EPT13 Malta: David Yan heads final six in €25K High Roller

david_yan_ept13_25k_leader.jpg

David Yan: Leading into final day

The two big buy-in tournaments at the start of this EPT13 Malta festival have had bubble periods that average out at 90 minutes apiece. When I remind you that there wasn't actually a bubble period in the €10,000 curtain-raiser (we lost two player simultaneously), you'll get an idea about what was the dominant feature of today's penultimate day in the €25,000 High Roller event.

Although we fairly flew down to our last 10 players, from a starting field of 46 (plus 19 re-entries), the sight of a €46,180 bubble put the frighteners on everybody--including those meddlesome gods who sometimes dish out coolers at times like these.

All of Adrian Mateos, Davidi Kitai, Max Silver and Mikita Badziakouski were all-in, called and then doubled up when only one more elimination would take us into the money. The same actually applied to Allain Sannier at least once, but after three hours of this torture, Sannier was the man to depart one spot shy of the money.

He flopped two pair at the same time Oleksii Khoroshenin flopped a bigger two pair. That was the end of the road for Sannier, and everyone breathed a collective sigh of relief after 180 minutes they'll never get back.

Mateos, Patrick Leonard and Kitai then perished in short order once the bubble had burst, leaving David Yan, whose aces accounted for Kitai on the final hand of the day, at the top of the counts. The final six line up tomorrow as follows:

NameCountryChips
David YanNew Zealand887,000
Oleksii KhorosheninUkraine858,000
Mikita BadziakouskiBelarus438,000
Max SilverUK412,000
Ramin HajiyevAzerbaijan388,000
Ole SchemionGermany267,000

They will play to a winner at Casino Portomaso tomorrow--a winner who will take €465,800 for first. The other five will share the prizes detailed on the prizewinners page.

The list of those who perished is studded with stars and glitter, but you're only as good as your last tournament, so apologies Messrs O'Dwyer, Petrangelo, Carrel, Chidwick, Seiver, et al. Better luck in the Main Event (which starts tomorrow, incidentally).

But with the likes of Ole Schemion and Silver joining Ramin Hajiyev (also at his second final table already this week), there's still plenty of shimmer to take us through the final stages tomorrow.

Join us from 2pm CET when we'll be publishing in accordance with the one-hour security delay allowing for cards up EPT Live broadcast. Goodnight for now.

11:15pm: Kitai busts in seventh; final table set
Level 18 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Davidi Kitai is out in seventh, setting our final table for this event. This is the second cash already for Kitai this week, but he couldn't get ace-queen to beat David Yan's aces at the crucial moment late on and was sent looking for €78,050.

We'll have full chip counts of the last six very soon, then a wrap of the day. -- HS

11pm: Down to 7
Level 18 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Patrick Leonard's long short-stack vigil is over. But for a while it looked like he may pull off a triple up to get right back in it.

Oleksii Khoroshenin opened to 23,000 from the hijack and Ole Schemion called from one seat to his left. Leonard, on the button, tanked for a while as he pondered his options and then he moved his last 89,000 over the line.

Khoroshenin took a few moments but then called. Schemion took a few moments but then called as well. It meant there was close to 300,000 in the main pot and betting on the side.

That, at least, was the theory. But there was actually no more betting through a flop of 9♦2♠4♠, a turn of 3♥ and a river of 7♣. Khoroshenin showed his A♥J♦. Schemion showed his K♠J♠ and Leonard said, "It's good" as he turned over A♣T♠.

"You should have jammed the flop, Ole," Leonard said.

Leonard gets nothing for coming second in this three-handed coup, but he does get €60,500 for eighth in this tournament. -- HS

10:55pm: Down to 8
Level 18 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Adrian Mateos has busted just minutes after the restart.

The Spaniard moved all in for 164,000 after an early position raise by Ramin Hajiyev, who called when the action was folded back to him.

Hajiyev K♣K♠
Mateos T♣T♠

The board ran 7♣3♦3♠6♣2♠ to send Mateos out in ninth place for €46,180. - SB


10:52pm: Is ninth place enough?
Level 18 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

For info David Yan is the only player in the last nine who used two bullets. -- SB

10:50pm: Short stacks
Level 18 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

As you can see, the extended bubble period has left us with four players with stacks of less than 20 big blinds. When three more players are out, we'll have our official six-handed final table. -- HS

10:45pm: Break before the final
Level 18 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

The remaining nine players, all of whom are now in the money, have taken a 15-minute break to allow tournament staff to move them to a new table and to count their chips.

Here's how they will line up in chip order. Seat order is below.

NameCountryChips
Oleksii KhorosheninUkraine708000
Mikita BadziakouskiBelarus702000
Max SilverUK417000
David YanNew Zealand411000
Ole SchemionGermany352000
Ramin HajiyevAzerbaijan197000
Davidi KitaiBelgium187000
Adrian MateosSpain167000
Patrick LeonardUK109000

Seat 1 - Patrick Leonard
Seat 2 - Ramin Hajiyev
Seat 3 - David Yan
Seat 4 - Davidi Kitai
Seat 5 - Adrian Mateos
Seat 6 - Max Silver
Seat 7 - Mikita Badziakouski
Seat 8 - Oleksii Khoroshenin
Seat 9 - Ole Schemion

10:35pm: Bubble finally bursts
Level 17 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

It was a bubble a long time in coming but it has finally burst. Allain Sannier departs empty handed.

It started innocuously enough, with Oleksii Khoroshenin limping form the small blind, then calling when Sannier bumped things up to 18,000.

The flop came Q♠T♦8♣ which is when the fireworks went off.

With action checked to him Sannier bet 10,000 before Khoroshenin moved all-in. Sannier called quickly and with reason. He showed T♠8♦ for two pair. His problem was that Khoroshenin also had two pair: Q♣T♥.

With the hand at the other table complete there was no delay in the rest of the hand playing out with the cards turned up. Sannier needed help. Neither the 4♥ turn or the 9♠ river card did him any good. He stood and shook hands, out on the bubble.

We're into the money in the High Roller event, three hours and 45 minutes after Philipp Gruissem busted in tenth. Players are now on a short break before returning to play down to six. - SB

10:10pm: Leonard senses his chance, folds
Level 17 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

Patrick Leonard has been a short stack for a long time now but he has never managed to get any of his shoves called (unlike Adrian Mateos, Max Silver, Davidi Kitai or Mikita Badziakouski to name but four). However, he did have a perfect chance to roll the dice when action folded to Badziakouski in the small blind and he shoved, with Leonard behind him.

Leonard took a long time over this decision and gave plenty of speech to Badziakouski. "Can you tell me your range?" he said. And then, "You could tell me what you think I should call with."

Badziakouski gave a bit of banter back, before Ole Schemion called for time and the tournament supervisor gave them a friendly talking to about their chatter. She also advised that Leonard wasn't actually on the clock per se because they have frozen the tournament countdown while the bubble plays out.

Leonard folded eventually, and we now play on 10-handed in a potentially never-ending Level 17. -- HS

10:00pm: Mateos all-in again
Level 17 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

We play on after the latest all-in became a double up.

Adrian Mateos made the first move, shoving from the small blind. Next along was Davidi Kitai in the big blind who has played a short stack for seemingly hours now. He called, showing A♥Q♦ to Mateos's A♠T♥.

The board came 8♥A♦7♦3♦2♥

On that last card the voice of Kitai's girlfriend rang out: "A deux!!!" her joy uncontainable. Kitai himself seemed pretty pleased too. He's up to 250,000 now while Mateos drops to 150,000. - SB

9:50pm: Sannier's turn to shove
Level 17 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

Allain Sannier bought in this morning, rose to the top of the counts not long ago, but now had few enough chips that he was shoving pre-flop. He got it through, mind you.

Max Silver opened to 26,000 on the button. Oleksii Khoroshenin called from the small blind and then Sannier moved in for 125,000 from the big blind. The squeeze worked. -- HS

9:45pm: Silver v Khoroshenin again
Level 17 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

The sub-plot between Max Silver and Oleksii Khoroshenin rumbles on, with another small pot going into the Ukrainian player's stack. This time, Silver raised to 24,000 from the small blind and Khoroshenin called the big.

Silver followed up with a bet of 20,000 on the 4♦A♣9♥ flop, which Khoroshenin called. Then they both checked the 2♥ turn. Silver also checked the 8♦ river and Khoroshenin bet 45,000. Silver showed the 3♣ as he folded with a flourish. -- HS

max_silver_3c_fold.jpg

Max Silver folding with a flourish

9:35pm: "Did you have it, bro?"
Level 17 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

Max Silver channelled his hidden Mustapha Kanit as he pleaded with Oleksii Khoroshenin to let him know he'd made a good fold. "Did you have it, bro?" Silver said. "You had it, bro? Tell me you had it." Khoroshenin nodded, but poker players have been known to lie.

It was a battle of the blinds that got frisky on the river. Silver completed from the small blind, then they both checked the 7♣5♥3♥ flop. Silver check-called Khoroshenin's bet of 16,000 on the 6♣ turn. But then after the 4♣ came on the river, Silver led for 50,000.

Khoroshenin tanked then shoved for about 260,000. Silver intimated almost immediately that he thought he had to fold, but then took some time to weigh it up. "You don't bluff here, right?" he said. "You have it. You have to have it."

Silver folded, before asking for confirmation that his fold was right, bro. -- HS

9:30pm: Mateos all-in
Level 17 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

An all-in gets everyone out of their seats. Allan Sannier opened for 18,000 on the button before Adrian Mateos moved all-in for 168,000 from the small blind. Sannier called.

Mateos: T♣J♣
Sannier: A♥T♠

mateos_sannier_double.jpg

Allain Sannier doubles Adrian Mateos, with a somewhat exasperated rail of other players

You'll notice that Sannier was ahead, but that's been proven irrelevant during this extended bubble period, as the flop demonstrated.

7♠J♠7♥3♥Q♣

Mateos allowed himself a quiet fist pump as he doubled to around 350,000. Sannier meanwhile drops down to 145,000. - SB

9:25pm: Elephants or something
Level 17 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

Most of the postprandial action, including that enormous double for Max Silver, has been taking place on Table 2. That has meant most of the chat has been taking place on Table 1, as they wait for the cards to be dealt.

Players there were discussing what they had for dinner. "What did you have?" David Yan asked Mikita Badziakouski.

"Chicken," was the fairly tame reply.

Ramin Hajiyev was more bombastic. "He's gone from the short stack to the favourite to win the tournament," Hajiyev said. "He had the best dinner. Elephants or something. Raw meat. Blood. He's a vampire."

Badziakouski denied that was true. Elephant is still scarce in Malta. But he was certainly looking chipper as he groomed his towers of chips. -- HS

9:20pm: Silver's kings catapult him to top
Level 17 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

Every single poker player--of any standard--knows that you're supposed to be delighted to get your stack in pre-flop with pocket kings. Sometimes you'll run into aces, and sometimes you'll be out-drawn by filth, but everybody knows that you're just supposed to get it in.

That's exactly what happened to Max Silver on perhaps the third hand back from the dinner break. But there was a look of absolute sickness on his face when he called it off on a €50,000 bubble with kings. Nobody really wants to be in this spot; even the second-best hand in poker seems so vulnerable when so much is on the line.

The hand started with Silver raising to 18,000 in the cutoff. Oleksii Khoroshenin called in the small blind and then Allain Sannier three-bet to 56,000 from the small blind. Silver four-bet to 98,000, which got Khoroshenin out of the way, but then Sannier shoved, covering Silver.

Silver looked very ill indeed as he made what he knew was a mandatory--but still pretty gross--call. His K♥K♣ were up against Sannier's A♦K♠ and everyone at the two remaining tables, and on the rail, were focusing on that over-card.

Mercifully for Silver, another ace did not appear. The board ran 6♣3♣J♦3♥5♦ and Silver's stack was calculated to be 265,000. He now surges beyond half a million and is cooking.

Breathe again, Max. Breathe again. -- HS

9:05pm: Back to it
Level 17 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

Our high rollers are back in the room. We have to lose one more until they're in the money and then three more to end the day. -- HS

7:45pm: Dinner break chips
Level 16 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Mikita Badziakouski is your new overlord. All-in one minute, leading the next. That's poker!

NameCountryChips
Mikita BadziakouskiBelarus523000
Allain SannierFrance482000
David YanNew Zealand455000
Ole SchemionGermany370000
Oleksii KhorosheninUkraine313000
Max SilverUK267000
Ramin HajiyevAzerbaijan245000
Adrian MateosSpain241000
Patrick LeonardUK178000
Davidi KitaiBelgium176000

allain_sannier_ept13_malta_25k_day2.jpg

Allain Sannier

7:40pm: Badziakouski looking forwards to a nice dinner now
Level 16 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Mikita Badziakouski said he was looking forward to a nice dinner now after a pot win with aces took him past 500,000.

He opened to 15,000 from the cutoff and Ole Schemion defended his big blind. Both players checked the 3♣3♥2♦ flop and Schemion then led for 20,000 on the Q♥ turn. Badziakouski called and then bet 60,000 himself after Schemion checked over the 8♣ river. Call. Badziakouski opened A♣A♥ and his opponent said nice hand, dropping to 370,000. --MC

7:35pm: Badziakouski resurgent
Level 16 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Ever since that double up through Ramin Hajiyev, Mikita Badziakouski has been resurgent. He won two consecutive pots and now has 380,000 to play with.

On the first, he raised to 12,000 from under the gun and both David Yan (button) and Hajiyev (big blind) gave him action.

The flop brought the 8♥4♠4♣ and Hajiyev checked. Badziakouski bet 12,000 and both Yan and Hajiyev called.

All three of them checked the J♦ turn and the 6♣ river and Badziakouski's T♣T♥ were clearly good after both opponents mucked.

mikita_badziakousk_ept13_malta_25k_day2.jpg

A resurgent Mikita Badziakouski

Next up, Yan raised to 14,000 from the hijack and again this quickly became multi-way. Ole Schemion called from the cutoff, Hajiyev called in the small blind and Badziakouski called in the big.

There were three checks after the Q♣9♣3♦ flop but then only one call when Schemion bet 30,000. It was Badziakouski.

The K♠ came on the turn and Badziakouski checked, allowing Schemion to have another stab. He bet 58,000. Badziakouski called.

The A♣ came on the end and they both checked. Badziakouski's Q♦K♣ beat whatever Schemion tossed into the muck. -- HS

7:25pm: Kitai all-in
Level 16 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

An anxious few minutes for Davidi Kitai, all in, called by Adrian Mateos, and waiting for the other table to complete their hand before showdown.

Well, maybe not that anxious.

Kitai, all in for 87,500, turned over A♠A♦. Mateos, 8♥8♦.

With the waiting over the board was dealt, with calls for "ass, ass, ass, ass!" (French for "ace") coming form the Kitai corner. They needn't have worried.

4♦6♣4♠9♣9♠.

A vital double up for Kitai as we approach the next break. -- SB

davidi_kitai_kiss_double.jpg

Davidi Kitai gets a double up kiss

7:25pm: Badziakouski doubles through Hajiyev
Level 16 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

You could hear the mild collective groans from the other short stacks as Mikita Badziakouski flopped a set when all-in. to be fair, he was ahead of his opponent - Ramin Hajiyev - all the way.

Badziakouski opened to 15,000 from the cutoff before Hajiyev raised 60,000 of his 89,500 stack. Hajiyev set him in for the rest and he made the expected call all-in.

Hajiyev: 5♠5♥
Badziakouski: T♣T♠

The board ran T♥Q♠A♥J♥Q♦ to make Badziakouski a full house. --MC

7:15pm: Schemion prays for a shove
Level 16 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Ole Schemion opened to 15,000 from the button and Mikita Badziakouski had a decision in the big blind. He had only about 150,000 and clearly thought about moving in, but in the end opted to call.

They both checked the T♦4♦Q♠ flop. Then they checked the J♥ turn and the 2♣ river. Badziakouski had A♠4♠ but Schemion had him beaten with 9♦9♥.

"Ole was praying for a shove," Ramin Hajiyev said. -- HS

7:10pm: Light sparring
Level 16 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Not much happening on table 2 right now, although Oleksii Khoroshenin and Allan Sannier have placed a couple of cagey hands against each other.

The most recent was played from the blinds. On a flop of 6♦8♥3♣ Khoroshenin bet 8,000 from the small blind, which Sannier called from the big for a 5♠ turn card. That was checked to Sannier who bet 18,000, which Khoroshenin called. On the A♣ river card both players checked, Khoroshenin showing 6♥7♠ to win the hand. - SB

7:05pm: Schemion leapfrogs Yan
Level 16 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

David Yan's wings have been clipped by Ole Schemion who went ahead of him in the counts as a result.

He raised to 14,000 from under the gun and was only called by Schemion in the next seat. The flop fell 9♥A♥T♠ flop and Yan check-called 22,000. He did the same for another 55,000 on the 8♥ turn before both players checked the A♦ river.

Yan opened K♦J♦ but the pot went to Schemion after he showed T♦8♦. Schemion's up to 530,000 and Yan's down to 490,000. --MC

6:55pm: Yan straight to bubble business on Table 1
Level 16 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

After knocking out Philipp Gruissem, Allain Sannier's 600,000+ stack is the biggest of the last 10 players. However, Table 1 has a much higher average stack thanks in the main to David Yan sitting next to Ole Schemion sitting next to Ramin Hajiyev. They have 545,000, 455,000 and 460,000 respectively.

It was Yan who came flying out the blocks after hand-for-hand started, winning the first three hands on Table 1. On the first, he three-bet to 64,000 after Schemion opened from under the gun to 17,000. Yan showed aces after Schemion mucked.

Then on the next hand, Yan limped from the small blind, Schemion checked his option and they say the 5♦7♥T♠ flop. Yan bet 11,000 and Schemion called for a 7♦ turn. Yan bet 26,000 and Schemion folded.

On the next hand, Yan opened to 18,000 on the button and Schemion and Hajiyev folded their blinds. -- HS

6:50pm: Bubble time as Gruissem busts
Level 16 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Philipp Gruissem said he just missed out on the money in this event last season, and history has repeated itself this time around.

Allain Sannier raised to 15,000 from the button before Gruissem three-bet to 45,000 from the big blind. Sannier asked his opponent how much he was playing (165k total) and then set him all-in. Call.

Gruissem: J♦J♥
Sannier: K♣T♣

The board ran A♣T♣4♣K♠J♣ to make Sannier a flush and he moved over 600k.

EPT13_Malta_25k_Day2_Philipp_Gruissem.jpg

So close again for Gruissem

The tournament is now on the direct bubble and hand-for-hand play has been introduced. Davidi Kitai has been moved over (with 110k) to Gruissem's former table so each has five players on it. --MC

6:35pm: Flag day for Schemion
Level 15 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (1,000 ante)

Ole is wrapped in the flag of Schemion. Almost literally. He wears around his shoulders a kind of serong, or is it a flag? The flag of the type of place a man like Schemion would hail from, Neverneverand perhaps. But he just played the kind of hand that is typical of him, one that now leaves him with more than 450,000.

It started with a button raise form David Yan. Schemion was in the small bling and raised to 50,000. Things got even more interesting when Yan four bet to 105,000. Schemion called.

On the flop of Q♦5♦7♣ things calmed down a bit. Both players checked for the 7♥ turn card, which they also checked for the Q♣ river card. Schemion bet 69,000 this time and after a period of very intense riffling Yan folded.

Schemion offered to show Yan one of his cards, which turned out to be the A♦. Yan drops to 420,000 but put the flags out for Schemion. - SB

6:30pm: Mateos slides
Level 15 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (1,000 ante)

Everyone is still pretty deep in this event, which accounts for this pre-bubble slowdown. I watched the action on Table 2 for about 20 minutes and nothing too dramatic occurred at all.

Max Silver opened to 11,500 from under the gun and Oleksii Khoroshenin three-bet to 27,000 from the cutoff. Allain Sannier then four-bet his button to 83,000 and the powerful move persuaded the other two out the way.

Soon after, Adrian Mateos opened to 12,000 from the button and Silver called in the big blind. Mateos asked Silver how much he was playing and Silver said, "Two-thirty."

They took in the splendour of the 3♥2♣8♦ flop and Silver check-called Mateos's bet of 15,000. They both checked the 9♣ turn and the Q♥ river and Silver's 8♠T♥ won it.

Next up, Silver completed from the small blind and Oleksii Khoroshenin saw the flop for no more than his big blind. It came 2♣A♥5♠. Silver bet 5,000. Khoroshenin raised to 13,000 and Silver folded.

oleksii_Khoroshenin_ept13_malta_day2_25k.jpg

Oleksii Khoroshenin

In the next hand, Mateos opened to 11,000 and action folded to Khoroshenin in the small blind. He called. Those two saw the flop of 5♣6♥4♦ and they both checked. Khoroshenin bet 17,000 at the 3♥ turn and Mateos called. But he folded after Khoroshenin bet 55,000 at the 9♠ on the river.

That left Mateos with about 200,000 and the table short-stack. It is still 40 big blinds--at least for the next five minutes, after which we'll be going into Level 16. -- HS

6:15pm: Another win for Silver, another loss for Khoroshenin
Level 15 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (1,000 ante)

Max Silver won a pot off Allain Sannier to maintain his status quo. He raised to 12,000 from the button and Sannier defended his big blind. The flop spread J♣T♠2♣ and both players checked to the 9♣ turn where Sannier led for 14,000. Silver called and both players checked the 3♣ river. Silver opened T♣8♠ for a flush and took the pot.

Oleksii Khoroshenin's dropped back down to 270,000 after he folded on the river to Philipp Gruissem, who really needed the chips. The German opened to 12,000 from under the gun and was called by Khoroshenin on the button. The board ran T♦3♠8♦Q♦9♣ with Gruissem betting 22,000 and 45,000 on the turn and river. Khoroshenin called the first bet but tank-folded to the second. Gruissem moved up to 170,000. --MC

6:10pm: Tank-call from Leonard helps the tortoises catch the hares
Level 15 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (1,000 ante)

Table 1 is playing slightly faster than Table 2 (the tournament staff are monitoring it closely) and so the speed-freaks were asked to wait for a few seconds while the tortoises caught up. However, a hand played out on the speedy table that took a good five minutes to play to its conclusion, likely allowing their neighbours to catch up and maybe even move ahead.

It seemed innocuous to start with. David Yan opened to 11,000 from under the gun and Patrick Leonard was the only caller, in the big blind. They both checked the flop of 4♣5♣7♥ and then, after the 8♦ came on the turn, Leonard bet 20,000. Yan called.

The river was the 9♦ and Leonard checked. Yan bet 44,000 and it put Leonard into the tank for an agonised decision. He likes to mutter aloud when he is deep in thought, but little was audible and nothing changed Yan's impervious demeanour.

david_yan_ept13_malta_25k_day2.jpg

David Yan

Eventually Leonard called and Yan showed 6♦5♦--some more suited connectors--and his straight was good. -- HS

6:05pm: Lifeline for Sannier
Level 15 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (1,000 ante)

Another short stack doubles, and this time it's Allan Sannier. After Khoroshenin opened for 13,000 in the cutoff, the Frenchman raised to 31,000 from the button. Khoroshenin then moved all-in, easily covering Sannier who called, turning over A♥K♠. Khoroshenin could only manage T♠Q♦.

Sannier won the hand fairly quickly, the board running A♦2♦9♣3♠A♠ to leave Sannier, whose all-in was for 212,000, with around 450,000. Khoroshenin meanwhile, who has dominated much of the event, drops to 270,000. - SB

6pm: Silver finds his happy place
Level 15 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (1,000 ante)

Don't count Max Silver out of this yet. Rather than get down about his losses, he came back fighting with some aggressive moves, and that's helped him back up to around about 250,000.

In one pot he opened from the hijack and was called Oleksii Khoroshenin in the next seat. Silver checked over a 7♥J♥6♦ flop and Khoroshenin bet 17,000. Silver raised to 40,000 and Khoroshenin called. The turn was the 7♦ and Silver moved all-in for 85,000. Khoroshenin got a count and folded.

Shortly after, Allain Sannier opened to 12,000 from the cutoff before Philipp Gruissem three-bet to 36,000 from the small blind. Silver count how much he had (just under 200k), stood up to peek at the stacks on the other table, sat back down and four-bet all-in. Both opponents made quick folds. --MC

5:52pm: Khoroshenin fearless
Level 15 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (1,000 ante)

Oleksii Khoroshenin continues to play fearlessness. He opened from the button, making it 15,000 which Adrian Mateos called in the big blind. The flop came 8♥9♦T♥, which was checked for a 3♣ turn card, which was also checked.

On the 9♠ river Mateos bet 17,000. Khoroshenin took his time before raising to 62,000. Mateos squirmed a bit, and seemed to call in a way that suggested his body did so quickly before his head could tell him not to. The ever assured Khoroshenin showed Mateos his 5♣9♣ to win the hand. - SB

5:50pm: Yan picks off Badziakouski's bluff
Level 15 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (1,000 ante)

David Yan continues his upward momentum with a good call to win a pot from Mikita Badziakouski.

Yan got the ball rolling with a raise to 11,000 from under the gun and both Ole Schemion, in the hijack to his left, and Badziakouski, on the button, made the call.

Yan continued for 14,000 on the flop of J♣5♦4♠ and only Badziakouski called. Then the 9♥ popped out on the turn and they both checked.

The river brought the 8♥ and Yan checked. Badziakouski bet 48,000 and Yan took a couple of beats before calling. Badziakouski showed A♥Q♥ and Yan's T♠9♠ was good.

These high rollers don't raise ace-queen suited on the button, which is only one way in which they set themselves apart from the self-dealt £5 rebuy players who write about them. -- HS

5:45pm: Silver devalued
Level 15 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (1,000 ante)

Max Silver is the short stack at this table, and a hand against Adrian Mateos made things shorter.

The Spaniard opened from under the gun before Silver made it 29,000 from the button, leaving himself about 130,000.

With the action back on Mateos he paused for a while, his brow furrowed and not entirely convinced by Silver. So he moved all-in.

Silver didn't immediately fold but he was agitated, and knew he had to. Mateos took the pot. Silver not happy right now. - SB

5:20pm: Hajiyev leaps ahead
Level 14 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Players are taking a 20-minute break, but here's how they stack up at the moment. Ramin Hajiyev and Ole Schemion are now duking it out at the top of the charts.

NameCountryChips
Ramin HajiyevAzerbaijan439000
Ole SchemionGermany428000
Oleksii KhorosheninUkraine415000
Adrian MateosSpain352000
David YanNew Zealand320500
Patrick LeonardUK298000
Mikita BadziakouskiBelarus270000
Philipp GruissemGermany222000
Allain SannierFrance200000
Max SilverUK163000
Davidi KitaiBelgium129000

5:05pm: Among the short stacks
Level 14 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

The three shortest stacks left in the tournament belong to Allan Sannier, Davidi Kitai and Max Silver, all of whom have less than 200,000.

Sannier however did himself some good in a hand against Oleksii Khoroshenin.

On a flop of 6♥T♥4♥ Khoroshenin bet 16,000, which Sannier called. It would be the last of the betting, with the K♥ turn and 5♣ river checked by both platers. Khoroshenin showed 4♠T♠ while Sannier managed 6♣6♦ to win the pot, albeit a small one.

There are 11 players remaining, with the top nine finishing in the money. - SB

5pm: Yan, the blind defender
Level 14 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Don't try to pinch David Yan's blinds. He may just play back at you, and it could be costly.

Patrick Leonard just tried it from the small blind, opting to complete when pre-flop action folded to him. Yan raised to 20,000, replacing four yellow chips with four blue chips, and Leonard called.

They both checked the 2♠4♥Q♠ flop. And then Leonard check-called the 2♥ turn when Yan bet 23,000. They checked the 4♠ river and Yan's Q♥9♥ had out-flopped Leonard's A♥9♣.

Davidi Kitai opened the next hand from the cutoff, making it 11,000. Yan three-bet his small blind, making it 32,500, and that was too much for Kitai to continue. -- HS

4:45pm: Morten Mortensen mort
Level 14 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

The end was swift for Morten Mortensen, who was left with only 16,500 after previous skirmishes. He didn't wait, and when Adrian Mateos raised on the button, he called all-in from the small blind, turning over 5♣6♣. Mateos though had Q♥J♠ which proved very good as the board came 2♥K♥T♦A♣A♦.

morten_mortensen_ept13_malta_day2_25k.jpg

Morten Mortensen: Mort

Mortensen est mort. Down to 11 players. - SB

4:40pm: Sammartino timed out
Level 14 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Dario Sammartino never makes his decisions especially quickly and that goes double when it's for his tournament life. But this time, after time in the tank and the clock being called, Sammartino opted to call all-in against some aggression from Adrian Mateos. And now Sammartino is out.

Action folded to Mateos in the small blind and he raised to 10,000. Sammartino called in the big blind and they saw a flop of A♣Q♥6♥. Mateos bet 10,000 and Sammartino called, leaving him 55,000 behind.

The J♠ came on the turn and Mateos moved all-in, putting the question at Sammartino's door. Seeking a trip to a second final table of the week, Sammartino pondered his options at great length.

I think it was Allain Sannier who eventually called the clock, but whoever did the deed, it was not unjustified. Sammartino eventually decided to call and was immediately shot down when Mateos tabled his A♠K♠.

Sammartino had K♥8♣ and was drawing only to a chop. The A♦ on the river didn't help him at all, and he was knocked out. Now only Ramin Hajijev and Davidi Kitai have the chance of a back-to-back final table. --HS

dario_sammartino_ept13_malta_day2.jpg

Dario Sammartino: The end of the road

4:30pm: Jensen flipped out
Level 14 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Frederick Jensen stood away from the table and crushed an empty water bottle in his left hand. As a show of strength, it wasn't quite up there with ripping a telephone directory in two, or even cracking walnuts, but it was a fairly effective way of portraying frustration at busting a €25,000 on a flip, six spots off the money.

Ramin Hajiyev took Jensen out. Hajiyev opened the button to 9,000. Jensen shoved for 74,100 and Hajiyev called. "Flip," Jensen said when he saw the cards.

Jensen: J♠J♦
Hajiyev: Q♣K♥

Jensen moaned slightly at the sight of the flop. It came 2♣Q♠T♥. The 8♠ turn and then the A♠ river ended it. Jensen departs while Hajiyev, aiming for back-to-back final tables here in Malta, stacked up 420,000.

4:25pm: Nick Petrangelo finished off by Philbort
Level 14 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Philipp Gruissem has passed the 250k-mark after he spiked an ace on the river to eliminate the short-stacked Nick Petrangelo.

Gruissem opened to 9,500 from middle position and then called after Petrangelo shipped in for 40,000 from the cutoff.

Gruissem: A♦8♣
Petrangelo: 6♠6♣

nick_petrangelo_ept13_malta_day2_25k.jpg

Nick Petrangelo: Out

The board ran J♥9♠K♣T♥A♣ and Petrangelo wandered off slowly. --MC

4:20pm: Petrangelo short, Silver tarnishing
Level 14 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Nick Petrangelo's stack is now on the critical list. He drops to 42,500 after a hand against Adrian Mateos.

On a flop of K♠8♦2♣ Petrangelo checked to Mateos who made it 6,500 to play. Petrangelo called for the Q♥ turn card which was checked both ways for the 2♥ river card. Petrangelo checked to the Spaniard who bet another 20,000. Petrangelo couldn't call.

Max Silver has about double that of Petrangelo after losing some to Oleksii Khoroshenin.

Silver opened for 9,500 on the button which Khoroshenin called from the big blind. The flop came 3♠K♣J♣ which was checked to Silver. He bet another 10,000 which was called.

On the 6♦ turn it was checked for a J♥ river card. Khoroshenin checked and Silver did the same, although his face said he knew he was beaten. Khoroshenin showed T♦J♦ to win the hand and move up to 435,000. - SB

4:10pm: No shifting top pair Gruissem
Level 13 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

Adrian Mateos raised to 6,500 from the hijack and Philipp Gruissem called from the small blind. Max Silver came along from the big blind too.

Both Gruissem and Silver checked the 4♠K♥2♣ flop and only Gruissem called when Mateos bet 11,000. The turn was the 7♦ and Gruissem check-called Mateos's bet of 28,000. And then they both checked the 7♠ on the river.

Gruissem turned over K♦Q♦, which allowed Mateos to muck. -- HS

4:05pm: Yaghmai sent to the rail
Level 13 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

Two hands, one big and one inevitably small, just took care of Nariman Yaghmai's stack, which now rests in the hands of Ole Schemion.

The first hand was the big one, and with the board dealt Q♦3♣3♠7♦7♣ there was already a lot in the middle when Schemion shoved for his last 105,000. Yaghmai took a long time to call, but did. But he was beaten, showing J♠J♣ after Schemion turned over K♣K♥.

That left Yaghmai with less than 10,000, which he shoved with on the next hand. Schemion, still stacking his new chips, raised to isolate, and turned over A♣K♣ which easily beat Yaghmai's K♠8♥ on a board of 7♣7♥3♣Q♦5♥.
Schemion up to around 400,000 with 15 players remaining. - SB

4pm: Sammartino river bluff fail
Level 13 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

We've seen Dario Sammartino make big river raises before in this tournament without knowing if he had "it". Thanks to an Allain Sannier call just now, we know he doesn't always have "it".

The Italian raised from early position and Sannier defended his big blind. Both players checked the 6♠A♣8♣ flop before Sannier check-called 7,200 on the J♦ turn. The river came as 5♠ and Sannier led for 12,200. Sammartino didn't think too long before raising all-in. His French opponent had 49,800 and called them off with A♥7♥. Sammartino looked to the skies and opened Q♠T♠ for a busted straight draw. He dropped to 90,000. --MC

3:45pm: Redraw
Level 13 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

There are 16 players left on two tables. They're now playing to nine, at which point there will be another re-draw, and then down to six before we're done for the day. Here's how they line up:

Table 1
Seat 1 - Patrick Leonard, 445,000
Seat 2 - Nariman Yaghmai, 190,000
Seat 3 - David Yan, 235,000
Seat 4 - Ole Schemion, 180,000
Seat 5 - Ramin Hajiyev, 355,000
Seat 6 - Mikita Badziakouski, 285,000
Seat 7 - Frederik Jensen, 70,000
Seat 8 - Davidi Kitai, 150,000

Table 2

Seat 1 - Oleksii Khoroshenin, 398,000
Seat 2 - Allain Sannier, 65,000
Seat 3 - Adrian Mateos, 250,000
Seat 4 - Dario Sammartino, 135,000
Seat 5 - Morten Mortensen, 152,000
Seat 6 - Philipp Gruissem, 178,000
Seat 7 - Max Silver, 148,000
Seat 8 - Nick Petrangelo, 66,000

patrick_leonard_ept13_malta_day2_25k.jpg

Patrick Leonard: Still leading

3:40pm: Down to two tables after Buldygin busts
Level 13 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

They'll be no back-to-back final table appearances for Viacheslav Buldygin after he was eliminated by Davidi Kitai.

Kitai opened to 7,200 from the hijack and then called after Buldygin three-bet all-in for 59,500 from the button.

Kitai: A♣Q♦
Buldygin: A♠J♦

The board ran 5♣5♠A♦8♦T♠ to see Kitai's hand hold. The remaining 16 player will now be redrawn onto two table, and we'll have that draw for you shortly. --MC

3:30pm: Khoroshenin takes advantage
Level 13 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

David Yan opened for 6,500 in middle position which Oleksii Khoroshenin called from the cut off. Andras Nemeth was in the bib blind and also paid to see the 7♣8♦9♣ flop.

Andras Nemeth bet 13,000 forcing a fold from Yan, but Khoroshenin called for the Q♦ turn card. That was checked for the T♠ on the river.

Khoroshenin made it 26,000 to play this time which Nemeth didn't seem to like. He paused, then looked at his cards again before folding. He drops to around 65,000 now while Khoroshenin is up to 335,000. - SB

3:25pm: Deuces sometimes loses
Level 13 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

If you're looking for poker's most untrue truism, you won't get much better than "Deuces never loses". Andras Nemeth is the latest to ponder the level of nonsense attendant on this aphorism. He's just shown down deuces and was shown the door.

He open shoved for his last 51,100 from the hijack and Ole Schemion, one seat along, wanted a count. He found out, then re-shoved. Everyone else folded.

Nemeth showed his 2♠2♣. Schemion turned over his A♠A♥. It was a mismatch. But then, after the 4♣ turn followed the 7♣A♦5♣ flop, it was Schmemion left yelping, "Nooooooo!" However, the J♦ was not the fifth club Nemeth needed to complete a David v Goliath slaying.

Schemion stacked up 220,000 and Nemeth dropped his catapult to the ground and skulked away. -- HS

3:15pm: Cooler costs Heath
Level 13 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

Adrian Mateos has gone from short stack all the way up to a comfortable 260,000. The latest chunk he won came courtesy of a cooler versus Ben Heath.

Heath, who re-entered late last night, raised to 7,200 from under the gun. Mateos was in the next seat and three-bet to 20,000. The action folded back to Heath who cut out and slid forward a four-bet worth 51,400. Mateos quickly set Heath all-in for around 125,000 and he called it off.

Heath: Q♠Q♣
Mateos: K♠K♣

The board ran T♦T♣K♥4♥J♣ to make the Spaniard a full house. "Good luck guys," said Heath before making his exit. --MC

2:50pm: Break time chips
Level 12 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

That's the first break of the day, with 19 players still involved. Here's how they stack up before they go into Level 13.

Patrick LeonardUK370000
Oleksii KhorosheninUkraine337300
Ramin HajiyevAzerbaijan270000
Mikita BadziakouskiBelarus268000
David YanNew Zealand249000
Max SilverUK213000
Philipp GruissemGermany182000
Nariman YaghmaiIran181000
Dario SammartinoItaly158000
Allain SannierFrance147000
Adrian MateosSpain140000
Frederik JensenDenmark140000
Ben HeathUK123000
Morten MortensenDenmark120000
Ole SchemionGermany92000
Andras NemethHungary91000
Davidi KitaiBelgium70000
Nick PetrangeloUSA44600
Viacheslav BuldyginRussia39000

chips_ept13_malta_day2_25k.jpg

2:40pm: Jensen interceptor
Level 12 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

Frederik Jensen just kept his hopes alive. After Mariman Yaghmai opened for 6,000 and Patrick Leonard raised to 18,000 in the hijack, Jensen moved all-in for a little more than 104,000. That forced out Yaghmai but Leonard had to think about things for a while before folding. - SB

2:35pm: Kitai on the double
Level 12 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

Allain Sannier bought in before play today and had enjoyed a fruitful morning, until just now, when he doubled up Davidi Kitai.

Kitai, who cashed in the €10k single re-entry earlier in the week, opened to 6,200 from the hijack. Sannier was in the next seat and three-bet 16,700. Kitai's response was to jam for 46,700 and he was called.

Kitai: K♠K♦
Sannier: A♣Q♦

The board ran 6♥J♥3♦Q♥K♣ to make Kitai top set. He nodded slowly and Sannier was left with 115,000 after he paid his dues. --MC

2:30pm: Yaghmain raises light
Level 12 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

They're seven-handed on Table 1 and the conversation is split into four groups. Frederik Jensen and Morten Mortensen are yukking it up in Scandi; Mikita Badziakouski and Patrick Leonard are talking in English; Scott Seiver is reading something on his phone; and Philipp Gruissem and Mariman Yaghmai played a pot.

Gruissem raised to 6,000 from the cutoff and Yaghmai called on the button. They checked the 2♣6♥T♥ flop and then Gruissem bet 11,000 on the 5♥ turn. Yaghmai raised to 25,500 but Gruissem wouldn't be shaken. He called.

The 4♠ came on the river and both players checked. Gruissem turned over his T♦K♠, showing the ten first, and Yaghmai reluctantly mucked. He couldn't beat top pair. -- HS

philipp_gruissem_ept13_malta_25k_day2.jpg

Difficult to shake Philipp Gruissem

2:20pm: Three eliminations
Level 12 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

Two busts out in the space of a few hands, all while David Yan was winning a big pot against Frederik Jensen.

On a board of 4♦6♣3♦8♦8♣ Yan bet 66,000. Jensen, playing out of the big blind, checked, and took some time before calling, only to muck when Yan showed 4♠4♥. Yan is up to 240,000 now. Jensen down to 85,000.

While that was taking place Behzad Ahadpour was eliminated by Oleksii Khoroshenin, his ace-eight undone by Khoroshenin's pocket fives.

Then Sam Greenwood joined him on the rail. He was all in for 44,6000 with A♠K♣ with a call from Allan Sannier. The board came T♦2♥2♠9♠A♦ to send Greenwood out.

A short while later Orpen Kisacikoglu was also out, four betting all in with ace-queen and getting a call from Andras Nemeth with A♠5♠. He had to wait until the river to get a five.

Down to 21 in the High Roller event, the same number that remain in the IPT. You can follow that too if you want. - SB

2:10pm: Silver and Buldygin battle blind
Level 12 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

Max Silver got the better of Viacheslav Buldygin in a battle of the blinds. The pot could have been a lot larger seeing as they both held pairs.

Buldygin completed and then called after Silver raised to 7,500. The flop fanned A♠2♠8♠ and Buldygin check-called 4,400 before both players checked the 6♦ turn. The 8♦ came on the river and Buldygin led for 6,500. The players were sat either side of the dealer and Silver asked the dealer to sit back so he could take a look at this opponent.

"Hi Max!" Buldygin said with a big smile upon his face.
"Hi buddy," replied a giggling Silver.

Buldygin maintained his stare and smile as Silver studied him, then opened 7♥7♠ when called. Silver had that beat with T♠T♣ and moved up to round 230,000. Buldygin fell to 80,000. --MC

2:00pm: Seat draw at 24
Level 12 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

Table 1

Seat 1. Philipp Gruissem
Seat 2. Mariman Yaghmai
Seat 3. David Yan
Seat 4. Mikita Badziakouski
Seat 5. Patrick Leonard
Seat 6. Scott Seiver
Seat 7. Morten Mortensen
Seat 8. Frederik Jensen

Table 2

Seat 1. Max Silver
Seat 2. Nick Petrangelo
Seat 3. Sam Greenwood
Seat 4. Ramin Hajiyev
Seat 5. Alexandros Kolonias
Seat 6. Davidi Kitai
Seat 7. Allan Sannier
Seat 8. Viacheslav Buldygin

Table 3

Seat 1. Ole Schemion
Seat 2. Orpen Kisacikoglu
Seat 3. Oleksii Khoroshenin
Seat 4. Behzad Ahadpour
Seat 5. Dario Sammartino
Seat 6. Ben Heath
Seat 7. Adrian Mateos
Seat 8. Andras Nemeth

1:50pm: The end for Chidwick
Level 12 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

Stephen Chidwick made a valiant comeback yesterday after entering the last phase of play as the short stack; he was unable to repeat the feat today though.

He was down to 25,600 when he made his move from under the gun. Mikita Badziakouski gave him custom from the small blind and the cards were flipped up.

Badziakouski: 8♥8♦
Chidwick: K♠T♦

The board ran J♥6♠2♠3♣2♣ to hand the pot and the scalp to Badziakouski.

That was the elimination to take us down to 24 and a re-draw. Details are imminent. --MC

1:50pm: Down to 24, redraw
Level 12 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

We have a couple of other hand reports to come, which will be with you shortly. They are down to 24 and re-drawing for the last three tables. -- HS

1:45pm: Double for Mateos
Level 12 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

Former EPT Grand Final champion Adrian Mateos has got his tournament back on track with a double up. He three-bet all-in for 30,300 after Behzad Ahadpour had opened to 5,000. Call.

Ahadpour: A♠K♦
Mateos: A♣A♥

adrian_mateos_ept13_malta_day2_25k.jpg

Adrian Mateos: Double!

The board ran 8♣2♠6♦6♠3♣ and the aces held. Ahadpour dropped to 38,000. --MC

1:40pm: Two double ups for Ahadpour
Level 12 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

Just when you thought Behzad Ahadpour was out, he pulls himself back in again. This time with two hands that will keep him and his stack around for at least a little while longer.

In the first he was all-in with pocket sevens against the Kings of Philip Gruissem. If it looked like Ahadpour was on the way out it didn't look that way for long, with another seven the first card on the board. As Scott Seiver quipped: "That was a gruesome seven for Gruissem."

Two hands later and Ahadpour was all-in again, for around 30,000. The action was folded to Seiver in the big blind.

"Just me and you?" Ahadpour asked, before saying, "Just fold."

Seiver didn't call. Cautiously, he now called with pocket sevens, against A♣8♥. But this time it was the sevens that were undone, with the board running Q♠J♣8♣5♥9♥.
Ahadpour back again. - SB

1:35pm: Big stacks go to war
Level 11 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

There was a cigarette paper between the overnight counts of Patrick Leonard and Oleksii Khoroshenin. The top two on the leader board were drawn at the same table today and tangled in a pre-flop raising war that was won by Leonard.

The Brit opened to 4,500 from early position before Ole Schemion three-bet to 14,500 from two seats along. Khoroshenin was in the cutoff and came in with a cold four-bet to 30,500. Leonard went into the tank and when he came out of it he five-bet to 86,500. Both opponents folded.

It's hard to tell exactly how much Leonard has got due to the way he stacks but he must be approaching 300,000. Schemion dropped to 78,000 and Khoroshenin to 265,000. --MC

1:30pm: Numbers crunched
Level 11 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

Registration closed this afternoon and the full details of the prize structure is now with us. There were 65 entries to the event--60 entries on Day 1, five more straight in to Day 2. In all, the tournament attracted 46 unique players, with 19 re-entries.

The €1,592,500 prize pool will be shared by the top nine finishers with the winner taking €465,800. The min-cash is worth €46,180.

The full payout structure is on the payouts page, and below.

POSNAMECOUNTRYSTATUSPRIZE
1   €465,800
2   €334,400
3   €217,400
4   €164,030
5   €127,400
6   €98,740
7   €78,050
8   €60,500
9   €46,180

1:25pm: Buldygin building
Level 11 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

Another double up for Viacheslav Buldygin, this time through Behzad Ahadpour.

Initially it was Ahadpour who had moved all-in. The hand began with an opening bet by Adrian Mateos before Buldygin raised to 14,550. Then Ahadpour moved in for a little more than 60,000. Mateos backed out but Ahadpour called all-in for 53,000.

He showed A♣K♠ while Ahadpour tossed his cards in, the effect being that they cartwheeled all over the place. He had T♣T♥.

The board ran 3♦9♥8♠A♦8♣ to keep Buldygin alive. "Nice hand," said Ahadpour who after buying in again this morning is now down to around 10,000. Buldygin meanwhile moves up to around 120,000. - SB

1:20pm: Shak shafted
Level 11 - Blinds 1,000-2,000 (300 ante)

Dan Shak is out and the record will show that Ramin Hajiyev did the deed. But, in truth, Shak was obliterated before Hajiyev picked up the bounty: he had only 1,100 to get in on his last hand.

Here is that record: Hajiyev opened from early position, making it 4,500 to go. Shak committed his last two chips--one yellow, worth 1,000, and one brown, worth 100--from the button and Andras Nemeth called the 4,500 from the small blind.

The flop came 9♠7♣2♦ and Nemeth checked. Hajiyev made a continuation bet and Nemeth folded.

I don't know if Shak had even looked at his cards, but when he turned them over he may have been happy to have flopped top pair with his 9♣5♣. However, he saw no reason to stop packing his things away in his rucksack, even before Hajiyev turned over his dominant A♣9♥. The Q♠ and the 8♦ completed the board and Shak was out. -- HS

1:20pm: Satty winner can't win with top set
Level 11 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

Alex DiFelice wont the hyper satellite to claim his seat in the High Roller here today. He might have had dreams about running up a big stack; winning life-changing money. Then he comes and flops top set. Good for a double up? Good for a bust out more like.

alex_difelice_ept13_malta_25k_day2.jpg

Alex DiFelice: Couldn't run it up

Nariman Yaghmai took him out after the two got the chips in on the turn of a K♥9♣A♠4♠Q♠ board. DiFelice held A♥A♣ for top set and his opponent had K♠9♠ for flopped top two, and turned flush draw that came in on the river. --MC

1:15pm: Not Badziakouski
Level 11 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

Two hands in a row go the way of Mikita Badziakouski, check raising Ramin Hajiyev in one of them. His stack is up to around 340,000 now. - SB

1:10pm: Buldygin bouncing
Level 11 - Blinds 1,000-2,000 (300 ante)

Viacheslav Buldygin is having the time of his life in Malta this week. He was as excited as a kid at a theme park when he went all the way to second place in the €10,000 event earlier on, and he seems thrilled to be back in action in the €25,000 too.

viacheslav_buldyginept13_malta_day2_25k.jpg

Viacheslav Buldygin: Can we go on the log flume next?

And here's something else to fill him with warmth: a double up early on Day 2. He got his last 27,800 in with K♠J♠ and was up against Adrian Mateos's 5♠5♥. The flop was all low -- 4♠7♥9♦ -- but the J♦ turn was just the tonic for Buldygin, washed down with a safe 3♠ river.

Buldygin now has a workable stack while Mateos is down to 33,000. -- HS

1pm: The quest to build a new stack
Level 11 - Blinds 1,000-2,000 (300 ante)

Buying in today got you 50,000 chips, which is precisely 25 big blinds. It's a short stack by anyone's estimation and the aim is to run it up quickly, risking going broke in the process.

As described below, Paul Newey was eliminated on the first hand he played. But it's interesting to see how some of the others fared.

Behzad Ahadpour is firing his second bullet, and he was very close to following Newey out the door. He opened to 6,000 from under the gun and Charlie Carrel, one seat to his right and also a short stack, moved all-in.

Ahadpour called and was behind with his A♦J♣ to Carrel's A♦Q♠. But the board ran 8♠8♥2♠A♥K♦ and that was a chop. (Carrel actually only had 40,000, so Ahadpour would have survived.)

Alex DiFelice won a satellite last night and he's been trying to get stuff going today. He raised to 4,500 from the cutoff, but had to fold when Nariman Yaghmai shoved on him, with a stack of about 41,000.

Back on the other table, Viacheslav Buldygin opened to 4,500 and Ahadpour again moved his stack in. Buldygin, who was second to Dietrich Fast in the €10,000 event, folded.

Then back to DiFelice. He opened to 4,500 in the hijack and Frederik Jensen three-bet to 12,500 from the big blind and DiFelice folded.

They are all trying, but none has succeeded to build a stack as yet.

Update: But at least they aren't Vladimir Troyanovskiy. He bought in for his second bullet today but was recently seen heading back out of the door, the second man out today. -- HS

12:55pm: Leonard loses the lead
Level 11 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

Patrick Leonard, who came into the day with the chip lead, opened for 4,500 which Oleksii Khoroshenin, who almost had the chip lead last night, called from the button. Max Silver was in the big blind and also called, seeing the flop land T♠8♦A♥.

Leonard played on, betting another 10,000 this time which Khoroshenin called. Silver got out of their way.

On the 5♥ turn Leonard bet 24,000. Khoroshenin called again for the J♦ on the river. This time Leonard eased off, checking the action to Khoroshenin. He paused, taking 70,000 chips from his stack. He didn't bet it immediately. Instead he took the top chip away and replaced it for two 1K chips, then pushed it forward - 67,000 to play.

Leonard asked how much, then took several large pulls on the straw of his drink. Fully juiced he opted to fold, talking it through in a whisper with Ben Heath and Max Silver after wards, all part of the healing process.

Khoroshenin now up to 330,000. - SB

12:50pm: Seiver in the chat and poker action
Level 11 - Blinds 1,000-2,000 (300 ante)

Scott Seiver is full of beans today and holding court at his table. We've found out that he thinks tablemate Morten Mortensen has the best name in poker. He's obviously never played against Runar Runarsson.

Seiver then went on talk about how one's opening raise sizes, and how they randomly get bigger once you past 30. Then he opened to a pretty standard 2.5 times the big blind from early position. It was into Adrian Mateos' big blind. He defended and check-called a 4,000 on the 6♥5♠K♦ flop.

"Just fold!" said Seiver.

The board ran out K♣8♠ and Mateos A-Q lost to Seiver's 7♠7♥.

Seiver opened the next hand but folded when Viacheslav Buldygin (hero from the 10k re-entry) moved all-in for around 35,000. --MC

12:45pm: Newey in, and out just as quick
Level 11 - Blinds 1,000-2,000 (300 ante)

Just the €25,000 per her hand played for Paul Newey this morning.

The British businessman had his jacks cracked by Scott Seiver's A-6 on the last hand of the night last night, and - as we already wrote - re-entered this morning. He was spotted walking out of the tournament room and conformed to the blog that he was indeed out again. He said he had A♣K♣ and three-bet all-in after David Yan had opened with queens. The board was 9-5-4-2-2. --MC

paul_newey_ept13_malta_25k_day2.jpg

Brief stay for Paul Newey

12:35pm: Newcomers
Level 11 - Blinds 1,000-2,000 (300 ante)

There have been five additional entries this morning, bringing the total bums in seats as we get under way again to 32. Paul Newey, Vladimir Troyanovskiy and Behzad Ahadpour exercised their option for a re-entry, while Allain Sannier ponied up €25,000 for his first entry. Alex DiFelice is in on the cheap. He won a hyper-turbo satellite last night to earn his 25 big blinds.

Play has now restarted. -- HS

12pm: Heading down to the final table

Good morning everybody and welcome back to Malta. Today is the penultimate day of the EPT13 Malta €25,000 High Roller event, and we'll get ourselves down to a final. Most likely, we'll play down to six and that may involve a dinner break along the way, but with only 27 players still involved at the end of last night's action, it might also be rapid.

Registration is open until the start of play today, and anybody wanting to stump up €25,000 will get 25 big blinds. This is a single re-entry event, so some people who have been eliminated already might decide to leap back in. We will soon find out.

Patrick Leonard leads the way, ahead of Oleksii Khoroshenin and Dario Sammartino. The good omen for Leonard is that Dietrich Fast led at the end of Day 1 in the €10,000 event and ending up winning. Could we have another wire-to-wire champion.

patrick_leonard_leading_ept13_malta_25k.jpg

Patrick Leonard: Leading the way

All the action will be right here, so stick with us. -- HS

Take a look at the official website of the EPT, with tournament schedule, news, results and accommodation details for EPT13 Malta and 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 €25,000 High Roller: Stephen Bartley, Marc Convey and Howard Swains. Photography by Neil Stoddart. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour