EPT Loutraki: Day 3, level 13 & 14 (1,200-2,400, 300 ante)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg2.50pm: Level over
That's the end of the second level of the day and a 15-minute break. Join us in a new post in 20 minutes.

2.44pm: Berende busts
Paul Berende can go and take care of his hangover now after he busted his 75,000-chip stack. He raise-called off after Matthias Kurtz set him in.

Berende: 9♦9♠
Kurtz: Q♣Q♠

The board ran 8♦4♦6♣2♣T♠ to see the the German;s hand hold up to bust the (normally) jolly Dutchman. -- MC

2.35pm: Lodden laments his fold
"F##k, I would've made a flush," said Johnny Lodden after seeing the board run out 3♥6♥J♠Q♦A♥.

The hand started with a cut-off raise from Ioannis Papadopoylos in the cut-off and a three-bet from the Team PokerStars Pro in the small blind before Menny Ben Haim shoved from the big blind. The action was back on Papadopoylos and he shoved as well. Loddden was close to calling but mucked 9♥J♥, he said later.

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A disgruntled Johnny Lodden

Papadopoylos tabled A♠A♣ which bettered Ben Haim's K♦J♦. After a countdown, again carried out by multiple staff, Haim was left with just 2,100 chips. -- MC

2.30pm: Vamplew vamos
David Vamplew is up to 240,000, well above the 129,000 average chip stack, so it would be fair to say that it's been a good couple of levels for the Season 7 EPT London champion who started the day with 67,600.

Vamplew had just five-bet all-in over the top of a cold four-bet from Kevin MacPhee when the following hand took place. Jason Wheeler opened to 5,200 and Vamplew flat called from the cut-off. The button raised to 18,000 and Wheeler passed. Vamplew moved in over the top putting Norberto Latorre all-in for his 60,000 stack. Call.

Latorre: 8♠8♣
Vamplew: T♦T♥

Latorre looked disgusted, as if he'd been outdrawn. The board blanked for both players and sent the Spaniard to the rail leaving 77 players in the tournament. The money is close now with 48 spots paying. -- RD

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David Vamplew (now with more chips)

2.20pm: Let's play poka
Our Greek colleagues this morning were talking us through a game they play over here called "poka". It sounds like poker and has very similar rules, but the slight differences mean there is far more gambling in it. It's played with a deck of only 32 cards, from seven to ace, meaning big hands are much more frequent -and the chips fly.

A familiarity primarily with "poka" accounts for some of the crazy betting we've seen over here in Greece, and it might also account for some of the willingness of players here to see flops at all cost. Jacques Torbey is from Lebanon but he's fitting right in over here with his happy habit of playing pretty much every hand he is dealt. "Call" is clearly he favourite word, and he's even started singing the Stevie Wonder classic: "I just called to say I love you," referencing his calling tendency.

On a recent hand, Jude Ainsworth (another player who is hardly shy from getting involved) opened from the cut off to 4,500 and Torbey called from the big blind, saying: "I have not won one hand against you. Now I try." The flop came eight high, Torbey checked, Ainsworth bet 6,800 and Torbey folded. Not this time.

Soon after, Torbey called another early-position raise, checked it all the way down, then mucked when his opponent showed ace high. But soon after that, he was involved in a really big pot - so much so, that he found reason to three bet rather than just flat call at the start of it.

It began with Ioannis Papathanasioy opening to 5,200 from the cut off and Torbey, on the button, raised to 12,000. As mentioned, Torbey's calling habit probably made this appear like a monster, which in turn meant that Christopher Lastiwka's shove from the small blind, for 50,200, seem like a definite hand.

Papathanasioy folded but Torbey called, of course, and this time they did indeed have the goods. Torbey showed A♥K♣ and Lastiwka had J♥J♦. This race was won by the Canadian, Lastiwka, as the board ran 5♠J♠6♦K♠5♣.

Torbey didn't seem to mind at all and counted out the 50,000-ish. He still has more than 150,000 himself, so there's still a lot of calling he can do in this tournament. -- HS

2.14pm: Why have one person do a job when three works just as well?
There was some confusion around table four after Ioannis Taramas and Dimitrios Mpallas were all in. The cards were flipped up and the board ran all the way but it became difficult after this as it took three people (one dealer and two floor persons) to count down the two stacks correctly.

Taramas had won the hand after his J♣J♠ bettered Mpallas' A♣K♠ on the 7♥K♥J♦4♥9♠ board. After a few minutes they worked out that Taramas had 5,000 chips less with 72,000 chips.

While this was going on David Peters was quietly being eliminated on the next table. -- MC

2.02pm: Judet takes a hit
Judet has been temporarily budged from the chip lead by folding to a check-raise barrel from Michail Manolakis on the turn of a Q♦6♦5♣J♣ board. Manolakis check-raised from 8,500 to 18,100 and Judet called, but he moved out the way on the turn to a 24,200 bet. -- RD

1.55pm: Chips!
Fresh chip counts are in from the break. Toni Judet is sharing the EPT Loutraki chip lead at the top of the table. Take a look to see the movers and shakers. -- RD

1.45pm: These player didn't make past the unlucky level
Enver Abduraimov, Costas Loizou, Nikolaos Karaloykas, Stefan Raffay, Simeon Naydenov, Georgios Zisimopoulos, Dimitrios Pasachidis, Anastasios Kotsaris, Roberto Garcia Santiago, Stelios Rizos and Tibor Nagygyoergy. -- MC

1.42pm: Vanessa Rousso
Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Rousso gets put under the spotlight.


LEVEL UP: BLINDS 1,200-2,400, 300


1.25pm: Epic Greek drama
On the stroke of the break, Panagiotis Koyloykakos more than doubled up and will go into level 14 with close to 100,000, his high point of the day. His main benefactor was Ioannis Papadopoylos, who got a mite unlucky here, but in the oldest adage of them all, "that's poker".

Papadopoylos opened from under the gun to 4,400. Menny Ben Haim three bet in the hijack to 10,200 and Koyloykakos shoved all in from the button, for 44,000. Papadopoylos took a while, but called. Ben Haim took a while, but folded. That left just the two Greek titans of the game:

Koyloykakos: A♦Q♦
Papadopoylos: K♦K♥

Papadopoylos seemed pretty happy at this stage, but soon looked crestfallen when the flop came 8♦A♠4♥. It got no better on the Q♣ turn, and the A♣ river was just overkill. Koyloykakos stacked up three figures and rapped the table in delight. -- HS

1.20pm: Break
As the bell rings for the first break of the day a glance at the clock shows that 83 players remain. We're playing through until we have just 24 players left in the field. The bubble pops at 49. -- RD

1.15pm: Aces cracked
Vasoleios Chantzaras has just doubled through to 80,000 through Stefanos Pothoulakis with the mighty Q♠6♠ cracking aces all-in pre-flop. Chantzaras shrugged his shoulders with a dash of entitlement-suck-out. -- RD

1.10pm: Wheeler moves for Vamplew
Kevin MacPhee, David Vamplew and Jason Wheeler are all on the same table making for a relatively tough Day 3 draw (which you can see by clicking on the Day 3 seat draw). Two of the three just clashed.

Wheeler opened under-the-gun for 4,000 and was called by Vamplew in the hijack. The big blind, Robert Cezarescu, also came along for the ride. Wheeler c-bet 6,100 into the 3♠6♠5♠ flop and Vamplew made the call. Cezarescu quickly wilted. The 5♦ paired the board and Wheeler cautiously checked to Vamplew who plucked 18,100 from some annoyingly tall towers of chips and dropped the bet across the line. Wheeler removed his headphones and cap, leant forward, planted an elbow on the rail and his face on fist, which squashed his cheek halfway up towards his ear.

As Wheeler stared down Vamplew, Rasmus Larsen stood up to greet Paul Berende: "Still in?" he asked.

"Yeah, just doubled with quads," replied the Dutchman enthusiastically, which is pretty much par the course. Berende seems to do everything with a wide smile on his face.

Wheeler stared on, Vamplew looked back and the American eventually passed his hand to leave himself with 150,000. Vamplew has chipped up to around 120,000 (it's tricky to count his tall columns of chips). -- RD

1pm: Cheeky check helps the hangover
It's hard to see Paul Berende's eyes this morning due to him having a good time at the party last night. He did manage to double-up to 88,000 and that's helped him to feel a little better.

He explained to us that flopped quads and did a cheeky check behind. The turn made his opponent a full-house and that enabled him to get paid. He tapped his shoulder and said, "Well played me. Now I can play poker but I have a massive headache." -- MC

12.50pm: Karr and Elpayaa bust
Two very dangerous American players have perished in the early stages today: McLean Karr and Joe Elpayaa are both out. In the parlance of the internet, Karr busted when QQ < KJ. Elpayaa's elimination needs a few more words.

After losing a race with eights against ace-queen, leaving him with less than 30,000, Elpayaa got involved in a strange hand with Jude Ainsworth. Elpayaa hadn't yet committed all of his chips pre-flop, but the dealer had erroneously declared him all in. Ainsworth had not only announced a call, but had also flipped over his cards. He had A♦9♥.

Elpayaa still had 1,200 behind -- he was all but all in for something like 25,000, but not fully -- and a ruling was called for. To the general agreement of everyone, the action was frozen at this point, with them playing it out as if it was an all in situation.

"I wasn't trying to get any advantage," Elpayaa said. "I just wanted a ruling. There are some flops I can fold on -- if he flops a full house or something -- but not many."

As it was, they showed down and Elpayaa's Q♠8♦ was live. But the board ran 6♥9♠4♥3♣9♣ and Elpayaa was down to those last 1,200 chips.

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Joe Elpayaa prepares to depart

He got them in the next hand, having not looked at his cards, but he was out of luck. Ioannis Papathanasioy's 4♥5♥ turned a straight on the board of A♣Q♠3♥2♦[x]. Elpayaa's A♥K♦ wasn't good enough. -- HS

12.55pm: Video time
Here's an introduction to the day with poker's answer to Demi and Ashton, Laura Cornelius and Jude Ainsworth:



12.50pm: Lodden not impressed
"Have the same tard as from day 1 on my table and he is now up to 250k but still the worst player in the field!" was Johnny Lodden's latest Tweet.

He was talking about Charalampos Kapernopoylos. There was one particular hand that saw Yury Gulyy open shove for 25,000 from under the gun, Lodden called from the next seat, and Kapernopoylos snap-called from the small blind. The flop fell [j][9][4] and Kapernopoylos led out for just 10,000. Lodden folded ace-king and Kapernopoylos tabled pocket nines to eliminate the Russian who held king-queen. Lodden is down to around 70,000. -- MC

12.40pm: Can anyone translate?
Those internet kids, who can understand them? I certainly can't.

"up to 184 early on. pwning noobz eating froobz (I wish...)"
- @ruperte, Rupert Elder

I think that means things are going well for the level-headed EPT San Remo champ. Maybe it's the after-effects of the EPT party. Sounds like gibberish to me. -- RD

12.32pm: Judet downswing
Toni Judet just lost a 100,000 pot to Stelios Drosos who has enjoyed two early double ups. On a 3♠2♠4♥ flop Judet bet 7,800 and was shoved on for 51,500. Judet made the call.

Judet: T♠8♠ for the flush draw
Drosos: 3♥3♦ for middle set

Drosos held as Judet drops to 230,000. It's still a healthy stack but considering he was on around 330,000 at the backend of last night it must be frustrating period of play. -- RD

12.30pm: Short stack with history
McLean Karr won the PokerStars Super Tuesday ten days for $76,045 ago after defeating a Greek player heads-up. A Greek journalist just came over to him and said that "J. The Greek" was in fact Ioannis Beris, sat three seats to his right.

The two embraced with a fist pump and said it was good playing with each other. Both players have less than half the average and it would be nice if they could gather chips and carry on their duel when they can play proper poker with deeper stacks. -- MC

12.20pm: No go for Nanev
Rumen Nanev came back with just 25,800 and needed to make something happen. He tried with pocket threes after Andras Kovacs had raised with ace-eight. Kovacs was priced in to call the shove with ace-eight and managed to find another eight on the flop to bust the Bulgarian. -- MC

12.15pm: Under way
Play is under way on day three. We've now been told we will be playing down to 24 players however long that takes. Most people think it will take less than six levels, so we'll see. --HS

12.05pm: Party pictures
There was a party last night at EPT Loutraki. I could tell you what happened* but these pictures are probably better. All I will say is this: four of them, four of us.

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I don't know her name

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...Marc doesn't know her name...

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...Rick doesn't know her name...

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...and Neil doesn't know hers

*I couldn't. -- HS

11.45pm: Heading for the bubble on day three
Morning all. Want to know what's going to happen on day three of EPT Loutraki? Course you do, and you've come to the right place. In a conference room down a corridor, then a staircase and then another corridor from where this is being written, the remaining 100 players are unbagging their chips in preparation for another hard slog at the felt.

Our first landmark moment today will be the breaking of the bubble, which will occur when player 49 departs. The remaining eight will chop up the €347,000 prize pool according to the structure published on the payouts page.

We're not entirely sure how long the day will last, although rumours circulating at the moment suggest we'll play to 24 players or for five levels, whichever happens soonest. I'd favour the five levels there. This tournament has been in many ways maniacal, but it could easily have been even more bonkers.

Anyhow, play starts at noon and the chip leader is the Team PokerStars Pro Toni Judet. Follow the chip counts on the chip-count page. The hangover fug from last night's party will hopefully shift by mid-afternoon. We'll provide level-by-level updates on the dissipation of the headaches right here. --HS

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Toni Judet beneath the tournament clock

PokerStars Blog reporters (in Greek): Thanos Papazoglou, Helios Nikolaidis and Nickolas Roubanis. Photos by Zeno Stephanopoulos.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour