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Updates from level 26 of EPT Vilamoura, brought to you by Stephen Bartley, Marc Convey, Howard Swains and Simon Young.

Selected approximate chip counts, updated throughout the day, are available on the chip counts page. The EPT tournament structure can be found on the EPT tournament structure page. The full payout structure and prizewinners to date are on the payout structure page.

Previous coverage: Day 1a | Day 1b | Day 2 | Day 3 | Level 18 updates | Level 19 updates | Level 20 updates | Level 21 updates | Level 22 updates | Level 23 updates | Level 24 updates | Level 25 updates

Blinds: 25,000-50,000 (5,000 ante)

6.36pm: Level, surely
And with that, it’s the end of level 26. Farewell, level 26, but we look forward to meeting level 27 after a 15-minute break.

Meanwhile, here are the approx chips:

Antonio Matias, 6,095,000
Jeff Sarwer, 2,010,000
Pierre Neuville, 1,520,000

6.35pm: Matias again
Antonio Matias raised to 125,000 from the button and Jeff Sarwer called from the big blind before a 2♦A♠A♥ flop came down. Sarwer came out betting for 150,000 and called Matias’ min raise to 300,000. The turn brought the 9♥ and Matias continued his aggressive stance with a 375,000 bet when checked to him. Sarwer studied his opponent and called to see the 3♠ river where both players slowed to checks. Maitas opened 8♣9♠ for a turned pair of nines. Sarwer slid his cards into muck aggressively and got up to have his fifteen minute break.

6.30pm: Family pot
Sarwer opened on the button for 125,000. Matias called, so did Neuville for a flop of 6♦4♠K♥. Matias bet 250,000 and Neuville and Sarwer folded in turn.

6.25pm: Slowdown
There are 135,000 chips that are doing an awful lot of work at the moment, with scant reward. Each of the three players is raising 135,000 pre-flop, but no one is calling. That means no flops and now significant swings. The calm before the storm, surely.

In other news, Jeff Sarwer has attracted one of the most decorated rails in EPT history. The online sensations Shaun Deeb, Jason Mercier, Ryan Franklin, Ricky Fohrenbach, Jonathan Aguiar and Jim Collopy are all in the house watching Sarwer.

6.20pm: Two pots to pass in
Two pots to Jeff Sarwer. The first after he raised on the button to 135,000, picking up the blinds and antes. The second after Pierre Neuville opened for 125,000 in the small blind and Sarwer called on the big. On a flop of 10♣10♠K♣ Neuville checked. Sarwer made it 110,000 forcing Neuville to pass.

6.15pm: Double up for Neuville
A pre-flop all-in showdown between PokerStars qualifier Pierre Neuville and Jeff Sarwer started with the former raising to 125,000 from the small blind only to face a three-bet to 300,000 from the latter.

Neuville responded with an all-in push for 885,000 total and was called after a period of deliberation. Neuville opened A♣K♥ and Sarwer grimaced as he tabled A♣2♠. The board ran 5♥9♣Q♠A♦5♦ to double the Belgian up to more than 1.8 million.

6.05pm: Are you watching?
Jeff Sarwer opened for 125,000 on the button. Pierre Neuville called for a flop of 10♥4♥Q♠. Neuville checked. Sarwer bet 135,000 before Neuville re-raised to 335,000 total. Sarwer called for a turn card 3♣. Neuville checked, so did Sarwer for a K♣ on the river. Neuville now made it 405,000. Sarwer went for his orange chips and while counting them out turned to look at Shaun Deeb on the rail. He wanted him to see this. Sarwer called and told Neuville to show a broken hand. Neuville turned over A♥7♣. Sarwer turned over his 4♣J♠ taking the pot, and getting a nod from Deeb.

6pm: Friends and foes
Antonio Matias and Jeff Sarwer are continually at each other’s throats – in a poker sense at least. Although they’re both laughing and joking with each other, pretty much every pot is being played out between them, with Matias taking down the most recent few.

On the button, Matias made it 100,000 and Sarwer called from the big blind. The flop came K♦A♦Q♥ and Sarwer check-folded to Matias’s 250,000 bet.

The next hand, Sarwer raised to 135,000 from the small blind and Matias called in the big. The flop was 3♣2♣10♠ and Sarwer bet 90,000. Matias made it 200,000 and Sarwer folded again.

Sarwer caught up with our video blog team shortly before this three-handed
battle:


Watch EPT6 Vilamoura Jeff Sarwer Chat Three Handed on PokerStars.tv

5.55pm: A limped pot!
I’m not sure the last time we had a limped pot but it feels quite novel. Antonio Matias limped from the small blind and Pierre Neuville checked his option. When the flop came down 4♣9♣5♠ Matias check-called a 75,000 pot before leading out for 100,000 on the 2♦ turn to take the pot down.

At this stage the chips look something like this:
Antonio Matias, 5,000,000
Jeff Sarwer, 2,800,000
Pierre Neuville, 1,800,000

5.50pm: Raising
On a flop of 3♥8♠2♦ and a standard bet and a call pre-flop, both Antonio Matias and Pierre Neuville check for a 5♥ turn. Matias was still stacking his chips from the Sarwer hand and bet a casual 50,000. Neuville then reraised to 225,000. Matias raised again, 500,000 total. Neuville moved all-in for another 300,000 or so more but Matias passed.

5.45pm: Chip leaders go at it
The player who will be most delighted with this hand is the one not involved in it, Pierre Neuville. The two big stacks just tangled in a hand worth more than 2,500,000. Antonio Matias raised to 130,000 from the button and Jeff Sarwer called from the big blind. The flop came 2♦Q♣7♦ and Sarwer checked, but then raised after Matias bet 160,000. Sarwer’s raise was for 220,000 more.

It wasn’t over. Matias re-raised, 600,000 more than that, and Sarwer asked for a million more than that with his god-knows-how-many-“re”-raise. Matias then announced he was all in – it did seem to be heading that way – and Sarwer went into the tank.

There was some good humour between the two of them, Sarwer saying: “I’m going to need some help here,” and Matias bringing some sunglasses out of his top pocket, for the first time, putting them on and then taking one of the lenses out and peering through it, winking one eye.

Sarwer laughed, then eventually folded, saying: “If it’s a bluff, it’s a good bluff.” Sarwer led the applause, joined hastily from the packed rail. Sarwer still has about 3 million, but Matias has retaken the chip lead.

5.40pm: Matias takes one, then Neuville takes another
Antonio Matias raised to 105,000 from the button and both players called to see a 2♦Q♠5♥ flop. Neither fancied calling Matias’ 215,000 continuation bet and the pot goes to the local man.

Two hands later Jeff Sarwer raised from the button to 125,000 and Pierre Neuville called from the big blind. The flop came down 6♦9♠Q♠ before Neuville check-called Sarwer’s 130,000 bet. Both checked through the 9♣ turn before Neuville took down the pot with a 400,000 bet on the A♠ river.

5.30pm: Neuville takes four in a r- oh, no he doesn’t
Pierre Neuville is the short stack, but he’s not afraid to put it to work. Antonio Matias folds his button and Neuville raised to 85,000 from the small blind. Jeff Sarwer lets him have it. The next hand, Neuville raises to 135,000 from the button and gets that one through. Then the next hand, he gets a walk in the big blind, and this possibly encourages him to limp in the small blind the next time. Sarwer checks his option and the flop comes 7♠5♦2♣ and Neuville bets 50,000. It looks as though Sarwer might fold, but the minute he says: “Raise,” Neuville’s cards hit the muck.

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Pierre Neuville

5.25pm: Nothing to see here
Five hands and little to say about any of them. Matias and Sarwer saw a flop. K♥4♥Q♦ which Sarwer bet at, leaving Matias to fold. Matias then raised pre-flop from under the gun. No takers. Sarwer did the same, no takers. Pierre Neuville, yes you’ve guessed it. And so on.

5.20pm: The rich get richer
First hand into the new level and the chip-leading Jeff Sarwer adds to his stack. Antonio Matias folds his button, Pierre Neuville raises to 75,000 and Sarwer calls from the big blind. The flop comes 6♣J♥K♣ and Neuville bets 200,000, which Sarwer calls. The turn is 9♠ and after Neuville bets, Sarwer bets 300,000 and that takes it.

5.15pm: We’re back
Play resumes three handed at the final of EPT Vilamoura. The chip counts are as follows:

Jeff Sarwer – 4,220,000
Antonio Matias – 3,815,000
Pierre Neuville – 1,590,000

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Jeff Sarwer

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