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EPT12 Grand Final: Mucho for Calamusa at the end of Day 2


Chip leader Pierre Calamusa

The biggest ever EPT Grand Final main event field was whittled down significantly over Day 1A and Day 1B, but that still didn't mean we could fit them all in one room today. It was Day 2 of the main event and a combined 574 players were back for more; meanwhile we had 24 brand new entries this morning.

First off, let's gown to the nitty gritty. The cheese. The scrilla. The bunse. Y'know - as in "bunsen burner, nice little earner". I'm talking about THE PRIZE POOL people.

The 1,098 players created a prize pool of €5,325,300, which will be shared between 159 people. A min-cash will get you €8,890, but if you can go all the way - like Adrian Mateos did last year - you'll pick up a first place prize of €961,800.

So, who's closest to that sweet money right now? That'll be France's Pierre Calamusa, who finished Day 2 with 580,800. He'll be closely followed on Day 3 by Marcin Chmielewski (493,500), and PokerStars Team Online's Randy Lew, who ended the day with 385,800.


Good day for Randy Lew

It was a mixed day for those wearing the red spade. Of the Team PokerStars Pros who were still in this event, Jason Mercier, Liv Boeree, Lex Veldhuis, Celina Lin, Naoya Kihara and Chen Ang Lin all busted.

Meanwhile, Vanessa Selbst, Jake Cody, Fatima Moreira de Melo, and the aforementioned "nanonoko" are still going strong. They are in the 205-ish players still left.

Here are some selected chip counts (the full list won't be with us until much later, but we'll update the Blog as soon as we get it).

Pierre CalamusaFrance580,800
Marcin ChmielewskiPoland493,500
Randy LewCanada385,800
Albert DaherLebanon375,000
Erik SeidelUnited States368,400
Fatima Moreira de MeloNetherlands367,200
David SusiganFrance351,000
Enzo Del PieroUnited Kingdom348,000
Adrien AllainFrance347,000
Fady KamarLebanon343,000
Sam ChartierCanada283,300
John GaleUnited Kingdom267,500
Dario SammartinoItaly220,400
Jack SalterUnited Kingdom198,700
Andreas HoivoldNorway186,900
Alex LuneauFrance177,400
Ami BarerCanada162,000
Jake CodyUnited Kingdom150,100
Tobias ReinkemeierGermany146,200
Davidi KitaiBelgium113,000
Dimitar DanchevBulgaria101,300
Faraz JakaUnited States66,600
David PetersUnited States57,800

We'll need roughly 40-50 players to bust tomorrow before we get to the bubble - and then one more unlucky person to be eliminated before we get to the money. You won't want to miss our bubble coverage tomorrow.

In fact, you won't want to miss any of our coverage tomorrow, which starts 12pm just as play does. So join us back here on the PokerStars Blog at midday.

Until then, we bid you adieu. --JS

8:15pm: Last five hands
Level 14 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 300)

The tournament clock has been paused and they'll be five more hands before play is done for the day. Among those who've just fallen short are: Martin Finger, Preben Stokkan and Eva Jiretorn. 216 players remain and the average stack is 152,500. --NW

8:10pm: A flush and a straight
Level 14 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 300)

Dimitar Danchev more than doubled up towards the end of the last level, getting his stack north of 120,000. This was one of those pots that was almost impossible to piece together retrospectively because when I arrived at the table the flop was already out -- 5♠A♣4♣ -- and three players had weird amounts of chips in front of them, suggesting perhaps a bet, a call, a shove and a tank.

Let's skip all the forensics and say that Knut Karnapp called Danchev's shove with A♦J♠ but that Danchev's flush draw -- he had Q♣5♣ -- got there on the 2♣ turn. The 3♠ on the river meant he had a straight too. Good for him.

The former PCA champ should now be a lock for Day 3. -- HS

8:05pm: Wow, seriously wow
Level 14 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 300)

Joao Vieira opened to 5,700 and Marco De Vincenti called from a couple of seats along. Isabel Baltazar moved all in with a ferocious intent and it was enough to see off Vieira. But De Vincenti immediately called.

Baltazar turned over 7♦7♠ and fans of my previous work (hello all!) will know what De Vincenti had. Yep: Q♠Q♣. (See 7:45pm post, and join the fan club.)

Every time I saw pocket queens on that previous table, they won the hand. And it looked like being the same old story through a flop of 2♥K♠8♥ and then a turn of 9♠. However even though Baltazar was standing up and ready to depart, the 7♣ on the river kept her alive.

"Wow, wow, wow!" she said. -- HS

8:01pm: The disagreeable prospect of a Seidel check-raise
Level 14 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 300)

Perhaps you are a thrillseeker, the type who thrives upon taking on anxiety-producing challenges and surviving them. For you, the prospect of facing an Erik Seidel river check-raise probably might not seem all that intimidating.

But for most us, it isn't necessarily a thrill we seek. Denys Shafikov certainly didn't seem to enjoy it just now.

After raising 5,000 from middle position and getting called by Seidel from the blinds, the flop came K♠3♠6♦. Seidel check-called Shafikov's continuation bet of 6,000, then check-called again a bet of 13,000 after the 5♥ turn.

The river brought the T♠ and another check from Seidel. Checking behind would avoid the prospect of that aforementioned check-raise challenge, but Shafikov chose to bet another 20,000. Seidel, characteristically leaned back in his chair, sat quiet and still for about a half-minute, then in a flash set out a min-raise to 40,000.

Shafikov looked upwards in response, studying the ceiling and looking as though he'd like to replay that last minute of action. A couple of beats later he folded, and with deliberation the winner of $26.5 million in tournaments stacked his newly-won chips.

Seidel has 383,000 now, while Shafikov has 138,000. --MH

8pm: Exits
Level 14 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 300)

Just 225 players remain in the hunt for the money that'll be dished out to the top 159 finishers. Sadly for fans of Saar Wilf, Michael Melin, Robert Haigh, Deniz Ozen, Ike Haxton, Andrei Stoenescu, Ali-Talha Kilikli, Wenxiong Luo, Samuel Bonnett, Gerhard Meir, Stefano Terziani, Fergal Coyle, Aharub Khatri, Mark Teltscher, Jessica Drissi, Noah Novick and Patrick Nataf they won't be among them as they've all been knocked out. --NW

7:55pm: Bullets for Gun
Level 14 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 300)

Gun Taljo is up to 130,000 after doubling up with aces. He three-bet all-in from the big blind for 63,200 with A♦A♣. Kenneth Hicks had opened from the button and he looked him up with A♠K♦. A 8♠6♥5♦ flop was followed by the 8♣ turn and Q♦ river and the aces held firm.

Hicks drops to 85,000 after that hand. --NW

7:50pm: Another one down; 225 left
Level 14 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 300)

Michael Melin was just all-in with a short stack behind A♠J♣ against the K♦T♦ of Alp Tosuncuoglu. The J♠A♦5♦ flop improved Melin to top pair, but the 6♦ turn made a flush for Tosuncuoglu and Melin was drawing dead to be eliminated.

Just 225 players are left. --MH

7:45pm: Seven queens
Level 14 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 300)

There must be at least 15 queens in the deck on Faraz Jaka's table. In three consecutive hands, at least one player had pockets queens and they all went to showdown.

In the first, Erwann Pecheux opened to 5,500 from under the gun and Loc Tu called. Then Peter Akery raised to 17,500 and Andrei Stoenescu jammed from the cutoff for not much more than Akery had.

Pecheux and Tu folded, but Akery called and turned over the first pair of queens. The particular brand was Q♥Q♦ and they stayed good against Stoenescu's K♣Q♣. Stoenescu is out.

Shortly after, Faraz Jaka called Arno del Curto's shove. Jaka had K♦Q♦ but Del Curto had Q♣Q♠. The queens were good again, and it left Jaka with about 44,000.

