EPT Deauville: Day 2, level 9 & 10 updates (blinds 600-1,200, 100 ante)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg3pm: End of level
It's a 15-minute break for the surviving players. Join us in a new post shortly. -- RD

2.57pm: Olivier Busquet
Olivier Busquet doesn't mess around. He opened to 2,600 from the hijack and was three-bet by Carl Hirschmann to 7,600. Busquet started the hand with around 60,000 easily covering Hirschmann's 35,000. He slid a stack of grey 5,000 chips into the middle. Hirschmann passed.

Busquet is now up to 70,000. -- RD

2.55pm: The Sal Bon fashion report
The Sal Bon fashion report is brought to you by PokerStars Blog Fashion Editor Simone Young...

Quel horreur! Our Salvatore (Bonavena) has committed a fashion crime, sporting the same Pringle top today as he had on yesterday. Even the trilby hat is the same. I will give him the benefit doubt and say today's blue jeans and brown shoes are different from yesterday's. Must try harder.

In terms of poker, the Italian Team PokerStars Pro is chugging along nicely. He raised to 2,800 and got calls Kevin Keosomphet and Patrick Bueno. The flop was 7♣J♣8♣ and it was checked to Bonavena. He bet 7,200 and that was good for the pot, sending him up to 45,000. -- SY

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How to look good when winning: Salvatore Bonavena

2.50pm: Proud Neuville
Pierre Neuville, the Friend of PokerStars and Serial PokerStars Qualifier, told us he is delighted to see so many of his countrymen still in the field. Apparently 21 gallant ladies and gentlemen from Belgium made it through to Day 2, "this showing the quality of poker in Belgium which was unknown abroad... until recently," Neuville said.

He, of course, is one of those who made it through and currently sits on 36,000. He also has a nice PokerStars-branded bronze card protector, in a shark shape. "Have you not got one?" he asked. Now, being a humble blogger, not much precious metal passes my way. "In that case, I shall give you one at the end of the day. Hopefully not before the end of the day."

What's the current price of bronze, anyone? -- SY

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Pierre Neuville

2.47pm: Futoussi the yo-yo
Bruno Fitoussi started the day on 112,000 and reached a peak of around 190,000 before dropping back down again. His stack is back on the up again after he eliminated Laurent Vigne. It was a straight race as Vigne held J♠[jh[ to Fitoussi's A♠Q♣ and the board ran 5♦A♥2♣5♠Q♣. Two pair good for Fitoussi to gain a scalp and a 140,000 chip stack. -- MC

2.37pm: Big move from busting Brammer
Not that I'm ever not studiously grafting at the coalface of the tournament floor but I did just see a facebook update courtesy of Chris Brammer: "Just busted 160k pot at 600/1200, cold 5bet all in with 26s and orig raiser put it in with AQo. Soulread by some french clown. Sigh." Sounds like the reigning UKIPT Leader Board champ is out or that someone has hacked his account. If you get any pm's from him offering medical aids, BOnUs $$$ or fun times right to your door you know it's the latter.* -- RD

*It turns out it was the latter and someone had hijacked his account. Brammer is still in.

2.29pm: Viktor Blom... PokerStar
It was the hand heard around the world. Viktor Blom is out and the tournament won't be the same. To use one last Jesus Christ Superstar reference: This was unexpected, what do I do now? Could we start again please?

Regardless, we can expect his resurrection at a major event coming soon, even sooner if you're playing online, which is where we imagine he's seeking comfort right now.
Everything's alright, everything's fine. Till next time Viktor. - SB

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Viktor Blom performing the disappearing act

2.26pm: There's always Bertrand Grospellier
Viktor Blom may be out, but Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier isn't. He opened for 2,600 in the cut off and was called by Patrick Bueno on the button. The flop came K♠5♦K♦ which both checked before the 9♦ turn. At which point Grospellier bet 3,500 and Bueno passed. The Team PokerStars Pro is back up to 82,000. - SB

2.22pm: Blom's magic snuffed out
Team PokerStars Pro Viktor Blom is out. He was down to 28,700 when he three-bet all-in from the small blind after Cyril Hanouna raised from the cut-off. Hanouna was tanking over his decision and Blom decided to give him a helping hand by saying: "Just call please. I have nothing good here. I promise you."

Hanouna called with A♠T♦ and was racing Blom's 6♦6♠. The board ran out 7♦4♦5♦K♦4♣ to make a bigger flush for Hanouna. Blom got up and left the room very quickly. -- MC

2.15pm: Grafton out... of water
I just saw Sam Grafton departing the tournament floor. I'd spoken to him on Day 1A when he was railing the British contingent of players and it was obvious how excited he was about playing so I knew he wouldn't take busting well. Having caught up with him I was just about to slap on a pained look of sympathy and ask for his exit hand when he turned round from the water cooler with a refill.

"How's it going?" he asked. Ermmm, yes, fine, I replied, now not sure what kind of facial expression to fashion. Unfortunately it settled on confused. Grafton sat back down in his seat, counted his stack: "Seventy-eight," he called out, waggling his hand in the universal more-or-less gesture. He's more than doubled his stack today - the policy of hydration is obviously a profitable one. -- RD

2.10pm: Bidinger's slick river
Ayas Manji opened with a raise to 1,600 and Sebastien Bidinger re-popped to 6,100. Call. The flop was 6♣[10c]9♦ and Manji checked before quickly calling Bidinger's 7,000 bet. The turn was 7♣ and both checked to see a A♣ river. Manji checked again and now Bidinger fired out 16,000. Call:

Manji: J♣Q♣
Bidinger: A♦K♣

Bidinger had taken it on the river for a tidy pot. -- SY

2.07pm: Bruel's flat note
French crooner Patrick Bruel started today among the chip leaders but has clearly been pegged back, sitting now with around 100,000, a 50,000 drop from his starting stack. -- SY

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2.05pm: Pastor moves up
Team PokerStars Pro Juan Manuel Pastor picked up a nice pot thanks to his pocket jacks holding up. He open-raised to 3,100 and got a call from Chamoun Lioui and Remy Biechel before Mickey Petersen moved all-in from the big blind for 18,700.

Pastor then shoved with his stack - well over 100,000 - and that was enough to chase the other two away.

Pastor: J♣J♥
Petersen: K♣Q♦

The Dane needed to catch, but Pastor faded any traumas on the 8♣A♣4♥3♠4♠ board before giving a shriek of delight. It would not have ended so well had Lioui called. "I folded ace-queen," he said, "but it doesn't matter."

Pastor, from Spain, is now up to around 130,000. -- SY

2pm: On the move
Viktor Blom returned to his table after the break to find that everyone else had gone. His table had broken and his stack, placed in a rack by tournament staff and with a new seat assignment on a card sticking out of it, was all that remained of table 48.

He found it, and walked to his new table, weaving between tables, his trousers slunk down, the type of appearance that gets grandmothers flustered. He arrived at his new table, his seat next to Riccardo Giacalone who looked up at the arrival of Blom like his father had just arrived and caught him smoking.

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Viktor Blom: the man that they're all talking about

Blom immediately sat down and began explaining his recent escapades with Dmitry Vitkind, while Giacalone began texting someone and grinning. Tristan Clemencon is also at this table, one to the right of Blom, and he was involved in a hand against Kewin Lambert.

On a board already showing 7♠2♣3♠5♥ he'd checked from the big blind to Lambert who bet 6,600. Clemencon then raised to 21,600 which Lambert called for a 7♣ river. Clemencon then placed 39.500 into the middle. Lambert leaned back and removed his sunglasses, propping them up on his head. He had about 60,000 behind and called after a few seconds thought, showing T♦7♦. Clemencon couldn't beat it and mucked, down to 50,000. Lambert is up to 105,000.

On the next hand Iosif Beskrovnyy opened for 3,000 and the action was folded to Blom in the big blind. Only he didn't realise this. The world turned to look at what Blom would do next while Blom looked at Clemencon thinking the Frenchman still had cards. A gentle reminder from the dealer followed and Blom folded instantly. -- SB

1.55pm: Hireche on the comeback trail
Samir Hireche started the day as the shortest stack with just 5,900 and might have thought twice about coming back today. His thoughts will be a lot more positive now as he's just doubled up to around 45,000. Patrice Boudet raised to 3,600 from under-the-gun and called when Hireche shoved from the small blind.

Hireche: A♣Q♦
Boudet: 9♠9♥

The board ran 2♥3♠4♦4♥Q♠. Hireche was halfway out of his chair but soon sat back down with a big smile across his face. Meanwhile Boudet was shaking his head but he's still got 113,000 chips so he need not worry too much. -- MC

1.41pm: Playing again
This post does exactly what it says on the tin. Blinds are 600-1,200 with a 100 ante. -- SY

1.26pm: Break time, folks
We're 20% of way through today's play. We'll start working on the remaining 80% in 15 minutes. -- MC

1.25pm: Good level overall for Kabrhel
Martin Kabhrel started with around 60,000 and got his stack up to 100,000 before it dropped back to 80,000 in the last hand of the level. Zimnam Ziyard was the beneficiary after he three-bet all-in with K♠K♥ for just under 20,000 after Kabhrel had opened. Kabhrel called and tabled T♠T♥ but failed to find the two outer needed on the 7♦4♥3♠9♥4♠ board. -- MC

1.23pm: Brammer four-bet puts Frenchman in coma
Was Chris Brammer four-betting light here? It seems very unlikely. Rafal Arendt opened to 2,500 from middle position and was called by Kristoffer Thorsson in the cut-off. Pascal Peraldi seemed to wake up with a hand and three-bet to 8,000 from the button.

Enter the Brammer. The young Brit tossed a few large domination chips across the line to announce a cold four-bet of 20,500 from the small blind. The raise forced out both Arendt and Thorsson relatively easily. Peraldi, however, did not want to move. Neither did he want to call, shove or even breathe. The Frenchman did not move. He'd gone catatonic. "I'm sorry," he blurted out after a couple of minutes of just blinking his eyes.

Brammer appeared to have around 55,000 behind (from my vantage point) but whether Peraldi knew this or not I really couldn't say. He seemed to be stuck in a loop of asking himself: "Are my tens good here? Are my tens good here? Are my tens good here?" The answer, he decided, was no. He mucked his hand as Brammer chipped up to around 90,000. -- RD

1.15pm: ElkY in action
Lest we forget Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier. As detailed at 12.42pm his table isn't the easiest draw, but when you're ElkY surely you're the one to be feared rather than a fearer.

He just played two pots in succession, one for a win, one for a loss, his stack hovering around the 60,000 mark before and after.

In the first Kevin Keosomphet opened for 2,200 in early position and was called by Sebastian Gohr in the hijack and Joseph Stykemain in the cut off before Grospellier raised to 8,300 on the button.

Keosomphet passed. Gohr leaned over to see how much the Team PokerStars Pro had left behind, then passed, while Stykemain, who has a silver, a gold and a green casino bracelet, not to mention a blue charity and a real gold bracelet, all strapped around his left wrist, looked down at his last 15,000. Then he grinned at ElkY and decided this was no time to be a hero, and folded his ace-ten. Then he rubbed his temples to make Grospellier go away.

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Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier is causing headaches as per usual

That pot took the Frenchman up, but the next brought him back down again.

Grospellier opened for 2,200 form the cut off this time which Patrick Bueno called on the button. Lucien Cohen then called in the big blind for a flop of T♣Q♣7♦. Cohen checked, as did Grospellier before Bueno bet another 3,400. While Cohen passed Grospellier called for a 3♥ turn card. Again, Grospellier checked leaving it to Bueno to keep things moving with a bet of 4,800. ElkY paused, then passed, looking down at the 60,000 in front of his and shaking his head. -- SB

1.10pm: Manole broke
Romanian pro Mihai Manole is out. He was all ready below 5,000 chips when we reached the table and he called all-in from the small blind after Xavier Laszcz had raised to 5,000 from late position. Manole tabled A♥4♣ to the Frenchman's Q♣Q♠ and the board ran 7♠8♥Q♥3♥8♠ to make a full house for Laszcz. -- MC

1.05pm: The magic broke
This can't be happening. Isildur1 does not lose with aces. Live poker is rigged. Here, for the record, is the moment when the Viktor Blom's Deauville magic deserted him.

Mathieu Thiry made it 2,300 from under-the-gun and Blom re-raised to 6,500 from the button. Thiry, no doubt knowing all about Blom's rather wide range, raised again, a total of 17,300 this time. Blom checked back on his cards, and announced calmly that he was all-in. He covered Thiry easily.

Thiry, still dubious about Blom's aggression and with nearly half his stack in the pot already, called. Blom was in a great spot:

Blom: A♦A♠
Thiry: 5♣5♦

The flop was an emphatic 5♠9♣7♥ to propel Thiry to the lead, and the 6♦ turn and K♣ river kept him there. Blom looked up at the skies before shipping 48,000 across the table. He's down to 'only' 120,000 now. -- SY

1.01pm: Markushevski doubles up
Pick up aces. Get it in. Opponent has tens. You hold. Easy game.

That's the abridged story for Team PokerStars Pro Vadim Markushevski who is now back up to his starting stack of 30,000. Artem Litniov had come across from the rail to see the action and when another player had touched Markushevski on the arm the Russian had said: "No, no, no. You don't touch him." I'm not sure if it was a joke, a threat or if Litiniov was superstitious and concerned that Markushevski's luck would be affected. The safe approach would be to assume it was a mix of all three. -- RD


Early Aces for Vadim Markushevski

12.55pm: De Korver gone
Team PokerStars Pro Pieter de Korver is out after a bad day at the office. We caught up with him on the rail and he explained how he was crippled when his ace-king lost out to an opponent's pocket queens that hit a set on the flop. He managed to double-up to 10,000 before he moved all-in with pocket threes from the small blind. The big blind called him with queen-jack and spiked a queen on the turn to send the jovial Dutchman home. -- MC

12.50pm: Blom sends Franchi to the rail
Blom again, stretching his legs, this time against Dominique Franchi. On a flop of Q♣2♥3♦ the big blind, Antony Carmona checked, as did Blom under-the-gun. Franchi was a seat along from Blom and fired out 4,200. Carmona passed but Blom called quickly for a 5♠ turn.

Blom checked again, leaving Franchi to make it 6,500. This prompted the first pause in the hand from Blom, who waited long enough to look at Franchi's stack before raising to 40,000, easily covering Franchi who, stepping into the abyss, called, showing T♣T♥ to Blom's Q♦Q♠. The river, 6♠.

"Nice," said Franchi, getting up to leave. Blom up to 164,000. - SB

12.45pm: Boom for Brecard
When it's time to gamble, you just have to go with it. Or fold your way to a min-cash. Team PokerStars Pro Julien Brecard knows the wisdom of the former, and just got rewarded with a pot that more or less doubled him up.

The board was 7♠7♣[10h]2♠ and Brecard checked for Jami Juutila on his left to bet 5,000. Now the Frenchman sprang his trap, moving all-in for around 34,000, covering Juutila. A few minutes in the tank and the call was made. Brecard had A♠5♠ for the nut flush draw and overcard, Juutila held pocket fours.

Brecard needed to hit, and the river came a sparkling A♦ for him to seize the pot and count up a new stack of approaching 60,000. For Juutila, it was the end of his day.-- SY

12.42pm: One to avoid
Despite there being a vast array of tables in play (more than 50), this one seems to have attracted a rather fearsome group. Headed by Team PokerStars Pros ElkY and Salvatore Bonavena, it also includes local hero Patrick Bueno, EPT Prague finalist Jan Bendik and EPT Barcelona finalist Konstantin Puchkov.

Enjoy the relaxing game, gentlemen. -- SY

12.38pm: Please read the script, Mr Dorai
Let's get the Viktor Blom story started again. He just got involved in a pot from the small blind against Jonathan Dorai in the hijack. Dorai, whose black shirt went through the wash with a tissue and has white fluff all over it, looked determined as he fired out bet after bet, shooing Blom away. But like the dog chasing after a car Blom stuck with him, although not for any profitable outcome.

On a board reading 2♥K♥J♥3♦A♦ Dorai threw out a last bet of 3,500 which Blom called. Dorai turned over T♦Q♠ to beat whatever it was Blom had. The Team PokerStars Pro down slightly from his original 144,700. - SB

12.30pm: Back-to-back for Jacques
Jacques Zaicik just found two black aces followed by two red aces to double-up versus, and then knock out Marc Inizan. Inizan who finished third at EPT Berlin for € 350,000 last season was crippled when he found ace-king to his countryman's aces. The very next hand he moved his last 7,000 in with nice-seven but this time Zaicik found two red aces to finish off the job. -- MC

12.21pm: Table break +EV for Horecki
We've just had our first table break of the day and it was a good one for Marcin Horecki who had Chris Brammer a couple of seats to his left. The Polish Team PokerStars Pro probably wouldn't have known that the young Brit was a threat, at least he won't find out the hard way now. -- RD

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Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki

12.12pm: Blom, Blom, Blom, Blom
It was the first hand so naturally Viktor Blom raised. He made it 2,200 from the cut-off and was called by a short stack on the button. That opponent faded away when the Team PokerStars Pro fired 4,200 into the 7♣T♦9♥ flop. Expect this scenario to be repeated over and over again today. Blom already on the up. -- RD

12.05pm: Play has started
The players are in their seats, where we don't know because we're yet to be given a seat draw. -- RD

11.40am: Welcome to Day 2
Back for Day 2 where the fields of Day 1A and B will be united in alliance ever so briefly before going at each other hammer and tongs. A total of 500 players will return today, and, like some card playing version of "They Shoot Horses Don't They," they'll play on until only one remains. Well kind of, they'll get another break at the end of five levels.

The big news from yesterday was that of Team PokerStars Pro Viktor "Isildur1" Blom. We disciples wanted to see some magic and while it didn't materialise as doves flying out of a top hat or flowers being pulled out of someone's ear, he did use some unseen force to dominate his table, often evading imminent elimination and operating a stack in the same way whether it was sized 20,000 or 144,700, the figure he finally bagged up last night. You'll know doubt hear the story of Blom today in the form of Gospels according to Simon, Marc, Rick and Stephen.

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Back for Day 2

Elsewhere French singing star Patrick Bruel (I can recommend his website) was also among those topping the charts and with the counts merged from both Day 1 flights, finds himself one of nine players with more than 150,000. Leader though is Frenchman Guillaume de la Gorce on 196,800. He'll be the one to catch.

We're up to six readers in Albania, we're looking at double figures by the close of play. It all starts at 12 noon. We'll be right back after these messages. -- SB

PokerStars Blog reporting team in Deauville (in order of best guess at what a Bunga-Bunga party is): Rick Dacey (something involving coconuts?), Simon Young (something involving flowers and Hawaiian women?), Marc Convey (something to do with dodgy football transfers?) and Stephen Bartley (something to do with Tupperware?)