What a long day!
It started at 15:00 (CET) on Saturday and finished at 04:00 (CET) on Sunday. Sandwiched in between all of that poker was the Champions League final between Barcelona and Manchester United. In truth that final was a massacre with the skills of Barcelona coming out on top against a floundering United side who simply could not get near their opponents. Back to the poker and the reverse was true. The silky skilled poker players all lost their little bit of luck when they needed it and the people who rose to the top seemed to be in the right place at the right time.
The mission set for the day was to reach a final table of eight players from a starting assembly of 48 players. It was action from the word go, in fact it took two minutes to lose our first player when Sebastien Homann was sent packing by Markus Ristola. We didn’t know it at the time but Ristola was going to have quite a say in proceedings as the day drew to its end.
Hour by hour, wonderful players like Martin Jacobson and Morten Mortensen bit the dust until we got down to the bubble. Party Poker Qualifier Stefan Kuhn had qualified for this event for $5 and it looked likely that he was going to be the bubble boy. Kuhn was all-in twice on the bubble but survived both all-ins. In fact Kuhn managed to dodge at least ten bullets before finally succumbing to Artur Koren but by that time he had earned himself €5,500 for finishing in 17th place. Back to the bubble and with Kuhn becoming untouchable the honour fell to one Thomas “The Talk” Traboulsi. We nicknamed him The Talk because he could not keep quiet at the tables. When he finally threw his last few chips into the middle the entire table called and unceremoniously checked the flop, turn and river whilst waving bye-bye to the flamboyant German.
From there on in the chip count passed around between Bo Sehlstedt, Romain Matteoli, Artur Koren and Alexander Sidorin. Sehlstedt was eventually eliminated in 12th place before we saw the biggest hand of the night involving Artur Koren and Jorge Duffour.
Jorge Duffour raised to 50,000 on the button and Koren was seated in the small blind. He asked Duffour for a count and the result was a meaty 610,000. Koren moved 610,000 chips into the middle and the big blind folded.
Koren stared straight ahead and Duffour stared straight into the side of Koren’s head. He was not a happy man but he eventually mustered the courage to make the call.
Duffour turned over and Koren scratched his head and tabled . The head scratching continued as the flop, turn and river all fell devoid of an ace or a king.
Incredibly despite being in the top five chip counts all day Koren dropped to short stack (200k) and Duffour grabbed the chip lead with a commanding 1,300,000.
Joel Robert Dodds was eliminated in 10th place and we had a pre-final table of nine. The fate of the final table bubble boy was settled in two amazing hands.
Szymon Pieszczoch raised to 50,000 from middle position and Romain Matteoli three-bet him from the button making it 110,000 in total. Pieszczoch asked for a count before moving all-in and Matteoli snap-called. Amazingly Pieszczoch only had and his nightmare got even worse when Matteoli revealed two blockers in his hand of .
As usual in these kind of tournaments a moment of madness changed the tide. Pieszczoch was left with a little over 100,000 whilst Matteoli had around 1,400,000.
Then as the clock struck 04:00 (CET) we had the final hand of the night.
Markus Ristola raised to 50,000 from the cut-off and Jorge Duffour called on the button. Bussot folded in the small blind and Szymon Pieszczoch moved all-in from the big blind. It was 48,000 more to Ristola and Duffour and they paid their dues.
Whlst everyone around the table was expecting a show of solidarity and a check down, Ristola had other ideas, and he launched a 40,000 bet into Duffour and Duffour made the call.
This was starting to get serious as Ristola bet 100,000 and Pieszczoch must have thought he was doomed when Duffour called.
Ristola counted out a bet of 150,000 and moved it across the line. He must have the nut flush we all thought! That was until the nervous, shaking wreck that was Duffour moved all-in and Ristola mucked instantly.
Duffour was trembling like a leaf as he turned over for the nut flush and incredibly Pieszczoch had , such a strong hand at the wrong time!
With that hand Duffour finished the day as the chip leader with 2,041,000, Ristola was reduced to rubble with just 297,000 and Pieszczoch was our final table bubble boy.
Here are the final table chip counts:
Jorge Duffour 2,041,000
Romain Matteoli 1,336,000
Guillem Usero 1,311,000
Lukas Berglund 619,000
Artur Koren 387,000
Alexander Sidorin 308,000
Markus Ristola 297,000
Frederic Bussot 224,000
For a full commentary of the WPT Spanish Championships day 3 live reports check out the live blog.
Please join us for the final table at 15:00 (CET) when all of the action will be streamed live. The commentary will come from the mouth of the man himself Jesse May and he will be accompanied by a series of top poker pros so you would be a fool to miss it.
WPT Spanish Championship Picture Gallery[miniflickr photoset_id=”72157626700320183″]