EPT Prague: Day 3, level 20 & 21 updates (blinds 8,000-16,000, ante 2,000)
8pm: Play ends
The dramatic events that just occurred brought day 3 to an end. 23 players will return tomorrow where we will play down to a final table of eight. A wrap of the day's play will be up for your reading pleasure shortly, as will the official overnight counts. -- MC
7.55pm: Brutal bust out for Mrs Prager
PokerStars qualifier Helen Prager has been eliminated in 24th place, just as everyone else was bagging up for the night, and it was a pretty disgusting exit.
Rob Hollink raised from under the gun before Prager moved all-in for 111,000 from the next seat - then Ion Pavel moved all-in from the small blind. Roberto Romanello was sat in the big blind and he thought for two minutes before folding big-slick (he revealed it at the conclusion of the hand). Hollink folded as well to leave it heads-up.
The flop came 9♥T♣J♣ to see Pavel take the lead with top set. Prager's husband joined the rail and shouted for an eight and it duly came on the turn with 8♠. The drama wasn't over, though, as the river fell J♦ to make the Romanian quads for the pot. -- MC
7.53pm: Loose ends
Here's how the end of the day looked to Kevin MacPhee as well as a round up by our very own Rick Dacey. -- SB
7.52pm: Horecki double knockout
Marcin Horecki has just chipped up to 716,000 following a double knockout with pocket kings. He took out Salvatore Irace and Rasmus Nielsen in one fell swoop, which we believed was to be the final hand of the day. Another one was still in progress. That is to follow shortly. -- RD
7.48pm: Back from break
This shouldn't take, folks. Hold onto your hats.
7.32pm: End of level
We have just 26 players left in the main event. Two more to go before the day ends and it could be a brutal husband and wife axing. Both Helen and Josh Prager are periously short stacked. Back in 15 minutes. -- RD
7.30pm: Irace crippled then partially healed
Salvatore Irace gave Team PokerStars Pro Richard Toth a full double-up to be crippled to 14,000 and then he won the next two pots to recover to around 100,000.
Toth raised to 46,000 from the button and Irace called from the small blind along with the big blind. The flop came 5♣4♦2♦ and the Italian check-called a 46,000 bet (the BB folded). The turn came 4♠ and Irace check-called a 68,000 bet to see the T♥ river where he moved all-in for around 180,000. Toth snap called all-in for 165,000 with T♠T♦ for a full house. Irace could only muster A♥5♦ and was left with only 14,000.
These went in the next hand from the button and Rasmus Nielsen called from the big blind for the extra 2,000 with Q♥7♣. Irace tabled J♠9♣ and got there on the T♣3♦6♣4♥J♣ board.
He was all-in for 40,000 the very next hand after an early position raise to 24,000. Nielsen re-shoved to isolate and it worked to get the hand heads-up. The Dane was ahead again with 9♥9♦ but couldn't stay that way against the Italian's Q♠6♥ through as a queen-high board appeared. -- MC
7.29pm: Bonavena waves bon voyage to another
Salvatore Bonavena is on a heater at the moment and has just knocked out Nicolas Babel. Bonavena opened under-the-gun and was shoved on by Babel in the big blind. Sal Bon made the call.
The flop smashed Bonavena with top two and no two-outer or backdoor draw appeared. -- RD
7.25pm: Christmas presents
7.20pm: No action
Emilliano Bono and Manuel Bevand, who have been sparring a lot of late, saw a Q♥2♠8♦ flop. Bono put out a 24,000 bet, and Bevand sussed something was amiss and folded quickly. Bono showed him the monster K♦Q♦. -- SY
7.13pm: Standing Stancic
The main part of Sasa Stancic's downfall ironically came from him standing up. In a three-bet pot against Denis Kipnis, Stancic faced a 66,000 bet into the 6♥3♦8♦ flop.
'How much you got?' asked Stancic already having been on his feet counting and recounting his stack for a good minute.
Kipnis took out his ear plug and sighed as he gestured to his 240,000 stack.
Maybe he took that exhalation as a sign of weakness, maybe he thought 'if in doubt, shove' but either way Stancic opted for the check-raise all-in. The Russian made the call with T♠T♦ fearing the worst and was somewhat pleasantly surprised to see A♥Q♣. Stancic had to hit. He didn't. He was left with 80,000 and was out moments later. Stancic has €12,500 more in his life while Kipnis and his 700,000 stack still have a shot at the big time. -- RD
7.10pm: Souleiman makes Blain's stack disappear
Jean Sami Souleiman has taken out the last Irishman standing - Dermot Blain. Souleiman raised to 35,000 then called when Blain moved all-in for just under 300,000.
The board ran A♠8♦K♣8♣A♣ to make a full house for the main from Lebanon. A count of the stacks was carried out and Souleiman had 290,000 to Blain's 289,000. -- MC
7pm: So long Fernando
EPT season seven points leader Fernndo Britto has been eliminated. He was taken out by Marco Leonzio moments after the Italian took a chunk out of Rob Hollink. All the chips went in on the flop when it read 3♦9♠6♣. Britto tabled J♦J♣ but he was behind to Leonzio's Q♣Q♦. The K♥7♦ turn and river didn't change anything and we edge ever closer to our final three tables. -- MC
6.55pm: Not so pro Bono
The board was K♥A♣8♣[10h]2♠ and Emilliano Bono had put in a chunky 64,000 bet with around 90,000 in the middle already. The decision was on Manuel Bevand, who went deep into the tank. And there he stayed for around five minutes, eyeing up Bono who was busy playing with his chip stack. Eventually, Bevand made the call, and his K♣J♣ was miles ahead of Bono's whiffy [J]. -- SY
6.52pm: Hollink can't budge Leonzio
Rob Hollink was left wondering whether he would have won this pot should he have pulled the trigger on the turn or river. Marco Leonzio had called a three-bet totalling 108,000 from the Dutchman on a 9♣6♦5♥ flop, with Roberto Romanello translating the bet totals into Italian, but no further bets were laid out on the 8♥ turn or 4♠ river.
Leonzio showed A♦9♥ for top pair, top kicker and took the pot. -- RD
6.46pm: Jan Bendik breaks the million mark
Jan Bendik has just broken the million mark after hitting a nut flush against Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki. Bendik is up to 1,150,000 and Horecki down to 250,000. -- RD
6.40pm: Tres bon for Sal Bon
Team PokerStars Pro Salvatore Bonavena has taken big step towards regaining his crown here in Prague after eliminating Morgan Bauer to move up to 855,000. It was a bit of a cooler as Bauer picked up Q♠Q♥ on the button and Bonavena had A♠K♥ in the small blind.
All the chips went in as you can imagine and the board ran out 7♠8♠J♠2♥5♠. The Italian made a flush on the river to take the lot and send Bauer home in 34th place with €11,000. -- MC
6.30pm: Friendly fire
It started out a friendly hand from the blinds, but by the end of it one player was banging the table with delight while the other was quietly paying a heft bill.
When Melanie Weisner completed in the small blind Emilliano Bono wondered what was up. Why no raise.
"I'm being friendly," joked Weisner. "I like you."
This brought a laugh from Bono who checked for a flop of 2♠7♠K♠ which was checked for a T♦ turn and 6♥ river. At which stage Weisner bet 36,000, much to the irritation of Bono who announced a raise, another 56,000 on top. Weiser wasted no time calling, but was forced to fold when Bono showed 3♠6♠.
Bono's delight was obvious. He banged the table and yelled a few things, then proceeded to explain his thought process to Weisner who did her best not to say anything. Bono up to nearly 500,000 now. - SB
6.20pm: MacPhee busts two, runaway leader
Kevin MacPhee has knocked out Kevin Stani and Paul Knebel in a double whammy that sends him up to 2,350,000 and the monster chip lead. Stani had open-shoved for 240,000, Knebl re-shoved for 470,000 and MacPhee called:
It was a huge three-way all-in, and it looked good for EPT Tallinn winner Stani on the 9♣8♥3♣ flop. The 6♣ turn added a flush draw for Knebel, but the river was A♠ giving the massive 1.2million pot to MacPhee. He whooped in delight, then apologised for his celebration and got up to shake both his victims' hands.
Dare we talk about a double EPT winner? MacPhee is certainly in great shape to repeat his EPT Berlin win as he now has 12 per cent of the chips in play with 34 players left. -- SY
6.19pm: Big pot alert
News has reached us that a monster pot has just taken place, the first hand back after the break no less. Details to come shortly. -- RD
6.10pm: Players return for final push
We have just 12 more players to lose before the day draws to a close. Three tables of eight players will return tomorrow at noon to play down to the final eight and a shot at the €640,000 first prize. -- RD
PokerStars Blog reporting team at EPT Prague (in stages of post-sweet overload): Simon Young (riding the rush), Marc Convey (still bouncing off the walls), Rick Dacey (migraine brewing) and Stephen Bartley (well and truly sugar-crashed). Photos by Neil Stoddart.