EPT Loutraki: Day 2, level 10-12 updates (800-1,600, 100 ante)
7.45pm: Play ends
Team PokerStars Pro Toni Judet bagged up 288,200 to lead at play's conclusion. A wrap of the day's play is on the way.
7.30pm: Last four hands
We'll be down in the tournament room checking on all those big stacks.
7.25pm: Citrone tanks,calls,busts
There was a crowd gathering around table six and we wanted to know what was up. Carlo Citrone was the centre of attention as he tanked over a decision for his tournament life. He was heads-up with overnight chip leader Mario Puccini and the two had reached the river where the final board read 6♦2♣J♥A♥6♥.
The Brit was in the big blind and (we think) he checked to face a bet for his remaining 33,000. His table mates were clearly get a little agitated about how long the decision was taking and Citrone picked up on this and said, "Call the clock if you fell like it." Eventually a player not in the hand called the clock.
As the clock was ticking down he said, "How can I think this long and fold?"
The count reached two and Citrone shouted, "CALL!"
Puccini tabled 2♥2♦ for a full-house. Citrone mucked and offered his hand to Puccini. -- MC
7.15pm: Judet getting sucked back into the pack
Toni Judet had been storming ahead with the chip lead but his tournament has taken a small dip down to 290,000. The pack is closing in as we approach the 100 player mark (there's 108 left on the board). -- RD
7.05pm: Who's the ninja?
"You, sir, are ninja of the week," said Robert Deppe to Igal Augarten. I'm pretty sure that he said ninja anyway. If not, he should have. There, I said it.
Deppe and his neighbor Paul Berende seem to be confounded by Augarten's play and are finding it hilarious.
"I have no idea what he's doing," said Berende, rocking back in his chair.
Considering Augarten is up to 175,000, Berende 30,000 and Deppe 40,000, Augarten may well be the player with the last laugh. -- RD
6.55pm: Lost value for Grudev?
Grudi Grudev must've been hoping one of his two opponents would have a stab at the pot as he checked a monster to them. Fail.
He opened from early position and was called in three spots en route to a 8♠2♥3♥ flop. The action was checked around to Kevin MacPhee in the cut-off and he bet 6,500. Grudev and Spiro Dimotsantos both check-called before all three checked the 7♣ turn. The river came 3♦ and the action was checked to MacPhee again. He though about checking but announced his hand and tabled A♦9♥. Grudev opened 8♣8♦ for a full-house and the pot as Dimotsantos. Grudev is up to 280,000 chips. -- MC
6.45pm: Ainsworth can't quite crack aces
It's still all kicking off on table Ainsworth/Romanello, etc. Ainsworth has just lost about 35,000 of his stack to Plamen Todorov, but almost managed to pull off an outdraw. Todorov had aces and Ainsworth A♦Q♦ and they were all in pre-flop, but no doubt Todorov would have been sweating on the 6♦7♦7♥ flop. However the 8♥6♠ turn and river were blanks, and Ainsworth lost about a third of his stack, keeping Todorov alive. -- HS
6.40pm: Karr almost McLeaned out
McLean Karr was the lone big blind and only had 15,500 left to play with. He faced a decision for the lot as Jude Ainsworth set him in when action folded to him on the button. Call.
The board ran 6♣7♠3♣4♣J♥ to make a pair for the American. The Team PokerStars Pro could afford the dent and is left with 140,000. -- MC
6.35pm: Judet powering ahead into the last level
Toni Judet is up to around 350,000 and part of that was garnered from the chip stack of Dutchman (you could have guessed) Pim van Riet. Judet, playing from the button had c-bet 4,100 into a 5♦5♣T♦ flop and had been check-raised to 9,100 by Van Riet. Judet was not dissuaded from playing on. He dug deep and pushed out a re-raise to 26,100. Call.
Both players checked the 9♦ turn before Judet bombed 41,500 into the K♠ river. Van Riet passed. Judet very likely to end the day as chip leader. -- RD
6.20pm: Break time
The players are off on a short break. Play should start again at around 6.30pm for the final level of the day. The EPT Loutraki party takes place tonight so celebration or commiseration can take place with a few little drinkies. Break out the dancing girls! -- RD
6.15pm: Kapalas flies too close to the sun
There's always a certain incredulity when an ignorant English reporter (moi!) tells a conscientious partisan reporter (in this instance, Nikolaos Chourdakis of PokerStarsBlog.com/gr) that one of their players has just almost got themselves knocked out.
"Georgios Kapalas is almost out," I said.
"But he had 97,000 a few minutes ago," said Chourdakis, clearly thinking that he was encountering a not uncommon incidence of mis-identification.
"Yep, and he's just lost 92,100 of them to Carlos Lopez."
Lopez had found aces at the same time that Kapalas had found jacks. They got it all in and Lopez was counting out his stack of 92,100 after the board ran 7♣6♣Q♥2♣A♥.
Kapalas, one of the PokerStars Greek Challengers, is now left with about 7,000 in chips - coincidentally almost exactly as many chips as he had much earlier in the day, and from which he had staged a painstaking comeback. Lopez, who was a fellow short-stack with only 7,025 at the start of the day, is now sitting very pretty with about 190,000. -- HS
6.15pm: Vamplew values Bou-Habib
Walid Bou-Habib can't be having a lot of fun sat where he is at the moment - he's got two EPT title holders to his left in the shape of Rupert Elder and David Vamplew. Elder had taken a chunk off of him with aces earlier, now it was Vamplew's turn to chip up.
On the river of a three-way Q♥7♥8♥7♠J♦ board Bou-Habib checked and Vamplew bet 14,000 of his 23,000 stack into the 25,000 pot. Ander Ramirez Rezola, the other player in the pot, tank-folded but Bou-Habib made the call. Vamplew showed him pocket jacks and won the pot to move up to 62,000. -- RD
6.10pm: Chipped up
These players have more than most:
Grudi Grudev, 220000
Robert Cezarescu, 200000
Igal Augarten, 190000
Roman Makhlin, 185000
Theofanis Poziopoylos, 170000
Dimitris Mpinas, 165000
Rupert Elder, 163000
Pim Van Riet, 160000
Ilias Zografos, 155000
Jacques Torbey, 153000
Anastasios Kotsaris, 150000
And this player has more than them all:
Toni Judet, 315000
6.05pm: My house is bigger than yours
Cornajo Perez is a house conscious person and was afraid to show it to Attila Koevesi, who he thought had a bigger, better house. He needn't have worried though as Koevesi's square footage was slightly smaller.
Perez opened to 2,600 and was called by Koevesi and Jason Wheeler en route to a 4♠5♥5♣. Perez continued for 4,600 and Koevesi was the only caller. Perez led again on the 5♠ for 9,500 and this put Koevesi into the tank. After a minute he raised enough to put his opponent all-in for the 20,000 he had behind. Koevesi didn't happy but called after a period of procrastination.
Perez was ahead though with J♦J♠ as Koevesi tabled T♣T♥ for a slightly smaller house -- the same downstairs but one less bedroom upstairs. The river came 2♥ and Koevesi dropped to around 16,000. -- MC
5.50pm: More action from Romanello, Karr and Tamaras
This really is the table to watch. Toni Judet may be at the next one along with close to 300,000 chips but it simply doesn't compare to the verbal sparring, chip slinging and macho posturing of Roberto Romanello, Ioannis Taramas and McLean Karr.
In the most recent clash Taramas opened to 2,500 and was called by Roberto Romanello in middle position before Karr three-bet to 8,800 from the button. Tamaras made the call. Action on Romanello who put both hands behind his growing stack and pushed it across the line, all-in for 128,000. Karr insta-mucked. Tamaras did not.
"I have a pair and you have?" asked Tamaras before he turned to address Karr.
"I don't want to talk. I'm not in the hand," said Karr, pulling his jumper over his head.
Tamaras passed his hand, leaving himself with 150,000.
"I'm the first player to make him fold!" said Romanello triumphantly, "This is a very exciting table, everyone has very big balls."
"I've played 10,000 hands of blackjack so 4,000 (euros) means nothing to me," said Tamaras, who we've been informed by our Greek colleagues is a world class high stakes blackjack player.
Then, perhaps feeling left out, Jan Bendik interjected but I couldn't hear exactly what he said.
"Look, I was nice to you in Prague," said Romanello referring to their shared final table in Season 7 when the Welshman won his title, "I took your chips very slowly." -- RD
5.35pm: The fun in the run up to the Marchese bust
Tom Marchese's absence this week not only robbed us of the presence of one of poker's best young talents, but it also denied us what could have been a stellar table line-up in these late stages. Marchese's dwindling stack was sat on the same slab of felt as the healthy holdings of Roberto Romanello, Jude Ainsworth, Jan Bendik and McLean Karr, all of whom are getting heavily involved.
There were a number of notable pots in the run up to Marchese's bust, some of which are featured right now. Here. Now.
First up, Romanello knocked out the short-stacked Marek Popielarz, whose suited ace-queen wasn't enough to beat Romanello's A♦9♥ when the board ran K♥[10h]Q♠2♥4♥. The hearts were decisive.
On the next hand, Romanello opened to 2,400, Bendik called from two seats to his left, and then Karr raised to 7,900. Both his opponents got out the way.
Romanello limped from the small blind soon after, and Ainsworth checked his big blind. The two of them saw a flop of 2♦9♦7♥ and Romanello check-called Ainsworth's 2,400 bet. The turn was 3♣ and Romanello now check-folded to Ainsworth's 4,600 bet.
Romanello was next on the button and got involved once more. Paul-Silviu Anghel raised to 2,600 from the cut off and Romanello three bet to 8,400. Anghel called. The flop this time was 9♣5♠K♣, which they both checked, and the 2♠ turned. They checked that too. The river was K♠ and now Romanello got 20,000 in the middle, which covered Anghel's remaining stack. But the Romanian called.
Romanello tabled A♦A♥ and it was good. Anghel headed off into the night. "I'm surprised he didn't get it all in pre-flop," Romanello said. "I've been three betting him all day."
That wasn't the last of it. Far from it, in fact. The button moved in front of Jude Ainsworth and the Team PokerStars Pro was looking at a raise to 2,500 from Ioannis Taramas in mid-position. Ainsworth three-bet to 6,700 and Taramas called.
It was the two of them to a flop of A♦2♣4♠ and then things got a bit silly. Tamaras checked, Ainsworth bet 7,700 and Tamaras check-raised to 16,000. Ainsworth then slid out 25,000 and there was a moment of confusion as to whether the raise was big enough. The dealer thought not, but Ainsworth, Karr and Romanello insisted it was fine. ("We're not in France anymore," muttered Karr, referring to the rules out there where a min-raise is double the previous bet.)
After he accepted that the raise was OK, Tamaras then wanted to know how much it was precisely, and Romanello (not in the hand) helpfully pointed out that it was pretty easy to count. There were four stacks of five red chips (totalling 20,000) and one blue chip (another 5,000). Tamaras wasn't too grateful for the intervention, telling Romanello that he had managed only half-an-hour of sleep the night before and wasn't quite seeing straight.
Tamaras, you see, is a blackjack professional--ranked "the 15th best of all time" according to Tamaras himself--and had been otherwise occupied into the early hours.
Back to the hand and Tamaras shoved out a four bet, to 45,000. Ainsworth snap folded and Tamaras showed his triumphant 3♣5♣ for the flopped wheel.
Then, and only then, was Marchese out. -- HS
5.25pm: De Visscher gets in a mucky place, comes out smelling of roses
"It was such a sh###y spot but here was too much money in there," commented Koen De Visscher after he got lucky to more than double up.
The pot opened with an 8,100 shove from Gerardo Rodriguez and a flat from Koen De Visscher on the button. Joe Elpayaa was in the small blind and raised enough to put De Visscher all-in for his remaining 30,500. The Belgian didn't seem to like it but called anyway.
De Visscher: A♦T♠
The board ran 3♦7♠K♣A♠5♦. Belgium took the pot, Spain was eliminated and the USA was left with 24,000. -- MC
5.15pm: Marchese busts
The writing was on the wall for Tom Marchese today. As McLean Karr put is, he's been playing way too nitty even for an event like this one.
Translation: Marchese had qualified for the tournament on PokerStars but then did not actually arrive in Loutraki to play the event. However according to Greek law, his stack had to be put on the table and he was blinded gradually away, until the very last just went in the middle a few hands into level 11.
The floorman (perfectly understandably) would not let anyone see Marchese's final hand, but true to his form to date, he let his final 500 chips slip out of his reach with the minimum resistance. --HS
5.10pm: Monster for Elder
Rupert Elder is up to 155,000 after (semi) trapping Walid Bou-Habib with aces and knocking out online qualifier Erik Hellman in the process.
Bou-Habib had opened for 2,600 and Elder - next seat along - made the call. One more player came along for the ride before Hellman shoved for 14,700 from the big blind. Bou-Habib raised to isolate making it 30,000 but Elder seemed to have a decision on his hands. The young Brit announced that he was all-in putting the action back on Bou-Habib who slowly passed his hand.
The board ran out 5♦9♦6♣Q♣J♥ just about keeping things clear for Elder to rake in the pot. Bou-Habib didn't look thrilled to have dodged the aces, he could well have made one of those good folds that would have sucked out for a monster pot. -- RD
5pm: Play restarts
Two more levels to go and we should finish with around a hundred players. Toni Judet is the man to catch at the moment. The Romanian Team PokerStars Pro is up to a table creaking 288,000. -- RD
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 600-1,200, 100 ante
4.40pm: Byron busts
Byron Kaverman busted just before the break. He three-bet all-in for 24,500 after an open to 2,500 from Besania Antoni. She tank-called with A♣J♣, behind to Kaverman's J♦J♠. The board ran A♠K♠4♥Q♣5♠ to pair her ace and she fist pumped in celebration.
The players are on another short break now. -- MC
4.30pm: Karr and Taramas get stuck in
McLean Karr and Ioannis Taramas are waging war across the felt, no little thanks to Roberto Romanello. I arrived just as a chunky 60,000 pot was being pushed to the Greek who had beaten Karr's ace-ten in a four-bet pot with 8♠5♠ on a A♠6♦9♦8♥5♦ board.
"Why are you four-betting ace-ten out of position?" asked Tamaras.
"Because I had the best hand," replied Karr.
"How did you know that? You must be a genius. Keep doing it."
"I will. Keep peeling bottom pair."
After a few more verbal thrusts it was time to play another hand which, somewhat unsurprisingly, was a clash between Karr and Tamaras. Karr opened to 2,300 and Tamaras three-bet from late position to 5,000, which Karr called.
"Are you trying to make it personal," asked Karr.
Karr check-called 5,000 on the 7♦A♦2♥ flop. The 4♦ turn and the 6♠ river was checked down and Karr took it with 5♥5♦ beating J♣8♣. Tamaras, now with 130,000, left his seat momentarily.
Not one to let a situation die down Roberto Romanello said: "One-one. Let's see who gets the winning blow. I'm not going to get involved."
Romanello, far from true from his word, turned to the returning Tamaras and said: "He (pointing at Karr) said he's going to get you."
"I didn't say that," said Karr, "but I was thinking it." --- RD
4.25pm: When Johnny met Toni
Johnny Lodden is now on Toni Judet's table, following his Team PokerStars Pro colleagues across the room as his tables continue to break. Lodden just knocked out Vojtech Ruzicka, with pocket kings against pocket aces, and is up to about 155,000.
But that's still only about half of Judet's stack.The Romanian is crushing this tournament now. He has about 295,000 and is cruising. -- HS
4.20pm: Video interlude
The video bloggers have caught up with Ana Marquez for her mid-day update:
4.20pm: Marchese nitting it up
PokerStars qualifier Tom Marchese was a no-show for this event so his stack has been blinding away. It currently sits at around 11,000. His stack is sat at a very difficult table too. Roberto Romanello is there and the three empty seats to his left were filled by Jude Ainsworth, Jan Bendik and McLean Karr, all formerly of table 19.
Bendik and Ainworth just clashed in hand that saw the latter double up to around 50,000. Ainsworth opened with pocket eights and called when Bendik shoved with ace-queen. An ace appeared on the flop and that was all she wrote. -- MC
4.10pm: Collado looking unimpressed to get clobbered
It took two hands to knockout out Jan Collado. One was a bluff gone wrong, the other a big hand broken.
On the turn of a 6♠4♣6♦5♥ board Rupert Elder checked, Panagiotis Polyzos bet 5,000 and Collado raised to 11,600. Elder wistfully moved out the way and the Greek called. Polyzos checked the 3♠ river and Collado shoved. Call. Collado threw his hand towards the muck and Polyzos pushed his hand forward face down. The dealer was about to take in the cards when David Vamplew pointed out that both hands should be revealed as it was an call all-in situation. Collado looked unimpressed to reveal K♠Q♠ but things were only to get worse. Polyzos held pocket jacks.
Shortly after Jason Wheeler opened to 2,400 from middle position and was three-bet by Roussos Koliakoydakis to 6,000 from the hijack. Collado quickly came over the top for 9,800 for around a third of his stack, which was more than enough to push Wheeler out. Koliakoydakis made the call.
Koliakoydakis checked and Collado moved all-in. Call.
As the board ran out 3♠2♣ Collado stood up shaking his head, looking even more unimpressed with his opponent's set-mining antics. When the river failed to chop the pot Collado walked away from the table without saying a word. Not a happy bunny. That's over 60,000 to bust in two hands. -- RD
4pm: MacPhee pays aces tax
On the hand immediately after Julian Herold's rampage detailed below, Kevin MacPhee stopped the one-way traffic. The only problem for the former EPT Berlin champion was that he only succeeded in diverting it elsewhere, costing him something like 30,000.
MacPhee opened to 2,200 from early position and it was folded around to Michail Manolakis in the hijack. He was the only caller, accompanying MacPhee to a 8♦K♦6♣ flop. MacPhee led 2,700 at that, which Manolakis called. And then MacPhee stabbed another 8,400 at the 6♥ turn. Manolakis called.
The river was 8♣ and MacPhee had another crack, betting 18,200. Manolakis called again, and MacPhee tabled A♥A♣. Manolakis showed his A♦6♦ for a flopped flush draw and turned trips, which was good. -- HS
3.55pm: Herold continues the slaughter of the innocents
"But what of the day 1A chip-leader Julian Herold?" I hear you cry. Well, he's chugging along quite nicely as it happens, if the last round of action is anything to go by. Here are five hands:
1. Folded to Herold in the small blind, he raises to 2,200 and Christos Koyfogiorgis folds the big blind.
2. Folded to Kevin MacPhee in the cut-off, he raises to 2,200. Herold, on the button, makes it 5,200 and MacPhee follows the blinds in folding.
3. Folded to Herold in the cut-off, he raises to 2,000 and everyone else folds.
4. Folded to Herold in the hijack, he raises to 2,000 and everyone else folds.
5. Folded to Herold in mid-position, he raises to 2,000 and it's folded to Sofianos Vergitsis in the big blind. He moves all in for something like 20,000 and Herold calls. They both turn over red ace ten (A♥[10h] for Herold; A♦[10d] for Vergisis) and they chop.
Yeah, so he has close to 200,000 - and that's all right. -- HS
3.50pm: Show some respect
Mikhail Korotkikh is having a fun old time but is also being a bit too vocal in his celebrations. He was all-in over the course of three hands and managed to double-up in two of them.
In the first hand his A♥8♥ outdrew an opponent's A♠T♣ by spiking an eight on the river. He jumped out of his chair and yelled his delight. The next hand he three-bet all-in again but wasn't called.
Sjors Harmens was the player who raised in the third hand. He made it 2,100 before the Russian shoved for 38,400. As Dutchman was thinking he was be goaded into calling by Korotkikh. The PokerStars qualifier took the bait and made the call with T♦T♣. Korotkikh screamed and tabled A♥A♣ and they held through the 9♥Q♥K♣9♣Q♠.
The people in the next resort must've heard Korotkikh's celebrations. One of the floor men came over and issued him with a warning, saying that he has to show more respect in victory and defeat. -- MC
3.35pm: One up, one down
EPT London David Vamplew has doubled with kings through nines up to 60,000 while EPT San Remo champ Rupert Elder has dropped to 50,000 and isn't enjoyinig his table. -- RD
3.26pm: Play on
As we enter the tenth level of play, with the big blind finally hitting four figures, we have some 172 players left. If you were to include this level - we are - there are three left to play through today. Each level is 75 minutes long. Then it's party time. -- RD
PokerStars Blog's reporting team in Loutraki (in order of plates smashed): Marc Convey (0, too busy nipping to start smashing), Rick Dacey (0, prefers plate licking) and Howard Swains (0, hasn't broken a plate since going to the Greek Vine in Claygate). Photos by Neil Stoddart.