EPT Barcelona: Day 1A, level 7-9 updates (blinds 400-800-100)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg11.20pm: Play ends
That's it. Players are bagging and tagging once the chip race for the green 25 chips is done. Top of the tree looks certain to be the German player Martin Schleich, who has around 180,000. -- SY

11.03pm: Six more hands
It has just been announced that we will play six more hands before play ends. -- SY

10.50pm: Pagano plodding along
Luca Pagano is a player that we've covered often, not because he's a Team PokerStars Pro but because he holds the record for most EPT cashes. The Italian has posted an impressive 18 cashes, six of which have been final table appearances. Today he hasn't given us much cause for coverage, he's plodding along with 42,000 utilizing a slow and steady approach which should see him push through to Day 2. That certainly shouldn't rule him out for making another deep run though.

His fellow Italian Marcello Marigliano is up to 170,000 and looks to have the chip lead, marginally ahead of Vanessa Selbst... for the moment. -- RD

10.40pm: Jorgensen done
Theo Jorgensen is out after struggling with a short stack for most of the day. Better news for fellow Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki, however, who has rebuilt his small 10,000 stack into a much healthier 53,000. Much of that came from busting a player who had A-10 which failed to catch Horecki's pocket queens. -- SY


Theo Jorgensen


Marcin Horecki

10.25pm: Akkari chipping up
Andre Akkari is up to around 100,000 after firing multiple bullets at Pierre Fehner which included a shove for Fehner's stack on the river of the 2♠J♥T♣5♥3♣ board. Fehner reluctantly made the call and was shown 2♣2♥ by the Brazilian Team PokerStars Pro. -- RD

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Andre Akkari

10.15pm: Wahlbeck doubles
Ville Wahlbeck got a sizeable double up through Luis Rufas and now sits on around 130,000. The hand started with the Team PokerStars Pro make it 1,400 and getting two callers, one the Spaniard Rufas. On the K♥[4]5♣ flop, Wahlbeck bet 3,300, the incidental caller folded, but Rufus re-raised to 9,000. Wahlbeck had a little think and moved all-in for around 60,000 more - and Rufas called instantly.

Wahlbeck: A♥6♥ for the nut flush draw
Rufas: K♣5♠ for two pair

The turn was 2♣, leaving Wahlbeck on the brink, but the river was Q♥ to complete his flush and win him the huge pot. With that, the man from Finland rockets up to around 130,000, while Rufas tumbles to 70,000, his roller coaster day seemingly showing no sign of settling down. -- SY


Ville Wahlbeck

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 400-800, ANTE 100

10.10pm: Naujoks follows Obrestad
Team PokerStars Pro and EPT winner Sandra Naujoks has gone the way of Anette Obrestad, out of the tournament. Naujoks had three-bet squeezed all-in with A♠T♦ for 5,900 but failed to outdraw pocket tens. Naujoks out. -- RD

10.05pm: Hakim up
Benny Spindler opened for 1,400 in early position which Bryn Kenney then raised to 3,300 in the hijack. Not to be outdone, Jeffrey Hakim was waiting and threw two yellow chips in (a raise to 6,600). Spindler tanked for a while but eventually folded, sending the action back to Kenney, who called for a flop of 4♥3♣J♥.

Then, as if all that had been bluster, the checking began. First on the flop, then on the 5♦ turn. On the 2♣[ river card Kenney kept on checking but Hakim bet another 11,000. Kenney had to pass, irritated, and down to 68,000. Hakim up to around 50,000. - SB

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Team PokerStars Pro Sandra Naujoks

10pm: Obrestad out
At 9.25pm we told how a short-stacked Annette Obrestad was being active - quick re-build or bust. Well, she's bust. We don't have the details right now, but her chair is empty; her chips are gone. -- SY

9.50pm: Big stacks jostling for the chip lead
As we approach the last level of the day we find a number of players with stacks approaching or beating the 100,000 mark. Here's a grab of some of the biggest.

Sam El Sayed sits on 140,000
Ivan Starostin 130,000
Luis Rufas 120,000
Ori Miller 105,000
Vanessa Selbst 110,000

The next 75 minutes will be triumphant for a few, tragic for many. -- RD

9.40pm: All at sea
Another player is out, this time it's Englishman James Wilson setting course for the rail.

