EPT Tallinn Day 3: Level 15 & 16 updates (2,500-5,000, 500 ante)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg3pm: Huge comeback for Elnajjar
It's been some level for Bassam Elnajjar. First he got it all-in with J♦J♠ against Arnaud Mattern's T♥J♥ and held after flopping a set and then he won another chunky pot post flop to put him up to near 176,000. He must have thought that the cash spots would pass him by.

That's a break. The players have fifteen-minutes for R&R. -- RD

2.55pm: Running the clock down?
As the money spots get closer in big tournaments you often getting some majot stalling and this one is no different. With just two more knockouts until the money we came across Mark Dalimore having the longest unnecessary dwell up. Manuel Bevand raised to 12,500 and Eddie Tasbas three-bet from the small blind to 28,000. Dalimore then went deep into the tank. Did he have a marginal hand or was he just stalling? Either way it succeeded in running the clock down significantly.

Bevand passed and Tasbas showed the 5♣. Nice move. -- RD

2.45pm: Ouch! Kastle out
Casey Kastle is out in 59th place. He pushed on the button for 53,000 with A♦7♣ and was called by Ivan Demidov in the small blind holding A♥6♠.
It was a nice spot for the Slovenian Kastle - but the board ran 6♣K♦4♠[10h]8♦ to give the Russian the pot. Demidov is now up to around 270,000. -- SY

2.40pm: Sasa Stancic snares a double up
He's still very short though. He got his last 20,000 in with K♠J♠ against Artem Litvinov's J♥[10h] the board ran out K♥J♣7♠A♦9♦. --NW

2.38pm:Three off the money
Gerardo Wuro has been eliminated in 60th place by Nathanael Filskov. The Italian open-shoved for 63,000 from under-the-gun with 8♥8♣ and was called by Filskov in the SB holding A♥Q♠. The board ran 5♦9♠K♣9♦A♠. It's always cruel when it's the river that does the damage. --MC

2.35pm: Neuville in bluff shocker
Pierre Neuville has a fairly rocky reputation and that can really help you when you want to run a bluff. On a A♣4♦8♦T♣9♠ board Neuville bet 42,000 into Attilio Donato. "Do you want to see?" asked Neuville as he turned K♣Q♣. The Belgian added: "Once a day." -- RD

2.30pm: Demidov takes huge hit
Ali Tekintamgac cracked Ivan Demidov's aces to double up to 610,000. The Russian had opened to 11,500 and Tekintamgac re-raised to 30,000. Team PokerStars Pro Demidov then fired it up again to 62,500, Tekintamgac moved all in and got an instant call:

Tekintamgac: K♠K♦
Demidov: A♠A♦

All looked good before the flop came 5♠J♣K♥, shooting the German into the lead. The 8♦ turn and 7♦ river kept him there. Demidov now down to 210,000. -- SY


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Ivan Demidov: hit hard by a huge suckout


2.20pm: Demidov wins a big one
When Perica Bukara got moved to the direct left of Team PokerStars Pro Ivan Demidov about 45 minutes ago, we were pretty certain that the two big stacks would clash in a big pot and inevitably it has happened. The board read 3♥K♣2♠A♠Q♦, there was 115,000 in the pot and a bet of 71,500 in front of Demidov, who was the small blind in this hand. Bukara was starring intently at Demidov, the Russian was starring intently at his Ipad, probably browsing the PokerStar blog again. Bukara wasn't going to get anything however long he looked, but that didn't stop him trying for at least five minutes. Demidov had around 410,000 behind and Bukara about 350,000 total and Bukara elected to, eventually, fold. --NW

2.05pm: Thater out
Katja Thater moved all-in under the gun and was isolated by Pierre Neuville. "You have aces again?" asked Thater as she showed Q♣Q♥. Neuville tabled A♦K♦ to set up a classic race dangerously close to the bubble. The 2♥2♦5♦ flop gave Neuville a lot of outs and he hit one of them, the ace, on the river as the board ran out T♣A♣. "I'm very sorry," said Neuville. Thater didn't look happy but certainly tried to hide it. We have 60 players left here in Tallinn and 56 paying spots. -- RD

2pm: Position pays for Bilyaver
Nathanael Filskov and Konstantin Bilyaver just played an intriguing blind on blind hand. I joined the action on the flop with approximately 31,000 in the pot. The flop was K♠Q♦[10s] and Filskov led out for 17,000, a bet Bilyaver smooth called. The turn was the 4♠ and Filskov check-called a bet of 26,000. The river fell the Q♥ and Filskov checked to Bilyaver who considered his options and settled on a bet size of 46,500, Fliskov folded, showing the K♣ as he did so. --NW

Keiner canned
Team PokerStars Pro Michael Keiner has been eliminated. He three-bet shoved for 42,000 with Q♣T♣ after an initial raise to 12,500. His opponent called with A♦K♥ and the board ran J♣7♠6♠K♣8♥. --MC


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Team PokerStars Pro Michael Keiner bows out with a smile


1.50pm: One in, two out
The most common phrase in the ten minutes we've been playing of level 16 has been 'all-in and call,' a summation:

Frederik Boberg doubled through Mark Dalimore in a blind versus blind battle. Boberg's pocket nine holding up against Dalimore's A♦8♦. Perica Bukara eliminated Juha Lauttamus, Bukara flopping a set of sevens to crack Lauttamus' aces, Bukara now has 500,000. Also out is Jose Obadia his remaining 65,000 going to Team PokerStars Pro Ivan Demidov. --NW

1.37pm: Back from the Break
Players are now back from the break, during the recess the tournament staff coloured up the black 100 denomination chips. 68 players are left.--NW

1.22pm: Break
Players are on a 15-minute break before Level 16 starts

1.22pm: 'Stupid call, yeah'
Mark Dalimore is up to 170,000 after taking a pot off Domenico Ficarra and then proceeded to tell his opponent how bad he played the hand. Manuel Bevand opened to 9,500 from early position and was called by Ficarra before Dalimore three-bet to 35,000. Bevand folded but the Italian called to see the 3♦K♥9♦ flop where he check-folded to the Brit's insta-shove. It wasn't enough for Dalimore to win the pot though as he felt the need to tell the Italian how bad he played the hand. Ficarra wasn't impressed but he most probably made a good fold as Dalimore revealed his holding of A♠K♠. --MC

1.20pm: Deadly Demidov
Ivan Demidov is a constant threat at the table. Vitalijs Zavorotnijs had opened to 9,500 and Demidov slowly and claming raised again to 26,500. Zavorotnijs didn't look madly thrilled about the situation but made the call. The Team PokerStars Pro c-bet 25,500 into the 9♦T♣3♥ flop and took the pot down. -- RD

1:16pm: Vadim vanishes
Team PokerStars Pro Vadim Markushevski has just been seen leaving the tournament area. His neighbor was fellow Team Pro Arnaud Mattern, who was seen suspiciously stacking a new pile of chips. Seems the Frenchman has bust the man from Belarus. --SY

1.14pm:Thater all in...
Katja Thater saw an opening raise to 9,000 from Dmitry Vitkind and moved all-in for 46,700, taking it down there and then to move back over 50,000. -- SY


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Team PokerStars Pro Katja Thater is very near the money


1.11pm: Z is for Zooming up the chip counts
Vitalijs Zavorotnijs has been very active in the opening level and he just blew Simone Falorni off a pot with a pre-flop four-bet. Zavorotnijs opened to 9,500 from the cut-off, Falorni made it 22,000 from the small blind, Zavorotnijs four-bet to 47,000 and Falorni tanked. The Italian seemed in two minds, he stacked up a high tower of yellow 5,000 denomination chips but eventually folded J♣J♦ face up. Zavorotnijs showed 4♠8♠ for a cheeky bluff.--NW

1.10pm: Ridden out of town
Lorenz Roder has tumbled out of the tournament thanks to a late position shove with 4♠5♣. Igor Ivashkiv called the short stack in the big blind with J♥Q♥ and held up against the wheel cards on the K♠A♦7♠A♠K♦ board. -- RD

1.05pm: Nice spot to find kings
If you're short-stacked with 31,600 and in the BB you're going to pray for a big hand and Clayton Mozdzen must've been on his knees in his mind as he woke up with pocket kings just now. Jean-Daniel Pessina raised to 10,500 and then called the Canadian's all-in push with 3♦3♥. Mozden revealed his K♥K♣ which held through the T♦Q♣8♣6♥4♦ board. --MC

1pm: Action slowing
We've lost ten players in the opening 50 minutes but the action has now slowed as we creep every closer to the money, the aggression though has not, a recent example:

From under the gun Vitalijs Zavorotnijs raised it up to 9,500. It folded all the way to Juha Lauttamus in the big blind. The Finn took his time before methodically three-betting to 28,800. Now it was Zavorotnijs turn to tank, he elected to four-bet all-in, this time Lauttamus was swift to act, tossing his hand in the muck. --NW

12.53pm: Team Pro neighbour battle
Team PokerStars Pro members Arnaud Mattern and Vadim Markushevski have been drawn in the seats next to each other today. The latter of these two is gaining the upper hand for now by winning two pots in a row against the Frenchman, albeit small ones. Firstly he min-raised from under-the-gun to take the pot and then he moved all-in for 57,000 from the BB when Mattern made it 10,500 from the SB. The Belarusian still has less than half an average stack though and has a lot of work to do to get into the money. --MC

12.45pm: Neuville doubles again
Friend of PokerStars Pierre Neuville has just doubled again and now sits on 170,000. Neuville opened for 11,600 and was three-bet by the big blind, Peter Cerven, to 24,000. Neuville moved in for 83,000 and was called.

Cerven: 9♦9♥
Neuville: A♥A♠

As the board ran out T♦2♠3♠3♥K♠ Neuville let out a massive sigh of relief. It's been quite a start for the EPT Qualifier of the Year. -- RD


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Pierre Neuville has got off to an awesome start


12.40pm: Arnaud eliminates a shortstack
From under the gun Martin Papiernik moved all-in for 67,000 it folded to Team PokerStars Pro Arnaud Mattern who also moved all-in, for around 130,000. Everyone else folded.

Papiernik: A♥J♠
Mattern: A♦Q♦

The board ran out J♣4♣Q♠7♦K♦, Mattern is sat to the direct right of fellow Team PokerStars Pro Vadim Markushevski, who has about 90,000. --NW

12.40pm: Weekes applying the pressure
Overnight chip leader Jonathan Weekes has hit foot firmly pressed on the pedal marked accelerator. Just now he three-bet to 26,000 from the small blind after Lorenz Roder had opened to 12,000 from the hi-jack. Roder flicked in the extra 14,000. The flop fell 8♦6♠7♥ and Weekes c-bet 24,500, Roder slammed A♣K♣ onto the felt in frustration. --NW

12.37pm: Happy Povilas
Ville Salmi has been kind enough to double-up Pustolas Povilas. The former raised from the hijack before the latter shoved for 68,000. Call for a showdown:

Salmi: T♦T♣
Povilas: A♥Q♦

The board ran 2♣Q♠4♣8♥J♥. Povilas nearing an average stack now. --MC

12.35pm: Mattern lets one go
Team PokerStars Pro Arnaud Mattern raised to 10,000 from the cut-off and was shoved on by Martin Papiernik in the big blind for 59,400. Mattern looked pained (maybe it was his broken leg that was giving him grief) and after a good two minutes of counting and recounting his stack he passed to the Slovenian. -- RD

12.30pm: Nursing sore heads
There are a few folk here today who seem to be a little, er, tired. Some of my blog team in particular, it has to be said. The reason? Last night was PokerStars' official party in Tallinn at the quaintly-named Club BonBon. It was a splendid affair, with wine flowing, food, music and more.

Team PokerStars Pro ElkY seemd to be having a ball - this picture may explain why.... --SY

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ElkY and friends

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12.25pm: Double for Neuville
Friend of PokerStars and Serial PokerStars Qualifier Pierre Neuville got a key double up and now sits with a more relaxing 83,000. He opened for 12,000 and was re-raised to 26,000 by Paul Pires-Trigo from France. When it was folded back to the man from Belgiun, he moved all in for 41,800 total. Call.

"Watch this, Simon. It's now or never," Neuville told me as he turned over A♣K♠. He was in a race against Pires-Trigo's pocket queens, which he duly won on the K♦[10d]8♥3♠2♥ board.

"Now I can win the tournament," added Neuville while stacking his new loot. -- SY

12.20pm: Another early exit
Maixme Conte's day three was short lived. On the turn of a J♥6♠2♦Q♣ board with around 35,000 in the pot he moved all-in for around 80,000 over the top of Konstantin Bilyaver's bet of 17,000, Bilyaver made the snappiest of snap calls.

Conte: A♦Q♥
Bilyaver: 6♦6♣

The river an academic [10h], Bilyaver said: "I'm running good today," as he stacked the chips. --NW

12.10pm: First KO of the day
Raymi Sanchez Thorn is out first casualty of the day. He got it all-in with A♣Q♥ against Vesa-Petri Juutilainen's K♥K♣ and failed to hit his over card. -- RD

11.55pm: Day 3 about to start
84 players return today, leading those who're dreaming of taking home the first prize of €400,000 are UK online qualifier Jonathan Weekes who is the chip leader with 711,900 and Team PokerStars Pro Ivan Demidov who is second in chips with 480,400.

Those whose thoughts are probably centered around trying to make a min cash of €6,350 include Friend of PokerStars Pierre Neuville and the sole remaining female in the field Team PokerStars Pro Katja Thater. Both come back today with just 10 big blinds. 56 of the 84 players who sit down today will make the money, the plan is to play five levels or down to 24 players, whichever comes first. --NW

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Jonathan Weekes

PokerStars Blog reporting team (in order of the amount goals we think have been scored in the English Premier League since its inauguration. Answer: 18,462): Marc Convey (18,700), Nick Wright (17,153), Simon Young (9,690) and Rick Dacey (28,424)

Nick Wright
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour