Posts Tagged ‘level’
10.35pm: How Go the Stacks?
At this moment with 29 players remaining, it looks like it is Yoshitaka Okawa who has the chip lead with 645,000. Some of the notable names that are travelling along nicely, or are at least alive in the tournament, include Jay Tan (470,000 in chips), Team PokerStars Pro Vivian Im (395,000), Michael Marvanek (375,000), Shashank Rathi (360,000), Yvo Molin (210,000), Vyacheslav Kuzmin (140,000) and Lim Wai Cheung (140,000).
10.20pm: Enrico The Latest Busto
Enrico Chong is the latest player to hit the rail, with his [kc][qs] unable to improve against the [9s][9d] of his opponent. Chong was all-in for 99,000 preflop on his last hand, but found no luck on the [7d][6s][4s][2h][7s] board. Following Chong’s elimination, just 29 players remain and we are a just a couple of bust-outs away from moving to the final three tables.
10.10pm: Back for More
The 31 remaining players are back from their break and ready to keep making their way to the final nine. It is still unclear exactly how much longer we will be playing this evening, but at the very least we will make it down to just two tables of nine.
Level Up, Blinds 5,000-10,000, Ante 1,000
1.15pm: Bloggers curse
As I was writing that post about Gordon Huntly, he was busy exiting the tournament. We noticed his seat was empty and Niall Farrrell informed us that he put 300 big blinds in with pocket queens only to run into the rockets of James Gavaghan.
At least he’ll have time to see family and friends, as well as play the many side events on offer this week. — MC
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 50-100
1.02pm: Who’s here?
Some of the familiar names we’ve spotted during the first level include: Andrew Ferguson, Brett Angell, Dara O’Kearney, David Lappin, Fergal Nealon, Dean Lyall, Paul McTaggart, Jeff Kimber, Manig Loeser, Neil Rawnsley, Thomas Hall and Thomas Ward. — NW
12.55pm: Welcome home, wee lady
Gordon Huntly left his native Scotland many moons ago to seek his fortune in far-flung places. He settled in Asia and retired to Thailand after working hard for many years in that region. We write, “retired” but Huntly swapped the office environment for the poker room more than the golden beaches of his new home. He quickly found the same success he enjoyed during his working career.
His first big score came at an APPT event in Manilla in 2010 where he finished second for a cool $ 166,800. That was just the warm up as he claimed his first major title when he took down the ANZPT Sydney title less than a year ago for $ 238,832.
Huntly hails from Edinburgh and has come home to try his luck on home soil. He’s sat at Niall Farrell’s table today and we’ll be keeping an eye on his progress today. — MC
12.40pm: That man off the telly
UKIPT host Nick Wealthall is wearing tracksuit bottoms and a polo shirt. Hardly stop the presses, earth-shattering news, but much like if Marcel Luske was spotted in similar attire – which he was earlier today when I saw him checking in – you kind of do a double take as you’re so used to seeing them smartly dressed.
The TV and Radio presenter is taking a break from those duties to play in a UKIPT event, he played UKIPT Newcastle earlier this season and he’ll be hoping to go a bit better than he did there. “I really like Edinburgh,” explained Wealthall. “I spend some time here each year for SCOOP and WCOOP radio, it’s my favourite city in the UK.”
He then asked if there were any big names playing in the event today, I pointed to the adjacent table at two-time UKIPT winner Wojtek Barzantny. “Oh,” said Wealthall. “No one else has got a chance then!” And sat to Wealthall’s immediate right is Jack Sambrook, seventh place finisher at UKIP Newcastle back in September. — NW
12.30pm: Don’t mess with a jet-lagged Farrell
There are many tired looking faces around the room (including yours truly) as a lot of us have made the long trek back from the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure that concluded in the Bahamas two days ago.
PokerStars qualifier Niall Farrell is one of those who made the trip but it hasn’t numbed his instincts so far. He opened with a raise from mid position and was called by the big blind en route to a [9h][tc][7s] flop. Farrell continued for 225 and called when his opponent check-raised up to 600. The turn fell as [8c] and the big blind led for 800 only to face a raise to 2,100. He didn’t take too long to muck his hand whilst shaking his head. — MC
12.10pm: UKIPT Edinburgh is go
Cards are in the air here in Edinburgh, 223 players so far, but expect that number to rise. — NW
12pm: Welcome to UKIPT Edinburgh
Happy new year to all the loyal UKIPT Blog followers, the tour has moved more than 370 miles north from Bristol to Edinburgh for the only Scottish stop of Season 3. There’s also been a change of venue as we’re now ensconced in the Balmoral Hotel, slap bang in the centre of Edinburgh.
If the past two seasons are anything to go by the cream will rise as Nick Abou Risk and Fintan Gavin took down the title in Seasons 1 and 2 respectively. They’ll be plenty of players amongst the 550 who are expected, who fit that description.
Hoping to keep the title in Scotland will be (among others): EPT London champion David Vamplew, David Docherty, UKIPT Champion of Champions Richard Sinclair and Alex Ferguson (not that one).
However, can anyone stop Wojtek Barzantny from the three-peat? The back-to-back UKIPT Bristol champion is playing today as is UKIPT Brighton Season 1 champion Jamie Burland andTeam PokerStars Online’s Dale Phillip.
The players are in their seats here at the sumptuous Balmoral Hotel and whilst it might be Edinbrrrrrugh outside (it’s 0 degrees) stay tuned for some hot poker action over the next five days.
4.25pm: Jussi Häkkänen doubles through Alex Jobling
Jussi Häkkänen three-bet all-in for 202,000 with [Ks][10d] and Alex Jobling made the call with [Ad][Qh]. A [2h][Jc][Kd][6s]Qh] board kept the Finn in. — NW
4.22pm: Reed bust; more chips for Sambrook
Jack Sambrook.is up to around 850,000 after eliminating over night chip leader David Reed in a 600,000 pot. It all went in pre-flop with Reed holding [A][K] to Sambrook’s [A][J], however a jack on the river sent the pot Sambrook’s way and Reed is out in 22nd.
Willian Chung has been eliminated in 21st place, no details I’m afraid. — NW
4.20pm: Not the real McCoy
All Gary McCoy could do to survive at the end was get his chips in good. He managed to do that but was still eliminated by Jack Sambrook.
The aggressive Sambrook opened to 22,000 from the button and called when McCoy moved all in for 88,000 from the small blind.
The board ran [js][qh][8h][3s][6d] to pair Sambrook’s queen. McCoy took his defeat like a sportsman and wished everyone luck before departing. — MC
4.15pm: Final three tables
Below is the seat draw for the final three tables.
Seat One: David Reed
Seat Two: Barry McMahon
Seat Three: Dan Hemingway
Seat Four: Saulius Tumosa
Seat Five: Ben Senior
Seat Six: Akshay Reddy
Seat Seven: Jack Sambrook
Seat Eight: Gary McCoy
Seat One: Anthony Shields
Seat Two: Matthias Mordhorst
Seat Three: Chris Ferguson
Seat Four: Sam Holden
Seat Five: Ewan Brown
Seat Six: Kevin Killeen
Seat Seven: Ashfaaq Taus
Seat Eight: Brett Angell
Seat One: Willian Cheung
Seat Two: Alex Jobling
Seat Three: Jason Cockburn
Seat Four: David Knight
Seat Five: Empty
Seat Six: Jussi Häkkänen
Seat Seven: Kevin Monroe
Seat Eight: Ian Burdon
4.10pm: Knight turns into day for David
David Knight thought he was out of the door after he three-bet all in with [ad][8s] over the top of Alex Jobling’s raise was called. The latter tabled [qh][qs] but couldn’t stay ahead of his opponent on a [tc][7s][9h][6d][ah] board.
Knight is up to 115,000 chips after making a straight. — MC
4pm: Jude Ainsworth eliminated in 24th place (£2,400)
No sooner had they re-drawn to three tables then the last remaining Team PokerStars Pro – Jude Ainsworth – was eliminated.
The Irishman told me: “There had been a raise and a call before the button (Jason Cockburn) re-raised. I’m in the big blind and find [Ad][Kd], so move all-in for 16 big blinds and he called with queens and that was the end of my Newcastle UKIPT.
Seat draw of the final three tables is on its way. — NW
3.55pm: Another huge pot from table one busts Chung
Most of the biggest pots today have come from table one, and another just occurred. We wrote a hand earlier that involved Timothy Chung and Chris Ferguson, which might go along way to explain the former’s exit.
We missed the action but were informed that Chung raised and called when Ferguson three-bet from the small blind. The flop came queen high and there was a c-bet and call before the rest of the chips went in on a blank turn.
Chung opened pocket jacks but was behind to Ferguson’s ace-queen. Ferguson is up to 1,150,000 chips as a result.
The tournament is down to 24 players remaining and a full redraw is in progress. We’ll post that draw shortly. — MC
3.45pm: Re-draw at 24
We’ve been informed that they’ll be a complete re-draw at 24 players, this is a new rule in all live PokerStars tournaments. According to Tournament Director Toby Stone this is to ‘mix up the luck,’ late in tournaments. 27 players remain right now, these are the players to bust in the last hour:
28th. Anders Sanchez, £1,960
29th. Lee Dixon, United Kingdom, £1,960
30th. Lee Atherton, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, £1,960
31st. Giannis Drousiotis, Cyprus, £1,960
32nd. Jakub Kyrian, Czech Republic, PokerStars Qualifier, £1,960
33rd. Michael Huber, Austria, PokerStars Qualifier, £1,960
3.35pm: Ainsworth eliminates a man
Team PokerStars Pro Jude Ainsworth is back up to around 160,000. He eliminated a shortstacked Steffen Gjelseth to get back in it. Ainsworth had pocket fives, Gjelseth [K][J] and Ainsworth flopped a set of fives to eliminate the Norwegian.
And soon after he open shoved and got no callers to pick up more valuable chips. – NW
3.30pm: Ainsworth crippled
Team PokerStars Pro Jude Ainsworth dropped down to 63,000 chips after his [kc][kh] was beaten by Timothy Chung’s [as][ts].
There was a lot of raises pre flop that saw them both all in. The board ran out [jc][jh][ad][5c][3d] to make Chung a full house. Chung up to 450,000 chips. — MC
3.20pm: Holden flushed with chips
It’s an ominous sign for the rest of the field that Sam Holden is working his way up through the chip counts (around 500k).
He opened from the cut-off and Barry McMahon defended his big blind and went on to check-call 18,000, 40,000 and 90,000. The final board read [qs][qc][9s][5s][7d] and Holden opened [js][2s] for a flush. McMahon mucked and dropped own to 136,000. — MC
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 5,000-10,000 ante 1,000
3.10pm: Real McCoy
Gary McCoy just won a flip with [10s][10c] against Andres Sanchez who held [Qd][Jh], a eight high board reduced Sanchez to less than one big blind, which went in blind from the big blind next hand.
Sam Holden three-bet pre to 36,000 with pocket kings, which were way ahead of Sanchez’s [Qs][2h]. The board ran out [Jh][Ah][Js][3h][4s] to send Sanchez crashing out. — NW
3pm: Ainsworth chugging along
Team PokerStars Pro Jude Ainsworth is still chugging along, he has 320,000 which is right about average. He’s not got the kindest of table draws though. To his direct right is Timothy Chung (300,000) a player Jesse May described as an, ‘absolute animal’ after playing with him on Day 1.
To Ainsworth’s direct left is David Reed (400,000) and one seat further to the left is Chris Ferguson, who sits second in chips on 920,000. — NW
2.55pm: Wide range for Ferguson
Chris Ferguson is up to 920,000 chips after taking a big pot off Timothy Chung with a weak holding that hit big.
Around 90,000 had made it into the middle before both players checked the [4d][2c][5h] flop. The turn and river came [2s][js] and Chung check-called both streets, the last bet being 80,000.
Before Chung called on the river he asked Ferguson if he had king-two suited or aces. He wasn’t far off as Ferguson opened [ks][2d] for trips and the pot as Chung mucked. — MC
2.45pm: Today’s exits
The first two levels saw 28 players bust out, here’s whose finished where so far today:
34th. Neil Walker, United Kingdom , PokerStars Qualifier, £1,960
35th. Miles McKenzie, United Kingdom, PokerStars Player, £1,960
36th. Andrew Robson, United Kingdom,PokerStars Player, £1,960
37th. Keith Hawkins, Untied Kingdom, £1,740
38th. Shane Gregory, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, £1,740
39th. Stuart Atkinson, United Kingdom, £1,740
40th. Gary Oakes, United Kingdom, PokerStars Player, £1,740
41st. Cathal Shine, Ireland, PokerStars Player, £1,740
42nd. Cormac O’Dea, Ireland, PokerStars Qualifier, £1,740
43rd.Viktor Leonov, Lithuania, PokerStars Qualifier, £1,740
44th.Roland Wilkinson, United Kingdom, PokerStars Player, £1,740
45th.Andrew Grayson, United Kingdom, PokerStars Player, £1,740
46th. Mark Buckley, Ireland, PokerStars Player, £1,520
47th. Vassilis Korkas, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, £1,520
48th. Paul Jenkinson, United Kingdom, £1,520
49th. Stephen Odysseas, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, £1,520
50th. Nathan Watson, United Kingdom, £1,520
51st. Steve Warburton, United Kingdom, £1,520
52nd. Matthew Dougal, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, £1,520
53rd. Alan Tinlin, United Kingdom, £1,520
54th. Emma Jones, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, £1,520
55th. Sharapov Oleksandr, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, £1,300
56th. Chris Mcnicholls, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, £1,300
57th. Thomas Ward, United Kingdom, PokerStars Player, £1,300
58th. Dylan Roberts, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, £1,300
59th. Paul Delaney, Ireland, PokerStars Qualifier
60th. Guido Braye, Netherlands, PokerStars Qualifier, £1,300
61st. Alfie Adam, United Kingdom, £1,300
62nd. Paulius Anilionis, Lithuania, PokerStars Player, £,1300
To see the full payouts page click
2.35pm: Kyrian busts in battle of the short stacks
Jakub Kyrian was down to 37,000 chips and shoved into the big blind of the second shortest stack at his table – Akshay Reddy.
The play seemed a good one, especially as he held [ac][5c]. What he didn’t probably count on was Reddy calling off a large chunk of his stack with [jd][9d]. The board ran a Reddy friendly [qd][qc][jh][4h][qh] to eliminate Kyrian in 33rd place. Redd up to 145,000 chips. — MC
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 4,000-8,000, 1,000
That’s two levels of absolute carnage in the book, we’ll be getting chip counts and an update on who’s finished where so far during the 20 minute break. — NW
2.03pm: Cockburn doubles through Monroe
Kevin Monroe’s rollercoaster of a day continues and this times he’s a bit unfortunate to have lost his latest all-in.
He had [Kd][9d] whilst Jason Cockburn held [Ad][Qd], the [6h][Kc][Js][6h][Ah] board giving, then taking away from Monroe in a pot worth around 175,000. — NW
2pm: A bad beat story worth hearing
Honestly it is! Lee Dixon is absolutely raging and to be fair with good reason. On the [5c][7s][Qh] flop Giannis Drousiotis donk-led for 12,000, Dixon made it 40,000, Neil Walker was then all-in (this could’ve happened pre-flop but regardless he was all-in).
Now this is where it got interesting, before Drousiotis took action the dealer burned and revealed the turn card – the [5s] – this is important for later in the hand. But because action hadn’t been completed this turn card wouldn’t stand and would have to be shuffled back into the deck along with the burn cards. After this issue had been resolved, Drousiotis folded [Qc][Jh] face-up. The other two players now revealed their cards:
Dixon: [Qd][5d] – two pair and he would have had a full house
Walker: [As][Qs] – top pair
Turn: [3d] – so far so good for Dixon
River: [Ac] – ouch a brutal out draw and one that Dixon rightly felt aggrieved over. He got up left the table and when he returned he was still shaking his head and banging a stack of chips into the felt, to help ease the frustration. — NW
1.55pm: Jobling rockets clear after monster pot
By far the biggest pot of the tournament just played out between Alex Jobling and Mark Buckley resulting in the former rocketing clear at the top.
Jobling opened to 14,000 and Buckley called to see the [tc][8d][7d] flop where he raised a 14,000 c-bet up to 54,000. Call.
The turn came [as] and Jobling checked to face a 60,000 bet. He treated it to a check-raise to 150,000. Buckley called leaving himself 208,000 behind as the action headed to the [js] river. Jobling set Buckley all in for the last of his chips and he called whilst saying, “I have to call, I have a set of eights” and opened [8c][8s].
It was no good though as Jobling rivered a straight with [ts][9s]. He raked in the huge amount of chips and now has a massive 950,000. — MC
1.45pm: Camel curtailed
We’ve just lost Keith ‘The Camel’ Hawkins in 37th place. It folded to him on the button and he moved all-in for 83,000 with [Jc][10c], from the small blind Willian Cheung tank called and showed [Ad][6d].
The [7s][8d][Kh] flop gave Hawkins more outs, but he missed them all on the [3d] turn and [Kd] river. — NW
1.32pm: Good Job
Alex Jobling is now one of the chip leaders after making a good river call to boost his stack to around 500,000.
I only saw the river action but with approximately 185,000 in the pot Shane Gregory (under-the-gun) fired out a bet of 83,000 and Jobling (mid-position) went into the tank. He had roughly 240,000 back and he cut out the requisite calling chips to see what he’d have left after the call.
After a couple of minutes thinking over his decision he announced call and slid his chips over the line. It was Gregory who was first to show, opening [6s][5s], Jobling then revealed [Ac][Qs] to claim the pot. — NW
1.25pm: Cry me a river
Kevin Monroe causing more river -card pain for Andrew Robson. The board read [qc][qd][3c][8d][ac] and Monroe bet 28,500 from under the gun. Robson released his hand once more.
Brett Angell’s lead has disappeared after he made a hero-looking call on the river of a [7d][8h][5s][kc][3d] board. He was battling in the blinds with Alex Jobling and checked to face a 70,000 bet. He called and mucked upon seeing Jobling’s [ks][tc]. He’s down to 385,000 as Jobling rose to 335,000.
En route back to the press room we saw Monroe not get his own way for once today. He three-bet folded to Sam Holden’s four-bet to drop back to 405,000. Holden is back up to 215,000. — MC
1.10pm: Three more bite the dust
Three more exits to tell you about…
• Miles Mckenzie took out Andrew Grayson, pocket jacks against [Ah][Qs]. The latter was all-in for 90,000, a [Jd][6d][3c] flop pretty decisive, the [Kc] turn opened up the possibility of a unlikely outdraw, but the [4h] river was a blank.
• Overnight chip leader David Reed found aces at the same time as Ronald Wilkinson picked up [Ah][Kd]. These two premium hands created a 280,000 chip pot that went to Reed on a [8h][2d][8s][3c][2h] board. He’s up to 470,000.
• Viktor Leonov was all-in on the turn of a [Jd][6c][7s][Ac] board with [9s][7h] and was up against Anthony Shileds who had [As][6d]. The [Qd] completed the board to send Leonov out in 43rd place. — NW
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 3,000-6,000, 500
1pm: Monroe causing all sorts of problems
There’s no doubt who the table captain at table number five is. Keith Hawkins, Sam Holden and Jude Ainsworth all started there, but it’s Kevin Monroe ruling the roost.
The Team PokerStars pro has position on the hyper-aggressive Monroe, it’s not helping one bit at the moment though.
We caught up with a hand between the two on the turn of a [5d][2c][kh][3s] board. Ainsworth led for 55,000 from the small blind but had to admit defeat when Monroe shoved on him.
A couple of hands later Ainsworth was the only caller when Monroe raised pre flop. Monroe continued on a [5c][3d][qd] flop and Ainsworth folded. It seems as if Ainsworth is smelling the blood of his prey but doesn’t quite have the right tools to slay the aggro-beast right now.
Monroe – 405,000
Ainsworth – 125,000
12.45pm: Semi-calm restored
After the crazy opening spell, calm has been restored somewhat. There are still 51 players remaining but we don’t that figure to last very long.
- Gary Oakes has become one of the short stacks after he tank-called Lee Dixon’s squeeze all in with [9h][9d]. Dixon opened [ac][qs] and just got there on the [2d][th][3s][td][qh] board.
- David Reed and Brett Angell are now sat at the same table and it didn’t take too long for the two players to clash. The former opened from under the gun and was three-bet by the latter in late position. Reed was having none of it and four-bet him back to force a fold.
- Kevin Monroe put Andrew Robson under all sorts of pressure in a hand. He defended his big blind and called flop and turn bets before shoving the river. The final board read [qc][5c][3s][ad][7s] and Robson had 110,000 back by the river. He looked in real pain as he came to the decision to relinquish his hand. -MC
12.44pm: Carousel ends for Dougal
Matthew Dougal must’ve been pretty happy when his all-in with pocket jacks found a call from Benjamin Senior’s [Qc][10c]. The [2c][9h][9c] flop gave Senior a flush draw, which completed on the [3c] turn, the [8c] river was a bit of overkill. Dougal out in 52nd.– NW
12.42pm: Empty Tin-lin
Alan Tinlin is another of the early casualties on Day 3. He was all-in for 60,000 with pocket sixes, Paul Jenkinson with the overcards – [Ad][Qs] – this time the overcards won the day, the board coming [7c][4c][7h][Qc][5h] to send Tinlin out in 53rd. — NW
12.40pm: Men only at the table please
And the last remaining female in the field is out. Emma Jones came back today with less than one big blind so that she managed to hold on to finish 54th is a miracle in itself. Her shrapnel went in with pocket eights pre-flop and she got two callers.
On the [kh][6c][3d] flop Alex Jobling bet out and his opponent got out the way, Jobling showed [3h][3c] for a flopped set and the turn and river bricked out to send her to the rail. — NW
12.35pm: Taus takes one out
Ashfaaq Taus is up to around 350,000 after eliminating Sharapov Oleksandr in a blind on blind battle. Taus raised to 11,500 from the small, Oleksandr shipped for 89,500 from the big and Taus called the extra.
The [9h][Qs][5h][3s][2d] board ruling decisively in the Dutchman’s favour. — NW
12.30pm: Angell takes out two
Brett Angell is the chip leader having eliminated two men early on today. I missed the first but Angell told me he held [A][K] and flopped a king to outflop Guido Braye’s pocket fives, the latter all-in for 40,000.
Then he won a much bigger pot. Christopher Mcnicholls jammed for 105,000 with [Ac][Js], Angell making the call with [Ad][Kd] and holding on a [Qd][8s][Js][9d][7d] board, rivering the nut flush just for good measure. He’s up to around 500,000 now. — NW
12.27pm: More for McMahon
At start of play Barry McMahon was second in chips and he just padded his stack by eliminating a shortstacked Dylan Roberts. The latter was all-in for around 30,000 with [9d][8d], McMahon called with [Ad][10s]. The board running out [9s][Qd][Ah][10d][2s] to eliminate Roberts. — NW
12.25pm: Ward won’t be winning
One of the short stacks coming back today was UKIPT2 Edinburgh 4th place finisher Tom Ward. Two quick hands saw his demise though. In the first he called Akshay Reddy’s shove, Ward had pocket nines, Reddy [Js]10s]. A board of [4h][8s][10c][Ks][4d] reducing Ward to less than two big blinds.
That went in soon after with [Kd][9s], Cormac O’Dea the would be executioner with [As][4s], a board of [Ac][10d][Ks][10s][10c] ended Ward’s day. — NW
Eleven players have been eliminated in the opening 15 minutes. We caught most of them, details on the ones we did coming right up. — NW
12.05pm: Shuffle-up and deal
Play is under way here in the Aspers casino. We expect today to last around nine levels. give or take a level. — MC
11.50am: Solid Reed leads the way
Welcome back to Newcastle and Day 3 of UKIPT3 Newcastle. Today the plan is simple, make the final and be in with a shot of winning the £105,900 first prize tomorrow. To make those eight very happy, 54 players are going to be left with a sense of what might have been.
Play will begin in a little under 10 minutes and David Reed will start as chip leader. The 22-year-old student from Bradford, who’s playing in his first major live tournament bagged up 363,500 at the end of play yesterday, after more than doubling up on the final hand.
He’s got a score of seasoned UKIPT veterans in the chasing pack, Barry McMahon (4th UKIPT3 Nottingham) and Brett Angell (2nd UKIPT2 Nottingham) are less than 10 big blinds behind.
Also lurking are Team PokerStars Pro Jude Ainsworth (237,500), Sam Holden (207,000) and Keith Hawkins (119,500). This one is still anyone’s tournament and we’re set for an exciting days play. Some rudimentary maths tells the PokerStars blog that we think it’ll take around nine levels to play from 62 (10 players busted in a crazy final 10 minutes last night) to the final eight. Stay right here for all the coverage. — NW
Numbers are in for today and there are 133 players in the mix. Added to yesterday’s 148 and Thursday’s 110, that makes a total of 391 chasing the Red Dragon of the Macau Poker Cup.
We will have a full break-down of the prize pool as and when it is calculated. Suffice to say, the HK $ 3m guarantee has been breached.
12:40am: Yabuuchi busts to bring Day 2 to a close
Nobuhiro Yabuuchi has missed out on reaching the final day of play here at the MPC Red Dragon after his elimination in 19th place to bring our day to an end.
Yabuuchi moved all in preflop for around 100,000 with [qs][qc] as Abhishek Goindi made the call with [ad][kh].
The board of [as][8c][6c][8s][9h] paired up Goindi’s ace to eliminate Yabuuchi from the tournament. With that, the players are now bagging, tagging and heading home for some much-needed rest. It’s likely that Jay Tan will be our chip leader with over 1.5 million, but we’ll have confirmation of chips for you shortly.
12:30am: Jay passive with Big Slick
With so many chips in front of her, Jay Tan would be feeling a little frustrated right now for not being more aggressive with her [as][kh]. When facing a raise to 46,000 from Dong Woo Kang, Tan decided to flat call on the button to see a [qh][3s][jd] flop. Kang open-shoved for 185,000 and Tan was forced to make a reluctant open-fold of her hand, but Kang flashed the same hand – [ac][kc]!
12:20am: From red to white hot
“Quads! Quads! Quads!” squealed Jay Tan after eliminating yet another opponent. She has gone from red hot to white hot as Tong Seng Lew has felt the brunt of her form.
Lew moved all in preflop for his last chips with [ac][kh] and thought he was racing with Tan’s [ts][td], but the way this girl has been running, this was a race she was never going to lose. Not only did she win, but she did it in style, making quads as the board ran out [tc][6h][kd][th][3d].
Lew is out with Tan now up to 1.55 million.
12:10am: Darian doubles up
Darian Tan was one of the short stacks in the room but a desperate double up has kept his title hopes alive. Tan moved all in for 80,000 from middle position and play folded around to Ke Chen who called in the big blind with [ac][5d] as Tan would need help with his [jh][9h].
Tan had to wait until the river but he finally got there with the [2h][5h][6s][4d][7h] board delivering a flush for the double up. He moves up to 180,000.
12:05am: Down to 18
We’ve just received word that we’ll be playing down to the final two tables this evening before we wrap things up. That means four more eliminations before we’re outta here!
12:00am: Red hot Tan
Following the break, Jay Tan has gone on one hell of a heater as she has steamrolled her way to the tournament chip lead.
After winning a big pot with pocket aces against Denny Yu, Lee then proceeded to take out previous MPC champion Patrick Lee.
Lee raised to 38,000 from early position with Tan calling on the button to see a [4s][td][7d] flop fall. Lee tossed out 50,000 before Tan moved all in. Lee called off his last chips quickly but didn’t like what he saw. Lee opened [kh][kc] for an overpair but Tan tabled [4h][4c] for a flopped set!
“Wow,” sighed Lee, as the [5d] turn and [ac] river completed the board. A great run by the previous MPC champ as he is eliminated from the tournament.
“Am I dreaming?” laughed Tan as she moved up to a massive 1.4 million. Seated to her direct right is Ke Chan who holds 1.2 million as the top two stacks in the room. Expect fireworks!
11:45pm: Play resumes
The final 23 players are back with likely one to two more levels to play before we call it an evening.
Ke Chen remains a clear chip leader with around 1.15 million in chips.
2.35pm: Engel departs in sixth
Contrary to Marc Convey’s earlier forecast, Ari Engel is no longer in the game. After folding to a Martin Finger bet on the flop in the hand prior, Engel decided to act when he looked down on the button to find [as][6s]. Finger had made it 125,000 in the cut off and Engel three bet to 850,000.
Finger asked how much Engel had behind, but in the same way he has done throughout these latter stages Engel said and did nothing, leaving it to Finger to work it out. When he did (Engel had 650,000 back) he announced all-in.
Engel didn’t act immediately, perhaps experiencing his last few moments in the event. Then he called only to see Finger’s [ad][jh].
Finger stood up. Engel said “mis-deal,” jokingly referring to an exposed card earlier in the hand.
The board ran [7c][9c][9h][td][2s] to send Engel to the rail in sixth place. – SB
2.30pm: Still game, baby
Ari Engel thinks he’s back in the game and we don’t disagree after he was fortunate to double up. He all but moved all-in from under the gun and called off the rest after Denys Drobyna shoved from the next seat.
The board ran [9c][2c][7c][as][qc] to four-flush Engel. He’s up to 1,700,000 whereas Drobyna is down to 1,325,000.
Engel stood up and yelled, “Still game, baby!”– MC
2.20pm: Down to 6
Andreas Wiese will be going no further, eliminated in seventh place by Martin Finger who called his countryman’s all-in with pocket fives, with his own Ace-Six. The ace on the flop sent Wiese to the rail. – SB
2.14pm: Drobyna finds aces, doubles
David Boyaciyan opened under-the-gun for 150,000 and was called by Martin Finger in the cut-off. Denys Drobyna slowly peeked at his cards and then moved all-in for 980,000. Boyaciyan called, Finger passed.
What a spot in which to find aces. The board blanked out seven-high to rocket Drobyna back into contention with 2,000,000. — RD
2.10pm: Engel straight to the red zone
Ari Engel is down to a 900,000 chips now after paying off chip daddy David Boyaciyan, who increased his stack to 8,830,000.
The American raised to 120,000 from early position and was only called by the Dutchman en route to a [9c][3c][4s] flop. The action was checked to the [5h] turn where Engel check-called a 220,000 bet. The river brought the [2h] and Boyaciyan bet 500,000 when the action was checked to him again.
Engel thought for a while and then asked of his opponent, “What’s the story my friend? Trying to bluff me?”
He got no response so asked, “You have a six there?”
He apologised to the table and then called. Boyaciyan didn’t have a six but he did have [ah][td] for the bottom straight. Engel mucked. — MC
1.55pm: The proverbial
“Michael Martin had one big blind and won a final table,” said Nicolas Levi, talking to Andreas Wiese who had 180,000 left. “You have three. Easy.”
Levi was referring to Martin’s heroic chips and a chair performance at EPT London several years ago. Whether Wiese got any comfort from that we don’t know but he just doubled up, ensuring he remains in the final table for a little longer.
He shoved for 180,000 in late position which Guillem Usero called in the big blind, showing [as][3d] to Wiese’s [jc][td].
The board ran [5c][th][6d][9s][9h] to help Wiese who now has 400,000. – SB
1.46pm: Wiese down to three big blinds, Usero doubles
Andreas Wiese is down to just 190,000 – three big blinds. Guillem Usero opened for 125,000 from middle position and Wiese moved all-in for 1,300,000. Usero made the call for 1,110,000.
The board ran out [ad][ks][3s][qd][7s]. — RD
1.45pm: Think again
A bet of 125,000 from Martin Finger on the button got Andreas Wiese thinking in the small blind. He raised to 265,000 leaving himself 1,300,000 bhind. With the action back on Finger the Geramn announced all-in. Wiese passed. – SB
1.43pm: Levi’s leverage
Nicolas Levi came in to today with aspirations of playing deep stacked multi-street poker. That plan changed with his big loss earlier and now he is down to three-bet shoving.
His 1,410,000 went over the line in a three-bet from the small blind after his nemesis David Boyaciyan opened to 130,000. The Dutchman tank-folded. — MC
1.37pm: Usero on the up
Guillem Usero has won two pots on the bounce to increase his stack by almost 20%. An under-the-gun shove for 980,000 got through, despite David Boyaciyan thinking long and hard about the call from the big blind.
The Spaniard got a walk the next hand and is up to 1,170,000. — RD
1.30pm: Two shoves and a river card
Ari Engel just moved all-in behind an opening bet of 120,000 by Martin Finger in early position. Finger shook his head and passed. Denys Brobyna tired the same a hand later with similar results.
A few hands after that Nicolas Levi opened for 125,000 in the cut off which Finger called on the button for a flop of [2c][9s][9h]. That was checked for a [jc] turn card. Levi checked to Finger who bet 150,000 which Levi called slowly and deliberately. The river came [kc]. Levi checked but was ready to surrender when Figner bet another 325,000. Levi down to 1,450,000. – SB
1.20pm: Into level 28
After a slightly longer break than expected play has resumed with blinds at 30,000-60,000 with a 5,000 ante.
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 30,000-60,000,5,000
First break of the day. Back in 15 minutes.
12.55pm: All-ins aplenty
Two hands, two all-ins.
1) Ari Engel opened from the hijack and Denys Drobyna moved all-in for 1,000,000. Pass.
2) Andreas Wiese opened under-the-gun for 125,000 and was three bet Guillem Usero to 235,000 from the button. Wiese moved all-in and took the pot.
All-in plays are the name of the game at the moment. — RD
12.50pm: Down to seven
Mads Wissing knew he’d have to act quickly today. He got his chips in and a caller in Guillem Usero who re-raised all-in. It was inevitable but not ideal for Wissing who turned over [7c][4d] to Usero’s [8d][8h].
The flop came [ks][ah][qs].
“Mads needs running cards to split the pot,” said Luca Vivaldi, officiating, much to Wissing’s amusement.
The [7c] helped a little on the turn but the [6h] river sealed Wissing’s departure.
“Good game guys,” said Wissing.
Usero up to 1,400,000. – SB
12.45pm: Boyaciyan doubles in huge pot
David Boyaciyan from Holland is the new chip leader with more than 7,500,000 after doubling up through Nicolas Levi.
He raised to 140,000 from early position and Levi was the only caller from the cut-off. The flop came [kc][7s][tc] and this is where the fireworks went off.
Boyaciyan continued for 160,000 and was swiftly raised up to 375,000 by Levi. The Dutchman showed more strength by three-betting to 860,000 and called quickly for 3,765,000 when Levi shoved.
Boyaciyan: [kd][ks] for top set.
Levi: [th][7h] for bottom two-pair.
The board ran out [8s][9s] and this final table has a new chip leader. Levi was left with a little less than two million chips. — MC
12.30pm: Usero under a million
Gullem Usero has dropped down to 1,000,000 chips, conceding a pot to Martin Finger.
Finger opened from under the gun, 100,000, which Usero then raised to 150,000 in the small blind which Finger called for a flop of [ac][jd][2h].
Usero bet 155,000 and Finger called for a [6h] turn card. This time Usero checked to Fingr who bet 255,000, forcing Usero to pass. – SB
Martin Finger opened to 100,000 and Ari Engel three-bet to… 1,100,000 with 600,000 behind. Was it a live misclick? It was suggested to be so by Nic Levi. — RD
12.15pm: Cards in the air
Thomas Lamatsch has made the introductions and play is about to start.
12.05pm: The line-up today
Wissing is a well-respected cash game and tournament player in Denmark. Recent highlights on his live tournament record include last year’s WSOP Main Event where he finished in 25th place. In September Wissing made the final of the Partouche Main Event in Cannes finishing in ninth. He also recently competed in the International Federation of Poker’s World Championships as part of a seven-man Danish team. As well as his live successes, Wissing has also won several online tournaments including two Sunday majors.
Seat 2: Guillem “GabrielMoyaa” Usero, 21, Valencia, Spain – 1,405,000
Usero has been playing poker for two-and-a-half years, the last two as a pro. He mainly plays online cash games – NL $ 3/$ 6 to $ 25/50 levels and occasionally online tournaments, his best result being third in a $ 100 re-buy tournament on PokerStars for around $ 100k. He also plays live tourneys and his best live result to date – apart from making the EPT Prague final – was fifth place at WPT Barcelona last May for €40,000. He also cashed in the Estrellas Madrid Main Event in February.
Seat 3: Nicolas Levi, 28, living in London, originally from Paris, France – 5,690,000
Levi came across poker quite by accident seven years ago while studying computer science in the UK. Levi discovered “a totally different game, a mix of psychology and mathematics”.
“From the very first hand, I thought ‘this is the game for me,” he said. “Beating chance seemed a very exciting challenge.”
Since then, Levi has become a regular on the international poker scene. The Season 8 EPT Prague final is not his first; way back in Season 3 Levi made the final of EPT Dortmund, finishing seventh place for € 85,700. He has also achieved numerous other deep runs; his four WSOP finals include fifth in the 2010 WSOPE Main Event for £208,119 and sixth in the $ 10,000 pot-limit hold’em Championship for $ 114.525. Levi been based in the UK since 2000 – and in London for the last four years.
Seat 4: Martin Finger, 21, Frankenberg, Germany – PokerStars qualifier – 5,800,000
Business science student Martin Finger has been playing poker for about three years, kicking off in home games with friends before finding his way into online poker. This is where he thrives, and he has already earned Supernova Elite status on Pokerstars. Online he grinds the heads-up sit n gos but he also plays a lot of EPTs.
As well as winning his seat to Prague, Finger qualified for EPT Loutraki a few weeks ago but didn’t cash. He has done well in EPT side events however including runner-up in the EPT Barcelona €1k event for €42,000, third in the EPT Barcelona Heads-up tourney in Season 7 and ninth in a €1k EPT7 Berlin side event. Making the final at EPT Prague – where he’s guaranteed at least €66,700 – is by far his biggest live score to date.
Seat 5: Andreas Wiese, 35, Hannover, Germany – 1,670,000
Wiese has been playing poker for six years, mainly focusing on live games. He’s been playing tournaments for a couple of years – his best result to date being sixth place at EPT Vienna last season. That was his first major event but he also came third in a €1k side event here in Prague last year and was 14th at EPT Snowfest in March. He regularly plays cash games at his local casino in Hannover and considers himself a “semi-professional” although still working as an anaesthetist at Hannover Hospital.
Seat 6: Ari “BodogAri” Engel, 28, Brooklyn, New York – 1,670,000
Back in his college days, Engel used to watch his roommate play online poker, but he didn’t start pursuing the game himself until after graduation. When he finally threw a few bucks on to a poker site it only took ten days of gains to convince him to quit his job and take up the game full-time. Since then, Engel has earned close to $ 2.5 million online, at one point climbing to the very top of the online player rankings.
He’s also begun to amass a respectable live record that includes two WSOPC rings and more than $ 500,000 in cashes. Things have gone so well for Engel that he’s recently begun to give lessons on tournament poker (see www.ariengel.com for more info) and his students’ results indicate that “BodogAri” knows how to teach the game. Now based in Canada, Engel won his seat on PokerStars. This is his first ever EPT.
Seat 7: Denys Drobyna, 28, Kyiv, Ukraine – 1,180,000
Drobyna is a full-time poker pro who mainly plays online – no limit cash games at the $ 5/$ 10 to $ 25/$ 50 levels. Online cash games are his bread-and-butter and he rarely plays online. He made his first EPT appearance at Dortmund in Season 4 and has played around six EPTs so far. His best finish to date was 25th place at EPT San Remo six weeks ago. His best overall live result was 15th place in a 2008 World Series $ 2k event for $ 35,843.
He said: “I’ve been playing well here in Prague, and I’ve also been lucky. I won a couple of coin flips but you need to be able to fold right, raise right – and get the right cards at the right time. I feel very focused right now; I need to be – there are a lot of good players still in.”
Seat 8: David Boyaciyan, 32, Amsterdam, Netherlands – 3,770,000
When David Boyaciyan won the Amsterdam Master Classics last month for €382,200, it took the poker world by storm. Not only had a total unknown beaten some of the best players in the world, but he wasn’t even a pro.
Following his Amsterdam victory, Boyaciyan, a banker by trade, decided to play EPT Loutraki and Prague just to see how far his luck would run – and finds himself back on another major final table within the month. But players who think Boyaciyan is only about luck might be chastened to discover that last summer he played two WPTs at the Bellagio and final-tabled both. He comes to tomorrow’s EPT Prague final armed with a lucky chip card protector bearing a photo of his 18-month-old daughter Elina. At the Maser Classics, he had a chip with a photo of his four-year-old son Joel. Both kids are at home being looked after by Boyaciyan’s wife Hilda.
11.55am: Welcome to the final table
Welcome to the final table of the European Poker Tour main event in Prague. A total of 722 players started this event and now only eight remain. Their task, to play the best poker of their lives and win a first EPT title. Hyperbole aside, it’s the most prestigious title in world poker.
Before the final though came the party. PokerStars celebrated its tenth birthday/Christmas/ the final, in typical fashion last night, at the Buddha Bar in down town.
Back to today. Eight to one and a new EPT champion. Play starts at 12 noon.* — SB
* It will not start at 12 noon.
2.05pm: Chips ahoy
The chip count page has been updated. Click here to see the full list. This is how the top five look as we approach the bubble:
Garri Tevosov, Russia, 744,000
Martin Finger, Germany, 669,000
Dennis Bejedal, Sweden, 525,000
Guillem Cavaller, Spain, 520,000
Mads Wissing, Denmark, 516,000
1.55pm: Runnin’ Blue
There’s a missing player on table 5. After a level of play Paul Simmons had yet to show up, prompting tournament staff to call his room. They got through. Simmonds said he’d be here in two seconds. We expect to see him dashing in any moment.
Meanwhile at his table Jude Ainsworth and Anton Wigg continue to dictate terms to the others. First Ainsworth raised before Wigg re-raised to take the pot. Then Ainsworth tried again, betting 10,000 which Wigg called before Stefano Demontis moved all-in from the small blind for 62,500. Ainsworth passed but Wigg tanked for a while, eventually folding Ace-Deuce face up.
Note: Simmons has just taken his seat. — SB
1.40pm: Lodden luckless again
Johnny Lodden does seem to run very bad in EPTs. We’ve lost count of the amount of times he’s busted just before the money or when the tournament is down to two tables. The Team PokerStars Pro Tweeted:
“out rigth before the bubble once again.. 1010 vs 55 for 210k pot.. f###ing hate poker at the moment!” — MC
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 2,000-4,000, 500
1.25pm: Break time
Stay with us here as we go into bubble-bursting territory. We’ll be back in 15 minutes.
1.23pm: So that’s how Kastle does it
Casey Kastle opened for 8,000 and was called in two spots, including Artur Wasek in the big blind. The [jc][7s][ks] flop was shoved by Kastle for around 60,000 and he took the pot. Kastle battling on. — RD
1.20pm: Cultural excursion into the void
Tournament officials would in no way dissuade players from bringing their mothers along to watch, but they’d rather not have to make it mandatory. In the case of some players it may be the only way to calm their eruptions of petulance and total disrespect to fellow players.
Sebastien Boyard had certainly been unlucky, his kings beaten by Danyel Boyaciyan’s Ace-King when an ace hit the river. But it was hardly the most extraordinary set of events.
Boyard banged the table then stood, hands behind his head, which had the unfortunate result of exposing his midriff, the waistband of his trousers lower than Savile Row would permit. More words in followed from the Frenchman, not the type you learn in French class but the ones you ask the French exchange student to teach you.
“You’re a nice fish,” said Boyard to Boyaciyan. “A really nice fish.”
The tournament official told him not to be mean but he wasn’t listening, and was gone.
“Congratulations,” said Dominik Nitsche to Boyaciyan, who throughout this little tantrum had said nothing. It was a sentiment echoed by several other players at the table. — SB
11.05pm: Peters receives early Christmas present
David Peters is down to 61,000 but it could have been worse for him, according to a colleague of ours.
Peters raised to 6,300 from the cut-off before Vesa Leikos three-bet to 16,400 from the next seat along. When the action got back to Peters he shoved with pocket eights and was called by the Finn who was holding pocket queens.
The board ran blank and the reports that came back to us was that Peters pulled back his 6,300 so the full amount owed could be cut from his stack. At this point the dealer also pushed Leikos’ 16,400 three-bet into Peters’ stack and then counted the Finn’s stack and took that from Peters.
Basically, Peters was left with 61,000 whereas he should have been left with around 45,000; a full 32,000 swing between the two stacks.
Peters busted soon after.– MC
1.10pm: Wigg loses one, still going strong
Anton Wigg is sat steady on 350,000 after losing a cagey hand to Pontus Khosravi. The pot had been opened under-the-gun by Khosravi for 7,000 and Wigg had made the call. A 7,500 c-bet into a [3d][2d][kd] flop was called before Khosravi check-called 15,600 on the [8c] turn.
The [2h] river was checked by both players. Wigg showed [td][ts], Khosravi scooped with [js][jd]. — RD
1.05pm: Kastle still standing
Casey Kastle is still with close to 100,000. How does the perennial short stack do it? Through careful and tight negotiation it seems. Will Kastle make the money? It seems likely given I can’t see him stacking off light now. — RD
1pm: Go no further
The arrival of Jude Ainsworth on Anton Wigg’s table makes it one to keep an eye on and the two of them are quickly duelling in a pot.
On a flop of [qh][9s][ks] Wigg, in the small blind, checked to Ainsworth on the button who bet 7,800. Wigg called for a [qd] turn card and check called Ainsworth’s bet of 15,000 for a river card [td].
With this Wigg led the betting, making it 26,800 to play. Ainsworth didn’t fold immediately, but he did eventually. Wigg up to around 400,000 while Ainsworth drops slightly to 300,000.
At the other end of the tournament room Daniel Strelitz moved all-in with a board reading [5h][jd][2h][5s][9s], his stack of 161,500 laid out in front of him like he’d been asked to empty his pockets by the desk officer.
Leonid Bilokur was left to face him. He’s been watching medieval costume dramas on his iPad all week and now the Russian had his own drama to face in the shape of the modern looking Strelitz whose hair flops over his eyes. Bilokur crossed his arms.
With around 80,000 more in the middle it was a tough one for Bilokur who had Strelitz covered but not by as much as he’d have liked. After a few minutes pause he folded, showing [ac][jc] as he did. Strelitz showed nothing, and stacks up around 220,000. Bilokur drops to 280,000. – SB
12.51pm: Pastor gets paid
Juan Manuel Pastor is up to around 120,000 after making a huge three-bet shove with aces and finding an opponent willing to make a call all-in with an under pair.
That opponent was Lubor Dedic and he opened to 6,300 from mid position before the Spanish Team PokerStars Pro shoved for 110,000 from the small blind. Local boy Dedic tanked before he called.
The board ran [ac][jc][4h][8c][qs]. Dedic was drawing dead by the turn. — MC
12.43pm: Lots of action on table five
I got caught in the slipstream of Jude Ainsworth who, heavily rugged up in a large, puffy winter coat, was moving through the tables to take his new seat on the right of Anton Wigg, who himself had just opened a pot from early position. As Ainsworth placed his racks down Vesa Leikos moved all-in for 60,000 and was called by Pontus Khosravi. Wigg passed.
By the time that the board had delivered a suck out for Leikos on a [kd][as][5d][qh][js] river Ainsworth had his stack arranged and readied – always a giveaway tell of someone used to playing with a big stack.
Moments later Wigg knocked out Stefan Verhage with pocket kings to chip up to 320,000. — RD
12.40pm: Ainsworth getting ready for the action
Irish Team PokerStars Pro Jude Ainsworth talks to the cameras. Okay, camera.
12.35pm: Lodden takes Fulham into Europe
Sorry, that was in FIFA12 on his iPad, but Johhny Lodden had managed to double-up to 120,000.
Calvin Anderson opened to 6,300 before Lodden shoved for 55,800 from the small blind. Andreas Wiese was in the blind and shoved as well, for about 105,000. Anderson folded to leave it heads-up.
The board ran [jh][4d][6s][as][9c] to see the Team PokerStars Pro hit his three-outer on the turn. — MC
12.25pm: Two sugars with the morning controversy, please
There’s nothing like a bit of controversy and argument around the table to wake one up in the morning. Table ten was the scene of the scene.
Petru Moraru opened to 8,000 from under the gun and Konstantin Tolokno called from the small blind before Zachary Korik moved all-in for around 70,000 from the big blind. Before Moraru could act Tolokno called and both players in the blinds tabled their cards.
A ruling was asked for and the TD said that both all-ins had to stay, and Moraru was free to make a decision armed with the extra information at his disposal. The Romanian was unhappy at this ruling and insisted that he would have been able to fold out Tolokno if he had the option to act first. He appeal was rejected and the Romanian open folded his ace-king.
Tolokno opened [8c][8h] and was racing Korik’s [ac][9h]. The board ran [ad][9h][kh][6h][9h] to make Korik a full-house. It was quite ironic that Moraru would have lost the hand if he had managed to get what he wanted; to be heads-up with the dominated ace of Korik. — MC
12.15pm: Ace-king versus nines (times two)
We just enjoyed a spot of instant variance with ace-king racing against nines consecutively on neighbouring tables: one winner apiece.
Max Silver had four-bet shoved on Daniel Todorov who tank-called with nines for his 62,600 stack. His pair held against Silver’s ace-king. Todorov doubles, Silver drops to 200,000.
Andreas Wiese was at the next table along holding [as][kd] and he managed to catch Broadway on a [2d][js][qh][th][ad] board against Calvin Anderson’s nines. Wiese, also a short stack, is now on 110,000. — RD
12pm: This is a changing world
If you thought there was no room left for sporting behaviour in poker, and I’d count myself among them, Kevin MacPhee just put us in our place, approaching chip leader Garri Tevosov to wish him good luck ahead of the start. If you were reading yesterday’s coverage it was Tevosov’s pocket queens that cracked MacPhee’s pocket kings to send him into the lead and MacPhee to the rail. — SB
11.55am: Like Lazarus…
Contrary to puffed up reports in last night’s round-up of the day, Andrey Saenko, chip leader at the start of Day 2, is not out. While we decide who best to blame, and how to punish them, rest assured family Saenko that your boy still has 101,400 chips. — SB
11.40am: And so to Day 3
Welcome back to Day 3 of the European Poker Tour main event in Prague. From a starting field of 722 just 136 remain, a figure that todays will be put on a medium heat until it’s reduced to 24. It may have a tendency to boil over in parts, but on the whole this should affect taste.
Our head chef today is Garri Tevosov, who to the surprise of all of us, including him, leapt out of the frying pan last night and into the chip lead, catching some luck in a big hand at the bell which entitles him to a stack of 764,000 this afternoon.
The Christmassy bit of Prague
1.05pm: Sprung from the tournament early
It wasn’t quite as quick as yesterday but a player has managed to loose 300 big blinds in the first level today. We don’t have details of his exit but Joris Springael is the first player out. — MC
1pm: Mattern looking to end a barren EPT spell
Arnaud Mattern is a player that seems to like getting involved from the get-go. That policy is borne out again today with an under-the-gun open to 250, a call from PCA third place finisher Anton Ionel and a 375 c-bet into a [9c][5c][8c] flop. Ionel check-called the flop but passed to a 1,000 on the [qh] turn. Mattern hasn’t cashed in an EPT this year* and the competitive Frenchman will no doubt want to take this last chance for a 2011 EPT flag. — RD
* He has had success in other tournaments.
12.55pm: The difficult road to a second title
There are many former EPT champions in the room and they have been or will be mentioned throughout the event. There are four of them in one small corner of the room and these four happen to have drawn fairly difficult table draws providing an extra obstacle in which to pass in order to break new ground.
Mike MacDonald also claimed back-to-back EPT Dortmund titles a few seasons back when he was still a teenager. He’s in his twenties now and is sat with fellow twenty-some-things Paul Berende and David Sonelin, who are well used to making deep runs at EPTs.
One table along sits the only Antonio Mathias. The man from Portugal, whose wife cooks a mean Rabbit stew (apparently), has to deal with Irish hot shots John O’Shea and Jude Ainsworth. The mixed game specialist and Team PokerStars Pro are sat right next to each
Two tables along from there is a very strong table that contains two-time bracelet winner Praz Bansi, former EPT Copenhagen winner Anton Wigg, and Johannes Strassmann who has made numerous EPT final tables. Good luck to thee rest of their table.
Right next to that table sits Rupert Elder who won San Remo in season seven. He has position on Mick Graydon, Ivan Demidov and Guiseppe Pantaleo. — MC
12.50pm: What lurks beneath
I don’t think I’ve ever seen Martin Hruby’s eyes. The Czech Team PokerStars Pro always wears small dark glasses, frequently matched with a small hat (no hat today though). What is he hiding? Do his eyes spin like fruit machine reels as a flop is dealt landing, landing on $ $ when he flops large and a lemon and cherry when he whiffs? Unlikely, but I’m sure something must lurk beneath. — RD
12.40pm: Things are looking up
At this event 12 months ago Dario Minieri arrived two hours late and proceeded to play half-a-dozen hands in a row. Or at least it seemed like he did. This year he’s here on time but the same urge to get stuck in remains.
He just won a first pot, then another, raising to 1,400 from the small blind, announcing the figure with his work voice. His two opponents called for a flop of [4c][jc][7d]. Minieri announced “twenty-seven fifty”, using two hands to throw the chips forward. That did it.
“I bluff,” said Minieri smiling as the chips were pushed his way.
“That’s why you are sponsored by PokerStars,” said one opponent laughing.
“Bluff,” admitted Minieri.
Elsewhere Bertrand Grospellier has arrived at his seat at the same table with Jonathan Duhamel. Dag Palovic has arrived on the arm of Martin Hruby, wearing a dress he just doesn’t have the hips for. – SB
12.25pm: The Wooooorld Champion
Pius Heinz won the WSOP Main Event last month bagging himself a trifling $ 8,715,368. After all that fanfare of the November Nine, glitz and glamour of the victory, you’d think that the German was ten feet tall with fireworks firing out of the side of his head. In reality, he’s just a guy sitting at a table getting dealt two cards from the same deck as everyone else. No complimentary aces, no silver service sets or butler-delivered coolers. He passed the first three hands that I saw him dealt, all of which were in late position no less. Poker doesn’t afford automatic privilege.
Dermot Blain is sat two seats to Heinz’s left and took a five-way pot down firing two barrels and could prove to be the German’s first sticking point here in Prague. The Irishman has had three deep EPT runs as well as a recent WSOPE final table.
You can hear the new Team PokerStars Pro speaking below. — RD
12.15pm: Play starts
With only a slight delay considering the numbers pouring through the door, cards are now in the air. No exact figure yet but the room is roughly twice as full as yesterday. — SB
11.55pm: Can’t get started
Unless we miss our guess we will not be starting on time. The queue for registrations has now reached the door (with about 70 people waiting). — SB
11.40am: Nice work if you can get it
Welcome back to Prague for the second day of the European Poker Tour main event. It’s a beautiful day in this beautiful city but for the modest (immodest) outlay of five grand you could be right here, tucked up inside the Prague Hilton for eight levels of the best poker in the world.
Of course there are a few caveats to that. There’s no guarantee that you’ll keep your seat for that long. Yesterday the first player was gone in a little more than ten minutes and a bad hand can strike at any moment. Plus there’s that five grand to think about.
The Prague Hilton
Real life, with bills and obligations, is for wimps. Their life begins when play starts at 12noon. – SB
7.20pm: Richard Sinclair is the UKIPT Champion of Champions
Richard Sinclair today won the UKIPT Champion of Champions event at Dusk Till Dawn and the prize of buy-ins and hotel to all regular UKIPT Season 3 stops.
The Scotsman had won his seat to this star-studded sit-and-go by winning UKIPT Newcastle back in June. The online tournament specialist told PokerStars blog back then that he didn’t travel to that many events because of the overheads involved. That’s something he won’t have to worry about now.
“This means I’m freerolling Season 3 of the UKIPT which is great,” he said. “Cutting down on expenses and hotel costs is huge, I’m really looking forward to defending my title in Newcastle and coming back to Dusk Till Dawn.”
With just two players remaining it looked as if Season 2 was going to end as it started – with a Nick Abou Risk victory. After winning a huge three-way all-in with just three players left he took a 100,000 to 20,000 chip advantage into heads-up play but couldn’t claim another title. “Richard played really well heads-up,” he graciously conceded.
It was very much a final table of two halves, for the first half it was Matthew McDerra who dominated. With six players left he was well in command and eliminating Chris O’Donnell (6th) and Joeri Zandvliet (5th) only strengthened his position. But then his and Sinclair’s fortunes intertwined as he doubled up the Scotsman twice in quick succession. Despite re-claiming the chip lead after eliminating Sam Razavi in fourth, he then lost another big pot to Sinclair as the Scotsman took control. He exited in third soon after.
In a quick fire final table that lasted a little over four hours players were always going to need a combination of cards and luck, something which deserted Fintan Gavin (8th) and Gareth Walker (7th).
With Season 2 now in the books, attention turns to Season 3 of the UKIPT and the first stop in Galway between Feb 16th-20th. Qualifiers are running now on PokerStars. Richard Sinclair will be there, will you?
6.10pm: Richard Sinclair wins UKIPT Champion of Champions
And it’s all over.
Richard Sinclair raised to 5,100 from the button with [As][9s], Nick Abou Risk moved all-in for around 40,000 holding [Kc][6d] and Sinclair made the call.
The flop was [4c][Jh][Jc] and when the [Ad] hit the turn Abou Risk was drawing dead, meaning a meaningless [6d] completed the board.
A full wrap of today’s Champion of Champions will follow shortly.
6.10pm: Richard Sinclair doubles through Nick Abou Risk
With a second double through, the chip counts have now flip-flopped and Sinclair holds the lead.
He raised to 5,100 from the button, Risk set him in for 38,300 total and Sinclair called. On their backs:
Abou Risk: [Qh][8s]
The board of [6s][Kh][Jd][2s][3h] ensured Sinclair’s hand held and he now has 76,600 to Abou Risk’s 43,400.
6.05pm: Back from the break
Cards are back in the air and with just 50 big blinds in play now, I’d expect the winner to be determined in the next level or the one after.
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 1,200-2,400
That’s the end of level 12 and Richard Sinclair and Nick Abou Risk are on a 10 minute break. Stacks are 75,000 for Abou Risk and 55,000 for Sinclair.
5.50pm: Richard Sinclair doubles through Nick Abou Risk
And the comeback is on!
About seven hands into heads-up play Richard Sinclair found pocket queens and moved in for his last 19,800 after eyeing up Sinclair’s stack Abou Risk made the call with [Qd][7s].
“Surely not even you can get there this time,” said Sinclair.
The board ran [4s][2h][2d][6s][2c] stacks now around 80,000 – 40,000 in Abou Risk’s favour.
5.40pm: Three-way cooler leaves us heads-up
Nick Abou Risk had continued to move in frequently pre-flop and got up to second in chips when the following happened.
From the button Matthew McDerra moved all-in for around 30,000 with [Qd][10d], next to act Richard Sinclair moved all-in over the top with pocket sixes and then Abou Risk overcalled with pocket kings! If Sinclair could catch a six or make a straight he would win it right here.
So McDerra exited in third, and Abou Risk now has a 100,000 to 20,000 advantage going into heads-up play.
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 1,000-2,000 ante 200
5.30pm: Sinclair wins big pot, takes chip lead
From the button Richard Sinclair opened to 3,400, Matthew McDerra three-bet to 9,600 from the big blind and Sinclair called.
It was the first flop for a while and McDerra led for 9,000 on a board of [10h[Kc][7s], call from Sinclair.The turn was the [8d] and McDerra checked to Sinclair who bet 9,800 (about half his stack), with a shake of the head McDerra near insta-mucked. After that hand Sinclair climbs to around 60,000, whilst McDerra drops to 40,000.
5.25pm: Risky business
Nick Abou Risk certainly isn’t going to get blinded away here in Nottingham. In the last five hands he’s shoved all-in three times and moved all-in over the top of an opening raise once.
As it stands chip counts are roughly: Abou Risk (25,000), Richard Sinclair (40,000) and Matthew McDerra (55,000).
5.20pm: Short handed, plus winner takes all, equals aggressive play
The ratio of three-bets is soaring right now. First Matthew McDerra three-bet to 8,000 over a 3,200 open from Richard Sinclair, the latter folded and McDerra showed [Ad][Kh].
The very next hand roles were reversed, the outcome the same with the three-bettor winning, Sinclair showing pocket threes as he took the pot.
5.15pm: Sam Razavi eliminated in fourth place
First to act, Matthew McDerra opened to 3,400, Sam Razavi then moved in for 18,100 and after getting a count McDerra made the call. On their backs:
The board ran [5h][4s][9d][3c][Kh] and McDerra spiked the river to eliminate yet another player.
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 800-1,600 ante 200
5.05pm: Chip counts
After that flurry of action here are the approximate chip counts:
Seat One: Richard Sinclair, 39,500
Seat Three: Nick Abou Risk, 20,300
Seat Five: Matthew McDerra, 40,100
Seat Seven: Sam Razavi, 18,500
5pm: Three double ups and a exit
And it’s yet again Matthew McDerra who’s at the centre of all the action. First he doubled up Richard Sinclair, with pocket sixes against pocket tens. Then shortly afterward he eliminated Joeri Zandvliet. The Dutchaman shoved [Q] but ran into McDerra’s [A][K] blind on blind.
And he has just now doubled up Richard SInclair again the latter holding [Qd][8h] and all the money going in by the river of a [3h][Qs][Qc][3s][9d] board.
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 600-1,200 ante 100
4.50pm: Nick Abou Risk doubles through Joeri Zandvliet
Perhaps taking part in James Bond style skits for the UKIPT show helps you win flips, either way Nick Abou Risk just escaped from a sticky situation in a manner befitting of 007.
Joeri Zandvliet had opened to 1,600 from under-the-gun, it folded to Abou Risk in the big blind who moved all-in for 9,700, swift call from Zandvliet.
Abou Risk: [Ah][Jh]
The flop was [10h][Qs][4c], giving Abou Risk more outs, the [2c] missed him, but the [Ad] didn’t after that hand Zandvliet is down to about 11,000.
4.40pm: Chris O’Donnell eliminated in sixth place
We’re down to five here in Nottigham, Chris O’Donnell shoved with for 15 big blinds with [A] over the top of a Matthew McDerra raise, the latter called with [A][K]. Despite a paired flop bringing the possibility of a chop, McDerra held firm to extend his chip lead.
4.30pm: Back in their seats
The six remaining players are back in their seats, below are the chip counts of the half dozen who are still in a chance with winning entry and hotel to all Season 3 stops of the UKIPT (except EPT London)
Seat One: Richard Sinclair, 7,400
Seat Two: Chris O’Donnell, 12,200
Seat Three: Nick Abou Risk, 11,600
Seat Four: Joeri Zandvliet, 23,800
Seat Five: Matthew McDerra, 39,100
Seat Seven: Sam Razavi, 25,900
The 148 players left in the Irish Winter Festival Main Event tournament are on a break just before playing the last hour of Day1. The average chip stack is up to 40K and the blinds will increase to 500/1,000, ante 100, as Level 10 begins.
Here are the current chip stacks of Titan Poker’s remaining qualifiers:
Jan Bjoersland (Norway): 39K
Dennis McCartney (USA): 32.5K
Jack Connolly (UK): 40K
Daniele Vagni (Italy): 40 K
Jozsef Vass (Hungary): 38 K
Dorlan Schick (Canada): 9.5K
Owen Shiels (UK): 29K