EPT13 Prague: Jerry Wong on top after Day 1 of €10K High Roller

December 17, 2016


Wong leads the way

The final High Roller event on the EPT Prague schedule had a lot to live up to and if the first day is anything to go by it won’t disappoint. Already this festival we’ve witnessed sensational High Roller victories for Stefan Schillhabel, Leon Tsoukernik and Ike Haxton, but whoever wins the €10K High Roller can almost certainly claim that their title was the hardest of the four to win. The reason? Players and lots of them.

Last season’s total of 315 runners was eclipsed by the time the players headed for dinner and by the end of the day the field had swelled to 393 runners (325 unique players and 68 re-entries). With late registration open until play starts tomorrow it’s a case of how high can we go?

The player who increased their stack higher than anyone else today was Jerry Wong. He spun his 50,000 starting stack all the way up to 402,900. As you’d expect in such an event there are a host of talented players in the chasing pack, including Andrey Zaichenko, who won this event in Season 11. He lost a big pot at the death to Pablo Gordillo to finish on 365,000. Other players who bagged big stacks include: Sameer Khurana (279,900), Niklas Astedt (268,400), Rocco Palumbo (258,000), Kully Sidhu (253,600), Mustapha Kanit (234,900) and Haxton (221,400). Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree will also be back, she finished on 93,800 and bought some festive cheer to proceedings today.


Boeree got into the festive spirit

The hand of the day undoubtedly involved Bryan Piccioli and Tamer Kamel. Both players made a flush, it’s just Piccioli’s was of the Royal variety and in spades no less. The best kind!

You can scroll down for a recap of all today’s action. End of day chip counts will be available on the EPT App shortly and can also be seen by clicking here. Because late-registration is still open we can post the seat draw. Play begins at 12.30 CET, but for now goodnight from Prague.

12:55am: Play concludes for the day
Level 10 – Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Day 1A is in the books. Jerry Wong ended the day as chip leader on 402,900. A short wrap of events will be posted on the blog shortly.

12:36am: Last four hands
Level 10 – Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Four more hands will be played at each table before play ends for the night.

12:30am: Kevin Killeen-ed out
Level 10 – Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Last level bustout for Kevin Killeen. The former UKIPT Dublin winner was down to 15,600 when he shipped them in from under the gun. Igor Yaroshevskyy was sat two seats along and was the only caller.

Killeen: A♠4♠
Yaroshevskyy: A♣Q♦

The board ran 2♦K♦10♣8♣2♠ meaning the Ukrainian’s kicker played. He moved up to around 220,000. –MC

12:15am: Aido doubles with a flush
Level 10 – Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Sergio Aido got in a blind battle with Aleks Dimitrov armed with only six high. Luckily for him his cards were suited and he used them to make a flush that got paid.

They had built a 29,000 pot before a 5♥9♦10♦ flop had been delivered. Both players checked to the 5♣ turn where Aido led for 17,000 and was called. The A♦ completed the board and Aido committed the 40,100 he remaining. Dimitrov called with A♠6♥ but Aido had got their with 6♦2♦. The Bulgarian dropped 32,500. –MC

12:05am: Kamel’s a billionaire
Level 9 – Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

“I feel like I’ve got a billion chips,” said Tamer Kamel as Table 3 waited for some reinforcements to arrive. They were down to four player as it seemed Timothy Adams had just dispatched an opponent.

The other three players have all had interesting days too and it’s definitely been an action table. Rocco Palumbo was the chip leader and still has a healthy stack that’s north of 230,000. Bryan Piccioli has made a Royal Flush and Kamel had lost to a Royal Flush.

That loss took Kamel down to just 3,200 but he’s now up to 55,000, hence his good mood. We’re also told the he hit a straight flush to start his road to recovery! –NW

11:55pm: Lucky river
Level 9 – Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

There’s a seasonal atmosphere at Liv Boeree’s table and she just played an interesting hand against Hossein Ensan – the defending EPT Prague Main Event champion no less. It was actually Max Silver who started the hand, he raised to 2,700 from under-the-gun and Boeree (under-the-gun+1) and Ensan (big blind) both called.

So it was a hand of PokerStars Champions. Silver – who’s won a UKIPT title and had several near misses at winning a second – c-bet 5,600 and both players called. On the 7♥ turn Ensan elected to lead, he fired out a bet of 7,400 and Boeree was the only caller. The river was the 9♣ and Ensan fired again. He bet 10,200 and Boeree swiftly called. Ensan showed 9♥9♠ and Boeree said: “Wow, lucky river.”

She didn’t show her hand but it was pretty clear she’d been ahead until Ensan made a set. After that hand he’s up to 115,000, while Boeree has slipped to 105,000. –NW

11:45pm: River shoving
Level 9 – Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Two all-in and calls on two different tables to very different results.

Rocco Palumbo had one on the biggest stack in the room and was looking to add to it during a hand versus Javier Gomez Zapatero. They had made it to the river where a K♣8♦5♠Q♥3♥ board rested. Zapatero moved all-in for a (roughly) pot-sized 26,800 and his Italian opponent tank-called with K♦J♦. Zapatero opened K♠J♠ as well and they chopped it up. Palumbo has 238,000.

Kacper Pyzara was in a similar position to Palumbo. The outcome of his hand wasn’t kind though as he busted. He and Aleksey Ponakov had amassed 50,000 in the middle by the time a 5♠3♠4♥7♣3♥ board was complete. Ponakov set Pyzara in for his last 55,000 and the latter had the clock called on him, waited until three seconds remained and then called all-in with A♦9♦. Ponakov opened 4♣4♠ for a full house, took the scalp, and moves on up to 212,000. –MC

11:35pm: Nice hand for Zinno
Level 9 – Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Anthony Zinno just won a nice pot from Dong Zhao and he let his opponent do the betting for him. There were actually four players who saw a flop. Aymon Hata raised to 2,700 from under-the-gun and picked up calls from Zinno (early position), Dong Zhao (button) and Maxim Lykov (big blind).

The flop fell Q♥J♥K♥ would we see a second Royal Flush of the day (see 9:30pm post)? The action checked to Zhao, he bet 3,800. Lykov and Zinno both called and the 7♣ fell on the turn. Again the action was checked to Zhao. He bet 7,900 and this time only Zinno called. The 3♦ fell on the river. Zinno quickly checked and although Zhao took longer to come to his decision, he too checked and Zinno took the pot with J♦J♣. That set of jacks boosts Zinno to 130,000 and drops Zhao to 46,000.

11:25pm: Easy game!
Level 9 – Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

“Easy game!” said a tablemate to Michel Dattani after he won a race to eliminate Aleksandar Tomovic.

Dattani open-raised and then called after Tomovic three-bet all-in for 26,000.

Dattani: 10♦10♥
Tomovic: A♦K♣

The board ran 7♣10♠6♠3♣J♦ to make Dattani top set. He moved up to around 80,000. –MC

11:15pm: Hallaert verbally slow rolled by dealer before he busts
Level 9 – Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Kenny Hallaert has had a pretty fantastic year and perhaps that’s the reason why he took a dealer error so well just now. The Belgian November Niner went from thinking he was a huge favourite to double up, to being out.

He and Samy Ouellani had taken to a 2♣7♦J♠ flop where the chips got in the middle after a raising war. The dealer thought he saw both sets of cards properly and said, “Aces versus kings.” What they really had was:

Hallaert: A♦A♠. The dealer was right so far.
Ouellani: J♣J♦ for top set, and not kings.

The board ran out Q♠7♠ and Ouellani (57,000) had Hallaert covered by just a couple of thousand. — MC

11:05pm: Billard sinks the white ball
Level 9 – Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Big stack Francois Billard has dropped back to 135,000 after he doubled up Farid Yachou.

A 5♥4♥Q♦ flop was out and Billard bet 5,200 from the cutoff before Yachou raised to 17,200 off the button. Billard shoved and his Dutch opponent called all-in for 42,900.

Billard: 8♣8♥
Yacou: Q♣J♠

The board ran out 2♠J♣ to improve Yacou to two pair. –MC

10:55pm: No tanking, but plenty of aggression
Level 9 – Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Not all five-bet pots take ages to play out, as this hand between Connor Drinan and Christian Jeppsson illustrates.

The American was the initial raiser, he made it 3,000 to go and Jeppsson three-bet to 10,500 from the big blind. Back on Drinan he thought for a short time before sliding out a re-raise to 17,000. The dealer informed him that the minimum raise was to 18,000 and he put in the extra 1k chip that was required.

Jeppsson has a grey button up hoodie on, which covers the extremities of his face, but not his mouth and after about five seconds thinking he uttered the words, “All-in.”. His shove was for around 90,000 and Drinan took a quick back as his cards and then mucked. –NW

10:30pm: Last break of the night
Level 8 – Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Two more levels will be played after a 20-minute break. –MC

10:25pm: Chip leaders
Level 8 – Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

As we approach the end of level eight, these are the chip leaders:

Rocco Palumbo, 230,000
Justin Bonomo, 217,000
Moritz Dietrich, 209,000
Igor Kurganov, 185,000
Mihails Morozovs, 178,000
Pablo Gordillo, 170,000
Julian Herold, 170,000
Jerry Wong, 165,000
James Akenhead, 161,000
Ari Engel, 154,000
Daniel Dvoress, 152,000


Good day so far for Akenhead

10:20pm: Newey back in and Fast has kicker problems
Level 8 – Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Paul Newey’s will be back in for the last two levels of the night.

“Aces versus ace-queen,” he bemoaned with a smile upon his face. “He hit two queens!”

Dietrich Fast must’ve been a goalie in school if his last hand was anything to go by, as he had real kicker problems.

Dmitrii Panteleev opened to 2,900 from the cutoff and was called in two spots en route to a 10♥3♥Q♣ flop. Panteleev continued for 5,400 and was only check-called by Fast in the big blind. The German check-called another 15,000 on the K♥ turn before the J♥ river was checked through. Fast opened K♦9♦ and lost out to Panteleev’s A♣K♠. –MC

10:15pm: Hard to fold kings preflop
Level 8 – Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

“I almost folded when you called the four-bet there, but I didn’t have it in me,” commented Uri Reichenstein after he doubled Michiel Broskij.

Broskij had opened to 2,200 from the hijack before Reichenstein three-bet to 6,000 from the cutoff. Frederik Jensen then entered the party with a button four-bet to 15,000. Broskij just flatted but Reichenstein had no such intentions and moved all-in. Jensen folded to leave Broskij to call all-in for 49,800.

Broskij: A♣A♦
Reichenstein: K♥K♣

The board ran 10♦4♣J♣8♣8♥ and Reichenstein dropped down to around 40,000. –MC

10pm: Urban gets it wrong against Wong
Level 8 – Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

David Urban had been put to the test by Jerry Wong and it was a test that Urban didn’t look to know the answer to. The Czech player had 19,200 left and Wong had bet it all on the river of a 8♦6♣K♥6♥J♣ board.

Urban was stacking and unstacking his remaining chips as he tried to come to a clear decision. Should he fold or should he call? Eventually the clock was called and Urban committed his chips during the allotted minute. Wong showed 6♠5♠ for trip sixes and although he was beat Urban showed that he’d called with K♠Q♦.

While Urban is out, Jorma Nuutinen, Iklin Amirov and Fredrik Jensen and have all bought in. For the latter two it’s their second bullet. –NW

9:55pm: Kemper might bring out the temper in Wheeler
Level 8 – Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Rainer Kemper has doubled up after he gambled on hitting a flush on the river. The look on his opponent Jason Wheeler’s face was enough to tell us he hit.

A 4♥6♣7♥ flop was out and Wheeler led for 6,400 from the small blind. Kemper was on the button and called. Kemper had 17,400 left to play with and Wheeler asked for the lot once the K♠ turn had been delivered.

Kemper called off with A♥9♥ and Wheeler showed he was ahead with K♦Q♣. Not so after the 6♥ appeared on the river. A smiling Kemper moved up to 57,000 and Wheeler dropped to 8,900. –MC

9:45pm: Franczak cracks aces to double
Level 8 – Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

After an open to 2,200 from middle position, Dong Zhao smooth called from the hijack and Piotr Franczak then three-bet to 7,000 from the cutoff. Zhao was the only caller.

The flop fell 10♠5♣6♣ and Zhao check-called a bet of 7,000. On the 4♠ river Franczak moved all-in for 16,900 and Zhao snap called. The Polish player rolled over 10♥10♣ and Zhao revealed A♦A♥ for a slowplayed pair of aces.

He got no help on the 7♣ meaning Franczak doubled to 62,000 and Zhao drops to 15,300. –NW

9:30pm: Just a Royal Flush for Piccioli!
Level 7 – Blinds 400/800 (100 ante)

“Just a Royal Flush!” said Bryan Piccioli after Tamer Kamel called his river bet.

Piccioli opened from the hijack and Kamel defended his big blind. Both players checked the A♠10♥5♦ flop before Kamel check-called bets of 3,200 and 8,500 on the J♠10♠ turn and river. Kamel’s baby flush with 6♠2♠ was no good (obviously) against Piccioli’s K♠Q♠. Not every day you see that!


Bryan Piccioli: Royal standing

Piccioli – 53,000
Kamel – 6,600

9:20pm: Kurganov coolers El Nasr
Level 7 – Blinds 400/800 (100 ante)

Big pot. Actually big doesn’t do this pot justice, as you’ll see. It started with a raise from under-the-gun by Nasr El Nasr. He made it 1,800 to play, Glib Kovtunov then three-bet to 4,500 only for Igor Kurganov to cold four-bet from the button to 12,400 total.

The pre-flop raising wasn’t done though. El Nasr five-bet to 33,500 and Kurganov was the only caller. So there was already over 72,000 in the pot as a J♠K♦5♥ flop hit the felt. It would get bigger. El Nasr bet 24,000 and Kurganov called.

On the Q♦ turn El Nasr moved all-in. He covered Kurganov, who was facing a decision for his final 41,800. “Is there anyway you don’t have two kings here?” wondered Kurganov aloud as he pondered his decision.


Should I call…

Kurganov was antsy and kneeled on his chair as he tried to come to a decision. Perhaps it was contagious as El Nasr decided to call the clock. The floor arrived and told Kurganov he had a minute to come to a decision.


I just don’t know…

Kurganov was just over halfway through that minute when he decided to call. El Nasr looked pained, he knew he was beat. He showed A♦K♠ but it wasn’t ahead as Kurganov flipped A♠A♥. “I’ll take a chop, just don’t put a king out there,” pleaded Kurganov. The river was the J♥ and Kurganov breathed a sigh of relief as the large pot was pushed his way.

He’s up to 214,100 while El Nasr is down to 42,000. –NW

9:15pm: Officially a record breaker
Level 7 – Blinds 400/800 (100 ante)

The tournament still has more than three levels left to enter (or re-enter once) and last season’s record had already been broken. That record stood at 315 entries and at the time of publishing, the clocks says that the tournament is already up to 336 entries.

Some of the players who are on their second bullet include: Akin Tuna
Alexander Ridnik, Danut Chisu, Francois Billard, Jani Sointula, Jason Wheeler, Michel Dattani, Orpen Kisacikoglu, Pascal Hartmann, Pascal Lefrancois, Patrick Mahoney, Pavel Binar, Petr Bartagov, Ruslan Goncharov, Samuel Vousden, Scott Margereson, Simon Mattsson, Steven van Zadelhoff, Vladimir Troyanovskiy and Wiktor Malinouski. –MC

9:05pm: Top pair good for Banicevic
Level 7 – Blinds 400/800 (100 ante)

Vlado Banicevic flopped top pair in a four-way pot and that eneded up good enough to see his stack rise to 85,000.

Christopher Andler opened to 1,800 and and was called in three spots including Banicevic in the big blind. The flop came 2♣2♦Q♦ and Andler continued for 3,200. Only Andler check-called before the remaining two players checked the 4♥3♠ turn and river down. Banicevic opened Q♥J♥ and his opponent mucked. –MC

8:50pm: Take and give with kings for Sergeev
Level 7 – Blinds 400/800 (100 ante)

“You tricky Russian,” joked Vicente Delgado to Sergey Sergeev while the two players were embroiled in a big pot. As usual with Delgado it was said with a wide grin and it elicited a laugh from Sergeev and most of the rest of the table.

The latter was all-in for 42,800 and there was already a bet of 20,600 in front of Delgado. “I have a five but I have to call,” chortled Delgado. He did call and then the cards were turned over:

Delgado: A♣5♣
Sergeev: K♠K♣

The 9♠Q♠5♦ flop gave Delgado some additional outs but he hit neither the 6♦ turn or Q♥ river. That hand dropped Delgado to 15,000 and doubled Sergeev to around 87,500.
The Russian player didn’t keep all those chips for long though as on the next hand he played a three-bet pot against Samy Ouellani. The French player three-bet to 4,700 pre-flop and Sergeev, who’d already wagered 1,800, put in the required calling chips.

On a J♠3♠Q♥ flop Sergeev checked, Ouellani fired out 4,500 and Sergeev called. The J♥ turn was checked through and the 9♠ landed on the river. Sergeev riffled some chips for a few seconds and then bet 7,700. Ouellani snap called with K♣K♥ and had Sergeev’s 2♣2♦ crushed.

Pot to Ouellani. –NW

8:45pm: Pyzara trusts his instincts
Level 7 – Blinds 400/800 (100 ante)

Kacper Pyzara agonised over a river call. He had the look of a man who knew he should call but couldn’t figure out why. He ended up flicking in a call and was proved right.

He had opened from UTG+1 and Gerald Karlic defended his big blind. The flop spread K♣10♠4♣ and both players checked. That was all the invitation Karlic needed to bet 2,400 on the 2♣ turn and 6,200 on the 3♠ river. Pyzara called both times, taking a lot longer on the river.

Karlic opened A♥4♥ and tapped then table upon seeing Pyzara’s 9♥9♠. The former dropped to 25,000 and the latter grew to 77,000. –MC

8:30pm: Four more levels for tonight
Level 7 – Blinds 400/800 (100 ante)

The players are back in their seats for level 7 of the day. They’ll play another three after that before bagging up for the day. Registration will stay open until the start of Day 2. –MC

7:13pm: Dinner time

A swarm of high rollers is about to exit the Hilton and spread through the Prague night in search of grub. We might join them, actually. See you back here in 75 mins. –JS

7:02PM: Not too late to enter, bro
Level 6 – Blinds 300/600 (100 ante)

Mutsapha Kanit has become the 310th entry into this tournament. He’s one of the new entries, so if he busts, can re-enter up until the beginning of Day 2 tomorrow.

He joined Nick Petrangelo’s table and thought the American looked sad. “I’m not sad!” replied Petrangelo. “I like this time of year. I like snow!” –MC

7pm: Khoroshenin can’t call
Level 6 – Blinds 300/600 (100 ante)

There was already a sizeable pot of 55,000 in the middle by the time Oleksii Khoroshenin and Artem Kobylinskiy reached the river. A full board of Q♠2♠7♦9♣Q♦ was on the felt and Kobylinskiy moved all-in for around 30,000.

Khoroshenin took a couple of minutes to make his decision, but he settled on a fold and the pot went to Kobylinskiy. –NW

6:58pm: Malec in the house
Level 6 – Blinds 300/600 (100 ante)

EPT13 Barcelona Main Event champion Sebastian Malec is in this thing today, and he’s had a great start so far. In his last hand he lost a couple to Jason Wheeler though; Malec opened to 1,400 on the button, Wheeler defended his big blind, Malec continued for 1,200 on an 8♥3♦J♥ flop after it checked him, and Wheeler shoved for 12,000. Malec folded.

Despite that, he still has a healthy stack of 97,000, almost double the starting stack. –JS

6:52pm: Big stack watch
Level 6 – Blinds 300/600 (100 ante)

By my reckoning, nine players have (at least) more than doubled their 50k starting stack so far. They are:

Andrey Kotelnikov – 210,000
Rocco Palumbo – 140,000
Igor Yaroshevskyy – 138,000
Nasr El Nasr – 130,000
Kenny Hallaert – 124,000
Dario Sammartino – 117,000
Roman Emelyanov – 112,000
Alexandros Vlachakis – 108,000
Conor Beresford – 104,000


Kotelnikov’s in front

6:46pm: Finger and Thorel
Level 6 – Blinds 300/600 (100 ante)

‘Finger and Thorel’ sounds like it could be an Odd Couple style sitcom; a Steptoe and Son for the poker world. They’re sat next to each other right now, and there’s a comedic chemistry between them.


Start writing a theme tune, guys

In this hand Viktor Ustimov opened to 1,400 under the gun and it folded to Kacper Pyzara on the button. He flat called, and the action was on Martin Finger in the small blind. Jean-Noel Thorel didn’t know that though, and he then three-bet squeezed to 5,600. Both had a laugh at his mistake.

Finger insisted the bet had to stay unless the action changed, and he then flat-called the 1,400 from the small blind, so Thorel’s raise came into play. Both Ustimov and Pyzara folded, and Finger obviously made a quick call, as he knew he’d have to in order to see a flop.

It fell K♣7♦7♥ and both checked. The turn was the Q♠ and when Finger checked, Thorel continued for 9,000. Finger quickly folded and has 34,000, while Thorel is up to 36,000. –JS

6:40pm: Danchev value cuts himself
Level 6 – Blinds 300/600 (100 ante)

There’s a fair chance this pot could’ve got a lot bigger had Peter Roche or Dimitar Danchev played any of the streets more aggressively.

The pot was opened by Danchev, he made it 1,550 from the hijack, Roche three-bet to 5,000 from the button and Danchev called. On the 5♦4♠9♣ flop Roche c-bet 5,000 and Danchev stuck around.

The K♠ fell on the turn and the action checked through to the Q♦ river. Danchev led for 9,500 and Roche quickly called. Danchev opened A♦K♦ and looked like he fully expected to take the pot down, but Roche held A♥A♣ and took the pot. –NW

6:30pm: Kamatakis’ last second decision
Level 6 – Blinds 300/600 (100 ante)

Iliodoros Kamatakis had opened, been three-bet to 4050 by Fady Kamar, and then had his four-bet to 11,200 five-bet shoved on by Kamar for 43,275.

He was in the tank, and trying to get a read. He stacked all his chips up and wraps his fingers and thumbs around them like he was about to slide them in, but they remained where they were. Eventually after a couple of minutes someone called the clock, and Kamatakis had it count all the way down to the last few seconds before he let his hand go.

He left himself with 24,000, while Kamar is up to 54,000. –JS

6:25pm: Spread out
Level 6 – Blinds 300/600 (100 ante)

As mentioned below the size of the field is simply ridiculous. It’s had a knock-on effect of logistics and where to put all the High Rollers. The main area is now full, so it means they’ve had to commander a set of six tables that’s just to the left of the EPT Main Event TV set.

Four of the six tables are currently in use with James Akenhead, Sylvain Loosli, Dietrich Fast, Samuel Vousden, Martin Finger, Jean-Noel Thorel, Simon Deadman, Hossein Ensan, Thomas Muehloecker and Lucas Greenwood among the players who’re in the overspill area. –NW

6:20pm: Thank the Angel Gabriel for that wet board
Level 5 – Blinds 250/500 (75 ante)

A very wet board stopped this hand being a car crash for Thomas Gabriel after he hit a smaller set than the one belonging to Aliaksei Boika.

Boika opened to 1,200 from under the gun, receiving calls from David Yan (cutoff) and Gabriel (big blind). The flop fanned 5♣8♠J♣ and all three checked to the 7♣ turn. Gabriel tanked before leading out for 2,600. He was only called by Boika before the 9♠ completed the board. Gabriel tank-checked and Boika quickly followed suit. Gabriel opened 7♦7♥ and he laughed along with Boika when the latter opened J♦J♥. –MC

6:10pm: How high will we go?
Level 5 – Blinds 250/500 (75 ante)

This tournament is already big, the only question now is how much bigger will it get? The 2015 edition attracted 315 players in total. 252 of those entries were unique and there were also 63 re-entries.

We’ve already got the number of unique entries for last year licked as the field has swelled to 294 and, as far as we can tell, that number features just seven re-entries. So that’s 288 unique players and counting. Romain Lewis – who cashed for €13,830 in the Main Event – is the latest player to join this bulging tournament. –NW

6:04pm: Testing the Pads
Level 5 – Blinds 250/500 (50 ante)

Patrick Leonard is a pretty recent addition to this tournament, and he’s been put to the test early on by Maxim Lykov.

Vlad Darie started the hand with an open to 1,200 which Leonard then three-bet to 3,400. Lykov was on the button and he came in for a cold four-bet to 7,500, which got rid of Darie but got Leonard to call.

The dealer spread a 3♠7♣4♠ flop which Leonard checked, before calling a 10,000 c-bet. The turn was then the K♦, and when Leonard checked again Lykov made a big betr of 34,000. It wasn’t quite an all-in as he’d kept some chips behind, but it was certainly all of the Russian’s big chips. It was also for just about all of Leonard’s chips too.

Eventually he folded, keeping hold of his 35m,000. Lykov took the pot and is up to 70,000. –JS

6pm: Big pairs for Newey and Mahoney
Level 5 – Blinds 250/500 (75 ante)

Patrick Mahoney and Paul Newey had queens and aces respectively. Both won their pots.

Mahoney squeezed from the big blind preflop and was called by both opponents. He led for 5,600 a 6♥K♣3♥ flop and was called in one spot. The board ran out J♦7♥ and was checked down. He opened Q♥Q♣ and was grateful to see his opponent muck.

Newey had made the river versus Alexandr Komarov and the board read 5♠10♦5♣Q♠6♣. Komarov led for 2,000 from the big blind and called after Newey raised to 5,900. Newey opened A♦A♥ and rose to 75,000 after Komarov mucked. –MC

5:50pm: No luck for Lauck
Level 5 – Blinds 250/500 (75 ante)

We’re up to 286 players now in the High Roller, but Jonas Lauck isn’t among them. He was just eliminated in a big pot against Anthony Ziino. Lauck bet 9,900 on the river of a 7♥5♠J♠10♣K♦ board and Zinno raised to 30,000.

That was enough to set Lauck all-in and the German did make the call. Zinno showed A♣Q♥ for the nuts. Lauck had been ahead all the way to the river with 10♠7♠ but his two pair was no good here. –NW

5:47pm: Schemion does his best Kassouf impression
Level 5 – Blinds 250/500 (75 ante)

While there have been guises of Ole Schemion over the years, we’ve never seen him try to be anyone but himself. His career as an impressionist started right here folks.

He opened to 1,400 and it folded to Will Kassouf in the big blind who folded, showing the 6♦2♥.

“Five high like a boss!” said Schemion, as he turned over the 5♥4♥.

“Ahhh but you had the flush draw!” Kassouf came back.


Schemion: a man of many talents

A couple of hands later and Schemion waa raising again. He made it 1,200 this time and got a call from both the blinds, Eliyau Saado and Oliver Weis. The flop came down 3♣Q♥2♠ and it checked to Schemion who continued for 1,500. Only Saado called.

Off to the turn they went. It came the 5♣ and – as so often happens on turn cards – both checked it. The river was the A♦ and this time when Saado checked Schemion fired 3,000. After a minute or so Saado called, buit mucked when the German showed his A♥8♥ for a rivered pair of rockets.

Saado dropped to 75,000 after that one, while Schemion increased to 66,000. –JS

5:40pm: A collection of folds
Level 5 – Blinds 250/500 (75 ante)

It’s never nice to have Vladimir Troyanovskiy giving you the stare-down, especially if he’s sat in the next seat. Some say the Russian can read souls. If he can then Saar Wilf has no soul, or a great defence, or he had it.

Wilf bet 7,500 from the cutoff with the board reading 9♣5♠2♥K♣ and Troyanovskiy called after a short stare-down. Wilf wasted little time in betting 20,000 on the K♦ river and that time he got the real–deal stare-down from his Russian opponent. Troyanovskiy eventually folded to drop to 40,000. Wilf rose to 80,000.

Sylvain Loosli also folded in a hand, but his was preflop. Fady Kamar opened from UTG+1 before Loosli three-bet to 3,600 off the button. Kamar came back with a four-bet to 8,800 and that was good enough.

Then there was a river fold. A 9♣5♠K♣10♥K♥ board was out and Maksim Nosenko led for 14,000 from the big blind. Niklas Hambitzer was his opponent in the hand, thought for a while, then binned his hand. –MC

5:30pm: Good call from Greenwood
Level 5 – Blinds 250/500 (75 ante)

The action to the river is unknown but there was 13,625 in the pot by the time Lucas Greenwood and Albert Daher reached the river of a 5♦Q♣3♦J♠9♠ board. Greenwood (big blind) checked to Daher (cutoff) and he set Greenwood all-in for the Canadian’s final 18,100.

There was no instant move of any kind by Greenwood, instead he carefully considered what he was going to do. He spent a long time over the decision and eventually the clock was called.

He now had one minute to act, but before the 10 second countdown began Greenwood decided to call. Daher’s face told you all you needed to know, he turned over A♣2♦ for just ace high. Greenwood opened Q♠10♣ for a good call. –NW


The face of a man who made the right call

4:55pm: Break it up
Level 4 – Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

The players are on their second break of the day.

4:50pm: Castaignon gives to Akenhead, then takes from Viera
Level 4 – Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

James Akenhead has moved up to 75,000 after he got Remi Castaignon to fold on the river.

Somehow over 25k had made it into the middle by the time a 10♥7♦Q♣ flop was delivered. Both players checked to the Q♣ turn where Akenhead bet 7,600 from the cutoff. Castaignon check-called from the small blind to see the 8♠ river where he checked to face another 13,300. Fold.


James Akendhead: looking for his 4th cash on the festival

Castaignon was on the button the next hand and called a raise to 1,200 from Joao Vieira. The flop fell A♦K♥A♥ and Viera continued for 1,625. Castaignon called and both players checked the 3♠ turn. The river was the Q♥ and Castaignon took Viera off the pot with a 1,500 bet. He moved up to 36,000 and Viera dropped to a still large 96,000. –MC

4:45pm: Yan busts Timofeev
Level 4 – Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

While Denis Timofeev might have round one (see 4:25pm post), David Yan just landed a knockout blow. I picked up the action on the turn of a K♦3♥9♥J♦ board to see Timofeev betting 5,500. It looked, if anything, to be more than a pot size bet (unless a 5k chip was hidden under a smaller denomination chip). Yan thought for a short while and then made the call.

The 6♦ completed the board, Yan checked and Timofeev moved all-in for around 14,000. Yan took just a few seconds to call and showed K♣6♥. It was good as Timofeev had A♥7♥ for the busted flush draw. With that pot Yan climbs to 70,000. –NW

4:36pm: Norbert’s no more
Level 4 – Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

It’s been a short and not very sweet tournament for Norbert Szecsi. He opened to 1,000 under the gun, but was three-bet by Niklas Astedt to 3,300. Asi Moshe was in the small blind and he called to see a flop, as did Szecsi.

The three community cards they shared were the 7♣8♣5♣, and it checked to the raiser. Astedt fired for 6,000, and this time only Szecsi called to see the 3♥ turn. It checked to Astedt once again, and he fired another street for 11,500. Call.

Finally the 4♦ fell on the river and Szecsi checked yet again. Astedt bet 35,000, which was more than Szecsi had behind, and after a minute or so of thinking he made the call.

Astedt turned over the K♣9♣. “Flush?” asked Szecsi, and he mucked when the bad news was confirmed. He made a quick exit, while Astedt is up to 110,000 now. –JS

4:30pm: Boeree still tired but in the black
Level 4 – Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

She may still be tired, battling jet lag after her flight in from Las Vegas, but Liv Boeree has gotten her stack up to 56,500 after making a straight and getting paid.

Around 18,000 had made it into the middle by the time the board read A♠8♦7♥10♣7♣. Dietrich Fast checked from early position and then tank-called after the Team PokerStars Pro bet 10,500. She opened J♠9♠ and Fast dropped to 42,000. –MC


Boeree straightned out Fast

4:25pm: David Yanboozeled
Level 4 – Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

“What’s your working title for that one?” asked Max Silver. He then offered up the title above and we’re happy to go with it as it was an odd for David Yan to lose.

We picked up the action on the flop where three players were still involved. It read 8♣7♣7♥ and Yan led out for 11,100 from the big blind. Denis Timofeev called from middle position and Dario Sammartino folded from the small blind. Timofeev only had 3,800 behind and he tank-called them off on the 4♦ turn after Yan set him in.

Yan quickly opened A♦A♠ and saw he was up against J♥10♥ for two useless over cards and a gutshot draw. The river was – you guessed it – the 9♣ to make the Russian’s straight.

Silver giggled and said he thought it was coming. Yan said he didn’t see it coming and dropped to around 60,000. –MC

4:15pm: Aido almost back to starting stack
Level 4 – Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

A big pot had developed between Ali Reza Fatehi and Sergio Aido. They’d reached the river of a Q♥3♣5♥6♣7♣ board and there was around 15,000 in the middle. Fatehi bet 13,500, Aido instantly moved in for 14,600 and Fatehi called the extra.

The players are at opposite ends of the table so Fatehi had to lean forward to see that Aido had A♣4♣ for the nut flush. Fatehi had A♠4♦ for a strong, but second best hand. After that pot Aido is back to around 45,000 while Fatehi drops to 58,000. –NW

4pm: Adams vs Chouity vs Katchalov
Level 4 – Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Timothy Adams opened to 800 in the cutoff and Nicolas Chouity called from the small blind. Eugene Katchalov was in the big, and he three-bet squeezed to 2,300, which both called. A 4♣10♦2♦ flop was spread, and it checked to Katchalov. He continued for 3,700, which got rid of Adams but kept Chouity hanging around.

The turn came the 5♠ and both checked it, resulting in a 4♦ river. When Chouity checked again, Katchalov made an 8,500 bet, and took it down. Katchalov has 38,000, Chouity has 37,000, and Adams is lowest with 17,000. –JS

3:50pm: It’s a Kitai
Level 3 – Blinds 150/300 (50 ante)

Davidi Kitai opened under the gun to 600 and was three-bet to 1,250 by Niklas Hambitzer. It folded back to Kitai who made the call, and the flop fell 4♣6♠5♦. The Belgian checked, Hambitzer continued for 1,650, and got a call.

The dealer burned and turned the 7♣ and both checked to the 3♠ river, which put a straight on board. Kitai led out 5,400 but Hambitzer called. Kitai had the Q♠5♠ or a pair of fives that became a straight, while Hambitzer had the 7♥7♦ and his turned set was counterfieted by the board. Chop it up. –JS

3:42pm: Reichenstein takes it down
Level 3 – Blinds 150/300 (50 ante)

You might remember Uri Reichenstein from his runner-up finish in the EPT13 Barcelona Main event, eventually busting in that epic final hand against champion Sebastian Malec.

Reichenstein is in the mix here today, and just won a nice pot. It started with an open from Vladas Tamasauskas, which was called by Pasquale Grimaldi. Reichenstein then bumped it up to 2,600, and both called.

The flop fell 3♦10♠3♣ and it checked to the last raiser. Reichenstein continiued for 3,300, but this time only Tamasauskas called to see the 8♦ turn. The Lithuanian checked one last time and Reichenstein made it 10.500, which was enough to get a fold.

He’s up to 54,500, while Tamasauskas is down to 33,000. –JS

3:25pm: Another one for Liv
Level 3 – Blinds 150/300 (50 ante)

The board showed Q♠7♣7♠10♥ and Liv Boeree checked it to Dietrich Fast. He made a bet of 1,500 and the Team Pro called.

A J♥ river card caused both to check and Boeree showed K♦Q♣, which got Fast to muck. –JS

3:15pm: No more names
Level 3 – Blinds 150/300 (50 ante)

Look guys, I can’t keep doing this. There are just two many players now.

OK – five more names. Ole Schemion, Timothy Adams, Jason Wheeler, Pierre Calamusa and Rocco Palumbo have all now entered.

Will Kassouf was just moved to Schemion’s table, and the two were involved straight away. Schemion made it 900 in the cutoff, before Tomi Brouk of Finland three-bet to 3,500 out of the small blind. Kassouf called from the big blind, but Schemion folded.

The flop came down K♣8♦8♠ and Brouk opted not to c-bet. Kassouf started thinking.

“OK, I’ve gotta see where I’m at,” he said, and he led out for 3,600. Brouk instantly folded, causing Kassouf to say “Woooowwwww!”

He then turned to Schemion. “I had you beat,” he told the German. “Of course!” Schemion replied. Kassouf is up to 67,000 now. –JS


Nice start for Kassouf

3:06pm: Big pot for Boeree
Level 3 – Blinds 150/300 (50 ante)

Liv Boeree has just increased her starting by more than 50%. The board showed the 6♦9♦4♥5♣4♣ and Ari Engel checked it to the Team Pro, with around 33,000 already in the middle. Boeree made a bet of 21,000, and after a two or three minute tank Engel folded.

Boeree has 78,000 now, while Engel still has above the starting stack with 58,000. –JS

3pm: Names (part eight)
Level 3 – Blinds 150/300 (50 ante)

Sergey Lebedev, Jean-Noel Thorel, and Roberto Romanello are just a few of the names that keep flooding in for this one. There’s currently a big queue of newbies waiting to get their seat draw. –JS

2:54pm: More and more
Level 3 – Blinds 150/300 (50 ante)

We’re back from break, and the tournament screen is now showing 188 entrants. –JS

2:31pm: Break time

Players have gone on their first 20-minute break of the day. Back in a bit. –JS

2:31pm: Kurganov loses a few
Level 2 – Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Simon Ravnsbaek opened to 525 and got two callers, one of whom was Igor Kurganov in the big blind. The three saw a 7♠A♣4♣ flop, and when Kurganov checked Ravnsbaek continued for 900. It folded to Kurganov, and he raised it up to 3,300. It didn’t take Ravnsbaek long to call.

A Q♠ turn hit the felt, and Kurganov opted not to carry on betting. He checked it, and Rasvnsbaek resumed control with a 5,200 wager. Kurganov let his hand go. –JS

2:24pm: Names (part seven)
Level 2 – Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Steve O’Dwyer, Joao Vieira, Oli Price, Tim Reilly, David Yan, and Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree are all now in. Boeree is currently the sole representative of the red spade in this event. Meanwhile, Felipe Mojave Ramos is deep in the Main Event just a couple of tables over. –JS


…We’re not sure either

2:15pm: Battle of the Brits
Level 2 – Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

When we arrived at table Will Kassouf had a three-bet to 1,800 in front of him (as well as the dealer button), and James Akenhead had a four-bet to 6,500 out in front of him. Whoever it was that opened the pot was long gone.

“Are you really that good?” asked Kassouf. “Ace king right?”

Akenhead didn’t respond, but Kassouf made the call anyway. The flop fell 5♦5♥7♣ and Akenhead continued for 5,500, which after a bit of thinking Kassouf called. The dealer put out the 10♠ on the turn, and the action slowed, with both checking.

Finally they saw the 4♦ land, but it would inspire no more action. Akenhead showed the Q♦J♦ not queen high with the pair of fives, but Kassouf had the Q♠Q♥ and took it down. Akenhead drops to 22,300, while Kassouf is up to 60,500. –JS

2:05pm: Neuville takes from Finger
Level 2 – Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

We arrived with an A♦3♥6♠ flop showing, which Pierre Neuville had checked to Martin Finger. The German led out for 1,900, and Neuville called.

The turn was the J♣ and when the Belgian checked again Finger bet big. He made it 5,800, but it didn’t take long for Finger to call. The river came the J♠, and when Neuville checked again Finger gave up, checking back. Neuville showed the A♠K♣, and Finger mucked. –JS


Neuville, happy as usual

1:58pm: Blind vs blind, Mandic vs Heath
Level 2 – Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

It folded around to Goran Mandic in the small blind, who glanced up at the big blind of Ben Heath. He popped it up to 700, and Heath made the call.

They went to a 10♦6♥A♠ flop and Mandic continued for 500, which Heath called quickly, resulting in an A♦ turn. Both checked.

The board was completed by the K♠ river, but there’d be no more action. Mandic showed the J♠8♦ for air, while Heath had a pair in the hole with his 8♥8♣. Heath took it down. –JS

1:50pm: Names (part six)
Level 2 – Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Sergio Aido, Sergey Sergeev, Martin Finger, Vladas Tamasauskas, Martin Kozlov, Max Silver, Ben Heath, Connor Drinan (who down the Barcelona edition of this tournament in August), Anthony Zinno, and Preben Stokkan are your latest notables. –JS

1:43pm: Banic down
Level 2 – Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

It’s been a tough start for Ivan Banic in this event. He’s down to just 15,000 from his 50,000 starting stack already. –JS

1:38pm: Kassoufing it up
Level 2 – Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Will Kassouf is here, and in one of his first hands we defended his big blind against a 475 under-the-gun open from Alexander Ivarsson. They saw a 2♦5♠Q♦ flop, and when the Brit checked Ivarsson made a 650 c-bet.

“OK, I’m gonna let you have it,” said Kassouf as he folded.

“I wanna see this hand!” Nicholas Palma, pointing to Kassouf’s mucked cards.

“What, I had a little piece. I had middle pair,” Kassouf claimed.

“There’s no way. I would bet my life you didn’t,” said Palma. –JS

1:32pm: Engel takes a nice pot
Level 2 – Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Picking up the action on a 4♦5♥8♣ flop, Ari Engel checked, as did Konstantin Puchkov, which let Wiktor Malinsouski make a bet of 650. Engel then raised it up to 2,300, which got a call from Puchkov, while Malinouski let it go.

The turn was the 3♠ and Engel continued down his aggressive line with a 4,200 wager, which Puchkov called once more, taking them to the K♦ river. Engel made it 8,600 at this stage, but Puchkov had enough and folded. Engel is up to 63,500 now. –JS

1:25pm: How do you say it?
Level 1 – Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Nicholas Palma was just having a bit of trouble ordering his lunch. The waiter didn’t understand what he was asking for, and his next door (and new entrant) Kristen Bicknell started giggling.

“What’s weird about what I’m saying?”

“You’re emphasising the wrong part of the word. It’s not gou-lash, it’s gou-lash.”

“Well that’s pretty close!” –JS

1:20pm: Names (part five)
Level 1 – Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Simon Deadman and Sam Greenwood (who took down the second unofficial €25K Super High Roller a few nights ago) are the latest notables to sit. –JS

1:13pm: More from Farrell
Level 1 – Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Every time we’ve seen Niall Farrell in a pot so far he’s been three-betting. This time Daniel Dvoress opened to 600 under the gun and Farrell bumped it up to 1,800 on the button. Dvoress called and they went to a 7♥4♣9♥ flop, which both checked.

The turn came the Q♣ and Dvoress checked again. Farrell slowly counted out a bet and made it 2,700, which got a fold. –JS


Farrell came to play

1:08pm: Names (part four)
Level 1 – Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Igor Kurganov, Pierre Neuville (who finished second in the Malta edition of this event in October), Dietrich Fast, Ali Reza Fatehi (who finished second in the unofficial third €25K Super High Roller last night), and Thomas Muehloecker have all taken their seats. –JS

12:58pm: Can I get the check, please?
Level 1 – Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Steven Vabn Zadelhoff opened to 500 under the gun and it folded around to Roman Koronev in the big blind who defended. They saw a 3♣10♣9♣ flop and it checked to the Dutchman, who continued for 600. Koronev called.

The turn was the A♥, and the action was on Korenev. A minute or two went by. Nothing.

“Did you check?” asked Van Zadelhoff. “Yes, I checked!” replied Korenev, and the two shared a laugh. Nobody had noticed, not even the dealer.

With the action on Van Zadelhoff he tossed out two 1K chips and announced a bet, but Korenev quickly folded. –JS

12:50pm: Names (part three)
Level 1 – Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Daniel Dvoress, Dimitar Danchev, Ivan Banic, Paul Newey (wearing a face mask), William Kassouf (nine high like a boss who didn’t get punched by a Russian this week), Steven Van Zadelhoff, Pascal Hartmann, Saar Wilf, Akin Tuna, WSOP 2016 November Niner Kenny Hallaert, Vladimir Troyanovskiy, Julian Stuer, Lucas Blanco, Dominik Nitsche, and Rocco Palumbo are all now in. They’re up to 90 players. –JS

12:40pm: Farrell starts strong
Level 1 – Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

After an under-the-gun 600 open from Saar Wilf, Niall Farrell three-bet it to 1,350 on the button and Wilf called. They saw a 9♣A♣7♥ flop which both checked, taking us to the 5♦ turn. Farrell then bet 1,500 as a delayed c-bet when it checked to him, and Wilf folded. The table is currently only four handed. –JS

12:35pm: Names (part two)
Level 1 – Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Ari Engel, Senh Ung, Mikita Badziakouski, Jani Sointula, Isaac Hacxton, James Akenhead, Marc MacDonell, Alex Papazian are all in. We’ll keep the names coming. –JS

12:30pm: Ready to go
Level 1 – Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Cards are now in the air. Justin Bonomo, Adrian Mateos, Niall Farrell, Dermot Blain, and Luc Greenwood are just a few of the names who were in their seats early. Players are flooding in now, so we’ll be back with a more extensive list of names in a bit. –JS

12:20pm: Big turnout expected

There are currently around 25 tables prepared for this event. Now we just need the players to fill them. Play begins in just ten minutes, stick around. –JS

11am: Last ever EPT €10K High Roller

Good morning everyone. We hope you’re well-rested. We’re going to need all the energy we can muster today, because the last ever European Poker Tour €10,000 High Roller kicks off soon, and if it follows the suit of our other big events here in Prague, then it’s set to be huge.


Looking back to last season (which turned out to be the penultimate), it was Kenneth Smaron of the USA who took this event down, banking €595,500 and besting a final table that included Jaroslaw Sikora, Iliodoros Kamatakis, Dan Cates, Rocco Palumbo, and Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Selbst. That event had 315 entries (252 unique and 63 re-entries), creating a prize pool of €3,055,500.


Last year’s champ Kenneth Smaron

Can we beat that today and go even bigger? Only time will tell. Players start with a 50,000 starting stack, and the plan for the day is to play ten 60-minute levels, with a 75-minute dinner break after Level 6. Our live coverage starts at 12:30pm, and we’ll be bringing you all the action from the tournament over the next three days as we play down to a winner. –JS

PokerStars Blog reporting team on the EPT13 Prague €10K High Roller: Nick Wright, Marc Convey and Jack Stanton. Photography by Tomas Stacha and Mickey May. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog.

If you haven’t got one already, click here to open a PokerStars account.

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

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


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