EPT Snowfest: Day 1B, levels 1 and 2 updates (75-150)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg4.25pm: De Korver bags another pot
In a 3-way pot with Derek Lerner, the preflop aggressor, behind him Pieter De Korver raises a K♥4♦2♦ flop from 850 to 2,150 winning the pot. The hand was slighty interrupted by the histronics of a wailing Scandi [see 'It's a rage up!' below] possibly throwing a spanner in De Korver's plans to build a monster pot.

The minor incident helps to end the level and begin the 15 minute break where qualifiers will hit their mobiles to let friends and family know that they're still in while most of the pro's will try to squeeze in a couple of hands of Chinese.-- RD

4.22pm: ElkY out
We're trying to find out the grim details. But all you need to know right now is that Team PokerStars Pro ElkY is out of EPT Snowfest. -- SY

4.20pm: It's a rage up!
It's taken until Day 1b but we've just had our first major blow up from an unknown Scandi (although we're working on finding out who it was). 'Why did this always happen to me? How can you call? How can you call? You are so bad. It always happens to me,' as tirades go it's more comical than intimidating but with what appears to be a 2-outer on the river it's understandable that the emotions got the better of him. -- RD

4.17pm: Naujoks no momentum
Sandra Naujoks is down to 21,000 after twice being the first aggressor and then having to back off. On this one she made it 425 and got one caller. On the [10h]2♠9♠ flop she bet 1,000 and was called. Then when she bet 2,100 on the 6♣ turn she was re-raised to 5,025 and had to let it go. -- SY


The Team PokerStars Pro is scrapping around in a lot of pots without gaining too much ground

4.15pm: Satisfaction, or your money back
The loudest player in today's field - by some measure - is a man named Hermann Pascha. He comes with a ... well ... he has a reputation, although whether or not you think it's a good one depends largely on what you think of ... well ... gentlemen's establishments.

Pascha was the first proprietor in Germany to offer a money-back guarantee for customers at his gentleman's establishment, and it served him well. He now has establishments in Cologne and Salzburg in addition to his native Munich.

Pascha has been making his presence known at Snowfest, happily bellowing whenever he wins a pot - and even if he doesn't. "Who's the champion?" he shouted to the room a minute ago, as a player was eliminated from his table. It wasn't Pascha who eliminated him, but no matter.

The thing is, Pascha might be pretty good at this game. He's already up to 72,000 in chips as we near the end of level two. -- HS

4.10pm: Beating up on Minieri
The best thing about being as active as Dario Minieri is that no one ever believes you've got a big hand. The worst thing about being as active as Dario Minieri is that sometimes your big hands get outdrawn.

Such was the case here at Snowfest, where Minieri is now down to about 12,500, not even to the end of level two. No one did anything wrong here - implied odds and all that - but Minieri was left unhappy.

There was about 2,000 in the pot and four cards exposed: 5♠3♠A♣4♣. Minieri bet 1,650, Miroslav Ponechal, the only other player in the pot, called and the river was 4♠. Minieri bet 4,000, but Ponechal now raised, flicking out two gold chips worth 5,000 apiece.

Minieri barely thought before sighing and folding 6♣7♥ face up, the turned straight. Ponechal showed 7♠8♠ for the monster draw that got there on the end. --HS

4pm: The Serial PokerStars Qualifier
That's Pierre Neuville to you and me. The retired businessman from Belgium - already up to 57,000 chips here - has written for the PokerStars Blog about his race to win the EPT Award for best qualifier. You can read his piece here. -- SY

3.50pm: Mizzi not mixing it up
Sorel Mizzi has a reputation that precedes him, which is probably why he was able to get three streets of value with his pocket Kings. Mizzi makes it 500 to go preflop and is called in the big blind only. Mizzi is check-called on every street across the J♦Q♠Q♥7♣K♦ board for 650, 1,500 and 4,600. Mizzi reveals his kings full with K♠ K♣ to bump himself up to 44,000. -- RD

3.30pm: Romanello's lucky break
Roberto Romanello is up out of his chair between hands trying to stretch his legs. The Welsh poker pro had originally turned to online poker some four years ago after suffering a nasty break playing football (that's soccer for those of a North American disposition) and his early attempts to ski haven't been sitting well with him. Looks like he'll just have to stay in the tournament for as long as possible. -- RD


Robero Romanello: Not his real hair

3.25pm: De Korver looking to Lern some lessons
Team PokerStars Pro Pieter De Korver's table draw has placed him with someone that is looking to teach him a lesson. Canadian Derek Lerner, aka derek8 online, finished 62nd at the €10,000 EPT Grand Final the year that De Korver won and remembers a missed spot, 'I should have shoved on you from the big blind. You opened the button and I should have moved all-in on you, but I didn't,' spits out Lerner, who still seems annoyed with himself that he didn't. -- RD


3.15pm: Hotting up
Alfio Battisti, the Supernova Elite and tyrannical prodigy of Dario Minieri, has joined today's field - and he's sitting immediately to the left of Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier. Hmmm. Jorn Walthaus is also on that table, which has rapidly become one well worth watching.

Severin Walser is not having much his own way so far. With A♠9♣ he flopped middle pair (the board was 7♦Q♥9♥), then turned two pair when the A♥ came, and although he put in a raise there, he didn't get it through. Perhaps the hearts saved him, because they checked it down after that and Walser was shown pocket sevens, for the flopped set. -- HS

3.10pm: A cagey aces v kings
When these two big hands clash it can often spell disaster for one player. But this one played out with Jan Heitmann (with the aces) and Bob de Vos (kings) causing minimal damage to one another.

Team PokerStars Pro Heitmann made it 900 pre-flop and was called by PokerStars qualifier de Vos from Holland. On the 5♥4♣3♦ flop Heitmann made it 1,250. Call. On the 8♣ turn Heitmann fired out 2,600 - call again. Both then checked the 2♥ river, which had made Heitmann's straight.

So the German added nearly 5,000 to his early stack - and de Vos will be pleased to have got off so lightly. -- SY

3.05pm: Video time
We reckon it's time for a video interlude. So why not sit back and watch the one we just happened to have handy and put in below... -- SY

3.00pm: William Martin and the case of the unfortunate Jacks
Fellow Brit William Martin is sat two seats to the right of JP Kelly and has just had one of those early tournament situations where you lose a chunk - but not as much as you could have - yet still feel you did something wrong. Martin three-bet a 250 open to 950 from the button before being reraised by the small blind to 2,100. Martin called but didn't seem too happy about it and is even less thrilled when put to a decision on the 5♠T♠2♣ flop. He folds while claiming that he had Jacks but didn't feel that he was ahead. Either way it's only a small pot and he's still got 27,500. -- RD

2.55pm: JP Kelly loves falling over
Despite the slightly bizarre title of this post Team PokerStars Pro JP Kelly isn't a fan of slapstick comedy. He is, however, a bit partial to some slope action and was attacking the ski/board thing yesterday. Whether he's had a bang to the head or is just keen to get back on the mountain I'm not sure but I can't think of any other reason why he's opening every single hand. He picks up the blinds on his first couple of attempts, getting past Evelyn Ng who is at the far end of his table, before players wake up and start 3-betting him. -- RD

2.50pm: Small skirmishes
Severin Walser raised to 300 (or thereabouts) from the button and Gustav Ekerot, in the big blind, re-raised to 700-ish. Walser called. The flop came 2♠3♦3♣ and Ekerot bet 700. It was good; Walser folded.

At the other end of the room, Sorel Mizzi and Luis Medina were two of six limpers to a 6♣7♣2♠ flop, Mizzi in early position and Medina in the big blind. Medina checked that flop, but after Mizzi bet 300, the Portuguese was the only caller.

They were heads up to the A♠ turn and Medina checked-called Mizzi's bet of 725. The river was 8♥ and after Medina checked again, Mizzi fired 4,000 at it. Medina was persuaded out.

On a neighbouring table, Luca Pagano was seen stacking up about 4,000 chips and showing 2♣2♠ on a board of A♦2♥7♥7♦6♥. That'll be a full house then - and Pagano got his 1,700 river bet called. -- HS

2.40pm: Match ups
"A full house," said the tournament honcho Alen Babic, not making a ruling, rather describing the packed tournament room today. And there are plenty of intriguining match-ups too:

The Team PokerStars Pro Luis Medina (one of three Portuguese team members here) is on the same table as Sorel Mizzi and Nicolas Levi. Those last two are neighbours, with Mizzi having position on Levi. Expect fireworks.

Henrique Pinho, another Portuguese Team Pro, hasn't got it much better than his countryman. Pinho is on the same table as Florian Langmann and Nasr El Nasr, a formidable German duo.

Luca Pagano, Boris Becker and Marcus Golser are seated together. Jan Heitmann shares his table with "Nacho" Barbero and Alez Dovzhenko, from Ukraine and Argentina, respectively, but pretty damn good, the pair of them. -- HS

2.30pm: In the beginning there was a Minieri...
One of the problems of being a poker blogger is that occasionally you find nothing noteworthy despite stalking the floor patiently for what seems like an age. When a certain young Italian called Dario Minieri is in town, however, you can normally bet your shirt that if all else fails, he'll be in action.

So at the start of play today I bagged my place next to his table and waited for the fireworks. But on hand one, with only four of them having taken their seat, he folded. Incredible. On hand two it happened again - that's two hands in a row where Minieri chose not to fight for the pot. Was he ill?

It all changed on hand three, though, which was more than enough time for the Team PokerStars Pro to have sized up the opposition. He raised it up to 300 and got two callers. On the 9♦3♥4♦ flop he bet 525, and that was enough to take the pot. Next hand he was at it again, making it 300 pre-flop. Only one caller this time, but the result was the same. On the [10s]4♣9♥ flop Minieri bet 400 and took it down.

So, after a slow (by his standards) start, Minieri is up to his old tricks and sitting on 31,000. And I got my easy first post in the bag. -- SY

2.25pm: Naujoks starts as she means to go on
Team PokerStars Pro Sandra Naujoks plays and wins the first pot of the day betting 550 onto a wet A♠J♦T♥ flop. All three opponents fold out of her way. It's likely to be the rhythm that will be beating in her opponents' ears today. The German pro won EPT Dortmund in 2009 for €917,000. -- RD

2.20pm: Late buy-ins and lazy players
Players will be able to buy in for the first two levels so we're keep you abreast of any notables that turn up a little late having traded in the opportunity afforded of low blind play for some extra time on the slopes. Players spotted so far (beyond those already in the chip count section) include Roberto Romanello and Evelyn Ng. Romanello is sporting a ridiculous wig-headband combo and is likely to talk his table into submission. -- RD

2.15pm: Under way
We. Are. Off.

2pm: Rabble gathering
The lobby of the Alpine Palace hotel is full of poker players making their way into the tournament room. Yesterday we started at about 20 minutes past the hour, and I suspect we'll be off at sometime similar today. Hang tough, we'll let you know when things start.

In the meantime, there's an introduction to be read and a preliminary player list to peruse.

Then pop back here when the chips will likely be flying.


Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour