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EPT Madrid: Day 4, level 27 & 28 updates (blinds 40,000-80,000, 5,000 ante)

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12.12pm: Maceiras busts Pettersson in 9th (€95,000) to end play
Thomas Pettersson was all smiles despite the fact he had just been eliminated from the main event on the 'true' final table bubble.

The pot opened with a raise from Juan Maceiras before the Swede moved all-in. Alex Gomes in the big blind agonised over his hand but he eventually opted to fold, allowing his fellow Team PokerStars Pro to make a quick call.

Maceiras: Q♦Q♣
Pettersson: A♥K♣

The board ran 5♥Q♥2♠T♦K♥ to make the Spaniard a set and knockout Pettersson in eighth for a €95,000 pay day.

The final eight players will return for a 2pm start tomorrow afternoon. A wrap of how we reached the final table mark will be up soon, as will the overnight official chip counts. -- MC


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Thomas Pettersson, a plaudible ninth place finish


12am: Performance art
Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the installation art entitled 'Nine men riffling chips and folding hands.' There's something slightly surreal about the contrast of the final nine compared to the frenzied shoving and terrified tank-folding of the short-handed action that took place across the previous two tables.

It's very cagey, suffocating so at times. Andrew Li finally broke the tension by shoving all-in from the small blind for somewhere over 1,000,000 into Ivan Freitez's big blind. The Venezuelan postured, but never looked like calling. He passed and Li raked in the pot.

"I know that you're hoping I got called there," Li said with a smile. -- RD

11.40pm: Play resumes
The stacks have evened out somewhat since nine handed play began. Here's the current state of play:

Eugene Yanayt, 2,530,000
Tamas Lendvai, 1,520,000
Juan Maceiras, 1,640,000
Andrey Danilyuk, 2,565,000
Thomas Pettersson, 1,365,000
Andrew Li, 1,520,000
Ivan Freitez, 5,885,000
Torsten Brinkmann, 1,845,000
Alex Gomes, 1,590,000

11.23pm: Big flip
This was a one huge flip. On one side there was Thomas Pettersson whose biggest live cash was $43,000 in a WSOP event a couple of years ago, on the other was Team PokerStars Pro Alex Gomes who is still in the hunt to seal that elusive triple crown. Pettersson had shoved under-the-gun for half-a-million with A♣Q♣, Gomes had made the call with T♦T♠.

Pettersson flopped top two and then went on to river a boat. Drama over, for the moment. Break time, join us for a drink in 15 minutes. -- RD


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Triple crown prospect Alex Gomes


11.12pm: Two streets of value enough for Danilyuk
Ivan Freitez was involved in the very next hand as he defended his big blind after Andrey Danilyuk raised from the button.

Frietez went into check-call mode as he faced 150,000 and 365,000 bets on the flop and turn. The final board read 2♥3♠9♦3♣8♥ and Danilyuk decided to check behind on the river when Frietez checked the action for a third time. He tabled pocket queens and that was good as Frietez folded. -- MC

11.05pm: Maceiras takes on Freitaz
Juan Maceiras is up to 2,280,000 after shoving into chip leader Ivan Freitez. The Venezuelan opened the pot under-the-gun for 130,000 and Team PokerStars Pro Juan Maceiras made the call in the cut-off. Freitez c-bet 240,000 into the 2♠Q♦4♠ flop and Maceiras quickly moved in for 1,680,000.

"Let's go," said Maceiras, now on his feet. The only thing going was Freitez's hand into the muck. Maceiras up as Freitez finds himself 400,000 lighter. -- RD

10.55pm: Four-bet gets through for Lendvai
It's very rare that a player four-bets on the final table bubble of a prestigious final table and doesn't have it. That's probably what Torsten Brinkmann and Alex Gomes thought after Tamas Lendvai did just that.

Brinkmann raised from the cut-off and Gomes three-bet from the button before the Hungarian put in the powerful looking four-bet from the big blind. Brinkmann looked like he had a very difficult decision but Gomes made up his mind quickly. Both folded. -- MC

10.45pm: Pettersson shoves, Brinkmann tanks
Thomas Pettersson shoved from late position for around 600,000 into Torsten Brinkmann who asked for a count. He didn't looked convinced by the strength of his hand, but neither did he insta-muck. He finally passed but looked slightly ashamed of himself for doing so. Who can blame him for passing amarginal hand at this point? He's one bust out away from the EPT Grand Final televised final table. -- RD

10.35pm: Swap shop for Yanayt and Danilyuk
Andrey Danilyuk and Eugene Yanayt's stacks have swapped places after a big pre-flop all-in encounter.

Yanayt raised to 110,000 only to face a three-bet to 285,000 from his Russian opponent. Yanayt stared his opponent down before moving in for less than 1,500,000. Danilyuk didn't take too long in calling.

