EPT Monte Carlo: Dominant Day 2 performance leaves Oleksii Khoroshenin on top in €25K High Roller

May 03, 2018

Day 2 of the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo©Casino European Poker Tour €25K High Roller here at the Salle des Étoiles was always going to be an interesting affair, packed as it was with top-flight players from Europe, Asia, and North America. The level of action on display turned out to be more than any poker spectator could’ve hoped for, though, and when it was all over Ukrainian player Oleksii Khoroshenin bagged the most chips — 1.848 million — of the eight remaining players.

Khoroshenin crushed

Khoroshenin’s day was defined by near-constant raising, lots of stolen pots, and opponents whose hands were just a touch worse than his when it came to showdown. It was a perfect recipe for building an enormous stack. And though his pace slowed down by the end of the night, he managed to bag the most chips.

Wouter Beumers came into the day tops among the 43 Day 1 survivors, holding a whopping 213-big-blind stack that eclipsed his nearest competitor by more than 50 big blinds. He ended up being surpassed by Bryn Kenney and Khoroshenin — the latter of whom jumped in front by picking off a bold Beumers bluff early in the day — before a loss just after dinner dropped him back into the middle of the pack.

He and the others were joined by Jonathan Bensadoun, Mark Teltscher, Andrei Konopelko, Rustam Hajiyev, Erik Seidel, John Juanda, and Jack Salter as late registration closed at the start of the day’s play. That finalized the prize pool at €2,828,035, with €711,500 up top for the winner. Among them, only Teltscher was able to spin up his 25-big-blind stack into a cash.

Ryan Riess, the 2013 WSOP Main Event winner, took a hit early on in the day when Yan Shin Tsang went runner-runner for a wheel straight to crack his pocket kings and leave Riess short-stacked for the rest of the day. In the end he jammed over the top of a Fady Kamar raise with A♦Q♥, only to discover that Kamar had opened with A♥K♥. Already dominated, Riess watched Kamar make quad kings to make him our bubble finisher.

Four players, including GPI world #1 Stephen Chidwick, who’d been working with a short stack most of the day, busted around dinnertime. Then the players hit the gas and drove this tournament right to the edge of sanity in the space of 40 minutes.

First Kenney, the last American player left in the field, clashed with Khoroshenin and ended up all-in pre-flop with A-Q against the Ukrainian’s A-K. One player down.

Next Khoroshenin cut Thomas Muehloecker’s stack down, turning aces full of tens and getting value on the river. Muehlocker made a move with a suited jack and was picked off by Teltscher’s rivered pair of aces. Two players down.

Fady Kamar probably played fewer hands than anyone else in the field over the course of the day. Then he picked up A-K and clashed with Markus Durnegger’s A-J and a flush draw. No spade on the river — three players down.

Then Kamar took his own leave from the tournament after four-betting on the button with J-J. Khoroshenin had A-A in the hole. Four players down in 40 minutes, with two hours left to play in the night.

Kamar sees the bad news

Things slowed down for another hour and a half before the game switched back into high gear, taking what had looked like a potential runaway for Khoroshenin into a highly competitive game. But the Ukrainian maintained for the next two hours to close out the night with the chip lead.

Name Country Chips
Oleksii Khoroshenin Ukraine 1,848,000
Joao Vieira Portugal 907,000
Mark Teltscher UK 895,000
Albert Daher Lebanon 744,000
Yan Shing Tsang Hong Kong 431,000
Julian Thomas Germany 421,000
Shyngis Satubayev Kazakhstan 390,000
Wouter Beumers Netherlands 315,000

We’ll be coming back tomorrow at 12:30pm CEST to resume play on Level 21 and play from eight down to our champion. Be sure to join us then for full coverage. Until then, bonsoir de Monaco! –JK


• PLAYERS: 8 of 119 entries (with 28 re-entries)
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12:50am: Day 2 concludes

That’s it for Day 2. With eight players left, Oleksii Khoreshenin is comfortably in front. Back in a few with a recap of an exciting day of poker. –MH

12:35am: Another 20 minutes
Level 20 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (BB ante 16,000)

We’re on to the final third of tonight’s last level of play, still eight-handed and still with Oleksii Khoroshenin in the lead. –JK

12:25am: Teltscher vaults past Daher into second position
Level 20 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (BB ante 16,000)

Mark Teltscher just picked up a very healthy pot without ever having to see a flop.

Teltscher opened for 27,000, as he had done a few hands in a row, this time from the cutoff. Joao Vieira re-raised to 110,000 on the button, putting the action on Albert Daher. Then Daher put in a fourth bet of 260,000. The action folded back around to Teltscher and after getting confirmation of the bet size he announced he was all-in.

That put Daher in a tough spot indeed. He used one time bank card before announcing that he was folding. Teltscher took down the pot and moved up to 920,000 chips, good for second position in the chip counts. Daher, meanwhile, drops to 810,000 and third position. –JK

12:15am: Teltscher flops two pair (aka quads)
Level 20 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (BB ante 16,000)

Mark Teltscher had some players giggling after he announced his hand at the end of this one. Oleksii Khorosenin was not one of them, though.

Teltscher had opened UTG+1 to 35,000, which got calls fro Khoroshenin (sb) and Shyngis Satubayev (bb). The three went to a 4♠9♦9♣ flop, and Khoroshenin opted to lead out for 37,000. Only Teltscher called.

The turn brought the 10♥ and now Khoroshenin checked it. Teltscher took his time before announcing a bet of 34,000, and Khoroshenin called quickly to see the 6♥ river. He’d check again, and Teltscher wasn’t done betting. He announced 67,000, and Khoroshenin beat him in to the pot.

“Two pair,” announced Teltscher, as he turned over 9♠9♥ for a pair of nines, plus a pair of nines. Four nines then. Quads.

Yan Tsang and Julian Thomas couldn’t help but laugh as the pot was pushed to Teltscher, bringing him up to 720,000. Khoroshenin is down to 1.7 million after that one. –JS

Teltscher flops it

11:55pm: Movin’ on up
Level 20 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (BB ante 16,000)

We’re moving on to our final level of the night. Here are our current chip counts.

Name Country Chips
Oleksii Khoroshenin Ukraine 1,720,000
Albert Daher Lebanon 1,100,000
Joao Vieira Portugal 900,000
Mark Teltscher UK 560,000
Wouter Beumers Netherlands 380,000
Julian Thomas Germany 380,000
Yan Shing Tsang Hong Kong 320,000
Shyngis Satubayev Kazakhstan 280,000

We have a rail

11:50pm: Uskov out in 9th (€70,500)
Level 19 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (BB ante 12,000)

After an hour and 15 minutes of sedate poker we’ve finally lost another player.

The hand started, as most of them have during this stretch, with a raise to 27,000 by Oleksii Khoroshenin, this one under the gun. Alexander Uskov was next to act and moved all-in for 183,000. Then the action reached Julian Thomas in the small blind and he moved in as well. That dissauded Khoroshenin from going any further, setting up a showdown:

Thomas: J♦J♠
Uskov: 8♣8♥

The board ran out K♣Q♦2♣A♣2♠, the jacks remained ahead, and Uskov departed in 9th place. –JK

Uskov’s out

11:45pm Vieira secures big double up
Level 19 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (BB ante 12,000)

Alexander Uskov has moved to the bottom the chip counts after doubling Joao Vieira.

Vieira started the hand opening to 23,000 from early position, only to be three-bet to 82,000 by Albert Daher one seat over. When it got to Uskov in the big blind, the Russian came in for a four-bet to 212,000.

Vieira didn’t too long before he moved all-in, and this made Daher momentarily squirm. He’d then fold his cards, but first flashed them up to Julian Thomas and Yan Tsang.

Back to Uskov, he asked for a count and when he heard it was 404,000 total he made the call.

Uskov – Q♣Q♦
Vieira – K♦K♠

The 9♥8♥10♥6♦2♣ board ran clean for Vieira’s kings, and he more than doubles up to 900,000. Meanwhile, Uskov is down to just 186,000.

The dealer then grabbed Daher’s mucked cards, in a ‘show one show all’ way, and revealed that he had folded Q♠Q♥. –JS

11:30pm: Daher takes one from Uskov
Level 19 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (BB ante 12,000)

Albert Daher is in second chip position and climbing thanks to a pot against Alexander Uskov.

Daher opened for 24,000 under the gun and Uskov called on the button, as did Mark Teltscher in the big blind. Teltscher checked the 7♣7♦3♥ flop and Daher bet 28,000. Uskov called and Teltscher folded.

Daher checked on the J♣ turn and then called a 50,000-chip bet from Uskov to bring the A♠ on the river. Daher took the lead once again with a bet of 50,000 and Uskov, after very little consdieration, made the call, only to slam his cards face-down on the table when Daher turned up A♣6♣ for the rivered aces and sixes

Daher is now on 1.05 million, about half of leader Oleksii Khoroshenin’s stack but several dozen big blinds ahead of the rest of the field. –JK

11:20pm: Daher clips Khoroshenin
Level 19 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (BB ante 12,000)

I’ll be honest, the unofficial final table hasn’t quite kicked off with the big you might have expected from the prior action. It’s been a lot of raise and take it, with the occasional three-bet and fold.

But this hand makes the cut. Albert Daher made it 24,000 from the lojack and Oleksii Khoroshenin three-bet it up to 65,000. Back to Daher, he made the call and the two went to a J♥J♦7♦ flop. Daher checked it, and Khoroshenin continued for 45,000. Call.

The dealer laid the 8♦ turn and this time when Daher checked Khoroshenin checked behind. They then saw the A♣ complete the board, and now Daher took control with a lead for 175,000.

Khoroshenin was forced into the tank, and didn’t emerge for a minute after his initial 30 seconds was over. He handed over two time bank cards, then laid his hand down.

That brings his stack below 2 million (1.99 million to be exact), while Daher increases to 846,000. –JS

11:05pm: Taking things to another level
Level 19 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (BB ante 12,000)

We’re moving on to the next-to-last level of the night. Oleksii Khoroshenin is still our chip leader at 2.23 million. –JK

11pm: Beumers begins working back up
Level 18 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000)

After a cascade of crazy action took us down to our unofficial final table, things have slowed down a bit. That’s just fine by Wouter Beumers, who’s begun rebuilding a stack that took a big hit just before the previous break.

The action opened with an early posiiton raise to 23,000 by Yan Shing Tsang. Oleksii Khoroshenin called in the hijack seat, as did Shyngis Satubayev in the cutoff. Alexander Uskov folded on the button, putting the action on Beumers, who made it 82,000 to go. Nobody wanted a piece of that raise and Beumers took down the pot. He’s now on 380,000. –JK

10:40pm Unofficial final table begins
Level 18 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000)

The final nine are back in their seats. Speaking of which, here’s the seat draw. Oleksii Khoroshenin has more chips than the next four players combined, and twice as many as the bottom four combined. –JS

Seat Name Country Chip count
1 Mark Teltscher UK 560,000
2 Joao Vieira Portugal 450,000
3 Albert Daher Lebanon 700,000
4 Yan Shing Tsang Hong Kong 340,000
5 Julian Thomas Germany 260,000
6 Oleksii Khoroshenin Ukraine 2,250,000
7 Shyngis Satubayev Kazakhstan 300,000
8 Alexander Uskov Russia 640,000
9 Wouter Beumers Netherlands 365,000

Khoroshenin’s killing it

10:34pm Kamar busts 10th (€58,000) to Khoroshenin in massive pot
Level 18 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000)

An absolutely massive pot has just seen Fady Kamar become our tenth-place finisher.

It started with a 24,000 under-the-gun open from Yan Tsang, which Oleksii Khoroshenin three-bet to 65,000 from the cutoff (which he had done the previous hand too, and got Tsang to fold).

Over to Kamar on the button, he came in for a cold four-bet to 175,000, which shook off Tsang but got a call from Khoroshenin. At this point, Albert Daher – who had just moved tables – was hating his new seat.

“I haven’t seen one three-bet the entire level,” he told Mark Teltscher, “Now I get here and the first hand is raise, re-raise, RE-raise!”

The dealer then spread a 10♠6♥K♠ flop, and Khoroshenin checked it. Kamar continued for 155,000, and Khoroshenin announced all-in! This put Kamar in a very tough spot. He pulled out his time bank card, and knew he was going to have to use it if he was to figure this one out.

The time ticked down. He tossed in a call and moved the 255,000 he had behind into the middle.

Khoroshenin – A♠A♦
Kamar – J♦J♠

Kamar would need a jack to survive, but the 8♣ and Q♥ turn and river didn’t help him.

Khoroshenin is now an even bigger chip leader than he was before. He has 2.25 million. His closest rival? Daher with 700,000.

The players are now taking their scheduled break early, as we draw for the unofficial final table. –JS

Kamar got Khoroshenin’d

10:20pm: Teltscher tests Khoroshenin
Level 18 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000)

The lone Day 2 re-entry to cash in this tournament is beginning to stack up, partially thanks to a hand against the chip leader that never got to the flop.

Mark Teltscher opened for 22,000 in the cutoff. Oleksii Khoroshenin re-raised to 70,000 from the small blind to test Teltscher, and then Teltscher applied a test of his own: a four-bet to 172,000. Khoroshenin waited for about half his shot clock before mucking his hand. Teltscher is now on 600,000. –JK

10:10pm: Durnegger done in 11th (€58,000)
Level 18 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000)

Markus Durnegger’s tournament is over after a clash with Fady Kamar left him short-stacked.

Kamar opened the pot for 30,000 under the gun and Durnegger called in the cutoff, bringing the A♦Q♠2♠ flop. Kamar led for 37,000 and Durnegger called. The turn was the 4♣ and Kamar moved all-in for 180,000. Durnegger went into the tank and tried to figure out what to do. “I think you have ace-king,” he said. “But I also have a flush draw.”


“I call.”

Kamar: A♥K♠
Durnegger: A♠J♠

Durnegger’s read was good. Unfortunately for him, his flush draw wasn’t when the 8♣ fell on the river to ship the pot to Kamar, boosting the Lebanese player to 545,000 chips and leaving Durnegger on life support with a mere 21,000 chips. Forced in on his next big blind, Durnegger’s 8♣7♦ fell to Kamar’s A♦2♠ to eliminate him in 11th place. –JK

Durnegger’s day is done

10:02pm Muehloecker eliminated in 12th (€51,000)
Level 18 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000)

It may have worked last time, but this time Thomas Muehloecker shoved small blind (for around 120,000) to Mark Teltscher’s big, he was called and ultimately busted.

Muehloecker – J♠5♠
Teltscher – A♥9♠

Muehloecker took the lead on the Q♠J♣2♣ flop, and kept it on the 10♥ turn, but the A♣ hit the river. Teltscher is up to around 460,000 now. –JS

Muehloecker sees the bad news

9:58pm Double up for Thomas
Level 18 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000)

Julian Thomas just jammed for 131,000 over the top of a 22,000 open from Wouter Beumers and was called. It was Thomas’ A♥J♣ versus A♦3♦, and the board ran Q♠10♦J♥7♥A♠.

Thomas doubles to roughly 270,000, while Beumers dips to 600,000. –JS

9:55pm The rich get richer
Level 18 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000)

Oleksii Khoroshenin is riding a wave right now. Unfortunately for Thomas Muehloecker and Markus Durnegger, it’s at the two Austrians’ expense.

Picking up the action on a 2♣10♠A♥A♣ board, there was a healthy pot already built and Durnegger and Muehloecker checked to Khoroshenin. He led for 41,000, and both would make the call.

The river was the Q♥ and when it checked to Khoroshenin again he fired 127,000. Durnegger would use a time bank before folding, but Muehloecker made the call.

He’d muck though when Khoroshenin showed A♦10♣ for aces full of tens. That brings Khoroshenin up to 1.656 million, while Muehloecker is down to 143,000 and Durnegger 216,000. –JS

9:50pm: Khoroshenin busts Kenney in 13th (€51,000)
Level 18 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000)

Bryn Kenney and Oleksii Khoroshenin had been trading places at the top of the chip counts before they were consolidated onto the same table just before dinner with 16 players remaining. Ever since then Kenney, seated two spots to the left, had been attacking the Ukrainian player’s stack whenever possible. Then this hand came up and brought their clashes to an end.

Kenney opened the action for 22,000 in the lojack, which cleared out everyone behind him. Khoroshenin re-raised to 35,000 in the small blind and Fady Kamar folded in the big blind, putting the action back to Kenney. He re-raised to 107,000 and then quickly called when Khoroshenin moved all-in, sending the cards on their backs:

Khoroshenin: A♥K♥
Kenney: A♣Q♠

The board ran out J♠5♣3♥5♥K♦ and Khoroshenin’s pair of kings eliminated the last American from the field. Khoroshenin is now sitting on about 1.45 million, almost twice the stack of anybody else remaining in the tournament. –JK

Kenney KO’d

9:42pm: Muehloecker’s feeling flush
Level 18 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (BB ante 10,000)

The blinds have just gone up, and Thomas Muehloecker now has enough chips to be out of the dangerzone.

In the last hand of Level 17, action folded to him in the small blind and he moved all in for 105,000 only for Mark Teltscher to snap-call from the big blind.

Muehloecker – K♠3♠
Teltscher – Q♥Q♦

The A♥6♠7♣ flop didn’t help the Austrian much, while the Q♠ turn was actually pretty good despite looking bad on the surface. Sure, Teltscher had hit a set, removing kings as outs. But he had suddenly picked up so many more with the flush draw.

He’d hit it on the 10♠ river, and Muehloecker fist pumped the air; a rare sign of emotion at the poker table from him.

Fist-pump from Muehloecker

He’s up to 218,000, while Teltscher dips to 375,000. –JS

9:30pm: Vieira-y nice call
Level 17 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

Joao Vieira was short coming back from dinner, then doubled through Alexander Uskov for some breathing room. He’s just taken another one from Uskov to improve his fortunes further.

We arrived to their table with the full 9♦4♦J♥K♦8♦ board already on the table and about 85,000 chips in the pot. Vieira checked and Uskov stabbed for 70,000, putting Vieira to the test. Vieira thought it over for a bit and then called with K♥10♥ for a pair of kings, topping Uskov’s bluff with A♥3♣ for the win.

Vieira is now on 350,000, while Uskov slips to 500,000. –JK

Joao Vieira: take a bow (and a stretch)

9:25pm Tsang collects from Kenney
Level 17 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

Yan Tsang’s stack has just had a healthy boost.

Bryn Kenney made it 18,000 to go from the hijack, and his only caller was Tsang in the big blind. The two went to a Q♥8♦4♦ flop, which both checked to see the A♦ turn. Tsang now checked it, and Kenney made a delayed c-bet to 32,000. Tsang had a plan though, and popped it up to 90,000. After 30 seconds, Kenney made the call.

The river was the J♦, putting four diamonds out there. Tsang took his time before leading out for 123,000, and that woud be enough to get a fold.

Tsang’s up to 500,000 now, while Kenney still has him covered with 578,000. –JS

9:10pm: Daher tangles with Beumers
Level 17 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

Albert Daher and Wouter Beumers were two of the big stacks late on Day 1. Now they’re seated together — Beumers on the left — and they’re beginning to tangle with one another.

THe most recent clash started with an Alexander Uskov raise to 16,000 in the hijack. Faher called on the button and the ever-aggressive Beumers re-raised to 58,000 from the small blind. Uskov folded and Faher called to take the J♦7♥7♠ flop.

Beumers led for 40,000 there and Faher called, bringing the 8♠ on the turn. Beumers checked this time and folded to an almost suspiciously small 27,000-chip Faher bet.

Faher is now on 685,000; Beumers, 750,000. –JK

9pm: Kapow for Joao
Level 17 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

Chalk up a double up for Joao Vieira.

After Albert Daher opened to 16,000 from the UTG+1 seat, Vieira shoved on the button for 112,000. It folded to the big blind of Alexander Uskov and he made the call, while Daher got out of the way.

Vieira – Q♣Q♠
Uskov – 8♣8♠

It was a great spot followed by a great result for the man from Portugal. The board ran 3♥10♠4♠5♥2♦, and Vieira doubles to 252,000, while Uskov dips to 540,000. –JS

8:55pm: Frank falls in 14th (€46,500)
Level 17 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

Scratch another player.

Christopher Frank opened all-in on the button for about 200,000 with 9♦9♥ and Wouter Beumers called in the small blind with A♣J♥. The A♠4♠10♠J♣3♣ runout made aces and jacks for Beumers, sinking Frank in 14th place. Beumers is now on 780,000. –JK

Frank awaits his cash

8:50pm Chidwick gone in 15th (€46,500)
Level 17 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

Seconds after Mikalai Vaskaboinikau’s elimination, we lost current GPI leader Stephen Chidwick in 15th.

He open-jammed for 81,000 under the gun and it folded around to Albert Daher in the small blind. He made the call, and Chidwick saw his hand was dominated.

Chidwick – K♣J♦
Daher – K♥Q♣

The board ran out K♠4♥3♠3♥2♠, pairing both but keeping Daher in front with his queen kicker. Chidwick will collect €46,500, while Daher increases to 550,000. –JS

Chidwick departs

8:45pm: Vaskaboinikau out in 16th (€46,500)
Level 17 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

Mikalai Vaskaboinikau’s run is over. He re-raised all-in for his last 43,000 over the top of a Thomas Muehloecker UTG+1 open and Muehloecker called.

Muehloecker: A♥A♠
Vaskaboinikau: 10♣9♣

The 5♣5♥7♣ flop offered some hope for Vaskaboinikau in the form of a flush draw, but the A♦ crushed it by making Muehloecker a full house. Then the A♣ came on the river to give Muehloecker quad aces, sending Vaskaboinikau to the rail in 16th place.

Muehloecker is now up to 182,000. –JK

Vaskaboinikau vanquished

8:36pm: Play resumes with 16 left
Level 17 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (BB ante 8,000)

We’re back here in the Salle des Étoiles for more high-roller action. Check out the full chip counts below as we get ready to resume play with two full eight-handed tables. –JK

7:20pm: Dinner break, updated chip counts

That’s the end of Level 16, and with 16 players left all are now off on a 75-minute dinner break.

Here’s an updated look at everyone’s current chip counts, with Oleksii Khoroshenin back on top:

Name Country Chips
Oleksii Khoroshenin Ukraine 920,000
Bryn Kenney USA 764,000
Alexander Uskov Russia 680,000
Wouter Beumers Netherlands 565,000
Shyngis Satubayev Kazakhstan 463,000
Mark Teltscher UK 385,000
Yan Shing Tsang Hong Kong 380,000
Albert Daher Lebanon 300,000
Christopher Frank Germany 280,000
Markus Durnegger Austria 260,000
Fady Kamar Lebanon 230,000
Joao Vieira Portugal 150,000
Thomas Muehloecker Austria 141,000
Julian Thomas Germany 132,000
Stephen Chidwick UK 76,000
Mikalai Vaskaboinikau Belarus 48,000

Oleksii Khoroshenin, chip leader with 16 left


7:19pm: Tsang over Vaskaboinikau
Level 16 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

In the last hand before the break, Yan Shing Tsang and Mikalai Vaskaboinikau got involved in a blind-versus-blind battle that saw Tsang betting 26,000 on an all-diamond J♦7♦9♦ and Vaskaboinikau calling, then both checking the 3♦ turn.

The river was the 8♥ and Tsang fired another 52,000, Vaskaboinikau called, and when Tsang tabled K♠Q♦ for a queen-high flush, Vaskaboinikau tossed his hand into the muck disappointedly. –MH

7:14pm: Two for Khoroshenin
Level 16 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Oleksii Khoroshenin is speeding up with the bubble burst, and his tablemates are worse off for it.

First Thomas Muehloecker opened for 12,000 in the lojack. Yan Shing Tsang called in the cutoff and Khoroshenin re-raised to 45,000 in the big blind. Muehloecker called and Tsang folded, bringing the 7♣10♣2♥ flop. Khoroshenin’s 51,000-chip bet chased Muehloecker from the pot.

Markus Durnegger opened the next pot for 12,000 under the gun and Khoroshenin called on the button. Durnegger checked the 6♥9♥6♣ flop and called Khoroshenin’s bet of 13,000. The turn was the Q♦ and both players checked. That brought the 8♣ on the river. Durnegger checked once more and folded to Khoroshenin’s 28,000-chip bet.

Khoroshenin is now on 890,000 with the dinner break in sight. –JK

7:12pm Double up for Thomas
Level 16 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Julian Thomas has found a double up courtesy of Alexander Uskov.

Uskov opened the button to 12,000 and Thomas jammed for 63,000 from the small blind. Uskov made the call with A♥5♣ which was up against 6♥6♦, and the 10♠2♣5♥6♠9♠ board gave Thomas a set.

He’s up to 142,000, while Uskov dips to 560,000. –JS

7pm: Seating assignments for the final two tables
Level 16 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

They’ve redrawn for the last two tables, and as we noted where everyone is sitting we’ve freshened up everyone’s counts:

Seat Table 1 Table 2
1 Markus Durnegger – 340,000 Julian Thomas – 61,000
2 Thomas Muehloecker – 166,000 Albert Daher – 455,000
3 Mark Teltscher – 380,000 Christopher Frank – 278,000
4 Yan Shing Tsang – 328,000 Wouter Beumers – 635,000
5 Mikalai Vaskaboinikau – 146,000 Joao Vieira – 136,000
6 Oleskii Khoroshenin – 760,000 Stephen Chidwick – 68,000
7 Fady Kamar – 204,000 Shyngis Satubayev – 463,000
8 Bryn Kenney – 795,000 Alexander Uskov – 636,000

There is about 20 minutes left until the end of the level and the dinner break. –MH

6:55pm: Hartmann out in 17th (€46,500)
Level 16 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Pascal Hartmann is the first player to cash in the €25K High Roller after just now busting to Albert Daher in an all-in preflop confrontation.

Hartmann had about 95,000 left and found himself all in and at risk with 4♠4♣ versus Daher’s K♠J♣. The board rolled out 5♦J♣3♠K♣9♥ to give Daher the better pair, and Hartmann wished the table well before departing to collect his min-cash of €44,400.

Time for a redraw, as there are 16 players left. –MH

Pascal Hartmann – 17th place

6:50pm: Kamar busts Riess on the bubble in 18th
Level 16 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Ryan Riess had been hanging on for some time with one of the shrotest stacks in the field. He even managed to double up a few minutes ago (see below). But he won’t be collecting a payout in this tournament after playing his last hand against Fady Kamar.

Kamar opened for 18,000 in the cutoff and Riess, in the small blind, jammed for 51,000. Kamar snap-called and the two showed their cards:

Riess: A♦Q♥
Kamar: A♥K♥

The flop came down A♠K♣Q♣, giving both players two pair. “Jack!” said Riess, looking to draw to Broadway for a split, but he’d have no such luck. Instead the turn and river were the K♦ and K♠, giving Kamar quad kings to knock the 2013 WSOP Main Event champion out in style and chip up to 200,000.

Ryan Riess misses the money by one spot

With the bubble burst, the rest of our players will all earn at least €44,400. –JK

6:40pm: Riess gets it in good
Level 16 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

With 18 players left, Ryan Riess open-raised almost all in — he kept just 2,000 back. It folded around to Fady Kamar who called from the big blind, then bet 2,000 more after the 5♣6♠5♥.

Riess called, saying it was the second-best possible flop he could hope for. He was telling the truth, as he had 6♥6♣ and had flopped a full house. Kamar had 9♠4♦ which made the ensuing runout inconsequential, and now Riess has around 70,000 as the bubble continues. –MH

6:35pm: The fall of the Roman Emelyanov
Level 16 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

We’re now on the stone bubble after Roman Emelyanov’s departure.

He moved all-in under the gun for 31,500, and it folded around to Joao Vieira in the big blind who made the call. It was A♦J♣ for Emelyanov versus Vieira’s 2♣2♠, and the 8♦K♦10♠4♥9♦ runout kept the ducks in front.

Emelyanov is the penultimate player to leave without cash, while Vieira is now up to roughly 180,000. –JS

The end for Emelyanov

6:30pm: Beumers bullies Khoroshenin
Level 16 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Wouter Beumers and Oleksii Khoroshenin have clashed several times today (see 3:25pm). They just took each other on again here on the bubble.

Beumers opened for 15,000 on the button and Khoroshenin called in the big blind. That took us to the Q♠9♠5♥ flop, which Khoroshenin checked. Beumers thought for a bit and then bet 8,000, which Khoroshenin called. Both players checked the K♦ turn, and the river was the Q♣. Khoroshenin bet 17,000 and Beumers, after some consideration, raised to 55,000. Khoroshenin thought it over and surrendered the pot.

Khoroshenin has 570,000 now; Beumers, 620,000. –JK

6:25pm: Short stack in peril
Level 16 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Roman Emelyanov folded his way down to just 7,500, but just won an all-in versus Bryn Kenney with pocket jacks against Kenney’s queen-six. He’s still the shortest in the room, though, with 21,500. –MH

6:23pm: Sun eclipsed by Durnegger
Level 16 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

At last an elimination. Liwei Sun was the unfortunate one to end the long stretch between bustouts after putting himself at risk with A♥J♣, running into Markus Dernegger’s A♦Q♣, and failing to improve on a 10♠2♠3♦2♦4♠ board.

Sun finishes 20th, meaning two more knockouts are needed until the bubble will burst. Durnegger now has 410,000. –MH

Liwei Sun out in 20th

6:22pm: Yan, Tsang, thank you man
Level 16 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Yan Tsang had pocket queens. Mark Teltscher had ace-king.

You know what that means…El Classico.

But how did they get there? Well, Teltscher had opened to 12,000 in the UTG+1 seat and Alexander Uskov called in the cutoff. Tsang then raised it up to 105,000 on the button.

“How much do you have behind?” Teltscher asked. The answer was roughly 45,000. “All-in,” the Brit continued.

That shove shook off Uskov, and Tsang unsurprisingly made the call, having pretty much committed himself already.

Teltscher – A♣K♣
Tsang – Q♣Q♦

The board ran out 7♣10♥7♦2♦6♣, keeping the queens – and Tsang’s tournament – alive.

“Nice hand,” said Teltscher. “I had to do it my friend.”

He’s down to 340,000, while Tsang increases to 327,000. –JS

Yan’s a happy man

6:20pm: Vieira doubles through Kenney
Level 16 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Joao Vieira has been hanging on with a short stack most of the day. He just bought himself a bit of breathing room near the bubble with a double through Bryn Kenney.

Kenney opened for 15,000 on the button, getting calls from Shyngis Satubayev in the small blind and Vieira in the big. Both of them checked the 4♠5♦3♦ flop, prompting a bet of 26,000 from Kenney. Satubayev folded but Vieira moved all-in for 58,500. Kenney called and they turned over their cards:

Kenney: 8♥8♦
Vieira: 3♥3♣

The 10♣ turn and K♣ river were both friendly to Vieira, who chips up to 170,000 with a set of treys for the win. Kenney is still in great shape with 740,000. –JK

6:15pm: Whole lotta shove
Level 15 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

That level ended with four different players shoving all in preflop without getting callers.

Liwei Sun, then Pascal Hartmann, then Thomas Muehloecker, then Joao Vieira each pushed their stacks in the middle on different occasions, and in each case got no takers.

On to Level 16, with 20 players still remaining. –MH

6:10pm: The hurt Muehloecker
Level 15 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Having just lost a pot to him (see 6:05pm), Bryn Kenney has got quick revenge on Thomas Muehloecker.

Kenney defended his big blind against a cutoff from Muehloecker, bringing a 7♣A♣K♠ flop which both checked. The dealer laid the 6♣ turn, and with three clubs on board Muehloecker now led for 23,000. Call.

The 10♣ river put four clubs out there and Muehloecker fired again for 60,000. Over to Kenney, he pulled out raising chips and slid in a bet of 174,000.

Muehloecker had a good think about it, using up a time bank card before deciding to make the call. Kenney quickly flipped over the K♣3♦ for the nut flush. Muehloecker mucked.

He’s down to 142,000 now, while Kenney is now chip leader with 830,000. –JS

6:05pm: Muehloecker nips Kenney again
Level 15 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (BB ante 6,000)

Thomas Muehloecker has been enjoying this near-bubble period. He’s continued his climb with another small pot against Bryn Kenney.

Kenney opened for 12,000 in the hijack — his second pre-flop raise in as many hands — and Muehloecker called in the big blind. Both players checked the K♠10♥7♥ flop and 4♠ turn, bringing the 7♣ on the turn. Muehloecker led for 22,000 this time and Kenney thought it over before making the call. Meuhloecker showed J♠7♦ for trip sevens and Kenney mucked.

Kenney is now on 585,000; Muehloecker, 345,000. –JK

Muehloecker collects

6pm: Update on the short stacks
Level 15 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Ryan Riess was just standing from his table while a hand was going on and chatting with someone about the short stacks’ situation at present. He is one of them, and so has a particular interest.

“I have 57,000,” he said. “And there are three who are shorter.”

Riess is right — Joao Vieira (55,000), Liwei Sun (52,000), and Roman Emelyanov (27,500) are all a little shorter than Riess is at the moment. And the four of them all know there still need to be three more knockouts before the field shrinks to 17 and the cash bubble bursts. –MH

5:55pm: Kenney climbing
Level 15 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Stephen Chidwick has just seen a decent chunk of his chips shipped Bryn Kenney’s way.

Chidwick opened to 11,000 on the button and Bryn Kenney opted to peel and see a Q♦10♣4♣ flop. Both checked it to the Q♣ turn, which not only paired the board but three clubs out there. Kenney now led for 34,000 – an overbet to the 29,500 pot – and Chidwick made the call.

The A♣ hit the river, a fourth club. Kenney now set Chidwick all-in, and after most of his shot clock ticked down Chidwick made the fold.

He’s down to 105,000, while Kenney continues to climb, up to 620,000. –JS

5:45pm: Kempe cut down by Beumers
Level 15 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Mikalai Vaskaboinikau got things going with a raise to 12,000 from under the gun, with Pascal Hartmann calling from the hijack seat. Action moved over to Rainer Kempe in the small blind who shoved all in for around 210,000, then Wouter Beumers reraise-pushed from the big blind. That chased both Vaskaboinikau and Hartmann, and the two remaining players tabled their hands.

Kempe: A♦K♠
Beumers: Q♣Q♥

It was a race, and after the 8♠6♦J♦2♥J♣ runout Beumers queens had held and Kempe was out. Beumers is up to 685,000 now. Just three more eliminations to the euros. –MH

Rainer Kempe eliminated short of the cash

5:40pm: Muehloecker picks off a bluff
Level 15 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Thomas Muehloecker’s reads are looking pretty good right now.

Bryn Kenney opened for 12,000 in the hijack seat and Thomas Muehloecker called i nteh big blind. Muehloecker check-called 12,000 on the 6♠2♦9♠ flop and both players checked the 7♥ turn. Muehloecker checked one more time on the A♦ river, giving Kenney a choice. He decided to bet 23,500 and the action was back to Muehloecker. He let his shot clock run about halfway down and then made the call. His pair of sevens with 10♣7♣ was good against Kenney’s bluff with Q♥J♣.

Kenney slips to 580,000, while Muehloecker jumps to 310,000. –JK

5:35pm Wilf’s takeaway
Level 15 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

The waitress had just arrived as Saar Wilf was getting up. He’ll now have to take his sushi to go, having busted to Alexander Uskov.

The hand itself was pretty simple. A 35,000-ish under-the-gun shove from Wilf with A♦3♠, and a big blind call from Uskov with K♠J♥. The board ran out Q♥2♠Q♠9♠6♠, giving Uskov a bigger flush.

Saar Wilf’s tournament run concludes

Uskov is now up to 555,000. –JS

5:25pm: “We’ll leave it to the others”
Level 15 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Markus Durnegger raised to 10,500 from the cutoff, and Mark Teltscher three-bet to 29,000 from the button. You’d almost call both “aggressive” plays.

Durnegger called the reraise, then check-called a bet of 22,000 from Teltscher after the 5♣6♦4♣ flop. Both checked the Q♦ turn, then Durnegger was the one betting 22,000 on the 7♥ river and Teltscher called. Durnegger showed 10♣10♥, but Teltscher had Q♣J♥ and a better pair to win the pot.

They joked a little about not having played the hand more aggressively. “We’re not that aggressive,” said Teltscher to Durnegger. “We’ll leave it to the others,” he added.

“No!” said Durnegger, and the table broke up laughing.

As if to show Teltscher didn’t mean what he was saying, he’d four-bet shove the next hand versus Ryan Riess to earn a fold. You’d almost call that “aggressive.”

Teltscher has 360,000 now, Durnegger 258,000. –MH

Mark Teltscher: Aggressive when he wants to be

5:20pm: Caution, bubble ahead
Level 15 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

We’re beginning to close in on the money bubble and that’s inspiring a bit of caution on the part of our medium-stacked players. Case in point: Julian Thomas and Thomas Muehloecker.

Thomas opened for 12,000 under the gun and Muehloecker was the only caller in the big blind. Muehloecker check-called 16,000 on the 8♠J♦10♥ flop and then both men checked down the 10♠ turn and K♣ river. Muehloecker showed K♠J♠ for top two pair and took down the pot.

Muehloecker is now on 240,000; Thomas, 135,000. –JK

5:15pm Always coming seven
Level 15 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

In Macau, it’s pocket eights that are considered the lucky pair. Here on the EPT though, you know it’s always coming seven.

Roman Emelyanov had opened to 11,000 under the gun before Stephen Chidwick moved all-in for 86,000 in the hijack. Back to Emelyanov, he’d use a time bank card before eventually slamming down a call.

Chidwick – 7♣7♦
Emelyanov – A♥Q♥

Was there ever any doubt? The flop fell 5♥7♥3♦, though, so despite flopping top set Chidwick was still vulnerable to any heart or running straight outs. He needn’t have sweat it. The 10♣ turn and Q♠ river completed the board, and Chidwick doubled up.

He’s up to 184,500, while Emelyanov is left with just 41,000. –JS

5:10pm: Deal ’em up
Level 15 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (BB ante 5,000)

Let’s play some cards.

Some freshly counted chips for you from the last break, revealing Oleksii Khoreshenin is still the frontrunner and well clear of the chase pack at present. The top 10 are below, and remember to keep checking our constantly-updated chip count page.

Name Country Chips
Oleksii Khoroshenin Ukraine 678,000
Alexander Uskov Russia 520,000
Bryn Kenney USA 500,000
Shyngis Satubayev Kazakhstan 500,000
Mikalai Vaskaboinikau Belarus 495,000
Wouter Beumers Netherlands 485,000
Markus Durnegger Austria 350,000
Mark Teltscher UK 272,000
Yan Shing Tsang Hong Kong 230,000
Thomas Muehloecker Austria 220,000


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

The final 22 are off again on another 15-minute break. They’ll return for two more one-hour levels before the 75-minute break comes. –MH

4:54pm: Bye bye Bonomo
Level 14 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

Justin Bonomo won’t be adding to his 2018 millions in this event after making a move at the wrong time.

Liwei Sun opened the action for 10,000 on the button and Bonomo, in the small blind, thought over his possibilities for about 15 seconds. Then he announced himself all-in. As soon as the count was confirmed — 127,500 — Mark Teltscher moved all-in from the big blind. That cleared Sun out the way and set up a showdown:

Teltscher: A♦K♥
Bonomo: J♠8♠

Bonomo was drawing live, but only until the flop of the K♦K♣2♦4♥5♣ board took away every winning combination he could’ve made. The 4♥ turn and 5♣ completed the formalities and sent 2018’s winningest player to the rail short of the money.

Teltscher is now on 270,000. He and the rest of the survivors are on break for the next 15 minutes, after which we’ll bump the blinds and BB ante up once again. –JK

4:50pm: Nowhere to go but up for Wilf
Level 14 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

Ryan Riess open-shoved his last 66,000 from the cutoff seat and got one caller in the similarly-stacked Saar Wilf in the small blind. Riess opened 8♥8♠ and Wilf winced as he turned over his 7♦7♣. The 2♥J♥3♥9♣10♠ board kept Riess in front, and he’s now playing around 135,000.

The chips had to be counted out just to be sure Riess didn’t have Wilf covered, but Wilf was down almost to the felt. “Chip and a chair,” encouraged Riess.

Wilf was down to just 4,500, though with the button and no blinds or antes to pay for a while, he could certainly wait — point he made out loud when the table folded around to him on the next hand.

“I don’t have to shove,” he grinned. Then he did.

Yan Shing Tsang called in the small blind, then Liwei Sun reshoved from the big blind and Tsang had to get out. Sun had K♥Q♥ and Wilf A♦8♠, a queen flopped but an ace came on the turn, and Wilf survived with about 19,000.

The very next hand saw Wilf open-push again and get one customer in Sun again. Wilf had picked up Q♠Q♥ this time versus Sun’s A♥10♦, and the board came clean for Wilf (even providing a third queen).

Now Wilf is back to 46,500, and while he’s still the shortest stack among the 23 players left, he really doesn’t have to shove now. –MH

The Wilf to win

4:40pm: Satubayev, Thomas play defense
Level 14 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

Julian Thomas opened for 9,000 in the hijack and Shyngis Satubayev was the lone caller on the button. Thomas fired 22,000 on the 5♥8♥5♠ flop and Satubayev called. That shut down the action the rest of the way as both players checked the 4♠ turn and Q♠ river. Thomas turned over A♥10♠, hopeful of a win, but Satubayev took down the pot with 9♣9♦ for nines and fives.

Thomas drops to 185,000. Satubayev climbs to 450,000. –JK

4:35pm Lam to the slaughter
Level 14 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

Benoit Lam had been nursing a short stack for a while. Unfortunately for him, despite a shot at trebling up, he was unable to spin it up.

Joao Vieira had opened from early position to 10,000 which Julian Thomas then three-bet to 28,500 on the button. Lam was in the big blind and moved all-in for his last 36,500, and Vieira just called.

“Can I still raise or is it only a call?” asked Thomas, before being told he could only call. So that’s what he did.

The dealer spread a 9♣K♥3♣ flop, and Vieira checked it. Thomas got a look at Vieira’s stack (72,000), before leading for 17,000. That got a fold and the cards were flipped.

Lam – Q♠Q♥
Thomas – K♦J♠

Lam got it in with a great hand but Thomas had outflopped him. The 5♣ 5♠ turn and river changed nothing, and Lam said his goodbyes.

Thomas is now up to 240,000. –JS

4:30pm: Uskov takes one from Wilf
Level 14 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

Alexander Uskov is hitting lots of hands right now and Saar Wilf is his latest victim.

Uskov opened for 9,500 in the cutoff and Wilf was the lone caller on the button. Both checked the A♥2♥2♣ flop, bringing the Q♣ on the turn. Uskov led for 11,000 this time and Wilf called. The K♠ came on the river and Uskov wasted no time in betting 45,000. Wilf didn’t like his spot but when his shot clock approached zero he finally made the call. Then Uskov turned over K♥K♣, earning both the pot and an exasperated sigh from Wilf.

Wilf drops to 140,000 with the loss. Uskov is at 570,000. –JK

4:25pm: The hunger
Level 14 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

Following the redraw, Bryn Kenney has the one seat over on Table 2, and just now he got up from his stack of about 530,000 to peek over at the neighboring Table 1 where he saw Mikalai Vaskaboinikau also rising up out of his seat next to the new chip leader Oleksii Khoroshenin.

“Ahhh,” said Kenney to Vaskaboinikau. “I see you have danger on your left,” he said, referring to Khoroshenin, and Vaskaboinikau laughed and nodded.

“Look at him!” said Kenney. “Sitting there, eyeing your chips.” Khoroshenin could hear, too, and started to chuckle.

“He’s look at them like… like they’re food!”

All three laughed as Khoroshenin continued to nod. He’s satisfied his chip hunger pretty well here so far today, and now has about 620,000. But obviously he’d like to add Vaskaboinikau’s 520,000 and everyone else’s chips to his stack, too, if he can. –MH

Oleksii Khoroshenin: Chips… it’s what’s for dinner!

4:20pm: Beumers vs Kempe
Level 14 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

There’s a minute Rainer Kempe won’t get back. The hand itself actually took a lot longer, but Kempe used up two of his remaining time bank cards after being put to a tough decision.

Kempe opened the pot to 9,000 and Wouter Beumers three-bet it to 26,000. Everyone folded but Kempe, taking them heads-up to a J♥Q♦10♥ flop. Beumers continued for 16,000 when checked to, and Kempe stuck around.

The dealer burned and turned the 2♦ and that inspired no further action, bringing the 3♠ river. Kempe checked once more, and Beumers now led for 56,000 after using a time bank card. Back to Kempe, a minute and a half went by before he decided to give it up.

That brings Beumers up to 580,000, and Kempe down to 270,000. –JS

4:15pm: Chidwick doubles through Muehloecker
Level 14 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

Stephen Chidwick’s tournament life isn’t over just yet. He just moved all-in for 42,000 on the button over the top of Thoams Muehloecker’s cutoff raise to 7,000. Muehloecker called with 8♥7♥, Chidwick showed A♠K♥, and the board came K♣8♣10♥K♠10♠ to give Chidwick kings full and the double to 91,000. Muehloecker’s still on 220,000. –JK

4:10pm: Seating assignments for final three tables
Level 14 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

It’s a new level, and with it comes a redraw to the last three tables as 24 players are left. Below are the new seating assignments with updated counts for all.

Seat Table 1 Table 2 Table 3
1 Albert Daher – 80,000 Bryn Kenney – 510,000 Liwei Sun – 80,000
2 Fady Kamar – 250,000 Benoit Lam – 40,000 Markus Durnegger – 280,000
3 Pascal Hartmann – 165,000 Shyngis Satubayev – 400,000 Justin Bonomo -150,000
4 Christopher Frank – 160,000 Joao Vieira – 130,000 Mark Teltscher – 240,000
5 Rainer Kempe – 350,000 Roman Emelyanov – 125,000 Ryan Riess – 110,000
6 Wouter Beumers – 495,000 Thomas Muehloecker – 290,000 Alexander Uskov – 470,000
7 Mikalai Vaskaboinikau – 390,000 Stephen Chidwick – 50,000 Saar Wilf – 160,000
8 Oleksii Khoroshenin – 622,000 Julian Thomas – 150,000 Yan Shing Tsang – 120,000


4pm: Last hand of Level 13 – unlucky for Hajiyev
Level 14 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (BB ante 4,000)

Well, we couldn’t have asked for a better hand to bring us down to a final three tables.

It started with an 8,000 hijack open from Ramin Hajiyev, which Bryn Kenney flatted on the button. Over to Saar Wilf in the big blind, he squeezed it up to 29,000 and Hajiyev looked over his chip stack (around 100,000 total) before making the call. Kenney took his time before calling too.

It went three-ways to the 6♦4♦8♦ flop, and both Wilf decided not to c-bet. He checked to Hajiyev, who then moved all-in for his last 70,000. Kenney directed his stare at Hajiyev, before turning it over to Wilf. With both of them covered, he then moved all-in too.

Now the pressure was on Wilf. The first thing he did was count his time bank cards (three) and it was clear this was a decision he was going to ponder over. He used up two of those time bank cards, before making the fold, saying: “Please have a flush”.

Neither did.

Kenney – 4♥4♣
Hajiyev – 10♥10♦

Kenney did have a set though, and that was enough for Wilf to be happy with his fold. Hajiyev had an overpair but also held a diamond, and he’d improve to a flush on the Q♦ turn. Now Wilf didn’t seem so happy.

Unfortunately for Hajiyev, the river was the 6♣, pairing the board and giving Kenney fours full. Hajiyev was out, while Kenney increases to 500,000 and Wilf was left with 175,000.

When the hand was over, Wilf revealed he had pocket kings with the K♦.

“Yeah? Yeah, you have to fold there,” said Kenney. “I can’t just have the A♦ there. Maybe in a dream I’ll have ace-queen with the A♦.”

“He was in really good shape there,” pointed out Joao Vieira, referring to Hajiyev’s chances on the flop.

“I thought he had aces,” said Kenney. –JS

Kenney crushing

3:55pm: Teltscher doubles through Vaskaboinikau
Level 13 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

Mark Teltscher opened for 6,500 from the button, then Mikalai Vaskaboinikau reraised to 17,000 from the small blind and Teltscher called.

The flop came A♣9♣8♦. Vaskaboinikau bet, and Teltscher called again, leaving himself around 72,000.

The turn was the 7♦ and Vaskaboinikau went all in. Teltscher thought for a while. “I just don’t believe you,” he said, then Vaskaboinikau sounded like he offered to show if Teltscher folded. “Believe you more now,” said Teltscher.

Then, finally, Teltscher said “I call” and turned over A♦10♥. That was ahead of Vaskaboinikau’s A♥3♣, and after the 5♠ river Teltscher gets back up to 210,000. Vaskaboinikau, meanwhile, looks like he has about 430,000. –MH

3:50pm: Khoroshenin crushing
Level 13 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

If the rest of Table 4 didn’t like having Wouter Beumers as the big stack, they’re definitely not enjoying Oleksii Khoroshenin’s performance. He’s been raising with frequency and reaping the benefits. We showed up at the table as he was pushing Beumers off another pot and he took the next two down as well.

Khoroshenin opened the first pot for 7,000 on the button and Christopher Frank called in the big blind. Frank check-called 9,000 on the 3♠9♣8♦ flop and then led for 12,000 when the 8♣ paired the board on the turn. Khoroshenin must’ve smelled something funny, because he bumped the bet to 37,000 and Frank folded relatively quickly.

Khoroshenin raised again on the next hand, making it 7,000 from the cutoff. Pascal Hartmann re-raised to 28,000 from the big blind and Khoroshenin called to see the 4♣8♦10♠ flop. Hartmann fired 21,000 there but folded after Khoroshenin raised to 59,000.

Khoroshenin is now up to about 620,000, which appears to be the biggest stack in the room. –JK

3:45pm: Pardo busts
Level 13 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

Jack Salter has busted here in unlucky Level 13. So, too, has Juan Pardo fallen by the wayside after losing a preflop all-in confrontation just now.

In Pardo’s hand, Julian Thomas had opened for 7,000 from the button, then Pardo jammed for 20,500 from the small blind. Fady Kamar then reraised from the big blind, forcing a fold from Thomas.

Pardo: A♦6♠
Kamar: Q♠Q♣

The board came 4♦6♣4♣9♦5♣, Kamar had the better two pair, and Pardo is out. Kamar is sitting with 210,000 now with 25 players left. –MH

Pardo eliminated

3:40pm: Decisions, decisions
Level 13 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

Both Bryn Kenney and Oleksii Khoroshenin have been put to the test in the past couple of hands.

Kenney was in a hand against Yan Shing Tsang, and with a Q♥K♠9♠ flop out there (plus a 45,000 pot) Kenney had a 17,000 bet in front of him. Problem was that Tsang had moved all-in for 110,500 and Kenney was in the tank. Two time banks later, he let it go.

On another table, Khoroshenin was testing Wouter Beumers. They’d reached the end of a A♦2♠8♥3♠10♣ board, and Khoroshenin had checked it. Beumers led for 16,000, but Khoroshenin popped it up to 48,000. Beumers would use a time bank too, before coming to the same decision as Kenney fold.

Khoroshenin – 530,000
Beumers – 470,000
Kenney – 353,000
Tsang – 150,000

3:35pm: Thomas busts Beresford
Level 13 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

Julian Thomas has been having some fun at his table complimenting Conor Beresford on his technique whenever he announces an all-in raise, something Beresford has done many times over the last recent stretch.

“All in,” intones Beresford in a relatively deep baritone each time.

“World-class,” grins Thomas in response.

Just now Beresford did it again to commit his last 32,000 or so, and Thomas again offered praise. Then it folded to Thomas, and after checking his cards he swallowed and leaned forward.

“All in,” he said, doing his best imitation. The table chuckled as the remaining players folded.

Beresford: A♠7♥
Thomas: A♦Q♥

Beresford wouldn’t survive this one, as the board came 4♠8♣6♣Q♦J♠ to provide some hope on the flop but no result to save him.

“Still world-class,” said Thomas as Beresford left.

Thomas has 190,000 now. –MH

Julian Thomas (right)

3:30pm: Chidwick sticks around
Level 13 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

It’s hard to knock off Stephen Chidwick, as Yan Shing Tsang just discovered.

Chidwick moved all-in under the gun for 30,000 and Tsang called from the UTG+1 seat. Everyone else folded, and it was A♦6♦ for Chidwick versus Tsang’s 8♥8♠.

Help arrived immediately for Chidwick on the A♣9♠3♠ flop, which was filled out by the 10♣ turn and 4♠ river. Chidwick’s up to 67,500 now, while Tsang dips to 126,000. –JS

Stephen Chidwick (right)

3:25pm: Beumers goes the dynamite; Khoroshenin climbing
Level 13 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

Welcome Oleksii Khoroshenin to the top two chip counts, courtesy of a huge pot he just took from Wouter Beumers.

Khoroshenin opened the pot for 7,000 on the button and Beumers re-raised to 22,000 in the small blind. Khoroshenin called and the flop was A♥9♥3♠. Beumers fired 13,000 and Khoroshenin called. Beumers led for 42,000 on the 6♦ turn and Khoroshenin called again.

The river was the 3♥ and Beumers, after looking like he was ready to check, took a few extra seconds to look over Khoroshenin’s stack. Then he announced himself all-in. Khoroshenin, his stack more than covered by the bet, shifted in his seat and spread his remaining time bank cards out in front of his stack. He used two of them, giving himself a minute and a half of time to think before finally placing a stack of chips in the pot to signify his call. Beumers immediately pushed his cards toward the muck, but the dealer was forced to turn them over since there had been an all-in and a call.

Beumers: Q♥J♠
Khoroshenin: A♠8♦

Khoroshenin’s pair of aces was good and Beumers paid off 175,000 chips. That takes him down to about 380,000, slightly less than the stack he held at the end of Day 1. Khoroshenin, meanwhile, is now up to approximately 485,000. –JK

3:15pm: Beresford survives, Seidel does not
Level 13 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

There were two consecutive all-in-and-calls on Table 3 just now, one ending in a double-up and the other in a knockout.

In the first Conor Beresford had shoved all in with A♥J♠ over a Mikalai Vaskaboinikau raise with K♣Q♠ and the latter called. The board came 5♦8♣3♠3♥6♦ and Beresford survives with about 110,000.

“I can’t fold,” grinned Vaskaboinikau, whose stack of about 600,000 makes it that much easier to smile after losing a hand.

Right after that Erik Seidel was all and at risk with A♥10♥ versus Markus Durnegger’s 9♥9♦, and the Q♣6♣8♥5♣2♦ board meant both the end of Seidel’s massage and the end of his tournament. Durnegger is at 212,000 now. –MH

Seidel sunk

3:18pm: Juanda’s gone, Thomas doubles
Level 13 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

Two hands to tell you about.

The first saw Albert Daher open to 6,000 from early position, and Justin Bonomo called from the hijack. It folded to John Juanda in the small blind and he moved all-in for 57,000, which got a fold from Daher and a call from Bonomo.

Juanda – Q♠Q♦
Bonomo – A♣J♠

Juanda had the best of it, but the 3♣A♦2♦5♣3♠ runout favoured Bonomo. Juanda said his goodbyes (and enquired what time today’s €25K turbo kicks off – 4pm is the answer) while Bonomo now sits with 153,000.

Meanwhile on another table, Julian Thomas found a double up through Juan Pardo with his A♥A♣ versus 9♥9♠, all-in pre. He’s now up to 147,000 while Pardo is left with just 31,000. –JS

Queens work for Juanda

3:10pm: Pascal’s law
Level 13 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

Pascal Hartmann just took down two pots in a row to move a little closer to the top of the leaderboard.

Hartmann opened the first pot for 6,500 UTG+1 and got one call from Roman Emelyanov in the hijack seat. Both players checked the 6♠Q♣3♥ flop and 9♦ turn. Then Hartmann led for 5,500 on the 2♠ river to chase Emelyanov from the pot.

Hartmann opened again on the next hand, making it 6,500 to go under the gun. Wouter Beumers called on the button, as did Alexander Uskov in the big blind. Uskov and Hartmann both checked to Beumers on the 5♦2♥10♣ flop and he bet 16,500. Uskov folded but Hartmann called, taking us to the 5♣ turn. Hartmann came out betting this time, making it 36,000 to go, and Beumers quickly ceded the pot.

Hartmann is now up to about 260,000, stacked in three huge towers, and looks to be in fifth place among our 30 remaining players. –JK

3:05pm: Wilf knocks out Greenwood
Level 13 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

Sam Greenwood won’t be winning another high roller title in this event, as he was just ousted in a hand versus Saar Wilf.

Greenwood gets got

Wilf is at 212,000 after that one. –MH

2:55pm: Vaskaboinikau sinks Nitsche
Level 13 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

Soon after play resumed, Dominik Nitsche was all in for his last 130,000 or so with A♦K♦ and had run into Mikalai Vaskaboinikau’s K♣K♠.

The flop came 2♣9♣K♥, bringing the case king and just about leaving Nitsche with zero chance. The 7♦ turn then sealed it, and Nitsche departs. Vaskaboinikau is now up to 590,000. –MH

2:50pm: Back to business; Beumers still on top with 33 left
Level 13 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (BB ante 3,000)

The final 33 players are back in their seats and cards are in the air once more.

Name Country Chips
Wouter Beumers Netherlands 680,000
Mikalai Vaskaboinikau Belarus 450,000
Bryn Kenney USA 380,000
Alexander Uskov Russia 345,000
Rainer Kempe Germany 260,500
Albert Daher Lebanon 250,000
Christopher Frank Germany 245,000
Thomas Muehloecker Austria 235,000
Pascal Hartmann Germany 232,000
Markus Durnegger Austria 220,000


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2:32pm: Break time

Players are now taking their first 15-minute break of the day. –MH

2:30pm: Malnik, Lin, and Reeves hit the rail
Level 12 – Blinds 1,000/2,500 (BB ante 2,500)

Ryan Riess just busted Dov Malnik when the latter got all in with A♦7♠ against Riess’s A♠Q♦, and a 8♥9♠4♥Q♥Q♣ board couldn’t help Malnik.

Meanwhile Chen An Lin and Lucas Reeves were getting knocked out on other tables, so they are down to 33 with the break about to arrive. –MH

2:27pm: Frank pushes pre
Level 12 – Blinds 1,000/2,500 (BB ante 2,500)

Alexander Uskov has had a profitable couple of levels so far today, and he was looking to continue that trend when opening for 5,500 from the hijack just now. But Christopher Frank three-bet to 18,000 from the cutoff Albert Daher four-bet to 48,500 from the blinds, and Uskov stepped aside.

Action back on Frank, he jammed all in and Daher folded right away. Those two now both have about 205,000, while Uskov is way up close to 345,000. –MH

2:25pm: Beresford doubles, Stuer busts
Level 12 – Blinds 1,000/2,500 (BB ante 2,500)

Conor Beresford just went all in before the flop three straight hands. The first two earned him the blinds and big blind ante, then the third — for 32,000 — earned him a call from Julian Stuer.

Beresford had A♦2♦ that time while Stuer had 5♦5♥, and the latter’s hand was best through the 6♣7♥Q♠ flop and 10♠ turn. But the A♥ spiked on the river to save Beresford, driving him back up to 70,000.

Stuer was down to 11,500 after that hand, and shortly afterwards lost it all in a hand versus Markus Durnegger to leave us shortly before the end of Level 12. –MH

2:20pm: I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news
Level 12 – Blinds 1,000/2,500 (BB ante 2,500)

The news first. Rustam Hajiyev’s day is done, shrinking the field further to 37 players.

Meanwhile we were telling you how Roman Emelyanov was down to fumes at the start today after losing a pot early on. Well, he’s built back up to 136,000 now, which is more than he had to start the day. –MH

2:10pm: Beumers delivers chip-gathering demonstration
Level 12 – Blinds 1,000/2,500 (BB ante 2,500)

“So that’s how you got all those chips.”

So said Lucas Reeves just now with a grin to Wouter Beumers right after Beumers won a pot off of him. “Exactly,” replied Beumers, also smiling. “I’ll give you notes.”

With the board showing 4♦7♣5♥Q♥2♦, Beumers had bet 38,000 — a big size relative to the pot — and Reeves called fairly quickly. Beumers had 4♣4♠ for a set of fours, and thus it was a bit of bad luck for Reeves who had flopped two pair with 7♥4♥.

Reeves is still doing fine with 235,000, but Beumers is doing even better with a still-leading stack of 460,000. –MH

Wouter Beumers showing how to do it

2pm: More busts
Level 12 – Blinds 1,000/2,500 (BB ante 2,500)

Add Nick Petrangelo, Benjamin Pollak, and Jonathan Bensadoun to the list of the Day 2 departees. They are now already down to 38 players. –MH

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1:55pm: Nitsche doubles through Beresford
Level 12 – Blinds 1,000/2,500 (BB ante 2,500)

As if to prove the point made by the most recent post, I just walked back over to Dominik Nitsche’s table to see him all in with A♦Q♠ versus Conor Beresford’s A♠J♦. The better hand held through the A♦Q♠5♠4♠J♠ board, and Nitsche is suddenly up around 128,000 while Beresford slips to 15,000. –MH

Beresford takes a hit

1:50pm: Nitsche exploring possibilities
Level 12 – Blinds 1,000/2,500 (BB ante 2,500)

Dominik Nitsche is one of the shortest stacks at the moment with 40 players left. He has just 55,000, but with Nitsche anything is possible.

Just ask Markus Durnegger. Just now he was in a hand with Nitsche and saw the latter jam the river with the board showing 10♣9♣4♦3♥7♣. Durnegger had to fold to keep all of his 135,000 or so, and Nitsche showed one card — the J♣ — before collecting the pot.

“Straight flush?” asked Durnegger of Nitsche.

“Possible,” came the reply. –MH

1:40pm: Vaskaboinikau bounces Concepcion
Level 12 – Blinds 1,000/2,500 (BB ante 2,500)

Jonathan Concepcion is out after losing his last hand to the big-stacked Mikalai Vaskaboinikau.

Concepcion’s last hand was A♥J♥ which had made a pair of jacks on a J♦3♣6♦5♣4♣ board. But Vaskaboinikau had 2♣2♠ which made a straight on the end, and Concepcion’s day is done.

Vaskaboinikau has his chips stacked in gravity-defying tall towers. They’re pretty to look at, but hard to count via the patented PokerStars Blog Eyeball Method.TM With that disclaimer, I’m gonna say he’s got about 345,000 at the moment. –MH

1:25pm: Frank ends Konopelko’s tournament
Level 11 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (BB ante 2,000)

Andrei Konopelko was one of those re-entering at the start today, but he just re-exited in short order after losing his chips in an all-in preflop situation versus Christopher Frank.

Konopelko went for it with 2♠2♦ against Frank’s K♦Q♥ and was (sorta kinda) flipping, but the 8♦10♥Q♣5♥5♣ board gave Frank the better two pair and Konolpelko is out.

Frank has 245,000 after that one. There are 42 players left. –MH

Frank accumulates more

1:20pm: Sammartino, Badziakouski out
Level 11 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (BB ante 2,000)

Soon after losing most of his stack with ace-king versus ace-queen a short while ago (see below, 1:05pm), Dario Sammartino lost the rest to hit the rail. Joining him there was Mikita Badziakouski who also wasn’t able to make it out of the day’s first level. –MH

1:15pm: Prize pool and payout information
Level 11 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (BB ante 2,000)

Now that registration is finally closed, we now know what everyone is playing for in this one. With 119 total entries (including 28 re-entries), the prize pool adds up to €2,828,035 with a big prize of €711,500 awaiting the winner. The top 17 finishers will make the money, with €44,400 representing a min-cash.

Here’s how all 17 spots will pay:

1 € 711,500
2 € 481,000
3 € 312,500
4 € 259,000
5 € 208,700
6 € 164,535
7 € 126,000
8 € 94,500
9 € 70,500
10 € 58,000
11 € 58,000
12 € 51,000
13 € 51,000
14 € 46,500
15 € 46,500
16 € 44,400
17 € 44,400


1:10pm: Kolonias busts with aces
Level 11 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (BB ante 2,000)

Alexandros Kolonias is out, one of a mini-wave of busts over the last short while here in the first level of the day.

Catching up to Kolonias’s last hand after all the cards were dealt, he had A♥A♦ which must have still looked pretty decent on a 2♦8♣K♣ flop. But his opponent had Shyngis Satubayev had K♠2♥ for two pair, which remained best with the J♦ turn and 9♣ river completing the board. Satubayev now has 160,000.

Meanwhile Steve O’Dwyer, David Yan, Lijo Lander, and Martin Finger are also all on the rail already in a little over half an hour on Day 2. There are 45 players left at present. –MH

1:05pm: Salter gets there versus Sammartino
Level 11 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (BB ante 2,000)

Jack Salter was all in preflop for his last 46,500 with A♠Q♦ and in dire straits against Dario Sammartino who had him dominated with A♣K♦.

The J♥K♥7♣ made Sammartino a pair, but also provided a draw to Broadway for Salter. Then the 10♦ turn filled that straight. The river was the J♣, and Salter jumps up to about 95,000 while Sammartino sinks to 17,000. –MH

Salter survives

1pm: Tsang cracks Riess’s kings
Level 11 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (BB ante 2,000)

Yan Shin Tsang was just all in and at risk following a 4♦10♠5♦ flop in a hand against Ryan Riess.

Riess had K♥K♠ and was the one putting Tsang to the test on that flop, with Tsang calling with A♦9♦ and a diamond flush draw. The flush didn’t come, but the 2♠ turn and 3♥ river added up to a backdoor straight for Tsang who now has about 170,000. Riess meanwhile is stacking about 40,000 after that hit. –MH

12:50pm: Day 2 entrants
Level 11 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (BB ante 2,000)

Seven new entries here on Day 2 brings to total number to 119 for the €25K High Roller, most of whom are entering today for the second time.

Jonathan Bensadoun, Mark Teltscher, Andrei Konopelko, Rustam Hajiyev, Erik Seidel, John Juanda, and Jack Salter are the last-minute arrivers. –MH

12:45pm: Khoroshenin starts day with double through Emelyanov
Level 11 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (BB ante 2,000)

Roman Emelyanov opened for 5,000 from under the gun, then Oleksii Khoroshenin three-bet to 12,000 from the hijack seat. It folded back to Emelyanov who called, and the flop fell 6♣3♠K♣.

Emelyanov checked, and Khoroshenin continued for 8,500. Emelyanov woke up with a check-raise to 17,000, and after some thought Khoroshenin called.

The turn brought the 4♣ and a bet of 23,000 from Emelyanov, and Khoroshenin again exerted some circumspection before calling.

The Q♣ completed the board with a fourth club, and Emelyanov instantly went all in. His bet of 35,000 was a bit more than the 31,500 Khoroshenin had behind, so the latter thought a short while before calling and committing his stack.

Emelyanov tabled K♦Q♦ for two pair, but Khoroshenin had A♥J♣ for a club flush and now is up to 165,000. Meanwhile Emelyanov is left with just 3,500. –MH

Rough start for Roman

12:35pm: Day 2 begins
Level 11 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (BB ante 2,000)

Players are in their seats and Day 2 has begun. Back in a short bit with news of who has late registered the event before the entrance to this one closed with the start of play to day. –MH

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11:30am: High Rollers return for Day 2

Welcome back to the beautiful French Riviera and Monte Carlo where many of tournament poker’s best will soon be reassembling once again for Day 2 of the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo©Casino European Poker Tour €25K High Roller.

They’ve been opening the windows onto the spacious Salle des Etoiles in the Sporting Monte-Carlo where the tournament is taking place, affording players a view of the surrounding city scape and the Mediteranean Sea that curls around the venue.

Looking out from the Salle des Etoiles in the Sporting Monte-Carlo

Just 43 players remain from the 112 entries (including 22 re-entries) we saw take part on Day 1 in this single re-entry event, with Wouter Beumers of the Netherlands more or less cruising for much of the second half the day to end the night with a big chip lead.

Beumers motored to the top of the counts on Day 1

Bunched up as a chase pack behind Beumers like so many Grand Prix drivers are Mikalai Vaskaboinikau, Bryn Kenney, Rainer Kempe, and Thomas Muehloecker. You can peruse the full Day 1 chip counts here, the top 10 of which appear below.

Name Country Chips
Wouter Beumers Netherlands 416,500
Mikalai Vaskaboinikau Belarus 315,500
Bryn Kenney USA 273,500
Rainer Kempe Germany 268,000
Thomas Muehloecker Austria 262,000
Lucas Reeves UK 213,000
Nick Petrangelo USA 200,000
Saar Wilf Israel 189,000
Pascal Hartmann Germany 185,000
Albert Daher Lebanon 174,500

We should note as well that sitting just outside this list is Sam Greenwood with 145,000 to start the day. Greenwood won the €100K Super High Roller here last week, his third high roller title in a month (!), making him an obvious one to watch as this one continues.

Registration (and the ability to re-enter) doesn’t officially end until the first hands are dealt today, so we’ll see who else joins (or rejoins) the race at the start today. Play gets underway at 12:30pm local time, with the plan being to play 10 more one-hour levels with a 75-minute dinner break arriving after the day’s sixth level (Level 16).

Come back here then and stick close for all the big hands, photos, chip counts, and more as we find out together who from this talented field will make it to tomorrow’s finale. –MH

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PokerStars Blog reporting team on the €25,000 High Roller: Jack Stanton, Jason Kirk, and Martin Harris. Photography by Rene Velli.


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