EPT Berlin: Day 2, level 12 & 13 updates (blinds 1,200-2,400, 200 ante)
6pm: End of the level
That's the end of the level. Players are now taking a 90 minute dinner break. Play resumes at 7.30pm local time. -- SB
5.56pm: Gorodetsky rising
Ilya Gorodetsky just effectively doubled up to 140,000 after eliminating a player. The Russian opened for 5,700 in middle position which was called on the button before the now departed big blind raised to 42,400. Gorodetsky moved all-in, it was showdown time and Gorodetsky's K♣K♦ was ahead, his opponent showing K♠Q♠.
The board ran 7♠3♣3♥Q♦6♥ to send the chips to Gorodetsky and after some debate about whether Gorodetsky had turned his cards over too soon (a non-issue), he was back in the game. - SB
5.52pm: Pescatori gets the Max
Max Pescatori has just doubled through fellow Italian Mario Adinolfi. He shoved for 21,600 from under-the-gun plus one and was called by Adinolfi in the cut-off.
Pescatori opened J♦T♦ to Adinolfi's A♥K♣ and after the flop fell 8♦K♣3♣ Pescatori commented, "Sh#t, I'm ended."
The turn came Q♦ and Pescatori's mood lifted and he added, "Oooo, that was a nice card" as it brought a straight flush draw.
He didn't get his straight flush on the 6♦ river but he did get a flush and that was good for the double-up. -- MC
5.45pm: Heitmann talks of destiny
As Team PokerStars Pro Jan Heitmann raked in a triple-up 170,000 pot he said to the table: "I was down to 6,000 yesterday. It's got to be destiny. Or just cruel." Heitmann has been up and down more than the PokerStars Blog when the tournament was split across three floors.
Heitmann had got it in three ways with A♣Q♣ against J♦J♥ and 7♣7♠ managing to catch an ace on the turn of a J♣7♣9♣4♠9♥ board to win the pot. -- RD
5.35pm: So long Ascari
A straw poll among PokerStars bloggers came up with the following result. While we wouldn't want to sit next to Fabrizio Ascari, we wouldn't mind being at the same table, which right now seems the most enjoyable to watch, and that said the players on either side of him are getting into the spirit of things. The Italian has only 65 more eliminations to survive to make it into the money.
Or he did have, as he just became the latest.
Ascari just moved his big wall of chips forward, like a general moving toy tanks across a war games map, a full frontal assault on whoever wanted to match it. They waited there as players folded. Not so Alexander Jalali, who called, turning over J♦J♠. Generale Ascari could only muster T♣T♦.
Ascari waited, the world waited, as the dealer burned and turned. First a Q♣9♠8♠ flop, then a 2♥ turn, followed by a 4♥ river. No victory celebrations for the Italian, just a dignified handshake and a quiet exit. - SB
5.30pm: Revenge is a dish best served cold
The EPT Snowfest final table was full of exiting moments and some of the best were saved for the duel (over the felt and Twitter) between eventual winner and runner-up Vladimir Geshkenbein and Kevin Vandersmissen.
Geshkenbein's table broke a little while ago, and wouldn't you know it; he's been moved to Vandermissen's table. I went over to rail the table and Vandermissen looked up and said, "I almost got him."
It turned out that the Belgian had Geshkenbein all-in in a dominating situation but the board double paired to split the pot between the two. Geshkenbein is on about 35,000 to Vandermissen's 240,000. -- MC
5.22pm: Jelassi doubles through Markushevski
Ramzi Jelassi has just doubled through Vadim Markushevski to take himself up to 60,000 after getting it in with A♥5♥ to [t]. The loss drops Markushevski to 70,000. -- RD
5.15pm: Hunter S. Mattern
Arnaud Mattern is up to what looks like 95,000 after not playing a hand. Okay, he must have played some to get his stack up but each time I walk past his table, which is pretty much the tournament thoroughfare, all he is doing is playing with two black chips and perfectly his Hunter S Thompson lookalike pose, i.e. sporting aviator shades, shaved head. -- RD
5.12pm: Marvin is mad at exiting
Marvin Rettenmaier is out. He explained his demise on his Facebook page:
"busted main...didnt have a winning hand and had a marginal spot with a10 in the bb, 24bb, and midopener plus 2 callers...opener was acting weird and I prob would have folded without the callers.... but because of them it felt right again... :) well, he had aks... :( ...tonite 2k side event at 8pm". -- MC
5.05pm: Affleck trying is best
Matt Affleck and Roberto Romanello's table has been moved out onto the main floor and been replaced by the table featuring Team PokerStars Pros Sebastian Ruthenberg and George Danzer.
Romanello is going okay on about 140,000 but Affleck is finding life a bit harder. He seems to be in a jovial mood and that's a key indication that his jet-lag has worn off. He saw me spying his 32,000 stack and said, "Say that I'm on 90,000. By the time you get back to you're computer it'll be up that high."
He laughed when I responded with. "Yeah yeah".
Moments later Affleck moved all-in from the cut-off and took the blinds and antes. He then looked up and said, "Exciting one for ya. Doing the best I can." -- MC
4.55pm: The Italians
Fabrizio Ascari is still in, although his wall of chips is effectively a bluff, all black and purple, with an estimated street value of around 14,000.
Elsewhere another Italian, Max Pescatori got a bit of luck, his table breaking just in time for him to dodge his big blind. He was moved to a new seat on the left of Joao Barbosa and immediately lost a hand to Alexander Mette, who bet 9,500 on a flop of A♦3♦J♥. Pescatori then raised to 20,000 from the cut-off before Mette lumped in another 40,000, killing off the hand.
Pescatori opened the next hand from the hijack for 4,900, only to be forced out on the 9♦3♣J♦ flop. The Italian is down now to less than 30,000. - SB
4.44pm: Break time... is over
We have 191 players left, down from the 353 that returned for Day 2. A total of 120 players get paid so we still have 71 players who will leave empty-handed before the end of the day. -- RD
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 1,200-2,400, ANTE 200
4.28pm: Break time
That's a 15-minute break and the half-way point of today's play. -- RD
4.25pm: Barcelona revisited
Konstantin Puchkov and Giuseppe Pantaleo are sitting a couple of seats away from each other, reminiscent of when the pair final tabled EPT Barcelona earlier this season. Puchkov finished third for €300,000 and Pantaleo fell, a little disappointed, in fifth for €170,000.
Pantaleo is up to 230,000 and opening a lot of pots, much like he was in Spain. Puchkov sits on 144,000 and isn't afraid of meeting young aggression head on. In fact, the horse trainer seems to embrace tackling the online grinders with re-raises much like he breaks in young colts. That's probably got a lot to do with why he's currently second on the EPT leader board. -- RD
4.15pm: All yours, Barbosa, Barbosa, Barbosa, yah-yah
Joao Barbosa is up to more than 200,000 after called an all-in with A♠4♦ with his own A♣T♦. The board ran Q♦5♣A♥J♦T♠ to take the former EPT Warsaw winner up to 230,000. - SB
4.10pm: De Korver heads for the exit
Our Dutch PokerStars blogger Steven Smith has had a feeling all week that this will be the event that we finally crown a double EPT champion (He said that last time - Ed). Obviously he would like it to be a Dutchman, but that won't be happening now as the last Dutch former champion has fallen.
Team PokerStars Pro Pieter de Korver won the EPT Grand final in Season 5 for €2,300,000 but he won't be adding to those funds as he just busted. The action folded to him on the button and he moved all-in with ace-ten but ran into the big blind and his pocket jacks. -- MC
4.05pm: Strassmann out
Johannes Strassmann just busted out, his black jacks defeated by a flush with the money going in on the 2♥2♦5♦ flop. The turn came 9♦, the river 8♥. Strassmann, who started promisingly yesterday, now gone. - SB
4.01pm: Big stacks going big guns
Nima Ahrary (390,000) and Sebastian Ruthenberg (285,000) are sitting at the same table, equidistant from the dealer, and both well above the 107,000 chip average.
Things are going well for both of them. Ahrary's 40-high stacks of red 1,000 chips were near toppling over the rail when I arrived at the table to see the German raking in yet another pot. It was Ruthenberg's turn next who bet-called the river with the second nut flush to win an 88,000 pot.
The rich keep getting richer, as Thorsten Schäfer (below) has also proved. -- RD
3.56pm: Schäfer and Sanders
Thorsten Schäfer and Dean Sanders have experienced very different fortunes this level. Schäfer's stack continues to soar as he's extended his chip lead and is up to 505,000. Sanders, meanwhile, is out after losing a 100,000 flip with ace-king versus another player's pocket queens. -- MC
3.48pm: Geshkenbein gets a lesson from Cimpan
Cornel Cimpan is back up to 200,000 chips after winning pot off Vladimir Geshkenbein, who dropped to 42,500. We picked up the action on the river where the board read T♠Q♦8♣2♥5♠ and Geshkenbein checked from under-the-gun. Cimpan was two seats along and bet 11,000 into the 40,000 pot.
"You have jacks?" asked Geshkenbein. "It's the only hand that makes sense", he continued as he threw in the calling chips.
Cimpan did indeed have pocket jacks and tabled J♥J♣. Geshkenbein mucked and Cimpan said to him, "You make such good reads and still call. Just fold. Now that's the last lesson you'll get." -- MC
Thorsten Schäfer is up to 325,000 after eliminating Jean Paul Pasqualini from his table. A few tables along that's a fate shared by Team PokerStars Pro Henrique Pinho, kings against aces. Or was it?
Pinho got his chips in with kings, against aces. Using that clever ploy of standing up, admitting defeat and walking away before the flop. This effectively guaranteed a king on the flop. When it landed so did his opponent's fist, square on the table, making a loud bang.
Pinho returned to his seat and to a stack of 250,000. The aces left his opponent crippled. -- SB
3.31pm: Aces for Cimpan
Cornel Cimpan has just won a tidy pot with aces versus the queens of Adam Robak. That coup pushes the American up to 200,000 after the money went in pre-flop and he promptly hit top set on the A♥7♥8♣2♣5♠ board.
"It's nice when you have it locked up by the turn," he said as he stacked up his new hoard of chips. Too true. -- RD
3.27pm: Midday update (at 3pm...)
Catch up with Ms Balding and her half-time recap.
3.20pm: News from the TV table
Our feature table has been impossible to get to today as it's being filmed for a TV show. Roberto Romanello is still in and on 120,200, down from his starting stack of 152,400. He told me that he ran pocket tens into an opponent's pocket queens for a 26,000 pot. Apart from that his day has been uneventful.
The other EPT champion from Season 7 who was at the table is out. Lucien Cohen came back with a short stack, made a lot of noise (apparently) and then busted. - MC
3.15pm: Mattern has a monster stack, or so it feels
Team PokerStars Pro Arnaud Mattern is up to 50,000 after doubling-up before the break. He shoved for 23,700 from second position and was looked up by his small blinded opponent holding ace-king. The board bricked out and the Frenchman is feeling very positive. He's still below average but he feels like he has never had more chips, such is the grind he's had to endure so far in this tournament. -- MC
3.12pm: New level
Play restarts in Level 11 with blinds at 1,000-2,000 with a 200 ante.
PokerStars Blog reporting team in Berlin (in order of money currently invested on the 2.30pm race at Aintree): Stephen Bartley, Rick Dacey and Marc Convey.