EPT San Remo: Day 4, level 20 & 21 updates (blinds 8,000-16,000, 2,000 ante)

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2.52pm: At the bell
An elimination as the bell goes for the end of the level. Gerardo Godinez Estrada got his chips in with A♠Q♦ against the T♣T♠ of Rocco Palumbo. The two players stood, surrounded by onlookers who really do come out of the woodwork. The board ran 5♣9♦K♦6♥T♦ to send Estrada to the rail. - SB

2.47pm: Soulier busts
Fabrice soulier never managed to spin up the stack he was left with after that Teng hand. He squeezed all-in from the small blind after a raise and a call. He had pocket fours and was called in one spot. His opponent had ace-jack and hit a jack on the turn. -- MC

2.42pm: Lucky Liu's stack just grew
Canadian Xuan Liu started this level with 226,000 but now she has 730,000 after getting lucky to eliminate Claudio Marino.

The action folded to the Italian on the button and he open shoved for 145,000 and was called by Liu from the big blind.

Marino: A♥T♥
Liu: J♥T♣

The board ran 2♦9♠Q♥8♠6♣. When the turn came to make Liu a straight she shot a sympathetic look across to her opponent but inside she'll be feeling great. -- MC

2.35pm: Teng doubles, Soulier on the ropes
Andrew Teng opened for 35,000 from the cut off before Fabrice Soulier raised to 86,000 from the button. Teng then re-raised, making it 158,000 to play before Soulier moved all-in. Teng, clearly and politely, said he would call, and did, turning over Q♣Q♦. Soulier showed K♠T♣.

The board came J♣9♣5♦9♦7♠ to double up Teng, who had been all in for 599,000. He's passes the 1,200,000 mark while Soulier is left with just 160,000. - SB

2.30pm: Lui-Lykov-Lykov-Cada
Xuan Liu has since doubled up (close to 300,000) but just had to back out of a pot against Max Lykov. Opening for 34,000 from the hijack, she then passed when the Russian Team PokerStars Pro raised to 76,000 from the small blind.

Lykov was involved in the next hand also, opening for 35,000 from the button. This time it was Joe Cada taking the pot from the small blind, raising to 93,000 to force out Lykov. - SB

2.24pm: A Tweet too soon
Max "HotKarlMC" Heinzelmann just Tweeted that he had 500,000 chips, but he doesn't any more. It must have been moments after Tweeting that he doubled-up Gerardo Godinez Estrada to drop back down to 190,000.

There was a raise to 40,000 that Heinzelmann called on the button before Estrada three-bet all-in for 268,000 from the big blind. The original raiser folded but Heinzelmann called after figuring out some maths in his head (or so it looked like).

Heinzelmann: A♥T♠
Estrada: K♦K♥

The board ran 3♣6♥2♦6♠6♣ to double-up the Mexican and it left the German with a shoving stack. - MC

2.11pm: Another deep run for FabSoul
Fabrice Soulier was looking like a shoe-in for a final table appearance at EPT Berlin when it was down to the last three tables, then he managed to lose all-in after all-in to, among others, Thomas Traboulsi. It was a frustrating period of poker for the French pro who finished 11th there for €36,000.

Soulier is giving himself another great shot at making his first EPT final table here. He's sitting on 700,000, which is just over chip average. Currently nestled between Andy Teng (right) and Rupert Elder (left), Soulier is slowly raking chips in and picking his spots. His latest target being David Rubitin who he raised off a 9♥5♦3♣ flop making it 117,000 to Rubitin's 50,000 lead. We have 49 players remaining. -- RD

Fabrice Soulier is chasing tehat elusiv final table

2.08pm: Toth ache
Team PokerStars Pro Richard Toth is out after an unlucky spot he couldn't get away from. He had about 240,000 chips and three-bet them all-in after an opening raise from former chip leader Georgios Manousos. The man from Greece just had Toth covered and made an immediate call with pocket aces. The Hugarian had pocket nines and failed to find that magical two-outer to stay alive. -- MC

2.05pm: A Boldini move
Nicola Boldini opened for 48,000 which Nicola Grieco called from the button. The blinds passed and the flop came 8♦3♣5♦. Boldini bet another 45,000 which Grieco, who has Ed Miliband eyes, raised to 90,000. Boldini removed his sunglasses and exchanges a few words with Grieco in Italian, I picked up "primo" and, I think, "arrabiata". I'm not entirely sure.

Neither was Boldini who, with 800,000 behind, opted to fold. - SB

2.02pm: Battle of the blinds
Rainer Emde opened for 50,000 from the small blind. Max Heinzelmann was in the big blind and after a moment's delay announced to the dealer that he was all-in, for about 300,000. Emde pulled faces and tanked for a while. Sitting with 200,000 this was a choice for his tournament life. As he pondered his options Heinzelmann moved a tower of chips forward to serve as a visual reminder. Eventually it worked. Emde passed. - SB


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Another deep run for young German Max Heinzelmann


2pm: Short and sweet
Xuan Liu just moved all-in for 210,000 on the button. No takers. She plays on. - SB

1.57pm: Absolutely baffling and entirely mystifying
I'm meant to be diplomatic at times such as these, but really? What was he thinking? Had he temporarily gone snowblind and forgotten the cards that he had in front of him? Had an invisible eagle swept down from the heavens and plucked all poker logic from his being?

The player in the firing line is Antonio Russo. The action had passed to him in the small blind and Russo had raised 38,000 into Paolo Rigano's big blind. Rigano had three-bet to 89,000, a fairly standard, if not aggressive, line to take in this situation.

Russo went deep into the tank deciding what to do with his 400,000 remaining chips, salmon pink sweater tied across his shoulders. Between muttering to himself and staring at the clock and payouts board, Russo settled on the most cautious of actions and passed. Then he showed his hand. Ace-king. That's right, A♣K♦. Big slick. The two biggest picture cards folded to a three-bet in a battle fo the blinds.

Rigano looked down at the exposed cards and quickly looked to the players on his left in confusion. It was a look understandably shared by most of the players at the table. -- RD

1.45pm: Raising for information and ignoring it?
Brian Roberts is up to 650,000 after getting value with a full house from Giuseppe Caciolo. He raised from the cut-off and Caciolo called from the small blind to see the A♦T♦A♥ flop.

Caciolo checked to face a 31,000 c-bet from the American that he raised up to 77,000. Roberts gave it some thought and made the call to see the Q♠ turn. Caciolo checked to him and faced a very small bet of 42,000 that he called very quickly. The river fell T♣ and Caciolo checked again and this time faced a 100,000 bet that he also called.

Roberts tabled A♣6♦ for top full house. Caciolo looked to the heavens and tabled Q♥T♥ whilst shrugging his shoulders for a smaller full house. -- MC

1.36pm: Cards in the air
Play resumes in level 21.

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 8,000-16,000, ANTE 2,000


1.21pm: End of the level
That's the break. Play will resume in 15 minutes.

1.20pm: All together now
I only caught the tail end of this one but with a board showing 9♥3♣9♣2♦6♥ and 600,000 in the middle, Antonino Venneri bet 100,000 which Leonid Bilokur called, showing 5♦5♣. But Venneri showed 7♠7♣ to win the hand.

Venneri was delighted, gurding himself for the victory howl that came a second later. The only people happier than Venneri in seat seven, were Antonio Russo in seat eight and Riccardo Lacchinelli in seat six. -- SB

1.19pm: CHECK!
On a flop of 5♥T♣K♥, and with more than 200,000 already in the middle, both Dario Nittolo and Nicola Boldini checked for a T♦ turn. Nittolo checked again, a kind of violent check that came quickly and with heavy bangs on the table, as though trying, by sheer force, to get Boldini to check as well. Only Boldini didn't want to check. Instead he bet 100,000 which stopped Nittolo in his tracks.

His next plan was to start talking to Boldini, like a man trying to befriend his executioner on his way to the gallows. But whatever he was saying it was fruitless. He passed, showing Q♠Q♦. - SB

1.17pm: Vamplew out, Lykov soliders on
David Vamplew has just busted out to Freddy Darakjian after being on the wrong side of a coin flip. Darakjian opened under-the-gun for 30,000 and Vamplew three-bet from the button to 94,000. Darakjian put Vamplew all-in and the EPT London winner made the call for the rest of his stack, which must have been somewhere around 240,000.

Vamplew: A♠J♥
Darakjian: 7♣7♦

The board brought help on the turn for both players but more so for Darakjian as it ran out T♣8♠5♠7♠8♥. The knockout of the Scot leaves just one player to chase the first elusive EPT double and that is the big stack beat Max Lykov. Former WSOP Main Event winner Joe Cada is also still well-chipped. -- RD

1.07pm: No messing from Darakjian
Freddy Darakjian opened for 26,000 from the button which Max Lykov then raised to 66,000 from the big blind. Not to be pushed around, except by the massage therapist who was using her elbow to force the knot in his rhomboid major to surrender, Darakjian casually flung in another raise to 156,000. That was good enough, forcing Lykov to fold. - SB

1.03pm: Cada can't can't can't
Joe Cada's stack just sustained a small dent in a hand against Francesco Nguyen who moved all-in behind Cada's button raise. Cada called, showing [a][q] to Nguyen's [a][7]. But the board of 6♦J♠5♠3♣7♣ saved the big Italian, who then got a bit emotional. He's up to 280,000. - SB

1pm: Cada can can can
Team PokerStars Pro Joe Cada is up to around 1,000,000 chips after he took care of Daniel Sjogren of Seden. A preflop raising war saw both players' chips into the middle with Sjogren at risk with about a third of what Cada had.

Sjogren tabled pocket eights but was in a world of pain as Cada had pockets nines. A third nine came on the flop and the Swede's day turned out to be a short one. -- MC


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Joe Cada, a fierce proponent of the backwards style of hat wearing


12.56pm: Elder hobbling on
Rupert Elder is back up above average with almost 600,000 after knocking out Xia Lin (not to be confused with Xuan Liu). It was a standard ace-king versus pocket nines affair with Elder's picture cards getting there. -- RD

12.45pm: Marco out of the bog
Marco Bognanni has managed a much needed double-up despite getting his chips in the middle behind. He three-bet all-in with ace-jack after Max Heinzelmann had raised with ace-queen. The German made the call but was soon handing over 130,000 chips after a jack appeared on the flop. - MC

12.40pm: More for Lykov
Daniel Sjogren opened to 26,000 and was called by Max Lykov in the small blind. Joe Cada opted to pass his big blind. Both players checked the K♠8♠A♥ flop and Q♠ turn before Lykov led 44,000 into the K♦ river. Sjogren gave an uncomfortable grin and rubbed his head before calling and getting shown 7♠6♠. Lykov up to 1,500,000.

Sjogren bust out a few hands later. -- RD


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Max Lykov: driving from the front


12.30pm: Huber not uber
Stefan Huber just moved all-in for 150,000. The action reached Armando Masini on the button, who also shoved for slightly less than Huber. "I need help now," said Huber, as he turned over A♣T♥ to Masini's Q♠Q♣.

The board ran J♥8♠8♦5♥A♦. Masini doubles. - SB

12.25pm: Another faller
Stefano Garbarino shoved from the cut-off for 52,000 and instantly found a call in Luigi Pignataro, a little unsurprising considering he held K♣K♥. Garbarino was left drawing thin with pocket nines and failed to hit. Out you go. -- RD

12.20pm: Benefits from Benvenuto
Daniel Sjogren opened for 25,000 in the cut off before Gianluca Bernardini Benvenuto moved all-in from the small blind. Sjogren paused, then asked: "Do you have a good hand?" Sjogren had tried this direct approach earlier in the tournament, asking a player who had just put the dregs of his stack into the middle if he was an aggressive one. Back then the all-in player had shrugged and pointed at his chips as ample evidence of the kind of player he was.

Here Benvenuto said nothing, just waited. Sjogren called, turning over A♥9♠. Benvenuto showed T♠8♠.

The board ran 6♣6♥2♠5♣3♦. The two players shook hands and Benvenuto departed. - SB

12.17pm: Vamos for Lacchinelli
Riccardo Lacchinelli cried out ,"Vamos, vamos" as he got the early double-up he must've dreamed about over night.

Paolo Rigano opened the pot with raise to 28,000 from mid position and he was called in position by Nicolas Yunis before Lacchinelli three-bet all-in for 77,000 from the big blind. The action was back on Rigano and he isolated Lacchinelli by raising again. Yunis folded to leave it heads up.

Rigano: A♠K♠
Lacchinelli : 3♠3♣

The board ran a low T♥6♣9♦7♥3♠ and the Itlalain celebrated in a way that only Italians can. Luckily for him Rigano is Italian too and hardly flinched. -- MC

12.13pm: Money from Manousos
Richard Toth just moved all-in behind a raise from Georgios Manousos. The Greek player was in no mood to call though. Toth plays on. - SB

12.10pm: Pick up for Picault
A raise of 24,000 in the cut off from Xuan Liu and Anthony Picault called in the big blind. On the flop of 7♠K♣Q♦ Picault checked to Liu who bet another 26,000. Picault promptly raised to 70,000 forcing a fold from the Canadian. - SB

12pm: Cards in the air
Play gets unde way in San Remo, and on time. -- SB

11.56pm: From the tournament floor
Gloria Balding introduces Day 4 with a little help from Joe Cada...


11.30pm: With bluebirds on our shoulders, welcome to Day 4
There's an air of gaiety in the Casino San Remo today (younger readers may want to look "gaiety" up). The word "bongiorno" bounces off the walls in various accents, while the sun shines and the sky is big and blue outside. The reason could be down to the prospect of a short day. There's no suggestion of work-shyness, casual disregard for the interest of the reader, or laziness on our part - at least not today - just that San Remo looks too good today to be missed. And I haven't had an ice cream yet.

That will only come after the elimination of 36 players today. A total of 60 remained last night, only 24 can return tomorrow. A full list of those players, their chip counts and where they'll be sitting today can be found on the Seat Draw page. You can also catch up on the events of yesterday by reading yesterday's end of day report right here.

Meanwhile sit back, open the windows and let the sunshine in. -- SB

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Laundry, in San Remo, today...

PokerStars Blog reporting team in San Remo (in order of likeliness to burn if outside in the sun for more than five minutes): Rick Dacey (not at all, once removed his shirt at the PCA), Marc Convey (not at all, brings sunglasses with him everywhere) and Stephen Bartley (Are you crazy? Why not just put me in a microwave and have done with it).