EPT Prague: Day 4, level 24, 25 & 26 updates (25,000-50,000, 5,000 ante)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg8.20pm: MacPhee out, final table set
After the hand below left him with around 60,000, Kevin MacPhee managed to triple up with A♠3♦. But next hand he shoved again for 245,000 with 9♠Q♥ and was called instantly by Marco Leonzio with J♠J♣. The board ran 7♥7♠5♦7♣K♥, giving Leonzio the full house and MacPhee the boot.

Marco Leonzio is our chip leader going in to tomorrow's final table, which will begin at noon. A wrap of today's action will be with you shortly.

Here's how they shape up:
Marco Leonzio, 5,075,000
Peter Skripka, 4,010000
Marcin Horecki, Team PokerStars Pro, 3,290,000
Emilliano Bono, 1,530,000
Roberto Romanello, 1,220,000
Roberto Nulli, 745,000
Manuel Bevand, 615,000
Jan Bendik, 445,000

-- SY

8.18pm: For those who choose not to read...
Can't be bothered reading the written wrap of the day's events? Try this for size. -- SB

8.15pm: MacPhee crippled
Kevin MacPhee is down to his last 15,000, not even enough for a small blind, after losing a race with Roberto Nulli. MacPhee open-shoved with 3♠3♣ for 370,000 and was called by Nulli with A♦8♣. Nulli had 355,000 and was at risk, but the flop was an emphatic 7♦7♣A♥, followed by a [10s] turn and K♦ river.

That sent Nulli up to 715,000 and left MacPhee hanging on by a thread. -- SY

8.07pm: That's how it's done
The action folded around to Roberto Romanello on the button and he decided to put maximum pressure on the two short stacks in the blinds (Roberto Nulli and Jan Bendik) by moving all-in. It did the trick as they both folded. "That's how it's done Kevin" Romanello said to Kevin MacPhee.

"That's it? That's how it's done right there" replied MacPhee. -- MC

8pm: Leonzio applying pressure
Roberto Nulli opened for 120,000 and was shoved on by Marco Leonzio in the big blind. Nulli tossed his cards away with contempt and was left with 450,000 after his steal attempt.

Leonzio then raised to 225,000 from the small blind into Peter Skripka's big blind. The Russian passed and Leonzio showed A♦K♥. -- RD

7.45pm: Play resumes
Play is back underway. It could take five minutes or five hours to lose one more. Nobody wants to be the final table bubble boy. -- MC

7.30pm: Something in the water
Some of the players are acting a little strange, led mostly by Roberto Romanello. He said it's boring when nobody talks and we agree. He table antics may be annoying to some but he's getting everybody laughing and chatting so in our mind it's a good thing.

The end of level 25 is upon us so the final nine players are off for a 15 minute break. -- MC

7.25pm: 'Spaghetti!'
Upon finding out there were four Italians at the table Marcin Horecki used the full force of his Italian linguistic skills: 'Spaghetti!' he cried. The debate was over how many there were, three or four.

Marco Leonzio, Emilliano Bono and Roberto Nulli were all obvious card carrying Italians but Roberto Romanello was the player being considered. 'I'm full blood Italian but I was born in Wales,' explained Romanello.

Either way it's the Italians that are winning a lot of the small pots here with Romanello, Nulli and Leonzio (twice) raising and taking pre-flop pots. -- RD

ept prague_day 4_marcin horecki.jpg

Marcin 'Spag bog' Horecki is on the verge of making the final table

7.10pm: Donk lead fails
Peter Skripka just took a chunk of Italian chips. He raised to 100,000 from the button and Roberto Nulli defended from the big blind. The flop came down A♦6♦9♠ and Nuli led for 110,000. Call. The turn came 6♣ and Skripka bet 180,000 when Nuli checked to him. It did the trick as Nuli folded. -- MC

6.57pm: Play resumes
Not much action so far at the baize but there's been plenty just off it with Kevin MacPhee's beer taking a tumble and Roberto Romanello's hat being put on Charlie the dealer - with permission from Thomas Kremser first, of course! -- RD

6.50pm: Seat draw for final nine
A re-draw has taken place for our final players that will stay the same (minus one player) for tomorrow's final. Here's how they line up:

Seat 1. Marco Leonzio - 3,832,000
Seat 2. Peter Skripka - 3,163,000
Seat 3. Roberto Romanello - 1,104,000
Seat 4. Roberto Nulli - 1,087,000
Seat 5. Jan Bendik - 953,000
Seat 6. Emilliano Bono - 1,532,000
Seat 7. Manuel Bevand - 842,000
Seat 8. Kevin MacPhee - 631,000
Seat 9. Marcin Horecki - 3,679,000

6.40pm: Losev loser
Marcin Horecki, the Team PokerStars Pro from Poland, continued his remarkable heater and is now up to around 3.5million. His victim this time was Nikolay Losev, a PokerStars qualifier from Russia, who leaves in tenth for €40,000.

Losev had raised to 95,000 and it was folded around to Horecki in the big blind. He asked how much Losev was playing--about 1.2million--and announced he was all-in. Losev called instantly:

Losev: A♠K♣
Horecki: J♦J♥

Horecki then dodged all the bullets as the board ran 5♠8♦Q♣Q♦9♦.

The two tables have now merged to one final, but not final, table. -- SY


Marcin Horecki

6.32pm: Horecki flips for two million
Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki is up to over two million chips after winning a flip against Kevin MacPhee. MacPhee raised from the button and snap called when Horecki moved all-in from the big blind.

MacPhee: T♥T♣
Horecki: K♣Q♥

MacPhee said that he felt a T♦ but he was left disappointed as the board ran Q♦7♥4♦K♥8♦ to make two-pair for the Pole. MacPhee left with around 680,000 after the hand. -- MC

6.20pm: Ion up the creek without a Pavel
Perfectly slow-played aces by Roberto Nulli has brought Ion Pavel's tournament to an abrupt end. Nulli limped from the small blind and Pavel checked his option. Both checked the 3♣J♦Q♠ flop, and on the 3♠ turn Nulli bet 100,000. Call. On the 8♥ river, Nulli bet another 100,000, Pavel moved all-in, call!

Pavel Q♣8♠
Nulli: A♣A♥

With that, Nulli doubled up to a million and Pavel was left with just 27,000. In the small blind he shoved (not much choice) and doubled up with A♣8♥ against 8♠5♦. Next hand he was all-in again for 62,000, but his Q♥7♣ failed to catch up with Peter Skripka's K♦J♠. We're down to 10. -- SY

6.15pm: Stop and go
Roberto Nulli just pulled off the old stop and go manoeuvre on the other short stack at the table - Ion Pavel. Pavel raised to 81,000 from under-the-gun and Nulli called from the big blind. The flop came 8♥4♥7♦ and Nuli moved all-in for about 700,000. Pavel had 750,000 left and folded. -- MC

6.10pm: Marcin on
Marcin Horecki is up to 1 million chips after four-bet shoving into Jan Bendik. The Team PokerStars Pro had opened for 92,000 and Bendik had three-bet to 205,000. Horecki shove was for just over 800,000, which was too much for the Slovakian to handle. He passed as Horecki continued his comeback. -- RD

5.54pm: End of level
We'll be back in 15 minutes and continue our play down to the final table.

5.53pm: Nulli tripped up
Roberto Nulli kicked this one off with a raise to 75,000 and got a call from Peter Skripka. The flop was J♥J♣6♣ and Skripka check-called Nulli's 50,000 bet. On the 9♠ turn Skripka again checked, but this time check-raised to 250,000 after Nulli made it 100,000. Finally, on the [10s] river Skripka made it 200,000 and Nulli called. The Italian looked rather miffed, throwing his cards into the muck when shown Q♦J♠ for Skripka's trips. -- SY

5.51pm: Squeeze from MacPhee
Kevin MacPhee just added to his stack with a squeeze to 202,000 from the big blind. Marcin Horecki had opened from the hijack for 68,000 and been called by Nikolay Losev in the small blind. Easy way to pick up 150,000. -- RD

5.45pm: Weisner a little wiser
Melanie Weisner should prepare herself to dream of expressions such as "English only!", "About 700," and "Grande, Grande!" tonight. She may also wake up screaming. She just suffered a two pronged attack, a Russian-Italian Axis which culminated in her elimination and her chips forming part of the new chips leader's stack, that of Marco Leonzio.

Leonzio stis with 3,800,000 chips now, the victor of the three-way all in started with a bet of 64,000 from under the gun before Weisner moved all-in. The action reached Peter Skripka in the small blind who also announced all-in. Marco Leonzio looked at his cards, looked up at the sky to say some word in Italian (English only please) before announcing call.

At this point Weisner turned over K♣Q♣ but Ion Pavel was still to act, although he was standing up and was holding his cards infront of him, showing them to everyone behind him before he folded.

His drama complete Leonzio turned over K♦K♥ and Skripka A♠Q♠. "Oh my god," said Weisner, knowing the situation to be desperate.

The board ran 2♣Q♦8♦6♥J♥. Leonzio yelled "Grande, Grande!" Weisner simply packed up her things ready to leave amid a barrage of Italian. Waiting for a lull in the hullaballo she wished them good luck and departed in 12th-place.

Leonzio up to 3,800,000 while Skripka is down to 2,000,000. - SB


Melanie Weisner

5.40pm: Romanello bemoans his luck
Roberto Romanello was still fresh from the MacPhee hand when he doubled up Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki. Romanello opened to 75,000 and quickly called when Horecki shoved for 488,000 from the small blind.

Romanello: T♦T♥
Horecki: A♦A♥

The board ran A♣2♦8♦Q♣3♥ to breathe new life into the Pole. Romanello said he could've had 2.5 million chips but now he's short with around 550,000. -- MC

5.35pm: Romanello wins 2.4 million pot!
Or rather he should have. In a battle of the blinds Roberto Romanello and Kevin MacPhee got in all-in with A♥Q♥ and A♦T♦ respectively. The flop was clear of a ten or queen on the 5♠9♥5♣ flop but a second nine on the turn left both players with three outs not to chop it. A harmless jack fell on the river.

Romanello looked sick to his stomach and MacPhee, well, more than a little relieved. -- RD

5.30pm: Getting bullied
Manuel Bevand's tablemates are still showing no respect to his raises. He just raised to 70,000 from the button but folded when Kevin MacPhee three-bet to 188,000 from the big blind. -- MC

5.25pm: Playing on
A quiet spell on the Italy v Melanie Weisner table. Raise, re-raise and take has been part of the menu, as has the all-in move, practiced by Roberto Nulli. No advances though and we play on with 12 players. - SB

5.15pm: Leonzio ships it
Peter Skripka opened for 70,000 on the button and was called by Marco Leonzio in the small blind and Roberto Nulli in the big blind. The A♣3♦Q♣ flop was checked to Skripka who bet 130,000 and then passed to Leonizo's 900,000 all-in. -- RD

5.10pm: Don't try and bluff Romanello
"You shouldn't try and bluff Romanello", said Romanello to Manuel Bevand after the Frenchman folded. Bevand started the pot with a raise to 70,000 from the cut-off only for the Brit to three-bet to 174,000. Bevand re-applied the pressure with a four-bet to 375,000 but quickly folded when Romanello shoved for around 900,000. -- MC

5pm: Around 700
Three players saw a flop of 5♠3♥9♣ after Melanie Weisner bet 66,000 pre-flop from under-the-gun. First to act was Ion Pavel, who checked, then Weisner, head down, her Burburry iPhone resting on the edge of the table, raised to 150,000, leaving herself 300,000 behind. Emilliano Bono passed sending the action back to Pavel.

Suddenly Roberto Nulli and Marco Leonzio begin talking in Italian and Pavel laughs. The dealer snaps at them, reminding them that there's a hand in progress and that only English is permitted. Nulli looks astonished, shocked, shocked, to be accused of such a thing. He passed.

On the next hand Weisner was in action again this time after Nulli had raised to 66,000 from the button. Weisner was in the small blind and announced that she was all-in.

Nulli paused, then asked how much. Weisner did a rough count and said 680,000.

"Right around seven," repeated the dealer, about the same amount as Nulli had behind.
Another silence followed, broken by Nulli wanting a full count. He then got up, was reminded to sit down again as Weisner's stack was counted out. 724,000 total.

"Right around seven," repeated the dealer.

Nulli leant back, took a sip of water and folded his arms. Finally he folded, Weisner turning over 4♥4♠.

"Ace-nine?" asked Nulli. Weisner laughed and said she had deuces. She plays on. - SB

4.52pm: Action slowing
Things have slowed down on the Bevand/Losev/MacPhee/Romanello/Horecki/Bendik table with a series of raise and takes.

1) Romanello opens button for 75,000 and wins.
2) Romanello opens hijack for 73,000 and wins.
3) Horecki shoves the button and wins.
4) Bendik opens cut-off for 75,000 and wins.

These are stressful times and no-one want to make a major mistake so close to the final table and €640,000 first place prize. -- RD

4.40pm: Bono a menace for Denis
Emilliano Bono, the hanky on his head wearing Italian, has eliminated PokerStars qualifier Denis Kipnis. Kipnis raised to 60,000 and then four-bet shoved for around 700,000 when Bono three-bet to 206,000. Bono snap called with A♣A♦, way ahead of the Russian's K♦Q♠. The board ran A♥5♥7♦Q♦6♥ sending the Italian into his usual frenzied celebrations. -- MC

4.35pm: Moving pictures...
Amazing thing, technology.

4.30pm: Play is...
... about to start in level 24.

4.25pm: Numbers
Still in are a potential double winner in Kevin MacPhee and a Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki. Just 13 players remain.

Action on Day 4.jpg
Chips in action on Day 4

PokerStars Blog reporting team in Prague (as played by): Simon Young (Timothy Spall), Rick Dacey (Matthew Modine), Marc Convey (Terry Tibbs) and Stephen Bartley (Sir John Mills).

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in European Poker Tour