Our final table of eight is set and action should resume in about 45 minutes, or about 3:15 p.m. local time (GMT+1). The players are currently giving their pre-game interviews to the EPT production staff while tournament director Thomas Kremser and his band of merry men prepare the TV table for play.
Official final table chip counts will be available shortly.
The action folded around to Henrik Gwinner on the button who opened shoved for all of his chips. Glen Chorny folded in the small blind and the decision was with Isaac Baron in the big blind. He looked at his cards and asked for a count as he was seriously considering making the call.
The dealer counted down Gwinner's chips and it was 522,000 in total for Baron to make the call. After a few minutes of thought he made a courageous call and flipped . Gwinner grimaced as he showed a dominated as his tournament life was in jeopardy.
The board ran out and Gwinner was eliminated after a great tournament in ninth place for a collect of $199,533.
Not much has changed in terms of chip counts since the start of play, the one exception being Valeriy Ilikyan's surge past one million after his elimination of Stig Top Rasmussen. Antonio Esfandiari has lost a couple of small pots early, but otherwise things have pretty much stayed the same. Here's how they currently stack up:
Denes Kalo - 990,000
Michael Martin - 1,500,000
Luca Pagano - 684,000
Antonio Esfandiari - 570,000
Maxime Villemure 1,280,000
Henrik Gwinner - 520,000
Glen Chorny - 2,910,000
Isaac Baron - 2,650,000
Valeriy Ilikyan - 1,160,000
The action folded to Michael Martin on the button who made a raise to 70,000 chips. Valeriy Ilikyan was contemplating a decision from the small blind as Stig Top Rasmussen suddenly declared he was all-in from the big blind before Ilikyan had an opportunity to act!
The tournament director was called over and it's ruled that Rasmussen's verbal action is binding and Ilikyan still has the option to act on his hand. He quickly called Rasmussen's all-in as Martin stepped aside.
Rasmussen showed while Ilikyan had him covered and in trouble holding .
The board ran out and Rasmussen let out a shriek of disgust at himself as he leaves us in tenth place.
Today's action will begin with two five-handed tables until one player is eliminated. Once we're down to nine, the tables will then merge into one and play down to eight. At eight, the tournament will be moved to the TV table stage, where it will remain until a champion is crowned.
Here's how things look to start the day:
Seat 1: Henrik Gwinner
Seat 2: Michael Martin
Seat 3: Valeriy Ilikyan
Seat 4: Stig Top Rasmussen
Seat 5: Denes Kalo
Seat 1: Luca Pagano
Seat 2: Antonio Esfandiari
Seat 3: Maxime Villemure
Seat 4: Glen Chorny
Seat 5: Isaac 'westmenloAA' Baron
Months of planning, weeks of anticipation and five days of world class, deep stack poker have all led to this: the impending culmination of the 2008 PokerStars.com European Poker Tour Grand Final.
Life changing money and mainstream notoriety are on the line today, as one of these ten finalists will walk away from Monte Carlo with a staggering $3.2 million dollars in prize money and the distinguished title of EPT Grand Champion:
Glen Chorny, Canada - 3,370,000
Isaac 'westmenloAA' Baron, USA - 2,365,000
Michael Martin, USA - 1,579,000
Maxime Villemure, Canada - 1,220,000
Denes Kalo, Hungary - 957,000
Antonio Esfandiari, USA - 735,000
Luca Pagano, Italy - 705,000
Valeriy Ilikyan, Russia - 650,000
Stig Top-Rasmussen, Denmark - 590,000
Henrik Gwinner, Denmark - 466,000
Will an American take down the crown for a third straight year or will a European bring the hardware back to the homeland? Tune in at 1:00 p.m. local time (7:00 p.m. EST) to find out!