10pm: Level over
That is the end of level 14 and there are 97 players coming back for the final level of the day. Will we burst that bubble? I reckon it’s about 50-50. — HS
9.55pm: Arnaud Mattern out
The Team PokerStars Pro was on 48,000, looked down at A♣10♣ and pushed all in. It was folded around to Marco Fantini in the small blind, who then pushed all in himself. The big blind scarpered and they were on their backs. Fantini was ahead with A♠J♠ and nothing troubled him on the 7♣5♦8♥3♥9♠ board. — SY
9.50pm: Lykov in line for double?
Max Lykov has grown a formidable reputation this year, finishing third in a World Series event, winning EPT Kyiv and taking down a side event at the PCA. Those last two have put him equal first in the chase for the EPT Player of the Year title.
He might be able to lock it up here as he now has about 370,000 – a mighty stack by anyone’s measure. Lykov just tangled with the only other player on his table who has anything near that total, Niccolo Caramatti, and Lykov came out on top.
There was at least 100,000 in the pot when they both checked the turn of K♦ – the flop was J♣9♦8♦. A low diamond rivered and Lykov check-called Caramatti’s 40,000 bet. “Do you have a diamond?” Caramatti asked, in English, before showing his J♠K♠. Lykov, who doesn’t speak much English, let his cards do the talking. He tabled A♥Q♦ and took it.
The only other former EPT champion in our midst is the Team PokerStars Pro Arnaud Mattern. But the Frenchman has one of the shortest stacks from the 100 players that remain. — HS
9.50pm: Grafl grounded
Kings against ace-king has not been good for the cowboys today. There have been at least three incidents that I know of in which an ace has flopped. Most recently it was Dominik Grafl who had K♠K♦ and was all in against Marcel Burger’s A♣K♥. The flop came out and – bing! – there’s the A♥ in the window to send Grafl out. — HS
9.45pm: Awesome bluff
Marco Fantini raises to 7,400 from the button and is 3-bet to 19,400 by Dan Murariu. Fantini thinks for a little while and then turns the temperature up with a 4-bet to 42,000 (over a third of his stack). Murariu grimaces and mucks his hand. Fantini wastes no time in flipping over 8♦2♦. — RD
9.40pm: Welcome to Veldhuisland
Team PokerStars Pro Lex Veldhuis has an aggressive style of play that oftens seems to force other players into making mistakes and here we have prime example. Veldhuis leads 15,000 into Claudio Piceci on a A♥8♠6♣2♣ board. Piceci moves 25,000 across the line trying to call. The dealer announces raise, an illegal raise at that, and Piceci tells everyone that he was trying to call but no-one heard him say ‘call.’ That’s because he didn’t so… he has to make a minimum raise to 30,000 and Lex moves him all-in for his remaining chips. To say he’s not happy about his own mistake is an understatement and he calls showing J♣5♣ for a flush draw against Veldhuis’ A♦Q♠.
The board blanks and Veldhuis is up to 330,000. — RD
9.30pm: More chips
The chip-count page has now had another overhaul. Check it out. From the broken records department: Johannes Strassmann is crushing still. In other news, Alexia Portal is out. — HS
9.05pm: Tables breaking – others opening
Although our focus is, of course, on the EPT Snowfest main event there are other events running and one is about to begin. Unfortunately for us that means that the tournament floor has been flooded by players and well wishers wanting to see what’s going on (as the security guards obviously have to let them into the room to get seated in the new tournament).
Jim Collopy and Dennis Frankenberger have fused into one poker monster. Every time Collopy is in a hand Frankenberger seems to follow. Collopy opens for 6,700 from the hijack and is called by Frankenberger. Bryan Paris also calls in the big blind but falls away when Collopy continuation bets the 2♠10♣3♥ flop to the tune of 9,300. Frankenberger holds on but eventually, and I do mean eventually, gets the message on the Q♦ turn when Collopy bets 19,300. He’s up to 350,000. — RD
8.50pm: Off we go again
It’s level 14, the penultimate level of the day, and there are about 110 players left. That means 30 need to depart until the bubble bobbles into sight. It might happen today; it might not.
Few would bet against either of these two making the money. Both Richard Toth and Johannes Strassmann are chipped up to the max. And they’re next to one another too, as this photograph makes clear.
They have many more chips now though. — HS
PokerStars Blog reporting team at altitude: Rick Dacey, Howard Swains, Simon Young.