2.26pm: End of the level
That’s two down already. Players are now on a 15-minute break.
2.25pm: A lot of sixes
I joined the action on the river of a 8♠6♣K♠A♥6♦ board which had about 14,000 in the pot. Jorn Walthaus checked to Steven van Zadelhoff who moved all-in for his remaining 11,950. After some deliberation Walthaus called, van Zadelhoff rolled over 6♠6♥ for quads.
That’s it for the break. Join us in 15-minutes in a new post for levels 3 & 4. –NW
2.20pm: Kings into aces
In one of the last hands before the break Gianpiero Speranza was unfortunate enough to be dealt kings while his opponent Swede Eddie Tasbas was the player blessed with situational luck and a pair of pocket aces. Some players would be able to get away without going broke – and many other players would say that they’d be wrong to do so. — RD
Carter Gill has given back some of the chips he’s amassed during these first two levels. The action had reached the turn with the board reading Q♠5♥A♦3♣. His opponent in the hand was Sebastian Bauer and he led for 1,525 from first position. Gill called to see the 9♥ river where he reluctantly called a 2,500 bet. Bauer tabled A♣A♠ for top set and the pot as Gill could only muster A♥K♣. Gill back down to 32,000. –MC
2.10pm: Sarwer lays it down
Gerardo Wuro opened to 525 from the hi-jack and was flat called by Eddie Tasbas on the button. From the small blind Annette Obrestad folded, before big blind Jeff Sarwer raised to 1625. Wuro folded but Tasbas announced raise. After fiddling with his chips for a while he settled on 4,000 total. Sarwer folded K♥2♥ face up saying, ‘I totally could’ve shipped it.’ The former chess prodigy is down to about 12,700. –NW
2pm: Bumped ride
Alfonso Amendola was just taken off a pot by Team PokerStars Pro Arnaud Mattern. Mattern had raised pre-flop and was called in one spot before the “Italian Cowboy” three-bet to 1,600 from the big blind. To his surprise both opponents called quickly. “Action table. What did you expect?” responded Mattern to the reaction.
The flop came J♦A♠Q♥ and Amendola checked quickly. Mattern fiddled with his chips and bet 2,250. Both players folded with Amendola showing respect with a flash of two black tens. Mattern is back up to starting stack now. –MC
1.50pm: Dmitry doubles
I joined the action to see 2,150 in the pot, a flop of 10♦J♦K♥ and two players considering what action to take. The cut-off, David Vamplew, elected to check. Not so the button, Dmitry Gromov, who bet 1,500 with about 7,000 behind. Vamplew called the bet and both players saw a turn of 4♦. The same pattern continued, Vamplew check-calling a bet of 2,500. The river was the 4♣ and again Vamplew checked, Gromov moved all-in for 5,100 and Vamplew called, Gromov showed Q♦7♦ and Vamplew mucked. –NW
1.40pm: ‘You must have me’
No, it’s not the line from a sloppy Hollywood romance but the words of Tommy Skalmeras to Vanessa Selbst. Skalmeras had bet 600 into a A♥2♦4♥ flop and was click-raised by Selbst to 1,200. The Norwegian upped the ante by raising to 5,000 and Selbst returned in kind by making it 12,000. That’s quite some statement of intent and one that Skalmeras heard loud and clear, ‘You must have me,’ he said to Selbst as he folded. Selbst showed J♦9♥ for a very naked bluff. — RD
1.35pm: Mizzi gets a ruling
It wasn’t dramatic scenes. There weren’t cards being hurled at fellow players. There wasn’t even an under the breath F-bomb but it’s good to get these early ruling out of the way. Mizzi just wanted to know whether he had to show his hand to claim the pot if he called the river and the player that had bet had insta-mucked their hand. No, you do not – but neither are you allowed to request to see the player’s hand (that’s an EPT ruling which we double checked with Thomas Kremser). — RD
1.25pm: Run good?
Annette Obrestad will admit that’s she had a fair amount of luck over the years to go with her considerable talents and lady luck has shone down on her once more. The turn was out to give a 6♣6♥9♦K♣ board and Obrestad fired 3,300 from the big blind in to a 3,800 pot. Kayvan Payman was her opponent and he made the call to see the 7♥ river. Obrestad led for 7,500 and after shaking his head Payman called to see 10♣8♣ flipped over by the Norwegian for a rivered gutshot straight. She’s up to 55,000 as a result.
With that the first level of the day is over so straight in to level two. –MC
1.20pm: Aggressive play part two
Four players all put in 650 a piece to see a flop of 10♠A♥3♠, no one nibbled though and everyone checked and the 5♦ fell on the turn. Kaveh Payman (utg+1) checked as did Mikhail Smirnov (middle position). Eero Kekäläinen (hi-jack) bet 2,000 and was called by Paolo Compagno (button), Paymen folded but Smirnov also called to create a pot of over 8,500. The river was the 4♣, Smirnov checked, Kekäläinen continued to take the lead with a bet of 4,400, a bet that was called by Compagno but not by Smirnov. Kekäläinen turned over 4♦6♦ which was way behind Compagno’s A♠5♠, ‘Not a bad flop,’ said the Italian as he stacked his chips. –NW
1.20pm: Aggressive play
The play has definitely been on the aggressive side in the opening level, but the players are certainly not afraid to take a flop or two what with the deepstacks they have at the moment. A recent example: Juha Vilkki raised to 300 from utg+2 and was flat called by Mike Erst from the cut-off, only for Matvey Linov to make it 1275 total on the button. Both Erst and Linov called, to create a pot of almost 4,000 before the flop of 9♦3♥9♣. Action slowed, with all three players checking to see a turn of 7♦. Vikki checked and Erst’s bet of 2,000 was enough to force both players to fold. –NW
1.15pm: Calling pays for Pagano
Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano has a ridiculous record at EPTs having made six final tables amongst his fourteen cashes and he seems to know how to play them – take players to the flop then slap them down. Pagano called an opening 250 raise and then another 625 on top when Cristian Narcis three-bet from the big blind – as did Dariusz Paszkiewicz in middle position. The action checked to Pagano in the cut-off on the K♣7♥Q♥ flop and the Italian fired 1,650 into the middle. Narcis folded unhappily before Paszkiewicz passed the 7♠ face up. Pagano’s stack is already characteristically moving in the right direction. — RD
1.10pm: Montgomery loses a small one
Canadian Scott Montgomery, who finished fifth in the 2008 World Series of Poker Main event is in the field today. He showed in that event that he likes to play pots and true to form he’s been involved early today. Montgomery, Manuel Cecilia and Mihai Manule all saw a flop of 6♥J♥4♠, Manule checked, Montgomery bet 600 into a pot of 900 and was called by Cecilia, Manule folded, but exposed the 9♣ as he did so. The turn and river of 8♠4♦ both went check check. Montgomery flipped K♠Q♥, but Cecilia had flopped top pair with J♠7♠. –NW
1.05pm: Calling the clock on Bansi
Kimmo Matias Kurko was not involved in a hand between Praz Bansi and Matvey Linov but he felt the Brit was taking too long over a decision to call all-in. Bansi had only sat down two hands before and by the time he had this difficult decision. He had 7,750 in front of him but the Russian had his whole stack over the line. Bansi was annoyed at Kurko’s decision to call the clock and said he had pocket kings and should be allowed to take his time. The TD counted down from ten seconds but Bansi folded before the clock reached zero. He’ll have to work his way up from 22,000 now. –MC
12.55pm: Selbst stacking up
New girl at school Vanessa Selbst has just won a nice little pot from Jukka Ylitalo. We came to the action on the turn when the Team PokerStars Pro bet 750 at a 3♠K♦8♥4♠ board and was eventually called by Ylitalo. We say eventually not because Ylitalo took a long time deciding his action but because he threw the wrong chips in. Bouncing a single red 1,000 chip and two black 100 chips into the middle Ylitalo’s offering wasn’t enough to make a min-raise and stood – we think incorrectly – as a call rather than being made to min-raise (it being more than one chip and a greater amount than Selbst’s bet).
Ylitalo claimed that he had tried to raise to 2,100 but didn’t argue when the dealer said it would stand as a call – neither did Selbst who checked the K♣ river. Ylitalo did pick up two red chips this time and bet 2,100 but he quickly mucked when Selbst made the call. The new signing has started as she means to go on. — RD
12.50pm: Demidov in action early
There’s a lot of focus on the table featuring Team PokerStars Pros Ivan Demidov and Alex Kravchenko, the former was just involved in a chunky four way pot. From under the gun Dan Murariu raised to 250, Christophe Castin, who was two to the left of Murariu, three-bet to 650 and was flat called by an unknown player directly to his left. It then folded round to Demidov in the big blind. After some thought the Russian put in a four-bet to 2,250 total. Initial raiser Murariu folded, Castin then slid his entire 30,000 stack into the middle. Both remaining players sigh folded, Castin showed the table two black aces, prompting Demidov to show that he folded A♦K♦ and the unknown player showed that he had passed pocket queens. –NW
12.45pm: Pressure from the off
Carter Phillips has had a pretty incredible 12 months. He followed up his EPT Barcelona victory from last season by snatching a coveted gold bracelet at this year’s WSOP. He likes to put pressure on opponents from the off with his relentless appetite for gathering chips. His neighbour, Martin El-Kher, just found this out to his detriment. Phillips opened to 300 from mid-position before his Danish neighbour bumped it up to 1,000. Phillips then four-bet to 2,550. El-Kher checked his hole cards again and made the call to see the A♠6♥5♦. Phillips fired out 3,000 and it was enough to force a fold from the Dane. –MC
12.35pm: Early action for Obrestad
Annette Obrestad is hardly the player to sit back and wait for aces or kings so it comes as little surprise that she’s one of the players involved in early action. The young Norwegian opened for 250 from early position and was called by Gerardo Wuro on the button and Walid Bou-Habib in the big blind. Obrestad continued her aggression with a 550 lead into the Q♥4♦8♠ flop and picked up just one caller in the shape of Wuro. The action was then checked down through the Q♣ turn and 5♥ river. Obrestad showed 7♥7♣ which wasn’t quite enough to beat Wuro’s pocket nines. It’s a minor setback when you start with a 30,000 stack. — RD
12.25pm: Tasty Tables
The seat draw has, as always, produced a couple of tasty tables. Sat next to each other on table 30 are Annette Obrestad and Jeff Sarwer, meanwhile over on table 16 are two of Russia’s best players, Team PokerStars Pros Alex Kravchenko and Ivan Demidov. -NW
12.20pm: We’re off
The formalities are over and EPT Season 7 is under way. We’ll be playing nine one-hour levels today, with short breaks between every two. The dinner break will be after level 6.
12.05pm: Nearly ready
We were due to begin at noon, but these things rarely begin on time. Players are, however, filing in to the tournament area here at the Swisshotel and are filling out their release forms. We expect cards to be in the air in around ten minutes.
PokerStars Blog reporting team (in order of supported soccer team expectations this season): Rick Dacey (Sunderland), Simon Young (Ipswich Town), Marc Convey (Crystal Palace), Nick Wright (Exeter City – who they? Ed)