EPT Snowfest: Day 4, levels 23 and 24 updates (15,000-30,000, 3,000 ante)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg9.25pm: Over
A full chip count and a full wrap is on its way. Stand by.

9.20pm: Single Dutch
We have our final eight. Huub Verdonschot opened for a standard raise and Brent Wheeler three-bet to his left. Verdonschot shoved and Wheeler insta-called and showed A♣K♥, which was all over Verdonschot's A♦J♦.

We were a jack away from our final eight, and although that changed to "a diamond away from the final eight" when the flop came 5♠9♦6♣K♦, the J♥ on the end was no longer enough for the Dutchman. -- HS

9.15pm: Professional side event player
As the Main Event plays down to its final eight, news reaches us that Martin Kabrhel, who has won three side events already on this season of the EPT, has (guess what) made the final two tables of the €2,000 side event. This is ridiculous. -- HS

9.05pm: Strassmann lights a big stack fuse
Johannes Strassmann raises to 70,000 and is called by Allan Baekke before Brent Wheeler comes in with a squeeze to 200,000. Strassmann moves out of the way leaving Baekke with a question. His answer is to reraise to 515,000. Wheeler thinks for a minutes before mucking his hand. Baekke's stack is a monstrous 4.6m. -- RD

9.05pm: Wheeler on a roll
Brent Wheeler raises to 76,000 from middle position and scoops the blinds. He raises the following hand and wins the pot unopposed again. Easy game. The big stacks are slowly chipping away at the short stacks. -- RD

9.00pm: Schroer feels the heat
Allan Baekke raises from the hijack to 65,000. Schroer calls in the big blind. Both players check the 8♦Q♥7♦ flop. Schroer check-calls 50,000 on the 2♣ turn. Schroer checks the 3♥ and Baekke bets 175,000. Schroer passes. -- RD

8.55pm: Baekke and Wheeler clash
Allan Baekke raises to 65,000 and Brent Wheeler re-raises from the big blind to 237,000. Baekke passes. -- RD

8.45pm: Early action
Baekke raises to 65,000 and is called by Medesan on the button. The Dane leads out the 5♦3♠2♦ flop for 75,000 and Medesan elects to raise to 180,000. Baekke thinks for a long time before folding. It's a handy boost for the Romanian.

Talking of Medesan, just take a look at the gloves he is wearing... -- RD

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Boney M: Medesan's gloves

8.35pm: Level up
We're in to level 24 now. The blinds are 15,000-30,000 with a 3,000 ante.

8.25pm: Play resume
After the break for the redraw and set-up of the last table, we're under way again. One player to go, folks.

8.02pm: Redraw
So with that we are down to one table. But it's not the final table. Oh no. Instead it's the last table of nine. Their seats have been drawn and now we play until one more player busts. Then, and only then, will we have our final table set for tomorrow. -- SY

1. Russell Carson, PokerStars qualifier
2. Alain Medesan
3. Jonathan Schroer, PokerStars qualifier
4. Huub Verdonschot
5. Johannes Strassmann, Team PokerStars Pro
6. Lukas Baumann, PokerStars qualifier
7. Brent Wheeler, PokerStars player
8. Allan Baekke, PokerStars player
9. Daniel Van Kalkeren

8pm: Stop Debus, I want to get off
After losing that huge pot (see below) to Allan Baekke, Alexander Debus was knocked out the very next hand by Team PokerStars Pro Johannes Strassmann. But it was not a moment of tilt. Instead his genuine hand ran in to a really genuine hand.

Debus had opened with a raise and Strassmann re-raised to 126,000. Debus announced all in for 742,000 and Strassmann insta-called.

Debus: A♦K♥
Strassmann: A♥A♠

The flop was certainly interesting, but it served only to extend Strassmann's advantage, coming 3♣A♣K♦. The turn was 5♣ and the river [10s] and Debus left in tenth place, €28,000 the richer. Interestingly he bubbled the final table in Warsaw this season as well, not something he want to make a habit of. -- SY

7.55pm: Monster for Baekke
Allan Baekke stretched his lead by winning a huge pot off Alexander Debus. Baekke had opened with a 53,000 bet and Debus called. On the 3♣Q♠3♥ flop Baekke made it 60,000. Call. The turn was A♦ and now Baekke put on more pressure, betting 137,000. Again Debus called. Finally, on the K♠ river Baekke put out a monster 437,000 - and got the call he needed:

Baekke: A♥3♠ for the full house. Debus did not show. -- SY

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Allan Baekke

7.50pm: Holstege halted
Johannes Holstege is out, running into Brent Wheeler - and getting a little unlucky. Holstege opened to 51,000 from early position, the second time he'd done that in a couple of hands, and Wheeler had seen enough. Wheeler shoved for more than a million, covering Holstege's 900,000. Holstege called. Big pot.

Wheeler: A♦[10d]
Holstege: [10c][10s]

Holstege clenched his fist and was delighted with the situation. But that only lasted as long as the flop, which came A♠J♠7♦ and the 3♦ left him one out on the river. It wasn't the 3♣ and Holstege departs. -- HS

7.45pm: First blood to Baekke
First hand back from dinner and Allan Baekke keeps up his pre-snack aggression. He made it 53,000 and got calls from Huub Verdonschot, Johannes Strassmann and Alexander Debus. On the 7♠2♦2♣ flop Baekke bet 100,000 and everybody else ran for the hills mountains. SY

7.42pm: Snowball fight
Get a bunch of poker folks in a pile of snow and chaos is lilkely to follow. A bit like this...

7.40pm: Back
That was dinner. This is the resumption of level 23.

6.50pm: Dinner chips
The chip count page has been updated with the latest counts. But this will save you a click:

Allan Baekke Denmark PokerStars player 3,415,000
Russell Carson Canada PokerStars qualifier 3,203,000
Brent Wheeler USA PokerStars player 1,624,000
Johannes Strassmann Germany Team PokerStars Pro 1,500,000
Alexander Debus Germany 1,430,000
Jonathan Schroer USA PokerStars qualifier 1,291,000
Alain Medesan Romania 930,000
Johannes Holstege Germany PokerStars player 907,000
Huub Verdonschot Netherlands 906,000
Lukas Baumann Austria PokerStars qualifier 706,000
Daniel Van Kalkeren Netherlands 622,000

So Baekke still leads, but Carson is right on his back. Join us in about 50 minutes from now for the resumption. -- HS

6.45pm: Debus to enjoy dinner
Allan Baekke is mortal, but you wouldn't necessarily want to be all in against him, even if you were ahead. Alexander Debus just had a major sweat for his tournament life, but ended up doubling up on the last hand before the dinner break.

Baekke was on the button and Debus in the big blind. They got to the turn pretty quietly, and the four cards were A♠6♦5♣8♥. Debus bet 220,000 at it and Baekke announced that he was all in. Call from Debus!

Debus: A♦2♦ top pair
Baekke: 7♣5♦ bottom pair and open-ended straight draw

Baekke had a few outs then but the 2♥ was not one of them. Debus survives and doubles up to more than a million.

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Alexander Debus

That's the dinner break and we're getting the full chip counts right now. Give us five. Or ten. -- HS

6.15pm: Koller culled
Marcel Koller had realistic hopes of joining an exclusive club of back-to-back EPT final table-ists. But they have just been dashed. It all started innocuously enough, with Koller and Baekke getting to a flop of 7♠J♣8♦ and Baekke betting 60,000. Koller raised here, making it 155,000 and Baekke called.

The turn was [10c] and then it all went off - including the sound on the live feed from the announcer's microphone, so I'm not precisely sure how this all went in. Anyhow, it did and Koller's last 724,000 was in the middle, called by Baekke.

Baekke had turned a straight with his Q♣9♦ and Koller's top pair, with K♦J♥, had been outdrawn. The 2♥ on the river was irrelevant and Koller departs.

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Marcel Koller

Baekke now has 4,185,000, more than the rest of the table combined.-- HS

6pm: Baumann doubles through Holstege
I don't understand mathematics and I don't try. But I'm sure it had something to do with the way this hand played out.

Jonathan Schroer raised to 61,000 from under-the-gun and Johannes Holstege called from a seat to his left. It was folded around to Lukas Baumann in the big blind, who moved all in for 370,000 more.

Schroer folded without too much delay, but Holstege, who had Baumann well covered with a stack of about a million, dwelled for a while but then called.

Holstege: 5♣5♠
Baumann: J♠[10s]

That's a coin flip. I think. (Is it?) Anyway, it's pretty close and on this occasion the gods favoured Baumann. The flop came K♠8♠K♦ and the turn of 3♠ gave the flush. The river was neither a king nor a five (it was 4♥) and so Baumann won it.

He's back to about 750,000. So, roughly speaking, is Holstege. -- HS

5.45pm: Lykov out in 13th for €15,800
Former EPT winner Max Lykov has just been knocked out by Canadian Russell Carson in a top pair versus set tussle. Lykov raised from the cut-off to 55,000 and was called by Carson on the button. The flop ran out T♠2♠7♣ and Lykov continuation bet 68,000 into the pot. Carson, who had been very aggressive over the previous five hands winning three of them, counted out 195,000 and slid it into the middle. Lykov announced that he was all-in for his remaining 800,000 or so and was snap-called by Carson. The cards went on their backs:

Lykov: Q♥T♦ for top pair
Carson: 7♥7♦ for middle set

The 9♦ and A♦ made little difference as Lykov stood and shook hands with the table ending his chance to be the first double EPT champion. -- RD

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Max Lykov: licked

5.40pm: Cainelli caned
Straight after the break Luca Cainelli needed to shove with any two. It turned out he had a playable hand, [10c]J♠. Unfortunately for him he was called by Allan Baekke who had the dominating Q♣J♦. The board ran 7♥3♥J♥5♠5♣J♦ and the Italian was out in 14th for €15,800. We're sure to see him at his home event of EPT San Remo next month. -- SY

5.35pm: Fourteen for it
We're down to our final 14 players, meaning we're six away from a final table. The full, updated counts are now over there on the chip count page and a reminder of who has won what is still there on the prizewinners page.

The next man out will earn himself €15,800. But outlast 13 players and you're getting €445,000.

This is Alain Medesan. He's still looking strong:

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Alain Medesan

PokerStars Blog reporting team in the Alps (thin on air, fat on hot dogs):Howard Swains, Rick Dacey and Simon Young

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour