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November 1, 2008 12:59 PM

EPT Budapest: Fry finishes first in Budapest

It was a fitting way to end a magnificent event: two aggressive players playing for a first prize of €595,839. Both the Englishman William Fry and Ciprian Hrisca from Romania may have shared a friendly glass of wine before the heads-up began, but once the glasses were drained the gloves were off for a hand-to-hand battle of wits that culminated in an English triumph, bringing an end to a glorious week on the Danube.

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EPT Budapest champion William Fry

The last hand came after less than five hours play. We went pillar to post in less than 300 minutes. Going into the heads-up battle, Hrisca held the initiative with a more than two-to-one chip lead, and he had also shown no sign of capitulation. But Fry stole the Big Mo' shortly before the end when he double up with jack-ten against Hrisca’s pocket sevens, levelling the counts.

The end came when the players became embroiled in a pre-flop raising battle and got all their chips to the middle pre-flop. Fry showed pocket jacks and Hrisca flipped over A-6. The flop of Td-Qs-6s gave Hrisca some hope but the blanks on turn and river swung it towards Fry. After a short pause to resolve who covered whom, the 28-year-old Fry, a former casino croupier, was declared the winner and the first ever EPT Budapest champion.

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The speed of the final only added to the drama and it was never long before something had the rail’s attention. Going into the day one name stood out, that of Johnny Lodden, the Norwegian pro with a background of legend when it comes to success online who, since switching to live events, had cashed six times on the EPT, falling agonisingly short of the final table on more than one occasion. That changed this week.

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PokerStars sponsored player Johnny Lodden

Alas, the final’s poster boy was not yet due that first elusive EPT win in Budapest. Lodden fell first for €53,200, within the early levels of play despite what must have looked like a reassuring pair of kings when he checked his cards. In what would become a massive pot Martin Jacobsen sent the Norwegian home when his 10-7 made a straight. That pot also crippled Zoltan Toth, the Hungarian local hero, who fell a few moments later, picking up €78,736 for seventh.

Hardcore EPT addicts will remember Gino Alacqua from his colourful season four runner-up spot in Prague. Today he celebrated his birthday but was unable to add an EPT title to the joy, his day ending in sixth place when he succumbed in a three way pot to Ciprian Hrisca, leaving in sixth place for €100,016.

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Gino Alacqua

Italy’s chances of an EPT winner took a serious blow with Alacqua’s loss but what hope did remain was put to bed when Marino Serenelli fell next in fifth place for €127,680. William Fry saw off Serenelli, shortly before bestowing the same fate on Albert Iversen. Iversen's departure for €153,216 left us with three.

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Albert Iversen

Jacobsen won his seat online at PokerStars and his result here proved that the decision to shift to poker-playing from the kitchen was a good one. At just 21 years of age, the former chef is now carving a name for himself around the poker tables. Jacobsen's week’s work ended in third place and €197,904, busting in a hand against Hrisca who had ladled on the pressure by moving all-in on the river. The young Swede called for his tournament life with second pair but had run slap bang into Hrisca’s flush.

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Martin Jacobsen

With remarkable haste, the final was now heads up, and in another few blurred minutes, we were crowning Fry, who became the first English winner since Julian Thew’s triumph in Baden on season four. Incidentally both Thew and Fry hail from Nottingham.

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Ciprian Hrisca

Hrisca’s performance should not go without note. The Romanian was playing in his first live event having only taken up the game 18 months ago in a home game with friends before making the leap to online cash games on PokerStars. Hrisca, who picked Budapest because it was closest to home, may well look upon his decision to take a short Hungarian holiday as one of his best, taking €342,608 back to Bucharest.

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It brings our EPT Budapest coverage to a close. Don’t forget you can re-live events from today by checking out the links below.

Introducing the final eight
Level 23 updates
Level 24 updates
Level 25 updates
Level 26 updates

You can read all this through the eyes and words of our Hungarian blogger, our Swedish blogger or our German blogger. And there are moving pictures at

The next EPT of the season is in Warsaw, Poland, from November 15-19. Full details are available on and qualifying tournaments are still running on PokerStars.

Before that, there's all the fun of the second season of the Latin America Poker Tour, beginning tomorrow in Costa Rica. And after that, we'll be in Las Vegas, for the final table of the World Series of Poker Main Event, where the Million Dollar Men will be looking to seal their place in history.

It's going to be hectic few weeks on PokerStars blog. Stay with us.

For now, it's goodnight from Budapest.

November 1, 2008 12:30 PM

EPT Budapest: Level 26 updates

Play is under way in the final of the EPT Budapest.

These are the updates for level 26, where the blinds are 20,000-40,000 with a running 4,000 ante. The PokerStars blog will provide level by level updates.

5.45pm: William Fry, UK, PokerStars player, wins EPT Budapest, earning €595,839
Ciprian Hrisca, eliminated in second place, earning €342,608

And it's all over. There's some big pre-flop raising, re-raising, re-re-raising and suddenly all the chips are in the middle. Fry shows his J-J and Hrisca shows his A-6, with Fry marginally ahead in both chips and holdings. The flop brings a slight improvement for Hrisca when it comes 10d-Qs-6s but turn and river are blanks (Kc-Qc) and Fry is our champion.

5.40pm: Fry edges ahead
Since the double-up with J-10, William Fry has had the better of it. He's being the slightly more aggressive both pre- and post-flop and although there have been no major chip movements, Fry has edged into the lead. The latest approximate count has Fry leading with 2,856,000 to Hrisca's 2,383,000.

5.30pm: Heads up action
We're heads up in Budapest between William Fry and Ciprian Hrisca. The chips are flying back and forth, with neither of these two either happy to settle for second place, nor allow the fear of doing so affect their aggressive style. It means the fluctuations are massive and frequent. Stay tuned.

November 1, 2008 11:00 AM

EPT Budapest: Level 25 updates

Play is under way in the final of the EPT Budapest.

These are the updates for level 25, where the blinds are 15,000-30,000 with a running 2,000 ante. The PokerStars blog will provide level by level updates.

5.30pm: Double up for Fry
All the chips go in pre-flop, with Fry's J-10 against Hrisca's 7-7. The flop has a jack on it, the turn is a ten, and there's not a seven in sight, meaning Fry doubles up. He now has slightly more than two million, but still trails Hrisca.

5.25pm: A million to Romania
Neither player seems too bothered about a flop of 8h-4c-5c, but all hell breaks loose on the 8s turn. Hrisca bets, Fry reraises to 1m, and Hrisca moves all in. Fry folds.

5.15pm: Fry flexes his muscles; Chop-chop
Hrisca raises to 130,000 and Fry re-raises to 430,000. Hrisca calls. The flop comes 9c-Tc-2s and Fry bets one million. Hrisca folds. On the very next hand, they conspire to get it all in pre-flop and Hrisca is ahead with A-6 versus Fry's A-5. But the flop, turn and river run out 10d-Jd-Kc-Jh-4d, which is a chop.

5.10pm: CheersThe two remaining players are about to do battle heads up but not before a glass fo wine. A waiter has appeared and is opening a bottle of what we assume to be a Hungarian red, which both players are keen to sip. Play should resume any minute now.

William Fry - 1,893,000
Ciprian Hrisca - 3,421,000

5.00pm: Martin Jacobsen, Sweden, PokerStars qualifier, eliminated in third place earning €197,94.
The biggest pot of three-handed play gets all the way to the river, with the board showing 6h-Kh-3c | 8h | Ks. On the turn, Ciprian Hrisca bets 180,000, which Martin Jacobsen calls. And on the river, Hrisca moves all in, which covers the Swedish player. Jacobsen dwells and dwells and dwells and eventually CALLS! He shows 10-8 for second pair, but Hrisca has 10-2h and had a flush on the turn. Jacobsen is out and we're heads up.

4.45pm: Swings and roundabouts
After the first-hand double up, there have been no masive swings. William Fry took a pot off of Hrisca with a hefty turn bet on a queen-high board, then Hrisca took some back with A-5 on a 9-9-5 board. There are a few issues with the television cameras at the moment and three-handed play is resultantly slow.

4.33pm: First hand back
In the first hand after the break Martin Jacobsen moves all-in with 8h-9h and is called by William Fry holding Kh-Js. The flop of 8d-3s-Kd keeps Fry ahead but the eight comes in handy for Jacobsen when another eight hits the river, doubling up the Swede.

4.25pm: Extended break
This has now become an extended break with no sign of the players returning. The dealer is there, as are the stacks of chips, but Messrs Fry, Hrisca and Jacobsen remain absent.

4.10pm: Break time chip counts
Albert Iversen's elimination hand proved to be the last of level 24. The three remaining players headed off to a 15 minue break, but will return to the following stacks:

William Fry: 2,389,000
Ciprian Hrisca: 2,187,000
Martin Jacobsen: 738,000

November 1, 2008 9:31 AM

EPT Budapest: Level 24 updates

Play is under way in the final of the EPT Budapest.

These are the updates for level 24, where the blinds are 15,000-30,000 with a running 2,000 ante. The PokerStars blog will provide level by level updates.

3.53pm: Albert Iversen from Denmark, eliminated in fourth place for €153,216
Albert Iversen moves in again for 317,000 a hand later and this time William Fry calls. Iversen shows 9s-7s but Fry is ahead with pocket eights. The board runs out 5d-Kc-Ts-7h-6c and the Dane is eliminated.

3.50pm: Worth a try
Albert Iversen moves all in but gets no takers.

3.45pm: Clubbed
William Fry opens under the gun for 65,000 and only Albert Iversen calls from the big blind. The flop comes 10c-4c-Kc and both players check. The turn is the Ac and after Iversen checks, Fry bets, which Iversen calls. The river is the 4s, which both players check, and Fry shows 8c-7s for the 8-high flush, which is good.

3.30pm: Marino Serenelli of Italy, eliminated in fifth place for €127,680
Marino Serenelli raises pre-flop to 85,000 which William Fry re-raises by another 135,000. Serenelli called for a flop of 7h-Qh-6s. Now the Italian checks before Fry bets again, 90,000 this time which is called once more. The turn card 2d is checked by Serenlli. Fry moves all-in with Jh-6d and Serenelli calls with 8d-5s on a draw. The river card 7d cannot bail out the Italian and he is eliminated in fifth place.

3.25pm: Chip leader continues to charge
After significant pre- and post-flop action, Ciprian Hrisca put Albert Iversen to the test for his tournament life looking at 6d-Ah-5d-Kh. Iversen thinks for an age before folding and his Romanian adversary flashes a jack, whatever that indicates. Hrisca scoops a pot of a couple of hundred thousand and consolidates his chip lead.
3.15pm: Small pot to Fry
William Fry opens the pot from early position and Ciprian Hrisca bumps it up. Everyone gets out the way, but Fry calls and they see a flop of 4s-4c-Jc. Check, check. The turn is 2h and Fry bets 30,000; Hrisca calls. The river is 6c and Fry's bet of 60,000 finally scares the Romanian away.

3.10pm: Serenelli sense
Albert Iversen raises pre-flop and Marino Serenelli re-raises, scaring everyone away and taking the pot, showing pocket queens.

3.05pm: Play resumes with a double up
William Fry doubles up, moving all-in behind a raise from Martin Jacobsen and a call by Albert Iversen. Jacobsen stuck around to call the 503K move and showed As-Ks to Fry's pocket nines. A third nine landed on the flop, keeping Fry alive.

2.45pm: Break time
Players take a five minute break. There are five of them remaining, with the following chips:

Martin Jacobson - 1,302,000
Albert Iversen - 955,000
Ciprian Hrisca - 767,000
William Fry - 506,000
Marino Serenelli - 402,000

2.40pm: Gino Alacqua eliminated in sixth place, earning €100,016
Three-way action results in the elmination of the Italian Gino Alacqua. Ciprian Hrisca opens under the gun and Alacqua moves all in over the top for 272,000 more. One the button, Albert Iversen flat calls and the two blinds get out of the way. Action comes back to the original raiser, who calls. The flop is Jh-8c-10h and Iversen bets 250,000 into the side-pot, which Hrisca calls. The turn is Js and both players check. The river is 9h and it goes check, check again. At showdown, Iversen shows aces, Hrisca shows A-Q and Alacqua shows A-10. Iversen's aces have been outdrawn by Hrisca's A-Q, which has made a straight. Alacqua was always behind and never caught up and is now out.

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Gino Alacqua

Jacobsen and Iversen tangle in huge pot
2.35pm - Albert Iversen raises and it’s folded back to Martin Jacobsen who re-raised to 230,000. Iversen makes the call for a 500,000 pot. The flop comes 5s-4h-6d which both players check. The turn is a 9c and while Jacobsen checks Iversen makes it 110,000. After considerable thought Jacobsen calls for a river card Tc. Again Jacobsen checks and again Iversen raises to 140,000. This time Jacobsen folds, conceding a pot worth 700,000.

November 1, 2008 8:22 AM

EPT Budapest: Level 23 updates

Play is under way in the final of the EPT Budapest.

These are the updates for level 23, where the blinds are 10,000-20,000 with a running 2,000 ante. The PokerStars blog will provide level by level updates.

2.15pm: Zoltan Toth of Hungary is eliminated in seventh place for €78,736
Gino Alacqua raised pre-flop to 42,000 with A-2 and was called by Albert Iversen holding Q-T before Zoltan Toth moved all-in with 6-2, easily covered. The board ran 3h-8s-4c-Qh-3s and is checked down by Alacqua and Iversen. The queen is good enough for Iversen but it sends Zoltan Toth, the last Hungarian player in the event, to the rail.

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Zoltan Toth

Here's Johnny Lodden talking to the video blog crew

Watch EPT Budapest 08: Interview with Johnny Lodden Day 4 on

2.05pm: PokerStars sponsored player Johnny Lodden from Norway is eliminated in eighth place for €53,200.

Johnny Lodden raised from under-the-gun with pocket kings and was called by Zoltan Toth holding Ad-Kd. Martin Jacobsen also called with Td-7d for a flop of Jd-8s-2d. Lodden now made it 125,000 and Toth called before Jacobsen moved all-in. Lodden called, so did Toth who had the others covered. The turn and river came 7h and 9c giving a straight and the pot to Jacobsen and busting Lodden in eighth. Toth was left with just 40,000.

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PokerStars sponsored player Johnny Lodden

1.55pm: Alacqua out-muscles Fry
William Fry opened from mid position and Gino Alacqua moved all in over the top. Fry didn't take too long to let it go.

1.50pm: After Jacobsen's double up, we have entered an immediately cautious phase of play. If we get to a flop, we see a lot of checking, and if someone raises pre-flop, that's usually good enough.

1.38pm - The first all-in
In the first all-in call of the day Gino Alacqua calls Martin Jacobsen's all-in. It's Jh-9h for the Italian against Jacobsen's pocket kings. The board comes 2d-Td-Qd-8d-7h giving Jacobsen a flush and doubling him up.

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The final table players (from l-r): William Fry, Ciprian Hrisca, Gino Alacqua, Marino Serenelli, Martin Jacobsen, Albert Iversen, Zoltan Toth, Johnny Lodden.

1.25pm - Almost underway
The players have been introduced to the crowds one by one and are taking their seats. Play will be underway in just a few minutes.

November 1, 2008 7:31 AM

EPT Budapest: Introducing the final eight

After four days, 532 players, 23 levels and 524 eliminations it’s come to this, the final table of the first ever EPT Budapest. The success of the finalist is only matched by the success of this event in general.

No one knew what to expect when they arrived in Hungary but what they found when they got here were all the two principle ingredients for a great event - a big prize pool and a great location.

All EPT host cities have something picturesque about them but few can rival Budapest for the views from the front door of the casino, from which you can see the Royal Palace over the river and the Danube flowing to the horizon.

But it’s what goes on inside the casino that matters today; a final table featuring some of the game’s best and most exciting players. It all starts and finishes this afternoon when one man will be crowned the inaugural EPT Budapest champion – that’s a title worth €595,839.

The final table is set for the inaugural European Poker Tour event in Budapest. Play is scheduled to begin at 1pm central European time (7am ET). We will play to a winner.

These are the final table players:

Seat 1: Marino Serenelli, 60, San Benedetto del Tronto, Italy – 357,000 chips
Serenelli is a restauranteur from the beautiful seaside resort of San Benedetto del Tronto and is currently enjoying his biggest ever tournament poker success. Normally a cash game player, he has only played three live tournaments in his life – but made the money in all of them. His poker playing usually takes place while he’s holidaying on the Caribbean island of St Maarten.

Seat 2: Will Fry, 28, Nottingham, UK – PokerStars player – 572,000 chips

Fry first played poker aged six, in small five card draw games with his cousins. This early fascination with cards extended into magic and he still likes to practice card tricks with his friends. Fry mainly plays cash games online but mixes it up with some live play while travelling for a few months every year. He rarely plays tournaments and this is his biggest buy-in event. He plans to give a proportion of his winnings away to charities associated with third world poverty.

Seat 3: Ciprian Hrisca, 35, Bucharest, Romania - 1,038,000 chips

Hrisca decided to play the EPT Budapest because it was the closest event to his home town of Bucharest in Romania. The 35-year-old, who works in real estate, only began playing poker 18 months ago, first in cash games with friends before starting to play online on PokerStars. Now playing in his first live event, he thought EPT Budapest would make a “nice holiday” and now finds himself at the final table. Outside of poker, Hrisca enjoys playing football and is looking forward to the birth of his first child in April.

Seat 4: Gino "El Diablo" Alacqua, 47, Milan, Italy – 466,000
Alacqua first came to the attention of the international poker community when he was runner-up to Arnaud Mattern at the first EPT event held in Prague last season. Now he’s back at his second final table in a year – a double celebration because it is also his 47th birthday. The former antiques dealer had only been playing poker for 18 months when he competed in Prague but is now a regular on the EPT circuit and has quickly risen to sixth place on the all-time Italy money list with total live tournament winnings of more than $860,000.

Seat 5: Martin Jacobson, 21, Stockholm, Sweden – PokerStars qualifier – 306,000

Aged just 21, Jacobson has already been playing poker for three years. He is a trained chef but is currently playing poker full-time. Jacobson won his seat to this tournament in the last chance qualifying satellite on PokerStars last week. This is his second EPT - he played EPT London at the beginning of October but busted on the first day.

Seat 6: Albert Iversen, 21, Århus, Denmark – 1,059,000 chips

Iversen started playing poker at high school with friends before taking up the game online and playing low-stakes cash games. He swiftly built up his bankroll and now plays high stakes – $25-$50, $50-$100 and higher. He is currently taking a year off from university, where he is studying English and communications, to play live. Iversen bought himself into this tournament and it's his fourth EPT. This is the first time he has cashed.

Seat 7: Johnny Lodden, 23, Norway – PokerStars sponsored player - 500,000 chips
Already a star of the world game, Lodden has cashed at six EPTs but this is his first final table – and the first time he has been sponsored by PokerStars. Lodden, who came 11th at the World Series Europe Main Event last month for £54,300, started his poker life playing high-stakes cash games online. In fact, he was so feared that few players were willing to take him on at the highest levels. His great friend, the Team PokerStars Pro Wlliam Thorson, said: “I’ve known Johnny for many years and always known he’s a great player. But a lot of people who are great online don’t necessarily cut it in live tournaments. Johnny has worked hard though and I always knew he would be a great live tournament player as well.”

Seat 8: Zoltan Toth, 41, Hodmezovasarhely, Hungary – 1,059,000 chips

The local hero at the EPT Budapest, Toth has shown real character during the past few days. He advances to the final table with a slight chip lead, with more than 1,000,000 in chips. This is his greatest poker achievement to date, although he’s a tournament-only poker player usually at his local casino. After graduating from high-school, Toth started up his own businesses and now owns a pub and a clothing-import company. When asked about his hobbies and poker life, he merely replied: “During the summer I go fishing, winter time I play poker”.

And here they are with the video blog team:

Watch EPT Budapest 08: Final Table Introduction. on

October 31, 2008 4:24 PM

EPT Budapest: The eight best in Budapest

The corridor between the tournament area and the press room at the Las Vegas Casino, Budapest, is going to need recarpeting at the end of this week. On a day of startling activity at EPT Budapest, the returning day three field of 42 players was trimmed to the final nine in less than five hours. Even though it took another 120-odd minutes to shed one more, keeping up with the action for the most part forced reporters to buzz between the tables and their laptops with hazardous haste and frequency, and no sooner was a player doubling up than he was out; the seeming shoo-ins for the final kicked into touch.

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The eight players surviving the cull will return tomorrow to play to a winner, who will be €595,839 richer. It will be one of these:

Zoltan Toth, Hungary (1,059,000)
Ciprian Hrisca, Romania (1,038,000)
Albert Iversen, Denmark (1,017,000)
William Fry, UK, PokerStars player (572,000)
Johnny Lodden, Norway, PokerStars sponsored player (500,000)
Gino Alacqua, Italy (466,000)
Marino Serenelli, Italy (357,000)
Martin Jacobson, Sweden, PokerStars qualifier (306,000)

Regular poker observers will see one name leaping out from the page: that of Johnny Lodden, the Norwegian professional, for whom reaching a first EPT final table is a sizeable step nearer completing a personal journey of catharsis. Known across the world as one of the most talented and fearless of the online poker generation, the internet was abuzz earlier this year with rumours that Lodden had lost his sizeable bankroll forcing him out of the tournament arena and away from the high-stakes cash games that had been his hunting ground for several years.

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Johnny Lodden

But the 23-year-old's ability was always too great to remain in exile for long, and he was brought back in from the cold and given a two-tournament sponsorship deal with PokerStars for the EPTs in Budapest and Prague. And what a way to repay the faith and underline his proven talent: Lodden, who has six previous cashes in EPT main events without ever making a final table, will tomorrow break that duck, hauling half a million in chips to take his place in the last eight.

The company he'll keep tomorrow fits a classic EPT final table archetype. There's the home-town hero carrying the hopes of most of the railbirds: Zoltan Toth is representing our hosts here in Hungary and is also the narrow chip leader.

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Zoltan Toth

In the Scandinavian corner there's Albert Iversen, the 21-year-old Dane and chip leader at the start of day three, and Martin Jacobson, a chef-turned-PokerStars qualifier, who is hoping to join the likes of Mats Iremark, Magnus Petersson and Alexander Stejvic as Swedish EPT champions.

The Italian poker boom continues apace, with the reappearance on an EPT final table of Gino Alacqua, runner up in Prague last year. And there's also another new face from arguably the most promising poker nation in Europe, Marino Serenelli.

William Fry, a British PokerStars player, has capped a memorable debut in major tournament poker by cruising all the way to tomorrow's final test.

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The PokerStars player William Fry

And then there's also the Romanian player Ciprian Hrisca, whose move upwards today has been as silent as it has been relentless. He's comfortably in the top three with more than a million.

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Ciprian Hrisca

Of course, to reach those eight, we lost all others: the final remaining Team PokerStars Pro Alex Kravchenko perished in 23rd. He was joined on the rail - or in today's €2,000 side event - by the PokerStars qualifiers Janek Schleicher, Nicholas Maieritsch, Ofir Abramovivi, Dave Hardy, Robert Firestone, Tommi Etelapera, Dwayne Stacey, Lukas Bencovic, Oleg Korotkov and Sebastian Saffari.

It's been fast, furious and fun. More of the same will follow tomorrow.

Take a look back at today's action with any of the following:

Closing in on the final
How the (not so) mighty have fallen
Action stations
The pots keep getting bigger
A Greek tragedy
The last of the Team Pros
El diablo thriving on halloween
The ever shrinking field
All ins and double ups
Here one minute, gone the next
Edging towards the eight

Read all about it in Hungarian, Swedish or German. Or see the moving pictures of the inimitable

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And after all that, be sure to join us tomorrow for the final shakedown. Goodnight from Budapest.

October 31, 2008 1:14 PM

EPT Budapest: Edging towards eight

The eliminations have come thick and fast today as we edge closer to discovering the eight who will comprise tomorrow's final table. The official counts of the last 13 are on our chip counts page, and we'll be reverting to our time-stamped reporting style from here until the final is decided.

8.40pm - And there we have it
Ciprian Hrisca had been joking around a lot in these finishing stages, blowing his cards back to the dealer for instance and warning people he had position when the button came around, much to the merriment of the other players and railbirds. In contrast to him was Ivo Denev, a quiet player who has been wearing a mirrored visor since he started on day one.

As the short stack everyone paid attention when he raised to 48,000 pre-flop from under the gun plus one, especially Hrisca who re-raised, 150,000 in total. He didn’t seem to be joking anymore.

Denev called, leaving himself 200,000 behind for emergencies. The flop came Ts-6s-7c. There was no more finesse following that, just all-in and call.

Ivo Denev showed Ah-Kc but Hrisca turned over bullets to put himself ahead. The turn brought a king but the river a jack, ending this day and vaulting the last eight into tomorrow’s final.

As we await the final chip counts and the day end wrap, share a few moments with the PokerStars player William Fry, who will be on the final table tomorrow in his first major tournament:

Watch EPT Budapest 08: Interview Part II with William Fry Day 3 on

8.25pm - Play resumes
Blinds increase now to 10,000/20,000 with a 2,000 running ante.

8.05pm - Will he won't he
On a flop of 8s-3d-7h Jacobsen bet 100,000 and Zoltan Toth re-raised to 230,000. A tense few minutes passed by as Jacobsen considered the call but eventually mucked. Toth showed a ten and is now up to more than 1million. Players pause for a break.

7.45pm - Four way action
Four players see the flop of Qs-Tc-3d and four players check it. The turn is the Ac which is checked by Johnny Lodden in the small blind. Zoltan Toth in the big blind makes it 70,000 and Ciprian Hrisca asks how much before mucking. Gino Alacqua calls though before Lodden mucks. They see the river card 2c and both players check. Toth shows K-J to which Gino can only smile and tap the table in salute.

7.30pm - Not done yet
This time Ivo Denev moves all-in, a total of 145,000 which gives Ciprian Hrisca a seemingly painful decision to make. Visibly tired the Romanian scratches his head before deciding to call, showing pocket nines to Denev's A-Q. the flop brings the queen. Denev doubles up.

7.20pm - It's that man again
Next to be pushed off a hand by Sarenelli is Johnny Lodden. He raised to 40K before the Ialian re-raised to 120,000. Serenelli is now up to 370,000.

7.12pm - One more time
Serenelli is at it again, this time forcing a fold from Hrisca after moving all-in.

7.10pm - The fightback begins
Just when you thought it was all coming to a close the short stacks begin to double up. First double up goes to Marino Serenelli, the Italian enjoying every moment of his EPT. He moved all in with A-Q against Hrisca’s pocket sixes. A queen on the fop started his good run.

7pm - Down to one table
Sebastian Saffari is out in tenth after first losing a big hand against Gino Alacqua and then after an all-in called by Zoltan Toth. It was K-6 v K-Q, the bigger hand held by Toth who would go on to make a flush and leave just nine players remaining. Two tables become one until we have a final eight.

6.50pm - Jacobsen asks the question
Martin Jacobsen moved all-in on a flop of As-7s-8c. Zoltan Toth was the only player still involved, having first raised. Four players had seen the flop but now Toth held Jacobsen's fate. He passed.

6.45pm – Down to ten
“Well, it’s that time” announced Robin Keston, moving all in. Albert Iversen did the honours, calling Keston and showing pocket queens. Keston could only manage pocket tens. That wasn’t enough. We’re down to ten players.

6.30pm - Down to 11
Menno Antonius Bussinik of Holland is the next player out, leaving in 12th place after moving in with Ac-8s only to be called by Ciprian Hrisca with Ah-Jh. The jack on the flop all but extinguished hope for Bussinik, who collects €23,408.

6.15pm -- Down to 12.
With 13 players left every hand is a big hand. Simeon Tsonev raised pre-flop to 35,000 from under the gun and watched as PokerStars sponsored player Johnny Lodden re-raised, 90,000 total. An all-in and call followed with Lodden showing A-Q. With understandable irritation Tsonev turned over A-J and watched helplessly as a queen hit the flop, eliminating him in 13th place. Lodden meanwhile is up to 650,000.

The players are now into level 21, with blinds of 6,000-12,000 (ante: 1,000).

October 31, 2008 12:36 PM

EPT Budapest: Here one minute gone the next

It’s a sensation just experienced by Christophe Haller, who tussled with PokerStars qualifier Johnny Lodden and came out of it, well, out. Lodden held K-T and found two more on the board, taking the event down to 15 players.

Then came the end of Casey Kastle’s tournament. Kastle, an adopted American sporting a Slovenia cap of his homeland, bet pre-flop and was re-raised by Ciprian Hrisca. Kastle checked his cards again and moved all-in. Hrisca called and whilst Kastle showed pocket queens Hrisca had him beaten with pocket kings.

_MG_9081Neil Stoddart.jpg
Casey Kastle

It was a painful way to go for Kastle, who looked back at the board a couple of times before gathering his things to leave.

October 31, 2008 12:08 PM

EPT Budapest: All ins and double ups

Robin Keston moved all-in and whilst Marino Serenelli eliminated another player two tables along, Keston waited for a call, got one and doubled up with pocket eights.

But the big news for PokerStars is Johnny Lodden’s progress, a near double up that saw him take a big haul from Romanian Ciprian Hrisca with pocket tens, the same hand he’d folded just a few hands prior in a pot with Ofer Golko. Lodden now has more than 400,000.

Yesterday one of the stories was that of Slovakian PokerStars qualifier Lukas Benkovic and his ascent to the chip lead, knocking out former EPT winner Arnaud Mattern along the way. Well, his adventure ended today in 17th place, all in with his short stack on a hopeful 9-6 but ran headlong into a caller with A-J.

Benkovic spoke with the video blog team earlier today...

Watch EPT Budapest 08: Interview with Lukas Benkovic Day 3 on

Video blogs and interviews from the 2009 PCA

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