EPT13 Malta: Alexander Ivarsson soars to Day 1 lead in €10K High Roller

Sure, there have been multiple big buy-in events on the festival schedule here at the last European Poker Tour Malta stop, a number of "high rollers" of varying types. But the EPT traditions are deep-rooted, and it's always this last high roller -- the one sharing the spotlight with the Main Event to culminate the schedule -- that holds a special place for players and fans.

It's a last chance for the big buy-in crowd to score a huge, career-defining triumph. And as the last high roller, it will likely make the deepest impression.

Alexander Ivarsson made an impression here today in the final €10K HR, that's for sure. The Swedish player began building a mountainous stack by the late afternoon, grabbing the chip lead post-dinner and never letting it go to end the night with 379,100.


ivarsson.jpg

Alexander Ivarsson

That was the most notable performance from the 137 entries today (109 uniques) from which 73 players survived to tomorrow. Many took advantage of the single re-entry option upon busting today, but alas for some -- including Jason Wheeler, Benny Spindler, €10K Single-Day High Roller winner Jakub Michalak, and Andrey Andreev -- the second try didn't go any better than the first.

Meanwhile among the others who didn't just survive but thrived, there was the talkative and entertaining Armando Collado who ended with 258,300. He and Theo Jorgensen, the lone Team PokerStars Pro to bag up chips tonight, had great fun throughout the day when seated at the same table, and both did well as Jorgensen likewise collected 184,500.

Diego Zeiter (251,700), Kilian Kramer (220,000), Martin Finger (216,000), Farid Jattin (214,700), Stephen Chidwick (207,300), and Cate Hall (166,900) also finished strong.

Late registration doesn't end until the start of Day 2 tomorrow, coming at 12:30pm. No seat draw, then, but click here for a complete list of chip counts for the Day 1 survivors. And stay tuned tomorrow and Saturday as we find out together who the last high roller winner at EPT Malta will be. --MH


Day 1 coverage

12:40am: Day 1 concludes

They've reached the end of the night's final level, and the bagging of chips has already commenced. Alexander Ivarsson added still more just before the close, pushing up over 350,000 to be the clear leader with less than 80 players left. Full recap to come. --MH

12:35am: Macdonnell's kings no good against Jorgensen
Level 10 - Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Marc Macdonnell opened to 3,600 only for Team Pro Theo Jorgensen to three-bet to 9,000. Back on Macdonnell he four-bet to 25,500, before Jorgensen five-bet to 50,000. Macdonnell shoved. Jorgensen called.

Then Macdonnell showed pocket kings. "No good," said Jorgensen. He was right, they were'nt good; they were dead even. Jorgensen also had kings and the board was safe for both.

Macdonnell has 82,000, Jorgensen has 145,000. --JS

12:25am: Spring time for Neuville
Level 10 - Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

An alternate headline for this could post could be no water for Neuville. You see, Pierre Neuville turned his head to the table next to his seat, and he couldn't believe his eyes. "Impossible!" he said in the most Belgian accent you can imagine.

He called over a waitress and told her that he had a bottle of spring water and a glass right there a second ago, and now it was gone. "Two times!" he said, with lighthearted exasperation. "Two times this happen!"

He didn't kick up much fuss though, and was happy to order another bottle. "Sprrrrrrrrrrrring water," he said. "Sprrrrrrrrrrrrrrring water." No word on whether it was still or sparkling, but it definitely had to be spring. --JS

12:11am: Mateos gifts Finger a double up
Level 10 - Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

We've just been informed of a big pot between Adrian Mateos and Martin Finger that saw Mateos essentially bluff off a big portion of his chips and give Martin Finger a full double up. Mateos put Finger all-in on the turn of a nine/six/deuce/ace board with king-deuce and Finger called with the ace-queen. The river was a jack and Finger now has 197,000, while Mateos is down to 150,000. --JS

12am: River saves Aldemir
Level 10 - 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Koray Aldemir open-raised all-in with his last 17,200 from early position and found a ready caller in Pierre Neuville behind. Everyone else folded, Aldemir tabled Q♠T♣, and Neuville showed A♣K♣.

It looked bleak for Aldemir through the crazy 8♥8♠8♦ flop and 7♥ turn, but the Q♥ river appeared to save Aldemir and he keeps his seat.

Aldemir has close to 40,000 now while Neuville is now at 95,000. --MH

11:50pm: Last level of the night
Level 10 - 800/1,600 (200 ante)

You read the headline. One more hour of poker and Day 1 is done. --MH

11:45pm: Heath tangles with Chmielewski
Level 9 - Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Poland's Marcin Chmielewski made it 2,700 from under the gun and nobody wanted to play until it got to Ben Heath in the small blind. He asked for a count ("Around 60" came the reply) and he then three-bet to 7,500. Chmielewski called.

Heads-up to the flop, the T♦6♦A♦ were spread and Heath fired again for 6,200 which got a call. The 9♥ hit on the turn and Heath wasn't done, making it 14,800 to play. Chmielewski was done with calling and he shoved for around 54,000. Heath snap-folded and took a little hit to his stack that's still very healthy at 182,000. Chmielewski now has 81,500. --JS

11:40pm: More for Buddiga, courtesy of Petrangelo
Level 9 - Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Pratyush Buddiga is on a bit of a tear right now. Nick Petrangelo opened to 2,700 and Buddiga bumped it up to 7,500 which Petrangelo called. The flop fell K♦3♦3♥ and it checked to the last raiser, so Buddiga continued for 6,500. That was also called. The turn came the 6♦ and after one more check Buddiga made a bet of what looked like 16,000, but Petrangelo folded so fast it wasn't confirmed. --JS

11:30pm: Buddiga bounces Michalak
Level 9 - 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Following an Alexander Ivarsson open to 2,500, Jakub Michalak reraised to 14,700 from the next seat over, then it folded to Pratyush Buddiga who reraise-shoved his last 36,100. The action circled back to Ivarsson who let his hand go, and the other two tabled their cards:

Michalak: K♣J♥
Buddiga: A♥A♦

Michalak was already rising from his chair as the 5♠4♥6♥ flop was spread, then after the 6♣ turn and 2♦ river he moved toward the exit. That's bullet number two for Michalak, so he won't be back. He will be playing more poker, though, as we spotted him heading over to join the €1K Turbo NL event going on nearby.

Buddiga is at around 55,000 now, while Ivarsson still sports that leading stack of --MH.

11:25pm: Huge pot between Sergeev and Jattin
Level 9 - Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

It's a good thing that good things come to those who wait, because I'd been waiting a good 15 minutes to find a hand worth telling you. Then this happened.

The forever-being-massaged Sergey Sergeev opened but was three-bet by Farid Jattin on the button to 6,100. Sergeev then played with his chips a little before making a four-bet to 18,000, only for Jattin to then calmly five-bet it up to 33,300. Sergeev had 61,000 behind and it was clearly a tough spot for him. To be honest, it felt like this had aces v kings written all over it. But instead he just flatted.

The flop came 7♦5♥9♣ and Sergeev checked. Jattin made a bet of 15,500 - around a quarter of the pot, and Sergeev insta-called. The turn was the 6♥ and Sergeev checked once more. Jattin then put him all-in.

With nowhere left to go but fold or call for all his chips, Sergeev eventually opted for the latter and still has 45,500 left. Jattin meanwhile is up to 216,000. --JS

11:20pm: Ivarsson's fours to be reckoned with
Level 9 - 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Song Hun Lee was just now all-in and at risk for his last 23,700 with A♥6♠ and up against the 4♥4♣ of the big-stacked Alexander Ivarsson.

The flop fell K♦4♦5♠, giving Ivarsson a set of fours, and by the J♣ turn Lee was already drawing dead. He wished the table well and departed, leaving Ivarsson to stack what appears to be the leading stack at the moment of about 285,000. --MH


EPT13MALT_Alexander Ivarsson_8194_JulesPochy.jpg

Ivarsson rising

11:10pm: Tsivikos raised, Franczak missed it
Level 9 - Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Charalampos Tsivikos from Cyprus opened to 3,000 before it folded to Piotr Franczak. He tossed in 3,300, and the dealer tried to get him to take back the 300. It turned out that Franczak had thought Tsivikos had just limped in, and he was trying to raise. "I announced raise," said Tsivikos, perhaps a little dig at the Pole for playing with headphones in both ears. It was just a call anyhow and it went heads up to the flop.

The T♣J♣A♥ were laid in the centre and there would be no c-bet. Franczak checked behind and the turn came the 8♠, which drew a delayed c-bet of 3,000 from Tsivikos. Franczak called once more and the river was the 3♠. Tsivikos counted out some chips and made another bet, this time 6,200, and after a little bit of thinking time Franczak made the call. Tsivikos turned over the A♣Q♠ and top pair was good enough to take this one down. He's up to 65,000, while Franczak has 75,000. --JS

11:05pm: Macdonnell doubles through Amirov
Level 9 - 600/1,200 (200 ante)

For the second hand in a row, Marc Macdonnell was all-in before the flop -- this time for 18,100. In this second instance Macdonnell had A♣K♦ and needed to improve in order to beat Ilkin Amirov's 9♥9♣.

Improve he did, as the board came K♣Q♣Q♥7♠8♦, and Macdonnell is now pushing up close to 40,000. Amirov meanwhile has about 95,000. --MH

10:55pm: Big stack report
Level 9 - 600/1,200 (200 ante)

While Pratyush Buddiga fell from the top spot in the counts during those last two levels, slipping back below 100,000, others have surged upwards.

Alexander Ivarsson has what appears to be the biggest stack at present with 255,000, Ben Heath is still thriving with about 225,000, and Adrian Mateos (210,000) and Roman Korenev (190,000) are also doing especially well. --MH


EPT13MALT_Adrian mateos_8016_JulesPochy.jpg

Mateos moving up

10:50pm: The Day 1 home stretch begins
Level 9 - 600/1,200 (200 ante)

They're back from break, and after two more one-hour levels Day 1 will be done. --MH

10:30pm: 20-minute break

The 83 players still in this thing have gone on their final break of the day. --JS

10:30pm: Tough start for Jensen
Level 8 - Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Frederik Jensen is one of the latest to arrive in this tournament, fresh off his 17th place finish in the Main Event. He's not got off to the best start though.

He opened from the utg+1 position to 2,300 and his only caller came from the big blind - Piotr Franczak. They saw a 3♥5♣5♦ flop fall and Jensen continued for 2,000 when it checked to him, which was called. The turn came the 9♠ and both checked to see the 9♦ on the river. Noe Franczak led out for 4,000 and Jensen called immediately. He'd muck though when he saw that Franczak had the 5♥7♥ for a full house.

Jensen has dropped to 37,000, while Franczak is up to 90,000. --JS

10:25pm: Thiry disproven
Level 8 - Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Christian Thiry has been eliminated as Level 8 nears its close, losing the last of his stack to Piotr Franczak.

Meanwhile Martin Finger has bought back in. --MH

10:15pm: Cooler for Chidwick knocks him out
Level 8 - Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Roman Koronev kicked off the hand with a 2,200 bet from under the gun plus one, and it folded to Stephen Chidwick in the small blind. He made a three-bet to 8,000 and Koronev came along.

The 5♦J♥T♥ formed the flop and Chidwick continued his aggression for 6,000. However, Koronev shoved with the bigger stack and Chidwick snap-called, turning over the K♦K♥. The second best starting hand wasn't good here though as Koronev had the pre-flop nuts with the A♣A♥. The turn came the 8♦ and the river the 7♠ and Chidwick was outta here. Koronev is up to 192,000 now. --JS


EPT13MALT_Stephen Chidwick_8023_JulesPochy.jpg

Chidwick fades to black

10:10pm: Two step back, one steps forward
Level 8 - 500/1,000 (100 ante)

We were writing of Connor Drinan and Martin Finger a couple of times here post-dinner. Not long ago Drinan lost the last of his chips to disappear from his seat, and just now the same happened to Martin Finger, thereby removing two tough players from the field.

But in Drinan's place is the late-regging Frederik Jensen, EPT8 Madrid Main Event champion and 17th-place finisher today in the EPT 13 Malta Main Event. It doesn't get any easier. --MH

9:55pm: The Finger of fate
Level 8 - 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Martin Finger was just all-in and at risk preflop with A♥K♥ versus Iliodoros Kamatakis's A♦K♣, and while Finger had the suited hand it was Kamatakis asking for a flush after the 7♣5♦A♣ flop and A♣ turn.

But fate smiled on Finger, bringing the J♠ on the river, and he survives with 33,000. Kamatakis has 72,000. --MH

9:50pm: Hall's haul (so far)
Level 8 - 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Cate Hall has been steadily accumulating all day and night, having moved up close to 150,000 by now. Just a moment ago she watched Ghoerghe Gradinaru open from middle position, then three-bet from the button to earn a fold and a few more chips.


EPT13MALT_Cate Hall_8082_JulesPochy.jpg

Cate keeps climbing

Gradinaru sits with about 35,000 --MH

9:50pm: Carrel got got
Level 8 - Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Charlie Carrel opened to 2,500 from the under the gun and it folded around to Bartlomiej Machon in the big blind who defended. They saw an 8♦6♥T♦ flop and it checked to Carrel who continued for 6,000. That bet was called and the dealer laid the 4♦ turn card. It went check-bet 8,000-call and finally the Q♣ hit the river. Machon checked a final time and Carrel was about to triple barrel for 25,000, which was essentially an all-in bet as Machon had 21,100 behind. He made the call instantly.

"You're good," said Carrel. We naturally assumed he meant in this hand, rather than it just being an overall compliment. The Brit showed the K♠J♥.

"Ace queen?" he asked Machon, who then showed the A♥A♦. "Ahhhhhh," groaned Carrel. "I got got."

By getting got, Carrel dropped to 43,000, while Machon doubles to 93,000. --JS

9:40pm: The reenterers
Level 8 - 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Players continue to enter during the late evening levels, with both Oleskii Khoroshenin and Sam Greenwood among those who've busted and then bought back in of late. The total field is up to 117 players now, with 84 players currently in action. Late registration continues to be open until the start of tomorrow's Day 2. --MH

9:30pm: A whole 'nother level
Level 8 - 500/1,000 (100 ante)

It's a ridiculous phrase, isn't it? The word "another" gets totally split in two with that "whole" stuck in between. What's up with that? --MH

9:27pm: Loosli felted
Level 7 - Blinds 400/800 (100 ante)

It's not been Sylvain Loosli's day today. He was getting short anyhow but just lost most of his chips to Gaetano Brignone with tens against Brignone's jacks all-in pre-flop. No ten came, and that crippled the Frenchman to just 1,100. He was all-in two hands later with ace-deuce against Connor Drinan's king-jack, and a king on the flop held up. Brignone is up to 57,000. --JS

9:25pm: Good spot for Badziakouski
Level 7 - 400/800 (100 ante)

In the last hand of the level, Eugene Katchalov opened for 1,800 from middle position, Jorryt van Hoof called from the button, then Liviu Ignat three-bet to 8,400 from the small blind. Mikita Badziakouski then studied the situation for a few beats from the big blind before reraising all-in with his last 15,900.

Action back on Katchalov, he paused just a moment before reraising all-in himself, and that scattered van Hoof and Ignat. The remaining players tabled their cards:

Badziakouski: T♣T♠
Katchalov: A♦K♦

"I don't know if that's good or bad for me," Badziakouski said, ostensibly referring to Katchalov having reraised him. "It's good for you," assured Theo Jorgensen, sitting to Badziakouski's left.

The flop came an interesting Q♠5♥J♦, and the Q♦ turn further held everyone's attention. The river was the 6♣ -- unequivocally good for Badziakouski as he more-than-doubled to nearly 45,000. Katchalov meanwhile begins the new level with about 38,000. --MH

9:20pm: Szuman and Stokkan: Unconventional and statuesque
Level 7 - Blinds 400/800 (100 ante)

I get the feeling that Adrian Szuman doesn't conform to conventions. There's an air about him, at least in poker terms; take the fact that he just raised a pot to 2,900 when the big blind is 800 - a 3.6x open. Preben Stokkan (who seems to be in a lot of interesting hands tonight) tossed out two 1K chips on the button, and had clearly missed the fact that the raise was so much. He thought it 2,000, but added the extra 900 when he was told.

The two saw an 8♠7♣3♦ flop and Szuman continued for 6,000 - another pretty big bet. Stokkan called again and the 9♠ hit the turn, which slowed Szuman down. He checked and now Stokkan took the betting lead for 8,000. Szuman stared at Stokkan but it was no good if he was hoping to get a read; Stokkan is statuesque when he plays and didn't move an inch.

Szuman must have seen something though, as he decided to put Stokkan all-in, which he quickly called with the 9♥7♠ for two pair. Szuman had a hand but the K♣K♥ weren't as strong. The river was another seven giving Stokkan a boat and that brought him up to 93,000. Szuman has 71,000 now. --JS

9:10pm: Made in the shades
Level 7 - 400/800 (100 ante)

"You do look more intimidating with the sunglasses."

So said Joris Ruijs, sitting across the table from Martin Finger who has returned from dinner with sunglasses on. From the sound of Ruijs's comment, he was referring back to a conversation from before, confirming an idea earlier discussed.

Finger offered a slight grin in response as a new hand was dealt. "Don't check-raise me," he said, and Ruijs grinned back.

The hand saw Ruijs and everyone else fold to Connor Drinan on the button, also sporting sunglasses and looking not a little intimidating behind them. He raised to 2,000, Finger called from the big blind, then check-called a bet of 2,500 from Drinan after the 8♦T♣3♥ flop.

The turn was the 3♦, and Finger checked again. Drinan bet 6,000 this time, and whether it was the size of the bet or Drinan's look, check-raising wasn't an option for Finger as he folded.

Finger has just under 35,000 now, while both Drinan and Ruijs have more intimidating stacks of around 130,000. --MH

8:55pm: Short stack survives
Level 7 - 400/800 (100 ante)

Playing from the small blind, Cristian Oroitz Eugues Juanena was all-in on the turn with the board showing T♠2♦3♥5♣, then Anthony Zinno raised from the next seat over, forcing the late-positioned Sirzat Hissou to fold.

Juanena showed 9♣9♦ which was better than the 8♣5♠ Zinno tabled. The river was the A♣, causing Hissou to note he'd folded an ace, and Juanena survives albeit with a super short stack. He has about 7,000, while both Zinno and Hissou are playing around 45,000. --MH

8:50pm: Stokkan picks off Michalak 'bluff'
Level 7 - Blinds 400/800 (100 ante)

With 7,500 in the middle and a flop of 8♠2♥5♥ next to it, Preben Stokkan checked it to the only other player with cards in front of them, the 10K single day winner Jakub Michalak. He made it 4,000 to see a turn and Stokkan matched it, taking us to the 3♠ on the turn.

Turn cards are so often temporary action killers and this one was no different. Both checked and the A♦ hit the river, putting four cards to a straight out there. Stokkan checked again and Michalak fired out 7,000 but that bet was quickly called. Michalak flipped over the 5♣6♣ for just a pair of fives--a hand Michalak had turned into a bluff--but Stokkan successfully picked it off with his 9♣9♥. He's up to 42,200 now, while Michalak has dipped to 29,700. --JS

8:40pm: Heath trips up Deyra, grabs lead
Level 7 - 400/800 (100 ante)

Ben Heath opened from the cutoff and after Ivan Deyra three-bet from the small blind Heath called to build a pot of nearly 15,000. The flop came 7♥T♠5♥, and Deyra continued for 6,500. Heath stuck around with a call, then after the 7♣ turn Deyra slowed down with a check.

Heath considered for about a minute, then set out a bet of 9,200, Deyra then paused for a while before check-raising all-in with the 35,000 or so he had behind, and Heath snap-called.

Deyra had Q♣Q♠, but Heath had turned trips with 8♠7♠. The river was the T♣, and Deyra headed toward the exit.

Heath now looks to have over 210,000 and the chip lead as Level 7 gets going in earnest. --MH

8:30pm: Big stacks coming back from dinner
Level 7 - 400/800 (100 ante)

As the players return from the dinner break these are the players in charge:

Pratyush Buddiga - 159,000
Ben Heath - 155,000
Simon Mattsson - 146,000
Ilkin Amirov - 145,000
Catlin Hall - 128,000
Gleb Tremzin - 115,000
Oleksii Khoroshenin - 110,000
Connor Drinan - 107,000
Alexander Zayonts - 100,000


EPT13MALT_Pratyush Buddiga_8132_JulesPochy.jpg

Buddiga back for more

7:20pm: Dinner time
Level 6 - Blinds 300/600 (100 ante)

Players have gone on a 75-minute dinner break. Right now there are 87 players left in this one, but registration is open all the way until the start of Day 2. --JS


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7:15pm: Tremzin takes Wheeler's second stack
Level 6 - Blinds 300/600 (100 ante)

Gleb Tremzin opened from the small blind with a raise to 2,200, and Jason Wheeler -- having bought back in a short while ago -- checked his cards in the big blind and called the raise.

The flop came 3♦T♦5♣, and Tremzin led for 3,400. Wheeler called, then the turn brought the 3♣ and another bet from Tremzin, this time for 7,000. Wheeler thought a short while and called, leaving himself just over 35,000 behind.

The river brought the 4♣, and after a long pause Tremzin set out 50,000 -- most of his stack, and more than what Wheeler had left. The latter tanked for a while, then called with the rest of his chips. Tremzin tabled K♣2♣ for a backdoor flush, well ahead of his opponent's pocket sixes, and the Wheeler is exiting for the second and final time.

Tremzin has about 120,000 now as the dinner break approaches. --MH


EPT13MALT_Gleb Tremzin_8180_JulesPochy.jpg

Gleb grabs more

7:15pm: Tonkaaaa takes from Silver
Level 6 - Blinds 300/600 (100 ante)

Parker "Tonkaaaa" Talbot might be best known for his online play on Twitch, but he's a pretty nifty live player too. After Max Silver made it 1,500 from the cutoff, Talbot three-bet to 4,600 on the button and Silver came along to see the 3♦6♠K♥ flop. Both checked.

The dealer burned and turned the K♣ and Silver led out for 2,500, which Talbot called, resulting in a 9♣ river card. Silver now decided not to fire another bullet, checking instead. Talbot quickly tossed out 15,000 - more than the pot - and Silver didn't take too long to fold. The Brit drops to 52,000, while Talbot has 105,000 now. --JS

7:10pm: Zisimopoulos doubles through Carrel
Level 6 - 300/600 (100 ante)

Every time we look Charlie Carrel seems to be involved in a big pot and the latest came against Georgios Zisimopoulos. By the time I reached the table Carrel had bet enough to set Zisimpoulos all-in and the Greek player appeared to have a large bet already in front of him. He pulled the 'I don't like it, but I have to call," face and Carrel said: "I'd so happy to see that face," and rolled over Q♥Q♦. It was indeed a classic race as Zisimopoulos was at risk for 49,300 with A♦K♠. The 9♥T♠5♣3♠A♣ board meant Zisimopoulos hit the river and survived. He doubles up to around 100,000 then, while Carrel slips to a similar amount. --NW

7pm: Carrel keeps on climbing
Level 6 - 300/600 (100 ante)

Another big pot has gone Charlie Carrel's way and he might now be the chip leader as he looks to have about 158,000. In the hand in question it was four to a flop that fell 7♥4♥9♠. Action checked to the button and Ollie Price bet 2,200. Next to act was Sirzat Hissou, he moved all-in, Carrel slid out a tower of blue 5K chips to isolate the shove and Georgios Zisimopoulos and Price got out the way.

Carrel: 9♥9♦
Hissou: J♦9♣

The Englishman had flopped top set and Hissou was drawing very thin. The T♣ turn gave him some outs but the Q♣ was not one of them and he exits just before the dinner break. --NW

6:55pm: Neuville ousts Unsar
Level 6 - Blinds 300/600 (100 ante)

Onur Unsal has been felted, having lost the last of his stack to Pierre Neuville in a hand in which the latter made a set with his pocket treys.

Neuville now is up around 120,000. --MH

6:55pm: Troyanovskiy stallin' and callin' Hall's all-in
Level 6 - Blinds 300/600 (100 ante)

A big misstep from Vladimir Troyanovskiy has just cost him his seat in this one. It started with a 1,700 open by Cate Hall which was called by Stefan Jedlicka on the button, Troyanovskiy in the small blind, and Gheorghe Gradinaru in the big blind. They all saw a 6♥4♦3♣ flop and it checked to Hall who continued for 4,300. Only Troyanovskiy would stick aorund.

The turn came the 2♠ and it went check-check to the 4♥ river, pairing the board. Troyanovskiy checked a final time and Hall tossed it four blue 5,000 chips for 20,000, which was essentially an all-in as Troyanovskiy had 19,300 behind. He thought for a good couple of minutes and in the end decided to call with the A♣T♦ for just ace-high. The hero call didn't work out though as Hall had the 7♦7♣ for an overpair to the board.

The Russian hit the rail, while Hall stacked up 120,000. --JS


EPT13MALT_Vladimir Troyanovskiy_7919_JulesPochy.jpg

Troyanovskiy, pre-bust

6:50pm: Silver makes a big laydown
Level 6 - 300/600 (100 ante)

If only we could see this one later on TV, I'm fairly certain Max Silver would be on board with that as he really wanted to see Jordi Urlings' cards. The pre-flop action in the hand is unknown but on a T♣5♥K♦ board Pasquale Grimaldi (small blind) bet 2,100, Urlings (big blind) raised to 6,600, Silver (under-the-gun) smooth called and Grimaldi folded.

The 7♥ fell on the turn, Urlings bet again, this time 16,000 was the cost to continue and Silver decided to stick around. The Q♦ completed the board and Urlings moved all-in for 19,025. The two players were in the eight and one seat respectively and Silver leaned forward to get a closer look at the bet. He then leaned back and faced forward while he mulled over the decision. Decision made he pushed his cards towards the muck then leaned forward in the hope that Urlings would show his cards. The Dutchman declined to do so, he's up to around 70,000 while Silver is down to 56,000. --NW


EPT13MALT_Max Silver_8067_JulesPochy.jpg

Silver lets one go

6:45pm: Veghinas takes from Petrangelo
Level 6 - Blinds 300/600 (100 ante)

Sebastian Veghinas opened for 1,300 from the cutoff seat, then Nick Petrangelo reraised to 5,000 from the small blind. Veghinas thought a couple of beats and called, then both saw the flop come 7♣3♥T♥. Both players checked, then after the 4♣ turn Petrangelo bet 3,600.

Veghinas took his time acting, asking the dealer to fan the pot so he could eyeball it a bit better before he decided to call Petrangelo's bet. The latter then checked the 7♠ river, and Veghinas tanked a little once more.

This time he asked Petrangelo how much he had behind, and Petrangelo showed him his stack of about 100,000. "Thinking about betting that big?" asked Petrangelo, and Veghinas said nothing.

Rather, Veghinas dropped forward a bet of 25,000, and Petrangelo called it right away. Veghinas then turned over 4♠4♦. "Oooooh," winced Petrangelo, who cut out the chips he owed and commended his opponent on a good hand.

Veghinas moves up around 125,000 with that pot while Petrangelo has about 75,000. --MH

6:35pm: Kitai left high and dry
Level 6 - Blinds 300/600 (100 ante)

Davidi Kitai is the latest player to bust. He checked the Q♠K♠7♠T♠9♣ board to Gleb Tremzin who shoved, and Kitai made the call with the ever-so-slightly larger stack. Kitai had flopped the flush with the 5♠8♠, but the turn was cruel to him, giving Tremzin the nut flush with the A♠K♣. Kitai was down to just over 1K after that hand while Tremzin doubled to 72,000.

Two hands later and Kitai moved all-in for 925 after Govert Metaal just limped. Preben Stokkan made the call, but when it was back on Metaal he raised to 3,000 and Stokkan called.

The flop came 5♦4♥T♣ and after Stokkan checked Metaal continued for 4,000 and got a fold. The cards were on their backs and Kitai was ahead with T♦Q♠ against Metaal's A♥Q♣, but the A♣ on the turn all but sealed his fate and with the 3♥ river he was out. Metaal is up to 40,200. --JS


EPT13MALT_Davidi Kitai_8182_JulesPochy.jpg

Kitai KO'd

6:25pm: Luo not so low
Level 6 - 300/600 (100 ante)

Two big hands resulted in a big pre-flop all-in pot between Xiaoyang Luo and Michiel Broskij. It ended with Luo all-in for 17,400.

Luo: A♣A♠
Broskij: Q♣Q♠

The A♦J♠Q♦ gave both players sets and left Broskij drawing to one out or running cards for a chop. The 6♦ left the Dutchman with just one out and it didn't arrive on the 2♠ river. As a result he was left with just 6,600.--NW

6:20pm: Buddiga setting the pace halfway through Day 1
Level 6 - Blinds 300/600 (100 ante)

As Level 6 begins, a tour of the tables shows Pratyush Buddiga to be enjoying the presumptive chip lead halfway through Day 1, having amassed a stack of better than 150,000 or three times the amount with which players began.

Among the group hovering at the 100,000-chip mark to form the first chase pack are Nick Petrangelo, Alexander Ivarsson, Parker Talbot, Aymon Hata, Sebastian Veghinas, and Ilkin Amirov. Ben Heath also has around that many, though he was involved in a hand which if he were to win he'll move up closer to Buddiga. --MH

6:10pm: Jason Wheeler's in Kamatakis' bad books; also, he's out
Level 5 - Blinds 250/500 (75 ante)

Jason Wheeler might want to avoid Iliodoros Kamatakis for the rest of the day, which shouldn't be too hard seeing as he's now out (but with an option to re-enter).

You see, Martin Finger had made it 1,200 from under the gun and Kamatakis called, as Sylvain Loosli in the hijack. It folded to Wheeler on the button and he decided to make a squeezey three-bet to 5,200, which left him just 3,000 behind. Finger then four-bet to 10,000 and that got Kamatakis and Loosli to fold, while Wheeler made the call.

I think it's safe to say that everyone at the table was a little surprised to see Wheeler not have something better than the J♠T♠ here, which was up against Finger's 5♦5♣. We'd see the board run out 2♥9♥4♠A♦8♥ and Wheeler was sent out. Finger has 49,000 after that hand.

After he left the room Kamatakis had a little moan to Loosli about Wheeler's play, presumably because his three-bet got him to lay down a hand that might have ended up winning. --JS

6:05pm: Free speech? Sure, for a price
Level 5 - Blinds 250/500 (75 ante)

Armando Collado has been talking a lot today, and just now after winning a pot versus Theo Jorgensen was continuing to talk as Liviu Ignat opened for 1,500 from under the gun. It folded around to Collado in the small blind who looked at his cards, then up at the dealer.

"Can I talk?" he asked, and the dealer shook his head no, as Jorryt van Hoof was still in the hand as well in the big blind. "But I want to talk -- I want to learn to speak well English," Collado continued, and the table laughed.

With the table still chuckling, he quietly three-bet to 4,750. Then van Hoof folded, saying "Now you can talk," as he did.

"I pay for talking," said Collado, and Liviu was also laughing as he decided to call the reraise.

The flop came 9♣4♣T♦ and without too much hesitation Collado went all-in. "How much is that?" asked Ignat.

"I didn't pay to do mathematics!" answered Collado, and the table laughed again.

The dealer counted up the bet while Collado explained he was terrible at math (and thus could never be a dealer). The bet having been totaled at 26,000, Ignat leaned forward, saying "26?" as though he didn't quite believe it Collado had shoved for nearly three times the pot.

"I told you I was bad at mathematics!" said Collado.

Amid more chuckles, Ignat folded, keeping the 70,000 or so he has behind. Collado gathered his now 37,000-chip stack, speaking freely as he did (pun intended). --MH


EPT13MALT_Armando Collado_8152_JulesPochy.jpg

Collado learns table talk isn't free

5:55pm: Nanos bluffs his stack off to Buddiga
Level 5 - 250/500 (75 ante)

Weird hand this. Pratyush Buddiga opened to 1,200 from under-the-gun, Konstantinos Nanos three-bet to 2,900 from the cutoff and Buddiga smooth called. On the J♥2♠7♣ flop Nanos bet very small, 1,350 was the price for Buddiga to continue and continue he did. The 6♣ hit the turn, Buddiga checked, Nanos bet 6,775 and Buddiga responded by check-raising to 16,500 total.

So action was back on Nanos, he counted his chips out, he looked to have right on 43,000 in total and then he tanked and tanked and tanked. Over four minutes passed and Nanos then pushed his chips forward and announced that he was all-in. Buddiga needed just a second or two to call and tabled 6♠6♥. Nanos threw his cards face down across the betting line but the dealer was duty bound to expose them and turned over A♠T♣ for just ace high. The T♥ river improved the German's hand but it was still second best to Buddiga's set and he was eliminated. As for Buddiga, he's up to 160,000. --NW

5:55pm: Van Hoof down but gets a few back
Level 5 - Blinds 250/500 (75 ante)

Jorryt Van Hoof was in the big blind and faced an open from Aymon Hata. The former WSOP November Niner then three-bet to 3,500 and Hata of the UK made the call to see a 2♣6♦6♥ flop, which both checked.

They went to the turn and it came the 9♥, and now Hata led out for 4,500. Van Hoof matched it to see the J♥ on the river and Hata reached for his blue chips. He picked up a couple, followed by a single 1,000 chip, and tossed in the bet of 11,000. Van Hoof made a very quick call but would muck just as quick when he saw Hata's Q♠Q♣. That took Hata up to 72,000 and Van Hoof down to 17,000.

They both be back in the very next hand. Van Hoof took it down after check-shoving a Q♥6♥9♠ flop after a 2,200 bet. That got both players in the hand to fold and he's up to 20,100 now. --JS

5:45pm: Chmielewski still with chips
Level 5 - Blinds 250/500 (75 ante)

With the board showing 4♦8♣A♣7♠7♣ and around 12,000 in the middle, Ben Heath checked, and Marcin Chmielewski pushed all-in with his last 6,400. Heath tanked for a while before letting his cards go, and Chmielewski keeps his seat.

Heath is stacking 52,000, just above the starting stack, while Chmielewski now has a little over 18,000. --MH

5:40pm: Vladimir Troyansneaky
Level 5 - Blinds 250/500 (75 ante)

Vladimir Troyanovskiy made it 1,200 to go and picked up one caller in Nick Petrangelo. They saw a 4♥5♣T♠ flop and both checked, followed by the 5♠ turn, and both checked again. The dealer put out the 3♦ on the river and Troyanovskiy checked a final time, as did Petrangelo, who then turned over the A♠J♠. Troyanovskiy showed the K♦K♣ but got no chips out of Petrangelo.

"Sneaky sneaky," said the American. "Would you fold the turn if I pot?"

"No, I will raise!" replied Troyanovskiy with a smile. --JS

5:35pm: One bullet gone, one left in the chamber
Level 5 - 250/500 (75 ante)

It's still only Andrey Andreev who's busted twice, but Allan Sannier, Rocco Palumbo and Vladimir Troyanovskiy are among the players who've busted their first bullet. As this is a single re-entry tournament we may see them buy back in later today or before play starts tomorrow.

edit: Troyanovskiy is now back in. --NW

5:30pm: Zinno's paradox
Level 5 - Blinds 250/500 (75 ante)

Anthony Zinno begins Level 5 with a problem. His stack is short, so he wants to increase it. But with a short stack it's only possible to increase it by so much.

It's kind of the opposite situation from the one most popularly described as Zeno's paradox -- the one involving Achilles in a race and tortoise. After giving the tortoise a head start of a certain distance, during the time Achilles takes to cover that distance the tortoise will have moved forward a little more. Then during the time Achilles takes to make up that distance, the tortoise will have moved up again. And so on.

For Zinno, he needs to double his stack but only has so much with which to do so. For example, just now he reraise-shoved over a preflop open, but got no call. He's still nursing around 7,000, but will have to get to 14,000 before he can get to 28,000 and so on.

Meanwhile, as he waits for another good hand, he'll have to turtle up. --MH


EPT13MALT_Anthony Zinno_8004_JulesPochy.jpg

Zinno above zero

5:25pm: Spin up over as Bedell busts
Level 5 - 250/500 (75 ante)

The great Tom-Aksel Bedell spin up has come to an end, with Alexander Ivarsson the player who's finished him off. Having spun his stack of 475 up to 11,000 through a series of blind double ups, he tried it once too often and ran into a hand. Ivarsson raised to 1,000 with A♦Q♦ and Bedell, who looked at his cards this time, shoved for just over 11,000 with 8♥7♦, a bet that Ivarsson snap called.

A J♣A♣5♦9♣8♠ board meant the Swede's hand held up and he's now up to 110,000. --NW

5:28pm: Bedell blindly betting
Level 5 - Blinds 250/500 (75 ante)

Tom-Aksel Bedell had just 475 after he returned from the break and posted the first ante. Well, he's been all-in blind three hands in a row and he's doubled up each time, getting lucky in the process. He's now playing 11,000 after ten minutes of non-stop doubling! --JS

5:20pm: Back at it
Level 5 - Blinds 250/500 (75 ante)

Blinds are up, antes are up, and cards are up, up in the air for Level 5. Two more one-hour levels then it'll be time for a dinner break. --MH

5pm: Break time

Players are off once more on another 20-minute break. --MH


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4:55pm: Bedell nearly busted by Buddiga
Level 4 - Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Following a middle-position open, Tom-Aksel Bedell made it 2,700 to go from middle position, then it folded around to Pratyush Buddiga in the big blind who four-bet to 7,500. That knocked out the original raiser, but Bedell stayed in and the pair saw a flop come 7♠T♥T♠.

Buddiga led at the pot with a bet of 6,500, then Bedell thought about 15 seconds before pushing his entire stack all-in. Buddiga called relatively quickly, tabling K♣K♥. Meanwhile Bedell had 9♥8♦ for an up-and-down straight draw.

The turn was the 7♦ and river the 5♣, and Buddiga's kings held. A count of chips showed Buddiga was all-in on the flop for 41,650, just a little shy of what Bedell's bet was worth.

That means Buddiga goes to the break with just about 100,000 or twice the starting stack, while Bedell is down to just 550. --MH

4:50pm: No space for an ace
Level 4 - 200/400 (50 ante)

"Floor to table four please," shouted the dealer. It wasn't immediately clear what the issue was. There was a 3♥5♥Q♥A♣ board on the felt, Stephen Chidwick, Andrey Bondar and Sergey Sergeev still had cards and the latter was the player who'd requested the floor.

The floor was needed because Sergeev had yet to act on the flop and the dealer had prematurely produced the A♣. The ruling - as it always is - was that the A♣ was shuffled back into the deck and a new turn card would be produced once Sergeev had acted on the flop. The Russian player checked and the 9♠ was the actual turn card. Action checked to Chidwick, he bet 2,500 and Bondar was the only caller.

The 2♦ river checked through and Chidwick's Q♦4♦ was the winner as Bodnar had pocket tens. --NW


EPT13MALT_Stephen Chidwick_7988_JulesPochy.jpg

Chips for Chidwick

4:46pm: Neuville gets paid by Drinan
Level 4 - Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Picking up the action on a 2♠8♦T♦ flop, Pierre Neuville led for 1,650 and got a call from Connor Drinan. The turn came the 7♥ and the Belgian fired another barrel worth 3,900. Drinan called once again. Finally the board was completed by the K♠ river and Neuville loaded the gun for a third bullet. He made it 6,700 and Drinan didn't long to call.

It turned out to be a mistake from the American though, as Neuville showed up with the K♦K♣ and rivered a set. He may have been ahead the whole way anyway, we'll never know; what we do know, though, is that Neuville now has 53,000 and Drinan is still sitting comfortably with 89,000. --JS


EPT13MALT_Pierre Neuville_8055_JulesPochy.jpg

Pierre picks up a few

4:35pm: Good times
Level 4 - Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

"Clock!"

With 60 seconds left to make a decision, Mikita Badziakouski leaned forward to study the 9♣9♠K♥7♦3♥ board, the pot of about 13,000, and the 10,000 his opponent Theo Jorgensen had bet after Badziakouski had checked.

With 30 seconds left, he stood and sat back down on one leg, affording himself another perspective as he surveyed the scene.

With 15 seconds left he rechecked his cards and began riffling chips.

With 1 second left he tossed a few of those chips forward to call.

Then he leaned back again after his opponent showed 3♦3♠. "Full house," intoned the dealer, and the chips went the other way.

The Team Pokerstars Pro Jorgensen is up to 82,000 while Badziakouski slips to 35,000. Still plenty of time, though, for Badziakouski to try to get those chips back. --MH

4:35pm: No rest
Level 4 - 200/400 (50 ante)

Earlier today both Sergey Sergeev (20th) and Brian Altman (21st) were eliminated from the Main Event. Both cashed for €19,640 and have reinvested just over 50% of their winnings into the entry fee for this high roller. --NW

4:34pm: Masseuse in demand
Level 4 - Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Martin Finger isn't the only player getting massaged in this tournament. Orpen Kisacikoglu is currently getting the tension in his back seen to by one of the masseuses, notably the person who was massaging Sergey Sergeev for around four straight days - all through the 10K single day tournament and the Main Event. I guess he was too late to make an appointment with her today.

Kisacikoglu opened the pot to 1,000 and got one caller in Adrian Szuman. They saw a 9♠A♦8♣ flop hit the felt and the man from Turkey continued for 1,500 which got a call, following by the 9♥ turn. Kisacikoglu slowed down and checked, which let Szuman in for a 2,300 bet. That took it down and brought his stack up to 39,000, while Kisacikoglu has 23,000 now. --JS

4:30pm: Carrel puts the heat on
Level 4 - 200/400 (50 ante)

From under-the-gun Steve O'Dwyer opened to 900, action folded around to Charlie Carrel in the small blind and he bumped it up to 3,100. Freek Scholten seemed interested and he went and cut out a cold four-bet of 8,400 and placed it across the line. That soon got rid of O'Dwyer but Carrel simply picked up three of his blue 5K chips and began twirling them between his fingers. He continued to do this for 30 seconds or so, all the time he was looking at Scholten. He then five-bet to 16,500 total and Scholten folded. --NW

4:20pm: Farrell on the comeback trail
Level 4 - Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Christophe Larquemin made it 1,050 to play from the lojack position and Philipp Gruissem made the call on the button. Niall Farrell then, after a minute or so, chucked in a single blue 5,000 and announced "4,500". Larquemin came along, but Gruissem gave it up.

The flop came Q♣5♣A♦ and Farrell made a continuation bet of 3,800. Larquemin gave up at this point, which brings Farrell's stack up to 24,000 - less than half of the starting stack. Still, after that pot he's moving in the right direction. --JS

4:10pm: Kamatakis pressures Finger
Level 4 - Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

With a massage therapist leaning hard into his lower back, Martin Finger watched as Iliodoros Kamatakis raised to 1,000 from middle position, and after checking his cards Finger defended the big blind with a call.

The flop came 9♦8♥8♣, and after Finger checked Kamatakis raised to 1,200. Finger promptly check-raised to 4,200 and after giving his opponent a circumspect look Kamatakis called. Both then checked the J♣ turn, and Finger again checked after the 3♥ river.

That's when Kamatakis decided to lean on Finger from the other direction, matching the pressure being delivered by the massage therapist with a bet of 9,200. Finger sat quietly, rocking forward slightly in rhythm, before finally pushing his cards away.

Finger has about 48,000 -- just under the starting stack -- while Kamatakis has just over 60,000. --MH

3:50pm: Drinan doubles through Dietrich
Level 4 - Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Sometimes you can wait all day to see a pot like this. Connor Drinan opened to 1,000 from the cutoff, or part of it as there was a single yellow 1K chip in front of him by the time I reached the table, Dietrich Fast three-bet to 2,800 from the button and action folded back to Drinan.

He thought for a couple of minutes before calling and a 6♦5♦7♣ flop rolled off. Both players checked and the Q♦ fell on the turn. At this juncture, Drinan bet 3,500 and Fast called. The 9♦ fell on the river and Drinan bet 15,000, which was slightly more than the pot. This sent Fast deep into the tank, the German player had about 75,000 back and after a few minutes thought he slid all his blue 5K chips into the middle, which was enough to set Drinan all-in. The American quickly called and showed A♦Q♠, Fast went to muck his cards but as it was an all-in pot they were turned over to reveal T♥T♣.

After that hand, Drinan, who was all-in for 47,275, is up to 108,000 while Fast drops to 27,000. --NW

3:30pm: Nice pot for Theo
Level 3 - Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

With a complete board of 5♣2♠3♥5♥K♣ on the felt Theo Jorgensen bet 5,000. His opponent in the hand was Konstantinos Nanos and the German player had a long think before calling. Jorgensen rolled over A♣4♣ for a flopped straight and it was good enough to win the pot. --NW


EPT13MALT_Theo Jorgensen_8125_JulesPochy.jpg

Straight works for Jorgensen
 

3:15pm: Andreev out for good
Level 3 - Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

Andrey Andreev was the first player out today, he rebought but has now busted for the second time. We're told he got his final 2,100 in with K♣Q♣ and Christophe Larquemin put him at risk with [Jx][Tx]. The Frenchman flopped two pair and Andreev didn't turn or river a straight and he was done for.


EPT13MALT_Andrey Andreev_8035_JulesPochy.jpg

Andrey Andreev busts and busts again

It's continued a great start for Larquemin as he's up to 118,000. --NW

3pm: More entries
Level 3 - Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

A steady stream of new entries continues to arrive, which also means new tables are being formed. Entering at the start of level three were: Sam Greenwood, Marc MacDonnell, Benny Spindler, Ollie Price, Sylvain Loosli and Konstantinos Nanos.

Other players who've slipped in unnoticed - up to now - are Anthony Zinno, Stephen Chidwick, Jason Wheeler and Connor Drinan. Oh, and Ben Heath busted, but has bought back in. --NW


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2:35pm: Break time

The players are taking their first break of the day. --NW

2:30pm: All the way from Nicaragua
Level 2 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

You don't get many players from Nicaragua on the European Poker Tour but Armando Collado is representing today. He was chatting with Nick Petrangelo and it came up that Collado used to play professional football (soccer).

A quick google reveals he played as a defender and was capped nine times by his country. There're other facts we won't repeat here, but if you fancy a spot of light reading pop his name into a search engine. --NW

2:25pm: O'Dwyer shoves on Neuville
Level 2 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

I arrived at the table to see a pot of over 30,000 in the middle and Steve O'Dwyer all-in for a little less. He'd shoved on the turn of an A♥4♥K♣6♥ board and it was Pierre Neuville who had the decision. He thought it over and then mucked with a smile. Pot to O'Dwyer. --NW

2:15pm: House for Hissou
Level 2 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

There was around 13,000 in the pot by the time Sirzat Hissou and Martin Finger reached the river of a T♦Q♥K♦T♠2♣ board. Hissou bet 6,650 and Finger instantly threw a chip into the pot to signify a call. Hissou showed Q♣Q♦ for queens full of tens and Finger frustratingly mucked his cards one by one. "Every hand on this trip," he sighed. He's down to 32,000 while Hissou is up to 76,000. --NW

2pm: That escalated quickly
Level 2 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

A limped pot between Ben Heath (small blind) and Adrian Mateos (big blind) really came to life on an A♦Q♥2♠ flop. Heath bet 400, Mateos made it 800, Heath re-raised to 2,500 only for Mateos to make it 6,000. At this point, Heath folded. Pot to Mateos. --NW


EPT13_malta_high_roller_day1_heath_mateos.jpg

Ben Heath and Adrian Mateos

1:47pm: Double dutch
Level 2 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Govert Metaal and Jorryt van Hoof are two of the latest arrivals. --NW

1:37pm: Level up, blinds the same
Level 2 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

A quirk of this tournament is that the blinds are exactly the same in level two as there were in level one. Nonetheless with an hour gone in this tournament we're into level two. --NW

1:35pm: Another pot for Carrel
Level 1 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

More chips for Charlie Carrel as he just took down a pot against Adrian Mateos. The Spaniard (big blind) bet 1,000 on the turn of a 8♣K♥Q♣T♦ board, Carrel (button) raised to 4,000 and Mateos called. The J♥ completed the board and Mateos check-folded to a bet of 5,000. --NW


EPT13_malta_high_roller_day1_charlie_carrel.jpg

Carrel's hitting the right notes

1:25pm: Field's got tougher
Level 1 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Steve O'Dwyer, Martin Finger, and Nick Pertrangelo are all in action now. --NW


EPT13_malta_high_roller_day1_steve_o_dwyer.jpg

Steve O'Dwyer

1:20pm: In on the cheap
Level 1 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

There were two satellites to this event yesterday, which between them generated 12 seats to the event. Hari Bercovici, Eros Nastasi, Kristoffer Edberg, Christian Thiry, Michael Kane, Grzegorz Grochulski, Alexander Zayonts, Broskij Krijn Michiel, Sirzat Hissou, Konstantinos Nanos, Alexander Ivarsson and Gaetano Brignone are the players who've got a discount on their first bullet. --NW

1:15pm: Carrel up, Heath down
Level 1 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

It's been a good start for Charlie Carrel who looks to have a stack of around 75,000. Not such a good start for Ben Heath, though. He's on Carrel's direct left and looks to be down to 15,000. It's likely the two chip stack movements are related. --NW

1:10pm: Man down, man back in
Level 1 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

It didn't take long for the first bust out of the day with Andrey Andreev the player to fall. He flopped top two pair at the same time as Alexander Ivarsson flopped bottom set. All the chips went in on the turn and the river didn't save him. The Russian has promptly re-entered, though.

12:55pm: Familiar faces
Level 1 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

As you'd expect from an event of this size there are plenty of well-known players in the field today. Eugene Katchalov and Max Silver are seated at the same table, Paul Newey was here on time as were Vladimir Troyanovskiy, Senh Ung, Cate Hall, and Niall Farrell. --NW

12:50pm: No friends at the poker table
Level 1 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

How's this for a line-up?

Seat one: Charlie Carrel
Seat two: Ben Heath
Seat three: Adrian Mateos
Seat five: Alexandros Kolonias

"Does that mean I'm the second worst player at this table?" wondered Charlie Carrel during the opening hand. We don't know how Carrel ranked the four players but we do know that Heath and he are best friends and travel the circuit together. It's likely they know a fair bit about each others game and it could make for some interesting pots as the day progresses. --NW

12:45pm: Welcome to the table
Level 1 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

There have been two big buy-in no-limit Hold'em events play to a finish so far in Malta, with Dietrich Fast and David Yan emerging victorious in the €10K evnet and €25K High Roller respectively. They're both playing this event and have been seated at the same table. It's the New Zealander who has position as he sits a couple of seats to Fast's left.


EPT13_malta_high_roller_day1_fast_yan.jpg

Dietrich Fast and David Yan have already had big wins in Malta

12:35pm: Shuffle up and deal
Level 1 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Play has begun. --NW

12:20pm: The high rollers roll up

The final high roller of the festival begins today with the €10,000 High Roller (Single Re-entry) tournament getting under way here in Malta. Last year it attracted a field of 210 entries (168 unique players) and after a long heads-up battle against Mukul Pahuja it was Byron Kaverman who took the title.

You know the drill by now, this tournament will play out over three days with ten 60 minute levels on the slate for today, with a break after every two and a dinner break after six. Late registration is open until the start of Day 2 so total entries and the prize pool breakdown won't be known until then.

Cards are in the air at 12:30pm. --NW


EPT13Malta_Location_Manuel Kovsca-34.jpg


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PokerStars Blog reporting team on the EPT13 Malta High Roller: Nick Wright, Jack Stanton, and Martin Harris. Photography by Jules Pochy. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog