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

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7.05pm: End of level
It's a twenty-minute break as we approach the final two levels of the day. -- RD

6.57pm: Leroy out on his Ahras
An opening raise to 1,325 was called in three spots before Karim Ahras raised it up to 5,400 from the big blind. Only Jeremy Leroy called from the button to see a 6♠2♥9♥ flop. Now it kicked off with Ahras betting 9,000 and Leroy moving all-in for around 20,000 - call.

Ahras had him covered, and his A♥A♠ remained ahead of Leroy's Q♦Q♣ on the J♣ turn and 7♠ river. -- SY

6.50pm: Bono on stage
The noise you just heard was Emiliano Bono surviving an all-in. He makes celebratory noises even when there aren't cameras about, but I thought I saw him looking for one. His last 14,000 chips were in the middle, backed by A♣J♠ but Regis Schockmel had called with A♦Q♠. Somehow though Bono knew things would be alright.

"Jack," he cried. "Jack!" But in the end he wouldn't need a jack. He wouldn't win necessarily but the split pot would keep him alive, the board running: T♠2♠3♣5♦4♥.
"Yes!" shouted Bono, approximately six days away from the final table. He turned to Schockmel. "It's poker," he said. "It's poker." - SB

6.42pm: Not running so well
Two players that are currently looking unlikely to last the day are Emiliano Bono and Team PokerStars Pro Thomas Bichon. Bono is down to 12,000 and Bichon has slipped to 17,500. It's not just the chips doing the talking though.

Bono called a Kenny Hallaert raise out of position from his diminishing stack and then checked dark on the flop before folding to Hallaert's c-bet. That's not classically seen as winning poker. It's Bichon's body language, however, that doesn't look great. He's looking a little glum, subconsciously resting his entire head on one outstretched middle finger. Think about it... -- RD


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Thomas Bichon is not looking the most thrilled with life right now

6.35pm: JackJake the lad
Jake Cody must've slipped lower than the 22,000 mark we reported as he's just won a hand against Laurent Lagreve to recover to 21,000. Cody had a bet called on the turn before he led for 3,000 on the river of a 3♠T♠J♥J♦8♥ board. Lagreve called but mucked upon seeing Cody's K♥J♣ for trip jacks. -- MC

6.30pm: Grafton on the rail
Sam Grafton is one of a wave of twenty-somethings breaking out of the UK poker scene (others include Jake Cody, Chris Brammer, Jack Ellwood, all of whom are playing today, and Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree). I just caught up with Grafton on the rail. Decked out in his trademark Shoreditch tat*, he told me that he was playing Day 1B and that he was super excited about it.

Grafton had been high in the chip counts in EPT London - his only other foray into the EPT - and had knocked out Jason Mercier, never an easy scalp. "I got a bit spewy and busted out, but you learn from that," he said.

Grafton scored back-to-back triple crowns on pocket fives last year. He looks like a fast learner. -- RD

*Shoreditch is an uber trendy part of London, where bizarre haircuts, shaggy cardigans and tight, tight trousers are de rigeur.


6.25pm: Usual spelling
PokerStars qualifier Vytautas Milvydas may have name I don't want to write that often, but that's not important right now. What does matter is that the man from Lithuania just lost a pot to Team PokerStars Pro Theo Jorgensen. Milvydas bet 900 and then called when Jorgensen re-raised to 2,500. The flop was J♦8♥8♣ and this time Milvydas check-folded when Jorgensen bet 3,000 by putting in a 5,000 chip and holding three fingers in the air as he announced his bet. -- SY

6.15pm: Actor, athlete, musician, or something: Sow Kalidou
If Sow Kalidou isn't famous for something then he should be. The man looks famous and he glows with health, the type of chap that lifts things in his spare time to make his arms bigger and who eats healthily and drinks in moderation. Sow Kalidou might just be what happens if you abide by government health warnings and live a good life. We should all look like him, but somehow we all veered down paths strewn with fermented grapes and juniper berries, becoming the worn out wrecks and shadows of our former selves that we are today.

Kalidou doesn't say much, but he's playing decent poker, still hovering around the 30,000 mark but fighting back when things get tight with text book aggression with no drama. That's it, drama. I bet he's an actor. -- SB

6.07pm: Horecki takes two
Marcin Horecki has just taken the last two pots at his table. He first limp-called a raise to 900 from Rob Hollink. Horecki was in the cut-off, Hollink in the big blind. Both players checked the 7♦K♦2♣ flop. Horecki took a 850 stab on the J♦ turn and Hollink passed.

The next pot was settled pre-flop with Horecki three-betting an under-the-gun raise. The Team PokerStars Pro is now up to 50,000. -- RD


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Marcin Horecki: flying under the radar and the bottle


6.04pm: De Muelder straightened up
"How can you have a queen when I have two in my hand?" said Team PokerStars Pro Christophe de Muelder as he mucked on the river. His question was aimed at Alain Taieb who tabled Q♥T♥ for a straight on the river of a 9♣6♦J♣8♦5♥ board. The hand started with a De Muelder mid position raise and calls from the two players in the blinds. De Muelder c-bet for 1,400 on the flop and was only called by Taieb before the two checked the turn. Taieb led for 3,250 on the river and hid Belgian opponent tank-called before seeing the bad news to drop down to 8,000 in chips. -- MC

5.55pm: Tibi up
Charles Barsacq continues to get involved, opening for 750, getting called by another busy player Alain Tibi, who plays with three finger tips bandaged, like he's struggling to learn, despite repreated accidents, which end of his cigarette to hold.

Flavien Guenan called, as did Xuan Liu for a four way flop of 9♠5♦9♦. All checked for a K♣ on the turn, at which point Tibi, who fidgets his way through hands, bet 3,600 to take down the pot, to the irritation of Barsacq. Tibi up to 37,000. - SB

5.52pm: Level up
Blinds are now going up to 200-400 with a 50 ante. -- SY

5.50pm: Hellooooooooo Vanuatu
It's our favorite moment of the day, the time when we salute those readers who are logging in from the most remote areas of the world. Today, using our analytics software, we have found someone in Vanuatu, a small island in the middle of the Pacific.

Vanuatu is around 1,000 miles from Australia, winning independence in 1980 after years of being told what to do by an odd coalition of Britain and France. No wonder it wanted to go it alone.

Anyway, our man/woman/child/beast is reading the best poker updates from home/work in Port Vila. Welcome! -- SY

5.45pm: ...and relax
Players in the tournament room are being soothed by some soft background music. It's quiet enough not to be intrusive, but just loud enough to be comforting. Maybe that's why we have not yet had the wild whooping and hollering usually associated with poker tournaments. -- SY

5.40pm: Brammer bluffed by Meddah?
Chris Brammer looked long and hard at both the Q♦6♠Q♠T♠2♦ board and his opponent, Youcef Meddah. There was 4,000 in the pot by the time the turn was dealt, which Brammer check-called in the cut-off for 1,600. Meddah, who was sat on the button, fired 2,600 on the river eventually picking up a fold from Brammer.

Meddah looked at both of his cards and chose the J♦ to show. Why look? To make sure you're not showing the queen? Meddah picks up some chips, Brammer still going strong on 75,000. -- RD


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Chris Brammer gives Meddah a stare down


5.34pm: GRAS = Generally Recognized as Safe
Jerome Gras must've thought that the acronym of his surname was apt after he got his last 8,000 chips in on a 7♣2♣J♦ flop with A♦A♠. That's because his opponent, Jean Jacques Zeitoun, held the dominated A♥J♣. But alas for him the board ran out T♥J♠. Zeitound rapped his knuckles on the table at making trips before consoling his fellow countryman. -- MC

5.25pm: Moreira de Mellow
Fatima Moreira de Melo just doubled up through an unimpressed Alan Hvedehave. The Team PokerStars SportStar called in the small blind before Hvedehave made it 1,500 in the big. Moreira de Melo raised all-in for 14,100 which Hvedehave snap called turning over J♣J♥. Moreira de Melo winced a bit and showed T♦A♥.

The board ran Q♣2♥A♦3♣4♥. Now it was Hvedehave's turn to wince, paying off Moreira de Melo with no pleasure. Moreira de Melo back up to around 29,000. -- SB


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"Ooooo, look at that. An ace!"


5.15pm: Kahlmeyer out
One gets the feeling that Tim Kahlmeyer knew that he was beaten. Alfred Nader had set the German all-in on the river of a 3♥9♦2♦6♥A♠ board for his final 14,000.

"If you show me a bluff I hate myself my whole life," said Kahlmeyer, mentally talking himself into calling the shove. Nader seemed to be amused by the whole situation, sitting in the small blind to Kahlmeyer's big blind. There was already 20,000 in the pot and Kahlmeyer obviously felt that he was simply getting too good a price not to call. Nader showed him A♥3♦ for two pair and Kahlmeyer mucked his hand. Nader, still smiling after rivering his two pair and getting paid, raked in the pot to chip up to around 90,000. -- RD

5.05pm: The champ takes a blow
Reigning EPT Deauville champion Jake Cody's stack has taken a knock to drop it down to 22,000. Pierre Canali raised to 650 from early position before Cody three-bet to 2,000 from the cut-off. Canali quickly four-bet all-in for 7,450 and Cody beat him into the pot with a call.

Canali: A♠J♣
Cody: K♥K♣

The board ran A♥7♣T♥8♣2♣. The door card was the three-outer the Frenchman needed. Cody's expression didn't change from the start to the end of the action. -- MC

4.55pm: Into level 5
Players have returned for level 5, with blinds at 150-300 with a 25 ante.

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Team PokerStars Pro Theo Jorgensen

PokerStars Blog reporting team in Deauville (in order of progress made on the "making an owl noise with your hands" front):Rick Dacey (can hoot on demand), Stephen Bartley (still blowing in the wind), Marc Convey (above all that) and Simon Young (can do it but will need a blue Bahama Mama).