EPT Tallinn Day 1B: Level 5 & 6 (200-400, ante 50)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg6.40pm: Dinner time
Six levels down and time for a dinner break. We shall all be back in around 90 minutes or 8.15pm local time for the resumption.

6.37pm: Michael Piper is out
I saw him walking away from the table and he filled me in on the details. "Andrew Teng opened from the cut-off, I jammed 25 big blinds from the small blind with ace-eight and the big blind insta-called me with ace-jack." He added: "It was the hand against Chufty (Richard Ashby) that killed me though." (see Battle of the Brits post at 5.20pm) -- NW

6.35pm:Not so Chufty
Frederik Oskar Boberg has taken a chunk out of Richard Ashby's stack. Boberg raised to 1,100 from the cut-off before the player on the button three-bet to 3,550. Ashby smooth called in the big blind and so did Boberg. The flop came Q♥Q♣4♥ and all three checked to see the T♥ turn. Boberg took the reigns with a 7,200 bet and only Ashby called to go to the K♠ river. Both players checked and Ashby tabled 7♣7♥ but lost out to Boberg's A♥5♥ for the nut flush. He's down to 42,000. --MC

6.30pm: Chouity takes a hit
EPT Grand Final winner Nicolas Chouity has taken a hit Evgeny Serebryakov doing the damage. Chouity was the initial raiser, making it 1,025 to play from under the gun+2. From middle position Serebryakov raised to 3,000 total, a bet Chouity elected to call. The flop fell A♠8♣4♣, Chouity check-called a bet of 3,500. The [10d] turn checked through. Chouity continued his cautious post-flop approach and checked the 3♦ river. Serebryakov stuck out a bet of 5,425 and Chouity made the call, Serebryakov showed A♥J♦ to win the pot. After the hand Chouity has 33,000, Serebryakov sits on a stack of 53,750. -- NW

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Nicolas Chouity (not standing!)

6.15pm: New chip hero
We have a new chip leader and that's one smartly dressed Percia Bukara who has a staggering 170,000 (this is being checked now as he was stacking chips while we were trying to count over his shoulder). Whatever his total he is certainly leading the pack at the moment and with three full levels left to play he has the chance to create a monstrous stack before the end of the day. If he walked out now and blinded out he'd still be in the top ten chips coming into day 2. -- RD

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Bukara has a giant stack with three levels left to play

6.05pm: Local lad doubles
Janar Kiivramees is one of 11 Estonian's who started Day 1b and he's just doubled up to stay in it. With about 9,000 in the pot by the time the flop came 3♠J♠8♣ it was quite natural for Kiivramees to move his last 8,000 into the middle. His lone opponent Fabian Brenes looked him up.

Kiivramees: A♥A♣

Brenes: A♦J♣

The turn and river a harmless 5♣5♥. --NW

6pm: Wigg out
Anton Wigg has just been busted by Richard Ashby. It was a straight foot race with Ashby calling Wigg's 7,300 three-bet jam with pocket nines. Wigg turned ace-queen but failed to hit the [5][6][7] flop and when Ashby, aka Chufty, caught an [8] on the turn it was all over (bar a two outer for the chop). A king fell on the river and that was it for Wigg who has returned to his second hobby of accidentally clouting people with his rucksack - it is crowded tournament floor in his defence. Wigg had lost a sizeable pot shortly before getting it all-in for a 45,000 pot with [a][t] againt [a][2] before the flop. Ashby is now up to 57,000. -- RD

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Anton Wigg: now has time to prowl Tallinn

5.55pm: Siefert makes kill on Saffari
Sebastian Saffari has been eliminated by German player, Erik Siefert. All the chips went in pre-flop with Saffari holding pocket tens to his opponent's pocket queens. The board ran [k][8][q][k][j] to make Siefert a full-house by the turn. --MC

5.50pm: At it again
Laurence Houghton and Maxim Panyar have tussled a few times today, on this latest occasion the Russian got the better of the Brit. On the turn of a K♣8♠8♥[10h] Panyar check-raised Houghton's bet of 1,150 to 5,900 and Houghton called. Both players checked the J♠ river, Panyar turned over a full house showing 8♦[10d], Houghton got away cheaply on the river, he has around 28,000, Paynar is up to 37,000. --NW

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Laurence Houghton

5.45pm: On their bikes
Here's four players of note that have been eliminated in the past hour:

Team PokerStars Online Luca Moschitta
John Eames
Rasmus Nielsen
Marc Gork

5.35pm: ElkY death watch, ends well
There's a side to this job that can best be described as 'unpleasant'. When a well-known player is down to his last handful of chips, the diligent blogger will be lurking tableside waiting for the inevitable end. It's a bit like a vulture waiting for some poor furry animal to expire in the desert.

Not that you can call ElkY a small furry animal, but so it was that I was standing behind the Team PokerStars Pro, who was down to his last 1,625 chips. It can be a long, tedious wait, although this one was made slightly more bearable by the sight of the striking (female) dealer.

ElkY managed to refrain from shoving for five hands - each time there had been a raise in front of him. Finally it was folded around to the Frenchman and in went the chips. He was called by Konstantin Bilyaver on the button, but then Antti Kärkkäinen re-raised to 7,000. Bilyaver called.

The flop was 9♣6♣6♠ and Kärkkäinen bet 5,000, only for Bilyaver to move all in for around 40,000. Fold. So it was a showdown:

ElkY: A♥7♠
Bilyaver: Q♠Q♦

ElkY looked to be on his way. The turn was no help - K♣ - but the river was A♠ giving him top pair. For reasons unknown to me he took a pot of around 9,700, which seemed a little high considering the betting action. -- SY

5.30pm: Naalden chip leader?
A scout around the room reveals Dutchman Marc Naalden has the likely chip lead with 86,000. Was it a nice, steady climb? Naalden takes up the story: "I basically doubled up through Tobias Reinkemeier, and then won a couple of smaller pots. On the Tobias hand I had 3-4 and the flop was 3-3-8 so I had trips.

"Four of us had seen the flop, I check-raised and was called only by Tobias to go heads-up. I bet on the turn and river and he called me both times. He just didn't believe me - he had A-8!"

So there you have it, straight from the horse's mouth.-- SY


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Marc Naalden is looking good to be Day 1B chip leader

5.25pm: Salmi keeps it cheap
Ville Salmi had raised preflop from early position and had been called by Katja Thater on the button. Salmi made a curious minimum bet of 300 on the 6♥A♦K♦ flop and Thater, looking particularly suspicious, made the call. Both players checked the Q♦ turn. Salmi then made another 300 bet on the Q♠ river and Thater made the call.

Salmi: J♠J♥
Thater: A♥J♣

That's what we call small pot poker. -- RD

5.20pm: Battle of the Brits
Michael Piper and Richard Ashby are sat at the same table and the two of them just played a big pot. Piper got the action started by raising to 750 from under the gun, Ashby - the hi-jack - was the only caller.

Flop: 5♥8♦7♥

Piper c-bet 1,400, Ashby called. Before the turn was dealt Piper asked to see how much Ashby was playing.

Turn: K♣

Piper fired a second barrel of 2,250, Ashby called.

River: 4♦

Piper emptied the clip firing a third barrel of 5,600, Ashby now went into deep thought, he cut out the amount to call then stretched and lent back in his seat and...raised to 14,000. 'Sicko,' said Piper. After a long think of perhaps two minutes or more during which Piper checked his stack to see what he'd have left should he call and lose, Piper made the call. Ashby showed 4♣4♥ for a rivered set, 'I wasn't expecting that,' said Piper. Ashby now has a stack of 56,000, Piper is down to 14,000. --NW

5.10pm: Facts and figures
Thomas Kremser just announced to the field the confirmed figures for EPT Tallin.

420 day 1 players
€1,596,000 prize pool
56 places pay
Min cash is €6,350
First place pays €400,000

That's quite some first prize that's waiting for for one of these players in just a few days time. -- RD

5pm: Dario downed
Team PokerStars Pro Dario Minieri has just busted way quicker than he took to fold a short while ago. He called a button raise from Veli-Pekka Tapani whilst sat in the SB to see a J♦7♠9♦ flop. Here he moved all-in for around 4,700 and Tapani called after a minute-long tank. Dario tabled K♦Q♣ for over-cards and a gutshot draw and his Finnish opponent showed 9♣T♣ for second pair. The turn 8♥ and river J♣ missed the diminutive Italian to send him on his way.

As he was leaving he asked his foe, Michal Polchlopek, if he'd like to reveal what he had before. The Pole just shook his head. --MC

4.50pm: Finn
Finnish player Eero Laivonen is out, Estonian Hanno Liiva his slayer. Laivonen moved all-in for 8,000 into a pot of 10,500 on a board of [10c]J♦6♠[10d]7♣ and was called by Lilva.

Lilva: 9♦[10s]
Laivonen: A♠A♥

Lilva is one of 11 Estonians in the field today, there were only three on Day 1A. -- NW

4.42pm: Longest Minieri fold in history
Dario Minieri is not known for slowing down a game of poker. In fact, he's usually hyper-quick. But just now he dwelled for a full nine minutes when faced with the decision of a call that could cost his tournament life.

So long was his thinking that the rest of the room had left for their break - and started to sit down again - before he acted.The board read Q♠3♣K♥7♣7♥ and Michal Polchlopek had tossed in two yellow, 5,000 chips. That was enough to set Minieri, left with only 6,200, all-in if he called.

He agonised for an eternity, studying every inch of Polchopek's body trying to find a tell-tale sign of strength or weakness.

"You have pocket threes?" he asked. No answer.

He tried again: "Will you show if I fold?" Again, Polchopek did not bat an eyelid.

"You are not really breathing. That is why I am taking so long. Call the clock if you like," Minieri said. Again, nothing.

Eventually the Team PokerStars Pro tossed his hands in the muck. He looked pleadingly at Polchopek, but he declined the request to show. -- SY

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Dario Minieri grills Michal Polchlopek

4.40pm: Back from the break
The players are returning from the break albeit if they can squeeze past the crowd trying to watch a mammoth Dario Minieri hand.

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Players are back from the break


PokerStars Blog reporting team (in order of accuracy in guessing the size of the 410,500 population of Tallinn): Simon Young (432,000), Marc Convey (375,000), Nick Wright (461,500) and Rick Dacey (140,000)

Rick Dacey
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour