EPT Snowfest: Day 3, level 18 updates (4,000-8,000, 500 ante)

ept-thumb-promo.jpgDinner break chips are on the chip-count page.

6.20pm: Hougaard out in 43rd
Jesper Hougaard was the unfortunate player to claim the 'last player to get KO'd before the break' title. The Dane moved all-in from the small blind over the top of Aaron Lerner's opening 19,000 raise from middle position. Canadian Russell Carson was more than willing to give Hougaard some action and moved in over the top of his shove for around 300,000. Lerner was left in a difficult spot, claiminig afterwards that he would have been flipping with Hougaard, but he eventually thought better of calling off his stack and mucked his hand.

Hougaaard: A♣Q♣
Carson: A♠A♥

Things weren't looking good for the WSOPE bracelet winner and with no miracle outdraw coming he had to walk in 43rd for a €6,700 pay day. It's dinner break for 60 minutes so come back and join us soon for the run into the final 24 players.-- RD

6.15pm: A beautiful reunion
David Wintersberger has just been moved from a table break back opposite Ivo Donev. The two had a run in earlier when Winsterberger almost felted Donev, who has since doubled up winning with queens versus aces. Donev's scowl at Winterberger's chips was unmistakable. Wintersberger's first involvement at the table isn't with the Austrian though. He calls an under the gun raise from Team PokerStars Pro Richard Toft and shows Ace high in a checked down pot to book a small win with A♥T♠ -- RD

6.10pm: Toth pays capital Gaines tax
It doesn't always go Richard Toth's way, and he has just lost about 250,000 of his stack by doubling up Lee Gaines. The got it all in pre-flop, Toth on the button and Gaines in the big blind, but Toth was behind with his A♥J♥ to Gaines' A♣K♣. By the time the board was fully dealt, there was a jack and a king on it. Gaines doubled to about half a million. Toth still has about 750,000. -- HS

6.05pm: Koller snacks on Burger
Marcel Koller, who made the final table in Berlin earlier this month, is battling towards a back-to-back appearance. He has just eliminated Marcel Burger after Koller moved all in from early position and Burger under-called all in from the small blind. Koller had A♣Q♥ and Burger had A♠[10h]. The K♦4♦5♦8♣3♠ board changed nothing and Burger's last 90,000 made their way to Koller. -- HS

6pm: No way, Jose
Jose Besalduch's day is done. It was folded around to him in the small blind when he pushed for his last 69,000 with K♠9♥, only to get called by Samuel Miller in the big blind with A♥4♣. The board ran a rather non-eventful Q♦2♥6♠6♣5♦, and Besalduch was off to the cash desk to pick up his winnings. -- SY

5.55pm: Lykov steps on the gas
Chip leader Max Lykov is bullying his table in to submission with his huge stack. One player is so worked up he has demanded that tournament staff keep the media away, worried we may be peeking at his cards and sending secret messages to Lykov*.

With 40,000 in the pot, and 9♦K♣Q♠ on the flop, Alexander Debus made it 24,000 more and Lykov called. On the 3♥ turn Debus checked and now Lykov made it 33,000. Fold. Next hand Josip Corluka, the chap who asked the media to move back, made it 18,000, then had to fold when Lykov popped about 100,000 in the middle.

*We do not peek at cards, and we do not send secret messages to Max Lykov -- SY

5.45pm: Gaines enjoys a double Burger
Lee Gaines, aka Bill Ivey online, has just doubled through Marcel Burger with pocket sixes against Ace-King. It's a classic race and while Gaines is nonchantly raking in the chips Burger looks genuinely distressed. It's not a surprise given that he's down to less than 100,000 now while Gaines is up over 400,000. --RD

5.40pm: Brecard busts
Julien Brecard can now finally celebrate his birthday as his battle at the tables of Snowfest is over. Russell Carson raised from the button and Brecard, who said later he did not look at his cards, shoved from the big blind for his last 100,000-odd. Carson called.

Brecard: J♥3♣
Carson: 8♦8♣

The board ended up giving Brecard a straight, but also Carson a flush. That was that for the day 1a force. -- HS

5.30pm: Donev doubles
With an uncharacteristically flamboyant declaration, Ivo Donev announced: "All in!" Dan Murariu, all but silently, said: "Call."

Murariu had A♥A♦ and Donev showed Q♥Q♣, before muttering "Jesus," and burying his head in his hands. Someone was listening. The board came 8♣5♠6♣7♠ and then ping! Q♦ on the river. "That's a queen," Donev's neighbour told him, and the Austrian chess master began counting out his chips for the double up. He had precisely 117,500, so now has double that. -- HS


Ivo Donev

5.25pm: Frightening stuff
Max Lykov, and his stack of more than a million, has now taken a seat to the right of Nasr El Nasr, who has close to seven figures too. With those two players and those two stacks, this is going to be fierce.

Lykov hadn't even finished taking his chips out of his rack when he knocked out Lam Van Trinh. The British player raise-shoved to Lykov's reraise, but was in trouble with A-J against A-K. Lykov's big slick stood up and Van Trinh is gone. -- HS


Max Lykov: Running the show

5.20pm: RaSZi runs into too much trouble, departs
That's the end of Lex Veldhuis. After that shocker just after the break, he pushed with pocket fours and ran slam into Samuel Miller's pocket queens. There was no outdraw this time and Veldhuis is OUT. -- HS

5.15pm: Terrible start to the level for Veldhuis
Lex Veldhuis found aces in the first couple of hands after the break. And he lost half of his stack. His opponent Simon Ehne had ace-queen but the board ran 7-8-9-10-J. Veldhuis now has about 140,000 left. -- HS

5.10pm: And so we begin again
It's level 18, folks. The happiest man during the break would have been chip leader Richard Toth, the Team PokerStars Pro from Hungary who is on 1.1million. There are 59 players left, so we're inching towards the required 24 when we'll pack up and head for the hills.

Talking of Toth, by some coincidence we happen to have a picture of him below.... -- SY


Richard Toth

PokerStars Blog reporting team knee-deep in snow: Howard Swains, Simon Young and Rick "no snowballs" Dacey

Simon Young
@MrSimonYoung in European Poker Tour