Updates from levels seven and eight of EPT Vilamoura, brought to you by Stephen Bartley, Marc Convey, Howard Swains and Simon Young.
Selected approximate chip counts, updated throughout the day, are available on the chip counts page. The EPT tournament structure can be found on the EPT tournament structure page. The full payout structure is on the payout structure page.
Level 7: 300-600 (50 ante)
Level 6: 400-800 (75 ante)
That is that for this evening and it looks very much as though Jeff Sarwer is our overnight chip leader with 143,400. A full wrap is on its way, plus those confirmed counts.
8.50pm: Last four hands
Tournament officials have now announced that we’re playing the final four hands of the day. Shortly before that, Jim Collopy was moved to the same table as Jeff Sarwer, meaning two of the three biggest stacks are opposite one another. They each have about 140,000, with only Rob Yong anywhere near that total.
8.45pm: Ruthenberg out
Team PokerStars Pro Sebastian Ruthenberg is out, dispatched with a clean cut from Rob Yong. Ruthenberg had raised pre-flop and was called by Nicolas Levi, but Yong re-raised. Ruthenberg shoved, Levi got out of the way and Yong called:
The board ran 8♥7♣J♥3♠Q♥, and the young German will not be adding another EPT title to his name.
Yong, meanwhile, is now likely our chip leader on over 135,000.
8.40pm: Kelopuro v Bertilsson
Sami Kelopuro’s rise up the leader board just took a hit against Anton Bertilsson. Kelopuro made it 6,500 pre-flop, called by Bertilsson. On the dangerous K♠Q♠5♠ flop, Kelopuro made it 9,000, but Bertilsson moved all in for 39,225 more.
After a long dwell, Kelopuro made the call:
The set was a mile ahead, and the K♣ turn and 8♦ river kept it that way improving to a full house. The hand knocked Kelopuro down to 80,000, and sent Bertilsson in the opposite direction, up to 85,000
8.35pm: Sarwer surge
Jeff Sarwer has enjoyed a terrific last level and is now our probable chip leader with about 140,000. He knocked out ElkY (see 8pm update) and now he’s just accounted for Johan Sundell. They got it all in on a flop of 7♣5♦6♣, Sarwer comfortably covering Sundell in chips, but much closer in terms of the hands. Sarwer had 9♠9♥ but Sundell’s 4♣5♣ had about 412 outs. The turn wasn’t one of them: 8♠ and neither was the river: 4♦, which filled Sarwer’s higher straight. The former chess prodigy continues his very smooth transition to poker.
8.30pm: Ton Yong soup
There was 10,500 in the pot by the time the river had arrived and the board read 2♣J♦3♦6♣10♦. The turn had been checked through but Rob Yong led out into his opponent to the value of 2,500. A quick call came and Yong revealed Q♦J♣ and it was good for the pot. He’s on 105,000 now.
8.22pm: A mistake but not too costly
The turn was out giving us 4♦10♠9♦9♠ board and Nicolas Levi was heads up with an opponent. It was checked to Levi who bet 6,000 only to be raised up to 15,475. Levi snap called and turned over his hand (6♠6♦) thinking his opponent was all in but he still had another 20,000 back. The hand continued and Levi eventually folded to the all in push on the river. He was shown the 9♥ so felt a little better about making the mistake. Levi still has 110,000 though so we can’t feel too bad for him.
8.15pm: Big stacks
We’re deep into the final level of the day and there are some big stacks appearing in front of some very notable names. It’s very difficult to pick an out-and-out leader from this little batch:
Sami Kelopuro – 125,000
Jim “Mr_BigQueso” Collopy – 123,000
Allan Baekke – 110,000
Nicolas Levi – 110,000
John Eames – 110,000
8pm: Sarwer slays ElkY
Listen to this carefully: it’s a big pot. Let’s flash to the end to tell you that ElkY “Bertrand” Grospellier is out, the victim of Jeff Sarwer. Here’s how it happened. ElkY raised to 1,500 pre-flop from under-the-gun and Stefan Mattson called from middle position, as did Jeff Sarwer from one to his left. The three of them saw 9♠9♦6♠ and then it all got stupid.
ElkY bet 3,300 and Mattson called, but Sarwer made it 8,625. ElkY raised to 26,000, effectively all in since he left only about 5,000 behind, and after Mattson folded, Sarwer summed up what most of us were thinking: “Jesus,” he said. Sarwer took off his sunglasses and went into the tank: “Do you have me covered?” Sarwer asked and the dealer helped them both out, revealing that no, he didn’t. Sarwer now moved all in, pretty much for his tournament life, and then nodded when ElkY flipped A♠8♠.
“That’s what I figured you might have,” Sarwer said, showing 9♥7♦. “I thought my kicker might not be strong enough.” So, it was trips versus a flush draw, but no more spades materialised and Grospellier is gone.
Sarwer has about 70,000 now.
7.58pm: Doco docked
Johannes Strassmann opened for 1,600 in the cut off. PokerStars qualifier Geoffrey Doco of France called from the small blind and they saw a J♥A♣A♠ flop. Both checked for a 10♠ on the turn. Now Doco led the betting, making it 3,625 after Strassmann checked. He’d get the call though for a 2♦ on the river. Both checked. Doco showed 9♦9♣ but Strassmann would take this one, showing J♣7♠. The Team PokerStars Pro is now up to 60,000.
7.55pm: Keep in it Portugal
Luis Rodrigues has just benefited from a timely double-up through fellow Portuguese player and PokerStars Team Pro Henrique Pinho. The former raised from under-the-gun and was called by the latter from mid position. The flop came down king high before all the chips went in the middle. Rodrigues held A♣A♠ to Pinho’s A♥K♦ and the turn and river blanked. Pinho still healthy on around 60,000.
7.50pm: Kelly’s hero
Sometimes anonymity should be respected and so we will grant it to JP Kelly’s latest opponent who did not live to regret a mis-timed four-bet shove with pocket deuces. Here’s how it went: Praz Bansi opened 1,425 under-the-gun and Kelly called from one spot to his left. Our hero/villain made it 4,000 on the button and after Bansi folded, Kelly made it 11,500. Our hero/villain moved all in and Kelly snap-called. Kelly had A♠A♥ and even the departed’s suits were covered as he flipped 2♥2♠. There were no miracles through flop, turn and river and Kelly moved north of 70,000.
After much negotiation between people who decide this kind of thing, the full payout structure has now been decided.
Full details are now on the prizewinners page, but the main attraction is this: The winner will get €404,793 from a total prize pool of €1,561,700.
7.42pm: ElkY Watch
A bit predictable in an active sort of way, I’m afraid. Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier is involved in at least 50% of the hands that are taking place at his table. Two pots lost in a row happened because he took on early position raisers and lost both pots. Let it never be said that he doesn’t learn through experience. He won the next two pots after raising from early position.
Everyone folded and he took the blinds. He sits on 49,000 right now.
7.40pm: Della what?
Juan Manuel Pastor just shoved all in on the turn leaving it up to Luca Pagano to call. Pagano passed instead and Pastor lives on.
At the same table and on the next hand Andrea Sapere opened for 2,175 from the cut off, the kind of bet where you grab some chips and fling them into the middle. Marco Dellatommasina of earlier triple up fame called from the button, as did Manuel Jimenez from the big blind.
The flop came 9♦4♠5♦. Sapere made it another 3,000 and Dellatommasina called. Jimenez folded before the A♥ on the turn. Both checked for a 7♠ on the river. Now Sapere checked to Dellatommasina who dropped in a yellow chip worth 5,000.
Sapere leaned over to his right, perhaps trying to get some thinking distance. At the same time Dellatommasina made a hand gesture. I couldn’t tell whether he was encouraging an all-in or a fold from his opponent. Either way Sapere chose the latter and Dellatommasina showed him 7♥7♦ to win the hand.
7.20pm: No name, now no chips
Mr No Name from the previous hand now has no chips either. He decided to push with K♠2♠ but ran in to Jim Collopy’s A♣A♦. The 4♣Q♠4♥Q♣5♠ board ensured the man with no name was out.
7.15pm: Action, action, action!
This one will take some time, so bear with me. It’s worth it. It all started simply enough when Anton Bertilsson raised under the gun to 1,550. In the next seat Alexia Portal from France called. Now it heated up, with PokerStars qualifier Gunnar Rabe making it 5,500.
Hang on, this was getting ineteresting, as Geoffrey Doco, another qualifier from France, made it 15,000. But what’s this? The player in seat two – who later declined to give his name – moved all-in for 45,000! Bertilsson got out of the way, but Portal called all-in for around 16,000, as did Rabe, who had a decent chunk of change. Doco got out of the way:
Mr No Name: 3♠3♣
Portal was looking for effectively a quadruple up, and that’s exactly what happened as the board ran 4♥5♥J♣Q♦J♦. Rabe got some return from the side pot, but Portal is now well up over 55,000… and I need a lie down.
7.10pm: ElkY on the up
Jeff Sarwer opened for 1,600 from early position. Two players called, including ElkY but when the action reached Anttonen Miikka Tapani in seat five he pushed all-in for 18,000 more. The others folded except for ElkY who pulled a few faces and then called. Tapani turned over J♥J♦ but ElkY had him beaten with Q♣Q♠, good for a few “ooohs”. The board ran out: 6♦8♣7♣3♦3♣. Tapani out in level seven. ElkY up to 65,000.
7pm: End of the last break
Players have now returned to their seats at the end of the last break of the day. There are 130 of them still in with a shot, from the 186 that started at noon. We’re still waiting for full details of the prize pool – there are “discussions” I’m told – which gives us time to catch up with Matt Johns, the PokerStars qualifier from California, who played yesterday but chatted to our video blog team today.
As if further impetus were necessary to join us on the EPT, all PokerStars qualifiers get to stay in a hotel that looks a lot like this: