Live updates from day one, level nine of the EPT London High Roller event brought to you by Stephen Bartley, Howard Swains and Simon Young.
Blinds: 800-1,600 (200 ante)
11.40pm: Waiting, waiting…
Play ticks along in level nine. Joe Hachem raises pre-flop, two from the button, making it 3,500 but gets no takers. Next hand, Hachem raises pre-flop, three from the button, making it 3,500 but gets no takers. Meanwhile the wait is starting to get to Englishman Andrew Feldman who can only takes things one step at a time with his stack of 15,700. “It’s very bad,” he explains to a friend. “I can’t get a hand.” Dario Minieri gets one, or at least one he can convince the others is “one”, and immediately shoves all-in, sitting with his hands crossed on his cards. No takers for the Italian either as level ten, the last of the day, appears on the horizon.
11.30pm: Kenney on the climb; Raymer on the chatter
Bryn Kenney is chipping back up, slowly but surely, and now has close to 60,000. Meanwhile Greg Raymer is in full-on motor-mouth mode and in this mood there’s very little you can do to stop him. After some hefty pre-flop action featuring Adolfo Vaeza, Matt Glanz and Vadim Trincher — they are Raymer’s new table-mates, along with Vicky Coren and Dennis Phillips — Fossilman said: “I’ll play this hand only if it’s aces or the eight of diamonds and the eight of spades.”
Glanz took the bait and asked him what was so special about those eights, allowing Raymer to retell the story of the World Series triumph in 2004, when that was his winning hand. “I’ve only lost once with them since then,” Raymer said. “And I’m sure the dealer was a mechanic cheating me. They’ve never been cracked.”
The table scoffed at what they thought was a joke, but Raymer was insistent. “You can shove all in and show me two aces and I’ll call with the eight of spades and the eight of diamonds. I’m serious. I have only ever lost once with them. I’ll fold eight of clubs and eight of diamonds. But not that.”
Raymer continued: “It’s my only superstition. If it gets cracked again, I’ll give it up.”
He only had about 12,000 at this point, and although he folded the hand, Glanz winning it, Raymer was knocked out soon after. Almost certainly not with 8♠8♦.
11.25pm: Cada cut adrift by rampaging George
Joe Cada, the PokerStars player who will shoot for the WSOP Main Event title in Las Vegas in November, will not be making day 2 of this event. He got his last 13,900 in the middle with A-7 but was called by the 10-10 of Sammy George. The board ran 8-6-4-3-8, and that was that.
George had just been on a huge run of hands that now sees him on more than 230,000. His table is now the one to watch – Cada’s replacement is none other than Ilari “Ziigmund” Sahamies. So that’s Mike McDonald, ElkY, Sahamies, George and William Thorson all sitting around the same piece of felt.
Another on the rise is David Ulliott. The Brit, down to 13,000 not too long ago, is now up to 75,000.
And somewhere along the line Team PokerStars Pro Greg Raymer has taken a sizeable hit. He’s now down to 36,000.
11.15pm: Old McDonald
Humberto Brenes made the pre-flop raise, making it 1,600. William Thorson then bumped things up a little, 4,600 now which both Mike McDonald and ElkY called. Brenes made that noise which combines a laugh with breathing out, then folded. The flop came 4♠7♣K♠. Thorson checked, McDonald made it 8,500 and both ElkY and Thorson folded. That was that.
11.10pm: Fish not fried
With A♠A♥10♠ on the board the battle between Juha Helppi and Dave “Devil Fish” Ulliott is checked to the latter, who makes it 1,600. Helppi called for a 2♥ on the turn. Both check for a 7♦ with Helppi checks again. Ulliott flings out a casual looking 4,000. Helppi thinks and folds.
11.05pm: Fascinating stuff
To no one’s great surprise, there are some formidable table line-ups in these middle stages of the High Roller event. How d’ya like Benny Spindler, next to Carlos Mortensen, next to Dario Minieri, next to Jani Sointula, next to Joe Hachem? Or how about Mike McDonald next to ElkY, next to Joe Cada, next to Humberto Brenes, next to Sammy George opposite William Thorson?
That last table is probably the most intriguing of them all, not least because of all the chips there. And some of the hands they’re playing. Just recently, ElkY raised to 4,000 from early position and Cada was the only caller. The flop came A♦9♥5♣ and ElkY bet 5,100, which Cada called. The turn was 6♠ and after ElkY checked, Cada bet 10,000. Call. Then the river was 3♥.
This prompted another check from ElkY, and Cada flicked out four yellow chips, worth a total of 20,000. ElkY called pretty-much instantly, and Cada mucked. ElkY pushed his cards forward, scooped the pot, and no one got any information from anyone. Least of all you, who only have this write up to go on.
10.50pm: Chip leader
This man, Adolfo Vaeza has been leading this thing all day. He’s still on about 295,000, which is more than anyone else.
The headline for this little update is the Swedish for our “Finishing straight”, meaning the day is drawing to a close. Thanks to our Swedish blogger Lina Olofsson for that, who sometimes seems to write in nothing but filth. “Bra timing” was another of her blog posts today: it means “Good timing” apparently.
Anyhow, we’re into the penultimate level, so “Slutspurten” as they say in the saunas of Stockholm.