EPT London: Level 23 updates

There were 10 players remaining at the start of level 23. They're playing on two tables and will play down to a final table of eight tonight.

10.45pm: Erik Sjodin made it 50,000 to go and Johannes Strassmann slid in another tower of chips, putting the Swede to the test for another 125,000. He folded.

10.40pm: Alan Smurfit is believed by all the players, including those now exiled to the EPT commentary box, to be an exceptionally tight player. When he recently opened under-the-gun, Jason Mercier put him on nothing less than pocket tens or A-K. When Erik Sjodin then moved all in, Smurfit thought for ages before letting it go. For what it's worth, I reckon Smurfit is looser than they're giving him credit for. Two reasons behind that belief: firstly, he's been around the modern game with great success (including a bracelet win) for some time, and you don't have such success as a nit. Secondly, he's Irish. So my read on that, for what it's worth, is that he was trying to use his reputation to pick up the blinds and got caught out.

10.37pm: With these huge blinds - 10,000-20,000 - some of the players are mighty short-stacked. They've got something like 12 or 13 big blind only.

10.30pm: The two players under pressure are Marcin Horecki and Erik Sjodin and one of their stacks is going to be in the middle pretty soon. Each might be waiting for the other to slip up, but sooner or later one of them will be making the move. In the meantime, the big stacks are content to keep bullying one another and picking up what they can.

10.15pm:The final nine are cramped around what will tomorrow become an eight-handed final table. Their chips at 10.15pm were:
Michael Martin - 937,000
Anthony Lellouche - 1,309,000
Michael Tureniec - 1,086,000
Eric Liu - 698,000
Johannes Strassmann - 606,000
Alan Smurfit - 412,000
Philippe Dauteuil - 359,000
Marcin Horecki - 303,000
Erik Sjodin - 282,000

9.40pm: With nine players left, they're now conducting a redraw and compressing the field onto one table. This will take about 10 minutes, and then we'll go in search of our final eight. Or, more realistically, we'll go in search of the unlucky No9 who will bubble off the final table proper.

9.35pm: A huge pot just played out between Tureniec and Gjesdal, the Swede and the Norwegian getting it all in pre-flop with As-9s and 6-6, respectively. Two spades on the flop and a third on the turn gave the nut flush to Tureniec, which accounted for Gjesdal. He was out in 10th spot for £50,574. Tureniec goes to the final nine with more than a million in chips.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour