Archive for the ‘San Remo’ Category
The EPT main event in San Remo has been a triumph from the start, and the final table - one of tension, high-wire hands and enough unpredictable aggression to keep everyone guessing - gave the Italian Riviera the send off it deserved.
The principal reason was a 20-year-old student from Amsterdam, named Constant Rijkenberg, who tonight beat Finland's Kalle Niemi heads-up to claim a check for €1,508,000 and the title of EPT champion. Add his name to your list of young European poker stars taking the game by storm.
In hindsight Rijkenberg's win seemed obvious. His natural feel for the game, developed not online but in the live tournaments of casinos in Amsterdam, showed in almost every hand he played. And he wasn't short of confidence:
"I expected it," he said in the moments immediately after the final hand. "I said three weeks ago that I was going to win this tournament and it was true."
Rijkenberg's style was certainly unconventional - his roller-coaster week was filled with big bluffs and hero calls, only some of which came off - but even those setbacks were counterbalanced by some raw aggression and excellent play that ultimately sent him to the top of the heap and to the centre of a mob of celebrating Dutchmen. His aces beat Niemi's top pair of tens late on Thursday night, bringing the tournament to a close.
Niemi can also hold his head high. The Finn was playing his first live event having won his seat in a satellite on PokerStars for $27. It turned out to be a fine investment for the first-year law student, who will now fly back north, way north, with €862,000.
It took five levels of play to get there.
The lone Italian representative at the final table, Danilo D'Ettoris, was first to go when play started this afternoon; Rijkenberg seeing to it that the Italian would watch the rest of the day from the rail when the Dutchman's pocket fours held against the Italian's ace-queen.
Alex Fitzgerald busted in seventh, but not before some on-table antics had players and onlookers shaking their heads and rubbing their eyes. Steady hands became sudden nightmares with a stormy spell of hyper-aggressive seven figure re-raises. Fitzgerald could only watch. Cursed with a short stack the American played only about five hands all day; each of them involving him getting all his chips in the middle. The fifth time was his last when Galic made top pair tens, to the American's king-queen.
Ovi Balaj's plan was almost identical to Fitzgerald's. The only difference between them was one place and an extra €58,000. Balaj was eliminated when William Reynolds caught a break, calling the Romanian's pocket nines with his own pocket sixes that struck a set on the flop.
Readers of the blog will by now be familiar with the story of Dragan Galic. The Croatian led this tournament almost start to finish and only fell short by five places. His week-long display of dominance, unchecked aggression and often unmistakable good fortune, came to an end when he moved all in with [9d][9h] against Rijkenberg's [ah][qc]. It was all over when Rijkenberg flopped the nut straight, ending one of the tournament's most engaging rivalries.
The two had tangled frequently. Their often unconventional playing style was at times like watching an unsupervised fireworks display. It looked spectacular, but at the back of your mind you knew it could turn nasty any second. Any hands between the two usually featured instant re-raising, contemptuous calling, and reckless bluffing, then ended with an inevitable rubdown of the loser. Mercifully it ended with a handshake as Galic departed in fifth.
That left four.
William Reynolds was many commentators' pick as the man to watch at the final table. A notable online player he had little of the hellfire that fuelled Rijkenberg and Galic's rampages and instead played a more measured - if no less ruthlessly agressive - game. He too took an up and down path through the day, and at a low ebb was forced to shove all in with [kd][jd]. Rijkenberg called with an ace and hit a second on the flop. That was that. With Reynolds gone Rijkenberg didn't look back.
Gustav Sundell assumed duties as the short stack, his options little better than Reynolds'. He found ace-six and hoped for the best, but Niemi called with ace-jack. Sundell's chips armed Niemi better for the heads up duel to come, but the momentum was clearly with the young Dutchman. There were only six more hands to come. The rest will now be written as EPT history.
"I really don't know what to feel right now." Said Rijkenberg, shortly after the final hand. "My first dream was to play an EPT, my second to play on the featured TV table, my third was to make the final table and my fourth dream was to win. It's the biggest dream you can have apart from the WSOP main event - and I'm too young to play that right now."
It brings an end to a great week of poker in San Remo, one that broke records for attendance and prize pool. But this is just a precursor to an even greater event starting next week. The EPT rolls out of Italy tonight and heads to its next destination just a few kilometres away, across the border, into Monaco, where the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo starts on Tuesday.
In the meantime, while away the hours reliving all the level by level action from today at the links below:
That's all from San Remo. Join us next week in Monte Carlo when the season five grand final will cap off another fantastic season on the world's best poker tour. See you then.
EPT San Remo season five is over. Constant Rijkenberg, from Holland, won the €1,508,000 first prize, beating Kalle Niemi heads up.
This is a full list of all 112 prize-winners, from a starting field of 1,178, a record-number of players at an EPT event in Europe. The next EPT event is the Grand Final in Monte Carlo next week.
1 - Constant Rijkenberg, Holland, €1,508,000
2 - Kalle Niemi, Finland, PokerStars qualifier, €862,000
3 - Gustav Sundell, Sweden, €480,000
4 - William Reynolds, United States, PokerStars player, €377,000
5 - Dragan Galic, Croatia, €314,000
6 - Ovi Balaj, Romania, €229,000
7 - Alex Fitzgerald, USA, PokerStars player, €171,000
8 - Danilo D'Ettoris, Italy, €114,000
9 - Pierre Neuville, Belgium, €78,800
10 - Gianni Giaroni, Italy, €78,800
11 - Giuseppe Argento, Italy, €45,700
12 - Sami Kelopuro, Finland, €45,700
13 - Rasmus Akerblom, Sweden, €35,400
14 - Pietro Sibione, Germany, PokerStars qualifier, €35,400
15 - Katalin Jerney, Hungary, €30,850
16 - Stefan Raffay, Denmark, €30,850
17 - Steven Silverman, United States, PokerStars player, €26,300
18 - Julien Legros, France, €26,300
19 - David Eldar, Australia, PokerStars player, €26,300
20 - Massimiliano Trifoglio, Italy, €26,300
21 - Dennis Bejedal, Sweden, €26,300
22 - Malte Strothmann, Germany, PokerStars qualifier, €26,300
23 - Doron Tourgman, Germany, €26,300
24 - Luigi Abiusi, Italy, €26,300
25 - Pietro Capriotti, Italy, €21,700
26 - Sebastien Bidenger, France, €21,700
27 - Vedat Akdemir, Holland, €21,700
28 - Eduardo Burgio, Italy, €21,700
29 - Ben Kang, Germany, PokerStars Shooting Star, €21,700
30 - Matias Knaapinen, Finland, €21,700
31 - Bulent Karsli, Germany, €21,700
32 - Fabio Mazzarello, Italy, €21,700
33 - Dominik Palte, Germany, PokerStars qualifier, €18,300
34 - Luca Ascani, Italy, €18,300
35 - Marco Vailati, Italy, €18,300
36 - Magnus Vatland, Norway, €18,300
37 - Josh Prager, USA, PokerStars qualifier, €18,300
38 - Natale Barilla, Italy, €18,300
39 - Michael Tureniec, Sweden, €18,300
40 - Gianluca Marcucci, Italy, €18,300
41 - Erik Karlsson, Sweden, PokerStars qualifier, €15,400
42 - Arno Ackermann, Holland, €15,400
43 - Gianluca Salzano, Italy, €15,400
44 - Mario Gennaro, Italy, €15,400
45 - Fitzgerald Urquhart, Canada, PokerStars qualifier, €15,400
46 - Vladyslav Zhaba, Ukraine, €15,400
47 - Ramin Henke, Germany, €15,400
48 - Antonio Lemos, Portugal, €15,400
49 - Asa Smith, UK, €13,700
50 - Mathijs Geesing, Holland, €13,700
51 - Dimitry Stelmak, Russia, €13,700
52 - Canio Pietrapertosa, Italy, €13,700
53 - Orlando Camardese, Holland, €13,700
54 - Mario Catricala, France, €13,700
55 - Tristan Clemencon, France, €13,700
56 - Alexander Dovzhenko, Russia, €13,700
57 - Alexia Portal, France, €12,600
58 - Greger Larsson, Sweden, €12,600
59 - Pietro Capriotti, Italy, €12,600
60 - Jacques Zaicik, France, €12,600
61 - Thierry Journot, France, PokerStars qualifier, €12,600
62 - Stefano Fiore, Italy, €12,600
63 - Jonas Sorensen, Denmark, €12,600
64 - Priit Brikker, Estonia, PokerStars sponsored player, €12,600
65 - Christoph Dierkes, Germany, €11,400
66 - Biagio Morciano, Italy, €11,400
67 - Stefano Ruggieri, Italy, €11,400
68 - Fabio Zappietro, Italy, €11,400
69 - Samuel Lindberg, Sweden, €11,400
70 - Bruno Stefanelli, Italy, €11,400
71 - Stefano Brega, Italy, €11,400
72 - Reijo Manninen, Finland, €11,400
73 - Marcin Horecki, Poland, Team PokerStars Pro, €10,300
74 - Giorgio Giovetti, Italy, PokerStars sponsored player, €10,300
75 - Maurillo Mergiotti, Italy, €10,300
76 - Bruno Lopes, France, PokerStars sponsored player, €10,300
77 - Andrea Marciallis, Italy, €10,300
78 - Jonatan Soderstrom, Sweden, €10,300
79 - Davide Pennelli, Italy, €10,300
80 - Matteo Peccorella, Italy, €10,300
81 - Paul Alterman, UK, €9,200
82 - Martin Schleich, Germany, PokerStars qualifier, €9,200
83 - Nielsen Toke, Denmark €9,200
84 - Erik Haik, France, PokerStars qualifier, €9,200
85 - Sebastian Rejman, Finland, €9,200
86 - Francesco Trimboli, Italy, €9,200
87 - Paolo Arcudi, Italy, €9,200
88 - Alberto Font, Spain, PokerStars qualifier, €9,200
89 - Ramzi Jelassi, Sweden, €8,000
90 - Lex Veldhuis, Holland, PokerStars sponsored player, €8,000
91 - Dan Murariu, Romania, PokerStars qualifier, €8,000
92 - Chialva Delfo, Italy, €8,000
93 - Gianluca Bovini, Italy, €8,000
94 - El Jirari Marwane, Morrocco, €8,000
95 - Juan Maceiras, Spain, €8,000
96 - Helfriend Bernhardt, Germany, €8,000
97 - Sari Mahonen, Finland, €6,900
98 - Robert Flink, Sweden, €6,900
99 - Andrew Feldman, UK, €6,900
100 - Joao Barbosa, Portugal, €6,900
101 - Konrad Molitor, Italy, €6,900
102 - Calamia Mauro, Italy, €6,900
103 - Thiago Nishijima, Brazil, €6,900
104 - Dario Tosin, Italy, PokerStars qualifier, €6,900
105 - Dave Hardy, UK, PokerStars qualifier, €5,800
106 - Daniele Vesco, Italy, €5,800
107 - Tom McEvoy, USA, Friend of PokerStars, €5,800
108 - Mauro Scagliarini, Italy, €5,800
109 - Sean Finn, USA, PokerStars player, €5,800
110 - Mauro Corsetti, Italy, €5,800
111 - Nikolay Tsanev, Russia, €5,800
112 - Alexander Kravchenko, Russia, Team PokerStars Pro, €5,800
Number of players: 1,178
Total prize pool: €5,713,300
Live updates from level 30 of EPT Dortmund are brought to you by Stephen Bartley and Howard Swains. Click refresh to see the latest updates here, or head on over to EPT Live for live action from the featured table.
The latest chip counts are available on the chip count page.
Constant Rijkenberg, Holland, champion of EPT San Remo, winning €1,508,000
8.40pm: Kalle Niemi, Finland, PokerStars qualifier, eliminated in second place, earning €862,000
It's all over. Kalle Niemi raised to 250,000 pre-flop and Constant Rijkenberg bumped it up to 850,000. Niemi called. The flop came [3s][5s][10h] and Kalle bet 1,075,000, which Rijkenberg just called. The turn was the [5h] and Kalle moved all in. Rijkenberg insta-called and here's why. He had [ah][as] and was crushing Niemi's [ad][10d]. It was a cooler, essentially, and that was that, with the winner's photographs featuring Rijkenberg showing him clutching pocket aces.
8.35pm: This way and that
Niemi takes down a pot to get close to a million behind Rijkenberg, but the Dutchman wins it all back on another hand when he reraises on a flop of [4d][ac][8s] and Niemi folds.
8.33pm: No antes
Just to bring you up to speed, there are no antes once the action goes heads up, with the 50,000-100,000 blinds "all" that's up for grabs.
8.32pm: First blood to Rijkenberg
The Dutch chip leader raises to 225,000 from the button and Niemi calls. The flop is [as][8d][2d] and the continuation bet from Rijkenberg is enough.
8.30pm: Heads up
Two remain, and the stacks are:
Constant Rijkenberg, Holland, 7,325,000
Kalle Niemi, Finland, 4,535,000
8.16pm: Gustav Sundell eliminated in third place, earning €480,000
On the first hand since the players returned, Kalle Niemi raises, Gustav Sundell shoves and Niemi calls. (Constant Rijkenberg gets out the way.) Sundell is the player at risk and he's in trouble: he has [ah][6h] and Niemi has [ad][js]. The board doesn't bring much hope: [5h][8d][ks] and turn and river are hopeless for Sundell too: [3d][2c]. He's out in third for close to half a million.
8.15pm: And they're back
8.05pm: Pause in play
The three remaining players have taken a short break after William Reynolds bust.
8.01pm: William Reynolds, USA, eliminated in fourth place, earning €377,000
And the second time he tries it, William Reynolds is looked up and knocked out by Constant Rijkenberg. Reynolds shoves his million chips in pre-flop from the button with [jd][kd] and Rijkenberg calls with [ah][7d]. The flop is ace high, with no flush possibilities, and Reynolds is drawing dead by the time the turn is dealt.
8pm: All in from Reynolds
William Reynolds really only has one tactic here: all in or fold. Once it's folded to him in the small blind, he shoves for just more than one million and gets it through.
7.50pm: Returning from the dinner break
The four remaining players are now returning from their dinner break. They will return to these counts:
Constant Rijkenberg, Holland, 5,645,000
Kalle Niemi, Finland, 2,965,000
Gustav Sundell, Sweden, 1,860,000
William Reynolds, USA, 1,070,000
Latest chip counts will be updated throughout the level on the chip count page.
Live updates from level 29 of EPT Dortmund are brought to you by Stephen Bartley and Howard Swains. Click refresh to see the latest updates here, or head on over to EPT Live for live action from the featured table.
The latest chip counts are available on the chip count page.
Blinds: 40,000-80,000 (ante: 5,000)
6.55pm: Dinner break
Players now pause for a 60 minute dinner break.
6.50pm: Last hand of the level
In the last hand before the dinner break, Sundell raise 200,000. Rijkenberg announces re-raise to 550,000. It's folded back to Sundell who passes, ending the level.
6.45pm: Reynolds turn to push
Hoping to jump the queue for the buffet perhaps Reynolds pushes all in. Niemi calls in a flash and shows [qh][qs]. Reynolds shows [ac][4s]. The board runs out [10c][4h][9s][ad][9d]. The turn saves Reynolds, doubling him up to 1,230,000 although he remains the short stack.
6.40pm: Niemi shoves - and a call!
Kelle Niemi doubles up. Sundell began the hand betting 200,000 which Rijkenberg calls in the small blind. Niemi then moves all-in for 1,690,000. Sundell pauses and eventually calls. Rijkenberg folds pocket sixes and leaves them to it. Ace-queen for Niemi, ace-jack for Sundell. The board ran out [5h][9c][8s][8c][qs] doubling up the Finn.
6.30pm: Once more with feeling
Very little change. Pre-flop bets being good for the blinds and antes.
6.25pm: Niemi moves all-in
Rijkenberg raises to 195,000 and Niemi moves all-in for 880,000. Called. [kh][10d] for Rijkenberg; [ac][8s] for Niemi. The board runs out [7h][jd][4h][jc][as] and Niemi doubles up.
6.20pm: Blinds to the flop
An unraised pot and the big and small blinds see the flop of [9h][9s][10h]. Rijkenberg bet 80,000 which Niemi called. the turn [2h] was checked by Rijkenberg before Niemi made it 200,000 which was called. the river [9s] and now Rijkenberg moves all-in. Niemi passes and is helpless as Rijkenberg shows seven-ten off suit.
Back to pre-flop bets being enough. Rijkenberg again who now has more than half the chips in play.
6.14pm: Niemi all-in
After betting 190,000 Reynolds is re-raised all-in by Niemi, 1,060,000 in total. Reynolds asks for a count, 870,000 to call. Reynolds thinks for several minutes but folds, showing [as][9d].
6.10pm: Sundell and Reynolds
A reynolds bet of 185,000 this time followed by a 500,000 re-raise by Sundell. Reynolds winces and folds, showing ace-six off suit.
6.09pm: Same as before
Still no change. Sundell this time. No callers.
6.05pm: To the flop
Rijkenberg opens for 205,000 and Sundell calls for a flop of [7d][6c][qd]. Sundell checks to Rijkenberg who bets and takes down the pot.
6.03pm: All pre-flop
Pre-flop bets are good for the pot right now. Rijkenberg does it this time.
6pm: Pre-flop action
Reynolds takes a pot with a pre-flop bet of 195,000. Rijkenberg asks how much but folds. Reynolds showed [ah][7h].
5.58pm: No takers
Niemi moves all-in from the small blind, gets no callers and takes the pot.
5.57pm: To the flop
Rijkenberg and Niemi see a flop of [5h][5d][4c]. Rijkenberg moves all in and Niemi throws his cards away.
5.55pm: No action
Sundell raises pre-flop but takes the blinds uncontested.
5.50pm: First hand
First hand of the new level is taken by Rijkenberg after a re-raise behind Reynolds.
Live updates from level 28 of EPT Dortmund are brought to you by Stephen Bartley and Howard Swains. Click refresh to see the latest updates here, or head on over to EPT Live for live action from the featured table.
The latest chip counts are available on the chip count page.
Blinds: 30,000-60,000 (ante: 5,000)
5.50pm: Sundell's surge continues
Gustav Sundell has gone from short stack to close to the chip leader in the matter of minutes. There was a raise from Kalle Niemi and a reraise from William Reynolds on the button. Gustav Sundell shoved, everyone else got out the way, but Reynolds called. The American had [4h][4c] and the Swede had [Ks][kh] and the flop only made it better for the best hand. It came [ah][kc][3c] and the turn and river were blank. Sundell hauled in a 3,310,000 pot.
5.45pm: Sundell's strong-arm
Gustav Sundell has now entered action mode and re-raises William Reynolds from the small blind after the American had made it 140,000. It was good.
5.40pm: Sundell back fighting
William Reynolds raised 140,000 and Gustav Sundell shoved for 600,000. Kalle Niemi gets out the way but Reynolds calls. He has [10d][10s] and Sundell has [As][8h] and Niemi announces that he folded the other two tens. That's relevant only when the flop comes ace high, giving Reynolds scant chance for a re-suck. The runner-runner doesn't come and Sundell is back with more than a million.
5.30pm: Massive hit to Sundell
The hitherto impeccable Swede Gustav Sundell has just lost about two thirds of his stack to Constant Rijkenberg. It was an unraised battle of the blinds and the flop came [2s][3h][9d]. Sundell check-called 75,000. The turn was [4c] and Sundell again check-called 300,000. The river was [Qd] and this time Sundell was forced to check-call 500,000. He was shown 9-2 for his 900,000 investment and those two-pair were good for Rijkenberg to cripple Sundell.
5.25pm: Ace high good
William Reynolds raises from the button and Constant Rijkenberg calls from the big blind. The flop comes [6h][9h][2d] which both players check. The turn is [9s] and Rijkenberg tickles 225,000, which Reynolds calls. The river is [2s] and Rijkenberg now fires 225,000. Reynolds calls again, shows [as][qc] for two pair, ace high, and it's good.
5.23pm: Reynolds checks Niemi's momentum
The newly-chipped Finn makes it 150,000 from the button but is forced to stop right there after William Reynolds makes it 360,000 from the small blind.
5.18pm: Nordic on Nordic
Kalle Niemi and Gustav Sundell get to a flop after Niemi makes it 150,000 from the cut-off and Sundell calls on the button. The flop comes [6h][ah][2s] and Niemi checks, then Sundell bets 150,000 and Sundell now check-raises 450,000. Called. The turn is [8h] and Niemi bets 400,000, which is enough for Sundell to fold.
5.09pm: Dragan Galic eliminated in fifth place, earning €314,000
This has been waiting to happen for two days, and now it has. Constant Rijkenberg and Dragan Galic are at it again and this time it's terminal. Rijkenberg raises, Galic moves all in and Rijkenberg calls, all in about 10 seconds. There's more than four million in the pot and the hands are [ah][qc] for Rijkenberg and [9d][9h] for Galic. The flop is emphatic: [10s][kc][jd] which is Broadway for the Dutchman. The turn and river can't change things and Galic is out. Rijkenberg is the new chip leader as his roller coaster continues.
5.05pm: Galic and Rijkenberg renew their acquaintance
There was something very familiar about this most recent pot. Constant Rijkenberg raised 150,000 and Dragan Galic insta-called. The flop was [5h][4s][Qc] and Rijkenberg bet 175,000, Galic insta-raised 350,000 and Rijkenberg insta-all-inned 1,600,000. Fold.
4.55pm: Sundell reraising
William Reynolds raises to 140,000 and Sundell reraises to 340,000, which is enough to persuade the American to fold.
4.55pm: Double up for Niemi
The short-stacked Finn Kalle Niemi has just enjoyed the perfect start to the new level, moving all in from the small blind and getting a caller in William Reynolds in the big blind. Reynolds had [as][8s] and Niemi had [jh][jc] and although Reynolds picked up a flush draw on the [10s][6c][6s] flop, the [6h] on the turn gave Niemi a full house and the [2c] on the river was a blank. Niemi is back to 1,915,000.
4.45pm: Take 15
Players are enjoying their first break of the day and will return to the following chip stacks: William Reynolds, USA, 4,485,000
Gustav Sundell, Sweden, 2,470,000
Dragan Galic, Croatia, 2,050,000
Constant Rijkenberg, Holland, 1,885,000
Kalle Niemi, Finland, PokerStars qualifier, 965,000
The most recent counts are always available on the chip count page.
Live updates from level 27 of EPT Dortmund are brought to you by Stephen Bartley and Howard Swains. Click refresh to see the latest updates here, or head on over to EPT Live for live action from the featured table.
The latest chip counts are available on the chip count page.
Blinds: 25,000-50,000 (ante: 5,000)
4.28pm: End of the level
Rijkenberg takes the last hand of the level uncontested. Players are now on a 15 minute break.
The chips are flying around like nobody's business. On a flop of [3s][10h][2c] Rijkenberg, Galic and Reynolds check for a [qs] turn. Rijkenberg checks before Galic bets 125,000. Reynolds though re-raises to 370,000 before Rijkenberg moves all in. Galic steps aside but Reynolds calls, showing [10s][10c]. Rijkenberg shows [ks][qd], drawing dead for the [8c] river. It's a pot worth 4.5million to Reynolds.
4.20pm: No love lost
Rijkenberg opened the betting under the gun, getting calls from Galic and Sundell in the big blind. On the [ks][5s][3s] flop it's checked to Galic. Sundell passes but Rijkenberg calls for an [ad] turn. Rijkenberg now leads the betting, making it 325,000. Galic calls for the [2s] river card. Now Rijkenberg bets 500,000. "Same amount as yesterday" he says, referring the the hand last night which cost him over a million chips. As Galic thinks Rijkenberg calls the clock. Galic folds, possibly the best hand, asn Rijkenberg shows [kd][10h].
4.16pm: Dragan back
Dragan Galic opens the betting from the button for the first time in a few hands. He gets no takers either. Good for the blinds and antes.
4.14pm: Another pot for Reynolds
Reynolds opens the betting again but gets no takers.
4.10pm: Three way action
A three way pot develops. Reynolds starts by making it 120,00 pre-flop which Sundell and Rijkenberg call. On the [3c][10s][kc] flop all three check for a [3s] on the turn. Sundell makes it 300,000 and the others pass.
4.05pm: Bet, raise, fold
Sundell bets 125,000 which Rijkenberg raises to 325,000. After some thought and a slight smile from the Dutchman, Sundell folds.
4pm: Back to normal
A calmer pot follows. Sundell bets 120,000 pre-flop which Reynolds calls for a flop of [ac][9s][7s]. Reynolds then bets 145,000, good for the pot.
3.55pm: Ovi Balaj eliminated in sixth place earning €229,000
It's the end of the road for Balaj, although it came after a dose of bad luck. He moved all-in with [9d][9s] and Reynolds did the same with [6h][6s]. The flop ended the hand, [6d][2s][3h]. "Don't re-suck me please" said Reynolds and the gods stayed true. Five players remain.
3.48pm: Alex Fitzgerald eliminated in seventh place earning €171,000
Alex Fitzgerald's final table knew he had work to do today and the five hands he played each involved him moving all in. In his last hand he shoved for 135,000 which Galic and Balaj called. Galic made it 150,000 on the [3s][2d][10h] flop forcing Balaj to pass. Galic then turned over [jc][10s] against Fitzgerald's [kc][9d]. The turn and river, [qc][ad] couldn't help the American. Six left.
3.45pm: Fourth time lucky?
Fitzgerald plays his fourth hand, another all in. Only this time it comes behind an all-in move by William Reynolds for 585,000. Reynolds shows [js][jh] to Fitzgerald's [ah][kh]. Reynolds is covered and doubled up when his jacks held up on a [6s][10h][2s][8c][2h] board. 1,258,000 to Fitzgerald.
3.44pm: Fitzgerald all in
Three hands played by Alex Fitzgerald, all three have been all-in moves. None have found any callers and the American takes the blinds and antes.
3.40pm: Constant calling
Niemi moves all in and may have shuddered when Rijkenberg called. He was ahead though, [ah][kc] to the Dutchman's [kh][jc], but in previous hands that hasn't meant much. The board runs out [qs][8c][2h][10d][5h] and the Finn, playing his first ever live event, doubles up.
3.35pm: Hold on tight
The biggest hand of the tournament and the ballsiest. Rijkenberg raised to 125,000 which Reynolds re-raised to 332,000. Rijkenberg then re-raised all-in which is called in a flash. Reynolds shows [ah][kc], Rijkenberg sheepishly turns over [qd][js]. It's a 3,800,000 pot. The flop though not only kisses Rijkenberg on the lips, it asks him for his hand in marriage, landing [9h][10s][8d]. Reynolds takes it s best as he can as Rijkenberg can't believe his luck. The turn and river change nothing. Rijkenberg shoots up to nearly 4million.
3.30pm: Same again
Rijkenberg does the same on the next hand, a 125,000 pre-flop bet that gets no takers.
3.26pm: Big and small
Dragan Galic takes the first pot after a short break, a min-raise that's good for the blinds.
Niemi takes the blinds and antes having moved all-in for 465,000.
3.18pm: Chip counts
Updates chip counts are now available on our chip counts page.
3.15pm: First hand back
The first hand of the second level of the day and the first hand for Ovi Balaj. He moves in for a little less than 500,000 with [as][qs] and is called by Rijkenberg holding [ad][7c]. The flop comes [7s][10s][3d] giving Rijkenberg the lead but giving Balaj the flush draw. He misses the flush but his the [qh] on the turn, doubling up.
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The latest chip counts are available on the chip count page.
Blinds: 20,000-40,000 (ante: 4,000)
3.10pm: Danilo D'Ettoris eliminated in eighth place, earning €114,000
Constant Rijkenberg is back with some chips and so is back on the attack. And he takes down the final Italian in San Remo. Danilo D'Ettoris raises to 120,000 from mid position and Rijkenberg moves all in for about 1,200,000, comfortably covering D'Ettoris. He calls. The Italian has [ah][qd] Rijkenberg has [4h][4c]. The board comes [jh][7d][3h][5h][3d] and D'Ettoris is out.
3pm: Rijkenberg riches
Constant Rijkenberg doubles up to 1,274,000. Dragan Galic raises to 90,000 from early position, the sixth time he's done so from the first 13 hands. Constant Rijkenberg moves all in from the blinds, for his final 670,000. Galic calls instantly. The Croatian is way behind, though, with his [3s][3h] as Rijkenberg has found [kh][kd]. There's no danger at all on the board and the Dutchman doubles up.
2.55pm: All of this in moving pictures
The video blog team set up the final table something like this:
Watch EPT San Remo S5: Introduction to the Final Table on PokerStars.tv
2.50pm: Fitzgerald all in
Alex Fitzgerald moves all in under the gun and picks up the blinds and antes. A couple of hands later Kalle Niemi gets a walk in the big blind.
2.45pm: Reynolds chips up through Rijkenberg
Dragan Galic raises from early position, William Reynolds calls on the button and Constant Rijkenberg also calls from the big blind. The flop comes [Ah][5h][10s] and all three players check. Rijkenberg, first to act, has a stab of 155,000 on the turn, which is [4d]. Galic folds but Reynolds calls. The river is [js] and Rijkenberg checks. Reynolds bets 199,000 and that's enough to take down the 600,000 pot.
2.38pm: First sizeable pot to Galic
Dragan Galic raises from early position, and William Reynolds reraises to 267,000, which Galic calls. The flop is [qs][5s][5d] and Galic leads out all in, for upwards of two million. Reynolds folds and says: "I fold to your five." Galic flips [ah][qh] and Reynolds probably thinks he got off lightly.
And they're off: Gustav Sundell takes the first pot with a pre-flop raise, then Dragan Galic takes the second by continuation betting from late position on a jack-high flop. William Reynolds looked him up, then folded to the continued aggression.
2.15pm: Players seated
The eight finalists have arrived to the final table arena and have taken their seats. Play will be underway imminently.
The final table players