EPT12 Grand Final: €10K Single re-entry high roller Day 2 coverage archive

April 28, 2016

There are three important things that happen on most Day 2s in tournaments:

1. Entry closes and the field size is confirmed
2. The payouts are announced
3. The bubble bursts

So let’s start with No.1. A total of 156 players brought chips through from Day 1 of the EPT Grand Final €10K High Roller – a remarkable field in its own right. But it swelled even bigger today through new entries and more bullets being fired, leaving us with a massive 214 entries in total (50 of which were re-entries).

Paul Newey came into Day 2 with the chip lead but he could only last an hour and a quarter here today; a series of hands wiping out his stack entirely. New entries included Kevin MacPhee and Niall Farrell, but neither of them could last the day either.

Onto No.2. The big field means we have a big prize pool on our hands – €2,140,000 to precise. The winner will get €439,000, and the man closest to that prize right now is Russia’s Dmitry Yurasov with 903,000. The other biggest stacks in the room belong to Imad Derwiche (760,000), Ike Haxton (744,000), Tom Hall (731,000), and Jean-Noel Thorel (718,000).


Yurasov out in front
And now No.3. Just 31 players were going to get paid in this one, with the min-cash earning them €18,270. More than a hundred players couldn’t secure a cash, but the man who came closest – our bubble boy – is David Peters. His Ace-Jack couldn’t hit against Philipp Gruissem’s pocket queens, which means the EPT11 Malta €10K champ will have to wait for another event to win his second EPT High Roller.

Some of the nine players who made the money but not Day 3 include Daniel Dvoress, Ole Schemion, Sam Chartier, Bryn Kenney, and Sergey Lebedev. You can check out all the prize pool and payout info here.

23 players will be taking their seats tomorrow, and here’s how they’ll be seated:

Name Country Chips Table Seat
Imad Derwiche France 760000 1 1
Jean-Noel Thorel France 718000 1 2
Isaac Haxton USA 744000 1 3
Steffen Sontheimer Germany 295000 1 4
Murad Akhundov Azerbaijan 500000 1 5
Philipp Gruissem Germany 668000 1 6
Samuel Panzica USA 411000 1 8
Diego Ventura Peru 109000 2 1
Ozgur Arda Turkey 185000 2 2
Anthony Zinno USA 399000 2 3
Alexandru Papazian Denmark 201000 2 4
Fedor Holz Germany 553000 2 5
Dan Shak USA 405000 2 6
Sergey Lebedev Russia 567000 2 7
Chance Kornuth USA 601000 2 8
Christian Christner Germany 259000 3 1
Pavel Plesuv Moldova 416000 3 2
Felipe Ramos Brazil 284000 3 3
Tom Hall UK 731000 3 4
Ognyan Dimov Bulgaria 192000 3 5
Dmitry Yurasov Russia 903000 3 6
Adrian Mateos Spain 551000 3 7
Alexandre Rivero Brazil 239000 3 8

We’ll be back for the third and final day of this event tomorrow at 12:30pm, and from there we’ll play right down to a winner. Tomorrow is also Day 1B of the France Poker Series (FPS) Main Event, AND Day 1 of the €100K Super High Roller, so there’s no way you’ll want to miss any of that sweet action.

Scroll down to catch up with all of today’s action. Otherwise join us tomorrow! Au revoir! –JS


You can win your seat to one of countless PokerStars live events around the world. Click here to open an account and get started.


12:50am: Three players bust in the last five hands
Level 18 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

It looked as if four tables of players were going to come back tomorrow after the clock was paused and a five was drawn at random to signify the remaining hands of the evening, then three players went in quick succession meaning 23 players will return, on three tables.

Isaac Haxton was a man on a late mission as he took out Imed Mahmoud and Bryn Kenney. First of all his kings stayed ahead of Mahmoud’s eights, and then a couple of hands later his ace-king was never in danger versus Kenney’s ace-nine.

The jovial Sergey Sergeev was the last player to bust. He’d been hanging on a while before he three-bet all in for 117,000 from the big blind with A♣7♦. Anthony Zinno had opened with Q♥Q♣, made the call and survived a 6♠2♥K♥9♠10♠ board.

A wrap, chip counts and Day 3 seat draw will be posted on the blog shortly. — MC

12.30am: Thorel’s lucky sevens
Level 18 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Facing an open to 30,000, Ike Haxton 3-bet to 67,000 only for Jean-Noel Thorel to cold 4-bet jam for 342,000. The original raiser folded but Haxton called.

Ike Haxton – A♠K♦
Jean-Noel Thorel – 7♣7♠

Thorel was ahead but only until the 10♦J♥K♥ flop fell. The 4♦ turn changed nothing, and Thorel needed a miracle seven on the river to survive.

He got it. The 7♦ landed on the river and Thorel couldn’t contain his excitement. “Yargghh!!” he yelled emphatically as the dealer gathered newly-earned chips. –JS

12:15am:’In the money’ chaos ensues
Level 18 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

What usually happens after the bubble bursts? A whole lot of players go out in very quick succession, that’s what. And this High Roller is no different.

First to go was Daniel Dvoress. He opened to 16,000, was then 3-bet to 40,000 by Sam Panzica, so shoved for around 140,000. Panzica snap-called with his A♠A♣ and Dvoress needed help with the A♥Q♣. The 3♥Q♦7♠ flop gave him some hope, but the 5♦ turn and 7♥ river sealed his fate. Panzica moved up to 635,000 and is looking good to do back-to-back EPT High Roller wins, having won this event in Dublin in February.

Next up was Ole Schemion. Fedor Holz raised from the small blind to 19,000 and Schemion jammed for 190,000. Holz quickly called and Schemion was in trouble with his 6♠5♠ against the A♣Q♠ – but hey, his cards were suited and live at least. The 5♣Q♦J♥ flop gave both a pair, which essentially cancelled each other out. However, the Q♣ turn locked up the hand for Holz. An inconsequential 4♣ hit the river and Schemion was gone, while Holz climbed to 560,000.
The blinds then moved up to Level 18, the last of the night. Frenchman Hassan Fares busted almost immediately, followed closely by Sam Chartier. He got his ace-king all-in pre-flop against Tom Hall’s pocket queens, and the ladies were still in the lead when all was said and done.

Just 26 players remain, and if we reach 24 before the level ends we’re going to end play for the night and have a table redraw. –JS

18 5,000 10,000 1,000

11:50pm: David Peters bubbles high roller
Level 17 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

It took five hands of hand for hand play to settle who would be leaving with nothing.


Imad Derwiche looking down at Daniel Dvoress
The first all-in and call happened between Imad Derwiche and Daniel Dvoress but ended in a chop. They had to wait for other hands to finish before opening their holdings, so they passed the time by looking at each other and whispering their hands. Then Dvoress was one car away from suffering a really bad beat.

Derwiche: A♣K♥
Dvoress: A♦K♦

The board ran Q♥3♥J♥8♥Q♣ to almost make Derwiche a flush.


David Peters (centre) bubbling
David Peters has fond memories of this tournament. A career that was already blossoming really took off after he won the same event at EPT11 Malta for €597,000. He won’t be having similar feelings about this tournament though after bubbling. He moved all-in for 105,000 and Philip Gruissem shoved behind to successfully isolate.

Peters: A♠J♠
Gruissem: Q♠Q♣

The board ran 10♠2♣J♦Q♥3♥ to make the German a set. All remaining players are guaranteed €18,270 and Gruissem was well aware of that and jokingly shouted out, “You’re welcome guys, I take payment later! — MC

11:30pm: Luca soft bubbles high roller
Level 17 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

What’s the reward you get for making a great call a few off the money? Soft bubbling after running queens into kings is what. That was the fate set out for Ivan Luca today.

Chance Kornuth opened to 20,000 from under the gun before Luca moved all in for 127,000 and Dmitry Yurasov called from the small blind. Cornuth left them to it.

Luca: Q♠Q♣
Yurasov: K♦K♠

The board ran 7♥5♣2♦10♠5♠ to send the Argentinian on his way. Hand for hand play will no be brought it. — MC

11:24pm: Merrilees is gone, one bust ’til the bubble
Level 17 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

Daniel Merrilees has just been eliminated in 34th, so with 33 left we’re just one elimination away from the stone bubble.

Merrilees got it all-in with the A♣Q♣ against Sergey Lebedev’s 7♣7♥, but was crushed on the 9♦7♦Q♥ flop. The Q♥ and K♥ turn and river were no help to him and he was gone. Don’t go anywhere as the bubble is about to burst! –JS

11:13pm: Ramos doubles – but only just
Level 17 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

“Poker sucks,” said Friend of PokerStars Felipe Ramos, despite the fact he’d just doubled up!

Here’s why. He got his last 117,000 all-in pre-flop with the A♥A♣ against Steffen Sontheimer’s Q♠Q♦, and the flop fell Q♣8♦7♦.

“Arrrggh,” said Ramos.

But then boom! An ace from space – the A♦ – landed on the turn. The 5♥ completed the board and Ramos doubles up to 230,000. Poker doesn’t suck too bad, eh? –JS


Ramos lets the Snapchatters know the good news

Like what you’re reading? Well why not give poker a go for yourself? You can play poker for free on PokerStars. Simply click here to open an account.

11:05pm: Troyanovskiy gone in 35th
Level 17 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

Vladimir Troyanovskiy came back our short stack, and here’s why. Right before the break he doubled up Ike Haxton. The players got it in on the river of a 4♣3♣9♣7♣9♠ board, but Ike’s A♣A♥ nut flush beat Vlad’s A♦Q♣ queen-high flush. The dropped him to 35,000, while Haxton moved up to 250,000 at that point.

In one of the first hands back after the break, Haxton would finish the job and eliminate the Russian. Haxton min-opened the button and Troyanovskiy called from the big blind. The flop came K♠7♣Q♥ and Troyanovskiy jammed for 19,000 with what we’d soon see was the 7♠4♦ (a pair of sevens), and Haxton called with his A♦3♣ for ace-high.

The turn was the J♥, giving Troyanovskiy a bigger sweat, and the 10♠ river gave Haxton a straight. When all the dust was settled, Haxton had 350,000 and Troyanovskiy was outta here. –JS

10:55pm: Bubble level?
Level 17 – Blinds 4,000-8,000 (1,000 ante)

The bubble will most likely burst this level so stay tuned as we bring you the action. Vladimir Troyanovskiy is most at risk with just 34,000 to play with, way behind Imad Derwiche, who continues to lead with 75,000. For full counts, click here. — MC

17 4,000 8,000 1,000

10:32pm: Break time
The players are on a 15-minute break. Full chip counts coming up shortly.

10:30pm: Luca shows his class
Level 16 – Blinds 3,000-6,000 (1,000 ante)

Ivan Luca was put to the test for his tournament life by Adrian Mateos and come out top of the class with an ace high call.

The two stars were in the blinds and made it to the river of a 2♠J♣K♣4♠K♥ board where Mateos set Luca all in for his last 75,000. Luca took a good while to think and then made the call with A♦6♦. It was good as Mateos could only muster 10♣6♣. — MC


Luca (right) bossing it
10:22pm: Troyanovskiy doubles Mahmoud, hardly seems to care
Level 16 – Blinds 3,000-6,000 (1,000 ante)

Vladimir Troyanovskiy has dropped back to 205,000 after doubling Imed Mahmoud. He opened to 13,000 from second to act and called the 100,500 shove from the next seat.

Mahmoud quickly opened A♠A♥ but Troyanovskiy took his time opening his K♣Q♣ as he was busy cutting the calling chips off his stack. When he saw his opponent’s hand he gave the slightest expression of caring and that didn’t change after a K♠10♠5♠7♠6♦ board ran out. Too cool this man. — MC

10.13pm: New chip leader
Level 16 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

France’s Imad Derwiche is our current chip leader with a massive stack of 745,000 – good right now for 124 big blinds. –JS


Derwiche (left) leads the pack
10pm: Gruissem getting stronger
Level 16 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

With the board reading 6♠J♣10♣7♠Q♥, Imed Mahmoud checked and Phil Gruissem put out a big bet of around 80,000. There was already somewhere in the region of 300,000 in the middle, so this was serious business.

Mahmoud thought for a long time, clearly distressed. He had 100,000 behind and eventually opted to use it to fight another day. Meanwhile, Gruissem stacked 575,000 to put him among the leaders.

“Five of spades! Let’s see that five of spades!” Ike begged Phil, but Gruissem kept his cards face down. –JS

9.55pm: Three-way all in costs Qu
Level 16 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

It’s rare to see three-way all-ins this close to the money (37 left, 31 get paid) unless some big hands are involved. Boyuan Qu, Diego Ventura, Ognyan Dimov all got involved and all hand big hands.

Qu opened to 12,000 from under the gun before Ventura three-bet to 26,000 from the next seat. The action got around to Dimov in the small blind and he paused – one can forgive one’s self for thinking, with 71,500, that the Bulgarian could be stalling in this spot – but no, he moved all-in. Qu did the same for 21,000 more and Ventura called as well.

Dimov: A♠K♥
Qu: J♠J♣
Ventura: Q♣Q♠

The board ran a Dimov-friendly A♥5♥10♠9♦8♦. Qu walked off in frustration and Ventura won a small side pot to see his stack settle at 305,000, a little less than 100k more than Dimov has to work with now –MC

16 3,000 6,000 1,000

9:35pm: Schemion and Haxton, both scooping pots
Level 15 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Sometimes when you’re blogging the best poker players in the world there’s so much action going on you don’t want to miss it. Here’s my tip: stand right in between the two tables you’re watching, draw a line down the paper, and blog two hands simultaneously. You end up looking like you’re watching a tennis match, moving your head from side to side.

The hand on my left started with an 11,000 open from Ozgur Arda, followed by a 27,000 3-bet by Ole Schemion. It folded back to Arda who made the call. The flop fell the 4♥5♣A♣ and Arda checked to the raiser, so Schemion continued for 25,500. Arda called.

The turn was the 5♥, Arda checked, and again Schemion showed aggression – this time for 49,000. Arda gave it up and Schemion is up to 322,000.

Meanwhile, at the exact same time on my right, Ike Haxton opened to 12,000 and found two callers in Jean-Noel Thorel and Vladimir Troyanovskiy. The flop fanned 9♠7♠4♦ and Haxton opted to check, so Thorel made it 15,000 to go. Troyanovskiy let his hand go, but Haxton called. The turn was the 8♥ which both checked, so the 2♣ hit the river.

Haxton put out a bet but Thorel folded too quickly for me to even see how much it was. Anyway, Ike raked in the pot and moved up to 170,000, while I walked away to my laptop thinking maybe I still need some practice in this two-table blogging if I’m going to catch every detail. –JS

Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.

9:22pm: Nice hand for a big blind special
Level 15 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Fedor Holz must have lost a chunk of the 440,000 he brought back from the dinner break (making him chip leader), as he has just won a nice pot but is still only on 430,000.

It started with a limp from Alexandru Papazian, and folded to Holz in the small blind. He completed, and then Ole Schemion checked his big blind option.

The flop was a dream one if you had a seven-deuce big blind special, as it came K♣2♠7♥. Both Holz and Schemion checked, so Papazian put out a bet of 8,000. Both players called.

It was the 2♥ that arrived on the turn – again, a dream if you happened to have the worst starting hand in poker. Now Holz took the betting lead with 19,000, Schemion got out the way (presumably because he didn’t have the big blind special), and Papazian called.

Can you guess what comes on the river? That’s right – the 7♠. Holz put out a big bet of 61,500, and Papazian had a big decision on his hands. He ended up folding, and we were left wondering whether Holz had the seven-deuce all along. –JS

9:20pm: Post dinner bust outs
Level 15 – Blinds 2,500-5,000 (500 ante)

Whatever they had for dinner, I don’t want it. Yang Wang, Marius Tobergsen, Onur Unsal, Orpen Kisacikoglu and Darie Vlad have all just missed out on the money. — MC

9:18pm: O’Dwyer lets someone else have a chance
Level 15 – Blinds 2,500-5,000 (500 ante)

It was nice of Steve O’Dwyer to bust and allow someone lese to win a high roller. He may not see it that way though.

He was down to 72,000 when he moved all in from early position. Diego Ventura was in the small blind and gave him business.

Ventura: A♦K♠
O’Dwyer: A♠J♦

The board ran 5♠6♣4♣8♥6♠ to see the Peruvian’s hand hold. — MC


O’Dwyer says goodbye-er
9:03pm: No miracle for Schillhabel
Level 15 – Blinds 2,500-5,000 (500 ante)

Stefan Schillhabel was all in in the small blind and waited (until he was forced) to look at his cards. He was up against fellow Germans Koray Aldemir and Paul Hoefer. The former bet 9,000 on a 7♣K♥3♥ flop but folded when the latter check-raised all in.

Hoefer opened K♦10♥ which was way ahead of Schillhabel’s 9♦2♦. The board ran out 4♥A♠. — MC

8:55pm: Just six tables remain
Level 15 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

We’re down to six tables with just 48 players remaining. Geoffrey Mooney was the man who exited in 49th, forcing the last table to break. –JS

8:45pm: Three fours gives double to Peters
Level 15 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

David Peters can sit a bit more comfortably now that he’s secured a nice double-up through Steffan Sontheimer. The two got it all-in pre-flop and it was the 4♦4♠ for Peters against Sontheimer’s A♦J♥. The flop ran out kindly for Peters, not only keeping his fours in front but also improving them to a set. In the end the board showed the 10♦2♥4♣5♥6♠ and Peters is now up to around 275,000, while Sontheimer sits with a big stack of 395,000. –JS

8:35pm: Kids in the Hall
Level 15 – Blinds 2,500-5,000 (500 ante)

Tom Hall’s stack has grown to 385,000 after playing two pots in the blinds. He only won one of them, but luckily for him, it was the big pot.

Phil Gruissem raised to 12,500 from early position and Hall defended his big blind. Both players checked the 3♠J♣9♠9♣9♥ board down and Hall opened A♠4♠. He had kicker porobles though as Gruissem opened A♥K♦.

The next hand saw Boyuan Qu raise and call after Hall three-bet. The flop fanned 6♦10♠4♥ and Hall continued foe 41,500. Call. The turn was the K♦ and Hall paused a long time before setting Qu all in for his 105,00 stack. Qu folded a d shook his head. — MC

8:25pm: Back in business
Level 15 – Blinds 2,500-5,000 (500 ante)

Players have returned from dinner break and the cards are in the air. –JS

Level Small blind Big blind ante
15 2,500 5,000 500

7:15pm: Dinner time

Players have gone on a 75-minute dinner break. They’ll be back in action at 8.25pm.–JS

7:14pm: O’Dwyer doubles through Kornuth
Level 14 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Chance Kornuth opened to 10,000 and found one caller – Steve O’Dwyer. The flop came the K♣6♣8♣, bringing three to a flush, and O’Dwyer checked. Kornuth continued for 6,000 and O’Dwyer made the call.

The turn was the 9♣, a fourth club, and it was a similar pattern – a check from O’Dwyer and a bet of 15,000 from Kornuth, followed by a call. The river was the 6♦, O’Dwyer checked and Kornuth put him all-in for 57,000. O’Dwyer went into the tank, picked up all his chips, almost moved them in, and then sigh-called.

He was right though; his Q♣10♣ for the second nuts was ahead of the A♠5♦ bluff from Kornuth, who slips to 248,000. Meanwhile, O’Dwyer is up to 145,000. –JS

7:11pm: Papazian realises it’s harder against Arda
Level 14 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

An interesting hand just played out between Alexandru Papazian and Ozgur Arda, one that the former will be kicking himself about. Papazian opened to 10,000 and Arda bumped it up with a three-bet to 27,000. It folded back around and Papazian made the call.

The flop came the 5♦4♣7♠ and Papazian checked, so Arda continued with a bet of 23,000 – and again it was called. The K♣ hit the turn, Papazian checked again, and now Arda put in 50,000 – an interesting bet as he only had 30,000 behind. Papazian thought for a minute and made the call once more.

Both players checked the 7♥ river and Arda showed 8♠8♦, which turned out to be best against Papazian’s A♣3♣ for a busted flush draw. Papazian was visibly frustated, both with himself and seemingly for Arda’s play. The two had a little chat after and worked it out though. Papazian is down to 90,000, while Arda is up to 220,000. –JS

Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.

7:10pm: Ace-queen working well for Chartier
Level 14 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

Apparently Ace-queen has been very kind to Sam Chartier today. According to Kevin MacPhee he flopped a full house with it, and used it to knock out two players in one hand. Alexandros Kolonias was the third player to be on the wrong end of it today.

He moved all in for 33,500 from early position and Chartier shoved from the small blind to get it heads up. Kolonias opened 7♥7♦ but couldn’t hold on a board than ran 2♠Q♠4♦2♣K♣. Chartier’s stack grew to 335,000. — MC

7:05pm: A longer dinner for some
Level 14 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

They are edging towards the dinner break now, and it looks as though only about 50 players will still be involved. The latest clutch of casualties include: Andrey Zaichenko, Ali Fatehi, Thomas Muehloecker, Mustapha Kanit, Sergio Aido, Niall Farrell, Byron Kaverman, Vitalijs Tarhanovs, Ben Heath, Abdel Omais, Oliver Weis, Charlie Carrel, Mike Watson, Dario Sammartino and Rainer Kempe.

On the plus side, Friend of PokerStars Felipe Ramos’s tournament continues. He had about 160,000 at last count and is the last remaining man with a Red Spade on his shoulder.


Felipe Ramos: Last Red Spade

We have a few hands to report before the break, so stick around. –HS

6:55pm: Fedor Holz keeps lead heading towards the dinner break
Level 14 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Fedor “CrownUpGuy” Holz remains in front, although he has not quite the stack of earlier this afternoon. Among the rest of the field Tom Hall is making moves, up to 300,000, which is only a little more than what Chance Kornuth has. Click here for updated chip counts.

6:50pm: Right on Qu
Level 14 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Us bloggers love a name that we can pun. I haven’t had one for a while but then, right on cue, here’s Boyuan Qu.

Qu opened to 10,000 on the button and it folded to Daniel Dvoress in the big blind. He stared intently at his opponent, like a snooker player eyeing up a shot down the length of his cue, before bumping it up 29,000. Qu went nowhere and made the call.

9♠6♠K♦ came the river, but Dvoress chose not to c-bet, instead checking to Qu. The man from China put out 30,500 and Dvoress quickly gave it up. It looked for a second like Qu was going to show his hand, and Dvoress would have been first in the queue to take a peek. But in the end Qu mucked, too busy raking in chips. –JS

6:45pm: O’Dwyer the worst as Cornuth more than doubles
Level 13 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

Chance Kornuth’s stack has passed 300,000 after a raising war broke out between him, Steve O’Dwyer and Dmitry Yurasov.

Kornuth opened the pot from second position before O’Dwyer three-bet to 25,000 from the cutoff. Yurasov was sat in the small blind and decided to shove all of his 450,000 stack in. Kornuth moved all-in too, for 139,600, and that sent O’Dywer into the tank. He had 106,000 back and decided to fold and preserve them.

Kornuth: A♥K♠
Yurasov: 10♥10♠

“I’m the worst!” O’Dwyer said when he saw the hands.

The board was swiftly dealt and the 9♥5♣Q♠K♦3♠ made Kornuth top pair. “Jacks no good, Steve!” Fedor Holz said to O’Dwyer who was still shaking his head. It didn’t seem to matter that he would have been out; he seemed annoyed that he should have called despite the result. — MC

Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.

6:35pm: EPT Dublin High Roller champ gets stronger
Level 13 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Sam Panzica won the €10K High Roller in Dublin, taking €375,770 with him back to Florida. Now he’s here in Monaco, and with a big stack looks set for another deep run and a solid title defence.

In one recent hand, the flop came J♣5♠10♥ and Panzica, Daniel Merrilees and Onur Unsal all checked. The turn was the K♥ and it went check, check again to Unsal, who led for 22,000. Panzica called and Merrilees let it go.

The river was the 7♠ and Panzica checked once more. Unsal put out 45,000 and Panzica made the call, causing Unsal to insta-muck his hand. That meant we never saw Panzica’s hand either, as he then handed his cards to the dealer in return for a big pile of chips. He’s up to 315,000 now. –JS

6:25pm: Jacobson gets unlucky to bust
Level 13 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

Martin Jacobson got it in with the best of it, but Hassan Fares rivered him to see his stack grow to 335,000.


The end of the road for Martin Jacobson

Fares raised pre-flop and then called when three-bet by the former WSOP Main Event champion. The flop came 5♣6♣9♠ and Fares raised Jacobson’s c-bet all-in. The latter called with A♣A♥ but couldn’t stay ahead of the Frenchman’s 10♣9♣ as the board ran out with the 8♦ and then the 9♦. — MC

6:15pm: Fedor Holz extends his lead
Fedor “CrownUpGuy” Holz remains in front as Dimitry Yurasov, Bryn Kenney and Sam Chartier each add to their stacks in the past half an hour. Click here for updated chip counts.

6:10pm: Gruissem felts Weis
Level 13 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

I was on my way out the room when I noticed an all-in triangle, and here at the PokerStars Blog we know how much you like to read about bust-outs, regardless of how exciting they are. Right?

Well, this one isn’t that exciting. Oliver Weis moved all-in for his last 26,600 after action folded to him, and Phil Gruissem called from the small blind. It was J♣Q♦ for Weis – way behind Gruissem’s Q♥Q♠, and the board ran out 3♠10♦K♣8♠4♣. Gruissem stacked while Weis hit the rail. –JS


Philipp Gruissem: Flexing his muscles

6pm: A beautiful beat and a triple up for MacPhee
Level 13 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

Kevin MacPhee, who was one of the players to enter (twice) today, said after tripling up, “I was hoping for one shove behind me but when there was two, inside the music was playing.”

MacPhee had moved all-in for 42,700 and was followed in by Andrey Zaichenko in the next seat. Julian Stuer had both players covered and called from the small blind to set up a three-way showdown.

Stuer: A♦K♠
MacPhee: A♥A♣
Zaichenko: 7♥7♠

The board ran 3♣10♦6♦4♥6♣ to miss all three players, which was good for MacPhee. (He had his aces cracked earlier in the day.) Stuer dropped to 62,500 and Zaichenko took the side pot to survive with 63,000. — MC

5:55pm: Kanit and Derwiche tangle again
Level 13 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

Imad Derwiche didn’t learn his lesson from earlier (see our 4.25pm post). He was in a pot with Mustapha Kanit once more (he’d opened to 10,000 and Kanit raised to 108,000 – essentially putting Derwiche all-in) and again the Frenchman faced a tough decision. Naturally they were chatting.

“I have a pocket pair,” Derwiche told the table.

“OK. I have worse than pocket pair,” Kanit said, as Kevin MacPhee and Sam Panzica both stood up from their tables to watch and have a chuckle. “A pocket pair is a lot in this game.”

Derwiche eventually gave it up and Kanit, true to his word, showed the A♥Q♥. After clarification from tournament officials, I can confirm that is indeed not a pocket pair. –JS

5:50pm: Heath and Thorel chop it up
Level 13 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

When you’re right, you’re right. And Ben Heath and Jean-Noel Thorel were both right in this hand – impressively so.

With the flop showing 8♣7♣7♦, it was Heath and Thorel heads-up. Heath led for 17,000 and Thorel called from the button. The Q♠ then fell on the turn, and now it was Thorel who took control, betting an even 30,000. Heath called quickly and checked just as quickly when the 4♣ landed on the river.


Jean-Noel Thorel

Both players checked and the hands were turned over – A♦6♣ for Heath and A♠6♦ for Thorel. Both had just Ace-high and made good calls to secure a chop. Heath has 115,000 and Thorel has 170,000. –JS

5:45pm: More casualties
Level 13 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

More and more players are hitting the A&E (all-in and exit). The latest to go are Alexey Romanov, Martin Finger, Ramin Hajiyev, Francisco Benitez, Alin Grasu, Raymond Wu, Timothy Adams, Ariel Celeestino, Benjamin Pollak, Geirgios Zisimopoulos, Dzmitry Urbanovich, Senh Ung, Pablo Melogna, Vlado Banicevic, Oleksii Liashenko, Thiago Nishikima and Hicham Zebidi. –JS

5:40pm: Fedor Holz extends his lead
Level 13 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

Fedor “CrownUpGuy” Holz has extended his lead to more than 560,000, some way ahead of Dmitry Yurasov, with 400,000 two seats along. Click here for selected chip counts.


Fedor Holz: Top of the charts, as usual

5:35pm: Fedor’s vault fills up even more
Level 13 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

Fedor Holz has stretched his lead at the top of the counts (568k) after he took out Ramin Hajiyev.

The latter open-raised to 6,300 from the cutoff and then four-bet all-in for 95,000 after Holz had three-bet to 17,000 from the small blind. Call.

Holz: A♦K♣
Hajiyev: A♠4♠

The board ran 2♥Q♠K♥K♦8♥ to send the pot to Holz.

Chance Kornuth was sat to the right of Hajiyev’s empty seat and went to help pass the chips down to the other side of the table. However both he and the dealer paused in shock when Holz barked, “Can you not let him touch it!”

The pause seemed to last an age before a big smile broke out across Holz’s face. “I thought you were serious for a second,” Kornuth said, and the dealer’s body decided that she should probably start breathing again. — MC

13 1,500 3,000 400

5:10pm: Chartier calls Alin’s all-in
Level 13 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

Sam Chartier opened to 7,000 on the button after it folded around to him, only for Romania’s Alin Grasu to move all-in from the small blind. The big blind folded and Chartier didn’t hesitate in matching the 41,500 bet.

Grasu had shoved with A♣J♦, but he was behind Chartier’s A♦Q♥. The board ran out 9♣4♣3♦K♦6♠ and Grasu hit the rail, while Chartier increased to 251,000. –JS

5:05pm: Mahmoud hits set in three-way pot
Level 12 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (300 ante)

Imed Mahmoud made a set and got two streets of value in a hand versus Ben Heath and Martin Finger to see his stack rise to 285,000.

Heath had raised to 5,000 from the button and was called by Mahmoud and Finger in the blinds. The flop spread 6♥4♣A♥ and Heath’s 6,300 c-bet was check-called by both opponents. All three checked the K♥ turn before Mahmoud led for 15,500 on the 2♦ river. Only Finger called but he upon mucked seeing Mahmoud’s 4♥4♠ for set and dropped to 43,000. Heath also dropped to 134,000. — MC

5pm: Fedor Holz holds narrow lead
Fedor “CrownUpGuy” Holz has nudged ahead of Dmitry Yurasov, with 400,000 to the Russian’s 390,000. Bryn Kenney has recovered after earlier set-backs and Steffen Sontheimer remains among the top five. Click here for selected chip counts.

4:55pm: Four minutes before break; one hand
Level 12 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (300 ante)

There was four minutes left on the level before our remaining field in the high roller went on a 15-minute break, so I thought I had time to grab a couple of hands to type up.

I was wrong.

The first table I stopped by had the action on Chance Kornuth, and he’d opened to 6,000. “I’ll stick around and see what happens,” I thought, as Steve O’Dwyer and Fedor Holz were also on the table. They both folded pretty quickly and before I knew it the action was on a player in the small blind wearing a grey hoodie, facing away from me.

The action was on him for over a minute before I moved my head around to see who it was: Byron Kaverman. “Ahhh, that explains it,” I thought. For anyone unaware, Kaverman is notorious for his slow pace of play.

About two minutes later he three-bet to 16,500, and Kornuth gave his hand up quickly. The chips went to Kaverman, and four minutes had passed.

Break time. –JS

4:50pm: Muehloecker gets needed double
Level 12 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (300 ante)

We reported that Thomas Muehloecker was in trouble and he’s managed to get one foot out of the mud by doubling up. He moved all-in for 12,500 from the cutoff after the action folded to him, and was called by Yang Wang in the next seat.

Muehloecker: A♦7♥
Wang: K♥Q♠

Wang was more interested in his mobile phone screen than a board that ran K♣A♥2♥5♠J♠ to hand the pot to the Austrian, who still has some work to do. — MC

4:45pm: Nearly half a million
Level 12 – Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (300 ante)

The final numbers are in for this event and we now know how much they’re playing for. There were 214 entries (comprising 164 players and 50 re-entries) and the winner is set for a €439,000 payday. They will pay down to 31st, with a min-cash earning €18,270.

Here’s how the top eight pays:

1 €439,000
2 €295,600
3 €208,420
4 €169,000
5 €133,680
6 €101,500
7 €74,100
8 €54,180

4:40pm: Finger points at Melogno
Level 12 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (300 ante)

Martin Finger opened to 6,000 from early position only for Pablo Melogno to move all-in over the top. It wasn’t for much more mind; only 6,700 total, in fact, so Ben Heath called from the big blind and Finger chucked an extra 700 in too.

The flop fanned 2♦7♠4♦ and Heath checked, allowing Finger to seize the initiative with a bet of 9,000. Heath folded and the cards were on their backs: 7♦8♦ for Finger, ahead of the A♠3♥ of Melogno. The turn and river were blanks for Melogno and he hit the rail, while Finger moved up to 127,000. –JS

4:30pm: Luca unlocks Muehloecker
Level 12 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (300 ante)

Thomas Muehloecker found himself in a precarious position with just 25,700 chips (and just about to go through the blinds) after he had to fold on the river to an Ivan Luca shove.

Muehloecker opened to 5,000 from under the gun and Luca peeled from the big blind to see a Q♥Q♣10♠ flop. Muehloecker continued for 4,300 and Luca couldn’t have looked more uninterested. He check-called, of course. The turn was the 8♠ and both players checked to the 5♣ river where the Argentinian pro moved his 54,500 forward. Muehloecker wasted little time in folding. — MC

4:25pm: Today’s lesson? Don’t play against Kanit
Level 12 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (300 ante)

I saw a bet of 67,000 in front of Mustapha Kanit, and whenever the Italian is engaged in conversation you know it’s going to be good. The man talking to him was Imad Derwiche; he had somewhere in the 100,000 ballpark, so it would be a sizeable chunk of his stack to call on the 7♥A♦8♦9♠2♦ board. Then again, there was around 100,000 already in the middle, too.

Kanit: “You have aces.”
Derwiche: “Of course I have aces. OR maybe you have the aces.”
Kanit: “I don’t have aces. You do!”
Derwiche: “If I fold and show one, will you too?”

Kanit agreed, and Derwiche gave his hand up while showing the A♣.

Derwiche then chose a card and Kanit flipped it over – the J♦.

“Ayyy!!” Derwiche yelped in happy relief, assuming Kanit had a diamond flush. Here’s where Bryn Kenney, Kanit’s next-door neighbour at the table, piped up: “Show the bluff, one time!”

Kanit kind of did. He gently lifted up his other card, but only to show it was a spade. None of us saw the actual card.

When it was all over, Kanit had one final message for Derwiche.

“It’s one-one now [presumably these two have some history]. Don’t play against me – play against the others! You always double up against the others!”

Kanit now has 220,000, while Derwiche is left with 90,000. –JS

4.20pm: Yurasev out in front
Level 12 – Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (300 ante)

It doesn’t look like there are many, if any, stacks bigger than Dmitry Yurasev’s in the room at the moment. He has the best part of 380,000 and has just taken the last of Vlado Banicevic’s chips.


Dmitry Yurasov

Yurasev opened to 5,500 from under the gun and Ramin Hajiyev called in late position. Banicevic was in the big blind and he shoved for about 20,000. Yurasev re-shoved, getting Hajiyev out of the way, and Yurasev had Banicevic dominated.

Yurasev: A♣8♥
Banicevic: K♥8♦

The board changed nothing. –HS

4.15pm: O’Dwyer battling into contention
Level 12 – Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (300 ante)

One of poker’s great immortals, Steve O’Dwyer, is once again showing his great survival skills. Down to about 20,000 not so long ago, O’Dwyer now has about 120,000.

He was recently moved from his previous seating assignment and didn’t seem too happy about it, at least according to some snatches of conversation overheard between him and Chance Kornuth at his new table. But he probably likes it now, having just doubled up through Ramin Hajiyev.

Hajiyev opened to 5,600 from the small blind and O’Dwyer shoved for 56,800 total from the big. “I don’t know what to do,” Hajijev said, but eventually found a call with his K♦Q♦ and a stack of about 140,000.

O’Dwyer turned over A♥10♠ and it stayed healthy through a board of 9♠8♣5♣3♦J♦. O’Dwyer said something along the lines of “And to think I was complaining about leaving that last table,” tailing off while muttering about being through the blinds already, or some such.

Kornuth kept him in check with some faux sympathy that was nothing of the sort.

O’Dwyer is up and running now, but the same can’t be said of Dzmitry Urbanovich, his only serious challenger for poker’s most durable recent talent. Urbanovich has only about 20,000 and is looking glum about it. — HS

4pm: Stuer gets himself priced in
Level 12 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (300 ante)

Julian Stuer three-bet himself into a cul-de-sac and by the time he had done a three-point turn, his stack had dropped to 147,000.

He was on the button and three-bet to 11,000 after an open, then was priced in when Abdel Omais jammed for 32,600 from the big blind.

Omais: Q♥Q♣
Stuer: K♠J♦

The board ran 2♥3♣8♦Q♦2♦ to make Omais a full house. — MC

12 1,200 2,400 300

3:50pm: The latest to perish
Level 11 – Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

Aviv Meir, Mohsin Charania, Mike McDonald, Pedro Oliveira, Dan Smith, Jason Wheeler, Jan-Eric Schwippert, Stephen Chidwick and Gilbert Diaz are the latest names to be etched on to the EPT12 Grand Final single re-entry cenotaph, having become the latest players to be lost in action. –HS

3:45pm: A whole lot of nothing, and not much of something
Level 11 – Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

Sometimes a poker hand can take ages to play out and come to very little. Other times, a big pot plays out in a flash. Take these two hands, for example.

In the first instance, Ivan Luca, Sergio Aido and Paul Hoefer played a hand that couldn’t have had more checks if it had taken place in Brno. Luca opened to 4,500 from under the gun and Aido called on the button. Hoefer was in the big blind and called too.

The saw a flop of 8♣4♣3♦ and it went check, check, check. They saw a turn of K♣ and it went check, check, check. And they saw a 10♣ river and it went check, check, check as well, probably a bit longer than it should have.

Hoefer turned over 9♣9♥ and the other two mucked.

On an adjacent table, Martin Jacobson and Charlie Carrel played out a bigger pot in a fraction of the time. Jacobson opened to 5,200 and Carrel, with only the dealer between them, raised to 11,000. Everyone else folded and then Jacobson tossed his remaining stack into the middle.

Carrel didn’t need a count. He called and showed A♣K♥. Jacobson had 10♠10♦. The board ran 8♣5♥5♠6♦Q♦ and only then did we learn that Jacobson had 43,200 and now has double that. –HS

3:30pm: Fast among the flurry
Level 11 – Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

There are three former EPT Grand Final champions still involved in this one: Adrian Mateos, Steve O’Dwyer and Mohsin Charania. Or, to be more accurate, there were until very recently.

While Mateos is sitting comfortably with more than 150,000 in chips, both O’Dwyer and Charania found themselves in the danger zone, with stacks of around 30,000. O’Dwyer open shoved twice in one orbit and got no callers, but when Charania tried it, he was not only called, but also eliminated by Sergey Sergeev.

Charania had precisely 30,000 when he shoved with A♦J♥. Sergeev had A♣K♥. A king on the turn sealed the deal, and he offered the massage therapist working on his body a cheery peck on the cheek in celebration.

She was, as you can imagine, delighted. –HS


Steve O’Dwyer: One of two former Grand Final champs still involved

3:15pm: Zinno loses big pot to Peters
Level 11 – Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

Anthony Zinno was among the leaders until a short while ago he clashed with David Peters in a pot.

Zinno bet from the cut off (we didn’t see the amount), which Peters raised to 13,700. With the action back on him Zinno raised, to 22,000 this time. Peters thought for a few moments, then called for the flop.

Zinno got to the point, lumping 100,000 into the middle. Peters announced he was all in, which Zinno called, turning over A♥K♦. Peters though had flopped a flush, turning over K♥Q♥.

The turn and river changed nothing except the stack sizes. Zinno down to 100,000 while Peters moves towards the front of the pack with 285,000. – SB

3:20pm: More than 200
Level 11 – Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

We’re still awaiting word of the official number of players for this tournament, but it seems as though we hit 208 entries, comprising 160 uniques and 48 re-entries. Prize pool information will accompany the confirmation of the numbers. — HS

3:10pm: Fast among the flurry
Level 11 – Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

Now that registration is finally closed, being knocked out of this tournament is actually terminal. There’s no coming back.

A flurry of exits has already started, with Dietrich Fast, David Yan, Dominik Nitsche, Vicente Delgado and Jason Mercier among those to hit the rail.


The picture tells the story: the back of Jason Mercier

I caught Fast’s elimination. He bluffed himself out of this one, with Chance Kornuth picking him off. The pair of them went to a flop for 13,000 apiece, which already means there was significant pre-flop action. Kornuth was in the hijack and Fast was on the button, so I’m guessing open, three-bet, call was how it went.

The flop came 8♣J♥2♥ and Kornuth checked. Fast bet 11,500 and Kornuth called.

The turn was the 5♦ and Kornuth checked again. Fast now decided to shove. “Can I get a count please,” Kornuth said. The dealer broke down Fast’s stack, establishing he had 47,000. Kornuth, with at least twice that, made the call.

Fast was forced to show his 9♣6♣, and he was drawing only to a seven when Kornuth turned over his K♦J♠. The 6♦ river wasn’t enough and Fast is out.


Dietrich Fast knocked out

The German player has had a sensational recent run on the WPT, after winning his first WSOP bracelet in Berlin last year. He’ll be back for a lot more this week. — HS

11 1,000 2,000 300

2:30pm: Kenney takes hit at the break
Level 10 – Blinds: 800/1,600 (200 ante)

As the break approached it looked like Bryn Kenney would lead. He had 265,000 when Stephen Chidwick moved all in for 16,700. Imad Derwiche was in seat one and already had chips in the pot so called, but when the action reached Kenney he raised to 23,000.

Derwiche did a lot of shrugging, but it was unclear whether this was “I’m annoyed but I will fold,” shrugging, or “what the hell!” shrugging. Turned out it was the latter, and he put his last 65,000 into the middle. Kenney snap called.

Kenney: J♥J♣
Derwiche: A♣K♦
Chidwick: 5♠5♥

The board ran 6♠7♠K♣4♥8♣

The king on the flop helped Derwiche, but Chidwick would make a straight, moving up to 48,000. Derwiche would settle for 61,000 while Kenney dropped down to 180,000. – SB

2:15pm: McDonald doubles Schemion
Level 10 – Blinds: 800/1,600 (200 ante)

You’ll do well to get a tell off Mike McDonald. Arguably, it’s impossible. His face is impassive and over recent years he’s even introduced the most rigid placing of bets style of anyone in the game: picking up the required number of chips and putting them over the line in one tight pile. No splashing, no scattering.

The only way to get any hint what McDonald is holding is to take him to showdown. And thankfully for us, both Andrey Zaichenko and Ole Schemion did just that in consecutive hands. Here’s how McDonald played those two pots.


Mike McDonald: The man in the frame

On the first, McDonald was under the gun and he opened to what looked like 3,400. (The tight pile of chips made it difficult to see exactly how many were out there.) Zaichenko, in the cutoff seat, raised to 10,000 and McDonald called.

They saw the 5♠6♥3♠ fall on the flop and McDonald checked. Zaichenko bet 7,000 and McDonald called.

Both players checked the 7♦ turn. And they also checked the Q♥ river. McDonald turned over a carefully-played 10♣10♦ and Zaichenko mucked.

So there we had a medium pocket pair for McDonald, but there was nothing of the sort on this next hand.

The one started with Schemion opened to 3,500 from the cutoff and McDonald three-betting to 9,000 from the big blind. Schemion called, taking just the two of them to a flop of A♠4♣K♦.

McDonald led. He bet 6,000, which Schemion called. The 8♥ came on the turn and McDonald moved all in, a stack of about 50,000. Schemion sighed, but called all in.

Schemion had about 30,000 in his stack, so was the man under threat. But after he tabled A♣7♣ he was in far better shape than perhaps even he could have thought. McDonald had a gutshot, but otherwise his 2♠3♠ wasn’t great.

The 2♥ on the river wasn’t enough, and Schemion doubled. McDonald is mighty short now. — HS

2pm: As luck would have it
Level 10 – Blinds: 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Sergey Sergeev has more trinkets in front of him than a taxi driver we once encountered at EPT Warsaw. This man, driving at close to 100mph along a relatively suburban street, had 18 pictures of the Madonna pinned to various parts of his car – the dashboard, the rearview mirror –  but no seat belt on. For him, taxi driving was a luck game, and while Sergeev might not depend quite as much on the almighty, he looks like a man who figures there’s no point taking chances.

So he has an assortment of charms with him, built around a small Buddha figuring which is surrounds with small piles of chips. There’s a gold chain wrapped around the Buddha, with a medallion on the end, and two shiny gold coins, one large, one small, protecting his cards.

He also has two pairs of glasses, one pair for reading, and the other pair sunglasses, both of which are perched on his forehead, and he’s in the middle of a massage that started yesterday. I’m not sure of this, but after such a long time one imagines a massage therapist eventually exhausts all of their moves and simply begins making stuff up, like using Sergeev’s back as a step ladder. She smiled. I understood.

So a luck player? Niall Farrell might have thought so, at least for one hand.

Sergeev and Farrell played a hand together. The former was helped by a pair of fives and all those charms. Farrell meanwhile was held back by a hand that would not make quads by the river, and Bananaman, or at least the waiter, unfamiliar with poker etiquette, who politely insisted on payment for the banana while Farrell contemplated the turn.

With the board reading 6♠2♥9♣ 5♥ he was reaching into the pocket for €3 and trying to work out what Sergeev had. He decided to check, perhaps out of necessity. Sergeev did the same for a 5♣ river card.

Apologetically handing the waiter a €50 note for the €3 banana, Farrell announced check. Who knows if he’d have done anything if less distracted, but Sergeev showed his pocket fives. Farrell laughed. “No good, no good,” he said, folding his hand.

Farrell made up for it moments later, sending Abdel Omais to the rail with 9[s]8♠ which had made two pairs by the turn.

“Lucky banana,” he joked.

“I’ll pay six euros for it,” replied Farid Jattin. –SB

1:45pm: No sign of Newey
Level 10 – Blinds: 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Paul Newey’s collapse is complete. The chair, to the right of Stephen Chidwick, that housed the overnight chip leader is now vacant.–HS

1:40pm: The laughing stops as MacPhee departs
Level 10 – Blinds: 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Imad Derwiche knocked out Sam Greenwood in a hand taking place out across the other side of the tournament area from my vantage point–i.e., too far to see any of the details. However, it was definitely within earshot, particularly when Greenwood’s erstwhile table-mates, including Bryn Kenney, Mustapha Kanit and Kevin MacPhee, began berating Greenwood as he wandered away.

“Go home!” bellowed Derwiche, to general amusement. (Greenwood, it must be noted, was in on the joke. He offered a wave as he headed towards the door.)

It wasn’t quite such a laughing matter for MacPhee on the very next hand, however. He was quickly condemned to the same fate as Greenwood, despite finding pocket aces.


Contrasting fortunes for Sam Greenwood, left, and Bryn Kenney

Bryn Kenney opened the pot, making it 3,500 to play. MacPhee, a couple of seats down, moved all in for something like 30,000 and when action came back to Kenney, he called immediately. Kenney had A♥Q♠ while MacPhee had A♣A♦.

But it was another case of the dreaded four-flush when the board ran 5♠9♠8♣K♠10♠. The laughing stopped as MacPhee gathered his belongings. (It started again once he was gone.)

Kenney has about 260,000 chips now, which is bigger even that Sam Chartier’s 255,000 stack. I’d say they’re the chip leaders.–HS

10 800 1,600 200

1:25pm: Buddiga from the cut off
Level 9 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (200 ante)

After moving all in a short while ago (no takers) Pratyush Buddiga opened for 2,700 in the cut off. Thiago Nishijima called from the big blind for a flop of 6♣A♦10♣.

There was a bet and a call ahead of the 10♥ turn card. Nishijima made it 6,500 to play, which Buddiga called for a 4♥ river. Nishijima then plonked a stack of blue chips in front of him and waited for Buddiga’s reaction. It was quick. A fold.

He’s down to 20,000 while Nishijima now has around 135,000. – SB

1:20pm: Neuville double up
Level 9 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Pierre Neuville secured a double up through Chance Kornuth. Neuville shoved for 24,000 with 7♥7♠, which Kornuth called with Q♣K♦.
The board ran 6♠8♠9♥5♠3♠.

That put Neuville on slightly more than 50,000 while Kornuth has 95,000. – SB

1:15pm: Yeung send packing
Level 9 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Edmund Yeung is out. Or, at least, he has lost his first stack. (Registration and re-entry is still open.) Sergey Lebedev opened in what would be Yeung’s last hand, making it 2,600 to play from under the gun.

Stefan Schillhabel called from the cutoff and then Yeung squeeze-shoved for 20,700 from the button.

The move got rid of Lebedev, but Schillhabel went nowhere. He called with A♣Q♠ which stayed ahead of Yeung’s K♥10♥ on a board of 2♠3♠J♦9♥7♠.

Action remains frenetic as they move into Level 10, which is the last where re-entries are available. –HS

1:10pm: Newey slumps
Level 9 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (200 ante)

It has been a disastrous start to the day for Paul Newey, who was the overnight chip leader in this tournament. His starting stack of about 190,000 is now only a fraction of the size–around 28,000, to be more precise.


Paul Newey. The blue tower of chips is now almost gone

I don’t have specific details of how it shrank so significantly, but there are a couple of clues around his table. Firstly, Ben Heath, who only re-entered at the start of play, now has 120,000 chips. That’s a 70,000 increase on the 50,000 starting stack.

More significant even than that is the presence to Newey’s right of Imed Mahmoud. Mahmoud began the day in the top 30, with a stack of 112,000. However he now has at least 230,000, and is likely now in the top 1. –HS

1pm: Not so Grand this time
Level 9 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Ivan Freitez and Jack Salter, two men with fond memories of action at an EPT Grand Final, are both out of this event. Freitez was spotted strolling out of the tournament room, chomping menacingly on a lolly stick. News of Salter’s demise reached us in even more ignominious fashion. I found his player ID ticket discarded on the floor. “Oh yeah, he’s gone,” the tournament floorman said. –HS


Jack Salter: “Oh yeah, he’s gone”

12:55pm: Farrell off to a flyer
Level 9 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Two more players just lost huge pots, both getting it in with the best hand and being flushed out by an inferior holding.

The first was Justin Bonomo, who flopped a set with his 6♥6♠ on a board of 6♦3♦5♥. But he lost to Alexandru Papazian’s A♦J♦ when the turn showed the K♦ and the river the 9♦. I’m not sure when the money went in here–Bonomo started the day with 48,200; Papazian with 57,400–but the end result was Bonomo in the queue for a re-entry.

Sergey Lebedev also took a massive hit when he and Niall Farrell got it all in pre-flop. Lebedev had A♦K♦ and Farrell A♣Q♥. But by the time this one was done, Farrell was convincingly ahead. The board ran Q♣K♣J♣7♣10♠.

Farrell, who only bought in at the start of play today, had 80,200 in his stack, so now has double that. That’ll put him close to the chip lead. –HS

12:45pm: Quoss out
Level 9 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Fabian Quoss’s high roller came to an end less than three minutes from the start. He found A♦K♥ and shoved, which Dan Smith in the seat next to him called with pocket jacks.

The board came K♣J♦2♠9♠3♦. Quoss was out of his chair on the turn, and wished everyone good luck. Smith up to 100,000. – SB

12:40pm: Panzica clings on
Level 9 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Both of yesterday’s leaders, Jean-Noel Thorel and Paul Newey, have been drawn on the same table today. Neither likes to back down in pots either, so there could be some fireworks on that table.

That said, Newey’s stack just took a small hit as he doubled up Samuel Panzica on what may have been the first or second hand played today. It was lucky for Panzica and unfortunate for Newey, although his stack can handle it.

Ben Heath started the action, raising to 2,700. Panzica moved all in for 23,200 from the cutoff and must have been a little concerned when Newey, on the button, took a long while deciding his action. Newey decided to call, putting the decision back with Heath.

Heath actually had already made up his mind. He folded. It left Newey to turn over his A♠A♥ and Panzica began packing his things as he turned over K♠Q♦.


Samuel Panic, left, gets an early double

The dealer had other ideas. The board fell 5♣9♦7♦4♦K♦ and Panzica four-flushed to stay alive. –HS

12:35pm: Another huge field
Level 9 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Play has now started on Day 2 and this tournament is getting ever bigger. There were seven re-entries before play started, plus three new entries, and in the time it took to type that, another two players showed up. Registration remains open for another couple of levels, so this is going to get out of control.

The new players who registered before play are Mikita Badziakouski, Niall Farrell and Timofey Kuznetsov. The re-entries are Senh Ung, Boyuan Qu, Rainer Kempe, Yunhsiang Fan, Ben Heath, Rocco Palumbo and Mustapha Kanit, bro.

As I say, that’s just the start of it. It’ll be some time still until we know the full numbers. –HS

12:25pm: Into the main room
Level 9 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (200 ante)

After getting started yesterday in the auxiliary tournament room, the €10,000 single-entry high roller tournament is now in the main Salle des Etoiles. This is the best tournament room in world poker, what with its retractable roof and all.

Obviously the curtains are closed and the roof is shut as we try our best to recreate the atmosphere of a downstairs, dingy poker club. But it’s nice to know the outside is there.

Play is now getting under way, so stick with us for the ups and downs of what is certain to be a turbulent day. — HS

11:30am: Day 2 imminent

Over the coming hour, players will be gradually arriving to the tournament venue for the start of Day 2 of the €10,000 single-entry high roller at the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino EPT Grand Final. The restart is at 12:30pm.

There’s a slightly unconventional structure today. Registration and re-entry is still open for the first couple of hours, until they have played Levels 9 and 10 (which are 45 minutes long) and they have taken a 20-minute tournament break.

At the moment Level 11 begins, however, registration is closed. The tournament then reverts to 60-minute levels, of which they will play another eight, or until a final table of eight players is reached. There’s next to no chance that the latter will happen, so we’re essentially playing 10 levels.

There’s a dinner break after Level 16 and the close of play will be around midnight.


Tournament room in Monaco

Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.

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

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

PokerStars Blog reporting team on the €10,000 single re-entry high roller at the EPT12 Grand Final: Stephen Bartley, Marc Convey, Jack Stanton and Howard Swains. Photography by René Velli. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog




Next Story