Eureka Croatia 2: Day 1a, Level 5-8 updates(300,600,75)
11.40pm: END OF LEVEL 8: 20 MINUTE BREAK
The end of level 8 signals a chance for a quick snatch of breath for out players. This gives us the opportunity to remind you that full and final chip counts from the day will be posted sometime in the early hours of the morning for those desperate to find out the latest standings.
Level 9 will resume shortly and this will be the last level of what has been a hard-fought day. We'll be back soon...
11.32pm: Soljan checks out here competition
Hana Soljan continues to climb inexorably up the chip rankings. Her latest hand saw a preflop struggle followed by a remarkably mild check down of a J♠J♣3♥K♥4♦.
One of Soljan's opponents showed down pocket nines, hopeful that with such little action post-flop he would be good, however Soljan trumped him as she revealed a sneaky A♦K♣ for a superior 2 pair.
"You can bet the river you know!" offered her cheeky opponent.
"Yes but if I bet and you raise, I have to call," she countered as she swept in the pot that lifts her up to 53,475.
11.14pm: Q&A for Barry Greenstein
A quick reminder for anyone turning up tomorrow to play. From 12pm Team Pokerstars Pro Barry Greenstein will be taking questions from the floor here at the Hotel Antunovic so if you turn up earlier than the scheduled 2pm start you can pick the brains of one of poker's best known players.
10.55pm: LEVEL UP, BLINDS 300/600/75
10.50pm: Ante's in the middle
You might think that title is a syntactical error, but no - the aptly named Cetinic Ante moved all-in for his rather small stack of 5,150 moments ago, and was called on the button, only for Bagic Dubravko to move allin for around 19k or so.
The button sighed before folding his hand, leaving Dubravko's dominant A♣K♥ leading the way versus the desperate Ante's A♦8♥.
A board of A♠T♠6♣Q♥7♥ didn't change much, except for the button's demeanour as he bitterly revealed he had folded K♠J♠ which would have made the nut straight. That's the way the cookie crumbles, what can you do etc.etc
10.35pm: Updated chips
We've run round the arena to bring you some chip stacks so here they are!
10.12pm: I've got my Nikolai on you
Nikolai Tsanev was put to the test moments ago, having bet 1.4k on the flop of a J♠4♠9♣ board, he was called by Herman Vukusic.
The turn was a blank-looking 2♦ which elicited a chunkier 2.8k barrell from Tsanev. Vukusic again made the call.
Come the K♥ on the river, Tsanev chekced, only for Vukusic to instantly throw out a bet of 11,650. Tsanev looked upset at this twist, and tanked so long someone called the clock on him. As his precious seconds drifted away he looked genuinely perturbed and ultimately, the tournament director folded his hand for him.
He was left with a still very healthy 37,275 after the hand whilst Vukusic's stack gets a timely boost, now up to 24,775.
9.55pm: Showing the boys how it's done
Outnumbered they came, but as almost half the field has fallen from battle by level 7, the three ladies in this event have stood firm as granite, refusing to budge.
Indeed Hana Soljan's chip stack has simply grown and grown - a deliciously uniform upward curve seeing her with 48,775 at this point - certainly well amongst the leading pack.
With fewer chips, but equally lofty intentions are Zeljka Peric, who has steadily increased her opening stack to 22,500 and Lidija Nikodinovic who remains in with a shot with a below average 15,575.
9.45pm: DINNER OVER: LEVEL UP, BLINDS 200/400/50
Everyone is refreshed, reinvigorated, raring to go and a bunch of other words beginning with "r" suggesting their readiness for the combat ahead. And with blinds at 200/400, it is certainly going to be competitive.
Don those tin hats people...
8.45pm: END OF LEVEL 6: ONE HOUR DINNER BREAK
That's it for level 6, the players are stocking up on fuel (in a biological, not a zombie apocalyptal sense) and so shall we. See you in one hour for the resumption!
8.36pm: In the ascension
Two players have negotiated levels 5 and 6 in superior fashion to their tablemates and now lead the way - the pairing of late arrival Martin Scannel with 44k and the alliteratively named Zvonimir Zoriz, who holds 47k and is our likely chip leader at this stage.
His initials might spell zz but his aggressive play is not having a soporific effect on the players round him - quite the opposite.
8.28pm: Ladies and gentlemen, Barry Greenstein
He may not be in the tournament till tomorrow but Team Pokerstars Pro Barry Greenstein is a face instantly recognizable to players across the globe.
With a poker background consisting of charitable donations (to actual charities, not the sort of charitable donations some players make by simply registering for tournaments), tournament crushing, and a healthy record in the biggest cash games ever played, it's great to see a player of Greenstein's calibre here in Croatia.
You can follow his progress in the tournament by following tomorrow's live updates.
8.14pm: Give that chip stack a lil squeeze.
The presence of antes in the pot makes players much more keen to get their little late position steals in, and this opens up them up to the dangerous clutches of the squeezer.
This play has really become en vogue this level. Exhibit 1 saw saw Dacek Sapila raise to 600 from the button and get flat-called by Georgiev Stelyan in the small blind.
Cue the big blind squeezing it up to 2,600 and forcing the two players to lay down their hands whilst he collected a juicy pot without showdown.
7.55pm: LEVEL UP, BLINDS 150,300, ANTE 25
7.53pm: The Bust and The Furious
These are the latest players to have hit the rail in the last few minutes. Good game one and all!
7.25pm: Dejan's dust vacuumed up
With just 1,500 left, Dejan couldn't afford to hang around and shipped it next hand with 9♦8♦, only for Jan Trnovsky to isolate with K♥Q♣.
Dejan couldn't improve and he joins the lengthening roster of also rans to have had their shot and, on this occasion, failed to make an impression.
7.20pm: Lady luck to the rescue
Down to just 4.5k, Keser Alen was in the small blind, only to see Divkov Dejan raise to 750 from the button. He pushed allin with Q♣J♠ in a bid to push Dejan off his hand, but his mission failed - Dejan snap-calling with a pair of jacks.
Alen was out of his seat and half way to the door with his coat in his hand as the board peeled off 9♣9♠4♦9♥...then finally and crucially the Q♦ falling on the river.
He returned to the table looking sheepish and apologetic but doubled through to 1 more respectable 10k, whilst a morose Dejan was left with dust.
6.50pm: Level Up, Blinds 150,300
Level 5 is in effect and the blinds are getting quite beefy now, meaning the shortstacks are under increased pressure and the big stacks are going to be tempted to up the frequency of their steals.
It should get pretty interesting over the next two levels....