Eureka2 Latvia: Day 1B, Level 1-4 updates (blinds 100-200)

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5.15pm: Break it up
That's the end of level four here in Riga, players are now on a 15 minute break. You'll find level five updates in a new post shortly.

5.05pm: Pace of play
The pace of play today definitely seems more sedate and calm than yesterday, when the player pool seemed to be reduced at an alarming rate over the first eight levels, until it slowed down a little in the final two.

Having said that, 114 players remain right now, which means that 27 players have headed to the rail over the first three and three-quarter levels.

4.50pm: More for Matias
A pot just played out between two players whose names would be worth a lot of points in scrabble (if you were allowed names in Scrabble that is).
From the cut-off Matias Olavi Metsanen made it 500 to go, next to act Marius Petrus Ruud Van De Goor (a big name wherever he goes) three-bet to 1,200. It folded back to Metsanen and he made the call.

The flop fell 6♣Q♠[10d] c-bet of 1,375 from Van De Goor, call from Metsanen. The 3♦ hit the turn, once more it checked to Van De Goor, he bet 3,000 but folded when Metsanen set him all-in. After that hand Metsanen is up to around 30,000.

4.30pm: Enter Kuperman
My thanks to PokerStars snapper Rene Velli for alerting me to the presence of Aleksandr Kuperman in the Day 1B field. The Estonian has form in this very venue having won the PokerStars Russian Poker Series event that was held here in August 2010. For besting a field of 183 players he won €45,000.


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Kuperman (centre of shot) has previous form in Riga


LEVEL UP: BLINDS 100-200


4.15pm: Goba picks off the bluff
Table 15 dwarfs the rest of the tables right now. It's not because the stacks or the players are particularly big or tall, it's just the actual poker table is huge in comparison to the others!

I just saw a hand play out at that table, I caught the action live on a 8♦3♦9♠ flop, Martins Goba bet 750 from mid-position and both Martins Shulte (cut-off) and Ruben Miguel Jose Alberto (big blind) made the call. The Q♦ turn was checked through and the 2♠ completed the board. First to act Alberto led for 1,300, Goba called and Shulte folded, Alberto showed 7♣6♠ for a missed draw, whilst Goba had J♣9♣ for second pair.

4.05pm: Estonian number one is out
Imre Leibold may top the all-time Estonian money list, but he unfortunately won't be adding to his ledger here in Riga. He filled me in on his exit hand: "I was down to 5,000 and there was a raise and two calls in front of me. I'm on the button with A♣K♣ and make it 1,400 and all three players call me. The flop was [Q][7][3], it checked to me, I went all-in and the last player called be with [8][7] and it won."

3.50pm: Confirmation on numbers
I've been told that the total number of runners for today is 141, bringing the total for the tournament to 278. Of the 141 players who started today 135 remain. One players who is off to a good start is Askolds Uldrikis, he's up to around 29,000.

3.35pm: River of screams
Poor Perttu Aleksi Savela, he played the hand perfectly but got unlucky.

I joined the action to see a bet of 2,250 in front of him, he was on the button. There was a bet of 3,500 in front of seat nine (cut-off), Savela considered his options then moved his entire stack across the line for an all-in bet of around 17,500. The cut-off then took his time before making the call, he was the at risk player, all-in for 14,775.

Savela: A♥A♦
Cut-off: Q♥Q♣

The board came 6♣4♥K♣4♠Q♦ and the audibles from the table were far louder than from Savela who barely flinched despite being decimated to around 2,800.

3.20pm: Back in their seats
The players are now back in their seats and level three is underway, blinds now 75-150. I'll bring you confirmation on total number of runners when I get it.


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Eureka Latvia is stacks of fun


LEVEL UP: BLINDS 75-150


3.05pm: Break
That's two levels done and dusted, players are now on a 15 minute break.

3pm: Two short
The tournament board is showing that 133 of 135 players are still in. So that's two down, both in terms of exits and from the Day 1A figure of 137. Late registration closes at the end of the break between Levels 2 and 3, so the figure may yet match or better Day 1A.

2.50pm: Renga takes one down
Kaspars Renga just extracted some value on the river of a dangerous board. With a complete board of K♦[10s]6♦[10c]J♣ on the felt Renga bet out 700 on the river and his opponent, Kortas Ghattas, snap called. Renga rolled over Q♦9♦ for the rivered straight, Ghattas showed just the K♠ for an ahead to the river, but ultimately second best hand.

2.30pm: Small pot poker
I've yet to witness any truly massive pots in the early stages of today, this in stark contrast to yesterday where chips were flying in all over the shop.

I did though just see Andris Rasins drag a pot worth about 3,000 against Ermo Kosk. There was a bet of 700 from Rasins and a call from Kosk on a 7♣5♠[10c] flop, but the 9♣ turn and K♦ river prevented anymore action. At showdown Rasins revealed A♠9♠ whilst Kosk had 3♣3♦.

2.10pm: Spotted
It appears most of the well known, or familiar faces played yesterday but I've spotted a few players I know in the field. Both Barnabas Nagy (8th, Eureka2 Bulgaria) and Edgars Augstkalns and playing. The latter final tabled and event here back in 2010 and has cashed in both EPT and WSOP main events.

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 50-100


1.50pm: Number one, meet number one
Imagine, if you will, that Sam Trickett and Daniel Negreanu were seated next to each other in a poker tournament, that would create quite a buzz. Well there's a Baltic equivalent happening right now at Eureka Latvia.

Seated together are Kaspars Renga and Imre Leibold, whilst their names might not jump off the page like a Negreanu, they are respectively top of the all-time money list in Lativa and Estonia.

Renga, who has $ 536,594 in lifetime winnings, scored his biggest cash when he finished fifth at EPT Deauville in 2011 for € 200,000. His day job is running a hunting magazine, not too many poker players can say that.

Meanwhile Leibold has accumulated $477,434 in winnings so far, his biggest cash was a seventh place finish at a WSOP circuit event, although he's won a €1,000 EPT side event and finished fourth in a S.H.O.E event at the WSOP in 2007.


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(L-R) Leibold and Renga in Riga


1.30pm: 127 and rising
The number of players in today's field continues to creep up, at start of play it was 110, it now stands at 127 but expect that to rise before late registration closes at the end of Level 2.

1.15pm: The daily schedule
The plan for today is much the same as yesterday, but if for some reason you weren't following the Day 1A action here's what is going happen. There will be 10 one-hour levels today, with a break after every two levels, including a one hour dinner break after level six. This means play should end around 1a.m.

1.05pm: Shuffle up and deal
Tournament director Toby Stone just uttered those famous words, which can only mean one thing, play is now underway.

12.30pm: Second flight almost ready to go
Welcome to Day 1B here at Royal Casino Spa and Hotel resort in Riga, Latvia. I'm told we're expecting somewhere in the region of 150 players today, which when added to the 137 who played Day 1A should push the final number close to 300.

Usually the overall Day 1 chip leader comes from the Day 1B field but everyone who plays today will have to go some to catch Guntis Aleskins who finished on 216,400. My money says the Latvian will be in pole-position going into Day 2. Play is due to start at 1pm local time.

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Guntis Aleskins


PokerStars Blog reporting team in Lativa: Nick Wright. Photos by Rene Velli.

Nick Wright
@PokerStars in Latvia