EPT Vilamoura Day 3: Level 17 & 18 updates (4,000-8,000, 500 ante)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg5.56pm: Break time
Just 32 players are left here from a starting field of 384 and the big money is getting within tasting distance. Fabrizio Ascari seems particularly excited and is dancing around on the veranda outside the tournament room while shouting "All-in" and "I'm going to win the tournament." -- RD


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Ascari: more lively than a crate of Red Bull


5.54pm: Thorson sends Calo to the rail
Frank Calo was all in for 51,000 with A♠4♠ but up against William Thorson's K♠K♥. "Good luck," Thorson said, not really meaning it of course. The board ran a kings-friendly 2♠7♥[10h]8♥7♦ and Calo was done. -- SY

5.51pm: The (bad) luck of the Irish
Joaquin Culebras was all-in and Robert Willis was in deep thought. He'd originally made it 23,000 from under the gun before Culebras shoved for 107,000 from the big blind. Now it was up to the Irishman. "Okay, let's do it," he said with appropriate gusto, and turned over 9♣9♦. Then he said "Oh s**t," when he saw Culebras's A♥A♣, which remained ahead on the 2♦J♥Q♠K♣8♣.

Culebras doubles up, while Willis is down to just 60,000. -- SB

5.41pm: Big race sends Czuczor up
Marton Czuczor and Toni Ojala got all-in on a huge race. The Romanian had J♠J♦ and was all-in for 336,000, while Ojala had him covered in chips and was holding A♦K♣. The flop was emphatic for Czuczor, coming J♣2♥5♥, and while the 3♣ turn offered Ojala brief hope, the Q♦ river killed it off.

As a result Czuczor is up to nearly 700,000 while Ojala slips to 70,000. -- SY

5.33pm: Lewis loses some
More woes for Toby Lewis. The Englishman, who is a composed youngster at the table, showed a first flash of emotion when he called Erik Van Den Berg's all in with 7♦7♣ with his own J♥A♥. The emotion - a wince - came on the J♣A♣7♥ flop which rendered the 9♥ turn and K♠ river. Van Den Berg moves up to 350,000 while Lewis slips to a not unworkable 500,000. -- SB


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Toby Lewis still battling for the big stack


5.27pm: Thorson doubles again
William Thorson has just crippled Frank Calo with a Broadway straight. Thorson is up to 260,000. Calo was in trouble with 30,000 but has since got a shove through. -- RD

5.22pm: Horecki out
Marcin Horecki is out. It was a standard preflop affair between the Team PokerStars Pro and Sam Trickett with king-queen versus ace-four. Trcikett won the race and Horecki was forced to bow out. -- RD


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Marcin Horecki: busted but ready for golf


5.18pm: Cantu crashes out
Brandon Cantu may regret this tournament. He had a huge stack only an hour or two ago, around 800,000, but now has 0 chips. Cantu opened the pot for 21,000 and was three-bet to 51,000 by Dmitry Gromov. Cantu shoved all-in for just over 100,000 more and Gromov made the call.

Gromov: 9♦9♣
Cantu: A♣K♦

The flop was not a good one for Cantu; 9♥3♠A♥ and the turn and river did little to change the situation. Cantu out. -- RD

5.15pm: Nearly our first millionaire
Toby Lewis was ever so close to being our first chip millionaire but a six on the turn snatched a near half-million pot away from him. We're not sure how the chips got into the middle but Lewis was sat in the cut-off and Frederick Jensen was sat in the SB with his 217,000 stack over the line. Showdown:

Lewis: A♥K♦
Jensen: 6♠7♠

The 7♣8♥K♥ flop was good for Lewis but as we mentioned he didn't like the 6♣ turn much and the J♦ river failed to change anything. He's still going well on around 750,000 though. -- MC

5.10pm: Cantu dropping more
Brandon Cantu started the day as chip leader but it's gone downhill ever since. He just lost another chunk. After opening raising, Dmitry Gromov moved all in over the top for 70,000. Cantu called, but his K♥9♥ was behind Gromov's [10h][10s]. The flop came Q♦9♦8♦ and the turn 2♦. With no diamonds on either player's hands, Cantu called for a diamond on the river so the pot would be chopped. It didn't come, and he's now down to 150,000. Gromov up to 400,000. -- SY


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Cantu no longer in cruise control


5.05pm: Toth takes one
Janos Toth has eased up to 570,000 after taking a pot of Martin Jacobsen. With around 100,000 int he middle already, the board was J♠8♠2♣2♠ and Toth had bet 35,000. Call. Both then slowed to a check on the 5♠ river. "Flush," said Toth, turning over K♠Q♠, and that was enough to take it. Jacobsen slipped to 400,000. -- SY

5pm: Second place (in this hand) for De Silva
Janos Toth min-raised to 16,000 and was shoved on by online qualifier Joao De Silva for 161,500. Toth did not call, but the small blind, Marco Leonzio, did.

Marco Leonzio: A♥Q♣
De Silva: A♠J♠

The flop was a big one for De Silva who needed to catch up to stay alive and 4♥2♠K♠ gave him a flush draw. The turn and river blanked out with the 5♣ and the 6♣. -- RD

4.57pm: Horecki hurt
Marcin Horecki is down to just 80,000 after a run in with Sergio Coutinho. When the chips went in Horecki was ahead, having called Coutinho's king-queen with ace-king. But the queen on the flop sent the chips to Coutinho who is now up to 160,000. -- SB

4.55pm: Wolfgang in tune
PokerStars qualifier Wolfgang Wurzer is hanging in there with a double-up to 125,000. The action folded to the German in the SB who looked flummoxed as to what to do with his holding. He ended up raising to 24,000 and calling all-in after Sergio Coutinho set him in from the BB.

Wurzer: A♦Q♣
Countinho: A♥T♠

The board ran 9♠8♦5♣6♥4♣ meaning Coutinho is the more at risk now with 90,000. --MC


4.50pm: Carry on without Carron
Patrick Carron is the latest faller after moving all-in for 123,000 with A♦T♦. Toby Lewis called, showing A♥J♦ once Fabrizio Ascari folded his big blind.

The board ran K♥4♦8♣6♣K♠ and Carron stepped away from the table. Ascari applauded Carron and then gave Lewis a slap on the back, jolting him forward. It leaves Erik van den Berg as the only ginger haired player remaining in the event. -- SB


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There's only one word to describe Fabrizio Ascari. Excitable.


4.45pm: Back in the game
Toby Lewis kicked this one off with a raise to 18,000 before Erik Van Den Berg made it 40,000 from the button. Robert Cezarescu woke up with a hand from the small blind and moved all-in for 114,000. Lewis got out of the way, but Van Den Berg made the call.

Van Den Berg: A♥3♥
Cezarescu: Q♥Q♦

The flop was K♦3♦7♥ and the 4♥ turn gave Van Den Berg more outs, but the river was 4♦ to send the PokerStars qualifier from Romania up to 240,000. Van Den Berg, a PokerStars qualifier from Holland, slipped to 150,000. - SY

4.42pm: Those that have fallen
We now have 38 players left here at EPT Vilamoura and that means that 18 players have thus far finished in the money, which includes Luca Pagano and his record-breaking 16th EPT cash. -- RD

4.42pm: Play restarts
Play restarts

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 4,000-8,000, ANTE 500


4.30pm: Break time
Players are enjoying a 15 minute break in the action. Tea time for the blog team.

4.28pm: Cantu losing chips at a rate of knots
Brandon Cantu had some 800,000 chips earlier but that his stack has crashed to around 160,000. He just lost another chunky pot to Toni Ojala from Finland. Ojala has scored some good results at the EPT having final tabled EPT Barcelona last season with another four cashes to his name.

Ojala check-raised all-in on for 140,500 on a 4♣2♦K♣J♦ board causing Brandon Cantu to let out a loud (and somewhat anguished) "Ahhhh." Cantu had bet the turn for 21,000 and had been called by Kevin O'Donnell before Ojala had squeezed his chips in. Cantu moved in behind. There was already around 70,000 in the pot.

