EPT €25k High Roller: Day 1, levels 5 & 6 (300-600, ante 75)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg5.56pmpm: Break time
Players are shuffled out of the room for a 15 minute break.

6.55pm:Hansen doubles bizarrely
Gus Hansen has doubled-up to 104,000 after a set of bizarre circumstances at his table. Hansen went to raise small but accidentally picked up a 5,000 chip instead of a 500 chip so what was meant be 1,600 became a raise of 6,100. A player called thinking it was 1,600 and then folded when the real raised size was pointed out to him. Leo Fernandez then min re-raised from the small blind and Hansen made the call.

The flop came Q♥9♠4♦ and Fernandez led out for 13,000 and then called the 27,000 shove from Hansen. Hansen turned up Q♠3♠ for top pair to Fernandez's K♠J♠ for a gutshot straight draw. The turn came 5♦ and river J♦ to keep Hansen ahead. Fernandez down to 7,100 now. All the table, the gathered crowd and Hansen himself were in fits of laughter at how the Dane had managed to win the hand. The only one not amused was Fernandez. --MC

6.50pm: Heartbreak for Boeree
These was some big pre-flop action between Georgy Kalashnikov (hijack), Liv Boeree (button) and Viktor Blom (big blind). Kalashnikov had made a standard raise, Boeree min-raised and was called by Blom, before Kalashnikov - who obviously wasn't keen on going three-way to the flop - made a final raise to 18,000. Boeree and Blom both flat called.

Kalashnikov moved all-in for just under 35,000 on the J♥9♥T♣ flop and Boeree moved all-in behind him. Blom passed.

Kalashnikov : Q♥Q♠
Boeree: A♥A♦

The turn was the 8♥ giving Kalashnikov the straight but Boeree held the A♥ giving her eight outs for the win and two queens for a chopped pot. Neither arrived. Boeree is down to 35,000. Kalashnikov is up to 100,000. -- RD

6.40pm: Shark's teeth blunted
Team PokerStars Pro Humberto Brenes has been eliminated by Yohan Azoulay. He was getting short and made a move with A♠T♠ but ran into the pockets kings of Azoulay. The board ran 9♣6♥4♠6♦2♥ to send the shark home. --MC


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Happier times for Humberto Brenes


6.30pm: Wait for me, I'm coming too
Jennifer Tilly has followed Phil Laak out the door. She raised and then put in a really big four-bet. Her opponent called to see a jack high flop containing two spades. Tilly shoved for half the pot with A♠Q♠ and her opponent called with ace-jack. The spade needed failed to come on the turn or river. --MC

6.20pm: No bad beats just bad spots
Neil Channing has been eliminated. Luke Schwartz hammered the final nail into the Channing coffin when he called Channing's all-in push holding pocket fours. The Brit had [7][9] and failed to hit. Most of the damage to his stack was done a while earlier when his pocket nines had run straight into pocket aces. --MC

6.10pm: Big hand for Boeree?
Pierre Neuville raised to 1,200 pre-flop and was called by Tobias Reinkemeier in the hijack and Liv Boeree in the big blind. The EPT San Remo winner check-called 4,150 from Reinkemeier on a 8♦7♠9♦ flop. Neuville got out of the way. What card arrived on the turn? It was, of course, the J♦ completing straight and flush draws. Both players checked and Boeree put out a 6,500 bet. Reinkemeier thought for a little while, not that long, and passed his hand. --RD

6pm: Bust outs
Team PokerStars SportStar Boris Becker has been eliminated by Paul Berende. Berende eliminated in 24th place from the main event earlier today and straightaway registered for the high roller event. All the chips went in on the turn with the board showing [a][5][6][j]. Becker had five-six and Berende had ace-jack. Enough said.

Also out recently were John Juanda and Martin Kabrhel. --MC

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 300-600, ANTE 75


5.50pm: Laak loses out
Phil Laak's first High Roller event has come to and end and there were no cameras or journalists there to witness it. The man to do the deed was Pierre Neuville and he filled us in on the details. Laak raised and was called by Viktor Blom and Neuville. The flop came ace-high and only Neuville called Laak's c-bet. The turn came a blank and Laak checked and Neuville moved all-in with big-slick. Laak called with ace-nine and failed to hit a nine on the river. Great comeback by Neuville who's up to 75,000 now. --MC

5.40pm: Channing keeps firing
Neil Channing had raised to 1,050 before the flop to pick up two callers. One of his opponents fell away to his 2,500 bet on the K♥K♠K♦ flop and the second was elbowed into touch with a 5,700 bet on the 2♦ turn. --RD

5.35pm: No greenbacks for Greenstein
We've just seen Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein walking out of the tournament room post his traditional book signing-and-giving. That's one less tough opponent for the rest of the field to KO. -- RD

5.30pm: Prize pool details
113 players is the final number of entries for the event; a record for any High Roller event held. The total prize pool totals to €2,825,000. Here's the breakdown:

1. € 1,000,000
2. € 625,000
3. € 375,000
4. € 275,000
5. € 200,000
6. € 150,000
7. € 115,000
8. € 85,000

5.25pm: Kalashnikov gunned down
Viktor Blom doesn't get bluffed off a hand easily. The Swede had opened to pre-flop and was called by Tony G in the cut-off and Georgy Kalashnikov on the button. Blom kept up his aggression with a 2,875 bet at the 9♦J♦2♣ flop. Tony G folded but our friend on the button decided to stay in to see the A♣ peel off on the turn. Blom fired again. This time Blom's bet was for 7,000, which didn't scare Kalashnikov who min-raised to 14,000. Blom called and then checked the 8♣ on the river.

A monster 40,000 stack was pushed across the line by Kalashnikov. Blom sat for a few minutes before calling. Kalashnikov mucked his hand before Blom tabled Q♦Q♠. Big call from the slight Swede. --RD

5.20pm: Laak's alive
I was standing in the middle of the tournament area when I heard my name being shouted by Charlie, the dealer, and Phil Laak. I went running over and Phil Laak wanted his potential exit or double-up blogged. "This is first first high-roller event. I love being here. I want to stay here. Oh my god, can I dodge this? Where are the cameras? This should be filmed." came out of his mouth in about two seconds.

The turn was out giving a Q♠4♣8♣2♠ board and Laak was all-in with J♦8♦. His opponent in the hand was Tony G and he was drawing to a straight flush draw with 5♣3♣. The river came K♦ and Laak doubled to 16,000. Tony G still going strong on 115,000. --MC

5.10pm: Veldhuis three-outered
Team PokerStars Pro Lex Veldhuis had been eliminated by Justin Smith. All the chips went in pre-flop with the Dutcman holding pocket jacks to the Americans ace-five. An ace on the flop was enough to boost Smith's stack. --MC

5pm: Mineri cracks aces
Dario Minieri has cracked Mike McDonalds pocket aces to move to 130,000. McDonald raised from the cut-off and was called by the Italian in the big blind to go to the Q♠4♣8♣ flop. Minieri check-called a 1,800 bet to see the 9♣ turn where they both checked. The river came 3,550 and Mineri check-called a 3,550 bet. McDonald tabled A♠A♣ but Mineri had rivered a straight with Q♦T♠. McDonald still going strong on 120,000. --MC

4.50pm: Players back in their seats
Registration has just been closed at the end of this break. Late entrants included main event casulaties Paul Berende (24th) and Nick Schulman (18th) who have both anted up half of their €50,000 prize money to play in the High Roller. --RD

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Phil Laak and co are back from the break

PokerStars Blog reporting team on the €25k High Roller in Monte Carlo (in order of EPT's attended): Marc Convey (30+) and Rick Dacey (7)

Rick Dacey
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour