EPT San Remo: Day 3, levels 16 & 17 updates (3,000-6,000, 500 ante)
3.30pm: Ruthenberg out
See below. This was the next logical step. He doubled up once with Q-J but then his K♦Q♦ couldn't beat A♣6♠. We lose a former EPT champion. -- HS
3.25pm: Trouble for Ruthenberg
Sebastian Ruthenberg is very close to elimination, down to 45,000. He lost pretty much 90 percent of his stack against Nick Schulman in a hand that played out like this: Schulman raised to 15,000 under-the-gun and Alessandro Gabriele called from two seats to Schulman's left. Ruthenberg three-bet on the button, making it 52,000 and then in a flash, Schulman four-bet, Ruthenberg shoved and Schulman called. (Gabriele got out the way at the first opportunity.)
So it was a flip, but this time it favoured the New Yorker over the Team PokerStars Pro. The first three cards out were A♥J♣J♠, followed by 3♠7♠. Ruthenberg is going to need a miracle. -- HS
3.25pm: Team Pro table
Of the Team PokerStars Pros still in this event, three are now sharing the same table. Seat one is Thomas Bichon from France (155,000), seat seven is fellow Frenchman Arnaud Mattern (78,000), and on his left is Jason Mercier (205,000). Keep it friendly, boys. -- SY
3.20pm: Battisti run
Alfio Battisti, the Team PokerStars Online player from Italy, doubled up with sevens against A-2 - and then knocked out Biagio Morciano on the next hand when he found aces against pocket jacks. He's now up to 200,000. -- SY
3.17pm: Video time
Press the little white triangle and enjoy the intro to the day...
3.15pm: Baekke down
Allan Baekke is down some chips after doubling-up compatriot Jensen Frederik Brink. Baekke raised from the hijack with 6♦6♠ and then called the 78,500 push from Bink with K♣8♠ from the small blind. The board came J♣T♥Q♥A♣ to make a straight for Bink. Baekke on 270,000. --MC
3.10pm: Serok doubles
Joe Serok has a big smile on his face and that's because he's just doubled-up in fortunate circumstances. He three-bet shoved for 134,500 from the big blind after the player on the button raised. The button called with Q♥Q♦, in great shape against the American's A♠Q♣. The board ran 2♦A♥T♠2♠4♠ to catch Serok's ace. --MC
3.05pm: Winners so far
It's a full time occupation tracking the bust outs from this tournament so far. The line at the payout table is as if they're giving out free gelato to the fourth grade. Nevertheless, someone has done their best to keep tabs on all those fallers so far. You'll find the spoils of their labour on the prizewinners page. (Any errors will be amended as and when they're pedantically indicated by someone else.)
We've lost ElkY in the past few hands, by the way. -- HS
3pm: What's going on?
"What's going on?" This was our German colleague, usually a portrait of calm, asking why suddenly there was no room to move in the tournament room. I didn't know.
With sixty players gone so far today those eliminated have nowhere to go. Many local players, having cash unexpectedly, hang around, denied a chair but not yet realising that their license access to the tournament floor is now revoked. The result was lines of players weaving between tables.
When one player, 3702 began to complain, waving his hands around in the prayer position, action was taken, although some people took some persuading. For bolstering the crowd were 300 players on a break from the side event looking for something to do.
That's what's going on. Sixty players gone so far. - SB.
2.45pm: A few snippets of information for you
2.35pm: Nacho out
Nacho Barbero is out. Igor Kurganov raised to 10,000 and Barbero pushed for around 50,000. Tobias Huber called and Kurganov folded.
The board ran K♥[10d][10c]7♠8♣ and the Team PokerStars Pro from Argentina was out. -- SY
2.25pm: Thorson lite
On a flop of 9♠7♣3♥ James Dempsey and Jens Thorson enjoyed
a little dust up.
Thorson checked from the small blind and Dempsey bet a little
more than 20,000, which Thorson called. The turn came K♣. Now Thorson bet
32,500. Dempsey was specific in looking over at Thorson, whose face was hidden
by giant yellow rimmed sunglasses, the rest of him hunched in the classic
Thorson position his older brother William usually adopts - arms around his
stack, guarding it from all sides. Call.
The river came a 5♠. Thorson checked and Dempsey again wanted
to look directly into the soul of Thorson, asking the dealer to lean back.
Satisfied, Dempsey checked. Thorson showed 9♣T♠. Dempsey winced. Was he
beaten? No, he turned over T♦T♥ but rued the check on the end. He's up
though while Thorson hovers around the 700,000 mark. - SB.
2.15pm: Ainsworth busto
Team PokerStars Pro Jude Ainsworth is one of the flurry of players to make his exit post bubble. Papesch Domi opened the pot with a raise to 10,000, Ainsworth then three-bet to 28,000 from two seats along. Domi four-bet to 55,000 and then called the Irishman's five-bet all-in for around 200,000. Ainsworth tabled ace-five but was dominated by Domi's big slick. The three-outer failed to come and that was that. --MC
2.05pm: Catching up
A few post-bubble bullet points:
The board came J♠[10s]5♠8♥6♥ and like a bouncing ball, Boutboul was out. -- HS
After the tension of the bubble period, players have been given a 15-minute break - then return to finish the level and play through level 17. -- SY
1.45pm: The survivor
Of the three tables with all-in and calls on the bubble, the only at-risk player to survive was Tobias Huber from Germany. He had pocket queens and, after some frantic raising/re-raising action, he called an all in from Angelo Mangione.
Mangione clearly hoped he could push Huber of his hand - the Italian showed the rather feeble K♥6♣!
The board ran [10d]8♦6♠7♠3♥ and Huber duly doubled up to 290,000. -- SY
1.37pm: Bubble burst Mk II
The third all in was between Cole Robinson, of the USA, and Michael Piper of the UK. This hand was at the flop before all the chips went in, and the two players were deep in conversation about the hand after the long, long delay for it to be played to conclusion.
Pre-flop, Robinson had raised from mid-position and Piper called from the small blind. It was just the two of them to the flop of [10c]8♥A♣. Piper bet small and Robinson moved all in. Piper snap-called, but they weren't allowed to show their hands until the tournament staff arrived. At least not officially.
Piper had told Robinson that he had pocket aces and had flopped top set. Robinson had: "Ten eight, but with the eight of clubs."
When Thomas Kremser was finally able to make his way over, they revealed their hands "officially". Neither had been lying. Piper showed: A♥A♠, Robinson: [10h]8♣. Piper had Robinson covered in both chips and cards and the Q♦ turn ended it. The river [10d] actually filled Robinson's boat, but also made a bigger full house for Piper.
That, then, was the end of a tortuous bubble period. We're down to 184 and they will now fly out the door. -- HS
1.30pm: Bubble elimination 1 gives Karlsson chip lead
An all-in and a call on the bubble. Rainer Meyer was all-in on the button with A♦7♠ against Jakob Karlsson with Q♠Q♣. After the required wait for all other hands to finish, and for a thousand people to arrive from out of nowhere to watch, the flop was dealt K♦T♦2♥.
Domenico Iannone, not in the hand, was on the phone at this point passing on news that the bubble was about to burst. The turn came J♠ giving Meyer outs. But the river was the 2♣. Karlsson sends Meyer to the rail.
Karlsson ended the hand with about 960,000, which is the tournament chip lead. -- SB
1.20pm: Bubble bursts....nearly
A rail three deep gathered to see the showdown between Vittorio Fiume and Miltiadis Kyriakidea. One Italian camera man was so keen to capture the moment he found a wheelchair to stand on so he could film over the crowd. Fiume was the player at risk as his 90,500 stack was covered by Kyriakidea. Showdown:
The Cypriot needed to hit a three-outer to burst the bubble. The flop came 2♠A♠8♦ to cheers from some and groans from the Italian press. Fiume only had one out now to stay alive and it didn't come on the Q♠ turn. Fiume seemed resigned to his fate but got the shock of his life when the river came K♠! The one-outer fell and there was near pandemonium at the events that just unfolded. The bubble continues. --MC
1pm: Jensen busts; bubble here
To combat the blatant stalling tactics being employed by numerous players, the tournament director Thomas Kremser has announced that we'll be playing hand-for-hand until we lose two players instead of just one - ie, we're starting now, with 186 players left.
On the very first hand of the hand-for-hand period, Joe Serock raised to 10,000 and Brian Jensen moved all in for about 12,000 more. It was folded back to Serock and he made what was a mandatory call. Serock "only" had J♥5♥ and he was up against Jensen's J♠J♣. It would need to be brutal to get rid of Jensen here.
But brutal it was. After a massive crowd gathered, they watched the dealer expose the flop: 7♥Q♥K♥. The turn and river of 3♥6♥ was just rubbing it in. Jensen departed in 186th place - two off the money. -- HS
12.55pm: Elk hunting
Two big hands for Bertrand Grospellier and fans of the Elkster should brace themselves. It wasn't all good.
On a flop of 5♠T♠8♠ and 100,000 in the pot ElkY made it 51,000 from the small blind. Canio Pietrapertosa had the decision to make and called for a 7♥ turn, leaving himself about 100k behind. ElkY checked the turn, as did Pietrapertosa for a 9♣ river. Here ElkY fumbled around for a bet of 305,000, easily covering Pietrapertosa who sat thinking, looking at his cards every once in a while. He passed. ElkY up.
Then ElkY down.
On a flop of 7♥6♣J♥ Kadir Karabulut bet 16,000 form the big blind before ElkY raised to 44,000 on the button. Karablut called for a Q♥ turn card. Now Karabulut moved all-in. ElkY asked for a count of Karabulut's chips which were all over the place. It was 296,000 to call.
ElkY tilted his head to the right and looked down at his stack as Karabulut waited, leaning back with his arms crossed. ElkY called. Cue gasps.
Karabulut showed K♥9♥. ElkY visibly winced as he could only show 6♦6♠. Karabulut banged on the table twice. ElkY immediately picked up a bottle of water and left the room. He's down but not out, reduced though to 220,000. Karabulut has more than 600,000. -- SB.
12.50pm: No no Nittolo
Dario Nittolo who wears a giant pair of "comedy" Elvis sunglasses as he plays and also, rather worryingly, has a megaphone next to his stack, just doubled up Jason Mercier. On a board of 2♠9♠A♥A♠6♣ the money had gone in on the turn, Mercier showing 6♠7♠ to Elvis's ace-ten. Mercier up to 300,000. -- SB.
12.45pm: Bubble up I
Bart Brice was the short stack on ElkY's table, but he's certainly not stalling. He's been all in twice and has double up once: his A♥Q♣ was called by Kadir Karabulut's K♣9♦. The board ran 4♣7♦5♠A♣2♣ to put Brice up to about 50,000. Karabulut still has more than 200,000. -- HS
As the bubble appears, several players are employing time-honoured delaying tactics to make sure it's not them who is sent scuttling out without any cash. Michael Sebban, starting with 40,000, has had the clock called on him at least twice in the opening orbit - both times, he allowed it to run all the way down before his hand was declared dead.
It was not good news for that table's big-stack, Paul Pires-Trigo, who has been given a one-round penalty from an early incident. Pires-Trigo raised from under-the-gun and Cristian Tardea shoved from two seats to his left, for about 135,500. The action still had to make its way through three players - one of whom was Sebban - and so Pires-Trigo got up from the table and went to fetch a glass of water instead of waiting around for the inevitable stall.
Pires-Trigo's hand was declared dead the minute he got up, and as he might have expected, it took a good few minutes to end the hand, with the clock again being called on Sebban. However, Pires-Trigo's actions were declared to be affecting later action and he was given the penalty. It's going to be a long round to watch from the rail. -- HS
12.25pm: Slow-rolled out of there
Kelly Kim was seen walking out if the tournament looking very disgruntled. He was obviously feeling this way because he just missed the money but the way he went out made it all the more painful.
Chip leader Dmitry Stelmak raised from under-the-gun before Antonio Maranzano three-bet from two seats along. Kim then jammed from another two seats further along. Stelmak passed before the Italian asked for a count of Kim's stack. He got his answer and then called with pocket aces! Kim tabled pocket kings and failed to improve. --MC
12.20pm: Madness begins
As predicted, there is no slowing down. Six players are out in the first few minutes, including Peter Krikkay from Hungary (jacks into queens) and Cesar Pimenta Caio from Brazil who had queens but got overtaken by A-K suited. -- SY
At the start of play, Thomas Kremser announced that we would be playing five 75-minute levels, no matter how many players remain. That means a finish at around 7.30pm. -- HS
12pm: Patience, patience
It's noon, but play has not started yet. This is entirely consistent with the Italian way of life - it will happen when it happens, not a moment before.
We've got 194 players filing in to the room, ready to pay blinds of 2,500-5,000 with a 500 ante. Once we get down to 184 we're in the money.
To ensure you're all nice and relaxed before the inevitable carnage begins, here's a picture of a man who appears to have no limbs below his chest (I hope he does, or I'll feel bad). -- SY
PokerStars Blog reporting team in order of
hangover 'tiredness': Simon Young, Marc Convey, Stephen Bartley, Howard Swains.