EPT London: Day 1A, level 3 & 4 updates (blinds 100-200, ante 25)
That was the word that used by Souhail Mansour to describe his exit hand. He looked flummoxed to be going out, surely he had the nuts when he got his 90 big blinds (18,125) into the middle. No, top pair was the problem.
Three players were pretty much all-in on the 3♥Q♥4♦ flop with Artem Litinov covering both Mansour and another player whose ID I have but isn't on the list and has now gone to break and therefore can't find out his name, who had 11,750.
Litinov had led 5,125 into the flop then called the two ensuing shoves and split Mansour's stack when his K♥Q♣ couldn't catch up against two ace-queens.
That's a break and the halfway mark of the day. -- RD
4.18pm: Karlsson canned
Jakob Karlsson came second to Liv Boeree at EPT6 San Remo but he's had a bad day here.
He was down to his last 1,975 when he moved all-in from under-the-gun with 6♣6♠. There were folds all the way around to the button who called quickly with A♠Q♠. The blinds folded to leave it at a heads-up showdown. The board ran A♥K♥2♥8♥4♦ to seal his fate. -- MC
4.10pm: That's the Trickett
Sam Trickett is out. The former EPT Vilamoura finalist, in the depths of a massage at the start of the hand, moved all in for his last 17,000 with 25,000 in the middle. Liviu Toderita had checked to him on the river, with the board A♣9♣7♦3♥J♦. When Trickett shoved Toderita tanked for a while, before calling.
"Five-high," said Trickett optimistically. Toderita said nothing and turned over Q♥Q♠ to win the hand, send Trickett to the rail and leave the massage therapist looking for work. - SB
3.59pm: Out they go
Both Dave Ulliott and Max Silver have busted out since the restart. We're not sure how the Devilfish met his demise but Silver lost a flip with pocket sevens against big slick for an 18,000 pot. He'll probably still have a cut of the winner anyway (like he did last year with David Vamplew). -- RD
3.57pm: Cured but still tasty
A fine Iberico cured ham tastes great young but can taste even better after years of maturing.
The same can be said for Ram Vaswani. There was no player more feared than the Brit in Season's 1 & 2 where he went so close to claiming back-to-back EPT titles. He had a game back then that it seen as the "proper" way to play these days, but he doesn't make use of his skills as regularly as he used to.
That said, he is here today (on 27,000) and if he was the cured ham in the middle of sandwich then he has two tasty slices of bread either side. To his left is one of the chip leaders in Dermot Blain (61,000) and to his right is former EPT high-roller champion Tobias Reinkemeier (24,000).
Good luck to any table mates that try to take a bite out of that sandwich.
3.50pm: Moorman holds steady
I arrived at the table just as Pierre Neuville was folding his opening raise of 500. He'd been three-bet by James Park to 1,400 in the cut-off before Chris Moorman cold four-bet to what looked like 3,400 out of the big blind. Park made the call.
Moorman led 4,000 into the 9♣8♦T♥ flop and was called. Neuville, now out of the hand, did not look happy.
Moorman slowed down on the 7♣ river and Park took the opportunity to take the lead, he bet 4,525. Moorman made the call before checking the 4♣ river.
Park considered his options and settled on the check button. Moorman showed 9♥8♥ for a flopped two-pair, which was good enough to chip him up to around 40,000. Neuville told our photographer that he had passed jack-queen, which would have flopped the nuts. Jake Cody (38,000) and Arnaud Mattern (44,000) are both at the same table and doing well. -- RD
3.40pm: Piper calling the tune
With the pot raised to 500 pre-flop Giuseppe Pantaleo and Michael Piper called from the blinds for a flop of T♠5♣2♥.
All three players checked for a 9♠ turn card. Pantaleo bet 825, which Piper, dressed in an orange striped shirt and burgundy tie, raised to 2,700. The initial raiser called, while Pantaleo stepped aside for a 6♥ river card. Both checked; Piper showing T♣9♣ to take the pot and move up to 35,000. - SB
3.30pm: A day of folding for Silver
We reported earlier how Max Silver had a very hard starting table and how he had to fold the nut flush on the river on a paired board. His day hasn't improved and he's still making hard/hero folds. His latest tweet read:
"Pretty tilted. folding every river. Just had to fold QQ in a 4 bet pot on the worst run out possible. 10.6k". --MC
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 100-200, ante 25
3.25pm: The cool corner
There seems to be a concentration of talent is the far corner of the tournament room. Xuan Lui, Roberto Romanello, Nacho Barbero, Dave Ulliott (now out), Lex Veldhuis, Barny Boatman, Jake Cody, Arnaud Mattern, Pierre Neuville, Mclean Karr, Chris Moorman and Jon Spinks.
Spinks just won a pot, although he seemed surprised to do so.
Rachid Choukri opened for 1,700 which one other called before Spinks raised to 4,100. Choukri leaned over to see how much the raise was, at which point I was distracted. When I turned around the chips were in the middle, Spinks turning over A♦A♣ to Choukri's A♠K♣.
The board ran K♠T♠8♠4♥3♥.
Spinks showed relief: "I f****** hate EPTs."
Despite that things seem to be going well. He's up to 36,000. - SB
3.20pm: From the video vault
EPT regulars tell Laura Cornelius about their favourite stop on the European Poker Tour...
3.15pm: Tough table
Triple crown winner Jake Cody, online grinder Chris Moorman, Team PokerStars Pro and EPT winner Arnaud Mattern, serial casher Pierre Neuville and WSOP bracelet Marty Smyth are all tucked away on one table in the corner of the room. As table draws go it's a pretty grim one. Annoyingly it's also pretty hard to reach thanks to both routes being pincered off by players getting massages. I'll take one for the team and try to squeeze by the masseuses next time around.
Also, APPT winner Dermot Blain is up to 60,000. A solid start for the Irishman. -- RD
3.05pm: Chip stacks
We've put eyeballs to some stacks and can say the following players are doing okay: Sam 'TheSquid' Grafton (50,000), new Team PokerStars Pro online signing Mickey Petersen (45,000), Team PokerStars Pro Nacho Barbero (38,000) and November Niner Sam Holden (35,000). -- RD
2.55pm: The plan for today
Tournament director Toby Stone has announced to the players that we will be playing eight levels today with no dinner break. That should get us out of here before 9pm. -- MC
2.45pm: Close pair-ups
Bryn Kenney's stroking the leg of the player next to him! That's really not on. Oh, hold on a minute it's his girlfriend Anna Marquez. The Team PokerStars Pro doesn't seem to mind either, so we'll move on.
Two tables on there is another interesting match-up and it's the "what could've been" versus the "what happened." Team PokerStars Pro JP Kelly and fellow Brit Sam Holden both went deep in the WSOP Main Event this year. Kelly busted in 36th for for $302,005, whereas Holden will return to Las Vegas in a few weeks as part of the November Nine. --MC
2.30pm: New level, same internet issues
Apologies for our sporadic reporting today. We, like the rest of the press, are struggling with a very poor internet connection. We hope to find a permanent solution soon.
PokerStars Blog reporting team in London and the strangest thing they've claimed tax back on:Stephen Bartley (His fine Parker pens), Marc Convey (Nike Air Max's) and Rick Dacey (Teeth whitening!).