EPT Vilamoura Day 1B: Levels 7 & 8 updates (400-800, 75 ante)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg9.10pm: Play over
That's your lot, folks. Remaining players have bagged up their loot and headed off into the clear Algarve night. By our reckoning, Russian PokerStars qualifier Leonid Bilokur is overnight chip leader with 161,200. We'll have a full wrap with you shortly, and all counts will be up on the chip count page just as soon as we have them. -- SY

8.52pm: Stop the clock
The clock has stopped and tournament staff have announced that three more hands will be played this evening, then players will bag up their chips for the night. Stand by for a full wrap up of the days events. -- SB

8.50pm: Stani under pressure
Three players saw a flop 8♦T♥A♠. Ruben Visser was first to act, checking to William Thorson who bet 2,800. Kevin Stani was next and called it while Visser got out of their way before the J♥[ turn. Thorson was ready with a bet again, making it 5,500. Stani called for a Q♥ on the river. Thorson tried again, 10,300 this time which sent Stani into the tank. Just as he had in the hand against Visser earlier Stani had the chips required to call in his hand, but he was in no rush, taking minutes before deciding to call.

Thorson flipped ver 8♣8♥ for a set. Stani mucked, leaving Thorson to move up to 67,000 chips, while the EPT Tallinn champion falls back to 39,000. -- SB

8.45pm: Champ clipped
Reigning EPT champion Kevin Stani is down to 55,000 after failing to shift Lothar Meier off his pocket queens. Meier opened with an under-the-gun raise and then called Stani's late position three-bet to see a K♣9♥9♦ flop. Both players checked to the 3♠ turn where Meier check-called a 3,200 bet. The river came J♣ and Stani took one more stab at it with a 7,800 bet. Meier called and Stani mucked. --MC

8.35pm: Name of the game
You meet all sorts on the circuit with names that you're never come across anywhere else. How about a big shout out for Yapawadee, one of our dealers here today. -- SY

8.30pm: Stani and deliver
On a flop of T♥A♣2♣ Kevin Stani was in action again, this time against Italian Luca Cainelli. Stani, under the gun, bet 3,400. Cainelli raised it up to 8,000, leaving himself 24,000 behind and sending Stani into the tank. Stani's response was to raise again, 37,000 in total which easily covered Cainelli who agonised for a few minutes before folding, showing A♥. -- SB

8.27: A load of (basket) balls
Here's our two Team PokerStars Pros from Portugal showing off their basketball skills...

8.25pm: Lovely, lovely, oh crikey
Jonathan Proudfoot, a PokerStars qualifier from the UK, made it 5,000 from the small blind and Team PokerStars Pro Christophe de Muelder moved all in for 11,550 more from the big. Call. De Muelder had K♦Q♠ and was behind the Brit's A♣6♣. The flop came 9♥J♦Q♦, shooting the Team Pro into the lead, and the turn was K♠ giving him two pair. But wait, the river was [10s], filling Proudfoot's straight and sending De Muelder to the rail. -- SY

8.20pm: More for Mizzi
Sorel Mizzi has won another pot to move up to 170,000. He was sat in the BB and called a button raise from Thorsten Schafer to see a A♦5♦7♦ flop where he check-called a 3,500 bet. The turn came 6♠ and this time Mizzi check-called a 9,200 from the German. The river came 2♦ and the action went check-check. Schafer opened A♠5s] for two-pair but Mizzi got there on the river with A♦7♠. -- MC

8.12pm: Right on the Visser
Ruben Visser has now arrived on William Thorson's table, where Nuno Coelho and Kevin Stani are still playing. It's Stani that Visser just tangled with.

On a flop of K♦5♦9♣ Stani checked in the small blind and Visser bet 2,200. Stani called for a 7♠ on the turn. Both checked that for a 4♥ river. Stani checked to the Team PokerStars Pro who let 5,800 fall into the middle. Stani thought for a while, holding the chip to call with in his hand, eventually dropping them in. Visser quickly flipped over T♦K♥ that that was that. Stani mucked, down to 55,000, while Visser moves up to 34,000 chips. -- SB

8.06pm: Three in a row
Imagine, three former EPT champions sitting side by side. Christophe Benzimra (EPT Warsaw), Rob Hollink (EPT Monte Carlo) and defending Vilamoura champ Antonio Matias sit next to each other, on the road to a second EPT title. Two of them were just in action.

On a flop of K♥K♦T♠ both checked for a 6♣ turn, Hollink in the cut off, Matias on the button. On the 6♣ turn though Hollink came out firing, making it 2,300 which forced a fold form Matias. He's down to 66,000 while Hollink moves up to 31,000 chips. -- SB

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 400-800, ANTE 75


7.58pm: Still the chief
Max Lykov has recently tried to reassert himself as table captain (current POY you know) but Ronny Kaiser has firmly put him back in his box. Lykov won one hand but then lost a much bigger one back.

Lykov, Kaiser and Fatima Moreira De Melo saw a Q♦Q♠3♦ flop but only Kaiser hung around after Lykov bet 1,625. Both players checked the 8♣ turn before the Russian led for 6,200 on the Q♥ river. Kaiser took so long to make a decision that third party at the table called the clock and this promoted him to fold.

A few hands later Lykov and Kaiser saw another flop. It's texture was A♠K♦A♦ this time and Lykov led for 2,300 and was called. The turn came 6♦ and Lykov let the diminutive Swiss pick up the betting reigns and he duly obliged with a 5,800 bet. Call. The river came 8♥ and Lykov checked again but this time had to face a 22,200 bet. This sent the Russian into his own tank and he came out of it a few minutes later with a call. Kaiser tabled 6♠6♣ for a full house which was good as Lykov mucked. Kaiser up to 130,000 chips whereas Lykov is down to 22,000. -- MC

7.54pm: English punch up
Liv Boeree was recently seated to the right of Stephen Chidwick, aka stevie444, and has got straight into it in a battle of the blinds. Boeree in the small and, of course, Chidwick in the big. Boeree checked the 2♣Q♥9♦ flop to Chidwick who dutifully bet 4,250. Boeree took some time weighing up her options before announcing... "Is it on me?" Yes, it was. Boeree then raised to 9,000 and Chidwick mucked his hand. Chidwick is up to 100,000 while Boeree is still keeping her head above water with 40,000. -- RD

7.50pm: Veldhuis up to 70,000
Team PokerStars Pro Lex Veldhuis had a horrid start to the day, but he's now turned his lowly 10,000 into 70,000 over the course of a few levels. He just raised to 1,500 with big slick, Sorel Mizzi re-raised to 4,200 and Jan Skampa - who final tabled here last year - moved all-in for 16,000 with A-2. Veldhuis shoved in behind, Mizzi folded A-K and the board ran a swingtastic J-8-7-2... K! -- SY


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Lex Veldhuis: the man most likely to turn 10,000 into 70,000


7.45pm: Sebastian Ruthlessberg
Sebastian Ruthenberg is now in the seat once occupied by Daniel Negreanu. He opened for 1,400 in middle position before the action reached Richard Toth in the cut off. He raised to 3,500 which Ruthenberg went on to call.

The flop came 4♥J♥6♠. After a long pause Ruthenberg bet 9,800. This was good enough to put Toth off continuing. He folded, and Ruthenberg moves up to 45,000 chips. That became more like 48,000 on the next hand when he pushed Andreas Berggren off a hand. -- SB

7.40pm: Romanello struck by a boat
Roberto Romanello opened for 1,325 and Ireland's John O'Shea called from the big blind. Both checked the 3♦7♠[10d] flop, and on the 9♠ turn Romanello called O'Shea's 3,000 bet. On the [10s] river, O'Shea made it 7,000. After asking for a count of O'Shea's remaining stack, the Welshman called. He wish he hadn't as O'Shea turned over [10c]7♦ for a full house. That sent Romanello down to 34,000 and O'Shea up to 27,000. -- SY

7.35pm: Stani keeping the pressure on
Kevin Stani is here hot off the back of his EPT Tallinn success buuthasn't had the best of table draws with William Thorson, Nuno Coelho and co seated around him. This obviously hasn't stopped him from getting involved and he's twice taken down small pots preflop with three-bets in the last few minutes. Surely it can't be that long until two of these name players get tangled up. -- RD

7.25pm: Lykov loading up
On a flop of K♠4♥4♠ Max Lykov in the big blind checked to Dominik Traeger under the gun. Traeger made it 1,750 which Lykov called for a 5♦ on the turn. Again Lykov checked leaving it to Traeger to do the betting, 1,700 this time. Lykov called once more for an A♠ on the river. Now he took the lead, betting 4,600 on the end, enough to persuade Traeger to fold his hand. Lykov showed Q♠9♠ for the flush, getting a nod of approval from Traeger. Lykov up to around 50,000. -- SB


Max Lykov: always a threat, especially when smiling


7.18pm: Bilokur big stack
Leonid Bilokur has emerged as one of the chip leaders pushing through into the last couple of levels of the day. Apart from the fact that he won a €2,000 side event at EPT Berlin in March for €174,000 I don't know much about the online qualifier so thought a quick railing session was in order. If these two hands are anything to go by then I think I know how he got his chips today and it's all been done by being table captain. Bilokur raised from early position to 1,500 and was called in the big blind. A swift 1,500 on the J♦5♥A♣ flop took the pot down.

Next hand: another 1,500 open, this time from under the gun, and again the action folded around to the big blind who called. This time Bilokur waited until the turn to pull the trigger. It was two from two for the Russian and from my vantage point on the stage, which overlooks the tournament floor, I can see him raking in yet another pot. -- RD

7.10pm: Who's the chief at this table?
We know Ronny Kaiser from his deep run at last season's EPT San Remo (20th place) and the young Swiss impressed with his fearless style of play. This aggressive style is probably a lot to do with why he's up to 109,000 chips, the most at his table that includes Fatima Moreira De Melo and Maxim Lykov.

The latter just lost a small pot to Kaiser too after calling his 1,450 raise whilst sat on the button. The BB came along to see the A♣Q♥6♦ where all three checked. The turn came 7♦ and a 2,300 bet from Kaiser took the pot down. --MC

7.05pm: Negreanu done
Daniel Negreanu's day has come to an end. It took place over two hands, the first of which involved his king-ten against the queen-jack of Richard Toth, which made a straight on the turn, leaving Negreanu with just 7,000. Then a hand later he opened for 1,325 from under the gun. Ivo Donev raised to 7,000 and Negreanu tossed in the last of his chips, turning over 9♣9♦. Donev turned over J♠J♥. The board ran T♣K♠6♥T♥5♥ sending the Team PokerStars Pro to the rail.

"All right," said Negreanu. "Good luck guys."

7pm: And back they come
That was the last 15-minute break of the day. Players are now returning for the final two levels and then we're done for the night.

Leading the way right now appears to be Leonid Bilokur, a PokerStars qualifier from Russia, on around 140,000. He's followed by Sam Trickett from the UK with 129,000 and Danny Neess on around 120,000.

Still in, and just above his starting stack with 35,150, is Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu. Why mention him? Well, I wanted to use his picture, of course... --SY

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Daniel Negreanu

PokerStars Blog reporting team (in order of least pretentious car): Rick Dacey (does not drive), Stephen Bartley (Citroen Picasso), Marc Convey (BMW 325ci), Simon Young (Jaguar XK8)

Simon Young
@MrSimonYoung in European Poker Tour