Eureka Croatia 2: Day 1b, Levels 5-8 (300/600/75)
12.00pm: END OF LEVEL 8; TWENTY MINUTE BREAK
There is a short break as the remaining 36 players go to smoke, eat, chat and swap the stories they've accumulated during today's play. We'll be back shortly to chart the progress of the final level.
11.45pm Greenstein on poker and sport
"You can't call something a sport if you can gain weight playing it. Poker has all the aspects of sport without the athleticism."
Something you may not know about Barry is that he was a keen sportsman in his college days, playing baseball, wrestling, golf and being a highly rated table tennis and pool player too.
"I always competed," he explained.
11.35pm The art of Misterek-tion
Michal Misterek is one of those players who used to get called a variance junky. His stack has seen huge swings, although the general trend has been firmly upwards.
Most recently he contended a flop three-way and saw it fall K♥6♣2♠.
The betting in front of him went 2.6k which was then raised to 6k. This kind of action might have frightened off a lesser man, but Misterek wasn't to be intimidated and re-raised again, we believe pushing his mighty stack into the middle.
This proved enough to end the action, the Pole adding another 10k+ pot to his stack which has grown to over 75k now, making him the firm chip leader in the tournament.
There's no doubt he's proving a mighty thorn in the side of the other players at his table.
Can this inexorable rise continue unchecked?
11:08pm LEVEL UP, BLINDS 300/600/75
11:05pm Konrad given the bullet
Rafalko Konrad's day is done. His demise opened with a Daniel Bavec raise to 1k from early position before he moved all in for 14k from middle position.
Folded to Barnabas Nagy in the small blind, he tanked for a while (in what proved to be a disingenous act given he had pocket aces) before also moving all-in - his stack at around 24k.
There were some similar amateur dramatics from Bavec - though less convincing than Nagy's given it always looked like he was folding, but only before he accused both players of having ace-king.
Eventually he laid down what later transpired were pocket tens, and was shown the good news as Konrad flipped A♦Q♦ and Nagy turned over his pocket aces.
A board of 7♣4♥5♦K♦ looked momentarily threatening as Konrad turned the flush draw, but a brick Q♥ was too little too late and he bowed out.
Nagy meanwhile is now up to 38k, close to the lead and more importantly we think he just edged the acting honours from Bavec.
10.25pm: Greenstein recalls the 2004 WPT Main Event
Following Greenstein's bust out, let's relive one of his happiest moments, winning the WPT Tunica $10k Main Event in 2004 for $1,278,370.
"I had just split up with my girlfriend so I was feeling bad, but strangely I was running great in this tournament. I played a hand versus Erik Lindgren where I got it in with a straight draw versus his slowplayed aces, and got there. Then I got it in with 5-2 on a 5-2-x board versus a set of fives and hit a backdoor flush. I couldn't remember being this lucky for some time.
The next day i had five races and I won them all. Every day I had been checking out of my hotel expecting to get knocked out, then checking back in in the evening.
The next day, I knew I had to leave by 3.30 to catch my plane and I got in a big race at 3.30 which again I won. "All you did is cost me another day," I told the guy i beat.
The next day I checked out again, survived and checked back in again. Eventually I came back for the final and was playing tight when I noticed everyone else was doing the same, so I settled in and got raising.
The biggest pot saw me win a huge race with ace-king versus queens. Mike Sexton announced, "He's hit an ace on the river!" which was where I got the idea for the name of my book. (I'd already hit an ace on the flop though.)
I went on to win the tournament and remember it as my favourite tournament moment so far although I would really love to win the Main Event."
10.12pm Tens moment as Greenstein busts
Barry Greenstein returned from the break needing to make a move and he did so with A-T from the button, only for the small blind to wake up with pocket tens and make a standard call.
No bullet spiked to save the Team Pokerstars Pro and he showed he's mortal like the rest of us. Good game Barry!
Don't worry though, as I said we'll have some more interesting quotes from BG during any quiet moments in the update.
9.50pm LEVEL 7: BLINDS 200/400/75
Big blinds and a chunky set of antes mean the players are going to start breaking out the big guns now, restealing, three-betting, squeezing with carefree abandon as they look to garner a stack capable of unlocking the door to tournament glory.
That is what we expect at least.
We have chip counts from the break, although some of the players failed to hang on to their identity cards, with the result that they are unidentified. We'll try to fill in those missing names as we get them. For now, head right and click the chip count link to get the latest info.
We are also on the verge of confirming the exact payouts structure now we know the full player roster so that is in the process of being collated and posted.
As if that weren't enough, at some point this afternoon, we'll get yet another snippet of Barry Greenstein's wisdom delivered earlier today.
You guys are seriously spoiled. Back to the poker...
8.45pm: END OF LEVEL 6; ONE HOUR DINNER BREAK
8.30pm: Ellrich gets Ellricher
Sven Ellrich was actually pretty short of chips with only around 7k before he tangled with a fellow shortstack at the table, getting his chips in with T♣T♥, whilst his opponent had A♥K♦.
A flop of K♣4♦2♦ seemed to have sealed Ellrich's fate, and the turned J♥ wasn't of much assistance, leaving Ellrich to bury his head in his hands, resigned to defeat.
Then like a bolt from the blue, the spikiest of spiky cards - the T♠ appeared to redeem him on the river, sending his opponent to the rail and leaving Ellrich back up to the more comfortable heights of around 17.5k, although Ellrich didn't take his head out of his hands.
"That's not fair, you'd given up on the hand! You didn't deserve that," joked one of his poker companions.
8.15pm Barry's back in business
You can't keep a good man down and Barry Greenstein is proving that, working his stack back up to 27,100. He did lose some of those chips moments ago though, peeling for 2k, having raised initially to 750 and been flat-called in one spot, then throwing his hand away when his opponent moved all-in for 10k on the Q♠T♦6♥ board.
The flat caller did likewise and following that hand, Greenstein was left with a still healthy 25,100.
8.02pm Misterek-ted Aggression
Following his ascent to the top of the leaderboard standings not long ago, Michal Misterek has been playing plenty of pots in an attempt to boost his standing yet further, but he came unstuck moments ago against a player we have been unable to identify thusfar.
Misterek raised it up preflop to 750 and was flatted in position by the player, everyone else scooting out of the way.
The board fell T♣9♥2♥ and Misterek check-called a bet of 1,375 from the player.
The turn was the 6♦ and again Misterek took a passive line, check calling a beefier 2,525 on the turn after some thought.
The river fell an apparently inconsequential 5♠ and when Misterek quickly checked for the third time, he found himself facing a third barrell for 5,025 this time.
He looked in two minds about what to do here, but eventually the Polish player made the call, only to be shown a craftily played pair of kings, finessed to the max by his opponent.
A dent in Misterek's stack then, though he still has a well above average 38k to play with...
7.50pm LEVEL UP, BLINDS 150/300/25
7.41pm Kristian Krush'ed
Kristian Krusharov just found himself playing out a big pot with Tamas Szunyoghy. We missed the pre-flop action but the pair were heads up on a 5♠4♠3♣ board with Krusharov leading out 1,600.
Szunyoghy now check-raised to 10k and Krusharov sighed before eventually making the call with pocket jacks.
Krusharov showed down the draw-tastic A♠8♠ for a gutshot, overcard and nut flush draw but when the turn bricked in the form of the K♦ suddenly he was one card away from elimination.
In Szunyoghy's head, the vital 7♠ that fell on the river must have been accompanied by a harmonious heavenly chorus, victory snatched from the jaws of defeat and he celebrated by thumping the table with his fist, his body wracked with, and releasing its nervous tension involuntarily.
Krusharov just shook his head dreaming of what might have been, although he had his opponent well covered and still holds 14.5k. Szunyoghy however is up to 23k...
7.21pm Strike' Em Down Michal
Michal Misterek, whose surname is an anagram of Strike'em, hence the contrived title, is our latest chip leader, his stack a fulsome 48,575. He has some way before he can match the 115k benchmark set by day 1a's chip leader Martin Scannell but he's well on the way with his efforts so far today.
7.11pm Unreal counterfeit sends Hauptfeld to the rail
Croatian Daniel Hauptfeld just saw any ambitions he had of winning the title go up in smoke and in ugly circumstances.
His exit hand saw the UTG player raise it up to 650, called in two spots before Hauptfeld also made up the additional 350 from the big blind with A-3.
The board came a friendly-looking A-9-3 and Hauptfeld checked, allowing the UTG player to lead for 1,500 and the button to call. Hauptfeld now sprung into action, check-raising to 4.5k, only for UTG to move all-in.
He called the rest of his stack off once the other players had passed and was in great shape versus the initial raiser's A-Q. As you might have guessed however, disaster was to follow as a further 9 on the turn counterfeited his two pair and left him looking at one three outs for a chop or 2 outs for the win.
No such luck, the river bricked and he found himself harshly deposited on the rail.
"I'm off for a smoke," he told us as he exited sadly.
7.00pm: Level up, blinds: 150,300
So we are 4 levels into the day and we think that it is Boris Scepanovic that heads the field right now with 36,275. There are a group of players who have in the region of 25-30k however who can leapfrog him with a rush of cards.
Barry Greenstein remains in contention with 16k or so.
The blinds are starting to get a little more attractive now, so we may start to see pre-flop battles taking place with increasing frequency...