Jason Mercier, a PokerStars qualifier from the United States, wins the EPT San Remo and €869,000.

5.55pm – Antony Lellouche from France, eliminated in second place for €505,000.
In just the second hand of the heads-up match Jason bet pre-flop. Antony Lellouche pushed all-in and Jason called. It only took a few seconds. Antony showed pocket sevens whilst Jason showed K-Q. The flop came Q-A-4 putting Jason within two cards of the title. The turn was an eight, no help for Antony. “One more time” said Jason as he waited for the river, a deuce. After two hours 40 minutes the EPT San Remo has its champion.

5.50pm — The heads-up is about to begin…

Jason Mercier — United States — PokerStars qualifier — 5,782,000
Antony Lellouche — France — 1,392,000

5.40pm – Dario Minieri, Team PokerStars Pro from Italy, eliminated in third for €287,000.
Dario and Jason have built up a 719k pot for a flop of 2h-7d-8d. These two are equal in chips, way ahead of Antony Lellouche and there would certainly be sparks if they clashed.


Team PokerStars Pro Dario Minieri

Dario bet 200k and Jason moved all-in. Dario insta-called and Jason showed Ad-4d. Dario looked worried, he was ahead showing his pocket queens, but it was not that easy. The turn 4h gave the American outs but this would go to the river. A three of diamonds…

A reverse-roar from the Italian crowds. Quiet and stunned Dario Minieri was out of the EPT San Remo in third place. It’s the shock of the tournament. It’s the shock of the season.

Dario looks dazed, so too Luca Pagano standing in the background. From owning this final Dario is rail-bound less than two and a half hours later. Casino San Remo is now a room full of people talking about the wreckage of the biggest pot we’re likely to see. It’s now Jason Mercier and Antony Lellouche heads-up.

The aftermath of a Dario Minieri elimination…

5.35pm – Eric Koskas, PokerStars qualifier from France, eliminated in fourth for €223,600.
The board has made it to the river, showing 5-J-6-8-8 and Eric moves all-in immediately. The decision to call is with another PokerStars qualifier Jason Mercier. It’s a few minutes of thinking before the end of this hand, but he eventually calls. Eric shows a ten high bluff to Jason’s 9-5; good for a pair and the pot making him the new chip leader on 3,475,000.


Eric Koskas

Kara Scott talked with Eric Koskas after he was eliminated in fourth place…

5.30pm — Play resumes after a short break, with blinds now 15k/30k with a 3k ante.

5.25pm – Latest chip counts…
Dario Minieri – Italy – Team PokerStars Pro – 2,395,000
Jason Mercier – United States – PokerStars qualifier – 2,368,000

Antony Lellouche – France – 1,270,000
Eric Koskas – France – PokerStars qualifier – 956,000

5.15pm – Gregory Genovese of Italy, eliminated in fifth place for €188,500.
Team PokerStars Pro Dario Minieri made it 90k which Greg re-raises to 122k all-in. Eric has a look but folds whilst Jason calls the 122k. Dario too. They see a flop 7-A-5.

Jason immediately bets 120k giving Dario the chance to get out. It leaves the showdown between Gregory and Mercier; the Italian showing T-9 whilst Jason has A-3 for a pair. It was all over on the turn for Gregory who leaves with the handshakes of the other finalists. After two hours we’re down to four.

5.04pm – Greg bets, Eric moves all-in and Eric calls in a flash. Both leap up from their chairs, Greg showing A-K and Eric with pocket sevens. As the board is dealt both players jump around behind the table, like prize fighters keeping their arms loose waiting for the order to fight clean and get stuck in. the board misses both. Eric doubles up, leaving Greg with 179k.


William Thorson

4.55pm – William Thorson, Sweden, eliminated in 6th place for €140,600.
William bets, PokerStars qualifier Jason Mercier, re-raises, William re-re-raises all-in and Jason calls. This hand was like a slinky, tumbling over itself with one player bound to be left on the floor. William showed A-Q but Jason had him pipped with A-K. A king on the flop left William needing queens. An ace on the turn put end to that. We’re down to five players.

Kara Scott caught up with sixth placed finisher William Thorson…

4.45pm — Eric raises 75k and Greg re-raises all-in, getting the crowd to their feet, especially when Eric announces ‘call’. No, hang on, he asked for a ‘count’, and the excitement is tapered back a little. Eric will be all in if he calls and by the looks fo things he wants to call, meanwhile Gregory jogs on the spot. But Eric doesn’t call. He lays it down.

4.30pm — A word with seventh place finisher Dag Palovic…

“As soon as Dario called I knew he had a set. I know tomorrow I’ll feel lucky, because this is my second 7th place in three EPTs. But right now I’m disappointed. I hope to do better in Monte Carlo.

“I hope Dario will win – he broke my mobile phone yesterday! I had it in my hand when he threw his hands in the air, and my phone went flying. I hope to get some nice ‘verde’ from him because he’ll finish in the top three here!”

4.20pm — There’s a ten minute pause as players take a break.


Dag Palovic

4.15pm – Dag Palovic, from Slovakia, eliminated in seventh place for €111,800.
On a flop of 2s-3d-8d Dag Palovic moved in getting an insta-call by Dario who showed pocket threes for a set. For Dag red pocket-queens and the vague escape clause of a flush. He blurted out a few Slovakian words of irritation as the turn and river were dealt, two inoffensive eights, eliminating Dag from his second final table of the year. Dario adds to his stack, now even more of a favourite.


PokerStars qualifier Marcus Bower

3.55pm – Marcus Bower, PokerStars qualifier from the United States, eliminated in eight place for €76,700.
Antony Lellouche started the pot with a bet of 70k. Marcus Bower, wearing a dress scarf and white rimmed shades, moved all-in from cut off, chewing gum as he waits to see if anyone will call his 155k. Gregory in the one seat thinks about it but eventually folds and it gets back to Antony who calls with A-J. Pocket fours for Marcus who looked likely to double up until the river brought an ace. We’re down to seven.

Kara Scott talked to eighth placed finisher PokerStars qualifier Marcus Bower…

3.45pm — PokerStars qualifier Marcus Bower is the short stack, extremely so, with just a couple of blinds left to his name. It will be make or break for Marcus soon.

3.30pm – William Thorson and Antony Lellouche tangle in a pot. It was a slow builder which William took with a surprise full house.

Watch for yourself… the Battle of San Remo…

3.16pm — Eric Koskas moves all-in first hand with a board reading 8s-6s-6c-3h. This hand would take eight minutes. Speech play makes an early appearance with Team PokerStars Pro Dario Minieri answering back, creating a school yard spat where one kid challenges the other to a fight with neither wanting to throw any punches. Eric wants Dario to call but Dario wants to know what Eric’s cards are before he does.

It’s 370k to call. “If you show me both cards I’ll show you one”, says Eric, a reference to Dario’s offer to William Thorson yesterday. The chatter goes on, in part like an SNL sketch, other times like a bad SNL rehearsal.

“You think I bet all in on the first hand with nothing?” asked Eric. “I’m crazy but not stupid!”

“Okay I fold”, says Dario. Ten minutes played… one hand.

3.15pm – Cards are in the end with blinds at 12k/24k with a 3k ante.

3.10pm – A loud roar can be heard from one end of casino to the other as the players are introduced. A little extra for Dario and Gregory.

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