EPT Barcelona: Day 2, level 12 & 13 updates (blinds 1,200-2,400, 200 ante)


6.21pm: Not break time
That's the end of the level. Players are NOT taking a fifteen minute break and will play through until 7pm. At which point they will take a one hour dinner break. -- SB

6.20pm: Chip carnage for Rufas
Luis Rufas has just had his chip stack smashed to pieces, but only by a loud Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall lookalike. He appeared out of nowhere to grab Rufas shouting: 'I love you! I love you!' before knocking his carefully stacked chips over the table. A couple of people in the vicinity of the table thought it was funny. Most did not. A fact that was not lost on this harlequin who promptly announced that he would help him stack his chips. How very generous. -- RD

6.20pm: Chouity hanging on
Nicholas Newport opened for 5,200 in middle position which Nicolas Chouity called in the cut-off. Bertrand Grospellier also called form the big blind for a flop of 4♥3♣2♥. Grospellier and Newport checked while Chouity bet 9,600 to take the pot, the EPT Grand Final moving up to 70,000 chips. - SB

6.18pm: Bounty for Bertie
On a board of 5♦9♥J♠K♣4♦, which had been checked to the river, Bertrand Grospellier was able to pick up a few thousand against Tony Arias. When Arias checked on the end Grospellier made a general principle bet of 6,600 which Arias called, regretting it immediately when the Frenchman showed T♣T♥. Grospellier up to 170,000. - SB

6.15pm: Bravo!
It's all been about Luis Rufas in the past couple of hours as won a succession of monsters to move over 550,000. But that did not stop Eloy Bravo from chancing his luck and getting away with a nice move.

The flop was 2♥2♣4♣ and Rufas had bet 10,300 at it. Bravo, a PokerStars qualifier from Spain, was in no mood to be pushed around, raising it up to 23,700. Call. The turn was 4♦ and now Bravo bet 38,000, prompting a swift fold from Rufas.

Bravo showed J♥7♥ for complete air and is up to 100,000. Bravo! -- SY

6.10pm: Play dead
Nicholas Newport opened to 5,200 from the but-off, but lurking in the seat next to him lolled Kristoffer Thorson, an attack dog of a player, not in the Rottweiler or Doberman sense, but one of those ordinary ones, pettable for the kids but trained trained to be ruthless when it comes to guarding property.

That property included his chip stack, and from the button he raised to 12,400. In the small bling, however, was Giuseppe Sammartino, who had his own plans of raising and winning the hand.

He got as far as the raising, making it 23,000 to play, and forcing a fold from Newpport, but no further. Thorson asked how much he had left (70,000) and, responding with disproportionate force, lumped 100,000 into the middle. Sammartino got the point and mucked. Thorsson up to 250,000. - SB

6.05pm: Rufas ripping it up
Luis Rufas can't wipe the smile off his face at the moment and it's hard to blame him really; the Spaniard is up 570,500. That, ladies and gentlemen, is an absolutely monster stack considering the average is around 115,000 at the moment. He'd only just won one heaving pot of gold (see 5.30pm: Rufas soaring) when this hand took place.

There had been a standard hijack raise from Matthew Widdoes which had been called by Salvatore Ferone in the cut-off. Big stack Luis Rufas then three-bet to a little over 20,000 from out of the big blind. This squeeze would often signal the end of the hand. Not this time. Both Widdoes and Ferone made the call.

Rufas led 37,200 into the 2♣4♠3♣ flop and Widdoes called. Ferone did not. He moved all-in instead and Rufas did likewise. Widdoes went deep into the tank to weigh up if he could afford to pass up on the price he was getting laid in this huge pot. He decided he could and later mentioned that he could have been drawing dead.

Rufas: A♣Q♣
Ferone: 4♦4♥

It was top set versus a monster draw and luck decided to shine a light on the local boy with a flush granting K♣ in the turn and a blank J♦ on the river. The pot saw Rufas chip up to over 570,000. It's an unbelievable amount of chips to hold at this juncture and it will take an incredible series of events for him not to make the money, but then again anything's possible... . -- RD

6pm: Dutchman flies away
Team PokerStars Pro Marcel Luske has been eliminated. He came back today with just 18,000 and by the time he made his move he had 17,000 after a few hours of treading water.

The action folded to him on the button and he raised to 8.500 with K♦5♦. The small blind flatted (aces) before the big blind moved all-in (ace-nine). Luske called all-in and the small blind called as well. The board ran out [t][t][8][7][9] eliminating Luske and the big blind. -- MC

5.50pm: Piceci leaves in a storm
Claudio Piceci came to the poker world's attention at EPT San Remo last season when he tangled and occasionally winked at Liv Boeree on his way to a 7th place finish and he's just put himself back in the limelight by exiting whilst locked in a vocal dispute.

His opponent in the hand was PokerStars qualifier Dominic Nitsche who opened the pot with a raise to 5,500 from under-the-gun. Piceci called from the button after two other players had called. The flop came 8♥4♠K♠ and Nitsche c-bet for 8,500 when the action was checked to him. The other two players folded and Nitsche didn't see that Piceci had cards and went to slide his cards into the muck before pulling his cards back.

Piceci saw this and claimed the hand should be dead. Nitsche, the dealer and a couple of other players said that was not the case so Piceci, not looking happy, moved all-in for 60,000. "Okay, I call" said the young German.

Piceci: 4♣4♥ for bottom set.
Nitische: T♠8♠ for middle pair and flush draw.

The turn and river ran out J♠T♥ to make a flush for Nitische. Piceci was halfway out of his seat before he decided that he wanted a ruling on the situation. The floor man was called and the situation explained to him. Nitische's hand was deemed live and Piceci was confirmed as out but he still didn't want to accept it and argued his point all the way out of the room. Nitische is up to around 230,000 now. -- MC


Claudio Piceci making his point

5.41pm: Ugly table
At this point in the EPT you always start seeing a few tough players congregating. This one however has got very ugly, very quickly. Among the players at this one stretch of baize are Kristoffer Thorsson, EPT winners Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier and Nicolas Chouity, Melanie Weisner, Nicholas Newport (who recently won €125,000 for a first place finish in a Irish €1,500 event) and Kimmo Puusa (who a Finnish colleague reliably informed me is a 'sick' player).

As a spectator it's a great table to wait on, unfortunately it's tucked away in the most inconvenient part of the tournament floor. The last bit of action I caught was Weisner raising to 5,500 for the second hand on the bounce and having Thorsson squeeze it to 22,000, following a call from Puusa in the cut-off. Neither Wesiner or Puusa considered calling very much. Easy chips for Thorsson who is up to around 140,000. -- RD

ept barcelona_day 2_elky.jpg

ElkY before his move from the softer TV table

5.30pm: Rufas soaring
Luis Rufas is back where he was at the end of last night - at the top of the leaderboard. As I sauntered over to his table with as much energy as a sloth dragging itself up a tree, I noticed Rufas was busy stacking chips - and a count revealed he had broken through the 400,000 barrier.

A run wander around the other tables revealed no-one else is even close to that right now. -- SY

5.20pm: Dinner plans
News in, we play on to 7pm, when things will pause for a one hour dinner break, mid-level.

5.15pm: Don't I know you>
"Alejandro... G-O-N..."

It was at this stage I realised I'd asked Alejandro Gonzalez-Olaechea his name before. I cut him off when he got to the O-L-A bit and he didn't seem too irritated, but I wouldn't have blamed him.

I needed his name because, as he did yesterday, he was starting to throw his weight around, at the table, not as a way of intimidating people standing nearby. Yesterday, we reported on him suffering somewhat against Andrea Benelli. Well, Benelli is now out, while Gonzalez-Olaechea plays on, now up to 110,000.

His latest boost came against Dominic Nitsche. Gonzalez-Olaechea opened for 5,500 in the hijack which Nitsche raised to 15,800 on the button. The action was folded back to Gonzalez-Olaechea who took back his initial bet and replaced it with 33,300. After a few seconds Nitsche batted away his hand, wanting nothing more to do with it.

"Show the bluff," said Nitsche and others at the table, sticking to form.

"You think I had a bluff, re-raising you?" said Gonzalez-Olaechea. - SB

5pm: Back at work
Cards are back in the air. This is level 13, and blinds are 1,200-2,400 with a 200 ante. -- SY

4.46pm: Break it up
That's the end of the level. There will now be a 15-minute commercial break. -- SY

4.47pm: Pinho purged
A cry of "seat open" drew my eyes to a corner of the room, and from that direction a disgruntled Team PokerStars Pro Henrique Pinho was seen wandering towards the exit. He's out. -- SY

4.45pm: Collado gets it all
Jan Collado is up to 160,000 after managing to get it all-in with a set. Collado had called a raise pre-flop and had check-raised the 4♥9♣5♥ flop from 7,100 to 19,500. The move forced his opponent, Mario Fernandez Riva, to a big decision as a call should commit him to the hand as he had a little over 40,000 behind.

Riva opted to move in with A♣9♠ and was instantly called by the German with 4♣4♠ for bottom set. -- RD

4.42pm: Video interlude
Here the video team sums up some of today's action...

4.40pm: Two hands for Gomes
Two hands involving Alex Gomes; one bad, one good. They leave the Brazilian Team PokerStars Pro with a stack of around 80,000 chips heading into the break.

In the first hand Gomez opened for 5,000 from middle position which was called in the big blind by Stefan Huber. The flop came A♥J♥4♥ which both players checked for a 5♣ turn. Huber then bet 5,700 forcing Gomes to fold, slipping down to 55,000.

But not for long. On a flop of 8♠6♣3♥ in the next hand, and with 17,000 in the middle from pre-flop action, both Gomes and Giuseppe Tria checked. On the 7♣ turn Tria bet another 11,000. Gomes looked around his stack at the one yellow chip at the front. Then he opted for red chips instead, raising another 14,000 on top.

Tria leaned forward in his chair, wobbling gently from side to side, with his legs bouncing furiously under the table. He passed though, leaving the pot for Gomes, who's stack goes north again. - SB

ept barcelona_day 2_alex gomes.jpg

Team PokerStars Pro Alex Gomes

4.37pm: Pure pressure
In general you can't win many tournaments just by showing down hands; you have to win without show down as well. I'm not say Yann Dion didn't have a good/winning hand if the following but he didn't let Salvatore Alberto find out.

Dion raised from under-the-gun and was called by the button and Alberto in the big blind to go to a Q♠6♣8♣ flop. Dion c-bet for 7,400 and was only called by Dion who also check-called a 19,800 bet on the 3♥ turn. The river came 6♥ and Dion bet a chunky 58,500 when checked to him for a third time. Alberto tanked for two minutes and folded, reluctantly. Dion's stack is up to 270,000.

4.33pm: Lodden takes mind elsewhere
Team PokerStars Pro Johnny Lodden is out. He was down to 21,500 when he pushed from late position. Giuseppe Dario Sammartino was in the blinds and woke up with K♥K♠ to call with. The board ran: Q♠8♣2♣6♥8♦ to confirm his exit. - MC

4.30pm: Rufas back in it
Luis Rufas was our overnight chip leader but has been pegged back a little today. No longer - he just won a sizeable pot to take him up to 260,000, and nicely back above his starting stack. There was already 40,000 in the pot on a [10s]6♥8♣6♥9♥ board and Rufus, sitting with [10d][10c] for the full house, bet 29,100 and got a call to bag the loot. -- SY

4.22pm: Lodden reads minds
Team PokerStars Pro ElkY has just been moved to Johnny Lodden's table and he better watch out as the Norwegian can read his mind. ElkY's first hand was under-the-gun and he raised to 4,400 and all folded except Melanie Weisner who called from the big blind. "What? I haven't played a hand yet!" joked ElkY.

The flop came K♠J♥4♥ and the action went check-check as it did on the A♠ turn. It was at this point that Lodden stood up from the table and whispered in my ear "One hundred percent that ElkY has nines" before sitting back down.

The river came 5♠ and Weisner led for 6,200. ElkY was pondering a call when Lodden said (out loud) "Show the nines". ElkY looked at Lodden with a surprised look and open folded 9♣9♠ to the amusement of everyone. -- MC

4.12pm: Dion will go on
Yann Dion was one of our overnight chip leaders and he's continued in the right direction through the first couple of levels. He's up to 270,000 after throwing his weight around in this last hand.

Salvatore Alberto raised from the button and Dion three-betout of the small blind to 14,300. The Italian made the call. Dion led 18,800 into the 3♦4♥9♥ flop and Alberto opted to make the fold. It's another good pot for the Canadian online qualifier. -- RD

4.05pm: Pantaleo made Marion
Giuseppe Pantaleo's stack, and maybe even a little pride, just took a knock after a hand against Marion Nedellec of France. No doubt there was action beforehand but with the board already showing 5♠8♥K♣T♥6♥ Nedellec had bet 15,000 with the outcome of the hand resting with Pantaleo.

He thought for a moment, then called. Nedellec turned over 7♦6♦. A hit, a very palpable hit. Pantaleo mucked his cards and looked up at the ceiling, then he said something to nobody in particular. Nedellec, for her part, sort of grimaced and grinned at the same time, allowing Pantaleo, sitting on her immediate right, a moment to recover.

He didn't have long. On the next hand Pantaleo opened for 4,300 from middle position, still smarting and talking about Nedellec with a player opposite, while Nedellec herself sat quietly between them, saying nothing, just raising to 9,500.

With the action back on Pantaleo, he called for a flop of 8♦3♥8♥. Pantaleo checked and Nedellec bet another 10,100. Pantaleo passed. In an act of mercy, Nedellec showed T♠T♣ and is up to more than 135,000. - SB

3.50pm: Binger wringer
That's the end of Michael Binger's EPT Barcelona. Ka Kuan Lau open -raised from the button with A♦8♠, and when Binger found A♠2♣ in the small blind he felt that was the perfect moment to push for his last 20,000 or so.

He was not a happy bunny to see he was dominated, and the flop was a rather emphatic [10d]8♦8♣. With that, Binger departed without bothering to see the 4♥ turn and 6♣ river. Lau is up to 50,000.

Also at this table is Maria Maceiras, who now sits with 96,000. -- SY

3.45pm: Judet jumps
Team PokerStars Pro Toni Judet has doubled up to 50,000 after flopping the nut straight with Q♣9♥ on a J-10-8 flop. -- SY

3.40pm: Rufas takes a hit
Big stack Luis Rufas has dropped to 190,000 after calling a raise on the river of a 9♣8♣7♥A♣5♥ board. He was shown A♠6♠ for a straight and mucked his hand. -- RD

3.32pm: Litvinov left limp
EPT Vienna's third place finisher Konstantinos Nanos opened the action with a raise to 51,00 and Artem Litvinov moved all-in with pocket jacks picking up a customer, whom he covered, in middle position. The majority of Litvinov's stack was at risk and he failed to suck out. The Russian cash game player is running on fumes now. -- RD

3.26pm: Internet issues
Unfortunately we're dealing with internet gods, spiteful entities that are disrupting the internet waves, or whatever they're called, getting into the Casino Barcelona basement. Apologies for the interruptions. -- SB

3.25pm: Back from the break
We're back, after a 15 minute break and catastrophic internet issues. We're into level 12 with blinds at 1,000-2,000 with a 200 ante. -- SB

The feature table

PokerStars Blog reporting team in Barcelona (in order of accuracy): Simon Young, Stephen Bootley, Rick Dacey and

Marc Cnovey

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in European Poker Tour