Updates from day 4, level 23 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 23: 12,000-24,000 (2,000 ante)
5.20pm: Time’s up for Meelis
Priyan de Mel had his eyes on Eyal Avitan’s small blind when he made it 65,000 but found himself up against an all-in from Jolmer Meelis. Not that he minded. When the action got back to him he called, showing A♣A♥. Meelis turned over 4♣4♦. The flop brought an ace and that was that. After more than two hours the next elimination – Jolmer Meelis in 16th place – and the end of the level.
5.15pm: Getting serious
Priyan de Mel is the opposite of Eyal Avitan. The latter is serious, gets up and down form his seat quite a lot. While De Mel would rather everyone was chatting and likes a bit of fun. Avitan was in the big blind and the action was on De Mel.
“Is it okay to raise your big blind?” asked De Mel.
“No” said a deadpan Avitan.
“You never smile!” said De Mel, prompting a grin from the Israeli.
“Be careful” replied Avitan as De Mel made it 60,000 to play. Avitan called for a flop of 10♣3♦6♠. Avitan checked and De Mel made it 80,000, although not before some small talk. Avitan folded and De Mel flashed a K♠. He’d later admit he had a second.
“What you have?” said De Mel to Avitan.
“Nothing” replied Avitan.
5.10pm: One-on-one Nordic action
That headline is going to get stuck in the firewall, but it’s no more risque than a Finn and a Swede going at it over a table. He-he.
Anyhow, Juha Lauttamus raised to 64,000 from early position and Stefan Mattsson called in the big blind. The flop came K♣10♣5♦, check, check. The turn was 8♥ and Mattsson bet 84,000. Call. The river was A♣ and now Mattsson bet 217,000. Lauttamus folded.
5.05pm: Weak or strong lead?
Anthony Roux opened proceedings with a 55,000 raise from early position that Jan Skampa called. Yann Brosolo three-bet to 147,000 from the small blind. Roux called but Skampa folded. Brosolo then led out for 120,000 on the 2♦6♥J♣ board. It was too much for Roux to call and he slid his cards into the muck.
5pm: Meelis again
Jolmer Meelis just moved all-in. Again. It was the silent kind, nothing more than a wave from the small blind. Luca Pagano was in the big blind and started looking at chips, first his then Meelis’s. But no, he folded Q♣J♣ instead.
Pagano was firing from the small blind a hand later, opening for 64,000. Laurence Ryan was in the big blind and raised to 195,000 total. Pagano passed this one.
After a flurry of early exits, it’s now been approaching two hours since the last bust out. With prize payouts jumping in ever increasing amounts, that’s perhaps understandable.
What it means is we are seeing very few flops, and those that we are seeing are over in a flash.
Kalle Niemi wants to get things moving, however. He’s down to 450,000 and needs action. It’s folded around to him on the button, and he pushes. But neither Priyan De Mel in the small blind, nor Sven Eichelbaum in the big, want to play along.
We move on.
4.47pm: Get off this pot
Action folded around to Yann Brosolo in the small blind who completed before Steffan Mattsson checked his option to see the 9♦9♥A♠ flop. Brosolo led for 30,000. Call. The turn came 2♥ and Brosolo led for 55,000 and was called again. When the river came K♣ Brosolo moved all in for 460,000 forcing the fold from the Swede.
4.45pm: Pagano power
Luca Pagano opened for 65,000 from under the gun. It’s folded to Eyal Avitan who calls after switching his buzzing phone off. They see a flop of 7♣4♣A♥. Pagano made it 90,000 which Avitan called for a 2♣ on the turn. Now Pagano pushed in 240,000, two towers of yellow topped with blue – good for the pot when Avitan folded, showing A♦J♦.
4.40pm: Zaytsev dodges Ekerot’s trap
Evgeniy Zaytsev and Gustav Ekerot are the only two players involved and four cards are out: 9♠4♦8♠2♦. Ekerot bets 60,000 and Zaytsev calls on the button. The river is 7♦ and Ekerot checks. Zaytsev checks behind and Ekerot rolls his eyes skyward. Ekerot shows J♣10♠ for the nuts but Zaytsev refused to bet into him. Ekerot wins the pot, but it might have been far bigger.
4.35pm: Boyard takes it
Laurence Ryan opens for 72,000 from the cut off, and Sebastien Boyard re-raises to 212,000 from the small blind. It’s folded back around to Ryan, who makes the astute observation: “If I call that then I have to call the rest.” He folded.
4.32pm: Lauttamus doubles
Folded round to Anthony Roux and his big stack in the small blind, the Frenchman moved all in, effectively asking Juha Lauttamus to play for his tournament life. Lauttamus only had 450,000 total but called and was ahead.
Lauttamus stood as if to leave, but there was no trouble through any street: 4♦6♣2♦Q♠A♣ and he doubles to 950,000. Roux still has more than 1.5m.
4.30pm: The nuisance that is Skampa
Evgeniy Zaytsev would have been very happy with his seat draw at the start of the day. Not too much danger to his left and two aggressive Nordics to his right in the shape of Stefan Mattsson and Juha Lauttanus. Things have changed a little bit for worse with the arrival of Jan Skampa to his left.
Zaytsev raised to 54,000 from the cut-off and was called by the aforementioned Skampa in the next seat and Gustav Ekerot in the small blind. The flop came A♦10♥9♦ and Zaytsev’s 92,000 continuation bet was only called by Skapma. Zaytsev then check-folded to Skampa’s 180,000 bet after the turn came 3♣.
Very difficult situation for Zaytsev as Skapma is capable of floating or calling with an ace in his hand on that flop.
4.25pm: Three in a row
Three hands and three all-ins, all from Jolmer Meelis, the short stack. First from the small blind, then the button and then from the cut off. The hand after that he folded. He’s up a bit.
4.20pm: Skampa v Ekerot
At the risk of turning this blog into a newsletter of the Jan Skampa fan club, here’s the bare details of another hand that the young Czech played impeccably. Skampa raised to 54,000 from mid position and was called by Gustav Ekerot immediately to his left. Everyone else left them alone to see a flop of A♠J♥5♣. Skampa bet 66,000, Ekerot called, and the Q♦ turned. Both players checked that and the river came 2♦. Skampa bet 75,000 and Ekerot called, to be shown A♥4♥ in Skampa’s hands. Ekerot folded.
There’s quite the meta-game going on between those two. Skampa has raised out of the small blind a couple of times, with Ekerot forcing his opponent to fold with a big reraise. Skampa has the better of it so far, but that’s one intriguing personal duel amid the larger tournament scene.
4.15pm: Hidden talents
Warning! Marcel Luske singing alert! Here the video blog team reveal Team PokerStars Pro players’ hidden talents. It’s not that Johnny Lodden’s hidden talent is much to write home about…
4.10pm: It’s all gone a bit…
…. well, quiet. On Luca Pagano’s table we’re watching a series of raise and takes pre-flop. Only one bit of excitement is a potential conflict of the blinds when it’s folded around to Jolmer Meelis in the small. Crippled by Pagano’s aces a short while ago, he has only 244,000 left and moves all in.
Pagano in the big blind asks for a count, and while tempted to call and try and bust a player, the Italian thought better of it and mucked.
4pm: Back again
So the 16 remaining players, have returned to the two tables. That can only mean one thing – we’re ready to start level 23. I like a level 23, don’t you?
Here’s a splendid overhead shot of our final two tables. If you look closely, you might spot a couple of PokerStars bloggers hard at work, but I’ll be damned if I can see them…