2.55pm: News in brief as we reach the break
Team PokerStars Pro Max Lykov is continuing to grow his stack and is now up to 150,000 chips.
Another Max on the rise is Heinzelmann. He’s chasing his namesake but is lagging 15,000 behind with 135,000 chips.
British player Tom MacDonald was bemoaning his luck at having to sit to chip leader Carter Phillips’ right but he just took down a small pot to break the 100,000 chips barrier. — MC
2.45pm: Ruthenberg up as more players head for the rail
Sebastian Ruthenberg is up to about 115,000 having eliminated Alessandro De Michele with kings against his ace-jack. The German Team PokerStars Pro is now up to around 115,000.
Elsewhere Luigi Abiusi was putting his tournament life on the line, moving in for his last 11,500. The only player left to call him was Daniel Sjogren who was looking at him.
“Are you a tight player?” asked Sjogren. Abiusi didn’t quite see the funny side, replying “No, I’m an aggressive player,” and pointing at the meagre looking 11,500 now out in front of him.
Eventually Sjogren called, showing A♣8♦. Abiusi knew that was that, turning over 10♦K♠. The board ran Q♣9♦9♥Q♥5♠ to send Abiusi to the rail. – SB
2.40pm: Established pros, emerging stars
Aside of the ranks of the never-gonna-win’s are two main sets of players that you feel could win an EPT; the established pros and the emerging stars.
In the first group you have the likes of Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein who has managed to drag himself back up to a decent 90,000 stack after some early nasty set-ups.
The second group is harder to spot but includes players such as Morten Mortenesen. The young Dane impressed throughout EPT Snowfest where he was the first player to bust from the final table. He, like Greenstein, is up to 90,000 after forcing Igor Yaroshevs Kyy to fold to a shove on a J♣10♦J♦5♥8♠ board. — RD
2.37pm: Carter gets more
In the last level, Carter Phillips won a big pot by hitting running cards that propelled him into the chip lead. He just won another sizable pot to extend that lead but this time he got his chips in good.
He opened the pot with a mid-position raise to 4,000 and was called by Salvatore Castorina in the big blind to see a 6♣4♠10♣ flop. The Italian led for a pot-busting 12,000 and then moved all-in for about 80,000 when Phillips raised to 27,500. Phillips snap called with A♦10♠, ahead of his opponent’s pair and flush draw with 7♣4♣.
The board ran out J♠5♠ and Phillips celebrated with a fist pump. He’s up to 390,000 chips now. — MC
2.28pm: Selbst making headway
We have 342 players left in this royal main event and Vanessa Selbst is among those chasing the lead with a stack of 220,000. Selbst just raked in a good sized pot which must have been close to 50,000 after shoving into Peter Akery on the river of a A♣4♥3♠9♥8♣ board. He passed. — RD
2.15pm: Saout out, loses to Liu
Xuan Liu is currently busy stacking a stack of more than 250,000 after she eliminated former World Series final tablist Antoine Saout.
On a flop of [t][j] the money went in, Liu showing pocket fives to Saout’s [q][j]. A third players showed [q] to bulk up the pot.
The turn came , the river a  to send Saout to the rail and Lui to a place among the leaders. — SB
2.12pm: You’d better not be messing with us Balding
While we always try to ensure the quality of content on the blog is top draw, even I had to check this one again. Something about Liv Boeree and pillow fights…
2.10pm: More for Eames
John Eames is up to 157,000 after hitting a flush and getting paid. The river was out to leave a 8♥10♥7♥2♥J♣ board and Eames led for 10,000 and was called by Maxim Boguslavskiy who then mucked upon seeing Eames’ J♥J♦. – MC
2.08pm: Lucky Lunkin
Vitaly Lunkin has more than doubled up after knocking out a fellow short stack. The Russian bracelet holder raised to 3,600 from under-the-gun and was called in three spots before Marcello Boschetti moved all-in for 25,800 from the big blind. Lunkin followed him in for 1,000 more and that was enough to get him heads up.
The Italian was cursing as the board ran K♦8♦7♥7♣2♥ to eliminate him. — MC
2.06pm: James Sudworth celebrating early
Bless you, James Sudworth, bless you. With no Josh Prager here it’s difficult to shoehorn in any half-hearted insinuations that someone has started celebrating their victory a few days early by getting on the sauce before we’ve hit the money.
Sudworth has stepped in to fill that position ably; he’s at least one glass of Jagermeister and Redbull to the good. His stack looks to be around 70,000 at the moment. We’ll track the direct drink-to-stack correlation throughout the day. — RD
Andy Black has busted after getting it in with ace-ten against kings on a ten-high flop. Victor Ramdin fed me the information and pointed at Govert Metaal as being the man to have taken the remanants of the Irishman’s stack. — RD
1.55pm: Pro on Pro
Vanessa Selbst opened for 3,500 in the hijack with Andrey Zaichenko once more taking her on. The flop came 7♠5♦8♦ at which Selbst bet 5,400, taking the pot and moving up to around 215,000.
Elsewhere Salvatore Bonavena had a decision to make with a board reading 10♠5♣K♦3♦J♣. There was 15,000 in the middle and Bonavena had bet 5,600, only for Max Lykov to raise to 17,200. Bonavena couldn’t do it, folding a K♣ face up. He slips to 70,000 while Lykov surges to 175,000. – SB
1.46pm: Players return
Play restarts in Level 11.
1.45pm: And now for something completely different
We track Twitter for tournament snippets and occurrences. I feel these words from British pro Karl Marenholz deserves to be published: “Hate it when nits wear outlandish T-shirts to try to show they have some flair.” — RD
1.40pm: Strassmann busts
Team PokerStars Pro Johannes Strassmann is out and we know that thanks to Vanessa Selbst and her Tweets:
“Average stack 75k, very aggro kid with 90k just moved 3 to my right should be fun, lol as I’m typing thus he 5bet shoves 97cc and busts!”
“Oh lol it was johannes strassman from team pro. Guess I don’t play in Europe enough ” — MC
1.31pm: End of the level
Players are now taking a 15 minute break.
1.30pm: Selbst wins on the flop
Peter Akery opened from early position, making it 2,600 to play. The action was folded around to Vanessa Selbst in the small blind who raised to 7,800. Akery took his time about it but called for a flop of 3♠4♣9♣. Selbst made it easy for Akery, betting 6,800 to take the pot. – SB
1.27pm: Two Brits going well
While two Brits having a good day back in Blighty, we have two going along well here.
Rupert Elder is up to 177,000 after hitting a set to eliminate his neighbour Erik Tamm, and John Eames is up to 144,000 after a turned full house also brought the nut flush for an opponent. — MC
1.26pm: Ramdin still flying high, Black clouds gathering
Victor Ramdin started the day on 190,000, dropped some and is now, after winning this pot against Jesse Cohen, back up to that starting level.
Ramdin opened to 2,700 from the hijack and was called by Cohen in the cut-off. Ramdin casually tossed 5,200 at the A♥4♦9♣ flop and Cohen called. Ramdin pushed forward 12,500 into the K♥ turn and Cohen stared at him intently, looking to me much like a shaved Honey Monster would if Ramdin had just taken his breakfast bowl. He passed.
Just as I discovered that my pen had run out of ink Ramdin started needling Irishman Andy Black, who was sat across the table from the American Team Pro. To surmise, Ramdin told Black that he had included him in some kind of fantasy final table due to his exuberant chat and thus far today he was disappointing him. Talk more, he implored. Entertain me, he pleaded. Perhaps Black isn’t a morning person or maybe Ramdin is just winning the battle of wills for the moment. Storm clouds on the horizon. — RD
1.22pm: Having position is half the battle
EPT Berlin bridesmaid Max Heinzelmann just won a three-bet pot off Mikhail Shakhnovich whilst sat in position.
He raised to 2,500 from the button and called when the Russian three-bet to 6,100 from the big blind. The flop came down 6♠6♦8♥ and Shakhnovich’s lead for 7,500 was called. The turn came 3♦ at which point the German regained the initiative. He bet 12,000 when Shakhnovich checked to him and 28,400 on the Q♣ river. Shakhnovich checked to him on both streets and folded on the river. Heinzelmann up to 78,000. — MC
1.20pm: Small blind leading the big blind
The action was folded around to Vanessa Selbst in the small blind who looked at her cards and raised to 3,300. Next to her in the big blind was Andrey Zaichenko, who defends, calling for a 10♠6♠Q♠ flop.
Both checked for a K♦ which was also checked. On the 4♥ river card the stalemate was reaffirmed, Selbst turning over 5♠5♥ against Zaichenko’s J♦6♦ winner.
1.15pm: Visser slips as Roy rumbles
Team PokerStars Pro Ruben Visser has slipped down a little, from 250,000 to 231,000, while a rival at his table, Alain Roy, starts to edge closer to the leaders.
On a flop of J♦A♠8♥ the two of them contested a pot, Roy checking to Visser who bet 6,000, which the Frenchman called for a 5♥ turn. Roy bet 11,500 to take the pot. He’s now up to around 220,000. – SB
1.10pm: Lykov reverses chip trend
Team PokerStars Pro Max Lykov came in with a stack worth over 100,000 but he went on the slide early as the pot he just took down got him back up to 90,000.
He raised to 2,500 from the button and both blind players called to see the K♣7♦2♠ flop. Lykov continued for 4,100 and only Aleksey Zharko called from the small blind. The turn came 8♠ and Zharko check-called a 8,200 bet to go to the 5♦ river.
Lykov had another bet in him when the action was checked to him for a third time. His 18,600 bet was quickly called by his Ukranian opponent who mucked when Lykov tabled A♦K♠. — MC
1pm: Beard watch
The winner of the highly coveted ‘beard of the tournament’ award has gone to Thomas Mercier of Belgium. Adequately stacked with 100,000, Mercier also comes equipped with a huge beard and large flowing mane of hair. Largely reminiscent of the leader of the barbarian horde from that battle at the beginning of Ridley Scott’s Gladiator (played by Chick Allan). Picture to come. — RD
12.50pm: Greenstein all atwitter
Barry Greenstein’s day has not started well, so says his Twitter feed: “Lost 14k because a guy didn’t know I raised in. Then lost with trips to a rivered flush. Avg. 70k. I have 46k. 38BB” — RD
12.44pm: De Korver over
Pieter de Korver has busted out here early into Day 2. The Dutch Team PokerStars Pro opened for 2,800 and was called by Max Lehmanksi on the button and Lorenzo Sabato in the big blind.
Sabato led out into the 7♥10♥7♠ flop and De Korver shoved all-in with A♥J♥. Lehmanksi quickly moved out the way, Sabato made the call with 7♣5♣. The board blanked out Q♠2♦. De Korver out, Sabato out to 150,000. — RD
12.40pm: Boom Bonanvena
And Salvatore Bonavena doubles up, and then some, moving up from around 30,000 to about 80,000.
On a flop of 2♦J♦5♣ Bonavena bet 3,600 which was raised by David Baker to 9,000. Bonanvena then moved all-in for 35,500 which Baker called, turning over Q♦9♦ to Bonavena’s Q♠J♥. The turn came 3♣, the river 5♥, on which Bonanvena clenched his fist with reined in delight. – SB
12.35pm: No spin up for Leibold
Imre Leibold from Estonia is one of the first casualties today after being downed by Tristan Clemencon. He raised from the hijack and then moved all-in after Clemencon three-bet from the small blind. Call.
The board ran 4♥4♣K♣3♥4♦ to make the Frenchman the bigger full house. – MC
12.30pm: Female talent
Carla Solinas was crowned as the IPT female player of the year just a few nights ago, and she’s got off to a great start here on Day 2. Having sat down with 44,000 she’s now up to almost double that, having barrelled into Bruno Stefanelli on a 9♦10♠5♥K♠5♦ board. Stefanelli passed to the 16,700 flung at him on the river. — RD
12.20pm: A cagey start?
Piero Piave had 10,4000 out in front of him, with Joe Coraci his opposition. Coraci then raised to 50,600 from the small blind. Piave went through lots of head rubbing, then chip rubbing. He had 50,000 back but couldn’t make the decision. Marcin Horecki called time. That did it, a fold followed, with Coraci showing A♦K♣ face up. — SB
12.10pm: Cards are in the air
Play begins on Day 2. They’ll be five levels of 75 minutes and no dinner break. — SB
11.54pm: From the tournament floor
Gloria Balding talks to Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Rousso as players arrive for Day 2.
11.50am: Welcome to Day 2
You might think that there’s a slight broadcasting clash for anyone in the world trying to publicise something today. While the Union flag flies high over the PokerStars Blog desk this afternoon (Es tut mir leid Robin), and each of us wears our campaign medals, as permitted in our contracts, the rest of the world tunes in to events in London today.
But unsurprisingly, none of that matters a fig to those turning up at Casino San Remo. Forget weddings, we have the holy matrimony of high stakes tournament poker and 460 players to deal with, and what a sight it is to witness these guardians of this noble pursuit arrive.
Counting the players across the threshold we can see the subtle combinations of designer flip flops and the first-t-shirt-I-found-on-the-hotel-room-floor. Elsewhere the visual twang of Ed Hardy, flowing freely over yesterday’s track suit trousers. Those still waiting outside smoke cigarettes and talk about queens running into kings. The world ticks idly by.
Then photographer Neil Stoddart arrives draped in a British flag, union sunglasses and what appears to be a union jack bandana. That’s more like it.
Play starts at 12noon today. — SB
San Remo, the Italian capital of pies?