EPT Tallinn Day 2: Level 8 & 9 updates (400-800, 100 ante)


2.56pm: Break time
Players are on another 15 minute break.

2.56pm: Mattern up to 50k
Arnaud Mattern is up to 50,000 after a hand against Martin Jacobson. The board was reading 6♣9♦6♦7♣ when Mattern bet 8,800 when Jacobson checked to him, too much for the Swede. - SB

2.55pm: Out-Minieri-ing Minieri
There's a highly unlikely captain on table 15. Surrounded by the EPT stalwarts Pierre Neuville, Cristiano Blanco and Anatoly Gurtovoy, as well as the day 1A chip leader Maksim Kolosov, the diminutive figure of Irene Baroni doesn't look especially threatening. She is about the size of her fellow Italian, Dario Minieri, and is concealed further today behind orange-rimmed glasses, beneath a white hoodie and draped in a scarf.

Irene Baroni

Even so, her stack of about 120,000 is way more than anyone else's on the table - and she is certainly not afraid to put it to work. On a recent hand, it was folded to Kolosov on the button and he raised to 2,200. Neuville called in the small blind, but Baroni squeezed to 8,500 from the big.

Kolosov only has about 20,000 left, so figured he was probably playing for his stack here. He reluctantly folded. Neuville was quicker in flicking his cards away, both put in their place by Baroni, the new, female Minieri. --HS

2.47pm: Bad smell and Clark on the rail
Thomas Quaade is telling the orange story. This is the story of Johnny Chan who in the early days of his career would play with an orange next to his chips. The reason was not one about nourishment but about smell. Surrounded by cigarette smokers Chan would smell the orange for relief.

Quaade was telling this to Sam El Sayed who plays with an unlit cigar stub in the side of his mouth. Coincidentally someone smells bad in the area to, which led El Sayed to tell the story of the WSOP player several years ago that smelled so bad that the player next to him called the floor. The floor-man arrived and ordered the player to go take a shower, returning in a clean shirt provided by an online poker company.

Meanwhile, on the table where I think the smell is coming from, Charles Clark was about to be eliminated. Martin Jacobson bet 1,300 which Priit Turner called from the small blind before Clark moved all in from the big. Jacobson passed but Turner wanted to know how much.

Turner stands out in this crowd, dressed as he is in a shiny grey suit and grey factory-produced trilby. He wears the same think pink tie as yesterday, the difference today being that he wears it with a shirt and collar. Now he's up to 115,000 after calling Turner with pocket tens. Clark showed A♣K♣.

The board ran 9♣8♦6♦5♦9♠ to send Clark to the rail. - SB

2.40pm: Frustrated Kelly in need of helmet
Team PokerStars Pro JP Kelly could do with the plate metal armour favoured by namesake and aussie folkhero Ned Kelly. He's keeps getting battered here in Tallinn. Yesterday he got called by an under pair to the board and today he's just been slowrolled by online qualifier Danny Nierop.

On the river of a T♣7♠9♦K♥4♦ board Kelly over bet 40,000 with a set of kings and Nierop took some length of time before calling with 8♦6♦ for a flopped straight. To be fair to the Dutchman it wasn't the nuts - but it certainly wasn't far from it. Kelly down to 29,100. -- RD

2.30pm: Time for a rethink on the "aggressive call"?
Several years ago, the Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Rousso used the words "aggressive call" in an interview and received, even by poker standards, an unfortunate and unnecessary barrage of abuse. The argument was that no call can ever really be aggressive, "calling" being the very definition of passive action.

Rousso, of course, was quoted slightly out of context and I think that in recent years on the EPT the concept of an "aggressive call" has become genuinely possible. These days, players are not necessarily required to show winning hands at showdown; if they can call an aggressor on the river and the aggressor insta-mucks then the caller can also slide his or her hand back to the dealer face down and still collect the chips.

Essentially, if a player thinks he or she has caught an opponent on the steal - and if the he or she thinks that opponent would rather muck an inferior hand than risk the humiliation of being caught in a bluff - it's possible to make an "aggressive call" with filth and then hope the adversary breaks first.

(This move, of course, might easily be called "The Reinkemeier" after the German pro Tobias Reinkemeier, who famously won a pot from Roland de Wolfe in Barcelona by calling and then waiting for De Wolfe to muck.)

Martin Jacobsson certainly seemed to know that his neighbour Tim Ludwig was on a steal a moment or so ago, and called him all the way to the river. Jacobsson was in the small blind and it was folded to him. He made up Ludwig's big blind, and the two of them saw a flop of J♠5♦A♠.

Jacobsson checked, Ludwig bet 1,000, which Jacobson called. The turn was Q♥. Jacobsson checked again, but then also called Ludwig's 1,600 bet. They went to a J♣ river and Jacobson checked for a third time.

Continuing the established pattern, Ludwig bet 4,100. Jacobsson called and Ludwig insta-mucked. Jacobsson then pushed his cards forward too, collected the pot and on we went.

What does Jacobsson have here? Was that an aggressive call on the end? Answers in the comments box.-- HS

2.25pm: He's never going to win an EPT
Jens Kläning, Jorge Borau, Igor Kurganov, Nichlas Mattsson and Denis Michael have also now gone. There are 150 players left. -- HS

2.20pm: Correction
One minute we're bigging him up, next minute we're down. Dario Minieri is out. The full details are sketchy but it was Austrian player Stefan Jedlicka sending the Italian to the rail. With a board of T♥5♠2♠Q♦8♠ Minieri had been betting while Jedlicka had kept pace. On the river Minieri moved all in for around 42,000. After pause for thought Jedlicka called, turning over J♠Q♠ for a flush, which got the better of Minieri's J♣9♦ straight.

Dario Minieri departs

"Nice hand," said Minieri through a what-could-have-been smile. Minieri out. Jedlicka up to around 130,000. - SB

2.15pm: Not so high voltage
Kirill Zapletin's early knockout of Team PokerStars Pro Ville Wahlbeck got him off to a flying start pushing him up to 150,000 but his tough table draw has since grounded him. The Russian is down to 55,000 and it looks like Matthew Frankland (120,000) and Jani Sointula (155,000) are the players to have benefited.

Sointula in turn has passed some on to Praz Bansi after firing 3,200 from the small blind into a Q♥A♦8♠ flop and folding to Bansi's 7,400 raise out of the big blind. Bansi on around 60,000. -- RD

2.12pm: Minieri on the rise
With around 6,000 in the middle and a flop of 8♠2♦7♣ on the board, Dario Minieri was at work. Minieri, who was relentless in his pursuit of chips yesterday, started the day on 34,425. Now he has about 52,000 after taking chips from Kimmo Tuominen and Jyrki Satukangas.

Satukangaswas in the small blind and checked to Minieri in the cut-off who bet 2,300. Tuominen, on the button, passed, leaving Satukangasto call for a Q♠ turn card. Again, Satukangaschecked to Minieri who bet 4,100. That was enough, Satukangaso passed. - SB

2.10pm: The rush for the rail
Matias Knaapinen, Alexander Roumeliotis, Kimmo Kurko, William Ross, Rafael Gomes are the most recent departees, joining Jens Kyllonen, Kimmo Tuominen, Mikko Pirinen, Jesus Lizano, Kayvan Payman, Ivan Kudriavtsev, David Anton Martinez, Robin Ylitalo, Cristian Raul Bumbu and Khazret Nebezhev on the rail. -- HS

1.50pm: And the next...
PokerStars qualifier Manfred Sierke, from Malta, is the next to go, out in something like 169th place.

1.45pm: Elder out
Reigning EPT San Remo champion Rupert Elder is out with a whimper. Having nursed 5,000 for much of the last level he finally got it in with [k][9] and was beaten by [a][6]. -- RD

1.40pm: Back from break
Colouring up took place over the break as the ante moves up to 100. EPT champ Jens Kyllonen is the first bust out of level 9. -- RD

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 400-800, ANTE 100

1.22pm: Eliminations
Other players lost in level 8 include Season 7 Tallinn champion Kevin Stani, who ran ace-king into pocket jacks, and EPT Tallinn Adventure winner Kimmo Tuominen. -- SB

ept tallinn_day 2_kevin stani.jpg

Reigning champion Kevin Stani is out

1.20pm: Break

1.18pm: Obrestad out
More on the Annette Obrestad elimination. Raigo Aasmaa opened the action and was called in one spot before a short stacked Obrestad squeezed all-in with A♦8♦. Aasmaa re-shoved with pocket eights and Obrestad did not catch. -- RD

1.16pm: No more for Moreira de Melo
Team PokerStars SportStar Fatima Moreira de Melo is down to 15,925 after leaving over half her stack in the middle before folding.

She was up against Finnish high-stakes cash game player Sami Kelopuro. He raised to 1,500 and called when she three-bet to 3,600 in position. The flop came 8♦8♣2♣ and Kelopuro check-raised her 4,600 c-bet up to 11,800.


Fatima Moreira de Melo

Her response was to raise to 22,000. Kelopuro then wasted little time in setting her in for the rest but she had to admit defeat and folded. -- MC

1.15pm: Vamplew rage
On a board already reading J♥9♥K♦6♠, David Vamplew was taking on Kjartan Bergur Jonsson in a hand that was about to turn nasty for him.

Looking at the turn Jonsson then looked down at his chips and bet 3,600 from his position in the hijack. Vamplew, in the cut-off, called for a Q♣ river card. Jonsson checked this time while Vamplew made his move, betting 8,100.

Jonsson arranged his chips a bit, then looked at the board, blinking a lot. After half a minute of this he threw in a call in what seemed like a Hail Mary move.

Vamplew turned over A♥7♥, and might have got away with it had Jonson not caught the queen on the river, turning over as he did A♣Q♠. Vamplew looked up to the ceiling, turned a slight shade of pink and inhaled whatever primal scream he wanted to release. Then he counted what chips he had left, adding up to around 23,000. Jonsson moves up to 55,000. - SB

1.10pm: More gone
Michael McNelis, a PokerStars qualifier from the UK, and Terje Markhus, from Norway, have also now joined the role of the departed. Poland's Lukasz Sas has also gone. -- HS

1.05pm: Cancel Iceland Air
"I'm never folding kings," said Kjartan Jonsson. "I'd rather go home." Home, for Jonsson, is Iceland - but even though he was good to his word and didn't fold kings, and even though he had run into the aces of Mudassar Khan, he wasn't going home just yet.

Jonsson had got his entire stack of 56,505 in the middle pre-flop with those cowboys, and Khan had obviously been happy to go all the way too with his bigger stack and bigger hand.

But the flop came K♥7♦3♥[10d]J♥ and left Khan peering skyward in exasperation. "I'm never folding kings," Jonsson said again.

He now has about 115,000 reasons not to. -- HS

12.55pm: Vamplew losing more than his luggage
David Vamplew has lost a chunky pot to drop to 48,000, just above average, and still has not received his luggage from his flight over. Having won EPT London last season you'd think he could just buy some more. -- RD

12.52pm: Ionel Richer
Romanian player Anton Ionel has had an amazing 2011, earning $1,827,850 in tournament winnings. EPT Tallinn Day 2 is going well for him as well as he's just doubled-up to more to 75,000.

He raise-called a three-bet from Georgios Kapalas to see a 5♦3♦3♥ flop. He then went on to check-raise Kapalas' 5,500 c-bet up to 12,300. The Greek thought for a minute before setting Ionel all-in for 34,250 - who snap called.

Kapalas: A♥K♦
Ionel: 6♠3♠

The board ran out 8♠T♥ and Ionel leapt in delight. -- MC

12.50pm: Obrestad ousted
Annette Obrestad has now joined the ranks of the departed. It's becoming quite a rush. Already gone so far:

Andrea Benelli
Juri Merivirta
Phidias Georgiou, PokerStars qualifier
Timo Jussila
Sami Moilanen, PokerStars qualifier
Felix Fridolin
Christoph Ritz, PokerStars qualifier
Jyrki Satukangas, PokerStars qualifier
Antonius de Greef
David Foldy
Sergey Prochny

...and more. Details are dripping this way. -- HS

12.45pm: Payman hit by Kaiser
Kayvan Payman opened for 1,400 in the hijack, which was called by Ronny Kaiser on the button for a flop of K♦T♥9♥.

Payman bet another 1,650 which Kaiser called for a 7♣ turn. At this point Payman bet another 3,200 which Kaiser then raised to 8,000, forcing a fold from Payman. -- SB

12.40pm: The natural order of things
Like when the launch of a ship displaces the required amount of water to support its weight, the start of Day 2 sweeps aside a certain number of players to support the field's weight in chips. From the start seats opened in quick time. Now things are beginning to settle, with the rapid eliminations tapering off. The field is now down to the 180 mark. -- SB

12.35pm: Oh Nikitina
There's a spot by a pillar on the far side of the tournament room where it's possible to prop oneself and get a view of tables one and three. That affords sight of both Arnaud Mattern and JP Kelly - as well as Dmitry Stelmak and John Eames on table Kelly, and Martin Jacobson and Natalia Nikitina on table Mattern.

Kelly has been involved early, pinching a couple of pots with judicious three-bets pre-flop and, as noted below, busting a foe with queens. However the most eye-catching pot featured Nikitina, who showed her countryman Sergey Perelygin a thing or two.

Perelygin opened to 2,000 from early position, a raise far more than what appears to be standard at this 300-600 level. (Most players are raising to 1,300 or thereabouts.) It was folded to Nikitina in the cut off and she called.

It was just the two of them to a flop of 3♦5♦6♠ and Perelygin followed his pre-flop aggression with a strong continuation bet too, firing 3,500. Nikitina called.

The 6♦ turned and Perelygin now checked. That prompted a 5,500 bet from Nikitina and a peek at the cards from Perelygin. He seemed to like what he saw and called.

The 9♠ rivered, and Perelygin didn't seem to like that too much. He checked. Nikitina also checked behind, and after Perelygin showed his A♦Q♣, Nikitina tabled 5♥7♥. Her pair of fives was good.

Nikitina won close to a quarter of a million euros in February for taking down the WPT Five Diamond tournament in Paris, and she is also the girlfriend of the day 1A leader Maksim Kolasov. In other words, she knows what she's doing. -- HS

12.32pm: Kelly feeling the music
Team PokerStars Pro JP Kelly was grumbling on Twitter about not being able to get his iPad to play music - probably needed to turn the volume up - but finally has it working.

"I have music!!! And just knocked someone out QQ v KJ on J hi flop....over 70k :)" - @JPKellyStars

Kelly now moving in the right way. -- RD


Tournament room on day two

12.22pm: Bansi rage
"How many hands have you raised so far? You're taking the piss," said Praz Bansi to Yotam Bar-Yosef who'd just raised his big blind.

Bar-Yosef did not answer but I knew what had happened in the hand directly before. He'd three-bet Bansi's under the gun raise and made the Brit pass his hand. This second instance of aggression, it seems, was an unacceptable assault on Bansi's honour. He made the call.

Bansi check-called the J♣9♣3♦ flop for 2,150 and a further 5,750 on the 4♠ turn. Bansi was left with 60,000 and checked the 7♠ river card over to Bar-Yosef who sprayed out 15,300 for one last slug.

"What you got left?" asked Bansi. Bar-Yosef did not answer - it was a little more than 30,000.

"You ready? You ready to get it all in?" said Bansi. Bar-Yosef gave no indication either way.

"You're allowed to speak," the Brit informed Bar-Yosef, who sat unmoving, dark glasses covering any tells his eyes may have been giving away.

Bansi finally passed but did not look happy about doing so. Both players are on 60,000. -- RD

12.10pm: Wahlbeck walk; Zapletin soars
One of the cliches of poker reporting - yep, we'll peddle a good cliche as well as the next poker blog - is the so-called "battle of the blinds". Usually that means two players going at it with inferior holdings, then each getting a piece of the flop and getting a bit too deeply involved than they had wanted.

Over on table 12 this afternoon--already picked by my colleague Rick Dacey as a potential lively one--there was a brutal blind battle within the first five minutes of play. It accounted for the Team PokerStars Pro Ville Wahlbeck, who can now get an early ferry back to Finland.

It was only the third or fourth hand of the day when Matt Frankland found himself on the button, with Wahlbeck in the small blind and Kirill Zapletin in the big. Folded to Frankland, he raised to 1,500. Wahlbeck raised to 4,000 and then Zapletin four bet to 9,600.

Frankland chuckled and folded. Even if this was a re-steal and a re-re-steal of his attempted larceny from the button, it still wasn't really worth getting involved. But Wahlbeck soon gave a firmer indication that this wasn't a bluff when he five bet to 22,000.

Then Zapletin moved all in.

Wahlbeck, who started the day with 52,675 called for all of that. Zapletin had him comfortably covered with his 94,400. Cards went on their backs and it was the most classic of all races:

Wahlbeck: A♦K♣
Zapletin: Q♠Q♥

The flop proved decisive. It came 3♦Q♣2♠. The 8♥ turned and the [10s] rivered. By that point, Wahlbeck was already half way to the door.

Business has been brisk in the opening exchanges. Zapletin is the tournament leader with close to 150,000.-- HS

12.08pm: Players out within ten minutes of the start
Andrea Bulgaria, Team PokerStars Pro Ville Wahlbeck, Timo Jussila, Christopher Ulsrud, Nicolo Calia and Ciprian Hrisca.

12.06pm: From the tournament floor
Introducing Day 2 with Fatima Moreira de Melo...

12.05pm: Juicy draw
My pick of the day is table 12, it's ripe with talent and bursting with chips. Only three of the nine players have less than the 42,700 chip average (including Johan van Til, a.k.a. busto_soon), and in the remaining six there is Team PokerStars Pro Ville Wahlbeck, WSOP bracelet winner Praz Bansi and big stacks Jani Sointula and Kirill Zapletin.

1. Matt Frankland, 70,475
2. Ville Wahlbeck, 52,675
3. Kirill Zapletin, 94,400
4. Yotam Bar-Yosef, 53,350
5. Timothy English, 21,075
6. Antonius De Greef, 19,125
7. Jani Sointula, 123,950
8. Praz Bansi, 73,975
9. Johan van Til, 5,300

We can expect plenty of action from there. -- RD

12.03pm: Prompt start
Cards are in the air.

12pm: Welcome to Day 2
Welcome back to coverage of Day 2 of the EPT Tallinn main event at the Swissotel in the Estonian capital. After two opening days a combined field of 198 return today with the second day's play taking on a slightly different structure, with 75 minute levels.

Players are currently tearing through chip bags like it was Christmas, with some players showing wide-eyed delight, and others wishing they'd got something more practical than a crippled stack, like a set of handkerchiefs for example.

We expect to play six levels today, or five, depending on how things progress. Oscar Lima from Spain, is our chip leader at the start. The starting stacks all of those returning today can be found here, while updated chip counts from throughout the day will be available on the chip count page.-- SB

Oscar Lima returns as chip leader to Day 2

Reporting team in Tallinn: Stephen Bartley, Marc Convey, Rick Dacey and Howard Swains

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in Day 2