EPT Tallinn Day 3: Level 14 & 15 updates (1,500-3,000, ante 400)

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2.50pm: Break
Join us in a new post in 15 minutes. -- RD

2.47pm: Kelopuro pwning
Sami Kelopuro is up to 470,000 after picking off a two-street bluff by Albert Mykhaylyuta. Kelopuro opened the button for 7,000 and was called by Mykhaylyuta in the small blind.

The T♥5♣4♣ flop was c-bet by Kelopuro for 11,000. Mykhaylyuta made the call. Kelopuro bet another 24,000 on the 8♥ turn and Mykhaylyuta check min-raised to 48,000. Call. Mykhaylyuta led a final 50,000 into the river and Kelopuro, head low on the table due to a massage, did not make an insta-call.

"Time," requested Mykhaylyuta and Kelopuro called instantly.

Mykhaylyuta: A♣7♦
Kelopuro: 9♣9♦

That big pot pushes Kelopuro up to 470,000 and near the chip lead. Just across the table Jani Sointula is packing around 460,000. Some very good players with big stacks here in Tallinn. -- RD


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Sami Kelopuro is chipping up

2.40pm: Bansi doubles
Praz Bansi has doubled through with jacks to ace-king to jump up to around 200,000. -- RD

2.35pm: Frustration for Bansi
Praz Bansi just won a hand, although it was one he was hoping would last a little longer.
Tomasz Krzesiñski opened from under the gun, getting calls from Oleg Epp, Konstantinov Aleksandr Valerevish on the button, Lauri Meidla in the small blind and Bansi in the big blind.

The flop came 6♦T♣9♠ which was checked to Bansi who then moved all in for around 65,000. After a lengthy pause, one in which you wondered if he realised the action was on him, Tomasz Krzesiñski passed, as did the others. Bansi threw his cards high onto the table; face down and into the muck.

"I had a gutshot boys," he said, and restacked his chips. - SB

2.28pm: The lone adventurer
The use of the word "adventure" in poker circles tends to spirit one away to Paradise Island in the Bahamas, home of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. But for the Finnish player Petri Vuolle, "adventure" starts in Finland and ends in Tallinn.

Vuolle was one of 16 winners of a PokerStars promotion called the "EPT Tallinn Adventure" a series of low buy in online events, including some free-rolls, open only to Finnish players. The top 16 won a two-night trip to the Estonian capital to eat dinner with the Finnish Team PokerStars Pro Ville Wahlbeck, and to play a live satellite for two seats at the EPT Tallinn main event.

The top two players from that - Vuolle being one of them - took their seat in the Swissotel this week. And Vuolle is still in his, with about 120,000 in chips.

Things have gotten a bit more serious recently, now that the money bubble is closing in. Vuolle is now on a table including Jeff Sarwer and Joe Ebanks, so there's no time to relax, even though the adventure continues apace. We'll hope to hear something from him in the next break. -- HS

2.24pm: Three streets with aces
Arvi Vainionkulma just extracted three streets of value from Erlend Melsom with black aces. Vainionkulma opened the pot for 6,000 and was called in the big blind by Melsom. Vainionkulma fired 7,000 at the 3♥7♦5♦ flop, 17,000 at the 3♣ turn and 28,000 at the 8♦ river. Melsom check-called all the way and was shown A♠A♣.

Vainionkulma up to 176,000, Melsom stutters down to 300,000 having previously lost a few thousand to Mick Graydon, who is up to 440,000. -- RD

2.20pm: Calling time
On a board of 5♦9♥6♥K♠3♦ and with around 110,000 in the pot, Johannes Van Til bet 86,000 and waited for a response from Raigo Aasmaa. So lost for a reply, Aasmaa decided to call the clock on himself, and the tournament director obliged, explaining the rules of the count down.

As we waited Aasmaa looked back at the tournament clock, urging the number 45, representing the players left, to fall through mind power alone. It didn't budge, and with three seconds to go he mucked his cards, leaving Van Til with a stack worth 340,000. - SB

2.18pm: Sarwer strikes back
Jeff Sarwer just took chips from Robert Brofeldt after opening for 8,500 and watching Brofeldt raise to 19,000. Sarwer then promptly moved all in causing Brofeldt to fold. - SB

2.15pm: Errr, welcome
It already seems quite a while ago, but why not accept a warm welcome to day three in the company of Laura Cornelius, Anders Berg and a video camera.

We've played about a level and a half since this was shot, and although 18 players have already gone bust, Berg is not among them. He remains in the field as the last surviving member of either Team PokerStars Pro or Team Online. (He is of the latter delineation.)

We are now five players off the money. -- HS













2.10pm: Mykhaylyuta tames Subbotin
Table Sointula/Kelopuro was playing six handed after a couple of eliminations, which meant that when table Kaiser/Baroni/Van Til broke, two of them were headed to the lions' den. Kaiser got sent there, as did Albert Mykhaylyuta, and they hadn't even finished depositing their stacks onto the felt before they were involved in their first hand.

Kaiser opened to 6,000 in early position and Andrey Subbotin, to his left, asked Kaiser how much he was playing. "I don't know," said Kaiser, waving his finger over his as-yet unordered stacks. "This."

Subbotin raised to 17,000.

Mykhaylyuta, who also hadn't yet taken all his chips from his rack, peeked at his cards in the big blind and called. Kaiser came along too. They were therefore three-way to a flop of K♥8♦2♣.

Mykhaylyuta checked. Kaiser checked. Subbotin bet 21,500. After Mykhaylyuta showed his interest and called, Kaiser let it go and went back to the business of arranging his chips.

The J♣ turned and the two remaining players checked. The 3♠ rivered. Mykhaylyuta bet 48,000, which Subbotin called. But the pre-flop aggressor mucked when he saw Mykhaylyuta's 2♠2♥ for flopped bottom set.

Mykhaylyuta hadn't seemed too keen to move to the table and to post the big blind straight away. But it was worth it; he added about 90,000 to his stack immediately. -- HS

2.08pm: Details of Romanello's demise
As reported earlier former EPT winner Roberto Romanello is out.

Romanello opened up with a raise of 7,200 from the cut-off which Andrey Subbotin three-bet from the small blind making it 24,000. The action folded back to Romanello who moved all-in for roughly 140,000.

Subbotin called, showing [q][q] to Romanello's [a][j]. The board brought nothing for Romanello who was dispatched to the rail. Subbotin moves up to 280,000. - SB

2.07pm: Kolosov out
He finished Day 1A as chip leader but now Maksim Kolosov is out. The Russian had been crippled by the aces of John O'Shea a few moments before, his own ace-king left redundant, and now moved in with 2♦2♥ against Raigo Aasmaa, who called with T♥T♠.

The board ran 6♦9♦5♦3♣7♣ to send the Russian to the rail. - SB

2.05pm: Brito out, Kolosov trebles
EPT Player of the Year Fernando Brito has been knocked out in a three-way all-in which saw Maksim Kolosov more than quadruple up to 12,000 - just a few big blinds.

Matthias Lotze had opened the pot and Kolosov had called all-in for his last couple of thousand before Fernando Brito moved all-in for around 25,000. Lotze made the call.

Lotze: 9♣9♥
Kolosov: K♣7♠
Brito: A♠Q♥

The board ran out 9♦T♣6♥J♦Q♠ rivering a straight for Kolosov, but Lotze claimed the far larger side pot with his set of nines to move up to 140,000. Kolosov's comeback didn't last much longer though, he was out the next hand (see above) following Brito to the rail. Bubble closing in fast. -- RD

2pm: Four to the flop
Jeff Sarwer opened for 6,300 in the cut-off which Robert Brofeldt called on the button. Konstantinos Meliopoulos also called in the small blind as did Vicenzo Apicella in the big blind.

The flop came 5♣K♥6♥. Apicella bet 13,300 and that was it. Sarwer flicked his cards away, as did Brofeldt and Meliopoulos. Hand over.

"You didn't have a king?" asked Apicella of Sarwer.

"No," he replied. "I had ace-ten suited."

1.55pm: Kolosov crippled
John O'Shea opened from under the gun, making it 7,200 to play. Maksim Kolosov moved all in from the button, covering O'Shea by the smallest of margins. O'Shea insta-called and wasted no time in turning over A♥A♣.

Kolosov had A♦K♦ and couldn't catch up. He was left with about 3,000 as O'Shea surged to 130,000-ish. -- HS

1.51pm: Chunk for Cichocki
Grzegorz Cichocki has just taken a nice chunk out of Lari Sihvo after three-betting K♦9♦ from the small blind and rivering trips on a 7♥9♥4♠8♣9♠ board.

Cichocki had three-bet to 16,000 pre-flop and Sihvo had called in the cut-off. Cichocki bet 20,000 on the 8♣ turn and 35,00 on the 9♠ river. Sihvo called down and mucked.

The Finn has 290,000, while Cichocki chips up to 310,000. -- RD

1.48pm: No double winner
Roberto Romanello is out - details to follow...

1.45pm: The scores
The latest chip counts are now available on the chip count page.

1.40pm: Two more gone
Two more players have just been eliminated to take us to 47 players remaining - Robert Cezarescu and Artem Litvinov. - SB

1.30pm: One more gone
Anton Ionel has been eliminated by Jani Sointula, a case of king-jack against pocket aces. We're down to 51. - SB

BLINDS UP. PLAYING 1,500-3,000 (400) IN LEVEL 15


1.25pm: Dog sent after tennis ball, returns with chips
Artem Litvinov has had a tennis ball with him throughout this tournament so far, much like Tom Hanks and his volleyball Wilson on the desert island in Cast Away. Litvinov places the ball on his chips during tournament play and as he wanders away for the breaks between levels, he often bounces it by his side.

Michael Graydon has a miniature Alsatian dog acting as a card protector, and one is tempted to fling the ball across the room and see if the Alsatian bounds after it to fetch. I don't actually think it will, but the mind wanders.

Still, those two just got involved in a pot that left Litvinov mighty short-stacked and Graydon continuing to prosper. It all started when Edgars Augstkalns opened to 5,100 from early position and Litvinov raised to 11,000 one seat to his left. Graydon barked it up to 18,500 on the button, and after Augstkalns folded, Litvinov bounced in the call.

The flop came A♦5♠2♣ and Litvinov checked. Graydon took a glance at Litvinov's stack, counting no more than about 16,500 there, and tossed 20,000 into the pot, setting him all in.

Litvinov didn't fancy it and folded. He lives to fight another day, but is the tournament short stack. He'll have a little less six big blinds going into level 15. -- HS


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Michael 'BIGMICKG' Graydon


1.20pm: Nierop up
Vicenzo Apicella bet 15,000 in the small blind and Danny Nierop moved all-in for around 70,000. Apicella asked some questions and paused for a bit but Joe Ebanks, watching, was unconvinced. "I bet $100 you fold."

Apicella waited a minute then folded J♣J♠. - SB

1.17pm: Van Til's spin up continues
Johan van Til started yesterday with little over 5,000 as the shortest stack in the tournament. He is now on 275,000 and going strong into the bubble phase.

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Johan van Til

The Dutchman has just won a large 185,000 pot against Irene Baroni without going to showdown. I arrived at the turn of the T♠K♦J♥7♣ board with the ever aggressive Baroni leading 35,000 into the pot. Van Til made the call. The 2♣ hit the river and Baroni checked allowing Van Til to slowly count 57,500 of his remaining 80,000 stack and move it in. Baroni slowly passed her hand. Van Til up to 270,000, Baroni drops to 170,000. -- RD

1.13pm: Brofeldt proves Della Penna's nemesis
Paolo Della Penna is the latest faller. He moved all-in for 31,200 which prompted Robert Brofeldt to ask how much it was to call. Then he did, showing A♣Q♦ to Della Penna's 9♣9♠. The board ran 3♠K♣3♥A♠A♦. Della Penna on course for the door. - SB

1.10pm: Kasper but a ghost
Katri Kasper could not recover from her tangle with Roberto Romanello and has now departed. That leaves only one woman, the aforementioned Irene Baroni, in the tournament. Baroni has clamped the "Hello Kitty" headphones back over her ears, further exaggerating the disparity between innocent appearance and ruthless style. Be warned. -- HS

1.05pm: The sharp end of Jani Sointula
Word reaches detailing Oscar Lima's elimination. It's pretty gross. He got involved in a pre-flop raising battle with Jani Sointula, and when they got it all in, it was Lima playing for his tournament life and only equipped with pocket fours.

Remarkably, he was ahead at that point, because Sointula only had A♠[10s]. But by the time the river was out, the board had double-paired, eights and fives, counterfeiting Lima's smaller pair. Sointula's ace played and put the Finn to more than half a million. -- HS

1pm: Set over set kills Keiriss
"You guys got set over set?" asked Thomas Quaade.

The Dane stared at the K♠3♥5♦T♦ board. It didn't change. Maris Keiriss (small blind) was all-in with his last 35,000 across the line and pre-flop raiser Vojtech Ruzicka had already made the call. Quaade had 25,000 left and was trying to decide whether to join the party. He decided against doing so despite there being some 110,000 in the pot.

Keiriss showed a set of fives, Ruzicka a set of kings with K♥K♣. Quaade claimed to have held king-queen. The river dropped an ace and Keiriss was sent to the rail, Ruzicka up to 150,000. -- RD

12.50pm: Two ways to play
As mentioned at length already, today's table draw was remarkably lop-sided. All the biggest stacks have gravitated towards one another, while there are some other tables featuring players exclusively nursing shorter towers.

On table five, the biggest stack at the start of the day belonged to Robert Brofeldt, but his 140,000 tally was not even the tournament average. Joe Ebanks and Jeff Sarwer are also on that table, with reputations out-stripping their modest holdings.

With those totals, there's no choice but to keep it small ball, and Ebanks and Sarwer just got involved in a pot that demonstrated the only way to play. Ebanks raised to 5,100 from the hijack and Sarwer called in the small blind.

The flop came Q♥Q♠3♦, which they both checked, and then the 5♠ turned. Sarwer bet 6,700, which Ebanks called, and they went to a 8♥ river. Check, check.

"Ace high," said Sarwer. Ebanks showed A♥5♥ for his pair of fives. "I had you before the turn," said Sarwer. "I believe you," said Ebanks.

At about the same time on the neighbouring table two, there was a much bigger pot playing out between some much bigger stacks. Lari Sihvo and Rolands Norietis were at a flop of 5♦Q♣9♣ and Norietis checked.

Sihvo, he of one of only two 400,000+ stacks, bet 6,600, which Norietis called. The turn was K♦ at which Norietis bet 12,400. Sihvo raised to 42,500 and after a short dwell, Norietis announced that he was all in for about 100,000 more.

Hmm. Sihvo wasn't having any of that and folded. But there's no other way to play on that table than for huge mountains of chips. -- HS

12.50pm: Romanello doubles
Roberto Romanello just secured a crucial double-up to keep his hopes of a second EPT title alive, at the expense of Katri Kasper.

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Roberto Romanello: the last former champion in the field

Romanello opened for 5,500 in early position which Kasper in the seat next to him called for a flop of 3♣7♥2♠. Romanello then bet 6,200 which Kasper raised to 14,500. With the right amount of consideration, Romanello then re-raised to 25,200, leaving himself about 23,000 behind. Kasper then shoved all-in which Romanello called, turning over 7♦7♣.

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Katri Kasper on day three

Kasper immediately tapped the table in his direction, turning over J♥J♠. The turn came A♠ and the river 5♥. Kasper slips to around 16,500. -- SB

12.45pm: Quaade plays on
Thomas Quaade just moved in behind an opening bet from Maris Keiriss. Quaade shoved for 28,500 and an apple, but Keiriss passed. Quaade lives on. And has snacks. - SB

12.40pm: Mattern departs; Lima leaves; Sepman slain
The path to the door has now been trodden by three of most notable players in the field. The Team PokerStars Pro Arnaud Mattern quietly slipped away; Yulius Sepman, who was a very early chip leader on day 1A is gone; and Oscar Lima, the leader at the end of day 1B has also departed. Ah, and I as type that, Severin Walser has just bade farewell to his table too.

Roberto Romanello is now the only remaining former EPT champion in the field, and Team Online's Anders "Donald" Berg is the only player kitted in the PokerStars livery still with chips. Maksim Kolosov, the leader at the end of day 1A, is clinging on to his short stack. -- HS

12.35pm: Legend of Graydon
Mick Graydon was Ireland's first ever Supernova Elite, as the legend goes, yet his online prowess hasn't really transferred to the live arena. His largest score has been a 4th place finish at UKIPT Galway for €36,000 but tis could be a big tournament for BIGMICKG, he's well chipped and looking settled. Things going well, Mick?

"It's going pretty well," said Graydon, "It's the first Day 3 I've ever made on the EPT."

Graydon is near the top of the chip counts with 350,000 and is unlikely to throw them away lightly. If today doesn't turn out to be his first EPT cash then I'll eat some cake my hat. -- RD

12.30pm: A small Bansi boom
Praz Bansi has inched up to around 110,000 in a hand without any fireworks. Konstantinov Aleksandr Valerevish opened on the button for a min-raise which was called by Lauri Meidla in the small blind and Bansi in the big. The flop came Q♥4♥3♦ which was checked, as was the K♠ turn. On the 6♠ river Bansi made a speculative bet of 10,000 which was enough to win the hand. - SB

12.25pm: Sarwer takes a hit
Jeff Sarwer is down to 85,000 after a hand turned sour against Robert Brofeldt.
On a board of Q♠Q♥7♦3♥5♠ and 30,000 in the middle Sarwer checked to Brofeldt who bet 17,000. Sarwer agonised for some time before calling. Brofeldt turned over K♦Q♣ to take the pot.

Sarwer seemed to know all along, closing his eyes tight and tapping the table in Brofeldt's direction, before making a joke and smiling. - SB

12.20pm: Player down
The short stacked Karl Mets is the first player out today. His identification card, bearing the number 804, arrived to our table moments ago. --HS

12.15pm: Crush
We're not above a crush at PokerStars Blog. Through the years our various writers have fallen for all manner of poker players, and we are entirely gender blind. (See: previous obsessions with Dario Minieri, Joao Barbosa, Ylon Schwartz, Annette Obrestad, et al.)

This week, we have already lost a sliver of our black hearts to Irene Baroni--and if she carries on in this style, I feel the hook, line and sinker could be dragging us even closer. Baroni might look as though she should only be exchanging bubblegum cards in a middle school playground, but she plays poker for the highest stakes with demonic aggression.

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Irene Baroni

Today Baroni is on the same table as Arnaud Mattern, Johan Van Til and Ronny Kaiser (there's something of a crush in these parts for the latter too), and has got into the saddle early. Although the very first hand of the day was taken by Albert Mykhaylyuta, who raised to 9,000 pre-flop and took it down, Baroni joined the party on the next deal.

It was folded to her in the cut off, and she raised to 5,100--a more common almost-min-raise. Petri Vuolle called in the big blind and the the two of them went to a flop of K♦7♦9♥.

Vuolle bet 10,000, which Baroni called. And then the A♠ turn. Vuolle checked, Baroni bet 14,000 and Vuolle thought better of it. He passed. How many Baroni reports constitutes an obsession? I think we will find out today. -- HS

12.13pm: Good start for Bergur Jonsson
Kjartan Bergur Jonsson has broken the 300,000 mark at the expense of Vicenzo Apicella with some auspicious blind defending. Apicella had opened the button and Jonsson had played back at him, also firing 22,500 at the 8♠2♦7♦ flop. Apicella had called before both checked the 8♥ turn.

Jonsson quickly bet 25,000 at the Q♦ river and Apicella made the call. He didn't look happy to be shown Q♥2♠ by Jonsson and mucked his hand. Apicella down to 50,000. -- RD

12.10pm: Testing the water
A tentative start for Sami Kelopuro and Markus Lehmann. Lehmann opened on the button for 5,500 which Kelopuro slow-called in the small blind for a flop of 7♠4♣9♣. Both checked for a 8♥ turn card which Kelopuro checked to Lehmann.

The German bet 7,000 which Kelopuro called for a K♦ river. That was it for betting however. Both checked, Lehmann showing J♥8♦ to take the pot with the eights. - SB

12.04pm: Cards in the air
Play has started on Day 3.

11.45pm: The day three sprint begins
With an absolute minimum of fuss, we have made it to day three - and today the gloves come off. With 63 players remaining from our starting field of 282, we will now trim the field further to 24. Before that, we will hit the money bubble. Forty players get paid, so 23 will leave with nothing. Take a look at the payouts page to see what they're playing for.

The seat draw is intriguing. The two leaders are neighbours, and the third and fourth placed players are also next to one another. It's random, but you might not think so.

Anyhow, play is due to start at noon local time, so join us then. We're on the sixth floor of this building, if you care to join us.

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PokerStars Blog reporting team in Tallinn (in order of birthdays today): Rick Dacey (one), Stephen Bartley (zero), Marc Convey (zip) and Howard Swains (nil point). Photos by Neil Stoddart (bagel).

Howard Swains
@howardswains in Day 3