EPT8 San Remo: Day 4, level 19, 20 & 21 (6,000-12,000, 1,000)

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5.30pm: Duthie busts... and break
Team PokerStars Pro John Duthie has just been knocked out after jamming A♠6♠ under-the-gun for 174,000. Christopher Williamsson woke up with A♥K♠ and moved in over the top for 250,000. The board ran out 8♣4♣2♦J♥J♦ to send the EPT founder to the rail.

In other news, EPT Barcelona runner-up Jesus Cortes has also busted out.

And in other news, it's break time. Join us in a new post in about 15 minutes. -- RD

5.25pm: Solinas doubles
Carla Solinas moved all-in with J♦J♣ and it was Barny Boatman calling with A♣Q♣, but only just.

"I swear to god I nearly folded," he said after the board ran 9♣T♠3♠J♥4♦. He was able to add "nice hand."

It leaves Boatman with 225,000 while sending Solinas up to 470,000. - SB

5.20pm: The injustice of a re-suck-out
"No, no, no," were cries of Daniele Mazzia and the Italian press behind him after his hand was sucked out on by Daniel Neilson. They seemed to quickly forget that he had actually put his chips in behind on the flop and sucked out first on the turn.

The hand started with a pre-flop raise by Neilson and calls from Elio Fox and Mazzia. The flop fell 9♦J♦7♦ and Neilson's 48,000 c-bet was called by Fox before Mazzia check-raised all-in for 150,000 from the big blind. Neilson then moved all-in behind and that was enough to isolate the Italian.

Mazzia: Q♦T♣ for flush draw and open ended straight draw.
Neilson: J♣9♥ for two-pair.

The turn came K♣ and that prompted knowing silent nods from the Italian camp with Mazzia's straight made. The nods were soon replaced by head-shakes and vocal moans when the river came J♠ to fill up the Australian. -- MC

5.10pm: Sixes for Isaia
A slight hit for Vanessa Selbst, down to around 400,000 after a hand against Alessio Isaia. Selbst opened for 26,000 which Isaia called from the small blind for a flop of 9♦8♠T♥. Both checked for a T♠ turn card. Isaia then made it 33,000 to go on, which Selbst called for a 5♦ river card. This time Isaia checked, as did Selbst, who then passed when Isaia showed 6♦6♠. - SB

5pm: Lodden put to the test
Johnny Lodden is on 550,000 - close to average - after passing to a 202,000 bet on the river of a 4♦8♠7♣3♣Q♣ board. Andreas Samuelsson was the man doing the betting, he'd also pushed out 118,000 on the turn which Lodden had called. The Swede, whose hands were conspicuously shaking as he made that last bet, is now up to 1,100,000.

Across the way Mustapha Kanit took a pot away from Sergey Tikhonov with a three-bet pre-flop; 27,000 up to 77,000 out of the big blind. -- RD


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Andreas Samuelsson


4.53pm: Duthie getting short
John Duthie is down to around 200,000 after losing a small pot to fell Team PokerStars Pro Lex Velhuis.

He raised to 25,000 from under the gun and the action folded all the way around to the Dutchman who peeled. The flop and turn were checked through to leave a 9♠8♦7♣J♥8♣ board at the river.

Velhuis led for 47,000 and Duthie called after some thought. Johnny Lodden called Veldhuis' hand just before he tabled 5♠6♠ for the bottom end of the straight. Duthie mucked. -- MC

4.45pm: Easy double for Salzano
Salvatore Salzano fist pumped the sky and well he should, he was just gifted an easy double up to 300,000. Sergey Tikhonov limped from early position and was called by Joseph Cheong in the small blind. Salzano checked his big blind option.

Salzano led the K♥2♦T♠ flop for 20,000 and Tikhonov made the call, Cheong passed. Salzano fired another 25,000 at the 8♦ turn and Tikhonov made the call again. The Q♠ hit the river and Salzano led for 30,000 and then called Tikhonov's shove for the rest of his 99,000 stack.

Salzano: K♦8♠
Tikhonov: A♥T♣

Salzano gifted a lifeline with 47 players remaining. Barny Boatman (400,00) is sat between Salzano and Tikhonov. He seems quite happy with his lot in life at the moment. -- RD


4.42pm: MacPhee chasing the double
Kevin MacPhee is still in the chase to become the first EPT double champion (as is Mike McDonald).


4.40pm: Cortes the killer?
Andreas Samuelsson opened from under the gun for 28,000 which Jesus Cortes called for a flop of K♣3♣3♠. Samuelsson then bet 39,000. Call. On the 8♠ turn he made it 68,000. Call. On the river he changed tack, checking with his fist. Cortes did the same, folding when 1607 showed K♥5♥. Both players are now up and down to around 500,000. - SB

4.34pm: Santaguida busts to MacPhee
Linda Santaguida is the latest player to fall after Kevin MacPhee eliminated her. She min-raised to 24,000 from under the gun before MacPhee three-bet to 71,000 from two seats further along. The action folded back to the Italian who tank-called leaving herself with just 79,000 back.

The flop came T♥6♠A♥ and Santaguida checked to face a 38,000 bet from the American. She went into the tank for about three minutes before committing the rest of her chips with K♠J♠. MacPhee called and tabled A♠K♠ which held through the 8♠6♣ turn and river. -- MC

4.26pm: Chips!
Click on the chip count page to get freshly updated counts. -- RD

4.20pm: Saieva would like to call
"Call, call, yes I call." This was Maurizio Saieva who wanted to call. He wanted to call because Frida Broberg had moved all in on the river on a board of T♥6♣5♣J♣9♣. Saieva showed K♣J♠ to topple the 7♦J♦ of Broberg. -- SB

4.15pm: Duthie takes on McClung
Chris McClung opened the cut-off for 27,000 and John Duthie opted to defend his big blind. Both players checked the 5♦2♣3♣ flop before Duthie led out 32,000 into the J♠ turn and 48,000 into the 9♥ river. McClung made the call and was shown J♣9♣ for two-pair. Great turn card for Duthie who is now up to 440,000. -- RD

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


4pm: McClung still bossing it at the break
Chris McClung is up to 1,623,000 despite having a tough starting table including Lex Veldhuis and John Duthie. He now has Johnny Lodden on his left of whom Duthie just said: "Do you know Johnny Lodden? He used to be a contender." It appeared to be the tail end of some Lodden bashing courtesy of Veldhuis and Duthie. Lodden was taking it well.

It's now a 15 minute break. -- RD


3.58pm: Walking under ladders
The video blog team find out what superstitions cause the most angst.


3.55pm: Spinks makes big call to bust Liviu
Ignat Liviu thought he had won the pot to more than double-up as his hand improved to two-pair on the river card. What he hadn't realised though is that the same river card made Jon Spinks a straight after he made a big turn call.

The hand opened with an under the gun raise from Barny Boatman and he picked up calls from Spinks in the hijack and Liviu in the big blind. On the flop the action checked to Spinks who bet 32,000. Boatman moved out of the way after the Romanian raised to 77,000. Not Spinks though who called to see the 8♣ turn where he faced an all-in bet of 185,000. He had about 300,000 so to call and be wrong meant being left with a short stack with the blinds about to go up. He thought for two minutes and then mad a decisive looking two-handed call.

Liviu tabled 2♥3♥ for a pair and open-ended straight draw. Spinks tabled A♥5♥ for top pair and gutshot draw. The river came 3♠ to fill in that straight rendering his opponent's two-pair useless. The Brit is up to 750,000. -- MC

3.50pm: up and about
As the debris of broken rails are gathered from the floor, examined and tossed away, another player moved all-in. Playing her first hand since a man in his graduation suit delivered to her a new sponsored cap, Linda Santaguida moved all-in for 60,000. At least she almost did, a string bet leaving her with 10,000 behind.

Kevin MacPhee raised, then called when the last 10,000 went in, turning over 9♦9♠ to Santaguida's A♥T♣.

The board ran J♠2♥A♠7♦2♠ to double up Santaguida, who stood up and walked around the room inhaling deeply before returning to her seat.

It's a curious phenomenon this getting-out-of-the-seat thing, something that many players have adopted. One that Richard Loth just did after doubling through Andrey Pateichuk, who had no trouble staying in his seat. It seems to only affect winners. - SB

3.45pm: Great call from Isaia to break a million (and a rail)
Alessio Isaia was deep in the tank when I arrived at the action. Maurizio Saieva had led 150,000 into the river of a 5♣5♠9♠9♦K♣ board from the small blind and Isaia was left looking at the 400,000 pot and the 150,000 bet. The Italian finally settled on a call, perhaps thinking there were too many chips in the middle not to catch a bluff and knowing he'd be left with close to 600,000 even if he did get it wrong. He didn't.

Saieva: 7♣6♣
Isaia: 6♠6♦

Saieva wasn't happy about the call, he shot out of his chair and stromed off across the room getting as far as an elastic cordon before stopping. Irritated he swiped at it petulantly, breaking it's plastic joint with a snap. He quickly returned to his seat and his remaining 300,000. I wonder if they'll take the repair costs out of his winnings?

Isaia is up to 1,150,000. -- RD


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Alessio Isaia: nice jumper, nice stack

3.30pm: Cortes chipping up
Jesus Cortes is up to 600,000 after flopping a set against Eli Bohbot and getting three streets of value. Bohbot has been left short after calling the Spaniard's all-in shove on the river. Cortes finished runner-up to Kent Lundmark at EPT Barcelona last season, the closest a Spanish player has ever come to winning an EPT title. -- RD

3.27pm: Bonkowski bounced out
Former chip big-stack Tyler Bonkowski is out. The Canadian came back with 173,000 today but had about 100,000 less than that when he three-bet all-in from the small blind. Andreas Samuelsson had raised from the button and made the call.

Samuelsson: Q♥8♥
Bonkowski: A♠5♥

The board ran T♣4♥5♦J♣9♠ to make the PokerStars qualifier a straight. Bonkowski wished he table luck and made his exit. -- MC

3.25pm: So long Saffari
Another faller, this time Sebastian Saffari. He moved all-in with 7♥7♣ and was called by Christopher McClung with K♦K♠. The board ran A♠3♥A♥A♣5♠.

"Congratulations," said the blond girl sent to escort him to the payout desk. Saffari didn't seem in the mood to be congratulated. - SB

3.20pm: Selbst rebuilding
Vanessa's Selbst's stack had been shrinking today but she's trying to rebuild in the right way.

She raised to 20,000 and Alessio Isaia defended from the big blind to see a 2♥4♠4♣ flop. Selbst c-bet for 18,000 and the Italian check-called. The turn was the Q♥ and Isaia check-folded to a 48,000 bet.

The next hand the Team PokerStars Pro raised to 20,000 again and Frida Broberg was the only caller from the button. No more chips were put into the pot as the 6♥7♠T♣3♠Q♥ board was checked all the way. Selbst revealed 5♥5♣, beating out Broberg's J♥K♣.

Selbst is on about 360,000 as we write. -- MC

3.15pm: Spinks takes on Cheong
Jon Spinks has just taken a pot worth approaching 200,000 from Justin Cheong after value betting A♣J♥ on a 7♥A♠K♣Q♥8♠ for 48,000. Cheong made the call and mucked his hand. Spinks up to 500,000, Cheong still riding high with more than a million.

Barny Boatman has just sat down to the left of Cheong. We have 54 players remaining and those players busted out include Nick Yunis (58th) and Dmirty Vitkind (59th). -- RD


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Barny Boatman


3.05pm: Life good for Archambeaud
A big hand for Mike McDonald, but not a successful one this time. On a board of 4♣K♥7♠8♥2♠ McDonald checked to Etienne Archambeaud who then moved all-in, betting his last 135,000 is a sloppy kind of rock star way, lumping his chips forward with insouciance before dramatically flicking his hood over his head and bowing his head.

The reason is McDonald's almost laser-like stare, which can be the downfall of a weaker player. With nothing to look at McDonald internalised, his eyebrows up, then down, biting his lip, tilting his head slightly and exhaling deeply. Eventually he called.

"Three kings," said Archambeaud, turning over K♠K♦. McDonald couldn't beat that. He's down to 270,000. Archambeaud up to around 500,000. - SB

3pm: Flop unkind to Vitkind
And another player walks to the rail, this time Dmitry Vitkind who is sent there by the ace-king of Daniele Vesco, which, with a king on the flop, got the better of Vitkind's pocket jacks. - SB

2.57pm: Fox makes way
Denys Drobyna just took a nice pot away from Elio Fox after calling a four-bet of 86,000 and making a pot-sized bet into the K♦Q♥4♦ flop. Fox, who had four-bet from under-the-gun, check-folded the flop but is still well stacked with 800,000. -- RD


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WSOPE champ Elio Fox


2.55pm: The Scandi way helps Williamsson
Christopher Williamsson in the nemesis of Nick Yunis after he doubled-up through him for the third time this tournament, they said.

Williamsson got his last 127,000 in with K♥Q♥ and was called by Yunis with 9♦9♠. The board ran K♣J♣J♦2♣J♥ to make the Swede a full house. Yunis dropped to 210,000 chips.

"I get so lucky against you," said Williamsson. "That's the Scandi way. Get it in behind," he went on. -- MC

2.45pm: One more down
Another player departs, Gianfranco Mazzariello moved in with pocket tens and was called by Dimitar Danchev with A♠J♥. On the flop 3♠J♣J♠ Mazzariello threw his arms up as if to say "not fair". The turn 5♠ and river 4♥ were not fair either, if that's how you look at it. Mazzariello out. - SB

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


2.35pm: Cheong moves into second place
Joseph Cheong is into second place after knocking out in Eduard Kapitonov in a pot worth more than 600,000 chips. We got there at as the chips were being pushed to the American but it looked as if the chips went in pre-flop.

Cheong: A♠K♦
Kapitonov: A♦Q♠

The board ran 2♥J♦9♥9♣T♦. The Russian was sent packing as Cheong admired his 1,200,000 stack. -- MC

2.20pm: Old McDonald
Andreas Samuelsson opened in late position for 11,000. The action reached Mike McDonald in the small blind who, with customary menace, raised to 45,000. Samuelsson tanked for a while, and perhaps even looked at McDonald slowly blinking. If so he got the message and folded.

Meanwhile on the table alongside, which in the confines of the tournament room is about three feet away, the chat on the table featuring Kevin MacPhee and Vanessa Selbst, is, well, in Italian... -- SB

2.10pm: McClung chip leader
Chris McClung has a dominating lead here in San Remo and isn't far off the average starting stack for the final table. He just swiped the blinds with a raise to 17,000, which is something he should be able to get away with liberally given the firepower he's got behind him. Everyone passed including Team PokerStars Pro Lex Veldhuis in the big blind. -- RD

2pm: Play begins
We have 35 minutes left on the clock for level 19 and, as mentioned below, we'll be playing until just 24 players remain. Those that have cashed already can be found on the payouts and prizewinners page. -- RD

1.40pm: Play set to start at 2pm
The heavens opened at 3am this morning and the rain hasn't stopped since. The pleasant skies of San Remo have been replaced by grey clouds but we're free from drizzle inside the Casino San Remo - and we've got free tea and coffee. Ha! Weather defeated.

Today we play down from 64 to 24, the last three eight-handed tables. We're guessing that it should take around four levels and it's Canadian Chriis McClung who leads with well over a million. -- RD

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Fountains aren't the only source of water today...

PokerStars Blog reporting team in San Remo (in order of stress levels): Rick Dacey (uncharacteristically calm), Stephen Bartley (jabbing his umbrella at the internet connection) and Marc Convey (stamping his feet and spluttering out obscenities like a drunk sailor). Photos by Neil Stoddart.

Rick Dacey
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour