EPT Monte Carlo: Mikita Badziakouski bags lead to end rollicking €100K Super High Roller Day 1

April 26, 2018

When this first day of the three-day PokerStars and Monte-Carlo©Casino EPT €100,000 Super High Roller began your intrepid reporting team was enjoying watching the waves crash along the picturesque shore that abuts the Salle des Etoiles where the tournament is being played.

The afternoon and evening were also enjoyable, largely spent watching many of tournament poker’s top talent crash against one another over pots during a day full of big hands and constant action. At the close it was Mikita Badziakouski happily surfing along over everyone to enjoy the overnight chip lead after spinning his starting stack of 250,000 up 1,381,000 to by night’s end.

Mikita Badziakouski looking cool at the top of the counts

Speaking of crashing, after a unanimous player vote saw the game changed from a single-entry affair to unlimited entries, there were plenty of knockouts to watch today, too. The 44 total entries on Day 1 included 15 re-entries, from which just 22 players survived.

Isaac Haxton, Daniel Dvoress, Erik Seidel, Jean-Noel Thorel, and Manouchehr Ahadpour were among the players entering multiple times today. And with registration open until the start of play tomorrow, anyone who ended tonight without a stack can buy another one before Day 2 gets going.

Ali Reza Fatehi was the first big leader today after the Iranian more than tripled his stack during the early levels. The chase pack caught up eventually, though, with Badziakouski overtaking Fatehi to be the first to 1 million, then Sam Greenwood following suit to sit in first position for a while before Badziakouski bounced back up to the top spot at bagging time.

Talk about riding the up-and-down waves — Haxton will return to the second-biggest stack of 1,033,000 after busting twice (and appearing to be done for good), then re-entering a third time to end the night on a big surge.

It was down and down and up, up, up for Haxton

Other big stacks to begin tomorrow will include Ole Schemion (949,000), Justin Bonomo (930,000), and Christoph Vogelsang (890,000). Check the chip counts for everyone right here.

Play resumes Friday at 12:30pm with a plan to play down to the final table and then the last six players. We’ll be right back here, too, perhaps after another scenic walk to look upon the Mediterranean. Then it’ll be more high rolling to watch as we find out together who will be the next European Poker Tour Super High Roller champion.

Until then, bonsoir! –MH

• PLAYERS: 22 of 44 entries (incl. 15 re-entries)
DOWNLOAD POKERSTARS | Follow @PokerStarsBlog

9:40pm: Day 1 concludes

Day 1 is done, with Mikita Badziakouski assuredly the chip leader to end the night. Back in a few with a recap of the day. –MH

9:38pm: Two late doubles
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Lots of short stacks are going all-in late on as they try to get a bigger stack for Day 2 or, a fresh one for another €100k. Koray Aldemir and David Peters did just that and secured doubles.

Peters moved in for 53,000 with J♦9♦ and was called by O’Dwyer holding A♠Q♣. The board ran a Peters-friendly 4♣5♥10♠2♦J♣. O’Dywer was left with 115,000.

Aldemir managed to work ace-queen better than O’Dywer did. Sam Greenwood three-bet him all-in and he called off for 121,500 with A♦Q♥. Greenwood tabled K♥J♥ and the board ran 10♠A♥9♥9♠2♦. Greenwood was left with around 600,000. –MC

9:32pm: Antonius axed
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Whatever happened, it wasn’t pretty.

The board read 2♣Q♦10♠9♦J♦ and Antonius had 10♣9♣ in front of him for two-pair. Despite that his remaining 200,000 or so was being pushed towards Mikita Badziakouski. Badziakouski was showing K♦K♠ for a rivered straight.

When pressed for more details, Antonius said he was too tilted to talk about the hand. With the wound still fresh, Antonius hit the rail while Badziakouski took the tournament lead with 1.33 million. –AV

Antonius sees the bad news

9:27pm: Bonomo scores a late double
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Justin Bonomo just pulled down a monster pot with a few minutes left in the evening.

We arrived just as Bonomo, who was seated in the cutoff, announced himself all-in with the board reading 10♠10♣Q♠7♠3♥. That put the action back to Chidwick in the small blind, and he eventually made the call. Bonomo showed K♠6♠ for a turned king-high flush, plenty good enough to top Chidwick’s pair of queens with A♦Q♦.

Chidwick mucked with about as much emotion as he ever betrays at the table. The loss took him down to just 70,000 chips. Meanwhile Bonomo is now up to 950,000, making him one of the chip leaders as we near the end of Day 1. –JK

Big bounce for Bonomo

9:25pm: Stop the clock
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

There will be just five more hands before the chips are bagged and tagged. Who will make it through, and what will be left of them? Stay tuned. –JS

9:20pm: Petrangelo grinding
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

You win some, you lose some, you settle on just over 300,000. That was Nick Petrangelo’s story of the last 15 minutes.

He got off to a good start during this period, winning with Q♥9♠ on a nine high board. He opened his hand from the big blind and his opponent, Justin Bonomo under the gun, mucked.

Bonomo won some of those chips back two hands later. Petrangelo opened to 11,500 but folded when his opponent three-bet to 40,000 from the small blind.

A short while after, Petrangelo was back to winning ways. He was under the gun and heads-up to an A♠8♣8♠ flop with Igor Kurganov. The Team PokerStars Pro led out for 27,000 from the big blind and was called. The 2♠J♥ turn and river were checked through. Kurganov opened 3♣3♠ but lost out to Petrangelo’s A♣4♣.

Our time with Petrangelo ended in defeat. Rainer Kempe opened 11,000 from early position and Petrangelo defended his big blind. The flop spread 3♠A♥4♦ and Kempe’s 8,500 c-bet was check-raised to 26,000 by Petrangelo. Kempe called and the hand fizzled out with checks on the 3♣8♠ turn and river. Petrangelo opened Q♥5♥ and lost out to Kempe’s K♦K♥. That moved the German up to 240,000. –MC

9:10pm: Haxton over a million
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

The last few levels of the day have been very good to Isaac Haxton.

He recently flopped the nuts against Sam Greenwood and crossed the 1 million mark. Greenwood started that hand off with a raise to 12,000 from under the gun and Haxton three-bet to 75,000 from the big blind. Greenwood called and the flop came A♠2♥2♠.

Both players checked and then checked again after the 7♣ came on the turn. A Q♥ completed the board and Haxton fired off a bet worth 115,000. Greenwood thought for a bit and called.

Haxton turned over A♦A♥ for aces full of deuces and Greenwood mucked. The pot put Haxton up to 1.02 million while Greenwood dipped to 750,000. –AV

9:05pm: Peters on fumes
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

It’s going to be a long way back for David Peters, who lost almost all of his stack in a flip against Timothy Adams.

It began with a raise to 11,500 from Christoph Vogelsang in the cutoff, which Adams answered with a three-bet to 33,500 on the button. Peters moved all-in for what was eventually counted at 255,000, by which point Vogelsang had stepped aside.

Adams had a near identical stack size to Peters, and made what looked to be a reluctant call. But his A♥Q♥ was in a fair fight against Peters’ 10♦10♠, and Adams ran out the winner after the 9♥2♠K♣J♥4♥ board gave him a flush.

Adams actually had 244,500, which meant he pushed his stack to 520,000 and also kept Peters in it, with 10,000.

Peters tripled up on the next hand, when Adams raised again, to 12,000, and Peters under-called all-in. Steffen Sontheimer also called and the three saw the 8♦3♠2♦ flop.

Sontheimer checked and Adams bet 14,000. Peters could only watch, but saw Sontheimer fold.

Adams then showed his A♦8♥, which was top pair and ahead of Peters’ K♣10♠. But then the K♦ came on the turn to keep Peters fighting still.

Registration closes at the start of play tomorrow, and there’s only 20 minutes left in today. That possibly means Peters is going to want to get knocked out so he can buy-in again and get another 250,000 instead of the peanuts he has now. –HS

Not looking good for Peters’ bullet

9pm: Dvoress down to the felt again
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Daniel Dvoress has lost another stack, pretty much immediately after buying back in for a third time. Look just below to see how he lost his second one, a two-part story in which the first saw him lose almost all of his chips after a river bluff didn’t work.

After re-entering, Dvoress was seated at Haxton’s table again to the latter’s immediate left, and they joked about Haxton having “coolered” him before.

Soon Dvoress opened for 11,000 from under the gun and Haxton called from the big blind, and the pair saw a flop come 5♥6♣K♦. Haxton check-called Dvoress’s continuation bet of 8,000, then Haxton checked again after the 10♥ turn landed.

Dvoress bet a hefty 60,000 this time, which if my calculations are right was well over the 40,000-ish in the middle. Haxton called without much hesitation, though he did hesitate when the river brought the 7♥, Haxton checked, and Dvoress pushed all in for about 165,000.

Finally Haxton called, and with a big grin Dvoress let his head drop a little. “Not again!” he said, tabling Q♥J♣ for a busted straight draw. Haxton had K♥9♦ for a pair of kings, and that was enough to win another big pot as Dvoress busts a third time.

Watching the proceedings from across the table, Behzad Ahadpour couldn’t help but comment.

“If it’s any consolation, I would have folded,” said Ahadpour, earning some laughs.

Haxton meanwhile is on his third entry, and commented that aside from a brief moment early on he’s finally sitting with more chips than he’s paid for. With about a half-hour to go tonight, Haxton has about 870,000. –MH

8:55pm: Schemion up, down & all around
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Ole Schemion is using everything in his arsenal as tonight’s action winds down. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

He opened under the gun on one hand for 11,500 and drew calls from Bryn Kenney UTG+1 and Julian Thomas in the big blind. They all checked the K♠9♠8♦ flop and the 2♠ turn, bringing the 10♠ on the river. Thomas checked and Schemion bet 15,500. That chased off Kenney and put the action back to Thomas, who looked like he was ready to call but eventually grimaced and folded. Schemion turned over 4♦3♦ — a complete bluff — and got a hearty laugh from Thomas.

The next hand saw Schemion call Mikita Badziakouski’s 13,000-chip button raise in the big blind, bringing a J♦4♦10♥ flop. Schemion check-called 13,000 there and both players checked the 5♦ turn. The 8♠ then fell on the river and Schemion tossed out two green chips — 50,000. Badziakouski thought for a few moments and then called. Schemion rolled over K♥6♥ for another bluff, but Badziakouski’s J♠3♣ took this pot.

Schemion still has about 840,000, roughly the same as Badziakouski. –JK

8:50pm: Small triple for Aldemir
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

“Nobody knows how to play sidepots,” Sam Greenwood said.

“I count myself among them,” Isaac Haxton responded. If he did, Koray Aldemir might not still be in the tournament.

Aldemir had moved all-in for just 27,000 from the cutoff and Haxton called from the button. Dominik Nitsche did the same from the big blind and both players checked the 7♥4♥8♠ flop. A 6♠ came on the turn and Nitsche bet 27,000.

Haxton folded, Nitsche turned over A♥J♥ and Aldemir tabled Q♥6♥ for a pair of sixes. The 7♦ completed the board and Aldemir tripled up.

“Did I make you fold better?” Nitsche asked.

Haxton grimaced.

“I know I did,” Nitsche said. That’s when Greenwood brought up his critique of sidepots. –AV

8:45pm: Haxton doubles, Dvoress dusted
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

First, Isaac Haxton doubled up and took most of Daniel Dvoress’s chips.

Isaac Haxton led for 8,000 from the cutoff on a 7♠2♠3♣ flop and Dvoress raised to 36,000 from the big blind. Haxton called and a 3♠ came on the turn.

Dvoress then bet 65,000 and Haxton called, bringing an 8♠ on the river. Now Dvoress moved all-in and Haxton called.

Dvoress turned over A♠4♣, but Haxton had a flush with 5♠4♠. The two stacks were fairly even, but Dvoress had a bit more. Haxton doubled to around 370,000 while Dvoress was left with just 20,000.

They then went all-in the following hand against Sam Greenwood. Greenwood showed A♥10♦ that hand while Dvoress was looking to improve with Q♠J♣.

Both players connected on the J♦K♠10♠ flop, but then Greenwood hit a third ten on the river. Dvoress hit the rail while Greenwood chipped up to about 1.07 million. –AV

Greenwood’s crushing

8:40pm: Badziakouski takes Ahadpour’s stack
Level 7 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Only have the end of this hand to share with you. That’s the only part that mattered to Manouchehr Ahadpour, anyway.

The board showed 7♦6♠A♥3♥Q♣, and Ahadpour was watching the last of his chips go over to Mikita Badziakouski. Ahadpour was also watching his cards — K♥6♠ for a pair of sixes — being swept into the muck. Badziakouski had A♦J♦ for a pair of aces, and Ahadpour leaned over one last time to see the hand that beat him again.

“That’s the breaks!” he said, rapping the table before giving Badziakouski a pat on the shoulder. We’ll see if Ahadpour comes back for a fourth crack of the whip. Meanwhile Badziakouski has 870,000. –MH

8:35pm: Schemion scoops three-bet pot
Level 7 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

Ole Schemion’s ascent up the chip counts has just had a big boost thanks to this pot. It all started with a 10,000 cutoff open from Manouchehr Ahadpour which was immediately three-bet to 30,000 by Mikita Badziakouski on the button.

Schemion then four-bet it to 109,000 out of the big blind, which got a fold from Ahadpour and a call from Badziakouski.

After such an action-packed start, the A♦3♠4♦ flop then got checks from both players. The 4♥ turn saw Schemion make a delayed c-bet for 52,000, which Badziakouski called taking them to the 10♥ river.

Ole Schemion: good day

There’d be no more betting though. Schemion flipped his A♠5♠ for top pair, and a single ace was enough to take this one as Badziakouski mucked.

Schemion is up to 885,000 now, while Badziakouski dips to 770,000. –JS

8:30pm: Table 3 big stack clash
Level 7 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

Ole Schemion has been overtaken as table chip leader after Mikita Badziakouski took a chunk of his stack with two pair.

Schemion opened from under the gun and was called by both blinds. The flop came 7♦9♥10♣ and Badziakouski led out for 11,000 and was only called by Schemion.

Badziakouski led for another 40,000 on the 2♣ turn and was called again before both players checked the 8♠ river. Badziakouski opened 10♠7♣ and Schemion mucked.

Badziakouski – 880,000
Schemion – 750,000

8:25pm: Seidel misses draw, loses another stack
Level 7 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

I came on this one amid the preflop action, at point in time where Erik Seidel had 10,000 sitting in front of him on the button, and Sam Greenwood had made it 36,000 to go from the big blind. Seidel was thinking and decided to call.

Meanwhile I later surmised Behzad Ahadpour might have been involved at some point from middle position — either with a preflop limp or raise. I say that because he was surely involved afterwards, despite not being in the hand.

Erik Seidel: Out again

The flop came Q♠A♥9♣, and Greenwood led for 22,000. Seidel thought a bit then raised to 75,000, leaving himself about 100,000 behind, and when Greenwood pushed all in, Seidel called.

Greenwood: A♠10♦
Seidel: J♣10♣

Greenwood had a pair of aces while Seidel had flopped a straight draw plus a backdoor flush draw. Ahadpour had stood from his chair and spoke up.

“I had ace of clubs and seven of clubs,” he said, and Seidel grinned as he said something to the effect that he didn’t necessarily want to hear that.

The 3♠ turn and 10♠ river brought more bad news for Seidel, and he lost his stack.

“What a draw!” said Ahadpour. “I would have lost, too!”

The table all chuckled at that. Greenwood had even more reason to smile, because he’s now up to 1.08 million. –MH

8:23pm: Sammartino sacked
Level 7 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

There goes Dario Sammartino.

The short-stacked player was down to just 36,000 on the river of a 8♦7♦7♣9♦2♣ board. There was about 55,000 in the pot and Sammartino moved all-in. Action was on Patrik Antonius and he thought for a bit before calling.

Sammartino turned over K♥10♦ for overcards while Antonius turned over 6♣6♥ for a pair of sixes. Sammartino hit the rail while Antonius chipped up to 395,000. –AV

8:21pm: Adams seated
Level 7 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

Timothy Adams, as expected, is indeed now involved. — HS

Timothy Adams: In his natural environment

8:20pm: Bonomo brings some back from Eibinger
Level 7 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

Justin Bonomo and Matthias Eibinger were at it again, and this time a much bigger pot went Bonomo’s way.

Nick Petrangelo kicked the hand off with an 8,000 under-the-gun open, and that grabbed Bonomo’s attention one seat over. He asked for a count of Petrangelo’s chips behind (85,000) before making the call. Eibinger then called from the big blind when it folded around to him.

The dealer laid a 4♣10♥10♠ flop which got no action, taking them to the 7♠ turn. Eibinger now took control with a lead for 12,000, and that was enough to shake off Petrangelo. But Bonomo wasn’t going anywhere; in fact, he wanted to play for more, and raised it to 50,000. Eibinger made the call.

Interestingly, the 7♥ river double-paired the board. Action was on Eibinger and he used up a time bank card before eventually leading out for 45,000, about a third of the pot. Bonomo called quickly.

Eibinger showed the Q♠4♠, having watched his pair of fours get counterfeited by the board. That meant Bonomo’s A♠8♠ for tens and sevens with the ace kicker was best.

Bonomo increases to 501,000, while Eibinger dips to 794,000.

In other news, Daniel Dvoress is back in action. –JS

8:15pm: Koray losing his way
Level 7 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

Koray Aldemir has just 47,000 chips after he couldn’t beat second pair on showdown versus Behzad Ahadpour, who rose back up to 310,000.

He opened to 8,000 from under the gun and Ahadpour defended his big blind. Ahadpour then led out for 10,000 on a 4♦3♦10♣ flop and Aldemir called. The turn was the K♥ and Ahadpour went into check-call mode, for 12,000 before the 5♠ river was checked.

Ahadpour opened 10♥9♥ and Aldemir mucked. –MC

8:10pm: Short-stacked stories
Level 7 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

Dario Sammartino is short of chips now. He’s also shorter of time bank cards, having spent some on a recent hand against Bryn Kenney.

The pair had reached the river with the board showing 6♣6♥2♦J♠8♥, and after Sammartino checked from the big blind, Kenney bet 75,000 — more than Sammartino had behind. As noted the latter thought a good while, but finally let his hand go to preserve the just over 60,000 he has left.

Dario Sammartino: Getting short

Mikita Badziakouski chuckled afterwards that Sammartino appeared “committed to the pot” after having spent those time bank cards, but Sammartino just grinned in response.

Meanwhile on the neighboring table Nick Petrangelo open-raised his short stack all in from the small blind to win one pot when Justin Bonomo folded the big blind. Then Petrangelo limped in from the button on the next one, but Bonomo wasn’t having it, raising his small blind to claim the pot.

Like Sammartino, Petrangelo is in the same 60,000-ish range. –MH

8:05pm: Vogelsang swings the big stack
Level 7 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

Christoph Vogelsang has a big stack and he knows how to use it.

Vogelsang opened for 9,500 in the cutoff and Julian Thomas called on the button — simple enough so far. Then David Peters re-raised to 46,000 in the small blind and put the action back on Vogelsang. He asked for a count of Peters’ green 25,000-denomination chips — just four, it turned out — and after another moment forcefully declared a bet of 112,000.

That chased Thomas away immediately and, eventually, Peters as well, earning a healthy pot for Vogelsang without ever having to see a flop.

Vogelsang is up to 670,000 now, Peters down to 225,000. –JK

8pm: Eibinger bringing it
Level 7 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

Matthias Eibinger is playing his first Super High Roller event under the PokerStars branding and it’s going very well. He is sitting with around 900,000 chips now, taking a relatively small pot in the past few minutes from Justin Bonomo.

It’s hard enough to extract chips from Bonomo, but both Rainer Kempe and Nick Petrangelo were also in the pot to the flop. It seems likely that Eibinger raised from the cutoff and then picked up calls from Petrangelo (button), Bonomo (small blind) and Kempe (big blind).

That quartet saw the 3♦9♠3♠ flop. Bonomo and Kempe checked, with Eibinger betting 7,000. Petrangelo quickly folded, but both others stuck around.

Matthias Eibinger: SHR debut under a new brand

The 6♦ turn brought three quick checks, leading to the 9♣ river. Bonomo bet 15,000 and Kempe folded. Eibinger called, however, and Bonomo showed 5♦5♣.

That meant that Eibinger’s A♣6♣ was good. — HS

7:55pm: Chidwick chirping Kempe
Level 7 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

Rainer Kempe raised to 9,000 from the cutoff and then Stephen Chidwick made it 30,000 from the button. Action folded back around to Kempe and he called. Both players then checked the 5♣6♠9♦ flop and a Q♥ came on the turn.

Chidwick made it 55,000 to go and Kempe went along for the ride. Then a 2♥ came on the river and Chidwick bet a smooth 300,000. It was most of Chidwick’s stack, but more than what Kempe had.

Kempe grabbed his time bank cards and started shuffling them as the clock ticked down. Then he threw one in and thought some more. Kempe decided not to call for his tournament life and folded. The hand left Kempe with 210,000 while Chidwick chipped up to 480,000. –AV

7:50pm: No more laters for the latest
Level 7 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

As sagely predicted by “HS” in his 7:35pm post, many of the eliminated players didn’t wait on the sidelines too long.

Patrik Antonius, Dominik Nitsche, Erik Seidel and Manouchehr Ahadpour (on his third entry) have all rejoined the Super High Roller party. That takes the the total number of entries up to 40, with 11 of those being a reentry. A total of 21 players remain and are spread over four tables. –MC

7:40pm: Kurganov KO’d
Level 7 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

We’ve just lost Igor Kurganov from this one. Or at least he’s lost his stack, we should say, given the re-entry option.

Kurganov had opened to 9,000 under the gun and was three-bet to 36,000 by Jan-Eric Schwippert from the small blind. Back to Kurganov, he jammed for 206,000 and Schwippert made a pretty quick call.

Kurganov – 5♠5♥
Schwippert – 10♥10♠

Kurganov’s pair was drawing to two immediate outs, but he found no help after the A♠2♠10♦ flop gave Schwippert a set. The 6♠ and 7♠ turn and river would then give Schwippert a higher flush and the KO.

Kurganov made a quick exit, but as we say the Team PokerStars Pro will surely be back for another bite. Meanwhile, Schwippert stacks up 798,000 now. –JS

7:35pm: The latest
Level 7 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

As Level 7 begins, time to catch up with what’s happened so far. The chip count page is up to date, and players who have so far been eliminated are Patrik Antonius, Dominik Nitsche, Daniel Dvoress, Jean-Noel Thorel (x2), Erik Seidel, John Juanda, Steve O’Dwyer, Manouchehr Ahadpour (x2) and Isaac Haxton (x2).

Of those, Thorel and Haxton are back in already — and I’d expect all the others to return at some point, too. Timothy Adams is also now sniffing around the buy-in desk having finished second Juan Pardo in the €10,000.

Look below for the current top five in the counts with two more hours left to go in Day 1. — HS

Name Country Chip Count
Christoph Vogelsang Germany 960,000
Mikita Badziakouski Belarus 883,000
Matthias Eibinger Austria 840,000
Sam Greenwood Canada 805,000
Jan-Eric Schwippert Germany 798,000

Matthias Eibinger: One of the big stacks

Don’t have a PokerStars account? Getting one couldn’t be easier and could mean a trip to the next big PokerStars series. Click here to get started.

7:17pm: Break time

Time for another 15-minute break. Smoke ’em if you got ’em. When players return they’ll play two more hour-long levels before calling it a night. –MH

7:15pm: Kenney doubles up Aldemir
Level 6 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

Koray Aldemir was down to 31,000 and moved all-in from the button. He didn’t double up that hand though, as everyone folded. Then he moved all-in again the following hand.

That all-in was worth 38,500 and Kenney called from the big blind. Aldemir showed K♥Q♦ and Kenney was in the lead with A♣9♣. The 4♣9♥J♣10♠5♦ board gave Aldemir a straight and he doubled to about 85,000, while Kenney dipped to 145,000. –AV

Aldemir survives an all-in

7:12pm: More for Ahadpour, entry for Adams?
Level 6 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

Sam Greenwood made it 12,000 to go from under the gun, which was quickly three-bet to 28,000 by Behzad Ahadpour on the button. Greenwood made the call when it folded back to him, and the two saw a 9♠8♠J♠ flop hit the felt. Check check.

The turn was the 6♣, and that inspired some betting. Greenwood opted to lead out for 30,000 which Ahadpour called, bringing the J♥ on the river. There’d be no more betting, and Greenwood rolled over A♦10♥. Ahadpour had that pipped though with his 10♣10♠, meaning both had flopped an open-ender.

Ahadpour moved up to 262,000 while Greenwood dipped to 820,000, and it was at that time that Timothy Adams came over.

“GG Tim,” said Daniel Dvoress. “Oh, did you win?” asked Igor Kurganov. They were referring to the $10K, in which Adams had finished second minutes earlier.

“Never mind, you’ve won entry into this one now,” Kurganov said, urging his friend to hop in. This is the high roller crushing Timothy Adams we’re talking about, so don’t be surprised if he does. –JS

7:10pm: Thorel didn’t see that coming
Level 6 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

Jean-Noel Thorel has busted his second entry not long after finding out he could fire as many as he wants today.

Ole Schemion opened to 7,000 from the cutoff and called after Thorel three-bet to 18,500 from the small blind. The Frenchman continued for 35,000 on a 9♥7♥]3♠ flop and Schemion called. The 8♠ turn was decisive. Thorel led for 50,500 and then called all-in for 327,500 after Schemion shoved his remaining 365,500 into the middle.

Thorel: K♥K♣ for an overpair
Schemion: 8♥8♠ for a turned set

The river was the 6♥ and Thorel looked dazed. So much so that he left without his spectacles and had to be chased down. Schemion moved up to 900,000. –MC

Jean-Noel Thorel felted

7:05pm: Mikita Badziakouski tops 1 million
Level 6 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

We have our first player over 1 million chips in this tournament — Mikita Badziakouski.

The action began with Dario Sammartino raising to 7,000 in the hijack. Koray Aldemir re-raised to 21,000 in the cutoff, and then Badziakouski put in a fourth bet for 47,000. That chased Sammartino but Aldemir called, bringing a flop of 8♠8♥3♣. Aldemir checked, Badziakouski bet 45,000, and Aldemir called.

The turn was the 5♣ and the action was the same: check, bet 110,000, call.

The 9♠ river drew another check from Aldemir and another bet from Badziakouski — this time all-in for 312,500. It was a tough spot for Aldemir, who used up four of his six allotted time-bank cards before finally deciding to call, only to muck when Badziakouski showed down K♥K♦.

Aldemir drops to just 37,000 chips with that crushing loss. Badziakouski, meanwhile, sits on 1.02 million. –JK

Make it a million for Mikita

7pm: The democratic process
Level 6 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

Throughout much of the day, there have been various discussions between various parties about whether this tournament should be a single re-entry, as was advertised on the tournament schedule, or an unlimited re-entry event, as has previously been the case in Super High Roller tournaments.

About five minutes ago, the tournament clock was paused while players voted on it once and for all.

The remaining 24 players unanimously agreed that they wanted this to be an unlimited re-entry event. That means that we will likely soon see the return of both Manouchehr Ahadpour and Isaac Haxton, the two players who have already entered twice.

Steve O’Dwyer has already fired once and not re-appeared, perhaps saving his second buy-in. But he may well also soon return. We’ll keep you posted. As it is, there’s now about 20 minutes until the second tournament break. — HS

6:55pm: Seidel sacked
Level 6 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

Erik Seidel was down to just about 30,000 and he put them all-in with 7♣6♣. David Peters called with 7♥7♠ and improved to a full house on the 7♦9♥2♥K♦9♠ board.

“Well, unlimited re-entries right?” Seidel said as he left the table. Well, not quite yet. It will be if players vote on it — which it appears they are just about to do (more on that in a moment).

While Seidel left, Peters took in his chips and is up to about 350,000. –AV

Seidel out (but will be back in)

6:50pm: We need a name for “Ace on the turn”
Level 6 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

Everyone knows that an ace on the river is called a “Barry Greenstein.” The PokerStars Team Pro literally wrote the book on aces on rivers. But after whom can we name an ace on the turn? Well, Stephen Chidwick has just officially thrown his name into the hat.

Nick Petranegelo had opened to 6,500 from the hijack, which Justin Bonomo called on the button. Over to Chidwick in the big blind. He put out a three-bet to 33,000, which got a quick fold from Petrangelo and a call from Bonomo.

The flop fell 2♥9♦2♦ on which Chidwick continued for 25,000. Bonomo then announced a raise to 70,000, and Chidwick four-bet jammed for 206,000. Bonomo snap-called with his 10♠10♣, and that overpair was ahead of Chidwick’s A♣K♦.

Only until the turn though, of course. It came the A♠, followed by the 6♥ river, giving Chidwick a full double to 484,500. Bonomo sees his stack slide down to 400,000. –JS

6:45pm: Dvoress short
Level 6 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

Daniel Dvoress has dropped down to 104,000 after he was flushed in a battle of the blinds versus Sam Greenwood, who rose to 860,000.

There was no raises before a 2♦5♠7♦ flop was spread. Greenwood bet 3,000 and called after he was check-raised to 11,000. The board ran out 4♠2♠ with Dvoress leading for 10,000 and 6,000. Greenwood called the first bet but raised the river bet to 60,000. Dvoress called and then mucked upon seeing Greenwood’s flush with Q♠3♠. –MC

6:40pm: Juanda finds black aces again (in his opponent’s hand)
Level 6 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

We’re now into Level 6, but John Juanda didn’t see much of it. He lost his last 44,500 in a pot against Igor Kurganov.

The hand started with a raise to 7,500 from Jan-Eric Schwippert and Juanda pushed from the small blind. Kurganov, in the big blind, went through the motions of asking for a precise count before calling.

He was sitting with A♣A♠, we soon found out, but the histrionics didn’t succeed in hooking Schwippert in. Schwippert folded.

Juanda’s K♣Q♠ was always in trouble against the aces, and the K♦A♦7♦ flop didn’t help much. He was drawing dead by the 3♠ turn and the 7♥ river was only of interest to completists.

Juanda departs, having run into black aces twice, while Kurganov moves up to 340,000. — HS

6:35pm: Ace-high wins for Eibinger
Level 6 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

Rainer Kempe raised to 7,500 from the button and Matthias Eibinger called from the big blind. Kempe continued for 7,000 on the 2♦Q♣3♥ flop and Eibinger called. Both players checked the 4♦ on the turn and a 9♣ completed the board. Kempe then bet 18,500 and Eibinger thought. He threw in a time bank card and thought some more.

Then he called.

Eibinger showed A♥7♥ for ace-high, and that was good as Kempe had but J♦8♦. Eibinger is standing strong with 680,000 while Kempe is now just under 200,000. –AV

Nothing could be Rainer than to find your hand is finer

6:25pm: Nick nips Nitsche
Level 6 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

Nick Petrangelo has clawed his way back to even for the day and dropped Dominik Nitsche into the danger zone in the process.

Petrangelo opened the action for 7,500 on the button and Justin Bonomo (small bind) and Nitsche (big blind) came along for the J♣J♠6♥ flop. Both blinds checked to Petrangelo, who bet 7,000. Bonomo folded but Nitsche re-raised to 20,000. Petrangelo called and the turn card was the 8♥.

Nitsche continued his line with a bet of 25,000 and Petrangelo, after some thought, made the call. Nitsche slowed down on the 10♦ river and folded when Petrangelo flipped five green chips — 125,000 — into the middle.

Petrangelo is now back up to 264,000, while Nitsche drops to a mere 60,000. –JK

Dominik in the danger zone

6:20pm: Bonomo bombs river
Level 6 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

Blinds are up and Justin Bonomo started the level off by putting Dominik Nitsche to the test.

Bonomo raised to 6,000 from the cutoff that hand and Nitsche three-bet to 20,000 from the button. The blinds folded, Bonomo called and a K♦8♦K♥ flop hit the board. Nitsche bet 15,000 when checked to and an 8♣ came on the turn. Both players checked and then Bonomo decided to see if Nitsche was serious after the 4♦ came on the river.

Bonomo moved all-in for nearly 600,000 and Nitsche, who only had about 140,000 behind, folded. –AV

Bonomo bets, collects

6:15pm: Fatehi back to starting stack
Level 6 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Ali Reza Fatehi has dropped even further, back to starting stack, after he lost more to Christoph Vogelsang.

We were actually following the re-entering David Peters and his journey to try and find a hand when we happened across the hand mentioned above. Peters drew table 3, seat 7 but his stay was brief. Bryn Kenney and Koray Aldemir were playing out a multi-street hand and before it concluded with a fold from the latter on the river, Peters was balanced onto Table 2.

A three-way hand had turned into a heads-up battle between Fatehi and Vogelsang when he sat down to their left. The board read A♦2♦7♥5♠ and Vogelsang had just led out for 73,000 from the small blind. Fatehi used a time bank chip before calling from the button to see the 2♥ river. Vogelsang piled up all his green 25k chips and slid the tall tower forward to set his opponent all-in. Fatehi wasted no time in folding and now has to start all over again.

Vogelsang meanwhile moved past 900,000, and Peters is still waiting for a hand! –MC

6:10pm: Level 6 begins
Level 6 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

Level 5 is over, folks. Done. Stop living in the past. Get with the present. Now everyone is Level 6-ing up. –MH

6:08pm: Nitsche bluff picked off by Eibinger
Level 5 – Blinds 1,500/2,500 (BB ante 2,500)

Dominik Nitsche has long been an advocate for using computer solvers in order to play as GTO as possible. Now, the in-depth stuff can sometimes go over our heads, so we’ll need either Nitsche — or his opponent Matthias Eibinger — to talk us through this one.

When we arrived there was around 19,000 in the pot, so judging by the players’ positions at the table, we’d guess that Nitsche had opened from the cutoff, and Stephen Chidwick and Eibinger called from the blinds (just a guess, remember). That took them to a 6♦10♠7♠ flop, which checked around.

The K♥ then hit the turn, and it checked to Nitsche once more. Now he led out for 22,000 — slightly more than the pot. Chidwick got out of the way, but Eibinger called to see a river.

The 9♣ completed the board and it checked to Nitsche again. He used a time bank card before eventually firing again for 60,000 — almost a pot-sized bet. Eibinger would make the call, and when Nitsche showed the A♠5♦ for ace-high, Eibinger saw that his K♣9♥ (top two pair) was good.

Nitsche is down to 130,000 after that one, while Eibinger climbs to 585,000. –JS

6:05pm: Old tricks
Level 5 – Blinds 1,500/2,500 (BB ante 2,500)

Jan-Eric Schwippert just pulled the old “timebank jam with aces” trick. One suspects if shot-clocks had been in operation during the days of the Texas rounders, you would have had people timebank limping with aces under the gun.

But it worked.

The hand began with a raise to 7,000 from Igor Kurganov under the gun and then a three-bet from Schwippert on the button. He made it 21,000. John Juanda then cold four-bet to 60,000 in the big blind and Kurganov folded. Schwippert called.

The two remaining players looked at a flop of 8♦9♥9♦ and Juanda flicked out 50,000. Schwippert then went into the tank, watched 30 seconds slip by, and pushed a timebank card forward.

He then let another 20 seconds slip by before announcing that he was all-in, for about 160,000. A priced-in Juanda winced, but called before getting an accurate count.

Schwippert tabled his A♠A♣ and Juanda’s J♦J♠ needed help. He didn’t get it. The turn 8♣ and river K♦ kept Schwippert ahead.

He had 157,500 in his stack at the all-in point, and now has around 440,000. Juanda is in a spot of bother with 55,000. — HS

The Super High Roller continues

6pm: Fatehi hits a Vogelsang-shaped bump in the road
Level 5 – Blinds 1,500/2,500 (BB ante 2,500)

Everything was going right for Ali Reza Fatehi today. But sometimes there’s just no escaping pocket kings when your opponent has pocket aces.

That’s exactly what just happened, and the beneficiary was Christoph Vogelsang. We missed the action, but it looked like all the money went in on a jack-high flop, and the kings failed to suck out.

Vogelsang is now up to roughly 750,000, while Fatehi’s stack is more than cut in half to 320,000. –JS

Vogelsang vaults up counts

5:55pm: Au revoir, Isaac
Level 5 – Blinds 1,500/2,500 (BB ante 2,000)

Isaac Haxton’s rough-going day is officially at its end.

Haxton was one of three callers after Steffen Sondheim opened for 6,000 under the gun — Ali Reza Fatehi came along from the cutoff, Erik Seidel in the small blind, and Haxton in the big. The action checked around to Fatehi on the 2♠5♥8♦ flop and he bet 12,500.

That chased Seidel from the pot but prompted an all-in bet of 45,500 from Haxton. Then Sontheimer and Fatehi both called, finalizing the main pot. The turn was the 10♠, Sontheimer led for 55,000, and Fatehi called to set up a a side pot. Sontheimer then jammed after the 5♣ river, shaking Fatehi loose and claiming the side pot.

Haxton rolled over A♦2♦ but that couldn’t compete with Sontheimer’s 8♣8♠ for eights full of fives and Haxton’s run in this tournament reached its conclusion.

Haxton falls

Sontheimer, meanwhile, is now on 380,000. –JK

5:50pm: Bonomo busts Peters
Level 5 – Blinds 1,500/2,500 (BB ante 2,500)

There goes another player, but chances are we’ll see him again.

David Peters raised to 6,500 from the button and Justin Bonomo called from the big blind.The flop came down 3♥10♠6♠ and Bonomo bet 7,000 when checked to. Peters called and checked again after the 7♥ came on the turn.

Bonomo bumped it up to 45,000 and a 3♣ completed the board after Peters called. This time Bonomo moved all-in when action checked to him. Peters, who only had about 145,000 behind, called all-in.

Bonomo turned over 7♣7♠ for a full house while Peters turned over K♣10♣. Peters hit the rail while Bonomo chipped up to 590,000. –AV

5:45pm: More action from Vogelsang and Fatehi
Level 5 – Blinds 1,500/2,500 (BB ante 2,500)

It’s looking a little bleak again for Isaac Haxton, who has slipped down to around 55,000 again and will know that his tournament will be over if he loses that. He was the first player out today and so is already on his second and final entry.

Haxton only played a small part in the following hand, but it was costly enough. He opened to 5,500 from early position and Ali Reza Fatehi, so often Haxton’s nemesis today, called on the button. Christoph Vogelsang also called in the big blind.

The three of them had cards to the 3♠3♥J♠ flop and Vogelsang checked. Haxton checked behind, leading Fatehi to bet 11,500. Neither opponent let their hand go yet.

The turn was the 6♠ and Vogelsang checked again. Haxton checked again too and then Fatehi bet 19,500. Vogelsang stuck around, but Haxton did indeed fold at this point.

The Q♦ completed the board and Vogelsang checked for a third time. Fatehi now checked behind and Vogelsang showed his Q♥J♦. That was a flopped two pair, made better by the river. Fatehi couldn’t beat it.

Vogelsang has about 390,000. Fatehi still has 800,000.

(Worth noting, however, that Fatehi may not be in the lead any more. Sam Greenwood, on a neighbouring table, has built his stack to more than 800,000, too.) — HS

Sam Greenwood might only appear parenthetically in this post, but in the tournament he appears to be the new chip leader

5:40pm: Two rounds of button vs. BB
Level 5 – Blinds 1,500/2,500 (BB ante 2,500)

On one table, Ike Haxton was tangling with his nemesis, Ali Reza Fatehi. On another table, Mikita Badziakouski was taking on Bryn Kenney. Both were button-versus-big-blind. And both are about to be reported to you.

Haxton made it 6,500 on his button, which Fatehi defended from the big blind to see a 5♦9♥5♥ flop. It checked to Haxton who continued for 5,000, only for Fatehi to then raise it up to 11,500. Call.

The dealer burned and turned the Q♣ and Fatehi fired again for 21,500, which got a fold.

Meanwhile, Badziakouski made it 7,000 on his button and Kenney defended. The 5♠2♠7♦ flop saw Badziakouski continue for 6,000 when checked to. Call.

The turn was the K♥ bringing two checks, followed by the 3♣ river. Kenney checked, and Badziakouski checked it back, much to Kenney’s chagrin. He’d rivered a straight with his A♦4♦, and Badziakouski mucked while the two shared a smile.

After all that, here are the counts:

Fatehi – 825,000
Badziakouski – 560,000
Kenney – 190,000
Haxton – 75,000

Fatehi, with all those chips

5:35pm: The $12 million boys
Level 5 – Blinds 1,500/2,500 (BB ante 2,500)

2018 results: $7.29 million versus $5.47 million. These are the stats for Justin Bonomo and Stephen Chidwick so far this year. And we’re not even halfway through the year!

The two of them just clashed with one catching the other bluffing.

Bonomo raised from the cutoff and Chidwick defended his big blind to see a Q♣3♦Q♥ flop appear. Bonomo continued for 6,000 and called after Chidwick check-raised to 22,000.

The 10♥ turn was checked through to the 9♠ river where Chidwick bombed for 62,000. Bonomo used a timebank chip and then called with A♠3♠ to beat out the Brit’s K♣5♣.

Bonomo – 335,000
Chidwick – 220,000

5:30pm: One of those days
Level 5 – Blinds 1,500/2,500 (BB ante 2,500)

It’s been a frustrating day for Isaac Haxton. He dropped most of his original starting stack with kings against Ali Reza Fatehi’s aces early on Level 1 and things haven’t gotten much better for him since then. Case in point: the latest hand.

Haxton opened for 10,500 in the small blind and Steffen Sontheimer — another player on his second and final entry — called in the big blind after thinking it over for a bit. Haxton led for 6,000 on the K♥Q♥5♠ flop and Sontheimer called, bringing the 6♣ on the turn. Both players checked and the river was the 4♥. Haxton checked and Sontheimer bet 35,500, about the size of the pot. Haxton let his shot clock run all the way down before looking at the board with a grimace and tossing his cards into the muck.

Sontheimer climbs to 260,000 with that win, while Haxton is still lingering with 94,000. –JK

5:25pm: Thorel takes out Antonius
Level 5 – Blinds 1,500/2,500 (BB ante 2,500)

It was a preflop frenzy that ended in an 11-bet all-in.

Well, not really, but there was a lot of preflop raising. We got to the table when Patrik Antonius had 25,000 in front of him and Jean-Noel Thorel was on the small blind with a bet worth 62,500.

Antonius then moved all-in for 190,000 and Thorel snap-called. Antonius turned over A♠K♦ and Thorel tabled J♥ for a flip. The board ran 6♥4♥9♠10♣5♣ and Thorel took it down. Antonius hit the rail while Thorel chipped up to about 220,000. –AV

The Finn’s first stack est fin.

5:20pm: Have some of that…
Level 5 – Blinds 1,500/2,500 (BB ante 2,500)

Ali Reza Fatehi began Level 5 as he left off in all the other levels today. He’s putting chips in and building his stack.

He opened to 6,500 from the button and then watched Christoph Vogelsang three-bet the small blind, making it 25,500 to go. Fatehi called and the dealer put the K♦J♥6♠ on the table.

Vogelsang led for 24,000 and Fatehi called, taking them to the 10♦ turn. Vogelsang’s check was a red rag to Fatehi, who bombed 135,000 at it. Vogelsang folded without too much ado.

Fatehi is nearing 750,000 again, which is still a starting stack’s lead over his nearest opponent. — HS

Ali = the greatest (stack)

5:15pm: Chidwick shoves on Petrangelo
Level 5 – Blinds 1,500/2,500 (BB ante 2,500)

Stephen Chidwick just won a decent pot from Nick Petrangelo, although details are pretty scarce, I’m afraid. I just heard Chidwick say, “I’m all-in,” and put 175,000 over the line with the following four cards on the board: 7♦6♣5♦5♣.

An anguished Petrangelo told the dealer that he wouldn’t need reminding every time his shot-clock ticked down to 15 seconds, as is the convention. “I’m good,” he said, then indicated the three time-bank cards he still had left and added: “I’m probably going to use all of these.”

He did indeed use all of them, but the 2 minutes’ thinking time convinced him only to fold. Chidwick took it uncontested and seems to have about 400,000 now. — HS

5:10pm: Play resumes
Level 5 – Blinds 1,500/2,500 (BB ante 2,500)

They are back at it. We took advantage of the break to freshen the chip counts, finding that Ali Reza Fatehi remains the big stack in the room. Here are the top five at the moment:

Name County Chip Count
Ali Reza Fatehi Iran 707,000
Koray Aldemir Germany 510,000
Igor Kurganov Russia 478,000
Matthias Eibinger Austria 460,000
Mikita Badziakouski Belarus 450,000

Erik Seidel, Isaac Haxton, and Bryn Kenney are the shortest stacks as play resumes. –MH

Don’t have a PokerStars account? Getting one couldn’t be easier and could mean a trip to the next big PokerStars series. Click here to get started.

4:55pm: Break it up

They’ve reached the end of Level 4, and players are now on another 15-minute break. –MH

4:52pm: Badziakouski gets more
Level 4 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (BB ante 2,000)

Mikita Badziakouski got more chips to put him up to nearly 600,000. There was no scalp this time but his win, off Ole Schemion, saw him leapfrog the German.

Schemion opened from the cutoff and was called in two spots including Badziakouski in the big blind. The flop fanned 6♠A♥2♣ and Schemion continued for 6,000. Badziakouski was the only caller and both players went on to check the Q♠ turn. The 10♥ completed the board and Badziakouski led for 22,000 then opened A♦9♥ when called. Schemion mucked. –MC

4:50pm: Schwippert straightens Thorel
Level 4 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (BB ante 2,000)

Jan-Eric Schwippert is one of two recent arrivals — the other is John Juanda — and Schwippert was seated in time to win a pot from Jean-Noel Thorel.

John Juanda joins the fun

They were at the flop by the time I caught up with the action, and the J♣J♥2♠ was out there. Schwippert checked, Thorel bet 6,500 and Schwippert called.

The pattern repeated after the K♣ turn, with Thorel now betting 15,000 after Schwippert’s check. Schwippert called again.

The Q♣ completed the board and Schwippert checked again. This time Thorel checked behind, and it was the only time Schwippert would have been unhappy to see that. Schwippert tabled his A♣10♥, having completed the straight on the river. Thorel mucked.

Schwippert gets an early boost as has around 280,000. Thorel is down to about 175,000 on his second entry. — HS

Good start for Schwippert

4:45pm: Kurganov doubles through Ahadpour
Level 4 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (BB ante 2,000)

Nehzad Ahadpour’s stack is getting whiplash.

Its most recent downsing started when Igor Kurgranov raised from under the gun and Jean-Noel Thorel three-bet to 12,500 from the cutoff. Behzad Ahadpour called from the big blind but then Kurganov re-raised to 40,000. Thorel folded, Ahadpour called and the flop came 7♣8♦9♣.

Kurganov bet 37,500 and then Ahadpour moved all-in. Kurganov quickly called and turned over 10♣10♦ to Ahadpour’s 10♥9♥. The turn was an 8♣ and then an A♠ on the river secured the double up for Kurganov.

Ahadpour dropped to 140,000 while Kurganov closed in on 400,000. –AV

More for Igor

4:40pm: Badziakouski claims the rest of Chidwick’s chips
Level 4 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (BB ante 2,000)

Stephen Chidwick hopped in this one immediately after finishing seventh in the $10K, but his first entry hasn’t worked out for him. First he lost the hand you can read about below, and then this one quickly followed.

Patrik Atonius (what? We haven’t mentioned him yet? Well now we have) opened from the cutoff/under the gun to 5,500 which was three-bet to 16,000 by Chidwick on the button. Over to Badziakouski in the big blind, he let his 30-seconds tick right down before announcing a raise to 37,000. Antonius let his hand go, but Chidwick called.

The flop came K♦10♦9♦ saw Badziakouski continue for 20,000, after which Chidwick moved all in for around 65,000. Badziakouski snap-called and tabled the A♦A♣, way ahead of Chidwick’s A♠K♠.

The 8♦ turn and 5♦ river only improved Badziakouski to the ace-high flush, bringing his stack up to 420,000 while Chidwick made an exit (for the moment, anyway, as we expect him to re-enter). –JS

Chidwick chipless (for now)

4:35pm: Mikita rides the river
Level 4 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (BB ante 2,000)

Mikita Badziakouski just took down a massive pot from Stephen Chidwick thanks to a perfect river card.

Badziakouski opened the action for 5,500 in the cutoff and Chidwick called from the big blind to see the 6♦K♦10♠ flop. Chidwick checked and then, after Badziakouski bet, raised to 25,000. Badziakouski thought it over and called, bringing the 4♠ on the turn. Chidwick checked once again but only called when Badziakouski bet 23,000.

The river was the Q♣ and Chidwick checked one more time. This time Badziakouski moved all-in for 142,000, leaving Chidwick with a big decision. He used two of his time bank cards and at the end of his minute-and-a-half of consideration opted for the call. He didn’t show his cards down, though, once Badziakouski rolled over A♥J♦ for the rivered Broadway straight.

That loss drops Chidwick’s stack to about 88,000, while Badziakouski is now on 385,000. –JK

4:30pm: Vogelsang takes some more from Haxton
Level 4 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (BB ante 2,000)

Steffen Sontheimer is back in the room, peeling the shrink wrap away from another 250,000 chips. The same can’t be said for Manouchehr Ahadpour, whose stay of execution was only temporary. He is now out for the second and final time.

Sontheimer has taken a seat on the table with Ali Reza Fatehi, Erik Seidel, Julian Thomas, Isaac Haxton and Christoph Vogelsang, and was in position to see the tail-end of a hand between the latter two play out.

It began with Haxton raising to 5,000 on the button and Vogelsang three-betting to 27,500 from the big blind. Haxon called, and they saw the flop of 7♣2♣2♦. Vogelsang bet 35,000 and Haxton called.

The turn was the J♥ and Vogelsang bet 64,000. Haxton called. Then the 10♣ completed the board. Someone then hit the pause button on the VCR as Vogelsang watched his first 30 seconds bleed away, and then watched another 29 seconds disappear too. Then he checked.

Haxton checked behind and Vogelsang turned over his Q♦Q♠. Haxton mucked.

Vogelsang now has 400,000. Haxton has about 120,000 as his desperate day continues. — HS

4:25pm: Hooray for Koray
Level 4 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (BB ante 2,000)

Koray Aldemir has moved up to almost 690,000 chips after bombing with a flush draw, and hitting it. Dominik Nitsche was the bank and dropped to around 200,000.

Aldemir had opened to 8,000 from under the gun and was called by Nitsche in the big blind. Both checked a 9♥A♥10♠ flop before Aldemir bet 40,000 and 77,000 on the 4♦2♥ turn and river. Nitsche check-called both bets and then mucked upon seeing Aldemir’s J♥7♥. –MC

Pot to Koray

4:20pm: Behzad rockets upward
Level 4 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (BB ante 2,000)

Behzad Ahadpour raised from the button and Bryn Kenney threw in a three-bet to 15,000 from the small blind. Ahadpour pumped it up to 55,000 and then Kenney moved all-in.

Ahadpour called and showed A♣A♥ while Kenney tabled 9♠9♦. The board ran Q♥J♠7♠6♠2♣ and aces took it down. Ahadpour doubled up to about 390,000 while Kenney was left with slightly less than 100,000. –AV

Bring it to Behzad

4:15pm: Dvoress chips up
Level 4 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (BB ante 2,000)

While we’ve heard plenty from Manouchehr Ahadpour so far today, we haven’t heard from the other Ahadpour. Behzad Ahadpour. So here he is.

Ahadpour (Behzad, that is) opened to 4,000 under the gun and was called in two spots: Jean-Noel Thorel (button) and Daniel Dvoress (small blind). Sam Greenwood (big blind) wanted to play higher, and he three-bet squeezed it to 22,000. Only Thorel didn’t call.

The four then saw an 8♥Q♥J♦ flop, but after an exciting start to hand things slowed with three checks. The 2♦ hit the turn, and when Dvoress led out for 45,000 he’d take it down.

Dvoress is on 450,000 now, while Ahadpour has 195,000 and Greenwood has 330,000. –JS

Dvoress divorces others from their chips

4:10pm: Manouchehr clings on
Level 4 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (BB ante 2,000)

There’s life in Manouchehr Ahadpour yet. He three-bet pushed over the top of Justin Bonomo’s button open and Bonomo called. Ahadpour’s shove was for about 40,000.

Ahadpour: Q♥3♦
Bonomo: K♦7♦

Bonomo was ahead at the start of this, but the 3♣A♥J♣10♠A♦ board, and specifically that 3♣, put Ahadpour ahead. It prevented him from being the first person to burn through both of the two permitted entries. — HS

4:07pm: To unlimited?
Level 4 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (BB ante 2,000)

A discussion has begun between players and tournament staff whether or not to make this single re-entry event an unlimited re-entry. We’ll keep you posted on how that discussion goes. –JS

4:05pm: Sontheimer felted
Level 4 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (BB ante 2,000)

We may be seeing another re-entry soon as Steffen Sontheimer just hit the rail. There was not a whole lot unusual about this one: Stephen Chidwick opened to 4,500 from early position and Sontheimer moved all-in for around 45,000.

Ole Schemion, on the button, cold-called and Chidwick folded.

Sontheimer had found Q♣Q♠, which was a premium holding with which to jam. But Schemion had A♣A♦ and that was better.

The board bricked and Sontheimer heads away from the table, perhaps to the buy-in desk, perhaps to do something else with his evening. He can take his second entry any time up to the start of play tomorrow. — HS

4pm: Sammartino in action
Level 4 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (BB ante 2,000)

We’re now into Level 4, with 27 €100,000 entries now taken, including three re-entries. One of those, Jean-Noel Thorel, found himself drawn in the same seat he left, the exact thing that happened to Isaac Haxton earlier. The newest completely fresh arrival is Dario Sammartino. — HS

Sammartino takes a seat

3:55pm: Near triple for Eibinger, O’Dwyer out
Level 3 – Blinds 1,000/1,500 (BB ante 1,500)

Matthias Eibinger probably didn’t expect that much action when he raised to 3,500 from under the gun. Even after Steve O’Dwyer three-bet to 11,000 from the hijack we thought things would remain fairly calm.

Manouchehr Ahadpour called from the small blind and Koray Aldemir did the same from the big blind. Action was back on Eibinger and that’s when things got out of control. The clock ticked down and Eibinger threw out an ominous time bank card.

What was he up to?

The time for that card started ticking down and Eibinger moved all-in for 202,600. Action was on O’Dwyer, who had about 180,000, and he moved all-in as well. Action went to Ahadpour and he thought for a bit and called.

Then Koray Aldemir rejammed…! Just kidding. He folded and we had to make due with a three-way all-in.

Eibinger: A♣Q♠
O’Dwyer: J♦J♠
Ahadpour: A♠K♠

It was a face-card frenzy that ended in Eibinger’s favor after the board came Q♥10♣4♠5♦6♣. Eibinger nearly tripled to about 590,000 while O’Dwyer hit the rail and Ahadpour was left with just 19,400. –AV

Eibinger watching

3:52pm: Sontheimer slips further
Level 3 – Blinds 1,000/1,500 (BB ante 1,500)

It’s not just Ole Schemion that Steffen Sontheimer can’t beat right now — it’s the whole table.

Coming off his losses to Schemion, Sontheimer was in the big blind. Stephen Chidwick — fresh into this tournament from his final table appearance in the €10,300 Single Re-Entry event — limped in for another 500 from the small blind and Sontheimer checked, bringing a 3♠Q♦6♦ flop. Sontheimer called 1,500 from Chidwick there and another 5,000 after the 9♠ turn before both players checked the 5♠ river. Chidwick showed down 8♦8♠ to grab the pot and chip up to 260,000, while Sontheimer mucked.

On the next hand Sontheimer called from the small blind and then called again after Mikita Badziakouski raised to 5,500 in the big blind. Sontheimer check-called 4,000 on the 2♦K♠7♥ flop and then both players checked down the 6♦ turn and 3♦ river. Sontheimer had flopped a pair of deuces with A♣2♣ but Badziakouski’s 10♣3♠ made treys on the river to take the pot and move up to 232,000.

Those losses have Sontheimer down to 70,000. –JK

3:50pm: Haxton breaks curse
Level 3 – Blinds 1,000/1,500 (BB ante 1,500)

I was starting to think that I had some sort of curse over Isaac Haxton today seeing as every post I covered him in, he was on the wrong end of. He just won a hand without showdown, though, and I’m writing about it regardless so this curse can be well and truly over.

Ali Reza Fatehi opened to 3,500 and was called in two spots before Haxton squeezed to 23,500 from the big blind. Only David Peters (cutoff) called and a 2♣Q♦7♦K♠K♥ board rolled out. Haxton bet 17,500 on the river and Peters was a believer this time as he folded to drop to 295,000. Haxton up to 260,000.

Disclaimer: Curses don’t exist, except when I have pocket jacks. –MC

3:45pm: Another Schemion-Sontheimer skirmish
Level 3 – Blinds 1,000/1,500 (BB ante 1,500)

Ole Schemion came in for a 4,000 open in the UTG+1 seat, and it folded around to Steffen Sontheimer in the small blind. He tossed out a three-bet to 15,000, and when it got back to the original raiser, Schemion made the call.

The flop fell 3♣A♦5♠ and Sontheimer continued his aggression for 9,000. That failed to budge Schemion, who saw the K♣ turn land after his call. Now both checked.

The J♠ river completed the board and Sontheimer checked once more. Schemion led out for 20,000, and after using up most of his shot clock time, Sontheimer made the call.

Schemion flipped over the A♠7♠ for top pair, and it seems he’d got a bit of thin value as Sontheimer said “good hand” as he mucked. Sontheimer is down to 82,000 now, while Schemion is up to 420,000. –JS

3:42pm: A familiar pattern continues
Level 3 – Blinds 1,000/1,500 (BB ante 1,500)

The Ike Haxton/Ali Reza Fatehi benefactor/beneficiary relationship continues, with Haxton perhaps getting a mite frustrated.

“I’m done,” Haxton said the minute he saw Fatehi call his 3,700 open. Fatehi was in the cutoff, and Julian Thomas also called from the big blind.

The three of them saw the flop of 5♦K♠K♥. Thomas checked and Haxton bet 3,000. Fatehi raised to 8,700 and Thomas folded. Haxton called.

Haxton checked the Q♣ turn, but Fatehi didn’t slow up. He bet 11,300. Haxton tossed his cards away.

His second entry has lasted longer than his first, but Haxton continues to hover around the sub-starting stack 215,000-chip mark. Meanwhile Fatehi is cruising with 830,000. — HS

3:40pm: Schemion siphons some off Sontheimer
Level 3 – Blinds 1,000/1,500 (BB ante 1,500)

I dare you to say that headline five times fast.

Ok, on to the hand. Steffen Sontheimer raised to 4,000 from under the gun and Ole Schemion called from the cutoff. Stephen Chidwick called from the small blind and Steve O’Dwyer did the same from the big blind.

The flop came down K♦4♠Q♠ and Sontheimer bet 13,000. Schemion called, O’Dwyer and Chidwick folded and only people with last names that start with an ‘S’ went to the 7♦ on the turn. Sontheimer checked this time and Schemion upped the bet to 74,000. Sontheimer quickly called but then mucked after Schemion showed 4♣4♥ for a set of fours.

Sontheimer dropped to 137,000 while Schemion chipped up to nearly 400,000. –AV

Good ol’ Ole is good

3:35pm: When it rains it Ahadpours
Level 3 – Blinds 1,000/1,500 (BB ante 1,500)

You wait for one Ahadpour to reenter, and then two turn up at once.

Not only had Manouchehr Ahadpour now used his single re-entry option, but he’s been joined by his brother, Behzad Ahadpour, also an Iranian businessman and poker enthusiast. We’ve seen Behzad dabble in these high rollers over the past year or so, and he has now joined the field here. –JS

3:30pm: JNT puts TNT beneath chip stack
Level 3 – Blinds 1,000/1,500 (BB ante 1,500)

That’s the end of Jean-Noel Thorel, though he is almost certain to re-enter at some point. He’s never done with just the one entry.

Thorel jammed his last 33,200 over the top of Igor Kurganov’s early position open to 4,000. Nick Petrangelo was the first to make the call and Petrangelo’s presence persuaded Kurganov to step aside.

Petrangelo: K♣K♦
Thorel: 4♣4♦

Thorel was already gathering his belongings before the dealer fully finished delivering the board. But he was right to think the game was up. None of the A♣9♣9♠8♣10♠ were any good for him. — HS

3:25pm: Kenney climbing
Level 3 – Blinds 1,000/1,500 (BB ante 1,500)

Bryn Kenney hasn’t been at the table long — he only bought in after the last break — but he’s already increased his starting stack by 20 percent thanks to a healthy pot he just took from Matthias Eibinger.

The hand kicked off with Jean-Noel Thorel raising to 3,900 under the gun. Eibinger called on the button and then Kenney raised to 18,500 in the big blind. Both opponents called, swelling the pot as the 2♣7♦5♠ flop came down. Kenney led for 24,000, shedding Thorel but drawing a call from Eibinger. Kenney led again on the K♣ turn, this time for 46,000, and Eibinger tossed his cards into the muck before Kenney could get his bet out.

That win boosts Kenney to 300,000, while Eibinger drops to 230,000. –JK

Kenney collecting

3:20pm: Worth the wait
Level 3 – Blinds 1,000/1,500 (BB ante 1,500)

David Peters showed why he’s considered one of the best tournament players on the planet after he picked off an Isaac Haxton river bluff, who’s having one of those days so far.

The hand started with a 3,800 under-the-gun raise from Justin Bonomo. He was called by Peters (button) and Haxton (big blind) before a 6♦A♥5♣Q♠J♣ board ran out. Bonomo waited until the river before continuing for 5,000 and he was called by Peters before Haxton check-raised to 34,000. Bonomo folded and Peters used a time bank chip and almost another before flicking in the call.

Haxton opened K♦J♠ but lost out to Peters who revealed A♦9♦.

Peters – 360,000
Haxton – 210,000
Bonomo – 310,000

3:10pm: Ahadpour’s down the drain
Level 3 – Blinds 1,000/1,500 (BB ante 1,500)

Manouchehr Ahadpour is outta here. His executioner? His friend, fellow countryman, and massive chip leader, Ali Reza Fatehi.

There was 18,600 in the middle already when we arrived, and three players with cards in front of them: Ahadpour, Fatehi and Isaac Haxton. They were staring at a 5♠4♦4♥ flop, and when both Fatehi and Ahadpour checked, Haxton led for 4,500. Both called.

The turn was the 2♣ which Fatehi checked once more. Ahadpour now led out for 10,000, and both Haxton and Fatehi called to see a 4♣ river, putting three fours on board. Fatehi checked, and Ahadpour instantly moved all-in, a big overbet worth 116,500.

Haxton had a think but let it go, and when it was on Fatehi he counted out calling chips. Once he’d checked his stack size behind, he made the call and Ahadpour mucked. Fatehi showed the A♦K♠ for ace-high to go with the trips, and Ahadpour’s J♠10♦ (which was shown by the dealer) was pure air.

Just jack-hah for Kanghah

Ahadpour is off for a possible re-entry, while Fatehi’s stack continues to grow, up to 800,000 now.

“I don’t bluff you anymore Ali,” said tablemate Julian Thomas at the end of the hand. “I stop now.” –JS

3:05pm: Small bird
Level 3 – Blinds 1,000/1,500 (BB ante 1,500)

Taking some time away from coming up with lookalikes for German opponents, Steve O’Dwyer is also playing some poker against folk from all over Europe.

After losing a 30,000 pot to Steffen Sontheimer (O’Dwyer’s pair of jacks were out-drawn when Sontheimer rivered a wheel), O’Dwyer then battled Mikita Badziakouski. Badziakouski won that one.

O’Dwyer opened his button to 4,000 and Badziakouski called in the big blind. That took them to a A♦2♥J♠ flop, and Badziakouski checked. O’Dwyer bet 3,000, but then had to decide what to do after Badziakouski raised to 12,000.

O’Dwyer called, and they would prove to be the last chips that went into the pot. They both checked the Q♥ turn and J♣ river and Badziakouski’s A♠10♦ prevailed.

O’Dwyer has about 160,000 now. Badziakouski has nosed over his starting stack and sits with about 260,000. — HS

3pm: Tournament filled with Special K
Level 3 – Blinds 1,000/1,500 (BB ante 1,500)

The total number of entrants has swelled to 23 post-break, with 22 of them being unique entries. A reminder that only one re-entry per player is allowed with Isaac Haxton the only player to be in his last life.

Team PokerStars Pro Igor Kurganov was already in his seat for the beginning of Level 3 and the tournament will soon be joined by Bryn Kenney, who’s buying in as we write this post. –MC

A swell field

2:55pm: Back at it
Level 3 – Blinds 1,000/1,500 (BB ante 1,500)

Players are back in their seats and Level 3 is underway.

During the last level there had been some conversation about whether or not they could go ahead and color up to remove the 100 chips early, as the use of the big blind ante seemed to make having them less needful. However the small chips are staying in play, as in fact they are useful for those wanting to have a bit of flexibility with their preflop raise-sizing. (The color-up will come after Level 4 as scheduled.) –MH

Don’t have a PokerStars account? Getting one couldn’t be easier and could mean a trip to the next big PokerStars series. Click here to get started.

2:40pm: Break time
Level 2 – Blinds 500/1,000 (BB ante 1,000)

That’s the end of Level 2 and players are taking a 20-minute break. There are 19 players, with one re-entry taken so far. Don’t forget, registration is open until the start of play tomorrow. — HS

2:38pm: Clock drama
Level 2 – Blinds 500/1,000 (BB ante 1,000)

Aside from speeding up the action, the shot clocks look like timers used in movie bombs and make for some dramatic countdowns.

In one, Steve O’Dwyer waited until the last second before detonation. Mikita Badziakouski raised to 2,000 from under the gun that hand and Koray Aldemir three-bet to 7,500 from middle position. Steve O’Dwyer called from the button and Badziakouski let it go. The flop came 5♣6♥7♥ O’Dwyer bet 8,000 when checked to. Aldemir called and then both players checked after the 5♠ came on the turn.

A 2♥ completed the board and Aldemir bet 40,000. That’s when the clock started ticking down on what would be the last action on the hand. With 15 seconds left, O’Dwyer started riffling his chips. Ten seconds, more riffling, also some card shuffling. Five seconds, what will you do Steve?! One second, O’Dwyer mucked his hand and Aldemir took down the pot.

Shot clock, or bomb timer?

Phew, that was close. Aldemir is now up to about 300,000 while O’Dwyer is at about 225,000. –AV

2:35pm: Lots of aces
Level 2 – Blinds 500/1,000 (BB ante 1,000)

The following report contains five aces. It covers two hands, though, so everything’s on the up and up.

Both hands involve a couple of ace poker players — Isaac Haxton and Justin Bonomo, who are sitting side-by-side as part of this star-studded field. The first started with a Bonomo raise to 2,500 from under the gun, with Manouchehr Ahadpour (button), Erik Seidel (small blind), and Haxton (big blind) all calling.

The flop came A♣K♠A♠, and when checked to Bonomo bet 3,500 and only Haxton stayed in. Both players checked the 3♦ turn and Q♣ river, and when Haxton showed K♦7♦ for kings and aces Bonomo mucked and Haxton won the pot.

The second hand saw Ahadpour opening from the cutoff for 6,500 and both Haxton (SB) and Bonomo (BB) calling. The flop again brought two aces, coming A♣3♦A♥, and when Haxton led for 5,000 only Bonomo called. Another ace fell on the turn — the A♠ — and both checked. Haxton checked again after the 3♠ river, then folded after Bonomo bombed for 60,000.

Bonomo has about 355,000 and Haxton 210,000 with about 10 minutes left to go before the day’s first break. –MH

2:30pm: And your bird can Sang
Level 2 – Blinds 500/1,000 (BB ante 1,000)

There was some giggling going around the tables of this €100K Super High Roller, but we weren’t sure of its cause. That was until Steve O’Dwyer showed Christoph Vogelsang the picture that was on his phone.

It was the character Big Bird from Sesame Street. “Do you know him?” O’Dwyer asked Vogelsang. “You’re big bird.”

Christoph Vogelsang: Big bird?

Now this could have been an opinion that O’Dwyer held previously (Vogelsang is quite tall), or it might have been formed due to Vogelsang’s choice of yellow jumper today. Whatever the reason, it’s not the first time Vogelsang has heard it.

“Actually I’ve been called bird my whole life,” he said. “Bird sang, but not Big Bird.” –JS

2:28pm: Koray clips Ole
Level 2 – Blinds 500/1,000 (BB ante 1,000)

Ole Schemion was checking things out earlier and now he’s in the field. Koray Aldemir just welcomed him to the table by taking some of his chips.

Aldemir opened the action for 2,500 in the cutoff and was the lone caller after Schemion bumped the bet to 9,500 on the button. Aldemir then check-called 6,000 after the 4♦6♥6♦ flop before both players checked the 7♦ turn. Aldemir led out for 8,000 after the J♣ river and that was all the convincing Schemion needed to give up his hand.

Aldemir’s now up to about 287,000. –JK

2:26pm: DP Poker rivers JNT
Level 2 – Blinds 500/1,000 (BB ante 1,000)

Jean-Noel Thorel threw his arms up into the air after he realised he’d been rivered by David Peters to lose a second pot in quick succession. He dropped to 95,000 as a result and Peters rose to 310,000.

David Peters: Silently moving up

Peters opened to 2,500 from the cutoff and called after Thorel three-bet to 8,000 from the next seat. Thorel went on to bet 9,000 on the A♦2♣7♦ flop and 10,000 on the 10♠ turn.

Peters check-called both bets before the 8♣ river was checked through. Peters opened A♣8♦ for two pair to beat out Thorel’s A♥Q♣. –MC

2:25pm: Greenwood collects from JNT
Level 2 – Blinds 500/1,000 (BB ante 1,000)

We just caught the end of a massive pot between Sam Greenwood and Jean-Noel Thorel, and it’s Greenwood, the Canadian, who came out on top.

There was a 5♦6♠6♦7♠ board out there with around 58,000 in the middle, and Thorel led for a chunky 55,000. Greenwood made the call to see the 3♣ river, on which the action remained the same: 55,000, and a call.

Jean-Noel Thorel: Takes a hit

Thorel turned over the A♥Q♠ for just ace high, which Greenwood had beat with his Q♦Q♥. Greenwood is up to 395,000 now, while those bluffs have sent Thorel’s stack down to 130,000. –JS

2:20pm: Fatehi takes more from Haxton
Level 2 – Blinds 500/1,000 (BB ante 1,000)

“You should have picked another table!” said Julian Thomas, needling Isaac Haxton.

Haxton had just lost another healthy pot to his nemesis today, Ali Reza Fatehi, and then randomly drew the exact same seat with his second entry.

Then this hand happened. Haxton opened to 3,000 from the button, which was then three-bet to 9,700 by Fatehi on the button. Haxton wanted to see some community cards, and when his calling chips were in the dealer laid a 4♣Q♥8♦ flop. Fatehi continued for 10,900, and Haxton called again.

No stopping Ali Reza Fatehi

That took them to the 10♦ turn, and there was no slowing down from the Iranian. Fatehi fired for 12,500 which Haxton called, bringing the 5♠ river.

Both would now check it through, and Fatehi flipped over the A♦Q♠ for top pair top kicker. That was enough to get a muck from Haxton, who now sits with 215,000.

Fatehi’s chip lead is extended to 670,000. –JS

2:15pm: Family troubles
Level 2 – Blinds 500/1,000 (BB ante 1,000)

Super High Rollers are already small affairs with familiar faces, but we recently almost had a family pot. Sam Greenwood started things off with a raise to 2,400 from under the gun. Nick Petrangelo called from the hijack and then David Peters decided he wasn’t going to be a part of the family.

He folded from the button and decided to go on his phone while Jean-Noel Thorel and Daniel Dvoress called from the blinds. Maybe they were upset that Peters didn’t join them to the flop, or maybe it was because of Petrangelo’s aggression, but the family broke apart soon after that.

The flop came down J♣6♦7♠ and Petrangelo bet 5,000 when checked to. Then, one by one the family fell apart with four folds and Petrangelo was left alone with a small pile of chips.

Was it worth it Nick? Was it? –AV

2:10pm: Thrill ride
Level 2 – Blinds 500/1,000 (BB ante 1,000)

It’s been relatively quiet over on Table 3 for the last short stretch where your humble scribbler just watched several small pots go by. Everyone sitting there is still hovering around the starting stack of 250,000. More or less. Give or take.

I mean that’s the long and the short of it.

I was hopeful to tell you something more, though, when Christoph Vogelsang just now opened for 2,500 from the hijack seat. Then Steffen Sontheimer reraised to 8,500 from the cutoff and when it folded back to Vogelsang he called. Oh boy.

It gets better. The flop came 2♥2♦8♠, and when checked to Sontheimer continued for 14,000. Vogelsang called again, and quickly. Yeah, buddy!

The turn was another deuce, the 2♣, and Vogelsang checked once more. Sontheimer put out a heftly bet of 58,000 this time. And then… and then… and then…!

Vogelsang folded. Ho-hum. –MH

2pm: Hax strikes back
Level 2 – Blinds 500/1,000 (BB ante 1,000)

Dropping a second pot to Ali Reza Fateh doesn’t appear to have fazed Isaac Haxton. Sitting in the big blind, Haxton was the lone caller of a Justin Bonomo raise to 2,500. Both players checked the 10♥6♣Q♥ flop and Haxton checked again on the Q♠ turn. Bonomo bet 4,000 and Haxton came in for a check-raise to 18,500. Bonomo quickly called and the river was the 3♥.

This time Haxton used one of his timebank cards to buy himself a full minute of time to ponder his action. He eventually announced a 14,500-chip bet and Bonomo, after about 10 seconds, made the call. Haxton showed K♠Q♥ and took down the pot when Bonomo mucked.

With that win, Haxton is back to about 260,000. –JK

1:50pm: Can Ali’s stack get any Fateh(i)?
Level 2 – Blinds 500/1,000 (BB ante 1,000)

Ali Reza Fatehi must love having Isaac Haxton back at his table as he just won another chunk off the American to see his stack swell to 560,000.

Koray Aldemir started the hand with an under-the-gun raise to 2,500 and picked up a call from Manouchehr Ahadpour before Haxton squeezed to 10,500 off the button. Fateh cold called from the big blind and was joined by Aldemir, but not Ahadpour.

The board ran J♣7♥10♣J♥6♣ with no more chips going in until the river where Fateh led for 12,700. Haxton called and Fateh opened A♣K♣ for the nut flush. Haxton mucked and dropped to 230,000. –MC

1:40pm: Bonomo dodges Fatehi freeroll
Level 2 – Blinds 500/1,000 (BB ante 1,000)

“Nice little freeroll there,” said Justin Bonomo with a grin to Ali Reza Fatehi after a hand between them concluded.

I only arrived with the board showing A♠Q♦10♥J♦, but having seen the conclusion I can employ a little reckless speculation to guess what happened before that point.

Bonomo likely raised preflop from the cutoff, after all he would turn out to have A♣K♣. And Fatehi probably called that raise from the button with K♦8♦. I’m going to guess Bonomo kept the initiative with a flop bet and Fatehi stuck around, though again, as I say, we’re just speculating.

After the jack fell on the turn to give both players Broadway, I can be more definitive and report Bonomo bet 4,000, Fatehi raised to 10,500, and Bonomo called. Both then checked down the board-pairing 10♣ river, prompting Bonomo’s comment at the showdown after they chopped the pot.

“How much would you have bet if the diamond came?” was Bonomo’s follow-up, and Fatehi chuckled. “Not too much,” he said.

Justin Bonomo: Chipping up

Fatehi remains the first-level leader with 510,000 at the moment, while Bonomo has chipped up to about 350,000. –MH

1:35pm: Thomas takes an early hit
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (BB ante 1,000)

Julian Thomas finally got his seat draw and got put in the eight seat at Justin Bonomo’s table. Then Thomas lost about half his stack.

Thomas raised to 2,500 on his first hand at the table and Justin Bonomo three-bet to 12,500 from the small blind. Thomas called and the flop came down 7♦5♣Q♥. Bonomo bet 9,000 and Thomas raised it up to 27,000.

Julian Thomas: Early hit

Things cooled down a bit after the 10♦ came on the turn. Both players checked, but then a J♦ came on the river to heat things right back up. Bonomo bet 10,000, Thomas raised to 80,000 and then Bonomo moved all-in.

Thomas couldn’t call and was left with about 135,000 after the hand while Bonomo chipped up to 345,000. Welcome to the table Julian.

Then the table got another new, yet familiar, face. Isaac Haxton re-bought and got seated in the same spot he was eliminated from. We’ll see if he can make some new, better memories in that seat this time around. –AV

1:30pm: Big pot for Petrangelo
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (BB ante 1,000)

After Daniel Dvoress and Nick Petrangelo had placed their lunch orders (chicken curry, if you must know), they’d soon tangle in a pot that quickly heated up.

Dvoress had made it 2,500 under the gun only for Petrangelo to three-bet to 10,000 on the button. Dvoress made the call, and then checked once the dealer had spread the 4♦7♠8♥ flop. Petrangelo put out a c-bet worth 16,000, but Dvoress wasn’t going anywhere.

The J♠ turn then landed and Dvoress checked once more. Petrangelo didn’t reach for chips; in fact, he didn’t do anything for a good minute, using a time bank before ultimately checking back.

That brought the 7♦ on the river and it checked to Petrangelo once more. This time he didn’t take much time and led into Dvoress for 43,000. That was enough to get a fold and ship him the pot.

Nick Petrangelo: Winner from a spicy pot

Dvoress is now on 190,000, while Petrangelo is up to 270,000. –JS

1:25pm: River value for Nitsche
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (BB ante 1,000)

As mentioned, Steve O’Dwyer was balanced to a newly opened (the third) table that included Mikita Badziakouski, Steffen Sontheimer and Dominik Nitsche. O’Dwyer wasted little time in clashing with Nitsche.

Nitsche raised to 4,000 from the small blind and O’Dwyer defended and called another 5,000 on the A♦7♣4♥ flop. The 6♥ turn was checked through to the J♥ river where Nitsche led for 4,000. O’Dwyer called, nodded and mucked when Nitsche opened J♦10♦ for a rivered pair. –MC

1:20pm: Haxton hacked
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (BB ante 1,000)

After losing with kings against Ali Reza Fatehi’s aces earlier, Isaac Haxton was left with about 15,000 chips. Now he’s off to registration for his lone opportunity to re-enter this tournament after a confrontation with Fatehi and Steve O’Dwyer.

The hand began with O’Dwyer raising to 2,100 under the gun. Haxton, next to act, called that bet and Fatehi did the same in the cutoff, taking us to the Q♦5♦7♥ flop. O’Dwyer checked and Haxton bet 2,000. Fatehi raised to 6,000 and after O’Dwyer called, Haxton moved in for his last 11,600 chips.

Steve O’Dwyer: Completed the job on Haxton

Fatehi thought it over for a bit and called Haxton’s shove, but he declined to come along after O’Dwyer re-raised to 27,000. That left Haxton with one opponent to overcome, though at a major disadvantage:

O’Dwyer: K♦Q♣
Haxton: Q♥J♥

The 4♦ turn and 8♣ river were no help and Haxton headed off to re-enter the tournament. He’s already back at the table with a fresh stack of 250,000. –JK

1:15pm: Who’s the fish?
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (BB ante 1,000)

As a third table was being set up, players from the other tables were randomly drawn to move over. Check out this line-up:

Steffen Sontheimer. Dominik Nitsche. Mikita Badziakouski. And Steve O’Dwyer.

Steffen Sontheimer: Not a fish

Julian Thomas recognised the table’s talent level. “Hey guys,” he said, waiting for his own seat draw. “Who’s the fish? I don’t think anyone would want that spot.”

One person who might fancy it is Ole Schemion. He’s just entered the poker room and was taking a look at the field. –JS

1:10pm: Good bet, Badziakouski
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (BB ante 1,000)

Following a middle-position open to 2,500, Mikta Badziakouski three-bet to 9,000 from the cutoff and it folded around to Daniel Dvoress in the big blind.

Dvoress has been active early, already having claimed a few small pots. He was active in this hand, too, deciding to reraise with a four-bet to 28,000.

The original raiser got out, then after sitting quietly for about 15 seconds Badziakouski made a five-bet to 66,000, a bet representing about a quarter of the 250,000 starting stack.

The bet meant business, too, or so Dvoress surmised, as he tossed his hand away. Dvoress is at about 270,000 now after that one, Badziakouski at 260,000. –MH

1:05pm: Cooler costs Haxton
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (BB ante 1,000)

“Pretty good start!” said an ironic sounding Isaac Haxton after he was coolered by Ali Reza Fatehi. He just won that pot against Koray Aldemir, but this one wasn’t so great.

A preflop raising war saw Fatehi get the final raise in – to 62,000 – and Haxton called. The flop fell 6♣8♦9♥ and Haxton (hijack) checked to watch Fateh (button) splash 110,000 into the middle. Haxton set him in for 185,500 total and was immediately called.

Haxton: K♣K♥
Fatehi: A♠A♣

Ali Reza Fatehi: Right side of an early cooler

The board ran out a blank 3♣ and 9♠ and Haxton dropped to 17,000. –MC

1pm: Aces for Aldemir
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (BB ante 1,000)

…then Isaac Haxton lost some to Koray Aldemir.

Aldemir raised to 2,500 from under the gun and Haxton called from the cutoff. Christoph Vogelsang went along from the big blind and the three players went to the A♥9♠7♥ flop.

Haxton bet 2,700 when checked to and only Aldemir called. Both players then checked the 3♦ on the turn and a 10♦ completed the board. Aldemir fired off a bet worth 4,600 and Haxton called.

Koray “Aces” Aldemir

Aldemir turned over A♣A♠ and Haxton mucked. Aldemir won some chips and shortly after the tournament got another player: Dominik Nitsche. –AV

12:55pm: Flash poker – Haxton over Ahadpour
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (BB ante 1,000)

There’s a 30-second shot clock in play, although neither Isaac Haxton nor Manouchehr Ahadpour really needed it all that much in a first-level hand that just played out between them.

It began with Ahadpour limping in from the cutoff, then watching Haxton make it 6,500 to go from the small blind. Ahadpour called the raise, then quickly called again after Haxton fired 4,500 at the 2♦K♦J♠ flop. The turn brought the Q♥ and another fast bet from Haxton, this one worth 20,000, and Ahadpour called right away once more.

Isaac Haxton: A win

The river brought the 2♥ and the only real pause in the proceedings as Haxton took about 20 seconds before betting 90,000. Ahadpour sent his cards toward the dealer, and Haxton claimed the pot. –MH

12:50pm: Players arrive while Thorel propels
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (BB ante 1,000)

Steffen Sontheimer has now officially taken his seat, although there’s no sign of Julian Thomas just yet.

The German isn’t the only recent arrival though. We’ve also got two Iranian high rollers in Ali Reza Fatehi and Ahadpour Khangah, plus the French businessman turned high roller reg Jean-Noel Thorel.

The latter of those names just took down a nice pot to get his tournament started. Nick Petrangelo opened to 2,700 on the button, which Mikita Badziakouski called from the small blind. Thorel would then match it from the big, bringing an 8♦6♦6♠ flop.

Badziakouski opted to lead out for 2,500, which got a call from Thorel but shook off Petrangelo. The turn was the J♥ and now Badziakouski checked, but Thorel continued to build a pot. He took the betting lead for 3,500, and Badziakouski called.

The 2♠ completed the board and Badziakouski checked quickly. Thorel wasted no time in firing again for 4,500, and after a few seconds of thinking he was called. Thorel flipped over the 10♠6♣ for flopped trips, and when Badziakouski saw it he smiled and mucked.

Mikita Badziakouski: ‘I’m glad I didn’t raise’

“I’m glad I didn’t raise,” he said, as his stack dropped to 236,000, while Thorel is up to 270,000. –JS

12:45pm: Badziakouski tripped up
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (BB ante 1,000)

Daniel Dvoress has got off to a great start by making trips against Mikita Badziakouski in a battle of the blinds.

There was no raise before Badziakouski led for 1,000 on a 4♣2♦4♦ flop. Dvoress raised to 3,500 and Badziakouski called. Dvoress then went on to bet 6,500 and 20,000 on the J♦8♠ turn and river.

Badziakouski check-called both bets and then mucked upon seeing Dvoress’s A♥4♥. –MC

12:37pm: Let’s play some cards
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (BB ante 1,000)

The first hands of the €100,000 Super High Roller are being dealt at last, with two tables in action to begin.

Mikita Badziakouski, Daniel Dvoress, and Sam Greenwood are playing three-handed at one table. Meanwhile at the other Steve O’Dwyer, Isaac Haxton, Nick Petrangelo, Chrisoph Vogelsang, and Koray Aldemir are receiving their first cards of the tournament.

Steffen Sonthemier and Julian Thomas are both standing over at the cashier’s desk as well, although they have yet to jump into the game. –MH

12:30pm: We have a game!
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (BB ante 1,000)

At around 30 minutes after schedule, looks like cards will be in the air very soon. We have Sam Greenwood, Isaac Haxton, Justin Bonomo, Mikita Badziakouski, Steve O’Dwyer and Christoph Vogelsang in the room and they want to play. Are you up for it? That’s the size of your opposition. — HS

12:20pm: A couple more
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (BB ante 1,000)

Sam Greenwood and Orpen Kisacikoglu are now also in the tournament room, so a game may be starting soon. Actually, scratch that. Kisacikoglu is still in the €10,000 side event, which is at its final table, so he’s here for the resumption of that. But…yes! Daniel Dvoress has arrived. He’s playing the €100,000. — HS

12pm: Due to start

Play is due to get under way at noon, although that’s not going to happen. So far the only person floating around in the vicinity is Jean-Noel Thorel, but even legendary JNT can’t play a Super High Roller against himself. Shouldn’t be too long until some others head to the tournament room though. — HS

11:45am: Welcome back to Monte Carlo

Good morning everybody and a warm welcome to Monaco–the home of the poker world for the coming nine days.

The principality on the south coast of France, a stone’s throw from the border with Italy, has long provided the elegant backdrop for stories of the continent’s gambling aristocracy, and was an obvious destination for the pioneers of the European Poker Tour (EPT) all the way back in 2005.

Thirteen years later, Monte Carlo’s allure remains strong and the revitalised EPT returns. The festival has grown far longer, richer and more varied (see full schedule), with the addition of the €100,000 Super High Roller event, which begins today, offering the most convincing evidence of how the game has advanced in the past decade.

That’s our principal order of business for today: we will be keeping our eyes fixed on the eight one-hour levels of Day 1 of the Super High Roller tournament, typically an efficient indicator of the kind of festival we’re in for. It’s a fine curtain raiser, and a terrific way to celebrate a return to the Salle des Etoiles, aka, poker’s most splendid arena.

Play begins at noon. All the information you need can be found via any of the links above, or in the following paragraph:

Today’s action:

Super High Roller – Day 1
Buy-in: €100,000 (inc. €2,000 fee)
Re-entry: Single re-entry allowed
Registration: Entry open until 12:30pm Friday (start Day 2)
Starting stack: 250,000
Starting blinds: 500/1,000 (BB ante 1,000)
Schedule of play: Eight one-hour levels
Shot-clock: 30-second shot clock; six 30-second timebank cards per person
Defending champion: Bryn Kenney

Download the PokerStars LIVE! app with all tournament information. Available for IOS and Android.

PokerStars Blog reporting team on the €100,000 Super High Roller: Marc Convey, Jason Kirk, Martin Harris, Jack Stanton, Howard Swains and Alex Villegas. Photography by Joe Giron/PokerPhotoArchive.

Arrive in Monte Carlo style


Next Story