Live updates from day 1a, levels one and two of the EPT Warsaw Main Event event brought to you by Stephen Bartley, Howard Swains and Simon Young.
2.40pm: First break
That’s the end of the second level, which means the start of the first 15-minute break. While it away with the first video blog of the day:
2.35pm: Action players
Alexander Petersen is still bullying his table, raising to 400 from under-the-gun and getting two callers: Jari Mahonen in the cut-off and Tim Latzsch in the small blind. The flop comes 7♥K♣9♦ and after Latzsch checks, Petersen tosses a rainbow of chips forward, something like 1,000 in total. Mahonen quickly folds and, after a little longer, so does Latzsch, showing A♦Q♥ as he does so. Petersen returns the favour and shows the table his 3♥4♥.
At the other side of the room, Martin Hansen is getting similarly aggro. After the hijack raised to 375 pre-flop, the cut-off made it 1,025 and Hansen, on the button, casually made it 2,850. Fold, fold.
2.30pm: Hedlund gathers chips
There’s 4,125 in the pot and two players – Alex Kravchenko and Peter Hedlund – involved. The board shows 3♣9♠7♠K♣ and after Kravchenko checks, Hedlund bets 4,000. Kravchenko calls. The river is 10♥ and Kravchenko checks again. Hedlund seems as though he wants to bet again, but instead checks as well. Kravchenko shows A♠3♠ for bottom pair and a missed flush draw. Hedlund has 8♣9♣ for a better pair and takes his stack to about 40,000.
2.25pm: The horror
Commotion on Eastgate’s table, but this time it doesn’t involve him. Michael Lundell just doubled up through Bartosz Piesiewicz who looked like he’d just been told his sports car had been stolen by his now ex-supermodel-wife. Lundell had shown ace-ten, there were two tens on the flop. Someone spoke to Piesiewicz in Polish. Not clear whether they were words of comfort or admonishment but he has to live with a stack of 3,500 now.
2.20pm: One for Umberto
Umberto Vitagliano made it 425 pre-flop, called by Rafal Nikiel alongside him in the cut off. The flop came K♠8♦8♠ and Vitagliano made it 900 to play. Nikiel called for a J♥ on the turn. Both checked for a 2♦ river. More checking; Vitagliano showing 10♦J♣ to take the post against Nikiel’s A♦6♥.
2.15pm: Your name’s not on the list
Peter Eastgate is back in his chair. Earlier he’d done the wallet check move, the one where you pat all of your pockets, from your hips to your nipples, looking for something you know isn’t there. In Eastgate’s case it was his player ticket, mandatory for anyone wanting to enter the tournament area, regardless of whether you’re the World Champion.
Back at the table things aren’t really getting any better. On a board of 4♠5♥4♣ Eastgate announced 1,600 from the big blind, which Corneliu Cretu called for a Q♣ on the turn. Both checked that, and the J♠ on the river, Cretu’s pocket sevens good for the pot against Eastgate’s threes.
On the next hand Eastgate was still in determined mood, his war face on, he made it 700 from the small blind behind a small raise from Cretu. He called for a flop of 4♠9♥6♠. Eastgate made another bet, 1,025 before Cretu raised to 3,100. Not happy Eastgate mucked his hand. Down some more. Someone brought him a coke.
2.10pm: Could you spell that please?
The local player Andrzej Siemieniak has taken his stack close to 40,000 after winning a four-way pot. Last year’s finalist Atanas Gueorguiev started it, opening from early position to 400, called in three spots, including Siemieniak and Arnaud Mattern on the button. The flop came 7♥10♥5♦ and it was checked to Mattern, who bet 800. Siemieniak and Gueorguiev called, but all three checked the Q♥ turn. The river came 10♠ and it went like this: Siemieniak checked, Gueorguiev bet 1,700, Mattern folded and Siemieniak raised to 4,225. Gueorguiev let it go, so we never did get to see any of the hands.
2.06pm: Alvarado feeling flush
Team PokerStars Pro JC Alvarado, all the way here in Eastern Europe from Mexico, is off to a flyer. First he one a monster pot when his Q♥7♥ made a flush on the 2♥Q♦2♣6♥3♥ board. Alvarado put out an 11,000 bet on the river, and was called by his opponent who had also caught a flush, but a smaller one with J♥9♥.
A few hands later, Alvarado picked up a few more thousand, when his 10♥10♣ was good on a 3♦4♣6♦K♦K♠ board.
He’s up to 55,000
2.02pm: Man down!
Guiseppi Vicidomini will not be a happy man as he exits Casino Poland. He got in an almighty raising war with Peter Bosen, from Germany on a 3♣K♦6♠ flop. First Bosen made it 800, then Vicidomini made it 1,600, then Bosen made it 5,200, then Vicidomini went all in (you still with me?), then Bosen called. “There must be a set of sixes there,” said an excited Peter Hedlund, who was watching from seat 2. He was right – Bosen had 6♣6♦, much to the horror of Vicidomini who tabled A♦A♣.
He had two cards to come to save his tournament – but the 2♠ turn and 7♥ river did not come and he was the first casualty of the day. Clearly he should have played his PokerStars Blog One Time Chip (used to very good effect in a team blog sit and go last night. Twice).
Bosen now up to over 60,000.
Friends and neighbours
Alexander Petersen, from Denmark, and Rifat Palevic, of Sweden, are getting chummy on one of the outer tables. And by “chummy” I mean, of course, nothing of the sort. They were already in a pretty big pot when Petersen fired out about 5,000 looking at the following board: 10♦8♣8♦4♥6♣ and after Palevic called, Petersen casually announced: “Nuts.” He flipped 10♥8♥, which was pretty difficult to beat. Palevic didn’t show his hand, and the dealer was reluctant to give the pot to Petersen until his opponent mucked. “No. I can’t beat it,” Palevic eventually confessed, allowing the member of staff to do her job.
On the next hand, Petersen raised to 400 from early position and Palevic instantly re-raised to 2,000. Fold all round.
1.50pm: What was that?
When it comes to action in a poker hand most players let the chips do the talking. Whether it’s because they’re listening to music or would rather just not speak, you rarely here verbal commands, like the dealer is button operated. But Raffaele Gerbi is a voice activated man and his hand against Pierre Neuville was dominated by his voice as he called out numbers. Action had got to the turn, the board reading 3♥4♣4♦9♣. “One thousand eight,” said Gerbi, a second after the turn had been revealed. Neuville, who you’d describe as having the opposite character traits, took his time and gently placed the call forward for a 9♣ river. Gerbi may have sensed he was beaten and checked before Neuville showed 10♦9♦. Gerbi also had a nice, good for an anti-climactic split pot.
1.40pm: Calm before the storm
It’s quiet, for now, on Alex Kravchenko’s table, the incomparable Peter Hedlund in seat two has yet to make his presence felt. The quiet atmosphere seems to suit Kravchenko, Henrik Nyberg and Tomasz Krzesinski (Polish?) who tangle in a hand. On a flop of 7♦A♠8♠ Nyberg made it 800 to go after Kravchenko checked from the small blind. Krzesinski passed while Kravchenko stuck around to see the J♦ on the turn. Both checked that for a 4♦ river. A quick 1,800 from Kravchenko before Nyberg passed, the Russian flicking his own cards to the dealer, stacking more chips.
1.35pm: Cheer up lads!
After some gentle pre-flop action and a flop of A♣6♥9♦ the Team PokerStars Pro Arnaud Mattern led the checking from under the gun. Following him were Andre Dos Santos on his immediate left and Jocek Lodny over in the cut off. That brought them a turn card 10♥ which gave Mattern a little more fortitude, making it 725. Dos Santos and Lodny felt the same, calling for a 6♦ on the river. If the turn gave the hand some spark the river took it away. Everyone checked, Mattern sheepishly showing a J♦. Dos Santos showed K♣10♦, splitting the pot with Lodny who showed K♠10♠.
Some tournament information, confirmed by this week’s director of poker operations, Alen Babic. “We will play seven, one-hour levels with no dinner break. There will be a 15-minute break at the end of every two levels, and we will be finished around 8.30pm.” Thank-you very much, Alen.
As ever there are some intriguing table draws, over and above the partnering of Hedlund and Kravchenko as mentioned below. Arnaud Mattern is sharing felt with his countryman and friend Michel Abecassis. The Team PokerStars Pro Angel Guillen is next to Manuel Bevand and Finland’s Voitto Rintala. Last year’s runner-up Nico Behling is on the same table as the emerging talent of Mikael Lundell.
Meanwhile Luca Pagano is tucked in a corner, but staring straight at Carter Phillips, pitching the EPT’s all-time record casher against this season’s Barcelona champion. Marcin Horecki is opposite Oskar Silow, one table along from JC Alvarado.
Incidentally, Horecki has joined the growing number of players spending downtime between hands with his nose buried in a book. It’s recognisably a James Bond thriller, but it’s not Casino Royale: “Actually it’s ‘Greetings from Russia’,” said Horecki — probably “From Russia With Love”, I’d say. “I’ve already read ‘Casino Royale’.”
1.13pm: Carter Phillips muscles in
Carter Phillips bagged $1.2 million for winning EPT Barcelona in September – and he’s back on the tour again in cooler confines. The weather here in Poland is, well, freezing compared to the baking sun of Spain. Phillips, from the USA, was a little late taking his seat – “I had to finish my work out,” he explained. Same goes for your bloggers. Rumour has it that one member of our team went swimming this morning. Very strange and completely at odds with the huge mountain of food he got through last night.
1.10pm: Loud and quiet
One of the noisiest players on the EPT circuit is Peter Hedlund. One of the quietest is Team Pro Alex Kravchenko from Russia. The draw sits them next to one another today and something strange has happened – Hedlund is quiet but Kravchenko is chatty. They’ve tangled once already, with Hedlund picking up a 1,200 pot. On a 10♦7♣4♣Q♠7♥ board, the Swede’s Q♥3♥ was good against Kravchenko’s 10♣J♣.
1.05pm: Pagano’s river
Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano got the better of an early skirmish with Pierre Neuville, the Belgium PokerStars qualifier sitting on his right. Pagano raised to 300 under the gun, and it was folded around to Neuville in the big blind. Call. They saw a K♥6♣7♣ flop, and Pagano tossed out a 400 bet. Call. The 2♣ turn and Q♣ river slowed them both down, checked both times, but it was Pagano who made his hand at the death:
1pm: More arrivals
The World Champion Peter Eastgate has decided to switch his starting day, so will be playing today. And he’s not the only World Champion in our midst: Scotty Nguyen was just passing through Warsaw too and has decided to join us.
12.45pm: Play begins
A mere 15 minutes behind schedule, play is under way in Warsaw. A projected field of 70 day 1a runners was way too low by the looks of things, with probably at least another 20 more than that joining the fray. They’re not all here yet, of course, and the dealers are pinging cards at empty chairs in the opening exchanges. But we’ll have a better indication of the quantity, and the make up, of the field in due course.