EPT Barcelona: Day 1A, level 4-6 updates (blinds 150-300-25)
Level six is done. Half are now on a 15-minute break, the rest are on dinner break. -- SY
6.41pm: Preparing for dinner
In five ten minutes, half the field will disappear for their 75-minute dinner break. The remainder will take a 15-minute break before returning to play their level seven. Once that's done, the roles will be reversed and those with full bellies come back to play their level seven. We have 270 players left from the 346 starters. -- SY
6.40pm: Akkari chipping up
Andre Akkari is up to 47,000. On a 8♠K♠J♣8♦8♣ board, and with 10,000 in the pot already, Akkari put out a bet of 4,000, forcing his opponent to fold. -- SY
6.35pm: Rufas reversing
Luis Rufas burst through the 100,000 mark a couple of levels ago, the first to do so, but it's been downhill every since. First he was pegged back to 85,000 and right now he has 46,000. -- SY
6.32pm: Becker in the house
Team PokerStars SportStar Boris Becker has turned up. He's playing tomorrow but is enjoying himself touring the tournament floor and meeting friends. He stopped by Luca Pagano's table to congratulate him on his recent PokerStars IPT victory, and then spent a few minutes chatting with German Team PokerStars Pro Sebastian Ruthenberg. -- SY
6.30pm: Chouity shwept away
Nicolas Chouity is out of the main event. He opened for 950 in the cut off which Nils Janz raised to 3,100 in the big blind. Chouity then made it 7,000 more before Janz lumped in his stack worth 25,000. Chouity called with his last 10,000 and turned over A♠K♦. Janz showed Q♣Q♦.
The board ran 8♦4♠J♦5♣8♠ to send the former EPT Grand Final winner to the rail. - SB
6.20pm: Elder bows out
Rupert Elder has joined the ranks of the fallen after jamming pocket deuces into queens. We've lost over 50 players so far today, other recent fallers include Casey Kastle and Melanie Weisner. -- RD
6.10pm: Moorman pulls Finger out
Martin Finger opened for 850 which Franz Ditz three-bet to 2,000 in the cut off. Chris Moorman then four-bet from the button, making it 4,100 before Finger five-bet to 12,500. Ditz then moved all-in, covering both opponents. Moorman called for the rest of what had been a stack of 25,000. Finger also called for his last 10,000.
The board ran J♠4♦T♠6♠3♣ to send Finger out and send Moorman up to around 77,000. Ditz slips to 40,000. - SB
6.05pm: Cody out
Jake Cody has fallen to the wayside after getting it "stuck in his eye relentlessly" (according to Twitter) and then five-bet jamming ace-queen into pocket aces. You can't win them all, even though the triple crown winner regularly tries to prove that wrong. -- RD
Team PokerStars Pro Martin Hruby, Martin Finger, Konstantin Uspenskiy and Davidi Kitai have all been knocked out. This season a card ID system has been introduced from the outset and it's making things a lot easier to see who has bust out, largely because the friendly tournament staff keep bringing them over, bless 'em. -- RD
5.50pm: Fine mess for Frankland
Matt Waxman opened for 700 which was called by Roger Tondeur. Mathew Frankland, next to him, then raised to 2,150. Marcello Marigliano was in the big blind and then raised to 3,500, which is about when things kicked-off as everyone began discussing how much the re-raise should be. Marigliano sat quietly through all this, doing what he was told. First that it should be double the 2,150, then that it should only be 3,600, then back to 4,500 again.
For a second it seemed the 3,500 would be allowed to stand. David Vamplew attempted to persuade the dealer to call the floor but that fell on deaf ears, or perhaps Spanish ears. Finally, the correct amount of 3,600 was settled on. By now half the players were still chatting while the other half just looked irritable.
This was all academic. All but Frankland called for a flop of T♠7♥T♥. Marigliano then bet another 3,500 (allowed this time) and Frankland insta-mucked. -- SB
5.43pm: Big hand for Selbst
Vanessa Selbst is up to 92,000 after five-bet shoving A♦Q♠ into Domantas Klimciauskas' pocket kings. An ace on the flop settled the matter and the Team PokerStars Pro is now well chipped and a serious threat to the rest of her table, which includes former EPT Grand Final champion Nicholas Chouity. -- RD
5.36pm: Respecting your Elders
Rupert Elder hasn't had an electric start to the day but despite that is keeping his manners in check.
"recreational chap on my right 2 outed me for 10k pot. 21k"
- @ruperte, Twitter
Chips may make you millions but manners maketh the man. -- RD
5.30pm: Wahlbeck climbing
Despite sharing the table with chip leader Luis Rufas (100,000+), Team PokerStars Pro Ville Wahlbeck has chipped up to 44,000. -- SY
5.25pm: Selbst frustrated
Vanessa Selbst is up to 43,000, but she looks a little frustrated, perhaps thinking she should have built more of a stack by now. But she's rising slowly and picked up a few thousand more on a Q♦9♣2♣K♦J♥ board when her Q♣5♣ stayed ahead of Domantas Klimciauskas' A-J. -- SY
5.20pm: So what did the other guy have?
Ville Wahlbeck, who has been reading Isaac Asimov's Foundation and Empire on his iPad for much of the afternoon session, opened for 700 which Dan Murariu called on the button. The flop came 3♥K♥5♦ and Wahlbeck fired out 1,200. Called. On the 6♦ turn Wahlbeck fired out 2,600. Called. Then on the 9♥ river Wahlbeck checked, as did Murariu. With no small amount of sheepishness Wahlbeck turned over Q♠5♠. It was good enough. - SB
5.15pm: Jorgensen takes a hit
Theo Jorgensen opened for 800 from under-the-gun, getting three callers for a flop of 5♥T♦6♠. Jorgensen made a continuation bet of 1,700 now which all folded, except for Dimitar Danchev who called for a 3♠ on the turn. Now Jorgensen checked, leaving it to Danchev to bet 3,600, which Jorgensen then called.
On the T♣ river Jorgensen checked again, leaving it to Danchev to bet 3,800. Again Jorgensen called but mucked when Danchev turned over pocket fives. - SB
5.10pm: Wilinofsky looks up Armanavicius
Ben Wilinofsky couldn't help himself on the Q♥K♣4♣K♦Q♦ river. Liutauras Armanavicius had led the flop for 2,000 from the small blind and had been raised to 4,050 by Alain Roy in the big blind. Wilinofsky made the call, as did Armanavicius, before the turn was checked round.
Armanavicius then bet 9,000 into the river of the double paired board. Roy quickly passed but Wilinofsky did not. It looked like a crying call but the Canadian tossed in the chips to be shown Armanavicius' K♠J♦. Wilinofksy down to 43,000, Armanavicius up to 65,000. - RD
5pm: Lodden out
It's been a bad period for Team PokerStars Pro as Luca Pagano lost a pot and Johnny Lodden was eliminated.
Pagano was involved in a four-way pot that went to a 6♣J♦Q♥ flop. His 1,800 bet was only called by Arie Kliper en route to the J♠ turn. Pagano fired again, for 3,000. Call. The river came A♦ and the Italian quickly checked behind when Kliper checked for a third time. Kliper got there with A♣K♥, besting Pagano's 9♣9♥.
Meanwhile on a nearby table, Lodden's luck was well and truly out. He busted with pocket kings to Michele Aniello's pocket tens. The chips went in on a ten-high board. The only saving grace for the Norwegian is that he can go and see the Barcelona football match on Monday. -- MC
4.50pm: First to blink
Vanessa Selbst just had a tense stand-off against Michiel Brummelhuis, the Dutchman coming out smelling of roses, or tulips.
Domantas Klimciauskas opened for 800 which Brummelhuis then called before Selbst raised to 2,500 in the cut off. Klimciauskas folded leaving the others to it. Brummelhuis then re-raised, making it 6,700 to Selbst who tanked for a while, then called for a flop of 2♥7♣A♣.
Brummelhuis then bet again, another 6,200 forcing Selbst to fold. Still a profitable day so far for the Team PokerStars Pro, Selbst on 45,000. - SB
4.40pm: Break's over
Play restarts in level 5 with blinds of 150-300 with a 25 ante.
4.25pm: Break time
Level 4 is over and players are on a 15-minute break.
4.22pm: Palpable tension: Barbero, Spindler and Barbero go at it
I arrived as the turn of the 3♣K♣3♦A♥ board was being slapped down and saw Benny Spindler check from an under-the-gun position. Nacho Barbero took the opportunity to bet 1,400 and fellow high stakes player Brynn Kenney made the call. Spindler also came along for the ride.
The 9♦ river didn't seem to change much and Spindler checked again. Barbero, winner of the EPT High Roller London, pushed out 5,100 and Kenney, third place finisher at the PCA $100,000 Super High Roller, made the call.
This sent Spindler deep into the tank as all eyes turned to the German. A river check-shove is certainly within Spindler's armoury but he opted for the call. Barbero showed A♣K♠ for top two and raked in the pot. He's up to 55,000. -- RD
4.20pm: Rufas over 100,000
At EPT Barcelona last year, Luis Rufas gave us a lesson in aggressive poker, bullying his way to the chip lead before eventually busting in tenth for €50,000. So it's no surprise to see him bossing his table again this year. He's already on more than 100,000.
Ville Wahlbeck, the Team PokerStars Pro, is one man who won't stand for any of that. On this one there was an early raise to 500, which was called in two spots before Rufas re-raised from the button to 2,325. It went around to Wahlbeck in the big blind and he raised again, making it 5,550. Only Rufas called. When the flop came 2♦9♥9♦ Wahlbeck wasted no time moving all-in for his remaining 11,000, forcing Rufas to fold. -- SY
4.10pm: Table for 346
The dinner schedule has been announced. Tables 1 to 14 will go on their dinner break at 6.45pm returning at 8pm when the remainder of the field will then take their break. -- SB
4pm: Dodgy Curi
Theo Jorgensen opened for 550 from the cut off, which Lautaro Curi raised to 1,525 in the button. Jorgensen called.
By the time the board read A♥4♦A♦4♥8♦ there was 8,000 in the middle and Jorgensen was checking. Curi then lumped in another 2,950. A moment like this can ruin lesser men, but Jorgensen thought, winced a bit, then folded, leaving himself 23,000 behind.
Curi moves up to 38,000. - SB
3.45pm: Advantage Kaiser
As if to make things fair on the others, EPT Tallinn champion Ronny Kaiser is playing with one hand behind his back. Actually, it's getting massaged. But while his knuckles get a going over his other hand riffles some chips, ready to pick on Sergey Epifantsev.
The two of them joined for a pot, with the flop coming K♠5♠7♣. Epifantsev bet 700 and folded his arms, waiting for Kaiser to act. Kaiser simply raised to 5,000, taking the pot. - SB
3.35pm: Cortes crumbling
Jesus Cortes was up over 50,000 early on but is now looking a little bitter with just 8,000 in front of him. The Spaniard appears to have given a large chunk to Dragan Kostic who is now packing close to 80,000. -- RD
3.25pm: Level up
We're into level four, an exciting moment as it means we start a new post. We are easy to please. -- SY
3.22pm: New member of Team PokerStars Pro
Back in January, under the warm glow of the Caribbean sun, Ana Marquez was making a name for herself. She held the chip lead going in to Day 5 at the PCA and was eventually to fall in 10th place for a $155,000 pay day. That finish was the highest-ever achieved by a woman at the PCA. Her undoubted talent and pleasing personality did not go unnoticed by PokerStars, who this week unveiled her as the newest member of Team PokerStars Pro.
The timing of the announcement was a happy one, as Spaniard Marquez was able to tackle her home EPT here in Barcelona wearing the famous Team PokerStars Pro patch.
She's not the tallest lady, and as she's sitting in the far table of the room, not the easiest to spot. But once tracked down, I can report she is sitting with about 33,000.
Welcome to the Team, Ana. -- SY
PokerStars Blog reporting team (in order of drinks in front of them): Simon Young (four bottles of water), Rick Dacey (two bottles of water) and Stephen Bartley (one can of Ice Tea)