Friday, 2nd December 2022 04:05
Home / Uncategorized / EPT12 Grand Final: Super high roller Day 1 coverage archive

This is an archive of previous coverage. Click through for latest updates.

9:55pm: Mikita Badziakouski bags up Day 1 lead

While the big names made their bids for top spot at the close of play today, it was relative new boy Mikita Badziakouski who beat them to it, bagging up 951,000 at the end of eight levels tonight.

The Belarussian has four cashes to his name, two of which came here in Monaco. So far so good for a third, but the opposition is not exactly light weight.

mikita_badziakouski_ept12_shr_day1.jpgChip leader tonight: Mikita Badziakouski
Behind Badziakouski are some considerable talents.

Max Silver made a late charge to bag up 785,000 tonight, while Igor Kurganov finished on 755,000. John Juanda has 744,000 while Ivan Luca seemed to have his finishing stack of 660,000 from about the end of level one.

There were 56 entries today, consisting of 44 players who between them opted to re-enter 12 times. Some 38 remained at the close. That said, this number may well increase by tomorrow with registration open until the start of play on Day 2.

That will be at 12:30pm tomorrow at local time when play resumes. The plan is to play late, or to a final table. There will be live updates on the PokerStars Blog from start to finish. Scroll down through the updates below to get the whole story from the opening day.

For now the super high rollers go looking for Dom Perignon (see entry at 9.25pm), while the €10K high rollers, now in their third day, play on to a winner tonight. You can follow live updates of that action by going to our 10K high roller updates page.

That’s not all. The walls were bursting today to make room for nearly a thousand players in the FPS Main Event. It was opening day today, with a host of top pros taking part. You can follow live updates from that on the FPS live updates page.

Mikita Badziakouski Belarus 921,000
Max Silver United Kingdom 785,000
Igor Kurganov Russia 755,000
John Juanda United States 744,000
Ivan Luca Argentina 660,000
Dario Sammartino Italy 651,000
Jason Mercier United States 629,000
Mustapha Kanit Italy 585,000
Byron Kaverman United States 534,000
Salman Behbehani United States 525,000
Ole Schemion Germany 486,000
Sean Winter United States 402,000
Bryn Kenney United States 395,000
Christophe Vogelsang Germany 369,000
Stanley Choi Hong Kong 355,000
Paul Newey United Kingdom 352,000
Raouf Ibrahim Sweden 344,000
Timothy Adams United States 342,000
Daniel Dvoress Canada 337,000
Charlie Carrel United Kingdom 334,000
Andrew Lichtenberger United States 334,000
David Peters United States 295,000
Ali Reza Fatehi Iran 279,000
Stephen Chidwick United Kingdom 249,000
Erik Seidel United States 230,000
Steve O’Dwyer Ireland 228,000
Sam Greenwood Canada 227,600
Mike Watson Canada 217,000
Isaac Haxton United States 210,000
Fabian Quoss Germany 194,000
Tobias Reinkemeier Germany 175,000
Dan Smith United States 162,000
Dominik Nitsche Germany 158,000
Mike McDonald Canada 143,000
Haralabos Voulgaris Canada 134,000
Dan Shak United States 110,000
Thomas Muehloecker Austria 89,000
Daniel Negreanu Canada 52,000

9.50pm: Behbehani’s big score
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

What a time to win a huge pot – right before the end of the night. Salman Behbehani is loving life.

Igor Kurganov opened, and Raouf Ibrahim and Behbehani both called. Timofey Kuznetsov then shoved for 70,500, which Ibrahim called. Behbehani then re-shoved over the top for 194,500 total. Ibrahim thought for a while and eventually made the call.

Their hands may shock you:
Kuznetsov – A10
Ibrahim – A8
Behbehani – AJ

The man from Kuwait was ahead, and the board ran out nicely for him: K7K95.

With that Behbehani moved up to his end-of-the-night chip count of 525,000, while Kuznetsov hit the rail. Ibrahim was left with 344,000. –JS

9.40pm: Good call by Vogelsang, even if it did take a while
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

The board showed the 9654Q. There was 60,000 in the pot. Mustapha Kanit’s bet had been raised to 91,000 by Christoph Vogelsang. And that’s when Kanit put him all-in.

Vogelsang went deep into the tank, for a length of time that would soon be argued. John Juanda eventually called the clock, with the support of Dan Shak, and the floor was called.

“How much time has he had?” they asked. “He’s had way too much time,” replied Juanda. “It was five minutes five minutes ago!” said Shak.

It didn’t feel quite that long to us, but it turns out that Vogelsang had also taken more than two minutes to make his raise earlier in the hand.

With about 20 seconds left on his clock Vogelsang made the call – and was right. He had the Q6 for a rivered top pair, which was ahead of Kanit’s 88.

“I had not taken too long,” said Vogelsang after the hand, arguing his case.

“We’re from two different eras,” said Shak. –JS

9:30pm: Five hands left to play

The title says it all.

9.25pm: The drinks are on Haxton. Almost.
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Isaac Haxton just ordered a bottle of Dom Perignon and seven glasses for his table. A generous gesture for sure, especially given Monaco prices. There’s only one problem. There is no Dom Perignon behind the bar. Plan scuppered.

“I’ll have a beer,” said Haxton. Which given the circumstances seemed the only reasonable thing to do. — SB

9.25pm: Silver’s closest to gold
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Right now it’s Max Silver leading the pack. He’s just busted Justin Bonomo to bring his stack up to 877,000.

The two got it all-in pre-flop – Silver’s QQ against Bonomo’s 1010. The board ran out K83A3 to eliminate Bonomo. Will he buy back in before the end of the night? Will he buy back in tomorrow? Will he buy back in at all? Stay tuned to find out. –JS


Max Silver – before his stack balooned
9.20pm: More re-entries
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Charlie Carrel, Christoph Vogelsang and Haralabos Voulgaris have all busted and re-entered. Just half an hour of play left on the day. –JS

9pm: Leading into the last level
Blinds: Level 8 – 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

We’re into the last level of the day in the Super High Roller with four players currently ahead of the pack.

Ivan Luca – 825,000
Mustapha Kanit – 800,000
Igor Kurganov – 800,000
John Juanda – 750,000

8.56pm: The departed
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

We haven’t had too many bust-outs today, and those who did have bought back in for the most part. Since we last spoke we’ve had three eliminations: Nick Petrangelo, Christoph Vogelsang, and Haralabos Voulgaris.

After Voulgaris busted and said he was going to buy back in, Mustapaha Kanit must have offered to temporary loan him the money from his PokerStars account, as he handed him his card which all players need to register with.

Just a little old €100K loan then. Baller. –JS

8.42pm: Blinds up
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

We’re in the last level of the night – just 60 minutes of play left. –JS

8.40pm: Bonomo has the one hand Silver can beat
Level 7 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Daniel Dvoress kicked things off with an open to 10,000, which Max Silver called, as did Justin Bonomo in the big blind. We saw the 8QJ flop fall and it went check check to Silver, who bet out 26,000. Only Bonomo would match that bet, resulting in the Q on the turn. Both checked, and the dealer burned and turned the 9 river. Both checked again and when Bonomo turned over his AJ for a pair of jacks, Silver said: “You have the one hand I can beat.” And he did beat it with his KK2J.
Vogelsang checked to Choi who bet another 16,000. Negreanu called, leaving Vogelsang to drop out.
The turn came A

Choi bet another 35,000, which Negreanu called again for a 10 on the river. Now Choi paused, finally checking.

“Okay…” said Negreanu, who watched Choi turn over AJ, the diamond proving critical.

Negreanu showed pocket sixes for a flopped set.

“I had you!” he said, laughing, then patted himself on the shoulder. “Good thing I didn’t raise!” — SB

8pm: Negreanu felted by his old buddy John
Level 7 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Back in the mid-to-late nineties, there were four young hotshots on the poker scene. Their names? Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey, John Juanda, and Allen Cunningham. The quartet were good pals, and helped each other get better by discussing strategy.
Since then they’ve all gone on to big things, but while one of them is playing a little smaller these days (Cunningham), the other three are among the highest of high rollers.

Well, Negreanu and Juanda are here today, and were sat next to each other for a while. That is, before Juanda busted Kid Poker.

Juanda opened under the gun to 9,000 and it folded around to D-Negs in the big blind. He called.

The flop fell 658 and Negreanu checked, allowing Juanda to c-bet for another 9,000. Now Negreanu kicked it up to 21,000, only for Juanda (who had the much bigger stack) to shove. Negreanu snap-called his last 133,000 and we saw their holdings:

Negreanu – 78
Juanda – JJ

Negreanu had flopped big with top pair and an up-and-down straight draw, while Juanda was still in front with his overpair. The turn came the 6, putting a pair on the board and subsequently taking some outs away from Daniel. The 7 completed the board, and Negreanu’s two-pair was weaker than Juanda’s, sending him to the cage for a rebuy.

“I’ll be back buddy, don’t worry about that!” Negreanu said as he dashed off. Meanwhile, Juanda now has 670,000. –JS

7.25pm: Ibrahim bluffs with the best of it
Level 6 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

Well that was a stroke of good fortune for Raouf Ibrahim. He thought he was trying to push Andrew Lichtenberger off a better hand; it turned out he had the winner all along.

It started with an open to 7,000 from Byron Kaverman, followed by calls from Ibrahim and Thomas Muehloecker. Lichtenberger then made a squeeze to 40,000, and only Ibrahim would call. The first three community cards were the 246, and Lichtenberger continued for 30,000. Ibrahim then jammed for 157,200 – the ‘bluff’ – and Lichtenberger snap-called.

Turns out Ibrahim just had the AQ for Ace-high, but he was still ahead of Lichtenberger’s KQ for a flush draw. It bricked for Lucky Chewy (Lichtenberger) running out 9 J and Ibrahim secured a doubled up. –JS

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7.10pm: Antonius is gone
Level 6 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

We saw Patrik Antonius getting up out of his seat and slinging his bag over his shoulder. The reason? All his chips were sitting in front of Byron Kaverman.

Kaverman opened, Igor Kurganov called on the button, and Antonius called from the big blind. The flop fell the KQ4 and it checked to Kurganov, who led out for 10,500. Antonius then bumped it up to 27,000, only for Kaverman to put in another raise to 45,000. Kurganov got out the way, Antonius jammed for around 100,000 and Kaverman called, putting the cards on their backs.

Antonius had King-Jack, but was trailing the King-Queen on Kaverman. The board was completed with the A and J, so Kaverman’s bigger two-pair was best. He’s up to around 550,000 now. –JS

6.55pm: Four way flop leads to Kurganov shove
Blinds: Level 6 – 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

A flop of 6AQ and four players in the hand.

Byron Kaverman, having his scalp massaged, checked to Igor Kurganov in the hijack who bet 12,000. Raouf Ibrahim was in the cut off next to him and called, as did Patrick Antonius on the button. When the action got back to Kaverman, he figured he’d call too.
The turn came 7.

igor_kurganov_shr_28april16.jpgIgor Kurganov
Kaverman checked again. Kurganov made it 27,000 to play this time, getting a call from Ibrahim before both Antonius and Kaverman passed, the latter only after a long pause.
The river came 9

Kurganov checked. Ibrahim reached for his chips and bet 60,000.

Kurganov paused. It’s on occasions like this that you’re never that surprised when a reluctant fold follows. But not this time. Kurganov simply moved all-in.
Ibrahim blinked a bit, looked up, and then wiped his face. It’s on occasions like this that you’re never that surprised when a convinced fold follows. Ibrahim did just that.

He’s down to 190,000. Kurganov meanwhile more up to more than 500,000. – SB

6.50pm: Carrel’s fighting back
Level 6 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

Charlie Carrel is making strides to rebuild his stack and get it up above the starting point once again. Daniel Dvoress opened a pot to 7,000 and Carrel three-bet to 21,500 from the big blind. The dealer spread a flop of AQ6 and it went check check, so the 8 was put down on the turn. Carrel led for 25,000 and Dvoress matched it, taking us to the 7 on the river. Both checked and Carrel took it down with his A5, moving him up to 170,000. Dvoress, meanwhile, is left with 182,000. –JS

charlie_carrel_shr_monaco_28april16.jpgCharlie Carrel
6.40pm: Couple’s only
Level 5 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (300 ante)

It’s a lovey dovey affair on the tournament floor right now as poker’s power couples Igor Kurganov and Liv Boeree, and Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier and Natasha Barbour, are all stood around talking. Only the men are playing in this one, meaning Igor and Jason are keeping a close eye on their tables so they don’t miss a hand. –JS

6.30pm: Chidwick’s second bullet isn’t going to plan
Level 6 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

He’s in for two bullets right now, but Stephen Chidwick’s second attempt at this tournament isn’t going too well either.

On a board of 771028 and with a hefty pot in the middle, Chidwick bet 80,000 only for Dario Sammartino to jam all-in (Sammartino covered the Brit). He thought for ages but eventually folded, leaving himself 95,000 behind. Sammartino is up to 450,000 now. –JS

6.10pm: Latest from Ali Reza Fatehi
Blinds: Level 5 – 1,200/2,400 (300 ante)

Mike Watson opened for 6,000 and which Ali Reza Fatehi called from the big blind. They saw a flop:

Both players checked for a 8 turn card. This time Fatehi made a lumpy raise (made up of all colours of chip) of 11,500. Watson called it for a 9 on the river and then led the betting, making it 20,000.
Fatehi confirmed the amount and then made a kind of fast call, as if his hand wanted to make the call before his brain realised what he was doing. Watson flipped over A7, which beat whatever Fatehi held.

Regardless, Fatehi still has plenty of chips, still on around 400,000. Watson moves up to 190.000. – SB

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6pm: Winter furrowed
Blinds: Level 5 – 1,200/2,400 (300 ante)

A bet of 6,500 from Sean Winter and a deeply furrowed brow as he looked over at the pink hair of Justin Bonomo. You’d have thought it couldn’t get any more furrowed, but somehow it did when Bonomo raised to 16,500. The blinds folded and the action reached Winter again.

sean_winter_shr_monaco_28april16.jpgSean Winter (unfurrowed)
He decided to keep it simple, raising again to 75,000 this time. Bonomo got the message and folded, Winter’s brow returning to normal. – SB

5.50pm: Chidwick’s back, but we’ve lost Shak
Level 5 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (300 ante)

At the same time that Stephen Chidwick was taking his freshly bought seat – his second bullet – Dan Shak was making his way out the tournament area.

Shak had got his AJ all-in against Dario Sammartino’s AA and although the J6A must have looked nice to him at first, he was actually crushed and the 4 and 7 turn and river were no help.

However, when I was on my way out the room I saw Shak with a new receipt in his hand, so he’s no doubt back in the action already. –JS

5.30pm: Ibrahim came here to play
Level 5 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (300 ante)

Ali Reza Fatehi isn’t the only somewhat-unfamiliar man splashing chips around in this super high roller. Raouf Ibrahim is doing his fair share too.

In one hand I just caught, he opened to 5,000 and Patrik Antonius called. It got to Thomas Muehloecker and he made it 20,500 to play, which only Ibrahim would call.

The flop came the 425 and Ibrahim led out for 24,000. Once again he was met by a raise from Muehloecker, this time to 60,000, but he had an answer (or so he thought) – another raise to 120,000.

Muehloecker looked a little confused by the click back but still didn’t take too long to shove all-in for 178,200 total. Ibrahim made a frustrated fold to leave him with 92,000, while Muehloecker is up to 322,000 now. –JS

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5:10pm: O’Dwyer shoves on McDonald
Blinds: Level 4 – 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

A flop of 792 and a first glimpse, albeit short, of Daniel Negreanu in action.

He was in a three handed pot and checked to Steve O’Dwyer who bet 10,000. Mike McDonald stared at O’Dwyer, called, which forced a fold from Negreanu.

odwyer_mcdonald_28april16.jpgO’Dwyer and McDonald
The turn came Q. O’Dwyer bet 20,000 this time. Again, McDonald stared, then called, for a J river card. O’Dwyer checked. McDonald, only a seat away, looked at him and bet 30,000. Would that be enough? O’Dwyer paused for some time before he announced “all-in”.

McDonald flinched. It would be all-in to call and while he thought for several minutes he couldn’t find a good enough reason to call.
He passed, dropping down to 65,000. O’Dwyer meanwhile is up to 300,000. – SB

5pm: Chidwick falls
Level 4 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (200 ante)

Stephen Chidwick is our first man to be eliminated. On a flop of A2K, Nick Petrangelo checked to him and he bet 12,000. Patrik Antonius called, as did Petrangelo, and all three saw the 10 land. Petrangelo checked again, and Chidwick continued for 30,000. That got Antonius out the way, but Petrangelo went nowhere. He called and the 2 hit the river. Petrangelo checked a third time and Chidwick jammed for 94,900. The call came quickly and the chips slid Petrangelo’s way as his QJ straight was best. Chidwick could only muster the Q10 for a pair of tens, and because of that he hit the rail.

Will he return for a second bullet? –JS

4.55pm: No introductions needed
Level 4 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (200 ante)

I have five more new entries to bring you- and they’re all doozies.

Let’s start with arguably the biggest name in poker – Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu. He certainly made an entrance – “Give me chips!” he jokingly bellowed to the tournament directors, turning hundreds of heads playing in the France Poker Series his way.

Then we’ve got one of the hottest players right now, bro – Mustapaha Kanit, winner of EPT12 Dublin’s €25K.

Joining them are high roller regulars Thomas Muehloecker, Winfred Yu and Tobias Reinkenmeier.

Who will turn up next? My money’s on Bryn Kenney, who I may have seen lingering around the building. Place your bets and stay tuned! –JS

4:40pm: Introducing Ali Reza Fatehi, the most Super of super high rollers
Blinds: Level 4 – 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

Ali Reza Fatehi came here to play, not to get a lesson from any professional.

The man from Iran just played six hands of super high stakes poker with the kind of aplomb that would be beyond consideration for most – including those we expect to see at the final table in Saturday. Fatehi might not get to join them there, but if he can’t then he’ll be content to mess with their heads along the way.

I got to his table with a flop dealt JA8. There may have been other hands before, I can’t be sure of that, but this was the first hand of the six.

There were four players in the pot, including Fatehi on the button. The action was checked to him and he bet, 6,800. Ole Schemion in the big blind would be the only player to call, and did so for a turn card J.

ali_reza_fatehi_28april16.jpgWatch this man: Ali Reza Fatehi
Fatehi appears not yet to have found his preferred way of betting. After Schemion checked Fatehi assembled 8,800 into a tower and plunged it forward in a long line. Schemion, unimpressed, tossed in a chip to signify the call, then added the difference a chip at a time.

The river came 2 and Schemion checked again. Fatehi went straight to his chips. There was no push this time, but there was a bet of 26,000.

Schemion couldn’t countenance folding, but was slow to call. When he did Fatehi showed 52 for a heroic bottom pair. Schemion turned over A7 to take the pot and move up to more than 300,000.

But Fatehi had more chips than that, plenty to play with. Any suggestion that he would sit back to lick his wounds after an encounter with a player of Schemion stature, were quickly put to bed. I mean, who was this Schemion anyway?

In the next hand Fatehi bet 3,000 from the cut off until he was told the minimum bet was 3,200. Schemion, smelling blood, re-raised to force a fold.

Fatehi, like the man who doesn’t know when he’s beaten, raised the next pot from middle position, making it 4,000 this time (to be sure). Schemion was now on the button, and raised again, to 15,500 this time. This was interesting. How would Fatehi handle this? Well, with the aplomb I mentioned earlier.

When Schemion bet the A72 flop, making it 14,000 to play, Fatehi announced “raise”. No more pushing towers over, he was certain this time and put 36,000 in the middle. Schemion, looked at his cards again, then folded.

Buoyed up Fatehi opened the next hand for 3,200. Christophe Vogelsang, hardly able to contain a laugh, came in with the call in the big blind. The flop came A37. Vogelsang checked and Fatehi, with lightning speed, put a tower of chips worth 4,800 in the middle. Then he pushed it over.

Vogelsang folded.

Daniel Dvoress got the better of Fatehi in the next hand, opening on the button for 4,800 (called), and then bet 5,000 on the 8Q4 flop (called). Both checked the Q turn card for an A on the river. Fatehi took a swing at it, betting 12,000. When Dvoress called Fatehi found that his 75 was no good against Dvoress’s K4.

None of which put him off the next hand, nor any of the others that will follow today. Our task now is to sit back, watch, and enjoy Ali Reza Fatehi while he lasts. — SB

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4.20pm: More names arrive
Level 4 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (200 ante)

Isaac Haxton, less than half an hour after busting the €10K single re-entry high roller in 14th for €30,720, has now taken his seat here in the super high roller.

Joining him is Stanley Choi, who sits at no.1 on China’s all-time money list.

isaac_haxton_shr_monaco_28april16.jpgIsaac Haxton
And last but not least is the legend, John Juanda. With more than $18 million in tournament earnings and a win in the EPT12 Barcelona main event, Juanda is sure to make some noise here today. –JS

4pm: Watson’s tank
Level 4 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (200 ante)

While Mike Watson tanked for more than five minutes, Ole Schemion – the man who was putting him to the test – did not stare away once.

But let’s rewind a little. On a flop of 548, Schemion checked and Watson bet 3,000, which was called. The dealer burned and turned the A and now Schemion led for 5,000, which Watson called. The river was the 10 and Schemion put out a bet (I missed the exact amount) but it’s safe to say it was lower than 10,000 as Watson raised to 25,000. Schemion then came back over the top for 100,000 and here’s where the tanking started.

Watson shook his head a few times throughout his thought process, but eventually laid it down. –JS

3.30pm: Luca’s getting greedy now
Level 3 – Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Let someone else have their blog spotlight moment, will you Ivan? It’s getting silly.

Ivan Luca has even more chips in front of him now. Steve O’Dwyer opened to 4,400 and Luca called from the big blind, taking us to a 6Q8 flop. It went check-bet 5,500-call and the 10 landed on the turn. Luca checked once more and O’Dwyer led for 12,000, only to face a raise to 37,000. He called, and the river was the 2. Luca paused for a minute before finally putting out a bet of 90,000. O’Dwyer took his time in making the call, but he was forced to muck when Luca revealed his 97 for turned straight. He’s up to 650,000 now – a massive chip lead – while O’Dwyer is down to 106,000. –JS

3.10pm: Up and down for Carrel
Level 3 – Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

What a topsy turvy day it’s been for Charlie Carrel. He’d lost half his stack as we told you earlier, but since then his stack has been fluctuating wildly.

First he doubled up. He made it 4,000 to go and it folded to Sean Winter in the big blind who made it 12,000. Then Carrel four-bet to 31,000, Winter jammed, and Carrel snapped.

Carrel – KK
Winter – AK

Winter would need an ace to fall but there were no rockets on the 374Q6 board. Carrel doubled to 279,000 while Winter sat with 170,000.

A few hands later though and Carrel had somehow found himself back with little over 130,000. He was trying to make something happen though; Max Silver opened to 4,000, David Peters three-bet to 15,000, and Carrel four-bet to 31,000. It folded back to Silver who then five-bet to 60,000, and Carrel had to give it up. He has roughly 100,000 now, while Silver is playing 285,000. –JS

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2.50pm: Seidel’s defence
Level 2 – Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Last year’s super high roller champ Erik Seidel is defending his title, but it’s not been smooth sailing in his first hour or so. In one hand it folded to Max Altergott in the small blind who called, before Seidel bumped up his big blind to 4,200. The Russian called and the flop showed the 445. Both checked, taking us to the 4 turn. Altergott now led for 6,500, which Seidel called, taking us to a river – the 2. Now the bet was 11,900 and Seidel didn’t take too long to call, but mucked when Altergott revealed his A5 for a full house. Seidel is down to 215,000, while Altergott is now playing 190,000. –JS

2.45pm: The Ivan Luca show
Level 2 – Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

It’s all about Ivan Luca right now. Mike McDonald opened to 3,000 on the button, only for Timothy Adams to three-bet to 9,500 from the small blind. Then Luca counted out raising chips and made it 26,500 to play. Only Adams called and the two saw a 256 flop fall. Both checked, leading us to the Q turn, and again it went check check. The A completed the board, Adams checked, and Luca went into tank before eventually announcing “48” for a 48,000 bet. Adams let it go and now sits with 205,000, while Luca is playing 540,000. –JS

ivan_luca_shr_28april16.jpgIvan Luca
2.35pm: Luca keeps building
Level 2 – Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

The only man to have double his starting stack is Ivan Luca, but he’s not content with that. He opened to 2,400 and it folded around to Steve O’Dwyer who three-bet to 8,100. A four-bet to 32,400 from Luca quickly arrived and when O’Dwyer folded the Argentinian added even more to his chip lead. He’s up to 510,000 now, while O’Dwyer has dipped to 230,000. –JS

2.25pm: Carrel slipping as Winter takes hold
Level 2 – Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

It hasn’t been the best opening couple of levels for Charlie Carrel. The man who won last year’s €25K high roller here in Monaco is down to half his starting stack already.

charlie_carrel_shr_28apr16.jpgCharlie Carrel
David Peters opened to 3,400, Carrel called on the button, and Sean Winter three-bet to 16,300 from the small blind. Peters then let his hand go when it folded to him, but Carrel called.

It came the 762 and Winter leaned to look at Carrel’s remaining chips. “How much are you playing?” he asked. “125,000” came the reply.

A bet of 14,700 would take it down for Winter, who’s up to 275,000 now. –JS

2:15pm: Luca and McDonald clash
Level 2 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (200 ante)

A big pot featuring Mike McDonald and another new arrival Ivan Luca that reached a river card with 70,000 in the middle.
The board read Q39 83

McDonald was on the button and had bet 25,000. Luca, playing from the big blind didn’t act quickly, and McDonald was forced to wait. Luca’s response was to raise, making it 168,000 to play.

There was none of the McDonald stare. Instead he set about working through his options, separating chips into what it would cost to call and what he’d have left. After minutes passed McDonald called. Luca turned over 99. McDonald nodding, and mucked.

Ivan Luca up to 455,000. McDonald drops down to 65,000. – SB

1.50pm: A bit about Haralabob
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

If anyone remembers watching High Stakes Poker back in the day, you’ll remember Haralabos Voulgaris, known on Twitter as Haralabob. He was a regular in the big Vegas cash games, but is perhaps best known for being a hugely successful NBA-betting savant. If basketball is your thing, make sure you check out The Bill Simmons Podcast, where Voulgaris is a regular and always entertaining guest.

Anyway, Voulgaris is fielding a lot of questions for his curious tablemates about his gambling life, notably from Mike McDonald.

“I heard you once bet your entire net worth on a team to win the NBA Championship,” said McDonald.

“Oh yeah, that was a crazy bet for sure,” Voulgaris reminisced. –JS

1.40pm: More big names
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

A flurry of big names have taken their seats in this event, including last year’s champ Erik Seidel, Nick Petrangelo, Mike McDonald, Max Silver, Dominik Nitsche, Sean Winter, and most recently Stephen Chidwick. –JS

shr_field_28april16_22.jpgThe super high rollers taking their seats
1.30pm: Carrel politely asks for help
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Tables keep getting re-drawn due to arriving players, and one player who has been on the move three times already is Charlie Carrel.

When arriving at his new table, his new dealer asked how he was.

“Well, I have less chips than when I started. It’s up to you to do something about it,” he said. Not quite sure that’s how poker works, Charlie, but wouldn’t it be easier if it was? –JS

1.25pm: Dvoress gets the best of Vogelsang
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Daniel Dvoress and Christoph Vogelsang and sat right next to each other, and they’ve already tangled in a couple of pots. So far, Dvoress has got the better of proceedings.

Vogelsang opened to 2,800 under the gun, and Dvoress was the only caller from the big blind. The flop came the 66K and Dvoress checked it to the raiser, who was only so happy to c-bet for 2,300. Dvoress called.

The turn was another six – the 6 – and Dvoress checked again. Now the bet from Vogelsang was 5,500 and it was another quick call from the Canadian. The board was completed by the A on the river – a card which both players felt best to check. Dvoress flipped over the 1010 and Vogelsang mucked.

Daniel Dvoress – 262,000
Christoph Vogelsang – 235,000 –JS

1:20pm: A shining high roller event on a hill
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

It’s that early stage of the super high roller during which players reach the tournament area in the far corner of the tournament room one by one.

Like light aircraft looking for a distant airfield, they arrive, weaving through the FPS Main Event, circling back around a satellite, and then through the single re-entry high roller field, before touching down at one of the empty SHR tables. David Peters, then Andrew Lichtenberger, Dominik Nitsche and Max Silver too, although those last two prefer to hang back, not ready to commit just yet.

Dan Shak also arrives carrying his laptop, not in a bag or anything, but open, in his hand, like someone taking desperate measures to find a WiFi signal.

When they finally take a seat, the analogy switches to a kind of greeting session at the start of a day-long conference. They sit together and talk politely, getting to know each other, only missing the white name label with their name in felt tip pen.

But even with two tables there is still room for tactical nuance.

Dan Smith, one of the early arrivals, wasn’t happy about the number of players on the side lines who he figured were waiting for a good seat to open up. Putting aside the fact that they all looked like pretty tough seats, staff were already on it, and with the arrival of the 17th player the game paused, the clock stopped, and a re-draw was announced.

That’s where we are for now. Three tables shining in the distance, guiding in more super high rollers one by one. No name badge required. – SB

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12:50pm: The tables are filling up
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

I say the tables are filling up, but there are only two so far. Still, we’re talking about a €100K buy-in here; the prize pool is already enormous!

Players who are in their seats ruffling chips include EPT11 Grand Final €25K high roller and EPT12 Dublin €10K high roller winner Charlie Carrel; EPT8 Grand Final €100K super high roller winner Justin Bonomo; EPT9 Grand Final main event winner Steve O’Dwyer; EPT9 Barcelona €50K high roller winner Dan Smith; EPT11 Malta €10K high roller winner David Peters; not to mention Timothy Adams, Vladimir Troyanovskiy, Christoph Vogelsang, Haralabos Voulgaris, and Paul Newey.

Already steller, it’s going to be one heck of a field when it’s fully assembled. –JS

12:10pm: New arrivals

Max Altergott, Igor Kurganov, Salman Behbehani and Sam Greenwood are the registered players so far. It might not sound like a lot, but that’s a winner-takes-all first prize almost as big as that in the single re-entry high roller event that concludes today. That said, more players are on the way. — SB

11:45am: €100K Super High Roller starts today

Welcome to the opening day of the €100K Super High Roller, which used to be the opening event before the €10K Single re-entry High Roller “Warm Up” was added to the schedule.

What we expect is a typical demonstration of poker at its very best, as the premier players in the world converge on the Monte Carlo Bay and Resort. The sun is shining, the sea is calm, the curtains are drawn – conditions are perfect.

We expect to play eight 60 minute levels today. It’s also worth remembering this is a re-entry tournament, which should raise the eyebrows even higher on those people you know who, unfamiliar with the poker world, ask what’s so fascinating about some card game anyway.

Last year this event was won by Erik Seidel after a memorable heads-up to-and-fro against wonder-kid Dzmitry Urbanovich, a finale you can re-read here. We’ll hope for the same when things wrap up on Saturday. — SB

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

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

PokerStars Blog reporting team on the EPT12 Grand Final: Stephen Bartley and Jack Stanton. Photography by Neil Stoddart. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter:@PokerStarsBlog

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