EPT Deauville: Day 3, levels 14 & 15 updates (blinds 2,000-4,000, 400 ante)
2.50pm: Break it up
That's the end of the level. Players are now on a 15-minute break. That gives Dacey, Bartley and Convey the chance the finally put to good use the French phrase every schoolboy learns: "Ou est la patisserie, monsieur?"
We'll be back with some pastry goodness and a spanking new post shortly. -- SY
2.46pm: Herzali back in the game
A vital double-up for Sarah Herzali, all-in for 58,000 with A♠K♠ against Mouloud Zoubaa who called with A♦Q♠. The board ran K♦8♠J♥7♣9♣ to take Herzali back up to more than 110,000. - SB
2.43pm: Fratty gets another warning
Michael Fratty has received a second warning (he received one yesterday) for over celebrating a hand. Sympathies must go out to his opponent, Valentin Messina, who was eliminated in the hand, as Fratty's celebration occurred right in his face and it was the second time today that he had experienced such a thing.
Fratty is up to 510,000 after his 9♣9♥ stood up well against Messina's A♠Q♠. We're not sure when the chips went in but the board was an action 4♣4♠3♠9♠7♣. -- MC
2.38pm: Not nice for Wice
Alex Wice has dropped down to 260,000 after that early bound into the chip lead. It's still a healthy amount to have but certainly not the stack that he would have envisaged after winning that large pot with big slick last level.
Olivier Busquet, a dangerous player to have chips, has now entered the land of the big stack. He's packing 290,000. -- RD
2.35pm: Grospellier takes a hit
Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier has suddenly halted his rise up the chip count list. He's down to 200,000 after a hand against Olivier Hegy. With the board showing J♣2♥4♦K♥4♣ Grospellier showed Q♣Q♦ to Hegy's A♦A♥. - SB
2.30pm: Soulier into the lead
Fabrice Soulier is up to 730,000 after a hand against Loic Bobillier-Monnot. With a board already showing 6♣8♣9♠8♠J♦ Soulier had bet about 35,000 which Bobillier-Monnot then raised to 70,000. Soulier called immediately and watched Bobillier-Monnot turn over A♣Q♦. Soulier wasted no time in showing his own 8♦5♦. Bobillier-Monnot slips down to 100,000. - SB
2.25pm: Isabelle Mercier feeling fruity
I was just saying to Stephen Bartley that we should never stoop so low as to produce cliché headlines or exaggerate. In fact, if I've told him once I've told him a thousand times.
Regardless, the cliché-free zone lasted only minutes before I saw this picture of Isabelle Mercier tucking in to a banana.
Never before has Team PokerStars Blog been so jealous of a fruit. -- SY
2.20pm: Wice drops
Alex Wice has lost some more, and is now down to 370,000, way below his 560,000 high. Some of those went when Frederic Lechipey raised from under the gun to 12,000 and Wice moved all-in from the big blind. Lechipey called for his last 60,000 total. Wice had pocket nines but was in a race against Lechipey's J♣Q♠, a race he lost on the 8♦Q♣7♥7♦8♠ board. -- SY
2.16pm: News in brief
• Fabrice Soullier is continuing along the same lines as yesterday, i.e. amassing lots of chips. He's up to 600,000 already today.
• PokerStars qualifier Kristoffer Thorsson is missing in action and presumed out.
• Team PokerStars Pro Mattias de Meulder is up to 80,000 chips. He was over 100,000 but just three bet to 23,500 and folded when an opponent four bet back at him. -- MC
2.10pm: Bansi feeling the pressure
Praz Bansi's head has dropped. He's looking frustrated and unless he's able to centre himself he's going to be busto very soon. He was already looking agitated before he raised to 9,500 under-the-gun and was three-bet by Pierre Neuville to 23,000. His cards twisted high into the air as he mucked his hand with an audible grunt.
After that fold his stack was left lingering in the 160,000 region, down from 220,000 at the end of last level, as he slumped into his chair, forehead resting on the edge of his hand, the brim of his cap resting on both. The worst was yet to come for the bracelet winner.
Damien Rony opened under-the-gun to 9,000 and Pierre Neuville, as next to act, three-bet to 23,000. Bansi, cap now seated at a flustered angle, looked down at both players' stacks and moved a large stack of grey chips worth 100,000 across the line, committing himself to the pot. Rony moved out of the way. Neuville did not and put his 94,000 into the middle.
Bansi bricked out to leave himself with a little over 70,000. Trouble. -- RD
2.05pm: Two champs remain
Christophe Benzimra is out. No details, just that he's now on the rail looking annoyed. It leaves just two players still in contention to win a second EPT title, they being Bertrand Grospellier and Kent Lundmark. - SB
2pm: Bichon building
Thomas Bichon is up to 330,000. On a board of [a] Bichon showed pocket fours for a full house in what was a pot worth 250,000. - SB
1.53pm: First hit for Wice
Alex Wice just took a hit, dropping down to 485,000 after a hand that takes Morgan Angerfors up to 160,000.
With a board of Q♠3♦9♠J♦4♣ and the chip in, Wice turned over A♠A♣ to Angerfors's Q♥Q♦. - SB
1.45pm: Bansi loses classic flip
Praz Bansi is down to 170,000 after losing a coin flip to Henri Layani. Layani raised from mid-position before Bansi three-bet from the big blind. Layani moved all-in for 114,700 and Bansi made the call with A♣K♣. Layani tabled Q♣Q♦ and the board ran 8♠8♦9♠J♥5♦ to see his queens hold up. -- MC
We're under way again. Blinds are 2,000-4,000 with a 400 ante. -- SY
That's the end of the first level of the day. Players are on a 15-minute break. -- SY
1.24pm: Allez, allez, oops
Ahmed Debabeche opened with a raise to 7,000 and Herve Boulan, a Frenchman, moved all-in for 34,000. Call.
Boulan needed help and shouted "Allez" repeatedly. The dealer did not comply and dealt out 7♥2♣4♥9♣[10s]. Au revoir. -- SY
1.23pm: Deep purple
Alex Wice is off to a flyer today, up to more than 550,000. But the purpose of this post is to pay tribute to his headware. Atop his scalp is a purple, knitted woolly hat with black furry bobble. Pretty nifty. -- SY
1.22pm: Grospellier the man
It's becoming clear that Bertrand "Elky" Grospellier is now the man to watch as he won another pot to take his stack up to around 340,000.
On a flop of 9♥4♥5♥ Philippe Massias, who led on Day 1, checked in the big blind before Grospellier bet 17,200. Massias called for a 2♣ turn card which both players checked before the 8♦ river card.
Again Massias checked leaving Grospellier to faff with his chips for a moment before lumping 60,500 into the pot. Massias had no option but to fold. - SB
1.16pm: Wice takes the chip lead
Alex Wice has just taken the chip lead courtesy of a light shove from Vincent Dalet. Wice had opened from middle position and Dalet had three-bet to 19,500. A four-bet was fired back at the Frenchman to the tune of 46,000. Dalet tanked before shoving all-in for around 170,000.
Wice could not have called faster. Remember that hand where Phil Hellmuth beats Barry Greenstein into the pot? It was that fast and for good reason.
The flop ran out 6♦3♣3♦8♦T♣ and Wice raked in a huge pot taking him over the half-million mark. As Dalet walked away from the table Wice wasn't the only player at the table grinning. -- RD
1.12pm: ElkY builds bigger house
Team PokerStars Pro ElkY is up to 290,000 now after making a full house against Frederic Lechipey and getting paid off. The action and had reached the river and the board read J♠2♥K♠3♠J♦. ElkY was under-the-gun and led for 76,600 and Lechipey called from the next seat but mucked upon seeing ElkY's 3♦3♣ for a rivered boat. -- MC
1.10pm: Neuville climbs
Pierre Neuville, the Serial PokerStars qualifier, won a meaty pot to send him up to 90,000. The flop was A♠9♦6♦ and Nikolay Losev was all-in for 7,500. Neuville raised it up to 20,000 but that failed to chase Pierre Roche away. He called.
The turn came 6♥ and now Neuville moved all-in for his remaining 43,500. Roche did not like that and went deep into the tank, so deep that Losev called the clock on him. Before the minute was up, Roche folded A♦J♦ face-up.
Neuville was a mile ahead, and the 6♥ river filled up his boat (and would have split the pot had Roche called). Losev is out. -- SY
1.04pm: Nice for Wice
Alex Wice is cruising on around 350,000 after taking a pot away from Ruslan Prydryk. The turn was out and the board read J♦5♥T♦K♦ and Prydryk led for 30,000. Wice raised this up to 80,000 and the Ukranian called quickly to see the Q♣ river. Wice announced "All-in" and moved his last 150,000 over the line. Prydryk thought for a minute and threw his cards into the muck. -- MC
1pm: Eights good for ElkY
More for Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, wearing his Thunder Dome set up today, a heavy grey leather jacket, rather than his glitter and peroxide Human League ensemble. He's now up to 187,000 after winning a hand with pocket eights against Julien Labussiere.
Grospellier opened for 6,600 in the cut off before Labussiere raised to 16,500 in the small blind. Grospellier called, splashing the pot with his call, for a 5♦A♦9♥ flop. Another 17,500 from Labussiere this time, which again Grospellier called for a 3♠ turn. Both checked that and the 7♥ river, where those eights proved good enough. - SB
"What did you fold? Jacks?" asked Olivier Busquet to Pierre Neuville. Busquet aka livb112 had squeezed an under-the-gun raise and call of 6,700 up to 22,000 when Neuville, in the small blind, had found himself with a dilemma.
Neuville sat stroking his column while staring at the chiselled jaw of Busquet. Suggestive? There were certain undertones. He eventually passed, as did the initial raiser.
After asking Neuville whether he had passed the jacks the pair descended into a prolonged conversation in French, of which I did not understand one word. Maybe they were exchanging phone numbers, but I doubt it.
"If you moved all-in I would have folded," said Busquet returning to English. Setting up future action perhaps? -- RD
12.50pm: No mint for Basil
Basil Yaiche has ruined many a good headline by busting from EPT Deauville. He got his last 40,000 in with K♦9♦ but was up against Antoine Amourette's A♠J♦. The board ran [10d]4♣3♦2♣[10s] to leave Basil in a stew. He's out. (Stephen Bartley came in with an 'old sage' joke here, but it was too late to mix in) -- SY
12.45pm: Video intermission
Here's the video intro to the day, featuring Team PokerStars Pro Thomas Bichon, a French person. -- SY
12.40pm: Great call by Thorsson
PokerStars qualifier Kristoffer Thorsson is up to over 200,000 chips after making a call for his tournament life with ace-high. He led on a Q♣2♣T♠2♠ board before an opponent set him in for his last 75,000 chips. He went deep into the tank before saying "Okay, I call."
He tabled A♠K♦ which was good against his opponent's K♣J♦. The river came a harmless 3♦ and a couple of table mates said "Wow" as he raked in the pot. -- MC
12.28pm: Don't bluff Bansi
Praz Bansi is not a good player to bluff, particularly when you're polarising your range in a battle of the blinds.
After calling a raise from the small blind, the 3♦8♣9♦ flop was checked to Bansi in the big blind who had bet 10,000 and called an ensuing check-raise of 25,000. The Q♠ turn was checked by both players before his opponent led 38,000 into the 4♠ river.
Bansi sat and studied his opponent.* He was sceptical. What was he check-raising, not leading, on the flop that he could check on the turn? Jack ten for the nuts? It was possible but more likely - is what I imagine Bansi was thinking - that he was taking the check behind on the turn as weakness.
"Thirty-eight, right?" Bansi asked the dealer. He was told that it was and he quickly flicked in the call. His opponent showed 5♠2♠ for a naked bluff and, retrospectively, a slightly spewy check-raise on the flop. Bansi tabled 9♠T♦ and raked in the pot. -- RD
*I hate just saying 'opponent' but upon returning to our station just off the tournament floor I discovered that, incredulously, we have no access to the seat draw. I returned to Bansi's table to find out who the player was the old fashioned way - grab him by the ear and demand his name - only to find out that he had busted. All I can say is that he had dark hair fashioned into the style of a lego man, i.e. was probably Eastern European.
Yes! I was correct. The player was Nikolay Losev from RUSSIA.
12.20pm: Start how you intend to go on
Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier just boosted his stack, winning a three way hand minutes from the off to take his stack up to around 160,000 after a river bet on a board of A♦Q♠3♠3♥4♣. - SB
12.10pm: Play starts
We're under way. Cards are in the air.
11.45am: In the game
In this job it's easy to lose a sense of reality; long hours and overly-rich food do not help the mental or physical state. Particularly when you're an old fart like me.
As Team PokerStars Blog walked back to our hotel last night we slipped into a virtual world. Anyone who has played Call of Duty or Medal of Honor will know World War Two games all have the same look for French buildings: hotel corridors are long, have red carpets and wallpaper, and the walls - beautifully beamed - are lined with the odd couch and chair that seemingly have no reason to be there at all. As we entered the Hotel Normandy Barriere last night, we stepped straight into Call of Duty, such was the decor's similarity to the game. My colleague Rick Dacey went a bit mad, assuming the role of a US commando with rifle in hand.
Dacey wanted to show us how bad he is at Call of Duty and, with pretend rifle, began walking into doors, walls and blowing himself up with a hand grenade. It was a sorry scene.
Anyway, that was a long-winded way of saying we are going a bit stir crazy and need a rest. But that's not going to happen - we've got four more days of poker here. Our pain is your gain.
Back in the real world, EPT Deauville Day 3 is due to begin at noon. A total of 205 players remain, with their first target being to make the money. That kicks in when 128 remain. After that, all hell with break loose and people will fall faster that Dacey in Call of Duty.
Don't go away. -- SY
PokerStars Blog reporting team (in order of Call of Duty progress): Marc Convey (won the war), Rick Dacey (head blown off near Paris), Stephen Bartley (never made it past the beach hotel bar) and Simon Young (wandered off map looking for Le Tabac)