EPT11 Prague: Day Four's fifteen minutes of fame
Although all poker tournaments are ultimately the same, as they start with everyone very much equal and finish when one person has all the chips, the way they get from start to finish always differs.
And each EPT main event is no different, whilst the order of the days remains the same throughout what happens on them changes from tournament to tournament. So whilst Vanessa Selbst and Sam Grafton chatted it up on the feature table of EPTLive the PokerStars Blog took up a 15 minute residency on the main floor to get a front row seat of a, hopefully, action packed opening quarter of an hour. The blinds are 5,000/10000 ante 1,000 at this point.
The first significant action of the day came on table one, after Jonathan Wong opened to 35,000 from the hijack from his stack of 1,295,000, Stephen Graner three-bet to 105,000 from his covering stack of 1,713,000. When it folded back to Wong he thought for a while before folding his hand. "Setting the tone?" said Wong with a smile.
On an adjacent table we got a flop when Domenico Drammis opened to 25,000 from the small blind and Tamer Kamel flicked in the call from the big. The two players kept it friendly and checked down the 9♠7♣K♠4♠A♥ board, Drammis opened [10h]9♥ and it was good.
As Drammis was raking in that pot the players on table one had been dealt another hand and Igor Dubinskyy had decided to shove his remaining 212,000 over the betting line. Two seats over Wong folded out of turn and apologised. Miltiadis Kyriakides asked for a count but decided it was too rich for him and despite Graner also asking for a count the Ukrainian's shove got through and he breathed a sigh of relief.
The next man to try his luck was Marton Czuczor who shipped in his remaining 98,000 from the small blind. Francesco Grieco, who was in the big blind, requested a count and members of the press waited expectantly for a call. But not for long because a loud bellow of, "all-in and call on table one," drew the attention of the assembled hacks as we rushed to get the scoop.
We arrived to see that Alexander Roumeliotis (cut-off) was all-in for around 170,000 with A♥Q♦ and EPT9 Deauville Champion Remi Castaignon had made the call with A♦K♦. There would be no outdraw to report as the 7♥3♣8♦7♠K♥ board meant the dangerous Swede was eliminated. The high stakes cash player tapped the table and then stopped to talk to fellow Swede, Anton Bertilsson on his way to registering for the €10,000 High Roller which started at 1pm.
There was no such break in the action in the main event though as Grieco was still tanking over calling Czuczor's 9.8 big blind shove. "You have ace-king?" asked Grieco trying to get a read on the Hungarian player who was giving nothing away. Eventually Grieco called and showed J♥7♥ which was behind Czuczor's A♣8♥. The at risk player was a 59% favourite to double-up but a 5♥J♣K♥ flop reduced his chance of staying alive in the tournament to just 7% and he was drawing dead when the 7♣ came on the turn.
Meanwhile on table six Tatiana Barausova, one of only two women left in the field, was facing a four-bet shove of around 250,000 from Eddy Maksoud, who had opened from under-the-gun. The Russian had three-bet to 60,000 but eventually elected to fold her hand. As Maksoud was stacking the pot tournament director Luca Vivaldi arrived on the scene to move him to another table. "Hit and run," quipped one of the other players.
It had been an action packed 14 minutes but the best had been saved for last as there was a three-way all-in at table four. Evgenii Starikov was all-in for around 60,000, Nandor Solyom was all-in for 270,000 and Georgios Vrakas had them both covered.
Despite being the covering player it was Vrakas who was on his feet as the board ran 8♣4♦2♥K♦8♠. Vrakas banged the table and shouted: "No," when his flopped flush draw and pair outs failed to materialise on the turn or river. So Starikov was eliminated, Solyom scooped a pot of over 600,000 and Vrakas dropped to around 575,000.
As all this was happening Roman Pavliuk was watching EPTLive on his tablet, if you want to follow the action on Day 4 we suggest you do the same.