EPT Monte Carlo: Day 3, level 21, 22 & 23 updates (10,000-20,000, 2,000 ante)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg9.46pm: At the bell
In what would turn out to be the last hand of the night Paul Berende got his chips in with David Sesso calling. Berende showed K♠Q♣ to Sasso's A♣Q♦. The board ran 7♥T♣2♣4♠8♠ giving the chips to Sasso.

Berende had Sasso covered but only just, leaving him with only 148,000 - an amount Berende would probably have tried to do something with before the close of play if he'd had chance. But Andre Santos had already busted, ending day three.

A full wrap of the day, plus closing chip counts, to come. -- SB

9.45pm: Santos the last out of the door
Andre Santos was the unlucky man to go in 25th place, meaning everyone left standing will be back for tomorrow's day 4. This hand will take a little time to read, so deep breath....

Nicolas Chouity started it off, raising to 58,000 and getting calls from Santos, Jean Francois Talbot and Sami Kelopuro in the big blind. The flop was 8♥2♥[10s], which prompted Kelopuro and Chouity to check.

When it came to Santos he bet 130,000. Next was Talbot. He asked how much Santos was playing - then re-raised to 400,000. Kelopuro and Chouity realised there was little sense in hanging around. Both folded.

So, back to Santos, who announced he was all in. Talbot called in a flash.

Santos: A♥J♥
Talbot: [10d][10c]

Talbot was ahead with his top set, but he gave an involuntary yelp when he realised Santos was not that far behind with the nut flush draw. To the turn, a brick 3♣, leaving Santos needing a heart on the river, as long as it did not pair the board. It was the Q♣, meaning Talbot took the huge pot, and Santos was out in 25th place. -- SY

9.35pm: Double action
Two hands, two tables and two eliminations.

In the first Sami Kelopuro opened for 55,000 in the cut off which was called by Gilbert Diaz for a flop of 9♣2♦3♠. Both checked for a aQ♥ turn where the money went in - Kelopuro calling Diaz.

Diaz: Q♦8♣
Kelopuro: A♦Q♠

The turn Q♥ and river 6♠ sent Diaz to the rail.

As that hand came to an end a flop of J♣2♥K♣ was bet at by Vicky Coren, 45,000 which promoted Herve Costa to move all-in. Coren called with a flush draw, showing Q♣9♣ while Costa hd K♦2♠.

The turn J♥[ and river 4♠ sent the Team PokerStars Pro out in 26th place. - SB

9.25pm: We're back
Play resumes in level 23

LEVEL UP, BLINDS 12,000-24,000 (2,000 ANTE) IN LEVEL 23

9.11pm: Break time
Players now have another 15 minute break.

9.10pm: Into the break
As the break arrives two players are still locked in battle. Andre Santos opened for 46,000 in middle position before Craig McCorkell raised to 117,000 from the button. Jean Francois Talbot then moved a few chips around, gathering a re-raise of 250,000 total. Everyone else passed leaving to McCorkell who descended into the tank, asking for a count but eventually folding. - SB.

9.05pm: Klinger takes one down
Josef Klinger has been going about his tournament in a very business-like manner. Button raise to 50,000 and continuation betting. It seems to be getting him a lot of small but important pots. -- RD

9pm: Just the nuts
Ramsi Jelassi raised to 47,000 from the button and Claudiu Saizu called in the big blind. That took the two of them to a flop of 5♥[10s]Q♠, which they both checked. The turn was 9♥ and they both checked that too, bringing a K♣ river. Saizu led for 61,000 and Jelassi's curiosity got the better of him. He called but mucked when Saizu showed his A♠J♥ for the nuts. -- HS

9.05pm: Horror river sends McCormack home
Poor Christopher McCormack had been grinding most of today and has now bust in horrible circumstances. Matt Perrins had opened for 41,000 and it was folded around to McCormack, who pushed all in for 182,000. Perrins called.

Perrins: J♦[10c]
McCormack: A♦7♦

It started rather well for McCormack as the flop came K♠A♥3♣. The turn was 2♠, no problems there, but note the one picture card McCormack did not want to see - that's right, a queen would fill Perrins' straight. So to the river... Q♦. Ouch. We're down to 27. -- SY

8.50pm: Chipping back
Ever since losing the pot to Nicolas Chouity, Nick Schulman has been chipping back up with a couple of three-bets and one particularly nice squeeze play that saw him pick up 100,000 unopposed. -- RD

8.45pm: Eyster driving his stack hard
Kevin Eyster has oodles of chips - that is an official term - and is making liberal reraises to good effect. Andrew Chen raised from the button and Eyster put in the obligatory 3-bet, Chen didn't even bother waiting to see what the raise would cost him before mucking. -- RD

Andrew Chen

8.40pm: Big hands, mysteries deepen
Huge heads up pots were brewing on two tables and once, and although we only got to see one hand from the four, they were both fascinating enough to be reported in detail.

Hand one was between Nick Schulman and Nicolas Chouity. Schulman made it 43,000 from early position, and Chouity called from the hijack. It was just the two of them to a flop of 4♦K♥2♠ and Schulman led for 58,000. Chouity called.

The turn was 9♠ and Schulman slowed. His check allowed Chouity to bet 85,000 and Schulman called that. The river was Q♣ and another check from Schulman elicited a bet of 276,000 from Chouity. Schulman pondered deep and long, but folded. No one is any the wiser about that.

On the other table, right next door, David Sesso and Kevin Eyster went at it. Sesso raised to 48,000 from the hijack and Eyster called in the big blind. The flop came 5♥Q♦4♠, which they both checked, and then the 8♠ turned. Eyster led for 41,000, which Sesso called, taking them to a 8♦ river.

David Sesso

Eyster bet 85,000 and after a moment's thought, Sesso made it 220,000. Eyster dallied for a while before he three-bet, making it another 190,000 on top of the 220,000.

Sesso folded with a sigh and Eyster couldn't resist showing his A♠[10s]. Sesso didn't seem too troubled and intimated to tablemates that Eyster was bluffing with the best hand. -- HS

8.30pm: Sorry Lauri collects his lolly
Lauri Meidla was all in with K-5 against Mesbah Guerfi's J♠4♠. Those two spades in the Frenchman's hands became somewhat important as the board ran 4♥5♠7♠9♠6♦. That left Meidla, one of three Estonians to make it through to today, seeking out the cash desk for his €40,000. We're down to 29.-- SY

8.20pm: Pleasant trips on the river
Nick Schulman made it 41,000 from the button and PokerStars Nicolas Chouity, from Lebanon, called from the big blind. Both checked the 8♣5♠[10c] flop to see a Q♥ turn. Chouity checked then called Schulman's 66,000 bet.

Nick Schulman

On the river of 8♠ it was Chouity who made his move, betting 115,000. Schulman did not like it, but made the call regardless. He was shown A♣8♥ for his trouble. -- SY

8.15pm: RasZi roasted
That's the end of the road for Lex Veldhuis. Laurent Olive opened to 65,000 and Veldhuis shipped it all in for 200,000-ish. Olive snap called and was ahead with his A♣K♠ to Veldhuis' A♥J♣.

Lex Veldhuis

They both ended up with a flush on the 5♣4♣7♣2♣9♠ board. As Veldhuis departs, we're down to only two members of Team PokerStars Pro: Vicky Coren and Martin Hruby. -- HS

8.10pm: Kelopuro up
Dominykas Karmazinas opened for 46,000 only for Sami Kelopuro to move all in for 238,000 - call. Kelopuro tabled J♦J♥ and was in good shape against the Lithuanian's A♦[10d]. He stayed that way, too, as the board ran out 9♥8♠5♦K♠4♠. Kelopuro back up to around 500,000. -- SY

Sami Kelopuro

8.05pm: Lauri Meidla passes ace-queen
Josef Klinger started the action with a raise to 45,000 and was three-bet by Lauri Meidla on the button. To over 100,000. Frenchman Mesbah Guerfi then moved all-in from the big blind for 400,000. Klinger quickly quit his pre-flop adventure leaving Meidla with a tricky decision. The Estonian eventually decided that he didn't want to play for his tournament with A♣Q♥ and is probably still regretting his three-bet now. -- RD

8pm: Tut-tut Tuhill
On the very first hand after the break for the table consolidation, Nathan Tuthill bust. He was all in against Martin Hruby - Tuthill under-the-gun and Hruby in the big blind - and Hruby's 6♣6♠ stayed ahead against Tuthill's A♣5♣. The board, for the record, ran Q♥8♥2♣K♦8♦ and Tuthill's all in was for about 200,000. They now go onto Hruby's stack as the Czech master marks only his second appearance for Team PokerStars Pro with a very deep run. -- HS

Martin Hruby

8pm: Gomes out
Team PokerStars Pro Alex Gomes is out. Simple as that. He got it in with A♦K♦ against Gilbert Diaz's 9♦9♠. The Brazilian Team PokerStars Pro took it in good grace and will no doubt be covered going deep at another tournament on this blog sooner rather later. -- RD

7.55pm: Hruby cracks kings
Martin Hruby can't have been thrilled after moving all-in from the big blind over a 50,000 open raise to be shown K♦K♠ to his middling 9♣9♠. A nice A♣2♠3♣J♣ turn gave the Czech a flush draw to go with his two nine outs but it wasn't a club but a shiny red 9♦ that gave Hruby a river suck out. -- RD

7.50pm: Rugini doubles
Back after a 15 minute break Emanuele Rugini open shoved for 153,000 and Matt Perrins made the call for a straight race:

Perrins: A♠[10h]
Rugini: 5♦5♠

No dramas: the board ran 8♥2♦3♦K♣4♣ to double the Italian up. -- SY

LEVEL UP, BLINDS 10,000-20,000 (2,000 ANTE) IN LEVEL 22

7.31pm: Gomes in trouble
On the very last hand before the break, Alex Gomes lost almost his entire stack to Dominykas Karmazinas of Lithuania. It was nines into kings and the Team PokerStars Pro from Brazil is crippled. -- HS

7.30pm: No show
Roger Hairabedian and Matthew Perrins each checked the K♥4♦6♠ flop and the K♣ turn. When the river came A♦ Perrins bet 116,000 which sent Hairabedian into the tank. He called though, forcing an insta-muck from Perrins. Hairabedian's back up to around 500,000. - SB

Roger Hairabedian

7.25pm: More McCorkell aggression
Craig McCorkell raised and then faced a re-raise of 58,000 more from Sami Kelopuro. McCorkell quickly put out a leaning tower of blue, 10,000 chips - enough to put Kelopuro all in. He agonised for a while before folding reluctantly. -- SY

7.20pm: Guerra loses the war
Cristiano Guerra moved all-in for close to 300,000 over Jean Francois Talbot open raise. Talbot apologised to the table for how long he was taking, 'It's really close , guys,' said Talbot. 'Have you got ace- king,' he asked Guerra. No reply. Talbot decided that he couldn't afford to fold his A♣Q♠ and made the call for around half of his stack.

Talbot: A♣Q♠
Guerra: A♦J♣

The board ran out 3♠K♥5♣T♣K♠ to give Talbot the pot courtesy of his one pip larger kicker. -- RD

7.16pm: Coren all-a-Twitter
News from @VictoriaCoren on Twitter: "My tournament high point so far: I'm up to 500k in chips. But aggressive chip leader 2 to my left, nothing's easy."

Vicky Coren

Soon followed by: "Oops, I chirped too early. Just got it all in pre flop AK v A6, he made a straight! I had to pay him 200k. Ouch. Nasty."

In fact Coren had A♦K♠ and was up against Matthew Szymaszek's A♣6♦. She was a mile ahead - even more so after the J♦5♦3♦ flop presented her with the nut flush draw as well. But the 7♥ turn and 4♣ river only served to fill that unlikely straight. -- SY

7.15pm: Last exit
Pierre Neuville is out. Left with just 140,000 he shoved with A♦5♦ and was called by Aleh Plauski with J♦T♥. If Neuville needed proof that his luck had run out it came on the flop: T♦9♠T♠. The turn K♥ and river Q♣ ended the Belgian's season, not a bad one all in all, in 36th place. - SB

7.05pm: "I don't want to go"
Pierre Neuville, the Serial PokerStars Qualifier, is enjoying himself during his latest deep run at an EPT. He opened for 38,000 and met with an all-in re-raise from Team PokerStars Pro Lex Veldhuis. It was 161,000 more. "It's cheap," Veldhuis said, but in truth it represented most of Neuville's remaining 185,000.

Pierre Neuville

"I am so happy here. I don't want to go," Neuville said. He passed, adding: "I think I'll stay for a while." -- SY

7pm: Sheer Hellaert
Kenny Hallaert opened for 38,000 under-the-gun. Domenico Iannone raised to 98,000 from under-the-gun-plus-one. Matthew Perrins then four bet, 220,000 from under-the-gun-plus-two.

The action reached Vicky Coren in the big blind. She folded. "I'm not sure I'm going to get to keep this big blind, am I?"

With the action back on Hallaert he shuffled some chips around and raised yet again, 370,000 total. Iannone passed, with some relief, and left it to Perrins who after a short pause announced all-in.


Matt Perrins, chip leader in Monte Carlo

Hallaert insta-called and showed A♠A♥. Almost predictably Perrins showed K♥K♠. Only later would Iannone tell Perrins that he folded ace-king.

The board ran 9♥6♦8♣K♣2♦.

Hallerts joy had turned to despair on the turn. He'd been one-outered and was now on the rail, while Perrins has moved into the lead with more than 2,600,000. - SB

6.55pm: McMonster pot for McCorkell
There are some hands where a table picks up interest from a few railers but there are some where the tension around the table is thick and heavy. This was one of those. Big stack Josef Klinger raised to 38,000 from early position and was called by Craig McCorkell in middle-position. Klinger check-called the Q♣9♥6♥ flop for 47,000. The 8♣ brought a new draw and completed an old one. Klinger checked and McCorkell accepted the invitation and bet 117,000. Klinger looked at his stack and drew out a couple of large stacks of yellow 5,000 chips topped with blue 10,000 chips and check-raised to 367,000. McCorkell made the call.

At this point you really could have cut the tension around that table with a knife. Just to make things really interesting top-pair paired on the river with the Q♦. Klinger checked and McCorkell made a final 381,000 pot. Klinger folded and McCorkell raked in a monster pot 938,000 pot (not including his final bet). The pot takes him to 2.1m vying for the chip lead with Kevin Eyster. -- RD


Craig McCorkell


Kevin Eyster

6.40pm: Santos shows class
Andre Santos moves to more than 1.5million after making a fantastic call on the river to bust Omar Baioumi (I have to check the spelling of that surname each time I write it). We picked up the action on the 7♠8♦K♦ flop when Baioumi bet 46,000 and Santos called. On the 5♣ turn Baioumi made it 71,000 and again got a call.

Finally, as soon as the A♣ hit the river, Baioumi announced all in for his remaining 368,000. Santos, after a little quiet deliberation, made the call.

Baioumi: 4♥4♣ for not very much
Santos: Q♥8♥ for third pair. It was good.

With that, Santos moves into the big-stack league. He's yet to put his chips in any sort of order, so we'll have a proper count shortly. UPDATE: He's got 1.3m. -- SY

6.36pm: Chip counts
The complete and utter chip counts are now available on the chip-count page.

6.35pm: All-ins
Matthew Szymaszek just moved all-in from his seat in the cut off. A total of 247,000 which found no takers. There's a similar pattern elsewhere. Gilbert Diaz tried the same with his last 330,000. Dominykas Karmazinas thought about calling but decided against it. Lex Veldhuis also moved in for around 200,000. Pierre Neuville thought about calling but eventually folded an ace face up.
Stephen says: (18:33:14)
-- SB

6.30pm: Klinger makes a big call
Josef Klinger had raised and been shipped on twice; first by Gilbert Diaz and secondly by David Paredes. Whether Klinger had the first pass in mind or not we can't say but the Austrian made a big call with 7♥7♠ when his 38,000 raise was three-bet all-in for over 300,000 by Paraedes. It was a large shove and Klinger thought long and hard before making the call.

Klinger: 7♥7♠
Paredes: A♦6♦

It was a big call and Klinger was rewarded for his bravery with a blank 8♣9♦T♣2♥K♦ board. The Austrian is now up to 1.6m. -- RD

6.25pm: We'll always have Prague
Among the countless battles within a battle going on here in Monte Carlo is the one between Salvatore Bonavena and Andrew Chen. From that famous final table in Prague during season five, Bonavena emerged with the biggest cheque and the title, but Chen earned huge amounts of credit. They're back squaring off against one another this afternoon - will it be a repeat or will the tables turn? -- HS


Salvatore Bonavena and Andrew Chen


A Bonavena-eye view of Andrew Chen

6.20pm: Lopes takes a nasty turn
Bruno "Kool Shen" Lopes' deep run in Monte Carlo is over. Aleh Plauski had raised under the gun to 38,000 and Lopes made it 90,000 from the next seat. It was folded back to Plauski who, once establish that Lopes was playing with another 150,000 behind, called.

The flop was [10s]Q♥9♦. Plauski checked, Lopes moved all in immediately and Plauski called.
Plauski: K♠Q♠
Lopes: A♣Q♦


Bruno Lopes

All was looking rosy for the French rapper, but the J♥ turn filled up Plauski's straight. The river was 7♣. Lopes is out. -- SY

6.15pm: Perrins continues to pound Coren
During the last 75-minute level it seemed that every time Vicky Coren entered a pot there was a Matt Perrins-shaped reraise waiting for her. It had been a frustrating arrangement for Coren and a lucrative arrangement for Perrrins who is now sat on 1,300,000. Coren returns from the break with a similar amount (if you subtract one million).

To her credit the Team Pro hasn't snapped but it can't be too long before there's some kind of mash up between the two. We'll be watching this one closely. -- RD

6.10pm: Level 42
It's not. But there are 42 players coming back for level 21 and that's good enough to doff our caps to Mark King's peerless 80s jazz-funk band.

One more time: we're playing down to 24 players today, no matter how long it takes. And we're skipping dinner too, so everyone's saving themselves a few extra euros there too.

The chip leader at the moment is Kevin Eyster, with 2,033,000. He's the first past two million. -- HS


Kevin Eyster, first through two million

PokerStars Blog reporting team in Monte Carlo: Stephen Bartley, Rick Dacey, Howard Swains and Simon Young. Yep, Marc "The Conv" Convey has gone for a nice lie down.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour