1.20pm: Level ends with a three-bet
Mike McDonald has now given Jake Cody a taste of his own medicine. The British player opened and McDonald three-bet. Cody folded.
Just as it's hotting up, we take a break. That's the end of the first level of the final. Full chip count to come.
1.20pm: The far-flung districts
In the down time between hands here, we've been running through our PokerStars Blog analytics to see where all our readers are coming from. A big shout out to our man in Mayotte, an island off the north west coast of Madagascar. We're happy to have you - bring your friends.
But where are you Iceland? We want you back.
1.15pm: Cody arrives
Jake Cody has been relatively quiet in this early exchanges, but woke up with a three-bet after Craig Bergeron's opener to remind the table he's still there - and wielding a mighty stack. Bergeron folded with a smirk.
1.10pm: Eastgate talks
The former World Champion Peter Eastgate is a thoroughly decent bloke, even in times of sorrow. PokerStars Blog lassoed the recently departed for a quick chat and he happily shared his thoughts on the tournament:
"I think I've played decent throughout the whole tournament," said Eastgate. "There was nothing else I could do. On the other hand on day four I might have accumulated more chips. But I think I did all right. Right now I'm disappointed."
Good game. See you in Copenhagen; home soil.
1.05pm: Tens bring more profit for Caraba
Peter Eastgate just busted with pocket tens but Teodor Caraba showed how it should be done - flopping a set and squeezing a couple of million out of Craig Bergeron. It started tamely enough. Caraba raised in mid position and Craig Bergeron called to his immediate left. Bergeron led out on the 5♦T♦8♠ flop, adding 250,000 to the pot, and Bergeron matched it to bring a K♣ turn.
Caraba did not let up, beting 600,000 on that, and Bergeron called again, swelling the pot to more than two million. The 2♠ on the river seemed innocuous, but the action did not halt. Caraba asked Bergeron for a count then bet 1.4 million. Bergeron called that as well, and at this point Caraba showed that monster.
Bergeron mucked and began the count out of that last huge bet. Caraba is closing in on 10 million now and has this tournament by the proverbials.
1pm: Three-time all in for Eastgate - call! - out!
Peter Eastgate out in eighth earning €70,000
It's third time unlucky for Peter Eastgate, who again moved his short stack (820,000) all in but this time was looked up by Craig Bergeron. Bergeron actually re-raised all in to isolate, but the former World Champ was in pretty good shape with T♣T♥ against Bergeron's K♣9♠.
That advantage held only as far as the flop. There was a king among the first three cards out and Eastgate never regained the lead. He went off for his interviews - €70,000 richer but still short of his first EPT title.
12.50pm: McDonald cracks kings, doubles up
Here's the first major pot of the final - and it's a great one for the aspirations of the potential two-time champion Mike McDonald. Stephane Albertini opened for 180,000 from the cut off. McDonald was on the button and announced all-in for 1,570,000. The blinds folded and the action returned to Albertini who called showing K♥K♠. McDonald showed A♦Q♥ and needed the ace to keep him in the tournament. He flopped it, the board running A♠6♠8♣7♣2♦, doubling up the Canadian to 3,270,000. Albertini down to less than 1,550,000.
12.45pm: Picture time
Ever wanted to see nine men force out a grin while flanking a casino manager in a red dress? Here's today's final table group shot.
12.40pm: Eastgate all in Mk II
Here's the Eastgate all in again. Folded to him on the button, he shoved and the two blinds will have known that his shoving range was somewhere between seven-deuce and aces. Either way, neither Bergeron nor Albertini fancied tangling and both folded.
Eastgate's all in count: 2
12.35pm: Bergeron turns defence into attack
Peter Eastgate found himself - and his short stack - in the big blind for the first time. And unsurprisingly it was under attack: Michael Fratty raising to 130,000 from the cut off. This time Eastgate didn't have the goods to defend and let it go, but will be critically aware that he can't do that too many times.
On the next hand, Fratty again was the first to volunteer chips to the pot, again raising to 130,000. But with Craig Bergeron in the big blind this time, things weren't quite so straightforward as HU4ROLLZ found the first three bet of the final, making it 305,000. Fratty called. Big pot.
The flop came 2♣Q♠T♥ and Bergeron was first to act. And act he did in emphatic fashion, moving all in for 2,890,000 and putting Fratty to the test for his entire stack. Non, merci. Fratty folded.
12.30pm: First flop
After Teodor Caraba raised again from early position to take it down uncontested, Stephane Albertini flexed him muscles for the first time, raising to 160,000. This time, however, Jake Cody called in the small blind and the two of the saw the first flop of the final.
It came 4♠7♣8♣ and Cody checked. Albertini bet 240,000 and Cody called. The turn was the T♦, which they both checked. (Checking the turn really is the latest craze.) The river was the 6♥ and Cody couldn't resist: he counted out 335,000 and moved it over the line.
12.20pm: Eastgate all in
Second hand and folded to him in the cut off, Peter Eastgate moves all in and gets it through. No one fancied doubling him up this early, so he adds another round of blinds and antes to his stack. On the next hand, Jake Cody got involved and raised to 145,000. No one tangled.
12.15pm: Off time
The first hand was dealt at about 12.15pm, which isn't at all bad for a final table. With Peter Eastgate on the button, and nursing a short stack, we might have expected him to be the first player involved. But instead it was the chip leader Teodor Caraba who raised to 130,000 pre-flop and took down the blinds and antes.
12.05pm: Away we go
Intros are done and off we go.
12pm, tomorrow: Hello yesterday, welcome to today. ElkY's elimination last night was the first hand on level 27 and so we begin final table day with almost all of that level still to play. The blinds are 30,000-60,000 and unless we hear otherwise are not being wound back. We pick up where we left off with the final eight.
The player profiles are now up and published, with a nice little pen pic. The television crew are now going through the formalities and play will start when they're ready. Any minute now...
7.35pm: First hand back - and ElkY is out!
Michael Fratty raised to 160,000, which Teodor Caraba called. ElkY moved all in over the top for 1,060,000 in what we can probably describe as a classic squeeze play. This, however, was nothing of the sort: it was a classic trap from Caraba.
Fratty folded and Caraba instantly called, showing A♦A♠ against ElkY's A♣Q♣. This was problematic for ElkY to say the least.
The flop, however, gave him hope. It came: 8♣J♣4♠ and he was now on the flush draw. It didn't come, however, as the turn was 9♥, adding a gutshot straight draw, and the river another brick.
ElkY departs in ninth, flying out of the tournament room. He wanted it. He didn't get it. But our final table is now set.
These are the names, and the counts, you'll be seeing at tomorrow's final:
1 - Claudius Secara, Romania, 795,000
2 - Jake Cody, UK, 4,650,000
3 - Michael Fratty, France, 1,595,000
4 - Teodor Caraba, Romania, 6,915,000
5 - Peter Eastgate, Denmark, 695,000
6 - Craig Bergeron, USA, 3,135,000
7 - Stephane Albertini, France, 3,555,000
8 - Mike McDonald, Canada, 1,815,000
7.30pm: Nine still remain
It's the start of yet another level, and blinds are now up to 30,000-60,000 with a 5,000 ante. PokerStars qualifier Teodor Caraba is still chip leader, but hot on his heels is the young Brit Jake Code.
We are collecting the official chip counts going in to the start of this 75-minute level right now, and you'll find those over on the - no surprise here - chip count page.
Two Team PokerStars Pros remain, but we still have to lose one more player before tomorrow's final table is set. Here's one of those pros - it's ElkY...
PokerStars Blog reporting team: Howard Swains, Stephen Bartley, Marc Convey and Simon Young