Updates from level nine of EPT Vilamoura, brought to you by Stephen Bartley, Marc Convey, Howard Swains and Simon Young.
Selected approximate chip counts, updated throughout the day, are available on the chip counts page. The EPT tournament structure can be found on the EPT tournament structure page. The full payout structure is on the payout structure page.
Level 9: 500-1,000 (100 ante)
1.25pm: One down
Level 9 done. Players are on a short break.
1.25pm: King Jason
Luc Greenwood has been eliminated by Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier. The former raised before the latter re-raised. Greenwood then pushed with A♦Q♦ and was snapped off by Mercier with K♠K♦ and the board ran A♠9♣9♠8♠5♠. The ace came on the flop but this is Jason Mercier we're talking about here and he always seems to find a way out of it. That's puts him up to around 90,000.
1.25pm: Good fold?
Antonio Matias had re-raised PokerStars qualifier Santiago Terrazas to 25,000, but that was met with the poker version of a smack in the mouth - Terrezas moved all in for 112,000. Matias was slightly agitated by that, and after a long dwell he folded Q♦Q♠ face up in disgust.
1.20pm: 'You missed 9,000'
I approached the table with the turn giving us a A♠3♣A♦4♣ board. Dutch Team PokerStars Pro Joep van Den Bijgaart bet 7,000 when checked to him by Javier Garcia. The call came before Garcia led for 9,000 on the river. Van Den Bijgaart called but mucked upon seeing Garcia's A♥3♥ for a flopped full house.
"You missed 9,000" said the Dutchman looking down at the remaining 9,000 chips in front of him. The recovery never came and he was out soon after.
1.15pm: Matias v Pinho
Henrique Pinho made it 2,500 from middle position and Antonio Matias called in the blinds for a 4♣4♠2♥ flop. He then checked to Pinho who made it 5,500. Matias then raised to 11,000 which Pinho called. Now a 5♥ on the turn. Matias made it 15,000 now which Pinho called for a 6♠ on the river. Both checked. Matias showed 7♠5♠. Pinho could only look at his cards one more time before mucking.
1.10pm: Deeb the destroyer
Shaun Deeb picked up another nice pot. Not so nice for Jose Passos, however - he's busted. Passos had limped in for 1,000 from early postion, called by Rico Schultz, a PokerStars qualifier in the small blind. Deeb was waiting in the big blind and raised it up to 3,800. Passos called, but Schultz did not want to play anymore.
The flop was 9♥A♥6♣ and now Deeb fired out 5,800 - call. Then it all kicked off on the Q♦ river: Deeb made it 9,500, Passos moved all in for around 34,000, insta-call.
Passos needed a lot of help, but the 5♥ river ensured he had none. Good game, thanks for playing.
1.05pm: Yong wrong
Rob Yong could not bring himself to believe Jasper Wetemans' all-in river bet of 13,200 and had to call. The board was showing 5♥9♠4♣K♥9♥, and Wetemans, who had called Yong's under-the-gun raise from the big blind, showed K♠8♠ for the winner.
Jason Mercier and Johannes Strassmann are on the same table, along with the recent EPT Warsaw champion Christophe Benzimra. It was worth watching for a few hands.
A long hand just played out on table 21. On a flop of 2♠2♣8♥ Ricardo Sousa made it 4,800 from the big blind before Olaf De Zeeuw raised another 11,800 on top. Daniel Drescher called that and the action returned to Sousa who thought for a few minutes.
"I have jack-deuce," he said, immediately triggering questions of the dealer?
"Can he talk about his hand?" asked James Collopy as the dealer called the floor.
"He can talk," said Tournament Director Thomas Kremser, "talking is part of the game. He might not have jack-deuce. It's part of the game."
There was more discussion, but Kremser, who admitted to being split on this one, just laid out the rules. "The rules say if he does have jack-deuce he gets a one round penalty. If we don't find out we don't find out. He's allowed to lie but not tell the truth!"
Sousa folded, closing the book on that one. The turn came K♥. De Zeeuw took his time but made it 19,100, good to make Drescher fold. De Zeeuw proudly showed his 7♣5♣, exhaling with relief.
12.50pm: 'Show the badgers'
"Back in the eighties in Ireland we went through a phase of calling jacks badgers," mused Andy Black.
"Was there a reason for that?" asked table mate John Eames.
"No, not really" came the answer.
While this Andy Black type conversation was going on Dutch Team PokerStars Pro Ruben Visser had raised to 2,500 from mid position and was called by Ryan Franklin from the big blind. The flop brought 4♠9♣8♣ and Visser saw 2,600 bet raised up to 8,000. His response was to move all in and force Franklin to fold.
"Show the badgers," said Black. All Visser could muster though was the K♣.
12.45pm: Black rivers Visser
Andy Black took a decent pot from Ruben Visser, rivering a straight to outdraw the Team PokerStars Pro. The board was Q♠4♠Q♥T♣ when Visser bet something in the neighbourhood of 5,000. Black snap-called on the button. The river was 9♣ and this time Visser bet 11,100. Black took a little longer - maybe three seconds - before calling. Visser showed K♦T♥ but Black's J♥8♠ had got there.
12.40pm: Bad for Bansi
Praz Bansi has been eliminated in blaze of bluffing. The flop was out reading 4♠4♦9♣ and there was around 10,000 in the pot. Martin Wendt was under-the-gun and led for 5,500, a bet that Bansi called from the button to see the 7♠ turn. Wendt checked-raised Bansi's 10,700 bet up to 22,000 and then called Bansi's all in push. Bansi was forced to table K♠J♣ but had run into to the turned full house of Wendt with 7♣7♥. The river came 8♥ and Bansi now has plenty of time to play golf today if he so chooses.
12.35pm: Needless waste
After a bet of 12,600 from Rico Schultz, Shaun Deeb moved in on the button. Schultz called showing A♦J♠ to Deeb's A♣J♦. The board came: 6♥2♠J♥A♥J♣. Full houses for everyone.
"What a waste," said Deeb.
12.32pm: Thater out
Katja Thater is out. Jason Mercier shoved for little, holding A♠9♠, Thater also pushed for even less holding 4♥4♣. "Good luck," said Mercier as they waited for the board: 8♦5♥A♥J♣J♥. All over for the German Team PokerStars Pro. Mercier now up to 25,000.
12.30pm: All ins
Alessandro Lusso and Olga Kramarruko are both all in, both with micro stacks. Lusso, with about 20,000 when the pot began, covers Kramarruko by about 300. Stephan Gerrin, who has them both covered, seem to be thinking about the opportunity of knocking them both out, but folded after a long think, allowing the two shorties to go it alone. Lusso had 6♣6♦ and Kramarruko had 7♥7♠ and when the board bricked Kramarruko was back in the game and Lusso was crippled - and out within the next couple of hands.
On a neighbouring table Isabel Carvalho was all in, called by Giuseppe Sarlo. They were racing: Carvalho had A♠Q♣ against Sarlo's 8♥8♦. The flop had Sarlo beating his hand off the table in anguish - it came ace high - but the eight on the turn had him beating it in delight. Carvalho departed in silence.
12.25pm: Grind continues for Kravchenko
Alex Kravchenko played for eight hours yesterday, starting with 30,000 in chips and finishing with 29,000. That's what's known as grinding. On one of the first hands today, however, he was put to the test for pretty much all of those carefully preserved discs. There was about 20,000 in the pot pre-flop, which came 3♥7♣Q♦. Kravchenko checked and Manuel Jimenez Cecilia announced that he was all in. Kravchenko took his time over it, but folded.
12.20pm: Deeb up
With a board already reading 8♠3♣A♦6♥ Shaun Deeb was hoping to make some early capital. After the action was checked by Rico Schultz and Andrea Sapere, Deeb had bet out 22,800. Schultz folded and after some thought Sapere did the same. Deeb took his chips back and is now up to 80,000.
12.15pm: First man down
It only took a few minutes to lose our first player of the day and it happened to be Team PokerStars Pro Chad Brown. He limped from under-the-gun and then called a raise from Antonio Matias in the next seat. The flop came 7-6-3 before Brown moved all in with pocket fours and was called by Matias with pocket kings. The turn and river changed nothing and Brown made his way from the room.
12.10pm: Cards hit the air
Only ten minutes after schedule, play begins on day two. And within moments, Chad Brown has been eliminated. It must have been the first hand. Details are on their way.
11.30am: All night long
Still half an hour to go until the start of day two, with 177 players remaining. The dealers are in place in the tournament room, entertaining themselves by fooling around on the microphone. Now someone has turned on AC/DC. You do what you have to do.