EPT Snowfest: Day 2, level 11 & 12 updates (blinds 1,000-2,000, 200 ante)


7.53pm: Din dins
All the players are now on a 90 minute dinner break. -- MC

7.48pm: Cheeky Geshkenbein
Vladimir Geshkenbein is back up to 250,000 after bluffing Herbert Kern off a hand. Kern raised to 4,200 from late position and called when the Russian three-bet to 11,500 from the small blind. The flop came 8♣2♥6♦ and Geshkenbein led for 15,000 only to face a raise up to 33,000 from Kern. Geshkenbein asked how much Kern had behind and when he found out it was 72,000, he moved all-in. Kern tank folded and the Russian smiled and tabled Q♠9♠. -- MC

7.40pm: More de Melo
A raise on the button from Morten Mortensen and Fatima Moreira de Melo sparked into action, raising to 11,000 from the big blind, getting a call, on her way to a stack of 185,000.

The flop came K♣9♦3♠ and Moreira de Melo fired out another 13,000, called, then another 22,500 on the T♠ turn, leaving herself another 100,000 behind. Mortensen called (he had 200,000 back) and Moreira de Melo snuck a look at Mortensen before the 7♣ river card.


At this point Moreira de Melo restacked her chips and put 45,000 in the middle.

Mortensen, showing all the trademarks of a good young pro - spikey hair, leather wrist straps, a big watch, an iPod, mirrored shades and chips - tanked for a while. Eventually he opted not to take on the PokerStars SportStar and laid down his hand.

No fanfare. Moreira de Melo stacked up 185,000.

7.39pm: Tureniec snaps Finger
There is a long way to go but Michael Tureniec is still in with a chance to make back-to-back EPT final tables and maybe, just maybe, score consecutive EPT titles. He's up to around 450,000 after snapping off Martin Finger's A♠J♣ shove with pocket jacks; J♦J♠.

The 4♦A♦5♦ flop put Finger ahead but a fourth diamond on the K♦ turn settled it for Tureniec. The Swede looks, as always, centred and ready to play. -- RD

7.31pm: Carson climbing
Russell Carson is up to 275,000 now after a four-way pot that brought about the elimination of Giovanni Maresca. There was an early position raise to 4,600 that Carson and both players in the blinds called. The flop came K♠5♦2♦ and the original aggressor c-bet for 8,000 only to see Carson raise to 23,000 and Maresca check-raise all-in for 95,100 from the big blind after the small blind folded. The original aggressor folded too but Carson called quickly.

Maresca tabled K♦J♦ for top pair and flush draw whereas Carson opened 5♠5♣ for middle set. The Italian needed to hit his flush but failed to do so through the Q♣3♠ turn and river. -- MC

7.20pm: Port-u-go Nuno
Team PokerStars Pro Nuno Coelho is the last of the Portuguese pros to bust. He was down to his last 20,600 when he moved all-in from mid-position with A♦2♦. A slightly larger stacked player moved in behind with T♣T♠ and the board ran Q♠2♠5♣J♦K♣ to send him on his way. -- MC

7.10pm: Winning by a nose
What exactly are players looking for when they stare another player in the face? This question came to light a few moments ago in a hand between Heinz Traut and Cynthia Foresti, one that involved Traut staring straight at Foresti, sitting on his immediate left, for about six minutes.

There are a few tell-tale signs a player can look for in the hope that it might give something away; a pulsing neck for example, or some heavy breathing, but even those can be misleading. Frankly, the art of picking up visual tells, beyond the world of Oreo biscuits, is a dying one, with other aspects of the game playing more of a roll in player-to-player reads.

Nevertheless Traut kept staring, looking for something, although what, exactly, wasn't clear.

For one thing Foresti wears a ridiculous looking fur hat. She also wears big sunglasses to conceal her eyes, while her neck is shielded by her long hair. This effectively leaves only her nose exposed for Traut to get a read from, and that's a difficult place to start.

Cynthia Foresti

The board was reading K♥5♠T♠9♥. Traut checked to Foresti who bet 13,100. With another 12,000 or so in the middle Traut tank-stared for a long time, ultimately folding in private agony. Foresti moved up to 100,000 chips while Traut, still staring, dropped down a little. - SB

7.02pm: Death comes for you
Morten Mortensen seems to be chasing every pot at his table and with a stack well in excess of 350,000 he's got the ammo to do so.

The young Dane, who sent Tome Morerira deep into the tank a little earlier, has been frantically raking it in since the break. He squeezed an early position raise of 4,600 to 14,600 from the hijack but found a call in the cut-off from Virgilio Di Cicco. Artur Wasek, the squeezed player, came along for the ride.

Mortensen's c-bet of 29,000 into the 9♣8♣2♥ flop was enough to win the 50,000 pot. -- RD

6.54pm: De Visscher goes nowhere
Koen De Visscher took a pot off Zsolt Vasvenszki despite the Hungarian doing his best to budge the Belgian off the hand. De Visscher raised from mid-position and Vasvenszki peeled from the big blind to see the T♦[4♣6♥ flop. Vasvenszki then did the check-raise manoeuvre when he bumped De Visscher's 5,800 c-bet up to 13,200. Call. The turn came K♠ and Vasvenszki fired 17,200 at the pot. Call again.

He gave up on the 8♥ river with a check and De Visscher checked behind. "Queen high", announced Vasvenszki and he tabled Q♥T♣. De Visscher opened A♠T♠ and Vasvenszki added: "nice hand". -- MC

6.45pm: Play resumes
The remaining players take their seats as we push nearer and nearer to the money. -- MC

6.25pm: Break time
This one is for 15 minutes. The next one will be a longer one as we'll all be tucking into the sumptuous buffet. Two players who have the time to enjoy the buffet now are Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree and PokerStars qualifier Dominik Nitsche as neither made it to the break. -- MC

6.24pm; A cold blind battle
Emanuele Rugini has been nursing a short stack all day so must've thought that all his prayers had been answered when Johannes Holstege raised from the small blind. That's because he was sitting in the big blind with Q♥Q♣ and had 30,000 chips in front of him. In they went, but he was snap called by Holstege with A♥A♠. The board ran J♠6♣4♠9♣K♥ to send the Italian on his way. -- MC

6.22pm: Moreira's protracted fold
Tome Moreira has just made the most painful spectacle of folding a hand that I have ever seen. There was chewing of knuckle, pulling of ear, rubbing of eye and finally thumping of table. All of these led up to Moreira holding his cards between two fingers in front of his stack, unable to quite make himself muck his hand.

Morten Mortensen had been the player to put him under such pressure with a 100,000 bet into a 125,000 pot on the river of a 4♠2♦J♠5♦6♥ board.

Artur Wasek, the Polish colossus sat between them, had been finding Moreira's antics hilarious but he had finally grown weary of them. Everyone knew he was folding, he just couldn't let the cards go. Wasek looked at Moreira and flapped his hand as if to say, 'Come on, get on with it,' and the Portugese player let it go. Moreira was left with 190,000 and Mortensen is up to 345,000. -- RD

6.15pm: Pagano power
Luca Pagano was up to 400,000 at the last break, dropped a few but is now back up to around 350,000, winning a hand against lian Ruxandescu.

On a flop of J♠2♥3♥ Ruxandescu bet from early position before Pagano raised to 42,500 in the cut off. Herbert Kern was also in the pot at this stage but tank folded, sending the action back to Ruxandescu. He called for a 2♦ turn card.

Ruxandescu checked again leaving Pagano to bet another 65,000. Another long spell in the tank for Ruxandescu who eventually passed. Pagano still on course for EPT cash number 18. - SB

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Luca Pagano sporting a Sopranos style velour tracksuit

6.05pm: Using his lead
Chip leader Philip Meulyzer has extended his lead and is up to 480,000 after forcing Nino Ryschawy off a hand.

He raised to 3,600 from early position and Ryschawy called from late position to see a K♥4♣7♠ flop. Meulyzer c-bet for 4,200 and Ryschawy called. Both checked the 6♣ turn before Meulyzer upped the pressure with a 26,700 bet on the 4♦ river. Ryschawy thought for a minute and folded. -- MC

5.55pm: Pagano closing in on the chip lead
Luca Pagano has won another chunky pot to close in on the chip lead with almost 400,000. His latest victim was Marvin Rettenmaier, who despite turning two pair on the turn had the look of a man who knew he was getting put through the grinder.

Pagano had opened the action from early with a raise to 3,800 and had been called by Rettenmaier in middle position as well as by the button and big blind. Pagano fired 9,500 into the Q♥6♣J♦ flop, 21,000 into the A♠ turn and moved in on Rettenmaier on the 9♥ river. Rettenmaier appeared pained but made the call with A♥Q♦ but had always been behind to Pagano's 6♠6♦. -- RD

5.50pm: Stumpf stumped
Frank Stumpf is out after three-betting all-in for around 30,000 from the small blind after a button raise. PokerStars qualifier Nikolaus Deininger was that man on the button and he actually had a hand. He called with ace-king and neither player improved on the board that ran nine-high. -- MC

5.42pm: 'That's our Artur'
Artur Wasek is probably the biggest player we see on tour, both in stature and in heart, but that doesn't stop him shaking after winning a biggish pot. He had friend and Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki railing for good luck and he got the luck he needed even though he thought he had lost the hand for a second.

Wasek held K♣K♥ and was all-in pre-flop with Gilles Speller who held A♣Q♠. The first four cards came J♥7♠J♠T♥ and it was here that Wasek shouted, "No king, no king," thinking he would lose to the straight it would make for Speller. The river came K♦ and Wasek reacted accordingly before he was told that the king also made him a full house.

Wasek started laughing and Horecki commented, "That's our Artur!" He's up to 155,000 now. -- MC

5.32pm: Sal Bon gone, Pantaleo leaves
As Salvatore Bonavena departs so too does Giuseppe Pantaleo. The German open shoved from the button for 16,000 and was called by Yann Dion in the big blind who turned over [k][3] to Pantaleo's [a][j].

The flop hit both players but whereas it lightly stroked Dion it punched Pantaleo in the face, comeing [j][k][q]. The [5] and [2] turn and river couldn't help the German who immediately headed out of the room.

5.25pm: Seven-four is the new black aces
Maurizio Guerra is up to around 25,000 after getting his last chips in with an unbeatable hand. Christian Fabri raised to 3,500 before Marc Ladouceur three-bet to 8,800 and Guerra moved all-in for 9,600.

Ladouceur called the extra off with K♥J♠ after Fabris folded. Guerra said, "I can't lose," and tabled 7♠4♠ and added a, "YES!"

He was absolutely right too as the board ran 8♦4♦6♦4♣9♦ to give him trips. -- MC

5.17pm: Wigg's demise
Some details on the hand where Anton Wigg busted at the end of Level 10.

Tome Moreira opened for 2,700 and Wigg three-bet to 7,500. Moreira made the call and checked the K♦Q♥3♦ flop to Wigg who bet 8,000. Moreira check-raised to 21,000 and Wigg decided to move all-in for around 90,000 (so we've been told). Moreira made the call with A♦J♦ for the nut flush draw and a gutshot. Wigg held Q♦8♦ for a dominated flush draw but had already paired the queen.

The turn was a blank 3♠ but the A♥ river shipped the monster pot over to Moreira. Wigg, distraught. Moreira, happy as larry now with close to 285,000. -- RD

5.16pm: Thank you for your co-operation
The new level introduced by Gloria Balding with a little help from Alex Kravchenko...

5.15pm: The Level 11 update
So where are we? We're into the third level of the day with blinds at 800-1,600 with a 200 ante. Leading right now is Philip Meulyzer with over 400,000 with 170 players left. That makes the average stack measure somewhere around the 85,000 mark.

Elsewhere Kevin MacPhee is out, having lost a race against Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano. That happens to be exactly the same way he was eliminated from EPT Snowfest last year. Marcus Golser and Dmitry Vitkind are also out.

You can find chip counts of all the remaining players, which will become official in just a few minutes, on the official chip count page.

5.10pm: Players back into throng
The lobby has once again started to empty as the players filter back into the tournament room. The money isn't on the direct horizon but it's certainly not that far away. -- RD

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The player most unlikely to make the final table...

PokerStars Blog reporting team at EPT Snowfest (in order of level of annoyance at their chosen subject): Stephen Bartley (facebook, apoplectic), Marc Convey (chip count page, fuming) and Rick Dacey (uncharacteristically calm). Photos by Neil Stoddart.

Rick Dacey
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour