EPT12 Dublin: €10K High Roller Day 1 live updates

February 18, 2016

* Late registration (and single re-entry option) through start of Day 2
* 80 of 181 entries remain (so far)

* 42 re-entries

1:10am: Play ends for Day 1
Level 10 – Blinds: 800-1,600 (200 ante)

Play has ended for Day 1. Dominik Nitsche will lead the remaining 80 players into Day 2 after amassing 305,600. There were 181 entries today, but that number could grow as registration is open until 12:15pm, 15 minutes before Day 2 starts. A full wrap of today’s events will be up on the blog shortly. — MC

12:55am: Last three hands
Level 10 – Blinds: 800-1,600 (200 ante)

The staff has drawn a card and announced each table will play three more hands before ending for the night. –NW

12:52am: Nitsche passes 300k
Level 10 – Blinds: 800-1,600 (200 ante)

Dominik Nitsche has clear space at the top of the counts after he eliminated Jeffrey Rossiter.

The Australian pro was unlucky after his kings were bettered by Nitsche’s ace-king that went on to make the nut flush. — MC

12:42pm: Two times no good for Akkari
Level 10 – Blinds: 800-1,600 (200 ante)


No Day 2 possible for Akkari
Andre Akkari was one of the first players to re-enter today and one of the last to bust. He was making a good fist of his second bullet for while but was the Team PokerStstars Pro was just seen leaving the room. — MC

12:38pm: Greenwood lets one go
Level 10 – Blinds: 800-1,600 (200 ante)

Sam Greenwood has dropped out of the chip lead after folding on the river to Nick Palma. He’s still doing well on 260,000 though.

He led for 11,100 on the turn with a reading 8♠10♣J♠K♠ and tank called when Palma raised to 26,500. The river was the 2♦ and Palma snap shoved for 43,400 when Greenwood checked to him. Fold. — MC

12:28am: 42nd street
Level 10 – Blinds: 800-1,600 (200 ante)

The total number of entries has risen to 181 (107 remain) and 42 of those have been re-entries. Some of the latest to re-enter were:

Emil Patel
Georgios Sotiropoulos
Igor Kurganov
Viacheslav Goryachev
Mohsin Charania
Fernando Brito

12:15am: Level and Nitsche up
Level 10 – Blinds: 800-1,600 (200 ante)

The players have entered the last level of the night. One player sitting pretty is Dominik Nitsche. He’s up to 260,000 after he three-bet Darie Vlad with pocket kings and emptied the clip. Vlad heroed all the way with deuces but saw the bad news on showdown and dropped to 40,000. — MC

12:07am: That’s all she wrote
Level 9 – Blinds: 600-1,200 (200 ante)

Jean-Noel Thorel never managed to mount a comeback.

Kyle Frey opened to 2,800 from early position and Thorel called all in for 2,200 from the next seat. Paul Dando called from the button but folded when Frey bet 4,800 on the 7♥3♥8♠ flop.

Frey: K♥Q♥
Thorel: A♦2♣

Thorel needed to fade a heart but he couldn’t as the board ran out 10♦J♥. — MC
11:59pm: Great call by Zaffran
Level 9 – Blinds 600-1,200 (200 ante)

Jean-Noel Thorel is not having a good level. He’s now down to just 2,600 on his second bullet after Jean Paul Zaffran made a brilliant river call against him.

I only saw the river action but there was a complete board of J♥6♠J♠Q♣3♦ on the felt and Thorel bet 25,000 into a pot of roughly 72,000. Zaffran was thinking over his decision and after a bit of tank time he did call. “You win,” said Thorel as he showed A♠7♠ for the missed flush draw, Zaffran had A♣K♣ for a better ace and his kicker played. Great call by the Frenchman who is now up to 160,000. –NW

11:57pm: Thorel’s back, Mercier profits
Level 9 – Blinds: 600-1,200 (200 ante)

Jean-Noel Thorel immediately bought back in and lost a pot at his new table, to Jason Mercier.

The Team PokerStars Pro opened from the hijack and Thorel defended his big blind. The flop spread Q♣4♠9♣ and Mercier continued for 2,700. Thorel check-called before the A♠3♠ turn and river were checked down. Thorel opened 5♣6♥ for six high, which meant Mercier’s K♦10♦ for king high was good. He’s up to around 200,000. — MC

11:50pm: Buddiga busts again
Level 9 – Blinds: 600-1,200 (200 ante)

Pratyush Buddiga busted out at the beginning of the level and rebought. He’s just busted again and as this is a single reentry event he’s out for good. He got his second stack in with A♣Q♣ and was up against Dario Sammartino’s pocket sixes.

The K♥J♦9♠K♣7♦ board teased Buddiga without ever giving him the lead. Sammartino is up to 120,000 after that knockout. –NW

11:45pm: Thorel gets it in as bad as one can
Level 9 – Blinds: 600-1,200 (200 ante)

“You guys got that, right?” asked Dominik Nitsche to the blog after Jean-Noel Thorel had left the table due to bluffing off his stack.


Thorel in happier times
He had opened to 3,000 from under the gun and called after Sergey Lebedev three-bet to 8,000 from the next seat. The flop fell 3♠Q♣2♥ and Thorel check-called 5,000. The turn was the K♠ and Thorel checked to face a 10,000 bet. He quickly raised all in for 32,000 and Lebedev snap called and opened K♣Q♦ for top two pair.

