EPT Vienna: Day 1A, level 7, 8 & 9 updates (500-1,000, 100 ante)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg11.50pm: Day 1A concludes
The last five hands passed without any major incidents worth noting. Ukrainian Sergii Baranov is the overnight chip leader on 183,200. An official count of all remaining players will appear here shortly and a wrap of the day's play will be up soon courtesy of Stephen Bartley. -- MC

11.35pm: Stop that clock
Tournament director Thomas Kremser has announced each table will play five more hands before we end for the night. -- MC

11.30pm: Walking the tight rope
Being a short-stack in tournament poker is a lot like walking the tight rope; one misstep and you fall to your death (or into the safety net in the health and safety modern age). Jake Cody and Jan Skampa are both short-stacked but hanging in there.

Cody raised to 2,200 from the hijack and was called by the BB to see the 3♥2♥9♥ flop. The BB checked to face a 2,500 c-bet from the Brit that was good to take the pot down to help him up to 18,000.

Simultaneously on a neighbouring table Jan Skampa was busy three-betting to 7,000 from the SB after an early position raise to 2,600. The raiser called to see a 3♥3♦4♣ flop where he folded to the 19,500 all-in push from Skampa. -- MC

11.21pm: Levi continuing the pressure
Nicolas Levi is a highly regarded French player and given just a few minutes of spying on him you can see why. He's not afraid to mix it up pre and post-flop and is happy to use and abuse his big stack. He's just got it in again with a four-bet forcing his table-mates to pass gifting him a 14,000 pot unopposed. -- RD

11.12pm: Way out for Wasek
In other news, after losing over half his stack with jacks to aces, Artur Wasek never recovered (mentally at least) and was seen stomping away from the tournament floor. He won't be making his third EPT final table this time around. -- RD

11.05pm: Keep your pen and pad in your pocket
PokerStars qualifier Piotr Majewski is better known to us in the press circles as a blogger. He traveled the EPT circuit last season sending poker news back to eastern Europe but now he's dropped his pen and picked up chips instead. The pen and pad will have to stay in his pocket for a while longer as he just doubled-up to 28,000. He moved all-in from the SB with J♦J♠ when Maurizio Saieva raised from early position.  The Italian called with A♠7♠ and the board ran 4♠Q♥6♦9♠Q♣. -- MC

10.45pm: Hello, you've reached level nine
Players are back in their seats for the ninth and final level of the day, blinds are 500-1,000, ante 100. -- NW

10.40pm: Going Dutch?
There was a party last night, as the video blog team discovered. They went along to the BOX Club at the Hilton Vienna for the preliminaries, keeping it strictly business, and letting the Dutch do the talking, and the drinking...

10.32pm: Break time
One more break before one more level concludes the day's play. -- MC

10.31pm: Bad news for Wasek
Artur Wasek came into this event off the back of a fantastic fourth place finish in the EPT London main event. The big man likes to play big pot poker but this time it didn't pay off. Wasek made it 3,000 to go - quite a chunky open raise at 400-800 - and was flatted by Barny Boatman in the cut-off before the action folded to Thomas Muehloecker who moved all-in for 24,000. Wasek wasted no time in reshoving and Boatman was forced to pass.

Wasek: J♠J♣
Muehloecker: A♦A♥

The Pole was quite vocal about the bad news and, we imagine, that he said something along the lines of "Can you believe it?!? What are the chances? I thought his big shove screamed ace-king? Blast, drat and damnations!" Either way no outdraw arrived and Muehloecker chipped up to over 50,000. Nice spot. -- RD

10.30pm: Opponents 3, Veldhuis 1
Team PokerStars Pro Lex Veldhuis isn't one to sit back and he just played four pots in a row. He lost the first three losing 2,600, 2,700 and 1,600 respectively. On the fourth he stopped the rot, Veldhuis raised to 2,000 from the cut-off and from the big blind Antony Lellouche made the call. The flop of 5♥2♥5♣ bought a quick check from Lellouche, a swift bet of 2,000 from Veldhuis and an equally rapid fold from Lellouche. Veldhuis is now on 40,000. -- NW

10.25pm: River value
The value of this river was 2,700 to Pierre Neuville and Marc Inizan agreed it was worth just about that. The river was out and the board read 5♣A♥Q♠4♠7♦ and Neuville led for 2,700. Inizan made a reluctant looking call and quickly mucked upon seeing the Belgian's A♠6♣ to help him up to 25,000. -- MC

10.20pm: Sarwer doesn't like it
Jeff Sarwer likes to think things through and he went deep into the tank when faced with a 9,000 bet on the river of a Q♠A♦2♣A♠9♥ board. There was 20,000 already in the pot and the former chess prodigy knew he was getting a good three-to-one on the call. That wasn't enough in the end and he passed. -- RD

10.15pm: Got enough Stani-ma?
Kevin Stani is up to 46,000 after eliminating an a table mate. This said table mate opened from under-the-gun and then moved all-in when Kevin Stani three-bet from mid-position. It wasn't much more for Stani and he made the call with J♠J♦. His opponent tabled A♥Q♦ and the board ran T♣K♠T♦J♥9♠ to make a full-house for Stani which bettered his opponent's straight. -- MC

10.05pm: Have chips will barrel
Jake Cody has wasted little time in putting his new found chips to use. I joined the action to see a board of 3♦7♣7♦4♣A♥ and with around 13,000 in the pot. His lone opponent Atanas Gueorguiev checked to Cody, who studied Gueorguiev before methodically placing a bet of 8,375 over the betting line. After an age, Gueorguiev who had around 28,000 left, elected to fold. Cody now has a stack approaching 50,000. -- NW

10pm: Williams loses it
Before now the number of pots lost by Jeff Williams stood at zero. Well, now it's one. It had to happen, but in the grand scheme of things it didn't do any lasting damage.

With a flop showing Q♣J♣Q♦ Sergey Altbregin bet 4,000 which Williams called, laying his palms out flat on the table and waiting to see what happened next. That involved Ayhan Tunceli raising things up to 13,000 from the button. Altbregin passed bringing the action back to Williams who called.

Jeff Williams

Now a 6♣ turn card. Williams checked to Tunceli who bet a further 17,500. Williams processed everything in his head, hands still flat. Meanwhile Ruben Visser a few seats along began watching an episode of Entourage on a portable screen, mind focused on the game.

Williams passed. Is that a lost hand or a tactical reappraisal of the situation? Either way he's down a little to 110,000, while Tunceli moves up to 90,000. - SB

9.55pm: Situational luck doubles Cody
It must be nice to be Jake Cody. You're approaching short stacked status with some 18,000 when the under-the-gun player shoves for 14,000 with jacks and you find yourself with queens. Cody moved in over the top of Maksim Chega's shove and no-one else woke up with a monster. The board blanked out with 4♣3♠6♣T♥7♥ as Cody chipped up to 34,000. He's back in the running. -- RD

9.45pm: Ins and outs
Dragan Galic didn't last long in his new seat. He was eliminated (we didn't catch how) and his seat taken by Team PokerStars Pro Martin Hruby. Hruby didn't waste long taking a pot off the hands of his dealer opponent. The board was out as 8♦6♥K♦5♠5♦ and his 5,000 bet from the BB was enough to force a fold from his opponent to help him move up to 150k.

In other news Lex Veldhuis has the cut of a frustrated figure. He's now sat at Antony Lellouche's table and his stack has slid below the 50k mark from a high of 85k. Lellouche meanwhile has made a good recovery and is up to around 50k from a low of 13,500.

Another player much happier about things is Dutch Team Pro Ruben Visser who is up to 50k from a low of 11k. John O'Shea meanwhile is missing in action and presumed out. He rocketed out of the blocks in level one but that hasn't helped him through the day. --MC

9.40pm: LEVEL UP: Blinds 400-800, ante 75

9.40pm:Stani stacking them
EPT7 Tallinn winner Kevin Stani just won a large pot to take his stack up to about 36,000. He raised pre-flop to 1,225 from middle position and the only caller was Łukasz Zehner from the big blind. On a flop of 3♥5♥7♠ Zehner led for 1,200, a bet Stani raised to 4,500, Zehner made the call. The 5♦ turn card slowed both players down and they took a free river card, which was the 2♠.

Zehner checked to Stani who fired out a bet of 11,050. Zehner was the epitome of a man facing a really toughie. He shook his head, rested both hands on his face and generally looked anguished. The call would cost him just under half his remaining stack. Eventually curiosity got the better of him and he made the call. Stani rolled over A♦A♥ to claim the pot. -- NW


EPT Tallinn Champion Kevin Stani

9.35pm: It's all about hands
Some action hands on Marcus Golser's table, just not the type to keep his massage therapist in long-term employment.

First he moved all-in with A♥Q♥ for around 14,500, which was called by another short stack, Slobodan Bjelobrk, who was marginally covered. The Slovenian needn't have worried though as the first card out on a board of J♠8♥K♥3♣K♦ ultimately steered him past Golser's flush draw and into the relative pastures of around 26,000.

For Golser though things were looking grim, as were the fortunes of the girl still busy hammering his supraspinatus muscles. He tossed in his last 2,500 chips on the next hand from the button. Andrey Gulyy called, sitting next to him in the small blind, and Erik Friberg did the same from the big. At this point Golser stood up, calling time on the massage and adding, albeit briefly, another digit to Austrian unemployment figures.

As he paid up Gulyy and Friberg played a flop of 3♦7♥Q♣. Gulyy checked before Friberg bet 3,000, forcing out Gulyy and taking things to the showdown. Golser turned over K♦6♠ but would need help against Friberg's A♦8♦.

"Could be worse," said Golser until the 5♦ turn and 8♥ river. He was out, and it doesn't get any worse than that. - SB

9.32pm: Hallaert drops the hammer
Kenny Hallaert just picked up a nice little pot with a squeeze from the big blind using Jeff Sarwer in the big blind as the anvil upon which he dropped his hammer. Sarwer had called a late position raise for 1,300 from the small blind before Hallaert's 4,100 three-bet took the pot down pre-flop. -- RD

9.22pm: Stani still alive
EPT Tallinn winner Kevin Stani is slouched in his chair nursing a relatively short stack. His 9,200 stack has just had a boost after being shoved over an 1,800 open to scoop a small pot and take him up to 12,300. Plenty of moves and double up will be needed if he's to finish the day in good health. -- RD

9.15pm:Nice neighbours
Dragan Galic has been moved to the direct left of Friend of PokerStars Pierre Neuville, as Galic was preparing to take his seat the two of them exchanged pleasantries having obviously battled across the felt in tournaments past. Currently it's Neuville who has the upper hand with a stack of 29,000, Galic un-racked around 14,000. -- NW

ept vienna_day 1a_dragan galic.jpg

Dragan Galic: Big man, little stack

9.12pm: British fun over there
The fun table that has frequented our blog throughout the day may have broken recently but the British element of that table has moved in unison to create a British fun table at the back-end of the tournament area. Jack Ellwood (24k) is still sat to the right of Jake Cody (19k) and he described it as "ridiculous" whereas the latter described it as "quite fun".

They are both now sat opposite Stephen Chidwick who is currently showing them how it's done.

He raised from the button and was called by Atanas Gueorguiev in the BB. They both checked down the T♦4♦A♠8♦6♦ board and Chidwick tabled J♣T♣ for the pot as the Bulgarian mucked. He is now on 88,000 chips. -- MC

9.07pm:Upping the aggression
In the 30 minutes or so since the players returned from the dinner break there's been a noticeable increase in the aggression factor. In one recent example I saw Georgios Kapalas three-bet to 5,325 after Aki-Petteri Vihikainen had opened to 1,500 and having been flat called by Matthias Kurtz. Both Vihikainen (quickly) and Kurtz (reluctantly) folded. -- NW

9.05pm: Who?
As if to continue the western theme Jeff Williams just eliminated a player who will just have to be the man with no name.

Michael Schuerpf opened the pot, making it 1,400 which was called by the mystery man and Jeff Williams in seat one. The flop came 6♣A♥5♦ which Schuerpf checked. The man now departed bet 2,625 which Williams called before Schuerpf folded. The turn came K♣.

At this point player formerly known as seat eight moved all-in for 14,500. Williams called instantly, flipping over a victorious pair of fives. For the other guy A♦J♥. All over on the blank river. Williams up to 125,000, while his victim left here pretty fast. - SB

8.58pm: Zavorotnijs dragged down
Vitalijis Zavorotnijs opened the pot for 1,550 from middle position and was called by Dragan Galic in the small blind. The tall Croatian quickly checked the A♠3♣5♣ flop over to Zavorotnijs who made a 1,350 continuation bet which Galic called. Both players checked the 8♥ turn before Galic flicked out 2,000 into the J♠ river. Zavorotnijs passed and was flashed the A♥ by Galic.

EPT Vilamoura runner-up Martin Jacobson and Team PokerStars Pro Alex Kravchenko are both recent knockouts. -- RD

ept vienna_day 1a_alex kravchenko.jpg

Alex Kravchenko will have to wait until EPT Barcelona before he cracks some more poker skulls

8.50pm: Veldhuis loses some
Team PokerStars Pro Lex Veldhuis is back down to 65,000 after losing out in a pot to Csaba Solyom. The two saw a Q♥5♦9♦ flop with Veldhuis in position. His Romanian opponent went into check-call mode as the Dutchman fired away 2,125 here and 8,000 on the T♥ turn before both checked the 5♥ river. Solyom tabled Q♣T♣ and took the pot to move to 102k, as Velduis mucked. -- MC

8.45pm:Live mis-click?
We're not sure if it was intentional or not but from early position Jeff 'Yellowsub' Williams made it 5,375 to play. Now considering the blinds are 300-600, ante 50, we can only speculate that Williams got a yellow 5,000 chip confused with a red 1,000 chip. Either way all folded until it reached Michael Schuerpf who was in the big blind. He also twigged that Williams had potentially done a live mis-click, but after a dwell of around a minute he folded saying to Williams: 'I give you credit for being able to do that on purpose.' -- NW

8.40pm: Cody fulfilling his promise
After tweeting that he wants to start 'crushing' (see below), Jake Cody just three-bet Jack Ellwood off a hand. Ellwood opened for 1,425 from the hi-jack and was three-bet by Cody to 3,300. It was enough. Cody took the pot and their table broke shortly after. That was quite some table draw and all the players will certainly be glad to move. -- RD

8.33pm: Cody wants to start crushing
Jake Cody is tweeting for the first time at an EPT here's his tweet from the dinner break: '20k at the dinner break, getting bluffed every hand and not playing great.. need to focus and start crushing.' -- NW

8.30pm: Fast moves for a big man
As we came back from break we discovered that Alain Medesan, a final table finisher at last season's EPT Snowfest, moves fast for a big man. We're not talking about the felt either. The burly Romanian hustled across the tournament floor faster than you'd expect as the announcement of the first hand being dealt rang out over the PA system. A career in rugby league/American football beckons if his poker career takes a turn for the worse. -- RD

8.27pm: Two tribes
The view from both sides of the rail courtesy of the video blog team. The first, that of Team PokerStars Pro Alex Kravchenko, with an account of a tough start to his day at the office. The second, that of blogger Rick Dacey, who has the latest scores and updates from the tournament floor...

8.25pm: Done with the port
Players are returning from the dinner break for the last three levels of the day. Play should be under way again shortly.

A rubber duck

PokerStars Blog reporting team (in order of time spent thinking of something to write here): Stephen Bartley, (90 minutes), Rick Dacey, Marc Convey and Nick Wright (no time at all).

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in European Poker Tour