EPT Deauville: Day 1B, level 1 & 2 updates (blinds 75-150)
2.15pm: End of level
That's the end of the first two levels and we'll be back after a short break. -- RD
2.14pm: How not to get value
You really don't hit that many good hands in poker, unless you've been blessed with a run-good day, so you really have to make every positive spot count. Team PokerStars Pro Toni Judet was not in one of those positions, but Jean Chicheportiche certainly was. I think it's fair to say that he didn't achieve maximum expectation here...
Judet opened the cut-off for 350 and was called by Chicheportiche in the big blind. Judet fired a standard c-bet of 400 into the 7♦6♠4♣ flop and was called very quickly. Chicheportiche couldn't have checked the 7♠ any faster. Judet checked behind. The 8♦ on the river completed the straight draw and Chicheportiche checked within a second of the card hitting the baize. Judet checked behind and Chicheportiche threw down J♥7♥ for top trips looking quite pleased with himself. -- RD
2.12pm: Pagano upward
Luca Pagano, who I am willing to bet a sizeable sum will be bagging up chips tonight, is on the upward curve already. On the [10h]7♣4♥ flop Claus Nielsen made it 600 only for the Italian to bump it up to 1,500. Call. The turn was 8♠ and Nielsen check-called Pagano's 3,600 before both slowed down to check the troublesome 6♥ river. Pagano turned over pocket tens for the flopped set to take the pot.
"It was not my favorite river," joked the Team PokerStars Pro. -- SY
2.10pm: Joep, Joep and away
After a sluggish start, in which he slipped to 26,000, Joep van den Bijgaart has now doubled up to more than 50,000 after his queens outran A-K. -- SY
2.05pm: The English tap
Liv Boeree is an English Rose - pretty, well spoken and very polite. So when she lost a pot a gentle tap of the table and a "nice hand" was the well-mannered response.
On a 9♦J♠A♣ flop she bet 900 and got a call from Basil Yaiche. On the 5♣ turn, however, Yaiche led out with a 1,350 bet, which the Team PokerStars Pro called. The river was 6♥ and now Yaiche made it 3,500. Boeree gave it a minute or two, staring down Yaiche, before making the call.
He turned over A♦Q♣ and that was good to take it. -- SY
2pm: Minieri closes book on Deauville
If watching some players is like working through a wordy classic of literature, watching Dario Minieri is like reading a comic book. The story is always fast moving, full of pictures and has no shortage of drama. The downside is that it's normally over far too quickly.
This latest issue of Super Dario is now finished with. After searching the tournament room I found him tucked in on Pieter de Korver's table, elbows out, face partially obscured by a well-gelled straggled fringe.
After the hijack limped, Minieri raised to 450 in the cut-off. The small blind, Karim Hamed Paul (I'm not entirely sure which order that should be in), called, as did the hijack for a flop of 4♣Q♠7♣. The action was checked to Minieri who bet 800. KHP was his only caller for a T♠ turn card and he bet 2,300. Minieri called for a A♦ river card.
Then the finale. KHP checked and Minieri immediately moved all-in. KHP called, shoving his chips in in one big lump. It happened so fast numbers were hard to figure out.
"Ace," said Minieri with a mixture of confidence and complete resignation, turning overA♥2♥. But KHP had that beat, showing A♠Q♥. "Nice hand, good game," said Minieri, as he stood to put his coat out. Out, in level two. KHP up to 42,000. - SB
1.51pm: Tureniec bokked by the PokerStars blog
Not half an hour after writing about Michael Tureniec's tournament going in the right direction and he's out. His hand had already been mucked but he was eliminated by Petr Targa who held 8♥8♣ on a 8♦5♣Q♣T♦6♦ board for a set. -- MC
1.42pm: They're only human
I've just spent the best part of 15 minutes stood at the crossroads of a Jonathan Duhamel, Daniel Negreanu, Juan Manuel Pastor, Pieter de Korver and Jude Ainsworth intersection. None of them played a hand, but Jonathan Duhamel wins the prize for the best nonchalant muck; a sideways glance and chew as he pings the cards through the air towards the dealer.
Just because they're Team PokerStars Pro's does not mean they get a ludicrous run of cards, they have to find their good value spots like everyone else. -- RD
1.35pm: Swedish mafia
There are quite a few Swedish players in the field today (apart from Viktor Blom) and the Swede's have had success here in the past: namely Mats Iremark who took the title in season two for €480,000. The players we've spotted today include EPT Barcelona winner Kent Lunmark, EPT Vilamoura runner-up Martin Jacobson, Per Linde, Jakob Carlsson and Michael Tureniec.
The latter of these just took down a pot to get his tournament going in the right direction. He raised to 450 from the hijack and called when a player in the next seat three-bet to 1,100. The flop came down 8♦Q♠7♥ and both players checked to the 3♣ turn. Tureniec led for 1,500 and his opponent quickly folded. Tureniec up to 26,500 chips. -- MC
1.25pm: TheSquid leaks ink
Sam "TheSquid" Grafton, as we mentioned yesterday, is an up and coming British player with a lot of online success and he's playing today. The first hand of real note we've witnessed him play ended in a loss though. There was an early position raise that he called on the button along with the big blinded Francois Schwartz. The flop came T♥4♦5♦ and the aggressor's 350 c-bet was called by Grafton before Schwartz raised to 1,375. The aggressor folded but Grafton called to see the 7♠ turn where he called a 2,125 bet. The river came 9♥ and both players quickly checked and Schwartz tabled A♥T♠. Grafton mucked to drop down to around 24,000 chips. -- MC
1.20pm: Tough spot
ElkY arrived a few minutes late to find himself at fellow Team PokerStars Pro Nacho Barbero's table. The Frenchman, who missed final tabling here by a squeak last year, raised and took the blinds and antes on one hand then lost out on the next. His raise to 250* was called in two spots and all checked the Q♥[10d][10s] flop. ElkY bet 625 at the 4♣ turn and one caller came along to the 9♠ river. Both checked, and ElkY found he had lost out to A♠Q♣. - SY
*Yes, this did happen at the end of the last level.
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 75-150
1.17pm: Showing their hand
Some players give away too much, even in these early levels. Four players limped, Team PokerStars Pro Jude Ainsworth checked his option in the big blind and then immediately called over for service after the 7♠7♣9♥ flop had been dealt. He was obviously more interested in coffee than the bag of spanners in front of him.
Not so his opponents one of whom, resplendent in mirrored shades and PokerStars player bag merchandising, check-called a 350 bet before excitedly firing 5,000 into the K♥ turn. When no-one called he tossed A♣7♦ into the middle. I may have to keep his identity secret but I promise you, if he wins this EPT I will not only eat my own hat, but yours too. -- RD
1.15pm: Team Pro match-ups
There's a large squad of Team PokerStars Pros out there today, resulting in many clashing at the same table. We mentioned ElkY and Nacho Barbero below, to that you can add Dario Minieri playing with Pieter de Korver, and Arnaud Mattern with Vanessa Rousso.
Minieri is bombing along in customary fearless fashion. He open-raised to 250 and picked up three callers, including De Korver in the big blind. On the 7♣J♠[10s] flop it was checked to Minieri and his 500 continuation bet chased everybody away. -- SY
1.10pm: No messing about
A raise of 350 into a small pot of about 700. One chap bet about 400 on a low flop before his opponent moved all-in for about 27,500. That was the end of that hand. There are no iron clad tactics in this game.
Elsewhere Claus Nielsen just won a pot from Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano. Nielsen opened for 275 in the cut off. The button folded leaving Pagano next to act in the small blind. He looked at his cards, paused and raised to 825. With the action back on Nielsen he did his own spot of raising, making it 2,650 to play, which Pagano called.
The flop came 9♣4♥9♦. Nielsen kept up the pressure, betting 5,000. Pagano went into a long pause, riffling slowly and staring at the board while Nielsen pulled his shirt up to cover the lower half of his face. Pagano eventually folded. - SB
1pm: I'll take Blom's side
Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu is down to 11,000 already. He explained it on Twitter: "Sick start. Flopped 2 pair got rivered for a monster. Down to 11k. Played the hand perfectly. Oh well still have plenty."
Negreanu's opponent in that hand will be happy but so will fellow Team Pro Viktor Blom. The two made a last longer bet at the beginning of play. Negreanu was very happy he made the bet due to Blom's aggressiveness. I bet Blom is the happier now as he has 20,000 more chips than Negreanu at the moment. -- MC
12.54pm: Oh dear, it's turning into a trend
What has Kiril Zapletin started? We first met the Russian in Vienna, where he final tabled, but what we really remember him for is his huge furry red leather jacket which appeared to have epaulets made of squirrel fur. Unfortunately it appears to be turning into a trend for the Russian players. We've just spotted Dmitry Vitkind - another Russian Season 7 final tablist here at the EPT - wearing an oversized furry jacket. Okay, it might be freezing in Moscow but here in Deauville it's pretty mild and inside the tournament room, well, it's pretty toasty.
At least we know what the Russian players treat themselves to when they have a big score. A photo request has been lodged. -- RD
12.47pm: De Korver carved up
Pieter de Korver has slashed his stack in half within minutes of the start. He did this with aces too. On a board of 6♣9♠T♠3♠6♦ he'd been calling bets all the way to the river where he bet and ewas re-raised. Curiosity got the better of him and he called to find out what he was up against. The answer was T♥6♥. The Dutchman down. - SB
12.45pm: World champ is here
Newly-minted WSOP champion Jonathan Duhamel sits under his PokerStars cap and surveys the table, opening with a raise to 325. It's called in two spots to see a 3♠J♥4♦ flop.
It was checked to Duhamel, and his 525 bet saw off one player. The call slowed Duhamel down to a check on the A♣ turn and the Q♠ river. K♦J♦ for the Canadian, and that was good for his first pot of the day. -- SY
12.40pm:Haunted by the red cards
Any followers of Daniel Negreanu's Twitter account (@RealKidPoker) will know he believes his Deauville hotel to be haunted. First he heard kids riding around on tricycles (although I think there were some kids riding around on tricycles), then he says voices in his room kept repeating something about red cards.
"Ghosts in my room last night kept saying REDCARDS REDCARDS. Not sure what they meant, but I'll go with it," he said.
In the early running I've seen a few red cards at his table, and he has not "gone with it" once. However, it would help if I knew what "go with it" means.
Speaking of Mr Negreanu, the video team caught up with him at the start of play, and he reveals he does not wear women's dresses. -- SY
12.35pm: Blom in bloom
Team PokerStars Pro Viktor "Isildur1" Blom is here, complete with aura and personality cult. The players either side of him leaned back to share grins, perhaps fearing this kryptonite between them.
The reality of Blom is quite different. He looks ordinary, although he could do with combing his hair. He does use the "check" option as part of his repertoire and looks, like most people here, like he could use a couple more hours in bed.
He's down a few hundred (stop the presses) having played one pot, calling pre-flop and checking to the river where he folded to a small bet. -- SB
12.27pm: Fold? I think not
The vibe in the tournament room is very French. Does that even make sense? Yes. Yes, it does. There's a pervading sense of Gallic insouciance with many chairs yet to be filled and the players that have sat down are looking particularly blasé.
I have the feeling there may be some early chip swings simply because people will refuse to fold because passing, well, it takes some effort to ditch your hand when you hit something on the flop. -- RD
12.17pm: Off we go
That's it. The talking is over and now the cards are in the air. We've got a fair few more tables than yesterday, meaning we're well over 800 players for this event. C'est bon. -- SY
12.10pm: Lots of announcements
We've still not started, but there are lots of announcements being made in English and French so we should be going in around five minutes. Maybe. -- SY
11.45am: Bonjour, mon amis
Yes, Team PokerStars Blog has been dusting down the Rosetta Stone DVDs, desperately trying to remember our schoolboy French. The locals here seem to appreciate it if you at least try and converse in the native tongue, and will forgive even our lame efforts. So far we have managed to ask for directions to the local swimming pool (ou est la piscine, monsieur?), pastry shop, school and hospital. None of which were needed, but that didn't stop us asking. That's the thing about learning French at school - you remember some of the lingo but it's useless when you try to use it. Also, you grow up thinking everyone in France is called Jean and Marie-Claude.
Anyway, je m'appellle Simon Young and I am here with a top team to bring you Day 1B of EPT Deauville. If yesterday was the first line of attack - a few big guns among battalions of cannon fodder - today's reinforcements bring with them the heavy artillery to blast their way through eight one-hour levels. The likes of Team PokerStars Pros Daniel Negreanu, Viktor 'Isildur1' Blom, Vanessa Rousso, ElkY, Arnaud Mattern, Liv Boeree and Jose 'Nacho' Barbero are tooled up and ready for a scrap.
Beginning at noon (so they say), they'll be chasing overnight Day 1A chip leader Guillaume de la Gorce, who bagged up 196,800.
Bon chance, madames et monsieurs! -- SY
PokerStars Blog reporting team (in order of French language ability): Stephen Bartley (tres bon), Simon Young (pas mal), Rick Dacey (un petit peu), Marc Convey (voulez vous coucher avec moi, ce soir?)