EPT Prague: Day 2, level 14 & 15 updates (blinds 2,000-4,000, 400 ante)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg9pm: Play concludes
The last three hands passed tonight without any major incidents to report. 93 players will return for tomorrow and we believe Dirk Richter is still top of the pile with 593,000 in chips. The wrap will be up shortly and the official chips counts will follow as well. -- MC

8.49pm: Last three hands announced
The clock has been stopped with eight minutes showing and the final three hands of the hand announced. Radio silence to begin as we ready ourselves to get the chip counts and chip leaders. -- RD

8.45pm: Introducing Antonio Palma
Antonio Palma looks like the player that is making the late dash to contend for the chip lead. The man from Portugal, who has been tucked away in the corner of the room all day, is up to nearly 600,000. He's had no major live results before but did cash in this year's EPT Grand Final, EPT London and WSOP Main Event for a combined total approaching $80,000. -- RD

8.42pm: Playing the rush
Roberto Romanello just took care of Michael Anthony Moretto to increase his stack even more. He raised from late position and was committed to call the Canadian's 35,000 push with T♦4♦. Moretto was in great shape with 4♥4♦ but was in disbelief after seeing the board run Q♣T♠5♥5♦J♦. "Sorry mate", said the Brit before his opponent left. -- MC

8.35pm: The philosophical musings of Roberto Romanello
'That's where your mind tricks you,' preached Roberto Romanello pointing towards his temple and, probably without realising the irony, the wig on his head. 'That's where you have to step up a level,' he finished replying to a tablemate that had asked why he wasn't believing a play from one of the more solid players at the table.

'The day you stop learning is the day that you stop winning. The best players in the world will admit that they are still learning,' he said. From taking a look at the mammoth stack in front of him I'd say that Romanello is learning pretty fast. -- RD


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Welshman, poker player, chip shop owner and philosopher - the many faces of Roberto Romanello


8.26pm: Prager finishes off Boeree
After crippling Liv Boeree with quad kings a few minutes ago (see 8.20pm below), Josh Prager has now bust her... with pocket kings. She open-raised with 7♣8♣, Prager re-raised and the money went in--Boeree was down to around 25,000--and she got no help from the board. -- SY

8.22pm: Grinder of the day award
If we were able to give away such awards then my vote would go to Chaz Chattha. His stack has floated somewhere between 20,000 and 40,000 for most of the day. I hope he has dental insurance as his teeth much be down to the gums with the way he's been grinding. He's just managed to double up to 55,000 and that feels like a big stack to him right now, even if it's only 14 big blinds.

He was at in the big blind and called all-in with pocket fours after the button had set him in with queen-three. Chattha faded the three-outer to keep hopes of a cash finish alive. -- MC

8.20pm: Boeree crippled by quads
Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree has been dumped down to 26,000 after a mighty cooler of a hand against Josh Prager. We did not see all the action, but the short version is that Boeree had pocket sevens, Prager had pocket kings and the board was A♦7♥K♠K♣Q♠.

It appears there was a little odd table talk by Prager, who has, er, been enjoying several beers during the course of the afternoon/evening. He asked the dealer what the minimum bet was after the flop, and announced he was betting five times the minimum bet (20,000), which Boeree called. As the river was dealt, Prager said he was shoving, and 100,000 went over the line. EPT San Remo champion Boeree was always calling with her full house, and she was horrified to see Prager turn over quads. -- SY

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Liv Boeree

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Josh Prager

8.16pm: Nitsche knocks out Taddia
Matteo Taddia didn't look happy that his A♦Q♦ had been beaten by Dominik Nitsche's J♣8♣ all-in. Nitsche had open shoved his big stack from the button into the short stacks in the blinds and Taddia just so happened to wake up with a premium hand and tossed his last 60,000 into the middle.

The Italian rose to his feet as soon as the 8♠K♥7♠ flop was dealt as if knowing that the turn and river wouldn't help him. They didn't. Just 102 players left and that means 22 spots until the money. -- RD

8.10pm: Max value for Roberto
Roberto Romanello just got maximum value out of a hand against Kirill Telezhkin. The Welshman raised to 7,500 and his Russian opponent defended from the big blind to see a T♥Q♦K♠ flop. Romanello continued with a 7,500 bet and was check-called. The turn came 7♦ and Romanello upped the ante with a 35,300 bet. Call. The river came 4♥ and Romanello faced a third check which he treated to a 103,900 bet.

His opponent looked to the skies, blew out his cheeks and made the call. Romanello turned over A♣J♦ for the nuts to claim the huge pot. He's up to 520,000 chips now and vying for the overnight lead. -- MC

8pm: Stani flops the nuts
It's a nice feeling to flop the nuts and even a better feeling to get shoved on when you do. EPT Tallinn Kevin Stani flopped the nut flush with K♦Q♦ on a T♦A♦7♦ flop and led into it for 12,500. His opponent, Orpen Kisacikoglu, moved all-in for around 70,000. There appeared to be close to 25,000 in the pot pre-flop. Stani calmly announced the call and showed the nuts. Kisacikoglu groaned as he tabled J♦K♣. Running deuces did nothing to change the outcome.

'Easy call, right?' said Marcin Horecki.

'Yeah, I've had harder calls to make,' replied Stani as he raked in the pot.

'He wasn't exactly dead,' Fabrice Soulier chipped in, 'If the 8♦ and 9♦ comes...'

Stani paused for a moment thinking back to the flop: 'No, not dead, but I was pretty happy,' he said as he stacked up his 200,000 stack. -- RD


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Master of stating the obvious, Marcin Horecki


7.55pm: Big double for MacPhee
EPT Berlin winner Kevin MacPhee is right back in contention after a key double up. On a [10c]9♦7♥7♣ board, MacPhee bet 30,000 and got a call from Guillaume Darcourt, one of the more active players at the table. On the 4♣ river, MacPhee, hidden behind his green hoodie and hunched over his stack, announced he was all-in. It was 103,000 more.

Darcourt thought, thought some more, counted out the call, thought again, and then made the call. MacPhee turned over 9♥9♣ for the full house and that was good for a double up to around 340,000. Darcourt slipped 150,000. -- SY

7.45pm: Prager and Zapletin
I wrote a little earlier about how Josh Prager seemed to be needling Josh Zapletin and it almost paid off big time on the last hand before the break (I'm catching up). The Russian had defended his big blind and check-called 11,000 on the 9♠3♠5♥5♠ turn and looked awfully tempted to call the 25,000 on the 4♣ river. Prager turned over K♦K♠ as he chipped up to 245,000. -- RD

7.40pm: Last hurrah
Players are settling back in their seats for the last level of the day. A total of 110 of them remain from the 254 who began today. Remember, the money kicks in at 80th place, but we're unlikely to hit that before the end of the day. -- SY

7.25pm: Break
That's the end of the level. There will now be a 15-minute break. -- SY

7.22pm: Ronan, Ronan, Ronan
A big blow to Ronan Montfort whose chips now sit with Nicolas Babel ion his immediate left. The chips went in, Montfort calling Babel's shove with A♠K♣ to Babel's A♣Q♥. The board came 5♣Q♠3♠Q♣6♠ to leave the Frenchman with just 55,000. Babel moves up to 130,000. -- SB

7.20pm: Queens will do it
Olivier Daeninckx kicked off a busy hand with a raise to 7,500. When it came around to Rasmus Nielsen, he made the call. In the next seat, however, was Tobias Reinkemeier, and he re-raised to 25,600. Back to Daeninckx. He checked back at his cards and announced he was all-in. It was for 63,700 total. Nielsen folded, but Reinkemeier made the call quickly.

Daeninckx: Q♥Q♣
Reinkemeier: A♥J♦

The flop came 3♥K♠[10c], meaning if Daeninckx did hit a set it would give a winning straight to Reinkemeier. The 8♠ turn and [10d] ensured that didn't happen, and Daeninckx moved up to 138,000. -- SY

7.15pm: Best poker moment

7.12pm: Needling Prager
Josh Prager, as I think has already been mentioned, is having a couple of drinks and really seems to be enjoying himself. Although others at his table appear to be smiling, such as EPT Leader Board Trojan Fernando Brito, one Mr Kirill Zapletin is not.

'How many outfits do you have?' asked Prager to Zapletin, who either didn't understand or chose not to. 'You know, you had the leather jacket and your hair down now you've got your hair up and no glasses. All those different looks...,' he added trailing off at the end. Another player helped to translate and still Zapletin refused to bite. -- RD

7.08pm: Three-bet, shrug, call four-bet shove
Those were the actions of Marius Heiene who made it clear that he was never getting away from his A♣[k]. Day 1A chip leader Elias Brussianos had opened the pot for 8,000 before Heiene had three-bet to 23,000. Kanit, who was sat next to Heiene, then pushed forward his stack of yellow chips to show he was all-in for around 100,000. Brussianos passed and Heiene shrugged and got his chips in.

The board ran out 2♥6♣A♥K♠4♠ to knock Kanit out who swiftly rose out of his chair and left the tournament floor. Heiene must be on around 200,000. -- RD

7.05pm: Calling time on yourself
The board read Q♣3♦Q♦2♣T♠ and the clock was called. Matt Affleck had the decision to make, facing a bet of 30,000 from Cengiz Ulusu (spell check name Zulus). Affleck though had called the clock on himself, not trusting himself to bring the hand to a swift conclusion.

The time counted down and Ulusu waited. Had the tables been turned Ulusu might have chosen to flip a coin, as he did at the EPT Dortmund final table, rather than call the clock, but this was Affleck's dime, so to speak.

"I know you're going to show it right in my face," he said, predicting the inevitable. Then he folded.

Ulusu showed 7♥ as Affleck tapped the table. He's down to 170,000 while Ulusu moves up to 260,000. - SB

7pm: The runaway train
As described down at 6.30pm, Francisco Torres is being supported here by his toy Thomas the Tank Engine. His little chum is working wonders as Torres just doubled up again. He had open-raised to 11,000 before Tayfun Rodoplu bumped it up to 24,800. Kevin Stani then four-bet to around 60,000. Torres moved all-in and only Stani called:

Torres: A♠A♦
Stani: K♥K♦

Torres stayed on track on the 6♠7♥Q♦3♣5♣ board, while Stani was shunted back to around 120,000. Choo-choo! -- SY

6.56pm: Lewis saved on the river
Toby Lewis has got some of those chips back off Paul Knebel after a double-up. Yavor Anastasov Tutev opened the pot with a raise from the cut-off before Lewis shoved from the button and Knebel re-shoved from the big blind to isolate Lewis. It worked as Tutev folded.

Lewis: K♠7♦
Knebel: A♠T♦

The board ran 9♠Q♣5♦5♠7♥ hitting Lewis' seven just in time. He took down a small pot on the next hand to move to more than 100,000 in chips. -- MC


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Toby Lewis, king of the swingers


6.47pm: Nitsche four-bet
LAPT winner Dominik Nitsche is one of those players that you feel has an EPT trophy in him somewhere (not physically, that would just be odd and more than a little libellous). The young German consistently puts in good performances and it looked for a little while that EPT Barcelona was going to be his moment but he crashed out in 23rd for €20,000.

Here in Prague he has just pushed Alexander Luber off of a hand with a minimum four-bet to 22,500. Luber laughed it off as Nitsche raked in the pot sheepishly smiling. Ahhh, those crazy young online players. -- RD

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Dominik Nitsche looking sneaky in his urban camouflage

6.40pm: Doing the rounds
Josh Prager (spell check name Prayer) has switched from wine to beer for this new level, his wife Helen is sticking to wine. Elsewhere Roberto Romanello now has enough chips to get ornamental with his stack while Pierre Neuville has changed his shirt and jumper from pink to blue, perhaps so as not to blend in with pink-jumpered Salvatore Bonavena in the seat next to him. A table along William Ross tries to maintain a conversation with Kevin MacPhee next to him, while the Thai massage therapist has him in a half-nelson. - SB

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Josh Prager

6.35pm: Lewis down, then up a little
Toby Lewis has been left with just less than 20,000 chips after dangling with Paul Knebel. Lewis raised from under-the-gun and faced a three-bet from the German, sat two seats along. His answer was to move all-in but he was snap called.

Lewis: A♠J♠
Knebel: A♣K♣

The board ran 4♣3♠Q♥K♦6♥ to send the pot, worth over 200,000, the way of the German.

Two hands later Melanie Weisner opened with A♥A♦ and called when Lewis shoved with A♠2♦. Lewis lucked out on the 6♦4♠3♥5♠9♦ board, making a straight. His thin hopes of a second EPT title this season just improved with a 15 big blind stack to play with. -- MC

6.30pm: Thomas works his magic
Francisco Torres, the proud owner of the toy Thomas the Tank train, just moved all-in for his last 35,000, pushing his chips over the line on his engine. Choo-choo! Everyone folded until it got around to Dominique Franchi, who made the call.

Torres turned over K♠K♣--one at a time, mind you--while Franchi was heading for the sidings with A♠J♦. The flop came 3♥8♦K♦ and Torres let off a yelp of delight. The 2♦ turn and 9♣ river ensured he stayed ahead.

Torres the tank engine driver is now building up a head of steam, with 75,000 chips. Choo-choo! -- SY

6.17pm: Norinder cracks queens
'I'm sorry,' said Mikael Norinder and he seemed to be fairly genuine about it as he reached out his hand to Jasid Majid, whose queens he had just cracked with jacks. Norinder, who we have seen near the press pen asking for football scores a number of times, is now up to 150,000. -- RD

6.10pm: Play restarts
A new level. Let's make this a great one.

Having been instructed not to start this post off with a picture of the weather, here's a picture of Salvatore Bonavena, our new Agony Aunt, who will now take your questions...

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Salvatore Bonavena, c/o PokerStars Blog, Prague.

PokerStars Blog reporting team in Prague (in order of errrors pointed out in the comments box):Stephen Bartley (1, honest mistake), Marc Convey (1, sloppy mistake), Rick Dacey (0, but it's only a matter of time), Simon Young (0, we're too afraid to tell him)

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in European Poker Tour