We spoke to Wilson during the dinner break because, as former schoolboys who played with Airfix and were brought up on Das Boot, The Enemy Below and Operation Petticoat (actually that was just me), Wilson was happy to talk about his job as a junior officer on board HMS Triumph, a Trafalgar-class nuclear submarine.

We got even more giddy when Wilson revealed that, not only is he responsible for things you can shoot, but he also gets to drive the submarine once in a while, as well as look through the periscope. In reply we told him that we count chips, deal with Marc Convey and that sometimes we get free dessert.

Wilson, who assured us that while he's in Barcelona someone else has their finger on the trigger, was playing his first EPT, having previously played UKIPT events. This though was a step up, but alas one that has ended all too soon.

Now departed we hope to see him at future events, not only as he seemed a nice chap, but because I want to ask him whose side he'd be on -- Gene Hackman or Denzel Washington's -- in Crimson Tide. - SB

9.35pm: Chop it up
The momentum that was driving Vanessa Selbst into a huge chip lead earlier (170,000) has abated. She's still well chipped with around 110,000 but has just hit a gutshot only to chop the pot against Israeli Ohad Simhon.

Selbst had check-called a 4♣5♠3♦ flop with A♠8♠ and had turned a wheel, but Simhon's A♦K♣ also gave him the same straight. Selbst's 13,000 value bet on the river was flat called. -- RD

9.25pm: No hanging around
Annette Obrestad had found herself with only 12,000 chips. She's not one to sit around waiting for premium hands, so it's no surprise to see her being active. Facing an open-raise to 1,300, she moved all-in and took the pot. Shortly after, she min-raised from under the gun to 1,200 and got two callers. However, both of them got out of the way pretty sharpish when she put out a continuation bet of 1,700 on the 6♠3♠9♥ flop. She's up to 15,000 now. -- SY

9.15pm: Until the finish
The split dinner break is over and play has restarted. We're into the last two one-hour levels of the day. Blinds are 300-600 with a 75 ante. -- SY

9pm: Break
A fifteen minute break. When we return we'll play two more levels and then call it quits for the day.

8.55pm: Lundmark's aces cracked
Reigning EPT Barcelona champion Kent Lundmark has just suffered a major setback to his title defense after having his aces cracked by a four flush courtesy of Andrey Zaichenko. Lundmark had three-bet to 3,875 pre-flop and had been called by Zaichenko and EPT Grand Final runner-up Torsten Brinkmann. Another 6,600 went in on the 3♦5♦6♦ flop and Zaichenko made the call with pocket nines - one diamond - and caught a flush on the turn. The board was checked down to leave Lundmark with 30,000. -- RD

8.45pm: Ruthenberg doubles, Marquez topples
Sebastian Ruthenberg has doubled up to 55,000 after an auspicious turn and river. The German Team PokerStars Pro had opened the cut-off and found action from Ramon Demon Cserei on the button.

On a 4♥K♥8♠2♥K♣ Ruthenberg had check-called 2,500 on the flop, 4,500 on the turn and had check-shoved all-in for around 20,000 over a 8,500 bet. He was called and showed down K♠2♠ for a rivered boat to trump his opponent's 7♥6♥ flush.

In other news, Ana Marquez's Team PokerStars Pro debut has been ended by a Dutchman in a woolly hat (Erik van den Berg). -- RD

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Team PokerStars Pro Ana Marquez

8.40pm: The Janz age
Vanessa Selbst already has an end of day stack, it measuring beyond the 100,000 mark. It's not all plain sailing of course, and she was just knocked out of a pot having raised under the gun to 1,200. Nils Janz was there to take her on, raising to 3,500 in the cut off. The button player, Robert Lipkin, was also looking for action and made it 7,150, winning the hand. - SB

8.30pm: Post dinner chip counts
Among the players that have eaten and are now back at their table are the following:

Kent Lundmark, 41,000
Ivan Freitez, 46,000
Chris Moorman, 90,000
Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki, 10,000
Torsten Brinkmann, 24,800
Kevin Vandersmissen, 87,000
Team PokerStars Pro Sandra Naujoks, 23,000

Word has just reached media row of another breach of etiquette from Freitez, his second slow roll of the day if rumour is to be believed. Yuliyan Nikolaev Kolev had cold four-bet all-in for 10,500 over Freitez's three-bet of 3,400 and the Venezuelan had opted to slow roll his opponent with pocket kings. His hand held against Kolev's J♥J♦ to move the South Americam up to 62,000. -- RD

8.20pm: First loss for Selbst
We were starting to think that Vanessa Selbst sold her soul so as to not lose any pots today, but she just proved us wrong by losing one.

The action was three-way to a 9♠8♦6♣ flop. Michiel Brummelhuis was the preflop aggressor and checked from UTG. Selbst was in the next seat and led for 2,400. The third player folded but Brummelhuis check-raised to 6,500.

Selbst studied her opponent and then set him in for his 28,425 remaining. He snap called with 8♥8♠ for middle set. Selbst winced before she even saw his holding and then tabled 6♦7♦ for a pair and straight draw. The A♠K♣ turn and river didn't change anything and the Dutchman scooped. -- MC

8.15pm: Jorgensen on the ropes
Theo Jorgensen is down to around 7,000 after losing out in a hand against Konstantinos Nanos.

Andrej Vinogrodskij started things off in early position, making it 1,300 which Nanos called in the cut off. Jorgensen was in the small blind and raised to 3,200, forcing Vinogrodskij to pass. But Nanos called for a A♣Q♣J♦ flop.

Again, Jorgensen fired out a bet, 3,500. Nanos was waiting though and raised all-in for around 16,000. Too rich for Jorgensen, who folded. - SB

8.05pm: Weisner resurrection
Nikolaus Jedlicka and Michel Abecassis have both busted in this level while Melanie Weisner is not out as we reported earlier. Her card made its way to our desk but she is very much still in with what seems to be close to her starting stack, around 35,000. -- RD

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Melanie Weisner: the new blonde barnet threw us

7.58pm: Break and back to work
The players who have just finished their dinner break are back at the tables, while the remainder have just gone off on their 75-minute break. In other words, this is the start of level seven... again. -- SY

7.40pm: Great call
Arie Ori Miller just made a super call that had most people around the table congratulating him - even the player he beat! The board was 2♦9♠4♠8♥3♥ and the wonderfully-named Nikolaus Jedlicka had bet 17,000. There was around 25,000 in the pot already. Miller thought for a long while, eventually tossing the required amount in the middle.

Jedlicka tapped the table. "You win," he said.

With that, Miller turned over A♠[10s] for his own missed draw, but the ace high was still good. Jedlicka, with his tale between his legs, could only say: "King high." That sends Miller up to around 110,000, while Jedlicka drops to 8,000. -- SY


Arie Ori Miller

7.25pm: I know that face
Phillip Gruissem had a fantastic run at this year's WSOP main event, where he made it all the way to 28th place for more than $240,000. The young German, who qualified for the WSOP through PokerStars, is playing in Barcelona today but is not running so hot. He currently sits with around 18,000. -- SY

7.15pm: Rufas up again!
Watching Luis Rufas' chip stack is never dull. Up to 100,000, down to 45,000 and now up to 86,000. It's like watching Johnny Lodden. -- SY

7.10pm: Professor Wahlbeck
I've always had Ville Wahlbeck down as an intelligent sort of guy. He's reading a book on his iPad today, so I was expecting to see a high-brow read. Sure enough, a sneaky peek over his shoulder revealed Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations. The book's review on Amazon states: "Author Professor Shirky contextualizes the digital networking age with philosophical, sociological, economic and statistical theories and points to its major successes and failures."

Bit of light reading, in other words. -- SY

7pm: Half field in play
With half of the field on the split dinner break, the remainder is now playing level seven, with blinds at 250-500 with a 50 ante.

Entries today were confimed at 346 players, of which around 265 remain.

The good news for Team PokerStars is that Vanessa Selbst has seized the chip lead, sitting as she does with 170,000. Much of that little lot came from busting Martial Blangenwitsch just before dinner.

They got the chips in on a 8♥3♣[10d] flop with the Frenchman holding [9][10] to Selbst's two black kings.

Just before play begins again, why not stop to admire Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia Basilica, pictured here in Barcelona by our very own Neil Stoddart...


PokerStars Blog reporting team (in order of desire to take first dinner shift): Rick Dacey, Stephen Bartley and Simon 'The Waif' Young

Simon Young
@MrSimonYoung in Barcelona