EPT San Remo: Day 3, level 17, 18 & 19 updates (blinds 5,000-10,000, 1,000 ante)


8pm: Day 3 is over
That's it for Day 3. The chips have been bagged and it's looking like Roberto Spada is out ahead as chip leader with 1,441,000. Full wrap and chip counts to come. -- RD

7.44pm: Three more hands
Three more hands have been announced and there's been a quick batch of quality players that have busted out. EPT Barcelona winner Carter Phillips and EPT Snowfest runners-up Russell Carson (Season 6) and Kevin Vandersmissen (Season 7) have all busted in the last ten minutes. -- RD

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No second final table for Russell Carson

7.38pm: Akery falls just short of Day 4
Peter Stuart Akery has been eliminated just 15 minutes before the end of play here today in San Remo. He raised to 21,000 from under-the-gun to face a three-bet to 49,000 from Fabrizio Cataldi two seats along. His response was to move all-in for 189,000 and the Uruguayan called after some thought.

Akery: 8♥8♣
Cataldi: A♥K♠

The board ran K♥6♠5♥5♣6♦ to Cataldi's relief. -- MC

7.30pm: Max-well house
Max Heinzelmann is up to 550,000 after hitting running cards to make a full house. He was heads-up versus Robinson Cole and the turn was out and the board read 2♠K♦2♣9♣. Heinzelmann led for 40,000 and Cole called to the 9♠ river where he called an 107,000 bet.

The German tabled Q♥9♥ and Cole mucked to drop down to 345,000 chips. -- MC

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Max Heinzelmann another deep run for the EPT Berlin runner-up

7.20pm: Cada battling on two fronts to his right
Team PokerStars Joe Cada was hovering around the million mark but now has just over 500,000 after he doubled-up Ludovic Lacay before forcing Vandersmissen off a hand.

Lacay doubled after he four-bet jammed with king-ten and was called by the former world champ with pocket eights. The Frenchman had to rely on hitting running cards to make Broadway.

A short while after Cada raised to 23,000 from under-the-gun and the action folded around to Vandersmissen in the big blind who quickly three-bet to 51,000. With the action back on Cada he nonchalantly announced he was all-in. The Belgian folded to drop to 190,000. -- MC

7.10pm: Lykov overshadows Vamplew
Team PokerStars Pro Max Lykov has just been moved two seats to the left of David Vamplew. It's not exactly the best of situations for the EPT London winner. On top of that he just lost with jacks to ace-ten for a 200,000 pot. Vamplew is on around 200,000 himself, Lykov closer to 2,000,000. -- RD

7pm: Teng left without regret over fold
Andy Teng said a naughty word. Yes, it's one that would be bleeped on daytime TV. I can't say that I blame him though. Gerardo Godinez Estrada opened for 25,000 from the cut-off and was three-bet by Teng from the button to 57,000. Kevin Vandersmissen seemed to wake up with a hand and moved all-in for 243,000 and instantly found a re-shove from Estrada.

Teng had 420,000 left. A losing call here would leave him fairly short. He eventually, grudgingly, moved his cards away grumpily saying: "I fold."

Estrada and Vandersmissen turned over A♦K♦ and A♥K♣ respectively. Teng turned over his mucked cards showing that he had passed ace-queen. The board ran out T♦5♥4♥7♦7♠ and the pair chopped up Teng's three-bet. -- RD

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Andy Teng adopts the 'playaaa' pose

6.45pm: Two short stacks and only one can survive
Gerardo Ghiura of Italy and Anthony Picault of France both had short stacks and both went to battle with only one surviving. Ghiura took the first shot with an all-in move from early position and Picault responded with his own all-in move from the button. The blind players looked petrified and ducked out of the way.

Ghiura: K♥Q♠
Picault: A♣K♣

Picault came to the battle with the bigger weapons and that proved crucial as the board ran 9♣K♠J♠8♣2♠. -- MC

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 5,000-10,000, ANTE 1,000

6.22pm: Calling a Spada a Spada
A lot of players have been showing off tattoos this week, shirt sleeves permitting comfort in the warm weather. While some have names, dates and even a comic strip inked into their skin, Roberto Spada has what appears to be the aerial view of a garden centre on his arms, with flowers and trees blooming around his elbows. He just busted Alessandro Fasolis in a hand that leaves him with around 1,500,000.

Spada opened for 18,000 on the button which Fasolis raised to 46,000 in the big blind. Call. The flop came K♠8♣4♠ prompting Fasolis to bet 46,000 which Spada called. The turn came 9♦. Fasolis checked leaving it to Spada to bet 106,000 which Fasolis eventually called.

On the 3♠ river Fasolis checked again before Spada moved all-in. Fasolis sat up, then lean forward, eventually calling. When Spada showed Q♠J♠ Fasolis knew his tournament was over. Devasted, he simply walked away. - SB

6.12pm: Vam jam
EPT London winner David Vamplew is one of three remaining EPT champs left in the field, alongside Team PokerStars Pro Max Lykov and Carter Phillips. Vamplew just four-bet jammed all-in over the top of a Fabrizio Cataldi 37,000 three-bet. The Uruguayan passed to leave himself with 190,000. Vamplew is up to 325,000.

Off the top of my head there are four players who have come second in EPTs; Kevin Vandersmissen, Max Heinzelmann, Richard Toth and Russell Carson. -- RD

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Team PokerStars Pro Richard Toth

6.11pm: Phillips' battery running low
Former EPT Barcelona champion Carter Phillips is having a hard time getting and keeping any chips. As we approached the table he had just doubled up his very short stack (we missed the details). He got involved in the very next hand too, by raising to 19,000 from mid position. He was only called by the much larger stacked Nicolas Yunis in the small blind.

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Carter Phillips on a downward slide

Yunis check-called bets of 13,500 and 27,000 on the flop and turn before leading out for 40,000 on the river. The final board read 9♦5♥4♠T♦8♦ and Phillips open folded A♠T♠ to drop back down to 90,500. Yunis allowed his opponent to pick one of his hole cards and the Q♠ was flipped over. Yunis smiled and began tidying his 1,150,000 stack. -- MC

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Nicolas Yunis: owner of hat (one) and chips (1,150,000)

6pm: Same face, same plan
Three players who went deep in Berlin remain in the field. Along with Fabrice Soulier and Max Heinzelmann there's Thomas Traboulsi, hair slicked back and still reading a book in his iPad, the German is doing what he did so well in Berlin: hanging on by his finger nails, with 74,500.

A table away Bart Verbanck has just been eliminated, his ace-king bettered by the aces of Nicola Grieco who looked rather pleased with himself. - SB

5.55pm: Lykov stacking it high
Max Lykov is up to 1,600,000 and that's even after losing a three-bet pot to Massimiliano Manigrasso. Lykov opened for 18,000 and was raise by the Italian to 42,000. After checking how much Manigrasso was packing, 500,000 behind, Lykov made the call then check-folded on a 5♠8♥9♣ flop.

Lykov's triangular tower is looking miiiiighty impressive right now. -- RD

5.45pm: Forrest felled
Kevin Vandersmissen is up to 860,000 after he eliminated Ted Forrest. The Belgian EPT Snowfest runner-up raised to 16,000 from the cut-off and Forrest called from the small blind to see the A♥5♥8♠ flop. He check-called a 15,500 c-bet from Vandermissen to go to the 6♠ turn.

In a surprise move, Forrest open shoved for 195,000 with A♣T♠ and was snap called by Vandermissen holding A♦6♥. The river came 6♦ to turn Vandersmissen's two-pair into a full house. Forrest got up and took the walk of shame to the payout desk. -- MC

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Big player, big fall

5.36pm: Comedy fold
I'm not entirely sure what happened here. Well, I know what happened, but I don't entirely understand it.

Max Heinzelmann opened for 16,500 from under-the-gun and was called by Xuan Liu in the small blind before Andrey Zaichenko raised to 47,000 from the big blind. Heinzelmann passed and Liu moved all-in putting Zaichenko to the test for his remaining 90,000. I'd even written a small 'c' into my notebook to denote the obligatory call that Zaichenko was due to make. But he didn't. He passed leaving a third of his stack in the middle. -- RD

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Will Xuan Liu follow in Liv Boeree's footsteps?

5.30pm: Insert own Castle reference here
Casey Kastle is out. The end finally came when he moved in good with 8♠8♥, getting called by Paolo Rigano with 3♠3♣. Kastle was out the door on the door, the board coming 3♦4♦J♥4♣7♦. - SB

5.27pm: Vamplew and Cataldi
Fabrizio Cataldi and David Vamplew have just chopped a nut which they both thought they'd won outright. Vamplew opened to 16,000 from the button and was called by Cataldi in the big blind.

Both players checked the K♠T♦9♦ flop before getting it all in on the 6♠ turn. Both players tabled [7][8]. -- RD

5.22pm: Caciolo chipping up
Giuseppe Caciolo has shown aces twice in the last couple of levels and got action both times. He's now up to 900,000. -- RD

5.10pm: That'll do for Liu
Xuan Liu's stack has been on the slide today but she just manoeuvred a player off a pot to get back to about 280,000 chips.

Luciano Longhitano raised from the button and the Canadian defended her big blind to see the 3♠J♣8♠ flop. Longhitano c-bet for 19,000 and Liu check-called before both players checked through the 6♣ turn. The river came J♠ and a 38,000 lead from Liu was enough to make her Italian opponent fold. -- MC

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 4,000-8,000, ANTE 500

4.45pm: Kastle overrun
Casey Kastle now stares elimination in the face as players go on a 15 minute break. After opening for 20,000 he was called by Max Heinzelmann in the hijack before Georgios Manousos raised to 46,500 from the cut off. Kastle them moved all-in for about 250,000 which Manousos called with his own stack measuring about 30,000 less.

A♥[kh for Kastle, J♦J♣ for Manousos who won the hand on a board of 2♣8♣3♥2♠4♦. After a lengthy count to see who covered who Kastle was left with little more than 30,000. Manousos recovering slightly, up to 450,000. -- SB

4.42pm: Ramdin out
Victor Ramdin is out. The Team PokerStars Pro from the Bronx was out of his chair after moving in with A♥J♠. Nicolas Yunis called him with A♠9♦ and hit a nine on the Q♠2♦9♥3♣8♠ board.

"That's the game," said Ramdin, making his way to the payout desk. - SB

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Team PokerStars Pro Victor Ramdin

4.40pm: Heinzelmann back on the warpath
How do you like them apples, Georgios Manousos? Max Heinzelmann just six-bet shoved on the Greek to add another 120,000 to his stack.

Heinzelmann opened from early position and was three-bet to 28,500 by Manousos. The pair have been tangling frequently and ferociously so it wasn't a major surprise to see the young German go back into his chip stack and pull out a four-bet of 62,500.

Manousos refused to let his hand go and came back over the top with a five-bet to 112,500. Heinzelmann responded by moving all-in for 360,000 or so. Quick fold from Manousos. Heinzelmann back up to 485,000 (still some way from the million he held earlier). -- RD

4.35pm: King of the Casey
Casey Kastle just doubled up. He's spent much of the day so far pacing up and down, wearing plastic clogs. He returned to his chair long enough to move in with pocket tens.
He'd opened for 20,000, his stacks lined up ahead of various paraphernalia: a pen, player card, a lollipop, a casino chip, an EPT badge, another badge and a to-do list which he keeps adding to.

After his bet Max Heinzelmann then raised to 53,000. Kastle moved his chips forward and Heinzelmann immediately called, turning over A♥Q♥. The tens were good as the board came 9♠4♦3♣4♠3♠ to take Kastle up to 250,000. Heinzelmann, who not long ago had 1,000,000 chips, is now down to around 300,000. - SB

4.30pm: Mortensen falls
Morten Mortensen has fallen after running queens into the aces. It's a second EPT cash for the young Dane. We'll see more of him in future. -- RD

4.25pm: All Grieco to me
Wild celebration from Nicola Grieco who just doubled up to about 160,000 with A♣K♥. Nothing out of the ordinary in that, only Grieco had done it against Andrey Zaichenko who also had ace-king. Crucially though Grieco held a heart and when the board came 4♥6♥Q♥T♥A♠ the pot went to Grieco. As he leaped up and down screaming, Zaichenko quietly paid him off. - SB

4.15pm: Heinzelmann cedes control to Rigano
Paolo Rigano has taken the chip lead away from Max Heinzelmann after calling a huge raise on the river of a K♦3♥J♦6♥7♦ board. Heinzelmann had led for just over 120,000 and then called when Rigano raised to some 300,000. Heinzelmann showed A♠K♠ to Rigano's A♦Q♦ nut flush.

Rigano up to 1,200,000, Heinzelmann down to 560,000. -- RD

4.07pm: Romanello busts in double elimination
The remaining players in the field will be a lot happier that one of the world's hottest players right now, Roberto Romanello, has been eliminated.

He was under-the-gun and moved all-in for his last 77,000 chips. Xavier Arnal of France was in the cut-off and he moved in as well for 125,000. Andrew Teng was in the big blind and covered both players. He made the call after thinking for a few minutes.

Romanello: K♠9♠
Arnal: A♥T♥
Teng: A♦K♦

The board ran 4♥3♣6♣2♠8♠ meaning Teng, with ace high, won the lot and is up to 530,000 after claiming the double scalp. -- MC


Cheeky Welshman Romanello is out

3.50pm: Sparkling hand
Xuan Liu just moved up to close to 300,000 after a hand against Francesco Nguyen. The Italian opened for 16,000 on the button before Liu raised to 39,500 from the small blind. Nguyen asked how much Liu had left and the dealer translated. Then he called.

The flop came 8♥7♠J♥ Liu then bet a further 55,000, sending Nguyen into deep thought. Both players sparkle - Liu with pearls and bracelets, Nguyen thanks to a sequined t-shirt. But it was Liu sparkling most, winning the hand when Nguyen folded. - SB

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Xuan Liu

3.45pm: For the video lovers...
The midday update with Gloria Balding and Joe Cada...

3.40pm: Max power
More on Max Heinzelmann, the first player to a million chips. It came against Georgios Manousos.

On a flop of 9♠3♦6♠ Heinzelmann checked to Manousos who bet 26,500. Heinzelmann then raised to 74,500 which Manousos called for a K♣ turn card. Another 124,000 from Heinzelmann, called again for a 9♦ river card. At this point Heinzelmann moved all-in for 280,000. After five minutes thinking time Manousos called, turning over K♥Q♣. Heinzelmann though had the full house with 3♣3♥. - SB

3.30pm: Cards in the air
Play restarts in level 17. German player Max Heinzelmann, who finished runner-up at EPT Berlin earlier this month, is the current chip leader with more than 1,000,000 chips. -- SB

The best is yet to come... with what looks like four packs of Marlboro red

PokerStars Blog reporting team in San Remo (in order of "green stuff" eaten from the media room buffet): Stephen Bartley (3 slices), Marc Convey (3 slices) and Rick Dacey, 5 slices so far).