Cantu: Q♦Q♥
Ojala: K♥T♦

The normally reserved Finn let out a stressed "Yes" when he saw how far ahead he was. The river blanked and Ojala moved up to 360,000. -- RD


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Toni Ojala's top pair held to severely damage Cantu


4.28pm: Thorson on the road to recovery
William Thorson continues to claw his way back into this event, now up to 150,000 after winning a hand against Joaquin Culebras. Culebras had made it 17,000 on a flop of 8♠8♥K♥. Thorson then raised to 37,000 leaving Culebras with no option but to fold. Thorson allowed Culebras to turn over the 9♣ before stacking his new chips. Culebras down to about the same. -- SB

4.25pm: Double for Thorson
William Thorson got it all in (40,000) against Robert Willis, but his A♦Q♠ was behind Willis' K♦K♥. No matter, an ace popped up on the A♣9♦5♥ flop and Thorson remained in the lead through the turn and river. He's now on more than 40,000. -- SY

4.23pm: Nice flop
Wolfgang Wurzer was desperately short with 27,000 and thought he had found the perfect spot to move all-in from the small blind after Rob Hollink had raised to 12,000 from under the gun. But to Wurzer's horror, Sergio Coutinho then moved all-in as well from the big blind for 150,000. Hollink got out of the way.

Wurzer: A♣Q♥
Coutinho: A♥K♠

Wurzer was ready to pay for the massage he had been enjoying and leave the room, but the flop was a pleasant A♠5♦Q♠, shooting him into the lead, where he remained on the 6♥ turn and [10s] river. -- SY

4.21pm: Konsta's snowmen good
Konsta Vesterinen is up to 240,000 after busting local boy David Metelo. Vesterinen raised to 12,000 and then said "I have to call" when Metelo moved all-in for 118,000 with A♦kd]. Vesterinen tabled 8♥8♦ which turned out to be very good on the 9♦9♥8♣7♥T♠ board. - MC

4.18pm: Argelazi dodges Berg and sails towards 400k
Johan Berg opened for 16,000 and Erik van den Berg made the call from the cut off. Over in the big blind Eliran Argelazi was thinking and thinking hard. He had 190,000 left and was working something out in his head. Sure he had the right move he raised to 39,000. Berg passed but Van Den Berg was not so quick to act. After confirming the amount he then said he was all in. Argelazi couldn't get his chips in fast enough, turning over A♥A♣ to Van Den Berg's 9♥9♣.

The board ran 3♦8♦Q♠7♠A♠ to send the chips to Argelazi, now on 380,000. Van Den Berg slips down to 240,000. -- SB

4.16pm: Horecki up and down
Marcin Horecki is living in swing town at the moment. He was up over 200,000 then down to 80,000 at which point the shoved from the hijack. Guillermo Garcia moved all-in behind putting Carolyn Gray in a difficult position. She shook her head and passed leaving the players heads up.

Horecki: K♥Q♥
Garcia: 7♦7♣

Garcia was looking good until the turn on the 4♠A♥2♦Q♣ board and failed to catch the river (it was the 9♥). Horecki is back up to 170,000. Garcia is down to 140,000. -- RD

4.02pm: Thorson all-in
"I think I have the best hand," said William Thorson as he tabled A♥9♥ all-in for 27,000 against Frank Calo. The American had taken a little time deciding whether to call or not from the small blind so when he did Thorson had felt he was ahead.

He was not. Calo turned over A♦K♠ and Thorson said: "Wooh, you needed time with that hand?"

Thorson hit his nine on the turn of a T♣J♣7♦9♦4♥ board and doubled up to 60,000. Still short but always in with a shout. -- RD


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William Thorson will be a danger if he keeps doubling


4pm: Lucky escape
Evgeniy Zaytsev pushed all-in for 61,000 with A♠3♠ and it was folded around to Frank Calo who made the call from the small blind with A♦7♦. The flop was an intriguing 3♦7♣9♦, giving Zaytsev bottom pair, but giving Calo second pair and also the nut flush draw. The turn then came 3♥, shooting Zaytsev into the lead, and the 9♥ river kept him there. -- SY

3.59pm: The Beach Boys
While we've been busy working away indoors, Team PokerStars Pros Dario Minieri and Arnaud Mattern have been messing around on the beach...

3.58pm: Miss Marcelin Bamba
We on the PokerStars Blog are still waiting for the money from two separate ladies who emailed us yesterday promising riches for taking care of their dead fathers' millions.
But fear not, Miss Marcelin Bamba has now emailed us from Abidjan asking for help getting hold of her father's $5.7million fortune. He, you guessed it, died mysteriously on a business trip.

What makes this even more shocking is that Miss Bamba, who sounds rather lovely, thinks it was her uncle who killed him. What a scandal!

We've duly sent off our bank account details as she requested. -- SY

3.56pm: The Cantu man can
Brandon Cantu just reversed the current trend that had made his stack one of the shorter ones. After Marton Czuczor opened for 14,000, Konsta Vesterinen called and Cantu announced all-in. It was folded back to Czuczor, who passed, but Vesterinen called, showing K♣A♦. Cantu turned over 9♦9♥, arranged the cards neatly side by side and asked for a nine.

Actually, he wouldn't need one. The board ran 8♥J♥Q♥A♥5♠. Cantu got excited on the turn, which had made him a life saving flush. He's now back up to nearly 400,000 while Vesterinen slips down to around 180,000. -- SB

3.52pm: Van Den Berg's open range
Robert Cezarescu opened under the gun for 14,000 and was called by Fabrizio Ascari (cut-off), Frederick Jensen (button) and Erik Van Den Berg (big blind). Van Den Berg was priced in to call with pretty much any two cards - very profitably as it would turn out.

All four players checked the 5♥A♠K♠ flop but Van Den Berg led the 4♥ turn for 26,000 only getting action from Ascari. The 3♠ dropped on the river completing a couple of the draws and Van Den Berg fired a small 30,000 bet into the middle. Ascari called.

Ascari: 4♦5♦ for bottom two-pair
Van Den Berg: 2♣3♣ for the wheel

Nice pot for Van Den Berg and it must have kept the exuberant Ascari quiet for all of ten seconds. -- RD

3.45pm: Bye bye Boyen, Boyen goodbye
Boyen Bonev moved all-in from under-the-gun. Jason Lee asked how much but it wasn't a lot, about 30,000, and immediately called showing 7♣7♦. Bonev turned over J♠K♠. The board ran 2♦A♥9♠6♦A♣. Down to 41. -- SB

3.42pm: Tip of the Van Den Berg
Erik van den Berg opened for 13,500. Patrick Carron then announced raise, to 31,500. At this point Fabrizio Ascari said "Wow, wow," in a manner that suggested either irony, or that he was taking all this far too seriously. Van Den Berg asked him how much he had and Carron showed about 140,000 behind. Van Den Berg then announced he was all-in, forcing Carron to pass. -- SB


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Van Den Berg: a lucky hat can take you far


3.40pm: Classic cooler
Henrique Custodio has been eliminated after running pocket kings into the pocket aces of Joaquin Culebras. Custodio opened to 14,500 from the button to see Culebras move all-in for 130,000 from the SB after some thought and a shrug. Custodio snap called and as he had less was the player at risk. The board ran 7♠2♥Q♣J♦Q♥ and the Portuguese player was consoled by his table mates before heading to the pay-out desk. - MC

3.34pm: Horecki busts one
Marcin Horecki busted Thorsten Schafer in a battle of the blinds. The German only had 40,000 or so and got it in with 4-4, but Horecki with K-6 his a 6 on the flop. -- SY

3.30pm: Dancing queen
This race was lost and then won on the river. Claudio Cecchi got tricky and called from the small blind, only for Andre Andrade to move all-in from the big with A♣K♦. Cecchi had Q♣Q♥ up his sleeve and the race was on. The flop was a bad one for the Italian, coming 5♠9♥A♠, the turn was 5♣ but the river was Q♠ sending him wild with delight. He's now up to 230,000, leaving Andrade with just 16,000.

Next hand Andrade found the perfect spot to double up, getting it in with A♥9♥ against Wolfgang Wurzer's A♦2♣. But the board came 5♥6♠3♠6♦5♦ for a split pot. -- SY

3.28pm: Kelly bashes Bonev
JP Kelly is moving up the chip ladder here with a plum aplomb. He has just been moved table and on his first hand he has snagged a huge pot from Bulgarian Boyan Bonev. The Team PokerStars Pro opened for 15,000 and was three-bet from the small blind to 41,500 by Bonev. Kelly made the call. Both players checked the K♦9♥3♣ flop but Bonev couldn't contain himself on the 5♥ turn which he led for 48,500. Kelly called. Bonev attacked the river with a large chunk of his chips, 68,500 to be precise, and Kelly moved all-in. Bonev did not look thrilled with life at this point and mucked his hand leaving himself with about 90,000. Kelly is up to 640,000 and very near the lead. -- RD


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JP Kelly has built a stack that gives him a great shout to make the final table


3.22pm: Dominating but dumped
All you can do in this game is to get your chips in good and that exactly what PokerStars qualifier Michal Karolak did but that still didn't stop him from exiting. He moved all-in for 38,000 from the SB when the action folded around to him and was called by Tom Johansen in the BB for a showdown:

Karolak: A♥K♠
Johansen: K♦J♣

The board ran J♠Q♥2♠J♥3♦ to seal the Pole's fate. -- MC

3.20pm: Curses for Cantu, Can do for Czuczor
Brandon Cantu opened for 16,000 in early position. Kevin O'Donnell called on the button while Marton Czuczor in the small blind seemed in no rush, pottering around a bit before announcing he was all-in. When the action returned to Cantu he announced all-in too, leaving O'Donnell to fold.

Czuczor turned over 9♣9♥ and Cantu immediately yelled "Come on," as he showed A♥Q♠. It seemed things were going Cantu's way on the Q♥8♥4♥ flop but when the 9♦ turn hit he made an involuntary "oooh," sound. On the A♣ river he referred to a certain gentleman popular among religious groups and counted out what he now owed. Czuczor is now up to around 400,000, leaving Cantu with 320,000. -- SB

3.14pm: Lewis takes out Coimbra...
...and we're not talking about a candlelit dinner. These two had been slugging it out all morning and something had to give (and it did, just before the break). Coimbra raised from early position to 10,000 and Lewis three-bet from middle position to 24,500. Coimbra came back over the top for 60,000 and Lewis moved all-in. According to our sources Coimbra made a quick call for the rest of his 190,000 stack with [a][8] offsuit which was in big trouble against Lewis' big slick. The queen-high board blanked out as Coimbra, a member of Team PokerStars Online, left the tournament in 49th and Lewis chipped up to 680,000.

Lewis isn't chip leader but he's not far off. -- RD

3.12pm: Cantu calling
Nicolo Calia is up to 650,000 after doubling through Brandon Cantu just before the break. When he got his chips in on the turn, with a board reading T♣3♦J♣9♣ with king-queen Cantu called with nine-three. The 6♥ on the river sent the chips to the Italian. Cantu down to 580,000. -- SB


3.10pm: Fast and furious
Players are back. And there are only 47 of them as we lost 23 in the first two levels of play. A quick tap on the calculator reveals only another 23 need to go and we're done for the day.

It looks like Martin Jacobson could be chip leader with more than 700,000, but other big stacks include Brandon Cantu, Toby Lewis and Teddy Sheringham, who recently doubled up through William Thorson.

Still going strong is Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki. The man from Poland has 260,000.

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Marcin Horecki

PokerStars Blog reporting team (in order of interest shown in shapely blonde woman walking by media area): Rick Dacey (nearly fell off his chair trying to get a look), Marc Convey (drooling), Simon Young (subtle sideways glance) and Stephen Bartley (deliberately looked away)

All pictures (c) Neil Stoddart

Simon Young
@MrSimonYoung in European Poker Tour