4.35pm: Break time
Players are heading for their second break of the day.
4.30pm: Studying Nitsche
On a flop of 7♣6♦J♦ Dominic Nitsche, who I once used as a point man to get through Sao Paolo airport security, was betting 1,500 from the small blind. He got only one caller, in the shape of Xavier Marcel Detournel, who wears blue sunglasses, possible to defuse the camouflage pattern of his hooded top, called for a 3♣ turn.
Nitsche made it another 5,200 to play which Detournel called for a Q♦ river card. Nitsche then moved all-in for a further 35,000. Detournel thought about things for a while. He had left than 10,000 left and passed to the German. Nitsche up to 55,000. – SB
4.27pm: Five way flop
It wasn’t exactly a family pot, but it wasn’t far off. An early position raise was called in four spots, including by Marcel Luske, before Ognjen Sekularac (if my list is correct) pulled off an astonishing bluff with 6♠8♠ from a 8♦Q♥10♣ flop with a large check-raising on the flop and another large bet on the A♥K♠ river. — RD
4.20pm: Two gone
It’s not been a good few minutes. Team PokerStars Pro Salvatore Bonavena is out, as is Thor Hansen, sponsored here by PokerStars to celebrate the launch of his autobiography. — SY
4.10pm: Thorsson leaps ahead
We did not see the action, but Kristoffer Thorson is up to 84,000 after winning a monster pot with A♥A♦ against A♣K♣ and A♠8♣. All the money went in pre-flop and the board ran a bullets-friendly 4♣8♥7♥10♣2♦. — SY
4.05pm: Gerbi jubilent as Soulier surrenders
I had a page of notes on this hand before it had even reached the flop. There was something about this table, featuring the likes of Juan Maceiras, Roberto Romanello, Fabrice Soulier, Erik Van Den Berg and Nick Binger, that had brought long, elaborate floor rulings every few hands. This one was no different.
It started with a 5,000 chip, thrown into the middle by Italian Raffaele Gerbi from under-the-gun. It wasn’t a bet of 5,000, Gerbi had no change and was making it 750 to play. Fabrice Soulier three seats along made the call, leaving himself little more than 3,000 behind.
The action then reached Marcel Bjerkmann in the big blind who moments ago was resting his head was on the table as the massage therapist got to work. When he lifted his head a green chip had attached itself to his forehead. He now threw some chips in, chips that at first seemed like a call, but which Soulier questioned, suggesting there had been a raise.
Given the dicey track record this table had already endured with rulings, it was decided to call the floor.
Bjerkman, who won more than €403,000 at the Master Classics in Amsterdam two weeks ago, and another €200,000 at the Belgian Open a month before that, apologised for whatever he had done, which to say the least was murky amidst the Italian, Spanish and English being used to explain the situation.
Soulier looked tired, rubbing his head and eyes, and admitted to just wanting to get his chips in. Bjerkman said 1,050, which meant something to someone, and it was all agreed. He put that in the middle and Gerbi then raised to 3,000 using three red chips, which by this point seemed much easier to understand.
Soulier got his chips in, 3,250 of them. The tournament director watching the wreckage of the hand, threw back the 250, sparking new protests from Soulier who said he’d already raised and was all-in. The tournament director apologised profusely and left things to an assistant. Bjerkman called.
After all that, a flop, K♣3♠4♣. Gerbi kept it simple, a 5,000 chip for a bet. Bjerkman did the same, calling with a 5,000 chip. The turn came A♣ and Gerbi moved all-in for 17,000. Bjerkman was irked, but folded, leaving Soulier to turn over A♠10♣. Gerbi showed 5♣9♣ to win the hand and send the Frenchman to the rail. Gerbi moved up to 35,000. – SB
3.55pm: In the house Part II
Also just spotted is Spain’s very own Carlos Mortensen. He always seems to fly below the radar for a few levels before we find him. Right now, he’s sitting behind 38,000 perfectly stacked chips. — SY
3.50pm: In the house Part 1
Just spotted in the middle of the seething field is EPT London winner David Vamplew. The young Scot is not enjoying much of a run at the moment – he’s down to 8,500. — SY
3.42pm: Negreanu monster
Daniel Negreanu must be one of the only players in the world that’s able to win a hand with 5♣2♣ and have his opponent look thrilled to have lost the hand. It’s quite some skill. There was only a single raise before the hand was checked down but that, hey, that’s beside the point.
And in other news, Fabian Quoss’ woollen cardigan doesn’t seems to be stopping him for achieving an improbable chip comeback. He he’s up to over 7,500 now after being down to around 2,000 an hour ago. — RD
3.35pm: Blinds up
We’re into level four where the blinds increase to 100/200 with an ante of 25.
3.33pm: Carlsson pulls into station
Jakob Carlsson is up 36,000 after getting two streets of value from Cayetano Garcia Ayala. It was a player to Carlsson’s right that opened the pot with a 525 raise. Carlsson called from the hijack as did Ayala in the cut-off and Will Reynolds in the big blind.
The flop came down 2♠7♥10♥ and Carlsson bet 1,400 when checked to him. Only Ayala called to see the 3♠ turn were he called a 3,000 bet from the EPT6 San Remo runner-up. The river came Q♦ and both players checked. Carlsson tabled K♣10♣ and took the pot as the Spaniard mucked. — MC
3.28pm: Jorgensen no more (part two)
Here’s a little more detail on that Theo Jorgensen bust out. Flopping top set with K♣K♥ on a K♦2♦4♣ board should normally see you do pretty well but unfortunately for Jorgensen he managed to get it in against a backdoor flush club flush on a 7♣ turn and 6♣ river. No winning PokerStars debut for Theo. — RD
3.25pm: The art of noise
Regular readers of this fine online organ may recall a rather loud, talkative, gesticulating Italian who shook up EPT Vilamoura back in August. This was Fabrizio Ascari who, as my hairy-lipped colleague Stephen Bartley wrote at the time, was “often out of sight but never out of earshot”. In the tournament area at Barcelona just now, a familiar din could be heard from all the way across the room. For it was he, Ascari. And he was being, well, loud.
At that point he seemed to be berating Maria Maceiras, sister of Team PokerStars Pro Juan. But she, sitting two places to Ascari’s right, had cleverly got her earphones on and volume turned up to full. Time to watch a hand and
enjoy endure some Ascari histrionics…
He open-raised to 600 and got a call from Andras Kovacs in the big blind: “Oh wow, we are heads-up.” As the 2♥10♣10♦ flop was dealt: “No checking, you must bet.” Kovacs checked and Ascari tossed in 700. Call. “Okaaaaay,” Ascari said. Then he went quiet when his 1,600 bet on the J♥ turn was also called by Kovacs. Finally, on the 8♣ river he tossed in 5,000. His opponent thought about it, then mucked.
“It’s good for me, and not good for you,” Ascari proclaimed loudly, turning over K♥9♥ for air. “It is possible to play any two cards.”
Moments later, my colleague bumped into Ascari in the lavatory, getting hugs and a big kiss for his trouble. At least that’s how Rick Dacey explained how he came to be kissing an Italian man in the toilet (see below 3.04pm). — SY
3.17pm: Jorgensen no more
Theo Jorgensen’s debut as a Team PokerStars Pro has come to a premature end. He had made a set of kings and got it all in on a river that also made his opponent’s flush. That was the end of that. — SY
3.11pm: Americo takes Minieri for a Spinozzi
Dario Minieri is out, and not through lack of trying. The Italian has tried the all-in move before, getting no takers but this time found Americo Spinozzi calling.
“We’ve got to get rid of this guy,” joked Negreanu, referring to his fellow Team Pro. “Or have him double up.”
In this case it was the former. Spinozzi showed J♠J♥ to Minieri’s A♠7♥. The board ran 9♠Q♣3♠8♣7♣. Minieri wished everyone a good game and then departed. – SB
3.10pm: Nedellec needling Pellegrino
A flop of Q♥7♣6♦ and Marion Nedellec had bet out 1,150. Still to act was Bryan Pellegrino, up to close to 100,000 chips and Franklin Antonio Diaz Vielma, who has a yellow checked scarf covering his face, like a militant Rupert Bear. Pellegrino called the bet which Rupert passed.
The turn came 5♣. Nedellec checked and Pellegrino bet 1,300, at which point Nedellec raised to 3,150. Pellegrino, a baseball cap and beard missing the moustache, stared across at Nedellec, before calling for a K♥ river.
Again Nedellec bet, 6,000. Again Pellegrino looked over at her. Was this bet based on fact or fiction? But in the words of Joe, from Bugsy Malone; “You might as well quit, if you haven’t got it.” Pellegrino passed. Nedellec up to 32,000. — SB
3.04pm: Horrendous mistake
Oh mama, what a mistaker to maker. Just as I was about to go into the gents I bumped into Fabrizio Ascari (more to come on him shortly) and in a fit of surprise I asked him how he was getting on. ‘Hey! You remember me from Vilamoura!’ he bellowed, grasping my hand, pulling me in for an embrace and kissing me on both cheeks as those latin types like to do.
This event wouldn’t be great at the best of times let alone just outside the male toilets. ‘I have little chips,’ he said ‘but I’m going to win the tournament!’ You heard it here first, folks. Expect quite a fiesta if he does. Just nowhere near the conveniences, I hope. — RD
2.52pm: Quoss in trouble
There’s a German sporting knitwear with very few chips and that can mean only one thing; Fabian Quoss is in trouble. The German, who finished fifth in the EPT London High Roller event for £107,000, seems to love a bit of wool but he’ll have to have more that a comfy sweater if he’s to get back into this tournament. He just open shoved his final 2,350 to steal the blinds from late position but it’s a long way back from here. — RD
2.40pm: Players are…
… returning from the first break of the day. We’re now into level three with blinds of 100-200. — SB
The beach, which we’ll never see
PokerStars Blog reporting team in Barcelona (in order of familiarity with Barcelona): Marc Convey (knows the best tapas place at the airport), Rick Dacey (knows the best tapas place at the hotel), Simon Young (do they do tapas on room service?) and Stephen Bartley (what’s tapas?)