EPT Vienna: Day 1A, level 5 & 6 updates (blinds 200-400, ante 50)

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7pm: Dinner break
The end of level six heralds the most looked-forward-to moment: the 90-minute dinner break. Join us circa 8.30pm as we play down through the final three levels of the day.

6.56pm: Table break for Hruby
Martin Hruby has just had his table broken and he may not be happy about that considering things have been going pretty well for him this level. The Czech Team PokerStars Pro has chipped up to 138,000 in the last hour putting him right up the near top of the chip tree. -- RD

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Martin Hruby will return from dinner with a huge stack of chips (poker not potato)

6.51pm: Excellent call by Tunceli
Ayhan Tunceli was just put to the test by the excellently named Heinrich Quadrizius and passed the test with flying colours.

Pre-flop Quadrizius had limped from early position, Tunceli made it 1,200 total and Quadrizius made the call. The flop fell J♠K♦7♠ and the action went check, 1,600 bet from Tunceli, call from Quadrizius.

The turn was the [10s], Quadrizius took the lead this time betting 2,200, Tunceli made the call. The 5♠ river put four spades on board and Quadrizius led again, this time for 4,300. Tunceli was obviously pained at this turn of events, he took his red L.A. baseball cap off, turned it around, put it back on, took it off, turned it around again, put it back on again and made the call. Quadrizius mucked his cards, Tunceli showed A♦Q♣. -- NW

6.45pm: News in brief
As we approach dinner break here are some snippets of news from around the room:

  • Marc Naalden and Marcin Horecki are no longer with us. Both were suffering short-stack issues and neither recovered.

  • EPT Tallin Winner Kevin Stani is down to 15,000 after committing 30,000 of his stack only to fold on the river on a 8♣4♠J♥7♣K♦ board. When you're beat, you're beat.

  • Dominik Nitsche is down to 22,000 after losing a 55,000 pot when he ran pocket queens into pocket aces. -- MC


    6.40pm: Need a little time
    Sometimes you just need to think things through. Sometimes not.

    On a board of A♦4♦2♠3♣Wolfgang Beyer was in the tank. The action was on him and he seemed to have a lot to think about. At one point Barny Boatman, his opponent in the hand, asked him a few probing questions, breaking the silence. Beyer shrugged them off as the clock ticked down. Then suddenly dawn broke.

    "Is it on me?" asked Beyer.

    Beyer made an insta-check, burying his hands as he apologised. Boatman laughed and checked as well. They did the same on the 2♥ river, Boatman taking the pot with a pair of nines.

    "I'm sorry," said Beyer once again.

    "No problem," said Boatman. "I thought you had an ace."

    "That's the longest time anyone ever took before checking," said someone.

    "I was trying to make it to the dinner break," joked Beyer, pointing over at the clock with 25 minutes left to play. - SB

    6.35pm: Ellwood fires a big bet at the river
    You may have read earlier that Jack Ellwood was getting beaten up on a lot. But while I was away he managed to chip up to 48,000. Unfortunately my arrival heralded another losing pot for him, this one quite spectacular.

    Nicolay Iankov opened the pot from early position to 1,200 and Ellwood called in the hi-jack. Iankov c-bet 3,000 into the J♣4♦7♥ flop and Ellwood called. A further 7,500 did not dissuade Ellwood on the 6♦ turn. Iankov checked the pairing J♦ river and Ellwood spent some time before pushing forward a chunky 11,500 bet across the line. Iankov shrugged - yes, he actually shrugged - and then made the call with A♥A♠. Ellwood mucked and is back down to 25,000 (again). -- RD

    6.30pm: Cheeky Visser
    Team PokerStars Pro Ruben Visser is hovering around the 20,000 mark, but the guy has moves so his stack won't hover for long. The fact he has moves was just highlighted by a hand he played out with Milan Joksic.

    Visser raised from the button and called Joksic's three-bet from the BB to see an 8♠6♠K♠ flop. Joksic checked and the young Dutchman quickly fired in a bet and took the pot as Joksic opened folded 7♦7♥.

    Visser smiled at me and flashed (only me) his holding of T♥3♣ for ten high! "Put that on the net" he added. "They'll have to find out what site you blog for to find out that one" he continued. -- MC

    6.20pm: Chip counts
    The chip count page has just been updated, Ramon Cserei is the clear chip leader with 140,000. -- NW

    6.15pm: Nikita killing them
    Nikita Malinovskiy is very close to the top of the chip charts, sitting on a stack of around 77,000. He just padded his stack at the expense of Namani Gazmen, they both put in 3,700 pre-flop, Malinovskiy having opened and then calling a three-bet from Gazmen who was the small blind.

    The flop of 4♠A♦4♣ bought a check from Gazmen and a bet of 3,500 from Malinovskiy, an amount Gazmen called. The turn was the [10d] and both players checked. The river was the 6♣ and Gazmen led for 8,500. After a short dwell Malinovskiy made the call.

    Gazmen knew he was beat and showed just the 6♥, Malinovskiy showed A♥Q♣ and asked to see Gazmen's other card, but was told by the dealer that Gazmen was not obliged to show. -- NW

    6.05pm: Que Cserei Cserei, whatever will be will be
    Romanian Ramon Cserei just bounded into the chip lead, courtesy of some Marc Naalden misfortune.

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    Current chip leader Ramon Cserei

    It was one of those freaky hands, pocket kings for Naalden against pocket queens for Cserei. At this point you might now what's coming, but even more wicked was the announcement from one player that he had folded a queen. Now you definitely know what's coming, the case queen on the flop, the board reading 6♠3♥Q♣7♠4♣.

    After a pot worth roughly 140,000 Naalden spirals down to around 16,000, while Cserei heads into the lead. - SB

    LEVEL UP: Blinds 200-400, 50 ante

    5.52pm: Chidwick chipping up
    I missed the pre-flop action but Stephen Chidwick (big blind) and Matthias Habernig (early position) were the two players still contesting the pot on a flop of 6♥5♠2♥.

    Chidwick seemed to like it and led for 1,000. However, Habernig appeared to like it more as he raised to 3,025 total and after a brief think Chidwick made the call. There was no further betting on the K♦ turn and 3♥ river. Chidwick showed 2♣5♣ which was ahead of Habernig's pocket nines. Chidwick is on 31,000. -- NW

    5.50pm: "All wrong."
    That was the verdict of Team PokerStars Pro Arnaud Mattern who just crashed out of EPT Vienna.

    The Frenchman was down to 11,000 early in the day, seemingly unable to catch a break; his pocket queens busted by ace-jack. Then, when looking down at aces, he could only pick up the blinds.

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    Arnaud Mattern

    The coup de grace came when he opened for 800 from middle position with pocket tens.

    "The big blind raised to 2,500," continued Mattern. "At this point I'm an easy target so I call. The flop, six-four-three. He makes it 2,800, I call. Deuce on the river. He shoves, I call."

    And that was the extent of Mattern's, day, his opponent's pocket queens seeing him off.

    "That was a bad day," said Mattern. "Everything went wrong. Just one of those things." - SB

    5.45pm: Galic shrug
    Croatian Dragan Galic is in form. Just two weeks ago he finished second in an event just 40 minutes down the road from here in Baden. He pocketed €114,265 for that finish and he just did his chances of going deep in Vienna the world of good.

    On the turn, with the board reading K♣A♥6♣A♦, Vitalijis Zavorotnijs bet 3,600 into a pot of 6,000. Although he only had about 13,000 left, Galic made a quick call, nonchalantly throwing the chips in one by one with a bit of a devil-may-care attitude.

    The river was the 2♥ and Zavorotnijs couldn't even muster a check, instead he just mucked. Galic showed the K♥ as he collected the pot. He's now back to 26,000, still below average but a lot healthier than before. -- NW

    5.42pm: Ellwood continues to get beaten up
    Jack Ellwood may have scored half-a-million dollars in the World Championship of Online Poker main event but that doesn't mean that he's being given much respect here. Every time I walk past his table he appears to be getting beaten-up. The man piling in the punches this round was Jeff Sarwer.

    The Canadian opened the pot for 700 and was called by Ellwood in the big blind. The young Brit check-called 1,200 on the 3♠9♥3♠ flop, 3,800 on the T♣ turn but couldn't quite muster the mustard to call 3,800 on the river. He had the look of a man trying to convince himself that making the call was a good idea, but finding that argument flat he finally mucked his hand.

    Ellwood is down to 25,000, Sarwer hanging around on some 60,000. -- RD

    5.40pm: The moment
    In an accidentally dramatic pot, Thomas Reichstein just took down, not a great hand, but not a bad or ugly one either.

    The clean cut looking Reichstein opened from middle position for 900, which Elmar "the Wolf" Dirnberger gradually called from the small blind. In the big blind was Pierre-Elie De Oliveira (Mark Bartlog, who had sat between them, is now out), who also called.

    The flop came 7♠T♣2♦. Suddenly the tune Resa Dei Conti from A Few Dollars More could be heard coming from somewhere, a ring tone perhaps. Reichstein, not exactly Clint Eastwood, fired in 2,000. Dirnberger - taking the Gian Maria Volonté role in this shaky analogy - folded, as did Oliveira, who will just have to be Lee van Cleef.

    Elsewhere across the room Santiago Terrazas moved up to around 70,000 chips, taking a pot with pocket nines on a board of K♥3♦6♥2♦4♥ that was largely checked down. - SB

    5.35pm: Lex time
    Team PokerStars Pro Lex Veldhuis is not known for hanging around so we at the PokerStars Blog thought it was worth spending some quality time with him to see how he plays over the course of five hands.

    Hand 1. Velhuis raised to 900 from UTG+1 and was called in mid-position and from the BB. The flop came down T♦J♠8♠ and a Veldhuis 1,800 c-bet took the pot down.

    Hand 2. Veldhuis raised to 850 from under-the-gun and was called by a player on the button and fellow Team Pro Alex Kravchenko in the BB. The flop came 2♣7♥J♦ and Velhuis continued with a 1,650 bet when checked to him. The button player called to see the A♥ turn where he called a 2,800 bet from the Dutchman. The river came 6♠ and Veldhuis gave up as he check-folded to a 6,900 bet.

    Hand 3. Veldhuis folded from the BB after a raise to 800 from a player in mid-position and flat call from the button.

    Hand 4. The action folded to Alex Kravchenko on the button who raised to 800 before Veldhuis three-bet to 2,150 from the SB. The Russian called but folded when Veldhuis led for 2,475 on the A♠A♣J♥ flop.

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    The flying Dutchman

    Hand 5. A player raised to 800 from mid-position and was called by Veldhuis on the button before the player in the BB moved all-in for 11,000. The initial aggressor called and Veldhuis folded.

    Velduis started this sequence of hands at 72k, moved up to 74k before dropping to 69k and ended up on around 70k. His day will continue like this, as it always does, and a lot of the time he'll go bust. But he tends to end up near the leaders an awful lot too. It's never boring watching this guy. -- MC

    5.29pm: Fallers
    Both Team PokerStars Pro Arnaud Mattern and Costa Rican Steve Thompson have fallen by the wayside. These two, as mentioned earlier, had fallen low in chips. Details to come on Mattern's fall from grace. -- RD

    5.22pm: Vicious Visser snaps at Ellwood
    Ruben Visser opened under-the-gun and was called by Jack Ellwood on the button. Visser checked the 3♦5♥J♥ flop and let Ellwood have a 1,125 stab at the pot. Visser spat out a 3,650 check-raise forcing Ellwood to sit and stare for some time before passing his hand. Visser is on 16,000. -- RD

    5.10pm: Vlado makes Keiner paler
    Tapping the table to signal 'nice hand' and mucking your cards face down means things haven't gone your way. That's the process that Team PokerStars Pro Michael Keiner just had to go through after his lost a big blind on blind pot to Vlado Sevo.

    I joined the action on the turn, the board was 2♣2♦J♣9♠. Keiner checked to Sevo who fired out a bet of 3,200 into a pot of around 4,500, Keiner made the call. The river was the 6♥, again Keiner checked. Vlado fired once more, this time the price he set was 6,200. Keiner made the call. Vlado flipped J♠2♠ and now was about 47,000, Keiner slips to 22,000. -- NW

    5.05pm: Toby trailing
    The last two EPT winners have both been British, one of those, Toby Lewis, is playing today. I had a quick chat with him as he returned from the break: 'Not a whole lot to report,' he shrugged. 'But I've been doing my chips,' he added. Lewis has indeed lost some chips and his stack has been pretty much cut in half as he's down to 14,000. -- NW

    4.57pm: Sarwer stacking up
    Jeff Sarwer has been threatening another deep run at the EPT ever since his third place finish at EPT Vilamoura last November and maybe, just maybe, this will be the one.

    Just before the end of the last break Sarwer picked up another tasty little pot after opening the button for 700. Both blinds called him before he fired a further 1,300 at the 6♦Q♥7♦ flop and was called by Milan Joksic in the small blind. The Austrian then turbo-checked both the 8♦ turn and the T♦ river before Sarwer bet 3,000 on the river.

    "This is sick," said Joksic. "I have a straight," he added before slapping his cards together and mucking. The pot took Sarwer up to 65,000. -- RD

    4.55pm: Players returning to their tables
    The antes kick in this level and that means aggression levels increase, which in turn means more thrills, greater spills and so on and so forth. Get in! -- RD

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    The purple ones are worth 500, the yellow are 5,000

    PokerStars Blog reporting team at EPT Vienna (in order of proximity to the freezing draft blasting out of the 'smoking door'): Rick Dacey and Stephen Bartley (equally cold), Nick Wright (shielded by Dacey) and Marc Convey (may as well be at the PCA). Photos by Neil Stoddart.

    Rick Dacey
    @PokerStars in European Poker Tour