EPT €25k High Roller: Day 1, levels 7 & 8 (500-1,000, ante 100)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg10.55pm: Level over; break time
Level 8 done and dusted. See you in 15 minutes folks.

10.50pm: No third title for Mercier
Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier was the first person to win a High Roller event and the last person to win one. He won't be making it three titles though as Matt Woodward had just eliminated him. They saw a J♣8♦Q♠ flop before a series of betting and min-raises occurred before they were all-in. Mercier flipped over Q♣J♠ for top-two pair but Woodward had flopped the nuts with 9♦T♦. It stayed that way through the turn and river and Mercier got quietly up and left. Woodward up to 165,000. --MC

10.35pm: 'This is what live poker should always be like'
That's the words of one railer watching the verbal batting back and forth between Victor Blom and Tony G, and I have to say I agree. It is fantastic to watch and the rest of the table seems to be enjoying it too - particularly Tobias Reinkemeier who has his hand across his mouth to stop himself laughing. Blom is down to 31,000 at the moment - details of that hand to follow - and it was that which kicked off the war of words between G and Blom.

Blom had made a huge bluff on the river of a 7♣8♦K♦2♠T♣ board which had sent Reinkemeier deep into the tank for four minutes. When the German finally made the call Blom had insta-mucked.

Shortly after Tony G had started needling Blom over his bluff and Blom had been responding as best he could. When G started to tell him, in front of a growing number of railers, why his bluff was a bad one Blom responded,'I think you have no clue.' The table erupted in laughter with a couple of players looking dangerously close to falling off their chairs. Seriously. This stuff is golden. Please, please, please can we get these two heads up for the High Roller title. --RD


ept high roller_day 1_viktor blom.jpg

Viktor Blom: Tony G's new best friend


10.35pm: 'That'll do it'
Dennis Phillips played pot control in a hand and it turned out to be a good choice as he was sliding some chips over to Eugene Katchalov at the end of the hand. He raised from the button and Katchalov called from the big blind to see the T♦A♦3♣ flop. Phillips continued the aggressive line with a 4,500 bet and Katchalov called before both checked the 7♥ turn. The river came 2♠ and Katchalov took up the betting reigns with a 12,500 bet. Phillips thought long and hard before making the call. Katchalov tabled A♥T♠ for top two-pair. "That'll do it" said Phillps as he mucked. He's still doing well on 140,000. --MC

10.25pm: ElkY doubles up
ElkY has doubled up to around 100,000 with an unconventional hand for the Frenchman; pocket aces. The Team PokerStars Pro got it all-in with A♥A♠ against Dmitry Stelmak's ace-queen and will now be a threat. ElkY has some history in these high roller events... -- RD


ept high roller_day 1_elky.jpg

Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier


10.15pm: Blom and Mercier start dancing
Isabelle Mercier and Viktor Blom seem to be playing a lot of pots with each other with Mercier not seeming to mind too much about the fact that she's conceding position to the Swede.

Pot 1) Blom raised from the cut-off to 3,000 and was called by Tobias Reinkemeier in the small blind and Isabelle Mercier three-bet to 11,500 from the big blind. Both Blom and Reinkemeier called.

Flop: J♣5♠Q♥

Mercier followed through with a 12,200 bet to win the pot.

Pot 2) Blom opens another pot, again to 3,000, and is called by Mercier again - this time from the small blind. Blom c-bets 6,500 into the 4♥9♣2♦ flop and Mercier folds. --RD

10.10pm:Two hands from Mr Reinkemeier
Tobias Reinkemeier played two pots in a row and he won one and lost one to leave his stack touching 200,000. The first pot saw him raise to 3,000 and was called by Tony G on the button to go to a 8♣A♠J♦ flop where they checked through to the T♠ turn. The German check-called a 5,000 bet to go to the J♣ river. He checked again and again Tony G bet 5,000. Too much for Reinkemeier and he folded.

The next hand Reinkemeier called a 3,000 raise from Viktor Blom along with Georgy Kalashnikov on the button and Markus Golser in the big blind. All four checked the 8♣A♠J♦ flop to go to the T♠ turn. Golser led out for 8,500 and only Blom moved out of the way. The river came J♣ and Golser's 12,000 bet was called by both men. Reinkemeier tabled K♦Q♦ for a straight and the pot. --MC

10.00pm: Dyer decides whether to turn his hand into a bluff
Greg Dyer was in that tricky river position of having a hand with some showdown value but one that he didn't think was strong enough to beat Dennis Phillips. Phillips had raised from the cut-off and Dyer called with 7♥9♥. Phillips had continuation bet for 4,000 on the paired K♥4♣4♥ flop. Dyer made the call with his flush draw which was enough to slow Phillips down on the 7♠ turn. Phillips checked the river 3♠ and Dyer bet 7,300 rather than checking behind. Phillips made the call and showed T♦T♣ to win the pot. --RD

9.50pm: Rolling on
The players are back in their seats and ready to go. When we say 'the players' we actually mean 'most of the players' because in true to their high roller nature most of them haven't quite managed to make it back yet. --RD

8.20pm: Time for 'du pain et du vin'
That means time for 'bread and wine' and our high rollers have 90 minutes to shove as much - or as little - of the stuff down their gullets. Barraging torpedoes of French stick down their neck is not necessarily recommended as they'll have four more levels of play once they return at 9.45pm (local time, of course). That's a whole 11 levels of play they'll have played before the day comes to an end. --RD

8.15pm: Last hand of the break
And it's one for Blom. Georgy Kalashnikov limped from early position and Viktor Blom raised to 3,600. Kalashnikov called. The Russian check-called 6,400 on the T♣J♦3♣ flop. It was Blom who pulled the trigger on the Q♣ turn however with a large 12,800 bet which blew away the last of Kalashnikov's resistance. --RD

8.10pm: 'yes Yes YES'
Team PokerStars Pro Dario Minieri has been eliminated in a very big pot. Yohan Azoulay limped along with Leo Fernandez before Minieri raised from the small blind. Both players called to go to the 3♥Q♥4♥ flop where Minieri led for 6,700. Azoulay, in a surprise move, went all-in for 110,000. Fernadez folded and left the decision to Mineri. "I can't fold this. Can I?' he said to himself. "Let me check. Do you have a flush?" he continued before making the call all-in.

Azoulay did indeed have a flush with J♥8♥. Minieri needed the board to pair as he had top set with Q♣Q♠. It failed to do though on the A♣ turn and 8♦ river. Minieri said "Nice hand" and shook Azoulay's hand before leaving.

Azoulay looked in shock and stood up and faced his friends and in an increasingly louder voice went "yes Yes YES". Then he picked up a bottle of water and poured some over his head. He's up to 180,000 now. --MC


azoulay.jpg

Yohan Azoulay


7.55pm: No catch for Katchalov
Team PokerStars Pro Dennis Phillips raised to 2,200 from middle position and was three-bet to 5,700 by Eugene Katchalov. Phillips called and called again on the K♦4♥9♦ flop after checking to Katchalov who bet 7,600. Neither player decided to attack the J♠ turn. Phillips made a chunky 11,600 bet on the 7♠ river and Katchalov passed his hand. --RD

7.45pm: Kostritsyn's stack heading down under
Alexander Kostritsyn's stack is down to 10,100 after a he lost a big all-in showdown to Harrison Kaczka. Kaczka raised from early position to 2,000 and was flat called before the Russian three-bet to 7,200. Kaczka then moved all-in for 35,000 and Kostitsyn called with J♣J♠. His opponent tabled T♥T♦ and the board ran 6♦9♥7♥8♦7♦. Kaczka made a straight on the river to take the pot. --MC

7.30pm: Kravchenko opens, Hansen closes
Alex Kravchenko is trying to get his stack moving in the right direction. He was down to 28,000 earlier and has managed to get back up to circa 40,000. He opened to 2,200 and was three-bet by Hansen on the button to 6,600. The Russian did a good impression of a stone gragoyle, albeit one with Aviators on, before folding his hand. Hansen is currently on 80,000. Keep an eye on the chip counts by clicking here. Or you can just click at any time on the bit on the right. Yes, that bit that says 'Latest chip counts.' --RD


ept high roller_day 1_alex kravchenko.jpg

Kravchenko's stone gargoyle party trick


7.25pm: Negreanu upping his game
Daniel Negreanu is up to 115,000 after winning a three-way pot without a showdown. He raised from early and was called by Per Ummer on the button before the big blind raised to 5,000. Both players called to see the 2♥J♠J♣ flop where the big blind led out for 15,000. Negreanu raised to 30,000 and that was good enough to make his two opponent's fold. --MC

7.18pm: Break time over
The players are getting themselves seated and settled for the next hour's play after which a 90-minute dinner break is scheduled to take place. A chip sweep of the tables is taking place now but some of our big stacks include William Thorson (140,000), Viktor Blom (160,000) and Antoine Saout (155,000). --RD


ept high roller_day 1_william thorson.jpg

Team PokerStars Pro William Thorson is one of the big stacks


PokerStars Blog reporting team on the €25k High Roller in Monte Carlo (in order of coffees drunk today): Rick Dacey (5) and Marc Convey (3)

Rick Dacey
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour