EPT London: Day 2, level 14 & 15 updates (2,000-4,000, 400 ante)
9pm: Vamplew takes the lead
That's day two at an end. Englishman David Vamplew looks to be tonight's chips leader, with 1,130,400 chips. Stand by for a full report on the day's action. -- SB
8.55pm: O'Dear for O'Dea, EPT London bubble boy
Eughan O'Dea, son of Donnacha, is the bubble boy at EPT London. There was nothing straight forward about the hand, not least because there were two all-in hands on adjacent tables.
On the first Jeff Sarwer was all-in for 53,400 with Q♠Q♥, called by Vanessa Yiping Ping with A♣Q♣. When the cards were eventually turned over Sarwer couldn't help but looking relieved, having predicted aces. The board ran out K♣J♦8♠2♥3♥ to double him up.
That left the other all-in, where O'Dea was sweating his fate with 11,300 in the middle. He had three callers to his all in, including one from Adolfo Vaeza. On a flop of  it was checked to Vaeza on the button who raised to 5,000 which was called by one player on the T♣ turn, who then folded when Vaeza bet the A♦[ river. That left a showdown, with O'Dea turning over 5♥5♣. But Vaeza could beat that with A♣6♥. Day two was over. -- SB
8.50pm: Money where mouths are
It looked like a contender for bubble hand, with a hundred people crowding round to watch. German PokerStars qualifier Steffen Lameli was all-in for 13,200 and English pro Nik Persaud had called. There followed the usual delay before the dealer was given permission to proceed with the hand, plenty of time for some messing about.
"It's aces or kings," said Persaud, talking to Tony Cascarino in one seat opposite, so convinced that he was standing, scratching at a back pocket to find his wallet. "A hundred quid."
Cascarino was interested, but heard words of caution from the instigator.
"I've got a really bad hand," said Persaud, before adding a cautious reminder. "The alacrity with which he (Lameli) put his chips in did disturb me."
Cascarino was wavering. "Now I think he's got queens," he said, as Persaud put a fifty pound note on the table. Kevin Eyster, in seat two, was ready to do the same, as was Cascarino. But there was a problem.
The money changes hands
"I've only got thirty-quid," said Cascarino. "Let's make it thirty quid instead."
"Hang on, who's got what?" said Persaud, eager to get the details nailed down. He had the aces, Eyster had kings, Cascarino had the queens. It was all agreed.
"What's going on here?" yelled Lameli, in on the fun at the other end of the table. Behind him someone on the rail was begging to get in on the action.
"You know Tony..." said Persaud, sitting back down. "I could have aces..."
Finally Thomas Kremser elbowed his way through the crowd to conduct the hand. Crunch time. Persaud turned over T♠9♥.
Persaud snatched the money from Cascarino and Eyster. Never has a man looked so happy to be losing a hand.
The board ran A♠4♣K♥7♠7♦
Steffen Lameli survives the all-in
"That's enough for him to reach the final table," said Cascarino, as Lamelli breathed a little easier and Persaud filled his wallet.
"That's got to get on TV, hasn't it? Hasn't it? With me in the middle obviously." -- SB
8.45pm: It was Kristoffersson
The poor chap who bust in the hand described below was Paul Kristoffersson from Sweden, who had over 500,000 at the start of the hand. Vamplew is cruising above the million. Wow.
Meanwhile, we're still hand for hand, and the scrum around the remaining tables is a bit frantic. Somehow we hope to bring full details of the bubble hand to you as and when it happens. -- SY
8.35pm: David Vamplew wins a monster pot
We're trying to find out the details of this one as everyone, including the media, has been moved out of the tournament while the action runs hand-for-hand. The main thing to say is that David Vamplew has a stack that looks like it's one million deep. It involved a three-bet and a call with Vamplew flopping a full house with pocket nines on a  flop against ace-deuce. -- RD
8.25pm: Down to 130
We are just two players off the money here at the EPT London. Heartbreak for two and relief for the 128 others. -- RD
8.20pm: Bubble winners
As play has tightened up some of the winners include Alex Kravchenko who picked off an ace-queen bluff-shove with pocket tens on a low paired board. The Russian is now up to 420,000.
Alex Gomes has managed to wrangle a bunch of chips away from Joep van den Bijgaart. The Dutchman raised to 10,800 from the small blind and Gomez called. He called another 13,100 on the A♦3♥J♦ flop before bothe players checked the Q♦ turn. Van Den Bijgaart gave up with a check-fold on the river. -- RD
8.15pm: On the Huntley
Gordon Huntly just powered through a hand, re-raising after a bet and raise form Juan Macieras. Huntley, who reached the final table of the PAGCOR Chairman's Cup in Manila earlier this year, simply lumped a tower of yellow chips in to end the hand right there. Point taken. Huntley up to 180,000. -- SB
8.10pm: Going Gomez
After Artur Wasek opened for 11,000 Alex Gomes re-raised all-in for around 100,000. The action was folded back to Wasek but pulled some faces while leaning back in his chair, but he eventually folded. Gomes lives on. -- SB
8.05pm: Sal Bon attire
As the poker side of things has slowed down a little, it must be time for a Salvatore Bonavena fashion report. The Team PokerStars Pro from Italy now has a fetching grey scarf to match his pink jumper and grey hat. Lovely. -- SY
8pm: Couple out
We're down to 134 players, six short of the money. One of those seeing doing the walk of shame is Shannon Shorr. -- SY
7.52pm: Play is really nitting up
There's plenty of raises but they're mostly from the big stacks as you'd expect. Some of the short stacked players that you'd expect to be playing for the win, such as Jude 'j.thaddeus' Ainsworth are trying the occasional sneaky raises which are meeting various degrees of blind steal success/three-bet fold fail. -- RD
7.44pm: Back from the break
There are just eleven players left to the money and that means some players will start nitting up and stalling to the nth degree. Others will start twisting their aggression dial to 11* joining Phil Ivey in his pre-bubble abuse. -- RD
* It's more aggressive than ten, right?
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 2,000-4,000, ANTE 400
Come back in 15 minutes.
7.29pm: Hachem drops 50K
Joe Hachem was not a happy bunny after the last hand before the break. He had open-raised to 7,400 and got a call from PokerStars player Jamie Brown in the big blind.Both checked on the 9♣J♣8♦ flop, but on the K♥ river Brown fired out a meaty 18,000 and Hachem made the call. On the 6♦ river, Brown fired out again - this time 33,300. Now Hachem thought a little longer, counting out the call and checking on his remaining stack. Eventually he made the call, but mucked in disgust when Brown showed him J♥9♥ for two pair.
That sends Brown up to around 380,000, while Hachem drops to 200,000. -- SY
7.22pm: Bichon v Brown
Chad Brown earlier folded a 7,000 raise with just 18,000 behind. His stack now shows why he made that pass creaking in at 150,000. He just scooped a pot against Thomas Bichon with ace-queen on a K♥9♥T♥5♦9♣ board. Bichon's ace-jack wasn't far behind. Bichon's 370,000 is still looking like it will go far. -- RD
7.15pm: Spindler spins into lead
Benny Spindler goes into the chip lead by eliminating Matt Affleck from the Main Event. Affleck bet 6,500 from the cut off and Spindler raised to 20,200 from the big blind. On the flop of 5♣8♦2♣ a bet of 24,200, called, for a 6♦ turn. Spindler checked to Affleck who moved all-in for around 150,000 with A♦Q♦. Spindler called showing J♠J♦. The river was another jack, sealing Affleck's fate and leaving Spindler stacking up 620,000. -- SB
7.05pm: The Ivey effect
We don't know what Phil Ivey did in his last break, probably just remembered who he was but whatever he did it has been working for him this level. He now has most of the small denomination chips at his table - a sure sign he's been very active. In the time we were observing him he was raking in pot after pot without showdown. We're around 20-25 spots off the money and it seems as Mr. Ivey has come to the abusing the bubble class early. -- MC
6.56pm: Anecdotally correct?
I've heard of a couple of chunky pots taking place but both have been after the fact. A TV crew member told me that Arnaud Mattern has just won another pot, this time with a full house to trips, to take him up to just shy of 300,000. Jamie Burland's stack has continued to grow and is up to 250,000. In his words: "I raised ace-king in early position to 7,000. That guy (Burland points at a poignantly empty chair) raised to, like, 17,000 and I moved in on him. He had 60,000 and called with queens. I hit. That's what's meant to happen, isn't it?" -- RD
6.50pm: Matters Mattern
In the words of Arnaud Mattern, "It was needed." The Team PokerStars Pro just sent a player to the rail and added some chips to his stack when he moved all-in on a flop of jack-nine-nine. His opponent, who fled the scene a few seconds later, showed pocket queens, but Mattern turned over 9-7, flopping a set that would stand firm on the turn and river. The Team PokerStars Pro is back up to 150,000. -- SB
6.45pm: Hachem binks
We did not see all the action, but it ended with Joe Hachem raking in a sizeable pot. He's now on well over 200,000. The board was showing [10h]A♥[10c] and Hachem and his opponent both made hefty bets of around 30,000. Both checked the K♥ river, then on the 7♦ turn Hachem made it around 40,000. He got a call, and the Australian tabled 7♠7♣ for a rivered full house.
"That's probably a bink," observed Greg Raymer. Almost certainly. -- SY
6.40pm: Tripling-up and dribbling out
Two British players just stormed past me out of the tournament but for completely different reasons. Let's us start with the bad news:
Jack Ellwood will not be repeating his recent online success (5th in WCOOP Main Event for over $500k) in the live arena just yet. "I'm out and I played the hand awfully so don't want to talk about it." Fair enough, better luck next time.
Now to the good news for British poker fans. Nik Persaud has tripled-up to 200,000. As he was rushing off the toilet he shouted back "I got it in with jacks versus kings and ace-king and spiked a jack!" - MC
6.35pm: Sneaky Burland
Jamie Burland is sneaky. Very sneaky according to Fintan Gavin. The Irishman opened the pot under the gun and was shoved on by a petulant player for 26,000. Jamie Burland made the call in the small blind and Gavin was left with a suspicious feeling and decided to pass.
Petulant player: J♥A♠
Burland's hand held and he then held his hand out. It was blanked. As was my attempt to get the knocked out player's name - thus I was forced to dub him petulant player in this post. He's probably a lovely guy and maybe he just didn't see either Burland's hand or my approach. UKIPT winner Burland is now up to 165,000. There are 157 players left and the average stack is 162,000. -- RD
6.25pm: So long Weekes
Jonathan Weekes is out with two key hands taking place either side of the break.
Prior to the break he came out worst in a three-way clash. He'd opened for 5,800 from the cut-off and Jorg Niepenberg moved all-in from the small blind for 52,100. Jannick Wrang wanted to push in the big blind but a mishap meant he was in for a min-raise, 112,200, although the handful he now had left behind meant no one was in any doubt of his intention.
Weekes called with J♠J♥ while Niepenberg showed A♣4♣. For his part Wrang showed A♦Q♦. The board ran Q♠6♦T♥4♥K♥, sending Niepenberg to the rail and Weekes into trouble.
Then, back from the break, Weekes got the last of his stack in against Daniel Negreanu. The Team PokerStars Pro showed 9♣9♥ to Weekes's A♣6♦. Amid much jocularity the board was dealt Q♥6♠3♦2♠5♣. Weekes to the rail. -- SB
6.20pm: O'Shea keeps climbing
John O'Shea has busted a player to break through the 300k mark with 305,000. The said player min-raised to 6,000 out of a 20,000 stack before O'Shea re-raised to 16,000. The aggressor thought for a while before committing the rest of his stack with A♠8♠. O'Shea called and tabled 8♣8♥ and the board ran T♥Q♥5♠3♣4♥. O'Shea had said his opponent was playing weird all day and doing things like raising 80% of his stack and folding. - MC
6.10pm: Back to their seats
This is the start of level 14, with blinds now up to 1,500-3,000 with a 300 running ante. There are 175 players left - so we're getting close to our target tonight of 128.
One man still battling on is Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu, who currently sits with 174,700. Not too shabby while the average is 145,000. Also on a roll right now is fellow Team Pro Greg Raymer, up to around 150,000. -- SY
PokerStars Blog reporting team (in order of favorite snack this afternoon): Stephen Bartley (wasabi peas), Marc Convey (sour cream and jalapeno crisps), Rick Dacey (Witch's Finger biscuit - don't ask), and SImon Young (mini pork sausage). Photos by Mickey May and Neil Stoddart.