EPT Berlin: Day 1B, level 5 & 6 updates (blinds 200-400, ante 50)


6.55pm: Dinner time
All the players are now on a 90 minute dinner break. Play will resume 8.25pm:

6.48pm: The 58,000 chip men
Team PokerStars Pro Max Lykov and Jens Thorson both just took down pots to move to exactly 58,000 chips.

Lykov raised preflop, bet 1,500 on the flop and 3,250 on the turn. His neighbour to his left called all the way to the turn where he tank folded.

Thorson, meanwhile, took a pot off an opponent when he flatted a raise in position to see a K♥T♥Q♣ flop. His opponent checked to him and he bet 1,600 to force a fold. -- MC

6.42pm: Tahkokallio looking to go one better
Ilari Tahkokallio came second here last year for €600,000 and he is going well in his quest to do one better. He called an under-the-gun raise whilst sat in the cut-off to see a J♥3♣J♠ flop. He called a 1,300 c-bet and he also called an 1,800 bet on the 9♥ turn. The river came K♥ and Tahkokallio fired a massive 20,000 when his opponent checked to him which was just enough to cover his stack. He didn't have the goods to call and slid his cards into the muck. The Finn sits on 68,000 chips. -- MC

6.36pm: A Nguyen win
Tristan Clemencon has arrived at his new table, sitting between Marcin Horecki on his right, and Thang Duc Nguyen on his left.

Nguyen just won a meagre-on-reflection pot against the currently souring Jan Haitmann, tossing in a red 1,000 chip from late position and getting a call from Heitmann in the big blind.

Both players checked the K♦9♠3♥ flop, did the same on the 4♠ turn before the Q♥ river card. At this point Heitmann checked to Nguyen who tossed out another red chip. Heitmann pulled some faces and passed, Nguyen showing K♣. -- SB

6.28pm: Scream if you want to go faster
A little earlier I overheard Jan Heitmann telling Marcin Horecki: "That's the thing about the rollercoaster, it goes up as well." At the time he'd just raked in a couple of medium-sized pots away from Horecki's 100,000-plus stack to take himself up to more than 40,000. It was a mere inconvenience to Horecki at the time, but that ride is accelerating for both players at the moment.

I arrived just before the flop and it looked like Heitmann had opened from middle position before calling a Horecki three-bet from the button. Heitmann led 2,500 into the 5♥J♣8♥ flop, Horecki quickly made the call.

The dealer turned over the 8♠. Heitmann sat rock solid, hidden away behind thick black glasses, arms reaching around his chips, hands resting on cards. He slowly pulled out a large 14,400 bet and pushed it forward, leaving himself a little over 40,000 behind. Horecki rocked in his chair, fingers riffling a large stack of chips. He plucked three yellow 5,000 chips and dropped them across the line.

The river card was the 6♥. Heitmann took nearly half of his remaining stack, some 15,500, and bet out for a third and final time. Horecki asked how much he had left. The German opened his arms, there wasn't much, just 25,000, and Horecki announced the call.

Heitmann quickly tabled 5♣5♦ for the smallest boat onboard. Horecki shrugged but his nonchalance wasn't entirely convincing. Days like this are frustrating. Horecki is down to 35,000, Heitmann fast approaching 100,000. -- RD

6.15pm: Three names are no more
Team PokerStars SportStar Boris Becker, the vociferous Tony G and German pro Florian Langmann are three players who have departed in the last period of play.

We don't have details of the first two but Langmann ran two-pairs into the set of fives of countryman Manfred Hammer. -- MC

6.05pm: Holding out for a hero
The subject of hero calls is an oft debated among PokerStars bloggers. After well-oiled debate we tend to believe that hero calling should be attempted at all costs, with the belief that the glory associated with being right just one time in ten is worth nine humiliating, tournament ending concessions.

A visual representation of a hero call...

Of course all this is irrelevant to those with talent, including Johannes Strassmann, who just displayed a flawless read on Meir Dahan.

On a flop of 4♣6♠Q♥ Dahan bet 700 which Strassmann called. This was a straightforward battle of the blinds, Dahan in the small, Strassmann in the big, but while Dahan seemed to grow increasingly frustrated Strassmann merely rested his head on his hand and watched.

Another 2,500 on the 9♦ turn from Dahan. Strassmann watched Dahan who looked like he was doing his best to pretend he wasn't there. Call.

A 9♥ on the river. Dahan threw out a bet of 8,000 with a quick flick of the wrist. Strassmann suspected something was up, and without moving (he'd spent the entire hand looking like a school kid at the back of the room waiting for a Religious Education class to end), called.

Dahan mucked without showing. Strassmann, who if pressed might concede that he couldn't help himself, showed 5♠4♥, getting no shortage of adulation from others at the table.

A great call, good enough to haul the Team PokerStars Pro back up to 30,000 chips. -- SB

6.02pm: Winning after losing for Eastgate
Peter Eastgate is going along nicely with around 70,000. We just witnessed the end of one hand where he lost, followed by a victory in the very next hand.

In the first hand he was heads-up to the river, with the board reading 4♣3♠Q♥2♠J♦. He and his opponent checked but Eastgate's 7♠7♥ was no good against his opponent's Q♦J♣.

The very next hand saw a raise to 800 from a player in early position and an Eastgate flat call in the cut-off, before Paul Michaelis three-bet to 3,000 from the button. The original raiser folded but Eastgate called quickly to see the 2♣T♣7♣ flop. He check-raised Michaelis' 4,100 c-bet up to 10,025, and that was enough to take the pot down. -- MC


5.52pm: Romanello getting Teichert tetchy
EPT Prague champion Roberto Romanello has shown he can walk the walk and he can certainly talk the talk. "I like it when you talk to me," said Romanello to Nikolaus Teichert.

The German replied, quite tetchily, and Romanello reiterated his comment: "I said, I like it when you talk to me." The Welshman has around 65,000 at the moment. -- RD

ept berlin_day 1b_roberto romanello.jpg

Roberto Romanello is giving the usual verbal

5.45pm: Solved!
Having been told to "take out the cable and then put it in again," the internet is now back. -- SB

5.30pm: Internet issues
The internet is down. -- SB

5.28pm: Bichon bouyant
As Thomas Bichon slips down to 100,000, Andrey Danilyuk in the seat next to him just moved up to 45,000 without having to show a card.

Bichon opened for 750 from the cut off which Danilyuk raised to 2,000 from the button. Waiting in the big blind was Lutz Priese. The white haired German raised again, making it 10,300 to play. Bichon passed but the action paused with Danilyuk who eventually moved all-in for around 30,000.

Priese, who had looked determined a few moments prior was now ready to fold, and did. -- SB

5.20pm: Horecki up to 100,000, Heitmann still a problem
Marcin Horecki is up to 100,000 even after losing a couple of pots to fellow Team PokerStars Pro Jan Heitmann, who continues to be a thorn in his side.

First Heitmann took a 14,000 pot from Horecki after showing down 8♥9♣ on a 7♦7♣T♣9♠8♠ board, which Horecki claimed to be winning on the turn, before taking a 17,000 one the very next hand.

Horecki opened from middle position to 750 and was called by Heitmann in the small blind and Jasid Majid in the big. Play was checked through to the 4♠5♠J♠6♦ turn which Heitmann led for 1,800, Horecki called. The 4♦ river was enough for Heitmann to toss out a 5,550 bet, which was called again by Horecki. Heitmann showed 4♣5♣ for a full house. -- RD

5.20pm: MacPhee kicker problems see him booted out
The reigning EPT Berlin champion Kevin MacPhee is out after busting to Kevin Vandersmissen. A Dutch colleague filled us in on the events:

Vandersmissen raised to 1,200 from under-the-gun and was called by MacPhee and the big blind. The flop came down [a][q]2♠ and Vandersmissen continued for 1,200, only to be called by MacPhee. The turn came [8] and Vandersmissen check-called a 2,700 bet from the American. Vandersmissen checked again on the [7] river to face a 13,200 all-in bet from MacPhee. There was only 11,000 in the pot so the call was a big one.

He made the call with king-queen for second pair and it was good as MacPhee had second pair too with [q]9♦ but his inferior kicker caused him irreparable damage. Vandersmissen is up to 56,000 chips now. -- MC

5.15pm: ... and her name is, and her name is, and her name is, G-L-O-R-I-A
The mid day update with Gloria Balding and Richard Toth...

5.10pm: Kelly down but not out
Team PokerStars Pro JP Kelly is down to 13,000 but, if the hand had played out differently, he could be out now. He raised to 750 from early position and picked up two callers to a 4♦4♥3♦ flop. Kelly continued for 1,300 and was only called by Anton Porarinsson from two seats along. The turn came out 5♠ and both players checked. The river was 8♥ and Kelly led for 4,000. Porarinsson looked like he was going to call but actually raised to prompt a quick fold from the Brit.

"You could've got it all if you be the turn. I check-raise you all-in", added Kelly. -- MC

4.57pm: Level 5 is underway
We're nearly halfway through Day 1B here at EPT Berlin. The room is very quiet right now as players try to regain their focus. Two players not returning from break are former EPT winners David Vamplew and Jake Cody. They informed the virtual world of their demise:

David "davidv1213" Vamplew:

Jam KJs over raise + call from sb, dragan calls from bb w AJ. Side events better be more fun than that

Jake Cody:

sigh busted, Ramzi Jelassi tricked me :(. -- MC


David Vamplew is one of the players not returning for Level 5

PokerStars Blog reporting team in Berlin (in order of favourite dance): Rick Dacey (The Dirty Dancing lift thingy), Stephen Bartley (Tangoing a stranger a la Al Pacino) and Marc Convey (MC Hammer's Running Man).

Marc Convey
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour