EPT London: Day 1B, level 5 & 6 updates (blinds 200-400, ante 50)
7.02pm: Ding, ding, ding
That's a 90-minute break for all concerned. Except for the poor dealers, of course, who have to sit and guard the chips. See you back here in an hour and a half. -- RD
6.58pm: Strassmann makes an early dash for dinner
Johannes Strassmann should get his pick of the local eating establishments as he's been knocked out by Name Le just a few minutes before the dinner gong is due to be rung. Nam Le raised a late position limp to 1,650 and Strassmann moved all-in from the big blind for 6,250. Le made the call.
The A♠5♠5♥ left little hope for the German Team PokerStars Pro and the 8♠6♣ turn and river did little to help him out. Le shook Strassmann's hand and raked in his pot. -- RD
6.52pm: Helppi Juha, help Helppi Juha
Low and behold a three-way all-in featuring Juha Helppi, Erik van den Berg and Team PokerStars Pro Jude Ainsworth. Make your selections now as here come the details, albeit when the cards were turned over.
Van Den Berg: J♣A♠
The board came Q♠7♦3♠5♠2♥ sending the chips to Helppi, who now has 60,000. That's about the same as Ainsworth who slips to that amount rather than climbs to it. For Van Den Berg it's the end of the line. -- SB
6.47pm: New chip leader emerges from the shadows
Joel Nordkvist was just seen stacking up a big pile of chips after eliminating an opponent. We don't have the details of the hand but the Swede now has a chip mountain like 145,000 in front of him -- MC
6.45pm: Nacho not happy
Team PokerStars Jose Barbero is down to just 8,000 in a hand that he thought he won. He got all the chips in pre-flop with K♣K♥ against an opponent holding A♠K♠ and the board ran 2♥Q♣2♠J♠8♠. Barbero thought he had won the hand and said "I had about another 25k."
Joe Hachem spoke up and said "You do realise the other player won the hand?"
Barbero looked down at the board and turned a bit pale as he saw the flush for his opponent. "No, I didn't realise" he responded whilst slamming his chips down on the table. -- MC
6.40pm: Brits are falling
Michael Grecco is out. He got it all in with pocket nines but ran into an opponent holding pocket tens.
Another player to fall is Praz Bansi. The talented player has won millions worldwide but just can't seem to cash at an EPT. He busted after re-shoving over the top of a four-bet with pocket queens. The player four-betting was Jamie Brown who held pocket kings. - MC
6.31pm: Dutchie sunk
Fatima Moreira de Melo has just been bust out of the tournament by Irishman Jude Ainsworth. I arrived at the critical point of the action where Moreira De Melo had 8,500 in front of her on a A♣3♠A♠ flop and Ainsworth 16,000 (implying, of course, that Ainsworth had led the flop, been raised and then opted to three-bet). Moreira De Melo had around 30,000 at the beginning of the hand and she was left with the decision to play for stacks. She decided to press the green button which was a decision she quickly regretted as Ainsworth called her shove with A♥K♥. Moreira De Melo tabled Q♣Q♠ and failed to catch backdoor spades or a queen.
On the upside, Jude Ainsworth has 90,000 in his stack now and looks set to power his way through to the end of the day. -- RD
6.20pm: Taking it easy
The video blog team caught up with Team PokerStars Pro Pieter de Korver earlier today to discuss rest, relaxation and even more relaxation ahead of EPT London.
6.11pm: Brammer out but still standing atop the UKIPT Leaderboard
Chris Brammer was near the bottom of a bottle of Peroni when I caught up with him: "I was never above 40,000 and barely below 30,000 and eventually tried to bluff the wrong person," he said with a shrug. He was more concerned with the UKIPT Leaderboard which he's currently topping. There are a couple of players who could topple him, such as Max Silver and Joeri Zandvliet, but it will take some epic efforts on their behalf to do so. The winner of the leaderboard bags a prize package that must be in the region of £20,000.
Good news for Brammer, Joeri Zandvliet is out so there's only really the risk of Max Silver making a late dash for the title with a deep run (Silver played two UKIPT events, winning won and final tabling the other). -- RD
6.05pm: Montgomery doubles
Former November Niner Scott Montgomery has just doubled with jacks against big slick and is up to 38,000. He'll need to chip up more before the end of the day if he's going to make another big final table here. -- RD
6pm: Number crunching
Someone in a back office here likes nothing more than to crunch numbers. They live for it, and regular updates on player numbers, prize pools, ravaged by exclamation marks, capital letters and text speak. So allow us to put it into basic English.
A total field of 848 players has been confirmed, 509 of whom played today. That makes for a total prize pool of £4,112,800. The top 128 players will finish in the money and first place will pay £900,000.
Those numbers are official. Fifteen exclamation points were removed in the making of this post. -- SB
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 200-400, ANTE 50
5.50pm: Her stack's a bit Fatima
Team PokerStars SportsStar Fatima Moreira de Melo is up to 32,000 after doubling-up through Jan Boubli. They both saw a 5♠2♣4♦ flop before De Melo moved all-in and was called. She tabled K♣K♦ to Boubli's 8♠8♣ and the board ran out A♦5♥. -- MC
5.45pm: Margets, Leo gets
Leo Margets is up to 63,000 after eliminating Ahmad Sohl. Sohl limped pre-flop and Per Ummer raised to 1,900. Margets then re-raised to 4,000 in the big blind which Sohl raised to 10,500. Ummer sensed trouble and stepped out of the way, folding what he would later reveal to be pocket jacks.
Margets declared herself all-in and Sohl called with A♥A♠. Margets turned over K♥K♦ and awaited her fate (I realise I may have already given this away).
The board ran 9♦K♠6♠Q♦6♦ sending Margets up the chip counts and Sohl to the rail. -- SB
5.30pm: Ummering and ahh-ing
Per Ummer, one of those easy to spot faces which has appeared on the tour since the early years. Back then things were in black and white and the novelty cheque was still a feature of the prize giving. The average age of a player was somewhere around 30 and being a PokerStars qualifier meant you'd never picked up a real card in your life.
Now it's all bank transfers and High Definition and PokerStars qualifiers are some of the most feared players in the game, and Ummer has watched hundreds of them come and go.
The latest to take him on is Jason Somerville. On a flop of 8♣4♣3♥ Somerville checked in the small blind, Ummer bet 1,600, which Somerville called. The turn came6♦. Somerville checked again and Ummer tried again, 3,600 this time. Somerville called again for a 6♠ river and again checked. Ummer had another go, 11,000 this time which seemed to be the magic number. Somerville folded. Ummer up to 44,000 now. -- SB
5.15pm: Studious play
Fatima Moreira De Melo is running low and is looking for spots to chip up. She just fired 2,500 at a Q♣6♠7♣ flop and took the pot down to grind back up to 13,000. -- RD
5pm: Back into the action
During the break I caught up with Michael Piper, fourth place finisher at EPT San Remo in April. Due to what Piper referred to as an uncooperative bank (his words were actually far stronger) he had some problems paying out some of his stakers from the event. Given that I used to be a customer at the same bank and used to have troubles with transfers of amounts far smaller than his $345,000 win I can understand where he's coming from.
Talking of San Remo its winner Liv Boeree, along with JC Tran and Sebastian Ruthenberg, is being shifted to the TV table. It's causing a slight delay after the break as microphones get clipped and cameras get rolling. -- RD
PokerStars Blog reporting team at EPT London (in order of astonisment at Vincent Rubianes' hair): Marc Convey (I think it's brilliant), Stephen Bartley (it's very nice indeed), Rick Dacey (interesting) and Simon Young (no comment). Photos by Neil Stoddart and Mickey May.