EPT Prague: Day 1A, level 5 & 6 updates (200-400, ante 50)
Last break of the day. The players will be back in 15 minutes for the final two one-hour levels.
6.40pm: Schwartz encouraging the gamble
Luke Schwartz has been trying to get his table to put in 2,000 apiece and check it down to the river. Unsurprisingly he's yet to convince every one of the merits.
"Come on, everyone will agree," said Schwartz who seemed taken aback that his table hadn't leapt at the idea.
While Schwartz was away talking to Martins Adeniya, who is up to some 90,000, a vicious outdraw was taking place with Fady Kamar's nut flush getting cracked by Filip Verboven's two-pair turning into a boat after it all went in on the turn. Verboven is no longer wearing those lurid pink glasses, perhaps feeling that it would be a rubdown too far after that suckout. -- RD
6.35pm: Time's up for these 12
Those who have fallen in the last while include: Iaran Lightbourne, Iikka Tahkokallio, Dragomir Dimitrov, Stephane Benadiba, Jamie Rosen, Sabrina Larochelle, Leo Armino, Ivan Sheptytskyi, Martin Vallo, Simon Charette, Markus Prinz and Bryan Piccioli. -- MC
6.30pm: Lundmark sets landmark as Jorgensen moves up
Kent Lundmark has the advantage at table 13, his stack in excess of 80,000. At his table though is Theo Jorgensen who is up to 41,000.
The hand that helped him there was opened by János Szrencsik on the button who made it 900. In the small blind Michael Abecassis called before Jorgensen did the same from the big.
The flop came 4♣9♣9♦ which Abecassis checked. Jorgensen made it 4,000 which Szrencsik called before Abecassis made his excuses.
The turn came 9♥. Jorgensen leant forward to count Szrencsik's stack which measures less than 20,000. He checked. Szrencsik checked.
On the K♥ river Jorgensen again leaned forward, wanting an exact count this time - 15,500. He then bet 20,000. Szrencsik stretched his arms above his head, possibly wondering how he'd got himself into this position. He passed.
Elsewhere Florian Langmann was all-in. The German, who has spent the past half hour playing online, moved in with A♦4♦ for 6,225 which was called by Antonios Papadopoulos who held 4♥4♠. The board was kind to Langmann, coming 5♦7♥9♣3♣2♠ to double him up. -- SB
6.25pm: Hurry up now
Bryn Kenney is down to 11,000 after he folded on the river when he was set all in by Marco Bognanni.
We caught up with the action just as the two players checked the K♥8♠2♠ flop. The turn came 5♦ and the Italian led for 2,300. Call. The river was the 2♥ and Bognanni took five minutes before setting Kenney all-in. The PokerStars qualifier snap folded. Bognanni forgot to show one card as per the game they're playing but said he had a king.
On the next table along Raffaele Gerbi's stack was finally blinded out. Let's hope he makes his flight. -- MC
6.10pm: Fight or flight?
Raffaele Gerbi was playing like a man who wanted to build a big stack or go home today. Actually scratch that, he always plays like that. Today was different in that he had a flight booked for 8pm and it seemed he needed a big stack as an excuse to miss it.
That was a real possibility when he got lucky to double up through Eoghan O'Dea much earlier. O'Dea's recovery (over 20,000 now) owed a lot to the Italian who made his exit when he had 1,350 chips left after a series of loose plays that didn't go his way. By the time we got to the table that stack had been blinded down to 350 chips. -- MC
6pm: Friends in high places
The suggestion that the early stages involve nothing of great worth is in stark contrast to the emotional wellbeing of some players, who play each hand as if the safe return of some stricken astronauts depended on their survival in Prague. Take Philippe Belley for example.
On a flop of 3♥5♠A♥ Belley had shoved from the small blind for 12,000 holding A♦K♣. Big Mario Adinolfi in the big blind also shoved with a flush draw 8♥5♥, for more, forcing out the player on the button. With the cards on their backs the turn and river came Q♠4♣, much to the delight of Belley.
"Yes, yes, yes," he said, slapping his thigh not once, but twice, then calling over to a friend with the details.
Adinolfi on the other hand, who has dropped some way from his earlier heights, said nothing, counting his remaining 14,000 chips which sit alongside his Pope John Paul II notebook and two mobile phones, one of which is presumably a direct line to the Vatican. Belley meanwhile is up to 35,000. - SB
5.55pm: Yoyo Jorgensen
The early part of Theo Jorgensen's day saw his stack chopped in half before he went about rebuilding and turning a profit. Not long after getting into the black though and he's found himself back in the red.
We reported him folding to a Kent Lunmark four-bet before and we've just witnessed him losing two more small pots to drop to around 27,000.
In a battle of the blinds he led for 1,000 on the turn of a T♥K♥3♦5♣ board. Kalle Niemi called from the big blind and also called a 2,300 bet on the A♣ river. The Team PokerStars Pro opened A♣J♥ but lost out to his Finnish opponent's A♠5♥ for two-pair.
The next hand Jorgensen raised from the button and Luka Drakic defended his big blind to see a A♣8♠4♥ flop. Drakic check-called a c-bet before both players checked the 6♦ turn. The last card came Q♥ and Drakic took the pot with a 2,100 bet as Jorgensen folded. -- MC
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 200-400, 50
5.35pm: Horecki hero call beats Moorman
There was a large pile of multi-denominational chips in the middle of the table, somewhere in the region of 13,000-16,000. A far neater pile of chips sat in front of Moorman, 9,500 stacked in a small pile, which had been put out in front after Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki had checked the river of a 2♥3♣9♣Q♣8♠ board. Horecki had around 30,000 and slowly made the call.
Horecki: 4♣4♦ for a pair of fours
Moorman: A♠7♥ for ace-high
Big call from Horecki who finished third in this event last year. Moorman drops to 53,000, Horecki up to around 55,000. -- RD
5.30pm: Hansen in the black
After dropping down to less than 20,000 Gus Hansen is now up to nearly double that. His latest success came in a pot against Pratyush Buddiga. On a flop of 7♠2♠K♣ Buddiga bed 800 which Hansen check-called for a 7♦ turn. This elicited more checking before the river card, A♥. Again Hansen checked. Buddiga bet big, making it 1,325 to go on which Hansen responded to by raising to 6,625.
While others have watched television, their phones, etc. Buddiga has been one player at least to watch Hansen as he plays. Now he was putting any new knowledge to the test. He passed. Lesson learned?
Hansen, whose request for a massage therapist has just been granted, now up to 37,000. - SB
5.25pm: News in brief
5.10pm: O'Dwyer turns down chance of 100,000 stack
EPT London runner-up Steve O'Dwyer just had the chance to take the chip lead and become the first player to break a 100,000... but he passed. Come on, Steve, calling is more fun.
O'Dwyer had fired 7,500 into a 7♣J♠2♠K♦ board and had been shoved on by Alexander Nudin for 17,700. O'Dwyer eventually passed to leave himself with around a healthy 60,000. Nudin up to 40,000. -- RD
5pm: Toth talks
The PokerStars video blog team catches up with Rochard Toth at the halfway point of the day.
5pm: Staszko a-go-go
Martin Staszko arrived amidst a cloud of unassuming celebrity and plays on with a same quiet determination at the far end of the tournament room from the stage.
Something is working. The World Series of Poker Main Event runner-up is up to around 44,000, although that was cut down a little after he called the all-in of Luke Schwartz a few moments ago.
Mathieu Gallienne had opened the hand with a bet of 600 which was called by Staszko. Schwartz then shoved for around 5,000, forcing out Gallienne. Staszko though was ready with the call.
"Do you have an ace in your hand?" asked Schwartz. But in keeping with his man of few words style Staszko said nothing, and showed J♦J♣ to Schwartz's A♠Q♥.
The board ran K♠4♣3♥A♣K♦. On the turn Schwartz made a kind of "haw-haw-haw" noise. Staszko said nothing. -- SB
4.55pm: Kenny got away with one
A funny hand just occurred between Bryn Kenny and Philipp Gruissem. The American raised to 800 from mid position and he thought he had won the blinds and antes so smiled and flashed the 2♥. Gruissem was in the big blind and had yet to act as he was distracted. By the time he had tuned back to the action Kenny had concealed his cards so he was one of the only players at the table who hadn't seen the 2♥. The rest of the table were laughing as Gruissem called anyway.
The flop came down T♣5♦7♥ and the German check-folded to a 1,300 c-bet. The table is playing the "Show one card" game and Marvin Rettenmaier chose the A♠. It was now that Grussem was told what Kenney's other card was. -- MC
4.40pm: Level 5 begins
We're back into the action but without Roberto Romanello who fell at the end of the last level and EPT Snowfest runner-up Russell Carson who also bust out.
We'[re playing eight levels with no dinner break, which will be replicated with a larger field tomorrow for Day 1B. -- RD
PokerStars Blog reporting team in Prague (in order of enthusiasm for computer games): Rick Dacey (has lost hours to Skyrim, but has some wonderful enchanted weapons to show for it), Marc Convey (doing incredibly well on his PGA tour) and Stephen Bartley (once got to the the third level of 'Horace goes skiing') . Photos by Neil Stoddart.