EPT8 San Remo: Day 2, level 9 & 10 updates (500-1,000, ante 100)


4.58pm: Break!
Join us in a new two-level post in about 15 minutes. Vanessa Rousso will not be joining us then, she's just been knocked out running pocket nines into jacks.

4.56pm: The Hof Meister
Another double up for Natalie Hof, and another that leaves her only slightly less endangered than when she started the hand.

Nicolas Fierro opened, as he's been doing with some regularity, for 2,300. Hof then shoved for 8,300. Last time she did this Fierro called and he did the same again now, laughing as he showed 8♣9♦ to Hof's 9♥9♣.

The board ran 4♥4♦2♣T♣Q♦ to keep Hof in a little longer. -- SB

4.55pm: International Elder
Reigning San Remo champion Rupert Elder is up to 141,000 despite having started the day in London. Elder had played Day 1A and had flown home yesterday for a wedding before getting up at the crack of dawn (well, early for a poker player) before flying back to continental Europe this morning. -- RD

4.48pm: Bansi's Metaal tested
Praz Bansi looked confused. Govert Metaal had check-raised the river of a 7♣A♥J♠2♠A♦ board from 5,000 to 18,000 in a battle of the blinds.

Bransi turned to the Dutchman and asked: "Bluff? I only beat a bluff."

Metaal did not bend. Bansi looked him up and down, even peering under the table, much to the amusement of some of the players sharing the table. Still Metaal did not move, eyes fixed down at the board. Across the table Mike McDonald stared at Bansi trying to soak in some information for later perhaps, no doubt knowing how much of a threat Bansi can be.

The Brit eventually tossed the chips in to call and was shown 7♥7♦. Metaal up to 100,000, Bansi down to 110,000. -- RD

4.45pm: No show for Lunkin
On a flop of J♣2♣J♠ Praz Bansi checked to Vitaly Lunkin, who was making this table his new home. Lunking then bet 3,200 from the button, which Bansi called in middle position. The turn came 3♥ which Bansi again checked. Lunkin then bet a further 7,200 which Bansi, with some reluctance, also called for a 9♦ river.

Here Bansi checked for a last time. Lunkin neither checked or bet. He simply folded. Bansi, in the spirit of courtesy, showed A♥K♠. - SB

4.40pm: Going their seperate ways
The trio of Sandra Naujoks, Shaun Deeb and Vitaly Lunkin have now gone their separate ways. Meanwhile Deeb just sent two players to the rail in one hand.

Short stacked Roman Romanovskyi moved all-in first, followed by Moutinho from the small blind, who had more than 100,000. Deeb then insta-called on the big blind.

Romanovskyi - Q♣T♠
Moutinho - A♦J♦
Deeb - [k][k]

The board ran 3♦J♥9♦3♥2♣ to send Deeb up to more than 200,000. - SB

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Erika Moutinho

4.35pm: Weisner winning
Melanie Weisner is going along very well today, and a lot of it is thanks to another juicy hand. She tweeted:

"Up to 197, sick pot I cold 4 the sb, get 5b by the 3ber. Flat, cc q24r flop c/jam 7c turn. He might have folded kk." -- MC

4.28pm: Players knocked out
We've lost a chunk of players so far today - around 100 - and within that number we can wave goodbye to Priyan De Mel, Jason Wheeler, Mathew Frankland, Craig McCorkell, Robert Mizrachi, EPT Tallinn runner-up Grzegorz Cichocki, EPT Copenhagen champ Martin Tureniec and Chris Moorman. -- RD

4.25pm: Lodden loving life
Johnny Lodden is a happy boy right now. His football team (Manchester City) are beating local rivals (Manchester Utd) and he's up to 190,000 chips after eliminating a player.

Giacomo Maisto opened to 2,000 and the action folded around to the Team PokerStars Pro in the small blind who slid over a tall tower of T5,000 chips. The action was back on Maisto and he procrastinated what to do with hid remaining 16,000 chips. He eventually called and threw his hands up in the air when he saw he was behind.

Lodden: J♦J♣
Maisto: 6♦6♣

The board ran 2♦7♠A♣8♣7♣. Lodden up to 190,000. -- MC

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Johnny Lodden

4.14pm: McDonald monsters the river
Mike 'Timex' McDonald is up to 151,000 after getting it in bad against one of the softer spots at the table and sucking out (his words, not that we're disagreeing).

McDonald had three-bet to 6,700 out of the small blind over the top of a cut-off open from Stefano Tripodi who made the call. McDonald c-bet 6,600 into the [c]6♣K♣ flop and Tripodi min-raised (by default due to putting in an illegal raise). McDonald opted to get it in and shoved. Call.

McDonald: K♠K♥ for top set
Tripodi: 7♠4♠ for the flush

The 3♠ turn blanked but the 6♥ turn paired the board to give the pot to McDonald. -- RD

4.05pm: Sunday afternoon at Lunkin's place
Shaun Deeb just won one and then lost one. In the former he saw a flop with Sandra Naujoks, then bet 2,600 to win the hand. The latter involved Vitaly Lunkin.

Deeb opened for 2,300 which Lunkin called, as did Szabolcs Mayer.

Mayer was wearing a shirt a tie yesterday but today wears a t-shirt and leather jacket, swapping Brando in The Ugly American to Brandon The Wild One. Deeb wears the same over-sized yellow hoodie that he wore yesterday while Lunkin, next to him, is dressed like a man at home about to welcome Sunday guests.

On the flop of T♥9♣8♦ all three checked for a T♠ turn. Mayer checked to Deeb who made it 2,600 to play, a price Lunkin and Mayer were willing to pay.

On the 4♠ river Mayer again checked and once more Deeb fired out a bet, 8,500 total. Lunkin called before Mayer backed out, turning over Q♣J♣ to beat Deeb's A♥T♣.
Deeb down to 55,000 while Lunkin moves up to 150,000. - SB

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Shaun Deeb laying out some gnome justice at EPT San Remo

4pm: Aces for the king
John Duthie's stack is touching the 70,000-chip mark after finding two red aces and getting paid.

We picked up the action on the river when the board read Q♠5♥9♦8♠4♣. He was in position and up against Jason Tompkins. The Irishman checked and then called a 16,500 bet. Duthie tabled A♥A♦ and Tompins mucked. -- MC

3.55pm: How many?!?
We will be playing six or seven 75-minute levels today as there are two major side events being played tomorrow and the extra table space will be needed. That means today is going to see a lot of players fall and plenty of heartbreak for passionate Italianos in the later stages. Well, at least that's something to look forward to. -- RD

3.50pm: Off to grind Sunday?
Dominik Nitsche, David Sands and Chris Moorman are three players who busted before the break. Just in time for the online Sunday majors, it seems. -- MC

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 500-1,000, 100

3.35pm: Just before the break
Natalie Hof just doubled up, although remains on the critical list. Nicolas Fierro opened for 1,800 before Hof shoved for 5,800. Fierro called showing 5♣4♣ to Hof's K♣K♦.
The board ran 6♦A♥8♣6♠J♠ keeping Hof alive.

Hers is a tough table though, featuring Melanie Weisner, Keon de Visscher, Jonathan Duhamel and Carlos Mortensen.

Mortensen was in the next hand, raising to 5,200 from the cut off after an opening bet of 1,800 from Yorane Kerignard. Kerignard called for a flop of 3♣Q♠5♦.

Kerignard, who played the hand while a curly-haired waiter and someone else's red blazer awaited payment, bet 6,600 which Mortensen called for a turn card 8♥. Both checked for a T♣ river card. Another 6,600 from Kerignard as the pop music began, signalling the end of the level. Mortensen passed. - SB

3.27pm: Break it down
That's one level down. Time to refresh in a 15-mninute break.

3.25pm: Dangerous waters
Table 31 has a juicy corner to it with Kevin MacPhee, Xuan Liu and Tyler Bonkowski all sat in a row. Darlene Lee is one more seat along and managed to take down a pot involved two of the said names.

MacPhee raised to 1,700 from late position and was called by Bonkowski on the button before Lee three-bet to 6,700 from the small blind. MacPhee folded but Bonkowski called to the 8♣K♠4♠ flop.

The action was checked to the 6♠ turn where Lee called a 4,800 bet from her opponent. Both players checked the J♣ river and Bonkowski tabled 9♠9♣. It was no good though as Lee opened Q♥Q♦. -- MC

3.15pm: Rousso doubles
Vanessa Rousso just secured a vital double up, taking her stack up to around 63,000. She was all-in with A♥Q♦ against A♦K♠ only for the board to bail her out, coming as it did 6♥2♠T♥J♠K♥. - SB

3.09pm: Time is not on his side
James Dempsey has been knocked out after suffering from a serious bout of time tilt.

"I called time on the same guy the first three hands," said Dempsey, looking more incredulous about how long it had been taking players at his table to make a decision than by his early exit. That's more one player ready for the side events then. -- RD

3.07pm: Selbst on form
Vanessa Selbt speaks to the PokerStars Blog team before play kicked off. Listen, you might learn something...

3.05pm: Wielewicki-pedia
Radoslaw Wielewicki opened for 2,000 in middle position which Vanessa Selbst called on the button. Davide Suriano also called from the big blind for a flop of 6♠2♦A♥.

Suriano checked to Wielewicki who bet 5,200. Selbst, looked over at Suriano then raised to 10,300, forcing Suriano to pass. Wielewicki called for a 5♠ turn card. Both checked that for a 2♠ river card. Wielewicki bet 5,500 to win the hand. - SB

3pm: Pot to Mizzi
Sorel Mizzi opened for 2,000 in middle position which was called by Antonio Lacirignola next to him and Johan van Til in the cut off. Cristiano Viali also called from the big blind.
The flop came 9♥9♠K♦.

Viali checked before Mizzi bet 3,600, good to win the pot. -- SB

2.55pm: Some news from the Brits
Toby Lewis has John Duthie sat to his left today and seems to be thoroughly enjoying his company. He's also enjoying a few of his chips too after the latter folded to a bet on a 8♣2♦4♠3♠J♣ board. Duthie showed the A♠K♠ and added, "One-nil to you,"

James Dempsey managed to get his stack in the middle and it was the last thing he did. There was a raise from Luigi Pignataro and a flat call before Dempsey three-bet all-in for 18,000 with ace-ten. Pignataro was the only caller with pocket nines and they held. -- MC

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Toby Lewis

2.50pm: Spinks off to a flier
Jon Spinks, who I mistakenly reported having slowrolled Craig McCorkell on Day 1 - sorry about that, is up to 107,000 at a table which looks like a renunion of the $1,500 seven card stud WSOP event this summer just gone. Team PokerStars Pro Eugen Katchalov won that event, Alessio Isaia runner-up and Spinks fourth - all three of which are at the same table.

It's Spinks, however, who is in the ascendancy this time around while Katchalov is up against the ropes with just 23,000.

How did you get your chips, Jon?

"I played bad," said Spinks with a smile who went on to explain that he's been playing pretty much every hand so far.

Spinks had called pre-flop from Petteri Vanhapelto with 9♣7♣ and had bet into a [j][t][2] flop, which gave Spinks a backdoor flush draw as well as the gutshot. Vanhapelto made the call before both players checked an [a] on the turn. Spinks caught an eight on the river and jammed over a 5,000 bet from Vanhapelto who made the call with ace-king. -- RD

2.40pm: Familiar faces
Arjon Severijnen was all-in and was called by Alberto Spinucci. Severijnen turned over aces and as Spinucci turned over his pocket sevens he nodded, as if to say that aces would have been his first choice too.

Predictably, the aces held up, doubling Severijnen.

It's a table that features a similar line up as yesterday, with Shaun Deeb and Sandra Naujoks once again doing battle. Jennifer Harman joins them. - SB

2.35pm: Rivers and no rivers
Some tables are getting action on the river, while other tables long to see a river card.

Joseph Cheong is down to 25,000 after paying off Nick Yunis on the river of a 4♥9♥T♦J♥7♦ board. Yunis tanked before betting 28,400 into the 40,000 pot and Cheong called quickly but mucked upon seeing Q♥5♥.

James Dempsey is getting frustrated at his table. He told us that only four hands have been seen in the first 20 minutes and that's with no hands making it to river. "I've got 20 big blinds and I'm not even getting the chance to get them in," he said. -- MC

2.20pm: Selbst chops, Lewis chips
Christian Cipriano and Vanessa Selbst just chopped a pot getting it all-in on the river of a 3♠5♥5♣A♠A♦ river. Selbst tabled ace-queen, Cipriano ace-rag.

Toby Lewis has got his day going well winning a small pot from Rumen Nanev. Lewis had check-called a 3♦5♠6♦ flop for 3,200 before both players checked the T♣ turn. The EPT Vilamoura champion led 11,300 into the 3♥ and Naven passed. -- RD

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Christian Cipriano and Vanessa Selbst

2.10pm: Cards in the air
Play begins...

2.07pm: Catching up
We go over some of the key areas from yesterday's play. You can also read a wrap of the day's action by clicking here.

2.05pm: Getting comfortable
Play is about to begin. In an unexpected turn, officials have announced that we will be playing six or seven levels, rather than five. -- SB

1.50pm: Welcome back to Day 2
Welcome back to Day 2 of the European Poker Tour main event in San Remo. So where were we?

Yesterday Taylor Paur seized the chip lead, bagging up 188,200, marginally ahead of Brandon Cantu on 180,000. Today, they are the players to beat as the field of 482 returns, united for the first time, with the sole intention of winning the €800,000 first prize.

How far we get towards that will be determined today. We expect five levels, a few hundred bust outs and the odd bit of emotion before play ends, all of which will be detailed here.

San Remo in the sunshine

Play will be under way shortly. - SB

PokerStars Blog team in San Remo: Stephen Convey, Marc Dacey and Rick Bartley.