EPT Deauville: Day 1B, levels one and two updates

ept-thumb-promo.jpgUpdates from day 1b, levels one and two 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.

Level one: 50-100
Level two: 75-150

2.44pm: Clock stops
That's the end of level two. Players are now enjoying a 15 minute break.

2.43pm: Kicked out
As reported earlier (1.10pm), French kick boxing champ Jerome le Banner has had a tough lesson here in the EPT. The PokerStars sponsored player's seat is now empty. He is out. From his stage name "Bulldog of Normandy", to our name "Pussycat of Normandy". And if he reads this and wants to take us on, please tell him Stephen Bartley wrote it. I'll be happy to point him out.

2.41pm: ElkY going the right way
Team PokerStars Pro ElkY is chipping up steadily, now on 36,000. This is a typical ElkY hand. He opens for 400 and gets a call from Didier Pitcho in the big blind. Both check the K♦Q♥Q♣ flop, and the 6♠ turn. On the river Pitcho checks then folds when ElkY fires out 650. Easy game.


ElkY: superstar on home soil

2.40pm: Five to the flop
Eric Sagne limped from under-the-gun; Tristan Clemencon did the same next to him, as did Steve Arbib next to him. Greg Raymer passed and the action reached Ivo Donev in the small blind. He called and Laurent Patteroni checked his option. That's five to the flop. 2♦T♦A♥. Donev checked, as did Patteroni. Sagne made it 250 which would get rid of everyone but Donev who joined Sagne in a 6♠ turn card. Donev checked, allowing Sagne to bet 550. Donev pondered a while but never looked like calling. He folded.

2.35pm: Ad enough of Adinolfi
Mario Adinolfi took down two pots on the spin, the second worth a tad more than the first. In that original hand, Shane Schleger raised to 400 pre-flop and Adinolfi was one of three callers. None of them except Adinolfi were interested in the flop of 6♥[10c]4♦ and so the Italian took it down when he bet 1,700 at it.

Encouraged, Adinolfi made it 650 to go pre-flop from on the button and picked up two callers: Dragan Jovanovic in the small blind and Alex Kravchenko in the big. They all checked the flop of A♦3♣5♣ and on the 2♥ turn, Jovanovic bet 1,000. Kravchenko folded, but Adinolfi raised to 3,000. Jovanovic called.

The river was [10c] and they both checked. Adinolfi showed the mighty Q♣4♠ for the turned straight and Jovanovic mucked A-Q in disgust.

2.25pm: Levi v Beevers
Nicolas Levi raised to 400 from under-the-gun and was called by Joe Beevers in mid position and the big blind. The flop came T♥5♦4♦ and Levi continued his aggression with a 750 bet. Beevers called but the big blind folded. Second barrel for Levi as he fired 2,100 on the 8♠ turn. Call. No third barrel from Levi on the Q♠ river as he checked.

"Okay," said Beevers before he mucked upon seeing Levi's A♥T♦. Levi on 34,000 to Beever's 23,500.

2.20pm: Champ down
This season's EPT Kyiv winner Max Lykov is out, his aces cracked followed by a somewhat ungracious celebration by the victor.

On a J♦5♦8♠ flop, Borges Diogo kicked things off with a bet of 1,600, called by Lykov before Alain Daien bumped it up to 5,000. Diogo thought it through before folding, but Lykov then moved all in for around 19,000. Daien wasted no time in calling, covering Lykov in chips.

Lykov: A♣A♦
Daien: 5♣5♠

The turn was 7♠ and river 4♠, sending Daien into an excitable frenzy of celebration that featured whacking the table and shouting something or other in French. Loudly. I made out the word 'papa', and that was about it. Nonetheless Lykov, busted with cracked aces, could perhaps have done without that outburst as he walked silently from the room.

2.15pm: Jelassi and the books
We were warned at the beginning of this EPT season that we might not be seeing much more of Ramzi Jelassi. He was returning to university for a business degree. Well, Jelassi is actually here in Deauville, but there's a coffee table close by on which sits a daunting-looking academic tome entitled: "Professionell marknadsforing". School has come with him.

2.10pm: Top pair
On a flop of 5♥8♥9♥ Alain Daien and Ilya Gorodetskiy - who a few minutes ago, after
he made the second best flush, admitted "I could be out - thank god he only called!" - played a hand to the river. Daien made it 575 which Gorodetskiy raised to 1,625. Daien then re-raised to 3,200. Gorodetskiy called for a 6♣ on the turn. Another 3,475 from Daien. Gorodetskiy rubbed his beard and his forehead before calling for a 8♠ on the river. Both checked, Daien taking the pot showing T♠9♠. Gorodetskiy mucked as Daien suddenly came alive, animatedly expressing relief at having won, finally breathing again. Gorodetskiy didn't say a word.

2.08pm: You win some, you lose some
Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano isn't hanging around today. He seems to be involved in most pots at the table winning some and losing some. As long as the ones you win are more than the ones you lose then you'll be in good shape. That certainly seems to be the case for Pagano as he has a stack worth 44,000.


Luca Pagano in familiar pose

In one hand he raised from second position and received three callers to a K♥7♦2♥ flop. Action checked to Ricardo Pinto who bet 1,100. Pagano called as did his neighbor, Mikael Azoulay. All three then checked the 6♦ turn and T♣ river before the cards were on their backs. Pinto opened A♦5♦ for a busted flush draw. Azoulay opened A♥9♦ but Pagano took the pot with 7♥8♥ for a pair of sevens.

The very next hand Pagano called from under-the-gun and picked up two fellow limpers before the big blind checked. The flop came 2♣A♥T♠ and Azoulay bet 650 when checked to him. Pagano was the only caller to the T♥ turn where both checked. Pagano then led for 900 on the 2♣ river. Call. Pagano tabled pocket nines but it was no match for Azoulay's A♥J♥ for aces-up.

2pm: Biigaart lets one go
Joep van den Biigaaart, the Dutch Team PokerStars Pro, is an aggressive sort. But sometimes it gets him into trouble and he has to bail out. On this hand he made it 375 pre-flop and is called by Thierry Smadja on the button. On the 9♦J♣[10h] flop, the Dutchman fires out a continuation bet but is re-raised to 1,150 by Smadja, enough for the man from France to take the pot.


Joep van den Bijgaart

1.55pm: Isabelle Mercier sighting
The Canadian pro is sitting on table 12 in familiar aggressive manner (poker-wise, not in her temperament). She's lost a couple of thousand chips somewhere already, but was raising and taking pre-flop when we wandered past. That's the Mercier we've come to know.

1.50pm: Claverie climbing
Arnaud Claverie picks up a multi-way pot. It started with Team PokerStars Pro Vicky Coren betting 350 and getting called in three spots - Claverie, Oliverio Da Silva and Ouri Cohen. On the 8♦7♥[10c] flop, Da Silva bet 700, Claverie called, Coren folded, and Cohen called.

All three then checked the K♣ turn and the Q♥ river, and Claverie showed 9♠[10s] for a pair - and that was good enough.

1.45pm: Level up
We're into level two.

1.40pm: Go-to guy Minieri
It's well known among us poker reporters that if you want action, you seek out Dario Minieri. The problem is that even if you swing by for just one or two hands, you can end up staying for a while. But it's worth it. This little run down of hands starts slowly, hots up, and ends with a dramatic elimination. God bless Dario Minieri.

First up, we've got Minieri under-the-gun and he raised to 300. Anas Tadini re-raised to 700 and Minieiri called. The flop was J♣A♦[10d], which was scary enough for them both to check, and they didn't get any more adventurous on a turn of [10h] or a river of [10s]. Tadini's 9♦9♣ were good.


In the limelight: Dario Minieri

Tadini himself had a touch of the Minieris now, and wanted to play every pot. He raised to 300 and it was called in three other spots: Barbara Martinez in the small blind, Minieri in the big and Xavier Carruggi under-the-gun, who had limped.

All of them checked the flop of 9♠2♣6♠ but Minieri bet 1,125 at the turn of 4♣. Tadini and Martinez called that one. The river was 3♠ and Martinez checked, Minieri bet 2,600, but Tadini raised to 6,500. Martinez folded, but Minieri called. He mucked soon after, though, when Martinez showed him the nuts: A♠4♠ for the rivered flush.

Minieri doesn't know anything about being dispirited, however, and got straight back on the bike. On the next hand, Marc Naalden raised to 300 from early position, Fabrice Touil called from the cut off, Minieri called from the small blind and Carruggi came along from the big.

All four checked the 8♣7♠4♥ flop but then Minieri fired 900 at the 2♥ turn. Carruggi and Touil called. The river was A♥ and when Minieri bet 1,700 at that, his opponents were persuaded out of it. A small pot went in the Italian's direction.

That was nothing compared with what happened next. After a small, early-position raise from Monteiro Gonvaldes, Tadini once again had his raising fingers ready, making it 625. Minieri called on the button, and the two blinds (Carruggi and Damien Ronyalso) also came along.

The flop was Q♠8♣[10s] and it was checked to Minieri's button. That usually means a bet, and so it proved. Minieri fired 1,625 and Gonvaldes was the only caller. The turn was K♥ and Gonvaldes check-called Minieri's bet of 4,650, which brought them to a river of Q♦. With an aggressive flourish, Gonvaldes slammed his entire stack into the middle: "Tapie," said the dealer. "Call," said Minieri, the picture of calm.

Gonvaldes tabled A♠3♠ for a busted flush draw, ace high. Minieri had flopped a set of tens with his [10c][10d] and rivered a full house when the queen paired. That was pretty, pretty good. Minieri takes about 50,000 into level two. That's dangerous.

1.35pm: Clemencon expects you to fold
Three players see the 6♣2♠8♠ flop, one of whom is Team PokerStars Pro Greg Raymer who along with Eric Sagne in the big blind and original raiser Tristan Clemencon under the gun, check for a 5♠ on the turn. Sagne bet 525 which Clemencon called, as did Raymer. It was still the three of them for the 4♠ river. Sagne checked, Clemencon, stirring a cup of coffee like a cartoon villain, made it 1,825 before Raymer, peering over his Disney bought sunglasses, mucked his cards. Sagne, without the glasses, did the same.

1.30pm: LAG players
If you're looking for a good place to stand for early action may I recommend the position in-between Praz Bansi and Ludovic Lacay's tables. Both are known for their aggressive playing style and both will have ignored the great new structure on the EPT that allows one to ease their way into a tournament. Both have been mixing it up in small pots early on but it was the Frenchman who played the first significant pot.

There were two flat callers before Lacay raised to 400 from the button. The small blind and two limpers called to see the Q♦2♦2♣ flop that was checked around by all. The turn came K♠ and when checked to Lacay he bet 900. The small blind called but Franck Kalifa raised it up to 3,000. Lacay called but the small blind folded. The river came 4♦ and this time Kalifa checked to Lacay who fired 4,400. Kalifa called but slammed him fist on the table when Lacay tabled Q♥Q♣ for a flopped full-house.

Lacay is allowed to have a hand sometimes and when he does his playing style means he gets paid off. Lacay up to 44,000 now.

1.25pm: Swede takes root
Ramzi Jelassi, the fearsome Swedish Pro, is chipping upwards as usual. In an early skirmish he took chips off PokerStars player Antoine Amourette. On a board showing 4♣2♣9♠7♥, Jelassi check-called Amourette's 1,500. Both checked the 4♦ river:

Amourette: 5♣6♣ for the missed flush and straight
Jelassi: 7♠8♦ for two pair

1.20pm: King(s) Helppi
Finland's Juha Helppi gets off to a good start. With 3,000 already in the pot, he bets 2,000 on a K♥6♣[10d]9♦3♠ board and gets a call from Jakob Karlsson. Helppi shows K♦K♣, perhaps cursing the fact a potential straight on the board had slowed him down.

1.15pm: Aces no good
On a 5♥4♥[10d]K♠ board, Jens Kyllonen gets all in against Stake Mortensson. Kylonnen, the EPT Copenhagen winner from last season, had A♠A♦, but was a mile behind Mortensson's 4♣5♣. The 2♥ river kept him that way and Kylonnen drops to 2,600 as a result.

1.10pm: Kick boxer's tough Round 1
French kick boxing champ Jerome le Banner is known as 'The Bulldog of Normandy'. Unfortunately for Le Banner, sponsored by PokerStars here on the Normandy coast, he is the one being knocked about here, and towards the end of level one he has just 4,400 chips left from his original 30,000.

A look around his table reveals no big stack, just a healthy smattering of players with more than they started with. One can conclude, therefore, that Le Banner's chips are being spread around liberally to the whole table.

1.05pm: Over in the Salle de Prive
Over in the other room it's all nice and peaceful, then the public address system fizzes to life and ruins everything, static buzzing the room like a swarm of electric wasps before the order to shuffle up and deal brings quiet again, but for the riffle of chips.

It's nicer in the Salle de Prive because there's fewer tables and space to breath. You could be forgiven for wanting to stay over there all day but these will be the first tables to break, casting its inhabitants, among them the likes of Luca Pagano, Melanie Weisner, Jens Kyllonen, Jeff Sarwer, Rob Hollink and Ricardo Sousa back into the main playing area, a cramped claustrophobic knee-to-knee tournament room.

So best make the most of it.

Sousa was firing from the first hand. On a flop of Q♦5♦7♦ and after a check by Romain Feriolo from the big blind he made it 500 to play which Feriolo then called. It was a similar story on the 8♠ turn card. A check by Feriolo before Sousa fired out 1,100 this time, raised by Feriolo to 2,300 and called. Both checked the K♦ on the river, Feriolo showing J♦J♥ to take the pot.

Two tables along sits Jeff Sarwer, making his first appearance in Deauville. He opened for 250 from early position and was called by Youcef Benzerfain the big blind for a flop of 3♥A♥K♠. Benzerfain checked to Sarwer who bet 175, called. On the 5♠ turn Benzerfain again checked to Sarwer who made it 700 this time, again called for a A♦ on the river. Check-check. Benzerfain showed Q♥K♦ to take the pot, Sarwer mucking.

1pm: Twittering
Julien Brecard won a people's choice gong at the France Poker Awards yesterday, but he's noticed this afternoon that it doesn't buy him any favours. The most recent tweet from @Yuestud has him peering round a tough table:

"Ept deauville day1b: First table with solody, Élie marciano, Arnaud Esquevin, ramzy jelassi and sijbrand maal. Are we in deauville? lol"

Jelassi just took a pot from Maal, betting all the way on a board of 7♣8♣3♠Q♦7♥ - it was 875 on turn and 1,925 on river - and tabling A♥A♣, which were good. Maal mucked.

We're off and running.

12.55pm: Match-ups
The match-up between champions on the same table is rare, but it's not unheard of. So it's only mildly diverting that Jan Skampa, the current EPT Prague champion, is sharing felt with Mats Iremark, who won in this room on season two.

However, it's not often we get a married couple on the same table, which is why it's worth mentioning that the French players Pascal Perrault and Lise Vigezzii are sitting two seats away from one another is worth mentioning.

12.45pm: Off we go
We're off.

12.40pm: Cards on the table
Cards are still not in the air, so why not kill some time by reading the introduction to the day or, better, catching up with ElkY in moving pictures:

Watch EPT Deauville 2010: ElkY on PokerStars.tv

12.30pm: Here they come
And so the players arrive, and there's quite a scene to be seen from our perch on the stage at the end of the ballroom.

There's Joao Barbosa, winner of EPT Warsaw, searching for his seat. And Eyal Avitan, runner up in Prague, laughing with a friend on his way through the door. Antony Lellouche shuffles towards table 21, while Jonathan Aguiar shakes hands with a buddy in the media.

Jude Ainsworth is on the nearest table to the media pile; he's filling in a release form on table 28. Behind him, Dmitry Stelmak, last seen on the final table of the PCA High Roller event, has made his way back to Europe from the Caribbean. Ivo Donev is photographing the room; Melanie Weisner is trying too peer over the heads of anyone taller, which means everyone.

Domink Nitsche, LAPT champion, moves swiftly through the crowd in search of table 25. Greg Raymer returns to the room where he suffered his fastest-ever bust out, losing within ten minutes to Julian Thew in season two.

Robert "Le Dangereux" Cohen is being pursued by television cameras; Manuel Bevand is not being followed by anyone, but is making his way through the room. We haven't even left our seats yet, but this is a packed field already.

12.15pm: No sign...
...of any players. Noon has been and gone. Give us another 15.

11.50am: Minutes away
Ten minutes to go till the start and there's not a player to be seen. that's because they're likely to be standing in line waiting to go ahead to enter the Salle des Ambassadeur. We should still be starting soon, although noon is doubtful.

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