EPT Deauville: Day 4, level 22 & 23 updates (blinds 12,000-24,000, 2,000 ante)
7.55pm: Wice the leader
The remaining 24 players are bagging and tagging, but we are not allowed in to get the chip counts. Local casino staff have banned all genuine media from doing their job.
Instead, we will wait for the official counts to turn up. What we do know is that Alex Wice, a PokerStars qualifier from Canada, is our chip leader with 3,414,000. And that's a BIG stack. -- SY
7.50pm: Two bust outs and we're done
Just after short-stacked Mesut Akbas was knocked out by Fried Meulders, Fernando Valenciano suffered the same fate on the neighboring table. Valenciano had lost a huge flip against Philip Jacobsen, his jacks being overtaken by A-K, leaving him with 68,000 and next hand he was out. He open-shoved with A♦J♦ and Martin Jacobson called before chip monster Alex Wice moved all-in. Jacobson got out of the way.
No help for the Spaniard on the 9♥4♣Q♠9♣3♦ board, and he departed in 25th place. -- SY
7.45pm: The home straight
Twenty-six players have retaken their seats. We have to lose two more before play ends for the day. -- MC
7.40pm: Moving pictures
Want your pictures moving? Well, here's a video that sums up today's action... -- SY
This should be the final break of the day with just two more players to bust before we call it quits (until tomorrow at noon, of course). -- RD
7.32pm: Zoubaa pair no good
Mouloud Zoubaa has just been bundled out of the tournament by Martin Jacobson. After his stack took a hug pummelling (see) he was left short enough that Jacobson simply set him in from the small blind. Zoubaa happened to find a hand in the form of pocket nines and made the call.
Jacobson turned over a raggy king and duly hit his over card on the turn. Nice bink. Zoubaa cashes out in 27th for €20,000. -- RD
7.21pm: Ebanks out
Franck Pepe just made a huge call to knock Joe Ebanks out of this tournament in a 1.3 million pot. Ebanks opened for 45,000 from middle position and Pepe called in the small blind.
Ebanks fired 60,000 into the T♠4♣9♦ flop and Pepe quickly check-raised to 155,000. The American grinder announced that he was all-in for 593,000. Pepe didn't look comfortable. He peeled a few large stacks away to check how he'd look if he called and lost. A 550,000 survivor stack looked back at him. "Call," he said.
Ebanks: J♠Q♠ for one clean over and open ended straight draw
Pepe: J♣9♣ for second pair
It was an enormous call and you get the impression Ebanks wasn't a fan of it. Certainly not from his current standpoint anyway. The T♦ turn helped Ebanks a little as a jack would now give him the winning hand thanks to his kicker. None came. The 5♦ river left Pepe ahead and he fist pumped the air, leaving his hand aloft for a couple of seconds as if waiting for a cheer. Like the jacks before, none came. Frenchman Pepe is now up to 1.8 million. -- RD
7.15pm: More for Wice
Another big hand for Alex Wice sees him stretch his chip lead with a stack of 2.8million. He had raised to 45,000 only for Mouloud Zoubaa to re-raise to 110,000. Now Wice hit back with a total bet of 235,000 - call.
The flop was 6♥[10h]A♠ and Zoubaa's 150,000 bet was called by Wice to see a 2♥ flop. Both checked that, but on the Q♠ river Zoubaa made it a hefty 400,000, leaving only 330,000 behind. Wice moved all-in, covering Zoubaa, who thought for five minutes, then stood up, put his coat on and zipped it up... before folding. -- SY
7.10pm: Devos out
Siegfried Devos is out, his flopped flush draw never catching up the two pair of PokerStars qualifier Laurent Polito. -- SY
7.08pm: One time chip used to great effect
A French colleague translated what Emile Petit was asking for before the board was dealt to determine his immediate tournament fate. "He's asking for one time," I was informed.
Petit had open shoved for 400,000 chips from the small blind and Fabian Holling made the call. We know the all about the power of using the one time chip in English (see here) but it's reassuring to know that it translates into French. Petit was ahead, just, with A♦7♣ to Holling's Q♦J♥ but how about this for a flop: A♠7♠7♦ for a full house. The board ran out Q♠8♠ and Petit will have to survive the rest of the tournament the old fashioned way now. -- MC
7pm: Holling his own
Fabian Holling is up to 1.6 million chips after an encounter with Kenny Hallaert. Holling raised from the cut-off and called when Hallaert three-bet him from the small blind. The flop came down Q♣T♥J♦ and Hallaert continued with a 127,000 bet. Call. The turn came 5♦ and the Belgian slowed to a check and a call of Holling's 184,000 bet. The river brought an interesting A♦ and Hallaert checked once more. Hallaert sat for a while before deciding to check behind before revealing K♠9♦ for a straight. Hallaert mucked to drop to 880,000 chips. -- MC
6.51pm: Caught in the crossfire
A blossoming friendship? I think not. Zimnan Ziyard and Mouloud Zoubaa don't appear to be getting on that well with Zoubaa taking it very personally that Ziyard keeps shoving on him. Zoubaa opened under-the-gun to 56,000 and Ziyard, who was in middle position, looked at his cards.
"You go all-in? Go all-in," Zoubaa implored Ziyard. He did, for an additional 530,000. The action folded back around to Zoubaa while Brandon Flowers' Crossfire played on in the background.
Zoubaa asked the dealer to translate for him: "You want to go back home?"
Ziyard responded deftly by calling time on the Moroccan. That's one way to stop needle. Zoubaa mucked his hand but didn't look happy about.
"You know I had a good hand," said Ziyard.
"Bravo. Champion," said Zoubaa, looking for all the world like a child that had been chastised. A blow up could be on the song sheet. -- RD
6.45pm: Kroll KO'd by Wice
Alex Wice picked up a tasty pot that saw the end of Raphael Kroll. Wice had opened with a raise to 45,000 before PokerStars qualifier Fernando Valenciano made it 105,000. Now the action was on Kroll, and he moved all-in for 447,000.
Wice checked back on his cards, put them down again and announced he was all-in also. Wice covered Valenciano, and the Spaniard folded in a slightly disgruntled manner. On their backs:
Kroll was in trouble and the 2♦8♥6♣K♥K♠ board confirmed his exit. As Wice raked in the pot, he asked Valenciano: "Did you fold ace-king? That would be so sick." Valenciano claimed he had ace-queen suited.
Wice is now up to 2 million. -- SY
6.35pm: Another fine Mesut
It's situation critical for Mesut Akbas after a hand against Fried Meulders that takes him down to 130,000.
On a flop of T♦7♠4♥ Akbas bet 60,000 from the hijack which Meulders called on the button for a Q♣ turn. Akbas checked to Meulders who bet another 110,000, which was called for a 7♥ river. Akbas checked again leaving it to Meulders to bet 110,000. Akbas called but looked like he hated himself when Akbas turned over A♦Q♥. Meulders folded, without showing but admitted to having ace-ten.
Meulders up to 1,200,000. - SB
6.25pm: Calia crushed
The Nicolo Calia comeback and one of the stories of the day is over. He open pushed for 316,000 from the cut-off before Kaspars Renga re-shoved from the small blind. The big blind folded to leave it heads-up. Calia tabled ace-eight to Renga's pocket queens and the board ran jack high. For a while we were thinking that one of the great comebacks was on the cards but he still achieved a great feat. He effectively made himself an extra €9,000 as if he had been eliminated in 73rd position, when he had 6,000 chips, he would've received €11,000 but now he'll receive €20,000. That's an extra two EPT buy-ins in the bag. -- MC
We play down to 24 players today, regardless of how long that may take. You can take a look at the chip count page to see who's actually left.
6.10pm: Players return
And we're back with level 22, with blinds at 10,000-20,000 with a 2,000 ante. -- SB
PokerStars Blog reporting team in Deauville (in order of current sense of creativity): Simon Young (finishing off someone else's chocolate mousse), Marc Convey (checking Facebook), Rick Dacey (putting photos into the last blog post) and Stephen Bartley (writing this).