6pm: New post
Please head to a new post for continued coverage of three-handed play – and the race to a winner.
5.10pm: Break time
The players are now on a 20 minute break.
5.05pm: Jaroslav Peter eliminated in fourth place (€68,800)
The wait for a Czech winner of a Eureka Poker tour Main Event goes on as Jaroslav Peter has just been ousted in fourth.
It passed to him on the button and he moved all-in with [A], Dmitri Holdeew re-shoved from the small blind with 8♦8♣ and Ami Barer folded. The board ran K♣9♥6♥10♦3♣ and Holdeew’s hand held. The two players stacks were very close and a count down revealed that Peter had 3,444,000 and Holdeew 3,565,000. Three left.
4.55pm: Stephen Chidwick doubles through Dmitri Holdeew
Sound the chip swing klaxon! Stephen Chidwick has gone from short stack to second place thanks to doubling through Dmitri Holdeew.
Pre-flop the German raised to 320,000 on the button and Chidwick called from the big blind. On the 3♠7♦8♦ flop Chidwick checked, Holdeew bet 275,000, Chidwick check-raised to 725,000, Holdeew set him in and Chidwick called it off for 3,175,000 total.
They’d both flopped top pair but Chidwick had the better kicker. The status quo remained in place on the J♦ turn and A♠ river. After that hand Chidwick climbs to around 7,000,000 and Holdeew, who had lost a couple of small pots to Ami Barer, is down to 4,900,000.
Ami Barer is the chip leader with 10,300,000 and Jaroslav Peter has around 4,000,000.
4.35pm: Mark Dalimore eliminated in fifth place (€53,500)
And then there were four…
Dmitri Holdeew opened to 350,000 with pocket aces, Mark Dalimore moved in for around 4,000,000 with king-queen and Holdeew snap called. There was no help on the board for Dalimore and he was out in fifth.
Holdeew meanwhile has taken the chip lead from Ami Barer and is up to around 10,200,000.
4.20pm: Chip counts
The average stack is 5,270,000 – around 33 big blinds – and it’s still Ami Barer who leads. All of a sudden though Stephen Chidwick is the short stack, he’s down to less than 20 big blinds.
Seat one: Jaroslav Peter, Czech Republic, 4,200,000
Seat four: Dmitri Holdeew, Germany, PokerStars player, 6,300,000
Seat five: Ami Barer, Canada, PokerStars qualifier, 8,450,000
Seat seven: Stephen Chidwick, UK, PokerStars player, 3,100,000
Seat eight: Mark Dalimore, UK, PokerStars player, 4,000,000
4.10pm: Milan Simko eliminated in sixth place (€39,800)
It was one flip too far for Milan Simko as he’s just been eliminated in sixth place. After Dmitri Holdeew opened to 260,000, Simko moved in for 1,250,000 and Holdeew called it off.
The 8♥6♠Q♥J♦J♣ board contained plenty of big cards, just not the ones Simko needed. Five remain.
3.55pm: Milan Simko doubles up
You’ve got to hand it to Milan Simko, he’s been short stacked for the entire final table but has waited patiently, such as giving a couple of walks, before finding spots to get it in.
He found once such spot when under-the-gun and moved all-in for 635,000 with J♦10♦, it passed to Dmitri Holdeew in the small blind and he announced call. After Ami Barer folded, Holdeew showed pocket twos and it was off to the races. The 4♣10♠5♦10♥9♣ board meant that the overcards won these one.
Simko still short on chips with around 11 big blinds, but not as short as before.
3.45pm: Simko still short
The definitive short stack is still Milan Simko, he’d blinded down to around 750,000 before moving all-in from under-the-gun it folded all the way round to Ami Barer in the big blind, he took a quick look at his hand and then called.
The Q♠2♥5♠6♠9♣ gave Barer a bit of a sweat on the turn but Simko didn’t flush him on the river. Chopped pot.
Meanwhile Stephen Chidwick is down to 4,700,000 whilst Dmitri Holdeew is up to 6,000,000.
3.30pm: Holdeew takes one from Dalimore
It’s still mostly a softly-softly final table with sporadic big pots when someone moves all-in and gets called. But, we did just have a hand reach showdown and it involved Mark Dalimore and Dmitri Holdeew.
From the button Dalimore raised it up to 250,000 and Holdeew smooth called from the big blind. The 10♦4♠2♥ flop was checked through, on the Q♠ turn Dalimore bet 335,000 and Holdeew check-called. The 7♦ river saw no further action, Holdeew showed pocket nines to take the pot.
3pm: Chip counts
It’s still Ami Barer who leads as we head into level 30
Seat one: Jaroslav Peter, Czech Republic, 3,500,000
Seat four: Dmitri Holdeew, Germany, PokerStars player, 4,800,000
Seat five: Ami Barer, Canada, PokerStars qualifier, 7,250,000
Seat six: Milan Simko, Czech Republic, PokerStars qualifier, 1,120,000
Seat seven: Stephen Chidwick, UK, PokerStars player, 6,000,000
Seat eight: Mark Dalimore, UK, PokerStars player, 4,300,000
2.55pm: Break time
The six remaining players are now on a 20 minute break.
2.40pm: Marcin Horecki eliminated in seventh place (€30,500)
It was the Mark Dalimore and Marcin Horecki show again and once again Dalimore didn’t cover himself in glory.
The Team PokerStars Pro had moved all-in for around 13 big blinds and Dalimore was taking his time over making the call. He lifted his cards off the table, so that Stephen Chidwick could clearly see them and then eventually made the call.
Some of the crowd shouted for an ace but none arrived on the Q♠K♦4♦J♠6♥ board and Horecki was eliminated. He went round the table to shake everyone’s hands but at the same time Dalimore headed towards the crowd saying: “Who was calling for an ace, was it you? Was it you?” so concerned was he with finding out who was calling for an ace that Horecki had to tap him on the shoulder a number of times before he could shake his hand.
With that duty completed he headed off, whilst Dalimore now has around 3,500,000.
2.20pm: Call the clock
There’s no doubting that Mark Dalimore is a character and he’s shown that in spades today. He’s asked players not in the hand if he should gamble all-in, when that idea was shot down as being against the rules, he asked for advice from those on the two-deep rail – again not allowed.
He then described himself as a bit of a psychopath and told Ami Barer that he’s got a few legends – as in different stories of his background to suit the company he’s in – whilst all this was going on Stephen Chidwick had raised to 200,000 from under-the-gun and action was now on Dalimore. He started talking again and the dealer told him that as there were other people still in the pot he really shouldn’t be talking about his hand. “I’m talking to myself,” protested Dalimore, “Is that not allowed?” Eventually Marcin Horecki tired of his histrionics and called the clock, “The blinds are high enough,” stated the Pole who has around 15 big blinds.
“I’m not folding,” said Dalimore before he counted out 200,000 and then went back for more. “Raise,” he announced. “If i place the call over the line first I can then work out my raise can’t I?” he asked of the tournament director. Indeed he could and indeed he did. He made it 485,000 to go and everyone else, including Chidwick, folded quickly.
2pm: Chip counts
After about 90 minutes play here are how the chip stacks look. It’s still Ami Barer who leads and bar Milan Simko doubling up there has not been a lot of movement.
Seat one: Jaroslav Peter, Czech Republic, 4,300,000
Seat two: Marcin Horecki, Poland, Team PokerStars Pro, 1,500,000
Seat four: Dmitri Holdeew, Germany, PokerStars player, 4,100,000
Seat five: Ami Barer, Canada, PokerStars qualifier, 7,300,000
Seat six: Milan Simko, Czech Republic, PokerStars qualifier, 1,300,000
Seat seven: Stephen Chidwick, UK, PokerStars player, 5,500,000
Seat eight: Mark Dalimore, UK, PokerStars player, 2,200,000
1.45pm: Holdeew takes one from Chidwick
An interesting hand just played out between Daniel Holdeew and Stephen Chidwick and it was the biggest pot yet, bar the elimination.
