EPT8 Prague: Day 3, level 17 & 18 updates (3,000-6,000, 500 ante)
6.15pm: Swingy Moorman, break
Chris Moorman has had some level. It looked as if the wheels were coming off his tournament but he just knocked out Konstantin Streletskiy to get his stack, and probably his mind back on track.
It was Vojtech Ruzicka, again, that took large chunk off the Brit. He called with ace-high on the flop and bluff raised the turn. Moorman stayed in with top pair but the Czech made a better pair on river and managed to get Moorman to call him.
The final board read 3♥2♠9♥5♦T♦ and Ruzicka tabled A♠T♥. Moorman's 9♦4♦ was no good by that point and he dropped to 235,000.
The level ended on a high though as his pocket queens bettered Streletskiy's pocket jacks to put him back above 440,000.
The break will be a little longer as the 500 chips are coloured out of play. Join us in a new post in 15 minutes. -- MC
6.12pm: Wissing chief on heavily stacked table
There are whole lot of chips on table three now with three players in a row: Garri Tevosov (950,000), Mads Wissing (1,250,000) and Martin Finger (800,0000). Wissing just managed to bust Vitaly Lunkin in a 500,000 coin flip to push into the chip lead just ahead of Guillem Cavaller who holds 1,150,000. --- RD
6.11pm: Plans for dinner
Tournament staff have announced that there will be a dinner break tonight at the end of level 19, some time around 7.45pm. Play will then resume at 9pm.
6.10pm: Mental floss
"Who's the player who just bet?"
This was Ari Engel and the player he was asking about was Anton Wigg. There's been no shortage of action at this table, most players trying to take on the immovable Ignat Liviu who has taken chips from Engel and Wigg.
Wigg opened the latest hand from the hijack, making it 12,000 to play. Liviu raised from the cut off to 26,000 which Juan Manual Pastor called on the button. Wigg also called.
The flop came 9♦K♠J♣. All three players checked for a 3♠ turn card. Wigg then bet 68,500 forcing Liviu to pass and sending the action to Pastor. He asked how much, but passed. Wigg raked in the chips. Event the waitress, who had stood behind him for the duration of the hand, leaned over to give him a few hundred in change. Wigg back up to 500,000.
In the next Engel started things, opening for 12,000 in early position. Wigg called, as did Liviu in the hijack. At this point it's worth saying that there are other players at this table.
The flop came A♦T♣9♦. Engel checked to Wigg who bet 21,500. Liviu called, using only red chips as Engel passed.
The turn came 7♣ which both Wigg and Liviu checked for a 3♦ river card. Another check from Wigg. Liviu, who for the first time used only blue chips, bet 75,000. Did this set off an alarm bell for Wigg? Regardless, the former EPT champion passed. - SB
6pm: Brosolo punches out Puchkov
Yann Brosolo is up to 440,000 after making a flush against the Russian Konstantin Puchkov.
Brosolo raised from early position and was called by the Russian in the hijack along with the big blinded player.
The flop fell J♦5♠T♠ and Brosolo check-raised Puchkov's bet all-in. The big blind moved out of the way but Puchkov called all-in with A♦J♣. The Frenchman tabled K♠9♠ and go there through the 9♥7♠ turn and river. -- MC
5.55pm: Elder doesn't believe, shoves, busts
Rupert Elder did not believe the cold four-bet that came his way and five-bet shoved with pocket nines... into the pocket queens of Dennis Bejedal. Back to back EPT cashes for the Elder. Bejedal up to 760,000. -- RD
Garri Tevosov has extended his chip lead with a bulging stack of 1,200,000. Martin Finger, a well regarded German online player is a couple of seats to his left with 850,000 and could certainly be a sticking point in the Russian's attempt to steamroll the table. -- RD
5.46pm: The Ainsworth smirk
Jude Ainsworth is up to 460,000 after turning top pair against Mauri Dorbek on a 5♥6♥9♦A♥3♠ board with A♣4♠. Ainsworth had led 15,000 and been called before both players checked the turn. Dorbek stabbed 25,000 at the flop and had been called. Dorbek's 8♠6♠ was no good.
"I should have raised the flop," said Mauri Dorbek.
"You might have got raised. Or maybe I would have folded," replied Jude Ainsworth.
"I think the latter is more realistic," said the Estonian revealing a better grasp of English than most.
"Don't be so sure," said Ainsworth with a wide smile. From some that claim to aggression would be foundlesss, with Ainsworth the possibility of his three-betting that flop with ace-high a distinct possibility. Dorbek still well stacked with 820,000. -- RD
5.40pm: Sit yourself back down, McDonald
Mike McDonald thought the EPT double dream was over, and he had every right in believing that. He was stood out of his chair after the turn had been dealt and was down to one river card and two outs to hit. As we sometimes say on media row, "BOOM".
His willing opponent in the hand was Nicolas Leger and he held J♥J♠, ahead of the McDonald's 9♦9♠. The board ran Q♦4♣3♣A♠9♣ to make the former EPT Dortmund champion a set and a 300,000 set. -- MC
5.35pm: Love me two times?
Ari Engel and Ignat Liviu just contested two very tense, very slow hands with Engel seemingly in full control while Liviu floats through on remote control.
It started, sometime around half an hour ago, on a flop of 5♠4♠7♦. Liviu was in the big blind and bet 22,000. Engel then made it 57,500 from the button which Liviu called for a 5♣ turn.
Liviu checked again. Engel bet 77,000 this time, still a weighty 700,000 behind. Liviu then tanked, slowly counting out chips, his hands shaking slightly. Enough time passed to make people think he wasn't aware the action was him, even with Engel's bet clearly visible on the table. He did know the action was with him, he's just slow.
With players waiting he eventually called, using as few blue chips as possible. This was now a big pot.
The river came 8♣. Again Liviu checked. Engel bet 115,500. Liviu hadn't changed at all and he was about to say the only words he'd say in the hand. "All-in." He didn't move any chips, he just said so. Engel needed to know how much was there (162,000) but Liviu said nothing. Finally it was Juan Manuel Pastor in the seat next to Liviu who lumped his chips forward for him. Engel called.
Liviu turned over 4♦5♦. This visibly stunned Engel who went to fold but had to show his T♦T♣. He was down to 440,000 while Liviu, almost catatonically, had moved up to more than 550,000.
Liviu's hands were still shaking on the next hand which was again opened by Engel for 12,000.
Liviu, still silent, and still with a pile of unstacked chips before him, raised to 40,000, looking as though playing poker was taking a back seat to his listening to the voice in his head. Engel looked over to see the raise, obscured by the unstacked reds and blues. Anton Wigg between them, following Pastor's example, shoved the chips back a little so Engel could see. Call.
The flop came 4♠5♣T♦.
Liviu bet 35,000. Engel looked over and called for aQ♣ turn. Liviu checked, as did Engel, who looked like he was trying to make sense of it all. The river came 8♦. Liviu checked one last time. Engel fired out 75,000. Liviu, possibly oblivious to his surroundings, thought, and thought. Then passed.
Engel back up to 530,000. - SB
5.10pm: Serock and Bejedal (again)
Dennis Bejedal and Joe Serock have clashed once again - this time not over clock calling and protracted procrastination. Serock opened to 14,500 and was three-bet to 35,000 by his opponent. Serock, who had been consistently stalling before the bubble burst, moved all-in covering Bejedal's 236,000 stack. Call.
The sevens manage to hold leaving Serock with 160,000, Bejedal up to 480,000. -- RD
5pm: Play resumes
The video team caught up with Juan Manuell Pastor at the break. Can he make his second final table this season following EPT London?
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 3,000-6,000, ANTE 500
4.42pm: What a daggy river
Team PokerStars Pro Dag Palovic has bust out of the main event and was left cursing the river that eliminated him. Palovic three-bet all-in from the small blind over the top of a Sharon Volfer button raise. Call.
The board ran 3♠2♦J♥4♣A♥.
The rest of the players are now on a break, whereas the Slovakian is in the queue at the payout desk thinking of what might have been. -- MC
4.38pm: Levi comeback
What did Nicolas Levi take at the break? The Frenchman had just 56,000 when the bubble burst at the break, he's now up to 450,000 and bashing up Rupert Elder.
Levi (hijack) just called a 28,500 three-bet from Elder (big blind), floated the 26,000 5♣4♥2♦ flop c-bet before taking the pot down with a 40,500 bet into the 8♣ turn. Elder is looking somewhat discombobulated but is still more than alive with 225,000. -- RD
4.35pm: When the music's over
Artur Wasek is out. The big Pole was all in with ten-seven against the ace-queen of Casey Kastle on a board of [a][q][k][t].
Another player out is Marek Tatar who got his chips in with Q♥Q♦. Eli Heath called with A♦K♣ and watched as an ace hit the flop, the board coming A♠2♦3♠6♥7♣.
Martin Finger just took a pot off Dag Palovic, almost by accident.
On a board ofA♣4♥K♥4♣6♠ Palovic checked from the big blind and Finger bet 7,500. Palovic called but mucked when Finger showed A♦T♣.
Finger later asked Palovic what he had, evidently an ace with a worse kicker. But with a paired board and a king it may be that Palovic mucked a split pot.
Down to 35,000 it wasn't all gloom for the Slovakian who doubled up almost immediately, back up to 80,000. - SB
4.30pm: Moorman cuts his losses
Chris Moorman's stack has dipped to around 500,000 after he made a painful looking bet-fold on the river against Vojtech Ruzicka. The board read 6♦4♠T♥5♣K♥ and Moorman led for 105,000 into a pot of around 200,000.
The Czech player took his time and raised all-in for 169,500. "For f##k's sake", said Moorman. He shook his head, thought for a while longer and slid his cards to the dealer. Ruzicka is up to around 460,000. -- MC
4.18pm: Boeree busts to Tevosov, up to 1m
Liv Boeree has just lost a large 550,000 flip to bust out to Garri Tevosov, the same player that knocked out Kevin MacPhee queens cracking kings for a similar amount at the end of play yesterday.
Tevosov had opened for 11,000 and was three-bet by Vital Lunkin to 27,000. Boeree cold four-bet from the button to 72,000 and Tevosov moved all-in for 700,000. Lunkin passed, action back on Boeree.
The British Team PokerStars Pro stared at Tevosov, who looked idly back, his head resting on the back of his turned-around chair, looking much like a lazy dog staring out over the parcel shelf of a Volvo estate. Then he smirked.
"What's so funny?" asked Boeree, seemingly looking for a reason to fold. Understandably, she couldn't find one. Call for her 270,000 stack.
The board ran out 6♥9♦7♦5♥3♥ to bump Boeree from the tournament. Tevosov on 1,000,000 and back into the chip lead ahead of Martin Finger (900,000). -- RD
4.15pm: Take it as it comes
It's not all about eliminations. On a flop of T♦K♣2♠ Ty Mullins bet 42,000 before Andreas Wiese next to him moved all in for around 500,000, easily covering Mullins who thought for a while, eventually calling the clock on himself. That was enough to make him fold.
Then again it is about eliminations. Milan Joksic is out, his pocket jacks running into the pocket aces of Nicolas Levi.
Then again it can sometimes be about double ups. Konstantin Maslak just moved all in for his last 33,000, called by Torsten Brinkmann who showed 2♠2♥ to Maslak's 9♦6♥. The board ran K♠Q♦9♥Q♠5♦ to give Maslak a lifeline. - SB
4.05pm: Watson sent Holmes
Mike Watson has busted at the hands of Alexander Nudin. The two got all the chips in pre flop with Watson holding ace-queen to his opponent's ace-jack. A jack landed on the flop and that was all she wrote. --MC
4pm: Silver kicked off the farm
Max Silver's run in this EPT has come to an end after he fell to Mike McDonald. The two have locked horns all day and the Canadian landed the last and fatal blow.
McDonald opened to 11,000 from early position and Silver three-bet shoved for about 55,000. The former EPT champion called quickly to create a showdown.
Earlier on Silver was glad when McDonald didn't snap call his four-bet shove, but this time he knew he was in bad shape.
The board ran 8♦T♦6♣8♣K♦.
Silver nearly escaped with another double-up from behind but the diamond on the river came to the Canadian's rescue. -- MC
5.52pm: Moorman breaks his EPT duck
Chris Moorman is in the money and is well chipped with 612,000, almost three times the average stack, which is just as well because we estimate that the tournament pro needs to a final table finish to break even for his EPT career. This EPT Prague main event is, he reckons, around his 14th or 15th that he's played. A seventh place score for €90,000 should get him back in the black. -- RD
5.45pm: Riders on the storm
There's a collective sigh of relief for players returning from the break. With the bubble now burst there's no more hand for hand and everyone is guaranteed a €7,500 payday.
The bubble had its usual drama and tension, not least involving the new rule about being in your seat at the moment the dealer begins dealing, a rule mercilessly enforced by tournament official Thomas Lamatsch.
Most know the rule, those darting back to their table in time. Others will protest even when in blatant contravention of the rule, like Ilan Boujenah, who had stepped away from his seat to watch a nearby all-in and was late getting back to his seat. His hand was declared dead.
Worse for Boujenah was that it was his big blind and he only had 20 of them left.
"This is a mess!" he shouted as his cards were confiscated. He turned to Lamatsch and yelled at him that the rule was wrong, forcing Lamatsch to insist he calm down before he explained anything. He then did, laying out the rule and its purpose. But it was an explanation Boujenah was refusing to accept.
Ilan Boujenah remonstrating with Thomas Lamatsch (standing)
"This is not supposed to happen in a 5k tournament," he insisted. "I'm supposed to have ten seconds at least" he added, making up a rule to suit his position. There is no time limit. The rule is explicit - players must be in their seat when the first card is dealt.
Lamatsch left him to stew, threatening a penalty if he didn't stop shouting. Boujenah then turned his attention to the dealer.
"You're not a bot. You're not a bot," he said. "You're supposed to be human."
The dealer, Peter, is human, and showed a hefty degree of class in dealing with the tirade.
Boujenah had been reading "Perfume" by Patrick Suskind all week, the novel about a killer balanced on the edge of the table. Peter asked to see the book, and then asked if Boujenah had ever seen the film. The effect on Boujenah was immediate, his mood suddenly changed from irate trouble maker to contented fan of literature. The storm had passed and the sun had come out.
A few tables away Dennis Bejedal had been late to get back to his table too, running back to his seat. But before he got there he noticed his hand had been mucked. Instead of complaining he eased his sprint into a jog, then stopped. Like a man chasing a bus which was already departing, then pretending he didn't want to catch the bus in the first place. - SB
5.35pm: Korik first out in the money, takes home €7,500
Zachary Korik is the first player out in the money as the usual frenetic flurry of post-bubble shoves and doubles take place. Sergey Baburin opened for 10,000 and was shoved on for 87,000 by Korik.
No help for Korik who was followed to the cash desk closely by Jesus Cortes, 102 players remain. -- RD
5.30pm: Post-bubble play begins
The bubble has burst, let's get shoving. We have at least five previous EPT champs still in: Liv Boeree, Kent Lundmark, Anton Wigg, Rupert Elder and Mike McDonald. -- RD
PokerStars Blog reporting team in Prague (in order of a completely arbitrary replacement of their surname with a Czech food stuff): Stephen Knedliky, Rick Pilsner and Marc Schnitzel .Photos by Neil Stoddart.