EPT8 San Remo: Day 3, level 16 & 17 updates (2,500-5,000, 500)

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4.53pm: Break
That's it for the second level of the day. Small break and we'll resume the action in a new post - join us there. -- RD

4.52pm: Ayow unhappy with the celebrations
Just before the end of the break Kevin Ayow lost a chunky pot to Giampiero Tanzi who, after winning the hand with the nuts, demanded to see Ayow's hand after celebrating wildly. Ayow was not happy, and even less so when Tanzi folded out of turn the next hand. Tanzi, who appears to be quite the emotional player, was given a one hand penalty. -- RD

4.50pm: Thorson stops the rot
William Thorson hasn't been having a great day. He turned up late and his stack headed south from there on. He did win the last hand of the level though to get thing going back in the right direction.

He raised from under the gun and was called by Barny Boatman in the cut-off and Kevin MacPhee in the big blind. The flop came 4♥3♠8♠ and Thorson's 13,500 c-bet was only called by MacPhee. Both players checked the 7♦ turn before MacPhee led 22,500 into the 3♣ river. Thorson paused then raised to 57,500. Snap-fold from MacPhee who dropped to 257,000. Thorson is on about 230,000. -- MC

4.45pm: Amicable split
So much for the fun table as the Veldhuis that Lex built is dismantled and it's players sent in all directions.

For Joseph Cheong that means a seat alongside William Thorson, Barny Boatman, Joseph Cheong and Kevin MacPhee. Not to mention Pietro Monzio Compagnoni who just moved in with T♥T♠ for 78,000 and was called by Thorson with Q♦Q♥.

Compagnoni was rail bound by the turn, reading 4♠7♠4♣A♥ but the T♦ river kept him alive. Thorson's facial expression didn't change but his hands flicked his cards away in disgust. - SB

4.42pm: More for Manji
Ayaz Manji has taken another pot of Kevin MacPhee to move up to 300,00 chips. MacPhee opened to 11,500 from early position and was called by Manji in the cut-off and Barny Boatman in the big blind.

The flop came A♦Q♠9♠ and all three players checked the J♦ turn. MacPhee had a stab with a 11,500 bet before Manji moved all-in for 250,000. Boatman folded quickly and so did MacPhee, semi flashing the T♦. Manji opened A♠A♣ and said, "If I see the river, I'm dead." -- MC

4.40pm: A snapshot of action
Plenty going on across these last tables:

1) Kevin Ayow flops a set of threes to bust a short stack - he's up to 300,000.

2) Shaun Deeb and Vanesssa Selbst have created a yellow corner: Deeb resplendent in a large mustard yellow hoodie, Selbst in a bright yellow trademark tracksuit zip-up top. The pair just clashed with Deeb defending his big blind from an under-the-gun raise from Selbst but passing to a delayed c-bet on a four-flushed board.

3) Joseph Cheong has just sat down between Barny Boatman and Kevin MacPhee with approximately 400,000. William Thorson also at that table. -- RD


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Shaun Deeb


4.30pm: The perfect storm
Shaun Deeb's table is now a weighty one, featuring Joseph Cheong, Johnny Lodden, Lex Veldhuis and Deeb.

It also features Ondrej Vinklarek who just endured another hand going against him, this time against Sebastian Saffari.

Vinklarek opened for 11,000 which Saffari raised to 24,000 in the cut off. With the action back on him Vinklarek raised to 57,000. Saffari paused, and then moved all-in, forcing Vinklarek to fold. - SB

4.25pm: Boatman getting active
Barny Boatman is up to 300,000 after losing one hand to Yves Boschetti and winning another against Kevin MacPhee.

Boatman had folded to a final all-in act of aggression from Boschettio pre-flop after putting in 77,000 pre-flop. The next hand he opened the button and was called by MacPhee in the big blind. A c-bet of 13,500 didn't get trhough MacPhee who made the call. Both players checked the A♠ turn before MacPhee led out 22,500. Boatman quickly called.

MacPhee: A♣3♣
Boatman: A♦6♠

"I thought I had a five for the split," said Boatman who scooped the pot. MacPhee drops to 330,000 to continue a downwards slide since winning that monster pot against William Thorson. -- RD

4.16pm: Happiest man in the room
Ayaz "The Machine" Manji is probably the happiest man in the room right now. The Portuguese businessman loves his poker and had been playing on the EPT since Season 4, at least. He has talked to Team PokerStars blog many a time about his desire to secure his first cash. Today he achieved that goal and when we walked past he looked up, smiled, and said, "My first ever cash!"

After that he defended an 11,500 button raise from Kevin MacPhee to see a 4♠J♣T♥ flop. He check-called a MacPhee 13,000 c-bet before both players checked through the 9♠9♦ turn and river. MacPhee had given up on the hand by this point and mucked his hand. Manji tabled A♦Q♠ and took the pot. -- MC

4.12pm: Italiano
How's your grasp of the Latin language?


4.10pm: Deeb doubles
Shaun Deeb opened for 10,500 under the gun. His table is currently six-handed and the action was quickly on the button player who called before Ondrej Vinklarek raised in the small blind to 33,000. Deeb paused for a long time before calling. The button passed.

On the flop of 6♣K♥5♣ Vinklarek asked Deeb how much he had behind (about 150,000). He then bet 27,000. Deeb then raised to 60,000. After another pause Vinklarek took back his original 27,000 and replaced it with 85,000. With a degree of inevitability Deeb announced "all-in" and Vinklarek called, turning over K♠Q♠. Deeb though showed A♥A♣.

The turn came J♠, the river 2♣.

"Like that turn card Shaun?" asked Joseph Cheong, and Deeb replied with something funny. Both seemed oblivious to the torture on Vinklarek's face. He's down to 210,000 while Deeb moves up to 400,000. Lex Veldhuis arrives to take the seat on Deeb's right. - SB


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Justin Cheong

4pm: Selbst picks off the bluff (with quads)
Vanessa Selbst is up among the chip leaders once again after picking off a bluff against Domenico Cordi. It turns out that the American Team PokerStars Pro actually had quads at the time but I digress.

Cordi has proved to be a bluff heavy character over the last couple of days so Selbst must have been licking her lips in this situation.

Selbst had opened to 11,000 from the cut-off and had been called by Cordi in the small blind. Cordi had check-called 14,000 on the 7♠9♠3♣ flop before check-raising from 28,000 to 59,500 on the 9♦ turn. The 8♦ river fell and Cordi moved all-in for his remaining 160,000 or so. Selbst snap-called with 9♣9♥ for quads. Cordi? The mighty J♠K♦. Selbst up to around 800,000. -- RD


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Vanessa Selbst

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 2,500-5,000, ANTE 500


3.40pm: Play resumes
Play restarts after a 15 minute break which most players are returning from to discover they are in the money. -- SB

3.20pm: Troger is the bubble boy
Christopher McClung tried to burst the bubble but it took him two attempts to achieve his goal.

After doubling up a player before he was in another all-in spot a few minutes later against Christian Troger. We reached the action on the T♠7♥4♦ flop where Mclung had check-raised Troger all-in. Troger called to put his tournament at risk.

MnClung: K♣K♥
Troger: A♠7♠

The board ran out J♥8♥ to eliminate Troger one off the money. There was a muted applause as most of the other remaining players had already left for break. They will have a nice surprise when they return. -- MC

3.15pm: MacPhee clashes with Thorson in six-bet pot
Kevin MacPhee and William Thorson have just clashed in a monster six-beet pot pushing the American up to 630,000 and Thorson down to 125,000.

MacPhee opened the action to 8,500 from the cut-off and Thorson three-bet the button to 18,500. So far, so standard. MacPhee retaliated with a four-bet to 68,500. Okay, things were starting to get a little less standard now. Thorson would not lt the aggression stand, he came back over the top for 128,500. The rail around the table began to thicken.

MacPhee did not muck, he chopped out a large stack of yellow 5,000 chips and pushed out a six-bet to 233,000. The action was back on Thorson as two Italian camera crews performed a pincer movement around me, one lens almost resting atop Barny Boatman's head.

Thorson, thick black glasses resting low on his nose, counted his stack. He had around 230,000 left. Most would consider it a push or fold moment, Thorson disagreed and made the call.

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William Thorson


MacPhee shoved his remaining 161,500 into the middle on the 5♦T♦Q♣ flop and Thorson was left with a major decision. Some members of the domestsic media rail were chattering a little too loudly for Boatman's sensibilities and the Hendon Mob man fixed them with a disapproving glare and a sharp 'shhh' - it didn't seem to make to much difference and Thorson folded shortly after.

MacPhee later claimed to have kings. -- RD

3.06pm: Testud holds nerve
With a flop of 5♥5♦Q♦ Giampiero Tanzi raised, and was re-raised by Paul Testud to 25,000. Tanzi then moved all-in for 71,000, making it a mere 46,000 for Testud to call. Instead, he folded pocket kings face up. Tanzi showed A♦T♦. -- SB

3.05pm: On the bubble
With 129 players remaining in the main event play has reached the hand for hand stage.

3.03pm: Frenchman struck
Antonin Teisseire was just struck down to 70,000 after a hand with Teisseire. On a board of 6♥4♠4♦Q♠T♥ Teisseire moved all-in sending Domenico Cordi into the tank. When he came out it was to call. Teisseire showed 7♠8♠ for what had been a flush draw against Teisseire's slightly better busted flush draw, showing 9♠T♠. The crucial difference being the ten on the river. - SB

3.02pm: Costa just missed the money
Davide Costa was down to his last 30,000 and found 5♠5♦ in late position. He decided to take the risk and go with it but he ran into Francesco De Vivo with Q♠Q♦.

The board ran J♥2♦7♦T♦A♥ and Costa left the room with a sad face. De Vivo meanwhile is having a great day. He's up to more than 250,000 now after starting the day with just 17,000. -- MC

2.54pm: Bubble closing in
The bubble is nearly upon us with 128 players getting paid and 130 players left in this field. Hand by hand should start soon. -- RD

2.48pm: Kanit moving up
Mustapha Kanit is up to 560,000 and looking very comfortable at his table, despite sitting a few seats away from Mike McDonald. Kanit check-called all three streets on a 8♣2♥7♠3♠Q♣ board against Florian Desgouttes with 8♠9♣ to beat the naked 2♠ shown by Desgouttes.

Jon Spinks, just one table along, is looking equally at ease with a stack of 455,000. Mick 'BIGMICKG' Graydon is sat on Spinks' left yawning and nursing a stack of 120,000. -- RD

2.40pm: Costa pays the price
Kevin MacPhee just sent a player to the rail. Massimiliano Piazza opened for 9,500 which MacPhee raised to 20,000. David Costa then moved all-in for 85,000 which Piazza folded to MacPhee snap called, with good reason, showing A♣A♠ to Costa's A♦T♠.

The board ran 7♣6♥J♦3♥T♥ to end the day early for Costa. - SB

2.35pm: Veldhuis on the button
Lex Veldhuis just increased the size of his stack. He opened for 8,000 on the button which was raised by Dario De Paz in the small blind to 21,000. Veldhuis called for a flop of 5♣4♣8♦ and raised to 50,000 after De Paz bet 16,000. That was enough to win the hand. Velduis up to more than 500,000. - SB


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Lex Veldhuis, Dutch Master


2.30pm: Win some, lose some
As quickly as Vanessa Selbst won chips from Steve O'Dwyer, she lost some to John Duthie.

The board was reading T♦Q♣A♥T♥4♥ with Duthie check calling every street. He checked on the river before Selbst bet 100,000. Duthie called with his last 88,000, showing Q♥J♥ to win the hand. Someone said they heard Selbst say she had a straight. - SB

2.27pm: Manole flops it
Mihai Manole has doubled to 170,000 after flopping a set of queens over pocket aces. We've so far lost nine players including Davide Costa, Johan van Til and EPT runner-up Steve O'Dwyer. -- RD

2.15pm: Spinks kick start
Jon Spinks is up to 420,000 after getting ace-queen in against king-jack on the first hand of the tournament. The money is drawing near with 141 players left and 128 getting paid. -- RD

2.10pm: And we're off
Play has begun...

2pm: Back to San Remo
Welcome back to Day 3 of the European Poker Tour main event in San Remo. We're down to 144 players thanks to a Goliath of a day yesterday, during which seven levels obliterated the hopes of 278 players.

That means we're just a few places away from the money with the top 128 players receiving cash compensation. For 16 players taking their seats now it will be a short, and expensive, day.

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San Remo by day


Play is about to start with four levels scheduled, although that could easily become nine. -- SB

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