Updates from day 1b, levels three and four of EPT Deauville, brought to you by Stephen Bartley, Marc Convey, Howard Swains and Simon Young.
Level three: 100-200
Level four: 150-300
5.05pm: Break time
That’s the end of level four. Players are now taking a 15 minute break.
5pm: First you have it, then you don’t
Franck Calonnec, fresh from a little controversy, opened for 950 in middle position. Alain Daien called, as did Rahim Sadaat in the small blind. The flop came Q♦10♦2♥. Sadaat checked as the flop was dealt, Calonnec and Daien followed. The turn came 4♠. Check from Sadaat and 2,300 from Calonnec. Daien called as Sadaat got out of the way before the 5♦ river card. Calonnec shook his head for a while before checking. Daien lobbed in 5,000, inducing an immediate fold from Calonnec to take the pot.
4.58pm: Time after time
Thomas Wahlroos, a former regular on the European Poker Tour, once arrived at his new table in the World Series main event, carrying a few racks of chips, and immediately called the clock on the player in the hand. Wahlroos had no clue who that was at the time but as far as table presence went Wahlroos now had everyone at his table eager to take him on, regardless of how much it would cost them. To some quintessential bad sportsmanship, to others a crafty, slightly hilarious and slightly dodgy way of doing things.
That said, there’s no iron clad rule about calling the clock, no written rule, and at best it’s left to the tournament director’s discretion. Otherwise it’s purely a gentlemen’s agreement open to abuse, misuse and the odd bit of scandal.
Rahim Saadat opened for 1,200 which Franck Calonnec re-raised to 3,200. With the action back on him Saadat raised again, 8,200 in total, which Calonnec had to think about. Two minutes past before Saadat called the clock. Calonnec pulled all manner of thoughtful faces, looking over at the floorman as he counted down from ten… nine… eight. On “one” he tossed in the call, immediately courting the ire of others at the table, notably Borges Diogo.
“Why did you do that?” asked Diogo, getting some reply but not in a language he understood.
There got a flop: 3♠K♣A♦. Both checked. 6♥ on the turn. Both checked. This was taking the drama out of the hand, that’s for sure. J♦ on the river. Sadaat checked and Calonnec made it 12,000 to play. Almost immediately, and again contravening the spirit of the rule, Calonnec called time. Cue more scandal as Saadat explained he’d allowed Calonnec two full minutes before calling the clock on him.
“That’s not how it works,” said Diogo, to Calonnec and to the floorman counting backwards from sixty.
Saadat folded Q♣Q♠. Calonnec showed a jack.
4.55pm: “Not my day.”
Joep van den Bijgaart has just been sent to the rail in an aces versus king all in pre-flop showdown. Yes, he had the aces and a king turned. You’d have to go a long way to find a more genial player than the Dutch Team PokerStars Pro, and he took this defeat with characteristic good grace. “Not your day,” said a table mate. “Not my day,” said Van den Bijgaart as he made his way out.
This conversation went ahead in relative quiet in comparison with other table chatter. The winner of the pot was Jacques Dobrowolski, who stacked his chips quietly enough. But the most noise came neither from the winner nor the loser but from Joel Benzinou, who thumped the table in dismay looking at the board of 10♦5♥Q♦K♦4♥. “I folded ace jack!” he said. “I folded ace jack!”
A little while before his exit, the bubbly Dutchman spoke to our video team…
4.50pm: New chip leader
Team PokerStars Pro Dario Minieri is the new runaway chip leader after busting Dutchman Marc Naalden. There was a raise to 725 that Minieri three-bet to 2,075 from the cut-off. Naalden then four-bet to 5,000 and only Minieri called to see the K♦6♥10♣ flop. Naalden check-called Mineri’s 5,125 bet before the turn came A♥. Naalden checked again to face a 11,225 bet from Mineri. He raised it up to 25,000 before Mineri moved and in for 58,000. Snap-call from Naalden to create a monster pot with Italian just covering the Dutchman.
Naalden tabled A♣A♠ for top set but Mineri had turned the nut straight with Q♣J♦. Naalden called for the board to pair but it came a harmless 2♥. Mineri up to 135,000 now.
4.40pm: Bansi back
No sooner is that written than Bansi gets back in the saddle. He makes it 500 and is called by Laurent Ctorza. They see a 7♥A♦K♥ flop, and Ctorza checks then folds as Bansi fires out a 650 continuation bet. Brit Bansi is back over 40,000 now.
4.35pm: Bansi kept in check
Praz Bansi is irresistible when he’s in full flow, but there’s something about his body language this afternoon that suggests he’s not getting it all his own way today. Nathalie Feriolo opened for 800 in early position and Patrick Bruel called from late position, as did Bansi on the button and Jean Doreman in the big blind.
The flop came A♦5♦3♥ and Doreman checked. Feriolo bet 2,000 and only Bansi went with her to a 4♦. Feriolo now bet 3,000 and Bansi called again. The dealer peeled off the 7♣. Both players checked now and Feriolo breathed a huge sigh of relief when Bansi mucked after she flipped A♠3♠ for the flopped two pair.
4.32pm: Sigh of relief?
There was nearly 9,000 in the pot already and the turn was out giving the board a 4♦8♦A♠J♠ look. Jonathan Aguiar was heads up with EPT Warsaw champion Christophe Benzimra. Not sure how the action played out but Benzimra had 6,000 chips in front of him whereas Aguiar had 30,500 with only 900 left behind. After a long tank Benzimra open folded A♣J♣. Aguiar took a few deep breaths as he built his stack now worth around 45,000.
4.30pm: Jacques in trouble
Jacques Zaicïk just lost back-to-back pots, taking his stack down to about 15,000. On the first, he raised to 925 pre-flop under-the-gun and Alberto Valenti made it 2,500 a couple of seats down. Zaicïk called and the two of them glared at a board of 4♦4♠9♥. Zaicïk bet 2,000 and Valenti raised to 7,000. Zaicïk folded.
On the next hand, Laurent Ctorza made it 600 from late position and Zaicïk called the min-raise in the big blind. Again there were only two of them to a flop of 3♣A♦4♠. Zaicïk check-called Ctorza’s bet of 500 and then he check-called a bet of 1,200 on the turn of 8♣. On the river 9♣ Zaicïk bet 4,000 and it was Ctorza’s turn to call. Zaicïk showed A♣4♦ for two pair, but Ctorza had A♠8♦ for a rivered better second pair. And that took it.
4.25pm: Win for Weisner
Melanie Weisner opened for 800 which was called by Said Basri for a flop of 9♣7♠A♥. Both checked for a 9♣ on the turn which was checked to Weisner. She bunged in 1,000 which Basri called for a Q♥ before checking once more. Weisner made it 1,750 to play, which finally got the better of Basri, who folded.
4.20pm: Martinez and Minieri
Barbara Martinez opened for 650 from middle position. Dario Minieri was to her immediate left and called for a flop of 6♥J♠8♣. Martinez checked to Minieri who bet 450. Martinez raised it before Minieri raised again, 3,400 total, which Martinez called for a 3♦ turn. They each checked that and did the same on the A♦ river card. 10♠8♠ for Minieri, A♥7♥ for Martinez, who took down the pot.
4.15pm: Pagano accounts for Sousa
In a battle of two of the EPT’s most regular features, Luca Pagano has just sent Ricardo Sousa to the rail. They got it all in pre-flop — Soussa only had about 11,000 and pocket queens, which were not big enough to beat Pagano’s kings. Pagano is now up to 63,000 and Melanie Weisner, to his right, helped him celebrate the latest additions to his big chip pile by allowing him stack them up into towers and then knocking them down. Girls, huh.
4.10pm: Messa about
On a flop of J♠K♦8♦ Safwan Alfarhan, a PokerStars qualifier from Canada, made it 200 from the big blind. Michelle Limongi was happy to call but Alban Messa wanted to make it more, raising to 1,500. Nicolas Babel was in this far but no longer, folding before Alfarhan called. Limongi called as well for a A♥ on the turn. The action was checked to Messa who made it an even 5,000. Alfarhan announced “call” and Limongi stepped aside. A 9♥ on the river and both Alfarhan and Messa checked, the latter showing A♦2♦ to take the pot and restore his stack to around the 20,000 mark. Alfarhan mucked.
4.05pm: Brakes on Mercedes
Pascal Perrault captures a nice pot. On a 6♥A♦8♥3♥ board he faces a 2,500 bet from Mercedes Osti, and bumps it up to 7,250. Call. On the K♣ river France’s Perrault makes it 10,000. That’s too rich Osti, who is show Q♥10♥ by Perrault to set her mind at rest.
4pm: For what it’s Ainsworth
Jude Ainsworth has hit his high watermark for the day – a stack of 62,000 making its way to the Team PokerStars Pro as Alexandra Sauteret hit the rail. There were two diamonds on a board of Q-J-9 and Ainsworth had A♦10♦. Sauteret had pocket nines, but a fifth diamond on the river sent the pot Ainsworth’s way.
3.55pm: Going through the motions
All of Kenny Hallaert’s chips made their way to Laurent Ctorza when the latter showed A♥J♥ on a board of 10♥J♠10♦6♥J♣. Hallaert seemed furious, slamming the table before he departed, suggesting by his body language that he might have had a ten that was outdrawn on the river. Jacques Zaicïk, also on the table, requested the dealer expose Hallaert’s mucked hand – such is his right in an all in situation – and Hallaert was actually playing K♣8♦ for, well, air. Sometimes you have to act, though.
3.50pm: “I can beat ace-king”
Team PokerStars Pro Greg Raymer just got the better of “Chess man” Ivo Donev. Both saw a 3♥-J-A♥ flop and Raymer’s 600 bet was called by the Austrian. Donev called another bet on the 6♥ turn before Raymer led for 6,000 on the river.
“I can beat ace-king,” said Donev. “I only have two-pair, though,” he continued before making the call.
Raymer opened Q♥10♥ for a flush and the pot as Donev folded.
3.45pm: Eastgate on the up
Team PokerStars Pro and former world champ Peter Easgate is in the field today and climbing steadily in the early levels. On a 3♠2♣J♦10♥8♣ board he bet 6,100 and got a call from Patrick Sonigo. Eastgate tabled 9♠9♥ and that was good enough to take the pot. Around 39,000 now sites in front of the Dane.
3.42pm: Joep down
Cheery Joep van den Bijgaart, the Team PokerStars Pro from Holland, shows us a small-ish pile of chips amounting to around 13,000. No word yet on how he came to lose more than half his stack.
3.40pm: Coren takes it
Team PokerStars Pro Vicky Coren makes it 500 from the button, and Nikolai Senninger from Germany makes the call from the big blind. Both check the J♠9♣10♣ flop, and on the A♦ turn Senninger check-called Coren’s 700. Both then check the J♥ river, and Coren’s A♥Q♠ is good enough to take the pot.
Brit Coren then has a jovial conversation in French with the man on her left, PokerStars qualifier Therese Demeulemeestere from Belgium. We love a lady of language.
3.35pm: Koch flops
Julien Brecard just finessed his way to a pot holding aces. Sijbrand Maal opened for 600 getting calls from Brecard, Elie Marciano before Marcel Koch in the small blind re-raised to 3,500. Maal passed but Brecard asked how much, (10,000 the response) and immediately put him all in. Marciano passed and left them to it. Koch called showing A♦K♦, leaving Brecard ahead all the way, despite a king high flop. Koch gone.
3.25pm: More for the Tome; Iremark hurt
Tome Moreira is having a breakout season on the EPT. The Portuguese player came 11th in London and then went deep on home soil in Vilamoura. Now here in Deauville, he is among the early chip leaders with a stack of about 80,000.
He got most of them during one of the final hands of the last level, although it might have sent him to the rail. All the money — all of that 80,000 – was in the middle on a board of 10♥8♦J♥ and it was only possible to be beating Moreira’s J♣J♠ with one hand, precisely the one Artem Litvinov had: Q♠9♦.
Litvinov thought for quite a while about putting his chips in with the nuts, but eventually he called leaving Moreira looking for the door. Although the turn 9♥ brought some more outs for Moreira, the river 8♣ was emphatic and the Portuguese took down the biggest pot of the tournament so far.
That’s been a good table for big hands, although Mats Iremark might not agree. Moments after the break, Florent Leprovost raised to 525 from early position and, one seat to his left, Iremark raised to 1,625. Leprovost called.
The flop came 5♦2♦9♠ and Leprovost check-called Iremark’s bet of 2,600. The 4♦ turn brought a bet of 2,400 from Leprovost that Iremark bumped up to 20,000, covering the Frenchman. But he insta-called for his last 13,425 and tabled 9♦9♥ for flopped top set. Iremark’s K♠K♣ had been outdrawn and he was pegged back.
3.12pm: Cruel for Bruel
Patrick Bruel opened for 450 getting a call from Laurent Ctorza in the eight seat. Bruel has the cameras on him once more, as he does wherever he goes and the shots they’ll get are of the French singer unshaven and in relaxed poker mode. They’d get slightly irritated poker mode before the end of the hand.
On the flop of 10♦3♣2♦ Ctorza bet 500 which Bruel called. On the 8♠ turn Ctorza made it another 500 which this time Bruel raised to 2,500. Called by Ctorza for a 10♥ river card. Now Ctorza made it 5,000, conveniently packed in one grey chip. Bruel gently shook his head not entirely sure where to go from here. He smiled, knowing full well he wouldn’t find any sympathy anywhere, and mucked his cards.
3.05pm: The return
Players have returned to their seats after 15 minutes out. That’s the first hurdle leaped.