Thorel? He tried to muck his cards but the dealer rescued them and opened 7♦8♦ for eight high. Drawing dead. Lebedev smiled and gathered in the chips that got him up to 104,000. — MC

11:30pm: No ordinary aces versus kings hand
Level 9 – Blinds 600-1,200 (200 ante)

This is what you call a made for TV hand…

Kelvin Kerber opened to 3,000 from under the gun, Darie Vlad then three-bet to 8,000 from the cutoff, only for Kevin MacPhee to cold four-bet to 16,500 on the button. Back on Kerber he moved all in and after Vlad folded MacPhee snap called all in for 44,600 total.

MacPhee: A♥A♣
Kerber: K♠K♥

The 6♠10♦K♣ flop sent Kerber from worst to first, the Q♥ turn gave MacPhee additional outs and the J♦ put him back in the lead as he made broadway. Kerber couldn’t believe it – in an amusing way, there were no histrionics – MacPhee’s now up to almost 100,000. –NW


MacPhee’s aces were temporarily cracked
11:15pm: Buddiga busts
Level 9 – Blinds 600-1,200 (ante 200)

A few minutes into the level Pratyush Buddiga five-bet shoved for around 75,000 with pocket queens and Arne Coulier called with ace-king. A king on the turn sent a 150,000 pot the Belgian’s way and sent Buddiga to the rail. –NW

11:08pm: Chip leaders as play resumes
Level 9 – Blinds 600-1,200 (ante 200)

Sam Greenwood on top

Name Country Chips
Sam Greenwood Canada 257000
Mark Radoja Canada 175000
Davidi Kitai Belgium 173000
Ariel Celestino Brazil 160000
Felix Bleiker Switzerland 155000
Darie Vlad Romania 151000
Bernardo Dias Brazil 149000
Rocco Palumbo Italy 146000
Jason Mercier USA 145000
Zvi Stern Israel 144000
Andre Akkari Brazil 137000
Willliam Arruda Brazil 134500
Ben Heath UK 128000
Dominik Nitsche Germany 114500
Jacob Bazeley USA 112000
Mike Watson Canada 109000
Shyam Srinivasan Canada 106000

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10:52pm: Break time
Level 8 – Blinds 500-1,000 (ante 100)

The players are on their final 20 minute break of the day. –NW

10:42pm: Vousden shoves on Vogelsang
Level 8 – Blinds 500-1,000 (ante 100)

As time ticked down on level eight a curious hand played out between Christoph Vogelsang and Samuel Vousden. Pre-flop Vogelsang opened to 2,400 and action folded to Vousden, who was in the big blind.

As the dealer scooped in the mucked cards three of them were unintentionally exposed to Vogelsang, who’s in seat five and the dealer turned them face up so Vousden, who’s in seat one, had the same information. The exposed cards were the Q♣9♦ and 2♠.

Vousden called and the flop fell J♥7♣K♣, Vogelsang bet 2,500 and Vousden called. On the 9♥ turn Vogelsang bet again, this time 11,100 and again Vousden called. The 8♦ completed the board and Vousden moved all in for 26,500 and Vogelsang quickly released his cards. –NW


Vogelsang couldn’t call the river
10:40pm: More bluff catching
Level 8 – Blinds: 500-1,000 (100 ante)

Many of these high rollers are the best of the best, and they love to bluff. A lot of bluffing has occurred today, it seems. The latest to get caught was Connor Drinan.

He flatted a 2,500 raise while sat on the button and then was the only caller after Mariano Martiradonna squeezed to 8,200 from the big blind. The flop came Q♦5♠8♥ and Drinan called an 8,000 c-bet. The board ran out 7♦4♣ with Martiradonna checking both times. Drinan checked behind on the turn but had a stab on the river. Martiradonna called and was shown J♦9♦, so took the pot with his K♥K♣. — MC

10:30pm: Zaffran gets angry, exposes card
Level 8 – Blinds 500-1,000 (ante 100)

Jean Paul Zaffran was not happy about folding and as a result he exposed a card to another player at the table and was forced to show all as he’d showed one.

The action in the hand in question was started by Espen Solaas, he raised to 2,300 from under-the-gun, Zaffran three-bet to 4,500 from middle position and the small blind came along too. The J♠K♠9♠ flop checked through and the 9♥ hit the turn.

Solaas bet 7,500 and this is where the fun and games began, Zaffran propped his glasses on his forehead and rubbed his eyes for a while before placing his glasses back into their appropriate place. He then lifted his cards up off the felt and fake folded a couple of times before angrily slamming them down onto the felt.

Due to these antics the dealer was duty bound to turn over the bottom card, which was the Q♣. –NW

10:25pm: Silver out, then in
Level 8 – Blinds 500-1,000 (ante 100)

We missed Max Silver’s exit but did see him heading to table six with a fresh stack of 50,000. He’s got Jeff Gross, Samuel Vousden and Emil Patel for company. –NW

10:21pm: Kornuth charged a bill for bluffing
Level 8 – Blinds: 500-1,000 (100 ante)

Willliam Arruda just plain didn’t believe Chance Kornuth in a hand. He was right and his reward was to get up to around 90,000 in chips.

Kornuth checked a 6♣5♣4♦ flop to see Arruda bet 3,000 from the hijack. Kornuth was sat one seat to his right and raised to 8,200. Call. The turn was the 4♠ and Arruda called another 10,000 before both players checked the 10♣ river.

Kornuth opened his bluffing J♦8♦ and lost out to Arruda who had ace high with A♥Q♠. –MC


Kornuth – caught bluffing
10:10pm: MacPhee doubles a shortie
Level 8 – Blinds: 500-1,000 (100 ante)

Kevin MacPhee priced himself in versus Diego Zeiter and doubled the Swiss up.

