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EPT San Remo: Day 1B, level 12, 13 & 14 updates (blinds 1,500-3,000, ante 300)

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7.40pm: Play ends, Manousos leads
Georgios Manousos of Greece (who would have thunk it) looks to be our overnight chip leader. Packing 573,900 he is ahead of a talented chasing pack containing a whole host of EPT winners and Team PokerStars Pros. Read the full wrap to find out how the action went down. Said wrap is on its way. -- RD

7.25pm: Monsters clash, incredi-fold from Ramdin
There aren't often those crowd-round-the-table moments before you reach the bubble, but this was one of them. I had to literally elbow my way past a selection of players, railers and general miscreants to see what was going. The answer was 'a lot.'

Andrea Benelli had opened the pot and had been three-bet by Victor Ramdin to 20,500 before Daniel Sjogren had cold four-bet to 47,500 from the blinds. Benelli moved over the top all-in for 330,000 and Ramdin was left with a decision for his remaining 240,000. There was less than half-a-minute left on his clock when he passed (I arrived after time had been called). Sjogren quickly called pushing the rest of his 170,000 stack across the line and tabled A♦A♥. Benelli, coolered, tabled pocket kings needing a miracle to suck out.


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Victor Ramdin (and Rick Dacey, left, blue shirt)


Ramdin stood up, just inches away from me and said quietly: "He's drawing dead." The American Team PokerStars Pro had passed pocket kings. "Sick hand," he added, feeling for Benelli who would have needed to hit an unlikely flush or straight to win the hand. He didn't. Sjogren up to 370,000. Benelli less than 100,000. -- RD

7.15pm: Closing time
Tournament Director Thomas Kremser has stopped the clock on the day, announcing there will be five more hands played today.

7.10pm: It's like 2007 all over again
As any fan of Barry Greenstein will know, when he gets eliminated from a tournament he signs a copy of his "Ace on the River," poker book and writes the two hands in question in the inside. Ludovic Lacay already has a copy of this book after he eliminated the Team PokerStars Pro from a tournament in 2007. He now has a second copy and in a freaky turn of events, the two hands in question were exactly the same.

Joe Cada raised before Greenstein moved all-in and Lacay followed him in from the small blind. Cada folded to leave it heads-up.

Greenstein: A♦Q♠
Lacay: A♥A♠

The board ran 6♦J♠3♣6♣3♥ to safely see the aces hold. -- MC

7pm: Cada culls Nanev
Team PokerStars Pro Joe Cada is up to around 400,000 after he eliminated his neighbour Rumen Nanev.

Cada opened the pot with a raise to 7,000 before Nanev three-bet to 15,000 out of an 85,000 stack. The action folded back around to Cada who set his opponent in for the 85,000. Call.

Cada: K♦K♣
Nanev: A♦Q♣

The board ran T♠7♠8♠Q♦4♥ to help Cada maintain the smile across his face. -- MC


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Joe Cada


6.54pm: Phillips wins 270,000 pot, escapes warning
Carter Phillips just made a big call against the active Victor Ramdin and got away with what could be considered an angle shoot. Ramdin had opened from the cut-off to 7,000 and called Phillips' 20,500 three-bet out of the small blind. Phillips c-bet 22,300 into the low 2♣6♣5♠ flop and Ramdin quickly raised to 55,000. Phillips wasted little time making the call.

The 2♠ was checked by both player before Phillips checked the 4♠ river to Ramdin. The American Team PokerStars Pro pushed out 60,000, leaving himself with 200,000. Phillips instantly shook his head. It wasn't the cheap showdown he was hoping for.

Against many players this would probably be an easy fold but Ramdin has proved to be a wild player on more than one occasion. Phillips, still deciding whether this was a value bet or a bluff, picked up the 60,000 to call and held them up at shoulder height in front of him. Staring intently at Ramdin he twirled his hand forward as if he was going to make the call.

"Is that a call?" asked Ramdin, looking first at Phillips then the dealer.

"No," replied Phillips, who swiftly made the call with 7♦7♥ just moments later to beat Ramdin's king-high. Phillips now up to 480,000.

On my way back to the press room I collared tournament director Thomas Kremser to find out more. He explained that because there wasn't a verbal declaration or downwards pressure it indeed would not be a call. Although, had he seen it, it would warrant a warning. Naughty Phillips. -- RD

6.40pm: Small one for Roy
Alain Roy was one on the top stacks earlier on but he has found life difficult since then as he battled with aggressive opponents, including Ruben Visser, to his left. A small pot won off those aggressive players will make him feel better though.

He raised to 6,400 from the hijack and was called by Visser on the button before Stefan Huber three-bet to 21,200 from the big blind. Roy called but Visser passed. The 7♣J♦Q♥T♦2♠ board was checked all the way down. Huber shrugged and tabled A♠2♦ which was no good against the Frenchman's 9♠9♣. He's back up to 120,000 chips. -- MC


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Ruben Vissen: the tough life of a sponsored pro


6.25pm: It's like Snowfest all over again
Kevin Vandersmissen stormed his way through the filed at EPT Snowfest last month, claiming the chip lead en route to a final table where he eventually finished second.

He's trailblazing in a similar way here today as he's up to a mammoth 595,000 from a 57,600 stack at the start of the day. The latest pot he won was when he called a button raise from the small blind along with the big blind. The flop came down and he check-called a c-bet. The big blind passed, so it was heads-up to the turn where both players checked.

The river fell a and Vandersmissen led for 22,400 with queen-jack and was called by hand that couldn't beat him. -- MC

6.15pm: GO! GO! GO!
The players are back into the action, all in one room for the first time today. We have 207 players left and should get pretty near the money bubble (144 places pay) before we call an end to play. -- RD

6pm: Break time for one last time
The players are on their last 15 minute break of this short day of play. -- MC

6pm: Visser didn't miss this flop
Team PokerStars Pro Ruben Visser is back on the up after flopping top set to eliminate Simone Ruggeri.

He raised to 5,100 preflop and was called by a player on the button and Ruggeri in the big blind. The flop came down 4♥5♦Q♣ and Visser's 6,000 c-bet was called before Ruggeri moved all-in for 71,000.

Visser was the only caller with pocket queens, ahead of Ruggeri's drawing six-three. The Dutchman faded all the straight outs and is up to 385,000 now. -- MC

5.55pm: Vandersmissen pushing on, Jelassi chasing
Kevin Vandersmissen is now up to 480,000 and pushing hard but it was Ramzi Jelassi, another major threat, who was in action when I was at their table. The Swede bet 10,000 into a 35,000 pot on a 3♦J♣9♣2♣K♣ board and his opponent, Roberto Spada, passed. -- RD

5.45pm: Cada climbing
Alexander Novitskiy limped in middle position. Joe Cada was next to him, raising to 6,800 from middle position forcing the blinds to fold. Novitskiy called and got a flop of 2♣7♠5♦. He looked at his cards a second time and then bet 11,000. Cada then went to his own stack, raising to 29,600 which Novitskiy called immediately.

The turn came T♠. Novitskiy quickly, and with purpose, bet another 30,000. Unseen by Novitskiy Cada was smiling slightly, knowing, perhaps already, that he had Novitskiy beaten. "All-in," said the former World Champion, pushing forward the 90,000 he had left.

Novitskiy now had a decision to make but wasn't going to be rushed. He assumed "The Thinker" position and waited. He had 150,000 behind so could cover the call, but defeat would leave him struggling.


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Joe Cada: can you believe he won the WOSP two years ago?


After several minutes he called. Cada turned over Q♣Q♥ while Novitskiy could only manage A♦5♣. The river came 8♥. Novitskiy was devastated. He closed his eyes, realising his mistake. Cada flashed a look of Stan Laurel, detached and bewildered amusement, as though all this had been the logical result all along.

But Novitskiy had just watched his tournament slip away, reduced to 65,000. Cada meanwhile is up to 310,000. - SB

5.40pm: Three-pair no good for Ruthenberg
Team PokerStars Pro Sebastian Ruthenberg is out after running into a set that turned into quads. There was a raise to 5,500 that Ruthenberg (button) and both blind players called. The flop came down and the big blind led out for 15,000 before the German pro moved all-in for 62,000. The two other players involved folded but the big blind made the call.

Ruthenberg tabled king-queen but was behind to his opponent's set with pocket twos. It got worse as well and the board ran out to make the big blind quads. -- MC

5.35pm: Chip counts
We're trying to keep on top of the big names and the big stacks here in San Remo. Make sure it's not an entirely thankless task by clicking on this link here to see who is packing what. -- RD

5.30pm: The 300,000 club
Carter Phillips was the first player over the 300,000 mark but it didn't take too long for a few others to join the club. The latest two players to catch up were Vanessa Selbst (312,000) and David Vamplew (300,000).

Selbst got there by forcing a player off a hand on the turn whereas Vamplew made quads with pocket queens, cracking and eliminating a player with pocket kings in the process. -- MC


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Carter Phillips pulling forlorn, perhaps whimsical


5.20pm: Premature celebration punished
The poker Gods do not look kindly upon players celebrating before a hand is settled. Someone should tell this to Stephan Fajg as the Gods came down heavily on him for doing just that.

He raised to 8,200 and called when Maurizio Agrello moved all-in for 42,500. The flop came down A♦J♦8♥ and Fajg started celebrating and carried on through the 5♣ turn card. His cheers soon turned to sounds of pain when the river fell 2♣ to make Agrello a set.

It was Agrello celebrating now and Fajg sarcastically said to him, "You, good player, you." The Frenchman has less than 10,000 chips left now and better start praying to those Gods for forgiveness and help. -- MC

5.05pm: Greenstein in trouble, shown eight high
Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein is down to 45,000 after being shown an eight-high bluff by Lari Sihvo. Towards the end of last level Greenstein had opened pre-flop from the hijack and had been called by Sihvo on the button.

Greenstein c-bet 7,000 into the 3♠4♦3♣ flop, which didn't deter Sihvo who made the call. Greenstein let fire a second volley, a large 17,000, into the 3♥ turn. Again Sihvo called before The Bear checked the 2♦ river. Sihvo bet 26,000 and Greenstein passed to leave himself with around 45,000. Sihvo showed 8♥6♥. -- RD

4.55pm: Big Bolzonis
Sebastian Ruthenberg opened for 5,200 which was called by Samer Abdul Rahman next to him. Diego Bolzoni was waiting and raised to 25,000 and the action was folded back to Ruthenberg, who had about 70,000 behind. He passed, leaving it to Rahman to contest matters.

"I'm 100 per cent sure you have aces," said Rahman, giving himself reason to fold. He did. - SB


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Sebastian Ruthenberg is not having the best time of it at the moment


4.50pm: More from Dario Minieri
Gloria Balding talks with Dario Minieri in the second part of her sport light interview with the Italian Team PokerStars Pro.


4.42pm: Play restarts
Cards go back in the air for level 13, with blinds at 1,200-2,400 with a 200 ante.

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 1,200-2,400, ANTE 200


4.26pm: Break
The players have gone a 15-minute break. -- RD

4.20pm: Vandersmissen chips up, Sointula falls
EPT Snowfest runner-up Kevin Vandersmissen had won a chunky pot since I last saw him and looked to be on around 280,000 - then this hand took place. Jani Sointula, a long haired Finn, opened from early position and Vandersmissen flatted the raise.

Sointula fired 7,000 at the 7♦9♦J♣ flop and moved all-in for around 60,000 when Vandersmissen raised to 19,000. Call. Sointula showed Q♦Q♥ but it couldn't catch up with Vandersmissen's trappy K♥K♣. -- RD

4.08pm: Little loss for Liu
Xuan Liu just posted a small loss to take her back down towards 200,000. Liu opened for 4,200 and then called a 11,200 three-bet from Ciprian Hrisca. Liu quickly check-folded to a 8,000 bet from a strangely simpering Hrisca on an all diamond 6♦3♦8♦ flop. -- RD

4.04pm: Forrest growth report
We don't see Ted Forrest round these parts very often. The "old school" pro normally plays his poker over the pond so it's nice to see him showcase his skills on the EPT. I say that but we haven't seen him play a hand yet today. He started the day with 90,100 and he told me that he dropped to 55,000 before a recent recovery has helped him up to 119,000. -- MC

4pm: Khosa Nostra
Jean-Philippe Rohr opened in early position for 4,700 before Sandiep Ajab Sing Khosa moved all-in for 32,600. Then he sat back and waited. Nicolas Yunis, wearing a black flat cap, a bit like Brian Johnson's of ACDC, was deciding whether to call. After a long period of reflection, he did so, freeing up other players to fold.

The action was back on Rohr who pointed over at Yunis for a count, but Yunis ignored him. The dealer obliged, revealing Yunis to have about 80,000 behind.

"I want a call," chipped in Khosa, still waiting. Eventaully Rohr passed.

A♠A♥ for Yunis, A♣Q♦ for Khosa.

The board came J♦A♦5♠K♠J♠. After the waiting the departure. Khosa out. - SB

3.56pm: Pro on Pro action
Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki has been nursing a short stack all day but now he has no stack. Vanessa Selbst took the lot.

The action folded around to the Pole in the cut-off and he moved all-in for his last 14,300. Selbst was in the big blind and, after doing some calculations in her head, made the call.

Horecki: 6♦6♣
Selbst: Q♣8♠

The board ran J♠5♥T♥9♥K♣ to see Selbst make a straight on the turn. -- MC


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'Marcin, you have no chips, you must leave your seat'


3.53pm: Selbst scales Kastle
Vanessa Selbst couldn't extract any value out of Casey Kastle on a K♣K♦T♣2♠7♣ board. Selbst opened the pot for 4,600 from early position and was called by Kastle in the big blind. The action was checked down to the river at which point Selbst made a small stab at the pot. Kastle, who has chipped up over average, passed.

Morten Mortensen, my unknown player pick, is now up to 180,000. -- RD


Morten Mortensen


3.40pm: Big splash for Falaschi
Luca Falaschi, just pulled off the back two and a half somersault two and a half twist in pike, perhaps the hardest dive ever attempted. Or at least I assume that's what he just did judging from the celebration he just performed with a colleague on the rail.

In fact the whoops of joy were for his double up, his 9♥5♥ proving successful on a board of J♦4♥5♠9♦5♣. The money had gone in on the flop, with his opponent Tamas Lendvai showing 4♦4♣. So long Lendvai, and IPT award winner earlier this week, so loud, Luca Falaschi, up to 135,000. - SB

3.32pm: Hall trips over Vamplew
PCA champion Galen Hall just hit trips against EPT London champion David Vamplew to double-up.

He moved all-in for 23,200 from the hijack and Vamplew snap called with 9♠9♣ from the big blind. Hall tabled A♠ and delayed before showing his other card, the 3♣.

"Slow roll", joked Vamplew.

"She's going to slow roll you", responded Hall refereeing to the dealer.

The board ran 3♠2♣J♥3♥5♠ and Hall added, "To be fair, I did warn you." -- MC


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PCA winner Galen Hall


3.20pm: Ramdin raids Finnish bank for pennies
Team PokerStars Pro Victor Ramdin is up to 185,000 after winning a small pot off Kimmo Kurko. He raised from under-the-gun and was only called by the Finn in the big blind.

The flop came Q♣3♣Q♦ and Ramdin's 7,000 c-bet was check-called. No more chips made it into the pot as the two players checked through the 2♦K♠ turn and river. Ramdin tabled A♣7♠ and Kurko folded. -- MC

3.15pm: The half way stage-ish
Gloria Balding has the midday update, with some help from Ruben Visser...


3.10pm: Break over, battle recommences
The players have returned to their seats and cards are back in the air. Including this one, we have three more 75-minute levels to play today. There are 144 paying spots to play for and we have 324 players left. Just under half the remaining field will get paid. -- RD

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Barry Greenstein is one of the players making a deep run into Day 2


PokerStars Blog reporting team at EPT San Remo (in order of royal wedding paraphernalia): Stephen Bartley (Union Jack pocket square and flag on laptop), Rick Dacey (sat under some Union Jack bunting) and Marc Convey (sat opposite a German). Photos by Neil Stoddart.

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