EPT Prague: Final table, level 28 & 29 updates (blinds 50,000-100,000, ante 10,000)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg5.13pm: End of the level
That's the end of level 29. There is now a 15-minute break. -- SY

5.12pm: Pro Bono
Emilliano Bono opened for 375,000 and Peter Skripka moved a stack of black chips into the middle, a raise to 2,000,000. I don't usually use exclamation marks but Bono, throwing protocol to the wind, yelled: "All-in! Yes!" and turned over K♣K♥.

Out came the black cloth, his little affectation, placed squarely on his head and patted down like a chimp would performing a circus trick. Skripka had called. Marcin Horecki, who had left for the break, came running back to watch.

The flop came 5♥3♣T♦. All the while Bono was calling for a king. "King! King!" A turn T♥, a river 6♦.

Bono let out a howl, turning to friends on the rail and screaming, veins bulging in his neck, face turning red. I imagine the same thing happens in chess, and in Bridge matches. Bono then shouted something at Skripka who said nothing and continued to count out the 2,545,000 chips this hand had just cost him. He's down to 2,285,000. Bono though rockets up to 5,180,000. -- SB

emilliano_bono_ept_prague_ft.JPG

Emilliano Bono can hardly watch...

emilliano_bono_ept_prague_ft1.JPG

... then celebrates his success

5.10pm: Later, later
"Later," said Emilliano Bono with anger in his eyes as he passed to a 400,000 Peter Skripka bet on a 6♠2♠Q♠8♦ board. Skripka had opened for 250,000 and was called by Emilliano Bono in the big blind before both players had checked the flop.

"Later you have no more chips," replied Skripka with a brilliant level of Russian disdain in his voice. -- RD

5.09pm: Seven high no good
There was no small blind the hand after the elimination so when Marcin Horecki raised it was into the sole big blind of Peter Skripka. The Russian defended to see the 2♥8♦Q♥ flop where he check-called a 235,000 continuation bet. Both players checked down the 3♦K♥ turn and river before Horecki announced: "Seven high," and flashed 7♦. Skripka tabled 9♠9♥ and took the pot. -- MC

5.05pm: So long Leonzio
It took four hours and nine minutes but we've finally had another elimination. Fifth-place finisher today is Marco Leonzio, the chip leader coming into the day, who was just dispatched by Roberto Romanello.

In truth Leonzio's day had effectively come to the end of its natural life when he was left with a little more than a big blind after his run-in with Marcin Horecki. Now he moved in with J♣3♠ behind a raise by Peter Skripka, and a re-raise by Roberto Romanello. Romanello took their side pot and turned over Q♦4♦ with which to deal the hammer blow to Leonzio.

The board ran 8♣4♠7♦6♠2♦. Leonzio out in fifth place. Romanello up to more than 6,000,000. -- SB

5pm: Leonzio granted a stay of execution
Marco Leonzio was down to fumes with just over one big blind to his name and incredulously folded with 50,000 of his 130,000 stack invested in the small blind after Marcin Horecki limped the button. Horecki won that pot with a 100,000 bet into Peter Skripka's big blind on the A♦A♥T♥ flop.

Leonzio stuck in his last 70,000 from the button and was called by Skripka in the big blind. The dealer pulled the chips in and was about to deal the flop when Roberto Romanello said: 'I haven't said check,' and started chopping out a 275,000 raise. Skrika let his frustration show and open folded K♦Q♠.

Romanello: A♦9♠
Leonzio: Q♠3♠

Leonzio was on the verge of his exit with the board set at 4♥3♥6♥9♦ but the Q♥ on the river tripled the short stack up to 260,000. Expect someone to kill him off with a metaphorical shovel shortly. -- RD

marco_leonzio_ept_pragueft.JPG

Marco Leonzio

4.55pm: Horecki doubles to cripple Leonzio
Marco Leonzio is the short stack with 130,000 after doubling up Marcin Horecki. The action folded to the in the small blind and he open shoved for just over 1.85 million. Leonzio looked down at Q♦J♣ and snap called. Horecki's eyes almost popped out of his head when he saw what the Italian called with. He was ahead with A♠3♦ and stayed that way through the 6♦9♣2♦2♥8♣ board. -- MC

4.50pm: From the blinds
A flop of A♣4♥8♠ and a hand that at first looked likely to fizzle out. Peter Skripka in the small blind checked as did Roberto Romanello in the big blind. On the 8♥ turn Skripka checked to Romanello who bet 100,000. Skripka then raised to 375,000 which Romanello called.

On the 7♦ river both players checked, Skripka showing 4♣4♦ to win the pot. Romanello folded an ace. -- SB

4.45pm: Romanello gaining momentum
Following an un-called shove from Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki, Roberto Romanello has won three pots in a row. It started with a three-bet to 650,000 which knocked Peter Skripka off his button raise and then it was a matter of two simple raise and takes. The three pots added 850,000 to Romanello's stack and he must be on around 6 million now. -- RD

roberto_romanello_ept_pragueft1.JPG

Roberto Romanello

4.40pm: All-in is the popular move
There's so much in the middle now that the players are upping their aggression. The action folded around to Marco Leonzio in the small blind and he put in a raise to 350,000 but ran to the Tuscan hills when Peter Skripka moved all-in for just under 2.5 million chips. -- MC

4.35pm: Ten minutes
A ten-minute period featuring very little you'd call a highlight. Marcin Horecki moved all-in. Peter Skripka made the necessary requests for a full count and then promptly folded.

Emilliano Bono and Roberto Romanello saw a flop of J♠3♥A♠ but that was it. Bono bet to win a small pot. -- SB

4.25pm: Three-bet from Skripka
Peter Skripka just pushed Emilliano Bono off a 255,000 open with a three-bet to 750,000. The Italian looked like he might move in but after a count of Skripka's stack he opted to pass. -- RD

4.20pm: Italian flavour
Emilliano Bono and Marco Leonzio haven't played that many hands against each other today so it was nice to see one play out. Bono opened to 325,000 from the cut-off and Leonzio called from the small blind to go to a 7♦J♥9♠ flop. The action went check-check to bring an 8♦ turn. Bono quickly check-called a 350,000 bet to go to the 5♣ turn where he check-folded to a 500,000 bet. -- MC

4.15pm: In the Skripka
Peter Skripka opened for 250,000 from under the gun which was called by Marco Leonzio in the big blind. The flop came 3♥2♦K♣ which both checked for an A♣ turn. Leonzio checked to Skripka who bet 250,000. Leonzio called for a J♥ river which again Leonzio checked. Skripka then bet 725,000 forcing the fold from the Italian. -- SB

4.09pm: Please stop saying that
Roberto Romanello is playing some great poker and giving some entertaining chat but is letting himself down by insisting on talking about himself in the third person. Why, oh why, Roberto?

"I said earlier 'don't bluff the Romanello' but you do it anyway," said Romanello after calling Peter Skripka's 150,00 bet on the river of a K♣2♣Q♥8♥K♥ board, flashing a 7♥ after Skripka insta-mucked his hand. -- RD

4.03pm: Thanks, boss
Play was just stopped on every tournament so that the dealers could give their boss, Thomas Kremser, a Christmas present. I am still waiting for my blogging staff to buy me a present, although Rick Dacey offered me a two-day-old cookie. -- SY

4pm: First hand back
The average stack is only 33 big blinds deep now so this level should throw up more action than the last.

The first hand back saw Roberto Romanello raise to 315,000 from first position and Emilliano Bono called from the next seat. Heads-up to the 7♥9♠3♦ flop where Romanello continued with a 430,000 bet. Bono thought for a while and stared at his opponent before mucking. -- MC

3.55pm: Off again
Play has restarted. Blinds are now up to 50,000-100,000 with a 10,000 ante. -- SY

3.38pm: Level up
That's the end of the level. There will now be a 15-minute break. -- SY

3.35pm: Raise and take
Emilliano Bono has added 320,000 to his stack just by raising and taking the blinds and antes twice. The action folded around to him in the small blind and he raised it up to 180,000 and Marcin Horecki folded from the big blind. The next hand saw Marco Leonzio get a walk before Bono raised to 230,000 from the cut-off in the hand after. Peter Skripka was in the big blind and folded. -- MC

3.32pm: Horecki in shove-fold move
After that loss to Peter Skripka's jacks Marcin Horecki is now the player in shove-fold mode. Skripka opened for 180,000 and Horecki shoved all-in to claw some of his chips back. -- RD

marcin_horecki_ept_prgaue_ft1.JPG

Marcin Horecki

3.30pm: Three to the flop
Marco Leonizo opened for 165,000 from the button and was called by Skripka in the small blind and Roberto Romanello in the big blind. Skripka led for 200,000 into the 6♠9♣3♦ flop folding both of the other players out. -- RD

3.28pm: Lesson learned
Marcin Horecki opened for 165,000 and Peter Skripka moved all-in. "Every time you raise he moved all in," said Romanello to Horecki with a small amount of frustration. "It happens every time."

Horecki said nothing. Romanello checked his own cards, asked how much the all-in was for--1,275,000--and passed. Horecki called.

J♦J♣ for Skripka, A♣T♣ for Horecki.

"An ace is coming," said Skripka. "Today I am unlucky."

Not too unlucky. The board ran T♥6♠5♠7♥Q♥. A vital double up for Skripka to 2,500,000 but Horecki falls to 2,100,000. -- SB

3.25pm: Small one for Leonzio
Marco Leonzio took a small pot off Peter Skripka in a battle of the blinds. The action folded around to the Italian in the small blind and he completed before the Russian checked his option. The flop came down T♣8♥9♣ and both men checked to the 6♦ turn.

"No, no, no, my friend," said Skripka trying to stop Leonzio from betting. But it didn't work as Leonzio led for 125,000. Call. The river came A♠ and both players checked. Leonzio tabled 9♦8♣ for two-pair and took the pot as Skripka folded. -- MC

3.20pm: You got ace-king?
Roberto Romanello opened for 255,000 and Emilliano Bono three-bet from the button to 630,000.

"You want to gamble? You got ace-king?" asked Romanello.
"I got two cards," replied Bono, who has 2.5 million behind.

Romanello passed as Bono moved up to 3.4 million. -- RD

3.15pm: Skripka picks up a vital pot
Peter Skripka is the short stack at the final table but he's trying really hard not to be. Marcin Horecki opened for 165,000, Skripka moved all-in for 1.23 million and the Russian picked up 300,000 by taking the raise and blinds. -- RD

peter_skripka_ept_prague.JPG

Peter Skripka

3.10pm: Romanello giving out lessons
Roberto Romanello is handing out lessons in poker to his tablemates. First he did it with his actions and then with his tongue. Peter Skripka raised to 200,000 from the cut-off but folded, flashing A♠, when Romanello three-bet to 600,000.

The very next hand Marco Leonzio was in the big blind and when it was Romanello's
turn to act he said to Leonzio: "See. Are you paying attention, my friend? This is how you fold. You never fold when it's my big blind."

"What about me?" jumped in Emilliano Bono. "You always raise my big blind."

"That's because we're Napoli-Roma," responded Romanello.

The hand ended and Romanello continued to talk to Leonzio in Italian and then translated. "I said to him that he has to learn to fold if he wants to become a good player". -- MC

3.05pm: Ahead or behind?
Peter Skripka moved all in (all bar 25,000) from the small blind for a million. Romanello was in the big blind and said: "Let's see if the first one is good." It was, he said. A king. He then picked up the cards and held them closer to his face, ready to squeeze.

"If it's better than king-ten," he said, "I'll call."

Skripka wanted to look, too, and said something that made Romanello think he was already ahead. "This might be winning already," he said.

After some more chat, and Skripka insistence that Romanello call, the Welshman had a change of heart.

"OK, now I think I'm losing," he said. Romanello then mucked his K♠4♠. Skripka showed 3♠3♣. -- SB

3pm: Slowing
There's been no major confrontations since the Royal Flush. Here's a quick snippet of the last few hands.

1. Roberto Romanello opens for 205,000 from the cut-off and takes the blinds.
2. Marco Leonzio three-bets Marcin Horecki off a button raise.
3. Peter Skripka shoves from the small blind and Romanello folds 2♣7♥ face up.
4. Romanello raises to 225,000 from the small blind into Emilliano Bono's big blind and takes the pot.

Fifth-place finisher before the end of the level? -- RD

2.50pm: Royalty makes an appearance
A novelty hand at the final table with a royal flush making an appearance. Peter Skripka opened for 200,000 from the button which Roberto Romanello called from the small blind. Emilliano Bono also called in the big blind for a flop of K♦T♦A♦.

All three players checked for a Q♦ on the turn. Romanello checked while Bono bet 225,000. Skripka called while Romanello folded.

The river came 4♦. A flush for everyone but when Bono bet 450,000 Skripka tanked. "Do you have a diamond?" he would ask. But Bono sat still, idly passing the time looking innocent. Skripka called. "Yes, royal!" shouted Bono, who showed the J♦ then turned and beamed at his friends on the rail, celebrating like it was a reflection on all of his effort. For his part Skripka folded 9♦.

Bono up to 3,000,000 while Skripka falls to 1,500,000. - SB

royal_flush_board_ept_prague.JPG

The Royal Flush board

2.35pm: Romanello opens two pots, loses both
Roberto Romanello is trying to run the show here but things aren't quite working out for him at the moment. He's opened the last two pots and lost both. A button raise to 205,000 was three-bet to 505,000 from Marcin Horecki in the big blind. Romanello passed.

The next hand Romanello opened for 230,000 from the cut-off, was called by Marco Leonzio in the big blind and folded to a 250,000 donk bet on the T♦3♠T♠ flop. -- RD

2.20pm: The final five
The players are returning from the break and all have a decent shot at winning their first EPT title and €640,000.

Seat 1. Marco Leonzio - 3,925,000
Seat 2. Peter Skripka, PokerStars Player - 2,880,000
Seat 3. Roberto Romanello - 5,085,000
Seat 4. Emilliano Bono - 1,595,000
Seat 5. Marcin Horecki, Team PokerStars Pro - 3,445,000

ept prague_day 5_bottles.jpg

What awaits the winner here in snowy Prague


PokerStars Blog reporting team at EPT Prague (in order of baguettes dropped) : Simon 'Sure hands' Young (none), Stephen 'Baguette catcher' Bartley (none), Marc 'Cheese dropper' Convey (one) and Rick 'Ham blunderer' Dacey (also one). Photos by Neil Stoddart.

Rick Dacey
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour