EPT Berlin: Day 2, levels 14, 15 and 16 live updates (2,000-4,000, 400 ante)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg11.40pm: It's all over
For tonight, anyway. With 124 players remaining, tournament staff brought a halt to the day's play. We've got a full wrap being polished right now. It will be with you shortly.

In the meantime, we'll tell you that Stefan Huber from Switzerland will be our overnight chip leader with 1,087,500. Full chip counts will be over on the chip page as soon as possible.

11.30pm: Almost done
We're down to the last fifteen minutes of play here. The blogging team will be out on the tournament floor gathering chip counts so coverage will be reduced while we bring you news of the overnight leader.

11.25pm: Another Kang comical moment
Team PokerStars Pro Ben Kang has gone up another notch in the comedic stakes after doubling through Ketul Nathwani. Nathwani raised from mid-position to 13,500 before Kang three-bet to 33,000(82k back). Nathwani thought for a few minutes before raising enough to put Kang all in. Now it was Kang's turn to tank for a while and he took so long a third party at the table called for the clock. This didn't help Kang make up his mind so he decided to flip a coin for it. Someone gave him a coin and he said "Ok, if it lands on the one I'll call."

He flipped the coin up in the air and remarkably it landed on its side! The sent the table into fits of laughter causing the table to shake and more importantly the coin to wobble. It felt like time stood still as the coin fell over and the side facing up had a 'one' on it. Kang immediately slid his stack over the line foe showdown:

Kang: T♦T♥
Nathwani: 8♦8♣

The board ran 6♥9♣9♦9♠2♣ to see Kang double-up to about 260,000.


11.15pm: Danzer downed
George Danzer, the Team PokerStars Pro who has been such a force for so much of today, is out. He made a hero call. He was wrong.

We caught the action with the board showing [10s]J♣9♦2♦4♥ and with 150,000 in the pot already. Stefan Huber then moved all in, covering Danzer's remaining 200,000. Danzer appeared to call the clock on himself. At any rate, the floor was called and just at the end of the 5,4,3,2,1 he made a dramatic: "Call!"

He'll wish he hadn't, as Huber turned over K♠Q♣ for the flopped nuts. Danzer mucked, aghast. He is out. -- SY

11.05pm: Strassmann up
Johannes Strassmann now has about 750,000 - three quarters of a million in old money - after his A♠8♠ beat Marc Inizan's kings. There was an ace on the flop and the pot swelled to about 300,000 by the time it went to showdown. - HS

10.55pm: Pause, dwell, pause, cash!
Ta Tuan To, who had apparently been stalling for the 30 minutes leading up to the bubble, made it into the cash. But only just. By rights he should have busted just before to Vlad Zguba, but the dealer had other ideas.

Tuan, after his customary one minute of thinking, moved all in for 52,000, announcing: "Don't make a hero call. Please don't make a hero call." But Vlad was having none of it, coolly pushing the required 52,000 over the line.

And it all looked good:

Tuan: A♦6♠
Zguba: A♥K♠

So not too much to worry about then. Except the board. 3♥4♥5♦7♦A♣, giving Tuan the unlikely straight and a double up to the relative safety of more than 100,000.

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Vlad Zguba, foreground, with Simon "Fan Boy" Young behind

A hand later, Zguba got back that and more when he busted a player when his A♥Q♣ overtook 9♣9♦. -- SY

10.45pm: Bubble passes in a flash
Konstantinos Nanos is the unluckiest - and the most popular - man in Berlin. At the very moment that the tournament Thomas Kremser announced hand-for-hand play, signifying that we only needed to lose one more player until the bubble burst, Nanos was eliminated. That meant the bubble period, which can sometimes last into tomorrow, did not even last a single hand.

Nanos had KQ and shoved pre-flop, but someone else had A♠K♥ and shoved behind. The flop was J♠5♦3♠9♦4♣ and ace-high won.

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Konstantinos Nanos, standing, Berlin's bubble boy

Nanos, a PokerStars qualifier from Germany, took it in remarkably good spirits, even high-fiving anyone who wanted to feel the anti-Midas touch. - HS

10.40pm: Bubble time
We're on the bubble. Just 144 players will be paid from this event and we now wait to find out who goes home in 145th.

10.30pm: Huge pot ends in anticlimax
Chip leader Marc Inizan and Team PokerStars Pro Johannes Strassmann just tangled in the biggest pot of the tournament so far but it they had the same hand and it ended in a chopped pot. Inizan raised to 15,000 and was called by the German to go to a K♥J♦K♠ flop. Inizan bet 45,000 here, 60,000 on the 7♦ turn and 135,000 on the 4♠ river. Strassmann called all the way except the river here he moved all in. Inizan snap called but the excitement was soon damped when both players tabled king-jack for flopped full-houses. -- MC.

10.25pm: Behling is game
It takes a brave man to take on Jude Ainsworth's big blind, especially with Ainsworth now chipped up to about 760,000. But Nico Behling is such a player, and he has just been rewarded for his bravery with a ... chopped pot.

Behling made it 11,500 from mid-position and Ainsworth called from the big blind. The flop came 7♦3♦Q♦ and Ainsworth checked. Behling bet 14,500 and Ainsworth called.

The turn was J♦, which they both checked, and the river was 2♦, filling the flush on the board. Ainsworth checked, Behling bet 30,000 and after some pondering, Ainsworth called the three blue chips, seemingly simply out of curiosity.

Behling tabled A♣9♠ and Ainsworth showed his A♥7♥. Bad beat. Or something. -- HS

10.15pm: Take 15 minutes
Break time in Berlin. One more level to go tonight and we're just a handful of eliminations off the bubble. -- SB.

10.12pm: Thew gathers more
Team PokerStars Pro Julian Thew is up to 250,000 after eliminating an opponent. A pre-flop raising war saw both players all-in. Thew had his opponent dominated with his A♦Q♦ versus A♠J♣. The board ran 2♥6♦7♣5♦4♦ to make a flush for the Brit.
--MC

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Julian Thew

10.10pm: Comic reaction
There was a raise from early position that Team PokerStars Pro Ben Kang called from the big blind to see a Q♥T♠8♥ . Kang was very short stacked and open shoved for 24,300. Call. Kang tabled T♥9♥ for a draw to pretty everything and his opponent had A♥K♠. The turn came 9♠ and river J♥.

Kang knew a jack made broadway for his opponent but had realized it was the jack of hearts and he got up to leave in a huff. He had his back to the table when he realized it was a heart.

"Ah, I have a flush!" Then he yelled "Ah, I have a straight flush!" and started to high-five his brother (fellow journalist) and all the other German media that had gathered around. This in turn brought laughter from another twenty or so people gathered nearby.

Kang up to 72,000. --MC

10.05pm: To slow
Day 1B chip leader Tu Tuan To has been on a nosedive all day. Starting off with 213,000 he's now down to 56,000 and in real danger of missing out on the cash as the bubble approaches.

And he knows it. Seemingly every hand he is taking an age to make a decision - generally involving a fold - as though he is trying to slow the game up so he can get a cash. We're not saying that, of course, but there are mutterings at his table, and it may not be too long before the floor is called. -- SY

10pm: The Danzer bonanza
Rehne Pedersen opened the hand for 10,000. Two seats along was George Danzer who was re-raised, making it 27,000 in total from the button. Next to him was Guillaume De La Gorce in the small blind who ruined Danzer's plans by moving all-in.

After the big blind passed and Pedersen got out of the way, Danzer asked how much, taking his glasses off. The fee was 90,000 and Danzer looked troubled, assuming the grief position, head bowed, hand on forehead shading his eyes.

"Do you want me to call or not?" asked Danzer. "We're pretty close to the money."
He then began what looked to be complicated sums in his head, looking up at the lights and moving his lips to this mathematical beat. Then he sat back with his hands on his head and shut his eyes. This is how the professionals do it.

Danzer passed, convinced De La Gorce had a pair. The force of De La Gorce lives on. -- SB.

9.50pm: Who ate all the chips?
Mark Inizen is running away with this one, and is up very close to a million in chips. Probably slightly less than that, but there's no harm in the odd exaggeration.

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Marc Inizen

Here's something that needs no embellishment: Inizen's table is clearly the one with the most chips in the room. Johannes Strassmann (300,000) is there, as now is Kfir Yumin, who has 450,000-odd. Ruslan Prydryk a monster on day 1a, has also now joined the party. -- HS.

9.45pm: Is this a bubble I see before me?
If Macbeth was a poker player, etc. Anyhow, we're getting very close to the bubble here in Berlin, where only the top 145 players will be paid. The board currently shows 150 still in the mix, so it's a rotten time to bust right now.

All hands are on deck as we track our unfortunate few. If there aren't any updates for a few minutes, that's why. So stop whinging. - HS

9.40pm: Neighbours, everybody needs good
Mark Inizen has made his way beyond the half-million mark. The Frenchman has about 540,000. He has recently be joined by Johannes Strassmann, sitting one spot to Inizen's left, who also has the best side of a half million. -- HS

9.35pm: Rot for Ekerot
Gustav Ekerot, who made a final table in Prague earlier this season, will not be making another one in Berlin. He's had one of those days today, losing with trip aces to a rivered gutshot, then grinding back up to 40,000 from a low point of 1,100. He then lost with A-K against a runner-runner straight, crippling him once more, and then Theo Jorgensen has just taken the rest.

That final hand was all in pre-flop: Ekerot had Q♠8♠ and Jorgensen had A♠7♥. The flop was 5♦8♣K♣K♥K♦ and Ekerot departs.

9.30pm: Uwe Thew more
On a flop of Q♥6♣3♥ Uwe Mauerhoff checked to Julian Thew on the button who bet 12,000. Mauerhoff called for a turn card 8♠. Again Mauerhoff checked and Thew bet out another 25,000. Mauerhoff passed leaving Thew with 190,000.

On the next hand Mauerhoff moved all-in, getting no takers, but it was good for a consolation 10,000. -- SB

9.25pm: Ketul boiling again
Ketul Nathwani managed to get over the half million mark earlier before dropping back by a couple of hundred thousand. He's now fought his way back up to 565,000. In his latest victory he raised from the hijack and then called an opponent's three-bet from the button. The flop came K♠7♣Q♥ and Nathwani check-called a 33,500 bet. Both players then checked through the 9♥ turn and 2♣ river. The button tabled 6♥6♦ but Nethwani took the pot with A♥K♦. --MC

9.20pm: Vlad tidings we bring...
... to you and your king. That's enough of that. The point of the childish and frankly cheesy headline is to bring good news about Team PokerStars Pro Vlad Zguba, who continues to move in an upwards direction. More than 200,000, in fact.

Some came at the expense of Erich Kollmann, who pushed all in for his last 31,300 with A♣7♣, but got a call from Zguba with A♠J♦. The board ran a Ukraine-friendly [10c]3♠5♥Q♥A♦, and Kollmann departed. Zguba then picked up the blinds and antes next on the hand when his raise with K♠K♣ got no takers. -- SY

9.10pm: Danzer's pot
George Danzer, the German Team PokerStars Pro, raised to 10,000 under the gun, then called a re-raise from Stefan Huber, who had made it 26,200. They checked the 5♣[10c]3♠ flop, and on the 4♠ turn Danzer check-called Huber's 15,100. That slowed them both down to a halt on the J♥ river.

Danzer opened 7♣7♦ - and that was good enough for the pot. He's on around 400,000. -- SY

9.05pm: Miika mild
Vadim Kursevich of Belarus just sacrificed his stack to the William Thorson Campaign, a Non-Governmental Organisation which raises chips to help a Thorson win an EPT. Not deliberately of course but Thorson's pocket nines came out best on a board of Q♦2♣Q♠4♣5♥ and that was that.

George Danzer has been an earlier pioneer today, heading off to find the chip lead and setting up camp thereabouts. His stack just sustained a blow though. He made it 4,000 pre-flop which was called by Miika Puumalainenin the big blind for a flop of Q♦3♥2♣.

Puumalainenin bet 10,000 which Danzer then raised to 25,000. The small blind, in it up to know realised he was in it now and passed. Puumalainenin called though for a turn card 3♦.

Puumalainenin checked and again Danzer fired at it, another 25,000 which Puumalainenin called, leaving himself about 50k behind. The river came 5♥. Another check from Puumalainenin, matched by Danzer who turned over A♥5♦. Puumalainenin showed J♠Q♠ to take the pot and move up to 160,000. Danzer down to 300,000. -- SB.

8.55pm: Postprandial mixed blessings
Robin Scherr, our German cousin over at www.pokerstarsblog.de just returned from his dinner break of sauerkraut and wurst with his lederhosen in a right twist. He had two major nuggets of information to impart: Sebastian Ruthenberg was OUT, the first hand after the break, when he couldn't outrun an opponent's pocket tens with his ace-queen. The all in was about 170,000, but Ruthenberg shipped them elsewhere.

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Sebastian Ruthenberg

Better news though for his Team PokerStars Pro colleague Johannes Strassmann, who is closing in on 600,000. He got all those just before the dinner break. Reason to smile, if ever there was one.

DINNER BREAK


7.20pm: Dinner time
And with that, we're off to dinner. It's a 90-minute break and there are about 175 players remaining. That really is a spectacular culling we've seen today, even by EPT standards. -- HS

7.15pm: Donev and the Maceiras clan
Ivo Donev spotted Juan Maceiras stalking across the tournament room and called him over to ask a simple question: "Do you know this woman?" Donev said, pointing at the player two seats to his left.

Maceiras smiled, and the woman, Maria Maceiras, told her brother: "He is a big fish. A biiiiig fish."

"She takes everything I have!" Donev moaned as he shook Mr Maceiras' hand. Juan, the Team PokerStars Pro, busted on day one. But his sister is still going very strong here, with about 240,000.

Donev has less than 80,000. -- HS

7.15pm: Fleck off to the rail
Christophe Gross just put an end to Antonin Teisseire's tournament. The Frenchman shoved with pocket sixes and was called by Gross with ace-seven. A seven on the flop and an ace on the turn and Teisseire joins the throng on the rail.

Thomas Fleck made it 9,000 form the small blind with just Christian Grundtvig to bypass in the big. No luck there then. Grundtvig moved all-in with 3♥3♦ and Fleck, covered, called with 9♠9♥.

The board ran 8♦8♥7♦4♠3♣. Grundtvig was slightly apologetic but not by much. He's up to 110,000. -- SB.

7.10pm: Feldman's stake rises some more
Andrew Feldman is up to 110,000 after putting in a good thin value bet on the river. He raised it to 7,300 from the hijack and the big blind defended to see a 9♠9♦3♦ flop. When checked to Feldman he c-bet to the tune of 8,200 and was called. Both checked the K♥ turn to take them to the 7♥ river. The big blind check-called a 20,200 bet from the young Brit after a good deal of thought. Feldman flipped up 7♦8♣ for a rivered two-pair and big blind mucked.

"You value bet your seven?" asked a surprised big blind.
"Yeah. I didn't think you had much" responded Feldman. -- MC

7.05pm: Friberg out
Erik Friberg made a move that went totally wrong. He pushed for 80,000 pre-flop with [q][4] but walked straight in to pocket kings. No miracles and the Swede walks out in to the Berlin night. -- SY

7pm: Strassmann double up
Team PokerStars Pro Johannes Strassmann gets a key double up to around 270,000. An early position player raised and Strassmann called from the big blind. They saw a Q♣9♣9♠ flop, and Strassmann check-raised all-in for 125,000 - call! He was up against K♠K♣ but was holding 9♥5♦ for trips. The turn was 3♠ and river A♠, and that was that. -- SY

6.55pm: Luske the aggressor
Marcel Luske continues his impressive climb up the leader board. The Team PokerStars Pro was down to around 20,000 earlier in the day but now sits on around 190,000 - and looks in no mood to slow down.

It started with a raise to 8,500 from the player under the gun, called by Luske on the button and Christophe Gross on the big blind. The flop was J♥5♣5♥, and Gross and the original raiser checked. Luske bet 16,500, Gross then re-raised to 37,000 and the under-the-gun player folded. Back to Luske, who announced he was all in for 136,000 total.

Gross gave it a long think, but let his hand go. -- SY

6.50pm: Tall man Kang getting short
Team PokerStars Pro Ben Kang was last seen calling a 30,000 river bet on a 3♣3♠T♠7♣A♦ board only to be shown A♠3♦ by the bettor. He's down to 70,000.

6.45pm: Kabbaj slightly shredded
John Kabbaj is down to 80,000 after doubling-up an opponent. He called an early position raise whilst sat on the button. The flop came Q♦8♣T♦ and his opponent open shoved for 44,100. Kabbaj made the call with Q♥J♥ but had run into his oppnent's K♣K♠ that held up.


6.40pm: Lennart Holz another
Roland Reckeweg just doubled up, his pocket three's surviving against ace-king on a board of 6♦J♣5♥9♠8♥. He's up to 135,000.

Lennart Holz just knocked someone out, his king-queen good against queen-jack on a board of 5♥Q♦3♥K♦4♣. Holz up to 280,000.

6.35pm: Play...
... resumes.

6.20pm: Twelve minute break
There's an unscheduled 12-minute break under way. I think they're negotiating a 208-way chop*.

*They are not negotiating a 208-way chop. -- HS

6.20pm: Fairing well or better
Andrew Feldman got the double-up he was desperately looking for. His ace-queen managed to get there against an opponent's pocket twos. The structure is catching him up though and he's already looking for the next one.

Team PokerStars Pro Julian Thew is chugging along nicely and a blind steal from the button has tipped him over the 200,000 mark for the first time. Onwards and upwards Mr Thew. --MC

6.15pm: Marko falls through Man'ole
Holger Kanisch is still in. Just. The runner up in this event last year, albeit it 350 miles away in Dortmund, moved in on the button for his last 25,000 but got not a single taker.
On the same table Mihai Manole just did his chances a world of good. He opened for 8,000 which Braculj Marko instantly re-raised to 70,000. With pittance left behind Manole moved all-in and Marko had to call, wincing as he turned over 6♣4♣. Manole showed Q♦Q♥ which breezed through a board of 4♠3♥T♥3♦3♣. -- SB.

6.05pm: Boris bounced
Boris Becker is out. He was all in pre-flop with A-4 and up against K-9. The flop hit both of them, with a king and an ace, but the turn was a nine, ending Becker's day. -- HS

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Boris Becker

5.55pm: New level
We've eased in to level 15, with blinds now kicking in at 1,500-3,000 with a 300 ante. Normally we'd have a 15 minute break at this point, but because a big €2,000 side event is due to kick off any moment, tournament staff have delayed the break for 30 minutes to allow the €2,000 to settle down.

Overcrowding will be a problem for a short while - time for some traffic control. This player looks like he knows what he's doing...

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PokerStars Blog reporting team (in order of coming from the most southern part of England): Howard Swains, Marc Convey, Simon Young, Stephen 'Flat cap' Bartley

Simon Young
@MrSimonYoung in European Poker Tour