EPT Loutraki: Day 5, level 24-25 updates (15,000-30,000, 4,000 ante)
2.05pm: Break time
All eight players are still at the break, Ziyard still leading. Join us in a new post shortly.
2pm: Mothes coolers Ziyard
It really didn't matter how the action played out for this 1,250,000 pot between Zimnan Ziyard and Pierre Mothes, it was always going in. As it was, it went down in the conventional manner of shoveling in two big hands pre-flop.
Ziyard opened the pot to 63,000 and Mothes clicked the all-in button to set his 619,000 across the line. Ziyard made the call.
The A♠K♣6♥ flop all but settled the hand, not that Mothes could see as he had run into the bleachers to hug his rail. A pair of eights hit the turn and river to prevent the runner-runner and chip Mothes up to 1,280,000. Ziyard still strong with 2,378,000. -- RD
1.50pm: Kovacs moving on up; Kapernopoulos hits another downswing
Andra Kovacs began today with only 210,000, but he now has more than a million after pulling off another double up. Charalampos Kapernopoulos, whose own fortunes have fluctuated wildly in the past couple of days, was his benefactor and has hit another downswing.
After Mario Puccini opened from the cut off, Kovacs shoved from the button for about 410,000. That got all the way through. On the very next hand, it was folded to Kovacs in the cut off and he open shoved for what was now 500,100. It made its way to Kapernopoulos in the big blind, and he went through his routine of anguish when faced by a huge decision.
Eventually, after weighing up his options, he called and took one lane in a straight race. His A♣[10s] was against Kovacs' 7♠7♥.
The flop only favoured the pocket pair. It came 7♣[10c]4♥ but, knowing there were still running cards that could alter his fate, Kovacs sagely denied himself premature celebration. But when the Q♦ turn, he was safe to pump his fist and kiss his girlfriend on the rail.
He has more than a million; Kapernopoulos has about 500,000. Full counts to come momentarily. -- HS
1.45pm: A shove and a welcome to ZZ
Andras Kovacs only has two moves with his 15 big blid stack; to shove or fold. He just took the former option and added a much needed 77,000 chips to his stack.
Zimnan Ziyard has been quite so far but he just made his presence felt with a raise to 63,000 from mid position. Charalampos Kapernopoulos was the only caller from the button en route to a Q♥9♣4♦ flop. Both players checked to the K♦ turn where the Brit led for 78,000. That was enough to make Kapernopoulos fold. -- MC
1.40pm: No friends in poker
Yesterday afternoon Zimnan Ziyard knocked out his pal Rupert Elder in 13th place over a large 1,500,000 pot proving that there are no friends in poker. That's been illustrating again today, albeit in a smaller fashion, between John Taramas and Charalampos Kapernopoulos.
Taramas limped in the small blind and Kapernopoulos made a small raise to 62,000. Taramas passed.
"Oh, that's not friendly. Where's the friendship?" said Taramas.
Kapernopoulos flashed A♥J♥ showing that his small raise was not a light one. -- RD
1.35pm: Taramas attacking
John Taramas doesn't seem likely to be the kind of player that will sit back and let other players knock themselves out just to ladder up. Taramas, who engaged in some fantastic verbal warfare with Roberto Romanello and McLean Karr, is happy to tangle with the chip leader Zimnan Ziyard.
Ziyard opened to 70,000 from the small blind and Tamaras, after a few moments of eye-fluttering computations, three-bet to 230,000 out of a 1,800,000 stack. Ziyard thought about pursuing the hand but slowly made the fold and was shown the A♣ for good measure. Taramas is looking very comfortable at this final table. -- RD
1.30pm: Double Greek
The roller-coaster of emotion that Charalampos Kapernopoulos has been riding is now in one of its most exhilarating phases. He has just pulled off double up of his 482,000 stack, moving him close to a million again and much more comfortable position. Mario Puccini's similar roller-coaster has taken a huge dip.
Kapernopoulos opened to 62,000 from under the gun and it was folded to Puccini on the button. Puccini, who played all of day four on the same table as the Greek doctor, three bet to 145,000. Kapernopoulos did a really good job of appearing as though he was uncomfortable before he moved all in. But Puccini snap-called, and it seemed certain we were looking at two big hands here.
Sure enough, Puccini tabled K♥K♠ to a gasp from the rail, but there was a mighty roar when Kapernopoulos flipped A♥A♠.
It became even more deafening when the flop came A♣A♦6♦, leaving Puccini drawing stone-dead. The Q♣6♥ was completely irrelevant and Kapernopoulos accepted the congratulations of a swelling partisan crowd.
Puccini is down to about 600,000. -- HS
1.28pm: Kapernopoulos' anguish, a picture story
Neil Stoddart takes a pictorial look at the emotions of Charalampos Kapernopoulos.
1.25pm: Second bullet does the job for Puccini
After doubling up Andras Kovacs, Mario Puccini has got his final table going in the right direction.
He raised to 60,000 from early position and was called by John Taramas in the cut-off and Hauke Heseding in the big blind. The flop fell J♥7♠3♠ and Puccini's 85,000 c-bet was called by both players. The turn came 2♥ and Puccini had a second bullet to the value of 160,000 in him. Taramas snap folded but Heseding took a little longer before he folded. -- MC
1.15pm: Kapernopoulos folds an ace
This week seems to have take about a year off the life of Charalampos Kapernopoulos. After a brilliant day three, he had a pained day four and this final table looks to be something of a stressed experience so far. He certainly doesn't seem to be enjoying many of his decisions, and his opponents are forcing him into making them almost every hand.
Just recently, Zimnan Ziyard raised to 65,000 from the button and Kapernopoulos called from the big blind. It was just the two of them to a A♥8♠Q♥ flop and Kapernopoulos checked. Ziyard bet 72,000 at that, which Kapernopoulos called, and that took them to a K♣ turn.
Kapernopoulos again checked and Ziyard again bet, making it 100,000. "Big, huh?" said Kapernopoulos, to which Ziyard offered no reply.
Kapernopoulos took off his glasses, rubbed his face, puffed his cheeks, scrunched his forehead, rubbed his hands over his face. He then also looked at his chip stack, before turning over the A♣ and throwing it face up across the table.
"Show!" he barked at Ziyard. "Show that I played badly. Show your hand." Ziyard declined the invitation and slid his cards into the muck.
Kapernopoulos has about 550,000 left. -- HS
1.10pm: Nerves are showing
Charalampos Kapernopoulos started the day as one of the shortest stacks today and, despite being one of one of the most active players so far, has looked incredibly anxious. It's not a huge surprise given the money at stake but every decision appears to be putting Kapernopoulos through the wringer. He'll rub his face, play with his prayer beads and wave to supporters in the crowd but nothing seems to relax him. -- RD
1.07pm: Final table preview
The video blog team give a quick preview of the final table.
1.05pm: Greek on Greek action
John Taramas has been involved in two of the first three hands of the level. He raised and took the blinds and antes on the first hand and raised to 68,000 the third hand, after the second hand saw Florian Schleps receive a walk in the big blind.
Taramas had raised from mid position and was only called by Charalampos Kapernopoulos in the hijack. The flop came down 9♠Q♦7♥ and Taramas sat there for at least 90 seconds. A lot of people were looking at each other and wondering what he was up to. He soon let us know by announcing, "All-in!"
The bet was for around 650,000 as that was Kapernopoulos' effective stack. The Doctor from Athens didn't take too long in folding whilst showing the K♠. Taramas let the table choose one card and Hauke Heseding opened the K♥. -- MC
12.50pm: Break time
The players are on a five minute break and then the blinds will go up to 15,000-30,000 with a 4,000 ante.
12.45pm: Kovacs continues to rise
Pierre Mothes opened to 60,000 from under the gun and after it was folded to Andras Kovacs in the cut-off, he moved all in for 385,000. Charalampos Kapernopoulos thought about it for a while on the button, but folded, which brought it back round to Mothes.
As Mothes thought about it, and asked for a count, Kovacs burrowed his hands into his lap and took out his mobile phone, apparently checking his Twitter page or texting a friend. "You want a call?" said Mothes. Kovacs nodded effusively. "Really?" said Mothes.
Kovacs shrugged his shoulders with the kind of dispassion of a man who started as a short stack and simply knows that he has to get his chips in and either double up or bust. It wasn't feigned indifference; it was absolutely genuine.
"You show if I fold?" said Mothes.
"I'll show if you show," said Kovacs.
Mothes did eventually pass, flipping over A♣Q♣. Kovacs showed 9♣9♥ and took a small pot. -- HS
12.40pm: The first step to recovery taken by Kovacs
The road to recovery can be a long one, especially if you come in as the short stack. That was the case for Andras Kovacs who came into today as the short stack with just 210,000. One step at a time would have been the advice given to him and he just managed to successfully take that first step.
The action folded around to Mario Puccini in the small blind and he set Kovacs all-in. The Hungarian peered down at his holding and said, "Okay, let's try" and called.
The board ran 5♠J♥5♦2♦8♠ to double Kovac up to around 400,000. He gave a little fist pump in celebration that seemed to be for his own benefit and no one else. -- MC
12.28pm: Score one for Heseding
Pierre Mothes opened from the cut-off to 58,000 and was three-bet to 125,000 by Hauke Heseding from the button. Mothes led 159,000 into the T♣7♥T♦ flop and was called by Heseding. Both players checked the 3♣ turn before Heseding tried a small 150,000 value bet. Mothes passed pocket nines face-up and Heseding tabled Q♦Q♥ in response. That pot takes Heseding to around 1,900,000. -- RD
12.26pm: Zimnan Ziyard
Chip leader Zimnan Ziyard opens his mouth.
12.20pm: Early probing
A predictably cagey opening here in Loutraki, although it only took three hands before we saw a flop. Florian Schleps won the first two pots with early position pre-flop raises to 48,000, which were both good, and then on the third, it was Zimnan Ziyard who opened to 52,000. Charalampos Kapernopoulos called on the button and Hauke Heseding called in the big blind. The flop came [10d]7♦6♥ and after two checks, Kapernopoulos bet 78,000 and took it down. -- HS
12.15pm: Shuffle-up and deal
The players have been introduced to the spectators and play is under way. Someone is going to be crowned the first ever EPT Loutraki champion today. Here's the line-up:
12.05pm: Nearly ready
The tournament room at Club Hotel Loutraki has sprouted a spectator grandstand overnight. There'll be plenty of opportunity to rail the action from close by, so come on down.
Players have had their official photographs taken and are now being introduced. We're all but ready to go. -- HS
11.58am: Quick round up
If you're after a somewhat sketchy round up of yesterday's action you can watch last night's 'Final Four'.
11.55am: Final table
It's Sunday, it's Loutraki and it's final table time.
Play is due to begin at noon as we begin the final stretch of our search for an inaugural EPT Loutraki champion. Here's how they line up, and you can read a bit more about them all on the final table player profiles page.
Final table players
Seat 1 - John Taramas, Greece, 1,755,000
Seat 2 - Charalampos Kapernopoulos, Greece, 749,000
Seat 3 - Pierre Mothes, Germany, 1,073,000
Seat 4 - Hauke Heseding, Germany, 1,660,000
Seat 5 - Florian Schleps, Austria, 850,000
Seat 6 - Mario Puccini, Germany, 1,077,000
Seat 7 - Andras Kovacs, Hungary, 210,000
Seat 8 - Zimnan Ziyard, UK, 2,771,000
And if you bust out, you can take a look at this outside: