EPT Monte Carlo: Back in action

On the outside, looking in

With the hour growing late, the players with the shorter stacks are starting to get'em in. We're down to 234 players in this flight with two hours left in play. You'll see, we posted the payout structure in the PokerStars Headlines box at the top. It's all now official. We started with more than 700 players and will be paying 64. That's going to be one heckuva grind for the remaining players.

After my heartbreaking defeat to Simon earlier today, I needed something to lift my spirits. Confined to the tournament reporting and blog duties, the best I could do to get in action was bet Team PokerStars' Isabelle Mercier in a last longer against Erika Schoenberg. When the bet was made, Schoenberg had around 9,000 to Isabelle's 6,000, and I got a great price at 2-1. Even better (and the real point of this little tale) is that Isabelle just doubled through Keith Hawkins in a battle of the blinds. She got her final 6,000 in with 88 vs. The Camel's 33. Not only did the eights hold up, they made a set and sealed the deal. Isabelle now sits on more than 12,000 and is smiling again.

As it turns out, though he's supposed to be on holiday, roving reporter Ed can't stop working. He's been out roving and returned with a sizable report.

The Ed Report

Phil Helmuth is handing out his normal words of advice at the table. I caught him berating a player in the middle of a hand about future misdemeanours that he might commit. With 2.8K in the pot and it showing 4c-Jc-6s Phil had bet 2K and found himself raised to 5K. With his cards ready to muck he then began the lecture which briefly summarised was "do not just gift wrap those and pass them on to someone else." Phil is sitting on around 13K.

You may find an abnormally large number of reports focusing on a couple of tables in during the final two levels. There is a reason for it. Members of the blogging team are hanging over Elky like a spectre of death. He is down to about 2K but seems in good spirits just picking his pots to desperately try and pick up the blinds and antes. One can only feel that unless he gets a real rush of cards it is only a matter of time.

Whilst loitering with intent I saw Jeff Lisandro boost his stack. He raised from the cut off to 1200 and the button called. The flop was 3c-9h-5d and was checked by both players. 8h on the turn and Jeff fired a 3500 chip shells - which the button called. The river brought a 2d and Jeff with only 2K or so left decided to check, as did the button. Jeff showed 43 against the button’s AQ. Jeff is now at 11K and the button player went out shortly thereafter.

Almost immediately after that hand we had some 5 way action at the table. Jeff limped UTG which prompted several other callers. A flop of Qs-Qh-5c only had two players interested. Jeff bet 600 and was called in the BB by PokerStars qualifier rkruok. Turn was a Kc and Jeff made it 1500 to play which was duly called. The river brought a 9s and both players checked. Rkruok showed QJ to take it down and move up to 23K. He was also scooping chips at the table the next time I looked round, and probably has close to 30K now.

For those UK readers out there former Eastenders "Star" turned poker player Michael Greco is doing well and giving a lesson on how to defend a blind. Facing a button raise to 800, Michael made it 3800 to go and Mel Judah folds on the BB. The button also mucks and Michael shows a rag ace.

In between accumulating chips Vicky Coren is explaining how to complete a Daily Telegraph cryptic crossword. In truth she should maybe do more of the doing and less explaining as I only saw about 5 clues done, but believe me these things are not your tea-break teasers. At the current rate if she final tables the event it may be complete. I did see her pick up a pot whilst I was trying to work out 10 across. With 3K in the pot and the flop showing 2d-4h-8c the BB had bet 1200 and Vicky had raised to 4K total effectively setting the BB all in. He mucked and Vicky is up to 26K.

In other news Chad Brown looks to have over 100K and appears to be leading the field.
Brad Willis
@BradWillis in