EPT San Remo: Day 1B, level 15 & 16 updates (blinds 2,500-5,000, ante 500)


3.12pm: Level ends
That's the end of the second level of play today, just 116 players remain. Those players are now taking a 15 minute break.

3.05pm: Eames adrift
John Eames is down to his last five big blinds, and that's after doubling up. He had been crippled after getting his aces cracked by ace-king pre-flop, which is nice, and will need an incredible run of fortune if he's to make another final table.

Ahhh, no, he's out. -- RD

2.55pm: Elder's bluff picked off
Rupert Elder pushed forward a stack of 95,000 into the river of a J♥A♦A♠J♣K♦ board leaving Gianluca Benvenuto to decide between bluff and value bet, Elder had fired 28,000 into the turn after all.

Perhaps suffering from a case of my-hand-is-too-big-to-fold-despite-the-board Benvenuto made the call with Q♦Q♥ leaving Elder to shake his head as he tabled 9♦9♥. -- RD

2.45pm: Visser out, Heinzelmann up
Ruben Visser is out. He got his chips in with J♠J♣ only to run into Roberto Spada with A♠A♣. The board ran 4♦7♠5♠9♠6♣ to eliminate the Dutchman.

Elsewhere Max Heinzelmann, moved up to more than 500,000 in a hand against chip leader Georgios Manousos.

Heinzelmann opened for 10,000 on the button before Manousos raised to 23,500 in the small blind. Heinzelmann called for a flop of 5♦T♥2♥ which Manousos bet at, making it 30,500 to play. Heinzelman did want to play, and called for a A♥ turn card. This time Manousos checked to the German who bet 53,500. Manousos called for a 7♥ river card. Again Manousos checked, then tanked for several minutes after Heinzelmann bet 112,500. Eventually he folded, flicking away each of his cards in disgust. Pot to Heinzelmann. - SB

ept san remo_day 3_ruben visser.jpg

Ruben Visser, orange warrior

2.35pm: Jelassi on the rocks
Ramzi Jelassi is in trouble. It all started with a Roberto Romanello shove from the small blind. The Welshman shoved 75,000 with Q♦5♣ and Jelassi called with K♥7♥, losing to a rivered flush to leave himself with just 15,000.

He called all-in the next hand with A♠9♦ over Rainer Emde's 80,000 shove. Fabrice Soulier had opened the pot for 11,500 but passed. Jelassi hit a nine to more than treble up to 50,000.

"Let's go guys. I'm going to be the San Remo winner," said Jelassi, who shoved the button the next hand to scoop the blinds. He's back up to 60,000 now. It would be a fantastic story if he came back to win from three big blinds. -- RD

2.25pm: Selbst out
It's the end of the road for Vanessa Selbst's San Remo campaign. On a flop of J♠5♠J♣ there were five players in the pot. Pierre Canali checked the small blind, Vegard Nygaard checked the big.

Selbst was under the gun and also checked, as did Leonid Bilokur in the cut off. Gianluca Bernardini Benvenuto was on the button and raised to 26,000. Ilokur made an easy pass but Benvenuto called, turning over A♥J♥ against Selbst's 7♥7♠. The turn and river changed nothing for the Team PokerStars Pro. - SB

ept san remo_day 3_vanessa selbst.jpg

Euro glory will have to wait until Madrid for Selbst

2.22pm: Post bubble bluffing
David Vamplew has added more to his stack after catching Kimmo Kurko bluffing in a battle of the blinds. The Scot raised from the small blind and Kurko peeled from the big blind to see the 3♠J♥5♥ flop.

Vamplew led for 14,000 and the Finn called to see the 6♣ turn, where both players checked. The river came Q♠ and Vamplew checked again and stared at his opponent as he pondered his decision. He decided to bet 32,000 and after some thought Vamplew made the call.

Kurko shook his head and threw his cards towards the dealer; one of them caught the edge of the dealer tray and flipped off the table. The dealer retrieved the cards and opened Kurko's 7♥8♥ for a busted flush and straight draw. Vamplew tabled A♥5♣ for a pair of fives and took the pot. -- MC

2.10pm: First player into the money is...
Matteo Sbrana is our first player to bust into the cash. Sweet, sweet relief to see a return on your money. Sbrana takes home €7,500 and a story to tell the grandkids. Simone Michelle and Luca Falaschi were quick to follow. -- RD

1.55pm: Looking back
Prior to the bubble there was another all-in hand, one that left Kevin Vandersmissen with more than 500,000.

On a flop of K♣A♣3♠ Vandersmissen bet 28,000 from the big blind before Maurizio Baisi raised to 56,000 in early position. Vandersmissen then re-raised to 104,000 prompting Baisi to move all in for 299,100. Vandersmissen, covered, called.

The crowd gathered to see the showdown: K♦A♦ for Vandersmissen, A♦3♦ for Baisi. The turn came 6♠, the river 2♠. No elimination, but the Belgian in good position. - SB

1.45pm: On the bubble reflections
The bubble does strange things to some players, some predictable, some not. Take Arnaldo Petino for example, deploying the not so subtle technique of slow playing. David Vamplew spotted it.

"We're playing one hand at a time," said the Scot. "There's not need to stall. Please..."
Petino was shocked, shocked, at the mere suggestion. "I'm thinking," he said back at Vamplew.

"Then you might want to look at your cards," Vamplew replied. Petino did, and passed.

Vamplew was making the most of the tension, and moved up to 320,000 after a hand against Massimiliano Manigrasso. On a board of T♠9♥J♣A♥Q♠ Vamplew made it 43,800 which Manigrasso eventually called. Vamplew turned over K♣T♣ to Manigrasso's Q♥Q♣ which, judging from his reaction, he'd put too much faith in. - SB

ept san remo_day 3_david vamplew.jpg

David Vamplew

1.20-1.40pm: Chouity bubbles
Last year's EPT Grand Final winner Nicolas Chouity is our San Remo bubble boy. Alessandro Fasolis had opened for 9,000 from the cut-off and Chouity three-bet to 27,000. Fasolis came back over the top for 53,400 and Chouity quickly announced that he was all-in for around 270,000.

Fasolis looked quite uncomfortable but made the call. Due to the fact that there was another all-in the players had to keep their hands face down.

"Pair?" asked Chouity.

"Yes," replied Fasolis.

"A big one?" asked Chouity.

"Yes," replied Fasolis.

ept san remo_day 3_bubble.jpg

Nicolas Chouity (right) feeling the tension

Chouity looked crestfallen, even more so when the news reached the table that the all-in player at the other table had survived. All attention turned to the table.

Chouity: T♥T♣
Fasolis: Q♦Q♣

Chouity knew he was in dire straits, particularly when the flop was dealt 2♥9♣6♦. The K♥ turn and 7♠ river blanked out. -- RD

1.10pm: The bubble arrives and bursts very quickly, or does it?
Hand-for-hand play got underway after we reached the 145 players remaining stage. As we entered the room to cover the exciting events there was a round of applause and many players were congratulating each other.

Normally, in this instance, Thoma Kremser can be heard over the mic informing all the players that they are in the money but here he was, calm as ever, and away from any tables. He then announced over the mic that there were still 145 players renaming and that the bubble remained intact. Cue a rush of players getting back to their seats to continue the bubble navigation. -- MC

1.01pm: Get the chips to the Greek
Georgios Manousos has added even more to his chip mountain when he made a good call against Archil Khoperia.

He raised from the button and c-bet the flop. Both players checked the turn to leave a final board of 4♥2♥8♦Q♣T♣. The Georgian led for 21,000 and Manousos tank-called with J♣9♥. Khoperia shook his head in disbelief and tabled the losing A♣J♦. -- MC

ept san remo_day 3_georgios manouso.jpg

Manouso continues to stack up

12.58pm: Genuine LOL
I did actually laugh out loud reading this twitter from David Vamplew:

French guy:"where are you from?","Scotland","oh you are Irish!". Nope. Going well 263k

Brilliant. According to the seat draw the said Frenchman is David Rubitin. -- RD

12.55pm: At last, we meet again
Let's not get in to all that table of death stuff, this is just a tough table draw. Alongside Joe Cada sits Leonid Bilokur, further along sit Vanessa Selbst, Carter Phillips and Govert Metaal.

Selbst opened, making it 10,000 from middle position. Opposite, Leonid Bilokur, who tangled once or twice with Selbst before at the infamous "Battle near the Beach" World Cup of Poker at the PCA in January, raised to 26,000 from the big blind.

"How much?" asked Selbst, pointing at Bilokur's stack, which was ordered in no specific order at all. Bilokur said nothing, instead he just stacked them neatly in towers of 15. Cada tried to help out with the count, but Selbst had already got the message, and called.

This one wouldn't go much further though. The flop came 5♣6♣4♠. Bilokur bet 16,500 to take the pot. -- SB

12.52pm: More for the chip leader
Georgios Manousos has extended his lead after tangling with Max Heinzelmann. In a three-bet pot Manousos fired 22,600 at a T♦J♠6♠ flop, Heinzelmann raised to 56,200 and then passed to a 111,600 three-bet. Manousos is up to 650,000. -- RD

12.49pm: One table away from the money
Lari Henrik Sihvo has just been eliminated meaning we are just one table's worth of players away from the money.

He three-bet all-in over the top of a Xavier Arnal opening range with 9♦9♥. Arnal called with T♥T♦ and held through the 4♥2♥8♦Q♣T♣ board. -- MC

12.42pm: Bad start for Lykov
Max Lykov's day has not started off as he'd hoped for. He's just doubled up Team PokerStars Online's Simone Ruggeri. The Italian is up to 100,000, Lykov down to 200,000. -- RD

ept san remo_day 3_max lykov.jpg

Max Lykov

12.36pm: Selbst seals an early double
Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Selbst is up and running and racing well. Leonid Bilokur raised to 10,100 and was called in one spot before Selbst three-bet all-in for 86,400. Bilokur moved in behind to isolate. Only Bilokur called.

Selbst: A♣8♥
Bilokur: 6♥6♣

The board ran 3♣T♥Q♦8♣9♥ to pair the American's eight on the turn. -- MC

12.30pm: So long, Solinas
The IPT female player of the year, Carla Solinas, has busted. She got it pre-flop with A♠Q♥ against two players and failed to catch against pocket eights. -- RD

12.25pm: Sudworth slips out of trouble
James Sudworth is up to more than 160,000 chips after a big preflop three-way all-in. The action started with Diogo Cardoso moving all-in for around 51,000 from the hijack. Nicolas Chouity was on the button and moved all-in as well and as soon as Sudworth looked at his cards in the small blind he moved in too.

Cardoso: 7♣7♦
Chouity: A♥A♣
Sudworth: Q♠Q♦

The board ran Q♣4♥8♥K♣J♦ to make a set for Sudworth and eliminate Cardoso in the process. -- MC

12.10pm: So it begins
Play has begun. Double ups and knockouts to come.

12.05pm: Welcome to Day 3
Gloria Balding introduces Day 3 from the tournament floor...

12pm: Continental breakfast
The Europeans, as us English tend to call them, do things a little differently. Not only do they embrace each other in the street, planting kisses on either side of face, while we favour a firm handshake, but they often play poker as if their very life depends on it. In the past San Remo has been a bubbling cauldron of emotion; hands waved, prayers pleaded and celebrations aplenty. This year things have calmed somewhat, but we are yet to reach the bubble - that is going to be the true test of the Italian character. Personally I'm hoping for high fives and blow ups and with 144 place paying and just 164 players left, it's not going to take long to find out. -- RD

ept san remo_day 3_casino san remo.jpg

Casino San Remo

PokerStars Blog reporting team at EPT San Remo (in order of time of arrival): Marc Convey (perhaps a first), Rick Dacey (a usual mediocre finish) and Stephen Bartley ('malfunctioning' alarm clock). Photos by Neil Stoddart.

Rick Dacey
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour