EPT Sochi: Mikhail Plakkhin moves into Main Event lead. 16 remain

Day 4 of the EPT Sochi Main Event has ended, with 16 players remaining, led by chip leader Mikhail Plakkhin.

Plakkhin bags up 3,046,000 this evening and is in pole position for a spot in the final six, which will be the job of players tomorrow when play resumes.

Mikhail Plakkhin

That task will be a difficult one. Here's how they'll line up.

NameCountryChip count
Mikhail PlakkhinRussia3,046,000
Sihao ZhangLuxembourg2,193,000
Andrey KaigorotsevRussia1,880,000
Petr SonUzbekistan1,680,000
Sergey PichuginRussia1,615,000
Vasily YarkovRussia1,600,000
Ivan VolodkoRussia1,528,000
Arseniy KarmatskiyRussia1,479,000
Mikhail ZavolokaRussia1,419,000
Dmitriy ZhukovRussia1,392,000
Sergey KerzhakovRussia1,344,000
Viktor ShegaiRussia1,296,000
Vahe MartirosyanArmenia1,034,000
Mikhail KovalyukRussia832,000
Gurgen PipoyanRussia755,000
Ernest ShakoryanRussia554,000

Some 40 players had returned to start the day. But thoughts were on something other than poker in the minutes before the start of play.

A Main Event of this size is obviously serious business. But sometimes the events at the poker table pale in comparison to the real world.

Yesterday, a fire in Kemerovo resulted in the deaths of at least 64 people, 41 of them children. It's an incident that is almost too terrible to contemplate, and one that has effected people both in Russian, and around the world.

Poker players were united in that grief this morning, and paused for a minute's silence before play began. Tomorrow will be a national day of mourning in Russia, and while play will continue, it will do so in a subdued spirit.

But we move on to tomorrow. Day 5 will start with 16 players and reduce the field to six - however long that may take.

Scroll down to catch up on the key hands and images from the day's play. Join us again at 12 noon tomorrow for the start (10am UK, 5am ET).

See you then.


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8:20pm: Day 4 concludes
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

This was the last level scheduled for today but the clock has been paused as we have our final 16.

Valeriy Avanesyan was the unfortunate 17th place finisher. He was one of the shortest stacks as Level 23 got underway and had managed to get a steal through in the previous hand but the second jam was called by Dmitry Zhukov and Avanesyan was a long way behind.

Zhukov A♠K♣
Avanesyan A♣Q♣

The flop came 3♠8♠J♠ and Avanesyan only had two live queens in the deck.

The 5♦ turn and 3♣ river were safe for Zhukov and it's the end for Avanesyan. Zhukov will go into Day 5 with what looked like 1.422 million and with players currently bagging up, we will be able to confirm all the chip counts shortly. --LY

8:10pm: End-of-day bubble
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

We lost a player at the feature table and are down to 17 players. Want to know what happened? Well check out the stream and you'll find out in about 30 minutes.

Valeriy Avanesyan is the reigning tournament short stack over on the tournament floor with just about 10 big blinds, but he's holding on for dear life.

Mikhail Kovalyuk moved all-in at the other table, but he didn't get any callers. Kovalyuk started things off with a raise to 50,000 from under the gun and Areseniy Karmatskiy three-bet to 155,000. Action folded back around to Kovalyuk and he moved all-in for 741,000. Karmatskiy thought and thought a bit more. Karmatskiy had 1.3 million behind and decided it was better to fold.

The end-of-day bubble continues. --AV

7:55pm: We're back

The final 18 players are back and we'll be ending the day as soon as we lose two more.

7:35pm: Break time

Players are on a 20 minute break.

7:25pm: 18 players remain
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Mikhail Plakkhin opened to 45,000 from under-the-gun and was three-bet all in by Aleksey Savenkov on his left. All others moved aside and Savenkov snap called.

Plakkhin A♣Q♥
Savenkov J♠T♠

Though Savenkov had got it in behind, he was still very much live.

4♠6♥K♣

It was a good flop for Plakkhin, with only runner runner draws and jacks and tens to dodge.

Aleksey Savenkov

The 2♦ turn saw the end of any straight or flush combos and the K♦ locked it up. Plakkhin has 2.7 million in front, which sees him join the top chip stacks, with 18 players left. Savenko finishes in 19th place. --LY

7:10pm: Zhukov doubles through Pipoyan
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Gurgen Pipoyan just doubled up another player.

Pipoyan started the hand off with raise to 47,000 from the hijack and Dmitriy Zhukov three-bet to 150,000 from the cutoff. Action folded back to Pipoyan and he moved all-in. Zhukov called all-in for 526,000 and each player showed a pocket pair.

Dmitriy Zhukov

Pipoyan tabled Q♦Q♥ while Zhukov showed K♦K♥. Both players hit a flush on the 8♥J♥2♥4♥7♣ board and the king-high flush took it down. Pipoyan dropped to 970,000 and Zhukov doubled up to 1.1 million. --AV

7pm: Shegai sacks Gulyy
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Viktor Shegai raised to 55,000 from under the gun and Andrey Gulyy moved all-in for 390,000 from the cutoff. Action folded back to Shegai and he thought for a bit. He looked at the clock, then his stack and back at the clock.

Andrey Gulyy

Then he called and they flipped for Grulyy's tournament life. Shegai showed T♣T♦ and Gulyy tabled A♦K♣. The board ran 8♥5♠8♦3♠Q♦ and pocket tens stayed in the lead. Grulyy was out in 20th while Shegai went up to 1.4 million. --AV

6:50pm: Pipoyan and Gulyy get it in
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Viktor Shigai opened to 45,000 and Andrey Gulyy shoved 175,000 on the button. It was called by Gurgen Pipoyan in the big blind and Shigai opted to get out of the way.

Gurgen Pipoyan

Gulyy was the three to one favourite with A♠K♠ versus A♥T♥ for Pipoyan.

Neither player connected with the J♠2♣3♣ flop, which was fine for Gulyy, just as long as he could dodge a ten or running straight cards.

It was a 6♦ on the turn and a 9♠ on the river and Gulyy lives on a little while longer at least. --LY

6:40pm: Cooler for Soloviev
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Arseniy Karmatskiy got the ball rolling with a 45,000 open from under-the-gun. Mikhail Plakkhin flatted before Danila Soloviev squeezed to 135,000. With the action back on Karmatskiy, he shoved the lot, to the tune of 1.152 million. Plakkhin took some time before folding but it was an immediate call from Soloviev.

Arseniy Karmatskiy

Karmatskiy K♥K♦
Soloviev A♥K♠

It was a cooler for Soloviev who was the underdog at this point.

Q♣J♣4♠

The turn brought a broadway gutshot for Soloviev, so he was looking for an ace or a ten. Neither appeared on the 7♥6♥ turn and river and Soloviev is out. Karmatskiy is closing in fast on Sihao Zhang's 2.5 million chip lead, with 2.1 million. --LY

6:25pm: Pipoyan pops Pisarev in 22nd
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Denis Pisarev was down to just about 150,000 and he moved them all-in from under the gun. Action folded around to Gurgen Pipoyan on the small blind he called. Pisarev had the smaller stack and the smaller hand with T♣9♣ while Pipoyan turned over a dominating A♦T♦.

Denis Pisarev

Pisarev did pick up a flush draw on the 8♠K♣8♣ flop, but the T♠ on the turn and the 2♥ on the river didn't complete it. Pisarev hit the rail in 22nd while Pipoyan chipped up to nearly 1.9 million. --AV

6:10pm: Son calls three streets
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

It was battle of the early positions when Mikhail Kovalyuk opened under-the-gun and Petr Son called on his left.

Petr Son

9♦8♦K♥

Kovalyuk continued for 50,000 and Son peeled on the flop.

The turn paired the board with the K♣ and it was deja vu when Kovalyuk barrelled another 50,000 and Son came along again.

The river was a 7♠ and our preflop aggressor didn't slow down, betting 104,000. Son needed a minute to decide and elected to call. It was the right decision as his T♠T♣ was good against Kovalyuk's A♠Q♥.

He has chipped up to 1.1 million and change and Kovalyuk now has 475,000 to play with. --LY

5:50pm: Zyrin zapped in 23rd
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Anatolii Zyrin couldn't survive domination.

Anatolii Zyrin

Aleksey Savenkov raised to 41,000 that hand and then Zyrin moved all-in for 185,000. Danila Soloviev called from the big blind and Savenkov let it go.

Zyrin turned over K♦Q♦ and Soloviev showed a dominating A♦Q♠. The board ran 8♥2♥2♠9♥8♦ and Soloviev's ace took down the pot. Soloviev is now at about 1.1 million while Zyrin is our 23rd place finisher. --AV

5:20pm: Another bust before break
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

We're down to 23 players after an elimination at the feature table right as we were getting ready for a redraw. Stay tuned to the TV stream to find out who. In the meantime we're taking the 20 minute break early.

5:15pm: Martirosyan fails to make a comeback
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

It was always going to be a tough ask to chip back up from a mere big blind.

Artur Martirosyan tried and did win a small pot, to take him up to 54,000, but his hope was short-lived as just a couple of hands later he got 50,000 in from under-the-gun with A♠3♦ and ran into Valeriy Avanesyan's A♥8♠.

The 3♠8♥9♠ flop hit a pair for both, but that wasn't any consolation for Martirosyn, who's outs had thinned even further. The 6♣ turn and K♠ river sealed his fate and he finished in 25th place. We're now redrawing to our final three tables.--LY

That's it for Artur Martirosyan

5:10pm: Martirosyan down to the felt
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Mikhail Kovalyuk and Artur Martirosyan got tangled up in a pot a few hands ago.

9♠9♣4♦4♥8♦

On the river, Kovalyuk jammed 188,000 all-in, then pulled his hood over his head and turned away from Martirosyan, who was sat on his direct left. Martirosyan had 204,000 so they were effectively playing for stacks but he didn't let that put him off and made the call.

Martirosyan A♠2♠
Kovalyuk K♥9♥

It was two pair vs a full house and Martirosyan was left with exactly one big blind left after that hand. --LY

5:00pm: Kildibekov can't win a flip, out in 26th
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Timur Kildibekov was down to about 225,000 and got it all-in with 4♠4♣ against Ernest Shakoryan's A♥K♠.

Things were looking good for Kildibekov until the river of a T♦7♠2♥3♠A♦ board. Shakoryan's stack rose to 930,000 while Kildibekov was KO'd in 26th. --AV

4:55pm: Tyulenev tossed in 27th
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Aleksey Tyulenev was left with just about 230,000 after losing a bit pot to Sihao Zhang. There was already more than 200,000 in the pot by the time payers got to the river on a [6]A♦[qg]A♣3♠ board and Zhang bet another 280,000.

Aleksey Tyulenev

Tyulenev called and then mucked after Zhang tabled a set of sixes with 6♥6♦.

Then Tyulenev lost the rest of his chips a few hands later.

Vage Martirosyan raised to 33,000 from the hijack that hand and Mikhail Plakkhin called from the cutoff. Tyulenev moved all-in for 269,000 from the button and Martirosyan rejammed for 325,000 from the hijack.

Plakkhin thought and finally called for a three-way all-in.

Tyulenev: A♦T♠
Plakkhin: 3♦3♥
Martirosyan: K♣Q♣

The 2♣8♠2♥6♣Q♥ board put Martirosyan in the lead and he nearly tripled to 900,000. Plakkhin dipped to 1.34 million while Tyulenev fell in 27th. --AV

Aleksey Tyulenev is out in 27th

4:45pm: Still 27 left
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

It's been one of those periods where play has been steady. There have been lots of small and medium sized pots exchanging hands and as a result, we still have 27 players in.

The most recent pot played out between Viktor Shegai and Mikhail Kovalyuk. The former had checked the river with 9♦7♥7♦5♠6♠ out and the latter had bet 113,000. Shegai made the call and the two went to showdown.

Shegai K♣9♥
Kovalyuk J♠T♥

Shegai takes it down and has about 700,000 in front. Kovalyuk has slumped to 300,000, which is less than 20 big blinds. --LY

4:35pm: Kaigorotsev kicks Galitskiy out in 28th
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Mihail Galitskiy couldn't mount a comeback after losing a big all-in to Gurgen Pipoyan.

Andrey Kaigorotsev started off Pipoyan's demise with a raise to 36,000 from middle position. Galitskiy was down to around 130,000 and just flatted from the big blind. The flop came T♥3♣K♦ and Kaigorotsev bet 25,000 when checked to. Galitskiy thought until someone called the clock and then he moved all-in. Kaigorotsev quickly called and turned over A♥A♦ to Galitskiy's T♠4♠.

Aces were in the lead and they stayed there after a J♣ and a 9♥ completed the board. The pot put Kaigorotsev up to 1.1 million while Galitskiy was eliminated in 28th place. --AV

That's it for Mikhail Galitskiy

4:20pm: Quick double for Martirosyan
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Artur Martirosyan was down to just 161,000 and moved it all-in from under the gun. Action folded around to Mikhail Kovalyuk on the big blind and he called.

Kovalyuk turned over A♣T♣ and Martirosyan was in the lead with J♥J♠. The 4♣6♠4♠4♥7♦ board kept Martirosyan's jacks in the lead and he doubled to 350,000. Kovalyuk on the other dipped to about 385,000. --AV

4pm: Tyulenev survives
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

All the money went in preflop with Aleksey Tyulenev the player at risk versus Vage Martirosyan.

Tyulenev K♥K♣
Martirosyan A♠Q♥

Our all-in player was the favourite before the flop came out but 8♦A♥3♠ pushed Martirosyan a long way ahead.

Vage Martirosyan

It was a 6♠ turn and Tyulenev had to hit a king with one card to come. The K♦ river saved him and he hit the table, happy with the final result. Well, it's no wonder really as 650,000 chips is infinitely better than busting out. Martirosyan is left nursing a 230,000 stack. --LY

3:30pm: Break time

Players are on another 20 minute break.

3:25pm: Merzhvinskiy minced right before break
Level 20 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Timur Kildibekov raised from under the gun on the last hand before break and Aleksandr Merzhvinskiy moved all-in for about 250,000. Kildibekov had a bit more and called for a shodown.

Kildibekov turned over T♦T♣ while Merzhvinskiy tabled Q♠J♥. Merzhvinskiy did hit a jack on the T♠J♦A♠ flop, but Kildibekov hit a set of tens. A 7♦ came on the turn and a 5♣ completed the board.

Merzhvinskiy was eliminated in 29th while Kildibekov chipped up to 340,000. --AV

3:20pm: Big double for Pipoyan
Level 20 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Mikhail Galitskiy raised to 30,000 from under the gun and then Gurgen Pipoyan three-bet to 76,000 from middle position. Aleksandr Merzhivinsky from the hijack and Sihao Zhang called from the cutoff. Galitskiy went along as well and the four players went to a 2♠9♦8♥ flop.

Gurgen Pipoyan

Pipoyan bet 110,000 when checked to, Merzhvinskiy folded, Zhang called and then Galitskiy raised to 425,000. Pipoyan three-bet all-in for about 700,000 and only Galitskiy called.

Galitskiy turned over 9♥8♠ for two-pair while Pipoyan tabled the overpair with T♦T♠. A 2♣ came on the turn to give Pipoyan a better two-pair and he high-fived a friend and celebrated. The river was a 2♥ to fill both players up and deuces filled with tens took it down.

Galitskiy dipped to 187,000 while Pipoyan doubled up to 1.1 million. --AV

3:15pm: Dream spot for Soloviev
Level 20 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

With only 30 remaining of 861 runners, Danila Soloviev found himself in the best scenario one can hope for as a poker player.

Soloviev K♠K♦
Artur Martirosyan J♦J♣
Nikita Kalinin J♠J♥

Soloviev was a massive favourite pre, with his opponents having no direct outs between them. Soloviev was able to relax as Martirosyan and Kalinin were drawing dead on the flop.

Danila Soloviev

Soloviev scooped an almost triple up, putting him up to 1.275 million. We have to say goodbye to Kalinin, who had the shortest stack of the three, whilst Martirosyan survived but just barely, winning just 88,000 from the side pot. --LY

3:10pm: Ponomarev punted in 31st
Level 20 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Make that 30 players.

Artur Martirosyan raised to 27,000 from under the gun and a short-stacked Dmitriy Ponomarev moved all-in for 135,000 from the button. Martirosya snap-called and turned over A♦A♠ to Ponomarev's A♣T♣. The 3♦J♣4♦9♠5♣ board didn't bring any help for Ponomarev and he hit the rail in 31st.

Dmitriy Ponomarev

Martirosyan on the other hand chipped up to about 650,000. --AV

3:05pm: Monster pot
Level 20 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

The hand started off straight forward enough. Gurgen Pipoyan opened in middle position and called an 80,000 three-bet by Mikhail Plakkhin on the small blind.

Q♣9♠3♣

The flop action was much more surprising. After Plakkhin continued for 160,000, Pipoyan raised around 1 million all-in. This was enough to cover Plakkhin who had 776,000 left. It was a pretty quick call from Plakkhin and they turned their cards on their back.

Plakkhin A♥9♥
Pipoyan K♥T♠

It was a shock for a number of the other players at the table, some even getting up to take photos of the hand.

It was a big call from Plakkhin but he still needed to fade a king, jack or ten for to win the massive pot.

Mikhail Plakkhin

The A♣ was a great turn card for Plakkhin and Pipoyan was down to just four outs...all the jacks. The river was a 7♥ and Pipoyan counted out the chips to hand over. He is down to 650,000 but Plakkhin has now skyrocketed to 1.738 million. --LY

2:55pm: Menshov out in 33rd, down to four tables
Level 20 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Sergey Menshov moved his short stack all-in from the small blind after Artur Martirosyan raised from under the gun. Martirosyan called and showed A♦T♥ to Menshov's Q♦J♦. Menshov was in need of some help, but didn't get it on the 7♣6♦K♠8♦K♥ board.

Menshov hit the rail in 33rd while Martirosyan chipped up to 450,000. Their table broke and we're now down to four tables. --AV

2:40pm: Agonising decision for Kovalyuk
Level 20 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

The board read T♥6♠4♣8♠A♦

Mikhail Kovalyuk had bet 100,000 on the river and Arseniy Karmatskiy had put him to the test by raising to 500,000, which was enough to put Kovalyuk all-in.

Arseniy Karmatskiy (in yellow)

Kovalyuk looked visibly distressed, whilst decided what to do. After an a couple of minutes had passed, the clock was called. There were only 30 more seconds to decide. At one point, with about five seconds left, it looked as though he may call as he reached for his chips but then changed his mind and the clock run down.

Karmatskiy offered Kovalyuk his cards and he turned over 8♣9♠. Kovalyuk reciprocated by showing his K♥K♠, which had been good to win the hand.

Karmatskiy continues to use aggression and the power of his large stack to great effect. --LY

2:20pm: Down and up for Gulyy
Level 20 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Andrey Gulyy was left with fewer than ten big blind after doubling up Danila Soloviev, but then he got a double up on the next hand thanks to a lucky river.

Daila Soloviev

Valeriy Avanesyan started off the first hand with a raise to 27,000 from the button and then Soloviev moved all-in for 217,000 from the small blind. Gulyy re-jammed for about 100,000 more from the big blind and Avanesyan folded.

Soloviev turned over 6♠6♦ and he was flipping against Gulyy's A♥K♠. The J♦7♦8♣Q♦Q♥ board brought a few face cards, but none of the ones that Gulyy needed. Soloviev doubled to about 475,000 while Gulyy was left with about 100,000.

Juri Gulyy with his son Andrey Gulyy

They went all-in from the small blind the following hand and Nikita Kalinin called from the big blind. Kalinin was in the lead with 4♠4♥ and Gulyy turned over J♦3♦. Gulyy hit one pair on the 7♦3♥A♦ flop, but it wasn't enough. Lucky for him, he also hit a J♥ on the river to stay alive. Gulyy doubled to about 250,000 while Kalinin dropped to 285,000. --AV

2pm: A welcome pot for Shakoryan
Level 20 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Players have come back from their break and on table 5, three liked their hands enough to get involved in the following pot.

Gurgen Pipoyan opened in middle position and was called on his left by Artur Martirosyan on the cutoff. Ernest Shakoryan joined them from the small blind and they went three-handed to the flop.

T♣3♦Q♥

No one fancied betting so the dealer went straight to the turn. It was the 6♦. This time Shakoryan lead for 55,000. Pipoyan called but Martirosyan passed and it was just the two of them as they headed onto the river.

The 8♣ fell and Pipoyan announced his all. It was 120,000 to call and Pipoyan decided it was too much and folded. Shakoryan wins a much needed pot and he's now up to 325,000 in play. --LY

1:30pm: Break
Level 19 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Players are now on their first 20-minute break of the day. Take a break too and then come back for more action from EPT Sochi.

1:25pm: Ionescu falls
Level 19 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

The first hour of Day 4 has not been kind to Catalin-Mihai Ionescu and as a result, he found himself on the button with just five big blinds.

Mihai Ionescu

He got it in and not too surprisingly, found a caller in Aleksandr Merzhvinskiy, who was in the big blind.

Ionescu K♥6♥
Merzhvinskiy Q♦3♦

Our all-in player was ahead, however a Q♠9♠A♠ flop changed that.

The 6♠ turn was an interesting one. Now Ionescu could hit another six or a king to win, or a spade to chop.

The river came A♣ and Ionescu leaves us in 36th place. Meanwhile Merzhvinskiy is playing with 350,000. --LY

1:20pm: Gusak gone, down to 37
Level 19 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Another one down.

Sihao Zhang raised to 22,000 from under the gun and action folded around to Vitaliy Gusak on the small blind. Gusak was down to 170,000 and found himself with Q♣Q♦. Definitely good enough for a shove.

Sihao Zhang

Gusak moved all-in and Zhang quickly called with a better pair, the best pair. Zhang turned over A♣A♥. Gusak was hoping for a queen, but the 3♣A♠T♠4♦2♠ board brought Zhang an ace instead.

Gusak finished in 38th place while Zhang chipped up to 1.20 million. --AV

Vitaliy Gusak

1:15pm: Rivered straight boosts Kovalyuk
Level 19 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Mikhail Kovalyuk called from under the gun with T♥9♥ and Gurgen Pipoyan called from the jack. Artur Martirosyan then bumped it up to 55,000 from the cutoff and only Kovalyuk called. The flop came J♦2♥8♣ and Martirosyan bet 42,000 when checked to. Kovalyuk called and a 3♣ came on the turn.

Both players checked that card, but then Kovalyuk bet 130,000 after the Q♥ completed the board. Martirosyan thought and finally put out chips for a call. Then Martirosyan mucked after Kovalyuk tabled T♥9♥ for a rivered straight.

The pot put Kovalyuk up to 780,000 while Martirosyan dipped to 1.04 million. --AV

1:05pm: Double for Kalinin
Level 19 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Having danced around the chip lead on more than one occasion over the last three days, times have been distinctly leaner for Nikita Kalinin recently. He was down to his last 213,000 and got it all-in preflop versus Danila Soloviev, who had him covered.

Kalinin A♠Q♥
Soloviev 9♦9♣

They were flipping as the dealer laid out 5♥4♣Q♣ flop, but a pair of queens sent him into the lead.

The T♣ turn brought a potential flush for Soloviev, but the 8♥ river bricked and Kalinin doubled to 440,000. Soloviev slumped to 250,000, but it's not over yet. --LY

Nikita Kalinin (left) switched his fancy red jacket for a fancy black hat.

12:55pm: Nice scoop for Kovalyuk
Level 19 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

We've just seen some serious preflop action over on table five just now.

Mikhail Kovalyuk opened to 30,000 and Artur Martirosyan flatted on the small blind. Arseniy Karmatskiy, the table chip leader, was sat in the big blind and he popped it up to 120,000.

Kovalyuk wasn't put off and he four-bet all-in for 351,000. Martirosyan took a minute to think about it, but decided to pass and Karmatskiy folded right behind him. The snap-fold was a surprise to Kovalyuk and he and Karmatskiy laughed about it.

It is a nice scoop for Kovalyuk. He adds 158,000 to his stack, which puts him up to just over 500,000. --LY

12:45pm: Three threes double Menshov
Level 19 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

A short-stacked Sergey Menshov was dominated preflop, but then he flopped big to score a small double up.

Kiryl Radzivonau started action off with a raise to 20,000 from the hijack and Ernest Shakoryan called from the cutoff. Menshov went along from the big blind and and all three players went to the 3♦3♥T♠ flop.

Menshov, who was holding trip threes with A♣3♠, checked from the big blind. Radzivonau bet 30,000, Shakoryan folded and Menshov moved all-in for about 60,000. Shakoryan called and showed an initially dominating, but now behind A♠J♠. Shakoryan was drawing slim and the 4♣ on the turn and 6♣ on the river were no help.

Menshov doubled to 185,000 while Shakoryan dipped to 275,000. --AV

12:25pm: Afanasenka out
Level 19 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

It was an early exit on Day 4 of the EPT Sochi Main Event for Raman Aganasenka.

Catalin-Mihai Ionescu started off the betting with a 26,000 open and Afanasenka shipped 280,000 from Ionescu's left. It folded around to Vasily Yarkov on the button and he didn't need long to think before he called.

Vasily Yarkov

With the blinds moving aside, action was back on Ionescu and he only had around 200,000 behind. A call would put his tournament life on the line too. He folded though and it was heads-up for Afanasenka and Yarkov.

Afanasenka T♣T♦
Yarkov J♣J♠

It was pair vs pair and Yarkov had the best of it as they headed into the flop.

3♣6♠2♥6♥Q♥

The jacks held for Yarkov and he moved up to around 1.1 million now. --LY

12:05pm: Let it rip
Level 19 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

The tables are full, chips are unbagged and cards are in the air. Day 4 is underway. --AV

11:45am: Forty back for Day 4

The sun peaked out of the clouds for a bit this morning here in Sochi and the glimmering EPT trophy is also in sight for our final 40 players. They're about to pile into the fancy theater tournament area at the Sochi Casino to play down to 16 players.

They're all hunting for their first EPT trophy since the last EPT champion in the field, Andrey Pateichuk, was eliminated late in the day yesterday. A big source of his downfall was a flush vs. flush situation that gave Ivan Volodko a massive chip lead. Volodko was able to hold on to the lead and finish the day with 1.56 million. Volodko starts the day half-a-million chips ahead of his closest contender, but we have a few tournament millionaires and several strong players still in.

Stay tuned for more action from EPT Sochi. --AV

A beautiful day in Sochi.