EPT €25k High Roller: Day 1, levels 1 & 2 (blinds 100-200)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg2.20pm: Boom to bust at the break
Slava Pryadkin is out. He came here to gamble and gamble he did. It started to work out well for him when he doubled-up early but he soon doubled-down twice to bust. Mike McDonald benefited twice out of it and is now on 110,000.

The players have gone on a 15-minute break. - MC

2.10pm: Everyone wants to be like Jason
Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier has built his stack to look like a pyramid. Phil Laak thought it looked so pretty he did his own version and then yelled over at Mercier to have look.

'Yours is way better that mine,' said Mercier.

'I was an engineer as a kid,' responded Laak.

'What? You played with Lego?' asked Mercier.

Laak nodded and then ran over to tease Chad Brown for a minute. That energy has got to go somewhere. -- MC

2.05pm: Brenes doubles up Strassmann
Johannes Strassmann had a terrible start today getting it in with an open-ended straight flush draw and missing. He has since managed to grind his way back up and is now on approaching 20,000 after getting it all-in with J♠J♥ on a 3♣3♠5♥ board against Humberto Brenes' pocket eights. No two outer and the German Team PokerStars Pro is back in it. -- RD


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Humberto Brenes' middle pair doubled up Johannes Strassmann's pocket jacks


2.00pm: Mizzi scalps a pot pre-flop
Sorel Mizzi has just squeezed from the small blind over Greg Dyer's call. Mizzi's 2,900 three-bet was enough to win a small pot. -- RD

1.55pm: He's at it again
Mike McDonald has just turned up to play and very quickly found out all about Johannes Strassmann's friend Slava Pryadkin. The Ukranian was under-the-gun, McDonald was in the big blind and the flop was out as 5♥4♥2♣. There was 8,000 in the pot and McDonald led for 4,000 before Prydakin quickly moved all-in for 80,000. 'This could be a fun tournament' said McDonald. 'What a welcome to the table.'

'You don't have to call,' responded Pryadkin.

This seemed to make up the young Canadian's mind as he made the call with Q♠Q♦. It was a good call too as Pryadkin opened A♣T♣. The turn came 4♠ and the river J♥ to double McDonald up to 98,000. Pryadkin down to 35,000. -- MC

1.50pm: Table talk
There's a lot more chat here in the High Roller than in most events and that's partly because a lot more of the players know each other at the tables. You have Luke Schwartz and Neil Channing discussing a high stakes cash game that's due to take place in London and Daniel Negreanu discussing a bet he made with, we think, William Thorson over the number of entrants to the High Roller event. Negreanu seems happy how packed the table are so we're guessing that he's gone for the over. -- RD

1.35pm: Minieri beaten down by Busquet
It's thoughts within thoughts here at the High Roller event with players guessing and double guessing each other. Olivier Busquet had fired the 8♣K♠T♥J♠ turn for 2,400 and had been called by Dario Minieri so who did the 8♠ on the river help the most? It must have been Busquet because he bet out another 3,200 on the river. Hold on, maybe it helped Minieri the most; he raised to 9,700. No, no, no, it was definitely a card Busquet liked; he three-bet to 21,000 and won the hand. -- RD


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Minieri liked the board... and then realised maybe he didn't like it so much after all


LEVEL UP: BLINDS 100-200


Yes, the blinds are the same. The first levels repeats itself in level 2.

1.20pm: Could be a long day for Negreanu
Ronny Kaiser first came to our attention with a very deep run at the recent EPT San Remo. He seemed to have a level of game and composure way above the level expected of any normal 19 year old and he seems totally fearless too. He's certainly coming to the attention of Daniel Negreanu today who is sat to the Swiss' right and suffering for being out of position.

Negreanu raised to 400 from the cut-off and was called by Kaiser on the button and John Juanda in the big blind. The flop came down T♣7♣4♠ and Negreanu's c-bet was only called by Kaiser. The turn came Q♣ and Negreanu continued the aggressive line with a 2,200 bet. Kaiser put the pressure on though with a raise to 5,600. Negreanu called to go to the J♠ river where he checked to face 17,800 bet. He folded quickly to leave himself with 41,000. Kaiser up to 60,000. --MC


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Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu


1.10pm: Juanda check-slaps Reynolds down
In an early blinds versus button battle John Juanda check-raised William Reynolds' 4,500 bet to 11,000. Reynolds studied the 4♠3♣4♣K♠ board before passing his hand. Juanda calmly raked in the pot. -- RD

1.05pm: Saout continuing to chip up
Antoine Saout hasn't turned up just to make the numbers. In a four way pot Saout check-raised from the blinds to 3,850 on a 9♦3♣7♦ flop over a 550 bet. He picked up two callers , including Seidel. All three players checked the J♣ turn. Saout then check-called 5,500 on the river with A♦9♣ winning the pot against an open-ended straight flush draw that never got there with 6♦8♦. As the Frenchman raked in another pot to near 100,000 American Team PokerStars Pro Chad Brown sat down to his right. These high rollers are a lot of fun for player spotting. -- RD

1pm: Bad start for Neuville
Pierre Neauville informed the blog that he got off to very bad start. "I got ace-king the first hand and lost to a player who hit two-pair on the flop with seven-three. Then I got aces the third hand and lost to a player who hit a set. I've lost a third of my stack already" complained/mused the Belgian.

He's down to 32,000 but in great spirits, as he has been all week. --MC

12.50pm: Video

12.45pm: 'You're a very sick man'
Team PokerStars Pro Johannes Strassmann is sitting in a state of shock and shaking his head after coming out the wrong side of a pot with Ukrainian Slava Pryadkin. Strassmann raised from the button and then called a re-raise to 5,000 from Pryadkin to see the 7♠8♣9♠ flop. Pryadkin led for 7,000 before the German raised to 24,000. Very quickly Pryadkin moved all-in and Strassmann called.

Pryadkin: J♠J♥ for an over-pair and open ended straight draw.
Strassmann: T♠8♠ for an open ended straight flush draw.

The turn came T♣ and river K♣ to miss Strassmann's massive draw and send the 95,000 pot the Ukranian's way. Strassmann couldn't believe what quite happened and said to his opponent "You are a very sick man." He's left with 5,800 now. -- MC

12.35pm: Saout shows the nuts
Life must be pretty good if you're Antoine Saout. Not only do you make final tables in both WSOP Main Event and the WSOPE Main Event but you seem to hit your nut draw when you have to. A mid position raise to 450 had been called in two spots, including by Jason Mercier on the button, before Saout three-bet to 1,650. The response was a swift reraise to 5,000. Saout called the four-bet before both players checked through to the T♠Q♠2♠3♣ turn. Saout led 8,550 at this point and was flat called by his opponent. The 6♠ completed the flush draw and Saout bet into for 17,000. Call.

Saout: A♠K♠ for the nuts. -- RD

12.30pm: A wealth of talent
The quality of this field is quite ridiculous. And by ridiculous, we mean ridiculously strong. You have Daniel Negreanu, John Juanda and Will Reynolds shoehorned into one corner of a table and Humberto Brenes and Alex Kravchenko in another. Just behind them are Eric Seidel, Jason Mercier and Antoine Saout. Check the chip count page on the right of this page for chip counts of the good and the great - or just simply click here! -- RD

12.25pm: Kaiser early chief
Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu has the company of good friend John Juanda today. As a formidable opponent he is it's young gun Ronny Kaiser causing Negreanu early problems. The first hand Negreanu min-raised to 400 and Kaiser three-bet him to 1,100 from the next seat. Negreanu called and then check-called a 1,200 bet on the 7♦Q♥2♠ flop. The turn was a scary A♠ for the Canadian as he check-folded to a 3,100 bet. -- MC

12.20pm: Cards are in the air
Some high rollers are yet to take their seats and others are still registering but our inside informant has told us that easrly estimates are of a huge 120 players taking part in this €25,000 High Rollers event.

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Monte Carlo: Home to the high roller

PokerStars Blog reporting team on the €25k High Roller in Monte Carlo (in order of who remembered their press pass this morning): Marc Convey (yes) and Rick Dacey (no)

Rick Dacey
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour