EPT Tallinn Day 4: Level 20 & 21 updates (6,000-12,000 1,000 ante)


5.33pm: Break time
Players are now taking a 15 minute break.

5.30pm: Down to 11
In what was a rapid fire hand PokerStars player Konstantinov Valerevish is out of the main event in 12th place.

Sami Kelopuro opened for 25,000 in the small blind which Valerevish raised to 82,000 in the big. Kelopuro then made a gesture with his hand to say he was all in, which Valerevish called, showing A♠Q♥. Kelopuro showed 4♣3♣.

The board ran J♥5♣J♠4♦2♣. The four did it, sending an unhappy Valerevish to the rail for his first EPT cash. He called out in Russian to a friend on the rail which might not have been complimentary. Whatever it was Kelopuro smiled. - SB

5.20pm: Tight fold
Jani Sointula isn't usually too afraid to get involved, especially from the button and especially with a suited ace. But he is showing some genuine respect for his countryman Sami Kelopuro, folding to Kelopuro's 72,000 three bet from the big blind after Sointula had raised to 25,000 from the button. Sointula showed Kelopuro, and the rest of the table, the A♣[10c] he was letting go. Tight fold. -- HS

5.15pm: Cichocki still here
Grzegorz Cichocki is mostly flying under the radar today, what with all the fireworks coming from his right (where Ronny Kaiser is sitting) and over on the other tables, where aces are getting cracked left and right.

But he is entering almost every pot that is folded to him, raising to 24,000 from the cut off in a recent orbit and getting Lari Sihvo to fold his big blind, and then raising to 24,000 again on the next hand and drawing Johan van Til, defending, to a J♦[10s]7♠ flop.

Van Til checked and Cichocki bet 25,000. Van Til called. The 2♣ turned, and Van Til checked again. Cichocki bet 50,000 and took it down. That's how to fly under the radar, keep afloat, and many other cliches at the same time. -- HS

grzegorz_cichocki _ept_tallinn_day4.jpg

Grzegorz Cichocki

5.10pm: Apicella refusing to go
Vicenzo Apicella will not leave this tournament. He keeps getting down low and then doubling or tripling up. Ronny Kaiser was the player to most recently double him up having called his 74,000 three-bet shove with J♦8♣. Apicella showed K♣9♦ and won it with a nine on the flop. -- RD

5pm: Sarwer - out
And suddenly Jeff Sarwer is on the rail, his tournament over despite a pair of aces that could have doubled him up and left him as good as certain to make the final.

Sarwer opened for 26,000 which Jani Sointula raised to 47,000. Sarwer then four-bet 125,000 before Sointula announced all in. To say Sarwer called immediately would be to say he took too long. It was a lightening flash call, and he flipped over his bullets.

Sointula, who has cracked aces before, muttered something and turned up T♥T♦. Sarwer only needed to dodge another but his hopes were dismissed on the flop of 2♠9♣T♣.

"That's okay," said Sarwer, who was painfully polite as his tournament was being dismantled in front of him. Sointula was fully aware he'd just got lucky.

On the turn card 3♠ Sarwer said it again, "That's okay," and then again on the river card 4♥, "That's okay," perhaps telling himself as much as Sointula, to whom he extended his hand. "Not a problem, sir." An acknowledgement of Sointula's genuine ability rather than this moment of good fortune.

It's another "early" exit for the Canadian, a running theme of Sarwer's relatively short tournament history. This year alone he finished 31st of 817 in the Triple Chance event at the World Series of Poker, two weeks after finishing eighth of 1,071 in the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha; not to mention EPT Warsaw in 2009, when he was bad-beated out in tenth.

Sarwer walked away, letting his guard down for only a second; "I ran deep, I'm used to it," he said, a painful and so far accurate account of his plight. For now anyway. - SB

4.51pm: Careful moves
The action is very cagey right now. It's little surprise given that the average stack is 54 big blinds and the final table is in sight. No-one willing to four-bet light at the moment. -- RD

4.45pm: Sarwer attacking from the small blind
It was folded to Jeff Sarwer in the small blind and he grinned at his neighbour Erlend Melsom, who had posted the big. Melsom grinned back -- neither of them having looked at their cards by this point -- but soon the friendliness stopped. Sarwer raised to 33,000 and Melsom defended.

In icy silence, they went to a flop of 5♥6♠J♠ and Sarwer bet 42,000. Melsom called. That took them to a 6♦ turn, and they both checked.

the river was the 4♥ and Sarwer returned to the betting route, flicking out 65,000. Melsom didn't seem to like it but realised it was time to concede. He folded. -- HS

4.40pm: Norietis is next to leave
Rolands Norietis has been eliminated, with Jeff Sarwer claiming a third scalp. Norietis open shoved all in for 78,000 which Sarwer called, not quite expecting to see himself up against Q♦Q♣. Sarwer in turn showed A♦2♣ and waited for the board. That came 6♥7♦A♥T♥7♥, the ace sending Norietis out, scoring his first ever EPT cash, while moves up to 400,000. - SB


Rolands Norietis

4.35pm: Ruzicka coup de grace, out in 14th (€10,000)
Vojtech Ruzicka has been put out of his misery here getting his final 15,000 in with A♣6♦ after a min-raise from Rolands Norietis. Grzegorz Cichocki had called in the small blind but had passed to a small bet on the 9♥2♥5♥ flop. Norietis showed pocket eights, no heart, and held. Ruzicka out in 14th. -- RD

4.30pm: Deep breath, inhale, Aasmaa breathes more easily
A huge, huge double up for Raigo Aasmaa, keeping Estonian dreams alive of home glory. The man to suffer was Vojtech Ruzicka, from the Czech Republic, who has been left looking as sick as the proverbial.

Ruzicka was on the button and Aasmaa in the small blind, which he defended to a button raise. The two of them went to a flop of 6♠J♠6♦ and then it all got a little silly. Aasmaa bet 62,000, Ruzicka raised to 135,000. Aasma shoved for 513,000 total, and Ruzicka called.

Ruzicka: [10c]6♣ for trip sixes.
Aasma: A♠8♠ for the nut flush draw.

Aasma didn't have to wait long to vault into the lead. The turn came 3♠. The river did not pair the board - and Aasma was off to celebrate with his friends on the rail.

raigo_aasmaa_ept_tallin _day4.jpg

Raigo Aasmaa

Ruzicka is left with 15,000 which, presumably, will be going in soon. -- HS

4.15pm: Break's over
Play restarts.

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 6,000-12,000, ANTE 1,000

4.01pm: Break time
Another pause in the action as players take a 15 minute break.

4pm: Good call from Aasmaa
Raigo Aasmaa looked as if he was trying to force himself to call but his hand wasn't responding. A 104,000 stack of chips was sat just shy of the line with his hand around it - it wasn't moving forward. Sihvo had bet 104,000 into the J♣A♦3♠5♠8♥ board and Aasmaa had just 230,000 left. He finally made the call.

Aasmaa: Q♦J♦
Sihvo: K♥Q♣

Good call. Aasmaa up to 440,000. That's the end of the level. -- RD

3.50pm: Ruzicka takes on Kaiser
Vojtech Ruzicka opened from the hijack for 22,000 which Ronny Kaiser called on the button, as did Vicenzo Apicella from the big blind.

The flop came 3♦Q♠J♠ which Apicella checked. Ruzicka threw in 31,000 which Kaiser called. Meanwhile Apicella folded.

On the K♦ turn Kaiser watched Ruzicka as he made up his mind how to act. Eventually Ruzicka bet 75,000. Kaiser looked at his cards again, thought for a while, and called.
The river came 2♠. This time Kaiser didn't look over at Ruzicka, and this time the Czech checked. Kaiser reached for his blue chips and counted out a bet of 120,000, placing it in the middle. Now Kaiser looked at Ruzicka.

It took a minute or so but Ruzicka passed. He's down to around 500,000 while Kaiser, with a mighty stack in towers of 25 (ie. Difficult to count) has roughly 1,700,000. - SB

3.45pm: Seeing double
Jeff Sarwer just played two near identical hands, with the only difference being the opponent. Unfortunately for Sarwer, they both ended the same way with him forced to fold on the river in the face of opposing aggression. Let's see if we can revolutionise* poker reporting by running these two hands side by side. Spot the difference.

On the first hand, Sarwer opened to 22,000 on the button, which was called in the big blind by Jani Sointula.
On the second hand, Sarwer opened to 22,000 from the cut off, which was called in the big blind by Stuart Fox.

The two players went to a flop of 5♥A♣K♥ and Sointula checked. Sarwer bet 27,000, which Sointula called.
The two players went to a flop of J♦4♦6♣ and Fox checked. Sarwer bet 26,000, which Fox called.

The turn came A♥ and both players checked.
The turn came 7♣ and both players checked.

The river was 9♠ and now Sointula fancied betting. He led at that for 59,000.
The river was 7♠ and now Fox fancied betting. He led at that for 72,000.

Sarwer looked pained, checked back at his cards, looked at the board again and folded.
Sarwer looked pained, checked back at his cards, looked at the board again and folded.

He still has more than 200,000 to play with. -- HS

3.40pm: Epp out, Sihvo stacking up
Lari Sihvo has taken another scalp to push him up to nearly 1,000,000. Sihvo opened the pot for 20,000 and was shoved on by Oleg Epp for 104,000. The action folded back around and Sihvo made the call.

Sihvo: K♣Q♥
Epp: T♦T♠

Sihvo hit two pairs on the Q♣5♣7♥8♥K♠ board, Epp departed to pick up his 16th place €8,500 pay cheque. -- RD


The end of Oleg Epp

3.30pm: All ins
Two all-ins on table one, neither of which are challenged. First Rolands Norietis moved in, then a few hands later Stuart Fox did the same for 115,000. Again without reply. - SB

3.20pm: What a board. Van Til doubles
The new table arrangement means that Johan Van Til is now sitting alongside Sami Kelopuro, and the two got heavily involved on the first hand after the move. Those two online tyros were in the blinds when Erlend Melsom opened to 20,000 from middle position. Kelopuro, as is familiar, three bet from the small blind, making it 56,000 to play. But Van Til shipped all in for 219,000 over the top of that, persuading Melsom out.

Kelopuro went nowhere with his Q♦Q♥. And he was miles ahead of Van Til, who opened A♦Q♠. The board apparently only strengthened Kelopuro's hand, coming Q♣A♥4♦, but when the A♠ turned, we were looking at a boat versus boat encounter, with Van Til's aces-over-queens bettering Kelopuro's queens-over-aces.

Van Til doubled to about 460,000, something close to Kelopuro's stack. -- HS

3.15pm: Don't count on it Jeff
The elimination of Kjartan Jonsson not only meant that he will probably now make his 5pm flight back to Spain, but also that the EPT Tallinn main event is down to its final two tables.

Jeff Sarwer, who had been sitting on one of the short-handed tables for quite some time, seemed relieved that some new players were coming to fill the empty chairs. "This six-handed Scandinavian madness is over," he said.

"I'm Polish," said Rolands Norietis, apparently unhappy to be tarred with the Scandinavian brush, even though he's officially representing Latvia here.
"I'm technically Finnish," said Sarwer, even though he is also Canadian.

To be perfectly honest, it's madness at the moment whatever the nationality. -- HS

3.10pm: Time called on Jonsson
Looks like that was last orders for Kjartan Bergur Jonsson. The Icelandic player departs in 17th after three-bet squeezing all-in with A♣Q♣ into Lari Sihvo's J♦J♥ for 240,000. Sihvo, the original raiser, moved all-in to isolate the action.

"Now I want you back," said Jonsson, having lost a chunky pot to Sihvo earlier.

The flop did not reciprocate: 2♦7♦6♦.

"Damn you, boy," said Jonsson. His outs reduced to the four non-diamond aces and queens. None came and the beer drinking Jonsson left the tournament floor. Looks like he'll get to Spain with an extra €7,700 in his pocket. Sihvo up to 900,000. -- RD

3.05pm: The Jonsson Show
More from Kjartan Jonsson who, on a flop of 5♦Q♥J♠, moved all in against Konstantinov Aleksandr Valerevish.

Jonsson looked over at Valerevish and tapped his watch. "I have a flight five o'clock," he said. "Spain."

So, he's off to Spain at five, not Iceland.

Valerevish thought for a second. "You have hours... fold," which got a few laughs.

"Why stay here when I can stay in Spain longer?" said Jonsson, before telling the tournament director, in a conversational way, that he was all in.

Valerevish folded. - SB

3pm: A head scratcher
Ronny Kaiser opened for 20,000 which was raised to 47,000 by Arvi Vainionkulma. Kaiser tanked for a while before calling for a flop of 4♠J♠K♣. Both checked for a 2♥ turn card. Vainionkulma bet 35,000 which again Kaiser called for a 8♥ river card.

Vainionkulma fired out another 130,000 leaving himself about the same amount behind. Kaiser scratched his head and tanked again, eventually folding. Vainionkulma up to 425,000. - SB

2.55pm: Melsom punishes Sarwer
Jeff Sarwer appeared to be contemplating a shove on a8♦2♥7♠J♠ board. He had led 33,000 into the flop and called a raise to 75,000 from Erlend Melsom. The Norwegian had fired 92,000 into the turn and Sarwer had gone deep into the tank, slowly turning over a small pile of chips. Sarwer slowly picked up those chips and placed them on top of his main stack as if preparing to shove. He looked across at Melsom, he showed little reaction. Sarwer passed.

"You know, I had a damn good hand," said Sarwer grimacing. He's left with 300,000, Melsom up to 500,000. -- RD

2.45pm: The magnificent 17
As we enter level 20, there are 17 players still left in the mix. And our dreams of an all-time final table are still very much alive. Ronny Kaiser, Jani Sointula, Sami Kelopuro, Jeff Sarwer and Johan Van Til are all still alive and with plenty of chips. Even three of them in the final eight is going to make this a classic.

Head over to the chip-count page to see how they stand at the moment. Ronny Kaiser has more than double his closest challenger. -- HS


Johan Van Til


Sami Kelopuro

2.40pm: Video interlude
Who cares if we're three levels in, here's a video introduction to the day as Laura Cornelius meets Jani Sointula.

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


An Estonian chip stack

Howard Swains
@howardswains in Day 4