EPT8 Prague: Day 1B, level 7 & 8 updates (300-600, ante 75)

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9.20pm: Day 1B in the books
That's the end of play for today. Andrey Saenko seems to be the combined end of day one chip leader with 200,800. The full counts and a wrap of all today's action will be up soon. -- MC

9.05pm: Monster pot pushes Wissing to the top
Mads Wissing is a potential chip leader after winning a huge pot to take him up to 190,000. There was some 65,000 in the pot when Wissing shoved the river of a 4♦Q♣9♠6♠K♥ board. His opponent, Enver Abduraimov, whom he had covered, eventually made the call for his remaining 45,000 and was shown J♥T♥ for the nut straight. -- RD

8.56pm: Last seven hands
Tournament staff have drawn a seven sop that means we will be playing seven more hands tonight.

8.55pm: Becker beaten up by the big stack
Andrey Saenko is up to around 200,000 chips now after he eliminated Boris Becker. The Team PokerStars SportStar committed his last 13,000 chips on a ace-high flop with A♦7♦ but Saenko called with ace-jack and the board bricked out.

Fellow German Pro Sebastian Ruthenberg is also out.-- MC

8.55pm: Homeboy
WSOP Main Event runner-up Martin Staszko talks to the video blog team. Click play and you can hear him talk, laugh and sing. Okay, maybe not sing.

8.53pm: Silver finds a call with big-slick this time
Max Silver, who won his seat in last night's satellite, is up to 170,000 after eliminating his player in a huge pot. The player in question left the room before we could catch who he was but he six-bet shoved with ace-three suited. Silver called with ace-king suited and held. -- MC

8.50pm: More for cold Saenko
Andrey Saenko may be sporting the cardigan of a part-time ski instructor but he's playing poker with the merciless drive of a cold blooded killer. He's just dispatched another short stack after three-bet squeezing the shorty's 4,500 shove up to 9,800, successfully pushing out Tobias Hagedorn who had flatted with [k][q].* Saenko's ace-high held against queen-high to push the Russian further out in front with 182,000. -- RD

*I know this because he held his cards up at head height approximately a foot in front of his face for a few seconds before slapping them face down on the table.

8.42pm: Recently departed
Christian Grundtvig didn't last much longer as the next time he was all-in, he was eliminated. He's joined on the rail by John O'Shea, Saar Wilf, Ronan Monfort, Daniel Smyth, Miguel Hernando, Jorge Prieto, Nicolo Calia and Craig Bergeron. -- MC

8.35pm: Short stacks battle
Michael Tureniec is now sat at a Swedish flavoured table alongside William Thorson and David Sonelin. He wished he had their 100,000-plus stack but he has a little less than 20,000 after doubling up Christian Grundtvig.

Tureniec raised to 1,350 from the hijack and was flat called by Sonelin on the button before the Norwegian three-bet all-in for 7,100 from the button. Tureniec re-shoved and that was enough to force out Sonelin.

Tureniec: 5♣5♥
Grundtvig: 7♦7♣

The board ran J♣4♦T♥8♠J♥. Tureniec has a little more than thirty minutes to try and find a double-up, and he will be trying. -- MC

8.22pm: What's in the pot?
We have €3,501,700 as a confirmed prize pool with €775,000 going to first place. Click on this EPT Prague Season 8 prize structure link to see what place you'll need to finish to cover this year's Christmas shopping. -- RD

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 300-600, ANTE 75


8.15pm: Ainsworth crushes Neuville
Jude Ainsworth hit a 9♦4♣7♦ five-way flop hard with his [7][4] and managed to get it all-in against Pierre Nueville who held A♦9♥. The board blanked out to send Neuville to the rail and Ainsworth up to 95,000. It's certainly been a yo-yo day for Ainsworth.-- RD

8.10pm: It ain't necessarily so
There's something devilish about Vladimir Geshkenbein. He looks like he'd ride a motorcycle to hell and back simply for a dare, his leather jacket flapping open along the way and a grin on his face.

That's how he plays poker, displaying a fearless side, playing poker like you imagine him playing five-finger filet, all while staring wide eyed at his poor opponent. And don't try to compliment him. He'll take this as a sign of weakness and only use it against you.
That might be how Agry Zarza is feeling right now.

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Vladimir Geshkenbein (third face from the left)

With a board reading T♥K♣6♠3♦T♣ he was facing down a bet of 53,000 and tanking. All he had to look at was Geshkenbein looking back at him with his "lucky monkey" (called "Monkey") perched on the chips he had behind.

Zarza folded. The chips were pushed to the Russian who grinned, showing one card that suggested all was not as Zarza had thought. At least that's what Zarza's exasperation suggested. It' ll be some time before he can persuade his eyebrows to come down off the ceiling.

Geshkenbein up to around 100,000 - SB

8.03pm: This is how the rich keep hold of their money
Andrey Saenko is leading the way with 175,000 as we approach the last level of the day and he has a cute way of increasing his stack.

Boris Becker is in the next seat along and threw the Russian a 1,000 chip and asked for change. Saenko provided the change but only to the value of 500. Becker picked up on this and pointed it out and referenced Saenko's stack, and the two laughed about the situation. Becker currently has 19,000 chips. -- MC

7.55pm: Big stack clash before a break?
The next group of players to break is table 37 which contains two stacks of close to 150,000, some way ahead of the 133,000 Day 1A chip lead. Should these two players, Mauri Kristian Dorbek and Denys Drobyna, clash it could create an absolute monster lead going into Day 2 but would, you'd imagine, need an absolute cooler of a hand. Michael Tureniec, more conservatively stacked with close to 40,000 is one of the two players sandwiched between them. -- RD

7.50pm: Heinz suffers the variety side of poker
Team PokerStars Pro Puis Heinz is out. The WSOP champ had to wait for a spot after doubling up Dominik Nitsche, but it didn't go his way when that spot came along.

Yann Brosolo raised to 1,025 and called when the German three-bet all-in for 8,000 from the button.

Heinz: 9♣9♦
Brosolo: A♥Q♣

The board ran A♣3♣6♥7♦8♣ to pair Brosolo's ace. -- MC

7.47pm: Funny face
Mike McDonald has moved up to 50,000 in a hand against Antonio Miranda. With a board reading 8♣6♦3♥3♦Q♦ McDonald moved in with his last 15,000 after Miranda checked. Then, in classic McDonald fashion, he stared at Miranda from a distance of a foot and a half.

Miranda must have been able to feel the laser beams burning his left temple, even through the headphone and oversized baseball cap. This went on for several minutes before Miranda called. McDonald showed Q♣Q♠ to take the pot. Miranda could only tap the table in appreciation. - SB

7.43pm: Weisner whips Gagliano
Melanie Weisner is up to around 88,000 after beating extracting a lot of value from Michael Gagliano, who claimed that she should have doubled through him. Despite that, you've got to imagine that Wesiner was still plenty happy with how the hand panned out.

Wesiner had opened the pot from middle position to 1,125 and was three-bet by Gagliano to 3,400. Call. Galiano c-bet 3,525 into the T♥5♣7♦ flop before check-calling 8,725 on the 9♥ turn and a further 20,400 on the Q♦ river.

Weisner: 5♥5♠

Bottom set was good and Gagliano was left with around 20,000. -- RD

7.35pm: Engle shooting?
Ari Engle just used a weird bit of speech play versus William Thorson and it may have been the reason he lost the pot to the Swede.

He opened to 1,200 from the hijack and called when Thorson three-bet to 2,500 from the cut-off. The flop fell A♦4♣3♥ and Engle check-called a 2,000 c-bet from Thorson. The turn came 3♣ and both players checked.

The river came 4♦ and Engle led for 3,800. Thorson was thinking for about 90 seconds when the American pre-warned his opponent that he would call the clock soon. Thorson was quick to respond and said he can call the clock if he wants and he wouldn't give any warning before calling the clock himself.

Thorson wasn't hurried by this and took another minute or so before calling with Q♠Q♥. It was good as Engle could only muster J♥9♣. Thorson is up to 130,000 chips. -- MC

7.20pm: Ainsworth makes a tough fold
Jude Ainsworth looked pained folding in the following spot but the Irishman, aka j.thaddeus, is usually right. Ainsworth had opened from early position and had been called by Luca Cainelli in late position. Ainsworth fired 2,625 into the 2♦6♥9♣ flop and was raised to 6,600 by the Italian. Ainsworth came back over the top for 10,600, Cainelli called.
The turn was the 4♦ which Ainsworth checked. Cainelli fired 12,200 into his opponent's 45,000 stack. Ainsworth didn't want to fold but somehow, some way, the cards made their way into the muck. Cainelli is up to 64,000. -- RD


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Jude Ainsworth


7.10pm: Play restarts
The new level gets underway with blinds at 250-500 and a 50 ante. Notable chip counts include...

Mauri Kristian Dorbek - 151,500
David Sonelin, 146,500
Andrey Saenko, 142,500
Anton Sinel - 141,600
Anton Wigg - 127,025
Denys Drobyna - 121,650
Hugo Lemaire - 115,900

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The tournament room in Prague

PokerStars Blog reporting team in Prague (for as long as that big guy continues to threaten us about a hand he says we misreported in Loutraki): Howard Swains.