EPT London, Day 1A: Level 7, 8 & 9 (blinds 500-1,000, 100 ante)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg12.05am: Play concludes
Play for Day 1a has come to an end. A full wrap of the day's play will be up for you shortly and full official chips counts will follow soon after that. -- MC

11.55pm: Last four hands
Tournament director Thomas Kremser has paused the clock and announced that there will be four final hands played. Full chip counts and wrap will follow after. -- RD

11.50pm: Ladies no good in battle of the ladies
Team PokerStars Pros Vicky Coren and Celina Lin were drawn together at the start of the day and have been sat together all day until a big showdown saw the latter eliminated. It was a classic race as Coren had A♥K♥ to Lin's Q♥Q♣ and the board ran 2♥K♦J♦8♥7♠. Coren hit her king and had 28,000 to Lin's 26,000 so took the scalp of the Asian Pro, -- MC

11.40pm: Heitman reaches new heights
Team PokerStars Pro Jan Heitman is up to 72,000 after busting a player at his table. The short-stack shoved for 8,000 a with 9♠T♠ and was looked up by Heitman in the SB with A♠K♣. The board ran 7♥2♣3♦5♣J♦. -- MC

11.35pm: Burland takes his Chance
Jamie Burland has taken another pot off his neighbour Chance Kornuth. These two and Neil Channing saw a 8♦4♥2♣ flop with 8,500 already in the middle. The action checked to Kornuth who bet 2,400 and was only called by Burland. Both players checked the J♥ turn before Burland check-called an 8,600 bet on the 4♠ river. Kornuth tabled 7♥8♥ but lost out to Burland's 9♦9♣. Kornuth down to a still very respectable 128,000 and Burland up to 74,000. -- MC

11.26pm: One tough table
Vanessa Rousso, Allen Cunningham, Erik Seidel, Thomas Bichon and Greg Raymer are all now at the same table together. In the last pot played Seidel opened to 2,400 and Rousso three-bet shoved for 19,000 from the small blind. Cherif Zacca took his time to pass in the big blind and Seidel passed. "I had ace-jack," said Seidel. "You had two over cards," replied Rousso before the entered into rapid fire poker geek speak. -- RD

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Vanessa Rousso's still alive but is well below average

11.19pm: Obrestad wins £120,000 in the £5,250 heads up
The £5,000 heads up tournament has been settled with Annette Obrestad defeating Bernd Gleissner. Obrestad scoops £120,000 and Gleissner £60,000. Sam Iola and Santeri Validoski claimed third and fourth for a £30,000 payday. -- RD

11.10pm: Raymer binks for 90k pot
Team PokerStars Pros Greg Raymer and Arnaud Mattern locked horns with the former getting the better of the latter. Mattern explained to us in the break what happened. He raised with J♣6♣ from late position and both blinds (Raymer in BB) called. All three checked the [9][7][4] (two clubs) flop to see a jack appear on the turn. The SB led for 4,000 before Raymer raised to 15,000 and Mattern shoved. The SB folded but Raymer called for his tournament life with K♣T♣. The river came a club to make the higher flush for him. Both Pros on 90,00 now going into the last level. -- MC

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 500-1,000, ANTE 100

10.55pm: Final break of the day
We're on a 15-minute break as the players prepare for the final hour long level of Day 1A. We're got around 180 players left here but we can expect quite a number of fallers before the day is out. -- RD

10.47pm: Thorson's king-high
William Thorson looked distinctly irritated that his king-high hadn't won on a checked down 5♠Q♦T♠5♦Q♣ board or perhaps it was that he hadn't stabbed at the pot earlier. An ace was tabled as Thorson tossed his hand away but he's still sat on some 135,000. -- RD

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Thorson is happy in the 100,000+ club

10.42pm: Kravchenko continues to chip up
Alex Kravchenko is continuing to hoover up chips getting it in with A♦Q♥ against a short stacked shove of Q♦Q♣ and a big blind committed T♦5♣. Kravchenko caught the ace on the turn and the owner of the queens span away from the table so quickly that we didn't get a chance to get his name. Kravchenko has over 100,000. -- RD

10.35pm: Revenge Management: meeting room 2
Next door to the Body Language Seminar taking place on the third floor of the Hilton Metropole this afternoon there was a Risk Management meeting. Christopher Kyriacou didn't go to the Body Language discussion, and he didn't go to the Risk Management one either. If he had he may have learnt that if you're taking on Alex Kravchenko in his current state of form you'd better have the goods.

On a flop of Q♠7♦K♠ there were four players involved, and eached checked for a 2♣ turn. Kravchenko checked in the small blind, Laurence Houghton did the same in the big, as did the seat nine player. When the action reached Kyriacou he made it 11,000 to play, not talking much anymore, just sulking slightly. But with the action back on Kravchenko, Kyriacou tried the verbalism again, but the effect was like throwing toy marbles at a tank. Kravchenko doesn't engage in that kind of thing and instead he fired back with a call, going heads-up to the 3♥ river card.

Kravchenko checked again and Kyriacou immediately went to his stack, idly throwing out a bet of 16,000. But Kravchenko sensed something was up, calling immediately and showing 2♥2♠ to take the pot.

Kyriacou tapped the table, resigned. "Wow," he said, then muttered something about the f***ing turn. He's down to 34,000 while Kravchenko moves up to 95,000. -- SB

10.28pm: Graydon chipping up
Irishman Mick Graydon, aka BIGMICKG, told us quite proudly that he was on the most he's been on all day - some 36,000 - when I happened to stroll by. He promptly three-bet squeezed to 6,800 from the small blind over the top of an early position raise from David Steicke. The squeezed party on the cut-off fell away but the Steicke made the call for the additional 5,000. Graydon shoved all-in on the 5♠2♣4♣ flop and Steicke passed as Graydon chipped up to 45,000. -- RD

10.21pm: Happy Birthday....not
It hasn't been a happy birthday for James Keys as he's busted from the main event. We don't have the details but his empty seat tells a story. Happy birthday from the PokerStars Blog anyway Mr. Keys. -- MC

10.10pm: Raymer wins without showdown, then doubles the same player up
Team PokerStars Pro Greg Raymer's stack has been boosted up to 68,000 after he won a hand on the river without showdown. Four players saw a 3♣4♣2♥ flop and Raymer led for 2,000 and was only called in one spot by Itay Rokni. The turn came 2♣ and both players checked to see the K♠ river. Raymer checked once more to call 6,500 bet. It was a good call as Rokni mucked.

Just a few hands later the two get involved once more. In a pre-flop confrontation Raymer called Rokni's all-in bet only to be shown Q♥Q♠. Raymer tabled 7♦7♠ stating "I didn't give you credit for a strong hand".

The board ran A♦4♦K♠Q♦Q♣. The turn made a set for the Frenchman but opened up a flush draw for Raymer but that door was slammed shut by Rokni making quads on the river to double to 40,000. Raymer back down to 50,000. -- MC


Team PokerStars Pro Greg Raymer

10pm: From the wings
News from other events. Bruce Yamron is the latest elimination in the EPT London European 8-Game Championship event, out in fifth place for £10,600.

Cash finishes so far include:

6th - Yadin Shemmer, UK, £7,560
7th - Anders Berg, Norwary, £6,050
8th - Justin Young, United States, £4,540

That leaves four players, led, in an almost repetitive fashion, by Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier. Also still playing are Chris Bjorin of Sweden, Tim Finne from the United States and Matthew Ashton from the United Kingdom.

Jason Mercier, leading in the 8-Game Championship

In the other event currently in running Annette Obrestad leads Bernd Gleissner of Germany in the heads-up tournament. The score is 2-0 to Obrestad in the final best-of-five match. Results of both events will be published here. -- SB


9.54pm: Chip leader shows mercy to Horecki
Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki either had the goods or picked a particularly good spot to shove. One of our chip leaders, Soheb Porbandarwala, had three-bet a 1,400 late position open to 3,600. Horecki moved all-in for 15,000 and neatly picked up the pot to jump up to 21,000. Nicely done by the Pole who waggled his finger at Porbandarwala with a smile. Porbandarwala looks more than happy with himself at the moment which comes as little surprise given his heaving 210,000 stack. -- RD

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Soheb Porbandarwala is one of our early big stacks

9.50pm: Unlucky sevens for Wigg
Team PokerStars Asia Pro Celina Lin filled us in on the downfall of EPT Copenhagen champion Anton Wigg. He lasted precisely one hand after dinner break. He was short-stacked and got it in with pocket sevens but ran into an opponent's pocket kings that held-up. -- MC

9.45pm: Nice value bet
Jeff Sarwer is up to 105,000 after getting a value bet paid off the the river. A player on the button limped and called Sarwer's raise to 2,400 from the small blind. The flop came T♦K♣6♥ and Sarwer led for 2,700. Call. The turn came Q♠ and both players checked to the 9♥ river. Sarwer led for 4,000 and was snap-called leading Sarwer to believe he was losing to a jack, but he wasn't and his K♠Q♣ was good for the pot. -- MC

9.35pm: Night and O'Dea
Bertrand Grospellier just lost a pot to Donnacha O'Dea on a board of 8♣Q♥8♥8♦4♦. ElkY had bet 6,000 on the river which O'Dea called, showing A♣8♣, enough to make the Frenchman muck his hand immediately.

Vicky Coren is down a few thousand. On a board of J♠9♠6♦ Coren checked in the big blind, wearing black sunglasses when involved in a pot, the type suited to driving through the French countryside in a white Morris Minor convertible, wearing a silk headscarf and with a wicker picnic basket strapped to the back.

On the 2♦ turn though Fabian Quoss bet 1,225. Coren stamped on the brakes and the hand came to a halt. Coren still hovering around the 80,000 mark. -- SB

9.28pm: Dwyer pays off Collopy
There was around 17,000 in the pot when John Dwyer checked the A♦A♣7♥6♦3♠ board to Jim Collopy. The young American dwelled for but a brief moment of time before firing out 13,700. Dwyer called pretty much instantly and was shown 7♠7♣ for the flopped full house. Nice work if you can get it. After taking that 43,000 pot Collopy is up to 54,000. -- RD

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Jim Collopy is long overdue some EPT success - will this be the one?

9.20pm: Chen races back to above starting stack
Andrew Chen is back to just above his starting stack after winning a race against his neighbour. All the chips went in pre-flop with Chen holding pocket nines to his neighbour's ace king. The board ran queen high to send Chen to 34,000.

Meanwhile on a neighbouring table Barry Shulman was busy busting a player to see his stack rise to 135,000. -- MC

9.15pm: No thrills for Bloom
Tony Bloom has been eliminated by Will "The Thrill" Failla. Bloom raised from mid-position and was called by Failla in the BB. The flop came [t][t][7] and Failla check-called before all the chips went in on the [8] turn. Bloom tabled pocket nines but was behind to Failla's ace-ten. The river failed to hit Bloom's straight draw to bust him. Failla up to 100,000 as a result. -- MC

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No puns about flowers: Tony Bloom is out

9.08pm: Burland bashes up Taras
Mikulik Taras and Jamie Burland have just had a fierce toe-to-toe on a 5♣6♥4♠ flop. Burland led 3,500 into the flop from the hijack and was raised to 10,000 by Taras. Burland thought for a short while before slamming in an all-in raise. Taras shrugged and passed without much ado. Burland chips up to 70,000.

Meanwhile, EPT presenter Michelle Orpe was seen swaying like a madman just behind the TV table set. Upon closer inspection it seemed that Orpe was merely trying to stretch out some new heels. -- RD

9pm: Trouble and strife
Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier has moved to his new seat on table ten, right alongside Cathy Hong. This kind of change wouldn't be that noteworthy were it not for the fact Hong is also known as Mrs Grospellier.

The point wasn't lost on some players. Celina Lin on the table alongside pointed out the new arrangement to Victoria Coren.

"That would be awkward," said Coren. "He has position and everything."

Coren was right. Everything MRs ElkY does faces the scrutiny of her other half. So far they've shared occasional glances at each other but no hands in anger. Presumably there's a couch in the Grospellier suite, in case things get nasty. -- SB

8.50pm: The final stretch
The players are back from dinner break and well fed. Three more levels before we bag up for the night. France are the happiest nation right now as Thomas Bichon (130,000) and Arnaud Mattern (128,000) lead the way, representing PokerStars Team Pro France admirably. -- MC


Team PokerStars Pro Thomas Bichon flying high in the chip counts

PokerStars Blog reporting team at EPT London (in order of how much we enjoyed our dinner) Rick Dacey (really enjoyed), Marc Convey (quite satisfied), Stephen Bartley (enjoyed but not enough of) and Simon Young (food will not pass these lips until tomorrow) with photos by Neil Stoddart and Mickey May.

Marc Convey
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour