PokerStars Championship Prague: Mrakes moves back on top to end Main Event Day 4

Czech player Michal Mrakes is having quite an end-of-year run for himself here in his home country. First came five cashes in the WSOP Europe series in Rozvadov, including a 14th in the Main. Since then he's made a couple of final tables, including one in a side event here in the PokerStars Championship Prague series.

Tonight Mrakes is the chip leader -- and by a healthy amount -- with 15 players left from the 855 who began the PSC Prague Main Event.


NEIL0028_PSC_Prague2017_Michal_Mrakes_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Michal Mrakes, leader of final 15

The shorter-stacked of the two Team PokerStars Pros to start the day was Marcin Horecki, and it was relatively early in the afternoon when he took pocket jacks up against Thomas Lentrodt's ace-king but couldn't fade a river king to finish in 44th.


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Horecki hit the rail

One of this year's WSOP Main Event final tablists, Jack Sinclair, went out shortly thereafter in 42nd, with Louis Salter (41st), Dermot Blain (39th), and Matthew Frankland (37th) among those next exiting while the tournament shrunk to its final four tables.

While end-of-Day-1-leader Mrakes continued to thrive, moving back into first position, the going was more difficult for others such as PSC Prague €50K Super High Roller runner-up Mikita Badziakouski (31st), 2014 PCA Main Event winner Dominik Panka (30th), and the player who led at the end of both Days 2 and 3 of this tournament, Paul Michaelis (28th).

Michaelis went out in a hand where a bluff went wrong. Meanwhile the ascent of Mrakes was highlighted by his picking off a bluff -- a big one, too.

It was a gutsy feature table call down with ace-high that catapulted Mrakes further ahead of the chase pack. Three calls, to be precise, of successive barrels fired by Hon Cheong Lee with queen-high when Mrakes had but ace-high.

After Cheong's bust in 24th, James Mitchell (23rd), Dmitry Ponomarev (22nd), and Lawrence Bayley (21st) went out in short order.

The Mrakes attack on the feature table then continued during the night's final half-hour when the tournament was swiftly carved from 20 to 15.

Following Lentrodt's knockout of Nir Levy in 20th, Mrakes cleared out both Alessio Isaia (19th) and the last remaining red-spade sporter, Team PokerStars Pro Fatima Moreira De Melo (18th), with ace-king failing Fatima versus the leader's pocket tens.


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Fine finish for Fatima

Nearly simultanous sinkings of two more short-stacks -- Diego Zeiter (17th) and Ivan Soshnikov (16th) -- meant Mrakes would the leader of just 15 players to start play tomorrow. Here's how the chip stacks will look when they begin:

NameCountryChips
Michal MrakesCzech Republic4,945,000
Valentyn ShabelnykUkraine3,225,000
Robert HeidornGermany2,485,000
Jason WheelerUSA2,400,000
Colin RobinsonUSA2,085,000
Navot GolanIsrael1,955,000
Matas CimbolasLithuania1,615,000
Thomas LentrodtGermany1,520,000
Harry LodgeUK1,360,000
Pierre CalamusaFrance900,000
Aleksandr MordvinovRussia820,000
Serhii PopovychUkraine710,000
Kalidou SowFrance640,000
Gabriele LeporeItaly580,000
Alex FoxenUSA470,000

While the €10K High Roller continues, we bid you good night from the Main Event. Come back at 12 noon local time tomorrow and we'll find out together who from the final 15 makes it to Monday's finale! --MH


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8:50pm: Play ends with 15

That now really is it for the day, with 15 players left. A full wrap to come. -- HS

8:45pm: Zeiter's comeback cut short
Level 24 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 4,000)

Although the last hand on the other table (see below) should have meant the close of play, the following passage of play had already started, so they went on. And it ended with another elimination.

First an all in from Alex Foxen, without reply. Then Sergii Popovych shoved in the small blind, thinking he'd rob Diego Zeiter, the short stack, of his big. Wrong.

Zeiter snapped called with A♦A♠. Popovych turned over his Q♦6♦ sounding like a man who'd been punched in the gut.

The board ran 2♠3♣T♥J♥5♥. Nothing for Popovych but a lifeline for Zeiter.

"He has nine lives," said Matas Cimbolas, watching. And was right, but only for another hand.

Zeiter shoved into Robert Heidorn, small blind into big. A♦T♠ for Zeiter against the 3♥3♠ of Heidorn. The board missed, but this time that was bad for Zeiter, out in 16th place. --SB

8:40pm: Soshnikov out
Level 24 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Ivan Soshnikov is out in 17th place, which means the end of Day 4 of the PokerStars Championship Main Event. Or at least it should be, but see above.

Soshnikov opened the cutoff to 65,000 and Colin Robinson raised it up from the button. Everyone else got out of the way and with action back on Soshnikov, he four bet the lot and got a snap call from Robinson.

Robinson A♥A♦
Soshnikov J♦J♠

On to the flop, which was A♣J♣Q♠ and both players had hit a set, meaning Soshnikov was in even more trouble than he was preflop. The 2♥ turn meant it was just the case jack that could save him and it wasn't to be, with 6♦ laid out by the dealer.

Robinson has elevated to around 2.1 million now. -LY

8:35pm: Moreira de Melo falls to Mrakas
Level 24 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

I suggest everyone takes a seat. You need to be sitting down to receive this bad news. Fatima Moreira de Melo is now out.

I know. Let it all out.

No surprise to learn that Michal Mrakes is the man to end the Team PokerStars Pro's chances: he won yet another flip to send Moreira de Melo home.

It started with a raise to 70,000 from Moreira de Melo, then a three-bet to 215,000 on the button from Mrakas. Moreira de Melo then jammed for 1.070 million and Mrakas called.

Moreira de Melo: A♠K♦
Mrakas: T♦T♣

Both these players have flipped well this week, but someone had to lose. And after the board featured neither an ace nor a king (nor anything else weird), Moreira de Melo shook Mrakas's hand and knew the game was up.

Mrakas has an absolutely enormous stack. -- HS

8:35pm: Cimbolas builds
Level 24 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

There hasn't been a great deal of action on one of the outer tables since players returned from their break but Matas Cimbolas has been taking a steady stream of smallish pots, most of them preflop.

The last one also didn't make it to the flop. Cimbolas began by opening to 65,000 and was three bet by Aleksandr Mordvinov to 165,000, who had position on him. Not to be outdone, Cimbolas paused for a minute or two before raising over the top to 355,000. Mordvinov checked his cards again before deciding it wasn't the spot for him and he folded. -LY

8:30pm: Mrakes unstoppable
Level 24 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Local players don't fare badly at major tournaments in the Czech capital. Jan Skampa won EPT Prague here in 2009, and Leon Tsoukernik won the Super High Roller here this time last year.

Michal Mrakes may yet be the next name to join them as he is putting on a brilliant show in Prague this afternoon. Mrakes has just sent Allesio Isaia to the rail in 19th, extending his lead at the top of the charts.

Isaia, a throwback to the very earliest seasons of the EPT, open pushed for 420,000 from the button with J♣T♣. Mrakes called from the small blind with K♠Q♥ and the only card that connected with any of them was the needless Q♠ on the river.

That puts Mrakes up to 4.1 million. Isaia gets €30,000 for 19th. -- HS

8:25pm: The two short stacks
Level 24 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Alex Foxen and Diego Zeiter now count as two of the shortest stacks. Both have around 300,000, Foxen dropping to that after a hand against Harry Lodge, who showed a pair of nines on a board of 8♠2♦J♣2♠A♣. - SB

8:20pm: Pots to Popovych
Level 24 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Two of the first three post-break pots on Table 1 have gone to Serhii Popovych.

In the first Novat Golan opened, Alex Foxen called, then Popovych jammed from the small blind and won all the dead money.

Jason Wheeler took the next small pot with a preflop raise and delayed c-bet versus Robert Heidorn. He has about 2.15 million still.

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Serhii Popovych: Moving up

Then in Hand #3 it was Popovych raising from the cutoff, Golan called from the big blind, then both checking down to the river on a 6♥9♦A♥9♣6♦ board when Popovych finally bet and Golan folded.

Put Popovych on 1.35 million now. --MH

8:15pm: Levy breaks
Level 24 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Nir Levy is the first out after the break, losing a flip to bust against Thomas Lentrodt. For the umpteenth time in this tournament (and as is always the case) it was a pair versus ace king.

Levy had 9♥9♦ and he was up against Lentrodt's A♠K♥. It went raise from Levy in the cutoff, to 65,000, shove from Lentrodt in the small blind, then under-call from Levy for his last 565,000.

The killer blow came with the K♦ on the turn. The rest was irrelevant.

Levy is out in 20th, while Lentrodt now has 1.6 million. -- HS

8:10pm: Back at it
Level 24 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Actually, that was a longer break than we expected so that various production folk could have some food. But the players are back now and we'll play either one more 90-minute level or until four more players are knocked out.

Here is your chip leader, and maker of the tournament's best call, Michal Mrakes.-- HS


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Michal Mrakes

7:35pm: Break time

That's the break. We'll be back in 20 minutes.

7:28pm: Wheeler shoves, Popovych folds
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Tense moments over on Table 1 just now during a big hand between Jason Wheeler and Sehrii Popovych.

It started with a Wheeler cutoff raise to 56,000, answered by Popovych with a three-bet to 146,000 from the button. Action got back to Wheeler who after some deliberation made it 315,000 to go, and after similarly giving the situation some thought, Popovych called.

The flop came J♦T♠6♣, and Wheeler continued for 275,000. Popovych called once more.

The turn brought the T♦ to pair the board, and Wheeler didn't take too long before announcing he was all in. Popovych went deep into the tank, thinking for four minutes before Alex Foxen called the clock. Given one more minute to decide, Popovych used 59 seconds of his allotted time before finally folding his hand.

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Big shove from Jason Wheeler

Wheeler is hovering close to 2.3 million now, while Popovych drops to 930,000. --MH

7:25pm: Two double ups
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

A frantic period of action on the outer tables included the previous two exits and two double-ups as well.

Harry Lodge was the first beneficiary. He three-bet all-in for 435,000 with A♥K♠ over an open from Robert Heidorn. The latter called with Q♠Q♣ but couldn't hold on the board that ran K♦6♣9♦6♦9♥. Heidorn dropped to 1.56 million.

Seconds later, Colin Robinson got lucky to double through Kalidou Sow. Robinson had 435,000 when he three-bet all-in over Sow's open. Call.

Sow: A♥J♠
Robinson: A♦9♣

The board ran 9♣5♣9♥6♠2♥ to make Robinson trips. Sow dropped to 1.42 million. --MC

7:21pm: Small gain for Soshikov
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Ivan Soshnikov opened to 50,000 from the button and Pierre Calamusa called in the big blind.

Then the 3♣A♥K♠ flop beckoned a check from Calamusa and a bet of 53,000 from Soshnikov. Calamusa called.

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Ivan Soshnikov: Small gain

They both checked the 2♣ turn, and Calamusa also checked the 5♦ river. But Soshikov put 200,000 forward and Calamusa folded. -- HS

7:20pm: Bayley bails
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Pierre Calamusa has moved up to 1.67 million after winning a flip to bust neighbour Lawrence Bailey.

Calamusa opened from under the gun and called after Bayley moved in or 501,000.

Calamusa: J♦J♠
Bayley: A♠K♥

The board ran 7♥T♥K♠5♥A♦ to make the French rising star two pair. --MC

7:12pm: Ponomarev shoves into trouble
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Dmitry Ponomarev made a move with ace high on a low flop and it cost him.

He raised to 50,000 from the cutoff and was called by Alex Foxen in the big blind. The flop fell 3♠7♦5♠ and Foxen check-called his opponent's 301,000 all-in holding 9♠7♠. Ponomarev opened A♣K♣ and failed to hit through the 3♥6♠ turn and river. Foxen moved up to 1.1 million. --MC

7:10pm: Mitchell heads home
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Another elimination from the feature table and it's James Mitchell who is now clutching a payout slip.

After Valentyn Shabelnyk opened to 55,000 from the cutoff, Mitchell shipped for 377,000 from the big blind and Shabelnyk made an immediate call.

Shabelnyk's A♥Q♥ was better than Mitchell's A♣5♦ and stayed that way through a board of 8♣A♦9♦7♥9♣. -- HS

7:05pm: River saves Cimbolas
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Matas Cimbolas stood up when the turn card was dealt. But he sat down after the river, and is keeping his seat here with three tables left in the PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event.

Colin Robinson opened for 52,000 from the cutoff seat, then Matas Cimbolas jammed for about 450,000 from the big blind. Robinson called the shove with K♦Q♦, while Cimbolas showed 2♠2♣.

The 8♦A♥K♠ flop thrust Robinson in front, and he remained ahead after the 5♥ turn had Cimbolas rising from his chair. But the 2♦ landed on the river, giving Cimbolas a set and letting him stay with about 920,000. Robinson meanwhile slips to around 425,000. --MH

7pm: Whopper for Mrakes -- What a call!
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

An incredible hand took place on the feature table. Michal Mrakes and Hon Cheong Lee clashed in the biggest pot we've seen over the past four days.

Mrakes kicked things off with a 60,000 open from the hijack and Cheong raised it up to 180,000 in position on the button. It was a call from Mrakes and to the flop they went...

The cards came out 4♥4♠4♣ and the action went check-call by Mrakes for the 110,000 continue. Then came a 8♥ turn and again Mrakes checked, this time calling Cheong's 225,000 barrel.

Finally the river was a 2♣ and Mrakes checked once more. Cheong wasn't finished though, putting a final 856,000 over the line, which was all his chips.

Mrakes squirmed a little but made a relatively quick call, only taking about 30 seconds to think.

Mrakes: A♥T♥
Cheong: Q♦7♦

Mrakes showed an incredible call, having only ace high in his hand but it was enough to knock Hon Cheong Lee out, who only had queen high.

Mrakes is storming ahead with 3.8 million in front. -LY

6:55pm: A belter for Zeiter
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Diego Zeiter got his chips all-in in a lovely spot and doubled up his short stack.

Serhil Popovych opened to 50,000 from the cutoff and called after Zeiter three-bet all-in for 257,000 from the next seat.

Popovych: T♣8♥
Zeiter: A♥T♥

The board ran Q♠6♠4♦7♦7♣ and Zeiter's hand held. Popovych dropped to 1.71 million. --MC

6:50pm: The Russia/Ukraine bluff
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Matas Cimbolas, as is his style, is leading the conversation on the outer tables. He has a willing partner in Lawrence Bayley, who is going toe-to-toe (or word-to-word).

There was kind of a funny moment following a hand between two other tablemates, Aleksandr Mordvinov and Ivan Soshnikov. Mordinov raised his button and Soshikov moved in for 415,000 from the big blind.

Mordinov folded, and Cimbolas said: "Check their cards. Two Russians. They're colluding."

Soshnikov, with the kind of dead-eyed dead-pan that would make any Muscovite happy, said, "I'm not Russian."

Cimbolas quickly realised the error of his way, and thought he may have offended Soshnikov.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," he said. "Where are you from, Ukraine?"

Soshnikov kept straight-faced and silent. But then someone else said, "He is from Russia."

And then Soshnikov cracked and revealed the truth. "I bluff!" he said, with great glee.

Cimbolas admitted that he had fallen for it. "You bluff twice in one minute," Cimbolas added. -- HS

6:45pm: Safe river check from Robinson
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Colin Robinson hit running cards to make a full house, but elected to check back the river.

Aleksandr Mordvinov opened to 50,000 from under the gun picking up calls from Robinson (cutoff) and Matas Cimbolas in the big blind. Al three checked the Q♦Q♥2♠ flop before Mordinov led for 80,000 on the T♦ turn. Only Robinson called to the T♥ river where it looked as if he was going to bet when checked to, but he changed his mind at the last second. Mordinov opened A♠K♠ but lost out to Robinson's J♣T♣. --MC

6:35pm: Bayley pushes it on the river
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Lawrence Bayley defended his big blind after an early-position open from Aleksandr Mordvinov. That was the slow start to something that ended with all of Bayley's stack in the middle.

After Bayley called the raise he checked the A♣2♣K♦ flop and Mordvinov bet 35,000. Bayley called.

Both players checked the J♠ turn, bringing the 2♥ on the river. Bayley moved all-in pretty quickly, and Mordvinov decided he didn't need a count. He could see that it was for around 250,000 (okay, pedants: 257,000) and thought a while about it.

But then he folded. --HS

6:30pm: New Order
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Here's how they now line up with 24 players and three tables left. We play tonight until eight more are eliminated, or until the end of Level 25, whichever comes soonest.

Table 1Table 2TV Table
1Navot GolanAleksandr MordvinovMichal Mrakas
2Harry LodgeKalidou SowThomas Lentrodt
3Alex FoxenIvan SoshnikovHon Cheong Lee
4Jason WheelerGabriele LeporeValentyn Shabelnyk
5Serhii PopovychColin RobinsonFatima Moreira de Melo
6Diego ZeiterPierre CalamusaAlessio Isaia
7Robert HeidornLawrence BayleyJames Mitchell
8Dmitry PonomarevMatas CimbolasNir Levy

6:20pm: Barriocanal eliminated, 24 remain
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

It's the end of the road for Daniel Barriocanal. The Spaniard got his chips in behind an opening raise of 53,000 from Han Cheong Lee. Barriocanal had shoved with T♣T♦ for 270,000, which Lee called with K♣Q♥.

The board came Q♦7♣J♣3♥2♣ to send him to the rail in 25th place. That leaves Lee with more than 1.5 million, and the field down to 24. That also means a brief pause as they need to redraw the three tables. --SB


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Daniel Barriocanal falls in 25th

6:15pm: Tank-this, tank-that
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Ivan Soshnikov is at least consistent. He doesn't commit a chip to the pot pre-flop until he has waited about 30 seconds after action gets to him.

On one such occasion, he tank-limped from the small blind (who's ready to write a strategy book chapter about the tank-limp from the small blind?) and then snap-folded after Alessio Isaia jammed from the big blind.

But in two of the next three hands, Soshnikov tank-jammed from late position and got folds. --HS

6:12pm: One-time chip works for Lepore
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Gabriele Lepore whispered one time to himself after he found himself in bad shape when his all-in was called. The chip worked as he doubled his 241,000 stack.

He made his move from under the gun and was called by Hon Cheong Lee in the small blind.

Lee: A♠K♣
Lepore: 9♦8♦

The board ran 9♦J♣5♦T♥T♦ to make the Italian two pair. Lee dropped to 900,000. --MC

6:10pm: Speranza Sow-ered
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Another one down in the Main Event as Gianluca Speranza hits the rail at the hands of Kalidou Sow.

The hand began with a raise from Daniel Barriocanal, who made it 48,000 under the gun. Speranza then pushed for 300,000 from the button and the decision-making moved swiftly to Sow in the big blind.

After due deliberation, Sow then re-shoved, with a stack of around 1.6 million already. It meant that Barriocanal's was the effective stack, and he had to ponder whether to commit his last 318,000.

Ponder, ponder, ponder, fold.

So the two active hands were as follows:

Sow: J♠J♣
Speranza: A♣K♠

It was a standard race for Speranza's life. But Sow got a real boost on the J♥6♣8♠ flop and Speranza was drawing dead after the 3♥ turn. The K♦ river was too little, too late.

"Good game, guys," Speranza said as he headed to the payout desk. Sow is up to 1.95 million now. --HS


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Speranza's run concludes in 26th

6:07pm: Zyrin out, and a new chip leader
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

In a hand that took place on the feature table, Michal Mrakes and Anatolii Zyrin got tangled in a monster pot.

Mrakes kicked things off with a 60,000 open from the button and Zyrin responded with a three bet of 212,000 from the small blind. Mrakes thought about it for a minute or so before he went all in. Zyrin didn't need long to make the call even though it was his tournament life on the line.

Mrakes: K♥9♣
Zyrin: A♦Q♣

Zyrin's 928,000 chips were in ahead but Mrakes had two live.

The 8♠K♦9♠ flop changed all that, giving Mrakes top two pair. Smiling, Zyrin asked for an eight on the turn. The dealer didn't oblige but did put out a T♦ instead, giving Zyrin four jacks to win. Sadly for him it was a 6♣ brick and he hits the rail in 27th whilst Zyrin soars to 2.2 million, making him our new chip leader. --LY


NEIL9872_PSC_Prague2017_Anatolii_Zyrin_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Anatolii Zyrin eliminated in 27th

6:05pm: The bigger they are, the harder they fall
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Being end-of-day chip leader for two days in a row means nothing in this game -- it's all about being chip leader at the end of the last day. Paul Michaelis was having a trickier day today than his last two, and it got a whole lot worse as he just bluffed off his stack to bust in 28th place.

The German opened to 51,000 from under the gun and was three-bet to 160,000 by fellow countryman Robert Heidorn in the cutoff. "This is going to be interesting," said Michaelis as he called.

Both players checked the T♥2♠8♠ flop. Michaelis then led for 175,000 on the 5♣ turn and was called, then went all in for 8♦ river and was called again. Heidorn turned up 8♥6♥ for trip eights, while Michaelis had but Q♥J♥ and he's now out in 28th.

Michaelis shook his opponent's hand and then wandered off, while Heidorn is now up to 1.9 million. --MC


8G2A8505_PSC_Prague2017_Paul_Michaelis_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Michaelis out in 28th

6pm: Double for Cimbolas
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Coming back from the break Matas Cimbolas had less than 10 big blinds left and following an open from Michal Mrakes in early position, the Lithuanian got it all in on the button. Mrakes liked the price enough to make the call and the cards went on their backs.

Cimbolas: A♠Q♥
Mrakes: A♦2♣

Cimbolas was in good as the dealer put out 4♥J♠T♥ and Mrakes was looking for a deuce to knock out Cimbolas. The K♠ turn gave Cimbolas Broadway and although he couldn't lose the pot now, there were three queens that could bring a chop pot. The river dodged them with a 4♠ dealt instead, and Cimbolas is up to 450,000. -LY

5:55pm: Standard fare
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Two of the three outer tables got their Level 23 action under way with a button raise.

Colin Robinson made one of them, up to 55,000, and got it through.

On the other table, Valentyn Shabelnyk opened to 50,000 from the button and Aleksandr Mordvinov three-bet the small blind, pushing it to 195,000. Shabelnyk folded.

The other outer table? Well, that was a bit more complicated. Over to poker's Marc Convey to explain.... --HS


Ready to embark on your own poker adventure? Sign up for PokerStars and begin your journey. Click here to get an account.

5:30pm: Break time

We're now well into the next 20 minute break in play.

5:26pm: Big hand at the break
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Alex Foxen opened in early position to 45,000. The action was folded around to Valentyn Shabelnyk in the small blind who raised to 165,000. Foxen wasn't deterred though, and four bet to 335,000. Shabelnyk called.

The flop came 6♣2♣5♠

Both players checked (Foxen with 550,000 behind and Shabelnyk with about 1 million).

On the 7♣ turn Shabelnyk checked to Foxen who bet 155,000. Shabelnyk asked about much he had behind. Then he moved all-in.

Foxen had no choice, and had to fold. He drops to 400,000. Shabelnyk now has close to 2 million. - SB

5:25pm: Bayley looks around
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Following the all in hand versus Nir Levy, Lawrence Bayley has been looking to make a move, having only 13 big blinds to play with now.

He is sat on the cutoff and decided to get it in, well almost. He actually raised to 240,000, leaving 33,000 behind and he got a call in Michal Mrakes who was sat in the small blind and once Anatolii Zyrin got out the way in the big, the pair went to the flop.

The dealer laid out J♣4♠7♣ and Mrakes didn't hesitate to set Bayley all in. Bayley said he wasn't folding but he wanted to check and see if there were any other all ins as only one person needs to go for a move up the money ladder. He had a quick look around the room and seeing no big action taking place, he committed the rest of it.

Bayley J♥T♠
Mrakes A♦Q♦

The flop had put Bayley ahead and he just needed to fade the turn and river to stay in. It came 9♠ and 2♥, keeping him safe giving him a double to 587,000. -LY


NEIL9881_PSC_Prague2017_Lawrence_Bayley_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Lawrence Bayley, still in the game

5:22pm: The shortie doubles
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

In the last hand of the level, the shortest stacked player in tournament has doubled.

Ivan Soshnikov had just 196,000 chips when he moved all-in from the hijack. Alessio Isaia only had 440,000 himself and they quickly went in from the next seat.

Soshnikov: 5♣5♥
Isaia: A♦Q♦

The board ran 6♣3♦9♥4♠4♦ and the fives held. That'll make him feel a lot a better in the break. Isaia? Not so much. --MC

5:21pm: Calamusa collects from Zeiter
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Diego Zeiter opened for 45,000 from the hijack seat and after it folded around to Pierre Calamusa in the big blind he three-bet to 105,000.

Zeiter called the reraise, and the pair watched the flop come 9♥K♦A♥. Both checked, then after the 2♣ turn card Calamusa led for 100,000 and Zeiter let his hand go.

Calamusa is right up around the 1 million-chip mark as Level 22 nears its close, while Zeiter now has 455,000. --MH

5:20pm: Levy doubles through Bayley
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

The two players were blind v blind, with Nir Levy jamming his stack into Lawrence Bayley's big blind. It was 12 big blind for the Brit to call and that's what he did, but it was Levy who was ahead.

Levy A♥3♥
Bayley K♥J♠

The board ran out 3♦4♥T♦7♦8♦ and the favourite hand pre-flop won, sending Levy up to 547,000 and leaving Bayley with less than 300,000 now. -LY

5:15pm: Wily as a Foxen with pocket aces
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Alex Foxen just earned a double up. He (perhaps not surprisingly) moved in with A♥A♠ and got a call from Diego Zeiter with Q♥9♥.


diego_zeiter_alex_foxen_psc_prague_day4.jpg

Diego Zeiter and Alex Foxen

The board ran 6♦J♠8♠4♦9♦

Foxen's aces held to take him up to 850,000. Zeiter falls to 650,000. - SB

5:10pm: Valery Yantsevich flips out; Golan hits the heights
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Despite quietly pleading with the poker gods to hit, Valery Yantsevich missed the board and busted to Navot Golan, who has leapt into the lead with 1.9 million.

A preflop raising war got the chips in the middle, Yantsevich being the player at risk with a 520,000 stack.

Yantsevich: A♦K♦
Golan: T♠T♣

The board ran 3♥5♣2♥6♥7♥ to miss Yantsevich's hand. --MC


navot_golan_psc_prague_day4.jpg

Navot Golan: New big stack

5:05pm: Big value for Sow with full house
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Kalidou Sow just took a nice-sized chunk of chips off of Daniel Barriocanal in a lengthy, dramatic hand.

Picking it up on the end with the board showing 6♦5♠A♠A♥8♣ and something like 350,000 in the middle, Sow had checked, Barriocanal fired 200,000, and after a long pause Sow check-raised to 480,000.

Barriocanal was in the tank for nearly two minutes before finally coming up with a call, and when Sow tabled A♦8♥ for a full house, Barriocanal shook his head as he mucked.


kalidou_sow_psc_prague_day4.jpg

Kalidou Sow: Boat builder

Sow has around 1.575 million now, while Barriocanal slips to 415,000. --MH

5pm: Bad reads, good reads, and raises
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

On a flop of K♥Q♠T♥ James Mitchell checked to Serhii Popovych, then called when Popovych bet 56,000.

Both players checked the Q♥ turn for the 4♣ river card. At which point Mitchell bet 135,000.

Popovych paused. To the amateur body language experts on the sidelines he looked like a man about to fold. Sure, he was thinking. But this was respectable thinking, before the inevitable fold. But that's why we're amateurs.

Popovych pulled out a stack of greens, counted our a big pile of them, and raised to 518,000.

Mitchell asked for confirmation. Popovych meanwhile stared at Mitchell with what the typical amateur body language expert would call a "How do you like them apples?" kind of look.

Mitchell, who had 800,000 behind (the same as Popovych after his bet), reluctantly folded, saying something to the effect that it was either a great raise or a terrible one. - SB

4:55pm: See if you see this one coming
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

"Thomas, your glasses don't work... I can see your eyes. I just realized."

So said the German Paul Michaelis to his countryman Thomas Lentrodt just now as they played out a hand together. It's true -- Heidorn's sunglasses don't completely obscure his eyes, but Heidorn's declaration didn't seem to faze him much. The hand was too interesting, really, to be distracted.


paul_michaelis_psc_prague_day4.jpg

Paul Michaelis: Can see eyes

It started with Lentrodt raising to 50,000 from the cutoff and Heidorn calling from the big blind. Both checked the A♣T♠K♥ flop, then Heidorn check-called Lentrodt's 125,000 bet after the J♣ turn.

The river was the 7♥, and Heidorn checked again. Lentrodt bet 215,000, then Heidorn check-raised to 475,000, leaving himself less than 200,000 behind.

Actually, that check-raise made it clearer to those of us watching what was happening. Kind of like how Heidorn could see Lentrodt's eyes.

When Lentrodt responded with an all-in and Heidorn quickly called, it wasn't too much of a surprise to see both players turn over a queen for a Broadway straight, as Lentrodt had K♣Q♣ and Heidorn Q♦3♣.

Lentrodt is right at 1 million now, while Heidorn has 860,000. --MH

4:52pm: Bayley makes the most of his short stack
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Jason Wheeler opened from the cutoff to 48,000 and Lawrence Bayley defended from the big blind.

The draw-heavy 9♦9♣8♦ flop brought a check from Bayley and a 43,000 continuation from Wheeler, which Bayley matched.

There was the Q♣ on the turn and this time both players checked, taking them to the K♠ river. Bayley checked for a third and final time and Wheeler made it 105,000 to get to showdown.

But Bayley wasn't done there. He went all in for his last 268,000, putting the pot up to 586,000 and Wheeler getting a great price to call the 163,000 raise.

He clearly didn't like it, though, and made the fold.

Bayley, who started the hand with 350,000 is now up to 586,000 and it was all done without showdown. -LY

4:50pm: Ponomarev trips up three opponents
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Dmitry Ponomarev needed chips and he got them courtesy of flopping trips in a four-way pot.

Colin Robinson opened to 40,000 from under the gun and picked up three callers. The flop fanned A♠A♥3♦ and Robinson continued for 50,000. Daniel Barriocanal (button) and Ponomarev (small blind) called before the T♦ turn and K♦ river were checked by all three players.

Ponomarev opened A♣5♣ and both remaining opponents mucked. He moved up to 750,000. --MC

4:42pm: Feature table big stack clash
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

It was Fatima Moreira de Melo and Anatolli Zyrin who went head to head in what turned out to be an enormous pot.

Zyrin has been playing plenty of pots recently and he three bet 175,000 in position against the Team PokerStars Pro Moreira de Melo, who called.


anatolii_zyrin_fatima_moreira_de_melo_psc_prague.jpg

Anatolii Zyrin put in the shadows by Fatima Moreira de Melo

The 6♣A♣2♥ flop brought a check from Moreira de Melo and another bet from Zyrin for a 140,000, which she called.

Then it got really interesting on the T♥ turn. Again Moreira de Melo deferred to Zyrin and he went all in for 680,000 effective against Moreira de Melo's stack.

Zyrin (not for the first time on the feature table) pulled his black hat down over his eyes and his black scarf up over his nose, making him look like the lead in a ninja movie.

Moreira de Melo wasn't put off. After going into the tank for several minutes, she finally made the call and Zyrin was drawing dead.

Zyrin: K♥9♥
Moreira De Melo: A♥J♥

The 7♠ river made no difference and Moreira De Melo ascends to just a smidge away from 2 million in chips, making her the new chip leader. -LY

4:40pm: Shabelnyk sinks Panka in 30th
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Shortly after winning that hand from Alex Foxen, Valentyn Shabelnyk open-raised again, this time from middle position, making it 45,000 to go. It folded to Dominik Panka who three-bet to 165,000, and when the action returned to Shabelnyk he pushed all in. Panka called, committing the 375,000 more he had left behind.

Shabelnyk: J♥J♦
Panka: A♠K♥


dominik_panka_psc_prague_day4.jpg

Dominik Panka: The pain

The board missed Panka, coming Q♦3♠6♥2♦7♦, and he hits the rail in 30th. Shabelnyk is now way up around 1.6 million. --MH

4:35pm: Set of sevens for Shabelnyk
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Following a Valentyn Shabelnyk cutoff raise and Alex Foxen call, the flop came 8♦7♦5♠. Foxen checked, then called Shabelnyk's continuation bet of 60,000. Foxen again check-called a bet of 118,000 after the J♠ turn.

Both players checked the 4♠ river, and when Shabelnyk opened 7♠7♣ for a set of sevens, Foxen mucked.

Shabelnyk is up around 1.12 million after that one, while Foxen has now slipped to 370,000. --MH

4:30pm: Cagey hand between Golan and Lentrodt
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

There was an opening raise under the gun for 42,000. Thomas Lentrodt called in the cut off before Navot Golan raised to 155,000 forcing out the original raiser. Lentrodt, who had put his sunglasses on to make the call, now asked how much it was to call. Then he paid. They saw a flop.

5♦3♠2♠

Lentrodt checked to Golan, who bet another 112,000. Again Lentrodt called.

Both checked the 4♦ turn, and the 4♠ river card, although Golan looked in two minds. Lentrodt showed J♣J♥ but Golan had an ace, showing A♦T♣ for the pot.


thomas_lendrodt_navot_golan_psc_prague_day4.jpg

Thomas Lentrodt and Navot Golan

Golan is up to around 1.5 million, while Lentrodt drops to around the million mark. - SB

4:25pm: Folding Foxen
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Alex Foxen has dropped to 620,00 after he folded two hands in a row post-flop where he was the pre-flop aggressor.

He raised to 45,000 from middle position and was called in two spots en route to a 6♠Q♠2♣ flop. The action was checked to James Mitchell in the cutoff who bet 80,000. Both opponents folded.

Foxen raised the same amount the very next hand and was called by Aleksandr Mordvinov in the big blind. The flop came Q♦2♦6♥ and Foxen continued for 40,000 but was check-raised to 128,000. He called but folded to a 165,000 bet on the J♦ turn. Mordvinov's stack grew to 970,000. --MC


alex_foxen_psc_prague_day4.jpg

Alex Foxen: Foldin'

4:15pm: Moreira De Melo and Bayley lock horns
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

This pot began four-handed, after an under-the-gun raise to 45,000 by Lawrence Bayley and calls by Fatima Moreira De Melo on his left, Anatolii Zyrin in middle position and Nir Levy from the big blind.

The flop came K♦J♥7♠ and a check from Levy and no continuation bet from Bayley put the action on Moreira De Melo. She bet 105,000 and after Zyrin and Levy moved aside, it was only Bayley who came along to see a turn.

It was the 2♦.


fatima_moreira_de_melo_psc_prague_day4.jpg

Fatima Moreira de Melo: How you could ever call a shove?

This time Moreira De Melo made it 175,000 to proceed and Bayley obliged, leaving only the river to come.

It was the Q♠ and once again Bayley checked. Moreira De Melo took her time before announcing all in for 270,000, which was most of what Bayley had left.

He didn't take long to pass and it sees him drop to 339,000 while Moreira De Melo ascends to just over 1 million. -LY

4:10pm: Three way all-in
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

There's now a happy looking Dmitry Ponomarev on one of the outer tables, a not so happy Gabriele Lepore, and an indifferent Han Cheong Lee after a three way all-in.

I arrived with the action complete and the cards on their backs, and Ponomarev all-in.

Ponomarev: A♣6♣
Lepore: K♥K♠
Lee: 9♣9♦

There were a few details gleaned in the aftermath, thanks to the TV team. Lee was the big stack, while Lepore, with the kings, looked like the favourite, especially given that Gianluca Speranza and Colin Robinson in the two and three seats each confessed to having folded an ace. That left one in the deck. That meant Lepore was comfortably ahead.

But not for long.

The flop brought A♠Q♣7♦ and the usual rapid inhalations.

The turn 3♠. The river 6♥.

Ponomarev raised his arms triumphantly.

Ponomarev: 700,000
Lepore: 370,000
Lee: 1,200,000

Lepore, aghast, took a while to absorb things, even as the dealer pushed him the side pot. Lee's face gave nothing away. - SB

4pm: Lucky Lodge finds a way
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Harry Lodge would have got his stack in in better spots before, but he managed to wriggle his way out of trouble and score a double up.


harry_lodge_psc_prague_day4.jpg

Harry Lodge: Difficult to shift

He was down to 354,000 when he open-ripped from the button and he was called very quickly by Valery Yantsevich in the big blind.

Yantsevich: T♦T♣
Lodge: K♠T♥

The board ran Q♥A♥J♥9♣ to make Lodge a straight. Yantsevich dropped to 550,000 as Lodge passed 700,000. --MC


valery_yantsevich_psc_prague_day4.jpgValery Yantsevich: pair undone

3:55pm: Badziakouski busts first hand back
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

On the first hand after the break, the table folded around to Hon Cheong Lee in the small blind. He asked Mikita Badziakouski how much he had in the big blind, and Badziakouski answered "two nine two" to indicate 292,000.

Lee then thought for a few moments, with Badziakouski looking on with a faint grin. Finally Lee said he was all in, and after checking his cards Badziakouski said "good luck" as he called.

Lee: A♦T♠
Badziakouski: K♣Q♥

The A♠K♥9♣ flop hit Badziakouski's king, but also gave Lee a better pair of aces. "Jack," asked Badziakouski of the dealer, hoping for a sweat, but the turn was the 6♥. The river 3♦ sealed it, and Badziakouski is out in 31st.

That pushes Lee up around 1.65 million, not too far off Anatolii Zyrin's chip lead. --MH

3:50pm: Back to it
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

They're back!

3:30pm: Break time

Players take another 20 minute break.

3:29pm: Yosef falls in 32nd
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

In the last hand of the level, Assaf Ben Yosef open-pushed his last 133,000 from late position and Pierre Calamusa called the raise from the button. The blinds got out, Yosef turned over K♥9♦, and he saw he was in need of help versus Calamusa's A♥K♣.


assaf_ben_yosef_psc_prague_day4_busts.jpg

Assaf Ben Yosef: The end

The board didn't cooperate, coming 3♥4♠T♠A♠2♥, and Yosef is out in 32nd. Calamusa has about 650,000 going into the break. --MH

3:28pm: Zyrin takes Zhang out
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

The last hand before the break on the feature table was the last in the tournament for Ji Zhang. He got it in against Anatolii Zyrin and never got it back.

It started with a 35,000 cutoff open by Zyrin and a defend from Zhang who started the hand with 278,000 total.

The flop came down K♠9♥Q♠ and Zhang jammed for his remaining 243,000. Zyrin went into the tank for a minute or so before making the call.

Zyrin K♣4♣
Zhang A♠3♠

It was top pair for Zyrin versus a flush draw and an over card for Zhang as the last two cards were dealt 7♥3♥. With two hearts and no ace completing the board, Zhang hits the rail and Zyrin adds another 300,000 chips to the pile in front of him. -LY

3:27pm: Prime range candidate
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

"That was a prime range candidate," said Thomas Lentrodt after he called a river bomb from Valery Yantsevich and was wrong. Yantsevich defended his big blind and check-called 29,000 on a 5♣Q♣A♣ flop. The J♥ turn was checked through before Yantsevich led for 125,000 on the river.

Lentrodt went into the tank and said to his table: "Sorry guys, it needs time."

Two players used the opportunity to go to the water cooler and Lentrodt took two minutes before he called. Yantsevich opened Q♣J♦ to win the pot. That was Lentrodt's first dip in a while as he dropped to 1.45 million. -- MC

3:25pm: Mitchell ends O'Rourke's resurgence
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Gavin O'Rourke has done remarkably well with a short stack for plenty of this tournament, particularly on Day 2 into which he brought only about 9,000 chips.

But his tournament is now over. James Mitchell has sent O'Rourke to the rail.

The hand began with an open from under the gun from Mitchell, who made it 35,000. O'Rourke called in the big blind and those two alone saw the 7♥4♦T♠ flop.


gavin_orourke_busts_psc_prague_day4.jpg

Gavin O'Rourke breathes his last

O'Rourke checked, Mitchell bet 36,000, and O'Rourke then moved in for around 140,000. Mitchell didn't need a count, but double-checked his cards before confirming that he had what he thought he had.

He called and showed his A♥T♦, ie, top pair. O'Rourke had possibilities with his 6♠5♦ but whiffed all his outs through the 4♣ turn and Q♠ river.

That sends him home in 34th, for which he'll take €16,300. The next pay jump isn't until 31 are left.

Mitchell, meanwhile, will hope to go even further than that. He has about 1.2 million. -- HS

3:20pm: Mrakes moves back ahead
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Picking up a blind-versus-blind battle on the T♣2♥J♥ flop, Michal Mrakes bet from the small and Alessio Isaia called from the big, then Isaia check-called again following the Q♠ turn, building the pot up around 200,000.


8G2A8450_PSC_Prague2017_Michal_Mrakes_Neil Stoddart.jpgMichal Mrakes (and friend)

The river was the A♣ and got checked through, after which Mrakes showed he'd paired his ace on the end with A♦8♥. That was a winner as Isaia mucked, and now Mrakes appears to have pushed back into first position with about 1.6 million. Isaia has 365,000. --MH

3:15pm: Ponomarev with the stop n go
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Who remembers the stop n go? Dmitry Ponomarev, that's who.

Despite sitting with a stack of less than 200,000, Ponomarev just opted to peel from the big blind after Hon Cheong Lee's cutoff open, then move all-in after the flop of 6♦5♠2♠.

Lee quickly folded and that put another 35,000, plus the extras, into Ponomarev's stack. Lee is still sitting pretty with about 1 million more than Ponomarev. -- HS

3:12pm: The hero voice inside is too strong for Badziakouski
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Mikita Badziakouski was tangling in a pot with Kalidou Sow and it had reached the river. The Belorussian was in a decision pickle and decided to call the clock on himself.


NEIL9862_PSC_Prague2017_Mikita_Badziakouski_Neil Stoddart.jpgMikita Badziakouski

Sow (button) had apparently bet the pot on the turn and Badziakouski check-called from the big blind. The board rested as K♠2♥4♥4♦A♦ and Badziakouski checked to face a 115,000 bet.

"Actually a good price," said a smiling Badziakouski.

He continued with a few other lines, then called the clock on himself and when the 10-second countdown began, he added, "I just want to be a hero!"

With a second remaining he slammed in the call and Sow showed him A♥8♣. Badziakouski mucked to drop to 180,000 and said to Sow (who's up to 840,000), "I knew you were bluffing off on the turn." --MC

3:15pm: Speranza doubles through Isaia
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Gianluca Speranza open-pushed his last 198,000 in the middle from the cutoff and got one customer in Alessio Isaia on the button.

Speranza held 8♦8♥ and wanted that pair to hold against Isaia's A♠K♠. And hold it did, as the community cards came Q♣3♥2♥, then 7♥, then 6♥ to keep Speranza in the game.

gianluca_speranza_psc_prague_day4.jpg

Gianluca Speranza: Double

Speranza is back around 400,000, which is just a touch below what Isaia has now. --MH

3:10pm: O'Rourke sticking around
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Gavin O'Rourke has found the double up he needed to survive: shipping his last 128,000 over Alex Foxen's late position 36,000 open. Foxen called from his 1 million-plus stack and over they went:

Foxen: K♠6♠
O'Rourke: J♠T♠

"Could be losing Gavin O'Rourke, seat six," the television floor producer whispered into his headset by way of instruction to his camera crew.

But the dealer had other ideas. He put the J♥7♥A♦J♦6♥ board out there and that was a double for O'Rourke.

He is up to 270,000. Foxen has 900,000 still. -- HS

3:05pm: Lee felts Farber
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Konstantin Farber's tournament run is over with a 35th-place finish after losing the last of his stack in a hand versus Hon Cheong Lee.

Farber had a good hand at his finish -- K♥K♦ -- while Lee held A♠K♦. But a runout of A♣8♠Q♦J♣4♦ gave Lee the winning pair of aces, and Farber headed to the payout desk.

Lee is way up to 1.25 million now. --MH

3pm: Montury succumbs
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

It's a position he's been in before, but Dominik Panka now finds himself as the last former EPT champion in the Main Event field.

That's because Jean Montury, who won EPT Malta after a final table that also featured Panka, has taken the long walk. Montury lost after a blind-on-blind incident with Valentyn Shabelnyk.

Montury was short and had A♥9♠ in the big blind. Shabelnyk was in the small blind and maybe shoved or called a shove with 9♦9♥.

Either way, the pair was decisive after the board ran 6♥4♣4♠6♦6♠. Montury departs in 36th. -- HS

2:55pm: An all in out of turn
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Lawrence Bayley opened to 35,000 under the gun and and was three bet to 108,000 by Assaf Ben Yosef in middle position. Ji Zhang was sat in the big blind and with less than 20 big blinds, was the shortest stack at our feature table. He went into the tank and while he was mulling it over, Bayley, who didn't realise Zhang still had cards, declared all in.


lawrence_bayley_psc_prague_day4.jpg

Lawrence Bayley: All in? Really?

Zhang had another look at his cards but ultimately folded and then as the action hadn't changed, Bayley's all in still stood. Ben Yosef made the fold too. Bayley apologised for his mistake and Fatima Moreira De Melo suggested that he may have lost value by acting out of turn...only Zhang will know for sure. -LY

2:50pm: Mitchell doubles through O'Rourke
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Gavin O'Rourke opened for 35,000 from the cutoff, then James Mitchell made it 92,000 to go from the button, forcing the blinds to skeddadle.

Those actions were made with some deliberation, but happened next went quite quickly. O'Rourke sat quietly for a few beats before declaring he was moving all in, and Mitchell's call was swift as thought.

O'Rourke had A♣J♣ and needed to improve, but Mitchell was the one at risk with 9♠9♦. The board came eight-high -- 2♣3♥6♥8♦8♥ -- and Mitchell's nines held up. He has about 720,000 now, while O'Rourke tumbles to the bottom of the counts with just 70,000 left. --MH

2:45pm: ...But then folded
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Everything happening on the outer tables at the moment seems to have the potential to kick off into all-out warfare, but diplomatic accords are struck at the last moment and troops are withdrawn from the front.

For instance, Aleksandr Mordvinov shoved his remaining stack of 311,000 into a pot of about 340,000 with the board reading T♠J♥5♣2♥A♦ and Michal Mrakes thought a long time. But then folded.

Then on another table Thomas Lentrodt opened to 35,000 pre-flop and Harry Lodge moved all-in for 318,000. Lentrodt thought a long time. But then folded.

Then back on Mordinov's table, Serhii Popovych opened to 35,000 under the gun and Dominik Panka, one seat along, three-bet to 95,000. Popovych called taking them to a flop of Q♠T♠A♦.


serhii_popovych_dominik_panka_psc_prague_day4.jpgSerhii Popovych and Dominik Panka do battle

Popovych checked, Panka bet 75,000 and Popovych thought a long time. But then folded. -- HS

2:40pm: Barriocanal's is good, and so is his ace
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Daniel Barriocanal raised to 36,000 from the cutoff and got one caller in Colin Robinson defending his big blind. With some deliberation the pair checked through the 2♥8♠8♦ flop and Q♠ turn, then Robinson took a stab with a bet of 64,000 on the river.

Barriocanal took over a minute, perhaps even two, before coming up with the call, and Robinson nodded while saying "you're good," in response. Robinson showed his T♦5♦, which meant Barriocanal's ace-high with A♥K♠ was best.

Barriocanal is up to 1.28 million now, while Robinson has 725,000. --MH

2:30pm: Who's trapping who in this bust out hand?
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Jukka Paloniemi and Robert Heidorn tangled in the blinds, the result being the loss of the former.

The action folded to the Finn in the small blind and he completed. Heidord then raised to 37,000 from the big blind and called after Paloniemi shoved for 450,000.

Poloniemi: 8♦8♥
Heidorn: A♥K♥

The board ran 2♣3♠6♥J♦K♠ to pair the German's king on the river. He moved up to 1.25 million. --MC

2:25pm: Foxen fells Frankland
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Following those uncalled shoves by Jean Montury and Gavin O'Rourke a short while ago, it was Mathew Frankland doing the same following an opening raise by Alex Foxen to 36,000.

Foxen had raised from the hijack seat and Frankland pushed from the button for 107,000 total. Foxen called with A♦2♦, meaning he was ahead of Frankland's K♣Q♠ at the start.

The J♦2♠6♦ flop kept Frankland behind, but the Q♥ turn paired his hand. Then the A♠ fell on fifth street to give Foxen the better pair, and Frankland is out.

Down to 36 players now. --MH

2:20pm: Short stack shove machines
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

The short stacks of Jean Montury and Gavin O'Rourke are not just sitting there slowly dwindling. In the space of five hands, Montury had everything in on two occasions, and O'Rourke once.

All three shoves came when those two players were in the blinds and faced with a late-position opening raise. All three pushes got through. -- HS

2:15pm: Lentrodt adds more
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

It was a button-vs.-small-blind situation, and with the board showing J♥2♦2♠4♦ Navot Golan checked from the SB, then watched Thomas Lentrodt bet 121,000 from the button. Golan called the bet, bringing the pot up around 375,000.

The 8♠ earned another check from Golan, and this time Lendtrodt gathered a bet of 216,000 to challenge his neighbor on the left. Golan tanked for a good while, murmuring questions in the "will you show" category while his interlocutor only sipped his tea in response.

Finally Golan let his hand go, perserving his stack of close to 900,000. With that one Lentrodt adds more, moving up close to 1.5 million. --MH

2:10pm: Battle of the blinds
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

A small pot to open the level, but a welcome one nonetheless for Gianluca Speranza against Aleksandr Mordinov.

Mordinov opened with the action folded to him in the small blind. His bet of 38,000 was called by Speranza in the big blind and they saw a flop: 7♦K♣A♠.

Mordinov had another go, making it 28,000 this time. Again Speranza called for the A♥ turn, which was checked for the 5♣ river card. Check check again. Mordinov showed Q♠5♦ while Speranza nudged that with Q♣7♠.

A small lifeline for Speranza who moves up to 275,000. Mordinov drops slightly to around 570,000. - SB

2:00pm: Play resumes
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

The 38 remaining players have returned for Level 21. -- SB

1:35pm: Lodge makes the break after surviving royal draw to 1.5x up
Level 20 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Harry Lodge was all-in for 187,000 and picked up two callers. He had a great chance to triple up, but it was hard to watch so he stuck his chin to his chest while any potential side action took place.

Ivan Soshnikov and Thomas Lentrodt were his two opponents and each checked the 3♥J♠Q♦ flop. The turn was the T♠ and Soshnikov check-folded a bet from Lentrodt.

"Nooooo!" Cried Lodge when he saw Lentrodt open A♠K♠. Lodge also has big-slick with A♦K♣ but his German opponent had a re-draw to a royal flush. Luckily for the Brit the river was the 9♥ and they shared Soshnikov's 187,000 between them.

That was the last hand of the level. The players will be taking a 20-minute break and full official chip counts will take place. --MC

1:25pm: Mojaverian moved on
Level 20 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Omid Mojaverian and Jean Montury were the two shortest stacks at their table and an all-in confrontation saw the end of one of them.

Mojaverian was down to 137,000 and moved all-in from the cutoff. Former EPT Malta champion Montury was in the big blind with only a few more thousand chips and made the call.

Montury: A♠T♦
Mojaverian: 8♦8♣

The board ran 3♣T♣4♥K♠Q♦ to make Montury the winning hand. --MC

1:15pm: Lee way
Level 20 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

James Mitchell opened for 27,000 in middle position. The action reached Hon Cheong Lee in the big blind who called for the 9♠T♣7♥ flop. Both checked that for the 5♦ on the turn. Now Lee bet 40,000, which Mitchell called for the Q♥ river card. Another 45,000 from Lee. Mitchell paused, then called, mucking his hand when Lee turned over Q♦8♥.

Mitchell takes a hit, down to around 275,000. Lee meanwhile moves up to more than 700,000. - SB

1:05pm: SAS disbanded
Level 20 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Jack Sinclair and Loius Salter have been retired from service. We missed Sinclair's exit but Salter was down downed in a Cold War of cards.

He raised from late position and then four-bet jammed for 430,000 after Navot Golan three-bet from the next seat. Call.

Salter: A♦K♥
Golan: A♠A♣

The board ran A♥6♥T♥3♦K♠ and Golan was promoted to a stack worth 1.175 million. --MC

1:00pm: Here's to you Colin Robinson
Level 20 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

A hit for Paul Michaelis, who took the loss in his stride, and with a deep breath.

He'd called Colin Robinson, whose tournament life was on the line with J♥T♣. Michaelis had [ax][tx] and was ahead on the 8♦6♠T♦. The K♥ turn missed both, but the collected inhalation on the J♠ river card.


colin_robinson_kalidou_sow_psc_prague_day4.jpg

Colin Robinson, left, meets Kalidou Sow

"How much?" asked Michaelis, paying off Robinson, who now has 760,000. Michaelis, who now moves tables, still has around 1 million. - SB

12:55pm: Horecki gets his Marcin orders
Level 20 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

We covered Marcin Horecki doubling up yesterday where he won a flip. We commented that they say you have to win flips to win tournaments. The Team PokerStars Pro got in another flip for his tournament life just now, but it ended with him busting in 44th place.

He opened from early position and called all-in after Thomas Lentrodt set him in from the big blind.

Lentrodt: A♦K♣
Horecki: J♠J♣

The board ran Q♥Q♦8♦T♠K♠ to seal Horecki's fate on the river. "Good luck guys!" Said Horecki to his former table mates. Lentrodt moved up to 610,000. --MC


PSC_Prague2017_ME_day4_Marcin_Horecki.jpg

Horecki raced away

12:45pm: The Sinclair 83k gets an upgrade
Level 20 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Dermot Blain had a decision. Jack Sinclair, in early position, had moved in for his last 83,000. Blain, with the action folded around to him in the big blind, was hardly chipped up. With less than 300,000 the question "shall I call?" was a difficult one to answer.

So when he did his body did so reluctantly, and he seemed to half expect the result. A♥K♥ for Sinclair, against his own A♦2♣.

The board came T♥7♦T♠9♠[kd[, giving Sinclair a double up. Both players now hover around the 200,000 mark. - SB

12:30pm: Two more players bust
Level 20 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Two eliminations in quick succession. First Peter Kalev busted from one of the outer tables. He shoved on the button for 141,000 which prompted Gabriele Lapore to confirm the amount in the big blind.

He then called, showing A♥8♦ which had the better of Kalev's A♣6♠. The board came K♣7♣3♦Q♥K♥ to bust Kalev, and increase Lapore's stack to around 500,000. John Mooney followed him to the rail from the feature table, reducing the field to 44. - SB


PSC_Prague2017_ME_day4_John_Mooney.jpg

Mooney got some money at least

12:25pm: Brutal start and end for Oaquim
Level 20 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

"Wow! Oh." Said a stunned Walter Oaquim after he busted despite flopping top set with pocket aces.

He was battling Daniel Barriocanal and the two went to war on a 5♣3♠A♠ flop, with all the chips going in.

Barriocanal: K♠J♠ for a flush draw
Oaquim: A♣A♥ for that top set

The board ran out 7♠2♥ to make Barriocanal's flush. He moved up to 1.1 million. --MC

12:10pm: Hit for Horecki
Level 20 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Serhii Popovych gets off to a flying start in a hand against Marcin Horecki. On e a flop of 6♦7♣T♥ Popovych checked to Horecki who bet 65,000. Popovych had thought about that check for a while, but now quickly called for the Q♣ turn card.

That was checked both ways for the 9♦ river. This time Popovych bet 128,000. Horecki, using a single blue chip, called, but was beaten by Popovych's 9♣T♣ for two pairs.

Popovych climbs to more than a million chips, while Team Pro Horecki slips to 198,000. - SB

12:00pm: We're off
Level 20 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Play starts on time. We're set for five levels of play today, or down to 16, whichever comes first. -- SB.

11:50am: Today's feature table
Level 20 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

The feature table today will be seat 1. That means Fatima Moreira de Melo will start the day, as she finished it yesterday, under the TV light. -- SB

Fatima Moreira De MeloNetherlandsTeam PokerStars Pro72300011
John MooneyUK 12000012
Jason WheelerUSA 93100014
Matas CimbolasLithuaniaPokerStars player63000015
Ji ZhangGermanyPokerStars player59200016
Nir LevyIsrael 48000017
Lawrence BayleyUKPokerStars qualifier45300018

11:15am: Test, test... one, two, two, one two...
Level 20 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

This post exists only to prove that I know what the blinds will be when we restart in Level 20. -- SB


PSC_Prague_VELLI-4_Location.jpg

11am: Welcome back to Day 4

And just like that there are only 49 players left in the Main Event. Today we expect that number to drop to 16, or thereabouts, depending on how long such an ordeal might take.

Last night, and for the second night in a row, Paul Michaelis bagged up the chip lead, and returns to un-bag that advantage this morning. It's the Michaelis Constant you might say, which is a scientific term for those wondering, but also fits when shoved arbitrarily into an introductory live updates post. There. That worked.

Play starts at 12 noon, which leaves a little time to get settled in. Familiarize yourself with the links at the top of this post for all the additional information you could possibly need today. It also features the news announced yesterday, about a brand new event set to redefine 2018, as well as the return of some familiar acronyms. EPT anyone?

But this is Day 4, which means there is more to the day than simply a Main Event. The 10k High Roller gets started today, and we'll have regular posts on that keeping you in the loop. You'll also find live updates from that event courtesy of our colleagues at PokerNews.

In the meantime you can reach us on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog. If you have positive comments please leave them there. If you have negative comments please don't leave them there. Kidding. We'd love to hear from you. -- SB


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PokerStars Blog reporting team on the €5,300 Main Event: Marc Convey, Martin Harris, Jack Stanton, Howard Swains and Lisa Yiasemides. Photography by Tomas Stacha and Neil Stoddart.


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Live reporting team
@PokerStars in Prague