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Updates from level 24 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 and prizewinners to date are on the payout structure page.

Previous coverage: Day 1a | Day 1b | Day 2 | Day 3 | Level 18 updates | Level 19 updates | Level 20 updates | Level 21 updates | Level 22 updates | Level 23 updates

Blinds: 15,000-30,000 (3,000 ante)

3.31pm: Take a breather
We’re on a 15-minute break. Back soon.

3.30pm: Down to six
The last hand of the level and Pierre Neuville opened for 75,000. Ryan Franklin was next to act and moved all-in for roughly 550,000, Jeff Sarwer said the same making it an easy fold for Antonio Matias. Neuville also folded. To the showdown. 8♥8♠ for Franklin, J♣J♦ for Sarwer. 10♥3♣J♠ on the flop. Franklin got up but Sarwer told him to sit down again.

But the 5♠ secured his exit. An irrelevant 4♦ on the river and Franklin departs in seventh place.

3.28pm: Sarwer back
Jeff Sarwer, now officially off tilt (see below), is back in the thick of the action. Pierre Neuville raised to 70,000 and Sarwer re-raised from the small blind, making it 180,000 total. Neuville called. The flop came Q♠5♣A♠ and Sarwer bet 250,000, which took it down.

3.25pm: I’m off tilt!
“I’m officially back now, I’m over it guys!” mused Jeff Sarwer to his table mates and the rail. Tournament director then announces “Jeff is not tilting anymore after getting his aces cracked by kings”. Laughter erupted around the rail.

Thirty seconds later Sarwer was officially back in the groove after he raised to 70,000 from under-the-gun and took the blinds and antes.

3.20pm: What was that?
Ryan Franklin opens from under-the-gun, placing 185,000 out in front of himself. The card caller announces the raise but no, Franklin had actually announced “all-in” only he was heard by just Skampa and Sarwer next to him. The action is on Pierre Neuville before he realises it’s an all-in, not a raise. Neuville folds, giving a polite lesson to rookie Franklin on
all-in etiquette. No harm done.

3.17pm: Golden Silva
The roof has just come off Casino Vilamoura as the local hero Joao Silva has doubled up to close to two million. Jeff Sarwer raised from the cut off to 70,000 and Antonio Matias called from the button. Silva moved all in from the small blind, a total of 945,000, and Sarwer stalled.

Eventually he said call and when Matias insta-folded, Sarwer showed A♥A♠ and immediately explained his stalling as an attempt to get Matias involved too. There were
no problems there, but it looked like Silva’s day was done, when he tabled K♦K♣.

As an extremely loud local contingent felt their hearts enter their mouths, the dealer dealt 2♦10♠2♣. No help. The turn was 8♣. No help. But the river K♠ was one of the two outs left in the deck for Silva and the room erupted.

3.15pm: Back where he started
Ryan Franklin moved all-in from the button. Skampa folded the small blind but Sarwer cannot let things like this go easily. He lifted his sunglasses up a little to count Franklin’s chips. Somewhere in the region of 500,000. He declined the dealer’s offer of a count and folded. A few hands later he made what he’d paid to Franklin back when he raised 70,000
from the button. Matias and Silva passed.

3.10pm: Sarwer v Neuville
Jeff Sarwer was first to act and made a raise to 70,000 that only Pierre Neuville called from the button. The flop came 4♠8♠10♦ and a Sarwer continuation bet of 135,000 was enough to take the pot down.

3.05pm: All bases covered
Pierre Neuville told reporters how he had been preparing for this tournament by revising certain situations: aces in this position, suited connectors in that, etc., etc. Just recently, Jan Skampa raised from under-the-gun at the precise moment that Neuville took delivery of a club sandwich in the small blind. It wasn’t immediately obvious what Neuville’s revision cards said about this particular scenario, but he opted for the quick bite with the right hand, fold cards with the left option. Textbook.

3pm: Silva starting to shine
Jan Skampa opens for 72,000 from the cut off. Joao Silva calls from the big blind for a flop of 10♥7♥J♠. Silva checked. Skampa made it 90,000. Silva called. On the 7♠ turn Silva checked again. Skampa made it 175,000 and again Silva called. Now a 2♥ on the river. Silva checked for a last time, Skampa did the same, showing K♦8♦ to Silva’s J♣Q♣.

That latter hand was accompanied by a local cheer from what must be 200 people on the rail behind him. He has close to a million now.

2.50pm: You win one, you lose one
Pierre Neuville raised back-to-back, the first time picking up blinds and antes with a 75,000 move from the cut-off, the second time making it 70,000 and picking up Antonio Matias as a customer in the big blind.

The flop came 3♠J♣10♠ and they both checked, but Matias bet 40,000 at the 3♦ turn. Neuville called and they saw the 6♥ on the river. Matias bet 52,000 and Neuville folded.

2.45pm: Abecassis doubles
The action folded around to Michel Abecassis in the cut-off who moved all in for 186,000 before Ryan Franklin re-raised all in from the small blind. Skampa folded from the big blind to leave us with a heads-up show down:

Abecassis: A♥2♥
Franklin: A♣3♣

Everyone was expecting a chopped pot but then the flop came down A♦3♦5♦ to give Franklin two-pair. Abecassis was getting ready to leave – and the turn came 4♠ to hand the lead to the Frenchman and the double-up was confirmed when the river came 7♠.

2.40pm: Opportunistic raise
Jeff Sarwer has arrested his brief slump after a spot of opportunistic raising on the button. Michel Abecassis folded his cards under-the-gun and Pierre Neuville, to his left and in the nine seat, raised to 77,000. Ryan Franklin, in the one seat (ie, the other side of the dealer) put 75,000 chips in the middle but thought he was raising; he hadn’t seen Neuville’s
actions and had mistaken Abecassis’s mucked cards for those of Neuville.

The tournament director Thomas Kremser was called to adjudicate on whether Franklin’s move went as a raise, but as the American had not specifically said “Raise”, it went as a call. Sarwer spotted his chance after all this confusion, and announced a raise from the button, of 325,000.

Neither Neuville nor Franklin actually wanted it that much and folded. Sarwer took down their much disputed 75,000 each, plus blinds and antes.

2.35pm: A Portuguese roar
Joao Silva open shoved for 335,000. The action reached Jeff Sarwer who, without any of the dramatics of the previous hand against Skampa, announced call. There was a pause as Sarwer counted out the chips but a roar to lift the roof when Silva turned over A♣Q♥.
Sarwer showed 4♥4♣ and comforted himself with the words “twenty per cent.”

There was another roar after the board ran: 6♦K♦J♥10♣7♥. Silva had been nervously rubbing his hands together on each street but now lifted his arms in the air. The hometown hero is back in this. Sarwer takes another knock, down to 1.4 million.

2.30pm: Skampa takes one
The very next hand the action folded around to Jan Skampa in the small blind who made a raise to 90,000 only to be re-raised to 220,000 by Jeff Sarwer in the big blind. Skampa’s response was to move all in for a total of 1,228,000. Sarwer took three minutes at least to decide to fold but all that while he was chatting to himself and his opponent trying to get a read or trigger to call. Even edging his stack forward didn’t make Skampa move a muscle and he takes down the pot.

2.25pm: Franklin all-in
Jeff Sarwer opened for 70,000 from early position. The action was folded back to Ryan Franklin in the blinds who moved all-in. Sarwer asked for a count. It’s 797,000 to call, which Sarwer had counted before the dealer confirmed. His sunglasses are off and he’s rubbing his eyes. He has a decision, but chooses to fold. “Nice hand,” he says.

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Ryan Franklin

2.20pm: Tough on the short stacks
Michel Abecassis moved all in under-the-gun and took the blinds and antes. But he gave it all back on the next two hands when he was forced to fold his big blind to a raise from Antonio Matias on the button and then his small blind to similar pre-flop action from Jeff Sarwer.

2.15pm: Silva lining his pockets
Our second shortest stack at the table João Silva just moved all in from first position for 335,000 and managed to take the blinds and antes as everyone folded.

2.10pm: Learning Portuguese
The Portuguese players are still prospering on the Algarve, which is more than you can say for some of the Team PokerStars Pros and their attempts to learn the local language. Allow the video blog team to explain:


Watch EPT6 Vilamoura Learning Portuguese on PokerStars.tv

2.10pm: Seven back for the cash
That’s the end of the first break and the magnificent seven will return. That first level of the day was great for Pierre Neuville and not so good for Antonio Matias, although he still retains a chip lead. Joao Silva and Michel Abecassis are going to need to get busy.

The full stacks on their return are:

Antonio Matias, 2,550,000
Pierre Neuville, 2,260,000
Jeff Sarwer, 2,110,000
Jan Skampa, 1,090,000
Ryan Franklin, 941,000
Joao Silva, 343,000
Michel Abecassis, 255,000

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