EPT Snowfest: Day 2, level 11 updates (800-1,600, 200 ante)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg5pm: Hila feels the wrath of Toth
Dan Ionut Hila is wearing a hoodie painted with the colours of Great Britain's Union Flag. He is Romanian after all. Hila perhaps wanted to tighten it close over his eyes after a recent pot, during which he ended up on the wrong side of Csaba Toth.

There was about 30,000 in this pot and four cards out: J♣3♠8♠6♥ and Hila checked. Toth bet 29,500 and Hila called. The river was 2♠ and Hila checked again. Toth announced that he was all in - something like 150,000 and only a small handful less than Hila was playing.

Facing what was, for him, a tournament deciding call, Hila opted to fold and Toth took it down without showdown.

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Dan Ionut Hila

That's all we wrote for this level. Join us in level 12. -- HS

4.55pm: Umbrella man showering in chips
Zachary Hall, ohne umbrella hat today, has just doubled up, courtesy of his countryman Brent Wheeler. Who knows how this one played out pre-flop, but with about 30,000 in the pot, Wheeler (who would have been in the big blind) checked the 3♣4♥7♦[10h] flop and turn. Hall (late position) bet 8,300 and Wheeler called, taking them to a 7♠ river.

Wheeler checked again, but Hall moved all in for his last 37,100. Wheeler thought through his options but called, only to be shown 7♣4♣. Like I say, I've no idea how that worked out pre-flop and on the flop, but that seven-high had made a boat by the river.

Wheeler doesn't need to worry unduly. He still has about 210,000.-- HS

4.50pm: Down a bit...down a bit...oh, yeah, right there
There's an all out massage war happening on table 10, where Arnaud Mattern is entering what seems to be his 25th straight hour of muscle therapy and has now been joined by the extremely supple back of Ivo Donev. Donev had a lengthy pummel yesterday as he moved up the chip leaderboard, and his good luck charm is back - the EPT massage therapist Sookee Blatrix is again in good rubbing position.

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Arnaud Mattern, before the onslaught of massage

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Ivo Donev, also pre-massage

Donev hasn't added much to his overnight stack, and still has about 170,000. Mattern has about 100,000. -- HS

4.45pm: Pantaleo will not be budged
Guiseppe Pantaleo doesn't like to be moved off hands and has just successfully kept Luca Cainelli honest by holding on with his pocket pair. Cainelli raised to 4,100 from early position and was called by players in both blinds. The action was then checked through until Cainelli fired a 7,000 bet at the Q♠6♠6♣8♥ board and was called by Pantaleo. Cainelli couldn't bring himself to let loose a final salvo and allowed Pantaleo to show T♠T♣ to win the pot over his A♠K♠. -- RD

4.40pm: So long, Salmi
Ville Salmi is one of the many players walking from the tournament floor. The short stacked Salmi had attacked a series of limpers and, to put it simply, things didn't go his way. -- RD

4.35pm: Marine buoyant
Gutsy play from Marine Labernardie has seen her stack rocket to 260,000. On a [10s]A♦7♠4♦ board, with around 70,000 already in the middle, Timo Pfuetzenreuter made it 16,000 which Labernardie called. On the 6♣ river he made it 38,000, leaving just 2,000 behind, which sent the French lady in to the tank for so long that the clock was called.

Deep in to her allotted minute, she announced call - and it was a good one. Her Q♥Q♦ had held up against Pfuetzenreuter's missed flush draw - K♦J♦. -- SY

4.30pm: Bust outs and survivals
The eliminations are coming thick and fast, but Janko Medja survived by the skin of his teeth. He had 19,000 and pushed with A♣2♣ and was in trouble when called by Malte Strothmann with [10s][10c]. The board was an ace friendly 3♠7♠9♦A♥8♠ and Medja leaps up to 40,000. -- SY

4.25pm: Waterman not in Hot water
When you hit your gutshot with 5♣6♣ on a 2♥T♠4♣3♥ board all you can think is what's going to be the best way to get the most chips. American Dennis Waterman was in this situation in position against Besim Hot. Waterman opted for the smooth call of 6,000 on the turn and a 11,000 value bet on the river. Hot called flashing the T♥ . Waterman's stack is up to 50,000. -- RD

4.20pm: Pot control for Pagano
Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano opens for 4,000 from middle position and is called by Lee Gaines in the cut-off. The Italian check-calls 4,700 on the K♠6♣5♠ flop. Both players tentatively check the K♥ turn (a great card for Pagano if he had a pocket pair lower than the King) before Pagano bets 10,000 on the river but Gaines refuses to make any kind of hero call. -- RD

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Pagano is chipping back up

4.15pm: Flashman Strassmann
The big mover in the opening levels has been the German Team PokerStars Pro Johannes Strassmann, who now has about 350,000. He got most of them by knocking out Jorn Walthaus in a 200,000 pot: Strassmann flopped a set of jacks on a J-Q-x board; Walthaus had Q-J and a third player had aces. It must be nice.

More recently, Strassmann has just accounted for the next occupant of Walthaus's seat. This was a battle of the blinds for a 50,000 pot, when Strassmann's A♦9♣ stayed good against A♠4♠. Strassmann might be leading this thing now. -- HS

4.10pm: Big pots brewing
There's some poker being played in these here hills, ladies and gentlemen, some real poker. With about 195,000, Ara Melikian opened from under-the-gun, making it 4,100 to play. Marco Fantini, with about 180,000 behind and the button in front of him, re-popped to 12,100. Melikian added another few, making it 24,000 and Fantini called. There was just the two of them, unsurprisingly.

The flop was 9♣6♦2♠ and they both checked. The turn was 5♦ and Melikian bet 25,600, which Fantini called, for a 2♦ river. Melikian checked, but Fantini seized his chance and bet a huge pile, what looked like 103,500 (but that might not be precise).

Milikian folded and no one knows what either of them had. Except the two of them, obviously. -- HS

4pm: Waterman sticking with it
Ville Salmi made it 4,100 and got a call from Dennis Waterman, who had only 15,100 more behind. The flop was 4♠K♥5♣ and when Salmi bet 1,600 you knew what was coming...

"I have 15,100," Waterman said as he quickly pushed his stack over the line. Salmi folded quicker than a flash.-- SY

3.50pm: Max power
The Italian Max Pescatori started short stacked today but has worked his way up to 50,000. Another heading in the right direction is Alexia Portal, who now sits on 76,000. -- SY

3.45pm: Lerner and Detournel join the party
The table to be at is still number 15 and we have some new stacks at this chip heavy table. In seat 1 we have Aaron Lerner and in seat 6 we have Xavier Detournel. Both have a string of live cashes and neither will be intimidated by the table, in fact, Lerner winds the first pot we see him play. First player to break the half-million mark is likely to be on this table. -- RD

3.30pm: Speedy start
That's the end of the first level, during which 50 players departed. At this rate, we'll be at the final table before dinner time.*

*We will not be at the final table before dinner time.

But that is, without question, a speedy start and there's no reason to expect a let up in the action. Level 11 has just begun, with blinds of 800-1,600 and a 200 ante. -- HS

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Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour