EPT Loutraki: Day 3, level 17 & 18 (3,000-6,000, 500 ante)


9.10pm: Play ends
We have 38 players bagging up. Full wrap and chip counts to come.

9pm: Last three hands
Last three hands. So important we mentioned it twice.

8.50pm: Kapernopoylos back in the right direction
After the small dent in Charalampos Kapernopoylos's stack described below, he has just returned in the right direction by eliminating Kevin MacPhee. He made a full house with 8♦5♦ on a board of 8♠3♥8♥3♠4♥ and sent MacPhee packing. MacPhee later revealed that he had A♥Q♥ and put Kapernopoylos on a smaller flush.

MacPhee becomes the second former EPT champion to perish at the hands of the "good" doctor Kapernopoylos. -- HS

8.43pm: Small dent for Kapernopoylos
We were starting to wonder if Charalampos Kapernopoylos could lose a pot; Pim van Riet just proved to us that he can.

He was the only caller (small blind) to Kapernopoylos' raise from under the gun. The flop came 8♦9♣3♦ and the Dutchman check-raised Kapernopoylos' 20,000 c-bet up to 50,000. Call. The turn came 7♣ and both players checked, as they also did on the 2♦ river. Van Riet tabled A♥9♦ and took the pot as the Greek folded, to drop to a little more than 750,000 chips. -- MC

8.40pm: Armpatsis sniffs out a double
Evangelos Armpatsis has doubled up again, this time through Carlos Lopez up to 240,000 with [a][j] outflopping the Spaniard's [a][k]. That pot takes him back to average. -- RD

8.30pm: Luck be a lady LuckSac tonight
Kevin MacPhee has just sent the final female player to the rail, winning a race with A♣J♠ against Besania Antoni's pocket fours. It all went in pre-flop, with Antoni down to 32,500. An ace spiked on the flop and that was it for Antoni. It's all the boys together again. -- HS

8.20pm: The remarkable rise of Andra Kovacs
Andras Kovacs started this level with 22,000, which was the shortest stack in the room. Half an hour later, he is up to more than 400,000 after a series of remarkable double ups. On the first, he had A♥8♠ against Florian Schleps' 5♣5♥ and hit an eight on the turn.

A little later he had ace-king versus Grudi Grudev's suited queen-jack and won that one too. Kovacs might easily be in the bar by now. Instead he's looking at a deep run into day four. -- HS

8.15pm: Bust was the road taken for Papathanasioy
Ioannis Papathanasioy's double or bust strategy went the way he wasn't hoping. He opened shoved from the cut-off for about 70,000 and was quickly called by Panagiotis Koyloykakos in the next seat. The blinds both folded to leave it heads-up and at showdown.

Papathanasioy: 7♥5♥
Koyloykakos: 8♦8♥

The board ran A♠A♦Q♣7♣5♣.

"I'm made three-pair," said Papathanasioy jokingly, knowing that he wasn't good. -- MC

8pm: The fall and rise of Papathanasioy
Ioannis Papathanasioy had been up challenging for the chip lead, but fate has transpired against him following that big hand against Rupert Elder. His stack had fallen down to 100,000 when he re-shoved over Julian Herold's 62,000 all-in. Herold held sixes to Papathanasioy's pocket fives leaving him with just 29,000.

Somehow he's managed to get himself back up to 70,000 after two unanswered shoves and, somewhat unbelievably, a walk in the big blind. He's still short so a double or bust has to be in the offing. -- RD

7.45pm: End of the road for Vamplew
Our contingent of former EPT champions in the mix is down to two after David Vamplew lost back-to-back big pots, the latter constituting a final nail in the coffin for the young Scot.

First up, he lost a monster to Vasileios Chantzaras in a hand that I saw only from the turn. There was about 85,000 in the pot at that stage and 5♣Q♦K♥[10c] on the table. Vamplew, who would have been in the big blind pre-flop, led for 48,500 and Chantzaras called.

The 5♦ rivered and they both checked. Vamplew showed A♣[10s] but it wasn't good enough to beat Chantzaras's Q♠6♠.

On the very next hand, Vamplew got involved with the chip-leading Charalampos Kapernopoylos, and it was curtains. On the turn this time, with the 8♥9♦[10d]K♦ exposed, Vamplew bet 17,000 and Kapernopoylos called. The river was [10c] and Vamplew shoved for 69,500.

Kapernopoylos agonised over his decision but eventually called and showed K♥3♥. Vamplew knew that his day was done before the cards were even exposed. His A♥J♠ was nought but a missed draw.


Charalampos Kapernopoylos, chip leader

Kapernopoylos now has close to 800,000 and is going to make us write his name many more times this week by the looks of things. -- HS

7.30pm: Check-raise fail for Vamplew
David Vamplew is down to 215,000 chips after a battle with Johnny Lodden's friend Charalampos Kapernopoylos.

The two were heads-up to a Q♥7♣2♦ flop and a little less than 60,000 chips had made it into the middle. Vamplew checked from under the gun to face a 30,000 bet that he raised up to 78,000. Kapernopoylos reacted like the raise hurt him, but he called anyway.

The turn came 8♦ and both players checked to the 9♥ river. Vamplew checked once more and faced a 100,000 bet from the Greek. Vamplew shrugged and let his hand go. -- MC

7.15pm: No hit for Heseding as Tamaras doubles
Ioannis Tamaras thought Hauke Heseding was it when he squeezed from the small blind from 15,000 up to 45,000. He wasn't and quickly called by Tamaras shoved for 112,000.

Tamaras: A♣Q♦
Heseding: A♥K♠

The board ran out 3♥2♦3♣Q♠J♠ to bash Heseding down to 190,000 and boost Tamaras to 230,000. -- RD

7.10pm: Change of plan
The plan for the rest of the day is that we'll play the end of level 17 (about 10 minutes), take a 10-minute break, then return to play the whole of level 18. Play will then stop for the day regardless of how many players are remaining, and we'll get from there to a final table of eight tomorrow. -- HS

7pm: Run for the hills
As always, play loosened up dramatically in the period immediately after the bursting of the bubble. Marco Leonzio was the first to bust, our lone Italian losing to Tobias Garp, who has more than 500,000 chips now. Leonzio has €6,600 in real money for his 48th place finish.

Next out was Rasmus Larsen, and then Yosef Kashi. Kashi was cursing his luck after he had kings cracked by queens. He opened to 10,000 and then Fahredin Mustafov shoved for something like 100,000. Kashi called and flipped K♥K♦, which was way ahead of Mustafov's Q♥Q♦.

But the board ran 3♣5♣2♥Q♣5♦ and that meant the players were left to count their stacks precisely to see who covered whom. It turned out to be incredibly close - there was 1,000 in it - and that was how many Kashi had left.

Half of that was the ante on the next hand, but miraculously he managed to win the hand, multiplying his stack by more than a factor of four. But he was in the big blind the next hand and forced to call Jason Wheeler's shove with K♣7♦. Wheeler only had J♠[10h] but said: "This is the magic hand," referring to the moment he doubled up on the bubble.

Sure enough it worked again for him as the flop came J♦8♥2♦A♣Q♥. Kashi is out. -- HS

6.55pm: Roman finds the straight road to bubbleville
There always one soul crushed at every EPT and this time it was Roman Makhlin. The Russian PokerStars qualifier moved all-in for 18,500 from under the gun and then got up out of his chair and ran down to the other side of the room. By the time he came back to his seat Christopher Lastiwka had three-bet all-in from the button.


Bubble crush. Makhlin is in grey tracksuit top

The blinds folded to leave the hand heads-up and at showdown.

Makhlin: K♠K♣
Lastiwka: A♠K♥

The board ran A♣3♣Q♦9♥J♠. It was a terrible flop for Makhlin as it left him with one out in the deck to hit. It didn't come and all the remaining players celebrated their minimum cash of €6,600. -- MC


Another view of the bubble

6.40pm: Wheeler catches, bubble continues
Jason Wheeler shoved J♦T♣ for his last 24,000 and was called by Evangelos Armpatsis with A♦J♠. Wheeler was not in great shape but a 6♠9♦T♦5♣T♠ board saw him double up. -- RD


Jason Wheeler doubles up

6.35pm: Huge hand as Elder shoves the river
Big hand on the bubble. Rupert Elder opened under-the-gun for 10,000 and was called by Jude Ainsworth before Ioannis Papathanasioy three-bet to 33,500. Elder four-bet to 78,500. Ainsworth passed, Papathanasioy called.

Elder led 65,000 into the J♥7♥6♠ flop. Call. Both players checked the 3♣ turn. The Q♣ river was a big card for Elder, or so he claimed: all-in for 288,000. Papathanasioy tank-folded to leave himself with 300,000. Elder up to 580,000. -- RD

6.15pm: The bubble goes on
It must've been a nervy 20 minutes for the players on break as not one of them are secured a payday yet. The players are back in their seats and hand-for-hand will continue until we have 48 happy players remaining. There are a few short stacks spread around the room, so we're hoping it won't take too long.

Once the bubble has burst we will continue to play until 24 players remain. -- MC


The players are edging ever closer to winning these two beauties

PokerStars Blog reporters and our Greek footballer alter-egos: Rick "Traianos Dellas" Dacey, Marc "Thomas Mavros" Convey and Howard "Vassilis Hatzipanagis" Swains.

Marc Convey
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour