Updates from day 1b, levels seven and eight of EPT Prague, brought to you by Stephen Bartley, Marc “The Conv” Convey, Howard Swains and Simon Young.
Latest selected chip counts are on the chip count page. The EPT tournament structure can be found on the EPT tournament structure page. Full details of the payout structure and prizewinners is on the payout structure and prizewinners page.
Level 7: 300-600 (50 ante)
Level 8: 400-800 (75 ante)
8.45pm: Done for the day
After some mad last minute rushing around we’re done for the day. Tournament officials announced three more hands would be played – they were and we can now call Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier chip leader. A full wrap up of the day’s action will be ready in minutes.
8.30pm: ElkY up
On a flop of K♥5♥2♠. ElkY bet and was called by Ilkin Amirov. Now a J♠ on the turn. ElkY made it another 20,000. Amirov moved all-in and ElkY called, showing 5♠4♠ to Amirov’s J♥K♦. Amirov banged the table when the Q♠ hit the river. He was gone. ElkY is up to nearly 170,000.
8.20pm: Boris Becker video
Sadly we saw too little of Team PokerStars SportStar Boris Becker today, as he busted in the early levels. Fortunately our video team got him in action, although he seemed to be facing a barrage of talk from the, err, the talkative Peter Hedlund…
8.15pm: Having a Balio
Baloi Dan Gabriel, the player who won his seat here via a satellite played at the PokerStars Romanian Poker Championship, is enjoying himself, sitting now on a stack approaching 80,000. Just now he picked up a load on a K♦8♥5♣9♠3♥ board, when his all in river bet for 15,500 was called. He held A♥K♣ but his opponent could only table K♥Q♥.
Team PokerStars Pro Alex Kravchenko shares the same table. He’s sitting quietly with around 19,000 right now.
8.10pm: Seat open
Jeff Sarwer just moved up to nearly 60,000 after eliminating an all-in player who’d shoved with king-queen only to run into Sarwer with A♠A♣.
8.05pm: That’s how he rolls or runs I should say
Vitaly Lunkin has doubled-up to 25,000. There was a raise from a player on the button before Lunkin moved all in with A♣7♠. The button called with 10♠10♦ and the board ran A♠2♣J♠3♠6♥. This Russian runs pretty good.
8.00pm: No more chatter from Chattha
Chaz Chattha has been eliminated. He lost a race holding ace-king to an opponent’s pocket jacks and the final nail was driven in the coffin by Leo Margets after she flopped top pair to his second pair. All the chips went in and now we have no more Hit Squad members left.
7.50pm: The man from João Monte, he says yes
You think you’ve seen it all – PokerStars branded clothing, that is – and then suddenly someone crops up in a T-shirt or jersey that makes you realise there’s always something new.
Sitting in seat one, table one in Prague today is João Monte, who is wearing a canary yellow top with green flex, which is distinctive to only one country, Brazil. It is branded with the familiar PokerStars badge and the America’s Cup of Poker logo – and for good reason. That was the top Monte was wearing when he joined Alexandre Gomes and four others to take down the inaugural event. (Warning: Foreign language ahead.)
Brazil beat Costa Rica, captained by Humberto Brenes, and then Argentina, with Leo Fernandez at the helm. If you can read Portuguese, this seems like quite a romp. And if you can’t, just look at the pictures.
This one is of Monte in Prague today, where he sits with about 40,000 entering the final level of the day.
7.48pm: Into the chip lead
Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier is the new likely chip leader. ElkY bet big on a jack high board and Jerney Katalin moved all-in with pocket kings. ElkY called with pocket jacks and that was that. Katalin, who herself busted Ilari Sahamies, is the surprise bust out, leaving 140,000 to ElkY.
7.45pm: ElkY v Sarwer
Back to table ElkY – and on a board already reading J♥A♥2♣10♥, Sarwer and Grospellier fought over a small-sized pot. ElkY made it 1,500. Jerney Katalin got out of the way before Sarwer made it 2,100 more. ElkY tossed in the call for a 7♦ river. Both checked, Sarwer continuing to tap the table to acknowledge ElkY’s good hand. He showed 5♠5♣ but ElkY had him beat with 10♠2♣.
7.40pm: ElkY chipping up
This is an ominous sign for everyone sitting at ElkY’s table – he’s starting to build a stack that’s now approaching 80,000. A few more came his way just now when on a turned board of K♥3♦K♠K♦ he called a 2,500 bet from the player on his right. Both checked the 4♦ river, and it turned out ElkY’s A♣8♣ was good enough to take the pot.
Remember this is the table that provided great entertainment for the short while that Ilari Sahamies was with us. Well even now his seat is of interest, as it has just been filled by Jeff Sarwer.
7.35pm: Giving it to Pagano
Thierry Van den Berg just got moved to Luca Pagano’s table – and looks on at the Italian’s 65,000 stack. “Just how do you do it, Luca?” he asked. “I mean, people just give you chips.” It may not be that simple, but Team PokerStars Pro Pagano is showing again just why he holds records for cash finishes in EPTs.
On a flop of Q♠2♥Q♦ Jeff Sarwer checked in the cut off. The seat nine player made it 5,500 and Sarwer moved all-in. His opponent asked for a count as his leg bounced up and down. It was 15,475 to call with more than 20,000 in the pot. The seat nine player held his hands over his ears, either keeping the voices in or keeping voices out. He passed. Sarwer now up to 35,000.
I asked the seat nine player his name but he was reluctant to give it. “I don’t want you to write on the internet how I was outplayed.”
He’ll remain anonymous.
7.25pm: Bad Timing
Laurence Houghton is out. A loose aggressive player opened with a raise before the Brit moved his short stack all in with jack-ten. His opponent had pocket aces though and although Houghton paired his jack on the flop and picked up a flush draw on the turn the river blanked.
7.22pm: Palevic settles for a smaller stack
Rifat Palevic just lost a pot worth over 40,000 but still has a stack of 120,000. The turn was out by the time we caught up with the action and Palevic had just called a 5,100 bet from his neighbor on a 7♠4♦10♣9♥ board. The river came 10♦ and this time the Swede called a 13,100 bet. His neighbor showed him 9♣9♦ for a set and Palevic open folded J♠J♦.
The full payout structure for this year’s EPT Prague main event has been announced. There was a total prize pool of €2,842,100 with the winner taking €682,000 for their five days at the table. Eighty players will be paid.
Full details of the prize structure can be found on the payout structure and prizewinners page.
7.15pm: Hit Squad member takes a hit
When I reached the table the river was already out reading J♠8♥8♠K♠6♥. Catherine Hong checked from mid position to Chaz Chattha in the cut-off who bet 15,000. She called quickly and took the pot as her flush with Q♥J♥ bettered the trips of Chattha with 8♦9♦. He’s down to 26,500.
7.12pm: ElkY back with a vengeance
Bertrand Grospellier is firing after the break. He made it 1,500 under the gun plus one and was called in two places. After Jerney Katalin re-raised him on the flop of 6♣4♦5♣ ElkY called for a 7♦ turn which was checked. On the A♦ river ElkY fired in some oomph, 17,775 enough to persuade Katalin to fold.
7.10pm: Bye bye Bona
Salvatore Bonavena is out. He moved in before the break with pocket sevens against pocket fives and his opponent spiked a five on the river. It’s goodbye El Bona. No second victory in Prague for him.
7.05pm: Before the break
Jeff Sarwer has arrived at his new table a few minutes before the break, sitting diagonally opposite ElkY Grospellier. He wins his first hand by knocking someone out of a pot then tangled in another. Yuriy Leskiv who was under-the-gun opened for 1,025 before Kristoffe Edberg made it 2,700. Jerney Katalin called on the button and Sarwer did the same in the small blind. Leskiv did so too for a flop of 6♠Q♥7♥. Everyone checked for a Q♦ turn. Leskiv bet 4,000 and Edberg called. Katalin, on the button, folded but Sarwer called for a 6♣ river. No more betting, after some three-way checking Leskiv showed pocket eights. Edberg folded.
“Pocket eights?” asked Sarwer, as if there’d been a misprint in the script. “I had no idea the best hand was a pair of eights,” he said as the break was called and players began to disperse. “I had an ace-high flush. It would have been nice to hit. That whole hand was… fishy.”
7pm: The last stretch
Players are returning from their last break of the night. Just two more levels and we’re done. How about a nice picture? OK, here’s one of Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano, currently on around 45,000…