EPT Vilamoura Day 2: Levels 9 & 10 updates (600-1,200, 100 ante)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg3pm: End of the level
That's the end of level 10, the second of the day. We're on a 15-minute break, folks. -- SY

2.59pm: Kings into kings
Both Andreas Van De Venne and Pierre Mothes were starting to get short with less than 30,000 and so were equally happy to get it in with a premium hand. There had been one small under the gun raise before Van De Venne shoved and Mothes moved in behind him. Both tabled kings, Van De Venne with the red ones and Mothes with the black. The rainbow flop stalled the hopes of any improbable four flush. Chop. -- RD

2.58pm: Talkin' Italian
On a board of 2♥A♥4♣5♠3♥ David Williams had bet 20,000. Still involved was Italian Fabrizio Ascari, a talkative player who makes noise to fill quiet parts of the day. He eventually called Williams for a split pot, both players playing the board, then began to suggest things to Williams in an Italian dialect even Luca Pagano, seated to the left of Williams, couldn't understand.

Williams instead busied himself by paying for the bottle of water that had been brought to him while Ascari continued in English-as-a-second-language poetry. Williams, still on around 70,000, tapped his head and said "smart," perhaps hoping it might end the conversation there. But I'm not sure the conversation ever ends for Ascari. -- SB

2.55pm: Mattern getting thumped
Team PokerStars Pro Arnaud Mattern is having a tough time of it. He tells us of a succession of hands that cut his stack in half to around 65,000. He called a short-stack all-in holding [k][10] and was up against [7][9], the shortie flopped two pair; he called a "maniac" with deuces but the other guy hit an eight on the river for the bigger pair; he got in a 50,000 pot race with [a][k] against sixes, but missed. "Awful day," he concluded. -- SY

2.50pm: Matias home in style
As mentioned below, last year's EPT Vilamoura champion Antonio Matias is out. But he'll get over it - I just spotted him in the car park getting into his gleaming Porsche to drive home. -- SY

2.42pm: Reigning champ out
Antonio Matias won EPT Vilamoura here last year but we've just seen him moving away from the tournament floor with his wife. It will be no double for Matias. -- RD

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There will be no double for Antonio Matis

2.35pm: Ace high was good
Allan Baekke is a very happy chap right now as he's up to 130,000. He said his day took a turn for the better when he doubled-up to 100,000 with ace-high. He moved all-in on the turn on a board containing two spades and two diamonds. His opponent took five minutes to call and when he did the Dane said "nice hand," and tabled the drawing A♠T♠. But to his joy his opponent revealed 5♠6♠. -- MC

2.30pm: Stand-offs and eliminations
Stephen Chidwick opened for 2,600 which Marton Czuczor raised on the button to 7,600. If that was an irritation to Chidwick Konstantin Bucherl's re-raise to 14,500 ruined everything. Chidwick passed leaving them to it, but after a short but tense stand-off Czuczor folded.

A table along it was curtains for Jose Severino. He moved in with ten-nine only to be called by Bruno Pedro Fonseca Pocas (he may be known by some shorter version) with ace-king. Predictability reigned on a blank board sending the Panamanian to the rail. -- SB

2.28pm: Boeree bashes the button
Jose Maria De Noronha limped from middle position and the action folded to Liv Boeree on the button who raised to 3,700. The limper called but quickly mucked to a 3,600 bet on the Q♥A♦6♥ flop. Easy game. -- RD

2.25pm: Riding the wave
Fresh from busting Dario Minieri and claiming the chip lead, Grzegorz Cichocki has not slowed down one bit. He's taken a chunk out of Stephen Chidwick's stack to extend his lead with 285,000 chips. He opened the pot with a raise to 2,600 from first position and was called only by Chidwick from the next seat. The Pole then emptied the clip with a 3,800, 10,000 and 22,200 bet on each street and was called all the way.

The final board read T♥7♣7♦8♠Q♥ and Chidwick mucked upon seeing his opponent's 7♠5♠. Chidwick down to 85,000 chips as a result. -- MC


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Stephen Chidwick flanked by Laurence Houghton (left) and Jonathan Weekes


2.22pm: Team Pro up
Team PokerStars Pro Pieter de Korver is on a roll and now up to 205,000. He open-raised under the gun with Q♦[10d] and got two callers. The flop was a happy K♦5♦3♦ for the Dutchman, and he bet 4,500. But Barkat Matan* had flopped a set of fives and re-raised to 12,000, de Korver made it 27,000, all-in from the Greek, call. The flush held and sent de Korver among the leaders. -- SY

* Our apologies, Bartak Matan was earlier incorrectly identified as Alexios Zervos.

2.20pm: Team Pro down #2
This time it was the German Sebastian Ruthenberg making his exit. He was down to his last 14,000 and pushed from the cut-off with K♣9♣. Unfortunately Johan Berg woke up on the button with A♥K♦ and moved all in. The blinds got out of the way and the board ran A♦[10d]8♥9♥A♠ to knock out the former EPT Barcelona champion. -- SY

2.17pm: Team Pro down #1
A little while ago Dario Minieri lost the majority of his stack to Grzegorz Cichocki - and now the rest of his chips have gone that way, too. Cichocki open-raised to 2,300 from the cut-off, and Minieri re-raised to 7,500 from the small blind. Cichocki then moved all-in, covering Minieri, and the Italian made the call:

Minieri: [10c][10d]
Cichocki: 2♠2♣

Minieri, with his 35,000 in the middle, was in great shape to double up. Even more so when the flop came 2♥8♠[10s], giving him a set over set. But watch out for those spades - the turn was A♠ and the river 6♠, meaning Cichocki raced into the lead on the river with a flush. Ouch. - SY


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Minieri and Pagano giving the thumbs up at EPT Vilamoura


2.14pm: Dempsey doubles
No details on this one yet, except to say James Dempsey doubled up to 95,000 thanks to flopping a set of eights, well ahead of Pedro Vieira's top pair. -- SY

2.10pm: Kelly's hero
JP Kelly just rivered a much needed double up against Alexandru Cezarescu to keep his tournament hopes alive. The Team PokerStars Pro made it 8,000 to go pre-flop from the small blind which Cezarescu raised to 19,000 from the big. Kelly moved all in and Cezarescu called showing A♠K♠ to Kelly's Q♠A♦.

The board ran 2♥4♠T♣8♠Q♣ to send the chips to Kelly. Cezarescu said nothing but looked unhappy. He's down to 22,000 while Kelly jumps to 130,000. -- SB

2.05pm: Ticking down
Two more names for the missing list. Paul Berende and Bryn Kenney have both been eliminated.

Elsewhere PCA High Roller winner William Reynolds is down to 33,000 after a bad hand against Janos Toth of Hungary. Reynolds opened for 3,000 which Toth called, as did Eliran Argelazi in the big blind.

On a flop of T♠2♦6♠ Reynolds bet 6,700 which Toth raised to 19,000, leaving Argelazi to fold. The action came back to Reynolds who sat thinking for a few moments, the only sound to be heard being the riffling of chips and Fabrizio Ascari on the other side of the room. Eventually Reynolds folded. For his efforts Toth is up to 115,000. -- SB

2.01pm: Round two
After doubling-up through William Thorson, Dominik Traeger has returned the favour. Thorson limped from under-the-gun and then called a 3,200 raise from the German to see a A♣6♠5♠ flop. He checked to face a 3,000 bet that he min-raised to 6,000. Traeger looked confused about what to do but eventually decided to put his opponent all-in. Call.

Traeger showed K♥K♦ but Thorson was all over it with his A♠7♠. It only got better for the Swede too as the board ran out 2♠7♣ to put him back up to 35,000. -- MC

1.55pm: Trickett leading from the front
Sam Trickett is right up there with the chip leaders and doesn't look like he wants to stay out of the chase. Playing from the small blind Trickett led 6,700 into Tim Finne, who had opened from early position. Finne called. Trickett took some time before betting 11,600 into the 4♥ turn. This time the American wanted no further part of it and passed. -- RD

1.52pm: Brilliant news... we're off!
It's our lucky day here in Vilamoura. An email has just arrived with PokerStars Blog from a nice lady called Elizabeth Johnson, offering us riches beyond our wildest dreams. It's actually a very sad story, as it seems poor Elizabeth, who lives in exile in Senegal, has recently lost her father to a tragic accident. Happily, though, he left her $5.5million in a secret finance company.

We're not sure why, but Elizabeth has sent an email to blog@pokerstars.eu asking for our help in getting hold of the dosh, promising a huge cut in return. If Elizabeth saw how we wasted money on curry and beer, we're certain she would rethink.

Anyway, we're now in deep discussions at Team PokerStars Blog HQ about how to spend our promised millions - cars, yachts, houses, the works. First we've got to send our bank details off to Elizabeth, which should not be a problem. Then we'll be off. We're sure you'll understand. -- SY

1.50pm: Another joke? Un ouef is un ouef
News from Team PokerStars Pro Arnaud Mattern during the break. Well, news of sorts. He tells us that two eggs were recently being fried in a pan. One said to the other: "Crikey, it's hot in here." The other egg replies: "My goodness - a talking egg!" Arnaud is here all week, folks, and taking stand-up routine requests. -- SY


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Mattern: wait until you see his dance number...


1.48pm: On the rail
Two Team PokerStars Pros have been banished to the rail, both before the break. Alex Kravchenko was heading to the sidelines thanks to a set of sixes, while Joao Nunes followed him soon after. We're down to 175 players in the main event. -- SB

1.45pm: Back from break
The players are scurrying back from the horrid 30 degree Celsius heat of outside back into the tournament room. David Williams was the sole player wandering the floor during the break (he'd arrived late and had been unable to find where his stack had been moved to after his starting table had broken). -- RD

1.40pm: Leonid leading?
Leonid Bilokur left here last night as chip leader and now, a level into day two, he remains the chip leader. Or just about.

Typical of a man intent on cementing his lead, Bilokur is ruining it for everyone else at his table, raising every hand in a silent, white-rimmed-sunglasses-attack on the stacks around him.

He's taken pots from Christofer Williamsson, although in Williamsson's defence he's taken some back. He's also taken chips from Veldhuis in a hand before the break. On a flop of T♠9♣6♥ Velduis made it 3,200 from the small blind and Bilokur called. The checked the 2♦ turn and Veldhuis did the same on the 9♠ river, which Bilokur bet at to take the pot, moving up to around 170,000.

But wait, who's that breaching the 200k mark? It's Martin Jacobson of Sweden. It's always a Swede. He's the leader as players return for level two. -- SB

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 600-1,200, ANTE 100


1.26pm: More bad news for Minieri
Today is just not going Dario Minieri's way. Not long after losing a huge pot with jacks into aces he has just had to fold a three-bet to a shove that came from the direction of Konstantin Bucherl. The German had opened from late position to 2,400 and Minieri had three-bet to 6,900. Burcherl moved all-in for 37,000 total and the aggressive Italian was forced to muck his hand.

That's the end of the level and the players, including PokerStars SportStar Fatima Moreira de Melo, have a 15-minute break. -- RD


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Fatima Moreira de Melo: still in with a shot


1.22pm: Thorson feeling the cold
William Thorson is down to 11,000 chips after losing a cooler hand to his neighbour Dominik Traeger. The action folded around to the Swede in the SB who completed and then called Traeger's raise to 3,000. The flop came J♣8♣Q♠ and Thorson check-called a 2,000 bet. The turn came 5♣ and a series of bets and min-raises took the hand to a showdown with the German at risk. He wasn't worried though as he had his opponent drawing dead with his A♣4♣ to Thorson's Q♣2♣. -- MC

1.20pm: Lacay on the loose
Ludovic Lacay has doubled up. The Frenchman got his 15,500 chips in with A♣8♦ against the pocket tens of Daniel Moller of Sweden, and the board was kind to him, coming as it did J♠7♠A♠A♦J♣. -- SB

1.15pm: Champ down
Kevin Stani, who won EPT Tallinn just a few weeks ago, will not be performing any back-to-back title heroics, he's just been seen leaving the tournament room. -- SY

1.14pm: Pagano quads!
Team PokerStars Pro Ruben Visser was down to just 10,000 and found a perfect spot to push with pocket eights. Unfortunately (for him) fellow Team Pro Luca Pagano was lurking a few seats along with pocket kings, which went on to make quads by the turn. Pagano up to 35,000 now, Visser off to the pool. -- SY

1.10pm: Mini-eri
Team PokerStars Pro Dario Minieri started the day in happy mood, sitting with 130,000 chips. But it all went wrong just now when he lost a huge hand to Grzegorz Cichocki. The man from Poland open-raised to 2,500 before Minieri made it 6,200. Cichocki was not done with that - bumping it up again to 17,000. This time the Italian called.

The flop came [10][5][4] and Cichocki continued his aggression with a c-bet of 22,000. Minieri, never one to shy away from that sort of thing, moved all-in and got an instant call.

Minieri: [J][J]
Cichocki: [A][A]

No help on the turn or river and Minieri doubled up Cichocki and fell to 38,000 in the process. -- SY

1.07pm: Pinho four-bets in your face
Henrique Pinho is a Portugese member of Team PokerStars Pro and will be desperately wanting to win this tournament (beyond the normal reasons of having bundles of Euros thrown at him). He's arrived today in full throttle. Julian Stuer opened to 2,200 from the cut-off and was three-bet by Sergio Coutinho on the button to 6,100. Pinho came over the top from the big blind making a large cold four-bet to 14,800. Both of his opponents had to have a long think before passing, but that they did.

Pinho also has Team PokerStars Pro JP Kelly and PokerStars SportStars Fatima Moreira de Melo at his table. Pinho is up to 80,000. -- RD

1.05pm: Duthie downed
Team PokerStars Pro John Duthie has been downed in a battle of the blinds with Pedro Guedes. The turn was out and the board read 2♣4♠T♣6♣ before Duthie moved all-in for another 19,600 after Guedes led out. Guedes talked to Duthie for a moment and then made the call.

"Have you got a pair?" asked Duthie and after seeing a nodding head he continued: "I'm in trouble then!"

He was indeed in trouble as his Q♥4♥ was behind to the Portuguese's 6♥5♦ and the 8♦ on the river changed nothing. -- MC

ept vilamoura_day 2_john duthie.jpg

John Duthie: now has time to practice better poses

1.02pm: Intensive Care
Ruben Visser opened for 2,200 before Daniel Carter raised to 5,400. Visser then moved all-in which Carter called in a flash, showing K♣K♦ to Visser's T♣T♦. The board ran 5♠6♣A♠2♣2♠, leaving Carter with close to 70,000 while the Team PokerStars Pro Visser is added to the critical list with just 11,000 chips remaining. -- SB

12.59pm: Weekes
Jonathan Weekes opened from the hijack to 2,400 and was called by Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki on the button. An anonymous 2♠3♥9♣ flop was enough for Weekes to fire another 4,200. Horecki didn't like the spot enough to carry on and quickly passed his hand.

Weekes proved to be a tough competitor at the recent EPT Tallinn where he made the final table. Don't be surprised if he goes deep again. -- RD

12.58pm: Tothed out
Team PokerStars Pro Richard Toth has been tossed out of the tournament. He started the day with 51,000. -- RD

12.55pm: Losing the Magic
Antonio Esfandiari arrived this morning to a stack of 127,800. Now, just half an hour into the day, he has lost all but 30,000 of it after a succession of hands went the way of his opponent. The latest was against Felix Alves, who moved all-in behind a raise from Esfandiari, showing pocket jacks to Esfandiari's pocket tens. Curses for the American, who now faces the immediate future as a short stack. -- SB

12.50pm: Keep out of my way
Nikita Malinovskiy open-raised and then watched with interest as Team PokerStars Pro Pieter de Korver re-popped to 6,600. Malinovskiy was interested enough to fire again for 12,500. De Korver called. The flop was 4♦3♦3♠, De Korver checked and Malinovskiy gently pushed two yellow 5,000 chips over the line. De Korver jumped into action, putting a stack of yellows worth 50,000 into play. That was enough to put the Russian all in, and he elected to fold and wait for a better spot. -- SY

12.47pm: Didn't get any merrier for Mairer
PokerStars qualifier Manuel Mairer came back as one of today's short stacks but now he has no stack. He moved all-in for less than 20,000 from late position with K♥T♥ but ran straight into the A♥A♦ of Pedro Vieira in the BB. The board came 8♦9♦T♠8♥K♠ to seal his fate. -- MC

12.43pm: Early exits
Even though every player knows that a tournament is a flowing organism that seamlessly moves from hand to hand and level to level there is still a temptation to rock up at the end of any given day. This also means that there is often a sudden splurge of knockouts at the beginning of a day's play and that certainly happened today.

Among those that couldn't enjoy a magic morning resurrection were Michael Hull, John Strzemp, Michael Friedrich, Anthony Wright, Mickey Petersen, Dario Majone, Florian Lehmann and Luis Guerreiro. -- RD

12.40pm: Magic fading
Marcin Horecki has doubled up through Antonio Esfandiari. The Team PokerStars Pro found aces and moved in on a flop of 2♦4♠6♠ against Esfandiari's T♥T♣. The turn came J♥ while the river was A♦. Horecki up, Esfandiari down again. -- SB

12.35pm: One gone
In other news Iranian Mani Rezaei is out, having lost his day two starting stack of 2,500. -- SB

12.30pm: Magician and the king
Antonio Esfandiari's stack just took a dent in a hand against Ronny Kaiser. On a flop of 5♠2♣T♦ Esfandiari made it 5,100 from the cut off. Kaiser was in the small blind and called, while Guillermo Garcia in the big blind got out of their way. The turn came 5♥ which both players checked for a 7♣ on the river. This time Kaiser led the betting, 10,800 in total which Esfandiari called. Kaiser turned over A♣T♥. Esfandiari looked at his cards again, a sure sign of defeat, and mucked. -- SB

12.22pm: More from the action table
Eddie Tasbas opened for 2,500 from middle position and Sorel Mizzi three-bet to 7,200 from the hijack. The action folded past Toby Lewis on the button and back to Tasbas who calmly slid his chips across the line in two tall stacks. Mizzi didn't look interested and tossed his hand away. Tasbas is up to 53,000. -- RD

12.15pm: Tough table
Day 2 has thrown up some interesting table draws but the toughest by far (in our opinion) is table 28. Toby Lewis, David Williams, Erik Van Den Berg, Eddie Tasbas, Sorel Mizzi and Ludovic Lacay all have to find some way of extracting chips from each other. Good lucks guys.

Toby Lewis has the best draw in terms of table position and he just used it against Sorel Mizzi to win an early pot. The board was K♦K♥4♦A♦ and Lewis piled on the pressure with a 17,700 bet in to a 23,000 pot. The Canadian thought for a while but open folded pocket queens. -- MC

12.10pm: Cards are in the air
After only a slight delay play has begin on day two.

11.50am: Welcome back to day two
Suspended 200 feet over the ocean, two people flew along the Algarve coast line this morning, attached to each other in para-sailing bliss. Hundreds more beneath them sunned themselves on the golden beaches of the Crown Plaza compound while others splashed around in the pool. Yet more cast a sneaky eye on the pirate ship climbing frame in the Crown Plaza's luxury grounds, wondering whether anyone would really notice a quick run around.

All of that, and more, was available to you this morning provided you were not among the 221 players returning for day two of EPT Vilamoura.

In which case you had a day at the tables to plan for. If your name is Leonid Bilokur that day is a lot easier to plan than most. As chip leader Bilokur's plan is simple - carry on as he left off yesterday. Not that it's as simple as that, for the likes of Andre Coimbra of Team PokerStars Online, and a bunch of others not far off Bilokur's stack of 161,200, as the chip count page will demonstrate.

The exact opposite of Bilokur is not Dinoel Rukolib, but Mani Razaei, from Iran, who returns today with 2,500, and a plan A - win more chips. There's no real time for plan B.

And so to it. Day two of EPT Vilamoura is about to start, with five levels scheduled, each running for 75 minutes. There may yet be time to jump onboard a para-sail after all.

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Casino Vilamoura


PokerStars Blog reporting team at EPT Vilamoura (in order of average speed this morning): Marc Convey (all ahead full), Simon Young (advancing with caution), Stephen Bartley (slow crawl) and Rick Dacey (dead in the water). Photos by Neil Stoddart.