EPT Tallin Day 1A: Levels 5 & 6 (blinds 200-400, ante 50)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg6.58pm: Grub's up
The dinner bell has sounded, and everyone has hot-footed it to their favorite eatery. Not your hard-working bloggers, however. We'll be doing a run around for some more chip counts. Chip counting gives us all the sustenance we need. Live reporting will be back in 90 minutes. Just before the break Matvey Linov lost a chunk of his chips and sits in second position behind Canadian Zennawi Petros who has built up a 127,075 stack. -- SY

6.55pm: Gamble before dinner
Despite the average stack being almost 100 big blinds it hasn't stopped players taking the odd coin-flip as the 90 minute dinner break approaches. An example: Dmitry Gromov raised to 1,000 from under the gun and was three-bet to 2,500 by Daniel Drescher, Gromov put in a four-bet to 6,500 and Drescher slid all but a column of green 25 denomination chips over the line. Gromov, who had slightly less chips than Drescher tanked for around two minutes before calling all-in:

Drescher: A♥K♦

Gromov: [10d][10h]

Flop: 2♠6♦Q♠

Turn: K♠

At this point Gromov stood up.

River: 6♠

As he walked off Gromov threw his seat card number towards the dealer in disgust. --NW

6.50pm: Russian chip monster
As soon as we announce one chip leader another one springs up in his place and that player is Matvey Linov. Sat two seats to the left of Praz Bansi, Linov has spent the last twenty minutes battering anyone at gets into a pot with him, which pretty much means anyone that decides to play a hand. Linov has been value betting second pair on paired and flushed boards and raising pre-flop liberally. Maybe he's running hot, maybe he's just steam rolling his table. Time will tell but at the moment Linov has some 135,000 in his impressive stack. -- RD


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Matvey Linov has battered his way to the chip lead


6.45pm: Those we have loved
A fair few notables have fallen in the last hour. Here's a list of those we have noted to have taken the walk of shame:

Sorel Mizzi
Benny Spindler
Evgeniy Zaytsev
Josef Klinger
Gino Alacqua

6.35pm: Put your coat on it's about to get chilly
Ali Tekintamgac got the action started by raising to 900 from under the gun+1, he was flat called in two spots, by Ramon Cserei from middle position and the small blind Danny Neess. The flop was 5♠8♠7♠, Neess and Tekintamgac both checked to Cserei who bet 2,100. Neess got out the way only for Tekintamgac to min-raise to 4,200 total, a bet Cserei smooth called. The turn was the 4♣ Tekintamgac checked to Cserei who bet 6,125, Tekintamgac moved all-in and quick as a flash Cserei called.

Tekintamgac: K♠9♠

Cserei: Q♠3♠

River: Q♦

We're not sure exactly how much Cserei had at the start of the hand but what we do know is that Tekintamgac had him covered and is now definitely the current chip leader. --NW

6.30pm: New chip leader emerges
The blog team's sharp eyes have deduced that Ali Tekintamgac is our current chip leader with 115,000. He's no stranger to taking down major tournaments so will be a threat from here on in. Details on how he got those chips are coming up. --MC

6.25pm: 'Did he beat you on the river?'
Nelli Nufer opened from early position to 1,200 and was three-bet to 4,200 by Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano in the small blind. Nufer made the call. Pagano led into the J♥4♦6♦ flop for 6,000 and was min-rasied by Nufer to 12,000. Pagano called before both players checked the 6♠ turn. The K♣ on the river spurred Pagano into betting 11,500 which Nufer didn't waste much time in calling but she couldn't show a hand to beat Pagano's rivered set with K♦K♠.

'Did he beat you on the river?' asked another player at the table. Nufer's nod wasn't the most convincing it must be said. -- RD

6.20pm: Three way all-in
The action continues apace at Praz Bansi's table. Konstantinos Nanos raised to 1,200 from under the gun and was flat called by both Juha Vilkki and Praz Bansi, before Josef Klinger moved all-in for 8,000 from the big blind. Nanos then moved in for a little of 6,000 and Vikki also pushed all-in, having both covered. Bansi folded.

Klinger: A♦K♦
Nanos: [10d][10c]
Vikki: Q♦Q♠

Flop: 5♠7♣Q♣

Bansi folded pocket fives.

Turn: 8♦

River: A♠

Vikki eliminated both Klinger and Nanos and is now up to around 31,000. --NW

6.15pm: Gill gone
Carter Gill was nursing a short stack for some while. His seat is now empty so we're assuming he's been eliminated. He was tired from lack of sleep and jet lag so at least he can go for a nap now. He'll be seen again for sure at the plethora of side events occurring this week. --MC

6.10pm: Pulling a move on a move?
Sometimes the profitable play is not to pull too many moves yourself but to sit in wait for another player to make a move and then make a move on that player. Sorel Mizzi may have just been exploited in this manner. Benny Spindler opened with a raise to 900 from under-the-gun and was called in two spots before Mizzi three-bet to 3,400. The player in the SB then cold four-bet to 11,750 prompting all his opponents to fold. He may have held a monster holding but equally he could have had air. The move looked so strong that one of his four opponents would have to have held aces or kings there to be comfortable moving forward in the hand. --MC

6pm: Chips for Heinz
We came to the action as three players went to a flop of 7♠Q♥7♣; middle position Johan van Til, button Oleksii Zharko and big blind Heinz Kamutzki. Kamutzki checked, van Til bet 1,500, Zharko called, but Kamutzki raised to 4,700, enough to make van Til fold, but not Zharko who made the call. On the 4♠ turn Kamutzki bet 6,700 and Zharko called. The river was the 8♣. Kamutzki bet again, this time 10,000 and after a dwell of about 90 seconds Zharko called.

Kamutzki: A♦7♥
Zharko: K♣Q♠

Kamutzki is now up with the chip leaders with about 73,000, Zharko still has plenty with just under 50,000. --NW


5.55pm: Selbst picks the bluff off
Vanessa Selbst was on the button when she called a 750 open raise from middle position picking up an extra customer in Jukka Ylitalo in the big blind. All three players checked through to the J♣K♠3♣7♠ turn at which point Selbst decided to bet 1,600. Only Ylitalo made the call who then led a small 1,600 into the K♣ river. Selbst instantly picked up the 1,600 in chips looking like she had no intention of doing anything other than calling. That she did and was shown 9♠T♣ but Ylitalo who joked, 'Nuts.' Selbst showed pocket queens for two-pair with Q♣Q♦ and raked in the pot. -- RD

5.50pm: Aces are no good at this table
We reported earlier how Praz Bansi won a big pot after cracking an opponent's pocket aces. Bansi himself has just lost a big pot holding pocket aces to slip back down to 26,000 chips. He filled us in on the action:

He opened to 800 before Seppo Parkkinen three-bet to 2,100 from the button. The BB called but Bansi four-bet to 6,100. Both the Parkkinen and the BB called committing around a third and 40% of their stacks respectively. The flop came [9][6][3] with a flush draw and Bansi continued the aggression with a 6,500 bet. Parkkinen moved all-in for his remaining stack and the big blind called all-in as well. Bansi called off the extra 5,000 or so.

Parkkinen tabled pocket nines for top set and the big blind opened pocket queens. The rest of the board blanked and Parkkinen scooped the large pot, eliminating the BB in the process and denting Bansi's stack. After getting very lucky earlier Bansi has balanced his "luck" and has to start from scratch. --MC

5.45pm: iPad v iPad, Russian v Russian
It's the must-have new gadget for every self-respecting poker pro. Even Team PokerStars Blog has an iPad to aid speedy chip counts straight from the tournament floor (and not to play Angry Birds on, oh no).

Team PokerStars Pros Alex Kravchenko and Ivan Demidov, sharing the same table here, both have an iPad and are spending the entire afternoon browsing to their hearts' content. Even when they locked horns just now.

Demidov looked up from his iPad to glance at his cards, and tossed out a raise to 750 before returning to his screen. It was folded around to Kravchenko on the button, who looked away from his iPad, looked at his cards, and re-raised to 2,050. He did notglance back at his screen, but instead went into statue mode. He hardly seemed to be breathing.

Back to Demidov, who looked a little irritated to have to look away from his iPad once more. He brought back his initial bet, and now put out 5,050 - before returning to his browsing duties. Now Kravchenko moved - but only to muck his cards before returning to study his screen.

Shortly after, their table was broken. Demidov joined the already tough fighting ground of Jeff Sarwer, Annette Obrestad and James Mitchell. But he won't know that if he keeps playing with his iPad. -- SY

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Apple of his eye: Demidov

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Browsing: Kravchenko

5.40pm: Big pot for Philipp Gruissem
Two players, Phillip Gruissem (cut-off) and Konstantin Bilyaver (middle position) made it to the turn of a [10c]Q♥6♥4♣ board with about 5,500 in the pot. Bilyaver checked to Gruissem who bet 2,800. Bilyaver now tanked, hard. Emerging from the tank he raised to 8,000 with around 19,000 behind. It was now Gruissem's turn to tank, he eventually settled on a call, leaving himself around 16,000 back.

The river was the 9♠, Bilyaver checked to Gruissem who considered a bet but he elected to check behind. Bilyaver said: "You're good," but Gruissem waited for him to turn his hand over, which he did revealing pocket sevens. Gruissem turned over 4♠6♠ to win the pot. Bilyaver said: "That was my pot if I bet the river you go away." --NW

5.35pm: Bogas, Berende and Bijgaart
Antonio Bogas limped under the gun to pick up a cheap flop but with Clayton Mozdzen in middle position he was unlikely to get one. The Canadian raised to 800 and was called by Jussi Jaatinen in the big blind. Bogas made up the other 500. Mozdzen followed up with a 2,000 continuation bet on the T♣2♥3♥ flop and both players passed.

At the same table moments later, Paul Berende limp-called a Joep van den Bijgaart pre-flop raise before insta-mucking on a 6♠K♣4♣ flop. Okay, it's not scintillating stuff but it's all building towards an inevitable car crash between the two. -- RD

5.30pm: 'You guys are picking the wrong spots to three-bet me'
New member of Team PokerStars Pro, Vanessa Selbst, is going along very nicely with 67,000. She just took a pot off an opponent after she let him bluff every street. She opened the pot with a raise to 800 from early position and then called a three--bet to 2,000 from a player on the button. She then went into check-call mode when her opponent bet 2,500, 5,200 and 8,600 on each street. The final board read 4♥8♥7♠2♦4♦ and Selbst's K♥K♠ better the button's 6♥6♦.

Selbst seemed very happy with herself after the hand and she said to the table "You guys are picking the wrong spots to three-bet me!" --MC

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Happy camper so far at her first EPT

5.25pm: Table of death playing nice...for now
As earlier reported, Team PokerStars Pros Ivan Demidov and Alex Kravchenko are sharing a table with, amongst others, Sorel Mizzi and Johan van Til. However, for now they're playing nice. In a recent pot Christophe Castin limped under the gun, Mizzi called from the cut-off as did Demidov from the button and Dan Murariu completed from the small blind. However big blind Daniel Drescher decided to apply some limpers tax, raising to 1,300 total. It was enough as one by one the limpers folded. Both Kravchenko and van Til have around 51,000, Demidov has 32,500 and Mizzi has 19,000. --NW

5.20pm: Luca or Yoda?
News has just reached us that Team PokerStars Pro Luca laid down pocket aces on the turn. His opponent held pocket kings and the turn was a king. There's a reason why he gets the big bucks! --MC

5.15pm: Obrestad-Sarwer-Mitchell soup
What happens when you take a pinch of min cut-off Annette Obrestad open with a dash of Jeff Sarwer button raise and then garnish with a Jamie Mitchell big blind? It turns out you get four-bet soup. Obrestad opened for 600 from the cut-off and was three-bet to 1,600 by Sarwer. Irish Open winner Jamie Mitchell asked to see Obrestad's stack before making it 4,500. Both players passed and Mitchell claimed another couple of thousand for his stack. -- RD

5.10pm: Antes = action
Level five has seen the introduction of running antes, an action inducer traditionally. I witnessed one such pot on my last orbit of the poker room. On the river of a 7♣3♦K♠6♥8♠ board, big blind Janne Nevalainen checked to Tomer Berda who bet 6,000 into a 7,000 pot. Nevalainen called, in a way that suggested he thought he was donating.

However, Berda pushed his cards face down towards the muck and Nevalainen showed 7♠5♠ to claim the pot. --NW

5pm: Number crunching
The official number of starting players today was 182, and with a bigger field expected tomorrow we should be well above the 400 player mark. Right now, 163 of today's starters still have chips. -- SY

4.55pm: Back from the break
The players are back in their seats and ready to crank the aggression levels. A running ante has just been introduced after all. Fellow Dutchmen Joep van den Bijgaart and Paul Berende are sat side by side at one lively table with Clayton Mozdzen a couple of seats to their right. It's likely that these three will clash thtoughout the next two levels before we take a hard-earned break for dinner. -- RD

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Joep van den Bijgaart and Paul Berende: Hair separated at birth?


PokerStars Blog reporting team (in order of excitement of watching the new A-Team movie): Marc Convey (7.5 out of 10, 'I would have said nine but I don't want to get too excited), Rick Dacey (6), Nick Wright (2) and Simon Young (0)

Rick Dacey
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour