Baltic Festival: Day two, levels 13-14 updates

Baltic-blog.pngThis post contains live updates from day two, levels 12 and 13 of the PokerStars Baltic Festival in Tallinn.

At the level's start, 85 players remained from a starting field of 307. The full chip counts at the start of the level are available on the chip counts page. Approximate counts will appear here updated throughout the level. A full breakdown of the prize structure is on the prize structure page.

Level 13:
1,200-2,400 (300 ante)
Level 14: 1,500-3,000 (300 ante).

7.25pm: A breather
Players are now on a 15 minute break and that will allow us to get a full run down of the chip counts after a breathless bubble-some level.

7.20pm: Heinanen, the great survivor
Petri Heinanen, who survived a couple of all ins around bubble time, has just done it again. This time he shoved over Matias Knaapinen's button raise and Knaapinen called. They showed:

Heinanen: Q♥[10s]
Knaapinen: K♣J♠

And when the board ran out [10h]3♦9♦A♥5♥ that ten on the flop took it down for Heinanen.

7.15pm: Brit on Brit action accounts for Pritchard
Thomas Partridge and Joe Pritchard got it all in pre-flop. Partridge had J♦J♣ and Pritchard A♥9♥, meaning Partridge was already ahead. Although Pritchard picked up plenty of outs on the flop of 8♥4♥8♣, the turn 8♦ and river 9♣ didn't help. Pritchard becomes our 31st placed finisher.

7pm: Double up for Ellis, plus chip leader action
Claus Bek Nielsen opened to 8,000 and Natasha Ellis moved her short stack of 25,000 all in. Nielsen eventually made the call and showed K♠J♠, which was almost the same as Ellis's K♦J♦. But that "almost" played: the flop had two diamonds on it, and there was another on the river, giving the flush, and the 55,000 pot to Ellis.

Meanwhile, these two Brits are the probably chip leaders at this stage:
Thomas Patridge: 240,000
James Keys: 380,000

All stacks are approximate. At the end of this level we'll do a full count and we'll know precisely where we're at.

6.50pm: A cash in three continents for Ellis
As an on-off PokerStars qualifier, Natasha Ellis has travelled a long way across the world, popping up on the LAPT, the APPT and now the Baltic Poker Festival. She has now cashed in her third continent as a PokerStars qualifier and is still going strong.

Another player who has earned quite enough congratulations, but deserves all the plaudits he gets, is the reigning World Champion Peter Eastgate. He has also made the money here, something he seems to do for fun. Again he's the last remaining Team PokerStars Pro to boot.

6.45pm: Bubble drama
The bubble has burst, and it's the Austrian player Christian Schneider who departs in 33rd, the unluckiest spot in the Baltics. It was a battle of the blinds when it happened, with two of the big stacks going at it. Michael Fardan raised with A♦Q♣ in the small blind, Schneider found kings in the big blind, and they got it all in. The flop was all right for the kings: 7♣7♥9♣ but the turn was an ace, which sent Fardan into the lead. He faded the king on the river and Schneider was gone.


Jonathan Fardan, left, and Christian Schneider, seated

6.30pm: Closing in on the bubble
That was the last significant action of level 13 and we're now into the next one. Which is level 14, following custom. The blinds here are 1,500-3,000 (300 ante) and 34 players remain. It's bubble time very soon - and don't the video blog team know it:

Watch PokerStars Baltic Festival: Bubble Time, Eastgate still Strong on

6.25pm: Englishman No 2
At the same time that Keys was still piling up that huge stack won in the pot against Katja Thater, his countryman Thomas Partridge was all in on the table next door. The board was all out 9♣5♠2♦[10s]7♥ and Partridge was all in. It was a massive pot against Patrik Kaltrud. Eventually the Norwegian player folded, giving Partridge everything in the middle. When he counted it into stacks, it was close to 180,000.

6.15pm: Thater unlocked by Keys
It was almost certainly the biggest pot of the tournament so far and it has just accounted for the Team PokerStars Pro Katja Thater. She has been on a tear today, and got beyond 110,000 at one point, which is 85,000 more than what she started with. But after three and four betting pre-flop, it was kings against jacks for the money. The British player James Keys had the jacks, and Thater had the kings. But there was a jack on the flop and that's a cruel, cruel blow for Thater. "It's been two years like this," she said, as she reported the details of her own demise.

Keys is past 220,000 and is leading this thing.

6.10pm: Shoving, calling, doubling
There's already about 15,000 in the pot and a flop of A♥7♥5♣ out when Matias Knaapinen and Einar Olafsson get involved. Knaapinen checks, and Olafsson bets 6,600 but is then forced to ask for more. Knaapinen check-raises to 14,000. Olafsson answers, moving all in with a stack that covers Kaapininen. That's fine: Knaapinen calls instantly and shows 5♥5♦, well ahead of Olafsson's A♣6♥. The turn and river are blank and Knaapinen's set is good enough to double up.

6pm: Ellis triples
Natasha Ellis was down, and now she's up again. Somehow - I didn't see it - she was down to her last 11,200 in chips and she got them all in against two players. One of them, Ville Wallin of Finland, she had covered, another Joachim Buch, she did not. And it was Buch in the lead when they showed their hands pre-flop:

Buch: A♣J♠
Ellis: K♥9♥
Wallin: Q♥5♠

The flop only favoured one of them. It came nine high. And then Ellis managed to fade all running cards, a jack or an ace or a queen, and all but tripled up to around 35,000 total.

5.45pm: Brits versus Tönsberg versus Katja Thater
There's was I getting excited about four Britons still in the Main Event -- James Keys, Thomas Partridge, Natasha Ellis and Joe Pritchard -- when the residents of Tönsberg, Norway, go and ruin the party. Isn't that always the way? Until recently, Tönsberg had three players remaining in the tournament -- Frode Langemyr, Patrik Kalterud, and Morten Ramm -- which is impressive enough, even before you learn that Tönsberg is a town of about 36,000 inhabitants.

Ramm, the comedian, has had his last laugh, though. As has, in the last five minutes, Langemyr. He ran kings into Katja Thater's aces and the Team PokerStars Pro now has more than 120,000. Right in the mix.

5.40pm: Tables
With the Main Event now down to five tables a lot of the big stacks are obviously close by one another. Kimmo Kurko is now betting immediately into Claus Bek Nielsen, for example, which can't be fun.

5.31pm: The leader
Here's Claus Bek Nielsen today:


And this is his closest challenger, Michael Fardan.


5.30pm: Refreshed
They're due back from the dinner break at 5.30pm, and when they return they will have chip stacks detailed on the chip count page. Claus Bek Nielsen is out front, but he's hotly pursued by his countryman Michael Fardan.


Howard Swains
@howardswains in Baltic Poker Festival