6.15pm: Break time
The end of another level and a 15 minute break in play.
6.10pm: Aleh Plauski eliminated in sixth place
It seems like a lifetime since the last elimination but Aleh Plauski is out. He shoved for 680,000 with K♥10♣ and was called by Nicolas Chouity with A♣Q♦. No drama on the board this time: 2♠5♣7♠9♣Q♣. Herve “three-hands to the good” Costa moves up another spot on the payouts. — SB
6.05pm: Klinger Kerching
Josef Klinger opened for 275,000 which was called by Nicolas Chouity. On the flop of 10♥5♥3♣ Klinger checked to Chouity who bet 375,000. Klinger then moved all in for 2,360,000 and Chouity asked for a count. “I have to call this,” said Chouity, and did so, showing K♥J♥. But Klinger was in better shape with A♥4♥.
The turn came J♣. Suddenly Chouity was in the lead and on the verge of eliminating the Austrian, celebrating with friends on the rail. But the hand wasn’t finished yet. The A♣ on the river saved Klinger, again, and he’s back in the game. – SB
There’s precious little action here. Really very little. Dominykas Karmazinas moved all in and everyone folded. That’s about it.
The principal reason for this sloth is the very big payout jumps and the fact that no one has many chips. Here’s the current counts:
Nicolas Chouity – 15,655,000
Josef Klinger – 2,655,000
Andrew Chen – 2,605,000
Herve Costa – 1,900,000
Dominykas Karmazinas – 1,745,000
Aleh Plauski – 920,000
5.45pm: Pulling teeth
Aleh Plauski moved his short stack of about one million in pre-flop and picked up no takers. Herve Costa moved his short stack of about 1.5 million in pre-flop and picked up no takers. This is like a poker tournament in slo-mo. — HS
5.35pm: Klinger M*A*S*H*-es Plauski
Josef Klinger moved all-in. Aleh Plauski called showing 10♦10♥ and Klinger winced as he turned over 9♠10♠. It looked to be the end for Klinger, who has been playing pots trying to build some kind of fighting stack to take on Chouity. But no, the flop changed that: A♥9♣9♠.
Klinger’s arms seemed to fly up involuntary as Plauski was left looking for serious help. The 6♦ turn and Q♠ river didn’t bring that. Klinger doubles up to 2.2 million. Plauski takes his next turn as the short stack with 1,000,000. – SB
5.25pm: Chouity’s charge
The chip leader Nicolas Chouity has just won back-to-back hands. First, he three-bet Josef Klinger’s opening under-the-gun raise, which was good, and then he opened himself from early position and that too got through. Anyone clashing with Chouity is playing for their whole stack – and doesn’t he know it. It should really a case of when rather than if he gets heads up.
Herve Costa moved all in again, by the way. Everyone folded. That’s three for three for Costa. — HS
5.20pm: Costa in a second time
Herve Costa has somehow managed to defy odds/ physics/ and the laws of nature to doubling up for a second time. Unbeaten in the hand
s he’s played today Costa moved in for the second time after Josef Klinger had bet 275,000. Costa’s shove – just the second hand he’s played today – was for 860,000. Klinger knew he had to call but didn’t like it and turned over Q♠J♠ for a race against Costa’s 7♠Q♥.
The flop gave Klinger outs: 9♣A♣K♥. A queen, jack or ten would send Costa to the rail but the Frenchman was not done. A 7♠ on the turn sent the French crowd into rapturous applause. A Q♥ on the river was irrelevant. Stand by for a few more ours of Costa, he’s back, and up to 1.9 million. Klinger down to 1.5 million. — SB
5.05pm: Blinds up
We’re into the new level, level 30, with blinds at 60,000-120,000 with a 10,000 ante.
5.03pm: Stand off
It’s gone tense again with a few cagey raise and take hands. It almost gets fired up again when Josef Klinger and Nicolas Chouity limped before Aleh Plauski moved all-in. Fold fold. — SB
4.50pm: Roger Hairabedian out in seventh, winning €200,000
And Roger Hairabedian’s long grind is over. Nicolas Chouity raised to 230,000 and Hairabedian, with only three big blinds – one of them in the middle already – moved all in for a whopping 80,000 more. Chouity called.
The Frenchman was drawing very thin, and it got even thinner on a flop of A♥A♠5♦. He picked up some outs when the Q♠ turned, but the Q♥ river finished it. That was that. Hairabedian is out in seventh for €200,000. – HS
4.45pm: Allez Aleh Plauski
Aleh Plauski moves all-in with K♣Q♦. Nicolas Chouity called with A♠5♦ and Roger Hairbedian’s pulse rate went up.
They waited for the board which came J♦J♠5♥7♦Q♥. The river saved Plauski and cost Hairabedian about a hundred grand. – SB
After than long break, here’s what they are playing.
Nicolas Chouity, 15,060,000
Dominykas Karmazinas, 3,220,000
Andrew Chen, 2,650,000
Josef Klinger, 2,140,000
Herve Costa, 1,480,000
Aleh Plauski, 590,000
Roger Hairabedian, 350,000
Since then, Andrew Chen won a small pot and the short stacks folded. — HS
4.35pm: Welcome back
We’re off again.
…we’re still waiting for a resumption. It’ll be in about 30 minutes apparently. Let’s pretend all this never happened. — HS
3.45pm: Sorry about this…
We’re still experiencing “technical difficulties” which means play is suspended. You’re not missing anything. — HS
3.15pm: The Costa crash
Herve Costa just moved in. So stunned by this – it being the first hand Costa has played all day – the EPT Live broadcast went down, effectively giving Costa more power than the millennium bug. The rest of the hand was played out in the dark.
Costa’s shove was for 600,000 with ace-queen, called by Aleh Plauski with ace-ten. The board, as described by Thomas Kremser, came [j]. The cheers from the
sadistic French crowd said it all – Costa had doubled up to 1.3 million and should now last beyond 5pm.
We’re on an unscheduled break now as cables are checked and bills are paid. – SB
3.10pm: Costa moves all in, breaks internet
Herve Costa moved all in for his last 600,000. Really. I saw it with my own eyes. But at that precise moment, the feed broadcasting the final table action across the internet – and to the press room in Monte Carlo – broke down. I’m not kidding. We’re (well, someone) is fixing the problem at the moment and a satellite drone has just gone down to the tournament floor to find out what the eff is going on. Stand by. –HS
2.50pm: Poker analysis
Let’s not beat around the bush: this is a bit anticlimactic so far. The reason is that Herve Costa and Roger Hairabedian are simply folding every hand, waiting for the other to go out, which will earn the man who remains an additional €100,000.
Furthermore, the likes of Aleh Plauski, Josef Klinger and Andrew Chen don’t want to get involved unnecessarily against the chip leader Nicolas Chouity, because they can go broke very easily too, allowing Costa and Hairabedian to eke even further up the ladder. Klinger recently raised pre-flop, Chouity three bet him, and Klinger had to fold.
Only Dominykas Karmazinas and Chouity have the luxury of being able to see a flop at the moment. That is until those two shorties hit the rail, then this should open up a bit. At which point I’ll duck out of poker analysis; it’s not really my bag. — HS
2.44pm: Dominykas karma?
Dominykas Karmazinas just doubled up through chip leader Nicolas Chouity. Chouity had opened before Karmazinas shoved for 1,930,000. Chouity thought about it as Karmazinas talked and talked. Chouity called showing A♥J♣. Karmazinas banged the table showing A♦K♣. The board ran 2♦3♣Q♥3♠5♥. More than 4 million now for Karmazinas. Chouity still has 13 million. – SB
2.40pm: Shoving and not shoving
Aleh Plauski, with 1,400,000, moved all in pre-flop. He got it through. Meanwhile a word on the other short stacks: you might not have read much about Herve Costa today. For good reason. He is at the table but hasn’t played a single hand. Not one. Roger Hairabedian, also waiting for aces, now has about seven big blinds. Don’t forget, there’s a €100,000 money jump for every spot from here to fourth, so this probably makes economical sense. But boy, it doesn’t make for much to look at. — HS
2.30pm: Klinger on the end
After a delayed re-start three players saw a flop of K♠7♠4♠. Aleh Plauski checked, as did Dominykas Karmazinas. Josef Klinger then bet 200,000 which only Plauski called for a 4♦ turn. Both checked that for a 6♥ on the river. Plauski checked but Klinger bet, 400,000 which gave Plauski something to think about. He passed. Klinger up to 2.5 million. – SB
2.10pm: The magnificent seven return
After the last-gasp elimination of Mesbah Guerfi, we are down to seven in Monte Carlo. Arguably, Guerfi has paid the price for actually playing some hands here – it’s not been a policy that many players have adopted. That has meant that they’ve managed to move on up the payout page without contributing much to this as a spectacle. We’re hoping for better from here on.
The latest counts are on the chip count page. Nicolas Chouity leads by so far it’s not even funny. He has more than 12 million more than his closest challenger. — HS