EPT Loutraki: Day 1A, Level 5 -7 updates (250-500, 50)

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8.20pm: Play ends for the day
That's all for today. PokerStars player Julian Herold seems to be on top of the pile with 138,425. Official chip counts will be up as soon as we have them, and a full wrap of today's play will be up shortly. -- MC

8.05pm: Three more hands
The clock has been stopped and the final three hands of the day have been announced. Stay with us for the chip counts and the wrap. Julian Herold likely to be at the top of the pile. -- RD

8.03pm: Nasty end for Nitsche
Dominik Nitsche almost made it to the final three hands, but not quite.

There was a limp, a raise and a call before the German moved all in for around 13,000. All his opponents folded except for Theofanis Poziopoylos who was the last to act. He called with J♥th], way behind Nitsche's K♠K♣.

The board ran Q♦7♥A♠K♦9♠ to make the Greek a straight. He jusrified his call when he said, "I thought you were squeezing with six-seven."

Nitsche's response was, "Joke right? Worst call I've seen in a while!" -- MC

8pm: Karr stops short
McLean Karr shoved a T♦Q♦6♦ flop over the top of the 7,000 that Panagiotis Polyzos had pushed out. Polyzos had 23,000 behind and took his time to call.

Karr: A♦9♣
Polyzos: Q♣T♣

Karr was behind but had flush outs. The 9♥ turn card gave Karr some more outs but the river blanked with the 5♥. Karr down to 67,000, Polyzos up to 60,000.

Clock should stop soon. -- RD

7.55pm: More for Elpayaa
Joe Elpayaa is up to 40,000 now after taking the scalp of Gentza Cartlton Cavia. The PokerStars qualifier open shoved for 9,150 and Elpayaa shoved behind to isolate with 9♥9♣. Cavia tabled a dominated 7♠7♦ and stayed behind through the 6♥T♦J♠5♣2♥ board. -- MC

7.40pm: Small pot for Elpayaa
Joe Elpayaa is back up to his 30,000 starting stack after winning a small pot off Stefan Petrov. He raised from the button and bet 1,350 on a 7♥K♠3♠ flop. Petrov was in the big blind and called the raise and check-called on the flop. Both players checked the 8♥2♠ turn and river before showdown. Elpayaa's A♥7♣ bettered the Bulgarian's A♠3♥.

These players would love the chance to win a small pot right now, but they can't as they've all recently busted: Viktor Gerasymenko, Nikolaos Lampropoylos, Atanas Gueorguiev, David Boyaciyan, Tolly Sakellariou and Antonios Papadopoylos. -- MC

7.25pm: Laughs all round as Lobzhanidze doubles
Andrey Lobzhanidze had 5,100 left in his stack and was facing a 1,200 under-the-gun open from Paul Berende. Lobzhanidze, wearing a jacket covered with so many patches that the PokerStars and Skrill patches could barely be seen, curiously flat called on the button. Berende pushed his stack across the line into the 3♣3♥Q♦ flop and Lobzhanidze snap-called with no little amount of excitement.

Berende: A♠K♣
Lobzhanidze : A♦3♦

An absolutely miracle flop for Lobzhanidze who stood up and shouted, 'Three!' Berende was in fits of laughter before the J♠ and 6♦ river had hit the felt. He was swiftly joined by, among others, Ramin Hajiyev and the dealer who failed to control himself. Berende still doing okay with 44,000. -- RD


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How many patches?

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 250-500, 50


7pm: Break it down, one more time
The last 15-minute break of the day is upon us. One more level will be played upon our return.

6.58pm: Chat with Kapalas
It's a spotlight interview with Georgios Kapalas. You can tell it is because he's in a spotlight. See, look at his brightly lit Greek face.

6.53pm: Big pot leads to rub downs
The aftereffects of that big pot won by Julian Herold are still reverberating with Roberto Romanello needling Jason Wheeler.

Romanello, who is down to 18,000, may be looking to keep Wheeler off balance but given that the American is well ahead with 45,000 maybe it should be the other way around.

"I think you should have folded on the turn," said Romanello.

"I obviously don't play as well as you," replied Wheeler, "If I didn't like many cards on the turn or river I shouldn't play poker." -- RD

6.45pm: Big stacks, short stacks and short-term memories

  • Julian Herold and PokerStars qualifier Ignat Liviu have emerged as the clear chip leaders with 155,000 and 140,000 apiece.
  • Pierre Neuville is down to 10,000 chips after he bet-folded on an A♥3♥8♦ flop.
  • Konstantionos Xystouris was left moaning after his pocket kings chopped a pot against an opponent's pocket nines: the board ran out with a wheel on board. The Cypriot was going on about how he ran so bad today, but was soon quiet when a few table mates reminded him of how he busted Brandon Cantu with ace-ten to his big slick. - MC

    6.30pm: Yelp and silence
    There's nothing like an anguished yelp to get the vultures flocking to a poker table, and when Konstantionos Xystouris just squeaked in voluble agony it brought several players from neighbouring tables over to view the carnage. They'd have been pretty disappointed, however, for although Xystouris had just lost half his stack to Paul Berende, the hand itself was pretty standard. Berende's A♦K♦ had made a flush to beat Xystouris's J♦J♠, all in pre-flop. Berende's stack was 26,475 so he now has double that.

    There was a much more horrific outdraw going on almost simultaneously, which accounted for Marcin Horecki. After Ioannis Taramas opened the betting, Horecki shipped for about 10,000. Taramas thought for a while before calling with A♠J♥, but he was behind Horecki's A♣K♦.

    The flop looked good for the Polish Team PokerStars Pro. It came 8♠2♥3♣. But the J♠ on the turn was something really worth yelping about. The river changed nothing and Horecki was done. Check Horecki's Twitter page for his reaction. In cyberspace, no one can hear you scream.-- HS

    6.29pm: Vamplew boost for Kapitonov
    David Vamplew has just been chopped down to 27,000 with Eduard Kapitonov doubling through to... 27,0000. Vamplew held pocket queens, Kapitonov ace-king with the flop running out 7♠9♥J♠A♥5♠.

    "Sorry," said Kapitonov as he chopped out his 13,000 stack for the dealer to count.

    Vamplew shot Kapitonov a fierce look and the Russian looked a little confused. Then it dawned on Vamplew.

    "I thought you said thirty," said Vamplew, a little relieved that he hadn't miscounted his stack. -- RD


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    David Vamplew


    6.25pm: More than a double for Gavatin
    Mats Gavatin is up to 22,000 after more than doubling-up in a hand that involved Marcin Horecki.

    The action was three-way to a 9♥Q♣Q♥ flop and the Polish Team PokerStars Pro, the pre-flop aggressor, bet 1,000. This was called in one spot before Gavatin raised to 7,025 from the big blind. Horecki was the only caller to the T♥ turn where he called the Swede's all-in for just 2,525 more.

    Gavatin tabled Q♦6♦ fro trips, beating Horecki's K♥K♠. The river came T♠ and Horecki dropped to 10,500. The Pole was justifying his play by saying that he couldn't believe his opponent would raise so much with a queen in his hand. -- MC

    6.15pm: Cantu can't
    Brandon Cantu's seat is empty. I think he's been knocked out. -- HS

    LEVEL UP. PLAYING 200-400, 50 IN LEVEL 6


    6.05pm: Makhlin marching on
    Roman Makhlin is up into the chip lead, just ahead of McLean Karr, with 110,000. For the second time today, seat three of table four found kings against someone else's pocket aces. This time it was Panagiotis Katsogiannis who got his stack in - close to 30,000 -against Makhlin.*

    Makhlin has previous on the EPT having made a deep run at EPT Barcelona in Season 7 with a 17th place finish paying out €20,000. -- RD

    *It was Artem Metalidi getting crushed by David Vamplew the first time around.


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    Roman Makhlin: can you guess where he's from?


    6pm: Moorman caught at it
    Chris Moorman is down to 19,200 after he was caught bluffing by Yavor Tutev. The two neigbours have had a few battles today and it was the Bulgarian who came out on top in this one.

    Around 20,000 had made it into the middle by the river where the board read 6♥Q♠T♣3♦A♦. We were drawn to the table by the gathered crowd of media and the like and they had been waiting ten minutes for Tutev to make a decision on whether or not to call Moorman's 19,200 bet. Alexios Zervos had enough of the waiting and called the clock on the Bulgarian and that seemed to prompt him into making a good call.

    Moorman could only muster J♥8♥, losing out to Tutev's K♠Q♥. -- MC

    5.50pm: Three pots with Uncle Sam
    It's a long way to Greece from the United States--both geographically and in terms of historical cultural influence. (The parthenon* versus Disneyland. Hmm.)

    Anyhow, in addition to the aforementioned McLean Karr, there are a few other American luminaries in today's field. Bryn Kenney, Brandon Cantu and Steve O'Dwyer have also made the trip, for example.

    Each of those three was just involved in a pot: a routine fold for Cantu, a decent win for O'Dwyer and then a big fold from Kenney. Let's start at the standard end.

    Fahredin Mustafov made it 750 to go from middle position and Cantu called in the hijack seat. Igor Kutsevol called in the big blind, and the three of them saw a flop of K♦A♦5♣. It was checked to Cantu, who bet 2,025, and only Mustafov called. The turn was 3♣, which both remaining players checked. The river was 8♠ and Cantu let it go after Mustafov led for 3,500.

    O'ver to O'Dwyer. On his table, Adria Balaguer raised to 700 from late position and Nikolaos Sotirakopoylos called from one seat to his left. That encouraged both O'Dwyer, in the small blind, and Thomas Hagmann in the big along to the flop.

    It came [10h][10d]7♠ and all four of them checked. The turn was 9♦ and O'Dwyer bet 1,300. Only Balaguer, the pre-flop aggressor called that, but he wasn't so keen on continuing after O'Dwyer fired 2,350 at the 5♦ river.

    Over to Kenney, who didn't actually commit too much to this pot but ended up being the centre of attention at its end. After an early-position raise to 600, Kenney called from the cut off. Rasmus Larsen, one of very few Danish players in today's field, moved all in from the button, for what amounted to 6,675.

    The small blind got out the way, but Enver Abduraimov, in the big blind, showed real interest. He raised to 15,300. The early-position raiser got out the way, and then Kenney also mucked. Abduraimov took back his extea and showed A♣J♠, which was racing against Larsen's 3♥3♦.

    The board bricked completely, meaning Larsen doubled up. But then the discussion started, during which Kenney said he had folded two jacks. "Why did you not play them?" asked an incredulous Ilkin Amirov. "If he calls, I jam," said Kenney, pointing at Abduraimov. "But if he makes it 15, he should have a big hand," Kenney continued.

    This didn't seem to fly with some of the other players at the table, who haven't shown too much of a willingness to fold anything better than middle pair so far today. I suspect Kenney might be thinking of opening his range a little.

    *Not the one in Nashville. -- HS

    5.39pm: Kapitonov providing value
    Eduard Kapitonov is providing a lot of value here in Loutraki. If you like your players to thump their chests and cry 'More, more, more," then Kapitonov is your man. No-one has trapped him yet and given that he's just passed the A♠ to a three-bet maybe he's going to be a hard one to catch.

    David Vamplew, Domink Nitsche, Robert Deppe and Kenny Hallaert all seem to be fixing their targets on the Russian. -- RD

    5.35pm: Another super Tuesday for Karr
    McClean Karr won the PokerStars Super Tuesday for $76,045 last week and this Tuesday is turning out rather super for him to. He just won a big pot off Tolly Sakellariou to rise to 105,000 in chips.

    The American, on the button, raised pre-flop and bet 1,450, 3,175 and a mighty 15,275 on each street. The final board read 9♠Q♦9♥K♠9♣. His Australian opponent was in the big blind and check-called quickly on the flop and turn before tank-calling the river. Karr tabled K♦K♣ for a full-house and that was good as his Sakellariou mucked. -- MC


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    Karr kind of likes Tuesdays


    5.25pm: Value town
    There are some great scenes here in Greece. Over shoves, fold astonishment and five-bet shrug calls. Any players wondering whether they should get a late plane? We wouldn't like to encourage you but...-- RD

    5.20pm: Horecki talks
    The PokerStars video blog team caught up with Marcin Horecki.


    5.15pm: Toth extracted
    The end of the break usually precipitates a mad scurry back to the tables in order not to miss a precious hand. Richard Toth, much more composed, made his leisurely way back to his seat in plenty of time, but probably ended up wishing he was at the back of the crush.

    He's out, running A♣K♥ into Martin Nikolov's A♠A♥, all in pre-flop. A king rivered, but it was too little for too late for the Hungarian Team PokerStars Pro. He's gone. -- HS

    5pm: Play resumes
    PokerStars Greek Challenger Alexios Zervos (pictured) is leading the way on around 90,000, more than halfway through this day of poker. There are three more levels left to get through before we bag up for the night. Elias Brussianos, Illia Kainov, Lampros Vlachos, Iulian Ruxandescu, Petar Stoichkov and Sotirios Koytoypas will not be amoungst those making it through as they have been eliminated. -- MC


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    Zervos leading the way


    PokerStars Blog reporting gods in Greece: Marc Convey, Rick Dacey and Howard Swains

    Marc Convey
    @PokerStars in European Poker Tour