EPT San Remo: Levels 5 & 6 live updates (200-400, 50 ante)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg7pm: Level over
That's the end of that. Half the field are now heading off for their dinner break, leaving us and the other half to enjoy level seven.

6.55pm: Debutants
Elena Ichim's debut in the colours of Team PokerStars Pro did not last long. She is currently in the bar area talking to Salvatore Giovanni. Had Ichim have stuck around, she would have wound up sitting beside another new member of the team: the Czech player Martin Hruby.

He is also making his debut on the famous livery and is faring well. He has about 50,000. -- HS

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Martin Hruby

6.50pm: Calo calls
Frank Calo opened for 1,050 in early position which Kristoffer Thorsson raised to 3,000 from the cut off. The blinds got out of the way and Calo called for a flop of 4♣5♠3♥.

Calo then checked before Thorsson made it another 3,000 to play. Calo called for a 5♣ turn which both checked for a K♠ river. Again Calo checked and Thorsson bet 7,000. But Calo didn't take long to call, showing A♣K♣ to Thorsson's K♥T♠, to take his stack to close to 70,000. Thorsson is down to 15,500. -- SB

6.40pm: Axe falls on Milhomens
It's hard to see the wood from the trees in terms of pros at Stefan Mattsson's table but things are a little clearer after he eliminated one pro in Rui Milhomens. The flop was out as 3♠9♠6♥ before all the chips went in. Milhomens was in all sorts of trouble with A♣K♠ as the Swede tabled 3♥3♣ for a set. The turn A♦ and river 5♦ passed and Milhomens shook Mattsson's hand before leaving. Mattsson up to 61,000. --MC

6.30pm: Baekke hot
Allan Baekke is keeping up his form after winning EPT Snowfest. He's up to 53,000 now after betting 5,600 at a [10c]4♥8♥K♣7♠ and forcing a reluctant fold from Stefan Mattsson. -- SY

6.25pm: Isabelle massage
Isabelle Mercier is going along quietly, on around 38,000. She's having a pretty long massage right now. -- SY

6.15pm: Shoving
There were two big shoves on neighbouring tables. On the first, there were three players (Leonid Bilokur, Peter Hedlund and Kati Jerney), a pot of about 3,000 and this flop: Q♠3♥9♥. After Bilokur and Hedlund checked, Jerney, who was the last woman standing here last year, moved all in for about 16,800. Bilokur tank-folded; Hedlund insta-folded. The result was the same.

Next door, the board was all the way out to the river: 8♦4♥7♠K♣[10h] and there was about 13,000 in this pot. Antonio Caldeira bet 6,100 and Darren Elias shoved for 26,000. Caldeira dwelled a while but then called all in, but was out the door soon after. Caldeira showed 8♣8♠ and that was better than Elias' K♠J♠. -- HS

6.10pm: So far so good
We don't normally see top American pro Erik Lindgren on the EPT but he must've heard of the value of playing in certain tournaments this side of the Atlantic. So far this trip is working well as he just won a pot to creep over the 50,000 mark.

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Erik Lindgren

Mikhail Timoshin raised to 1,000 from early position and was called before Lindgren three-bet to 4,000 from the small blind. Timoshin was the only caller to the 8♦5♥8♠ flop where he also called Lindgren's 5,000 c-bet. Both players checked the T♦ turn and Lindgren took the pot down with a 15,000 bet on the 4♠ river.

6.05pm: The Dario show
A good old fashioned Dario Minieri escapade, one featuring a little drama, some suspense and of course a bucket full of chips.

American Frank Rusnak started it off, making it 725 pre-flop. Minieri, lurking in the big blind, then raised to 3,450. The action was back on Rusnak who called for a flop of Q♣5♣5♠.

Minieri paused a second, no doubt for effect, and then bet 4,425, using both hands. Rusnak called for a T♥ turn. Again, using two hands - the poker equivalent of firing from the hip with both pistols - Minieri made it 9,350 before staring blindly ahead, his hand back to riffling chips like a champion. Rusnak called.

On the Q♦ river the momentum suddenly swung from Minieri. He checked this time, leaving it to Rusnak to make the running. By now players from surrounding tables had sprung up to watch including a very short one who pushed his way to the front. Each was trying to piece together what had already happened and what they'd missed. Rusnak bet 15,000 and waited for his opponent to react.

Minieri made a gesture with his hands, like you would if you were peeking through curtains or doing breaststroke in a miniature swimming pool. He wanted to see what Rusnak had behind - 30,000 or so.

This though is Minieri country and the TV cameras flocked over. Minieri was no longer sitting still, he was animated now, slightly pink and asking the dealer to spread the chips already in the middle. Minieri had 65,000 left of his own. He looked at Rusnak, Rusnak looked at Minieri's chips.

"Ace queen?" asked Minieri, now dealing with the last remnants of hope. Rusnak said nothing and someone called the clock. Minieri grinned and then passed. Rusnak started stacking his chips.

"Don't show?" asked Minieri, again to a wall of silence. He's down to 64,000 while Rusnak leaps towards the chip lead with 90,000. -- SB.

5.55pm: Fallers
William Thorson and Martin Wendt are both out. Joao Barbosa, however, is still in, despite his name appearing on the published list of eliminated players. -- HS

5.55pm: Thorsson confuses Nardone, Nardone confuses Thorsson
After an early position raise, Alessio Nardone three bet to 2,800. Kristoffer Thorsson four bet from the small blind, making it 7,200 and it was folded back to Nardone, who went into the tank. "You have ace-ace?" Nardone said, perhaps revealing that he hasn't played too much with the young Swedish tyro, whose four-betting range is somewhat wider.

Thorsson did not reply and so Nardone called anyway. The two of them saw a flop of J♦6♣K♦. Thorsson checked, Nardone bet 600 and Thorsson called. The turn was 3♣ and Thorsson led at it for 1,100. Nardone called. The river was 9♠ and then they both checked. (It was kind of obvious by this point that neither had any clue what the other player had - the bet sizes had been very peculiar.)

Nardone showed A♦K♠ and Thorsson mucked, a tacit admission that he didn't have those aces. -- HS

LEVEL UP. BLINDS 200-400, 50 ANTE IN LEVEL SIX


5.50pm: More for Dario
Minieri made it 800 pre-flop and got two callers in the shape of Peter Gelencser in the cut-off and Cristiano Guerra from the big blind. On the 7♣7♦3♠ flop Guerra checked and Minieri wasted no time in putting out a 1,625 continuation bet. That was good for the pot. -- SY

5.45pm: Baekke lets it go
Rui Milhomens, Erik Lingdren and Allan Baekke checked a 9♥J♥6♦ flop. On the 2♥ turn Milhomens made it 1,600 and only Baekke called. On the Q♣ river Milhomens stepped up the pressure with a 7,250 bet - and that was good enough to get Baekke out of the way.

Baekke, who won EPT Snowfest only a few weeks ago, is rolling along nicely with around 43,000. Lingdren has 38,000 -- SY

5.40pm: Consolidation
Andrew Scott told the blog in the break that his tournament was going well and his table wasn't too difficult except for a player to his right who was giving him all sorts of trouble with a big stack. The player in question is Philip Wiszowaty and he's just caused more pain to Mr Scott. Both saw a 7♥4♦Q♠ flop and Wiszowaty led out only to be raised to 5,500 by Scott. Wiszowaty had an answer to this and it involved raising again to 14,000. Scott counted how much he had left (43,000), shrugged his shoulders and folded. Wiszowaty tabled T♣T♠ before re-stacking his chips that now value 75,000. --MC

5.35pm: Thorson clinging on
William Thorson doesn't have a massive number of chips, but he can still force a fold with a well-judged all in shove. The board was 5♦8♣7♣ and Nicola Antonucci bet 2,125. Thorson shoved for another 4,100 on top and Antonucci folded.

"Two clubs?" came the interrogation.
"One club," said Thorson and rescued his cards from the muck: K♣K♥. -- HS

5.34pm: 2010 EPT Champs
Allan Baeke and Anton Wigg are reigning EPT champions in Austria and Denmark from this calendar year and both are going along very nicely here in Italy.

Baeke saw a 9♠3♦Q♠ flop along with Marc Inizan and Joao Silva. He led for 1,500 and was raised to 4,000 by Silva. Inizan folded but Baeke called to go to the 3♥ turn. Both checked here and on the K♣ river. Silva could only muster a busted flush draw with A♠7♠ but Baeke beat that with T♦T♥. He's up to 45,000 as a result.

Shortly after Anton Wigg doubled up to 51,000. Trigiorgis George Alexander started proceedings with an 800 raise that was flat called before Wigg re-raised to 2,950. Alexander thought for a while and then moved all in. The third party folded but Wigg snap called all-in with K♥K♣. Alexander tabled J♣J♥ and the board ran 3♦2♥4♠A♣3♠. --MC

5.25: Dragan breathes again
Last year in San Remo, the young Dutchman Constant Rijkenberg inked his name on the list of EPT champions, but anyone who was here will remember that the tournament was dominated almost from pillar to post by Dragan Gallic. Gallic led days one through four - from day 1a until the final table - but he ended up busting in fifth.

Gallic's game is all about aggression, getting his chips in at any opportunity, putting the tough decisions with his opponents. He's taken off precisely where he left off this year and has just taken a chunk out of Andre Vieira. This is textbook Gallic. He raised to 700 from mid position and Vieira called from the big blind.

The two of them checked the 3♣[10c]6♦ flop and then Vieira check-called Gallic's 1,000 bet on a 5♥ turn. The river was 4♥ and Vieira checked again. Gallic bet 3,350 and Vieira called.

Gallic flipped over a J♠ and then followed that with a 7♠, the rivered straight. Gallic took it down. -- HS

5.15pm: Are you gonna go my way?
On a flop of 4♠6♥5♠ Alexander Wice made it 2,600 from the button. He's an interesting looking guy with big hair, something like a goatee beard and a leather jacket that makes him look like he should be drumming for Lenny Kravitz rather than playing cards in San Remo. His bet looked confident enough but waiting for him with steel and determination was Wesley Pantling who lumped in 30 grand, getting an insta-fold from Wice.

Around the corner is Mike McDonald, not fully retired, who was looking at a flop of J♥J♣J♦, one the dealer seemed quite proud of.

First to act was Jimmy Ostensson who checked to McDonald who bet 1,600. With the action back on Ostensson he raised another 2,750 which McDonald called. Both checked the K♣ turn for a A♥ on the river. Another grin from the dealer while McDonald rested in his now familiar position, no movement, heads slightly to one side, eyes behind mirrored sunglasses. Another 6,125. Too rich for Ostensson. McDonald back up to 25,000. -- SB.

5pm: Brown out
Chad Brown has joined the list of early casualties. The Team PokerStars Pro was cut down to less than 10,000 within the first level - and never managed to turn it around.

Ilari Tahkokallio, second in Berlin last month, is also out of this one. -- HS

4.50pm: Level five
We're now entering level five; they're flying by. Tournament officials are likely to announce the dinner break plans during this level - it's beyond me how you feed 600 players, then seat them again, in a small buffet and in one hour. But someone will figure it out.

Our chip leader at the break is probably still Fabricio Ascari, who was the first through 100,000. However there's a good chance that someone else in the massive throng pictured has something similar.

There are three tournament rooms, all next to one another with a bar in the middle. Here are tournament rooms "Blue" and "Red".

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Blue tournament room

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Red tournament room in San Remo

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour