EPT8 San Remo: Day 1B, level 1 & 2 updates (blinds 75-150)
4.10pm: Break time
That's the end of level two. Players are taking a 15 minute break.
4.08pm: Spinks slowroll rescinded
I reported yesterday that Jon Spinks had slowrolled Craig McCorkell but after later consultation with Mr Spinks it turns out he didn't commit that sin but had quietly announced that he had the wining hand giving McCorkell the option to muck. Apologies to Jon for suggesting he did the dirty, although I fully expect him to slowroll me now if we play in the future. We at the PokerStars Blog try not invade table space and, with old age setting in, it seems my hearing is leaving me. -- RD
4.05pm: Planet Hof
Natalie Hof is up to more than her original starting stack after a hand just before the break.
Hof, who was once better known as a finalist on a German poker talent show, opened for 400 which was called by Massimiliano Piazza in the small blind for a flop of K♣3♠8♦.
Both players checked as Bjorn Nordberg in seat two talked the ear off Ted Forrest in seat three who was doing his best to remain polite. The turn came J♦ which Piazza checked. Hof bet another 625 which Piazza then Piazza for a T♥ river card.
Again, Piazza checked to Hof who bet a 1,600. Piazza, his hair pulled back in a ponytail and a soft toy on the table next to his chips, assumed a prayer position as he tanked, eventually passing.
Hof up to around 35,000. - SB
4pm: All eyes on Weisner
Melanie Weisner cuts a striking figure in the tournament room, her blond hair hard to miss and a large, black sparkly waterfall necklace catching the attention of more than one photographer.
On a flop of 4♣8♥6♣ she was involved in a hand with Christophe Benzimra and Riccardo Marchini.
Benzimra had checked to Marchini who then bet 900. Weisner called, as did Benzimra for a turn card 7♦. Benzimra then checked to Marchini who bet 1,500. This was enough for Weisner to step aside before Benzimra called for a river card T♦. Check-check. Benzimra showed J♣8♣ which Marchini had beat, showing K♦K♠.
In the next hand Weisner was involved again, opening for 400 from middle position. As the hand played on Sorel Mizzi in seat one shared music with Sandra Naujoks, who may or may not have just been being polite.
As the iPad and headphones were passed over to her, Niccolo Domeniconi called in the small blind, as did Marchini in the big blind. The flop came 2♠7♠A♥. Weisner threw out 1,025 (although the bet was less). It was good; both Domeniconi and Marchini passed. - SB
3.50pm: Crazy play and crazy folds
We've seen some loose and crazy plays already today which have recently been balanced by some very tight folds.
Joseph "subiime" Cheong just Tweeted: "Just saw a crazy fold. Guy opens to 450 at 75/150. Sb 3bets to 1000. Opener folds quick sb shows AA and opener shows his folded KK."
Moments after reading this our German blogger Robin came back to the press room with news of another player folding kings.
There was a raise to 400 from mid position before Manig Loeser (what a name) three-bet to 900 from the button. Priyan De Mel was in the big blind and put in a cold four-bet to 3,025. The original raiser folded but Loeser tried to win it with a five-bet to 5,075. De Mel wasn't finished though and six-bet to 9,150. Loeser open folded K♠K♣ and his British opponent didn't do him the favour of showing. -- MC
3.38pm: Romanello taking on the wrong seat
Roberto Romanello is down to 20,000 despite having one of the best seats in the house. The EPT Prague winner's table looks, by tour standards, to be fairly soft except for one key player: EPT London final tablist Martins Adeniya.
Adeniya was a hyper-aggressive big stack in London and lost a huge flip against Benny Spindler at the final table that all but settled the title for the young German. Welshman Romanello may hold direct position on Adeiniya but he just tied himself up in a knots tank calling a 3,500 value bet on the river of a T♠5♠4♠4♣5♣ board.
There was approximately 5,500 already in the pot when Romanello said: "I'm not going to raise you. Would you do this with ace-queen with the queen of spades?"
Adeniya did not answer, he kept riffling chips and chewing gum - the standard Adeniya response to any verbal at the table.
Romanello kept staring, his tablemates growing increasing restless, and eventually made the call only to be shown J♠Q♠ for the flopped flush. -- RD
3.35pm: Old school reporting
In what might be the first poker hand recorded using brass rubbing, Eugene Katchalov opened from the button for 400, which was called by the small blind and Edward Sabat in the big.
On the flop of 8♥6♣2♣ my fountain pen ran out of ink and I then had to etch the rest of the action onto the page, to be "brass rubbed" later to reveal the details.
The small blind checked to Sabat who bet 600, called by Katchalov. The small blind passed before the 4♣ turn. Sabat checked before Katchalov bet 1,200, good enough to win the hand. -- SB
3.25pm: Team Pro news in brief
3.15pm: Duhamel pushes top pair out
Jonathan Duhamel had opened the action under-the-gun and found a caller in Francesco Nguyen, an excitable player who had led 650 into the K♥5♦J♦ flop after calling from the big blind pre-flop. Duhamel, not one to mess around, slid out a raise to 3,150.
Nguyen's poker face needs some work. There was a grimace, rocking in the chair, hair patting and hand waving. The Italian eventually settled on passing his top pair and showed the K♦.
"I think you have ace queen of diamonds," said Nguyen, putting his opponent on a pretty specific range, "Or maybe a set," he added.
Duhamel is up to 35,000 for an early uptick. -- RD
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 75-150
3.10pm: Passing the time
Luca Topazio and Shiyan Fang just had their first lesson in the new iPod rule, that being that all items like that must be kept off the table. They both get it, Topazio after finally removing his headphones to listen.
Both would take part in the next hand, opened by Tom Bedell, who wears heavy gold jewelry and squeezes a Skrill stress ball as he plays. Aleksi Fischer called, as did Ana Marquez, Topazio in the small blind and Fang in the big.
Bedell squeezed his ball again.
The flop came Q♠5♠7♣ which was checked through the blinds to Bedell who squeezed his ball and then checked also. Fischer and Marquez did the same.
On the 9♠ turn the blinds checked again. Bedell squeezed his ball once more and checked, as did Fischer and Marquez. The river came Q♦. Now Topazio decided to act, betting 725. This was enough to force out Fang and Bedell who stopped squeezing his ball. It was also enough for Fischer and Marquez to give up also. The chips were passed to Topazio.
The dealer began dealing the next hand. Bedell began squeezing his ball again. - SB
3.05pm: Rosen downsizes his stack
Jamie Rosen's stack has been chopped in half after he ran into a full-house and paid the player off. The player in question was Eduard Kapitonov and he check-raised to 2,100 on a T♠8♣K♦ flop. Rosen responded by three-betting up to 4,100. Call.
The turn came 9♦ and both players checked to the 9♠ river where the Russian led out for 5,400. Rosen called but mucked upon seeing Kapitonov's T♥T♦. -- MC
2.55pm: Late registration extended by a level
Apparently there has been a car pile-up on a highway that leads into San Remo and many players are stuck in the traffic jam that has built up behind it. The tournament organisers have decided to extend the late registration period for an extra level (beginning of level 4) to allow more time for those players to get here. -- MC
2.42pm: Coren completes the link, Naujoks shows down aces
I've finally spotted Victoria Coren, she's sat at the next table along from Liv Boeree. The EPT London winner just flatted a raise on her button but folded to a delayed continuation bet on the turn of a Q♥2♦K♦3♦ board. Coren, an accomplished cash game player and regular at the Vic casino in London, knows full well these sessions are a marathon and not a sprint. Good spots will appear in this field and don't need to be forced - as Sandra Nuajoks has just proved.
On a board reading 7♠T♦4♣9♦ Naujoks, who was sat in the cut-off, had leveled 6,000 into the 12,000 pot and was called by her opponent in the hijack. The river was checked down by both players, Naujoks careful not to value cut herself with pocket aces, A♣A♦. The German Team PokerStars Pro is up to 40,000, Coren just a couple of hundred down from her 30,000 starting stack. -- RD
2.37pm: Still the world champ...
Jonathan Duhamel is the reigning world champion, but not for much longer. That November date for the WSOP Main Event finale is drawing close. The PokerStars video team cuaght up with him this morning.
2.35pm: Looking around
And so the day 1b field fills out with the odd empty seat here and there slowly filling up. As is customary, for some this first level is a chance to catch up with friends not seen since EPT London some two weeks ago.
Anton Wigg laughs with an American at his table who comes from the "Beach Boys with beards" school of fashion. Shaun Deeb is the clean shaven equivalent.
Talking of the 1970s, Priyan de Mel, Mike McDonald and Philip Meulyzer share a table with Basilio Cipriano, who looks like he owned a Las Vegas casino at around the time Elvis was headlining at the Desert Inn.
The cameras are already flocking to where Liv Boeree is sitting, inadvertently suggesting to her that they don't expect the former EPT San Remo champion to be here for long. She shares a table with the now goatee'd Salvatore Bonavena.
Philipp Gruissem plays today. The back-to-back EPT high roller winner is low rolling it today, leaning back in his chair to talk to Sebastian Ruthenberg at the table alongside. - SB
2.28pm: A player busts on the first hand
Teresa Nousiainen, our TD, came along to inform us that a player busted on the very first hand of the day! We're not sure who the player is but will endeavour to find out as soon as we can. The details we have is that the board read [q][j][t] and one of the players had ace-king and another had ace-queen. Somehow most of the chips went in on the river. It's another beautiful day to play poker in Italy.
Edit: The player who busted was Antonino Venneri. -- MC
2.20pm: Three champs, one chasing
On three adjacent tables sit three female Team PokerStars Pros, each of which you'd be unlucky to draw by your side. Two have scored titles here on the European Poker Tour; Liv Boeree (San Remo, Season 6) and Sandra Naujoks (EPT Dortmund, Season 5), the other, Vanessa Selbst, is yet to score a deep run on the EPT.
Selbst is a player of obvious talent having scored $3,500,000 of live tournament winnings in the last two years, during which she collected two NAPT titles. Selbst has cashed twice at the EPT this year, but both have been little more than min-cashes, but she certainly has the skill and aggression to go deep in this field.
Victoria Coren, EPT London winner and fellow Team PokerStars Pro, also plays today but I'm yet to spot her at the tables. We'll be tracking all four as the day progresses. -- RD
2.10pm: Play is underway
The players entered and sat down to the sound of the Chemical Brothers blasting out of the PA system. The music stopped and the first of eight levels has started. -- MC
1.30pm: Day 1B set to start at 2pm
After eight levels of play last night Italian Gianluca Trebbi bagged up 159,600 to take the Day 1A chip lead. That will be the total the Day 1B field will be chasing today in what promises to be a large and juicy field.
Despite what could be considered a value field we still lost a host of players with talent, including Daniel Negreanu, Jason Mercier, Arnaud Mattern, David Vamplew and Kent Lundmark. There will be plenty of players looking to better their performances when play starts at 2pm. In the meantime you can read the wrap of yesterday's action by clicking here and/or watching the video wrap from last night. -- RD
PokerStars Blog reporting team in San Remo (in order of inappropriate comments made before play began): Rick Dacey (several), Stephen Bartley (none, of course) and Marc Convey (only inappropriate working practice). Photos by Neil Stoddart.