6.20pm: Three-bet Barbero
Barbero has definitely had the higher three-bet rate and that’s becoming very punishing for Sointula now. The blinds are going up shortly. — RD
6.15pm: Back to small pot poker
There’s been a lot of walks and raise and takes in the last half an hour. The last pot that went to showdown looked like this: Jani Sointula raised to 60,000 and Nacho Barbero called. The flop fell 8♥7♣K♥ and Barbero led for 60,000 and Sointula called. The turn was the 9♥ and it was checked through. The river was the A♥ both players checked and Barbero’s 8♠5♥ for a five high flush was good enough to win the pot. — NW
6.05pm: Nice flop for Nacho
Nacho Barbero just defended his big blind with 10♥5♥ and was gifted a lovely A♥5♣5♦ flop. The only thing that could have made it better would have been if Sointula had spiked an ace. Both players checked through to the 6♦3♠ river which Barbero bet 80,000 into. Soitula made the call. Nice pick up for Barbero. — RD
5.55pm: Nacho Barbero doubles up
The pot started innocently enough Barbero making it 60,000 and Sointula just calling from the big blind. The flop fell 7♦6♥9♦ and fellow PokerStars blogger Rick Dacey whispered in my ear, “It’s all going in, I can feel it,” indeed the board was as wet as South Wales has been the past few days. Sointula led for 100,000, Barbero made it 250,000, Sointula shoved for an effective 1,160,000 and Barbero called.
Yep another cooler, the 9♠Q♥ changed nothing and Barbero now has 2,500,000 to Sointula’s 1,350,000. — NW
5.45pm: Huge pot
Barbero opened the button for 60,000 and was three-bet to 180,000 by the long-haired Finn. Barbero made the call. The flop dropped, for what seemed like the umpteenth time, with a dry 2♥J♣7♠. Sointula led for 180,000 and was called. He fired a larger 260,000 at the 10♣ turn and was called again.
The Q♠ river made Sointula look at his cards twice and then annouce that he was all-in. No snap call from Barbero. In fact, no call from Barbero at all. He passed. Sointula is up to 2,800,000. Barbero down to 1,100,000. — RD
5.30pm: Sointula back in the lead
The Finnish player just won a pot of around 270,000, he raised to 60,000 and Nacho Barbero called. On the flop of 7♦5♠2♦ Barbero check-called a 75,000 bet from Sointula. The Q♦ turn checked through and then on the 4♦ river Sointula’s bet of 325,000 forced a fold from Barbero. The chip stacks are Sointual 2,300,000, Barbero, 1,600,000. — NW
5.22pm: Dodging bullets
Soitula was had a lot of walks and folds when he’s had big hands and he can now add aces to that. A standard 75,000 raise and Barbero insta-mucked only for Sointula to flip bullets on their back. — RD
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 15,000-30,000
5.12pm: Barbero doubles up the very next hand
Barbero raised to 60,000 from the button and Sointula instantly shipped it. Super snap call from Barbero who flips over Q♣Q♥. Sointula showed A♠3♦ so as far from drawing dead. The flop gave more options with 10♠J♥3♥ but no ace and no three doubled Barbero back up to 2,000,000 to claim the chip stack back after just one hand. — RD
5.10pm: Rug up for this double up
Shiver, shiver, it’s just got chilly, yep cooler alert. Nacho Barbero made it 50,000 from the small blind and Jani Sointula three-bet to 150,000 and Barbero called. The flop fell J♠A♠Q♥. Sointula led for 175,000, Barbero made it 450,000, Sointuala moved all-in for 1,244,000 total and Barbero called.
The turn and river of Q♣8♠ left Barbero cursing his flop play saying, “If I just call the flop I can get away from it on the turn.” Sointula now has a 2,900,000 to 1,000,000 advantage.– NW
4.55pm: Barbero firing, Sointula laying in wait
It’s the classic match up of aggressive force versus immovable object. Barbero keeps firing and Sointula sits and waits for Barbero to bet himself out. Sointula had been dribbling but then picked off a large river bluff by Barbero.
The Team PokerStars Pro had started the action with a raise to 50,000 from the button. Soitula made the call and checked the 10♦6♣5♠ flop. Barbero checked behind. Sointula then led 85,000 into the K♦ turn and was called by Barbero. The Finn then pushed forward a 185,000 bet on the 9♠ river and Barbero raised it up to 450,000. Sointula didn’t look thrilled but made the call showing down 4♦4♣ for a flopped set. Barbero tossed away what looked like 9♦10♦. The big Finn is back in it. — RD
4.45pm: Back to where we started
In the last ten hands or so Nacho Barbero has gained more ground on Jani Sointula. Stacks are now back to pretty much were they were at the start of heads up play, Barbero holding a 2,300,000 to 1,500,000 chip advantage. — NW
4.35pm: Barbero ramping up the action
Things had levelled off but Barbero has perhaps sensed a slight lull and has cranked up his aggression levels. Sointula raised to 55,000 from the button and was called by Barbero who checked the K♣K♥4♠ flop. The Argentine led the 7♦ turn for 55,000 and then made a large 200,000 bet on the 9♦ river. Sointula thought for some time before mucking. — RD
4.25pm: No ante
Now we’re heads up there’s no ante in play, so tournament staff had removed all the red 1k chips during the 10,000-20,000 level. However once they realised that the next level was 12,000-24,000 and they were still needed a few have been re-introduced, they’re rarer than an American smile at Celtic Manor though. — NW
4.20pm: Level playing field
Jani Sointula has eroded Nacho Barbero’s chip lead and has just snuck into the lead, there’s perhaps only a couple of big blinds in it though. The two combatants have been mostly playing small pots but Sointuala has also won any medium pots they’ve played like this one: Sointual opened to 50,000, Barbero three-bet to 144,000 and Sointula called. On the flop of 5♦K♣Q♥ Barbero bet 150,000 and Sointula called. The 7♠ turn was checked by Barbero, and Sointula’s bet of 200,000 won him the pot. — NW
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 12,000-24,000
4.10pm: Cagey play
As heads up go it’s been a fairly timid start. There have been a few open folds and only a couple of three-bets pre-flop; one from each player. The stacks have barely moved from the beginning of the heads up. — RD
4pm: Sointula wins showdown, but doesn’t showdown
The first significant pot of heads up play has gone to Jani Sointula and as a result he’s closed the chip defecit to 1,500,000 plays 2,300,000. In the hand in question Sointula raised to 45,000 from the small blind and Barbero calle.d On the flop of 5♠10♦J♥, Barbero check-called a bet of 65,000 from Sointula. Both players checked the 10♠ turn, before Barbero bet 110,000 on the 6♦ river. Sointula made the call and Barbero insta-mucked, meaning Sointula did not show his hand. — NW
3.48pm: Andrew Robl eliminated in third place (£198,000)
A short stacked Andrew Robl moved in for 216,000 (just under 11 big blinds) from the button and Nacho Barbero called from the big blind. On their backs:
The board ran out J♥3♥J♦3♠4♠, Barbero takes a roughly 2,550,000 to 1,300,000 chip lead into heads up play. The winner will take home £556,000, the runner up £335,000. — NW
3.45pm: Vanessa Selbst out in fourth place (£145,000)
From under the gun Team PokerStars pro Vanessa Selbst made it 45,000 to play. It folded to fellow Team Pro Nacho Barbero in the big blind and he three-bet to 120,000. Selbst then four-bet to 230,000, leaving about 600,000 behind. Barbero then five-bet all-in and Selbst called.
The board a Selbst sickener of Q♥6♥10♠7♣K♥. -NW
3.41pm: Selbst and Robl out in quick succession
After Nacho Barbero’s suckout against Andrew Robl he has gone on a huge tear knocking out both Vanessa Selbst in fourth (£145,000) and Robl in third (£198,000). Heads up between Barbero and Jani Sointula getting set now.
3.35pm: Barbero bashes Selbst
Vanessa Selbst raiosed under the gun to 45,000 and was called by Nacho Barbero in the big blind. Both players checked to the 3♣A♠7♣Q♥ flop at which point Barbero check-called 36,000 before leading 85,000 on the river. Selbst gritted her teeth and made the call and was shown Q♠10♣. “It gets ugly if I bet that flop. I probably lose all my chips,” said Selbst. Just as well for her that she didn’t then. — RD
3.31pm: Sointula gets a walk
Must be nice to get a walk four-handed unless, of course, you have a huge hand. Sointula tosses pocket queens up into the air and laughs at the irony of it. Well, he’s guaranteed at least £145,000 so it’s understandable that he can see the
money funny side of things. — RD
3.20pm: Selbst involved often
Vanessa Selbst seems to be involved in most of the pots taking place she’s winning some and losing some. Here’s the two most recent examples:
Hand One: Nacho Barbero completed from the small blind and Selbst checked her option. Both players checked the J♣J♠K♦ flop to see a K♠ turn. Barbero bet 30,000 and Selbst called. The 6♦ fell on the river, Barbero slowed down, checking to Selbst who bet 55,000. Barbero responded with a check raise to 200,000 and Selbst quickly folded.
Hand two: Selbst made it 45,000 from the small blind and Andrew Robl called from the big blind. Selbst checked the flop of 8♣3♥J♠ and Robl fired in a bet of 32,000 but he swiftly folded after Selbst made it 88,000. — NW
3.05pm: Barbero gets it in bad
Team PokerStars Pro Nacho Barbero has just three-bet shoved from the big blind for 560,000 over a 45,000 raise from Andrew Robl. Robl looked confused by the size of the shove but eventually made the big call.
Barbero was in bad shape but had possibilities on the J♥9♣10♠ flop. A 2♣ on the turn was a blank but the Q♦ on the river complated a 1.1m outdraw. Sweet river for barbero. Robl drops to 400,000. — RD
3pm: Four left
There are just four players left in play and they are Vanessa Selbst, Jani Sointula, Nacho Barbero and Andrew Robl. Really big money is at stakes now. — RD
PokerStars Blog reporting team at EPT London (in order of mistakes made trying to post this bottom part of info): Rick Dacey (an idiotic 1) and Nick Wright (0). Photos by Neil Stoddart.