EPT Prague: Day 1B, level 3 & 4 updates (blinds 150-300)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg4.32pm: Level done
That's the end of level four and there's now a 15-minute break . We'll be back with a new post shortly, complete with a '10 Hands With Dario Minieri' special, brought to you by Stephen Bartley (who taught Minieri everything he knows). -- SY

4.31pm: The Hairabedian headshake
When Roger Hairabedian started shaking his head on the river of the 9♣5♦2♥6♣K♣ board he never really seemed liked calling. Dimitry Stelmak had opened under-the-gun and has been called by Laurence Houghton on the button and Hairabedian in the big blind.

Hairabedian had led the flop for 1,100 and was raised by Stelmak to 2,900, which quickly shooed Houghton out of the pot. Both remaining players checked the 6♣ turn but a 2,600 bet leaning towards the value variety forced a fold from Hairabedian. -- RD

4.30pm: Turning the second nut flush into a bluff
Kevin Stani just made 5,200 river bet into Danniel Can, was called, and announced "Ace-high" even though he had the second nut flush. This caused his fellow countryman Johnny Lodden much amusement.

The hand started with a raise to 875 from mid-position and he only picked up Stani on the button to go to a 8♠5♠J♥ flop. Can continued for 875 and was called by Stani. The turn came J♠ and Can check-called a J♠ to go to the K♠ river. Can checked once more and Stani bet 5,200.

"I know I had one spade" said Can but I'm not sure it's the ace. He looked down again at what he held (A♠9♣) and called. Stani tabled A♦Q♠ after his announcement.

"I really thought I had ace-high" said Stani, "I would've played it the same anyway" he added. He's down to 12,050 as a result. -- MC

4.25pm: Numbers
The official number of players today has been set at 372 which, when added to yesterday's 191 turnout, means we have a total EPT Prague field of 563.

It follows that the official prize pool will be with us shortly. -- SY

4.20pm: Wahlbeck pushes
Team PokerStars Pro Ville Wahlbeck has just 10,000 left and he pushed them all-in just now after Igor Yaroshetskiy bet 2,000 on a 5♣8♦A♥ flop. The Russian thought for a few moments before mucking. -- SY

4.15pm: Keiner finer
Team PokerStars Pro Michael Keiner has doubled-up to around 13,000 through Boris Kotleba. The action folded around to Kotleba who raised to 800 and then tank-called when the German three-bet all-in for 6,250.

Keiner: Q♦Q♣
Kotleba: A♥7♠

The board ran 9♣T♥J♦9♥8♦. Both players made straights but Keiner's was at the right end. -- MC

4.08pm: Nice cup of tea
EPT Vilamoura winner Toby Lewis has had quite a year winning $851,496 in live tournaments alone. His EPT Prague journey has been, well, a little more pedestrian so far. He's currently sat on 25,000.

Pretty uneventful so far, Toby? 'No, I'm getting bashed up,' he replied honestly. No wonder he's drinking a cup of tea. As we left the table he opened a pot from the small blind for 900 and took the blinds. Every journey begins with a single step, doesn't it? -- RD

4pm: Continued curse?
British player Praz Bansi has amassed nearly $2.5 million is tournament winnings but not dime of that has come from an EPT on European soil. We hope not, but the curse may be continuing as he just lost a pot to drop to 14,000.

He raised to 800 from the hijack and was called by a player in the small blind to go to a 8♥8♦3♠ flop. Bansi continued with an 1,100 bet but quickly folded in frustration when raised to 2,500. -- MC

3.55pm: ElkY all in!
The board was J♣A♣A♦9♠ and ElkY was all-in for his last 8,000. Matteo Taddia, who easily had the Frenchman covered, gave it a good long think before mucking. -- SY

3.50pm: Busy Minieri
Does Dario Minieri know anything other than 'busy'? Well, no is the answer to that. After turning up more than three hours late, he wasted little time in losing chunks of his stack until just 8,000 were left. No problem for the Italian Team PokerStars Pro. He doubled up he got all-in on a K♥4♣5♠ flop but was insta-called by fellow Italian Alessandro Gabriele.
This explains why:

Minieri: [A][A]
Gabriele: [5][5]

A set for Gabriele, then, and our man from Rome was gone. Or was he? Nope, the A♦ on the turn gave him a higher set and he moved up to 16,000.

Soon after Friedrich Raz made it 900 pre-flop and then called when Minieri made it 2,700. On the Q♥7♥K♥ flop, Minieri checked, Raz put in 5,000 and quick as a flash, Minieri check-raised to 10,500. Raz folded.

Next hand Gabriele opened for 650 then folded when Minieri bumped it up to 1,950. With all that, the Italian is now up to around 32,000. -- SY

3.44pm: Another one for Toth
Richard Toth has taken another nice pot, this time from Jack Ellwood. According to snapper Neil Stoddart, Ellwood had check-raised the 4♠2♥J♣ flop from the big blind and been called by Toth. A 4,400 bet on the J♦ turn didn't dissuade Toth and Ellwood gave up on the river, checking and then mucking so Toth took the hand without showdown. Ellwood is down to 24,000. Toth appears to be a little over 50,000. -- RD

3.35pm: Jorgensen down
Poker doesn't really lend itself to a healthy lifestyle. You're sitting down all day, ordering drinks from willing waitresses and the odd cheese sandwich. So the healthy looking players tend to stand out. Players like Theo Jorgensen.

The man glows with good health, unlike his stack which just took a beating similar to the one Jorgensen himself once dished out in the boxing ring against good friend Gus Hansen.

Peyman Luth opened from the cut off, betting 525 which Jorgensen raised to 1,500 from the small blind. Luth called for a flop of Q♣9♠2♣. Jorgensen was not messing about, betting 2,000 which Luth slow called for a A♦ turn.

Theo Jorgensen

Jorgensen, one ear free from the headphones on his head, listening out for the noises of fear perhaps, dropped in 4,000, a random bet it seemed, a reaction. Luth sat with both hands crossed over his cards. He eventually called again for a K♦ on the river.

Jorgensen changed leads, switching the elbow he was leaning on and removed his headphones. He checked, leaving it to Luth to be 10,725. Jorgensen began talking to himself, spreading his chips out in front of him in a long line. He couldn't help himself, and called.

Luth turned over J♥T♦, the winning hand. Like a cross word clue he'd only know the answer to after checking the answers Jorgensen's expression said "of course," and he turned over his own A♥Q♥. He's down to 13,500 while Luth moves up to 50,000 chips. - SB

LEVEL UP. Blinds 150-300

3.29pm: Toth holds on
Richard Toth is up to around 50,000 after holding on with top pair to two streets of aggression. There was 5,100 in the pot when I arrived at the table and there had been a bet and call from Toth on the 8♥J♦2♠ flop.

Toth check-called the 4♦ turn before the 3♣ river was checked down and Toth took the pot with J♣Q♣ over J♥9♥. -- RD

3.20pm: Sunar surrenders
Surindar Sunar was hoping for a third EPT cash in-a-row here in Prague but thanks to Pavel Eon those dreams have been dashed. The action folded around to Eon in the small blind who raised then called when Sunar three-bet to 2,200 from the big blind.

The flop came 7♠K♠8♥ and Eon check-raised Sunar's 5,400 c-bet to 20,000. Sunar only had 13,500 back and made the call all-in with A♥K♥. Eon tabled 8♣8♠ for a set and it held up despite the K♦ scare turn card. -- MC

3.12pm: Minieri moved off
Dario Minieri was left to tank for some time before passing to a 10,000 bet on a 5♦Q♣T♠A♠9♥ board. The Team PokerStars Pro had raised the flop and bet the turn but a large 10,000 lead was too much for him on the river. The Italian is down to 18,000. -- RD

3.09pm: It's a good day
It's a good day because Salvatore Bonavena has doubled-up to around 34,000. Mikhail Petrov opened the pot with a raise from under-the-gun and picked up the Italian on the way to a 6♦2♣7♦ flop. The Russian continued with 1,050 bet that Bonavena raised to 2,450. Petrov three-bet to 6,150 then called when the Italian moved in for 15,975.

Petrov: 9♦7♥ for top pair.
Bonavena: A♦Q♦ for over cards and nut flush draw.

The turn came Q♣ and river 2♥ to double Sal-Bon up to his delight. -- MC


The tournament room at EPT Prague

3.02pm: Persistent Pagano
Luca Pagano. Urbane, professional, and now up to 42,000. It was almost as much of a shock to him as it was to his opponent Tommaso Palasciano Villamagna.

Xavier Detournel, who looks a little bit like the original Count Baltar from Battlestar Galactica, made the first move, limping from under-the-gun which Pagano raised to 800. Villamagna was in the small blind and re-raised to 2,125. That forced out Detournel but Pagano called for a 5♦J♠6♣ flop.

Pagano then performed a series of calls, the first following Villamagna's bet of 2,725, then again on the 9♥ turn, when he called a bet of 4,800. He did so one last time on the 3♠ river. Villamagna bet 10,100, causing Pagano to look again and tank for a while.

When he called Villamagna turned over A♣K♣. For a fleeting moment Pagano thought himself beat. But then suddenly perked up. "Ace-king?"

Pagano realised he was good, turning over 8♥8♣. Up to 42,000. - SB

2.56pm: Table infatuation
Paul Berende has just tangled with Canadian Xuan Xuan Liu and come out with the pot thanks to blank turn and river cards. Berende had initially called a 450 raise before Liu squeezed to 1,525 from the button. Roberto Romanello in the big blind and the initial raiser passed before Berende made the call.

The Dutchman check-called 1,875 on the J♣3♦4♣ flop and a further 3,025 on the 7♥ turn. Berende checked the 8♠ river over to Liu who riffled her chips for some time before giving up on the hand and showing down A♣T♣. Berende's pocket nines were good.

The subtext of this pot was that after Romanello passed he stood up to ask me who Liu was. 'She's lovely,' he said. Now, being a soul of discretion I would never normally mention this in the blog, however, Romanello, with a full on cheeky smile, said: 'Put that in the blog. Make it personal.' That, ladies and gentlemen, is what happens when you cross the Welsh with the Italians. -- RD

2.45pm: All out Stevie
Stephen Devlin has felt the force of Max Lykov to be eliminated in very unlucky circumstances. There was an open raise to 450 before Lykov three-bet to 1,300 and Devlin four-bet to 3,300. The original raiser folded but Lykov set the Irishman in for his 25,000 stack.

Devlin snap called with A♦A♣; way ahead of Lykov's 7♣7♠. The board ran 5♠J♣4♦5♣7♦ to make a set for the Russian Team Pro on the river. "I had felling a seven would come. If I have feeling, I can play anything" added Lykov. -- MC

2.35pm: Sorry I'm late
If Melanie Weisner thought arriving an hour and 20 minutes late was fashionably late she was wrong. Dario Minieri just out-fashionably-lated her, arriving five minutes into level three. -- SB

2.31pm: Seat open
Play has restarted but Dag Palovic is still having his head painted by a man with a brush. -- SB

2.30pm: What do you call a man with a spade on his head?*
Players are back, including Dag Palovic, who thanks to losing a heads-up prop bet with Martin Hruby, is now minus most of his hair and has a large red PokerStars spade stencilled onto this head. Play about to restart. -- SB

* Doug


Roberto Romanello, who has his own problems...

PokerStars Blog reporting team in Prague (according to number of times hair has been dyed): Rick Dacey (once, bad bet), Stephen Bartley (once, bad judgement), Marc Convey and Simon Young (zero).

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in European Poker Tour