EPT Vilamoura: Levels 1 and 2 updates

November 17, 2009

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Updates from levels one and two 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.

Blinds:
Level 1: 50-100
Level 2: 75-150

2.25pm: Break time
Two levels down and the first fifteen minute break is upon us.

2.25pm: Naalden caught
In one of those hands that drifts long into the break, Marc Naalden was caught at it again, this time by Eric Van Der Burg. There was about 2,500 in the middle and four cards exposed: K♦8♣3♥10♣. Van Der Burg bet 1,750, Naalden raised to 4,500 and Van Der Burg called. The river was 2♦ and both clearly thought about move making, but ended up checking it down. “Nothing,” said Naalden. “Jack-high.” Van Der Burg said: “Ace high.” He showed A♣4♣ to take it down.

2.20pm: Busy Bichon
Thomas Bichon is getting busy, especially in position. After Harold Dijkstra bet 1,350 on a board of 10♣4♠K♦, Bichon, on the button, raised 2,400 more. Dijkstra folded. Bichon was in the cut off the next hand and limp-called Giuseppe Sarlo’s raise from the small blind. The flop came 2♠8♠Q♥ and Sarlo bet 1,200. Bichon made it 3,400 and Sarlo folded pocket fives face up, with a flamboyant Italian wince.

2.15pm: Lucky number seven
Dragan Galic raised from under-the-gun and then called a re-raise from a player in mid position to see a 7♥9♣7♠ flop. Galic then check-raised his opponent’s 1,200 bet up to 3,000. The call was quick in coming as it was when Galic led for 5,000 after A♠ turn came down. The A♥ river slowed them both down to checks before laughter erupted around the table when Galic showed 7♦8♦ and his opponent showed 7♣5♣ for a split pot. Galic on 26,000 right now.

2.10pm: Thater takes one
Team PokerStars Pro Katja Thater had a tough call to make on a A♣9♣2♠A♠J♥ board. With around 6,500 in the pot already, Ricardo Garcia from Spain had bet another 6,150.

Eventually Thater called, and Garcia insta-mucked. After throwing her cards away, Thater hauled them back and turned over A♦10♣ when neighbour Eric Van Der Berg insisted she should show. Thater is now up to 35,000.

2.05pm: Must be nice
With a board showing 10♠9♣2♦9♥10♦, Aurelien Guiglini from France has moved all in for his last 14,500. PokerStars qualifier Tuna Serdar Tascioglu is the man with the decision to make. He leans back, he leans forward, he scratches his head, he looks at his cards, he leans back again…. he calls!

But Guiglini quickly shows him the bad news, turning over 10♣10♥ for quads and a stack approaching 60,000. Tascioglu, meanwhile is adrift with around 5,000 left.

2pm: Lacay lets one go
Pick the bones out of this one. Dennis Boekel made it 500 from mid position and Sofia Mendes called, one seat to his left, which tempted Ludovic Lacay into the pot from the small blind. The flop came 7♥7♣3♠ and Lacay checked, Boekel bet 1,000 and Mendes raised to 2,600. Lacay called, as did Boekel and so three of them saw the 8♥ turn. Lacay checked, Boekel checked and Mendes checked and the river was K♣. Lacay now led out, betting 4,200. Boekel raised to 10,000 and Mendes went into the tank. Eventually she folded, which gave Lacay some tanking time. He pondered and pondered, going through the “Will you show if I fold?” routine, and then saying: “So, you have kings.” He then folded a seven face up, which brought a chuckle from Boekel, who did not show his hand. Hmmmm.

1.58pm: Deeb’s stock rising
Shaun Deeb raised to 375 from under-the-gun and was called by Christiano Blanco on the button and the player in the big blind. Deeb bet 725 on the flop and 1,600 on the turn and it was only Blanco that hung around to the river where the board read 6♣J♠5♥10♣4♠. Deeb checked, but raised Blanco’s 2,300 bet up to 13,600. Blanco called fairly quickly but mucked even quicker when Deeb showed 7♠8♠ for the nuts. Deeb up to 58,000, Blanco down to 13,000.

1.50pm: Brail Buch
A couple of PokerStars qualifiers, Alexandre Brail and Jochim Buch, just got involved in a fairly sizable pot – at least for this stage in the tournament. Brail took it, leaving Buch to muck his cards having almost certainly been outdrawn. Here’s how it played out: Buch made it 400 from under-the-gun and Brail called in the cut off. The flop came 4♦9♣10♥ and Buch c-bet, making it 625 to go. Brail called and they both checked the Q♥ turn. The river was 9♥ and after Buch checked, Brail got cute, moving 10 black chips (worth 100 each) and three green chips (25 each) in. Buch tossed in one red chip, worth 1,000, and three green chips to make the call, and was shown 9♠7♠ for the rivered trips. Muck.

1.45pm: Flushed out the backdoor
Barny Boatman just briefly filled me in on a pot he should really have gone broke on. Guillaume De La Gorce still benefitted from 20,000 of the Brit’s chips though after he hit the back door nut flush to Boatman’s second nut flush. Boatman somehow managed to check-call on the river and hang around a while longer with a stack currently at 12,000. De La Gorce meanwhile is on 50,000.

1.30pm: Vadim had ‘im.
An under-the-gun raise from Steve Eichenburger, who gets calls from Martin Wendt and the Foxwoods Poker Classic winner Vadim Trincher. They’re ready, they see a flop: 10♥7♦10♠. Eichenburger checked before Wendt made it 825. Trincher was still sticking around, but Eichenburger passed ahead of the K♦ turn. Wendt checked this time, leaving it to Trincher to make it 1,500 and take the pot which puts him back to his original 30,000 stack.

1.25pm: Hitting the Marc
Marc Naalden, the Dutch player with more than $1.1million in tournament winnings to his name, is a busy boy at his table, which he shares with Katja Thater. He’s been taking many pots (maybe stealing is too strong a word), but has just been looked up by Jan Skampa.

First Naalden raised on the button to 425, but Skampa, from the Czech Republic, came over the top with 1,300. Call. The flop came 4♥7♠6♦ and Skampa made it 1,800. Call. Both checked the Q♣ turn and the 9♦ river.

“Nothing,” said Naalden, sheepishly showing 3♦10♦. Skampa showed 5♦5♣ and took the pot.

Remember, folks, local laws forbid us from taking photographs on the tournament floor. But we’ll be using our initiative throughout the week to ensure you get your image fix.

1.20pm: Video video
Last night the hordes of PokerStars qualifiers joined a host of Team PokerStars Pros for a welcome party at the lavish Tivoli Hotel, Vilamoura. They were also greeted by a troupe of Portuguese dancers, who took many of them by the hand and sent them gliding and spinning across the ballroom. Let Vanessa Rousso explain:


Watch EPT6 Vilamoura Party Time on PokerStars.tv

1.15pm: Level up
We’re into level two, with the blinds now at 75-150.

1.10pm: From the internet…
The day 1a field is characteristically smaller than expected, meaning day 1b tomorrow will be much bigger. That said, there are still some titans at the felt this afternoon, and typically they’ve found their way next to one another. How else to explain the pairing of Shaun “shaundeeb” Deeb and Mike “Timex” McDonald, side by side on the lower level. One table over, there’s Ricky Fohrenbach, another dervish of the online tables.

1.05pm: Pressure Poker
Mess with Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier at your peril. He was sat in the hijack and called a raise from the player to his right as did the player in possession of the famed button. The flop came 2♣J♣3♦ before Mercier bet 525 when checked to him. The button folded but the original aggressor raised to 1,800. Mercier called to see the 4♦ turn where he raised his opponent’s 2,100 bet up to 9,300. A long dwell ensued prompting another player at the table to call the clock and that did the trick as the fold came handing the pot to Mercier to put him up to 34,000.

12.50pm: In order of appearance
A lot of familiar faces have made their way to Portugal this week and are out there in the field today, including a couple of line-ups to make you want to stick around.

First of the eight Team PokerStars Pros playing today is Jason Mercier, joined by Chad Brown, Katja Thater, Henrique Pinho and the Frenchman Arnaud Mattern who lands on the same table as Danish pro Martin Wendt, Dutch pro Rolf Slotboom and the unofficial face of Portuguese poker Joao Barbosa, who obliterated the then none-existent EPT cash record for Portuguese players last year with seven, including a win in Warsaw.

The other stand out clash features a poker heavyweight head-to-head between Shaun Deeb and Mike McDonald. They’ll sit side by side today for the prescribed eight one hour levels, unless one of them is dealt a game ending blow. Elsewhere Barny Boatman, Jan Collado and Ricardo Sousa play day 1a, as does the last EPT Dublin winner Reuben Peters who sits opposite the Dutch Team PokerStars Pro Joep Van Den Bijgaart. Ludovic Lacay, Antony Lellouche and Michel Abecassis make up part of the French contingent, Dragan Gallic the Croatian, while Thomas Brolin represents former footballers now plying their trade at the poker table.

12.30pm: Qualifier knocked a little
The PokerStars blog first discovered the existence of qualifier Matt Johns at Stansted airport in the early hours of yesterday morning. He’s playing today but hasn’t got off to the best of starts. An early tangle with Frenchman Anthony Roux saw him lose a few thousand of his 30,000 starting stack. He raised from middle position and was called by Roux on the button to see a 2♣6♣10♠ flop. His 450 continuation bet was called before his 1,000 bet after the 9♣ turn came was raised up to 2,800. A call was quick in coming before both players checked through the 10♦ river. Roux tabled 7♥8♥ for a turned straight that was good for the pot as Johns mucked.

12.15pm: Cards are in the air
Barely 15 minutes past noon, and we begin. A list of a few selected day 1a players is available on the chip count page, where we’ll have the updated stacks throughout the day.

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