Eureka Croatia 2: Day 2, Levels 10-13 (1000,2000/200)
6.15pm: END OF LEVEL 13; 20 MINUTE BREAK
That's the end of the first four levels of the day, just 28 players remaining of the 61 who started the day. We'll be back in 20 minutes - see you then.
6.02pm: Georgiev drives away the ladies
Don't interpret that headline as suggesting that Stelyan Georgiev has some sort of hygiene problem. In fact he just ran a very sick 5-bet bluff moments ago.
The hand began with Karolj Kis raising to 4k, only for Georgiev to 3-bet to 12k. Kis now cut out a raise to 27k and after some thought Geogiev hiked this up to 45k.
Kis looked confused and puzzled but didn't take long to muck his hand, firstly raising what looked like pocket queens into the air to show the table.
Georgiev meanwhile gave a reptilian smile as he flashed an enigmatic 3♠ before mucking his hand, leaving the table shocked into silence.
His demeanour and reading of his table, not to mention his whopping stack of 144k suggests Georgiev is our current favourite to win this tournament.
Kis meanwhile was left with a still useful 79k to play with,..
5.47pm: Aperelman vanquished
We can't help feeling guilty about this but it seems Rob Aperelman has also become a victim of level 13 as we can't find him in the arena.
Good game Rob, we'll miss your inventive chip structures.
5.35pm: Peric perishes
The last lady standing in the tournament, Zeljka Peric, has exited, making a desperation move with K♠9♥, she ran into the pocket tens of Boris Kuzmanovic and failed to improve, shaking hands with her table sportingly as she joins the swelling throngs on the rail.
Several of Kuzmanovic's tablemates seemed rather upset at Kuzmanovic for knocking out the popular Peric!
We also learnt that last night's €200 Omaha victor, Hana Soljan busted out with pocket queens versus kings earlier in the day.
5.25pm: The American Carlos Mortensen
Rob Aperelman was one of two Americans to make the journey to Croatia, the other being the more heralded Barry Greenstein, though Aperelman is the one who has negotiated his way to the latter stages of the tournament.
We spoke to Aperelman yesterday as he was chipping up toward the end of the day and he seemed a little upset that he hadn't had much of a mention in the updates. He'd even gone so far as to start building Carlos Mortensen-esque chip structures to attract our attention.
So just to bring you up to speed and make Rob's day, here's a special update, dedicated 100% to the man, the myth, the legend, the one and only Rob Aperelman.
.........................................................He has 56k.
Sorry for the anticlimax. We know he's played some hands as his chip stack keeps changing but apart from his double up with aces yesterday we seem to have missed them all.
5.10pm LEVEL UP, BLINDS 1k,2k,200
5.05pm Ante stealing
Ante Varnica has really turned up the aggression today, starting life as a short stack, he has grown and grown during the day.
Moments ago, he was seen three-betting Tonci Restovic's open of 3.5k to 11k. Restovc peeled but then check-folded to Varnica's 12k bullet on a Qs 7h 2s board
That's Ante Varnica up to 60k and laying the smacketh down.
4.44pm Aurimas wins pre-flop tussle
At this stage in proceedings, preflop battles are a crucial battleground. It's difficult for the players to avoid becoming pot committed to pots post-flop so they really battle to get the upper hand as early as possible.
Moments ago, we saw Laivys Aurimas raise it up to 3.5k, only for Viliyan Petleshkov to cut out a three-bet to 8.3k.
There was a momentary pause becuase Nikolai Ivanovic in seat 9 failed to realise the action was on him (pay attention!) but after a few digs in the ribs from his neighbours, the action proceeded, and now Laivys put in a 4-bet to 16.5k.
This took Petleshkov by surprise and he rubbed his sunglasses and twirled chip for some time, checking his cards regularly. Eventually though, he passed, waiting for a better spot - his stack reduced to 52k.
Aurimas meanwhile is up to 65k...
4.30pm: The alpha dogs
These are the elite, the best of the best, the top 5 chip counts in the tournament.
At least that's how it stands for now but we all know how quickly your fortunes can change on the whim of lady luck.
Mate Mecs Croatia 128000
Ivan Brkicic Bosnia and Herzeg. 111000
Yavor Tutev Hungary PS Qualifier 107000
Tonci Restovic Hungary PS Qualifier 102000
Goran Mandic Romania 98000
The full chip counts from the end of level 11 can be found by scooting over to the right and clicking the chp count link. Go have a look!>>>>>>>>
4.20pm: LEVEL UP; BLINDS 800/1600/100)
4.00pm: END OF LEVEL 11; 15 MINUTE BREAK
3.40pm Risers and fallers
Up to 88k is Stelyan Georgiev, who has added a nice padding to the 70k stack he started the day with, whilst falling by a similar amount, although still in the hunt is Zeljka Peric, who holds 31,300 right now.
Michal Misterek, who came into the day near the head of the leaderboard has also slipped back, the Pole now reduced to a still healthy 50,550.
3.22pm Sweet Muzic back in action
Followers of day 1a's updates will remember Verdan Premuzic held the chip lead early on in day 1a.
He's been battling away with a shortstack today, and although he is still relatively short, he has boosted his chances a little.
A recent hand saw him shove for 22k on the flop of a J♣9♦5♦ board over a bet of 4.7k from Ante Varnica, getting the Croatian to lay his hand down.
"Set" he told him as he mucked his hand, although he didn't provide any evidence to back up this claim. Premuzic up to 20k, Varnica back to 28.7k.
3.14pm Scannell falls from grace
Martin Scannell has had an incredible fall from his position as chip leader come the start of the day - he's still in but only just.
He'd already lost a large chunk of his stack, before we saw him call an allin raise from a shortstack-shoving Ante Varnica with A♠J♣, only for Varnica to showdown a dominating A♥K♠.
Both players flopped a pair on the K♣J♦7♦ flop, but a blank 4♣ and 4♥ on the turn and river meant Varnica takes down the pot and moves to 30,500 whilst a floundering Scannell has seen his earlier monster stack reduced to just 24k...
We're not sure exactly how he lost those chips although both Tonci Restovic
and Ivan Brkicic have chipped up to 95k and 90k respectively suggesting they may have been the men to have inflicted the damage.
3.05pm LEVEL UP, BLINDS 600,1200,100
2.55pm: We have a champion!
Calm down people, it's not over yet. But there is one player in the field who has already tasted sweet success at this leg of the Eureka Poker Tour and that is none other than one of the three ladies remaining in the main event field, Hana Soljan.
Hana won the €200 Omaha freezeout tournament yesterday for around €2,000 (there was a deal done headsup) in the early hours of the morning but had to forego excessive celebrations as she was returning for day 2 with a healthy stack, still in contention for the main event.
Here is Hana celebrating her moment of success.
2.38pm: Scannell accelerating through the field
Martin Scannell is chipped up and dangerous. The Irishman was seen being very active at his table, his latest coup seeing him flat an early position raise to 2.2k from Karolj Kis, which was also called behind by Zoltan Kapitany.
Scannell was the only man to show any interest in the board of T♦5♦4♦, his 4k bet uncalled by the two other players, so he scoops another pot to push him yet further into the chip lead with 128k.
2.26pm Gavin has loads of Biggs
Christea Ionut may have been fortunate to outdraw Bogdan Capitan earlier, but his fortune wasn't to last.
We joined the hand with a Q♠4♠T♣ board showing and both Ionut and the larger stacked Englishman Gavin Biggs had their chips in the middle. - Ionut showing Q♦9♦ and Biggs A♣Q♥ - both players holding top pair.
Ionut was in dire shape though, looking down the barrell of elimination with his inferior kicker and when the turn and river ran out the 8♥ and 7♥ respectively, nothing had changed and Ionut was heading out the door.
Biggs up to just over 100k after that hand.
2.14pm Capitan goes down with the ship
Bogdan Capitan was similarly shortstacked come the start of the day, though when he shipped his chips in with pocket kings and was looked up by Christea Ionut's K♦Q♥, he looked in great shape to double up and stay in contention,
A board of 2♠5♦T♥ looked like sealing that double, though an ominous 9♥ on the turn opened up a slim shot for a backdoor straight.
The J♣ that cruelly fell on the river turned the tables, drawing assorted gasps from the table, but Capitan took the beat well, shook hands with the victor and hit the rail.
2.05pm Matic out-kicked and kicked out
As expected its been a fast start with 6 eliminations in the early stages.
One of those to go was local Tomislav Matic. We joined the river of a J♠7♣7♠K♦5♥ board, Matic with all his chips in the middle showing down J-9, which was inferior to Yavor Tutev's A-J.
Having come into the day shortstacked he was forced into taking his shot, which sadly this time didn't pay off.
2.00pm There can be only one
We return for day 2 here in Croatia with 61 players having survived the carnage of the first two days, Martin Scannell from Ireland emerging from the chaos to top the chip listings with 115,500.
Just behind him though sits the dangerous Croatian Dragan Galic, who also managed to build a six figure stack of 100,100 and he will be a major obstacle to pass for anyone harbouring hopes of winning this tournament.
The players will be returning shortly to start level 10. There will be a host of shorter stacks most likely looking to take a shot at chipping up or busting out so we could be in for a fast start.
If day 2 is cast from the same fire and brimstone that we saw on days 1a and 1b, then we should be in for some exciting poker.