Play on the final table begins in level 18 with blinds at 3,000-6,000 (500 ante).

This post contains the latest action from the level, and will also include approximate chip counts throughout play. The official counts, taken at the end of each level, are on the chip count page.

3.18pm: Ludovic Lacay of France, eliminated in eighth place for €32,843.
A few hands later Nico Behling made it 17,000 pre-flop from late position. The action was folded to Ludovic Lacay who re-raised from the big blind, making it 56,000 in total. “300 more?” asked Behling. Lacay replied he had closer to 220,000 left behind and Behling called. Lacay re-checked his cards again, like he was tightening the straps of his parachute, before jumping onto the flop of 5d-8h-7s.

First to act, Lacay bet 75,000 before Behling re-raised, 160,000 in total. Back to Lacay he looked again before announcing all-in. Behling agreed for a showdown, Lacay’s pocket aces to Behling’s pocket eights which put him ahead. Lacay needed help. It didn’t come, and he was gone from the tournament room before the polite applause had stopped.

3.13pm: Lacay pushed around
Ludovic Lacay made it 16,000 from early position pre-flop and the action was folded to Dario Minieri who, face half covered with his scarf, calmly re-raised, forcing out Lacay.

3.10pm: Approximate chip counts
Shcherbatskiy: 398,000
Behling: 360,000
Minieri: 290,000
Mattern: 220,000
Gueorguiev: 185,000
Lacay: 180,000
Barbosa: 160,000
Benelli: 155,000

3.05pm: Minor skirmishes
Sergey Shcherbatskiy finds pocket fives again and calls Benelli’s bets all the way to a checked river, finding the small pair surprisingly good on the 4d-9h-7d-9s-6h board. He’s forced to muck the next hand though, when Ludovic Lacay, who re-raised from the button pre-flop, bets at a jack high board. On the hand after that, Lacay is forced into a fold. The Frenchman raises pre-flop to 16,000 and both blinds come along – Joao Barbosa and Dario Minieri. The fop is Jh-2d-Kc and Barbosa leads 30,000 at it. Minieri folds in silence but Lacay angrily flips A-Q as he lets it go. Barbosa shows a king.

2.55pm: Andrea Benelli doubles up
The Italian finds himself all in with K-9 and is racing against Sergey Shcherbatskiy’s pocket fives. It’s looking bleak for Benelli and sunny for Shcherbatskiy all the way through a blank flop and turn. But a nine falls on the river and the always-vocal Italian contingent give the first major whoop of the day.

2.50pm: Barbosa doubles up through Minieri
The Portuguese player Joao Barbosa open shoved from the button and Dario Minieri called from the small blind. Barbosa was at it and tabled Q-2; Minieri had A-9. But a queen flopped and stayed good through turn and river and Barbosa doubles up.

2.45pm: Michael Muheim, Switzerland, eliminated in ninth place, earning €21,114
Sergey Shcherbatskiy limps from early position but Michael Muheim doesn’t see anything suspicious and shoves his short stack all in from the big blind. Shcherbatskiy insta-calls and has two black aces. Muheim has A-9 and although there’s a nine on the flop, he gets no more help and is our ninth place finisher.

Muheim spoke to the video bloggers about his progress to the final table:

Watch EPT Warsaw 08: Interview with Michael Muheim Day 3 on

2.43pm: Gueorguiev asks the question
Joao Barbosa makes it 17,000 pre-flop. It’s folded round to Atanas Gueorguiev who announces all-in. Barbosa thinks about it for a few moments before wincing and then folding.

2.40pm: All France
Here’s how it’s gone for the past four hands: Arnaud Mattern raises pre-flop, picks up blinds and antes. Ludovic Lacay raises pre-flop, gets re-raised by Nico Behling in the small blind, folds. Arnaud Mattern raises pre-flop, picks up blinds and antes. Ludovic Lacay raises pre-flop, called by Arnaud Mattern. The board is checked all the way to the river — 2h-2s-9h-Kc-Js — and then Lacay fires. Mattern folds. The standard pre-flop raise is 16,000, by the way.

2.30pm: Minieri begins his day
Team PokerStars Pro Dario Minieri fires his first shots in anger, re-raising a pre-flop bet by Arnaud Mattern to force the Frenchman to fold.

2.25pm: We’re off, and it’s Nico Behling firing first. He makes it 16,000 to go from mid-position and then calls Arnaud Mattern’s button re-raise. The flop is ten high and Behling fires at it. Mattern folds. First pot to Germany.

2.15pm: The tournament director is introducing the players and action will begin imminently. As we wait for the action to begin, here are Kara Scott’s tips for final table play:

Watch EPT Warsaw 08: Kara Scott Top Tips on Final Table Play on

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