EPT Prague: Day 1A, level 5 & 6 updates (blinds 200-400, ante 50)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg6.50pm: Don't mess with Kabrhel
In the dying seconds of level six most of the players at Martin Kabrhel and Maria Maceiras' table stood up and walked away (out of turn, I must add). This left Maceiras with a clean run to steal the blinds with a raise to 800. Or rather it would have had Kabrhel, who you could easily call an expansive player, not been in the big blind.

The Czech three-bet to 3,000 and Maceiras called. Kabrel fired 3,825 at the 3♣Q♦5♥ flop and Maceiras called. A large 14,625 lead on the K♠ turn was enough to screw Maceiras' face up. 'Very nice bet,' said Maceiras as she folded here hand. 'Thank you,' replied Kabrhel already halfway out of his seat and scurrying towards dinner.

That play marked the end of the level and the beginning of a 75-minute dinner break. -- RD

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Martin Kabrhel at PokerStars EPT Prague

6.45pm: Switch off the life support
If I was Martin Jacobson I would ask the PokerStars blog team to stay away in future. We kept reporting him losing most of his chips and when our back's turned he'd managed to recover. He was up to 20,000 before I turned up to bok him again.

There was an early position raise to 1,000 that Jacobson three-bet to 2,700 and Jozef Hancin Hentz four-bet all-in for 17,200 from the small blind. The original aggressor folded but the Swede made the call with Q♣Q♥. Hentz tabled A♥K♣ and the board ran A♣T♥3♠T♠J♣. Jacobson was down to his 1,650 but he seat was empty moments later and we fear the worst. -- MC

6.40pm: French Revolution
Level six is proving to be a good one for the French, with two of their number just winning vital pots.

The first involved Nicolas Levi, whose A♦Q♥ on a board of K♥3♣4♥8♣A♠ was good enough to take the pot, take his stack up to a still worrisome 17,000, and take any hint of a smile off the face of Dusan Valenta of Austria, who paid for this little Levi lifeline.

Nicolas Levi

Then it was the turn of Fabrice Soulier, already chipped up in the region of 70,000 before he played a hand against David Wintersberger. The board read 3♦9♠8♠A♣6♠ and there was a sizable, if indefinable pile of chips in the middle. Wintersberger bet 7,275 and waited for an agonised Soulier to respond. He did so by calling and showing a winning A♥Q♥ to move up to 95,000.

It's not all bleak for Wintersberger. He still has 90,000. - SB

6.30pm: Sarwer loses 40,000 pot, shrugs
If anyone in this field today epitomised the correct mental approach to tournament poker it would be Jeff Sarwer. He just lost a 40,000 pot running A♣K♠ into Maxim Panyak's K♦K♥ and just shrugged, smiled and made a couple of comments about the 'fun' turn. Admittedly the loss has still left him with close to 65,000 which is well above the 38,000 average.

Sarwer opened the pot from the hijack to 800 and was three-bet by Panyak to 2,075. Sarwer came back over the top for 6,700 and quickly called when Panyak shoved for 19,000 on the nose. 'Nice hand,' said Sarwer looking to hit an ace. No bullet on the flop but when the board turned Q♣3♠T♣K♣ Sarwer was left with plenty of outs to win. None arrived though, just a blank 8♠. -- RD

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Jeff Sarwer: now that's what I call a poker face...

6.22pm: The man's got it
Matt Widdoes and Richard Gryko just played out a 70,000 pot that went the way of the Brit. The two had made it to the river and 45,000 chips had found their way into the middle. The board read 2♣4♦3♦9♣A♣ and Gryko had his last 17,675 in front of his but committed to the pot. His American opponent was under-the-gun and agonising over a call. He took so long that the clock was called on him.

"If you've got it, you've got it" said Widdoes and he tossed in the calling chips. "Good hand" said Widdoes as he saw Gryko's K♣Q♣ for the nut flush. He's down to 28,000 as a result. -- MC

6.20pm: Stop! Hugo's there
Jan Skampa put a stop to Hugo Lemaire's table domination. The Frenchman had more than 50,000 before this hand, and now faced up to the defending EPT Prague champion.

Skampa had bet 900 from under the gun and only Lemaire called from late position to see a J♠5♠4♠ flop. Skampa bet again, 1,800 this time, and once again Lemaire called.
That slowed them down to a check on the 4♣ turn and on the 2♦ river. 3♦3♥ for Skampa, and that was good for the pot. He's up to 34,000 now and a little above his starting stack. -- SY

6.15pm: Embarrassing video

6.12pm: Quick catch up
A quick sniff around the tournament floor reveals that Matt Affleck has chipped back up to 27,000 (he was down to around 8,000 a couple of hours ago) and Jeff Sarwer, Dermot Blain, Kevin MacPhee and Dominik Nitsche are all stacking up nicely. I just saw the latter rake in a 16,000 pot with [5][6] for trip sixes to jump up to 60,000.

The dinner break is (thankfully) now on the immediate horizon. -- RD

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Dermot Blain is one of the many players chipping up

6pm: Colman mustered
You arrive, pay your money, take your seat, fiddle a bit with your chips and prepare to play. You make it into level six and suddenly you're being asked to leave your seat, by force if necessary. That is if you don't already know you're out.

Dan Colman had no such illusions. He'd just been sent to the rail by EPT Copenhagen winner Anton Wigg, who is now up to 57,000.

Wigg opened for 850 which got two callers for a flop of J♦6♥2♣.

Matthias Kurtz was first to act, a heavy built man with a threatening brow, who checked, as did Colman sitting next to him. Then it was Wigg's turn to act. He bet 1,375 which Colman called for a 3♦ turn.

Wigg, headphones hanging oddly around his neck, as though a player at another table had unsuccessfully tried to lasso him with them, sat very still as Colman bet 7,225. Without delay Wigg re-raised, sliding forward the tower of chips he had out front, amounting to some 35,000. Colman called and Wigg flipped over 4♠4♥. Colman's day was over. -- SB

5.48pm: Kozlovskiy chipping up
Alexey Kozlovskiy is up to almost 70,000 at the end of level five. After winning a couple of small skirmishes Kozlovskiy has just bagged a tasty 20,000-plus pot from Czech David Taborsky. Kozlovskiy called bets of 2,900 and 5,700 on the turn and river of the 5♠3♦Q♦5♣J♣ board.

That's it for level five. Larger 200-400 blinds and 50 antes to be introduced for level six. -- RD

5.40pm: Video...
... right here summing up the play so far.

5.33pm: Hentz up
Dan Murariu just won a hand, taking his stack up to 70,000, without having to show his cards. The fact that his opponent Jozef Hancin Hentz didn't show his either could make this one a rather dull read.

That said there were three players to a flop of Q♠Q♦4♠ each having coughed up 2,100 to get there. Hancin Hentz checked, as did Murariu and Mizzi, who spent most of the hand interpreting his Twitter page on his iPad.

The turn came 3♦ which prompted Hancin Hentz to bung another 2,525 into the middle. Murariu was also delighted with the three, raising to 7,250. Mizzi looked down at his Twitter page stack and passed. Hancin Hentz coughed and then paid the call.

The river was 3♣. Hancin Hentz checked. Murariu, tight-lipped and riffling his chips, pushed forward 12,000, an amount that almost covered Hancin Hentz. That was enough. Murariu up to 70,000. - SB

5.23pm: Fabrice reads souls yeah
Fabrice Soulier is up to 73,000 after looking deep into the soul of Steven Thomsen to find out he was bluffing. Okay so that's a bit dramatic but you get the drift.

The two were heads-up to a 3♥8♥7♠J♠ turn after Thomsen led for a bet from the small blind and Soulier called from the cut-off. Thomsen fired again at this juncture, for 6,700, and once again the Frenchman called. The river came 2♠ and Thomsen had one more bullet in him with a 12,700 bet. Soulier took his time before making the call. It was a good call too as Thomsen tabled the flush missing A♥6♥, losing out to Soulier's J♥9♣.


He's a soul man

5.15pm: Value line
I'm sure not if Jeff Sarwer was talking about Norman Gautron's line or his own when he said: 'I like that as value line,' so you'll have to make your own mind up.

Sarwer opened from middle position and was called by Maxim Panyak in the cut-off and Gautron in the big blind. Gautron check-called a c-bet of 2,100 from Sarwer on the K♦6♥7♠ flop before both players checked the 5♠ turn. Gautron led 3,000 into the 2♣ river and Sarwer quickly called. Gautron's K♣Q♣ was well behind Sarwer's K♥7♦ which had flopped two-pair.

It was at this point that Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki asked Sarwer about the check on the turn but, muffled as his voice was thanks to his hoodie, I couldn't hear if he was asking Sarwer about Gautron's check or his own. Sarwer is up to nearly 60,000 now. -- RD

5.05pm Life support
Martin Jacobson is on life support (6,500) after bluffing half of his remaining stack off. He and Daniel Colman got to the turn with the board reading 3♥8♥7♠T♣. Colman checked to a face a 6,700 (10k in the middle) that he treated to an all-in push. Jacobson insta-folded and sat there stoically. -- MC

4.57pm: Jacobson knocked by, ermmm, Nock
EPT Vilamoura runner-up Martin Jacobson has just sidestepped the bullets of Jeremy Nock on a T♠4♠Q♠5♥ board. Nock had raised from middle position pre-flop.

'How much is that you you have left?' asked Nock straining to see past Jacobson's arms to his stack, '16,000' he added to answer his own question. He quickly tossed a 5,000 chip across the line and Jacobson didn't waste much time folding. Nock showed A♠A♦. Jacobson is down to 16,000. Good chip counting skills from Nock. -- RD

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EPT runner-up Martin Jacobson

4.52pm: Maceiras on the move
As the gong for the break sounded (actually four bars of Vivaldi) Maria Maceiras bumped her stack up to around 40,000 in a hand against Ankush Mandavia.

Maceiras opened for 700 from under-the-gun which Mandavia raised to 2,150. Maceiras called for a flop of 2♦Q♣7♥ which both players checked for a 6♣ turn.

Maceiras now bet another 4,500, leaving herself around 27,000 behind and had her opponent ready to follow. Mandavia called but Maceiras's 9♣8♣ left him with nothing left to do but fold, which he did face up, showing J♥Q♥. - SB

4.46pm: m becomes M
Level five is upon us and the cost of living has increased. The blinds stay at 150-300 but from here on in the players have to deal with running antes as well. It's starts with the smallest denomination chip (green 25) and will steadily increase, along with the blinds, until we're heads-up on Saturday. Cards are back in the air. -- MC


Perennial qualifier Kevin MacPhee

PokerStars Blog reporting team at EPT Prague (in order of today's mood): Simon Young, Marc Convey and Stephen Bartley (chirpy (for now) due to sugar rush) and Rick Dacey (cantankerous after a sugar crash) . Photos by Neil Stoddart.

Marc Convey
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour