Thursday, 18th July 2024 01:53
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It took a full day to get down to 16. Here are the main headlines from Day 4.

• Paul Michaelis leads with 16 left
• Ignat, Zeiter and Talbot among rivals
• Short stack Pateychuk eyeing second EPT title
• Røed, Wigg, and Teh on the rail
• Tomorrow: Down to 6





Chip leader: Paul Michaelis

We described it as “a surge”. But whatever it was, it left Paul Michaelis with 5.3 million, and the chip lead tonight.

Chip leader Paul Michaelis

Michaelis, from Germany, has a track record for getting results on the Prague leg of the EPT. He’s racked up countless side event results, but only got as far as 28th in the Main Event.

He tops that today, and in some style. At times he was unstoppable, and it’s hard to see that changing tomorrow.


Chip counts at the end of play tonight

Name Country Chips BBs
Paul Michaelis Germany 5,315,000 133
Liviu Ignat Romania 4,550,000 114
Diego Zeiter Argentina 3,905,000 98
Ugo Faggioli France 3,500,000 88
Parker Talbot Canada 3,250,000 81
Evangelos Bechrakis Greece 2,170,000 54
Laurynas Levinskas Lithuania 1,900,000 48
Tomas Macnamara UK 1,790,000 45
Konstantin Farber Germany 1,700,000 43
Serhii Holodiuk Ukraine 1,545,000 39
Alexandr Merzhvinskii Russia 1,365,000 34
Ivan Zhechev Bulgaria 1,235,000 31
Artem Kobylinskiy Ukraine 1,005,000 25
Carlos Branco Portugal 990,000 25
Sergei Bagirov Russia 810,000 20
Andrey Pateychuk Russia 705,000 18


The contenders with 16 left

But Michaelis has some opposition. Chief among those are Liviu Ignat on 4.5 million, and Diego Zeiter on 3.9 million.

We should probably add Parker Talbot to that list.

Talbot: Among the contenders

The Canadian remains one of the most recognizable faces still in the field. He avoided too much trouble today as others crashed out. It leaves him with 3.25 million, and in reach of a first EPT final table.


Pateychuk’s double dream not done

He may not have ended the day towards the top of the chip counts, but Andrey Pateychuk is among the last 16.

Pateychuk is the short stack, but the double hopes remain alive. Just

And while it may be a long shot, the double winner storyline remains intact (Pateychuk won EPT Sanremo in 2011).

So not over yet for Pateychuk – more a case of “to be continued…”


Players who busted today

Not so for a host of other players.

We started the day with 44, which meant 28 found themselves on the rail by the close.

That included Vlada Stojanovic (out first) followed by Kent Røed (37th), Simon Pedersen (36th), Anton Wigg (another former winner – 35th), and Jia Tang (27th).

Wigg departed earlier today


Platinum Pass winner, and former chip leader this week, Natalie Teh also busted (26th), as did Xixiang Luo (22nd), Tobias Peters (19th), and Dimitrios Michailidis who was the last elimination of the day.


Play resumes tomorrow

The survivors return tomorrow at 12 noon to do it all again. The prize at stake will be a seat at the final table on Tuesday, and a shot at a first prize of more than €1 million.

You can relive all the action from today by scrolling through the coverage archive below.

Then tomorrow you can follow that action as it happens, and without missing anything, on the PokerStars Blog from 12 noon. Stay with us here all the way through to the finish.

We’ll see you then.



9:05pm: End of Day 4

A round up of the day’s events coming shortly.

9pm: Day concludes as Michailidis busts
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (BB ante 40,000)

Dimitrios Michailidis busted in 17th place meaning Day 4 has come to and end with 5 minutes remaining of Level 25.

Dimitrios Michailidis: Hats off

He and fellow Greek player Evangelos Bechrakis tangled pre-flop and saw both players all-in. Bechrakis had just over 900,000 meaning Michailidis was the at-risk player with 735,000.

Michailidis: KJ
Bechrakis: AQ

Dimitrios Michailidis’s elimination ends the day

The board ran A851010 to see the best hand hold. — MC

8:50pm: Talbot aggression stops Zeiter momentum
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (BB ante 40,000)

“Take a hand off!” said Parker Talbot to Diego Zeiter just before the latter raised to 80,000. He was referecing the recent relentness agression shown by the Argentinian.

Zeiter halted

Zeiter had gotten his stack past 4 million without having to show down, but this hand was Talbot’s. He called in position and was then checked to on every street of a 48K9K board. He took the chance and bet 85,000, 315,000 and a big bet that wasn’t counted as Zeiter made a quick fold on the river to drop back to 3.5 million. Talbot moved up to 3.1 million. — MC

8:40pm: Farber finds a win against Macnamara
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (BB ante 40,000)

Konstantin Farber needed a big win to keep him in contention. He just found it in a coin flip against Tomas Macnamara, who opened for 60,000 in the cutoff seat and then called when Farber jammed for 935,000. Farber’s 55 were ahead all the way and made a set on the river of the J10325 board to top Macnamara’s AQ.

Farber keeps hopes alive

That’s 1.45 million left for Macnamara, and roughly 2 million for Farber. –JK

8:35pm: Five million for surging Michaelis
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (BB ante 40,000)

Paul Michaelis is the first player through the 5 million mark, continuing his remarkable surge this evening. He just picked up another 500,000 and change in a pot against Ivan Zhechev, whose stack now sits at around 1.01 million.

Zheckev was on the button and Michaelis the big blind when they took to the 278 flop and both checked it. Then the 6 turn brought a bet of 135,000 from Michaelis. Zhechev called.

The 4 hit the table on the river and Michaelis bet 370,000 at this straightening board.

Zhechev thought about it for a good long while, but eventually called. Michaelis showed his 109, which was a turned straight. A disappointed Zhechev couldn’t help exposing his 5, also a straight, as he threw it away. — HS

8:30pm: Huge double for Ignat, Farber falling
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (BB ante 40,000)

Konstantin Farber’s tournament isn’t over, but he’s got a much tougher task ahead of him than he did just a few minutes ago.

Liviu Ignat opened for 80,000 under the gun and Farber made it 250,000 to go on the button. Back to Ignat, who made it 680,000 and then snap-called for 2.235 million when Farber jammed.

Take that from Ignat

Ignat was at risk but had KK against Farber’s JJ, and he scored a massive win for 4.4 million when the board ran out 68284.

Farber dropped to 800,000 with that loss, then moved in on the next hand to steal an extra 100,000 from the blinds. — JK

8:20pm: Branco wilts to Merzhvinskii’s aggression
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (BB ante 40,000)

Alexandr Merzhvinskii went to a flop from the cutoff, his raise having failed to dislodge either Carlos Branco or Artem Kobylinskiy in the two blinds. But none of the trio seemed to like the 9Q8 flop as they all encouraged the dealer to give them a turn card. She did. It was the 10.

Both Branco and Kobylinskiy checked, but Merzhvinskii bet 115,000, which only Branco called. That meant they saw the 7 river.

After another Branco check, Merzhvinskii put out a bet big enough that it covered the 850,000 or so Branco had in his stack. Branco didn’t fancy wagering it all and folded. Merzhvinskii has 1.38 million. — HS

8:15pm: Paul Michaelis reaches the summit
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (BB ante 40,000)

More shenanigans between Paul Michaelis and Artem Kobylinskiy and the former moves to the top of the counts with 4.38 million.

Michaelis: Reasons to be cheerful

Michaelis opened to 90,000 from early position and was only called by Kobylinskiy in the hijack. The board then rolled out AK84J with Michaelis betting 120,000, 280,000 and an effective all-in for 950,000 on each street. Kobylinskiy stuck around to the river where he admitted defeat with a fold. — MC

8.10pm: Pateychuk gets one back
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (BB ante 40,000)

Andrey Pateychuk just made up for that earlier loss to Sergei Bagirov with a double through Liviu Ignat.

Pateychuk plays on

Ignat opened for 80,000 under the gun with K5 and decided he was priced in to call when Pateychuk jammed in the small blind for 410,000. Pateychuk’s 77 held up on the J62310 board, though, giving him a boost to 850,000. Ignat still has about 2.7 million. — JK

8:05pm: Bagirov builds through Pateychuk
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (BB ante 40,000)

Sergei Bagirov just found a timely double through Andrey Pateychuk.

Bagirov: building

The latter open-shoved from the small blind with A5 and Bagirov called off his last 475,000 in the big blind with AJ. He won with jacks and kings after the board fell 8J8KK, giving him a boost to around 1 million chips. Pateychuk slides to about 600,000. –JK

8pm: Michaelis nearing the summit
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (BB ante 40,000)

Artem Kobylinskiy and Paul Michaelis are at the get-a-room stage of their relationship, although they will probably just want to beat each other up rather than make anything sweet. This latest skirmish between the two ended as have so many previously, with a win for Michaelis.

He opened the button and Kobylinskiy called in the big blind. That bought the pair of them the 5710 flop. Kobylinskiy checked, Michaelis bet 150,000 and Kobylinskiy called. And that brought them to the K turn.

Kobylinskiy checked, Michaelis bet 160,000 and Kobylinskiy called. And that brought them to the 2 river.

Kobylinskiy checked, Michaelis bet 420,000 and Kobylinskiy c- ah, he folded.

Kobylinskiy now has 1.3 million, but Michaelis has 4.15 and is all but neck and neck with Ugo Faggioli at the top of the counts. — HS

7:55pm: Ignat eliminates Mertengren
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (BB ante 40,000)

Only a few minutes into our last level of the night, we have another elimination.

This time it’s Andriy Mertengren, who jammed his short stack with A8 in the cutoff seat after Liviu Ignat opened in middle position. Ignat called with 1010 and by the time the 10 turn card gave him a set, Mertengren was drawing dead.

Mertengren: Drawing dead

That’s an 18th place finish for Mertengren. Ignat is now on 3.1 million. — JK

7:50pm: Kings bigger than fives
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (BB ante 40,000)

Serhii Holodiuk opened to 80,000 UTG+1 and Parker Talbot was the only player interested, and he was only interested enough to call from the big blind.

They saw the 635 fall on the flop, but both checked, leading to the K turn. Talbot stabbed 70,000 at it and Holodiuk raised to 225,000. Talbot called.

The 3 river elicited two checks and Talbot said, “Five.” He turned over his Q5. Holodiuk had KJ and the kings were best.

Talbot has 2.6 million. Holodiuk has 1.3 million. — HS

7:45pm: Peters’ luck runs out
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (BB ante 40,000)

Tobias Peters was running well in all-in showdowns today, but the Dutchman’s luck ran out and he went in 19th place.

Tens for Kobylinskiy

Ivan Zhechev opened to 95,000 from under the gun before Artem Kobylinskiy (985k) and Peters (560k) both moved all-in from the blinds. He folded to leave them to it.

Kobylinskiy: 1010
Peters: AQ


Peters left out in the cold


The board ran a blank 93K96 and Kobylinskiy moved up to 1.68 million. — MC

7:40pm: The last level, however long
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (BB ante 40,000)

They’re beginning Level 25 now, which will be the last of the day. It may or may not last the full 90 minutes, however. The TD Thomas Gimie just explained to the players that if they reach 16 in the last 20 minutes of play, he’ll call a halt to the day instead of doing a full redraw and making them play on for only a few minutes. But if they get to 16 with anything substantial still on the clock, we’ll play it out. (Of course, that would also apply if we don’t get to 16 at all.) — HS

7:20pm: Break time

Players have reached the last break of the day. Play continues for one more level in 20 minutes.

7:15pm: Faggioli busts Halak, moves into lead at Bechrakis’s expense
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (BB ante 30,000)

Guenter Halak’s tournament just ended in a massive three-way pot that boosted Ugo Faggioli into the chip lead.

Ugo Faggioli looks on


Faggioli opened for 70,000 in the lojack seat and Halak jammed for 410,000. Evangelos Bechrakis was in the big blind and flat-called, putting the decision back to Faggioli.

Halak on his way home

He thought it over for about 15 seconds before announcing he was all-in for 1.93 million and Bechrakis snap-called.

Faggioli: AA
Bechrakis: QQ
Halak: 1010

Nothing changed on the 852KJ board, giving Faggioli the chip lead at 4.3 million as we head to the final break of the evening.

Ugo a-go-go


Bechrakis slips to 1.775 million and Halak exits in 20th place. — JK

7:10pm: Another set over set
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (BB ante 30,000)

This time it was on table number one and it helped Andriy Mertengren double up his very short stack to a short stack.

Mertengren: On the double

Tomas Macnamara raised from the hijack and called after Mertengren moved all-in for 220,000.

Macnamara: 77
Mertengren: QQ

Mertengren though it was gg after the J87 flop handed his British opponent a set, but the 2Q runout saw him claim the pot. Macnamara dropped to 1.91 million — MC

7:05pm: Party underneath
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (BB ante 30,000)

Laurynas Levinskas has the sartorial style of a newsreader–at least the newsreaders we sometimes see in viral tweets. What I mean is that he has a clean-cut image above the table–neat hair and button-down shirt–but he’s rocking by far the loudest pair of shoes in the room. (And this room also includes Charlie Carrel and Tsugunari Toma.) They’re spangly yellow and brilliant, in all ways.

Anyway, he’s got some game too as this recent pot shows. Folded to him in the small blind, Levinskas just called. Konstantin Farber then raised to 80,000 in the big blind and Levinskas called. So far, so newsreader.

Then the A44 flop fell and Levinskas checked. Farber bet 50,000 and Levinskas found a check-raise to 190,000. That confused Farber, who muttered a few things before folding. The check-raise came very much from deep within the spangling yellow shoes. — HS

7pm: Michaelis mows down Robovic
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (BB ante 30,000)

Paul Michaelis’s heater continues — this time, in the kind of paradoxical mixed metaphor you’ll get from us after four days of Main Event poker — via a cooler.

Robovic: About to get in Michaelis’s way

Andrija Robovic was the unlucky one to run into Michaelis this time. He jammed for 995,000 over the top of a 60,000-chip opener from Alexandr Merzhvinskii on the button, only to see Michaelis re-shove in the big blind. Merzhvinskii got out of the way to leave Robovic’s QQ heads-up with Michaelis’s KK.

Robovic and Michaelis part ways

The 721075 board brought no miracles and Robovic is out in 21st. Michaelis is now on around 3.75 million. — JK

6:55pm: Cooler town costs Luo the lot
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (BB ante 30,000)

Xixiang Luo won’t want to run into Diego Zeiter too often in the future. First he chopped a pot with him when he got kings in versus his ace-king only for both to make a straight, then he got done with a set over set scenario.

Bad news for Luo


Evangelos Bechrakis opened to 60,000 and was called by Zeiter (button) and Luo (small blind) before a 7610 flop was dealt. Bechrakis continued for 60,000 but folded after Zeiter raised to 350,000 and Luo jammed for 1.145 million. Zeiteer made the call and opened 77, bettering Luo’s 66.

Over and out for Luo

The board ran out 8J and after a count down of stacks it was found that Zeiter had him just covered. — MC

6:50pm: Branco shoves on Kobylinskiy
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (BB ante 30,000)

Carlos Branco just picked up a couple of hundred thousand without needing to see a flop. He opened the pot to 70,000 from the hijack, and then watched Artem Kobylinskiy three-bet to 180,000 from one seat over.

After everyone else with cards got out the way, Branco announced he was all-in, with his 1.5 million covering Kobylinskiy’s 940,000 effective.

Kobylinskiy folded, dipping below a million, while Branco builds to 1.75 million. — HS

6:45pm: Pateychuk doubles through Macnamara
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (BB ante 30,000)

Andrey Pateychuk’s dream of a second EPT Main Event title is still alive after a double through Tomas Macnamara.

A double for Pateychuk

Pateychuk shoved for 430,000 in the big blind with AQ over the top of Macnamara’s middle-position opener. Macnamara called with a dominated AJ and couldn’t catch up on the 323K7 board, giving Pateychuk a boost to 900,000. — JK

6:40pm: Huge double for Michaelis through Kobylinskiy
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (BB ante 30,000)

Paul Michaelis now has about 2.4 million after winning a huge pot against Artem Kobylinskiy.

It began with a raise to 60,000 from Kobylinskiy under the gun and a lot of folding around to Michaelis in the small blind. He three-bet to 235,000 and Kobylinskiy called.

Michaelis: Huge double

The flop brought the Q8K and Michaelis bet 195,000. Kobylinskiy called.

The turn was the 9 and Michaelis pushed for 795,000. Kobylinskiy had him covered by some margin, but an incorrect call would still cut his stack in two.

But sometimes incorrect calls are inevitable, and this was one of those occasions. Kobylinskiy tossed out the calling chips and saw Michaelis’s AK, which was better than AQ.

The river was dry and Michaelis shipped a huge one, putting him in the neighbourhood of 2.4 million. Kobylinskiy has 1.1 million left. — HS

6:35pm: Farber finds two wins against Ignat
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (BB ante 30,000)

Konstantin Farber and Viliu Ignat have two of the bigger stacks at their table. They just played two pots against each other in the last orbit that boosted Farber at the expense of his Romanian opponent.

Ignat opened the first pot for 60,000 in the lojack seat and Farber called in the big blind.

Farber check-called 60,000 on the Q99 flop and then both checked the 2 turn. Farber led for 160,000 on the 7 river and Ignat decided after about 20 seconds not to call.

Point: Farber.

A few hands later it was Farber opening for 80,000 in the hijack seat and Ignat called from the small blind. Tomas Macnamara called in the big blind as well but quickly folded when Ignat led for 80,000 on the A39 flop.

Farber called and then both men checked the 8 turn, bringing the J on the river. Ignat led again for 190,000 there, only to see Farber make it 550,000 to go. Ignat folded.

Farber now holds 3.2 million to Ignat’s 1.9 million. — JK

6:30pm: Talbot milks Michailidis
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (BB ante 30,000)

“Flush,” declared Parker Talbot after his small river bet was called by Dimitrios Michailidis to move him up to 3.01 million.

Talbot: Flush?

Dimitrios Michailidis had started the pot with a 70,000 raise from the cutoff. Talbot called from the big blind before both players checked the 42Q flop. Talbot then led for 60,000 and 70,000 on the 510 turn and river before he opened 34.

Michailidis mucked to drop to 1.35 million. — MC

6:25pm: A flush beats a straight, busts Hecklen
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (BB ante 30,000)

Henrik Hecklen is now out, losing the last of his chips to Evangelos Bechrakis. The pot started slowly but accelerated to its car crash conclusion at a fair old zip.

Bechrakis began it, raising to 80,000 from early position. Hecklen, in the big blind, was the only caller and they saw the 9JQ flop. They both checked.

Hecklen packs up his things

The 8 turn brought a bet of 110,000 from Hecklen and a call from Bechrakis. That then led to the 8 river. At this point, Hecklen checked, Bechrakis said he was all-in and Hecklen snap-called for his last 280,000.

Bechrakis tabled K5 for a turned flush. Hecklen mucked, but was told he had to show his hand. His 910–a straight–was no good.

Bechrakis is now up to around 3.7 million, while Hecklen is our 23rd-place finisher. — HS

6:20pm: Vilmunen succumbs
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (BB ante 30,000)

Jani Vilmunen never managed to find a way back into the tournament. Instead he was knocked out by Evangelos Bechrakis.

The latter opened to 95,000 and called off the extra when Vilmunen moved all-in for 135,000.

Bechrakis: 1010
Vilmunen: K9

Vilmunen: Out in 24th

The board ran 10Q72A to make the Greek player a set of tens. Bechrakis has moved up to second in the counts with 3.055 million. — MC

6:15pm: Mertengren shoves, survives
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000/25,000 (BB ante 25,000)

First hand on Table 1 featured an under-the-gun push from Andriy Mertengren. He had 340,000 in his stack. At no point did anyone seriously look like calling, even though Sergei Bagirov took one time extension to convince himself that folding was the right option. Mertengren got that one through. — HS

6:10pm: Three tables
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000/25,000 (BB ante 25,000)

The last 24 players are now seated around only three tables, in the following order:

Table 1 Table 2 Table 3
Seat 1 Andrey Pateychuk Tobias Peters Parker Talbot
Seat 2 Sergei Bagirov Xixiang Luo Evangelos Bechrakis
Seat 3 Ignat Liviu Ivan Zhechev Jani Vilmunen
Seat 4 Tomas Macnamara Alexandr Merzhvinskii Ugo Faggioli
Seat 5 Serhii Holodiuk Andrija Robovic Guenter Halak
Seat 6 Andriy Mertengren Paul Michaelis Dimitrios Michailidis
Seat 7 Laurynas Levinskas Carlos Branco Diego Zeiter
Seat 8 Konstantin Farber Artem Kobylinskiy Henrik Hecklen

6:05pm: Redraw at 24
Level 23 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (BB ante 30,000)

With 24 players remaining in the Main Event they are currently redrawing for seats. Details on the way.

6pm: Mette meets his match
Level 23 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (BB ante 30,000)

Armin Mette held on with a short stack as long as he could, but Parker Talbot has brought his tournament to an end.

Talbot opened for 75,000 in the cutoff seat with AQ and snap-called when Mette jammed for his last 500,000 chips or so.

Mette: Outmatched

“It’s embarrassing but I had to shove,” Mette said as he turned up K6. The board ran out J43A3 to give Talbot the win with a pair of aces. He’s now on 2.84 million.

Mette’s run is over in 25th place. Time for a redraw. — JK

5:55pm: Nothing happened
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000/25,000 (BB ante 25,000)

We’ve seen everything on the European Poker Tour over the years. One outers? Every day. Players folding the nuts? Yes. Peanut stand? Rubber band? A needle that winked its eye? Yes, all of that. But I’ve never seen this: a raise-and-take that took more than four minutes to play out, nowhere near the bubble.

The big money is getting close and the short stacks don’t want to go broke, at least until the other short stacks go broke first. That’s why, on a recent deal, Andrey Pateychuk looked at his cards under the gun and burnt through his entire remaining allocation of five time-bank cards before folding, preserving his 450,000 stack. Pateychuk had the big blind coming, but was also aware that, with 25 players left in the tournament, if someone else could get knocked out on a neighbouring table, it would mean a redraw and he’d hope to move away from the big blind.

During this spell in the tank, Henrik Hecklen took delivery of his dinner. It looks like pulled beef on fries, from the food truck outside the Hilton Prague. Ugo Faggioli was between Pateychuk and Hecklen and he raised to 65,000. That put the “action” on Hecklen, but he was only concerned with his food.

He munched through half of it as his first countdown expired. Then another few mouthfuls as another 30 seconds elapsed. “When there’s no dinner break, you gotta use the time-bank, right?” said Paul Michaelis.

“Is it good?” Carlos Branco asked.

“It’s OK,” Hecklen said, as another 30 seconds, and another time-bank card, vanished.

After three cards were gone, Hecklen tossed away the other two as well–ie, his actual playing cards.

Michaelis and Xixiang Luo folded quickly, then Branco said to Faggioli: “I won’t make you suffer any more.” He folded.

That finally meant Faggioli could pick up the blinds and antes after the longest spell of deliberate inaction I think I’ve ever seen. — HS

5:50pm: Vilmunen left with fumes after blind battle
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (BB ante 30,000)

Jani Vilmunen has dropped down to just 120,000 after he lost a blind battle versus Tobias Peters.

Vilmunen Urging on his ace-four

The Finn ripped all-in for 595,000 from the small blind when the action was folded to him. Peters called all-in for 475,000 from the big blind.

Vilmunen: A4
Peters: A5

The board ran 965J10 to pair the Dutchman’s kicker. — MC

5:45pm: Big double for Levinskas
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (BB ante 30,000)

Laurynas Levinskas flipped very just now to double his 935,000 stack.

Levinskas: Big double

He and Dimitrios Michailidis got in a preflop raising war that saw both players commit their stacks.

Levinskas: AK
Michailidis: 66

The board ran QJAQK to make Levinskas two-pair. Michailidis dropped to 1.35 million. — MC

5:20pm: Break time

That’s the end of another level. Players are taking a 20 minute break.

5:15pm: Teh toast
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000/25,000 (BB ante 25,000)

Natalie Teh’s Main Event is over–though this deep run is surely going to give her bags of confidence going to the PokerStars Players Championship in the Bahamas next month. She has a Platinum Pass already, don’t forget.

Natalie Teh: All in

Her final hand was a three-way affair, with Henrik Hecklen opening to 50,000 and Xixiang Luo calling in the hijack. Teh then committed her last 65,000 from the small blind and both opponents paid the extra 15,000 to give her a spin.

The flop was all low. It came 683 and the 8 fell on the turn. Hecklen bet 45,000 and Luo called. This put something in the side pot.

The Q river brought two checks and Hecklen showed his 67 for two pair, sixes and eights. Luo had AQ, which was a bigger two pair, and that was better too than Teh’s A7.

Natalie Teh: All out

“Good luck, guys,” Teh said as she wandered away. She was the last woman remaining in the field, and the last player already with a Platinum Pass. So it’ll be another man heading to the Bahamas as the EPT Prague champion, that much is sure.

Hecklen now has 620,000. Luo has 1.6 million.– HS

5:10pm: The crescendo fizzle
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000/25,000 (BB ante 25,000)

Andrey Pateychuk limped in from under the gun and everyone folded to Carlos Branco in the small blind. Branco asked Pateychuk how much he was playing and, upon learning it was about 420,000, Branco raised to 115,000.

Pateychuk moving all-in

Natalie Teh, sandwiched between them, had a fair chunk of her total stack out there in the big blind (especially with the big blind ante out there as well) but she folded, and was probably happy to have done so.

Teh on the ropes

Pateychuck moved all-in, Branco called and they both then showed the same hand. It was KK for Branco and KK for Pateychuk. A rainbow flop secured the chop and the fizzle out. — HS

5:05pm: Correct call off by Mertengren
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000/25,000 (BB ante 25,000)

Dimitrios Michailidis put Andriy Mertengren to the ultimate test but the latter figured it out and doubled.

Mertengren: Ultimate test

The two were in the blinds and made it to the river with 280,000 in the middle and a board reading 8A10Q9. Mertengren had about the pot left in his stack when Michailidis bet enough to cover him. Mertengren used a time bank and then called with KQ. It was more than than good enough as Michailidis had the nut low with 32 and dropped to 685,000. –MC

5pm: Holodiuk doubles through Peters
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000/25,000 (BB ante 25,000)

Score another double for Serhii Holodiuk.

Holodiuk: Kings

The Belarussian opened under the gun for 50,000 and then moved all-in over the top of Tobias Peters’s re-raise to 155,000 in the big blind. Peters called with AQ and needed help against Holodiuk’s KK, but the 62524 didn’t do much for him.

Holodiuk is now on 1.1 million, while Peters drops to 575,000. — JK

4:55pm: Too good for Talbot
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000/25,000 (BB ante 25,000)

“You guys are too good for me!” bemoaned Parker Talbot after he lost a hand to Ivan Zhechev.

The Canadian streamer opened from early position and was called by Zhechev in the big blind.

The board ran out 43A95 with Talbot betting 40,000 and 150,000 before checking back the river. Zhechev opened A2 for a straight and Talbot mucked to drop to 1.7 million.

Zhechev rose to 1.85 million. –MC

4:50pm: Teh in danger
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000/25,000 (BB ante 25,000)

Natalie Teh is on life support now with 135,000 having lost a pocket pair vs. pocket pair short-stack showdown with Paul Michaelis.

Michaelis found 1010 in the cutoff. Teh found 66 in the big blind. I’m not totally sure how the stacks got in, but it likely went raise, push, call given that Michaelis had 510,000 in his stack and Teh had 645,000.

There was nothing dramatic on a board of [jj]Q4JQ and the tens stayed good.

It put Michaelis back over a million and left Teh in deep trouble. — HS

4:45pm: Macnamara is mortal
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000/25,000 (BB ante 25,000)

A chink emerged in Tomas Macnamara’s armour, allowing Ivan Zhechev to graze the skin of the otherwise untouchable Brit. It’s not going to be a decisive pot in the grand scheme of things, but it’s probably nice for other players to know that Macnamara isn’t winning them all.

The two got to a flop of K210 with Macnamara in the big blind and Zhechev on the button. It went check (Macnamara), bet 65,000 (Zhechev), call.

This pattern repeated after the A turn, with the bet size increased to 180,000. Macnamara checked the 3 river as well, prompting a bet of 275,000 from Zhechev. Macnamara surrendered a time-bank card en route to letting his hand go too.

Put Macnamara on 3.55 million now, with Zhechev on 1.6 million. — HS

4:40pm: Holodiuk hits to stay alive
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000/25,000 (BB ante 25,000)

A double-plus for Serhii Holodiuk, who managed to get Sergei Bagirov to pay off his 215,000 shove in full, as he also picked up a 50,000 opening raise from Tobias Peters.

Peters put his raise forward from early position and then Holodiuk pushed from the button. Bagirov then four-bet to 380,000 from the small blind and Peters left them to it.

Holodiuk hanging on

Bagirov’s 99 started the hand ahead, but ended it worthless after Holodiuk’s A10 was better suited to the 10643K board.

Holodiuk moves to 520,000, while Bagirov slips to 1.2 million. — HS

4:35pm: Peters on the double
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000/25,000 (BB ante 25,000)

Tobias Peters is back over a million after he doubled through neighbour Jani Vilmunen.

The latter opened to 55,000 from the button and then used a time bank chip before calling the Peters’ 560,000 all-in from the next seat.

Vilmunen: AQ
Peters: 77

The board ran 4J69K to see the sevens hold. Vilmunen dropped to 550,000. — MC

4:30pm: Talbot topples Tang
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000/25,000 (BB ante 25,000)

We’re down to 26 players now with the elimination of Jia Tang.

I caught up with Tang and Parker Talbot with a 527 flop already dealt and a bit over 100,000 chips in the pot.

Talbot, in the big blind, check-called 75,000 there and then led for 105,000 on the 7 turn. Tang called there and then again for his last 550,000 on the 10 river, showing down KK. Unfortunately for him Talbot’s 97 had turned trip sevens.

Tang toppled

Tang finishes in 27th. Talbot climbs to 1.75 million. — JK

4:20pm: Pateychuk has kicker issues
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000/25,000 (BB ante 25,000)

Paul Michaelis found his next hand a bit less torturous but Andrey Pateychuk didn’t enjoy the experience, I’m sure.

Paul Michaelis: Tortured?

The action was four-way and to the turn where a board read K224. Natalie Teh led for 40,000 from the big blind and was called by Pateychuk in the next seat before Michaelis raised to 140,000 off the button.


Pateychuk was the only caller to the 5 river where the action was checked. Pateychuk opened K9 but lost out to the German’s KJ. Pateychuk dropped to 510,000 and Michaelis moved up to 835,000. — MC

4:15pm: Branco a blanko as Michaelis is tortured
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000/25,000 (BB ante 25,000)

Carlos Branco just put Paul Michaelis through the ringer, leaving the tortured man no option but to make an agonised, time-bank fold on the river.

The hand began with a button raise from Michaelis and a call in the big blind from Branco. That took them to the kind of flop that a big blind caller might well love: 754. Branco check-called Michaelis’s 45,000 continuation bet.

The 9 on the turn made it even more intriguing, and Branco’s decision to lead for 130,000 deepened the mystery. Michaelis called.

The river was the 6 and pretty much every draw was now in. Branco bet 330,000.

Michaelis leant back in his chair and gave voice to his inner monologue. “Why wouldn’t you check-raise flop?” he said. “So brutal.”

Branco was a blanko and sat motionless behind his shades and scarf disguise. “You set it up pretty good,” Michaelis said. “Then you bet this.”

Michelis had only 550,000 in his stack and eventually opted to preserve it, tossing his cards to the dealer. Branco gave away nothing, and built his stack up to 2.5 million. — HS

4:10pm: Macnamara mashes Rogacki
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000/25,000 (BB ante 25,000)

That’s all she wrote for Maciej Rogacki.

Sitting in the big blind, the Polish player moved in for his last 250,000 over the top of an under-the-gun opener from Ivan Zhechev, and a Tomas Macnamara re-raise to 150,000 in the cutoff.

Rogacki on his way out

Zhechev folded and Macnamara called with AK, which had the edge over Rogacki’s AJ. The 29845 runout changed nothing and Rogacki left in 28th. –JK

4:05pm: Pateychuk pushes
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000/25,000 (BB ante 25,000)

Natalie Teh hasn’t managed to get much going today and she is now down to about 420,000 after being pushed off a pot by Andrey Pateychuk.

Teh: Pushed

Teh opened to 55,000 from early position but then saw Pateychuk three-bet shove for 450,000 from one seat along. Everyone else around the table folded, and so did Teh. — HS

4pm: Idriss exiled, Michailidis moving up
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000/25,000 (BB ante 25,000)

Ramzey Idriss is off to the payout desk after losing the last of his chips to Dimitrios Michailidis.

Evangelos Bechrakis opened for 55,000 in the cutoff and Michailidis called on the button. Idriss then jammed from the big blind for 1.1 million. That cleared out Bechrakis but Michailidis quickly called with KK. That had Idriss’s AK on the ropes, and the 62773 board delivered the knockout blow.

Idriss exiled. Idriss Elba’d?

Michailidis climbs to 2.535 million and Idriss finishes in 29th. — JK

3:55pm: Sick runout sees Faggioli double
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (BB ante 20,000)

Ugo Faggioli was up and out of his chair after Andrey Pateychuk flopped a flush against him, but a couple of little ducks came to his rescue.

Pateychuk opened 55,000 and called after his French opponent three-bet all-in for 335,000.

Pateychuk: AJ
Faggioli: KQ

The board ran a crazy 2K422 to make Faggioli a full house. Pateychuk dropped to 410,000. — MC

3:35pm: Break time

After that manic few minutes of activity the level ends. Players are now on a 20 minute break.

3:32pm: Ruijs roasted by Mette
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (BB ante 20,000)

With less than one minute on the level, there was a flurry of all-ins. Two players were duly knocked out.

Here’s one of them: Joris Ruijs is our 30th-placed finisher, losing his chips to Armin Mette.

Joris Ruijs: Kaput

The hand began with an open to 45,000 from Diego Zeiter under the gun, which was quickly followed by a jam for 410,000 from Ruijs on the button. Mette then re-shoved from the big blind, for 595,000 total, which persuaded Zeiter he wanted no further part of it.

The two of them turned over pocket pairs, but Ruijs’s 55 were in trouble against Mette’s QQ.

It only got worse for the all-in Dutchman as the flop fell JQ8. The K turn left him drawing dead.


Joris Ruijs begins the never-ending break


Mette therefore goes to the break with about 1.1 million, while Ruijs’s break will last forever. — HS

3:30pm: Kobylinskiy stops Sterner
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (BB ante 20,000)

“All-in and a call on Table 1!”

Artem Kobylinskiy just eliminated Ludvig Sterner thanks to a very friendly flop.

Ludvig Sterner: No more

All the money went in with the board already reading 687, which gave Sterner top pair with 108 and Kobylinskiy a straight with his 54. The A turn and 6 river changed nothing, knocking out Sterner.


Out went Ludvig Sterner


Kobylinskiy has 1.9 million as the break begins. — JK

3:25pm: Schuh out after flip loss
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (BB ante 20,000)

Michal Schuh has hit the rail. The one-time big stack in this tournament hasn’t had the greatest of luck with big pairs this tournament and it was pocket jacks that cost him.

Michel Schuh: rail bound

He was down to 300,000 when he and Alexandr Merzhvinskii tangled in a pre-flop all-in showdown.

Schuh: JJ
Merzhvinskii: AK

The board ran 10QAQ3 to send the pot to Merzhvinskii, putting him up to 1.05 million. — MC

3:20pm: High roller coverage begins

Running alongside the Main Event, the 10K high Roller started this afternoon. Follow High Roller coverage here.

3:15pm: Macnamara’s crushing spell continues
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (BB ante 20,000)

Tomas Macnamara is the new boss in town. Fresh from the huge hand against Simon Pedersen, Macnamara has now ended the challenge of Fabio Damaso, who tried a squeeze and squeezed only himself.

Macnamara began the hand with a raise to 45,000 under the gun and Armin Mette called in the cutoff seat. Damaso, in the big blind, then raised to 185,000.

Macnamara had the covering stack–after Damaso’s raise, both opponents had about 650,000 back. Macnamara pushed, which meant the other two had a decision for their tournament lives.

Tomas Macnamara: Boss

Mette quickly folded, but Damaso used up a time-bank card before tossing a single chip forward to call.

Macnamara: AK
Damaso: AQ

There was a king in the window, one of two on the flop. By the time the full board was out, it read K7K54 and Damaso was out in 33rd.

Macnamara now leads the field with 2.95 million. — HS

3:10pm: Far gone Grochulski
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (BB ante 20,000)

Grzegorz Grochulski just lost two pots in quick succession to find his way to the payout desk.

In the first hand he clashed with Natalie Teh, calling her all-in bet of just over 200,000 with J10 on the turn of the 6829 board.

His J10 had a bevy of outs but none of them came home on the 6 river, giving Teh the 650,000-chip pot with 22 for a set of deuces.

A few hands later Grochulski found himself under the gun with J10 and moved his last 70,000 chips forward.

Grochulski gets his coat

Paul Michaelis was next to act and raised to 120,000 with his A2, clearing out the field and setting up a showdown.

The K55104 board gave Michaelis a diamond flush and a boost to 820,000. Grochulski finishes 34th. — JK

3:04pm: No second EPT title for Wigg
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (BB ante 20,000)

Andrey Pateychuk is the only former EPT champion left in the field after Anton Wigg was eliminated by Tobias Peters.

The Copenhagen champion from a few years back moved all-in from the cutoff for his last 382,000. Peters made a considered call from the big blind.

Peters: AQ
Wigg: A9

Wigg: Out


The board ran J7A47 to send Wigg on his way. Peters moved up to 1.28 million. –MC

3:00pm: Zhechev’s certainty
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (BB ante 20,000)

Fabio Damaso is still in this tournament with 650,000 chips, but he might well have been heading to the rail already.

Zhechev: Jacks will do it

Arriving to the table late, I saw Damaso shifting 300,000 chips into the middle and his sole opponent, Ivan Zhechev, tossing out a single chip call. Damaso turned over Q10 with the look of a man who thought he might be winning, but was no longer sure. Zhechev, however, turned over his JJ with much more certainty.

That’s because the pair of them had played out this near million-chip pot as the A8JA2 board gradually came down.

Zhechev had flopped a set and turned a boat at the same time that Damaso had flopped a flush draw and filled it on the river. Ouch.

Zhechev now has 1.35 million. — HS

2:56pm: Robovic robs from Kobylynskyi
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (BB ante 20,000)

Andrija Robovic and Artem Kobylynskyi got it in pre-flop, with Robovic under threat. He had around 530,000, while Kobylynskyi had about 1.4 million.

They were racing, though, with Robovic’s AQ needing to hit against Kobylynskyi’s 99.

He did indeed hit. The Q on the turn was really the only card that mattered. — HS

2:52pm: Set over set sends Pedersen packing
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (BB ante 20,000)

A gruesome elimination to report for Simon Pedersen, who clearly thought he had the best of it all along, but couldn’t have been more wrong. In fact Tomas Macnamara was one pip better.

Pedersen opened what would turn out to be his last pot with a raise to 40,000 from the cutoff. Macnamara three-bet the button to 110,000. Pedersen called.

Packing: Pedersen

The pair of them watched the dealer put the 9J8 flop out there, which Pedersen checked. Macnamara bet 80,000 and Pedersen went into the tank. He burnt through his first 30 seconds, but returned to life with a raise to 230,000. McNamara called it.

The 6 came on the turn and Pedersen quickly said that he was all-in. If that was quick, it was nothing compared with Macnamara’s call, which came in a flash. Macnamara turned over his hand first, and the reveal of the 99 in his hand brought a tortured wince from Pedersen.

Pedersen showed 88.

The Q river was academic and Macnamara’s bigger set took it. The dealer first counted his stack, which was about 710,000. That was quickly established as being bigger than the 580,000 Pedersen had, so Pedersen was sent packing.

Macnamara, meanwhile, has about 1.7 million. — HS

2:48pm: Bechrakis vs. Farber
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (BB ante 20,000)

Not many players can tangle with Konstantin Farber right now without facing the danger of ending up all-in. But Evangelos Bechrakis is one of them.

Bechrakis opened for 50,000 under the gun only to see Farber re-raise to 130,000 on the button. Bechrakis let his shot clock run most of the way down and then called. Then he let it run all the way down again on the JA3 flop, before calling Farber’s bet of 150,000.

The turn was the 6 and this time Bechrakis checked quickly. Farber used a time bank card and then bet 350,000, chasing the Greek player away.

Bechrakis slips a bit to 2.25 million, and Farber climbs to 2.45 million. –JK

2:45pm: Macnamara knows
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (BB ante 20,000)

Ivan Zhechev and Tomas Macnamara are pretty much dead even at 1.05 million after the latter rightly hung around in a hand with ace high.

Tomas Macnamara: In the know

It was a button versus big blind scenario and we picked up the action on the turn with the board reading K33J.

Macnamara (big blind) check-time-bank-called a 130,000 to head to the K river. It was checked and Macnamara opened A9 which was good. Zhechev mucked. –MC

2:40pm: The end of the Røed
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (BB ante 20,000)

Kent Røed’s tournament is over after a run-in with Xixiang Luo.

Røed opened the betting all-in for his last 450,000 in the hijack seat. Luo was on the button and he used a time bank card before announcing that he, too, was all-in. That cleared out the blinds and left his JJ heads-up with Røed’s A9.

End of the Kent for Roed

The J79 flop gave Luo a set and left Røed needing runner-runner for either quads to win or a straight to chop the pot. No such luck for him and he’s out in 37th.

Luo is now on 1.5 million. –JK

2:35pm: Halak pushes; Zhechev check-raises
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (BB ante 20,000)

As the tournament gradually condenses, not every hand features called all-ins. That seems pretty strange as that’s pretty much all we’ve seen for the best part of two days.

Two hands here give perhaps a better representation of what’s going on at the moment.

On Table 2, Armin Mette opened to 45,000 on the button and Ivan Zhechev called in the big blind. The two players looked at a 4710 flop and Zhechev checked. Mette stabbed 40,000 at it, but then Zhechev raised to 140,000 and Mette flicked his cards away.

On a neighbouring table, Konstantin Farber opened to 45,000 from early position and Guenter Halak jammed from one seat over. Farber wanted a count, and learned it was 220,000. That was too much. He passed. — HS

2:30pm: Queens work for Bagirov
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (BB ante 20,000)

Sergei Bagirov has moved up to 1.15 million after he got pockets queens working well for him.

Fabio Damaso opened to 45,000 from middle position and was only called by the Russian player in the hijack.

Damaso continued for 45,000 on the 235 flop and was called. The 10 appeared on the turn and Bagirov bet 85,000 when the action was checked to him. Damaso called and both players checked the 7 river.

Damaso dropped to 1.05 million when he saw his A5 was no good against Bagirov’s QQ. –MC

2:25pm: Talbot flexes, table folds
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (BB ante 20,000)

“Did I get a walk?” Parker Talbot asked the dealer. It turned out he had. “No!” he said, holding up the AJ he didn’t get to play and then tossing it in the muck. I’m not sure what he had on the next hand but he profited a fair bit more from it.

Diego Zeiter opened for 40,000 under the gun and got calls from Liviu Ignat in the hijack seat and Serhii Holodiuk on the button. Talbot checked his hand and then announced himself all-in from the small blind.

Zeiter and Ignat got out of the way quickly but Holodiuk was suspicious.

“How much?” he asked the dealer.

The answer: just over a million. Holodiuk used a time bank card but eventually folded just like the others.

With that, Talbot moves back to 1.25 million. — JK

2:20pm: Aces for Faggioli, and a double
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (BB ante 20,000)

France’s Ugo Faggioli was bottom of the counts at the last break, and although he’s still among the clutch of players for whom the final table is a distant ambition, he is not out yet.

A double for Ugo Faggiolo. But still in trouble

In fact, Faggioli just scored a double up through Natalie Teh, when his AA were never under threat against Teh’s K3. The board gave Faggioli a full house when it came 88856.

Faggioli had 170,000 in his stack, which is how come he now has about 360,000. Teh is struggling now with about 280,000. — HS

2:15pm: Branco cuts Røed down to size
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (BB ante 20,000)

Kent Røed just took a big hit in a pot against Carlos Branco, leaving him with only 580,000 chips.

I only showed up on the river of the 99Q59 board but I was there in time to see Branco lead into Røed for 425,000.

Røed looked a bit sick at this bet and took a bit to come to a decision.

He stood up, took off his sunglasses, and began muttering to himself. He moved to put his shades back on as he sat down and then decided against it.

As the shot clock approached zero and threatened to cost him a second time bank card Røed tossed in a chip to signify his call and Branco quickly rolled over his hand, 109.

“Is that a nine?” asked Kent Røed, peering across the table. Indeed it was. Quad nines for Branco, who climbs to 2.12 million with the win. –JK

2:10pm: Aces against Kings keeps Zhechev alive
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (BB ante 20,000)

With the board already showing 910J there was a flurry of activity as Ivan Zhechev moved all in. Joris Ruijs called.

Zhechev: KK
Ruijs: AA

It all went accord to plan for Zhechev, with a Q turn and 4 river to double him up to around 900,000. Ruijs drops to 725,000. – SB

2:05pm: Grochulski gets some back off Bechrakis
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (BB ante 20,000)

Grzegorz Grochulski and Evangelos Bechrakis tangled once again with the latter getting some of those lost chips back with a double up.

Bechrakis opened to 90,000 from second position and made a quick call after Grochulski three-bet all-in for 245,000 from the button.

Bechrakis: AK
Grochulski: AA

The board ran Q9A73 for a top set hand for Grochulski. He moved up 540,000 and Bechrakis dropped top 2.755 million which is still good for the lead. –MC

2pm: Let’s press on
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (BB ante 20,000)

Level 22 is now under way. Here are the top five counts:

Player Country Chips
Evangelos Bechrakis Greece 3,000,000
Konstantin Farber Germany 2,405,000
Liviu Ignat Romania 1,960,000
Jani Vilmunen Finland 1,550,000
Alexandr Merzhvinskii Russia 1,510,000
Fabio Damaso Portugal 1,365,000

1:35pm: Level ends

That’s the end of Level 21, and the first break of the day. We’ll have full chip counts for the remaining 37 players imminently, but the headline is that Evangelos Bechrakis is out in front.

Evangelos Bechrakis: Big leader

1:20pm: Covrig becomes the latest faller
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (BB ante 16,000)

Sergiu Covrig was all-in with 88, but up against the AA of Xixiang Luo.

The result was predictable, especially after a board of 4Q7AK

Sergiu Covrig: Bad news

Sergiu Covrig begins the long walk

Luo enjoyed a quiet celebration on the turn (more low key than his end of day celebration yesterday which involved accidentally punching his wife in the face).

He’s up to around 1 million. – SB

1:15pm: All action five minutes: three double ups, a bustout and a new leader
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (BB ante 16,000)

A crazy period of action across multiple tables saw three players double and one player depart. Let’s get the bustout hand out of the way.

It was a short stack battle between Paul Michaelis and Pim Gieles and their short stacks went in pre-flop. Michaelis had the best of it with JJ versus his opponent’s 55 and survived a board that ran 10A226. Gieles headed off to get paid.

Pim Gieles: Day is done

A few moments before that, Ludvig Sterner doubled up through Fabio Damaso, who had had an amazing start to the day, but dropped back to 1.35 million with the loss. Sterner had 341,000 and got them all in pre-flop holding 1010. Damaso opened AK but couldn’t hit as the board ran 4652J.

Right, to the next double up. This one was for Liviu Ignat through Parker Talbot. Again, all the chips went in pre-flop with Ignat holding JJ. Talbot had overcards with AK but the board ran a Romanian flavoured 926QJ. Talbot dropped to 970,000 as Ignat doubled his 792,000 stack.

Liviu Ignat: Major double

And the last double up to tell you about which was a big pot between Grzegorz Grochulski and Evangelos Bechrakis. They had reached the river with a big pile of chips in the middle a board that read 54J47. The latter shoved for 635,000 and Grochulski time-bank-called with 99 to drop to 345,000 as he was shown KK.

Evangelos Bechrakis: Does he have it?

Evangelos Bechrakis: Any more clues now?

Bechrakis meanwhile rocketed to the top of the counts with around 3 million –MC

1:05pm: Merzhvinskii gets the better of Teh
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (BB ante 16,000)

Alexandr Merzhvinskii has enjoyed a good start to Day 4, adding another third from his starting stack to close in on the 2-million-chip mark. A healthy portion of that profit just came his way in a pot against Natalie Teh.

Parker Talbot, who had just moved to the table, opened the action with a standard raise under the gun, which drew calls from Teh on the button, Merzhvinskii in the small blind, and Serhii Holodiuk in the big.

“Very respectful,” said Talbot.

“We’re just welcoming you in our own way,” said Teh.

The three players in front of her checked to Teh on the AK4 flop and she obliged with a bet of 100,000. Merzhvinskii called from the big blind after some thought and Holodiuk and Talbot folded.

Alexandr Merzhvinskii: Bothering 2 million

The turn was the 9 and Merzhvinskii checked again. Teh ended up betting 180,000 and after using a time-bank card, Merzhvinskii announced himself all-in. Teh used two time-bank cards of her own before reluctantly letting her hand go.

She drops to 610,000 with that loss. Merzhvinskii, meanwhile, is now on 1.98 million. –JK

1pm: Nothing the Mette with Armin
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (BB ante 16,000)

Maciej Rogacki had two players at risk when he called their all-ins with the best of it, but he couldn’t hold. Still, he could be Marcin Kreft, who busted in the hand, so not all bad.

Those two players and Armin Mette took to a 496 flop where Mette bet 40,000 from the cutoff. Rogacki called from the next seat and then Kreft check-raised all-in for 199,000 from the big blind. Mette then shoved for 348,000 and Rogacki called in a flash.

Kreft: 89
Mette: Q9
Rogacki: AA

The board ran out with the Q and the 8 to make Mette the best two pair hand. He moved up to 1.03 million as Kreft walked to the payout desk. Rogacki dropped to 408,000 –MC

12:55pm: Last night’s champion

Yesterday was a very good day for Corentin Ropert, who won the €25K Single Day High Roller here at EPT Prague, even though he hadn’t actually even planned on playing it. Hear his story:


12:50pm: Valiyev out
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (BB ante 16,000)

Teymur Valiyev is next to find himself on the rail. He was all-in with A2 against the AK of Serhii Holodiuk.

The board looked good at first, but then turned on Valiyev, coming as it did 26A67.

Teymur Valiyev: Counterfeited out

Valiyev let it sink in before leaving. His deuces were counterfeited. Holodiuk meanwhile is up to around 800,000. – SB

12:48pm: Wigg back to square one
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (BB ante 16,000)

Anton Wigg came into today with 430,000 chips. He finds himself with almost exactly that many chips at the moment. The context has changed a bit, though, as it was a win with his tournament life at stake moments ago that got him back to that state.

I arrived at Table 1 to see him move all-in on a 1039 board and Andrija Robovic call to put Wigg at risk. Robovic had top pair with A10 but Wigg had flopped a flush with his KJ. The 5 turn and 2 didn’t alter the situation any, giving Wigg the win. He’s back at 420,000 now, while Robovic’s poor fortune on the day continues and drops him to 540,000. –JK

12:45pm: Bosca busted by Branco
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (BB ante 16,000)

Vincent Bosca is the next faller. He was all in with 99 against the KK of Carlos Branco.

Vicent Bosca: One double, but now a bust

The board came 1035QJ to eliminate Bosca and leave Branco with around 1 million. – SB

12:42pm: Poor Gor gone
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (BB ante 16,000)

Gor Kazarian has hit the rail after he ran into aces.

Diego Zeiter opened from second position and then snapped Gor’s three-bet all-in, for what looked like 250,000, holding AA.

Gor Kazarian: Out after running into aces

A frustrated Kazarian opened AQ and got out of his seat to watch the board run 787Q. Zeiter is up to 660,000. –MC

12:40pm: Macnamara battling
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (BB ante 16,000)

Tomas Macnamara entered today with one of the shorter stacks in the field. He’s still there but it’s not for a lack of trying to make something happen.

With the blinds approaching fast, he opened all-in for 295,000 under the gun. It looked like Ivan Zhechev might call from the small blind, but in the end he folded and Marcin Kreft did the same in the big. Macnamara got a walk in his big blind on the following hand, and then chased off Joris Ruijs on the hand after that by shoving from the small blind.

Three hands, three small wins for Macnamara. He’s now on 380,000. –JK

12:35pm: Damasco’s great start continues
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (BB ante 16,000)

Fabio Damasco started the day with 287,000. He’s now up to more than 1.3 million.

First he doubled up, and then this hand against Artem Kobylinskiy, who opened from under the gun for 125,000. Damasco called.

Fabio Damaso: The story of the day so far

The flop came J2Q. Kobylinskiy bet another 125,000 which Damasco called for the 8 turn. That was checked for the A on the river.

This time Kobylinskiy checked. Damasco announced a bet of 175,000, which was enough to win the pot.

“Almost impossible to make a better start than you do,” said Tobias Peters. – SB

12:33pm: Vilmunen hits nut flush to move past a million
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (BB ante 16,000)

Jani Vilmunen has moved up to 1.12 million after rivering the nut flush versus Liviu Ignat, who dropped to 860,000.

Ignat raised to 32,000 from early position and was called by both blinds. He continued for 36,000 on a K78 flop and was only check-called by Vilmunen in the small blind. Both checked the 7 turn and then Vilmunen led for 120,000 on the Q. Ignat called but mucked upon seeing the Finn’s A9. –MC

12:30pm: Believe in Talbot
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (BB ante 16,000)

Parker Talbot and Simon Pedersen are seated next to one another and having a chat. “Did you see how I’ve been playing so far?” Talbot asked Pedersen. “Folded every hand so far. Tight is right. I got most of my chips playing aces and that’s not about to change.”

Parker Talbot: Tight is right

Dimitrios Michailidis opened the next hand for 42,000 from the lojack seat and Pedersen called on the button. Then Talbot started cutting out chips for a raise, making it 193,000 to go. Cue folds all around and the Canadian had picked up his first pot of the day.

Someone else suggested that he’d altered his stated starting strategy for today. “Nothing’s changed,” said Talbot. “They never believe.”

“They believed you that time!” said Carlos Branco. Yes, it looks like they did. Talbot is now on 1.7 million. –JK

12:25pm: Damasco doubles
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (BB ante 16,000)

Another all-in, but this one ended in a double up.

Fabio Damasco was the all-in player. He’d moved in for 491,000 with 1010, which was called by Andrija Robovic with 88.

The board came 21068K to provide some drama, but no change.

Andrija Robovic: Nosedive

Robovic drops to around 700,000. – SB

12:20pm: Bad start for Robovic
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (BB ante 16,000)

Andrija Robovic has dropped down to 1.41 million after losing the first two pots of the day at his table.

He opened to 37,000 from the hijack and was only called by Fabio Damaso in the big blind. Robovic continued for 16,000 on the 3AQ flop and Damaso check-called before both players checked the 9 turn. Damaso then led for 36,000 on the 10 river only for Robobvic to raise to 100,000. Damaso tank-called and took the pot as Robovic mucked.

Robobvic raised to 32,000 the next hand and was called by Artem Kobylinskiy in the cutoff. Both players checked the AQ3 flop before Robovic delayed 100,000 c-bet on the 8 turn was called. Both players went back to checking the on the 2 river and Robovic opened K7, losing out to Kobylinskiy’s A4. –MC

12:16pm: Stojanovic slimed
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (BB ante 16,000)

Vlada Stojanovic wore a Ghostbusters sweater for all of yesterday, and he is himself now merely an apparition in this tournament. He became the first person to be knocked out this afternoon. — HS

Vlada Stojanovic: First out on Day 4

12:15pm: Grochulski grabs a few from Farber
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (BB ante 16,000)

Overnight chip leader Konstantin Farber didn’t take long to get involved here on Day 4, but the end result was dropping a few chips to his neighbor, Grzegorz Grochulski.

Grochulski open-limped from the small blind and called when Farber raised to 60,000 in the big blind, bringing a JJ2 flop. Grochulski check-called 30,000 there and another 115,000 on the 10 turn before both players checked the 5 river. Grochulski opened up K4 for a king kicker with the pair of jacks on the board, and Farber mucked.

Farber dips a bit to 1.8 million as we get things going. Grochulski is on 1.65 million. –JK

12:10pm: Strong flop, great river for Bosca
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (BB ante 16,000)

An all-in right at the start of the day for Vincent Bosca. He had 146,000 and JK which was called by Jani Vilmunen who turned over J10

The flop came A64.

“Strong flop,” said Parker Talbot with a smile on his face. The turn was the Q and the 2 river followed.

Vicent Bosca with the early double

“Great river,” Talbot added. Bosca was in complete agreement. He starts the day with a double. – SB

11:20am: 44 to 16 on Day 4
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (BB ante 16,000)

Welcome back to a cold day in beautiful Prague. Luckily for us, we’re bunkered down in warm conditions in the Hilton Prague ready for another day of action at the tables as we look to finish the year off in style.

Out with the old and in with the new. Gone are are the rigid scheduling rules set by the tournament organisers, it’s over to you, the players, to decide how long we play today. We’re not going anywhere until we’ve reported that 28 of you have busted with just the 16 strongest remaining, who will then progress to Day 5.

There were lots of movements in the chips yesterday with several million-plus stacks emerging from shadows. Here’s how the top 5 stacks look at the start of play:

Name Country Chips BBs
Konstantin Farber Germany 2,000,000 125
Evangelos Bechrakis Greece 1,941,000 121
Andrija Robovic Serbia 1,691,000 106
Parker Talbot Canada 1,690,000 106
Grzegorz Grochulski Poland 1,656,000 104

Cards will be in the air at midday CET so please join us back here then. –MC

Beautiful Prague

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PokerStars Blog reporting team on the €5,300 Main Event: Stephen Bartley, Marc Convey, Jason Kirk and Howard Swains. Photography by Joe Giron/PokerPhotoArchive and Neil Stoddart.

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