EPT Berlin: Day 4, levels 23, 24 and 25 live updates (20,000-40,000, ante 4,000)

March 06, 2010


8.10pm: Break
This is the dinner break. We’re taking an hour.

Full counts will be with us in a moment, but I can tell you that no one is anywhere near Kevin MacPhee and his 6.5 million stack. — HS

8.05pm: Stefan Huber busts
He’s been a force for most of the tournament, but Stefan Huber’s journey has come to an end, busted in 15th place by Kevin MacPhee.

The hand started with Ilari Tahkokallio raising to 90,000, Huber re-raised to more than 500,000, moving in a tower of orange 25,000 chips. But then MacPhee moved in three towers of orange chips – 1.5 million! Tahkokallio quickly got out of the way, but Huber called. He was all in for around 1.5million total.

Huber: Q♣Q♥
MacPhee: A♦K♦

The flop could not be better for MacPhee, coming A♣5♦6♦, matching his ace and giving him the flush draw. The turn was 10♠ and the river 10♦, completing the flush.

Huber collects €25,000, MacPhee now approaching six million chips. — SY


Stefan Huber


Kevin MacPhee: runaway chip leader

8pm: Nice bluff, sir
Marcel Koller opened from the cut off for 285,000. Nico Behling called for a flop of J♥4♦8♦. Koller checked and Behling made it 310,000. Koller then pushed forcing Behling to fold. To make Behling feel a little worse, Koller showed king-ten. He’s up to around 2,000,000 while Behling slips down to 1,450,000. — SB.

7.55pm: What a call
Paul Thomas Otto just made a fantastic call all in on the river and was right. He raised from the button pre-flop and was called by Nico Behling in the big blind. Both checked the flop before Otto called a bet on the turn. Behling then over-bet the pot to the tune of a million and was called quickly. The final board read 6♦4♠K♥3♥6♠ and Otto’s A♥9♦ bettered Behling’s Q♥7♦. –MC

7.50pm:Over for Ilya
Ilya Gorodetskiy is our 16th place finisher after being eliminated in unfortunate circumstances. He was all in pre-flop for 750,000 with A♣K♣ and was called by Marc Inizan with A♥J♠. The board ran A♦J♦Q♣4♣2♠ and our Russian commentator friend leaves with €25,000. –MC(Source: SB)

7.40pm: Oh no…. oh yes!
Alfonso Amendola doubles up, although he thought he was out. Nico Behling raised pre-flop to 85,000 and Evgeniy Zaytsev called. When it was folded around to Amendola, the table short stack, he took one look at his cards, and moved all in for 340,000. Behling folded, but Zaytsev called in a flash.

Amendola: 10♦10♣
Zaytsev: K♣Q♣

The dealer went to deal the flop and Italian Amendola shouted: “Shut up!”, which was actually meant to be something like don’t deal a king or a queen rather than actually shut up. The flop came 5♦6♦3♣. Again Amendola begged: “Shut up!”, and again the 9♦ was no problem. One more “shut up” and the river came Q♦.

“Nooooo,” cried Amendola, seeing the queen and thinking he had been rivered and busted. But hang on, that fourth diamond on the river had made his flush. He was alive, causing some typical Italian celebration. He’s now up to more than 700,000. — SY


Alfonso Amendola

7.30pm: Put the Ketul on
Ketul Nathwani is back in the game after doubling up through Alfonso Amendola. The Italian had opened for 110,000 before Nathwani announced all-in. Amendola asked how much – between 700 and 800k – and called.

Nathwani showed 6♠6♦ to Amendola’s A♦Q♣.

Amendola clapped his hand and called on the poker gods. The board ran 2♣4♦10♥3♦2♥. The gods weren’t listening. Nathwani doubles up to 1,500,000 while Amendola joins the short, down to 340,000. — SB.

7.20pm: Four-betting
Ever aggressive Kevin MacPhee opened the pot with a raise to 88,000 from under-the-gun which was three-bet to 206,000 by Stefan Huber in the cut-off. Marko Neumann was at in the small blind and after some thought moved all-in. Big hand or good timing? Either way his raise did the trick as both opponents folded quickly. –MC

7.10pm: Down to two
There are few enough players now to sit around two tables. The line-ups are below, and the chip-count page is the best place to find their stacks.

Table 2:
1 – Iikka Tahkokallio, Finland
2 – Stefan Huber, Germany
3 – Norman Kastner, Germany
4 – Marko Neumann, Germany
5 – Marc Inizan, France
6 – Kevin MacPhee, USA
7 – Luca Cainelli, Italy
8 – Ilya Gorodetskiy, Russia

Table 3:
1 – Alfonso Amendola, Italy
2 – Ketul Nathwani, UK
3 – Paul Otto, Germany
4 – Marcel Koller, Switzerland
5 – Nico Behling, Germany
6 – Evgeniy Zaytsev, Russia
7 – Artur Wasek, Poland
8 – Carsten Joh, Germany

(The television table (number one) is no longer in use.)

7pm: Tahkokallio put holt to Holz
Lennart Holz is out. After Iikka Tahkokallio raised pre-flop to 100,000 Holz re-raised to 200,000. Tahkokallio announced all-in and was called.A♠J♠ for Holz, 8♣9♣ for Tahkokallio. The board ran 2♣4♣5♠9♦Q♣. A handshake from Tahkokallio and Holz was off to the rail. — SB.

LEVEL UP. BLINDS 20,000-40,000 (4,000 ANTE)

The latest knock-on effect of the earlier kerfuffle is that the scheduled break at the end of level 24 didn’t happen, and we’ve pressed on directly into level 25.

6.50pm: Swip-swap
Nico Behling and Ketul Nathwani have pretty much swapped places on the leaderboard after the Brit bluffed off a chunk of chips to the German. Behling raised to 72,000 from first position and only picked up Nathwani on the button to go to a 5♦10♥7♥ flop. Behling check-called 120,000 here, a 305,000 bet on the K♥ turn and a 725,000 bet on the 4♣ river. Nathwani tapped the table and revealed A♦J♣ but Behling took the lot with K♠10♦ for two-pair. Behling up to 2.7 million, Nathwani down to 1.3 million. –MC

6.45pm: Gorodetskiy all in
Ilya Gorodetskiy just moved all in for around 850,000. Artur Wasek had the option of calling, and pulled a few faces thinking about it, but passed.

6.40pm: Let it snowfest
Despite the peculiar circumstances of the day there’s still a freeroll to think about online. It starts at 7.15pm CET and is cleverly called the “PokerStars.tv Freeroll” and has a $2,000 prize pool. You can find it under events/ept and that all important password is “snowfest”.

6.35pm: Behling not bailing
On a flop of 8♥J♥6♠ Ketul Nathwani made it 105,000 to play before Nico Behling raised to 280,000 and Nathwani called for a 3♥ turn. Nathwani then checked the river before Behling bet 475,000. Nathwani thought for a while but let this one go.

6.20pm: Kuerschner toast
Mathias Kuerschner has followed Ainsworth out the door, despatched by Norman Kastner. Kuerschner raised to 80,000 from early position and Kastner, to his left, made it 220,000. Kuerschner shoved – his total was about 500,000 – and Kastner called.

Kastner: J♣J♥
Kuerschner: A♦Q♦

The flop brought some possibilities: 8♥9♦10♠, but the K♥ turn and 7♣ river were blanks. Kuerschner is a goner and we’re down to 18. — HS

6.20pm: Four-bet gone wrong
Kevin MacPhee has extended his chip lead by knocking out Team PokerStars Pro Jude Ainsworth. The Irishman raised and then four-bet shoved when re-raised by MacPhee. MacPhee called for a showdown:

Ainsworth: 5♠6♠
MacPhee: 9♣9♦

The board ran 7♣Q♦J♠6♥2♥ to send MacPhee up to around 4 million in chips. Ainsworth gets €23,500 for his efforts –MC

6.10pm: Jorgensen out
Two hands after the restart and Theo Jorgensen is out. Sitting on the big blind with less than 500,000 he was looking for something good after steaming a bit earlier.

“Now this is where I need to wake up with aces,” said Jorgensen, as the action as folded to Evgeniy Zaytsev in the small blind. Zaytsev lumped in a tower of orange chips worth 500,000 and left it up to Jorgensen. “Okay, I call.”

A♦2♠ for Jorgensen, 5♣4♥ for Zaytsev.

The board ran with Jorgensen asking for an ace: 7♠7♦3♥K♥5♠. Jorgensen wished the others good luck and left for the rail. — SB.


Theo Jorgensen

6.05pm: Play resumes
After the unfortunate incident much earlier this afternoon, play in the main event is about to resume. The main television table was unaffected, but the two remaining outer tables were disturbed when players evacuated the tournament area. It was down to the players and the cool head of tournament boss Thomas Kremser to ensure the chips were returned to their rightful owners.

One table had a disputed amount of chips, with both Alfonso Amendola and Ketul Nathwani, who were sitting next to each other, saying they were short by half a million. There were more 700,000 “stray chips” in the middle of their table, but no accounting for the missing 200-300,000. Kremser counted all chips left in play, and indeed 200-300,000 were missing. In this case, he ruled that he would introduce the difference in chips back in to play. All other players were briefed on this and gave the collective agreement.

It has just been announced that there will be no more live webcast for the rest of the day. But as far as everything else goes, it’s business as normal. We have 20 players left, and at 6.05pm local time we now carry on and play on tonight until we reach a final table of eight. — SY


One of the main event tables after the rush from the tournament room

5.40pm: Take a bow, Ilari Tahkokallio
Whatever happens in this tournament from now on, we’ve just seen one of the classiest moments of all time around the poker tables. The man who deserves all the credit is Ilari Tahkokallio, from Finland. Here’s why.

When the tournament was interrupted earlier, Tahkokallio and Luca Cainelli were involved in a huge pot – and it was Cainelli’s tournament life on the line. Cainelli was all in and Tahkokallio had called. The board had been dealt to the turn.

Cainelli had A♠Q♦ and Tahkokallio had A♦10♥. The four community cards were: 3♣K♣8♠4♣ and so Cainelli, with about 400,000 at stake, was looking good for a double up. Tahkokallio had a stack of more than two million.

This was the precise moment that the tournament was interrupted and all eight players, plus the dealer, left the table in some haste. All their chips ended up scattered across the table with no real way of knowing who had what.

When players returned to the table, with the intention of resuming the tournament, the director Thomas Kremser spoke to the players and admitted that there was no way they could confirm 100% everyone’s stacks. However, he hoped that the players would agree to some kind of honour system whereby they claimed the number of chips they thought they were playing. The players agreed to this.

Then, however, they returned to the matter of the hand between Tahkokallio and Cainelli. Kremser said that there was no way they could guarantee that the deck had not been interfered with during the period the tournament room was evacuated. He said that his ruling had to be that the hand was dead and the players took their chips back. They could not deal the river.

Cainelli, and some of the Italian supporters, were not especially happy about the decision and Kremser suggested that he could reshuffle the deck and deal the river card, but only if both players agreed to that. Cainelli was happy but Tahkokallio didn’t say anything.

Kremser told Tahkokallio that he did not even have to make a decision, adding that Tahkokallio could simply say: “I don’t want to make a decision,” and Kremser would then make an official ruling.

After a few minutes, however, Tahkokallio said that the river should be dealt – meaning if it wasn’t a ten, he would pay Cainelli the value of his all in. This decision was greeted by a round of applause from the assembled media, players and staff. He essentially had a way of saving himself 500,000 chips, but allowed the poker gods to do their bidding.

The river was 5♥ and so Cainelli doubled up, as Tahkokallio made a lot of friends.


Ilari Tahkokallio

They are now still sorting out the counts of the remaining players, and then play will resume soon after. — HS

4.35pm: Another quick word
The EPT spokesperson, Kirsty Thompson, and the tournament director, Thomas Kremser, recently made an announcement to the players in the tournament room. They apologised for the inconvenience of today’s incident and advised players in the €1,000 side event and the ladies event that a refund was available if they preferred not to continue in the tournaments.

Thompson and Kremser then directed the players to the official statement (see below) and advised that police are in the building to discuss any other matters.

Until we hear any further official word, please consider that to be the end of the incident. We now have a poker tournament to cover, which is scheduled to resume at 5pm local time.

Update: The €1,000 side event has now been cancelled, with full refunds for all players.

— HS

3.50pm: Latest: Scheduled resumption
Side events will restart at 4pm and the main event will resume at 5pm local time.

3.25pm: EPT statement
Following an incident a short while ago, please see this statement…

“An armed robbery by six men took place today at EPT Berlin. Nobody was seriously injured. We hope to re-start all events at 4pm local time. A police investigation is under way. If you have video footage or photographs that could help the police, please contact the EPT organizers as soon as possible.”
Kirsty Thompson (kirstyt@ept.com)

In German…
“Es hat heute ein bewaffneter Raubüberfall bei der EPT Berlin stattgefunden. Niemand hat sich ernsthaft verletzt. Wir hoffen das Turnier um 16 Uhr Ortszeit wieder aufnehmen zu können. Die Polizei ermittelt. Wenn Sie Fotos oder Videoaufnahmen haben, die der Polizei weiterhelfen können, dann kontaktieren Sie bitte schnellstmöglich die Organisatoren der EPT.”
Kirsty Thompson (kirstyt@ept.com)

2.10pm: Interruption
OK, there’s been a bit of an incident here – and the tournament has been interrupted. We’re trying to establish precisely what happened and we will pass on that information when we have it. In the meantime, play has been suspended. — HS

2pm: Time to fold
Evgeniy Zaytsev opened for 72,000 from the cut off. Theo Jorgensen called on the button and the action moved to Alfonso Amendola in the small blind. Amendola counted his chips, moved some around a bit and thought for a bit. After a few minutes of this Jorgensen called time, Amendola calling shortly after.

The flop came 2♣8♦K♥ which all three checked for a A♠ on the on the turn. Amendola checked, Zaytsev then bet 84,000 and the others folded. – SB.

1.55pm: Gutteck gutted, MacPhee flying
Kevin MacPhee has been doing precisely what a chip leader should: raising and re-raising an awful lot on the feature table. He finally ran into some resistance when Jonas Gutteck fought back, but it ended up in disaster for the German.

MacPhee raised to 69,000 from the button and Gutteck smelled a rat, re-raising to 175,000 from the small blind. MacPheen was for real, though, and shoved all in. Gutteck was going nowhere and called – 1,772,000 total – which gave us a monster pot.

MacPhee: A♣K♠
Gutteck: A♥Q♠

“I need a suckout,” said Gutteck. But he didn’t get it. The flop was 6♣K♣8♥ and the 2♦ turn meant Gutteck was drawing dead. — HS

1.45pm: Nathwani pushes
Ketul Nathwani is back on the up by doing what he does best; piling pressure on opponents. He raised to 68,000 from the button and then called a three-bet to 145,000 from Marcel Koller in the big blind. The flop came 3♥10♠10♦ and Koller continued the aggressive line with a 170,000 bet. Nathwani thought about it and then moved all in causing Koller to snap fold. Nathwani up to 2.5 million whereas Koller down to 650,000. –MC

1.40pm: Joh double the dough
Carsten Joh just got it all in pre-flop – he was the short stack, of about 390,000. Stefan Huber called.

Huber: 9♦9♠
Joh: Q♥J♥

The flop came 10♣3♥7♥, offering loads of outs to Joh. The turn was an off-suit seven, so that wasn’t one of them, but the river was Q♣, which certainly was. Joh has about 800,000 now. — HS

1.35pm: Ainsworth breaks the million mark
After being three-bet out of a couple of pots, Jude Ainsworth just four-bet jammed Kevin MacPhee – and got the call he was looking for. He had aces. Ainsworth raised to 67,000 pre-flop and MacPhee re-raised to 134,000. Ainsworth shoved for 563,000 and MacPhee called.

Ainsworth: A♥A♣
MacPhee: 6♠6♦


Jude Ainsworth

The board gave some possibilities to MacPhee and he could have hit any four or any six when the first four cards out were 3♥5♣9♦2♦. But the river was a blank and Ainsworth doubled up. — HS

1.35pm: Ketul chipped up
On a flop of 7♣6♣9♠ both Ketul Nathwani in the cut off and Paul Otto on the button checked for a 4♦ turn. Nathwani then bet 155,000 which Otto called for a 3♣ river card. Nathwani then assembled a bet of 375,000 and Otto called, folding when Nathwani showed J♣10♣ for the flush. Otto doesn’t show and there was a slight delay as he counted out what he owed. The delay was owing to Otto’s preference for stacking his chips in five chip blocks arranged into a pyramid shape. Nathwani approaching the 3,000,000 mark. — SB


Ketul Nathwani

LEVEL UP. BLINDS NOW 15,000-30,000 (3,000 ANTE)

1.30pm: Marcel Kollared
Evgeniy Zaytsev opened for 58,000 and Marcel Koller called in the big blind for a flop of 8♦Q♥10♦. Koller checked, as did Zaytsev for a 5♣ turn. Now Koller bet 68,000 before Zaytsev raised to 144,000 in total, forcing Koller to pass. — SB

1.25pm: No two-time, again
The double-winner hoodoo continues. Joao Barbosa, who was the last player with the potential to win a second title, is out. He got is all in with these four cards out: 6♥2♣10♥Q♦ with an up and down straight draw, and K♣J♠. However Iikka Tahkokallio’s Q♠6♦ had hit two pair. Barbosa couldn’t hit any of his outs and he departs. — HS

1.20pm: Holz on the up
Lennart Holz is right back in this after more than doubling-up. Iikka Tahkokallio raised from early position to 54,000 before Holz moved all in from the button for 665,000 total. Marc Inizan flatted this big shove from the small blind and this prompted a quick fold from Tahkokallio to leave it heads up:

Holz: 10♦10♥
Inizan: 9♣9♥

The board ran 7♣7♥A♥Q♠8♦. — MC

1.10pm: Ainsworth doubles
The very next hand after Johannes Strassmann was knocked out, his Team PokerStars Pro colleague Jude Ainsworth was also facing possible elimination. He moved all in from the button for 400,000 and Stefan Huber, in the big blind, called.

Ainsworth: 9♣9♦
Huber: A♦J♠

It was a race for Ainsworth’s life, but he ended up winning. The board came 3♠7♦7♣5♥9♥ and Ainsworth’s house put him up to 800,000. — HS

1.05pm: Strassmann slain
Johannes Strassmann is out. His A♥Q♠ couldn’t beat Artur Wasek’s 9♦9♠ all in pre-flop when the board ran 8♥6♠5♥J♣4♥. — HS


Johannes Strassmann

1.03pm: One down
The overnight short stack The Duc Ngo has become the first player to be knocked out here today. Lennart Holz started the pot off with a raise to 52,000 from under-the-gun before Ngo moved all in from the cut-off for 96,000. Norman Kastner cold called from the big blind and Holz also called. Both players checked down the board that ended as 4♥5♠K♣6♣A♣.

Ngo: 10♠9♥
Lennart Holz: 7♣7♦
Norman Kastner: 10♣10♦

Kasnter took the pot and eliminated Ngo in the process. –MC

1pm: Jorgensen trips up Nathwani
Theo Jorgensen just added a few hundred grand to his stack, raising to 60,000 pre-flop and picking up Ketul Nathwani. The flop came A♦10♥8♦ and Jorgensen bet 90,000, which Nathwani called. They checked the turn of 5♥ but Jorgensen bet 230,000 on the 8♣ river. Nathwani called but was shown J♣8♣ by Jorgensen. — HS

12.55pm: Barbosa time
Joao Barbosa has been the most active player on table two so far. The first hand he played went his way when he three-bet Marc Inizan’s late position raise from the small blind. Short-stack The Duc Ngo dwelled for an age before folding from the big blind and Inizan’s cards were quickly into the muck after him.

The very next hand Barbosa raised to 54,000 from the button and was called by Iikka Tahkokallio in the big blind to go to a 2♠3♣7♦ flop. The Finn led out for 59,000 but was raised to 180,000 by Barbosa. His response was to re-raise to 380,000 and that sent Barbosa a clear message and he folded. –MC

12.45pm: For starters
Alfonso Amendola opened for 52,000 which Ketul Nathwani called, as did Luca Cainelli in the big blind. On the flop of K♦A♠J♠ Cainelli checked to Amendola who made it 200,000 to play. No one wanted to though and Amendola takes the first pot.

On the next hand Nathwani opened for 62,000. Evgeniy Zaytsev was on the button and raised to 160,000 in total. Nathwani announced “all-in” and Zaytsev wasted no time in folding. – SB

12.40pm: First featured all in
Jude Ainsworth made a standard opening raise and Carsten Joh called from the big blind. The two of them were alone to a flop of 2♥7♥J♠ and after Joh checked, Ainsworth put out a continuation bet of 83,000. Joh had something planned here, though, and moved all in for 545,000.

The two of them had almost identically-sized stacks at the start of the day, meaning Ainsworth had to decide whether to call for his tournament. Eventually he thought better of it, leaving himself with about 450,000. Joh is up to about 750,000. — HS

12.30pm: Under way
We’re off. On the featured table, Ilya Gorodetskiy raised to 56,000 and was hit by an early three-bet from the chip leader Kevin MacPhee. MacPhee raised to 128,000 and Gorodetskiy was forced out. — HS

12.15pm: Not yet
Yeah, yeah, television delays, microphone issues, etc., etc. We’ll be starting soon.

11.55am: Ready to go
We’re at the business end of EPT Berlin, with all 24 remaining players now guaranteed €23,000. But that’s a drop in the ocean compared to the one million euros waiting for the winner.

Players have finished having their photos taken in readiness for use in the peerless EPT Live broadcast, which you can follow here. Chips are being tipped out bags and stacked once more. We’ll be off in just a moment or so.


The Brandenburg Gate

PokerStars Blog reporting team (in order of singing ability) Stephen Bartley, Simon Young, Marc Convey and Howard Swains


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