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EPT13 Malta: Fast still the man to catch as €10K reaches final six


Chip leader Dietrich Fast

A tremendously entertaining day of poker ended shortly before midnight at Casino Portomaso, Malta, with Dietrich Fast leading the last six players of the €10,000 single-re-entry curtain raising tournament to the EPT Malta festival. There were 60 entries, including 12 re-entries.

It really felt like we had it all. Registration wasn't even closed when they started the ball rolling at 12:30pm, and we had a re-entry period, a freezeout period, speed ups and slow downs and then even enough play at the final table to cut eight down to six.

What we very specifically didn't have was a bubble. Although only eight players were due to be paid, we lost the men in tenth and ninth simultaneously on neighbouring tables, taking us effortlessly into the money.


Dan Shak: Officially the bubble boy

Oleksii Khoreshenin and Dan Shak, the men to fall, won't have appreciated it very much, but it allowed the remaining eight, headed by Fast, to get on with the business of divvying up the €582,000 prize-pool. There's €174,600 available for first. (Full details are on the payouts page.)

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As you might expect for a tournament of this buy-in, there's some real talent still involved--and even more who took part but went home for an early bath. Here's how they stacked up at the end of the day.

Dietrich FastGermany900000
Dario SammartinoItaly654000
Pratyush BuddigaUSA479000
Viacheslav BuldyginRussia328000
Ramin HajiyevAzerbaijan324000
Davidi KitaiBelgium315000

Fast led at the end of Day 1, and he was never anything worse than a top-five stack as they went through another ten levels today. What's more, he was wise-cracking pretty much non-stop, bouncing off Rumin Hajiyev, Ben Heath, Patrick Leonard and Charlie Carrel, among others, even as he was taking most of their chips.

Fast finished tenth in the €25,000 High Roller this time last year in Malta and has been on a roll since then. He is now in pole position to take his first high buy-in title on the EPT, to add to his victories in the WSOP and the WPT.

We'll have full coverage of tomorrow's final from 12:30pm. In the meantime, read through everything below to see how it played out today. It was genuinely entertaining, which is not something you can always say.


12:05am: Play concludes after Vladimir Troyanovskiy goes in seventh for €29,680
Level 18 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Vladimir Troyanovskiy never managed to recover his situation and he fell to Dario Sammartino.

He opened with 5♥6♥ and was called by Sammartino. The flop came J-8-5 but the chips went in on the 4 turn whren the Russian had a straight draw to go with his par. Unfortunately for him Sammartino had two black kings and the river bricked.

Full chips counts and a wrap of the day's play will be up on the blog shortly. -- MC

11:55pm: Just the quads for Buddiga
Level 18 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Pratyush Buddiga has passed 500,000 mark after flopping quads in a three-way pot.

Viacheslav Buldygin opened to 22,000 from the cutoff and was called by Davidi Kitai (button) and Buddiga (big blind). The flop fell 3♥Q♥3♦ and the action checked to Kitai who bet 35,000. Only Buddiga called before both players checked the K♥ turn. The board completed with the 2♦ and Buddiga led for 35,000. Kitai called and heard his opponent say, "Just quads!" before he opened 3♣3♠. Kitai mucked. --MC

11:45pm: Troyanovskiy tripped up
Level 18 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

It'd be a brave man that'd annoy Vladimir Troyanovskiy. What if he annoyed himself though -- should he be afraid of himself?

It looked as if he was annoyed at himself at least after he dropped to 72,000 by paying off Dietrich Fast in a battle of the blinds. He check-called bets of 22,000 and 73,000 on the turn and river of a 2♥7♥3♣Q♦3♠ board. Fast opened J♥3♥ for a flush draw that turned into trip threes by the river. Troyanovskiy mucked and clenched a fist. --MC

11:38pm: Orpen Kisacikoglu first out in the money for €23,280
Level 17 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

Eighth place belongs to Orpen Kisacikoglu after he unluckily busted to Dario Sammartino.

The action folded to him in the cutoff where he moved all-in for 125,000. Sammartino was in the small blind and moved all-in as well.

Kisacikoglu: A♥K♦
Sammartino: A♣J♦

The board ran a tricolored 6♥9♣J♣6♠9♥ to make Sammartino two pair. He moved past the 650,000 mark. --MC

11:30pm: Into the Fast lane
Level 17 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

Most of the day, the chip leader at the time has had at least one player for company. That's not the case anymore as Dietrich Fast has stretched away from the field with 790,000. That's partly due to a pot he won off Ramin Hajiyev.

Hajiyev raised from the hijack and Fast called from the big blind. Hajiyev continued for 22,000 on an 8♦Q♥6h] board and Fast check-called. The 5♣ turn was checked through and then Fast led for 80,000 on the 2♦ river. Hajiyev tank called but mucked upon seeing Fast's 6♠5♥ for two pair. Hajiyev dropped to 340,000. --MC

11:15pm: Double for Buldygin
Level 17 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

Viacheslav Buldygin is the short stack at the final, and is also the least experienced player. This is only his sixth live tournament--but not quite his "first live tournament" as Dietrich Fast keeps suggesting, to general amusement.

And Buldygin is going to stick around because he has just doubled up on the first hand of final-table play. Dario Sammartino opened from the button and Buldygin shoved the small blind. Davidi Kitai then re-shoved the big blind and Buldygin said, "I think I have problems."

He showed 6♦6♠ and Kitai showed A♦J♦. "You have no problems," Vladimir Troyanovskiy said.

The flop came K♦T♠4♦. "Now you have problem," Troyanovskiy added. But then everyone agreed that a lot of the problems were eased by the 6♥ on the turn. The K♣ river ended it in the first-timer (or sixth-timer)'s favour. -- HS

11:10pm: Final eight
Level 17 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

They are now all seated around the final table, with the following approximate stacks:

Seat 1 - Vladimir Troyanovskiy, 135,000
Seat 2 - Orpen Kisacikoglu, 180,000
Seat 3 - Dietrich Fast, 680,000
Seat 4 - Dario Sammartino, 490,000
Seat 5 - Viacheslav Buldygin, 130,000
Seat 6 - Davidi Kitai, 650,000
Seat 7 - Ramin Hajiyev, 360,000
Seat 8 - Pratyush Buddiga, 360,000

11:05pm: No bubble, Shak out at same time as Leonard
Level 17 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

All of a sudden, everyone is in the money. At the exact time that Patrick Leonard was being knocked out by Pratyush Buddiga, Dan Shak ran his jacks into the pocket aces of Davidi Kitai and the aces held. That meant there was no time to redraw on to one nine-handed table, and no sweating over the money bubble either.

With Shak packing his things before heading out, they did an eight-handed redraw in the knowledge that they are all guaranteed at least €23,280. Details of new seating assignments to follow.

11pm: Leonard falls to Pratyush Buddiga
Level 17 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

"Oh well," said a philosophical Patrick Leonard after he failed to hit in a race versus Pratyush Buddiga.

The Brit moved all-in for 88,000 from the button and Buddiga did likewise from the small blind. Dietrich Fast flashed the A♥ and folded from the big blind.

Leonard: Q♠T♥
Buddiga: 8♠8♦

The flop came 3♦2♥J♠ and Leonard said, "That's a bad one."

On the 9♣ turn he continued, "Too many outs!" He was proven right as the river was the J♦.

The final nine players are now on the bubble and will be redrawn onto one table. --MC

10:55pm: Fast the destroyer
Level 17 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

Something had to give on Table 1 and it turned out to be the EPT Vienna champion Oleksii Khoroshenin. He was the big stack about three hours ago, but now he is on the rail in 11th, the latest victim of Dietrich Fast.

Everyone was shoving on that table. In back-to-back-to-back hands, Viacheslav Buldygin, Patrick Leonard and Khoroshenin moved their short stacks all-in, but none got any callers. Then Ramin Hajiyev moved all-in too from the small blind, pressuring Buldygin into folding his big blind.

But then the top blew. Fast opened to 22,000 from the cutoff and Khoroshenin called from the big blind. They saw the flop of 3♠T♥2♣ and Khoroshenin checked. Fast bet 16,000 and after a short moment of deliberation, Khoroshenin said that he was all-in.


Glum times for Oleksii Khoreshenin

Fast couldn't call quickly enough. He turned over T♦T♣ having flopped top set. Khoroshenin wasn't dead with his A♠5♣, but the 7♠ on the turn was a blank, as was the K♠ on the river.

Fast now has about 700,000 and is running away with it. -- HS


Dietrich Fast: Running away

10:45pm: Sammartino at it again to bust Carrel
Level 17 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

There was no outdraw from Dario Sammartino this time. He was always ahead, and stayed that way to bust Charlie Carrel.

Carrel moved all-in for around 70,000 from the cutoff and there were folds until the action reached the Italian in the big blind. He squeezed one card and looked at Carrel while saying, "It's good!"

"How good? Just tell me!" responded Carrel.
"I can't until I see the other one," said Sammartino. He looked at the other one and the look on his face changed, and he said, "Nuts" and called with K♥K♠.

"Wow, you actually looked sorry for me," commented Carrel as he opened his 9♣9♥. The board ran A♥8♦3♣2♠J♠ and Carrel went off and pretended to cry into a friend's embrace. --MC

10:35pm: Into Level 17
Level 17 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

Off they go into Level 17. Here's how they stack up at the moment:

NameCountryEntry infoChips
Dietrich FastGermany 476000
Davidi KitaiBelgiumRe-Entered on Day 2470000
Ramin HajiyevAzerbaijan 400000
Dario SammartinoItalyRe-Entered on Day 2371000
Vladimir TroyanovskiyRussia 236000
Pratyush BuddigaUSAEntered on Day 2229000
Orpen KisacikogluUKRe-Entered on Day 1172000
Patrick LeonardUK 153000
Oleksii KhorosheninUkraine 151000
Dan ShakUSA 143000
Viacheslav BuldyginRussia 126000
Charlie CarrelUK 82000

10:25pm: Break time

They're taking a 15-minute break and colouring off the 500 chips. We'll have full chip counts soon.

10:23pm: Ung out
Level 16 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

On the final hand before the break, Senh Ung shoved his tiny stack in from the small blind and Pratyush Buddiga called from the big. Buddiga's A♥J♥ beat Ung's king-seven off-suit and we're down to 12. -- HS

10:20pm: Zinno outdrawn, busts
Level 16 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Anthony Zinno is the latest man to perish, getting his short stack in ahead, but getting outdrawn.

He shoved under the gun and got that all the way through, but he would see only one more hand. Action folded to Dario Sammartino in the small blind, and he moved all-in.

Zinno, with 81,000, snap-called but his Q♦K♠ lost to Sammartino's J♥T♦ on a board of 4♣3♠J♠T♥8♥. -- HS

10:15pm: Shak shoves on Carrel
Level 16 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

"Hmm, why do you always have to put me in the close ones?" asked Charlie Carrel to Dan Shak.

Shak had his headphones on and slipped one ear off to hear Carrel continue, "You look pretty comfortable."

Shak didn't reply and put his headphones back in place.

"Not worth replying? I need to choose my sentences better next time," smiled Carrel.

The hand had started with an under-the-gun raise to 17,000 from Shak and a big blind defend from Shak. The flop fanned 5♦J♥8♣ and Carrel check-called 20,000. The turn was the 8♥ and Shak shoved for 74,500 when he was checked to again. Carrel ultimelty folded to drop to around 150,000. --MC

10pm: Making Troyanovskiy smile
Level 16 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

vladimir Troyanovskiy opened to 14,000 and Dario Sammartino called one seat along. Then Davidi Kitai called on the button, and action got to Charlie Carrel in the big blind. He started chuckling to himself, and Dan Shak wondered why. Carrel said he was facing three of the scariest looking players in the world. None of them ever smiled, he said.

"I've seen Vlad smile," Shak said. Then paused a beat, before adding, "Every time he busts me." That won a textbook Troyanovskiy smirk. Shak then pointed at Kitai and said, "Him, I haven't seen smile so much." Kitai did not crack.

Carrel folded, so there were three of them to a flop of 2♥A♠3♥. Troyanovskiy bet 26,000 and only Sammartino called. The 3♦ came on the turn and Troyanovskiy bet 45,000. This time Sammartino let it go too.


Vladimir Troyanovskiy: Is that a smile?

9:55pm: Heath coolered by Hajijev
Level 16 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Ben Heath is out. This was a cold deck, leaving no room for subtlety, especially with a stack of about 20 big blinds.

Heath three-bet shoved his stack of 124,000 over Oleksii Khoreshenin's open and with good reason. He had Q♥Q♠. However, Ramin Hajiyev snap-re-shoved from the small blind and he had good reason too. He had K♠K♥. Khoreshenin folded.

The board ran 6♣A♣T♦6♠3♥ and it was clear enough that Hajiyev had the bigger stack. Heath's 124,000 goes over to the Azerbaijani player's pile, swelling it to about 330,000. --HS


Ramin Hajiyev

9:45pm: Carell remixes his stack and a song
Level 16 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Charlie Carrel and Anthony Zinno played out an interesting hand and also had an interesting conversation, partly through the hand and a little after its conclusion.

Carrel was wearing headphones and let them drop around his neck. "Are you listening to The Verve, Bitter Sweet Symphony?" asked Zinno.

"Yes! Can you hear it?" responded Carrel.
"No, you were singing it!" came the reply.

Carrel looked embarrassed but there was no time to talk much as the two had an important hand to play out.

Zinno opened to 13,000 from the cutoff and Carrel peeled from the big blind to see a 4♠2♥3♣ flop appear. Zinno continued for 18,000 and Carrel check-called before both players checked the 7♠ turn. The river was the K♠ and Carrel checked to face a 45,000 bet. The British starlet only had around 80,000 back and into the middle they went. Zimmo made a very quick fold and dropped to around 95,000.

It took a little while but they picked up the conversation again.

"Could you really hear me?" asked Carrel.
"Yes, but it sounded like a remix; a bit like a Metallica remix."
"I'm so sorry," said a red-faced Carrel. --MC

9:25pm: Fast v Buddiga in the blinds
Level 16 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

It was an unraised pot, with Pratyush Buddiga calling from the small blind and Dietrich Fast checking his option. They saw the 3♠2♠J♥ fall on the flop and Buddiga bet 5,500. Fast raised to 16,000 and Buddiga called.

After the 4♠ came on the turn, Buddiga checked and then gave it up when Fast bet 32,000.

9:20pm: Double for Buldygin
Level 16 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Patrick Leonard, with a stack boosted from that hand against Martin Kozlov, opened from under the gun and then called Viacheslav Buldygin's shove of 58,000 from the small blind. They were racing. Leonard had 7♣7♠ and Buldygin had A♣J♣.

The flop was all red. It came 2♦8♦4♥ and Buldygin prepared to leave. But his preparations were premature because the J♦ came on the turn and the J♥ on the river, which kept him alive.

Leonard is down to about 170,000 now. Buldygin has about 120,000. Blinds have just gone up. -- HS

9:15pm: Leonard makes great call to eliminate Koslov
Level 15 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

"You called me?" asked a surprised/confused Martin Koslov to Patrick Leonard.

Leonard had been tanking on the river for a couple of minutes and then made a very understated call - placing a 500 value chip just over the line to signify the call. The call was good and the Australian broke the long spell of zero eliminations.

The hand had started with a min raise from Koslov off the button and a big blind defend from the diminutive Brit. The flop spread 2♦5♣6♣ and Leonard check-called a 15,000 c-bet before both players went on to check the 6♦ turn. The river was the 4♦ and Koslov moved all-in for 73,500.

Leonard had an obviously difficult decision, and that was a fact as he scratched his head. When he came out of the tank and called, Koslov showed him A♦Q♠ which was no good against K♣2♠ for two pair. -- MC

EPT13MALT_Martin Kozlov_6077_JulesPochy.jpg

No joy for Kozlov

8:55pm: Hajiyev continues upward
Level 15 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Ramin Hajiyev and Oleksii Khoreshenin were having a conversation that seemed to be about some kind of private game they were playing. It sounded like one of them had been 350K up, but that the other one had recently got 100K back, and so felt like he was losing. I don't know any more specifics, but that's the kind of thing they sometimes talk about at these tables. Until they play a pot, and then silence descends.

That's exactly what happened to halt this particular chinwag. Hajiyev opened to 12,000 from under the gun and Khoreshenin called. They saw the flop of K♥Q♠K♠ and Hajiyev bet 16,000. Khoreshenin raised to 41,000 and Hajijev called.

They then both went into checking mode, after the 6♦ turn and the J♣ river. Hajiyev's A♠K♣ was good. Khoreshenin mucked.

Although the two of them were silent, Dietrich Fast led another conversation, with input from Patrick Leonard and Ben Heath. On the recent World Series broadcasts, during which Fast got some decent air-time as he made a deep run, he was consistently referred to as being born in Russia and living in Austria, often overlooking the fact that he is actually German.

This has apparently led to people assuming that Fast speaks Russian, which he doesn't. Fast then tried to explain that just because he was born in Russia, it doesn't mean that he was Russian, and was hoping to use a German idiom that explained it. "What's a 'hutch'?" he said. "What's the name for a place that a pig lives?" He was pecking away at Google translate on his phone.

It seems that the German phrase Fast was citing asks a rhetorical question along the lines of: "If a cow is born in a pig sty, is it a cow or a pig?" Fast was attempting to say that just because he was born in Russia didn't mean he was Russian, but it turned into a load of poker players, who have paid €10,000 each to sit in this game, shouting out apparently random words from a farmyard.

"Isn't a hutch for a rabbit?" Leonard said.
"A pen?" Heath said.
"If a cow is born in a pen, is it a cow?" Fast said.
"What the f*** is this conversation?" Charlie Carrel said, turning round from the neighbouring table. "I've been trying to follow it but I can't keep up."

Fast eventually gave it up, by which point Hajiyev was out of the hand described above. "I never even said I thought you were Russian," Hajiyev said. "It's just that it explains why people think you speak Russian."

Who said table-talk was dead?

8:45pm: Carrel's no fat lady singing
Level 15 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

The all-ins continued and one of them had to be called. Charlie Carrel was the man called and he got lucky to double up.

He was down to just 51,500 when he made his move from the hijack and was called by Dario Sammartino in the big blind.

Sammartino: K♦Q♦
Carrel: Q♣T♦

The board ran 2♠T♣2♣6♠4♣ and Sammartino dropped down to 188,000. --MC

8:35pm: Hanging on the telephone
Level 15 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Just before all the all-ins, a hand played out between Ramin Hajiyev and Patrick Leonard that was intriguing primarily for its metagame aspects. I don't know if we really learnt anything, but it was fun to watch.

It was actually the very first hand after the break and Hajiyev was late to arrive to the table. He got there just as his cards were being dealt, so his hand was live and he peeked at it while still standing up. It seemed that he was about to raise, still while standing up, but eventually sat down and pushed out a 12,000-chip raise.

"If you'd have still been standing, you would have been strong," Leonard said. It also happened that Hajiyev's phone started ringing just as he sat down, and he silenced it to play his hand.

"His girlfriend is calling," Dietrich Fast said, suggesting there was further evidence that Hajiyev had a decent hand.

"Come on, man!" Hajiyev said.

It didn't lose him a customer, though. Leonard called, saying, "I'll try to catch up." The two of them saw a flop of K♦7♠9♣ and Leonard check-called Hajijev's bet of 15,000.

The 7♦ came on the turn and they both checked. Then the Q♦ came on the river. Leonard checked and Hajiyev bet 29,000. And then Leonard's phone started vibrating, meaning he was getting a call. "It's my girlfriend," he said, although he hadn't actually checked the screen yet.

Leonard then started a monologue. "I should have stayed in the restaurant," he said. "This is expensive. I could have had dessert."

Leonard then folded with a flourish and Fast said he saw the king of hearts. Leonard denied he had the king of hearts but admitted it was a king of another suit. "King-nine," he said.

"I should have bet on the turn," Hajiyev said. "I would have got more."

We will never know.

8:30pm: A flurry
Level 15 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

There was a flurry of all-ins just after the dinner break, but at time of writing all 16 players still remain.

Charlie Carrel, the tournament short stack, open-shoved the hijack and picked up blinds and antes. Then he open-shoved the hijack with the same result.

On the neighbouring table, Ben Heath three-bet shoved for his last 100,000 from the big blind after Dietrich Fast opened to 11,500. Fast pump-fake folded.

Encouraged by what he had seen from table-mates, Viacheslav Buldygin open-shoved the next hand and got it through too.--HS

8:25pm: Play resumes
Level 15 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

The remaining players are back in their seats for the last four levels of the night. Play will only be stopped before that if six players remain. Here's their official counts:

NameCountryEntry infoChips
Oleksii KhorosheninUkraine 385,000
Davidi KitaiBelgiumRe-Entered on Day 2350,000
Vladimir TroyanovskiyRussia 310,000
Dietrich FastGermany 250,000
Dario SammartinoItalyRe-Entered on Day 2216,000
Anthony ZinnoUSA 200,000
Pratyush BuddigaUSAEntered on Day 2200,000
Ramin HajiyevAzerbaijan 185,000
Patrick LeonardUK 160,000
Orpen KisacikogluUKRe-Entered on Day 1155,000
Dan ShakUSA 134,000
Martin KozlovAustralia 120,000
Senh UngUK 118,000
Ben HeathUK 110,000
Viacheslav BuldyginRussia 55,500
Charlie CarrelUK 43,000

6:50pm: Dinner break

The players are on a 90-minute dinner break. We'll have the official counts of all 16 remaining players by the time we come back. --MC

6:40pm: Two table redraw with rough chip counts
Level 14 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Table SeatNameCountryEntry infoChips
11Anthony ZinnoUSA 225,000
12Davidi Kitai BelgiumRe-Entered on Day 2265,000
13Orpen KisacikogluUKRe-Entered on Day 1148,000
14Charlie CarrelUK 62,000
15Senh UngUK 130,000
16Dan ShakUSA 135,000
17Vladimir TroyanovskiyRussia 330,000
18Dario SammartinoItalyRe-Entered on Day 2265,000
21Ben Heath UK 130,000
22Pratyush BuddigaUSA 210,000
23Dietrich FastGermany 240,000
24Ramin HajiyevAzerbaijan 200,000
25Martin KozlovAustralia 88,000
26Viacheslav BuldyginRussia 94,000
27Oleksii KhorosheninUkraine 390,000
28Patrick LeonardUK 137,000

6:35pm: Heath forces lay-down from Leonard
Level 14 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Just as Ole Schemion was being eliminated, Ben Heath was also all-in on a neighbouring table. He had shoved for 65,900 on the turn, looking at a board of Q♦T♣5♦T♦.

Patrick Leonard agonised over his decision, but then folded and showed Q♠9♣. Heath tucked his cards safely into the muck.

6:35pm: Schemion busts, two-table re-draw
Level 14 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Ole Schemion is out in 17th, bringing us down to our last two tables. They're doing a re-draw and, with 12 minutes still on the clock in this level, I think they'll probably send them off to dinner once they've decided where they'll all be sitting.

Schemion had 56,800 and he three-bet shoved after Oleksii Khoreshenin opened. Khoreshenin called with K♠J♥ and Schemion's T♠8♠ didn't catch up through a board of 9♥3♥2♣4♥5♣.

Khoreshenin now has about 420,000. -- HS

6:30pm: Extended dinner break
Level 14 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Let's be honest here for a minute: Malta is a beautiful place to come for many reasons, but getting served quickly at a restaurant isn't one of them.

Patrick Leonard loves his game theory and was applying it to the 75-minute break. The maths didn't add up, and on behalf of the players, he asked for it to be extended to 90 minutes. His (their) wish was granted so the dinner break will be 15 minutes longer than originally intended. --MC

6:25pm: A silent exit for Paul Byrne
Level 14 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

There were no cries of all-in or call, just a silent exchange of chips that resulted in Paul Byrne being shown the door, and Vladimir Troyanovskiy taking over the chip lead with around 350,000. The chips went in preflop with Byrne well covered.

Troyanovskiy: A♦Q♦
Bryrne: 8♣8♦

The board ran J♦T♥7♠K♥K♦ to make Vladimir Troyanovskiy a straight. --MC

6:10pm: Hajiyev tames Schemion
Level 14 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Ole Schemion has slipped into the 20 big blind danger zone after trying, but failing, to get Ramin Hajiyev to fold top pair.

Hajiyev started the ball rolling with a raise to 9,000 from under the gun. Schemion called on the button and Paul Byrne called in the big blind.

Three of them took in the flop: J♦T♥7♦. Byrne checked and Hajiyev bet 17,000. Schemion was the only one to stick around.

The 4♥ came on the turn and both players checked, and then Hajiyev also checked the 9♦ on the river. Schemion cut out a bet of 37,500 and Hajiyev didn't seem to like it.

He took a few deep breaths and a meticulous counting of his stack before finding the call, and will have been elated to see Schemion's A♥7♥. Hajiyev had A♣J♥ and won.

Schemion now nurses about 83,000. You can add 100,000 to that for Hajiyev's stack. -- HS

6pm: A pattern emerges
Level 14 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

A couple of pages back in my notebook is an unpublished hand from the last level. It was pretty basic--Davidi Kitai opened to 7,700 from under the gun, then folded when Patrick Leonard three-bet to 22,500 from the cutoff.

It is maybe growing slightly more relevant because it just played out again, albeit with slightly more chips reflecting the increased level.

This time, Kitai opened to 9,500 from the cutoff and Leonard three-bet to 31,500 from the small blind. Kitai folded.

Kitai very often opens if action is folded to him, and one suspects Leonard has noticed it. Either that or the two of them keep getting big hands at the same time as one another.

5:55pm: Quads for Fast
Level 14 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

After taking a slight hit in the past 30 minutes or so, Dietrich Fast is back up close to 300,000. He just took a pot from Dan Shak, who seemed to mis-read something about the hand.

Fast opened from the button, making it 9,000 to play. (Blinds had just gone up after they entered Level 14.) Shak called in the big blind and only those two were invested in the 4♣6♠A♣ flop. They both checked.

The 6♥ came on the turn and Shak check-called Fast's bet of 11,000. The 6♦ then came on the river and Shak checked again. Fast bet 25,000 and Shak called.

Fast showed the 6♣9♣ for quads. Shak showed his A♠8♣ and muttered, "One-outer" in complaint.

He quickly realised the error of his ways and admitted he has mis-read the situation. Fast cheerily spelled it out for him anyway. "I had a flush draw on the flop, trips on the turn and quads on the river," Fast said. "I had outs."

Shak chuckled away and apologised again. -- HS

5:45pm: No cookies before dinner time, Ole!
Level 13 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

Ole Schemion has dropped down to 212,000 after he got caught bluffing by Oleksii Khoroshenin, who has become the first player to hit 300,000.

The two players were heads up to the turn where a Q♣8♠4♠K♥ was on show. Khoroshenin checked from under the gun and called after Schemion bet 26,500 from the cutoff. The board completed with the 3♦ and Khoroshenin checked to face a 68,000 bet. He called again and Schemion slammed J♦T♦ down on the table like he had the nuts, but he didn't. Khoroshenin opened K♠2♠ and scooped in the big pot. --MC

EPT13MALT_Ole Schemion_6120_JulesPochy.jpg

Naughty boy, Ole

5:35pm: Ung gets his double
Level 13 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

Senh Ung didn't want to tangle with Charlie Carrel earlier, but he was happy to get his last 46,400 in against Dietrich Fast on a board of T♦T♣J♦. Fast had top pair with his A♥J♣. But Ung had better with his A♦A♠.

Ung, who was under the gun, raised pre-flop and Fast defended his big blind. And then that flop meant a bet, a shove and a call.

The 7♣ turn and Q♥ river changed nothing. -- HS

5:25pm: Carrel channels Kassouf
Level 13 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

"What do you have?" Charlie Carrel said. "What hand do you have? I want to know if I want a call or not."

This was a bit of a needle aimed towards Senh Ung, who was pondering a call for his tournament life. Carrel opened to 7,000 from under the gun and Ung raised to 15,000 from the cutoff.

Carrel then said that he was all-in, covering Ung's 50,000 approximate stack. That's when the verbals started, which in some ways emulated the infamous table chatter of William Kassouf.

Ung allowed himself a wry smile at the Carrel chit-chat. And then he folded. -- HS

5:20pm: One shove too many for Thorel
Level 13 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

Jean-Noel Thorel is no more. Don't worry; he's alive and well, just without a stack is all.

EPT13MALT_Jean Noel Thorel_6170_JulesPochy.jpg

Thorel (right) was ent on his way

Oleksii Khoroshenin opened to 6,000 from first to act and was called by Thorel in the next seat, along with Vladimir Troyanovskiy (button) and Ramin Hajiyev (big blind). The flop fell 4♣2♣K♦ and it was Thorel who bet, for 10,000. Troyanovskiy raised to 25,000 and was only called Thorel, who then moved all-in for 46,000 on the 6♠ turn. Call.

Thorel opened K♠7♠ but was behind to Troyanovskiy's K♥J♥. The river was the 2♠ and Thorel left without saying a word. --MC

5:15pm: Short-stack Heath pressures Kitai
Level 13 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

Ben Heath, among the big stacks overnight, is now clinging on to his tournament life--but he's certainly not giving up. He just pushed Davidi Kitai out of a pot with a shove on the river.

Kitai opened to 7,700 from early position and Heath alone called on the big blind. The board brought the J♦7♣7♥ and Heath checked. Kitai bet 5,000 and Heath check-raised to 16,800. Kitai called.

The 5♥ came on the turn and both players checked. Then when the 5♣ came on the river, Heath moved in for his last 30,000. Kitai didn't tarry too long and folded.

5:05pm: Thorel shoving
Level 13 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

Jean-Noel Thorel has long since proved himself content to tangle with the best, and he just bullied Dario Sammartino and Vladimir Troyanovskiy out of a pot. Thorel opened to 8,000 from UTG+1 and Sammartino called from a seat along. Troyanovskiy also called on the button and the three of them saw a flop of 7♥K♣9♦. Thorel checked and Sammartino bet 9,000. That was enough to get rid of Troyanovskiy, but Thorel shoved for about 100,000 more and that was enough to get rid of Sammartino.

5pm: Slow train? Fast you mean
Level 13 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

After the slowdown described below, Dietrich Fast decided to quicken things up a bit, knocking out Yang Zhang to bring us down to 19 players. It also took Fast's stack close to 300,000.

Zhang's elimination was pretty standard, but the two players had been going at it a little before then too.

In one pot, Zhang opened to 7,000 from the cutoff and Fast three-bet to 18,000 from the button. Zhang then shoved all-in for about 100,000 and Fast quickly folded.

A few minutes later, Zhang found himself in the small blind and action folded to him again. He raised to 8,000. Fast, in the big blind, three-bet to 22,500 and Zhang shoved again. But this time Fast called instantly and they both had legitimate hands.

Zhang: T♠T♥
Fast: A♠K♥

The flop fell and Zhang stood up. It had the K♠ in the window. Although there were still two tens in the deck, neither appeared and Zhang was out the door. Fast now has about 295,000. -- HS

4:55pm: Slow train
Level 13 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

The rate of eliminations has been very steady today, even after the redraw at 24. That was until 20 players remained. There's a lot of folding going on, especially since the players have come back from break. A few players have taken wraps back to their seats to eat, so it must be a carb thing.

One such fold came from Jean-Noel Thorel.

He was battling against his neighbour Oleksii Khoroshenin. They were heads up to a 4♥6♦7♣ flop and Khoroshenin (cutoff) check-called a 20,000 bet from Thorel (button). He called another 25,000 on the 8♣ turn before it looked as if he surprised Thorel by leading for 45,000 on the 4♦ river.

The French retired businessman had 86,500 back to play with, and cut out the calling chips as he thought. It looked as if he was in the edge of calling but the only trigger he ended uo pulling was the fold one. --MC

4:40pm: Chips!
Level 13 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

There are 20 players left heading into Level 13. Their full chip-counts are now to be seen over there on the chip-count page.

Ah, what the hell. Here they are here as well. Save you a click:

NameCountryEntry infoChips
Davidi KitaiBelgiumRe-Entered on Day 2297000
Ole SchemionGermany 230000
Dario SammartinoItalyRe-Entered on Day 2225000
Dietrich FastGermany 210000
Anthony ZinnoUSA 197000
Oleksii KhorosheninUkraine 176000
Patrick LeonardUK 155000
Dan ShakUSA 155000
Vladimir TroyanovskiyRussia 150000
Ramin HajiyevAzerbaijan 143000
Charlie CarrelUK 137000
Jean-Noel ThorelFranceRe-Entered on Day 1130000
Senh UngUK 118000
Martin KozlovAustralia 111000
Orpen KisacikogluUKRe-Entered on Day 1109000
Yang ZhangChinaEntered on Day 291000
Pratyush BuddigaUSAEntered on Day 287000
Viacheslav BuldyginRussia 68000
Paul ByrneUK 63000
Ben HeathUK 57000

4:25pm: Break time
Level 12 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

The players are on their second 15-minute break of the day. Another two levels will be played upon their return and then they'll be a 75-minute dinner break.

4:20pm: Neighbourly battles
Level 12 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

There were two battles going on at the same time on different tables, both containing players from neighbouring countries. Russia and Australia came out on top.

Vladimir Troyanovskiy (Russia) raised to 5,500 from under the gun and called after Oleksii Khoroshenin (Ukraine) three-bet to 13,000 from the cutoff. The flop fanned J♦A♠K♠ and Khoroshenin continued for 13,000. Troyanovskiy check-called and both players went on to check the 6♥ turn. Troyanovskiy bet 17,500 on the Q♥ river and Khoroshenin folded to drop to 185,000. That win put Troyanovskiy over the 200,000 mark.

Meanwhile, Martin Kozlov (Australia) and David Yan (New Zealand) had made it to the river where a 7♦5♦3♥K♥4♣ board rested. Around 36,000 sat in the middle and Kozlov moved all-in for 35,700 from the big blind. Yan was in the hijack and tank-called with K-Q but it was no good as Kozlov had made a straight on the river with K♣6♦. Yan dropped to 98,000. --MC

4:10pm: Prize pool!
Level 12 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

The prize structure has been confirmed for this event. Eight players will be paid, from 60 total entries and a prize-pool of €582,000. First prize is €174,600. Here's how it breaks down:

1  €174,600
2  €126,300
3  €81,480
4  €61,690
5  €47,720
6  €37,250
7  €29,680
8  €23,280

4:05pm: Last three tables
Level 12 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

When they hit 24 players, tournament officials conducted a full redraw. Here's how the last three tables line up, with very approximate chip-counts.

Table 1

1 - Yang Zhang 110,000
2 - Dietrich Fast 190,000
3 - Senh Ung 120,000
4 - Dan Shak 175,000
5 - Pratyush Buddiga 115,000
6 - empty
7 - Orpen Kisacikoglu 95,000
8 - Charlie Carrel 83,000

Table 2

1 - Sylvain Loosli 55,000
2 - Paul Byrne 45,000
3 - Ramin Hajiyev 140,000
4 - Oleksii Khoroshenin 195,000
5 - Jean-Noel Thorel 170,000
6 - Dario Sammartino 210,000
7 - Ole Schemion 175,000
8 - Vladimir Troyanovskiy 155,000

Table 3

1 - Patrick Leonard 130,000
2 - Viacheslav Buldygin 80,000
3 - Ben Heath 105,000
4 - Martin Kozlov 47,000
5 - Davidi Kitai 220,000
6 - Anthony Zinno 190,000
7 - Martin Finger - OUT
8 - David Yan 150,000

Martin Finger was eliminated by Patrick Leonard just as I was writing down everyone's new position, so they are at 22 now. If your favourite player's name is not on the list above, then he is no longer involved.

4pm: Kisacikoglu races away
Level 12 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

The tournament is one elimination away from a three-table redraw after Ole Schemion took care of Orpen Kisacikoglu in 26th place.

He opened to 5,600 from the cutoff and was called in one spot before Kisacikoglu squeezed all-in for 38,000 from the button. Schempion back-raised and got the pot heads up.

Schemoion: J♥J♠
Kisacikoglu: A♣Q♠

The board ran 2♥7♥3♥9♣3♣ to see the jacks hold. That put Schemion up to almost 200,000. --MC

3:55pm: Skill game!
Level 12 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

"Skill game!" said Dietrich Fast after he cracked the pocket kings of Alexandros Kolonias to send him to the rail.

The hand was over by the time we reached the table, but the board was ace high and Fast had A-Q out in front of him. Michele (the dealer) informed us that the unlucky Kolonias held pocket kings. Fast moved back up to 195,000. -- MC

3:45pm: Finger-tips
Level 12 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

If Martin Finger is to win this tournament, it will be one of the great comeback stories. He thought he was out and had wandered away from the table, but Vladimir Troyanovskiy called after him: "Martin! You have two thousand left."

Troyanovskiy and Finger had played a huge pot. Reportedly they got it all in on the flop, with the board showing 3♣K♥T♦. Finger had A♥A♠ and Troyanovskiy K♦Q♦ and the weaker hand came from behind after the 2♦ turn and Q♠ river.

Finger was convinced that was the end of it, but the dealer and tournament supervisor did some meticulous counting down before establishing that Troyanovskiy was getting about 90,000 total but that Finger still had 2,100.


Martin Finger

That all went in on the next hand and he found callers in Dan Shak and Ben Heath. And he managed to triple up. The flop was 9♥6♣9♣ and the two active players checked. The turn was the J♠ and they checked again. Shak bet at the 3♠ river, and Heath folded, giving Shak the side-pot.

But Finger's 8♥9♦ was better than Shak's K♦Q♣ and he stays alive.

3:40pm: Sammartino flies into upper echelons
Level 12 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (400 ante)

Just like Davidi Kitai, Dario Sammartino is flying too. He played yesterday, and was eliminated, but then re-entered today at the very last moment, just as the break before Level 12 was beginning. And now he has knocked out Mikita Badziakouski to take his stack to about 250,000--five times what it was an hour ago.


Dario Sammartino: Up with the leaders

This was a big old flip: Sammartino's A♦K♥ against Badziakouski's J♦J♥. Patrick Leonard had also been involved, but said he folded tens when the other two showed a willingness to play for stacks.

Badziakouski had 95,000 but it was shipped to Sammartino after the board ran A♠4♥7♠9♣4♣. -- HS

3:28pm: Kitai soaring
Level 11 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

Davidi Kitai has probably leapt into the chip lead with 280,000 after a river over-bet with aces worked out well for him. Anthony Zinno has a similar sized stack, so the lead is between those two.

Around 45-50k had made into the middle by the time the board rested as K♥J♣A♠J♦8♣. Kitai was battling heads up versus Orpen Kisacikoglu who checked from the big blind. Kitai bet 58,000 and was tank-called. He opened A♦A♥ for top full house and Kisacikoglu mucked to drop to 65,000.

There'a been a lot of river over-bets witnessed in this tournament so far. --MC

3:23pm: Aldemir sent to the rail by Carrel
Level 11 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

Koray Aldemir's ride has come to and end. He lost a battle of the blinds versus Charlie Carrel to bust.

The action folded around to Aldemir in the small blind and he limped in off 20 big blinds and then called after Carrel set him in from the big blind.

Aldemir: A♣8♠
Carrel: 2♦2♣

The board ran 3♦5♣7♦T♦4♠ to see the deuces hold. --MC


Koray Aldemir

3:15pm: Spilling over from the online tables
Level 11 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

Charlie Carrel piped up from the seven seat on Table 2. "Ole, you slow-rolled me online," he said. "I've just remembered. You tank-called when it was boat-over-boat."

Ole Schemion, for it was he, looked over in apology. "I don't think I did it on purpose," he said. "It's happened before."

Carrel clearly said that he assumed it had been accidental, one of the many perils of multi-tabling, no doubt. But if there was any grudge being held, they soon got involved in a pot where they had the chance to air it.

Carrel opened to 4,500 from the cutoff and Senh Ung called from the button. Schemion, with the conversation now over, peered around at his opponents' stacks and then raised to 16,000.


Charlie Carrel

"How much did you start with?" Carrel asked. Schemion showed that he had about 100,000 total. Carrel had a little bit less, but a pretty similar stack.

Carrel called, and Ung also called.

The flop came K♥T♦2♠ and Schemion quickly bet 16,400. There was no slow-rolling here as Carrel snap-folded, and Ung did the same.

3:05pm: Lucky in love, but not poker today
Level 11 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (200 ante)

Stephen Chidwick was lucky to be able to hug his fiancé Marine after he had no luck in the tournament today. Can't have everything in this world!

The British star was down to 20,000 when he made his move from the cutoff. Dario Sammarinto was in the next seat and successfully isolated with a move all-in for 100,000.

Chidwick: K♥Q♣
Sammartino: A♦8♣

The board ran 5♣A♣Q♦4♠4♦ and Chidwick went off for that hug. --MC

2:55pm: Houri doubles
Level 11 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (200 ante)

Yehoram Houri just doubled his stack to about 55,000 after finding 9♣9♦ in the small blind and an opponent, Jean-Noel Thorel, prepared to get it in with pocket sevens.

There were no dramas on the flop, turn or river and Thorel had to pay 27,400 for the mis-step.

2:50pm: Newey perishes
Level 11 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (200 ante)

Paul Newey lost a race and is now heading out of the door. He got his last chips in from the button with T♣T♥ and ended up flipping against Senh Ung's A♦K♦. I'm not sure how or when it went in, but I did see the K♣ come on the river and that was that for Newey. --HS

2:45pm: The way Fast plays
Level 11 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (200 ante)

Despite losing the hand to Davidi Kitai, described below, Dietrich Fast continues to apply the pressure on anyone prepared to tangle. Most recently, it was Yang Zhang--and Fast ended up adding some more to his stack.

Fast opened to 4,000 from under the gun and Zhang was the only person to call, in the big blind. The flop came 8♦4♠J♦ and Zhang checked. Fast bet 6,000 and Zhang called.

The turn was the K♦ and Zhang checked again. Fast bet 16,500 this time and took it down.

That's not a thrilling pot, but it's through hands like that that big stacks are built and tournaments won. -- HS

2:40pm: Kitai's going to Kitai
Level 11 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (200 ante)

Davidi Kitai confuses opponents, plain and simple. He can also see into your soul, so beware. He battled in three pots on the bounce and had mixed fortunes until the third hand, where he doubled up.

He raised from the cutoff and then four-bet after Dietrich Fast three-bet from the small blind. Fold.

The next hand saw him limp in and then call after Pratyush Buddiga raised from the small blind. The board ran out T♦4♣J♦K♥5♥ with Buddiga betting 8,000, 26,000 and all-in for 70,000 on each street. Kitai stuck around to the river where he folded.


The centre of the action: Davidi Kitai

The third hand was Kitai's double up hand. Once more he limped in and called after Fast raised to 14,000 from the cutoff. Both players checked the A♦K♣5♠ flop before Fast bet 21,500 on the 8♣ turn. Kitai tanked and then check-raised all-in for 61,500. Fast seemed confused and took a good deal of time trying to figure the poker puzzle out. Eventually he slammed in the call with T♠8♠ but Kitai opened A♥Q♣ and survived the 7♠ river.

Start of Day 2 chip leader Fast dropped to 150,000 which is still plenty at this point. --MC

2:30pm: Sammartino squeezes back in
Level 11 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (200 ante)

Dario Sammartino squeezed back into this tournament just as registration closed. He gets 25 big blinds as they begin Level 11. Head to the chip-count page for full updated counts from the recent break.

2pm: Break time
Level 10 - Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

The players on on their first break of the day. Registration will close once level 11 begins. We'll bring you all the final player numbers and a full chips count soon. --MC

2pm: Finger fends of Heath's club
Level 10 - Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Martin Finger's second (and final) entry is working better than his first. He found aces and used them to double through Ben Heath, who dropped to 75,000.

Around 19,000 had been amassed by the turn and Heath checked from the big blind. The board read K♣3♦9♠6♣ and Finger moved all-in for 27,500 from the button with A♣A♥. Heath called with the pair and flush drawing 8♣9♣ but bricked on the 6♥ river. -- MC

1:50pm: Buldygin bullies Zinno to stay alive
Level 10 - Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Viacheslav Buldygin opened to 3,500 from under the gun and it started what turned into an intriguing hand. Patrick Leonard, from a stack of about 120,000, called o the button, and Anthony Zinno, with about 25,000 more than that, called from the big blind. Buldygin was a relative short stack, with about 50,000.

The flop came 4♦2♠8♠ and Zinno checked. Buldygin bet 4,900 and both his opponents called.

That took them to the 2♦ on the turn and Zinno now led. (He had been in the big blind, remember.) He made it 11,000. Buldygin called and then Leonard also seemed interested. After a bit of fidgeting in his seat, and some counting of his chips, he opted to fold however.

The A♥ came on the river and Zinno now checked. Buldygin moved all in, for about 35,000 and Zinno ended up folding without getting a full count.

That's a pretty stacked table now. Senh Ung has about 105,000 but the daddy is Ole Schemion, who has 215,000 and is likely leading the tournament.

1:40pm: More on the rail
Level 10 - Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Stefan Jedlicka, Connor Drinan and Max Silver are all now out. That was the latter's second bullet, so he can't re-enter. The other two have about 15 minutes to decide.

1:35pm: Newey on the double
Level 10 - Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Paul Newey found a lovely spot to get his chips in, and more than doubled up as a result.

The (now) big stacked Ole Schemion opened to 3,200 from the cutoff before Viacheslav Buldygin took his time and three-bet to 27,300 from the small blind. Schemion was staring hard at the Russian but the real danger was Newey in the big blind who four-bet all-in for 27,300. That ousted Schemion but nor Buldygin who shrug-called.

Buldygin: A♣8♣
Newey: J♦J♠

The board ran 9♦Q♠T♠T♥3♣ and Buldygin dropped to 45,000. --MC

1:25pm: Blind battle gets ugly
Level 10 - Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Davidi Kitai is the latest player to be seen wandering aimlessly around the tournament room, having lost the majority of his chips in a skirmish with Nick Petrangelo.

It all started in friendly enough fashion, with action folding to Petrangelo's small blind. Petrangelo raised to 5,000 and Kitai, in the big blind, called.

The went to a flop of T♣J♦4♦ and Petrangelo continued for 8,200. Kitai never does anything too quickly, but tends to act aggressively when he's made up his mind. This was no exception. He shoved for what looked like about 51,000.

Petrangelo didn't need a count. He called instantly and showed that he wasn't stealing with air. He had K♥K♠. Kitai's A♦2♦ had plenty of equity, but it was snuffed out on the 3♣ turn and 8♥ river.

Petrangelo's total was measured at just short of 40,000. Kitai had him covered, but lost the rest of his shrapnel very soon afterwards. He has 30 minutes to decide whether to re-enter.

1:15pm: News in brief
Level 10 - Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

- Dietrich Fast's stack has grown to around 190,000. Some of those chips came courtesy of Orpen Kisacikoglu and Pierre Neuville. The three players had made it to the river of a 5♠7♦2♣T♦8♥ board. After the turn had been checked around, Fast bet a near pot-sized 15,000 from the big blind to force folds from both opponents.
- Martin Finger and Adrian Mateos both busted their first bullets, the latter's being taken by Ole Schemion. The former bought straight back in and Mateos joined him soon after. Steve O'Dywer busted yesterday but has re-entered today, at the same time Yang Zhang was entering for the first time.


Adrian Mateos and Ole Schemion

- The tournament has ticked over into Level 10 and we're up to 56 total entries including eight re-entries. --MC

1:10pm: Drinan pushes out Houri
Level 9 - Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

It's surely no coincidence that play has got a good degree more aggressive as the close in registration approaches. Players are either widening ranges or making it seem as if they are, just another one of those small complexities of tournament poker.

On the last hand of Level 9, Connor Drinan opened from early position to 3,300 and Jean-Noel Thorel, one seat to his left, called. Then Yehoram Houri three-bet to 8,200 from the button and action passed through the blinds back to Drinan.

As Drinan thought what to do next, Thorel began examining his chips like someone who has found some foreign currency in their change after nipping to buy a newspaper. He looked very confused. But he folded quickly enough after Drinan shoved, for 34,100.

Houri took a good deal longer over his decision, asking for a precise count and then measuring his own stack. He had about 45,000 in total, including the bet already out there. He decided that that was enough with which to continue and folded, allowing Drinan to chip up beyond his starting stack.

1:05pm: Kitai unafraid
Level 9 - Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Somehow or other Davidi Kitai (cutoff), Oleksii Khoroshenin (small blind) and Stephen Chidwick (big blind) got 12,000 into the pot pre-flop and then saw 9♦2♦2♣ come off.

Khoroshenin bet 4,500 and Chidwick called, putting the decision back on Kitai. He took his time over it, and had to cope with the pressure of two of poker's most rigid starers boring holes into his skull from the other end of the table, but then announced that he was all-in for about 28,000.


Stephen Chidwick

Starer 1 (Khoroshenin) folded quickly. Starer 2 (Chidwick) did likewise. -- HS

1pm: Two in, two out
Level 9 - Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

There have been two new arrivals so far today: Pratyush Buddiga, as mentioned earlier, and Mikita Badziakouski, another High Roller regular.

It's been an extraordinary start from Buddiga too and he has nearly tripled his 50,000 starting stack within the first level of play. It seems highly likely that he knocked out Xixiang Luo, who started a few seats along from Buddiga today, and had a stack of 82,300. But he has nothing now and was the first of two early eliminations.


Pratyush Buddiga

The other player to depart was Martin Finger. Don't forget, re-entries are still possible. -- HS

12:50pm: Early folding on Table 2
Level 9 - Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

You'll find it hard to locate an easy table here on Day 2, and Table 2 is proof of that. Ole Schemion, Anthony Zinno, Patrick Leonard and Adrian Mateos have won a few Euros between them and Koray Aldemir has had a breakout year, or even a breakout summer where he won over $2.5 million.

Winning that much won't help when Leonard is pressuring you in position. He was in the cutoff and playing a heads up pot with Leonard who had the privilege of having the dealer button in front of him. The board read 4♥J♦K♦J♠ and Aldemir check-called 10,000. The 9♥ completed the board and Aldemir check-tank-folded to Leonard's 24,000 bet. That dropped him down to around 35,000.

Two hands later, and at the same table, Schemion and Zinno went to war in the blinds. We're not sure if there was a raise before Schemion made it 9,000 to go from the small blind, but we know that Zinno raised on top of that, to 24,000 from the big blind. Then the (not so young anymore) German moved all-in for around 167,000, covering his opponent's 140,000. Zinno went deep into the tank before resurfacing to fold. --MC

12:40pm: Gabrieli moves in on Heath
Level 9 - Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Ben Heath opened to 2,800 from under the gun and only Ivan Gabrieli, to his immediate left, called. That took them to a flop of 6♥3♠2♣ and Heath continued for 2,600. Gabrieli called.

The 3♥ came on the turn and Heath slowed down. He checked, but then called when Gabrieli bet 6,400.

After the T♥ came on the river, Heath checked again. And he wasn't prepared to call when Gabrieli shoved for around 25,000. That one went to the Italian.

12:35pm: No flies on Schemion
Level 9 - Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Despite only a limited appearance at the World Series, and skipping EPT Barcelona entirely, Ole Schemion doesn't appear to be out of practice. Indeed, he won the second Super Tuesday title of his career on PokerStars not so long ago, and he's doing very well back at the live felt this week.

We reported him losing a big pot towards the end of play yesterday evening, flopping two pair but doubling up Koray Aldemir when the latter turned a straight, but he still managed to bag more than 100,000. And he just made a correct call with King-high to take some from Adrian Mateos.

Schemion opened from under the gun, making it 2,800, and Mateos was the only man to call, in the big blind. The flop came A♠9♦7♥ and Mateos checked. Schemion bet 3,000. Mateos called.

They both checked the 2♠ turn and then, after the 3♥ came on the river, Mateos tried to buy this pot. He bet 8,200 but Schemion was a disbeliever. After Schemion called, Mateos turned over J♥T♣. Schemion's K♣Q♦ was a winner. -- HS

12:32pm: Buddiga arrives
Level 9 - Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Although the official tournament board is not yet indicating that any additional players bought in overnight, there's a certain Pratyush Buddiga in a seat this afternoon, with chips, and I'm sure he wasn't here yesterday. No sign yet of Mike McDonald, who has a pretty consistent appearance record when it comes to these high buy-in events.

12:30pm: Shuffle up and deal
Level 9 - Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Cards are in the air for Day 2. Just a reminder that registration will close at the beginning of level 10. Then the levels will be increased to 60 minutes each from there on in. --MC

12pm: Fast out in front

At least 37 players will return to Portomaso Casino today to play Day 2 of the €10,000 Don't Call This A High Roller event. There will probably be more. They played through eight 45-minute levels yesterday and registration remains open until they've also played Levels 9 and 10 today. I expect some folk will have flown into Malta late yesterday and will join the fray today.

There's also the option of a single re-entry, and with 14 players sitting with less than 50,000 in chips at this stage, they may be tempted to punt and take a re-entry. What's €10,000, huh?

Despite some shoddy reporting confusion at the end of yesterday, when it appeared that Ben Heath had taken the lead, it's actually Dietrich Fast out in front at this stage. He bagged 147,300, which is three times the starting stack, and is flying.

The full list of overnight chip stacks are over on the chip-count page.

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

Take a look at the official website of the EPT, with tournament schedule, news, results and accommodation details for EPT13 Malta 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 €10,000 single re-entry: Marc Convey and Howard Swains. Photography by Jules Pochy. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter:@PokerStarsBlog


Still time to buy in!

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