EPT13 Prague: Wyraz leads €10K High Roller into final day; Kassouf, Mateos, Finger, Cimbolas still in

December 18, 2016

While the last ever EPT Main Event played down to a final table of six, another tournament boasting an almost identical first place prize played down to a final three tables.

Today was Day 2 of the €10K High Roller, and while more than 195 players came back this morning when all was said and done just 22 remain. It was an action-packed day full of Will Kassouf’s speech play, Matas Cimbolas’ story telling, Adrian Mateos and Martin Finger’s up-and-downswings, and more than a few bad beats; but in the end it’s Grzegorz Wyraz who leads with 3,137,000 going into the third and final day tomorrow.

(Oh, and Will Kassouf, Matas Cimbolas, Adrian Mateos, and Martin Finger are all still in).


Grzegorz Wyraz

The bubble burst at 55 players, but the man who left with nothing was Ike Haxton. Down to less than one big blind, he was in a strong position with his 10♠10♥ against Jens Lakemeier’s 8♥6♣. The flop even fell 10♣9♣2♠ to give him a set. But the 7♠ turn came from nowhere to give Lakemeier a straight, and the A♥ didn’t pair the board, making Haxton the bubble boy.


Haxton bubbles

From there we lost Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree in 48th (€19,340), Stephen Chidwick in 39th (€23,290), Sam Greenwood in 31st (€27,240), and Sergio Aido in 25th (€31,190) just to name a few.

But where there are bust-outs, there must be survivors, and here’s how the final 22 shape up for Day 3:

Name Country Status Chips
Grzegorz Wyraz Poland Live satellite winner 3,137,000
Glib Kovtunov Ukraine   1,878,000
Tue Ullerup Hansen Denmark   1,546,000
Jussi Nevanlinna Finland   1,417,000
Matas Cimbolas Lithuania   1,156,000
Adrian Mateos Spain   1,155,000
Mesbah Guerfi France Live satellite winner 1,142,000
Ihar Soika Belarus   998,000
Josip Simunic Austria   828,000
Alexandru Papazian Romania   802,000
Martin Finger Germany   778,000
Jens Lakemeier Germany   725,000
Viliyan Petleshkov Bulgaria   624,000
Steven Thompson Costa Rica   581,000
Vlado Banicevic Montenegro   580,000
Patrick Serda Canada Live satellite winner 571,000
Oliver Weis Germany   560,000
Samy Ouellani France Live satellite winner 455,000
Paul Hoefer Germany   420,000
William Kassouf UK Live satellite winner 336,000
Paul Leckey UK Live satellite winner 314,000
Viacheslav Goryachev Russia   287,000

Play kicks off at 12:30pm tomorrow and we won’t be stopping until we have a winner. Whoever that man is will receive a mighty €765,900.

You won’t want to miss it. Until tomorrow, goodnight! –JS

Day 2 coverage

2:35am: Done for the day
Level 21 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

The final 22 players have bagged up for the night. We’ll have a short wrap of the day soon, as well as full chip counts. –JS

2:25am: Yurasov gone in 23rd
Level 21 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

Down to just 240,000 Dmitry Yurasov shoved all-in holding A♠10♦ and Jussi Nevanlinna looked him up with the dominating A♥Q♣. A 8♥7♠Q♠6♣6♦ run out kept Nevanlinna in the lead and elimianted Yurasov. –NW

2:15am: Aido out in 24th
Level 21 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

When the action folded to Sergio Aido in the small blind he moved all-in for 268,000. Glib Kovtunov was in the big blind and he wanted a count. Having received it, he thought for a minute or so before folding.

On the next hand Aido shoved from the button, this time Kovtunov followed him into the pot and he re-raised all-in. The big blind folded at it was time for the reveal. Aido showed K♥J♠ and was behind to the A♠9♦ of the Ukranian.

The 6♥8♣A♣4♥J♥ board kept Kovtunov in the lead and eliminated Aido. –NW

2:10am Betting war
Level 21 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

Samy Quellani and Tue Hansen just got into a pre-flop betting war that escalated pretty quickly.

Quellani opened to 45,000, before Hansen three-bet to 120,000. Quellani then four-bet to 300,000 when it folded back to him, only for Hansen to five-bet to 620,000. Quellani could only shove or fold at that point, and he opted for the latter. –JS

2:05am Loud and quiet
Level 21 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

Two of the last three tables seem strangely quiet. We’ve just figured out why.

Matas Cimbolas and Will Kassouf (the two biggest talkers left in the field) are sat on the same table. Comparatively, the other two tables are as quiet as empty library. –JS

1:58am 24 left
Level 21 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

With the eliminations of Farid Yachou in 26th, and Jimmy Guerrero in 25th, we’re now down to 24 players.

The clock is paused while we redraw for the final three tables. –JS

1:52am: Kovtunov doubles through Finger
Level 21 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

It’s easy come, easy go for Martin Finger at the moment as he just lost a big pot to Glib Kovtunov. The Ukranian was all-in pre-flop for 634,000 with A♣Q♣ and Finger had him dominated with A♠K♠.

When the 9♣K♥5♣ flop hit the felt Will Kassouf said: “It’s never easy, always a sweat.” The 3♦ was a blank, but upon seeing the 8♣ river Finger put his hands to his face. He’s down to 880,000 after that hand. –NW

1:47am: Huge pot give Wyraz big lead
Level 21 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

We only caught the river action live but were able to piece together the pieces of a huge hand between Grzegorz Wyraz and Ari Engel thanks to players at the table.

In the hand in question the action folded to Wyraz in the small blind, he raised and Engel called. On the 10♣3♦2♥ flop Wyraz c-bet and Engel made the call. The 6♣ fell on the turn, Wyraz checked, Engel bet, Wyraz check-raised and Engel called. The 7♥ completed the board and Wyraz shoved all-in.

He had Engel covered so the shove was for an effective 700,000. Engel thought about it and called. Wyraz showed 6♥6♠ for a turned set, whereas Engel had 4♣3♣. His chips were sent to Wyraz and he exited the tournament. After that hand the Polish player is up to 2,720,000 and is the clear chip leader. –NW

1:43am Farrell felted by Finger
Level 21 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

A mistimed shove by Niall Farrell has just cost him his tournament. He opened to 45,000 from the cutoff and was three-bet to 115,000 by Martin Finger on the button. It folded back to Farrell and after half a minute he shoved for around 495,000. Finger checked his cards once more and snap-called.

Finger – A♥A♦
Farrell – K♥J♥

“Uh oh!” said Farrell, suggesting he felt his hand could suck out on the aces.

“I don’t want to jinx myself but I feel pretty lucky,” said Finger.

He was right; the board ran out 3♠4♦8♠6♥A♣ and he busted Farrell, moving up to 1.6 million. –JS


Farrell in happier times earlier

1:40am: Pair good for Petleshkov
Level 21 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

Josip Simunic seemed to have a pretty close decision. He’d opened to 45,000 in late position, only for Viliyan Petleshkov to move all for 341,000 from the button. He weighed it up for a while and then made the very definition of a crying call.

Simunic: A♦10♣
Petleshkov: 7♠7♥

Although the 2♣3♠4♠ flop stayed low, which was good for Petleshkov, it did give Simunic outs to a straight as well as his over cards. Petleshkov was still a 62% favourite though and he stayed in the lead on the 8♥ turn and 3♠ river. –NW

1:37am: Banicevic doubles through Mateos
Level 21 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

Adrian Mateos opened to 42,000 for the second time in a row, and this time he was three-bet all-in by Vlado Banicevic for 345,000 (he was three-bet in the first hand too, but let it go). Back to Mateos, he snap-called.

Mateos – A♣K♥
Banicevic – J♠J♣

It was a race, and it was one Banicevic would win as the board fell 4♣Q♥10♣3♥9♠. He doubled to around 730,000, while Mateos drops to around 900,000. –JS

1:27am: Good call from Mateos secures the knockout
Level 21 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

Adrian Mateos made it 42,000 to go, only for Niklas Astedt to jam for 415,000. It folded back to the Spaniard and after a little thinking he made the call.

Mateos – A♠J♦
Astedt – K♣Q♠

The board ran out 8♥3♣5♣A♥K♦ leaving Astedt drawing dead on the turn. He shook hands with everyone and went to the cage, while Mateos stacked up 1.34 million. –JS

1:22am: Play begins again
Level 21 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

Cards are back in the air and the final level of the night has begun. –NW

1:05am: Last break of the night

Players are taking a 20-minute break, then we’ll be back for one more level, or until we reach 16 players. –JS

1:02am: Tanking with the nuts
Level 20 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

A big pot had been built between Adrian Mateos and Tue Hansen, and by the end of the 10♣6♦Q♥K♣2♦ board Mateos had checked it over to Hansen on the button. He was in tank for several minutes, and eventually the clock was called.

It ticked down a bit before Hansen decided to make a bet worth 165,000. Mateos snap-called and couldn’t believe it when Hansen showed the A♠J♥ for “the absolute coconuts” (sorry, we’ve been reporting on Will Kassouf all day).

Mateos dropped to 1.28 million, while Hansen is up to around 1.45 million now. –JS


Tue Hansen

12:59am: Kassouf wins a flip
Level 20 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

“You won’t believe what I’ve been dealt in the big blind,” said Will Kassouf as the hand begun. Sergio Aido, who was under-the-gun+1 reached for raising chips and made it 33,000 to play. “Sergio’s a millionaire, he doesn’t care about money,” joked Kassouf.

Viacheslav Goryachev then re-raised to 88,000 and the action folded to Kassouf. “Let’s gamble with the nuts,” said Kassouf and he moved all-in for 220,000. Aido quickly folded and Goryachev quickly called.

Kassouf showed A♣K♦ and was up against the pocket tens of Goryachev. “The 4♥J♠7♦ flop didn’t help Kassouf, but the A♠ did. “Thank you, merry Christmas,” said Kassouf as that card hit. The A♦ finished off the board and Kassouf said. “That’s just overkill dealer.”

After that hand Kassouf is up around 500,000 while Goryachev drops to 400,000. –NW

12:54am: Huge pot sees Cimbolas bust Addamo
Level 20 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

This is another hand that Matas Cimbolas ran us through in his own words, but instead of quoting him, we’ll just give you the details.

Michael Addamo opened to 38,000 on the button with the A♣9♣ and Cimbolas defended his big blind with the 5♥5♠. The flop came 5♣8♣8♥ giving Cimbolas a boat and Addamo a meaningless nut flush draw. Cimbolas check-raised a 32,000 c-bet to 92,000. Addamo called and they went to the turn.

It came the A♠, pairing Addamo, and now Cimbolas led again for 92,000. Addamo just called.

The river was the 3♣ completing Addamo’s flush, and when Cimbolas put him all-in the Australian snap-called. Naturally, he was deflated.

“Really?” sighed Addamo as he saw the bad news. He headed to the cage, while Cimbolas shot up the chip counts with 1.3 million. –JS

12:45am: Samuelsson shot down
Level 20 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

We’ve almost reached the final four tables now as Andreas Samuelsson has just been knocked out in 34th place. He jammed for 108,000 with A♣J♠ and Grzegorz Wyraz looked him up holding K♥Q♥. The K♠9♣J♦ flop put Wyraz into the lead and he kept it on the 6♥ turn and 9♥ river. –NW

12:40am: Second nuts vs two pair
Level 20 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

Picking up the action on a 10♦9♥Q♣ flop, it checked to Gerald Karlic and he made it 64,000 (there was already a hefty amount in there). Vlado Banicevic flat called, only for Ihar Soika to shove over the top for 304,000. It folded to Karlic who then re-jammed over the top of that, and Banicevic had to fold.

Soika – J♦8♥
Karlic – 10♠9♠

Soika had flopped the second-nut straight, while Karlic had made bottom two pair and needed the board to bring another ten or nine. Instead it ran out 4♣ K♦ and Karlic dropped down to 70,000, while Soika is up to around 780,000.

Meanwhile, Patrick Leonard busted on another table during this hand. –JS

12:27am: Doubles for Banicevic and Jozonis
Level 20 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

The big pots continue to come thick and fast and two of the shorter stacks just doubled up on separate tables at the same time.

First to get a reprieve was Vlado Banicevic. He got his final 242,000 in with 9♠9♣ and was looking to fade Alexandru Papazian’s A♣K♦. The 2♦10♣7♦ flop was a good start and the 2♥4♠ turn a fine ending for him. He doubled up, while Papazian drops to 500,000.

Meanwhile Tomas Jozonis, who had just three big blinds, was all-in holding 8♣5♣. Andrey Zaichenko had him beat with K♣7♣ but the 7♦9♥6♥ flop was gin for Jozonis as he flopped a straight. The 6♣ turn and 10♣ river kept Jozonis in front and he survived. –NW

12:23am: Another one bites the dust
Level 20 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

Philippe Barouk is outta here. His all-in for around 200,000 with the A♦K♦ was called by Patrick Serda with the 8♣8♥, and the pocket pair held on the J♦7♥6♣10♠J♠ board. Serda is up to around 500,000 now. –JS

12:20am: Jazzar prays for chop; Leonard wants anything but
Level 20 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

Maroun Jazzar is the most recent casualty, with Gerald Karlic killing him softly. It was Jazzar’s A♣5♦ against Karlic’s A♦6♥, and a lot of times this would be a chop. By the turn the board read 2♦9♣A♠8♣, meaning any card higher than a six would make it a chop. Instead the river was the 3♣ and he hit the rail, while Karlic increased to around 450,000.

Meanwhile, Patrick Leonard was all in for his last 79,000 with the K♣10♣, and called by Andreas Samuelsson with K♦7♠. The flop came 6♠4♦2♠ (“That’s good for you,” said Leonard). Then the turn was the 6♣ (“That’s good for you,” he repeated).

But the river was the 6♦, meaning Leonard’s ten kicker with the king and trip sixes was best. –JS

12:05am: Daher departs
Level 19 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

By the time I reached the table, Albert Daher’s chips were already being pushed in the direction of Grzegorz Wyraz. The Lebanese players’ cards were already in the muck, but the pocket nines of Wyraz could still be seen.

He’d connected rather nicely with the 9♣7♠2♣2♠8♠ board. Ari Engel told us that Daher had pocket jacks and all the chips had gone in pre-flop. After that hand Wyraz is up to 1,600,000. –NW

12:02am: Aido sucks out on Thompson
Level 19 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

Another gross hand. First it was Patrick Leonard getting unlucky, and now it’s Steven Thompson (again).

The man from Costa Rica opened in the cutoff to 28,000 and Sergio Aido jammed on the button for 271,000. It folded back to Thompson and he made a quick call with the A♥Q♠, which had Aido’s K♥Q♣ dominated.

The flop fell A♠10♠3♣, keeping Thompson in front.

The turn was the 4♣. Still safe for Thompson.

Then the river came the J♥. Only a jack could have saved Aido, and he hit it to secure a big double up to around 570,000. Vila drops to around 375,000.

“Ohhhhh Jesus Christ,” sighed Thompson, as he saw his chips sent the Spaniard’s way. –JS

11:55pm: Finger feels it
Level 19 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

After Niall Farrell opened the pot, Martin Finger moved all-in for 272,000 and the action passed to Steven Thompson. The Costa Rican moved all-in over the top and Farrell folded. He showed pocket eights as did so and said: “I was feeling it, but not anymore.”

The card were then flipped and Finger was in trouble as he his K♥J♥ was up against Thompson’s K♠K♣. Despite this domination Finger said: “I’m feeling it.” The flop was pretty disastrous for the German though coming as it did A♠3♦6♦. “Ok, I’m not feeling it anymore,” he joked.

The 10♦ gave him a lifeline though and Farrell said: “Queen of spades,” the dealer then produced the Q♠ on the river as Finger went runner-runner to survive. “Sick dealer,” said Kassouf at the conclusion of the hand. After that hand Finger is up to 630,000 while Thompson drops to 620,000. -NW

11:50pm: Big double up for Addamo through Leonard
Level 19 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

Bit of bad luck for Patrick Leonard. After Steven Thompson Vila opened to 28,000, Leonard three-bet to 79,000, only for Michael Addamo to then jam for 327,000 from the big blind. Vila folded, and Leonard snap-called with the K♠K♣, which was up against the Australian’s A♣K♦.

Leonard remained in front on the 6♦7♦4♦ flop, but he was by no means confident, grimacing at the prospect of all his opponent’s additional outs. He’d hit one on the A♦ turn leaving Leonard drawing dead, so the 7♠ river didn’t matter.

Leonard has fallen right down to 108,000 now, while Addamo is up to roughly 700,000. –JS


Tough break for Leonard

11:40pm: Engel’s got heart
Level 19 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

No surprise that the post-bubble period has seen plenty of action. There have been numerous all-in and calls and the field has already shrunk to 47 players. One player who’s survived the melee is Ari Engel.

He three-bet shoved from the small blind for 166,000 and Bartlomiej Machon, who’d opened to 24,000 from the cutoff, called the extra. Angel opened 10♥9♥ and he needed to hit against the K♣J♣ of Machon.

He didn’t have to wait long as the 9♣4♠5♥ flop delivered him one of his outs. The 6♠ turn and 5♥ river were both blanks and he doubled up. After that hand Machon is down to 690,000. –NW

11:35pm: Boeree busts in 48th
Level 19 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

We’re sad to report that the last Team Pro in this event, Liv Boeree, has just been felted. She jammed under the gun for her 139,000 stack, and it folded around to the small blind of Grzegorz Wyraz. He made the call, and the big blind got out the way.

Boeree – 6♠6♣
Wyraz – Q♥Q♦

She was in big trouble and the 10♣10♦J♦ gave her no help. Only a six would do it, but the 3♠ and 9♣ completed the board and knocked her out. Boeree will collect €19,340 for her efforts over the past couple of days. –JS

11:25pm: Double bust out for Astedt
Level 19 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

It was two for the price of one for Niklas Astedt as he eliminated two players on the same hand. The Swede opened to 28,000 from under-the-gun. Max Lykov then moved all-in for 67,000 and action reached Felix Stephensen, who was in the small blind.

The Norwegian had scraped into the money and 6,000 of his remaining 12,000 was already in the pot. He wanted to double check that they were indeed in the money and once that had been confirmed he moved all-in. Astedt called the extra 39,000 required and it was time for a showdown.

Astedt: A♠K♥
Lykov: 8♦8♠
Stephensen: 10♦3♠

The 4♥A♥Q♦ flop put Astedt in the lead and he held onto it on the K♦7♠ turn and river. He’s up to 320,000. –NW

11:15pm: Ike Haxton bubbles the €10K High Roller
Level 19 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

With less than a big blind at the start of the hand, it shouldn’t really be a surprise that Ike Haxton has just bubbled this event. But the way he went out…that was a bit surprising, and a bit sick too.

He was all-in for 10,000 and it folded to Jens Lakemeier on the button. He raised to isolate, and both the blinds folded. Then we waited for all action to finish on the other tables. Meanwhile, a large crowd of those already finished started to gather around.

“It’s nice to see so many people here supporting me,” Haxton said sarcastically, knowing full well this lot were secretly rooting for him to bust.

Eventually the cards were flipped, and we saw that Haxton was way ahead with his 10♠10♥ to Lakemeier’s 8♥6♣. The dealer spread a flop:


Haxton winced a little, seeing that although he’d flopped top set, a seven would now eliminate him. And then the dealer laid the turn:


There were plenty of “ooohs” and “aaahs” as Lakemeier took the lead. Haxton would now need the board to pair to survive. The river:


That was all she wrote for Haxton, who is this event’s bubble boy. Everyone else is now in the money, so expect plenty of double ups and bust outs coming your way. –JS


A crowd gathers to watch the bubble burst

11:05pm: Who’ll bubble?
Level 19 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

The players are back in their seats and hand for hand play on the bubble continues. –NW

10:45pm: Break time
Level 18 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

The last five minutes of level 18 passed without incident and we’re still on the bubble. The 56 remaining players are now on a 20 minute break. –NW

10:40pm: Yachou spikes the river to survive
Level 18 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

The first all-in and call on the bubble involved Niklas Astedt and Farid Yachou. The action folded to Astedt, who was on the button. He raised, Yachou three-bet, Astedt four-bet shoved and Yachou called all-in for 236,000. This was music to the ears of the likes of Ike Haxton (14,000) and Felix Stephensen (32,000).

Astedt had 9♠9♥ and Yachou A♦Q♦ so it was a big coin-flip. The K♣K♠3♣2♥Q♠ board meant Yachou had to wait until the last card to get there. He doubles, while Astedt drops to 198,000. –NW

10:27pm: Kanit soft bubbles, bro
Level 18 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Mustapha Kanit won’t be cashing this one, as he has just ben felted on the soft bubble (two away from the money).

He jammed for 57,000 over the top of Mesbah Guerfi’s open and was called. Kanit had the K♥10♦ and needed to hit against the A♠J♠, but the 9♦2♠A♣K♠3♥ board gave Guerfi the win.

We’re now on the stone bubble. Whoever leaves next gets nothing. Everyone else will be guaranteed €19,340. –JS

10:10pm: A double double on the soft bubble
Level 18 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

There were two all-in and calls on the first deal of hand for hand play. Both short stacks would survive.

In the first hand, Paul Hoefer opened to 22,000 and called the extra after Maroun Jazzar had moved all-in for 48,000. Hoefer opened K♦4♦ and he was looking to overtake Jazzar’s A♦J♠. He didn’t manage it as the 4♥J♦10♣6♣Q♦ board meant Jazzar survived.

Meanwhile, one table over there was an all-in between Bartlomiej Machon and Mustapha Kanit. Machon had three-bet over Andreas Samuelsson’s open, Kanit had four-bet shoved and Machon had called all-in for 283,000 total.

When the cards for revealed we saw that Kanit held Q♠Q♦ and Machon A♠A♦. The aces held on a 3♥2♣10♠K♦2♥ run out. That dropped Kanit down to just 60,000. –NW

10:05pm: Hand for hand as Yang Zhang busts
Level 18 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Yang Zhang opened to 25,000 with the A♦J♦, only for Grzegorz Wyraz to set him all-in for his last 225,000 with A♣K♥. Zhang called it off but didn’t get there on the 8♥4♣3♦K♠10♦ board and made his exit.

We’re down to 57 now, two away from the money, so the clock was temporarily paused and we’re now playing hand for hand. –JS

9:55pm: Tanking accusations
Level 18 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

There had been an 18,000 open (doesn’t matter by who, as the hand never went any further than that), and the action was on Igor Yaroshevskyy. He had a pretty short stack – around ten big blinds or so – and was deep in thought over his decision.

After a couple of minutes Adrian Mateos, who is sat directly to the left of Yaroshevskyy, called the floor over. He told them that Yaroshevskyy had been tanking every hand, presumably due to being so close to the bubble.

Liv Boeree then gave her opinion to the floor (and repeated it to us after the hand) that Yaroshvskyy hadn’t been consistently tanking at all. “Before he’s been fold, fold, fold,” she told us, referring to his speed of play. “This was the first time he’d tanked.”

Whether it had been repetitive or not, Mateos did call the clock and was within his rights on this hand at least. It had been a few minutes, and when the 60 seconds were counting down Yaroshevskyy released his hand. –JS


Liv’s got your back, Igor

9:42pm: Khurana says sayonara
Level 18 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

The latest to leave is Sameer Khurana. He moved all-in for 108,000, and it folded to the big blind of Alexander Ivarsson. He had a think for around half a minute before calling off the very large majority of his 109,000 stack, and Khurana was shocked to see how strong Ivarsson was when he eventually called.

Khurana – A♥7♣
Ivarsson – A♦K♦

“Ahhhh you have Ace King? Why wait so long? You have more!” said Khurana. His tournament would be ended by the 10♥J♦2♦2♣5♦ board which gave the Swede a flush. He took in the chips, and Khurana said goodbye. –JS

9:35pm: Thompson’s turn to double
Level 18 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Another big pot involving Niall Farrell to tell you about now. He opened the pot to 22,000, Will Kassouf flat call and Steven Thompson then raised it up to 100,000 straight. It folded back to Farrell, he moved all-in, Kassouf folded and Thompson called all-in for 345,000.

Farrell: A♥Q♥
Thompson: K♣K♦

The board ran J♦10♥10♠9♦Q♦ and Thompson survived. 58 players remain. –NW

9:25pm: Wong makes wrong move against Farrell
Level 17 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

“Five off the money now boys, don’t want to go skint,” said Will Kassouf as the dealer started the shuffle. His words would prove prophetic.

It was Jerry Wong who got the action started. He raised to 18,000 from early position, Kassouf called and the action folded to Niall Farrell – who was in the big blind. He slid out a raise to 70,000 and it folded back to Wong.

The overnight chip leader had roughly 335,000 in total and opted to wager it all. That got rid of Kassouf, but Farrell took one look back at his cards and called.

Farrell: K♦K♠
Wong: 10♠10♦

The A♠5♣5♥5♠9♠ board meant Farrell’s cowboys held up and Wong was eliminated. After that hand Farrell is up to 1,100,000. –NW


Wong has busted just short of the money

9:20pm: We are gathered here today…
Level 17 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

…To remember those who are no longer with us. Those most recent eliminations are:

Anton Yakuba, Julian Herold, Aleksey Ponakov, Marc-Olivier Perrault, Steve O’Dwyer, Darie Vlad, Xiaoyang Luo, Andrew Chen, Asi Moshe, Christian Jeppsson, Bart Lybaert, and Paul-Francois Tedeschi. –JS

9:15pm: A silent Kassouf takes another
Level 17 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

There would be no speech play in this from William Kassouf. The flop showed the 5♥Q♥8♠ and Niall Farrell was first to act, leading out for 32,000. Jerry Wong called, as did Kassouf. The turn was the Q♠ and when both checked to Kassouf he slowly and deliberately slid in a bet worth 103,000. Both folded.

“Jacks are good then?” he said to Farrell after the hand.

“Yeah, jacks are good. I had the 10♥8♥,” Farrell replied.

Kassouf then showed the J♥ and took it down. He’s up to 488,000, while Farrell has 700,000 and Wong has 310,000. –JS

9:05pm: Nosenko knocked out
Level 17 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

By the time I arrived at the table a 8♠4♣8♣ flop was already on the felt. From the size of the pot, and the fact that there were three players in the pot, it looked as if Viacheslav Goryachev had raised from middle position and be called by Albert Daher (small blind) and Maksim Nosenko (big blind).

Nosenko didn’t have much left and he moved all-in for 15,000, a bet that Goryachev raised to 50,000 and that got rid of Daher. Nosenko showed 10♣9♠ and was behind to the K♣10♦ of Goryachev. The 7♠ turn and 2♦ river kept Groyachev in front and eliminated Nosenko a few places from the money. –NW

9pm: Double up for Boeree
Level 17 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree came back with just 85,000 after the dinner break, and that had fallen further to just 49,000. After Andrey Kotelnikov min-opened to 16,000, Boeree jammed and the action was on Anton Yakuba. He took his time but eventually raised it to 75,000, and Kotelnikov folded.

Boeree – K♠10♣
Yakuba – A♦Q♠

Boeree at least had live cards, and she’d hit one on the 10♦3♣2♠ flop. The J♣ and 9♦ completed the board to keep her in front, giving her a stack of roughly 134,000. –JS


Boeree awaits her fate

8:55pm: Mateos plays bully
Level 17 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

With the bubble fast approaching Adrian Mateos, who was the chip leader at the start of the level, is in a decent position to put the pressure on. It doesn’t always work however.

In a recent hand Anton Yakuba raised to 16,000 and he was called by both Patrick Serda and Igor Yaroshevskyy. Mateos was in the big blind and he bumped it up to 60,000 total. Back on Yakuba he moved all-in for around 360,000 and one by one his opponents folded. –NW

8:45pm: Kassouf gets what he wants
Level 17 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

Say what you will about Will Kassouf’s speech play; it might not always work, but when it does it’s pretty impressive.

His latest showing was with a river bet against the big stack of Glib Kovtunov. The board showed the 7♥10♠3♠Q♦6♠ and Kassouf had bet 46,000 after it checked to him. Here’s a selection of his quotes (it’s worth noting that Kortunov had headphones in and didn’t respond once):

“This is a value bet. It’s obvious what I have, isn’t it? I’ve got a flush. You let me get there.”

“Go ahead, look back at your cards, tank for five minutes, then fold.”

“If you call with ace high, you’ll be my hero. Call with ace high – hero.”

“Flush. I’ve got it. Dealer – please tell him I have a flush.”

Eventually Kovtunov did indeed make the call.

“There ya go,” Kassouf said, as he flipped over the J♠8♠ for the flush. “Woop – there it is!”

Kortunov still has 760,000, and Kassouf increased to 405,000. –JS


Kassouf had the goods

8:35pm: Nice post-dinner double for Greenwood
Level 17 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

Down to just 57,000 Sam Greenwood moved all-in and Julien Stuer gave him a spin. Greenwood showed A♣7♥ and was ahead of Stuer’s K♣Q♥. However, the 8♠J♦K♥ flop gave Stuer the lead. He improved further on the Q♦ turn, but the 10♣ river made Greenwood a straight and he survived. After that hand Stuer is down to 275,000. –NW

8:30pm: Back to work for this lot
Level 17 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

Just 67 remain now in this event, and all are back from dinner break. We’ll be playing another five 60-minute levels today, or down to 16; whichever comes first. –JS

7:45pm: Top ten counts

Here are the top ten chip counts from dinner break. Click here for the full list.

Name Country Entry info Chips
Adrian Mateos Spain Re-Entered on Day 1 840,000
Glib Kovtunov Ukraine   820,000
Jens Lakemeier Germany Re-Entered on Day 1 800,000
Alexandru Papazian Romania Re-Entered on Day 1 770,000
Niall Farrell UK Re-Entered on Day 1 650,000
Paul Hoefer Germany   592,000
Patrick Leonard UK Re-Entered on Day 1 570,000
Andreas Samuelsson Sweden   500,000
Samy Ouellani France   490,000
Grzegorz Wyraz Poland   490,000

7:15pm: Dinner break

The players are on a 75-minute dinner break. We’ll have full counts coming up and play will recommence at roughly 8:30pm CET.

7:07pm: Sounds of frustrations
Level 16 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Andrew Chen and Max Lykov both made sounds of frustration after they were on the losing sides of hands at their table. One was a genuine reaction; one was tongue in cheek.

Amgd Nadr had been left with just one small blind and was all-in automatically by posting the big blind. Andrew Chen raised with A♣6♣ and all other opponents folded. Nadr opened a decent K♥10♠ and improved as the board ran 4♣Q♥10♦4♥. “Damn!” joked a smiling Chen.

Lykov raised to 13,000 the very next hand. It was from UTG+1 and he was only called by Grzegorz Wyraz in the big blind. The board rolled out K♦2♦5♠7♦9♠ with Wyraz check-calling bets of 16,000 and 30,000 before the river was checked through. Wyraz opened K♥5♥ and Lykov let out a big groan and mucked.

Chen – 180,000
Lykov- – 170,000
Wyraz – 440,000

7:02pm: Cimbolas does our job for us
Level 16 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

“Hey, did you see my hand?” Matas Cimbolas said to me from the other side of the table. I shook my head, and he called me over so he could explain.

“I min-open (12,000) under the gun with aces, and it folds to Vlad Darie in the small blind. He three-bets for a second time in a row to 37,000, I trap and just call. The flop comes jack/nine/five, two hearts, and he c-bets 30,000. I call.

“The turn is an eight and he jams for like 100,000. I call obviously – I have aces – and he shows jack nine for top two pair. The river was a five.”

In case you missed it, that meant Cimbolas’ aces became a bigger two pair at the end to win and eliminate Darie. Cimbolas the storyteller is up to 430,000 now (which we know, because he told us. He’s doing our job for us right now!) –JS


Nice Hatas, Cimbolas

6:55pm: Straight sends Finger up the chip counts
Level 16 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

I only caught the river action but on a 5♥3♣10♠4♠4♥ board Martin Finger (small blind) moved all-in for 77,000. There was around 90,000 in the pot and Bart Lybaert (middle position) spent a decent amount of time in the tank before calling.

Finger showed 7♣6♥ for a straight and, as it was an all-in pot, Lybaert showed that he’d called with A♠K♣. –NW

6:50pm: Diamonds are Lykov’s best friend
Level 16 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Always nice when you flop your opponent dead, even more so if you’re all-in. That’s the situation Max Lykov just found himself in when he put his tournament on the line against Grzegorz Wyraz.

The Pole raised it up to 14,000 from the cutoff, Lykov shoved for 50,000 and Wyraz snap called. Lykov was ahead with K♦10♦ to Wyraz’s Q♥10♥. After the 5♦3♦7♦ flop fell Wyraz picked his cards up and mucked them face down.

He wasn’t technically drawing dead as he still had a runner-runner straight flush chop possibility, but this isn’t the movies and the 6♠ turn left him drawing dead. –NW

6:45pm: Farewell to these elves
Level 16 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

James Akenhead, Sebastian Malec, Aleksander Spadijer, Oleh Okhotskyi, Zvi Stern, Alexander Ridnik, Mortitz Dietrich, Patrick Uzan, Joe Mouawad, Vladas Tamasauskas
Goran Mandic, Pasquale Grimaldi, Ibrahim Ghassan, Sylvain Loosli, Nasr El Nasr, Michael Rocco, Dario Sammartino, Tamer Kamel, Mikita Badziakousk and Frederik Jensen can all take as long as they want for dinner. –MC

6:42pm: Mateos takes his time
Level 16 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Yakuza are members of transnational organised crime syndicates originating in Japan. Yakisoba is a Japanese street food made by stir-frying ramen noodles with meat and vegetables. Yakuba is a baby-faced poker player from Russia who just lost a large percentage of his stack to Adrian Mateos.

Picking up the action on a 3♣Q♣6♥5♠ board, there was around 130,000 already in the middle and the action was on Anton Yakuba. He led out for 96,000, and it was on Mateos, who was thinking for quite some time. Normally when this happens, you think it might be a contemplation of either a fold or a call. But after a couple of minutes in the tank Mateos announced all-in. He had a much bigger stack, and Yakuba let out a grunt as stretched after folding quickly.

Mateos is up to 780,000 now, while Yakuba has 138,000. –JS

6:35pm: Moshe the pit for Ignat’s chips
Level 16 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Pretty simple one this. Liviu Ignat committed his final 49,000 with 4♠4♣ and Asi Moshe looked him up with J♥J♠. The dominating hand held up on a 3♠A♦6♦7♠2♦ run out. Also, much to the relief of Will Kassouf, who also thought about calling, there was no king out there to pair the one he said he’d folded. –NW

6:30pm: Paris winces as the river seals his exit
Level 16 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Bryan Paris – a new dad in 2016 – will have to find other ways to fund his first-born’s Christmas presents after he busted to Viacheslav Goryachev.

Jussi Nevanlinna opened to 5,000 off the button before Paris (sb) and Goryachev (bb) both moved all-in. The Finn’s eyes opened wide and he asked for counts of each all-in. They were for 68,000 and 80,500 respectively, too much for him to call with king-queen.

Paris: 10♠10♣
Goryachev: A♠J♦

The board ran 5♥K♦4♥5♦J♣ and Paris scrunched his eyes as he winced in pain.

6:19pm: Steve can’t get no satisfaction
Level 16 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

It’s a tough old slog for Steve O’Dwyer right now. He made progress by doubling up in our 5:57pm post, and since then he somehow brought his stack right up to around 180,000. However, after this one he’s fallen back to roughly 20 big blinds. Two steps forward, one step back.

On a Q♣A♦4♦ flop, Josip Simunic checked and Alex Papazian made it 21,000, which only O’Dwyer called. The turn came the 2♠ and Papazian continued for 55,000. O’Dwyer called again.

Finally the 8♣ completed the board and after a minute or so Papazian made a very deflated, almost defeated-feeling check. O’Dwyer checked it back, but sigh-mucked as Papazian showed the A♣10♥. O’Dwyer has around 105,000, while Papazian is up to 557,000. –JS

6:10pm: Serda surges to the top
Level 15 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Patrick Serda is up to 850,000 after eliminating Alexander Ridnik. That’s good for the chip lead. The pre-flop action is unknown but on a 6♦K♥10♣ flop Serda bet 28,000, Ridnik moved all-in and Serda snap called. The Canadian rolled over A♠A♦and Ridnik’s K♦J♠ was in the deep stuff.

When the Q♦ fell on the turn Serda pulled a face that said, “Don’t do it to me,” but Ridnik didn’t get there on the 10♥ river. “Second time today,” said Serda as he took the pot. –NW

6:04pm: Ridnik under pressure but oblivious, until Mateos steps in
Level 15 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

An enormous pot of around 250,000 had built between Niall Farrell and Alexander Ridnik by the time the Q♠3♦9♥10♠2♦ board was complete, and Farrell then shoved to put Ridnik all in. He had 194,000 behind, and the decision was with him.

Not that he knew it. Ridnik was looking down at his phone, on which he was live streaming a football match. He was also vaping heavily on his electronic cigarette (with most of the vapour going straight in table mate Martin Finger’s face). Adrian Mateos (another one on this table) eventually got tired of his lack of interest and waved his hand in front of Ridnik to let him know the action was on him. Ridnik eventually looked up to see he’d been put all-in, and Mateos and fellow table mate Mustapha Kanit shared a glance and a giggle.

Ridnik would eventually fold, at which point Farrell scooped the huge pot and was up to around 600,000. The Scot and yet another table mate James Akenhead then shared a glance and a giggle of their own. Unfortunately for these table mates, this table was just broken up. –JS


Ridnik, sans vape

5:58pm: How Moshe got to the top
Level 15 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

We reported the tournament big stacks recently and the list featured a new chip leader. He leapt to the top of the counts by eliminating Pasquale Grimaldi.

A raising war preflop saw all the chips go in and the cards were flipped up.

Grimaldi: 9♦9♥
Moshe: A♣10♠

The board ran K♠3♠J♥Q♥4♥ to make Moshe a straight on the turn. –MC

5:57pm: O’Dwyer doubles
Level 15 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

After losing that pot to Josip Simunic not too long ago, Steve O’Dwyer has managed to double up through him. He was all-in with the 9♦9♣ for his last 25,500 and Simunic called with the Q♦J♦. The board ran out A♥2♣K♦K♣6♦ and he raked in the pot. –JS

5:55pm: Top stacks
Level 15 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

The tournament had been whittled down to 92 players meaning there has been a lot of chip movement recently. A sweep of the room has revealed the following as the big stacks:

Asi Moshe – 635,000
Adrian Mateos – 610,000
Jerry Wong – 590,000
Jens Lakemeier – 590,000
Andreas Samuelsson – 580,000
Samy Ouellani – 475,000
Albert Daher – 515,000

5:50pm: Three-barrel bluff busts Badziakouski
Level 15 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Top marks for effort, bad marks for execution for Mikita Badziakouski who just tried to get rich, but died trying. Andreas Samuelsson was his opponent, the Swede opened the pot to 10,500, Badziakouski three-bet to 30,000 from the button and Samuelsson called.

The flop fell 2♣Q♠2♦, check from Samuelsson, bet of 20,000 from Badziakouski, call from Samuelsson. On the 6♣ turn Badziakouski fired again. This time the price to continue was 40,000 and it was a price Samuelsson was willing to pay. The 6♠ completed the board and Badziakouski moved all-in for 120,500.

While Samuelsson had acted fairly quickly on the flop and turn he needed several minutes to come to his decision on the river. He had around 250,000 back so it was almost half his stack to call. The Swede placed one orange chip over the line to signify a call and Badziakouski sheepishly turned over A♠K♥. Unsurprisingly Samuelsson could beat it and he showed K♣Q♦ to take the pot.

After that coup he’s up to 580,000 and he’s one of the top five stacks in the room. –NW

5:37pm: Dire straits as O’Dwyer waits
Level 15 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Steve O’Dwyer’s stack is now in critical condition, as he just made a tough fold to leave himself with just six big blinds.

He opened to 11,000 and was three-bet to 26,000 by Josip Simunic on the button. They saw a 10♠2♣7♣ flop and both checked to the 9♦ turn. O’Dwyer checked, and Simunic made a delayed c-bet to 18,000 which was called.

The J♣ completed the board and when it did O’Dwyer checked. Simunic bet enough to put him all-in, and after 30 to 40 seconds O’Dwyer released his hand. He has only 32,000 now, while Simunic is up to 340,000. –JS

5:35pm: Jesus can’t stop flushes coming in
Level 15 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Steven Thompson used to be a regular on the tour for many years, but this is his first visit in six years. Adrian Mateos wasn’t of age back then. This a new era of poker Mr Thompson.

Thompson opened to 14,500 from the small blind and Mateos defended from the big. The flop fanned 8♦5♥10♥ and Thompson continued for 13,000. Call. The turn was the 6♥ and both players checked to the 10♦ river where Mateos bet 50,000 when the action was checked to him. Thompson called with pocket aces but Mateos opened 7♥3♥ for a flush.

“Jesus!” lamented Thompson who dropped to 130,000. Mateos grew to 630,000. –MC

5:28pm: Greenwood wins battle of the big hands
Level 15 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

“There have been a lot of big hands on this table,” noted Sam Greenwood as the Canadian became embroiled in the latest of those.

He opened to 13,000, there was a flat call and Ibrahim Ghassan then moved all-in for 159,000 total. Back on Greenwood he shoved for less – 86,000 – and the other player left them to it. Greenwood exposed J♠J♥ and Ghassan showed 10♣10♥.

The 3♥K♠6♣A♠9♣ board kept Greenwood in front and in the tournament. –NW

5:16pm: Back once again with the skill behaviour
Level 15 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

We’re back and off and running here as we move into Level 15. However, this lot won’t be joining us as they’ve busted throughout the past hour:

Mikko Turtuainen, Samuel Vousden, Roman Emelyanov, Ivan Gabrieli, Jakub Michalak, Joao Vieira, Tom Hall, Fahredin Mustafov, Vito Diaz, Mikhails Morozovs, Fabien Motte, Tomasz Panek, Kully Sidhu, Jani Sointula, Robert Heidorn, Michel Dattani, Ryan Franklin, Francois Billard, Rainer Kempe, Dong Zhao, Ole Schemion, Adrian Delmas, and Eugene Katchalov. –JS

4:57pm: Take 20

Players have gone on a 20-minute break. Back soon. –JS

4:56pm: Aggression pays off for Banicevic
Level 14 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

From under-the-gun Vlado Banicevic opened to 9,500 and he picked up calls from Alexander Ivarsson, Albert Daher (button) and Gerald Karlic. The flop fell 3♥2♥8♣. Banicevic continued for 21,500 and Ivarsson was the only player who bailed.

The 3♣ hit the turn and a further bet of 47,000 was enough to earn Banicevic the pot. –NW

4:55pm: Float like a Farrell; sting like a boss
Level 14 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Not content with the €10K High Roller as entertainment, Niall Farrell has taken to watching Muhammad Ali interviews on UK TV chat show Parkinson. Perhaps feeling inspired by The Greatest, Farrell opened the button to 9,000 when it folded to him.

Will Kassouf was in the big blind. “Are you sure geezer?” he asked Farrell. “Have you even looked?”

Farrell had, and when Kassouf folded he urged the Scot to show one card. He flipped over the K♥.

“You were bluffing with the best hand!” Kassouf told him.

“King of hearts, big heart,” Farrell replied. He’s up to 383,000, while Kassouf has 154,500. –JS

4:50pm: Gabrieli’s gone
Level 14 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Ivan Gabrieli was all-in with pocket queens against the ace king of Albert Daher, but an ace on the flop gave the El Classico win to the man from Lebanon. Gabrieli left quickly, while Daher is up to around 465,000. –JS

4:45pm: Mateos shows his class, again
Level 14 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

I reckon this kid’s got a future in the game. His name’s Adrian Mateos, remember it. Okay, he’s only 22 and won everything in the game already. Here’s a glimpse into his greatness:

Mateos and Mihails Morozovs made it to a 2♦4♦10♠ flop. Mateos was in middle position, had 20,000 out in front of him, and was in the tank as Morozovs had shoved for 59,000 from the cutoff. He called with A♥K♥ for ace high, ahead of Morozovs’ A♦7♦ for a flush draw.

The board ran out 6♥3♣ to hand the pot, the scalp and a 590,000 stack to Mateos. –MC


Adrian Mateos: the look of a man in control and one with deep enough pockets to afford a massage

4:43pm: Not a lot for Motte; nothing in fact
Level 14 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Fabien Motte is the latest to fall here today. The hand started with an open from Dario Sammartino (we assume; we didn’t catch it, but he was under the gun, and the under the gun plus one player had a three-bet in front of him). That player was Artem Kobylinskiy, and he raised it up to 25,000.

Alexander Ridnik flat-called that bet in the hijack, before it folded to the big blind of Motte and he jammed for 75,000. Sammartino had folded when he arrived, and the action was on Kobylinskiy. He eventually folded too. Over to Ridnik. Twenty seconds passed.

“I call!” he said, before flipping over the J♣J♥, which was racing against Motte’s K♣Q♣. The flop came J♠8♣6♣.

And then BOOM! Ridnik slammed the table with excitement so loudly that the surrounding tables shuddered. He’d flopped a set, but wasn’t he celebrating a bit early? Motte still had a flush draw, but it wouldn’t come in on the 2♥ or 10♦ turn or river. Motte said goodbye, and Ridnik is up to 330,000 now. –JS

4:40pm: Huge double for Zaichenko
Level 14 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Andrey Zaichenko and this event have history. The good kind of history. The Russian player won this event in 2014 and he just did his chances of a deep run the power of good as he doubled through Farid Yachou.

The action was started by Yachou, he opened to 9,500 from middle position, Zaichenko three-bet to 30,000 from the button and Yachou called. The 2♣8♥K♣ flop was where the fireworks went off, Zaichenko c-bet 42,500, Yachou check-raised all-in and Zaichenko called all-in for a little over 200,000.

Yachou showed A♦[KS] for top pair, top kicker but he was crushed by Zaichenko’s A♠A♥. The 10♣ turn left the Dutchman drawing to two outs and neither came as the 7♠ completed the board. After that hand Zaichenko is up to 490,000 while Yachou drops to 170,000. –NW


Zaichenko wants his crown back

4:29pm: Yachou pulls off the bluff
Level 14 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

After Paul Tedeschi opened to 9,000 it folded to Farid Yachou and he raised it up with a three-bet to 21,000. After it folded back to the Frenchman, he made the call and flop came the 5♥9♥Q♥.

As expected, Tedeschi checked it to the last aggressor and Yachou continued down that path for 24,000. That bet was called and the dealer burned and turned the 9♦, which Tedeschi checked again. The river came the 6♦, and when Tedeschi checked once more, the Dutchman came in for a bet of 37,000, and Tedeschi didn’t take too long to fold.

We’ll never know for sure, but chances are he’d just thrown away the best hand as Yachou showed the 10♣3♣ for complete air. He took it down and increased to around 416,000, while Tedeschi has 127,000 left. –JS


Farid Yachou

4:23pm: They gone
Level 14 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

No more High Rolling for: Justin Bonomo, Simon Ravnsbaek, Sven Magirius, Rosen Angelov, Alexander Lakhov, Senh Ung, Dorian Pavon, Rocco Palumbo, Viktor Ustimov, Alin Pandilica, Manig Loeser, Morten Mortensen, Anthony Zinno, Juha Lauttamus, Koray Aldemir, Pablo Fernandez, Jack Salter, Alexandros Kolonios, Thomas Boivin, Aleks Dimitrov, Andrey Shatilov, Sergey Lebedev, Vladimir Troyanovskiy, Simon Mattsson, Tom-Aksel Bedell, Mikalai Vaskaboinikau, Lucas Greenwood, Hossein Ensan, Nicolas Chouity, Maxi Lehmanski, Martin Kozlov, Jean Souprayenmestry, Anton Wigg, Konstantin Uspenskiy and Oleg Titov. –MC

4:15pm: Farrell felts Troyanovskiy
Level 14 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Niall Farrell is wearing a Christmas jumper today. It’s got the letters KO repeated around one part of the pattern. You know what they say, a man starts to act like their jumper sometimes. Of course no one says that, but Farrell has just KO’d Vladimir Troyanovskiy.

Farrell opened to 9,500 from early position and Francois Billard gave serious thought to shipping his short stack in but he passed. Martin Finger did likewise, but he couldn’t quite do it. The German looked particularly pained at having to fold.

Troyanovskiy was in the big blind and he made his mind up very quickly that his stack of 38,000 was going in. Farrell asked for a count and then called. Troyanovskiy opened A♣K♦ and Farrell showed J♠9♥. “I was expecting worse,” joked Finger.

The 6♦8♥7♣5♥7♥ board meant Farrell turned a straight to eliminate his Russian opponent. “I’m glad I didn’t shove,” grinned Billard. “I had A-2o and 25 big blinds,” said Finger and he motioned pushing chips across the line. “That’s printing money, but you just don’t want it,” joked Farrell. The Scotsman is up to 350,000 after that knockout. –NW


Less ho ho ho and more KO KO KO for Farrell

4:05pm: One good, one not so good for Boeree
Level 13 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (500 ante)

Here are two hands that happened consecutively, fetauring the sole red spade in the field, Team Pro Liv Boeree.

The first one was a winner for her. Francois Billard opened to 6,500 from the lojack, before Boeree three-bet it up to 13,000 in the hijack. Everyone folded.

The next hand, she opened from the lojack for 6,500 and got one caller, Irshat Shaykhov, who defended his big blind. The flop came down A♣A♠9♦ and Boeree continued for 6,500 again when it checked to her. Shaykhov called.

They saw the Q♦ land on the turn, and both decided to see a free river card, which turned out to be the K♣. Shaykhov checked again, and Boeree came in with a 13,500 bet. The Russian thought for a little bit, and eventually would call showing just the 9♣10♣, giving him just a pair of nines to go with the shared aces. However, that nine was good as Boeree showed the 2♥2♣.

That great call from Shaykhov brings his stack up to 180,000, while Boeree is still healthy with around 282,000. –JS

3:55pm: Just when they get close, Wong puts his foot down
Level 13 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (500 ante)

Jerry Wong must’ve been able to smell his opponents catching him. Now they can only smell his dust after he moved up to 660,000 by eliminating two players.

Wael Sarkis was down to 35,000 when he moved all-in from the hijack. Wong called from the small blind and also called after Michiel Broskij shoved for 180,000 from the big blind.

Wong: J♦J♣
Broskij: 9♠9♣
Sarkis: 4♦4♠

The board ran 2♥K♠7♥2♣J♠ to make Wong a full house. Pocket jacks are making a real comeback in the blog today! –MC


Wong steteches clear again

3:45pm: Double up for Soika
Level 13 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (500 ante)

Ihar Soika has just found a double up, courtesy of Paul Leckey. The board had already reached the turn and showed the 9♥J♥A♦5♦ and Soika led out for 23,500, only for Leckey to put him all-in with the bigger stack. Soika thought for a minute before making the call with the A♥9♣ for top two pair, while Leckey had the Q♥10♥ for a busted straight flush draw. He dips to 262,000, while Soika is up to 220,000 now. –JS

3:35pm: Mahoney fails to graduate from the academy
Level 13 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (500 ante)

Patrick Mahoney hit the rail after he lost a race to Patrick Serda. All the chips went in preflop with Mahoney the all-in player with 85,000.

Serda: Q♥Q♦
Mahoney: A♥K♦

The board ran 10♦9♦6♥10♣5♦ and Serda moved up to 205,000. –MC

3:20pm: Top five stacks
Level 13 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (500 ante)

Jerry Wong still leads the pack but he’s down on his starting position from today, and some payers are closing in behind him. Here’s the probable top five:


Chidwick enjoying a great day

Jerry Wong – 384,000
Vlado Banicevic – 378,000
Sameer Khurana – 358,000
Albert Daher – 350,000
Stephen Chidwick – 336,000

3:10pm: Aldemir left very short
Level 13 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (500 ante)

It looked as if Samu Riihela could’ve been punishing limpers after he moved all-in from the big blind, but he had a hand to back up the move and doubled.

Koray Aldemir limped in from under the gun and picked up Patrick Leoanard before Riihela made his move for his last 46,000. Aldemir tanked for two minutes before he moved all-in as well. Leonard folded.

Riihela: Q♦Q♠
Aldemir: A♦J♦

The board ran 2♠5♥6♥7♦4♠ and Aldemir dropped to just 17,000. –MC

2:55pm: Play resumes lighter on players
Level 13 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (500 ante)

The players are back in their seat for the third (of ten) level of the day. The following didn’t make it that far:

Sergey Sergeev, Fady Kamar, Saar Wilf, Irshat Shaykhov, Bryan Piccioli, Eliyahu Saado, Roberto Romanello, Timothy Adams, Preben Stokkan, Christian Nolte, Niklas Hambitzer, Alexandros Vlachakis, Ramin Hajiyev, Pierre Neuville, Jason Wheeler, Ben Heath, Orpen Kisacikoglu and Dimitar Danchev. –MC

2:35pm: Break time
Level 12 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

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

2:30pm: Jacks claim another victim in Wigg
Level 12 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

We’ve seen a lot of pocket jacks around today, and they’ve taken down a player or two. The latest victim was Anton Wigg.

The former EPT champion opened to 5,500 and was called by Will Kassouf before Mikita Badziakouski squeezed to 15,000 out of the blinds. Wigg shoved for around 50,000 and Badziakouski called.

Badziakouski: Q♦Q♠
Wigg: J♣J♠

The board ran K♠7♠8♠2♠4♥ to make Badziakouski a winning flush by the turn. –MC

2:20pm: One high roller title not enough for Haxton
Level 12 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

Ike Haxton took down the €25k Single Day High Roller event for over €550k last week but he’s not satisfied. He wants a multi-day High Roller title to add to the Prague section of his poker resume.


Haxton a rare winner with jacks

He’s making the right progress to make that happen, up to 326,000 after eliminating Luis Rodriguez Cruz. Haxton raised to 5,500 from the cutoff and then four-bet all-in after Cruz had three-bet to 17,700 from the small blind. Cruz called all-in for around 80,000.

Cruz: A♠Q♠
Haxton: J♠J♥

The board ran J♦2♥3♠K♣2♠ to make Haxton a full house. –MC

2:10pm: Prizepool information released
Level 12 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

After registration closed at the beginning of play today, the 407 entries all helped create a €3,947,000 prizepool. The top 55 players will make the money, with a min-cash worth €19,340. Make tomorrow official final table and you’ll be guaranteed €93,170 and the winner will take home a massive €765,900. For a full breakdown click here. –MC

1:55pm: Yan wins battle of the Tasmin Sea
Level 12 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

Too often Australia beats up on its smaller neighbour New Zealand. The two exceptions are in rugby union and when David Yan’s in town.

He opened to 5,000 from under the gun and was called by Michael Addamo in the big blind. The flop fell 9♥10♦6♦ and the Australian check-called a c-bet from Yan. The turn was the A♥ and Yan had another 18,500 called before he bombed the 2♠ river for 46,000. That was too much for Addamo and he check-folded to drop to 144,000. Yan rose to 240,000. –MC

1:40pm: No second level for the below
Level 12 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

The second level of the day has gotten underway without the following: Roma Korenev, Daniel Erlandsson, Andrey Pateychuk, Ryan McEathron, Igor Kurganov, Rusian Goncharov, Ben Winsor, Dominik Nitsche, Jorma Nuutinen, Daniel Dvoress, Stefan Schillhabel, Javier Gomez, Jaroslaw Sikora, Kenny Hallaert and Max Silver.

Silver fell to Stephen Chidwick who had already passed the 250k mark. –MC

1:25pm: Who’s trapping who?
Level 11 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

Liv Boeree and Pierre Neuville played out a hand to the river and it left one wondering: who’s trapping whom?

The Team PokerStars Pro opened to 4,500 from under the gun, receiving calls from Neuville on the button and the big blind. The flop spread 2♦4♣2♣ and Boeree continued for 8,000. Neuville raised to 16,000 and she called after the big blind folded. The turn was the 4♦ and Boeree check-called 14,000 before she jammed for 42,600 on the 3♥ river. Neuville had her just covered with 45,400 and decided to fold and preserve his stack.


Liv Boeree: Not in the mood to be messed with

In separate news, Max Silver got back over the 100k mark after working pocket kings very well. –MC

1:12pm: The early fallers
Level 11 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

The following players have already busted here on Day 2: Aymon Hata, Kristen Bicknell, Konstantin Puchkov, Jean-Noel Thorel, Emil Patel, Walid Bou Habib, Tomi Brouk, Brian Roberts, Remi Castaignon, Nick Petrangelo, Sergi Reixach, Igor Dubinskyy and Vojtech Ruzicka. –MC

1:05pm: Aces versus jacks again
Level 11 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

This time there was only one player with aces (Stephen Chidwick) but he also found a player with jacks (Max Silver). The two Brits went to ward preflop and Chidwick was all-in for 59,500.

Silver: J♥J♦
Chidwick: A♥A♦

The board ran 8♠J♣A♠7♥3♦ to make both players sets. Silver dropped to around 50,000. –MC


Silver and Chidwick: two Brits abroad

12:55pm: The re-entered
Level 11 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

With registration closed, the final number of entries for the High Roller is 407, with 90 of them being re-entries. We’ll release the prizepool information as soon as we have it.

Here are the other 12 players who re-entered before play began, and one one new entry:

Oleg Titov
Xiaoyang Luo
Patrick Serda
Preben Stokkan
Rainer Kempe
Dominik Nitsche
Vojtech Ruzicka
Jan-Eric Schwippert
Ihar Soika
Javier Gomez Zapatero
Stephen Chidwick
Vito Jhonny Recchimurzo (new entry)

12:50pm: Two players with aces, one with jack
Level 11 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

You just can’t help some people; they’ll always be disappointed.

Xiaoyang Luo opened to 5,000 from under the gun before Henrik Hecklen three-bet all-in for 52,800 from two seats along. Ben Heath was in the big blind, got a count and moved all-in as well. Luo, who was a fresh entry today, called all-in while saying, “Hating my hand!”

“Why the f*&k would you say that with aces?” asked a bemused Heath.

Heath: A♣A♥
Luo: A♥A♠
Hecklen: J♣J♠

The board ran 4♦Q♦6♠5♦2♠ and Hecklen was chopped in half and his remains dumped on the rail. –MC

12:34pm: Shuffle up and deal
Level 11 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

Cards are in the air for Day 2. The floor staff are saying that there are 13 new stacks in the tournament. We’ll wait until we official confirmation before we publish who they are. –MC

12:23pm: Day 2 seat draw
Level 11 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

The tournament directors have released the seat draw, and here’s a link to it: seat draw. At the bottom you’ll notice Karzan Hamarash and Alexander Lakhov without a seat assignment. That’s because they entering with a fresh stack and will be given a seating assignment at 12:30pm. There’s still time for other players to join the party –MC

12:15pm: Welcome back to Day 2
Level 11 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

This bumper year-ending High Roller event has made it to Day 2 where a minimum of 10 levels will play out as the final table will attempt to be reached. A total of 195 players will return but that number will be boosted by at new and re-entries who will be allowed to buy in up until the start of play.

Jerry Wong heads into to the day as chip leader on an impressive 402,900. He leads a top ten that looks like:

Name Country Chips
Jerry Wong USA 402,900
Andrey Zaichenko Russia 365,000
Sameer Khurana Poland 279,900
Aleksey Ponakov Latvia 269,000
Niklas Astedt Sweden 268,400
Rocco Palumbo Italy 258,000
Kully Sidhu UK 253,900
Mustapha Kanit Italy 234,900
Isaac Haxton USA 221,400
Viliyan Petleshkov Bulgaria 210,700

Cards will be back in the air at 12:30pm. The Day 2 seat draw will be released soon and a link will be posted at that time. –MC


PokerStars Blog reporting team on the EPT13 Prague €10K High Roller: Nick Wright, Marc Convey and Jack Stanton. Photography by Tomas Stacha and Mickey May. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog.

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Take a look at the official website of the EPT, with tournament schedule, news, results and accommodation details for EPT13 Prague.

Also all the schedule information is on the EPT App, which is available on both Android or IOS.


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