EPT Berlin: Day 2, level 14 & 15 updates (blinds 2,000-4,000, 400 ante)
10.06pm: Bubble bursts
Play has ended for the day after two of the three all-ins meet their demise (read below). The shorter stacked player was Andrey Alexandrovich Lobzhanidze and he becomes the actual bubble boy.
Full wrap and chip counts to come but it is Fabrice Soulier who leads at the end of Day 2 with 1,079,400. -- RD
10.02pm: Three players face the bubble
The bubble didn't take long at all to burst as three players committed all their chips at the same time and all three were called. All three tables were next to each other as well meaning you could almost cut the atmosphere with a knife at the far end of the room.
The player with the biggest stack of the three was Karl Heinz Klose as he was all-in for 74,200 on the feature table with 9♣7♠. He was called by Christian Knese who held just 400 chips more but had pocket aces to back him up. The board ran 5♦J♣9♥4♠2♦ to send Klose to the rail. He had to wait to see if he would finish as the bubble boy as the other two hands had to play out.
Andrey Alexandrovich Lobzhanidze was in deep trouble versus fellow Russian Vladimir Geshkenbein as his A♣J♣ needed a lot of help versus Q♦Q♣ of his opponent. The board ran 4♣2♥5♥K♥8♣ to eliminate him. He now needed a miracle to happen with the third all-in situation.
Maxim Panyak had the shortest stack so was the player most at risk (with 23,400) if all three players busted. He held A♦Q♦ and was called by the big blind holding A♠Q♠. He survived with a chop though as the board ran out K♠9♣K♥4♠T♥.
That meant Lobzhanidze and his gloriously loud velor tracksuit was the unfortunate players to leave with no money. Klose took home €7,500 for finishing in 120th.-- MC
10pm: Three all-ins!
We have three all-ins on the bubble. This is brilliant. Details to come. -- RD
9.55pm: Hand for hand
We have 121 players left here and play has gone hand for hand again. One to go. -- RD
9.50pm: Newport in a storm (again)
Poor Nicholas Newport. The Irishman came close to the money at EPT Barcelona, just a few off the money, after getting a dominating ace cracked. The same thing has just happened to him here. And in more brutal conditions.
In Barcelona he shoved a short stack, here he had enough to four-bet all-in with fold equity with A♣Q♠ but was still looked up by Mario Adinolfi with A♥5♠. The 5♥7♠3♣ flop sent Newport to his feet. The 5♦ on the turn almost made him erupt and if it weren't for the presence of the TV cameras pointing at him maybe he would have. -- RD
9.40pm: Pescatori walks the plank
Max Pescatori is one of the soft bubble boys after losing to Mario Adinolfi. Adinolfi doubled-up the Italian old school pro earlier on but this time he took all those chips and more back. All the chips went in preflop with Pescatori holding 8♠8♦ to his countryman's T♦J♥ and the board ran 4♦A♣T♣2♠7♠. They'll be no second EPT cash here for the 'Italian pirate.' -- MC
9.30pm: Garcia survives a tense race
Angel Pedemonte Garcia had to wait for a few minutes for the cameras to arrive at his table after moving all-in for 20,100 and getting called by Vladimir Geshkenbein. His fate was hanging in an even balance as his 7♠7♦ was up against the Russian's A♠K♠.
The cameras duly arrived and started rolling as the board ran 5♣6♠4♦3♣8♥ to make him a straight. He hung his tongue out of his mouth as a sign of the relief he now felt. He still only has 45,000 but that is a lot better than none at all. -- MC
9.18pm: Bubble draws near
The bubble is just nine knockouts away and while some players are starting to nit up others are opening their wings wide. Henrique Pinho is up to over 500,000 while Guiseppe Pantaleo has barged his way through to a stack of around 540,000. I've seen few players whose disposition is so closely linked to the size of his stack.
When Pantaleo is running low, he slinks down close to the table, grunting in reply to any question. When he's deep stacked, as he is now, he's happy, loud and smiling. I don't ever want to find out how he reacts to a bad beat for the chip lead. -- RD
9.02pm: Helder hands Soulier monster stack
Fabrice Soulier came back from the break as the clear chip leader with 890,000 chips after a pot against PokerStars qualifier Jason Helder.
There were chips in the middle at the turn and the board read 8♠Q♣K♦T♦. Soulier's bet was check-raised up to 78,000. Call. Helder kept up the pressure on the 3♠ river as he led for 191,500. Soulier dwelled for a period before moving all-in for 363,000. Helder snap called but mucked upon seeing the Frenchman's ace-jack for the nut straight. Helder is down to 95,000 now and in danger of not making the money. -- MC
8.47pm: Hero to hero
Team PokerStars Pro Jan Heitman was probably an inspiration to young German player Giuseppe Pantaleo as he was learning his trade. As the elder statesman was busy busting, Pantaleo was busy making a hero call to soar to 6100,000 chips.
He was sat in the big blind and three-bet his small blinded opponent's 8,000 raise up to 22,000. Call. The flop came K♥[j] and Pantaleo's 17,000 bet was check-called. The turn came 2♥ and the small blind check-raised Pantaleo's 40,000 bet up to 85,000. Call. The river fell [k] and Pantaleo tank called his opponent's 110,000 all-in push with T♠4♣. It was good too as the small blind mucked.
All the players are on a 15 minute break. -- MC
8.45pm: El Nasr looks to the East(gate)
After an early position bet ahead of him, Peter Eastgate raised to 22,200 two seats along. Waiting in the big blind was Nasr El Nasr who paused for a second, as if he hadn't realised the action was on him, before announcing that he was all-in for roughly 70,000. Eastgate waited for the count but took things no further. - SB
8.43pm: The Auld Enemy
Rupert Elder just played out a hand against neighbour and fellow Brit Dean Lyall. We picked up the action just as Elder was calling a bet on the 8♥Q♠8♦ flop. Both checked the T♣ turn before Lyall led for 13,500 on the J♦ river. Before Lyall showed down his hand, Elder tabled K♣K♦. The Scot seemed surprised and mucked his hand.
Elder added, "I wish I raised and snapped you off on the flop".
He's up to 275,000 whereas Lyall is down to 75,000. -- MC
8.40pm: Looking even better for Pinho
After posting a small state of the nation address for Henrique Pinho, saying all was fine, he's just raked in a 200,000 pot to stack up to 440,000. Our man from Portugal informed us that in a series of raises Pinho got it all-in against seat two (who has since disappeared) with A♣K♥ against pocket queens and squarely slapped an ace on the face of the flop. -- RD
8.37pm: Twice the best man, maybe the groom?
PokerStars qualifier Martin Jacobson has twice been a runner-up this season (Vilamoura and Deauville) and he's positioning himself very well here to do as well or even one better. He's up to 442,000 after getting lucky to eliminate Sveva Libralesso.
The two saw a [t][q] flop in the blinds before all the chips went in. Jacobson tabled seven-nine to the Italian's pocket kings. She was in great shape to double-up but the board ran out [j] to make him an unlikely straight. -- MC
8.35pm: Tinker, tailor, solider, spy
If they weren't poker players, what would they do? Except for sit around in their underwear less...
8.32pm: Ankush the Man(davia)
Kevin Stani opened for 7,000 which Fatima Moreira de Melo raised to 17,100 in the seat on his left. The action folded around to Ankush Mandavia in the big blind who asked how much each of them had (Fatima, 125,000, Stani 170,000). Then he called the Moreira de Melo bet, as did Stani.
The flop came 9♠7♣T♠. Mandavia checked to Stani who bet 32,000. Moreira de Melo tanked for a few minutes, then looked at Stani and folded. Stani didn't look back.
After asking how much the bet was, Mandavia went for his chips, first counting out the 32,000, then adding twice as much, pushing it across the line so that the tower of chips fell forward. Stani wasted no time in folding.
Mandavia up to 320,000 while Stani drops to 120,000. Moreira de Melo has 115,000. - SB
8.25pm: More from Vestik
Vegard Vestvik has taken some more, this time from Dean Lyall. The Norwegian shoved the river of a 4♣A♦7♣2♦J♦ board after Lyall had check-called 27,000 on the turn. The shove covered Lyall's last 75,000 and the Scotsman slowly, ever so slowly, passed his hand. Vestik up to 240,000. -- RD
8.17pm: Looking good for Pinho
Henrique Pinho is up to 320,000 and is at a table without too many big stacks. He's got a short stacked Vladimir Geshkenbein directly on his right, the best place for him. -- RD
8.13pm: Jelassi out
Ramzi Jelassi is out. The Swede moved in with pocket fours and was called by A♦Q♣.
"Four please," he said politely to the dealer, as if he were asking for beers at a free bar.
The board was fine up until the river, running 8♦K♥J♦3♣. Then the A♥ hit the river. Jelassi winced, picked up his iPod and business magazine, and headed for the door. - SB
8.10pm: Ross is at a loss
William Ross is a recent loss to the tournament, falling to the very aggressive PokerStars qualifier Giuseppe Pantaleo.
He held A♠A♦ to Pantaleo's 8♣9♣ and the final board read 7♠5♠8♠8♦K♦. The
chips went in on the flop and the German got and instant reward of the turn to send Ross back to America.
Pantaleo is up to about 380,000 now as he aims to make a second EPT final table this season (Barcelona being the other). -- MC
8.05pm: Rusland to Roberts
Ruslan Prydryk is getting busy on table two, to the right of Peter Eastgate and at the opposite end of the table from Ben Roberts, Thomas Bichon and Nasr El Nasr.
Prydryk opened for 6,500 which Roberts called in the cut off for a flop of 8♥9♣J♣. Prydryk then checked to Roberts who bet 8,000. Called.
Both checked the A♣ turn and the Ukrainian checked to Roberts on the 9♦ river. Roberts bet 18,000 to take the pot. -- SB
7.58pm: Very good for Vestik
The Jan Heitmann rollercoaster continues; this time it's down, down, down.
"Sorry, guys," said Heitmann, "I got myself into a mess here."
Indeed he had. I arrived just as Vegard Vestvik announced that he was all-in, a check-shove of 90,000 over the top of the 25,000 in front of Heitmann on a 6♣K♠Q♦ flop. Heitmann, who has looked pretty decisive these last two days, suddenly looked lost, like a teenager who just realised that he'd wandered into the wrong kind of neighbourhood. But would it be the fight or flight instinct that would kick in first?
"I hope I'm flipping," said Heitmann as he fronted up to the Norwegian, made the call and turned over 5♠5♦. Vestvik flipped from agony to elation as he found that he was ahead with Q♥T♦ and the board ran out T♥6♠. That pushed Vestik up to 200,000. Heitmann down low yet again. -- RD
7.50pm: The grind is over for Mattern
Team PokerStars Pro Arnaud Mattern has had a real battle this tournament. It's taken all his skills to make it this far with the cards and situations he's had to deal with. That pain has disappeared only to be filled by the empty pain one feels when all the chips are gone.
The action folded around to him and he raised to 8,500 and called off his 30,000 stack when the big blind set him in. He was behind with K♣Q♥ to A♦7♣ and stayed that way through the 9♥3♦5♣4♦3♠ board. He got out of his seat and said, "Good luck guys," before swiftly exiting. -- MC
7.40pm: Stani up
With the board dealt to the turn, showing A♦6♠2♠4♠ Konstantin Puchkov checked form the small blind. Kevin Stani made it 10,000 to go from middle position which had the effect of forcing out Giuseppe Pantaleo. But Puchkov called for a Q♦ river card where, again, he checked.
Stani wasted little time in reaching for chips, putting out a bet of 18,000. Puchkov took his time, eventually passing. It leaves him with 145,000 and Stani with 210,000. - SB
7.30pm: Into Level 14
The players are back from dinner break and in their seats as play resumes. There are 162 players left and we are due to play two more levels, or to when the bubble bursts.
Opinion is divided on whether or not we will reach the money before another 150 minutes of play is up. Just to remind you, 120 players will leave with some cash and full details of the payouts can be found here on the prize pool and payouts page. -- MC
PokerStars Blog reporting team in Berlin (in order of choice of dinner break entertainment): Stephen Bartley (Took a bath, then handicapped the 8th race at Aqueduct), Rick Dacey (Watched an episode of Battle Star Galactica) and Marc Convey (Watched half an episode of Being Human, then fell asleep).