EPT12 Dublin: Main Event Day 1B live updates

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12:08am: Day 1B concludes

The bags are out and chips are being counted, and it does look as though Francisco Correia De Oliveira was able to hold onto the Day 1B lead at night's end. Click here for a full recap of Day 1B. --MH

11:59pm: Akkari out in double-KO
Level 8 - Blinds: 300-600 (75 ante)

Just before the clock struck midnight, the end came to Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari's run in the EPT12 Dublin Main Event.

All in for his last 4,400, Akkari watched not one but two players go all in behind him -- Roberto Rodriguez Carrera and Felix Lambertz. Akkari turned over T♣9♠, then saw Carrera show K♣K♦ and Lambertz A♦A♥.

It was a bad spot for Carrera as well. The flop came 8♠5♥9♣ to give Akkari a pair and a slight ray of hope, but the turn was the Q♠ and river the 5♠, and both Carrera and Akkari were sent railward a couple of hands shy of the end of Day 1B. Meanwhile Lambertz has about 80,000. --MH

11:50pm: Last three hands
Level 8 - Blinds: 300-600 (75 ante)

The clock is stopped and tournament staff have indicated that we will play the last three hands. -- HS

11:45pm: Katchalov's vigil ended by Linka
Level 8 - Blinds: 300-600 (75 ante)

It's been like pulling teeth for Eugene Katchalov today. He's had a short stack almost as long as I can remember seeing him in the tournament, and now he is out.

After successfully shoving at about once-an-orbit intervals over the past couple of levels, he finally got a call from Yann Linka. (Another player also under-called.)

Katchalov had eights; our other player had queens and Linka had aces. The aces held. -- HS

11:37pm: More for Moorman
Level 8 - Blinds: 300-600 (75 ante)

With the board showing T♠8♦2♣9♦ and about 20,000 in the middle, Benjamin Winsor checked and Chris Moorman bet 9,300, and after some thought Winsor called. The river then brought the 5♣, and after checking again Winsor watched Moorman bet 25,200, and this time Winsor found a fold to preserve the 40,000 or so he has left.

Moorman had been sitting in a row with Andrew Lichtenberger and Igor Kurganov all day, with all three most staying right around the average for much of the afternoon and evening. Kurganov recently fell short and departed, Lichtenberger is still around the average, and now Moorman isup to 88,000. --MH

11:35pm: Francisco Correia De Oliveira continues to lead late
Level 8 - Blinds: 300-600 (75 ante)

The hunt is well and truly on for the end-of-day chip lead. Portugal's Francisco Correia De Oliveira, who won a big side event at the PCA last month, is a prime candidate right now, sitting with a stack of around 180,000 and that appears to be bigger than the rest.

He added a few chips to that stack a short while ago when he picked up only one caller of his 1,400 hijack open. That was Willliam Batista Arruda in the big blind.

The both checked the A♠5♦K♣ flop and then Arruda check-folded to De Oliveira's bet of 1,250 on the A♦ turn. --HS

11:17pm: The ever popular ace-jack suited
Level 8 - Blinds: 300-600 (75 ante)

Andre Akkari was sure he was done for. All in for less than 10,000 and up against two opponents -- both of whom had him well covered -- Akkari watched a board come T♠6♥Q♥4♦3♠ and was all but certain his hand was no good.

Akkari tabled his hand -- A♠J♠.

David van der Weele tabled his... A♥J♥.

And Kristof Coenen tabled his... A♣J♣!

Turned out neither van der Weele nor Coenen thought much of their hands either, but all three -- Akkari especially -- were glad to take the chop. --MH


NEIL2869_EPT12DUB_Andre_Akkari_Neil Stoddart.jpg

"I'll take it!"

11:12pm: Bad turn for Moradi
Level 8 - Blinds: 300-600 (75 ante)

You fight and scratch and claw all day and then somebody spikes his kicker and it's all for naught.

So thought Abbas Moradi just now after busting partway into Level 8 in a hand versus Koray Aldemir. All in for his last 8,500 with A♦Q♣, Moradi watched Aldemir call him from a seat over with A♣J♦, and the 5♥6♠6♣ flop brought Moradi a step closer to a double.

Then came the kicker -- the J♣ on the turn -- and Moradi turned up his hands in the classic whattayagonnado poker pose. The T♣ river sealed it, and Moradi left while Aldemir is now stacking about 40,000.

The Day 1B field has shrunk to less than 297 now with about 50 minutes left to go on the tournament clock. --MH

11pm: Aces before bed
Level 8 - Blinds: 300-600 (75 ante)

Bart Lybaert's fortunes were looking bleak with a stack of around about 12,000. But then he found black aces. And, better, Mikiyo Aoki had kings. All this money was always going in and the aces held through a board of 5♣3♠J♥5♠T♠.

Lybaert has about 25,000 now and Aoki is still doing fine. She has about 51,000. -- HS

mikiyo_aoki_ept12_dublin_day1b.jpg

Mikiyo Aoki

10:55pm: Smashing Djangoes
Level 8 - Blinds: 300-600 (75 ante)

David Lappin has doubled up, but we couldn't possibly repeat the details of it on this, a family blog. Head to Lappin's Twitter account to see how this wordsmith delivered the news. -- HS

10:50pm: Last port of call
Level 8 - Blinds: 300-600 (75 ante)

Over the past hour or so, the EPT Dublin Main Event has come to resemble the last bar open in town. Everyone who has no place left to go is now taking a seat: Steve O'Dwyer, for instance, has now followed Dzmitry Urbanovich over from an unsuccessful showing in the one-day €10K High Roller.

O'Dwyer defended his big blind after an open from under the gun by Kenny Hallaert. And after both players checked the J♣T♥7♦ flop, O'Dwyer check-folded to Hallaert's 1,500 delayed continuation bet after the 3♦ turn. -- HS

10:45pm: Last level underway
Level 8 - Blinds: 300-600 (75 ante)

Just one more 75-minute level stands between the players and the end of Day 1B. The big board says 306 of them are left from 439 who registered today. --MH

10:39pm: Big stack survey
Level 7 - Blinds: 250-500 (50 ante)

There are just over 300 players left from the Day 1B field, says the big board, and we've just had a look at every last one of them to get an idea who has the biggest stacks of the bunch.

Here's who is standing out at the moment as Level 7 nears its conclusion:

Francisco Correia De Oliveira - 156,000
Richard Dubini - 144,000
Alex Difelice - 135,000
Iliodoros Kamatakis - 135,000
Jean-Philippe Goulet-Ratelle - 128,000
Pierre Calamusa - 126,000

Last night it was Gilles Bernies of Germany finishing Day 1A as the leader among the 79 who made it through, bagging 189,600 at night's end. We'll see if anyone can catch him during tonight's last level. --MH

10:40pm: Madsen muscling up
Level 7 - Blinds: 250-500 (50 ante)

Jeff Madsen is building quite a stack here today. He has around 85,000 now, and just flexed his muscles in a pot against Ismael Bojang.

Picking up action on the turn, the exposed cards were 2♥9♥K♠7♥ and Madsen, in one of the blinds pre-flop, bet 5,350. Bojang called. The river was the 3♣ and Madsen bet 14,275, which was approximately half of what Bojang had in front of him.

Bajang, shadowed by Dietrich Fast (who has recently been knocked out), pondered a call for a long while, but then folded to preserve his approximate starting stack. -- HS

10:25pm: Chalk one for the onliners
Level 7 - Blinds: 250-500 (50 ante)

Theo Jorgensen, of Team PokerStars Pro, is at a table today with Jaime Staples, of Team Pro Online. And they just played a pot against one another that will decide once and for all which side of the Red Spade is the best. (Or maybe not.)


jaime_staples_eptdub_med1b.jpgJaime Staples

Staples raised to 1,200 from early position and Jorgensen was the only caller, from the big blind. The board came 2♦A♠7♠ and Jorgensen check-called Staples' bet of 1,500.

The turn was the 6♣ and this time Jorgensen check-folded after Staples bet 5,200. In your face old timer. The internet is the future! -- HS

10:15pm: Welcome, Dzmitry
Level 7 - Blinds: 250-500 (50 ante)

As mentioned below Dzmitry Urbanovich skipped the €25,000 this week and whiffed the €10,000 single-day event earlier. But he has now sat down in the Main Event and is already up to his tricks. He open-raised the button, pinching the blinds, then opened the hijack (for 1,300) and four-bet shoved after someone had the audacity to three-bet the button.

Urbanovich might only play ten hands in this event. But he might also end up as tonight's chip leader. -- HS

10:11pm: Baumann and Koroknai
Level 7 - Blinds: 250-500 (50 ante)

Among the many battling their way through Level 7 are both Gaelle Baumann of France and Andras Koroknai of Hungary, both of whom are sitting behind stacks of about 50,000 at present.

Baumann and Koroknai were linked, of course, thanks the deep runs of each in the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event in which Baumann took 10th and Koroknai finished sixth. The pair were involved in some memorable hands deep in the tournament, with Koroknai eventually being the one to knock out Baumann.

Baumann we've seen a lot on the EPT, including this season at Malta where she cashed in the IPT Malta Main Event, while Koroknai we haven't seen as much.

The pair were seated at nearby tables a little while ago, although Koroknai's has broken since and they're a little further apart now. We'll keep an eye on each as the Day 1B field continues to shrink. --MH

10:03pm: Urbanovich arrives prepared
Level 7 - Blinds: 250-500 (50 ante)

EPT11 Player of the Year Dzimitry Urbanovich has taken a seat here in Level 7, arriving at his table equipped with loads of poker acumen, along with the following additional provisions:

-- one (1) Mars candy bar
-- one (1) mini-bottle of red wine, with plastic up
-- one (1) iPhone
-- six (6) blue chips worth 5,000 apiece

With the dealer's assistance, player Enrico Etienne Rudelitz was kind enough to make some change for Urbanovich to hand the anteing and other forthcoming exchanges. The Polish pro took his seat, unscrewed the cap of his bottle, and is now ready for work. --MH

9:55pm: Getting tense for Kamatakis
Level 7 - Blinds: 250-500 (50 ante)

As mentioned earlier, Iliodoros Kamatakis has a big side bet on his progress today, demanding that he is end-of-day chip leader to pick up a hefty chunk of change. He still has about 100,000, but there are a handful of people now ahead of him, including two newcomers to the leader board.

iliodoros_kamatakis_ept12_dublin_day1b.jpg

Iliodoros Kamatakis imagines the stack he'll need to win his bet

Alex Difelice has 140,000. And Jean-Philippe Goulet-Ratelle has about 126,000. Both of them are Canadians, looking to make Kamatakis's day a Greek tragedy. -- HS

9:51pm: Malasidou is done
Level 7 - Blinds: 250-500 (50 ante)

Shortly following her Team PokerStars Pro Online teammate Lex Veldhuis to the door is Katerina Malasidou. She returned to a short stack to start Level 7, and within an orbit or so lost those chips to Mikael Jean to end her night early. --MH


katerina_malasidou_eptdub_med1b_22.jpgKaterina Malasidou out of the main

9:45pm: Stinker for Stanko? No, actually.
Level 7 - Blinds: 250-500 (50 ante)

This is a grim one, particularly for the USA's Scott Stanko, who had his aces crac--, actually, no. He didn't. Wow. It's easy to be misled here.

I don't know how this played out at all, but just saw a lot of chips piled in front of both Stanko and Miguel Gomes Silva, from Portugal. Silva had 2♣2♠ exposed on the felt in front of him, and it looked for all the world as though he had pulled a dirty beat on Stanko, who had A♣A♥ in front of him.

The board was all the way out. It showed 5♥3♥2♥4♣9♦ and ones eyes fell on the two in particular. But the most observant will also notice that there are four to a straight there and only one of Stanko's aces was needed to fill it.

He all but doubles up to about 55,000, while Silva heads out. -- HS

9:36pm: The exit of Lex
Level 7 - Blinds: 250-500 (50 ante)

Lex Veldhuis of Team PokerStars Pro Online returned from dinner break along with the rest of the Day 1B field, and promptly exited shortly thereafter after losing the last of his stack to Pierre Calamusa.


lex_veldhuis_eptdub_med1b.jpgLex Veldhuis

Veldhuis wagered his remaining stack on ace-queen versus Calamusa's pocket jacks, but the pair held and Veldhuis is out. --MH


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9:35pm: Time-saving Katchalov
Level 7 - Blinds: 250-500 (50 ante)

Eugene Katchalov returned to a micro stack after dinner -- 4,500 chips, which is nine big blinds. He has sat all day in a winter beanie hat, but now sits there also wearing a gilet and with his backpack strapped over his shoulders, like he fully expects to be quickly heading into the Arctic night. Maybe it's a double bluff, but Katchalov clearly thinks he is not long for this tournament. -- HS


eugene_katchalov_eptdub_med1b.jpgEugene Katchalov

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

Players are back from dinner break, and we're back as well after a bit of exploring around the environs of the RDS on a cool, crisp Monday night. They'll be playing two more 75-minute levels tonight, then the bagging and tagging will commence. --MH

8:15pm: The dinner bell rings

Level 6 is done, and with it comes the 75-minute dinner break. The big board tells us out of 436 Day 1B participants, 340 of them will be coming back after an evening meal to continue to pursue the next EPT Main Event title.

Play resumes about 9:30 p.m. local time. --MH

8:05pm: Added inspiration for Kamatakis
Level 6 - Blinds: 200-400 (50 ante)

Iliodoros Kamatakis has bounced around the room today, but has accumulated chips wherever he has gone. He started with Ari Engel, Dietrich Fast, Steven Watts and Anton Wigg, and now he has George Danzer and Jannick Wrang for company. But he also has a stack of about 110,000 to keep him well insulated.

The precise amount is important to him. "Is there anyone in the room with more than 110?" he asked a few moments ago. He was a little disappointed to learn of Slaven Popov's 140,000+ stack. Kamatakis explained that he has a pretty hefty side bet with a friend on the subject of being chip-leader at the end of the day. He has odds of 150-1 against.

He also mentioned how much he stands to win if he can pull off that feat. It's more than a buy in, I'll say that much. -- HS

7:49pm: Malasidou shoves, McShane mucks
Level 6 - Blinds: 200-400 (50 ante)

Greece's Katerina "Katerina289" Malasidou of Team PokerStars Pro Online has been nursing a short stack for quite a while as afternoon has turned to evening. Just now, though, she found herself involved in a hand with the UK's Mark McShane in which she'd found the right combination of cards in the hole and on the board to put her chips at risk.


katerina_malasidou_eptdub_med1b.jpgKaterina Malasidou

With the board showing 2♣7♣2♦4♦ and about 5,000 in the middle, Malasidou bet 1,500 and got a quick call from McShane. Then the 6♣ fell on the river, prompting Malasidou to put the last of her chips in, and McShane didn't hesitate before tossing his hand.

Malasidou is at 11,000 right now, while McShane has about 30,000. --MH

7:30pm: Nuff respect
Level 6 - Blinds: 200-400 (50 ante)

Martin Jacobson is among the most respected men in poker: by all estimations, he is the World Champion who deserves the crown. He is in the EPT Dublin Main Event today, with a stack of 33,000, and just got moved to a new table.

First hand: he raised to 1,000 and it folded to Shyam Srinivasan in the big blind. Srinivasan folded too. Next hand, Jacobson mucked. Hand after that, Jacobson opened to 1,000 and everybody folded again.

There's a thing as too much respect, guys. -- HS

7:21pm: QQ > KK
Level 6 - Blinds: 200-400 (50 ante)

Preflop back-and-forthing between Germany's Adrian Apmann and Andrea Dato of Italy concluded with Apmann five-bet jamming and Dato calling all in for about 22,000 total.

Dato had Q♥Q♣ and appeared in dire straits versus Apmann's K♦K♠, but the 8♣Q♠A♦ flop suddenly brightened Dato's prospects. The turn was the J♦ and river the 9♣. and Dato survived with a stack a little north of 45,000. Dato now is the one with about 22,000. --MH

7:15pm: A sprint, not a marathon
Level 6 - Blinds: 200-400 (50 ante)

Johnny Lodden's race is run. He lived fast, he died young. Lodden made a king-high flush, but Richard Dubini made a full house. That's the end of that for Lodden. -- HS

7:09pm: Level 6 begins
Level 6 - Blinds: 200-400 (50 ante)

Let's take this to a new level, shall we? Bigger blinds, bigger antes, and just 75 minutes removed from the dinner break now.

The big board says there have been 434 entrants here on Day 1B, with 355 still with us. Late registration remains open until the start of Day 2 tomorrow. --MH

7pm: In or out?
Level 5 - Blinds: 150-300 (25 ante)

A pretty tough table has developed over on the far side of the tournament room featuring players often seen in the High Roller events. Kim Wittendorff and Anton Bertilsson are there, as is Andrew Chen.

I actually thought both Wittendorff and Bertilsson might have been out. Neither is in his original seat and, well, Scandis gonna Scandi. But they were simply moved earlier in the day and now command stacks of about 51,000 (Wittendorff) and 39,000 (Bertilsson). Chen has about 44,000.

Wittendorff was the man involved in a recent pot, pushing Rafael Porzecanski to the brink of extinction.

Porzecanski opened from under the gun, making it 700 to play. Wittendorff called on the button, Peter Murphy called in the small blind and Chen came along too from the big blind.

Those four took a flop of 2♣8♣7♠ and both Murphy and Chen checked. Porzecanski bet 1,500 but only Murphy let it go. The other two called.

The turn was the 9♣ and it went check, check, allowing Wittendorff to take over the betting lead. He bet 3,600. Chen folded, but Porzecanski called and they went the the river of 3♥.

After Porzecanski checked again, Wittendorff carefully calculated a bet of 13,000. That was just a bit less than the total sum of Porzecanski's remaining stack. The Uruguayan was playing for his tournament.

After a requisite period of huffing and puffing, Porzecanski folded, preserving his life for now. Wittendorff, having already risen from the dead, battles on too. -- HS

6:58pm: Petrov pushes, river sinks Reilly
Level 5 - Blinds: 150-300 (25 ante)

With the board showing 8♠2♣9♦Q♠, Tim Reilly watched as Mikhail Petrov pushed all in, forcing Reilly to a decision whether or not to risk the last of his short stack. Finally he called, turning over Q♣J♦ for top pair. Petrov meanwhile had 3♠2♠ for a pair of deuces and a flush draw.

Reilly might have been thinking "no spade," but the 2♥ river was a bad card for him, too, giving Petrov trips and ending Reilly's day at the very end of Level 5. Petrov now has 115,000. --MH

6:42pm: A Wrang turn
Level 5 - Blinds: 150-300 (25 ante)

With the board showing K♦3♣7♦T♦ and about 12,000 in the middle, Team PokerStars Pro George Danzer was wondering whether or not to call the all-in shove for just under 10,000 by Jannick Wrang. He studied for more than a minute, then finally pushed his hand away.

Danzer continued to sport an uncertain look as Wrang gathered the chips. Then from across the table, Iliodoros Kamatakis was able to make a declaration that was undoubtedly true.

"If it was a bluff, it was a good one," he said.

Danzer grinned and nodded, and he and Wrang continued to discuss Kamatakis's observation and the importance of that ten on the turn. Danzer is up around 65,000 now while Wrang has about 20,000. --MH


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6:25pm: Gordillo trying, failing to get things going
Level 5 - Blinds: 150-300 (25 ante)

Pablo Gordillo continues to attack despite a tough table (he has Rhys Jones, Kenny Hallaert and Mickey Petersen for company) and not an enormous stack (a little less than the starting 30,000).

It got a little shorter after this coup, where he ran into Fabrice Halleux, who hit a pretty good flop and only watched his hand get better.

Gordillo opened to 900 from under the gun and Breixo Gonzales called from two seats to the left, as did Halleux on the button. All three of them checked a flop of J♣5♥2♥. The turn was the 9♦ and Gordillo and Gonzales both checked again, before Halleux bet 1,300. Gordillo alone called.

The J♠ came on the river and Gordillo checked again. Halleux bet 3,150 and Gordillo tank-called. Halleux turned over his J♥K♥ and Gordillo mucked. -- HS

6:25pm: Farrell is a busted flush
Level 5 - Blinds: 150-300 (25 ante)

Say what you want about Niall Farrell, but he's not one to go out with a whimper. According to sources in the tournament room, he three-barrel bluffed T♠J♠ and never had more than a flush draw (busted, of course). There were pocket sevens elsewhere and that did for the EPT Malta champion. -- HS

6:19pm: How much?
Level 5 - Blinds: 150-300 (25 ante)

"Eight-fifty."

"Eight-fifty?"

"Eight-fifty."

A statement from Slaven Popov. Then a question from Corey Hochman. A clarification from Popov. Then a third player piped up.

"Is it eight-fifty?"

"How much is it again?" added Ludovic Geilich.

The table chucked in response. A poker hand had momentarily turned into a who's-on-first routine, but soon the focus was back on the cards.

Speaking of, the three on the board were 9♣7♣Q♠, and Popov had led with that bet of 850. Hochman called, then called again after the 3♣ turn. That time the bet was 1,900, clearly made with repetition unneeded.

The river brought the 8♥ and a check from Popov, after which Hochman bet 4,000 and Popov folded. "Nice hand," he said to Hochman. "I like it."

Hochman nodded and ordered what is now about 75,000-chip stack. Popov has liked a lot of hands so far today, as he currently has 125,000. --MH

6:05pm: TV time for ElkY?
Level 5 - Blinds: 150-300 (25 ante)

During a spell in the EPT Live commentary booth yesterday, ElkY told viewers that he was looking forward to seeing them "on the other side of the stream" soon. He was meaning on the feature table, rather than with mic in hand. It's been a while for the Team PokerStars Pro.

But with coverage starting tomorrow from the Main Event, ElkY has put himself in a good position to feature. He has about 68,000 in his stack now, even after the following hand.


elky_cameras_eptdub_med1b.jpgElkY getting some attention

Stefan Ivanov opened to 750 from UTG+1 and after action folded to ElkY's big blind, he called. The two saw a flop of 6♦K♣4♥ and ElkY checked. Ivanov bet 600, which ElkY called, and they went to the K♠ on the turn. Check, check.

ElkY then led 1,250 at the 7♦ river, but Ivanov raised to 4,000. After pondering for a while, ElkY whipped his cards from beneath his Mau5 card protector like a party entertainer deals with a tablecloth beneath a tea service.

He is still well stacked, however, as they play towards the dinner break. -- HS

6:00pm: More red wedding than red carpet for Veldhuis
Level 5 - Blinds: 150-300 (25 ante)

It's been a while since Lex Veldhuis visited the European Poker Tour, but the welcome--at least in the case of a recent pot--is more red wedding than red carpet.

There certainly was a lot of red. When I arrived, the board was out to the turn: 9♥A♠5♥5♣ and Fergal Cawley, who won a late satellite to play this event, bet 6,000 at it. Veldhuis called.


lex_veldhuis_eptdub_med1b_22.jpgLex Veldhuis

The river was the 6♥ and Cawley moved all in for his last 13,600. Veldhuis pondered the call and seemed to sense something was amiss. But he did eventually call and was shown another splash of red: 7♥8♥ for a straight flush.

Veldhuis wanted to muck but the dealer told him he had to show. It's a called all-in bet and new-ish rules (probably brought in since Veldhuis was last with us) obliged the Team PokerStars Online to reveal his 7♦5♦.

Yep, lots of red. But it was Veldhuis's blood that was shed. He has about 13,000 left now. -- HS


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6:01pm: Liv to fight again
Level 5 - Blinds: 150-300 (25 ante)

With the board showing J♥4♣8♣J♣7♥ and about 4,000 in the pot, Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree pushed out a bet of 2,500 in an effort to claim those chips in the middle. But when Peter Akery raised to 10,000 in response, Boeree released her hand, giving up that battle with eye toward later ones.


liv_boeree_eptdub_med1b_22.jpgLiv Boeree

Boeree has won more than she's lost so far today, however, having built her stack up to 64,000 during the first four-plus levels. Akery has about 20,000. --MH

5:51pm: Gordillo grabs a few
Level 5 - Blinds: 150-300 (25 ante)

Spaniard Pablo Gordillo has made two EPT Main Event final tables before, taking fourth at EPT10 Vienna and eighth at EPT11 London. He's back here in Dublin trying to make a third.

Just now Gordillo was raising (as usual) from early position, making it 700 to go, and got a call from the UK's Rhys Jones. The flop came J♣7♣Q♥, and after Gordillo checked, Jones fired a bet of 1,000. Gordillo then check-raised to 2,600, and that was enough encouragement for Jones to let his hand go.

Both Gordillo and Jones are hovering around the 25,000-chip mark at present. -- MH

5:45pm: Welcome to Level 5
Level 5 - Blinds: 150-300 (25 ante)

They're off again. The latest list shows 439 registered for today.

5:24pm: Break time

Having reached the end of the level, players are now taking a 20-minute break. --MH

5:20pm: In Celtics cap, Cody collects
Level 4 - Blinds: 100-200 (25 ante)

Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody is sporting an appropriate-seeming green Boston Celtics cap while playing the EPT Dublin Main Event today. Just now he looked out from under the brim of that cap at his hole cards, then tossed out a raise to 500.


jake_cody_eptdub_med1b.jpgJake Cody

Connor O'Driscoll then reraised to 1,300 from a couple of seats over, both blinds called as well -- including Ian Nelson in the SB -- and Cody called, too.

The flop came K♥Q♥6♥ (hearts!), and it checked all of the way around. The turn then brought the 2♦ (blank!), and Nelson led for 2,500.

It folded to Cody who studied the situation once more from under that green brim, and he decided to raise to 8,100. That was enough to scatter everyone, and Cody claimed the pot.

Cody's up to about 50,000 now. --MH

5:10pm: Not all big pots and showdowns
Level 4 - Blinds: 100-200 (25 ante)

Three small hands from neighbouring tables:

1 - Jannick Wrang raised to 525 from mid-position and picked up three callers: Brian Reinert on the button, Antal Roth in the small blind and Alessandro Sarro in the big. The flop came 5♠A♠6♠ and after three quick checks, Reinert's bet of 1,500 took it down.

2 - Pablo Gordillo raised to 525 from early position and Oliver Morelato called from his left. Breixo Gonzales (full name: Breixo Bastian Gonzales Pena, but I'm not sure which to pick) made it 2,300 from the button and it got back to Gordillo. Gordillo (full name: Pablo Gordillo Caballero but well-known enough that it's just Pablo Gordillo) five bet to 5,500 and both opponents folded.


liv_boeree_eptdub_med1b.jpgLiv Boeree

3 - Michael Howard, former leader of the Conservative Party*, raised to 500 from the cut-off and Liv Boeree called from the small blind. The flop came 5♥K♠6♦ and the Team PokerStars Pro check-called a bet of 500 from the former politician**. Both players checked the 7♣ on the turn, and then Boeree bet 1,000 at the Q♠ river. Howard called but mucked after Boeree tabled T♥Q♥.

*untrue
**see above -- HS

4.55pm: Persson back and back in style
Level 4 - Blinds: 100-200 (25 ante)

Ji Zhang still has a stack of about 70,000 and there was no surprise to see him raise to 550 from under the gun. Ezequiel Lebed called from two seats to his left and action passed to Simon Persson on the button.

You might remember Persson from the Eureka Prague Main Event, when he was a dominant force at one of the most entertaining final tables we've seen for quite some time. Persson finished third there, but has reinvested some of the bankroll boost in this EPT Main Event.

Persson raised to 1,700. That's the kind of thing he was doing a lot in Prague.

Both Ji and Ezequiel called, which meant three layers saw the flop of 4♣K♥4♦. It went check, check, bet of 2,400 from Persson, and then fold, fold.

Persson looks the part. He's wearing a similar dark polo-neck sweater to the one he modelled in Prague. Can the Milk Tray Man deliver again? -- HS


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4.45pm: Set over set again
Level 4 - Blinds: 100-200 (25 ante)

David Lappin would certainly fall into the category of "Friend of PokerStars Blog". We don't have patches and there's no financial bonus to accompany the title, but we'll always have a chat when our paths cross and hear the latest from the Irish poker scene.

Among other dubious benefits is an increased chance of having details of a mundane hand reported on the blog. We'll usually stop by tables of folk we know to see how they're getting on. It's why Lappin said recently, "I look forward to reliving it in ten minutes" having noticed the reporter lurking to watch the following horror show play out.

Robert Heidorn opened from under the gun, making it 525 to play. Lappin was the only caller from the cutoff and that took the two of them to a flop of J♥5♥Q♦. If Lappin was excited by this, he didn't show it. He casually called Heidorn's continuation bet of 700.

The turn came 2♣ and Heidorn bet again. I think it was 1,900, for which he threw in two yellow 1,000-denomination chips. Lappin called and change was given to both of them quicker than I could register the precise amount.

Anyway, the river brought the A♣.

Heidorn bet 4,300 and Lappin called instantly, tossing only one chip over the line to indicate the call. Heidorn then turned over A♠A♦, which was a rivered set. Lappin couldn't resist showing the 5♦5♠ for a flopped set of fives, rendered redundant by the end.

Hope you didn't read this far, David. You already knew the ending. -- HS

4.05pm: Set over set boosts Madsen
Level 3 - Blinds: 100-200

Jeff Madsen was one of the early side-event winners this week, picking up a trophy in the €500 Quadruple Stud and €4,840, which is almost a buy in for the Main Event.

His stack hadn't changed much from its 30,000 starting level by the time I wandered past his table a few minutes ago and watched it double in size.

They were at the turn, with the four community cards showing K♠Q♦7♣5♦. Madsen bet 3,400, Mudasser Hussain made it 8,800 and Madsen shoved for something like 24,000. Hussain called.

This made grim reading for Hussain. He had flopped a set with his 7♦7♠. Only problem: so had Madsen with his K♦K♥.

Hussain counted out the double up and looked at the shrapnel left in front of him. Meanwhile Madsen is cooking with about 50,000 now. -- HS

3:55pm: Scattered information
Level 3 - Blinds: 100-200

Some tournament tidbits:

* There are now 413 players registered.
* Ari Engel is out.
* Joachim Gong has about 88,000. I've seen nobody with more than that.

3:50pm: Cheated out of a showdown
Level 3 - Blinds: 100-200

Every so often you see one of those hands which, if it were pay per view, you'd want your money back.

Not that it was anyone's fault.

I caught up with it on a Q♣8♥2♠ flop. Pierre Calamusa was in the cutoff and bet 600. Johan Verhagen meanwhile was on the button, and called for a 5♣ turn card. Calamusa checked this time leaving it to Verhagen to bet 2,200. Calamusa called though, for the 3♥ on the river.

Again he checked leaving it to Verhagen to bet 4,200. Seeing this Calamusa recoiled slightly, then tanked for a few moments. It was a tense one, but when Calamusa called it meant we would at least get the answers.

Actually we wouldn't. Calamusa did call, but Verhagen immediately mucked. With no reason to show Calamusa passed his cards to the dealer as well. - SB

3:45pm: No room at the inn
Level 3 - Blinds: 100-200

Table 1 is an uncomfortable place to be this afternoon, with Steve Warburton, Simon Persson and Ji Zhang over there, all of whom have had significant success on at least one European Poker Tour stop over the past couple of years. Mick Graydon and Kim Wittendorff with both attest to that. They started on that table but have since departed.

Ji, who made the final table in Barcelona a couple of seasons ago, seems to have been the man to profit most from the early exchanges. He has about 68,000 in chips.

However uncomfortable the table already is, there was a threat to make it even more incommodious recently when Sylvain Loosli wandered over with a fresh rack of chips. Not only that, he had a ticket for the table--specifically for the seat already occupied by Ji.

With nine men already there, there was no room at the inn and so this tough table denied access to another fierce competitor. A floorman came over to fix the problem and send Loosli on the lookout for a more spacious place to reside. -- HS


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3:30pm: De Meulder v Ainsworth again
Level 3 - Blinds: 100-200

Jonathan Concepcion has Mattias de Meulder to his left. And Mattias de Meulder gives up the same positional advantage to Jude Ainsworth. Pity Concepcion.

On a recent hand, he raised to 525 from mid-position and De Meulder called. So did Ainsworth. That took the three of them to a flop of J♠5♠6♦ and both Concepcion and De Meulder checked.

Ainsworth rarely checks. He bet 1,250 and Concepcion's participation was over. De Meulder, however, called and the saw a turn of A♦. De Meulder checked. Ainsworth bet 1,250. De Meulder called.

That meant a river of the J♦. Both players now checked and De Meulder turned over his A♠9♠ with the conviction of a man who thought he was good. He was right. Ainsworth folded. -- HS

3:25pm: La dolce vita
Level 3 - Blinds: 100-200

It's been a good festival already for Italian players, especially after Mustapha Kanit's victory in the €25,000 yesterday. Rodrigo Portaleoni isn't quite the household name that Kanit is, but he has a stack closing in on 80,000 already, so he's enjoyed his first two levels today. -- HS

3:20pm: Van Gent on Black list
Level 3 - Blinds: 100-200

A flop of 6♣5♦J♠ and a pot that Andy Black had his eye on. Cornelis Van Gent was in the big blind and checked to Black who bet 675. Craig McCorkell in the cut off called, as did Van Gent.


andy_black_eptdub_med1b.jpgAndy Black

The turn was the 5♠. Van Gent checked again and Black bet 1,200. That forced a fold from McCorkell but Van Gent stuck around for a 6♦ river card. Check-check.

Black waited for Van Gent who turned over J♥K♥. That was enough. Black mucked. - SB

3:10pm: Aces for Difelice
Level 3 - Blinds: 100-200

Andre Difelice, noticeable for a good sized stack and for a bright yellow hoodie, bet 700 in early position, getting a call from Julien Rouxel in the hijack. So far so good for the Canadian who had found pocket aces.

They saw a flop: T♣7♠4♠

Difelice bet another 700, which Rouxel called for a 7♦ turn card. Difelice had faith in his aces though and bet again, 1,600 this time. Rouxel called once more.

The river was the K♣. Difelice fired again, another 3,500. Rouxel tossed a single chip in to signify a call.

Difelice showed his aces.

At this point you can usually tell how good your hand is by the speed at which your opponent turns their cards over - if they show you at all. Rouxel didn't delay though, and he didn't muck. It meant trouble for Difelice's aces, which were beaten by Rouxel's 9♣7♣. He's up to 34,000, while Difelice drops to 40,000. - SB

3:05pm: O'Rourke o'roaring
Level 3 - Blinds: 100-200

Of a strong Irish contingent on home soil, Gavin O'Rourke appears to be do the best so far. He is possibly the tournament chip leader in these admittedly very early days, with about 70,000.

Some other counts:

Dominik Panka - 34,000
Niall Farrell - 20,500
Theo Jorgensen - 28,100
Dermot Blain - 23,000
Lex Veldhuis - 30,200

Plus those on the chip-count page.

2:55pm: Level up
Level 3 - Blinds: 100-200

It's Level 3 now and you have to pay 200 if you're in the big blind. Outrageous.


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2:35pm: Break time
Level 2 - Blinds: 75-150

That's the end of Level 2 and players will now go for their first 15-minute break of the day. We'll try to update those chip counts too. -- HS

2:30pm: The only way to deal with Ainsworth
Level 2 - Blinds: 75-150

Jude Ainsworth has got himself up to around 60,000 chips, which is totally in keeping with his smash and grab approach to the game. Mattias de Meulder is the man in the unfortunate position of playing directly into Ainsworth, but is not overawed.

On a recent hand, De Meulder opened from UTG+1 to 400. Ainsworth raised to 1,100. De Meulder came back over the top to 2,750 and Ainsworth reluctantly folded. That's how you do that. -- HS

2:20pm: If we could just get to showdown
Level 2 - Blinds: 100-200

Sometimes you manage to catch the action, the hands that play to showdown. Other times you're left wondering what could have been. To be honest, this latter category vastly outnumbers the first.

Take Felipe Ramos for instance. He just won a pot against David Maudlin by betting on a flop of 6♥4♥6♣. Excitement pre-flop quickly brought to an end.

The same goes for a hand involving Matthias de Meulder. You hope to have more to report than "he folded to a bet on the flop," but most of the time there isn't. But at least you now know that De Meulder is here.

Then there are those pots that somehow become bigger than expected, like that between Anton Bertilsson (the High Roller finalist from earlier this week) and Marcin Chmielewski.

Chmielewski bet big on the turn and river (we knew they were big bets because they involved blue chips worth 5K). Bertilsson called the first time but not the second in a pot worth 25,000. That was close to what some players would pay just to see what each player had and satisfy their curiosity. Turns out we'll never know. - SB

2pm: More Lodden
Level 2 - Blinds: 75-150

Sometimes it just happens that one player hogs all the early updates--and very often that player is Johnny Lodden. He simply plays a lot of hands at all stages of the tournament. Walk past his table, the chances are you'll find something to write about.


johnny_lodden_eptdub_med1b.jpgJohnny Lodden

This one was at the flop of 3♥K♣T♦ and Anton Bertilsson, who would have been in the big blind pre-flop, checked. Luc Greenwood, who would have been under the gun, bet 800 and that got John Haigh, in for the ride, to fold.

Lodden, in the cutoff, called. Bertilsson folded.

They both checked the Q♥ on the turn, but Greenwood bet 1,750 on the river of 8♠. Lodden called pretty quickly and now had Greenwood's A♠K♠ beaten with his 8♥T♥. -- HS

1:55pm: Abecassis with great call on the river
Level 2 - Blinds: 100-200

A great call by Michel Abecassis just took his stack up towards the 50,000 mark. It came against Istvan Pilhofer, who had led much of the betting.

On a board of 2♥K♥7♠6♦ Pilhofer had bet 4,100 after Abecassis checked. He eventually called and watched the K♣ land on the river. That put two kings on the board, which would ultimately play on the Frenchman's mind. Pilhofer bet another 8,500 to leave his opponent with a tricky decision.

Abecassis, a veteran of the tour, took a moment. "Will you show me if I fold?" he asked Pilhofer, who was noncommittal. Did Pilhofer have a king? Finally Abecassis decided there was only one way to find out. He called.

Pilhofer immediately conceded, showing A♥J♣. Abecassis turned over Q♠Q♥, vindicated. - SB

1:45pm: Up and down with Conor O'Driscoll
Level 2 - Blinds: 100-200

You win some, you lose some, and in the end it all balances out. That's about the size of Conor O'Driscoll's main event campaign so far. He just played three hands in a row, losing the first two, but wining the third to get back to where he started.

In the first it was Jake Cody opening for 400 in the cutoff. O'Driscoll was in the small blind and called, as did Tomas MacNamara in the big.

The flop came A♥5♣K♥ and the hand was put to an end immediately when Cody bet.

It was Cody raising again in the next hand, another 400, which O'Driscoll called. The flop came 8♦5♦T♠ this time. This time the hand was checked down, through the 8♥ turn and A♥ river card. Cody showed 3♠3♣ to win the pot.

Then O'Driscoll finally got his chips back. After Evagoras Hadjispyrides bet 400 from the hijack, O'Driscoll raised to 1,200 from the cut off. Hadjispyrides called for a 6♥4♦8♦, but when he checked to O'Driscoll, and he made it 1,200 to play, the hand was over.

All square. - SB

1:35pm: Getting shot of Lodden
Level 2 - Blinds: 75-150

I'm not at all certain how this one played out pre-flop, but somehow there were five players still involved and some heavy betting action. The board was there on the table -- 3♣T♠9♦ -- and Marcin Chmielewski, who was under the gun pre-flop, bet 850.

John Haigh, one seat to Chmielewski's left, called the 850 but then Johnny Lodden--yes, him--raised to 2,350. That persuaded Sandrine Zeitoun and Anton Bertilsson, who also had cards, to let their hands go.

Back to Chmielewski, however, and he was still interested. He three-bet to 6,850. Haigh sigh-folded, but Lodden called without emotion.

The turn came T♣ and both remaining players checked. The Q♥ came on the river. Chmielewski bet 7,000 and that finally got shot of Lodden. -- HS

1:25pm: The Scandinavian connection
Level 2 - Blinds: 75-150

Ireland's position in the EU accounts for a healthy contingent of Scandinavian players here in Dublin. Many of the tax issues they face when travelling the globe are not so complex inside this zone.

It means that on a table only a short step from media row, Sweden's Simon Persson sits beside Kim Wittendorff, of Denmark. And a few tables over, Norway's Johnny Lodden is opposite another Swede, Anton Bertilsson, whose festival is already €176,640 to the good.

anton_bertilsson_ept12_dublin_day1b.jpg

Anton Bertilsson: On a roll

Luc Greenwood and Casey Kastle are also on that table, but no one will be surprised to learn that it's Lodden making the early running.

After Greenwood opened from early position, making it 300 to play, Lodden unloaded 1,025 from the small blind and took the small pot with a minimum of fuss. He had to work a little harder on the next hand, against Sandrine Zeitoun, but he won it nonetheless.

This time action folded to Lodden on the button and he raised to 300. Zeitoun called from the big blind and the two took to the flop of 4♦Q♥J♠. Zeitoun checked, Lodden bet 400 and Zeitoun called.

The turn came K♥ and Zeitoun checked again. Lodden bet again, this time 900, and Zeitoun called. That took them to the Q♠ on the river. For a third time, Zeitoun checked. For a third time, Lodden bet. He made it 2,100 this time.

For a first and only time, Zeitoun folded. -- HS

1:15pm: Modest gains and modest losses
Level 1 - Blinds: 50-100

You might think moving all-in would be rare with two minutes left on the first level of play, but it does happen. Such as in the case of Derek Chisholm, who with the board dealt, and a pot to be one, went nuclear. It worked. A modest gain that amused some players at the table. But a win is a win.

Elsewhere Jen Shahade dropped to around 24,000 after a hand against Alberto Garcia of Spain.

jennifer_shahade_ept12_dublin_day1b.jpg

Jennifer Shahade: Sheepish

With the board dealt 5♣T♣2♥8♥T♥ Garcia bet 1,400 which Shahade called. She mucked after Garcia showed J♥T♦. For his part Garcia is up to around 42,000. - SB

1:05pm: Welcome Wigg
Level 1 - Blinds: 50-100

The table that already features Ari Engel, Dietrich Fast, Steven Watts and Iliodoros Kamatakis now also seats Anton Wigg. It's not getting any easier.

It's a conversation-filled table too, both among its participants and further afield. Fast was chatting away to a friend on the rail when action folded to Wigg in the hijack and he bet 300. It got to Fast in the big blind and he folded too, tossing his 100 big blind theatrically in Wigg's direction.

"I take advantage when you are talking to a woman," Wigg said.

The on-table conversation is being led by Engel. He seems to be discussing his recent huge score at the Aussie Millions, where he prevailed from a 732-strong field to win AUD $1.6 million.

ari_engel_ept12_dublin_day1b.jpg

Ari Engel: Aussie champion

The specifics of the conversation seems to be the heads up duel he had with Tony Dunst, and Engel's attempts to make a deal. It's fascinating. You should hear it. (But you'll need to buy in and sit down at that tough table first.)
-- HS

12:55pm: Ivanov forced a Vamplew fold
Level 1 - Blinds: 50-100

As you'd expect, there are no earth moving hands played in these early stages. Among those folding early hands of little note either before or on the flop are Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Andy Black, Jen Shahade, Eugene Katchalov and Kitty Kuo.

elky_ept12_dublin_day1b.jpg

Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier

Meanwhile David Vamplew did at least get to the river.

Stefan Ivanov opened from under the gun for 300. The action was folded around to Vamplew in the big blind who called for a flop of J♣K♠4♠. A check from Vamplew and another 550 from Ivanov, which Vamplew called.

On the 6♥ turn card both players checked for a Q♣ on the river. Vamplew bet out his time, making it 1,000. Ivanov paused, much like a player about to fold. But he didn't. Instead he lumped in 4,200. Vamplew wasted little time folding. - SB

12:45pm: Oops
Level 1 - Blinds: 50-100

Serdar Demiroglu stood up, put his sweater on and seemed irked that the dealer would not allow him to leave. It seemed for all the world as though he was the first elimination of the day.

Here's why: he opened from the button and ignited a raising war with Breixo Gonzales, one seat to his left. When I arrived, Demiroglu had 5,100 in front of him, Gonzales had 12,500 out and then Demiroglu shoved. Gonzales called.

Demiroglu knew this was bad news as he turned over his A♣K♣. Gonzales showed A♠A♥. The board didn't help. It came 4♥7♦J♣J♥9♠.

Demiroglu got up and prepared to leave, but the dealer wasn't convinced that this was terminal just yet. He counted down the stacks and Demiroglu actually had 150 more than his neighbour.

So as Gonzales was stacking a chip-leading stack (early days, early days), Demiroglu was pondering what to do with his 1.5 big blinds. -- HS

12:40pm: A taste of what is/might be to come
Level 1 - Blinds: 50-100

Dara O'Kearney has Jennifer Shahade for company this afternoon. He's on the button when she's in the big blind and they may tangle plenty this afternoon. This hand is a small hors d'oeuvre: O'Kearney opened his button, making it 300 to play and Shahade defended.

The flop fell 9♦J♦2♠ and Shahade checked. O'Kearney continued, betting 400, and Shahade called. That took them to the 2♥ turn. Check, check. And the checking continued after the 9♣ river.

O'Kearney opened A♦K♦ and Shahade mucked. -- HS

12:20pm: A busier day
Level 1 - Blinds: 50-100

A quick glance across the room finds Jake Cody, Antoine Saout, Andre Akkari and ElkY also already among today's crowd. Liv Boeree, Jen Shahade, Lex Veldhuis, Theo Jorgensen, George Danzer and Jaime Staples are also expected. -- HS

12:10pm: No messing
Level 1 - Blinds: 50-100

There's a tough-looking table only a matter of steps inside the main entrance to the tournament room today, around which we find Ari Engel, Dietrich Fast and Steven Watts.

Iliodoros Kamatakis is also there. He's the man presently sitting eighth on the all-time Greek money list and a regular on the EPT. If Fast didn't know much about him before today, he has had an early introduction with what is likely the first five bet of the day.

Fast opened to 250 from the cutoff and Kamatakis raised to 750 from the button. Fast was prepared to invest more, making a four-bet of 2,100, but it didn't get rid of Kamatakis. He five-bet to 6,000.

Perhaps accepting this to be a possibility, Fast immediately put a contingency plan into action: snap folding and waiting for another hand. -- HS

12pm: Among others...
Level 1 - Blinds: 50-100

Our confirmed list of players today includes the following:

Mickey Petersen, Johnny Lodden, Eugene Katchalov, Anton Bertilsson, Ari Engel, Fabian Ortiz, Dietrich Fast, Gavin O'Rouke, Dara O'Kearney, Per Linde, Alexander Ivarsson, Thomas Butzhammer, David Lappin, Dominik Panka, Felipe Ramos, Ognyan Dimov and Slaven Popov.

When they actually turn up and start playing is anyone's guess, but they are among those on the early list expected to the Royal Dublin Society (RDS) headquarters this morning to get this show on the road. -- HS

11:55am: Readying for the deluge
Level 1 - Blinds: 50-100

Want to know what a busy day looks like on the European Poker Tour? Your answer is: today. Not only is it Day 1B of the €5,300 EPT Main Event, but also the final table of the UKIPT Main Event and the €10,000 Single-Day High Roller. We are stretched to breaking point.

You're in the right place here for the beginning of the EPT Main Event, but click thorough the scattered links for all that other fun. And it should be a good one: eight 75-minute levels for us, taking us through beyond midnight. Find some coffee and stick with us. -- HS

EPT12DUB_location_6016_JulesPochy.jpg


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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 and Howard Swains. Back together again. Lanky and ginger, as you'll maybe know us. Photography by Neil Stoddart. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour