EPT13 Prague: Meijer Van Putten leads, but Peters lurks with 18 left

December 17, 2016


Jasper Meijer Van Putten: Leads the last 18

There are only 18 players left with the chance to etch their names in the history books of the European Poker Tour. After a long day at EPT Prague, the final stop after 13 years of the tour, a field of 1,192 has been whittled all the way down to those last three tables–and tomorrow they’ll be sliced further to a final six.

Today we lost the last two men who had the chance to win their second title: both Max Lykov and Salvatore Bonavena were knocked out. That leaves Victoria Coren-Mitchell as the only player who will ever win two of these titles, and presumably she’s celebrating somewhere in London having not made the trip to Prague.


Salvatore Bonavena: Bounced

One wonders whether the two-time anomaly would have endured for so long had David Peters been playing on the tour since its inception. The brilliant American player, who has made no fewer than 21 final tables in 2016, kept hold of his chip lead for about three quarters of today, and remains in the top three going into the penultimate day. He finished 12th on his EPT debut, aged 19 in 2007, but hasn’t played all of them since then.


The brilliant David Peters

Peters is still likely the favourite for this event, even if both Jasper Meijer Van Putten and Marius Gierse edged ahead of him in the late stages tonight.

Van Putten knocked out Anton Afanasyev with Jacks to Afansyev’s Ace-King just after the dinner break, which gave him a mighty stack, and then won a million-plus pot against Andrew Hulme in the last level, which put his right to the top of the counts. He has already bettered his best EPT performance (52nd in Barcelona this year) and isn’t done yet.

Here’s how they line up going into the penultimate day.

Name Country Status Chips
Jasper Meijer Van Putten Netherlands PokerStars player 3,770,000
Marius Gierse Germany PokerStars qualifier 3,375,000
David Peters USA PokerStars player 2,985,000
Marton Czuczor Hungary PokerStars player 2,935,000
Stefan Fabian Romania Live satellite winner 2,635,000
Kiryl Radzivonau Belarus PokerStars player 2,590,000
David Lopez Llacer Spain PokerStars qualifier 2,220,000
Andrew Hulme UK   2,205,000
Sam Cohen USA   2,065,000
Sergei Petrushevskii Russia Live satellite winner 1,945,000
Janos Kurtosi Hungary PokerStars player 1,635,000
Apostolos Bechrakis Greece PokerStars qualifier 1,515,000
Cristinel Dumitru Romania   1,400,000
Jukka Paloniemi Finland   1,100,000
Josip Vidovic Croatia PokerStars player 705,000
Martin Kabrhel Czech Republic   640,000
Felipe Ramos Brazil Team PokerStars Pro 525,000
Gang Wang China   150,000

Again, let’s take our hats off to Felipe Ramos, the only player still in the field from Team PokerStars Pro. He endured some ups and downs today, most of it beneath the EPT Live studio lights (and in close proximity to the volatile and voluble Martin Kabrhel). But Ramos still also has his maiden EPT final table in his sights.


Felipe Ramos: Flying the Team Pro flag

Everyone who has been paid already can be seen on the payouts page. Be sure to join us tomorrow for more Main Event and High Roller action.

Tomorrow we’ll need to lose two thirds of the field and then our final table will be set. In the meantime, have a look back through a fun-filled and action-packed day in the coverage below.

Day 4 coverage archive:

12:05am: Play ends on Day 4

The clock has run down and 18 players are now bagging up chips for the night. A full report of the day will appear here shortly. — SB

11:55m: What do we do with a problem like Kahbrel
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (5,000 ante)

Martin Kabrhel is becoming a polarising figure right now. By that we mean it’s Kabrhel against, well, almost everybody else.
He’s arrived at an outer table to fill a space, and while he played a hand the details of that are not all that relevant. What is, is that some players believe he’s deliberately stalling (he was doing the same on EPT Live so you can decide for yourself). And to watch him it’s hard not to wonder if they have a point.

The hand involved Kabrhel, Stefan Fabian and Kiryl Radzivonau, who very quickly grew tired of Kabhrel’s table talk, but his efforts to call the clock were rebuffed (rightly) by Luca Vivaldi on the grounds that it was too soon. But a minute later the second request was granted, to Kabhrel’s irritation.

Kabhrel’s defence is that he has a decision to make, but it’s a defence losing legitimacy with each agonising hand. What followed was a lengthy conversation with the floor staff. If he didn’t like the answer he insisted on replying. If he had no answer, he insists on quiet, and that this is discussed at some time later.

“This is almost unreasonable,” said Vivaldi. Kabrhel started talking again. “Martin, you keep talking, but do you understand what I said?

Right now, ten minute later, Kabrhel is still arguing with Vivaldi, who is now permanently stationed at the table. That alone is usually a sign that something is going wrong. – SB

11:45pm: Kiriopoulos’s vigil ends
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (5,000 ante)

Demosthenes Kiriopoulos had the table demeanour of a man with a short stack and a very simple either/or game-plan. He was practically laying down, his feet on the empty chair beside him, with a face that said nothing so much as “I’m shoving soon and am prepared to go home.”


Demosthenes Kiriopoulos: Finally got the chips in

And, yes, he is heading back to his hotel room now. He had only about 350,000 and got it in with 10♦10♠ against David Lopez Llacer’s A♥Q♥. There was an ace on the flop, and Kiriopoulos hit the rail in 19th. — HS

11:40pm: Cohen jams and is jammed on, then jams and doubles
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (5,000 ante)

While there’s a chess match going on on Table 2, it’s a bit more shove or fold on Table 1. Sam Cohen has been central to some of the recent action, both profiting from and being on the receiving end of the aggro.

After Stefan Fabian opened a pot to 80,000, Cohen raised to 225,000 from the cutoff. Action then got to David Lopez Llacer in the big blind and he jammed for 775,000. Fabian folded, then Cohen folded.

Not long later, Kiryl Radzivonau opened to 90,000 and Fabian called on the button. Cohen then shoved from the big blind for 855,000 and both her opponents got out of the way.


Sam Cohen moving through the gears

That was mere flirtation, however, because the real deal was soon to come. Cohen opened to 85,000 from early postion and Fabian put in a three-bet. Cohen shipped for about 1 million and Fabian called.

Cohen: 10♣10♦
Fabian: A♦Q♣

The board was all low–2♠8♥6♣7♣2♣–and that scored a big double for Cohen. She now has 2 million. –HS

11:35pm: Delahunty perishes as Meijer Van Putten rivers best
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (5,000 ante)

At this stage in proceedings, with the clock ticking down until the end of play and a few perilous short stacks in the room, we are usually expecting any “All in, call!” shouts to come pre-flop. That’s the excuse reason for having pretty much missed all of the details about what happened in the hand on Table 2 that just accounted for Darren Delahunty.

It seemed that they played the hand in slow motion, between Delahunty, in the big blind, and Jasper Meijer Van Putten in the cutoff. It didn’t even seem to be a particularly big pot until the river, when suddenly Delahunty’s total 500,000 chip stack found its way in.

The board read J♥2♣9♠10♠3♦ and Delahunty had rivered a pair with his A♦3♣. However that river had been gin for Meijer Van Putten. He had 3♥3♠.

With that, Delahunty heads away to collect his €34,630 for 20th. — HS

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

We just got to enjoy one of those big stack chess matches of a hand between Andrew Hulme and Jasper Meijer Van Putten.

Hulme opened for 85,000 on the button which Meijer Van Putten called form the big blind for a flop of 4♣8♥7♥.

Meijer Van Putten checked, but when Hulme bet 95,000 he raised to 270,000. After a pause to think it over Hulme called.

van_putten_prague_17dec16.jpgJasper Meijer Van Putten

On the 9♠ turn Meijer Van Putten went straight to his stack, betting 380,000 this time. Slowly Hulme amassed the chips he’d need to call and pushed them forward.

Now the 5♥ river card. Straights and flushes were all over the place but we wouldn’t get to see which. Meijer Van Putten bet 555,000, an amount that left him a million behind. Hulme, with 1.6 million back thought long and hard but eventually folded with a “hmm.”

A great hand to watch, and one that puts Meijer Van Putten up to 3.1 million chips. – SB

11:10pm: Obreshkov out
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (5,000 ante)

We lose another player, with Stoyan Obreshkov exiting in 21st place. He was all-in with K♣J♥ against the A♥K♠ of Stefan Fabian.

obreshkov_prague_17dec16_v2.jpgStoyan Obreshkov: out

It was a tall order for Obreshkov who watched the board come 8♣3♥Q♠8♦10♠. He wished the table good luck and left for the payout desk. Fabian meanwhile is up to 3.45 million. – SB

11:05pm: Kiriopoulos sticks around
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (5,000 ante)

Demosthenes Kiriopoulos open-pushed for 340,000 from the cutoff and only David Lopez Llacer, in the big blind, was in any way interested. Llacer did eventually call and showed K♣10♦.

That was in trouble against Kiriopoulos’s K♥J♥ and it was all over when the J♦ turned, after a flop of 5♣4♣6♠. The 2♣ river was an irrelevance.

Llacer still has 1.1 million. — HS

11pm: Shove from Cohen surprises Radzivonau
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (5,000 ante)

Sam Cohen and Kiryl Radzivonau got to the flop for what looked like the minimum, a limp from Cohen in the small blind and a check.

After the K♦4♣2♣ flopped, Cohen bet 50,000, which Radzivonau called.

The Q♥ appeared on the turn and Cohen moved all-in, for 885,000.

Radzivonau was taken by surprise. He admitted as much. Then he said, “OK, you win” and slid his cards away. — HS

10:55pm: Good call by Hulme
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (5,000 ante)

A good call on the river by Andrew Hulme takes his stack up to around 2.3 million.

It came in a hand against Cristinel Dumitru. Hulme opened in middle position for 85,000 which Dumitru called from the small blind for a flop of 4♥8♥K♠.

Dumitru checked to Hulme who bet 100,000. Dumitru called. The 5♣ turn was checked by both players for the 3♦ on the river. Here Dumitru, holding J♥Q♥ had a go, betting 155,000. Hulme rubbed his head and thought for a while, eventually thinking his A♠Q♣ was good. He was right.

Dumitru drops to around 1.75 million. – SB

10:50pm: Two feature table double ups
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (5,000 ante)

Gang Wang and Josip Vidovic both doubled on the EPT Live feature table. Wang took a 600,000-sized dent from David Peters’ stack, while Felipe Ramos paid off Vidovic. It was only around 210,000 for Vidovic.

10:40pm: Bottom pair good for Hulme
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (5,000 ante)

Cristinel Dumitru opened to 110,000 from the cutoff–nearly a 3x raise–and Andrew Hulme called in the big blind.

Hulme check-called the flop of A♥J♠9♠ (it was 135,000) but there was no more betting through a turn of 10♥ and a river of J♥.


Andrew Hulme

Hulme showed his A♣9♣ and Dumitru very reluctantly mucked his cards as if he couldn’t believe he could have lost. — HS

10:35pm: Steady brilliance from Peters
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (5,000 ante)

This is turning into a truly extraordinary show from David Peters. He is now beyond 4 million in chips and has never been out of the chip lead today, not even for a single moment. Actually, he hasn’t been out of the chip lead since the mid point of yesterday. It’s really quite remarkable.

Here are the chip counts at the most recent break:

Name Country Status Chips
David Peters USA PokerStars player 4160000
Stefan Fabian Romania Live satellite winner 3160000
Kiryl Radzivonau Belarus PokerStars player 2980000
Marius Gierse Germany PokerStars qualifier 2935000
Marton Czuczor Hungary PokerStars player 2725000
Cristinel Dumitru Romania   2395000
Jasper Meijer Van Putten Netherlands PokerStars player 2245000
Apostolos Bechrakis Greece PokerStars qualifier 1985000
Sergei Petrushevskii Russia Live satellite winner 1830000
Janos Kurtosi Hungary PokerStars player 1790000
Jukka Paloniemi Finland   1680000
Andrew Hulme UK   1645000
Felipe Ramos Brazil Team PokerStars Pro 1240000
Sam Cohen USA   1125000
David Lopez Llacer Spain PokerStars qualifier 980000
Gang Wang China   680000
Darren Delahunty UK PokerStars qualifier 675000
Stoyan Obreshkov Bulgaria   455000
Martin Kabrhel Czech Republic   430000
Demosthenes Kiriopoulos Canada   420000
Josip Vidovic Croatia PokerStars player 210000

10:10pm: Break time
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (5,000 ante)

Off they go on another 20-minute break. Slackers.

10:05pm: DD double
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (5,000 ante)

Darren Delahunty lives to fight another day–or another few hands at the very least. He open-shoved for 325,000 from under the gun and Jasper Meijer Van Putten gave him a spin from the button. Everyone else folded.


A double for Delahunty

Delahunty: A♥K♣
Meijer Van Putten: A♦10♠

There was a bit of a sweat for Delahunty on the flop of 8♣J♣Q♠ but the J♦ turn and 3♣ river were both safe. Not that Delahunty seemed actually to be sweating. He was cool as a cucumber.

Meijer Van Putten is still doing absolutely fine. He has 2.25 million. — HS


Jasper Meijer Van Putten: Still more than 2 million

10:05pm: Tough going for Kiriopoulos
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (5,000 ante)

Demosthenes Kiriopoulos has been balanced on to Table 1 following Kent Roed and Tim Cerkvenik’s eliminations, but brought only about 500,000 chips with him. He is trying everything at his disposal to increase that stack, but nothing is really working of late.

He open-shoved from under the gun up blinds and antes. But he gave it back on the next hand when he called Kiryl Radzivonau’s 70,000 in the big blind, checked the 5♦K♣6♠ flop (Radzivonau checked too) but then folded after the 2♦ turn and a bet of 100,000 from Radzivonau. –HS

9:55pm: Two out
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (5,000 ante)

Two more eliminations. The first involved Kent Roed, who was all in with a 4♥6♥ bluff on a 7♠A♣J♦K♣ board. Stefan Fabian called him with A♠J♥ to send him out after a 2♦ on the river and move up to 2.8 million.


The end of Kent Roed

Then Tim Cerkvenik shoved for around 600,000 and was called by Kiryl Radzivonau.

Cerkvenik: J♦J♠
Radzivonau: A♦7♥

The jacks looked good until Radzivonau turned a flush, the board coming 8♦Q♦2♦7♦3♥. Cerkvenik was out, while Radzivonau moved up to 2.6 million. – SB

9:45pm: Bonavena’s departure leaves Coren-Mitchell alone
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (5,000 ante)

That’s it. Victoria Coren-Mitchell, wherever she is, can sleep easy tonight knowing she is the only person in the world to win two Main Event titles on the European Poker Tour. Salvatore Bonavena, the final hope for double triumph, has just been eliminated from the TV table.

It’s a huge statistical anomaly that only one person won multiple titles, especially when you consider what has happened on the LAPT, UKIPT, WPT, WSOP, etc., where multiple winners are par for the course.


Salvatore Bonavena: Hit the road

But there you have it. We bow out with only Coren-Mitchell holding the distinction. SalBon, you gave it your best, but you’ve come up short. — HS

9:40pm: Sound the klaxon
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (5,000 ante)

Some power poker here on Table 2 with big moves being made pre-flop.

Apostolos Bechrakis opened to 65,000 from under the gun and Marton Czuczor three-bet to 180,000 from mid-position. Cristinel Dumitru then four-bet to 455,000 from the cutoff and despite all of Andrew Hulme (BB), Bechrakis and Czuczor looking interested, they all folded. — HS


Cristinel Dumitru

9:30pm: Delahunty vs Hulme
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (5,000 ante)

Darren Delahunty just got a life line in the shape of a pair of threes. He moved in on the button for 490,000. Two seats along was countryman Andrew Hulme who called with A♦K♥.

The board came 5♣Q♥4♥3♣5♦

The turn sealed it. Delahunty is up to around a million. – SB

9:25pm: Last three tables
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (4,000 ante)

Here’s how the final 24 line up:

Table 1 Table 2 Table 3
1 Kent Roed Marton Czuczor Marius Gierse
2 Kiryl Radzivonau Demosthenes Kiriopoulos Martin Kabrhel
3 David Lopez Llacer Cristinel Dumitru Sergei Petrushevskii
4 Jukka Paloniemi Darren Delahunty Josip Vidovic
5 Stefan Fabian Janos Kurtosi Felipe Ramos
6 Stoyan Obreshkov Andrew Hulme Gang Wang
7 Tim Cerkvenik Apostolos Bechrakis David Peters
8 Sam Cohen Jasper Meijer Van Putten Salvatore Bonavena

8:55pm: Make that 24
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (4,000 ante)

All of a sudden, we are down to our last three tables after rapid-fire eliminations.

On the television table, Aleksandr Nemtcov’s 7♦4♥ lost to Felipe Ramos’s A♠K♠ for his last 15,000. But the damage was done prior to that when Sam Cohen doubled through Nemtcov, spiking a Jack with A♥J♥ against Nemtcov’s A♣Q♥. That put Cohen up to nearly 1 million.

Then on one of the outer tables, Arne Kern got his last 300,000 in with 5♠5♣ but it was no match for Stefan Fabian’s K♣K♠. There was nothing on flop, turn or river to help Kern, and he goes in 25th.

With 24 remaining, they will do a full redraw. Details will follow. — HS

8:50pm: Afanasyev runs into Meijer Van Putten
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (4,000 ante)

We’re down to 26, two players away from a redraw, after Anton Afanasyev was eliminated by Jasper Meijer Van Putten. This was a bit of a slow-burner, but was ultimately just a classic race.

Meijer Van Putten opened to 65,000 from under the gun and Afanasyev three-bet to 175,000 from one seat along. Action folded back to Meijer Van Putten and he pondered for a bit. It was no surprise as this was earliest position versus second earliest position.


Anton Afanasyev

Maijer Van Putten elected to jam, with his 2 million covering the 800,000 or so left in Afanasyev’s stack. Afanasyev pondered all the same things as Meijer Van Putten, but called.

Meijer Van Putten: J♠J♥
Afanasyev: A♠K♦

There was a Jack on the flop and Afanasyev was drawing dead by the turn. He heads home in 27th. Meijer Van Putten has about 3.1 million. — HS

8:45pm: Stopping Peters
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (4,000 ante)

Friedrich Meyer’s elimination has left Table 4 playing six-handed, and that’s terrible news for everyone not named David Peters. Peters is simply opening every pot from every position and it’s very hard to play against.

After three consecutive such moves, which all got through, Marius Gierse called in the cutoff. (Peters’ open is for 70,000.) But then action folded through the small blind to Gang Wang, who shipped all-in for 635,000 from the big blind.

Peters thought better of it and folded. Gierse wanted a count and definitely gave it some thought, but he folded too. — HS

8:40pm: Two all-ins called
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (5,000 ante)

All ins on two of the outer tables, one providing a double up and the other an unlikely hand to send one player to the rail.

The latter took place first when with action folded to him in the small blind David Peters (stack somewhere above 3 million) decided to move all in. Friedrich Meyer, who a few minutes ago joked about how he seemed surrounded by the big stacks, looked at his cards, even picking them up to wince at them. When players do this its usually to fold face up. But Meyer decided it was now or never, and moved all in for a little more than 300,000.

Meyer: A♦8♣
Peters: 4♥8♥

Meyer was ahead. But not for long.


The flop was brutal for Meyer. Phillips didn’t say a word.

As that hand concluded Salvatore Bonavena was moving all in against Stoyan Obreshkov.

Bonavena: A♦Q♣
Obreshkov: 8♥8♠

Bonavena had a little longer to wait for help, but it arrived on the turn, the board coming 10♦7♣7♦Q♦2♦.

Bonavena back up to around 700,000, while Obreshkov dips to 380,000. – SB

8:35pm: In dangerous company
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (4,000 ante)

Friedrich Meyer was finding perverse entertainment from looking at the chip counts from the latest break on his iPad. He had noticed not only that his name propped up the 28 remaining–his 375,000 is 12 big blinds–but also that he was surrounded by the three biggest stacks.

He has David Peters to his immediate right and is playing into Marton Czuczor and Marius Gierse.

As he was chuckling away, making the observation to Czuczor, Peters was making Sergei Petrushevskii’s stack slightly shorter.


Sergii Petrushevskii

Peters raised to 65,000 from under the gun and Petrushevskii called in the big blind. Then Petrushevskii checked the K♦7♥4♦ flop, folding to a bet of 70,000 from Peters. — HS

8:30pm: Two more levels
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (5,000 ante)

A well-nourished group of Main Event players have retaken their seats. There are 28 of them, and the race is now on either for 12 of them to be eliminated (taking us down to 16, at which point we’ll stop) or until two 90-minute levels are over, which will also end it for the night. — HS

7:10pm: Dinner time

The 28 players who remain have reached the end of Level 23, which means it is time for a 75-minute dinner break. After they return around 8:25pm, they’ll either play two more levels or until the field has been cut down to 16, whichever comes first.

David Peters remains the chip leader at the break with 3.55 million, with Marius Gierse (2.65 million) and Cristenel Dumitru (2.025 mllion) his nearest challengers. Check the chip counts page for the latest update. –MH

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7:05pm: Cautious when deep
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)

Tournament officials made the decision earlier in the day to extend Day 4 play by one level. It was the right decision. Although only 28 players remain, stacks are deep and there’s a lot of play left in this tournament still.

This next hand gives an indication of how things are playing out away from the all-in pushes.

Janos Kurtosi opened to 50,000 from the hijack and Apostolos Bechrakis three-bet to 135,000 from the cutoff. Kurtosi called and they saw the flop of 8♥10♦2♥.

Kurtosi check-called Bechrakis’s bet of 135,000 and then they both checked the 7♠ turn. After the 6♣ appeared on the river, Kurtosi bet 230,000 and Bechrakis folded.

After that pot, Kurtosi was up to about 1.75 million, which is 72 big blinds. And even Bechrakis’s near even 1 million is worth 42 big blinds. — HS

7pm: Ramos runs Chehade out in 29th
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (5,000 ante)

Georges Chehade persevered with a small stack on the feature table for a while, but just now got his last 116,000 in with A♦8♠ and unfortunately for him ran into the A♥K♠ of Felipe Ramos.

The board came an uneventful 5♣10♣2♥2♦6♣ and Chehade is out. Ramos is now playing nearly 880,000. –MH

6:55pm: Bonavena takes a big hit
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (5,000 ante)

A big hit for Bonavena who just lost around half his stack against Janos Kurtosi. 

Kurtosi moved all-in on a flop of 2♠9♣10♣ for something like 650,000. Bonavena called showing K♠10♥ but he trailed Kurtosi’s K♦K♥

The turn came Q♦ and the river 2♦. No use to the former Prague winner, who drops to 530,000. Kurtosi on the other hand is up to 1.3 million. – SB

6:50pm: Petrushevskii doubles
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)

Sergei Petrushevskii is pushing the 1 million mark now after becoming the latest player to double up. Marius Gierse, who lost the hand, still has 2.4 million, so is only licking minor wounds.

Marton Czuczor set the ball rolling with a raise to 55,000 from early position. Gierse called in the hijack and Petrushevskii also called from the small blind.

The flop brought the 8♠4♥6♥ and Petrushevskii jammed for 430,000. Czuczor folded but Gierse was interested. And then after getting a count, he made the call.

Gierse: A♥10♥
Petrushevskii: A♦6♦

Petrushevskii had middle pair and an over-card. Gierse had a better over-card and the nut flush draw. But it went brick, brick on turn and river and Petrushevskii held. –HS

6:45pm: Bonavena increasing his stack
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (5,000 ante)

Salvatore Bonavena takes his stack up to 1.3 million after a cagey hand against Demosthenes Kiriopoulos. 
With a board of J♥J♠Q♥K♣8♥ there was betting and calling to the river, where both players checked. Kiriopoulos showed 4♣4♦ but Bonavena took it with A♣A♥. Kiriopoulos is now down to around 600,000. – SB

NEIL9336_Salvatore_Bonavena_EPT13PRA_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Some for Salvatore

6:40pm: Ah, yeah, about that big blind defence
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)

Not so long ago, we were advocating a strong line in defence from the big blind–insisting that a raise is better than a call. We’re nothing if not results oriented, and now we think it’s a terrible idea. Here’s why.

Kiryl Radzivonau opened yet another pot, making it 55,000 to play from UTG+1. Action passed to David Lopez Llacer in the big blind and he played it strongly. He three-bet to 180,000. This time, however, Radzivonau called.

So two players surveyed the flop of 2♣K♣Q♥ and both checked. Then the 3♦ appeared on the turn. Llacer bet 200,000 and Radzivonau called.

The 8♠ came on the river and Llacer checked. This didn’t seem to be going according to plan. Radzivonau checked behind and Llacer showed his Q♦5♠. Radzivonau’s A♠Q♣ was never under threat.

So, yes, don’t raise from the big blind kids. It’s not worth it. — HS

6:35pm: Threes good for Bechrakis
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (5,000 ante)

On a flop of 4♥5♠Q♥, Janos Kurtosi bet 53,000 from the hijack and Apostolos Bechrakis, playing from the button, called for the Q♣ turn. This time Kurtosi checked, then called Bechrakis’s 115,000 for the 9♣ on the river. Both checked.

Kurtosi showed K♥8♥ for king high, making Bechrakis’s 3♣3♦ good for the win. He moves up to 1,450,000 while Kurtosi remains on 600,000. – SB

6:32pm: Dumitru takes from Kabrhel
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)

Over on the feature table, Cristenel Dumitru and Martin Kabrhel just fought back-and-forth through all the postflop streets until a river bet by Dumitru earned him a lot of table talk and a fold from Kabrhel.

Dumitru jumps up to almost 2.1 million with that pot, while Kabrhel is now one of the short stacks on the stream with 435,000. –MH

6:30pm: An object lesson in big blind defence
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)

We talk a lot about players defending their big blind and usually mean that they have simply called. But attack is often a more effective method of defence in these spots — Jasper Meijer Van Putten knows very well.

Stefan Fabian raised to 55,000 from the hijack and Kiryl Radzivonau called from the small blind. Meijer Van Putten was in the big blind and he three-bet to 210,000–that’s how you mount a defence — and both opponents folded. — HS

6:25pm: No straight for Kern
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)

A small pot for Kiryl Radzivonau, who correctly surmised that he hadn’t been outdrawn — or that he was prepared to see the misery even if he had.

Radzivonau, who once made the final table at EPT Barcelona, opened to 55,000 from under the gun and Arne Kern called in the big blind.

Both players checked the J♠5♥10♠ flop. And they checked again after the Q♠ came on the turn.

When the A♦ appeared on the river, Kern spied a chance to represent a King. He bet 77,000. Radzivonau made what seemed to be a reluctant, but curious, call and Kern likely knew that 4♦6♦ wasn’t good here.

Radzivonau showed his A♠10♣ to underline the point. — HS

NEIL8960_Kiryl_Radzivonau_EPT13PRA_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Chips for Radzivonau

6:20pm: Cerkvenik continues climb back
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)

We started this level watching Tim Cerkvenik come back to the smallest stack of the last 32 players, then double up with trey-deuce.

Since then we’ve seen him open-shove a couple of times and get no callers, then just now he doubled again in a more advantageous spot with ace-ten versus king-queen. Just like that he’s up to 790,000. –MH

6:15pm: Hrabchak stacked by Czuczor
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)

Marton Czuczor opened for 55,000 from middle position, and when Anton Hrabchak jammed over that from the button with his last 375,000, the blinds folded and Czuczor called.

Hrabchak had K♣Q♥ and Czuczor A♠J♣. The board came A♥4♣4♦7♣2♣, meaning Czuczor had it locked up by the turn as Hrabchak falls in 30th.

Czuczor is now stacking something in the neighborhood of 2.5 million, meaning he’s come within shouting distance of both leader David Peters and Marius Gierse at the top of the counts. –MH

6:10pm: Nemtcov’s clock still running
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)

Up on the EPT Live feature table, Aleksandr Nemtcov doubled his short stack to 809,000 after finding Aces to beat Andrew Hulme’s A♣J♥. The former Countdown champion (that’s Hulme; an “octo-champ” no less) is still sitting pretty with more than 1 million in chips. –HS

6:05pm: All Usual Suspects jokes end here
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)

Hirokazu Kobayashi is out, ending a run of references to The Usual Suspects that has dated everyone in the media room to the wrong side of 40.

The shady operator got the last of his chips in with A♦6♠ and was up against Darren Delahunty’s A♠J♠ in a blind-versus-blind shove-call showdown.

The flop brought a Jack and that was is for Kobayashi. Did he ever really exist at all? — HS

6pm: Pollak busts to Roed
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)

Arne Kern opened for 50,000 from middle position, then it folded to Benjamin Pollak who reraise-shoved with his last 331,000. Action moved to Kent Roed in the small blind who got a count and then reraised, scattering the big blind and Kern.


Benjamin Pollak: out

Roed opened A♠J♥ and Pollak K♠K♥, and the A♥5♣4♦ flop swiftly swung the edge Roed’s way. The turn was the 10♥ and river the A♣, giving Roed trips and sending Pollak out in 32nd.

Roed has 1.34 million now. –MH

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

There was a sudden flurry of activity on neighbouring tables, but the net result was pretty much sweet F.A.

Hirokazu Kobayashi open-jammed for 209,000 and action folded around to Friedrich Meyer in the big blind. He looked interested enough in potentially calling that it was worth sticking around until he had made his decision.

However, on the next table Tim Cerkvenik also open-jammed for a similar amount and had to get through a full table of ponderers.

Nobody called Cerkvenik. But Meyer did indeed call Kobayashi. But the fizzle happened quickly. Kobayaski showed A♦10♣ to Meyer’s A♥10♠ and there was a rainbow flop. — HS

5:50pm: The ol’ trey-deuce for Cerkvenik
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)

“If I come to the pay jump, we will drink tonight.”

So said Tim Cerkvenik just now after doubling up his short stack with the mighty 3♣2♥ to start the new level.

He was up against Kiryl Radzivonau who appeared to have open-raised with K♥Q♦, then Cerkvenik got his last 115,000 in from the big blind thereafter.

The board ran out J♥8♠2♣8♥9♣ to give Cerkvenik continued life, and he’s at about 250,000 now. Radzivonau still has 910,000. –MH

5:25pm: Break time

With 32 players remaining, they’re taking another 20-minute break. They’ll return to play another 90-minute level, then will come dinner. –MH

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5:25pm: Abdellatif out of puff
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

Jonathan Abdellatif has breathed his last, knocked out on the final hand of Level 22.

He called from the big blind after Jasper Meijer Van Putten opened from UTG+1 and that took them to a flop of 3♥2♥6♠. Abdellatif checked, Meijer Van Putten c-bet, then Abdellatif moved all-in. Meijer Van Putten called.

Abdellatif was crestfallen. He had 4♥7♥ but his draw wasn’t as good as Meijer Van Putten’s K♥Q♥.

The 3♠ turn helped nobody. And neither did the 8♠ river. Meijer Van Putten now has about 1.45 million going into the break. — HS

5:21pm: More Kabrhel hijinks
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

Martin Kabrhel’s time bank expired again when he couldn’t decide whether to call or fold after Felipe Ramos bet the river on a board of 2♠Q♥7♠3♦4♠. Ramos’s bet was for 135,000.

Kabrhel is in a bit of a glass-house at the moment but is still throwing stones. After Ramos bet, Kabrhel talked and talked and talked and talked at his opponent, eventually resulting in the clock being called from, I think, Andrew Hulme.

The tournament staff came over and put Kabrhel on the clock–not for the first time–but he wasn’t happy. He complained about that, to no avail, and then also complained when Ramos began engaging him in conversation.

“You talk to me, I can talk to you,” Ramos said as Kabrhel put his finger to his lips and begged for quiet.

Kabrhel eventually let the time slip away and his cards were mucked. All of this will now play out on EPT Live as that was one of the last hands of the level. (But not the last. We still have more news.) — HS

5:20pm: Paloniemi puts two on the rail
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/23,000 (2,000 ante)

A three-way all-in near the end of the level has resulted in two eliminations, with Jukka Paloniemi the beneficiary.

Preflop action saw Pedro Lamarca and Vitszlav Pesta both at risk with Paloniemi having both outchipped

Lamarca: A♠7♥
Pesta: 8♥8♦
Paloniemi: J♥J♣

The board rolled out 10♣Q♣K♠Q♠9♣, leaving Paloniemi with a pot-winning straight and sending both Pesta and Lamarca railward. Paloniemi is way up around 1.7 million now. –MH

5:17pm: Tim Cerkvenik hanging on
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

Tim Cerkvenik has reached the end of the level but only just. His stack was almost completely smashed in a hand that doubled up Stoyan Obreshkov.

On a flop of 9♠8♦10♥ the chips went into the middle, Cerkvenik betting 58,000, Obreshkov raising to 116,000 and then calling Cerkvenik’s all-in.

Cerkvenik: 10♠7♠
Obreshkov: 10♣9♦

The turn K♠ and river card 7♦ sent the chips to Obreshkov, who had doubled up to 650,000. Cerkvenik meanwhile was reduced to 50,000, which he turned into around 100,000 a few hands later. Not much, but enough to reach the next level. – SB

5:15pm: Kubaliak KO’d after all-in versus Abdellatif
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/23,000 (2,000 ante)

Jonathan Abdellatif open-raised all in from the button for his last 160,000 or so, and it folded to Tomas Kubaliak in the big blind who called to commit his last 153,000. 

Abdellatif turned over A♥2♣ while Kubaliak had A♦K♦, but the 2♠6♣10♠ flop put Abdellatif out in front. The 6♠ turn and Q♣ river sealed Kubaliak’s fate, and after chips were counted to make sure Abdellatif had him slightly outchipped, Kubaliak hit the rail. 

Abdellatif has about 340,000 now. –MH

NEIL8322_Tomas_Kubaliak-_EPT13PRA_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Kubaliak cut down

5:05pm: Paloniemi leaves Pesta in trouble
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

Martin Kabrhel’s table chatter is now so loud an incessant that pretty much all non-playing eyes are on him. That definitely includes the EPT Live production crew, which recently visited Kabrhel’s table to tell the players there that they were heading to the stage for the next level, and Kabrhel began negotiations about how long they would be made to stay up there. (He wasn’t keen for it to be more than one level.)

It meant that a huge pot played out on a neighbouring table, right beside Kabrhel’s (and within less than one pace of the cameramen and floor producers) and yet nobody saw it. Well, nobody except PokerStars Blog.

Three players were at a flop: Marius Gierse (BB), Viteszlav Pesta (UTG) and Jukka Paloniemi (BTN).

The flop was the K♥A♦2♦ and Gierse checked. Pesta bet 68,000 and only Paloniemi called.

That took them to the K♦ on the turn and Pesta bet another 112,000. Paloniemi called again.

The 5♦ appeared on the river and Pesta fired again. This was for 266,000 and left him only 132,000 behind, which is less than seven big blinds.

Paloniemi counted the calling chips from his stack, determining that he would be left with almost precisely 200,000 if he called and was wrong. But he did call. And what’s more, he was right.

Paloniemi showed K♣Q♣ and had Pesta’s J♥10♣ beaten all ends up. Pesta is now in real trouble, but the trip Kings has kept Paloniemi cooking. — HS

5pm: All in and no call
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (2,000 ante)

A couple of all-in shoves being declined over here in the back corner of the tournament room just now.

In one it was Arne Kern raising to 42,000, Benjamin Pollak three-betting to 118,000, Kern shoved, and after pausing several beats Pollak sent his cards away. Kern has about 740,000 while Pollak is on the short side hovering around 300,000.

Another saw Andrew Hulme open for 45,000 from middle position, George Chehade call from the cutoff, then Martin Kabrhel push all in from the button for 474,000 total. The blinds and Hulme quickly folded, but Chehade thought long and hard before finally letting his ace-queen go face up.

“Good fold,” said Kabrhel. “You had three outs.” Subsequent conversation confirmed the implication of his statement in Chehade’s mind, as he understood without a doubt that Kabrhel had had ace-king.

Kabrhel is up over 600,000 now while Chehade has 395,000. It sounds like this table may well become the televised feature table on EPT Live before long, as the table talk there — including Kabrhel’s uninterrupted commentary — is higher-than-average entertaining. –MH

4:50pm: Uspenskiy upended
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

Another elimination, this time Konstantin Uspenskiy making his way to the rail. He was all in with K♠Q♠ against Apostolos Bechrakis who showed A♥J♥.


Konstantin Uspenskiy: Toppled

The board started well for Uspenskiy, but ended badly, landing 4♠K♦8♣3♣A♦. – SB

4:45pm: Ramos levelling out
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

Felipe Ramos has been up and down today, but is gradually building back in the right direction. He has about 750,000 now and just won a small pot from Aleksandr Nemtcov.

They were at a flop of 6♣4♣J♠ and Nemtcov check-called Ramos’s bet of 55,000. It went check, check on the 9♥ turn and then on the A♣ river, even though both players seemed like they might have a small tickle.


Felipe Ramos: Levelling things out

Neither did, mainly because they both had a piece of the flop. However Nemtcov’s 6♦5♦ couldn’t beat Ramos’s J♥K♦.

Nemtcov has about 360,000 now. — HS

4:40pm: Munoz runs queens into kings, eliminated
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (2,000 ante)

Apostolos Bechrakis raised to 45,000 from middle position and when it folded to Marta Munoz on the button she paused about 15 seconds before pushing her stack of 295,000 or so forward as an all-in reraise. It folded back to Bechrakis and he called right away.

Bechrakis: K♥K♦
Munoz: Q♥Q♣

Munoz needed to improve to stay in the game, but a jack-high board — 5♦J♦7♣7♦2♠ — spelled the end of her Main Event run in 38th place.

Bechrakis is back to 1.08 million now. –MH

4:30pm: Cohen shoves, Chehade folds big slick
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (2,000 ante)

Samantha Cohen opened for 47,000 from under the gun and it folded around to George Chehade in the hijack seat. He paused a moment, then reraised to 115,000, then everyone folded back to Cohen.

She hesitated a few beats, asked Chehade how much he had behind, then announced she was all in. Her push made it 748,000 total, and to call would mean going all in himself as Chehade had less to start.

He thought a while, finally starting to talk. “Queens again?” he asked. “Ace-king? Or do you want to gamble?”

Finally he folded, showing his A♦K♠ as he did, and Cohen declined the invitation to show her hand as well. “I never have ace-queen, for what that’s worth,” she allowed in response to the continued queries.

Cohen is up close to 800,000 now while Chehade has 475,000. –MH

NEIL9253_Sam_Cohen_EPT13PRA_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Cohen collects

4:20pm: Papacek all-in
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

Roman Papacek looked in reasonably good shape in what some at his table called (with irony) a “classic showdown”.

Papacek had shoved with 8♣8♥ for 180,000 behind the cut off bet of 40,000 by Anton Afanasyev, who then called with an unconventional looking J♣7♦.

But your hand doesn’t always have to look pretty to come out on top.

The board was interesting from the start, with a flop of Q♥K♥A♦ giving Afanasyev straight possibilities. The 7♥ on the turn didn’t hurt either, but it was the 10♠ on the river that sealed Papacek’s fate.

He’s out in 39th place. Afanasyev meanwhile moves up to roughly 1.35 million. – SB

4:10pm: Kabrhel doesn’t “wont million”
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

In the midst of his latest monologue, Martin Kabrhel said, “If I win, I have million.” However he didn’t win. He wasn’t prepared to take the risk.

At the point I arrived to the table, slipping through a phalanx of camera operators and production crew, it was obvious I had missed at least one bet. Aleksandr Nemtcov had 405,000 and an All-In triangle in front of him over the line and Kabrhel had 89,000 in front of him.

This looked like an open from Nemtcov, a three-bet from Kabrhel and then a jam. (Other players might also have been involved.)

What was not in doubt was that the decision was on Kabrhel. He was trying his best to get a read from Nemtcov, through whatever means at his disposal.

“Hmm, smells like queens,” he said, picking up his toy hippo and hovering it, nose first, over Nemtcov’s cards. Nemtcov was not responding, even when Kabrhel got more direct.

“Hello Russia,” he said. “How are you? Speak English? Maybe, maybe not.”

Nemtcov said nothing.

“I should gamble with you,” Kabrhel said. “Against someone tight, this would be a fold. Against you, probably call. If I win I have million.”

Nemtcov still refused to give anything away, leading to exasperation on Kabrhel’s part. “At least say ‘Time!’ or something.”

“Time,” someone else at the table said.

“I want to hear it from Russia,” Kabrhel said.

Nemtcov still did not oblige, leaving Kabrhel to his own thoughts with the accompaniment of a tournament supervisor’s countdown. The clock ticked all the way to zero and Kabrhel’s cards were rendered mucked.

He still has about 500,000. Nemtcov also lives to fight another day. — HS

4:05pm: The Bonavena Bounce
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

Salvatore Bonavena sends Kyosti Isberg to the rail. Bonavena opened for 48,000 in middle position before Isberg shoved for 467,000 from the blinds. Bonavena called turning over Q♥Q♣ and Isberg showed 10♥10♦ (which Bonanvena later said he had a hunch he’d show).

The board came K♥K♠4♥6♣K♣ to knock out Isberg. Bonavena now has more than 1 million chips. – SB

4pm: Ace or no ace?
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (2,000 ante)

Marta Munoz looked at Jukka Paloniemi, searching him for some signal of what to do.

She was on the button and he in the big blind, and the pair had battled to the river, building a pot of about 250,000 as the board came J♦A♥A♦6♦4♥.

On the end Paloniemi had bet 100,000, and Munoz tanked for a couple of minutes, perhaps wondering about the flush, or about the possibility her opponent had an ace for trips. Finally she grabbed calling chips, and just a few seconds later tossed them forward.

Paloniemi gave her an answer, tabling A♣2♦ to show that indeed he did have the ace, and she mucked her hand.

Paloniemi has 960,000 now while Munoz slips to 305,000. –MH

3:50pm: Ramos going Postel
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

Felipe Ramos, the solitary member of Team PokerStars Pro still alive in this tournament, got a timely double up in the last level, with Aces against Dick Postel’s A♠K♠. Actually, it wasn’t quite a double as Ramos had more than Postel and it resulted in a knockout.


Felipe Ramos scores the knockout


Ramos bids farewell to Dick Postel

Ramos has around 750,000 now. — HS

3:50pm: Peters continues to lead as Kutosi closes in
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

As expected, David Peters remains in a dominant spot at the top of the leader board. But Janos Kurtosi has now also passed 2 million and Cristinel Dumitru is close behind too.

Here are the top 10 players at this stage, with full counts available on the chip-count page.

Name Country Chips
David Peters USA 2240000
Janos Kurtosi Hungary 2170000
Cristinel Dumitru Romania 1950000
Marius Gierse Germany 1700000
Demosthenes Kiriopoulos Canada 1700000
Andrew Hulme UK 1545000
Kent Roed Norway 1500000
Jasper Meijer Van Putten Netherlands 1420000
Stefan Fabian Romania 1370000
David Lopez Llacer Spain 1267000

3:25pm: Second break

With 40 left, they are taking another 20-minute break. –MH

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3:25pm: Down to 40
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

Anton Afanasyev opened from the cut off for 32,000 before Mikolaj Zawadzki moved all in from the small blind for 243,000. Afanasyev easily covered him but didn’t call until Zawaszki started talking.

“What do you have?” he asked, “maybe I can help you.”

Before Zawadzki got much further with his table talk Afanasyev called, showing A♥9♦ to Zawadzki’s 3♥3♠.


Mikolaj Zawadski

The board ran A♣8♦9♥J♥6♣ to end the day for Zawadzki. Afanasyev meanwhile now as 1.25 million as they reach the end of the level. – SB

3:20pm: Finals crash of the Cimbolas
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

Matas Cimbolas has been enjoying some friendly conversation with his table-mates for much of the day, particularly with Sam Cohen. I overheard one snippet:

“I am from a small country called Lithuania,” Cimbolas said. “You have heard of it?”

“Of course,” Cohen said. “I’m not that ignorant.”

The chit-chat died down after Martin Kabrhel came to the table or, rather, a new voice became the most dominant. And then, just like that, Cimbolas’s tournament, as well as his conversation, was over.

Cohen actually started things off on what became Cimbolas’s final hand. She opened to 35,000 from UTG+1. Georges Chehade called in the cutoff and then Demosthenes Kiriopoulos called too from the small blind.

Cimbolas saw all that juicy dead money out there and moved all-in for 191,000. Cohen quickly folded, but Chehade wanted a count.

Chehade called and Kiriopoulos quickly folded.

“Flip,” Cimbolas said, albeit slightly hopefully.
“No flip,” Kabrhel said, having seen Chehade turn over 9♦9♣.

The board did not improve either player. It fell 4♠8♦6♠10♣J♥. And that was the end of the road for Cimbolas.

Immediately on his departure, Kabrhel asked Kiriopoulos if he could budge up a bit to give him more space. It wasn’t easy for Kiriopoulos, mind you. He has built his stack up to 1.6 million over the past level and it’s quite a job to shift that many chips. — HS

3:15pm: Kudrjavcevs out
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

He spent much of the tournament as one of the chip leaders, but Eduards Kudrjavcevs is now out, sent to the rail by the resurgent Cristinel Dumitru.

Kudrjavcevs moved all-in with A♥J♣ and found Dumitru calling with J♦J♣. Despite calling repeatedly for an ace, none came to rescue Kudrjavcevs.


Kudrjavcevs out. Dumitru up to around 2 million. – SB

3:10pm: Cerkvenik, Cimbolas shoving
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

On the outer tables a couple of players have been shoving and with no callers collecting blinds and antes to help their causes.

We’ve seen Tim Cerkvenik of Slovenia do it twice recently, and now he’s up around 510,000 as a result.

Matas Cimbolas just did it as well and got no action, but he still sits with one of the shortest stacks left with 180,000. 

There are 43 left at present. –MH

3pm: €1 billion on the EPT!
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

Some remarkable news here: At the final stop on the European Poker Tour, we have hit a dramatic milestone. Through 115 festivals to date, and with numerous side events at every stop, the total prize money paid out to winners has grown and grown. So much so that yesterday here in Prague, the total prize money paid out across all tournaments hit €1 billion.

Since its beginnings in 2004, the EPT has grown into world’s largest and most prestigious poker tour. More than €432 million has been paid out in EPT Main Events alone. The flagship European Poker Tour tournaments attracted 76,414 players.

There are still three more days left of EPT13 Prague, with dozens of tournaments still scheduled to help increase the overall number. It is already beyond €24 million for this festival, and still counting.

It will reset when the PokerStars Festival and Championship branding is introduced in January in the Bahamas. Then a new race to €1 billion commences. — HS

NEIL8380_Trophy_EPT13PRA_Neil Stoddart.jpg

EPT Trophy

2:57pm: Three way all in
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

An enormous hand sends two players to the rail and leaves Marius Gierse with around 2.1 million.

The action started when Mihai Manole open shoved for 264,000 from the cut off. Gierse was in the button and started moving chips around, eventually calling. Watching all of this was Fabrice Soulier in the big blind, who announced his intention to raise all-in, easily covering Manole but some way behind Gierse, who called immediately.

Manole: A♥8♣
Gierse: K♣K♥
Soulier: J♥J♦

As you would have seen on EPT Live, a crowd gathered to watch. The board came Q♠8♦9♠6♣3♦ which brought no help to either Manole or Soulier. Gierse, who had watched the hand from behind his chair. He returned to his seat to receive an large pile of chips, which took a hand or two to stack up. – SB

2:55pm: Zawadzki zaps Tedeschi
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

Mikolaj Zawadzki open-pushed all in for 217,000 from under the gun, then Martin Kabrhel sitting to his left thought for a long while — counting out calling chips with one hand while holding his hippopotamus card protector with the other — then finally folded. 

Paul Tedeschi was next to act, and after counting out his remaining chips — just 126,000 — he exhaled and winced, clearly in a bind over whether or not to commit his stack or not. He eyed the big board that showed 49 were left and the next pay jump came from 48th to 47th, and thought a while longer before the call was called.

Finally with just 10 seconds left Tedeschi put his stack forward, and everyone else folded.

Zawadzki: Q♦Q♥
Tedeschi: 6♠6♦

The board came 8♣8♥7♦4♠4♦ to keep the queens ahead, and Tedeschi is out in 49th. Zawadzki now has abotu 380,000.

“I put you on… pocket queens,” was Kabrhel’s post-hand comment, earning a grin from Zawadski. –MH

2:50pm: Schedule change
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

The tournament officials have announced a change to the advertised schedule. We will play six levels today, or until 16 players are left, whichever comes sooner. That will mean a dinner break after Level 24.

2:45pm: Two time hopes alive
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

The elimination of Max Lykov in 53rd place leaves only Salvatore Bonavena with the chance to match Victoria Coren-Mitchell’s double EPT win. Salvatore Bonavena: double EPT champion. It has a ring to it for sure.

Bonavena flipped well en route to his first triumph in this very room. And he just won another flip to keep his hopes alive. It was A♠K♦ for Bonavena and 9♥9♦ for Kyosti Isberg, with Bonavena all-in for a little less than 200,000.

One board of Q♠10♦J♣Q♣6♦ later and Bonavena is bouncing. (Isberg is far from sunk.) — HS

2:40pm: The cold hard truth
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

Igor Kurganov to the table of Main Event players next to his table of High Rollers.

“Fifty-one left?” he said. “For most of you it will be a disappointment. I’m sorry.” — SB

2:35pm: Plenty going on
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

A period of hands that contained at least a little drama.

In the first Paul-Francois Tedeshi called from the small blind only for Viteszlav to raise to 50,000 in the big blind. Tedeshi responded with his own show of force, three betting to 125,000, but he was forced to fold when Viteszlav shoved.

On the table next to them Kayhan Roshanfekr was all-in with 9♠9♥ and had been called by Jasper Van Putten with A♥J♥. Roshanfekr would learn his fate pretty quickly on this one, the board come A♦J♦Q♠2♦10♦ to send him out and leave Van Putten with 1.3 million.

Back to the original table and Benjamin Pollak was opening for 37,000 in middle position. Tedeshi rasied to 90,000 on the button and Pollak, after a minute or so, responded with an all-in. Tedeshi called immediately.

Pollak: 9♥9♣
Tedeshi: J♦J♠

Pollak tapped the table, acknowledging the good call, and waited for the board, the first card of which saved Pollak: 9♠A♠6♥4♠3♥.
That put Pollak back up towards the 750,000 mark while Tedeshi’s Main Event looks close to over, the Frenchman left with 50,000. – SB

2:25pm: Nemtcov scores double
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

Apostolos Bechrakis raised from middle position, then Aleksandr Nemtcov shoved for his lst 355,000 from the hijack seat. It folded back to Bechrakis who called, and he tabled 9♣9♦ — the same hand with which he’d knocked out Pablo Gordillo just an orbit or so before.

Nemtcov had K♥K♦, however, and after a 2♥7♦8♦J♠4♠ runout, he survived and is now up over 720,000. Bechrakis is still plenty healthy, though, with 1.32 million. –MH

2:15pm: Tedeschi doubles
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

A double up for Paul-Francois Tedeschi through the always audible Martin Kabrhel. Tedeschi had 10♥10♦ against Kabhrel’s A♣K♥ on a board of 4♦9♦4♣7♣3♥ which takes him up to around 300,000. Kabrhel drops to 380,000. – SB

2:10pm: Bechrakis bounces Gordillo
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

Following an Apostolos Bechrakis early-position open, it folded around to Pablo Gordillo who shoved from the big blind for his last 200,000 or so, and Bechrakis was game to stick around.

Gordillo had A♣9♥ while Bechrakis had a hand Gordillo didn’t much like to see — 9♦9♠. The board came 3♦8♥10♣5♠3♥, and Gordillo is out in 55th place. 

Bechrakis is charging up the counts toward leader David Peters — he’s at around 1.5 million now. –MH

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

That man David Peters leads the way as they head into Level 21. I would genuinely not be surprised if he led the way all the way to the final.

Here’s the top 10. Full counts are on the chip-count page.

Name Country Chips
David Peters USA 2091000
Apostolos Bechrakis Greece 1960000
Cristinel Dumitru Romania 1640000
Andrew Hulme UK 1575000
Janos Kurtosi Hungary 1368000
Kent Roed Norway 1200000
Arne Kern Germany 1105000
Marius Gierse Germany 1020000
Hirokazu Kobayashi Japan 990000
Sergei Petrushevskii Russia 970000


David Peters, chip leader

1:40pm: Break time

That’s the break. They’ll take 20 minutes then come back for Level 21.

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1:38pm: Ponakov on the comeback trail
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

Aleksey Ponakov appears to have the grudging respect of Martin Kabrhel, but doesn’t seem to give two hoots what others think of him, especially not Kabrhel. Earlier today, Kabrhel was telling Ponakov that they played together on Day 2 and recalled that Ponakov continually three-bet him.

Ponakov really didn’t seem at all interested until Kabrhel said, “I only four-bet you once.”

“Did I call?” Ponakov said. He did not.

Kabrhel also wanted to offer commentary on a recent hand between Ponakov and Kayhan Roshanfekr, but neither seemed interested. Instead, they played the hand out in near silence.

Roshanfekr opened to 25,000 from the hijack and Ponakov three-bet his button to 68,000. Kabrhel seemed interested in four-betting the big blind, but actually folded. Roshanfekr called, however.

The flop fell J♠2♥7♣ and it went check, bet 71,000 (from Ponakov), call. Then the 6♣ appeared on the turn. Roshanfekr checked again, and this time folded after Ponakov bet 122,000. Roshanfekr had about 360,000 back, which he still preserves.

“Nice comeback, sir,” Kabrhel began. “Nice comeback. I had the perfect four-betting hand, except aces,” he went on, and it was time to slip away. — HS

1:35pm: Cimbolas records a double
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

If you follow Matas Cimbolas on Twitter or Instagram or Facebook or some such, you may well see a video accompaniment to this dreary hand report. He was all-in, called, and took out his phone to record for posterity exactly what then occurred.

And, better for him, it was a double up. Cimbolas’s A♦K♥ stayed good against Josip Vidovic’s A♣J♥ through a board of 3♥7♣9♠7♦6♠.


A picture of a video of a double up

Cimbalos’s all-in was for 89,000, which didn’t seem a whole lot. But it was enough to mean Vidovic was all-in himself soon after, earning a double up of his own through Demosthenes Kiriopoulos. — HS

1:30pm: Peters being Peters
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

But what of David Peters, the most reluctant of tournament beasts? Well, he may not especially court the spotlight, but Peters is, of course, still doing what he does and still sits with around 2 million as the break approaches.

He opened three consecutive pots, from button, cutoff and hijack. He won only one of them, but it will not affect him one bit.

On the button, Peters raised to 27,000 and Simon Charette called in the big blind. After a flop of Q♦9♣5♣ and a check from Charette, Peters’ bet of 27,000 got the job done.

From the cutoff, Peters opened to 27,000 and Friedrich Meyer called on the button. Darren Delahunty called in the big blind too and three players went to a flop of Q♥6♠Q♦. Both Delahunty and Peters checked, allowing Meyer to put in a bet, which only Delahunty called.

However, after Delahunty also checked the 38,000 turn, Meyer’s bet of 38,000 took it down.

Then from the hijack, Peters raised to 27,000 and Anton Afanasyev three-bet from the small blind, making it 75,000. Peters folded. Time to get on with his life. –HS

1:25pm: Belyaev’s sevens prove unlucky versus Kurtosi
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

With the level nearing its end, Viacheslav Belyaev open-pushed his last 262,000 from early position and it folded around to Jonathan Abdellatif in the small blind who went into the tank. Finally after thinking for some time, Abdellatif let his hand go, then the big-stacked Janos Kurtosi called quickly from the big blind.

Kurtosi: A♥K♣
Belyaev: 7♥

The flop came Q♥K♥6♠ to put Kurtosi in front, and after the 3♠ turn and 10♦ river Belyaev was eliminated in 57th place. After the hand, Abdellatif said he’d folded pocket nines, having thought Belyaev would had better than the sevens with which he’d pushed.

In any case, by folding Abdellatif likely preserved his 235,000, while Kurtosi bumps up around 1.4 million as the break approaches. –MH

1:20pm: Marta over Martin
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

Marta Munoz opened for 25,000 from early position and the action folded over to Martin Kabrhel a couple of seats over.

“How are you today, madam?” asked Kabrhel of Munoz, who replied that she wasn’t doing that good, in fact. Having started the day with 295,000 she was down to 230,000 to start the hand and was in need of turning things around quickly.

Kabrhel thought a while then min-raised to 50,000, and it folded back to Munoz who went all in, sliding her stacks out atop the plastic ID holder. Kabrhel called quickly to show Q♦Q♣, but as it turned out Munoz was doing a little better than she’d let on as she had A♥A♦.

Those aces held through a somewhat suspenseful 10♦K♥J♠4♥J♣ board, and Munoz is up around 475,000 now while Kabrhel slips to 560,000. –MH 

NEIL8937_Marta_Munoz_EPT13PRA_Neil Stoddart.jpg

AA for MM

1:15pm: Hulme pushes into seven figures
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

Andrew Hulme has added another scalp to his collection–this time a rare specimen from Slovenia. Dejan Pustoslemsek is the man to perish after losing a flip.

Hulme opened to 27,000 from under the gun and Pustoslemsek jammed from two seats around the table. Hulme asked for a count–it was 152,000–and then quickly called, tabling 4♣4♦.

Pustoslemsek had A♦Q♠ but stood from his chair and readied to depart after the 2♦7♠4♠ flop. He was drawing dead after the 2♣ turn. (The A♠ on the river was irrelevant.)

Hulme now has more than 1.2 million. — HS

1:05pm: The Martin Kabrhel show
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

It’s going to be a long day dealing to, playing against and reporting on Martin Kabrhel. He makes everybody involved in poker earn their money with a non-stop barrage of questions, chatter and–it must be said–pretty splendid play. And he has just doubled up to guarantee his participation for a long time yet.

The hand in question took upwards of six or seven minutes to play out, with Kabrhel talking almost non-stop throughout. We have only snippets, but you’ll soon get the idea.

It began with Kabrhel limping under the gun, putting out the required 12,000 in three small piles of yellow 1,000-denomination chips. He did have the bigger 5K chips in his stack, but opted for the small ones. This is the sort of thing he does.

Marius Gierse was two seats to Kabrhel’s left and he raised, making it 35,000 to play. Action folded back to Kabrhel, who called the extra. They then saw the 7♦A♦3♣ appear on the flop and Kabrhel checked.

Before Gierse acted, Kabrhel started chatting. He pondered aloud whether Gierse could have ace-king, asking, “If I go all-in, you call with Ace-King?”

Gierse seemed to suggest that, yes, he would call if he had Ace-King and if Kabrhel went all-in, neither of which things were necessarily true. Indeed, the second one plainly wasn’t. Kabrhel had checked.

“You’re a crazy guy,” Kabrhel said. “I tell you, you’re crazy. You call if I go all in with Ace-King. Crazy guy.” Gierse, and others at the table, chuckled a little.

Gierse bet 35,000 and Kabrhel said, “I might go all-in. I hadn’t thought about it, but now you have given me the idea.” He quickly added: “Because I like you, I don’t go all-in. I promise.” Kabrhel called.


Marius Gierse: Would call, did call

The J♦ came on the turn and Kabrhel immediately reneged on the promise. “I’m all-in,” he said. “Two-hundred something.”

Gierse asked for a more precise count and learned that it was 295,000. Gierse called, but was disappointed to see Kabrhel’s 3♥3♦. Gierse’s A♠J♣ was still alive, but the 3♠ river slammed the door in his face.

Those quads for Kabrhel gave him close to 850,000. This could run and run. (Gierse, meanwhile, is down to 750,000). — HS

12:55pm: Gordillo can’t get going; Bechrakis bumps up
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

Pablo Gordillo started today with a below average stack, but that hasn’t deterred the Spainiard from remaining active in the early going. Just now he went through the blinds, defending both times and winning one hand losing the other.

Then he had the button, and from there tried some aggression versus the big-stacked Apostolos Bechrakis in the big blind. But on the river with the board showing 3♦7♦J♥K♦10♣ it was Bechrakis leading for 105,000 into a pot of 125,000 or so, and after thinking a bit Gordillo called.

Bechrakis tabled 10♦2♦ for a flush and Gordillo mucked, and now the latter is down around 220,000. Meanwhile Bechrakis is up to 1.18 million. –MH 

12:45pm: Three way all in
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

There was a moment a short while ago when Stoyan Obreshkov was a card away from a stack of more than 2 million and the likely chip lead. But that card had to be anything but an ace, a king, or a spade.

The hand had started with a bet of 27,000 for Obreshkov, who’d started the hand with around 1.5 million. In seat eight was Dejan Pustoslemsek of Slovenia who three bet shoved for 278,000. That brought the action to Cristinel Dumitru in the small blind who four bet shoved for 548,000.

“Count please.”

We already had a little drama with the called all-in, now it became a three-way all in as Obreshkov called and turned over his cards.

Obreshkov: Q♠Q♥
Pustoslemsek: A♣7♣
Dumitru: A♠K♠

The flop was innocuous enough, landing as it did 3♣3♠2♦. The 10♠ turn though gave Dumitru flush possibilities. He called for a spade while Obreskkov sat motionless hoping for anything but. Was he about to stack up the chip lead?

No. the river card 9♠ prompted a staccato “yes!” from Dumitru who’d made his flush. Forgotten in all this was Pustoslemsek who busted, leaving the table as Obreshkov paid his bill and Dumitru gladly stacked it all up. He’s on more than a million, which is a little more than what Obreskov now has. – SB

12:30pm: Peyroles sent to payout desk
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

Arnaud Peyroles open-shoved for around 210,000 from middle position and it folded around to Sergei Petrushevskii in the small blind who reraise-pushed to isolate. 

Peyroles had A♣Q♥ but needed help against the Q♠Q♣ of Petrushevskii. The board came 9♥8♦9♣7♠3♦, and Peyroles is out in 63rd. Petrushevskii is now hovering around 1 million. –MH

12:25pm: Gierse gets Zhang
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

The turn card had been dealt, making the board 3♣Q♣2♣5♣ and while we missed the precise sequence of action that led to the dealer’s announcing “All in and call, Table 8!” we could see well enough that Yang Zhang was tabling K♥3♠ (perhaps having shoved) and Marius Gierse was showing A♣A♥ (the likely caller). 

Zhang was already drawing dead, making the 8♦ river no matter, and he’s out in 64th. Meanwhile Gierse moves up around 740,000. –MH

12:25pm: Happy Papacek
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

A double up for Roman Papacek, who allowed himself to thump the table as a quiet celebration, although you suspect he wanted to shout something. He’d found pocket kings, got his chips in and got a caller for them in Arne Kern who turned over 5♦5♣. Not enough to threaten the Czech, who is back above 200,000. – SB

12:20pm: Where are you from? Or, information is gold, man
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

Table 9 is the highest-numbered and thus scheduled to be the first to break today, meaning with 65 players everyone knew there would only be one elimination needed before that breaking would happen.

Still, in just a couple of hands the players at Table 9 were able to make an impression on one another, thanks largely to the talkative Martin Kabrhel of the Czech Republic playing a host of sorts by asking everyone from where they’ve come.

Having established where half the table resides, Kabrhel was in the big blind — “Big blind is my strongest position!” he declared — when Jonathan Abdellatif raised to 29,000 from middle position. 

“Where are you from?” asked Kabrhel of Abdellatif as others folded. “You had a lot of time to Hendon that,” cracked Abdellatif, alluding to the tournament poker database, refusing to let on he was from Belgium. 

“Information is gold, man,” he added.

Stefan Fabian (Romania) then called from the button, and the action moved over to Kabrhel. He checked his cards and thought a moment, then leaned toward the dealer.

“Can I Google him now?” he asked, and the table laughed. Kabrhel then folded, and after some postflop back-and-forthing Fabian managed to take the pot with a river bet.

Three eliminations coming in the midst of that one long hand, the table indeed broke thereafter. Wherever Kabrhel goes, expect more gold-mining attempts to follow. –MH

NEIL8925_Martin_Kabrhel_EPT13PRA_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Kabrhel versus the world

12:15pm: Man down early; new millionaire
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

We’ve lost our first player of the day from this EPT Main Event and relatives of Karol Radomski should prepare themselves to hear a bad beat story. He had 480,000 at the start of the day and it’s now almost all with Arne Kern, the player to his right. Kern had an inferior hand to begin with, but it was emphatically better by the end.

Kern started the hand going with a raise to 25,000 from the cutoff and three-bet from the button, making it 68,000. Kern called and they peered at a flop of A♠Q♥10♥.

Kern checked, then called Radomski’s bet of 70,000, bringing the Q♥ on the turn. Kern checked again, allowing Radomski to bet 200,000. Then with his opponent completely pot-commited, Kern sprang a trap and moved all-in.

Radomski called with A♣K♠, but it was grim reading for him when Kern showed A♠Q♦. Radomski had one out to a chop, but missed when the 7♦ came on the river.

Radomski is out, while Kern pushes to 1.1 million. — HS

12:10pm: Squeezing the life out of it
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

Matas Cimbolas applied the squeeze pre-flop in a pot against Georges Chehade and Demosthenes Kiriopoulos, but ended up squeezing the life out of a hand that had the potential to go somewhere but fizzled out.

Chehade had already opened the first hand of the day, showing pocket tens after everybody folded, and then he clambered up on to the horse again right away. He opened to 26,000.

Kiriopoulos called from the cutoff and then Cimbolas made it 75,000 on the button. It was a classic squeeze play. The difference between this and many other such examples was that both Chehade and Kiriopoulos both called (after due consideration), meaning three players went to the flop of 2♣K♣6♣.

All three checked, and now the signs were clearly blinking that this wasn’t going to be the humdinger it may once have seemed. The J♥ appeared on the turn and Chehade checked again.

After a pause for thought, Kiriopoulos bet 118,000 but then, after pauses for effect, both Cimbolas and Chehade folded. — HS

11:30am: Can anyone catch Peters?

From a starting field of 1,192 players, only 65 remain heading into Day 4 of the EPT Prague Main Event. For long periods yesterday, it seemed as though there was only one who really mattered: David Peters, the American crusher, who amassed a chip stack of more than 2 million and is way out in front.


David Peters: Uncatchable on Day 3

Today will be moving day for anyone still with chips. There are two directions: out the door, or towards the final table. We will likely end proceedings with around 20 players left.

Tournament staff are yet to confirm precisely the schedule for the day. Most likely it will be another five levels, but they may tack on another one should players stick around.

Either way, we’ll let you know. Full coverage will appear here until day is done. — HS

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


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