EPT11 Malta: Well that escalated quickly

It could just be variance, but despite the blinds still being very small in relation to the stacks (100/200/25 average stack is 32,000) there's seemingly a lot of big pots being played. Everywhere the PokerStars Blog went we witnessed players putting piles of chips into the middle. What's more, a total of 15 players had been eliminated by the time level four got under way, there's none of the famed laid back, take it slow Mediterranean approach when it comes to the poker that's for sure.

Exhibit one: By the time the PokerStars Blog arrived at the table a huge pot had developed on the flop between Duane Baillet and Bernd Vogelhuber. The former was in real pain as it was his tournament life that was potentially on the line. He had a bet of 6,500 in front of him and Vogelhuber had then shoved for 35,900. Baillet had only 10,000 back and was eyeing up the 8♦7♣K♣ board and trying to decide what to do. He then turned to eyeball Vogelhuber, which was the easiest part of the equation as they were in the one and two seat respectively. Some more time passed and eventually Baillet elected to commit the rest of his chips. Vogelhuber
was first to show, opening T♦9♦ for an open ended straight draw whilst Baillet had called off his tournament life in a huge pot with A♦K♠.


Duane Baillet (left) and Bernd Vogelhuber (right)

Top pair, top kicker it may be but the value of that hand has to shrink in a pot such as this so a brave call by Baillet had, as it stood, been rewarded. He still had to dodge a lot of outs though and dodge them he did on the A♥ turn and 8♥ river to double through Naim.

Double ups were the order of the day it seemed as next to have his tournament life boosted was none other than Team PokerStars Pro Theo Jorgensen. The Dane, who can usually be found in high stakes pot-limit Omaha cash games when he's not in the Main Event, had not had a brilliant time of it in the opening three levels and his stack had withered to just 8,275 but the time he opened from under-the-gun. Artur Karamuca decided to three-bet to 1,500 from late position and when it got back to Jorgensen he four-bet to 7,000 total.

It was effectively an all in bet by Jorgensen as he had just 1,275 back but despite that Kramuca decided to flat call and see a flop. The dealer fanned A♥5♠2♠, Jorgensen moved all-in and in the least surprising move on the tournament Kramuca called his all-in. Jorgensen showed A♦K♣ and was in front of Kramuca's A♠Q♣. The Albanian missed the 9♣ turn and 2♣ river and Jorgensen successfully doubled, although not for long as he tweeted:

The vast majority of pots are being three-bet and there's very few raise and takes in the sample size we witnessed. Has everyone got somewhere to be? On a day like this, in a place like Malta then there's certainly worse places to bust a poker tournament.


It's nice outside

Whilst the Main Event has just started there's plenty going on elsewhere. There's a panel at the top of the EPT Malta Main Event in which you'll find hand-by-hand coverage and chip counts. Below that, there will be feature pieces.

You can find coverage of the Italian Poker Tour on the IPT page, and all the side event results are on the side event results page.

Nick Wright
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour