EPT12 Barcelona: Vaskaboinikau makes his presence felt

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Mikalai Vaskaboinikau: Two million man

Mikalai Vaskaboinikau is among the leaders at EPT Barcelona as the tournament enters its final level of the day. He is one of those players with two settings: slow and serene, getting a massage and listening to music through ear-buds; or loud and abrasive, bellowing delight at a huge double up.

Both of the settings have irked opponents today -- Pascal Lefrancois was among those slightly upset by Vaskaboinikau's slow play, while Jaroslaw Sikora wasn't best pleased after being cast to the rail in a volley of Belarrusian jubilation.

We'll give him the benefit of the doubt in both respects at the moment. His total live tournament winnings to this point barely cover the buy-in for the EPT Main Event, so it's safe to say he is relatively inexperienced. He has now been asked both to act more quickly and to keep his emotions in check. "It's very bad etiquette," a tournament official explained after he wrapped his fist off the table after busting Sikora.

The hand was fairly standard. Sikora opened from early position, making it 52,000 to go. Slowly and deliberately Vaskaboinikau three bet to 113,000 one seat to his left. It was folded around and Sikora shoved for about 605,000. Vaskaboinikau called and his A♦K♦ hit an ace on the flop to beat Sikora's T♥T♠.

That took him to more than 2 million chips, joining the elite bunch including the aforementioned LeFrancois, Peter Eichhardt, Rainer Kempe, Denys Shafikov and Steven Warburton.

As far as the tournament itself goes, we could be in a spot of bother. The original schedule for today was to play five levels or get down to 16 players, whichever comes first. As it turned out, we're into the sixth level of the day (the 24th overall) and there are still 45 players left.

The plan tomorrow is to get down to six, but that seems equally over-optimistic. Even if there's a flurry of eliminations in the next 90 minutes, it seems unlikely, bordering on the impossible, that they'll get to fewer than about 30.

The knock-on effect could well mean another super-long two days coming up. And that's before we even think about the record-breaking high roller...

You can follow all the action from the various tournament floors on PokerStars Blog. The Main Event action will be on the Main Event page. And the €10,000 High Roller gets under way today as well. It's not confirmed as record-breaking just yet, but I'm going to bet it will be. Watch me be proved right 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.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour