EPT8 Prague: Day 1B, level 5 & 6 updates (200-400, ante 50)
6.55pm: Killer level ends
Around 50 players were eliminated in that level, which is quite extraordinary. Some of those finished with EPT main events for this calendar year include:
Mateusz Moolhuizen, Ondrej Vinklarek, Björne Lindberg, Simeon Naydenov, Tomeu Gomila, Erich Kollman, Kevin Iacofano, Igor Ladoshkin, Michal Medved, Antonios Koukouras, Viacheslav Goryachev, James Keys, Driss Bouchoiri, Dimitar Danchev, Jorge Borau, Julian Herold, Elie Ghazal, Andrei One, Anton Astapov, Moritz Kranich, Pavel Gonchakov, Michael Kronlachner, Giuseppe Pantaleo, Pouskas Grigoris
and Cathy Hong. -- MC
6.50pm: Blain flips better than Nitsche
Dominik Nitsche opened from middle position to 1,000 and was called in one spot before the action reached Dermot Blain in the small blind who popped it up to 4,500. Nitsche asked for a count.
"About forty," replied Blain with a waggle of his hand intimating that it wasn't a precise count. It turned out to be 38,600, a wagglesworth of difference.
Nitsche pushed his stack across the line, covering the Irishman by 5,500. Blain didn't look thrilled but made the call.
The 2♦8♠6♠ flop was an exciting one, the 2♣ turn blanked but the A♦ river did not. Blain up to 80,000, Nitsche down to 5,500. -- RD
6.42pm: Tournament snapshot
- Boris Becker is still in the hunt for his second EPT cash finish. He has Andrey Saenko on his right with plenty of chips, close to 80,000.
- Canadian Max Greenwood is on 110,000 or so - another contender for a top ten chip stack come the end of the day.
- Mike 'Timex' McDonald's tournament is continuing to move in the wrong direction. He started the level with some 50,000. He's down to about 20,000 after a series of coolers (his words) and blind on blind tangle with in which his opponent flopped top pair.
- EPT Snowfest winner Vladimir Geshkenbein claimed to have pulled a 'huge all-in shove with (the) nut flush blocker' and believed his opponent folded a set. This is the hyper Russian's first EPT in some time and will certainly make things interesting if he builds another big stack. -- RD
6.35pm: Veldhuis straightens out Kainov
Illia Kainov was down to his last 5,200 when he three-bet Lex Veldhuis' 1,000 raise all-in. The Team PokerStars Pro made the call with a low, but live holding.
The board ran 5♥9♥Q♠2♣6♦ to make the Dutchman a straight by the river. He's up to 52,000 chips. -- MC
6.30pm: He loves and she loves
As Ghassan El Hoss on Table Fun gets his second two-hand penalty in half an hour for inappropriate folding, Johannes Strassmann and Melanie Wiesner, a table over, are discussing a player who apparently finds it impossible not to be honest. Strassmann calls it honourable. Weisner's reaction suggests she thinks it's offensive.
As they debate that, Anton Wigg raised to 3,150 before Praz Bansi moved all-in with Q♦J♦. Wigg called with A♥K♣ and waited for the board.
Bansi out. - SB
6.19pm: Confirmed field
It's a big one, ladies and gentlemen. We have a total of 722 players with 488 taking part today. That's one hell of field for a €5,300 buy-in tournament. The prize structure is to come and we'll get that posted as soon as soon as we get our grubby little mitts on it. -- RD
6.17pm: Keeping the wealth in Germany
Dominik Nitsche tweeted earlier that he was happy to leave his difficult first table, but not so happy to arrive at an equally tricky second table that included Pius Heinz.
He's happier now though because he's doubled through Germany's first ever WSOP Main Event champion. Nitsche raised before a player in the cut-off three-bet all-in for 6,000. The Team PokerStars Pro moved all-in from the big blind and Nitsche called all-in for 21,600 to create a three-way showdown.
Nitsche had the best of it with pocket jacks to Heinz's pocket tens, and the cut-off's pocket fours. The board ran 5♣3♥8♦Q♠Q♥ to put Nitsche up to nearly 50,000 chips. Heinz is short with 10,000. -- MC
6.12pm: Big stacks
Martin Jacobson and Ville Wahlbeck are among the players pushing for the Day 1B chip lead. Both of those aforementioned players are bobbling around on close to 100,000. Talking of which, bobble hat wearing James Mitchell is down to 14,000. -- RD
6.05pm: They all laughed
The fun table right now is table 28, where the likes of Kevin MacPhee and Alan Engel are holding court. A misdeal just resulted in aces for the button and queens for the small blind, much to the delight of everyone, particularly Engle, who stands when not in a hand. This place is full of good cheer with even the dealer involved.
A hand goes by with Craig Bergeron defending his big blind.
"How old are you?" asked MacPhee
"Twenty-two," replied Bergeron.
"Aren't you a bit young to be defending your big blind," said MacPhee, practicing a line he'll put to better effect when he's 30.
Bergeron takes it in good spirits, his turn to be the target of the jokes. Only Basil Yaiche in seat three is avoiding the fun, raising instead to 2,000 from under-the-gun. Andrulis Kristijonas called for a flop of 3♠9♠K♠. Another 1,400 from Yaiche won the hand, without so much as a grin. - SB
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 200-400, 50
5.50pm: The PokerStars family
Here's how most of the remaining members of Team PokerStars Pro are getting on:
Liv Boeree - 53,000
Pius Heinz - 27,400
Boris Becker - 49,000
Juan Manuel Pastor - 48,000
Eugene Katchlov - 46,000
Ville Wahlbeck - 88,000
Martin Hruby - 32,000
Sebastian Ruthenberg - 33,000
Pierre Neuville - 22,000
Dag Palovic - 42,000
Lex Vedlhuis - 39,400
ElkY - 19,000
Jonathan Duhamel - 42,000
Jude Ainsworth -- 70,000
5.50pm: Silver punts 9,300 to Boeree
The title is not really that true but Max Silver did seem a little bit annoyed at himself when he five-bet folded to Liv Boeree only to find out he was in a race.
Silver opened the pot to 725 from early position and was called in one spot before the Team PokerStars Pro three-bet to 2,025 from the button. Mark Pukhov was in the small blind and put in a four-bet to 5,000. The action was now back on Silver and he wasn't ready to give up and five-bet to 9,300.
The other players moved out of the way before Boeree shoved for 37,500 after studying Silver, who always seems like he's up to something. Pukhov got the message and moved out of the way to leave the decision to Silver. He said, "I had it in my head that I was going to five-bet fold, but now I'm not so sure."
He decided to go with his first instincts and open folded A♥K♥ and was shown Q♣Q♠ by his fellow Brit. -- MC
5.37pm: Things are looking up
Table 36 contains not one player I recognise so all the more reason to watch for a while. It didn't take long for something to happen, Yngve Stehen moving all in for his last few thousand and getting called by Tolik Shkoyan, who happily turned over A♣A♥, smiling and chewing gum with his mouth open. Stehen could only manage A♠4♠.
The board ran A♦K♠5♥3♥5♣. The turn stopped Shkoyan chewing, his mouth hanging open as he dodged a deuce, but the river brought that smile back. - SB
5.33pm: Mattern out
Arnaud Mattern, Cathy Hong and Mateusz Moolhuizen are among the most recent fallers. They shall receive no more mentions for this tournament. They are banished. -- RD
Daniel Todorov's tournament just got a lot more difficult. Not because Mike McDonald is now on his immediate right, but because McDonald has also spilled his coffee on front of him, leaving a stain, not unlike a map of Alaska.
McDonald had put his coffee on the table while Todorov was away. When the Bulgarian came back he didn't expect there to be anything to knock over. There was.
Sinking to a new low, photographer Neil Stoddart got a shot of the damage...
Mike McDonald confesses
It's all spills and thrills at this table with the likes of Natalie Hof, Martin Hruby and Sebastian Ruthenberg joining McDonald.
Hruby was just the beneficiary of a pot from the big blind, against the button and small blind.
With the board reading K♣A♦6♣Q♥Q♣ the button and small blind checked to Hruby who bet 3,225. The button folded but Nikolay Tsanev in the small blind tanked, eventually calling. Hruby turned over Q♠K♦. Tsanev flashed a grimace and a J♦.
Hruby up to 32,000. -- SB
5.25pm: Drag Palovic
explains himself talks to the video blog team.
5.20pm: Heinz and Blain clash
"Sorry guys," said Dermot Blain who sat staring at a board of 8♠T♠5♠A♣8♥. Pius Heinz (hijack) had bet 850 into the flop, 1,825 into the turn and 5,250 into the river. Blain (button) had called the first and second volleys but was finding it difficult to click the call button on this final street.
The Irishman looked at Heinz's remaining chips - there were 15,300 left, all of which were being riflled by the WSOP champ - and he finally decided to pass. Blain sits with around 42,000, Heinz still playing catch up with close to 25,000. -- RD
5.15pm: News in brief
5pm: Side action schedule change
Two side events have had a slight schedule change with event #6 (€2k Turbo Bounty) and event #7 (€300 Win the Button) having been pushed back by an hour. The tournaments will now start at 8pm and 10pm respectively. -- RD
4.55pm: Boeree bouncing back
Liv Boeree doubled through the hyper aggressive Tomas Cibak just before the break to chip up to 38,000. Cibak had set Boeree all-in in a raising war with pocket sixes and Boeree had quickly called with ace-king, more than happy to get her stack in against someone who had shown the propensity to five-bet shove with seven-high pre-flop.
Fellow Team PokerStars Pro Jude Ainsworth also doubled. He's up to a healthy 75,000. Play has resumed. -- RD
PokerStars Blog reporting team in Prague (in order of appreciation of aloe infused soft drink): Rick Dacey ('Great stuff once you get used to the viscosity'), Marc Convey ('Tastes nice, textures odd') and Stephen Bartley (one sip, stopped, top remains capped, eyes continue to eye bottle suspciously) . Photos by Neil Stoddart.