Play on the final is underway. We’re in level 19 with blinds at 4,000-8,000 (1,000 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.

4.25pm: Last hand thriller
Excitement on the last hand before the break. Arnaud Mattern made it the standard 21,000 pre-flop with Minieri next to act. He announced all-in, a second before Nico Behling asked for a count. As officials started counting Minieri got up to stand by the rail. He has 119,000 left.

“I wanna gamble” said Minieri, and then added “I’m not sure it’s a gamble…” Then, “how much money for sixth?”

Behling now asks Mattern how much he has, about 460,000. We’re five minutes into the break and Behling is still thinking. Shcherbatskiy left when he folded his cards and has no idea his payday may be about to improve.

Behling says all-in, Mattern folds and Minieri says “aces.” He’s up against Behling’s pocket tens.
Minieri started texting right away. “Good timing” says Behling as they watched a flop of blanks miss both hands. Minieri gets a welcome boost to his stack.

4.20pm: Break on its way
With the break about to be taken any minute, a full official chip count will be on its way soon.

4.17pm: Mattern puts jacket on, takes jacket off
Nico Behling makes it 22,000 from mid-position and Sergiy Shcherbatskiy calls. Arnaud Mattern, in the big blind, squeezes all-in, and after Behling gets out the way, Shcherbatskiy asks for a count. It’s 225,000 in total. He doesn’t think too long before calling and shows A-Ko. Mattern has pocket tens and puts his jacket on. The board comes Qc-5c-Jc (no one has any clubs) meaning Mattern’s 10 would now make Shcherbatskiy a straight. But the Russian misses everything on turn and river and Mattern doubles up.

4.12pm: Another hit for Dario
It’s a spell of a 22K raise followed by folding. That was until a pot developed between Sergey Shcherbatskiy in the small blind and Dario Minieri in the cut off. It got to turn card with the board reading 3h-6d-Qh-Ac. The Russian checked to Minieri who bet 39,000 before Shcherbatskiy check-rasied him, forcing the Team PokerStars Pro out of the hand. Minieri is now down to 120,000.

4.10pm: Minieri talks
Things haven’t been going precisely according to plan or Dario Minieri at this final table. But getting here was another remarkable achievement for the Team PokerStars Pro, a process he described to the video blog team last night:

Watch EPT Warsaw 08: Interview with Dario Minieri Day 3 on

4pm: Joao Barbosa doubles up through Dario Minieri
A big suited ace was god for Minieri against Andrea Benelli, but it’s just cost him all those chips and more against Joao Barbosa. The Portuguese makes it 22,000 pre-flop from the cut off, Minieri says 66,000 and Barbosa pushes for another 170,000. Minieri runs through a few calculations and calls, tabling A-Jd. Barbosa has jacks. Minieri checks around the table, asking if anyone folded an ace, and they they didn’t, so he has three live outs, plus flush possibilities. But there’s only one diamond on the board, and none on either turn or river. The ace stays away too. Barbosa is now a threat with close to 400,000. Minieri is down to less than hal that.

3.56pm: Chip leader
The current chip leader is Nico Behling who has 850,000 in front of him.

3.49pm: Andrea Benelli of Italy, eliminated in seventh place for €45,746.
Andrea Benelli moved all-in pre-flop and Dario Minieri called from the button, turning over Ah-Qh to Benelli’s pocket jacks. The hearts would prove crucial for Minieri with the flop coming 4h-8c-5h. The 3h turn made him a flush and sent Benelli to the rail. Minieri up to 320,000.

3.40pm: Behling bossing
Having taken such a big lead, Nico Behling is throwing his weight around, most recently at the expense of Andrea Benelli. The Italian has been quiet so far, but raised to 22,500 from early position and it was folded to Behling on the button. He asked for a count and was told that Benelli had another 130,000 behind. Behling called. The flop cam 6h-8-9d and after Benelli checked Behling bet 40,000, which was enough to chase the Italian out.

3.25pm: Behling assumes chip lead
After the bust out of Lacay, Nico Behling has taken over a convincing chip lead. The German has more than 600,000, after hoovering up Lacay’s stack. The counts are something like this:

Behling: 620,000
Shcherbatskiy: 398,000
Minieri: 290,000
Mattern: 220,000
Gueorguiev: 185,000
Barbosa: 160,000
Benelli: 155,000

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