EPT Vilamoura Day 3: Levels 15 & 16 updates (2,500-5,000, 500 ante)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg2.55pm: END OF LEVEL 16
The players are on a 15 minute break before level 17 begins.

2.53pm: Sheringham scores big double-up
Friends of PokerStars Teddy Sheringham is up to nearly half-a-million chips after doubling-up through and crippling William Thorson. The river was out leaving a J♥9♣6♥9♠2♣ board and Sheringham moved all-in for 127,500. Thorson called but mucked upon seeing Sheringham's J♦J♣ for a full-house.

The darkly funny thing about this scenario is that that Sheringham jokingly texted Erik Adielsson earlier to say he was going to take all of Thorson's chips. Adielsson (famous Swedish jockey) is a close friend of Thorson's whom Sheringham met at the PCA earlier in the year where they golfed together. Another text might be composed soon! Thorson down to 30,000 now. - MC

2.42pm: Record extension fails to lift Pagano's spirits
Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagaon's record 16th cash is a min-cash and his exit had a similar feel to his exit in Tallinn just two weeks ago. One word: Brutal!

Marco Leonzio raised from early position and was only called by Pagano on the button to see a 3♣2♦J♣ flop. Leonzio check-raised Pagano's 17,000 bet all-in and Pagano called off the extra 50,000 to be the all-in player. He was in good shape with A♠J♠ to his fellow countryman's T♣T♥ and the 4♦ didn't change a thing but the river was T♦! Leonzio hit a two outer to make a set and send the Team Pro packing who was understandably upset and was heard muttering: "Every time," as he left. -- MC

2.34pm: Coimbra loses more
Andre Coimbra is on the slide. After losing a big pot with a bluff a little while ago against Toby Lewis, he just lost another 95,000 to Carolyn Gray. It was folded around to Coimbra in the small blind and he raised to 15,000. Gray re-raised to 45,000 - around half her stack - and the man from Portugal called.

The flop was 7♠7♣4♦, Coimbra bet 20,000, Gray moved all-in for her last 45,000 and Coimbra called with a shrug of the shoulders. He had K♦Q♠ but was dominated by Gray's A♦K♠. The turn and river changed nothing, and Gray is up to 185,000 while Coimbra slips to 230,000. -- SY

2.28pm: Calio up, Guedes out
Nicolo Calia made the final of EPT Tallinn earlier this month and he's getting himself in good shape to make it back to back FT's. Pedro Guedes raised to 15,000 and Calia shipped it in for 170,000 with jacks. Guedes made the call with ace-jack. The Italian's hand held up and he doubled up to 340,000. Guedes? He has 1,000 left. Yes, that's two antes and a quarter of the big blind, which is what he happened to be in the next hand. No chip and a chair comeback for Guedes who becomes our next KO. -- RD

2.24pm: Double up for Benzinou
Joel Benzinou shoved for 31,000 from middle position with A♣4♥ and was called by his neighbour Andre Andrade with K♣K♥. Benzinou quickly stood and just as quickly sat back down as the board ran out 2♣4♦4♠6♠A♠ to give the Belgian a full house. He's up to 70,000. -- RD

2.20pm: Team Pro down
Nuno Coelho, the Team PokerStars Pro from Portugal, is out of his home EPT. It was folded around to Grzegorz Cichocki in the small blind and he called with A-9. Coelho shoved for 60,000 with K-9, Cichocki called, and with no dramas on the river we're another man down. --SY

2.16pm: Another knock out
For many players a min cash is almost like a final table. When you've been grinding a short stack for some hours and just sneak into the money the relief can be so much that when you do get knocked out it's a not really a problem. That was the look painted all over Vegard Nygaard's face, he'd qualified to play through a Nordic promotion, so the €7,263 he got when he was knocked out by Janos Toth will be much appreciated. -- RD

2.15pm: Pagano power
Think of this as tapping on a wine glass with a knife and calling for your attention. A hat tip to Luca Pagano for what is now his 16th cash on the European Poker Tour, a resume that includes no less than six final tables. He has 150,000 with which to work on reaching a seventh? -- SB

ept vilamoura_day 3_luca pagano.jpg

"I make cashes. I break records. I smile. I am Luca Pagano"

2.10pm: Smart way to get played
There were three hands in progress when Tournament Director Thomas Kremser announced play would be going hand-for-hand. One was the bubble bursting hand just explained and one was a hand containing PokerStars qualifier Joe Ebanks.

He was short stacked and raised from late position and was called by William Thorson in the SB before Teddy Sheringham three-bet to 50,000 from the BB.

Ebanks smartly sat and waited for the outcome of the other hands and when he knew he was in the money he moved all-in and was called by Sheringham after Thorson folded.

Ebanks: A♠Q♠
Sheringham: K♣K♠

The board ran 8♦T♦5♥J♥6♠ to eliminate the American. There are many short stacks around the room now - watch the chips go flying. -- MC

2.07pm: Pfff. There goes the bubble
One of the shortest bubbles in EPT history just passed by with hardly a murmur. As players were told to pause at the end of their current hand one hand continued between Ayez Manji and Martin Jacobsen, and it was a big one. On a flop of T♥5♦2♥ Manji, who had more than 300,000 at the start of the hand, bet 27,500 which Martin Jacobsen, who had a touch more, raised to 84,500. Manjo then announced all-in which Jacobsen called, and with good reason.

Manji turned over J♠J♦ but Jacobsen was ahead with A♦A♠. The turn 5♠ and river 2♠ sent Manjo to the rail without a single hand for hand deal. Jacobsen is up now to 680,000. We're down to 56 and into the money at EPT Vilamoura. -- SB

2.05pm: Thangs sets up the bubble
Thomas Thang has just been knocked out by Brandon Cantu to set up the bubble... and that's just burst. Details to come. -- RD

2.02pm: Pre-bubble bubble
We're down to 58 players. One more to go and we'll be hand-for-hand on the bubble proper. -- SY

2pm: When bluffs go bad
Andre Coimbra picked a bad time to make a move from the button. He'd open-raised to 12,500 only for Toby Lewis to re-raise to 27,500 from the big blind. Team PokerStars Online player Coimbra then reached for two towers of yellow 5,000 chips - 200,000 worth and enough to put Lewis all in - and pushed them over the line. The Brit wasted no time in making the call.

Lewis: 9♦9♠
Coimbra: 2♠6♥

Whoops! Coimbra had been caught out and the 9♣Q♣[10d]K♣A♠ board brought no surprises - simply increasing Lewis' strength to a set. Lewis is not up to 385,000 while Coimbra slips to 368,000. -- SY

1.55pm: Foltyn faulters
Paul Foltyn is out, sent home within inches of the bubble by Martin Jacobsen who called Foltyn's pocket jacks with his own ace-king, which caught an ace on the flop. -- SB

1.52pm: Cichocki rocks up
Grzegorz Cichocki won a huge pot against Dario Minieri at the beginning of Day 2 and has strode on since then. The Pole raised to 13,000 from the cut-off and was three-bet by Marco Leonzio in the big blind. Leonzio c-bet 46,000 into the low 8♣7♥4♠ flop and Cichocki called. That was the end of the betting as the 7♠ and 3♥ peeled off on the turn and river. Leonzio showed A♦J♥ and Cichocki a smallish over pair to the board with 9♠9♥. -- RD

1.50pm: Tim not Finne-ished
Suddenly everyone starts passing. First Rob Hollink moves all in for 90,000, getting no takers and then showing an ace to the others at his table. A table along Giacomo Maisto was opening for 15,000. The action reached Tim Finne, one of several short stacks at a table of short stacks, who moved all-in for his last 57,000. Maisto took a while but passed. Just 59 players remain, with three more to leave empty handed. -- SB

1.45pm: Three outs
PokerStars qualifier Joaquin Culebras was sat with eight big blinds and in the BB facing a raise from William Thorson. The Spaniard took a long time to ponder the raise before he moved all-in. "Now I know I only have three outs" said the Swede but he made the call anyway.

Thorson: A♥T♠
Culebras: J♥J♦

The board ran 6♠Q♥2♥9♠8♠ to double-up the Spaniard. -- MC

1.38pm: Back from break
There are 60 players left here in the EPT main event and that means that there are just four left who will not score a good chunk of money. Brandon Cantu is pretty much the only player that this could not happen to. He has a huge stack and not many players that can do much damage to him on his table. -- RD

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 2,500-5,000, ANTE 500

1.23pm: End of level
That's the end of the level and as the players escape for a 15-minute break the dealers are busy colouring up the black chips (100 denomination).

Right at the end of the level Antonio Tarantino, member of Team PokerStars Online, was knocked out by Thomas Thang when his ace-ten failed to catch up against Thang's ace-king. -- RD

ept vilamoura_day 3_chip race.jpg

The black chips are dancing their way out of the front door

1.22pm: Coimbra re-raising
With the bell for the end of the level sounding in the ears of the last 61 players Toby Lewis re-raised Andre Coimbra to 28,700 pre-flop. Coimbra then spent a short time compiling his own raise, lumping yellow chips together in his hand before stacking them up in the middle - 80,000 of them. Lewis took this well, not moving, just looking at the raise, remaining calm, headphone wires running down from his ears, ready to fold. -- SB

1.21pm: Cantu using his bulk for bubble abuse
Brandon Cantu has some 600,000 and appears to be happy about getting his chips in. Kevin O'Donnell started things rolling with a raise to 10,500 from middle position and was called by Toni Ojala in the hijack. Thomas Thang passed the button and Brandon Cantu shoved all-in from the small blind.

O'Donnell sat back with his hands linked behind his head but decided to preserve his 130,000 remaining chips. Ojala also passed. Easy chips for Cantu whose stack just keeps getting bigger so close to the bubble. -- RD

1.15pm: Coimbra keeps betting
Toby Lewis is sat two seats to the left of Andre Coimbra and looks like he's happy to tangle with the Team PokerStars Online member. Coimbra opened to 10,000 and was called by Lewis in the hijack. Coimbra fired 15,000 at the Q♦2♦5♠ flop and Lewis slowly called. Coimbra now took his time on the Q♣ turn that paired the board. He picked up 25,000 and put it across the line. Lewis paused, looking out of the corner of his eye at Coimbra, but decided to opt for the fold button. -- RD

1.10pm: Nod Kelly
JP Kelly opened for 10,000 which was called by Sergio Coutinho on the button. Nicola Callia also wanted in form the big blind and the three of them saw a flop of 2♦2♣6♣. Callia checked to Kelly who kept up the pressure with another 17,000. Coutinho called by Callia stood aside as the turn came 3♣. Kelly bet again, 31,000 which Coutinho was in no mood to challenge. Kelly up to more than 300,000 now. -- SB

1.05pm: Lykov lynched
Maxim Lykov, our second-to-last EPT champion, has fallen at the hands of Paul Foltyn. Foltyn raised to 9,000 and then called the Russian's all-in push for around 70,000 with T♥T♦. Lykov was dominated with his 8♣8♦ and failed to find the two-outer needed on the Q♦J♦A♥5♠J♣ board. Foltyn up to 190,000 chips now. Rob Hollink remains the only player in with chance of slaying that damn monkey. -- MC

1pm: Steady Teddy
Friend of PokerStars Teddy Sheringham is one of the quieter players at the table (unlike on the soccer pitch where he electrified England fans), but his poker game gets respect as a result. He is rarely involved in hands, so when he raises he generally takes the blinds and antes. And that's what happened just now. We move on. -- SY

12.57pm: I like to move it, move it
Brandon Cantu has been running over tables since yesterday afternoon, but he tripped up a bit on this hand, sparking wild celebrations from Pedro Guedes.

The board was 3♦5♦Q♠A♠, and with around 100,000 already in the middle, Guedes had checked and Cantu, the overnight chip leader, put in a tower of yellow chips - around 100,000 and enough to put the man from Portugal all in.

He did not seem to like that, muttering something under his breath that we presume was not kind about Cantu. Then he stood up, was ordered to sit down again by the dealer, and looked to make a fold. With that, he suddenly changed his mind. "Call!" he exclaimed.

Cantu: 8♥8♣
Guedes: A♥2♥

The river came 4♣. "Yeeees!" screamed Guedes, before bursting into song in a manner that would never get him through the audition round of The X Factor. "I like to move it, move it," he sung, several times over. "Thank you sir," he added looking at Cantu. "I even do a straight on the river," he concluded in dodgy English.

Guedes moves up to 240,000, while Cantu still has more than half a million. -- SY

12.52pm: Three way dance
Martin Jacobson opened the action to 9,000 and was three-bet to 22,500 by Ayaz Sadrudin Manji, who I have been told has a nickname of 'Mr Machine' which is quite possibly the worst poker I have ever heard. Before the action could get back to Jacobson Eliran Argelazi tipped his hat in with a four-bet to 46,500.

Jacobson thought unmoving at the end of the table before sliding forward a large stack of yellows. Manji folded and strutted off to the rail while Argelazi calmly folded. -- RD

12.45pm: The fall of Arnaud Mattern
In the movies you see two types of death scenes. Firstly you have the quick death where a character will fall to the floor and remain motionless. The second is the slow drawn out death where a character will fall to his/her knees then to the ground and in a last ditch effort will raise an arm before finally succumbing to the darkness.

Team PokerStars Pro Arnaud Mattern just suffered the latter style of death from this tournament. He was brought to his knees to start with after losing a 100,000 pot to Claudio Cecchi (the villain in this movie) whilst holding pocket queens to the Italian's ace-eight. Cecchi found an ace to double-up and Mattern was left with just 4,000 chips. Mattern was still alive though and moved all-in for a big blind the next hand. Cecchi was in the BB this time and checked it down with the SB and ended up chopping the pot with Mattern. Torturing the Frenchman if you like.

Mattern was still alive and his last hooray was the next hand where he moved all-in for 7,800 after a Max Lykov raised to 9,000. Thorson called but the villain Italian moved all-in from the SB to isolate and it worked as Lykov and Thoson folded.

Mattern: A♥J♥
Cecchi: K♦K♣

The board ran 6♠2♥K♣8♠9♣ and Mattern's heart finally stopped beating. -- MC

ept vilamoura_day 3_arnaud mattern.jpg

Arnaud Mattern: didn't run well (maybe he needed his stick?)

12.35pm: That's the Trickett
Sam Trickett opened for 10,000 from the cut off. Waiting for him was Martin Jacobsen in the small blind who then raised to 31,000. The action was folded back to Trickett. He thought for a while, rubbing his head which ironically there was no need to do as he was already paying a massage therapist to do just that at the time. That done he fired out a re-raise to 56,000, at the same time silencing an incoming call.

Jacobsen didn't do moving, and instead sat thinking quietly. After about a minute Trickett asked for a clock. The dealer called over Thomas Kremser who conferred with the dealer first before telling Jacobsen that he would give him a few more seconds before starting the clock. There was no need. Jacobsen folded before it was required. Trickett took the phone call. -- SB

12.32pm: Chidwick out, not out, now out
The UK's Stephen Chidwick got himself all-in for around 105,000 with 8♣8♠ but was up against Filipa Cerqueira's Q♦Q♥. The board ran 2♣3♦4♠K♣5♣, and with that river Cerqueira let out a loud "Numshka!" noise, which is probably a very bad interpretation but was certainly some form of Portuguese celebration.

Chidwick assumed he was covered and made to leave the arena before being called back by Thomas Kremser. A check was made and Chidwick was not out. That was the good news, the bad news was he was left with just one 100 chip.

That was enough for one quarter of the ante on the next hand, so he sat there with little more than dreams of making one of the most amazing comebacks in poker history. It did not happen - with his chip in play, it was folded around to Joe Ebanks in the small blind who moved all in for 50,000. The big blind folded and Ebanks showed Q♣J♦, leaving Chidwick to turn over his cards. The 4♣ first - not a good start - and 6♦ second, not much improvement there. But the flop came 3♠J♥5♦, offering Chidwick an open-ended chance, but the J♠ turn and [10d] river only served to make trips for Ebanks. -- SY

12.22pm: BB King
Boyan Bonev has taken down the first sizable pot at table three in a hand with Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano and Grzegorz Cichocki. 35,000 made it into the middle before the flop came 6♥3♦5♠ and Bonev's 26,700 bet was only called by Cichocki. Both players checked the 6♣ turn before Cichocki led for 34,000 on the 7♠ river. Bonev called quickly with K♣K♥ and was against the Pole's T♣T♥. --MC

12.18pm: Buananno no-no
Antonio Buonanno opened for 10,200 before Ayaz Manji raised things to 35,000 in the cut off. The action went back to Buonanno who slowly stacked his chips into one big impractical tower and moved all-in.

"How much?" asked Manji, moving his sunglasses onto his forehead and looking around. It was 88,900 more to call. "Uh, I call," said Manji and turned over K♥K♣.

Buonanno turned up A♣Q♦ and awaited his fate, which looked like this: 7♣T♥9♦J♥5♦. Manji banged the table with restrained delight. Buonanno was gone. -- SB

12.15pm: Seat draw
Okay, there have been some players knocked out since but here is this morning's seat draw for you anyway. Oscar Pelayo was the first to fall. Catch up with the others shortly.

Table 1
1. Brandon Cantu. USA, 557,400
2. Oscar Pelayo, Spain, 33,100
3. Antonio Tarantino, Italy, PokerStars Team Online, 72,600
4. Dmitry Gromov, Russia, 305,200
5. Kevin O'Donnell, USA, 125,900
6. Pedro Guedes, Portugal, 237,500
7. Toni Ojala, Finland, 208,200
8. Thomas Thang, Denmark, PokerStars qualifier, 100,600

Table 2
1. Teddy Sheringham, UK, Friend of PokerStars, 204,500
2. Nuno Capucho, Portugal, 92,400
3. Nuno Coelho, Portugal, Team PokerStars Pro, 73,100
4. Filipa Cerqueira, Portugal, 108,000
5. Joe Ebanks, USA, PokerStars player, 50,600
6. Joaquin Culebras, Spain, PokerStars qualifier, 66,600

7. Robert Willis, Ireland, 178,600
8. Stephen Chidwick, UK, PokerStars player, 126,000

Table 3
1. Grzegorz Cichocki, Poland, PokerStars qualifier, 339,500

2. Boyan Bonev, Bulgaria, 191,100
3. Marco Leonzio, Italy, 85,900
4. Jason Lee, USA, PokerStars qualifier, 196,000
5. Gyula Szilagy, Hungary, PokerStars qualifier, 134,900
6. Luca Pagano, Italy, Team PokerStars Pro, 105,000
7. Michal Karolak, Poland, PokerStars qualifier, 38,400
8. Frank Calo, USA, PokerStars player, 253,300

Table 4
1. Erik Van Den Berg, Netherlands, PokerStars player, 62,000
2. Robert Cezarescu, Romania, PokerStars qualifier, 138,700
3. Patrick Carron, USA, PokerStars qualifier, 117,200

4. Henri Kasper, Estonia, 53,400
5. Tom Johansen, Norway, PokerStars qualifier, 273,000
6. Danny Neess, Denmark, 61,100
7. Frederick Jensen, Denmark, 275,000
8. Johan Berg, Sweden, 384,000

Table 5
1. Nicolo Calia, Italy, 114,100
2. Frank Stumpf, Germany, 59,100
3. JP Kelly, UK, Team PokerStars Pro, 314,000
4. Joel Benzinou, Belgium, 152,700
5. Andre Andrade, Portugal, 78,400
6. Wolfgang Wurzer, Germany , PokerStars qualifier, 193,200
7. Sergio Coutinho, Portugal, 155,400
8. Rob Hollink, Netherlands, 88,200

Table 7
1. Giacomo Maisto, Italy, 147,200
2. Joao De Silva, Portugal, PokerStars qualifier, 133,100
3. Thorsten Schafer, Germany, 62,100
4. Henrique Custodio, Portugal, 101,200
5. David Metelo, Portugal, 90,800
6. Andras Nemeth, Hungary, PokerStars qualifier, 54,000
7. Tim Finne, USA, PokerStars player, 64,900

8. Marton Czuczor, Hungary, 126,200

Table 8
1. Ayaz Sadrudin Manji, Portugal, 227,500
2. Konsta Vesterinen, Finland, 180,000
3. Eliran Argelazi, Israel, 221,100
4. Paul Foltyn, UK, PokerStars qualifier, 102,600
5. Sam Trickett, UK, 351,900
6. Vyacheslav Goryachev, Russia, 182,800
7. Antonio Buonanno, Italy, 127,500

Table 9
1. Vegard Nygaard, Norway, Winner Promo Nordic Promotion , 86,400
2. Andre Coimbra, Portugal, PokerStars Team Online, 476,400
3. Carolyn Gray, UK, PokerStars qualifier, 104,500
4. Toby Lewis, UK, PokerStars player, 236,700
5. Janos Toth, Hungary, PokerStars player, 253,800
6. Guillermo Garcia, Spain, PokerStars player, 238,100

7. Evgeniy Zaytsev, Russia, 154,800

Table 14
1. Lothar Meier, Germany, 76,900
2. William Thorson, Sweden, 259,100
3. Claudio Cecchi, Italy, 60,000
4. Fabrizio Ascari, Italy, 254,700
5. Max Lykov, Russia, 109,100
6. Marcin Horecki, Poland, Team PokerStars Pro, 280,500
7. Martin Jacobson, Sweden, PokerStars qualifier, 301,100
8. Arnaud Mattern, France, Team PokerStars Pro, 59,900

12.07pm: First hand, first first KO
Oscar Pelayo is the fiurst faller of the day after getting his 33,100 short stack in with K♥K♣ against Brandon Cantu's A♦A♥. When you're running hot, you're running hot. The chip leader is up to nearly 600,000. -- RD

12.05pm: Off and running
Play is under way on day three with blinds of 2,000-4,000 with a 400 ante.

11.45pm: Welcome back to day 3
While the dealers at EPT Vilamoura may have free reign over the music selection in the half hour preparation time before players arrive, it doesn't excuse the blast of MC Hammer that belted out over the sound system, nor the arm-waving at least one was spotted performing as he rolled his trousers down to his ankles and shuffled across the floor.

Some of us thought that noise like that had been sealed in a tomb, stored in a crate and shipped off to a secret location in the desert. It was a definite blast from the past, to a time when there was no such thing as a European Poker Tour. A time when Mansour Matloubi was one of 194 players to swagger into downtown Las Vegas, and win the World Series.

Now, 20 years later, poker has been transformed from a curiosity into a mainstream competitive juggernaut. Just ask staff at Casino Vilamoura, which this week plays host to the biggest poker tournament ever to be held in Portugal. Mr Hammer meanwhile has reverted to a curiosity

Today is day three of poker's latest show stopper. Just 70 players of the 384 who started on day one return today. For most it will have a profitable conclusion, but for 14 of them it will end in fruitless disappointment. Only 56 will be paid today and we'll play down to 24 today, which Tournament Director Thomas Kremser estimates will take five levels of play. We in the blog team are a little more optimistic than that, and have taken the under.

That's all ahead of us. Now we just need some players. Time to get cards in the air. Hammer time?

Casino Vilamoura

PokerStars Blog reporting team at EPT Vilamoura (in order of music taste): Stephen Bartley (Eclectic), Marc Convey (electronic), Simon Young (electric) and Rick Dacey (Erasure "No, it's bloody not!"). Photos by Neil Stoddart.