Wednesday, 1st February 2023 07:31
Home / Uncategorized / EPT Prague: Konstantin Farber leads last 44 players on Day 3 of Main Event

Three days of EPT Main Event are in the books here in the Czech capital, and we’re further along than all but the most optimistic observers could have expected.

The torrid pace of play set yesterday continued on Day 3, taking us from 137 players down to 44 by the end of the fifth and final level of the day.

Canada’s Parker Talbot led the way for much of the day, becoming the first player to top both 1 million chips (in the first level of play) and 2 million chips (on the last level). Talbot tangled throughout the day with the likes of Finnish poker legend Patrik Antonius, Day 2 chip leader Natalie Teh, and unpredictable Greek player Evangelos Bechrakis. But his action-heavy table bit back near the end of the night to drop him further down the counts.


Instead, by night’s end it was Konstantin Farber from Germany who held the top spot. On the day’s third level he cracked pocket kings with his own pocket tens — he’d said he had a bad feeling about the call and was right, but then the board delivered him a straight to knock out the unfortunate Emil Lukac and boost Farber to just shy of a million chips. Another big win just before the end of play gave him an even 2 million chips going into Day 4.

Your EPT Prague Day 3 chip leader, Germany’s Konstantin Farber

Joining Farber near the top of the leaderboard at night’s end were Bechrakis (1,941,000), Andrija Robovic (1,691,000), Talbot (1,690,000), and Grzegorz Grochulski (1,656,000). Past EPT champions Andrey Pateychuk and Anton Wigg also remain in contention.

Read on below to get the full details of how we got here. Our remaining 44 players are due to return at 12 noon CET tomorrow. Be sure to join us then for full coverage as we inch closer to the final table. Until then, good night from Prague. –JK

Photography by Joe Giron/PokerPhotoArchive.


• PLAYERS: 44 (of 1,174)
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8:50pm: Luo knocks out Noda. And nearly his girlfriend
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (BB ante 12,000)

It’s difficult to say who the victim was in the last all-in hand of the day.

Was it Hiroyuki Noda, who busted the Main Event? Or was it the beloved of the man who sent him to the rail, who in the course of Xixiang Luo’s celebration, took an accidental left upper-cut to the nose.

Noda had moved all-in for 202,000 with 1010 and Luo called (after a moment of angst) with QQ.

The board missed both of them, and on the river, Luo, happy with the result, punched the air with both fists. And, with the left, the nose of what we’re assuming to be his girlfriend, who had rushed forward to watch.

It was a lesson in keeping celebrations low key, and not stepping over the crowd barrier. But that’s for another time.

Hiroyuki Noda: Hits the rail at the death

After a lot of apologising, not least to his girlfriend, Luo stacked up his chips. Noda meanwhile is out. The last elimination of the day. – SB

8:45pm: Three to survive
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (BB ante 12,000)

With 11 minutes on the tournament clock, the TD has requested dealers to pause and then deal only three more hands to wrap up the day. — HS

8:43pm: Margereson out, 45 remain
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (BB ante 12,000)

After an opening raise by Kent Roed on the button, Scott Margereson committed his last 300,000-ish from the small blind and when it folded back to Roed he called right away.

Margereson had 77 and Roed AK, and the sevens didn’t prove lucky as the board came 83K2K to give Roed the pot.

“Congratulations, you just busted one of the best players in the tournament,” said Parker Talbot to Roed afterwards.

Kent Roed busts one of the best

Margereson finishes 46th, while Roed is at 1.22 million. –MH

8:40pm: Wigg pays off Rogacki
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (BB ante 12,000)

Maciej Rogacki was all in and Anton Wigg was doing the calling. Rogacki showed 99 to Wigg’s AK.

Wigg was already paying Rogacki off though on the flop. The board ran 9J8106

Rogacki is up to 350,000. Wigg takes a hit, down to 700,000. – SB

8:30pm: We can raise it if we try
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (BB ante 12,000)

Parker Talbot opened to 28,000 from the UTG+1 seat and it folded around to the big blind of Kent Roed.

“Just us?” he asked Talbot (or so we thought), who answered by singing the Bill Withers’ classic Just The Two Of Us.

Then things got a little weird.

“Raise,” Roed said, before putting in 28,000. Talbot and the rest of the table were a little confused.

It turned out Roed thought he was in the small blind, and so when he asked “Just us?”, he was actually talking to the big blind Scott Margereson, who was already out of the hand.

The floor was called, and as Roed had announced a raise he was made to make it 44,000. Back to Talbot, he reached for more chips and popped it back up to 150,000.

Parker Talbot: Not messing around

“These Canadians!” joked Roed before folding, and Talbot instantly flipped the AK and tossed them at him to show he wasn’t mucking around. The two fist pumped as the chips were pushed to Talbot.

He’s on 1.92 million, while Roed has 860,000. –JS

8:25pm: Million dollar man
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (BB ante 12,000)

Serhii Holodiuk has gotten his stack up to a million after his pocket eights were good versus Paul Michaelis, who dropped to 135,000.

Michaelis raised to 24,000 from early position and was only called by the Ukrainian in the small blind. Michaelis continued for 17,000 on the 1045 flop and was check-called.

Holodiuk called another 38,000 on the 10 turn before the 2 was checked through. Holodiuk opened 88 and it caused Michaelis to react in a mock-frustrated fashion. He flashed the 7 and was asked by Holodiuk, “Sevens?”

“Two seven, yes my friend,” came the response. –MC

8:23pm: Rocky terrain for Rogacki
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (BB ante 12,000)

Sergei Rogacki was just involved in two pre-flop all-ins in rapid succession, losing the first and winning the second.

In the first Rogacki had AQ and had Sergei Bagarov covered, though the latter had his hand dominated with AK. The board came A]10638, and Bagarov doubled to 464,000.

Then it was Rogacki getting his suddenly-short stack in with AQ versus Liviu Ignat’s 54 and doubling through after the board went AJ287. Rogacki sits with about 320,000 right now, while Ignat is still cruising with 1.8 million. –MH

8:20pm: Hecklen doubles
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (BB ante 12,000)

Henrik Hecklen made his move, shoving all in for 222,000 from under the gun.

The action was folded all the way around to Ivan Zhechev in the small blind, who asked for a count and then called.

Zhechev: AK
Hecklen: 88

The board ran 4Q579 to double Hecklen to nearly 500,000. Zhechev drops to 750,000. – SB

8:16pm: A gory start for Gor’s new stack
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (BB ante 12,000)

Fresh from the double-up described below, Gor Kazarian put his new chips to work right away. Unfortunately for him, he’s lost a bunch of them already.

Kazarian called a 28,000 open from the hijack, and when it got to Andrija Robovic in the small blind he three-bet squeezed to 125,000. Only Kazarian called to see a Q55 flop, and he did so quickly.

Win a bit, lose a bit for Gor Kazarian

Kazarian did everything quickly in this one. He called the 75,000 c-bet, and then called 150,000 on the 10 turn. The 5 river completed the board and when Robovic pushed all-in with the bigger stack, Kazarian didn’t take long to let it go.

He’s down to 357,000 now, while Robovic is up to 1.61 million. –JS

8:15pm: Kazarian gets lucky to survive
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (BB ante 12,000)

Gor Kazarian had to apologise to Liviu Ignat after he got a little bit excited when he doubled up through him. Ignat said it wasn’t a problem.

Kazarian opened to 87,000 from the cutoff and called after Ignat three-bet to 150,000 from the next seat. The flop fell 10JQ and Ignat snapped Kazarian off when he shoved for 186,000.

Kazarian: AQ for top pair and straight draw
Ignat: 1010 for bottom set

The turn brought the 5 and the river was the K, which brought in the straight. Kazarian moves up to around 580,000. Ignat dropped to 1.46 million. –MC

8:11pm: Valiyev flops set, gets the double (and then some)
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (BB ante 12,000)

Teymur Valiyev raised from early position and got a caller a couple of seats over, then Fabio Damaso three-bet to 82,000 from the button and only Valiyev called.

The flop came 57Q and Valiyev checked. Damaso announced he was betting all in, and Valiyev called right away with his last 125,000. Damaso had 99, but Valiyev had flopped a set of sevens with 77. The 2 turn and 6 river kept Valiyev ahead, and he has 470,000 now while Damaso slips to 392,000. –MH

8:10pm: Mission accomplished
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (BB ante 12,000)

“I have to win at least one pot against you before the end of the night,” Parker Talbot said to Evangelos Bechrakis a few minutes ago. “We’ve played like 10 pots together already.”

Then Bechrakis raised to 24,000 in second position and the action folded around to Talbot in the big blind. Spying an opening, the Canadian made the call. He check-called 25,000 on the 2107 flop and 52,000 on the K turn, bringing the 7 on the river.

Parker Talbot: First man to two million

No more checks for Talbot — this time he fired 177,000. Bechrakis took up most of his shot clock and then called, only to muck when Talbot showed 75 for trip sevens.

Mission accomplished. Talbot is now on 2 million to Bechrakis’s 1.65 million. –JK

8:05pm: What’s the Mette?
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (BB ante 12,000)

An all-in called on Table 4.

Pim Gieles had his chips in with AK. Armin Mette, who was the shorter of the two stacks, had his chips in with Q10.

The board came 10295J to double Mette, who looked quite pleased with his new stack of 375,000.

Armin Mette: Nice time to double

Gieles didn’t look happy at all. He was down to 450,000. – SB

8pm: Roed to improvement
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (BB ante 12,000)

Kent Roed opened for 27,000 and Scott Margersen called in the seat next to him. The action moved around to Marcin Kreft on the button, who raised to 80,000.

Roed removed his sunglasses. Then, putting them back on, he announced a raise to 300,000.

Kent Roed: Moving on up

That got a fold from Margersen. Then another from Kreft. – SB

7:58pm: Gieles gets some back, busts Bilokur
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (BB ante 12,000)

Pim Gieles may have lost a few chips in our last post, but he’s just picked up 31,000 when action folded to Leonid Bilokur in the small blind and he moved all-in with fewer than three bigs.

Leonid Bilokur: The end

Gieles had Q3 and called, up against Bilokur’s 25. The board ran out 8K9103 to send Bilokur out the door.

With that Gieles has 610,000. –JS

7:55pm: Sarkis sunk, Ignat out in front
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (BB ante 12,000)

Liviu Ignat has been building steadily all day, and just now he was once again coming out raising, making it 25,000 to go from early position. Wael Sarkis re-raised all in with his last 45,000 from middle position, the Maciej Rogacki called the push from the big blind as did Ignat.

Wael Sarkis: All in, all out

The two remaining players checked the 436 flop, then Rogacki bet 60,000 on the turn and Ignat called. The river A was checked through, Rogacki tabled QQ, and Ignat showed A5 for a rivered pair of aces. Both hands were better than Sarkis’s KJ and he is out.

Ignat is up around 1.8 million now and at the top of the counts, while Rogacki has about 630,000. –MH

7:50pm: Pim’s a clock for Stojanovic
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (BB ante 12,000)

Vlada Stojanovic summoned his inner Dolly Parton to win some much needed chips off Pim Gieles.

Gieles raised from the cutoff and Stojanovic peeled from the big blind to head to a Q53 flop. Gieles continued for 27,000 and Stojanovic check-called before the J turn and 9 river were checked through. Stojanovic opened 95 for two pair and moved up to 260,000 after Gieles mucked to drop to 605,000. –MC

7:48pm: Merzhvinskii’s day continues to improve
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (BB ante 12,000)

After an opening bet of 26,000, Alexandr Merzhvinskii raised to 80,000, which was called by Ramzey Idriss in the cutoff before the original raiser got out of their way.

The flop came 4AQ

Merzhvinskii checked, then called Idriss’s bet of 55,000 for the J on the turn. Both checked. The J landed on the river.

Good day continues for Alexandr Merzhvinskii

Now Merzhvinskii came out with a bet of 265,000. Idriss couldn’t call. He drops to around 1.2 million, while Merzhvinskii now has around 1.3 million. – SB

7:45pm: Drama-filled hand ends with Geraume bust, Ruijs over 1.5M
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (BB ante 12,000)

Here’s a wild one. Like one of those hands that comes up in the movies or on television shows and poker players watching say, “Yeah, like that ever really happens.” (No shinola.)

After a Tomas Macnamara open for 75,000 from under the gun, it folded to Joris Ruijs in middle position who made it 190,000 to go. Action circled back to Eric Geraume in the big blind who pushed all-in with his last 571,000. After Macnamara got out, Ruijs got a count and made the call.

Geraume: 1010
Ruijs: AK

So far, so standard. Agreed. The flop came 106K, pairing Ruijs but giving Geraume a set, and after the 6 turn Geraume had improved to a full house.

Joris Ruijs: Big drama

Then came the river. I’ve given it away, haven’t I?

K. (Boom.)

“Ohhhh!!!!” said the table. And really, it was an “ohhhh”-worthy spot. Geraume took it well, after allowing himself a longing look at the ceiling he patted the table and bid everyone a “good game.” Good game, indeed.

Ruijs is still stacking, but looks like he has something like 1.55 million after that. What a show. –MH

7:40pm: Dejan’s day is done
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (BB ante 12,000)

Out in 50th place is Dejan Kaladurdevic.

He was all-in for his last 200,000 with A10 against Diego Zeiter’s 88, and the snowmen flopped a set on the 28467 board.

Zeiter is up to 1.3 million after that. –JS

7:35pm: The mission is now impossible for Antonius
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (BB ante 12,000)

Patrik Antonius came back short-stacked. He shoved. Nobody called.

To celebrate, and get himself pumped up for the next hand, Antonius began humming the Mission Impossible theme. He was planning a comeback.

Unfortunately for him, in the next hand he jammed from the big blind over a 28,000 early position open from Parker Talbot for 107,000, and Talbot felt priced in with his 78.

“I have that beat,” Antonius said, revealing AJ.

Patrik Antonius: Going well, until it wasn’t

That was true until the 468 flop hit the felt. “Ay-yay-yah,” groaned Antonius.

Things got worse on the 7 turn. He was drawing dead, despite hitting the A on the river. “The seven was bad,” he added, getting laughs from the rest of the table. “OK. Good luck guys.”

Patrik Antonius: Good luck guys

With that, the future Poker Hall of Famer was gone. Talbot’s streak of KOs continues, and he now has 1.74 million. –JS

7:30pm: Ait-abdelmalek got Tangoed
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (BB ante 12,000)

Rabah Ait-abdelmalek is going to have to reset and build again after he lost a flip to drop to 75,000.

He and Jia Tang got in a pre-flop raising war that ended with all the chips going in. Tang was the all-in player with 233,000.

Tang: 88
Ait-abdelmalek: AK

The board ran 5348Q to make Tang a set. –MC

7:25pm: Last level

Play is under way again on the last level of the day. The full chip-counts are now over there on the chip-count page, and it’s Greece’s Evangelos Bechrakis heads a tightly-bunched field. — HS

Evangelos Bechrakis: Leading the way

7:07pm: Break it down

With 52 players left, they’re heading on their final break of the day. We’ll be back with chip counts and the final level of action in 20 minutes.– HS

7:06pm: Cooler costs Antonius
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000)

“At least I didn’t go all-in!” said a reflective Patrik Antonius after he was left with just 65,000 chips due to a big clash with Evangelos Bechrakis.

The Greek player raised to 20,000 from under the gun and called when Antonius three-bet to 70,000 off the button. The flop fell 6Q4 and Bechrakis check-called 60,000 before both players checked the 6 turn. Bechrakis then led for 110,000 on the J river and only called after Antonius raised to 360,000.

Antonius opened Q9 and was shocked to see Bechrakis opened K8 for a flush one notch bigger. Bechrakis soared up to 1.85 million –MC

7:05pm: Busto for Bedell
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000)

Having been bluffed not too long ago, things have gone from bad to worse for Tom-Askel Bedell.

We missed the action, but Bedell had Q10 against Artem Kobylinskiy’s 22 on a 10Q2A5 board. A set beats two pair, and Bedell was out. Kobylinskiy is up to 740,000 now. –JS

7pm: Blomqvist out. Bagirov takes his chips
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000)

Niklas Blomqvist is out.

He moved all-in with 1010 and got a snap call from Russian player Sergei Bagirov who looked down at KK.

The board ran 84Q97 to send Blomqvist to the rail. That left Bagirov with chips stacked so tall that the dealer had to ask him to cut them down a bit. He has 600,000 of them. – SB

6:58pm: Durnegger departs
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000)

Marcus Durnegger has hit the rail after a cooler against Parker Talbot.

Scott Margereson began the hand by opening to 20,000 from the UTG+1 seat, which Talbot flatted one seat to his left. Over to Durnegger in the hijack, he three-bet to 70,000 and when it got back to Margereson he stepped aside.

Talbot did the opposite. He shoved.

Durnegger wasted no time in calling with his AK, but Talbot had played his AA a little sneaky and it had paid off.

Markus Durnegger: Can’t beat aces

The K242Q was no good for Durnegger who said his goodbyes and left. Margereson and Talbot shared a laugh afterwards, and it seemed to be because of Talbot’s trapping intentions.

He’s up to 1.63 million. –JS

6:56pm: Queens fail Speranza, Idriss with a milly
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000)

It looked like a good situation for Gianluca Speranza when he got his last 170,000 in the middle with QQ and just had to fade Ramzey Idriss’s 99.

The situation became decidedly less good, though, after the 964 flop gave Idriss a set, and after the 6 turn and 5 river Speranza was eliminated.

Idriss jumps up to right around 1 million with a few minutes left in Level 19. –MH

6:55pm: Pateychuk continues to scare
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000)

Andrey Pateychuk has a seven-figure stack (1.03 million) after he scared off another opponent in the shape of Vicent Bosca.

The former EPT Sanremo champion raised to 22,000 from the cutoff and called after Bosca three-bet to 68,000 off the button. Bosca saw his c-bet check-called on a 9Q8 flop and then checked back the 8 turn. That was all the invitation Pateychuk needed to shove on the 5 river. Bosca folded to preserve the 187,000 chips he had behind. –MC

6:53pm: Branco gets a playable hand
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000)

Carlos Branco just got his chips all in on the flop with the board showing 104J. His opponent Joris Ruijs had KQ for a straight draw, while Branco was in front with AA.

The turn was the 8 and river the 7, and Branco survives, now with 560,000. Ruijs is still up there with 855,000.

“Don’t fold aces… that’s the secret,” said Branco with a grin afterwards. –MH

6:50pm: Stahli punished for making the right call
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000)

Moments ago Jeremy Stahli was in a very tough spot and came up with the right decision, only to have the deck punish him and send him packing.

Paul Michaelis opened the betting for 25,000 under the gun and Stahli raised to 52,000 in the hijack seat. Guenter Halak called form the big blind and Michaelis called as well.

Jeremy Stahli: Punished despite good decision

Halak and Michaelis checked over to Stahli on the 574 flop and he used up his shot clock before betting 115,000. Halak then used a time bank card plus about 15 seconds before announcing himself all-in. Michaelis didn’t want any of that, and Stahli had to take some time to figure out if he did. He passed his stack of time bank cards to the dealer and said, “Take as many as I need, okay?”

Two minutes later Stahli emerged from the tank with a call for the last 225,000 of his chips, showing QQ. That had Halak’s JJ in deep trouble but the turn was the J to give the Austrian a set. Stahli missed his two-outer on the 3 river and headed for the payout desk.

With that win, Halak is up to 900,000. –JK

6:45pm: Wigg on the move
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000)

A small pot for Anton Wigg in the hand before his table broke up.

He opened for 25,000, which was called by Laurynas Levinskas for a flop of 582.

Wigg checked, then called Levinskas’s bet of 35,000. On the K turn, both players checked, bringing up the 5 river card. Another check check.

Wigg showed A8.

Apologies. This hand was even smaller than I realised. But for the record Wigg is on around 965,000 now. – SB

6:40pm: Bedell shown the bluff
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000)

Tom-Aksel Bedell won’t remember this hand fondly. It might even keep him up tonight.

He kicked it off opening to 23,000 in the hijack, and his only caller was Joris Ruijs on the button. They went to a 104J flop on which Bedell c-bet for 26,000. Call.

The turn was the 5 and Bedell didn’t slow down, firing 85,000 this time. Ruijs stuck around to see the 10 river, and Bedell made it 90,000 with four to a flush and a pair out there.

Ruijs then moved all-in with the bigger stack, forcing Bedell into the tank. He used up four of his time bank cards, and eventually folded, showing AA.

Did Ruijs have a flush? Did he have a ten? Maybe even a full house?

Nope. He showed KQ for just a busted straight draw. Ouch.

Bedell is down to 225,000 now, while Ruijs increases to 1.22 million. –JS

6:35pm: Schuh shoves, gets Gieles’s chips
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000)

The Czech player Michal Schuh opened from the button, then Pim Gieles of the Netherlands jammed from the big blind and Schuh called in a flash to risk his 307,000 total.

Michal Schuh: Shove, double, done

Schuh showed AK, while Gieles had QQ. The 49K flop favored the at-risk player, as did the 5 turn and 4 river, and Schuh now has 630,000 — just about the average stack with 56 players left. Gieles meanwhile tumbles to 680,000. –MH

6:30pm: Helppi felted
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000)

Just above my colleague, the estimable “JS,” said we’d be keeping an eye on Juha Helppi following his last missive. That’s what I just did, and I’m here to report Helppi is walking to the payout desk.

Juha Helppi: Heading to the payouts desk

Down to his last 110,000, Helppi open-raised all in from the hijack seat and got one customer in Ramzey Idriss calling from the small blind. Cards on their backs…

Ramzey: 33
Helppi: QJ

There wasn’t much drama after that, as the board came 1077, then 6, then A, and Helppi is out in 58th place. –MH

6:27pm: Things get tense between Helppi and Wigg
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000)

This pot started off calmly, but ended with a bang.

With no action in front of him, Anton Wigg limped the small blind. Juha Helppi checked from the big, and the flop came Q24. Wigg led for 15,000, which was called.

The turn was the 8 and Wigg now opted to check. Helppi fired out a bet of 25,000, but Wigg didn’t budge.

The river was the K and Wigg checked again. Helppi made it 30,000, only for Wigg to then check-raise to 103,000. Helppi used a time bank, but eventually made the call.

Wigg showed K10 for a rivered top pair, and this baffled Helppi, who shook his head as he stared at the board. He mucked his hand, before asking Wigg: “How do you call the turn?”

“The way you’ve been playing the past hour, it didn’t seem unreasonable,” replied Wigg.

Anton Wigg: Needling

We’ll keep an eye on these two going forward, with Helppi down to 120,000 and Wigg up to 985,000. –JS

6:23pm: Rubio’s time to go
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000)

Francisco Quintana Rubio has been taken out by Jani Vilmunen, who’s moved up to 1.45 million.

Rubio was down to 50,000 when he made his move from under the gun. Natalie Teh called from the cutoff before she folded when Vilmunen isolated Rubio with a re-raise to 150,000.

Rubio: K9
Vilmunen: JJ

Jani Vilmunen: Jacks good

The board ran 778109 offering not enough help for Rubio. –MC

6:20pm: Pateychuk scares off Teng and Zhechev
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000)

Ivan Zhechev opened for 22,000, which Andrey Pateychuk called, as did Jia Tang in the big blind.

The flop came 8Q9 and all three players checked. The turn came A.

Tang checked to Zhechev, who bet 47,000. Pateychuk immediately raised that to 150,000, which got a fold from Tang and then Zhechev.

Andrey Pateychuk: A double champion in waiting?

Pateychuk is up to 830,000. – SB

6:15pm: Peters coolers Joentausta
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000)

Aku Joentausta rans kings into aces to bust. Always a nasty way to go.

Tobias Peters opened to 23,000 and was called in one spot before Joentausta squeezed all-in for 197,000. Peters took his time – maybe trying to lure the third party in – and then moved all-in as well. That was enough to get it heads-up and the cards were flipped up.

Peters: AA
Joentausta: KK

Tobias Peters: Cool in here

The board ran Q6874 and Peters moved up to 680,000. –MC

6:13pm: Antonius done with tanking
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000)

“Well, you guys can bluff me now,” said Patrik Antonius with a wry grin after the conclusion of a long hand versus Markus Durnegger just a moment ago.

Antonius had raised from late position and gotten called by Durnegger out of the blinds, then the two battled to the river, building a 165,000-chip pot as the board came 67972. That’s when Durnegger open raised all in for just about the size of the pot –169,000 — and Antonius tanked for a long time before finally folding.

Markus Durnegger: Chuckling as Antonius tanks

It was so long, Antonius used up all of his time bank cards, which was why he was telling the table they could bluff him going forward.

“Pressure now,” he added, either delivering another directive to the table or referring to his current situation. Antoinus has 335,000 now, with Durnegger close to that with 325,000. –MH

6:11pm: Hao’s out
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000)

The chips of Hao Tian now rest in front of Vicent Bosca, after Tian shoved for 88,000 over Bosca’s open. 22 for Tian and AQ for Bosca, there was an ace on the flop of the A38K9 board to send Tian packing.

Bosca has 320,000 now. –JS

6:10pm: Up to the eyeballs
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000)

Dejan Kaladurdevic opened in early position for 22,000 which former EPT Sanremo winner Andrey Pateychuk called in the big blind.

The flop came 2K5

Pateychuk checked to Kaladurdevic, who made it 18,000 to play. That was called for the J turn. Another check from Pateychuk.

This time Kaladurdevic, his face covered by the shirt he had pulled up to his eyes, bet another 75,000. He needn’t have looked so terrified. Pateychuk folded.

Kaladurdevic is up to 500,000. – SB

6:03pm: Margereson gets value from queens
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000)

With about 300,000 already in the middle and the board showing 8J73, Ramzey Idriss checked then watched Scott Margereson push all-in for his last 165,000.

Scott Margereson: Double with a set of queens

After a short tank Idriss called, then grimaced when he saw Margereson turn over QQ. Idriss not so enthusiastically turned over his A7 for sevens, and after the Q completed the board Margereson had earned maximum value on the hand.

Margereson has about 630,000 now, Idriss has 610,000. –MH

6pm: Robovic takes out Larquemin
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000)

That’s all she wrote for Christophe Larquemin. The French player picked up 66 in late position and open-shoved for his last few big blinds and Andrija Robovic called in the big blind with A10. He won with aces and queens after the board ran out 4QAQ4 and sent Larquemin to the payout desk. Robovic is now on 1.02 million. –JK

5:56pm: Ducks vs fishhooks
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000)

Simon Pedersen just hit a two-outer to double up through Xixiang Luo.

Luo opened to 25,000 in the cutoff, before Pedersen pushed for 258,000 on the button. Luo got a count and called pretty quickly, revealing JJ which was ahead of Pedersen’s 22.

Until the flop, anyway. It came 2K4 and Luo was visibly frustrated. The 6A turn and river kept Pedersen in front with his set, and Luo took a hit down to 535,000.

Pedersen has 541,000 now. –JS

5:55pm: Top two
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000)

The chip-count page has had a bit of a spruce recently, thanks to media co-ordinator Alex Hernando and the dealers. Ignat Liviu is up there, and so is Maciej Rogacki. We’re updating that regularly, so keep checking there as well.

Maciej Rogacki: There or thereabouts

5:53pm: Kuzmanovic busts
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000)

After a button open to 20,000, Boris Kuzmanovic re-raise-shoved for 58,000 from the small blind, and when Dimitrios Michailidis reraised over that to 100,000-ish, the button got out of the way.

Michailidis had A8 and Kuzmanovic A7. The 3Q2 board seemed promising for the at-risk player, but the turn was the 6 and river the 10, and Kuzmanovic is out. –MH

5:50pm: Park that hand, Talbot
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000)

Parker Talbot has dropped down to 1.23 million after he tried a move on Jani Vilmunen that didn’t work.

Vilmunen opened to 22,000 from the cutoff and Talbot defended his big blind to see a 63K flop appear. Vilmunen continued for 28,000 and called after Talbot check-raised to 86,000. The turn was the 3 and Talbot check-folded to a 150,000 bet. Vilmunen moved up to 1.1 million. –MC

5:48pm: Contrarian Kazarian
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000) (BB ante 6,000)

I know it’s mostly bustouts and double-ups currently populating your feed here, but here’s a quickie that is neither that was interesting nonetheless.

Four players saw a flop come A210 and it folded to Gor Kazarian in the hijack who bet 50,000, getting just one call from Christophe Larquemin in the cutoff as the other two folded. Larquemin used two time bank cards before calling and only had 65,000 left behind after he did, so it certainly appeared a tough decision for him.

The turn was the 6, and Kazarian wasted no time jamming all-in. Larquemin again took a while, but this time folded. Kazarian exhaled loudly after he did, and tabled his cards before collecting the pot — KJ! Kazarian is playing 375,000 now. –MH

5:45pm: A shrug of victory
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000)

You know things are going your way when you shrug an apology to your beaten opponent.

This is the position Alexandr Merzhvinskii finds himself in, having just made two pair on the river to win a pot that takes his stack up to 750,000.

Alexandr Merzhvinskii: A shrug, a win

It’s a stack that has only moved in one direction for the Russian today. Even better, his food order just arrived. – SB

5:42pm: Begovic busts
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000)

Amar Begovic is the latest player to exit, shoving over a 21,000 cutoff from Paul Michaelis with A10. Back to Michaelis, he made the call with AQ and Begovic couldn’t find a ten on the A6348 runout.

Michaelis sits with 455,000 now. –JS

5:40pm: Antonius doubles through Bechrakis
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000)

The first hand back from the break was a good one for Patrik Antonius. He moved all-in from the big blind for 223,000 over the top of Evangelos Bechrakis’s 26,000-chip opener from the hijack seat. Bechrakis called with 55 but fell behind Antonius’s AK after the board came 42KAQ.

Patrik Antonius: Doubles!

“I needed that,” said Antonius, who now has 480,000. Bechrakis is still on 1.1 million. –JK

5:21pm: Break time

Sixty-six players are left and they’re going on a 20-minute break. We’ll have a full, refreshed list of chip counts very soon. — HS

5:20pm: Adams flips out to Ignat, your new chip leader
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

In the one of the last hands before the break, we both lost one of the bigger names remaining, and created a new chip leader.

The hand started with Maciej Rogacki, who spent 30 seconds looking very serious under the gun before opening to 18,000. As soon as he’d bet, though, his demeanour changed completely and he leant back in his chair and began scrolling through messages on his phone. The dealer told him he couldn’t do that, and he started to watch the rest of the hand play out a big closer.

Liviu Ignat was on Rogacki’s left and decided to three-bet to 53,000. It folded to Timothy Adams on the button, and he counted out a stack and slid in a cold four-bet of 100,000. Rogacki folded quickly, but chose not to pick his phone back up and instead watch the action.

Liviu Ignat: Knocks out Adams

He’d not be disappointed as Ignat jammed and Adams called off his roughly 380,000 stack with QQ. He was flipping against AK, and the 89A38 board paired Ignat’s ace to secure him the pot.

Adams headed to the payout desk, while Ignat now has 1.83 million. –JS

5:17pm: Never bluff a fish or a woman
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

Natalie Teh just made an outrageous call on the river to catch Evangelos Bechrakis bluffing in a battle of the blinds, and it prompted Parker Talbot to say that he must play a different game as he didn’t recognise what was going on in front of him.

The board read 28JK9 and Bechrakis bombed for 220,000 from the small blind. “Good call!” said Bechrakis who opened Q5 when called.

“Never bluff a fish!” Teh said. She held 77 and raked in the pot that put her up to 1.35 million.

“Never bluff a woman!” snapped Patrik Antonius to laughter from the table. –MC

5:15pm: Kazarian survives with ace-high
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 68,000)

Just before the break Gor Kazarian survived an all-in situation on a 87Q flop versus Dimitrios Michailidis.

Kazarian only had ace-high, though also a flush draw with A5. But he was in front of the K9 of Michailidis, and after the 3 turn and 2 river Kazarian survived. He’ll have around 250,000 when they begin the next level, Michailidis about 695,000. –MH

5:11pm: Low Luc falls to Luo
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

Luc Greenwood was seen getting up and heading to the payout desk, so we dashed over to see what had happened.

Alas, we were too late. But we did see his chips being pushed to Xixiang Luo, who now has 780,000. A couple of minutes ago he was at 700,000, so it’s safe to say Greenwood was pretty short-stacked at the beginning of his final hand.

Only 68 remain. –JS

5:10pm: Kamar, Makram eliminated in quick succession
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 68,000)

I have two knockouts in rapid succession on neighboring tables to share with you, bringing the overall number of players left down to 71.

First it was Fady Kamar all in for 130,000 with 99 versus Andrey Pateychuk’s AQ. The 78A flop was nice and red and heartwarming (literally), but the angry A spiked on the turn to pair Pateychuk, and after the 8 Kamar was out.

At that moment the dealer next door was calling out another “all in and a call,” with Makram Saber the one at risk with AK against Aku Joentausta’s 88. The 5Q8 flop improved Joentausta to a set, and while the 10 turn did give Makram a straight draw, the 4 river was a dud and Makram is out.

Joentausta has 330,000 now with about 10 minutes to go in the level. –MH

5:08pm: Teh shoves
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

Another hand that you wish had gone a little further, but ended abruptly.

Natalie Teh opened for 18,000 in early position. Three seats along Patrick Antonius had plans afoot, and raised to 52,000.

Natalie Teh: Wielding the big stack

With the action folded around to Teh, she paused, letting the shot clock tick down to one second before announcing she was all-in.

Patrik Antonius: No choice but to fold

That got a prompt fold from Antonius. – SB

5:05pm: Munawar squeezes himself out of the tournament
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

After a raise and a call, Fazeel Munawar went for it. He squeezed all-in for 130,000 and managed to oust one opponent but not the other.

Guenter Halak had called the 18,000 open and then closed the action by calling the all-in.

Halak: 99
Muawar: 33

The board ran J844J and Halak’s stack swelled to 555,000. –MC

5:02pm: Bechrakis takes from Talbot
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

The chips continue to fly on Table 2 and the chip lead continues to change hands. Evangelos Bechrakis is the latest to lay claim to it after moving on the river against Parker Talbot.

Talbot opened for 20,000 in the hijack seat and then called when Bechrakis made it 60,000 to go on the button. Both players checked the 84Q flop and 7 turn, bringing the Q on the river. This time Talbot led for 105,000. Bechrakis used a time bank card and another 15 seconds on top of it before plopping down a stack of chips worth 313,000. Talbot shook his head and grinned, taking about 10 seconds before tossing his cards into the muck.

“Show the bluff?” Markus Durnegger asked Bechrakis.

“Only if you buy all the drinks for all of us,” Bechrakis said.

“I wish I’d had ace high,” Talbot said.

“No,” Bechrakis replied. “I had 64.”

“You couldn’t have had 64,” said Talbot. “That’s what I had!”

Evangelos Bechrakis: Did he have it?

Only those two know what they really had. Whatever the case, Bechrakis moves to 1.65 million and Talbot slips to 1.35 million. –JK

5pm: Gor blimey
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

While Parker Talbot is riding high at the top of the counts with 1.65 million, Gor Kazarian is at the complete opposite end with 117 times less.

Gor’s down to 14,000, but at least the blinds have just gone through him giving him another orbit to make something happen.

He was on the button in a hand we just watched, but chose not to get involved. Paul Michaelis made it 17,000 to go UTG+1, and it folded to the small blind of Xixiang Luo. He made the call, and Scott Margereson came along from the big bind too.

The dealer spread a K510 flop which checked through to the A turn. Luo now led out for 25,000, shaking off Margereson but getting a call from Michaelis to see the Q river. With four to a straight now out there, Luo opted to check and Michaelis took it down with a 65,000 bet.

Michaelis has 295,000, Margereson has 240,000, and Luo leads them all with 700,000. –JS

4:55pm: Covrig doubles
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

An all-in called. This time Sergiu Covrig is the player doing the former, and Vlada Stojanovic the latter.

Covrig: KK
Stojanovic: 99

The board was dealt fast. It came 87664

The kings were good and turned Covrig’s stack into one worth about 350,000. Stojanovic though was looking longingly at the chips he’d just lost. He drops to 60,000. – SB

4:50pm: Magic three causes Arrocha’s stack to vanish
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 68,000)

Pre-flop back-and-forthing between Serhii Holodiuk and Mario Navarro Arrocha resulted in the latter being all-in and at risk with AK versus Holodiuk’s A3.

To be honest, it was entirely clear who was at risk until the counting down at the end, as the pair had closely comparable stacks. After the Q4Q flop and 10 turn, chop outs were out there but only very few cards that could give Holodiuk the hand.

But one of those cards fell on the river — the 3 — and Arrocha’s shoulders sunk a little at the sight of it. As noted, there was counting to be done, and when it was clear Holodiuk had him covered, Arrocha headed to the payout desk.

“Magic three,” grinned Holodiuk afterwards as he stacked up what is now 550,000 chips. –MH

4:47pm: Durnegger rues mistake
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

Markus Durnegger berated himself for making a “big mistake” in hand versus Jani Vilmunen.

Markus Durnegger: His own biggest critic

We picked the action up on the turn with the board reading Q364. Durnegger led out for 85,000 from the small blind and his Finnish opponent called. The A completed the board and Durnegger led for another 200,000 but folded after Vilmunen shoved for 580,000. Vilmunen rose to 900,000 and Durnegger dropped to 340,000. –MC

4:45pm: Szabo sent to exit ramp by Roed
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 68,000)

We were just telling you about Levente Szabo finding a double-up with ten-nine. He picked up a better starting hand shortly after that with AQ, but alas this time the all-in move didn’t work for him against Kent Roed’s 1010. A runout of J6KK9 ended Szabo’s run. Meanwhile Roed has 490,000.

There are 75 players remaining. –MH

4:42pm: Wei to go
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

Guoliang Wei is the latest casualty, bringing the field down to 75.

He open-shoved under the gun for 113,000, and it folded to Tom-Askel Bedell in the lojack. He just called, rather than shoving for another couple of hundred thousand, but when everyone else folded and the cards were revealed it was clear why he might have wanted someone else to come along.

Bedell had AA, while Wei had K9 and needed help. He found none on the 22369 board, hitting the rail and taking Bedell’s stack up to 450,000. –JS

4:40pm: Manole survives via quads
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

Last year’s bubble finisher (and Platinum Pass winner) Mihai Manole just found himself in a nasty spot after moving all-in for 50,000 over Timothy Adams’s 22,000-chip opener. Adams called as a big favorite with JJ against Manole’s A8 and then watched as the board ran out 78588 to give the Romanian quad eights and the 118,000-chip pot. Adams still has 280,000. –JK

Mihai Manole: Quads help

4:38pm: Szabo finds a double
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 68,000)

An all-in shove from Levente Szabo from middle position was met with a call by Juha Helppi playing out of the big blind. Szabo had 109 and two live cards versus Helppi’s A8.

The flop came 2Q4, all those clubs and no ten or nine causing Szabo to shift in his seat as though to stand up. But the 10 turn card caused him to halt his movement, and the 8 river had him sink gladfully back in his chair.

Put Szabo on 190,000 now, Helppi on 390,000. –MH

4:35pm: Conan canned
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

It’s just not been Marius Conan’s day today. His final bow came in a duel with Vlada Stojanovic, who took his scalp and chips to move up to 530,000. All the chips went in pre-flop.

Conan: A3
Stojanovic: QQ

Marius Conan: Sad face

The board ran 10K4J5 and Conan was left on the rail talking to French poker media. –MC

4:30pm: Noda survives with tens
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 68,000)

Hiroyuki Noda just survived an all-in spot versus Pim Gieles when his 1010 held versus the latter’s A3 through a two-heart 964Q6 board. Don’t ask me if the chips went in pre-flop or on the flop; either way, the result is the same.

Noda has 270,000 now, while Gieles slips to 515,000. –MH

4:25pm: Talbot moves ahead at Durnegger’s expense
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

Parker Talbot has been working with a big stack for quite a while in this tournament, and he just moved back into the chip lead with a win at Markus Durnegger’s expense.

With well over 400,000 chips already in the pot, Talbot checked on the river of a 64277 board. Durnegger took a while and eventually checked behind, only to muck when Talbot showed down 88. That prompted the Canadian to give a hearty “Woo!!!” as he dragged the pot.

Parker Talbot: Big lead

Talbot is now on 1.65 million to Durnegger’s 685,000. –JK

4:22pm: Oh, they like to play all right
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

Patrik Antonius three-bet a 20,000 hijack open to 65,000 on the button and got a fold. Not much to report on there, so we stuck around for another hand.

This time Natalie Teh kicked things off by opening to 18,000 in the UTG+1 seat, and she was three-bet to 60,000 by Arthur Conan in the hijack. Back to Teh, she made the call and the flop came KJJ. It checked through to the A turn, and there’d be no more betting on the 9 river either.

Teh showed A7 while Conan showed A6, making this one a chop pot.

“This table is very different to my last table,” said the latest arrival Parker Talbot. “There were like, three three-bets the entire time over there. I think we’ve already surpassed that number.”

“We like to play,” smiled Antonius.

If they hadn’t surpassed it, they were about to.

Conan began the very next hand by opening to 18,000 in the lojack, which Antonius called from the hijack. It folded to the small blind of Markus Durnegger and he put out a squeeze three-bet to 78,000. Back to Conan, he used up his shot clock time before announcing all-in.

Antonius folded quickly, and Durnegger snap-called.

Arthur Conan: Last action

Conan had JJ but had run into Durnegger with AA. The latter couldn’t bring himself to look at the board as the dealer laid the K96310, instead choosing to pick a far corner of the room and stare over there.

When he finally saw he had won, the dealer counted his stack at 484,000. Conan had just under that, and made his exit.

The story ends for Arthur Conan

Durnegger is up to 950,000 now, while Talbot has 1.22 million, Antonius has 300,000, and Teh has 835,000. –JS

4:20pm: Interesting, but then not so interesting
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

The promise of action, but not much in terms of delivery.

Anton Wigg opened one pot for 20,000 before Juha Helppi raised to 58,000 in the cutoff. Wigg then four bet 145,000, which was enough to force a fold from Helppi.

Anton Wigg: Has the stack to bully

On the next hand Levente Szabo moved all-in from early position, but as the action moved around the table it was clear nobody planned to call him. – SB

4:15pm: Who ya gonna call?
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 68,000)

Today Serbia’s Vlada Stojanovic is sporting a fantastic black hoodie with the Ghostbusters logo on the front. He’s been nursing a short stack for the last little while, and just now saw fit not to risk it in a hand versus Marius Conan.

Vlada Stojanovic: Ghostly

Stojanovic had raised from early position, but when it folded around to Conan who re-raised all in with an even shorter stack from the big blind, Stojanovic was spooked enough to fold his hand.

Who is he gonna call? Not Conan, not this time. Stojanovic has about 350,000 still, while Conan is at around 160,000. –MH

4:12pm: Michaelis takes care of Ghazarian
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

Paul Michaelis has moved up to 285,000, winning much-needed chips by eliminating Harout Ghazarian.

Ghazarian was down to 71,000 when he made his move from under the gun. Michaelis was in the hijack and successfully isolated the Canadian by moving all-in himself.

Ghazarian: 107
Michaelis: 66

The board ran a blank 8AQA4 to send the pot Michaelis’s way. –MC

4:10pm: Farber’s bad feeling, Lukac’s elimination
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

Konstantin Farber said he had a bad feeling. In one sense it was a premonition, but in another it couldn’t have been further off.

Emil Lukac opened for 18,000 in second position and the action folded around to the big blind, where Farber made it 108,000 to go. Lukac returned the favor, jamming for 388,000, and Farber looked pretty unhappy. “I have a bad feeling,” he said as he called and showed 1010.

Konstantin Farber: Outdraw good

The premonition appeared to have been confirmed when Lukac rolled over KK, but then the board ran out 896A7 to make Farber a ten-high straight and send Lukac to the payout desk. Farber may not be able to predict what’s going to happen next, but whatever it is, he has 960,000 chips to work with now. –JK

4:05pm: Poker: The secret to young looking skin
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

Parker Talbot had a question for Patrik Antonius. “Patrik, how is it you have not aged in 15 years?”

It’s a good question. The type that if you overhear you can’t help nodding.

Antonius has been around the EPT, and the wider world of poker, since about 2004. He still looks the youngest and healthiest man in the game.

He’d just won a pot after three-bet shoving from the big blind, an elegant slide forward of an oversized tower of chips.

Patrik Antonius: Hasn’t aged a day

“It’s poker, man,” replied Antonius, with a broad grin. “It keeps your brain young. And that keeps your body young.” – SB

4pm: Haven and his queens fall to Zhechev’s kings
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

Duco Haven’s day is done. Down to his last 200,000 or so, the player from the Netherlands got it all in before the flop behind QQ, but unfortunately for him Ivan Zhechev of Bulgaria had been dealt KK and was ready to challenge him.

The board rolled out an uneventful 9J2710, and Haven is out. Zhechev chips to 825,000. –MH

3:55pm: Covrig doubles in a battle of the short stacks
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

Marius Conan has been left with fumes after he lost a race versus fellow short stack, Sergiu Covrig.

Covrig moved all-in for 113,000 from the cutoff and Conan called from the small blind.

Conan: 66
Covrig: K10

The board ran 103JJ5 to make Covrig the better two pair. –MC

3:50pm: Bye bye boys
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

Andreas Vlachos had a bad feeling, despite knowing he was almost even money on doubling up.

After a button open, Vlachos moved all-in for just 86,000 and was called by Ramzey Idriss in the big blind. The original raiser folded, and the cards were flipped.

Vlachos had 99 and was up against Idriss’ A10. “Ah, fifty fifty,” said Vlachos as the dealer prepared to deal the board. Before the flop hit the felt though, Vlachos seemed resigned to defeat.

“Bye bye boys,” he added, and just like that there was a ten in the window of the 1072 flop, followed by the J turn and K river.

Vlachos is gone, while Idriss increases to 1.06 million. –JS

3:45pm: Two fat ladies
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

We head on into Level 18 with those 88 players (or two fat ladies, in bingo parlance) remaining. — HS

3:30pm: Another break

The remaining 88 players are off on another 20-minute break. On the other side we’ll have fresh chip counts for everyone. Stay tuned. –MH

3:27pm: Three’s company
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Andrija Robovic, Grzegorz Grochulski, and Boris Kuzmanovic are all sat snugly next to each other at their table, and all three just played a pot together which provided stare downs from just a few inches away.

Robovic got it started with a 13,000 lojack open, which Grochulski called from the hijack. Kuzmanovic then three-bet to 49,000 from the cutoff, and when it folded back the other two players made the call.

The 7K2 flop was checked to Kuzmanovic and he continued for 52,000. Robovic matched it, and Grochulski would too after using a time bank. That brought the K on the turn, and everyone checked on the now paired board.

Grochulski grows stack

The river was the 5, but there’d be no more betting. Robovic turned over 1010 with some hope, but that was crushed when Grochulski revealed his K10 for trip kings.

He’s up to 1.2 million now, while Robovic has 890,000 and Kuzmanovic has 355,000. –JS

3:25pm: Bechrakis bounces Van Krevelen
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Rene Van Krevelen is heading to the exits after running into the machine that is Evangelos Bechrakis.

I arrived to the table with the 473 already dealt, and it appeared that Becharkis had raised under the gun to be called by Patrik Antonius on the button and Van Krevelen in the big blind. Van Krevelen checked, Bechrakis bet 26,000, Antonius called, and then Van Krevelen moved in for about 120,000.

Bechrakis didn’t take long before announcing that he was also all-in, giving Antonius something to think about. The Finn used a time bank card and went through his three faces (see yesterday’s 6:55pm update) before deciding to fold with 215,000 chips left. That left Van Krevelen’s two pair with 43 up against Bechrakis’s combo draw with 96. Van Krevelen was safe on the K turn but the A filled Bechrakis’s flush and sent the Dutch player to the rail.

Bechrakis is now on 1.2 million. –JK

3:23pm: Holodiuk moves past 500,000
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Serhii Holodiuk just got the better of Aku Joentausta to take his stack up past the 500,000 mark.

Joentausta opened for 14,000 in early position which Holodiuk raised to 36,000. Joentausta called and they saw a flop of 68K.

Joentausta had checked before all the flop cards were visible. Holodiuk checked too.

On the 8 turn another check from Joentausta, who then couldn’t call the following bet of 26,000 from Holodiuk.

“You had something?” asked Joentausta. Holodiuk, a big smile on his face, shook his head. –SB

3:20pm: Loosli loses with aces
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

We know the Barry Greenstein is the name for an ace on the river, but is there a name for a king on the river? For now, we’ll call it the Pim Gieles.

Sylvain Loosli had his 163,000 stack in the middle pre-flop with the AA versus Gieles’ KK, and the 6Q7 flop and J turn were safe for him. But the Frenchman’s Main Event came to an end with the K river.

Loosli out

Gieles is up to 590,000 now. –JS

3:15pm: Raised eyebrows as Bechrakis moves past a million
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Evangelos Bechrakis has moved up to 1.1 million after he won a squeezed pot with the mighty holding of seven-four.

He opened to 12,000 and was called in one sport before Konstantin Farber reraised to 66,000 from the small blind. Only Bechrakis called and both players went on to check the 1064J10 board down. Faber opened AK and then raised his eyebrows and shook his head when he was shown 74 by Bechrakis. Farber dropped to 480,000. –MC

3:10pm: Szabo takes two, knocks out Lin
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Levente Szabo and Xia Lin just played two pots in a row against one another and the end result was Lin exiting the Main Event.

Lin opened from second position for all but 10,000 of his remaining stack with 1010 on the first hand. Szabo moved all-in for less from the small blind with QQ and Lin couldn’t catch up on the 598J8 board, leaving him with just 27,000 chips.

Lin moved those chips in under the gun on the following hand with J7 and again faced off with Szabo, who had AQ. The board ran out 283K3 and Lin took his leave from the tournament.

Szabo is now up to 185,000. –JK

3pm: Not quite the end of the Roed
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Anton Wigg opened for 14,000 under the gun. At the other end of the table Kent Roed raised to 35,000. Then, with the action back on him, Wigg announced he was all-in.

Roed called in a flash.

Wigg: AK
Roed: KQ

Wigg had Roed covered by some way, and looked like sending Roed home. Until the river card that is.

The board came 9349Q

Neither player flinched at the result, although Wigg furrowed his brow a little. He’s still on 1.2 million. Roed, who was all in for 147,000, now has more than 300,000. –SB

2:55pm: Haven hits
Level 17 – Blinds: 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Duco Haven was one card away from elimination, and Scott Margereson was one card away from a stack bigger than 500,000. But that one card is important, because it means they’re actually both now sitting with about 320,000.

They pot they played together started with an open from the cutoff from Margereson to 12,000. Haven three-bet his button, putting 36,000 forward, and the blinds moved aside. Margereson called.

The 829 flop hit the felt and it went check, bet, call (sizings lost to the vagaries of tournament reporting because someone shoved on another table and attention was grabbed away).

The 10 turn was the action card, however. Margereson checked, Haven shipped for 110,000 and Margereson called instantly. That’s because Margereson’s QJ had improved to a straight, with Haven’s AK needing to hit.

It did hit. The river was the 7 filling Haven’s flush. And Margereson was forced to pay. –HS

Haven havin’ his way

2:50pm: The rich get richer
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Parker Talbot is up to 1.25 million after he rivered a pair in a three-bet pot and got paid.

He opened to 13,000 from middle position and called after Marius Conan three-bet to 42,000 from the hijack. The board ran out 9J64Q and no more chips went in until the river where Talbot led for 26,000. Conan called and mucked upon seeing Talbot’s AQ. He dropped to 186,000. –MC

The Talbot train remains on track

2:45pm: Three hands from Table 12
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

I dropped by Table 12 a moment ago to see what Parker Talbot was up to and caught the action on these three consecutive hands.

Michael Schuh opened the first hand for 14,000 on the button and only Wael Sarkis, in the small blind, called. Sarkis check-called 17,000 on the 478 flop and 44,000 more on the 2 turn before both players checked the K river. Sarkis turned over K7 for the rivered two pair and Schuh just shook his head — it’s been that kind of day for him.

Andreas Vlachos called Amar Hadzic’s middle-position raise to 13,000 in the hijack seat on the next hand, but both men decided against continuing further after Schuh made it 60,000 to go in the cutoff. Schuh got back to 320,000 with that pot.

Finally, Vlachos open-shoved for an even 50,000 with AQ and ended up heads-up against Talbot after the Canadian raised to isolate on the button. Talbot’s JJ had the lead and even made a set on the river of the A5106J board, but the same card gave Vlachos a club flush for the double. “That’s okay,” said Talbot. “Those are the ones we want to lose, boys.”

Talbot is still on a commanding 1.16 million, while Vlachos is looking at 115,000. –JK

2:43pm: Arthur Conan the Barbarian? Arthur Conan Foil?
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Another departure, this time Serdar Demircan.

After some pre-flop to and fro, he moved all in after a raise from Arthur Conan. It turned a few heads, because he said “I’m all-in”, while still wearing headphones, so it came out louder than he intended.

Headphones off, he stood to watch the board, but he wasn’t happy.

Demircan: AQ
Conan: AK

Demircan spoke quietly to himself as he watched the board come 65J42 to leave him on the rail.

Conan meanwhile stacks up more than 600,000. –SB

Arthur Conan collecting

2:40pm: Greenwood doubles through Mette
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Action folded to Armin Mette in the small blind who just completed. Looked like a quiet one. But wait… there’s Luc Greenwood raising to 18,000. Oh, wow, now Mette is limp-jamming all in… and Greenwood is calling for 204,000 total.

Mette: 66
Greenwood: KK

The board ran out 2Q745, and now Greenwood is up to 420,000 while Mette slips to 450,000. Whew… that was more exciting than I thought it would be. –MH

Excitement in the blinds from Mette (left) and Greenwood (right)

2:37pm: Ivanou? Ivan-out more like
Level 17 – Blinds: 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Aliaksei Ivanou is the latest to hit the rail, getting his last chips in as a three-bet shove from the button after Jeremy Stahli opened. Stahli called with AK and Ivanou’s A9 didn’t catch anything through the 625AJ board.

Stahli now has 365,000 as the field dips below 100 players. –HS

2:35pm: Duda done and dusted
Level 17 – Blinds: 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Antonin Duda’s race is run. He open pushed for 52,000 under the gun and Gianluca Speranza, one seat around, called. Everyone else folded and Duda’s 1010 needed help against Speranza’s QQ.

The dealer gave him a bit of a sweat when she followed the 9J4 flop with the K turn. “Queen!” Duda said. But the 2 river was a blank and Duda is a dud. Speranza has 325,000 now. –HS

2:30pm: Time called on clock and Shornikau
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

I’ve seen plenty of players call the clock on opponents but I’ve ever seen a player call time on the clock. Tobias Peters did just that. The dealer was having issues getting the clock to start on table 6 so Peters call the floor and a replacement clock was brought.

While that “drama” was going on, Maksim Shornikau waited until he was all-in in the big blind before he played another pot after his own blind battle drama left him with fumes. Anton Wigg raised to 15,000 and managed to get Shornikau heads up.

Shornikau: KJ
Wigg: 78

“Let’s see if I can help you out,” said Wigg right before he flopped the nuts: 564]. The board ran out 29 and Wigg moved up to 1.2 million. –MC

2:25pm: Best vs. worst brings out the whoops
Level 17 – Blinds: 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

The short-stacked pair of Kent Roed and Maksim Shornikau were in the blinds and they got their chips in pre-flop. I’m not entirely sure how it went down, but it may have been limp, jam, call.

When they ended up turning over their hands, their fortunes could not have been more divergent. Roed had AA and Shornikau had 72. Best vs. worst.

The reveal brought the first chuckles and whoops from their table-mates, but another peel sounded after the 726 flop put the seven-deuce into the lead. But then the dealer put the A on the turn and the audience went into full fireworks display mode: “Ooooh! Aaaaaah! Etc.”

Everyone took the whole thing in good humour and Shornikau got up to leave. But then the dealer counted down the stacks, learning that Shornikau actually had 99,000 to Roed’s 93,000. Shornikau therefore got to hang around a bit longer with his 6,000. –HS

“Hmmm,” thinks Kent Røed (left). “Hmmm,” thinks Maksim Shornikau (right)

2:20pm: Back-to-back Adams
Level 17 – Blinds: 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Timothy Adams was a strong favourite to knock out two players on consecutive hands, but had to make do with only the one scalp. Adams will be happy enough, though. The player he did eliminate, Dorin Agavriloae, had far more chips than Mihai Manole, who clung on.

In the first hand, Adams opened to 13,000 from the button and Agavriloae called in the big blind. They saw the 642 flop, but both checked it.

The turn was the J and Adams bet 32,000. Agavriloae moved all-in for what looked like about 110,000, but the haste with which Adams called, not even needing a count, will have tipped everyone off that Agavriloae was in trouble.

So it proved. Adams had flopped a flush with his Q7, and though Agavriloae still had outs with his AJ, the 4 river was a blank. Adams built his stack to around 430,000 after that one.

Adams adding

On the very next hand, Adams opened again and called with Manole shipped his last 40,000 into the middle. Adams had 44 to Manole’s AQ but the pocket pair ended up forfeited through a K77K10 board.

Manole therefore has about 90,000. Adams has about 390,000 and Agavriloae is out. (Manole, lest we forget, won the first ever Platinum Pass to be awarded, here in this room last year.) –HS

2:10pm: Ricci’s only human, after all
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Andrea Ricci’s tournament has come to an end, thanks to Liviu Ignat, who moved up to 960,000.

Ricci opened to 13,000 from the hijack and called after he was three-bet to 40,000 from Ignat in the next seat. The flop spread 942 and Ricci check-called 45,000. The Q came on the turn and Ricci checked to face a shove. He used two time bank chips and then called off the 205,000 he had left.

Ricci: JJ
Ignat: KK

Ricci needed a heart or a jack, but the 6 was far away from both and that’s all she wrote for the Italian. –MC

2:05pm: Tang tanks Fjer
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Souhayl Fjer just got the last of his chips in good, but that wasn’t enough to overcome Jia Tang.

Fjer opened the betting for 12,000 in second position and Tang was his only caller. Tang checked the 987 flop and then raised all-in after Fjer bet 16,000. Fjer snap-called with QQ, which was well ahead of Tang’s pair of sevens with J7, but Tang also had a gutshot draw.

The 6 turn didn’t deliver for Tang, but the 10 on the river was exactly what he needed. A count confirmed that Fjer was covered by just a few chips, ending his Main Event.

Tang is still in the danger zone with 188,000. –JK

Tang still in after tangle

2pm: Holodiuk sinks De Oliveira
Level 17 – Blinds: 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Serhii Holodiuk is up to 500,000 after sending Joao Lopes De Oliveira to the rail. I think it went in pre-flop, but I’m not totally sure. However, De Oliveira’s final hand was KJ, which couldn’t beat Holodiuk’s A8, especially not after a 823A9 board. –HS

1:57pm: First a hand goes one way, then the other
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Two players saw the 85J flop. They were Jeremy Stahli and Laurynas Levinskas.

Stahli was letting Levinskas lead things. He checked the flop, then called Levinskas’s bet of 36,000.

It was the same on the 3 turn. Stahli checked and then called Levinskas’s bet of 44,000.

Then the 7 on the river.

Now the hand changed. Stahli announced he was all in.

Levinskas squirmed a bit, then asked for a count. Stahli was all in for 105,000. Levinskas had about 150,000 behind. Too much. He folded.

It took a minute for Stahli to stack his new chips. He now has 370,000. –SB

1:55pm: Back at it
Level 16 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Players are back in their seats, the blinds are up, and the big blind ante is bigger. –MH

Gathering more of these is the goal at present

1:35pm: Break time

The first 90 minutes of the day are in the books. Read below to see how they got from 137 to 112, and how Parker Talbot has emerged as the current chip leader. Back in 20 minutes. –MH

1:32pm: Bechrakis rockin’ on Table 2
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Evangelos Bechrakis is enjoying a profitable day so far, having moved up about 25 big blinds above where he started. Arthur Conan’s day hasn’t been quite so good and the latest hand against Bechrakis is part of the reason why.

Bechrakis opened the action for 11,500 in the lojack seat. Natalie Teh called in the hijack before Conan made it 46,000 to go in the cutoff. Francisco Quintana Rubio used a time bank card in the small blind but eventually folded; Bechrakis called and Teh folded to give us a Q510 flop.

Both Bechrakis and Conan checked there, but Bechrakis bet 101,000 when the 6 came on the turn. Conan couldn’t find a call and dropped to 490,000. Bechrakis, meanwhile, is up to 850,000 as the first break of the day approaches. –JK

Bechrakis bets, collects

1:30pm: Deuces loses
Level 16 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Tomas Jozonis was one of the standout performers at EPT Monte Carlo this year, impressing all en route to a third place finish. His run at EPT Prague has come to an end a little sooner than that, however. Jozonis just hit the rail in something like 113th place (to be confirmed).

The Lithuanian player had only 24,000 in his stack when he pushed it in from mid-position. Jia Tang re-shoved from the button, with about 80,000 in his stack, and successfully isolated his opponent.

Jozonis had 22 to Tang’s A9 and the deuces lost after the dealer put the AK1067 on the table.

Tang now has 105,000 and a continuing dream of more than €1 million. Jozonis will get €10,980 for his efforts. –HS

1:27pm: Million chip men
Level 16 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

As the tournament approaches its first break of the day, two players have increased their stacks past 1 million. The million dollar men are Anton Wigg, who has about 1.03 million already, and chip-leader Parker Talbot, who now has 1.2 million. –HS

Parker Talbot parked (again) in the top spot

1:25pm: Manole builds a house
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Last year’s bubble boy and subsequent Platinum Pass winner Mihai Manole has just doubled up.

He moved all-in for 30,500 from under the gun and was successfully isolated by Andrea Ricci in the very next seat.

Manole: 910
Ricci: AK

The board ran 9108J10, and Manole is now up around 65,000. Ricci dropped to 180,000. –MC

1:20pm: Begovic finishes off Martinez
Level 16 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

It’s not exactly been a bromance, but Amar Begovic and Raul Martinez have played a lot of pots against one another today, despite neither of them having all that many chips. But it’s over now as Begovic has just taken the last of Martinez’s chips to build his own stack up to 148,000.

This was another standard spot with action folded to Martinez on the button and him pushing for 54,000. Begovic found AQ in the small blind and called and the big blind Aku Joentausta backed away.

Martinez only had K5 and the dealer offered him no assistance through a 4Q9A8 board. Begovic thus hits a high point for the day, while Martinez is heading to the payouts desk. –HS

End of the road for Raul Martinez

1:15pm: Wigg boss man
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Anton Wigg is running the show on Table 8 and nobody seems to be able to do anything about it right now. The latest player to try was Maksim Shornikau, but his attempt was cut short without so much as a flop.

Wigg opened the action for 12,000 in second position, which triggered folds around to Shornikau in the cutoff seat. Shornikau announced a re-raise and then made it 29,000. Cue more folds and the action returned to Wigg. He only took about 10 seconds before declaring himself all-in — definitely not what Shornikau wanted to hear. The Belarussian used a time bank card but eventually decided against challenging the big stack any further and folded.

Shornikau slides to 130,000 after that loss, while Wigg is the big boss with 970,000. –JK

Wigg’s stack = big

1:10pm: Wydrowski doubles with kings
Level 16 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Marcin Wydrowski just doubled up in a standard spot against Hao Tian. It was one of those pair versus bigger pair encounters, with Tian’s 1010 not good enough to better Wydrowski’s KK. They got it all in pre-flop with Tian opening to 10,000, Wydrowski shoving for about 110,000 and Tian calling.

It means that Wydrowski now has around 230,000 and Tian is cut down to about 200,000. –HS

1:05pm: Robovic bullies Antonius off a hand
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Patrik Antonius has dropped down to 95,500 after he folded on the river in a multi-street pot versus Andrija Robovic.

The Finnish poker legend raised to 12,000 from the button and Robovic called from the small blind. The flop fanned KK6 and Antonius called after his 12,000 c-bet was check-raised to 26,000. Robovic then fired 40,500 and an effective all-in of 95,500 on the 9J turn and river. Antonius called the turn bet but folded on the river. Robovic moved up to 290,000. –MC

Pot to Robovic

1pm: Shove-happy Table 1
Level 16 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Three hands, three shoves on Table 1, though no knockouts and only one double-up.

The double-up came on the first hand, after Serhii Holodiuk opened to 11,000 and Raul Martinez moved all-in from the small blind for 85,000. Amar Begovic under-called all-in from the big blind, with only about 25,000 in his stack, and Holodiuk folded.

This was a race between the two short stacks, with Begovic’s AK prevailing over Martinez’s 88 when the board ran Q63A3.

All-in works out for Amar

On the very next hand, Joao Lopes De Oliveira open pushed all-in and got no callers, and then Martinez open-pushed the next deal, and again got no callers. Nobody seems to have many chips on that table, but they’re all still clinging on. –HS

12:58pm: Zhechev continues to build
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Another all in and a call. This time it was Claudio Di Giacomo whose tournament was at stake.

His pocket fives were called by Ivan Zhechev, who is undergoing something of a revival in this level. He showed pocket tens.

The board brought nothing to change either hand and Di Giacomo was rail bound. Zhechev, who started the day on 77,000, is now up to 270,000. –SB

12:55pm: Sarkis stacking, Schuh sinking
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Michal Schuh’s stack is sinking and Wael Sarkis is the latest player to take advantage.

The action folded around to Schuh on the button and he made it 11,500 to go. Andriy Mertengren called in the small blind and Sarkis called in the big. Both blinds checked the 977 flop and Schuh maintained his line with a bet of 16,000. Mertengren declined to continue but Sarkis called.

The 6 turn drew checks from both players but Sarkis began counting out chips for a bet as soon as the 10 hit the river. Schuh gave a look that said “Again???” He used one time bank card and another 20 seconds beyond that before reluctantly letting his hand go.

Schuh has dropped nearly half of what he started with today and now sits on 141,000. Sarkis, meanwhile, is up to 420,000. –JK

Shucks, thinks Schuh

12:50pm: Margereson profits as Nevanlinna slides
Level 16 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Scott Margereson has nearly doubled his starting stack for the day and is now sitting with about 480,000. At the same time, his tablemate Jussi Nevanlinna is on a downward tick and has only 80,000. These things are maybe related.

Certainly Margereson just won a smallish pot from Nevanlinna, though it can’t account for the entirety of the chip disparity. Here it is nonetheless.

The two players were joined to a flop by Italy’s Claudio Di Giacomo. It seemed as though Nevanlinna must have opened and picked up the two blinds, Margereson in the small and Di Giacomo in the big. The flop brought the 23A.

Both Margereson and Di Giacomo checked, but both also called Nevanlinna’s 14,000 tickle. All three of them checked the 3 turn.

That brought to 6 on the river and Margereson bet 41,000. Di Giacomo quickly folded, but Nevanlinna called. Margereson turned over his AJ and Nevanlinna mucked. –HS

Margereson’s stack gets larger

12:45pm: Abinakle marked in the payouts
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Mark Abinakle’s timing was off, that was all.

He was short, found A10 in late position and made his move, but couldn’t account for Levente Szabo waking up with AK in the big blind. The latter made the call and survived the 26AJ5 flop to rise to 265,000. –MC

12:40pm: Good on the flop, bad on the turn
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Sometimes the flop can bring great help, but significant grief at the same time. Pierre Chiarelli will tell you this.

Ivan Zhechev had moved all in for 61,500. When the action reached Chiarelli two seats along, he called, lumping a big stack of blue chips onto the table in front of him. Then he turned over 88 and stood up.

Unlike Chiarelli, who had to live through the hand, Zhechev remained seated, resigned to his fate.

Then the flop: 1098.

That eight was all well and good, but the turn card 7 switched the advantage back to Zhechev. Chiarelli showed his displeasure by banging the table.

The K on the river did nothing. Zhechev doubled to around 130,000 while Chiarelli, quiet now, has 155,000. –SB

Doing the Zhechev shove

12:38pm: Habib hanging in there
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Lebanon’s Walid Bou Habib is already guaranteed the fourth EPT Prague Main Event cash of his career. After starting the day with 20 big blinds, he’s going to need to pick up some chips to make it the biggest of those cashes. And while this recent pot won’t catapult him toward the top of the counts, every little bit helps.

Michal Janczarski opened the action for 11,000 in the hijack seat and got three callers: Carlos Branco on the button, Habib in the small blind, and Xia Lin in the big. All four players checked the 7Q2 flop, and Habib checked again on the 6 turn.

That prompted Lin to bet 18,000, clearing the late-position players out of the way. Habib gave it some thought and then moved all-in for a bit under 90,000 on the check-raise. Lin considered a call but eventually let it go, giving Habib the pot and a new stack size of 138,000. –JK

Day 3 action

12:35pm: Say the words
Level 16 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Amar Begovic had only 12,000 left, all in pink chips worth 500 apiece. He started the day with 114,300 so things hadn’t gone according to plan. Sitting in early position, he looked at his cards and picked up almost everything he had, prompting the dealer to reach for the all-in triangle, preparing for a shove. But Begovic very deliberately put only 10,000 over the line, and the dealer returned the triangle to its holster.

Everyone folded around to Joao Lopes De Oliveira in the big blind, who didn’t have a huge stack himself. But he pushed a bunch forward and then started to turn over his hand, forcing the dealer to intervene. Was he calling or raising? De Oliveira wasn’t really sure what was going on, but then intimated he was prepared to wager the whole 12,000.

But Begovic had one more request: “Say the words,” Begovic said. “Say the magic words.”

Begovic: listening for something in particular

“Er, all-in?” De Oliveira said, clearly a little confused as to why he had to go through this for the sake of 2,000 chips. But Begovic called, obviously, and showed his KJ, which was a long way ahead of De Oliveira’s 36.

The 9KJJ8 board ended up giving Begovic a full house and a double-up, but with only around 30,000 still, he’s going to need a bit more magic yet. –HS

12:30pm: Subik doubles as Vinklarek departs
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

The title of this post may be misleading. Jan Subik did indeed double, but not via Ondrej Vinklarek.

The latter was departing in 130th place from a neighbouring table as Subik was raking in a pot after his AA was unsurprisingly good versus Fazeel Munawar. The latter’s cards and already been mucked and a 232K8 board was on show. A pile of chips lay in the middle and the all-in bet was another 61,500 for Munawar to settle. He dropped to 380,000. –MC

12:25pm: The all-in flurry
Level 16 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

The snow started to come down in Prague this morning, albeit only a slight flurry. In fact, there were approximately only as many snowflakes as there were calls of “all-in” during the first few minutes in the Main Event.

Juha Helppi opened to 10,000 under the gun and action folded all the way to the big blind where Uri Reichenstein shipped for 81,000. Helppi thought about it, but folded.

Next door, Konstantin Farber opened to 10,500 and Simeon Spasov pushed for 80,000. Farber also folded.

No thanks, says Farber

A little way along Anton Wigg moved all-in on the river, looking at a board of K3Q810 and Maksim Shornikau, the only other player in the hand, folded.

The biggest hand of this little flurry was actually the only one that didn’t feature a shove. Instead, Guoliang Wei played a big pot against Maciej Rogacki, which ended in a big pot shifting from Wei to Rogacki.

The full board read 596A4 and Rogacki bet 120,000. Wei did well only to call with his 99. But he was behind Rogacki’s 78, a flopped straight. That put Rogacki up to about 730,000. –HS

12:22pm: Bilokur up as Velasevic heads for the rail
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Danilo Velasevic opened for 11,500. He’d found QQ and had his mind set on a double-up.

Patrick Antonius was in middle position and called and the action reached Leonid Bilokur on the button. He went to his stack and raised to 37,000. The big blind folded (eventually) and the action reached Velasevic again. He shoved.

Antonius, not the most expressive of players, allowed his head to tilt slightly and his eyebrows to move up his forehead. But that was it. He passed.

Bilokur was ready to call though, turning over AK.

They watched the board come 210J3K. That sent Velasevic to the rail. Bilokur meanwhile now has 255,000. –SB

Bilokur building

12:20pm: Teh making up for lost time
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Natalie Teh arrived shortly after cards were in the air, looking like she needed to make up for lost time.

Markus Durnegger opened to 12,000 from the cutoff before Evangelos Bechrakis three-bet to 35,000 from the cutoff. Both players folded though, when Teh announced a four-bet to 85,000. –MC

Teh takes her seat

12:15pm: Mokni doubles through Antonius
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Sadri Karl Mokni has earned an early double through Patrik Antonius. It was a preflop all-in situation, coming after an Antonius open, a third player calling, Mokni jamming and only Antonius staying in. Ultimately Mokni’s QQ held up versus Antonius’s AK through a board of 853Q4, and Mokni keeps his seat.

Mokni gets up around 120,000 after that, while Antonius is still doing fine with 290,000. –MH

Antonius still doing fine

12:10pm: Anyone seen Teh?
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Is there ever a thing as having too many chips?

All 137 returning players are here, except for our start-of-day chip leader, Natalie Teh. The Platinum Pass winner does have a massive 780,000 chips to play with, so if there was ever going to be a day to have a lay in, today was that day. –MC

Empty seat, big stack

12:05pm: Chilaud first to run out of chips
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Maxime Chilaud of France started today as a short stack with 66,000, and after paying the big blind plus big blind ante was down to 56,000. That’s when he watched Grzegorz Grochulski raise to 12,000 from the button, and after looking down at KJ Chilaud reraised all in from the small blind. It folded back to Grochulski who called, and he turned over A4.

The K78 flop was good news for Chilaud, and the 5 turn was also positive. But the A fell on the river to give Grochulski the better pair, and Chilaud is the first elimination of the day.

Grochulski has about 570,000 now. –MH

12pm: Off they go
Level 16 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Let Day 3 commence! We’re playing five 90-minute levels, no dinner break. Stick around.

Good day from the Casino Atrium at the Hilton Prague, where Day 3 of the €5,000 EPT Prague Main Event is set to begin shortly.

Day 3 of the EPT Prague Main Event begins soon

Day 2 began yesterday with 415 players and we cruised past past the money bubble well before the end of play. Platinum Pass winner Natalie Teh found herself atop the chip counts about halfway through the day and ended in the same position with 780,000. She’s trailed closely by Parker “tonkaaaa” Talbot (773,000), with Bechrakis Evangelos (730,000), Anton Wigg (708,500), and Arthur Conan (705,000) well within striking distance.

The plan today is to play five 90-minute levels with a 20-minute break at the conclusion of each level. We’ll begin at noon CET. Stick with us throughout the day for the best updates the English language can provide. –JK

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PokerStars Blog reporting team on the €5,300 Main Event: Stephen Bartley, Marc Convey, Jason Kirk, Martin Harris, Jack Stanton, and Howard Swains. Photography by Joe Giron/PokerPhotoArchive and Neil Stoddart.

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