EPT Tallinn Day 1A: Level 7, 8 & 9 live updates (500-1,000, 100 ante)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg12am: Tekintamgac seizes overnight chip lead
That's it for Day 1A with around half of the 182 starting field making it through. While all will get a day's rest they'll be one you will be sleeping that little softer. Ali Tekintamgac finished the day on 203,200 winning a monster pot on the penultimate hand of the day against Danny Neess. The Dane had fired three increasingly large bullets at the A♥5♠4♥6♥T♠ board with 6,600 fired at the flop, 14,700 at the turn and 26,600 on the river. Tekintamgac check-called all the way down with his flopped A♦4♣ two-pair. Neess left himself with some chips to come back for but will look with annoyance at Tekintamgac's stack.

Plenty of players won't be making it though and Allan Baekke and Annette Obretad were among the names that fell in the closing minutes of level 9 but they'll be plenty more tomorrow. Full wrap and chip counts to come. --RD

Chip stack watch
The last 13 minutes of today's play is upon us. TD Thomas Kremser has announced each table will play five more hands before we finish for the day. The team will be scouring the floor to make sure we find the chip leaders at the end of play. Apologies for the lack of coverage during this time. We'll be sure to report anything big though! --MC

11.45pm: Aggression pays off for Pagano
Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano is up to over 80,000 after playing a hand with 100% aggression. Michael Friedrich opened the pot with a raise 2,300 that was called by Hannu Peltola before Pagano three-bet to 7,900. Friedrich folded but Peltola called to go to the 3♦Q♦4♥ flop where he check-raised Pagano's 11,500 c-bet up to 25,000. Pagano's response was to move all-in for 61,500 to claim the pot as Peltola folded. --MC

11.40pm: Demidov doubles
Ivan Demidov has spent most of the day browsing on his iPad, but he found time to double up just now. He opened from the cut-off for 2,200 and was three-bet to 6,100 by Adam Radocz from the big blind. Unperturbed Demidov four-bet all-in for 40,500 total. After thinking for a minute of so Radocz called (an additional 34,000). 'I have nothing,' said Demidov, 'I was bluffing,' showing A♠9♥, however it turned out he was bluffing with the best hand as Radocz held 8♦9♦. The board ran out 7♥4♥4♣K♣Q♦. Radocz was left with 500 chips and was out next hand courtesy of Eddie Tsabas who flopped quad queens just to rub it in --NW

ept tallinn_day 1a_ivan demidov with chips.jpgDemidov hard at work

11.32pm: Sarwer rivers Demidov
Jeff Sarwer was staring intently at Ivan Demidov when we found them locked over an interesting A♦7♥J♥T♠ board. Sarwer quickly check-called Demidov's bet which seemed to be for around 4,000. Sarwer check-called a larger 14,000 bet on the 9♣ river. Demidov tabled top two with A♠J♣ while Sarwer showed A♥8♦ for a rivered straight. -- RD

11.30pm: A few hands from table 23
It's an interesting table is number 23. Situated there are Team PokerStarsPro Luca Pagano who has around 83,000, friend of PokerStars Pierre Neuville (67,000), Johan van Til (50,000) and one of the chip leaders Kaveh Payman (140,000). And the mixture of talent and chips is making for a heady mix of aggression and respect:

Hand One: Neuville opened to 2,500 under the gun and everyone folded. Neuville showing pocket jacks.

Hand two: Payman opened to 2,800 from the hij-jack, Pagano called on the button, only for small blind Heinz Kamutzki to make it 9,200 to play (he had about 38,000 behind). Both Payman and Pagano folded.

Hand three: Payman opened to 2,800 and was called by Pierrie Neuville from the small blind. However Neuville folded to Payman's bet of 5,300 on the A♣7♣A♥ flop. --NW

11.29pm: Who is that ugly mug?
And we don't mean Luca Pagano. PokerStars blogger Rick Dacey joins the Italian Team PokerStars Pro on video to ease us into the end of the day....

11.28pm: Yee-haw
Alfonso Amendola has just doubled to over 80,000 with pocket queens. There was an under-the-gun raise to 2,500 and a flat call in late position before Amendola moved all-in for 39,900. The original aggressor folded but the late position player called with pocket jacks. The board ran 4♦2♣6♦7♥6♣. We now have a very happy Italian over the other side of the room! --MC

11.25pm: Baekke on fumes
Allan Baekke is down to 11,000 and is very much in the all-in or nothing camp. His neighbour Danny Neess shoved on him a short while ago and Baekke looked at his cards. 'The first one is very bad,' he said. The second wasn't any better and he passed 6♥4♠ face up. Baekke isn't one to quietly grind into day two so we expect a double, triple or bust shortly. -- RD

11.20pm: Linov misses
Seppo Parkkinen had obviously got fed up with Matvey Linov's aggression and decided to draw a line in the sand. On a flop of Q♥2♠8♥ Linov led for 1,900. Parkkinen popped it up to 5,500 and Linov set Parkkinen all-in for the rest of his 22,000 stack. Parkkinen eventually made the call.

Parkkinen: T♦8♣
Linov: K♥7♥

Blanks on the turn and river doubled up Parkkinen to 46,000. -- RD

11.10pm:Rusnak survives
Frank Rusnak moved all-in for his last 11,000 and was looked up by Michael Keiner:

Rusnak: 6♣6♠
Keiner: A♥Q♣

The board: 9♠5♦J♦5♥2♥ and Rusnak got a much needed double up. --NW

11pm: Level 9 underway
The last 60 minutes of play has begun.

10.45pm: Break time
Last break of the day. 15 minutes for one and all.

10.45pm: Baeke to the wall
Allan Baeke is down to 13,600 after losing most of his stack to Danny Neess. Nees raised and called a three-bet from Baeke. The flop came 6♠3♠2♠ and Nees check-called a 4,700 here and a 6,000 bet on the K♠ turn. The river came A♠ and Rees led out for 6,300. Baeke thought for a few minutes and called but mucked upon seeing Nees' Q♠J♠ for the nut flush. --MC


Allan Baeke in need of help

10.45pm: Ville stay or Ville go?
Team PokerStars Pro Ville Wahlbeck was down to just a few thousand earlier today but has ground his way back towards the 48,000 average. Just a few hands ago he had to let a chunky pot go after putting 8,000 into the middle on a 7♠8♣K♠ flop before Artem Litvinov moved all-in. Since then he has doubled up to 42,000 after racing pocket tens against big slick.

Any player wants to do well but when it's your first EPT outing as a sponsored player you have that little more impetus. -- RD

10.40pm: Not on your Nelli
Nelli Nufer got a lucky double up at the expense of Friend of PokerStars Pierre Neuville. Luca Pagano started it off with a raise to 2,000, which Neuville called before Nufer moved all-in for 6,125. That was too much for the Italian, but Neuville made the call:

Nufer: K♠9♦
Neuville: K♦Q♣

Things looked good for the man from Belgium, who had recently shot up to 80,000 - but the flop came 8♣9♣4♥ to shoot Nufer into the lead. The 4♣ turn and 5♦ river kept her there and she's now up to 15,000. -- SY

10.35pm: Big hands, big pot, simples
From middle position Martin Papiernik opened to 1,925 only to be three-bet to 6,100 by Thomas Dolezal who was on the button. It folded back round to Papiernik who four-bet to 13,500 total. Dolezal thought for a couple of minutes and then asked Papiernik for a count of how much he had left. It was established that Papiernik had around 37,000 behind, after some more thought Dolezal five-bet all-in and was snap-called by Papiernik:

Dolezal: Q♦Q♣
Papiernik: A♣A♠

The board an uneventful J♥3♣4♠6♠[10d], Papiernik started the hand with 50,800 in total so if now into the six figures club. -- NW

10.30pm: Vanessa Selbst is out
The Team PokerStars pro's first EPT event has come to an end. I didn't witness her exit first hand but tablemate Fabian Quoss gave me the details. 'She re-shoved pocket tens and was called by ace-eight (pointing at seat two - Jyri Merivirta), which spiked an ace. --NW

ept tallinn_day 1a_vanessa selbst exit.jpg

A mixed day for Team Pro debutant

10.25pm: Easy come, easy go
Zennawi Petros was chip leader over dinner break but has since lost about half of that 127,000 stack. Lukas Benkovic on the other hand is going the other direction and is on around 135,000. Part of that swing took place when Benkovic check-raised Petros on a 8♣[jh[A♠ flop from 3,700 to 10,700. Petros let that hand go. It was a standard continuation bet from the button after all. -- RD

10.20pm: Bansi's EPT curse continues
Praz Bansi is one of the most feared poker players in the world right now and has amassed global winnings of $2,394,123. Remarkably though, apart from the PCA earlier this year not one dollar has been earned at an EPT in Europe despite many attempts. He himself is starting to think he's cursed but we don't believe in nonsense like that, do we?

EPT Tallin ended for him when he four-bet shoved with ace-ten but was called by an opponent holding ace-king. See you in Vilamoura, hopefully, Mr Bansi. --MC

10.10pm: Multiway pots are fun
Oleksii Zharko probably didn't realise what he'd start when he min-raised to 1,600 from middle position. Pierre Neuville called from the button and Nelli Nufer did likewise from the small blind. Big blind Jukka Peltoniemi though made it 3,400 total. Both Zharko and Neuville decided to peel a flop off, but Nufer folded.

Flop: A♣5♥Q♣

Peltoniemi fired a c-bet of 7,500, only Zharko called. The turn and river of 5♦K♦ went check, check, with Zharko showing A♠J♠, which had outflopped Peltoniemi's [10s][10c]. --NW

10.10pm: Baekke to average
Allan Baekke was all-in for his final 11,000 on the river of a K♣6♦3♠2♦8♠ and his shove was giving Martin El-Kher a great price on the 26,000 that was already in the pot. El-Kher thought for some time before folding his hand and turning the K♥ face-up. Big fold when you're getting three-to-one. EPT Snowfest champion Baekke is nearly back to an average stack with 37,000 now in front of him. -- RD

10.05pm: Small one for Teran
Vasily Fursov raised from the cut-off to 2,000 and picked up one customer in the shape of big blind Oscar Teran. On the flop of 7♥6♠5♥ Teran check-called a bet of 3,000. Both players checked the J♥ turn and the 7♠ river, Teran showing J♦8♦ to win the pot. As we were watching the hand tablemate Steven van Zadelhoff told us that he has 125,000, he's up there with the leaders. --NW

10pm: Kravchenko all smiles
We're not used to seeing a tremendous amount of emotion from Team PokerStars Pro Alex Kravchenko - but even he had to smile after this one.

Fellow Russian Ilya Bulychev opened with a raise to 2,600 and it was folded around to Kravchenko on the button who made it 7,800. Call. The flop was 4♣2♦6♠ and now Bulychev made it 3,500. Without a moment's hesitation Kravchenko fired it up to 20,000 - covering his opponent.

Bulychev then went into the tank for so long that the clock was called. He made the call but could only turn over pocket threes, well behind Kravchenko's pocket queens.

The Team Pro faded a three or a five (which would have made a straight) to take the chips and move up to 69,000. Thanks to ace snapper Neil Stoddart for the info. -- SY

9.55pm: No luck for Irish champ
James Mitchell's seat has been vacant for a little while now and his neigbour Ivan Demidov was showing off a nice big stack. It didn't take too long for us thick bloggers to work out the two might be connected in some way. The far superior minds of Jeff Sarwer and Annette Obrestad filled us in on the details and we were right with our assumption.

Apparently Obrestad opened the pot to 1,200 before Mitchell three-bet to 3,300. Demindov was in the next seat along and made it 6,600. Obrestad moved out of the way but Mitchell moved all-in for 22,000. Demidov called with ace-king and was racing against Mitchell's pocket fives. The Russian's big slick got there to put him up to 67,000. --MC

9.50pm: Scandie versus Scandie
The table that contains Annette Obrestad and Team PokerStars Pro Ivan Demidov is right in front of us here on media row. We were alerted to a big pot that was going on. On a flop of 6♣A♠[10s] Norwegian Tommy Skalmeras had led for 2,700 only for Swedish player Eddie Tasbas to raise, a considerable amount, to 35,000, essentially setting Skalmeras all-in. The two are neighbours at the table and there was quite a bit of banter being exchange. 'Call, I'm Swedish,' said Tasbas. Eventually after an eternity Skalmeras did call. Tsabas said, 'I'm ahead'. He was right.

Tasbas: [10d]6♦
Skalmeras: K♣K♦

Turn: K♥

'I'm not ahead anymore,' said Tsabas.

River: 9♦

Skalmeras' stack was counted down and he had 16,000 in total after the flop and so now has around 36,000. Tsabas meanwhile slips to 28,000. --NW

9.45pm: Horsing around
Jeff Sarwer seems to be enjoying himself despite only holding a stack close to the 46,000 chip average. 'We should call him horse because he's got so much energy,' he joked about one player at his table before he admitted with a smile, 'Maybe I should be quiet.' Most of the players seem happy with the banter, except for Team PokerStars Pro Ivan Demidov but it's pretty hard to ever tell if he's happy or not about anything when he's at the poker table.

That's the blinds up as well. -- RD

ept tallin_day 1a_jeff sarwer.jpg

Jeff Sarwer: will he crack Demidov's poker face?

9.35pm: Selbst on the slide
Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Selbst has dropped to 36,000 after losing two pots in a row.

In the first hand she called a raise from PokerStars qualifier Tommy Skalmeras to see a A♥K♣4♠ flop. Skalmeras was first to act and moved all-in for 7,100; nearly twice the pot size. Selbst shrugged and made the call with A♠J♣ but was behind to Skalmeras' A♦Q♣. A queen fell on the turn to end the hand.

The very next hand it was Selbst who opened the pot with a raise from mid-position. Local player/celebrity and NBA star none-the-less Martin Muursepp was the only caller on the button. The flop came K♣7♣5♥ and Selbst c-bet to the value of 2,700 but was quickly raised to 6,000 by her opponent. She thought for a while and slid over a stack of yellow 5k chips, effectively putting Muursepp all-in. He snap-called with 5♥5♣ for a set and was way ahead of Selbst's K♦Q♦. The turn came 8♦ and the river 5♠ to make quads for the Estonian. That must be the poker equivalent of a slam dunk! --MC

9.30pm: Not gin this time for Hendriks

From under the gun Eliran Argelazi opened to 1,275, it folded to big blind Peter Hendriks who three-bet very carefully and deliberately to 2,800 total. Argelazi gave him a spin.

Flop: [10s][10h]4♦

Hendriks: bet 5,200
Argelazi: call

Turn: 3♦

Hendriks: check
Argelazi: check

River: Q♦

Hendriks: check
Argelazi: bet 25,000

The bet was enough to set Hendriks all-in and eventually he opted to preserve his stack. --NW

9.25pm: Small pot poker
Team PokerStars Pro Arnaud Mattern has been very quiet, but effective from what I've seen today. He's quietly built his stack to just over double the 30,000 everyone started with. I recently saw him raise to 1,400 pre-flop from the cut-off and receive no action. All those small pots add up though, he's got over 61,000. --NW

9.20pm: Catching up with the big stacks
How have our big stacks coped with the first twenty minutes of post dinner play? Zennawi Petros hasn't moved much. We've seen him make a small raise which was harshly three-bet by a player that had just shown down kings. Petros wisely got out of the way.

Ali Tekintamgac has fared a little better. After he opened the action from middle position he was three-bet to 3,000 by Martin El-Kher from the button. Tekintamgac four-bet to 6,600 and was called by El-Kher. Tekintamgac looked at the K♣6♦J♣ flop and duly thumped down a large stack of yellow. El-Kher looked at his remaining 30,000 and passed while Tekintamgac claimed that he had ace-king. -- RD

ept tallin_day 1a_ali tekintamgac.jpg

Ali Tekintamgac looks more than happy to play big pot poker

9.15pm: Post dinner rush
Scott Montgomery came over to check on how Annette Obrestad was getting on and she described the pot we just covered. He then told her he has tripled up to 78,000 since coming back from dinner. We must find out what he ate! --MC

9.12pm: Obrestad counterfeited
Annette Obrestad just got her money in good against Mauro Palazzo but the Italian sucked out to claim the pot and a double-up. The diminutive Norwegian raised from early position and was called by Palazzo on the button and the BB. The flop came down 2♣K♦3♦ and Obrestad led for 2,800 only to see the Italian raise to 8,000. The big blind folded but Obrestad put Palazzo all-in and he duly called.

She tabled K♥3♥ for two-pair and was ahead of Palazzo's K♣Q♠. The turn came Q♣ to make a better two-pair for Palazzo and the pot was confirmed as his when the river fell as 8♣. Both players are on around 50,000 chips after the hand. --MC

9.10pm: A couple of quick hands post dinner break

Here are two hands I witnessed on my last walk round the room:

Hand one: Philipp Gruissem raised to 1,500 from under the gun and was looked up by the small blind Attilio Donato. On the flop of 6♣4♥9♣ Donato, check-folded to a bet of 2,400.

Hand two: Daniel Drescher raised to 1,500 from the hi-jack and was called by both blinds, Sergio Castelluccio (small) and Dariusz Paszkiewicz (big). Both though folded to Drescher's c-bet on the 6♣4♥9♣ flop. --NW

9.05pm: Denmark nil, Holland one
Martin El-Kher, from Denmark, raised to 1,500 pre-flop from the hi-jack and was looked up by Dutchman Joost de Ruijter, who was on the button. The Dutchman then called bets of 1,700 on the flop and 3,300 on the turn on a board of K♥7♥J♣2♥. On the [10c] river El-Kher slowed down, checking to de Ruijter who bet 5,000, which was enough to force El-Kher to fold. El-Kher slipped to 42,000 whilst de Ruijter is up to 41,000. --NW

9pm: Double Dutch
Team PokerStars Pro Joep van den Bijgaart has good friend and fellow Dutch player Paul Berende to his right. If you think they'd soft play against each other then you'd be wrong. Van den Bijgaart just forced a fold from Berende on the river of a 5♣7♣6♠3♥3♠ board. 15,000 was in the middle and a 11,625 bet did the trick. Van den Bijgaart up to 47,000 with Berende falling to 28,000. -- MC

8.55pm: Big Slick
Eddie Tasbas opened from middle position to 1,525 and was called by Annette Obrestad in the hijack. Tasbas did not get the flop he was looking for and checked the 8♦Q♦9♦ community cards over to Obrestad who duly bet 2,600. Tasbas folded A♣K♥ face up and his fellow Scandinavian offered to show what she had. It was an offer which was swiftly turned down by Tasbas. 'He's a gentleman,' said tablemate Jeff Sarwer with his tongue firmly planted in his cheek. -- RD

8.45pm: Back for three more
After a slightly longer dinner break than originally planned, the remaining 137 players (181 started) are settling back in their seats having enjoyed whatever fine food they could find here in Tallinn.

There will be three more one-hour levels of play before our day is done. A full list of chip counts from dinner are available here.

One man who needs to get a move on is new Team PokerStars Pro Ville Wahlbeck from Finland, who has just 5,000 or so left. -- SY


PokerStars Blog reporting team (in order of Fox Glacier fruit sweets eaten today - there being no Atomic Fireballs in Estonia): Marc Convey (12), Nick Wright (7), Rick Dacey (6), Simon Young (2)

Simon Young
@MrSimonYoung in European Poker Tour