come to an end in 17th place after he found himself on the wrong end of an all-in versus Marc Olivier-Perrault.

All-in with A♥5♠ versus Perrault's A♠K♣, Mertens watched the board come T♠K♠J♣K♦4♠ and that was that. 

EPT13_Barcelona-727_Nick Mertens.jpg

Nick Mertens - 17th place

They're down to 16 players now which means another redraw to reseat everyone around the last two tables. --MH

11:33pm: Ruben Pleijster eliminated in 18th place (€16,880) 
Level 32: Blinds 100,000/200,000, Ante 25,000

Ruben Pleijster open-jammed for about 2.4 million from the cutoff, and it folded to Jerome Brion in the big blind who called. 

Brion turned over ace-jack while Pleijster had king-seven. An ace fell on the flop and no help followed on the subsequent streets for Pleijster who goes out in 18th. --MH

EPT13_Barcelona-679_Ruben Nils Pleijster.jpg

Ruben Pleijster - 18th place

11:26pm: Ongun Yagci eliminated in 19th place (€16,880) 
Level 32: Blinds 100,000/200,000, Ante 25,000

There's only really one hand to tell you about from the past 20 minutes, but trust us - it was the biggest pot of the tournament so far at nearly 14 million.

It started - as so many of our hands tonight have - with an open from Ongun Yagci to 500,000 from the hijack. It then folded to Chris Moorman in the big blind who popped it up to 1,400,000. Yagci then moved all-in and Moorman snap called.

Now, I know what you're thinking. Aces versus Kings right? Or maybe Queens versus Ace King? 

Only one of the hands matched that kind of criteria. Moorman had the K♣K♥

And Yagci? Oh...he had the A♣2♣

The flop brought a sweat; it came the K♠3♦4♣, which despite giving Moorman top set and a strangle hold on the hand, it also have Yagci a sneaky straight draw should a five land. 

Instead, the 7♠ turn fell, followed by the 9♣ river, and Moorman had won it. After a bit of counting by the dealer it was determined that Moorman had Yagci covered by a hair, meaning Yagci was out.

Chris Moorman -- the guy who has won more money than anyone else in the history of online tournament poker -- is now an enormous chip leader with 13,740,000. --JS

EPT13_Barcelona-699_Ongun Yagci.jpg

Ongun Yagci - 19th place

11:14pm: Splashing in the shallow end
Level 32: Blinds 100,000/200,000, Ante 25,000

We've gone a long stretch with only one elimination -- and a lot of double-ups -- and as a result the average stack has fallen now to around 22.5 big blinds.  --MH


11:06pm: Farstad lays down queens
Level 31: Blinds 80,000/160,000, Ante 20,000

A couple of the big stacks -- Lars Farstad and Ongun Yagci -- just got involved in what turned out to be an interesting hand, even if it only got to the turn with a fold to a single postflop bet.

It began with Yagci opening for 400,000 from under the gun, then Farstad three-bet to 960,000 from the next seat over. It folded back to Yagci who thought for about a minute, then called, and the pair saw a flop come A♠8♦7♣.

Yagci chose to lead at that flop with a bet of 1.19 million. Farstad tanked a bit, then folded his hand face up -- Q♥Q♠.

Farstad has 7.5 million and what appears to be the chip lead right now, while Yagci has 4.9 million. --MH

EPT13_Barcelona-700_Lars Farstad.jpg

Farstad in first

10:58pm: Bad timing for Joldis enables Wilson double
Level 31: Blinds 80,000/160,000, Ante 20,000

Cosmin Joldis raised to 375,000 from the cutoff, and it folded to Daniel Wilson in the big blind who three-bet to 1.5 million. The action back on Joldis, he announced he was pushing all-in and Wilson called in a flash, committing his entire stack of 3.47 million.

Joldis had K♦T♥ and had run into Wilson's A♦A♣. The flop came T♦8♣5♠ to give Joldis one pair, but the turn and river ran clean for Wilson -- 6♦, then 3♣ -- and he now has 7.2 million and is right there with the chip leaders. Joldis, meanwhile, slips to about 2 million. --MH

10:52pm: Dario Amorello eliminated in 20th place (€16,880) 
Level 31: Blinds 80,000/160,000, Ante 20,000

It was classic race - Ole Olson's A♥K♣ versus Dario Amorello's all-in for 1.8 million with the T♦T♠. Normally the paired player just hopes to avoid one of the two overcards their opponent helds, but in this case it a little different.

The flop fell the 4♦3♠2♣ and that meant Olson could now win with a five too. Whether Amorello had noticed that or not didn't matter, because he sure noticed it after the 5♣ landed on the turn. The Q♦ completed the board and we were down to 19.

Olson has 5,050,000 after that elimination. --JS

EPT13_Barcelona-696_Dario Amorello.jpg

Dario Amorello - 20th place

10:47pm: Samri saved by the river 
Level 31: Blinds 80,000/160,000, Ante 20,000

Mohamed Samri was just about out of this one...until a miracle river card that is.

His 1,555,000 all-in was called pre-flop by Marek Grześka, and it was the A♦T♠ against 5♦5♣. The board kept low for the 7♦4♠2♣ flop, and again on the T♠ turn. But the A♥ river was anything but, saving Samri's tournament and giving him a new stack of 3.3 million to play with. --JS

10:38pm: Zhang feels the pressure 
Level 31: Blinds 80,000/160,000, Ante 20,000

Ongun Yagci seems to be in every pot at the moment. He called Yin Zhang's 325,000 open out of the big blind and the two saw a 2♥7♠T♥ flop land, which both checked. The J♠ turn came next and that inspired Yagci to take the lead with a 475,000 bet. Zhang called.

After the Q♠ river came down Yagci announced all-in, which essentially meant he'd bet 1.57 million as that's all Zhang had left. He thought. He thought some more. Eventually Mario Pagani called the clock. But in the end Zhang let it go, and now with just less than ten big blinds he's in big trouble. --JS

10:30pm: Pagani doubles through Yagci 
Level 31: Blinds 80,000/160,000, Ante 20,000

Mario Pagani has just secured a full double up courtesy of Ongun Yagci. After an open and a shove, Yagci made the all-in call with the K♠Q♠ but was well behind Pagani's A♠K♣. Yagci did flop a gutshot but it never came and the Italian doubles up to 5.2 million. Meanwhile Yagci has dropped to 4.7 million. --JS

10:21pm: An Enebakk combakk
Level 31: Blinds 80,000/160,000, Ante 20,000

Marius Enebakk was the short stack among the final 20 to begin the new level, but he's improved his situation a bit here in the early going, including doubling through the leader Marek Grzeska.

Enebakk may have gotten a few chips from Grzeska before the hand we witnessed, as he was up to 1.245 million and Grzeska down a touch from the 7.35 million-chip stack he had at the break.

The hand we did see began with Grzeska raising to 360,000 from the button, then Enebakk reraised all-in for 1.245 million and Grzeska called. 

Enebakk had A♦5♦ and Grzeska Q♣3♣, and the 3♠J♣7♣ flop paired Grzeska while also giving him a flush draw. The 5♠ fell on the turn to swing the edge back to Enebakk, and after the 8♠ river the Norwegian had survived.

Enebakk has almost 2.7 million now, while Grzeska is on 5.35 million. --MH

10:10pm: Updated chip counts; 20 remain
Level 31: Blinds 80,000/160,000, Ante 20,000

Players are back in their seats and Level 31 has begun. Marek Grzeska returns to the chip lead, just ahead of Lars Farstad as play resumes. Here's a look at updated counts for all 20 players:

Marek Slawomir GrześkaPolandPokerStars qualifier7,350,000
Lars FarstadNorwayPokerStars player7,125,000
Ongun YagciNetherlands 6,700,000
Chris MoormanUK 6,050,000
Ruben Nils PleijsterNetherlandsPokerStars player5,400,000
Marc-Olivier PerraultCanadaPokerStars player5,350,000
Nicholas NewportIrelandPokerStars qualifier4,800,000
Dario AmorelloItaly 4,700,000
Jerome BrionFrance 4,650,000
Nick MertensBelgium 3,150,000
Cosmin JoldisRomaniaPokerStars qualifier3,150,000
Ole OlsenNorwayPokerStars player2,975,000
Mario PaganiItaly 2,720,000
Jean-Marc BelliniSwitzerland 2,600,000
Daniel WilsonIrelandPokerStars qualifier2,525,000
Mohamed SamriFrance 2,480,000
Sven Michael LuchaGermanyPokerStars player2,475,000
Yin ZhangChinaPokerStars player2,250,000
Teunis KooijNetherlands 1,850,000
Marius EnebakkNorway 475,000

EPT13_Barcelona-684_Marek Slawomir Grześka.jpg

Marek Grzeska


9:50pm: On a break

Players have gone on a 20-minute break. --JS

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9:48pm: Almost six for Moorman
Level 30: Blinds 60,000/120,000, Ante 20,000

Chris Moorman opened to 270,000 and faced a three-bet to 705,000 from the big stack of Ongun Yagci. Moorman wasn't done though, four-betting to 1,520,000 and getting his opponent to fold.

He's up to 5,975,000 now. --JS

9:46pm: Double up for Zhang
Level 30: Blinds 60,000/120,000, Ante 20,000

You've been playing for three straight days. There are just twenty players left. Nineteen stand in the way of you winning €423,600. Do you call with Ace King when you're put all-in on a K♠J♣9♥Q♠7♦ board?

That was the dilemma Yin Zhang faced at the hands of Mario Pagani. There was 500,000 in the middle already and Zhang had 1,150,000 behind. He went for it - and was right. Pagani just had an Ace and a four for air, and Zhang got the full double up. --JS

9:36pm: Jacks work for Kooij
Level 30: Blinds 60,000/120,000, Ante 20,000

Teunis Kooij open-pushed for 1.67 million from late position and got a caller in Jerome Brion on the button.

Kooij had J♥J♦ and was hoping his pair would hold versus Brion's A♥Q♠. Hold it did through the 7♥7♦5♥T♠K♥ board, and Kooij now has about 3.4 million. Brion suffers another hit, but still has 4.05 million. --MH

9:28pm: Pagani shows Moorman respect
Level 30: Blinds 60,000/120,000, Ante 20,000

Mario Pagani opened to 270,000 but was three-bet to 800,000 by Chris Moorman. The Italian looked him up and down, and did the same with his cards, for a minute or so before folding -- showing the A♥J♣ as he did it. --JS

9:21pm: Yang Hwang eliminated in 21st place (€13,770)
Level 30: Blinds 60,000/120,000, Ante 20,000

Yang Hwang has just been knocked out, becoming the last player to take home €13,770. The next three players out will get €16,880.

Ruben Nils Pleijster opened to 270,000 before Hwang three-bet to 625,000. Pleijster then shoved and Hwang - who was pretty pot committed already - made the call with A♥9♣, up against A♠Q♥.

Both paired their Ace on the K♣3♣J♠A♣2♠ board, but the kicker played and Hwang was sent to the rail. --JS

EPT13_Barcelona-681_Yang Hwang.jpg

Yang Hwang - 21st place

9:11pm: Joldis doubles up again
Level 30: Blinds 60,000/120,000, Ante 20,000

Shortly after doubling through Dario Amorello, Cosmin Joldis managed to do so again through Ole Olsen after his A♥K♠ outdrew Olsen's J♥J♣ when an ace came among the community cards.

Joldis is up to 3.6 million now, while Olsen has 3.35 million. --MH

9:02pm: Joldis doubles short stack
Level 30: Blinds 60,000/120,000, Ante 20,000

Short stack Cosmin Joldis open-raised all-in from middle position for his last 540,000 with T♠9♠ and got a caller in Dario Amorello sitting in the big blind with 5♥5♦.

The board rolled out 8♦Q♥9♥Q♠3♦ to hit Joldis's hand and earn him a double-up. He's at 1.3 million now. --MH


8:51pm: Grzeska doubles through Brion
Level 29: Blinds 50,000/100,000, Ante 10,000

In the last hand of the level, Marek Grzeska (and his shark) were all-in from 1.755 million from middle position and got a call from Jerome Brion sitting in the hijack seat.

Everyone else folded, Grzeska showed A♥T♣, and Brion T♠T♦. Things looked bleak for Grzeska after the 2♥2♣Q♥ flop and Q♠ turn, but the A♠ fell on the river to save him and he doubled to about 3.7 million. Meanwhile Brion still leads everyone with 8.4 million. --MH

8:58pm: Roberto Canali out in 22nd place (€13,770)
Level 29: Blinds 50,000/100,000, Ante 10,000

There's not much to say here other than Roberto Canali has been eliminated. He was all-in with pocket threes against Mohamed Samri's pocket fours, and the board ran out K♠J♥2♠J♣2♥. At first Canali thought it was a chop, but as the deuces were lower the fours played. He'll take home €13,770 for his 22nd place finish.

Just 21 remain now. --JS

EPT13_Barcelona-687_Roberto Canali.jpg

Roberto Canali - 22nd place

8:45pm: Yagci takes Pagani for a huge pot
Level 29: Blinds 50,000/100,000, Ante 10,000

By the river of the Q♠4♦6♥A♦T♦ board, Ongun Yagci and Mario Pagani had created a pot of 1.2 million. The action was on Pagani who made it 600,000 to play, but then Yagci raised it up to a massive 2.3 million.

Pagani was in the tank when we arrived at the table, and looked serious about potentially making this call. He had 5.3 million behind, and eventually decided to go for it, turning over his Ace-Queen for top two pair.

It was no good. Yagci had K♦8♦ for the nut flush and raked in a huge pot. --JS 

8:33pm: All tens accounted for
Level 29: Blinds 50,000/100,000, Ante 10,000

Roberto Canali open-raised all-in from middle position and it folded to the button where Yang Hwang came up with a call. The blinds folded, then Canali and Hwang tabled their hands:

Canali: T♥T♣
Hwang: T♠T♦

The board came 9♠7♠7♠ (okay... okay...), 3♠ (hmm... interesting...), then 8♣, and the pair split the pot.

Both players remain relatively short, as Canali has 1.25 million while Hwang is on 2.1 million. --MH

8:21pm: Gonzalo Tunez eliminated in 23rd place (€13,770)
Level 29: Blinds 50,000/100,000, Ante 10,000

Gonzalo Tunez opened for 1.24 million from early position, then it folded back around to Lars Farstad who made a hefty reraise to send the blinds out of the way.

Tunez was hopeful as he turned over his A♥J♥, but Farstad turned over K♣K♠, and five cards later -- 3♥T♦7♦6♥3♠ -- there was no more hope for Tunez who was out in 23rd. 

Farstad is now up to 7.92 million and within shouting distance of chip leader Jerome Brion. --MH

EPT13_Barcelona-704_Gonzalo Tunez.jpg

Gonzalo Tunez - 23rd place

8:15pm: Louis Salter eliminated in 24th place (€10,930)
Level 29: Blinds 50,000/100,000, Ante 10,000

It's been a great run for Louis Salter, but all good things must come to an end. He was all-in with the Q♠Q♣ against Ole Olson's K♥K♠ and needed some help. The Poker Gods must have heard him because the flop came 4♥8♥Q♥ to give him a set, but it also presented three hearts.

The J♥ made it four and that gave Olson the King-high flush draw. Salter needed the board to pair but the river bricked the 5♦ and he was gone in 24th. --JS

EPT13_Barcelona-680_Louis Salter.jpg

Louis Salter - 24th place

8pm: Off again
Level 29: Blinds 50,000/100,000, Ante 10,000

Play has restarted. --JS

7:55pm: Three table seat draw
Level 29: Blinds 50,000/100,000, Ante 10,000

Table 1
1. Ongun Yagci
2. Lars Farstad
3. Mario Pagani
4. Yin Zhang
5. Chris Moorman
6. Gonzalo Tunez
7. Jean-Marc Bellini
8. Sven Michael Lucha

Table 2
1. Cosmin Joldis
2. Ole Olson
3. Louis Salter
4. Nicholas Newport
5. Daniel Wilson
6. Nick Mertens
7. Dario Amorello
8. Marc-Olivier Perrault

Table 3
1. Mohamed Samri
2. Ruben Nils Pleijster
3. Yang Hwang
4. Teunis Kooij
5. Marek Slawomir Grześka
6. Jerome Brion
7. Marius Enebakk
8. Roberto Canali

7:47pm: Three table time
Level 29: Blinds 50,000/100,000, Ante 10,000

We're down to 24 players and that means it's time to re-draw. The clock has been paused while the players find out their seat at one of the last three tables. --JS

7:45pm: Strelitz busts to Yagci
Level 29: Blinds 50,000/100,000, Ante 10,000

The man who has just left us in 25th is Daniel Strelitz. He was all-in with pocket fives against Ongun Yagci's K♠Q♥, and a King on the flop (and Queen on the river for good measure) sealed the deal. --JS

7:44pm: Szabo zapped by Newport
Level 29: Blinds 50,000/100,000, Ante 10,000

Soon after play resumed, Gabor Szabo -- one of the Day 1 flight chip leaders -- found himself all-in and at risk with A♥2♥ versus Nicholas Newport's A♣J♣

The board rolled out 9♦T♦J♦K♠T♣, giving Newport jacks and tens and sending Szabo to the rail in 26th. Newport sits with 4.75 million now. --MH

EPT13_Barcelona-645_Gabor Szabo.jpg

Gabor Szabo

7:41pm: AND we're back
Level 29: Blinds 50,000/100,000, Ante 10,000

The 26 remaining players are back in their seats - Level 29 is a go. --JS


6:40pm: Dinner time; updated counts

Players have gone a 60-minute dinner break. Meanwhile, the chip counts have been updated for the final 26 players -- here's a look at the top 10 stacks, with Jerome Brion having created some space between himself and the field. 

Jerome BrionFrance 9,200,000
Mario PaganiItaly 5,600,000
Nick MertensBelgium 5,300,000
Ruben Nils PleijsterNetherlandsPokerStars player5,250,000
Lars FarstadNorwayPokerStars player4,500,000
Ongun YagciNetherlands 4,300,000
Jean-Marc BelliniSwitzerland 3,800,000
Sven Michael LuchaGermanyPokerStars player3,750,000
Marc-Olivier PerraultCanadaPokerStars player3,700,000
Dario AmorelloItaly 3,600,000

Chris Moorman is just outside of the top 10 at the moment with 2.9 million, with Louis Salter (1.62 million), Daniel Strelitz (1.2 million), and Gabor Szabo (970,000) still with chips. 

See you back here in an hour. --MH

EPT13_Barcelona-661_Jerome Brion.jpg

Another view of Brion's big stack

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6:38pm: Two more down
Level 28: Blinds 40,000/80,000, Ante 10,000

Nino Ullman and Robert Fenner made their exit right before the dinner break in 28th and 27th place, respectively. If it's any consolation, at least now they can eat and have time for the food to properly digest instead of rushing back. --JS

6:33pm: Greenwood gone
Level 28: Blinds 40,000/80,000, Ante 10,000

Luc Greenwood got the last of his short stack in with Q♦9♠ against Nick Mertens's A♠J♦, and a 5♣A♦2♣6♥4♣ runout spelled the end of the road for Greenwood who finishes 29th.

Mertens has 5.25 million. --MH

EPT13_Barcelona-670_Luc Greenwood.jpg

Greenwood goes out

6:28pm: Pleijster cracks Fenner's kings
Level 28: Blinds 40,000/80,000, Ante 10,000

All-in with A♣Q♥ for 1.6 million, Ruben Pleijster ran into a caller in Robert Fenner who had woken up with K♥K♦. The flop came A♦3♥7♠ to give Pleijster the better pair, and after the J♦ turn and 2♥ river he doubled to 3.35 million while Fenner fell to 900,000. --MH

6:26pm: Smadga out
Level 28: Blinds 40,000/80,000, Ante 10,000

Avihai Smadga has been knocked out in 30th place as the level nears its end. --MH

6:25pm: Yagci and Moorman at it again
Level 28: Blinds 40,000/80,000, Ante 10,000

These two are developing a little rivalry; who knows what would happen if they were sat next to each other instead of being separated by the dealer. 

In this one, the action was on Chris Moorman who stared down at the J♥9♠6♠4♠A♥ board and a pot worth more than a million. His opponent again was Ongun Yagci, and into him Moorman made a bet of 520,000. 

"How much are you playing?" Yagci asked the winningest player in online tournament history. "3.15," replied Moorman, as in 3,150,000.

"All-in," were the next words Yagci uttered, slowly sliding his 1.78 million stack into the middle. Moorman went into the tank a little bit, not quite sure of what to do. It would be for a large chunk of his chips, but in the end he decided he didn't want to play for half his stack. He gave it up, but it's only a matter of time before these two are at it again. --JS

6:12pm: Doubles for Tunez and Perrault
Level 28: Blinds 40,000/80,000, Ante 10,000

Two all-ins to report, both of which worked out for the at-risk players.

Gonzalo Tunez was committed for about 1.05 million with 8♥7♥ and humorously let escape an "oh no" when Nino Ullmann looked him up with 6♥6♠.

The 4♠A♠3♦ flop and 7♠ turn weren't good for Tunez, but the 8♦ river was and he doubled to about 2.2 million while Ullmann slipped to 1.06 million. "You have to do that to win tournaments," commented Tunez with a grin.

Next it was Marc-Olivier Perrault all-in with A♥Q♣ versus Daniel Wilson's 2♣2♠. That worked out for the endangered one, too, as the board came Q♦3♥6♥9♠4♥ to push Perrault up to 3.2 million. Wilson still has 3.4 million. --MH


Sometimes the deal is good for you, sometimes for your opponent

6:09pm: Renaud latest to fall
Level 28: Blinds 40,000/80,000, Ante 10,000

Gfeller Renaud has made his exit in 31st place, but it came as no surprise. He was very short and moving all-in every hand, so a bust-out seemed inevitable. He had the A♦7♦ against Nick Mertens' A♠Q♥, and the best hand held up. --JS

6:05pm: The massive pot that couldn't
Level 28: Blinds 40,000/80,000, Ante 10,000

It got have been so much juicier. Two of the room's biggest stacks, belonging to Jerome Brion and Ole Olson, were heads up in a pot together, and it started off promising.

The flop showed the 6♦Q♥K♣ and Olson checked, letting Brion in for a 350,000 bet. That was called, adding to 600,000-plus that was already in the middle. Then came the 5♦ turn which Olson checked again. Brion made it double the flop bet - 750,000 - and if that bet had been called the river would have been very interesting indeed.

Sigh. Olsen gave it up, so we never even got to see it. --JS

5:55pm: Diaz, Shklyar out
Level 28: Blinds 40,000/80,000, Ante 10,000

Cristian Diaz ran ace-king into Ole Olson's pocket aces to go out in 33rd, and he was followed shortly thereafter by Yaroslav Shklyar who went out in 32nd. --MH


5:39pm: Brion soaring, busts Rocco
Level 27: Blinds 30,000/60,000, Ante 10,000

Start-of-day leader Jerome Brion is back in front with 33 players left, and in a big way following his receipt of a large pot earned from a knockout of Michael Rocco. 

Picking up things on the turn with the board showing 2♦J♣8♠6♦, Brion was no doubt delighted to see Rocco shoving all-in as he called and tabled J♦J♠ for top set. Rocco showed A♦Q♣, meaning no river card could save him and he was knocked out in 34th.

Brion's up over 7.4 million now, a couple of million clear (at least) of the field at the moment. --MH

EPT13_Barcelona-663_Jerome Brion.jpg

Jerome jumps ahead

5:40pm: Moorman's inquisitive but not immersed
Level 27: Blinds 30,000/60,000, Ante 10,000

Ongun Yagci opened under the gun (and seat one) to 150,000 and Jerome Brion called. When it got round to Chris Moorman in the big blind (seat nine), he leaned out in front but couldn't quite see past the dealer.

"How much are you playing?" he asked. "Around two million," replied Yagci. 

Moorman turned back to his stack and started plotting. He decided to squeeze it up to 475,000, but the squeeze soon turned to nothing more than a gentle touch as Yagci jammed for the aforementioned two million. Brion folded, as did Moorman, who's still sitting with 4 million. --JS

5:34pm: Things ain't rosy for de Rosa
Level 27: Blinds 30,000/60,000, Ante 10,000

Our latest casualty is Italy's Andrea de Rosa, who has fallen at the hands of Mohamed Samri. The former was the player at risk for 465,000, and the player behind with pocket threes versus pocket Queens. De Rosa couldn't bink a miracle two-outer and he made his exit. --JS

5:24pm: Yagci felts Frank
Level 27: Blinds 30,000/60,000, Ante 10,000

Christopher Frank started hot today, but slid thereafter and just now has busted in 36th place. 

Frank got a very short stack in with J♦9♠ versus Ongun Yagci's A♦K♠, and five cards later -- 7♥5♣7♠3♦T♠ -- Frank was heading over to the cashier's table. 

Yagci is at 1.8 million now. --MH

5:21pm: Ullmann and Tunez sing the same tune
Level 27: Blinds 30,000/60,000, Ante 10,000

Right after the Salter double-up, we heard another "All-in and call!" announcement from a dealer and rushed over to see what was up. Turns out Nino Ullmann had jammed for around 400,000 with the A♣T♣, and was called by Gonzalo Tunez holding the 9♣9♠.

Ullmann hated the flop. The J♦8♦9♦ had given Tunez a set, but he did manage to pick up a consolation open-ended straight draw. The 4♦ turn then brought four diamonds to a flush, meaning any diamond on the end would chop it.

The river was a Queen and Ullmann made his straight. Oh yeah -- I should probably mention it was the Q♦, so the straight was actually meaningless. Both ended up playing the board, which left an unsatisfying taste in everyone's mouth. Chop it. --JS

5:12pm: Ditz down, loses to Lucha
Level 27: Blinds 30,000/60,000, Ante 10,000

Down near the felt after that encounter with Louis Salter, Franz Ditz was compelled to push all-in from middle position with T♦9♣ and after a short think Sven Lucha decided to call from the blinds with 6♥4♥.

The flop came 3♠Q♣4♠ to hit one of Lucha's two live cards, and after the J♠ turn and A♥ river Ditz was done, his Estrellas Barcelona Main Event concluding in 37th place. Lucha is up to 2.82 million. --MH

5:10pm: Salter doubles through Ditz
Level 27: Blinds 30,000/60,000, Ante 10,000

Louis Salter's stack was all-in and called pre-flop by Franz Ditz. Both had hands, but Salter's 8♥8♠ was already made, whereas Ditz's A♠J♣ would need to get there.

The player at risk was Salter, but luckily for him the board ran out pure and he even hit a set of eights on the river for good measure (not that he needed it). He's doubled to 2.7 million. --JS

4:59pm: De Oliveira out, van Zadelhoff off
Level 27: Blinds 30,000/60,000, Ante 10,000

Six busts in the first 10 minutes of the level have suddenly reduced the field to 37, with Steven van Zadelhoff in 39th and Joao De Oliveira in 38th the latest to fall. --MH

4:55pm: Moorman moves in front
Level 27: Blinds 30,000/60,000, Ante 10,000

Chris Moorman had a strong last level, and here at the start of next one appears to have moved out into the chip lead with 40 players left. Moorman is sitting on about 5.3 million at the moment. --MH


4:28pm: Break time

Get yourself back here in 20 minutes when players return from break. --JS

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4:26pm: Bellini bounces ahead
Level 26: Blinds 25,000/50,000, Ante 5,000

Just before the break arrived, Jean-Marc Bellini knocked out Miguel Seoane in a blind-versus-blind hand in which Seoane got all-in from the small with queen-six, Bellini had ace-queen, and the better hand held.

Bellini has about 4.2 million to end the level, and while others are building big stacks around, too, he may well be the chip leader at present. --MH

EPT13_Barcelona-652_Jean-Marc Bellini.jpg

Bellini's ballooning chip stack (on right)

4:23pm: Welcome to Coolersville
Level 26: Blinds 25,000/50,000, Ante 5,000

This pot was huge, and it's given Nick Mertens the chip lead with 3.8 million.

When I arrived, Mertens and American player Dejuente Alexander had already seen a flop. It showed the Q♥5♥2♥ and Alexander had checked to Mertens on the button who bet 215,000 into the 350,000 pot. Alexander then chirped up with a raise to 490,000, and once that was called you could tell this pot was going to get even bigger still. 

The turn card came the 5♣, pairing the board, and the action was on Alexander. It was still on him three minutes later as he hadn't yet acted; was the head massage he was receiving at the time sending him to sleep?

Turned out he really was just deep in thought. "All in," he announced, which was music to Mertens' ears. He called. He had a full house. He had the Q♠5♠.

And he won an enormous pot. Alexander had been coolered after flopping a flush with his K♥9♥ as that turn card left him drawing dead. A pointless K♣ completed the board and Mertens shot out in front, currently leading the pack. --JS 

EPT13_Barcelona-657_Nick Mertens.jpg

Mertens and his mountains

4:17pm: Eights work for Canali
Level 26: Blinds 25,000/50,000, Ante 5,000

Roberto Canali just doubled through Hassan Sey to move up around 2.35 million, knocking Sey down to just 455,000. 

All-in before the flop with 8♣8♠ against Sey's A♦K♥, the board brought both an eight and an ace -- coming 2♥8♥2♠5♣A♣ -- and Canali won with his flopped full house. --MH

4:04pm: Van Zadelhoff has kicker problems
Level 26: Blinds 25,000/50,000, Ante 5,000

Picking up the action on a K♦A♦Q♥ flop, Mario Pagani checked it to his sole opponent - Steven van Zadelhoff. The Dutchman made it 175,000 to go and the Italian made the call to see the 4♠ turn. It went check-bet-call again, only this time van Zadelhoff made it 350,000. It's worth noting that both of these calls were made super fast.

The river came the 7♣ and that card slowed van Zadelhoff down. Both checked and Pagani showed the A♥J♠ for top pair, and that's what van Zadelhoff had too. However, all he showed was the A♠, so we can safely assume his kicker was no good. Either that or he's just feeling very friendly. 

The bearded one now has 2,050,000, while Pagani is up to 3 million. --JS

3:47pm: Brion bounces back
Level 26: Blinds 25,000/50,000, Ante 5,000

Start-of-day leader Jerome Brion fell back to the pack during the first couple of levels today, but he has swiftly climbed back near the top of the counts thanks in part to a recently completed hand versus Cristian Fernandez Diaz.

With 1.5 million in the middle and the board showing 2♠6♠5♦A♥5♥, Diaz had checked and Brion shoved his stack of about 2 million forward, putting Diaz to what appeared to be a difficult decision. 

Finally Diaz folded to concede the pot, and Brion is up around 3.5 million now. Diaz is doing well also, despite that hand, and has nearly 3 million. --MH

3:41pm: Greenwood makes the right call
Level 26: Blinds 25,000/50,000, Ante 5,000

"I don't think I can fold this."

So said Luc Greenwood on the turn in a hand versus Victor Zabukas Begara. With the board showing 4♣8♥8♣T♥ and about 750,000 in the middle, Zabukas had pushed all-in and Greenwood had to decide whether or not to risk the rest of his stack to call.

Finally he did, turning over K♣T♣ for tens and eights, and saw he was ahead of Begara's 9♦7♦. The river was the 7♣, and Greenwood doubled to around 1.95 million. Begara has about 295,000 now. --MH

EPT13_Barcelona-558_Luc Greenwood.jpg

Greenwood good

3:39pm: Two bust-outs to shout about
Level 26: Blinds 25,000/50,000, Ante 5,000

Following on from the elimination of the amazingly-named Dragoljub Martinovic, we had two more eliminations in quick succession. 

The first saw Stoyan Obreshkov sent packing. He was pretty short stacked and got it in with the A♦Q♦ against Yung Hwang's 9♠9♣. A quick glance at the Ace-high flop must have looked good to the Bulgarian, but it had actually fallen 3♥A♥9♦ and Hwang had hit a set. The turn and river changed nothing and Hwang raked it in.

Next up was Christian Jeppsson's demise. He jammed for 1,500,000 over a Louis Salter raise and the Brit couldn't call fast enough with his Q♠Q♥. Jeppsson had got way out line with the K♦T♣ and it was about to cost him his whole tournament as a King didn't come to save his day.

Louis Salter is up to 2.4 million now. When he's not in a pot Salter is all smiles, but when he's in a hand he's all business. You might say it's his...(see photo caption). --JS

EPT13_Barcelona-583_Louis Salter.jpg

Salter ego

3:26pm: Martinovic runs out of luck versus Lucha
Level 26: Blinds 25,000/50,000, Ante 5,000

All-in and at risk with 6♣5♣, Dragoljub Martinovic didn't have the worst hand in the world to go up against the A♥A♣ of Sven Lucha.

The J♠6♠9♥ flop paired Martinovic once, then after the J♦ turn the 5♠ fell on fifth street, and it appeared at first Martinovic didn't realize he'd been counterfeited to have the worse two pair. 

"Nice jack on the turn," said Lucha, kind of breaking the spell a bit for Martinovic who having realized the situation wished the table well before departing. 

Lucha has about 1.5 million now. --MH


3:14pm: Salter was loaded but fired a blank
Level 25: Blinds 20,000/40,000, Ante 5,000

The Italian with the ever-so-Italian name of Mario Pagani opened to 90,000 under the gun, and nobody else wanted to play with him except the man to his direct right: big blind Louis Salter.

A 7♣T♠5♥ flop was spread and it checked to the raiser who continued for 150,000. Salter saw something he liked and came along to see the 8♠ turn, which both checked.

Finally the A♥ landed on the river and that was always going to be a betting card. It was Salter who tried to seize control, lining up 450,000 of his troops and sending them out to battle. Pagani was ready and waiting though, calling with the A♣T♦ for top two pair. Salter had a good hand with his A♠5♦, but the lower two pair couldn't win the war.

Salter dropped to 1.6 million, while Pagani has climbed to 2.6 million. --JS

3pm: They keep on fallin'
Level 25: Blinds 20,000/40,000, Ante 5,000

We're down to 60 players. If everything goes to plan, we'll be playing down to a final table of eight today. --JS

2:57pm: They ain't your pals, Pahl
Level 25: Blinds 20,000/40,000, Ante 5,000

Louis Salter opened to 85,000 and after a couple of folds the big stack of Gfeller Renaud was intrigued enough to make the call. Action got to Martin Pahl and - looking down at his 90,000 stack - he shoved. The others tossed in a 5K chip and we went to a flop and potential side pot.

It came the 6♦K♦9♠, and for a couple of streets it looked like Salter and Renaud were going to check it down all the way. That could have meant Pahl had the best hand and would treble up. They both checked the flop and the T♦ turn.

But then the Q♦ and Salter counted out some chips. He made it 100,000 and Renaud instantly folded, allowing Salter to turn over his J♦J♣. If Pahl showed his hand it was so quick we didn't see it. Not that it mattered - it wasn't beating the Jacks and he hit the rail. --JS

2:48pm: Xiao triples, Motta out
Level 25: Blinds 20,000/40,000, Ante 5,000

While Ole Olsen was knocking out Deividas Kvaselis on one table to add further to his big stack, a big preflop three-way all-in developed on the neighboring one.

It began with Gao Jiang Xiao open-raising all-in for a little over 400,000 from middle position. The action reached Marcelo Mereles Motta in the small blind who reraise-shoved over that, then Marc-Olivier Perrault (who had them both covered) called from the big blind.

Motta: K♥Q♥
Perrault: A♥J♥
Xiao: 6♦6♠

The flop came 7♣A♦4♦ to give Perrault a pair of aces, and Xiao visibly reacted with frustration. Then came the turn -- the 6♣ -- and Xiao said "oooh" as his mood instantly improved.

The river was the 4♥, meaning Motta was out and Xiao had tripled up to around 1.25 million. Meanwhile Perrault slipped to about 470,000. --MH

2:39pm: Margereson out
Level 25: Blinds 20,000/40,000, Ante 5,000

Scott Margereson was part of the wave of knockouts to begin this new level, hitting the rail in 66th. --MH

2:30pm: A look at the stacks
Level 25: Blinds 20,000/40,000, Ante 5,000

Here's how some of the big and notable stacks are standing right now. --JS

Ole Oleson - 3,000,000
Michael Rocco - 2,850,000
Gfeller Renaud - 2,500,000
Daniel Wilson - 2,400,000
Steven Van Zadelhoff - 2,300,000
Marek Grześka - 2,200,000
Lucas Greenwood - 2,000,000
Jerome Brion - 1,750,000
Louis Salter - 1,600,000
Chris Moorman - 1,000,000 


2:02pm: Take a break

Our players have gone for a 20-minute breather, so see you back here shortly. --JS

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1:59pm: The shark is back
Level 24: Blinds 15,000/30,000, Ante 5,000

Remember the guy yesterday who didn't know who Humberto Brenes was? The guy who also has a toy shark that he moves over the line when he jams all in? Well his name is Marek Grześka and he just won a big old pot from Yung Hwang.

The two had seen a J♦8♣7♣ flop, on which Grześka checked. Hwang led into for 83,000, suggesting he had opened pre-flop and Grześka had called from the big blind. That bet was called and the 2♦ fell on the turn, which saw the action go check - bet 140,000 - call.

Finally the J♣ arrived on fifth street and for the first time Grześka chose to lead out. The flush had got there, and the board had paired, so perhaps it was a good card to bluff. The 285,000 bet on the river troubled Hwang somewhat, but after racking his brains he decided to call. 

Grześka wasn't bluffing. He had the 4♣9♣ for a rivered flush and Hwang was forced to muck, bringing his stack to 1.35 million. Grześka now has 2 million. --JS

1:55pm: Van Zadelhoff takes from Brion
Level 24: Blinds 15,000/30,000, Ante 5,000

Steven van Zadelhoff opened for 65,000 from under the gun, then Jerome Brion three-bet to 165,000 from the cutoff. It folded back to van Zadelhoff who considered for a short while, then reraised back to 475,000. Brion called.

Both took it slow on the 2♣4♦4♠ with checks, then van Zadelhoff checked the 8♠ turn as well. Brion bet 300,000 (less than a third of the pot), and van Zadelhoff called. The K♦ then brought relatively quick checks from both once more.

Van Zadelhoff turned over A♦K♠, having hit the river, and Brion mucked. Brion still has about 3.29 million and the presumptive chip lead, while van Zadelhoff is up to 2.2 million. --MH

EPT13_Barcelona-575_Steven van Zadelhoff.jpg

Ace-king off for van Zadelhoff

1:46pm: Fenner had the winner
Level 24: Blinds 15,000/30,000, Ante 5,000

Robert Fenner and Stoyan Obreshkov were heading towards the end of a 400,000 chip pot when I arrived on the scene. I saw a board that read the 8♣4♣3♦8♥, and after each had a minute to think it went check-check.

The dealer put out the 6♠ river and Fenner checked one last time. Obreshkov didn't look like he was going to act any time soon, so I nipped over to catch Rodrigo Strong's exit below. By the time I got back the Bulgarian had put together a bet of 288,000 and slid it over the line. Fenner called instantly.

Obreshkov showed the T♦T♥, and overpair to the board which could easily have been good, were it not for Fenner's A♠A♣. The pocket rockets won the pot and sent Fenner's stack up to 900,000, while Obreshkov dropped to 900,000. --JS

1:40pm: Wilson doubles through Leonetti
Level 24: Blinds 15,000/30,000, Ante 5,000

After Frederic Antoine Leonetti opened for 100,000 from middle position, Daniel Wilson chose to reraise-shove his stack of 470,000 from a couple of seats down. Once the action returned to Leonetti he considered a few beats, then chose to call, turning over 8♦8♠ while Wilson tabled A♥K♥.

The flop was good for the at-risk player, coming 2♠K♣K♠ to make trips for Wilson. The turn was the 5♣ and river the 9♦, and Wilson doubled to almost exactly 1 million. Meanwhile Leonetti slides to about 275,000. --MH

1:36pm: Strong gone, more for Moorman
Level 24: Blinds 15,000/30,000, Ante 5,000

A simple, no-thrills headline to tell you that Chris Moorman just eliminated Rodrigo Strong.

The money went in pre-flop and Strong found himself in a bad spot with the J♥8♦ against Moorman's A♠J♠. The 2♠7♦T♣ flop brought Strong some gutshot outs, while the J♣ turn paired both. The board was completed by the K♣, sending Strong to the cage (and maybe to the Estrellas High Roller).

Moorman is up to 1.5 million now. --JS

1:31pm: Brion continues to set the pace
Level 24: Blinds 15,000/30,000, Ante 5,000

Jerome Brion began today with the chip lead and he's spent the first hour-and-a-half today adding further to his stack. The Frenchman is up around 3.15 million now as they cross the midway point of Level 24. --MH

EPT13_Barcelona-566_Jerome Brion.jpg

Brion bringing it

1:25pm: Deimann down, more fall
Level 24: Blinds 15,000/30,000, Ante 5,000

After battling with a short stack for much of the first level today, Fabian Deimann fell in 83rd just before they moved into Level 24. He joined Iyaylo Panev, Khal Ozol, and Iani Tulica on the rail, then was soon followed by Carlo Savinelli and Chun Ho Law. --MH

1:23pm: Cool story Brosolo
Level 24: Blinds 15,000/30,000, Ante 5,000

Frenchman Yann Brosolo kicked off a pot with an open to 63,000 from middle position. The man to his left - Italy's Carlo Savinelli - then stuck in a three-bet to 123,000, not even double the bet. Brosolo must have picked up on something as he then jammed for more than a million in chips. Savinelli let it go and Brosolo turned over the J♥T♥ for a pretty but not powerful hand.

Cool story, bro. --JS

1:15pm: Where'd them chips go?
Level 24: Blinds 15,000/30,000, Ante 5,000

We just mentioned how Johan Jakobsson -- who'd enjoyed the lead for part of Day 2 -- was down to a short stack. But he's doubled a couple of times now, to climb back out of the danger zone.

In the latest double, the money went in preflop with Jakobsson's A♠Q♦ ahead of Jasper Van Moorsel's A♥J♦. Both paired their Ace on the turn but there was no Jack to trouble the all-in player, who doubled to 770,000. --JS

EPT13_Barcelona-577_Johan Jakobsson.jpg

Johan going back and forthobsson

1:05pm: Down to 79
Level 24: Blinds 15,000/30,000, Ante 5,000

The first one-hour level saw 17 players hit the rail, meaning they're now down to 79 players gathered around 10 tables. -MH


1:03pm: Quintas calls, then falls to Strelitz
Level 23: Blinds 12,000/24,000, Ante 4,000

Here's an intriguing hand to conclude today's fast-paced first level.

After Yin Zhang opened for 50,000 from early position, Daniel Strelitz made it 132,000 from the next seat over. It folded around to Joaquim Quintas who called the three-bet from the big blind, and Zhang stepped aside.

The flop came all diamonds -- Q♦T♦4♦ -- and Quintas led with a bet of 200,000. Strelitz then pushed all-in, and after some thought Quintas called to commit all 720,000 or so he had behind.

Strelitz quickly tabled Q♠Q♣ to show he'd flopped a set, while Quintas had 9♦9♠ for a flush draw. The turn brought the 8♥, adding a gutshot straight draw for Quintas, but the K♠ river was safe for Strelitz and Quintas is out.

Strelitz has around 1.7 million now. --MH

EPT13_Barcelona-578_Daniel Strelitz.jpg

Set holds for Strelitz

12:58pm: Unsal was unsure and now he's all out
Level 23: Blinds 12,000/24,000, Ante 4,000

A 300,000 pot was in the middle of a hand between between Jiri Horak and Onur Unsal. The latter had put in a river bet of 109,000 on the 8♥3♣Q♦2♥J♥ board only to see Horak jam for more than Unsal had (360,000). 

The Turkish player was in a tank for a long time, so much so that he almost seemed to want to call the clock on himself. After one final glance at his watch a few minutes in he made the call, and Horak immediately showed the T♥9♥ for a flush. Unsal's A♥5♣ was no good and he was outta here. --JS

12:55pm: Push-fold mode
Level 23: Blinds 12,000/24,000, Ante 4,000

Johan Jakobsson was the chip leader for a time during Day 2 yesterday, though he ended the night with a short stack. He's still battling here during the day's first level, having just gone all-in again without getting called. The Swede has about 155,000 right now.

Yann Brosolo similarly started the day in relatively dire straits, though has managed to chip up to 475,000. He, too, just had an all-in go uncalled to preserve his stack and seat. 

The blinds are about to go up again, though, to make the short stacks' tourney lives feel even more tenuous. --MH

12:54pm: Deimann's not dead yet
Level 23: Blinds 12,000/24,000, Ante 4,000

Somehow Fabian Deimann's stack has been obliterated today and he was left with just 40,000. With no action in front of him he moved all-in with the 9♦6♦, and Louis Salter continued the amazing run he started last night of picking up big hands at the perfect times by calling with A♠Q♦ from the big blind.

However, Salter's good fortune only seems to show up in the big pots as he lost this one. A six on the flop won it for Deimann and secured him a small double up. However, he still only has around four big blinds. --JS

12:44pm: Parrila put out
Level 23: Blinds 12,000/24,000, Ante 4,000

More short stacks have been eliminated, including Javier Andreu, Said Sadallah, and Robert Genoud.

Moises Parrilla is out as well. He shoved his last 155,000 from middle position, then watched Jorge De Pablo reshove from the button to isolate. Parrilla had A♣9♣ and De Pablo A♠Q♠, and a 3♥A♦K♦J♥4♠ runout meant De Pablo's hand was best and Parrilla was done.

There are now 88 players left. --MH

12:37pm: Less for Moorman
Level 23: Blinds 12,000/24,000, Ante 4,000

Chris Moorman made it 55,000 to play under the gun, which got rid of everyone except Yung Hwang in the big blind. He'd defend to see the 8♠K♦5♣ flop, but neither player chose to bet.

They both checked the J♥ turn too, so I was beginning to think maybe this wasn't a worthy enough hand to write up.

The T♥ river completed the board and we had our first glimpse of post-flop action - a 63,000 bet from Hwang. Moorman thought for a minute before making the call, only to muck when Hwang showed the A♠T♣ for a rivered pair.

To be honest, I'm still not sure this hand was worthy. But it's done now. --JS

12:32pm: De Oliveira gets Strong
Level 23: Blinds 12,000/24,000, Ante 4,000

Action folded to Brazilian Rodrigo Strong in the small blind, and he stared off into a corner in the distance - sort of they like they do in TV shows when a character's daydream precedes a flashback. 

Whatever he was thinking about, it led to him to one conclusion: move all-in. The big blind player was Joao De Oliveira and he was short-stacked with 435,000. He'd make the call though with his J♥K♠ and must have been happy to see Strong's 7♣6♣.

The T♠A♥2♠K♥A♣ run out was all gravy for De Oliveira, who doubled to just over 890,000. Meanwhile, Strong's stack dropped to 800,000. --JS

EPT13_Barcelona-555_Rodrigo Strong.jpg

Strong still getting along

12:23pm: Short stacks fall
Level 23: Blinds 12,000/24,000, Ante 4,000

Several others have joined Joao Vieira on the rail here in the early going. 

Lorenzo Meoni just lost his short stack and has visited the cashier's desk. And Georgios Giorkatzis likewise lost his in a hand versus fellow short stack Virgilio Di Cicco. --MH 

12:17pm: Quick day for Joao
Level 23: Blinds 12,000/24,000, Ante 4,000

Joao Vieira had little chips to work with coming into Day 3 so it was no surprise to see him involved early. Yung Hwang had opened from the cutoff to 55,000 and Vieira - who was in the big blind - decided to defend.

Three cards hit the felt - the J♥3♥7♦. The Portuguese pro checked to Hwang, who continued for 62,000, and Vieira announced he was all-in for around 200,000 more. A quick call came and Vieira showed the 7♠6♥ for middle pair, which trailed Hwang's Q♥J♦ for top pair. He'd improve to two pair on the Q♣ turn, and the 5♠ changed nothing, sending Vieira to the rail.

Actually, there's a very good chance that his elimination will merely send Vieira over the €2K Estrellas High Roller which is taking place right now. --JS

12:08pm: Let's be Frank
Level 23: Blinds 12,000/24,000, Ante 4,000

It's good to be Christopher Frank right now. Or at least that's what we imagine, having watched the German player get off to a fast start here on Day 3.

Picking up the action on the turn with the board showing 6♠3♣A♣5♠ and a sizable pot already having developed, Deividas Kvaselis check-called a bet from Frank, then checked again after the J♦ river. Frank took his time, then pushed out a bet of 250,000 and Kvaselis quickly called.

Frank instantly tabled A♠Q♥ for top pair and Kvaselis mucked. Frank jumps up around 1.8 million, while Kvaselis slips to 670,000. --MH 

EPT13_Barcelona-552_Christopher Frank.jpg

First hands good for Frank

12pm: Cards in the air!
Level 23: Blinds 12,000/24,000, Ante 4,000

Let's play some poker. The first one-hour level of the day has begun. --MH


11:45am: Day 3 awaits

Welcome back to the Casino Barcelona and our coverage of Day 3 of the Estrellas Poker Tour Barcelona Main Event. Just 97 remain from the 3,447 who started, all with a eye toward claiming the huge €423,600 first prize awaiting the winner.

When play ended last night it was Jerome Brion claiming the chip lead by bagging a stack of 2,468,000. That put the Frenchman just ahead of Louis Salter, Nick Mertens, Michael Rocco, and Ongun Yagci. 

Plenty of other big names remain among those in contention, including Christopher Frank, Rodrigo Strong, Lucas Greenwood, Chris Moorman, Scott Margereson, Steven van Zadelhoff, and Joao Vieira.

Play begins in a short while at noon, with the plan being to play down to an eight-handed final table if feasible. Stick close as we'll be providing hand reports, chip count updates, photos and more from this biggest ever Estrellas Poker Tour Main Event. --MH

EPT13_Barcelona-25_Location_Montjuic Castle.jpg

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Take a look at the official website of the EPT, with tournament schedule, news, results and accommodation details for EPT13 Barcelona and the rest of the season.

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PokerStars Blog reporting team on the ESPT7 Barcelona Main Event: Jack Stanton and Martin Harris. Photography by René Velli and Carlos Monti. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter @PokerStarsBlog.

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