On the very next hand, the action folded to Saar Wilf on the button and despite a tiny stack, he made a small opening raise. Jaka only had that pretty small stack in the big blind and he made a suspiciously-small three-bet, which prompted Wilf to shove.

Jaka called and both players had the kind of big hands their tricky play suggested: Wilf had A♥K♣ and Jaka Q♣Q♠.

The board bricked again and after counting down who had more chips--Jaka did, by about 1,000--Wilf hit the rail. Jaka now has just shy of 100,000 as the day's final level progresses. -- HS

7:45pm: Prize pool details

The EPT12 Grand Final Main Event will play 159 places, from a combined prize pool of €5,325,300. The winner will receive €961,800. For full details check out the payout page

7:35pm: Nice stack!
Level 14 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

As we enter the last hour of play the players below look to be in control of the 10 biggest stacks in the room. They include Albert Daher, who's been near or at the top of the chip counts for his entire tournament, Erik Seidel, Team PokerStars SportsStar Fatima Moreira de Melo and Govert Metaal. It's the latter who leads right now but it's tight at the top.

Govert MetaalNetherlands390,000
Marcin ChmielewskiPoland380,000
Albert DaherLebanon350,000
Erik Seidel United States345,000
Randy LewUnited States316,000
Paolo CompagnoSwitzerland299,500
Fatima Moreira de MeloHolland298,000
Michel DattaniPortugal290,000
Dirk GerritseNetherlands272,000
Dominykas KarmazinasLithuania270,000

You can check out our chip count page here.

7:30pm: Cody orders a double
Level 14 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (300 ante)

After losing a biggish pot a little while ago (see our 7:10pm post) Jake Cody gave up around half his stack. He did have 150,000 before that hand, and now he has it again and more after securing a double up.

jake_cody_med2_2may16.jpgJake Cody

Jinfeng Huo opened to 5,100 and Grzegorz Grochulski called from the small blind. Cody, in the big blind, then moved all-in for 77,000 and Huo gave it up before Grochulski made the call.

That was music to Cody's ears as he had the K♠K♥ against the 7♣7♦. The board was safe all the way and even gave Cody a set on the river. The Team Pro is up to 160,000 now. --JS

7:25pm: Aces fail Vladimirovich
Level 14 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 300)

Starastin Vladimirovich just went out of the event after getting his pocket aces cracked by Marcin Chmielewski.

The pair made it to a T♠7♦9♦ flop at which point Chmielewski pushed and Vladimirovich called off his last chips. The latter showed his A♦A♥, but unfortunately for him Chmielewski had a set with 7♠7♥.

The turn was the 9♠ and river the 5♣, and Vladimirovich is out. Chmielewski has 380,000 now. --MH

7:15pm: Buonanno busto, and other elims
Level 14 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 300)

After being crippled in that three-way hand earlier won by Fabio Sperling, Lucas Monnier was sent railward soon thereafter.

Others busting before the last level completed were Pierre Neuville, Atanas Kavrakov, Sofia Lovgren, Ollie Price, Jean-Noel Thorel, and EPT10 Grand Final Main Event champion Antonio Buonanno. --MH


7:11pm: Shifting power on table Selbst
Level 13 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Michel Dattani doesn't quite have the profile of Vanessa Selbst or Patrik Antonius, but he goes by the moniker "FreeLancerZZ" on PokerStars and has at least one Super Tuesday online. In other words, he can play.

He's actually now overtaken both Antonius and Selbst in chip counts too, most recently taking a big chunk out of the latter. Dattani bet 42,800 after Selbst checked the river looking at a board of 9♣4♥K♣8♠3♥.

vanessa_selbst_med2_2may16.jpgVanessa Selbst

After a long time in the tank, Selbst called but saw some bad news. Dattani turned over 8♦8♣ and Selbst folded.

That put Dattani up to about 290,000 and Selbst down to about 155,000. -- HS

7:10pm: Three triangles, please
Level 13 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Jake Cody just spotted a pretty good spot to score a double elimination and build his stack beyond 200,000 chips. But though the spot was good, neither of those things came to pass.

The hand began in innocuous fashion with Jinfeng Huo opening to 5,000 from mid position. Immediately after that, it was like a runaway car had careered into some roadworks: red warning triangles were scattered across the felt.

First Ihar Soika moved all in. That brought out red "All-In" triangle No 1. Then, one seat to his left, Grzegorz Grochulski wanted one too. He said he was all-in. (Soika had about 36,000; Grochulski had about 130,000.)

The action now came to the Team PokerStars Pro, one seat further around. Cody, with about 200,000, said that he too was all in. Just as the dealer started searching on Amazon Prime for a job-lot delivery of All-In triangles (Preferred Deliver Date: Pretty much now, please), everyone else, including Huo, folded.

That meant they were going to a flop with the following hands:

Cody: A♦K♥
Grochulski: A♣K♣
Soika: 8♦8♣

The pocket pair was looking good for the all-in player with his two opponents covering one another. So it proved as the board was dry until the river, when another eight popped out. -- HS

7:05pm: More for Moreira de Melo
Level 13 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

Team PokerStars SportStar Fatima Moreira de Melo is now right up there with the chip leaders.

I arrived at her table with a 7♥A♣4♥ flop showing. Dario Sammartino was in the pot and he checked, as did Moreira de Melo. Tomas Jozonis then put out a 10,000 bet, and both called.

We saw a 6♥ flop and Sammartino checked once again. Now Moreira de Melo led for 28,000, which Jozonis called while Sammartino folded. The river 8♥ and now Fatima's bet was 55,000. That was too big for her opponent and Moreira de Melo moves up to a very respectable 313,000. --JS

6:55pm: Lew leaps up
Level 13 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Randy "nanonoko" Lew of Team PokerStars Pro Online and Abdelkarim El Haddouti had battled back-and-forth to the river by which point the board showed 4♣2♠3♥6♦Q♦. That's when El Haddouti bet 17,000, then Lew jammed all-in over the top, putting El Haddouti to a decision for the last 27,000 he had behind.

El Haddouti hemmed and hawed about a minute, then finally called, and Lew turned over the bad news -- A♥5♥ for a six-high straight. El Haddouti showed his Q♥7♥ for a pair of queens, and he headed to the rail.

Afterwards, Lew invited his followers on Twitter to count his chips. What do you think... around 300,000? --MH

6:50pm: Lodden thinks
Level 13 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

Earlier on, when Stephen Chidwick was on the TV table and Team Pro Johnny Lodden was in the commentary booth, Lodden proclaimed that Chidwick was his least favourite person to play against of all the players on the EPT circuit. Quite a compliment. "He's just too good," Lodden said.

A lot of people in the room are watching the live stream on their phones or tablets, and it seems Lodden's words have gotten through. Chidwick opened a pot to 4,500 and both blinds called. The flop came J♦A♠2♥ and it checked to Stevie444, but as soon as Chidwick went to c-bet both folded quicker than  wet napkins. --JS

6:40pm: Sperling springs up
Level 13 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Following a Lucas Monnier open from the button, Andrei Simon reraised all-in with his short stack from the small blind and Fabio Sperling did the same from the big. Monnier didn't wait very long before calling to put both of his opponent's at risk.

The trio tabled their cards, with both Monnier and Sperling standing as they did:

Simon: J♦T♠
Sperling: J♣J♥
Monnier: A♦K♠

The flop came 9♦T♦Q♠ to give both Simon and Sperling up-and-down draws, then the 3♦ turn gave Monnier a draw to the nut-flush. But the river was the 3♠, meaning Sperling's jacks were best.

Simon -- who'd remained seated the whole time -- had to get up to leave as he'd been eliminated. Meanwhile Monnier slips down to just about 15,000 while Sperling springs up to 220,000. --MH

6:35pm: Nanonoko wins a healthy pot from Finger
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

It seems to have been a pretty steady ride for Team Online's Randy 'Nanonoko' Lew in this main event. His chips don't seem to have been threatened once, and he's been steadily building his stack, including picking up a nice pot from Martin Finger just now.

randy_lew_med2_2may16.jpgRandy Lew

Lew opened to 5,000 from under the gun and it folded to Darie Vlad on the button. He'd call, as would Finger from the big blind. We then saw a K♦8♦5♠ flop fall and Finger checked before Lew continued for 6,400. Both called.

The turn was the 2♣ and Finger checked once more. Lew now made it 18,500 which got Vlad out the way, but Finger wasn't ready to give it up just yet. He called the river came the 4♣. A check from Finger saw Lew put the German all-in, and in the end he'd make a fold.

Finger has just 36,200 remaining, while Lew is up to 260,000. --JS

6:30pm: Three becomes none
Level 13 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

This main event is a whiff for the Greenwoods after the last brother, Luc, has just been knocked out. Greenwood open shoved for his last 26,000 and Silma Macalou was the only called. Macalou had A♣K♣, which stayed better than Greenwood's A♦J♥ through a board of T♦Q♣7♣8♥6♥. -- HS

6:20pm: Sammartino ousts Ignat
Level 13 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Dario Sammartino opened from middle position and it folded around to Liviu Ignat -- a.k.a. "0Human0" on PokerStars -- in the big blind who reraised all-in for his last 30,000. Sammartino quickly called the push, showing Q♥Q♣ while Ignat was in need of help with 8♠8♥.

The board rolled out 4♣A♦3♥A♠7♣, and Ignat is out. Sammartino is now up to 265,000. --MH

6:15pm: Daher remains dangerous
Level 13 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Albert Daher may not have been at the top of the counts since the first level or so today, but he has never been anything less than totally comfortable and now has about 330,000. That's top five.

albert_daher_med2_2may16.jpgAlbert Daher

He just knocked out Matas Cimbolas after the former WPT champion and EPT Deauville finalist open shoved from the small blind for 36,000. Cimbolas had 2♠2♦ and went to the races against Daher's K♠Q♠.

The board was good for Daher. It fell 8♦J♠Q♦7♣K♥ and Cimbolas wandered off. -- HS

6:10pm: Chip leaders at the break
Level 13 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Below are the counts of the chip leaders at the start of the level. Experienced Dutch player Govert Metaal is the current chip leader with Neil Strike, Vanessa Selbst and Albert Daher in the chasing pack.

Govert MetaalNetherlands331,000
Neil StrikeUnited Kingdom315,000
Paolo CompagnoSwitzerland299,500
Vanessa SelbstUSA278,000
Albert DaherLebanon278,000
Sam ChartierCanada274,000
Dirk GerritseNetherlands272,000
Dominykas KarmazinasLithuania270,000
Preben StokkanNorway270,000
Andrei BogheanRomania266,000
David SusiganFrance263,200
Steven van ZadelhoffHolland261,000
John GaleUnited Kingdom260,000
Matthew DavenportUK256,000
Pierre CalamusaFrance250,000
Freddy DarakjianFrance250,000


5:40pm: Break time

Players are now on a 20 minute break. 

5:36pm: Sixes disappoint Bouchama
Level 12 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

We arrived at Tarek Bouchama's table after the cards had been dealt and his fate determined, his muttering helping confirm that it wasn't terribly pleasant.

Before him sat his hand 6♠6♦, which one might think would've been a nice holding with a board showing A♠K♦6♥9♦A♦. But the hand sitting before his opponent, Freddy Karakjian, was a better one to have -- A♥K♥ for a better (rivered) full house.

Bouchama picked up his sixes and slapped them back down on the felt as if to punish them for disappointing him so. He's out of the tournament, while Darakjian is up to 242,000. --MH

5:35pm: A further cull
Level 12 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

It has been a bad level for members of Team PokerStars Pro Asia with both Naoya Kihara, of Team Online, and Chen Ang Lin hitting the skids. There are no details of Kihara's exit, and only the scantest concerning Lin. The latter lost out to Patrik Antonius, whose K♠5♠ made a flush on the 7♠8♥4♠T♠9♦ board.

Other eliminations include: Xi Yang, Manuel Nunez, Aleksandr Orlov, Jean-Louis Perez, Darren Floyd, Frangois Jean D del Peso-Mancebo, Declan Connolly, Viktor Shener, Alexandre Poulain and Tarek Bouchama.

Fabian Quoss and Ole Schemion were also both eliminated in the last level, so they may well decide to play the heads-up phase of the poorly named €50,000 "single-day" high roller. -- HS

5:30pm: Ole Schemion - kind of a big deal
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

When Ole Schemion goes all-in, it's a big deal. The hottest player in the world right now about to either double-up or bust the EPT Grand Final main event? Everyone needs to know.

ole_schemion_med2_2may16.jpgOle Schemion

So when Schemion shoved all-in just now, I was the only person at the table. Then came the camera crews. Then came the photographers. Then came my fellow bloggers. Heck, even one of Schemion's tablemates was filming the spectacle on his phone.

The shove for 39,800 came from the big blind following a 3,500 open from Patrice Chamarre and a three-bet to 10,300 from Andrei Boghean on the button. Chamarre then folded, Boghean snap-called and the cards were on their backs:

Schemion - K♠T♦
Boghean - A♦A♠

It didn't look good for the German savant, and he'd get absolutely no help on the 8♠4♠9♥4♣4♦ run-out.

Ah well, Ole. You can't win 'em all, eh? But what you can now do is go and win the 50K high roller. Schemion and Fabian Quoss are now both out this event, so we might see them play their heads-up battle early. --JS

5:25pm: Chip counts
Level 12 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

We've just updated our chip counts page and it's Pierre Calamusa who leads the way with a stack of 325,000. The average stack is around 100,000 at the moment but there are plenty of big names who've amassed at least double that figure.

Pierre CalamusaFrance325,000
Vanessa SelbstUSA315,000
Nacho BarberoArgentina310,000
Neil StrikeUnited Kingdom295,000
Dominykas KarmazinasLithuania288,000
Govert MetaalNetherlands277,000
Paolo CompagnoSwitzerland263,000
Albert DaherLebanon241,000
Randy LewUnited States230,000
Sam ChartierCanada220,000
Fatima Moreira de MeloHolland215,000

5:20pm: Elementary, my dear Watson
Level 12 - Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Did you know that Sherlock Holmes never actually said: "Elementary, my dear Watson" in any of the 56 short stories or four Holmes novels? Not once. And yet it's a phrase often associated with the most famous fictional detective.

Why do I bring this up, I hear you cry? Because I just watched Mike Watson win a pot. And they have the same surname you see. It's Watson.

A phrase that might soon be associated with Mike Watson is "All-in". I've seen him make the move a couple of times today already, and this time it ended in him busting a player.

Max Silver kicked off the hand with an open to 3,600, and Watson called, as did Danyel Boyaciyan and Timur Khamidullin. The flop fell 2♦6♠7♠ and Silver checked, which let Watson take control of the betting with a 7,500 bet. Only Boyaciyan called and the two saw  another deuce hit the turn. It was the 2♠ and both checked, resulting in yet ANOTHER deuce on the river - the 2♣. Watson moved all-in, or essentially bet enough to put Boyaciyan all-in. He didn't take long to call but was gutted when he saw his 7♣9♣ for deuce full of sevens was beat by Watson's T♣T♥ for deuces full of tens.

Boyaciyen hit the rail, and Watson moves up to 125,000. --JS

5:16pm: Kings serve Thiago
Level 12 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Another hand from the table of Davidi Kitai and David Peters to report, this one also involving the Brazilian WSOP bracelet holder Thiago Nishijima.

