EPT Madrid: Day 1A, level 3 & 4 updates (blinds 150-300)

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4.33pm: End of level
That's the end of the fourth level of the day and we go to a 15-minute break. -- RD

4.30pm: The Cada-Dwan rail
You don't often get a rail so early on in a tournament but, perhaps a little unsurprisingly, there is a small one watching the Joe Cada-Tom Dwan dynamic. So who is on the rail? There's two Spanish guys that appear to be part of the Brian May appreciation club, a slightly disinterested girlfriend (my assumption) and a confused looking Keir MacKay, staff writer for UK poker mag PokerPlayer. -- RD


4.27pm: News in (extreme) brief
Richard Toth is out.

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Richard Toth - out

4.25pm: Tripling up
Vitaly Lunkin just tripled up on a board of 3♣9♣5♠K♠8♣. He got his stack of 5,975 into the middle, getting calls from players with J♥J♣ and A♦6♦. The score takes Lunkin up to around 20,000 as we approach the break. - SB

4.15pm: The line of defence
On a flop of K♠5♠Q♥, and with 6,000 chips in the middle, Nicolas Chouity, who is technically defending his title today, albeit in Madrid not Monte Carlo, bet 3,500. Tobias Reinkemeier then went to his chips and after some elaborate re-arranging raised to 11,500.

Chouity riffled for a while, before checking his cards again. He paused, and thought some more, looking a little like a kid would while doing the same, looking up at the ceiling and mouthing numbers. But it was no good. He took a last look, then folded, grinning and showing K♦.

Reinkemeier showed nothing. - SB

4.10pm: Close shave
You may remember Casey Kastle's performance in San Remo, a deep run that ended in 83rd place. Back then he'd kept a "to-do" list in front of him, which he occasionally added to. One of the items on that list was "Haircut", and we're seeing the result of that list today. The head shaved Kastle shares a table with Max Silver, Joe Cada and Tom Dwan, who was just involved in a pot.

With about 4,000 in the middle, with the board reading 9♣7♣T♥6♦8♥ Dwan had bet a last 2,500 on the end. Heads-up with him was S8, headphones on, dark glasses, desperate to shut out the world. Eventually, he reluctantly pushed his cards away. - SB

4.05pm: News in brief
Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree is soaring with 76,000 after eliminating Michel Abecassis. It was a cooler again as Boeree had aces to the Frenchman's kings.

Johan van Til is up to around 50,000 after getting a 12,500 river bet paid off by Allen Bari. The board was jack high and contained four diamonds and the Dutchman held A♦A♥ for a flush. Bari is down to 12,500.

Some Team Pro counts: Theo Jorgensen (23,000), Lex Veldhuis (21,000) and Alex Gomes (12,000). -- MC

3.53pm: A flash of silver
The whole 'Would you rather be a big fish in a little pool or a little fish in a big pool?' analogy doesn't really work in poker given nobody wants to be described as a fish, but follow the sentiment if you will.

Max Silver won UKIPT Dublin at the back end of last year before going on to win a £1,500 side event at EPT London. If he's a player looking to make the step up to the big time then this is his moment.

Silver was moved a short while ago to a table on the far left of the tournament floor where he has Casey Kastle, Tom Dwan and Joe Cada in a line directly to his left and WSOP bracelet winner Tomer Berda a few seats to his right. He doesn't seem too overwhelmed as of yet.

Cada opened from early position to 600 (I think) and was three-bet by the button to 1,525. Silver moved over the top to 3,900. Wanting to take a photo of the moment Bernhard Braumandl, now out of the hand in the small blind, raised his iPhone and took a photo of Silver inadvertently flashing a bright light into his face. It didn't seem to matter. Silver raked in the pot, now a little over his starting stack. -- RD

3.40pm: Lights, camera, no action
On a board already showing Q♣J♠9♠A♦5♣, and with 8,000 in the pot already, Jean-Robert Bellande checked to Tobias Reinkemeier who bet 10,000. This put an end to the hand, Bellande shaking his head and folding sharpish.

It was the beginning of the end for Bellande who has a camera team following him around and who was out a few hands later. On a flop of [a][t][7] he moved all-in with [a][k] only to be called by a player with [a][8]. The turn brought the second [8], sending Bellande to the rail.

And, cut. -- SB

3.33pm: News from Twitter land
The latest Tweets have mostly been bad news.

EPT San Remo champion from last week Rupert Elder: "rivered set v flopped flush 10k grrrr".

The news is worse from Dominik Nitsche: "bustooo aa

It's not all bad news from the inter-web land though as Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein informed the world: "Recovered a little to 32k. 107BB". -- MC


LEVEL UP: BLINDS 150-300


3.28pm: Moneymaker jam sours, world champ out
Chris Moneymaker has just busted out to Ignacio Palau. Thanks go to Daniel Weinman who fed me the information after the event.

Moneymaker had opened from early position with kings and had been called by Palau in the big blind. The Argentine check-raised Moneymaker's 1,000 c-bet to 3,000 on a two diamond [t][6][4] flop and the American Team PokerStars Pro made the call. Palau moved 6,000 across the line into the Q♦ turn and Moneymaker jammed his last 10,000 into the middle. Palau looked him up with a set of sixes. Moneymaker didn't have a diamond to go with his overpair and failed to find one of his two outs. I could hear Moneymaker talking about polarized ranges as I walked back to the press room. -- RD

3.23pm: A double-up to cheer her up
Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree is a bit down in the dumps today due to feeling unwell but a recent double-up to over 50,000 should perk her up somewhat.

She was three-way to a 3♠2♠7♥ flop against Michel Abecassis to her right and Kevin Vandersmissen to her left. All three checked to the 8♣ turn where Boeree bet 1,000 before Vandersmissen raised to 3,000. Abecassis folded but Boeree raised to 8,000. The Belgian's answer was to move all-in and Boeree made a quick call all-in for 24,300 with 8♥8♠ for top set. It was a cooler as Vandersmissen had the second top set with 7♦7♠. The river came 5♣ and Vandersmissen dropped to 21,000. -- MC

3.12pm: Had your chips, your chips
A period of inactivity on some players, the atmosphere of caginess emphasised on some tables by low lighting.

Tristan Clemencon becomes the latest players to buy himself a plate of steak and chips and carry it back to his table. He passes the table of Humberto Brenes who just opened a pot for 550. Calling him was Fabian Quoss on the button and Stanislav Cifka in the big blind.

The flop came 7♣T♠4♣ which was checked to Quoss who bet 1,100. Cifka was still keen, and called, but Brenes passed, leaving them to the Q♠ turn card. Both checked that for a A♣ river card. Cifka checked to S9 who bet a last 2,500. Cifka called, Quoss showing 7♦6♦. But the chips would go to Cifka, who turned over Q♥7♥. - SB

3.10pm: Park life
Gloria Balding heads out into Madrid...


3.05pm: Tureniec the terror
EPT Copenhagen winner Michael Tureniec isn't a player that you should mess with lightly as Chris Moneymaker has just found out. The action started with an under-the-gun limper tossing in 200 blind before the action passed around to Chris Moneymaker on the button who raised it up to 600. Tureniec came over the top with a three-bet to 1,900, which was called by both players.

Tureniec fired 3,600 at the 7♦3♣6♦ flop which was, again, called by both players before all three uniformaly checked the A♣ turn car. Tureniec checked again on the 7♠ river, you don't see him doing that very often. The under-the-gun limper casually tossed 5,000 in, as did Moneymaker behind him.

Turniec doesn't like to give up pots easily. In fact, he doesn't like to give up pots at all. He sat for a few moments, craned his neck to see how much the other players had and considered his options. There was a half-second where he angled his hand as if to muck, it looked suspiciously like a fake tell to me, before he announced that he was all-in for 23,875. Both opponents folded and Tureniec chipped up to 50,675. -- RD

2.50pm: Pre-flop aggression pays for Moreira de Melo
Team PokerStars SportsStar Fatima Moreira de Melo is up to 36,000 after a bout of pre-flop aggression. She raised from under-the-gun and the action folded all the way around to David Hofer in the small blind who three-bet to 2,000. The big blind cold called this bet but Moreira de Melo was having none of it and four-bet up to 7,500. Both player tanked but gave her respect and folded. -- MC

2.42pm: Masseurs strike gold
This has to be the best event for the EPT massage girls to attend. A field packed with big name pros, wannabe online grinders and rich businessmen. That trinity provides a rich vein of massaging gold for 'Thee best hands' girls who are already elbow deep in moisturizer.

It does seem a little unnecessary to get massages from such an early juncture but I suppose those up late at night or coming in from the US have particular grounds for a bit of kneading. One such young American is already bragging that he 'sleeps whenever.' I'm sure it was meant to come across as being high roller but instead sounded a little bit as if his parents have just told him that he can choose his own bedtime. -- RD

2.32pm: More from Twitter
Tilting 30 minute journey back to hotel..I led river to get call from T, 33 A hi...maybe check call was better had 15k on river into 10k pot. -- SB

2.30pm: Twitters
JonathanDuhamel: Kid openraise from btn, I 3bet my BB, He 4bet, I 5bet, he shoves I call, we both have AA...I feel this is gonna be a long day lol, 19k still

MikeMacDonald89: Street pokering really hard for the first 2 hours of a live event, 38k.

JPKellyStars: Out of EPT....Just had full house v quads :( maybe could've saved 5-7k had J9 on JT3JT 6 way pot he just called on button pre.. -- SB

2.25pm: Play resumes
We play on, into level 3, with blinds at 100-200. -- SB

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Fatima Moreira de Melo

PokerStars Blog reporting team at EPT Madrid (in order of who can be bothered to belatedly put in the 'in order of'): Rick Dacey (bashing the keys of his laptop now), Stephen Bartley (methodically arranging his picks for the Kentucky Derby) and Marc Convey (playing cricket on his iPhone - it is the break). Photos by Neil Stoddart.