EPT Tallinn, Day 1A: Level 5, 6 & 7 updates (250-500, ante 50)
8.25pm: Play ends
Bagging and tagging is in full swing. The chip leader looks to be Maksim Kolosov who has tipped through the 100,000 barrier. Full wrap and chip counts on their way. -- RD
7.59pm: Romanello, Jacobson and Kolosov lead from the front
Maksim Kolosov, Martin Jacobson and Roberto Romanello are all pushing out near the 80,000 mark. One of these three is likely to be the overnight chip leader following Romanello's knock out of Lasse Sorensen with jacks versus ace-queen all-in pre-flop. -- RD
7.53pm: Seven more hands
The clock has been stopped and it has been announced that seven more hands are to be played today. -- RD
7.49pm: Bansi bouncing on, Romanello challenging
Praz Bansi is up to around 60,000 after catching a flush on the river. It seems to have been a tired day for Bansi who raked in his spoils before yawning wide yet quietly.
Meanwhile, Roberto Romanello appears to be challenging for the chip lead. We'll find out more. -- RD
7.42pm: Mattern doubles
Arnaud Mattern has got the double up he was looking for getting action from a 'crazy guy' who shoved all-in with pocket twos on a nine-high flop. The French Team PokerStars Pro held pocket queens and made the call.
"Finally it holds up," said Mattern, who is now on 26,000. - RD
7.36pm: Kolosov tangles with Frankland
Maksim Kolosov is up to some 86,000 after calling a three-bet from Matthew Frankland with 7♠5♠. Frankland decided against further aggression post-flop and both players checked the 6♣7♥9♥J♦Q♦ board down. Frankland's pocket fours were no good.
The exchange of chips pushed Kosolov closer towards 90,000 and the overnight chip lead, Frankland still solid with 65,000. Just 22 minutes left of play. -- RD
7.30pm: Jacks good?
Michael McNelis opened for 1,200 which was called by Christian Arndt in the cut off before Severin Walser, waiting on the button, raised to 2,500. McNelis called, as did Arndt for a flop of 4♠K♦T♦. The action was checked to Walser who bet another 3,000 using six purple chips worth 500 each. McNelis asked how much but passed, as did Arndt.
"I had jacks," said McNelis, perhaps looking for a little validation. "I was probably ahead of you."
"You might have been," replied Walser. - SB
7.25pm: From the tournament floor
A video-centric catch-up with Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki.
7.22pm: Not gone yet
Phideas Georgiou's rear-guard action continues. He just made a straight against Anders Bisgaard's two pairs to claw his way back up to 12,000. - SB
7.18pm: Salmi takes on Mikhailyta
Ukrainian Albert Mikhailyta has been an active player at his table and hasn't been shy of making a three-bet. Ville Salmi opened to 1,100 from middle position and Mikhailyta came back over the top from the big blind - not for the first time - for 3,200. Salmi made the call.
Mikhailyta's 4,500 c-bet into the Q♣J♦A♥ flop failed to budge Salmi. Both players checked the 4♣ turn before Salmi bet the 2♥ river for 7,700. Mikhailyta passed leaving himself with 64,000. Salmi climbs to 40,000. -- RD
7.10pm: Making the most of the break
As the break ticked on Phineas Georgiou and Albert Mikhailyta played on in their hand. The flop was dealt, showing 4♣7♥5♦ and Georgiou had bet 1,125, only for Mikhailyta to raise to 2,750. Georgiou, who looks like a man who has just been found after being missing in the woods for ten days, performance a theatrical move, looking directly at Mikhailyta. Mikhailyta did nothing and waited, Georgiou eventually folding.
Georgiou marched off for a well-deserved smoke break, jokingly mentioning something about taking another poker hiatus. -- SB
7.05pm: Speaking the same language
An unusual hand on Arnaud Mattern's table during which the floor seemed to be called on every street, while the players who should have been calling turned over their cards too soon, making things up as they went along.
The details are sketchy, and the player involved has now departed, but it seemed there was an under-raise, then a hand shown too soon, with the floor being called on both occasions.
Finally, with one hand exposed, a lengthy explanation was given to the other player (he who had min raised) as to what his options now were. After that explanation was given Arnaud Mattern suggested it might be better if someone explained the situation in his native language.
"What language do you speak?" asked one player. The min-raiser didn't reply, he just pushed in the last of his chips (about 4,750), to howls of laughter. Poker players come from all sorts of places and speak a variety of languages, but they all understand that one. - SB
7pm: Last level
Welcome to the last level of day 1A.
LEVEL UP. BLINDS 250-500, ANTE 50, IN LEVEL 7
6.35pm: Romanello gets there
Marton Czuczor made a big call, correctly putting Roberto Romanello on a drawing hand. There was around 8,000 in the pot when Romanello set Czuczor all-in for his remaining 12,000 or so on the 9♥8♣K♠3♥ board. Czuczor tank called.
Czuczor was ahead but needed to fade a lot of cards; any heart, queen, jack, ten or seven. The J♣ hit the river to send Czuczor to the rail and Romanello up to 65,000. -- RD
6.30pm: Aces everywhere
Something sinister seemed to be cooking on table 10, where Lasse Sorensen, in early position, Risto Ailamo (small blind) and Rafael Gomes (big blind) all had at least 1,450 in front of them. Sorensen seemed to be wanting to play for even more.
I'm not at all sure how it had got to this stage, but then Sorensen put in 7,400, which put a big decision on Ailamo. He waved an index finger in the general direction of a few stacks, including his own, peering upward, puffing out cheeks, furrowing his brow. In short, the generally accepted indication that a poker player is doing some mental arithmetic.
He then folded.
Gomes then pondered a bit, before announcing that he was all in for about 15,000 total. Sorensen called.
At this point, Ailamo wiped a hand across his brow - the universally accepted gesture for relief - knowing that he'd made a good fold. Sure enough, Gomes tabled A♠A♥. And then Sorensen tabled A♣A♦ for good measure.
Chop it. -- HS
6.25pm: You win some, you win some
On a board of J♥7♠7♣2♣3♥ 1410 was all in for his last 15,000. It was about to be a good couple of minutes for Stefan Jedlicka, and a bad one for the dealer.
The matter of how much the all-in was for is partly the reason why I've rounded up to 15,000. The dealer counted once, then again, then, with the likes of Martin Jacobson now considering this little performance as entertainment, she counted them once more and the behest of the players involved. Was it 13,000? No. More like 14,000? No. Something closer to 15,000.
Either way Michael McNelis decided to call, there being another 25,000 in the pot. Jedlicka turned over K♠K♣ and McNelis folded.
"I didn't believe you," said McNelis as the dealer counted the chips one more time to be sure. It was decided that the actual amount was 14,275.
"I think that hand took half the level," joked Jacobson as Jedlicka began stacking his chips.
He was still stacking them when the next hand began and he opened for 900 from the hijack, getting calls from Mikhail Morozovs in the cut off and the player on the button.
The flop came Q♣A♠5♣ and Jedlicka bet 1,100. Morozovs called, as did the button for a J♥ on the turn. At this point Jedlicka made it 7,700 to play. Too rich for the others leaving Jedlicka with 65,000, which he's still stacking. - SB
6.20pm: Vegas but a distant memory
Roberto Romanello and Matthew Frankland are both coming along nicely, stacked well above average. Both have had enough of Las Vegas too.
"Six weeks is too much. It's good to party for a little bit but that's too long," said Romanello slightly illusioned with Sin City (for now at least).
Frankland agreed with the EPT Prague winner's suggestion of a reduced Nevada sojourn next year, but perhaps for different reasons.
"I think I'll stay at home and grind online instead. The games were sick, I heard," said Franklin. Whatever the reason, cutting down a six-week stay in Las Vegas is going to be good for your health if nothing else. -- RD
6.15pm: Jedlicka flushes out the Latvians
Folded to the button, Stefan Jedlicka (for it was he) raised to 900. However neither of the blinds were going anywhere. The Latvian duo of Mikhail Morozovs, in the small blind, and Cinis Harijs, in the big, called.
The flop came 6♣J♥3♥ and they checked it round to Jedlicka, who bet 1,500. Morozovs had laid a trap and he check-raised to 3,000, which was enough to persuade out Harijs. Jedlicka called.
The turn was 6♥ and Morozovs checked. Jedlicka took a peek at his cards and checked behind. And then before the river was dealt, Harijs also double checked what he had in the hole.
When the [10h] rivered, Harijs made a resigned check - but Jedlicka couldn't be totally sure it wasn't another trap. He checked behind, but scooped when he showed the Q♥9♣, which had overtaken Harijs's J♦[10c] on the river. -- HS
6.02pm: He's gone Vandersmissen
Kevin Vandersmissen has been despatched by Roberto Romanello after enthusiastically five-bet shoving K♦7♦ into the Welshman's pocket aces. Romanello had opened to 800 under-the-gun, Vandermissen had three-bet to 1,975 and was clicked back for 3,400. Vandermissen was left in a push or fold situation and, as per usual, opted for the aggressive line. Romanello snap-called.
The board ran out 6♠8♠J♥Q♣6♥ gifting the pot to Romanello without so much as a sweat. - RD
5.53pm: Make way for Mikhailyta
When you play a hand with Albert Mikhailyta you have to be prepared to play for all your chips. Richard Toth opened under-the-gun for 900 and was called by Anders Bisgaard before Mikhailyta three-bet to 3,400 out of the big blind. Both players made the call. Mikhailyta tossed 6,000 at the Q♥3♥4♦ flop and was called by Bisgaard alone.
Mikhailyta set Bisgaard in with a lump of 20,000 chips. Bisgaard passed. Mikhailyta did not show. -- RD
5.45pm: More Mikhailyta
It's about the time we should deploy a correspondent solely to follow Albert Mikhailyta, who is involved in just about every hand. He has just doubled up Ville Salmi, all in pre-flop with Salmi holding Q♣Q♠ to Mikhailyta's J♣J♠.
Mikhailyta still has 54,500 even after that cooler, the spoils of an all-action approach to day one play. -- HS
5.42pm: Roll camera
The latest video blog featuring Team PokerStars Pro Arnaud Mattern
5.40pm: Sonelin drops as Armanavicius steps up
On a flop of A♠T♥2♠ David Sonelin checked from under-the-gun sending the action to Liutauras Armanavicius in the cut-off who made it 900 to play. Sonelin then re-raised, bumping things up to 2,550 which Armanavicius called. The turn came A♣.
This time Sonelin led the betting, making it 3,325 to play. Armanavicius wasted no time in calling, getting a T♣ river card in return. Sonelin put the brakes on, checking to Armanavicius who, with what seemed like a slight wobble in his hand, picked off a yellow chip to bet 5,000, before riffling a tower of chips.
Whether Sonelin spotted this or not he called, but mucked immediately on seeing Armanavicius turn over A♦9♠. He's up to 40,000 while Sonelin drops to 24,000. - SB
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 200-400, ANTE 50
5.35pm: Frankland cooler
Matthew Frankland has cracked aces in a cooler of a hand to jump towards the chip lead. Frankland was dealt kings in the small blind, Carlomaria Fieri was dealt aces. It went in as it was always going to. Frankland left sick with K♥K♦ against A♠A♣. Then a king spiked the flop. Frankland up to 65,000 and going strong. -- RD
5.12pm: No hero call here
Mattias Lannermark looks like a hero in waiting from one of those Marvel comics franchise films. He sits at the table radiating a quiet intensity with a slight frame that looks ready to be imbued with super powers, courtesy of a radioactive bite/super serum injection/cosmic storm of course.
Lannermark's opponent, Kimmo Kurko, wasn't really fulfilling the super villain role but he was check-raising him from 2,000 to 4,600 on a Q♦Q♥6♦ flop - that's evil enough, right? Lannermark gritted his jaw and made the call. A second slug of 6,100 into the 4♠ turn was enough to knock the Lannermark down however. His moment will have to wait. He passed leaving himself with 30,000, Kurko moves up to 35,000. -- RD
5pm: Another faller
Another all-in and another player making their way to the rail. This time it was Mart Tammoja shoving pre-flop for 3,125. The action was folded around to Team PokerStars Pro Richard Toth in the cut-off who immediately raised to 6,700. That was all it took, Toth turning over K♥J♦ to sit ahead of Tammoja's K♠7♦. The board ran A♣6♦2♣9♦3♥ to bust Tammoja. Toth up to 58,000. - SB
4.50pm: Double Kasper
Katri Kasper has just doubled up, flopping a set of tens against Albert Mikhailyta's big slick, which happened to flop top-pair, top kicker on a K♥5♥[10c] board. All the money went in there, and Mikhailyta was forced to cough up 33,000 to double up Kasper. -- HS
4.48pm: Time to get lucky
Arnaud Mattern starts the level with 7,000. Although the EPT structure does give plenty of play Mattern doesn't have that much to play around with, not much more than 20 big blinds.
"Time to get lucky," said Mattern as he returned to his seat, banana in hand. That's not symbolic, he was simply eating a banana. That said perhaps a banana in hand can be the 20 big blind equivalent of having a bowl of rice (being short stacked). I'll run with it even if no-one else does... -- RD
4.45pm: Level five
I think we mentioned it, but we might not have done. And if we didn't, here it is. We're playing seven levels today, which means, as we enter level five, that there are only three more to go. Day 1A is already past half way through.
A lot of chatter in the opening half of the day centred on this man: Albert Mikhailyta, who is getting up close to 100,000. We've now properly started tracking chip counts. You can too by clicking anything that says chip counts.
EPT Tallinn reporting team: Stephen Bartley, Marc Convey, Rick Dacey and Howard Swains.