EPT12 Dublin: €25,000 High Roller Day 1 updates

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* LATEST CHIP COUNTS

* Day 1 runs for eight one-hour levels
* Registration open until start of Day 2


9:45pm: Bertilsson leads at the end of Day 1
Anton Bertilsson is the chip leader after the opening day, with 42 players remaining from a field of 66 entries (56 unique players). Read the full report of the day.

9:27pm: He's never folded to a 3-bet in his life
Level 8 - Blinds 2,500-5,000 (500 ante)

After Adrian Mateos opened from the small blind, Pratyush Buddiga 3-bet shoved all-in for his last remaining 27,500. Mateos called and turned over A♣J♣, which was way behind Buddiga's A♥K♥. That was until the turn anyway. The flop was the T♦8♠5♠, then the J♦ landed, followed by the T♣. Buddiga hit the rail.

After the hand, table mate Charlie Carrel said of Mateos: "He's never folded to a 3-bet in his life!" Well, calling worked this time. Mateos now sits with 155,000. --JS

9:25pm: Four more hands
Level 8 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Clock paused. Card drawn. End nigh. --MH

9:20pm: O'Dwyer busts second bullet
Level 8 - Blinds 2,500-5,000 (500 ante)

The man who has had an unbelievable start to 2016, Steve O'Dwyer, has just been knocked out of this event for the second time today. He agonised over an all-in shove from Anton Bertilsson on a board of 5♥4♥4♠8♥, but eventually called. He only had A♥K♣, so obviously thought that Bertilsson was on a pure bluff, but he turned over pocket tens. No ace, king or heart came on the river, and O'Dwyer was eliminated. --JS

9:25pm: Into the muck
Level 8 - Blinds 2,500-5,000 (500 ante)

Jason Wheeler opened to 11,000 in the cutoff and it folded to Nick Petrangelo in the small blind. Petrangelo asked Wheeler how much was in his stack (it was 170,000) and then checked how much Adrian Mateos (in the big blind) had. It was much less. About 80,000. Petrangelo called. Mateos folded.

The flop brought the 3♣3♠Q♣ and Petrangelo checked. Wheeler continued for 13,500 and Petrangelo called. The A♥ came on the turn, which brought the same pattern. A check from Petrangelo, then a bet of 20,000 from Wheeler. Call.

The river was the A♦ and they both checked. Petrangelo turned over only the K♣, which he clearly thought was good enough. And he was right. Wheeler mucked before Petrangelo, for the sake of completeness, and the rules, showed the T♣ with it. -- HS

9:20pm: Turn card brightens Brito's night
Level 8 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Fernando Brito was all in and at risk for his last 158,000 versus Christoph Vogelsang, with the player from Portugal hoping his A♥K♠ would hold versus the German's A♦Q♠.

Alas for Brito, the flop fell 3♥A♣Q♦, and his shoulders sank a bit as he leaned forward to begin the process of leaving his seat. But the K♦ followed on the turn to make him a better two pair, and after the 8♥ river he managed to double up and survive.

With less than half an hour to go, Brito has about 325,000 while Vogelsang now has about 180,000. --MH

9:15pm: A pair is a pair
Level 8 - Blinds 2,500-5,000 (500 ante)

Niall Farrell opened to 11,000 from under the gun and Davidi Kitai called on the button. Mustapha Kanit also called, from the big blind.

The three of them went to a flop: 4♥2♦9♠. Kanit checked and Farrell bet 15,500 to which only Kitai was amenable.


niall_farrell_eptdub_12feb16.jpgNiall Farrell

The turn brought the T♠ but nobody was interested. Check, check. Then the Q♠ came on the river but nobody was interested again. Check, check.

Farrell somewhat sheepishly turned over his 3♥3♠ but Kitai mucked, unable to beat the baby pair. -- HS

9:10pm: A look around the room
Level 8 - Blinds 2,500-5,000 (500 ante)

In between hands (and sometimes even during - those pesky slow players) you find your attention slipping elsewhere around the room. Here are a few things we've seen in the last few minutes:

November Niner and all-round good guy Pierre Neuville nipped over from playing in the PokerStars Cup event to rail the High Roller, but never really got a chance as he was busy posing for photos with a fan.

"Did you get it?!" he nervously asked his friend with the camera.
"I got two!" came the reply.
"Well, better get one more!" said the man with his arm around Neuville.

It's near the end of the day, which means it's beer o'clock for a lot of our players. Sean Winter has just kindly bought a round for his tablemates, including Bryn Kenney, Kevin MacPhee and Dario Sammartino.

Meanwhile, Sam Greenwood is paying as much attention to the crossword puzzle on his iPad than he is on playing the tournament which cost him €25,000 to enter. --JS

9:05pm: More chips for Luca
Level 8 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

We were noting earlier today how Ivan Luca was down to fumes, then via constant aggression building back up, eventually chipping up above the average as a result.

Things continue to go well for the Argentinian in the night's last level. He's picked up pocket aces twice here during the latter portion of Day 1, winning medium-sized pots both times. And just now he rivered a flush against Max Silver to pick up another small one. Luca is at 545,000 right now, while Silver -- who recent re-entered -- continues with about 250,000. --MH

9:00pm: Huge double for Carrel
Level 8 - Blinds 2,500-5,000 (500 ante)

Has anyone ever had a 'lucky haircut' before? You'd have to ask Charlie Carrel - who is sporting a new, less wild "do" here at EPT Dublin - after a hand we witnessed at the bitter-end of Level 7.

Kevin MacPhee kicked off the action with an open to 9,000, which Winfred Yu and Carrel both called. It was around to Pratyush Buddiga in the blind, and he wasn't about to let it go lightly. He squeezed it up to 35,000 and MacPhee let it go; Yu called though. With plenty out there already, Carrel decided to shove for 273,000 and Buddiga got out of the way fast. Yu would end up calling and we were off to the races: A♠K♥ for Carrel, and J♥J♦ for Yu.

The flop wasn't much of anything; with no ace or king, the 8♣7♠8♠ kept Yu out in front. The 5♥ turn was a similar story. But the river? That changed everything. The K♦ gave Carrel a huge double up, and took a massive chunk out of Yu's stack. He's still ok though, with 180,000.

Carrel glanced up at us, then glanced across to Adrian Mateos, and began to do a little dance - subtle enough that it couldn't be considered bad form. He stacked his new-found 575,000 in chips - arguably all thanks to his new haircut. --JS

8:55pm: Slow burner
Level 8 - Blinds 2,500-5,000 (500 ante)

Some context to this hand, which grew from something small into something more significant.

Before it even got under way, the tournament officials announced that we were entering the final level of the day, with blinds of 2,500-5,000. Although registration officially closes tomorrow morning, this is essentially the last level of action before we start the freezeout period. Mike Watson knocked out Andre Akkari. Max Silver re-bought after his previous elimination.

In other words, people were playing hands.

Then this: Niall Farrell opened the cutoff and Philip Sternheimer, to his left, made it 28,000 to play. Farrell responded with a four bet to about 80,000 and Sternheimer folded.

But that was only a small knock for Sternheimer. The larger was yet to come. Mustapha Kanit opened the next hand, making it 11,000. Sternheimer was now in the cutoff and he called, which encouraged Davidi Kitai in from the small blind too.

The flop came T♣4♥7♦ and Kitai bet. Kanit bet 16,000. Sternheimer called. Kitai called. The turn fell J♣ Kitai checked, Kanit bet 37,000 and this time only Sternheimer called. That took them to the 8♦ river.

Kanit kept up his aggressive line. He bet 85,000. Sternheimer took his time, but eventually called. Kanit showed 7♣7♥ for a flopped set of sevens.

Sternheimer was clearly frustrated as he handed over the chips.

Kanit now has around 430,000. Sternheimer has 160,000. Kitai has about 380,000. -- HS

8:49pm: Sikora is no more
Level 8 - Blinds 2,500-5,000 (500 ante)

We've just lost another player - Poland's Jaroslaw Sikora. It all started when Steve O'Dwyer opened to 9,000 and the British businessman turned poker pro Paul Newey made it 35,000 to play. Sikora then shoved for 125,000, causing Steve to fold and Newey to snap turn over his pocket kings.

He was up against Sikora's A♦Q♥, and the board ran out 2♦T♠3♠5♣2♠, giving Sikora no help. He got up and said goodbye like a gent, while O'Dwyer looked very happy he folded his hand. Newey jokingly reminded him that he does get good hands from time to time, and isn't just going 3-bet crazy. Whatever he's doing, it's working - he's now got 455,000. --JS


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8:48pm: McDonald and Silver re-enter
Level 8 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

As the last level of the night gets underway, we have a couple more re-entries to report.

Mike McDonald -- knocked out by Niall Farrell a little earlier -- has bought back in to try to spin up the starting stack as well as he can before play concludes. And Max Silver also just recently lost the last of his short stack and immediately rebought as well to play the most hands he can during the night's final hour of play. --MH

8:45pm: Level 8 begins
Level 8 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

The blinds and antes have increased once more as players move into the final one-hour level of Day 1. --MH

8:42pm: Zinno down to zero
Level 7 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Following a Chance Kornuth open to 10,500 from middle position, Igor Kurganov reraised to 27,500, then Anthony Zinno shoved all in for around 85,000. It folded back to Kornuth who stepped aside as well, and Kurganov called, turning over Q♦J♠ while Zinno had A♦K♦.


anthony_zinno_eptdub_12feb16.jpgAnthony Zinno

The 4♠Q♣7♥ flop swung the advantage Kurganov's way, and after the 9♥ turn and 6♠ river Zinno was out. With a grin Zinno said something to Kurganov that sounded as though he were thankful for how the hand had gone, and as the pair shook hands Kurganov said "You're welcome!" and the table laughed.

Kornuth has 365,000 now, Kurganov about 295,000, and Zinno zero. --MH

8:40pm: Bleiker bounced by Sammartino
Level 7 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Felix Bleiker has lost the last of his short stack, with Dario Sammartino the one claiming his chips to move up over 600,000.

The big board is showing 65 total entrants now, with 48 of them left at present. --MH

8:35pm: Sammartino keeps it tight
Level 7 - Blinds 2,000-4,000 (500 ante)

It seems to be pretty difficult to play against Dario Sammartino. His opponents ofter appear perplexed. I'm not certain if the following two hands are evidence of that, but both went to the Italian, building his stack to about 580,000. (There's about 20 minutes play between the two.)

In the first one, Ivan Luca opened to 14,000 from early position and Sammartino called from the cutoff. Rafael Moraes also called from the big blind, and that took three players to a flop of 9♥5♠J♣.


dario_sammartino_etpdub_12feb16.jpgDario Sammartino (left) with Bryn Kenney

Moraes checked, Luca checked, but Sammartino bet 14,000. Call, call, bringing the A♣ on the turn. Check, check again, followed by bet again. Sammartino this time made it 35,000. Moraes folded, but Luca was still an unbeliever. He called.

The 7♠ came on the river and Luca and Sammartino both checked. Luca showed his K♠J♦ as though he thought it might be a winner. But Sammartino tabled A♠T♦ and that was better.

Flash forward an orbit or two and Sammartino is in the cutoff again. This time he open limped. Sean Winter, in the big blind, raised to 18,500 and Sammartino called.

It was just those two this time, heading to a flop of A♠3♥9♥, which they both checked. Still no information available to Winter. The 7♥ came on the turn and after Winter checked, Sammartino bet 38,000.

Winter didn't seem to know what to do, but eventually folded. "Big pot," he said. "You won a big one."
Sammartino looked quizzical. "Big?"
"Four blinds pre-flop," Winter said. "Four and a half."

Sammartino added the chips to his stack--not necessarily very many, but having given away almost no information about the strength of his hand at all.

Winter remains healthy. He has about 460,000. -- HS

8:30pm: Kurganov had no Chance
Level 7 - Blinds 2,000-4,000 (500 ante)

Igor Kurganov joined the tournament in this level and isn't waiting around. In a hand against Chance Kornuth, the Russian called Kornuth's button raise to 9,000 and the two saw a flop of 6♦3♣7♠. Both opted to check, leading to the T♣ on the turn.

Kornuth fired 13,000 into the pot and Kurganov made the call. The river was the 7♣ and now it was Igor who took the betting lead. He made it 25,500 for Kornuth to call, but was happy to with the Q♠7♦ for a rivered set. Kurganov turned up with complete air - the A♦2♥.

Igor Kurganov 206,000
Chance Kornuth 470,000 --JS

8:25pm: Farrel felts McDonald in two-hand sequence
Level 7 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Niall Farell and Mike McDonald have been sitting side-by-side for some time, both nursing below average stacks for the most recent stretch. A short while ago McDonald's stack became even shorter following an all-in pre-flop confrontation with Farrell in which the latter's pocket aces bested McDonald's queens.

The next hand saw Mustapha Kanit open for 9,000 from middle position and Farrell call from the next seat, then McDonald shoved all in from the cutoff for 43,500. The table folded back to Kanit who considered a short while before calling the shove, but when Farrell reraised all in himself over the top, Kanit let his hand go.

Farrell had A♣Q♦ and was ahead of McDonald's K♠Q♥, and the 4♥A♠9♥7♣8♠ runout meant McDonald was drawing dead by the turn. He wished the table good luck before leaving, and now Farrell sits with about 305,000. Kanit meanwhile has about 365,000. --MH
8:22pm: Drinan goodbye then
Level 7 - Blinds 2,000-4,000 (500 ante)

Connor Drinan looked a bit deflated as he got up out of his seat, and it turned out that expression was justified - his €25,000 investment had just been lost.

He'd got it all-in with A♦Q♦ against Kevin MacPhee's J♠J♦, and the jacks held up. MacPhee is now sitting pretty with 675,000, while Drinan is probably debating whether he should give this one another shot. He's got until tomorrow morning to decide. --JS

8:20pm: Queens help Thorel
Level 7 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Christoph Vogelsang opened with a button raise, then saw Jean-Noel Thorel reraise all in from the big blind for about 100,000. After weighing the pros and cons for a short bit Vogelsang called and tabled A♠4♦, and saw he was looking for an ace against Thorel's Q♥Q♦.


christoph_vogelsang_eptdub_12feb16.jpgChristoph Vogelsang

The board came 6♣5♠4♠, then 2♥, then K♣ -- no ace, and no other unfavorable combination of community cards for Thorel who doubled to about 220,000. Meanwhile Vogelsang slipped to about 330,000. --MH

8:05pm: Because he can
Level 7 - Blinds 2,000-4,000 (500 ante)

The news from the tournament floor as Level 7 got under way was that Sam Greenwood had been eliminated, sent to the rail by Kim Wittendorff. That apparently put Wittendorff up to about 830,000, which would be leader if it wasn't for his fellow Scandinavian Anton Bertilsson. See below.


kim_wittendorf_eptdub_12feb16.jpgKim Wittendorf

No sooner had he got that million than Bertilsson set about increasing it. And Kevin MacPhee was the man next in his sights. The following is what you can do when you have the biggest stack in the room:

Christoph Vogelsang got things under way, raising to 9,500 from under the gun. MacPhee called in the cutoff and action moved to Bertilsson in the small blind. Just because he can, he raised to 35,000.

Vogelsang was no longer interested and folded, but MacPhee called. The two of them saw a flop of T♦9♦2♠ and Bertilsson, just because he can, bet 34,000.

MacPhee is not one to be bullied. He raised, making it 90,000. Bertilsson, just because he can, slid out a full tower of green 25,000-denomination chips, a half-million chip bet.

That covered MacPhee, who had about 400,000 in his stack. But MacPhee was tempted. He checked his cards at least three more times, but eventually let it go.

That moves Bertilsson to about 1.3 million, which is by some distance the biggest stack out there. -- HS

8:02pm: Hello, and hello again
Level 7 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

After getting stacked a little earlier in a hand versus Jeff Rossiter, Steve O'Dwyer has bought back in to the tournament and retaken a seat. So, too, has Sam Greenwood entered a second time after recently losing the last of his first starting stack.


steve_odwyer_eptdub_12feb16.jpgSteve O'Dwyer

Meanwhile joining the fray for the first time is Igor Kurganov. --MH

7:55pm: Friends reunited
Level 7 - Blinds 2,000-4,000 (500 ante)

Remember earlier (2:15pm) when we told you about Charlie Carrel perhaps being a lucky charm to Ben Heath? And how Carrel wasn't playing in this event, but just railing his close pal and house mate?

Well, Carrel is now playing. And guess where he's sitting? Right next to Ben.

You can be best friends off the poker table, but there's no love lost on the felt. On Carrel's first big blind, Ben Heath opened to 12,000 and it folded around to Carrel, who reluctantly gave him a walk. --JS

7:50pm: Aces versus kings pushes Bertilsson over a million
Level 7 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Shortly after Level 7 began, a big hand erupted on chip leader Anton Bertilsson's table. Following an early position raise Bertilsson three-bet, then watched Joao Simao reraise again from the blinds to knock out the original raiser. Bertilsson sized up Simao's remaining stack and set out a column of green 25,000 chips, and Simao called all in for around 300,000.

Bertilsson: A♣A♥
Simao: K♠K♥

Simao stood from the table even before the 6♦4♠A♠ fell to improve Bertilsson further to a set. The J♣ turn then sealed it, and Simao could only chuckle at the inconsequential K♣ that came on fifth street.

That pot moves Bertilsson up into seven figures, the first player to have quadrupled the 250,000-chip starting stack. He's at about 1.08 million right now. --MH


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7:40pm: Level 7 begins
Level 7 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Players are back in their seats and play is underway once again. Two more hours to go and Day 1 concludes. Remember, late registration and the ability to re-enter continues to be available through the start of play tomorrow. --MH

7:25pm: Latest chip counts
Updated chip counts available here, with Anton Bertilsson leads with 750,000.

7:21pm: Break time

Level 6 has come to a close and players are taking what will be the last 20-minute break of the day. They'll return to play two more one-hour levels before Day 1 will conclude.

The big board shows 58 entries so far, with 49 players still in action. --MH

7:20pm: With aces Rossiter stacks O'Dwyer and his jacks
Level 6 - Blinds 1,500-3,000 (400 ante)

After a Rocco Palumbo open for 8,000, Jeff Rossiter three-bet to 22,000 and the action folded to Steve O'Dwyer who shoved all in for less than 100,000. The blinds and Palumbo both stepped aside, but Rossiter was quick with a call and the tabling of his A♣A♠, well ahead of O'Dwyer's J♦J♥.

Rossiter's lead became even greater following the A♦4♦3♥ flop, then the K♠ turn meant O'Dwyer was drawing dead. He departed -- perhaps to return as he has a second entry still available to him. Meanwhile Rossiter now has about 450,000, while Palumbo has just over 355,000. --MH

7:12pm: Meanwhile...
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7:15pm: Bertilsson still in front
Level 6 - Blinds 1,500-3,000 (400 ante)

Anton Bertilsson grabbed the chip lead relatively early this afternoon, and the Swede has continued to accumulate chips throughout. Right now he's sitting behind a stack of about 770,000 and remains the pace-setter as day turns to night. --MH


anton_bertilson_eptdub_12feb16.jpgStill ahead: Anton Bertilsson

7:15pm: Touché, Didi!
Level 6 - Blinds 1,500-3,000 (400 ante)

Dietrich Fast stood, a vacant expression on his face, a yard or so from Chance Kornuth's table. Kornuth, having recently re-entered the tournament following elimination, shouted at the bystander.

"Didi!" Kornuth said. "Rebuy?"

Fast took a while to realise that this was a possible rub-down in the form of a question, but didn't take long to find a comeback.

"No," he said. "I didn't punt it off yet, like you."

On the subject of entries/re-entries, Piotr Franczak is the latest to register for this one. -- HS

7:10pm: That's what you get for calling with jacks
Level 6 - Blinds 1,500-3,000 (400 ante)

Mike McDonald has an unusual relationship with pocket jacks. There's a famous hand he played against Jamie Gold in which the 2006 World Champ made some snide and snarky remarks ("That's what you get for calling with jacks!") after his pocket threes hit a two-outer against McDonald's far bigger hand back in 2008.

Well, this time it was McDonald's pocket jacks who were doing the out-flopping. Mustapha Kanit opened to 7,000 but McDonald decided he wanted to play higher. His 3-bet to 18,000 was met with a shove by Kanit, which when called turned out to have been made with good reason; Kanit had pocket kings, and...well, we've already told what McDonald had.

We've already told you that he outflopped Kanit too. The board ran out J♦4♥5♠8♥8♠ and McDonald doubled to 155,000, while Kanit is still in rude health with 400,000. --JS

7:05pm: Winter heating up
Level 6 - Blinds 1,500-3,000 (400 ante)

With the board showing 7♠9♠7♥8♦6♥ and about 180,000 in the middle, Dario Sammartino checked from middle position, then Sean Winter fired a hefty bet of 137,000 from the button.


sean_winter_eptdub_12feb16.jpgSean Winter

These two are well familiar with one another, having made it deep in the $25K High Roller at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure just last month where Sammartino took fourth and Winter finished runner-up.

Sammartino tanked for some time before finally letting his hand go. He's sitting with about 275,000 at present, while Winter has moved up to 440,000. --MH

7:00pm: It's always the quiet ones
Level 6 - Blinds 1,500-3,000 (400 ante)

A hand that seemed set to be a tussle between Max Silver and Jason Mercier ended up adding another few thousand chips to the ever-growing stack of Timothy Adams. Adams has about 420,000 now.

Mercier opened this one, making it 6,400 to go from early position. Silver called in the cutoff and it was one of those weary, priced-in calls from Adams in the big blind.

The flop came 4♣4♦9♥ and Adams, apparently uninterested, checked. Mercier bet 8,200 and Silver called. Adams also called.

All three players checked the Q♥ turn, but then Adams opted to lead for 34,000 on the 6♥ river. Mercier and Silver quickly folded. -- HS

6:55pm: Peters among the leaders
They're updated, and they're here: latest chip counts from the High Roller.

6:50pm: What's that, bro?
Level 6 - Blinds 1,500-3,000 (400 ante)

Felix Bleiker, who won his entry here in a live satellite, has enjoyed the early levels. But he now has Dario Sammartino to his left and, although they seem to be getting on famously, Sammartino is picking up some chips from Bleiker.

Action folded to Bleiker in the small blind and he raised to 9,000. "What's that, bro?" Sammartino said, with incredulity at the insolence of an attempted blind steal.

"Usually I would limp, but I let you eat," Bleiker said, referencing a snack Sammartino had been enjoying. Sammartino was happy to allow it get cold. He raised to 28,000.

Bleiker called and they saw a flop of 5♣8♠J♦. Check, check. The 9♥ turn brought no further action. Check, check. The river was the A♠ and Bleiker checked for a third time. Sammartino, however, had seen enough to warrant a bet of 35,000 and Bleiker tank-called.

Sammartino showed A♥K♦ and Bleiker mucked. -- HS

6:45pm: Christoph - meet Jean-Noel
Level 6 - Blinds 1,500-3,000 (400 ante)

Christoph Vogelsang hasn't got where he is today - the highest of the High Roller tournaments and cash games - without being able to find good decisions regularly. However, in a hand against Jean-Noel Thorel, he looked absolutely baffled.


joel_noel_thorel_eptdub_12feb16.jpgJoel-Noel Thorel

Picking up the action on the turn, the board read 8♥3♦9♥K♦ and there was around 90,000 in the middle. Vogelsang put out a bet of 53,000 and Thorel called. To the river we went and it was the 4♥, which Vogelsang checked. Now Thorel shoved for 215,100 total - and here's where Vogelsang's confusing sets in. He was staring into the sky, as if the right decision was being shone up there somewhere. After four or five minutes tanking, he laid it down, showing the K♥.

Thorel? He showed nothing but his joy of winning the pot. He's up to 411,100, while Vogelsang has 320,000. --JS

6:40pm: Fast mover
Level 6 - Blinds 1,500-3,000 (400 ante)

Dietrich Fast has had some decent results over the past few months and one suspects he'll become a semi-regular in these High Roller events from now on. He doesn't seem in any way overwhelmed, that much is certain.

He just pushed Nick Petrangelo off a hand, five betting pre-flop and picking up the loose change. Petrangelo opened from early position and Fast three-bet to 21,000.

Petrangelo added some extra, making it 53,000. But then Fast reached for a tower of greens, worth 25,000 apiece. The bet was probably about 200,000, but Petrangelo wasn't interested. He immediately folded. -- HS

6:35pm: How do you define a worse hand?
Level 6 - Blinds 1,500-3,000 (400 ante)

Anthony Zinno and Max Silver just got involved in some significant pre-flop action, resulting in only one hand being shown--as it was heading into the muck.

Zinno opened the pot, making it 7,000 from the cutoff and it folded to Silver in the small blind. Silver raised to 22,000 and the decision quickly came back around to Zinno.


max_silver_eptdub_12feb16.jpgMax Silver

He didn't take too long to inflate his opening bet to 46,000 and that meant decision time for Silver. He counted out his chips, what looked like about 178,000 still back, and piled them into a single tower.

The dealer thought that was the prelude to a shove, but Silver waved him away. The chips hadn't moved forward at all. Silver thought for a while longer, but then did indeed move them over the line, depositing them with an emphatic thud.

Zinno was now perplexed. He asked for a count and soon learned that Silver had 200,200 total. Zinno had something pretty similar in his stack, and eventually he opted to show everyone his two red jacks as he threw them away.

"If you show me a worse hand, I'll pay you some money," Zinno said.
"How do you define a worse hand?" Silver wanted to know, having seen the pocket pair.
"Ace king is a worse hand," Jason Mercier, sitting next to Zinno, said.

Silver declined the opportunity to show his hand, but then asked how much. Zinno wavered between €20 and €100, with Silver making it clear that he could have been tempted for the latter amount. -- HS

6:35pm: Quick update - Aggro Santos is back
Level 6 - Blinds 1,500-3,000 (400 ante)

Scott 'Aggro Santos' Margereson hit the rail in the hand above, but he's just re-bought for another €25K. --JS

6:35pm: Kornuth makes move, then moves out
Level 5 - Blinds 1,200-2,400 (300 ante)

It was the last hand of Level 5, although it would continue well into Level 6. We came upon it after all of the preflop, flop, and turn action had completed, and the river had been dealt.

The board showed 6♠K♥5♥3♠4♦ and a bit more than 150,000 sat in the middle. Chance Kornuth, sitting behind a stack roughly equal to the pot, had announced he was all in, and David Peters -- who had almost as much as Kornuth -- went deep into the tank.

After several minutes Peters emerged to call, and turned over 9♣6♣ for just a pair of sixes. He'd chosen correctly, as Kornuth had made a move with J♠T♠.

All in on the next hand for his last 5,800 versus three opponents, betting on the flop left just Ben Heath to contend for Kornuth's last chips. The board showed 7♠Q♦T♠, Kornuth had A♣6♦, and Heath was ahead with K♦K♣. Neither the 4♥ turn nor J♠ river helped Kornuth, and he wished the table good luck before moving railward.

Peters is up around 470,000 now, while Heath has about 320,000. --MH

6:30pm: Greenwood felts Margereson
Level 5 - Blinds 1,200-2,400 (300 ante)

Sam Greenwood opened for 6,000 from under the gun and it folded around to a short-stacked Scott Margereson on the button who called. The blinds stepped aside, and the flop came 3♥J♥6♣. Greenwood led for 8,500, and after thinking a bit Margereson called again.


sam_greenwood_eptdub_12feb16.jpgSam Greenwood

The turn then brought the Q♠ and a check from Greenwood. Margereson bet 15,000, and after pausing a short while Greenwood called.

The river was the 4♥. Greenwood checked again, and Margereson didn't waste too much time putting his last 28,000 in the middle. Greenwood called without much hesitation, turning over K♠K♣. It was better than Margereson's A♣Q♥ for a pair of queens, and the latter departed.

Greenwood is relatively short-stacked himself, although now has about 145,000. --MH

6:25pm: Not you, Yu
Level 5 - Blinds 1,200-2,400 (300 ante)

If Winfred Yu is in town, it usually means that a handful of Macau-based high rollers are tailing him, waiting for some high-stakes action. Yu is close associates with the folk who arrange the biggest games on the planet and is the man to get in with if you want to know where the action is.

Perhaps that applies 51 weeks of the year, but not necessarily this. Yu is here in Dublin, playing the €25,000 High Roller event, but seems to be the only man from Asia in the field. Nonetheless, he's started in pretty healthy fashion.

Yu just took a pot from Nick Petrangelo when he three-bet from the button, adding an additional 8,500 to Petrangelo's 5,500 opening bet. Petrangelo alone called and they saw a flop of A♠6♠7♠.

Petrangelo checked, Yu bet 21,000 and Petrangelo called. They then saw a turn of 8♦. Again Petrangelo checked, but this time he folded to Yu's bet of 35,000.

Yu now sits with 335,000 approximately. (Not you, Yu.) Petrangelo has around 210,000. -- HS

6:15pm: SB v BB NH BH
Level 5 - Blinds 1,200-2,400 (300 ante)

Ben Heath and Chance Kornuth seemed to do most of their betting pre-flop, a blind versus blind battle that ended with Heath getting what looked like 24,300 in from the small blind and Kornuth calling. (It had likely escalated slowly.)


chance_kornuth_eptdub_12feb16.jpgChance Kornuth

They checked a flop of 9♥7♣2♥ and also checked the A♣ turn. The 7♥ on the river brought some action, though. Heath cut out a bet of 17,900 and Kornuth called.

Heath showed A♦5♠ and that was good, taking his stack to about 350,000. Kornuth, who mucked on the end, has about 240,000. -- HS


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6:10pm: Dvoress is out. Dvoress is in.
Level 5 - Blinds 1,200-2,400 (300 ante)

After opening to 6,000, the short-stacked Daniel Dvoress faced a 3-bet to 16,000 from Kim Wittendorff. He opted to shove for around 65,000 total and Wittendorff made the call.

Dvoress had the A♥K♣ while it was Q♠qh] for Wittendorff - a classic race. Dvoress was in the middle of what looked like a relaxing a massage, but it would be rudely interrupted by the 5♦7♣5♦7♠J♥ board, which left him out of the tournament...for about three minutes.

Just as soon as Niall Farrell was brought over to fill Dvoress' seat, the Canadian had re-entered the event, and took an empty seat on the exact same table (Andrew Lichtenberger is also among those re-entering).

Whether or not the massage has resumed is still unclear. We better go check. --JS

6:05pm: If at first you don't succeed...
Level 5 - Blinds 1,200-2,400 (300 ante)

Niall Farrell had a rollercoaster-like first four-and-a-half levels before finally crashing a short while ago. He's re-entered, however, and starts afresh with a pristine 250,000-chip starting stack.


niall_farrell_12feb16.jpgEPT Malta winner Niall Farrell

Joining Farrell at his new table is another player re-entering -- Daniel Dvoress. The big board is presently showing 53 total entries with 49 players still remaining. Late registration remains open -- and the re-entry option -- throughout Day 1 (which ends with Level 8) and all of the way up to the start of Day 2 tomorrow. --MH

6:00pm: Raise and take it
Level 5 - Blinds 1,200-2,400 (300 ante)

They're seeing a lot of a hands on Table 4, mainly because so few are going to the flop. That, at least, is what it looks like based on a sample size of about six minutes.

Steve O'Dwyer was in the small blind and he limped, with Sergey Lebedev to act beside him. Lebedev asked for 5,000 more and O'Dwyer folded.

Next up, Sam Chartier opened to 5,500 from the cutoff and O'Dwyer called from the button. Lebedev seized his chance once more and raised to 18,500 from the small blind and added another handful to his stack when everyone folded.

Next up: Jeff Rossiter opened to 5,800 from mid-positon and Chartier, one seat to his left, raised to 16,000. That was enough. Rossiter folded everyone else in folding. And then on the next hand, Fernando Brito opened his button to 5,500 and that was enough again.

The next hand, O'Dwyer opened to 6,000 from under the gun and that was enough to win blinds and antes. And that took us to the next hand, where Brito opened to 5,500 from the hijack.

Rossiter called on the button and--yep--that meant they would see a flop. It fell T♣3♥4♣ and Brito check folded when Rossiter bet 7,500. -- HS

6:00pm: Who's in first?

Our chip counts are updated every few minutes. Click the link to find current chip counts.

5:55pm: Luca over Akkari
Level 5 - Blinds 1,200-2,400 (300 ante)

Continuing the aggression he's shown for the last half-hour, Ivan Luca opened for 5,300 from the hijack seat and Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari called from the button. The flop came T♦J♠7♣. Luca bet 5,600, and Akkari called. The turn then brought the T♠ and a check from Luca, and Akkari fired 18,700 into the opening. Luca hesitated about a half-minute, then called.


ivan_luca_eptdub_12feb16.jpgIvan Luca

The river was the Q♠. Luca checked again, and Akkari bet another 14,000. Luca took about a minute, then check-raised to 58,500. Akkari leaned forward to study the situation for a short while, then tossed out calling chips. Luca promptly turned over A♥K♥ for a rivered straight, and Akkari mucked.

Akkari slips to about 210,000, which is about what Luca now has as well. --MH

5:50pm: Drinan doubles, but Frey isn't as lucky
Level 5 - Blinds 1,200-2,400 (300 ante)

You win some, you lose some. Both Connor Drinan and Kyle Frey know this too well; but while the former survived his all-in, the latter was on the losing end.

Nick Petrangelo opened to 5,000 UTG and Drinan shoved on the button for 38,500. Everyone else folded and Petrangelo made the call with his A♣Q♦ - which made Drinan wince a little. He sheepishly turned over his J♣8♣ and it was down to the board. The T♦Q♠3♦ flop paired Petrangelo but gave Drinan hope with a gutshot. The J♠ gave him even more hope. And the 9♥ river gave him the win. Like we said, you win some.

Over on the adjacent table, Kyle Frey had opened and faced an all-in bet from the fantastically-named Jean-Noel Thorel, who had him covered. All the other players got out the way and Frey was happy to call with his A♦K♥. Thorel had just the 3♦5♦, but the 8♥9♦3♠ flop paired his three. The Q♥ turn and Q♣ river were no help and Kyle Frey is out.

Like we said, you lose some.

Connor Drinan 84,000
Jean-Noel Thorel 250,000 --JS


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5:45pm: Sammartino shoves, collects
Level 5 - Blinds 1,200-2,400 (300 ante)

We came upon Dario Sammartino and Bryn Kenney's table where the pair had build a pot of over 200,000 between them on their way to the river. The board showed J♦6♣5♦J♥A♦ and Sammartino had the red all-in triangle before him.

Kenney had about 130,000 behind and after a couple of minutes' worth of consideration decided not to risk it. Sammartino collected the chips, and now sits with about 440,000. --MH

5:40pm: Luca looking to accumulate
Level 5 - Blinds 1,200-2,400 (300 ante)

Some players who become short-stacked "turtle up" (as they say), and play a tighter game in an effort to preserve what they have left. Others take that as a cue to ramp up the aggression. Ivan Luca falls in the latter category.

After slipping below 100,000 a little earlier, Luca's been opening hands almost without interruption to start Level 5. Just now he raised, was three-bet by Jason Wheeler, then four-bet to claim a pot. After raising and taking again, he opened the next pot and had Adrian Mateos defend his big blind with a call. The pair made it to the river at which point Luca bet again, a curious Mateos called, and Luca showed ace-high to win yet another pot.

Luca's up around 135,000 now. --MH

5:35pm: MacPhee gives to Farrell, takes from Vogelsang
Level 5 - Blinds 1,200-2,400 (300 ante)

Kevin MacPhee, hiding a tight new haircut beneath a blue hood, opened to 5,300 from under the gun and action folded to Niall Farrell, hiding nothing beneath nothing, in the cutoff. Farrell methodically counted out a three-bet to 13,600.

It folded through the blinds back to MacPhee and he only took a little while before folding too. "That's us even now," Farrell said, apparently redressing the balance for a prior skirmish.

On the next hand, MacPhee found himself in the big blind and facing a open-raise from Christoph Vogelsang on the button. MacPhee called and the two of them saw a flop of A♦A♥2♥.

MacPhee checked, allowing Vogelsang to continue with a bet of 4,500. MacPhee called, which took them to a 5♦ flop. Check, check. The river was the 4♣ and MacPhee seized the initiative. He bet 21,200 and Vogelsang folded like a cheap suit.

As this was playing out, Andrew Lichtenberger scurried away from the neighbouring table, having been eliminated by Jason Mercier. -- HS

5:20pm: New level
Level 5 - Blinds 1,200-2,400 (300 ante)
Of they go in Level 5. The man to catch is Anton Bertilsson.

anton_bertilsson_ept12_dublin_day1_25k.jpg

Anton Bertilsson: Leader

5:15pm: Three cards, three players, big hand
Level 4 - Blinds 1,000-2,000 (300 ante)

A big hand brought the level to a close, albeit ending some eight minutes into the break.

It seemed to kick off with three cards and three players. The three cards were on the flop: 4♦7♦T♣. The three players were Kevin MacPhee, Felix Bleiker and Niall Farrell.

MacPhee had bet 10,300 from the small blind, then Bleiker raised to 40,500 from under the gun. Then Farrell had raised himself, to 83,000 from what was early position. Then the tanking began.

It was all on MacPhee, complete with black glasses and the hood up on his black hoodie. It was as though he was grieving. Seven minutes into the break he announced he was all in (a figure that would be confirmed as 236,700). That was enough to force a fold from Bleikcr, but Farrell was sticking around.

"I can't fold," he said, turning over 8♦6♦ for a flush draw. But he'd already seen the damage as MacPhee showed A♦2♦.

Turn - J♦
River - Q♠

A big hit for Farrell, down to 140,000, while MacPhee's stack took off to around 500,000. - SB

5:10pm: Six-minute tank sends Vieira to the bank - our first player eliminated
Level 4 - Blinds 1,000-2,000 (300 ante)

In the last hand before the break, just as our players were getting up for a 20-minute break, we saw a little crowd gathering over in the corner. What we saw when we arrived was a board reading 7♦8♣2♦4♦4♣, lot of chips in the middle, Dario Sammartino with an all-in triangle in front of him, and Joao Vieira in the tank. Deep in the tank.

He would be in said tank for more than six minutes, but in the end decided to put his last 30,000 in the middle. Sammartino revealed A♦4♥ for a sick run-out, while Vieira revealed his pocket queens - arguably for our benefit. He'll have to hit the cage if he wants to take advantage of his one re-buy option. --JS

4:55pm: It never Rainer's, it pours
Level 4 - Blinds 1,000-2,000 (300 ante)

Jason Mercier was about to take the strain. The massage therapist had hold of his shoulders, pulling back on her with all her might. It looked like she was trying to load him into a giant crossbow.

All the while he was about to play a hand that would boost his stack up to 375,000, against Rainer Kempe.


rainer_kempe_eptdub_12feb16.jpgRainer Kempe

For his part Kempe had just won a big hand against Anthony Zinno, so came into the hand with momentum. So then Mercier bet 4,300 from the cut off he raised to 11,800 from the button. Mercier confirmed the amount, then called.

The flop came 3♥A♣9♠. Mercier checked and Kempe bet 8,000, which Mercier called for the 8♥ on the turn. Again he checked to Kempe who bet 28,000 this time. Again Mercier called.

The T♥ landed on the river. Mercier checked again. Kempe paused this time but eventually put out a bet of 48,000. Mercier, working slowly as the massage therapist continued to work his shoulders, moved a tower of chips forward, something in the region of 200,000.

Kempe thought for a while, now with 220,000 left in front of him. Then he passed. The massage therapist let go of Mercier's shoulders. He'd now shot up to 375,000. - SB

4:52pm: Surveying the big stacks
Level 4 - Blinds 1,000-2,000 (300 ante)

As the fourth one-hour level of the day nears its conclusion -- at which point they'll be halfway through Day 1 -- Anton Bertilsson continues to sport what appears to be a leading chip stack, although others are starting to accumulate to challenge his lead. A quick chip-count update you can fit on a postcard:

Anton Bertilsson - 540,000
Mustapha Kanit - 525,000
Sam Chartier - 470,000
Kim Wittendorff - 435,000
Christoph Vogelsang - 435,000
Chance Kornuth - 390,000

Mike McDonald was up in the range of these players a short while ago, though now sits with about 320,000. Meanwhile Niall Farrell was on the verge of elimination -- and in fact survived an all in with pocket treys versus kings -- but has rebounded and now sits with about 340,000. --MH


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4:45pm: Killer queens
Level 4 - Blinds 1,000-2,000 (300 ante)

David Peters opened from under the gun. Pratyush Buddiga raised to 3,100 in the seat next to him, which Peters called when the action was folded back round to him.

The flop came 4♥Q♠8♣

Peters had hit the flop, holding Q♦Q♣. He checked to Buddiga who then bet 17,000. Unsurprisingly, Peters called.

The turn came K♦


pratyush_buddiga_eptdub_12feb16.jpgPratyush Buddiga

Again Peters checked to Buddiga, who also checked for a K♥ river card. Peters, hoping to get more from Buddiga, checked. But Buddiga wasn't putting anything else in the middle. He checked too. Peters showed his hand to win the pot.

Pratyush Buddiga - 200,000
David Peters - 230,000

4:35pm: Mustapha Kanit must always have it
Level 4 - Blinds 1,000-2,000 (300 ante)

What a great start for Mustapha Kanit. He's up to half a million in chips, and here are two of the hands that helped him get there.

In the first, Sam Greenwood opened to 5,000 and Kanit three-bet up to 16,000. Greenwood wasn't done though. He four-bet to 40,000 and after a minute or so Kanit shoved. Greenwood quickly folded, and we were all left wondering.

Then Kanit was at it again in the very next hand against Daniel Dvoress. With the board reading 2♥3♥9♠ following some pre-flop action, Dvoress bet 15,000 and Kanit called. The turn was the 5♦, and now the bet from Dvoress was 33,000.

Kanit called once more, taking us down to the T♠ river. Dvoress carefully counted out 82,000 in chips and slid them over the line, and Kanit quickly threw a single chip to indicate his call. It was the T♦K♠ for Dvoress, who'd hit top pair at the end, but Kanit was ahead the whole way with his J♠J♦.

Dvoress is down to 32 big blinds.

Sam Greenwood 131,000
Mustapha Kanit 500,000
Daniel Dvoress 65,000 --JS

4:28pm: A show of fours
Level 4 - Blinds 1,000-2,000 (300 ante)

It was four-way action following a 5♣A♠2♣ flop. Both Ariel Celestino (small blind) and Thiago Nishijima (big blind) checked, then Anthony Zinno bet 15,000 from middle position. Andrew Lichtenberger called from the button, both blinds called, and with about 75,000 in the middle the 3♦ came on the turn.

At that Celestino checked, then Nishijima fired 40,000, getting calls from Zinno and Lichtenberger, then a fold from Celestino. All three remaining players checked the T♣ river.


andrew_lichtenberger_eptdub_12feb16.jpgAndrew Lichtenberger

First Nishijima showed his hand -- 4♣4♦. Then Zinno showed his -- 4♠4♥. That took care of all the wheel-making fours, and Lichtenberger mucked. --MH

Thiago Nishijima - 325,000
Ariel Celestino - 275,000
Anthony Zinno - 180,000
Andrew Lichtenberger - 95,000

4:20pm: Greenwood grins, McDonald bears it
Level 4 - Blinds 1,000-2,000 (300 ante)

When Sam Greenwood grins, and he grins a lot, you never really know whether it's because he's happy at winning the hand, or whether he's listening to something funny.

Either way, he was grinning after a hand against Mike McDonald a short while ago.

On a flop of 4♣K♦9♣ McDonald checked from the big blind. Greenwood meanwhile was straight faced and in the cut off. He bet 7,000 which McDonald called for a 5♦ turn card. Both players checked, getting an A♦ on the river.


mike_mcdonald_eptdub_12feb16.jpgMike McDonald

McDonald checked again, tapping the table with his hand, fingers outstretched. Greenwood paused for a few seconds before betting 18,000. Now McDonald paused.

When he called Greenwood turned over A♣7♦ for top pair. It was enough to beat McDonald. Then he started grinning.

Sam Greenwood - 200,000
Mike McDonald - 282,000

4:15pm: Silver surfer
Level 4 - Blinds 1,000-2,000 (300 ante)

A quick hat tip to Max Silver, who just won a hand while blogging from his seat, which is something none of us has ever managed to do in more than ten years on the tour. - SB

4:07pm: Wittendorff bluffs McDonald
Level 4 - Blinds 1,000-2,000 (300 ante)

Kim Wittendorff loves a good bluff, and doesn't mind showing them either. He's done several big ones today already - just check out our post at 1:40pm.

We arrived at the action a bit late, but were quickly filled in as the pot was becoming enormous. It turns out that Wittendorff had opened pre-flop, only for Chance Kornuth to three-bet to 12,500 and Mike McDonald to call. Wittendorff wasn't done though. He raised it up again to 49,000, Kornuth folded and McDonald called.

The flop was the 9♣8♥7♦ and McDonald check-called a bet of 45,000 from the Danish player. The turn brought the 7♥ and both players checked, leading to the A♠ on the river. McDonald checked once more and Wittendorff put out a bet of 65,000. McDonald squirmed and eventually folded.

"Show one," suggested Chance Kornuth. "I did before!" said Wittendorff, but he still went one better - turning over both his cards. We're pretty sure the K♦T♦ were good for diddly-squat here. Another nice bluff, sir. Keep 'em coming.

Mike McDonald 230,000
Kim Wittendorff 530,000 --JS

4:05pm: Level 4 begins
Level 4 - Blinds 1,000-2,000 (300 ante)

The 48 players registered for the €25K High Roller are taking things to a whole 'nother level. No eliminations or re-entries to report as yet. --MH

3:55pm: Mateos keeps his seat
Level 3 - Blinds 800-1,600 (200 ante)

In the last hand of Level 3, Anton Bertilsson opened for 4,000 from middle position and got three callers in Jason Wheeler (cutoff), Andre Akkari (button), and Adrian Mateos (big blind).

The flop brought three babies -- 5♥5♣2♦ -- and it checked to Wheeler who bet 7,000. Akkari folded, then Mateos check-raised to 20,000, forcing a fold from Bertilsson. Wheeler called, then called again after Mateos fired 25,000 on the 5♦ turn.


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The river brought the 8♠ and an all-in shove for about 55,000 from Mateos. Wheeler went into the tank as the third level ticked down and the fourth one got started.

"You're definitely rebuying," he said to Mateos, alluding to the single re-entry available to players until the start of play tomorrow. After wincingly considering the situation a short while longer, Wheeler finally let his hand go.

Mateos is back to about 160,000 while Wheeler now has 280,000. --MH

3:55pm: Mercier can't convince Kempe to bet
Level 3 - Blinds 800-1,600 (200 ante)

After Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier opened from under the gun to 3,400, Rainer Kempe three-bet to 9,400. It was folded around and Mercier chucked in the extra 6,000 needed to see a flop - which was the 5♥K♠K♥. He then checked over to Kempe, who led for 11,500, and Mercier called.

The turn was the 2♠; Mercier checked again but this time so did Kempe. The same thing happened on the 4♣ river and it turns out that Mercier was trapping all along. Kempe took one look at Mercier's K♣Q♣ and mucked. --JS

3:50pm: Arriving together, sitting together
Level 3 - Blinds 800-1,600 (200 ante)

Bryn Kenney and Dario Sammartino turned up at the same time during this level, and wouldn't you know it - they've been sat right next to each other. It's prime for a bit of blind vs blind action going forward - and we've already had a taster of it.

Sammartino made it 4,500 from the small and Kenny called from the big. The flop was the 4♣4♥7♣ and Sammartino continued for 5,000, but Kenney made it 12,700. That bet was called and the turn was the K♠. After a check from Sammartino, Kenney bet 17,300 and took it down. Neither play said a word. --JS

3:40pm: Luca getting friendly?
Level 3 - Blinds 800-1,600 (200 ante)
Ivan Luca travels everywhere with an air of invincibility, but also some mate and a gourd. You might have noticed the invincibility, but not the gourd, which is for lack of a better word, a teacup, traditional to Argentina, from which mate is drunk. That's a type of tea infusion, which to the lay person it looks like a small swamp with a metal straw poking out.


ivan_luca_mate_ept12_dublin.jpg

Ivan Luca's mate



Actually it's herbs not a swamp, and it's not a straw, it's a bomba, through which the mate is drunk. Traditionally, it's a social drink, reserved for a gathering of friends, which is technically what the high roller is, just without the social element, or the friendliness for that matter. At least where chips are concerned.

Luca's stack has taken a few hits this afternoon, and is now down to 195,000 after a hand against Christophe Vogelsang.

He'd opened for 4,300 which Luca called for J♠6♣9♥. Both players checked for a T♣ turn card. This time Luca bet, 4,200, which Vogelsang called for the Q♣ river card. Luca checked, Vogelsang checked.

Luca flipped up T♥2♥ for middle pair. It had been good up to the river, which had gone well with Vogelsang's 8♣8♥.

Vogelsang up to 330,000. Luca took another sip of mate. - SB

3:45pm: Poker unplugged
Level 3 - Blinds 800-1,600 (200 ante)

There was a moment a short while ago on table one when only two players were not looking at their phones. Most likely a coincidence, but the two who weren't decided to play a hand.

They were Sean Winter, who made it 4,500 from under the gun, and Philip Sternheimer, whose phone was charging. Ultimately it came to nothing, but they were at least taking part.

Funnily enough they were the only two players not on their phones for the next hand either. This time Sternheimer limped in the small blind before Winter raised to 6,000. Sternheimer called and then checked the 4♣Q♣7♣ flop. Another 6,000 from Winter put an end to this hand. Both players were on their phones when the next one started. - SB

3:42pm: Farrell fighting back
Level 3 - Blinds 800-1,600 (200 ante)

Niall Farrell's first couple of levels didn't go precisely to plan today, but he started to turn things around after a table change and a pot versus Jean-Noel Thorel.

Farrell had just sat down to post the big blind at his new table when Thorel raised from middle position. Farrell defended with a call, and the flop fell 5♠4♣7♦. Farrell checked, Thorel bet 6,000, then Farrell reraised to 17,000. Thorel thought a moment then called, and the turn brought the T♦. Farrell fired 30,000 this time, and Thorel called right away.

niall_farrell_ept12_dublin_day1_25k.jpg

Niall Farrell: Heading in the right direction

The river brought a provocative-looking 3♥, and Farrell didn't hesitate before pushing all in with his last 57,100. Thorel only took a few seconds before letting his hand go.

Thorel has about 205,000 now while Farrell has bounced back up to just under 140,000. --MH

3:35pm: Chartier's off the charts, at the expense of O'Dwyer
Level 3 - Blinds 800-1,600 (200 ante)

An interesting hand just played out ending with Sam Chartier shooting up the chip counts.

He limped on the button, Ben Heath called from the small blind, and O'Dwyer bumped it up to 7,000 from the big. Chartier called, Heath got out the way, and we saw a flop - 6♥8♦5♣.

O'Dwyer put out a c-bet of 8,500, which Chartier called without too much hesitation. To the turn, then - the 3♣ - which resulted in 20,000 from O'Dwyer. Chartier opted to make it 57,000 to play, and O'Dwyer obliged. He'd then checked the 8♠ river, only for Chartier to put out four green chips and one blue - totalling 105,000.

O'Dwyer gestured for Chartier to move slightly so he could see how much he had behind, but in the end he just called. Chartier turned over 3♠3♦ for a turned set and rivered boat, while the American Irishman mucked.

Sam Chartier now has 500,000, while O'Dwyer has dropped to 150,000. --JS

3:25pm: Big stack for Bertilsson
Level 3 - Blinds 800-1,600 (200 ante)

Mike Watson opened from early position and Anton Bertilsson called from a seat over, then the recently-arrived Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari called as well from the cutoff.

The trio watched the flop come J♠K♣6♣. After Watson checked, Bertilsson fired 7,100. Akkari called, and Watson stepped aside. The turn was the 5♠. This time Bertilsson bet 17,000, and Akkari raised to 38,500, earning a call from the Swede.

andre_akkari_ept12_dublin_day1_25k.jpg

Andre Akkari

The river was the 2♥. Bertilsson checked this time, and Akkari didn't waste too much time before betting 44,000. Bertilsson tossed out chips to call, and when he did Akkari mucked his cards to concede the hand.

Bertilsson is now up around 580,000 and appears to have taken over the chip lead while Akkari slips to 165,000. --MH

3:15pm: Big names coming
Level 3 - Blinds 800-1,600 (200 ante)

We're three hours in and three big names are just entering the field. Bryn Kenney, Mustapha Kanit and Dario Sammartino are picking up their 250,000 starting stacks and beginning their day's work. --JS

3:05pm: Same thing, different level
Level 3 - Blinds 800-1,600 (200 ante)

We almost just had a case of deja vu. As we arrived to the table, it was clear that Daniel Dvoress had opened to 4,200 and Felix Bleiker had called on the button. Sam Greenwood was in the big blind and was taking his time, weighing up his three-bet or fold options.

This was almost identical to a hand in level 2, in which Dvoress opened to 3,000, before being three-bet to 9,000 by Bleiker. On that occasion, Greenwood's 25,000 four-bet forced both players to fold. However, Greenwood's stack has taken some big hits since, so he opted to lay this one down.

The remaining two players saw a flop of the T♣2♠5♦, and Dvoress tossed out a 5,000 chip, as Bleiker. This took us to the A♠ on the turn, which slowed down Dvoress, allowing Bleiker to take the betting lead with 15,000. Dvoress gave it up.

Daniel Dvoress 210,000
Felix Bleiker 320,000
Sam Greenwood 90,000 --JS

2:38pm: Break time

The tournament board shows that 38 players have registered for the tournament thus far, and all 38 are now taking the first 20-minute break of the day. --MH

2:35pm: Chance encounter
Level 2 - Blinds 600-1,200 (200 ante)

Kim Wittendorf has a lot of chips for a man in level two of the High Roller. He's using them too, although it was Chance Kornuth who would come out best in the most recent hand he played.

Wittendorf had made it 3,300 from the button before Kornuth called from the big blind for a flop of 9♣J♠J♣.

Kornuth checked to Wittendorf who bet 4,500. By now Kornuth had adopted a bolt upright posture, his eyes hidden by mirrored sunglasses, and his personal mantra "Run Good" emblazoned on his T-shirt. He called.

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The turn card was the 7♣. Both players checked this time for the J♥ on the river. Kornuth paused then reached for his chips. Wittendorf folded before Kornuth had chance to move his bet forward.

Wittendorf drops slightly to 500,000 while Kornuth continues to climb, up to 395,000. - SB

2:30pm: Nishijima takes from Mercier
Level 2 - Blinds 600-1,200 (200 ante)

In the last hand of Level 2, Jason Mercier opened for 2,700 from middle position and Thiago Nishijima defended with a call from the blinds. The flop came A♦T♥3♥, and Nishijima's check-called a c-bet of 2,200 from Mercier, then both checked the J♣ turn. No great shakes so far.

The A♣ then fell on the river to pair the board, and after Nishijima checked Mercier made a biggish bet of 9,300. Nishijima then check-raised big himself to 35,000, and after some thought Mercier called. Nishijima turned over K♦Q♣ for a Broadway straight, and Mercier mucked.

Nishijima goes to break with about 285,000 while Mercier has a little under 210,000. --MH

2:28pm: Jacobson on the up, while Mateos drops further
Level 2 - Blinds 600-1,200 (200 ante)

While 68 big blinds is still an awful lot in an event like this, Adrian Mateos would have been hoping for a lot more in what's only the second level of the day. He just lost a heap to Martin Jacobson, in what started as a pre-flop raising war. It ended when Jacobson called Mateos's 27,000 four-bet, and we went to a flop of A♠4♦2♥.

Mateos continued the aggression with an even 30,000 bet, and Jacobson came along. The dealer burned and turned the K♣ on the turn, which slowed the action. Both players checked, as did Mateos after the 6♦ landed on the river. Jacobson took control, betting 35,000, and Mateos reluctantly let go of his hand with a sigh.

Mateos now has 82,000, while Jacobson climbs to 340,000. --JS

2:25pm: PCA champ is in the house
Level 2 - Blinds 600-1,200 (200 ante)

Mike "SirWatts" Watson, the winner of the PCA Main Event last month for a very nice $828,325 payday, has just entered this event, taking his seat across from old friend Mike McDonald. --JS

2:20pm: McDonald on the move
Level 2 - Blinds 600-1,200 (200 ante)

Touring the tables in search of big stacks, we spied Mike McDonald claiming another small pot after firing the river and earning a fold.

"Timex" is up around 390,000 now, the biggest stack in the room save that of Kim Wittendorff who is still comfortably above the 400,000-chip mark and in first position about two-thirds of the way through the day's second hour of play. -- MH

2:15pm: Home comforts for Heath
Level 2 - Blinds 600-1,200 (200 ante)

Ben Heath, the British pro, is no stranger to big buy-in events. After all, he final tabled the PCA equivalent of this event last month in the Bahamas. In fact, you could say he feels right at home, particularly when his house mate back home in Brighton and fellow poker wizard Charlie Carrel is standing behind him in support.

Carrel isn't playing himself just yet, which is good news for Heath as he might be something of a good luck charm.

When Carrel arrived, Heath was in a pot with Max Silver and Sam Chartier. The board showed the 8♥6♥Q♦ on the flop and the 8♦ on the turn, and Heath slid out a bet of 7,200.

Silver quickly folded, but Chartier was curious enough to stick around. When the Q♠ hit the river both players checked, causing Chartier to turn over his pocket jacks with hope. However, Heath had turned a set with the 8♠T♣ and raked in the pot. --JS

2:10pm: Winter, big on Luuk
Level 2 - Blinds 600-1,200 (200 ante)

Luuk Gieles meant business. Sean Winter, a high roller finalist at the PCA, was at the other end of the table in middle position, and had bet 3,500. Gieles, though, raised to 11,500 from the button.

Winter had a similar idea. He four-bet, 34,000 this time. This was enough to make Christoph Vogelsang grin. The German wasn't even in the hand, but in a mild form of poker-sadism, was enjoying seeing others in potential trouble. Gieles called.

The flop came T♦6♥K♣

Winter stared over at Gieles, his brow furrowed. He checked. Gieles did the same.

The turn card was a 6♣. Still nothing, as first Winter then Gieles checked for the K♥ on the river.

Winter dropped in 75,000. It actually made a thud noise. Vogelsang wouldn't get to watch a disaster hand after all.

Gieles folded, his stack down to around 190,000. Winter, meanwhile, is up to 380,000. - SB

2pm: Baby steps with Big Slick
Level 2 - Blinds 600-1,200 (200 ante)

Jason Mercier opened for 2,700 from the cutoff seat, then watched Kyle Frey three-bet to 9,000 from the next seat over. The blinds stepped aside, Mercier called, and the flop came 8♠2♣4♣. Mercier checked, Frey bet 11,000, and Mercier called. The turn brought the 9♥ and another check from the Team PokerStars Pro, and this time Frey bet 26,000. Mercier took just a few seconds, then called again.

The river brought the 4♥ and a couple of relatively quick checks from both. Mercier tabled A♣K♥ and Frey showed A♠K♠, and the pair split the pot. --MH

1:53pm: A few more for Mateos
Level 2 - Blinds 600-1,200 (200 ante)

It had been a bit of a rocky start for Adrian Mateos in this event, losing roughly a third of his chips in the opening level. However, he's just clawed a few back from Connor Drinan.

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A turbulent start for Adrian Mateos

Drinan opened to 3,000 under-the-gun and Mateos three-bet to 10,000, and Drinan came along. The flop was the T♦3♦Q♠, and play slowed down as both checked. We then saw the 7♣ on the turn, resulting in a 10,000 bet from Mateos after Drinan checked. The call was made and the board was completed by the Q♣ on the river. Both checked again and Mateos showed T♣8♣, which was good enough to make his opponent muck. Mateos is back up to around 200,000, while Drinan has a similar sized stack. --JS

1:45pm: Level 2 begins
Level 2 - Blinds 600-1,200 (200 ante)

They've moved into the second hour of play with a small increase to the blinds and antes. There are 36 presently in their seats, with Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier among the latest to sit down. --MH

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Jason Mercier: New arrival

1:40pm: The old double-check-raise then shove from Wittendorff
Level 1 - Blinds 500-1,000 (100 ante)

As the day's first level neared its close, Kyle Frey opened a hand with a raise to 3,000 from middle position and Kim Wittendorff called from a seat over. Sam Greenwood then made it 10,000 to go from the button and both Frey and Wittendorff called.

kim_wittendorf_ept12_dublin_day1_25k.jpg

Kim Wittendorf

The flop came 3♠2♠9♥, and it checked around to Greenwood who continued for 12,500, prompting Frey to fold. Wittendorff then check-raised to 37,500, and after a short pause Greenwood called.

The turn was the T♠, and Wittendorff checked again. This time Greenwood bet 40,200, and Wittendorff check-raised a second time, this time to 100,000. That caused others at the table to sit up a bit, and after a bit of study Greenwood called to push the pot up around 300,000.

The river brought the 9♣. Wittendorff wasn't checking this time, as he announced he was pushing all in, and Greenwood instantly tossed away his hand. Wittendorff then turned over his cards -- J♦8♦! -- and collected the big pot.

"Sorry," said Wittendorff across the table as he stacked his chips, and Greenwood was quick to shake his head and congratulate him on the successful bluff. --MH

Kim Wittendorff - 445,000
Kyle Frey - 195,000
Sam Greenwood - 105,000

1:35pm: Rub of the green
Level 2 - Blinds 600-1,200 (200 ante)

A board of Q♣7♣J♠T♠ is already on the table, and both Daniel Dvoress and David Peters are looking at it.

Dvoress's view of the board is slightly different. Not because he has more chips in the middle, or that it's his turn to act necessarily, but because he sits on one of those posture devices that gives him the appearance of a man on a horse, a neat and healthy man on a horse. He also looks very healthy, and proves it every so often by sipping a green drink from a bottle. So he has the high ground in more ways than one, which he used, betting 9,500 after Peters opted to check.

daniel_dvoress_ept12_dublin_25k_day1.jpg

Daniel Dvoress: High horse

Peters though, with a few days beard and wearing a hoodie, paid no attention to any of that, and this time raised to 26,000.

Dvoress called for the 6♥ river card. He looked over at Peters, who was still unmoved, and checked. Peters bet 45,000.

Now Dvoress had to think things through for a moment, stroking his chin and eventually folding. He grinned slightly as Peters collected his chips. Or was it a grimace? He had the solution though, another sip of green drink.

Dvoress down to 190,000 while Peters is up to 300,000. - SB


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1:30pm: Side event winners

We are only in the foothills of this EPT festival but already a handful of players have scaled the summit. There have already been at least four side event champions and you can see their mugshots on the side event winners page.

1:25pm: Farrell four-bets, then folds to O'Dwyer
Level 1 - Blinds 500-1,000 (100 ante)

They've moved into the second half of today's first level, with 28 players currently involved as newcomers continue to arrive.

As recently noted, Steve O'Dwyer is one of those who has joined the fun, and just now he watched Niall Farrell open a pot from middle position with a raise to 2,500. On the button, O'Dwyer made it 8,000 to go, and when the action returned to Farrell he paused a moment before putting in a four-bet to 22,500. O'Dwyer didn't hesitate very long before calling, and soon the flop fell T♣Q♦T♦.

Farrell checked, and when O'Dwyer pushed out a bet of 13,000 -- just over a quarter of the pot -- Farrell folded. The players each grinned slightly afterwards, though kept silent as the next hand was dealt.

Farrell falls back around the starting stack of 250,000, while O'Dwyer chips up a little to 275,000. --MH

1:20pm: Dvoress chipping up
Level 1 - Blinds 500-1,000 (100 ante)

Daniel Dvoress and David Peters are neighbours right now, and we just arrived in time to catch a heads-up blind-vs-blind pot between the two High Roller regulars.

After the 3♣ turn followed the 6♥Q♦T♥ flop, Peters checked and Dvoress made it 4,600, which Peters called. That brought us to the 4♣ river and Peters checked again, resulting in a hefty 12,700 bet from Dvoress. It took some thought but Peters made the call and mucked when Dvoress turned over Q♥4♠ for a rivered two pair. --JS

1:15pm: Out of the frying pan
Level 1 - Blinds 500-1,000 (100 ante)

"I'd say I'll miss you, but I'd be lying."

This was EPT Malta winner Niall Farrell, playing the High Roller event. The field is slowly expanding, and that means new tables. Farrell's services were required elsewhere.

steve_odwyer_25k_ept12_dublin_day1.jpg

Welcome to the action, Steve O'Dwyer

Any relief from facing the likes of Chance Kornuth and Sam Greenwood though was short lived. His new table features Steve O'Dwyer for one, who this week recorded the 100th live cash of his career. (Oh, and he's currently the best rated player in the world.) - SB

1:10pm: Kyle joins the Frey
Level 1 - Blinds 500-1,000 (100 ante)

A pot to Kyle Frey after a hand against Sam Greenwood.

On a flop of 7♠4♣5♦ Frey checked from the big blind before Greenwood bet 5,100. Frey called for a T♠ on the turn and again Frey checked. This time Greenwood did the same.

The tide changed on the Q♠ river card. This time Frey bet 10,500. Greenwood thought for a moment, but then passed. -- SB

1:05pm: Adrian against Anton's aces
Level 1 - Blinds 500-1,000 (100 ante)

With about 30,000 in the middle and the board showing 2♦T♦5♣3♥, Adrian Mateos of Spain checked, and Sweden's Anton Bertilsson fired a bet of 18,500. Mateos thought a beat and called, and the pair together watched the 2♥ fall on fifth street.

Mateos checked again, and after studying the situation from beneath the brim of his New York Rangers cap, Bertilsson bet again, pushing out 41,000 this time. Mateos brooded for nearly two minutes before finally finding a call. Bertilsson then tabled A♠A♥ for aces and deuces, and Mateos mucked.

Bertilsson is up around 340,000 now while Mateos has slipped to 185,000. --MH

12:53pm: Strong start for Kornuth
Level 1 - Blinds 500-1,000 (100 ante)

Chance Kornuth has been on fine form of late, final tabling the High Roller at the PCA in January for $192,780, and following that up little over a week later with a win at an Aussie Millions High Roller, for $547,784.

Well, why not try and make it three big High Roller cashes in a row? Kornuth has already got off to a great start in this €25,000 event. In a hand against Kyle Frey, Kornuth had called a pre-flop 11,000 three-bet and another substantial bet on the 2♣Q♥8♣ flop. With about 39,000 in the pot already, the turn was the 5♠ and Frey put out a bet of 27,500, which Kornuth called. Both players checked the 6♠ river and Kornuth tabled A♣Q♣ for top pair, while Frey mucked.

Kornuth is up to 340,000, while Frey has slipped to 170,000. --JS

12:46pm: Early arrivers
Level 1 - Blinds 500-1,000 (100 ante)

Among the players arriving in time for the first hands of the day Adrian Mateos, Mohsin Charania, Mike McDonald and Connor Drinan are all seated at one of the tables. Pratyush Buddiga, Paul Newey and Nick Petrangelo are at another. And Chance Kornuth, David Peters, Daniel Dvoress and EPT12 Malta Main Event champion Niall Farrell are at a third. -MH

12:38pm: Shuffle up and deal
Level 1 - Blinds 500-1,000 (100 ante)

Cards are in the air! A small group of players have taken their seats around three tables for the start of today's tournament. They sit behind deep starting stacks of 250,000 chips to begin.

We expect the field gradually to increase all day as late registration continues all of the way to the start of Day 2. --MH

11.45pm: Preparing for the start of the EPT

Although the UKIPT is already well under way, it's today that the big boys of the EPT amble into town. They kick off with the €25,000 High Roller event--the biggest buy in event of the festival.

Play begins at 12.30pm and, if previous experience tells us anything, the field will begin small. But it should grow considerably and they'll contest a mighty prize pool. We'll have blow-by-blow action from the outset. -- HS


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ept12_dublin_grinder.jpg

Starting the EPT grind

Take a look at the official website of the EPT, with tournament schedule, news, results and accommodation details for the rest of the season.

Also all the schedule information is on the EPT App, which is available on both Android or IOS.

PokerStars Blog reporting team on the EPT12 Dublin Main Event: Stephen Bartley, Martin Harris, Jack Stanton and Howard Swains. Photography by Neil Stoddart. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour