EPT Vienna: Day 1A, level 3 & 4 updates (150-300 blinds)

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4.40pm: Break time
Another two levels down, another 15 minutes break.

4.35pm: Neuville takes a knock
Friend of PokerStars Pierre Neuville is a serial qualifier to EPT events; he's already cashed in EPT7 Tallinn and made the final table of the £20,000 High Roller event at EPT London at the beginning of the month, describing that event as the most exhausting poker he's ever played.

Here in Vienna he's down to about 26,300 after losing a pot to Krzysztof Jaguścik. The latter made it 725 to go from the cut-off and Neuville made the call from the big blind. On a flop of A♣7♣4♠ Neuville check-called a bet of 1,050. On the flush draw completing Q♣ turn, Neuville led for 1,600, after a brief dwell Jaguścik raised it up to 4,050. Neuville, who is always very methodical, took his time, checked his cards twice, but ultimately folded. Both Neuville and Jaguścik are just below starting stack.-- NW

4.33pm: Not this time for the Swiss
Jeff Sarwer is up to 58,000 after getting there versus Armed Idrizi. The flop was already out as 3♣5♦3♠ and Sarwer bet 1,200 from mid-position and was called by Idrizi in the SB. The turn came 7♣ and Idrizi checked to face a 15,000 bet from the Canadian, enough to cover his remaining 12,200 chips. He quickly called all-in with 6♣3♥ for trip threes - ahead of Sarwer's drawing A♣9♣. The river came T♣ to make Sarwer's flush and eliminate the Swiss who banged his hand down on the table in frustration. -- MC

4.30pm: The Bartlog log
So much for Mark Bartlog's comeback. Or so it seemed.

Bartlog, who you may remember for losing an early all in against countryman Michael Skender, has clawed his way back a little, but his tournament just came to an all-or nothing brink.

He opened all-in for 6,975 from the cut off and awaited his fate. Segey Altbregin of Russia agreed to call, showing 7♥7♦ to Bartlog's Q♣K♦. The flop of A♣7♣5♠ brought groans of acknowledgement form the table on Bartlog's behalf, the symptom of a man clean out of luck. Then a J♠ turn and a T♣.

Jeff Williams gaffawed, as only a non-participant can. It was a body blow to Altbregin who took it well. Bartlog, showing little pleasure, doubled up to around 15,000.

But if this advancement had brought displeasure to the German the next hand would put him back on his former course.

Bartlog opened for 750 in middle position, getting a call from Pierre-Elie De Oliveira next to him. The flop came K♠6♣A♠ which Bartlog bet at, 1,200 in total which Oliveira seemed to call on impulse. They both checked the Q♥ turn, and Bartlog did the same for the A♣ river, before Oliveira bet 3,000. Bartlog tensed a nostril, lifting half of his face up for a moment before folding. Bartlog back down to 13,200. - SB

4.27pm: Here's the plan
The video blog team caught up with Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki out in the Stadtpark, who discusses an earlier mishap with kings and plans for a day off tomorrow.


4.24pm: Berende bereft of a final call
Paul Berende had just been accused of being a 'four-betting machine' by Arnaud Mattern after the following hand took place. Maybe that's the reason that he simply flatted Konstantin Bücherl's 750 raise from the small blind. Markus Golser also made the call from the big blind.

Berende called 1,225 on the 5♥T♠3♥ flop and a further 3,600 on the dangerous A♥ turn before Bücherl shoved 10,125 into the middle. Berende looked tortured and couldn't quite find that final call. He's still above average though. -- RD

4.15pm: Fading fortunes
Stacks go down as well as up. It's an unfortunate truth for some and those feeling that bite include Team PokerStars Pro Arnaud Mattern (13,000), Steve Thompson (8,000) and Martin Jacobson (27,000). Jacobson was worth the mention as he was close to 60,000 a little earlier, but all three have the game to finish the day with a big stack of chips given there are five levels left to play. -- RD

4.10pm: Barny's stack more than a rubble
Barny Boatman is up to 65,000 after making a call versus Leonid Khinchuk with what was seemingly ace-high. Boatman raised pre-flop and was called in position by the Russian to see a K♥K♦[T♦ flop, where he min-raised Boatman's c-bet.

Boatman called to see the 2♦ turn where he checked, and his opponent checked behind. The river came K♠ and Boatman checked once more but there was no check behind this time as Khinchuk bet 6,000, which was roughly two-thirds of the pot.

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Barny Boatman

"I can beat queen-jack" mumbled Boatman before making the call. Khinchuk insta-folded and Boatman picked up the pot with a good call. -- MC

3.57pm: 'Pre-flop raising war'
That's how our snapper Neil Stoddart just described what happened between Team PokerStars Pro Lex Veldhuis and, we think, Andrey Dorozhkin (that's according to our seat list anyway). Veldhuis got it in with ace-king against Dorozhkin's pocket tens after a series of raises, x-bets, shoves and calls.

The J♥T♣4♥ flop may have smashed the Russian in the face with middle set but a Dutch queen on the turn left Veldhuis just needing to dodge a house or, somewhat less likely, quads on the river to chip up to 57,000. No bink for Dorozhkin and Veldhuis now has a real chance to build a monster stack by the day's end. That or Alex Kravchenko will trap-call him down to stack him... -- RD

3.50pm: Who's the gold geezer?
You might have seen this image a few times on either the EPT website or in the video blogs on PokerStars.tv. It's a statue of Johannes Strauss II, son of Johannes Strauss and one of the world's greatest composers of waltzes, marches and anything else he fancied a go at, including the Blue Danube, which accompanies the Pan Am space flight scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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A statue of Johannes Strauss II in Vienna

An icon of Vienna, the statue of one of Austria's favourite sons is situated a short walk from the tournament room. -- SB

3.45pm: Typically German, typical Keiner
Team PokerStars Pro Michael Keiner has a reputation for solid play and he's made a typically solid start here in Vienna. I just saw him bet 1,000 into a pot of 1,450 on a flop of 6♣5♠8♦ and get his two opponents to fold. Keiner is just below the starting stack on around 29,000. -- NW

3.40pm: Sarwer scoops one
EPT regular Jeff Sarwer just got paid off by Armed Idrizi after making a nice value bet on the river. The Canadian bet 5,000 into a pot of around 12,000 on a complete board of 2♦Q♠4♥5♦8♥ and his K♦Q♦ was enough to win the pot. To see his and other assorted chip counts click here. -- NW

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Jeff Sarwer has smiling chips at the table of fun

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 150-300

3.38pm: Can you Stani the heat?
Valeri Ilikyan couldn't as he only had one cartridge to fire in this hand. Ilikyan raised to 525 from the hi-jack and was called by both blinds. Kevin Stani is one of two EPT7 champions in the field today (Toby Lewis being the other) and he was sat in the BB. The flop came A♦5♦3♠ and the Russian's 800 c-bet was only called by Stani to go to the 6♥ turn. Both players checked as they also did on the J♠ river. The EPT Tallinn champion tabled 6♦7♦ which was good for the pot and to put him up to 27,000. -- MC

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EPT Tallinn winner Kevin Stani has chipped back towards his starting stack

3.32pm: Oh dear, O'Shea
John O'Shea didn't look thrilled to be beaten by top pair on a 3♥4♥T♦Q♣5♣ board in a 17,000 pot. O'Shea had opened the pot pre-flop and had been called by Igor Panak in middle position and Steve Thompson in the big blind. The Costa Rican checked and O'Shea pushed 1,200 forward. Panak raised to 3,600 and Thompson tossed his hand away before O'Shea made the call. The Irishman opted to check-call the Q♣ turn, some 4,300, before both players checked the river. Panak's J♥Q♥ was good enough to win the showdown. O'Shea mucked. -- RD

3.25pm: Peter set fair
I joined the action to on a board of K♣[10h]7♣ there was around 3,000 in the pot and a bet of 2,100 in front of Peter Gelehcoez. The only other player in the pot - Matthew Ashton - was considering his options, after a dwell of around two minutes he made the call. The river fell the 5♠ Ashton checked once more and Gelehcoez fired again, betting 5,125. Again Ashton tanked for a couple of minutes before cutting out the call and sliding it into the pot. Gelehcoez showed 7♠7♥ for a flopped set prompting Ashton to muck. -- NW

3.22pm: Jacobson bossing his table
Martin Jacobson has got off to a great start and doesn't seem to want things to slow down. He's open raised two of the last three hands and taken the blinds unopposed from middle and early position respectively. The other players on his table seem to be a little wary of the Swede. -- RD

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Martin Jacobson

3.20pm: Do the Bartlog
Still at the Williams table Mark Bartlog opened a hand for 550, all while reading the book he's identifiable by. He kept on reading as the action was folded around the table, but he took a sneak peak when German PokerStars qualifier Ayhan Tunceli, in the small blind, took time to think about things, eventually raising to 1,525 which made Bartlog forget the book and pay attention.

Bartlog called for a J♦9♣A♦ flop. Both checked that for a 3♥ turn. S3 bet 1,600 to end the hand right there, Bartlog folding and immediately returning to his paperback. -- SB

3.15pm: Banking on Williams
Jeff Williams just won two pots in quick succession, not much to him, but the kind to leave the opposition rueing the day.

In the first Williams took on the Wolf Elmar Dirnberger. With betting and calling to the river on a board reading A♥8♠7♣3♥9♦ Williams threw out a bet of 2,500. Dirnberger, the cigar still wedged into the left side of his mouth, called, watching Williams turn over A♠9♣ to win the hand.

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Elmar "The Wolf" Dirnberger

Dirnberger performed his flamboyant fold and looked up to his wife/girlfriend on the balcony above which overlooks the tournament room. He shook his head, she shrugged sympathetically. Williams up to 45,000.

That figure inched up some more in the next hand, this time against S4. On a flop of 4♦7♥T♣ both he and Williams checked the 2♦ turn and the K♥ river, Williams showing 9♠6♦ to take it uncontested. -- SB

3.10pm: Marcin on up
Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki's stack was decimated earlier whilst he was holding pocket kings. He's just got his last 5,300 in against Flavius Puica who had (wouldn't you know it?) K♥K♦. The Pole saw the funny side of his situation as he tabled A♣Q♦ and was even happier when the board ran 8♣A♦T♥T♣3♦. He hit his three-outer to move up to 12,200. -- MC

3.05pm: Back to Vienna
We're back in Vienna for the first time since 2005, that's five years, as pointed out in the latest video from the video blog team:


2.58pm: Showdown city, population zero
Yep, despite catching a few pots that have reached the river, showdowns are seemingly thin on the ground. Two recent examples:

Hand One: With the board reading K♥Q♣A♣K♦7♥ Piotr Majewski bet 925 into a pot of roughly 2,650. However, he folded fairly swiftly to Hans Schmidt's bet of 2,200.

Hand Two: Four players including original raiser Alan Baekke and Josef Klinger saw a flop of Q♠J♣9♣, an action flop surely? No sir, everyone checked, a pattern that repeated itself on the 8♦ turn. Baekke woke up on the 9♥ river betting 1,000 and only Klinger called, which prompted an instant fold from Baekke, and Klinger didn't have to show the winning hand. -- NW

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Baekke was caught bluffing

2.55pm: You can't scare a Swede
There was a time that the Scandinavians were the most feared race at the poker table and although they may not be alone on that pedestal now there are plenty of reasons why their cold blood keeps them stacked up with chips. Swede Martin Jacobson finished second to Toby Lewis at EPT Vilamoura and he's chipping up nicely here too.

With 8,000 in the pot, on a 9♣6♠T♣J♠ board, Jacobson bet 4,700 and was flatted in one spot before being jammed on for 13,000. The muscular Swede (who we spotted quaffing protein supplements in the lift yesterday), slid a large stack into the middle to isolate the action with his set of nines dominating his opponent's K♠K♥. No king or queen outdraw dropped and Jacobson is up to 56,000. -- RD

2.44pm: Three players, two pair, one winner
Just before the break a three-way pot reached the river. Pre-flop first to act was Arie Miller who raised it up to 400, he was flat called by his neighbour Oleksandr Lysenko and the button Severin Walser.

On the flop of 6♥K♣5♥ Miller bet 500 and both opponents called. The turn was the 3♠, this time Miller slowed down and checked to Lysenko who bet 1,500, a bet that both Walser and Miller called.

The river was the Q♠ and a bet of 3,000 from Lysenko was enough to take the pot, Lysenko showing K♦Q♣. Team PokerStars pro Alex Kravchenko is also at the table, he's made a solid, if unspectacular, start and has around 32,700. -- NW

2.40pm: Back from the break
Players are re-taking their seats. Play is about to restart.

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Andre Coimbra

PokerStars Blog reporting team (in order of their competence speaking German): Stephen Bartley ("Eine Kleine Nachtmusik"), Nick Wright ("Wo ist der Bahnof?"), Rick Dacey ("Gracias")and Marc Convey (English, shouted).