EPT9 Berlin High Roller Day 2: Getting lively with Litvinov, hot with Lykov, but where are the Germans?

We never thought it would happen, but it has. A High Roller event on the European Poker Tour will play to its conclusion without either Tobias Reinkemeier or Philipp Gruissem in the ranks.

It's not that they're out--that would be a step too far--it's rather that they didn't enter. We thought we were on a suicide mission to attempt to beat those specialists in their own back yard, but it turns out they probably thought it just wouldn't be fair.

They have instead found themselves some other entertainment, rumoured to be an enormous cash game against the King's Casino owner Leon Tsoukernik. Unconfirmed reports suggest that Tsoukernik is the main attraction in a €100-€200 game, with three straddles up to €1,600 per hand, going on in Spielbank Berlin. Gruissem and Reinkemeier are in two of the six seats. We'll endeavour to find out more later today.

But back in the main tournament room, the last chance to buy in to the €10,000 High Roller event was noon today, when the deadline for entries and re-entries expired. Only one person apparently took up the offer, but it didn't much affect the overall size of this tournament. We already had 107 unique entries, plus 33 re-loads, with 46 players going into day two.

Ronny Voth, who led the main event at the end of day one and cashed in 50th for €15,000, leapt straight into the high roller and repeated the trick, bagging up more than 600,000. But peering over his shoulder would have been terrifying this morning. There was Lykov, Kurganov, Seiver, Kitai, Brammer, Ruzicka, MacPhee, Cody, Kabrhel, Quoss, Alvarado, Rettenmaier, et al, still involved.

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Ronny Voth, day one chip leader. Again

There was also Artem Litvinov, the flamboyant Russian player, who is as reliable a fixture at these high roller events as Gruissem and Reinkemeier tend to be. Litvinov built a big stack yesterday and was moved early today to the same table as Scott Seiver. He wasted no time at all getting involved.

Indeed, his chips were still in a rack when he received his first deal--or, rather, the space where he should have been received its first deal. Litvinov was busy finding a replacement chair.

He has previous in this regard. During the Super High Roller event at EPT Barcelona this season, Litvinov confessed to swiping Dan Smith's chair in the hope that he would get the run of cards that Smith had been enjoying to that point. Furniture plays an important role in the enigmatic world of this Russian high roller, much like lucky coins, etc.

In this instance, there was a slight confusion as to whether he would be allowed to play the hand since he had not technically been seated when the cards had been dealt. But everyone around the table, including the dealer, agreed that he had made it perfectly clear enough that he was "at" the table, and he was allowed to play the hand.

"I call," he said. "Call, call, call. I have a good hand, but I only call because I did not see what everybody else did."

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Artem Litvinov: Butter wouldn't melt

The floorman, who had been passing the table in order to adjudicate on the issue of Litvinov's temporary absence from the table, heard this comment and offered a friendly warning that speech play was only permissible when only two players were involved in the hand.

Cards were folded round to Seiver on the button, who paused, prompting Litvinov to ask him what was the delay. "I'm waiting for him to go so I can speech-play you back," Seiver said, quick as a flash.

"Scott, Scott, Scott, don't raise," said Litvinov.
"Raise," Seiver said, and tossed out the chips.
"Scott, Scott, Scott," said Litvinov again. "Did you sleep well?"

The two blinds got out the way, the flop came ace high, Litvinov checked and Seiver bet, winning the small pot. It is going to be lively over there.

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Scott Seiver and a star

Meanwhile Max Lykov took to Twitter to describe his starting table, which is also certain to be full of fireworks:

To translate, he's referring to Igor Kurganov, Todd Terry, Jake Cody, Chris Brammer, David Peters and Alex "AP" Phahurat. Yeah, "hot" is the right word.

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Howard Swains
@howardswains in High Roller