EPT12 Dublin: Main Event Day 1A live updates


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* The first EPT Dublin Main Event for eight years

* 82 players remain from field of 147 so far on Day 1A
* Click here for full final table report from the €25K High Roller


12:04am: Day 1A concludes

The last hands of Day 1A have been dealt, and while Mike McDonald looked like he was going to take the overnight chip lead thanks to that big hand with Artem Litvinov just before the end, the German Gilles Bernies sitting at the next table looks to have picked up a few more chips to push up over 180,000 and into the apparent chip lead.

Stay tuned for a full recap of today's Main Event action. --MH

12:01am: Three more hands
Level 8 - Blinds 300/600 (75 ante)

On one of the final hands of the night, Ben Heath was all in and at risk following a 4♥9♠8♠ flop. Pierre Neuville had reraised behind him to chase a third player, and after Heath showed his T♣8♣ he saw he was behind Neuville's 9♦3♠.

The turn was the T♥, though, to improve Heath to two pair, and after the 7♥ river he survived with almost 40,000. Neuville meanwhile slips below 30,000. --MH

11:51pm: Three more hands
Level 8 - Blinds 300/600 (75 ante)

They've stopped the tournament clock and announced tables will each play just three more hands before play concludes. --MH

11:50pm: McDonald earns huge one near end
Level 8 - Blinds 300/600 (75 ante)

Picking up the action following a Q♣J♠J♦ -- subsequently (and appropriately) described as "sick" -- it checked to Daniel Shapiro who put his last 25,000 in the middle, then Artem Litvinov in the small blind leaned forward. He asked how much Mike McDonald, the third player in the hand, had left, and the answer was about 46,000. Litvinov then pushed all in, and McDonald called.

Shapiro had A♥Q♦ (queens and jacks), but was well behind both Litvinov who had J♣T♥ (trip jacks) and McDonald who had Q♠Q♥ (queens full of jacks). The turn was the 5♣ and river the 7♣, and Shapiro exited.

Litvinov slips to about 130,000 after that one while McDonald is now way up to 150,000. --MH


8G2A4656_EPT12DUB_Mike_McDonald_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Mike McDonald

11:34pm: Assorted chip counts
Level 8 - Blinds 300/600 (75 ante)

As they head toward the home stretch of Day 1A, here are some assorted chip counts from around the room.

Artem Litvinov - 157,000
Ian Hunter - 145,000
Fabrice Soulier - 139,000
Kamran Aliyev - 122,000
Luca Pagano - 92,000
Walid Bou Habib - 90,000
Jason Mercier - 88,000
Kevin MacPhee - 78,000
Mike McDonald - 68,000
Anthony Zinno - 66,000
Knut Karnapp - 64,000
Jeff Rossiter - 55,000
Christopher George - 55,000
Sam Greenwood - 48,000
Barny Boatman - 45,000
Pierre Neuville - 42,000
Charlie Carrel - 40,000
Adrian Mateos - 39,000
Nick Petrangelo - 30,000
Darryll Fish - 24,000
Christoph Vogelsang - 19,000
Bruno Kawauti - 18,000
Ben Heath - 6,000
Keith Johnson - 6,000

There's about a half-hour left to go before the bagging begins. --MH

11:18pm: Hunter snags two with bullets
Level 8 - Blinds 300/600 (75 ante)

Joel Micka opened for 1,500, then Ian Hunter three-bet to 5,300. Matthew Davenport called the raise, then they all watched Espen Solas reshove all in over the top. It folded back to Micka who stepped aside, Hunter then pushed all in himself, and Davenport called.

Hunter: A♦A♥
Davenport: J♠J♦
Solas: A♠Q♠

The board ran out 7♥5♥K♦A♣Q♦, and Hunter's set was best to bust both Davenport and Solas. Hunter is up around 150,000 now and challenging for the chip lead as they move into the latter half of the night's last level. --MH

11:03pm: Watson out, by George
Level 8 - Blinds 300/600 (75 ante)

There will be no back-to-back Main Event titles for Mike "SirWatts" Watson. He just lost the last of his short stack to Christopher George to eliminated at the start of the final level of Day 1A.

George meanwhile is up to 88,000. --MH


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Mike Watson

10:46pm: Level 8 begins
Level 8 - Blinds 300/600 (75 ante)

They've moved into the final level of the night. The board shows 95 of 147 Day 1A players still remain.

The pace of eliminations has been slow, due no doubt in large part to the deepness of the stacks. The average stack is at about 77 big blinds as they begin Level 8. --MH


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10:40pm: McDonald tangles with a chip leader, and wins
Level 7 - Blinds 250/500 (50 ante)

Mike McDonald was facing a bet of 4,800 from Kamran Aliyev on the 3♣A♣J♣9♦ board, and after giving his infamous stare down he made the call. The river was the T♠ and now the bet from Aliyev was 11,400. McDonald thought for a while but made the call. Aliyev turned over 2♦3♥ for a feeble pair of threes, which was no good against McDonald's A♥Q♣.

McDonald now has 65,000, while Aliyev has slipped to 125,000. --JS

10:30pm: 3 biggest stacks, 1 table
Level 7 - Blinds 250/500 (50 ante)

The three biggest stacks in the room are all on the same table right now. They belong to Artem Litvinov (145,000), Kamran Aliyev (140,000), and Victor Ilyukhin (125,000). --JS

10:20pm: Habib busts Vieira
Level 7 - Blinds 250/500 (50 ante)

Not long after that hand between Joao Vieira and Charlie Carrel, Vieira found himself in another tricky spot and unfortunately for him he wasn't able to escape it this time.

Walid Bou Habib opened from late position, Vieira fired back from the blinds, and the back-and-forthing continued until Habib was faced with an all-in shove from Vieira totaling about 28,000. Habib thought for about a minute, then came up with a call with A♣Q♦. Meanwhile Vieira was hoping his K♣K♥ would hold.

The flop was bad for Vieira, coming A♥9♣Q♣ to give Habib two pair. The turn was the 3♣ and river the T♦, and Vieira is out. Habib meanwhile jumps up to about 88,000. --MH


8G2A4118_EPT12DUB_Joao_Vieira_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Joao Vieira

10:13pm: A one-sided conversation with Carrel and Vieira
Level 7 - Blinds 250/500 (50 ante)

Charlie Carrel is on fine chatty form, and why shouldn't he be? A third-place finish in the High Roller earlier today, followed by a few adult beverages, will loosen anyone up.

In this hand, Bart Verbanck opened to 1,200 and Joao Vieira 3-bet to 3,500. Carrel was in the big blind and stared at Joao - who is sitting right opposite him - very intently before making the call. Verbanck decided to get out of the way - I can't blame him for that.

The flop was the K♠2♦A♥, and both players checked. Then the 4♣ hit on the turn and Carrel led for 4,800. Vieira didn't take too long to fold, which mist have made Carrel suspicious.

"You knew what I had?" he asked. Vieira nodded.

"What did I have?" Carrel continued. "I don't mind giving you information if you tell me. I remember the exact cards." Vieira stayed quiet.

"I'm playing way worse than you right now I expect," said Carrel, presumably hinting at those adult beverages he'd had in celebration.

The two have pretty identical stacks - 31,100 for Vieira and 32,300 for Carrel. --JS

10:10pm: Karnapp KOs Varonen
Level 7 - Blinds 250/500 (50 ante)

A short-stacked Lauri Varonen of Finland was just all in and at risk with J♣T♦ versus Knut Karnapp of Germany's A♦Q♠. The board ran out 8♦9♦4♣9♥A♠, giving Karnapp two pair and ending Varonen's tournament.

There are 99 players left at present from the 147 who began Day 1A. --MH

9:58pm: Aliyev and Litvinov in big-stacked battle
Level 7 - Blinds 250/500 (50 ante)

Two of the biggest stacks in the room -- Kamran Aliyev and Artem Litvinov -- are sitting just a couple of seats apart at the same table, and just now they were involved in a fairly tense encounter that didn't produce a showdown, but was an intriguing spot nonetheless.

Aliyev was out of position and check-calling bets versus Litvinov after the flop. By the turn the board read 5♥4♦T♥6♠ and the pot had reached nearly 30,000. Then after the K♣ river Aliyev checked again, Litvinov fired 18,675, and Aliyev went deep into the tank.

"I think you have some kind of two pair," said Aliyev as he thought. Finally a third player called the clock, and halfway through his final minute Aliyev grabbed chips as if he might call, but then slid his cards away.

Litvinov slid his face down to the dealer before collecting the pot. "You really looked like you wanted to show that one," said Mike McDonald, but Litvinov offered no clues as to what he might have had.

Chip-wise, Litvinov now has about 125,000, just a few shy of Aliyev's 128,000. --MH


NEIL4433_EPT12DUB_Artem_Litvinov_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Artem Litvinov

9:47pm: Wow. What a sick hand.
Level 7 - Blinds 250/500 (50 ante)

This hand had everything. Suckouts, an all-in out of turn, a big pre-flop fold, and four aces - none of which were on the board.

It started when a player (whose identity for now remains a mystery) limped, so the action was on big-stack Ian Hunter. While he was thinking what to do, Francisco Gordillo from Spain moved all-in out of turn for 24,000. Hunter asked if that now meant it was just a call, and the ruling said that was the case. So Hunter limped too, and now Gordillo shoved legally. It was slowly folded back around to the unknown first-limper, who called the shove for his last 17,000. Hunter happily called both players and turned over A♠A♥.

Problem was, the unknown player also had aces - the A♣A♦, while Gordillo had K♦K♥.

You know what's coming, right?

A king in the window, of course. The board ran out K♣8♠J♦2♣4♦ and Gordillo secured the knock-out of the unknown player, and just about tripled-up.

What makes it even sicker is that another player at the table said they folded queens!

Gordillo now has about 66,000, while Hunter is still healthy with around 95,000. --JS

9:39pm: Martini shakes and stirs Staszko
Level 7 - Blinds 250/500 (50 ante)

Following a blind-vs.-blind battle between Martin Staszko and Julien Martini, Martini was all in and at risk with J♦J♣ but in decent shape versus Staszko's T♣T♥.

The board came safe for Martini -- K♠7♣3♥6♣9♠ -- and he doubled back to about the starting stack of 30,000. Meanwhile Staszko is down to just about 7,000. --MH

9:30pm: Level 7 begins
Level 7 - Blinds 250/500 (50 ante)

Players are back from dinner and cards are in the air once again. They'll be playing two more 75-levels tonight before bagging up to conclude Day 1A. --MH

8:15pm: Chip counts

As the players head off on dinner break Kamran Aliyev appears to have the biggest stack of all. Below are a selection of big names and big stacks

NameCountryChips
Kamran AliyevAzerbaijan142,000
Victor IlyukhinUK134,000
Ian HunterUK120,000
Artem LitvinovRussia120,000
Jean-Noel ThorelFrance112,000
Fabrice SoulierFrance110,000
Luca PaganoItaly104,000
Luciana ManoleaRomania62,000
Jason MercierUSA61,000
Pierre NeuvilleBelgium56,000
Adrian MateosSpain55,500
Sam GreenwoodCanada54,000
Aaron GustavsonUSA44,000
Anthony ZinnoUSA41,800
Davidi KitaiBelgium41,800
Kevin MacPheeUSA40,100
Thomas FinneranIreland39,700
Alexander GoulderUK39,200
Jared JaffeeUSA37,800
Jeffrey RossiterAustralia37,700
Natasha BarbourCanada37,000
Barny BoatmanUK35,000
Charlie CarrelUK35,000
Darryll FishUSA33,575
Sebastian PauliGermany33,400
Balazs BotondHungary27,700
Mike McDonaldCanada27,400
Joao VieiraPortugal23,500
Keith JohnsonUK23,000
Ben HeathUK14,500
Christoph VogelsangGermany7,200

8:14pm: Dinner break

Level 6 has concluded and players are now taking a 75-minute dinner break. The big board says 108 remain from the 145 who have registered so far. --JS

8:03pm: King Carrel
Level 6 - Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Charlie Carrell is picking up where he left off in the High Roller event. He just sent Georgios Sotiropoulos to the rail with a pair of kings.

Sotiropoulos shoved with A♦K♣ but Carrel had K♥K♠. Nothing on the board came to help Sotiropoulos who left quickly. Carrel up to 40,000. - SB

7:59pm: A Nock knockout
Level 6 - Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Following an early position open by Georgios Zisimopoulos, Dex De Jong put his short stack all in then watched Jeremy Nock reraise-push from late position, scattering everyone else including Zisimopoulos.

De Jong had K♦K♠ and was leading against Nock's A♣Q♥, and through the 8♠J♦5♣ flop and 4♣ turn De Jong was still in front. But the A♠ fell on the river to give Nock the better pair, and De Jong was eliminated.

Nock has about 35,000. --MH

7:50pm: Soulier's surge
Level 6 - Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Kevin MacPhee had a decision to make. On a flop of 9♥2♥Q♠ he'd bet 2,600. Jarrod Rex called from seat nine for a 9♠ turn. MacPhee checked this time and watched Rex bet 5,200. MacPhee thought for a while but opted to cut his losses.

A few tables along there's the aforementioned 'high roller' table, featuring Sam Greenwood, Jeff Rossiter and Fabrice Soulier.

It was Soulier who won the most recent hand. On a flop of 7♣A♠6♦ he bet 3,200 from the small blind. Sitting next to him was Christopher Kruk on the button, who called for a 8♠ turn card. Soulier bet again, 4,200 this time. Kruk thought about it, but ultimately thought better of it.

Soulier is now up to 125,000. --SB

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Fabrice Soulier

7:44pm: Out
Level 6 - Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

With the blinds and antes beginning to pinch a bit the rate of exits has gone up a notch. Among those to have been eliminated in level six are: Rocco Palumbo, Julian Thomas and Nasrodin Pirmamod. --NW

7:40pm: One call, one fold
Level 6 - Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Two big pots to tell you about, one that went to showdown and one that didn't:

I arrived at table nine to see a 9♥T♥3♣ flop on the felt and a bet of 11,000 in front of Kai Herold and an all-in shove of 35,000 in front of Bart Verbanck. Whilst Herold was in the tank Charlie Carrel told us that the flop betting order had been: bet from Herold, raise from Verbanck, raise to 11,000 from Herold and then shove from Verbanck.

Herold tanked for some time before eventually folding. Meanwhile the clock had been called on Mike Watson. He was facing a river bet of 5,000 from Orpen Kisacikoglu and was starring at a T♦9♥6♣4♦J♠ board. There was no need for the 10 second countdown as Watson threw in the call. Kisacikoglu showed J♥T♥ and Watson mucked. -NW

Mike Watson, 50,000
Bart Verbanck, 48,000
Orpen Kisacikoglu, 33,000
Kai Herold, 19,500

Mike_watson_EPTDub_MED1A.jpg

Mike Watson

7:35pm: Solaas serves up another
Level 6 - Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Walking through the main event tournament room most players seem to blend in with their surroundings, but others, like Dominykas Karmazinas, stand out.

For one thing Karmazinas, who has had considerable success on the tour in the past, reads The Economist magazine while he plays, to the point where it's possible he finds the constant interruptions - paying antes, playing hands - tiresome. He also wears his backpack - one emblazoned with pictures of donuts - as he sits, as if he's expecting to have to dash off any second.

Then there's the way he plays, which is usually accompanied by laughter, or a comment intended to expose his opponent.

He just played a three way hand against Fergal Coyle and Vojtech Ruzicka.

Coyle opened for 800 from under the gun which Ruzicka and Karmazinas called from late position and the big blind respectively, for a 8♦K♠9♠ flop. Karmazinas checked before Coyle bet 1,600. Ruzicka called, as did Karmazinas.

The turn came 6♥. Now Karmazinas bet out, making it 3,800 to play. Coyle called, so too Ruzicka for a 2♦ river card.

Karmazinas checked before Coyle made it 7,000. Ruzicka thought for a while but eventually called, sending Karmazinas into the tank. He sat up, played with his chips for a bit and then with an enormous grin, folded.

"You're good," said Coyle looking over at Ruzicka. He turned over Q♠J♠ which Ruzicka showed a winning A♣K♥.

"F***!"

This was Karmazinas, who was now laughing to himself. Fernando Britto, watching from seat one then insisted that Karmazinas had held two small pair, something Karmazinas neither confirmed nor denied. Either way Karmazinas drops slightly to 31,500. Coyle is down to 27,000 while Ruzicka moves up to 75,000. - SB

7:26pm: The other high rollers table
Level 6 - Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

The Main Event table positioned closest to the final table of the €25K High Roller features no less than four players who took part in that event -- Jason Wheeler, Sam Greenwood, Ben Heath, and Jeff Rossiter. In fact Rossiter was sitting at that final table earlier today before busting in fifth.

None are too concerned with what's happening nearby, however. Wheeler is grinding tables on PokerStars, Greenwood doing a crossword on his iPad, and both Heath and Rossiter are listening to tunes as well.

The poker is occupying them too though, such as just now when Heath opened a pot for 1,000 from the button, getting calls from the blinds including Rossiter in the BB.

All checked the K♠3♦4♥ flop, then when checked to after the A♥ turn Heath bet 1,500 and only Rossiter called. The pair checked the 3♠ river, Rossiter showed A♣6♦, and Heath mucked.

The action continues behind them, whether or not they're paying any attention to it. And in front of them, too. --MH

Sam Greenwood - 42,000
Jeff Rossiter - 40,000
Ben Heath - 18,000
Jason Wheeler - 8,000

7:17pm: Pagano claims another scalp
Level 6 - Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Luca Pagano is up to 90,000 after eliminating John Daly in a pot worth around 40,000.

It all went in pre-flop with Daly holding A♠K♣ and Pagano T♦T♥. The 6♠2♦K♠ flop gave Daly the lead, but Pagano hit his set on the T♠ turn to leave Daly needing a spade on the river.

It didn't arrive and he said: "Been great playing with you," to Pagano before exiting the tournament room. -NW

7:14pm: Mercier moves all in, collects
Level 6 - Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

With the board showing 2♥6♠5♦T♥3♠ and more than 30,000 in the middle, Mikko Turtainen (playing from the big blind) pushed out a bet of 12,500, and Team PokersStars Pro Jason Mercier responded with an all-in push for about 28,000.

Turtainen went deep into the tank, long enough to have the clock called, and about a half-minute into the countdown he finally let his hand go. Turtainen slips to about 12,000 now, while Mercier jumps up to 60,000. --MH

7:10pm: More eliminations
Level 6 - Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

In the last level before the dinner break, we had an influx of bust-outs. Rainer Kempe, Vladimir Velikov, Sergey Lebedev, Ricardo Alain Manquant, Vladas Tamasauskas, Piotr Franczak, Sorin Ionut Morariu, Andrew Leathem, and Senh Ung have all said their goodbyes. --JS

7:06pm: Good level for Watson
Level 6 - Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Mike Watson was down to around 10,000 at the last break, but we've just heard he's recovered magnificently. He now sits with 60,000 going into Level 6. --JS

7:04pm: Level 6 begins
Level 6 - Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

The next 75-minute level has begun, and with it another increase of the blinds and antes. The big board is showing 145 total entries so far, with 119 of them still in action.

There will be a 75-minute dinner break following Level 6, with two more levels of poker due to be played after that before Day 1A concludes. --MH

7:03pm: Carrel tries his luck in the Main
Level 5 - Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

About 30 minutes after Charlie Carrel busted from the €25,000 High Roller he decided to hop in the Main Event. Beer in hand and all smiles, he's bucking the trend of only the winner of a tournament ever being happy. --NW

7pm: Silver busts to Pagano
Level 5 - Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

Max Silver was kind enough to fill us in on how he exited the Main Event. He told us that Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano limped from the small blind with [K][J] and Silver then raised it up with [K][10].

On the [K][J][10] flop Silver bet 1,200, Pagano raised to 2,700 and Silver called. Pagano then set Silver all-in for around 10,000 on the [8] turn and Silver called it off.

"I don't think I can get away from it," said Silver afterwards.

Also out are: Andrew Leatham, Sorin Morariu, Piotr Franczak, Vladas Tamasauskas, Ricardo Manquant, Sergey Lebedev, Vladimir Velikov and Rainer Kempe. --NW

Pagano_Silver_EPTDUB_MED1A.jpg

Tough day for Max Silver

6:55pm: Aliyev ascending
Level 5 - Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

With the board showing T♥Q♠3♠A♣8♠ and close to 20,000 already in the middle, Kamran Aliyev fired 7,600 and after pausing just a beat Robert Schiffbauer was there with the call.

Aliyev turned over K♣J♥ for a Broadway straight, and Schiffbauer turned over his 8♣8♦ to show he'd rivered a set before passing the required chips across the table to Aliyev.

Aliyev is now up to 118,000, that pot carrying his stack just ahead of his tablemate Artem Litvinov who has about 115,000. Meanwhile Schiffbauer slips to 15,000. --MH

6:42pm: I win... no, I win
Level 5 - Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

Pierre Neuville of the 2015 November Nine -- or, rather, the Neuvember Nine -- opened for 700 from the hijack, Edouard Mignot called the raise from the next seat over, and Felix Bleiker called from the big blind.

The flop came A♣J♥6♥, and it folded all of the way around to Mignot who bet 1,450. Bleiker folded, and Neuville called. Both remaining players then checked the Q♣ turn.

The river was the 3♥, and when Neuville fired a bet of 3,300, Mignot rolled his eyes and looked in Neuville's direction, grinning widely. Suddenly both burst out laughing at Mignot's wordless "you-have-to-be-kidding-me" expression.

They continued to chuckle and chatter over the next half-minute while Mignot pondered what to do, then finally he made the call.

"I win," said Neuville as he showed his 6♠3♠ for two pair. "No... I win," said Mignot, turning over A♦J♦ for a better two pair, and they laughed again.

Both players have smiles on their faces and about 26,000 chips apiece at present. --MH

6:30pm: Solaas serves up another
Level 5 - Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

Ian Hunter just lost a pot to one of the more distinguished players in the room. Espen Solaas of Norway wears a sweat top and a white headband over his shoulder length blond hair, which he takes considerable care to get just right. It's an appearance which is part tennis coach, part villain in a Die Hard movie.

He opened to 725 from middle position, and the action was folded round to Hunter in the big blind. He called for a Q♣7♥8♦. Hunter checked to Solaas who then bet another 900. Hunter called.

The turn came 7♣. Hunter bet this time, making it 1,600. Solaas looked at his cards again before calling for the 4♠ on the river. Hunter bet 2,400 and showed Q♠9♦ when Solaas called. The Norwegian though had K♦Q♦. He's up to 49,000, while Hunter drops slightly to 42,600. - SB

6:21pm: Watson turns straight, doubles
Level 5 - Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

Mike Watson and Orpen Kisacikoglu battled to the river with the board filling out Q♣J♠4♦A♣5♥, at which point Watson put the rest of his chips forward and Kisacikoglu called.

Watson turned over K♣T♣ to show he'd turned a Broadway straight, and Kisacikoglu mucked. After getting short early, Watson is back to 20,000 now while Kisacikoglu sits with about 30,000. --MH

6:20pm: The elite eight
Level 5 - Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

There are, by our reckoning, eight EPT Main Event champions in the field today and they're all still in. What's more there are two pairs of champions at the same table. Mike Watson is at the same table as Sebastian Pauli and Kevin MacPhee is sharing a table with Davidi Kitai. Below is how the elite eight are getting on here in Dublin:

Jason Mercier, 46,000
Aaron Gustavson, 45,000
Kevin MacPhee, 44,200
Davidi Kitai, 34,800
Adrian Mateos, 33,425
Sebasitan Pauli, 30,250
Mike McDonald, 28,400
Mike Watson, 10,750

Jason_Mercier_EPTDub_MED1A.jpg

Jason Mercier

6:12pm: Tens serve Martini
Level 5 - Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

After Julien Martini pushed all in on the river with the board showing K♣T♥6♠6♣8♦, Tomasz Raniszewski called the bet. Martini turned over T♦T♠ for a full house, tens full of sixes, and Raniszewski showed his A♥A♣ had been successfully cracked.

Martini is up ot 54,000 now, while Raniszewski has 21,000. --MH

6:05pm: Plenty going on here in Dublin
Level 5 - Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

If you're in Dublin for the EPT festival there's more taking place today than the final of the €25K High Roller and the Main Event. Once more the EPT will be hosting a charity event in support of Right to Play, here at the Royal Dublin Society.

It starts at 6pm with a buy in of €150. What's more you can have unlimited rebuys for €50.

Previous versions of this event have proven hugely popular, with a mix of amateur, professional and even celebrity players taking part. That typically guarantees a good atmosphere, while a selection of great prizes, including trips away, iPads and tournament buy-ins ensure there's something to play for. - SB

5:53pm: Just in... Timex
Level 5 - Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

"Did you just buy in or did you get moved?" asked Robert Schiffbauer of the table's newest arrival. "Just bought in," answered Mike McDonald who has joined today's event here at the start of Level 5.

The EPT4 Dortmund champion already has a couple of final tables to his credit at this festival, having finished runner-up in a €5,000 event and fifth in a €1,000 turbo. --MH

5:32pm: Early bustouts
Level 5 - Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

Catching up on a few bustouts from the previous level that have gone unmentioned to now, Albert Sapiano, Ian Simpson, Marc Spangenberg, Vladas Burneikis, and Adrien Tantaro all were unable to make it through the first half of Day 1. --MH

5:30pm: Litvinov leads
Level 5 - Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

We're halfway through Day 1A now and 140 players have entered the Main Event so far. Leading the way right now is Artem Litvinov. He's the only player with a six-figure stack as Level 5 gets under way.

NameCountryChips
Artem LitvinovRussia109,000
Kamran AliyevAzerbaijan87,000
Georgios ZisimopoulosGreece80,000
Czeslaw SzerszenUSA77,000
Seamus CahillIreland70,000
Rasmus AgerskovDenmark67,000
Balazs BotondHungary65,000
Francesco DelfocoItaly60,500
Sven MagiriusGermany59,000
Fabrice SoulierFrance58,000
Natasha BarbourCanada54,500

5:25pm: Break-time chip counts
Level 4 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Players have now gone on a 20-minute break. Here are a few of the notable stacks around the room:

Sam Greenwood 36,000
Jeffrey Rossiter 27,000
Keith Johnson 26,000
Natasha Barbour 55,500
Pierre Neuville 32,000
Mike Watson 23,000
Barny Boatman 38,000
Sam Chartier 30,000
Jason Mercier 37,000
Adrian Mateos 29,000
Davidi Kitai 30,000
Kevin MacPhee 40,000
Max Silver 11,700 --JS

5:15pm: Zisimopoulos is flush with chips
Level 4 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Georgios Zisimopoulos just took a chunky pot from Andrew Leatham. The Greek player was the original raiser. He made it 500 to go from middle position. Leatham was next to act, he three-bet to 1,200. Akin Tuna smooth called from the small blind and when it folded back to Zisimopoulos he also smooth called.

The flop fell J♣7♥5♥. Leatham c-bet 1,500 and Zisimopoulos was the only caller. On the T♥ turn Zisimopoulos changed tactics, he led for 2,900 and after about 10-15 seconds of thinking Leatham threw out three 1K chips to call.

The Q♣ completed the board and Zisimopoulos bet again. This time 4,300 was the price to call and it was a price Leatham was willing to pay. Zisimopoulos rolled over Q♥J♥ for the turned flush and Leatham mucked. --NW

5:11pm: Fish flops straight, stacks two
Level 4 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Carmen Ebus limped from under the gun, then Darryl Fish made it 700 to go from a couple of seats over. It folded back around to Senh Ung in the blinds who three-bet to 2,200, Ebus called, and Fish called as well.

The flop came 9♦J♦8♣, and Ung led with a bet of 2,000. Ebus raised all in with her last chips, a bet of 3,800, and both Fish and Ung called.

The turn brought the A♥. At that Ung fired a bet of 8,000, and after pausing briefly Fish raised all in. Ung called to put himself at risk, and the three players' cards were tabled:

Ung: J♥J♣
Ebus: A♠A♣
Fish: Q♦T♠

Ung had flopped a set and Ebus turned a better one, but Fish's flopped queen-high straight beat them both. The river was the 3♠ and both Ung and Ebus were eliminated, while Fish is now up close to 80,000. --MH

5pm: Loads for Litvinov
Level 4 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Artem Litvinov is up to 107,000 after he eliminated Ian Simpson in a big pot. The action was started by Daniel Shapiro who raised to 400 in early position. Litvinov smooth called and Simpson then raised to 2,000 from the small blind. Both Shapiro and Litvinov called.

On the A♣3♣2♥ flop Simpson checked, Shapiro bet 3,000 and both Litvinov and Simpson stuck around. So there was over 17,000 in the pot already by the time the 5♦ fell on the turn. Action checked to Litvinov on this street, he bet 9,575 and Simpson was the only caller.

The river was the 8♠ and Litvinov bet enough to set Simpson all-in (about 12,500). The latter studied Litvinov for a while and then pushed his remaining chips over the betting line. The Russian opened 5♣4♣ for the flopped straight. Simpson said: "Nice hand, good game, good luck everyone," and then showed that he'd called off with pocket kings. - NW

Artem Litvinov, 107,000
Ian Simpson, 0

4:55pm: Riess chased
Level 4 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Following a 5♥A♣Q♥ flop, Akin Tuna check-called a small bet from Ryan Riess. After the 2♥ turn, he check-called a slightly bigger one. He checked again after the 7♦ river, and watched Riess push all in this time for 10,800.


ryan_reiss_eptdublin_med1a_22.jpgRyan Riess

Tuna considered for about a minute, then called the push. Riess tabled 8♣7♠ for sevens, but Tuna had A♥T♣ for aces and eliminated Riess. Tuna is up to 48,000 now. --MH

4:50pm: Charania busts from the High Roller seat of doom
Level 4 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Remember we told you that Dario Sammartino had busted earlier? Well, a little while later Mohsin Charania joined that same table sitting in the same seat. It would be an incredibly short day for Charania however, as he has now joined Sammartino on the bust-out list after just one hand.

He opened to 500 and found a caller in John Sarailis. Artem Litvinov 3-bet to 1,650, and both Charania and Sarailis made the call. The flop came T♠J♥5♥ and it was checked around to Litvinov, who put out 3,875. Now Charania raised to 9,000, forcing Sarailis out of the pot.

Litvinov thought for a minute before moving all-in, which Charania snapped holding 5♠5♦. It was the K♣K♥ which Sarailis was so enthused by throughout the hand, but now he needed to hit one of the two remaining kings. The turn was the 7♣, but the K♠ hit the river and Litvinov let out a big cry of joy. "Wow. That was amazing," Charania said as he made a swift exit. Litvinov now has 83,000. --JS

4:39pm: If I hadn't folded, I'd have made a straight
Level 4 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Keith Johnson found himself caught in the middle of a preflop raising war between Thomas Finneran playing from late position on his left and Namir Mohamed playing from the blinds on his right. Having committed 1,700, he chose against putting in another 5,200 and let the other two have at it.

The flop came 4♠7♥6♥, and Mohamed instantly announced he was pushing all in. Finneran likewise didn't hesitate when he called, tabling A♠A♦. Mohamed was in a bad place with Q♥Q♠, but the turn was the 3♦ and the river the 5♠, putting a straight on the board and allowing those two to chop up Johnson's contribution.

Finneran has about 35,000 and Mohamed 23,000, while Johnson is at 26,000. --MH


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4:25pm: From the UKIPT to the EPT
Level 4 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

The UKIPT played down to a final table of eight yesterday. They've got the day off today as the winner will be determined tomorrow on the TV table.

So far Vladas Tamasauskas is the only player who's made the final who's also entered the EPT Main Event. -- NW

4:30pm: MacPhee takes one down
Level 4 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Kevin MacPhee opened to 500 but was 3-bet by Irish player Seamus Cahill to 1,375. MacPhee made the call and the dealer burned and turned the J♣7♠6♦ flop. MacPhee checked and Cahill continued his aggression with a bet of 2,000, but it met a check-raise by MacPhee to 4,025. Cahill gave it up and MacPhee is up to 33,000. --JS

4:25pm: Sapiano busts to Magirius
Level 4 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Keith Johnson now occupies the seat that Albert Sapiano was in. The latter was down to around 12,000 by the time he got his stack in on a jack high flop with J♠5♠. Unfortunately for him Sven Magirius had K♣J♣ and Sapiano didn't hit his kicker on the turn or river. -NW

Sven Maigirius, 79,000

4:20pm: From the high roller to the main event
Level 4 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

A short time ago Keith Johnson busted out of the €25,000 High Roller in sixth place, for which he won €106,330. He's immediately reinvested €5,300 of that to enter the Main Event. He's got a bad seat though as he's been drawn to the direct right of the chip leader.

News on how Sven Magirius got his stack up to 79,000 coming right up. --NW

4:15pm: Barbour gets a trim
Level 4 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Natasha Barbour and hey boyfriend Jason Mercier are both spending their Valentine's Day in Day 1A of the Main Event, and although Barbour is doing fine she just took a little cut to her stack.

UK player Ian Hunter, who has a huge stack already, limped from middle position, Barbour completed from the small blind and Mike 'SirWatts' Watson checked his option. The three saw the J♠K♠T♠ flop and Hunter led for 525. Barbour made the call but Watson opted to fold. The turn was the 6♣ and now it was 2,200 from Hunter, but Barbour didn't go anywhere. The 7♣ arrived on the river, and now Hunter's bet was 2,800. That was too much for Barbour who gave it up. She has 32,000, while Hunter is up to 72,000. --JS

4:12pm: Level 4 begins
Level 4 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Okay, everyone -- antes are in play now, so time to kick it up into a higher gear. The big board says 130 players have registered so far. --MH

4:10pm: Two more gone
Level 3 - Blinds 100/200

We've had two more eliminations from the Main Event in the past few minutes - Andreas Leledakis and Padraigh Cody-Lally will have to find new plans for their Sunday evening. --JS

4:05pm: Hwang in there
Level 3 - Blinds 100/200

Multi-way action leading up to a 6♣7♥Q♥ then saw the table check around to Yung Hwang who fired 1,200 in the middle and only Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier called. Mercier again check-called a 2,800 bet from Hwang following the K♠ turn. The river brought the 8♥ and another check from Mercier, and Hwang was right there again with another bet, this time for 4,000.

Much riffling and thinking ensued, with Mercier ultimately letting his hand go.

They're nearing the end of the day's third level, and Mercier is sitting with just about 40,000 at present. Hwang meanwhile chips up a bit to 23,000. --MH


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4pm: Zinno and Watson enter the fray
Level 3 - Blinds 100/200

When Anthony Zinno makes a final table - and he's made a few - he usually dresses for the occasion, wearing a suit, shirt and tie. Today he's far more relaxed though, he's got shorts on and a zip up chunky grey cardigan.

Mike Watson is another of the players to have joined the game in level three, the 2016 PCA Main Event champion is at the same table as Sebastian Pauli. --NW

3:55pm: No messing around from Thorel
Level 3 - Blinds 100/200

A big pot just went the way of Jean-Noel Thorel and he had a big hand to boot.

The action was started by Vladas Tamasauskas, he opened to 525 and picked up five calls before Thorel three-bet to 2,400 from the big blind. Tamasauskas smooth called only for Francisco Gordillo to four-bet to 7,600. It folded back round to Thorel and he shoved all-in, that got rid of both his opponents. As he took the pot he showed A♣A♥. --NW

3:50pm: Short day for Sammartino
Level 3 - Blinds 100/200

After the bubbling the High Roller last night, Dario Sammartino's EPT Dublin Main Event has come to quick end. We didn't catch the hand, but we saw Sammartino leaving the tournament area with a big smile on his face. A quick chat to the players on his table and it turns out he'd run pocket jacks into the pocket aces of Artem Litvinov. We're sure we'll see more of Dario as the week goes on. --JS

3:40pm: Big scores in the Bahamas drive players to Dublin
Level 3 - Blinds 100/200

Players continue to arrive as the day's second level continues. Mike "SirWatts" Watson, fresh off his Main Event victory in the 2016 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event, is among the latest to take a seat.

Also here and trying to spin up the 30,000-chip starting stack are two more players who enjoyed success in the Bahamas last month. LAPT Bahamas champion Georgios Sotiropoulos of Greece is here and sitting just below the starting stack at present, while Knut Karnapp -- who finished third in that event -- is also part of today's field. The German has about 32,000 at present. --MH

3:30pm: Koivurinne conquers Sammartino, then Simpson
Level 3 - Blinds 100/200

It's been a great orbit for Finnish player Riku Koivurinne - actually, forget the orbit; even just the last two hands have seen his stack increase substantially.

The first hand was against Dario Sammartino, fresh from a deep run in the High Roller last night. With the flop showing the T♥8♥2♣, Sammartino and Artem Litvinov checked over to Koivurinne, who put out a bet of 1,050. Both players called and the 3♣ landed on the turn. It was checked to Koivurinne once again and now he made it 2,200, which was called by Sammartino (Litvinov gave it up). To the river, which was the K♦. There were no flushes or straight draws on the board, but now Sammartino chose to take control with a bet of 6,600. Koivurinne tanked for a minute or so and made the call. Both players had two pair, but Koivurinne's K♣T♠ was best against Sammartino's K♥2♥.

Sammartino slipped to 18,000 in that hand, but Koivurinne was right back at it in the very next hand. After Ian Simpson had opened and Koivurinne called from the big blind, the two saw a flop of 3♣7♠4♥. Simpson continued for 1,750, which was called, and then bet 2,500 on the 7♦ turn, which was called once more. The A♦ landed on the river, and now Simpson put out 4,500, only to be met with a raise to 11,000 from the Fin. Simpson gave it up and Koivurinne has now almost double the starting 30,000 starting stack. --JS

3:21pm: Forks in the road for Silver and Daly
Level 3 - Blinds 100/200

A poker tournament is full of "forks in the road." Every hand presents several of them, with the choices made by players endlessly affecting not only their own tourney journeys but others', too.

Just now we saw Ireland's John Daly make one decision by raising to 400 from the button, then the UK's Max Silver make another by three-betting from the big blind. Daly then made it 3,300 to go, and after hemming and hawing a bit Silver at last called the reraise.

Both chose to check the 9♠T♣4♦ flop, then Silver decided a 2,700 bet was in order following the T♠ turn. Daly tanked for a couple of minutes, rechecking his cards while reconsidering all of the prior decisions each had made. He finally let his hand go, and Silver began talking as he collected the pot.

"I was sure I was going broke," said Silver, and Daly smiled as he speculated what that might have meant about Silver's hand. "I should have just flat-called pre," added Silver, lamenting he nearly had gotten involved in a bigger pot that he'd have liked. Sounded a little like a driver who'd swerved at the last moment, luckily heading down the less dangerous of two paths.

Silver's driving a stack of 24,000 at the moment, while Daly has about 38,000. --MH

3:20pm: Sapiano lets it go
Level 3 - Blinds 100/200

Albert Sapiano has a reputation for playing a lot of pots and he was involved in one as I passed by his table. He opened to 650 from middle position and picked up a call from Sven Magirius.

On the J♥4♦6♥ flop Sapiano c-bet 700 and Magrius stuck around. The 6♠ fell on the turn and Sapiano check-folded to a bet of 1,000. -NW

Albert Sapiano, 33,000
Sven Magrius, 40,050

3:15pm: Charity Event tonight at 6pm

There's more taking place today than the final of the €25K High Roller and the Main Event. The EPT will be hosting a charity event in support of Right to Play, here at the Royal Dublin Society.

It starts at 6pm with a buy in of €150. What's more you can have unlimited rebuys for €50.


right_to_play_eptdublin.jpg

Previous versions of this event have proven hugely popular, with a mix of amateur, professional and even celebrity players taking part. That typically guarantees a good atmosphere, while a selection of great prizes, including trips away, iPads and tournament buy-ins ensure there's something to play for. - SB

3:10pm: Another one gone
Level 3 - Blinds 100/200

Scott Montgomery is out. The Canadian, who made the final table of the WSOP Main Event in 2008, is the second player out today. --NW

3pm: Pagano takes one from Silver
Level 3 - Blinds 100/200

In a blind on blind hand Luca Pagano and Max Silver had reached the river of a 4♣4♦K♠A♠3♥ board. Silver had bet 3,200 only for Pagano to check-raise to 10,000 total.


pagano_silver_eptdub_med1a_22.jpgLuca Pagano and Max Silver

Silver had the calling chips in his hand and looked pained as to what to do. He then put the chips back down and took a look back at his cards. It looked like he was about to fold but he then changed his mind and called.

Pagano showed A♥4♠ for a full-house, "did you have a four too," asked another player at the table. "No I had jack high and thought it was good," jested Silver in return. -NW

Luca Pagano, 42,000
Max Silver, 14,000

2:45pm: Break time

After two levels players are now on the first break of the day.


tournament_room_eptdub_med1a.jpg

2:35pm: Finneran makes a big fold
Level 2 - Blinds 75/150

I arrived at the table to see 5,875 in front of Thomas Finneran (small blind) and an all-in bet of 29,150 in front of Tomasz Raniszewski. Finneran had cut out the calling chips from his stack and he'd have about 7,000 back if he called and lost.

He tanked for a few minutes before folding and said: "Kings hey?" to Raniszewski as he did so. Sven Magirius asked Finneran if he'd folded queens and the Irishman nodded. --NW

2:30pm: Man down
Level 2 - Blinds 75/150

It took longer than usual for the first exit of the day. Nikolaos Iliakis is the unfortunate player who can lay claim to that honour.

Ian Simpson's at the table that Iliakis was seated at and told us about the Greek's exit hand. He was down to 15,000 by this point and Kamran Aliyev flopped the nuts with [6][5] on a [2][3][4][A][2] board.

Apparently Iliakis didn't show his hand so what he had will remain a mystery. --NW

2.15pm: Roses are red, 5K chips are blue





2:10pm: Boatman with a river decision
Level 2 - Blinds 75/150

"Set of fours?"

This was Barny Boatman, looking across at Dominykas Karmazinas who had just bet 4,800 into a large pot, and with the board already showing K♠4♦J♠T♥5♣.

We didn't know it at the time, but Boatman was sitting with a set, but couldn't quite place Karmazinas's hand. He called.
Karmazinas flipped over Q♦9♠

"They never listen," he said. "That's my card."

He thought it was funny, but Boatman didn't.

"I was listening all right," replied Boatman. "But I had a set of jacks."

A drop for Boatman, down to around 20,000. - SB


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2:05pm: All (still) in
Level 2 - Blinds 75/150

Amazingly everyone who has entered this event is still in. There's usually an early bust out or two in the Main Event but not this time. Perhaps it has something to do with the bar not opening until 3pm. --NW

1:50pm: Mercier arrives
Level 2 - Blinds 75/150

The numbers are steadily trickling upwards. One of the latest players to arrive is Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier.

Elsewhere in the field Rocco Palumbo and Jarred Jaffe are at the same table and a tough table at that as it also contains Rasmus Agerskov, Joao Vieira and Victor Ilyukhin. --NW

1:40pm: Nothing to see here
Level 2 - Blinds 75/150

Given that everyone was looking at a phone or tablet, it was easy to forget that there was a hand taking place on table eight. But the board of K♠8♠5♥A♠ was a giveaway.

Alfie Adam looked up long enough to bet 1,650 after the small blind Dominykas Karmazinas checked. They both checked the 8♦ on the river, at which point Adam was showed pocket kings. It was enough to others look up for a moment, but only briefly. - SB

1:25pm: Gustavson up, Silver down
Level 2 - Blinds 75/150

Aaron Gustavson and Max Silver both checked the river of a T♥K♦2♦A♣T♦ board and Gustavson immediately rolled over A♦4♦ for the nut flush. He might not have got anything out of Silver on the river, but the pot was worth about 6,000 in total. -NW

Aaron Gustavson, 34,000
Max Silver, 23,000

1:15pm: Reiss reels one in from Fish
Level 2 - Blinds 75/150

I joined the action to see Ryan Reiss betting 1,200 on the turn of a 8♠3♦J♣7♠ board, there was one fold and then Daryll Fish called on the button. On the 5♥ river Reiss bet again, this time the calling price for Fish was 2,100. The American went into the tank but eventually folded.

"Did you feel like you were being bluffed?" asked Kevin MacPhee to Fish. "I misread the turn, but it was too late to make up for it," replied Fish. -NW

Ryan Reiss, 32,000
Darylll Fish, 29,000

1:00pm: Early gains
Level 1 - Blinds 50/100

It's an admittedly slow start in the Main Event today. We expect the field to fill up as play continues.

Making early progress though is Ryan Reiss. He just won a hand against Carmen Ebus. On a board of T♠8♥3♦A♥J♥ Reiss got paid off on the river, showing 3♥5♥. - SB

12:50pm: More arrivals
Level 1 - Blinds 50/100

Joao Vieira has already won one €5,000 event in Dublin this week and he's now trying to win a second, taking his seat in the Main Event. He's at the same table as Rasmus Agerskov and Victor Ilyukhin.

Phil Helmuth once famously berated an opponent by saying "you can't even spell poker," well Andrew Hulme certainly can. He's a Countdown Octochamp (ink: ) and a regular on the UKIPT and EPT.

Meanwhile Ian Simpson has also taken his seat, the Geordie knows what it's like to win a big tournament in this city as he took down the Irish Open in 2013. --NW

12:40pm: Distractions on stage
Level 1 - Blinds 50/100

Players are still taking seats in the Main Event, slowly filling in gaps. Two of those include Ryan Reiss and Kevin MacPhee, who share a table.

A few steps away from their table the High Roller event is about to get started. It's something of a distraction so Main Event players who watch photographer Neil Stoddart choreograph the pre-match photo, and asking Mustapha Kanit to sit up straight. Like a good boy, he complied. -- SB

12:25pm: Name dropping
Level 1 - Blinds 50/100

There are a number of familiar faces among the early arrivals. Like WSOP Main Event champion Ryan Reiss for instance. Thomas Finneran has a UKIPT title to his name and made another deep run in Dublin in the UKIPT Main Event. He busted in 20th place yesterday and has stuck around for the EPT Main Event. He's at the same table as Albert Sapiano and Tomasz Raniszewski.


ryan_reiss_eptdublin_med1a.jpgRyan Reiss

Dotted around the room you'll find the likes of: Adrian Mateos, Kyle Frey, Jeremy Knock, Luca Pagano, Barny Boatman and Georgios Zisimopoulos. --NW

12:10pm: Introductions complete
Level 1 - Blinds 50/100

The welcomes have been made, and cards are in the air. As the introductory film showed a short while ago, this is the first time the tour has been to Dublin since Season 4. We saw footage of those days, with wins for Ram Vaswani, Mats Gavatin, Roland de Wolfe and Reuben Peters. Then we flashed forward to the modern era of the EPT, to the likes of Cody and Mercier, players I'm not entirely certain had been born the last time we were here.

Regardless, the plan today is much the same as the plan was back then. Eight levels, with a dinner break after level six. We're under way. - SB

11:45am: Main Event players begin to arrive

It's Day 1A of the EPT Dublin Main Event, the first for eight years. Already there's a sense that it's good to be back. The High Rollers have been in action for the past two days (they're now down to eight), and before them the UKIPT kicked off the festival in grand style. It's now time for the main feature.


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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, Nick Wright, Jack Stanton and Martin Harris. Photography by Neil Stoddart. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter:@PokerStarsBlog

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in European Poker Tour