5.58pm: Raymer on a rush
Greg Raymer has sprinted up to 180,000 after a nice little run of cards which included busting short-stacked Michael Binger on his first hand at the table. That’s ift for the level. Join us in 15 minutes in the new post. — SY
5.52pm: Gavin gaining speed
Fintan Gavin was getting great odds to call from the big blind. There had been an early raise and a call so seeing a flop with J♠7♣ wasn’t a ludicrous idea. The Irishman backed into two-pair on a A♥3♦4♥J♥7♦ board and value bet it successfully for 8,000 to go up to 254,000.
A confident Fintan Gavin can be a handful at the table and he currently seems to be building momentum. Jamie Burland should pay particular attention as Gavin has position on him. Burland has 147,000. — RD
5.53pm: Kelly taking his Chance, again
JP Kelly is up to 375,000 after doubling-up again, this time through Chance Kornuth. It was another all-in pre-flop encounter but this time it was a straight race. Kelly tabled ace-king to Kornuth’s pocket jacks. It was looking good for the young American but Kelly spiked a king on the river to scoop the big pot. Kornuth down to 160,000. — MC
5.50pm: ‘After all of that, it comes down to a flip’
This was Denmark’s Theo Jorgenson who, after plugging away for a day and a half found his life on the line with a coinflip. He had A♠K♠ and was up against Brit Steve Jelinek’s pocket queens, but there was no help on the Q♦10♣4♦10♦6♣ board which only served to improve Jelinek to a full house.
Jelinek doubled up to nearly 180,000, leaving Thorgenson with just 1,000. He was all-in next hand with 6♣8♥ but that did him no favors and he was off. — SY
5.41pm: Affleck likes the river
Sam Trickett opened the pot to 5,000 (again) and was called by Matt Affleck on the button. The blinds moved out of the way before the 6♥6♦7♠ flop fell. Trickett led for 5,500 and was raised to 12,800 by Affleck. Trickett made the call before both players checked the 5♠ turn. Trickett led 15,000 into the river and Affleck made the call showing A♦J♠. “I had queen-high,” said Trickett. “Would you have called if you hit your jack as well?” — RD
5.36pm: Kelly’s heroes
Arnaud Mattern just crashed down to 140,000, mugged by Maasaki Kagawa, his queen’s running into Kagawa’s pocket aces (a fate shared by William Thorson earlier which resulted in the Swede being sent to the rail).
Mattern called on some luck but none came, the board coming 6♥4♠K♣2♣6♣ doubling up Kagawa.
At the same table is Ilya Gorodetskiy, who was down to 30,000 at the end of the last level but is now a little more comfortable on around 140,000, although at this table, featuring JP Kelly, John Juanda, Kagawa, Chance Cornu and Ivan Demidov, it’s not that comfortable.
“I’ve obviously sold shares in myself to buy-in,” said Gorodetskiy, turning to look at his table. “Objectively speaking though, looking at where I’m sitting, they shouldn’t really invest.”
A few hands later JP Kelly opened the betting, making it 5,700. John Juanda raised to 16,200 before Kelly re-raised to 30,000. Juanda wasn’t done, making it 60,000 before Kelly moved all-in. Juanda called, showing A♥A♦ while Kelly turned over A♣Q♥.
The board ran 5♥6♠Q♣Q♦J♠, the queens digging Kelly out of trouble and taking him up to more than 200,000. — SB
5.33pm: Much ado about nothing
Jamie Brown and Hans Varsi just played a game of chicken with ace-king and neither blinked. Brown opened the action and was three-bet to 12,600 by Varsi. Brown fought back with a raise to 29,700 and Varsi made it 49,800, which looked to be around a third of his stack. Brown moved in and Varsi grudgingly made the call. Both turned over big slick with Brown receiving the minor sweat of facing being drawn out on with a backdoor runner-runner flush. That didn’t happen and the chips were returned to their respective owners. — RD
5.25pm:Grafton for nothing
Sam Grafton has been eliminated by Italian professional pool player Gustavo Zito. Chino Rheem limped from early position and picked up Grafton in the SB before Zito checked his option. The flop came [j] and Grafton led for 6,000 and received two callers. All three checked the  turn to see the  river. The blinds checked to Rhino ho moved all-in and was called all-in by both blinds!
Rhino was on a bluff with nine-seven. Grafton could beat that with jack-three but Zito potted the nine ball with jack-eight for the lot. Rheem’s still in with 65,000 but Grafton was felted. — MC
5.15pm: Vamplew fails to flip into the lead
David Vamplew has just missed out on a flip that would have taken him into the chip lead. The Brit had opened to 6,500 from the hijack and was shoved on from the big blind for 46,000. Vamplew made the call with pocket nines against ace-king but an ace on the flop took the pot away from him. His stack has been dented to 370,000. — RD
5.10pm: The Robin Hood of Poker
Team PokerStars Pro Juan Maceiras won a nice pot off the fellow to his left before doubling-up the player to his right. His current stack sits at 2223,000.
In the first hand the river was out to leave the bard as 7♦6♥J♦J♥4♦. The Spaniard led for 27,000, was called, and scooped the pot with K♠J♣ for trips.
The very next hand Eric Baldwin moved all-in for 27,800 and was called by Maceiras with A♦Q♣. Baldwin was behind with K♣10♦ but hit two-pair on the J♥K♠6♥8♥J♠ board. — MC
5pm: The Russians are coming
Russian rivalry on table 19. Ilya Gorodetskiy made it 5,600 in early position and was called by his compatriot Ivan Demidov on the button for a flop of 7♣10♠6♦. Gorodetskiy then fired again, 6,600 this time which Demidov called for a Q♠ turn. Both checked that for a 2♠ river card. Now Gorodetskiy checked, leaving Demidov to bet 11,000. That was enough. Gorodetskiy folded. Demidov moves up to 105,000. — SB
4.50pm: Another champ falls
Max Lykov is the most recent EPT champ to take a tumble after five-bet shoving into Tommy Westerlund. The Swede had limped from middle position and Lykov had raised from the big blind to 7,300. Westerlund raised to 17,500 and Lykov, who had around 65,000 at the start of the hand, opted to move all-in. He may have thought he’d pick up a lot of folds but unfortunately for him Westerlund’s hand was right at the top of his range with A♣A♦.
Lykov tabled 7♦7♥ and failed to catch a set or miracle draw to bust out with 206 players left. The 128 money spots are drawing in fast. — RD
That’s the end of the level and the start of a 15-minute break. — SY
4.25pm: Hell of a player this Ellwood
Jack Ellwood has had a pretty phenomenal year in poker. He had already won hundreds of thousands in online tournaments before he came second at UKIPT Nottingham, his biggest live cash (£37,500). Then the PokerStars WCOOP main event came along where, under the screen name ‘jackellwood’, he finished fifth, for $509,976.25.
He’s here and doing very well today, and just made a great call for his tournament life.
He raised from the hi-jack and called the SB’s three-bet. The flop came K♠3♠4♦ and the SB led for 15,000. Call. The turn came J♣ and the SB threw a pile of yellow 5k chips into the middle. Ellwood thought hard before moving all-in for 73,000, just a couple of thousand more than his opponent had bet.
Ellwood tabled K♥9♥ to the SB’s A♣9♣. The river came 3♣ and Ellwood in up to 210,000. — MC
4.20pm: Femi dominant
Femi Fakinle is our new chip leader, racing to around 430,000 after winning a big pot to bust Pab Foltyn. If you thought you recognised the name, that’s because he won UKIPT Killarney back in June for around €64,000. — SY
Chip leader, and UKIPT Killarney winner, Femi Fakinle
4.17pm: Greenstein a gonner
Barry Greenstein has just signed a copy of his book, Ace on the River, for Per Ummer – and that can only mean one thing. Greenstein was all-in for his last 25,000 with A♠5♠ but was up against the Swede’s 9♦9♠. Although Greenstein hit a small pair on the 5♥7♣6♥ flop, he could not improve on the 2♠ turn and 8♣ river. Ummer is up to 160,000. — SY
4.15pm: Eliminations, double ups and dramas
Frenchman Fabrice Soulier is out, his all-in move with ace-three running into an insurmountable pair of fives. Across the gangway Phil Ivey added a few more chips to his own stack, eliminating a player with ace-jack over ace-nine. Ivey up to 90,000 now.
“All-in, the Gentleman is all in.” This is Jena, an American dealer, who prefers good old-fashioned courtesy while in charge of the cards, keeping things on a strictly business basis with eloquence, and no funny business.
The Gentleman was Sam Grafton, who had raised all-in behind a bet from Marty Smyth who now went into the tank. He was not long in calling, showing Q♠Q♥ to Grafton’s 9♣9♦. At this point Chino Rheem confessed to having folded a nine, to mild irritation on Grafton’s part.
The board ran 8♥6♠4♣6♣J♥, doubling up Smyth to around 120,000. Grafton slips down to 35,000. — SB
4.05pm: Hachem right back in it
Joe Hachem had appeared to be finding life something of a struggle a little earlier today, seemingly stuck on around 40,000. But passing his table just now I saw several towers of chips that told a very different story.
“How did that lot get there?” I asked. “It was all about queens,” Hachem said. “First I had queens against Tom Marchese’s sixes. Then there was this bloke who seemed to shove every time he had a hand. I bet with queens again, he shoved with pocket jacks and I called to take another nice pot.”
The 2005 WSOP Main Event champ is up to 180,000 now.– SY
3.55pm: Ivey loses half of his stack
Just because you’re one of the biggest names in the game does not mean that you automatically win all your races. Names don’t come that much bigger than Phil Ivey and the aforementioned point was proven when his A♥Q♥ failed to catch against Philip Patrick’s pocket tens.
The lesser known Phil stood up, quite naturally assuming that he’d not be the one to come out on top, and when the turn showed a 2♥7♦2♦J♥ backdoor flush draw he gave a little shake of his head as if to say, ‘Oh yeah, here it comes.’ No such heart, ace or queen arrived and Patrick doubled up to 100,000. Ivey is down to a little over 60,000. — RD
3.45pm: Go on Gorodetskiy
Ilya Gorodetskiy is on a brief tear. There were four to the flop of 2♦4♣A♠. John Juanda checked to Gorodetskiy who bet 5,000 from the big blind, enough to persuade everyone to fold.
At this point a passing dealer smashed into a drinks table behind Gorodetskiy, forcing Noah Boeken on the table alongside to bid premature farewell to his drink which was now splattered across Gorodetskiy’s coat, hung on the back of his chair. Luckily, being well prepared for the London weather, Gorodetskiy had worn a rain coat to work this morning.
The Russian was in action again in the next hand, moving all-in for 36,000 after William Thorson had bet 5,000 and Yury Esaulov called. Thorson asked for a count and called the all-in, while Esaulov passed, grinning with relief when Gorodetskiy turned over A♠A♦. Thorson showed K♣Q♥ and waited for the board.
Gorodetskiy up to 80,000. Thorson slips down to the same amount. — SB
3.40pm: Boeree busts in cooler spot
It’s a spot that few would get away from. Sam Trickett made a standard raise and Liv Boeree three-bet shoved from the big blind with A♦K♥ for 38,000. You’re happy to take action with that hand against almost anything – everything except for aces, of course.
Unfortunately for Boeree that’s exactly what Trickett held in the shape of two blacks bullets.
The board blanked out and Boeree tapped the table with a resigned ‘Why did he have to have aces?’ look on her face. — RD
3.30pm: It’s the big boys
This could cause fireworks – the room’s two big stacks have been moved next to one another, with Team PokerStars Pro Alex Kravchenko (320,000) now on the right of fellow Team Pro Thomas Bichon (340,000). They’re keeping out of each other’s way for now, but I doubt that will last long. — SY
3.18pm: Vamplew chipping up
Young Brit David Vamplew was one of the big stacks coming into Day 2 with just over 200,000. He’s now up to 327,000 and going strong which doens’t seems to be parreciated much by Jude Ainsworth who is sat on his right. Ainsworth is on 160,000 or so and has had to concede a couple of pots to Vamplew. A monster pot could be in the offing. — RD
3.10pm: Here we go
That’s the break over. Players are returning to their seats and will now play blinds of 1,000-2,000 with a 200 ante.
We started today with 379 and of those 252 have survived the first two levels of the day. We need to get down to the money at 128 players and then we’re done.
Here, for your general study and enjoyment, is a pic of Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein who is on something of a ‘Bear’ tear. Down to 8,000 at the start of the last level, he’s now up to 52,000! — SY
PokerStars Blog reporting team (in order of food runs done this week): Rick Dacey (1), Marc Convey (1), Stephen Bartley (1) and Simon Young (0, and getting hints)