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EPT Copenhagen: Day 1B, levels 1 and 2 (75-150)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg4.20pm: Break time
As the tournament clock wound down, Jussi Nevanlinna, who made the final table here last year, and Victor Lemos were still in a hand. The board read Q♥T♣7♦ and Lemos check-called Nevanlinna's 550 bet. The turn was 2♠ and the process repeated, this time for 1,550. The river was A♠ and Lemos found a new angle. He check-raised Nevanlinna's 3,500 bet, making it 9,300. "I think you're bluffing," Nevanlinna said, but folded anyway.

And with that, the level is over. Join us the other side of a 15-minute break.

4.15pm: Walthaus the bully
Niels Jensen and Jorn Walthaus might have some previous, at least that's the way it appeared as the two locked horns again moments ago. Jensen raised to 450 from the cut-off and Walthaus raised to 1,250 on the button. Jensen made it 3,500 and Walthaus asked him how much he had behind. After finding out that Jensen was playing about another 19,000, Walthaus moved all in, comfortably covering his opponent.

"Ace-king again?" said Jensen. Walthaus remained impassive for the three minutes or so until Jensen folded.

Meanwhile on that table, Freddy Deeb has chipped up to close to 60,000, but has also spilled a cup of coffee. Is there any other outlet that can match that vital news?

4.10pm: The champions' enclosure
There are the usual smattering of former champions in today's field, but the random draw didn't smatter them all that far and wide. Peter Jepsen (Warsaw, season three) is right next to Max Lykov (Kyiv, season six) and Michael Schulze (Warsaw, season four) is also on the same table. ElkY (PCA season four) isn't that far away either.

Anyhow, Lykov and Schulze were slightly involved in the following hand, although no one seemed fully committed. Mauri Dorbek raised to 375 under-the-gun, Lykov called from the cut off, Schulze called from the small blind and Christoffer Sonesson called in the big blind.

The flop was 7♠3♥8♦ and Schulze bet 600. Dorbek and Lykov called and the three of them saw a T♦ turn. Schulze checked now, prompting a bet of 1,525 from Sonesson. That proved to be enough as everyone else folded.

4pm: Tamm time
A flop of 5♦T♣8♠ on the board and a few players paying to see it. Alberto Valenti made it 600 in the small blind which Niels Jensen called before Jorn Walthaus raised to 2,100 from the cut off. Eric Tamm called on the button but Valenti relented, folding. S9 shuffled in his seat for a moment but called as well. To the turn, 6♥.

Jensen checked, Walthaus checked before Tamm began to take over, betting 4,400. Jensen sat twirling a chip for a while before calling. Walthaus stared hard at the board, but looked like he was picking out something in the distance. He called too.

It was a similar pattern on the 3♠ river card. Jensen and Walthaus both checked and Tamm made it 8,500 to play. Would this be enough? Jensen thought so, folding his hand. Just Walthaus remained, his head swaying gently back and forth. Too rich for him too. Tamm up to 55,000.

3.55pm: Nordic battle
Viktor Blom opened to 450 from the cut-off when it was folded around to him and was called by Juha Helppi in the small blind. The flop came 2♣J♦5♥ and Blom continued his aggression with a 700 bet. Call. That was all the aggression these two were willing show as the 6♦ turn and 4♠ river was checked through. Helppi opened A♥Q♣ for ace-high but Blom took the pot with his K♠5♠ for a pair of fives.

3.45pm: Olsen lets Naalden do the betting
You don't need to play against Marc Naalden for very long to know that he's hardly shy of getting his chips in the middle, and that you might be ahead even with a marginal hand. Rune Olsen seems to have figured this out, which is just as well for him as he's got Naalden on his left today.

Folded to him in the cut off, Olsen raised to 400 and Naalden re-raised to 1,300. So far, so standard. It was just the two of them to a flop of 6♠9♠T♥ and Olsen check-called Naalden's 1,800 bet.

The turn was 6♣ and Olsen checked again. Naalden bet again, this time 4,000, and Olsen called again.

The river was 7♦ and now they both checked. Olsen tabled K♠T♠ for two pair, but a missed flush draw. Naalden showed at least the 5♠ and perhaps even the A♠ too (the dealer mucked his losing hand pretty quickly). Either way, neither of them hit whatever draw they were looking for, and Olsen took down a small pot.

3.40pm: News in brief
- Team PokerStars Pro Peter Eastgate is up to 36,000. He just bet 5,100 into a 13,500 pot on a 8♠9♦Q♣8♣J♣ board. His opponent, Kent Lundmark folded.
- Freddy Deeb raised from early position to 400 and received no callers. He laughed in frustration and tabled pocket aces.
- Roberto Romanello has fallen even further to 7,850. He called Jonathan Barusta's 3,000 river bet only to be shown the nut flush.


3.30pm: The Cosst of playing ElkY
Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, dressed in the usual paraphernalia we've come to expect of him, just moved into position alongside the notional chip leaders, moving all-in and winning a big hand against Fabrice Cosstikian and reversing earlier mishaps.

Grospellier opened for 250, getting calls from Marius Olsvik in the cut off and Cosstikian in the big blind. Cosstikian then checked the 5♠8♣9♦ flop to Grospellier who bet 550. Olsvik folded but Cosstikian, biting his upper lip, raised to 1,500. Grospellier called for a J♥ turn card.

Cosstikian was leaning back in his chair by now and made a convenient one yellow chip bet of 5,000. Grospellier, showing calculated indifference, called. The dealer announced 'last card', Q♥.

Nodding to himself, Cosstikian flung out a pair of yellow chips. Grospellier, showing no sign of being ruffled, calmly re-raised all-in. Cosstikian asked how much, a low mumble that needed repeating. It was 10,950 more to call. He pursed his lips, held onto some chips and then held them up to his forehead. Minutes ticked by, only four remained on the level. Cosstikian made his decision.

"Call," he said. "Call," he said again. Call he did. Grospellier showed him J♣T♦ and that was that. Cosstikian showed his cards to the player next to him and then mucked them. Grospellier up to nearly 50,000.

3.25pm: Boeken drops a little one
On a 2♦T♥4♠3♦ board, Ilkka Koskinen bets 3,200 and is called by Noah Boeken. Both check the K♣ river, and Koskinen's Q♣Q♦ is good for the pot.

3.23pm: Deeb chipped up
Freddy Deeb is the proud owner of 55,000 chips. We did not see how he got them, but the absence of Henrik Eklund from his chair (scroll down to the 2.50pm post to see how he lost a chunk earlier) would suggest that's where Deeb got the chips from.

3.20pm; Five betting ElkY
Team PokerStars Pro ElkY is not used to this sort of naked aggression against him - it's normally the other way around. He had raised from mid position with a 250 bet, but Marius Olsvik re-raised to 1,050. ElkY wasn't finished yet, however, and raised once again to 2,775. Unimpressed, Olsvik made it 7,550.

Now ElkY had seen enough, and gave it up. Dropping in to 26,000 in the process.

3.15pm: Good Grace
Nice early pot for Richard Grace. It was folded around to Claudio Saizu on the button, who opened for 275. Grace, in the small blind, fired it up to 800. Domonic Guerrisi got out of the way from the big blind, and Saizu called.

The flop was 9♥2♦T♥ and Grace bet out 1,150. Saizu, however, re-raised to 3,575 - call. On the J♥ turn Grace made it 5,500, and again got a call. Both slowed down to check the J♦ river.

"Straight," Grace said, opening 7♠8♠. Saizu mucked Q♠Q♥, tutting away under his breath.

3.10pm: Reeling Roberto
Roberto Romanello is down to 11,900 chips already after losing back-to-back pots.

Firstly he saw a J♦6♥6♣. Romanello was sat in the small blind and was up against Alex Fitzgerald and Kimmo Kurko in late positions. Somehow 5,050 chips had already made it into the middle. Fitzgerald was the first player to take a stab at it with a 2,300 bet. It worked as both opponents folded.

The very next hand saw Romanello raise to 300 from the button when it was folded around to him. Aditya Agarwal called from the big blind to go to a J♣A♦T♥ flop. Romanello continued with a 500 bet before Agarwal check-raised to 1,700. Call. The turn came Q♥ and Agarwal led for 3,500. Call. When the river came 3♠ Agarwal checked face a relatively small 2,500 bet that he raised to 10,500. Romanello gave a rye smile and folded A♠A♣ face-up.

3pm: Small pots seen; big one missed
Here are some quick fire reports of a few hands where nothing much happened. It's early and that's the way these things go. But the last report is perhaps the most meaningful, even though it also has the most meagre details. Anyhow, here we go:

-On a flop and turn of 4♠Q♥K♣7♣, Vasileios Petratos bet 1,000 and ElkY "Bertrand" Grospellier raised to 2,625. Petratos called. The river was 5♣ and they both checked. Petratos had missed a trick: he showed 4♥4♣ for the flopped set, but ElkY wriggled off the hook.

-The flop was out: 2♥9♥3♥ and Martin Mortensen checked. Marc Naalden, on the button, rarely does similar and bet 525. Mortensen raised now, making it 1,525 and Naalden called. The turn was 8♣ and and Mortensen this time check-called Naalden's 2,100 bet.

On the river of Q♦, Mortensen downgraded one step further. Having check-raised, then check-called, he now check-folded to Naalden's 5,500 bet.

-Andrea Benelli made it 275 under-the-gun and Matthias Walker called on the button, as did Nicolas Faure in the big blind. The flop came 8♦9♦T♠ and after Faure checked, Benelli bet 525. Only Faure called. They both checked the 8♠ turn but when Faure bet 1,025 on the 9♠ turn, Benelli checked his cards and pinged them into the muck.

-Not sure how this happened, but the chair of Bruno Medina on table 17 is empty, behind a stack of only 400 chips. Philip Jacobsen has close to 60,000 - do the math - and seemingly Medina has decided to take a wander to figure out how he lost almost his entire stack inside the first 15 minutes. It's a long way back from here.

2.55pm: Video, video
Our video team have come up with their own take on the start of day 1b. And here it is...


Watch EPT Copenhagen 2010: Day 1B Introduction on PokerStars.tv

2.50pm: Ouch - good laydown
Henrik Eklund was crestfallen after the river on this hand, shaking his head and looking for the world like a man who had it all, and lost it. Here's the action, which will go a long way to explaining why.

On a 9♦7♥9♠ flop he bet 2,600 and got a call from Erik Tamm. There was no let up on the Q♦ turn, with Eklund making it 5,500 - again getting a call. But on the 9♣ river, Eklund slowed down and checked. Tamm, however, happily put out another 5,500, sending Eklund into the tank.

A look of horror came over him, he may even have gone a bit pale, and after three minutes he folded 7♦7♣ face up in disgust - a flopped boat that most likely got over run on the river.

"That's what I thought you had," said Freddy Deeb, nodding in seat four. A tough laydown for the Swede, who drops to around 20,000 in the early running.

2.45pm: Naalden aggression
Marc Naalden, the Dutchman who doesn't take things slowly, gets off to a traditional start. On a 2♦J♣T♦ flop, and facing a 525 bet from Jacob Irsberg, he bumped it up to 1,500 and took the pot.

2.40pm: Defending champ
Last year's winner Jens Kyllonen plays today, seated at a table with a few notable players and others who at least look like they could be notables. Former footballer Jan Sorensen is in seat one, Uffe Holm is in seat two, while the seat on the other side of the dealer is occupied by Andrea Benelli.

While Frederik Brink arrives late in seat four and begins filling out forms, and Kyllonen spends a few moments untangling headphones, the others play a hand together, or most of them.

On a flop of T♥T♠7♣ Holm checked in the small blind, as did Dan Larsen and Nicolas Faure. When the action reached Sorensen he started betting, 400 in total which forced out Holm and Faure, although Larsen called between them.

The turn came Q♣. Larsen checked to Sorensen who bet 600 this time which Larsen called. It was the same again on the 2♦ river. With the action checked to him Sorensen made it 800 before Larsen called. Sorensen showed A♦T♣. Larsen folded immediately.

2.35pm: New paint job, same car
Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano was always known as a solid player. Not one to make too many moves but rarely made too many mistakes either. This approach enabled him to rack up a record breaking number of cashes. Despite all this success and the adulation that came with it something still played on the Italian's mind. He stated in many an interview that he really wanted to win an EPT still.

This may be the reason why the Season 6 edition of Luca Pagano is a different beast. His attitude to the game seems to be far more aggressive and open and this isn't just when the blinds and antes get big, it's from the get-go.

We've already seem an example of this within the first ten minutes of play. He raised from the button and was called by both blinds to go to a Q♠4♠3♠ flop. Mikkel Mulvad Bennedsen led out for 650 from the small blind and was called by Christofer Williamssor
In the big blind. Pagano then raised to 1,700 and forced both blinds to fold. He had the aggression and didn't want to give up that initiative. He could've flopped a flush of course!

Either way this sort of attitude has seen him close two opening days as chip leader so far this season for the first time and he's also made two final table appearances as well this season. A maiden victory may not be far off at all for the talented, likable and now uber-aggressive Italian.


2.25pm: Welcome back assassinato
Alex Fitzgerald, one of the EPT's favourite American sons, has returned to the European felt here in Copenhagen after a couple of events away. He's not exactly chosen to ease himself back in, however, and today will be alongside Roberto Romanello, Anders Langset (last year's third-placed player), Aditya Agarwal, Kristoffer "sumpas" Thorsen and William "william" Thorson.

Neither Thorsen nor Thorson were at the table for the earliest stages today, but Fitzgerald still didn't have it his own way. On what can only have been the third or fourth hand of play, he raised to 250 from mid position and was called in two spots: Kimmo Kurko, to his immediate left, and Agarwal in the small blind.

The flop came A♠4♣J♦ and Agarwal checked. Fitzgerald bet 300 and both Kurko and Agarwal called. The turn was A♦ and Agarwal and Fitzgerald both showed little interest, checking to Kurko. He bet 650 and took it down.


2.13pm: "Dealerrrrrrs, shuffle up and deal."
So said Thomas Kremser to his staff here in Copenhagen. We've started - only 13 minutes behind schedule. That's pretty, pretty, pretty good.

2pm: Play due to begin
If you've spent any amount of time at international poker tournaments, you'll know that the difference between the time play is "due" to begin and "play beginning" can be anything between five minutes and an hour. So don't be hoping for any action just yet. I'd give it a good 20 minutes until the long line of registrants have taken their seats upstairs in the tournament room.

That affords you ample opportunity to read today's introduction, or yesterday's wrap up from day 1A, take a look at the full, official day 1A counts, and then check out what Johnny Lodden got up to at the end of play.

And then check back here for all the action from the day.

_MG_0326_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Outside. Wherever that is


PokerStars Blog reporting team:
Stephen Bartley, Marc Convey, Howard Swains and Simon Young.

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