EPT Snowfest: Day 1B, level 3 & 4 updates (blinds 150-300)


6.35pm: Break time
That's the end of level four. Those on tables one to 15 are now on a 90 minute dinner break, while the rest of the field takes a standard 15 minutes. -- SB

6.30pm: Battle of the Kevins
As the end of level four nears Luca Pagano, Kevin MacPhee and Kevin Stani got together to play a pot.

On a flop of 7♠2♥6♦ Pagano checked the big blind while MacPhee did the same in the hijack. That allowed Stani to make it 1,000 to play. Pagano passed but MacPhee stuck around, calling for a 7♥ turn.

That was it as far as action was concerned. The turn was checked, as was the Q♥ river card, Stani showing A♦2♦ to take the pot. - SB

6.25pm: Biggest pot so far?
Kevin Vandersmissen and Jean Claude Moussa just played out a 85,000-chip pot after five bets pre-flop. Moussa started proceedings with an early position raise to 775 that Jeff Sarwer called before James Keys three-bet to 3,050. Vandersmissen was in the small blind and put in a four-bet to 10,050.

Action back on Moussa and he moved all-in for about 53,000. This forced out Sarwer and Keys but Vandersmissen called after checking his cards one more time.

Moussa: Q♠Q♥
Vandersmissen : K♣K♥

The board ran A♥3♣5♥2♥K♠ to see Vandersmissen make a set. He's probably chip leader with 85,000 chips. -- MC

6.15pm: Minieri gets the better of himself
The Italian wizard has managed to magic all of his chips away. That is the spectacle of Minieri - you just never know what to expect with him. -- RD

6.05pm: Minieri gets the better of Meidinger
Dario Minieri opened for 600 in early position. He first made it 400 before being reminded of the blinds. Alexander Meidinger called from the big blind for a flop of 5♥6♦7♠. With the action checked to him Minieri bet 725, speaking the raise and speaking quite loudly, the music in his headphones disturbing his natural sound levels. Meidinger called for a 8♣ turn.

Dario Minieri

Meidinger checked again, this time, speaking again, Minieri made it 1,550 to play. Meidinger called. Minieri rubbed his upper lip and watched the river card come J♠. Another check to Minieri who bet another 5,600, only this time he let the chips do the talking. There followed a long pause as Meidinger filtered out the good and bad options left available to him. Finally he called.

Minieri promptly, and without ceremony, tuned over 8♥9♦ having flopped the straight. Meidinger took another long look at his cards, the tell-tale sign of a losing hand. It was. Minieri moves up to 38,000. - SB

6pm: Lykov rivers a monster to challenge for chip lead
Max Lykov had plenty of outs on the turn of the 9♠7♣4♣6♠ board with his K♠4♠ and hit it on a 2♠ river. A large river bet was paid off as the Russian Team PokerStars Pro chipped up to 65,000 with the second nut flush. -- RD

5.55pm: Wigg top of the Billard
Anton Wigg is up to 71,000 after flopping a set against Francois Billard. Wigg raised from the cut-off and called when Billard three-bet from the button. Wigg went into check-call mode from here on in as Billard bet 1,650, 2,550 and 7,250 on each street. The final board read 5♣A♠K♥4♦T♠ and Billard mucked when his river bet was called. Wigg tabled 5♠5♣. -- MC

5.45pm: Naujoks folds to champion Tureniec
Team PokerStars Pro Sandra Naujoks was just forced off a hand by EPT Copenhagen winner Michael Tureniec. After Julian Herold opened for 600 in early position Naujoks raised to 1,100 from middle position only for Tureniec to make it 2,850 from the cut off. With the action folded back to Herold he passed while Naujoks called for a flop of 3♥5♥7♠. Naujoks then check-folded to Tureniec's bet of 2,200. -- SB

5.40pm: Minieri explodes into action
Dario Minieri isn't a sit-and-wait player. He is the lively sort that chases pots and players with wild abandon as Alexander Meidinger has just found out. Minieri had got involved from the big blind to Meidinger's cut-off. I arrived at the moment Minieri led into the Q♠9♠5♦5♣ turn for a pot-sized 2,100 and Meidinger raised to 5,500.

Minieri tossed two yellow 5,000 chips across the line but the dealer started pulling the chips in for change. "It is a raise, I think," said Minieri to the dealer, while tugging his headphones off.

The dealer apologised, rectified the chips and Meidinger passed. Minieri up to 37,000. -- RD


5.30pm: Keys to success
James Keys, the recent runner-up at the Aussie Millions, has a 55,000 stack. We had a chat and he filled me in on the hand that got him there.

Mathias de Meulder raised from the button and the small blind called before Keys three-bet from the big blind with Q♠9♠. De Meulder folded but the small blind called to see the [q][q][9] flop. The small blind led for 3,000 and Keys called to the [4] turn. The small blind only had 11,000 left and bet 7,000 of it. Keys called to go to the [7] river where the small blind committed his last 4,000. Keys called with his top full house and the small blind had only five-three off suit. -- MC

5.22pm: Down and almost out in Alpine hills
Good news for Pierre Neuville, bad news for Tamas Losonczi, from Hungary. The popular Belgian, a Friend of PokerStars no less and a relentless PokerStars qualifier (as shown by the "20" stuck on his sweater - the number of times he has qualified online), has just moved back up to the 28,000 after flopping trip fours against Losonczi.

This left Losonczi short, and a hand later he moved all-in for a little more than 8,000. The action reached Nils Berggren who tanked for a minute, then also moved in, the only player with fewer chips than Losonczi.

The pair went to a heads-up showdown, Losonczi showing T♠8♣ to Berggren's 6♦6♣. The board ran A♦5♦A♣2♥A♥ bringing Berggren's sixes into play.

Losonczi stood up to leave but was slightly irritated to find that he was still in, to the tune of 800 chips. He's back in his chair, although perhaps not for long. - SB

5.12pm: What goes up must come down
Team PokerStars Pro Lex Velhuis has received lots of coverage today due to some aggressive play. This style can work very well if the cards run your way and you know when to take your foot off the gas. It was working very well for him during the first two levels but level three has seen the wheels come off, and stay off.

Lex Veldhuis

He raised to 500 from early position and got four callers en route to a T♣4♥7♦ flop. Veldhuis c-bet for 1,500 and got one caller before Robert Motschmann raised to 6,000. There was a fold before the action was back on the Dutchman. He thought for a minute and then moved his whole 22,800 stack over the line. Motschmann snap called after the other player involved folded.

Motschmann tabled T♥T♠ for top set but Velduis didn't want to reveal his hand and said, "I'm embarrassed". He finally revealed A♦K♦ for ace-high and back-door flush draw.

Clutching at straws Veldhuis said, "diamonds" and turn came Q♦ to give him hope. The hope vanished though after the 2♣ river and a sheepish Veldhuis made his exit. -- MC

5pm: Movers and shakers
The excitable Les Veldhuis is down to 25,000, Liv Boeree has just 15,000, Kevin MacPhee is cruising along on 32,000 while Luca Pagano is sitting pretty with 53,000. Check out our chip counts page for other big swingers. -- RD

4.50pm: Be a hit with Austrian women...
Gloria Balding reports from the tournament floor and brings you a short guided tour of the local town Hinterglemm. She also provides hints on which bar staff to hit on. It's true. Find out for yourself...

4.45pm: The Level 3 update
Players return for level three with news that Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier is currently en route to Hinterglemm and is only seven hours away. Meanwhile his stack is being blinded off.

Leading the field at this early stage is PokerStars Sport Star Fatima Moreira de Melo who has around 57,000 right now, ahead of Team Pros Luca Pagano and Lex Veldhuis who both have around 45,000. Tense.

Meanwhile out on the slopes there has been another astonishing performance by a skier now known as the Red Arrow, who darted down the main slopes, glided towards the ramp and then span gloriously in mid-air before landing perfectly. Need proof?

The Red Arrow mid-flight...

The Red Arrow landing...

(Action shots courtesy of Bruno Santos)

4.40pm: Ski jumps and check-raises
During the break we were wowed by the performances of a ski jumper on the slope outside the hotel and so it was with a tear in the eye that we heard players going back into the tournament room. Play on. -- RD

ept snowfest_day 1b_outside.jpg

Baby, it's cold outside...

PokerStars Blog reporting team at EPT Snowfest (in order of number picked between one and ten): Rick Dacey (three), Marc Convey (six) and Stephen Bartley (seven). Photos by Neil Stoddart.

Rick Dacey
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour