Posts Tagged ‘EPT8’
Bubbles have popped without too much discomfort in the back end of the EPT season (Madrid, Campione and Berlin); this awkward gas Windeze’d away with little discomfort or delay, allowing the tournament to continue with a smile on its face.
Then there are those other events, with a bubble made of leather that simply will not burst. Four seasons ago, that was here, when the bubble in the Grand Final then (it was not yet then known as the PokerStars Monte-Carlo®Casino European Poker Tour Grand Final) took two hours and 40 minutes.
Obviously you never know it will last that long, so every all in called raises hopes that it will be the last and that the tournament will be able to again stretch its legs. Instead it went on and on, reducing some players to sleeping wrecks, and rendering camera teams unable to move.
The tournament room this week
The bubble can have a profound effect on a game, much further than the effect it has on the player busting for nothing.
A long bubble slows the game down dramatically and it’s not uncommon to hear players protesting that hand-for-hand play costs them the best part of a level. It’s a fair point. Suddenly, with the bubble bursts, your stack isn’t worth as much as it was before the bubble, changing the whole dynamic of your play. Conversely a quick bubble has the opposite effect.
Regardless, one basic element remains true, as PokerStars Live Poker Specialist Neil Johnson said as Bruno Launais successfully doubled up with kings through David Sands; “How come no one clapped when Bruno doubled up?”
It’s a brutal moment, the bubble player departing to the echo of a round of self-congratulatory applause. That same ambivalence towards a fellow pro also extends to those doubling up (“bubbling up”), extending their own private agony.
That’s the last bubble of the season now done. Things now return to normal.
This was almost the story of a Canadian pro finally winning an EPT title. Instead, it’s the story of the first Triple Crown winner crowned on EPT soil (only the fifth ever), as Davidi Kitai displayed considerable focus and panache to win the EPT Berlin title and a first prize of €712,000. It’s also marks the first win for a Belgian after eight seasons on the tour.
As the heads-up contest started few doubted that that Kitai, 32, and Chen, 24, would be concerned with the €80,000 left on the table after a two-way deal (merely food and lodging for next week’s furlough to Monaco). It was the title they wanted; Chen, the type of player it’s hard to believe hasn’t already won an EPT title; while for Kitai it’s the next landmark on a low-profile yet highly successful career trajectory.
Railing Kitai from the rail was Ilan Boujenah, himself a finalist in Madrid, who said that Kitai doesn’t come second or third, for him it’s first or nothing. “I told you,” he grinned later, as Kitai extended his lead, ultimately taking the crown. He was right.
When Andrew Chen wakes up tomorrow he may not blink the sleep away and ask himself how it all went wrong. He’s too unruffled for that. He may not wake up after a night of consolatory debauchery; the debris of 51 rum and cokes stacked inexplicably at the end of the bed. He’s too composed for that. He may not even look back at all on what was a near-perfect week. He’s too self-assured for that.
Kitai opened for 350,000 with king-five of clubs, and called when Chen three-bet to 900,000 with king-jack off-suit. Both missed the deauce-queen-eight flop at which Chen bet a further 615,000; called by Kitai. Chen then bet the four on the turn – 1,480,000 this time – for a five on the river.
Now Chen shoved, sending Kitai into the tank; an 11 million chip bet that would cost Kitai everything to call. When he made his decision it was to do just that, a miracle call.
“I guess he owned me,” said Chen, collecting €613,000 as runner-up. “He said that he was going to call a lot of rivers which seems insane. It’s really hard to say much about a hand like that.
“I was certainly going to shove a lot of rivers and it’s just a shame he hit a five. In a way he three-outed me. I hope that it’s presented on TV that way rather than him just catching me bluffing.”
But it’s Kitai who lifted the trophy, collecting the seat at the EPT Grand Final and the Shamballa bracelet from official sponsor Shamballa Jewels, to the applause of the ever present French-speaking rail, as Chen, still smiling, shrugged off any suggestion of defeat, leaving the limelight for Triple Crown winning Kitai.
- Final eight competing for first prize of 825,000 Euros
- Not until an hour from now…
- Good player, good coach, but Buddiga falls short
- Mickey Petersen on Andrew Chen
- Romanello picking up PoY points with a week to go…
- Mario “Pokerccini” Puccini powering through his second final table
- Blom busts €10,000 High Roller in seventh
- French speaking pros at it again after memorable season
- All quiet on the Berlin front as final goes heads-up
- Moorman leading high roller, ElkY chasingThere remains only one more event to play on this eight season of the European Poker Tour and you won’t have long to wait for it. The Berlin leg ends tonight, but the first event in The PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino EPT Grand Final (a name sure to catch on) begins on Monday, the €100,000 Super High Roller getting things started before the main event begins on Tuesday, all of which you’ll find coverage of on the PokerStars Blog.
All roads now lead to MonacoUntil then, thanks for following the coverage from Berlin. Take tomorrow off and we’ll see you on Monday. Here’s Davidi Kitai…
After a self-described bluff in a bad spot, Kevin MacPhee has crashed out of the main event, falling short of a fourth final table and a second EPT Berlin title. He followed Andreas Vlachos, the talkative Greek (albeit talking to himself) who was eliminated moments before MacPhee in a hand against Davidi Kitai, whose pocket aces ruined the Greek’s ace-jack.
It caused a brief pause in play as tables were balanced, which Tomas Cibak found disagreeable as the clock continued to tick down. Geshkenbein, next to him, stretched took the opportunity to stretch his legs, accidentally taking a blue chip with him, which he dropped like kryptonite when warned by the dealer.
Geshkenbein’s stack continued to grow but interestingly, for a civil engineering student, it wobbles a precariously. Three towers of blue worth 200,000 each sway from side to side, on top of which “lucky monkey” is perched Kong like, about to fall off.
On the other table Marc Wright was losing half of his stack, reduced to less than 1.5 million in a hand against Bahadir Kilickeser who showed a set of eights to Wright’s top pair, and is now chip leader.
Wright was cross with himself, talking out loud, telling himself what he should have done. He was powerless as the hand played out. Kilickeser let out a “yes!” as did a man who came out of nowhere to pat Kilickeser on the back. They come out of the woodwork in these deep situations.
The question is, are you bothered about being mocked when you have two and a half stacks of blue chips and a ton of reds, adding up to a stack of about 340,000. This is the position Cengiz Ulusu is in (although he may not read this blog).
Ulusu, the coin-flipper, came into the day as chip leader with somewhere in the region of 240,000, a position that allows certain confidence. Now he’s added a 100,000 more, using that confidence as a sock of horse manure, swinging it around his head.
His original table having broken, Ulusu sauntered over to table five, his new home; a big leather coast, a big turtle neck jumper, a big chin, slowly working his way through the crowd to his new seat, the furthest from the door.
Cengiz Ulusu, yesterday
There were no signs of dice when he called Alexander Meidinger’s opening bet of 2,400. Selim Citak, a few seats along, raised to 6,300, then rested his head on his hand with an expression of, what hindsight suggested, contentment. Meidinger, looking less content, lumped in the last of his stack, moving all in. Ulusu, still stacking his chips, looked left, left again, then right, before announcing he was all-in (cue that sock of horse manure).
The cause of Citak’s happiness was the two black aces he turned over. The cause of Meidinger’s reluctance was the queen-jack of clubs. Meanwhile, taking his time to turn over his hand, there was Ulusu, with pocket nines.
Citak stood, worried that there were cards out there that could cause him trouble; the three that landed on the flop for instance, the 8-5-7. Citak had now lost the contentment, and cut an lonely figure, standing behind his chair. Then bang, the six of spades on the turn, flattening his hopes, and causing Ulusu to beam as he banged the table. The river was a ten. Citak was gone, managing a “nice hand”, so too Meidinger who by now everyone had forgotten about.
Ulusu increased his advantage (twice the average stack), stood to adjust his belt, and then wait as players were brought in from other tables. In 40 minutes this table has lost five players. With Ulusu in bloom it’s something of a hellfire corner for the replacements about to arrive.
The moments before a big tournament kicks off can tell a lot about a player. Are they sat in their chair nervously counting and recounting their stack or perhaps burying their head into a smartphone, piling their first big event anxieties into cyberspace? Barny Boatman, a player who’s seen more felts than most, sits with his right arm slung back over his chair talking up to the lanky rangy EPT Live commentator James Hartigan. The pair are talking about poker tours in the UK with Boatman coming from a background of sawdust experience, Hartigan fluffing off from a theoretical standpoint but is doing well to make it sound like he knows what he’s talking about. It is his job after all.
Four seats to Boatman’s right is Scott Seiver an American with $ 4,272,749 in live winnings. Siever, who comes in off the back of a televised TV triumph, is looking for the third leg on a poker pedestal of glory* having taken a WPT title in May last year and a WSOP bracelet ‘way back’ in 2008. He’s yet to cash in a EPT main event (although has made some good scores in PCA side events). Another highly rated American, this time with EPT experience, is also at the same table, albeit arriving late. Olivier Busquet put in a powerhouse performance at EPT Campione, the last stop of the EPT, finishing second to Jannick Wrang after an incredibly tough final table. All three players are experienced and dangerous.
*Yes, I am aware this sounds like nonsense. Go with it.
The next table along Bill Chen sits twisted in his chair, looking back over his shoulder as the announcements take place. He’s been here many times before but looks like he’s taking it in for the very first time. Today is the just the first step of a six day journey for some. For others, the trip will be significantly shorter. Stay with us to find out who stays the distance.
If Day 1 introduces the players, Day 2 introduces the likely winners. As the dust settled on another six levels (there really was dust, stoked up by the television people rigging up the set for later this week), a handful of players had separated from the pack to look independently for spoils. They will be the markers for the 99 players returning tomorrow, brightest of the lot being chip leader Balazs Botond, with 646,000.
The Hungarian was giving players at his table the jitters tonight as play reached a conclusion, and Ronny Kaiser was doing the same a table away.
Chip leader: Balazs Botund
While his table grew more and more frustrated Kaiser’s table was under the same pressure, albeit with less antagonism. Ronny ruled though, their table Kaiser, bagging up 505,900 tonight, good for second place.
And that was that.
Others returning include David Vamplew (solid), Liv Boeree (swingy), Andre Benelli (Italian), Dag Palovic (hooded) and Nick Yunis (hatted), as well as other former champions Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Nicolas Chouity, Martin Finger, Roberto Romanello and Rupert Elder. Day 2 will puncture the money bubble and create more drama from somewhere, it can only be a good thing that this list of players are still in the mix.
Liv Boeree and David Vamplew in action
Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier
Things hotting up and other Day 2 cliches
Day 2 seat draw, now it’s getting Italian
Hard working, tee-totalling, PoY chasing Romanello
Chip leader Chouity chasing recognition
Swingy Boeree chipping up in shadow of Vamplew
What’s that got to do with the price of tea?
Fighting the postprandial dip
What’s not to like as Antonius returns to the tour
Day 3 continues tomorrow with the traditional celebrations associated with the money bubble which will burst, we expect, within a level of the 2pm start.
For now, full steam ahead and goodnight from Campione.
Campione is a quiet town and today was a quiet day. The European Poker Tour didn’t exactly shout its arrival in this tiny Italian enclave, it simply invited itself in, promising to be good and not cause any trouble. There was no drama, no yelling, no histrionics, just eight levels and a pleasant buffet to see in this new event on the EPT calendar.
All that will likely change in the coming days but for now, as players file out into the deserted streets, the initial benchmarks have been set for those to follow tomorrow, pegged mainly by tonight’s chip leader Davide Andreoni, who bags up 175,100.
Andreoni is the leader, but chief of the notables tonight is Nick Yunis, from Chile, who put in the performance of the day, finishing with 169,200.
Yunis in action
From today Alex Kravchenko, Per Linde and Heath Herring survived, while there will be no second day seat for the likes of Team PokerStars Pros Theo Jorgensen and Pierre Neuville, or James Dempsey and McLean Karr. For those eyeing the Player of the Year standings (in which Yunis is in third place), Roberto Romanello (second on the TLB) also returns on Wednesday.
A big lake, a big casino and a big field
Could you direct me to the casino please?
Italian enthusiasm for side events and parties
“Dude where’s my horse?” aka pros on route to Campione
Three to follow
Looking back on the first Italian EPT
No smooth running for variance embracing Karr
Yunis eyeing another big finish
The action continues tomorrow when play resumes at 2pm at the Casino di Campione. As expected, the field will be weightier, larger and just as useful when it comes to putting on a show. You’ll be able to find all the action on the PokerStars Blog form 2pm.
Campione by night
First Erich Kollman led, then Dmitri Vitkind assumed control. But when it came time to bag up tonight, five levels having flown by, it was Mike McDonald with the advantage going into Day 3, with 112 players remaining.
This, put simply, is what McDonald does, and his powerful performance today was a forthright display from one of the game’s natural talents.
The former EPT winner secured the overnight lead right at the bell when he found aces to call an all-in; ultimately making quads. It gave him 408,900, toppling previous leader Vitkind and second placed Frederik Jensen.
The view outside for those inside
A delightful Day 2 seat draw
Moreira de Melo the Olympic pit-bull
MacPhee on the up as Terry takes a tumble
All the way from Season 1
Casual Kollmann takes the chip lead
Runners and riders in the chase for EPT Awards
That’s all from Day 2 of the EPT Madrid main event. Those inclined are now headed to the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in downtown Madrid to watch Real Madrid’s Champions League tie against CSKA Moscow, while the rest of us head to a bar in outer Madrid to watch Real Madrid’s Champions League tie against CSKA Moscow.
Monday’s are not normally this quick, at least it never is back at the office. But there was pace in this here Day 1A of EPT Madrid, a day now complete.
After an afternoon and evening of free soft drinks, all day nibbles and of course poker, it’s Ukrainian player Sergiy Baranov who leads a the close, bagging up 152,500, some 10,000 ahead of the next man, Anton Ionel, in second.
Baranov with chips is a familiar sight, this bundle coming in part courtesy of Konstantin Puchkov, who himself had had a heady start before Baranov relieved him of his advantage.
It was a quiet day by EPT standards, with a field of 130 players making for a much smaller get together than that of nearly a year ago when the Grand Final was staged on the casino floor. Most put this down to the anniversary Sunday Million the night before, with a bumper field predicted tomorrow.
Chip leader, Sergiy Baranov
History suggests that there’s only a slight chance (6 per cent if our back of the envelope maths proves correct) that the chip leader will go on to win. But the chip lead is a morale boost as much as anything, something to work with going into Day 2 on Wednesday.
Zimnan Ziyard seen off by Martins Adeniya
Of the members of Team PokerStars Pro in action today, three of the six will return tomorrow; Marcin Horecki, Martin Staszko and Pierre Neuville off to the rail.
No less grand than it used to be
Starting stacks, levels and dinner info
Look at this picture and tell me what you see
Showcasing the domestic talent
It’s all about the title for Craig Hopkins
Adeniya takes out Zinyard
The view through the lens
Bolshie Baranov battling aggressive Adeniya
Join us tomorrow for Day 1B of the EPT Madrid main event from the Casino Gran Madrid. Play starts at 12 noon.
Make of this what you will
The bubble has burst, ten players have departed with money in their pockets and Melanie Weisner is back into the chip lead of EPT Copenhagen. And how does the New Yorker celebrate that achievement? She goes for a PokerStars Blog approved hot dog. Good on you, Melanie.
39. William Paschall, DKK60,000
40. David Hrdlicka, DKK60,000
41. Alber Hanna, DKK55,000
42. Henrik Sorenson, DKK55,000
43. Nick Bogaert, DKK55,000
44. Anders Andersen, DKK55,000
45. Jan Molby, DKK55,000
46. Simon Ravnsbæk, DKK55,000
47. Kenneth Laursen, DKK55,000
48. Nicholas Holmes, DKK55,000
Shortly after busting Kenneth Laursen with jacks trumping deuces Weisner was back into the fray. First she three-bet a 6,400 cut-off open from Steve O’Dwyer up to 15,500, he passed. Next up on the block was Magnus Hansen.
Weisner opened to 6,000 and was three-bet to 17,500 by Hansen out of the small blind. O’Dwyer passed in the big blind leaving Weisner to make the call in position. Hansen led 19,000 into the [th][tc][kc] flop and Weisner, tongue literally in cheek, raised to 46,600. Hansen pulled out a large stack of blue chips totalling 100,000 with one hand, the other continued to play with a stack of black chips. Both Hansen and Weisner were riffling at this point, the speed increasing with the tension. Hansen pushed out the call.
Hansen slowly checked the [9d] turn card by lowering his entire right arm down to the felt with a fist clenched as if it was the lever of an old one-armed bandit fruit machine. Weisner continued her aggression with a 75,700 bet and Hansen passed. The New Yorker allowed herself a small smile and raked in the pot pushing herself up to 575,000. A bigger smile was to come.
Rupert Elder appeared on the rail joining fellow EPT champ David Vamplew. “Do you want to go to the hot dog place?” asked Elder. Weisner seemed thrilled by the prospect. In a vacuum of any other indicators it could be a good way to judge how big a player’s personal tournament expectations are: if they get more excited about going to the service station across the road for a snack than they do by winning a chipleading pot then you’ve probably found yourself one cool and collected customer. Hot dogs for the win. Check our live feed for EPT Copenhagen news as it happens, chip counts and the payouts.