EPT13 Barcelona: Sebastian Malec, wizard, chip leader

August 26, 2016

Sebastian Malec is a work of art.

He sits under a permanent case of bed-head. His glasses frame his lightly-stubbled face in a way that suggests Harry Potter after an all-night Barcelona bender. He could be a wizard, and we wouldn’t be at all surprised. He munches on chocolate chip cookies, absentmindedly loses his sunglasses, and does involuntary spinning happy dances when he sees something that amuses him. His decisions involve no fewer than ten exaggerated hand gestures that suggest a man who is calculating pi to the 1000th decibel while explaining to a cranky deli customer why the soup is cold. He is part wizard, part lovable comic book villain, part mad scientist.

He is also a PokerStars qualifier and the chip leader of the EPT Barcelona Main Event.

NEIL0814_EPT13BAR_Sebastian_Malec_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Malec has spent the day wowing his opponents, his dealers, the reporters, and even the poker Fates themselves. Tonight, with 24 players remaining, Malec has 5,690,000. It’s good for the chip lead and a good foundation for a Day 5 in which we could see him morph something out X-Men.

Here’s the full list of the final 24 and their chip counts.

Name Country Chips
Sebastian Malec Poland 5,690,000
Uri Reichenstein Germany 3,870,000
Stephen Malone Ireland 1,000,000
Simon Lofberg Sweden 1,930,000
Andreas Chalkiadakis Greece 3,140,000
Andrea Cortellazzi Italy 2,925,000
Jean-Jacques Zeitoun France 2,300,000
Thomas De Rooij Netherlands 1,905,000
Morten Mortensen Denmark 2,075,000
Pavel Plesuv Moldova 745,000
Olli Autiö Finland 1,495,000
Nuno Capucho Portugal 2,150,000
Pavel Veksler Israel 2,435,000
Harcharan Dogra Dogra Spain 2,225,000
Michael Addamo Australia 3,245,000
Adam Owen UK 2,045,000
Mikhail Molchanov Russia 1,310,000
Zorlu Er Turkey 1,225,000
Alexandru Baron Canada 3,666,000
Alisan Holozlu Germany 1,615,000
Anthony Chimkovitch Belgium 1,075,000
Stefan Vogt Germany 1,100,000
Konstantin Puchkov Russia 2,360,000
Vojtech Ruzicka Czech Republic 2,135,000

Day 5 began with 98 players. After a 12-hour day, it ends with just three tables and the promise of making a final table by the end of tomorrow. Of the course of the afternoon and evening, we saw some giants fall, including Jason Mercier, Jason Koon, Vojtech Ruziack, Erik Friberg, Mikhail Shalamov, Brian Yoon, Eugene Katchalov, Kent Lundmark, Brynn Kenney, and Ronny Kaiser. To see a full list of the payouts for the event, see the EPT Barcelona winners page.

If you still need some action tonight, you can scroll down to all the live updates below to see how we got to this point today. Also, check out out coverage of the massive €10,000 High Roller which will be going on for another hour or so.

After that, join us back here on Saturday for the Main Event final table hunt and to see what magic Sebastian Malec has up his hoodie sleeve.

Until then, goodnight from Barcelona.

11:50pm: Play ends. Malec leads
Level 25 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (5,000 ante)

Play has stopped at 24 players. Details of the day will follow shortly, but Sebastian Malec is the clear chip leader tonight with 5,690,000. — SB

11:45pm: Down to three tables
Level 25 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (5,000 ante)

We hit 24 players before the end of the level play has ended for the day. The man out in 25th place was Damien Luis, who was hit badly in the hand earlier against Baron.

Actually it was Baron who would finally deal his fate. Luis shoved from the button for 320,000 which Baron called. He had A♠10♦ to Luis’s Q♠10♥. The board came 6♥5♥K♦J♣5♦ to end Luis’s tournament, and bring play to a close on Day 4. – SB

11:40pm: Big hand for Baron
Level 25 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (5,000 ante)

Damien Luis opened for 100,000 in the small blind. Alexandru Baron was in the big blind and made it 300,000. Luis then fired back, four betting to 650,000. Baron wasn’t done, and five bet all-in for just over a million. Luis called.

Luis: A♦Q♥
Baron K♦K♥

Baron was covered but needed only to fade an ace (or various other combinations).

The board came 9♠10♣6♥ 7♣4♣

A massive hand that gives Baron 3.25 million chips. Meanwhile Luis is down to 320,000. – SB

11:20pm: Malec unstoppable?
Level 25 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (5,000 ante)

Aram Sargsyan was next to Malec when the chip leader opened for 90,000. He was short and pushed all in. He’d found Q♦Q♠ so it was the perfect opportunity. With the action back on Malec the young Belgian started talking to himself and eventually persuaded himself to call. He did, and turned up A♦Q♥.

The way I run the ace comes on the river,” he said. But even if everyone heard him they were unlikely to believe him. They’d be wrong.

Amid constant chatter (to himself) Malec watched the flop come 6♠3♣8♥, and then the turn 7♦. It looked like a double up. But by his own admission Malec is running good. There was the A♥ on the river.

Eyebrows went up everywhere. Malec’s almost left his face. All except Sargsyan who looked dejected. Hardly surprising. Malec is started to appear unstoppable. His stack now mor than 5.5 million. – SB

11:08pm: Amazing hand, better dance
Level 25 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (5,000 ante)

This was a hand Alisan Holozlu will be talking about for a while. In a battle of the blinds, Aram Sargsyan raised from the small, and Holozlu re-raised from the big. On the Q♦Q♥8♣ flop, Sargsyan checked, let Holozlu bet 90,000, then raised to 200,000. Holozlu called. The turn was the 5♣. Sargsyan checked and then called the 125,000 bet. The A♣ on the river made Sargsyan check again. Now, Holozlu moved all-in for around 350,000. Sargsyan thought for a minute but ultimately mucked.

Holozlu couldn’t resist. He turned up the every-barrel bluff: 10♣6♣. There was a little gasp around the table, but it was overshadowed by something else.

Chip leader Sebastian Malec was standing nearby munching on a cookie. When he saw the bluff, he let loose an involuntary, high-pitched giggle. He couldn’t contain himself. As if embarrassed by the giggle, he covered his cookie-munching mouth with his hoodie. Still, the bluff had entertained him at some primal level, and his feet began dancing. Malec begin to spin in fast circles in what could only be described as a happy dance. He spun and spun until he was in the middle of the TV stage. At that point, he seemed to realize he had drifted too far from his game and hurried back to his seat. It was beautiful in the weirdest possible way. –BW

NEIL0660_EPT13BAR_Sebastian_Malec_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Sebastian Malec, chip leader, giggle box, involuntary dancer

10:45pm: Grafton out
Level 25 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (5,000 ante)

It’s the end of the Main Event for Sam Grafton, one of the last high profile players in tournament.

Grafton open shoved for a little less than 600,000 from early position. With play folded to Anthony Chimkovitch he too announced all-in, for a shade over 600,000. He had Q♦Q♣ to Grafton’s A♦3♦.

“You’re in big trouble,” joked Grafton. “Massive trouble.”

He was almost right. The flop came 5♠J♦4♣ which at least gave Grafton a straight draw. But it failed to materialise on either the 9♠ turn or 10♥ river. A great performance from Grafton, but one that ends in 31st place. Chimkovitch up to 1.35 million. – SB

10:44pm: Chip leader loses…
Level 25 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (5,000 ante)

Sebastian Malec, he of the massive chip lead, has suffered a loss, but it won’t affect his standing on the leaderboard. A few minutes ago, he looked into his bag and yelped aloud. He dug through the bag, threw a package of cookies aside, grabbed for a case, shook it, and grumbled.

Malec says he’s lost his sunglasses: rectangular lens, black frames, yellow on the earpieces. If found, please return to the man with the mountain of chips. –BW

10:30pm: Make that 31
Level 25 – Blinds: 15,000/30,000 (5,000 ante)

Byron Kaverman crashes out, shortly after Miroslav Forman was eliminated by Sebastian Malec.
Kaverman opened from under the gun which was raised by Andreas Chalkiadakis to 285,000 before Kaverman moved all in for 855,000. Chalkiadakis tanked called with J♠J♥, to see Kaverman turn over A♠6♠.

The board ran out A♦J♦10♣8♣Q♥ to send Kaverman out. We’re down to 31 players. – SB

10:32pm: Down to 33
Level 24 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (5,000 ante)

That’s all she wrote for Didier Mazairac. He got his last 385,000 in with 4♦4♣ but ran into Konstantin Puchkov’s pocket jacks. The run out of 5♥7♠8♠K♠K♣ was no help, and Mazairac left in 34th place. –BW

25 20,000 40,000 5,000

10:01pm: Malec running away with it
Level 24 – Blinds: 15,000/30,000 (5,000 ante)

With just a minute to go until the break, Sebastian Malec is simply crushing it with 4,875,000 in his stack. –BW

10pm: Markus Durnegger eliminated
Level 24 – Blinds: 15,000/30,000 (5,000 ante)

We missed the details of the hand, but based on his position at the payout table, Markus Durnegger has been eliminated in 35th place. –BW

9:55pm: Addamo vs Grafton
Level 24 – Blinds: 15,000/30,000 (5,000 ante)

There were already quite a few mint chips (25,000 each) in the pot when the flop was dealt J♣4♣6♠. Michael Addamo in the small blind and Sam Grafton under the gun were contesting it.

Addamo bet 225,000, which Grafton called for the 4♦ turn card. More betting from Addamo, 275,000 this time, which Grafton called after a few minutes. On the 10♠ river though both players checked. Addamo turned over J♠6♦. Grafton looked at it for a moment or two before folding.

A hit for Grafton, who drops down to 850,000. Addamo meanwhile has 3.6 million. – SB

9:50pm: Chimkovitch misses with kill shot
Level 24 – Blinds: 15,000/30,000 (5,000 ante)

Shortly after that huge pot with Koukouris, Chimkovitch tried to put his man out of his misery. In a battle of the blinds, they got it all-in for 575,000 with Koukouris’s pocket deuces up against Chimkovitch’s A♠7♥. Chimkovitch missed, and the deuces were good to get Koukouris back over a million.–BW

9:45pm: Chimkovitch recovers with monster pot
Level 24 – Blinds: 15,000/30,000 (5,000 ante)

After sliding down below the one million mark, overnight chip leader, Anthony Chimkovitch,
is back in great shape after a monster pot that developed largely on his periphery.

Spyridon Koukouris came in for a raise to 70,000, and Chimkovitch re-raised to 180,000 from the button. Stephen Malone was in the small blind and forced the action even more for what looked like a around 400,000. Koukouris, who had around 1.5 million in front of him announced he was all-in.

With barely any consideration, Chimkovitch announced he, too, was all-in for nearly 900,000. Malone (who later said he had ace-queen), despite having a lot of money invested, mucked his cards and let the other two go to war.

Koukouris: 9♦9♣
Chimkovitch: A♠K♥

With an ace dead, Chimkovitch had fewer outs than he would have liked, but he hit a king on the flop, and that was good enough.

Koukouris was reduced to around 600,000 while Chimkovitch moved up to around 2.3 million. .–BW

9:35pm: Jacks twice destroy Berent
Level 24 – Blinds: 15,000/30,000 (5,000 ante)

Another elimination. This time it’s Norbert Berent who is heading out of the Main Event, losing two pots to Konstantin Puchkov in quick succession.

On the first, Jean-Jacques Zeitoun opened from mid-position and Puchkov shoved from the button. Berent, in the small blind, called and immediately tabled his cards, revealing J♦J♣. He didn’t seem to remember that Zeitoun still had cards, but they were soon in the muck after gaining the extra information.

So it was Puchkov versus Berent for the former’s tournament life. Puchkov was in danger with 9♠9♥ against Berent’s jacks, but a nine came on the turn to score a big double up for Puchkov.

Not long after, Puchkov got the rest. After Pavel Plesuv opened for 65,000 in early position Puchkov called. Berent moved all-in for his last 225,000, a move that forced out Plesuv but which Puchkov called.

J♦J♠ for Berent
A♣K♥ for Puchkov.

Berent’s misery was confirmed almost immediately. On the flop of A♥3♣9♥ Berent through his arms up in the air. Twice his jacks had been beaten.

On the 6♠ turn he got up and figured he might as well put his shoes back on. By the 9♦ river card he was shaking hands with everyone at his table. He’s out. Puchkov up to 1.6 million. – SB

9:24pm: Lucky double for Berent
Level 24 – Blinds: 15,000/30,000 (5,000 ante)

Down to 410,000, Norbert Berent decided Pavel Plesuv’s button raise to 65,000 was worth shoving back over. Berent moved in, Plesuv snap-called with A♠Q♠. Berent only held K♣9♦, but it looked a lot better after the K♦9♥5♦ flop. The two-pair held, and Berent moved up to close to 900,000. Meanwhile, Plesuv was left with around 1.1 million.–BW

9:20pm: Win one, lose one
Level 24 – Blinds: 15,000/30,000 (5,000 ante)

This isn’t based on science or anything, more a general feeling, but when a player tanks for a long time they either fold, or they call and lose. It’s never a good ending for them. So when Morten Mortensen tanked for what felt like ten minutes in a hand against Yordan Petrov the writing was on the wall.

It had started several minutes earlier when Mortensen opened for 75,000 in the small blind. Petrov raised to 215,000 from the big blind and Mortensen called for the flop of 3♥Q♥10♣.

After checking that they got the 5♥ turn card. Mortensen check called Petrov’s bet of 180,000 for the river card 2♥, which is where everything slowed down.

Mortensen had checked again and Petrov, after a little thinking time, bet 375,000.

Mortensen had about a million behind but would spend a long period thinking about it. So long in fact that another player at another time was all in and out before Mortensen did anything.

That player was Alexey Romanov, who three-bet shoved with A♥J♣ and was called by Pavel Veksler with K♣K♠. Romanov got a jack on the flop but nothing more, while Vexler moved up to 2.5 million.

That brought attention back on Mortensen. Like I said, in these cases you figure it’s bad news for the tanker. But Mortensen called. Petrov showed 5♦4♠ but Mortensen, much to his own delight, had K♣Q♣ to take the pot. A good call.

Petrov drops to 1.2 million, but Mortensen, who has been busy since the start today, is up to around 2.25 million. – SB

9:10pm: Belluccia can’t find one more outdraw
Level 24 – Blinds: 15,000/30,000 (5,000 ante)

Not for the first time today, Alejandro Belluccia was all-in pre-flop and in real trouble against Mikhail Molchanov. Belluccia had K♦J♣ but Molchanov had A♣K♥ and Belluccia would need to come from behind again to survive.

Not this time, Alejandro.

The board ran 9♦3♥5♣Q♦4♦ and Belluccia’s stack of 415,000 was slid to Molchanov, putting him in the neighbourhood of 1.6 million. Belluccia is out in 38th and gets €21,300. — HS

8:45pm: Chimkovitch takes a hit
Level 24 – Blinds: 15,000/30,000 (5,000 ante)

Anthony Chimkovitch is down to 725,000 after a hand against Stephen Malone. Chimkovitch opened from the cut off for 65,000, which Malone raised to 195,000 from the button. Chimkovitch called and they saw a flop.


Chimkovitch check-called Malone’s bet of 165,000 for the 7♣ turn card. Chimkovitch checked again, but this time folded when Malone bet another 375,000.

Another big pot for Malone who now has more than 3.2 million. – SB


Stephen Malone

8:35pm: And they’re back!
Level 24 – Blinds: 15,000/30,000 (5,000 ante)

The 38 players have returned from dinner and they will now play two more levels until wrapping for the night. The full counts at this stage are over there on the chip-count page, and it’s Poland’s Sebastian Malec out front. — HS


Your leader: Sebastian Malec

7:15pm: Dinner break
Level 23 – Blinds: 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)

That’s the end of Level 23 and the remaining 38 players are going on an 80-minute dinner break. We’ll have the full chip counts from the field as soon as the tournament officials get them to us. — HS

7:04pm: Malec on the make
Level 23 – Blinds: 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)

Sebastian Malec is by far the most active player at his table, and has by far the biggest stack too. In what is quickly becoming a kind of typical hand, Malec opened his button, making it 50,000 to go, and Aram Sargsyan and Alisan Holozlu both came along from the blinds.

Those two both checked the 2♦Q♠J♦ and only Holozlu called after Malec bet 45,000. Both remaining players then checked the 10♠ turn, bringing the 5♥ on the river. Holozlu’s check allowed Malec to bet 132,000 and pick it up. — HS

7:02pm: Owen cuts down Koon
Level 23 – Blinds: 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)

After nursing his short stack for some time, Jason Koon finally found a hand and while eating a salad announced he was all-in for his last 160,000 from early position. Adam Owen reraised to 315,000 from a couple of seats over, and the table stepped aside.

“I have a pretty good hand for seven big blinds,” said Koon between bites as he tabled A♠Q♠. But Owen had a better one with A♦K♥, and after the 7♠5♠5♥5♣2♦ runout Koon missed his flush and is out in 40th.

Koon wished the table well as he left, and Owen stacks up 1.08 mllion. –MH

6:45pm: Game faced Grafton
Level 23 – Blinds: 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)

When Sam Grafton pouts it’s a mistake to consider it anything other than his game face. And right now he’s pouting a lot.

He opened for 51,000 in middle position which Jose Quintas raised from the cut off, making it 135,000 to play. The action reached Grafton again who called for a flop of A♣4♣8♦.

Grafton checked, leaving it to Quintas to bet another 115,000. That was enough to get the interest of a TV camera which came over to take a look. Again, Grafton called.

On the 10♠ turn Grafton checked once more, as before placing his hand flat on the table with his fingers outstretched, pressing down on the felt. Quintas also checked and the river card came 9♦.

No checking this time. Grafton went to his stack, picked up 200,000 and then announced “Three-ten”. Numbers this big have a powerful effect, in this case prompting Quintas to remove an ear piece to make sure he heard it right.
He had no real response other than to stare intently at the board for a few moments. It was a stare that might have said “I’ve missed what I was hoping for. Is there anything else out there that might help me out of a tight spot?”

The answer in such cases is usually no, as it was here. Quintas folded, sending a big pot to Grafton. Quintas down to 700,000 while Grafton, game face still firmly fixed, is up to 1.3 million. – SB

8G2A1248_EPT13BAR_Sam_Grafton_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Sam Grafton

6:58pm: Cortellazzi on the up
Level 23 – Blinds: 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)

Here’s a slow-burner of a hand that ended up earning Andrea Cortellazzi more than 600,000 chips and left Markus Durnegger with only 275,000 with which to play on.

It started with Cortellazzi raising to 60,000 from under the gun and Durnegger calling from the button. They were heads up to the flop of 4♥A♦8♥ and Cortellazzi continued for 71,000. Durnegger called.

The turn brought the 10♦ and the established pattern continued. Cortellazzi bet 155,000 and Durnegger called.

The river was the Q♦ and on they went: Cortellazzi bet 405,000 this time, which was a hefty chunk by anyone’s estimations. Durnegger pondered his decision for a while, but then called. Cortellazzi turned over 10♣10♠ for a turned set.

Durnegger mucked and now has a long way back. — HS

6:36pm: Kaverman calls down Petrov, collects
Level 23 – Blinds: 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)

A blind-vs.-blind battle to share involving Yordan Petrov (small) and Byron Kaverman (big).

Petrov limped, Kaverman checked, and on the 8♦2♠K♠ flop Petrov bet 32,000 and Kaverman called. The Q♥ turn brought a 75,000 bet from Petrov, again called by Kaverman.

The river was the 10♥. This time Petrov pushed out 120,000, and Kaverman didn’t wait too long before calling a third time.

Petrov turned over 9♦7♠, revealing all those small barrels had been with air, while Kaverman had K♥6♦ for kings to win the pot.

Kaverman has 950,000 now, while Petrov is on 1.51 million. –MH

6:37pm: Crunch time for Friberg too
Level 23 – Blinds: 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)

At the same table as Koon is Erik Friberg, who is also drifting towards the wrong end of the chip counts. The Swede is down to 400,000 after losing chips to Alexandru Baron.

Friberg opened for 60,000 in middle position. The action reached Baron in the blinds who asked Friberg how much he was playing. Friberg moved his arm a little but said nothing. Baron removed his sunglasses to get a better look, and then called.

The flop came 2♠10♠2♦ which Baron checked. Friberg bet another 65,000 which was called for a 5♣ turn card. That was checked for the 8♥ on the river. Baron took the lead this time, betting 125,000. Friberg inhaled, then exhaled, and knew he couldn’t call. He didn’t. Baron continues to climb, up to 1.5 million now. – SB

8G2A1339_EPT13BAR_Erik_Friberg_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Erik Friberg

6:31pm: Today’s dispatch from Punxsutawney
Level 23 – Blinds: 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)

After nine straight days staring at poker players, anyone might fear for their own sanity, that perhaps they were in a Groundhog Day kind of loop. However, players at table 12 confirmed with their chuckles that the precise same hand did indeed play out twice.

Yordan Petrov opened to 52,000 and action folded to Thomas De Rooij in the small blind. He raised to 160,000 and it came back to Petrov, who tank-folded. Then Yordan Petrov opened to 52,000, and action folded to Thomas De Rooij on the button. He raised to 160,000 and it came back to Petrov, who tank-folded. — HS

6:27pm: Crunch time for Koon
Level 23 – Blinds: 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)
Jason Koon is facing elimination after losing chips to Damien Luis. With a board of 4♣8♦3♣2♥9♠ Luis had shown 6♣5♣ which beat the cards Koon chose to fold. It leaves the American with around 260,000 and in need of help fast. Luis meanwhile has a more comfortable 1.1 million. – SB

NEIL0441_EPT13BAR_Jason_Koon_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Jason Koon

6:22pm: Ruzicka wins monster off chip leader
Level 23 – Blinds: 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)

Give it to Vojtech Ruzicka. The man has guts.

After calling a raise to 53 in the blind blind from Nuno Capucho, he saw a flkop of Q♣5♥10♠. Ruzicka checked, and Capucho continued for 61,000. That was when Ruzicka decided check-raise to 196,000. On the A♠ turn, Ruzicka came out for 211 and Capucho called. The K♥ on the river lengthened the hand by another five minutes. Ruzicka pushed all-in for 575,000. Capucho thought for five minutes before Sam Grafton called the clock. After thinking for most of his allotted time, Capucho made the call with a set of queens…only to see Ruzicka’s J♥7♥. Yeah, read back over that hand and see if it doesn’t turn your stomach a little. –BW

NEIL0432_EPT13BAR_Vojtech_Ruzicka_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Vojtech Ruzicka

6:21pm: Lofberg busts Caza
Level 23 – Blinds: 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)

Marco Caza opened from middle position and got two callers in Simon Lofberg behind him and Mikhail Molchanov in the small blind.

Flop: 6♦7♦10♥. Check, check, and check.

Turn: 7♥. With some deliberation, Molchanov led with a bet of 85,000. Taking less time, Caza reraised all-in for about 560,000 total. Then acting even more quickly, Lofberg reraise-shoved. Molchanov’s fold was the quickest of all the moves.

When Lofberg pushed, Caza exhaled wearily, almost vocalizing an “oohhh” as he knew it wasn’t good for him. Indeed, he showed his K♣10♥ for two pair, but Lofberg had turned trips with A♣7♠.

River: A♠. Full house for Lofberg, and Caza is out.

Lofberg’s stacks are all different heights at the moment, with a lot of uncollected chips scattered around the columns. Eyeball estimate: 1.8 million. –MH

6:20pm: Shalamov gone
Level 23 – Blinds: 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)

Team PokerStars Pro Online’s Mikhail Shalamov has been eliminated after losing with pocket fours vs. ace-queen. –BW

8G2A1264_EPT13BAR_Mikhail_Shalamov _Neil Stoddart.jpg

Mikhail Shalamov

6:17pm: An offer he couldn’t refuse
Level 23 – Blinds: 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)

Marc Trijaud is the latest player eliminated. He shoved from the big blind with A♠2♠. Andreas Chalkiadis was in the small blind (we’re not certain whether he limped or bet) but he called with A♥K♥.

The board came 4♥7♥5♦9♠Q♠. That was no good for Trijaud who had been all in for around 300,000.

“I would have been so mad if I’d lost the pot,” said Chaliadis with a grin. The man has a tattoo of Marlon Brando as Don Vito Corleone on his right bicep. One wonders how mad. Regardless, he’s up to more than 1.8 million. – SB

6:15pm: Muscle men
Level 23 – Blinds: 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)

There’s some good strong-arming going on out there at the moment, with both Uri Reichenstein and Sebastian Malec wielding their big stacks confidently.

After Byron Kaverman opened his button to 75,000, Markus Durnegger might have hoped his raise to 250,000 from the small blind would get the job done. But he hadn’t reckoned on a cold four-bet shove, with a covering stack, from Reichenstein in the big blind. Both Kaverman and Durnegger folded.

8G2A1302_EPT13BAR_Byron_Kaverman_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Byron Kaverman

As that one was playing out, Malec had played a huge pot against Alexey Romanov that was at the river. It’s a shame we don’t have the details of the betting to this point, but when I first looked over there was heaps in the middle and a board of 5♦9♦6♥9♥9♣ exposed.

Malec shoved with a stack that covered Romanov’s 640,000. Romanov opted to preserve them. — HS

6:10pm: One out, one still in
Level 23 – Blinds: 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)

A double up for Adem Marjanovic who not only got his chips in with A♥A♠ but also got a call from Markus Durnegger, who had 10♣10♠. The board came K♦3♦Q♥Q♠5♠ to keep Marjanovic in the game, up to 680,000. Durnegger meanwhile has a little more than a million chips.

8G2A1235_EPT13BAR_Adem_Marjanovic_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Adem Marjanovic

On the next table Albert Puigsech was gathering his things and making his way to the rail. The only thing is he passed the rail and was half way to the door before a floorman caught up with him to remind him there was the small matter of his payout to arrange. “Oh yeah,” he said, and drifted back. – SB

5:50pm: Double, double, double
Level 23 – Blinds: 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)

A handy double here for Spyridon Koukouris, who is now up to about 950,000 chips. Marco Caza opened to 48,000 and Koukouris shoved for about 430,000. Caza called, but was dominated. Caza had A♥Q♣ to Koukouris’s A♠K♣.

All five cards on the board were lower than a 10 and Koukouris’s king was decisive.

Not long after, Caza also doubled the short stack of Zorlu Er so it’s been a bad orbit for Caza.

(On the subject of doubles, Mikhail Shalamov also got one shortly after the break.) — HS

5:56pm: Zorlu caught in shove-Er-fold mode
Level 23 – Blinds: 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)

During the last level there came a hand in which Zorlu Er, down to a short stack, watched a player raise his big blind, and he spent some time considering whether or not to call or reraise back.

At one point the player from Turkey looked up at the dealer and opened his mouth, but no sound came out. It looked for all the world like he was about to make that all-in decision, but he resisted.

Here at the start of Level 23, Er finds himself starting the level 42nd out of 47 remaining players. Just now he did decide to push all-in — as an open-raise — but everyone else stepped aside.

Er sits with about 270,000 right now, keeping alert for the next shoving spot. –MH

5:55pm: Vogt doubles
Level 23 – Blinds: 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)

Out on the feature table, Stefan Vogt managed to double up to around 25 big blinds after getting9♠9♣ all-in versus chip leader Nuno Capucho’s Q♦J♦. Capucho whiffed on every street and kept Vogt alive. –BW

5:44pm: Updated chip counts; 47 remain
Level 23 – Blinds: 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)

Just 47 left now, with Uri Reichenstein again the chip leader to start the new level after he pushed past Nuno Capucho again at the top of the counts. Here’s the current top 10, and be sure to check the chip count page for a full update of everyone’s counts.

Name Country Status Chips
Uri Reichenstein Germany   3700000
Nuno Capucho Portugal Live satellite winner 3060000
Sebastian Malec Poland PokerStars qualifier 2620000
Norbert Berent Poland Live satellite winner 2270000
Alisan Holozlu Germany PokerStars player 2200000
Stephen Malone Ireland PokerStars player 2100000
Alexandru Baron Canada   1670000
Andreas Chalkiadakis Greece PokerStars qualifier 1500000
Pavel Plesuv Moldova PokerStars qualifier 1500000
Jean-Jacques Zeitoun France Live satellite winner 1480000

They’ll be playing one more 90-minute level, then leave for the dinner break before returning to play two more levels after that. –MH

23 12,000 24,000 4,000

5:20pm: Break time

Reaching the end of the level, players are off again on another 20-minute break. –MH

5:16pm: So long Sousa
Level 22 – Blinds: 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

Stephen Malone is up to 2,150,000 after sending Ruis Sousa to the rail. I arrived to see Sousa looking drained and Malone, well, very happy. It took him another two hands to get his new chips stacked up after his pocket queens held against Sousa’s ace-queen on a board of 4♠6♦6♠9♥2♣. – SB

5:15pm: Big-chip battle between Berent and Chimkovitch
Level 22 – Blinds: 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

Under his yellow hoodie, start-of-day chip leader Anthony Chimkovitch is wearing a black t-shirt with a picture of Popeye, the Sailor Man. Just now Chimkovitch found himself involved in a tussle of a hand, with Norbert Berent playing the Bluto role in this fight.

After Berent opened from late position for 45,000, Chimkovitch called from the big blind and checked the 9♠6♠J♦ flop. Berent continued for 50,000, then Chimkovitch check-raised to 127,000 and after a pause Berent called.


Anthony Chimkovitch

The 2♠ fell on the turn to put a third spade on the board, and Chimkovitch led this time with a bet of 240,000. His repeated bets were representing strength, as though he were saying over and and again “I am what I am.”

Berent again called.

The river was the 6♦, pairing the board. Chimkovitch gathered chips and pushed forward a bet of 450,000 this time. After just a few seconds, Berent got all of his together and slid them ahead as a reraise to around 800,000.

We don’t know if he ate his spinach, but would Chimkovitch be strong to the finich?

He didn’t act immediately, but after exhaling Chimkovitch folded relatively quickly — within 10 seconds. Berent then tabled his hand — A♠3♥! What a bluff!

Chimkovitch sat motionless for a second, not unlike Popeye after getting punched in the nose by Bluto. He shook it off, though, and calling “nice hand” across the table continued the battle.

Berent is up to 2.15 million now, while Chimkovitch still has around 1.38 million. –MH

5:10pm: The rise and brilliant fall, and continued fall, of Taichi Yoneya
Level 22 – Blinds: 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

Taichi Yoneya might be out of the Main Event, but no one can say his departure wasn’t memorable, even if it was played out over the course of about an hour.

As we mentioned earlier, Yoneya is ultra-short, none of which put him off a noble “to the last chip” poker strategy, aiming to squeeze as much out of his Main Event experience as possible.

We followed the closing stages of his tournament, ante by ante (which right now is 3,000).

31,000 chips
28,000 chips
25,000 chips

At this point Yoneya asked Konstantin Puchkov next to him for change. This did nothing to increase the value of his stack, but did wonders for its size.

Looking over at the tournament clock, Yoneya asked for confirmation that the number “55” in the top corner represented the players remaining. Correct.

22,000 chips

Yoneya folds and goes back to texting on his phone.

Incidentally this is not the first time a player has hung seemingly for the pleasure of hanging on. Back at EPT Deauville several seasons ago a similar strategy was adopted, although in that case the player involved was trying to reach the money (he did).

19,000 chips

A player raises in early position. It seems unlikely that Yoneya would call all-in and true to form he folds. He goes back to texting. Someone out there is receiving these messages and living all of this with him.

16,000 chips

With 55 players left there are still 15 players to go before the next pay jump. It seems unlikely he’ll make it.


Technically he now has five more hands to play, although the blinds will get to him before then.


On the next hand he moves all in for 13,000 decisively. Immediately he’s wished good luck by players around him, one of whom folds saying “It was too fast, sorry”, referring to Yoneya’s shove, to much laughter.

Now it’s on Alexandru Baron who bets 80,000, a bet which casts a shadow over Yoneya’s stack. We all inched forward for the show down. Baron showed first, A♥J♦. Then Yoneya. A♣K♦.

More laughter. Yoneya was ahead.

“I should have known better,” said Baron, grinning. Yoneya was loving it.

The flop of 8♥7♦9♠ got a few oooohs. So did the 7♥. Then the river card, an almost cruel 10♣ to give Baron the straight.

Yoneya’s no surrender rear guard was ended with a bad beat. He wished everyone good luck, and the compliment was returned. A great if unconventional performance from Yoneya, out in 54th place. — SB

5:05pm: Vogt doubles
Level 22 – Blinds: 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

Stefan Vogt was down to his last 119,000 and got them all in with Q♦J♥. Vojtech Ruzicka again took the responsibility on himself and called with his J♣10♣.


Vojtech Ruzicka

The flop came 5♣7♥Q♠, which kept Vogt ahead. Then the 2♣ came on the turn to give Vogt a sweat, but the 3♥ bricked the river. That’s a double for Vogt. — HS

5pm: Mercier’s luck runs out
Level 22 – Blinds: 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

“Am I free to go?” Jason Mercier said, pondering out loud whether he was now required to do some interviews, having just been eliminated in 52nd.

Mercier shoved his last 240,000 from the button but found a call from Vojtech Ruzicka. Mercier needed to come from behind when he showed his 9♥8♠ against Ruzicka’s J♦J♠. And although there were outs for him after the 6♦A♥10♥ flop, the 4♣ and 9♣ turn and river didn’t help.

He was the last Team PokerStars Pro in the field, but Team Online’s Mikhail Shalamov flies the Red Spade still. — HS

4:50pm: Double for Belluccia
Level 22 – Blinds: 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

Alejandro Belluccia open shoved for 388,000 from early position and Chebli Chebli re-shoved for 915,000 from the button. The blinds got out the way and so it was only the two of them to run a classic race. Belluccia had Q♠Q♥ and Chebli A♣K♠.

Chebli took the lead on the 5♣K♣10♦ flop, but Belluccia went back ahead on the Q♣ turn. Chebli had re-re-draw outs, but the 5♦ was no significantly club-shaped. Belluccia doubles. — HS

4:46pm: Erase Chalkidis from the board
Level 22 – Blinds: 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

Vasileios Chalkidis is out after committing his last 330,000 with J♠J♥ but having the misfortune of running into Alisan Holozlu’s Q♣Q♦.

The A♠5♣10♣4♦2♦ board kept the best pair in front, and while Chalkidis finishes 55th Holozlu is now up around 2.5 million. –MH

4:40pm: Too many outs for Mercier
Level 22 – Blinds: 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

Jason Mercier has only 12 big blinds left after he couldn’t hit any of his mountain of outs in a pot against Chebli Chebli.

They got it in on the following flop: 5♦4♥6♣, when Mercier had 7♣7♠ and Chebli 5♥6♥. Mercier had 13 outs on the flop and he picked up another three on the 10♣ turn. “Alright, all outs are clean,” Mercier said. Chebli was the man at risk, but he was still the favourite at this point, despite Mercier’s outs.

The K♣ came on the river and that doubled Chebli up to 500,000 and sliced Mercier down to 250,000. — HS

4:31pm: Yoneya on the ultra-short stack
Level 22 – Blinds: 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

Alexandru Baron raised from middle position to 45,000, and it folded to Taichi Yoneya in the big blind.

After posting, Yoneya had but 69,000 left behind, and after looking at his cards he craned his neck to try to see a tournament clock, clearly interested to see how many knockouts they are from the next pay-jump. (With 55 players left, it’s not until they get down to 39 that it will go from €17,920 up to €21,300.)

Yoneya thought another minute or so, then called the raise, leaving himself 44,000.

“You have aces, sir?” cracked Baron, and the table chuckled.

The flop then came 9♣6♠9♠, and after Yoneya checked, Baron said he was all-in and Yoneya folded.

The next hand Yoneya was on the small blind, and after posting that and the ante he had but 31,000. Baron raised again and it folded to Yoneya, and after counting the number of players at the table — getting an idea how many 3,000-chip antes he had left — Yoneya folded. –MH

4:15pm: Yoon busts to Capucho
Level 22 – Blinds: 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

Brian Yoon, the two-time bracelet winner, is not going to visit his first EPT final table. He got his micro-stack of 65,000 in the middle with J♥7♣ and Nuno Capucho re-shoved his chip-leading stack to isolate.

Yoon: J♥7♣
Capucho: K♣J♣

The board gave a flop of hope when it contained the 7♥. But it also had the K♦ alongside the A♣. The turn of 4♣ and the river of K♥ kept Capucho ahead. Yoon wandered away. — HS

4:12pm: Value for Van Putten
Level 22 – Blinds: 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

With the board showing A♥9♣9♥6♠K♣ and nearly 300,000 in the middle, Jasper Meijer van Putten fired 220,000 and after a bit of a wait Thomas De Rooij called the bet. Quickly Van Putten tabled A♦K♠ for top two pair, and De Rooij mucked his hand.

That puts van Putten at 1.3 million or so, while De Rooij is on 220,000 now. –MH

4:10pm: Joentausta out
Level 22 – Blinds: 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

Aku Joentausta is out after a big hand versus Alisan Holozlu. There was a lot already in the middle when we reached this one, with the board dealt to the turn 5♣10♦J♣A♥.
Holozlu bet 178,000 which Joentausta called for the 2♠ on the river. At this point Holozlu moved all in. Joentausta reflected on this for a while and then called. But the two pair he’d made with A♣J♦ was beaten by Holozlu’s 10♥10♣.

The stacks had been almost even on the river so Joentausta was forced to hang around while things were counted. Joentausta knew he was out and got ready to leave. The dealer said he owed 504,000. This he could afford and say back down again. Until the dealer corrected himself.

“Six-hundred, sorry.”

So, Joentausta got up again. For good this time.

A few of us looked at Holozlu’s new stack, and then at him.

“I have no idea,” he said with a grin, anticipating a rough guess as to how much he now has. The answer though is 1.9 million. – SB

4:06pm: Yoon keeping head above water…barely
Level 22 – Blinds: 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

After getting crushed in the last level, Brian Yoon has managed a double up. With barely more than two bigs in his stack, Yoon managed to pick up pocket nines and make them hold for a double. Needless to say, he still has a lot of work ahead of him.–BW

4pm: Belluccia thanks his lucky queens
Level 22 – Blinds: 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

Alejandro Belluccia played the hand of the day on the feature table yesterday, but has suffered the slings and arrows since then and was down to his last 395,000 when he returned beneath studio lights. However, he has just doubled up beyond 800,000, spiking a four outer on the river to beat Harcharan Dogra Dogra.

They got it all in pre-flop. Belluccia had K♥J♠ and was dominated by Dogra Dogra’s A♥K♣. The flop changed nothing. It came 3♦5♥10♦. The turn seemed good for Dogra Dogra. It was the A♣.

But that opened the window for a gutshot suckout, which duly arrived when the Q♥ popped out on the river.

Dogra Dogra will now have to rebuild from his stack of about 600,000. — HS

3:52pm: Updated chip counts; 58 remain
Level 22 – Blinds: 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

It’s a new level, and the chip count page has been freshly updated top-to-bottom for the 58 remaining players.

Nuno Capucho leads with more than 3.3 mllion now, with Uri Reichenstein the nearest challenger with 2.65 million and no one else above 2 million. The current top 10:

Name Country Status Chips
Nuno Capucho Portugal Live satellite winner 3363000
Uri Reichenstein Germany   2650000
Markus Durnegger Austria PokerStars qualifier 1789000
Norbert Berent Poland Live satellite winner 1702000
Anthony Chimkovitch Belgium   1625000
Simon Lofberg Sweden   1530000
Andrea Cortellazzi Italy   1522000
Sebastian Malec Poland PokerStars qualifier 1424000
Andreas Chalkiadakis Greece PokerStars qualifier 1385000
Jason Koon USA PokerStars player 1370000

Meanwhile, Sam Grafton has an above average stack, while Adam Owen, Vojtech Ruzicka, Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier, and Erik Friberg are all still battle a bit below the average. –MH

22 10,000 20,000 3,000

3:36pm: Koon ends level on a high
Level 21 – Blinds: 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

A big hand involving Jason Koon to end the level. Damien Luis opened for 35,000 which Koon, two seats along, three bet to 85,000. Diego Zeiter was on the button and called before Luis did the same.

They saw a flop: 9♣9♦3♥

Luis checked, so did Koon. Zeiter though went to his stack and bet 90,000. Luis passed but Koon raised, making it 240,000 total. Zeiter, perhaps a little surprised, asked for confirmation of the amount, but it was right there in his face, as clear as anything. So he called for the 7♦ turn.

This time Koon came out betting, 180,000 more. Zeiter thought for a while but finally folded his hand, leaving Koon with a stack just shy of 1.4 million.

“I didn’t think you were folding, honestly,” he said to Zeiter as the break began. “I thought we were playing for stacks.” – SB

3:35pm: Another champ down
Level 21 – Blinds: 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

Ronny Kaiser was among the early departures today and now he has been joined on the rail by Nicolas Chouity as the former champions continue to fall.


Nicolas Chouity

Chouity got his chips in–about 600,000–with 7♥7♦ but was in a world of hurt against Jose Quintas’s A♥A♣. The board ran J♣J♠6♦K♠K♦ and Chouity headed out the door. — HS

3:30pm: Pleuv doubles, Yoon nearly gone
Level 21 – Blinds: 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

After an opening raise to 32,000, Moldova’s Pavel Plesuv three-bet to 105,000 on the button. The small blind got out of the way, but Brian Yoon jammed out of the big blind. It came back around to Plesuv who called with J♦J♥. Yoon had A♥K♣. After a 2♦7♦9♦2♣8♠ run-out, Plesuv, who had 436,000 in front of him, scored the double. Meanwhile, Yoon has been hobbled and went to break with 60,000.–BW

3:25pm: Capucho captures another, nears 3 million
Level 21 – Blinds: 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

With the board showing J♥6♣7♦2♣8♦ and around 300,000 in the middle, Christian Jeppsson checked over to Nuno Capucho who bet all-in, and after a lengthy tank Jeppsson called to commit his last 385,000 or so.

Capucho tabled 6♦6♥ for a set of sixes, and Jeppsson’s hand was briefly shown — J♦10♠ — before he headed out.

Capucho catapults up just shy of 3 million with that pot. –MH

3:15pm: Two double ups
Level 21 – Blinds: 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

All-in with aces for Diogo Veiga. He doubled up his 540,000 stack against Marc Trijaud. Two tables along there was another double up, albeit smaller. Taichi Yonega was celebrating after his K♦J♦ did rather well on a board of Q♦9♦10♣8♠5♦. His opponent Ryan Mcgarry was less happy, suggesting that Yonega, who doubled up to a still meagre looking 150,000, slow-rolled a bit, even if unintentionally. McGarry down to 450,000. – SB

3:07pm: Sousa pips Koon for double
Level 21 – Blinds: 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

Jason Koon had come in for a raise to 36,000 under the gun. Rui Sousa, seated immediately to Koon’s left, jammed for 304,000. Play folded back around to Koon who dwelled on the decision for a minute or so before finally electing to make the call.

Koon: 8♦8♥
Sousa: 9♠9♥.

Koon’s chances improved quite a bit after an all-diamond flop, but he missed the rest of the way. Sousa moved his stack up over 600,000. Meanwhile, Koon is down to about 900,000. –BW

3:06pm: River ace saves Forman
Level 21 – Blinds: 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

Miroslav Forman raised for the minimum from late position, and it folded to Olli Autiö in the big blind who asked Forman what he had behind. “I have three,” was the response, indicating about 300,000. Autiö then re-raised all-in. Forman called. Autiö showed 8♣8♥ while Forman had A♥8♦.


Miroslav Forman shoots for the stars

The board came 10♠K♥6♦, then 6♠, then… A♦! Forman slapped the felt rapidly three times at the sight of the river ace, as it had saved his tournament life.

The three slaps faintly echoed the “three” he’d said during the hand, but a count of his chips showed Forman actually had closer to 400,000 behind, meaning he’d doubled to around 820,000. Autiö has 1.25 million. –MH

3pm: Another elimination
Level 21 – Blinds: 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

Sergei Chantcev is out. He shoved with K♠2♦ for just short of 200,000. Marc Trijaud was next to act and called with 5♦5♣.

The board came 3♠8♣A♥9♦5♠ to send Chantcev to the rail. Trijaud now has around 880,000. – SB

2:58pm: Jacks good three ways
Level 21 – Blinds: 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

With 391,000 left, Konstantin Puchkov was more than happy to see a raise, all-in, and re-shove before he even got to act with his jacks. He, too, was all-in, and here’s what he was up against.

Konstantin Puchkov: J♦J♠
Vasileios Chalkidis: A♣K♠
Andreas Freund: A♦Q♣

Puchkov had Freund covered but was at risk against Chalkidis. It became largely academic after the flop when a jack appeared and gave Puchkov a set. There was a straight re-draw out there, but it didn’t come in.

Puchkov has now moved above a million, Freund went bust, and Calkidis was left with 300,000. –BW

2:48pm: Andriamahefa busts to Berent
Level 21 – Blinds: 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

Down to 64 in the Main Event with the departure of Kevin Andriamahefa who was all in with fives against the tens of Norbert Berent. The board came 6♠7♥A♦9♣8♣ to send Andriamahefa to the rail. Berent now has 1.6 million. — SB

2:41pm: Red spades square off
Level 21 – Blinds: 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

The two remaining red spades are at the same table — Team PokerStars Pro’s Jason Mercier and Mikhail Shalamov of Team PokerStars Pro Online — and just now the pair got involved in a hand with one another that saw a bit of a chip shift as a result.


Mikhail Shalamov: Team Online

Following a button open from Shalamov and call from Mercier, the flop came 5♣A♣7♠. Mercier checked, Shalamov bet 40,000, and Mercier called. The turn was the Q♥. Again Mercier checked, and when Shalamov bet 81,000, Mercier called once more.

The river was the 5♦, and Mercier was checking one more time. Shalamov pushed out 170,000, and after thinking a short while Mercier called, then saw Shalamov table A♠K♠ for aces and fives. Mercier mucked, and now he’s at about 530,000 while Shalamov presently sits with a touch over 1 million. –MH

2:30pm: Five bet shove
Level 21 – Blinds: 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

Sam Grafton showed a six, and as he said only because he was on TV. It came after he won a hand with a five-bet shove against Norbert Berent.

Mortensen opened the pot under the gun plus one, for 36,000. Grafton then three bet to 91,000 which Berent four bet from the button, to 225,000. Mortensen folded but Grafton waited, pouting for some time before announcing he was all-in. Berent folded his cards, watching as Grafton showed him the six. – SB

2:29pm: Eight-eight equals double for Chebli Chebli
Level 21 – Blinds: 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

Lebanon’s Chebli Chebli pushed all-in with his last 240,000 from under the gun, appropriately with a pocket pair — 8♣8♦. It folded to Vojtech Ruzicka who called him with A♠K♠, and after a 2♥5♠J♥J♦6♣ board Chebli had doubled (and then some) to 530,000. Ruzicka still has 895,000. –MH

2:24pm: Another heading for the rail
Level 21 – Blinds: 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

Another elimination to add to the list: Eugene Katchalov now out. — SB

2:22pm: Recent eliminations
Level 21 – Blinds: 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

Here are some of the most recent eliminations:

71. Xixiang Luo
72. Michael Eiler
73. Georgios Zisimopoulos
74. Kent Lundmark
75. Alin Grasu
76. Brynn Kenney
77. Thomas Miller

For a full list of payouts, visit our EPT Barcelona Main Event results page. –BW

2:17pm: Capacho knockes out two, takes over lead
Level 21 – Blinds: 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

Nuno Capacho was edging up toward Uri Reichenstein’s chip lead at the end of the first level today, and with a big double-knockout to start the new one it looks like he’s edged ahead into first position.

The hand began with an early position all-in from Kent Lundmark who open-pushed his last 250,000 from early position. Capacho called the shove from the next seat over, and it folded around to the blinds where there was another call all-in from Alin — Alin Grasu, that is.

Lundmark: A♠Q♣
Capacho: J♦J♣
Grasu: 6♥6♣

“Three-way all-in” said Andreas Chalkiadakis, standing up from his seat at the neighboring table, reporting back to Reichenstein, in fact, what the situation was. “Jacks, sixes, ace-queen.”

“Who do we want to win?” asked Reichenstein. “Jacks,” said Chalkiadakis.

The flop came 5♠K♣K♥ and turn 5♣. “Holding,” reported Chalkiadakis. The river was the 3♦. “Jacks won,” came the last report.

Both Lundmark and Grasu are out, and while everyone might be glad the field has been reduced by two players, Reichenstein may not realize Capacho has grabbed the lead away from him, having chipped up now to 2.65 million. –MH

2:05pm: Big Mo for Mortensen
Level 21 – Blinds: 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

If you’re following EPT Live now Morten Mortensen just graduated to the feature table with around 1.3 million. The last 250,000 (roughly) of that came from Jason Mercier.

They just played an enormous hand which up to the turn, on a board of 10♠5♥5♦J♥, and with more than 400,000 in the middle, Mortensen bet another 196,000. Mercier tanked for a while, but ultimately folded. Mortensen has the Big Mo right now. – SB

2:02pm: Updated chip counts; 76 remain
Level 21 – Blinds: 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

With the start of the new level, we have a full update of the current chip counts for the 76 remaining players. Uri Reichenstein fell back a little to just over 2.6 million to end last level, is still the chip leader ahead of the charging Nuno Capucho. Here’s the top 10:

Name Country Status Chips
Uri Reichenstein Germany   2605000
Nuno Capucho Portugal Live satellite winner 2158000
Thomas De Rooij Netherlands PokerStars qualifier 2000000
Anthony Chimkovitch Belgium   1733000
Simon Lofberg Sweden   1380000
Norbert Berent Poland Live satellite winner 1305000
Marco Caza Canada   1235000
Sebastian Malec Poland PokerStars qualifier 1180000
Morten Mortensen Denmark PokerStars qualifier 1067000
Olli Autiö Finland   1060000

Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier is just outside of the top 10 at present with 980,000. –MH

21 8,000 16,000 2,000

1:40pm: Break time

The remaining 78 players are now on their first 20-minute break of the day.

1:35pm: Ruzicka and Veksler recouping losses while Tang busts
Level 20 – Blinds: 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

Ping Liu just busted against Vojtech Ruzicka. All in for a modest sum Liu had J♠Q♣ against Ruzicka’s A♦J♥ with a board that came 8♦5♣10♥6♣K♥. While Liu heads for the rail Ruzicka climbs to around 600,000.

Then Danny Tang was making his way to the rail. First he was mugged by a shove from Morten Mortensen in a previous hand that cost him a chunk of chips. Then he looked down at pocket sevens and shoved for 250,000. Pavel Veksler had found pocket tens and called.

The board was dealt Q♦8♠K♦8♦6♠ which sent Tang to the rail in 81st. Veksler, who lost that big hand against Mortensen earlier, starts the rebuilding process, back u pto 600,000. – SB

1:30pm: Kenney doubles, gives it back
Level 20 – Blinds: 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

After five-bet shoving from the button with A♣K♠, Brynn Kenney managed to hit a king versus Michael Eiler’s pocket sixes in the small blind. Kenney had around 600,000 at that point. But minute later, he got K♠J♠ in versus Eiler’s 10♥10♦ and doubled Eiler up. –BW

1:30pm: Counting up new leader Reichenstein’s stack
Level 20 – Blinds: 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

“What are you playing there, about three?”

The question was posted to Uri Reichenstein, the German player who just won a massive queens-versus-jacks pot to catapult into the chip lead.

“I honestly don’t know,” he said, starting to tally the several columns before him. He guessed somewhat less than the 3 million his tablemate had suggested, but wasn’t so sure.

“You might be right. I’m pretty bad at counting,” he cracked.

More calculations made by both Reichenstein and others helped pinpoint things further for Reichenstein — he has about 2.9 million. –MH

1:26pm: Former champ departs
Level 20 – Blinds: 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

Ronny Kaiser is gone. Sitting on the featured table, he had 189,000 left. He shoved it and immediatley knew he was in trouble when Michael Howard shoved over the top. Nobody else got involved, so Kaiser showed his A♠7♠. It was well behind Howard’s K♣K♠, and it didn’t catch up. –BW

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Ronny Kaiser

1:20pm: Sgorrano gone
Level 20 – Blinds: 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

After the initial rush of eliminations, the pace has slowed down a little as the day’s first level nears its end. Following the recent knockout of Jerome Sgorrano, now 86 players remain. –MH

1:18pm: Red on black
Level 20 – Blinds: 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

As the first hour of play today concluded, Jason Koon stood up from the table to stretch after folding a hand. A couple of flashes of red jumped out on the black floor — his shoes.

Koon’s sporting some very comfortable looking sneakers that are the deepest shade of red imaginable. For movie buffs they might thoughts of The Wizard of Oz (whose protagonist benefited greatly from her footwear) or the The Red Shoes (whose protagonist benefited as well from red shoes, though in the end they proved a curse).


Jason Koon: Dorothy?

As one of the 86 runners still remaining in this event, Koon has as good a chance as anyone with his current stack of just over 1 million to make the long walk to Sunday’s final table. –MH

1:18pm: Innerpsy doubles
Level 20 – Blinds: 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

The loud clap you might have just heard was Team Online’s Mikhail Shalamov doubling up with A♠J♦. The clap was because, all in for his last 330,000, it looked like his tournament was over until the river as he was up against the pocket threes of Peyman Luth. The board explains Shalamov’s excitement.


The river card eight brought Shalamov’s ace into play. He was delighted, and now has 690,000. – SB

1:05pm: Pivotal hand
Level 20 – Blinds: 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

Morten Mortensen is having a good day. He started with a double up through Vojtech Ruzicka (see time stamp 12:42pm) and now just won an enormous pot against Pavel Veksler.
Admittedly I didn’t see anything before the river, but the amount of chips in the middle suggested things were very exciting.

With a board reading 5♦8♦10♣A♠J♣ Mortensen was all in for his last 378,000 behind a bet of 170,000 from Veksler, who was now spending several minutes quietly thinking what he should do next. He had 540,000 behind. Regardless of what happened this was a pivotal hand for both.

Almost without anyone noticing Veksler called. Mortensen turned over Q♦9♦ for the straight. Veksler looked at his cards again and mucked, his expression never changing. It was Jason Mercier who pointed out the ruling though, that called all-ins require both hands to be shown. The dealer showed Veksler’s J♠8♠.

“I don’t care to see it,” said Mercier, almost apologetically. “But you’ve got to be consistent. No one ever wants to show.”

Mortensen now has 1.1 million, while Veksler is on the danger list with 365,000. Mortensen is having a very good day. – SB

12:59pm: Veksler raise vexes Mercier
Level 20 – Blinds: 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

With about 80,000 in the middle and the board reading J♥Q♠3♦, Pavel Veksler led with a bet, Jason Mercier raised to 139,000, then Veksler pushed all-in for 665,000 total.

Mercier thought about a half-minute or so, then decided to pitch his hand, keeping his stack of about 1.15 million. Vecksler jumps to 840,000. –MH

12:56pm: More outs
Level 20 – Blinds: 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

Neculai Macovei — winner of that big bubble hand back at the end of Day 2 — returned today to a short stack and was just ousted in 94th. Wael Sarkis (93rd), Padraig O’Neill (92nd), Michael Kane (91st) and Robert Lipkin (90th) then followed him to the rail. –MH

12:50pm: Speedy and not so speedy eliminations
Level 20 – Blinds: 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

Two eliminations on tables side by side. In the first it appeared that Markus Durnegger had doubled through with pocket queens against Alexander Greenblatt. But on closer inspection, and an exact count, Greenblatt was covered and on his way to the payout desk.

On the next table it was a bit more obvious. Tomas Macnamara was all in with K♦7♣ for roughly 150,000 which Sebastian Malec called with A♠K♥. The flop came A♣4♥Q♣ which pretty much put things in Malec’s favour. The turn card 9♠ made that certain, and the dealer cried “seat open” before delivering the now irrelevant 10♠ river. – SB

12:42pm: Set over set
Level 20 – Blinds: 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

A double up for Morten Mortensen who moved in for 233,000 after finding pocket kings. Vojtech Ruzicka found sixes and called, and in other hands would have done well out of the set he made on the flop. But the king was sitting right there alongside it to send the chips to Mortensen. Ruzicka still has more than 900,000. – SB

12:37pm: Wince and a call
Level 20 – Blinds: 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

It’s a common look in no-limit hold’em tournaments, especially when they reach the latter stages. The wince, an expression often found on the faces of those contemplating all-in calls.

Vojtech Ruzicka was the latest to sport the wince. He delivered it after opening for 28,000 from the hijack seat, watching Ping Liu reraise all-in to 194,000 from the cutoff, then seeing everyone else fold back to hiim.

Do I call? Do I fold? Ruzicka did finally call, and turned over a typically wince-y hand — A♥10♠. And the look continued when he saw Liu table A♦K♦.

The better hand held, and Ruzicka slips to 710,000 while Liu bounces up to 415,000. –MH

12:30pm: Ladies and gentlemen, Jason Mercier
Level 20 – Blinds: 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

12:21pm: Sointula, Tran, Revenas out
Level 20 – Blinds: 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

Following the knockout of Luiz Orrico in 98th, Jani Sointula (97th) and Van Hiep Tran (96th) soon followed.

Just after that, Tobias Revenas was all-in with ace-queen versus Markus Durnegger’s pocket sevens, and when the flop brought Durnegger a seven and two deuces to make a full house, Revenas was soon on his way to the cashier’s table as the 95th-place finisher. –MH

12:11pm: Looking good at the start
Level 20 – Blinds: 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

I’m not sure whether it’s the sunshine, the Barcelona climate, or the prospect of a €1.1 million first prize, but the 98 players returning today seemed remarkably fresh for a group of people who have been playing poker for so long. They’re also in good spirits. Even the dealers were smiling prior to play starting, with their decks displayed in their own signature patter (these can be neat lines, echelons, swoops, etc.).

Several players had to go from table to table looking for the right seat. This may or may not be a deliberate tactic by the TV crew, to create ambiguity in the table order, so as to film enough footage of players looking thoughtful for the slow motion montage at the end of EPT Live tonight. – SB

12:10pm: MacNamara survives
Level 20 – Blinds: 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

One of the day’s first hands saw Tomas MacNamara open-raising all-in for 69,000 from under the gun with A♦9♠ and getting a single caller in Olli Autiö who picked up K♠J♦ on the button.

The A♥4♥10♦ flop gave MacNamara pair, but Autiö still had a gutshot to Broadway, then the K♥ turn card gave the latter a pair as well. The 10♠ river was safe for MacNamara, however, and he remains in his seat with about 160,000 now. Autiö has 510,000. –MH

12:08pm: Roovers knocks out Orrico
Level 20 – Blinds: 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

Luiz Orrico was one of the several short stacks to begin today, and he’s become one of the first eliminations after committing his last chips with K♠J♣ versus Mark Roovers who held A♣8♠.

A runout of 5♦5♠A♥6♦7♦ spelled the end for Orrico, while Roovers now has about 450,000. –MH

12:01pm: Schedule change!

Well, there have been changes. Once scheduled to play five levels with no dinner break, the day will now be a longer. Tournament officials have added a dinner break and an extra level. So, now we’re scheduled to play six levels with a dinner break. We now expect to be finished for the day in about 12 and half hours. Settle folks. We’re going to be here a while. –BW

11:48am: Final 98 shooting for Day 5

Day 4 is about to begin, and from this point forward, nearly every hand is going to matter. By the end of today, there will only be two or three tables left. There are five former EPT champions left in the field, all of them looking for what could be the second (and possibly last ever) repeat EPT champion.

As we begin play today Belgian Anthony Chimkovitch holds the chip lead. His 1,825,000 will be up against 6,000/12,000/2,000 blinds and antes. He and the rest of the field are scheduled to play five levels today and end around 9pm.

We will have full coverage beginning momentarily. Stick with us.–BW

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Anthony Chimkovitch

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 Main Event: Stephen Bartley, Martin Harris, and Brad Willis. Photography by Neil Stoddart. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter:@PokerStarsBlog

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The view over Barcelona from Montjuic


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