Eureka6 Hamburg: Danzer ends as he starts: the man everyone is looking at

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There's no stopping George Danzer

Picture the scene: you wake up from fitful slumber, turn on a laptop and open up your emails. And there, beaming at you like a bright shard of sunlight through the blinds, is the face of George Danzer hoisting a trophy aloft.

Danzer's was the first face I saw this morning in the first email I opened. In the early hours of Wednesday night, he won the €2,000 High Roller event at Eureka Hamburg and that email carried his customary winner's picture.

But--what do you know?--Danzer's face will also be the last that most of us gaze upon tonight. This irrepressible Team PokerStars Pro is the huge chip leader at the end of Day 1B of the Main Event.

Having turned up around Level 4 today, he quickly set about building a stack. By the end of Level 12, it was worth 275,700, and not even Rifat Palevic, who led for much of the evening, could match it. Palevic finished with 210,400.

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Rifat Palevic: Second overnight

Both Danzer and Palevic sat at one of the toughest tables the Eureka Poker Tour has ever seen today, featuring those two monsters as well as Charlie Carrel, David Yan and Dinesh Alt. Those five would make for a fearsome line-up in an EPT High Roller, let alone a €1,000 event on a regional tour. There were only 98 players in the field in total, so for them all to be together was one of the cruellest quirks of the random table draw.

By the end of play, Carrel was no more, but each of the others remain and will come back on Saturday to play Day 2. (Yan has 116,400 and Alt has 58,000.) The full list of remaining players is below and it shows Danzer and Palevic as the only men with more than 200,000. Gisle Olsen is third, with 194,300.

NameCountryStatusChips
George DanzerGermanyTeam PokerStars Pro275700
Rifat PalevicSwedenPokerStars qualifier210400
Gisle Arne OlsenDenmarkPokerStars qualifier194300
Marco TopicGermany 124100
David Dong Ming YanNew ZealandPokerStars qualifier116400
Tobias PetersNetherlands 107800
Tobias SchmidtGermanyPokerStars player94000
Alaettin KelesGermany 88000
Phong Thanh PhamVietnam 87100
Stephan Van Den WyngaertBelgium 87000
Jan-Ludwig MeinbergGermany 85400
Zlatibor DujkovicGermany 69700
Vallo MaidlaEstonia 64200
Terje SirnesNorway 61300
Dinesh AltSwitzerlandPokerStars player58000
Diego Casco Del RiegoUruguay 57200
Miroslav FormanCzech Republic 53500
Karim MansourGermanyPokerStars qualifier53200
Peter JakobGermany 53200
Eike KoehlerGermanyPokerStars qualifier53000
Andreas MajchrzakGermany 48800
Davor BendinGermany 48000
Martin MulsowGermanyPokerStars qualifier45900
Alexandro PostelGermany 43900
Thomas PedersenDenmark 43000
Andre HanebergGermany 41000
Dara O'KearneyIrelandPokerStars qualifier37800
Jaroslaw Kamil KosmatyPolandPokerStars qualifier34700
Tilmann EbelingGermany 34500
Pavel IgnatovRussia 34300
Fabian SchmidtAustriaPokerStars qualifier31500
Johannes WassmuthGermanyPokerStars player26000
Daniel Horst PecheAustriaPokerStars qualifier10400

Tomorrow is the last chance both for newcomers and for returning players. It's Day 1C, starting at noon at the Casino Schenefeld and playing through another 12 levels.

Scroll through this page for all the action from today. Then join us again tomorrow.

10:05pm: Clock paused, three more hands
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

The night is drawing in and tournament officials have said there will be only three more hands to play today. We'll have full stacks and an end-of-day report shortly.

9:45pm: Bonke bounced
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

Enrico Bonke, who won the €200 Turbo late last night, will be free to play another one tonight if he likes. He has been sent packing from the Main Event by Phong Thanh Pham.

Bonke got the pot started with a raise to 6,000 from early position. Pham three bet the button, making it 13,500 and Bonke was the only player to call.

The two of them saw the flop of 3♣2♥4♥ and Bonke immediately shoved. (They used to call this the "stop-and-go".) It was 36,400 and it put Pham, with 51,000 behind, to the test. "Do you have a pair?" Pham said, but got only a chuckle in response.

After a couple of minutes, Pham called and was possibly relieved to see Bonke's J♥T♥. He was drawing. Pham also didn't have a pair. He had A♦K♥. And then the gods played a cruel little trick, giving Bonke the flush on the turn, with the 9♥, but Pham a bigger one on the 6♥ river.

Pham clutched the dealer's arm in gratitude, while Bonke looked for the exit.

9:30pm: Last level
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

Thirty-six players remain as we head into the last level of the night.

9:15pm: Palevic hits back at Del Riego
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Rifat Palevic has found someone to play against. It's Diego Del Riego, who won that pot with aces described below. But Palevic just got some back from Del Riego and showed him the bluff, just to make sure he knew who is boss.

Palevic opened to 3,600 from the cutoff and Del Riego raised to 8,000 from the small blind. Dara O'Kearney, in the big blind, looked for a moment as though he might be tempted in, but he folded. Palevic called.

The flop came 4♠3♣7♥ and after Del Riego checked, Palevic bet 7,000 and then slapped down K♥2♦ after Del Riego folded.

9:10pm: Georgie, Georgie and more Georgie
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

There are few more appealing sights than George Danzer in full flow. It's like watching a thoroughbred racehorse in the early-morning gallops, or the sun setting over the Grand Canyon. (And, really, the Canyon has nothing on Danzer.)

The only Team PokerStars Pro in this week's field now has by far the biggest stack in the room, almost 270,000, having just sent Imad Fakhro out the door. It was brutal.

Martin Mulsow began proceedings when he raised to 3,500 from early position. Danzer three-bet the hijack to 9,000 and Fakhro called on the button. Mulsow also called.

All three players checked the A♦7♣2♥ flop, then Mulsow also checked the K♦ turn. Danzer bet 14,000 and Fakhro called.

After the J♠ came on the river, Danzer gave the most nonchalant of checks. It looked like he was done with the hand. Fakhro bet 35,000 and, with 7♥7♠ in his hand, he must have thought he was value-betting.

Danzer, however, then came over the top for 65,000 more and Fakhro called. Danzer then revealed his A♠A♣ for a bigger set. And that's how Georgie does it.

9:10pm: Koehle flips, wins, doubles
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Eike Koehler's tournament life depended on him winning a flip against Daniel Peche. And the god decided Koehler could hang around a while longer to see what he could do with a 60,000 stack.

Peche opened to 3,500. Koehler shoved for 27,500. Peche called and the starter's pistol sounded. Peche had T♥T♦ to Koehler's A♠K♠.

There was help on the flop. It came K♥2♥J♦ and the 4♦ turn followed by the A♣ river kept Koehler alive.

9:05pm: Del Riego's aces good against Palevic
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Rifat Palevic is mortal after all. He just lost at least 20,000 of his stack in a pot against Diego Del Riego.

I didn't see any of it except what happened on the end, by which point there was easily 15,000 in the middle (probably more) and the 2♦5♠7♠5♦9♠ beside it. Palevic, who would have been in the hijack, checked and Del Riego, the button, bet 14,500.

"Oof," Palevic said. He then pondered his options. Eventually he called and Del Riego turned over A♥A♣. Palevic seemed stung and tabled his smaller two pair, with 7♥9♦.

Palevic probably still leads the tournament, with around 165,000. But George Danzer has made a brilliant comeback recently too and has 160,000.

8:50pm: Mansour folds out two
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Christian Kennepohl opened to 2,500 and then Martin Mulsow three-bet to 6,200 from the hijack. Action got to Karim Mansour and he positioned his cards very deliberately in front of him, as though for an RFID reader on a television table. He then moved all-in for 35,300.

Kennepohl quickly folded to the squeeze, but Mulsow took some more time about his decision. But then he too folded and Mansour's cold four bet got the job done.

8:45pm: Non stop Palevic
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Rifat Palevic continues to barrel, barrel, barrel and is the dominant force on Table 4. Dara O'Kearney has recently joined that table too, but has less than a third of Palevic's 160,000 stack and so will need to do what O'Kearney does best: pick his spots.

I watched three hands and Palevic played them all. He picked up two uncontested pre-flop and the other after betting the flop. On that one, he made it 2,500 to play and was called by Thorsten Holst, in the hijack one seat to Palevic's left, and Peter Jakob in the big blind.

After the J♣3♥K♥ flop, Jakob checked and Palevic bet 4,600. Both opponents folded and Palevic had the good manners to show them a king.

8:30pm: Wassmuth stumbles into Yan's trap
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

David Yan's stack is now worth about 110,000 after he took Johannes Wassmuth for more than 35,000 of his chips.

Yan opened to 3,200 from UTG+1 and Wassmuth called from two seats around, persuading Waldermar Kopyl to call from the big blind too.

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David Yan, just a chilled out guy

The three of them saw the flop of 2♥8♥8♣ and after Kopyl checked, Yan bet 3,200. Wassmuth was the only one to call. The 9♥ came on the turn and Jan flicked out 10,000 chips. Wassmuth called again, which took them to the 4♣ on the river.

Yan speedily threw 22,000 into the middle and Wassmuth, agonising, delved into the tank, counting his chips and realising that he would have 25,000 behind if he called and lost.

Miroslav Forman ended up calling the clock, forcing a decision out of Wassmuth, and eventually he called. Yan liked it. He turned over 4♥6♥ for a turned flush and Wassmuth mucked.

8:20pm: Hupfer humped
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Benjamin Hupfer is out. He open-shoved for his last 11,200 and Stephen Van den Wyngaert, with not much more, reshoved. Everyone else got out of the wy and Hupfer needed help with A♥5♥ to Van den Wyngaert's 9♥9♦.

He didn't get it. The board ran 8♥J♣J♦7♠5♠ and that was the end of that.

8:10pm: Luedecke busts
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

There's nothing like the old limp/shove under the gun to get the pulse racing, but it didn't work for Alexander Luedecke, who has now hit the rail.

Luedecke matched the big blind of 1,200, first to speak, but then Andre Haneberg raised to 4,200 from one seat to his left.

Action folded back to Luedecke and he carried through a pre-planned manouevre, moving his full stack over the line (about 20,000 give or take). Haneberg called.

Luedecke had a nice suited ace. It was A♠J♠. But so did Haneberg and his was A♣K♣. After the king on the flop, Luedecke prepared to leave. And nothing on turn or river persuaded him to stay.

Haneberg has about 70,000 now.

8pm: Three more levels
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Players have returned to their seats and will now play three more 45-minute levels before bagging for the night.

7:45pm: Break time
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

That's the end of Level 9 and time for a 15-minute break. Here are some selected stacks of the remaining 53 players:

Rifat Palevic -- 205,000
Phong Thanh Pham -- 136,000
Tobias Schmidt -- 96,000
Marco Topic -- 74,000
George Danzer -- 68,000
Vallo Maidla -- 66,000
David Yan -- 59,000
Dara O'Kearney -- 56,000

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Rifat Palevic: Last to leave as the table of stars broke

7:35pm: The fun ends
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

The ridiculous table, featuring all of today's superstars, has now broken, scattering the players around the rest of the field. Rifat Palevic just about had time to win another pot from George Danzer, boosting his stack to 170,000 and cutting the Team Pro's to about 60,000. And now Palevic is sitting to the left of Dinesh Alt on Table four. I don't know what Alt has done to deserve it.

7:20pm: Double for Jarosz
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

It's got to that time, with the big blind now 1,000, that the short stacks are open-shoving. Pawel Stanislav Jarosz had 12,900 and open-shipped, with action folding around to Zlatibor Dujkovic in the big blind.

Dujkovic had about 36,000 and decided to call. But he needed to hit with A♦7♦ against Jarosz's 9♣9♥. He didn't hit. The board ran 4♣Q♠2♠5♥4♦.

That leaves Dujkovic with about 23,000 and Jarosz with a bit more.

7:10pm: Carrel busts
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

The constellation of superstars has lost one of its leading lights. Charlie Carrel is on the rail (but there's a good chance he'll come back tomorrow).

George Danzer filled in the details (is there nothing he can't do?). David Yan opened, Carrel shoved, Yan called and Carrel's king-queen didn't beat ace-jack on an ace high flop. Yan has about 56,000.

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A Danzer's eye view of Charlie Carrel

6:55pm: Palevic joins the party
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

More from Table 7, where Rifat Palevic has now joined the fray, sitting to George Danzer's immediate right. Palevic, from Sweden, has nearly a million in live tournament winnings and much more online and was a much-feared EPT regular for a few years.

Palevic has the most chips too. He has about 110,000 now, which is a shade above Danzer's 105,000.

The chip leader at this stage, however, is Phong Thanh who must have won another huge pot after the skirmish with Eke described below. He has 130,000.

6:40pm: Trouble with seven-four off
Level 8 - Blinds 400/800 (100 ante)

You can't just fold every big blind. That would be a highly exploitable play. But you have to be slightly selective, otherwise you can find yourself hitting the rail thinking, "Yeah, perhaps seven-four off wasn't the smartest idea."

That's the situation for Mehmet Eke, who defended his big blind with a call after Phong Thanh opened to 1,800 from mid-position.

The two of them saw a flop of 5♥7♥2♦ and Eke check-called Thanh's bet of 2,200. The 2♥ came on the turn and Eke checked again. Thanh bet 4,100 but rather than just calling, Eke tossed in a single 25 denomination chip and said, "All-in."

Thanh didn't wait for a count. He double-checked his cards and then called. (The shove was for about 17,000.) Eke tabled 7♣4♦ which was in trouble against Thanh's A♥Q♥.

Neither of the two remaining sevens appeared on the river and Eke went home. Thanh has about 65,000.

6:30pm: O'Kearney misses turn
Level 8 - Blinds 400/800 (100 ante)

Dara O'Kearney has been playing well and running well over the past few weeks and has been to four final tables at four different festivals (albeit two being held on the same day in the same venue). He was at another final here in Hamburg last night, at which point his friend David Lappin observed that he had found a leak in O'Kearney's game. "Over-emphasis on mathematically correct decisions during this purple period of never missing flops," Lappin tweeted.

O'Kearney has had a good start to today and was up beyond 50,000 quite early. He's dropped back a bit now and just lost a small pot when he sort-of hit the flop, but totally missed turn and river.

Karim Mansour started it when he raised to 1,8000 from under the gun. Claas Segebrecht called from the small blind and O'Kearney also called from the big. The flop came 8♣4♣7♥ and after O'Kearney checked, Mansour bet 3,600. Segebrecht folded and O'Kearney called.

They both checked the A♣ turn. And they also both checked the 5♣ river. O'Kearney showed first. He had missed his straight draw with his T♥9♥ (and might have struggled to bet it even if he'd hit, what with four clubs out there). Mansour couldn't beat any club, but he could beat O'Kearney. He had A♦8♦ for two pair.

6:15pm: Lappin takes his leave
Level 7 - Blinds 300/600 (75 ante)

As Level 7 drew to a close, David Lappin was seen wandering out of the room, his chair now officially open. I'm not sure if Lappin got above his starting stack today. It was a bit of a miserable grind if his increasingly helpless expression was any indication.

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The scowling visage of David Lappin. He's had better days

6:10pm: And their stacks...
Level 7 - Blinds 300/600 (75 ante)

George Danzer is still the table captain and tournament captain despite being surrounded by bosses. He has about 115,000. David Yan, who has only been with us about 45 minutes, has 45,000 already, while Charlie Carrel has about 27,000 and Dinesh Alt has 23,000.

Some of Alt's chips came from a recent small pot he played against Yan. Alt raised to 1,500 from mid-position and Yan called from the cutoff. Alt bet 2,200 after the flop fell 9♣2♠Q♥. Yan called. Then Alt bet 4,200 after the turn of 8♣. This time Yan folded.

6:05pm: And more for Table 7
Level 7 - Blinds 300/600 (75 ante)

It's getting a little silly on Table 7. Not long ago, I walked past and glimpsed a new player who I briefly thought looked like David Yan. (I didn't look closely and thought nothing of it.) Now, on closer inspection, the player who looks like David Yan is actually David Yan. He must have sat down during the break. That means we now have George Danzer, Charlie Carrel, Dinesh Alt and Yan in four of the nine seats. There are easier tables to be found deep in the money in an EPT Main Event, let alone on Day 1B of a Eureka Poker Tour tournament.

6pm: One for Pedersen, and then one for Kozuch
Level 7 - Blinds 300/600 (75 ante)

Thomas Pedersen opened back-to-back pots from cutoff and then hijack. He won the first and set the ball rolling on a big clash for the second, but sat back and watched others duke it out.

The first one:

Action folded to Pedersen and he raised to 1,300. Miroslav Forman called from the big blind and the two of them went to the 3♠J♣8♦ flop. Forman checked, Pedersen bet 1,500 and Forman called.

The 6♠ came on the turn and Forman checked again. Pedersen's bet of 3,400 took it down.

Next hand:

Action folded to Pedersen and he raised to 1,300. One seat to his left, Mateusz Kozuch moved all his chips over the line and the action passed to Johnny Hansen in the big blind. He wanted a count.

He found out it was a raise to 10,400 and Hansen, with more than 55,000, made the call. Pedersen got out of the way.

Hansen: K♦Q♦
Kozuch: A♠J♦

The board brought the A♥ among others and that was enough to double Kozuch. Hansen still has more than 45,000.

5:45pm: Getting tougher
Level 7 - Blinds 300/600 (75 ante)

With registration now closed, we have maxed out at 99 players for Day 1B. All the gaps at the various tables have now been closed and Table 10 was broken just before the restart. Dinesh Alt was on that table, but he has now joined George Danzer, Charlie Carrel and Sergej Barbarez on the undisputed toughest slab of felt in the room. Danzer has more than 100,000 now and by far the biggest reputation of them all.

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Charlie Carrel and George Danzer

5:30pm: Some counts

As players enjoy their slap-up feed, we've been counting their chips. Here are a few selected counts, with George Danzer already putting clear air between him and the rest of the field.

Selected counts:

George Danzer -- 90,000
Enrico Bonke -- 80,000
Johnny Hansen -- 65,000
Michael Oswald -- 64,000
Terje Sirnes -- 57,000
Davor Bendin -- 56,000
Peter Jakob -- 48,000
Tobias Schmidt -- 43,000
Dara O'Kearney -- 43,000

I may have also misreported Gareth Chantler's count below. He has about 27,000 now and not nearly 50,000 as previously stated.

4:45pm: Dinner time
Level 6 - Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

And on the very stroke of 4:45pm, that's dinner. That's dinner time, right? We'll be back in 45 minutes.

4:30pm: Chantler chipping up
Level 6 - Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Gareth Chantler is building a stack here this afternoon and just made a big call in a pot against Enrico Bonke and Andrew Pierz. I only arrived on the river, at which point the scary-looking board read K♥T♠T♥6♦T♣.

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Gareth Chantler: Chipping up

Bonke bet 3,000 and Pierz called. That left the decision on Chantler. After a brief pause he put the chips forward and was rewarded when Bonke tabled 5♦5♥ and Pierz mucked. Chantler's K♦4♦ was good. The lone Canadian in today's field (albeit one who has been based around and about Europe for a little while) stacked up about 50,000.

4:20pm: Cold five-bet
Level 6 - Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Johnny Hansen opened to 900 from UTG+1 but he can't have known what he was about to start. Rifat Palevic three-bet to 2,600 from two seats along, but that only prompted a four-bet to 7,000 from Claus Carstensen in the small blind.

And it wasn't done yet. Hanno Offen, in the big blind, cold five-bet to 20,000, which quickly got rid of Hansen and Palevic. Carstensen wasn't so sure. From behind, Carstensen is the exact spitting image of Erik Seidel (from the front, not at all, but they are the same build and have the same monkish hair). He was monkish about his decision-making too, pondering long and hard.

Eventually he folded and Offen picked up a decent pot without even getting to a flop.

4pm: It's George's world, we just live in it
Level 6 - Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

There's no messing around with George Danzer in the building. The lone Team PokerStars Pro up here in Hamburg is already up to about 50,000, taking about half of that in a recent pot against Sebastian Homann.

We only caught it on the river with Danzer making a more-than pot-sized bet on a board of 4♠9♣7♦9♦6♣. It was 12,000 from Danzer, into about 10,000.

Homann tank-called and Danzer opened T♥9♥. It was good.

3:50pm: Big-ish stack
Level 5 - Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

I can't see a stack in the room at the moment bigger than Enrico Bonke's. He has around 64,000 and is in the seat adjacent to the one occupied yesterday by Anastasios Mastroudis, who led through the first eight levels of play.

Other big-ish stacks sit with Dara O'Kearney (50,500), Andreas Majchrzak (50,300) and Tobias Schmidt (50,000).

3:35pm: Ebeling elbowed by Freese
Level 5 - Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

There's not been much to write home about for David Lappin so far today. He has about 17,500 chips at the moment, below the 25,000 starting stack, but still close to 60 big blinds.

He can take some credit for getting the following pot under way, although his participation was minimal (and it ended up fizzling out anyhow).

Lappin opened to 750 from under the gun and Sven Freese, two seats to his left, raised to 1,450. Tilmann Ebeling then cold four-bet to 3,200 from the cutoff and that was enough to persuade Lappin he had seen enough.

Freese still wanted to play. "Raise. Six. Two," he said. Ebeling called.

The flop came J♣5♠4♦ and Freese bet 3,200. Ebeling called. Then the 7♣ came on the turn and Freese had another stab. He bet 10,000 this time. Ebeling joined Lappin in mucking.

3:25pm: Feature table
Level 5 - Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

Fresh from his High Roller victory last night, George Danzer has taken his seat in the Eureka Hamburg Main Event. What's more, he has joined the same table as Charlie Carrel and Sergej Barbarez making that by some measure the most interesting in the room.

3:10pm: Three-way
Level 4 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

"I was lucky," Tobias Schmidt said as he began stacking up just short of 60,000 chips. Both Nicole Kohlmoos and Pierre Kauert will likely concur as they were heading to the exit.

I don't know the full betting, but they were all all-in by the turn, with the board reading T♥J♥2♥J♠. Kohlmoos's K♠T♠ was already dead against Schmidt's T♦T♣ by this stage and Kauert's A♥A♣ was in deep trouble too.

The 7♥ wasn't one of Kauert's two outs and that ended this big hand, leaving two seats open.

3pm: In the Posto for Eirosius
Level 4 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Rosmundas Eirosius wanted to see a flop for cheap. After action folded to him in the small blind, he completed and then chuckled when Alexandro Posto, in the big blind, raised to 600. Eirosius called anyway.

So, two to the flop of Q♠K♦2♦ and Eirosius checked. Posto bet 600 and Eirosius called.

The A♦ came on the turn and both players checked. But by the time the J♥ came on the river, Eirosius had completed a 180 degree about-turn on his interest in this pot. He now bet 1,200.

Posto wanted to know why. He called and was quickly shown J♦9♦ for the turned flush. Posto mucked.

2:55pm: Alt bosses Olsen
Level 4 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Dinesh Alt smelt a rat and punished Arne Gisle Olsen. There was 3,500 in the middle, with a board of Q♦A♣4♥5♠A♦ exposed. Alt checked and Olsen bet 1,325.

Alt didn't seem interested at this stage, but neither did Olsen. He was looking concentratedly into the middle distance, apparently more concerned by absolutely anything than the actual pot in hand.

Alt seemed to think this feigned indifference perhaps concealed weakness and raised to 6,325 to see if his hunch was right. It was. Olsen folded quickly.

2:45pm: An EPT Champion arrives
Level 4 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Thang Duc Nguyen has taken a seat, bringing the number of EPT Main Event champions in the field to...one! Nguyen won in Baden in Season 3, but seems to be on home turf here in Hamburg. He was greeted like a king when he arrived yesterday ahead of Day 2 of the High Roller event.

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Thang Duc Nguyen

Nguyen is on Table 3 and watched the following small pot play out. Dirk Volquardsen opened to 500 from UTG+1 and Waldemar Kopyl called from the big blind. Those two took a flop of Q♠5♦3♦ and Kopyl check-called Volquardsen's c-bet of 625.

The A♥ came on the turn and it went check, bet (1,225), call again. Then the A♠ completed the board and now it went check, check. Kopyl waited for Volquardsen to show his hand, but ran out of patience pretty quickly when his reluctance clearly suggested he didn't have an ace.

Kopyl just flipped over his Q♣K♦ and that was good.

2:35pm: Past 80
Level 4 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

We're into Level 4 now, with 84 players having registered and 82 of them remaining. Registration is open for another three levels today, and then six tomorrow too.

2:15pm: First break
Level 3 - Blinds 75/150

That's the end of the first three levels, so they players are heading off on their first break of the day.

2:05pm: Aggressive call
Level 3 - Blinds 75/150

Vanessa Rousso once got a lot of stick for claiming she had made an "aggressive call". The denizens of the internet poker chat-rooms took a few minutes away from dating supermodels and winning $10K tournaments to hammer out a few thousand words of vitriol when she did that, Cheeto crumbs bouncing off their keyboards along the way.

Anyway, I can tell you right now, and without fear of contradiction, that Naser Nowrozi just made an aggressive call. It was very aggressive. Nowrozi was just exiting the smoking room along side the tournament area in Casino Schenefeld when he saw the dealer getting close to finishing a round of card-pitching. He sprinted through the door, ducked athletically beneath the rope and landed himself in his chair the very moment the last card came off the deck. He was under the gun, peeked at his cards almost in the same motion, then...called.

He nearly rent asunder a couple of railbirds and a waitress or two en route to making this call, so it was the very definition of aggressive.

It also started the kind of limping epidemic that we saw yesterday, with Enrico Bonke and Andrew Pierz also calling from the two seats to his left. However that all ended when action made it to Tomislav Trefil. He threw out 1,650 to give everyone something to think about, and they all decided that folding was the best option, including the agressive caller.

1:50pm: Double for Holke
Level 3 - Blinds 75/150

The defending champion Tom Holke was down to little more than 2,000, but scored a fortunate double up through Peter Jaksland to keep his hopes alive. Holke had J♦7♦ and was up against Jaksland's jacks. But three diamonds on the flop soon swung things in Holke's favour.

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Tom Holke

1:45pm: No shifting Offen's aces
Level 3 - Blinds 75/150

Hanno Offen just won a sizeable pot with aces, but had to make a solid call at the end to pick it up. Rifat Palevic got things going, raising to 350 from UTG+1. Alexander Bontemps, in the hijack, three-bet to 1,100 and then Offen four-bet the button to 2,400.

A cold four-bet at this stage certainly suggests strength, but neither Palevic nor Bontemps were scared. Both called, meaning three players saw the flop of Q♠T♦3♥. Palevic checked but Bontemps bet, this time 2,600. Only Offen stuck around.

The turn brought the T♥ and Bontemps continued betting, this time 4,600. Offen called and the river brought the K♠. Bontemps had another go at dislodging Offen, pushing 7,500 over the line.

But Offen went nowhere and, after Bontemps flipped over his K♦Q♥, showed his A♥A♣ and picked up this sizeable pot.

1:35pm: About that tough field...
Level 3 - Blinds 75/150

Charlie Carrel, fresh from a recent WCOOP success and with close to $2.5 million in live tournament earnings, is among the recent clutch of players to sit down in this tournament. I don't know what brings a €25,000 EPT High Roller champion to Hamburg for a €1,000 event, but everyone here is very happy to have him.

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Charlie Carrel: Fresh from WCOOP success

Peter Jaksland and Miroslav Forman have both also now bought in again. They were both eliminated yesterday but are giving it another spin.

1:30pm: Strasse gegen flush
Level 2 - Blinds 50/100

Yun Ho Choi is out and my German colleagues have just reported the hand details as "strasse gegen flush". I'm going to tell you that "gegen" means "against" or "versus" and you can figure the rest out for yourself.

1:20pm: Tough field
Level 2 - Blinds 50/100

We're still not breaking any attendance records here in Hamburg, with 72 players now registered. But the field is getting tougher. Dinesh Alt, the reigning TCOOP champion, has now taken his seat, as has Soenke Jahn, who took down the Barcelona Main Event of the Estrellas Poker Tour in Season 4.

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Dinesh Alt

1pm: Nicole Kohlmoos, a woman
Level 2 - Blinds 50/100

Of the 69 players who showed up yesterday, there wasn't a single woman in the field. It's nothing to be proud of given the gradual increase in women players over the years, but there it is.

It's not a whole lot better today, at least so far, but it's not a total whitewash. Today, Nicole Kohlmoos has taken her seat and is representing half of the human race.

Kohlmoos is getting busy early on. She took a small pot from Michael Lewis when her jack-ten beat Lewis's 6♣4♣ on a double-paired board (queens and kings) but Lewis earned some more back on the next hand.

In that, Kohlmoos opened to 300 from under the gun and picked up three callers: Ansgar Moller, one seat to her left, then Lewis in the small blind and Pierre Kauert in the big.

They saw a flop of 9♥Q♥J♠ and all four players checked, taking them to the A♥ on the turn. Lewis led for 400 and Kauert and Kohlmoos called, with Moller folding after them.

Then the 3♠ came on the river and Lewis bet 1,200. Kauert and Kohlmoos both now folded.

12:55pm: Busting out the check-raise
Level 2 - Blinds 50/100

David Lappin dismissed our attention during the first level of play today, correctly stating that the early levels don't often produce too many fireworks. But just as the tournament clock ticked into Level 2, Lappin was involved in another pot--although it still didn't amount to a whole bunch.

Christoph Neuerer opened to 250 from early position and Lappin called from the small blind, followed by Fabian Schmidt in the big. The flop fell 9♠7♦9♣ and, after two checks, Neuerer continued for 275.

"Eight-hundred," Lappin said, busting out the check-raise. Schmidt and Neuerer folded, and that was another one for the file marked, "We're Only Writing About It Because There's Not Much Else Happening At The Moment".

12:35pm: Holke probes with eights, loses
Level 1 - Blinds 25/50

Four players on Table 4 had invested 850 between them to see a flop. They were Davor Bendin and Pavel Ignatov, who had been in the blinds, and Tom Holke and Jens Moysich, who hadn't.

All checked the 7♦8♦J♥ flop, but then after Bendin and Ignatov checked the J♣ turn, Holke bet 400. Only Moysich, to his left, called.

After the K♦ came on the river, the defending champion threw out 375 chips. Moysich announced a call. Holke reluctantly turned over the 8♠ and knew he was beaten. Moysich exposed his T♣T♠ before Holke showed his other hole cards. Moysich took that one.

12:20pm: Barbarez finding his feet early
Level 1 - Blinds 25/50

Sergej Barbarez made more than 170 appearances for FC Hamburg in a six-year spell at the club, and also played for Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen. He also scored 17 goals in 47 appearances for Bosnia. The lad could play. He is 45 years old now and is taking things more gently at the poker tables, although he can still sniff out an opportunity in front of goal, as it were.

He just found some very thin value in a hand against Andreas Majchrzak getting a worse hand to call him on a scary board. Barbarez raised the button and Majchrzak called in the small blind. They saw a flop of A♦A♣Q♣. Majchrzak checked, Barbarez bet 125 and Majchrzak called.

Both players checked the 2♠ on the turn and then after Majchrzak checked the J♠ river, Barbarez bet 300. Majchrzak called but mucked after Barbarez tabled his A♠4♥.

12:05pm: From green turf to the poker table
Level 1 - Blinds 25/50

The early arrivals today include the former Bundesliga footballer Sergej Barbarez, the defending Eureka Hamburg champion Tom Holke, and the familiar Irish players Dara O'Kearney and David Lappin. The tournament has started but registration is open until the start of Level 7.

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Tom Holke: Last year's model

12pm: Welcoming the masses
Level 1 - Blinds 25/50

It's just past noon and action is getting under way on Day 1B of the Eureka Hamburg Main Event. This is a €1,000 buy-in and that gets you 25,000 tournament chips. So far the board is showing 39 players, but there will likely be more than three times that amount by the end of the day.

Don't forget, anyone eliminated yesterday can come back and try again today. Similarly, anyone knocked out today can come back tomorrow.

Of they go!

11am: Welcoming the masses

Flights into Hamburg have been plentiful this week, bringing another load of players ready to join the €1,000 Eureka Main Event. Right about now, this is their view:

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We'll welcome them to the casino from noon today.


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10:30am: High Roller victory for George Danzer

Hello everyone, and welcome back to Hamburg.

We begin today with some tremendous news from the PokerStars stable. Remember that German lad, big mohawk, did a few cool things at the World Series a few years ago? I think he won--what was it?--three bracelets and became Player of the Year, then another in June 2016?

Danzer, I think his name was. George Danzer. Yes, definitely. Team PokerStars Pro George Danzer.

Yes, him. Well, in the early hours of last night, just before Casino Schenefeld closed, Danzer took down the €2,000 Eureka High Roller event, beating 49 players and picking up €34,330.

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That's not the biggest payday of his career, but it's a great omen. I remember talking to Danzer in Monaco in April 2014, just after he won a €1,000 NLHE side event at the EPT Grand Final. Remarkably, that was the first live tournament win of his career and, until last night, his only in no-limit hold'em. It became the springboard for that staggering run of success.

Danzer has now won his second NLHE title and will come into the remainder of this festival, then the last few stops on the EPT, in high spirits. He'll be one to watch, as ever.

Here are the full results from last night's tournament (and it's worth pointing out another cash for Dara O'Kearney. He has now gone back-to-back-to-back-to-back in live tournaments having also made the final of the previous three events he has played, including second in the PokerStars Super Series event at the Hippodrome).

PositionNameCountryStatusPayout
1George DanzerGermanyTeam PokerStars Pro € 34,330.00
2Christian StratemeyerGermany  € 24,840.00
3Robert HeidornGermany  € 16,020.00
4Hermann BehrensGermany  € 12,130.00
5Florian BachGermany  € 9,390.00
6Michael PetelkauGermany  € 7,330.00
7Dara O'KearneyIreland  € 5,840.00
8Sascha NieseGermany  € 4,580.00


Photos in Hamburg by Tomas Stacha

Howard Swains
@howardswains in Eureka Poker Tour