EPT London: Day 1B, level 3 and 4 updates (blinds 150-300)
4.40pm: Break time
Players are taking another break. Play resumes in 15 minutes.
The closer you look the bigger the impression that about half the field aren't exactly following the diktat that even when you're not in the hand you should be paying attention. IPads, iPods, books, magazines and newspapers keep most players entertained between hands and those involved in a pot are asked to keep the noise down so as not to disturb them.
Over on Andrew Feldman's table Ramsi Jelassi reads the business pages while Team PokerStars Pro Ville Wahlbeck is deep in the International Herald and Tribune. It looks like they're reading too, not just looking at the pictures.
Meanwhile Cornel Cimpan opened for 800 in early position which Andre Feldman raised to 2,650 from the cut off. Cimpan raised 7,000 more on top causing Feldman to furrow his brow and then lump his chips into the middle, about 32,000 in total.
Cimpan had about 45,000 behind and though about things for a bit before calling. Feldman was ahead, K♦K♠ against Cimpan's J♦J♥. Jelassi and Wahlbeck put down their papers as the board ran 8♦8♠5♣A♣5♣. Feldman doubles up to 65,000. Cimpan is down to around 14,000. -- SB
4.33pm: Negreanu watch
Apologies for the lack of Daniel Negreanu coverage today but we have a good reason. His starting table was chosen to be the feature table and is therefore closed off in a TV set at the end of the ballroom. We can inform you those that despite being drawn along side fellow Team PokerStars Pros Victor Ramdin and Dario Minieri, he's doing very well indeed on 108,000 chips. London may well turn out to be his first ever EPT cash. Hope we haven't just bokked him! -- MC
4.30pm: Boeken booming
Team PokerStars Pro Noah Boeken is up to 72,000 after winning a three-way pot. The flop came down as 6♠Q♦K♥ and a player second to act led for 1,600 and was called by both players. The turn came 4♥ prompting all three to check to the K♣ river. The same aggressor as before led for 4,500 and only Boeken called. "Nine high" announced Boeken's opponent but he lost out to the Dutchman's K♦5♦. -- MC
4.24pm: Going Loco
Vincent Patrick Rubianes - the man with the biggest hair in the poker world - opened the pot for 800 and was called by Daniel Lococo in late position before Team PokerStars Pro Juan Maceiras three-bet to 2,400. Both players made the call. Maceiras led into the A♦5♠3♠ board for another 2,400 and was instantly shoved on by Lococo. In turn that picked up an instant fold. -- RD
4pm: Is this me?
Five players are doing something with their cell phones on table ten. The poker is taking a back seat. Four of them tap at screens with their fingers while Salvatore Bonavena has stepped away from the table to make a call, proving once and for all the unsubstantiated cliché that Italian men make gestures with their hands in phone conversations as well as when talking face to face.
There were enough players alert enough to play a hand though, although they almost had an uninvited guest. Padraig Parkinson has been roaming the tournament room. At first it seemed he was catching up with old mates, but it became clear that he was perhaps just lost.
"Is this me?" asked Parkinson. "No? Where am I?" He was about to take Bonavena's empty seat until someone guided him back to his own stack.
Back in the game Bonavena opened for 550 which was called by Antoine Saout. Oscar Blanco in the small blind called, as did the big blind, for a 3♣3♦6♣ flop. The blinds checked to Bonavena who bet 1,200. Saout called before Blanco raised to 2,500, forcing out the big blind. Bonavena wasn't done, raising to 4,100 which in turn forced out Saout. Blanco called.
The turn came 4♦. Blanco checked to Bonavena who bet 6,000 which Blanco called for a T♠ river card. Another check from Blanco and another 6,000 from Bonavena. Blanco called but didn't like what he saw, Bonavena turning over K♦K♠ to take the pot, taking his stack up to 65,000. -- SB
3.56pm: j.thaddeus v Sam Trickett
Sam Trickett appears to have a massage girl attached to his back. She was there for almost all of his EPT Vilamoura campaign (where he finished fourth) and he seems to be continuing that tradition here. Trickett opened from late position and was called by Jude Ainsworth, aka j.thaddeus, in the small blind. Trickett bet 1,000 into the A♦4♦2♦ flop and was check-raised to 3,000 by Ainsworth. Trickett made the call before betting 2,000 on the K♥ turn. Ainsworth moved in for approximately 6,000 more and Trickett snapped it off with 6♦9♦. Ainsworth was left grimacing with A♣J♦ for just seven outs... and caught one of them, the 7♦, to outdraw Trickett's flopped flush. The Team PokerStars Pro is back up to 22,000. -- RD
3.47pm: Perrins doubles through
Matt Perrins has just doubled through to over 60,000 with ace-king on a king-high board. It all went in on the turn when the board paired. Perrins went deep in Monte Carlo at the EPT Grand Final earlier this year and should he get chips could be a real handful. -- RD
3.38pm: Minieri out
Dario Minieri, along with Daniel Negreanu, is on the TV feature table and that restricts access for us lot. What we can tell you is that the Italian maestro is out. What we can also tell you - shock, horror and surprise not withheld - is that he went out bluffing the river. What are the chances? -- RD
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 150-300
3.32pm: Risky business
Nick Risk is our UKIPT Edinburgh champion and things seem to be going pretty well for him here too (except for the fact that Phil Ivey has position on him, of course). Risk is up to 63,000 and his table seems like there's plenty of opportunity for chip accumulation given the hand just gone by.
Team PokerStars Pro Sandra Naujoks opened the action to 500 and was called in a couple of spots, including Ivey, before the big blind (James Green if the seat draw is correct) moved all-in for a mite under 3,000. Naujoks isolated and the pot was kept heads up.
Green : J♥7♦
The flop smashed Green in the face with a T♠9♦8♠ straight and Naujoks failed to catch a jack to take the pot. -- RD
3.30pm: Akkari's Twitter rising
Andre Akkari's Twitter posting is recording his current good form:
38 mins ago: 26,000
19 mins ago: 45,000
6 mins ago: 52,000
That's some real top quality poker tournament reporting right there, from the comfort of my seat. -- SY
3.25pm: Turns out good for Williams
Team PokerStars Pro David Williams has taken a chunk out of Charles "Mr Macau" Chua's stack to move up to 31,000. Chua raised to 600 from the button and called William's 2,100 three-bet from the SB. The flop came down 6♦5♠8♠ and Williams led for 2,100. Call. The turn came Q♥ and Williams went into check-call mode to the tune of 3,200. Both players checked the K♠ river and Williams took the pot with Q♣2♣ bettering Chua's J♣J♦. Chua down to 29,200 as a result. -- MC
3.20pm: The brief Georgian era
When Phil Ivey moves table the world moves with him. Arriving at a new table, one shared by Alex Wice and Ilya Gorodetskiy, Ivey wouldn't have been surprised to find two TV cameras waiting for him. As usual he made no sign of being irked or pleased by this and instead got stuck in.
Nicholas Abourisk opened for 525, getting a call from Ruxandescu Luian Georgian in the small blind before Ivey raised to 2,000 in the big. Abourisk folded and Georgian announced all-in, called by Ivey almost immediately, who turned over A♠Q♦ to Georgian's 6♥6♠. Ivey pulled a face and the dealer dealt the board: 7♥Q♣J♥T♦8♥.
The hand took Ivey back up to 22,000 while Georgian was down to around 6,000, a short stack that wouldn't last much longer.
On the very next hand Georgian called on the button behind an under-the-gun bet of 525 from Kevin Eyster. Ivey raised to 2,000 again forcing Eyster out. Georgian then announced all-in. Ivey, wearing headphones had to be shaken from his reverie. "Huh?" he said, before being filled in. He then called showing A♥K♥ to Georgian's A♣Q♦. Rats. The board ran 7♥9♦4♦2♣T♥ sending Georgian to the rail. Ivey back up to wear he started from, 30,000. -- SB
3.15pm: Scary aces for Langmann
Team PokerStars Pro Florian Langmann min-raised to 400 and picked up three callers, including fellow Team Pro Pieter de Korver in the small blind and Greg Merson in the big. The flop came 7♠8♦K♣ and it was checked around to Langmann who made it 1,200. De Korver got out of the way but Merson re-popped to 3,400. Call. On the [10s] turn Merson made it 5,200 and Langmann called, then both slowed down to a check on the Q♥ river. Merson showed 9♠[10c] but was behind to the German's pocket rockets. Langmann up to 39,000. -- SY
3.10pm: "I've been Padraig'd"
Toby Lewis has been on an absolute heater of late but it's hard to feel upbeat after you've just been, in his words, "Padraig'd," which is never a good thing. Lewis won EPT Vilamoura, won the £1,000 side event here last night and had a solid third in the World Poker Open earlier this month. Lewis may be able to think on multiple levels and change gears but that doesn't necessarily count for a lot when you're facing the mercurial Irish legend Padraig Parkinson (who is free rolling this tournament after winning UKIPT Galway back in December).
Chris Brammer, current UKIPT Leaderboard champ, opened to 500 from middle position and Parkinson made a raise to to 2,200 from the cut-off. Lewis three-bet from the button to 4,575 and Brammer moved out the way (he had jacks he later told me). Parkinson made the call and then instantly shipped in for some 25,000 on the 2♥3♥ flop. Lewis made the call with pocket queens and Parkinson tabled 4♥6♥ for a gutshot straight flush draw (so Lewis told me). The flush sluiced in on the turn and Lewis' hopes to have another deep run were cut down early.
As Lewis recounted the hand Parkinson came over to shake his hand and to tell him: "I think that you're a hell of a player." Hell of a player or not he'll have to wait until EPT Vienna if he wants to have another shot at another European Poker Tour title. -- RD
2.55pm: News in brief
Irish Open champion James Mitchell betting 5,000 on the river of a 8♦Q♣T♦2♠4♠ board and getting called. He flipped up 2♣2♥ for a set and the pot as his opponent mucked. He's up to 31,000 now.
Team PokerStars Pro Dennis Phillips informed us of his exit. It was the most brutal of pre-flop showdowns; kings into aces. -- MC
2.45pm: Three to the flop
Three players saw a flop of 6♥9♦3♣. Jason Somerville was in the small blind and led by checking before Ahmad Solh bet 950, which both Leo Margets and Somerville called for a Q♥ turn. All three players checked that for a 6♣ river card, Somerville winning the hand with a bet of 2,850 to move up to 35,000. -- SB
2.30pm: RECORD BREAKERS
History has been made today as the EPT London has just tipped the scales at 854 players (according to our current figures, yet to be fully confirmed) making this the largest live tournament on British soil. Weighing in with a £5,000 buy-in we're looking at around £4,270,000 for an incredible prizepool. That will be a large wedge of cheese for the winner.
Players are back in their seats and cards are back in the air. -- RD
PokerStars Blog reporting team at EPT London (in order of cups of coffee spilt over laptops today): Rick Dacey (an idiotic one), Simon Young, Stephen Bartley and Marc Convey (all a perfectly normal zero). Photos by Mickey May and Neil Stoddart.