EPT Berlin: Day 3, level 15 (cont.), 16 & 17 updates (blinds 3,000-6,000, 500 ante)
3.33pm: End of level
We have 71 players left here at the end of level 17. Playing down to 24. -- RD
3.30pm: Kollmann coolered
Erich Kollmann has been knocked out by Maksim Kolosov after running jacks into queens. It all went in pre-flop and when Kolosov flopped a queen the hand was all but dead. -- RD
3.28pm: Curse you river card
Roberto Romanello's hopes of a second major tournament win in as many weeks just came to an end. Romanello, who has been suffering from a cold all week, re-raised all-in from the big blind for 136,000 after Jens Weigel opened in the small blind.
Romanello showed 8♣4♣ to Weigel's A♣J♦. The board ran 9♠5♦3♣4♦2♥ which Romanello thought was enough. "That's how you win tournaments," he said, before noticing that the deuce on the river had made Weigel the wheel. - SB
3.24pm: On the Linde
Per Linde just dispatched Alexis Morlet to move up to around 360,000 chips. The money went in pre-flop with Morlet showing 7♥6♦ to Linde's A♣J♠. The board ran 3♠A♠2♦Q♦6♣ to leave Morlet with nothing. - SB
3.21pm: An 11th cash for Barbosa
Portuguese pro Jaoa Barbosa is out and cashes for an 11th time in an EPT, and for the first time since he finished 22nd here last year. He dropped down to around 50,000 chips after he doubled-up an opponent holding pocket tens to his pocket eights.
Not long after he shoved all-in with ace-ten and Aurelien Guiglini tank-called with jack-eight from the big blind. The Frenchman got there on the [t] board. -- MC
3.15pm: A battle of the consonants
Another all-in called, this time between Patryk Slusarek with J♦T♣ and Miltiadis Kyriakides, who had him covered in chips and turned over Q♥Q♣.
With cameras in place the board came 9♠2♥K♣J♣6♣. Slusarek becomes the latest faller while Kyriakides moves up to around 560,000. - SB
3.12pm: Letting it Lyall
Dean Lyall was all-in for 140,000 after Marco Morales opened for 14,000. With the action back on Morales, and several minutes of thought processed, Morales called showing J♥J♠ to Lyall's A♠K♣.
The board ran 2♠6♣9♦7♠9♠. Lyall is out. - SB
3.09pm: Laubinger flops set, paid off
Why do some players insist on doing that ridiculous little dance after winning a big pot? You know the one, hands closed and together grinding round in a circle as if stirring a large vat containing their newly won chips. Alessandro Laubinger has just performed this little dance after flopping a set with 9♣6♠5♠A♥T♣ and getting paid on the river.
Laubinger pushed out a large 265,000 bet into the pot, which looked to be around 250,000. His opponent, Hugo Lemaire, slowly made the call and was shown 9♠9♦ for a flopped top set. Laubinger is now up to a million. -- RD
2.56pm: The Emde for Rainer
Martin Jacobson, currently aiming for an historic third second placed finish, just moved up to around 550,000 after a hand against Rainer Emde.
Jacobson opened for 12,000 from the cut off which Emde raised to 30,000 from the big blind. Jacobson called for a flop of 7♣K♠3♣. Emde checked and Jacobson took the pot with a bet of 36,000. - SB
2.50pm: End of the road
Andre Morath is out. He moved in for 77,000 with A♥T♥ in early position and was called by Erich Kollmann in the cut off with K♣K♦, who had Morath covered.
The board came 5♥6♦5♠5♦8♠, sending Morath to the rail. - SB
2.44pm: Any two
Ralph Kalman moved in for his last 18,000 from middle position and the action passed to Daniel Pidun in the big blind.
"I think I have to call with any two," said Pidun, who tossed in the call before turning his hand over.
The board blanked out and Kalman bowed out. On the next table along Konstantin Puchkov doubled up to 310,000 with pocket kings. -- RD
2.37pm: Bye bye Bichon
You wait a long time for an elimination then two depart in the same hand.
Giovanni Cantonati opened for 14,000 and Saar Wilf called, before Thomas Bichon moved all-in from the cut off for 113,000. Ralph Kalman went through a dramatic process of folding from the small blind before the action folded back around to Cantonati.
"Excuse me," said Cantonati leaning backwards then forwards in his chair. "I have to think about it."
Nobody minded, least not Bichon who joked with Aurelien Guiglini next to him. "Take your time," he said. Eventually Cantonati came to a decision.
"I call," he said.
Wilf immediately came to life; "I call."
Bichon was delighted. Cantonati showed Q♦Q♥, Wilf showed K♠K♥ while Bichon had A♠Q♠.
"Give me an ace," he said, addressing a greater force than just the dealer. The effect of all this was to send the television people into overdrive, scurrying into position like you'd imagine fire fighters would if they'd accidentally set fire to their own fire station.
As Cantonati shouted over to friends on the rail Bichon, who was standing, and seemingly directing the hand, asked the others if they'd folded an ace. All of them shook their heads, except for Kalman, who admitted that yes, he had thrown away an ace.
Amid all of this was the dealer, looking around fruitlessly for the person in the crowd, wearing headphones, who would tell him when he was allowed to deal the board.
The flop came 7♥7♦T♠, then the turn 6♠ to suddenly bring Bichon back with a flush draw. But the river was neither an ace or a spade, coming as it did K♣.
Cantonati out, Bichon out. Wilf shook hands with both of them, up to more than 500,000. - SB
2.29pm: No repeat for Vandersmissen
Belgian Kevin Vandersmissen finished runner-up at EPT Snowfest but he won't be adding another final table to his tally here after four-bet shoving with ace-four into pocket sevens.
Okay, that's wrong. I've since discovered it was a classic case of Chinese whispers and that Vandersmissen had simply three-bet shoved with [a] into Team PokerStars Pro Henrique Pinho's [a] and lost. Same end result. -- RD
2.25pm: Ahrary again
Nima Ahrary has just knocked out Jose De La Guardia after opening the button for 13,000 and getting shoved on by the Panamanian for 60,000. After the pause to see whether the camera crews wanted to record the hand - they didn't - the cards were turned over.
De La Guardia: K♦Q♣
No king arrived and Ahrary chipped back up to an average 260,000. -- RD
2.15pm: Back into the action
We're starting the second full level of the day with 94 players left and a chip average of 246,702 having lost Team PokerStars Pro Sebastian Ruthenberg and Peter Eastgate just before the break. The current payout level is €10,000, which moves up to €12,500 after the 73rd player falls away. -- RD
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 3,000-6,000, ANTE 500
1.57pm: Break time
That's the end of the level. Time for a 15 minute break and a chip race.
Yet more double ups, this time for Alexander Hering who shoved in on the flop of A♦6♠Q♠. Hering showed T♠T♥ to the 9♠9♥ of the caller Alexis Morlet. The turn came 8♥ and river Q♦ did nothing to change the advantage and Hering doubles up in a deceptively big hand to more than 300,000. - SB
1.54pm: Stani keeps climbing
EPT Tallinn winner Kevin Stani is continuing to chip up. He lost a pot to Darin Kramer after folding to a bet on a J♣8♦K♥2♦ board and it looked like Stani suspected it was a bluff. This appeared to act as a spur to the Norwegian who then won the next couple of pots.
He first punished a loose three-bet from Michal Kusak by moving all-in over the German's 27,500 re-raise and flashed the 5♣ when Kusak passed. Kusak is down to 140,000 and Stani up to 370,000 after taking a small pot from Kramer. Stani started the day on 196,300. -- RD
1.51pm: Jack Ellwood stumbles in a race to bust
Up and coming British pro Jack Ellwood is out after losing a race to PokerStars qualifier Bolivar Palacios of Panama. Palacios raised to 11,500 from mid position and called when Ellwood shoved for less than 100,000 from the big blind.
The board ran 2♣A♠9♠2♠Q♠ to make two-pair for the man from Central America. Ellwood's expression hardly changed at all and he escaped from his tight seating position and headed to the payout desk. -- MC
1.48pm: Jacobson looking for outs
Henrique Pinho just called Marco Morales's all in for 117,000. The Team Pro showed A♥5♣ but was way behind to Morales's A♣A♠.
The board ran K♦9♥8♣8♠8♦ to keep 808 alive.
The same went for Christian Knese on the adjacent table. He got his chips in on a flop of J♦7♦J♥ turning over J♠J♣.
"So, I need a..." said Jacobson turning over A♦K♦, and looking for a straight flush; to the enjoyment of everyone at his table. No straight flush. Knese doubles. - SB
1.40pm: The bad luck of the draw
Andreas Wiese just moved all-in. It was only 30,400 to call and Jose De La Guardia, who looks a lot like the late B-movie and Sands of Iwo Jima actor John Agar, thought about it, but eventually declined.
Elsewhere Antonio Del Valle Simon was shoving from the button with K♠J♥, getting a call from Rainer Emde who showed A♥8♠. The board came J♣K♥T♠5♣4♣ to double up Del Valle Simon.
Yet more double ups on table 25 where the chips went in on a flop of 8♣T♣2♥. Thorsten Shafer showed J♣9♠ to Vegard Haland Vestvik's A♥8♥ which held firm on the T♥ turn and 2♣ river.
Ilya Gorodetsky is at the same table, although he's rarely in his chair, deeming it safer to keep away owing to the quality of play at his table, with Schafer, Sebastian Ruthenberg, Johan von Til and Per Linde all featuring. "I thought being on table 25 meant we'd be first to break..."
No, it's actually one of the last to break. He's stuck there all day. - SB
1.35pm: Nitio more than doubles
Zoran Nitio has swapped chip stack counts with EPT Snowfest runner-up Kevin Vandersmissen. Team PokerStars Pro Henrique Pinho raised to 12,500 from under-the-gun and was called by the Belgian, and one other player, before Nitio three-bet all-in for another 77,400 from the button. All players except for Vandersmissen folded to leave it heads-up,
The board ran 7♣K♦J♥K♠6♥ to send the chips the Swede's way. Vandersmissen dropped to 77,000 in chips. -- MC
1.32pm: Ruthenberg fails to bluff
Sebastian Ruthenberg sat staring at the river of a J♣4♣8♥7♠2♠ board deciding what the best course of action would be. Thorsten Schäfer was on the other side of the table and had been the aggressor on the flop, betting 18,400. The turn had been checked and Ruthenberg finally decided to take that option on the river. Schäfer joined him by checking behind with A♠8♣ and scooped the pot with second pair. -- RD
1.20pm: Yep for Joep
Joep Van Den Bijgaart just secured a vital double up, moving in with K♦K♥ and getting a call from Alexis Morlet. Wait, wait and the flop: 2♣7♠9♦. At this point Dutch blogger Steve Smith said he could feel an ace coming. The turn came K♣ to humiliate Smith as Van Den Bijgaart doubles up to a little more than 200,000. - SB
1.10pm: No more Moreira de Melo
A double-up for Dirk Jaspert with K♣Q♥ against K♦J♦ on a board of T♥2♦K♥5♦3♣ board then Robin Ylitalo added a few thousand to their stack, forcing Kevin Stani to fold his hand on a flop of 5♥K♦T♠.
Then, after Henrique Pinho opened for 12,500 Fatima Moreira de Melo moved all-in for 60,000. Pinho called with A♣K♣ and Moreira de Melo turned over K♦9♣. The pair chatted as two camera crews were summoned, the first standing at the far end the other climbing down from the stage behind Moreira de Melo, first one way, then the next.
The flop eventually came Q♥A♥7♣. After another pause the turn came 4♦ at which point the PokerStars SportStar stood to leave.
"See you again soon," said Pinho as a 7♠ completed the formalities on the river. Pinho up to around 470,000. - SB
1.05pm: Geshkenbein cut down by Cimpan
There was a vibe that Geshkenbein and Cimpan would tangle but it happened sooner than expected, in a pot that looked much more than 350,000.
All the chips went in on a 8♥K♦J♥7♥ board with Cimpan's K♠J♦ leading Geshkenbein's draw heavy K♥T♣. The river brought the Q♣ and that was the end of Geshkenbein's back-to-back title attempt. Still an impressive showing from the young Russian. -- RD
12.55pm: Jacobson = pressure player
There is nothing worse than having a player to your left that continues to apply the pressure, just ask Andreas Lutz. He has PokerStars qualifier Martin Jacobson to his left with two players heads-up and in the blinds to a 9♣Q♥J♠ flop. Lutz check-raised Jacobson's 13,000 bet up to 28,000 but was called and when he led for 22,500 on the 4♣ turn, Jacobson snap-shoved on him. Lutz waved the white flag and folded to drop to 170,000. Jacobson is up to 560,000 now. -- MC
12.48pm: Geshkenbein doubles, Jalali leaves
Not long after taking his seat Vladimir Geshkenbein has claimed a scalp. The Russian opened from middle position and then called a shove of 90,000 by American Jason Helder. Geshkenbein's K♠J♠ out flopped Helder's A♠9♣ and proceeded to hit a full house. He's up to around 200,000 now.
