EPT13 Barcelona: €50K Super High Roller Day 1 coverage archive

August 20, 2016


10pm: Stuer leads

Julian Stuer emerged as the chip leader at the end of Day 1. Here’s the full, zoological wrap up from Day 1.

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Julian Stuer: Leader

9:30pm: Latecoming Reinkemeier; nearing the end
Level 8 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Tobias Reinkemeier has just taken a seat in this event, squeezing into the chair recently vacated by Mustapha Kanit. (I’m not sure if Kanit moved or is out, but he’s definitely no longer in the seat he was in about an hour ago.)

Reinkemeier has left it late to register for this one and will be lucky to see 10 hands. There’s 20 minutes on the clock and tournament officials will pause it very soon, then draw to determine how many last hands they will see. As ever, we’re all praying for three.

We’ll have a wrap of the day and some chip counts with you shortly. — HS

9:20pm: No prayers can save Sondtheimer or Aldemir
Level 8 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Juha Helppi (SB), Steffen Sondtheimer (BB) and Koray Aldemir were at a flop. It was 4♦J♣5♦ and the size of the pot was consistent with an open from Aldemir and a couple of defences from the blinds.

Helppi checked, but Sondtheimer bet 13,000 and both Aldemir and Helppi called. That brought the 7♠ on the turn. There was something similar about the pattern: Helppi checked and Sondtheimer bet 28,000.

Aldemir now asked Sontheimer to move his interlocked hands from in front of his chip stack so he could get a rough count. Sondtheimer responded by pivoting his paws at the wrists so his fingers now pointed upwards as if in a perfect, silent prayer. There was about 95,000 back there.

Aldemir called and Helppi also called to see the 2♦ fall on the river. Now Helppi asked if he could see Sondtheimer’s chips and again Sondtheimer obliged. Helppi bet 103,000, which was enough for the praying to end and Sondtheimer’s cards to go into the muck.

However Aldemir wasn’t so swift. He seemed agonised about his decision, but very slowly and deliberately flicked one card after the other into the muck. No one is any the wiser as to what any of them had, although one suspects the answer may come to Sondtheimer tonight in a shimmering dream. –HS

9:15pm: Vogelsang with the decision
Level 8 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

David Peters had a bet out in front of him with a board of Q♣9♣J♣10♦K♣ already dealt. The bet was 43,000 and the player with the decision was Christophe Vogelsang.

Everyone waited, Peters doing so with a blank expression that said he was content either way. After what seemed like a few minutes Vogelsang called. Peters turned over K♦8♣ while Vogelsang chose not to show. He drops to just under 200,000 while Peters now has around 375,000. – SB

9:10pm: Small shove enough for Koon
Level 8 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Mikhail Rudoy opened to 12,000 from the cutoff and Jason Koon defended his big blind with a call, even though it left him only 28,000 behind. Koon checked the flop of 3♥8♣5♣, which persuaded a bet of 10,000 out of Rudoy.

This seemed to be a ploy because Koon instantly moved all-in, for only 18,000 more. But it was too rich for Rudoy, who gave it up almost as quickly. — HS

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Jason Koon

8:52pm: Lebedev takes two hits
Level 8 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Sergey Lebedev went deep in the €10,000 tournament this week, busting in 11th place yesterday. But things aren’t going great here this afternoon and he just lost back-to-back pots.

Lebedev opened to 9,000 from the cutoff and Rainer Kempe called from the small blind. Mike McDonald also called in the big blind which sent them three-handed to a flop of 5♣2♦9♣.

Kempe and McDonald both checked, allowing Lebedev to bet 15,000. Kempe was the only one to call. Both players then checked the 2♥ turn but Kempe led for 46,000 on the 10♥ river. Lebedev took his time, but called, and Kempe opened his 9♥9♠ for a winning set.

On the next hand, Lebedev raised again, trying another 10,000. This time McDonald three-bet to 30,000 from the small blind and it was now Lebedev v McDonald at the flop of 5♦K♣8♦. McDonald bet 22,000 and Lebedev was persuaded out of it before it cost him any more. — HS

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Sergey Lebedev

8:45pm: Juanda technically on the move
Level 8 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

John Juanda just moved all-in for around 100,000. It was on the button and both blinds folded, but he gladly took what that earned him, and plugged in his earphones, bopping a little in that way that makes people nervous when you see it on the bus.

At the same table Christophe Vogelsang raised to 11,000 on the button. Steve O’Dwyer was in the big blind and called for a 6♦8♠J♦ flop. O’Dwyer checked to Vogelsang, who bet 11,000. O’Dywer called and then checked the 4♦ turn, as did Vogelsang.

On the Q♦ river O’Dwyer came out with a bet, 32,000 in total, enough to force a fold from Vogelsang. – SB

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Steve O’Dwyer

8:44pm: Fatehi’s shove forces fold from Kitai
Level 8 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Davidi Kitai is famed for his reading abilities but perhaps he picked up the signals of strength a little too late in a recent hand against Ali Reza Fatehi.

Fatehi opened to 10,000 from early position and Kitai defended his big blind. That took two of them to a flop of K♠5♣Q♦, which Kitai checked. Fatehi bet 17,000 and Kitai raised to 44,000 but the check-raise didn’t frighten Fatehi. He called.

The J♠ came on the turn and Kitai stuck with his story. He bet 59,000, but Fatehi also stuck to his. He raised to 120,000 and Kitai called. Kitai played with his stack. He had only about 150,000 back. But after he checked the 7♦ river, Fatehi moved all in and Kitai instantly folded.

Fatehi is up to around 650,000 now. — HS

8 2,500 5,000 500

8:25pm: Blind as a Kanit
Level 7 – Blinds: 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Mustapha Kanit came strolling into the tournament room about 30 minutes ago, accompanying Philipp Gruissem. Kanit was on his second bullet and Gruissem his first, but it meant that the tournament’s moustache quotient was going to get a double boost.

It also, of course, meant the volume would be turned up, especially after Kanit found out that he was sitting beside his countryman Dario Sammartino–although, that said, Kanit is voluble in any language.

So it proved almost immediately, when Mikita Badziakouski, who has clearly tangled with Kanit before in High Roller tournaments, opened to 29,000 and immediately said to Kanit, “Be careful.”

Kanit fired straight back, “I don’t know how to be careful.” But he then said, “OK, I just call,” apparently heeding the warning. Everyone else folded.

Just as the dealer prepared to deal the flop, Badziakouski reached for a pair of mirrored shades, which did not meet with Kanit’s approval. “No, don’t put on glasses!” he said.

You have glasses,” Badziakouski said, but Kanit soon addressed that. He quickly ripped his black-rimmed prescription spectacles from his face and tossed them on the table. But there was a problem. “Now I don’t see flop,” Kanit said.

A chuckling dealer fanned the 7♣K♠Q♥ and Badziakouski bet it. “I really don’t see flop,” Kanit said, pondering playing it blind. But eventually he reached for the spectacles, peered through them and quickly folded. — HS

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A clear-eyed Kanit

8:10pm: The big fizzle out
Level 7 – Blinds: 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Jason Koon opened to 10,000 from late position and Daniel Dvoress called on the button. Diego Ventura, in the small blind, raised to 45,000 and this hand had a very familiar feeling to it. They had all done this before.

Koon called Ventura’s raise, but then Dvoress announced that he was all-in for 216,000, having apparently set up the squeeze. Ventura took his time–this is the problem when someone squeezes back–but then he called for about 80 percent of his stack. Koon quickly folded.

But, yes, it fizzled out almost immediately. Both Dvoress and Ventura showed ace-king and it they chopped it. — HS

8pm: Top five chip counts
Level 7 – Blinds: 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

After a fresh count at the break, here are the top five in the field.

Timothy Adams – 1 million
Niall Farrell – 770k
Julien Stuer – 643,000
Julian Thomas – 625,000
Jean-Noel Thorel – 623,000

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Tim Adams

7:55pm: Silver into gold?
Level 7 – Blinds: 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Max Silver is back in the Super High Roller after his first elimination earlier today. He’s seated at table featuring Tim Adams, Dominik Nitsche and Jason Mercier.

It was Mercier that Silver took on in a hand just now. He opened for 10,000 in early position which was called by Mercier in the big blind for a flop of 7♥Q♥K♦.

Mercier checked and then called when Silver bet 8,000. Both checked the 6♥ turn for the river card K♥. Mercier bet this time, making it 13,000. That forced Silver to fold. – SB

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Max Silver

7 2,000 4,000 500

7:40pm: Write your own story

The players are currently on their final break of the day. While we’re waiting, please feel free to write your own story to explain the many faces of John Juanda.–BW

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7:22 pm: Chidwick chips up
Level 6 – Blinds: 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

Stephen Chidwick goes into the last break of the day in better shape than he might have thought a few minutes earlier.

He just doubled up against Andreas Goeller after shoving on the turn. The board read 5♣6♠9♣6♣. Goeller took his time calling but did so, and was ahead at that point, his A♥6♦ better than Chidwick’s A♣7♥.
Then the 8♦ river card to give Chidwick the straight.

Chidwick’s expression didn’t change for a second. He stacked up 180,000 now, while Goeller, one of the early leaders on the day, drops down to 400,000. – SB

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Stephen Chidwick

7:20pm: Building the mosaic
Level 6 – Blinds: 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

Three small pots here that are probably of little overall significance, but are nonetheless small fragments in the full mosaic of this tournament.

First up, Nariman Yaghmai opened to 7,000 from UTG+1 and picked up a call from Jason Koon, in the hijack. But then Diego Ventura, in the small blind, raised to 28,500. Yaghmai called. Koon called.

The flop brought the 8♣7♠5♥ and Ventura bet 40,000. Koon folded, Yaghmai folded.

On a neighbouring table, Koray Aldemir opened to 7,000 from the cutoff and Martin Kozlov three-bet to 27,000. Aldemir called and the two of them saw the flop of 9♦A♣10♥. Kozlov bet 14,500 and Aldemir called, which brought them to the K♠ turn. They both checked.

The river was the 2♣ and Kozlov bet 7,500. Aldemir seemed to think he was beaten, but called anyway after a long pause. Kozlov showed his A♥3♣ and Aldemir mucked. He should have trusted the hunch.

One table further along, Davidi Kitai opened to 7,500 and Ali Reza Fatehi called from the button. Murad Akhundov called from the small blind and David Peters also called from the big blind.

So, there were four of them with a decision on the Q♣Q♠8♠ flop. Akhundov and Peters both checked and Kitai bet 12,000. Fatehi called and the blinds folded, which meant they were heads up to the 9♥ turn. Check, check.

The river brought the 6♣ and after Kitai checked again, Fatehi bet 26,000 and Kitai passed.

Until this week, Fatehi only had one result on his live poker resume, but it was a third place in the €100,000 Super High Roller in Monaco in April. He also cashed this week in the €10,000 buy-in tournament, so he likes this kind of event. — HS

7:10pm: The City of Adams
Level 6 – Blinds: 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

Tim Adams chip stack towers over the others at his table, a metropolis surrounded by the equivalent small towns and villages.

One of those villages belonged to Fedor Holz who took on the City of Adams a short while ago.

It was Mustapha Kanit who opened from middle position, making it 6,500 to play which was called by Adams in the cut off. Holz then called from the big blind for a flop of 9♣5♠7♠.

All three players checked for a 8♥ turn card. The hand was interrupted for a moment by the sound of Jason Mercier yawning one of those impressive “at home” yawns that combine great relief with a Yogi Bear impression.

“Jet lag anyone?” he said, turning to look over his shoulder.

Meanwhile Holz was betting 9,500. That forced Kanit out of the hand but Adams called for the 7♣ on the river.

Holz bet 14,500 this time, leaving Adams with a decision. After a minute or so Adams decided. He raised to 42,000 which Holz immediately called. Adams flipped up 8♣8♠ for a full house. Holz was about to show but saw this and hesitated, mucking instead.

Holz: Population 70,000.
Adams: Population 900,000

Adams remains among the leaders. – SB

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Timothy Adams

7:00pm: Well, that didn’t take long
Level 6 – Blinds: 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

Well, as soon as we had the bird mystery figured out, the covey took wing. It was always going to happen.

Play folded around to Mustapha Kanit in the hijack, and he made it 6,500 to go. Play folded to Fedor Holz in the big blind. He wasn’t yet ready to quit. He made the call, and the two (yes, at least semi-bearded) men saw a flop of 5♠9♠3♦. Both Holz and Kanit checked to the 5♦ turn.

Holz cut out his chips and made a bet that was just about the size of the pot: 14,500. Kanit thought for a minute before cutting out the calling chips. So far, so standard.

The river revealed the Q♥. With the action on Holz, we saw him put 50,000 in front. It turns out he’d done more than that. In barely more than a whisper, Holz had announced he was actually all in. That amounted to 79,800.

Cue the tank.

Kanit, deep in the throes of a shirt-lifted lower back massage, got to thinking. He had the 79,800 to spend, but not a great deal more. If he called and lost, he would be largely crippled. A minute passed, and Holz didn’t stop looking at Kanit’s face. The only thing moving above Holz’s jugular were his long eyelashes.

Another minute went by, and Kanit looked confused. Timothy Adams peeled a banana. Dominik Nitsche and Jason Mercier sank deeper into their phones. Holz blinked, boring holes in Kanit’s face with every passing second.

Over the course of a deliberation that lasted nearly five minutes, Kanit looked like he would fold, looked like he would call, looked like he was enjoying his massage, looked again like he would fold–no wait, now call…and then finally a resigned peak at his cards and a muck.

This is what happens when you put too many men with beards at the same table.-BW

6:50pm: The man with the bird
Level 6 – Blinds: 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

“The man with the bird, he is Mercier, yes?”

The member of the local press stood beside me and made the inquiry. He was being kind enough to not mention the fact my Spanish is, in a word, dreadful. He spoke my language out of courtesy, and also, apparently to figure out who the guy with the bird was.

I started to say, “No, Mercier is over at that other table,” when I should’ve been asking, “Wait. Where did Mercier get a bird? And more to the point, why did Mercier get a bird.”

That’s when I realized Mercier had, in fact, been moved to the table directly in front of me. But…no bird.

I say all this because it was my ignorance manifesting itself in some avian fantasy in which Mercier had gone full pirate with an eye patch and parrot on his shoulder. Then I realized I was being an idiot. The local hadn’t said bird. He’d said, “beard.”

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I don’t see a bird anywhere…ohhhhhhh…

That posed another problem. Literally six of the seven people sitting at the table had a beard or some version thereof. For a man looking to distinguish one from other, a bird would’ve been a better identifier than a beard. Don’t ask about the man getting the massage, because three of the seven had ladies rubbing on their back. Don’t ask about the man staring into his phone, because three of them are doing that, too.

And don’t try to distinguish by asking that man who is one of the best in the world. That wouldn’t be easy. Why? Well, here’s who is sitting there:

Seat 1: Mustapha Kanit
Seat 2: Timothy Adams
Seat 3: Dominik Nitsche
Seat 4: Jason Mercier
Seat 5: Fedor Holz
Seat 6: Empty
Seat 7: Claas Segebrecht
Seat 8: Jean-Noel Thorel

None of them have a bird, but all but Segebrecht have millions in live cashes.

So, yes, that is Mercier. Yes, he has a beard like everyone else. No, there isn’t a bird. And yes, this table is bound to be interesting. -BW

6:40pm: Big hand therapy
Level 6 – Blinds: 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

Conor Drinan opened for 7,500. His face was close to the felt as a massage therapist worked on his back. Opposite him was John Juanda, also being massaged, who raised from the button, making it 21,500 to play. Drinan called to see a flop.


Drinan checked to Juanda who bet 25,000 using a single green chip. Drinan called for a 10♥ turn card which was checked by both for the 7♥ on the river. Drinan, face still low, bet 60,000. On a dangerous looking board Juanda paused, never losing concentration. The mark of a true pro is their capacity to remain focused, even while getting their thigh massaged.

Juanda saw through the danger though and folded this one. He dropped slightly to 145,000 while Drinan now has around 315,000. – SB

6 1,500 3,000 400

6:20pm: Let’s light this (birthday) candle again
Level 5 – Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

It’s only been a few minutes since we lamented Vladimir Troyanovskiy’s not-so-eternal flame. It took him less than six hours to burn out on his first €50,000 attempt at celebrating his birthday in the Super High Roller. Undaunted, he returned and counted himself among the few re-entries that have occurred since Day 1 began six hours ago.

Now he’s back, and he’s not in the mood for silliness. Sitting in the small blind, he saw a flop four ways and checked when A♠3♠J♦ hit the felt. Play checked to Jason Mercier who put out 9,300. Manuchehr Khangah called, perhaps thinking he would play heads-up with Mercier. Instead, he found himself looking at Troyanovskiy’s check raise to 28,000. Everybody else got out of the way, but Khangah called, leaving himself barely more than 50,000 behind.

When the 5♥ came on the turn, Troyanovskiy didn’t wither. He put out 50,000, a bet that would effectively put Khangah all in. Faced with making the call for his tournament life, Khangah folded and left himself with would soon be less than 20 big blinds. Meanwhile, is looking to make good on his second birthday bullet. -BW

6:10pm: Silver packs his bags
Level 5 – Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

Was it over for Max Silver? He was facing a call for his tournament life but seemed pre-occupied not with the A♣Q♣ he had, but with putting away his things. He closed his iPad, detached the headphones and paid special attention to wrapping the cable around them before putting them away. They, along with the iPad went into his bag. By the looks of things Silver was ready to leave. Did that mean he was about to call?


