EPT Snowfest: Day 1A, levels 1 and 2 live updates (75-150)
LEVEL OVER. INTO LEVEL THREE.
4.25pm: The Finn wins with 58 suited
Joni Jouhkimainen from Finland is obviously keen to live up to national poker stereotypes. Dennis Waterman raises to 525 from under the gun and is called by Jouhkimainen with 5♠8♠. Spectacled De Meulder (the PokerStars sponsored twins that's wearing glasses today) makes it 1825 and is called by both Waterman and Jouhkimainen. The 6♥Q♣5♣ flop kills the action, as does the T♣ turn and 7♥ river as all three players check the board down. Waterman shows A♣K♦ and mutters about not hitting his nut flush while De Muelder mucks his hand while claiming to have the same as the American while Jouhkimainen's lowly paired five is enough to take the 5700 pot. -- RD
4.20pm: Brown missing
Chad Brown's seat is empty and no chips remain where he was sitting, so we must presume the Team PokerStars Pro is out. -- SY
4.15pm: Aggressive neighbours
There's a lively table in the corner of the room, featuring Malte Strothmann, Paul Berenede, Stephen Chidwick and Fatima De Melo. Although recently De Melo has taken a back seat, the other three are at one another's necks.
Strothmann made it 450 from the cut off and picked up both Berende and Chidwick in the blinds. The flop came 3♦J♠9♥ and Berende bet 1,025, which was enough to get rid of Chidwick, but not Strothmann, who called.
The turn was 5♦ and Berende bet 2,525. This time Strothmann gave up.
Two hands later and Berende raised his button, making it 300 to play. Chidwick re-raised to 1,100 from the small blind and that was that. -- HS
4.10pm: Bichon gone
It's not been a great start to the day for Team PokerStars Pro, particularly the French contingent. As Arnaud Mattern's travails continue, he is at least still in the tournament, which is more than can be said for Thomas Bichon. Bichon has just been Sarwer-ed.
There was about 6,500 already in the pot and the board out to the turn: 8♠3♥9♣7♥. Sarwer over-bet, putting in 7,000 and Bichon only had about 8,000 behind. "I have a lot of hearts," Bichon said. "What do you want me to do?"
Sarwer remained silent, but Bichon moved all in. Sarwer made the mandatory call. Bichon had Q♥J♥ for more draws than you can shake a stick at: any heart, any ten, any jack or any queen would be good to beat Sarwer's [10s]9♥.
The river, however, was K♣ - and Bichon went bust. -- HS
4.05pm: Pantling eliminates Ky Thuong Luong
Wesley Pantling's J♠[10c] hit two pair on the flop and Ky Thuong Luong's pocket kings were toast. -- HS
4pm: Browned off
Team PokerStars Pro Chad Brown lost a big pot to Yorane Kerignard, a PokerStars qualifier. On a Q♣2♥Q♥ flop, Brown checked, then Kerignard bet 5,500. Brown thought for a moment or two before min-raising to 11,000. But Kerignard was not done yet. After thinking for a minute or so he counted out five yellow 5,000 chips, and pushed them over the line.
That 25,000 re-re-raise was enough to force a fold from Brown, who appeared to mutter "Sick!" under his breath. -- SY
3.55pm: Birthday present for Brecard
PokerStars sponsored Julien Brecard celebrates his 31st birthday today - and just got a gift, calling a 4,000 river bet on the A♥6♠Q♦9♥[10d] board and showing A♦K♥ for the win. -- SY
3.50pm: Keiner takes one off Negreanu
Team PokerStars Pros Michael Keiner and Daniel Negreanu saw a 2♥3♠7♥ flop. The German checked then called Negreanu's 450 bet. On the J♦ turn he called the Canadian's 1,100, and then both checked the [10c] river. Keiner showed A♦J♥, that was enough to take it as Negreanu showed A♣7♣ for the flopped top pair. -- SY
3.44pm: Bathrobes and hangovers
The main lift that us hacks are using to ferry ourselves from the media room (an open plan balcony overlooking the hotel lobby) to the gaming floor is also a main thoroughfare for hotel guests going to the spa and back. Twice now I've shared uncomfortable silences with men in bathrobes during that short lift journey. From looking around the tournament tables there are a few players that could do with a few hours of rest and recuperation down in the basement as well. None more so than Matt Dale, I reckon. The Englishman was seen partying into the wee hours after the lively EPT welcome party. 'I've got about 25,000 which is the same as Negreanu, I hear, so that's fine by me. I lost 5,000 bluffing - just don't tell the others,' he chuckles making a pantomime aside to me while still sat at his table. Currently the most unlikely man to make the final table and is likely to hold that title until he's drunk at least another litre of water and two to three coffees/Red Bulls. -- RD
3.35pm: Mattern in trouble
Arnaud Mattern is down to 6,000 after running into two flopped sets. Mattern himself related the details. After five players limped, Mattern came along from the button with ace-eight. The flop came As-8s-6d and one opponent led for 350, Mattern raised to 1,100 and only the one foe came along.
The turn was J♥ and Mattern bet 2,000, then called a raise to 5,200. That brought an off suit three. Mattern called a bet of 3,600 and was shown pocket sixes for the set.
On the next hand, a player in mid-position raised to 350 and the button called. In the small blind and with A-K, Mattern made it 1,275 and the both others came along.
The flop was A♠8♥4♥ and Mattern bet 2,000 into the 4,000-ish pot. There was a call and then a raise to 6,800 and Mattern called that, going to an offsuit jack on the turn. Mattern check-called a 7,500 bet and the two of them both checked the seven on the river.
That's when Mattern's opponent showed his pocket fours, again flopping a set. -- HS
3.26pm: Shouty Negreanu backs down
Daniel Negreanu has got the largest headphones in the room. You know the ones, big red light on the side showing that they're on and receiving a wireless signal from an iPod discretely tucked in a pocket somewhere. Even with half of it unhooked the decibels were well enough for Kid Poker to misjudge his speaking - or should that be shouting - volume, 'Yeah, you could have been dominated,' he hollers before realising that his conversation is now bellowing across the room.
The very next hand Negreanu 3-bets a hijack open to 850 from the cut-off and is 4-bet by Casper Toft to 2500. The original raiser gets out of the way leaving Negreanu to make the call in position, peeling a couple of chips from his 30,000 starting stack to do so. Toft has no hesitation in making a 3500 continuation bet on the 3♥ K♠ 2♣ board and Negreanu insta-mucks. Yes, he should definitely go back to letting the cards do his talking. -- RD
LEVEL UP. BLINDS NOW 75-150
3.10pm: Horecki heads for home
Marcin Horecki is Polish, but as a former professional skier, this could qualify as his home event. And Horecki is going to get plenty of time to enjoy the slopes this week - almost the maximum - as he has just bust from day 1A within the first hour of play.
He was already down the 10,000 when he ran top pair queens, plus a flush draw, into Dominik Nitsche's flopped set of tens. The draw didn't get there, giving Nitsche an early boost and sending Horecki to the mountains. -- HS
3.05pm: Double Dutch
Paul Berende raised to 300 from early position and Fatima De Melo called on the button. This was a duel of the Dutchies, and the two know one another pretty well, so laughed their way through the early stages of the pot.
The flop came K♥A♠3♥ and Berende bet 450. De Melo raised to 2,500 and the laughter stopped.
Berende called after a brief dwell and the turn was J♣, which they both checked silently. And Berende also checked the 6♠ river. De Melo wasn't having any of that, tossing out a gold chip worth 5,000.
Berende didn't like that, at least according to his wince, but he made a call. De Melo was forced to table her busted draw -- 7♥8♥ -- and Berende's A♥Q♠ took it.
"@!&%," said De Melo as the chuckling started again. -- HS
Fatima De Melo and Paul Berende, foreground
3pm: Max Lykov flexing his muscle
EPT Kyiv winner Max Lykov is already beasting his table and has just scooped back to back pots. First he moved all-in on a 7♣6♣K♠8♥ board to fold out his opponent and pick up the 10,500 in the middle, and then a (somewhat smaller) 1,850 on the river of a 3♦K♠9♦Q♥7♠ board was enough to get two opponents out of his way. Lykov won €330,000 for his EPT victory and a further $100,000 in a $1,000 hold 'em event at the PCA. -- RD
2.55pm: You're nicked
Tournament supremo Thomas Kremser gave some interesting news during his welcome speech to the players a little while ago. Referring to the armed robbery at EPT Berlin he said: "As of now, four people have been arrested." That prompted a round of applause around the room. -- SY
2.50pm: Negreanu in town
Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu is in action today. He's been content to fold in the early orbits as he sizes up his opponents, who are presumably cursing the seat draw that put them alongside the Canadian. One man at the same table who will not be fazed in any way is fellow Team PokerStars Pro Michael Keiner from Germany. -- SY
2.45pm: Short day at the office
We're not sure if Martin Kabrhel is a keen skier, but we'll find out soon enough as he's now got the rest of the week to enjoy the slopes. The young Czech player busted on only the second hand he played today, running his kings into aces in a battle of the blinds. Ouch. -- SY
2.40pm: High (Bre)card takes it
Julien Brecard must have thought he'd lost his way in this pot. On a board of K♠2♠7♣T♦9♦ Brecard checked out of position (after firing both the flop and the turn) with A♦4♦ to all intents and purposes giving up on the hand. A bemused declaration of "ace high" turned out to be good enough to win the hand and gift the Frenchman a few thousand to add to his stack. Easy game. -- RD
2.15pm: We're off
This is a smooth operation we've got running here, and after a few announcements from the tournament director Thomas Kremser, the fun has kicked off, about 15 minutes past the hour.
Players are still dribbling into the room, meaning there are some empty seats, but already we've seen some decent match-ups. Marcin Horecki is on the same table as Dominik Nitsche. Michael Keiner shares the felt with Daniel Negreanu, and the French pair of Julien Brecard and Marion Nedellec have been drawn alongside on another.
Meanwhile, Mattias (or Christophe) De Meulder (it's one of them) is pacing the room trying to whip up interest in a €200 last longer. There were about five players involved at last count. -- HS
2pm: Last night
This is the morning after the night before. This was the night before:
There's some more about the party in today's introductory post.
PokerStars Blog reporting team in Austria: Rick Dacey, Howard Swains and Simon Young