EPT Dortmund: Action from the early stages

5.40pm – The two key players heading into the final clash. On a flop of T-A-9 Johannes Strassmann makes a big bet of 150k with Mike McDonald to act. McDonald has lost some of the momentum that got his to this final, whilst Strassmann, the most active of all the finalists, is ahead in confidence if not in chips. All this changes though with a McDonald re-raise – all-in. Johannes chews his gum slightly faster for a second and mucks his card.

5.20pm -- Chip counts...

Torsten Haase – Germany -- 863,000
Diego Perez – Spain -- 851,000
Johannes Strassman – Germany -- PokerStars sponsored player -- 825,000
Andreas Gülünay – Germany -- 643,000
Mike McDonald – Canada -- 528,000
Claudio Rinaldi – Switzerland -- 383,000

5pm -- Torsten Haase bets, short stack Claudio Rinaldi re-raises forcing a fold from Haase. Some ripples of appluse from the Swiss' support on the rail.

4.50pm – Thibaut Durand – France – eliminated in 7th place for € 120,200.
The first hand after the break, Thibaut Durand pushes with A-4 and is called by Strassmann (that man again) with pocket eights. A four came on the with a king and queen but all the options for Durand were soon lost when a third eight hit the turn. Strassmann now has over 1 million chips.

4.30pm – Players pause for a ten minute break.

4.25pm – There’s a lot of talk at the table – most of it coming from Johannes Strassmann. The only problem being that it’s in German and tournament rules say that only English can be spoken during a hand. Tournament director Thomas Kremser steps in to cut it off so Strassmann simply switches to English, maintaining the constant chatter. He’s the entertaining player in this final and could talk his way to a title, much the same way that Andreas Hoivold did last year.

4.10pm – Then it’s Torsten’s turn to double up, aces against the threes of Strassmann. Strassmann had wanted to move all-in pre-flop but he said call instead, getting slightly confused with the pronunciation. No doubt Haase didn’t mind.

3.55pm – Another all-in, this time between Thibaut Durand and Torsten Haase. Durand was the all-in player and was behind from the off with A-5 to Torsten’s A-T. But not for long. A five on the flop would do it – enough to keep Durand alive for a little longer.

3.47pm – Christian Harder – United States – PokerStars qualifier -- eliminated in 8th place for € 85,500.
Another all-in, more fatal this time. Christian Harder was the victim although with A-K he probably thought he had a little hope. But he couldn’t count on aces – McDonald again. There was a king on the flop but not on the turn and river.

3.40pm – The first all-in and showdown of the day. Andreas Gulunay raised finding Mike McDonald calling for the time being. On a flop of 6-3-K Gulunay bet again but McDonald re-raised which Gulunay called. On the turn, a jack, Gulunay moved all-in, McDonald called showing A-J. 5-6 for Gulunay and a lower pair. The river saved him though – a five to give him two pairs and a double up in a pot worth 650k.

3.30pm – Johannes Strassmann matches McDonald for re-raising. Andreas Gulunay had started it but Strassmann was having none of it. Gulunay folds.

3.15pm – The first moments of play seems calm enough and then some raising began. Mark McDonald raised, Diego Perez re-raised but McDonald came back with a re-re-raise. Perez folded, no point going out this early.

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in EPT Dortmund