Play is about to resume for the night. We will cover the action all night long. Hit refresh to see the latest news at the bottom of this post. Many thanks to Nigel, Russell, and Mad for their help on the tables.
Click here for Day 2 Afternoon Coverage
8:49pm--Sixty-five players are finding their seats to play at 600/1200/100. Fresh chip counts have been posted at the top of this page. Continue to hit refresh tonight for the latest action. If you've missed any of today's action, you can catch up by clicking the Afternoon Coverage link above.
9:09pm--Say howdy to Nick Gibson who now has a pile of Lee Briscoe's chips in front of him. Gibson value bet 15,000 his set of threes on the river (board was king high) and seemed surprised to get a call from Briscoe and his pair of jacks. Still working to get a chip count on Gibson, but suffice to say he has...well, more.
9:12pm--Um, yeah. That pot was even bigger than I thought. Gibson is sitting on about 145K now.
9:20pm--Speaking of important pots, PokerStars qualifier Matthew Davey wasn't looking for a call when he pushed all in against Alexander Grishchuk. Davey held a pair of nines on a king-high board. Grishchuk took forever to call all in, finally showing KQ for the win. Davey is now in a bad way.
Going back to Nick Gibson's table: If you had to pick a table to avoid, it would be that one. Gibson, Ross Boatman, and Martin Wendt are all there and have chips. Ugly, I say.
9:36pm--Fifty-eight players remain. As a reminder, we'll be playing down to 27 or through two and half more levels, whichever comes first. Me? I think we won't hit the money tonight (27 pay). Still, the chips are flying here. While this is no secret to most European players, I'm learning now how good Johnny Lodden is. Frankly, the guy scares me.
10:04pm--BIG bust out as Nathan Hargis just got caught with his hand in the cookie jar. He raised, got re-raised, and pushed pre-flop with his 40k. He is immediately called by the kid, Jeff Williams, who turns over AA. Nathan rather reluctantly shows his QJ. Hargis made his queen on the flop, but never gets better. Great sportsmanship ensues as Nathan wishes Williams well AND means it. Williams now has around 90K in chips.
In other news, a big hand developed between Arnaud Mimran and Nick Gibson. The board reads 10A724 and with around 60k in the pot Arnaud bets all-in for another 60k. After a long period in the tank, Paul Gibson folded. Arnaud cheers and shows QJ, a complete bluff.
10:12pm--PokerStars FPP qualifier Arshad Hussain is not messing around anymore. After a rather quiet day, he has chipped up to around 85K, putting him about 30K ahead of the current chip average.
10:19pm--It's not quite a fairy tale ending for Kelly Lange (FPP qualifier), certainly one of the bright young stars here showing true poker and sportsmanship form throughout. The man who was denied marrying his sweetheart here due to visa issues has just left us. Being fairly short-chipped at around 15k he bet all-in with AJ only to come up against JJ. The flop gave him two diamonds to math the two in his hand. Unfortunately just like the visa department, he gets no help from fourth street or the river (both spades) and he leaves a happy man as he has just had his picture taken with one of his table opponents, the inimitable Marcel Luske.
10:55pm--Blinds are up to 800/1600/100. With that, fresh chip counts are up as well.
10:57pm--As I'm getting help from Mad, Nigel, and Russell, the updates are much easier. If you aren't already familiar with Mad's distinctive style, perhaps I should point out the following item on Jen Mason is her's. Otherwise, you might think we men have started hanging out in the ladies room.
Sitting away from the action, having a quiet and slightly illegal cigarette in the ladies' toilets, I find Linda Mason, mother of one of our favourite players, BlondePoker blogger Jen Mason. I discover that poker goes back a long, long way in this particular family. Jen, now 25, was taught how to play by her mother - at the tender age of six. In turn, Linda, now 56, was taught poker by her grandparents when she was only four. And if Linda's grandparents Mr and Mrs Fox learned poker at similarly young ages, then we're talking at least a century of genetic poker expertise behind Jen's superb performance at the EPT Grand Final.
Linda said: "To be honest, poker is all Jen has ever wanted to do. She's very very bright - she studied Classics at Oxford. But she never wanted an academic career. She started off as a dealer at the Gutshot club. Then she started playing poker online a lot, then she started blogging for BlondePoker. But what she really wants to do now is turn pro." As I write this, Jen's table has just been moved to the televised table where, with 88,000 she's up against the likes of Marcel Luske, Surinder Sunar and Dustin Dirksen.
Also, if you missed it, Jen qualified for this event in a BlueSquare points competition that took much work and even more effort to win.
11:05pm--Russell reports that the Nick Gibson table is as action packed as might be expected. Martin Wendt recently picked up a pot worth more than 30K without ever showing down his hand. Ross Boatman just picked up a 42K pot when someone bet into him with pocket fours on a trash board. Boatman had queens and further increased his chip stack to more than 100K.
11:11pm--Straight off of the feature table, and not long after it's straight out of the tourney as we move to 49 players remaining. Haim Kakoun's 66 went down to Terry Hallidays' JJ. Terry now sitting comfortably on around 100k.
11:18pm--Breaking side game news...Not to be outdone by the $10,000 Sit and Go from last night, players are lining up for, indeed, a $20,000 SNG. I took a quick peek at the table. I've found Greg Raymer, Patrik Antonius, Erik Sagstrom, and a few other familiar faces. So far they have nine players. If they make ten, the winner walks with $140,000.
11:25pm--The tenacious Richard Shtrax has finally given up the ghost. He got his remaining chips in with AK against Mark Teltsher's KT. What seemed an easy win turned ugly when Teltsher flopped a gutshot draw and it got there. Shtrax walked out saying, "If I had been up against deuces, I would've felt better about it." Nice run, Richard. You were a pleasure to have around.
11:45pm--Side game news...the $20,000 SNG is now sitting 12-handed. Joe Hachem and Carlos Mortensen joined the game. Yeah, that's a $240,000 prize pool. For a freaking sit and go.
11:49pm--A reader has just pointed out that Alexander Grishchuk is not only a great poker player. He is also the 12th best chess player IN THE WORLD. Thanks for the tip!
11:47pm--Roman Yitzahki is out.
11:52pm--Radu Butan, the man that's impossible to hate, has just pulled a whole warren out of the hat. He goes all in on the flop as he finds a match for the king in his AK hand. Only to be called and for his opponent to show AA. Radu gasped as a K comes on fourth street to complete his set and horribly busts the aces to take a pot of 70k. Still, everyone seems to like the guy. Go figure.
11:54pm--Arshad Hussain has just taken a big pot. The PokerStars FPP qualifier picked up about 68k pot. Arshad raised to 5K and his opponent called to see the flop came 6s8c2c. Both players checked. The turn came an ace of spades and Arshad bet out another 5k. The opponent bet out and Arshad called. When the river came as another ace, Ashad's opponent moved all in. Arshad thought forever before calling. His opponent showed his bluff (JT). Arshad breathed a sigh of relief and turned over his AT.
12:01am--Oh, the poker world can be so lonely (unless your
12:03am--As a tournament reporter, I do my best not to play favorites, but my heart was behind fellow journalist Jen Mason. My sometimes co-blogger Howard Swains just reported to me that my hopes for Jen have been dashed. While the exact details of Jen's departure escape me at the moment, I hear another of my
12:21pm--If a cat has nine lives - FPP qualifier Matthew Davey is a lion. At the moment, he is feeling quite sheepish. "I'm going to get slagged on all the poker sites," he said a second ago. "I feel bad for the guy. I play him online all the time." What happened? If I understood Matthew correctly, he called an all-in that he didn't know he was calling. Or maybe he knew.. I'm not quite sure. All I know is, he had K7 suited in spades to his short-stacked opponent's AKo. The flop gave him the spade flush draw and the turn gave him the nuts. This was all after having previously been forced by the escalating blinds to go all in with his 7k a few hands previous. It aroused the interest of Jeff Williams who called him with JJ. On this occassion Davey's very mediocre hand of A3 was supplemented by matching both cards. Davey has sprung back to life. And you folks in the poker forums keep yourr traps shut. Davey already feels bad enough.
12:30pm--Dustin Dirksen cannot be stopped. He is the clear chip leader with more than 288,000. In other news, Karin Lundberg is out. Matthew Davey has 27K. Radu Butan has 58K. Arshad Hussain has 94K. More chip counts coming after this break is over. We're heading into the final level of the night.
12:49pm--Dustin Dirksen continues his massacre, recently crippling Marcel Luske. In other news, Erik Haarken's dynamic run has come to a close. A fresh chip count will be up in the scrolling bar at the TOP of the screen in just a few minutes.
1:05am--New chip counts are up. Look for the scrolling bar at the very top of the screen. They don't include everybody still in, but we have most of the mjor stacks and notable players. One hour remains to play tonight. Forty players remain, which means 13 players will walk away without cash. Chances are we won't get anywhere close to the money tonight. That is what tomorrow is for.
1:21am--Only Beating Air - but actually also the rest of the field! Despite successive losses for massive pots (around 100k) Dustin Dirksen is hanging strong. Having lost to Tierry Cazal's QQ and then folded against Alexander Strandli with what turned out to be top two pair and declared he was 'only beating air'. Normal order was almost immediately restored as he took out an opponent with pocket K's winning one of the days biggest pots-- aound 150K.
1:25am--Jeff Williams carries on his relentless roller coaster ride taking out Paul Maxfield's big slick with a queen on the flop to supplement his QJ. Thirty-seven players remain. That means 10 until the money. By the way, about three hours ago, I said we would finish with 36 players tonight. My line may be in trouble.
1:42am--My line was worthless. I hope you took the under. We're down to 33 players, the lastest bust being the ever-emotional Kristian Ulriksen who had the misfortune of picking up pocket kings when Mark Teltscher picked up pocket aces.
2:02am--31 players remain. Rob Hollink was just eliminated when his AQ ran into QQ. Alex Grishchuk was just eliminated when he pushed with KQo. Jeff Williams called with 55, flopped a set, and sent the chess champ to the rail. In other news, Greg Raymer is heads up with Per Ummer in the $20,000 sit and go.
2:20am--Players are wrapping up for the night. Don't expect any more busouts before morning. We'll be collecting the official chip counts within the next hour or so. Of all the news that is fit to print, perhaps the biggest is that Ben Grundy, perpetual shortstack, now has a nice stack to play, courtesy of Dustin Dirksen. Grundy played for all his chips, not an insubstantial amount, on AQ after re-raising from the big blind with AQ. Dustin put him all in and Ben decided he'd rather play a coin flip than come back tomorrow with 45K. As it turned out, Dustin had A3. Ben now looks to have more than 150K. We'll be back with the official chip count here in a bit.
2:43amTHIS JUST IN...for the second consecutive night, a member of Team PokerStars and a World Series of Poker champion has won a HUGE sit and go here in Monte Carlo. Greg Raymer just defeated eleven other players in a $20,000 SNG to gross $160,000. Greg seems, in a word, pleased.