11.55pm: Day 1b concludes
That’s all for day 1b folks. Roughly 280 players made it through out of the 557 that started nine levels ago. A full wrap of the day’s events will be with you shortly and sometime over the European night time the full chip counts will appear here.
11.40pm: Five hands
It’s getting near to the end. There are five hands to be played until we wrap for the night – stay tuned for details of all the leaders and losers. — HS
11.30pm: Walk of shame
Melanie Weisner only decided to play this event 16 hours before the tournament began. She jumped on a plane and made it just in time to take her seat this lunchtime, early morning still by her body clock. She hasn’t made it to day two though. The blog bumped into her doing the “walk of shame” just outside the Grand Ball Room and she explained her demise.
Firstly she lost a big pot to Andrew Feldman. Both flopped flush draws and all the chips went in. Feldman had the nut flush draw but Weisner had a pair with her draw so was favorite. A third diamond fell on the river though and that put her down to 15,000.
In her exit hand she picked up pocket eights and moved all-in but a player in the next seat woke up with pocket aces and that was that. Weisner said she was “Off to cry in her room now.”
11.20pm: New chip leader – at Lodden’s expense
Team PokerStars Pro Johnny Lodden lost a huge 100,000 pot to Marc Inizan, sending the Frenchman to the top of the leader board with 180,000.
We caught up with the action when the board showed 6♣9♣4♥5♦ and Inizan had called a Lodden re-raise. On the J♣ river, with around 45,000 in the pot already, Lodden put out another 25,000 – and Inizan called.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you become chip leader. Lodden is now down to 14,000.
11.10pm: Good things come to those who wait
Earlier today Johannes Strassmann wasn’t entirely happy about his table arrangements, trapped as he was on the last table to break in the annex room a short walk from the main playing area.
Back then he’d faced the likes of Johnny Lodden, Anton Wigg and Noah Boeken. He needn’t have worried. He now has about 100,000 at his new table, smack bang in the middle of the tournament area.
His stack had been aided by a hand against countryman Jan Heitmann who busted against Strassmann with ace-queen with an ace on the board. There was also a six on the board and Strassmann had two more of those in the hole.
Shortly after he opened for 2,400 from under-the-gun, got three callers and chased them all away with a bet of 7,600 on a flop of 8♥2♠7♦.
A few hands later it was Michel Abecassis and Olivier Busquet trying to do the same.
Abecassis opened for 2,700 from under the gun and with the action folded round to him, Busquet called on the big blind for a flop of 9♣6♠8♠. Both checked for a 7♦ turn and did the same on the J♥ river. Abecassis called Busquet’s 4,000 on the end but didn’t show, unable to beat Busquet’s 5♥5♠.
Abecassis still on 55,000, Busquet up to 50,000.
10.50pm: Cowboy rounds on Maceiras
Maria Maceiras is down to 16,000 chips after tangling with the “Italian Cowboy” Alfonso Amendola. Maceiras opened to 2,800 from under-the-gun and was only called by Amendola in the small blind. The Italian took up the reigns from here on in and bet 4,000 on the flop, 11,000 on the turn and 12,000 on the river. The final board read 7♥3♦5♦A♣J♦ and Maceiras called every bet. Instead of revealing his hand at the end the Italian said “Do you have a flush?”
She didn’t respond and waited for him to reveal his hand which he did; 7♣7♦ for a set. The Spaniard shook her head and mucked. Amendola up to 72,000.
10.40pm: Saout about it
The award for most underrated performance of the past year would be a lock for the Frenchman Antoine Saout. Joe Cada and Darvin Moon finished heads up at the World Series Main Event final table last November, but Saout’s performance was outstanding to take him to third.
Still, he manages to turn up to major tournaments in his native Europe and go about his business all but undisturbed. It seems to suit him fine. Saout has about 80,000 at the moment. — HS
10.35pm: Now that’s magic
Jan Heitmann, Team PokerStars Pro, shows off some of his magic skills…
10.30pm: Fitoussi slowest in race
Bruno Fitoussi opened to 3,125 and Martin El-Kher moved all in for 17,350 from the button. The decision came back to Fitoussi and he pretty-much instantly called. Fitoussi had A♠K♦ and El-Kher had 6♦6♥.
The flop ran out completely dry: Q♥5♥5♣9♦2♦. That gave El-Kher some breathing space, on the right side of 40,000. Fitoussi has less than half of that. — HS
10.28pm: Phew for Thew
On a flop of 5♦8♠4♠ Julian Thew made it 3,500 after had Ilkin Amirov checked the action to him. Amirov called for an 8♣ turn. Again Amirov checked and Thew made it another 5here for a,000 to play.
Yet again Amirov called for a 3♦ on the river. Amirov tapped the table for a fourth time, grinning the type of grin that would strike fear into even the most twisted psychopath, let alone an English gent and family man here to play some cards. Thew lobbed in another 5,000 to chase him away, removing one ear phone as well so he could hear what was coming as well as see it.
Amirov made a melodramatic fold and Thew showed his pocket tens, wiping his brow in mock relief, up to more than 70,000.
In other news Alex Kravchenko is no more. Someone else is in his seat and in his red zip-up top he’s quite easy to spot. Also on the rail is his fellow Team PokerStars Pro Rino Mathis.
10.25pm: Knocked out by the Don
The defending champion Sandra Naujoks has been eliminated by Roland Reckeweg. All the chips went in on the turn with the board reading . Naujoks was holding [t] for top pair and open ended straight draw but Reckeweg had already got there with [t][j]. The river came a  and Naujoks offered the customary handshakes and left.
Before this hand, Reckeweg was a man we had only noticed from afar – his long red hair tied into a pony tail gave him away. But we’ll now be tracking him closely as he has 110,000.
For this we needed to know his name and he very graciously handed us his business card so we get his name right. The card also had his email address on it and it started with donrolando@. Brando was always polite at the start of the Godfather wasn’t he? — MC
10.25pm: Boeken bounces back
Noah Boeken lost about half of his stack in the first orbit of the day and then spent the next few hours trying to get it back. Only recently has he managed that – and doubled it. He’s sitting on a far more healthy 64,000 now.
10.20pm: De Melo on a roll
Fatima de Melo is up to around 100,000. Much of that recent increase came after knocking out a player when she held ace-king against pocket tens. There was a queen and an ace on the flop, and then a king on the turn. No jack on the river to ruin the party for De Melo who moved up to 85,000 after that.
Then the Team PokerStars SportStar began turning on the aggression, building up her stack even more. Eventually it sat at 99,000 after she re-raised to 6,400 from the small blind and got the original raiser to fold.
Fellow Team PokerStars SportStar Boris Becker is treading water, meanwhile, stuck as he is on 28,000.
10.15pm: JazzyFace on the ropes
Peter Hedlund has been moved to a new table – and was outraged to see Coke Light being drunk there. His challenges to move on to something more serious were largely ignored by the fresh-faced masses, and the game continued through the beer haze.
Hedlund was soon involved, though, in a big pre-flop confrontation. Hedlund was only slightly damaged, but the pot was more crippling to Joris “JazzyFace” Jaspers. It looked as though Jaspers had limped under the gun (there was a single yellow chip in front of him, which could either be a raise or a call), but Hedlund, in the cut off, had a clear 1,800 in front of him, meaning either a call of Jaspers (if he’d raised) or a raise of Hedlund’s own. (Oh, god knows. This is getting to complicated. The fact is, they both had 1,800 in the middle by the time is got to Vadim Markushevski in the small blind.)
Markushevski also called 1,800, but Daniel “djk123” Kelly, raised a big pile of red 1,000 denomination chips. Jaspers then moved all in, something like 25,000 and Hedlund, literally, leapt from his seat, uttering a curse word as he did.
“I fold, I fold,” said Hedlund from about three feet away from the table, his outrage at Jaspers’ move having propelled him to the rail.
Markushevski also folded, but Kelly, with almost the same-sized stack as Kelly, called.
That was a race, and Kelly won it. The flop came J♦Q♣3♥5♥7♣, leaving Jaspers with less than 3,000 and Kelly chipping right up to the 50,000-odd level.
Kelly, who was the WCOOP sensation, is in good company here. Michael “richierichZH” Friedrich, who won that amazing Sunday Million spectacular a couple of weeks ago, has also recently been spotted. — HS
10.05pm: An impossible prop bet (Warning: includes High Stakes Poker Spoiler)
If you’ve seen the most recent show of this season’s High Stakes Poker you might’ve noticed the clip at the end showing brief highlights of the forthcoming show. It seemed to show Phil Ivey agreeing to a prop bet where he has to become vegetarian for one year to earn $1million. This seems fairly difficult to achieve but it pales in comparison to a prop bet just agreed on the feature table in the Grand Ballroom.
Peter Hedlund wanted to buy Soraya Homan a coke but she said she would do so only if Hedlund managed to stay quite for a whole ten minutes. Hedlund had already had two warnings today because he is being too loud and talking way too much. Hedlund agreed to do so and began his task. He lasted one minute and 12 seconds before he started whispering to his neighbor. Hedlund found a loophole by saying he was allowed to say what his holding in the last hand was. On he went. Five minutes in and a floor man came over to break the table.
This was enough for Hedlund and he said: “Enough of this, I’m going to the toilet.” He stood up and knocked a table over as he tried to get away from the table smashing two glasses of beer in the process and walked off. It looks like Homan will not be accepting that coke after all.
9.55pm: Juan and Maria Maceiras, there’s only Juan and Maria Maceiras
Stefan Schultz had opened for 2,500 from under-the-gun. The action had been folded to Maria Maceiras in the cut off who raised to 8,500 and spread out the remaining 10,000 of her stack in front of her.
Schultz wanted to know exactly how much this was and insisted Maceiras tell him. Aside from not being legally obligated to, Maceiras had her headphones on and couldn’t hear him anyway. Instead she had her head on her hand, her elbow resting on the table, and was still behind an oversized pair of women’s browline sunglasses.
When David Wintersburger in seat nine caught Maceiras’s attention she gladly announced “about 9,500.” With that all sorted Schultz called.
The flop came J♣5♥Q♦.
Schultz checked. Maceiras gathered her chips and began riffling. There’s a draft at this end of the tournament room, perhaps as it’s closest to the pole. Jon Kabbaj was adding a woollen hat to his outfit, to go with a scarf and overcoat.
“This is the Snowfest tournament,” said Kabbaj. “I’m early.” Clearly, attempts this afternoon to get the heating turned up had been in vain.
Maceiras checked also for a 5♣ turn, the green light for Schmidt to toss in a blue chip worth 10,000. This almost covered Maceiras who moved all-in for 1k more. Schmidt obliged and showed 6♣6♥. Maceiras turned over 10♦10♥ to take the pot after a blank 9♥ on the river.
A lot of table tapping and Maceiras took the pot, her stack now back up to more than 30,000.
9.50pm: Veldhuis out
We’ve lost Team PokerStars Pro Lex Veldhuis. Having built up a stack of 75,000 earlier, he dropped to 25,000 and then the following happened:
1) He had [a][q] on a [q] flop but was up against 
2) Then with just 8,000 left he had [a] and was all in against [a] and the board ran [j] giving both a straight, but Veldhuis the lower one.
So, the Dutchman is out. Better news for Dutch Team PokerStars SportStar Fatima de Melo, she’s up to 80,000. — SY
9.45pm: Phillips drops some
Carter Phillips is having one of his typical days at the office, with his chip stack up and down like an elevator. Right now he’s on around 55,000, dropping a few when he raised to 1,625 and then had to pass when ultra aggressive Markus Golser bumped it up to 4,450. — SY
LEVEL UP. BLINDS ARE NOW 400-800 75 ANTE.
Belgium is bigger than Ukraine? The UK tops America? Israel is seven times bigger than Iran, while the combined forces of Brazil, Australia, Mongolia and India can only match that of Belarus?
What am I talking about? Why, it’s the nationality breakdown of this week’s EPT field in Berlin. There are more Germans than there are days in the year. — HS
Full nationality breakdown for EPT Berlin:
Germany – 374
France – 65
Italy – 53
Netherlands – 46
Russia – 44
UK – 35
Austria – 34
USA – 33
Sweden – 28
Denmark – 25
Switzerland – 23
Finland – 19
Spain – 16
Norway – 14
Canada – 13
Portugal – 12
Belgium – 11
Ukarine – 10
Czech Republic, Poland – 8
Greece, Israel, Romania – 7
Hungary, Ireland – 6
Belarus, Lithuania – 4
Croatia, Panama, Slovenia – 3
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Latvia, Lebanon, Serbia, Turkey, Venezuela – 2
Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Cyprus, Estonia, India, Iran, Kuwait, Macedonia, Mongolia, Slovakia, Tunisia – 1
9.30pm: Good lay down by Jorgensen
While Thorson was dwelling over his decision Theo Jorgensen had a similar dilemma on the table right next door. The flop was out and had no cards higher than an eight. The Dane led out for a bet only to be raised up by his opponent. Jorgensen decided to let it go and folded pocket jacks face-up. His opponent said “This one time only” and revealed pocket queens. –MC
9.25pm: Wrong end for Thorson
Five players limped in to see a 3♠10♠5♦ flop. It was checked around to Team PokerStars Pro William Thorson who bet 3,000 and was only called by a player in the next seat. The two of them checked through the 4♦ turn to go straight to the 2♥ river. Thorson was first to act and led for 5,000 only to be raised up to 12,000. Thorson looked at his opponent, who was now sat back in his chair looking very relaxed, and asked his a couple of probing questions. He then made the call but mucked upon seeing 6♠8♠ for the second nut straight. Thorson still going well on 55,000. –MC
9.15pm: The 100 club
It took a while but we now have at least three players with more than 100,000 chips. Jonas Gutteck, from Germany, has about 120,000; Erik Friberg, from Sweden, has 115,000 (but could have been about 150,000 if his A-K had held against A-Q); and Vadim Markushevski, from Belarus, is leading the Team PokerStars Pro contingent with 105,000. — HS
9.05pm: Teisseire to call Ziogas all-in
On a flop of 3♠J♦6♣ Alex Kravchenko bet 4,600 from early position after Georgios Ziogas in the big blind checked. Gijs Verheijen called as did the big Frenchman Antonin Teisseire in the cut off.
The turn came 5♦ and Ziogas moved all-in for around 14,000. Kravchenko folded, his stack now down to 17,000. Verheijen asked how much but eventually passed. It was left to Teisseire, a favourite among the French, described as ‘lively’, who has hair down to his neck, a week’s beard and if he didn’t already stand out at about six feet, wears a bright pink t-shirt.
But there was nothing lively to see in this hand. He folded too, his own stack still hovering around the 45,000 mark as Ziogas boosted his count to 40,000. — SB.
8.55pm: Iremark finds solution to a different sort of puzzle
Mats Iremark’s thing at a poker table is to solve the Rubik’s Cube while he’s playing. It helps his concentration. He’s just managed to find a solution to another improbable situation and in the process eliminated Stephan Kjerstad.
The Scandinavian battle started with an early position raise from Kjerstad that Iremark three-bet from the next seat. It was folded all the way to the Norwegian who moved all-in for 19,025. The decision was now back on the Swede and the call would’ve been for most of his stack. He muttered something to his opponent that at a guess was “I hope you have a pair” and made the call to leave the situation at showdown:
The board ran 2♦8♦5♣4♠Q♦. The three outer came on the river to eliminate the Norwegian and send the Swede up to 44,000. –MC
8.45pm: Cash money marvellous
The full payout structure for EPT Berlin has been announced. Check it out. There’s a big one million euros up there for the winner. (And plenty for a lot of the rest too.) — HS
8.40pm: It’s Chad Brown
Here’s the Team PokerStars Pro in moving pictures…
8.35pm: Three levels to go
Dinner is over and the players are taking their seats ready for the final three levels of the day. While bloggers are not great fans of the dinner break (it lengthens the working day), the players seem to appreciate the chance to check out the local cuisine. That said, word reaches us of a PokerStars blogger who made three, yes three, visits to the buffet. He will not be named and shamed here.
We have loads of Team PokerStars Pros still in the field. One of them is Germany’s Jan Heitmann. Just to prove it, here he is…
PokerStars Blog reporting team (in order of height): Howard Swains (6ft, 3ins), Simon Young (6ft, 2ins), Marc Convey (6ft), Stephen Bartley (4ft, 9ins)