EPT12 Barcelona: A round on the quiet table...
The dam that was holding back the masses at EPT Barcelona has finally broken and the rush of eliminations from the Main Event has duly followed. There were 36 players at the start, 24 by the first break and now, at around 4.30pm local time, only 18 remain.
Of course, the target is for 12 of them to leave before we can wrap for the day, which is still a big ask. But the bottleneck has finally shifted and the flow has returned.
Over on the EPT Live feature table, Amir Touma, Peter Eichhardt, Oleksii Khoreshenin et al are trading blows, and down on the main floor, the table with Pascal LeFrancois, John Juanda and Stuart McDonald seems to have the most action.
All the more reason to drop in on the third table, where Steve Warburton and Frederik Jensen are the most recognisable faces. The British player is coming off a second-place finish in a WPT event in Amsterdam in May, while Jensen is one of two former EPT champions remaining at this late stage. They were also sitting alongside one another.
We looked at an orbit (and a bit) in their company. Here's how it went down.
At the start of the round, two of the table's eight chairs were vacant. With 19 players left at the start of the orbit, they were on one of the two six-handed tables.
Seat 1 - empty
Seat 2 - Mario Sanchez Cano, 3.4 million
Seat 3 - Mario Lopez, 890,000
Seat 4 - Rainer Kempe, 3 million
Seat 5 - Roman Korenev, 1.3 million
Seat 6 - empty
Seat 7 - Frederick Jensen, 3.4 million
Seat 8 - Steve Warburton, 4.6 million
Hand 1 - Button with Rainer Kempe
This hand wasn't actually supposed to be involved in this "A Round With..." feature. I was still counting stacks and getting ready. However, there was no mistaking the fact that Frederick Jensen, having defended his big blind to an open from Mario Lopez in the cut off, shoved on the river with the board showing J♠8♣6♥J♥6♦. He comfortably covered Lopez.
Lopez thought for a good long time, but then flicked in a single chip indicating that he was calling off for his tournament life. Jensen showed 9♦6♠ and had flopped a pair, improved to two pair and then rivered a full house.
A stunned Lopez turned over his pocket queens, having been ahead all the way. (Warburton told us that Lopez bet the flop, called by Jensen, and they checked the turn.)
That was the end of the final Argentinian in the Main Event field, and left them five handed at table three.
Hand 2 - Button with Roman Korenev
Rainer Kempe, having missed out on the chance to play his button, opened this pot from the cut-off, making it 120,000 to go. That was a min-raise with the blinds at 30,000-60,000. Jensen, having stacked up his newly-acquired chips, defended his small blind, which encouraged Warburton in from the big blind too.
The three of them went to a flop of 4♥7♥9♦ and after both blinds checked, Korenev's continuation bet of 250,000 was good enough to take it.
Hand 3 - Button with Frederick Jensen
This one folded all the way around to Jensen on the button, and he opened to 120,000. Mario Sanchez Cano defended his big blind this time and it was the two of them to a flop of 6♦3♦T♥. Cano checked, prising a bet of 135,000 from Jensen, which Cano called.
After the T♣ came on the turn, Cano fired 275,000 and Jensen folded without too much delay.
Hand 4 - Button with Steve Warburton
The tournament staff, balancing tables, brought Sebastian Tejada to the table, carrying racks of chips totalling about 2 million. Tejada was directed to the seat recently vacated by Lopez, which was between Cano and Kempe and also immediately in the big blind.
Roman Korenev got the hand started, opening to 120,000 from early position. Warburton, with the biggest stack and the best position for this hand, three bet to 260,000 and action made it round to the newcomer. The chances are that Tejada had played against many of these players before, but had no knowledge of the immediate dynamic. He thought about getting involved immediately, but eventually folded.
Korenev thought better of it too, which gave the pot to Warburton.
Hand 5 - Button with Mario Sanchez Cano
Frederik Jensen again got this one started, raising to 120,000 from UTG+1, which is also the hijack. Korenev called from the big blind, but gave up after Jensen bet 135,000 on the flop of T♥2♠K♠.
Hand 6 - Button with Sebastian Tejada
This one was folded all the way around to Rainer Kempe in the small blind and, sensing a chance to pick up an extra blind, he raised to 120,000. I once read a poker player's new year's resolutions (I forget which one) where he said he was planning never to raise from the small blind in an unopened pot, and he would have said, "There, that's why" had he seen this. Korenev immediately said, "I'm all in" and Kempe immediately folded.
That's the end of that orbit. Not a thriller, by any measure, but indicative of more tension building in the room. Expect a few more eliminations very soon.
You can follow all the action from the various tournament floors on PokerStars Blog. The Main Event action is on the Main Event page. And the €10,000 High Roller is in its second day. Follow that one on the High Roller page.
Everything from the side events is on the side events page. It will be busy over there today as well.
There's also EPT Live for your video-based needs.
You can also begin plotting your own bid for EPT glory by downloading the PokerStars client and having a crack. Follow this EPT event via the EPT app. There you will get all the latest news, chip counts and payouts. You can download it on Android or IOS.