At the last break Mario Puccini barrelled through the PokerStars Blog request for a quick interview. ‘Pokerccini’ wasn’t being belligerent, he was trying to catch up with some of his crew who’d been following the stream. The ten minute break isn’t long to catch up with an hour of play.

We’d thought that added level of information may prevent us from grabbing players at the break. At least our read had been good. While it’s giving us some issues it’s hurting the video blog teams more. They look desperate.

The German is an online giant, his $3,258,515 in online tournament wins dwarf the $234,294 he’s scored in live tournaments. This is his fourth EPT main event cash but more noticeably this is his second final table of the season following a solid 8th place finish at EPT Loutraki for €27,000.

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Mario ‘Pokerccini’ Puccini

Puccini started the day average stacked playing relatively snug at the outset but as the players have fallen – Pratyush Buddiga, Marc Wright, César García then Bahadir Kilickeser – Puccini has ramped up his involvement. He’s now up close to 6,000,000 partly thanks to a brave bluff into Davidi Kitai, who was chip leader at the time.

On the river of a Q♣5♠K♦8♥6♥ board Puccini led 875,000 into the 2,580,000 pot forcing Kitai to decide whether his A♦6♠ was good. He opted to give it up letting Puccini scoop the pot with a whiffed J♣10♣. It was a major moment for ‘Pokerccini’ who is now in a great position to claim his first major title as long as he can get past Andrew Chen and Kitai.

1. Mario Puccini, 5,630,000
2. Andre Morath, 3,020,000
3. Andrew Chen, 7,035,000
4. Davidi Kitai, 6,635,000

Puccini has just taken the chip lead after value betting three streets with K♥8♥ on a 4♥3♥8♦3♦3♣ board against Andrew Chen’s A♦4♦.

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Moving on up

Tournament snapshot
Level 29: blinds 40,000-80,000, ante 10,000
Players: 4 of 745
Average stack: 5,587,500
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