EPT Monte Carlo: Day 1B, level 5 & 6 updates (150-300, 25 ante)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg6.45pm: Dinner break sweetener for Sundin
On the last hand before the break, Mats Sundin doubled up his short stack. He had pocket tens and got his last 12,000-odd in pre-flop and won the race against a big slick. That'll make supper taste a little sweeter.

And that takes us to the dinner break. Play restarts at 8.15pm. -- HS

6.44pm: Olson holds firm
Gustav Olson and Vicky Coren got to the flop with Coren on the button and the pre-flop aggressor.

Olsson check-called a 2,500 bet on the K♦9♣2♦ flop. Both the Swede and the Team PokerStars Pro checked the 2♥ turn and the J♦ on the river. Coren was forced to show first and tabled a small pocket pair with 5♦5♠ while Olsson scooped the pot with 7♦7♥. Coren is still well stacked going into the dinner break. -- RD

6.42pm: This is why they call him a Pro
News has reached us that PokerStars Pro Matthias De Meulder made a call with J♦T♦ on a 8♥3♦7♦Q♠7♣ board. It was four handed to the flop but heads-up from the turn. De Meulder check-called a 6,500 on the river and was right as his opponent could only muster 6♣5♣. The call put's him up to 42,000. --MC

6.40pm: Deeb flops set, cripples Moreira de Melo
Fatima Moreira de Melo had built her stack back to around the 20,000 mark, but she has just shipped about three quarters of it to her neighbour Shaun Deeb.

On a board of A♦8♦6♠, Deeb bet 1,725, called by Moreira de Melo. On a turn of [10c], Moreira de Melo called Deeb's 3,875 stab. And on a river of 2♣, she called for a final time, this time after Deeb bet 8,225.

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Fatima Moreira de Melo

Deeb tabled 6♥6♣ for the flopped set and Moreira de Melo mucked. It's nearly dinner time, and De Melo is surviving on crumbs. -- HS

6.35pm: Rerun for Van den Berg, up to 55,000
A few moments ago (see 6.05pm) Sorel Mizzi folded aces in a hand against Thierry van den Berg. Alfonso Amendola called and was shown quads by the Team PokerStars Pro.

There are a couple of differences in this next paragraph, but there are some distinct similarities. Here's how another hand played out on that table:

Shiraz Soltaninassab raised to 1,175 and Amendola called, as did Jose Besalduch on the button and Van Den Berg in the big blind. The flop came 5♦4♥5♥ and Van den Berg checked. Soltaninassab bet 1,400 and Amendola called.

It was folded through to Van den Burg, who asked Soltaninassab how much he was playing. The Belgian showed about 20,000-ish, and Van den Berg raised to 11,300.

"All the time you lucky like this on the flop?" said Soltaninassab. "Huh?" Van den Berg said nothing.

With Amendola still also in the pot, this was a tough spot for Soltaninassab and he looked anguished enough to suggest he might be folding a monster too. Eventually that's what he did, passing it back around to Amendola. This time he too let it go.

"I folded pocket kings," said Soltaninassab - and I think that was probably the truth. Van den Berg showed a 4♦, which didn't say very much at all. Van den Berg up to 55,000. -- HS

6.38pm: Help Juanda, help help Juanda*
John Juanda has doubled up with eight-ten against the pocket jacks of his opponent. The money went in on the flop of 7♥5♠T♣ and the turn 7♣ and river 6♠ pulled Juanda through. -- SB

* For the benefit of Mr B Willis of South Carolina.

6.35pm: Thorsson c-betting back towards starting stack
Young Swede Kristoffer Thorsson may have finished 3rd in the Deauville High Roller event for €636,120 but he just can't seem to get anything started here. A successful raise from the cut-off and continuation bet into a low 6♠2♦3♦ flop was enough to score him a small pot and chip him back up to 24,000. -- RD

6.30pm: Rousso steady
Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Rousso has fond memories of this room, where she won the high roller at last year's EPT event for a rather nice $750,000. Back here for the main event she is on 35,000, seemingly in control but unable to make a great deal of progress.

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Vanessa Rousso

On this one she opened for 1,000 and got one caller from the small blind. "How much are you playing?" she asked. The answer was around 7,000. Both checked the 4♣A♦4♥ flop, but on the 5♣ turn Rousso's casual toss of a 1,000 chip into the middle was enough to take it. -- SY

6.25pm: Lose one, win one
Team PokerStars Pro William Thorson's stack is drifting around the level it started at. He lost a pot after three-betting an under-the-gun raiser but folded to the four-bet shove.

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William Thorson

The next hand he raised to 1,000 and got two callers to a J♣Q♥6♠ flop. All checked before the big blind led for 2,200 on the Q♣ turn. Only Thorson called before the 2♣ river was checked down. The big blind could only show K♦3♠ and Thorson took the pot with A♣2♠. He currently has 34,000. --MC

6.20pm: Lykov whacked
Max Lykov, the EPT Ukraine champ, is down to 20,000. Just now he re-raised a player pre-flop, and then got pushed of it on a Q♦8♠6♠5♠ board. After folding, Lykov was shown K♣9♣ by the cards' proud owner.

"King high. A bluff!" exclaimed Keith 'The Camel' Hawkins. Indeed it was - and it was Lykov with the hump. -- SY

6.15pm: Queens slay Rinaldi
Claudio Rinaldi is out, running A♦Q♠ into Alexander Amundsen's Q♦Q♣. This was a battle of the blinds, with Rinaldi in the small and Amundsen in the big; it's pretty easy to see how neither of them thought they were behind. Anyhow, Rinaldi flopped some outs when it came K♠[10c]K♣ but the 3♥5♠ meant that the ninth placed finisher in San Remo last we week was sent looking for alternative entertainment for the rest of this. -- HS

6.10pm: That's how world champs run
Joe Cada, the WSOP world champion and Team PokerStars Pro, was involved in a meaty pot with Matej Cepon, a PokerStars player from Slovenia. We did not see the action until after the board had run [10c]3♠7♦6♦6♥, at which point Cada had check-raised Cepon and got a call.

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Joe Cada

Cepon must have been fairly confident with his A♠A♣ - until Cada turned over 6♠6♣ for the runner-runner quads. Cada is now up to around 70,000. Must be nice. -- SY

6.05pm: Van den Berg sinks two boats
Thierry van den Berg has just taken down a pretty huge pot, tripling him up, and yet even with that kind of action, Sorel Mizzi might take much of the limelight. He folded aces in the hand - and was right to do so.

Mizzi filled in the pre-flop action: he had raised and had been called in two spots, by Alfonso Amendola and Van den Berg. The board came 7♠7♣7♥. Mizzi bet, Amendola raised and Van den Berg moved all in for about 14,000.

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Thierry van den Berg

Passed back to him, Mizzi didn't much like his aces any more, despite the fact that he now had a boat. He let them go. Amendola clealry didn't have the seven because he went deep into the tank. When the floorman was called to count down his decision, Amendola tossed in the call.

The Italian showed pocket fours and Van den Berg turned to Mizzi and said: "You really fold aces?"

"Yeah," Mizzi said, and they exchanged a fist pump as Van Den Berg showed 9♦7♦.

Van den Berg is up to about 37,000, but is still aggrieved that Amendola raised Mizzi on the board to make the Canadian get out the way. You win some - and you win some. -- HS

6pm: Margets takes another one down
If there are any older gentlemen here at the EPT that think the slight Leo Margets is an easy target then they'll should prepare to learn the opposite the hard way.

Margets shot small bets across three streets of a 7♦A♦7♠K♥Q♠ board. A fold on the river from her opponent after she led for 3,000 kept her hand face down as she raked in another small pot. -- RD

5.54pm: Tran trounced
JC Tran has busted in unfortunate circumstances. He was short and re-raised all-in from the big blind after the button raised. The button called with pocket nines and was in bad shape against Tran's pocket tens. That all changed on the Q♥9♥J♠Q♠5♣ board though. --MC

LEVEL UP. INTO LEVEL FIVE WITH BLINDS 200-400, 50 ANTE

5.45pm: 'Nice calling station'
Team PokerStars Pro Sebastian Ruthenberg has eliminated Javier Garcia after refusing to budge off a hand. The German raised from early position and was only called by Garcia in the big blind to go to the 2♦Q♥5♣ flop. Garcia check-raised Ruthenberg's 1,200 c-bet up to 3,600. Call. The turn came 7♣ and Garcia led for 3,600. Call again.

The river came 6♦ and Garcia moved in for 22,400 and was called in two seconds by Ruthenberg. Garcia could only show K♣5♦ and left in a slight state of shock, seemingly, that he busted himself in this way and that his opponent could call so quickly with Q♥J♥.

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Sebastian Ruthenberg

Ruthenberg's team mate Florian Langmann was walking past as this hand concluded and shouted over to his friend "Nice calling station!" Ruthenberg smiled and tidied his 75,000 stack up. --MC

5.43pm: Starting with Hachem, ending with Gryko
Some trips around the room yield more action than others. This one was an absolute dead loss until right at the end when Richard Gryko and Alexander Dovzhenko actually did something. That's coming up in a bit.

First up, the news from Joe Hachem's table is that there isn't much news. He and David Steike are certainly doing a lot of chatting, but Hachem at least isn't finding much reason to get involved. He's nursing a stack of about 36,000 but getting out of the way pre-flop. Steike is taking a few more small pots with some aggression and his stack is at about 62,000. But it's all got a very "day one" flavour about it at the moment.

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Joe Hachem

So, that Gryko/Dovzhenko hand. Dovzhenko raised to 750 from early position and Fatima Moreira de Melo called from the button, as did Gryko in the big blind. The flop came 7♥[10s]3♠ and Gryko checked. Dovzhenko bet 1,025 and after Moreira de Melo got out the way, Gryko raised to 3,225.

The turn was 3♥ and Gryko led 5,225 at it. Dovzhenko called, and they saw a [10h] river. That really put the cat among the pigeons in terms of possible hands out there, but Gryko didn't seem too concerned. He fired 9,225.

After a moment of contemplation, Dovzhenko called. Gryko showed his 7♦7♠ for flopped set and turned boat, and although any ten in Dovzhenko's hand might have beaten it, the Russian mucked.

Gryko has about 60,000. -- HS

5.39pm: In Blom
Gus Hansen is out. Sebastian Blom knocked him out when Hansen moved all-in for his last 5,500 with ace-nine. Blom called with ace-queen.

5.37pm: Sheringham playing snug
Teddy Sheringham doubled up early doors courtesy of Nikolay Evdakov and hasn't had much movement since. Sitting comfortably on 55,000 the former international footballer doesn't need to stick his neck out too much at the moment. -- RD

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Teddy Sheringham

5.30pm: More for Coren
Vicky Coren Tweeted at the start of the day that she had a tough table as JC Tran was sitting with her. But as the day has progressed it's Coren who is chipping up and Tran who is scrapping around trying to get going.

He is down to around 8,000 and playing many small pots in an effort to regroup, but on this one he ran in to the force that is Team PokerStars Pro Ms Coren.

Tran limped for 300 and got two callers before Coren raised to 1,500 from the big blind. Everyone called.

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Victoria Coren

The flop was [10d]3♥A♣ and Coren kept up the pressure with a single yellow chip worth 5,000. That was too rich for everyone, and she took the pot to move up to 60,000. -- SY

5.28pm: Boeree fires three barrels
From deep within an oversized suit jacket EPT San Remo winner Liv Boeree fired three bullets at Fredrik Keitel with the final shot making him duck for cover (the reason for the jacket is that the air-conditioning here is on overdrive).

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Liv-ing the good life, Boeree

Keitel called 1,900 on the [2]J♠9♠ flop and 2,400 on the 4♦ turn. After requesting a chip count from Keitel, Boeree emptied her clip at the German with a final 6,500 bet on the 3♣ river. Keitel tanked for around ten minutes before folding. Boeree is back over her stacking stack with 34,000. -- RD

5.25pm: Royal flush!
We were actually watching Vanessa Rousso's table when there was a bit of a commotion on the table next door. The reason soon became clear: the board was A♣J♣Q♣[10d]7♥ and Pierre Sayegh from France was all in with K♣[10c]. A royal flush, no less.

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The board...

He had been called in one spot by poor Jake Cody, this season's EPT Deauville champion who had 5♣7♣.

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The man...

Sayegh enjoyed his moment, taking a picture of the flop and his cards before the dealer shuffled up the next hand. He's up to 40,000. -- SY

5.20pm: He wasn't kidding
Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu just made a lay down in a fairly big pot to see his stack dip to 26,000.

He was heads-up with El Mostafa Bel Khayate at the river with the board reading 7♦4♣3♣9♠A♥ and around 35,000 had made its way into the middle. Bel Khayate led out for 20,000 and then started to try and talk Negreanu into folding. He said he didn't need the river and he would show if Negreanu folded.

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Daniel Negreanu

Negreanu did fold and was shown two black aces. Negeanu said he had 6♣9♣. --MC

5.12pm: Deeb dominating
Shaun Deeb is up to a table chip-leading 115,000 after winning back-to-back pots. In the first hand he called Alexander Dovzhenko's 800 raise, as did the small blind, to see the K♦9♦2♠ flop. Dovzhenko continued with a 1,400 raise but he and the small blind folded to Deeb's raise to 3,600.

The very next hand Deeb raised from early position and picked up one caller on the way to a 9♦T♣5♦ flop. Deeb led for 1,150 and then called his opponent's raise to 3,300. Both checked through the A♣ turn before Deeb led out for 5,250 on the 5♠ river. -MC

5.07pm: Naujoks stays focused
Sandra Naujoks was focused on four things: a flop and turn of A♥[10s]K♥7♥, a bet of 2,100 in front of her, a call from her solitary opponent Jason Collier, and a massage therapist hard at work on her back.

Collier called, giving something else to look at: the Q♦ on the river. Collier checked, Naujoks bet 5,100 and that sent Collier deep into contemplation, silently mouthing various permutations. Eventually he called and Naujoks showed Q♣J♦ for the flopped Broadway straight.

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Sandra Naujoks

Collier nodded and mucked. Naujoks, who is sharing a table with a fellow German EPT winner in Mortitz Kranich, is up to about 46,000. -- HS

5pm: Maceiras mashes Tony G
Tony G's assault on the big stack way of life has just been sorely halted by Team PokerStars Pro Juan Maceiras. We didn't catch the action, in fact we only caught the cards on their backs because we heard G's bellowing despair over losing with a flopped set to a rivered straight. G is down to 15,000 and Maceiras doubles through to 46,000. -- RD

4.55pm: Pagano busts
Luca Pagano is out. According to his twitter, and bear with us as we work the Italian to English dictionary, the Team PokerStars Pro moved in pre-flop with ace-king against the pocket kings of Andre Akkari. "Finisce qui la..."

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Season over - Luca Pagano out

4.50pm: Like versus like
Antony Lellouche doesn't need much encouragement to raise, but the sight of three empty chairs at his table from players not yet returned from the break is certain good enough excuse. He made it 700.

Tobias Reinkemeier knows a thing or two about those kind of antics and decided to call from the big blind. The two of them saw a flop of [10s]A♣7♣ and both checked. Reinkemeier bet 850 on the 5♦ turn, which Lellouche called, and the 3♣ rivered. Check, check.

Reinkemeier winced, perhaps fearing he'd missed a value bet. He showed Q♦[10h] and Lellouche folded. -- HS

4.46pm: Mitchell's card rush yet to arrive
Jamie Mitchell is on a bit of a heater. A €600,000 first place finish at the Irish Open earlier this month was followed by nicely by a victory in a $1,000 side event here at the EPT Grand Final yesterday.

Things aren't looking quite so hot for him in the main event though. The Brit is down to around 15,000 on a table with Daniel Negreanu and previously Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier. A thin value bet with K♥T♦ on a 8♣K♣A♥2♣8♦ board picked him up a few thousand the last hand before the break. -- RD

4.45pm: Places please
Players are now returning from the break for level five. Your chip leader right now is Salvatore Bonavena on 165,000.

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Daniel Negreanu

PokerStars Blog reporting team in Monte Carlo (in order of Salvatore Bonavena hands reported today): Howard Swains (too many), Stephen Bartley (a fair few), Marc Convey (a couple), Rick Dacey (not enough), Simon Young (Sally who?).