4.40pm: Level end
That was the last hand of the level and we’ll see how it affects the chip counts very soon. Join us in level 30.
4.35pm: Cody double up; Did Timex miss a trick?
Jake Cody is back and fighting, but Craig Bergeron is running very short. The hand could have been even bigger, but Mike McDonald opted to get out the way. It went like this:
McDonald raised to 220,000 under-the-gun and Cody moved all in for 1,840,000. Bergeron was next to act and he also moved all in for 3,795,000 putting the decision back on Timex.
McDonald, never one to dally unnecessarily, seemed to be faced with a genuine decision and was rapidly calculating odds. Eventually he folded, the double-bust out chances eliminated, and it was shorty versus shorty for the pot.
So another flip, but this time Cody came out on the good side. It ran 5♠6♠10♥3♣5♦ and that’s another double up.
4.25pm: More for McDonald Teodor Caraba makes it 230,000 from the button, and Mike McDonald calls. They both check the J♠Q♣9♥ flop, but on the 7♥ turn McDonald bets 300,000, and that’s good enough to take the pot.
4.20pm: McDonald finds kings to down Secara
Claudiu Secara out in fifth, earning €165,000
This is rapidly becoming the Mike McDonald show and he has just eliminated Claudiu Secara to take us down to four. Secara had clung on desperately to a short stack and moved all in over the top of a McDonald opener for his last 910,000. McDonald snapped him off and showed K♦K♥. Secara had managed to find J♥J♣ but they were in trouble.
None of the flop, turn or river helped Secara and his brave fight is over. McDonald is chipping up very efficiently for a run at that unique double title.
4.05pm: Cody finds aces; Albertini canned
Stephane Albertini out in sixth, winning €129,000
Jake Cody, now an uncomfortable short stack, found the action folded to him in the small blind and he shoved for about 955,000. He had also found aces but Stephane Albertini was not to know and called all in with his K♣9♣. Albertini was the player at risk – his stack was only 655,000. And so they went to the flop: 7♠5♠3♣.
No one had a spade, so the runner-runner chopped pot was an outside chance. The 6♦ on the turn eliminated that possibility, but gave another: now Albertini could hit a four to chop or an eight to win.
There was the mandatory delay for the drama to ratchet up to its maximum, but the 6♥ on the turn was no good. We lose our last Frenchman – and Cody has about 2 million again.
3.50pm: Massive, massive pot; McDonald doubles up
There’s a chance that this could be the tournament defining pot – and it’s gone to Mike “Timex” McDonald, who assumes the chip lead.
It went like this: McDonald raised to 220,000 and Jake Cody, his nemesis/adversary/benefactor re-raised to 490,000. McDonald four-bet to 1.1 million and we weren’t done yet. Cody five bet all in for 4.21 million and McDonald called.
This was going to be a monster and more than one person observed that whoever won this flip would be a big favourite for the tournament win.
The flop gave the advantage to McDonald: Q♣K♠2♦ and although the A♠ on the turn increased Cody’s redraw outs, the 6♠ was a blank. Cody’s head fell, McDonald remained impassive. Cody is down to around 1.5m and McDonald has about 8.5m.
There’s been no disguising the tactics of Stephane Albertini and Claudiu Secara: hang around long enough until someone gets knocked out. With this in mind, those two are going to be loving what they’ve just seen.
3.40pm: Cody v McDonald again
Jake Cody opened for 240,000 and it was folded to Mike McDonald in the small blind. He called, the only one, and they went to a flop of 7♦8♦4♣. Check, check. The turn was A♣ and they checked that too, but McDonald bet 350,000 at the 9♣ river and that was enough to get Cody to pass.
3.35pm: Three bet, four bet, fold
Aha, this is poker. Mike McDonald raises to 220,000; Jake Cody re-raises to 490,000 and McDonald moves all in for 3,060,000. All this occurs in an instant and Cody folds. That might be the first four-bet of the final.
3.30pm: Bergeron doubles
There’s no question who is the most active of the short stacks and Craig Bergeron just achieved the double up he was seeking. Teodor Caraba opened, Bergeron shoved, and Caraba called.
The flop vaulted Bergeron into the lead: K♠9♠5♣ and neither the turn A♦ nor river J♦ changed anything. Bergeron’s all in was for 1,850,000 and he is now breathing easy again.
3.25pm: Secara doubles up; still low
It was folded to Mike McDonald in the small blind and with only Claudiu Secara’s micro-stack (520,000) in the big blind, Timex shoved. Secara called – and he must have been delighted at McDonald’s timing. He had found A♠Q♠ to McDonald’s 10♣7♣ and the dealer was waiting to peel off Q♥5♥A♦Q♦ as the first four community cards. Secara doubles up, but still only has about 12 big blinds.
3.20pm: We’re not hanging around
First hand back from the break and it’s folded to Craig Bergeron who shows how it should be done. He shoves all in for about 1.5m and picks up blinds and antes. On the next hand, he does it again with similar results.
The six remaining players should be returning to the table at any moment. Any moment between now and 4pm more likely. Anyhow, here’s how they stand:
Teodor Caraba, 9,150,000
Jake Cody, 6,485,000
Mike McDonald, 3,590,000
Craig Bergeron, 1,540,000
Stephane Albertini, 1,085,000
Claudiu Secara, 600,000