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EPT13 Barcelona: Nicolas Chouity heads last 290 in record-breaker


Nicolas Chouity: Heading the Day 3 field

Day 2 of the latest record-breaking renewal of EPT Barcelona began with more than 900 people sitting in this enormous ball-room learning that they were playing one of the last ever tournaments on the European Poker Tour.

The announcement from EPT tournament officials wasn't quite an obituary, however. PokerStars is simply expanding its live operations beyond the continent's boundaries and going global in its branding. You can learn all about it right here--and we'll see you in Panama, Macau and New Jersey.

But if the chance for glory in one of the EPT's last events wasn't already enticing enough, those same tournament officials soon made it clear that the Main Event champion would also get a cheque (or a bank transfer, this being the 21st century) of €1,122,800. That's the latest first prize at this most popular of all stops after the field was confirmed at 1,785.

What followed was what always follows. Carnage. By the time the klaxon sounded for the end of the day, fewer than 295 players still remained. What's more--and this is new for an EPT Main Event--they were also all now in the money, with the bubble bursting at the mid-point of Level 14, just before the end of the day.

Yann Pineau was the unfortunate faller so close to the cash. He lost an intriguing hand, which simmered, bubbled and then boiled over. By the time they were all-in on the river, Pineau's T♣T♦ was second best against Neculau Macovei's 5♣3♠. Macovei? Maciavelli more like. He had a full house and Pineau was forced to depart. (It all went down like this.)

As he skulked away, tail trailing along the carpet behind him, Nicolas Chouity sat on the other side of the tournament room as happy as a chip-leader. The former EPT Grand Final champion was the big stack in the room in the day's opening stages, but then slipped back into the pack. But perhaps it was the knowledge that everyone is now running out of time to become a two-time EPT champ that got him motoring again.

Chouity's stack of 559,000 is indeed the biggest as the tournament heads into Day 3, but he will know that there's quality in depth still chasing him.

The full chip-counts will appear on the chip-count page as and when they're known tonight, but we can tell you that the following are all still involved in this one. They'll all soon appear on the payouts page, but will hope it's not for another couple of days yet.

Adem Marjanovic - 542,500
Mikhail Molchanov - 473,000
Georgios Zisimopoulos - 462,000
Martin Kabrhel - 458,500
Sebastian Malec - 452,000
Anooj Sareen - 440,500
Ramon Miguel Munoz - 431,500
Gleb Tremzin - 428,000
Sam Mao - 413,500
Thomas de Rooij - 383,000
Mikhail Shalamov - 377,500
Andreas Hoivold - 366,500
Bryn Kenney - 303,500
Jake Cody - 284,500
Sam Grafton - 268,500
Jason Mercier - 266,500
Harrison Gimbel - 216,500
Byron Kaverman - 216,500
Vladimir Troyanovskiy - 177,000
Jason Koon - 167,000
Chance Kornuth - 160,000
Dimitar Danchev - 80,000
Sam Greenwood - 71,000
Felipe Ramos - 63,000
Davidi Kitai - 57,000


Adem Marjanovic: Sitting second

Today we lost a few heroes, including Fedor Holz, who decided to give someone else a chance. Theo Jorgensen, George Danzer, ElkY, Yaxi Zhu, Janne Mikkonen and defending champion John Juanda were among those to be eliminated before the money. Fatima Moreira de Melo was one of the first in the line at the cash desk after failing to get queens to beat kings.

Tomorrow we'll play five 90-minute levels and the payouts will only increase. Scroll through the rest of this post for blow-by-blow details of all today's action, and come back tomorrow for the same again.

8:20pm: Five more hands
Level 14 - 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

They will play five more hands before bagging and tagging begins at the end of Day 2. -- HS

8:10pm: Fatima Moreira de Melo busts post-bubble
Level 14 - 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

"Thirty bigs," Fatima Moreira de Melo said with a shrug.

She was in the payout line and coughing the air conditioning out of her lungs. It's a fact of life--dry cold air makes her cough, and queens have a hard time beating kings in this game. That's what she ran into, and that's why she's off to get paid now.--BW

8:05pm: A beauty for Benhalima
Level 14 - Blinds: 1,500/3,000 (500 ante)

Abdelkader Benhalima sneaked into the money with a stack of 5.5 big blinds. Unsurprisingly they went into the middle on the first hand after the bubble burst. Arsh Grover also shoved - for about 50,000 - and Alexander Prokudin, who had both players covered, called to put both players at risk.

Benhalima: A♥2♦
Grover: A♠7♣
Prokudin: A♦Q♦

The 6♣2♣6♥K♠2♥ board meant a very excited Benhalima made a full-house and Grover and Prokudin chopped the side pot.

On the next hand Grover and Prokudin got it all-in again with the former holding A♥K♠ and the latter A♦J♦. The T♦Q♠5♦3♥8♦ meant Prokudin made a flush and Grover is one of the first in-the-money finishers.

Others to secure a min-cash, but no more, include Pablo Gordillo and Maria Lampropulos. --NW

8:02pm: Off the Chartier
Level 14 - Blinds: 1,500/3,000 (500 ante)

You waited patiently while hand for hand was being played nursing a short stack. You get the good news - you've cashed. You then go all-in the first hand afterwards and hit a two outer to survive. Is there really a better time--or better way-- to double up?

Now, Sam Chartier isn't a player looking to lock up a min-cash (he's a high roller after all). But that doesn't mean his double up just now wasn't as sweet.

He had pocket Jacks against Kristoffer Jakobsson's Ace-Queen and the flop brought two Queens. Chartier was all but dead until a Jack hit the river to give him a full house. The French-Canadian is up to 84,000 now. --JS

:8:01pm: Conan the cashing barbarian
Level 14 - Blinds: 1,500/3,000 (500 ante)

Remember the serial tanker from earlier (7:20pm). Well.......he cashed! --JS

8pm: €10 Spin and Go qualifier makes the money
Level 14 - Blinds: 1,500/3,000 (500 ante)

At least one of the Spin and Go winners has made the money here in Barcelona. Paul van 't Veer qualified for €10 and is now guaranteed at least €5,630. He's got an fair stack too of 85,000. --NW

7:55pm: Standing room only for the bubble
Level 14 - 1,500/3,000 (500 ante)

While all bubbles are different, they all share one thing in common. That is the hopelessness of trying to keep players in their seats. The reasons floor staff try is simple - players standing up and milling around block the view of staff trying to ensure the integrity of hand for hand play, and to spot eliminations. Getting that wrong can cause a heck of a mess.

But the curiosity is always irresistible, whether it's to watch the bubble from close up (even though the TV cameras show the bubble hand, and Tournament Director Toby Stone announces it) or to drift around identifying players in worse shape than you. Players will never sit still.

I suppose there are options that might solve this. We could strap players to their seats maybe, or enforce draconian punishment for those caught wandering. Perhaps we could issue Ritalin as the bubble approaches.

More likely we'll continue to accept it as part of bubble play. And actually, it's kind of fun. - SB

7:50pm: Dan Jones made it
Level 14 - 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

For those of you who we understand are following along back at home on PokerStars qualifier Dan Jones' quest to make the money, he's through the bubble and now working on making it to Day 3. --BW

7:45pm: The bubble bursts after postflop drama
Level 14 - Blinds: 1,500/3,000 (500 ante)

They're in the money! And no, the bubble didn't burst on a typical "all-in and call!" This one was a little more complicated.

Yann Pineau started things off with a raise from middle position, then Neculau Macovei three-bet from the button for 18,500. It folded back around and after a bit of thought Pineau called, and both watched the flop fall 7♥9♦3♥.

Both checked, and it remained a relatively quiet scene there in the far corner of the tournament room. The turn brought the 3♦ and a leading bet from Pineau of 22,000, and Macovei called. Still quiet in the corner.

The 5♣ fell on the river and this time Pineau checked. Macovei leaned forward to see how much Pineau had left -- a little over 60,000 -- and then after a few more seconds set out a column of chips, enough to put Pineau all-in.


Yann Pineau: Waits to see his fate

Pineau smiled, sitting with arms folded and chewing his gum. He wasn't folding right away. He rechecked his cards, then, after a few minutes -- and against the expectations of your intrepid reporter (see below, entry 3:30pm) -- he called!

That's when it got noisy. Reporters and media swarmed, as did the EPT Live crew. They had to wait for the other tables to finish and the tournament director to give the signal. At last it came, and Pineau quickly turned over his T♦T♣.

Macovei then showed his hand -- 5♠3♠! He'd rivered a full house (following that button three-bet before the flop).


Yann Pineau takes his leave

Get ready cashiers! You're about to have some visitors. --MH

7:33pm: Stone bubble
Level 14 - Blinds: 1,500/3,000 (500 ante)

New reaches from the tournament floor that 360 players remain, which puts them on the stone bubble.

7:31pm: Hand-for-hand time
Level 14 - Blinds: 1,500/3,000 (500 ante)

The tournament director is asking dealers to finish the hand they are currently dealing, as hand-for-hand play is about to commence. Cue the cliff-hanger "dun-dun-DUNNNNN" stinger. --MH

7:29pm: Two steps closer to the bubble
Level 14 - Blinds: 1,500/3,000 (500 ante)

A big double-knockout to share -- a doozy. Nines take out aces and kings!

The hand began with Abbas Moradi opening for 6,500 from early position, then Johan Verhagen made it 14,000 to go from the button. Rui Ferreira followed by calling all-in from the small blind with his laset 10,100, and when it got back to Moradi he called Verhagen's three-bet.

The flop came 8♣9♥6♣ and Moradi checked. Verhagen fired 20,000 into the side pot, then Moradi check-raised to 55,000. Verhagen responded by pushing all-in for around 75,000, and Moradi called in a flash.

We gave it away above. Here's who had what:

Moradi: 9♦9♠
Verhagen: A♣A♠
Ferreira: K♥K♣

The set of nines had Moradi way ahead, though the 3♣ on the turn had Verhagen calling for another club. The river was the 3♦, however, and both Ferreira and Verhagen go out shy of the money. --MH

7:26pm: Cody takes a stinger
Level 14 - 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

To be fair, it looked like a re-steal when when Jake Cody three bet a button raise. The first raise was to 7,500. Cody made it 22,500 out of the small blind. That's when big blind Darryll Fish thought for a minute and then put it all-in for 72,200.

With the original raise out of the way, Cody made the quick call with A♠K♣. He was up against Fish's A♥Q♣.

8G2A0226_EPT13BAR_Jake_Cody_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Jake Cody: Stung

The Q♥ hit the felt first, and Cody couldn't catch up. Fish now has more than 150,000. Cody is still fine with around the same amount. --BW

7:25pm: Munoz dents Dimov
Level 14 - Blinds: 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

Ramon Munoz is now challenging for the chip lead after taking a huge pot from the man who was chip leader, Ognyan Dimov. It was Munoz who started the action, raising to 7,800 from middle position and called when Dimov three-bet to 25,000 from the button.

The Q♣4♠3♠ flop was checked through and the 3♦ fell on the turn. Munoz check called a bet of 26,000 so to the 9♠ river they went. Again Munoz checked, once more Dimov bet, this time 60,000 and again Munoz called. Dimov sheepishly turned over 7♣5♣ and Munoz showed J♥J♦ to scoop the pot. He's up to 430,000 while Dimov drops to 305,000. --NW

7:20pm: Serious consideration or a tanking masterclass?
Level 14 - Blinds: 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

We're rapidly approaching the bubble and you know what that means. Excitement? Sure. Nerves? Of course. Tanking? Ohhhhhh yes.

The tanker in this segment (one of many in the room I'm sure) was Arthur Conan. First off, Ivan Luca opened to 6,200 and was three-bet by Kestutis Gecevicius to 16,100. Action folded to Conan in the big blind and he had a decision: move all-in for his last 31,000, or wait for a better spot.

The problem was, Gecevicius didn't believe he had a decision at all. Conan must have been tanking a lot prior to our arrival as after a minute or so Gecevicius called the clock. The floor came over and were told what was happening, but Luca said that this time Conan hadn't taken excessive time, and so he wasn't on the clock yet. While all the commotion was going on, Conan got a few more minutes thinking time. Once the clock was on he'd eventually fold with ten seconds left to act, as would Luca.

On to the very next hand.

Vojtech Ruzicka opened to 5,500 and this time it was Luca doing the three-betting. He made it 18,000 and once again play slowed when it got to Conan in the small blind. After another minute, Gecevicius called the clock a second time in two hands.

This time when the floor arrived, they weren't so understanding. The clock was on from the get go and the same thing happened. The floor told Conan after he folded that if he did it again he would have ten seconds to make his decisions and there would be potential penalties.

The action was then on Rui Milhomens in the big blind, and he was short stacked too! However, he thought for about a minute and a half before folding - a far more reasonable time for what appeared to be a genuine decision with about 45,000 behind. Once he folded, Ruzicka did too and Luca took it down.

Will Conan scrape into the money even if it means getting penalties? --JS

7:15pm: Gruissem taking the long view
Level 14 - Blinds: 1,500/3,000 (500 ante)

With the bubble approaching, Philipp Gruissem sits with chin in hand, looking off to the left away from his table as if eyeing something from afar.

He's thinking about the hand that just finished, one during which he checked behind on the river on a 3♠J♣6♣4♠7♥ board, watched his opponent Diogo Cardoso show J♦T♠ for jacks, then muck his hand, having lost an 80,000-chip pot.

Cardoso has 270,000 now. Meanwhile Gruissem has 120,000 -- a comfortable enough stack for making the money, but he looks as though he's focused on something else. Something a little further away. --MH


7:07pm: Barcelona
Level 13 - 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

Overheard in the hallway just now, in a city where things don't really get cranking until most of the rest of the world is asleep:

"We stayed out all night. We had six or seven mojitos. And then we went to a party. --BW

7:05pm: How was dinner?
Level 13 - 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

Dan Jones is a PokerStars qualifier and at the last break had lost a massive hand that, by his own admission, he'd not played very well. When he left for the 20-minute break, he wasn't in the best mindset. When he didn't return after 20 minutes, everyone wondered just exactly where he'd gone.

Jones had gone to dinner...on a day when there is no scheduled dinner break.

See, yesterday, there was a 75-minute break after the fourth level. So, as Jones absorbed the bad hand, he wandered off and took a dinner break that didn't exist. When he came back to see how much time he had left, he realized he'd lost 45 minutes of blinds and antes. Safe to say, it wasn't good.


Dan Jones: Aces for dessert

As the bubble approached, he had less than 50,000 in chips. It was maybe enough to make to a min-cash. So...that made it all the crazier when a couple of minutes ago, he simply put all of it in the middle.

And he got called.

Jones turned up A♠A♥, relatively safe against the opposing A♣K♦. The board ran clean, and now Jones is sitting on about 100,000 just a few spots off the money bubble. --BW

7:02pm: Margets gets Luciani's chips
Level 13 - Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

Alessandro Luciani's Main Event run has come to an end following a hand between the Italian and Barcelona's own Leo Margets.

All-in with a short stack of just a few big blinds, Luciani was ahead with his Q♠Q♥ versus the 9♦9♣ of Margets. And he was still leading following the J♣8♦7♠ flop and K♠ turn.

But the 9♥ on the river gave Margets a set and the better hand, and Alessandro is out as Margets moves up to 165,000. --MH

7:02pm: Adios!
Level 13 - Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

Another enormous pile of bust-out tickets have arrived on the PokerStars Blog desk, so that gives us another chance to reel off the latest list of those who have met their maker. The queue at the pearly gates includes:

Younas Yousaf, Andres Herrera, Fabian Geisel, Nicholas Verkaik, Per Ummer, Yaron Malki, Nicki Dalgaard, Stefan Vagner, Juha Lauttamus, Tom Alner, Jesper Feddersen, Mathias Siljander, Oleksii Kovalchuk, Lavrentiy Ni, Gregory Goldberg, Luigi Curcio, Maksim Semisoshenko, Nicolas Cardyn, Raul Martinez, Ioakim Papadopoulos, Per Hildebrand, Jaime Viela, Taylor Black, Kalidou Sow, Andres Luna, Koray Aldemir, Brian Ganon, Maksym Bidiuk, Cristiano Viali, Chris Lee, Seref Dursun Anar, Javier Mederos, Steve Warburton, Ezequiel Macho, Santiago Parra Garcia, Dejuante Alexander, James McCrink, Jose Echevarne, Bernikov Vyacheslav, Martin Kozlov, Justas Semaska, Harpreet Gill, Jenya Gavrilovich, Jean-Philippe Rohr, Maurizio Coppola, Christopher Lockhart, Philippe Wettstein, Claas Segebrecht, Remi Wyrzykiewicz, Paul Corrigan, Vasvenszki Zsolt, Do Chung Tran, Michel Dattani, Walid Bou Habib, Vladimir Velasquez, Ramin Hajiyev, Leonardo Balague, Dimitrii Makarov, Marek Grzeska, Pierre Merlin, Wei Zhao, Wouter Beltz.

7:01pm: Miller time
Level 13 - Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

With the bubble closing in it's squeaky bum time for the short stacks. Thomas Miller was in sub 15 big blind territory and put his stack of 36,200 across the line. It looked like he was going to pick up some much needed blinds and antes with no resistance, but Elliot Smith, who was in the big blind, asked for a count. He cut out the chips from his stack and called.

Smith: 4♦4♠
Miller: K♣Q♣

The Q♥K♥A♥ flop gave Miller the lead and the 8♥ made it four hears on the board and none in either players' hand. "I'll take a chop," Smith said, but he didn't get one on the 9♣ river. --NW

7pm: The big boys
Level 13 - 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

They're getting very close to the money now, and the following five players should feel confident of at least a min-cash. They are the players with the biggest stacks in the room. Head over to the chip-count page for the refreshed counts.

Ognyan DimovBulgaria440000
Alin GrasuRomania430000
Taichi YoneyaHong Kong410000
Joel NystedtSweden400000
Boris KolevBulgaria380000

6:55pm: Shamalov's (poorly-kept) secret
Level 13 - 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

Mikhail Shamalov just wanted some action. Was that too much to ask. He'd raised to a pittance: 5,500, and everybody folded until it got around to the big blind. Shamalov got a call, but no action when he bet the K♦5♣5♥ flop. Bemused, he flashed his cards in the direction of the fold.

"If you show that side of the table, you have to show the whole table," the dealer said.

And so Shamalov turned up his cards: A♣A♦. --BW

6:50pm: Close to the money
Level 13 - 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

After a rock'em-sock'em day, play has started to slow down. With 381 players remaining, we're now 22 players off the money.--BW

6:45pm: Kitai takes from Danchev
Level 13 - Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

Coming on the heels of that confrontation with Byron Kaverman, Davidi Kitai found himself in another big tussle with one of the other heavy hitters at his table, Dimitar Danchev.

Picking up the action with about 25,000 in the middle and a flop reading 9♥K♥2♠, Danchev led for 10,100, then Kitai shoved all-in for 43,200.

Danchev went deep into the tank to consider what to do. Meanwhile Kitai sat with his arms folded, statue-like in his stillness as he looked downward toward the board.

After some time a third player called the clock, and as the countdown began Danchev continued to think. Finally with about 15 seconds left, he set forward calling chips, then nodded as he saw Kitai's hand -- A♦K♦ for top pair, top kicker. Danchev had but A♠Q♥, in fact, having doubted Kitai connected with the board.

The turn was the 7♣ and river the 5♣, and Kitai has bounced up over 110,000. Danchev now has 71,000. --MH

6:40pm: A Gruissem overbet
Level 13 - Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

Philipp Gruissem had called Quentin Roussey's 5,200 open in the big blind and checked the 6♥3♣T♥ flop. Roussey opted not to c-bet, and the two went to the turn.

It came the 6♠, and they both checked that too. To be honest I thought about walking away at this point. "This isn't going to turn into an interesting hand," I thought. I stuck around long enough to see the T♦ river though, which put two pair on board.

Then Gruissem led out for 16,000, an overbet to the pot and one that was brutal for Roussey. It seemed very likely that he had Ace-high and was debating calling with his two pair top kicker, and after four minutes of thinking time he called.


Philipp Gruissem: How could you walk away?

Gruissem quickly turned over the A♣9♣ for that exact hand, and Roussey - relieved - showed his version: the A♥9♦.

"I was like, 'Nice freeroll!'" Gruissem said on his river bet. He is on 92,000 right now. --JS

6:35pm: A Kitai/Kaverman konfrontation
Level 13 - Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

Davidi Kitai was in the cutoff, and when action folded to him he did what comes naturally: he bet. It was a 6,200 open and nobody called until Byron Kaverman in the big blind. The dealer spread a J♣2♦9♣ flop and Kaverman checked it to the raiser, but Kitai checked back.

The 5♣ was the turn card and that sprung Kaverman into life. He led out for 7,000 and got a call from Kitai, resulting in the 4♠ on the river. Now Kaverman got serious and made it 23,500. Kitai thought for a good couple of minutes before folding and Kaverman - whose left hand didn't move an inch from the spot on his shoulder it had been resting on - raked in and stacked the chips one-handed. --JS

6:30pm: A hard way to make an elimination
Level 13 - Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

We're now around 30 places from the money and Zorlucan Er is the latest player to fall just short in the main event. He three-bet all-in for 38,4000 over the top of Gytis Bernatavicius's open and the Lithuanian got a count and then called the extra.

Er: A♥T♠
Bernatavicius: T♥T♣

It was domination nation for Er, but the 9♣8♣A♠ gave the Turkish player the lead. The Q♣ turn gave Bernatavicius a back door flush draw and it completed on the J♣ river to give him a straight flush no less.

Lucky we still have Zorlu Er to keep the Z. Er count up. --NW

6:25pm: Being Jason Mercier
Level 13 - 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

There was a time earlier today when I literally stood by Jason Mercier's table for half an hour waiting for him to bust. He'd been hobbled by a lost coin flip and had 17,000 left. Instead of punting, Mercier settled in, played OFC on his phone, and ordered coffee (and a banana). Now, Mercier has better than an average stack. Sitting on 160,000, Mercier now looks...well, just as comfortable as he has looked all day, but with a lot more chips.--BW

6:20pm: Shatilov shoves
Level 13 - Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

Andrey Shatilov had a career best result last night in Barcelona when he was part of a three-way deal in the €25K Single Day High Roller. He picked up €606,020 for that performance but is struggling a little in the Main Event.

He jammed all-in for 43,000 from early position and action folded to Mike McDonald, who was in the big blind. McDonald didn't have a lot more than Shatilov and he seemed to have a borderline decision. He reluctantly folded and Steve Watts - to McDonald's left - said. "Sevens," to which McDonald replied. "No, eights."

Could you make the fold? Would you make that fold? --NW

6:17pm: Picture this
Level 13 - Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

Two black aces do make a pretty picture as a hold'em hand. They look even better after having secured a decent-sized pot and the elimination of another player. That's how Janne "Savjz" Mikkonen feels about it, anyway, after just winning a hand with A♣A♠.

Wei Zhao didn't think those aces looked so pretty after committing his short stack with A♥Q♠ and finding himself up against them. The board came 5♠5♦K♣3h]2♣, and Zhao is out.

8G2A0391_EPT13BAR_Janne_Mikkonen_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Janne "Savjz" Mikkonen: Aces!

Mikkonen has 110,000 and a nice photo to text to his friends. That puts him a bit below average still -- with 406 players left the average stack is around 132,000. --MH

6:13pm: Greenwood still going
Level 13 - Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

Remember Sam Greenwood? Of course you do - he only went and won €903,600 a few days ago in the €50,000 Super High Roller. Fedor Holz would best him heads up in that one, but at least Greenwood has won the non-existent Main Event last longer between the two. He's still in here on Day 2, currently playing 175,000. --JS

6:10pm: Year of Romania
Level 13 - Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

Narcis-Gabriel Nedelcu is up to 350,000 after eliminating Thore Nordboe. The action was started by Nedelcu, who raised to 6,000 from middle position. Bernd Vogelhuber called on the button and Nordboe then moved all-in from the small blind.

His shove was for 37,400 and both players fancied their chances of scoring a knockout and put in the required chips to call. The 9♦K♦K♠ flop was checked through, as was the 7♣ turn. On the A♣ river Nedelcu bet 25,000 and Vogelhuber folded. "Ace," said Nordboe, showing A♦J♣ but the Romanian had him pipped with A♠Q♦. --NW

6:10pm: Sweet board for Tuite
Level 13 - Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

Dejuante Alexander is out after having re-raise-shoved his last 27,000 or so with 7♣7♥, finding himself up against the J♠T♠ of Colm Tuite, then witnessing a runout of A♠T♣T♦J♣5♠ to give his opponent a winning full house.

Tuite is up to 170,000. --MH

6:09pm: Moorman is not very true to his tweet
Level 13 - Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

During the break Chris Moorman tweeted that he was going to have to fold his way to the money with 45,000. However, since we've back he's up to his old tricks. Problem is, it hasn't worked out too well.

Moorman called an open from Zorlu Er in the big blind and the two saw a 6♦2♦K♠ flop. Moorman checked, Er continued for 4,000, and the Brit called. The turn then came the 6♠, pairing the board, and Moorman decided to lead out at it for 8,500. He couldn't shake Er though, and the two would duel all the way to the J♠ river.

At this point both gave up and checked. Moorman was a bit annoyed as he had to show his T♦8♦ and realised that had he bet he may have taken it down. Er had the 9♣9♠ a single pair was best.

Moorman is down to 24,500 now, and is in an even more critical state than before. --JS

6:08pm: William Kassouf eliminated
Level 13 - 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

If you noticed anything different about the background chatter in the area around the EPT Live feature table, there is a reason for that. The ever-chatty William Kassouf has been eliminated just short of the money bubble.--BW

6:05pm: The case of the river shove
Level 13 - Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

With 2♠5♣8♣T♣3♦ on the board and a decent-sized pot already developed, Arthur Conan was trying to sort out a mystery after having checked to his opponent Simon Mattsson who had pushed all-in.

Mattsson had Conan well covered, and like the character created by his famous namesake (A.C. Doyle) had a bit of detective work to do to decide his best course of action. Finally he decided folding was the only path to take, and after he did Mattsson provided one more clue to consider during his post-fold cogitation, showing him one card -- the A♣.

Mattsson is up to 215,000 while Conan still has 85,000 with which to pursue other hold'em cases. --MH

6pm: Where on earth do these players come from?
Level 13 - Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

If you've ever found yourself wondering where exactly 1,785 poker players could come from to pay €5,000 to play EPT13 Barcelona, wonder no more. They come from here:


(Click to enlarge image)

5:50pm: Hot chips!
Level 13 - Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

Since the last full sweep of the room, Jake Cody and Fatima Moreira de Melo are among those to increase their chip-stacks dramatically. Cody was at 20,000 earlier today, but is now close to 200,000. He knocked out Benny Spindler with ace-king against jacks.

Head over to the chip-count page for the latest update.

5:49pm: Now...the payouts

After a brief hiccup in the reporting, here are the EPT Barcelona Main Event payouts.


5.30pm: Break time

Players are now on the last break of the day. When they return they'll play two more levels. -- SB

5:28pm: Gecevicius gets it all-in, eventually
Level 12 - Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

Thinking Kestutis Gecevicius was all-in when he set a medium-sized blue column forward, Lee Michael Egan said he called and tabled his hand -- K♦K♠ -- and there was an awkward moment as it was realized by all that Gecevicius still had about 10,000 behind.

No one was too bothered about it, and in fact Gecevicius was saying he was willing to bet his remaining chips in the dark, making it intriguing to think what he might have had. The floor was called over to sort things out officially, and with Egan's call being confirmed Gecevicius indeed set his chips forward as a dark bet, Egan called it, and Gecevicius showed A♥K♥.

Then came the flop -- 8♥9♥2♥! A flush for Gecevicius. The 8♠ turned to pair the board, meaning it wasn't quite over yet. But the 7♣ completed the board and Gecevicius doubled to about 165,000 while Egan slipped to 85,000.

"That was a nice flop," grinned Egan, and Gecevicius nodded with a laugh, neither seeming too bothered by the little hitch that occurred in their preflop all-in. --MH

5:25pm: Always the river
Level 12 - Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

A classic race to tell you about and one that wasn't settled until the final community card. Ville Haavisto opened to 4,400 from the hijack, Tuukka Meklin then three-bet to 10,300 on the button and Shmuel Madar smooth called from the small blind.

Back on Haavisto he moved all-in for 58,500 which forced Meklin out but Madar quickly announced call. He showed Q♠Q♥ and Haavisto opened A♠K♣. The 2♥A♦7♣ flop put Haavisto into the lead, he held onto it on the 6♠ turn but Madar spiked the Q♣ on the river to win the hand. --NW

5:20pm: Harvest Koon
Level 12 - Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (200 ante)

Jason Koon's stack has been steadily increasing throughout the day, yet I've yet to be able to catch him in a single hand that's gone to a flop.

In my latest attempt, Jan-Eike Wilken opened to 4,500 and that bet was called by Conor Beresford. Action was on Koon and - just when we thought he might just call - he grabbed more chips and squeezed it up to 16,500. Everyone folded.

"Nooo bluff to showwwww," Koon sang while giving his cards to the dealer.

"Please still show!" asked Beresford.

"Hmmmm no," was Koon's reply. --JS

5:15pm: It's not a game of footsie
Level 12 - 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

Chance Kornuth is hobbled.

No, his chip stack is healthy with more than double the average stack. It's his ankle. It's not in good shape.

Since arriving here, Kornuth has been limping around with a brace on his left ankle. When it's not too crowded, he has put up his foot on a table cushioned with a plush smiley face emoji.

When it is crowded, he has to keep his feet in the normal position in front of him. That can cause some problems.

"You don't even realize how many times you get kicked under the table," he said. "When it hurts, you realize."--BW

5:20pm: Spain v Spain
Level 12 - Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

Two of Spain's finest players just clashed in a big pot. I missed the pre-flop action but on a 8♠3♠9♠ flop Pablo Gordillo (middle position) bet 8,000, Leo Margets (small blind) check-raised to 25,000 and after a brief tank Gordillo smooth called.

The T♦ fell on the turn and Margets moved all-in for 88,200 total. This time Gordillo spent a lot longer thinking over the decision. He had just over 120,000 in his stack and elected to keep his powder dry as he folded. Pot to Margets. --NW

5:13pm: Full house helps Johnson build
Level 12 - Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

The board read 9♦7♦Q♥7♣, and after Keith Johnson checked, Yaron Genut fired a bet of 12,000 only to see Johnson respond with a check-raise to 28,000. Genut thought for a while then called, bringing the pot up around 85,000.

The river brought the 3♦, and this time Johnson sat quietly for about a half-minute before saying he was all-in. Genut exhaled as the dealer counted out Johnson's stack.

Finally, before the counting was absolutely done, Genut set out a stack of blue 5,000-chips to call, and Johnson quickly tabled his 9♣9♥ for a full house. Genut was made to show his hand -- A♠7♠ for trip sevens -- and Johnson collected the pot.

Johnson is up around 245,000 now while Ganut slips to 98,000. --MH

5pm: Moorman's sneaky, Kovtunov's sneakier
Level 12 - Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (200 ante)

One checked a boat, the other checked trips - they're a sneaky bunch this lot. I picked up the action on an 8♠5♠8♣ flop and it checked around to Zorlu Er who was on the button. He made it 9,500 to go, completely unaware of the onslaught his teeny weeny bet was about to endure.

Glib Kovtunov was in the small blind, and then check-raised it to 21,500. That seemed to intrigue Chris Moorman, who was in the big blind. He looked like he was ready to get involved and did just that, bumping it up again to an even 40,000. Er wasn't ready to play for that much, bit Kovtunov wanted to play for even more. He moved all-in for 78,000 total and Moorman snap called with the 8♦9♣ for trips. Kovtunov had almost flopped the world the 5♦5♣.

Moorman would need a nine or the case eight but it wasn't to be. Kovtunov doubled up to around 170,000, while Moorman falls to to 48,000. --JS

5:06pm: It's good to have joking around chips
Level 12 - Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

When a player is winning, then walks around (often) to tell others how things are going, the stack left behind is sometimes referred to as "walking around chips."

It's a phenomenon more apt for cash games than tournaments, as in the latter players don't want to be missing hands when the blinds and antes are always due to increase.

Thus in tournaments does the phenomenon morph into other ways to express cheerfulness after winning, such as the "joking around chips" phenomenon.

That's what Alisan Holozlu is experiencing at the moment. Having just won an all-in with pocket aces versus ace-king, he's clearly feeling good. While stacking up what is now 260,000, he made the joke made by many tournament players before him.

"Thank you, dealer," he cracked, flipping a 100-chip in his direction.

"Cash, cash!" said a tablemate, noting how tipping with chips only works in the cash games. Holozlu kept grinning, pulling back his joking around chip. --MH

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5:05pm: Farewell Fernandez
Level 12 - 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

Leo Fernandez just busted against Philippe Souki. Fernandez three-bet shoved for 31,100 with K♦J♥ but Souki's Q♣Q♦ were good. Souki up to 170,000.

5pm: What else is going on?

As well as the Main Event there are dozens of side events taking place during the EPT Barcelona festival. Check out the latest results here.

4:53pm: Two-outer ends Vagner's day
Level 12 - 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

All in with T♣T♠, Slovakia's Stefan Vagner got called with 4♣4♠, but the first card to hit the felt was the 4♦. Vagner couldn't hit a two-outer of his own, and was eliminated. --BW

4:52pm: More departures
Level 12 - Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

Gilbert Diaz, Akin Tuna, and Benny Spindler are now out of the Main Event. -- SB

4:50pm: Koon attempts to suck out, is successful
Level 12 - Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

"I'm basically seeing if I'm getting the right price to suck out on you," said Jason Koon as he weighed up if he should commit the rest of his chips to the pot.

There was a T♦K♠Q♠9♥ board on the felt and around 55,000 in the middle plus the 13,500 Koon had bet. That wager had been upped by Jesper Feddersen who had raised all-in for 60,700 in total. He covered Koon who had 54,400 total. He riffled and re-riffled his chips before electing to call.

Koon showed A♠5♠ for the nut flush draw and a gutshot straight draw. Feddersen already had the straight though with A♣J♦. The 9♠ river filled Koon's flush to boost him to around 165,000 while Feddersen was left with just 6,300. --NW

4:38pm: Lipkin trending upward
Level 12 - Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

It's been a good day thus far for Robert Lipkin. Just now he fired a river bet with Q♠J♦ on a T♠4♥9♦9♣K♠ board and got some more value as a lesser hand called.

Lipkin has chipped up to 260,000 so far this afternoon. --MH

4:30pm: Farrell felted after five-bet jam
Level 12 - Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (200 ante)

There was an all-in triangle in front of Solomon Stan before the cards had even been dealt. He had lost the majority of his chips in the previous hand, being crippled down to just 600. He was then in the small blind - a mandatory all-in.

A few players folded before Romania's Alin Grasu made it 4,700 to play. One player had called that bet by the time it was on EPT12 Malta champ Niall Farrell on the button, and he took a slow peek at his cards before surveying his opponents. Carefully, he pieced together a squeeze of 18,000 and placed it over the line.

It was back on Grasu, and he wasn't done with this one. It took a good few minutes, but eventually he made a four-bet to 46,500. The other player got out of the way and it was back on the Scot.

Farrell waited a minute before announcing he was all-in, a bet worth more than 140,000 more. Grasu had him covered and made the call. Both their hands were flipped, as was Stan's.

Farrell: A♦K♠
Grasu: Q♦Q♥
Stan: A♣5♣.


Farrell couldn't believe it. Not only was he now all-in for his tournament life, but the tiny stack of Stan had managed to pick up an Ace, therefore removing one of his outs.

The board ran out 4♠7♦J♦J♣7♣ and the Queen held up, eliminating Farrell and Stan. With that big windfall, Grasu is now on 360,000. --JS

4:25pm: Chouity faces the inevitability of it all
Level 12 - 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

At this time in the tournament, as the bubble approaches, those who have more in mind than a min-cash are keen to start getting it in when they feel like there's a decent chance they have the best of it. So it went for Nicolas Chouity. Facing a raise to 4,600 from Alexandru Baron, Chouity looked down to see A♥K♥ and re-raised to 14,000 out of the small blind. Baron shoved all in for 54,100 and Chouity made the call to see Baron's K♦K♠. Baron didn't have to worry much after the flop: K♣9♣9♦. After the 8♠ turn, Chouity was drawing dead and doubled Baron up. --BW


4:17pm: Veksler vanquishes Youssafi
Level 11 - Blinds: 800/1,600 (200 ante)

I picked up the action as the dealer burned and turned a 9♣J♥6♥ flop. Khalil Youssafi was all-in and looking at the size of the pot he'd not had many chips left at the start of the hand.

There were two other players in the hand and the first of those was Anton Wigg. The EPT8 Copenhagen champion checked to Pavel Veksler and called when the Israeli player bet 8,500. The A♦ hit the turn and Youssafi wore the look of a man who'd just been overtaken in the hand and he started to gather his belongings.

There was no betting action though and the 7♠ rounded off the board. Wigg checked again and Veksler fired out a bet of 16,500 which was enough to force the Swede out. Youssafi was first to show, he'd got it in with Q♦Q♣ but Veksler had him beat with A♥8♥. --NW

4:16pm: Zeiter zooms up
Level 11 - Blinds: 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Just as Pavel Kranoselskii was doubling with pocket aces against Akin Tuna on the neighboring table, so, too, did Diego Zeiter earn a big double through Lawrence Bayley, also with pocket aces.

"That's why it's good to have a big stack," reflected Bayley afterwards. "In case that happens."

Zeiter jumps to about 195,000 after his big double, while Bayley still has 118,000. --MH

4:15pm: AA works for Krasnoselskii
Level 11 - Blinds: 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Pavel Kranoselskii just scored a much needed double through Akin Tuna, using A♦A♥ to best Tuna's K♠5♠ on a 2♥5♥6♦6♣K♥ board.

Kranoselskii jumps to 175,000 after that hand while Tuna slips down to 45,000. --MH

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4:13pm: Lundmark send Jorgensen packing
Level 11 - 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Team PokerStars Pro Theo Jorgensen is no more for this event. After EPT champion Kent Lundmark came in for a raise to 3,500, Jorgensen shipped from the small blind to 24,500. Lundmark took his time to call but finally did holding ace-nine. Jorgensen had a king and a jack. The board ran out with baby cards, and Jorgensen took his leave of the tourney room. --BW

theo_jorgensen_bar13_24aug16.jpgTheo Jorgensen out of the Main Event

4:12pm: Recent eliminations
Level 11 - 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Thor Hansen, Luca Pagano, and Simon Ravnsbaek are all now out of the Main Event. -- SB

luca_pagano_bar13_med2_24aug16.jpgLuca Pagano: Out

4:10pm: Ramos slips towards the danger zone
Level 11 - Blinds: 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Felipe Ramos was in the tank. He was facing a bet of 19,000 on the river of a K♥A♣3♥Q♣3♦ board. There was about 30,000 in the pot and Ramos had about 60,000 total so this pot was pretty crucial.

It was a bet for a third of his stack and one that should he call and win would boost him to a comfort zone of 110,000 but should he lose then he'd be rapidly approaching 20 big blind territory.

So you can understand why Ramos was taking his time, but he eventually flicked in a chip to call and Markus Durnegger showed A♠Q♠ for two pair. "That's the only hand you could have," said a frustrated Ramos who couldn't top it and he mucked his cards face down and slides to 39,000. --NW

4:06pm: Hot chips!

We've just performed our first full sweep of the room, looking for all the big stacks and/or reputations left in this field. It was quite the performance, I can tell you.

Here's your top five at the moment, and head on over to the chip-count page for the rest. There are about 550 players left of the many many more who started (full number still to be confirmed).

Ognyan DimovBulgaria460,000
Nicolas ChouityLebanon390,000
Raffaele CastroSwitzerland305,000
Hanyang PengChina283,000
Wahid PatelUnited Kingdom280,000

4:05pm: The William Kassouf external monologue
Level 11 - 800/1,600 (200 ante)

If you need a picture of frustration, stand by William Kassouf's table as everyone waits for Kassouf's hands to finish. At one point, the opposing players were literally standing to stretch, putting their face in their hands, and sighing audibly as the latest Kassouf speech played out.

In this case, it was a flop of 9♣K♦T♦.

"That's a good flop for my hand. I almost flopped the nuts. I nearly shipped it pre."

But he checked anyway, and implored his opponent: "Don't make a mistake. You don't want to bet it and I check-raise all in."

Facing a bet to 3,200, Kassouf pondered.

"Top pair good? I should ship it here but if you have king-ten or king queen..."

He put out calling chips.

"Catch your bluff."

It was the 7♣ on the turn.

"I should ship now, but I think I lose you if I bet. Check. Yeah, set the trap."

Now facing an all-in bet, Kassouf didn't have much more to say. He folded, and then said, "You can show this one. Good for the game."

Money bets Kassouf's interpretation of good for the game is different than the man with his face buried in his palms. --BW

4:01pm: Double up for Mercier, but he's still super short
Level 11 - Blinds: 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Team Pro Jason Mercier moved all-in for 14,000 after the action folded to him. He got a quick call from Diogo Veiga in the big blind who was ahead with his A♠J♥ against the J♠T♠.

The flop changed matters. It came the T♣5♠9♠, giving Mercier both top pair and a flush draw. Veiga would now need running spades or an Ace, but the T♦ turn left him drawing dead as it gave Mercier trips. An inconsequential 6♦ river secured Mercier the double up, but he's got a long way to go to get a comfortable stack. --JS

3:58pm: Song's swan song gets ovation from Moorman
Level 11 - Blinds: 800/1,600 (200 ante)

It was only a couple of days ago that Chris Moorman was chip leader heading into the final table of Estrellas Main Event. As we kept reminding you then, the man known as Moorman1 is the biggest money winner in the history of online poker, but his performance this week strengthens the argument that his live game is just as good.

We could be in for another deep Moorman run as the Brit just won a big pot (albeit in a very lucky way). When I arrived at the table Moorman had a bet of 9,100 in front of him which had been raised to 24,800 by Michael Song. Back to the Brit, he jammed and got a quick call.

Here's why: Song had the Aces, Moorman had pocket Jacks. The 3♣Q♠2♥ flop changed nothing, but the J♠ turn sure did. Moorman's set held up over the 3♠ river, giving him a full house and all of Song's chips. That took his stack up to 190,000, while Song was sent on his way. --JS

3:54pm: Bad timing for Ramos
Level 11 - 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Austria's Markus Durnegger had come in for a raise, and Felipe Ramos took the opportunity to 3-bet to 9,000. It might have gone better but for the fact short-stacked Abel Durban decided to shove all in for only 6,000 more. Durnegger stepped aside, but Ramos was compelled to call. Durban held A♥K♥, hit his king on the turn, and doubled to more than 30,000. --BW

felipe_ramos_bar13_24aug16.jpgFelipe Ramos

3:50pm: Kabrhel collects from Savard
Level 11 - Blinds: 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Jean-Pascal Savard just took a hit to his stack in a hand that saw him open for middle position, get one caller in the cutoff, then see Martin Kabrhel push from the button for about 36,000. After some thought Savard eventually called, squeezing out the third player, and turned over A♥J♥ versus Kabrhel's Q♥Q♠.

The board fell 3♥3♣7♥4♣K♣, and now Kabrhel has about 75,000 while Savard slips to 80,000. --MH

3:44pm: Blom and Pagano gone
Level 11 - Blinds: 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Add Viktor Blom to the list of the departed, so too Luca Pagano. -- SB

3:44pm: ElkY, Shahade out
Level 11 - Blinds: 800/1,600 (200 ante)

We just spotted Jennifer Shahade leaving the tournament area, having lost the last of her stack. So, too, is Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier on the rail, finally out after nursing a short stack for the first two-and-a-half levels today. --MH

3:42pm: "I'm the defending champion..."
Level 11 - 800/1,600 (200 ante)

"...not no more."

John Juanda is out, chuckling to his neighbour Jason Mercier about how his title defence has now come to an end. He ran headlong into Alejandro Belluccia's turned full house--Belluccia had 4♠4♦ and the board was 7♣7♥8♠4♥J♠. Juanda may have had ace-seven, but it had been mucked by the time I got there. Juanda headed out of the door. -- HS

3:39pm: Branco busto
Level 11 - Blinds: 800/1,600 (200 ante)

A standard exit this, Dieter Albrecht opened with K♦K♥ and called when Carlos Branco moved all-in for 29,000 with K♠J♠.

The 7♠7♣7♥ flop left Branco praying for the case seven but it didn't arrive on the 2♥ turn or 8♦ river. --NW

3:36pm: No back-to-back champion
Level 11 - 800/1,600 (200 ante)

There will not be a back-to-back Barcelona champion. Last year's winner, John Juanda, has been eliminated. --BW

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3:33pm: Recent busts
Level 11 - Blinds: 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Among the most recent wave of knockouts here in Level 11 were Patrick Mahoney, Alexandru Papazian, Dylan Wilkerson, Andrey Pateychuk, and Bruno Politano. --MH

3:32pm: Fast fold poker
Level 11 - Blinds: 800/1,600 (200 ante)

There's a poker saying that goes a bit like this: 'If you think long, you think wrong' and it's a school of thought that Anooj Saareen seems to subscribe to. He three-bet to 10,000 over the top of Tobias Reinkemeier's open and picked up calls from Christophe Larquemin and Reinkemeier.

The 3♣Q♦2♠ was quickly checked to Larquemin, he bet 20,500, Reinkemeier swiftly got out the way and Saareen insta-folded pocket jacks face-up. Larguemin was kind enough to show A♥Q♥ meaning Saareen made a very fast and correct fold.--NW

3:31pm: Lewis' hands are Kitai-d
Level 10 - Blinds: 600/1,200 (100 ante)

Davidi Kitai is known as a feel player and a 'live tell' guy more than a stats and maths man. However, hitting big blind specials certainly helps him too.

He defended his big blind after Austin Lewis made it 4,000 on the button the flop came down 4♥3♦5♦. It went check-check, resulting in a turn card: the 3♠. The board had paired to go with the straight draws, and Kitai chose to lead out for 5,500. Lewis came along and the A♣ river completed the board. Kitai continued for 13,000 and Lewis instantly called, but mucked when Kitai showed the 2♣5♣ for a flopped top pair, turned two pair, and rivered straight. The Belgian is up to 87,000 now. --JS

3:30pm: A most reliable tell
Level 11 - Blinds: 800/1,600 (200 ante)

There exists in poker an almost wholly reliable tell, accurate nearly 100% of the time. At least it seems that way. Only problem is, knowing about this tell won't be of much use to you when playing poker. It's only value, really, is to those reporting on poker, and even for them it might only save a couple of seconds now and then.

What's the tell? A player goes all-in, another hesitates before acting, then looks back at his or her cards.

It's a fold. Trust me.

Here at the start of Level 11, Fabian Geisel opened a hand from the button and watched the player in the big blind shove. Geisel waited a few seconds, rechecked his cards, then folded.

Soon after Patrick Sacrispeyre raised from middle position, then watched the table fold to the small blind who shoved for about 10 times the raise amount. Sacrispeyre sat for a moment, then looked at his cards. Fold.

Then it was Taichi Yoneya raising, and Jose Echevarne shoving over the top.

Yoneya looked down, peeling up the corners of his cards. It's one of the few sure things in poker.

He folded. --MH

3:25pm: What kind of rubdown are we talking about here?
Level 11 - 800/1,600 (200 ante)

The William Kassouf Show continues in the middle of the room with the banter getting even more and more familiar. The most recent middle-of-a-hand monologue offered a free rubdown to anyone who busted him. The patter got some laughs, but at least one person was ready for Kassouf to talk less and smile act more.

Kassouf (who has proven himself rather unwilling to be told to shut up) took some umbrage with the suggestion. He wondered what the hurry was. "You got a plane to catch?" he asked. "What time is your flight?"--BW

3:20pm: Call the clock
Level 11 - Blinds: 800/1,600 (200 ante)

In a three-bet pot Grzegorz Grochulski and Martin Arce Llobera each put in 10,800 and an 'actiony' looking 9♥K♠Q♥ flop hit the felt. Fireworks were forthcoming surely? Not so much. It was checked all the way to the river with the 2♣ and 5♣ completing the board.

At this juncture Grochulski bet 8,800 and Llobera went into the tank. He cut out the 8,800 from his stack of 110,000 and set it to one side. He then looked intently at Grochulski for a long time. He'd taken almost five minutes and seemingly wasn't any closer to a decision, so a player called the clock. About 20 seconds of the allotted minute passed before Llobera mucked his cards and a hand that took almost 10 minutes ended. --NW

3:15pm: No matter how much you bet...
Level 11 - 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Alejandro Belluccia had a plan, it seemed. He would keep betting until Neculai Macovei decided to fold. He might not have read Of Mice and Men.

After raising to 4,200 and getting called, the men saw a 5♠T♦2♥ flop, and Belluccia led for 6,400. Neculai made the call and went to the A♣ turn. This! This would be when Macovei would fold to a 7,300 bet.

Actually, no it wouldn't. He called and got the A♥ on the turn. It was going to take a bigger bet apparently.

Apparently not. Belluccia came out with 15,200 and Macovei called pretty quickly.

After firing all of his barrels with [khJ♥, Belluccia was forced to concede the pot to Macovei's K♦K♣.


3:10pm: Mercier hobbled
Level 11 - 800/1,600 (200 ante)

In the beginning hands of this level Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier had most of his stack cut out from underneath him. It was a simple race that didn't go his way. He put his pocket sixes up against Diogo Veiga's ace king. Veiga made his ace, and Mercier dropped down to 17,000-chip pittance. He got one shove through under the gun shortly thereafter, but got no callers.--BW

3:05pm: Latest eliminations
Level 11 - 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Joining the ranks on the rail are Michael Gathy, Kristen Bicknell, Dominik Panka, Fedor Holz and Diego Ventura.

dominik_panka_bar13_24aug16.jpgPanka out


2:52pm: Do you want to be seen or not mate
Level 10 - 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Poker's greatest irony is William Kassouf's T-shirt. The noisiest man in the room is wearing camouflage, becoming the personification of the legendary Do you want to be seen or not mate tweet.

By his standards, Kassouf is a little quiet at the moment, mainly because he is sitting with only about 25,000 chips and so can't get involved in too much shenanigans.

He did, however, manage to find one spot to engage in a quick verbal joust. Alexandru Baron open shoved for 15,500 and the decision passed all the way round to Kassouf in the big blind.

It was already a heads-up pot, so Kassouf could talk about the hand--an opportunity he would never turn down.

"Do you want me to call?" Kassouf said. "Does it matter?"

Baron was quiet.

"You've had a good day today? You've had fun? You ready to go home?"

Baron decided to take him on. "I just want more chips, that's all."

"Where you from? Romania?"

Baron told him he was from Canada. "Hmm, Canada." Kassouf said. He then added: "I've got broadway cards, king high. You want a call now?"

Baron was non-committal. "You're either ace-high or we're flipping. I pass, I pass."

Kassouf flashed a king, then slid his cards forward. "I've a feeling I'm getting it in this hand," Kassouf added.

But he didn't. Alexey Romanov opened the next hand. Kassouf was among those to fold. Tony Blanchandin opened the next hand and Nicolas Chouity three bet everyone out of it, including Kassouf. Then Franz Ditz opened to 2,600 and Kassouf was among those to fold again.

And then it was the break. -- HS

2:50pm: O'Kearney in tough company
Level 10 - 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Dara O'Kearney is giving a running commentary on the action from his table on his Twitter account, and given the standard of his opponents it should make for interesting reading.

He had Daniel Dvoress and Benny Spindler alongside him to start with ("Spindler's KQ > Dvoress AQ to bust him" ©@daraokearney) and then Jake Cody landed in Dvoress's seat ("80k after Jake pings his two outer against me very first hand" ©@daraokearney).

He hasn't mentioned it yet, but O'Kearney possibly also knows the man sitting to his direct left. Although Jordan Westmorland is quiet, sitting beneath a big pair of headphones, O'Kearney has possibly met "JWPRODIGY" online, where he has been in and around the world's top 30 for several years -- HS

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2:45pm: Some Team Pro counts
Level 10 - Blinds: 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Level 10 has just ended and there's plenty of assorted Red Spades still in contention. Here's how some of them are getting on:

Luca Pagano - 66,000
Jason Mercier - 60,000
Jake Cody - 51,000
Felipe Ramos - 43,000
Jennifer Shahade - 9,000

2:44pm: Top 3 hands Fedor Holz played in the past few minutes (you won't believe what happens in no. 3!)
Level 10 - Blinds: 600/1,200 (100 ante)

I apologise for the click-bait tabloid headline of this post, but hey - it got you reading right? Who am I kidding, all I needed to write was that Fedor Holz has been eliminated and you probably would have con...ahhh dang. Spoiler.

1. Holz wins with c-bet

Fedor Holz opened to 2,700 from mid position and got one caller in the big blind. The flop came 3♠6♥T♦ and he won it with a 2,300 c-bet when it checked to him.

fedor_holz_bar13_24aug16.jpgFedor Holz

2. Holz wins with c-bet again in very next hand

Fedor Holz opened to 2,700 and got one caller in the big blind (Rafael Moraes). The flop came 6♦K♠3♦ and he won it with a 2,500 c-bet when it checked to him.


Fedor Holz opened to 2,700 under the gun and was instantly three-bet to 7,100 by Narcis-Gabriel Nedelcu. When it got back to Holz he called and the flop came 2♠3♣9♥. Holz checked and Nedelcu continued the aggression with a 12,200 bet. Holz called and the turn was the 7♠, which he'd check once more. Nedelcu looked at Holz's stack and put him all-in - around 38,000 more to call. Holz studied his opponent as we've seen him do so many times but this time he made the wrong decision.

He called, turning over the A♦9♦ for top pair. That was way behind Nedelcu's Q♥Q♦ and the river bricked, sending Holz outta here.

Fedor Holz gets eliminated from tournament without even cashing? See, we told you you wouldn't believe it. --JS

2:44pm: Panka out
Level 10 - Blinds: 600/12000 (200 ante)
Dominic Panka's tournament is over. On a flop of Q♦T♦6♣ there was a check from the big blind followed by a bet of 5,000 from Alexander Lakhov. Panka thought for a minute and then moved all in for 32,000 with K♠Q♠. Lakhov showed A♠Q♥.
The turn came 5♣ and the river K♥. Panka out. Lakhov up to 97,000. - SB

2:41pm: Verkaik wins three-way, avoids elimination
Level 10 - Blinds: 600/1,200 (200 ante)

In one of the last hands before the break, Quentin Roussey opened for 2,800 from early position and watched Andrey Kotelnikov call from the hijack. Nicholas Verkaik then reraise-pushed for 17,400 from the hijack seat, and Roussey called the shove.

Kotelnikov then elected to reraise all-in himself for about 46,000, and after taking a little more time to think about it, Roussey called that shove as well.

Roussey: 8♦8♥
Kotelnikov: T♦T♣
Verkaik: K♥Q♦

The community cards came K♠5♣5♦2♠J♥, meaning everyone made two pair -- and everyone survived. Verkaik won the main pot and now has 55,000, Kotelnikov won the side and has 65,000, and Roussey still has a healthy 117,000. --MH

2:20pm: Notable departures
Level 10 - Blinds: 600/1,200 (100 ante)

Among the more notable bustouts from the last hour or so: Steve O'Dwyer, Daniel Dvoress, Team PokerStars Pro Yai Zhu, Sergio Garcia, Sergio Aido, Ludovic Geilich, Natasha Barbour, Xuan Liu, Christopher Frank, Dylan Linde, Cate Hall, George Danzer. --BW

8G2A0128_EPT13BAR_Cate_Hall_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Cate Hall

2:13pm: Isildur1 alive and kicking
Level 10 - Blinds: 600/1,200 (100 ante)

Viktor Blom has been quiet so far today. He came into Day 2 short in chips with 23,300, so I expected to see him shoving, pushing, and jamming right from the get go. But no. It seems the man known as Isildur1 is playing a patient game, and it's working. After Miguel Iglesias opened to 2,500, Blom casually sat up in his seat, took a look at his opponent, and three-bet to 5,500. Iglesias folded and Blom is up to 33,000. --JS

2:10pm: Van Zadelhoff doubles
Level 10 - Blinds: 600/1,200 (100 ante)

After a pre-flop betting war Steven van Zadelhoff was all-inwith the A♥K♦ against the K♥K♠ of Koray Aldemir. The Dutchman needed an Ace to hit the felt, and his wish came true on the 9♥A♠4♣J♠2♦ run out. He's up to 116,600 now. --JS

2:05pm: Moreira de Melo makes a new friend: ace-jack
Level 10 - 600/1,200 (100 ante)

Based on a sample size of two pots, Fatima Moreira de Melo has a new favourite hand. It's ace-jack and it's just earned her a bunch of chips.

The PokerStars SportStar was under the gun when she picked up A♦J♠ (we find this out at the end; there's no telepathy going on here) and raised to 2,600. Georgios Zisimopoulos, from a stack of about 150,000, called in the hijack and Luigi Curcio, who had slightly more than Zisimopoulos, called in the cutoff.

So, three of them to a flop of J♣5♠9♠. Moreira de Melo, with her top pair, bet 4,500 and Curcio was the only caller. After the K♣ came on the turn, Moreira de Melo checked and Curcio bet 9,000. Moreira de Melo called and was rewarded by the A♥ appearing on the river.

Moreira de Melo, with two pair now, laid a trap with a check. But Curcio checked behind and Moreira de Melo had to make do with a pot of a little under 40,000.

But there was even more for her on the next hand when, wouldn't you know it, she got dealt the exact same hand again, suits and all. Moreira de Melo was in the big blind this time and watched Guy Goossens, one seat to her left, raise to 3,300 pre-flop.

Zisimopoulos called again and Moreira de Melo paid the extra from the big blind.

Moreira de Melo again flopped top pair when the first three cards fell A♠9♥3♥. She checked, Goossens bet 5,000 and both Zisimopoulos and Moreira de Melo called.

The 7♠ came on the turn and Moreira de Melo checked again to Goossens. He bet 15,000 this time. Zisimopoulos let it go, but after a short while to ponder, Moreira de Melo called. She seemed to sense that she might have kicker trouble.

However, if the kicker was a weakness at the start, it was a strength by the end when the J♣ appeared on the river. Moreira de Melo checked and Goossens checked behind, furious when his opponent showed A♦K♠ again. Goossens' A♥K♣ had been well and truly rivered. -- HS

2pm: Breton stacks De Roussac
Level 10 - Blinds: 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Florian Febre De Roussac is out, his T♣9♣ failing him versus his fellow Frenchman Thibaut Breton's A♠7♣ on a board of 8♠J♣A♦9♠8♦.

Breton bumps up to 135,000 after that hand. The big board is showing 711 players remain. --MH

1:50pm: Xanthopoulos gets one over on Umerova
Level 10 - Blinds: 600/1,200 (100 ante)

Safiya Umerova beat Niall Farrell heads up at the WSOP this summer to win her first bracelet, and she'd only been playing cards for 18 months. She's still in the mix here today, but just lost a big chunk of her stack making what was clearly an agonising fold.

Rewinding a bit, Umerova had called a 2,500 open on the button, and Pavlos Xanthopoulos defended his big blind. When the 2♦4♣8♦ flop fell it checked to the Russian who led out for 5,200, and only Xanthopoulos called.

That took us to the A♠ turn and all of a sudden Xanthopoulos took the betting lead for 8,500. Umerova raised it to 21,500, but was then raised again to 45,000. She ended up making that call to see the 9♠ river on which Xanthopoulos jammed for 71,700. The pot was enormous and Umerova was in a tough spot. She tanked for a good few minutes before laying it down.

"Show the bluff!" she urged, but Xanthopoulos just shook his head. Umerova has 91,000 after that one. --JS

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1:48pm: Fatima fires, forces fold from foe
Level 10 - Blinds: 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Returning to Team PokerStars Pro Fatima Moreira de Melo's table, it looks as though her teammate Yaxi Zhu has lost her short stack, as Stephen Malone is now in the seat she'd formerly occupied.

In fact, Malone just tangled with de Melo in a hand that reached the turn with about 12,000 in the middle and the board reading 8♣K♠Q♥7♥. After de Melo bet 3,700 (from the big blind), Malone called (from UTG), then watched the 2♥ fall and de Melo fire again for 11,100.

Malone let his hand go that time, keeping his 55,000 or so. Meanwhile de Melo has 65,000. --MH

1:42pm: Kings lose to aces, but no one loses cool
Level 9 - 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Terence Ryan outranks his opponents at Table 68 in at least two ways: for one, he is by far their senior. But he also has many more chips.

The man from Ohio was beyond 200,000 before the following hand played out--although his chip-lead took a hit when a big chunk headed to Rui Milhomens. It played out so graciously, however, that it even ended in a conversation about the importance of playing with respect at the tables.

Ryan opened from the hijack and got involved in a raising war with Milhomens, who was in the small blind. I think there was at least a three bet, possibly a four bet, before I think Ryan called and they saw a flop of 5♣7♥T♦. Milhomens checked, Ryan bet 4,400 and Milhomens called.

They then saw the 8♣ on the turn and Milhomens again checked. Ryan bet 6,500 and Milhomens shoved, for 18,200. Ryan didn't wait for a count before calling.

Ryan had K♣K♥, but Milhomens had him all along. He turned over A♥A♠. The Q♠ popped out on the river to seal it for Milhomens.

"You were trapping each other," Nuno Capucho, sitting to Ryan's right, said.
"But never let it get personal in poker," Ryan said.
"But it's so much more fun when it's personal," chimed Sander van Wesemael from the other end of the table.
"But if it's personal, you usually lose," Ryan said.

Ryan then turned to Milhomens and said, "Well played." Milhomens turned to Ryan and said, sincerely: "You too."

They're playing for millions of euros, but it could be a game between friends over the kitchen table. In fact, it's probably more friendly than that. -- HS

1:41pm: Danzer dunked
Level 10 - Blinds: 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Team PokerStars Pro George Danzer is out here in Level 10, but with the sun out and the day still long, he still has hoop dreams. --MH

1:35pm: Lucky Ludo
Level 10 - Blinds: 600/1,200 (100 ante)

Ludovic Geilich was all-in with pocket sevens while two other players - Kevin Stammen and Bradley Myers - continued the action. I arrived on the river of the A♥A♠T♥4♣7♥ board, and it turned out Ludovic Geilich had gotten very lucky indeed.

Stammen had the A♣6♥ for flopped trips, while Myers had two hearts for a rivered flush. That eliminated Stammen, but Geilich had survived by hitting a river set with his 7♠7♣. He's up to 67,500 now. --JS

1:25pm: Leo (Mar)gets more
Level 10 - Blinds: 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Leo Margets is up to 65,000 after a hand against Juha Lauttamus. Brian Ganon opened the hand from early postion, a bet of 2,200 which Margets called from the cut off. Lauttamus was on the button and raised to 7,100 which forced out Ganon but which got a call from Margets.

The flop came A♥Q♠J♥

Margets checked and Lauttamus made it 7,300. Margets looked over at Lauttamus and then made the decision to simply pick up her nearest tower of chips, worth 40,000 in this case, and move them forward - arguably one of poker's most aesthetically pleasing moves.

Which Margets must have thought too as Lauttamus folded. A good start to the day for her. - SB


1:23pm: Easy game; or, queens over kings and aces
Level 9 - Blinds: 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Sometimes in poker you just run into hands. That's what just happened to your humble scribbler when walking back into the poker room and confronting the action happening on Table 45 right by the entrance. That's also what happened to the three players involved in the hand playing out there.

After Ioannis Kontonatsios opened for 2,300 from early position, Aliaksei Boika called from across the table, then when the action reached Marcelo Caceres in the big blind he shoved his short stack all-in. Kontonatsios responded by reshoving for about 57,000, and Boika called in a flash.

Caceres: K♦K♠
Kontonatsios: Q♥Q♦
Boika: A♥A♦

Caceres was already standing up when the 2♦7♦9♠ flop came. Then he took out his phone to snap a photo as the Q♣ fell on fourth street to give Kontonatsios the lead. The 5♦ river blanked, Caceres is out, Boika down to 18,000, and Kontonastsios up around 130,000 now.

It took three steps and two seconds to find that hand. Easy game. --MH

1:15pm: Van Zadelhoff and running
Level 9 - Blinds: 500/1,000 (100 ante)

The bearded one, aka Steven van Zadelhoff, has enjoyed a good first level here on Day 2. He came into the day with 22,000, but is already up to 59,000 after taking down this latest pot.

He opened to 2,300 from early position and got a call Koray Aldemir on the button and David Calzada in the big blind. The trio saw the dealer spread an 8♣Q♠T♣ flop and it checked to van Zadelhoff who continued for 4,400. Aldemir came along, but Calzada let it go.

The turn came the 9♠ and van Zadelhoff led out again for 11,100. That was too much for Aldemir and the Dutchman raked it in, --JS

1:14pm: The great cull
Level 9 - 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Mercy, me, the stack of bustout slips is already heavy. Here are some of the early bust-outs.--BW

Patrick Leonard, Liwei Sun, Ludovit Fischer, Freerk Post, Gaetano Dell Aera, Paul Berende, Tom-Aksell Bedell, Kim Victor Hanen, Wilfried Harig, Robert Askarov, Yakov Onuchin, Shaun Deeb, Magnus Karlsson, Michael Fardel, Davor Anticevic, Charles McCrink, Thi Xo Nguyen, Michael Tureniec, Matthia de Meulder, Nicolas Le Floch, Ronny Voth, Dzmitry Urbanovich, Guillermo Olvera, Michel Abecassis, Adrien Allain, Vincente Delgado, Pawel Zawaowicz, Andrejs Perederejevs, Giulo Spampinato, Roberto Fernandez, Stephane Benadiba, Michel Halioua, Ricardo Da Silva, George Dunst, Olivier Jarny, Simon Deadman, Morten Klein, Yang Zhang, Jurijs Binklers, Bartosz Jablonski, Marco Leonzio, Mitch Johnson, Michael Cano, Raymond Forsland, Benjamin Barkay, Artem Metalidi, Vic Zagar, Dymtro Isupov, Renjun Tang Robert Schulz, Grant Wheelhouse, Stefan Ivanov, Russell Thomas, Tomasz Kowalski, Thomas Oesterreicher, Mark Radoja, Clemens Manzano, Christian Grundtvig, Israel Carriazo, Matthew Selides, Nino Ullmann, Mark Heirrnan, Zeus Post, Cesar Garcia, Benjamin Keeline, Radek Jantos, Enrico Rudelitz, Dmitry Ivanov, Gabriel Blehaut, Anthony Borde, Ronald Keijzer, Eric Le Goff, Karolia Ananevas, Jeremie Sarda, Paul Hoefer, Ben Heath, Anthony Zinno, Jussi Nevanlinna,Robin Hegele, Moritz Dietrich, Marcelo Caceres, Christophe Benzimra, and Iegor Zarev.

1:10pm: Building a perch for Mau5
Level 9 - 500/1,000 (100 ante)

ElkY has a tiny stack at the moment, which means a relatively low pedestal from which his Mau5 toy can survey the action. That particular plastic pet has, in its lifetime, had far more lofty perches.

But with only about 25,000 in chips, you might think ElkY was waiting for a premium hand to get involved. Not so. After folding six in a row, he min-opened to 2,000 from early position and picked up a call from Eric Rabut in the small blind.

They weren't interested in the 6♣4♣8♦ flop. Both checked. Then they weren't interested in the J♣ turn either. They both checked. And then they also checked the 8♥ river. Rabut turned over K♠T♠ but it couldn't beat ElkY's monstrous Q♦4♦. -- HS

1:08pm: Holz gets the double up
Level 9 - Blinds: 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Fedor Holz was all-in with the Q♣T♠ and had been called on the river of a 7♣4♥9♠Q♥Q♠ board. His running Queens smashed his opponent, who had called with the 9♦T♦, and brought the Super High Roller winner up to 48,000. --JS

1:05pm: A waste of time? Depends on your point of view
Level 9 - Blinds: 500/1,000 (100 ante)

As Nils Jarefjall and Karam Alfonse played out a hand at Table 84, Mark Roovers and Nicholas Palma engaged in some cross-table conversation.

Roovers has his smartphone out and is playing Pokemon Go. And defending doing so versus Palma's suggestion that the game is a waste of time.

"Some would argue poker is a waste of time," answered Roovers somewhat philosophically. The line didn't change Palma's thinking about Pokemon Go, however.

"You might think it's stupid, but when I get back home to my nephews, they will be proud of me," said Roovers with a grin, alluding to his progress in the game. "When you're with them, it's okay," Palma conceded, but still wasn't ready to endorse the game.

"Yu-Gi-Oh was better, anyway," Palma cracked.

Meanwhile the board was showing T♣7♠6♠8♥, and after a Jarefjall shove Alfonse snap-called, tabling J♣9♦ for the nuts. But Jarefjall had J♥9♠ for the same straight, and after a river blank the pair chopped it up.

"Aww... that's sad," said Palma of the chopped pot. "At least he called right away."

Indeed, Alfonse didn't waste any time. Although both he and Jarefjall wouldn't be faulted for thinking the hand had been a waste, as they stack back up similar-sized stacks of around 35,000. --MH

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1:04pm: Luca getting busy
Level 9 - Blinds: 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Ivan Luca just min-opened two pots in a row, with different outcomes. The first time his 2,000 bet got everyone to fold. The second time, he got a call from Cesar Garcia and then folded to Oscar Kroon's 26,000 shove. It's official - poker is easier when everyone folds. --JS

1:05pm: Quads for Freund
Level 9 - 500/1,000 (100 ante)

It was already looking pretty good for Alexander Freund when he got his 30,000 stack in pre-flop with Q♣Q♦ and was up against Pascal Vos's pocket jacks. But his advantage was boosted further with the Q♠ in the window on the flop and--what's this?--the Q♥ nestling alongside it. Vos couldn't hit runner-runner jacks to trigger the bad-beat jackpot, but still has about 90,000 to play with. -- HS

12:52pm: Why, bro... why?
Level 9 - Blinds: 500/1,000 (100 ante)

"Why, bro... why?" asked Mehlbaum -- of his opponent, Baljit Singh, the dealer, and to anyone else who'd listen.

All-in with A♣K♣ versus Singh's A♠Q♠, Mehlbaum felt reasonably assured a double-up was coming his way after a 3♣3♦T♣ flop. But the 3♥ turn and T♠ river put a full house on the board, meaning each players' two hole cards no longer mattered as they chopped it up.

Mehlbaum sits with about 14,000, down a little from the 25,900 he had at the beginning of Day 2, while Singh has about 68,000, just a little more than what he had to start the day.--MH

12:52pm: High Rollers in the Main
Level 9 - 500/1,000 (100 ante)

For my money, the toughest table in the room today is No 98, all the way over in the far corner, which is practically a different zip code. Six of the players there could more commonly be seen in High Roller events. Indeed one of them, Pratyush Buddiga, won a €25,000 buy-in tournament about 11 hours ago.

The others on that table are Kent Lundmark (former EPT Barcelona champion), Keith Johnson (who made the final table of the EPT Dublin High Roller), Ben Heath (4th in the PCA High Roller), Alexandru Papazian (Monaco High Roller champion), Ana Marquez (former Team Pro, top Spanish online tournament pro) and the aforementioned Buddiga.

Until recently, Yang Zhang, who came fourth in this week's opening €10,000 tournament was also on that table, but he has just been sent packing by Ping Lin. Lundmark opened from the hijack, making it 2,200 to go; Lin made it 6,500 from the cutoff and Zhang shoved for 76,200 from the big blind.

Zhang had J♦J♣ but stood up and prepared to leave when the flop of A♥3♥7♥, coupled with Lin's A♣K♥ left him with one out. Neither the 6♦ turn nor the Q♠ river was it, and Zhang's elimination was confirmed. --HS

12:50pm: Murderers row
Level 9 - Blinds: 500/1,000 (100 ante)

If your table breaks, there's one table in particular you better hope you don't get moved to. It's over in the far right corner of the room and currently hosts Keith Johnson, Ben Heath, Alex Papazian, Ana Marquez, and last night's €25K Single Day Re-entry winner Pratyush Buddiga.

However, the one hand I caught was won by Jeromie Sarda, a French player with solid results in the FPS and IPT. Ben Heath min-raised to 2,000 from under-the-gun and Sarda raised to 4,500 from under the gun plus one. It got back to Heath and he called to see the 4♠J♦A♣ flop, but check-folded to Sarda's continuation bet. --JS

12:48pm: Title defence still on
Level 9 - Blinds: 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Reigning EPT Barcelona Main Event champ John Juanda and Alexandros Kolonias find themselves sat on the same table today, and they just played a small pot together. Juanda opened to 2,300 in the cutoff and Kolonias defended his big blind to see a 6♦8♠8♥ flop. He checked, Juanda continued for 3,000, and Kolonias let his hand go. --JS

12:45pm: Barkay bounced
Level 9 - Blinds: 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Benjamin Barkay's Day 2 has ended early after a hand against Zorlu Er.

With the board showing 6♦3♠7♦7♥, Barkay put the last of his chips in with A♦K♦ and Er called with 5♥5♦. The river was the T♥, and Barkay is out. Er is up near 100,000, having more than doubled his stack already today. --MH

12:42pm: Hello, neighbor
Level 9 - Blinds: 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Team PokerStars Pros Fatima Moreira de Melo and Yaxi Zhu happen to be seated side-by-side today at Table 82 to begin play today.

Both have been relatively quiet thus far -- both literally and figuratively in terms of getting involved in hands. Zhu has position on her teammate, but de Melo has the chip edge with 55,600 to start the day versus Zhu's 23,700. --MH

12:40pm: Deeb and Urbanovich out
Level 9 - Blinds: 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Just a couple of hands after losing flush over flush to Pablo Gordillo, Shaun Deeb has been eliminated, despite still having 48 big blinds after the hand. Dzmitry Urbanovich was also seen leaving the tournament area with his bags packed. --JS

12:37pm: Upping the Watt-age
Level 9 - Blinds: 500/1,000 (100 ante)
A mixed start to the day for Steven Watts. After having his aces cracked by nines to double up Gereon Sowa, he recouped some of his losses against countryman Matthew Davenport. Not quite back to his stack of 62,000, but on the way. - SB

12:35pm: Albrecht adds as Heirrnan hits rail
Level 9 - Blinds: 500/1,000 (100 ante)

"All right... bring on the double-ups!"

So said Luke Haward to Table 26 as he sat down behind his stack of 32,000 or so as the first hand of the day was being dealt.

Across the room, Mark Heirrnan was no doubt thinking similarly when he open-raised his stack of 13,000 from middle position, then watched Dieter Albrecht reraise all-in from the small blind to force a fold from Luca Falco on his left.

Heirrnan had A♥K♦ and needed help against Albrecht's 5♥5♦, but a board full of low cards -- 2♣7♣6♣8♥6♦ -- was of no use to Heirrnan and he's an early Day 2 casualty. Albrecht now has about 115,000.

"You saved me," said Falco. "I had ace-jack... I would have called." He preserves his stack of 40,000. --MH

12:31pm: Late arrivals
Level 9 - Blinds: 500/1,000 (100 ante)
The fourth last player to register for the Main Event was Fedor Holz, who was in line to register as announcements were being made in the tournament room. Ahead of him was Sergio Aido who took his seat in the main room. Meanwhile Holz, followed by a camera crew, made his way to tournament room 2. - SB

12:30pm: Now, time for Day 2
Level 9 - 500/1,000 (100 ante)

It was a packed house today as PokerStars announced the brand new Championship and Festival tours, including a stop in New Jersey coming up in a couple months. For more, check out this full story on the news.

NEIL9225_EPT13BAR_Poker_Championship_Launch_Neil Stoddart.jpg

The tournament room as PokerStars announces its new tours

12:15pm: Big announcement done, play begins
Level 9 - 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Now that today's big announcement has been made, it's eyes down for Day 2 of the EPT Main Event. Registration is also now closed, and we learn that 28 players bought in at the last minute, including the following:

Andrey Shatilov (Russia)
Tony Broekhof (Netherlands)
Tom Alner (United Kingdom)
Dmitry Yurasov (Russia)
Jordan Kaplan (United States)
Hipolito Carapeta (Portugal)
Mattia Verzeletti (Italy)
Carlos Sanchez Diaz (Spain)
Wilfried Harig (Germany)
Alessio Casiraghi (Italy)
Shlomi Elimeleh (Israel)

A full list, confirming total number of players, will be with us soon-ish. -- HS


11:35am: Day 2 ready to go

The remaining 900+ players from this record-breaking EPT Barcelona Main Event have reconvened to play another six levels today. There are a few announcements to be made before play gets under way, but expect cards in the air at about 12:15pm.

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

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

PokerStars Blog reporting team on the EPT13 Barcelona Main Event: Stephen Bartley, Martin Harris, Jack Stanton, Howard Swains, Brad Willis and Nick Wright. Photography by Neil Stoddart. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter:@PokerStarsBlog

NEIL8710_EPT13BAR_Fatima_Moreira_De_Melo_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Fatima Moreira de Melo

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