EPT Prague: Day 3, level 18 & 19 updates (blinds 5,000-10,000, ante 1,000)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg6pm: Toth at the double
Team PokerStars Pro Richard Toth busted Constantin Raducan and more or less doubled up to 440,000.The pair got all-in and Toth's A♠Q♦ overtook Raducan's pocket nines on the 3♥J♠6♥Q♥8♣ board. -- SY

5.55pm: Loud Italian in the house
Emilliano Bono has doubled up twice in recent hands, each time making an awful racket. First he pushed for 40,000 with 8♣4♣ and was looked up by Nicolas Babel with [A][Q]. The board ran K♦6♦3♣4♦K♥ giving Bono the pair. He shrieked with delight, several times, and then put his sunglasses cleaning cloth on his head, shouting: "Roma! Roma!"

I didn't get this, nor did most people present, until someone explained it was something to do with the Pope. I am none the wiser.

A hew hands later Bono doubled again to around 160,000 when his 7♥7♦ improved against Ludovic Marguerat's A♦Q♠ on the 9♥8♥7♣Q♥6♦ board. Cue more over-the-top celebrations. -- SY

5.50pm: Nice flop for MacPhee
Kevin MacPhee raised under the gun and found an opponent in Paul Knebel in late position. Unfortunately I missed the action up until the river so I'll have to skip that part (poor excuse, I know). What I did see was MacPhee lead 71,000 into the 8♥K♥T♥A♦8♠ river which was slowly and grudgingly called by Knebel. MacPhee showed J♥Q♦ for a flopped flush and straight draw that had made Broadway on the turn.

'I liked that flop,' said MacPhee with a smile. No doubt, you did. -- RD

5.45pm: Can you spot the link?
'Can I have a beer?' asked Josh Prager to a waitress, not for the first time today I might add. With the important part out of the way, Prager turned to the table of MacPhee and Stani, which he had moved from and returned to in a matter of minutes, and said: 'I'm losing all my chips here.' Can you spot a possible connection between the two sentences?

Prager has about 185,000 left for a little under 20 big blinds. -- RD

5.40pm: Towers of Babel
Tobias Reinkemeier is out. He ran ace-queen into the pocket aces of Sergio Rodriguez Sanchez. Meanwhile across the room Nicolas Babel and Emilliano Bono continue their habit of swapping chips with each other, Babel doubling through Bono with 8♣7♣ to beat Bono's 6♦6♥. Babel now has 150,000 while Bono is reduced to just 35,000. - SB

5.35pm: Monfort hit out of the ground
Ronan Monfort is the latest player to be eliminated. He was down to his last 83,000 when he moved all-in from the small blind with J♣3♣. Peter Skripka was in the big blind and he made the call with K♥4♥ and the board ran 4♣2♠5♥7♦8♠. We're down to 40 players now. -- MC

5.30pm: Huge bluff for Hollink
It may be some time since Rob Hollink won EPT Monte Carlo back in Season 1, but he's just shown a flash of what it takes to take down one of these things. He had opened to 23,000 and Kaspars Renga moved all in for his last 17,000 before Liviu Ignat re-raised to 61,000. Hollink called.

The flop was 2♦2♠5♠ and Hollink called Ignat's 46,000 bet. On the 6♦ turn, Hollink called another 120,000 from Ignat. Finally, on the 3♥ river, Hollink moved all in for around 300,000, enough to cover Ignat.

That prompted the mother of all dwells, with Ignat in the tank for fully nine minutes. It was long enough for me catch the end of the Pagano hand below and come back with time to spare.

Eventually, Ignat mucked, and Hollink showed K♦[10d] for nothing more than king high. Renga had K♠4♥ and won the small side pot. Ignat, meanwhile, claimed he had folded ace high. Wow! -- SY

5.25pm: Pagano a gonner
Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano has bagged his 17th EPT cash, good for €10,000. He pushed with A♣5♣ but was called by Melanie Weisner in the blinds with 6♣6♠. The board ran J♣5♠4♥8♦[10h], and Pagano's day came to an end. -- SY

5.19pm: Tough, tough table
The first table that you come across on the journey from the PokerStars news desk as you enter the tournament floor is arguably the toughest. Not only does it have the chip leader, EPT Berlin winner Kevin MacPhee, it also seats EPT Tallinn winner Kevin Stani, APPT Macau winner Dermot Blain and Season 3 EPT Grand Final 5th place finisher Josh Prager. The seating plan is as follow:

1. Haykel Cherif Vidal
2. Kevin Stani
3. Paul Knebel
4. Ronan Monfort
5. Peter Skripka
6. Dermot Blain
7. Josh Prager
8. Kevin MacPhee

Josh Prager opened the last pot making it 26,000 and was instantly three-bet by Kevin MacPhee to 71,000. Prager passed and MacPhee showed him A♣K♣. Just because someone's aggressive it doesn't mean they don't ever have it. -- RD


ept prague_day 3_josh prager.jpg

Prager in Prague


5.16: Gork for a walk
Marc Gork is out, sent to the rail by Salvatore Bonavena. Gork, short-stacked for some time now, pushed in for 74,000 with A♦9♥. Bonavena called with K♥Q♥. The board ran 9♦Q♦7♥5♥8♠ to send the former EPT Dortmund finalist out in 45th place. - SB

5.14pm: The gloves are off
Guillaume Darcourt and Jan Bendik have been tussling and Darcourt is well clear on points. First he three-bet all-in for 239,000 after Bendik raised 26,000 into his big blind.

Two hands later Darcourt raised into Bedik's big blind from the button. Bedik called to see the 5♣6♦8♠ flop where he led for 35,000. Darcourt raised it up to 105,000 and Bendik called to go to the J♠ turn.

It was Bendik's turn to apply the pressure with an all-in punch, causing Darcourt to wince. Wince he might but he also made the call for his last 140,000 with T♣8♣. Bendik tabled the drawing-to-almost-everything T♠9♠, but it somehow missed on the J♣ river to the delight of Darcourt. -- MC

5.05pm: Prager needling
The board was 3♠3♦2♠[10s]8♦ and Drasutis Narmontas had bet 42,000 only for Peter Skripka to move all-in for around 300,000, just about covering Narmontas. He gave it a little dwell, made the call then mucked in disgust when shown A♠7♠ for the nut flush.

If busting was hard to take, the rubdown from Josh Prager--still drinking--was not welcome. "Terrible call," Prager said, even though he was not even in the hand. "It was obvious you were behind."

Kevin MacPhee jumped to Narmontas' defence and Kevin Stani also asked if Prager was going to continue talking about every hand, but Prager was having none of it. "Everyone knows I am right and it was a bad call," he said. -- SY

4.55pm: No more Chattha from Chaz
Chaz Chattha's EPT grind has come to an end. He completed from the small blind and called when Manuel Bevand raised from the big blind. The flop came down ten-high and all the chips went in. Chattha tabled jack-ten but was out-kicked by the Frenchman's king-ten. -- MC

4.50pm: Ronan versus Romanello
Ronan Monfort has doubled through the larger stacked Roberto Romanello. Monfort was first to act and moved all-in for 95,000 with Q♦Q♣ and Romanello called with A♠J♥. The board ran 3♣9♠9♦2♣6♥, and there is one very happy Frenchman right now. -- MC

4.45pm: Shuffle up
Cards are back in the air. -- SY

4.31pm: End-of-level joy
That's the end of level 18 and players are on a 15-minute break. Joy? Bartley and Dacey have gone to the supermarket in search of bread and water. Hoorah. -- SY

4.30pm: Split Gork
A near-miss for Marc Gork with less than ten minutes until the break. He shoved with king-queen but was called with king-queen. He needed hearts.

"Hearts!" he yelled prior to the 8♦2♦4♥ flop.

"Good, hearts!" he yelled prior to the A♥ turn.

"Good, hearts!" he yelled prior to the 9♠ river. "Ahhh."

Split pot.

Elsewhere Helen Prager has worked her stack up to around 340,000, much to the delight of her husband a table away. - SB

4.25pm: Zapletin zapped by aces
Kirill Zapletin has just crippled himself after making a move with pocket fives and finding his opponent packing pocket aces. Zapletin raised under-the-gun for 19,000 and was raised by Jan Bendik to 45,000. Zapletin called.

Zapletin then check-raised Bendik's 38,000 bet on the 3♠2♠J♣ to 105,000 and then called off the remaining 100,00 or so when Bendik moved in. Bendik showed A♠A♣ while Zapletin allowed himself a little chortle before turning over 5♣5♠. The turn gave the chance of an outdraw with the 4♠ but no six or ace fell on the river.

Zapletin was left with just less than the 8,000 big blind but managed to quadruple through with J♥6♥. Somehow he's still in. -- RD

4.21pm: Horecki gathering pace
Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki has doubled-up to nearly 400,000 in chips through Rasmus Nielsen. The Pole raised pre-flop, bet 41,000 on the flop and moved all-in for 124,000 on the turn. The board read K♦3♥9♥T♦; massive for Nielsen's K♥5♥ but still behind to Horecki's A♠A♣.

Any king, five or heart was needed to bust Horecki but it came a safe 2♠. Nielsen is down to around 400,000 chips himself. -- MC

ept prague_day 3_marcin horecki.jpg

Marcin Horecki is still very much in the hunt


4.15pm: Richter hit by aftershock, MacPhee leads
He had led this event for two days, but now Dirk Richter is out. In the process, Kevin MacPhee has burst through the one million chip barrier and is runaway leader. Maybe we can start dreaming about a double EPT champion after all?

We did not catch all the action, but on the 7♣2♥K♣ flop, Richter had shoved for his last 200,000 with [a][9] but was called instantly by MacPhee with K♣J♥. The 3♠ turn and 7♥ river changed nothing. -- SY

4.10pm: Double for Marguerat
Ludovic Marguerat doubled up through Manuel Bevand. Bevand had raised to 18,000 with 6♦6♠ and Marguerat re-raised all-in for 112,000 with A♦K♣. Call. The board ran Q♦9♠K♠5♦8♠, sending Marguerat up to 225,000 and dropping Bevand to 300,000. -- SY

4.05pm: Up, up and away
Cenzig Ulusu, forever known as the man who literally flipped a coin to determine his fate at an EPT final table, is out of EPT Prague.

On a flop of J♠2♣8♦ Ulusu stood up, grabbed his coat and announced all in. This odd display was met with an insta-call by Rasmus Nielsen who turned over J♥J♦ to Ulusu's A♣J♣

The turn 4♥ and river 7♠ did nothing to keep Ulusu in the tournament, and he leaves in 55th place. Neilsen up to more than 500,000 chips. - SB

4.02pm: Take Dacey, no please, take him
Kevin MacPhee talks about his tournament so far while our very own Rick Dacey was gladly handed over to present the latest update from the tournament floor. -- SB

4pm: Yo-yo Darcourt
Guillaume Darcourt's stack has been up and down during this tournament. Fabrice Soulier described him as a "crazy" player yesterday, something that Jeff Sarwer would agree with after the two tussled on Day 1.

His stack is currently on the up after he doubled up with A♦A♣. Kiril Zahariev raised to 19,000 from the cut-off and called with K♦T♠ when the Frenchman shoved for 78,000 from the small blind. The board ran 2♠7♥Q♥5♣J♣ to see Darcourt's hand hold. Time will soon tell if he can hang on to them. -- MC

3.58pm: Please show
On a 4♠6♠Q♥K♦5♣ board, Paul Knebel bet 46,500 but was then faced with a re-raise to 127,000 by Mikhail Petrov. Knebel thought for no more than five seconds before announcing he was all-in. It was around 300,000 total, easily covering Petrov.

Petrov was unhappy. He counted his stack, dwelled, asked the dealer if he could stand up, sat down again, and thought some more. "Will you show if I fold?" No reply. "I will pay you to see your cards!"

With that, Petrov folded but Knebel put his cards into the muck. "No, no. I give you €100. Make that €200. Come on!" Knebel would not be persuaded, but at least Petrov saved himself some dosh. -- SY

3.55pm: Pot for Nielsen
Tobias Reinkemeier raised to 16,500 and got calls from Rasmus Nielsen and Marcin Horecki. Nothing is easy at this stage. On the K♣5♠[10s] flop, Reinkemeier checked, Nielsen bet 22,500, Horecki folded and Reinkemeier called.

The turn was 7♦ and again Reinkemeier checked, then called when Nielsen made it 36,500. The river was 8♥ and by now Nielsen was sufficiently spooked to check behind Reinkemeier. He needn't have worried as his K♦Q♠ was good. -- SY

3.52pm: Team PokerStars in the money
With 55 players left, we're now nicely into the money, and four Team PokerStars Pros remain in the field. There's Luca Pagano with 180,000, Marcin Horecki with 220,000, Richard Toth on 300,000 and Salvatore Bonavena on 230,000. -- SY


ept prague_day_luca pagano.jpg

Luca Pagano is in the money (again) in the main event


3.50pm: 'Lucky Russian'
Riccardo Giacalone has just been knocked out by Nikolay Losev, who is a 'Lucky Russian,' according to Marius Heiene. Manuel Bevand had opened the pot for 18,000 from middle position and had been called by Losev. The action folded to Giacalone in the big blind and he shoved all-in for 160,000. Bevand quickly passed but Losev made the call.

Giacalone: Q♦Q♠
Losev: A♦Q♣

Losev instantly flopped an ace and Giacalone was drawing thin to just one out departed to the rail shortly after. -- RD

3.45pm: The horror
Another elimination. This time it's Martial Blangenwitsch wailing in pain.

Kiril Zahariev bet 21,000 which was raised to 68,000 by the small blind Blangenwitsch. Next to him was Andrea Ferrari in the big blind who raised again to 140,000. Zahariev passed but Blangenwitsch went into the tank for a brief spell. He came out to announce with some grandeur "all-in."

Ferrari called and watched as Blangenwitsch turned over K♥K♦.

"Aces?" asked Blangenwitsch.

"Of course," replied Ferrari with no small degree of unnecessary drama, and promptly turned over A♥A♦.

The board ran 9♠4♦9♦2♠5♦. Blangenwitsch tore his hood off. "Damn!"
They exchanged a polite handshake and that was that. Down to 57 players now in the Main Event. - SB

3.34pm: English only at the tables
This is a rule at every EPT as it helps clarity and battles collusion. John O'Shea is having another deep run in a side event (₤1,000 NLHE) where they are on the bubble. O'Shea has a broad Irish accent but speaks English, though this didn't stop a dealer from asking him to refrain from speaking Swedish. - MC

3.38pm: Nice catch
Chaz Chattha was involved in a three-way pot that made it to the river leaving a 3♦3♠J♣K♠8♣ board. The action checked to Chattha in the cut-off who bet 48,000 and was called by Drasutis Tauras Narmontas in the small blind. Chattha turned over 8♠8♥ for a rivered full house, helping him move up to 295,000 in chips. -- MC

3.32pm: Straight flush for Weisner
Melanie Weisner must have been praying that Rasmus Nielsen had the nut flush, as unlikely as that may have been, but when you have the immortal nuts with a straight flush it's fair to hope that your opponent is packing a serious hand too.

Weisner, who had defended her big blind from Nielsen's under-the-gun raise, had bet 16,500 into the turn and 37,500 into the river of the 8♣7♣3♥J♣Q♥ board and after quite a tank the Dane called only to be shown T♣9♣ for the queen-high straight flush. She must be up to around 260,000 now. -- RD


ept prague_day 3_melanie weisner.jpg

'Me? Straight flush? Call and find out'


3.20pm: Ten high good enough
Alain Roy's tournament has finally come to an end. He's been short stacked for a lot of today and was all-in on the bubble at one point. He was in the small blind and pushed all-in with 7♥5♦ for less than 20,000 when the action folded around to him. The big blind made the automatic call with T♣6♠ and the board ran 8♣A♥Q♥4♠4♦ meaning the ten played to knockout the Frenchman. -- MC

3.10pm: Back from the break
This is the first level we have started where every player is guaranteed to walk away with money in their pockets (or PokerStars account). Although most eyes will be on the €640,000 first place prize some of the shorter stacks will no doubt be more eyeing the next jump more greedily than most.

65th place is the last slot that pays €8,000 before a €1,000 jump to €9,000. Check out the glorious (moneyed) dead via this link.


ept prague_day 3_kevin macphee2.jpg

Kevin MacPhee is leading the field with over 800,000

PokerStars Blog reporting team at EPT Prague (in order of treasonable offences): Simon Young (none - his ear is glued to a conference call), Stephen Bartley (none - he doesn't do that kind of thing), Rick Dacey (one - threatening to refuse to pay the final two points of last night's Suffolk due to unfair treatment) and Marc Convey ('accepted' a coffee without getting the rest of us one). Photos by Neil Stoddart.

Rick Dacey
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour