EPT London: Day 2, level 10 & 11 updates (800-1,600, 200 ante)
2.57pm: Bichon blasted into the lead
Thomas Bichon has blasted his way up to around 345,000 thanks to a donation from Soheb Porbandarwala, the chip leader from Day 1A.
A bet of 3,200 was raised by Porbandarwala to 8,600 then re-raised by Bichon to 22,500. The original raiser folded and Porbandarwala called in position for a flop of 7♠7♦3♠. Bichon bet another 30,300 and Porbandarwala moved all-in for what was described by eye-witnesses as lots. Bichon called what was 148,000, showing K♣K♥. Porbandarwala showed A♠6♥. The turn 9♠ and river 6♦ sent the chips to Bichon, who is now the likely chip leader as we hit the 15-minute break. Join us in a new post shortly. -- SB
2.55pm: Mitchell in running like God shocker
"James, you run so good," said Andrew Feldman to Irish Open winner Jamie Mitchell. "Please don't say that yet," replied Mitchell who had five-bet shoved for 79,000 with A♥Q♦ into K♣K♠ and had promptly binked an ace on the A♦3♦4♥ flop. Running eights settled the score as Mitchell chipped up to 160,000. -- RD
2.52pm: Kravchenko likes the cold
Team PokerStars Pro Alex Kravchenko was up to 305,000 after he knocked out two players who both held pocket queens. The lucky Russian had pocket aces that held-up unsurprisingly. On the last hand before the break, Kravchenko called a short-stack all in to add another 15,000 to his stack. Facing A♥K♦, the Russian had pocket nines and that was good for the pot. He's on 320,000 now. -- MC/SY
2.50pm: Kelly gets there
Team PokerStars Pro JP Kelly is up to 165,000 after busting a neighbour. The chips went in on the turn with the board reading 2♠8♣J♠5♣. Kelly had a flush and straight draw with T♠9♠ versus his opponent's K♥J♥ and the river duly came 6♠ to make the flush. UKIPT Brighton winner Jamie Burland took the vacant seat. Let's see if he can fair better. -- MC
2.42pm: Baekke to the drawing board
Any hope of an Allan Baekke victory in London just ended, thanks to Irishman Fintan Gavin.
Gavin opened under-the-gun, betting 4,100 which Baekke called. There was a third caller too for a flop of K♥A♥6♥. Baekke checked his cards again. "Queen of hearts?" joked Gavin and the flush nerves set in.
Gavin bet 6,000 which Baekke called. "Wow, big call," said Gavin, both players enjoying some good natured rivalry. The turn came 2♣. Gavin said he was all-in, about 100,000 in total, give-or-take, a move that sent Baekke into the tank.
"You have the ability to come back and win this," said Gavin, seemingly to urge Baekke to fold. "By the way," he added. "If you want to see my cards you'll need to show yours."
Gavin left it to Baekke to decide, bouncing his leg around which made his shirt flap in and out.
"You don't have a heart?" asked Gavin.
"Yeah I have one," replied Baekke, smiling.
"Do you?" chipped in Rumit Somaiya next to him.
"I can't say," replied Gavin.
After a few moments Baekke made up his mind.
"Okay, I'll make a bad call," he said, pushing his chips in. Then he saw Gavin's 6♣6♠ "Oh yeah, bad call."
Baekke turned over A♦J♣ and shook Gavin's hand.
A 4♠ on the river and Baekke was gone. -- SB
2.40pm: Rolling Ramos
Filipe Ramos was crippled to 5,500 early on yesterday but managed to grind his way back to 39,200 at the end of the day. He was in great spirits this morning as he felt he was free-rolling and his spirits are even better now as he's sat on 155,000.
This stack was partly due to busting Neil Channing. The chips went in on a two diamond flop with Ramos holding pocket queens to Channing's flush draw. The turn and river blanked to send Channing packing. -- MC
2.36pm: New chip leader
British pro Andrew Seden has emerged as the new and current chip leader with 175,000. He told us how he knocked out Nikolay Evdakov and Luc Xu to help hid achieve this status. -- MC
2.34pm: "You have to take the opportunity to four-bet shove on a champ"
So says Jamie Burland. The Brit is up to 175,000 - marking a gain of over 60,000 so far today - after knocking out November Niner Jason Senti with aces over jacks and also four-bet shoving into WSOP Main Event winner Joe Hachem (who is sat next to fellow former champ Greg Raymer).
Burland's looking like he's enjoying himself and rightfully so. He does have position on William Thorson after all, which is always something to be thankful for. -- RD
2.31pm: Mattern up
Arnaud Mattern is up to 111,000 after raising with K♠7♠ and getting one caller. The flop was a rather nice K-K-A - and Mattern got a call with a 5,600 bet. Both checked the five on the turn, and on the 10 river his opponent bet 10,000, Mattern re-raised for 29,100 and got a call. His opponent mucked. -- SY
2.25pm: Steicke leads
David Steicke looks to have taken the lead, with a stack of around 210,000. The Australian is at a tough table, alongside the likes of Liv Boeree, Matt Affleck, Ross Boatman, Jonathan Aguilar and Sam Trickett.
Everyone's getting in on things. Affleck got things going after the break, betting 3,800, called by Steicke on the button, for a flop of A♦4♠9♣. Affleck checked leaving Steicke to bet 4,800 - good to take it down.
Then it was Aguilar's turn. Unlike the others Aguilar doesn't have the chips to mess around with. Short stacked, he raised all-in pre-flop, dumping his chips into the middle like he'd been told to empty his pockets. There was 15,900 there to call in total but no-one fancied it, and he plays on.
Finally Boatman is up to around the 80k mark without having to show anything. Steicke bet 4,600 pre-flop which was called by Christopher Plimmer on the button. Boatman was in the small blind and re-raised to 18,000. Steicke folded, as did Plimmer. -- SB
2.20pm: Vanessa Rousso's day to forget
Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Rousso was a short-stack at the start of the day and didn't last very long once she finally got here. Her Twitter feed tells a rather sorry tale:
- Today is day 2 of EPT London today. Only have 14K in chips, but feeling optimistic. And then my day becomes total horror. Here's my day:
- Wake up at 11, put feet on ground, realize when I stubbed toe last night, must have broken a toe. Ouch. Sucks. Hop round n get ready,
- 11:45am head down 4 taxi 2 tourny. Shld take 10min 2 get there. Of course its rainin. Every1 wants cabs in rain. I get lucky and get one w/in 5 min.
- Cab hits another cab at a traffic light in what is now a downpour. I get out to get new taxi (now its noon, and I'm gonna be late).
- There are ABSOLUTELY NO TAXIS ANYWHERE. I hobble around w broken toe in rain and it tkes 25 min to get taxi. It's now 12:25 :(
-It takes 10 min to get to hotel where tourny is. 1 min to pay cab and get on elevator. It's now 12:36. I slip n fall on the way into hotel.
- I make my way to tourny area. Of course they need to check my bag. I may have a bomb. I don't. I am allowed to enter tournament. It is 12:42
- There is no seating char anywhere. I ask floorman for help. Takes 5 minutes for three people to figure out where I should be sitting. 12:50
- I sit down and my previous short stack of 15K is now a micro stack of 3BigBlinds. I have 3800 in chips and am in the cutoff. It folds to me.
- I have Jack-4 and push all in (two short stacks behind me, so I only really am worried about the big stack in big blind). He calls me w 10-7
-1st good thing 2 happen all day: I'm actually favorite! He flops 7, turns trips to have me drawingdead. Wouldn't have mattered if I had aces.
- So yea. FML. That's all I have to say right now. I need a drink.
Oh dear. That, folks, is not a good day. -- SY
2.15pm: Good Grace
Richard Grace is up to 106,000 after luckily doubling-up. He got it in bad with jacks versus an opponent with pocket queens but binked a jack on the river to hang a round for a while longer. -- MC
2.10pm: Bad Level for Porbandarwala
Chip leader at the last break, Soheb Porbandarwala, has had a really bad second level to move back into the chasing pack with 190,000. He told us how he doubled-up two players at his table. One of the beneficiaries was Gordon Huntly who finished 2nd at APPT Manila in March for $166,800. All the chips went in with Porbandarwala holding a king-high flush to Huntly's two-pair, but the board paired on the river to send the 195,000 pot the Scotsman's way. -- MC
2.09pm: Wu and Thorson confound Raymer
"They are so not the hands that I was expecting to see," said Greg Raymer with a shake of his head. Raymond Wu opened the pot for 4,000, Greg Raymer passed and William Thorson three-bet to 11,500. Wu responded by shipping in for 36,000 and Thorson made the call.
The flop helped both players with a T♦9♣4♣ bounty but a club on the turn all but settled it for Thorson. The board failed to pair on the river and Wu exited the tournament as Thorson chipped up to 165,000. -- RD
2.05pm: River woes
Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree reports that she is on a much easier table now (she had Phil Ivey, Devilfish and Allen Cunningham for company at one point), but that she keeps getting rivered and is now down to 41,000. Oh well. -- SY
2pm: Greenstein not dead yet
He may have been down to 6,000 or so at the break, but Barry Greenstein is on a relatively healthier 15,000 right now after double through Mickey Petersen. The Dane had raised under the gun to 3,600 and it was folded around to Greenstein in the small blind who shoved for 7,400. Shannon Shorr got out of the way in the big blind and they were on their backs:
Greenstein: A♥J♥ (nice)
Petersen: Q♠J♠ (not so nice)
The board was great from the off for the Team PokerStars Pro, coming A♣3♠8♣, and he stayed ahead on the 2♦ turn and 2♥ river. - SY
1.56pm: Small set hopes no good for Raymer
Raymond Wu started this one off with a raise to 4,000 and Greg Raymer called from the next seat along. Then UKIPT Brighton winner Jamie Burland made it 16,500 from the button. Wu folded, as did Raymer. "I guess you are not going to let me flop bottom set," said the Fossilman, who has around 90,000. -- SY
1.52pm: Ainsworth has to let another go
Today isn't going as planned for Jude Ainsworth who has just had to pass to another river bet. This time it was for 25,700 on the river of a 6♠6♦J♥Q♥8♦ board. Ainsworth sat and stared for some time at David Vamplew and his stack possibly trying to measure whether he could get him off his hand with a shove. If that is what he was thinking he decided against it. -- RD
1.45pm: To the money we shall go
We will be playing until the bubble bursts today. 128 players will get paid and our expert TDs reckon that will take us to the end of level 6/ beginning of level 7. -- MC
1.40pm:Taking on billionaires
Team PokerStars Pro Arnaud Mattern has taken on and beaten Japanese businessman Masaaki Kagawa. Mattern raised to 3,800 from late position and Kagawa called to see a A♠K♦K♥ flop. Mattern c-bet for 5,600 and was called before both checked the 5♣ turn. The river came T♥ and Kagawa led for 10,000 and called when Mattern raised to 29,100. The Frenchman tabled K♠7♠ for trips and took the pot to move up to 111,000 as Kagawa folded. -- MC
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 800-1,600, ANTE 200
1.33pm: Ainsworth hates the river
Arto Loikkanen opened for a raise to 2,800 and got calls from Carlos Curi on the button and Team PokerStars Pro Jude Ainsworth from the big blind. On the [10s]K♣2♣ flop Ainsworth checked, Loikkanen bet 6,000, Curi folded and Ainsworth called.
The turn was J♥ and now both players checked. Then the river bought an irritating Q♥ -at least that's what it seemed to Ainsworth. He checked then faced an 11,000 bet from Loikkanen. Shaking his head, he asked the dealer to spread the pot. One more shake of the head and he folded.
It's a 15-minute break. First of the day. -- SY
1.31pm: Greenstein on life support
Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein is down to 6,000 at the break - and that's enough for only a few big blinds. -- SY
1.29pm: Persson flipped out
Magnus Persson has been knocked out by Mikulik Taras in a classic race. The Ukrainian raised from the cut-off and called when the Swede moved in from the SB with A♠Q♦. Taras tabled J♥J♠ and it held through the K♦7♥4♥7♣T♠ board. - MC
1.27pm: Channing chips up
Neil Channing is up to 52,000 after doubling through Tomi Aalto. Aalto raised from under-the-gun and called when Channing moved in for 25,300 from the SB. Channing held big slick to his opponent's pocket tens. It wasn't long before Channing was thanking the dealer for his skills as an ace appeared on the flop. -- MC
1.25pm: No Veggie for me
Daniel Negreanu is tucking in to a particularly nasty-looking vegetarian dish. Upon seeing my disgust he insisted: "You'd absolutely love it. It has no cow or pig in it." Yuk. Negreanu is on a meat-less 163,000. -- SY
1.23pm: Trickett up
Sam Trickett, who lives his life at the table in a permanent state of massage, opened for 2,400, which was called by Christopher Plimmer and Matt Affleck in the big blind. The flop came 8♥A♠J♥ which was checked by Affleck. Trickett bet another 6,000 which both Plimmer and Affleck passed, leaving Trickett with a stack now up to 65,000.
Affleck took some back on the next hand, the last before the break, this time against David Steicke. The Australian, wearing a vivid Wolverhampton Wanderers cap, opened for 3,200 which Affleck raised to 9,500. The other players at the table left for the break leaving just the two of them, but Steicke wasn't biting. -- SB
1.21pm: Coren is out
"I'm not even annoyed. There was nothing that I could do," said Vicky Coren to one of the PokerStars marketing bods. The upshot of the conversation was that the Team Pro had bitten the dust. The particulars are unknown as said marketing bod didn't understand the rapid fire explanation of the hand and was, I imagine, too busy nodding earnestly and making sounds of sympathy. -- RD
1.13pm: Neuville cut up by Chainsaw
Friend of PokerStars Pierre Neuville has lost a big chunk to Allen 'Chainsaw' Kessler. "I had A-J and the flop came Q-Q-10," recalled Mr Neuville. "We both checked and then the turn was a king. He bet, I re-raised and he called. The river was an eight - I bet 20,000 and he called. He had A-J as well, but his were diamonds and he made a runner-runner flush!" That little set back put Chaninsaw up to 80,000 and left Neuville nursing a 13,000 micro stack. "Please wish me luck," he said. I did. -- SY
1.11pm: Devilfish sushi
Dave 'Devilfish' Ulliott started the day with 54,000 but is down to 30,000 just halfway through the first level after a tussle with Yakushiro Waki of Japan. Waki had opened the pot to 2,700 and was called by Brian Powell in the cut-off and Devilfish in the small blind.
Waki bet 5,600 on the J♣5♦9♠ flop at which point Ulliott claimed that he had not yet checked: "Hey, I haven't done anything," said Ulliott. From where I was stood I couldn't see whether they'd been any hand movement that could be construed as a check or as an angle shoot. Devilfish checked a couple of rules through with the dealer and then put 5,600 forward himself leaving Waki no option to raise or pass. Ulliott led 10,000 into the blank 3♦ turn and Waki moved all-in putting Ulliott all-in for his last 30,000. That was not part of the plan and Ulliott mucked his hand with a grumble. -- RD
1.06pm: Coren crippled-ish
Team PokerStars Pro Vicky Coren got in a tangle with Germany's Tim Kahlmeyer - and it didn't end well. All-in, he had K♣K♦ while Coren had J♦J♥. No suprises on the 5♥A♦9♦Q♥[10d] board, and Kahlmeyer doubled to 75,000 while Coren slumped to 15,000. Still some room for manoeuvre, but not much. -- SY
1.05pm: How to roll in the Ivey league
Phil Ivey raised to 3,000 from under the gun and got three callers, including new Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree. The flop was [10c]J♦3♦, the big blind checked to Ivey who wasted no time in betting 7,000. Everyone got out of the way and Ivey eased up to 115,000. Simples. --SY
1.03pm: Keeping it real
I feel bad about this. After speaking in superlatives about Boris Becker a few minutes ago he's now out having run kings into aces. Apologies for raising expectations and probably bocking Mr Becker. -- SB
1pm: Kravchenko dominated Margets
With mixed emotions we report that Team PokerStars Pro Alex Kravchenko has knocked out Leo Margets. Margets moved in for around 58,000 with A♥9♥ after the Russian raised. He called with A♠K♥ and the board ran T♣Q♥K♦Q♦A♦. Kravchenko up to 170,000 now. - MC
12.58pm: Kristoffersson's got Cunningham under control
Paul Kristoffersson has taken care of Allen Cunningham to make his stay at the table of death a short one. The Swede raised from the hijack and called when Cunningham shoved for 13,400 from the SB. Showdown:
The board ran K♦Q♥6♥3♠K♥ to make Kristoffersson a full-house. -- MC
12.55pm: Greater expectations
Just as it's illegal in London to wear training shoes on Savile Row, or reach out and stroke the Queen's hair while she's on public walkabout, there are some things you shouldn't do. In poker it's the same, one rule being never to write off the Sports Star giving poker a bash after a distinguished career kicking a ball about or smashing tennis balls over a three-foot-six-inch high net.
Tony Cascarino started with 181,400 today while Teddy Sheringham came back to a stack of 56,000. Then there's Boris Becker.
When the former Tennis champ first took up this game at the EPT Grand Final two years ago he went through the usual induction ceremony new comers typically receive - outplayed, somewhat out of depth, and unable to transfer genuine enthusiasm into results. With Becker though, the steep learning curve is starting to show results.
Becker, wearing herringbone tweed and a baseball cap, returned with more than average today and is already working that up towards the 100k mark. After Barkatul Mohammed raised to 2,700 Becker bumped that up to 8,000 from the button, which Mohammed called for a flop of 8♦6♥4♣. Mohammed checked to Becker who then swiftly took the pot with a bet of 8,000. Boom-Boom, up from the start.
Elsewhere Team PokerStars Pro Arnaud Mattern's stack just took a dent thanks to Josh Prager. He didn't even see what hit him.
On a board already showing 2♦9♥T♣J♠ Prager checked to Mattern who bet 4,100. Prager called for a T♦ river card and then bet 6,600. Mattern casually lumped in 26,600, which Prager wasted no time in calling. As he did Mattern immediately folded, leaving to Prager the spoils. Mattern down to 84,000.
* It is not actually illegal to wear training shoes on Savile Row, but it should be. -- SB
12.50pm: Omaha? Hold'em? Thorson is willing to crush either
He may have the title of EPT Omaha Player of the Year but William Thorson isn't exactly adverse to getting stuck into the odd Hold'em tournament. He's just picked up a nice pot after inducing a three-bet and shoving it in for an easy pick up.
Team PokerStars Pro Raymond Wu opened the action with a raise to 3,000 from middle position and was flatted by William Thorson in the hi-jack. Jason Senti squeezed to 10,100 (with some 40,000 behind). The button, UKIPT Brighton winner Jamie Burland, opted to move out of the way and the action passed back to Thorson. The Swede looked down at Senti's stack considered his options and ticked the 'move all-in' box. Senti quickly mucked. -- RD
12.45pm: Annette Huang's Xun out to dry
Really. You should know better than taking on Annette Obrestad in a battle of the blinds. Huang Xun thought he'd give it a go and duly got his fingers burnt. It was folded around to him in the small blind and he made it 3,200. Obrestad, sporting a huge red flower but otherwise looking terrifyingly aggressive, called from the big blind.
On the 3♥3♠K♠ flop, Xun checked then called when the Norwegian bet 4,500. It didn't get much easier on the 7♠ when he checked and then called once more when Obrestad made it 10,000. Finally, on the intriguing 3♦ river he checked and saw Obrestad bet 38,000 - enough to put him all in should he choose to call.
It was a tough spot for the man from the UK, who gave it a good three minutes before giving up the hand. Obrestad declined to show and racked up more chips, taking her to close to 100,000. -- SY
12.43pm: Sal Bon's in the pink
We expect great things from Team PokerStars Pro Salvatore Bonavena today - the Italian is wearing his (and our) favorite pink jumper, which complements his trilby hat most delightfully (that's enough fashion news, ed).
He's on a tough-looking table today, seating as it does Jeff Lisandro, former EPT Warsaw winner Christophe Benzimra and Fabrice Soulier. -- SY
12.40pm: Wake up, man!
Another day, another sleepy start for Ivan Demidov. Yawning and head in hands, he continues his quiet progress, open raising from the button to 2,500 to take the blinds and antes. --SY
12.36pm: Just like Batman
If Chad Brown has ever stared in the mirror to practice his poker face then the image he must have been looking to recreate was 'Michael Keaton in Batman: an intense stare at work.' If so, which is a shot in the dark I must admit, then he's got it absolutely nailed on. He's yet to play a hand from what I've seen but he's sure to dip into his utility belt before long. -- RD
12.30pm: Juanda bet or fold?
Ilya Gorodetskiy starts has he means to go on, picking up a pot by raising in late position, persuading the one blind that has turned up so far at his table to fold.
At the same table is John Juanda who opens the next pot for 3,600 which was called by Masaaki Kagawa two seats along in the cut off. The flop came 9♦7♦8♥ which Juanda check-called Kagawa's bet of 2,500. Both then checked the 7♣ turn for a K♦ on fifth street. Juanda bet 11,500 this time, getting the call from Kagawa who folded with a laugh when Juanda turned over 7♥6♦. Juanda up to a
to around 90,000 chips now. -- SB
12.25pm: Can it get any tougher?
Yes it can. Allen Cunningham has just joined Liv Boeree, Dave Ulliot, Phil Ivey and Brian Powell. On his arrival Ulliott said "This table just keeps getting better and better!"
"There are seven other players to worry about but I've got you under control" responded Cunningham.
Yasuhiro Waki is the first player to feel the pain from this table. He was eliminated by Jason Wheeler after he shoved from under-the-gun and was called by the American on the button with A♠K♥. Waki had Q♠J♠ but an ace appeared on the flop to end it for him. -- MC
12.14pm: Great draw
The poker gods can be kind or cruel when it comes to the seat draw, which can be seen here, and today has been no different. Pick of the bunch has to be Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree's who has Dave 'Devlifish' Ulliott on her left. The 'fish was allocated as her mentor on a TV show many, many moons ago and one gets the feeling that maybe they don't quiet see eye to eye. To top it off Phil Ivey is just a few seats further. Have a perusal and see which table you think is the toughest. -- RD
12.08pm: We're off
Play begins on day two. Thomas Kremser has announced that we will be playing down to the money today, which he believes will take about six levels. The man just doesn't know how to think positive. That should see us through to 9pm-ish. -- SB
11.45am: Charity plug
As we wait for things to kick off again here, what better than to plug our charity event? At 1.25 (ET) or 6.25pm in real UK money, you can win your seat into the EPT London Charity Event, which has a pretty handy £100,000 guaranteed prize pool.
A £3.30 3xTurbo rebuy satellite for UK players only is taking place on PokerStars today at 18.25 local time giving you the chance to win your seat into the prestigious EPT London Charity Event (#25) which is being held October 2-4 in aid of Cancer Research UK.
There are 25 seats guaranteed from today's satellite. Players get a 3,000 starting stack and can re-buy for up to 90 minutes, at which point a 30,000 chip add-on is available. The satellite is under Tourney/Regional (13.25 ET).
This is the end of that particular Public Service Announcement. -- SY
11.15am: Lots of people, lots of money
Welcome back for Day 2. We've been banging on a bit over the past few days about the size of the field here in London - a record breaker for the UK at 848 - and to put it in context, the number of players surviving to play today (379) is the just about the same as the total field for the last EPT in Vilamoura (384).
It is, quite simply, mahoosive. Or it would be if that were a real word. Anyway, play is due to get going again at noon. How long they play today will, of course, be down to tournament supremo Thomas Kremser, so we'll bring word of that as and when we get it.
As a reminder, the winner here will get £900,000, and that is a very nice thought indeed. Top of the pile right now, but with an oh-so-long way to go, is the Italian Claudio Cecchi on 237,500. Join us at noon to see just how long he can hold on to the lead. -- SY
PokerStars Blog reporting team (in order of weight lost this week): Simon "It was a bug, not a hangover" Young (minus ten kilos), Marc Convey (minus one kilo), Stephen Bartley (steady zero), Rick "Pork Sausage" Dacey (plus five kilos)