EPT13 Prague: David Peters dominates Day 3 as field trimmed to 65

December 16, 2016

The change to the payout structure of EPT Main Events means that the bubble will always burst right around the end of Level 14–i.e., the end of Day 2. As we saw last night, Attila Valentai went out at the absolute death, leaving 231 players in the tournament and in the cash.

As surely as a slowdown precedes a bubble, a deluge of eliminations follows it. And that quirk in the tournament structure meant players returned at noon today reinvigorated for a crazy hour of shoving, calling and busting, which started the number of players rattling downwards until only 66 remained at the end of Day 3.


Here’s a further poker truth: On a day of attrition for short stacks, the big dogs are going to prosper. And our leader tonight is without question among the hottest talents in the game at present: David Peters, whose stack of 2.036 million sits at the top.

Peters has won more than $9 million in the 20 months since a breakout victory in a €10,000 High Roller event in Malta. He had about $5 million even before that, plus scores more victories online. Today he knocked out the one-time chip leader Oleg Vasylchenko when he rivered a full house over Vasylchenko’s straight.


David Peters: Dominant chip leader

After that it was plain sailing, past 1 million, on to the EPT Live feature table, past 2 million and to the top slot in tonight’s recaps. Peters is completely unflappable and evidently unstoppable. Few would begrudge him an EPT title at the final opportunity.

Nobody else is even really within sight, but here are some stacks that would be considered big were it not for Peters:

Stoyan Obreshkov – 1,356,000
Apostolos Bechrakis – 1,036,000
Viteszlav Pesta – 1,025,000

The full counts for the remaining 65 can be seen on the chip-count page. We’re celebrating the continued presence of Felipe Ramos (429,000) over there, especially on a day on which Vanessa Selbst, the only other Red Spade in the field, departed. The other names that stand out are Salvatore Bonavena and Max Lykov. They are both looking for a second EPT title.

You can see a list of the players who have cashed to date on the payouts page.

Scroll through the coverage below if you want to find out how we got here. Then join us tomorrow at noon for more of the same.

Day 3 coverage:

8:55pm: Play ends
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

And with that, play is done for the day. Full recap incoming.

8:50pm: Kabrel and Gruissem rivalry culminates in elimination
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

If you’ve been watching any of the EPT Live stream today, you’ll have seen Philipp Gruissem and Martin Kabrhel going at each other. Well, their rivalry has now seen one of them bust to the other.

Kabrhel had just won a pot, and as he was raking in the chips he said to someone else at the table: “Philipp, I would bust him with pleasure!” It was something of a weird glimpse into the future.

The very next hand Kabrhel opened to 22,000 in the cutoff and Gruissem three-bet to 56,000 on the button. Back to the Czech player, he jammed for 270,000 and Gruissem snap called off his 230,000.

Gruissem – A♠K♣
Kabrhel – A♥10♣

“Now we’ve got him! Now we’ve got him!” said Gruissem excitedly.

“Oh, you think you’re going to get lucky and hit a king?” said Kabrhel. It was clear these two have been needling each other all day. Then the flop fell.


“Siiiiiiiiiick!” said Kabrhel as he saw he’d taken the lead. Gruissem frowned as he saw the 3♠ and 6♦ complete the board to eliminate him. “Good game, good game,” said Kabrhel, perhaps insincerely.

Gruissem made his exit, and Kabrhel increased to around 520,000. –JS

8:45pm: Kabrhel and Gruissem go again
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Friedrich Meyer limped from the cutoff, Martin Kabrhel called from the small blind, and Philipp Gruissem checked from the big blind. The flop came 5♦3♦3♠, and Kabrhel led for 24,000 with only Gruissem calling. The turn brought the 8♦, Kabrhel bet 29,000, and Gruissem called again.

The river A♠ completed the board, and this time Kabrhel checked. Gruissem then went all in for his last 101,000, and Kabrhel went deep into the tank.

Minutes passed, with Kabrhel repeatedly looking back at his hand as if wishing it were just a little better than it was. Finally the clock was called, and with 10 seconds to go Kabrhel released his cards.

Gruissem gets up around 240,000, while Kabrhel is at 260,000. –MH

8:40pm: Talley out
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Another elimination, with American Caufman Talley heading to the rail. On a flop of Q♠5♠2♦ the chips went in, Talley’s behind A♥5♥ against Stoyan Obreshkov’s Q♦J♣.
The turn 10♦ and river 10♣ did nothing to change Talley’s situation, and after gracious handshakes all round he was on the rail. Obreshkov meanwhile moves up to 1.25 million. – SB

8:40pm: If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

One would expect that Philipp Gruissem isn’t a result-orientated type of guy. Just because you get shoved on two hands in a row, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t try a third time.

Gruissem raised from middle position and was called Alexey Romanov in the cutoff. The flop fanned 9♦3♦2♥ and Gruissem continued for 23,000 before Romanov shoved for around 180,000. Gruissem folded saying it was a weird play by his opponent.

Gruissem raised from UTG+1 the very next hand. That time it was for 23,000 and into the big blind of Felipe Ramos. Ramos moved all-in and Gruissem had to admit defeat once more.

Gruissem wasn’t to be put off by those two hands and came in for a raise the next hand. He only won the blinds and antes, but after what just happened, it was a marked improvement. His stack settled on 157,000. –MC

8:35pm: EPT champ out
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

We’ve lost another former EPT champ. Ludovic Lacay is outta here.

He had fallen to around 20 big blinds, then got in a pot with Borge Sandsgaard. On a 4♣9♠9♣J♠ board, Lacay bet 25,000 when it checked to him and got a call. The 4♠ completed the now double-paired board and Sandsgaard led out for 40,000. Lacay called but mucked as Sandsgaard showed the 8♥9♦ for a boat. That brought Sandsgaard up to 500,000, and Lacay down to 120,000.

He’d be all-in in the very next hand. Gang Wang limped and Lacay jammed with the A♥Q♥. Wang snap called with his slow-played A♦K♦ and flopped the absolute nuts on the 9♦7♦2♦ board to leave Lacay drawing dead. The K♥ and 4♥ completed the board and gave Wang a stack of 276,000.

Lacay, meanwhile, will always be a one-time EPT winner. Still, that’s a pretty small club. –JS

8:30pm: Pesta over Guilbert
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Johan Guilbert looked ceilingward, as if searching for something useful in the tiling above. He’d just finished a hand with Viteszlav Pesta taking a pot off of him, and while we didn’t see the action, we did see a board of 8♠K♦K♣J♣A♥, Pesta table A♦A♠ for a rivered full house, and Guilbert mucked with a look that suggested the river card wasn’t without meaning.


Viteszlav Pesta

Pesta jumps to 960,000. Meanwhile Guilbert slips to 115,000, his gaze now directed down at the table at others’ chips. –MH

8:25pm: Runner runner Radzivonau
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Nicolas Chouity’s bid to become a two-time EPT winner just came to an unlikely end. He was all in with A♠K♦ against Kiryl Radzivonau who had A♣J♠.

“I have a bad feeling about this,” Chouity said, looking across the table at Radzivonau, perhaps trying to by himself some karma with the Gods. His suspicions were on the money.

The board delivered a runner-runner straight for Radzivonau. It came 10♣7♥K♣8♥9♥.

Chouity couldn’t quite believe it, and the board was met with audible gasps form the table. But he was out and Radzivonau was up to 970,000. – SB

8:21pm: Haijev shoves river, departs
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Our thanks to Andrew Hulme for filling us in on a hand in which he played a bit part. Ramin Hajiyev and Kyosti Isberg were the stars.

Isberg raised from under the gun and Hulme called from the small blind and Haijev called from the big blind with K♦3♦. The 10♣2♦7♦ flop checked round. Haijev led on the 5♠ turn and Isberg was the only caller. A King fell on the river, Haijev moved all-in for 80,000, Isberg made the call and revealed a pair of tens for a slow-played flopped set.

So Haijev departs and Isberg climbs to 830,000. –NW

8:20pm: Justice for Paygusov, but he’s out shortly after
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Around 10 minutes ago Alexander Paygusov doubled up through Nicolas Chouity when his A♠Q♦ held up against Q♥J♦ on a 2♠Q♠9♦J♥A♦ board. “Justice!” said someone else at the table, referring to the fact that Chouity had taken the lead on the turn only to lose it on the river to the better hand.

That gave Paygusov around 156,000, but he wouldn’t have much time to work the short stack. After Simon Charette opened to 22,000, Paygusov jammed for 156,000 and it folded back to Charette. “I don’t want to call and be wrong!” Charette said.

“This is a fun table!” Matas Cimbolas, who arrived not to long ago, said.

Charette eventually did make the call which for most of his chips. He had the A♠7♠, which was ahead of Paygusov’s Q♠10♥. The board fell 2♠5♥K♠9♠9♥ to give Charette the nut flush.

Paygusov is off to get paid, while Charette moved up to 320,000. –JS

8:16pm: The monologue from Cimbolas (in one act)
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

“I did not have a taste for four-betting,” said Matas Cimbolas of Lithuania, shortly after he had three-bet from the big blind versus Dutchman Jasper Meijer Van Putten’s button open.

It was the first of several lines Cimbolas would deliver in the hand, as it developed further. The hand recalled an earlier conversation at a different table where Cimbolas had mentioned “speech play” and his readiness to employ it. Here was his chance.

Van Putten called the re-raise to make the pot about 150,000, and the flop came 9♠3♠8♥.

“You like flop?” asked Cimbolas before leading for 95,000. Van Putten called. “No raise?” Cimbolas followed up as the 4♠ turn fell.

“Huge pot… huge!” said Cimbolas. “Where’s the cameras?” He began rubbing his hands together dramatically. “I’m sweating!”


The talkative Matas Cimbolas alongside Nicolas Chouity

Then came the all-in push from Cimbolas, good for 268,000. As Van Putten thought, the Lithuanian kept talking, taking pauses between each sentence. A sampling:

— “Nothing left.”
— “Not trying to find tells?”
— “All in.”
— “I’m the captain here.”

Van Putten asked Cimbolas if he remembered Barcelona, alluding to a hand the pair had played before. Cimbolas responded that he did.

“But you’ll be remembering this one for a long time,” he cracked in response.

Finally Van Putten folded, keeping his 410,000 while Cimbolas is now stacking 555,000. When challenged by another player whether he indeed remembered Barcelona, Cimbolas laughed heartily.

“Of course not!” –MH

8:15pm: Big hand from the former feature table
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

A big pot just went down on the table that has recently moved from the television stage. Alexey Romanov tripled up with the worst pre-flop hand and Felipe Ramos lost a big chunk of his stack.

Romanov was down to 125,000 when he moved in from middle position. Ramos was in the small blind and moved all-in hoping to isolate. That didn’t work out though as Martin Kabrhel was sat with a monster in the big blind and called all-in.

Ramos: A♦10♦
Kabrhel: K♣K♠
Romanov: J♠10♠

The board ran J♦6♥10♣7♠2♥ to make Romanov two pair. After Ramos and Kabrhel had paid their dues to Romanov, the former had to pay the latter 173,000 for the side pot and was left with 450,000 himself. –MC

8:10pm: Viva Vidovic
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Josip Vidovic opened for 23,000 before Pedro Lamarca in the seat next to him raised to 69,000 from the cut off. Vidovic moved all-in for 154,000, which Lamarca called, turning over 6♦6♠. Vidovic though was looking good with Q♠Q♣, and stayed good through the J♦5♠5♣8♥7♣ board. He’s up to 220,000 while Lamarca drops to 275,000. – SB

8:05pm: Munoz gets a lifeline
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Marta Munoz was all-in and things didn’t look good. She turned over K♥2♣ on a flop of 6♣K♣9♠ for 161,000. Aleksandr Nemtcov called her with K♠Q♠. Munoz knew what would typically happen next and stood up to put her coat on. The turn came 6♠ but the river? The 6♣, good for a chop, a quiet apology to the Russian from Munoz, who sat back down again. – SB


Marta Munoz: No need for a coat

8:01pm: Lacay uses reverse-position
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

People always tell you the power of position in poker is pivotal. If you get to act last, you get to see what others do first, and use that information to your advantage. On the flip-side, though, if you get to bet first, then you’re being the aggressor, putting your opponent to the test.

Ludovic Lacay just used a bit of this reverse-position in a blind vs blind pot against Borge Sandsgaard. It folded to Lacay in the small and he 3x’d it up to 30,000, and Sandsgaard defended his big. The flop fell Q♦9♣6♥ and he continued for 30,000 again. Sandsgaard called.

The turn was the A♥ and Lacay didn’t stop, now making it 66,000. The pressure got to much for Sandsgaard and he let it go, bringing him down to 435,000 and Lacay up to around 420,000. –JS

8pm: Putten the hurt on Charette
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

If you’re the superstitious sort then you’d probably regard being drawn in Table 8, Seat 8 as a very good thing. That’s the seat Jasper Meijer van Putten found himself in at the start of the day and it’s one he still occupies thanks to winning a flip against Simon Charette.

The hand started with an open to 22,000 from the cutoff from Van Putten, Charette asked for a count and learned that it was 260,000. Upon processing this information Charette three-bet to 65,000 total. This sent Van Putten into the tank and he emerged with an all-in shove.

Charette wanted to be sure of Van Putten’s exact stack before making his next decision. It was established the all-in bet was 264,000 and Charette plonked a tower of chips over the line and showed 7♦7♣.

Van Putten had A♥10♠ and hit the 10♣Q♠3♦ flop to take the lead. The 3♠ turn was a blank and the 10♥ river improved him to a full house. After that hand he’s up to around 540,000, while Charette drops to 200,000. –NW

7:55pm: Cohen’s goin’
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

There are two females left in the 80 player field, and both are sat at the same table. It was Sam Cohen from the USA who just added a few more chips to her pile, though.

Jonathan Abdellatif opened to 24,000 and was three-bet to 70,000 by Pablo Gordillo. Cohen was on the button, and she jammed for around 600,000. Both quickly folded, bringing Cohen’s stack up to the 720,000 mark. –JS

7:50pm: Czuczor cuts McEathron down
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Ryan McEathron is still in high spirits despite busting to Marton Czuczor.

Czuczor opened to from the hijack and made a quick call after his Canadian opponent three-bet all-in for 190,000 from the next seat.

Czuczor: J♠J♦
McEathron: A♠K♣

The board ran 7♠8♣4♣7♦3♣ to send McEathron on his way and Czuczor up to around 900,000. –MC

7:40pm: Cohen, Conan, Chehade, Woooo
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Sam Cohen just doubled up with pocket Kings against the pocket nines of Arthur Conan. He drops to 80,000 while Cohen now has around 650,000.

It didn’t take long for Conan to get his stack in. One hand to be exact. This time he had 10♥10♠ and was called by Jonathan Abdellatif with 4♣4♠. He called for a four, but the board came 5♦9♥7♥2♦Q♣, which brought Conan’s stack back up to around 200,000.

A table away Georges Chehade shouted “Woooo” as his 7♦6♦ flushed away Tobias Laubert’s A♥6♥ on a board of 3♦6♠5♦K♦5♥. – SB

7:35pm: Chouity gets it in, survives
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Nicolas Chouity began the day on top of the counts with 231 players left. Now there are only 80 remaining, and in the interim Chouity slipped out of the upper reaches to average-stacked status and then some, although he just now got a bounce back thanks to a fortuitous set of community cards.

Following a middle position open by Alexander Paygusov, it folded to Chouity in the blinds who put his sub-200K stack at risk with a re-raise-push and Paygusov called right away.

Chouity had K♦J♦ and Paygusov A♥K♥, and the 5♠9♦A♦8♦6♥ board had adequate diamonds on it to make Chouity a flush and enable him to survive.

Chouity has about 403,000 now — the chip leader has more than three times that at present — while Paygusov is down to 60,000. –MH

7:25pm: Back for one last level
Level 18 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

They are back. Here’s the top ten as we stand:

Name Country Status Chips
David Peters USA PokerStars player 1445000
Janos Kurtosi Hungary PokerStars player 1090000
Apostolos Bechrakis Greece PokerStars qualifier 985000
Kyosti Isberg Finland PokerStars player 930000
Darren Delahunty UK PokerStars qualifier 780000
Stoyan Obreshkov Bulgaria   755000
Anton Hrabchak Ukraine PokerStars qualifier 750000
Pablo Gordillo Spain PokerStars qualifier 740000
David Lopez Llacer Spain PokerStars qualifier 700000
Jonathan Abdellatif Belgium   692000

Full counts are available on the chip-count page.

6:55pm: Last break of the day

With the big board showing 84 currently it’s time for one last break, this one for 30 minutes. Players will return for one more 90-minute level before Day 3 is done. –MH

6:54pm: Deviatov’s chips deviate to Charette
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

Nicolas Chouity opened to 18,000 in the hijack, but was instantly three-bet all-in by Dmitrii Deviatov for 180,000. Simon Charette was on the button and he then reshoved with a bigger stack, isolating Deviatov by getting Chouity to lay it down.

Deviatov – A♥J♣
Charette – 8♣8♠

The 5♣A♠8♦ flop gave Deviatov top pair but it also improved Charette to a set, leaving Deviatov drawing pretty thin. The 9♥ Q♦ turn and river sealed his fate, and he was gone. Not before he had a little moan, roughly saying he was surprised that Charette would reshove with the pocket eights.

Anyway, Charette is up to 455,000 after that one. –JS

6:53pm: Good time to find Aces
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

Cornelis van Gent was having fun conversation with David Yan, who was on his immediate left, but it came to a halt as he instead had to focus on the player on his right. That was Ryan McEathron, who had shoved for 98,000 from the cutoff. Van Gent got a count and then re-raised all-in, which forced everyone else to fold.

Van Gent: A♠10♠
McEathron: A♣A♦

“What is this?” Van Gent joked when he saw the hands. The 5♣Q♦10♣ board gave Van Gent some help but the 5♥ turn and 7♦ river changed nothing and McEathron doubled. –NW

6:52pm: Kobyashi stands on Samoilenko
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

Dmytro Samoilenko is on his way to the rail. He knew his day was done on the J♠5♠10♦ flop. His K♣10♠ looked a little pale against the A♥A♠ of Hirokazu Kobayashi who now has a stack worth 310,000 to play. – SB

6:50pm: Pavliuk out of luck
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

Roman Pavliuk found a lovely spot to get his stack in, but unfortunately it ended defeat for him. He was in the blinds and three-bet all-in for 120,000 after a Cristinel Dumitru late position raise. Call.

Pavliuk: A♦Q♥
Dumitru: A♥K♦

The board ran J♥A♠J♣4♦7♠ to send Pavliuk on his way. Dumitru, meanwhile, moved up to 585,000. –MC

6:48pm: Three-bet, four-bet, check, check, fold 
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

Here’s the hand that interrupted the Peyroles/Kabaliak pot described below (see 6:36pm). Marius Gierse opened from under the gun and Kent Roed called in the hijack.

Eduards Kudrjavcevs, in the big blind, bumped it up to 67,000, but Gierse wasn’t having any of it. He four-bet to 121,000. Roed departed, but Kudrjavcevs called and two players saw a flop of A♦10♥3♦. They both checked.

After the 2♣ came on the turn, Kudrjavcevs checked and Gierse began fiddling with his chips. There was every indication that a bet was about to follow this fiddling and Kudrjavcevs saved everybody the hassle by simply mucking before anything was across the line. –HS

6:45pm: Norwegian good
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

I didn’t need to see the cards to know that Artur Rudziankov had just been outflopped by Norwegian player Kayhan Mokri Roshanfekr. I could see it in his face. I’d arrived at the table as the dealer had spread the 9♠4♠2♣ flop and my eyes were still scrabbling around trying to find the hole cards of the two players.

I soon saw that Rudziankov had 8♠8♣ and Roshanfekr A♥9♥. The latter was all-in for 130,000 and held up on the Q♦ turn and K♥ river. –NW

6:40pm: Hulme takes the last fumes from Frejdles
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

Francois Frejdles was down to his last 74,000 when he made his move from the cutoff. Andrew Hulme in the small blind made sure no one else got invited the showdown party by moving all-in as well.

Hulme: A♦K♣
Frejdles: 2♥2♦

The board ran K♦3♦6♣9♠6♥ to make Hulme the better two pair. He moved up to 787,000 and looked like a man very satisfied with how his day is progressing. –MC

6:36pm: Balancing the chatting range 
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

Arnaud Peyroles was all-in on consecutive hands and both times it was Slovakia’s Tomas Kubaliak to decide what to make of the gregarious Frenchman sat across from him.

In the first instance, Peyroles open-shoved for around 120,000 from UTG+1 and action folded to Kubaliak in the small blind.

“How much?” Kabaliak said.

“Not so expensive,” Peyroles said. “Not so important to you if you lose it.”

There was more chit-chat even than this, plus the sight of Peyroles attempting to balance the “All-In” triangle on top of his stack. (The dealer put a halt to this as she got Kubaliak an official count.)

Kubaliak folded, and Peyroles was about to muck his cards. However, Kubaliak reminded him, “There’s one more player.” Dick Postel, for it was he, folded from the big blind showing the A♠, and said he didn’t want to double up Peyroles for a second time. (Presumably that had happened earlier today.)

Peyroles showed 9♥9♦ to give weight to his story.

My attention was briefly grabbed by a neighbouring table, but on a glance back in Peyroles’ direction, it appeared he was all-in again on the very next hand. This time they had got to a turn with the board reading 4♥6♠2♦10♦ and Peyroles’ shove was for 143,000.

Again it was Kubaliak with the decision, but this time his opponent was absolutely silent. Peyroles stared straight ahead without so much as a flicker.

Kubaliak announced a call, but Peyroles had him beat with A♦10♠ to Kubaliak’s J♣10♣. The 6♦ river changed nothing.

Peyroles had at least balanced his chatting range through those two hands, but maybe his table-mates will have picked up something from the noisy-then-silent routine. — HS

6:33pm: Phillips gets felted
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

With a 20,000 open-raise in front of him, Ben Philipps moved all-in from the small blind for 287,000. Jonathan Abdellatif was in the big blind and he must have peeled back something he liked, as he then shoved all-in over the top with the bigger stack, getting the original raiser to fold,

Philipps had the A♥J♣, but was dominated by Abdellatif’s A♦Q♥ and would need some from the dealer to survive. The 3♥A♠2♠ flop paired both, and the 10♦ turn and 2♣ river ensured the queen kicker played to eliminate the Brit.

Abdellatif is up to 640,000 now, while Philipps has the rest of his evening free. –JS

6:30pm: Gang Wang the man
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

Gang Wang just doubled up. He slammed down his K♠9♠ when he was called by Caufman Talley; a little hasty perhaps as Talley turned over A♠A♦.

But, sometimes, the poker gods overlook these little eccentricities. 

The board came 2♥8♠7♠Q♦3♠ to which Wang cried “Yes!”


Gang Wang

Talley said nothing and paid off Wang who now has 300,000. For his part Talley drops to 160,000. – SB

6:25pm: Once more with feeling
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

There are still four former EPT winners in the field, keeping alive the possibility of a double-winner for one last time. They are Nicolas Chouity, Max Lykov, Salvatore Bonavena and Ludovic Lacay. – SB

NEIL8156_Salvatore_Bonavena_EPT13PRA_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Bonavena part of the remaining EPT champions’ bunch

6:20pm: Big pairs can lead to double-ups
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

Dick Postel and Konstantin Uspenskiy both found big pairs and used to them to maximum effect.

Postel raised from the button and then called all-in for 139,000 after Arnaud Peyroles set him in from the big blind holding J♥J♣. Postel opened a dominated 10♥10♠ but the 9♣8♠7♦Q♠6♦ board came as a saviour, making him a straight. Peyroles dropped to 240,000 and sat there shaking his head.

Then it was chip leader David Peters who doubled up Uspenskiy in a battle of the high rollers. Uspenskiy had 162,000 and got them in preflop holding A♠A♣. Peters opened 7♦7♠ and couldn’t catch up on a 6♣J♣J♥5♦5♠ board. Don’t feel too bad for him though as he still has greater than 1.3 million in front of him. –MC

6:16pm: Conan the numismatist
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

“That’s a pretty good spot for you,” said Ben Philipps to Arthur Conan when he saw the cards. Conan had shoved for 83,000 from the small blind and Philips — who had A♦2♥ — reasoned he had more than enough with which to call the 10.3 big blind shove.

Unfortunately for Philipps, Conan had 7♥7♦ and the pair held on a K♥4♦J♦7♣8♣ board. –NW

6:13pm: Cimbolas plays floor staff
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

Lithuania’s Matas Cimbolas is not only a student of the game, but it seems he’s a student of the tournament schedules, too.

After Johan Guilbert opened to 20,000, it folded to Cimbolas in the big blind and he three-bet 60,000. Guilbert was thinking about what to do when Cimbolas started chatting.

“Go ahead, raise,” he said, with a smile. “There’s another tournament… a €2K…”

He’s right, y’know. But what we don’t know is whether he was implying that Guilbert would be free to enter that event, or whether he would be, had all the chips gone in.

It never got that far as Guilbert folded, leaving himself 260,000, while Cimbolas has 525,000. –JS

NEIL8130_Matas_Cimbolas_Marton_Czuczor-_EPT13PRA_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Matas Cimbolas (left), earlier with Marton Czuczor (right)

6:10pm: Roed leads to home for Muehloecker 
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

Within minutes of Juha Helppi’s elimination, his fellow high roller Thomas Muehloecker has hit the rail.

Muehloecker had less than 40,000 in his stack before this hand, so the damage had already been done. But it was “Old” Kent Roed who will likely be investing in four green houses and a red hotel after winning second prize in a beauty contest taking the last of Muehloecker’s stack.

Roed opened to 17,000 from under the gun and action folded to Muehloecker in the big blind. He jammed for 38,000. Roed called and tabled A♥K♥. Muehloecker was always in danger with A♦Q♣.

The board was as dry as a town without a water works. It ran 10♣2♥4♦7♦4♣. Muehloecker is out. — HS

6:06pm: Yan can
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

A double-up for David Yan who moves up to around 260,000. He shoved with 3♣3♥ and got a call from Karol Radomski who showed A♠J♦

Radomski seemed to resign himself to the absence of anything helpful from the board and set about paying off Yan immediately. He was right, as it came 8♥Q♥6♣5♦9♠.

That’s two hits in a row for Radomski (see just below), who is now down to around 200,000. – SB

6:03pm: Tedeschi takes one away
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

Paul Tedeschi has moved up to 330,000 after he took Karol Radomski off a hand on the river.

Radomski opened to 18,000 from UTG+1 and he was only called by the Frenchman in the big blind. The flop spread 2♦Q♥8♥ and Radomski continued for 21,000. Tedeschi check-called to the A♦ where he called another 47,000. The 5♥ completed the board and Tedeschi led for 5♥. Radomski double-checked his cards and sent the into the muck to drop to 340,000. –MC

6pm: Ullmann all out
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

It’s rare to see someone smiling when they’ve just been eliminated from a poker tournament but Nino Ullmann didn’t seem to be too disheartened when he busted at the hands of Sergei Petrushevskii.

The latter had opened to 20,000 from under-the-gun and Ullmann re-raised all-in for 97,000. When it folded back to Petrushevskii he snap-called and showed K♥K♣. Ullmann had the right hand to get lucky with — 7♦7♠ — but didn’t connect with the 10♦Q♥10♣3♣8♠ board and was eliminated. Meanwhile, after that hand Petrushevskii is closing in on 800,000. –NW

5:55pm: Hajiyev hands some to Petrushevskii
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

Ramin Hajiyev’s best EPT Main Event finish was when he placed 12th at EPT8 Campione for €30,000. His chances of besting that here in the last ever one have just taken a hit, courtesy of this hand.

Hajiyev opened to 18,000 and both blinds called. The flop showed the 2♣2♥9♥ and it checked to man from Azerbaijan and he continued for 23,000, which Sergei Petrushevskii then check-raised to 51,000 from the small blind seat. Hajiyev called.

The dealer laid the 7♥ on the turn and both checked to see the K♥ on the river. Petrushevskii checked once more, and Hajiyev reached for chips, eventually betting 87,000. That was quickly called and the Russian tabledQ♥Q♣, which was ahead of Hajiyev’s J♣9♠.

Petrushevskii is up to 700,000 now, while Hajiyev slips to 240,000. –JS

5:50pm: Helppi hounded out 
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

It’s a double-figure field now here in Prague as only 98 players remain. That may actually be 97 depending on whether Juha Helppi’s elimination registered with the tournament official in charge of the clock before or after our latest glance.

Yes, Helppi has departed, running a pair of sevens into Aleksey Ponakov’s K♠K♥. Helppi opened to 18,000 from under the gun, leaving himself about 85,000 behind.

Ponakov three-bet the button, making it 49,000 and Helppi quickly moved in. Ponakov snapped him off and showed the Kings. Helppi’s 7♣7♥ found no favours through a board of 5♠K♣6♣2♦8♦.

Helppi picked up €341,150 for third place in the €50,000 Super High Roller tournament this week, rendering his €13,830 even more “min”-seeming than a regular min-cash. But a cash is a cash.

Ponakov has every chance at something bigger. He is stacking 595,000 now. –HS

NEIL8332_Juha_Helppi_EPT13PRA_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Juha out of Praha

5:45pm: Romain Lewis leaves
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

Romain Lewis had every reason to feel just a little bit of confidence when he shoved with A♣K♣ and saw Felipe Ramos calling with K♥Q♠. But this was not to be his day. 

While the flop of 4♣9♠J♥ missed both of them the Q♣ turn didn’t. Neither did the river card Q♥
Ramos reached over to shake Lewis’s hand before he left for the payout desk. Ramos meanwhile is up to more than 700,000. – SB

NEIL8112_Felipe_Ramos_EPT13PRA_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Ramos removes Romain

5:40pm: One didn’t want to see, the other didn’t like what he saw
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

There were two hands playing tables right next to each other. We were expecting two all-in showdowns but only one happened.

On one table, Hirokazu Kobayashi raised before David Sierra Merino three-bet. Kobayashi came back with a four-bet to 117,000 before Merino very quickly four-bet all-in for 191,000. The player from Japan had put over half his stack but rather than call, he tanked for several minutes then folded. Merino asked him of he wanted to see his cards, but the offer was declined.

The other was much more straightforward. Martin Nikolov was short and moved all-in from early position holding K♥Q♠. Johan Guilbert was sat in the blinds with K♠K♦, made the call, and survived the 4♥6♣A♦9♥6♦. The Frenchman moved up to 370,000. –MC

5:35pm: Titov takes his medicine
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

You don’t see too many players on the booze during the Main Event — at least at this time of day, a last level beer is another thing — but Oleg Titov is bucking that trend. He’s got a glass of what looks like Cognac but could be whiskey or any other spirit of that colour.

He was involved in a hand in which he’d raised to 20,000 and Robert Gill had shoved for 99,000. The Russian took a sip of his toddy as he weighed up his decision and eventually elected to call. He showed A♦9♠ and was behind to Gill’s K♥K♠.

At this point Titov stood up — glass in hand — and pleaded with the dealer to put an ace out there. His plea fell on deaf ears though as a 4♣8♦6♠3♠Q♠ board meant Gill doubled to just over 200,000 and Titov dropped to just below 200,000. –NW

5:30pm: Updated chip counts; David Peters leads final 101
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

They’re only little over halfway through Day 3, so there’s no point in saying any one player is “running away with it” just yet. But David Peters is on some run, that’s for sure, having charged up to 1.575 million during that last level while no one else is in seven figures. 

Here’s a look at the top 10, and click here (or up above) for updated chip counts from here on out. –MH











Name Country Status Chips
David Peters USA PokerStars player 1575000
Janos Kurtosi Hungary PokerStars player 933000
Pedro Lamarca Spain   830000
Apostolos Bechrakis Greece PokerStars qualifier 825000
Stoyan Obreshkov Bulgaria   812000
Eduards Kudrjavcevs Latvia   756000
Borge Sandsgaard Norway PokerStars player 740000
Anton Hrabchak Ukraine PokerStars qualifier 739000
Andrew Hulme UK   640000
Darren Delahunty UK PokerStars qualifier 610000

5:30pm: Play resumes 
Level 18 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

With just over 100 players left, Level 18 is underway. Full updated chip counts coming in just a minute. –MH

Ready to embark on your own poker adventure? Sign up for PokerStars and begin your journey. Click here to get an account.

5:10pm: Break No. 3 

They’ve gotten through another level, which means the remaining players are on another 20-minute break. –MH

5:10pm: Celebrating too late 
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

It’s not fair to say that Danut Chisu celebrated too early. He resisted that particular poker crime. In fact, it’s probably more accurate to say Chisu celebrated too late. Far too late. He probably shouldn’t have been celebrating at all.

He got the last of his chips in with A♦Q♣. They were at the turn and the board read 2♣5♦3♦4♥. Chisu punched the air in delight when the 8♦ completed the board, but he was quickly silenced when he took a second look at his opponent’s hand. Anton Afanasyev had 7♥6♥ and a bigger straight.

Chisu apologised very quickly and very humbly and was plainly equal parts disappointed and embarrassed as he made his way from the table. David Peters offered consolation as Chisu made his way out. — HS

5:08pm: Nasr El Nasr out el out 
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Nasr El Nasr used to be a regular on the European Poker Tour, but we haven’t seen him in what seems like more than five years. We’ll have to schedule our next meeting for Season 6 of the PokerStars Championship series as his EPT Prague excursion has just come to an end.

NEIL8476_Nasr_El_Nasr-_EPT13PRA_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Nasr El Nasr

He got his last 110,000 in with 5♣5♦ and lost to Janos Kurtosi’s A♠Q♣ after a board of J♠A♦9♠2♣9♥. Kurtosi is up to around 800,000 now, while El Nasr can return to his post-EPT life. — HS

5:06pm: Lacay takes a hit
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Things have gone pretty smoothly here for Ludovic Lacay, but there will always be the occasional bump in the road. This level’s bump went by the name Romain Lewis.

All of Lewis’ chips were in pre-flop with ace-king against Lacay’s ace-jack, and when the board ran 7♣2♣8♣A♥7♠ the king kicker played. Lewis doubled to 360,000, while Lacay still has close to 600,000. –JS

NEIL8412_Ludovic_Lacay_EPT13PRA_Neil Stoddart.jpg

The look of Lacay

5:03pm: Two more hit the rail
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Seref Dursun Anar and Piotr Franczak were two of the latest players to bust the Main Event.

Anar fell to Tsugunari Toma when he shoved on the turn of a J♦10♥2♥9♦ board turn holding A♦Q♥. The latter called with K♣K♠, the river bricked and Toma moved up to 345,000.

Elsewhere Franczak moved all-in for around 100,000 from under the gun and was called by Josip Vidovic in the big blind.

Vidovic: J♠J♣
Franczak: A♦10♣

The board ran 9♠5♣J♦9♥Q♦ to make Vidovic a full house. He moved up to 278,000. –MC

5pm: Wait! That’s the best hand! 
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Alexandros Vlachakis flopped a set of queens but, by the time the river was out, he was drawing dead to a dealer error. However, he almost hit his miracle out.

To explain:

All of Michiel Broskij’s money went in on the flop of Q♦10♣7♣. He had 114,000 behind. Broskij’s hand was K♣J♣ so he had plenty of equity, even if Vlachakis’s Q♥Q♣ was ahead. The 8♥ was a whiff, but the A♦ filled Broskij’s straight.

The dealer, however, turned the K♣J♣ face down, as is the procedure for a beaten hand. Despite losing, Vlachakis nearly got a lifeline.

Felipe Ramos was the first to play table policeman and said, “That’s the best hand!” The dealer immediately realised the error of her ways — it was actually a sort of misclick rather than a failure to read the hand. She had simply turned over the wrong cards on autopilot.

It was very quickly agreed that no ruling was necessary. All players at the table had been watching the coup carefully, including its denouement. The dealer simply turned over the beaten hand and turned the winner face up again.

Broskij completed his double up, leaving Vlachakis with 77,000. — HS

4:55pm: Blind on blind double for Lewis
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Pretty simple one this. It folded to Kayhan Mokri Roshanfekr in the small blind and he set Romain Lewis all-in for his last 81,000. Lewis peaked down at 9♦9♥ and was well ahead of Roshanfekr’s 7♣5♣.

A 3♠9♠4♠2♥8♦ board threatened to run down the pocket pair but never quite managed it. –NW

4:50pm: Gordillo gets there
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Won’t somebody think of the masseuses!

A masseuse was busy working on Pablo Gordillo’s back when the Spaniard three-bet all-in for 71,000 total. They’d been a raise from Arthur Conan to 14,000 and a call from Jonathan Abdellatif before Gordillo shoved so there were two potential callers of his shove.

Conan stepped aside but Abdellatif put in calling chips and it was time for showdown. Gordillo showed K♠J♣ and needed to hit against Abdellatif’s pocket eights. The 4♠K♣2♦ flop put him in the lead and he stayed there on the 6♥ turn and 3♦ river. Much to the relief of not only himself, but also the masseuse, who was kept in gainful employment for a bit longer. –NW


All good for Gordillo

4:45pm: Schulz shot down
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

With around 30 big blinds left Robert Schulz three-bet all-in with A♠K♣ and Aykutalp Yilmaz, who was the original raiser, called to put him at risk. The Turkish player had him dominated with K♥K♠ and no aces arrived to save Schulz. –NW

4:40pm: Not got an eye for the ladies
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Alexander Paygusov opened to 13,000 when it folded to him, only for Kiryl Radzivonau to his left to three-bet to 33,000. Back to Paygusov, he four-bet jammed with the bigger stack and Radzivonau snap-called for his last 158,000.

Paygusov – A♣Q♣
Radzivonau – Q♠Q♦

Radzivonau didn’t want to see an ace, but the first card down on the flop was the A♠, the prettiest card in the deck for Paygusov. Radzivonau sighed, while Paygusov fist pumped.

But hold on a second there, fellas. Isn’t that a queen on the flop, too? Yep, the A♠ was joined by the Q♥ and 3♠, but it took both a few seconds to realise that Radzivonau had actually flopped a set. The 2♦ and 7♦ completed the board, and Radzivonau doubled up to 333,000, while Paygusov fell to 357,000. –JS

4:35pm: David Peters jump over a million, into lead
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

A huge hand just now resulted in Oleg Vasylchenko being knocked out by David Peters who has rocketed into the lead on close to 1.2 million.

Peters was in middle position and flatted an UTG+1 raise to 14,000 before Vasylchenko squeezed to 50,000 from the cutoff. Peters was the only caller to a 7♠9♠6♠ flop where he checked to face a 45,000 bet from Vasylchenko. Peters check-raised him all-in and the Ukrainian tank-called off another 360,000 to create the biggest pot of the tournament so far.

Peters: 7♦7♣ for middle set. 
Vasylchenko: 10♣8♣ for a straight.

Vasylchenko winced as the turn came 6♣ to make Peters an unbeatable full house. The river was the K♠ and Vasylchenko walked off in shock. –MC

NEIL8304_David_Peters_EPT13PRA_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Peters pushes to the top

4:30pm: Kudrjavcevs gets some back
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Eduards Kudrjavcevs held the lead in this tournament during the first level of play today but he’d slipped back into the pack by the start of this level.

However, he just won a large pot against Thomas Muehloecker to boost his stack to around 730,000 which is good for the top 10 at this time. The pre-flop action is unknown but on a 4♥3♣5♣ flop Kudrjavcevs check-called a bet of 36,000 and that took them the 9♦ turn.

This street was checked through and the 3♦ completed the board. Kudrjavcevs reached for chips and settled on a bet of 147,000. This sent Muehloecker into the tank and he seem preoccupied with how much he’d have left should he call and lose. Did this mean he had a bluff catcher?

We’ll never know his holding as even though Muehloecker made the call, he mucked when Kudrjavcevs showed Q♣Q♥.
In any case if it were a crying call, another player has brought some tissues (see below). –NW

NEIL8144_Tissues_EPT13PRA_Neil Stoddart.jpg

The crying calling station

4:25pm: Philips out-flips Dulowski 
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

At a rough guess, I’d say something like 60 percent of poker tournament eliminations are the result of flips. Krzysztof Dulowski is the latest in a long, long, long, long, long, long line of players to go out like this, getting his last 90,000 in with A♥J♣ and picking up a call from Ben Philipps, who had 10♣10♥.

This one was over when the turn brought the 10♦ to snuff out Dulowski and send Philipps to work on stacking 440,000 chips. — HS

4:20pm: Fab for Fabian
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

We missed exactly how the chips went in pre-flop but Andrii Nadieliaiev (button) committed 60,000 of his 75,000 stack and Stefan Fabian (small blind) had matched that amount. On a 10♠8♣5♥ flop Fabian set the Ukrainian all-in and Nadieliaiev called off his last few chips. Fabian rolled over A♠Q♥ he was in the lead but Nadieliaiev had live cards with K♣9♠.

The 4♦ turn and A♥ river couldn’t save him though, and he headed to the payouts desk. –NW

4:10pm: Well, we know what David Peters’ favourite hand is…
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

It’s quite a big commitment, committing to a David Peters hand. While he’s certainly not the slowest player out there, he’s definitely deliberate and won’t be rushed. Instead of one hand, I ended up catching two, so that ate up a good ten minutes.

There had been an open by Anton Hrabchak and a three-bet by Peters when I arrived, which Hrabchak called to see a 4♥4♠2♥ flop. It checked to Peters and he made a continuation bet of 35,000, which was also called. The dealer burned and turned the 5♥, bringing three to a flush, and Peters emptied another barrel when it checked to him, making it 70,000. After another call the 7♥ completed the board, and also brought the fourth heart. Hrabchak checked a final time, and Peters thought for a minute before checking it back. Hrabchak showed 9♦9♠ for an overpair to the board, but Peters had hit the flush on the river with his Q♣10♥.

In the very next hand it folded to Peters and he opened to 14,000. That picked up two callers — Oleg Vasylchenko on the button and Danut Chisu in the big blind — and the flop fell Q♠10♦5♣. Chisu checked letting Peters in for a 23,000 continuation bet which only Vasylchenko called. The turn was the 6♦ and Peters fired again for 60,000 and got a call. Finally the 9♦ river landed and now the bet from Peters was 80,000. Vasylchenko didn’t take too long to call with his Q♣10♣, and Peters had the exact same hand — Q♥10♠ (also what he’d had previously).

He might not have won both pots (the second was a chop), but thanks to the queen-ten Peters still increased his stack to 600,000, while Vasylchenko has 456,000 and Hrabchak has 640,000. –JS

4:05pm: If you can’t fold, don’t 
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Samy Salah and Andrew Hulme had a shared investment of about 65,000 in the pot by the time the turn card was out. The A♥Q♠K♥2♦ were exposed.

Salah moved all-in for precisely 90,000 and Hulme said, “I don’t think I can fold this.”

Salah had a fairly abrupt reply. “Then call,” he said.

Hulme did just that. He called. Salah showed A♠4♠ and was behind Hulme’s K♣Q♥, a situation that did not change after a meaningless river card.

That sent Salah out and Hulme up near 700,000. — HS

4pm: Roed and Nanev double
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Kent Roed and Rumen Nanev are much happier after they both secured double-ups.

Roed had two reasons to be happy as he also got a fist-bump from Mikhail Korotkikh. What a life! He was in a hand with Thomas Muehloecker who made a great call but couldn’t hold.

The two of them were at the turn where the board read 8♦9♥6♥9♦ and Muehloecker led out for 26,000 from the big blind and then tank-called with J♦8♣ after Roed shoved for 87,000 holding A♦5♦. Roed was out of his seating fearing the worst but the 7♦ made his flush. Muehloecker dropped to 515,000.

NEIL8126_Thomas_Muehloecker_EPT13PRA_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Muehloecker still looking good

On another table we find overnight chip leader Nic Chouity has dropped more chips — down to 476,000 — after he doubled up Nanev. He opened from UTG+1 and called after Nanev three-bet all-in for 37,000 from the small blind.

Nanev: A♦9♣
Chouity: 8♠8♣

The board ran J♥9♥10♥4♠6♥ to pair the Bulgarian’s nine. –MC

3:55pm: Ten minutes is a long time in poker
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Ten minutes ago Jukka Paloniemi was among the players left in the field considering their future. His stack depleted he was looking for a spot to shove. Ten minutes later and he’s up to 380,000, comfortable, and one of the bigger stacks at his table. 

His fortunes turned on two hands played very close together. In the first he shoved with A♦10♣ against pocket kings, and as he stacked up his new chips got involved in another hand, started by David Yan who opened for 12,000 in middle position. 

Paloniemi raised to 30,000 from the hijack. Then the action was folded round to Van Hiep Tran in the blinds who moved all in for 155,000. Yan folded, but after asking how much Paloniemi called, turning over J♠J♥ to Tran’s A♥K♦.

The board ran Q♠5♠9♠7♠5♣ prompting one player to say “you’re back in the game!”

Tran is out, but Paloniemi is very much back in the game. – SB

3:50pm: Nozaki moving on up 
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Koichi Nozaki was described as a “wildcard” when he appeared on the final table of the EPT Grand Final in Season 11. He was the first Japanese player ever to appear at an EPT Main Event final and told us at the time that he was just on holiday in Monaco and decided to play. (Honestly, who on earth holidays in Monaco?)

Anyhow, since that eighth placed finish, he went deep again at the Grand Final (finishing 40th last season) and is having one last go at the EPT here in Prague. And it’s going very well indeed. Nozaki just knocked out Nandor Solyom to take his stack close to 600,000.

This coup started with a raise to 12,000 from Danut Chisu from early position and a call from Solyom a couple of seats around, in the cutoff. David Peters called in the small blind and Nozaki made it 46,000 from the big blind.

Chisu — who is Romanian, but is wearing a hat advertising Vietnam — folded, but Solyom moved all-in for 144,000. Peters folded, but Nozaki, with a covering stack, called.

Nozaki: J♠J♣
Solyom: A♦Q♥

The flop was really only good for the jacks. It came 8♠9♦10♥. Then Solyom hit his hand in the manner he really didn’t want to. The turn was the Q♠ to leave Solyom drawing dead.

Nozaki moves to 580,000 and is set for another deep run. — HS

3:45pm: It’s all over for Pehlivanlar
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Hulya Pehlivanlar was down to just 47,000 and she moved all-in from early position. The action passed to Tsugunari Toma, he re-raised all-in and everyone else folded. Toma opened A♣8♠ and was ahead of Pehlivanlar’s Q♣10♥. A dry 5♣8♦5♥7♥8♦ board meant Pehlivanlar was felted.

After that knockout Toma is up to 157,000. –NW

3:40pm: Updated chip counts; Anton Hrabchak leads final 128
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

As promised, the chip counts have been updated and Anton Hrabchak of Ukraine currently sits atop the list with an even 800,000. Ludovic Lacay and Thomas Muehloecker are also in the top 10 (see below), with Nicolas Chouity, David Peters, Juha Helppi, and Maxim Lykov among the current big stacks. –MH











Name Country Status Chips
Anton Hrabchak Ukraine PokerStars qualifier 800000
Apostolos Bechrakis Greece PokerStars qualifier 790000
Janos Kurtosi Hungary PokerStars player 741000
Sergei Petrushevskii Russia Live satellite winner 720000
Pedro Lamarca Spain   710000
Ludovic Lacay France   670000
Andrew Hulme UK   600000
Tomas Kubaliak Slovakia Live satellite winner 560000
Thomas Muehloecker Austria PokerStars qualifier 560000
Viacheslav Belyaev Russia Live satellite winner 555000

3:35pm: Play resumes; 128 left
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Players are back and a new level has begun. There are 128 players remaining, and in just a few we’ll have fresh, updated chip counts for all of them. Stay tuned. –MH

Ready to embark on your own poker adventure? Sign up for PokerStars and begin your journey. Click here to get an account.

3:14pm: Second time
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

The players are now on a 20-minute break. –NW

3:12pm: Big tank, big call from Chehade
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

From the hijack Georges Chehade raised to 10,000 and the action folded to Martin Nikolov, who was on the button. The Bulgarian raised to 35,000 and Chehade smooth called, leaving about 100,000 back.

On the 9♦3♦7♦ flop Nikolov set Chehade all-in and the Lebanese player went into the tank. He took six minutes to make a decision, but finally he called. He had 8♦8♠ and was flipping against Nikolov’s A♣K♦. The 2♠4♠ turn and river kept the pair in front and he couldn’t contain his delight at winning the hand. He let out a loud, “yes” at the conclusion of the hand. –NW

3:11pm: Big pot for Bechrakis
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Apostolos Bechrakis is up to 765,000 after eliminating Benjamin Richardson. The latter four-bet jammed for around 140,000 with K♠10♠ and Bechrakis called with A♥Q♥. The 9♥2♦9♣J♦9♠ board sent Richardson to the rail. –NW

3:10pm: Kudrajavcevs triple-barrel misfires, Kurtosi catapults
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Eduards Kudrajavcevs opened from middle position, Janos Kurtosi three-bet from the small blind, Kudrajavcevs called, and the flop came 9♦Q♠10♠.

From there followed a similar sequence on all three postflop streets. On the flop Kurtosi check-called a continuation bet from Kudrajavcevs, then on the 8♥ turn check-called again a bet of 80,000 from Kudrajavcevs.

On the Q♥ river Kurtosi checked again, and Kudrajavcevs pushed all in to put Kurtosi to the test for his remaining 219,000. The latter thought a long while before finally coming up with the call, and Kudrajavcevs flipped over his hand to show he’d been firing with air as he had 6♦3♦.

A relieved-looking Kurtosi showed his A♥J♥ for a turned straight, and he collects a huge pot. He’s still stacking but it looks to be about 700,000 he’s won on that hand. Meanwhile Kudrajavcevs has slipped to 320,000. –MH

NEIL8382_Eduards_Kudrjavcevs_EPT13PRA_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Eduards Kudrjavcevs

3:04pm: Alessandro deals a double to Hajiyev
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

Ramin Hajiyev had 100,000, and when action folded to him he peeked down at the K♦Q♦ and shoved his 20 bigs. Kyosti Isberg (to Hajiyev’s left) flat-called pretty quickly, and everyone else folded.

It was a race, as Isberg was trying to deliver the knockout with the 7♠7♥. The K♣4♣J♥ flop had other ideas though, pairing Hajiyev and keeping him in front after the 2♦ turn and A♣ river.

Hajiyev thanked the dealer, Alessandro, for keeping him alive. Isberg thanked no one, and drops to 510,000. –JS

3:02pm: Lebedev falls to Allain
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Sergey Lebedev came back with 78,000 today and had never really managed to gain traction as he battled his short stack. That battle is over after he fell to Adrien Allain in a battle of the blinds.

Lebedev limped in from the small blind and then snap-called all-in after Allain shoved from the big blind.

Lebedev: 9♦9♣
Allain: K♥10♥

The board ran 2♥Q♣10♣4♥2♠ make the Frenchman two pair. He moved up to 277,000. –MC

2:58pm: The Yan with the plan
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

David Yan opened to 10,000, and it folded to the wonderfully-named Kayhan Mokri Roshanfekr in the big blind. He raised it up to 28,500, only for Yan to come back over the top with a four-bet to 70,000. Roshanfekr gave it up, and Yan increased to 280,000. –JS

2:54pm: Reraise-shoveski for Petrushevskii knocks out O’Neill, Blain
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

A big double bustout to share with you, occurring in a hand that started with Ramin Hajiyev opening for 12,000 from middle position with a humble nine-seven (or at least that’s what he said he had afterwards).

That’s just a bit of trivia, though. as the cast of more meaningful players in this one started with Padraig O’Neill open-pushing his last 50,000 or so from the hijack, then continued with Sergei Petrushevskii thinking a long while before reshoving from the cutoff with his entire 350,000.

The action folded to Dermot Blain in the small blind, and he didn’t act right away. Leaning forward and getting a massage, he appeared to be thinking over a possible call for the 255,000 or so he had left. Rocking forward slightly, it was as though the pressure the massage therapist was rhythmically placing on him was helping ease out the decision… slowly… slowly… ahhh… that’s it.

“I call,” said Blain.

It folded back to Hajiyev who ditched that aforemention nine-seven, and as Blain continued to receive work on his back the cards all went on theirs:

Blain: Q♥Q♠
O’Neill: A♥10♥
Petrushevskii: J♠J♦

“I’ll take it,” said O’Neill, seeing his ace was live. Meanwhile Blain spoke of how Petrushevskii’s shove-decision appeared a difficult one, which helped him decide to call with the queens.

Alas for Blain, the J♣5♥8♦ flop that followed gave Petrushevskii the lead, and after the 2♣ turn and 9♥ river both O’Neill and Blain were eliminated and Petrushevskii now sits with about 675,000. –MH

payouts_prague_16dec16.jpgThe payout line

2:50pm: O’Dea doubles
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Eoghan O’Dea had just three big blinds to his name and committed them with Q♣2♣. He was happy to have live cards against the A♥K♠ of Mikhail Sokolovskiy and even happier when the Q♦7♠10♠9♠8♣ meant he doubled up. –NW

2:46pm: Dark O’Deas
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

These are dark times for Eoghan O’Dea. He’s down to just five chips – three blue and two yellow – which means he has only 17,000. I checked on a calculator and that means the 2011 WSOP Main Event November Niner has just 3.4 big blinds. –JS

2:45pm: The Sal-Bon double sweat is real
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

When you’re sucking out on opponents you know you’re running good. Former EPT Prague champion Salvatore Bonavena did just that and moved up to 380,000.

Sebanien Garrosi moved all-in for 39,000 from the button and Bonavena called in the big blind.

Bonavena: A♥2♥
Garrosi: A♦6♣

The board ran 8♦5♥2♣Q♦K♥ and Bonavena said sorry to Garrosi. I don’t think he meant it though; the huge smile across his face sort of gave that away. –MC

2:40pm: Lacay gets the best of Christner
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

EPT9 San Remo champ Ludovic Lacay min-opened to 10,000 and it folded around to Christian Christner in the big blind who defended. The flop came down 10♥5♥6♣ and when it checked to him Lacay continued for another 10,000. The German then raised it up to 25,000, only for Lacay to bet enough to put him all in. Christner winced and let his hand go, bringing him down to just 55,000, or 13 big blinds. Meanwhile, things are going great for Lacay. He’s up to 620,000. –JS

2:35pm: Vlachakis doubles through Obreshkov
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Kicker problems? No problem, says Alexandros Vlachakis.

Vlachakis open-pushed his last 82,000 from middle position and it folded around to Stoyan Obreshkov on the button who reraised pushed to scatter the blinds.

Obreshkov tabled A♥Q♥ which meant Vlachakis was in potentially dire straits with A♣J♠. The flop came K♦10♦9♣ and turn Q♣, though, and just like that Vlachakis had the big edge. The river was the 5♣, and Vlachakis survives with about 175,000 now. Obreshkov is still sitting comfortably with 410,000. –MH

2:32pm: Krakow finds them and doubles
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

It’s no good having aces when you’re short if no one calls your shove. Matan Krakow had them, but got called, and managed to double.

He opened to 11,000 from first position and then four-bet all-in for 98,500 when Viacheslav Belyaev three-bet to 31,000 from the cutoff. His Russian opponent tank-called.

Krakow: A♥A♦
Belyaev: 10♥10♠

The 8♦5♦9♠5♥8♥ board came and went. Belyaev dropped to a still big 450,000. –MC

2:30pm: Lefort unfortunate
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Thomas Lefort had just 13,000 to his name so something had obviously gone badly wrong in a previous pot to leave him with such shrapnel. He shoved from the button with A♦9♦ and Mihai Manole, who only had about 45,000 himself, re-raised all-in from the small blind with K♠6♦.

The big blind folded and the cards were turned over. The board came 3♥Q♠3♣3♠K♥ and Manole spiked the river to eliminate Lefort. –NW

2:25pm: Blaine’s magic act
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

David Blaine, the magician, can make your phone disappear right in front of your eyes. Dermot Blain, the poker player, can distract you by making your phone ring right in the middle of a hand.

OK, so we have no actual proof that Blain was behind the phone call that Sergei Petrushevskii received during this one, but it would be a pretty nifty trick, wouldn’t it?

Blain opened from under the gun plus one to 11,000 and got two callers: Bobby Zhang and Petrushevskii. They went to an 8♣5♥10♦ flop and it checked to Blain, who continued for 14,000. Only Petrushevskii called to see the turn.

The dealer burned and turned the 3♠ and it checked to Blain once more. He made it 32,000, and while Petrushevskii was contemplating what to do his phone suddenly started to ring, jolting him out of his thought process. He quickly cancelled the call, but did call back on the poker table.

A 5♣ river completed the board and when Petrushevskii checked a final time, Blain put out a bet of 47,000. The Russian folded, and Blain raked in the chips. The Irishman is up to 253,000 now, while Petrushevskii has a bit more with 320,000. –JS

2:20pm: Gavrilut’s gone
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

New level, same action! Yes the all-in and calls continue at a pace here at The Hilton. Anton Afanasyev opened to 10,000, Hirokazu Kobayashi smooth called and Alexandru Gavrilut then shoved for 46,000 from the big blind. Both players called so Gavrilut had the chance to triple up.

On a 9♣7♦2♦ flop Afanasyev checked, Kobayashi fired out 35,000 and that was enough to force Afanasyev out. Kobayashi opened A♠7♣ and he’d outflopped Gavrilut’s A♥Q♠. The J♣ turn and J♠ river kept Kobayashi in front and Gavrilut is the latest casualty of this tournament. –NW

2:15pm: Top five chip counts
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (1,000 ante)

The leaders right now are listed below (not including the TV table).

Eduards Kudrjavcevs 680,000
Nicolas Chouity 650,000
Ludovic Lacay 580,000
Viacheslav Belyaev 575,000
Stoyan Obreshkov 540,000

For more notable counts check out the Main Event chip count page.

2:10pm: On Chouity’s chips
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Start-of-day leader Nicolas Chouity has maintained his big stack during the first couple of hours of play today. He’s seeking a second EPT title — a last chance to join Vicky Coren in that exclusive one-member club of two-time winners — after winning the EPT6 Grand Final in Monte Carlo in 2010.

Chouity was up a bit from where he began today, but just now having to fold to a river push to sit with right at 630,000 at the moment. –MH

2:05pm: “Woooow!”
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Our press room is within ear-shot of the EPT Live commentary booth–at least when their voices are raised in there. We heard this one through the door.

Friedrich Meyer just hit a two-outer on the river to survive in a hand against Martin Kabrhel. They were all in with a board reading 5♣A♥A♦4♣ and Kabrhel’s A♣J♦ ahead of Meyer’s 9♠9♣.

But it was Matt Broughton who brought us the news with a throaty: “Woooow!”

The 9♦ appeared on the river and Meyer hit his miracle. — HS

2pm: Ozhenilok comeback curtailed
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Anatolii Ozhenilok got one double up, but was still very short with 23,000 to his name. After Robert Gill made it 11,000 to play, Ozhenilok shoved and, when it got back to Gill, he called the extra 12,000.

Ozhenilok held A♦9♣ and was dominated by Gill’s A♠J♣. A K♥10♣8♥Q♥3♥ run out meant Gill made Broadway and Ozhenilok was eliminated. –NW

1:55pm: What a hand
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

This might not be the biggest hand you’ll read today, nor the most exciting. It won’t be the funniest, the most fun, or even particularly entertaining. But it happened. There’s no denying it. And I was lucky enough to be there to capture it all.

It folded to Matas Cimbolas in the small blind, and he made it 12,000 to see a flop. The decision was with Marton Czuczor and he matched that bet. I was riveted.

We watched with baited breath as the dealer spread a 9♠A♣A♥ flop, and couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. Both checked.

The turn was the 2♥. Both checked.

The river came the 5♥. “That’s a great river for me,” Cimbolas said. He cracked a smile, but checked once more. Czuczor reached for chips and tossed out two blue ones for 10,000. Cimbolas thought for around 30 seconds, but eventually called and won with his J♠5♣ for a rivered pair (he wasn’t lying). Czuczor had the Q♣3♣ for a bluff.

“You’re never folding,” tablemate Jan Krejci said.

“Yesterday I folded the third nuts!” Cimbolas said.

Pure magic. You just can’t make this stuff up. –JS

1:50pm: Two bust outs and a double up
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

– Kitty Kuo’s Day 3 ride came to and end. She managed to double up early on, but is now out. She held A♥Q♥ but was dominated by Robert Gill’s A♦K♦, and despite flopping a flush draw, was out after an A♥6♥7♦5♣J♦ board.

– David Sierra Merino was the player doubling up. Thomas Lefort opened with 9♣9♠ from UTG+1 and then called after Merino shoved for 132,500 from the button holding Q♥Q♠. The board ran 2♠7♦2♣K♠A♠ and Merino won.

– Patrick Leonard also hit the rail. Renjun Yang raised from under the gun and called after Leonard shoved from the button for around 45,000. It was another dominated situation as Yang had A♣Q♥ to Leonard’s A♥10♠. The board ran J♣A♠5♠2♥8♦ and Yang moved up to 115,000. –MC

1:45pm: Treys fail Travnik; Peyroles increases
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Arnaud Peyroles has added more to his chip balance as the field shrinks below 170 players.

Just now it was Miha Travnik open-raising all in with his last 58,500 from the button, then Anton Afanasyev called from one seat over in the small blind. Peyroles thought about minute before calling as well from the big blind, and the flop fell 6♠9♣9♥.

Afanasyev checked, and Peyroles paused just a beat before setting out a big stack of chips to earn a quick fold from Afanasyev. Peyroles tabled J♣J♥ and that was well ahead of Travnik’s 3♣3♦, and after the 7♥ turn and 5♠ river Travnik is out.

Peyroles is up to 366,000, while Afanasyev presently sits with 211,000. –MH

1:40pm: Play along with Wong
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

November Niner Jerry Wong suffered a setback to end the day’s first level. But you can watch him on television again here momentarily on EPT Live:

There are 174 players left to begin the new level. –MH

1:30pm: The first level in two pictures
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

You can do yourself a favour and not read any of the below. It boils down to two photos:


Step 1


Step 2

1:20pm: First break
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

After a slightly truncated opening level, players are heading to their first break. There are 174 still with chips. — HS

1:15pm: Stalling for the money jump
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

Stalling is part of the game, whether we like it or not. It’s up to the players at a table to try and figure when a player is stalling, or whether they have a genuine decision. Then they have to the power to police by calling the clock if they deem it necessary. Jasper Meijer van Putten found a reason to call the clock just now.

Jan Nakladal opened to 9,000 from the hijack before Van Putten three-bet to 26,000 from the button. Nakladal went into the tank and, after a while, Van Putten realised that 184 players remained and his opponent was stalling, hoping someone would bust and the payout would be €9,180 rather than €7,560.

He called the clock and Nakladal, who knew the cat was out of the bag and it was pointless hiding his intentions, kept looking at the clock as he was being counted down hoping it would change to 183 remaining. It didn’t and with five seconds remaining he moved all-in for 69,000 and was called.

Nakladal: 10♠10♣
Van Putten: A♣Q♣

The board ran 4♦A♥5♦4♥J♥ to pair Van Putten’s ace. Nakladal’s only hope was that someone busted before the clock had time to be changed. –MC

1:10pm: A Gruissem decision
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

An interesting hand just played out on Table 3 during which Zvi Stern was eliminated and Philipp Gruissem made an excellent play.

It started with Gruissem opening to 9,000 from under the gun. Stern then shoved over the top, for 11,500 from one seat to Gruissem’s left. It folded to the small blind, Krzysztof Stuchlik, and he called, as did Martin Kabrhel in the big blind.

They all saw an 8♠K♠7♦ flop, and Gruissem continued for 16,000 when it checked to him. Only Kabrhel called to see the 5♠ turn and now Kabrhel led out for 15,000. Gruissem made the call.

The board was completed by the K♥ and Kabrhel moved all-in with a bigger stack than Gruissem. The German had 74,000 behind and clearly had a tough decision on his hands, which caused him to think for a couple of minutes before Kabrhel asked for the clock to be called.

“No, no, it’s too early dealer, too early,” Gruissem protested, and the dealer and floor agreed with him. That meant he had another couple of minutes to think before the clock was called for real.

Gruissem eventually decided to fold his hand and was ecstatic when he saw Kabrhel turn over the Q♠J♠ for a flush. “Yes! I folded a king, man!” he said, elated.

Stern couldn’t compete with his A♦3♠ and was eliminated, while Kabrhel increases to 419,000. –JS

1:05pm: Wheeler KO’d by Korotkikh
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Jason Wheeler is out, and we have a partial narrative of how it happened. Truthfully we’ve just torn part of the last page or so from the story to transcribe for you here — and even some of that is missing — but rest assured, you’re getting the gist of it.

A board of 2♣Q♦9♠8♠ had proved sufficiently enticing to Wheeler to get the last of his stack in at some point along the way with Q♠5♠ (top pair and a flush draw). Viteszlav Pesta had liked it, too, to still be there by the turn with his A♠10♠ (for an even better flush draw, plus a gutshot). Meanwhile Mikhail Korotkikh was leading with 8♥8♠ for a set of eights.

Someone seems to have ripped out the bottom half of this page revealing the river card, after which both Pesta and Korotkikh checked. Appropriate, really, since whatever that card was it was most certainly a blank that helped neither Wheeler nor Pesta.

Winner Korotkikh cried out a boisterous series of comments in Russian. No interpreter was handy we’re reasonably sure he said something meaning “I am happy! This is good! I like this!”

Korotkikh is way up to 490,000 now, Pesta has 255,000, and Wheeler has already visited the payout desk. –MH

1pm: Bonavena survives
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

At the start of play there were six EPT Main Event champions left in, one of whom was Salvatore Bonavena. He started play with 68,000 and had grown his stack to exactly 80,000 by the time he got involved in a pot against Kiryl Radzivonau.

Bonavena got his chips in with 8♥8♦ and was racing against Radzivonau’s Q♠9♠. The race tilted in Radzivonau’s favour on the 4♠K♠J♣ flop as he was now a 63 percent favourite with two cards to come. The 8♠ turn completed Radzivonau’s flush but Bonavena had 10 outs to hit on the river.


Salvatore Bonavena: Former champ still fighting

He duly spiked one of those as the 4♣ fell on fifth street. Upon seeing the river card he stood up, banged the table and shouted something in Italian.

He’s up to just over 160,000 now, while Radzivonau drops to 180,000. — NW

12:55pm: Triumph and tragedy (ish)
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Mikhail Sokolovskiy seemed to be quite pleased with his all-in move. After Yosuke Sekiya opened form the button, Sokolovskiy shoved, prompting a routine fold from Sekiya, who probably wondered why Sokolovskiy felt the need to slam down his pocket threes face up.

Elsewhere Maxi Lehmanski is out after moving in with A♦3♦. Tomas Kubaliak (who when approached for his name shortly after said “Liv Boeree”) called with A♠K♣. The flop brought the king that would end Lehmanski’s Main Event. – SB

12:53pm: The deluge
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

The baby often goes out with the bathwater during periods of play like this, and the deluge of eliminations has also swept away bracelet winners Vanessa Selbst, Konstantin Puchkov and Pascal Lefrancois and former WSOP final table player Andy Black. We’re just about keeping pace with the eliminations on the payouts page.

12:50pm: Souprayenmestry purées Petrov
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Mikhail Petrov’s Main Event run has ended. He committed his short stack with 7♥7♠ versus Jean Souprayenmestry’s J♥10♠.

A runout of A♠J♦Q♥4♠8♦ added up to a better pair for Souprayenmestry, and he has 154,000 now while Petrov is on the rail. –MH

12:48pm: What took you so long?
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

You could feel the tension at table 13 as Jean Souprayenmestry’s tank continued into its third minute. He was facing an all-in shove from Mykhailo Gutyi that amounted to 30,500. He had just 63,000 back himself so it was a decision for a fair whack of his chips.

And yet you could see the players getting agitated that a decision over a 7.5 big blind shove was taking quite this long. Michiel Broskij was getting the most anxious and, as he was about to call the clock, it seemed to spring Souprayenmestry into action. He moved all his chips across the line too. Everyone else folded and it was time for a a showdown.

Souprayenmestry: A♠Q♣
Broskij: 8♣8♦

Although no one explicitly said it Broskij’s face gave the game away. They were all wondering what Souprayenmestry had thought for quite so long about. The 2♠Q♣3♦ flop put him in the lead and there was no way back for Broskij on the 4♠ turn or 7♠ river. –NW

12:47pm: Cameras gather for Yang double
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

The EPT Live mobile cameramen are dashing from one all-in and call to another hoping to get a juicy hand to feed to the broadcast. This one hand two well-known players involved, and one of them doubled up Renjun Yang.

Patrick Leonard opened to 8,500 from the cutoff and Fabrice Soulier called before Yang squeezed all-in for 55,500 from the small blind. Leonard then came back with an all-in of his own (138,000) and Soulier folded after a tank.

Yang: Q♠Q♥
Leonard: 7♠7♦


Bad news for Patrick Leonard

The board ran K♦A♦10♠6♦K♥ and the queens held. Leonard’s claims that a seven was going to come on the river were unsubstantiated. –MC

12:45pm: Chouity loses a few
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

“All-in and call!” we heard from chip leader Nicholas Chouity’s table, so our excitement grew in anticipation of a potentially huge pot. If Chouity had clashed with another big stack, he could either take a colossal lead or lose heaps.

That excitement waned when we saw the all-in was for 50,000. Dmitrii Deviatov was the man at risk with the 10♠9♠, which was in bad shape against Chouity’s A♥10♦. But then the flop fell J♥9♦6♣ and now it was Chouity who was drawing thin. The 4♦ and 6♥ completed the board and Deviatov doubled to 100,000, while Chouity still has plenty with his 605,000. –JS

12:40pm: Peyroles gets paid
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

With the board showing 9♥5♦10♦6♣ and about 65,000 in the middle, Dick Postel led for 40,000, then saw his only opponent, Arnaud Peyroles, raise all-in for 82,000. Postel tanked with a less than enthusiastic look, appearing as though he’d rather not be in the spot he was in, then called.

Postel didn’t appear any more pleased after turning over his A♦K♦ for a flush draw and seeing Peyroles show 9♠9♦ for a set. The river 10♣ improved the latter to a full house, and Peyroles is up to 226,000 now. Postel meanwhile has 72,000.

“Committed myself,” Postel murmured afterwards while counting out his newly shortened stack. –MH

12:35pm: The shoving continues
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

By now you’re probably spotting a pattern in what’s been happening so far today. All-ins and lots of them.

Over on Table 15 it was Alexandru Gavrilut’s turn to go into shove mode. After Arnaud Peyroles opened to 9,000, he three-bet all-in for 22,000 total. Before the action could get back to Peyroles though Denis Pisarev also got his chips in. He had significantly more though, 90,500 to be exact. That was an amount Peyroles was unwilling to match and he stepped aside.

Gavrilut: A♥Q♦
Pisarev: A♦K♦

The 9♠4♠6♣ didn’t change anything but the Q♠ turn card put Gavriult into the lead, which is where he stayed through the 4♦ river. He’s up to around 64,000 while Pisarev is down to 68,500. –NW

12:30pm: Vieira among the latest fallers
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

You don’t have to wait long to hear all-ins called right now.

Of the three I saw Piotr Franczak was the only player to double up. He did so with pocket eights against the A♦10♣ of Johan Guilbert. The board ran J♥7♣Q♠Q♥3♠ to keep Franczak alive.

Elsewhere it was a different story.

Joao Vieira is out. He moved in with A♥J♣ but the board of Q♣5♠5♥5♦4♠ suited Cornelis Van Gent’s J♥Q♠ better.

Piotr Kuszczak soon followed. He winced as he turned over A♥10♥ and saw Viacheslav Belyaev held A♠J♣. The board ran 4♠K♠A♦A♣9♠ and we lost another player. – SB

12:28pm: Elvis has left the building
Level 14 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

The king is dead, ladies and gents, at least in this tournament. We just caught Elvis Petcu’s downfall, which took place over two hands.

He came into the day pretty short with just 47,000 and peeked down at the J♠J♦ UTG+1. He moved all-in and was called by Mikhail Sokolovskiy (who must have lost most of his chips in one of the very first hands) in the hijack with the A♦Q♣. The flop was safe for the Romanian as it fell 5♠5♥4♠. But the turn was the A♥ and the river the 2♠ to bring his stack down to just 10,000.

In the very next hand, Tomas Kubaliak opened to 10,000 under the gun and Petcu asked for an all-in triangle. It folded around to Paul Tedeschi in the big blind and he called too. The flop was J♠6♥3♦ and Tedeschi led for 9,500, which got Kubaliak to give his hand up.

Tedeschi had the 6♦9♦ for middle pair, while Petcu actually had a hand with the A♦K♠, but would need to hit. He couldn’t find any help on the Q♣ turn or 8♦ river and Elvis left the building. Meanwhile, Tedeschi has 207,000. –JS

12:25: Helppi, Akenhead and Kabrhel all on the hunt
Level 14 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

Understandably, there are a lot of all-in and calls being shouted out around the room. Here are three well-known players on the right side of those calls:

– Jozef Bartalos had fewer than 20,000 chips when he moved all-in from under the gun holding 9♣9♠. Juha Helppi was in the next seat, called with A♠K♠, and hit as the board ran J♦7♥K♠Q♦Q♥.

– James Akenhead raised from UTG+1 before Walter Treccarichi three-bet all-in for around 24,000 from the cutoff. Joseph Sabe called in the small blind and Akenhead called too. Sabe folded when Akenhead bet the turn of a 9♠K♦6♣5♠J♥ board. He held K♣Q♦ and eliminated the popular Italian who opened A♦Q♠.

– Ari Engel opened to 10,000 from the hijack before Beka Iordanishvili moved all-in for 18,000 from the next seat. Martin Kabrhel raised again from the small blind and he got Engel off his hand. Iordanishvili opened A♦A♠ and was in great shape against Kabrhel’s Q♠10♥ but the Q♦10♥9♥5♣7♣ board changed that. –MC

12:20pm: Ramos unafraid
Level 14 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

Felipe Ramos is one of the two PokerStars Team Pros still in (the other is Vanessa Selbst, and you can watch her play on the feature table on EPT Live), and the Brazilian wasn’t scared to put his tournament on the line early on today.


Felipe Ramos: Don’t look back

Robert Schulz came in for a min-open to 8,000 and it folded to Ramos in the small blind. He gestured to Schultz to move his hand so he could check his stack size (around 80,000) before moving al-in for 101,500. Schultz quickly released and Ramos collected some new chips. –JS

12:10pm: Stacks are low, but hopes are high
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

There are 46 spots’ worth of min-cashing to go through before the day’s first pay jump, and the way things have started today it may take a little while to get through all of those eliminations.

Indeed, Day 3 has begun a lot like Day 2 ended, when it took nine all-in-and-calls for Valentai Attila at last to bust out in 232nd and the money to be reached. Most seem to be surviving in the early going today, with only three knockouts in the first 10 minutes.

Wheeler was one of those all-in players last night, and he narrated an abridged version of his short-stacked chip-and-a-dream story to Piotr Kuszczak just now after he got his last 29,500 in with J♥10♥ and drew a full house to survive.

“That was me yesterday,” Jason Wheeler said to Kuszczak, voicing the kind of encouragement all the short stacks can use at the moment. Wheeler got his chips in during the bubble period with Kings and doubled through a pocket pair of Aces. –MH

12:05pm: One in, one out
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

The usual post-bubble carnage has been in full effect in the early moments of play today as the short stacks who scraped into the money can now try and spin it up into something more significant. Some succeed, most don’t.

On the first hand of play Mikhail Korotkikh opened to 8,000 holding A♦10♥, Lasse Aastad Kjos shoved for his last 10,500 with J♥9♣ and Korotkik called the extra. A 5♣2♣A♠4♦4♣ run out meant there was no reprieve for Kjos. “Probably could’ve taken a nap and made an extra fifteen hundred bucks,” Jason Wheeler said after the hand.

One of Czech poker’s leading lights had more luck however when it came to spinning up a stack. Martin Staszko committed his final 12,000 with Q♥J♥. He was called by Vitezslav Cech who held a dominating K♦J♣. The dominance rotated though on the Q♥2♦6♦4♦5♣ board and Staszko survives for now. –NW


Martin Staszko’s come-from-behind victory

12:01pm: Koop out
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

It was the least surprising start to the day. Not only was Niko Koop all-in on the first hand but he had no choice, the draw for the button putting him in the big blind. The table featured the shortest stack (Koop) but also the biggest in Nicolas Chouity, who hadn’t finished stacking his chips when Koop met his end.

Koop technically got no takers, with the action folded to the small blind Grigorii Rodin who also technically had no choice but to play the hand. Koop quickly got notice that his luck had run out.

Koop: 9♠3♠
Rodin: 9♥4♥

The board was dealt quickly: 8♥4♠10♠2♦3♥

Koop, smiling, wished the table good luck, then joked to Rodin about his “unbelievable” call of his all-in with nine-four. – SB

12pm: Off they go
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

There’s 1 hour 11 minutes left in Level 15 after the bubble period ticked 19 minutes longer than it should have. Play is now under way on Day 2.

11:50am: Koop’s coup
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

The luckiest man in poker yesterday? That’s easy.

Niko Koop started hand-for-hand play with 6,000 chips and the blinds to pay. So short was his stack that he figured his was the easiest job in town. Anything less than Queens, he said, would be a fold. And true to his world he folded every hand and somehow reached the money with 1,500 chips.

But if you remember the bubble from last night there were eight hands that resulted in double ups. Eight hands that Koop lived through hoping that one player would fall before him. He looked like a man about to undergo an uncomfortable medical procedure.

But as we now know it wasn’t as bad as he feared. That said his day today is likely to be the shortest. His stack amounts to three antes, which could be wiped out first hand if he starts in the blinds.

Still, given the circumstances he’ll be happy with that. – SB


Niko Koop missed the stone bubble

11:45am: Day 3 ready to roll
Level 16: 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

It’s Day 3 of the final EPT Main Event and the 231 players are all in the money. The bubble period last night stretched on past the scheduled finishing time and nibbled into Level 16, meaning there’s only about 1 hour on that level remaining. Levels now last 90 minutes and five are scheduled for today.

Nicolas Chouity is the chip leader, while Niko Koop is the tiny stack–of whom more later.

Play gets under way at noon. — HS

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

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

PokerStars Blog reporting team in Prague: Stephen Bartley, Marc Convey, Martin Harris, Jack Stanton, Howard Swains and Nick Wright. Photography by Neil Stoddart. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog


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