EPT8 Prague: Day 3, level 19-21 updates (6,000-12,000, 1,000 ante)


12.035pm: Play ends, orange army leading
Bagging has finished and Patrick Renkers is still way out in front with 2,423,000. Plenty of players in the chasing pack including Nicolas Levi, Jude Ainsworth and Mads Wissing, all of whom are on close to one million.

Full wrap of the day's action with chip counts to come. Stephen Bartley beavering away on that now. -- RD

11.55pm: Rohr rocked in penultimate hand
Jean-Philippe Rohr didn't manage to get away from the next time he woke with a hand. He three-bet all-in with A♠8♠ but ran into the big blind who woke up with Q♣Q♠. The board ran K♦5♣T♥3♥9♦. He left in 32nd place for €15,000. -- MC

11.43pm: Last three hands
Three more hands and play will come to a halt.

11.41pm: Monstrous fold from Rohr
If Jean-Philippe Rohr just told his friend the truth and that friend told us the truth then the Frenchman just made quite an incredible fold. Muari Dorbek opened under-the-gun for 24,000 and was three-bet to 65,000 by Rohr (out of a 270,000 stack). The action folded to Yann Brosolo in the big blind who quickly jammed a large stack of chips - perhaps too quickly - and slid out a four-bet to 122,000. Dorbek mucked and Rohr was sent into the tank.

"Ace-king?" he asked half-faking a move towards his chips to gauge Brosolo's reaction. Nothing.

Rohr looked pained but made himself fold and was shown K♥K♠. He shut up out of chair looking incredibly relieved adding credence to the following claim that he had pocket queens. Still, he is down to 205,000 and will have to get his chips in pretty soon. -- RD

11.35pm: On the comeback trail
Michaela Smrckova was on the brink of going out not long ago, but now she has doubled up once more. She moved all-in with A♣7♦ and was called by an opponent holding K♦Q♦. The board ran 3♠5♠T♦2♣8♣.

Another player who was equally as short but not as lucky was Anton Wigg. He told us he hadn't played a hand for four hours. When he did, he busted. Michael McDonald is the only former EPT champion left in now. -- MC

11.28pm: Rampant Renkers halted by charging Cavaller
Guillem Cavaller has halted Patrick Renkers last level charge, even if it is only temporarily.

Cavaller opened to 25,000 and was called by Garry Tevosov on the button before Renkers squeezed the pot to 82,000. Cavaller slowly four-bet to 175,000 and picked up two folds. Renkers decided the 600,000he had behind was a little too much to mess around with.

In other news, Paul Berende is wandering around the tournament floor in blue Hilton slippers. He tried to tell us they were Prada, we didn't believe him. Then again, the PokerStars Blog team are hardly subscribers to Vogue. -- RD

11.20pm: Ainsworth well in the black, Smrckova performing miracles
Jude Ainsworth has knocked out Tibor Nagygyorgy after shoving with pocket tens on a 9♥8♦5♣ flop and getting called by J♦8♥. A super short Michaela Smrckova had already called all-in with 7♦8♠ and promptly turned a straight to stay alive as the board ran out 6♦A♣. Ainsworth up to 800,000, Smrckova 130,000 - after scooping the blinds with an unanswered shove. -- RD

11.15pm: Hey Jude
Jude Ainsworth has got his stack back above the average mark with a double-up. The Team PokerStars raised and then called all-in for 298,000 when last lady standing, Michaela Smrckova, three-bet shoved from the next seat.

Ainsworth: Q♦Q♣
Smrckova: A♥K♠

The board ran T♣7♠6♦6♣4♠. Smrckova was left in the red zone with 45,000 chips. -- MC

11.06pm: Renkers hammering out a huge chip lead
Patrick Renkers is storming ahead in these later levels of Day 3 and is now packing a monstrous looking 2,500,000 after busting out Dennis Bejedal in a huge 900,000 flip.

Bejedal opened to 25,000, Renkers three-bet to 58,000, Bejedal came back over the top for 110,000 and called off his remaining 348,000 when Renkers hit the all-in button.

