EPT Deauville: Day 1A, level 7 & 8 updates (blinds 400-800, 75 ante)
9.25pm: End of play
All the tables are in the dying throes of tagging and bagging but it looks likely that Guillaume de la Gorce is our overnight chip leader with 196,800. Full wrap and (fingers crossed) chip counts to come shortly. -- RD
9.05pm: Four more hands
The clock has been stopped and four hands have been called until the end of play. -- RD
9.02pm: The king is dead. Long live the king
We won't actually crown a new king of Deauville until Monday but we know there will be a new king as Jake Cody (last season's winner) has just been eliminated in a four-way all-in.
Manuel Bevand was first to move all-in and he was followed in by Cody, Joseph Stykemain and Angelo Magro.
The board ran T♣7♥6♥5♠7♣. Stykemain was the biggest stack and he took the side pot and ensured that both Bevand and Cody were eliminated. Margo was the shortest stack, apart from Bevand, so he almost quadrupled up and kissed his cards before raking in the pot. -- MC
9pm: Blanchandin shrugs and wins
Tony Blanchandin just raised from late position and was shoved on by Jose Furtado's pocket kings. Furtado was fairly short, just 12,000, and Blanchandin shrugged - a gesture we'll see a lot here in France - and called with pocket fours. Cue muttering in France which equated, I believe, to "I can't pass there." Just as well he didn't given that he flopped a set an is now on lose to 100,000. -- RD
8.52pm: Bichon doubles
Thomas Bichon has doubled up to 28,000, getting all-in pre-flop with A♥[10h] against Jerome Orain's pocket queens. The flop was a juicy [10c]A♠3♠ for Bichon, and the 4♦ turn and 6♥ river kept him ahead. The Team PokerStars Pro is a happy boy on home turf again. -- SY
8.35pm: De Melo missing
There was an empty void in the seat where Team PokerStars SportStar Fatima Moreira de Melo was sat and now an empty void in our hearts as we found out she is out. Her table neighbour, Alan Hvedehave, explained to us how Alain Taieb went on a ten minute heater to gain his 100,000 chip stack.
Apparently he had pocket aces, kings and queens all within a ten minute period. De Melo held pocket eights when he had the aces and that's when she was ejected along with another player who held pocket sixes. Hvedehave himself felt the Taieb force when his ace-king was no good versus the Frenchman's pocket kings. -- MC
8.22pm: De Meulder doubles
Christophe de Meulder has just doubled through Rabtsov Kirell up to 22,000. Kirell opened from the button and De Meulder moved all-in from the small blind. It was a slow grudging call from Kirell.
De Meulder: K♦J♦
The Belgian Team PokerStars Pro hit a king in the flop and Kirell couldn't catch up. The Russian shook his head in that 'I can't believe he hit kind of way' as De Meulder chipped up. Come on, comrade, it was a flip. -- RD
Level up: Blinds 400-800, 75 ante
8.17pm: Seeing the winner
Xuan Liu has been busy all day, and betting out on the turn and river of a 2♣9♣3♥2♥9♠ board failed to shake off Gerome Guitteau, who found his pocket sixes were ahead of her 10-J for air.
Guitteau is going along nicely, now one of the chip leaders with 130,000, while Liu slips to 20,000. -- SY
8.16pm: De Meulder well beaten
Christophe De Meulder is trying to build a head of steam but has been getting nowhere. This hand seems to sum up his day. He raised it up to 1,350 and got calls from Alan Hvedehave and Liutauras Armanavicius. The flop was 4♥5♠5♦ and Armanavicius checked for De Meulder to bet 1,600. Only Hvedehave called. Both checked the 4♣ turn and on the K♠ river the man from Belgium folded when Hvedehave bet 4,100.
De Meulder was down to 8,000 and let out a sigh of frustration - but then sighed with relief when Hvedehave turned over pocket fives for quads. -- SY
8.14pm: Top set not good enough
Julien Leonard flopped top set but still lost the pot. He was up against Andrey Danilyuk and the fireworks went off on a K♠2♠9♠ flop. Both players were all-in to make the pot worth about 65,000. Leanard tabled K♣K♥ for top set and was up against the Russian's drawing A♠T♣. The turn was a safe 7♦ but the river came 6♠ to complete the flush. Leonard down to 8,000 chips after the loss. -- MC
8.12pm: Ellwood chopped down
Jack Ellwood is out, with less than 15 minutes left in level 7. Ellwood got his chips in with pocket sixes only to run into Antoine Amourette with pocket aces.
The board ran a predictable Q♠J♣2♥3♥9♠ to send the Englishman to the rail. - SB
8pm: Bansi's new home
Praz Bansi enjoyed life at his original table apart from having Tristan Clemencon two to his left. That table has now broken it seems his new table is a lively one.
Donovan Baer got the better of him in the first hand we witnessed. The turn was out and the board read K♠8♥9♥7♣ and around 6,500 chips had made it into the middle. Baer over bet to the tune of 8,500 to force a fold from the Brit. Baer then revealed 7♦ and joked "See, I never bluff".
Bansi replied "In England we show both cards when we bluff!"
Two hands later Bansi was back to his winning ways. He called a raise in position and a flop c-bet. Both he and his opponent checked the turn to leave a 8♣Q♣5♠9♠9♦ board at the river. Bansi faced another check and put in a 5,000 bet that was enough to get his opponent to fold. Bansi currently has circa 65,000 chips. -- MC
7.52pm: Brammer nit rolled
If I read the eye roll of Chris Brammer correctly he thinks he was just nit rolled by Youcef Meddah. Brammer opened for 1,325 from the cut-off and was three-bet to 4,325 by Meddah in the small blind. Brammer then moved his stack over the line and Meddah no little amount of time making the decision to call for the rest of his 23,000 stack, even having the clock called on him.
"Pair?" asked Brammer. Meddah showed J♠J♥ to Brammer's pocket sevens. Although Brammer didn't say anything, I think the eyes said enough. He failed to hit. Meddah is up to 47,000 and Brammer is down to around 55,000. -- RD
7.50pm: So long Sebban
Former French national soccer coach Raymond Domenech continues to have a peaceful day playing poker, the only interruption being a man on the rail who asks if he minds having his picture taken. Domenech gladly turned in his seat, smiled, and then blushed when the picture taker paid him a compliment. The other players at the table were oblivious.
For Mickael Sebban, that was probably owing to his stack size. He was soon all in with A♥3♠ against the 9♣9♥ of Olivier Paris. The board ran 7♦4♦K♥5♥5♣ to send Sebban out and leave Paris with his original 30,000 starting stack. - SB
7.40pm: News in brief
7.28pm: Van Zadelhoff scoffs
"It's not really an interesting card," said Steven Van Zadelhoff after Cristian Dragomir had shown him the Q♣. It was hard to tell whether the Dutchman was annoyed or not and, if so, whether he was irritated that he had been forced to lay his hand down or by the thought that others believed he was. Does that make sense? Yes. Good. Then let us carry on.
Van Zadelhoff had three-bet Dragomir pre-flop from the hijack making it 3,500 to go and the Romanian had come back over the top for 11,000. Both players were packing stacks of over 40,000 and it hadn't taken Van Zadelhoff long to muck his hand. Van Zadelhoff, who final tabled EPT Snowfest last year, still has around 57,000. -- RD
7.15pm: Last two levels of the day
Play resumes on Day 1A with blinds now at 300-600 with a 50 ante. There are two more levels to play today. -- SB
PokerStars Blog reporting team in Deauville (in order of Academy Award nominations, released today): Simon Young (0, but Arboretum pub Bottle Run Drinking Champion, 1986-1990), Rick Dacey (0, but runner-up in Royal Television Society Student Awards for direction - documentary section), Marc Convey (0, but Footballer of the Year, 28th Croydon - Becket Cub Scout Pack, 1988) and Stephen Bartley (0, but winner of Belgrave Infant School Summer Fair/ Bring and Buy sale under 6's assault course for boys, 1981-82).