EPT Snowfest: Day 1A, level 3 & 4 updates (blinds 150-300)
6.35pm: Plucky Plauski ahead at the break
Aleh Plauski is up into the chip lead after making a big shove on the final hand before the break. He raked in the pot to chip up to around 83,000. Just behind him are a few players; Johannes Holstege has 74,000 while Dragomir Marius and Wim Bos both have 70,000 apiece.
It's a 15-minute break. -- RD
6.32pm: Adeniya's stock rises again
Martins Adeniya is back up to 50,000 after he eliminated Sebastian Petre Pascu. Adeniya three-bet an opponent's late position raise to 3,000 and Pascu cold called from the big blind for about a quarter of his stack. The initial raiser folded to leave the action heads up to the K♦5♣8♠ flop. Adeniya check-called Pascu's shove with K♣Q♦. The Romanian tabled 9♣9♠ which stayed behind through the 5♦3♥ turn and river. -- MC
6.28pm: Duthie down
If you know Team PokerStars Pro John Duthie well then you'll know that he's very capable of building up a big stack but, just like a three year old boy, is just as good at knocking it back down again. He was as high as 70,000 not long ago but he's currently on about 25,000. We're not sure what happened but Duthie shaped his hand into a gun and pretended to pull the trigger after he lifted it up to his temple and that tells it own story. -- MC
6.23pm: Quads for all
Andrei Revenko raised from early position and was called by Martins Adeniya in late position. The A♥A♣A♠ flop brought the usual murmur of amusement, astonishment and a whole host of other things beginning with 'a' and ending with 'ment', particularly from Bjorn Verbakel and Sebastian Petre Pascu who seemed to think Christmas had come early.
While Revenko and Adeniya got on with the important part of c-betting 900 and calling respectively, Verbakel and Pascu continued to chuckle about the flop with the Swede calling for an ace on the turn. The A♦ was duly served to more howls of merriment. It does make you wonder sometimes...
Both Revenko and Adeniya checked before Revenko led 2,700 into the Q♥ river. Adeniya raised to 8,625 while Pascu, still very excitable, tried to encourage him to move all-in. I'm sure that's some kind of breach of etiquette. It didn't matter, Revenko moved all-in and was quickly called - both had the nuts with a king kicker. Poor old Revenko held K♠K♦ to Adeniya's K♠T♦. -- RD
6.15pm: Party time
Last night was party night at EPT Snowfest, with the official welcome party taking place at the Goat Stall, a short walk up a mountain from here. Gloria Balding was there, as this video testifies...
6.10pm: The man Hanh Tran
On a flop of 3♥5♣2♥ Hanh Tran checked to Janosch Seifert who took the lead in the hand, betting 1,500. Dominik Nitsche was next to him and called before Tran raised to 4,000. Seifert called. Nitsche leaned over to examine both Tran's and Seifert's stacks, then said "I'm all-in."
Tran sighed and tipped in his remaining chips, adding up to some 17,000. Seifert passed. Nitsche showed Q♣Q♦ but Tran had draws, showing T♥6♥.
The turn came T♦, the river 4♠, making the straight for Tran who banged the table and shouted "yes!". Nitsche quietly paid him off. -- SB
5.59pm: Newbie going steady
PokerStars qualifier Simon Charette is playing his first EPT today. We met Simon at the welcome party last night and he's very excited to be playing today. We were concerned for his safety last night as he walked to the party with us in just a sweater and no overcoat. He assured us that it felt like summer compared to the cold his experiences in his hometown of Toronto.
There's nothing much to report about his progress today but he's in profit, on around 32,000. This is partly due to his taking a pot down recently when he three-bet three opponents off their hand whilst he was in the big blind. It may be his first EPT but he's not here to just make up the numbers.-- MC
5.45pm: Cimpan gets there again
PokerStars qualifier Cornel Cimpan is up to around 60,000 after hitting trips on the river versus fellow qualifier Tauno Pajula. The two were heads-up to a J♥6♣4♣ flop and Cornel bet 1,100 and called when Pajula min raised to 2,200. The turn came 6♥ and both players checked. The Estonian led for 2,000 on the 4♦ river and Cimpan called quickly with 4♥2♥ to better Pajula's A♠A♦. -- MC
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 150-130
5.35pm: Take Zhaterina
Kolobekora Zhaterina is out, making this an all-male field. Of that field Dmitry Stelmak moves up a little a rests on the 30,000 mark, exactly what he started with.
After Giuseppe Pantaleo opened to 675 from the hijack which Stelmak raised to 1,625 from the cut off. Over in seat three there was a caller and Pantaleo called also for a flop of 6♠K♦2♥. All three players checked for a 4♣ turn. The action was checked to Stelmak who bet 4,000, good enough to win the pot.
A table along sits Darius Venckus from Lithuania, who close up looks like a member of the Cuban Revolutionary committee, complete with an olive drab hat, what looks to be a kepi, and with a beard that in some quarters is described as a "dandelion," his face in the middle.
At his table John O'Shea just profited from aces. On a board of J♣8♠4♠6♥8♥ he bet 4,000 which Constantin Meyer called. O'Shea turned over A♣A♦ to take the pot. -- SB
5.30pm: Wasek wins
I'm not sure how Artur Wasek does it. I never see him play a hand yet every time I pass his table he seems to have a few thousand more. He's up to around 38,000 now. I think he might just growl at people when he's in the blinds and because no-one wants to anger him they all pass and he picks up two sets of blinds each rotation. -- RD
5.20pm: The PokerStars
Not long after we wrote that Martins Adeniya was going along really well, he went and lost half his stack. He's down to 35,000 after his ace-queen was no good against an opponent's pocket eights on a Q♥5♣Q♣8♠4♥ board. -- MC
5.12pm: Bendik moving up
Jan Bendik made the final table in Prague in December and, if memory serves, owns an electricity company in Slovakia. He just won a small pot to take him up to 36,000 but seemed a little distracted by a Finnish video crew (well, cameraman and presenter) just behind him. As he won the pot he got out of his chair to remonstrate with the pair, or so I thought anyway. Actually he was just heading to warmly say hello to a friend on the rail. -- RD
5pm: Ups and downs
As two skiers simultaneously fall and descend half way down the mountain sliding on their backsides, Josh Prager hovers around the 28,000 mark. He just won a modest pot from the big blind against the small blind, betting small on a flop of Q♥Q♦A♣.
Elsewhere Ilari Tahkokalio is up to 37,000. He opened for 500 which Matthias Lotze called for a flop of 2♣K♦3♥. Tahkokalio bet another 800, which again Lotze called for a T♠ turn. One more volley from the Finn, this time worth 1,600. Lotze got the point and passed. - SB
4.45pm: Big stack watch
How are a few of our big stacks getting on?
4.35pm: The Level 3 report
We're a third of the way to the three quarter mark of Day 1A, at which point we'll be pausing for a dinner break before returning for the last two levels of play. Right now though, things stand in the following stead.
Chip leader as we move into level three is, well, it's hard to say. But Team PokerStars Pro John Duthie is right up there with 60,000 and Mattias Kurtz has roughly the same.
Kolobekora Zhaterina (spelt reading directly from her handwriting) remains the only woman in today's field and the double ski jump, scene earlier of one particular bad landing, is now clear again.
Blinds in Level 3 are 100-200. - SB
4.30pm: Players back into the mix
The Day 1A field has filtered back into the tournament room and is sitting down to start the third level of the day. Still plenty of big blinds in the average chip stack. -- RD
PokerStars Blog reporting team at EPT Snowfest (in order of chief complaint with his room): Rick Dacey (paper-thin curtains let sun stream in at dawn), Stephen Bartley (No bath, generally dungeon-like) and Marc Convey (shower exudes misty moisture rather than a jet of water). Photos by Neil Stoddart.