Nishijima opened with a raise to 3,500 from middle position, getting called by Peters frm the next seat over and both blinds, including Kitai in the big. The flop came A♣6♦T♠ and all four players checked. The J♣ turn card then saw it check to Peters who bet 9,200, and after the blinds got out, Nishijima called. Both Nishijima and Peters then checked following the Q♣ river.

Nishijima turned over K♦K♠ and Peters mucked, and Nishijima collected the pot.

He's up to 175,000 now, with Kitai at 154,000, and Peters at 78,000. --MH

5:15pm: The empty seat
Level 12 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

We've been eyeing the empty seat of Tina Andersen today. Andersen bagged up 123,000 to end Day 1, but has yet to show today which means her stack has been blinded and anted down to about 80,000 so far.


That's still just a little below the average with less than 350 players left. --MH

5:10pm: Kitai versus Peters
Level 12 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

The tough table featuring Ike Haxton, Davidi Kitai and Tobias Reinkemeier has now broken, scattering those sharks across the field. Kitai has washed up on the same table as David Peters and the two of them played a small pot straight away.

Kitai opened to 4,200 from the hijack. (That's a full thousand chips more than the min-raise, so maybe it was a mistake. Or Kitai just chose to mix it up.) Peters called from the big blind. It was just those two to a flop of Q♣2♦J♠ and Peters checked.

Kitai bet 3,900 and Peters called. Then they both checked the 8♠ turn and the 5♥ river. Peters turned over A♦K♠ and Kitai folded. -- HS

5:05pm: Nacho chips
Level 12 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Two-time Latin American Poker Tour champion Nacho Barbero is doing what he can to add an EPT title to his résumé, having pushed up to 310,000 now to challenge for the chip lead not quite halfway through Day 2. --MH

5:pm: Salter gets stronger
Level 12 - Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Two years ago, back on the EPT10 Grand Final main event in 2014, Jack Salter had his breakout moment. He ended up runner up, but he truly made a name for himself, both with the €765,000 score and his quality of play.

Is it too much to ask to go one better this year and win the thing? It's certainly a question Salter will be asking, and he's on the right path so far.

In his latest hand, Luc Greenwood opened to 4,000 from the under the gun, and Salter called, as did two other players. The flop came the A♥3♥2♣ and Salter check-called a bet of 4,250, and he found himself heads up in the pot. The turn was the 2♠ and both players checked, before the 5♠ hit the river. It checked to Salter again and he led for 10,900 which was called. Salter took it down with the A♦9♥.

He's up to 150,000 now. --JS

4:55pm: Antonius still playing second fiddle to Selbst
Level 12 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

On the subject of EPT champions we don't often see, Patrik Antonius fits rather snugly. He was a regular in the early seasons, winning in Baden, but these days his appearances are a degree more scarce.

patrick_antonius_med2_2may16.jpgPatrick Antonius

Antonius is on the same table as Vanessa Selbst still, but appears to be content to allow her to play table captain. She does have about 300,000, which is about 250,000 more than him, so it makes sense.

Antonius did pick up a small recent pot when his bet of 6,000 on a flop of Q♠8♦K♣ persuaded Selbst and David Dayan to give it up. I expect something more interesting will happen there soon. -- HS

4:45pm: Latest eliminations
Level 12 - Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Among those new to the elimination list are: Lex Veldhuis, Gabe Nassif, Artem Metalidi, Davy Stevens, Christian Enz, Anatoly Gurtovoy, Nicola D'Anselmo, Vladimir Dobrovolskiy, Jason Mercier, Justin Bonomo, Florence Allera, Murad Akhundov, Javier Perez, Eric Florentin, Ali Baalbaki, Nikolaus Teichert, John Haigh, Stuart Green, Alan Smurfit, Mari Lopez, Andrew Lichtenberger, Bryn Kenney, Sylvain Loosli, Lucien Cohen, Zvi Stern, Marti Aguilar, Georgios Sotiropoulos and Winfred Yu.

4:40pm: Nosebleed
Level 12 - Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Arguably the best poker documentary out there is Nosebleed. The film follows high-stakes French pros Alex 'Alexonmoon' Luneau and Sebastian 'Seb86' Sabic as they grind the biggest cash games on PokerStars in a pleasant London flat. They then head to Vegas in a quest for a bracelet.

It turns out that one of the two players is also here in a quest for an EPT title.

Alex Luneau called Silma Macalou's 2,800 open from out of the big blind, and the two saw a T♠T♣9♣ flop hit the felt. Both decided to check that one, and that resulted in a T♦ turn. Now Luneau took control with a bet of 3,000, which was called, followed by the 6♦ arriving on the river. Luneau's 9,000 bet was enough to take down the pot and move his stack up to 75,000. --JS

4:35pm: Susigan wins again, up to 300,000
Level 12 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Abdulaziz Abdulaziz has been eliminated after getting his last 25,000 or so in behind T♥8♥ and running into David Susigan's J♠J♣.

The K♥9♥A♠ board did help Abdulaziz, but that didn't prevent him from rising from his chair in preparation of departing. Neither the A♣ turn nor 5♣ river stopped his progress, and he soon found the exit.

Susigan, meanwhile, has won a number of hands today and is up over 300,000 now -- more than three times the average and now challenging Dirk Gerritse, Paolo Compagno, and Neil Strike for the chip lead. --MH


4:25pm: Sport for the SportStar
Level 11 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 100)

Fatima Moreira de Melo once got reprimanded by Lex Veldhuis for being too aggressive. That tells you about all you need to know about Moreira de Melo's game. Today she has a big stack and so she's always going to be getting involved, even if Albert Daher is also now on her table.

Here's a recent indication of the way things might be going. Moreira de Melo, Daher and Andrey Da Silva were at a flop that read J♥8♥9♠. Both Da Silva and Daher checked, Moreira de Melo bet 7,000. Only Da Silva called.

The 7♣ came on the turn. Da Silva checked. Moreira de Melo bet 14,000. Da Silva called.

The 2♥ came on the river. Da Silva checked. Moreira de Melo bet 25,000. Da Silva folded.

General message: don't mess. -- HS

4:24pm: Zisimopoulos down to zero
Level 11 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

IPT Malta champ Georgios "ZISIMO7" Zisimopoulos has been eliminated after betting the last of his chips on A♠6♦ and facing having to overcome Ivan Soshnikov's A♣K♥.

A board of A♦Q♥T♣4♠4♦ didn't work for Zisimopoulos, and his exit comes just as Level 11 is about to end. Meanwhile Soshnikov has just over 200,000 heading into Level 12. --MH

4:20pm: Losing Lichtenberger
Level 11 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

The field is down another player as Andrew "LuckyChewy" Lichtenberger has been felted, leaving 360 players still with a chance at the EPT Grand Final title. --MH

4:15pm: Sticking to the three-bet
Level 11 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 100)

Natan Chauskin raised to 2,500 from the cutoff and Mark Teltscher, on the button, bumped it to 6,500. Action folded back to Chauskin and he flicked 16,200 over the line.

"Really?" Teltscher said, wrinkling his nose in disgust as though Chauskin had just told him that he preferred Pepsi to Coke. Chauskin stuck to his guns, albeit silently.

"No," Teltscher said. "Nice hand." He mucked. -- HS

4:10pm: Cody's starting stack multiplied by five
Level 11 - Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Team Pro Jake Cody is having an excellent main event so far. He ended Day 1B with 114,000, then had 125,000 at the first break, and is now up to 150,000.

In the hand that got him up to that sum, Cody check-called a bet of 2,600 from on a 5♠K♣T♦ flop, his only opponent Georgios Sotiropoulos. The turn was the J♣ and Cody check-called again, but this time the bet was 6,200.

The river came the A♠ and now Cody took the betting lead. He made it 18,000 and Sotiropoulos gave it up, bringing Jake's stack up to 5x what he started the tournament with. --JS

4:07pm: All-in win for Lin
Level 11 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Just after returning to Celina Lin's table following that recent update, we thought we'd be racing back to tell of her bustout after spotting her all-in with A♠Q♣ versus an opponent's Q♦Q♠ and the board showing 2♦6♦5♥8♠.

But the river brought the A♣, saving Lin and bumping her back up around 85,000. --MH

4:05pm: The lesser spotted EPT champion
Level 11 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 100)

This bumper field in Monaco has attracted a number of former champions who don't always show up on the European Poker Tour these days. Some of them are still involved as well, including: Mark Teltscher (55,000), Andreas Hoivold (25,000), Christophe Benzimra (28,000) and Joseph Mouawad (65,000).

Hoivold is not the only former champ on his table. He also has Davidi Kitai for company--as well as Ike Haxton and Tobias Reinkemeier. Yeah, that's a pretty difficult table too. -- HS

4pm: Phillips busts Olms
Level 11 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

I joined the action to see a bet of 2,500 in front of Benjamin Philipps and a raise to 7,500 from Anthony Spinella across the betting line. Action was on Sascha Olms and he moved all-in for more than 7,500 but less than 10,000. Philipps then jammed and Spinella reluctantly released his hand.

Philipps: Q♣Q♠
Olms: T♠8♠

The 5♣6♣2♠T♦K♠ run out eliminated Olms and sent the pot to Philipps. Some post-hand discussion between Spinella, Philipps and Vanessa Selbst revealed that Spinella woud've got there had he stayed in the hand. --NW

3:55pm: Checking in on Celina and Fatima
Level 11 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Tables keep breaking as more are eliminated. With 378 left in the tournament now, Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin has been moved to a new table, and finds herself on the right of her teammate Fatima Moreira de Melo.

celina_lin_fatima_med2_2may16.jpgCelina Lin and Fatima Moreira de Melo

Lin is persevering right now with a below average stack of 45,000, while de Melo is still maintaining her big stack of 215,000. --MH

3:50pm: Calling Watson
Level 11 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

What were those first words ever uttered over a phone line? "Mr. Watson, come here -- I want to see you," right?  

Mike "SirWatts" Watson opened for 2,600 from under the gun. Despite the show of strength indicated by the 2016 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event champion raising from early position, no less than four players called, including Max Silver in the big blind.

The flop came A♣7♦A♠, providing hard evidence that no more than two players could have an ace in their hands. Then after Silver checked, Watson fired 6,000.

Everyone was calling Watson, but no one wanted to see his flop bet. All four of his opponents folded, making it safe to assume none had an ace.

Watson has about 95,000 now, while Silver sits with about 110,000. --MH

3:41pm: Selbst, Bonomo and Antonius clash in enormous pot
Blinds - Level 11: 600/1,200 (200 ante)

An enormous three-way hand puts Vanessa Selbst among the leaders and sends Justin Bonomo to the rail.


Vanessa Selbst

Selbst opened for 2,800 under the gun. Bonomo called on the button before Patrick Antonius raised to 8,600 from the small blind. Selbst called and they saw a flop: 9♠4♥6♣

Antonius bet another 13,000. Both Selbst and Bonomo called for a 5♠ turn card.

Antonius bet another 35,000 using all blue chips. Selbst took a few minutes to come to a decision, which was to move all-in for roughly 175,000. With the action on Bonomo he too took time to come to a decision, eventually moving all in himself for 47,600.

That left Antonius to decide, a decision which took several minutes to reach. He said nothing, he simply folded by turning over his two black aces: A♣A♠

Selbst: 9♣9♥
Bonomo: 4♠4♣

Set over set Selbst was ahead. The river card came 8♠ to send Bonomo to the rail, and leave Selbst with more than 300,000.

"I'm not used to folding aces," Antonius said.
"Well if there's ever a time," Selbst said. - SB

3:40pm: Zhu done, Kihara in
Level 11 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Naoya Kihara and Yaxi Zhu, of Team PokerStars Pro Online and Offline, respectively, shared a table to start play today, and both continued to keep their seats through the first two levels.

Alas for Zhu, she's now lost her stack and has joined the crowd on the rail. Kihara, however, is hanging on. --MH

3:35pm: Cry Mercier a river
Level 10 - Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

OK, so Jason Mercier didn't actually cry when he got unlucky on the river to bust the main event. He's a professional. He's been there, done it, and got the T-shirt. But that doesn't mean it didn't hurt.

The Team PokerStars Pro opened and got one caller: Ruediger Weber. The flop came Ace-King-seven and Mercier continued for 4,000 when it was checked to him. Weber then bet enough to put him all-in and Mercier made the call with Ace-ten, which was ahead of Weber's Ace-three.

The turn was a blank, but the river was a three giving Weber two pair over Mercier's one.

Team PokerStars Pros are dropping like flies what with ElkY and Mercier gone in the past few minutes. However, Vanessa Selbst has just won a huge pot through Patrik Antonius and Justin Bonomo, and we'll have all the details of that hand shortly. --JS

3:30pm: Preparing for next year
Level 11 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

During the most recent tournament break, EPT President Edgar Stuchly took to the stage to announce the first three stops of EPT Season 13. Click through to see all the details for yourself. (A quick preview: Barcelona, Malta and Prague. Spoiler alert!)


The announcement

3:25pm: The dream is over
Level 11 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

There's no easy way to say this but Arthur Conan, Ognyan Dimov, Luca Falco, Wajdi El Hage, Manig Loeser, Boris Kolev, Jean Montury, Mikita Badziakouski, Staale Eggen, Vincent Garat, Cristiano Guerra, Hady El Asmar, Oscar Alache Orrego, Fira Nassar, Jovan Pupovac, Imad Derwiche, Arsens Sakanjans, Jozef Bartalos, Pascal Hartmann, Mark Vronskii, Hector Rodriguez, Victoria Coren Mitchell, Jelcides Monteiro, Ismael Bojang, Ana Marquez, Dominik Nitsche, Stefan Johrendt, Ivan Luca, Fabrice Soulier, Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier, Senh Ung and Jeremy Nock all have the same chance of winning the main event as I do. Zero. As they're among the latest eliminations.

There are 414 players remaining. --NW

3:20pm: Nitsche gets away from one
Level 11 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

The table containing Dominik Nitsche, Vanessa Selbst et al has been moved from the feature table back out into the belly of the main room. I stopped by the table to see what was happening and as I did so Nitsche raised to 2,500 from early position. Eva Jiretorn was in the big blind and she moved in for 13,200 total.

"Do you have a good hand?" Nitsche asked.
"I've got a fabulous hand," Jiretorn said.

Nitsche folded A♦T♠ face-up and Jiretorn showed A♦A♠. "You don't get more fabulous than that!" quipped another player at the table. --NW

3:10pm: ElkY saYs goodbYe
Level 10 - Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

We've lost Bertrand Grospellier from the main event. Four people - including ElkY - saw the Q♦2♦8♠ flop fall, and the French Team Pro bet 6,600 when it was checked to him. He got one caller.

The turn came the 6♥ and ElkY jammed for around 15,000 more, and got snap-called. ElkY was way ahead with his A♦9♦ flush draw against his opponent's 4♦7♦ flush draw, so only a four, seven, or five - that wasn't a diamond - could eliminate him.

The river was the 4♥. ElkY let out a sigh and a little laugh, tapped the table and went on his way. --JS

3:05pm: Schemion gets another double with aces
Level 11 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Pick up aces, double up. Easy game.

Ole Schemion only entered this tournament at the start of the day, but within the first 30 minutes he doubled up to 60,000 with aces. And he just repeated the trick.

He opened to 2,500 from early position, then from one seat along Knut Karnapp called and Vladimir Dobrovolskiy three-bet to 8,800 on the button. Action passed back to Schemion, who was getting a massage at the time, and he dwelled for a beat or three and then effortlessly moved his big chips over the line, leaving a couple of towers of T100 chips where they were.

Karnapp passed, Dobrovolskiy then moved all-in and Schemion called off his shrapnel. He showed A♥A♦ and Dobrovolskiy opened Q♣Q♠. The J♦J♠J♥5♠4♥ board kept Schemion in front and he doubled to 95,000. Dobrovolskiy is down to 25,000. --NW

3pm: Double Dutch
Level 11 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 100)

As they head into Level 11, two Dutch players have bludgeoned their way into the top five stacks in the tournament. As far as we can see, Dirk Gerritse is out in front, with about 310,000. Govert Metal has 272,000. Between them we find Albert Daher (285,000), Paolo Compagno (300,000) and Neil Strike (293,000). Latest chip counts. -- HS


2:35pm: Nice turn card for Cardyn
Level 10 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

In the last hand of the level, the board showed J♠9♦T♠ and there was about 4,000 in the middle when Boris Kolev checked, Nicolas Cardyn bet 2,300, Kolev check-raised to 7,200, and after thinking a few beats Cardyn called.

The turn brought the T♣ and an all-in push by Kolev, and Cardyn called immediately. Kolev had K♥Q♣ for a flopped straight, but Cardyn turned a full house with his J♥T♦. The J♦ river made Cardyn's full house even better, and he scooped the pot.

A count showed Kolev to be left with just 1,200 going to the break. Cardyn didn't stack up his mass of chips before departing, but the mess looks like he'll be he 70,000-80,000 range when they return. --MH

2:30pm: Chidwick chips up
Level 10 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Stephen Chidwick has climbed to around 125,000, quite an increase from his start-of-day stack of 22,500.

In one recent hand, Antonio Buonanno opened to 2,500 from under-the-gun, Chidwick three-bet to 6,000 from one seat along and then Sofia Lovgren folded 7♣4♠ face-up. Buonanno is in seat eight and Chidwick seat one, so Lovgren hadn't seen that Chidwick still had cards. She apologised to the table. Buonanno then asked Chidwick how much he was playing (about 80-85,000) and four-bet to 12,500 total. Call from Chidwick.

On the Q♦6♠Q♥ flop Buonanno fired out a bet of 11,000. Call from Chidwick. A similar pattern occurred on the J♣ turn: bet of 12,000 from the Italian, call from Chidwick. On the J♥ river Buonanno slowed down, checking it to Chidwick. The UK pro moved all-in for around 44,500 and after a couple of minutes in the tank Buonanno folded to drop to 58,000. --NW

2:25pm: Sanioglu wins the gamble
Level 10 - Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Ekrim Sanioglu threw out a bet of seven blue chips, worth 35,000 in total. Before he did that, though, there had been an open by Matthew Wood on the button, a call from Sanioglu in the small blind, a raise to 6,000 from Ara Melkistian in the big blind, a call from Wood, and then the raise to 35,000 from Bleiker.

That bet was enough to put Melkistian all-in and he went into the tank. Eventually he slammed all of his chips down - almost angrily - and said, "Let's gamble."

Wood gave up his hand and the card were revealed.

Sanioglu - A♣3♣
Melkistian - K♥Q♦

The board never really gave Melkistian any hope, and in the end here's how it looked: 4♠3♥9♦5♥5♦.

"Yes!" Sanioglu shouted as he gestured for all the chips to be pushed his way, bringing his stack up to around 130,000.. Melkistian's gamble hadn't paid, and he rushed out the room visibly upset. --JS

2:20pm: Coren Mitchell cut down
Level 10 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Victoria Coren Mitchell has lost the last of her chips here during the latter half of Level 10.

After raising from early position, the two-time EPT champion saw Iacopo Brandi of Italy reraise from a few seats over. The action returned to Coren Mitchell and she put her stack all-in, and Brandi called.

It was ace-king for Brandi versus Coren Mitchell's pocket jacks. The flop brought two kings to give Brandi trips, and when neither the turn nor river brought a jack to save her, Coren Mitchell was eliminated.


Victoria Coren Mitchell

Brandi now has 72,000. --MH

2:15pm: The Dead
Level 10 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

This exceptional purge of talent continues apace with big names and (former) big stacks reduced to dust. The latest list of eliminated players includes the following:

Paul Newey, Felipe Ramos, Kully Sidhu, Rupom Pal, Robert Spano, Yaxi Zhu, Yingzi Wang, Yang Wang, Gaelle Baumann, Dan Smith, Martins Adeniya, Peter Eichhardt, Igor Kurganov, Liv Boeree, Martin Jacobson, Byron Kaverman, Alex Difelice, Vicente Delgado, Walid Bou Habib, Osman Mustanoglu, Slaven Popov, Ilkin Amirov, Vasili Firsau. -- HS


Felipe Ramos: Out!

2:15pm: Bojang bounced by Lovgren
Level 10 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Sofia Lovgren opened from middle position and watched the table fold around to Ismael Bojang in the small blind who re-raise-shoved for his last 13,400. The action traveled back to Lovgren who called and opened A♠J♣ to show a preflop edge over Bojang's A♦T♦.

"I feel a chop coming," Bojang said.

The board then came A♥9♣3♥, then J♦, then 3♠, that jack on the turn producing a wince from Bojang as it sealed his elimination.

Lovgren has about 100,000 now. --MH

2:05pm: Daher maintains his lead
Level 10 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Albert Daher holds on to his overnight lead on Day 2 while Team Online's Randy Lew moves up to 220,000. Click here for the latest selected counts.


The continuing upsurge of Randy Lew

2pm: Cowboys KO Satubayev
Level 10 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Shyngis Satubayev moved all-in for his final 12,500 and picked up a call from Raymond Langbraaten. Next to act was Andrey Bondar and he didn't call, instead he re-shoved for 42,200 total. Langbraaten thought long and hard about his decision before folding what he said after the hand was over was ace-queen.

Satubayev: 3♦3♥
Bondar: K♠K♦

Flop: Q♦6♠A♣ - terrible fold from Langbraaten!
Turn: K♥ - great fold from Langbraaten!
River: 2♠ - still a great fold from Langbraaten!

Bondar climbs to around 70,000 after that hand. --NW

1:55pm: Moore no more
Level 10 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

With the board showing J♣Q♥5♥J♦3♦ and his opponent, Didier Pitcho, having bet enough to put him all-in, Robert Moore thought a short while and then finally announced he was calling.

Pitcho tabled A♦J♥ for trips, more than enough against Moore's two pair with A♣Q♦, and Moore departs. Pitcho is now all of the way up to 198,000 -- a nice start for the Frenchmen who began the day with 33,100.

There are now 459 players remaining. --MH

1:50pm: Love is all you need; or, Carlino's way
Level 10 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Following an early-position raise, Joseph Carlino put his last 15,000 or so ahead as an all-in three-bet, then saw his neighbor to the left call. It folded back to the original raiser who got out, then Carlino saw he was taking his Q♦Q♣ up against A♦Q♠.

The flop was safe for the Frenchman, but an ace on the turn left him seeking just one out. "Ahh... why do that?" he cried with a smile to the dealer, who completed the board with the 4♦, spelling the end of Carlino's run.

"I go now... I will have dinner with my wife tonight," Carlino told the others. "I'm sorry you have to go," Yucel Eminoglu said from across the table. "But your wife will be happy."

"Yes," nodded Carlino, who instantly broke into song. "All you need is love...!"


Joseph Carlino: The singing stops

With a last "Goodbye, everybody!" Carlino departed, leaving the famous Beatles tune with the French national anthem intro playing in everyone's heads. --MH

1:45pm: Kings dethroned
Level 10 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Oleh Cherepianyi opened to 2,300 from middle position and he picked up a call from Adrian Szuman on the button. Gerald Eisele was in the big blind and he moved all-in for 13,600. Cherepianyi requested a count and after getting confirmation of the all-in bet he folded. Szuman though was going nowhere and he called the extra.

Eisele: K♣K♥
Szuman: A♦J♣

The 7♥2♥A♣ flop gave Szuman the lead and Eisele stood up, sensing that the game was up. The Q♥ turn and J♦ just rubbed it in and Eisele was on his way. --NW

1:40pm: SidDOH! Kully pays off quads
Level 10 - Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Kully Sidhu had one of the biggest stacks in the room at the start of the day, but a misstep has just cost him a big chunk of his blue 5K chips.

Makram Saber started the hand with an open to 2,200 which Sidhu, to Saber's direct left, then three-bet to 5,600. The flop came the 5♠T♠A♠ and Saber checked to the raiser who continued for 6,500 and was called.

The 5♦ hit the turn (yep - two fives on board) and Saber checked once more, allowing Sidhu to lead again for 17,000. At this point Saber counted out calling chips, but then also began picking up chips as if he was going to raise. However, he popped them back on the pile and just called.

The river was the 4♣ and Saber did what he thought about doing on the turn; he shoved for 36,500. Sidhu got a count and then announced "I call."

Saber flipped over his 5♥5♣ for quads, which obviously meant Sidhu's 7♠8♠ flopped flush was no good. He's down to 122,000 now. --JS

1:30pm: Coren Mitchell still in the hunt for third EPT title
Level 10 - Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Only one player has ever won two main events in the history of the European Poker Tour. Her name is Victoria Coren Mitchell.

The poker player slash journalist slash TV presenter slash author slash just about everything else saw a 2,100 open from Iacopo Brandi, followed by an all-in bet for 12,000 total from Vicent Bosca. Coren Mitchell looked down and saw the 9♠9♦ and decided she'd call off her last 8,200, and the action was back on Brandi.

While he was thinking, Coren Mitchell and Bosca (who are sat next to each other) decided to ease the tension a little by showing each other their hands; they were both already all-in after all, so they'd both see them soon enough anyhow.

When Brandi folded it turned out Bosca had the J♠T♠, so we were racing. The 4♣K♠A♦ flop brought Bosca a gutshot, but the 2♠ and 2♥ that completed the board were no help.

Coren Mitchell is now on 19,000, while Bosca was left in trouble with fewer than four big blinds. --JS


1:25pm: Double for Diaz
Level 9 - Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

I joined the action to see a T♥J♦3♦Q♥ flop on the felt. Francesco Di Profio (button) bet 6,000, Guillaume Diaz (big blind) had check-raised to 18,000 and Di Profio had shoved all-in. He was the covering stack and Diaz, who had about 40,000 behind, was working on his next move.

"Do you have ace-king?" Diaz, who is French, said to Di Profio, who is Italian, in English. There was no answer. Another 30 seconds or so passed and Diaz went for it, committing his chips. Di Profio turned over 3♣3♥ for a set and Diaz showed 9♥8♥ for a straight.

Diaz still had to dodge some river outs to hold on and he did so on the 5♣ river. He was all-in for 56,100 and climbs to around 120,000 as a result. Di Profio is down to 57,000. --NW

1:20pm: Ciao, Mustapha
Level 9 - Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

As Level 9 neared its conclusion, Ioakim Papadopoulos opened for 1,800 from early position and got a caller in two-time Latin American Poker Tour Main Event champion Oscar Alache.

It folded to Mustapha Kanit in the small blind, and he set forward his entire stack of 16,800 as an all-in re-raise. The action moved back over to Papadopoulos who thought a short while before calling, and Alache got out of the way.

The pair tabled their cards -- 9♠9♥ for Kanit, and A♣J♥ for Papadopoulos -- and both nodded to each other in acknowledgement of the soon-to-commence race.

A J♠4♣7♣ flop meant Papadopoulos had surged in front, with the J♦ improving him further to trips. The Q♥ river sealed it, and with a "Ciao" Kanit heads to the rail as another early Day 2 casualty.

Papadopoulos has about 35,000 now, while Alache is sitting behind 112,000. --MH

1:15pm: Even more
Level 9 - Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

This is a bloodbath. The following are now also out:

Niall Farrell, Martin Illavsky, Emil Patel, Patrick Bruel, Dany Parlafes, David Jaoui, Jacopo Foglie, Terje Bengtsen, Milcho Angelov, Vladimir Khreshatiy, Kacper Pyzara, Edward Tombs, Riccardo Stevens, Yingui Li, Georges Yazbeck, Bruno Morra, Jesse Liljegren, Favia Francesco,Andres Munoz, Georgios Karakousis, Philipp Kober, Eric Rapp, Dieter Albrecht, Anthony Ghamrawi. -- HS

1:10pm: Eliminations
Level 9 - Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

There's no easy way to say this, but if you were heading to the venue to rainy of the following, then turn around as they're all out: Rui Ye, Beat Hans Husi, Aleksandr Bodnya, Zhikang Dai, Leo Margets, Keith Johnson, Antoine Farhat, Matiss Liks, Julian Stuer, Christopher Frank, Robert Buky, Samuel Panzica, Kasra Pour Khomamy, Thierry Gogniat, Dragoslav Timarac, Andrei Streltsou, Jonathan Khalifa, Louis Salter, Oliver Muller, Richard Ward, Timothee Marlin, Alexandre Moreau and Thomas Hansen. --NW

1:05pm: Kagawa collects from Boeree
Level 9 - Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

"Want me to go home? Want me to go?"

So asked Liv Boeree of Rintaro Kagawa, sitting to her right. With Boeree in the small blind and Kagawa on the button, the pair had together made it to the river building a decent-sized pot as the board came A♠7♦J♥5♣3♣.


Rintaro Kagawa and Liv Boeree

Boeree bet 16,000 in an effort to earn those riches in the middle, but Kagawa thwarted those plans with an all-in raise, forcing the Team PokerStars Pro to contemplate whether she wanted to put her last 27,000 in the middle.

"You have a good hand?" she asked. Kagawa just smiled and chuckled in response. "If I fold, you show the bluff?" she tried, and he again replied wordlessly.

"Good answer," Boeree said.

8G2A1732EPT12MON_Liv_Boeree_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Decision time for Liv Boeree

Finally she folded, and Kagawa slid his cards toward the dealer face down. He's up to 165,000 now. --MH

1pm: Schemion gives Mercier the lowdown
Level 9 - Blinds 400/800 (100 ante)

"Hey Ole, d'you win?" Jason Mercier said.

Ole Schemion - who has made an incredible return to the EPT after skipping February's Dublin - is sat on the adjacent table to Mercier.

"We're heads up," Schemion said.
"You guys make a deal?"

Fabio Gago, who is sat next to Mercier, then offered his congratulations. "Thanks," Schemion said. "I got Aces vs Queens to double-up!" --JS

12:55pm: Secondary feature table?
Level 9 - Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

If the players at table 24 were glad to see the back of the dangerous Argentinian Matias Ruzzi then it's a case of be careful what you wish for as Stephen Chidwick has replaced him. Chadwick is busy talking to Ismael Bojang, on his direct left. They were discussing accommodation plans for Vegas this summer.

To remind you, Chidwick has joined a table that also includes Fabian Quoss, Gabriel Nassif, Ollie Price, Lex Veldhuis, Sofia Lovgren and Antonio Buonanno. --NW

12:50pm: ElkY delivers the knock-out
Level 9 - Blinds 400/800 (100 ante)

It's been a nice opening level of the day for Team Pro ElkY. He made an under-the-gun raise to 1,600 and Christopher Frank moved all-in for around 20,000. When it got back to Frenchman, he made a swift call with his A♥K♥ - ahead of Frank's A♠Q♥.

He'd need a queen, but on the 6♦J♠9♠ flop, the 5♠ turn, and the 4♣ river, it was once, twice, three times no lady. Frank is out, but ElkY is up to 57,000 now. --JS

12:45pm: Szabo likes Liks' chips
Level 9 - Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

All-in and at risk against two opponents, Matiss Liks couldn't have liked the looks of things when Zoltan Szabo fired into the side pot on the flop and was called, then after checking the turn bet, the river and got a fold.

The board showed T♠8♦3♠A♥3♦ and Liks turned over his A♣7♥ hoping it might be good. But Szabo had two pair with A♦8♥ and Liks is out.

Szabo is now up around 115,000. --MH

12:40pm: The Departed
Level 9 - Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

In addition to Fedor Holz, the following players have not made it through the first 30 minutes of play today: Samir Moukawem, Maroun Jazzar, Andras Kovacs, Rumen Nanev, Robert Giordano, Paul Linton, Alexander Timokhin, Jussi Nevanlinna, Renaud Lejal, Ulf Rosenkranz, Craig Smith, Christophe Lesage, Henri Kasper, Brian Ganon, Ceyhun Altundag, Rober Karian, Matias Ruzzi, Salman Behbehani, Steinar Aker, Ezequiel Kleinman, Nicolaj Antoni, Mathieu Rabalison and Hallstein Boerve. -- HS

12:36pm: Got to win them flips
Level 9 - Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

There was raise to 2,100 from Chang He in early position, Jack Salter then called on the button and Craig Smith moved all-in for around 10,000 from the small blind. After a few seconds He called from his 100k stack and Salter went into the tank. The EPT10 Grand Final runner-up had about 80,000 himself and eventually elected to let his hand go.

He: A♦J♦
Smith: 2♦2♥

The Q♦J♠5♣8♥Q♥ board favoured the overcards and Smith tapped the table and was on his way. --NW

12:35pm: No halting for Holz; multiple shoves then busts
Level 9 - Blinds 400/800 (100 ante)

Fedor Holz won €271,670 last night in the €50K high roller. Two days before that, he won €169,000 in the €10K high roller. Today, though, he came in as one of the shortest stacks in the room, and he didn't waste long in making some moves.

He moved all-in in the first two hands of the day, but picked up no callers. A couple of hands later, though, he would not only find one but two. Holz jammed from middle position for 10,500, and it folded to Jozef Bartalos in the small blind who called.

Team PokerStars' Fatima Moreira De Melo was in the big blind, and she looked interested. She didn't just call Holz' bet though, she raised it to 24,000 and Bartalos came along.

The flop was the 8♣K♥5♥ and it checked to Moreira de Melo who continued for 20,000. Now Bartalos moved all-in for around 30,000, and Moreira de Melo made a quick call.

Moreira de Melo had the A♥K♣, but she was tying with Bartalos who had the A♦[jkd]. Holz needed a lot of help with his Q♠J♠, but the 3♠ turn and 7♦ river have him nada and the German superstar made his exit. Meanwhile, Moreira de Melo and Bartalos each added 5,250 to their stacks. --JS

12:30pm: Schemion wakes up with aces
Level 9 - Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

Speaking of Ole Schemion and Fabian Quoss playing into the wee hours last night (see below), Schemion is also here and on one of the first hands of Day 2 happily picked up pocket aces versus Andrea Cortellazzi's pocket queens. A ten-high runout enabled Schemion to enjoy an early double-up to start his day.

That'll wake a person up. Schemion's table is likely on the alert as well now that he's suddenly up around 60,000 and an average stack. --MH

12:25pm: The TV table
Level 9 - Blinds 4000/800 (ante 100)

If you notice a lack of updates about Vanessa Selbst, Dominik Nitsche, Patrik Antonius, Justin Bonomo, Martins Adeniya or Fabrice Soulier over the first couple of levels there's a very good reason for that.

That table has been picked as the first feature table of the day and from today, for the first time ever, EPT Live is broadcasting cards-up coverage from Day 2 of the main event.

Below is the table in all it's glory. Eva Jiretorn is one of more than 120 players who won their way to this event via Spin and Go's on PokerStars.

221Dominik NitscheGermany 14,200
222Justin BonomoUSAPokerStars qualifier72,600
223Fabrice SoulierFrancePokerStars qualifier63,500
224Patrik AntoniusFinland 58,000
225Benjamin PhilippsUKPokerStars qualifier78,000
226Vanessa SelbstUSATeam PokerStars Pro155,200
227Anthony SpinellaUSAPokerStars player129,400
228Eva JiretornSwedenPokerStars qualifier35,600
229Martins AdeniyaUK 75,000

12:11pm: Rise and shine, Fabian
Level 9 - Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

Today's redraw has ended up creating a formidable collection of talent at Table 24, with Ismael Bojang, Fabian Quoss, Gabriel Nassif, Oliver Price, and Lex Veldhuis all sitting side-by-side in a row to take up more than half the table.

Quoss looked like he just stifled a yawn before an early hand was dealt, something for which he can be forgiven. After all, he and Ole Schemion were up after 5:30am playing the not-so-accurately titled Single Day High Roller last night, with those two slated to finish out the tournament later tonight.

Price asked Quoss about how things ended last night and he filled in the details. "Couldn't sleep right away when I got back," he added, noting how he's only going on a few hours of rest today.

Quoss and Schemion will be back at it at 9pm tonight, which means both will be able to play to the end of Day 2 before they get back at it. --MH

12:10pm: Newbies
Level 9 - Blinds 4000/800 (ante 100)

Here's the complete list of newbies for today. That's another 24 players, so I think that puts us at 1,091. That will still need to be confirmed.

Maximilian Hornung, Alan Rocamora Garcia, Christian Mosbach, Massimiliano Patroncini, Anatoly Gurtovoy, Nils Maibaum, Ilan Boujenah, Erik Seidel, Igor Kurganov, Ole Schemion, Alain Daien, Hector Alvarez Rodriguez, Payam Anskrina, Ramin Hajiyev, Mehmet Tezol, Pierre Ailment, Ivan Luca, Yingui Li, Salman Behbehani, Murad Akhundov, Dermot Blain, Bryn Kenney, John Juanda and Diego Zeiter. --HS

12:10pm: Two rooms
Level 9 - Blinds 4000/800 (ante 100)

So many players entered this event that play today - for now anyway - is spread across two rooms. There are 11 tables in use in what's more commonly the cash game area. We suspect these will be the tables that get broken first.

Among the big names currently plying their trade in this area are Yaxi Zhu, Galle Baumann, Nacho Barbero, Matas Cimbolas, Stephen Chidwick and Ole Schemion.

The latter two are sat side by side with Chidwick having position. Schemion only entered the event this morning as he's been too busy winning super high rollers and crushing one day €50,000 single-day high rollers to have time to do anything else. -- NW

12:02pm: Day 2 begins
Level 9 - Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

Players have filled the spacious tournament room here at the Sporting Club and the first of six Day 2 levels is now under way. --MH

11:35am: How many more?
Level 9: Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

It's Day 2 of the €5,000 main event at the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino EPT Grand Final. Over the previous two days, 1,067 players have registered, making this the largest Grand Final main event in history.

But registration only closes just before play today, so there will likely be a few more joining the fray.

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

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

PokerStars Blog reporting team on the EPT12 Grand Final main event: Stephen Bartley, Martin Harris, Howard Swains and Nick Wright. Photography by Neil Stoddart. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog

8G2A1593EPT12MON_Tournament_Room_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Tournament room

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