Yanayt: K♣Q♣
Danilyuk: 9♥9♦

The board ran Q♦K♦T♥A♣A♠ making two-pair for the chip leader coming in to today. Danilyuk dropped down to 1,500,000 after the loss. -- MC

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 30,000-60,000, ANTE 5,000


10.20pm: Here we go
The platers have taken to their seats and we have one more player to bust before we reach the Official Eight-Handed PokerStars European Poker Tour Final Table TM. -- RD

10pm: The final nine
Here are the final nine players and it's quite a line up with established team pros mixing with online talent and a couple of have-a-go heroes. Get stuck in.

Final table
1 Eugene Yanayt, USA, PokerStars player, 1,440,000
2 Tamas Lendvai, Hungary, 1,130,000
3 Juan Maceiras, Spain, Team PokerStars Pro, 1,540,000
4 Andrey Danilyuk, Russia, PokerStars qualifier, 2,986,000

5 Thomas Pettersson, Sweden, 688,000
6 Andrew Li, USA, 1,560,000
7 Ivan Freitez, Venezuela, 6,875,000
8 Torsten Brinkmann, Germany, 2,940,000
9 Alex Gomes, Brazil, Team PokerStars Pro, 1,645,000

One more player to bust until the eight-handed final table is set. Thomas Pettersson the obvious player at risk with 13 big blinds remaining. -- RD

9.40pm: Limblici buts in 10th (€95,000)
Alessandro Limblici has been eliminated in 10th place meaning we are down to one table full of nine players.

He had blinded his way down to 350,000 chips when he pushed all-in from the small blind. Torsten Brinkmann was in the big blind and looked down at his cards and made an instant call.

Limblici: K♥5♣
Brinkmann: A♦5♦

The board ran A♣8♠8♥2♠J♣ to make two-pair for the German.

The remaining nine players will now reconvene on the TV table and play will continue until we lose one more. There is a break in play while all that is sorted out. The new seat draw and chip counts will be coming right up. -- MC

9.30pm: Outer table a Siberian short stack winter wonderland
Does that title make even sense? Just about. Of the five players on the outer table three of them are the shortest stacks in play; Tamas Lendvai, Thomas Pettersson and Alessandro Limblici. Only Andrey Danilyuk and Torsten Brinkmann are well stacked which is making this table one of those where there are more walks than you'd normally imagine at this stage of a tournament combined with the occasional shove. Pettersson scored one winning shove after defending his big blind and jamming into a 3♠5♠J♦ flop, Brinkmann passed.

If we're looking for one more player to go before we break to one table, it should come from the wintry tundra of this outer table. That said, neither of the three short stacks look likely to get it in light. -- RD

9.12pm: Three million to bust for Pellicer, out in 11th
Pedro Pellicer, just like Simon Higgins earlier, has gone from a commanding position to being out within two hands. Such is the nature on No-Limit Holdem.

He got the last of his chips (less than one million) in with A♦T♦ and he was up against Team PokerStars Pro Alex Gomes with a dominating A♣J♥.

There was a sweat for the Brazilian as the flop came 3♥2♦9♦ to give his opponent a flush draw. He was soon breathing easily though as the board ran out 2♥2♣. Gomes is up to around 3,000,000 chips. -- MC


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Pedro Pellicer


8.57pm: Freitez sucks out to take the chip lead
South American screams have just rocked the tournament floor following the doubling up of Ivan Freitez through the previous chip leader Pedro Pellicer.

I don't have the breakdown of the bets as the action took place on the TV tables (damn those fast camera cuts) but what I could determine was that Freitez four-bet all-in with A♥4♥ for 2,300,000 and was called by T♣T♦. Should Pellicer's hand have held up he would be on over a quarter of the chips in play with ten players left. The A♦A♣7♠ flop meant that was going to be difficult. Pellicer needed to catch a ten to take the lead back. He couldn't hit and Freitez moves up to 4,500,000 after that miracle flop. Pellicer must regain his composure. -- RD

8.48pm: Pot to Yanayt
Torsten Brinkmann opened for 100,000 in the cut off which Eugene Yanayt called in the small blind for a flop of 8♦T♠9♠. Not much is getting past the flop on the outer table and this hand was no different. Brinkmann bet when Yanayt checked to him, taking the loot. - SB

8.37pm: What did Limblici have for dinner?
Did Alessandro Limblici sit down for a heavy three-course dinner at the dinner break? Not likely. In fact, it's a far greater possibility that he eschewed food for a stiff drink because he's come back a different animal. Limblici got his chips all-in on the first two hands back from the break. He received no calls and is now up to 800,000. The halftime team talk obviously worked out well. -- RD

8.25pm: Play restarts
90 minutes after the start of the 75 minute dinner break play resumes in level 26, with blinds of 25,000-50,000 with a 5,000 ante. -- SB

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Again, we assume this is in Madrid

PokerStars Blog reporting team in Madrid (in order of substances allergic to): Rick Dacey (2, red wine and lemongrass), Marc Convey (1, penicillen) and Stephen Bartley (1, bus drivers).

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