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

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11.25pm: Play ends for the day
Day 1B has come to an end and it's looking like Russian powerhouse Ivan Demidov has taken the lead for Day 1B (not overall though) with 197,800 - but the count is yet to finish. Full wrap and chip count to come. -- RD

11.15pm: The end is nigh
Not long left on the clock now. Frenchman Jean Noel Thorel is making an attempt to take the chip lead with 190,000 but there is a whole host within touching distance; Surinder Sunar, Ivan Demidov and Mayu Rocu are all on around 150,000, as are others. David Sonelin ended Day 1A with 275,900, Day 1B is unlikely to catch him now. -- RD

11.05pm: Ruthenberg gets up from the canvas after a count
You can knock Team PokerStars Pro Sebastian Ruthenberg down but you'll find it hard to knock him out.

He was knocked down to 21,000 by Melanie Weisner after her ace-king got there against his pocket eights in a 125,000-chip pot. He got up from the canvas though and defeated pocket eights (of JC Tran) himself, with king-queen, that made a straight. -- MC

10.55pm: Reynolds making a late surge, Williams did the reverse
Will Reynolds has been under our radar for most of the day but he is having a good end to day that has helped him up to 145,000 chips. He just busted a player in a classic race. His ace-king got there against an opponent's pocket queens.

The same cannot be said for former Grand Final champion Jeff Williams. He lost the last of his chips when he ran pocket queens into an opponent's pocket aces. -- MC

10.45pm: Who wants it? WHO WANTS IT?
I'm currently feeling like doing a Delia Smith. If you haven't heard the name of the queen of British home cooking then let me fill you in. Smith, as well as publishing approximately a gazillion cook books, is the chairperson of Norwich Football Club, the premier club of the Eastern shires. In a somewhat inebriated state a few season ago Smith wandered onto the pitch at half-time and started screaming encouragement down the microphone to get the Norwich fans moving. The result? General mockery and a hellish morning after.

The catalyst is the same however, there doesn't seem to be anyone that wants to win here at the moment. There is a whole bundle of stacks closing in on the 140,000 mark but no-one is racing beyond 200,000 like yesterday. So come on, who wants it?

Not Vanessa Rousso, she's out. -- RD


10.40pm: Hachem all-in and survives
Team PokerStars Joe Hachem is very short and in need of a double-up. He was just all-in versus Ben Vinson but they had the same hand.

There was a 3,000 under-the-gun raise before Hachem three-bet all-in for 8,200 from the next seat. The action folded around all the way around to Vinson in the big blind and he four-bet to 15,500 to isolate and it worked as the original raiser folded. Both tabled ace-queen and chopped the pot after the board was dealt.

"You probably cost me money", said the former World Champ.

"What? I probably saved you money", came the Brits reply.

Vinson was right as the other player confirmed he would have won the hand. -- MC

10.30pm: Keep De Wolfe from the door
You've got to love these moments of poker comedy.

Roland De Wolfe had left to go outside for the break and had in that frivolous poker manner left all his documentation by his chair. This coincided with a switching of door staff who hadn't necessarily got their head around the whole poker thing. Understandably they thought they were well within their job remit to stop a slightly excitable man in a tracksuit from entering the casino. A few PokerStars staff interventions later and he was in. An enjoyable diversion anyway. -- RD

10.20pm: The last level of the day
I caught up with two players in the break, both of whom busted just before the end of level 8.

Alexander Dovzhenko was short stacked but got the last of his chips in with aces versus Kevin Stani's eights and Shander de Vries' ace-king. The board ran a Dutch friendly [q][q][9][k][k] to make De Vries trips. Stani is on bowl patrol now.

Yevgeniyy Timoshenko told me that he lost a big pot with kings to an opponent's ace-king and then three-bet the rest with ace-nine but was called by an opponent holding ace-queen. -- MC

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


10pm: Break it down
The last break of the day is upon us before we play more level. One player who busted before the break was ElkY. He vented his frustration at running so bad on his Facebook page:

"So Sick... Busted of the EPT Grand Final Main Event... UNREAL why can't i never win 2 in a row uh?" -- MC

10pm: Bye Bye Bonavena
Team PokerStars Pro Salvatore Bonavena just finished his EPT Season 7, departing at the hands of German Florian Langmann, who moves close to 100,000.

The chips went in pre-flop, Bonavena pushing with the last of his stack with A♦J♦ against the [a][q] of Langmann. The board ran 2♦2♠7♥Q♦8♣ to send the Italian to the rail. He even apologised to Marc Convey as he passed him in the corridor. Hat tip Salvatore. - SB

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Salvatore Bonavena

9.54pm: Hachem ready to go
Joe Hachem, yes, that world champion from down under, looks ready to depart this main event. He's kneeling upright on his chair with around 10,000 in front of him. It's only 13 big blinds so that double-up or bust mentality will be kicking in pretty soon.

On the upside his brother Tony Hachem was announced as the ANZPT player of the year today for the second year on the bounce. -- RD

9.50pm: Alex Doublechenko
Alex Kravchenko has doubled-up to just less than 50,000 chips after an over-bet shove worked to induce a call from Nemad Medic.

The two were heads-up to an A♥3♣J♥ flop and around 8,000 had made it into the middle, indicating it was a three-bet pre-flop. Kravchenko had 19,275 behind and in they all went. Medic was in the cut-off and gave it some thought before calling.

The Russian tabled A♠3♠ for two-pair, ahead of the Canadian's A♦9♣. The board ran out A♣K♥ to secure the pot for Kravchenko. Medic dropped to 50,000 chips. -- MC

9.36pm: Ramdin to the river
On a flop of 7♥A♣5♥ Victor Ramdin bet 5,000 from the cut off and Ayaz Manji called on the button. The turn came 6♠ which both players checked for a 2♠ river card which Ramdin checked, leaving it to Manji to bet 11,000.

Ramdin tanked for a while, finally relenting and folding his hand. Manji proudly flipped over 6♦6♥ to win the hand. Ramdin saluted him by doing that thing where you touch fists. If that thing has an official name, please reply in the comments box below. - SB

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Victor Ramdin

9.25pm: Joep, Van Den Bijgaart is out
Team PokerStars Pro Joep van den Bijgaart is out after losing a race. He raised to 1,400 and was three-bet to 3,600 by countryman Govert Metaal. This raise was called in one spot before Van den Bijgaart four-bet all-in for 19,000 with ace-king. Metaal folded but the other player called with jacks and they help up. -- MC

9.20pm: Weisner gets maximum value
I arrived on the turn of a 9♥Q♦A♣2♥ board to see Melanie Weisner check-raise Mattias Bergstrom's 5,200 bet up to 12,825. Bergstrom made the call. Weisner counted her remaining chips, she held 32,000. The American pushed forward half of her stack, 16,325, towards Bergstrom and a rail thick with Spaniards. Bergstrom removed his headphones and made the call.

Weisner tabled A♦Q♠ for a winning top two-pair and chips up to nearly 80,000. Bergstrom still healthily stacked with 60,000. -- RD

9.12pm: Johansson's aces take him close to the lead
Christer Johansson is up to 180,000, sending Rino Mathis to the rail in the process.

Mathis opened for 1,500 which Johansson called before another player three-bet to 3,700. Mathis then raised all-in for 26,950 before Johansson five-bet to 50,000. The other player folded leaving Mathis to show pocket queens against Johansson's pocket aces. -- SB

9.05pm: Tale of two Team Pros
Two Team PokerStars Pros in action, with differing results. First Vanessa Rousso lost a pot, folding on a flop of 8♠7♣2♦ when her opponent bet big, and then showed A♥K♦, much to the delight of those at the table. Rousso simply patted the table.

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Vanessa Rousso

A short distance away Sebastian Ruthenberg was reaping more chips, calling a raise pre-flop from the hijack. On the flop of 8♦Q♠A♥ Ruthenberg check-called a bet of 1,600 then both checked the 2♥ turn. On the 3♣ river Ruthenberg bet 1,400, was called and showed T♥A♣ to take the pot. - SB

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 400-800, ANTE 75


8.58pm: Snippets from the tournament floor

  • One of the players of the season is out. Martin Jacobson made three final tables (two of which he finished runner-up) but his main event EPT season is over for now. He still has something to look forward to though as he's in with a great shout of winning the Online Qualifier of Year award at the end of season party on Thursday.

  • One Hachem down, one surviving, just. Tony Hachem departed a while ago and older brother Joe may be joining him soon as he has just 13,000 chips left.

  • Ole Kristian Nergard may well be the chip leader with 150,000. Nergard came to our attention when he bought in to last season's €25,000 Grand Final High Roller on his 18th birthday. He comes from a very wealthy family (apparently) and is able to play with now fear. -- MC


    8.47pm: Quality field
    The quality of this €10,000 field has been quite overwhelming which many top notch players that would normally get honed in on have barely been touched. The likes of EPT winners Johannes Strassmann and Carter Phillips, mercurial Dutchman Marcel Luske and Team PokerStars Pro Rino Mathis have largely gone under the radar today but as the blinds and antes creep up in these last few levels any could break on through.

    Two players used to having big stacks but are without at present are Roland De Wolfe and Team PokerStars Pro Nacho Barbero. Both players have some 40,000 and look desperate to run up some chips in the final third of the day. Barbero opened under-the-gun for 1,400 and was called by De Wolfe in midde position. The Argentine c-bet 1,500 into the K♣7♠3♥ flop and De Wolfe called. Barbero check-folded to a 4,000 bet on the 6♦ turn card. -- RD

    8.45pm: Blom busted
    Viktor 'Isildur1' Blom is out, sent to the rail by Domantas Klimciauskas.

    On a flop of 8♠J♦K♠ Blom bet 2,750 from middle position which Klimciauskas raised to 6,500 from the seat next to him. Blom called for a 6♥ turn card which he then checked. Klimciauskas made it another 11,500 to play which again Blom called.

    On the 4♥ river Blom checked, having a long hard look at Klimciauskas who moved a tower of chips forward worth 40,000. Blom pointed at them, to indicate he wanted a count, then announced he was all-in. Klimciauskas called instantly, showing K♥J♠. Blom mucked, beaten, and out. - SB


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    Viktor Blom joins the railbirds


    8.40pm: Rampaging Ramdin
    Victor Ramdin just eliminated Michael Kraus to shoot up to 90,000 chips. It was a bit of a cooler as the Team PokerStars Pro held pocket queens to his German opponent's pocket jacks. All the chips went in preflop and Ramdin's hand held. -- MC

    8.34pm: Doc stuck in quick Sands
    Doc Sands is down to his last 11,700 after tank-calling against an opponent on the river only to be shown a full house.

    The online phenom had led out for 1,750 on the turn and called a raise to 4,125. The final board read 7♠9♥A♣T♥9♠ and Sands checked to face a 12,400 bet. He called and mucked when shown T♦9♦. -- MC

    8.25pm: Seb comes from behind to bust blind
    Team PokerStars Pro Sebastian Ruthenberg is up to 80,000 chips after he busted his neighbour in a battle of the blinds.

    The action folded around to the small blind and he raised and Ruthenberg called. The flop came down 8♣5♠4♦ and Ruthenberg's 1,700 bet was check-raised up to 4,300. Call. The turn came 6,500 and the German called a 6,500 bet.

    The final card fell 3♣ and Ruthenberg set his opponent all-in for his remaining 14,000 when the action was checked to him. He called made the call with A♥9♥ but lost out to Ruthenberg's A♦8♠. He swore very loudly and stormed off before we could get his name. -- MC

    8.15pm: Redgrave?
    Gloria Balding asks the question: Which Vanessa?


    8.10pm: Viva Bonavena
    Salvatore Bonavena just moved all-in from the small blind. Florian Langmann, Vanessa Rousso and the button player all ditched their hands and Bonavena plays on. - SB

    8.05pm: Thanks for all the pocket money
    As play begins Clement Obiegbu, gave a gentle reminder to players that today is Mother's Day for much of the world, and that the two minutes prior to the start of play, following the dinner break, might be a good time to call home. Clement seems to be the only person to have forgotten. But to the mothers out there: Happy Mothers Day. -- SB

    8pm: Back into the fray
    Put your buffet plates down, throw your half-eaten chicken drumsticks away and chin those pricey bottles of water because play is about to start. We have around 300 players left and the next three levels - if yesterday is anything to go by - is going to be a brutal culling of the Day 1B starting field. -- RD

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    Victor Ramdin, just one of the many big names chipping up

    PokerStars Blog reporting team at EPT Madrid (in order of enthusiasm to go on a dinner break walk): Stephen Bartley (raring to go, considered clambering fences), Marc Convey (open to the idea, stopped short of fence scaling) and Rick Dacey (suggested the bar and kicking down fences). Photos by Neil Stoddart.

    Rick Dacey
    @PokerStars in European Poker Tour