EPT Monte Carlo: Day 2, level 12 & 13 updates (1,200-2,400, 200 ante)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg5.58pm: Break
That's level 13 done and dusted. Now it's time for a 15-minute intermission. Back soon. -- SY

5.55pm: Oh Nikita
The World Champion has had his fair share of run good in the past 12 months, and Joe Cada - for it is he - will be the last one to complain about the occasional two outer going against him.

He raised from under-the-gun to 5,000 and Nikita Nikolaev, to his left, re-raised to 13,000. It was folded back round to Cada who moved all in in the most dismissive fashion possible, casually shoving about five blue chips and a smattering of other colours, totalling about 60,000, over the line. Nikolaev called.

Cada: A♣A♥
Nikolaev: 9♠9♦

That looked good, but the flop of 6♣8♦[10d] had the whiff of outdraw about it. And the 9♣ turn was not great for Cada. The 2♥ river finished this one off and sent Cada to the rail. After a $9m score in Vegas in November, he's not going to lose too much sleep about a cashless EPT Grand Final. -- HS

5.50pm: Two more Levi Monte Carlo
Nicolas Levi just sent two players to rail in one hand, much to their now anonymous irritation. The money went in pre-flop with Levi showing Q♠Q♥ and the others 8♦8♥ and A♥Q♣. The board ran 6♣7♥3♠6♦7♠. Two players depart leaving Levi with around 450,000. - SB

5.45pm: Railing the World Champ
It seemed like a great idea. How could railing the World Champion Joe Cada be a bad idea? He was relatively short stacked with around 45,000 and was about to be in the big blind. That's five hands of prime real estate in poker terms for someone with 18 big blinds. He's bound to raise or three-bet shove someone, right? Wrong.

1) Cada gets a walk in the blind
2) Cada folds to under the gun raise in small blind.
3) Cada open folds the button.
4) Cada open folds the cut-off.
5) Cada open folds the hijack.

By the time I get back he'll have probably have double up twice, sucked out on and be back to the 45,000 he started on. Typical. -- RD


Joe Cada

5.40pm: Down the river
Jeff Sarwer is no more for the main event. He lost most of his stack when he doubled-up Laurence Houghton to 120,000. Sarwer raised with ace-queen and then called the all-in push from Houghton with king-jack. The rest of Sarwer's stack went in with his holding of king-queen and he found a customer with pocket tens that held up. Sarwer has certainly made an impression this year on the EPT and we expect him to keep doing so in season 7. -- MC

5.35pm: Bowl of rice
"I'm just here with my bowl of rice," said John Tabatabai who is sat with 50,000. He's had three people all-in today with him being a flip or better to win but is yet to pull in the chips from any of these on-their-backs moments. "I'm looking forward to having just three big blinds and getting it in and outdrawing people," he added with a smile. -- RD

5.32pm: Kolobekova clobbers Margets
It's been a mixed day for the women in today's field: Vanessa Rousso and Liv Boeree have both been knocked out, Katja Thater and Vicky Coren have both clung on without too much to cheer, but Melanie Weisner is up to 240,000.

Ekaterina Kolobekova, however, has more than them all put together. She now has approximately 360,000 having just knocked out ... Leo Margets. Margets, who came to international prominence at last year's World Series Main Event, got involved in a pre-flop raising battle with Kolobekova. Eventually they got it all in and Kolobekova had Q♦Q♠ to Margets' A♦K♦.

The flop came 3♦3♠J♣ but Margets let out a slight yelp at the Q♣ turn, even though she still had four outs on the river. But the 7♥ wasn't one of them, and she shipped 100,000+ to Kolobekova. -- HS

5.30pm: Baranov hit (again)
Sergiy Baranov has just lost a massive 220,000 pot with pocket kings to Jerome Zerbib's pocket aces but still has stacks and stacks of chips. Unfortunately for the Ukrainian the vast majority of them are black 100 chips. Zerbib on the other hand is now looking well stacked. -- RD

Hard times for big stacks
Some of our big stacks are finding it hard going right now. Three big stacks, three different tables and three double-ups for shorter stacks.

  • Aaron Gustavson has taken another big blow to his stack and the beneficiary was Melanie Weisner. This one was a bit of a cooler as she had pocket aces to Gustavson's big-slick. It all went in pre-flop and the board ran out blank. 110,500 came off Gustavson's stack and went to the diminutive New Yorker.

  • Ramzi Jellassi is a master of accumulating big stacks in major tournaments but hanging on to them is his big problem. To be fair to him though he rarely loses chips through his own doing. This hand was a set-up as well. Domenico Iannone had 138,000 and pocket aces, Jellassi had a much bigger stack and pocket jacks. The Italian was
    on the button and the Swede was in the big blind. The chips were always going to go in and they did, pre-flop. The board improved neither player and Jelassi is down to 180,000.

  • Lastly it was Chris Moneymaker handing chips over. We don't have the details but John Kabbaj's 54,700 is now twice as big thanks to the Team PokerStars Pro. -- MC


    Aaron Gustavson

    5.25pm: Luske v Testud
    Marcel Luske opened for 6,400 from middle position and Paul Testud, another veteran of the European Poker Tour, called from the big blind.

    The flop came 3♠6♥8♥. Both checked that for a turn card 9♥. Testud checked leaving Luske to bet 4,000 which the Frenchman wasted no time in calling. The river card came K♦. Testud took the initiative this time, betting 6,000. Luske thought for a second and tossed in the call.

    Testud showed T♣K♥. Luske's head and shoulder dropped as he slowly mucked his cards. He's down to 70,000 while Testud moves up to 110,000. -- SB

    5.17pm: The end of the Charlotte Roche story
    This isn't a thriller with the last page ripped out. Unfortunately the Charlotte Roche Monte Carlo potboiler has a definitive end. It's this. She's out, running queens into the aces of Rino Mathis.

    Mathis, the Team PokerStars Pro from Switzerland, raised to 5,200. Roche, to his left, moved all in for about 40,000 and Mathis snap-called. Mathis' aces were A♣A♠; Roche's queens were Q♣Q♥ and the 9♠3♣8♦A♦4♥ board knocked out our novelist. -- HS


    Charlotte Roche

    5.12pm: Scott of the Antipodes
    Andrew Scott has been tempted to Europe from Australia, in search of some end of season EPT action. He enjoyed his trip to San Remo despite not making the money, and is preparing for a deep run in Monte Carlo.

    Earlier in the day he folded queens pre-flop to heavy action and was shown kings in an oppponent's hand, as well as jacks in another. (A jack flopped.) But it's not all about big lay-downs, as a recent hand against Johannes Steindl will attest.

    Salvatore Bonavena started it off, raising under-the-gun to 6,000. Scott, a seat to his left, called and it was folded to Steindl in the big blind. The Team PokerStars Pro from Austria made it 22,600. Bonavena tank-folded, but Scott called and the two of them went to a flop of Q♠4♦6♥. Steindl bet 16,500 but Scott didn't believe. He raised to 36,000. Steindl then found the old tank-fold and as the pot made its way to Scott, he flipped [10d]9♦. Take that.

    Steindl doesn't mind so much. He still has more than 200,000. Scott is getting towards six figures too. -- HS

    5.10pm: Loose Lewis?
    Or maybe not. Either way Toby Lewis is playing a lot of hands with his growing stack. Emanuele Rugini raised to 6,600 from early position and Lewis called directly behind him. No other player entered the fray. Rugini check-called 6,600 on the J♥2♠Q♦ flop but couldn't bring himself to call the 16,500 on the 3♥ turn.

    The next hand Lewis was the one taking the initiative making the raise from early position and was called by the big blind. A simple 7,000 continuation bet on the J♠5♦2♥ flop won another pot for Lewis. John Tabatabai is sat a couple of spots to Lewis' right and is looking salaciously at his stack. Those two are bound to end up in a pot for all of Tabatabai's chips before too long. -- RD

    5.05pm: Don't know why you say goodbye, I say Vallo
    Martin Vallo is out, and not best pleased. He shoved behind a raise from Yorane Kerignard. You might remember Kerignard as the player who announced a raise of eighty when he meant eight in one of the first hands of the day. He'd escaped his accidental all-in with a split pot but now fortune favors him without the need for anyone else to receive any compensation.

    Kerignard called Vallo's shove, turning over pocket tens to Vallo's ace-king. When the board ran [8][5][3][4][5] Kerignard bashed the table in delight. Vallo couldn't believe he was suddenly out. He calmed down enough to wish Kerignard "good game" but the Frenchman didn't hear him. -- SB

    5pm: Klinger plays a klanger
    Aaron Gustavson's upward trend in terms of chip accumulation has taken a sharp downward turn after he lost out to Josef Klinger in a pot worth over 115,000. Klinger opened to 6,500 from early position before Gustavson three-bet to 15,500. The action folded back to the Austrian who moved all-in for 55,600 with A♦6♦. Gustavson called very
    quickly with T♥T♣ and the board ran A♥5♠7♣4♣3♠.

    Juan Manuel Pastor said he folded ace-jack meaning Gustavson lost out to a
    two-outer. Luckily for him he had the stack to absorb it and is now down to 257,000. -- MC

    4.55pm: Coren limps under the gun
    A limp under the gun is usually the sign of a monster and that's certainly what Vicky Coren had when she just limped under the gun. Coren's limp didn't illicit any raises but it did pick up another limper in the shape of Cristophe Gross. Coren check-called the 4♣4♦6♦ flop for 4,600 before both players checked down the A♣ turn and the 6♣ river. Coren tabled A♥K♦ for turned two pair and Gross mucked his hand.

    Not a nice turn for you, Cristophe? "It hasn't been a nice day," replied Gross who was out shortly after. -- RD

    4.50pm: Levi v Gomes
    Nicolas Levi has been moved to Alexandre Gomes' table, and that could spell doom. They play a very similar game - which means plenty of betting, raising, raising, raising - and neither is afraid of getting any amount of chips in the middle.

    Levi has a lot more to play with - almost 400,000, to Gomes' 85,000. But that could easily see-saw dramatically, especially if they start to have a go at one another. -- HS

    4.45pm: Off again
    Cards are back in the air. Dinner, a 90 minute affair, will be at the end of the next level. That's around 7.15pm by our reckoning. -- SY

    4.25pm: Break time
    That's the end of level 12. Players are now on a 15 minute break.

    4.30pm: Channing over-bets the nuts*
    Andrei Vlasenko raised to 5,000 from the cut off and Neil Channing, on the button, made it 14,500. The blinds folded and it came back round to Vlasenko, who called. The flop was 5♥6♥2♦, which they both checked, and the 8♥ turned. Vlasenko checked and Channing bet approximately 120,000 at it, which was more representative that he was putting Vlasenko all in than anything else.

    Vlasenko folded, but Channing couldn't get it quietly. He wasn't allowed. "That's a pretty sick bet," said Ramzi Jelassi from the other end of the table.

    "I had the nuts," countered Channing.

    "There was only about 20K in the pot," said Jelassi.

    "Thirty," said Channing, with a slight sliver of irony, and the chatter continued long after the next deal. 

    *He probably didn't really. -- HS

    4.15pm: Coren set for life
    Vicky Coren had a nice shoving hand from the button in the form of two queens and was called by A♥J♣ Joao Barbosa in the big blind. A queen on the K♣Q♥5♥ flop almost sealed it for the British Team PokerStars Pro and she had but a ten to fade. A 6♦ turn and an A♦ river wasn't enough to change anything. Coren's double up to 53,000 has given her tournament chances a new lease of life but she'll need at least one more double up to really get back into things. -- RD

    4.10pm: Roche still fighting
    Author and PokerStars player Charlotte Roche faced a 4,500 open-raise from Jeff Sarwer and wasted no time in re-raising to 13,000. That was too rich for Sarwer, who tapped the table politely, adding: "Very nice."

    Sarwer is on 65,000 while Roche climbs to 61,000. -- SY

    4.05pm: Champions
    There are now three former EPT champions on table two: Vicky Coren, Joao Barbosa and Moritz Kranich, sitting with about 40,000, 110,000 and 280,000 respectively.

    That's rapidly becoming one of the toughest tables in the room. Also there are Russell Carson, who came second at Snowfest, and Chris Bjorin, who has two World Series bracelets and a WSOP Main Event final table to his name. His live tournament earnings total more than $4m and he's one old timer who is underestimated at your peril.

    Matt "ch0ppy" Kay is no slouch either, and he's also around that felt. --HS

    4.05pm: Gustavson slides
    Aaron Gustavson just lost 70,000 of his stack, taking him down to 250,000 again. Martin Schmidkunz had got all in with K♣K♦ against Gustavson's Q♦Q♠ - and the kings held up on a 9♦[10h]4♠9♥A♠ board. Schmidkunz is up to 140,000. -- SY

    4pm: Gomes loses some
    Alex Gomes, the jovial Team PokerStars Pro from Brazil, lost a little chunk to take him down to 160,000. He called a short-stack's 32,000 all-in push with A♠[10h] and was in good shape against the all-in's Q♠J♥. But the 8♣2♠J♦K♠5♦ board took none of that into account, and Gomes shipped the pot over. -- SY

    3.53pm: Monster call from Hallaert
    Belgian Kenny Hallaert just made the call of his life with A♦Q♥ on a 3♥T♦3♠3♣6♥ board. His opponent (whose name we didn't catch as he stormed out of the tournament room) had shoved the river for 64,000 putting Hallaert in an exceptionally tough spot with his ace-high. Hallaert counted and recounted his stack (he would have been left with little over 20,000). Hallaert must be close to 200,000 now. Awesome call. -- RD

    3.52pm: The fire beneath Vaserfirer
    It a tight little corner on the lower level of the tournament room sits Salvatore Bonavena, next to Henri Kasper, next to Oleksandr Vaserfirer, next to Katja Thater. The big stack of those sits at the moment in front of Vaserfirer, who had a terrific start to this EPT season, cashing in 16th in Barcelona then making third in Warsaw.

    Oleksandr Vaserfirer

    Vaserfirer has got a dirty stack at the moment, but it looks to have something like 370,000 in it - and he's running the table. Just recently, he raised to 5,100 from under-the-gun and was called by Bonavena in the small blind ("SB in SB" according to my notebook) and Kasper in the big.

    The flop came 4♦6♣2♣ and after both the blinds checked, Vaserfirer bet 7,000. The others both folded. It's a pretty good indication that an aggressive player is dominating when he gets two pre-flop callers who then fold to a standard continuation bet. -- HS

    3.50pm: Rousso rumbled
    King-jack into ace-king. That was the short account of Vanessa Rousso's exit today.

    Vanessa Rousso

    3.48pm: Moneymaker's hand in the till
    He's worked his way up to well over 400,000 - and the chip lead - so you can forgive Chris Moneymaker for being "at it" once in a while. On this one he open raised to 5,000 and got a call from Jason Collier.

    Both checked the Q♠8♠4♥ flop and also the 4♠ turn. The 5♠ river made a flush likely and Moneymaker bet 7,000. Coller thought for a moment and made the call. "You got it," said the 2003 world champion - and he was right as Collier showed 6♠6♦ to take the pot.

    "I had two red cards," Moneymaker said sheepishly. -- SY

    3.46pm: Battisti battered
    Team PokerStars Online Alfio Battisti has been eliminated by Neil Channing, launching the Brit up to 222,000. There was a raise to 4,500 from first position before Channing three-bet to 14,500. Battisti then moved all-in for 74,000 and Channing snap-called after the original raiser tank-folded. Showdown:

    Channing: K♦K♠
    Battisti: T♣T♥

    The board ran 8♥Q♠7♠7♦9♠ and the Italian made his exit. --MC

    3.45pm: Flops? Who needs them
    A trip to the table featuring world champion and Team PokerStars Pro Joe Cada reveals no one wants to play flops.

    Joe Cada

    Sitting with Cada (66,000) are the likes of Mel Judah (53,000), Erica Schoenberg (62,000), Juan Manuel Pastor, Team PokerStars Pro (99,000), and Aaton Gustavson, EPT London winner (330,000). But despite those names and reasonable stacks it's a pre-flop game right now...

    Hand 1: Cada raises to 4,500 under the gun and takes it
    Hand 2: Gustavson raises to 4,500 and takes it
    Hand 3: Pastor raises to 5,100 and takes it
    Hand 4: Cada raises to 4,000 and takes it
    Hand 5: Gustavson raises to 4,500 and takes it
    Hand 6: Cada raises to 4,500 and takes it.

    I drew the line at watching further hands for fear of falling in to a coma from which I might never emerge. -- SY

    3.44pm: Flood dries up
    Liam Flood is out. He raised with king-queen and was called in one spot before a queen-high flop came down. Flood moved all-in and was called by his opponent holding ace-queen. --MC

    3.40pm: Perrins wins a pot, Nyugen orders a beer
    Matt Perrins raised from middle position and was called by the button and Men Nyugen in the small blind. Both players folded to Perrins 7,400 continuation bet on the T♦2♦2♥ paired board. As the pot was swept in Perrins' direction Men 'The Master' ordered a consolatory bottle of beer. Life could be worse. -- RD

    3.35pm: Margets lets its go
    A big pot was well under way when we came across Leo Margets facing an all-in bet from Cherif Zacca on a 2♥Q♦5♥ flop. Margets had 37,000 across the line and Zacca who didn't quite have her remaining 100,000 covered (but wasn't that far off) was all-in. Zacca called the clock, mainly in annoyance to the fact that Margets had attempted to talk to someone on the rail - obviously a big no-no. Margets didn't wait the whole minute before mucking her hand claiming to have had Kings. Zacca claimed to have had the same. -- RD

    3.32pm: Lex Veldhuis
    The Team Pro is chasing the money here in Monte Carlo, but found time to talk to the video crew...

    3.30pm: Stacked
    It's been a speedy few levels with players flying out the door - and some building formidable stacks. As documented, Chris Moneymaker has the most at the moment, with 400,000-ish, but Simon Munz, who led day 1A, now has about 340,000, and Owen Crowe has more than 300,000 too. -- HS

    _MG_8605_Neil Stoddart.jpg
    Chris Moneymaker

    3.21pm: Shake your Moneymaker
    Chris Moneymaker is the current chip leader, with close to 400,000 chips right now.

    3.20pm: Unable to pull the trigger
    Shortly before the break...

    There was 45,000 in the pot already and a board of 4♠7♠A♥8♦. The action was Omar Baioumi, who elected to check. The moment he did that, Sergiy Baranov, the man who had a run-in with Greg Raymer on Day 1A thst led to the Fossilman getting a one-orbit penalty, moved all in for 54,400.

    Baioumi looked like he was about to call for around 75% of his stack. Then he thought a bit more, counted his chips again, leant back in his chair and scratched his head. "I have a seven," he told Baranov. "I think you are on a flush draw."

    _MG_8765_Neil Stoddart.jpg
    Greg Raymer

    The Ukrainian did not move a muscle, and Baioumi thought some more. Then he picked up 54,400 and looked as if he was about to call again, but pulled the chips back. He just could not find it within himself to pull the trigger. A big sigh later, and he folded.

    Baranov showed him 5♠5♣, the worse hand, as he raked in the loot that sends him close to 100,000.

    "I had the seven and an inside straight draw," Baioumi said ruefully, thereby we deduce he had [6][7], a fact confirmed when he added, "So if you hit your set I make a straight. Baranov looked quite chuffed with all of that. -- SY

    3.15pm: From Twitter-land
    @VictoriaCoren: Break time. Right, either I find some hands that can be played and don't get cracked, or I'll be out next level. Current form won't do it.

    @allingomes: 2 break. 140k e subindooooooo!!! Degas com 240k e mestre com 60k! VAMO! (which we think means Alex Gomes is going along nicely)

    _MG_8776_Neil Stoddart.jpg
    Alex Gomes

    @barrygreenstein: As a PokerStars rep, I was given a choice: hang out in the player's lounge or play in today's ¤5k. I made the obvious choice. Starting with 15,000 chips

    @FossilMan: Day 2 of EPT Monte Carlo. Lost half my stack on 3rd hand. Straight and flush draw missed vs. top two. sigh.

    @VanessaRousso: Going into day two at EPT Monte Carlo today with 29K (we started w 30K and avg is 60Kish) so I'm a lil short, but not worried...

    @MarcelLuske: Monte Carlo,EPT day 2,, on schedule & sunny..(;

    3.12pm: Great Scott
    Andrew Scott is up to nearly 150,000 after a short rush before the break. After analysing his opponents hand in great depth Scott had a "what the hell," moment and called the shove. His draw became a flush on the river to move into relative comfort. -- SB

    3.10pm: Back to work
    Players have returned to their seats and we're off and running in level 12.

    _MG_8553_Neil Stoddart.jpg
    Chris Moneymaker

    PokerStars Blog reporting team in Monte Carlo (in order of mosquito bites): Stephen Bartley (7, including one in the middle of his forehead), Simon Young (3), Marc Convey, Howard Swains and Rick Dacey - who believes there is something known as "the mosquito line" somewhere around the seventh floor of the hotel, above which mosquitos cannot fly, (0).