EPT Monte Carlo: Biting and biting back

April 30, 2009

Sami Kelopuro is on a roll. Having previously never made the money at an EPT, he was audibly delighted even to get to the dinner break on day one in San Remo last week, and only a blind-on-blind battle with Danilo D’Ettoris stopped him making the final table. He was eliminated in 12th for €45,700 – not a bad pay-day for most players, but loose change for the guy known as LarsLuzak online, a regular at the very highest stakes tables.

But he’s back in the fray – and back among the chips – here on day two at the Grand Final, where’s he is sitting on a table with Michael Tureniec and Ami Barer, among others, and is playing pretty much every single pot.

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Sami Kelopuro

That’s a good thing and a bad thing. Certainly Kelopuro is picking up a lot of blinds and antes, and is getting paid off on his genuine hands, as opponents are either too scared to tangle or think he’s at it all the time. He climbed beyond 200,000 at one point and was bossing – he’s a fearsome presence at the table, with iPod in, fixed glare and busy chip-fingers. But just recently, his opponents have begun to bite back.

Kelopuro raised to 6,000 from the button and Ami Barer, the PokerStars qualifier from Canada, who was among the overnight chip leaders, called from the big blind. The flop came 9♥J♥8♦ and both players checked. The turn was Q♥ and after Barer checked, Kelopuro bet 10,500, which prompted a raise from Barer. He made it 25,500 and Kelopuro called.

The river was a frightening looking 8♣, which would fill up and boats, and outdraw any made straights or flushes. That probably explained Barer’s slight hesitation before he moved all in for something in the region of 60,000, and probably played even more significantly on the mind of Kelopuro, who thought for an eternity before calling.

Barer showed 3♥2♥ for the turned baby flush. Kelopuro resignedly said: “It’s good,” before flashing the ten. Barer, who had previously lost a good chunk of his overnight stack to Kelopuro, hauled back about 70,000 and went to a 15-minute break with about 170,000. That was almost precisely what Kelopuro was left with as the battle continues to rage.

***

We waved goodbye earlier to another fearsome Nordic player earlier, the Team PokerStars Pro Johnny Lodden. But not before the video blog team got hold of him.


Watch EPT Monte Carlo S5: Interview with Johnny Lodden Day 2 on PokerStars.tv

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