EPT Snowfest: Day 1B, levels 3 and 4 updates (150-300)
6.40pm: Rasr El Rasr
Without a word of exaggeration, I'd estimate that from the ten times I've looked at Nasr El Nasr's table today, he's been raising or re-raising nine times. Most recently, there was a board of 2♠4♦8♠A♥4♠ and about 11,000 in the pot. He and Daniele Amatruda were the only players left, and there was a bet of 13,325 in front of El Nasr.
Amatruda was in the tank and the clock was called. But unusually for players with the clock on them, Amatruda made the call. He probably wished he hadn't. El Nasr tabled 8♥8♦ for the flopped set and rivered boat. Amatruda mucked and El Nasr moved up to around 40,000.
That was the last (reported) action of the level and as half the field heads off for dinner, we move into level five. -- HS
6.35pm: The slopes welcome Sandra
Sandra Naujoks is out. She was all in pre-flop for about 10,000 with A♠7♠ against Maxi Lehmanski's [10d][10s]. (There was almost certainly some raising and re-raising.) The flop came out 5♦5♥4♣9♣9♠ and that was that for Naujoks. -- HS
6.30pm: The weird, weird world of JP Kelly
Team PokerStars Pro JP Kelly has just got involved in two very unusual hands. First he check-calls a 3-bet pot twice with Jack-high before catching a jack on the river to beat an aggressively played pair of pocket fives, 'I was going to bluff the river,' explains JP.
The next hand is just as bizarre. Emanuele Marzano raises to 750 from middle position and Kelly calls in the small blind before check-calling 1,150 on the A♣7♥K♠ flop. The Brit then leads out 3,025 onto the J♦ turn, which is raised by Marzano to 7,250. Kelly then check-folds A♦K♦ face up to Marzano's river shove. Kelly has about 15,000 left. 'This has been a very weird hand,' says JP. He's not wrong. -- RD
6.20pm: Birthday boys
Yesterday, Julien Brecard celebrated his birthday by putting in a dominating shift at the tables, bagging up more than 230,000 at the end of the day, good for third in chips. The familiar face of Jim Collopy was also grinning its way around the Alpine Palace for much of the day, preparing for two things: a day around the table today, and his own birthday, which is tomorrow.
Like Brecard, Collopy might find himself consigned to the poker room rather than properly celebrating his birthday if things continue as they are. He is up to about 65,000 already today, which is a perfect springboard for a move up the leaderboard the rest of the day. -- HS
According to the big tournament board, there are 251 players left. Given that the big tournament board hasn't yet told us how many players started (there are always vagaries to iron out), we can't tell whether they're flying out the door, or trickling.
Still, with that many players left, it's got to be pretty unlikely to get a table this stacked: Ivo Donev, Roberto Romanello, Jorn Walthau, Bijan Zahmat and Johannes Steindl are all now table-mates. -- HS
6.00pm: 'What river card did you want?'
Florian Langmann raises under the gun and is called in one spot before Bryan Paris raises to 2,000 out of the blinds. Langmann is the only player to hang on in. Paris bets 3,500 on the K♠T♥2♦ flop but checks the 7♣ turn to Langmann who bets 6,500. Paris tinkers with the idea of check-raising counting out 3 yellow 5k chips but decides to just call. Both players check the Q♥ river and Paris shows A♠A♦ to claim the pot groaning, 'I didn't want that queen on the river.' 'Well, what did you want on the river then?' counters Langmann, probably feeling a little aggrieved that the player snatching his chips away is complaining that he didn't get more.
5.50pm: Danzer's delight
George Danzer has tripled up - and our Finnish friend Vesa Arhipoff again gets some credit for telling us the hand history (but loses some for not even knowing who George Danzer was.)
Anyhow, Dick Van Luijk limped from under-the-gun and Danzer raised to 600 from his left. Hermann Pascha re-raised in the cut off, making it 1,300 and Van Luijk called. Danzer wasn't having that: he raised to 4,700 all in, which both others called.
No hands were exposed as a side pot was brewing, which Danzer could only sit and watch. The flop came Q♥J♦8♦ and Van Luijk bet 3,000. Pascha called. They both checked the 5♣ turn, but Van Luijk bet 7,000 at the J♥ river. Pascha called and all three now showed their cards.
Van Luijk showed king-ten off, for nothing at all. Pascha showed A♠8♠ for jacks and eights. But to Danzer's delight, his A-Q had won, tripling him beyond 16,000. -- HS
LEVEL UP. WE'RE NOW PLAYING 150-300 IN LEVEL FOUR
5.40pm: Steindl on the steady climb
Simon Persson and Johannes Steindl were deeply involved in a hand. There was about 22,000 in the pot, and these four cards exposed: J♥4♥5♠8♦. Persson bet 13,000 and Steindl, a Team PokerStars Pro from Germany, moved all in, for about 18,200 more. Persson thought about it long enough to make Steindl sweat, but folded. Steindl moved up beyond 50,000 as a result. -- HS
5.35pm: JP clawing his way back
JP Kelly took a blow or two early on and was down to 13,500 when he got involved from the small blind three-way with Evelyn Ng (who opened the pot from the hijack) and Michael Seban who called from the big blind. Kelly took the opportunity to lead the T♣5♥6♥ flop and took the pot down. The Team Pro is up to 14,500. -- RD
5.30pm: Betting the river
Two flops, turns and rivers were out on neighbouring tables, and they were two players looking at each. Heads up, in other words.
In the first instance, the flop was 8♣A♦[10s]9♥K♠ and there was 8,050 in the pot. Joe Ebanks bet 6,500 and Evgeniy Zaytsev tank-folded.
On the other table, the pot was smaller, as was Richard Toth's bet of 5,500, with the board showing 8♥9♥3♥6♣K♦. "That's a lot," said Sam Miller, who folded. -- HS
5.25pm: Must be nice
So you're sitting there with A♠3♦ and in the pot against one other player when the flop comes 3♥3♣3♠. Nice! This was the happy case for Team PokerStars Pro Jan Heitmann who kept Lam Van Trinh interested enough to see the 9♠ turn.
By the time the K♥ river came there was 5,500 in the pot, and Heitmann made a hefty 6,250 bet. Van Trinh took an age to make his call. He clearly thought something was amiss but threw the chips in anyway, only to be shown the bad news. He mucked.
That little coup sent Heitmann back to 32,000. - SY
5.20pm: More woes for Naujoks
Nothing is going Sandra Naujoks' way today. She's now down to 8,000 after losing another chunk when she called a short-stack's all in on a 4♥J♣2♥ flop. She was ahead with 9♦9♠ but was up a against a flush draw with her opponent's Q♥[10h]. But it was not a flush that won it - the turn was K♠ and the river A♠ to make a runner-runner straight. -- SY
5.15pm: Pinho gets trappy
Nasr El Nasr makes a standard button raise to 525 and is called by Team PokerStars Pro Henrique Pinho in the big blind. Both players check the 8♦Q♣4♣ flop before Pinho leads the 6♣ turn for 425 and 1,500 on the 4♥ river. El Nasr makes the call and is a little surprised to see Pinho show K♣K♦.
5.10pm: Ng takes it down post flop
Evelyn Ng is called in two spots when two players fail to believe her 2,000 three-bet prelfop. Another 3,800 on the nine-high flop helps convince them that she may be ahead after all and they both fold giving Ng a 7,000 pot. -- RD
5.05pm: Blow up merchant revealed
Apologies to the Scandinavian players but it was actually a Latvian by the name of Viktors Vorobjovs that exploded at the end of level 2. He had very blonde hair - Scandinavian was a fair stab in the dark. -- RD
5pm: Lepore - and kings again
After knocking out ElkY, Gabriele Lepore had got himself up to about 85,000. However, it was his restraint that was to be admired in a recent pot against Magnus Persson, when he might easily have lost a whole lot more.
Persson made it 500 from late position and Lepore raised to 1,550 from the button. Persson called. The flop was 5♥Q♠J♣ and Persson checked. Lepore bet 1,800 and Persson called for a 6♣ turn. They both checked. On the 2♥ river, Persson led for 4,000 and Lepore called. Persson showed A♠A♣ and had been trapping all along. Lepore might have smelled something fishy, because he turned over K♠K♦. --HS
4.45pm: That ElkY hand
Our PokerStarsblog.it colleague Dalia Calvaruso has just handed over the details of ElkY's elimination. She knew because it was an Italian player, Gabriele Lepore, who accounted for the Team PokerStars Pro. This is how the hand played out:
ElkY raised to 450 from the hijack and Leopre called in the cut off, persuading the two blinds to come along too. The flop was K♣6♥9♣ and after the two blinds checked, ElkY bet 1,600, which Lepore called.
The turn was the 8♠ and ElkY bet 3,000. Lepore made it 9,000 and ElkY moved all in for 25,000-ish. Lepore called and it was by this point obvious that they both had monsters. Indeed. ElkY had flopped top set with K♦K♠, but Lepore had turned a straight with his T♣7♣. ElkY had outs, but the J♣ wasn't one of them. It actually ended up making Lepore his flush.
So that was that for ElkY. Off to the slopes. (Credit also to Steven Smith of PokerStarsblog.nl who got this same information, but a moment too late.) -- HS
4.35pm: Back to it
After the first break of the day, players have returned to the tables. We should know within the hour the precise number of players, as registration is now closed.
One man missing is Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, who has been eliminated double quick and in unknown circumstances. We'll try to figure out as soon as possible, but in the meantime here's what he look(ed) like: