EPT Barcelona: Day 1A, level 7, 8 & 9 updates (500-1,000, 100 ante)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg11.20pm: End of play
That's the end of play here in Barcelona. Check back for a full end of day wrap and chip counts. Loic Sa is the chip leader with 217,000.

11.10pm: Three-way shove fest
In the penultimate hand of the day Team PokerStars Pros Matthias de Meulder, Arnaud Mattern and Alex Gomes got it all-in on a 7♥5♦J♦ flop. Gomes held pocket jacks, De Meulder pocket kings and Mattern 5♣7♣. Gomes trebled up to over 80,000 while Mattern was crippled and knocked out the next hand. -- RD

11pm: Akkari survives... just
Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari was all-in for his last 13,000 with 7♣8♠ against Tome Moreira's rather more impressive A♣[10d]. But Akkari was not really that far behind - until the flop came 2♦5♣J♥ and turn J♠. Now Akkari was significantly behind, until the dealer saved his bacon with a river of 7♦. The Brazilian is now up to 27,000. -- SY

10. 53pm: Oh dear O'Shea
A 140,000 pot just took place which probably makes it the biggest of the tournament so far. It played out between PokerStars qualifier Giuseppe Pantaleo and John O'Shea--and the former got lucky to take it down.

Pantaleo raised from mid-position and then four-bet when O'Shea three-bet from the small blind. O'Shea called to see the 6♥T♣5♣ flop where he check-raised Pantaleo's 9,975 bet up to 23,500. Pantaleo moved all-in for 55,000 total and O'Shea snap called. Showdown:

Pantaleo: Q♣3♣ for a flush draw.
O'Shea: A♣A♦ for an over pair.

The turn came Q♠ to offer more outs for Pantaleo and the river came Q♥ to give him trips and the monster pot. O'Shea down to 15,000 now. -- MC

10.46pm: Andre all-in
A short stacked Andre Akkari is having to get chips where he can although it would be unlikely that he was shoving too light here. There was a small raise under the gun and Akkari moved all-in for 13,000 to take the raise, blinds and antes. It chips him back up to 17,000. -- RD

10.42pm: Smith and Stani
Asa Smith has just been moved to the right of EPT Tallinn winner Kevin Stani and although I've yet to see any significant pots between the two it's likely before the end of the day. Both have a few chips to throw around and both are good thinking players. -- RD


10.38: Back to front Robin Hood
Legendary French player Jan Boubli is going along very nice today although he's not winning every pot he's played. He just played two pots in-a-row against either neighbour and won the second.

The player to his right was very short stacked and shoved with K♥T♦ but was called by the dominating Frenchman with A♥K♠. All was looking good for Boubli before the turn and river ran out T♣T♣. The much larger stacked Boubli didn't seem to mind donating a little to his poor neighbour.

The player to Boubli's left was another matter and he was happy to snatch a pot away from him as it would help to make up the losses of the last hand. Boubli raised to 3,000 from the button and was called by the small blind. There was no more betting until the river when the board read 3♦8♠4♥6♥K♥. The SB check-called a 4,000 bet but mucked upon seeing Boubli's K♠9♠. The man who was playing poker before ElkY was born is on 150,000 now. -- MC

10.30pm: Toth out
I guessed Team PokerStars Pro Richard Toth must be out as I saw him loitering in the hallway. He confirmed the grim news: "I was in the small blind and had A-K, the button raised, so I shoved for 20 big blinds, about 20,000. He called me with pocket sixes and I did not improve." -- SY

10.25pm: Keiner outpipped
This one was all a little tentative. Thomas Froster raised under the gun to 2,500 and only Michael Keiner, the Team PokerStars Pro from Germany, called from the next seat. Both checked the [10s]3♠3♥ flop, and also the J♣ turn. The A♠ river sparked some life into them, and Keiner called Froster's 4,000 bet. Keiner had A♥Q♦ but Froster had him trumped with A♦K♣.

Keiner drops to 64,000 as a result, while Froster moves up to 34,000. -- SY

10.20pm: Toth decay
Team PokerStars Pro Richard Toth has about 22,000 left after folding to a large all-in and his tournament is on a decline at the moment. The Hungarian player looked physically pained to make the fold on the 8♥4♣Q♣3♦ board, but managed to do so. His stack still has some playability, as long as you consider three-bet shoving as playable, of course. -- RD

ept barcelona_day 1a_richard toth.jpg

Richard Toth's stack is in need of some emergency treatment


10.15pm: Day and night
By day he's known as Elmar Dirnberger. By night, and at the poker table, he's calls himself simply "The Wolf." In Barcelona we call him "Out".

So goes the Dirnberger story. The self-styled Canis lupus with the black cigar hanging from his mouth, moved all-in for around 10,000 and awaited his fate. That fate came in the form of Yann Dion who showed J♦J♣ to The Wolf's 9♥9♠.

"A nine," growled The Wolf. "A nine, a nine!"

The board ran 8♦7♦Q♦8♣3♦. No nine.

"He had all the luck in the world," he cried, now looking more Dirnberger than Wolf. "Incredible."

Dion said nothing, just giggled slightly as Dirnberger put on his coat and left for the rail. A few giggles and he was gone. Dion up to more than 130,000. - SB


10:13pm: Level up
That's it for level 8. As normally happens, level 9 follows and it's the last one today. Blinds are now 500,1,000 with a 100 ante. -- SY

10.10pm: Toth drops some
Darjan Radenkovic picked up a nice pot from Team PokerStars Pro Richard Toth, but was made to sweat for his troubles. On a Q♠J♣5♥ flop, Toth had bet, but the PokerStars qualifier from Macedonia bumped it up to 6,800 - call. On the 4♥ turn Toth checked then called when Radenkovic bet a teasing 6,300. Finally on the 7♠ river Toth checked again - and Radenkovic was sufficiently concerned to check behind.

He need not have worried, as his 5♣5♦ for a flopped set was good all the way. He moves up to 40,000 while Toth slips to 23,000. -- SY

10.04pm: Hall-in!
Kenny Hallaert has just taken a good chunk of chips away from last year's EPT Vilamoura winner, Antonio Matias, with an all-in shove. Hallaert had three-bet pre-flop and been called. Matias check-called 3,250 on the J♠7♦Q♦ flop before leading 4,000 into the 9♥ on the turn. Hallaert moved all-in for around 14,000 and Matias opted to pass. Hallaert is back up to a little over 30,000. -- RD

9.55pm: Still tangling
Michael Tureniec and John O'Shea are still sat next to each other and are still doing the Tango. The latest pot went to Tureniec but O'Shea is still out-chipping his opponent 92k to 33k.

Tureniec raised to 1,600 from first position and was called O'Shea and the big blind. The flop came down 3♥5♠3♠ and Tureniec led for 2,800. O'Shea was the only caller to the 7♥ turn where both checked. The river came J♠ and both players checked again. Tureniec tabled A♠Q♠ for the nut flush and took the pot as O'Shea folded after smiling.

The two then went into a deep conversation about the hand and whether they would've got it in pre-flop or on the flop if O'Shea had three-bet pre-flop. I'm not sure what the outcome of this conversation was but what is clear is that these two players have great respect for each other's games. -- MC

9.45pm: Tub thumping
Stephane Albertini, who earlier today bared his chest to the world in order to facilitate the massage process, just eliminated Finnish player Mikko Petteri Turtiainen.

Turtiainen got his chips in good, showing pocket aces, and was called by Albertini with pocket jacks. Needless to say you've probably spotted what happens next. Albertini caught a jack on the flop to send Turtiainen home. - SB

9.40pm: Oh no! Wait, oh yes!
Despair and then joy for Daniel Egea. On a 3♦4♠2d] board Aleh Plauski, who came sixth at EPT Monte Carlo last spring for $400,000, had bet 13,500 into a 25,000 pot. Egea was having none of it, re-raising to 30,000 and leaving around 10,000 behind. Plauski went into the tank. He had Egea covered, and after dwelling decided to move all-in, getting an insta-call from the Spaniard.

Egea: Q♣Q♦
Plauski: A♥K♥

Egea was ahead, but needed to fade an ace or a king to stay that way. The turn was 4♦, no change, but the river was A♦. Plauski had hit his ace, and for a moment Egea thought he was out. But the same A♦ had filled up his flush and the smile returned. Egea took the pot, shooting up to around 80,000 while Plauski dipped to 35,000. -- SY

9.25pm: Mattern's 'monster' stack
'I've got 40,000 from 10,000 so it feels like a monster stack,' said Mattern excitedly at the break. He'd just made a big call for most of his stack and was still very much bathing in his post good call glow.

Valdemar Kwaysser had opened the action from early position to 1,200 and had been called by Mattern in the seat directly next to him and by the 'crazy player' (Mattern's description) one seat on. The big blind also came along for the ride. The K♥K♣K♠ flop was checked by the big blind and Kwaysser, who claimed his first bracelet in the $10,000 PLH Championship at the World Series this year, also checked. Mattern fired 2,800 at the flop and 'crazy player' moved all-in for 10,700. The action folded back around to the Frenchman who was left in quite some predicament. Okay, he held a full house but with a humble pair of fives.

So what made you call, Arnaud? 'I knew he was playing very, very weird from watching some of his previous hands but I was pretty sure he would have shoved sevens or better pre-flop.' The French Team PokerStars Pro explained that the more he thought about it the more he thought that he was ahead. And indeed he was as his opponent, Mr C Player, tabled pocket fours. The turn and river blanked out and Mattern is up to 40,000. -- RD

*Kwassyer later claimed to have had sixes.

ept barcelona_day 1a_arnaud mattern.jpg

Arnaud Mattern looking happy with life


9.10pm: Time for a break
The players are off for their final break of the day and will return to increased blinds.

9pm: More for Morante
As usual, we join the hand on a flop of 4♦9♦9♥. There were two interested parties, David Morante in the small blind and Tyler Netter in the big. Morante had bet 2,500 which Netter called, taking them to the 3♦ turn card. Morante checked to Netter who lobbed in 4,200. Morante called and checked the J♥ river card, as did Netter, showing 8♥8♣. Morante had him beaten though, showing A♣J♦.

The pair would tangle again in the next hand with Morante opening from the button to 1,500 and Netter raising in the small blind to 4,400. There would be a supporting cast to this hand though, in the form of Ville Wahlbeck, ready for his close up and what would be his swansong.

With the action on him the Finnish Team PokerStars Pro moved all-in for 26,000, making Netter look slightly cross and bringing Morante to life. Morante asked how much and quickly called, while Netter was forced to fold.

Q♠A♦ for Wahlbeck, 9♣9♥ for Morante.

The board ran out 2♥3♠8♦2♠9♦. Wahlbeck tossed his hand into the muck and got up to leave. Morante up to around 80,000. -- SB

8.53pm: Green streak
Irishman John O'Shea is up to 80,000 after catching an ace with ace-queen against a short stack's shove with queens. It's one of those standard spots that makes a player shrug when he's the big stack making the call and the other player stumble away from the table, knock his chair over (by accident) and therefore not let someone catch their name. O'Shea, however, is the important part here. He's got a good stack now. -- RD

8.50pm: Frejdles escapes Netter
Tyler Netter raised to 1,525 from under-the-gun, which Ville Wahlbeck called from his immediate left, while Francois Frejdles raised to 3,300. Netter immediately looked interested.

"How much do you have behind?" said Netter, looking over at Frejdles who made no sound or movement at all. It was about 30,000.

Netter called as did Wahlbeck for a flop of 5♠6♠3♥. Netter checked, Wahlbeck checked while Frejdles, moving for the first time since his pre-flop raise, made it 7,500 more to go. Pass, pass, and Frejdles took the pot. - SB

8.40pm: Polish guy up
On a flop of 3♦4♦2♦ Martin Wendt and Szymon Pieszczoch (who mercifully produced his ID when I asked his name), went at each other for a pot. Wendt checked as did Pieszczoch for a J♥ turn card. Again, both players checked for a 7♦ river card. Wendt checked and Pieszczoch bet 1,300. Wendt grinned, knew he was walking into a trap but called anyway, nodding as Pieszczoch showed A♥Q♦ for the flush. Wendt showed 7♣7♠ for a losing set. - SB

8.32pm: Horecki nit rolled
I just caught Marcin Horecki talking to his PokerStars handler and as he didn't seem to be demanding a room upgrade or more PokerStars patches I could only surmise that he'd been knocked out. Alas that was the case, which is always a shame as he seems an awfully nice chap.

So Marcin, have you just been knocked out? 'Yes, I had around 7,000. Someone opened for 1,500 and I moved it in with sixes. He took ages to call with eights. And he had a lot of chips,' the former ski pro said with the look of someone trying to be polite and not say, 'What a nit roll.' Horecki failed to catch a six or miracle straight or chop. -- RD

8.22pm: Veldhuis oot
Lex Veldhuis is one of our most recent fallers with a nasty little QQ versus AJ outdraw. Veldhuis had shoved with queens and had been called by the opener with the ace-jack. The jack-high flop had given Veldhuis a sweat but an ace on the turn and a jack on the river had turned those sweats into cold shivers. Veldhuis is out. -- RD

8.10pm: Port and cigars
The late dinner shift departs for pork pies and paella, while the early shift returns to play on.

Ruben Visser is one of them and opened a pot for 1,400 in late position. Paul Knebel in the big blind called for a flop of 9♣3♠4♣ which both players checked for a 5♥ turn. At this point Knebel raised to 1,800 which Visser called for a 6♠ river card. Knebel checked while Visser, reaching for chips, bet 5,125. Knebel reluctantly passed leaving the pot to the Dutchman, who now has around 41,000. - SB

7.57pm: Switch
That's the end of level 7 for this half of the field. They now leave for dinner while those who have already filled their bellies begin level 7 for themselves. -- SY

7.55pm: Yes we will
In the post below we described how defending champ Carter Phillips had blown off most of his stack. He's now lost the rest as well, and is out. -- SY

7.50pm: Will we crown a new champ?
Unfortunately for Carter Phillips that might be the case as he's just lost a big pot to Team PokerStars Pro Michael Keiner to move down to about 6,000 in chips.

The two players saw a 4♠T♠K♦ flop and Phillips led from under-the-gun and then called a Keiner raise from the cut-off. There was around 20,000 in the pot by now and the turn came 2♥. Phillips checked and Keiner bet 12,000 which was about 40% of his remaining stack. Phillips moved all-in and Keiner snap called all-in to create a showdown:

Keiner: T♣T♥ for middle set.
Phillips: J♣9♣ for a gutshot straight draw.

The river came A♥ to double the German up to about 65,000 in chips. Carter got up to leave but had trouble gathering his stuff and knocked over his chair. He was then told he still had chips and he responded: "I may as well be out." A very disappointed young man sat back down. He has a lot of work to do to retain his title now. -- MC

7.40pm: He's happy
A new level in the side event here was just heralded by a burst of the song 'Don't worry, be happy' over the speakers. Just then I wandered past Loic Sa in the main event to see him not worried and very happy with 175,000 chips. Yes, that's 175,000 and the clear chip lead.

Also ticking along nicely is Antonio Matias with around 80,000. He won EPT Vilamoura last season and qualified on PokerStars for this event. -- SY

7.35pm: Binger busts
Little Binger, i.e. Nick is out. He had been grinding a very short stack for a good while before he pushed his last few thousand all-in from the button with J♠T♥. The player in the big blind looked him up with Q♦T♠ and it held up. Big Binger i.e. Michael will be trying his luck tomorrow. -- MC

7.25pm: Nice call
Dermot Blain showed the sort of read that helps you win tournaments (he won APPT Macau in 2009). On a A♠8♦2♥Q♣ board he checked, as did Nicholas Katovsky. The river was 7♠ and again Blain checked. Now, though, Katovsky bet 8,600 into a pot of around 10,000. Blain did not like it as a pained expression came over him. But he picked up two yellow 5,000 chips and tossed them into the middle to make the call:

Blain: J♠J♣
Katovsky: K♥[10d]

Katovsky had no more than king high and Blain's jacks were good for the pot. -- SY

7.15pm: Lucky Loic
Frenchman Loic Sa hasn't looked back since his encounter with Dermot Blain. He's just eliminated his neighbour (who ran off before we could get his name) to move up to a clear chip leading 135,000.

Sa raised to 1,250 pre-flop and was called in three spots including both blinds. The flop came T♠2♠9♦ and Sa c-bet for 3,325 only to face an all-in shove for 23,000 from the said neighbor. The two players in the blinds folded but Sa made the call after some thought.

He tabled J♠9♠ for a pair and flush draw but was behind to his neighbour's pocket queens. The turn and river came J♥4♦ to make two-pair for Sa and the pot. -- MC

7.05pm: More on Phillips
Talking of Carter Phillips (see below), he recently posted this update on his Facebook account: "UTG makes it 1,100, I make it 2,100 with 2-3 suited. Small blind makes it 6,300, I jam for 30,000 he folds and I show :-)"

7pm: Back from break but not from dinner
OK, let's make this as simple as possible. Half of the field are back from their 15-minute break, but the other half have gone off for the start of their one-hour dinner break. We're into level seven now which those present will play, then they go on their dinner break leaving those currently munching to play their level 7. Simples.

Still going strong is Carter Phillips, who won this event last year for €850,000. Like then, he qualified this year on PokerStars for much less than the €5,000 buy-in. -- SY

carter_phillips_ept_barcelona.JPG

Carter Phillips

PokerStars Blog reporting team (in order of fashion sense): Stephen Bartley (1940s), Simon Young (1980s), Rick Dacey and Marc Convey (1990s). Photos by Neil Stoddart

Simon Young
@MrSimonYoung in European Poker Tour