EPT Barcelona: Day 1B, Level 4-6 updates (200-400, 50)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg

Level ends. Find us on a new post here.

6.50pm: Sent to the rail
Team PokerStars Pro Nuno Coelho, Jeff Sarwer, Frank Blumlein and Ashley Mason have all busted. Not all at the same time, that would involve a freakish set of circumstances. -- RD

6.45pm: The man with the chips
In a little over two years, Matthias de Meulder has managed to piece together $155,000 in tournament cashes. There has not been one big finish, instead he's got a steady stream of small to middling results to keep the old income ticking over.

But the start he has made to his tournament here suggests that may soon change. We believe he was the first to shoot through the 100,000 barrier - and well beyond. He now sits with 135,000.

The Team PokerStars Pro from Belgium has become a popular figure on the tour, and many will be keeping their fingers and toes crossed--and anything else they may boast of being able to cross--that he runs deep here. -- SY


ept barcelona_day 1b_matthias de meulder.jpg

Team PokerStars Pro Matthias de Meulder


6.40pm: Snapshot of action
Sometimes a journey around the tournament floor doesn't deliver, much like a cheap package holiday. That doesn't mean that it has to be a wasted trip however, take a look at my holiday snaps:

- John Eames is looking distinctly unimpressed with his 25,000 stack.
- Kevin Stani, EPT Tallinn winner of Season 7, is sporting a similar expression. He has 20,000 and looks like the last time he hit a flop was sometime during level 2.
- Santiago Terrazas, final table finisher and inappropriate clock caller of EPT Barcelona Season 6, is sitting pretty on 84,000.
- Team PokerStars Pro Victor Ramdin is doing his usual trick of having a huge stack of low denomination chips so you're fooled into thinking he's got a lot but hasn't.. hold on, he has actually got a decent stack. The American has 68,000.

More to come, just you wait. -- RD

6.35pm: Latest news
Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier is up to 36,000 after making quad kings. - SB

6.32pm: Sarwer in action
Jeff Sarwer is looking more and more like a poker player, wearing as he does some earphones to blank out the noise when formerly he would watch every hand like he was being given a demonstration on how to perform first aid or bake something.

Sarwer is among that group of players who are a win away from proving everyone right, and deep runs in EPTs, the World Series and recently Tallinn are testimony to how close Sarwer is away from a first major title. Until then though it's back to work for the Canadian.

He just had a minor setback - down to 27,000 - in a hand ultimately won by Vadims Milovs.

On a flop of J♣6♦A♦ Milovs checked before Sarwer bet 2,700 from his position under the gun. Juan Barros, who was in pre-flop, folded, while Jose Traigueros called, as did Milovs.

The turn came 2♦ which all three players checked for a Q♣ river card. Milovs checked to Sarwer who bet a further 7,200. Traigueros assembled the call and pushed it forward, prompting Milovs to announce "raise" and put 15,000 in the middle.

Sarwer frowned but made the easy decision to fold. Not so Traigueros who called. Milovs delayed showing his hand but eventually turned over K♦3♦ for the flush. Traigueros didn't show anything. - SB

6.23pm: Nitsche back in it
Dominik Nitsche, who shares a table with Daniel Negreanu, had been short on less than 10,000, but has now doubled up after his pocket sevens improved to a straight on a 5♠8♠8♥6♦4♥ board against an opponent's K♥Q♦. -- SY

6.15pm: Crash and burn
Players that have fallen in the most recent poker skirmishes include; Team PokerStars Pro Vadim Markushevski, Stephen O'Dwyer and EPT Snowfest final tablist Philip Meulyzer. -- RD

6.05pm: Negreanu doubles
Daniel Negreanu has doubled up at the expense of Dominik Nitsche. The pair have tangled several times today but this time Negreanu has the advantage, moving up to 17,500 while leaving Nitsche with just 7,600.

With the board reading 5♠J♦A♦6♥ Negreanu check-raised Nitsche who then put the Team PokerStars Pro all in. Negreanu called with A♣2♣ against Nitsche's J♥Q♠. The 7♣ on the river sent the chips to Negreanu. - SB

5.58pm: Trappy Pastor fails to catch Mizzi
Juan Manuel Pastor checked the Q♥7♥5♣J♣Q♠ board three times but beyond the 1,200 c-bet on the flop he failed to entice Sorel Mizzi to bluff off any further chips. Pastor showed Q♦9♦ and scooped the pot. Pastor up to 44,000, Mizzi down to 24,500. Fellow Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier has ground his way back up to 21,000.

At the next table along we have another Juan Manuel (Copani) who has chipped up to 105,000. The Argentinian is getting it quietly. -- RD

5.53pm: Up he goes again
Incoming from Jason Mercier: "Got all in with A-A vs A-K and held. Up to 25,000." Not long ago he was down to 7,000. -- SY

5.50pm: Level up
We're into the new level with blinds at 200-400 with a 50 ante.

5.35pm: Boeree see's off Paniagua
On a flop of K♥2♠A♥ Liv Boeree stared back at Joaquin Paniagua. The contrast couldn't be starker. Boeree, Team PokerStars Pro patches on her bare arms, looking glamorous with make-up providing a veneer of femme fatale. And Paniagua, a PokerStars qualifier in his fifties, grey spikey hair, a few days spiky beard and a plain off-white shirt.

Nevertheless they are both equal in the eyes of the poker gods, although this time those fickle arbiters of fate allowed ladies first.

The flop was checked for a A♦ turn card. Paniagua checked before Boeree placed a red chip worth 1,000 out in front of her. Paniagua called for a river card, the 6♦. Changing tack, Paniagua bet 2,000 this time, leaving himself less than 8,000 behind. Boeree wasted little time in raising, putting him all in. Like a defeated general knowing when it's time to relinquish command, Paniagua called. Boeree turned over A♣J♣ to win the hand.

Paniagua gave a gracious thumbs-up to Boeree who smiled and waved in response. Defeated, Paniagua stood, hitched his trousers up, and made his way to the door. Boeree up to 36,000. - SB

5.30pm: Money, lolly, cash, dough
The numbers are in. The winner of this year's EPT Barcelona will pocket a huge $850,000, which could buy you a lot of sangria down by the beachfront. We'll have 120 players getting paid out with a min-cash bringing you home €8,000. Total prizepool is €4,055,000, link to the individual payouts to come. - RD

5.20pm: Becker dodges monsters
Boris Becker has just avoided aces and kings after opening under-the-gun for 700. The tennis legend was called by Mohamed Hannaouii in the next seat along and was squeezed by Oleksandr Gnatenko to 2,200.

The action was passed back round to Becker who made the call. Then Hannaouii decided to spring his trap, five-betting to 8,700, which left him with just 5,125 behind. Gnatenko moved in over the top and Becker passed. Instant - and obvious - call from Hannaouii.

Hannaouii: K♥K♠
Gnatenko: A♥A♣

The flop ran out low to send Hannaouii to the rail. Becker looked relieved. -- RD

5.10pm: Ramdin the victor
Sami Kelopuro opened for 750 in early position which Victor Ramdin called two seats along for a flop of 4♣T♣3♣. Both checked that for a K♦ turn card. Kelopuro bet again, 1,400 this time. Ramdin, wearing his serious face, raised that to 3,525, which Kelopuro called for a 7♥ river card.

Again Kelopuro checked. Ramdin paused then in a sudden flash of movement bet 6,700. Kelopuro, who was having his temples rubbed at the time by massage staff, tanked for a while before folding. He's down to 29,000 while Ramdin moves up to around 40,000. - SB

5.07pm: Here's Jason Mercier
He's having a tough time of it today--currently on around 10,700--but Jason Mercier found time to chat to the video team...

5.05pm: Minieri comes to life
Dario Minieri is beginning to stir after his standard late arrival. He opened for 650 from under the gun which Jose Luis Cordero Moreno called from the button.

Moreno is an interesting looking chap, his hair a distinguished grey, his main feature is the pair of reading glasses he has on with a frame that extends around the back of his neck. Not only that but they come apart at the bridge, and he leaves them open and dangling around his next when not required. I can't for the life of me work out why a pair of glasses would be designed in such a way.

Regardless, he and Minieri saw a flop of 5♠9♣A♥ and Minieri bet, 800 and Moreno announced "call" for a 3♥ turn card. Both checked it for a Q♣ on the river. Minieri checked again, making it clear to the dealer by tapping ostentatiously on the table so the dealer, not quick on subtlety, understood. Moreno replied with a bet of 975.

"You have an ace, right?" asked Minieri, the answer soon obvious on Moreno's face. Minieri passed. - SB

4.50pm: And on we go
Cards are back in the air. This is level five and blinds are now 150-300 with a running ante of 25. -- SY

4.32pm: Level done
The horrid dance music over the loud speakers means one thing - the level is over. Players are now on a 20-minute break. -- SY

4.30pm: Dario, the quiet man
We've got used to seeing Dario Minieri attack fields like a spinning top, raising and bullying his way to stack as he goes. But today he's as quiet as a mouse, and the arrival at his table of Sami 'LarzLuzak' Kelopuro and Victor Ramdin seems to have dampened his enthusiasm further.

The Italian still has around 27,000, but at this stage he's more used to mixing it with piles of yellow five thousand chips to spare. Ramdin, Meanwhile, has piles of chips, but none of them in the high denomination colours. He has around 19,000. -- SY

dario_minieri_barcelona_1b.JPG

Dario Minieri

4.25pm: Fatima out
Fatima Moreira de Melo is out. The room just got a little worse for that. -- SY

4.20pm: Action on and off the table
So far the action on Liv Boeree's table has centred on rulings, the floor being called several times to clarify string bets, incorrect actions, and all to a barrage of additional information supplied by the players.

One player who typically keeps himself to himself is Ivan Demidov who rarely speaks, perhaps because he normally looks half asleep. But he's breezy today and up a little, although not as much as he was after a hand against Pierre Larue.

On a flop of 9♠3♣6♥ Larue bet 600 in late position, which Demidov check-called from the small blind. On the J♣ it was the same thing, only with a bit more vigour behind Larue's bet of 1,600. Demidov looked at his cards again and, satisfied, adjusted his chair before calling.

The river came A♥. Once more Demidov checked to Larue who splashed out a bet of 6,500. Demidov pulled a few faces, then another, all saying "who knows?" to a voice asking questions in his head. Then he passed.

Larue up to 52,000 while Demidov slips to 38,000. - SB

4.15pm: Mad Marvin sends Palovic to the asylum
Marvin Rettenmaier is up to 95,000 after taking a large pot from Dag Palovic. The German player, who goes by the name Mad Marvin, opened to 525 from middle position and was three-bet by Team PokerStars Pro Palovic to 1,500. Rettenmaier made the call.

Flop: J♣9♣T♠
Rettenmaier seized back the initiative by leading 1,825 into the wet flop. Palovic made the call.

Turn: J♣9♣T♠A♥
Rettenmaier kept up the aggression with a 2,550 bet. Palovic quickly made the call, chips tossed into the middle. A rogue red 1,000 chip rolled across the table.

River: J♣9♣T♠A♥A♦
The German completes his post-flop policy of aggression by tossing out a 10,000 bet, which Palovic quickly called. Rettenmaier showed A♣T♣ for a pair and flush draw that turned into a full house, an irritated Palovic tabled the remaining ace.

Rettenmaier is up 95,000 while Palovic is left with just 7,500. - RD


ept barcelona_day 1b_dag palovic.jpg

Dag Palovic: my ace, it's no good

4.05pm: Double up for Negreanu
I just hit the publish button on the post below before news came in of an immediate double up for Daniel Negreanu. His pocket fours held up against an opponent's A-K, which picked up a flush draw, to send him up to 13,000. -- SY

4.04pm: Negreanu takes another hit
Nothing seems to be going right for Daniel Negreanu. First the Team PokerStars Pros aces were cracked, and just now he sent the following dispatch: "Same guy who beat my AA beat my KK board was 2337T he had 22." The Canadian has his work cut out. -- SY


3.52pm: The bets and prophecies of Mercier
Jason Mercier is relatively short with just 7,500 but for a player of his caliber it certainly doesn't mean that he should be written off yet.

As if to clarify this Mercier and Sorel Mizzi have just had a bet regarding the Team PokerStars Pro's tournament longevity - with odds set by Daniel Negreanu who priced Mercier's hopes of making Day 2 as a 3/2 dog with, I believe, $500 on the line.

None of the three involved however factored in the arrival of UKIPT winner Sam Razavi who was just getting himself seated two seats to the left of Mercier. The Brit, who was unaware of the bet being made, wrote on his Twitter account: "I promised I'd stack Jason Mercier. Just been moved to his table." Mercier or Razavi: who's your money on? - RD


ept barcelona_day 1b_jason mercier.jpg

Jason Mercier: short stacked but brimming with talent


3.45pm: Grospellier profiting from Hayes
Shortly before the last break Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier was in action, opening for 425 in middle position which was called by Bennet Hayes in the cut off before Hayes raised to around 1,200 on the button. Grospellier was his only caller for a flop of 3♦6♣Q♣. Grospellier checked and Hayes bet another 1,500, called by the Frenchman.

On the 2♣ turn both checked, then did the same on the 4♣ river. Hayes showed 5♥3♣ but Grospellier had that beat with 7♣7♠. - SB

3.40pm: Some numbers
With 465 players coughing up the required €5,000 to play today, the total field for this year's EPT Barcelona has been set at 811, up on last year's 758. Big pat on the back for the organisers. Oh, that's us.

The prize pool will be revealed shortly. -- SY

3.36pm: News from the front line
Mathias de Meulder up to 87,000.

3.35pm: Everyone's got an opinion
Don't forget you can send us your comments using the box below - your thoughts on the Blom bust out, the chances of success for your favourite players, anything you like. Might be best to keep it family friendly. -- SB

3.30pm: Blinds up
Level up, into level 4 with blinds of 100-200 and a 25 ante.

daniel_negreanu_ept8_bar_d1b.jpg
Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu in action, or not in action

PokerStars Blog reporting team: Simon Young, Rick Dacey and Stephen Bartley.

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in Barcelona