Helder joins Alexander Jalali on the rail who lost a flip with A♣K♣ against the pocket nines of Alessandro Laubinger who is up to 850,000. -- RD
12.45pm: Van Den Bigger
Joep Van Den Bijgaart just delayed any potential demise he may be in for today. He opened for 10,500 which Cornel Cimpan raised to 28,500 in the seat next to him The action was folded back around to the Team PokerStars Pro who, after a minute's thought, raised all-in, a total of 117,000.
Cimpan did some thinking of his own, then passed. - SB
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 2,500-5,000, ante 500
12.38pm: Another short stack doubles
Kamal Choraria is the latest short-stacked player to double-up. He three-bet all-in from the big blind after Jean-Philippe Raymond raised from the button. Raymond called with A♥4♥, ahead of Choraria's K♣9♣.
The A♣8♣7♣ flop was great for the Brit but the A♦ caused him to sweat a little. He was happy with the 3♣ river and now has a stack worth 67,000 chips. -- MC
12.35pm: Cimpan rips early into late Geshkenbein
Cornel Cimpan is a veteran of the live poker world with $3.1 million in live winnings to his name. He's seen it all already and knows how to deal with a player like Vladimir Geshkenbein, the recent EPT Snowfest winner; get a dig in early and let them know they should pick on someone else.
"You think you're Phil Ivey, turning up late every day?" asked Cimpan.
"I prefer to sleep," answered Geshkenbein who added something about not being a morning person in a mutter shortly after.
The pair had sat two seats apart from each other for a chunk of yesterday and do so again today, but it's Geshkenbein that has position this time. -- RD
12.30pm: Poker players of the world unite
There has been a glut of all-ins, seemingly with no eliminations. There's a kind of redistribution of wealth going on with each according to need.
One of those players doubling up is Jonas Gutteck who moved all-in with A♥Q♥ which proved good against Andreas Lutz. Jonas Gutteck's relief was obvious, titled his head back and then addressing an inattentive table in his native tongue.
Elsewhere Sascha Sirtl doubled up through Alexander Mette when his ace-ten flopped a ten to beat Mette's ace-queen. Similar delight. - SB
12.15pm: Queens for Schulz
Robert Schulz came back with one of the shortest stacks today (38,500) and didn't have the time to wait for a hand; he just had to get his chips in the middle. Luckily for him he found Q♠Q♣ in the small blind and Nima Ahrary raising to 10,000 from the button. He moved all-in for another 32,200 more and Ahary called.
The board ran A♥3♥5♣T♣7♣. Schulz will really need one more of those double-ups to get back in the game properly. -- MC
12.05pm: Can they do the double?
We have six former EPT winners left in the field, an incredible four of whom are from this season. Kent Lundmark (Barcelona), Vladimir Geshkenbein (Snowfest), Kevin Stani (Tallinn) and Roberto Romanello (Prague) all have claimed silverware in the last twelve months, while Sebastian Ruthenberg and Joao Barbosa took their titles in 2008.
Of course, there should be honourable mentions for former world champ Peter Eastgate and twice runner-up in Season 7 Martin Jacobson. -- RD
11.45am: Welcome to Day 3
Welcome back to live updates of the European Poker Tour in Berlin where the main event is into the money, with 119 players still in contention. We play on until that figure reaches 24 today.
When we stopped last night there were 27 minutes remaining in Level 15 and that's where we pick up today. It was a curious finish to events yesterday, with no fewer than three simultaneous all-in hands as play went hand-for-hand on the bubble. Ultimately it was Andrey Alexandrovich Lobzhanidze who departed empty-handed, a story you can read in full in Day 2's report.
Players will be arriving shortly to take their seats with chip leader Fabrice Soulier, armed with 1,079,400, playing in front of the cameras on the feature table. Find out how he gets on, as well as the fate of all the others, right here.