EPT Deauville: Day 1A, levels 7 and 8 live updates

ept-thumb-promo.jpgUpdates from day one, levels seven and eight of EPT Deauville, brought to you by Stephen Bartley, Marc Convey, Howard Swains and Simon Young.

Latest chip counts are on the chip count page. The EPT tournament structure can be found on the EPT tournament structure page.

Check back on the earlier action from today: Levels 1 & 2 | 3 & 4 | 5 & 6

Blinds:
Level seven: 300-600 (50 ante)
Level eight: 400-800 (75 ante)

10.07pm: Another break
That's the end of level 8 and there is now a 30-minute break while the French Poker Awards are held in a swanky bar next door. We'll bring you details of that at a later stage. See you soon.

10.05pm: Nock, Nock
Jeremy Nock got it all in pre-flop - it looked like an open shove for precisely 10,000 more than Michel Abecassis' big blind. The French stalwart took his time but then tossed in a single blue chip to call, but was instantly regretting it. Abecassis showed 6♠6♣ but that was in strife against Nock's A♠A♦. As soon as an ace turned, that was that. Nock
doubles, Abecassis slides.

10pm: He's got his dancing shoes on
Number 54, aka Herve Lucien Gottrand, is mixing it up as if he's at Studio 54. The few times I've observed his table he always seems to be in the middle of the action. The result is a stack worth 85,000 at present.

The first of the two hands I observed saw him call an early position bet from Eero Kekalainen to see a 3♦K♠K♥ flop. He then led out for 3,000 only to see the Fin raise to 8,000. His answer; min raise to 16,000 and take the pot as Kekalainen folded.

The very next hand he called Matthew Nieberg's button raise to 2,000 from the small blind. Both players checked the 3♦K♠K♥ flop before Gottrand led for 4,000 on the 9♥ river. Neiberg folded quickly and Gottrand raked in another pot without showing his hand.

9.55pm: "That's what I'm talking about"
We stumble upon some excitement where Victor Ilyukhin is sitting. Turns out the Brit has gone all in with Karim Lehoussine, and it's a classic race...

Ilyukhin: A♥K♠
Lehoussine: Q♥Q♦

"One time," begs Ilyukhin. "Come on dealer, let's go. No queen, give me a king or an ace. One time." It's quite a performance, but by contrast Lehoussine sits their quietly, waiting for the board. And here it comes... [3♠K♦8♥. "Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. Thank you, dealer. Now I am back in it."

The turn and river came an uneventful 4♦ and 9♠, sending Ilyukhin up to 35,000 and leaving Lehoussine with around 6,000.

9.50pm: Fallers, faller, fallers
In times of yore, we used to think it was interesting that players would fly out the door from a deep-stack tournament (30,000 lest we forget) within the first few levels. Now, a massive cull of a day one field is nothing at all to write home about; it's barely anything to write here about.

So the entirely standard news is this: with about a level and a half remaining, we have already lost 110 of our 339 starting players.

As this post was being constructed, another two players bit the dust. On table 26, Cedric Barbier breathed his last, shoving all in on an eight-high flop with A-K, only to be called by Oleh Okhotskyi's pocket nines. No help on turn or river and Barbier was shorn.

The PokerStars qualifier Kristian Johansson also departed, and yet it was he who had pocket nines this time. The problem was that he got his last 12,000 all in pre-flop with them, but flew smack into Alain Taieb's aces. That's two more to knock off the list.

9.45pm: Big calls, big pot
This was a big pot and Jean Baptiste Varvat had a big heart with which to take it. We caught the action after a flop of 4♣A♦2♥, checked by Nelson Subtil and Varvat before PokerStars player Henri Layani made it 5,000. Only Varvat called.

On the K♠ turn Varvat made it 5,800 but Layani seized the initiative again by bumping it up to 15,300 - call. Finally on the 4♠ river Varvat checked, and then thought for a while before calling Layani's 13,000. On their backs:

Layani: 5♥5♦
Varvat: A♣8♣

The top pair was enough to take a big chunk of chips, sending Varvat from France up to more than 100,000. Leyani, meanwhile, slips to 25,000.

9.40pm: Four to the flop
Antoine Arnault opened proceedings with a raise to 2,200 from early position and picked up calls from three players including the small and big blind. No one was interested in the 5♦8♥J♣ flop as it was checked through to the J♥ turn. This time Arnault bet 4,500 when checked to him and the only caller was a player in the small blind. The river came a scary looking A♥ and both players checked. Arnault quickly opened 7♣8♣ and it was good as the small blind folded. Arnault on 87,000 now.

9.35pm: Mucho Bueno
Patrick Bueno is bothering 90,000 now, most recently taking a decent pot from Ruben Smadja. There was enough in the pot to suggest it had been raised pre-flop and three cards out: 3♠6♠Q♠. Smadja checked, Bueno bet 7,000 and Smadja called. The turn was J♦ and both players checked. The river was [10h] and now Smadja led for 12,000. That sent Bueno into the tank, but he emerged with a call and Smadja showed J♥K♦. Bueno double checked before tabling his own K♥K♣ and taking that one down.

9.32pm: Maistriaux batters opponent
Jamel Maistriaux was in action again, opening for 2,200 from the button. The small blind raised all in for 13,000 total which Maistriaux called, showing Q♣Q♥, easily dominating the small blind's 3♠3♦. But not for long. 3♥T♦7♠ putting him into the lead. But not for long. Q♦[ on the turn, 9♣ on the river seeing off the small blind who departed fast never to be named.

9.31pm: Saout cannot catch Maistriaux
With the board all ready showing 4♠3♦Q♣4♣Q♦ and roughly 20,000 in the middle, Jamel Maistriaux had made it 6,600. Antoine Saout had the decision and called, folding immediately after Maistriaux showed K♠Q♥. Haik up to 107,000.

9.30pm: The last Noel
Marion Nedellec, the PokerStars-sponsored French player, gets a double up. On the 7-9-K flop, Stephane Noel ends up getting all in with K♥2♥ but finds himself up against Nedellec's pocket nines for a set. The 8♥ turn adds a flush draw for Noel, but the 7 on the river simply fills up Nedellec's boat. She'up to 50,000.

9.25pm: Turning the screw
The pot was already worth over 10,000 and four players were still involved at the turn with the board reading 8♣A♠J♠4♥. Stephane Noel led for 4,500 from the small blind and was called by Julien Lang Van in the big blind and Ludovic Riehl in second position before Hannu Tapio Korva raised to 14,500 from the hijack. All three players folded but all looked pained to do so and all were convinced afterwards it was a squeeze play. None though seemed to have enough chips or nerve of a strong enough holding themselves to do anything about it.

9.15pm: Lady wary about her ladies
Alexia Portal took the safe line of pot control with her holding of pocket queens. She was under-the-gun and in battle with the big blind. After having her pre-flop raise called and her flop bet called she shut down and checked behind on the turn and river. The final board showed 4♥A♠5♥K♥J♠ and Portal took the pot after the big blind could only reveal
pocket deuces. Her stack sits at 48,000.

9.10pm: Neuville standing still
Pierre Neuville, the serial PokerStars qualifier from Belgium, has been unable to make an impression so far. This hand sums up his day: On a [10c]9♦A♦ flop Rami Okasha from France checks and Neuville bets 1,100. But Okasha pumps it up with a check-raise to 3,100. That's too much for Neuville who will wait patiently for a better spot.

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Pierre Neuville

9.05pm: Fold or it's fava beans and Chianti
Mike McDonald just saw off Hannibal Higgins, who should be allowed a re-buy based purely on his name. Unfortunately, as is sometimes the case, we arrived as the cards had been turned over and chips being reorganised ahead of being passed to their rightful owner. McDonald showed Q♠J♠ to Higgins' K♠3♠ and the board read T♠2♣6♠Q♦4♦. The turn had swung things in McDonald's favour but Higgins was pragmatic, telling table mates he'd see them again.

"I'm Hannibal by the way", said Higgins.

"What?" asked Matthew Nieberg. He was only asking what we were all thinking.

"Hannibal."

"Really? I'm Matt." But "Matt" seemed a bit dull in comparison.

9.04pm: Level up

9pm: Daddies
Over the coming few days you're probably going to hear some a lot of observing whinging from us reporters righters about the difficulty impossibility of counting these strange coloured chips.

That said, a recent sweep of the room has turned up these folk, and they're almost certainly in the top ten counts of all.

Mostafa Belkhayate - 145,000
Jamel Maistriaux - 145,000
Vladimir Geshkenbein - 140,000
Jamal Akoum - 115,000
Tony Cousin - 110,000
Slobodan Savic - 105,000

8.35pm: Saout in the hunt again
Antoine Saout is now a force again.

His early moves were only downward, and he had slumped to around 7,000 at one point. But since that low water-mark, the only way has been up and when he recently doubled up, it took him north of 40,000.

The player under-the-gun-plus-one (who has lost his identification card - good for him) raised to 1,750 and Saout re-raised from the seat to his left, making it 4,125. It was folded around and we heard the familiar refrain of "All in!"

"Call," said Saout, with the swiftness that usually only means one thing. Sure enough, the World Series final table player showed A♥A♣ and his opponent was in dire straits with A♠K♥.

The board ran 3♠4♣Q♠4♦8♣ and Saout's final all in was counted at 17,900. That multiplied by two, plus the (2 x 4,125) plus the blinds and antes (1,350) give Saout a stack of 45,400. He's back.

8.30pm: Heavy on the aces
Two flops and both heavy on the aces. The first A♣T♣A♦. A bet and a call between Fabian Gentile and Thomas Quaade that happened as fast I have no clue what the amount was. I'm guessing 1,000 based on the bet size on the turn and river. The turn was the 6♠. Quaade made it 1,000 again and Gentile called. Same again on the 7♦ river. On the showdown though it was Gentile ahead, showing T♠8♣ to the T♦5♠ of Quaade.

Then a table along David Morante and Mikhail Lakhitov went at it on a flop of A♣K♥A♠. Morante bet 1,800 and Lakhitov asked him how much. Morante held up three fingers but was unclear as to whether this meant 3,000 or 30,000 and from distance his chips looked pretty much the same colour. Still, Lakhitov called for a 4♥ turn which both players checked. A 5♥ on the river and 3,400 from Morante. Too much for Lakhitov who finally conceded.

8.25pm: No clubs, but a straight
Ludovic Riehl made it 2,175 on a J♣A♣4♦ board and got a call from Roger Hairabedian. Both checked the [10c] turn, but on the 6♣ river Riehl bet 3,000 more and got a reluctant call. Riehl had K♠Q♥ for the straight, and Hairabedian could only turn over A♠K♦ for top pair.

8.20pm: Da doo Ron, Ron, Gone
Ronald Champier is out. We only caught the moment when all of his remaining chips were being shipped to Roman Gorskiy, but the statistic that really matters is we have lost yet another player. Down to 257 from the 339 who started this thing.

8.15pm: Cards in the air
We're rolling again.

8.10pm: Back again
Players are filing back in after filling their stomachs during the dinner break. While we get ready to kick-off the last three levels, here's a picture of a colorful hoodie on display at the tables. Today.

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Simon Young
@MrSimonYoung in European Poker Tour