EPT Madrid: Day 1A, level 7, 8 & 9 updates (blinds 500-1,000, 100 ante)

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11.20pm: Greenstein falls in last five hands
The tournament director stopped the clock and last five hands were played out. Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein failed to make it and busted before play finished. David Sonelin didn't have that sort of worry and seemed to finish as chip leader with 275,900. The official overnight chip counts will confirm that and the wrap of today's play will be up shortly. -- MC

11.03pm: Dutch courage
It's another good pot for everyone's favourite female poker playing former international hockey star, Fatima Moreira de Melo. Getting queens in against A♠[a6] is a great situation but you're hardly high dry. Nevertheless Moreira de Melo faded all the remaining aces to chip up to 70,000.

There's 15 minutes of play left so expect some radio silence as we go to check on the chips and bag the chip leader. -- RD

10.59pm: Last level bust outs
Two players not making it through the last level are Rupert Elder and Jude Ainsworth.

The Team PokerStars Pro just Tweeted: "Busted ran qq into aa."

The EPT San Remo Champion did likewise with: "busted qj<42 on j4x4." -- MC

10.55pm: Big stacks and sullen faces
While some players have built big stacks and are looking more than a little pleased with themselves there is a corner of one table that looks decidedly unhappy. Arnaud Mattern and Lex Veldhuis are sat side by side nursing decidedly poorly stacks of 20,000 and 10,000. Mattern looks particularly forlorn, as if he's been told he's grounded for three weeks and has to go to bed with no pudding. -- RD


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Mattern and Veldhuis looking thrilled with life


10.50pm: Lewis swings low, again
EPT Vilamoura champion Toby Lewis has had a very swingy day. He explained to us in the break that his stack was down to 12,000 then up to 130,000 before dropping down to 35,000 and back up to 70,000. We suggested that a consolidating last level might be the way forward but he dismissed the notion.

His stack has since dropped back down again. He said that an opponent peeled out of position and hit trips on the turn to beat his top pair. Lets see which direction his current 35,000 stack will go before the night's out. -- MC

10.35pm: Lyall finds the green
Dean Lyall is up to 150,000 after racing well against PokerStars qualifier Max Greenwood. Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree opened the pot with a raise to 3,000 from the hijack before Lyall three-bet from the button and the Canadian moved all-in for 23,000 from the small blind. Boeree tank-folded but Lyall made the call.

Lyall: J♠J♣
Greenwood: A♠K♠

Boeree let out a little yelp in delight as she folded ace-queen but she soon replaced it with a little moan when the board ran Q♦2♠6♥9♣5♠. Lyall was all smiles though as a good day's work is almost in the bag. -- MC

10.20pm: Bits and pieces
Barry Greenstein got it in with ace-king to kings and failed to catch. The bearded pro is down 25,000.

EPT London winner David Vamplew managed to win the chip race at the break to return exactly to his 30,000 starting stack.

Rupert Elder's swings have continued and he's down to 21,000.

Team PokerStars Pro Lex Veldhuis has dragged himself back up to 19,000 after getting it in with aces against big slick. -- RD


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Barry Greenstein


LEVEL UP: BLINDS 500-1,000, ante 100


10.05pm: Gomes grows as the break arrives
At the far end of the tournament room Alex Gomes sits a few seats around from fellow Team Pro Liv Boeree, but they have enjoyed very different tournament fortunes. While Boeree got off to a flier quickly chipping up to 70,000 while Gomes had slipped down to 10,000 very early on. Since then it's been quite the reversal, Boeree has slipped to around 40,000 while Gomes has chipped up to 120,000. At the same table Scotsman Dean Lyall has some 90,000 in front of him. Both Gomes and Lyall have the capacity for big moves.

That's a 15-minute break, one more level to play. -- RD

9.55pm: Selbst can concentrate of her exams, now
Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Selbst is juggling her poker schedule with college exams this week. She'll be hugely disappointed that she's out of the Grand Final but also somewhat relieved (I assume) that she is free to ace her exams.

Her exit hand involved her check-raising on an A♠9♦6♥ flop. Her opponent called her with K♦2♦ and hit a back-door flush through the T♦6♦ turn and river. She held ace-nine and that was that. -- MC

9.50pm: Cainelli is able
Luca Cainelli opened for 2,025 in early position. Cainelli is usually the kind of player you only notice is still in the tournament when we're into the money, but here he is as clear as day, in the gloom of the tournament room.

The Italian found callers in Nasr El Nasr in middle position and Nick Mitchell in the big blind for a flop of 2♠J♣5♠.

Mitchell checked to Cainelli who bet another 3,125, forcing out El Nasr. But Mitchell called for a 3♦ which went checked. On the Q♥ river card Cainelli fired another 7,400 into the middle. Mitchell called, but was on to a loser, mucking his cards when Cainelli showed K♣Q♣.

Cainelli up to 73,000. - SB

9.46pm: Veldhuis crippled
Lex Veldhuis just missed out on a 100,000 pot and is left with just 8,000 for ten big blinds. Veldhuis had called a raise with A♥J♥ and had three-bet shoved all-in on the [5][6][7] flop with the nut flush draw. His opponent held [8][9] and Veldhuis failed to catch the a heart. -- RD

9.42pm: Chatty table nine
Table number nine seems to be the funniest table in the room right now as there's lots of banter, bravado and bluffs occurring. The two men at the centre of it all are Team PokerStars Pro Leo Fernadez and Bryn Kenney.

Very soon after the 9.29pm hand Kenney said he folded ace-ten but Fernandez didn't believe him. "I don't think you're spazzing around with jack-seven off," said the American. "You'll soon enough donk off your 25,000 stack to me though," he continued.

Last year's finalist Andrew Chen was sat in his chair, in hysterics at the banter. While this banter was ensuing Kenney was involved in another hand after he three-bet his neighbour's 2,025 raise up to 4,300.

The call was made to the T♥J♣J♥ flop where Kenney's 8,400 c-bet was check-raised up to 60,000. Kenney folded so he could concentrate on his conversation with Fernandez and was shown A♣Q♦ by his neighbour who burst out laughing. Let the games continue. -- MC

9.37pm: Ainsworth left short
Team PokerStars Pro Jude Ainsworth is down to 20,000 after firing a big bluff into Janosch Seifert on the river of a 9♠K♣3♥2♣A♠ boar. Seifert tanked after Ainsworth pushed a large 15,000 bet into the middle but eventually called.

"Threes," said Ainsworth, very optimistically.

Seifert flicked over a set of nines. -- RD


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No good making puppy eyes, Jude, we can't give you more chips


9.29pm: Big stack Kenney grants Fernandez a stay of execution
Bryn Kenney opened from late position and was shoved on by a short stacked Leo Fernandez from the big blind. Kenney sat deep in thought, leaning back to rub his chin as if performing in an amateur dramatic performance entitled 'Man thinks at poker table.'

Kenney passed his hand before the pair embarked on the obligatory cat and mouse game of 'what did you have?' and an ensuing brief conflab about shoving and calling ranges.

Fernandez is bound to get called soon. -- RD

9.20pm: Variance of an aggressive game
Earlier on we reported how Michael Tureniec was one of the first players past the 100,000 mark. The Swede's game in based on extreme and well timed aggression pre-flop and with that comes high variance. His stack has since dwindled down to a little more than his starting stack. We just witnessed a hand, in his style, that had helped him get going back in the right direction.

There was a raise to 1,700 from early position that was called on the button and the small blind. Tureniec was in the big blind and three-bet to 6,800. One-by-one his opponents folded with a look on their faces that suggested they were suspicious of what the Swede was up to but none of them had the inclination to put him to the test. That pot helped him up to 39,000. -- MC

9.10pm: Cohen builds another big stack
Lucien Cohen is up to around 130,000. it's difficult to tell exactly how much given his messy stack. Mike 'Timex' McDonald's seat, just to the right of Cohen, is suspiciously vacant. He's one of the many players we've lost today. We started with 302, we're down to 187. -- RD

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 400-800, ante 75


9pm: The journey's been worth it for Bari, this time
Around this time last year a certain ash cloud caused havoc for those traveling to EPT San Remo. One of those who struggled to make it for Day 1B was Allen Bari. He sat in a minivan for more than 20 hours with Barry Greenstein and Jason Mercier and was only able to take his seat a few levels into the day.

Bari just informed the blog that his journey here this year was just as tortuous. He journeyed through overnight cancellations, delays in take-off, delays disembarking, etc. But while San Remo didn't work out for him, so far, Madrid is working out very well.

We wrote about him paying off Johan van Til earlier but he has since knocked out the Dutchman and also knocked out another player in a 70,000 chip pot. "The kid", as Bari described him, had ace-king versus his pocket tens and failed to hit. Bari is sitting on a 150,000 chip stack as we write. -- MC

8.52pm: Elder stacks Dwan
Just four days ago Rupert Elder won EPT San Remo for €930,000 and now he's just knocked out Tom 'durrrr' Dwan. Can life get any better for the young Brit? He could be the first player to win two EPTs by taking this tournament down and then win the Champion of Champions directly after, I suppose. The first two will have to suffice for the moment.

I caught up with Elder to find out what happened: "I doubled through him twice and then busted him." Which must be nice.

The coup de grace took place when Dwan opened and was flatted by Elder with king-queen on the button. Dwan fired into the [k][q][7] flop, Elder called before the high stakes pro jammed the 9♠ turn. Elder made the call with his top two-pair. Dwan showed ace-king and failed to catch an ace. Elder is now up to 70,000. -- RD

8.45pm: Eiler scales Kastle
Michael Eiler just won a pot from Casey Kastle to move up to 56,000.

Eiler opened from the small blind before Kastle raised to 2,600 from the big blind. Eiler called for a flop of 8♣5♦6♦, which both checked for a A♦ turn. Eiler checked-called Kastle's bet of 3,000 for a T♣ river card. Eiler checked to Kastle once more, then called the his bet of 10,000 after a minute's thought. Kastle mucked immediately. - SB

8.40pm: Maceiras up
Juan Maceiras just pushed Tobias Reinkemeir out of a hand. The German had opened for 1,500 under-the-gun which Maceiras rasied to 5,000 in the seat next to him, good enough to take the pot. The Spaniard is now up to 70,000. - SB

8.35pm: Where did they come from?
All of a sudden there's a crowd on the rail encircling the entire playing field. It can only mean that the side event is on break. Or, people are cottoning on to how strong this field is, with most tables featuring champions of one kind or antoher, often more.

Bryn Kenney and Alberto Del Olmo Ortiz just contested a pot, Kenney opening for 1,400 in early position and Ortiz calling in the seat next to him. The flop came 9♣2♥K♣ which Kenney bet at, 1,800 in total, which Ortiz called, Kenney looking at him as he did so.

The turn came J♥ which both players checked for a 7♥ river. Check-check again, Kenney showing T♠T♣ to Ortiz's match winning Q♠Q♦. - SB

8.33pm: Sorry Fabrice
Fabrice Soulier asked me not to post the following but seeing as no money passed hands, I will carry out my duty.

The Frenchman got lucky to chop a pot with Team PokerStars Online's Luca Moschitta. When I reached the table, Moschitta had just four-bet to 8,950 to see Soulier five-bet to 15,000. Moschitta gave it some thought and moved in for about 35,000. Soulier had too must invested in the middle and called.

Soulier: A♥T♣
Moschitta: A♣K♦

The French pro was in bas shape abut the all spade 3♠5♠6♠K♠A♠ board saved him. Moschitta thought he had won the hand but soon realised it was a chop.

The very next hand Soulier raised from the cut-off and called when Bjorn Verbakal three-bet from the big blind. The flop came J♠8♦9♦ and Verbakal's 5,400 c-bet was called by Soulier. Both players checked the 6♥ turn before the Dutch player check-folded to a 5,200 bet on the 3♣ river. Soulier flashed the 4♠ and mucked. He's on about 45,000 chips after those differing hands. -- MC

8.20pm: Elder and Anestis battle, Dwan disappoints
Pantazidis Anestis opened the pot to 1,400 and was called by Tom Dwan in middle position and Rupert Elder in the big blind. The rail inched closer and the reporters lifted their pens with intent. Anestis bet out 2,400 into the T♥9♣Q♦ flop and Dwan passed. The rail took a step back, deflated, and half the media personnel around the table suddenly found something more interesting to do.

In the meantime Elder made the call before the rest of the Q♣2♥ board was checked down. Anestis showed J♠T♠ for two pair and Elder mucked his hand with the frustrated look of a recent champion with a look that seemed to say: "This isn't how it's supposed to go." -- RD

8.10pm: Chip leader?
With three levels left of the day David Sonelin seems to be our chip leader with a 140,000. When Lukasz Robert Roczniak limped in from the button, Sonelin raised to 2,225 from the small blind. The Pole had been told and folded. -- MC

8pm: Cards in the air
We're back from the dinner break. We play three more levels today before bagging up, with blinds now 300-600 with a 50 ante. -- SB

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Defending champion Nicolas Chouity

PokerStars Blog reporting team in Madrid (in order of fear that his Kentucky Derby picks will make him look stupid in front of people): Stephen Bartley (Has everything on the line), Rick Dacey (doing the same, but free of all responsibility) and Marc Convey (In defeat, will lead the calls for retribution).