It’s a sparser poker room today at the end of the long hall where EPT10 Barcelona has been playing out over the last week-and-a-half. There’s still some side event action happening, though. And despite there being fewer tables in play, the overall excitement level in the room has increased considerably with two big final tables playing out at once.
While the Main Event got going on the central main stage, the High Roller’s nine-handed final table had already been ongoing nearby on its own smaller stage in the left-hand corner of the room.
By the first break of the tournament three of the nine who began Day 3 had already hit the rail. Two of the three were short stacks, their knockouts perhaps being somewhat anticipated. One was not.
Refos runs out
Raoul Refos of the Netherlands began the day eighth of nine in the counts and in need of improvement to extend his tourney run.
He earned a double-up early through Ole Schemion, using A♠Q♣ to best the German’s K♦Q♠. Schemion soon got most of those chips back, however, in a hand that saw the pair battle to the river with each having flopped top pair of kings, then Schemion pair his lesser kicker on the river and subsequently claim all but 70,000 of Refos’ stack.
All in with 10♣2♥ on the next hand versus Daniel Negreanu’s A♣2♣, the board brought no help and Refos became the first final table knockout, picking up €39,500 for his efforts.
That set up the official eight-handed final table, and soon after it was November Niner David Benefield — ninth of nine to start the day — picking up an ace and putting his tourney life at risk
But the A♣8♥ of “Raptor” matched up poorly versus Schemion’s A♦J♥. The flop brought both an ace and a jack, and by the turn Benefield was drawing dead.
The American earns €47,850 for his efforts, notching a second big buy-in final table this week after his fifth-place finish in the €50K Super High Roller where he earned €208,150. A Main Event cash as well (110th, €11,350) further affirms the sharpness of Benefield’s game as he awaits the restart of the WSOP Main Event in November.
Yong says so long
Right after Benefield’s knockout Schemion was back at it again, engaging in a preflop raising war with Richard Yong who led most of Day 2 and entered today with a healthy stack of more than 1.2 million.
The betting ended with Yong all in for around 900,000 (about 38 BBs) with A♦J♣ and in need of help versus Schemion’s A♠A♥. The flop came nine-high, but brought three diamonds to give Yong flush hopes. But the remaining streets were of no help, and Yong took €66,000 for seventh.
That sequence of big hands gave Schemion the chip lead, but soon Negreanu took it away in a hand that saw the pair inspired by a 8♦10♠7♦ flop to get it all in the middle with Negreanu holding 10♣10♦ and Schemion A♦4♦. The turn and river brought kings — neither a diamond — and as Level 23 begins it’s Kid Poker now leading the final six.
Keep a watch up top of the High Roller landing page for live updates and chip counts changes as the final half-dozen continue battling for the €390,700 first prize.
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Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.