EPT Tallinn Day 1B: Level 1 & 2 live updates (75-150)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg2.07pm: Break
With two levels in the books already, players are now on a 15-minute break. We'll be back shortly.

2.05pm: Aggressive table
Any table with Rasmus Neilsen and John Eames on is going to be aggressive. Percia Bukara is sat with them and seems to be just as aggressive. He likes a three-bet and was just witnessed employing this maneuver two hands in a row, losing one hand and winning the next one.

The first hand saw an under-the-gun raise to 400 and a flat call before Bukara three-bet to 1,100. The action got to Neilsen in the SB and he sniffed an opportunity and four-bet to 3,250. The first two players folded and so did Bukara after some thought.

The very next hand John Eames opened the pot with a raise to 400 from early position. A player two seats along called but Bukara made it 1,500 to go from mid-position. Eames folded but the other player called to see a T♥5♠6♦ flop where he check-called a 1,700 bet. That was the last chip put into the pot as the J♠ turn and 3♣ river where checked through. Bukara opened A♥K♥ and that was good for the pot as his opponent folded. --MC

2pm: Bingo, bongo, benjo
Benjamin 'Benjo' Gallen picked up a dream flop with A♠T♠ on a T♥T♣J♣ flop. Both Gallen and his opponent, Estonian Meelis Ahman, checked. Gallen fired 350 at the 7♠ and was called. The board paired again and brought the flush with the 7♣ and Gallen's river value bet of 700 was also called. It wasn't the nuts but it wasn't far off. -- RD

1.55pm: Big pot poker
There seem to have been a lot of big pots today early doors, certainly more than on day 1a, two recent examples:

Hand 1: I arrived at the table to see a board of 5♦J♥7♦6♥ around 29,000 in the middle and an all-in bet of 23,000 in front of Manual Bevand. The decision was on Brian Jensen, who elected to fold.

Hand 2: Dan Owston re-raised Valdemar Kwaysser pre-flop open of 400 to 1,225 and was called by the Hungarian. Owston then fired the full three barrels (2,100, 3,500 and 8,000) on a 6♠2♠2♣7♣A♠ board, with Kwaysser check-calling the flop and turn but folding the river. --NW

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Big pots and ElkY's not involved? Something's not right

1.40pm: Action table
Everytime we walk past Randal Flowers' table there seems to be action. The American was not involved this time. Two players - Team PokerStars Pro Online Alfio Battisti and Kevin Eyster - had made it to the river with about 6,000 in the pot and the board reading 5♥7♠[10d]A♦4♥. Battisti led for 2,500, Eyster made it 6,100 and Battisti called.

Eyster: A♥Q♦
Battisti: A♣[10c]

Battisti now has around 36,000. --NW

1.35pm: Minieri and the misunderstanding
You can only imagine that this fold came down to a case of misunderstanding how much it was to call Dario Minieri's all-in. The Team PokerStars Pro opened the betting and was three-bet by Salim Ghozali to 2,050. The Team PokerStars Pro four-bet to 5,125 and was subsequently five-bet to a massive 14,050. Minieri then moved all-in for everything but a single green 25 chip - around 22,000. 'I'm not committed,' said Minieri. 'I want to see what happens on the flop.' It was only another 8,000 or so call into the 36,000 pot. Either our five-bettor didn't seem to realise that as he counted the potential call out with over 10,000 in front of him. As it was he passed getting spectacularly good odds even for a bluff gone wrong. It must have been a case of misunderstanding or miscounting. It must have, right? -- RD

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Dario Minieri can't believe he picked up a fold

1.30pm: Star player falls early
Nobody likes to be the first player out but somebody has to be and that person is none other than Juha Helppi. It was a surprise to our team as his reputation is of a solid player who doesn't make many moves early on. We will endeavour to find out the details of his exit. It's a good job Helsinki is only a short ferry ride away.

Edit: He ran pocket kings in to Jannick Wrang's pocket aces. --MC

1.25pm: River cat
While doing some research on the Swissotel balcony just now (for 'research', read 'having a cigarette'), I watched a woman walking her cat. It was on a lead and seemed somewhat reluctant to do as it was told. Cats are like that - they just don't listen.

Team PokerStars Pro Juan Manuel Pastor just faced a stubborn animal of his own in the shape of Aram Sargsyan from Armenia, who seemed to stick around until the river - making the best hand at the death.

With the board reading 6♦A♣6♥8♣[10d], Pastor checked and faced a 1,350 bet from Sargsyan. He called, then mucked in obvious disgust when shown [10h][10s] for the rivered full house. -- SY

1.20pm: Keep your hair on, Wigg
Anton Wigg lost a hefty pot against Team PokerStars Pro Matthias De Meulder, who apparently called every street with two pair and made a full house on the river. It looks like it was suck-out at the death, and put the man from Belgium up to a healthy 57,000. -- SY

1.15pm: A not so happy birthday
It was Mark 'Randal' Flowers 22nd birthday on Monday, and PokerStars left him a cake in his room yesterday (seriously) but it's about the only present he's had so far. On a Q♥8♠A♦J♠8♥ board Flowers (button) bet 2,425 into a pot of around 3,300. Raymi Sanchez Thorn (cut-off) then check-raised him to 6,625 total. Flowers thought for a while before ruefully giving it up. He's down to about 23,600 currently.--NW

1.05pm: Houghton at it again?
Laurence Houghton is a well respected online player but that doesn't mean that respect will be shown here by a table of mixed nationalities. It took two streets of betting for Houghton to shake off Chady Merhej who called a 875 bet on a 5♥3♥7♣T♠ turn before tank-folding the 6♠ river to a 1,950 bet.

The blinds are about to go up to 75-150. -- RD

12.47pm: A curious hand
Laurence Houghton just won a nice pot in a curious hand. I missed the pre-flop action but Houghton (under the gun) and Maxim Panyak (small blind) had put around 5,000 in the pot between them. The flop was 2♦2♠9♦ and Panyak bet a single 100 chip. Houghton mulled this over for a while before electing to raise to 2,500 total. Panyak made the call. The turn was the A♦, Panyak checked to Houghton who fired 3,500. Panyak tanked for a long time and gave Houghton a good stare down before electing to fold. --NW

12.55pm: The irony of Owston
If you've never been fortunate unfortunate enough to play at the same table as Dan Owston you won't know that he is a bawdy Welshman that can normally be heard within a two-table radius. If you didn't know that then the irony would be lost on you that as he just walked past he muttered to me, 'I need my iPod. They're [his table] are doing my head in.' It might have something to do with the fact that he was in the bar most of last night. Just maybe. -- RD

12.52pm: Video time
Dario Minieri introduces you to Day 1B in this video - and watch out for a fine on-camera delivery from our PokerStars Blog German cousin Robin Scherr...

12.50pm: Losing Lykov
No, the EPT Kyiv winner Max Lykov hasn't been knocked out but he has just lost a small pot. After his late position raise found a three-bet from fellow Russian Andrey Mitlyansky in the cut-off. Both players checked through to the 2♥2♠9♦8♠ turn where Lykov took it upon himself to win the pot with a 2,200 bet. Mitlyansky did not budge and Lykov check-folded the river to a 3,500 bet.

Lykov was recently crowned Season 6 EPT Player of the Year so expect to see him on above average chips at the end of the day. -- RD

12.47pm: Early Showdown
Fabio Scepi made it 350 to go from middle position, next to act Michele Limongi made it 1,000 total, everyone else folded but Scepi put in the 650 it was going to cost him to see a flop. That flop came 9♦9♥J♣, both players slowed down and checked to see a A♠ on the turn. Scepi check-called a 1,200 bet and then both players checked the 7♥ river. Limongi showed A♥K♦, Scepi A♦[10d]. --NW

12.42pm: The Dario Minieri post
It has become customary at these things to observe Dario 'Raaaiiise' Minieri at the start of play. Not because it's lazy journalism, but because the young Italian is so aggressive. He has action tattooed on his forehead.*

So here we go for some traditional Minieri fare:

Hand 1
Veli-Pekka Tapani from Finland raised to 325 from the button, and Minieri re-popped to 1,200 from the small blind. Call. On the 6♥9♥4♥ flop, the Team PokerStars Pro bet 1,600 and that was enough to take it.

Hand 2
It's folded around to Minieri who made it 300 from the button, enough to pick up the blinds.

Hand 3
It's Tapani again, opening for 325. Minieri fired it up to 1,050, only for the Finnish player to fire again, four-betting to 3,400. Minieri hadn't finished yet - he five-bet to 6,700. We're not used to seeing six-bet poker, but that's what happened when Tapani made it 13,425.
Finally, Minieri realised he was in a spot of bother and passed. Tapani showed him A♠K♥.

With that, Minieri is down to 23,000 within the first orbit.

* He does not have a tattoo on his forehead -- SY

12.40pm: Thater wins one early
Team PokerStars Pro Katja Thater is off to a solid start. I saw her stacking a pot in the region of 3,000 having made two pair with ace-seven. --NW

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Team PokerStars Pro Katja Thater

12.35pm: The voice of French poker
Benjamin Gallen is a superstar French poker blogger and the voice of EPT Live in French. Today he drops his pen and takes his seat alongside the sharks or as he hopes, fish. As one of our own we're going to forgive ourselves for being bias as we want him to do well.

He's down some chips already though after losing a pot to Kevin Vandersmissen. Vandersmissen opened with a raise to 300 from early position and was called by Gallen and the BB. The flop came 6♥8♣2♠ and only Gallen called the 500 c-bet from Vandersmissen. Gallen then called 1,100 on the turn but folded to a 1,900 bet on the 6♦ river. --MC

12.30pm: Elky loses a third of his stack
Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier isn't a player afraid to get involved in big action early on. As we all know there are lots of cheap chips to be won in these first levels but that doesn't mean they come free. In a multi-way limped pot Sergey Rybachenko fired 850 at a 9♦8♦2♣ flop. Ville Salmi raised to 2,025 stating his intent but the Finn found himself raised by mercurial Frenchman ElkY to 4,425. Salmi made the call and then led the 8♠ turn for 5,025. ElkY called. The river was red, but not a diamond, with the Q♥ and Salmi bet out another 8,525. ElkY sat and studied for no short amount of time drawing a small crowd of specators; press and players alike, before passing his hand. ElkY is down to 20,400 from his starting 30,000 stack. -- RD

12.20pm: Tablemates
A quick look at the table draw and I can see a few tables worth keeping an eye on. Michael Greco, Michael Tureniec, Johan Storakers and Team PokerStars Online Luca Moschitta are all sharing a table. Elsewhere Sami Kelopuro, Derek Lerner and Nikolay Evdakov are all at table 29. And Team PokerStars Pro Matthias De Meulder will get acquainted with bracelet winner Richard Ashby and Michael Piper. --NW

12.15pm: We're off!
Play has begin. Level one blinds are 50-100, and with 30,000 starting stacks, the players have plenty of time to cause maximum damage.

In the field today, the likes of Team PokerStars Pros ElkY, Dario 'Raaaiiiise' Minieri, Katja Thater, Vadim Markushevski, Matthias De Meulder and Juan Manuel Pastor. Throw in Team PokerStars SportStar Fatima Moreira de Melo, plus PokerStars players Kevin MacPhee and Shaun Deeb and you have yourself a very tricky field. -- SY

11.50pm: Welcome back to Tallinn
Welcome back for Day 1b of EPT Tallinn. The chips are on the tables and the dealers are in place so all we need now is the players. It'll be about ten minutes before the players will start to filter through the doors. Yesterday the players rocked out to the sounds of ACDC as they entered so it'll be interesting to see what TD Thomas Kremser pulls of his MP3 player today. Join us back here shortly for today's poker-fueled fun. -- MC


PokerStars Blog reporting team (in order of points won at Suffolk Poker™): Simon Young (24 points), Marc Convey (22 points), Nick Wright (20 points) and Rick Dacey (0 points as he was writing about Bingo in his room!)

Marc Convey
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour