Players have gone on a much needed break after six levels of play. Join us in a new post here. — RD
10.25pm: There were warning signs
Sigurd Eskeland is looking elimination in the face after he took on Raul Mestre, with predictable results.
Eskelund opened from under the gun for 27,000 which Mestre raised three seats along to 68,000. Eskelund called for a flop of A♣J♦6♥. Eskelund check called Mestre’s bet of 55,000 for a K♣ turn card which both players checked. Then the 7♠ river card.
Eskelund bet 120,000 which Mestre called immediately, allowing Eskelund to turn over his 10♣J♠ before elaborately displaying his own A♦Q♥.
Something in the manner in which he turned his cards over hinted at what Mestre must think is his invinsibility right now. Judging by results he might be right. Once again Mestre looked up to the ceiling after winning, thanking someone for taking a special interest in smiting Eskelund.
Eskelund down to 260,000 while Mestre has more like 1,700,000. – SB
10.20pm: Kravchenko KO’d
Alex Kravchenko, the Team PokerStars Pro from Russia, has been eliminated by his team mate, Eugene Katchalov from Ukraine. Kravchenko had open-raised to 28,000, getting two callers, including Katchalov. On the 3♦2♠K♦ flop, Kravchenko made a continuation bet of 42,000, which Katchalov check-raised to 155,000, enough to put Kravchenko all-in.
He thought about it for a moment before making the call, something Katchalov did not look too happy about. The other caller had by now folded.
The Russian had to dodge a lot of bullets–a diamond, queen or another two–and if he did, Katchalov would be left perilously short. But the bullet came straight away on the turn, 7♦. The river was 2♥.
Kravchenko stood up and shook Katchalov by the hand. Katchalov is now up to around 450,000.– SY
10.15pm: Not Bevand’s day
“I’ve done this before, no problem,” said Manuel Bevand.
His tournament life was hanging by a three out thread having called all-in for around 250,000 with A♦4♠ in the big blind to a pre-flop shove from chip leader Raul Mestre. The Spainiard had paired his king on the K♣8♥7♥ flop but Bevand was trying to remain upbeat. The turn and river didn’t reward his positive mental attitude and sent the Frenchman to the rail with J♣K♥. Bevand out and Mestre up to 2,160,000. — RD
10pm: Aniello in a Mestre
Michele Aniello just added his name to the list of players sent to the rail by Raul Mestre’s Day 3 surge. On a flop of 8♣9♠Q♥ Aniello announced he was all in for 220,000 and Mestre called, flipping over A♣A♥ to Aniello’s K♣Q♣.
The turn came 10♠ and river 9♦, neither of which changed things for Aniello who stood. Mestre said “nice hand,” and bade farewell to Aniello. Mestre, who seems unstoppable today, is now up to 1,400,000. – SB
9.55pm: Firestone puncture
Robert Firestone, who ran a super bluff against Victor Ramdin much earlier, is now out. He moved all-in with A♠7♥ for his last 250,000, but Martin Czuczor woke up with A♦Q♦. That rarely ends well, and the 3♠5♥Q♥7♦4♥ board was no help. — SY
9.38pm: Darcourts day is over
Guillaume Darcourt’s deep run in the EPT Barcelona main event has come to an end. The Frenchman, visibly devastated after Dmitrij Fadeev sent him out, had led overall on Day 1 and looked good coming into today. Now he’s on the rail with his top 50 finish little consolation.
The pink-haired Darcourt opened for 29,000 in middle position for 29,000 which Fadeev in the big blind took as his sign to shove. He had Darcourt covered, who had called for his last 170,000 turning over 4♦4♥. Fadeev showed A♣K♦.
Darcourt was safe on the 6♥8♥J♥ flop but the 8♦ on the turn gave 2205 outs. The J♦ crushed Darcourt and delighted Fadeev, whose ace now came into play, Darcourt’s pocket fours counterfeited and useless.
Darcourt trudged off beaten. Fadeev showed little sign of remorse, up to 700,000. – SB
9.32pm: In trouble
There are a lot of players looking in trouble including Guilluame Darcourt (200,000), Stephane Albertini (140,000) and Craig Hopkins (errmm, zero actually, he’s out). The changes to the structure this season seem to have given the tournament a constant shifting momentum. Well done to all involved. — RD
9.25pm: Two more hit the rail
Ivan Starostin is out in unlucky fashion. He had around 300,000 left and got it in with A♦Q♣, nicely out-pipping Mikel Diaz’ A♠J♣. But the end was swift, like an execution by sword rather than axe, with the flop coming 9♥J♠8♣, followed by a 5♦ turn and 3♦ river.
Then Juan Azon got his marching orders. He was in for his last 59,000 with A♠9♠, but in poor shape against Bartolome Gomila Romero’s pocket jacks. The 2♦8♣K♦7♠6♠ gave not event a glimmer of hope. — SY
9.13pm: Off we go again
Cards are back in air. Blinds are now 6,000-12,000 with a 1,000 ante. — SY
That’s it for level 20. Players are on a quick ten-minute break. By our reckoning, 51 remain. — SY
9pm: Bitter pill to swallow
Manuel Sadornil, who has a surname that sounds a little like it should be a headache tablet, is out. In a battle of the blinds, when he had 280,000 left, he shoved with Q♥5♥ but found himself up against pocket jacks. That was a pickle he was not able to get out of as the board ran 3♦3♣8♥K♣4♣. — SY
8.52pm: Double up
Ivan Starostin just doubled up, getting his A♦K♥ passed the J♦J♠ of Florin Pandilica. Starostin was in for 125,000 and looked to be heading for the door until the river card, with the board coming 8♥6♣7♦2♣K♠. A vital double up for him. Pandilica down to 150,000. – SB
8.44pm: Bevand looks to the heavens
Manuel Bevand has scored seven cashes before today, he can now chalk that record up to eight. The key stat to be revealed is that he’s made just one final table on the tour – EPT Prague, Season 7 – and this tournament looked like a great place to increase that ratio.
He was set to move up to 400,000, just a little below average, calling Roger Tondeur’s three-bet shove for 78,000.
The flop brought a jack and Bevand looked to the heavens with a it-must-be-one-of-those-days looks. He’s still got 220,000 but that’s very much three-bet shoving territory right now. — RD
8.35pm: Albertini takes a bad trip to Eskeland
Sigurd Eskeland’s stack just took a giant leap forward, sponsored by a donation from Stephane Albertini.
Eskeland opened for 23,000 in late position which Albertini raised to 56,000 from the small blind. Raul Mestre was in the big blind ready to cause trouble; he didn’t fold immediately but did eventually, sending the action back to Eskeland, who called.
The flop came A♥8♣3♣ and Albertini led the betting, making it 63,000 to play. Eskeland looked at the bet, then at Albertini, looking for something in the Frenchman’s face. Whether he found it or not he called for a 10♣ turn card.
Albertini quickly picked up a stack of his yellow chips and counted some out, adding a few reds for a total bet of 87,000. Eskeland put his face at table level to check his cards once more, then he moved all-in, the dealer counting it out for Albertini – 160,000 more.
Albertini looked at his cards again but the situation had got worse. Choosing to keep the 300,000 or so he has left, he folded. Eskeland up to more than 420,000. – SB
8.27pm: Zaytsev up, Gulyy out, Gonzalez in
Evgeny Zaytsev has just knocked out Andrey Gulyy to chip up to 1,000,000. A short stacked Gulyy got it in with 5♥5♠ against Zaytsev’s J♦10♦ and was outflopped.
At the next table along Carlos Yerbes Gonzalez was left apologising after slamming the table with joy at rivering his tournament life. Gonzalez had got in 200,000 with 7♦6♦ against the A♠K♥ of Samuel Lindberg and had caught a river on the 6♣A♥9♣5♦8♦ board. — RD
8.20pm: And another heads for the cash desk
With the blinds now a punishing 5,000-10,000 (with 1,000 ante), Gheorghe Sandulescu got his last 56,000 in the middle with 10♦10♠. It was folded all the way around to pink-topped Guillaume Darcourt in the small blind, who tossed out the call. Alex Kravchenko folded from the big.
Darcourt showed A♥9♣, leaving Sandelescu in good shape. Or so you would have thought. The flop was 5♣8♠5♠, but the A♠ on the turn sent the Frenchman into the lead. That did give Sandelescu, from Romania, the chance of a flush redraw, but the 6♣ river didn’t bring it. — SY
8.15pm: So long, Sonelin
David Sonelin probably wishes he was still at dinner. Within moments of the restart, he was all-in with K♥Q♥ but found himself in bad shape against Mikel Diaz’ A-K. The board was pretty heartless, in the suit and real sense, and also bought no magical queen. For the record, and just to prove I am working hard, the board read 8♦2♥J♣3♦6♣. — SY
8.10pm: And we’re off…
Play has started. Let the
post-dinner lethargy top notch poker begin!
8.03pm: Dinner break coming to an end, chips ready
Here are the chip counts as they were going into the dinner break (which is almost at an end). We’re playing on until there are 24 left – hopeful rumours of stopping at 32 instead are just that at the moment, rumours.
The top five coming out of dinner.
Marcos Fernandez, PokerStars qualifier, 1,280,000
Raul Mestre, 1,192,000
Javier Contreras, 1,050,000
Evgeny Zaytsev, 980,000
Matthias De Meulder, Team PokerStars Pro, 965,000
We’ll keep you updated as we go. — RD
7.15pm: Dinner time reading
Players are forming an orderly queue at the buffet before play restarts at 8pm. In the meantime read the thoughts of Team PokerStars Pro Victor Ramdin Who busted from the main event earlier this afternoon after enjoying a rush that made it easy to believe he’d be here for the duration. Shortly after his departure I asked him where it had all gone wrong…
“Nothing went wrong,” said Ramdin, reflecting on the day. “This is what happens in poker. I had a beautiful rush of cards and sometimes we underestimate flipping for like 20 per cent of your chips.
During the course of the day, which Ramdin started on 252,000, the Bronx man reached as high as 375,000 chips before two flips cost him. It would get worse.
“Then I made a mistake,” said Ramdin. “I played a hand that was not called for. I made a move because of what was happening on the bubble – where I was playing every single hand. It worked well then. Players would not give me the respect when I actually had it.”
But suddenly the wheels fell off Ramdin’s Barcelona adventure, ultimately leading him to the rail.
“I got bluffed off a very big pot. I don’t’ know what I was thinking about – why I didn’t’ make that call,” said Ramdin, before adding: ” I had to make that call.”
Ramdin folded a full house on the river to an opponent whose demeanour and table manner from earlier suggested it was the right play to make.
“To make it short he out played me,” said Ramdin. “He outplayed me and that was the hand that really did me in. “
Ramdin’s last hand was in his words “standard stuff”, with no complementary bad beat, or none that Ramdin was prepared to accept.
“Am I pissed about it? As poker players should be pissed when we lose. But if I take that into the next tournament I’ll have myself a serious problem. So my ‘pissedness’ is only for a moment. This will probably take me 15 or 20 minutes and I’m good to go again.” — SB
6.50pm: Dinner break
Players are now taking a 75 minute dinner break (slightly ahead of schedule). Play resumes at about 8pm. — SB
6.48pm: Online vs. live
Jose Angel Latorre may not be a familiar face on the live tournament circuit, but those who have played him online recently will know something about him.
It’s been a breakthrough year forthe Spaniard who has finished fourth in a Sunday Million, bubbled another one last week, won two Sunday re-buys and is the Spanish leader on the High Stakes sit and go leader board. Now he’s mixing it up with one of the best players in the live game right now – Eugene Katchalov.
Katchalov’s resume is a little more obvious. In the same time that Latorre has been crashing the online party Katchalov has done the same thing in front of the TV cameras, winning the Super High Roller at the PCA in January, and coming second in the “regular” high roller.
Now the pair were contesting a pot from the blinds.
The flop was A♦10♠9♥ with Latorre in the small blind and Katchalov in the big. Latorre bet 25,000 which Katchalov called without fuss for a 8♦ turn card. Again Latorre bet, making it 58,000. Katchalov, playing with his chin resting on his hand, called again for a river card Q♣.
Latorre now bet another 100,000, prompting Katchalov to look again. He spent a minute thinking about it then passed. Latorre got the upper hand this time. Katchalov didn’t move his chin from his hand. – SB
6.45pm: News from the feature table: De Meulder busts Akkari
Our eye in the sky, EPT commentator James Hartigan has told us that Matthias de Meulder has just knocked out Andre Akkari in a million chip pot after cracking the Brazilian’s pocket tens with pocket nines. That puts the Belgium pro near the chip lead. Dinner breaking coming soon. — RD
6.35pm: Katchalov knocks out Bou-Habib
Eugene Katchalov is up to 660,000, somewhat above the 390,000 average, after knocking out Walid Bou-Habib in dramatic circumstances at the very end of the last level.
Bou-Habib opened under-the-gun for 17,000 and was called by Katchalov in the small blind and Craig Hopkins in the big. Both of those players checked the Q♠10♠A♠ flop to Bou-Habib who bet 21,000. Katchalov check-raised to 70,000 and Hopkins passed. Bou Habib made the call.
The 2♦ hit the turn and Katchalov checked his cards before sliding out 150,000 of his 245,000 stack. Bou-Habib announced that he was all-in for his remaining 220,000 and Katchalov, looking slightly pained it has to be said, made the call.
Bou-Habib: J♥K♣ for flopped Broadway
Katchalov: Q♣K♠ for a pair and royal flush gutshot
Katchalov was in bad shape, but not without some outs; nine spade cards for the win and the two remaining jacks to chop it. The 5♠ hit the river.
“Noooo,” cried Bou-Habib twisting away from the table in anguish.
Katchalov calmly pushed out his chips to be counted by the dealer. Bou-Habib waited for the count. He needn’t have bothered, he was covered. Katchalov up to 660,000. — RD
6.25pm: End of the level
The blinds have gone up as we move into level 20 with blinds at 5,000-10,000 with a 1,000 ante. We play on until 7pm when players will take a 75 minute dinner break. — SB
6.20pm: “Whatever Leo wants, Margets”*
Leo Margets just doubled up, much to the delight of the Spanish in town. Norberto Rodriguez opened and Xavier Carruggi called. Michael Schleich also called in the small blind before Margets moved all-in for 129,500. Schleich called showing 4♦4♥ to Marget’s 8♠6s].
The crowds gathered and Margets removed her sunglasses and hood for what seems like the first time today. With cameras ready the board was dealt 10♠2♦9♥K♦8♣.
Margets up to more than 270,000. – SB
* Used many times before.
6.10pm: Fernandez feeling feliz*
Marcos Fernandez is back into the lead here in Barcelona. The online qualifier now has 1,200,000, which is way above the chip average (consider that the average stack at the eight-handed final table will be around 3,000,000). The Spaniard has so many chips he’s having trouble counting them and is enlisting the help of a Spanish blogger to confirm his exact count. I’ll go with 1,200,000 – my counting in the ol’ Espanol gets a bit patchy after twenty. — RD
*Feliz is Spanish for happy, in case you didn’t know.
6.05pm: Less is more for Kravchenko
On a board showing 6♠9♥9♠4♥ Guillaume Darcourt and Alex Kravchenko were playing a tense hand together. Darcourt, in the big blind, bet 28,500 which Kravchenko – next to him under the gun and having never had more than average all week – called.
The both shared a look that asked “what the hell do you have?” and smiled. The river came 5♣. Both checked. Kravchenko showed 8♠8♣ to win the hand and move up to around 300,000. (The current average is 363,000). – SB
5.55pm: More changing
Eugene Katchalov has changed tables again. The unassuming Team PokerStars Pro has gently upped his stack from 154,000 at the start of the day to 440,000. – SB
5.44pm: Katchalov continues to chip up
Eugene Katchalov had been complaining* that he has been unable to sleep and therefore had risen early to work out ahead of the day’s play. So far it seems that healthy policy is paying dividends. He’s up to 370,000. — RD
*Okay, perhaps complaining may be too strong a word to use as I merely saw an early morning tweet that he hadn’t been able to sleep.
5.30pm: Hopkins enjoys his gift and a sandwich
Craig Hopkins is up to 450,000 after receiving what he rightfully called a gift.
“This guy limped, the first I’ve seen all day, and another guy called so I called with J♣Q♣. There was six of us to the flop,” said Hopkins, politely trying not to spray his wrap out of his mouth.
So far this doesn’t exactly sound like play from the latter stages of an EPT. Limps? Six to the flop?
“The flop was 10♣7♣ and there’s a bet and a call, I call as well and hit the 2♣ and one of the guys shoves with seven-eight for one pair. It was a gift,” said Hopkins, still happily surprised that he was the recipient of such generosity and above the 329,000 average. — RD
5.20pm: Ramdin out
Eugene Katchalov has been moved to the seat next to Victor Ramdin, although the two Team PokerStars Pros were not together for long. Ramdin is now out of the main event.
Robert Firestone opened from under the gun for 18,000 which Dragan Kostic called in the cut off and Katchalov called from the button. Ramdin also called from the small blind for a flop of Q♣2♦5♣. Ramdin took his chance and moved all-in for 83,000. Firestone passed, as did Katchalov, but between them Kostic called, turning over A♣J♣. Ramdin showed K♦Q♠.
The turn came 6♣, at which point Ramdin shook his opponent’s hand. The river 9♠. – SB
5.10pm: Pushing into the big bucks
Play has started again and as we enter the fourth level of the day 79 players sit down from the 141 that started the day. We’re playing through to 24, the last three tables. — RD
PokerStars Blog reporting team in Barcelona (in order of their hotel’s proximity to the Gran Casino Barcelona): Simon Young (a hop, skip and jump away to the swanky Hotel Arts) and Stephen Bartley and Rick Dacey (a five-minute cab ride to the peculiar Me by Melia hotel which has devised a futuristic control panel that makes it impossible to turn your lights on or change your air conditioning from the insta-freeze setting). Photos by Neil Stoddart.