EPT13 Barcelona: Chimkovitch bags the chip lead at the end of Day 3

August 25, 2016

With the last hand complete and the chips going into the bags Anthony Chimkovitch knew exactly what it was a like to have a great day on the EPT. If it wasn’t clear enough from the stack of 1,825,000 that he bagged up tonight, the grin on his face for much of the day pretty much clinched it.

The Belgian started the day with 144,000 and turned that into the benchmark today. Still only 23, he showed the experience of a veteran to become the first player past the million chip mark, knocking out the likes of Chance Kornuth along the way.

anthony_edouard_chimkovitch_v2.jpgAnthony Chimkovitch takes the lead into Day 4 of the EPT Barcelona Main Event

If quality of a performance is judged by the level of opposition, Chimkovitch’s performance was even more notable. His name is at the top of the counts tonight but the chasing pack is a formidable one.

Anthony Chimkovitch – 1,825,000
Marco Caza – 1,521,000
Nuno Capucho – 1,375,000
Simon Lofberg – 1,200,000
Uri Reichenstein – 1,187,000
Alejandro Belluccia 1,148,000
Harcharan Dogra Dogra – 1,100,000
Ramon Miguel – 1,082,000
Aku Joentausta – 1,063,000
Marc Trijaud – 1,039,000
Jose Quintas – 1,031,000
Thomas De Rooij – 1,010,000
Jason Mercier – 1,006,000
Bryn Kenney – 728,000
Michael Eiler – 679,000
Sam Grafton – 635,000
Morten Mortensen – 608,000
Nicolas Chouity – 603,000
Keith Johnson – 443,000
Byron Kaverman – 442,000
Jason Koon – 424,000
Kent Lundmark – 387,000
Erik Friberg – 365,000
Rumen Nanev – 332,000
Brian Tae-Hyun Yoon – 328,000
Mikhail Shalamov – 304,000
Eugene Katchalov – 215,000

That line up means things are shaping up nicely to become another memorable Barcelona Main Event final. What’s more there are still double-winner possibilities.

Victoria Coren-Mitchell was the first (admittedly this makes it more memorable) and so far only champion to win a second, but there are now only two more EPTs for someone to join her in poker’s most exclusive club. Will anyone do it before the EPT steps up to become the PokerStars Championship? Five players could still do it this weekend, some better placed than others: Nicolas Chouity, Jason Mercier, Michael Eiler, Kent Lundmark, and Ronny Kaiser.

ramos_mercier_bar13_d3.jpgFelipe Ramos and Jason Mercier began the day on the feature table. Ramos would bust early but Mercier will be back for Day 4

We’ll track their progress when the Main Event continues tomorrow, with play expected to reduce the field to a last 16. Will it be the players above, or someone else, who becomes a title contender?

The list of those it won’t be is a long one. When play began today there were 294 players in seats. That figure is now 98.

Along the way we lost the likes of Felipe Ramos, Steven Watts, Ilari Sahmies, Mike McDonald, Ognyan Dimov, Sam Greenwood, Davidi Kitai, Vladimir Troyanovskiy, Dimitar Danchev, Connor Drinan, Govert Metaal, Kitty Kuo, Leo Margets, Harrison Gimbel and Philipp Gruissem.

leo_margets_v3.jpgLeo Margets was among the long list of players eliminated today

Some of those names will feature again tomorrow, albeit in an entirely different event.

That’s when the EPT €10K High Roller begins. Our live updates from what is the last major event of the Barcelona festival begin at 12.30pm local time. Expect big names, a big field, and big money. By now you’ll notice everything is big in Barcelona.

For now you can get the detailed picture of what took place today by scrolling through the live updates below. And if you want more details check out the payout page for the scores so far, and the chip count page, which will be updated as soon as we have official counts, for the counts going into tomorrow. Lastly, scores from every event played so far in Barcelona can be found on our side event results page.

Until tomorrow then it’s good night from Barcelona. — SB

9:10pm: Play ends on Day 3

At the end of play it’s Anthony Chimkovitch bagging up the chip lead. The full report on the day will be published here shortly. — SB

8:59pm: Slipping away
Level 19 – Blinds: 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Albert Puigsech opened to 23,000 from the cutoff and it folded to Philipp Gruissem in the big blind. Gruissem only had 98,000 in his stack, but made the call that would cost him a quarter of it.

The flop came 7♦10♦3♣ and Gruissem checked. Puigsech bet 17,000 and now, from a stack of 75,000, Gruissem called for another quarter.

The 2♣ came on the river and Gruissem checked again. Puigsech bet 50,000 this time and Gruissem folded, leaving himself six big blinds as the day’s end approaches.

Ah–STOP PRESS–word reaches that Philipp Gruissem is now out. — HS

8:57pm: Three more hands
Level 19 – Blinds: 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Just three more hands to play before play ends for the day.

8:56pm: Nuno picks up on Misztela’s tell
Level 19 – Blinds: 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Przemyslaw Misztela’s 181,000 shove with the A♦8♠ was called by Nuno Capucho who had 2♦2♥. Whether he had a read on him or not, he must have known his opponent didn’t have a pair to make that call. Besides, ‘tela’ and ‘tell’ sounded good in a headline, so let’s just say he ‘picked up on something’.

The board bricked with no Ace or eight and Misztela left with 20 minutes left on the day. Capucho is up to 1.485 million now. –JS

8:53: Boring, not boring
Level 19 – 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

When Olli Autiö pushed all-in, Christian Jeppsson called, and they both opened ace-jack, a player from across the table offered a one-word commentary.

“Bo-ring.” Delivered sing-song style.

He was right. The board brought no flushes, and Autiö continues with 140,000 and Jeppsson with 560,000.

But on the next table when Sergei Chantcev was all-in with A♥J♣, it was decidedly not boring. That’s because he was all-in versus Michael Kane’s 7♣7♦, and the board came…

5♦K♠9♦… (snoozerama)…

9♥… (whatever)…

J♥! (Whoa.)

The river jack saves Chantcev, who doubles to 430,000 while Kane is down to just 50,000. –MH

8:50pm: Schroedinger’s Lundmark
Level 19 – Blinds: 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Kent Lundmark was earlier reported to be out of this tournament by some very untrustworthy media outlet. But, shhhh, we they changed it and restored Schroedinger’s poker player to the chip-count page.

Lundmark was just involved in what had the potential to be a pretty big pot, but it fizzled into a chop. Lundmark opened to 27,000 from under the gun and Michael Addamo shoved for 205,000 a few seats behind him. Seemingly all the other players were close to calling–asking for a count, double-checking their cards, etc.–but all folded. Lundmark, however, called.

Lundmark showed A♦K♦ and was technically slightly ahead of Addamo’s A♣K♠. But the chop was confirmed by the time the turn had brought one card of each suit. — HS

8:45pm: Jeppsson survives
Level 19 – Blinds: 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Down to just 77,000 Christian Jeppsson moved all-in from the small blind and Olli Autiö called from the big. Jeppsson opened 9♠8♦ and was behind to Autiö’s Q♣7♥. The 9♥5♣6♦K♦6♣ board favoured the Swede and he doubled up. –NW

8:44pm: That was ugly
Level 19 – Blinds: 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

You don’t have to be a particularly compassionate person to feel what just happened to Neculai Macovei. Holding 4♥4♦, he was happy to get it all-in on a 6♣4♠Q♠ flop. Thing was, Avi Binyamin was even happier to put his final 279,000 in the middle, because he’d flopped a bigger set with 6♠6♦. He dodged the one-outer and moved up to nearly 900,000 while Macovei has barely 120,000. –BW

8:42pm: 3..2…1…call
Level 19 – Blinds: 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Ping Liu had checked the A♥3♦8♦ flop to Aram Sargsyan and then found himself facing an all-in bet to 233,000. It would account for around a third of Liu’s stack. He had a decision to make, and he took his time to make it. Minutes and minutes passed by before someone called the clock. Liu then took literally every second of his clock before pushing forward calling chips. The time to think hadn’t resulted in the right decision. Liu’s A♦2♠ was no match for Sargsyan’s A♣J♥. Sargsyan now has an around average stack. Liu has a lot of work to do if he wants to make it to Day 4.–BW

8:41pm: “Bluffed you”
Level 19 – 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

“Don’t tell me you have ace-queen and I check for you.”

So said Wael Sarkis on the river betting round in a hand versus Jeffrey Mulder. With about 300,000 already in the middle, Sarkis had checked on a 2♠K♦2♥Q♠Q♣ board, and Mulder took the opportunity to jam his last 210,000 in the middle. The comment sounded as though it could have alluded back to a check on the previous street.

“Ace-king, right?” Mulder shot back. “Don’t tell me you call me with king-jack.”

Sarkis grew quiet at that, and Mulder continued.

“I’ll show you,” Mulder said with a nod. “I’ll show you one way or another.”

“You won’t show me a bluff?” asked Sarkis. “I’ll show you, 100 percent” Mulder insisted. “It’s up to you.”

Sarkis thought a while longer, then saying “I believe you” folded his hand. Mulder instantly turned his over — 8♠8♣.

“Bluffed you,” he said. It had been a chatty table, but things got pretty quiet pretty quick after that.

Mulder has 520,000 now, while Sarkis has 305,000. –MH

8:39pm: Hotshot Tottenham
Level 19 – Blinds: 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Adam Owen has built his overnight stack of 168,000 to the best part of 900,000 today, but has done so all but unnoticed–at least by our updates team. He recently flicked through the entirety of this post on his phone and will not have seen a picture of himself, more’s the pity.

I say that because he has recently started wearing a Tottenham Hotspur football scarf, and that’s always going to endear him to this particular quarter of PokerStars Blog. The North London club were in the hat for the Champions League draw today and presumably Owen is celebrating a group that pits his Spurs against CSKA Moscow, Bayer Leverkusen and Monaco, when it could have been so much worse.

Owen played a small pot shortly after reviewing today’s coverage. He called from the big blind after Byron Kaverman opened to 23,000 from mid-position.

They both checked the 7♠K♣7♥ flop and then Kaverman called Owen’s bet of 20,000 after the Q♣ turn. Owen bet again, this time 43,000, on the Q♥ river and Kaverman called again.

Owen turned over A♣10♠ but Kaverman was never behind with his A♠K♦. Owen will hope for a better outcome when the Champions League matches kick off on September 13-14. — HS

8:35pm: A three-ring Sarkis
Level 19 – Blinds: 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Wael Sarkis was just in the thick of it again. Tomas Macnamara was trying to eliminate him, having called his 222,000 three-bet all-in with the A♣Q♦, but Sarkis had the goods with the A♥K♣. A three-heart flop took away one of Macnamara’s outs, and Sarkis doubled. Macnamara has 270,000 now. –JS

8:27pm: Ruzicka takes out Kamar
Level 19 – Blinds: 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Pretty simple one this, Fady Kamer got his final 123,000 in with A♦J♥ and Vojtech Ruzicka looked him up with A♠Q♦. A K♣6♦5♣2♥2♦ board didn’t improve either player and Kamar exited the tournament. –NW

8:27pm: Friedli as a bird
Level 19 – Blinds: 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Nicolas Gil Friedli has suddenly found himself with an extra 45 minutes to fill, as he has busted in this last level of the day. He was all-in for 130,000 with the A♣Q♣ against Georgios Zisimopoulos’ A♥J♥ (and, to be honest, slow rolled his hand a little bit). There was Jack in the window on the flop though, and no Queen meant he was outta here. Zisimopoulos is up to 470,000 now. –JS

8:25pm: More chips for Anthony Chimkovitch
Level 19 – Blinds: 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Having taken most of Yuval Friedman’s stack a short time ago (see 8.08pm post) Anthony Chimkovitch just got the rest and is now up to 1,750,000.

I arrived at the table to see Friedman shoving for 200,000 from the small blind on the turn of a 4♦6♥9♥K♣ board and Chimkovitch then made a quick call. He turned over A♠K♦ for top pari, while Friedman had 9♠7♣ for second pair. The 6♠ river kept the Belgian in front and he added yet more chips to his burgeoning stack. –NW

8:22pm: The 150,000 Woops
Level 19 – Blinds: 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Blind battles. Amirite?

So, Byron Kaverman was sitting in the small blind when play folded all the way around to him. He thought for a bit and then made it 27,000 to play. Sitting in the big blind, Ivan Deyra chose to call and see the 8♦5♠4♦ flop. Kaverman elected to check, so Deyra bet 25,000. The next thing I know, Kaverman had put him all-in…which didn’t turn out to be a good thing for the American. Deyra had been sneaky with a pair of aces in his hand. Kaverman only had and king and four in his hand. The board paired the eight on the turn giving Kaverman even fewer outs. After a brick on the river, Kaverman shipped 156,000 over to Deyra. — BW

8:20pm: Gimbel’s gone
Level 19 – Blinds: 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

We’re down to five former EPT winners now as Harrison Gimbel just lost a race to bust. He was all-in for 140,000 with pocket jacks and looking to fade the A♥Q♣ that Jean-Jacques Zeitoun was holding. He almost managed it, but the river of a 9♥9♦5♦2♣Q♥ board dashed his hopes of a double. Zeitoun is up to 850,000. –NW

harrison_gimbel_bar13_v2_25aug16.jpgFormer PCA winner Harrison Gimbel is out

8:19pm: Aye, there’s the rub
Level 19 – 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Shmuel Madar was about 15 minutes into a massage when he found it necessary to stop massaging his short stack and commit the last of it behind Q♥J♣. Too bad for him he was up against Jean-Jacques Zeitoun’s K♦J♦.

The board ran out 3♥6♠8♥7♥2♣, and after paying the massage therapist, Madar headed over to the cashier’s table to start the process of getting paid himself.

“Man,” said Sam Grafton to Zeitoun. “You put a beat on the massage therapist, too,” he quipped. “She’s trying to make a living!”

Unlike Madar, she can remain here in the tournament area, continuing the work. So, too, remains Zeitoun who has 575,000 now. –MH

8:12pm: Big blind special for Johnson
Level 19 – 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Kevin Andriamahefa opened for 24,000 from under the gun, and Anthony Chimkovitch called from one seat over. It folded around to Keith Johnson in the big blind who came along as well, and the flop fell 8♥8♣7♣.

Johnson checked, Andriamahefa bet 40,000, Chimkovitch folded, and Johnson called. Johnson check-called again a bet of 80,000 after the 5♥ fell on the turn.

The river was the J♥. Johnson checked, and after about 10 seconds Andriamahefa checked back. Johnson turned over 8♦5♦ for a full house, and Andriamahefa mucked.

“The river,” said Johnson, speaking in disconnected phrases. “Backdoor flush. All in.”

Alas for him, neither happened, but Johnson still chips up to 505,000. And fortunately for Andriamahefa it didn’t as well; he still has 310,000. –MH

The journey to becoming an EPT champion starts on PokerStars. Click here to get an account.

8:11pm: Clean and crisp
Level 19 – Blinds: 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Diego Zeiter raised the hijack to 23,000 and was faced with a three bet from Thomas Miller one seat to his left. The rest of the table left them to it, and Zeiter wanted to play for more. He four-bet to 145,000 like he meant business. Miller believed him and folded.

There’s nothing more to it than that, but this was a crisp and attractive raise, three-bet, four-bet combo and I liked it. — HS

8:10pm: Aces too full for Tran
Level 19 – Blinds: 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

I didn’t arrive at the table until the river, but that seemed to be where the biggest action was anyway. Marc Trijaud was in a hand with Van Hiep Tran and the board showed A♣A♠8♣9♣A♥. Trijaud bet 102,000 into what was a pretty hefty pot already and after a minute Tran made the call, but mucked when he saw the Frenchman’s A♥9♥ for what was presumably a better full house. Tran dropped to 156,000 while Trijaud is up to 1.1 million. –JS

8:08pm: If you’re good enough, you’re old enough
Level 19 – Blinds: 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Anthony Chimkovitch looks like he’d be the kind of person anybody would be happy to introduce to their parents. By that, I don’t mean he’s boyfriend material. They’d more likely meet this baby-faced Belgian on the school-run.

He is, however, 23 years old (we’ve checked his passport) and he’s playing this game like a seasoned pro. He just added another 160,000 chips to his stack at the expense of a shell-shocked Yuval Friedman, who is left with 225,000.

Chimkovitch opened from the hijack, making it 22,000, and Friedman called on the button. The blinds got out of the way, so it was just the pair of them to a flop of 7♠7♣6♥. Chimkovitch checked.

Friedman had a tickle. He bet 26,000, but Chimkovitch quickly threw in a call. They saw the turn of Q♦ and Chimkovitch checked again. Friedman bet again, this time 50,000, but Chimkovitch wasn’t letting him off easy. He raised to 120,000.

After a short think, Friedman called, but possibly regretted it after Chimkovitch shoved the K♣ river. Friedman had 225,000 behind, a mere fifth of Chimkovitch’s stack. Friedman decided to live to fight another day with his 22 bigs.

Chimkovitch is now up to about 1.6 million. — HS

8:04pm: Wait…I’m drawing to your hand
Level 19 – Blinds: 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

You know you’re not in the best shape when you get all you money in on a draw to a hand that your opponent has already made. So went the life and times of Marcos Paton Bao. He got it in on a J♠9♣Q♥ flop with A♦10♥. Problem was, Xixiang Luo had already flopped the nuts with K♠10♦. That left Bao drawing to one of three kings, none of which appeared. Bao is now on his way out. — BW

8:02:pm: Short-stack struggles
Level 19 – Blinds: 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Sergei Chantcev was down to 16 big blinds and needed to make something happen. Rather than open-shove, he decided to make it 21,000 from early position and got a call from Michael Howard in the big blind. They saw a 3♣10♠7♠ flop fall, and Howard check-called a 20,000 c-bet.

The turn was the 8♦ and both decided to check to the J♠ river. Howard surveyed Chantcev’s remaining chips (129,000) and took the betting lead with a 56,000 wager. Chantcev’s stack gave him little wiggle room to outplay his opponent, so it basically came down to ‘having it’ or not. I guess he just didn’t have it, as he folded and left himself with 12 big blinds. –JS

8pm: Gruissem getting short
Level 19 – Blinds: 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Philipp Gruissem is down to just 83,000 after doubling up Narcis-Gabriel Nedelcu. The German opened to 21,000 from early position with Q♠4♠ and was priced in to called when Nedelcu jammed for 58,000 total. The Romanian had Gruissem dominated with A♥Q♣ and held on the K♦K♥J♦7♠8♥ board. –NW

7:55pm: Good call by Luth, but Liu the beneficiary
Level 19 – 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Soon after play resumed, a hand arose over at the table Peyman Luth and Ping Liu that saw Luth open from the button for 25,000, Liu jam from the small blind for just over 200,000, and Luth think for a while before deciding to call.

When Liu opened A♠3♦, Luth was visibly pleased with his decision as he turned over his 7♣7♥. But the A♣9♣K♥ flop proved less agreeable to Luth, pairing Liu’s hand. The turn was the J♣ and river the 10♥, and Liu doubled up to about 420,000. Luth, meanwhile, now has 455,000. –MH

7:50pm: Top ten stacks
Level 19 – Blinds: 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

The final level of the day has just started and these are the players who’re most likely to claim the overnight chip lead as they’re the top 10.

Name Country Chips
Anthony Chimkovitch Belgium 1,400,000
Uri Reichenstein Germany 1,325,000
Marco Caza Canada 1,234,000
Simon Lofberg Sweden 1,200,000
Alejandro Belluccia Argentina 982,000
Adam Owen UK 980,000
Jose Quintas Portugal 970,000
Ramon Miguel Munoz Spain 948,000
Nuno Capucho Portugal 920,000
Thomas De Rooij Netherlands 899,000
19 5,000 10,000 1,000

7:06pm: What are you doing, amigo?
Level 18 – Blinds: 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

“You can go on break. I will be some time.”

This was Adem Marjanovic, sitting behind a stack of about 290,000, but looking intently, and alternately, in two directions. The first was at the middle of the table, where there was a pot of about 300,000 sprinkled next to four exposed cards: 2♠J♠A♣10♣. The other was at his neighbour Albert Puigsech, who had 252,000 in front of him, as well as an all-in triangle.

The tournament clock still showed 1 minute and 10 seconds on it when some of the other players at the table seemed restless, and one man got up. That’s when Marjanovic made it clear that he was going to be taking at least those 70 seconds to make a decision for almost all of his chips.

Everyone else believed him and left only Marjanovic and Puigsech at the table. “What are you doing, amigo?” Marjanovic said. Puigsech remained silent. “I don’t know why I want to call this,” Marjanovic continued, clearly anguished.

After a good three minutes more, and after examining every inch of Puigsech for information (including a peek under the table to see if his leg was shaking or not), Marjanovic folded.

“You show me one card?” Marjanovic asked of Puigsech. Puigsech assented, allowing Marjanovic to choose which one he wanted. Marjanovic turned over the 7♠ and did not look pleased. Puigsech then voluntarily showed him the A♠ as well, before saying, “What did you have? Something like ace-queen?” Marjanovic did not reply, but made a hasty motion away from the table instead. — HS

7:05pm: A decade on, Friberg recalls WSOP Main Event run
Level 18 – 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

“You made the Main Event final table, right?” asked Filipe Oliveira of the player on his right. “Yes, ten years ago,” came the response.

“What was that like? Did you enjoy it?”

With the field down to just 114 players, Sweden’s Friberg is among those still vying for the EPT13 Barcelona Main Event title. Friberg’s first major tournament cash came right here a dozen years ago at the EPT1 Barcelona Main Event where he finished 26th. And indeed, a little later in 2006 he was the eighth-place finisher in what is still the biggest ever World Series of Poker Main Event, a finish worth nearly $2 million.

“No,” said Friberg, the perhaps surprising short answer to Oliviera’s question. “It was a little bit tense because of the pressure,” he continued, adding how when he looks back on the experience he wishes the “November Nine” delayed final table format had been part of the equation for him back then. (The Nov. Nine wasn’t introduced until 2008.)

Friberg explained how he made a couple of mistakes at that final table, and if he’d had even just a week to gather himself mentally and more fully consider the magnitude of that tournament, the outcome might have been different for him.

“I don’t think I would have played the same way,” he said.

During most of the conversation Friberg was involved in a hand, defending his blind and eventually taking a small pot with a turn bet to increase his stack to 570,000. Another hand had begun in which he’d folded, however, and one of the players asked if he didn’t mind if they might have a little quiet while it played out.

“Yes, I’ll be quiet,” said Friberg. “I respect that,” he added, knowing well how the pressure of thinking clearly at the tables can be. –MH

7:10pm: Six champs still in
Level 18 – Blinds: 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

At the start of the day there were 12 former EPT winners in with a chance of doing the double. That number has been reduced to six now and here’s how they stack up:

Nicolas Chouity – 1,200,000
Jason Mercier – 744,000
Michael Eiler – 310,000
Kent Lundmark – 300,000
Ronny Kaiser – 290,000
Harrison Gimbel – 235,000

7:08pm: Get your game face on
Level 17 – Blinds: 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

A hand just played out that, to be honest, isn’t the most exciting. I’m telling you about it because of the information players received after the hand was done.

It started with an 18,000 bet from Alisan Holozlu that was three-bet to 61,000 by Nicolas Chouity. Holozlu then four-bet to 136,000, and Chouity folded.

A member of floor staff then came up to the table to inform the players that theirs is to be the new feature table after the break (you know, in case they wanted to spruce themselves up a bit). The table features Bryn Kenney, by the way. –JS

6:55pm: Gecevicius priced in, but knows it’s Aces
Level 18 – Blinds: 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

Kestutis Gecevicius knew that Michael Howard had pocket Aces, or at least it certainly seemed that way. Howard had opened to 18,000 which was then three-bet to 56,000 by Thomas de Rooij. Gecevicius then came in for a cold four-bet of 115,000, and Howard five-bet jammed for 240,000. De Rooij hated to give up his hand but had to, whereas Gecevicius…well, he knew he was beat but was priced in. He called with the K♥Q♥ and Howard flipped the A♣[AS].

You get the feeling Gecevicius would have been much more enthusiastic about the call if he knew the 6♥5♠3♥ flop was coming. He’d picked up a flush draw and needed any heart to play executioner, but the Aces held. Howard is up to 552,000, while Gecevicius is down to 281,000. –JS

6:45pm: Cody cut down
Level 18 – 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

Amid a flurry of activity at neighboring tables, the “all-in and a call” sounded from Jake Cody’s table, and unfortunately for the Team PokerStars Pro he was the one being led from the table afterwards to the cashier’s desk. –MH

8G2A0678_EPT13BAR_Jake_Cody_Neil Stoddart.jpg

6:44pm: Who hit their draw?
Level 18 – Blinds: 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

Taichi Yoneya opened to 16,000 from the cutoff and then rubbed the palms of his hands on his trousers as he saw Sebastian Malec counting out a raise from the button. Malec made it 44,000 and the blinds folded.

“How much do you have?” Yoneya asked. Malec had about 550,000, which was about 200,000 more than Yoneya. Yoneya called.

The flop came J♣9♣2♦ and Yoneya checked. Malec bet 38,000 and Yoneya called.

The turn was the Q♦, which both players checked, and then the 10♣ appeared on the river, apparently hitting just about any draw out there. Yoneya bet 30,000, trying to suggest he had one of them. Malec folded, suggesting he did not. — HS

6:37pm: Beresford bounced
Level 18 – Blinds: 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

A white hat levitated up from Seat 7 on Table 1 and began hovering to the payouts table. “Good luck, guys,” it said on its way.

Beneath it was the ghost of Conor Beresford, whose cards had been mucked by the time I arrived, but who could not, evidently, beat the 10♥10♦ of Mikhail Molchanov on a board of 7♣6♥4♥5♦2♠.

Molchanov has 800,000. — HS

6:34pm: Big C’s as Chimkovitch, Chouity and Caza lead
Level 18 – Blinds: 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

Seems like your surname has to begin with C if you want a big stack in this tournament. It’s Anthony Chimkovitch who leads still and he’s being chased hardest by Nicolas Chouity and Marco Caza.

Name Country Chips
Anthony Chimkovitch Belgium 1,535,000
Nicolas Chouity Lebanon 1,220,000
Marco Caza Canada 1,200,000
Ramon Miguel Munoz Spain 1,060,000
Simon Lofberg Sweden 1,050,000
Alejandro Belluccia Argentina 1,045,000
Uri Reichenstein Germany 910,000
Yuval Friedman Israel 900,000
Diego Zeiter Switzerland 900,000
Bryn Kenney USA 880,000

6:32pm: Double the action
Level 18 – Blinds: 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

Two tables, two all ins, two calls, and two double ups. In the first Sergei Chantcev doubled though Taichi Yoneya, sevens against nines (Chantcev flopped a seven). In the other Padraig O’Neill doubled up with pocket tens which held against ace-ten. — SB

6:24pm: Read and watch
Level 18 – 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

Feel like reading us and watching the event at the same time? You can watch EPT LIVE! by clicking that link.

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Hard working TV crew

6:24pm: Turn brings action, river satisfaction for Friberg
Level 18 – 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

No idea what happened before the turn, but fourth street was where the action was, anyway, in this hand between Erik Friberg playing from the small blind and Konstantin Puchkov in the big.

That’s when Friberg put the rest of his stack in with the board showing 7♦A♦5♣7♣, and Puchkov called. Friberg had A♣K♣ for aces and sevens plus a flush draw, but Puchkov had J♥7♥ for trip sevens.

Fifth street was pretty interesting, too — the 2♣.

A flush for Friberg, and he now has 310,000 while Puchkov slides to 160,000. –MH

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Erik Friberg

6:15pm: The wait goes on for Kerignard
Level 18 – Blinds: 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

He has been to three EPT Main Event final tables, but Yorane Kerignard will have to wait for his first title. He is out.

He shoved his last peanuts in from the button with A♦3♣ and was picked off by Ping Liu and his Q♥J♣. Of course, Liu needed to improve before he completed the job, and it was a topsy-turvy run-out of 7♦J♥A♥K♥10♠ before it was done. — HS

6:14pm: Ascensao out, Oliveira ascends
Level 18 – 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

From middle position Nuno Pereira Ascensao paid his ante, then looked down at A♥9♥ and decided it was time to commit his last 101,000. Felipe Oliveira was next to act and called the shove, and when no one else chose to play along Ascensao only had one hand to beat to survive.

Alas for him, that hand was A♦A♣.

The board came an unhelpful seven-high for Ascensao — 6♠7♣5♥2♣4♠ — and he’s out. Oliveira has 420,000 now. –MH

6:12pm: Niste falls to Mercier
Level 18 – Blinds: 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

You might have seen this one on EPT Live already, but a short time ago Jason Mercier spiked the river to eliminate Mihai Niste. The Romanian was all-in pre-flop for around 195,000 with 7♦7♣ and Mercier had him at risk with A♦K♣.

The 8♠4♦3♦10♠A♣ run out kept Mercier waiting but as a result of that knockout he’s up to 574,000. –NW

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6:09pm: Seen or not seen?
Level 18 – Blinds: 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

Sam Chartier just lost a big chunk of his chips to Simon Lofberg and wasn’t happy as he paid off his opponent, insisting he hadn’t seen all of Lofberg’s stack as the hand had played out. Chartier said about 80,000 was tucked behind Lofberg’s other chip towers and Chartier intimated he wouldn’t have made the play if Lofberg’s chips had been visible.

It was far from clear whether there was any wrongdoing. Lofberg said that all of his chips were easy to see, and Kimmo Kurkko, to Chartier’s immediate right, said he could see them. The point was moot, as Chartier tacitly conceded. He had to pay Lofberg regardless.

The hand began in standard enough fashion, with Chartier open-raising to 18,000 from the button. Lofberg three-bet from the big blind, making it 61,000 to play, and Chartier called.

The flop brought the 9♦K♠5♦ and Lofberg led 58,000. Chartier called. Then the 5♠ came on the turn and Lofberg checked. Chartier, with a stack of about 1.1 million before the hand and clearly covering Lofberg, said that he was all-in. Lofberg called.

Lofberg tabled K♦4♠, which stayed good against Chartier’s 6♠7♠. But this is where the controversy started. Chartier said he only noticed a third tower of blue chips in Lofberg’s stack when he pushed them forward to be counted out for a double up. The dealer told him that Lofberg’s stack was 350,000 and Chartier was clearly angry.

There was pretty much nothing anyone could do about it, however, and Chartier pushed the chips forward. That’s why you hear so many of the pros constantly asking for their opponents’ counts, it seems.

Chartier still has more than 600,000.– HS

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Sam Chartier

6:06pm: Chips spill Howard’s way
Level 18 – 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

Ireland’s Michael Howard just earned a big double-up, crippling Sergei Chantcev of Russia in the process.

It was an “all-in pre,” with Howard holding A♠J♣ and Chantcev 8♣8♦. The 10♣4♣A♣ favored Howard, and the 3♦ turn and 6♠ went his way, too.

“Just push ’em all over,” he said to the dealer who after counting out Howard’s winnings was preparing to slide the columns over. Howard reached out and spilled them all his way, and began restacking them himself.

Counting is a challenge at the moment, but Howard’s at around 280,000. Meanwhile Chantcev’s stack is a lot easier to eyeball — he’s down to 35,000. –MH

6:05pm: Not the house, but the Straight of Romanov
Level 18 – Blinds: 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)
At the close of play yesterday Polish player Sebastian Malec was so proud of his stack he wanted a picture of it before it was dismantled and kept in a bag for the night.

The trouble was getting a stack so big to stand upright. He’d had a similar issue earlier that day. With his chips stacked up to his chin, he’d leant forward to glance at the stack of an opponent only to inadvertently spill his chips all over the table. From a distance it looked like he was throwing up poker chips as if he’d secretly been eating them.

Fast forward a day and Malec has learned how to handle his stack, in more ways than one. For a start it’s now in a more modest arrow shape. Secondly, he just used it well to win chips from Padraig O’Neill.
Malex opened for 18,000 on the button which O’Neill raised to 44,000 from the small blind. Malec asked how much O’Neill had (210,000) and then moved all-in, getting a quick fold from the Irishman. Malec up to 600,000. – SB

6:00pm: A stare with Gruissem consequences
Level 17 – Blinds: 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

If you ever need a prime example of how the very best poker players are always paying attention even when they’re not in the hand, then Philipp Gruissem is the man to watch. Today I’ve seen him focus his ice-cold gaze on Michael Adammo and Aku Joentausta sometimes for minutes on end without any cards in front of him. I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of it when bluffing, that’s for sure.

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You’d imagine he’s picked up plenty of from those staring sessions, but he hasn’t got Joentausta sussed just yet. In a hand just now the Fin opened to 17,000 and Gruissem called. The flop came the K♦3♦A♣ and the German check-called 15,000, and then check-called 30,000 on the 4♥ turn. The 7♥ then completed the board and Gruissem checked a final time to see Joentausta slide out 100,000.

He was thinking for a good few minutes before he started talking out loud to himself. I couldn’t make out the whispers – something about pocket Jacks or pocket Queens – but he clearly didn’t know what to make of it all. In the end he folded, leaving himself with 140,000. “Show one!” he asked. “Show a ten!”

Joentausta kept his cards down, and is now staring at a stack of 570,000. –JS

5:53pm: Not the house, but the Straight of Romanov
Level 18 – Blinds: 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

There were a lot of blue chips in the middle by the time the flop was dealt on this one. With K♣Q♠K♥ on the board both Alexey Romanov and Neculai Macovei checked for a A♦ turn. Funnily enough they checked that too.

On the 2♦ river though Romanov bet 65,000 which after some mild agonising Macovei called. J♦10♦ for Romanov, good enough to win the hand. Up to 400,000. – SB

5:45pm: Big stacks
Level 18 – Blinds: 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

As level 18 gets underway there are five players who’ve broken through the million chip barrier. Chief amongst them is Anthony Chimkovitch, he leads with 1,508,000.

Name Country Chips
Anthony Chimkovitch Belgium 1,508,000
Sam Chartier Canada 1,280,000
Nicolas Chouity Lebanon 1,200,000
Alejandro Belluccia Argentina 1,045,000
Marco Caza Canada 1,010,000

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5:40pm: Super-fast dealer
Level 17 – 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

And a super-fast trigger finger by photographer Neil Stoddart.

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18 4,000 8,000 1,000

5:20pm: Chimkovitch vaults ahead after Chance encounter
Level 17 – 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Big hand to report, culminating in a notable knockout and a return to the chip lead for Anthony Chimkovitch.

We rolled up on the flop with the board showing Q♠K♠6♥, about 55,000 in the middle, and four players still involved. From appearances it had checked to Chimkovitch who led with a bet, got one fold, then a call from Danny Tang on the button. That’s when Chance Kornuth put in 115,000 as a reraise from the blinds which Chimkovitch called.

After some thought Tang got out, and the turn brought the 4♦. Kornuth sat motionless for a while, then announced he was all-in. A count showed the bet was worth just over 340,000, and Chimkovitch tanked for some time before finding a call.

Kornuth turned over Q♥8♥ for second pair, earning some response from observers, and Chimkovitch turned over A♥K♣ which also drew a reaction. The river was the 5♥, and Kornuth wished the table well before departing.


Anthony Chimkovitch: Back out front

With that big pot and the next break approaching, Chimkovitch vaults in front with just over 1.5 million. –MH

5:20:pm: Grafton and Baumann tangle again
Level 17 – Blinds: 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Sam Grafton and Gaelle Baumann have been playing a lot of pots together, and if this latest one is anything to go by they’re getting bigger and bigger.

It started with a 14,000 open from Baumann which picked up one caller before reaching Grafton on the button. He then put in a squeeze to 50,000, only for Baumann to then four-bet to 110,000. The caller got out of the way and Grafton called to see a flop.

The 2♥7♥10♥ hit the felt and both checked, bringing the 7♠ on the turn. Baumann checked once more and Grafton slid in an 81,000 wager, which was enough to get a fold. Grafton is up to 771,000, while Baumann is down to 204,000. –JS

5:19pm: Ace-King Kaiser
Level 17 – Blinds: 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Ronny Kaiser just doubled up to 270,000. Not exactly a big stack, but better than the fate of Jan Nakladal, who is now out.

The pair of them got their chips in, Kaiser with A♦K♦ and Nakladal with J♥9♥. The ace on the flop did it for Nakladal. – SB

5:17pm: Huge pot to Belluccia
Level 17 – Blinds: 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

An enormous pot just played out on the feature table, with the big stacks Dorian Rios Pavon and Alejandro Belluccia going at it in a pot worth more than 1 million.

Pavon opened to 12,000 from under the gun and picked up two callers–Jerome Sgorrano and Jason Mercier–before Belluccia three-bet to 36,000. Pavon wanted everyone to believe that he had a real hand and four-bet to 82,000.

Sgorrano and Mercier both folded, but Belluccia called to make an enormous pre-flop pot.

The flop came 5♠10♠10♦, which they both checked. But it went mad from then on. The J♥ came on the turn and Pavon bet 84,000. Belluccia raised to 205,000 and Pavon called.

Wow. Now the 6♦ came on the river and Belluccia shoved for 431,000, only about 20,000 less than Pavon’s stack. Pavon quickly apologised to the table for the time it was about to take him to make his decision, before the clock was called on him.

As the TD ticked him down, Pavon open-folded aces and Belluccia moved to 1.046 million. — HS

5:15pm: Getting tricky with Gruissem
Level 17 – Blinds: 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

I joined the action on the turn to see Philipp Gruissem betting 21,000 and Nuno Capucho eyeing up the J♣2♥10♣A♣ board as he made his decision to call. The 3♦ completed the board and Gruissem took some time before betting 60,000. Capucho went into the tank and emerged with a raise to 149,000.

“Everyone likes to play tricky against me,” Gruissem said as he pondered on what to do. He ultimately elected to fold and preserve his stack of 196,000. Capucho is now up to 480,000. –NW

5:10pm: Triiaud wins French blind on blind battle
Level 17 – Blinds: 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

When action folded to Benjamin Saada in the small blind, he took a look at the stack of the player to his left – Marc Trijaud – which amount to 82,000 and moved all-in with 7♠6♥. Triiaud looked at his cards, announced call and then showed A♥3♦.

The 4♠J♦Q♦A♣J♣ board kept Triiaud in front and he doubled, whilst Saada drops to around 90,000. –NW

5:05:pm: And that’s just another way ace-king wins
Level 17 – Blinds: 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

It’s been 11 and half years since I covered my first poker tournament. On the very first day, someone lost with a small pair against ace king after the board paired twice with higher pairs. The loser was aghast, nonplussed, and angry. Lee Jones stood nearby and said with a shrug, “That’s just one way ace-king beats a pair.”

For whatever reason, that phrase has become part of my mental poker lexicon over the years. It comes in handy right now as Tuukka Meklin makes his way to the payout cage.

All in with pocket eights against veteran Jani Sointula’s A♦K♦, Meklin looked as relaxed as he could on the 10♠6♦3♥ flop. He tensed a little more on the J♦ turn. He groaned when the river was the Q♦.

It always looks ugly when it happens that way, but, again, there was no changing the odds after the money went in. It feels worse when it looks like runner-runner, but, hey, that’s just one way ace-king beats a pair.

So, Meklin is out and Sointula is now sitting on a average stack of 390,000. — BW

5pm: Chips!
Level 17 – Blinds: 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

You won’t find more accurate or comprehensive chip-counts than those now on our chip-count page. They have just been freshly updated. Here’s the top five:

Nick Chouity Lebanon 1250000
Anthony Edouard Chimkovitch Belgium 1000000
Marco Caza Canada 960000
Sam Chartier Canada 900000
Miroslav Forman Czech Republic 820000

5pm: Plesuv bulls through Grafton and Baumann
Level 17 – Blinds: 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Pavel Plesuv opened to 14,000 and the action folded to Sam Grafton. “How much do you have in greens?” he asked, referring to the new “sea foam green” 25k chips. “I have 570 total,” came Plesuv’s reply. Grafton liked the sound of potentially winning much that much and made the call, as did Gaelle Baumann in the big blind. Plesuv’s shades went on and it was time for business.

The three went to a 2♦Q♥3♥ flop and Baumann checked, allowing Plesuv in for a 25,000 c-bet. Both called, and the dealer burned and turned the K♠ which everyone checked. Finally the J♠ completed the board and it checked to Plesuv once again. He put out a bet of 65,000 which got Grafton to fold, but Baumann wasn’t so easy. She went into the tank for a couple of minutes, clearly tempted to make the call. In the end she thought her chips could be put to better use elsewhere and laid it down.

Plesuv has 670,000, Baumann has 315,000, and Grafton has 610,000. –JS

4:56pm: Choosing right
Level 17 – 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Andrea Cortellazzi appeared uncomfortable.

It wasn’t the out-and-out agony you sometimes see poker players experiencing when trying to reach a difficult decision, but it wasn’t placid, unhurried contemplation, either.

The board showed K♥A♥K♣9♠3♣. Adrien Delmas had shoved for 142,000, and after a bit of a think of his own Adrian Attenborough had folded in between Delmas and Cortellazzi.

After about a minute of thought and a request to see Delmas’s cards should he fold, Cortellazzi finally folded, asking “Show one?”

“Choose one,” answered Delmas.


Delmas flipped over the J♣. And now Cortellazzi is in a different sort of discomfort, wondering if he’d chosen right in the hand with his fold.

Cortellazzi keeps his stack of about 540,000, Delmas is up to 225,000, and Attenborough has almost 700,000. –MH

4:50:pm: The Chance Kornuth System
Level 17 – Blinds: 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Chance Kornuth is among the more animated players in the game. His smile stretches from one side of the room to the other. He is chatty without being annoying. He’s friendly without being fake.

So, imagine what it must be like to see Kornuth turn into some sort of curious alien creature when in a big hand. It’s sort of spooky.

He had a 15,000 raise, call, and three-bet to 45,000 in front of him when he sat in the small blind. After checking his cards behind a pair of aviator sunglasses, Kornuth slipped into a super-slow, super-methodic examination of his opponents. He turned his head in slow motion, stopped at each player in the hand, held his obscured stare for a few seconds per man, and then moved on to the next. It was as if he could take some important inventory of each man’s soul, process it in his alien brain, and then export the data to the super computer beyond his frontal lobe. Or, at least that’s what it looked like from a few feet away.

The result was a four-bet from the small blind to 99,000, a move that shed not one, not two, but all three people who had shown willingness to put their money in the pot just a minute earlier. That is apparently how aliens pick up an extra 80,000 in chips. — BW

4:45pm: Luth can’t lose
Level 17 – Blinds: 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Igor Yaroshevskyy opened to 14,000 and Peyman Luth then moved all-in for 119,000 total. It folded back to Yaroshevskyy and he called. Luth showed pocket fours and was in a race against Yaroshevskyy’s A♦Q♥. Luth stood up but he soon had to sit back down again as the 5♥3♠3♦6♣7♣ board stayed low. He’s up to 260,000 while Yaroshevskyy drops to 300,000. –NW

4:40pm: Bryn bluffs Beresford
Level 17 – Blinds: 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Popular wisdom is that you should never show bluffs but Bryn Kenney is experienced enough to know when it’s a good time to go against the grain. He must have had a good reason to do so when he won a big pot against Conor Beresford.

I only saw the river action but Kenney bet 114,400 into a pot of roughly 145,000. The full board was 7♦8♠K♥4♠Q♦ and Beresford, who had about 270,000 left, was deep in the tank trying to come to a decision. Eventually he folded and Kenney showed 6♠6♥ as he took the pot. He’s up to 602,000 after that hand. –NW

4:30:pm: We have a new millionaire
Level 17 – Blinds: 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Nicolas Chouity and Artur Karamuca both had very healthy stacks, but when combined they create one of the biggest in the room. Luckily for the Lebanese player, it’s Chouity they all sit in front of.

After Chouity had opened and received one caller, Karamuca then squeezed it up to 50,000. Chouity raised even more to 105,000, getting a fold from the caller, but when it got back to Karamuca he moved all-in for around 400,000. Chouity tilted his head, picked up calling chips, and said “Let’s go.”

He had the J♣J♠ and was racing against the A♥K♣. The board ran out 2♣9♣5♥7♠10♦, which meant the pocket pair held up, eliminating Karamuca and giving Chouity a huge stack of 1.26 million. –JS

4:28pm: Jacks a call for Nakladal
Level 17 – 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Alessandro Borsa is out, having re-raise-jammed his 9♥9♦ for around 110,000, gotten called by Jan Nakladal who had J♠J♥, and watched a board arrive 5♣2♣4♠6♣Q♦.

Nakladal has about 250,000 now. –MH

4:25:pm: Prokudin accumulating
Level 17 – Blinds: 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Christian Jeppsson opened to 14,000 and Mikhail Shalamov made the call, along with Alexander Prokudin from the big blind. The three saw a 7♠Q♠3♠ flop and it checked around to the 4♥ turn. Prokudin led out for 20,000. Both the other players called to see the 10♣ river, and the aggressor continued with another bet of 40,000. Jeppsson made the call while Shalamov folded.

Prokudin proudly showed his 5♥6♥ for a straight, and that caused Jeppsson to tap the table as he mucked. That hand leaves Jeppsson with 290,000, Shalamov with 158,000, and Prokudin with 636,000. –JS

4:24:pm: Let’s call it “sea foam green”
Level 17 – Blinds: 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

For the first time since the tournament began, we have a new chip in play. The bigger stacks have now been gift some quite pretty sea foam green 25,000 chips. — BW

4:20pm: Katchalov catches card, collects, continues
Level 17 – 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Another double for Eugene Katchalov to report, bringing him officially up and out of the danger zone — DANGER ZONE! — after he survived a preflop all-in versus Jan Nakladal.

In this one Katchalov was the underdog, at risk with A♣10♣ against Nakladal’s A♠J♠. The flop fell 2♥7♠10♦, though, pairing Katchalov’s kicker, and after the 9♠ turn and 7♦ river Katchalov was up around 260,000. Nakladal is still battling with 81,000. –MH

4:17pm: More for Mao
Level 17 – Blinds: 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

You sense Vasyl Zabrodskyy knew what was coming when he got it all-in with A♣K♣ for his final 163,000 and found himself dominating Sam Mao’s A♥10♦. The 5♦J♦7♦ flop gave Mao a flush draw and Zabrodskyy began to gather his possessions as if the flush had already completed. The 5♣ turn was a brick, but the K♦ filled Mao’s flush and eliminated Zabrodskyy. –NW

4:15pm: Kitty runs out of lives
Level 17 – Blinds: 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

From early position Kestutis Gecevicius opened to 15,000 and it folded to Kitty Kuo in the small blind. She had just over 100,000 left and committed them all with A♠Q♠. When it got back to Gecevicius he called and showed A♥K♥. The K♦4♦8♣ flop was basically game over for Kuo. The 8♥ turn left her drawing dead and the 9♣ completed the board. –NW

4:12:pm: Mass regicide
Level 16 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

It’s a bad day to be a king. We’ve seen four of them dethroned in the past two minutes. It began when Fady Kamar got his pair of kings all in against Olli Autiö’s flopped set of sixes. Kamar survived but ended up with less than 200,000 chips, far less than average. Autiö moved up to 450,000.

A minute later, Pavlos Xanthopoulos saw the same fate after his kings paid off A♦5♦ on all three streets after two other fives flopped. Xanthopoulos didn’t survive and is in line to get paid. — BW

4:11pm: Queens help Luis
Level 17 – 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

It was a tense scene on the river with more than 100,000 in the middle and the board reading 4♠4♦6♦4♥5♠. Van Hiep Tran had fired 50,000, then Damien Luis raised to 175,000 to force Tran into a deep tour of the figurative tank.

Up Tran came with a call, and when Luis instantly tabled his Q♠Q♥, Tran mucked his hand.

Luis is up to 680,000 now, having nudged ahead of Tran in the counts as he has 640,000. –MH

4:10:pm: Two bust-outs in two minutes
Level 17 – Blinds: 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Aki Virtanen has fallen at the hands of Adem Marjanovic. It was the 4♥4♦ against the Q♣J♣ and the 3♠9♠10♥8♠3♥ run-out gave Marjanovic a straight to eliminate the Finn. Marjanovic now has 360,000.

Meanwhile, over at Govert Metaal’s table things didn’t look good for the Dutchman. He was all-in against Abbas Moradi with pocket sixes and was up against pocket nines. The 7♦8♣5♦ flop was certainly interesting. Neither player wanted to hit a set, that’s for sure. The 2♥ turn was a brick, and the 7♣ river changed nothing either. Metaal is outta here. –JS

4:05pm: Von Oort out
Level 17 – 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Shortly after the start of the level, Paul von Oort was all-in from the hijack seat for his last 50,000 or so, then Eugene Katchalov pushed his short stack in over that from the next seat over. Sam Grafton folded on the button as did the blinds, and the pair tabled their hands.

Von Oort: A♣9♠
Katchalov: A♠A♥

When Von Oort immediately stood up the table reacted, and when the flop came Q♦K♠9♥ to give him a glimmer of hope they continued to chuckle. The turn was the 7♥ and river the 2♥, however, and von Oort is out.

Katchalov needed that one, though he’s still on the short side with 135,000. –MH

4:03:pm: The number of the beast doubles Chebli Chebli
Level 17 – Blinds: 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Artur Karamuca opened to 14,000 before the fantastically-named Lebanese player Chebli Chebli moved all-in for 71,000. It folded back to Karamuca and he made the call with the A♠9♦, which was up against Chebli’s 6♥6♠. That pair would become 666 on the 7♥2♥6♦ flop, and the set of sixes were the best hand right until the end. Karamuca had 360,000 left after that hit. –JS

4pm: Andrew and Andrey bust
Level 17 – Blinds: 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

It’s now three EPT main event cashes on the spin for Andrew Abernethy but his run has come to an end in 168th place. He shoved from the button for 29,000 with Q♥3♥ and got a call from Jean-Jacques Zeitoun who had K♣J♦. A J♣9♥2♠9♠J♠ run out wasn’t what Abernethy was looking for but he adds €9,260 to the €10,270 he picked up in Dublin and the €9,530 he won in Monaco.

One table over Andrey Volkov was all-in with A♥3♦ and up against Ibrahim Ghassan’s pocket jacks. A 6♠K♠8♥J♣10♦ board improved Ghassan to a set and he knocked out Volkov. –NW

3:55pm: Koon K.O.s Kovalski
Level 17 – Blinds: 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

After an early-position raise to 12,000, Jason Koon three-bet to 31,000. But that wasn’t the end of the action. Fabiano Kovalski, one seat further around, shoved for 138,000 and only Koon called.

It was a straight race. Koon had 10♦10♥ and Kovalski A♦K♠. This time the over-cards couldn’t catch on a J♥5♠2♠J♣5♥ board, which sent Kovalski out and sent Koon up to 604,000. — HS

3:50pm: Level up
Level 17 – Blinds: 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

The pink chips, worth 500 apiece, are no more. That means the ante is now up to 1,000 as they go into Level 17. — HS

17 3,000 6,000 1,000

3:35pm: It’s break time in the Main Event

aku_chips_25aug16.jpgTime for a rest…

aku_eyes_closed_25aug16.jpgRelax and recharge…

aku_mess_25aug16.jpgJust not too much.

3:30pm: Betting Baumann
Level 16 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

On the last hand before Table 23 broke, Gaelle Baumann took a few chips from Shivan Abdine before the Australian carried them off to his new seating assignment. It went like this:

Baumann opened from the cutoff to 12,000 and Abdine three-bet from the small blind, making it 38,500 to play. Baumann called and the took the Q♠7♣10♦ on the flop. Abdine checked, but Baumann fired 28,500 and Abdine called.

The 3♠ came on the turn and Abdine checked again. But he couldn’t match Baumann’s bet of 46,000. Baumann racked 320,000 to take elsewhere. — HS

3:25pm: Defining new poker terms
Level 16 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

I’m still not sure if there’s an official name for this play, but we’re seeing it a lot more on the European Poker Tour. Basically, it’s when a player calls a raise in position, making him or herself vulnerable to a squeeze, but then plays back aggressively once the squeeze has been made. A squeeze back, perhaps?

Here’s a textbook example. Fady Kamar opened to 12,000 from mid-position and Olli Autiö called on the button. Georgios Zisimopoulos was in the small blind, one seat to Autiö’s left, and Zisimopoulos had a sprawling stack. It’s probably about time to coin “sprawling stack” as a poker term too. This is a stack that is huge, but comprises vast number of of small-denomination chips. It can also be a “big stack” in the traditional sense (ie, worth a lot) but it’s most notable for its physical size.

Anyhow, a sprawling stack can often indicate someone who is very active, picking up a lot of blinds and antes, and so perhaps Autiö knew that the chance of a Zisimopoulos three-bet squeeze was high. So it proved because Zisimopoulos made it 45,000 to play and Kamar folded quickly.

Autiö may have been expecting all of this because he now four-bet shoved, for about 155,000. It put Zisimopoulos into the tank for long enough for the clock to tick down to the end of the level, but eventually he passed.

And so the squeeze back punished the sprawling stack. It might catch on*.

*It won’t. — HS

3:20pm: He really loves Barcelona
Level 16 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

There are a few things you might already know about Ireland’s Conor Beresford. One, he’s known as 1_conor_b_1 on PokerStars and two, he’s a beast with more than $3.2 million in online winnings.

But here’s something you might not know: this guy really loves Barcelona. Like, really.

Yesterday he was wearing an orange fedora hat emblazoned with ‘I heart Barcelona’. Today he has an identical hat on, but this time in white. How big is his hat collection? We’ll have to wait and see if he gets through to Day 4 to find out. –JS

3:18:pm: “You win.”
Level 16 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

“You win,” may be two of the toughest words a poker player can say on the river, especially when you can say it without even seeing your opponent’s hand.

I picked up the hand on the 6♠10♣K♠ flop when Miroslav Forman had check-raised Simon Mattsson’s bet. Mattsson called and they saw the 7♣ turn.

This time Forman wasn’t going to be satisfied with a check. He led for 81,000, but Mattsson didn’t go away. The river brought the A♣. This time, Forman backed down and checked. Mattsson thought for a minute or so before announcing he was all-in for 136,000.

Forman considered the move and tilted his head down to Mattsson’s. “Are you turning king-jack or king-queen into a bluff?”

After a little consideration, Forman tossed a chip in front of him. He was right to do so.

“You win,” Mattson said without looking at Forman’s cards. Mattson had 7♠8♠ for the flopped flush draw and turned pair, but Forman had A♠3♠ for the same flopped flush draw…and rivered pair.–BW

3:16pm: Plesuv knocks out Sarro
Level 16 – 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Alessandro Sarro open-pushed his last 60,000 or so from under the gun and his neighbor to the left Pavel Plesuv called the raise. Everyone else stepped aside, and after Sarro showed his 5♦5♥ he was disappointed to see Plesuv table A♠A♥. Five cards later — J♣10♥4♥J♥9♣ — Sarro was out.

Plesuv jumps up to almost exactly 500,000 after picking up that pot. –MH

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3:15pm: Caza leads the main event
Level 16 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

That huge hand against Andreas Hoivold has vaulted Marco Caza into the chip lead. He’s the first player to accumulate more than a million chips in the main event. You can see selected chip counts here.

Name Country Chips
Marco Caza Canada 1,200,000
Anthony Chimkovitch Belgium 930,000
Nicolas Chouity Lebanon 820,000
Uri Reichenstein Germany 790,000
Sam Grafton UK 730,000

3:13pm: A pair of pairs
Level 16 – 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

After a preflop open, Andrea Cortellazzi reraised then Miguel Mora Hernandez four-bet all-in for his last 124,500. It folded back around with the preflop raiser stepping aside, and Cortellazzi had to take a short while to think things through before calling the all-in.

Cortellazzi then showed J♦J♥, well ahead of the 8♣8♥ of Hernandez, and after the 10♠K♥9♣2♥6♥ runout Hernandez was knocked out.

The pair then discussed their pocket pairs, with Cortellazzi explaining how the call wasn’t exactly automatic, and Hernandez didn’t disagree.

Cortellazzi has 325,000 now. –MH

3:05pm: Big pot for Grafton eliminates Khatri
Level 16 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

It was hard to find a good spot to stand for this one as the EPT Live cameras were rolling, but after muscling my way to the table I found Sam Grafton with a tough decision. He’d made it 78,000 pre-flop after a betting war with Aharub Khatri and the two saw a loaded board of the K♦10♥J♥. Khatri then shoved for 180,000 total and action was on Grafton, who stood up to help the thinking process.

sam_grafton_bar13_25aug16.jpgSam Grafton

Eventually he announced a call and flipped over the Q♦Q♥, which at the time was trailing Khatri’s A♦K♥. The 9♦ hit the turn though, giving Grafton a straight, and the 10♦ river changed nothing. Khatri was busto.

“Unlucky sir,” Grafton told him. “It was just too big a pot.”

Indeed it was – Grafton is up to 730,000 now. –JS


3:03pm: Khatri scratches Rotondo
Level 16 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Aharub Khatri is now out–details coming from Jack Stanton soon–but pretty soon before he was himself eliminated, he knocked out Cristian Rotondo. Rotondo open-shoved for 64,500 with 9♣9♠ and Khatri called with his A♣K♣. The flop was safe. It came 2♥4♥8♠ but the turn of A♠ was decisive. The river was blank. That put Khatri up to 270,000 and sent Rotondo out. — HS

3pm: Second is the first loser
Level 16 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

No one remembers the player who came second, right? Well, it’s not easy, but by my reckoning (and in addition to 12 former champions) there were also at least four runners up in today’s starting field. They are Gleb Tremzin, Kimmo Kurko, Ilari Sahamies and Eugene Katchalov. Marco Neumann and Jimmy Guerrero have finished third on the EPT. Stick around for more useless trivia. – HS

2:55pm: Caza and Hoivold clash for 1.2 million
Level 16 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Marco Caza has just won what must be the biggest pot of the tournament so far, felting Andreas Hoivold and hitting the 1.2 million mark.

Robin Scherr took a breather from practising penalty kicks over at the German wing of PokerStars Blog to give us the update. It went like this.

marco_caza_25aug16.jpgMarco Caza

Hoivold and Caza were at the flop. The three cards out were J♣3♦Q♦. Caza bet 15,000, Hoivold raised to 45,000, Caza three-bet to 105,000 and Hoivold five-bet shoved for 500,000+. Caza called.

Caza’s Q♠J♠ flopped top two. Hoivold’s K♦J♦ was middle pair, with a big draw. But the 2♣ was a blank and the J♥ river only improved Caza’s hand. That’s another champion down as Caza hits a new tournament high. — HS

2:54pm: One pair, two pair, all-in, call
Level 16 – 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

On a 4♠5♠8♦ flop, the similarly-stacked Dimitrios Farmakoulis and Robert Lipkin got their chips in with Farmakoulis having one pair with A♦8♣ and Lipkin proving to have two with 5♦4♣.

Farmakoulis got up from his chair as the 3♥ turn and J♣ river were delivered, and appeared resigned to having to depart. However a count showed he still had about 25,000 left behind, and he sat down again. Lipkin, meanwhile, jumps up to 260,000. –MH

2:50:pm: No two-time EPT championship for Danchev
Level 16 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

The race to become the second (and maybe last) two-time EPT champion will not include one-time PCA winner Dimitar Danchev. All-in pre-flop with pocket fives versus Daniel Peche’s pocket kings, Danchev could only stand and walk to the payout table after Peche flopped a set and turned an unbeatable boat. –BW


Dimitar Danchev: Busto

2:48pm: Heavy Metaal: three way all-in
Level 16 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Govert Metaal moved all-in under the gun once again and this time he wasn’t getting the same level of respect. Andreas Chalkiadakis jammed over the top of the 41,000 bet for his 240,000 stack, only to see Lars Gabrielsson move all-in too for 127,000. It was almost a four way all-in as Sergii Zubariev had a tough decision from the big blind, but in the end he thought better of it and let it go.

Metaal: A♥7♥
Chalkiadakis: A♣K♠
Gabrielsson: A♠A♦

Things looked great for Sweden’s Gabrielsson but the Q♥4♥J♣ flop brought some problems. Metaal had picked up a flush draw, while Chalkiadakis could now win with a ten.


govert_metaal_25aug16.jpgAll well for Metaal

The turn then came the 10♣, putting Greece’s Chalkiadakis out in front and on the verge of eliminating two players. But wouldn’t you know it? The river was the 6♥ which gave Metaal a flush, besting the lot. The Dutchman trebled up to around 130,000, the Swede hit the rail, and the Greek was left with 275,000. –JS

2:43pm: Papi’s pushes, picks up pot
Level 16 – 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

We had just seen Adam Jaguscik earn a small double-up with 8♥8♣ through Yordan Mihaylov Petrov’s K♠10♦, getting it in on a 5♥K♥9♦ flop then spiking an eight on the turn to survive.

On the next hand Jaguscik was all-in again with his short stack of 24,500 and it folded around to Yigal Papi who called in late position. Acting after Papi was Aki Vertanen, and he reraised to 78,000. When the action got back to Papi he called, then after the 4♣J♠4♠ flop Papi promptly announced he was all-in.

Virtanen tanked for two minutes, eyeing the 150,000 or so he had behind, quite a bit less than what Papi had pushed. Finally Virtanen folded, and Papi turned over K♥9♥ to show he’d made a bold flop bet. Jaguscik showed his Q♥10♦, and after the 2♦ and 7♦ completed the board, Jaguscik was eliminated and Papi claimed the pot.

Papi is up over 340,000 now, while Virtanen preserves his almost 150,000. –MH

2:40pm: Chimkovitch makes monkeys of them all
Level 16 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

The million-chip barrier has been broached, and it’s the young Belgian Anthony Chimkovitch who is first into seven figures. He started with only 144,000 today but says he “made some hands and won some flips” to get to that dominant position.


Anthony Chimkovitch: Million

Most recently he sent Thomas Eychenne in one of those flips. His pocket jacks were up against Eychenne’s K♦Q♥ and Chimkovitch stayed best, despite a possible-straight scare, through a board of of 10♠J♠3♠3♦8♥.

That sent Eychenne out and pushed Chimkovitch ever upward. — HS

2:36:pm: Yung Hwang scores timely double
Level 16 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Below the 100,000 mark, Yung Hwang managed to make his pocket eights trip up and hold against Alexey Romanov’s K♥Q♦. Hwang now has a little more room to breathe. .–BW

2:32:pm: Top 200
Level 16 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

There are now 200 of the original 1,785 players remaining in the Main Event. — SB

2:31:pm: Alexandros Vlachakis hits the rail
Level 16 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

We’ve reached the point in the tourney where the short stacks have to double up or go home. For Alexandros Vlachakis, it turned out to be the latter after he shoved his short stack with K♣8♥ and ended up against Van Hiep Tran’s pocket threes. The treys held, and Vlachakis was gone.–BW

2:29pm: None for Nuno
Level 16 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Nuno Ascensao has just been eliminated by Taichi Yoneya. The money went in on the J♠10♥2♦ flop, Ascensao with K♣Q♦ and Yoneya with the A♥A♠, but the open-ended straight couldn’t catch up with the overpair. –JS

2:27pm: Everyone respects Govert Metaal
Level 16 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

There are plenty of things to respect about Govert Metaal. He sits at number six in the Netherlands’ all-time money list, for example. He made back-to-back final tables in PCA $25k high rollers. He has more than $2.2 million in live earnings. So when he shoves from under the gun for just 42,000, you better respect that too.

Erik Friberg certainly did. “This is a ‘respect’ laydown,” he told Metaal. “Big fold.”

Prior to that, Andreas Chalkiadakis had also considered calling but opted to lay it down. When everyone had thrown their hand away, Metaal showed the A♠J♦ and Chalkiadakis gave himself a pat on the back for a good fold. –JS

2:24pm: Heart of Palma
Level 16 – 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Nicholas Palma just enjoyed a much-needed double, although he’s still short with just about 100,000.

All-in with J♣J♦ versus Alexandros Vlachakis’s A♥10♦, the board ran out K♥9♥9♠, then 10♥, then 6♦.

“I thought that was a heart,” said a wide-eyed Palma of the river diamond while holding a hand up to his own.

Vlachakis slips to just 28,000. –MH

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2:22pm: Firsau out, Kornuth collects
Level 16 – 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Chance Kornuth opened for 12,500 from the cutoff and Kevin Andriammahefa called from the button. Vasili Firsau then called all-in for exactly 1,000, all he had left after posting the ante and small blind.

As the big blind considered what to do, Firsau began to check his phone but the dealer reminded him not to do so while in a hand. He nodded quickly, saying “I’m already…” and pointing toward the exit as he did.

The big blind folded, and the dealer spread the 3♠10♣10♥ flop. Kornuth check-called a bet of 10,000 from Andriammahefa, then both checked the 5♠ turn. The river brought the 8♥ and another check from Kornuth, and when Andriammahefa bet 31,000, Kornuth called without much hesitation.

Andriammahefa showed 7♥7♣, but Kornuth had 10♦9♦ for trip tens. Firsau showed his Q♣J♥ and indeed headed toward the exit.

Kornuth has about 270,000 now, just behind the 280,000 or so Andriammahefa has. –MH

2:20pm: I ♥ Barcelona
Level 16 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

There’s always one player who shows up to the EPT Barcelona Main Event wearing a hat they bought from one of the numerous hat-sellers that peddle their wares along the promenade. Actually, there’s often more than one, and sometimes they go all the way to the final table.

This week’s more prominent hatstand is Conor Beresford, a recent SCOOP winner, and presently the No 1 ranked online player in the United Kingdom. But Beresford, who plays on PokerStars as “1_conor_b_1”, is taking a break from the online grind to build a stack here in the EPT Main Event. And he’s just added a decent chunk to to it, knocking out Rafael Rojano Ramos along the way.

It wasn’t a thrilling hand. Beresford had A♠J♥ and it had Ramos’s A♥Q♥ beat by the time the board had run 2♣J♦10♣6♥10♦. They were definitely all-in by the time the turn was out, and it may have been pre-flop even.

That’s mere details though. The key point is that Beresford has 360,000 chips now and a hat that declares that he loves Barcelona. That may become increasingly true today. — HS

2:16:pm: Davidi Kitai eliminated
Level 16 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

With only 35,000 left in his stack, Davidi Kitai shoved all-in. Erik Friberg considered his big blind hand for a minute or so before finally deciding to gamble with a queen and jack. He hit his queen on the flop, and Kitai couldn’t come back from behind.–BW

2:13:pm: Adammo doubles through Nagao
Level 16 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

We came up on the end of this one and didn’t see when the money went in, but it turned into a big pot worth more than 450,000 for Michael Adammo who doubled through Daniel Nagao with K♣Q♥ vs Nagao’s A♣J♣ on a 5♠8♦Q♦3♦6♦ board. –BW

2:12pm: Veiga doubles through Freund
Level 16 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Diogo Veiga has just secured a double up after his pocket tens held up to beat Andreas Freund’s A♥8♣. He’s up to 125,000 now. –JS

2:10:pm: Yastreb takes one from Kornuth
Level 16 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Volodymyr Yastreb was short stacked, but not quite in push-fold mode just yet. He decided to limp in mid-position, and the small blind and big blind – Chance Kornuth – came along too. They saw a Q♣3♥7♣ flop and it checked to Kornuth who led out for 10,000. Yastreb called.

The K♥ turn didn’t inspire any further action as both checked, but Kornuth would then lead out for 20,000 on the 8♣ turn, which put three clubs on board. Yastreb counted out the chips he had behind (65,500), but then removed a few so there was just 56,000 in his hand. Instead of moving all-in he opted to hold on to the 9,500 and put the rest in the middle, which was enough to get Kornuth to make a quick fold. –JS

2:03pm: Makelcovs, Cheng out
Level 16 – 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

The first hand of Level 16 was the last one for two players — Andrejs Maklecovs (who finished 224th) and Leo Yan Ho Gheng (223rd) — both of whom went out on preflop all-ins at neighboring tables.

Maklecovs had A♠K♠ and was at risk versus Sam Mao and his Q♥Q♣. A flop of 3♥K♥A♥ gave Mao two pair and had Maklecovs calling for a heart, but the 6♦ turn and 8♣ river spelled the end for him.

Meanwhile Cheng was a little less well-armed for his all-in with 10♦9♠ against Fedor Truntsev’s A♣9♥. The 9♣J♠5♠5♥A♦ runout didn’t work for Cheng, and he joined Maklecovs making the walk to the cashier’s table on the other side of the room. – MH

16 2,500 5,000 500

1:39pm: Break

Time for the first 20-minute break of the day.

1:38pm: Long tank, huge fold
Level 15 – Blinds: 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Austria’s Adem Marjanovic had his head in his hands. “Woowwwwwww,” he said as he sighed. After building a pot with Bulgaria’s Yordan Petrov, the two had reached the river and the board showed the A♦7♥10♣J♥A♠. Petrov bet, Marjanovic raised to 74,500, and Petrov put him all-in.

A few minutes into his thinking the two began talking to each other. “I don’t think you have straight,” he said to Petrov, who then asked if he had one. “If I had straight I fold already,” Marjanovic replied.
A few minutes later and he was apologising to the table for taking so long, Petrov smiling all the while. The clock was called and when it got down to around 10 seconds Marjanovic folded face up: the A♣7♠.

He’d thrown away a full house, and some of the tablemates – including Leo Margets – looked a little stunned. Petrov wasn’t showing, despite Marjanovic’s pleas.

Petrov is up to 500,000 now, while Marjanovic drops to 200,000. You can rest assured that Marjanovic won’t be resting assured any time soon thanks to this hand. –JS

8G2A0658_EPT13BAR_Adem_Marjanovic_Neil Stoddart.jpg


1:37pm: Verheyen plays it by the book, busts
Level 15 – Blinds: 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

The conventional wisdom with a short stack is, “Any ace or any pair.” But I wouldn’t try to tell Tim Verheyen that at the moment. He just found both of those things, in consecutive hands, and is now out.

He was actually the dominant stack on the first of this two-hand disaster. He found 4♥4♣ and got it in against the 40,000-ish stack of Benjamin Saada. But Saada had 8♥8♣ and the board of 2♣10♣Q♠J♦2♦ meant Saada doubled up. Verheyen was left with 23,000.

Those chips were quickly in the middle. Verheyen looked down at A♣4♣ and shoved, but Steffen Sondtheimer, in the small blind, had K♣K♥ and called. (Sondtheimer might have been hoping Bryn Kenney, in the big blind, had something to come along with too. But he passed.)

This board was blank as well as Sondtheimer’s kings stayed best. That’s the last chapter in Tim Verheyen’s tournament narrative. — HS

1:36pm: Three men enter, one man leave
Level 15 – 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

A three way all in, details of which were lost a little in the crowds. But essentially there was a board of 9♥Q♥3♥Q♦3♣ and two players standing up. They were Bradley Myers and Elliot Smith. There was also one player sitting down. This was Luis Fernandez. He’d just taken all their chips.

In all the melee Fernandez had held A♠9♦ against pocket eights (Myers) and ace-king (Smith). The nine had proven crucial. Fernandez now up to 400,000. – SB

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1:35pm: Reichenstein leads
Level 15 – Blinds: 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

The cream is rising. Uri Reichenstein leads with a massive stack of 850,000 but the chasing pack includes some stellar names as Sam Chartier, Nicolas Chouity, Aku Joentausta and Jason Koon are all building big stacks. You can other selected counts here.

Name Country Chips
Uri Reichenstein Germany 850,000
Sam Chartier Canada 575,000
Nicolas Chouity Lebanon 575,000
Aku Joentausta Finland 505,000
Jason Koon USA 492,000

8G2A0743_EPT13BAR_Uri_Reichenstein_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Uri Reichenstein

1:23pm: Chantcev says bye to Bahna
Level 15 – 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Hani Bahna open-raised his last 39,000 from under the gun and watched it fold around the table to Sergei Chantcev in late position who called. The others folded, Bahna showed A♠10♥, and Chantcev A♥K♦.

The board came an uneventful 3♣7♥Q♥Q♣2♦, and Bahna departed. That’s 285,000 for Chantcev now. –MH

1:17pm: Pre-flop intrigue ends in a race
Level 15 – Blinds: 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Sergei Chantcev made it 9,000 to play, second to act pre-flop, and picked up an immediate call from Pavel Veksler, one seat to his left. It skipped one seat but then Narcis-Gabriel Nedelcu, in the cutoff, wanted to play for more. He raised to 38,000.

All of a sudden–or, actually, all of a three-minute-in-the-tank-combined–this one was growing intriguing. Chantcev called but then Veksler moved all in, for a stack of about 200,000. Nedelcu had taken a long while about his three-bet, but called immediately after Veksler’s shove. Chantcev folded.

So two of them were left. Veksler had J♠J♦ and was racing Nedelcu’s A♣K♦. The flop favoured the over-cards. It came 7♥K♠Q♠. But Veksler picked up some outs on the 10♣ turn. However the Q♣ on the river was a blank and Nedelcu doubled. — HS

1:16pm: Felipe Ramos says goodbye
Level 15 – 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

1:15pm: Koivisto out
Level 15 – 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Another player departs the Main Event. Henri Koivisto shoved for 55,000 with A♦10♦ and got a call from Miguel Mora with 4♠4♦.

The flop came 6♠10♠J♠ giving Koivisto a pair, but it was the turn card 7♠ which made everyone say “wow”, giving Mora the flush. The 2♠ river card changed nothing. – SB

1:12pm: Go fetch the rail
Level 15 – Blinds: 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

What happens when you’re all-in and at risk, but you don’t have a rail of family and friends around to cheer you on? Why you just get up, leave the table, and go fetch one yourself of course.

Nandor Solyom just demonstrated this. He jammed for his last 64,500 only to see the player to his left, Simon Mattsson, move all-in over the top. At this point, Solyom leaped out his chair and ran over to get his fellow Romanian Hila Dan, also playing in this event. Dan left his own table and legged it over to see Solyom show J♣J♥ up against Mattsson’s A♠K♠.

The 4♣4♥6♣ kept the rail (i.e. Dan) happy, as did the 7♠ turn. Finally the 7♥ river secured Solyom the double up and two celebrated, before Dan noticed a new hand was about to begin at his own table and sprinted back. Mattsson is left with 90,000. –JS

1:11pm: Big stack Kabrhel dominating
Level 15 – Blinds: 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

It’s difficult playing poker against Martin Kabrhel. He is deliberate about his play, to the point of being slightly ponderous sometimes, and he is also always keen to cast his gaze around at opponents’ stacks, just so they know they are always under threat. He is also wildly unpredictable at the table, making huge and risky plays whenever it takes his fancy. And today it’s all worse because he is one of the tournament big stacks.

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Martin Kabrhel

Three hands in question:

Action folded to Kabrhel in the cutoff and he began his scan of the stacks behind him. When he gaze landed on Andrej Punka’s short stack, Punka looked disgusted at Kabrhel’s request that he lift his hands. “Twenty blinds,” he said, as if it really should be clear. Kabrhel raised to 9,000 and everyone else folded.

On the next hand, Didier Mazairac opened from early position, making it 11,000 to play, and when it was Kabrhel’s turn to act, he again began scanning the same stacks behind him that he had scanned literally seconds before. He then raised to 28,000.

Only Mazairac called and the two saw a flop of Q♠4♣9♥. Mazairac checked, Kabrhel bet 25,000 and took it down. (It should be noted, Mazairac also has a stack of 300,000+, so this could have got ugly.)

Kabrhel actually folded the next hand, but still had a cameo at the very end. Mazairac and the short-stacked Abel Durban got it all-in pre-flop, with Durban at risk and sitting with A♦Q♦. He was in a spot of bother against Mazairac’s A♠K♠.

However Durban soon went into the lead when the flop came 8♦Q♠5♠ and Durban clearly thought that was still so even when the board was completed. He was sitting and waiting for his stack to be counted and doubled. The problem was that he hadn’t acknowledged that the 9♠ turn and the 8♣ river had made Mazairac a flush.

“Seat open!” the dealer said and the floor-man arrived to pick up Durban’s media ID and prepared to escort him to the payouts cage. Durban still hadn’t realised what had happened. “He has a flush,” the dealer explained and Durban, embarrassed and disappointed in equal measure, soon realised the error of his ways. He apologised to the table for delaying and got up to leave, picking up what he thought was his media card.

It wasn’t his media card. It was Kabrhel’s. And despite the ignominy of elimination compounded by the humiliation of not correctly reading a board, Kabrhel didn’t let him off this latest tiny etiquette blunder. He chuckled at Durban as he retrieved the rogue card and the Spanish qualifier headed off to find a corner to cry in. — HS

1:09pm: The sound of victory
Level 15 – 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)
Florian Bordet just allowed himself a short “woo-hoo” after doubling up with pocket fours against the pocket tens of Michal Rudnik. He moved up to 100,000 after the board was dealt 5♥2♥4♠2♣K♠. Woo-hoo indeed. – SB

1:06pm: Terzoudis zooming upwards
Level 15 – 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Evangelos Terzoudis is out, his A♦Q♠ failing improve following a preflop all-in versus Andreas Freund’s J♥J♠ followed by an eight-high board — 6♠8♦8♣2♥4♦.

“The rich get richer,” said Terrence Ryan with a grin. Indeed, Terzoudis is now up around 480,000, having gotten off to a good start on this Day 3. –MH

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1:02pm: Dara O’Kearney eliminated
Level 15 – 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

12:55pm: Firsau felts McDonald
Level 15 – 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Vasili Firsau opened for 10,000 from middle position and it folded around to Mike McDonald in the big blind who called, leaving himself just under 50,000 behind. The flop came A♣2♠9♣, and McDonald checked-called Firsau’s continuation bet of 10,000, then both checked the 5♦ turn.

The river brought the 3♦, and when McDonald checked again, Firsau pushed all-in, forcing Tîmex into the tank. Finally McDonald emerged to call with his last chips, showing K♦9♦ for a pair of nines. That was beaten by Firsau’s A♥K♠, however, and EPT4 Dortmund champ McDonald is out.

Firsau is up around 280,000 at the moment. –MH

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12:50pm: An offer he couldn’t refuse
Level 15 – 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Steven Watts is out. The Englishman had a tough day yesterday and came back for Day 3 with 36,500. He was able to move all-in with a little more than that, but his A♥J♣ was no good against the pocket nines of Andreas Chalkiadis of Greece, who has a tattoo of Marlon Brando as The Godfather on his right bicep. – SB

12:47pm: Early eliminations
Level 15 – 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Felipe Ramos and Mike McDonald were both among the early departures on Day 3. –BW

12:43pm: Roovers runs over Neumann
Level 15 – 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Marko Neumann was all-in before the flop from the hijack with his short stack versus two opponents, Mark Roovers (cutoff) and Alessandro Borsa (button), watching the pair check both the J♠K♦6♥ flop. With the 7♦ turn Roovers bet 45,000, chasing Borsa, then opened K♣Q♥ for top pair while Neumann showed A♣Q♠.

The river was the 8♥, and Neumann is out. Roovers is up to 295,000 now, just about the same stack Borsa is playing as well. –MH

12:42pm: Gruissem dodges danger, becomes the danger
Level 15 – Blinds: 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

If you watch the same players long enough, you get a kind of feel for their intentions. You don’t necessarily get good reads on the strength or otherwise of their hands, but you can definitely detect a bet or a fold coming.

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Wandering towards Philipp Gruissem’s table a moment ago, it was abundantly clear he was about to commit some chips to the pot. This was doubly clear when a waitress arrived alongside him with a pint of carbonated, clear liquid and a smaller cup of another liquid, plus a pot of honey. I’ve no idea what this cocktail is, but have seen a few of the high rollers with something similar this week, so can only guess that it’s a new concoction infused with ambrosia.

Gruissem did not register the arrival of his elixir and instead flicked 25,000 chips out of his stack, a raise of Gleb Tremzin’s 10,000 open from under the gun. (Gruissem was UTG+1.) Action folded back to Tremzin, who glanced at stacks. He had more than 400,000; Gruissem about 130,000. Tremzin moved all in.

Gruissem instantly called, somehow managing to pay the waitress all at the same time.

There was a reason Gruissem was so confident. He exposed A♦A♥. Tremzin was in trouble with his 9♥9♠.

The board ran 10♥8♠5♥4♦10♣ and Gruissem doubled. He will now be the danger. — HS

12:31pm: Gruissem waves goodbye
Level 15 – Blinds: 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Walking past Philipp Gruissem’s table, I saw him waving in the face of Gleb Tremzin, the man in seat one. Gruissem was in seat two and a roughly-80,000 pot had built between the two.

The reason for the wave? Tremzin had made an almost pot-sized bet on the river of the 7♣3♠7♥8♠Q♠ board. Gruissem was hoping to pick up some kind of read, but in the end he folded and waved goodbye to a chunk of his chips. –JS

12:30pm: Ryan still clinging on
Level 15 – Blinds: 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Yesterday we watched Terrence Ryan lose a hand with kings into aces, but take the beat as gracefully as you could ever hope. He returned today with 72,500 chips, but was keen to show that he wasn’t simply going to sit back and try to preserve them. He got them in on the very first hand.

Andreas Freund opened from the hijack, making it 8,500, and action folded around to Ryan in the small blind. He called and Leo Yan Ho Cheng, one seat along, also took the king-high flop.

Both blinds checked, persuading Freund to continue. He bet 13,500. Ryan moved all in pretty quickly, and both opponents folded. It’s still a long way to a chip-leading stack for Ryan, and he’s in dangerous company with Alex Ward and Adam Owen among the players at his table. But it’s a start. — HS

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12:29pm: The problem with aces
Level 15 – 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

When you find aces on day 3 of an EPT Main Event, it’s usually a reason to celebrate, at least quietly, to yourself, while looking nonchalant. But Andreas Hoivold knew they were sometimes only a mixed blessing.

When Alessio Di Cesare opened for 8,000, and Marcos Paton Bao moved all-in for 91,800, Hoivold, looking down at aces, had a pretty straight forward decision to make. He moved all-in.

But if the plan had been to isolate with his stack of nearly more than 350K it didn’t work. Bao called just as fast. Seems they all had reason to get their chips in.

Hoivold: A♥A♣
Di Ceseare: K♠K♣
Bao: Q♣Q♥

Hoivold’s hunch though proved correct. The king was the first card on the board: K♥9♥3♠6♣4♣

There was a bang, someone slapping their hand on the table. It just wasn’t clear who caused it – Di Cesare who tripled up to 255,000 or Bao, who now out was gathering his things. Only Hoivold, still on 280,000, remained unaffected.

“I’ve had aces four times this tournament,” he said. “I’ve lost with three of them.” — SB

12:18pm: River saves van Zadelhoff
Level 15 – 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Steven van Zadelhoff started the day as one of the shortest stacks among the 294 returning players. He folded the first few hands of Level 15, then open-raised his last 22,000 and saw both Ognyan Dimov (cutoff) and Adrien Delmas (button) call.

His two opponents then checked down the A♣8♥5♣ flop, 3♣ turn, and 9♥ river, and first Dimov showed 4♥4♠ then Delmas K♥Q♦.

With a grin the bearded van Zadelhoff tabled his cards right next to that fifth-street nine, showing his 9♠7♠. With the best pair he triples up (plus some blinds and antes) to 76,000 and gets to keep his seat. –MH

12:16pm: Great start for Chartier
Level 15 – Blinds: 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Sam Chartier got very lucky to double up yesterday when he hit a two-outer on the river. The one consolation to the guy who he beat is that at least he’s put those chips to good use.

When I arrived at his table, Chartier had made a bet of 71,000 on the river of a K♥7♠5♠J♥2♥ board when it checked to him. Zoltan Ban had a decision to make, and after a couple of minutes he made the call, only for the French-Canadian to show him the J♠7♦ for two pair. Ban mucked and Chartier increased to 335,000.

Ban would be eliminated in the very next hand, having dropped to 38,000. He was all-in pre-flop with the K♥10♠ against Dimitar Danchev’s A♣J♠, and the Q♠J♦6♣ flop brought a sweat. His up-and-down straight couldn’t get there though, and he was off to get paid. –JS

12:11pm: Hope for the best
Level 15 – 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Action folded around to Sam Greenwood on the button, and after checking his cards and counting out his stack, he began looking around to try and spot the nearest tournament clock.

“Does anyone known when the next pay jump is?” he asked. The nearest clock was a bit far away to read the payouts listed on the left, so no one had a ready answer.

“Just put your stack in the middle and hope for the best,” said a tablemate, and Greenwood chuckled as he did just that. The others folded, and he claimed the small pot.

“Thank you,” said Greenwood, acknowledging the advice.

Another asked him about his stack — while he was listed at 21,000 to begin the day, he actually had 71,000 as the number on his bag was misread. That’s about what Greenwood has right now after winning the blinds and antes. –MH

12:05pm: Kaiser doubles on first hand
Level 15 – Blinds: 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

It was the first hand of the day, on Table 1, and the player in Seat 1 was first to act. That’s what happens when the random button draw lands it in Seat 6.

That player also just happened to be Ronny Kaiser, the former EPT Tallinn champion, who is more commonly now seen at the high-stakes cash tables as “1-ronnyr3”.

ronnie_kaiser_bar13_25aug16.jpgRonnie Kaiser

Kaiser is as Kaiser does and he raised at the very earliest opportunity. He made it 8,000 to play. Action folded all the way round to Jose Quintas in the big blind and he called.

Then it all kicked off. The flop fell 4♦3♦7♦ and Quintas checked. Kaiser, from a stack of about 91,000, bet 9,000 and Quintas pretty quickly check-raised, making it 26,000.

Kaiser took a little longer over his decision. He had his hood held over his mouth as he thought. Then he said, “All-in”, and Quintas called almost immediately.

Kaiser flipped over Q♦10♦ and had flopped a flush. Quintas was distraught as he exposed his A♥A♣ and was drawing very thin already. The 3♥ turn and the 2♠ river didn’t help Quintas and Kaiser allowed himself a devilish chuckle.

Kaiser, one of 12 former champions in the starting field today, is now motoring with about 200,000. Quintas has dipped below 100,000. Aces first hand? What can you do? — HS

11:59am: Watch and read!

As we get ready to start up, we should make you aware the feature table is going to be amazing, with Felipe Ramos, Jason Mercier, and Jason Koon. You can click the EPT Live link up there to watch. As for the rest of the action, we’ll have it right here until we finish tonight around 9pm local time. –BW

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The journey to becoming an EPT champion starts on PokerStars. Click here to get an account.

11am: Morning all, now Day 3

Welcome back to Casino Barcelona everybody, where the focus of pretty much everyone in the room is once again the €5,300 Main Event. If you’re one of the 294 players still involved, I expect you’re looking to find out where you’re sitting. That’ll be on the seat-draw page.

Nicolas Chouity is out in front. The full chip-counts are on the chip-count page, and they’ll be updated regularly throughout the day.

By my reckoning, Chouity is one of 12 former EPT champions still in the tournament (the others are Andreas Hoivold, Jake Cody, Jason Mercier, Harrison Gimbel, Kent Lunkmark, Michael Eiler, Ognyan Dimov, Mike McDonald, Ronny Kaiser, Dimitar Danchev and Davidi Kitai) and there are scores of final tables between the remaining players too. This is still a very high-quality field.

Today we play five 90-minute levels and the field will be in double figures by then. You can watch feature table action on EPT Live and stick around here for all the rest.

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Former champions Andreas Hoivold and Kent Lundmark

Take a look at the official website of the EPT, with tournament schedule, news, results and accommodation details for EPT13 Barcelona and 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 EPT13 Barcelona Main Event: Stephen Bartley, Martin Harris, Jack Stanton, Howard Swains, Brad Willis and Nick Wright. Photography by Neil Stoddart. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter:@PokerStarsBlog


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