It started with a raise to 170,000 from the cut-off from Holdeew and Chidwick defended from the big blind. On the 4♥K♣9♠ flop Holdeew c-bet 160,000 and Chidwick smooth called. Both players checked the 5♥ turn and the 2♣ completed the board.
First to act Chidwick bet 325,000 – roughly 40% of the pot – and stayed stoic as Holdeew planned his move. After about 30 seconds Holdeew slid out a bet of 870,000 and Chidwick folded.
1.30pm: Horecki hanging tough
Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki has been pretty quiet so far but he’s ramped up the aggression a touch since the first elimination. He’s got two three-bet shoved through and taken a pot uncontested. It all adds up and he’s up to around 1,600.000.
1.15pm: Johannes Tiefenbrunner eliminated in eighth place (€21,700)
A clash of the short stacks has sent Johannes Tiefenbrunner tumbling out in eighth place. From under-the-gun+1 Milan Simko moved all-in for 715,000 with A♥Q♦. It passed to Tiefenbrunner he counted down his stack, looked to the ceiling then called the all-in with 7♥7♦. He was the at risk player with 650,000 and looked on as the board came 2♣10♦Q♥6♥3♣.
He shook hands with everyone as he left the table. Down to seven.
12.55pm: An orbit in all eight remain
So eight hands in and all eight remain and despite there being no major skirmishes this hasn’t been a cagey start to the final table. It’s not uncommon for the first orbit to be flop-less, but in the opening eight hands we had three flops, two turns and one river!
The only pot that went to showdown was the first one, Ami Barer raised to 120,000 from early position and Stephen Chidwick called. The two of them checked all the way on a 5♦J♦6♦7♣4♦ board, Barer showed A♥8♥ for the straight.
On the next hand Jaroslav Peter raised it up and got two callers. On the J♠Q♥J♥ flop he c-bet and both Dmitri Holdeew and Ami Barer folded.
As for Milan Simko, who entered play with less than a dozen big blinds, he had one chance, perhaps. to shove when it folded to him in the small blind. However, he elected instead to give Stephen Chidwick a walk.
12.35pm: Players in position
The final eight players are now in their seats and the introductions, final table photographs and so on are being given/taken. There are 13 minutes and 54 seconds left in the current level.
12.30pm: Final table set to start
Hello and welcome to the Final table of the biggest ever Eureka Poker Tour Main Event. A gargantuan field of 1,315 players began this tournament five days ago and now just eight remain. Tonight one of them will be €226,400 richer and everyone will have at least a €21,700 Christmas bonus. Leading the way when play starts will be Ami Barer, the Canadian has a stack of 7,280,000 and has a lead of almost 40 big blinds on his nearest rival.
This is how the final table will look when play gets underway at 12.30pm local time.
Seat one: Jaroslav Peter, Czech Republic, 3,995,000
Seat two: Marcin Horecki, Poland, Team PokerStars Pro, 1,340,000
Seat three: Johannes Tiefenbrunner, Germany, 935,000
Seat four: Dmitri Holdeew, Germany, PokerStars player, 4,720,000
Seat five: Ami Barer, Canada, PokerStars qualifier, 7,280,000
Seat six: Milan Simko, Czech Republic, PokerStars qualifier, 695,000
Seat seven: Stephen Chidwick, UK, PokerStars player, 4,955,000
Seat eight: Mark Dalimore, UK, PokerStars player, 2,170,000
And this is what they’re playing for:
Before play starts why not learn a little bit more about the elite eight:
Seat 1: Jaroslav Peter, 50, Ostrava, Czech Republic – 3,995,000
Jaroslav Peter is one of two Czech players left in the field (out of 70 who started the event). The 50-year-old only plays live tournaments and earned the ‘Czech Poker Tour Player of the Year Award’ last year after he managed to win the leader board and also the season’s finale. Jaroslav already has experience of running deep in a huge field after finishing fifth out of 1,416 players in August’s FullTiltPoker.net Pardubice Poker Festival Main Event.
Seat 2: Marcin Horecki, 36, Zakopane, Poland, Team PokerStars Pro – 1,340,000
Team PokerStars Pro Horecki is a professional player who used to be a successful alpine skier, winning several medals whilst representing Poland. An injury forced him to end his sports career and, after starting to play the card game Magic: The Gathering, he soon moved into poker.
In October 2008 he finished third at the EPT London Main Event to take home £303,439 and repeated the same result at EPT Prague two years later when finishing third again for a €247,000 payday. Horecki has also notched up two MicroMillions Player of the Series titles and a SCOOP-Low leader board title.
Seat 3: Johannes Tiefenbrunner, 22, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany – 935,000
When you come from Bavaria, it’s almost a certainty that you support Bayern Munich – as does young poker player Johannes Tiefenbrunner who has made it to the final table on his very first Eureka appearance.
The 22-year-old has had an above-average stack for the whole event so far but enters the final table with a below average stack. Tiefenbrunner plays poker as a hobby, mainly live tournaments. His biggest cash to date was around €30,000 for a tournament in Rozvadov. Now guaranteed at least €21,700 for making the final table, he is on course for a career-best result here at Eureka Prague.
Seat 4: Dmitri Holdeew, 26, Germany, living in Vienna – 4,720,000
Business student Holdeew is making his first appearance at a Eureka tournament. He has been playing poker recreationally for around two-and-a-half years but mainly plays cash games. His best live result to date was at a WSOP side event last year. He said: “I’m happy that I’m here. It’s a good event.”
Seat 5: Ami “UhhMee” Barer, 22, Vancouver, Canada – PokerStars qualifier – 7,280,000
Young Canadian Barer is another online shark in the field. He has won over $5.5 million online under the nickname “UhhMee”. He has won two FTOPS titles and came close to winning a SCOOP watch but fell short at heads-up stage in Event #03-H back in 2011. Eureka Prague could be Barer’s biggest live success; so far his largest live cash is €45,000 after he finished 25th at the 2009 EPT Grand Final.
Seat 6: Milan Simko, 21, Chrudim, Czech Republic – PokerStars qualifier – 695,000
Representing the host nation, Milan Simko is here in Prague chasing the biggest poker result of his life. He plays online on PokerStars where he’s known as “Nild0n”. Milan won The Hot $55 seven months back and that $12,220 prize is his highest online payout; he has also notched up four further five-figure cashes.
He scooped the title at last year’s Paradise Poker Tour in Prague for €33,005 which was his career highlight to date. Milan hails from Chrudim in the east of the country but now lives in Prague.
Seat 7: Stephen “stevie444” Chidwick, 24, Deal, United Kingdom – 4,955,000
Stephen Chidwick is a well-known British pro who has had huge success both live and online. Known on PokerStars as “stevie444”, Chidwick has won almost $4 million online including a $320 WCOOP Pot Limit Badugi event back in September. He missed the WCOOP ceremony for that victory as it was being held tonight, here in Prague, while he was still competing for his place on the Eureka final table.
Chidwick first came to fame when he famously won 100 seats on PokerStars for the 2008 World Series when he was only 19. He now has several WSOP final tables to his name. His biggest live cash came in this year’s World Series when he finished third in the $25,000 NL 6-handed event for $353,780; his total live winnings exceed $1.5 million.
Seat 8: Mark Dalimore, 50, Ireland – PokerStars player – 2,170,000
Dalimore has played several EPTs in his time, the last one being EPT Prague in Season 9. The 50-year-old Irishman lived in Southampton before moving to the Czech Republic more than 20 years ago to work for a time-share firm. He now describes himself as a “retired volunteer” – he said: “I don’t work but I do help people, I volunteer!”
He has one EPT Main Event cash to his name (Tallinn) but has made the money in side events in Budapest and here in Prague. His best live results to date have been in the World Series Main Event he cashed two years in a row (2010 and 2011) for a total of $66,00. His total live tournament winnings now total more than $200,000.