Renkers flopped it on a K♣6♥5♦5♠9♥ board. -- RD

11.05pm: Sandulescu finds a hand, Wigg pays price
Anton Wigg's hopes of a second title just to a major blow in a hand against Gheorghe Sandulescu. The chips were in with Wigg showing 4♦4♠ and the short stacked Sandulescu turning over a fortuitous K♦[jkc]. The board came 8♦6♥J♣7♦J♠. Wigg congratulated Sandulescu but was left with less than 200,000. - SB

11pm: Brosolo bustling
Yann Brosolo seems to be gaining some momentum on the fringes of this tournament out on table 6. Despite being sandwiched between Chris Moorman (820,000) and Jude Ainsworth (220,000), Brosolo is chipping up nicely after knocking out Daniel Todorov with tens holding firm against the Bulgarian's 80,000 pocket threes shove. A further four-bet jam into Michaela Smrckova after she played back at him from the big blind to push him up to 660,000. Todorov out, Smrckova down to 350,000.

We have 37 players remaining and 54 minutes left to play tonight. -- RD

10.55pm: Gray period for the French
Pascal Vullion came back from break with 39,000 and that stack had shrunk a little further before he looked down at A♥T♥ and shoved from mid position. Juan Manuel Pastor was in the big blind and called with the small holding of Q♥Q♣. The board ran Q♦5♥2♦4♦J♦ to safely see the Team PokerStars Pro home, although he wasn't too sure he had won. The Spaniard's eye sight isn't the best and he had to be told the all red board didn't have three heats contained within.

At the same time Jason Gray doubled through Nic Levi holding pocket kings to the Frenchman's pocket fives. He's up to about 350,000 whereas Levi dropped to 950,000. -- MC

10.40pm: Chip leader for about three and a half minutes
A brief commotion on Mike MCDonald's table with the mysterious appearance of 500,000 worth of chips next to Vojtech Ruzicka who kindly pointed out the error to the tournament staff. The problem is swiftly remedied by referring to chip counts taken at the break which show the discrepancy, which si fine by some players, not fine with others. Play continues.

Talking about chips, full counts from that break can now be found on the chip count page. - SB

10.35pm: The last level of the day
As we come back from break - the last one of the hand - we have Dutchman Patrick Renkers out on front with 1,840,000. Full chip count coming shortly. -- RD

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 6,000-12,000, ANTE 1,000

10.22pm: Break
It's the final break of the day. Come back in 15 minutes.

10.20pm: Drobyna takes his seat
Alexander Nudin just doubled up with kings againt the queens of Vojtech Ruzicka to claw his way back up to 200,000. There has been a slight pause in play as, with 40 players remaining, tables are balanced.

Denys Drobyna swaggers over to take his seat on the Anton Wigg table. As he arrives, carrying 900,000 chips in three racks, Engel watches the chips while Wigg watches Drobyna.

"How it going?" asked Wigg.

"It's going fine," replied Drobyna, looking like believed this table was beneath him.

"Easy life," said Wigg, referring to his chips. He's now assumed the role of chip leader at this table. - SB

10.15pm: This one's a big one
Under the gun, Patrick Renkers opened to 20,000, and Dennis Bejedal flatted in position. Heads up, the two of them took a 4♣Q♦A♠ flop, and Renkers continued out with another 24,000. Bejedal popped it up to 60,000 total, and Renkers made the call to proceed.

That brought them to the T♣ turn where Renkers check-called another 108,000. The river brought the 5♠ and one last check from Renkers, and Bejedal took his cue to make his bet of 285,000. Renkers cut down his stack, then announced a surprise check-raise all in. Bejedal looked absolutely stricken, and he was facing a shove of 732,000 total chips. He had that covered, and he made a frustrated call to put Renkers at risk.

But the Dutchman had it. Renkers tabled K♥J♥ for the stone cold nuts, and Bejeadal was less than thrilled. He mentioned that he had flopped a set with pocket queens, but he spun them into the muck and counted out his debt. When he paid it off, he was left with just about 340,000. Renkers had around 1,800,000 at the end. -- MC

10.10pm: Flat, hit, shove, double - easy game
Sharon Volfer opened for 23,000 from middle position and was called by Michaela Smrckova in the small blind. A Q♠8♣J♠ flop was enough for Smrckova to move all-in for 120,000. Call.

Smrckova: K♥Q♦
Volfer: Q♠9♣

Turn: 3♥
River: 6♠

That doubled Smrckova to 280,000 - more than enough to make a partisan Czech blogger inappropriately cheer - and dropped Volfer to 200,000. -- RD

10pm: Aggression pays
Two tables next to each saw two hands played out pre flop, and two hands won with aggression.

Vesa Leikos raised to 22,000 on the button and Danyel Boyaciyan called from the small blind before Ari Engel three-bet from the big blind to 60,000. Leikos tank folded but Boyaciyan put in a four-bet to 127,000. Engel stared his opponent down but ultimately folded.

At the same time on the next table Petr Jaros raised from the button only to face a three-bet from Nicolas Levi on the button. Jaros thought he could win the pot with a four-bet but he was wrong as the Frenchman snap shoved and forced a fold out of his opponent. -- MC

9.50pm: Is there a psychiatrist in the building?
A big hand for Mike McDonald and again it was Petr Jaros being punished by the former EPT winner. On a board of 2♠4♠Q♦3♦J♦ Jaros had checked to McDonald who bet 128,000. Jaros tanked for a while before deciding to call. McDonald showed A♠A♦.

"This is crazy," said Jaros in sheer exasperation. "How may times?" He smiled, but you could tell it was all he could do to stop himself tearing his hair out.

"I've been card racking against you," said McDonald, trying to ease Jaros away from the cliff's edge. He's up to 950,000. Jaros slips down to 260,000. - SB

9.45pm: Engel shooting
Ari Engel is up to 660,000. On a board of 8♠Q♦J♥A♠9♣, and after a checked turn, Danyel Boyaciyan had bet 55,000 on the river. Engel then raised to 120,000 which Boyaciyan called. Engel showed T♥8♣. Boyaciyan tapped his head as if to say "of course" and paid off Engel.

A hand later, and on a flop of J♠K♦3♦, Anton Wigg checked to Boyaciyan who was trying to recouperate. Boyaciyan made it 40,000 which Wigg called for a T♦ turn card. That was checked for a 6♠ river and Wigg checked that as well. Boyaciyan bet 65,000 on the end giving Wigg something to think about. Call.

Boyaciyan showed A♣K♥. Wigg tapped the table and folded. - SB

9.35pm: Set over set doubles Khosravi
We've just had set over set to double up Pontus Khosravi to 900,000 through Mauri Dorbek who took it pretty well, dropping to 550,000. Stacks went in on the turn of a A♦6♠7♦3♥ board with Dorvbek holding sixes to the Khosravi's pocket sevens. A blank K♠ hit the river. -- RD

9.25pm: Pastor passes to shove
Juan Manuel Pastor opened to 21,000 from under-the-gun and was shoved on for 204,000 by Sergey Baburin. Pastor took his time passing, little surprise given it was half his 400,000 stack. -- RD

9.18pm: Demontis comes to life long enough to bust
Ari Engel opened for 20,000 before Stefano Demontis, who has been quiet for most of the day, moved all-in for 190,000 in the small blind. After some thought Engel called showing A♠6♠. Demontis, who was drinking from a cup of coffee when Engel made his decision, showed surprise, and tossed in his J♥J♦ without a care in the world before continuing to sip his coffee.

The board ran A♦5♦7♦2♣5♠.

"Ahhh clucking something," he said, or something that sounded like that. "Very nice call" he added, although I'd by lying if I didn't think there was sarcasm involved. "Ffffffff" he added, although I don't have any idea what that meant. "Bye, bye." At that point he left, swearing in Italian.

Engel back up to 500,000. - SB

9.10pm: Levi Street
First player out after the break is Tero Huttula whose [a][4] was no match for the [a][k] of Nicolas Levi. The Frenchman is up to around 900,000 now. -- SB

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 5,000-10,000, ANTE 1,000

9pm: Play resumes
Cards are in the air after the dinner break with 45 players remaining.

ept prague_day 3_dinner.jpg

The magic dinner bridge

7.50pm: Dinner break
It's a 75-minute dinner break (not 60 as previously advertised). Join us then. We'll get the fresh chip counts up as soon as they reach us. -- RD

7.48pm: McDonald and Wigg fighting back
Both Anton Wigg and Mike McDonald are battling to build stacks here in Prague with 47 players remaining. Wigg had three-bet Ari Engel off one hand before barreling a wet flop in a three-way pot to get up to close to half-a-million.

McDonald is a little lighter stacked with 380,000 but firing two streets also seemed to work for him, this time against Vojtech Ruzicka. -- RD

7.45pm: Does anyone have a cigarette?
They don't say much, but the players at table five are telling a great story. There are some good players, a former champion, workmanlike pros and one player no one can put their finger on. If we could pick one table to be the final table right now it should be this one.

It started with Danyel Boyaciyan coming to life. So much of the action had been dominated so far by Anton Wigg, Ari Engel and Ignat Liviu that it's odd to see anything else. A bet of 20,000 from him got a re-raise from Wigg in the cut off to 43,000. That's when Liviu cranked into action, the player everyone worries about, raising to 100,000 on the button.

The action was now on Juan Manual Pastor who made one of the most impressive folds I've ever seen. Not impressive necessarily for its tactical acumen, just for the total anguish Pastor seemed to go through before he was able to release his cards.

ept prague_day 3_juan manuel pastor.jpg

Juan Manuel Pastor

First he looked at his hand, not immediately folding. He brought his chair up close behind him, pulled a variety of facial expressions, winced, and shook his head, then made some hand gestures. His eyebrows went up, then down and then he spoke quietly to himself for a moment. Rubbing his head he then looked at his cards once more before asking for a count. He knew it was 100,000 but wanted someone else to tell him. Shifting his leg underneath him, he riffled some red chips. Then, looking calm for a few seconds he seemed at peace, then he rubbed his brow, then his nose, which he then held, and folded his cards.

Now Boyaciyan was ready to move all-in and did so. Wigg passed leaving it to Liviu, who asked how much. It was 275,000 in total.

Liviu crushed the left side of his face with his hand, leaning on it as he began to think over a response. He had 400,000 behind and riffled a handful of red chips. Pastor, who'd had too much of this hand by now, got up for a short walk. "Crazy," he said. "He's crazy."

Wigg and Engel had also stood up to watch, perhaps wanting to put some distance between themselves and the volatile Liviu, the same kind of distance you're supposed to keep with fireworks. Just when the least expected it Liviu went off.

"Call," said Liviu.

Boyaciyan, who had been waiting patiently all this time, showed A♣K♥. Liviu flipped over A♥3♥. Pastor immediately made noises to suggest he could beat that. Others seemed a bit surprised at what they were seeing.

The board ran T♠9♣J♣4♥4♦

"Sigh," said Wigg, who knew he would have won the hand. Pastor groaned, not saying what he had but admitting he too would have won the hand. "Everybody won," joked one player, to which everyone laughed.

"Even I would have won," said Ari Engel, who had folded [t][4]

Boyaciyan moved up to 600,000 while Liviu, smiling for the first time, slips to 230,000.

Sigh. - SB

7.40pm: More for Cavaller
Guillem Cavaller has more than 1,350,000 chips after a cooler of a hand took care of Ruslan Tsmur.

He opened with A♣A♠ and called when neighbour three-bet all-in with A♦K♦. The board ran 8♥9♥2♥A♥5♦ and the Ukrainian thought he had made a flush for a minute but the dealer said, "No flush." -- MC

7.30pm: Adios Adeniya
Martins Adeniya has made another deep run at an EPT but his Prague journey came to an end over the course of two hands.

He opened shoved for around 120,000 from second position with T♥T♦ and Haykel Cherif Vidal called all-in for 99,000 from the small blind. The Spaniard opened K♥J♥ and hit on the 3♦5♦J♠5♥Q♠ board.

The next hand he committed the rest of his chips with 7♣9♦ and was eliminated by Sergey Baburin holding A♠3♣. -- MC

7.21pm: Moorman busts Tolokno set over set
Chris Moorman is up to some 700,000 after knocking out Konstantin Tolokno in a set over set cooler. Tolokno opened the action to 18,000 and was three-bet by Moorman to 40,000 from the hijack. Vojtech Ruzicka was on the button and considered making a move - and will probably be thankful for playing it safe.

Tolokno made the call and checked the wet T♠J♦K♥ flop over to Moorman who slowly put out a bet of 39,000 (perhaps 44,000). Tolokno, voice cracking with the pressure, quietly announced that he was all-in for 222,000. Snap call.

Tolokno: T♣T♦ for bottom set
Moorman: J♥J♣ for middle set

The 2♠ river ended the chance of a runner-runner chop and the A♠ pushed the pot to Moorman. -- RD

7.15pm: Kristijonas tripped up by Serock
Andrulis Kristijonas has been eliminated by Joe Serock. We missed the action but the American hit trip threes to better the Lithuanian's pocket sevens. -- MC

ept prague_day 3_joe serock.jpg

Serock in shorter stacked times

7.10pm: Hard luck for Hrdlicka? Not a chance
David Hrdlicka has doubled up. He four-bet shoved from the small blind for 147,000 getting a caller in Alexander Nudin showing A♣9♣. Hrdlicka showed T♠T♣ on a board of 8♥J♠J♣7♠9♠.

Elsehwere Anton Wigg opened for 16,000 which Ignat Liviu called. There's always an air of sinister concern when Liviu plays a pot, like when an escaped lunatic gets on a bus. So Juan Manuel Pastor would have known the dangers when he then shoved for 140,000 in the hijack. Wigg passed but Liviu took him on, showing Q♣Q♥. Pastor showed A♥K♥.

Pastor leaned forward to watch the board come A♠T♥3♦8♠4♠. He seemed pleased, doubling to around 300,000. He seemed more pleased that Liviu hadn't done something terrifying. - SB

7.05pm: Three-way all-in
We had a three-way all-in over on table number three but no eliminations. The short stack tripled-up and the second largest stack took the side pot.

Mads Wissing opened the pot from the highjack before Rasmus Vogt moved all-in for 160,000 from the button and Kimon Lehmann moved all0in for 97,000 from the small blind. Wissing took his time and called saying he felt priced in.

Wissing: Q♠J♣
Vogt: A♦K♦
Lehman: 3♠3♦

The board ran K♠T♠3♣T♦7♣.

The German was very happy in making a set. Vogt was left with 71,000 and Wissing still has over a million chips. -- MC

6.50pm: Break on through
Chris Moorman opened for 18,000 which Vojtech Ruzicka called before the big blind Sergey Baburin bumped things up to 56,000. Moorman passed but Ruzicka in the cut off wanted to know how much Baburin had behind - a little more than 300,000 (Ruzicka has 800,000). He called for a flop of 2♠8♠Q♠.

Both checked for a 6♦ turn at which point Baburin bet 65,000. Ruzicka called for a 8♦ on the river. Then, after a minute's wait, Baburin made it 155,000 to play. After taking time to think about it Ruzicka announced "I call". Baburin turned over 2♦9♦ which Ruzicka had beat with K♣Q♣. He breaks through the million mark, up to around 1,100,000. Baburin meanwhile is staring down elimination with 100,000.

A table away another player departs, this time Andrey Saenko really is out, his aces beaten by the [6][5] of his opponent which made two pairs on the board. - SB

ept prague_day 3_vojtech ruzicka.jpg

Vojtech Ruzicka: science fiction name, solid poker play

6.35pm: Play resumes
We're into the fifth level of the day after which we'll have a one-hour dinner break. We're aiming to play down to a final 24 tonight but we have been told that there's a bit of flexibility in case the day drags on for too long. -- RD

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Juan Manuel Pastor is still in

PokerStars Blog reporting team in Prague (and their break time treat from Costa Coffee): Stephen Bartley (hot chocolate), Marc Convey (a 'Mocha Conv Dog') and Rick Dacey (hot chocolate). Photos by Neil Stoddart.

Rick Dacey
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour