EPT Barcelona: Day 1A, level 5 & 6 updates (blinds 200-400, 25 ante)
End of level 6
A 15 minute break for some and a 75 minute break for others. See post at 6.15 for full details. -- MC
6.40pm: Better the devil you know?
Antony Lellouche was eliminated a while ago when he ran ace-queen into pocket fours on a queen-four-rag board. Michael Tureniec would've been glad to have seen the dangerous Frenchman gone from his left or maybe not. That's because John O'Shea took his place and is making life very difficult.
The latest hand went the Irishman's way. Tureniec raised to 1,000 from the cut-off to face a three-bet to 2,900 from O'Shea on the button. Tureniec four-bet to 7,000 only for O'Shea to five-bet to 14,800. Tureniec had around 35,000 back and decided to conserve them by folding. O'Shea flashed a black ace and scooped in the pot to move to 76,000 chips. -- MC
6.32pm: Little movement from Visser
Ruben Visser has just under 30,000 chips, and that's according to Visser himself. Every player has those days where there's little movement and for every medium-sized pot won there's two or three small pots left giving you a +/- movement of zero. Visser appears to be having one of those today, yet the introduction of antes and growing blinds should force him out of that cycle before long.
On the losing side of that cycle he just had to pass the river to Jose Alberto Rivas after the Venezuelan check-called the 7♦K♣3♠ flop for 1,050 and led 4,000 into the 4♣ river (the turn was the Q♣ and was checked). -- RD
6.25pm: Boubli comfortable
It was way back in 2005 when Jan Boubli won Season 2's EPT Barcelona, picking up a nice cheque for $528,195. Last season he threatened to repeat the trick before falling in 18th place for $37,196. And if on that evidence we can conclude that Boubli likes playing EPT Barcelona, then it's no real surprise to see the Frenchman up among the chip leaders today with 64,000. -- SY
6.20pm: Saout blanks out
Antoine Saout just moved all-in for his last 5,150 from early position. There was a flat call before Cristiano Blanco moved all-in for 32,000 to isolate and it worked. Showdown:
The board ran A♥9♦5♣3♠7♥ to see the Italian's hand hold up to bust the Frenchman. - MC
6.15pm: Dinner break explained
Gran Casino Barcelona is providing a buffet for all the players here this week but as they have limited table space the dinner break will take place over two sittings (just like being back at school).
When the bell goes at the end of this level tables 1 to 11 will take a 75-minute break. Tables 11 and upwards will go on a 15-minute break and come back and play level 7. When that level is over they will go on their 75-dinner break while the returning players will play catch-up by playing level 7 themselves.
All the players will reconvene for levels 8 and 9 before play concludes for the evening. Got that? I hope so as we're a little confused by it all. -- MC
6.12pm: Nearly none for November Niner
Former November Niner Antoine Saout is down to less than 5,000 after a hand against Mikko Turtiainen. Saout made an initial raise before Turtiainen shoved all-in for 7,200. Saout called, turning over A♣K♥ while the Finn showed A♥A♠.
The flop came Q♥Q♣A♦ which got players grinning, but the 3♣ turn and J♣ river moved Turtiainen up to around 15,000. Crunch time though for the Frenchman. - SB
6.10pm: Choppy waters
Just a short while ago we reported that Dermot Blain was cruising along nicely with 67,000 (see 5.30pm: Blain sailing). That is not the case anymore, thanks to Frenchman Loic Sa whose stack is now significantly larger than his name.
Blain had used his button to three-bet Sa's open and the Frenchman had replied with a four-bet to 8,500. Blain had made the call sending two players to the A♦J♦2♥ flop. Sa led for 6,700 and Blain made the call. Both players checked the 7♦ turn and the 3♦ river with Sa showing Q♥Q♦ for a backdoor flush.
Blain looked suitably annoyed and openly flashed his cards to the table as he mucked, of which I could only see a black king. Whether it was paired with another king or an ace I'm not sure but the look on Blain's face said that he was ahead before the river.
Blain is down to 50,000 and Sa is up to around 95,000. -- RD
6pm: Veldhuis down and then back up
We did not see how it happened, but at some point Team PokerStars Pro Lex Veldhuis lost a big pot to go down to 10,000. "I need a vacation," he said ruefully. But all that's forgotten now after he clawed some back then doubled up.
He was up to 13,200 and managed to get all-in with [10s][10d] against Roman Makhlin's A♣J♣. Makhlin had the Dutchman well covered but needed to catch. Veldhuis faded an ace and jack on the 2♦7♠5♦ flop, but then a [10c] on the turn gave him the nuts. He's up to 27,000 now. -- SY
5.50pm: River value
Johannes Meyer Zu Wendischhoff took a pot off Michel Pierre Spagna and Michael Tureniec before the latter got revenge the very next hand.
The first hand saw Spagna raise from early position picking up calls from the two said players. The flop came 5♠2♠3♦ and Spagna's 2,700 c-bet was called by both opponents. The turn came 3♠ and Meyer Zu Wendischhoff led for 7,000 and took the pot down.
The next hand Tureniec opened to 750 from mid-position before facing a three-bet to 2,100 from Meyer Zu Wendischhoff. Call. There was no more betting until the river where the board read A♥Q♥2♠9♥A♠. Turenic led for 3,600 and was called by him German opponent. The Swedish runner-up at EPT5 London tabled A♣8♣ for trip aces and the pot that helps him up to 53,000. -- MC
5.42pm: Smith looking for repeat business
Young Brit Asa Smith had a good run here last year finishing fifth for €200,000 and the cash game player is setting himself up for another solid score. He's already chipped up to 62,000 despite running into a turned set, which he didn't seem to like paying off. What he does seem to like, however, is his table which is bereft of any big names. -- RD
5.40pm: LEVEL UP: Blinds 200-400, 25 ante
5.30pm: Blain sailing
Dermot Blain is cruising near the top of the leaderboard with around 67,000. He's familiar to those who watch the business end of PokerStars events--in 2009 he won APPT Macau for $541,000, and last April he came 15th at EPT San Remo for another $47,000.
Just now he was in a raised pot with three others, and when they all checked to him on a 3♥8♦8♠ flop, he felt obliged to bet 5,500 and take the pot. -- SY
5.20pm: Massimo value
Massimo Di Cicco is up to 39,000 after getting three streets of value from Christopher Kayle Elmore. There was an under-the-gun raise that Elmore called before Di Cicco three-bet to 1,200 from the hijack. The small blind and other two players both called to go to the 4♥6♣T♣ flop.
The action checked to the Italian who bet 3,725 and was only called by Elmore. The turn came 4♠ and Elmore check-called a 4,000 bet. The river came 7♦ and it was more of the same as Elmore check-called a 6,000 bet. Di Cicco tabled K♥K♣ for the pot as Elmore mucked. -- MC
5.12pm: Bye bye to battered Baranov
Sergii Baranov loves a big pot and like most players he prefers it when he's ahead. That may well be he wasn't too happy when he got it all-in with K♠K♥ on a 4♠3♠6♠ board against J♠Q♠. He found that his stack, which must have been approaching 30,000 at the start of the hand, was well covered.
Baranov still had outs, not too many, but unfortunately for him the board blanked out with the 5♣ and 6♣. -- RD
5.05pm: Lex loser
Lex Veldhuis was looking at a flop of 9♠J♥A♥ and then a turn card J♠. The Team PokerStars Pro bet 2,850 from the button and Alejandro Passy called from the button. Veldhuis stole a look at Passy as the dealer burned and turned, but when Passy moved all-in on the A♠ river, for around 9,000, Veldhuis insta-folded, slipping down to 29,000. Passy back up to around 20,000. - SB
4.53pm: Back again
Players are returning from their break. As we enter level 5, blinds are now 150-300 with a 25 ante.
While we sit here in the relative warmth of Spain, a man with a moustache tells us there is likely to be snow later this week back home in the UK. A moustache? Yes, but who would have one of those these days? Well, step forward charity man Stephen Bartley.
While we wait for play to begin, take a look at our gaffe this week. Not bad, eh?
PokerStars Blog reporting team (in order of moustache growth): Stephen Bartley (too much), Marc Convey, Rick Dacey and Simon Young (none at all)