Max Silver: Packing his bags

Several minutes earlier the pot was started by two players who wouldn’t get anywhere near the river card.

Moritz Dietrich opened under the gun for 7,000 which John Juanda next to him raised to 20,000. Silver was on the button and called but when the action reached Julian Stuer in the big blind he paused for a moment. Then he raised to 56,000.

One by one Dietrich and Juanda passed, leaving it to Silver to take on Stuer, which he did, calling for a flop of Q♥2♣3♠.

Both checked this for the 2♦ turn card. This was also checked leading to the 6♣ river card. At this point Stuer moved all-in.

Silver grinned, then rubbed his chin for a while. The all in was for around 280,000, which had Silver covered. Was his ace-queen good enough?

You could only assume the bag packing meant Silver had decided to call and sure enough he did so, flipping over his hand. It was a good hand, but not good enough. Stuer turned over Q♦Q♠ for a flopped set. Silver knew he was out before the dealer began counting, tossing his ID card onto the middle of the table.

Sure enough the dealer confirmed the inevitable. Silver out. Stuer meanwhile now has upward of 670,000. – SB

6pm Well, now that IS a problem
Level 5 – Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

The dealer raised his hand. It was a sheepish movement, one he clearly didn’t want to make. But he had no choice.

“Floor,” he said quietly. He spotted a floor-man and motioned him over, unwilling to speak much louder.

“What happened?” the floor-man began. He looked around the table and motioned at all the stacks.

The floor-man didn’t immediately see the issue. No one was angry. There were no cards to dispute or rules to enforce.

“We had a player leave the table, and…” the dealer continued.

He pointed at the seat previously occupied by Adrian Mateos. It was empty, as was the place where Mateos’s big stack was missing from the felt.

The problem. Well, here’s the thing. There is still a 400 ante in play, one that requires at least a few black 100 chips.

“We can’t make change,” the dealer said.

See, Mateos had been sort of running over the table, and he had taken most of the black chips with him when he was moved to another table. That’s a problem.

It was an issue quickly rectified when the floor-man picked a couple of 1,000 chips off the table and exchanged them for a couple of stacks of black out of Mateos’s collection. Though the problem was solved, it didn’t soothe the bigger problem.

“He took all the big chips, too!” Jason Mercier said.

There was, of course, nothing the floor could do about that.-BW

5:45pm Happy birthday. That’ll be 50K
Level 5 – Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

We’ve been told that today is Vladimir Troyanovskiy’s birthday. Ordinarily, that would be cause for a celebration. We were even preparing a bit of a fete for the Russian man who continues to dominate in a field largely dominated by people half his age. (NB: We had no indication he wanted such a party, but being the supportive bloggers we are, we were going to celebrate for him even in the event he had no interest.)


Roasting the birthday boy, Vladimir Troyanovskiy

On this day of Vlad’s birth, however, the party will have to wait. And it’s going to be more expensive. The birthday boy has busted his first buy-in and has just re-entered for a second bullet. For his sake, let’s hope this candle burns a little longer. -BW

5:35pm: Bad for Chidwick
Level 5 – Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

In the next hand Stephen Chidwick opened from the cut off this time for 5,500 which Jack Salter, next to him on the button, raised to 15,500. With the action back on him Chidwick called for a flop of 5♣10♣9♠.

Both checked for the 4♣. Chidwick made it 25,000 now which Salter called for the 9♣ river card. Chidwick stared first at the board and then, after checked, at Salter. He checked too. 7♠6♠ for Chidwick but Salter won the pot with A♠9♦.
Chidwick down to 80,000 which Salter moves up to around 185,000. — SB

5:30pm: Good for Chidwick
Level 5 – Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

Two hands played by Stephen Chidwick with mixed results. In the first he opened from the button for 6,000, which Ivan Luca called in the big blind. The flop came 8♦4♣10♣ which both players checked. The turn came 8♣ which both Chidwick and Luca checked for the K♦ on the river. Luca bet 7,300, but when Chidwick called Luca insta-mucked. What either player had will remain a mystery. – SB

5 1,200 2,400 400

5pm: Petrangelo’s queens beat Auyezkanov
Level 4 – Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

Vladimir Troyanovskiy opened to 4,500 from the hijack and Nick Petrangelo, one seat to the left, bumped it to 12,500. Aidyn Auyezkanov called the three-bet from the big blind and Troyanovskiy also added the extra.

So it was three to a flop of J♠3♥K♠ and Auyezkanov led for 15,000. Troyanovskiy folded, but Petrangelo called.

The two of them saw the 5♣ fall on the turn and I’m pretty sure Auyezkanov bet 6,000 at it, although will confess that these bet sizes are unusual. Petrangelo called.

The 4♦ came on the river and Auyezkanov now bet 15,500. Petrangelo didn’t wait very long before calling, but greeted with an apparent reluctance on the part of Auyezkanov to reveal his cards said, “I call.”

Auyezkanov shook his head as he exposed his A♠Q♦. Petrangelo’s Q♥Q♠ were good. — HS

4:59pm Everything’s coming up Matteos
Level 4 – Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (200 ante)

In the last minutes of Level 4, with the pot already swollen Adrian Mateos went at it with Koray Aldemir. With a flop of 6♦2♥Q♣, Mateos led at Aldemir for 25,000 and got the call. When the J♥ came on the turn, Matteos didn’t slow down. He put out 70,000. It took Aldemir longer this time, but he still made the call. The K♦ on the river spooked Mateos. After pounding the pot on previous streets, he backed off and checked. Aldemir, who never looked confident about the hand in the first place, checked behind. Mateos showed him A♥A♠, and Aldemir folded. Mateos stacked it all up and is sitting on 480,000 now. -BW

4:55pm: Astapau out-pips Moraes
Level 4 – Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

Anton Astapau raised to 5,000 from early position and that attracted two callers: Alexandros Kolonias on the button and Rafael Moraes in the big blind.

The three of them got to see the 7♥9♠6♦ fall on the flop and, after both Moraes and Astapau checked, Kolonias bet 10,000. Both opponents called.

The A♠ came on the turn and all three of them checked that, which took them to the A♣ on the river.

All three checked that too and Moraes flipped over 8♥6♣. Astapau examined those cards, then slowly turned over his, having established that his 8♠7♠ was going to win it. Kolonias had long mucked. — HS

4:50pm: JJ pays off AK
Level 4 – Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

John Juanda, the reigning EPT Main Event champion, opened to 4,800 from under the gun. Action folded all the way round to the man sitting to his right, Moritz Dietrich in the big blind. Dietrich called.

The flop brought the 4♥A♣6♠ and both players checked. They also both checked the 6♥ turn. After the 8♥ came on the river, Dietrich bet 10,000, earning a call from Juanda.

Dietrich showed A♠K♣ and that was good. –HS

4:45pm: Chip leader
Level 4 – Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

Timothy Adams is sitting behind a wall of chips, amounting to about 800,000 at the moment. He is way out in front of the field. — HS

4:40pm: Koon’s river bet is good
Level 4 – Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

Jason Koon opened button, making it 5,000 to play. Daniel Dvoress called from the small blind and Chance Kornuth also called from the big blind, completing the north American party.

NEIL6149_EPT13BAR_Jason_Koon_bar13_20aug16.jpgJason Koon

The three saw a flop of 4♦K♠5♣ and Dvoress and Kornuth both checked. Koon bet 5,800 and only Dvoress called.

The two remaining players both checked the J♠ turn, but Koon’s bet of 15,000, after Dvoress checked the 10♦ river, took this one down. — HS

4:35pm No heroes here
Level 4 – Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (200 ante)

Everybody wants to be a hero, even if it’s one of those lesser ones. Aquaman, maybe.

Steffen Sontheimer sat in the small blind and completed to 2,000. Sylvain Loosli, uninspired by the move, checked behind and they saw a Q♣J♣2♠ flop. Sontheimer checked, and Loosli, seemingly even less excited than he was before, checked behind. The 5♣ turn saw the action go the same as the flop. On the Q♦ turn, Sontheimer checked again. This time, Loosli pulled 5,500 off his stack and dropped it in front of him.

This was not a big pot. It wasn’t even an exciting pot. To this point Sontheimer’s level of aggression couldn’t even be described as micro. Nevertheless, he felt compelled to summon the spirit of Aquaman. He was going to make that call, by goodness.

He did so with one-chip-call confidence, tossing out 500 to represent the 5,500 he owed. Loosli, looking a little bored by the whole thing, turned over J♦6♠, good for the win on the flushing paired board, and good to make Sontheimer pull another 5,000 chip off his stack. Call it Hero Tax. -BW

4.25pm: A measure of revenge
Level 4 – Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

The quirks of the table draw has sat Nick Petrangelo next to Tom Aksell-Bedell this afternoon, two men who had divergent fortunes in the €10,000 tournament this week. Petrangelo, as you might have seen, won it. Bedell, you probably didn’t see, went out on the stone bubble.

8G2A7354_EPT13BAR_Nick_Petrangelo_bar13_20aug16.jpgNick Petrangelo

Bedell has just taken a small measure of revenge against Petrangelo, stacking the new champion at around the mid-point of Level 3.

Petrangelo was the architect of his own destruction. He opened from the cutoff to 4,500. Bedell called on the button. Guanfei Zhu also came along from the big blind.

Those three took a flop of 10♣8♠2♦ and Zhu checked. Petrangelo bet 6,000 and only Bedell called.

The turn brought the 6♥ and a bet of 18,200 from Petrangelo. Bedell called, and they then saw the 6♦ fall on the river.

Petrangelo shoved for 76,000 and, after a moment’s pause, threw in calling chips. Petrangelo had missed his draw. His J♥9♥ was jack high and Bedell’s 10♠7♠ was good. — HS

4.20pm: Small acorns
Level 4 – Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

The defending champion, Sylvain Loosli, is sitting alongside Stephen Chidwick today. As amazing as it sounds, Chidwick is still searching for his first major tournament victory, having picked up countless high buy-in cashes but never an outright title.

NEIL5903_EPT13BAR_Stephen_Chidwick_20aug16.jpgStephen Chidwick

His latest bid earned a small boost in a recent hand against his neighbour, although he’s going to need a lot more where this came from to be sure of cashing.

It was a battle of the blinds and Loosli bet 2,000 at the flop of A♠9♥4♥. Chidwick called. Loosli then also bet the 3♥ turn, this time 5,000. Chidwick called.

Both players checked the 9♦ river and Chidwick’s K♥4♠ was better than Loosli’s 7♦5♥. — HS

4 1,000 2,000 300

4:10: No pressure, Jason
Level 3 – Blinds: 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Jason Mercier’s table is situated on the rail. On the other side of the stanchions the Ladies Event is just getting ready to start. Right in between stands a man who looks a little out of place in the sea of women. Nevertheless, he is right where he is supposed to be.

Rick Mercier, Jason’s father, is standing watch a few feet away from his son’s table. Over the years, Rick has become one of Jason’s biggest supporters, and fresh off a summer than saw Jason win a WSOP bracelet for Father’s Day, Rick has maintained his role as head cheerleader for Team Mercier.

NEIL6074_EPT13BAR_Jason_Mercier_Dad_bar13_20aug16.jpgRick Mercier

Rick is making his first trip to Barcelona. He traveled here with Jason’s mother and fiancée to sweat their man on the first few days of this festival. They spent yesterday seeing the sights and marveling at the ancient and modern architecture around the city.

It’s the peak of tourist season here, and Rick was amazed at the number of different people and languages he encountered around the city. Each one of those people represented a curiosity for the man born and raised in south Florida.

“I thought about how many stories there were,” he said.

Today, however, as Jason’s mom and wife-to-be go shopping, Rick has occupied himself with the most important story he can find: whether his son can manage to navigate the ridiculously tough field of the €50,000 Super High Roller. He spoke to Jason earlier and offered a light-hearted request.

“I said ‘No pressure, but I’m standing right here. You can’t bust while I’m standing here,'” Rick said.

Even if luck should turn bad, Mercier could rebuy. Regardless, he’s now set out to make his dad’s first trip to Barcelona one he’ll remember for something other than the architecture. -BW

4pm: Clash of the titans
Level 3 – Blinds: 800/1,600 (200 ante)

You’d struggle to find two players more in form over the past year than Fedor Holz and Anthony Zinno, and they are now sitting next to one another. That means we can decide once and for all who’s best, right?

On the basis of the following hand, it’s clearly Zinno, because he just extracted about 100,000 from Holz’s stack.

zinno_holz_bar13_20aug16.jpgAnthony Zinno and Fedor Holz (either side of the dealer)

There was already about 40,000 in the pot pre-flop, which hinted at at least a three bet and a call, maybe more, and then Holz checked the K♣8♥5♠ flop. Zinno, in position, bet 16,000.

The 3♣ came on the turn and both players checked, which took them to the 8♦ on the river.

Holz now had a stab. He bet 17,500. Not long after, Zinno raised, pushing forward two 25,000-denomination chips. Holz called and Zinno quickly turned over A♥A♦. Holz nodded, as if he knew that all along. — HS

3:45pm: Bumpy start for Mercier
Level 3 – Blinds: 1,600/2,000 (200 ante)

Jason Mercier hadn’t even situated himself at the table before he decided to get involved in the action. With a cup of coffee starting to cool in the cup holder next to him, Mercier had pulled out two packets of sugar and a stirring stick, ready to caffeinate himself for the next six hours of play. But, as happens with Mercier, he found a hand he wanted to play.

His raise got two calls: Adrian Mateos on the button and Jean-Noel Thorel in the small blind. On a flop of 7♠5♦5♣, Thorel checked to Mercier and opened the door for a 5,600 bet from Mercier. Mateos and Thorel both stayed along for the ride to the 5♠ turn. Thorel checked again, and Mercier put out 13,000. Mateos made the call, and Thorel gave up.

The river was the A♦, and Mercier backed off. He checked to Mateos who thought for a moment before cutting out a 20,000 bet. Mercier didn’t like it. Not one bit. He scrunched up his face and shoved the coffee stirrer between his teeth. After tilting his head a few times, peeling his cards up once, and doing some light damage to the coffee stirred, Mercier gave up. He didn’t quite lose 10% of his stack on that first hand, but it was close. Nevertheless, this is Mercier we’re talking about, and by the time we make it back to his table, there’s no telling what that stack will look like. -BW

NEIL6119_EPT13BAR_Jason_Mercier_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Mercier, speaking softly and chewing a small stick

3:40pm: Cookie bait no good for Salter
Level 3 – Blinds: 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Jack Salter, in the cutoff, and Sam Greenwood, in the big blind, were the only two players in the pot pre-flop. Salter had 35,000 in front of him and Greenwood had 14,000, which meant Salter had likely opened, Greenwood had three-bet and Salter had four-bet. We were now waiting for Greenwood to decide what to do next.

NEIL5888_EPT13BAR_Jack_Salter_20aug16.jpgJack Salter

After a little while in the tank, and another check of his cards, Greenwood announced that he was all in, pushing a couple of towers of chips over the line. Salter took a short moment, but then folded his cards, tapping the table. At that point, Greenwood picked up a big cookie that he had beside his stack and motioned to push it over the line too.

“Oh, there’s a cookie in there?” Salter said.

“Did you want the cookie?” Greenwood said, apparently incredulous that Salter wouldn’t want to call with the added incentive.

“I didn’t see it and I can’t eat sugar, but thank you for the action,” Salter said.

Salter is strictly a savoury man, one assumes. I suppose the clue was in the name. — HS

3:30pm: Aldemir really needs to get another name
Level 3 – Blinds: 800/1,600 (200 ante)

The artist formerly known as Adrian Mateos Diaz (now just known as Adrian Mateos) began a hand that rapidly because a typist’s nightmare.

adrian_mateos_mike_mcdonald_bar13_20aug16.jpgAdrian Mateos earlier today when alongside Mike McDonald

Mateos raised to 4,000 and Jean-Noel Thorel (who needs all three names) called from one seat to his left. Action folded to the small blind, where Manuchehr Ahadpur Khangah lurked with the biggest name of them all. He called, and Koray Aldemir, with only two names, called in the big blind too.

So, four to the flop. It came 9♠Q♠J♠ and MAK, Aldemir and AMD all checked. JNT threw out 11,000 with the casual disdain of a man brushing croissant crumbs from his lap. That thinned the field–six names departed as only Aldemir called.

The 2♠ appeared on the turn and Aldemir checked. Thorel flung 20,000 into the pot, as though swatting at a wasp. Aldemir called again.

The 4♠ came on the river and Aldemir checked again. Thorel checked behind, Aldemir showed him A♠7♥ and Thorel tossed his cards away like a man who had just lost a pot to the nut flush. — HS

3:23pm: WSOP Player of the Year arrives
Level 3 – Blinds: 1,600/2,000 (200 ante)

He tore up the World Series of Poker this summer and won Player of the Year. After not managing to do much in the €10,000 single re-entry, Jason Mercier has just put down his €50,000 for the Super High Roller. – BW

3:21pm: Rebuy!
Level 3 – Blinds: 1,600/2,000 (200 ante)

After busting earlier with queens to Steve O’Dywer’s aces, Daniel Dvoress has decided to fire a second €50,000. He’s currently awaiting his new neat assignment. -BW

3 800 1,600 200

2:50pm: Break time

That’s the end of the level. Players are off to entertain themselves for 20 minutes.

2:45pm: Ruzicka continuing summer form
Level 2 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Vojtech Ruzicka is playing the first super high roller event of his career–a luxury he can afford now he is a November Niner. And it’s going pretty well for him so far today. He most recently won a chunk from Sam Greenwood.

Greenwood got things started with a raise to 3,000 from under the gun. Vladimir Trojanovskiy called from the cutoff (this was a six-handed table at the time) and then Ruzicka also called from the big blind. So far, so sedate.

The flop was a well connected 8♥6♥5♣ and Ruzicka led at it as though he meant business. He bet 8,100. Greenwood seemed happy to call at this stage, and Troyanovskiy seemed equally happy to fold.

The turn was the 6♦ and Ruzicka bet again. He Greenwood now seemed a little more circumspect, but called nonetheless, and that meant they saw the 3♣ on the river.

Ruzicka now cut out 48,500 and Greenwood was properly suspicious. He looked Ruzicka up and down, even trying to peeking behind his opponent’s arm stretched, as is the fashion, over his right shoulder. Greenwood was trying to see specifically what Ruzicka was trying to hide behind that seatbelt arm pose: his heartbeat.

Whether or not he got the information he was looking for–and I think he probably didn’t–Greenwood tossed in a crying call. Ruzicka showed 5♦6♠ for the flopped two pair, turned boat. Greenwood mucked.

Fedor Holz has now joined that table too. — HS

2:40pm: Adams cans Tuna
Level 2 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Well, he didn’t exactly can him, but Timothy Adams just won a pot against the man with a name like a foodstuff who comes from a country named after another. (Akin Tuna is from Turkey, to explain this laboured joke.)

They were all the way to the river, with the board showing A♥J♥7♦6♦Q♣ and Tuna bet 58,500 into a pretty hefty pot. Adams, on the button, moved all in and that set Tuna thinking. He got a count–it was 179,000–and then he looked at his own stack, which was almost the exact same size.

After a good four minutes, he folded. Adams’s aggression took it down. — HS

2:35pm: Not-so-much-a-Battle of the Blinds
Level 2 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (200 ante)

As Level 2 play wound toward the break, play folded all the way around to Adrian Mateos in the small blind. After a moment of thought, he cut out a raise. It looked bullying and mean. France’s Jean-Noel Thorel sat in the big blind and gave up his chips.

Mateos, perhaps feeling generous or perhaps setting up Thorel for later, made the decision to reveal his hand: K♥K♦. From a distance, it seemed unlucky for Mateos to get no action on his big hand. Why would Thorel give up so easily? Why couldn’t he be brave and fight back against the Spaniard.

Thorel laughed aloud and grabbed at his face-down cards as they moved toward the muck. He flipped them over to reveal 7♣2♣.

“Fifty-fifty,” John Juanda cracked from the end of the table. –BW

8G2A7300_EPT13BAR_Adrian_Mateos_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Adrian Mateos

2:25pm: No joy for Choi
Level 2 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Andreas Goeller seems to be getting the hang of things, this time taking on Stanley Chio.

It was Choi that opened from the button, making it 3,500 in a neat orderly fashion, placing the required number of chips in an immaculate tower in front of him. The small blind called, as did Goeller in the big for a flop of 9♦3♠5♦.

The action was checked to Choi who made it 8,000 this time, in the same fashion as before. Goeller stuck around for the turn card, the 10♠. Both checked taking things to the river card 4♣.

As before Goeller checked, leaving it to Choi to make it a tidy 12,000 to play on. Goeller found the call easy though. Choi showed J♥8♠ but Goeller had that beat with K♦3♣. Good to put him on around 500,000. – SB

2:20pm: New arrivals
Level 2 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (200 ante)

As we make it toward the end of Level 2, the field has grown to more than 50 players. Among the new arrivals: This week’s €10,000 single re-entry champion Nick Petrangelo, John Juanda, Juha Helppi, Sylvain Loosli, Byron Kaverman, Stanley Choi, Mikhail Rudoy, Sergey Lebedev, Vladimir Troyanovskiy, Vojtech Ruzicka, and Igir Kurganov. –BW

2:10pm: Goeller takes on McDonald
Level 2 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Mike McDonald opened for 3,000 on the button. The small blind called but Andreas Goeller was in the big blind and raised to 11,200. McDonald called for a flop of 2♠9♦10♣. Goeller checked to McDonald, who did the same.

On the 4♦ turn card Goeller bet another 13,000. McDonald responded first with a stare and then a call for the 6♠ river card. Goeller checked first, and McDonald did the same, not before pausing for a while. Goeller turned over 8♦8♠ to win the hand. – SB

2:04pm: No Negreanu…today
Level 2 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (200 ante)

After waking up feeling not-so-well, Daniel Negreanu decided to stay in his room today. The good thing is, registration is open until 12:15 tomorrow.

1:50pm: Drink fish
Level 2 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (200 ante)

As we mentioned earlier, drinks and snacks are complimentary here with the €50,000 buy-in. Chance Kornuth, however, was not around for that announcement. As he presented his buy-in receipt today, someone looked at his cup incredulously and said, “Drinks are free for this.”

Kornuth dropped his head. “I paid for this espresso, too. I’m such a fish.” –BW

1:40pm: Changing faces
Level 2 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Just as you get used to a table of players the faces all change, or at least one or two start appearing somewhere else. This is the usual phenomena in the early stages of an event like this, as players are moved, almost every hand, to balance tables with the new arrivals.

One player on the move is Adrian Mateos, who after winning a hand earlier againt Steve O’Dwyer just won another on a completely different table.

This one came against Manuchehr Ahadpur Khangan. Mateos made a pair of jacks on the flop, which had Khangan beat. There was no flicker of emotion from either player, as if both understood who this was going to end long before showdown. – SB

2 600 1,200 200

1:30pm: Your Super High Rollers
Level 1 – Blinds: 500/1,000 (100 ante)

While registration won’t close until tomorrow, here’s a quick list of who we have spotted so far in the field. –BW

Adrian Mateos
Akin Tuna
Alexandros Kolonias
Ali Reza Fatehi
Andreas Goeller
Anthony Zinno
Chance Kornuth
Christian Christner
Christoph Vogelsang
Christpher Kruk
Claas Segebrecht
Daniel Dvoress
David Peters
Dietrich Fast
Dominik Nitsche
Fedor Holz
Guanfei Zhu
Jack Salter
Jannis Brauer
Jason Koon
Julian Stuer
Julian Thomas
Koray Aldemir
Leo Yan Ho Cheng
Makita Badzia Kouski
Manuchehr Ahadpur Khangan
Martin Kozlov
Max Silver
Mike McDonald
Moritz Dietrich
Nariman Yaghmai
Niall Farrell
Nicolas Chouity
Paul Newey
Rainer Kempe
Sam Greenwood
Steffen Sontheimer
Stephen Chidwick
Steve O’Dwyer
Timothy Adams
Tom-Akel Bedell

1:20pm: Early action
Level 1 – Blinds: 500/1,000 (100 ante)

An early contest between Steve O’Dywer and Adrian Mateos.

On a board of 6♦2♠10♥A♠ O’Dwyer bet 9,000 with a fist full of chips into a pot of about 15,000. Mateos called for a river card 10♠. Check-check this time. Mateos turned over 6♥4♠, which O’Dwyer, the right side of his face wincing, couldn’t beat. – SB

1:15pm: Standing out in a very stand out-ish crowd
Level 1 – Blinds: 500/1,000 (100 ante)

A few more arrivals, including Jason Koon, who one $1 million in Seminole Hard Rock poker open a week ago (a little more than a month after winning $500,000 in a Bellagio High Roller). He was reaching for his wallet when his drink arrived.
“Drinks are complimentary,” said one player, helpfully. Koon insisted he’d still like to tip.

Standing out in a field like this is difficult given the quality of the competition, but Ali Reza Fatehi does his best, wearing a bright blue polo with bright yellow shorts. You might remember Fatehi from Monaco where he surprised everyone with a third place finish worth more than €828,000.

He’s back for more in Barcelona. – SB

1:10pm: Boozy odds
Level 1 – Blinds: 500/1,000/100

Stephen Bartley mentioned earlier that the €50,000 buy-in to the Super High Roller also comes with free access to a nearby buffet of snacks and drinks. Hidden on the very bottom of the cart are bottles of gin and vodka. In another tournament, those bottles might get a workout, but in this one, there is a relatively good chance they go untouched all day long. We’re not good at handicapping this kind of thing, but what are the odds any of the Super High Rollers ordering a cocktail? If so, who would actually do it? Ideas? Let us know on Twitter:@PokerStarsBlog.–BW

1:09pm: Fortune smiles on the brave…and Chance
Level 1 – Blinds: 500/1,000/100

The short delay in kicking off today has benefited at least one man. Chance Kornuth was running late, but managed to only miss a few hands before he arrived.–BW

1:02pm: More familiar faces
Level 1 – Blinds: 500/1,000/100

No surprise, as the seats start to fill in, the faces remain familiar. Among the runners sitting down to play now: Daniel Dvoress,, Stephen Chidwick, Christoph Vogelsang, Sam Greenwood, Jack Salter, and–fresh off his SHRPO win–Jason Koon. –BW

8G2A7147_EPT13BAR_Daniel_Dvoress_Neil Stoddart.jpg


12:45pm: The most expensive buffet in the world
Level 1 – Blinds: 500/1,000/100

Play is underway, into that neutral zone where only a freak accident will see you crash out. Small pots are the norm, on tables not quite full of players.


There’s been one interruption though with the welcome announcement that, for your €50,000 buy-in, you also get complimentary food and drink, making this one of the most expensive buffets in the world.

So if you’re peckish, you can order what you like from the bar for fifty grand, and we’ll throw in a poker tournament while you digest. – SB

1 500 1,000 100

12:40pm: Play to begin soon

The €50,000 Super High Rollers have started queueing up to get their chips. Play should be underway soon. So far, the line is full of the faces you’d recognize, including Steve O’Dwyer, Niall Farrell, Paul Newey, Max Silver, Mike McDonald, Dominik Nitsche, and Adrián Mateos.

All of them will be starting with 250,000 chips at the 500-1,000-100 level.


12:29pm: Trouble in Kid Poker land

It appears we may not see Daniel Negreanu in today’s Super High Roller. As play gets ready to begin, Negreanu has not yet left his room. Even if he can’t make it immediately, registration will be open for another 23 hours, so he has some time to feel better. –BW

11am: Important information about payouts in the Super High Roller

Official information released by PokerStars today:

“After collating data and feedback from players on the recent expansion of payouts, PokerStars has decided that for events of this nature (this event and event #33, the €25K) last season’s payout structure of 15% will be used. We spoke to Neil Johnson for more information on this latest update:

“We want to thank all of the players who have given feedback over the last two days in Barcelona about the change in EPT payout structure. We’ve received a lot of valuable feedback from players, and this, alongside data collected on the expansion, has backed up the decision to increase payouts to 20%. While the change has been really well received overall, it’s clear that our highest buy-in events have unique characteristics. For that reason, PokerStars has decided to use the previous season’s payout structure of 15% for Event #16, the €50K and event #33, the €25K at EPT13 Barcelona.

“We’re always looking to make the live poker experience as positive and enjoyable as possible for as many players as possible, while making sure our event champions are well rewarded for their efforts. We want to get more feedback from our €25K+ players so we’ll be running a survey with the players in both of these events to gain even more insight into the type of payouts that would best suit special events of this nature in future.”


Take a look at the official website of the EPT, with tournament schedule, news, results and accommodation details for EPT13 Barcelona and the rest of the season.

Also all the schedule information is on the EPT App, which is available on both Android or IOS.

PokerStars Blog reporting team on the EPT13 Barcelona €50K Super High Roller: Brad Willis, Howard Swains and Stephen Bartley. Photography by Neil Stoddart. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter:@PokerStarsBlog


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