EPT Berlin: Day 1B, levels 3 and 4 live updates (100-200)

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LEVEL OVER. 15 MINUTE BREAK


4.45pm: Klein made to feel small
Morten Klein was on great form in Copenhagen last week, finishing third for the biggest payday of his career. He could have been forgiven for thinking his run good was continuing in Berlin, until the poker gods demonstrated again that they can both giveth and taketh away.

Klein related this one to reporters himself - doubly decent of him considering its grimness. With A♦9♦ and four players in the hand, the flop was all diamonds, including the K♦. That's the nuts at this point.

Klein was first to act and checked. All three others checked behind. The turn was an off-suit queen and it went bet, raise, re-raise before Klein and a single adversary had all their chips in the middle.

His opponent had pocket queens for the turned set. And although Klein was still way ahead, he wasn't in the clear - and the king on the river filled the boat, beating the flush and sending Klen careering out. -- HS

4.40pm: I won't survive
Mikell Lundell is out. He got it all in from the small blind with A♠Q♥ and the button raiser, Nedine Musa, called with pocket jacks. They had almost identically-sized stacks, in the neighbourhood of 15,000, and this time the board missed the overcards, giving it all to the pocket pair. Lundell, the Survivor, is deceased. -- HS

4.35pm: Levi's lingerie explained
We mentioned a little earlier that Nicolas Levi appeared to be wearing a sexy women's lingerie top. At least it would be sexy if it was on a woman rather than a hairy Frenchman. Anyway, I asked Levi what was going on...

"Well I lost a last-longer bet with Alexia Portal at EPT Deauville. She finished better than me, so my punishment was to wear the top of her choosing. Unfortunately she chose this one.

"If I had won the bet, then she would have to wear the most ridiculous hat of my choosing. Sadly for me, that never happened, so I have to wear this. At least I can keep my jacket on."

4.30pm: Thorson back at where he started
The day had not been great for Team PokerStars Pro William Thorson, who had been sitting on around 20,000 for a few hours. But now he's back up to his starting stack of around 30,000 after re-re-raising on a 3♥4♣2♥ flop to take the pot.

4.25pm: Sigh of relief for Strassmann
Johannes Strassmann just breathed a huge sigh of relief after tangling with fellow Team PokerStars Pro Noah Boeken. A pre-flop raising war saw both players all-in. Strassmann tabled A♥K♣ to Boeken's A♠K♦. Nearly all of the time this situation ends in a chopped pot but when the flop came 2♦T♦3♦ Boeken had a lot of outs to take the lot. The turn came 8♠ and river J♣ to chop it even though the Dutchman was calling for one more card. Strassmann on 32,000 whereas Boeken is on 21,000. --MC

4.20pm: Breaking up
Over in the spill out room just three tables remain and Johannes Strassmann isn't exactly happy about the order of breaking. It seems his table, which was the first to fill out when the grand ballroom reached his limit, but, much to Strassmann's disappointment will be the last to break.

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Johannes Strassmann

It might not have been an issue were it not for the line up which features Johnny Lodden, Anton Wigg, Noah Boeken and Gustav Ekerot. Most nod in agreement but play on. Then suddenly the clock is stopped as a table is broken. Strassmann looked on as the likes of Sandra Naujoks, Bruno Fitoussi and Melanie Weisner were granted the freedom to go back to the Grand Ballroom.

Weisner landed at a table with Andrew Feldman and Chris Dombrowski and immediately got to work improving her stack of around 15,000.

In the first attempt ended unspectacularly, with Weisner losing a few chips against Dombrowski. The second attempt was no more spectacular but at least ended well for the New Yorker.

Opening from the button for 800 Weisner got a call from Kaidar Viikman in the small blind for a flop of T♥7♠4♣. Both checked for a 4♠ turn which Viikman bet at, 700. Weisner checked her cards again before flipping in the call, then they both checked the 3♥ river. 6♥6♠ for Viikman but a victorious looking 7♣A♥ for Weisner, back up to 17,000.

4.15pm: Roche writes her own hands
Charlotte Roche has won back-to-back pots to take her stack up to 45,000. In the first hand she three-bet to 1,800 after Christer Johansson had raised to 600. Raphael Keller called as did Johansson. The flop came 9♣8♥4♦ and her bet of 5,000 was only called by Keller. The turn came A♣ and she bet 5,000 once again. Call. The river came 3♥ and this time her 5,000 bet did the trick as Keller folded.

The next hand played out in very similar fashion and when it was over Johansson said to her: "Nice hand. Again." --MC

4.10pm: Clock stopped for McDonald
Mike McDonald has been eliminated by PokerStars SportsStars Fatima de Melo. McDonald never recovered from losing that big pot near the beginning of the day, but he might have been looking good to double-up with pocket eights. De Melo held ace-king and had missed through flop and turn. But De Melo hit an ace of the river to deny McDonald the chance of making a third EPT final table in Germany. De Melo up to 43,000 now. --MC

4.05pm: Tweet
Loathe it or loathe it, Twitter is here to stay. You can follow all of our inane babblings at @pokerstarsblog but you'd probably get more bang for your 140 characters by following any of the many professional players who squeeze out a few words in between hands.

Lex Veldhuis, for instance,(or @RasSZi to his followers, shared: "Woke up late. Caught with some friends yesterday. Good start of the day. At 38k nearing end of level 2. Soft table." earlier today. I'm here to tell you, via the archaic medium of an internet web log, that the soft table has now broken and Veldhuis has been moved into the main tournament room. -- HS

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Noah Boeken, left, and Lex Veldhuis discuss tactics

4pm: Swede up
Rifat Palevic is up to about 70,000, recently taking a chunk from Eric Haik. Palevic bet 1,000 on a flop of T♠7♣9♥ and Haik called. It all went a bit mental on a turn of Q♥. Palevic bet 3,500, Haik raised to 7,000, Palevic re-raised to 14,000 and Haik moved all in for about 30,000 - a few thousand more than Palevic.

Palevic thought a moment, but called with his J♠8♠ for the low straight, only beaten by K-J. Haik didn't have that. He had A♦Q♠ and so is down to about 3,000. -- HS

3.55pm: Back of the net
Alex Kravchenko and Vikash Dhorasoo were the only players involved with these four cards, and about 3,500, in the middle: 5♥2♣J♠5♦.

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Alex Kravchenko

Kravchenko bet 2,500 and Dhorasoo called, taking them to an 8♣ river. Kravchenko bet 5,000 at that and Dhorasoo went through the possibilities before calling. Kravchenko shook his head and tabled [10c][10s]. Dhorasoo showed J♦9♦ and took it.

Dhorasso is up to about 58,000. Kravchenko has 33,000. -- HS

LEVEL UP. BLINDS NOW 150-300


3.50pm: No Viktor for Blom in this hand
Viktor Blom just lost a hand that has put his stack down to 16,800. There was an early position raise to 600 that Blom called from the hijack along with Aleksandar Kacuric in cut-off. The flop came 3♣2♥3♦ and Blom bet 1,450 after it was checked to him. Only Kacuric called. Blom let his opponent pick up the reins on the 7♣ turn and check-called a 1,125 bet. The river came T♥ and Blom check-called a 3,125 bet this time. Blom's cards were quickly in muck though when Kacuric tabled 3♥3♠ for quads. No bother for Blom as he went to playing iCopter on his iPhone. -- MC

3.45pm: Spindler keeps spinning
Benny Spindler and Johan Larsson were both down to less than 10,000, although Larsson covered Spindler by about 4,000.

There was no surprise that they got those short stacks all in pre-flop, especially since Spindler had A♦K♣ and Larsson had Q♥Q♦. This time the big slick would prevail as the flop came K♥3♥3♠8♠9♦, putting Spindler up to around 12,500 and leaving Larsson with the fumes. -- HS

3.40pm: It all goes horribly Wrang for Benelli
This hand merited a good 8/10 on the 'Ouch' scale. On a 4♠7♠Q♥ flop, Paolo Della Penna made it 1,625 and Andrea Benelli re-popped to 6,125. However, the action was not finished yet as Jannick Wrang, a PokerStars qualifier from Denmark, re-re-raised to 13,650.

Della Penna scarpered, but Benelli fancied he was ahead, moving all in for around 6,000 more. Call!

Benelli: Q♦7♥
Wrang: K♠K♣

Benelli's hunch was right - he was ahead with two pair. But the turn was unfortunate, coming K♥ for Wrang's set. The river was 9♣. Wrang is now up to 64,000, Benelli is out. -- SY

3.30pm: Some quick facts
- We had 541 starters today, meaning a total EPT Berlin field of 930. Wow!
- There is a player with the thickest black moustache in the history of facial hair
- Nicolas Levi is wearing what appears to be a ladies lingerie top, complete with laced, er, cups, under his jacket. It's got a plunging neckline, displaying a mass of French chest hair. A prop bet, surely? I hope so
- Luca Pagano is up to 57,000. A typical day at the office so far for the Italian -- SY

3.25pm: Nielsen ratings
On a flop of J♥K♣T♦ Rasmus Nielsen began the checking, five in all, before a turn card A♣. Check-check-check-check-check. Then a river card 8♥. Artem Khudaverdiev checked before Rasmus Nielsen had moved a muscle, possibly a reflex action following the flop and turn. Nielsen instead bet 650 which Khudaverdiev folded. Florian Rauh then raised to 2,025 chasing out the others. Nielsen called, showing Q♣3♠ to Rauh's Q♠4♠. A split pot.

Peter Bosen and Rasmus Nielsen joined forces to play the next hand from the cut off and button. On a flop of 3♥9♦T♣ Bosen checked and Nielsen bet 850. Bosen then re-raised to 2,050. Nielsen called for a 4♣ turn. Again Bosen checked before Nielsen bet 3,475. Bosen then called.

Now what? A 5♥ river card. Again Bosen led by checking. Nielsen flung out 10,000 which Nielsen called immediately, turning over T♠9♠. Nielsen gave a respectful nod and folded his hand. -- SB.

3.20pm: Season 1 versus season 6
The table of death was mentioned earlier and two of the players there have a little more in common than the others with both Anton Wigg and Noah Boeken being former EPT Copenhagen winners.

Wigg's victory is fresh in the memory, taking place just last week, whereas Boeken's victory was way back in season one when he denied Ram Vaswani back-to-back EPT titles. Today they are sat right next to each other and have just been involved in a blind battle.

The turn was out and the board read 4♥3♣2♠K♥. Wigg check-called a 1,075 bet from the Dutchman. The river came 4♠ and this time Wigg check-called 2,500 from Boeken. Boeken revealed A♥5♦ for a straight and Wigg tapped the table and mucked. Boeken on 17,500, Wigg is also on 17,500. --MC

3pm: Brown tanned
Chad Brown raised successive pots to 500, both from late position. In the first incidence, he received only one caller, Alessandro Lusso, and pushed the Italian out of it with a bet on the Q♥ turn after they had checked a low flop.

There was more resistance from Fabian Gehring on the next hand, though. Brown made it 500 (again), Lusso (again) and Gehring called, in the big blind. The flop came [10c]3♥J♦ and Gehring checked to Brown, who bet 800. Lusso and Gehring both called.

The turn was 6♠ and Gehring bet 5,600, which Brown called. Lusso got out the way. The river was 7♣ and this time Gehring fired 10,000. Brown didn't seem to like it. "I think you got there. I think you got eight nine," Brown said as he folded.

Silence from Gehring. -- HS

2.55pm: Team Thorson
Team PokerStars Pro William Thorson has some family for company in today's field. His father Olof and younger brother Jens are also playing. Watch out Berlin! Jens just played a pot in true Thorson style; he raised pre-flop and then bet every street. He picked up two callers pre-flop but only one hung around with calls at every juncture. The final board read 5♥3♠5♠A♥K♥. Thorson tabled ace-deuce and so did his opponent. Chop it up. -- MC

2.45pm: Off we go again
Those first two levels went by in a flash. That's always the case as we scour the room (or rooms in this case) looking for known names to add to the chip count page and seeking early hand action.

But the elation of two seemingly quick levels is soon tempered by the knowledge we have another seven to get through, and a 90-minute dinner break. Still the field is packed with big names, so the day has a few treats in store.

Official player numbers for today, and hence the whole event, will be with us soon. In the meantime, here's a picture of Charlotte Roche, the PokerStars sponsored player, TV presenter and author... --SY

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PokerStars Blog reporting team (in order of most impressive football (soccer) clubs supported): Simon Young, Ipswich Town; Marc Convey, Crystal Palace; Howard Swains, Tottenham Hotspur; and Stephen Bartley, Tranmere Rovers (who they? - ed).

Simon Young
@MrSimonYoung in European Poker Tour