EPT Loutraki: Day 4, level 19 & 20 updates (5,000-10,000, 1,000)


3.01pm: Break
We're going on break. Join us in a new post in around 20 minutes.

3pm: Torrid time for Tamaras
Ioannis Tamaras loves a small pair, but they don't seem to love him. Twice in just a few hands he doubled up opponents with little pockets to big pairs to cleave his stack down to 300,000 to mark a down-swing of 465,000.

Sergey Serafimov was the first beneficiary getting his 176,000 in with K♠K♥ against Tamaras' 6♠6♥. Shortly after Mario Puccini was the player doubling up, this time for a more significant 290,000 with A♦A♥ through 5♦5♠. Puccini is now a serious threat with 580,000. -- RD

2.50pm: This is modern poker
David Elyashar and Florian Schleps are two of relatively few "proper" poker players left, ie, those who seem to have played anything like this kind of competition before. And you can tell. Elyashar just five-bet shoved eight-high and shipped half his stack in Schleps' direction, who picked him off with pocket queens.

There's a certain amount of uncertainty about how this precisely went down, but Rupert Elder was watching closely. It was folded to Elyashar in the small blind, and he made it up. Schleps wanted to play for more, though, and raised to 30,000. Elyashar then suddenly made it 70,000, Schleps made it 135,000 and Elyashar shoved for close to a million, which covered Schleps.

The hands? Well, what do you think? Schelps had Q♠Q♣ and Elyashar had 8♠5♣ of course.

The board ran completely dry and the overpair held up. Schleps now has close to 900,000 and Elyashar about half that. -- HS

2.45pm: Kapernopoulos's aces cracked
Charalampos Kapernopoulos somehow managed just to call in the big blind with aces after the button had raised. It was a good job too as the following will explain.

Hauke Heseding was the player on the button and he raised to 20,000. Kapernopoulos peeled to see a 9♠T♣5♣ flop where he check-raised his opponent's 25,000 c-bet up to 50,000. Heseding three-bet up to 125,000 and the Greek called quickly.

The turn brought the 4♣ and this scared both players into checking to the Q♠ river. Kapernopoulos checked again and made another quick call when Heseding bet 100,000. He called with A♠A♥ and lost out to the German who had flopped top set with T♥T♦. How did the pot stay so small? Kapernopoulos still has just over a million chips and the German player is up more than 800,000 now. -- MC

2.32pm: Heseding sends Petleshkov to the rail
Hauke Heseding is up to 550,000 after knocking out Viliyan Petleshkov. The German had bet 31,000 into a [h]7♠9♠ flop and Petleshkov opted for the check-raise all-in line putting his 207,000 stack across the line.

Heseding slowly made the call and asked: "Have you got a set?" before turning over his hand. That was enough information for Petleshkov to know he was in real trouble and he turned over his A♣J♠ with a grimace. Heseding's A♦Q♦ was way out in front. The turn and river blanked out to see the Bulgarian online qualifier to the rail for a healthy €8,700 return. The young German appears to be solid, a final table berth looks increasingly likely. -- RD

2.25pm: Chantzaras has Big Game
Big double up this for the host of the Big Game. Vasileios Chantzaras is now closing in on 500,000 after winning a huge race against Pim van Riet. Zimnan Ziyard opened for 22,000 from mid-position and Chantzaras shoved for 226,000 from the cut off. Van Riet re-shoved from the big blind for his entire 500,000-odd stack, but Van Riet wasn't having any of that.

So it was the two of them and they were racing. Chantzaras had A♠Q♥, Van Riet had J♠J♦ and the board favoured the overcards. It came 2♠Q♣8♠6♣3♥ and Chantzaras earned a high five from his rail. -- HS

2.20pm: Elder cracks Schleps
Rupert Elder has doubled through Florian Schleps after cracking the Austrian's pocket queens with pocket jacks all-in pre-flop. That action comes straight from the mouth of photographer Neil Stoddart in its usual fact-lite format. Elder, the only player keeping the EPT double winner dream alive, is up to around 500,000. -- RD

loutraki_day 4_rupert elder.jpg

Rupert Elder

2.10pm; The good Doctor has some game
Charalampos Kapernopoulos has extended his chip lead even further and crippled Jose Maria Felices in the process.

Kapernopoulos raised to 25,000 from under-the-gun and was called in two spots en route to a A♥7♠A♦ flop. He continued for 40,000 and Felices was the only caller from the button. The turn came J♥ and Kapernopoulos fired again, for 40,000. Quick call. The river came 9♥ and Kapernopoulos "emptied the clip" with a 70,000 bet.

Felices quickly separated 180,000 from his stack (84,000 back) and slid them over the line. The Greek went into the tank and asked his opponent, "Do you have full house?"

"No speak," was the short precise reply from the Spaniard.

Kapernopoulos made the call and Felices tapped the table and nodded in acknowledgment of a good play before he tabled K♥Q♠ for air. Kapernopoulos flipped up 4♥5♥ for a flush. -- MC

1.55pm: Poziopoulos somehow still in
Theofanis Poziopoulos is hanging on in with just 35,000 after making a big call with pocket jacks on a queen-high board that also had a flush and a four-straight on. Pim van Riet had all but set him and despite all of that Poziopoulos made the call leaving himself with fumes.

Poziopoulos then started stalling with a pay jump in view. Georgios Grigoropoulos had opened from early position and Poziopoulos sat staring at the clock until Koen De Visscher called clock on him. That one seemed understandable. The next one appeared to be a more obvious stall.

Grigoropoulos opened under-the-gun to 22,000 and was three-bet by Zimnan Ziyard in the next seat along to 42,000. Poziopoylos sat and waited. And waited some more. There really aren't many hands that you're going to call all-in with after that early action and the Greek didn't seem interested. He eventually passed.

Panagiotis Koyloykakos made the call in the small blind and check-folded A♦J♣ face up to Ziyard's 55,000 c-bet on a 5♠8♣9♠ flop.

"Bluffing?" asked Koyloykakos.

There would have been a way to find out. Thanks to the knockout of Evangelos Armpatsis in 25th we have broken through another pay barrier. -- RD

1.45pm: Hit me
Evangelos Armpatsis is out, the latest victim of blackjack whizz Ioannis Taramas. This was three, four, five bet pre-flop and Armpatsis's jacks lost to Taramas's Q♥Q♠ on a dry board. -- HS


Evangelos Armpatsis

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 5,000-10,000, 1,000

1.25pm: Break
First break of the day. Chip counts to come.

1.24pm: Too early to use the one time chip?
Pierre Mothes just got his last 160,000 chips in with 5♣5♦ and was called by Andras Kovacs with A♠K♥. The German PokerStars qualifier saw he was in a flip and decided to use his one time chip.

Mothes: 5♣5♦
Kovacs: A♠K♥

The board ran T♥3♣8♥4♥6♦ to safely see the fives hold.

Frederic Hebette was at the table and piped up, "You shouldn't have used your one time chip now; it's too early and you're flipping. Much better to wait until you're 20-80." -- MC

1.20pm: Petleshkov likes to play
Viliyan Petleshkov seems a self-assured player or maybe he's just happy with his table. The Bulgarian is playing plenty of pots, often with the chip leader Charalampos Kapernopoulos.

"You call me every time," said Kapernopoulos, after Petleshkov defended his big blind yet again.

"I like to play," Petleshkov replied.

Petleshkov checked the T♠K♣6♣ flop and asked: "You like?"

"I like," said Kapernopoulos and bet 25,000.

"I'd like to see the turn," said the Bulgarian as he made the call.

All quiet as the table was tapped twice on the 2♥ turn. Petleshkov bet 50,000 into the pot on the Q♥ and took the pot. -- RD

1.16pm: Zavorotnijs up against it
Vitalijs Zavorotnijs has trebled up to 50,000. That's the good news. Unfortunately for the Lithuanian online qualifier the bad news had come when he called a cold four-bet all-in shove from Florian Schleps with pocket tens. Schleps held jacks and his hand held to win the 600,000 pot.

That had left Zavorotnijs with just 14,000 which he then shipped in with A♠9♥ and hit the nut flush. Another couple of double ups would mark an incredible comeback. -- RD

1.10pm: De Visscher de Winner
One of two Belgian players remaining, Koen de Visscher, just took on two of the many Greeks - and won.

Panagiotis Kouloukakos opened to 17,000 from under the gun and Theofanis Poziopoulos three bet from the small blind. Koen De Visscher moved all in from the big blind and only Poziopoulos called.

Poziopoulos: A♥J♥
De Visscher: 5♥5♠

It was a standard race and the board ran 8♠Q♥2♦K♦9♣, giving the win to the Belgian. He had 148,500 before the hand, and has a little more than double that now. -- HS

1pm: Out!
Hauke Heseding opened from the cut off, making it 16,000 to go. Andreas Pournaras barely thought for a moment before moving all in to his left, about 120,000. Heseding didn't leave him hanging very long and insta-called.

Heseding: Q♦Q♥
Pournaras: 6♥6♠

The board came 3♦[10c]9♥2♠Q♠ and that was the end of Pournaras. Heseding moves up among the leaders. He's German, wouldn't you know. -- HS

12.55pm: Taramas takes out Yazbeck
Georges Yazbeck found jacks in a great spot but the hand didn't end how he wanted it to. Ioannis Taramas raised from the button and then four-bet shoved when Yazbeck three-bet to commit himself from the big blind. Call.

Taramas: K♣Q♠
Yazbeck: J♥J♦

The board ran Q♣9♣9♠2♣3♠ to pair the local(ish) man's queen. -- MC

12.53pm: Elder slips up
Rupert Elder has taken a knock after he four-bet into Fahredin Mustafov who was sat in waiting with pocket aces.

Elder raised to 16,000 from the hijack before Mustafov three bet to 36,000 (115,000 back) from the cut-off. The big blind though about doing something but folded to put the action back on our only remaining EPT champion. He studied his opponent for half a minute and then made his move. Not surprisingly Mustafov snap called.

Elder: K♠Q♦
Mustafov: A♠A♥

The board ran 9♣3♠K♦2♠5♦. The Bulgarian had a sweat post flop but managed to hold. Elder is down to 370,000 now. -- MC

12.45pm: Big fold from Kapernopoulos
Charalampos Kapernopoulos has just folded middle pair - which, for him, represents a major laydown. Perhaps we've misjudged him.

In this pot, he raised to 16,000 from the cut off and Viliyan Petleshkov called from the big blind. the flop came 6♠3♥Q♦ and after Petleshkov checked, Kapernopoulos bet 16,000. (It's a common move of his to repeat his pre-flop raise when the community cards are out.) But Petleshkov now opted to check-raise, making it 46,000.

Kapernopoulos asked for a count, and learned that his Bulgarian opponent had 120,500 behind. He clearly seemed tempted to call, but suddenly open-folded the 6♥. Petleshkov triumphantly showed his A♠4♥ for air.

That is a red rag to the Terminator. -- HS

12.40pm: Judet on the move
Although Jude Ainsworth may have perished, Team PokerStars Pro's chances just took a boost. The last player left in the livery, Toni Judet, has knocked out his countryman Robert Cezarescu. Judet had [10s][10d] to Cezarescu's 3♥3♣. It all went in pre-flop and the bigger pair held. -- HS

12.38pm: Ainsworth out in 33rd (€7,000)
Jude Ainsworth has gone. The Irish pro had around 180,000 when he ran his Jacks into David Elyashar's pocket queens and no outdraw took place. Elyashar is up to 670,000. A lot of players falling in this level but with around quarter of the field starting the level with some 20 big blinds or less it was always going to be a brutal start to the day. -- RD

12.36pm: Ainsworth before the fall
It's spring and your whole life is in front of you, Jude. Little does he know that tournament death was lingering just around the corner.

12.35pm: Garp gutted
Tobias Garp had been left short - and shaking his head - after clashing with Charalampos Kapernopoylos. His last gasp shove was with a playable J♥Q♠ which caught top pair but was flattened by Evangelos Armpatsis' flopped set. -- RD

12.30pm: The Terminator
Charalampos Kapernopoulos already has enough letters in his names, but he's just given himself a nickname: "The Terminator". It's certainly appropriate. He has now taken a huge slice out of Tobias Garp, leaving the young Swede with only about 35,000 chips.

There was plenty in the pot and the following four cards exposed: 6♦4♦4♣3♥. Kapernopoulos bet 40,000 and Garp called.


Charalampos Kapernopoulos

The river was 2♥ and Kapernopoulos now bet 60,000. Garp, with less than 100,000 in his stack, called that bet too and was immediately shown Kapernopoulos's 5♣7♣ for the turned straight. Garp shook his head ruefully as Kapernopoulos pumped his fist and said: "Ter-min-a-tor."

If it continues like this, we'll be done before the level is out. -- HS

12.28pm: Another double elimination, almost
There was a three-way all-in on table number four and we were a river away from a double-up elimination. We're not sure how the action unfolded but all the chips went on pre-flop.

Dimitris Mpinas: Q♠Q♥
Jose Maria Felices: 7♣7♦
Julian Herold: 8♦8♥

Mpinas had around 350,000 chips and the other two had around 100,000. The board ran A♥2♠3♣9♠7♠ to make a set for the Spaniard on the river. He yelled in delight and retook his seat that he had vacated in anticipation. No such luck for Herold who departed in 35th place. -- MC

12.20pm: Lopez out in 36th (€7,000)
Carlos Lopez must have thought he was home and dry when he hit trips with A♣8♦ on a 8♥Q♥8♠ flop. The Spaniard had got his last 80,000 in against chip leader Charalampos Kapernopoylos' pocket fours. Turn: 3♣. River: 4♣.

Kapernopoylos stood up and clenched his fists as if it was a flip for his tournament life (as opposed to less than 15% of his stack). Lopez loped off to the cash desk as the tournament director stepped in to advise Kapernopoylos on how to stack his chips - they're wonkier than tombstone teeth at the moment. The doctor is close to one million. -- RD

12.10pm: Two down
No more than ten minutes played and two players have departed already. Both were relative short stacks and got them in early; neither could win.

First up, Vasileios Chantzaras opened to 16,500 from under the gun and one seat to his left Christopher Lastiwka moved all in, for his 150,000. Chantzaras took a moment to think about his decision but called and was well ahead.

Chantzaras: J♣J♠
Lastiwka: 9♠9♥

The board bricked and Lastiwka departed in 38th place. His assassin, Chantzaras, is actually quite a familiar face in Greek poker circles. He is the host of the Greek version of The Big Game, airing on Alpha TV, and has also been doing the commentary for EPT Seasons 4-6 on the Antenna channel.


Vasileios Chantzaras: the Greek Joe Stapleton

That makes him the Greek Joe Stapleton. Poor man. (Love you Joe.)

Just as Lastiwka was departing, Stelios Drosos was following him out the door. He was involved in a more standard flip, with A♦K♣ versus Matthias Kurtz's Q♣Q♠. That board also bricked and Drosos was done. -- HS

11.45am: Seat draw
Check out our seat draw and you can see how the players line up with chip stacks and position. One table springs out, table 2. It's got the last remaining former champ, Rupert Elder, as well as Team PokerStars Pros Jude Ainsworth and Toni Judet.

1 Rupert Elder 497,500
2 Fahredin Mustafov 161,500
3 Robert Cezarescu 180,000
4 Jude Ainsworth 233,000
5 Toni Judet 255,000
6 David Elyashar 503,500
7 Florian Schleps 237,500

You can see the Day 4 seat draw in all its glory by clicking on the link. -- RD

11.40am: Racing to the final
There are 38 players remaining at EPT Loutraki, but there are only eight seats around the final table. Today's task is to consign 30 of them to the scrap-heap and leave us with that blessed octet.

Yesterday the big name of Charalampos Kapernopoylos rose to the top of the leader board, but when they return today, the likes of Toni Judet, Jude Ainsworth and Rupert Elder will be looking to hunt him down.

The problem for those three is that they're all on the same table. Take a look at the seat draw to see how they will all line up today.

It could be a long one as we head into the deep money. Check out what they're all playing for on the payouts page. And follow the chip fluctuations on the chip-count page.


PokerStars Blog's greecy trio: ∏arc CΩnv∑y, ¶ick D∆c∃y and H∆w∀rd SwÆins. Photographs by Ne¶l St Ωdd∀rt.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour