EPT London: Day 2, level 9 & 10 updates (500-1,000, ante 100)

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2.50pm: Break down
Another level has passed. Level 11 updates will be found in a new post.

2.48pm: Snap fold from Jenkins
Ben Jenkins was having a great day as his stack rocketed upwards. His progress has just been patella'd back to 141,000 by Jannick Wrang though.

The young Brit had just joined the table when he raised from early position and then fired 3,500, 7,800 and 18,600 on each street. His Danish opponent had all the defensive calls before attacking with a raise to 35,000 on the river. Jenkins snap folded. -- MC

2.45pm: Katchalov still punching
Eugene Katchalov has just added a few thousand to his short stack. On a flop of 4♠8♣2♠ Carlo Gabriele checked then called Katchalov's bet of 1,500 for a J♣ turn. Gabriele again checked, this time Katchalov making it 4,000 to play, leaving himself 11,600 behind. Too rich for Gabriele who passed. -- SB

2.40pm: Hero of the hour
More action from Sandro Demjan who continues of operate a policy of playing any two cards dealt to him face down.

After Neil Pearce opened for 2,500 Demjan called for a flop of Q♠A♥3♦. Another 3,600 from Pearce, also called by Demjan for a A♠ on the turn. Both checked that, and the 2♦ river card. Pearce showed 8♠8♣ but Demjan took the loot, showing A♦9♣.

Soon after Demjan was opening again, 2,500 to play. Rajesh Vohra called for a flop of 7♠K♦4♣. Demjan, in early position, checked to Vohra on the button who made it 2,500. Demjan chose to call before they both checked the 8♣ turn and the T♠ river. Demjan flipped up 4♦2♠. Vohra could only fold. - SB

2.37pm: Team Pro takes a beating
Yesterday was a great day for Team PokerStars Pro. These first couple of levels have been less forgiving with several more sponsored players hitting the rail. Noah Boeken lost his last 19 big blinds with Broadway cards failing to catch against pocket nines while Angel Guillen lost a slightly larger flip the other way around with pocket eights droppin to ace-queen.

David Williams is also up against it having just tweeted: "Mindset ruined. The end is near. #imploding. 20k."

That doesn't sound good. -- RD

2.27pm: Hachem not showing it
Joe Hachem was in the Hilton Sports Bar late last night. Either the Aussie champ has the constitution of an ox or simply wasn't getting stuck into the refreshments that hard, he's looking fresh here today. Hachem's stack is currently hovering around 63,000 and with Bryn Kenney a few seats to his left he's going to need to be. Kenney three-bet two of the four pots I saw play out at the table, which also has Team PokerStars Pro Juan Manuel Pastor on (who has 100,000). Kenney and Hachem are both players that like to rule the roost. Feathers will be ruffled. -- RD

2.24pm: EPT London Quest
What's EPT London Quest? Find out below.


2.20pm: More chance of making the money now
Sandor Demjan is not short of a penny or two after he founded one of Hungary's major banks. We last saw him at the PCA where he played the $100,000 super high-roller event, finishing 6th.

He continues to play in the way described in out last post and is up to 285,000 chips.

Neil, our photographer, witnessed him busting a short stack (ace-ten) with the mighty deuce-four. He hit two-pair on the flop.

Two hands later he flat called an early position raise to 2,500 whilst in the big blind. Another player called and all three saw a 2♥A♠T♥ flop. Demjan donk-led for 4,000 there and 6,000 on the 8♠ turn. Rajesh Vohra called the flop and min-raised the turn. The Hungarian called before both players checked the river.

Demjan opened A♥A♦ and Vohra stared long and hard at what was in front of him and mucked. Most of the table were smiling or shaking their heads. Good luck putting this guy on a hand. -- MC

2.10pm: What chance the money?
There is what some would consider "a live one" at Barry Greenstein's table, a player dumbfounding and entertaining his opponents in equal measure, in hands played at the same speed you might play $2-$4 limit game.

"I'd say he has a VPIP of 85," said Greenstein, looking on in amazement as Sandor Demjan, from Hungary, played what would generously be described as "unconventional poker".

"He just rivered a straight," added Greenstein, explaining Demjan's stack of 250,000 and not entirely convinced he'll make the money. "He's keeping it interesting."

It doesn't take long to understand what Greenstein means as Demjan has been noted by at least one other player, as being a hazard.

Demjan is ferocious. On a flop of 6♥4♣9♥ he fired in a bet of 4,500 on the button, forcing one player to muck dramatically, throwing his cards down like you might do in a cowboy film.

Then, on the J♣ turn, he and Frank Fellous in the small blind checked for a 5♣ river card. Fellous very quickly threw out 16,000 prompting what to most seemed like a surprise fold by Demjan, who still has 240,000.

He was in action again on the next hand. After Tome Moreira opened for 2,300, Demjan called from the cut off and Fellous called on the button. The flop of 2♣T♠8♥ was checked for a T♦ turn card. At which point Moreira bet another 3,500. Demjan happily called for a K♠ river card.

Moreira checked and watched as Demjan bet another 18,000 before coughing loudly. Fellous called fast - also no slouch when it comes to getting chips in - which, after Moreira passed, caused Demjan to push his cards forward face down. Realising that he was required to show he turned over 9♣6♣ which was about two clubs, or two sixes away from winning the hand. Fellous flipped up 9♥9♦ to take the pot.

Demjan keeping it interesting. - SB

2.03pm: Legends of poker
I placed myself between Doyle Brunson and Jason Mercier in an attempt to guarantee myself some premium poker action. On one side was a poker legend, a man who has been playing at the top of the game for decades and has racked up ten WSOP bracelets, and on the other was a young gun with an incredible tournament record having won over $6,700,000 in the last few years in live events alone. How could this nexus of poker superiority let me down? Fifteen minutes and the best I saw was Brunson chuckling to himself as he showed a rivered pair of deuces to win a small pot against Todd Terry.

The pair may not have delivered over that small sample size but with both players well chipped - Mercier with 115,000 and Brunson 120,000 - you can expect deep runs from at least one of them. -- RD

1.55pm: Birthdays on the EPT
EPT Prague champion Roberto Romanello and tournament director Teresa Nousiainen both celebrate their birthday today. Happy birthday from Team PokerStars blog.

Romanello is going along nicely with 110,000 but he did have more than that earlier. He just handed over around 25,000 to Erling Stenderup. The PokerStars qualifier held A♥K♠ to Romanello's Q♥Q♣. All the chips went in pre-flop and the board ran out 5♦4♦8♣K♣A♣. -- MC

1.42pm: Busted
Both Sam Holden and Chris Moorman have busted out. -- RD

1.35pm: Level 10 begins
Just a reminder, folks, but we're playing 75-minutes level now. Level 10 has begun. -- RD

1.26pm: Katchalov makes a big fold?
Eugene Katchalov just made what appeared to be a big fold as this hand played on through the break. The Team PokerStars Pro had four-bet Eric Sjoberg to 10,000 pre-flop and had been called. He fired 7,500 into the 2♦7♣5♥ flop before slowly check-folding on the T♥ turn. Sjoberg had bet 10,700 - with a distinctly shaky hand - leaving himself just 11,000 behind.

Katchalov made the fold to leave himself with 26,000 for the start of the next level. -- RD

1.20pm: End of the level
Players are on a 15 minute break.

1.18pm: Brunson continues to build
Doyle Brunson moves up to around 120,000 after taking another pot, this time against Sajid Munir.

With the board reading 7♣K♥5♦6♦5♥ and with around 10,000 in the middle, Munir bet 4,600 which Brunson raised to 13,600 from the button. Munir, with 34,000 behind, tanked for some time before calling. Brunson turned over a matter-of-fact 8♥9♠ leaving Munir to tap the table in defeat. - SB

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Doyle Brunson

1.15pm: Frantic first level
As we approach the end of the first level of the day the floor staff have broken six tables already. Among the sixty-odd that have departed are:

Richie Allen
Kamal Choraria
Jean Philippe Rohr
Alex Casals
Dominykas Karmazinas (started with 100k!)
Team PokerStars Pro Victor Ramdin
Dean Sanders
Team PokerStars Pro Ivan Demidov
Daniel Shak
Sunny Chattha
Ben Roberts
Rupert Elder
Surinder Sunar
Cornel Cimpan
Giuseppe Pantaleo
Scott Seiver

Seiver said of his exit, "Lost a big flip. It happens." He said he'll be back for the high-roller on Tuesday. -- MC

1.05pm: Who hasn't seen Rocky?
Jamie Burland has 38,500 and is sat with the aggressive Fatima Moreira De Melo on his left. The day could be better for him but he's looking fairly upbeat nonetheless. That said he did bemoan the fact that he was sharked by Neil Channing and Keith Hawkins over dinner last night.

"We decided that we'd pick three movies, write down a score for how much we thought the waiter would rate them combined out of ten and the one furthest from them would pick up the bill," said Burland.

The three films were Rocky, Star Wars and Slumdog Millionaire and Burland picked the middle number to become a lock not to pay.

"Somehow the waiter hadn't seen Rocky. Who hasn't seen Rocky? I'm sure they must have sharked me somehow," said Burland.

Titanic was exchanged in and Burland consequently lost the wager. He's hoping not to get sunk today. -- RD

12.55pm: So long Pierre
Pierre Neuville is out. He moved all-in for his last 7,500 in the cut off and Jonathan Bennett moved all-in himself on the button for 14,000. It would be just the two of them, Neuville showing A♠9♦ against Bennett's J♦J♠.

Neuville would need an ace but none came on the board of T♣4♣8♦7♣Q♥. In typical Neuville style the Belgian madea good natured departure, refusing to put things down to bad luck, notably the hand earlier against Brunson.

"There are days like that, eh?" he said with a laugh, before departing. - SB

12.47pm: Mattern out
Arnaud Mattern has busted out, which he announced to me with the sound 'Crrrr' and the motion of a finger across the neck. After a quick debate over how to spell 'Crrrr' - Mattern decided it should be four r's - the Frenchman revealed how he fell.

"I was down to my last 13,000 at the start of the hand and this guy who had opened ace-jack under-the-gun plus one - so I knew he was a little loose - opened the small blind. I shoved king-jack of clubs, which fares well against his calling range, from the big blind. What's a bad hand for him to have there?" said Mattern.

Ace-jack again?

"Kings. Joke." said Mattern.

At the same time Sam Grafton was also being shown pocket kings by Benny Spindler for a small chunk of his stack, then their table broke. -- RD

12.45pm: Becker, Brunson and Boeken
Boris Becker, Doyle Brunson and Noah Boeken are sitting at the same table. Brunson raised to 2,000 from the hijack in one pot, but then passed when Carlos Neira moved all-in for 13,500. A few hands later Brunson would take a pot uncontested, showing an ace.

"Again?" proclaimed Becker. "It's good to be Doyle Brunson..."

"It's getting worse and worse," replied Brunson with a smile.

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Boris Becker

In between those hands Pierre Neuville opened a pot for 2,500, prompting Jonathan Bennett in the seat next to him to move all-in for around 8,000. Neuville called, showing A♥8♥ to Bennett's Q♥9♥. Bennett would double though on a board of K♠5♠Q♣2♣9♦, leaving Neuville, who took a hit earlier today against Brunson, with 9,000. - SB

12.40pm: The hunter or the Fox
JP Kelly knew he had work to do today as he came back with just 13,600. The Team PokerStars Pro was down to 12,000 when he three-bet shoved from the small blind over the top of Elio Fox's button raise. Call.

Kelly: A♣5♥
Fox: A♥9♣

The board ran 9♥9♦2♣J♠4♦.

Kelly was out if his seat after the flop came and gone before the river fell. -- MC

12.35pm: Danzer downed
George Danzer is out. The Team PokerStars Pro lost all but 1,700 of his chips when he ran kings into the aces of Jacques Torbey. The rest went in with 7♦5♦ but failed to overcome an opponent's A♥Q♠. --MC

12.30pm: Not so happy now
Pierre Neuville is an avid fan of the game as well as a dedicated player, so he was delighted when he saw that he had been drawn to sit with Doyle Brunson today.

He's not so happy about that draw now as on the very first hand of the day Neuville hit a flush only for the great man to hit a full-house.

Neuville -- 28,000
Brunson -- 68,000

12.20pm: Bluffed them all off
"Seat open", was the cry from table three and it was Dominik Nitsche who was getting out of his seat.

He explained that he bluffed them all off. He only came back with 24,600 and "emptied the clip" on an opponent. He flopped a back-door flush draw, turned the nut flush draw, and shoved the river when he missed. His opponent went nowhere with top pair on the flop. -- MC

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Tournament room

12.10pm: Spindler spun as Grafton grafts
Benny Spindler was in action right out of the gate, taking on Sam Grafton in a hand that would leave him outside the top ten.

On a flop of Q♦4♦5♥ Spindler made it 2,300 from middle position which Grafton called from the cut off for a K♦ turn card. Again Spindler fired, making it 5,100. Grafton called again for a 8♣ river card. Another 9,400 this time from the German. Grafton, wearing Clark Kent style glasses, paused for a moment before raising to 23,000 in total.

At this point Jose De La Guardia arrived to take his seat between the pair. Spindler, showing no distress, took a swig of orange juice from a big bottle beneath his chair. It was also at this point that tournament director Toby Stone announced that there would be a fire alarm at 4pm, and, making what could be a hasty prediction, added that everyone should play on as there will be no fire.

Spindler folded. He drops to around 130,000 while Grafton moves up to around 120,000. -- SB

12pm: Shuffle up and deal
Play has begun and while we scour the floor for the early action you can watch the following videos: Eugene Katchalov waxing lyrical about his third place finish at EPT Barcelona and some other chuffer banging on about some of the key info from last night's play. -- RD


11.07am: Thanks for coming
If you're reading this at 11.07am it makes you one of the early arrivals, and we thank you. While you wait check out the current chip count page with all the scores going into today. You can also find a recap of yesterday's action right here.

11.05am: Welcome back to Day 2
Welcome back to Day 2 of the European Poker Tour London main event at the Hilton London Metropole. If you were following yesterday you'll remember it was German pro Benny Spindler who finished the day in the lead, although not overall, failing to top the 211,600 amassed by overall leader Lukasz Golczyk on Day 1a.

That though is merely a formality as today the stacks will began to bounce around like rubber balls as the remaining 417 players target a Day 3 reservation and a little something to show for all their effort.

Players are arriving now, coming into the air conditioned hospitality of the Hilton from the balmy 29 degree sunshine outside that continues to baffle locals. Like all things though it cannot last. The weather people say it will all change by the end of Tuesday, meaning our eight finalists on Thursday will arrive well-chipped, but Vitamin-D deficient.

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St Paul's Cathedral

But all those returning today will consider that a risk worth taking for a shot at the first prize of £750,000 on offer this week, as well as a Shamballa bracelet worth €10,200 from Official EPT bracelet sponsor Shamballa Jewels.

That's all to come. Before that there are five more days of poker from London, starting with today, a day of rest for some, a day of unrest for others.

Play starts at 12 noon. -- SB

PokerStars Blog reporting team in London: Marc Convey, Rick Dacey and Stephen Bartley.