He opened to 2,200 from the button and called when Zeiter moved in for 7,600 from the small blind with Q♣J♦. MacPhee opened Q♣J♦ and the board ran 6♥K♥7♠3♦4♦. He dropped to 30,400. — MC

9:55pm: Vlad means bad for Sotiropoulos
Level 8 – Blinds 500-1,000 (ante 100)

At the very end of Level 7 Darie Vlad and Georgios Sotiropoulos got involved in a big pot and it cost Sotiropoulos about half his stack. He raised to 1,800 from early position, Jeff Gross smooth called from the button and Vlad then reraised to 7,600 out of the big blind.

Back Sotiropoulos he got some chips out of his stack but they weren’t calling chips. Instead he raised it up to 17,100 and after getting confirmation of the Greek players total stack (about 65,000), Vlad called the four-bet.

The flop fell 5♥J♥8♠, Vlad checked it over to Sotiropoulos, he bet 12,400 only for Vlad to check-raise all in. Sotiropoulos instantly mucked his hand and he drops to 35,000 whilst Vlad is up to 145,000. –NW

9:47pm: Into level eight
Level 8 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

We’re into level eight now and there are 114 players remaining according to the tournament clock. –NW

9:45pm: Sevens provide silver lining for Max
Level 7 – Blinds 400-800 (ante 100)

In a button versus big blind situation Max Silver (button) got his final 20,400 into the middle with 7♣7♥ and was looking to hold against the A♥K♦ of Luis Rodriguez Cruz.

He did just that as the board ran 5♥9♣8♦2♣Q♠. On the very next hand Keith Johnson opened to 2,000, Silver three-bet to 6,500 and Johnson folded. “It’s hard being this busy,” joked Silver after winning that hand. He’s up to around 45,000 now. -NW

9:43pm: Where did that come from?
Level 7 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

“Hold on, I haven’t done anything yet!” said Patrick Leonard to the dealer after she gathered in the chips thinking he’d checked his option.

She put the blinds back in front of the players to allow Leonard the chance to act after Christoph Vogelsang hand limped in from the small blind. Leonard decided to raise to 2,300 and after a while, Vogelsang came back with a surprise reraise to 7,100. The German admitted defeat when Leonard bumped it up to 14,400.

“I would’ve just checked if…..nevermind” said Leonard half pointing to the dealer.

Leonard – 65,000
Vogelsang – 37,000

9:40pm: Silver getting punished
Level 7 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

Max Silver has dropped down to 28,000 after folding to Bart Lybaert’s delayed-delayed c-bet.

Silver had opened to 2,000 from the hijack and called after Lybaert’s three-bet him from the next seat. The board rolled out 8♣3♠8♦10♦2♥ with Lybaert waiting until the river to bet 2,800.

Silver tank folded saying he almost four-bet jammed. “You have ace-king?” he asked his opponent.

When he got negative as a response he said, “Oh well, getting punished today!”


Max Silver
Lybaert moved up to 44,000. — MC

9:30pm: Celestino puts the hurt on Reiss
Level 7 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

Ariel Celestino is up to 145,000 after turning up the heat in a hand against Ryan Reiss. The PokerStars Blog joined the action on the 8♦A♣7♥ flop, Igor Kurganov bet 3,200, Reiss raised to 8,600 and Celestino min reraised to 14,000 total.

That bet was enough to rid of Kurganov but Reiss stuck around. Om the K♠ turn Celestino bet 12,500 and after a brief think Reiss once again smooth called. The pot was now around 65,000 and Reiss had just 52,000 behind. On the 2♥ river Celestino moved all in and Reiss immediately released his cards. After that hand Celestino is up to roughly 170,000. –NW

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9:23pm: Lebedev leverages Peters’ stack
Level 7 – Blinds 400-800 (ante 100)

Sergey Lebedev is making better use of his second bullet than his first. He just took most of David Peters’ stack to move up to 123,000. He then helped triple Peters up but still managed to increase his stack even further.

Lebedev was on the button and moved all in for 42,700 into a 30,000 pot. The board read 9♣A♠8♠4♥ and Peters made the call from the small blind. He dropped down to just 400 chips though after his A♠8♥ for two pair was behind to the Russian’s A♣9♦ for a higher two pair. The river was the 6♥.

The very next hand Rocco Palumbo opened to 1,800 from the button before Lebedev three-bet to 4,800 from the cutoff. Peters called all in for 300 and Palumbo called as well. The flop fell 10♦7♠4♥ and Palumbo check-called 4,500. The turn was the K♥ and a Lebedev bet of 11,000 convinced Palumbo to fold.

Lebedev opened a drawing 8♣9♣, a hand that never got there on the Q♣ river versus Peters’ 9♥9♠. He still made profit on the hand though and Peters was still short with 2,800. — MC

9:05pm: Kornuth takes his chance to eliminate Oliveira
Level 7 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

The action folded to Chance Kornuth in the cutoff and he opened to 2,000, next to act Francisco Oliveira raised to 16,000 leaving just 2,300 back, so his bet was essentially all in. It folded back round to Kornuth and the American, who had about 27,000 to start the hand, raised enough to set Oliveira in and he naturally called all in for his final 2,300.

Kornuth: 2♥2♦
Oliveira: A♣8♣

The 5♥K♣9♦7♣2♠ board gave Kornuth quite the sweat, but the deuces held to eliminate Oliveria. -NW

Chance Kornuth, 45,000
Franciso Oliveira, 0

9pm: 150 entry mark hit
Level 7 – Blinds: 400-800 (100 ante)

The High Roller has moved up to 150 entries (117 remain). A total of 134 of them are unique, like the recently entered Martin Jacobson, and 16 have re-entered. Those who have bought back in since the list was last updated are:

Anton Wigg
Andrew Lichtenberger
Jeffrey Rossiter
Sergey Lebedev
Artem Litvinov
Charlie Carrel
Jason Wheeler
Max Greenwood
Sylvain Loosli
Connor Drinan
— MC


Second bullet for Loosli
8:47pm: Back at it
Level 7 – Blinds: 400-800 (100 ante)

Play has just restarted, there are four further 60 minute levels to play on Day 1. –NW

7:31pm: Big stacks just before dinner
Level 6 – Blinds: 300-600 (75 ante)

As they go off to dinner (and we do as well), here’s a quick run around the tournament area to find the big stacks after six hours of poker. Connor Drinan has jumped up into the apparent chip lead at present, the suddenly shorter stack of Mike Watson sitting next to him suggesting a possible source for his newfound wealth.

Connor Drinan — 205,000
Shyam Srinivasan — 138,000
Luuk Gieles — 134,000
Jean-Noel Thorel — 133,000
Jason Wheeler — 128,000
Luc Greenwood — 125,000
Jason Mercier — 120,000
Akin Tuna — 118,000
Zvi Stern — 107,000
Davidi Kitai — 106,000
Ryan Riess — 102,000
Timothy Adams — 96,000

The big board says they’re at 146 entries with 114 left. They’ll return in 75 minutes, meaning play will resume about 8:45pm. –MH

7:30pm: Leonard has his ducks in a row
Level 6 – Blinds: 300-600 (75 ante)

In the last hand before the break, Patrick Leonard had pushed all in on the river with the board showing 6♣A♣9♦2♥7♣ and Pierre Neuville tanked a bit into the start of the dinner break. At last Neuville called, and Leonard quickly tabled 2♣2♦ for a turned set. Neuville mucked, and off to dinner they went.

Neuville will return to a relatively short stack of 28,000 while Leonard has chipped up to 74,000. –MH

7:25pm: Greenwood’s time with Timex
Level 6 – Blinds: 300-600 (75 ante)

“Second time ever in my life I’ve called the clock,” explained Ludovic Geilich after he called the clock on Luc Greenwood.

Greenwood and Mike McDonald had made it to the river where 45,000 was in the middle and a board that read 5♥5♣10♦A♥K♦. McDonald set Greenwood all in for his last 38,625 and he waited until he had three seconds left to make a decision before he flicked in a chip indicating a call. McDonald opened 3♠4♠ for a bluff and tapped the table after he saw Greenwood’s A♣Q♦. McDonald dropped to around 70,000. –MC


Geilich, not the clock-calling type
7:14pm: High Roller atmosphere bubbling
Level 6 – Blinds: 300-600 (75 ante)

There’s something about Dublin that just puts people in a good mood. A pint of the black stuff certainly helps, but across the board, the tournaments have been played in good humour. That’s continued into the High Roller and two instances just occurred that could’ve seen people frown, but ended up with laughter spreading around the respective tables.

Jean-Noel Thorel was in the small blind and had seen an early position raise that he called too early. Jeffrey Rossiter was before him and put in a three-bet just after the Frenchman called. The floor was called and ruled that, as Rossiter had changed the action, Thorel still had all option available to him. He decided that his hand warranted a fold so took all the chips back, including the small blind that he was still obliged to post. Poker players are an observant bunch and his mistake was pretty quickly pointed out before most the table, including Thorel, suffered a fit of the giggles. Thorel is a very rich, retired businessman — an irony that probably helped fuel the reaction.

Two minutes later, Jason Wheeler erupted in laughter that could be heard tournament wide. His reaction came after his neighbour Dario Sammartino opened a bottle of sparkling water that wasn’t settled and it fizzed all over his arms, chips, the table, and pretty much everywhere except his phone that rested by his stack but somehow escaped a soaking. All Sammartino could do was laugh along with Wheeler. –MC

7:02pm: A memorable flop
Level 6 – Blinds: 300-600 (75 ante)

Andrew Taylor was just all in and at risk with 9♥9♠ versus David Peters’s J♦J♠, and when the dealer spread the flop the table collectively chuckled at the sight.

J♥J♣9♦. No shinola.

“A little overkill” said Taylor through a grin. “Another nine,” said Dominik Nitsche looking on, and the table laughed a little more as that would be a little much.

The turn and river brought no quads-over-quads scenario, a small saving grace for Taylor who departs. Peters has 64,000. –MH

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6:51pm: Drinan over Varonen
Level 6 – Blinds: 300-600 (75 ante)

Lauri Varonen has joined the ranks of those losing their initial stack of chips in this one. We’ll see if the Finn returns for try number two.

Connor Drinan is already on his second round, and he’s the one who claimed the last Varonen’s stack. A set of community cards reading J♠7♥10♥Q♥3♠ added up to a set of queens for Varonen who held Q♣Q♦, but a Broadway straight for Drinan who had A♥K♣ — that queen on the turn being the pivot point of the preceding drama.

Drinan is now at 118,000. –MH

6:42pm: Riess removes Wigg
Level 6 – Blinds: 300-600 (75 ante)

“Super-coolered twice,” said a dejected Anton Wigg to the blog after busted the High Roller. Wigg won €14,960 after busting the Main Event in 31st place earlier today and parlayed the cash in this tournament.

His bustout here came in a hand versus Ryan Riess. The two were heads up to K♠10♦2♠ flop and Wigg bet 2,100 from the cutoff before Riess raised to 6,200. Wigg called and checked over the J♣ turn to his opponent, who stared at his stack and bet 11,700. Wigg moved all in or 29,000 and Reiss snapped him off.

Wigg opened A♠K♠ but was behind to Riess’s set with 2♣2♦. The K♥ just rubbed salt into the Swede’s open wound. Riess’ stack grew to 87,000. –MC


Wigg in the High Roller, the Main Event both literally and figuratively behind him
6:31pm: Level 6 begins
Level 6 – Blinds: 300-600 (75 ante)

On to Level 6, the last one-hour level before the dinner break. There are 143 total entries now, with 125 players in action. –MH

6:30pm: Gieles gets some from Akkari
Level 5 – Blinds: 250-500 (50 ante)

A good hand just now involving a couple of Brazilians, Fernando “Grow” Garcia and Andre Akkari, and the Dutchman Luuk Gieles sitting in between them.

After Akkari (who recently successfully tangled with Charlie Carrel — see below) raised to 1,200 from under the gun, Garcia three-bet from the small blind, then Gieles four-bet to 7,700 from the BB, earning calls from both Akkari and Garcia. The flop came 7♥9♥2♦. Garcia checked, and Gieles took the opening to bet 6,000 (a little over one-fourth the pot). Akkari called, but Garcia got out. Both remaining players then checked the A♣ turn.

The pot was up over 35,000, and when the 3♥ completed the board Gieles fired 18,000 and after a bit of thought Akkari called. Gieles showed A♦K♦, and Akkari slowly mucked.

Gieles is up to 128,000, Akkari back down to 82,000, and Garcia sits with 19,000. –MH

6:22pm: Will Carrel sing again?
Level 5 – Blinds: 250-500 (50 ante)

“Guys, I have a shoving stack now so don’t raise unless you can call me!” announced Charlie Carrel to his table a short while ago.

It wasn’t long before British star shoved and he found a caller in Andre Akkari. Carrel was down to 5,700 when he made his move from the cutoff. The Team PokerStars Pro was sat in the big blind and made the call.

Carrel: 4♠4♣
Akkari: K♠J♠

The board ran A♥2♦6♠K♠8♣ to pair up Akkari’s king. It’s more than likely Carrel, who came third in the €25k and won the one-day €10k High Roller for a combined €398,600 this week, will buy back in again. Akkari’s up to 115,000. –MC


6:15pm: In your face, bro!
Level 5 – Blinds: 250-500 (50 ante)

After Mustapha Kanit won the €25k High Roller event the other day, he jested that he’d like to go and find Steve O’Dwyer and wave the trophy in his face. The Italian superstar has won three High Rollers on the EPT in the past 10 months, and it feels like O”Dwyer has won all the rest.

We’re not sure if Kanit caught up with O’Dwyer before today, but if he didn’t, he couldn’t be any closer after drawing the seat to his left. Let’s all hope for fireworks! Kanit also has Chance Kornuth, the man he defeated heads up this week, for company. –MC


Hi there, high rollers
6:06pm: Aces versus kings
Level 5 – Blinds: 250-500 (50 ante)

Mike Watson opened from under the gun, then Orpen Kisacikoglu three-bet to 3,500 from the cutoff. Watson responded by making it 9,000 to go, then Kisacikoglu kicked it up to 18,000. Watson paused about a half-minute, then called.

You read the headline. So who has the aces and who has the kings?

Both checked the J♦Q♠7♣ flop. That probably doesn’t help you.

The turn brought the 5♦ and a bet of 12,500 from Watson, called by Kisacikoglu. Still could go either way.

The river was the 5♥, and after pausing just a beat Watson pushed all in with his last 45,000 or so. Kisacikoglu, after hesitating just a bit, called the shove.

Have a guess now?

SirWatts helped solve the mystery, tabling A♣A♠, and Kisacikoglu showed his K♠K♦. Watson has 154,000 now, while Kisacikoglu tumbles to 26,000. –MH

5:59pm: Second, and last, chance saloon for….
Level 5 – Blinds: 250-500 (50 ante)

The High Roller’s entries is up to 120 now. Some have bought in for just once, like the newly-entered Mustapha Kanit, who is seeking a second high roller title of the festival. Meanwhile others are on their second bullet. The latter group includes…

Conor Drinan
Jared Jaffe
Jaroslaw Sikora
Patrick Leonard
Andrew Chen
Andre Akkari
Mike McDonald
Akin Tuna


5:45pm: That old trick won’t work around here, buddy
Level 5 – Blinds: 250-500 (50 ante)

Conor Drinan recently busted and his seat was taken by a new arrival in the shape of Ludovic Geilich. Mark Radoja can be found sat to his left and may have used the Scotsman as a prop in a cheeky angle/bluff.

He starting chatting away to Geilich, welcoming him to the table and the like, generally trying to look like he wasn’t paying enough attention as he grabbed some chips, raising to 10,200 or more than 20 big blinds. His attention was still focused on Geilich to his right, but all his opponents to his left still to act, were looking at him. One by one they all folded and then McDonald smiled and asked. “Aces?”

Others then joined in the questioning/needling and Radoja responded by saying, “Only two bullets, got to get these stacks in!” –MC

5:33pm: Big stacks so far
Level 5 – Blinds: 250-500 (50 ante)

The leaderboard is an ephemeral thing early on — especially with re-entries — but we can let you know who’s sitting with the most four hours’ into the event. Akin Tuna (on his second entry) has more than tripled the starting stack and appears to be sporting the most chips at present.

Akin Tuna — 158,000
Jean Paul Zaffran — 124,000
Joe Mouawad — 122,000
Jean-Noel Thorel — 113,000
Alen Bilic — 108,000
Jason Mercier — 97,000
Andre Akkari — 90,000
Ari Engel — 86,000
Anthony Zinno — 85,000
Max Silver — 85,000
Pierre Neuville — 83,000
Emil Patel — 78,000
Alexandru Papazian — 61,000


Emil Patel
We’ll keep an eye on who’s up, who’s down, and who’s out as the day continues. –MH

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5:31pm: Level 5 begins
Level 5 – Blinds: 250-500 (50 ante)

Players are back and play has resumed. There have been 128 total entries to this point, with 121 players in action. –MH

5:16pm: Break time

They’re off again for a second 15-minute break of the day. Two more one-hour levels, then the dinner bell will ring. –MH

5:14pm: Nothing funner than runner-runner
Level 4 – Blinds: 200-400 (50 ante)

In the last hand of the level, Zvi Stern raised to 850 from the button and got callers in Joao Vieira (SB) and recent arriver Arne Coulier (BB). The flop came 4♣10♠7♦, and when given a chance Coulier led for 1,700 with only Stern calling. Coulier bet again after the 5♠ turn, this time 2,050, Stern raised to 4,950, and Coulier called.

The river brought the 3♠ and after Coulier checked, Stern checked relatively quickly. “Flush,” said Coulier, showing Q♠J♠, and Stern mucked.

“I didn’t expect that,” said Stern with a wry grin. “I told you I was a fun player,” answered Coulier.

“That’s wasn’t fun for me!” chuckled Stern.

Stern has about 50,000 and Coulier about 60,000 going to break. –MH

5:03pm: Cheeky Sammartino and a busted Jaffe
Level 4 – Blinds: 200-400 (50 ante)

“You were in big trouble my friend, big trouble!” said Jason Wheeler to Dario Sammartino after they showed down their hands.

The hand started with an under-the-gun raise to 1,100 from the Italian. He picked up two callers including Wheeler in the next seat and a J♠A♦2♠ flop appeared. Wheeler bet 1,600 and only Sammartino called. The turn was the K♣ and Wheeler bet another 2,600 and called after Sammartino check-raised to 8,000. The river was the 2♦ and both players checked. Sammartino opened K♠7♠ and lost out to Wheeler’s A♠10♠.

As that hand was playing out, Jared Jaffe — on a nearby table — stopped his massage, gathered up his tablet, and left the room looking a little glum. Pierre Neuville, on the other hand, had a smile on his face and was busy stacking chips. He’s up to 75,000 after taking the scalp of the American. –MC

4:57pm: Difelice leaves Leonard short
Level 4 – Blinds: 200-400 (50 ante)

Table 17 has got a nice chatty atmosphere, mostly led by the ideally positioned Mike McDonald. His attentions were just now focused on Alex Difelice and Patrick Leonard, until the two of them played a pot together.

In the hand Leonard raised to 1,000 from the hijack and saw both blinds call, including Difelice in the BB. The flop fanned 8♥10♥8♠ and when checked to Leonard continued for 800. The small blind folded before Difelice check-raised to 3,500. Leonard called that and another 7,000 bet on the 6♠ turn. That left him with just 7,325 back and Difelice put the question to him for all of it after the board rounded off with the Q♥.

The diminutive Brit checked his cards a few times before folding. After being passed the pot, Difelice tidied his stack worth 70,000. –MC

4:49pm: Greenwood over Drinan
Level 4 – Blinds: 200-400 (50 ante)

With the board reading 9♦3♣7♥2♦ and 17,000 chips amassed to get there, Luc Greenwood (small blind) checked over to Connor Drinan (hijack) and he bet 10,600. Greenwood called and checked over the 9♣ river. Drinan took his time before checking behind, being shown Q♠Q♠, and mucking to drop to 22,000. Greenwood moved up to 77,000. –MC

4:39pm: A-K works for Akkari
Level 4 – Blinds: 200-400 (50 ante)

Andre Akkari opened for 900 from early position, Artem Litvinov called from a couple of seats over, then Or Hadad raised to 2,400 from LP. It folded back to Akkari who after asking what Hadad had — “31,” he said (i.e., 31,000) — Akkari called and Litvinov came along as well.

The flop came J♣A♠9♥ and it checked to Hadad who bet 3,000. Only Akkari called. Both checked the J♦ turn, the Akkari fired 6,300 after the 5♦ river.

Hadad made what looked like a somewhat uncomfortable call, and when Akkari showed A♣K♥ Hadad mucked while revealing he’d had an ace, too, though he didn’t show his worse kicker.

On his second entry, Akkari moves up to 87,000. Hadad slips to 21,000. –MH


A stack worth texting about
4:21pm: Nice rivers, boys!
Level 4 – Blinds: 200-400 (50 ante)

Andrew Lichtenberger and Mohsin Charania both hit favorable rivers and managed to get paid.

Lichtenberger was being passed a pot after an opponent called his 12,000-chip river bet. The river card was a queen to make the American pro top set with his pocket queens. His stack grew to 118,000 as a result.


Lichtenberger with a side of chips
Moments later on a nearby table, Felix Bleiker led out on the turn for 2,700 from the big blind and was called by Charania (hijack) and one other player. The river was dealt to leave a board resting as 5♦4♣7♠7♣ and it was Charania who bet, for 7,500, when the action was checked to him. The player in the cutoff called but mucked upon seeing Charania’s K♦7♦ for trips. His stack went up to 56,000. –MC

4:10pm: Level 4 begins
Level 4 – Blinds 200-400 (50 ante)

Bigger blinds, bigger antes, and a bigger field as Level 4 begins — 111 entries now. –MH

4:09pm: Mercier wins a big pot from Sam Greenwood
Level 3 – Blinds 150-300 (25 ante)

On the last hand of Level 3, Berthold Winz limped from under the gun and started a domino effect as Davidi Kitai and Ivan Luca both followed suit, Jason Mercier completed from the small blind, then Sam Greenwood checked his option from the big.

No one bet the 4♦J♦Q♦ flop, but on the J♣ turn Mercier bet 1,000, Greenwood raised to 2,550 and Mercier was the only caller. The A♠ rounded off the board and this is where it got really interesting. Mercier checked, Greenwood bet 3,400, and Mercier check-raised to 11,100 total.

Greenwood took a peek back at his cards, thought for a couple of minutes, then called. Mercier showed Q♣J♥ for a full house and Greenwood mucked. The Team PokerStars Pro is now back above starting stack with 58,000 whilst Greenwood is down to 17,050. –NW


More for Mercier
4:03pm: Akkari, Riess re-enter
Level 3 – Blinds 150-300 (25 ante)

Ryan Riess recently busted his first entry, as did Andre Akkari, with both players immediately re-entering. That makes four knockouts so far. –MH


Riess redux
3:55pm: Vousden empties the clip
Level 3 – Blinds 150-300 (25 ante)

I joined the action on a 2♠3♣J♠ flop and there was enough in the middle at this stage to suggest this was a three-bet pot.

Darie Vlad (hijack) checked the action to Samuel Vousden (cutoff), and after the Finn bet 2,000, Vlad tank-called. The pattern repeated itself on the A♠ turn and 5♥ river with Vlad taking progressively longer to call bets of 3,650 and 8,500, respectively.

When Vlad called on the river Vousden simply mucked his cards face down meaning Vlad didn’t have to show either. Vlad climbs to 67,500 whilst Vousden slips to 22,100. –NW

3:53pm: It’s growing, it’s getting stronger…!
Level 3 – Blinds 150-300 (25 ante)

Just over three hours ago the High Roller began as a very modest-seeming affair with just a couple of short-handed tables and only 14 registrered when the first hands were dealt.

Now they are up over 100 entries — 102, to be exact, although it’s barely worth being so specific as the number keeps moving. They’re nearly taking up the entire right-hand side of the tournament room now, and will likely keep right on expanding into the night.

Among the newcomers are several formidable players, including Kyle Frey, Sylvain Loosli, Connor Drinan, Pratyush Buddiga, Ariel Celestino, Mike Watson, Dario Sammartino, Timothy Adams, and Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier.

Mercier comes back after having just won a side event last night, the €5K NL Hyper Turbo in which Adams took second and Sammartino fourth. Find out who else is winning silver spades in Dublin on the side events results page. –MH

3:39pm: Heads or tails, call or fold
Level 3 – Blinds 150-300 (25 ante)

Artem Litvinov was murmuring, partly to himself, partly to Charlie Carrel, his lone opponent in the hand and one of latest to enter the event.

The board read 7♣9♣Q♥2♦ and there was around 8,000 in the middle, and Litvinov had led for 2,900. But Carrel raised to 9,000, and Litvinov wasn’t sure what to do.

Finally he produced a coin, tossed it high in the air, and after catching it and seeing how it landed promptly set out his remaining chips for a call.


Your move, Charlie
Carrel wasn’t ready to act immediately, and in fact was a little surprised to figure out he only owed about 3,000 more, having thought Litvinov had a bit more behind. He called and showed his J♦10♥ for a straight draw while Litvinov had a pair of queens with Q♣8♥.

The river was another nine, and Litvinov’s hand held. He pocketed his coin, collected the chips, and now both he and Carrel have about the same stack of 30,000. –MH

3:23pm: More walking over from the Main
Level 3 – Blinds 150-300 (25 ante)

We’re seeing more who have busted from the Main Event today make the short walk over to join the High Roller.

Pierre Calamusa (who finished 39th in the Main) and Anton Wigg (who took 31st) are both now part of the ever-expanding High Roller field, now up over 70 entries. –MH

3:10pm: Level 3 begins
Level 3 – Blinds 150-300 (25 ante)

Players are back and play has resumed. –MH

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2:51pm: Break time

Two hours in, players are now taking their first 20-minute break of the day. –MH

2:50pm: Back in, Timex
Level 2 – Blinds 100-200 (25 ante)

Unsurprisingly, Mike McDonald has re-entered, and he’s already in a hand with Luuk Gieles. Let’s together take a look at the live stream.*


McDonald back for another look
*there is no live stream

Full disclosure — that picture is from earlier, when McDonald was on his first buy-in. He’s now seated at a new table where Pierre Neuville is also seated as one of the latest to join the game. Meanwhile Jeff Gross and Igor Kurganov have also bought in for the first time as well. There are 64 entries now. –MH

2:48pm: Goh’s got ’em
Level 2 – Blinds 100-200 (25 ante)

Darrell Goh opened from UTG for 525 and got three callers in Fernando Brito (cutoff), Joe Mouawad (small blind), and Artem Litvinov (big blind). The flop came Q♦3♠J♦, and when checked to Goh continued for 1,500, getting calls from both Brito and Litvinov. All three checked the 9♥ turn, then the river brought the 9♠.

Litvinov checked, and a Goh bet of 5,000 was enough to get Brito to fold. Litvinov tanked another minute, however, then found a call. Goh turned over A♦A♠ for aces and nines, and they were good as Litvinov mucked.

Goh gets back to about 55,000 with that one while Litvinov slips to just about the same amount. Brito has just over that with about 60,000, while Mouawad is up to about 112,000 after busting Mike McDonald a little earlier. –MH

2:40pm: McDonald mowed down by Mouawad
Level 2 – Blinds 100-200 (25 ante)

A set-over-set situation — eights versus treys (on the flop) — has cut short Mike McDonald’s first entry into the €10K High Roller, with Joe Mouawad the beneficiary.

We’ll probably see McDonald again soon, but for now Mouawad becomes the next to claim the title of “early chip leader” in the event with more than 105,000. –MH

2:27pm: Thorel pushes, then Palumbo pounces
Level 2 – Blinds 100-200 (25 ante)

After picking up that big pot early when felting Akin Tuna, Jean-Noel Thorel has lost a few back to Rocco Palumbo.

In the hand Palumbo flopped a Broadway straight, then on the river led with a bet. Thorel raise-shoved over the top and Palumbo made an easy call, winning the pot after Thorel showed just fourth pair of nines.

Palumbo jumps up close to 70,000 after that double, while Thorel is back to 55,000 and just over the starting stack. –MH

2:12pm: 56 registered so far
Level 2 – Blinds 100-200 (25 ante)

They’re up to 56 entries so far, with Jerry Odeen, Berthold Winz, Darrell Goh, Carlos Chadha, Or Hadad, Felix Stephensen, Steve O’Dwyer, and Ivan Luca are among the latest to join the field. –MH


This could be a Luca day
1:50pm: Level 2 begins
Level 2 – Blinds 100-200 (25 ante)

It’s a new level but the blinds and antes are staying the same for another hour. –MH

1:49pm: Tens help Thorel take out Tuna
Level 1 – Blinds 100-200 (25 ante)

We have our first bustout right near the end of Level 1. Picking up the action on the turn, the board showed Q♠10♠J♦4♣ when Jean-Noel Thorel fired a bet and Akin Tuna called, then after the J♣ river Thorel bet again only for Tuna to push all in with his last 20,000 or so.

Thorel called the shove, then watched Tuna table 9♠8♥ for a flopped straight. Thorel stood to get a better look at the board, then turned over his 10♣10♥ for a rivered full house.

Tuna is out, perhaps to return after re-entering, while Thorel looks like an early leader with about 90,000. Nick Palma is also up there after almost an hour of play, having built up to 85,000. –MH


Jean-Noel Thorel
1:39pm: Patel, Vieira pick up pots
Level 1 – Blinds 100-200 (25 ante)

Small pots continue to exchange hands during the early going, although there have been a few of the medium variety. Ish.

Emil Patel picked up chips from Vladas Tamasauskas near the start in a hand in which Patel turned a nine-high straight then got Tamasauskas to call a river bet. And Joao Vieira flopped a set of deuces early on and earned some value in a hand versus Artem Litvinov, pushing up around 65,000 while Litvinov dropped back below 35,000. –MH

1:24pm: I got your back, brother
Level 1 – Blinds 100-200 (25 ante)

Now there are six tables in play, with 49 registered. Ari Engel, Jean-Noel Thorel, Mike McDonald, are Ben Heath are here.

So, too, is Luc Greenwood, sitting back-to-back with his brother Sam who is playing at an adjacent table. –MH

1:05pm: Early entries
Level 1 – Blinds 100-200 (25 ante)

Up over 40 registered now for the €10K High Roller, with most of them here filling up four tables.

Jared Jaffee, Sergey Lebedev, Akin Tuna, Timothy Adams, Sam Greenwood, Daniel Dvoress, Joao Vieira, Christoph Vogelsang, Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari, and EPT12 Dublin €25K High Roller runner-up Chance Kornuth helping make up the starting field. –MH


Chance Kornuth and Andre Akkari
12:56pm: Litvinov lets it ride
Level 1 – Blinds 100-200 (25 ante)

More than 30 have registered so far according to the big board, and that number will be steadily increasing throughout the afternoon and evening as players continue to arrive, then eventually when the re-entries start picking up.

Among players taking hands at the start of the level is Artem Litvinov who just moment ago cashed in the Main Event, having lasted into the top 40 over there for a €13,200 cash — more than enough for one entry here. –MH

12:50pm: Shuffle up and deal!
Level 1 – Blinds 100-200 (25 ante)

At last… cards are in the air! The starting stack is 50,000, and don’t forget there is a single re-entry option. –MH

12:37pm: Getting close

A little bit of a delay here as the staff waits for the high rollers to start rolling in. Play should start soon. –MH


All 52 cards accounted for!
11:45am: €10K High Roller Awaits!

Welcome poker fans to Day 1 of the much anticipated €10K High Roller, the third and last of the high rollers here at the EPT Dublin festival.

We’ve already watched a couple of previous champions of EPT high rollers pick up additional silver spades in the big buy-in events here this week, with Mustapha Kanit taking down the €25K High Roller and Charlie Carrel winning the €10K Single-Day High Roller.

Meanwhile Carrel also took third in the €25K, and like Jeff Rossiter (who finished fifth in the €25K and seventh in the €10K Single-Day) will be going for the high roller trifecta here in Dublin in this one.

The schedule calls for 10 one-hour levels today, with late registration and the option to re-enter — only once! — available all day and night up until the start of tomorrow’s Day 2. There will be a 75-minute dinner break after Level 6. Play starts at 12:30pm local time — stick close for start-to-finish coverage with live updates, photos, and more from the poker room here at the Royal Dublin Society! –MH



Want to start your own EPT campaign? Sign up for PokerStars and start your journey. Click here to get an account.

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 Dublin €10K High Roller Day 1: Stephen Bartley, Marc Convey, Martin Harris, and Nick Wright. Photography by Jules Pochy. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter:@PokerStarsBlog


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