EPT London: Day 2, level 11-13 updates (blinds 1,000-2,000, ante 300)

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7.30pm: Last five hands passed WITH incident
Normally this is the post where we say nothing happened in the last few hands and the wrap and official chip counts will be up for viewing shortly. The wrap and chips bit is right but there was a massive pot we have to report.

Mattias De Meulder raised from early position and was called in two spots before an 8♠A♠2♥ flop was revealed. Steven Kelly was in the big blind and he check-raised the Team PokerStars Pro's c-bet. He called but the third party folded.

The turn came T♥ and there was no slowing down the American who led for 37,000. Call. The final card was the 6♠ and Kelly wasted little time in shoving for 117,200.

De Meulder had just 100 chips less than his opponent. He said to himself, "F##k, I slow played it."

He looked up at his opponent who was obviously try to stay motionless but was powerless to the shakes vibrating through his skull. "Is top set any good?" was the question De Meulder asked before calling with his pocket aces.

Kelly tabled T♠4♠ for a rivered flush. De Meulder looked heartbroken and stormed off. What a way to end a day's play. -- MC

7.25pm: Play ends, watch Coren
While the bagging and tagging takes place why not watch Team PokerStars Pro Vicky Coren in this video.

7.10pm: Pause that clock
Each table will play five more hands before bagging up for the night. -- MC

7.05pm: Crushing till the end
There's no letting up from Benny Spindler. He's up to around 440,000 after getting a four-bet to 26,500 through. Giuseppe Zarbo raised to 4,500 from early position and Jose De La Guardia three-bet to 10,000. Both folded, the latter reluctantly. -- MC

6.54pm: Brits gaining speed
Roberto Romanello is up to 250,000 after busting Raul Paez with A♥J♠ over A♦K♠ for a pot of around 60,000. Other Brits chipping up include Triple Crown winner Jake Cody (135,000), Sam Macdonald (160,000), and Andrew Feldman (220,000). -- RD

6.42pm: Hachem out
Joe Hachem was down to his last 1,000 when he called all-in blind after Roberto Romanello opened to 4,200 under-the-gun. The words wing and a prayer spring to mind. Hachem had run pocket tens into kings the hand before.

Bryn Kenney made the call in late position as did Neil Pearce in the big blind. Pearce and Romanello checked to Kenney who bet 7,000 into the 2♣5♠5♥ flop.

Hachem, who was yet to look at his hand, said with a smile: "Considering what I've been getting all day I think I'm probably good here."

Pearce passed and Romanello raised to 20,000. Kenney considered his options and mucked. Romanello tabled K♥K♠. Hachem looked at one card, it was the K♦. The other card was the 8♦. The turn was the T♦ and the hand was over.

"Good luck, guys," said Hachem, who later revealed he'd be recovering at Hakansan, a top London restaurant. Life's not so bad.

Romanello now up to 200,000. -- RD


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Joe Hachem in happier times


6.40pm: Gerbi exploited and Binger busts
Andrew Feldman is up to 135,000 chips after his opponent Raffaele Gerbi was caught at it. There was around 43,000 in the pot and the turn was out on a 8♥9♠8♦6♥ board.

Gerbi was in the small blind and led out for 33,200 only to see Feldman shove for 61,000. The Italian asked for a count before mucking his hand.

On a nearby table Nick Binger busted. He runs really bad in Europe and after a good Day 1 he though this might be his time to finally find a first cash. Not to be as his push with king-ten was met by a call from Andre Klebanov with pocket aces. -- MC

6.30pm: Burland doubles
UKIPT Brighton winner Jamie Burland is up to 234,000 after getting kings in against ace-king and, in his words, 'eliminating a man.'-- RD

6.20pm: From Beijing to London for the EPT London Quest
News from the EPT London Quest, an elaborate treasure hunt across London for a chance to win a seat in today's £330 "Win the Button" tournament, starting at 8pm.
The live final of the first ever EPT London Quest kicked off, with nine players from all over London and the UK, including one player, Jason Patton, who travelled all the way from Beijing, China.

Jason works regularly in China and stopped off in London on his way back to New York specifically to come down and watch the action at EPT London.

He found out about the EPT London Quest while following play on Twitter, and despite a late night at the tables of the Western Club alongside Doyle Brunson, he decided to get up early to catch the clues leading to the secret London location.

One of the questions was based on the London Monopoly board, which stumped the native New Yorker, and he ended up in Mansion House rather than Marylebone. But he soon realised his mistake and ended up in the right location - the Lamb and Flag pub just behind Selfridges department store, where he played a heads-up tournament and won a golden chip - his ticket to a seat in the live final.

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EPT London Quest winner's prepare to take their seats

Despite, his epic journey to participate, Jason's EPT London Quest finished at the final hurdle, and victory landed in the hands of Londoner Ron Meridor, who will take his seat in tonight's £330 'Win the button' tournament at 8pm.

6.10pm: Blain tames Spindler
Dermot Blain had to risk the lot to tame chip monster Benny Spindler, and it worked.

Spindler min-raised from under-the-gun and was called by the Irishman in the next seat and the small blind. The small blind departed on the flop but Spindler check-called a 5,500 bet on the flop and a 12,500 bet on the turn. The final board 8♦3♥7♠4♥6♦ and when Spindler checked for a third time Blain shoved for 64,600.

Spinlder tank-folded but he's still soaring on 400,000 chips. -- MC

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Blain roars at Spindler (maybe just a yawn)

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 1,000-2,000, 200 ante


5.50pm: Last break of the day
We'll be back in 15-minutes when we hope to have a better internet connection than we have now. -- MC

5.45pm: Gale breezing into six figures
On a flop of 5♠K♦9♣ John Gale had checked to Freddy Deeb. Deeb then made it 5,500 to play which Gale called for a turn card J♠. Again Gale checked leaving it to Deeb to bet 15,000. Gale carefully picked off the call and threw it in.

The river came J♣. A pause followed as both players checked, Gale turning over K♥3♥.

"A king?" asked Deeb, who mucked his hand, not looking pleased. He's down to 60,000 while Gale moves up to around 115,000. - SB

5.40pm: Piccirilli coolered by Alner for 270,000 pot
Thomas Piccirilli has just been bounced out of the tournament in a brutal set-up of a hand by Tom Alner. The action started with short stack Mark Truelsen Bech who had around 25,000 and wasn't likely not to go with his A♣9♠, especially as the action passed to him on the button. Unfortunately for Bech he found himself in torrid shape against small blind Alner who held A♥A♠ and big blind Piccirilli who held K♠K♣.

After the ensuing raising war a pot of 270,000 was up for grabs with Alner a 75% favourite to scoop. His hand held and Alner, who has just a few live cashes to his name, is now in a great position to make the money. The Brit has well over the 101,000 average. Must be nice. -- RD

5.35pm: News in brief

  • Benny Spindler is continuing to transfer his phenomenal recent online success into this tournament. He's challenging for the chip lead with 380,000.
  • Sam Grafton is going along well despite just doubling-up Sebastian Blom (Viktor's little bro) when his ace-seven lost to king-ten. He dropped from 230,000 to 200,000.
  • Laurence Houghton is struggling on 50,000 after three-bet folding to the initial raiser's four-bet.
  • Ana Marquez is back up to 130,000. The flop was out as 5♥3♦9♣ she led for a half pot 25,000. Her opponent folded and she showed the A♠ and a smile when asked to show one.

    -- MC

    5.25pm: Hanninger out
    Simon Hanninger opened for 4,000 before Nicolas Yunis raised to 9,300. With the action back on him, Hanninger raised all-in for 40,000 which Yunis called immediately, showing A♠K♠ to Hanninger's 9♦T♦.

    The board ran 8♠2♣5♠4♣T♣ to eliminate Hanninger as the table breaks, sending Jason Mercier, Nacho Barbero and Jake Cody each in different directions. - SB

    5.14pm: Ionel bluffs Adeniya
    Martins Adeniya's march has been somewhat halted by the smiling Anton Ionel.

    The river was out to leave a 4♥6♦8♦Q♦2♣ board and Adeniya was faced with a 26,100 bet. He tank-folded and was shown 9♥7♦ by the smiling Romanian. Adeniya is back down to 190,000 whereas Ionel is up to 110,000. -- MC

    5.10pm: The end of Demjan? Or just the beginning?
    At the recent break Barry Greenstein suggested that Sandro Demjan was still a dog to make the money, even with a stack in excess of 300,000. Well, Demjan may now be beginning his decent towards a rough landing, down now to 180,000.

    Or is he?

    A waiter delivered his drink and then patted his pockets for change, prompting Demjan to wave him away with a sizeable tip. He then bet 4,000 from middle position.

    Greenstein was waiting. He raised to 12,000 from the button, sending the action back to Demjan who called as a matter of routine.

    The flop came 8♦J♣K♦. Demjan looked at his cards and for a second looked like he was ready to fold. Instead he tapped the table. Greenstein responded with a bet, 15,000, which Demjan called.

    The turn came Q♣. Demjan immediately grabbed 25,000, an arbitrary amount that just happened to be handy. Suddenly Greenstein smelled a rat, took a moment and then folded. Demjan confirmed what Greenstein had suspected, showing T♣9♠.

    Greenstein down to 47,000. Demjan back up to around 200,000. - SB

    5pm: Unnecessary melodrama for Wilson and Alner
    James Wilson and Tom Alner just got involved in a chunky pot 120,000 pot which suffered from unnecessary stress. Wilson had opened from the hijack for 4,000 and Alner had called the button. Wilson had fired 6,000 at the K♠7♣6♣ flop, 11,500 at the 7♦ turn and 26,000 at the K♣ river before calling Alner's shove for around 20,000 more.

    Both players showed king-queen to chop the pot. It was unnecessary melodrama but at least it was fun pointed out Alner. -- RD

    4.55pm: Jenkins' stack getting Fatima
    Benjamin Jenkins has eliminated Fatima Moreira De Melo to see his stack soar to over 200,000.

    The board read A♠J♣T♥Q♦ and the Team PokerStars SportStar check-raised the Brit's 9,000 bet up to 24,000. Jenkins called and set his opponent in for her last 40,000 when she checked on the 3♣ river.

    She tank-called with 8♠9♠ for a straight but lost out to Jenkins' K♦9♥ for the nut straight. -- MC


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    Fatima Moreira De Melo


    4.40pm: Soulier sold
    Fabrice Soulier is another recent faller. He was down to 15,600 when he moved all-in, except for one T500 chip. Stanislav Kolenc called to see a K♠J♣2♣ flop where he called Soulier's massive all-in push.

    Soulier's 6♣6♦ were in big trouble against his opponent's A♣A♦ and stayed that way through the J♥T♣ turn and river. -- MC

    LEVEL UP: BLINDS 800-1,600, ante 200


    4.22pm: Break it up people
    Go and have a 15-minute breather.

    4.21pm: Adeniya still building
    Martins Adeniya is up to 250,000 after seemingly using his position very well.

    He was on the button and called a 2,800 raise from Will Kassouf in the cut-off. The two players in the blinds came along for the 2♣J♠Q♣ flop where all four checked. The turn fell as the A♠ and the small blind had a stab for 4,100 but folded when Kassouf called and Adeniya raised to 14,700.

    Kassouf called to see the 3♣ river where he checked. Adeniya wasted little time in betting 28,800. Kassouf agonised over the call which totalled about 80% of his remaining stack. Ultimately he folded. -- MC

    4.20pm: Nothing to report
    Jason Mercier, Nacho Barbero and Jake Cody are all seated at the same table. Mercier and Barbero talk endlessly, others wear headphones.

    Not much is happening. Stephen Rawls re-raised a player, taking the pot there and then, which is what Jake Cody did to him a hand or so later, bumping Rawls's 2,600 up to 7,000.

    Patryk Slusarek broke the tempo by moving all in, which no one really appreciated, everyone folding.

    They play on. - SB

    4.08pm: Golden quotes from Deeb
    Freddy Deeb gives good quote.

    "The problem with this country is that there's no middle class, either people have too much money or none," said Deeb, who one can only assume hasn't actually seen any of the UK beyond Edgeware Road.

    Doyle Brunson: "All I need is a bed, a shower and a television."
    Deeb: "What about the four strippers jumping up and down on the bed?"

    Deeb is moving along nicely on 90,000 so hopefully we'll get plenty more out of him yet.

    At the next table along Sebastian Ruthenberg was forced to fold a button three-bet to a small re-raise. He's on around 65,000. Fellow German Marvin Rettenmaier is doing somewhat better on 315,000. -- RD

    3.52pm: Meeting Marquez
    Ana Marquez is the newest addition to Team PokerStars Pro. The PokerStars video team caught up with her here:

    3.47pm: Brit watch via Twitter
    Twitter has brought us recent news of mixed fortunes for Jamie Burland and Toby Lewis.

    Burland's luck is in. He just Tweeted: "He opens JTs. Two calls. I sqeeze AKo from SB (33BB) he peels, fold fold. Jam J76s. He calls and I make a straight. 90k #eptlondon."

    Lewis meanwhile: "Down to 87k, ran a river bluff and villian got to 1 second of time b4 calling. Guess it couldn't have been that bad then. #bktobeinganitthen." -- MC

    3.40pm: Coren, out and back in
    Vicky Coren busted out just before the last break but she was not done for poker for the day, not by a long way...

    "The good news is, I'm out in time to play the Ladies' Tournament, which is at the Vic! It's like we're playing in my own living room." tweeted Coren. @VictoriaCoren

    We've heard that there is just somewhere over 50 runners in that £500 event. -- RD

    3.35pm: Bye bye Boris
    Boris Becker is out. The Team PokerStars SportsStar three-bet all-in for 25,000 with A♣Q♣ after Carlos Neira Lopez opened to 3,000. Lopez called with A♦K♦ and avoided lived through the sweat that the king-jack-rag flop brought. -- MC

    3.22pm: Blogging from afar
    Writing isolated hands can make a tournament feel disjointed so every so often it's helpful to paint a wider picture, so here goes.


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    The packed tournament room


    Melanie Weisner takes to her seat looking as if a large red box of ACME TNT has exploded just feet away; her jeans are shredded to the extent that there is more flesh showing than denim, I kid you not.

    WSOPE bracelet winner Scott Shelley rakes in a pot without even the vaguest change of expression, eyebrows locked in a semi-surprised pounce.

    Joe Hachem saunters, no, swaggers over to a water cooler and fills a cup before returning to his table to take on Bryn Kenney and Juan Manuel Pastor. The Spanish Team PokerStars Pro is up to around 190,000. Hachem is close to average, always a threat.

    Stephen O'Dwyer sits quietly in his seat calmly taking in the action. If an amateur dramatic society is in sudden need of someone to fill the role of Athos in The Three Musketeers then they could do worse than O'Dwyer; hair swept back and cavalier style facial hair more than suitable for it.

    We've now lost well over half the field with 298 players remaining from the 691 which started. The money is still some distance away - 104 spots pay - but none of the following will make it there: Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov, UKIPT regular Kevin Williams, Team PokerStars Online's Mickey Petersen and Justin Bonomo. They are all out. -- RD


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    Eugene Katchalov


    3.15pm: The king is dead, long live the king
    We don't know who the new king of London is yet, but one thing for sure is, it won't be David Vamplew.

    The reigning EPT champion is out. He Tweeted: "Busted last hand of 500/1k, 77

    A knew king or queen will be crowned on Thursday. Vicky Coren won't be reclaiming her throne as she has also departed recently. -- MC


    LEVEL UP: BLINDS 600-1,200, 100 ante


    3.05pm: Sal Bon on his way
    As players around him were leaving for break, Salvatore Bonavena was sweating an all-in race. He was out of his seat hoping his Q♦Q♣ would hold against an opponent's A♦K♥. He'll be coming back for this level with 85,000 as the board ran 8♥3♦8♠7♦J♠. -- MC

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    The start of a run for Sal Bon?

    PokerStars Blog reporting team in London and their choice of cocktails: Marc Convey (The purple one) , Rick Dacey (White Russian) and Stephen Bartley (Martini, and it better be with gin and not vodka).

    Marc Convey
    @PokerStars in European Poker Tour