EPT Deauville: Day 4, levels 20 & 21 (blinds 8,000-16,000, 2,000 ante)
Level 21 is over and now everyone has cleared off for a 15-minute break -- SY
5.56pm: Helloooo Burundi
I dream of the moment each day when I can salute someone who is the only PokerStars Blog reader in their remote country. Today, our analytics tell we have one visitor from Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi.
Where is Burundi? I
don't hear you ask. Well, it is a landlocked country in the Great Lakes region of Eastern Africa. Around 8million people live there, but it is one of the ten poorest countries of the world. Bit humbling, that. -- SY
5.55pm: Holling embraces the swings
Fabian Holling just took a huge flip which would have seen him chip up to 1.6 million had he won. The German PokerStars qualifier had opened the pot for 38,000 and was shoved on by Kevin Keosomphet for 300,000 total.
Holling obviously did not have a monster. There was no insta-call or even a shrug-n-call. He chopped out the additional 260,000, looked at what that would leave him with - 1 million - and then made the call.
It was an anxious time for the Frenchman who let out a relieved "Yes," as the board ran out 8♦6♣3♣A♥3♦. Keosomphet is well back into the safety zone with 600,000. -- RD
5.50pm: Jacobson's pot
Martin Jacobson moved up to more than 1.6million after this one. The board was A♥2♠Q♦[10s] and Kevin Lambert bet 85,000, called by Jacobson and Mouloud Zoubaa. On the 5♣ river, Zoubaa checked and Lambert went to bet 160,000 - but his bet was deemed to be a string bet as it was made with two motions. Only 60,000 of the bet stood. Jacobson and Zoubaa both called.
Lambert held Q♠9♠ for second pair and missed flush, while Jacobson's A♠8♣ was good for top pair. Zoubaa mucked. Lambert is down to 1.5 million; Jacobson up to 1.65 million. -- SY
5.45pm: Johnson again
Amin Karout is out after his pocket aces were cracked by William Johnson making a wheel on the river. Ouch to that. -- SY
5.42pm: Ebanks' stack got Fatah
Ahmed Abdel Fatah's chips all belong to Joe Ebanks now. Fatah open shoved for 130,000 and was called in one spot before Ebanks shoved for 360,000 to isolate. It worked as the third player folded.
The board ran J♣3♦5♠K♦6♣. That was the last hand played at that table as we're down to 32 players spread over four tables. -- MC
5.40pm: Fateh takes on Polito
A bet from Laurent Polito on the button, a raise from Ahmed Abdel Fatah in the big blind and a re-raise from Polito who moved all-in for 668,000.
Fatah then went through a process of mental torment, shifting in his chair, looking at Polito, looking around, at the clock, everywhere. For his part Polito sat with his arms apart resting on the table, like he was waiting for someone to bring him dinner.
Fatah squirmed some more then called, turning over 9♣9♠. Polito showed A♣Q♥ and started to quietly moan.
The board came K♥8♦8♥Q♣K♠ much to the delight of Polito. Fatah was standing. The dealer was counting his chips to give to Polito. Fatah wasn't sure and wanted Polito's chips recounted. They were the same, still 668,000. He paid. He's down to 145,000 while Polito moves up to 1,550,000. - SB
5.35pm: Jacobson catches a case card
But which one? Philip Jacobsen opened for 38,000 from the hijack and Martin Jacobson defended from the big blind. Both Swedish (Martin) and Danish (Philip) varieties of Jacobsen checked the wet Q♠T♣J♥ flop before Swedish bet 38,000 into the 7♠ turn. Danish made the call.
The 4♣ didn't slow Swedish down. He pulled out a twenty stack of 5,000 chips, topped them with a few others and led into the blank river card for 126,000. Danish called again.
Alex Wice, who has been on the button, laughed. "I folded a seven. So sick," he said giggling to himself. Swedish Jacobson lost out to Toby Lewis heads up at EPT Vilamoura, he's certainly putting himself into a good position for another shot at a title. He's up to around 1.3 million. -- RD
5.27pm: Sun sets on Sonelin
PokeStars qualifier David Sonelin, who was chip leader at the end of Day 2, has been eliminated. He was down to 240,000 after losing that big pot before. He got them in good too with ace-king versus Anthony Hnatow's A♣3♥ but the board ran 3♦A♥8♦9♦3♣ to make a full house for the Frenchman. -- MC
5.25pm: Calia's dizzy spin-up
Nicolo Calia may have been down to just 6,000 earlier today, but now he is the proud owner of 540,000 after another double up. Gregory Lhomer had made it 43,000 and Calia eased it up to 86,000. Lhomer then pushed and Calia, who was at risk, called.
It was a super spot for Calia, and although the J♥[10d]8♠ flop was cause for a little concern, the 2♠ turn and 5♥ river were harmless. -- SY
5.20pm: Double for Johnson, Sonelin damaged
William Johnson has doubled to more than a million after winning a big pot against David Sonelin. The two got it all-in with Sonelin holding A-10 and in a tricky spot against Johnson's [10s][10d]. The pocket pair held up on the 4♦5♠5♣2♦6♠ board.
Sonelin shipped over 494,000 to Johnson and fell to around 250,000 in the process. -- SY
The board was dealt to the turn, showing 2♣6♠8♣T♦ and there was around 160,000 in the pot. Riccardo Giacalone was in the big blind and checked to Julien Claudepierre under-the-gun who had bet 84,000, leaving himself 250,000 behind. Giacalone had about 380 behind and after a long tortuous process of thinking, called.
The river came 2♠. Claudepierre checked blind leaving the action with Claudepierre who moves all-in. More agonising from Claudepierre who left himself little option but to fold. He did, slipping down to 300,000. Claudepierre moves up to 590,000. - SB
5.09pm: Admiral Akbas
"I have a really good hand," said Andrzej Nowak-Rogozinski when questioned by Mesut Akbas.
He had raised under-the-gun to 37,000 and Kenny Hallaert had called from middle position before the action reached Mesut Akbas in the big blind. The Frenchman turned to Nowak-Rogozinski and asked him: "Seven-deuce again?" Nowak-Rogozinski told him he had a good hand.
Nowak-Rogozinski's admission of having a premium hand either didn't slow Akbas down and moved all-in for around 180,000. Nowak-Rogozinski made the call leaving Hallaert with a big decision.
The Belgian did not move. His arms, which were wrapped around his three-storey chip tower, didn't twitch, his face showed no change in expression. Then - somewhat of an anti-climax - he flicked his cards away, his fingers the only part of his body moving.
After the call Nowak-Rogozinski had the best part of 800,000 behind so it didn't do him too much damage when he failed to catch a third jack, but Akbas' double up to 400,000 could prove to be a key tournament turning point if the Frenchman goes all the way to the final table. -- RD
5pm: Biague busts
Mathieu Biague is the latest player to fall. He got the last of his chips in with 9♦9♠ and faced a race versus the A♠K♥ of PokerStars qualifier Fabian Holling. The board ran a Germany friendly K♣T♠7♦5♣K♠ for trip kings. Holling back over the million chip mark again. -- MC
4.52pm: Needed double for Massias
PokerStars qualifier Philippe Massias has started the level just how he would've dreamt in break. He was down to less than 100,000 chips and these were all shipped in from late position with A♦7♥. The big stacked Raphael Kroll was in the small blind with 9♥9♠ and made the call and the board ran A♥Q♦7♦J♦7♠ to make a full house for Massias. Kroll still cruising on around 1.1 million chips. -- MC
4,45pm: Play continues
Play restarts with blinds at 8,000-16,000 with a 2,000 ante. -- SB
4.30pm: Break time
Players are on a 15 minute break.
4.29pm: Launais out
While the Calia hand was taking place Bruno Launais had moved all-in on table six, with a flop showing A♦9♠8♥.
As far as amounts went it was hard to tell. Opposing Launais was Mouloud Zoubaa who had asked the dealer to spread the pot and the chips were spread the length of the table as if someone had gone nuts and kicks the stacks over.
Call, said Zoubaa and Launais showed T♦7♦ for a straight draw while Zoubaa turned over A♣2♣, saying something pointless to the dealer about not messing up.
The turn 5♦ and river 8♠ sent Launais out and left Zoubaa with more than 1,200,000 chips. - SB
4.28pm: Calia calling
Franck Henri Kalfon moved all-in as the break approached for 74,000. Nicola Calia was opposite and also moved all-in, his 210,000 easily covering Kalfon. Kaspars Renga wanted to know numbers as he had a hand too.
"Ace-king then?" Renga asked Calia.
"Better," replied the Italian. Renga eventually folded pocket jacks face up.
That left a heads-up showdown. Calia turned over A♣A♦ while Kalfron showed K♦K♣.
The board came K♥5♦Q♦A♥J♣.
"No, no, no, no, no, no..." said Kalfon, standing by what was now no longer his chair. It took a minute to sink in while Calia took his chips. He was out. Calia up to 320,000. -- SB
4.25pm: Nowak-Rogozinski, our kind of man
We've taken a sudden shine to Andrzej Nowak-Rogozinski. Not because he's now got over a million chips and is a worthy target to tap up at the bar later on, not even because he's pulling some exciting moves (see 4.15pm: Insane bluff gets through). It's because he just lent back in his chair, looked across at my Moleskine notepad and called out: "Hey, that's the best make of notebook." He gave me a nod of appreciation, one man of fine tastes to another. He wasn't to know at a distance of three yards that mine was a cheap imitation and I certainly wasn't about to inform him.
Shortly after he suggested the introduction of the seven-deuce side game. "Let's say it's €500 if you win with seven-deuce. You have to show it, of course," he said. Kenny Hallaert, another player with a large stack, actively encouraged it but added that he wouldn't take part: "It would make the game very interesting," he said with a smile. -- RD
4.15pm: Insane bluff gets through
Andrzej Nowak-Rogozinski just made an insane bluff against Mesut Akbas with seven-deuce and they weren't even playing the seven-deuce game. Akbas raised to 26,000 from the cut-off and Nowak-Rogozinski three-bet to 76,000 from the button. Akbas came back with a four-bet to 186,000 and Nowak-Rogozinski made the call.
The flop came down 2♦9♣Q♦ and Akbas led for 150,000, leaving himself with 230,000 behind. All sorts of emotions came over Nowak-Rogozinski's face before he moved all-in. There was no insta-call from Akbas as you might expect seeing as he'd committed most of his stack. He asked his Polish opponent if he'd show but all he got back was a shrug. He elected to fold and Nowak-Rogozinski did show - 7♣2♥ for bottom pair to move up to 1.1 million chips. Akbas' eyes nearly popped out of his head. His weren't the only ones. -- MC
4.05pm: ElkY out
The last candidate to win a second EPT title is gone. Yes, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier is no more, having put in a spirited fight back that has ultimately failed.
Grospellier completed in the small blind and Raphael Kroll checked in the big. The flop came 2♥9♥8♣ which Grospellier checked. Kroll bet 16,000 which Grospellier called at once.
The turn came A♥. Again Grospellier checked to Kroll who bet another 36,000 which the Team PokerStars Pro called for a T♦ river. At this point things slowed down. Grospellier checked while Kroll tanked for a minute, eventually moving in a tower of chips worth 200,000 which easily covered Grospellier's remaining 160,000. He called, watching as Kroll turned over J♥6♥ for a flush. Grospellier just folded, out of the event.
Suddenly the Barbarella shine disappeared from Grospellier as he gathered his things ready to be escorted to the payout desk. He's out. Kroll up to 1,350,000. ElkY reported later that he had a set of nines.- SB
3.52pm: Calia comeback watch
Nicolo Calia is up to 194,000 as he continues to trial blaze his way back into contention.
Meanwhile on the next table to him sits Mathew Frankland. He just three bet PokerStars qualifier William Johnson off a hand to move up to around 900,000 chips. These two players are continuing to tangle with each other. -- MC
3.50pm: State of play
We've got 47 players left. A quick bit of work on my trusty calculator reveals we need to lose 23 more and then we're done for the day. Fillet steak and crème brûlée await. -- SY
3.45pm: 'It's a skill game'
This was Mathew Frankland's little joke after busting the unlucky Shander De Vries. The Dutchman was all-in for 105,000 with A♦Q♦ and Frankland called with J♥9♦. That heart was all it took as the board ran 7♥3♥4♥Q♥2♣ to make Frankland's flush.
"Well, it is a skill game," Frankland said. "I think I've got a really bad image now." He's up to around a million chips. --SY
3.40pm: Grospellier tackles Kroll
On a board of 9♠7♣8♠T♣ Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier and Raphael Kroll were at it again. Grospellier bet 37,000 from the big blind which Kroll called in the seat next to him for a 5♥ river card. Another 61,000 from Grospellier and another call from Kroll who seemed to know he was beaten before Grospellier turned over T♥J♥. Grospellier up to 330,000 although it was merely a small dent in Kroll's stack which still stands at 1,100,000. - SB
Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier
3.35pm: Kroll on a roll
Raphael Kroll is up 1.25 million chips and back into the chip lead after winning a chunky pot off Franck Pepe. The two were heads-up to a 3♥4♠T♦ flop and Kroll led for 39,000 only to be raised up to 154,000 by Pepe. Call. The two checked through the 7♦ turn before Kroll led for 227,000 on the 9♠ river. Pepe went into the tank before folding. -- MC
3.32pm: Counting their cash
We're losing players fast here in Deauville and while those that bust miss their chance for final table glory and a shot at the €880,000 first place prize the do take home a nice wedge of cash. Find out who busted and how much for. Names added as and when the tournament staff make it official. -- RD
3.25pm: Noise levels protected
Michael Fratty, a man fond of excessively loud celebrations, is out. We can now wander the tournament floor without fear of bursting our eardrums. He got it in with pocket kings on a flop of 4♦4♠6♥ but had walked into Kevin Lambert's 6♦6♣ for the flopped full house. No help on the5♥ turn or 9♠ river and Fratty was on his way to the cash desk (where €15,000 was waiting for him). -- SY
3.20pm: Grospellier powers up
The Usain Bolt of poker, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, just doubled up to more than 300,000. Grospellier shoved for 148,000 which was called by Raphael Kroll one seat along. Kroll showed A♠5♣ to Grospellier's A♣9♥.
The board came J♥4♠9♣7♦5♦ to keep the Frenchman alive. Kroll falls back to 700,000. - SB
3.10pm: Play resumes
Level 20 is upon us. We lost around another 20 players in each of the last two levels and now have 50 left. A reminder that we will continue to play until there are 24 still standing. -- MC
PokerStars Blog reporting team in Deauville (in order of what thoughts we can't get out of our heads): Simon Young (Talking Heads - Psycho Killer), Stephen Bartley (every song from Jesus Christ, Superstar), Rick Dacey (how can one nation be so bad at a certain game?) and Marc Convey (cannot be published here).