EPT Warsaw: Day 1b, level one and two updates

October 21, 2009

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Live updates from day 1b, levels one and two of the EPT Warsaw Main Event event brought to you by Stephen Bartley, Howard Swains and Simon Young.

Click refresh to see the latest updates below. Click through to the chip count page for selected notable chip counts, updated regularly throughout the day.

Blinds: 75-150

2.29pm: Orpe likes the kings
Michelle Orpe is up to 34,000, and just collected a few of those check-raising with K♥K♦ on a 3♦6♥10♣ flop. It was good.

2.28pm: Dario still busy (obviously)
Dario Minieri continues to get involved in just about every pot. First a player in the cut-off limps for 150, William Thorson called, as did Shaun Deeb. But Minieri was having none of it, and raised to 750. Only Deeb folded, and on the 4♠6♥K♠ flop Minieri fired out 1,675 which was met with insta folds. “That’s so sick,” said the Italian as he raked in the chips. Sick because he ran another bluff with air, or sick because he actually had a monster? You decide.

Next hand he’s at it again. Another early position limp was met with a raise to 400 by William Thorson. Shaun Deeb re-popped to 1,550 and Minieri called. Thorson and the limper both got out of the way. The flop came 7♣8♣4♣ and Minieri led out with 2,200, called quickly by Deeb.

The 8♥ turn may have slowed things down, but not for Minieri, who bet 5,350, sending Deeb into the tank for three minutes before he folded. This period was the quietest these two have been, and no sooner had the cards hit the muck than the chatter started all over again.

2.26pm: That’s how you stay in tournaments
To go any distance in big tournaments you need to have this weapon in your armory… the ability to lay down a big hand. Such was the case for Micael Seban, from France, who had re-raised Xavier Cena pre-flop, only for his fellow Frenchman and PokerStars qualifier to move all-in.

Seban went into the tank for a minute or so, then folded K♠K♥ face up. Cena tapped the table in respect as he showed A♣A♦.

2.25pm: Try everything
With 2♦10♣9♦ on the flop Florian Langmann bet out 1,800 after the Frenchman Aurelien Gallen had checked. Langmann is the stoic faced German in a neat sweater and scarf tied in a knot. Gallen on the other hand wears a loose hoodie and a few days stubble. Gallen raises, making it 3,600 which Langmann called for a 3♦ turn. Gallen checked again and once more Langmann led the betting, 5,000 this time. Gallen looked at his cards again then placed a red chip on top to protect them. He called, using ten purple chips instead of the yellows he had back. K♦ on the river. Gallen checked and Langmann, perhaps realising it was the only thing he hadn’t tried, checked as well. Gallen turned over first the 8♦ then 6♠.”Didn’t think you’d win with that,” said Langmann, not expecting the flush. Gallen up to 45,000.

2.15pm: Back straight, chest out
Back out fighting, although he looks more of an armchair warrior, Pawel Chmiel just tangled with Jeff Sarwer, the former Canadian chess prodigy now plying his new trade at the poker tables and in his adopted country Poland. On a flop of 3♦3♣8♠ Sarwer made it 625 from the cut off which Chmiel called for a 3♥ turn. Now another 1,250 from Sarwer that Chmiel calls again. They both check a 7♠ river card. Sarwer shows A♦4♥ to Chmiel’s A♣6♣. “A split’s a split,” said Sarwer. Chmiel said nothing.

2.10pm: Tolokonnikov the aggressor
Vitaly Tolokonnikov is the most active player on the table full of active players. He just took a small pot from Sebastian Ruthenberg, when Ruthenberg made up the blind and Tolokonnikov raised another 500. Ruthenberg called. The flop came 8♠5♥4♥, check from Ruthenberg, bet 700 from Tolokonnikov, call. The turn was 9♦ and Ruthenberg checked, Tolokonnikov bet 1,100 and that was enough.

Tolokonnikov took another small one from Katja Thater soon after, this time betting all the way on a board of 4♣K♣Q♣6♣. Thater called the 500 on the flop but gave up when asked to find 600 on the turn.

2pm: Isaia is-a the leader
The Italian Alessio Isaia has a stack of around 53,200, which is the biggest in the room at the moment. His main benefactor must be the uber-aggressive Martin Gudvangen, whose wings have been clipped down to his last 6,000 in the second level of play.

1.55pm: One for the masochists
Poker masochists are sure to have relished the news that William Thorson is now in the house, and is sitting immediately to the right of Shaun Deeb. That means, of course, that he’s two to the right of his Team PokerStars Pro colleague Dario Minieri, in what is already quite a table.

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Dario Minieri

Thorson and Minieri got involved straight away, seeing a flop of 3♥J♦9♥, which Thorson checked and Minieri bet 1,150. Called. The turn was 3♠ and both checked, as they did the river 6♣. Thorson announced “Queen high” and Minieri showed A♠10♥ which took down the small pot. He still has only about 18,000; Deeb and Thorson are round about 30,000 apiece.

1.45pm: Deep thought
Pawel Chmiel sits slumped in his chair, slipping further underneath the table. He looked like he’d been told to finish his dinner but was refusing, sulking instead. Or it could have been his normal face. Either way the Pole was looking at a board of 4♣3♠Q♣5♠ and a bet of 3,525 from the French player Michael Sebban performing the opposite act, full of life, waiting for action. Sebban is the type to clear his plate. Chmiel called for a 9♦ river before Sebban threw in another 6,000. Chmiel now sat upright. Dessert had arrived and he was trying to work out how to get a piece. It would cost six grand.

Chmiel stared at the pot for a while, his head slowly sinking into his slumped shoulders as the rail waited. He eventually got hold of two yellow 5k chips and called. Sebban showed A♥2♥, Chmiel showed nothing and got nothing, except for 4k change.

1.35pm: Table chatter
“I’m thinking about moving to Monte Carlo actually. There’s a good cash game there. And the food is good.”

“And the tax?”

“Well, yes. This is of course the first reason.”

Who else but Dario Minieri (the mover) and Shaun Deeb (the tax inquisitor) could have this kind of conversation? What’s more interesting, however, is the inter-chatter punctuation.

During this dialogue, Deeb raised to 250 pre-flop from the cut-off and Minieri re-raised to 700 on the button. Wojciech Polak called in the small blind, and that kept Deeb interested.

They saw a flop of 3♦J♣3♣, which they all checked. And then a turn of Q♠, which was also checked around. The river was 10♦ and it was checked to Minieri, who bet 2,100.

Polak folded, but Deeb counted out a call and said: “You’re going to get paid off with your eight-nine.” Deeb’s chips went in the pot, and Minieri tossed his cards to the muck.

“I had six-four. Six. Four,” Minieri repeated. “I want to see your hand.”

Deeb obliged and showed K♣J♦, clearly believing that Minieri wouldn’t lie about his massive holding.

1.26pm: Table of death living up to the name
The table of death featuring Thater, Ngyen, Ruthenberg and Tolokonnikov and pals, is living up to its name. Just now Vitaly Tolokonnikov , who final tabled EPT Kyiv just a few months ago, was facing a 3,500 bet on a 6♥6♦10♥ board.

How to play it? A gentle raise? A big raise to scare the other player away? No. All in. Yup, that’s more than 30,000.

His opponent folded.

1.25pm: Rabbit caught in headlights
Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier has turned up to create another tough table. Joining him are Jani Sointula, Richard Gryko, Ludovic Lacay and Sami Kelopuro. Spare a thought, then, for the poor players without such a reputation who today have to share the same felt.

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Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier

The phrase ‘caught like a rabbit in headlights’ springs to mind, and that’s quite appropriate – and you can spot the terribly crafted link here – since ElkY has a new card protector… a little crystal rabbit.

No idea why the Frenchman has adopted this little fellow (he used to have a lobster), but we’ll endevour to find out in the name of professional journalism.

1.20pm: Scotty meet Sebastian
Scotty Nguyen has joined the table already featuring Sorel Mizzi, Katja Thater, Vitaly Tolokonnikov and Sebastian Ruthenberg, and he’s already felt the presence of the latter. On a board of 10♥6♣7♦, Mizzi checked, Nguyen bet 700 and Ruthenberg called. The turn was 10♣ and Nguyen bet 1,500, called. The river was Q♠ and both players slowed down. Nguyen showed 9♣9♠ but was always behind Ruthenberg’s J♦J♠.

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Sebastian Ruthenberg

1.15pm: Nitsche already on form
Dominik Nitsche is not hanging around, and he’s up to about 38,000 in the first level. He won most of that profit in a pot against Benjamin Abou, with a rivered full house. The board read 6♣8♦3♥3♣9♠ and there was about 8,000 in the pot. Nitsche fired 7,875 at that, which Abou called, and he looked skyward when Nitsche showed 9♣9♦. That was good.

Martin Gudvangen is also on that table, which could bode well for the fans of big pots.

1.10pm: Gibson wins early dance off
A table along from Thater is Englishman Nick Gibson, who cashed in London two weeks ago. He’s enjoying the whole Warsaw scene, having taken a walk around the Old Town yesterday. Walking back through a subway he had the experience of hearing Michael Jackson’s Beat It belt out over a loud speaker before seeing groups of stage school kids appear, in line, coming at him and ready to dance to the death. It made his trip. He’s started well here too, up a few grand.

1.05pm: Just warming up
In the far reaches of the tournament room the Team PokerStars Pro Katja Thater and internet superlative pro Sorel Mizzi face each other. They played a small pot together, a quick run around the block to get the cylinders working, on a board of Q♥2♦2♣J♥A♣. Mizzi checked to Thater, sitting in the two seat bolt upright with the good posture that horse riding demands, who then threw in a few hundred, enough to keep Mizzi at bay.

1pm: Another table worth watching
In a row: Sebastian Ruthenberg, Vitaly Tolokonnikov and Sorel Mizzi, across the felt from Katja Thater. There will be fireworks there too no doubt.

12.50pm: Friends and foes
No surprises for learning which two players were involved in this hand. Dario Minieri and Shaun Deeb are already chattering away like old friends, but that didn’t stop Minieri, barely skipping a breath in some anecdote, raising Deeb’s big blind from under-the-gun. Minieri made it 600. The button called and Deeb came along, seeing a flop of J♦J♥10♥. Deeb check-called Minieri’s continuation bet of 600 (the button folding) and the turn was 6♠. Deeb checked again, Minieri bet again, 1,800, and Deeb now stopped talking, tanked, and folded. The conversation soon struck up again after that. This is going to be fun.

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Shaun Deeb

12.45pm: Under way
Play got under way at a little after 12.30pm, and as ever there are plenty of empty seats. Two of those are on what is already the most juicy table here: it features Dario Minieri sitting next to Shaun Deeb, with Minieri in position. In truth, we could probably just watch that one table all day and there would be enough fireworks to fill this blog.

More intriguingly, there are plenty of the big names who haven’t yet arrived, including William Thorson, ElkY, Gus Hansen and Scotty Nguyen. Wouldn’t it be something if one (or two) of those took those vacant chairs.

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