IPT8 Malta: Stefan Jedlicka leads after Day 1A of Main Event

IPT8_malta_main_event_day1a_stefan_jedlicka.jpg

Great day for Jedlicka

Day 1A of a poker tournament, the task to build a stack but also not lose the one you started with. A nice primer for the serious business to come on Day 2 and beyond. Rarely are tournament winning stacks made during the opening stanzas of a poker tournament and in many ways today was unremarkable as a total of 219 players took their seats in Malta for a shot at winning the last ever IPT Main Event.

For at least one player it was a remarkable day though as Stefan Jedlicka increased his starting stack of 25,000 more than any other player could. The Austrian player, who won the Estrellas High Roller at EPT13 Barcelona, will return for Day 2 with a massive 299,100 in chips. The likes of Yaniv Peretz (275,800), Rasmus Agerskov (246,100), Chi Zhang (231,900) and Daniel Portiansky (220,700) ran him close and will all be satisfied with their start to this €1,000 event. Cate Hall was another who ended the day with a big stack, she'll bring back 145,900 on Day 2, but would've ended the night as chip leader had her pocket queens not been cracked on the final hand of the night in a pot worth around 200,000.

IPT8_malta_main_event_day1a_rasmus_agerskov.jpg

Agerskov approved of his performance

For others, it was a day to forget as their hopes of a deep run in this tournament were over almost before they had started. That was almost literally the case for one of the two EPT champions who played today. This August Sebastian Malec took down the EPT Main Event in Barcelona, the Pole late reg'd this tournament and didn't last a level. Jan Bendik fared better than Malec but still ended with zero chips as he too was knocked out. They were in good company as Dinesh Alt, Rocco Palumbo, Tom Hall, Chris Bjorin, Eugene Katchalov, James Mitchell, Jason Wheeler, Ludovic Geilich and Fabrice Soulier, came, sat and were unceremoniously asked to leave as they'd run out of chips.

IPT8_malta_main_event_day1a_ludovic_geilich.jpg

Geilich busted on the final hand of the night

The 52 players who have made it through will return at noon on Friday, full chip counts are available here. From noon tomorrow a fresh batch of hopefuls will pay their money and take their chances. You know the drill by now, they'll be more runners than today, probably by quite some distance. We'll be back at noon to cover Day 1B, but for now, goodnight.

11:20pm: All she wrote
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

Bag up those chips, play has concluded on Day 1A. --NW

11:05pm: Three more hands
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

Three more hands and then play is done for the day. --NW

11:02pm: Calling it a night
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

With 16 minutes left on the clock for Level 12 (and with Level 13 still to come), the floor staff has just announced that we'll actually be stopping play for the day at the end of this level. That means that shortly the clock will be paused and we'll be drawing for the last few hands. 59 players remain. --JS

10:58pm: No room at the Lodge for Topolinksi
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

A very nice call from Harry Lodge has seen the young British PokerStars Qualifier shoot up the leaderboard.

Judging by the pot size when I arrived there had been an almost min-open by Lodge followed by a big blind call from Topolinski. The flop then fell T♠6♦2♥ and it checked to the raiser, and Lodge continued for 4,000. He was then three-bet to 11,500 but went nowhere.

The turn was the 8♠ and now Topolinksi led out for 13,700. Lodge called once again and the dealer put out the 6♣ on the river, pairing the board. Topolinksi then fired once more for 22,300 and Lodge didn't take long to call.

Topolinski turned over the 4♥5♣ for nothing but a busted double-gutshot, while Lodge had the Q♦8♣ for a pair of eights to go with the sixes. He may have been floating on the flop, but after picking up a pair on the turn he faced a lot of aggression and made two correct calls. He's up to 175,000 now, while Topolinski had dipped to 121,000. --JS


EPT13Malta_harry_lodge_IPT_Main_Event_Manuel_Kovsca 20.jpg

Nice play from Lodge

10:50pm: Chip leaders
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

With just over an hour of play left here are the contenders for the chip lead:

Stefan Jedlicka, 270,000
Yaniv Peretz, 225,000
Daniel Portiansky, 190,000
Cate Hall, 185,000
Konstantinos Gkimpis, 178,000
Xanthopoulos Pavlos, 167,000
Dawid Topolinski, 165,000
Danut Chisu, 161,000
Koray Aldemir, 140,000
Alexander Lakhov, 140,000
Chi Zhang, 140,000

10:40pm: One in, one out
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

From under-the-gun Lorenzo Antonelli moved all-in for 20,800 and it folded round to Harry Lodge in the big blind. He got an eyes on count of the shove, called and showed pocket sixes. It was a race as Antonnelli held A♣9♥, the Q♠A♥K♦A♠Q♥ board favoured the overcards and Lodge dropped to around 117,000.

Meanwhile over on an adjacent table Stefan Richter had bet 4,500 on the turn of a Q♦6♠7♠J♠ board, only for Thomas Eychenne to set him all-in. Richter tanked for an age before calling with J♣T♠. He was behind to Eychenne's Q♥5♣ and the 4♥ river didn't save him. --NW

10:37pm: Hall gets shorter while Kot gets bigger
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

Action folded to Cate Hall and she decided to make it 5,100 to play. Playing was certainly on Jan Kot's mind, but he wanted to play for all of the marbles - or at least all of his - and moved all-in from the small blind for 48,000. When it got back to Hall she thought for a moment or two before calling and discovering her A♣Q♥ was ahead of Kot's A♥T♥.

A simple flop can change everything though. It came 6♦3♣T♦ and Kot shot out in front with top pair. The J♠ turn and J♥ river kept Kot out in front and secured him a double up to around 100,000, while Hall is still very healthy with a 185,000 stack. --JS


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
1210002000300


10:16pm: Break
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

The players are on their final 20 minute break of the day.

10:15pm: Jasper Van Moorsel wins a flip
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

On the last hand before the break Nils Jarefjall and Jasper Van Moorsel got in all-in for a 125,000 chip pot. It was a classic race with Van Moorsel showing J♣J♥ and Jarefjall A♦K♥. The 8♦2♦3♠6♥9♠ board favoured Van Moorsel and he just had Jarefjall covered.

10:12pm: That'll do for Chisu
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

A hefty pot had already been built between Danut Chisu and Jokin Blanco when I arrived on the scene, with a board reading 2♦J♠9♠3♦. Chisu was first to act and increased it with a 22,500 bet, which Blanco would then call. The river came the 4♣ and Chisu pretty much snap-shoved for his remaining 56,000 stack.

Blanco had a tough decision on his hands and made use of the clock. After a good couple of minutes he put in some blue 5k chips indicating a call, but he'd try to muck when Chisu showed the 2♣3♣ for two pair. Someone at the table must have asked to see Blanco's cards, so the dealer revealed he had the Q♥J♣ for just top pair.

Chisu is up to 143,000 now, while Blanco drops to the exact amount that Chisu just jammed for - 56,000. --JS

10:08pm: Palumbo out
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Well, we didn't catch it, but shortly after the last hand we brought you Rocco Palumbo has been eliminated. --JS

10pm: Chop it up
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Rocco Palumbo raised it up to 3,500 from the cutoff and Maxime Chilaud then moved all-in for 19,300 from the small blind. Palumbo got a count and then called.

Palumbo: A♣7♦
Chilaud: A♥Q♥

A 8♦4♦T♠8♥4♥ run out mean that much to the relief of Palumbo, the pot was chopped.

9:51pm: A chip festival for Carnevale
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

The action folded to Rasmus Larsen on the button, so he did what came naturally - he opened. The bet size was 3,500 (blinds are now up) so a little over a 2x bet, and that got a call from Ignazio Ulma in the small blind. Raffaele Carnevale then squeezed it up to 10,100 out of the big blind, which got a fold from Larsen but a call from Ulma.

The first three community cards put out were the 9♥5♥6♠. Ulma checked and Carnevale opted to check it back to see a free turn card: the Q♠. Ulma checked once more and Carnevale tilted his head around Ulma's arm so he could get a look at his chip count (it was 18,500). Carnevale then announced all in and Ulma quickly called with his Q♣J♥. The bad news was that Carnevale had flopped a set with his 9♣9♠ and the 3♣ river didn't change anything.

"Nice hand," said Ulma as he made a classy exit. Carnevale is up to 87,500 now. --JS

9:30pm: News in brief
Level 11 - Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Here's what's been happening around the tournament room:

- We got 99 players but Morten Kind Gulbrandsen ain't one of them. He went out in 100th place.
- Katja Spillum Svendsen has been nursing a short stack for much of the day and she moved all-in for 10,600 on the turn of a 7♥9♥A♠5♦ board. There was about 15,000 in the pot but her opponent folded.
- Alessandro Siena was the next player to move all-in he three-bet jammed for just over 25,000 and Niccolo Ceccarelli - who had opened to 2,700 - folded.

9:25pm: Aldemir wins a big one
Level 11 - Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Guillaume Diaz kicked this one off with an open to 2,700, but that clearly wasn't big enough for this round of hands. He got three callers and four players saw a K♣7♠4♠ flop, which the small blind and big blind (Koray Aldemir being the latter) would check to the pre-flop raiser. Diaz continued for 6,300 and only Aldemir would come along for the turn.

It was the 4♥ and both continued in similar fashion; Aldemir checked, Diaz bet 14,000, and Aldemir called. Finally the dealer's job was just about done after the J♦ was laid. Aldemir checked quickly, and the decision was on Diaz, who in the end would check too. Aldemir flipped over the 7♣8♣ for a pair of sevens and that was good as Diaz mucked, dropping to 99,000. Aldemir is up to 152,000 now. --JS

9:18pm: Svensson dodges the trips
Level 11 - Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

With the flop showing 5♠J♠Q♣, Ignazio Ulma checked it to his sole opponent Katja Svensson and she decided to put in a continuation bet of 3,300. Ulma came along to see the 7♣ turn, and both decided to check.

The river came the J♦ - pairing the board - and Ulma checked a final time. Svensson looked like she was going to make another bet but in the end gave the table somewhat of a defeated tap. Her instinct not to bet was right as Ulma turned over the J♥8♠ and took this one down. --JS


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
118001600200


9:05pm: Neuville sees the bluff
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

I found Pierre Neuville in a tough spot, at the hands of Lambic Gerard. There was around 38,000 in the middle and Neuville had checked, letting Gerard take the aggressive lead with a 16,500 wager. The Belgian was in the tank when I arrived and he'd eventually fold, only to see Gerard flip over the J♦5♦ as he began to pile up the pot in front of him. Neuville is sitting with 33,000, while Gerard is up to 77,000. --JS


EPT13Malta_pierre_neuville_IPT_Main_Event_Manuel_Kovsca 14.jpg

Pierre Neuville


8:53pm: Declercq says 'Arigato Mr. Segatto'
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Perhaps Frenchman Quentin Declercq had eaten something he didn't like on the dinner break; either that or he was making moves based on player history with Massimo Segatto, because two minutes after players returned he shoved his eight big blind stack over the top of a 2,500 open with the 6♥4♣.

Segatto snap called with the A♣Q♠ and a queen on the flop was all she wrote. Declercq made a very quick exit, while Segatto raked in his chips. --JS

8:50pm: Assorted chip counts
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Plenty of names and notables still in, including:

Harry Lodge, 92,000
Ludovic Geilich, 81,000
Guillaume Diaz, 70,000
Benjamin Pollok, 62,000
Josh Hart, 61,000
Pierre Neuville, 44,000
Rocco Palumbo, 38,000
Katja Spillum Svendsen, 17,000
Dinesh Alt, 17,000

8:40pm: Top 10 at the break
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

As the players return the chip leaders are:

Stefan Jedlicka, 171,000
Cate Hall, 150,000
Dawid Topolinski, 140,000
Chi Zhang, 140,000
Erwann Pecheux, 130,000
Michiel Broskij Krijn, 122,000
Koray Aldemir, 118,000
Harpreet Gill, 107,000
Tonny Van Eck, 96,000
Xanthopoulos Pavlos, 93,000


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
106001200200


7:25pm: Dinner break
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

The players are now on a 75-minute dinner break. Play will resume around 8.40pm local time. --NW

7:20pm: Hall up to 150,000; Hall out
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Catlin Hall is up to around 151,000 after winning a pot against Luke Marsh. She bet 4,700 on the turn of a A♣J♦K♣8♠ board and Marsh called. The A♦ river was checked through and she showed K♥J♥, which was ahead of Marsh's jack-nine.

However, Tom Hall, who was to her right, is out.--NW

7:03pm: A cheeky grin for Krijn as he gets there on river
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

It went five to the flop after Michiel Broskij Krijn's 2,400 under the gun open got no respect at all. The big blind then checked the 4♥8♦2♦ flop allowing Krijn to continue for 4,300, and this time his only caller was Denis Timofeev. They both saw a 7♣ turn land and it didn't encourage any further action, unlike the J♥ river. Krijn fired once again for 7,800 and it didn't take Timofeev too long to call. He was surely disgusted though to see Krijn turn over the Q♣J♦, having got there with top pair on the river. Krijn is up to 76,000 now. --JS

6:55pm: A few chip counts
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Below are the counts of some of the names and notables in the field today:

Pierre Neuville, 24,000
Benjamin Pollok, 22,000
Erwann Pecheux, 115,000
Rasmus Agerskov, 79,000
Katja Spillum Svendsen, 17,900
Tom Hall, 18,400
Cate Hall, 89,000
Rocco Palumbo, 57,100
Harry Lodge, 69,000
Ludovic Geilich, 88,000
Pasquale Grimaldi, 86,000


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
95001000100


6:43pm: Palumbo gets paid
Level 8 - Blinds 400/800 (100 ante)

Picking up the action on a 7♥T♣8♥A♠8♠ board, the UK's Patrick Brooks had checked over to Rocco Palumbo, who had the button in front of him. In front of both of them was an almost 24,000 pot, and Palumbo took a stab at it with a 7,500 bet. Brooks tanked for just under a minute before tossing in a chip to indicate a hall, but he'd quickly muck when the Italian flipped over his 7♦7♣ for a full house.

After that pot, Brooks dropped to 47,000, while Palumbo increased his stack to 58,000. --JS

6:37pm: More for Hall
Level 8 - Blinds 400/800 (100 ante)

Cate Hall is still in possession of a top ten chip stack; in fact, she's just added a little more to it.

She opened to 2,200 from mid-position and got one caller - Italy's Gianluca Pagliaro, who was on the button. The two saw a 6♠A♥T♣ flop fall and interestingly Hall opted not to put in what's often considered a 'standard' continuation bet on an ace-high flop, checking instead. Pagliaro checked it back.

The turn was the K♥ and now Hall sprung back into action with a 3,300 delayed c-bet. It worked on the turn and it might have worked on the flop too, as Pagliaro quickly folded. --JS

6:20pm: No way back
Level 8 - Blinds 400/800 (100 ante)

This isn't a re-entry event which means that Eugene Katchalov, Morten Mortensen, Robbie Schiffbauer, Georgios Zisimpoulos and James Mitchell are all out. Bad news for them, good news for the rest of the field.


IPT8_malta_main_event_day1a_eugene_katchalov.jpg

Eugene Katchalov

6:10pm: France on top
Level 8 - Blinds 400/800 (100 ante)

Down to just 135 players now on Day 1A and it's a one-two for France at the top of the chip counts. Erwann Pécheux leads - he has a stack of 122,000, Guillaume Diaz is not far behind on 120,000.


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
8400800100


5:55pm: Nice hand
Level 7 - Blinds 300/600 (100 ante)

Stefan Richter was all-in for 13,400 on the river of a 4♠4♦5♣9♠Q♠ board and Daniele Scatragli was mulling over his decision. He'd bet the river for 5,100 so it was 8,300 more to call Richter's shove. There was no snap call, good news for Richter presumably. But eventually Scatragli did call, Richter showed Ad]4♥ for trip fours and Scatragli couldn't beat it. He wanted to muck face down but since this was an all-in situation his cards - the Q♣5♠ - had to be turned over. --NW

5:40pm: Chip leaders
Level 7 - Blinds 300/600 (100 ante)

The current top five looks like this:

Chi Zhang, 110,000
Cate Hall, 84,000
Johan Creutz, 75,000
Adriano Torregrossa, 72,000
Roberto Rodriguez, 70,000

IPT8_malta_main_event_day1a_cate_hall.jpg

Cate Hall

5:25pm: Bellini freerolling
Level 7 - Blinds 300/600 (100 ante)

Jean-Marc Bellini may well feel like he's freerolling after somehow not going broke in a hand against Antonina Anapolska. The cards were already on their backs by the time I reached the table to see a 5♣5♥4♣6♠[X] board on the table.

Anapolska had 5♣5♥ for flopped quads and Bellini had pocket fours for a flopped full house. He'd gotten away lightly by the looks of things and still has 19,000 left, while Anapolska is up to 31,000.




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5:15pm: Do not advance to Level 7
Level 7 - Blinds 300/600 (100 ante)

The pace of exits is picking up and there are now 170 of 219 players remaining. Sadly for fans of: Rpmain Putz, Creysson Henri, Robert Hana, Miljan Miljanic, Marco Regonaschi, Gergo Gecsek, Christensen Stig, Clement Brunet, Marc Chazal-Martin, Taco De Goede, Przemyslaw Piotrowski, Mario Giordano, Thiago Mazzini, Pretorian Mihai, Charlo Azzopardi, Francesco Imperiale, Salvatore Pirrea, Alessandro Secci, Alex DiFelice, Manuel Zapf, Quentin Laucher and Grzegorz Grochulski are all out.


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
7300600100


4:50pm: Break time
Level 6 - Blinds 250/500 (75 ante)

The players are now on a 20-minute break.

4:30pm: Bendik makes a great call
Level 6 - Blinds 250/500 (75 ante)

I joined the action to see a 9♦6♠2♦ on the felt and three active players still in the hand. EPT12 Grand Final champion Jan Bendik checked, EPT 11 Malta runner-up Valentin Messina bet 3,600 and Bendik was the only caller. There was now 17,000 in the pot as the 4♦ hit the felt. A check from Bendik was followed by a check from Messina. The Q♣ fell on the river and again Bendik checked. After about 20 seconds Messina slid out a bet of 9,000 and Bendik went into the tank. He emerged with a call and showed 5♠5♣, Messina had been caught bluffing with K♠[Ts.

After that hand, Messina drops to 54,000, while Bendik is up to 60,500.

IPT8_malta_main_event_day1a_valentin_messina.jpg

Valentin Messina

4:10pm: Another deep run for Geilich?
Level 6 - Blinds 250/500 (75 ante)

In a table right in the far corner of the room sits Ludovic Geilich. The UKIPT champion almost made it a double ten days ago as he finished runner-up at the final ever UKIPT, which was held in Birmingham.

Rasmus Agerskov, who final tabled UKIPT London in October 2014, Gleb Tremzin and Pierre Neuville have also been spotted.


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
625050075


4:05pm: All out
Level 5 - Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

The following players are all out: Lorenzo Merone, Jason Wheeler, Karim Feedag, Luigi D Alterio, Luca Giovannone, Carlos Gomez Antelo, Konrad Abela, Alessandro Barone, Gianmichele Messina, Dario Marinelli and Pia Jeppesen.

3:55pm: Blanco doubles
Level 5 - Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Bart Kuiper had bet 1,050 on a Q♥A♥9♣ flop only for Jokin Blanco to shove all-in for 4,525. There was no insta-call from the Dutchman, he took his time, got an exact count and then called. Blanco turned over Q♣9♦ and was ahead of Kuiper's Q♠T♠. The 5♠ turn and 8♠ river kept him in the lead and he doubled up.

3:40pm: It's a lock out
Level 5 - Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Late registration on Day 1A has closed, there was a total of 219 entrants with 200 still remaining.

3:30pm: Exits
Level 5 - Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Sebastian Malec's stay at the IPT Main Event hotel did not last long. He's out, as are: Sergio Scalzo, Fabrice Soulier, Sirzat Hissou, Klaus Gortz, Luca Caravaglio, Andrey Volkov and Paul Rimmer.


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
520040050

3:15pm: More familliar faces
Level 4 - Blinds 150/300 (50 ante)

A handful of well-known names have taken advantage of the late registration period and have helped take the number of runners in this tournament up to 202. Tom Hall is one of those, he's two seats to the right of Cate Hall, Fabrice Soulier is also playing and Rocco Palumbo and Morten Mortensen are sat side by side.

3pm: Make room for Malec
Level 4 - Blinds 150/300 (50 ante)

Sebastian Malec has just entered this tournament. With the appearance of the Polish player, it means that the last two EPT champions are both in the field as Jan Bendik is also playing. Sadly it seems like we won't have the last three champions in the field as it appears Dzmitry Urbanovich is unlikely to be heading to Malta according to a recent social media update.

2:45pm: Leonid Lerner eliminated
Level 4 - Blinds 150/300 (50 ante)

I arrived at the table to see Leonid Lerner all-in for 2,875, Cristian Juanena made the call and it was time for the showdown. Lerner didn't turn his cards over and when the dealer instructed him to do so he simply gestured that the dealer should do it. So, she turned over his 9♦6♦. He was behind to Juanena's A♦Q♦ and that's the way it stayed on the 8♠5♣4♠Q♦9♠ board.


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
415030050


2:17pm: Break time
Level 3 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

The players are now on a 20-minute break.


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2:15pm: On the rail
Level 3 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

It's been a relatively benign start to the tournament with just four players eliminated in the opening three levels. Miroslav Forman, Emmanouil Tsourounakis, Shay Vodka and Govert Metaal are the four who've been eliminated.

IPT8_malta_main_event_day1a_govert_metaal.jpg

Govert Metaal

2pm: Keep 'em coming
Level 3 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

We're up to 195 runners in the IPT Main Event now.

1:40pm: Big pot for Chisu
Level 3 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Danut Chisu probably has a soft spot for Malta, the Romanian's two biggest cashes were earned here, coming just four days apart at the EPT12 festival in October of last year. He's on the right track for another cash as he just won a big pot against Jokin Blanco.

Pre-flop Blanco opened from under-the-gun+1, Chisu three-bet to 1,500 from the small blind and Blanco called. On the 2♠J♦9♦ flop Chisu bet 2,000, Blanco raised it up to 4,700 and Chisu smooth called. He called a further 4,5000 on the 3♥ turn and the A♣ then fell on the river. This time Chisu elected to lead, he threw out a solitary blue 5K chip and, after a few seconds thought, Blanco called. Chisu turned over A♠A♦ for a rivered set of aces and Blanco mucked.


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
310020025


1:20pm: Big pot, big penalty
Level 2 - Blinds 75/150

A fun hand on table 11 where Ferencz Ratescu got a bit excited and turned his cards over on the turn, rather than the river. "I thought the turn was the river," he explained after the hand. The thing is Ratescu had the stone cold nuts.

The board was 8♦J♦K♦8♠ and he'd exposed 8♣8♥. It was a big pot with 22,100 in the middle already. The 9♥ hit the river and Unai Jimeno, who was his opponent in the hand, couldn't beat quads and showed his hand which was 4♦2♦. With no aggressive action allowed Ratescu had to check too. The floor was called and it was ruled that Ratescu would have to serve a one round penalty. Either one of exposing cards out of turn or checking the nuts on the river would've earned him such a penalty.

1pm: Mitchell vs Chiang
Level 2 - Blinds 75/150

Jen-Yue Chiang and James Mitchell went heads-up to a Q♠9♥T♥ flop, action checked to Mitchell, who bet 500. Call from Chiang. The J♦ fell on the turn, check, bet 750, call went the action. The K♠ river meant that a straight was now on the board and Chiang now changed tactics. He led for 1,975 and Mitchell tanked before folding. Chiang flashed the 8♣ as he took the pot. "That was not a good river for me," said Mitchell.

IPT8_malta_main_event_day1a_james_mitchell.jpg

Rivered?


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
2751500


12:40pm: Further additions
Level 1 - Blinds 50/100

Players continue to stream in during the opening level of the tournament, with the field now over the 150 mark. Eugene Katchalov is among the fashionably late, he's taken up residency in seat three and is at the same table as Harry Lodge, who's a couple of seats to the left of the Ukranian.

We have a former winner in the mix too as Georgios Zisimopoulos took down the IPT7 Malta Main Event in March 2015.

But, I see your IPT title and raise an EPT title, Jan Bendik is playing today and is looking the part in a smart red shirt. James Mitchell and Katja Spillum Svendsen are also now in their seats.

IPT8_malta_main_event_day1a_jan_bendik.jpg

Jan Bendik

12:25pm: Who's here?
Level 1 - Blinds 50/100

There are 107 players currently in the field with Govert Metaal, Cate Hall and Harry Lodge three of the notables I spotted.

Valentin Messina, who came second in the EPT Main Event in March 2015, is on the player list as are James Mitchell, Jan Bendik, all three yet to take their seats, though.

12:05pm: Shuffle up and deal
Level 1 - Blinds 50/100

After a few introductory words from Toby Stone and Claudio Pagano, the last ever IPT Main Event is underway.


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
1501000


11:50am: Welcome to the IPT8 Malta Main Event

The IPT Malta Main Event starts at noon and, if history, is anything to go on this €1,000 event should get this festival off to a flyer. Last season Natan Chauskin defeated a field of 947 players to claim a first prize of €149,560.

Today is the first starting flight and they'll be 13 levels of play, each lasting 45 minutes. Play should wrap up a little after midnight. You can follow live coverage every step of the way until we have a winner on Sunday.

Cards are in the air at noon.


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Key IPT 8 Malta information:

- 25,000 starting stack
- Blinds starting at 50/100 for 250 big blinds
- Levels are 45 minutes on Day 1 and they'll be 13 of them.
- Day 1A is today, Day 1B takes place tomorrow and then Day 2 on Friday is when we'll reach the money. On Saturday it's all about getting to the final table, which will take place on Sunday.
- There are two satellites to the Main Event today, both are €200+€20 and they start at 4pm and 7pm.
- Full IPT8 Malta schedule here.

PokerStars Blog reporting team on the IPT Main Event: Nick Wright and Jack Stanton. Photography by Manuel Kovsca. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter:@PokerStarsBlog

Live reporting team
@PokerStars in Malta