Live updates from day 1a, levels five and six of the EPT Warsaw Main Event event brought to you by Stephen Bartley, Howard Swains and Simon Young.
Blinds: 150-300 (25 ante)
7.20pm: Take a break
Players have reached the last break of the day. After a 15 minute pause in the action they will return for one more level. In the meantime, why not watch this video interview with Team PokerStars Pro Katja Thater?
7.19pm: Flexing his mscls
The final hand of the level was one of those hands from Carter Phillips. Pierre Neuville opened for about 2,000, Phillips, in the big blind, made it around 6,000, Neuville re-re-raised to about 15,000 and Phillips shoved a whole tower of yellows into the middle — about 100,000 in total — easily covering Neuville.
The Belgian player deliberated long into the break, but eventually passed. Just as Phillips scooted off for what remained of his break, he showed Neuville J♦K♥, which we’ve got to assume was second best.
Neuville loitered for a moment and asked the dealer to show him a flop, saying he just wanted to see a king on it. Deciphering that comment, it seems likely he probably folded either pocket jacks or queens. He couldn’t see that flop — the dealer had already mixed — but either way, that’s a big hand to take into a 15 minute interval.
Phillips is our clear chip leader with about 140,000.
7.17pm: Where’d the chip go?
I’ve watched Constantin Cirstea play about a dozen hands but have yet to see him win one. Regardless he’s been in good shape for most of the day. This one was no different. With a board showing J♥3♣9♠5♥ Cirstea made it 7,000. Thor Drexel looked like he wanted to call and did so for a 7♥ river card. Now Cirstea made it 12,000 which Drexel called quickly, turning over J♣Q♦. Cirstea shook his head and folded. Drexel up to 65,000.
7.15pm: Here to go one better
On a flop of J♥5♦K♦ Polish player Rafal Arendt, playing his first EPT, called the 800 from last year’s Warsaw runner up Nico Behling from the button. Peter Eastgate folded the small blind but Donald Norman called from the big. A 4♥ next on the turn. Norman checked to Behling who made it 3,100. Arendt passed as did Norman, leaving Behling the spoils, up to 48,000.
7.10pm: Barcelona reunion
No sooner had Carter Phillips made it to the top of the leaderboard than he was joined there by one of his Barcelona final table-mates. Mihai Manole might just have taken over at the very summit after he accounted for Martin Hansen in a three-way coup.
Arkadiusz Liszewski started it, raising to 1,100 pre-flop. Manole called in the small blind and Hansen called in the big. The flop came A-10-8 with one diamond (this was all related by Manole, by the way, so reporting kudos to him), and all three players checked. The turn came K♦ and Manole and Hansen checked, prompting a 2,000 bet from Liszewski. Manole raised to 6,000 and Hansen called, which was enough to scare Liszewski away.
The river was A♦, a frightening card for all. But it didn’t stop these two: Manole checked, Hansen bet 9,000 and Manole moved all in. Hansen called, but mucked when Manole showed A-K for the rivered full house. Hansen (who must have had a flush, the way it played out?) was gone.
7.05pm: Kravchenko smiles… and laughs
Yes, it’s true. Had I not seen it myself I would never have believed it. But it happened. Alex Kravchenko smiled today. He also laughed. Twice, in fact. The man with the stare that can bore holes into two-feet thick chunks of steel, is having a ball at his table. It can’t be because he has chips – he only has 14,000 of those – so it must be something in the air here in Warsaw.
7pm: Anyone for tennis?
Katja Thater and Shaun Deeb are enjoying their day off today before sitting down in anger in tomorrow’s day 1b. What better way to relax than participating in a spot of Wii tennis?
6.50pm: A familiar face
A couple of days ago, a piece was written for a poker magazine by a writer not too far away from this keyboard that suggested we might not have a double EPT winner for a long time.
The reasons that scribe gave included the fact that players such as Carter Phillips and Aaron Gustavsson, who won in Barcelona and London this year, represent the dominant new breed of player migrating from the online tables to the live environment in great number. With so many near flawless players, and such a terrific structure, any one of about 100 players could win each and every EPT tournament. That was the theory and it didn’t sound bad at the time.
The problem is that it might end up being a self-refuting prophesy because our new chip leader here in Warsaw is that very same Carter Phillips. He’s a PokerStars qualifier again, he’s again playing out of his skin, and he has about 120,000 in chips. There’s an empty seat where Raffaele Gerbi used to be, and it’s a fair bet that his decent stack is now a mere portion of Phillips’.
Olaf de Zeeuw is right up there too, however. He has about 120,000 as well, and as we enter level six, they’re the chip daddies at the moment.
As ever, check the chip count page for the most accurate and most comprehensive (although not completely comprehensive, that would be impossible) counts from this tournament.
6.45pm: France v France
Frenchman Andre Dos Santos has been amassing chips, close to 50,000 now. He tangled in a pot with countryman Michel Abecassis, getting to the turn with the board reading 9♥2♥9♣K♠. At this point Dos Santos made it 6,525. Abecassis considered things and called for a Q♥ on the river. Both players checked. Abecassis flipped over his 8♠8♥. Dos Santos looked at his cards again, hoping he’d misread them. But no. Abecassis up to 35,000.
6.35pm: To the river
On a flop of 4♦Q♠4♠ Daniel Samson bet 1,500 from the big blind which the Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano, currently sitting with around 85,000, called. Now the turn card 9♦. Both checked for a 2♥ on the river. Samson threw in 4,000. Pagano peeks at his cards one last time and folded.
6.25pm: Pagano rising
Luca Pagano just picked up two pots to take him over 60,000. First he raised to 900 and got one caller to see a 3♦2♦3♠ flop. Pagano checked, faced a 1,500 bet and then raised to 5,000. That was enough.
A few hands later the Italian and one other player were studying a 4♠5♥2♦10♠7♠ board. Pagano decided he liked what he saw and bet 7,000 into a pot of more than 15,000. He got a reluctant call, and his K♥10♣ was good.
6.20pm: A few more for Skripchenko
Almira Skripchenko from France is trying her best to get back into the thick of things and is now on 23,000. Alex Kravchenko limped in for 300, Santiago Terrazas popped it up to 800 from the button, then Skripchecko in the small blind fired out 2,700. That was enough for the Russian Kravchenko to get out of the way, but Terrazas came along for the ride. The two saw a K♥Q♣A♣ flop, and when Skripchenko led out with a 4,250 bet, Terrezas came to his senses and folded.
6.15pm: Keep an eye out
A flop of 6♠5♠A♠ Peter Bosen in the cut off and Domantas Klimciauskas on the button. Klimciauskas checked before Bosen made it 2,500. Klimciauskas called as another player in the pot moved aside. A 5♣ on the turn. Bosen checked, Klimciauskas checked. Now a J♣ river card. Bosen checked. Klimciauskas thought about things for a while and bet 10,000. Bosen thought too but not for long, calling. Klimciauskas showed two jacks. There were “oohs,” from the rail and Bosen nodded his head vigorously. Klimciauskas up to 55,000.
6.05pm: Watching (Read: out)
Oskar Silow is on the sidelines, clearly now ousted from this tournament. Alexander Petersen’s chair is also now empty. Clayton Mozdzen has taken a slight hit and has dipped below 100,000. But that’s still a mighty stack at this stage.
6pm: Have some of this
Mikael Lundell and Raffaele Gerbi had got 7,000 into the pot pre-flop and it came down K♠5♣Q♦. Without hanging around, Lundell slammed his stack of about 40,000 into the middle and Gerbi passed. Lundell showed a king, for an emphatic victory.
5.50pm: Any two
Constantin Cirstea is playing every hand, or seems to be. He doesn’t win them all necessarily but has a stack of more than 50,000 so can afford to try a few things. He’s tangled with Dave Hardy once or twice, both coming out with a pot apiece, but it’s Alexander Dovzhenko who’s causing the Romanian most trouble. In the first of two pots Cirstea would lose to Dovzhenko, the Kyiv runner-up bet big on a low board full of red cards with just the river to come. Cirstea folded, showing ace-king, the same hand Dovzhenko then showed him. Cirstea didn’t seem impressed.
5.45pm: Debus debuts on chip leaderboard
Umberto Vitagliano started very brightly here, getting up to around 75,000 without any hitches. But a huge portion of those chips have now gone to the German PokerStars qualifier Alexander Debus, who is now up with the leaders on around 85,000.
The pivotal hand played like this: Debus found pocket eights under-the-gun and raised to an appropriate 800. There were four callers, including Vitagliano. The flop came Q-8-4, and Vitagliano led the betting into Debus’ flopped set.
The Italian made it 2,500, Debus raised to 6,500 and after all the others got out the way, Vitagliano called. The turn was a deuce and Vitagliano now check-raised all in, which covered Debus. The German player called of course and his set was way ahead of Vitagliano’s Q-5.
5.30pm: My ace is bigger than yours
Luca Pagano took a 13,000 pot off EPT Barcelona winner Carter Phillips when his A-10 outgunned the American’s A-9 on a A♦4♣6♦5♠J♦ board. The dealer went to start chopping the pot, before Pagano put him straight – “I think that’s all meant to be for me,” he said.
5.25pm: Set will do
PokerStars player Olaf De Zeeuw has raced up to 77,000 after hitting a set of jacks on a jack-high flop and getting put all in by Maciej Świcarz, a PokerStars qualifier from Poland who had Q-Q. Nothing changed on the turn or river to save the Pole.
5.15pm: New level
We’re zipping through this today and already it’s level five. Our leader is still this man, Clayton Mozdzen, but this is a slightly different picture of him: