EPT Deauville: Day 3, level 16 & 17 updates (blinds 3,000-6,000, ante 500)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg7.45pm: Play concludes
The clock was stopped and the last four hands were played out on each table. Raphael Kroll ended the day as chip leader on 829,000 chips. Play will resume at 12pm tomorrow where we will play until 24 players remain. A full wrap of today's play will be up for your reading pleasure very soon. -- MC

7.26pm: Kroll still on a roll
Raphael Kroll has extended his lead even more after he three-outered and eliminated Edmond Melamed. Melamed was down to 35,500 and open shoved from mid position with 5♣5♦. Kroll was in the small blind and peeled a few chips off his mountain to make the call with A♥3♣. The board ran A♠9♦T♠2♣9♠ to sending Kroll's stack towards 900,000. -- MC

7.25pm: Video
While we concentrate on the last few hands and the bagging and tagging, George Clooney Rick Dacey has been chatting to the video team about the day's play and squirrels on shoulders...

7.24pm: Four handsThe clock has been stopped for the day and four hands has been annouced, then the bagging and tagging will begin. Chip leader looking likely to be Raphael Kroll who has around 900,000. -- RD

7.22pm: Neuville no more
Pierre Neuville, who has qualified to eighteen EPT main events if his embroidery is to be trusted, has just been busted out by Matthew Frankland. The action had passed to Neuville on the button and he shoved his last 38,000 over the line. Frankland looked immediately interested and made the call. Henri Layani passed in the big blind.

Neuville let out an anguished gasp when he saw his red fours were well and truly covered by Frankland's red sevens, no four-flush only a seven or a very unlikely straight. Neither of those eventualities slid out of the deck and Neuville will have to wait to add to his eight EPT main event cashes. -- RD

7.20pm: Helloooooo Ulaanbaatar
It's time for us to salute a reader from a far-off land, someone who stands alone among a population of either disinterested people or folks who can't get the internet. Today we have found, according to our analytics, a reader in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar.

Mongolia, in east Asia, developed from the Mongol Empire set up by Mr Genghis Khan, a man who clearly had anger management problems given that he slaughtered 40 million people. -- SY

7.05pm: No celebrations from Fratty now
Michael Fratty's stack is not as mighty as it once was after a huge pot played out that saw three players all-in. Fratty raised from the button before Cyril Hanouna moved all-in from the small blind for 50,000. Zimnan Ziyard was in the big blind and he flat called before Fratty shoved when the action was back on him. Ziyard had another 300,000 back and made the call all-in as well.

Fratty: A♥K♣
Hanouna: J♥J♦
Ziyard: Q♠Q♣

The board ran 2♠4♥2♦4♣J♠. Hanouna spiked a jack on the river to triple up to around 160,000 but the side pot was worth 600,000 chips and that went to Ziyard. Fratty lost both pots and dropped to 320,000 chips. -- MC

6.58pm: Busquet can't believe his eyes
Blink. Blink, blink, blink.

Olivier Busquet's eyes looked set to pop when both Praz Bansi and Henri Layani passed to his short stack shove. Bansi had started the action with a raise to 15,000 from under-the-gun and Layani had called from the cut-off. ElkY passed on the button and Busquet moved all-in for 59,000 from the small blind.

Bansi was in a pickle. He really looked like he wanted to call but with around 140,000 behind he'd have to move in and he didn't trust that Layani wasn't slow playing a monster. He passed leaving Layani needing to call just 45,000 into the 95,000 pot. It was not the auto-call you may have thought was coming. Layani passed. Busquet couldn't believe it and tossed two black aces into the air.

"How do I get two folds out of that?" asked Busquet, a little stunned. "If he know he's not calling, would you?" he asked Bansi, who just gave a look that said: 'Of course, look at the pot.'

"It's only 45 to call and there's all that in the pot. Jeez." he exhaled. Still, no suck out at least and Busquet is up to 95,000. -- RD

6.50pm: Ludo on the up
Ludovic Lacay is up to 460,000 now after winning a small pot against PokerStars qualifier Sergey Kislinskiy. Ludovic raised to 12,000 from mid position and Kislinskiy called from the small blind. The flop came 5♠8♦A♦ and both players checked. Kislinskiy led for 24,500 on the 7♦ turn and the Frenchman called to see the 5♦ river. Both players checked and Lacay'a A♥T♥ bettered his opponent's T♣T♠. -- MC

6.40pm: Busquet shoves, gets no customers
Olivier Busquet moved all-in under-the-gun for 66,000 and the action folded around to ElkY who passed in the big blind. Busquet looked a little disappointed, then grinned, then looked put out again. Absolutely no idea if he wanted a call there or not. He's still very short and will have to get it in again soon. -- RD

6.35pm: Video interlude

6.30pm: We play on
This is your last-level warning. -- SY

6.12pm: On a break
Players are currently mid way through the last break of the day. When they return they will play one more level BUT at the same blinds as level 17. In layman's terms we're replaying level 17 because of the lengthy period of the bubble. Blinds will remain 3,000-6,000, with a 500 ante. -- SB

6.10pm: Big hand on a little table
A big hand on table one just before the break leaves Ahmed Abd El Fatah with close to 600,000 and Florent Leprovost struck down to 170,000.

El Fatah re-raised a bet by the cut off from the button, making it 33,000 to play before Leprovost in the big blind raised to 90,000. El Fatah called for a flop of Q♣A♠8♠ which both players checked. The turn came 5♠ which Leprovost checked but El Fatah bet at, making it 100,000. Leprovost called for a 8♦ on the river. Both checked. El Fatah showed A♥J♠ to Leprovost's K♠K♥. - SB

6.05pm: Sevens unlucky for Pastor
Team PokerStars Pro Juan Manuel Pastor was one of the players who had been blinded down to a very low level as the bubble dragged on. He was down to 22,000 and in the big blind when facing a raise to 13,000. He looked down at 7♣7♠ and committed the rest of his chips. His opponent called with K♣Q♥ and hit trips on the 4♣Q♦Q♣3♠6♣ board. -- MC

ept deauville_day 3_juan manuel pastor.jpg

Juan Manuel Pastor: not the contented face of a big stack

6pm: Kroll extending his lead
Raphael Kroll is up to 850,000 now after getting the better of Fabian Holling yet again. To be fair, Kroll does have the advantage of position and a big stack so you'd expect him to.

On the turn of a 8♠6♠A♥Q♥ board Holling led for 37,500 but let his hand go when Kroll raised to 92,500. Holling passed to leave himself with 370,000. -- RD

5.52pm: Lundmark first into the money
As Bernard Guigon watched his stack die before his very eyes there was another all-in a table away. Kent Lundmark had shoved with Q♠Q♦ and had been called by Rory Brennan with K♦J♥. It looked like Lundmark was going to be sitting down again up to the river card, but the board of 2♣8♦5♠7♠K♥ sent him out in 128th place.

The popping of the bubble left at least one player happy - he had just two chips left! - SB


Close call for this player

5.50pm: Bubble boy in slow motion
So it was a long bubble period, around 90 minutes, and in the end it was a painful, slow death for Bernard Guigon. He had folded so much during the previous level that he was down to his last few thousand chips. In fact, when he was in the big blind, he had only small change behind. Facing a raise, he folded.

Still no-one was eliminated on the other tables, meaning Guigon now faced paying the small blind and ante, leaving just 500 behind! Facing an all-in shove from Tobias Wagner, Guigon had another agonizing decision. Should he fold and hope Wagner was called and beaten? Maybe someone would bust elsewhere? Or should he take the cavalier approach and toss in his last 500?

There were cheers as Guigon gently pushed his cards over the line for a remarkable fold.

No-one busted elsewhere, so next hand Guigon, sporting a shirt with a newspaper print all over it, was all-in blind with his 500 ante on the button. Four players called ahead of him and they all checked down the 2♠9♦A♣9♥6♣ flop. They all went on their backs first:

Player 1: [10c]4♦ for nothing
Player 2: 7♥3♦ for nothing
Player 3: K♣4♠ for nothing
Karim Lehoussine: J♦2♦ for a pair of twos!

So now it was on Guigon. He had not yet seen his cards. He looked at the first - a useless 5♠ - and then, with the slowest squeeze I have ever seen, he peeled the second. It was the J♥. No pair to overtake Lehoussine's pair of twos, and Guigon slapped his cards on the table in despair.

His was the longest, most protracted bubble death in many years. -- SY


Bernard Guigon misses out on the bubble

5.45pm: Bubble
There's a swathe of all-ins on this hand. Someone has finally bubbled. But for whom does the bell toll? Details filtering in now. -- RD

5.43pm: Bubble up
Jamel Hassani enjoyed a 'bubble up' - the PokerStars Blog expression for doubling up on the bubble. He was all-in for 52,000 with K♥K♦ and was up against Kent Lundmark's A♦7♣. The kings held up on the J♠[10d]7♦3♠J♦ board to send Hassani up to more than 100,000. -- SY


Kent Lundmark, head on hand, and Jamel Hassani next to him

5.40pm: ElkY survives bubble all-in
Team PokerStars Pro ElkY survived being all-in on the bubble to double up. Matthew Franklin raised from the cut-off and called when the Frenchman shoved for 157,000 from the small blind.

ElkY: Q♥Q♠
Franklin: 7♥7♠

The board came K♣9♣A♠2♠5♥. Even though his table mate Praz Bansi said he didn't need the money he's now in with a great chance of cashing for the second year running. -- MC


ElkY doubles up on the bubble

5.10pm: "Why so slow?"
Ludovic Voisin has just wasted a couple of minutes of all of our lives.

On a flop of 9♥5♣9♠ Benjamin Pollak had bet 13,500 and Voisin had min check-raised to 27,000, leaving himself 91,000 behind. Pollak made the call. The 7♣ turn didn't seem to change anything but Voisin went deep into the tank (after initially looking like he was going to move all-in). He sat there for a good couple of minutes before finally stacking his chips, rubbing his hands together and moving all-in.

Pollak instantly called with 9♦T♠ for trips but Voisin had flopped a boat with 5♠5♦.

"Why so slow?" demanded Pollak with more than a touch of irritation in his voice. Voisin replied in French but I'm guessing he said something about trying to feign weakness. If that was the case he didn't do a very good job of it, he obviously had a monster and wanted to get called. It just so happened that Pollak had flopped a huge hand too. The entire floor had to wait until that hand played itself out as we're still hand for hand. We're never going to get that time back, Ludovic. Never. -- RD

4.45pm: Play resumes
Level 17 is underway. How long will this bubble last?

4.35pm: Misinformation
I've just checked the finishing time with the floor staff and have found out that I was previously misinformed. Two more levels to play, not just one. -- RD

4.30pm: Break time
End of level 16.

4.30pm: Controversy on the bubble
A controversial hand just occurred on the bubble that left Hedi Salmi with just 35,000 chips and Bruno Launais with more than a double-up to 460,000 chips. It all started with a Salmi raise from under-the-gun and a button three-bet. Launais was in the big blind and as he went to call the three-bet Salmi acted out of turn and moved all-in. The player on the button folded and Launais called the all-in shove. Salmi slammed his holding (Q♥Q♣) on the table and Launais tabled his K♥K♣. The cards were then turned back over as the action on all other tables finished.

Thomas Kremser was called over to announce the hand and it was now that Salmi complained that the action had changed and he should be able to retract his all-in move. Kremser ruled that it was his responsibility to follow the action and the all-in had to stand. Salmi protested but the cards were flipped back over and the board was dealt as K♥J♣J♠7♠8♣ to the delight of Luanis and the despair of all the other players who had gathered in hope of the bubble bursting. -- MC


Hedi Salmi argues his case

4.20pm: Still on the bubble (x2)
This hand by hand process is really slow going today. There are plenty of micro stacks and it's only a matter of time until one of them is forced to get it in.

It's also been confirmed that we'll only have one more 75-minute level after the current one. Probbably something to do with the PokerStars Party... -- RD

4pm: Still on the bubble
Play is hand for hand and will be until the bubble bursts. -- RD

3.55pm: Soullier tries and fails in bubble abuse
Around the bubble time is a good time to gather chips as the fear of elimination one can instil in an opponent is higher than normal. Fabrice Soullier just tried to use this dynamic versus Andrzej Nowak-Rogozinski but it didn't work out too well for him. He raised from the button and Nowak-Rogozinski defended from the big blind to see the K♦6♠5♦ flop where he check-raised Soullier's 14,000 c-bet up to 39,000. Soullier responded by moving all-in and the Pole called all-in for around 200,000.

Soullier seemed annoyed at himself and it was easy to see why after he tabled T♣8♠. Nowak-Rogozinski was way ahead with A♠K♥ and managed to stay that way through the 7♦J♣ turn and river, despite the scary turn card. -- MC

3.50pm: Average chips
The current chip average is 205,600. We're just loading in the chip counts from the end of last level. -- RD

3.45pm: De la Gorce, De la Gone
We're down to 130 players, two from the money, after the elimination of former chip leader Guillaume de la Gorce. Mesut Akbas sent him to the rail, his A♥K♠ getting the better of Akbas's pocket eights with a king on the board. - SB

3.30pm: Holling pays off Kroll
Fabian Holling has just paid off Raphael Kroll's J♣7♥ two-pair on a 4♦8♣J♥7♣A♦ board. Kroll, in the big blind, made a near pot-sized bet of 57,500 on the river and Holling, in the small blind, slowly paid him off after spending a good minute rocking in his chair like Tom Dwan. Holling is down to 370,000. Kroll up to 600,000.

The bubble draws ever closer. -- RD

3.20pm: Soullier takes us closer to the money
Frabrice Soullier is up to 780,000 chips after eliminating Nicolas Renee. Soullier has ace-ten to Renee pocket eights and an ace and a ten appeared on the flop. There are 131 players left now, just three away from the money. -- MC

3.10pm: No horsing around
Here we go for level 16 of EPT Deauville. Blinds are now 2,500-5,000 with a 500 ante. There is this and two more 75-minute levels to play today. Shortly we shall be nearing the bubble.

Meanwhile, you have to admire the French and their love of horses. This town is famous for horse racing, and if you pop to the beach you need to keep your wits about you...


Beware of the horse


A horse. Today

PokerStars Blog reporting team in Deauville (in order of horse stuff): Rick Dacey (loves a young filly between his legs ), Stephen Bartley (once owned a race horse called Dave), Simon Young (could eat a horse) and Marc Convey (once felt a little hoarse)

Simon Young
@MrSimonYoung in European Poker Tour