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Buy-In: $6,313 + $379
Prize Pool: $3,610,215
Entrants: 563

EPT Prague Main Event

  • Dec 13, '10 - Dec 18, '10
  •  

 
 

Updates on Final Day (Dec 18, 10)

 
 

Roberto Romanello runs over EPT Prague for €640,000

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If anyone thought poker was a game lacking emotion, except perhaps that of over-achieving tub-thumpers; or if they believed it to be a game based purely on money, on ego and of one-upmanship against their fellow man, they need only look as far as the European Poker Tour’s newest champion Roberto Romanello, for proof of otherwise.

Tonight, Romanello endeared himself to a poker community eager to see one of its natural talents succeed. After the last hand against runner-up Emiliano Bono, of Italy, Romanello simply couldn’t help it. He covered his face with his hands trying to hide a stream of tears. His attempt to manfully cough it off failed as he looked for a steadying embrace from Thomas Kremser. Even those watching from the stage began to choke up.

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Roberto Romanello


So, six days and 562 eliminations after it began, the defining image of EPT Prague will not be one of cards, nor towers of chips or the arms-aloft celebration of some lucky outdraw. It will be of a 34-year-old man, alone in the corner of a room, sobbing helplessly into his arms, completely overcome by emotion, to the utter delight of a contented crowd.

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Roberto Romanello


“This means everything to me,” Romanello would say when he’d had a few deep breaths and a sip of beer. “I felt I had so much support here, and I would like to thank everyone who has given it.”

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Tournament Director Thomas Kremser embraces Roberto Romanello


It marks the end of a breakthrough year for Romanello who just ten months ago knew exactly how it felt to fall as this final stage. A few hours after his sixth-placed finish in Copenhagen, he was picking at a consolatory dinner in the hotel restaurant, his face speaking more than any words. “It felt like it was my tournament,” he’d said, wondering if he would ever get as close again. Well today he found his answer, one worth €640,000.

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Romanello with Emiliano Bono


To see Romanello in action today was to see skilful poker at its best and in its purest form. Serious, and playing with unbroken concentration, Romanello angled his stack for attack, he never weakened, he never lost his resolve and he’s an EPT champion because of it.

For his part Bono showed all the good grace that defeat demands. Today he had been a bundle of contradiction. Quiet while the others put in the legwork, Bono would explode in jack-in-the-box fashion and chest-thump his way through several vital double-ups. With a curious black cloth draped over his head, Bono led a charmed existence which seemed pre-ordained to end with over-achievement. That meant second place for the amiable Italian, who leaves Prague happy with €435,000.

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Runner-up Emiliano Bono


The final got off to a lively start. Within minutes Roberto Nulli, one of three remaining Italians, was bidding his opponents farewell, to be followed minutes later by Frenchman Manuel Bevand. Any notion of a quick staccato final seemed assured when Slovakian Jan Bendik followed in sixth place. But then the frost settled. Four hours and nine minutes would pass before Marco Leonzio was dispatched in fifth.

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The EPT trophy


Leonzio had been Italy’s brightest hope, reaching the final day as chip leader and was on course to emulate his countryman Salvatore Bonavena’s win in Prague two seasons ago. But while his rise to the top had been swift yesterday, that same impetus vanished today, and he proved unable to counter the precision of Romanello and the quiet focus of Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki. Ultimately it was Romanello who sent him on his way.

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Marco Leonzio


Peter Skripka would go next, a player with obvious talent and the right degree of ambivalence to be a perpetual thorn in others’s sides. Horecki had been victim of Skripka’s nonchalant panache but got the last word, out kicking him into fourth place.

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PokerStars player Peter Skripka


Horecki’s hopes of a first EPT title would also be lost some two hours later. Three-handed, the man from Poland suffered in two key hands, against both Romanello and then Bono, before Bono, in an Ace-Jack vs Ace-King encounter, delivered the coup de grace. The Italian edged a jack on the river, leaving Horecki with a result equal to his third place in London back in 2008.

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Romanello and Bono console third-placed Horecki


An hour and 15 minutes later, after an exhausting final table, Romanello had what he’d come for, an EPT title. We’d be happy to see him get a second.

The drama is in the detail, all of which can be studied at length at the links below.

Level 26 & 27 updates


Level 28 & 29 updates


Level 30, 31 & 32 updates

That concludes our live coverage from Prague, made memorable for snow, dancing Santas, and a Welshman in a fuzzy hat, sobbing gently and clutching his EPT trophy.


Our thanks go to our foreign bloggers, working in German, Dutch and Italian. Thanks also to our photographer Neil Stoddart, who provided all the images this week.

We’re now going to take advantage of the early finish and the free bar proffered by Mr Romanello by way of celebration. Maybe after that we’ll check-up the travel news from home, peer through the window at the snow in Prague, and gulp.

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The Prague Hilton, going weird


Provided we get through the ice blockade we’ll be back on 6 January 2011 with live coverage of the first events at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure on Paradise Island. As ever it promises everything that poker players would want, with all the conch chowder and pink drinks you could wish for.

Until then it’s good night, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Prague. Here’s a video to sign off with for the night…



This EPT is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at Europe.

 

EPT Prague: Final table, level 30 updates (blinds 60,000-120,000, ante 15,000)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg6.42pm: Break


That’s the end of the level. We’re now on a 15-minute break. — SY

6.38pm: The scores on the doors


A quick appraisal of the chip stacks shows that Roberto Romanello is leading with around 10 million chips to Horecki’s 3 million and Emilliano Bono’s 3.6 million. If Romanello should be the next player to win a large all-in he would have an almost unassailable lead in the heads up. Should Horecki double through he stands a great chance to take on Romanello. If it’s Bono who makes it to the heads-up he will have to open up his game, he’s been playing incredibly tight and has been managing to find hands when absolutely necessary. — RD

6.25pm: Great call by Romanello


Roberto Romanello just made a great call against Marcin Horecki to seize firm control over this finale. He raised to 245,000 from the button and Horecki defended from the big blind to see the QClub Suit6Club Suit7Spade Suit flop where the action went check-check. The turn came 5Heart Suit and Horecki took over the initiative with a 265,000 bet was soon facing a raise to 575,000. Call.

The river came an interesting looking 2Club Suit and Horecki led for 680,000. This sent Romanello so deep into the tank he needed a special blind of nitrox to keep breathing. He emerged and made the call. “Nice call,” said Horecki as he slid his cards into the muck. Romanello tabled 9Diamond Suit7Diamond Suit to take the pot and move to over 11 million in chips. Horecki was left with 3.2 million and Bono is still singing with 3.8 million. — MC

6.15pm: Three, two, one…


We’re still waiting for that car crash to take place with the last six pots being settled pre-flop. Roberto Romanello has taken three post, Emilliano Bono two and Marcin Horecki just one. — RD

6.12pm: How do we get home


Team PokerStars Blog is starting to get seriously concerned about how we get home, with snow causing chaos at airports back in the UK. I don’t want to spend Christmas in Prague. — SY

6.10pm: Romanello gets value


Roberto Romanello managed to get some value out of Marcin Horecki on the river with a sneaky little bet. The pot started with a Horecki small blind completion and a Romanello check to a 2Heart Suit5Diamond Suit10Heart Suit flop. Horecki check-called a 180,000 bet here and a 335,000 on the 8Heart Suit turn. The river came 9Spade Suit and Romanello bet a relatively small 205,000 prompting the Pole to say: “Why so much?”

Romanello didn’t respond and Horecki made the call after thinking for another minute. Romanello tabled QSpade Suit9Heart Suit for a rivered pair and it was enough as Horecki folded. — MC

5.57pm: Nothing to see here


After pointing out that more people were watching the €300 Random Bounty tournament a few feet away, Marcin Horecki made a bet that stuck, the first in a while, getting a call from Emilliano Bono in the big blind. The flop came JClub Suit10Diamond Suit8Club Suit which both players checked for a9Diamond Suit on the turn. Again Bono checked to Horecki who bet 330,000. Bono passed. – SB

5.52pm: Dynamics


It’s an interesting three-way dance here with Marcin Horecki and Roberto Romanello both seeming to be chasing the win more then Emilliano Bono. It makes for some interesting dynamics, particularly between Horecki and Romanello.

Romanello opened for 300,000 from the button and was called in the big blind by Horecki. The Team PokerStars Pro led 305,000 into the 5Spade Suit3Club Suit3Spade Suit flop and Romanello grabbed two large stacks of orange 25,000 chips and raised to 1.275 million. Horecki passed. Romanello is on a little over 7 million now. — RD

4.42pm: Cagey play


The first few hands of three-handed play has been a cagey affair. No flop has been seen and only one raise was put in. The other three hands were all walks for the big blind. It won’t stay that way for long. — MC

5.37pm: Down to three


Scratch another. Peter Skripka is our fourth-place finisher, calling the all-in move of Marcin Horecki. Horecki, in the small blind, showed KSpade Suit10Spade Suit. Skripka in the big blind showed 7Club SuitKHeart Suit.

There was no messing around with the board, a straightforward flop of 10Club Suit10Heart Suit2Spade Suit to give Horecki a set. The turn ADiamond Suit[ and river JHeart Suit made no difference. Skripka out. Horecki up to around 5,500,000. — SB

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Peter Skripka

5.34pm: Man down, man down!


Details to come, but his first name is Peter. His last is Skripka. — SY

5.30pm: Players are back from break


The four remaining players are back in their seats after the short break. Check the chip counts here. With just under 17 million chips in play we have 140 big blinds left on the table. — RD




ept prague_final table_snow.jpg

The PokerStars Blog’s enemy: snow is nobbling our flight home




PokerStars Blog reporting team at EPT Prague (in order of what type of cake they would be): Rick Dacey (Cheesecake), Simon Young (Currant bun), Marc Convey (Fishcake) and Stephen Bartley (Gingerbread). Photos by Neil Stoddart.



This EPT is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at Europe.

 

EPT Prague: Final table, level 30 & 31 updates (blinds 80,000-160,000, ante 20,000)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg7.54pm: Running


Heads-up play has begun

7.45pm: Heads up stacks


We’ve had a small break before the heads up with Roberto Romanello leading with 10.13 million and Emiliano Bono chasing with 6.8 million. — RD

7.40pm: Bono bounces Horecki


Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki has been eliminated in third place by the charmed Emiliano Bono. Bono raised to 385,000 from the button and quickly called once Horecki moved all-in for about 1.5 million chips. Romanello folded from the big blind in between.

Horecki: AHeart SuitKClub Suit


Bono: AClub SuitJDiamond Suit

The board ran 10Club SuitADiamond Suit8Heart Suit2Heart SuitJSpade Suit. There was a stunned silence rather than the usual raucous celebrations from the Italian. He offered his condolences to the understandably gutted Horecki before the reality that he’s heads-up for an EPT title set in. Horecki is €247,000 richer but he’ll just be think of what could’ve been for the moment. — MC

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Marcin Horecki looks stunned…

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… before Emiliano Bono and Roberto Romanello offer commiserations

7.35pm: Horecki out…


… details coming.

7.32pm: Horecki in real trouble


Marcin Horecki is down to around 1.6 million, just ten big blinds while Roberto Romanello has regained a convincing chip lead. Horecki had limped from the small blind and Romanello had checked. Both players checked the flop before Horecki led 180,000 into the 9Diamond Suit10Diamond SuitKClub Suit4Diamond Suit board and Romanello raised it up to 595,000. Horecki made the call.

The Team PokerStars Pro checked the ASpade Suit river and Romanello slowly stacked out 1.495 million and pushed it across the line. While Horecki didn’t snap call he didn’t take long to push 15 green and black 100,000 chips forward. Romanello showed JDiamond Suit3Diamond Suit for the flush. — RD

7.20pm: Romanello doubles Bono


Earlier on we saw Marco Leonzio snap call for his tournament life with queen-jack and now Emilliano Bono has done the same. He raised to 370,000 from the button before calling all-in when Romanello shoved.

Bono: QDiamond SuitJClub Suit


Romanello: AHeart Suit10Spade Suit

The board ran JSpade Suit5Heart Suit3Diamond SuitKHeart Suit10Diamond Suit to double Bono up to just over six million. Romanello drops back to 7.5million. — MC

7.12pm: Horecki staying focused


Marcin Horecki looks like a man fighting the effects of final table frustration. The Team PokerStars Pro is in a horrible spot at the moment with Roberto Romanello on his left. While Bono seems largely content to pass a lot of hands their equal stack sizes means that the Pole has to be extra careful when raising from the small blind into Romanello’s big blind as the Welshman is more than happy to either apply pressure pre-flop with his monster stack or call in position.

Either way it’s not great for Horecki.

Here’s a quick video update from the man himself… — RD

7pm: Off again


Three-handed play has restarted and we’re now on huge blinds of 80,000-160,000 and a 20,000 ante. — SY

6.42pm: Break


That’s the end of the level. We’re now on a 15-minute break. — SY

6.38pm: The scores on the doors


A quick appraisal of the chip stacks shows that Roberto Romanello is leading with around 10 million chips to Horecki’s 3 million and Emilliano Bono’s 3.6 million. If Romanello should be the next player to win a large all-in he would have an almost unassailable lead in the heads up. Should Horecki double through he stands a great chance to take on Romanello. If it’s Bono who makes it to the heads-up he will have to open up his game, he’s been playing incredibly tight and has been managing to find hands when absolutely necessary. — RD

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Martin Horecki

6.25pm: Great call by Romanello


Roberto Romanello just made a great call against Marcin Horecki to seize firm control over this finale. He raised to 245,000 from the button and Horecki defended from the big blind to see the QClub Suit6Club Suit7Spade Suit flop where the action went check-check. The turn came 5Heart Suit and Horecki took over the initiative with a 265,000 bet was soon facing a raise to 575,000. Call.

The river came an interesting looking 2Club Suit and Horecki led for 680,000. This sent Romanello so deep into the tank he needed a special blind of nitrox to keep breathing. He emerged and made the call. “Nice call,” said Horecki as he slid his cards into the muck. Romanello tabled 9Diamond Suit7Diamond Suit to take the pot and move to over 11 million in chips. Horecki was left with 3.2 million and Bono is still singing with 3.8 million. — MC

6.15pm: Three, two, one…


We’re still waiting for that car crash to take place with the last six pots being settled pre-flop. Roberto Romanello has taken three post, Emilliano Bono two and Marcin Horecki just one. — RD

6.12pm: How do we get home


Team PokerStars Blog is starting to get seriously concerned about how we get home, with snow causing chaos at airports back in the UK. I don’t want to spend Christmas in Prague. — SY

6.10pm: Romanello gets value


Roberto Romanello managed to get some value out of Marcin Horecki on the river with a sneaky little bet. The pot started with a Horecki small blind completion and a Romanello check to a 2Heart Suit5Diamond Suit10Heart Suit flop. Horecki check-called a 180,000 bet here and a 335,000 on the 8Heart Suit turn. The river came 9Spade Suit and Romanello bet a relatively small 205,000 prompting the Pole to say: “Why so much?”

Romanello didn’t respond and Horecki made the call after thinking for another minute. Romanello tabled QSpade Suit9Heart Suit for a rivered pair and it was enough as Horecki folded. — MC

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Roberto Romanello

5.57pm: Nothing to see here


After pointing out that more people were watching the €300 Random Bounty tournament a few feet away, Marcin Horecki made a bet that stuck, the first in a while, getting a call from Emilliano Bono in the big blind. The flop came JClub Suit10Diamond Suit8Club Suit which both players checked for a9Diamond Suit on the turn. Again Bono checked to Horecki who bet 330,000. Bono passed. – SB

5.52pm: Dynamics


It’s an interesting three-way dance here with Marcin Horecki and Roberto Romanello both seeming to be chasing the win more then Emilliano Bono. It makes for some interesting dynamics, particularly between Horecki and Romanello.

Romanello opened for 300,000 from the button and was called in the big blind by Horecki. The Team PokerStars Pro led 305,000 into the 5Spade Suit3Club Suit3Spade Suit flop and Romanello grabbed two large stacks of orange 25,000 chips and raised to 1.275 million. Horecki passed. Romanello is on a little over 7 million now. — RD

4.42pm: Cagey play


The first few hands of three-handed play has been a cagey affair. No flop has been seen and only one raise was put in. The other three hands were all walks for the big blind. It won’t stay that way for long. — MC

5.37pm: Down to three


Scratch another. Peter Skripka is our fourth-place finisher, calling the all-in move of Marcin Horecki. Horecki, in the small blind, showed KSpade Suit10Spade Suit. Skripka in the big blind showed 7Club SuitKHeart Suit.

There was no messing around with the board, a straightforward flop of 10Club Suit10Heart Suit2Spade Suit to give Horecki a set. The turn ADiamond Suit[ and river JHeart Suit made no difference. Skripka out. Horecki up to around 5,500,000. — SB

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Peter Skripka

5.34pm: Man down, man down!


Details to come, but his first name is Peter. His last is Skripka. — SY

5.30pm: Players are back from break


The four remaining players are back in their seats after the short break. Check the chip counts here. With just under 17 million chips in play we have 140 big blinds left on the table. — RD




ept prague_final table_snow.jpg

The PokerStars Blog’s enemy: snow is nobbling our flight home




PokerStars Blog reporting team at EPT Prague (in order of what type of cake they would be): Rick Dacey (Cheesecake), Simon Young (Currant bun), Marc Convey (Fishcake) and Stephen Bartley (Gingerbread). Photos by Neil Stoddart.



This EPT is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at Europe.

 

EPT Prague: Final table, level 30, 31 &32 updates (blinds 100,000-200,000)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg9pm: Roberto Romanello wins EPT Prague and €640,000


Roberto Romanello opened to 575,000 from the button and Emiliano Bono three-bet to 2.475 million. Romanello quickly announced that he was all-in and his Italian counterpart made the call just as quickly.

Romanello turned over 10Spade Suit10Club Suit and Bono showed ADiamond SuitJClub Suit to set up a huge race for the title. Romanello looked understandably apprehensive given how well Bono has flipped in the last couple of days. To be fair to Bono he had been a game opponent and had gambled when he felt he had to. This was to prove the biggest flip of all.

The flop dropped down 10Diamond Suit4Club Suit4Diamond Suit giving Romanello tens full and the Italian Bono very few outs. The 5Heart Suit on the turn sealed it and the Welshman burst into tears overcome with emotion, unable to see the 4Heart Suit dealt to the river. It was a fair result and Bono gave Romanello a hearty handshake with a wide smile, as he should given that he takes home €435,000 himself.

A very worthy winner, Romanello takes the trophy, glory and €640,000 – or will when he can dry his eyes. Amazing scenes.

A full wrap of today’s final will be with you shortly. — RD

8.50pm: Romanello wins


Romanello wins a race to take down EPT Prague – details to come! — SY

8.47pm: Bono bets for the pot


Roberto Romanello raised to 475,000 on the button and Emiliano Bono called to go to the 6Heart Suit5Diamond Suit7Diamond Suit flop where he check-called the Welshman’s 625,000 continuation bet. Both checked the JHeart Suit turn before a 500,000 Bono bet on the 8Heart Suit river was good to get Romanello to fold. — MC

8.38pm: No change in chips as blinds go up


As we go into the 100,000-200,000 level we find ourselves at pretty much the same spot as when the heads up began. Roberto Romanello is on just shy of 11 million and Emiliano Bono is on 6 million. Bono won the last pot before the blinds increased with 6Heart Suit7Club Suit on a 5Heart Suit7Heart Suit8Spade Suit3Club Suit8Club Suit flop. Bono check-called 160,000 on the flop and a further 160,000 on the river. Romanello showed pocket deuces. — RD

8.30pm: Three-betting or no betting


Emiliano Bono treated Roberto Romanello to a bit of the old three-betting before the Welshman did it right back to him the next hand. Neither player had the goods to continue and folded.

The next hand Romanello limped in from the button and Bono checked. Both players checked down the QSpade Suit5Heart Suit10Heart SuitKDiamond Suit2Spade Suit board. Bono showed an ace but Romanello took the pot with 5Club Suit3Diamond Suit. — MC

8.20pm: Another one for Bono


Emiliano Bono just three-bet Roberto Romanello’s 355,000 button raise to 855,000. Romanello dragged his cards towards him and looked at them again before tossing them towards the dealer. He never really looked like playing on.

Apart from that hand it has mainly been raise and takes. — RD

8.15pm: Romanello gets some back


Roberto Romanello has won his first post-flop pot of this heads-up duel. He raised to 370,000 from the button and Emiliano Bono called to go to the 8Diamond Suit6Heart Suit2Club Suit flop. The action was checked to the 9Heart Suit turn where Bono led for 420,000. Call. The river came AHeart Suit and the Italian check-folded to Romanello’s 1.135 million bet. — MC

8.10pm: Bono slowly catching up


Emiliano Bono is slowly catching up with Roberto Romanello. A few blinds have been traded with button raises and both post-flop pots being pushed towards the Italian. A simple 450,000 continuation bet on a 3Club SuitAClub Suit7Spade Suit flop was enough to win one pot while Bono check-raised the turn of a 3Spade Suit2Spade Suit5Club SuitAHeart Suit board from 175,000 to 420,000. Romanello passed. — RD

8pm: Bono wins the first pot


The first hand of heads-up play went to the Italian, Emiliano Bono. He raised to 380,000 from the button and Roberto Romanello called. There was no more betting until the river when the board read 4Diamond Suit3Club Suit3Diamond Suit9Heart SuitKDiamond Suit and Bono bet 450,000 when checked to him. Romanello folded quickly. — MC

7.54pm: Running


Heads-up play has begun

7.45pm: Heads up stacks


We’ve had a small break before the heads up with Roberto Romanello leading with 10.13 million and Emiliano Bono chasing with 6.8 million. — RD

7.40pm: Bono bounces Horecki


Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki has been eliminated in third place by the charmed Emiliano Bono. Bono raised to 385,000 from the button and quickly called once Horecki moved all-in for about 1.5 million chips. Romanello folded from the big blind in between.

Horecki: AHeart SuitKClub Suit


Bono: AClub SuitJDiamond Suit

The board ran 10Club SuitADiamond Suit8Heart Suit2Heart SuitJSpade Suit. There was a stunned silence rather than the usual raucous celebrations from the Italian. He offered his condolences to the understandably gutted Horecki before the reality that he’s heads-up for an EPT title set in. Horecki is €247,000 richer but he’ll just be think of what could’ve been for the moment. — MC

marcin_horecki_ept_prgaue_ft3.JPG

Marcin Horecki looks stunned…

marcin_horecki_ept_prgaue_ft4.JPG

… before Emiliano Bono and Roberto Romanello offer commiserations

7.35pm: Horecki out…


… details coming.

7.32pm: Horecki in real trouble


Marcin Horecki is down to around 1.6 million, just ten big blinds while Roberto Romanello has regained a convincing chip lead. Horecki had limped from the small blind and Romanello had checked. Both players checked the flop before Horecki led 180,000 into the 9Diamond Suit10Diamond SuitKClub Suit4Diamond Suit board and Romanello raised it up to 595,000. Horecki made the call.

The Team PokerStars Pro checked the ASpade Suit river and Romanello slowly stacked out 1.495 million and pushed it across the line. While Horecki didn’t snap call he didn’t take long to push 15 green and black 100,000 chips forward. Romanello showed JDiamond Suit3Diamond Suit for the flush. — RD

7.20pm: Romanello doubles Bono


Earlier on we saw Marco Leonzio snap call for his tournament life with queen-jack and now Emilliano Bono has done the same. He raised to 370,000 from the button before calling all-in when Romanello shoved.

Bono: QDiamond SuitJClub Suit


Romanello: AHeart Suit10Spade Suit

The board ran JSpade Suit5Heart Suit3Diamond SuitKHeart Suit10Diamond Suit to double Bono up to just over six million. Romanello drops back to 7.5million. — MC

7.12pm: Horecki staying focused


Marcin Horecki looks like a man fighting the effects of final table frustration. The Team PokerStars Pro is in a horrible spot at the moment with Roberto Romanello on his left. While Bono seems largely content to pass a lot of hands their equal stack sizes means that the Pole has to be extra careful when raising from the small blind into Romanello’s big blind as the Welshman is more than happy to either apply pressure pre-flop with his monster stack or call in position.

Either way it’s not great for Horecki.

Here’s a quick video update from the man himself… — RD

7pm: Off again


Three-handed play has restarted and we’re now on huge blinds of 80,000-160,000 and a 20,000 ante. — SY

6.42pm: Break


That’s the end of the level. We’re now on a 15-minute break. — SY

6.38pm: The scores on the doors


A quick appraisal of the chip stacks shows that Roberto Romanello is leading with around 10 million chips to Horecki’s 3 million and Emilliano Bono’s 3.6 million. If Romanello should be the next player to win a large all-in he would have an almost unassailable lead in the heads up. Should Horecki double through he stands a great chance to take on Romanello. If it’s Bono who makes it to the heads-up he will have to open up his game, he’s been playing incredibly tight and has been managing to find hands when absolutely necessary. — RD

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Martin Horecki

6.25pm: Great call by Romanello


Roberto Romanello just made a great call against Marcin Horecki to seize firm control over this finale. He raised to 245,000 from the button and Horecki defended from the big blind to see the QClub Suit6Club Suit7Spade Suit flop where the action went check-check. The turn came 5Heart Suit and Horecki took over the initiative with a 265,000 bet was soon facing a raise to 575,000. Call.

The river came an interesting looking 2Club Suit and Horecki led for 680,000. This sent Romanello so deep into the tank he needed a special blind of nitrox to keep breathing. He emerged and made the call. “Nice call,” said Horecki as he slid his cards into the muck. Romanello tabled 9Diamond Suit7Diamond Suit to take the pot and move to over 11 million in chips. Horecki was left with 3.2 million and Bono is still singing with 3.8 million. — MC

6.15pm: Three, two, one…


We’re still waiting for that car crash to take place with the last six pots being settled pre-flop. Roberto Romanello has taken three post, Emilliano Bono two and Marcin Horecki just one. — RD

6.12pm: How do we get home


Team PokerStars Blog is starting to get seriously concerned about how we get home, with snow causing chaos at airports back in the UK. I don’t want to spend Christmas in Prague. — SY

6.10pm: Romanello gets value


Roberto Romanello managed to get some value out of Marcin Horecki on the river with a sneaky little bet. The pot started with a Horecki small blind completion and a Romanello check to a 2Heart Suit5Diamond Suit10Heart Suit flop. Horecki check-called a 180,000 bet here and a 335,000 on the 8Heart Suit turn. The river came 9Spade Suit and Romanello bet a relatively small 205,000 prompting the Pole to say: “Why so much?”

Romanello didn’t respond and Horecki made the call after thinking for another minute. Romanello tabled QSpade Suit9Heart Suit for a rivered pair and it was enough as Horecki folded. — MC

roberto_romanello_ept_pragueft2.JPG

Roberto Romanello

5.57pm: Nothing to see here


After pointing out that more people were watching the €300 Random Bounty tournament a few feet away, Marcin Horecki made a bet that stuck, the first in a while, getting a call from Emilliano Bono in the big blind. The flop came JClub Suit10Diamond Suit8Club Suit which both players checked for a9Diamond Suit on the turn. Again Bono checked to Horecki who bet 330,000. Bono passed. – SB

5.52pm: Dynamics


It’s an interesting three-way dance here with Marcin Horecki and Roberto Romanello both seeming to be chasing the win more then Emilliano Bono. It makes for some interesting dynamics, particularly between Horecki and Romanello.

Romanello opened for 300,000 from the button and was called in the big blind by Horecki. The Team PokerStars Pro led 305,000 into the 5Spade Suit3Club Suit3Spade Suit flop and Romanello grabbed two large stacks of orange 25,000 chips and raised to 1.275 million. Horecki passed. Romanello is on a little over 7 million now. — RD

4.42pm: Cagey play


The first few hands of three-handed play has been a cagey affair. No flop has been seen and only one raise was put in. The other three hands were all walks for the big blind. It won’t stay that way for long. — MC

5.37pm: Down to three


Scratch another. Peter Skripka is our fourth-place finisher, calling the all-in move of Marcin Horecki. Horecki, in the small blind, showed KSpade Suit10Spade Suit. Skripka in the big blind showed 7Club SuitKHeart Suit.

There was no messing around with the board, a straightforward flop of 10Club Suit10Heart Suit2Spade Suit to give Horecki a set. The turn ADiamond Suit[ and river JHeart Suit made no difference. Skripka out. Horecki up to around 5,500,000. — SB

peter_skripka_ept_prague1.JPG

Peter Skripka

5.34pm: Man down, man down!


Details to come, but his first name is Peter. His last is Skripka. — SY

5.30pm: Players are back from break


The four remaining players are back in their seats after the short break. Check the chip counts here. With just under 17 million chips in play we have 140 big blinds left on the table. — RD




ept prague_final table_snow.jpg

The PokerStars Blog’s enemy: snow is nobbling our flight home




PokerStars Blog reporting team at EPT Prague (in order of what type of cake they would be): Rick Dacey (Cheesecake), Simon Young (Currant bun), Marc Convey (Fishcake) and Stephen Bartley (Gingerbread). Photos by Neil Stoddart.



This EPT is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at Europe.

 

EPT Prague: Final table, level 28 updates (blinds 40,000-80,000)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg3.38pm: Level up


That’s the end of the level. There will now be a 15-minute break. — SY

3.35pm: Raise and take


Emilliano Bono has added 320,000 to his stack just by raising and taking the blinds and antes twice. The action folded around to him in the small blind and he raised it up to 180,000 and Marcin Horecki folded from the big blind. The next hand saw Marco Leonzio get a walk before Bono raised to 230,000 from the cut-off in the hand after. Peter Skripka was in the big blind and folded. — MC

3.32pm: Horecki in shove-fold move


After that loss to Peter Skripka’s jacks Marcin Horecki is now the player in shove-fold mode. Skripka opened for 180,000 and Horecki shoved all-in to claw some of his chips back. — RD

3.30pm: Three to the flop


Marco Leonizo opened for 165,000 from the button and was called by Skripka in the small blind and Roberto Romanello in the big blind. Skripka led for 200,000 into the 6Spade Suit9Club Suit3Diamond Suit flop folding both of the other players out. — RD

3.28pm: Lesson learned


Marcin Horecki opened for 165,000 and Peter Skripka moved all-in. “Every time you raise he moved all in,” said Romanello to Horecki with a small amount of frustration. “It happens every time.”

Horecki said nothing. Romanello checked his own cards, asked how much the all-in was for—1,275,000—and passed. Horecki called.

JDiamond SuitJClub Suit for Skripka, AClub Suit10Club Suit for Horecki.

“An ace is coming,” said Skripka. “Today I am unlucky.”

Not too unlucky. The board ran 10Heart Suit6Spade Suit5Spade Suit7Heart SuitQHeart Suit. A vital double up for Skripka to 2,500,000 but Horecki falls to 2,100,000. — SB

3.25pm: Small one for Leonzio


Marco Leonzio took a small pot off Peter Skripka in a battle of the blinds. The action folded around to the Italian in the small blind and he completed before the Russian checked his option. The flop came down 10Club Suit8Heart Suit9Club Suit and both men checked to the 6Diamond Suit turn.

“No, no, no, my friend,” said Skripka trying to stop Leonzio from betting. But it didn’t work as Leonzio led for 125,000. Call. The river came ASpade Suit and both players checked. Leonzio tabled 9Diamond Suit8Club Suit for two-pair and took the pot as Skripka folded. — MC

3.20pm: You got ace-king?


Roberto Romanello opened for 255,000 and Emilliano Bono three-bet from the button to 630,000.

“You want to gamble? You got ace-king?” asked Romanello.


“I got two cards,” replied Bono, who has 2.5 million behind.

Romanello passed as Bono moved up to 3.4 million. — RD

3.15pm: Skripka picks up a vital pot


Peter Skripka is the short stack at the final table but he’s trying really hard not to be. Marcin Horecki opened for 165,000, Skripka moved all-in for 1.23 million and the Russian picked up 300,000 by taking the raise and blinds. — RD

3.10pm: Romanello giving out lessons


Roberto Romanello is handing out lessons in poker to his tablemates. First he did it with his actions and then with his tongue. Peter Skripka raised to 200,000 from the cut-off but folded, flashing ASpade Suit, when Romanello three-bet to 600,000.

The very next hand Marco Leonzio was in the big blind and when it was Romanello’s


turn to act he said to Leonzio: “See. Are you paying attention, my friend? This is how you fold. You never fold when it’s my big blind.”

“What about me?” jumped in Emilliano Bono. “You always raise my big blind.”

“That’s because we’re Napoli-Roma,” responded Romanello.

The hand ended and Romanello continued to talk to Leonzio in Italian and then translated. “I said to him that he has to learn to fold if he wants to become a good player”. — MC

3.05pm: Ahead or behind?


Peter Skripka moved all in (all bar 25,000) from the small blind for a million. Romanello was in the big blind and said: “Let’s see if the first one is good.” It was, he said. A king. He then picked up the cards and held them closer to his face, ready to squeeze.

“If it’s better than king-ten,” he said, “I’ll call.”

Skripka wanted to look, too, and said something that made Romanello think he was already ahead. “This might be winning already,” he said.

After some more chat, and Skripka insistence that Romanello call, the Welshman had a change of heart.

“OK, now I think I’m losing,” he said. Romanello then mucked his KSpade Suit4Spade Suit. Skripka showed 3Spade Suit3Club Suit. — SB

3pm: Slowing


There’s been no major confrontations since the Royal Flush. Here’s a quick snippet of the last few hands.

1. Roberto Romanello opens for 205,000 from the cut-off and takes the blinds.


2. Marco Leonzio three-bets Marcin Horecki off a button raise.


3. Peter Skripka shoves from the small blind and Romanello folds 2Club Suit7Heart Suit face up.


4. Romanello raises to 225,000 from the small blind into Emilliano Bono’s big blind and takes the pot.

Fifth-place finisher before the end of the level? — RD

2.50pm: Royalty makes an appearance


A novelty hand at the final table with a royal flush making an appearance. Peter Skripka opened for 200,000 from the button which Roberto Romanello called from the small blind. Emilliano Bono also called in the big blind for a flop of KDiamond Suit10Diamond SuitADiamond Suit.

All three players checked for a QDiamond Suit on the turn. Romanello checked while Bono bet 225,000. Skripka called while Romanello folded.

The river came 4Diamond Suit. A flush for everyone but when Bono bet 450,000 Skripka tanked. “Do you have a diamond?” he would ask. But Bono sat still, idly passing the time looking innocent. Skripka called. “Yes, royal!” shouted Bono, who showed the JDiamond Suit then turned and beamed at his friends on the rail, celebrating like it was a reflection on all of his effort. For his part Skripka folded 9Diamond Suit.

Bono up to 3,000,000 while Skripka falls to 1,500,000. – SB

2.35pm: Romanello opens two pots, loses both


Roberto Romanello is trying to run the show here but things aren’t quite working out for him at the moment. He’s opened the last two pots and lost both. A button raise to 205,000 was three-bet to 505,000 from Marcin Horecki in the big blind. Romanello passed.

The next hand Romanello opened for 230,000 from the cut-off, was called by Marco Leonzio in the big blind and folded to a 250,000 donk bet on the 10Diamond Suit3Spade Suit10Spade Suit flop. — RD

2.20pm: The final five


The players are returning from the break and all have a decent shot at winning their first EPT title and €640,000.

Seat 1. Marco Leonzio – 3,925,000


Seat 2. Peter Skripka, PokerStars Player – 2,880,000


Seat 3. Roberto Romanello – 5,085,000


Seat 4. Emilliano Bono – 1,595,000


Seat 5. Marcin Horecki, Team PokerStars Pro – 3,445,000

ept prague_day 5_bottles.jpg

What awaits the winner here in snowy Prague




PokerStars Blog reporting team at EPT Prague (in order of baguettes dropped) : Simon ‘Sure hands’ Young (none), Stephen ‘Baguette catcher’ Bartley (none), Marc ‘Cheese dropper’ Convey (one) and Rick ‘Ham blunderer’ Dacey (also one). Photos by Neil Stoddart.



This EPT is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at Europe.

 

EPT Prague: Final table, level 28 & 29 updates (blinds 50,000-100,000, ante 10,000)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg5.13pm: End of the level


That’s the end of level 29. There is now a 15-minute break. — SY

5.12pm: Pro Bono


Emilliano Bono opened for 375,000 and Peter Skripka moved a stack of black chips into the middle, a raise to 2,000,000. I don’t usually use exclamation marks but Bono, throwing protocol to the wind, yelled: “All-in! Yes!” and turned over KClub SuitKHeart Suit.

Out came the black cloth, his little affectation, placed squarely on his head and patted down like a chimp would performing a circus trick. Skripka had called. Marcin Horecki, who had left for the break, came running back to watch.

The flop came 5Heart Suit3Club Suit10Diamond Suit. All the while Bono was calling for a king. “King! King!” A turn 10Heart Suit, a river 6Diamond Suit.

Bono let out a howl, turning to friends on the rail and screaming, veins bulging in his neck, face turning red. I imagine the same thing happens in chess, and in Bridge matches. Bono then shouted something at Skripka who said nothing and continued to count out the 2,545,000 chips this hand had just cost him. He’s down to 2,285,000. Bono though rockets up to 5,180,000. — SB

emilliano_bono_ept_prague_ft.JPG

Emilliano Bono can hardly watch…

emilliano_bono_ept_prague_ft1.JPG

… then celebrates his success

5.10pm: Later, later


“Later,” said Emilliano Bono with anger in his eyes as he passed to a 400,000 Peter Skripka bet on a 6Spade Suit2Spade SuitQSpade Suit8Diamond Suit board. Skripka had opened for 250,000 and was called by Emilliano Bono in the big blind before both players had checked the flop.

“Later you have no more chips,” replied Skripka with a brilliant level of Russian disdain in his voice. — RD

5.09pm: Seven high no good


There was no small blind the hand after the elimination so when Marcin Horecki raised it was into the sole big blind of Peter Skripka. The Russian defended to see the 2Heart Suit8Diamond SuitQHeart Suit flop where he check-called a 235,000 continuation bet. Both players checked down the 3Diamond SuitKHeart Suit turn and river before Horecki announced: “Seven high,” and flashed 7Diamond Suit. Skripka tabled 9Spade Suit9Heart Suit and took the pot. — MC

5.05pm: So long Leonzio


It took four hours and nine minutes but we’ve finally had another elimination. Fifth-place finisher today is Marco Leonzio, the chip leader coming into the day, who was just dispatched by Roberto Romanello.

In truth Leonzio’s day had effectively come to the end of its natural life when he was left with a little more than a big blind after his run-in with Marcin Horecki. Now he moved in with JClub Suit3Spade Suit behind a raise by Peter Skripka, and a re-raise by Roberto Romanello. Romanello took their side pot and turned over QDiamond Suit4Diamond Suit with which to deal the hammer blow to Leonzio.

The board ran 8Club Suit4Spade Suit7Diamond Suit6Spade Suit2Diamond Suit. Leonzio out in fifth place. Romanello up to more than 6,000,000. — SB

5pm: Leonzio granted a stay of execution


Marco Leonzio was down to fumes with just over one big blind to his name and incredulously folded with 50,000 of his 130,000 stack invested in the small blind after Marcin Horecki limped the button. Horecki won that pot with a 100,000 bet into Peter Skripka’s big blind on the ADiamond SuitAHeart Suit10Heart Suit flop.

Leonzio stuck in his last 70,000 from the button and was called by Skripka in the big blind. The dealer pulled the chips in and was about to deal the flop when Roberto Romanello said: ‘I haven’t said check,’ and started chopping out a 275,000 raise. Skrika let his frustration show and open folded KDiamond SuitQSpade Suit.

Romanello: ADiamond Suit9Spade Suit


Leonzio: QSpade Suit3Spade Suit

Leonzio was on the verge of his exit with the board set at 4Heart Suit3Heart Suit6Heart Suit9Diamond Suit but the QHeart Suit on the river tripled the short stack up to 260,000. Expect someone to kill him off with a metaphorical shovel shortly. — RD

marco_leonzio_ept_pragueft.JPG

Marco Leonzio

4.55pm: Horecki doubles to cripple Leonzio


Marco Leonzio is the short stack with 130,000 after doubling up Marcin Horecki. The action folded to the in the small blind and he open shoved for just over 1.85 million. Leonzio looked down at QDiamond SuitJClub Suit and snap called. Horecki’s eyes almost popped out of his head when he saw what the Italian called with. He was ahead with ASpade Suit3Diamond Suit and stayed that way through the 6Diamond Suit9Club Suit2Diamond Suit2Heart Suit8Club Suit board. — MC

4.50pm: From the blinds


A flop of AClub Suit4Heart Suit8Spade Suit and a hand that at first looked likely to fizzle out. Peter Skripka in the small blind checked as did Roberto Romanello in the big blind. On the 8Heart Suit turn Skripka checked to Romanello who bet 100,000. Skripka then raised to 375,000 which Romanello called.

On the 7Diamond Suit river both players checked, Skripka showing 4Club Suit4Diamond Suit to win the pot. Romanello folded an ace. — SB

4.45pm: Romanello gaining momentum


Following an un-called shove from Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki, Roberto Romanello has won three pots in a row. It started with a three-bet to 650,000 which knocked Peter Skripka off his button raise and then it was a matter of two simple raise and takes. The three pots added 850,000 to Romanello’s stack and he must be on around 6 million now. — RD

roberto_romanello_ept_pragueft1.JPG

Roberto Romanello

4.40pm: All-in is the popular move


There’s so much in the middle now that the players are upping their aggression. The action folded around to Marco Leonzio in the small blind and he put in a raise to 350,000 but ran to the Tuscan hills when Peter Skripka moved all-in for just under 2.5 million chips. — MC

4.35pm: Ten minutes


A ten-minute period featuring very little you’d call a highlight. Marcin Horecki moved all-in. Peter Skripka made the necessary requests for a full count and then promptly folded.

Emilliano Bono and Roberto Romanello saw a flop of JSpade Suit3Heart SuitASpade Suit but that was it. Bono bet to win a small pot. — SB

4.25pm: Three-bet from Skripka


Peter Skripka just pushed Emilliano Bono off a 255,000 open with a three-bet to 750,000. The Italian looked like he might move in but after a count of Skripka’s stack he opted to pass. — RD

4.20pm: Italian flavour


Emilliano Bono and Marco Leonzio haven’t played that many hands against each other today so it was nice to see one play out. Bono opened to 325,000 from the cut-off and Leonzio called from the small blind to go to a 7Diamond SuitJHeart Suit9Spade Suit flop. The action went check-check to bring an 8Diamond Suit turn. Bono quickly check-called a 350,000 bet to go to the 5Club Suit turn where he check-folded to a 500,000 bet. — MC

4.15pm: In the Skripka


Peter Skripka opened for 250,000 from under the gun which was called by Marco Leonzio in the big blind. The flop came 3Heart Suit2Diamond SuitKClub Suit which both checked for an AClub Suit turn. Leonzio checked to Skripka who bet 250,000. Leonzio called for a JHeart Suit river which again Leonzio checked. Skripka then bet 725,000 forcing the fold from the Italian. — SB

4.09pm: Please stop saying that


Roberto Romanello is playing some great poker and giving some entertaining chat but is letting himself down by insisting on talking about himself in the third person. Why, oh why, Roberto?

“I said earlier ’don’t bluff the Romanello’ but you do it anyway,” said Romanello after calling Peter Skripka’s 150,00 bet on the river of a KClub Suit2Club SuitQHeart Suit8Heart SuitKHeart Suit board, flashing a 7Heart Suit after Skripka insta-mucked his hand. — RD

4.03pm: Thanks, boss


Play was just stopped on every tournament so that the dealers could give their boss, Thomas Kremser, a Christmas present. I am still waiting for my blogging staff to buy me a present, although Rick Dacey offered me a two-day-old cookie. — SY

4pm: First hand back


The average stack is only 33 big blinds deep now so this level should throw up more action than the last.

The first hand back saw Roberto Romanello raise to 315,000 from first position and Emilliano Bono called from the next seat. Heads-up to the 7Heart Suit9Spade Suit3Diamond Suit flop where Romanello continued with a 430,000 bet. Bono thought for a while and stared at his opponent before mucking. — MC

3.55pm: Off again


Play has restarted. Blinds are now up to 50,000-100,000 with a 10,000 ante. — SY

3.38pm: Level up


That’s the end of the level. There will now be a 15-minute break. — SY

3.35pm: Raise and take


Emilliano Bono has added 320,000 to his stack just by raising and taking the blinds and antes twice. The action folded around to him in the small blind and he raised it up to 180,000 and Marcin Horecki folded from the big blind. The next hand saw Marco Leonzio get a walk before Bono raised to 230,000 from the cut-off in the hand after. Peter Skripka was in the big blind and folded. — MC

3.32pm: Horecki in shove-fold move


After that loss to Peter Skripka’s jacks Marcin Horecki is now the player in shove-fold mode. Skripka opened for 180,000 and Horecki shoved all-in to claw some of his chips back. — RD

marcin_horecki_ept_prgaue_ft1.JPG

Marcin Horecki

3.30pm: Three to the flop


Marco Leonizo opened for 165,000 from the button and was called by Skripka in the small blind and Roberto Romanello in the big blind. Skripka led for 200,000 into the 6Spade Suit9Club Suit3Diamond Suit flop folding both of the other players out. — RD

3.28pm: Lesson learned


Marcin Horecki opened for 165,000 and Peter Skripka moved all-in. “Every time you raise he moved all in,” said Romanello to Horecki with a small amount of frustration. “It happens every time.”

Horecki said nothing. Romanello checked his own cards, asked how much the all-in was for—1,275,000—and passed. Horecki called.

JDiamond SuitJClub Suit for Skripka, AClub Suit10Club Suit for Horecki.

“An ace is coming,” said Skripka. “Today I am unlucky.”

Not too unlucky. The board ran 10Heart Suit6Spade Suit5Spade Suit7Heart SuitQHeart Suit. A vital double up for Skripka to 2,500,000 but Horecki falls to 2,100,000. — SB

3.25pm: Small one for Leonzio


Marco Leonzio took a small pot off Peter Skripka in a battle of the blinds. The action folded around to the Italian in the small blind and he completed before the Russian checked his option. The flop came down 10Club Suit8Heart Suit9Club Suit and both men checked to the 6Diamond Suit turn.

“No, no, no, my friend,” said Skripka trying to stop Leonzio from betting. But it didn’t work as Leonzio led for 125,000. Call. The river came ASpade Suit and both players checked. Leonzio tabled 9Diamond Suit8Club Suit for two-pair and took the pot as Skripka folded. — MC

3.20pm: You got ace-king?


Roberto Romanello opened for 255,000 and Emilliano Bono three-bet from the button to 630,000.

“You want to gamble? You got ace-king?” asked Romanello.


“I got two cards,” replied Bono, who has 2.5 million behind.

Romanello passed as Bono moved up to 3.4 million. — RD

3.15pm: Skripka picks up a vital pot


Peter Skripka is the short stack at the final table but he’s trying really hard not to be. Marcin Horecki opened for 165,000, Skripka moved all-in for 1.23 million and the Russian picked up 300,000 by taking the raise and blinds. — RD

peter_skripka_ept_prague.JPG

Peter Skripka

3.10pm: Romanello giving out lessons


Roberto Romanello is handing out lessons in poker to his tablemates. First he did it with his actions and then with his tongue. Peter Skripka raised to 200,000 from the cut-off but folded, flashing ASpade Suit, when Romanello three-bet to 600,000.

The very next hand Marco Leonzio was in the big blind and when it was Romanello’s


turn to act he said to Leonzio: “See. Are you paying attention, my friend? This is how you fold. You never fold when it’s my big blind.”

“What about me?” jumped in Emilliano Bono. “You always raise my big blind.”

“That’s because we’re Napoli-Roma,” responded Romanello.

The hand ended and Romanello continued to talk to Leonzio in Italian and then translated. “I said to him that he has to learn to fold if he wants to become a good player”. — MC

3.05pm: Ahead or behind?


Peter Skripka moved all in (all bar 25,000) from the small blind for a million. Romanello was in the big blind and said: “Let’s see if the first one is good.” It was, he said. A king. He then picked up the cards and held them closer to his face, ready to squeeze.

“If it’s better than king-ten,” he said, “I’ll call.”

Skripka wanted to look, too, and said something that made Romanello think he was already ahead. “This might be winning already,” he said.

After some more chat, and Skripka insistence that Romanello call, the Welshman had a change of heart.

“OK, now I think I’m losing,” he said. Romanello then mucked his KSpade Suit4Spade Suit. Skripka showed 3Spade Suit3Club Suit. — SB

3pm: Slowing


There’s been no major confrontations since the Royal Flush. Here’s a quick snippet of the last few hands.

1. Roberto Romanello opens for 205,000 from the cut-off and takes the blinds.


2. Marco Leonzio three-bets Marcin Horecki off a button raise.


3. Peter Skripka shoves from the small blind and Romanello folds 2Club Suit7Heart Suit face up.


4. Romanello raises to 225,000 from the small blind into Emilliano Bono’s big blind and takes the pot.

Fifth-place finisher before the end of the level? — RD

2.50pm: Royalty makes an appearance


A novelty hand at the final table with a royal flush making an appearance. Peter Skripka opened for 200,000 from the button which Roberto Romanello called from the small blind. Emilliano Bono also called in the big blind for a flop of KDiamond Suit10Diamond SuitADiamond Suit.

All three players checked for a QDiamond Suit on the turn. Romanello checked while Bono bet 225,000. Skripka called while Romanello folded.

The river came 4Diamond Suit. A flush for everyone but when Bono bet 450,000 Skripka tanked. “Do you have a diamond?” he would ask. But Bono sat still, idly passing the time looking innocent. Skripka called. “Yes, royal!” shouted Bono, who showed the JDiamond Suit then turned and beamed at his friends on the rail, celebrating like it was a reflection on all of his effort. For his part Skripka folded 9Diamond Suit.

Bono up to 3,000,000 while Skripka falls to 1,500,000. – SB

royal_flush_board_ept_prague.JPG

The Royal Flush board

2.35pm: Romanello opens two pots, loses both


Roberto Romanello is trying to run the show here but things aren’t quite working out for him at the moment. He’s opened the last two pots and lost both. A button raise to 205,000 was three-bet to 505,000 from Marcin Horecki in the big blind. Romanello passed.

The next hand Romanello opened for 230,000 from the cut-off, was called by Marco Leonzio in the big blind and folded to a 250,000 donk bet on the 10Diamond Suit3Spade Suit10Spade Suit flop. — RD

2.20pm: The final five


The players are returning from the break and all have a decent shot at winning their first EPT title and €640,000.

Seat 1. Marco Leonzio – 3,925,000


Seat 2. Peter Skripka, PokerStars Player – 2,880,000


Seat 3. Roberto Romanello – 5,085,000


Seat 4. Emilliano Bono – 1,595,000


Seat 5. Marcin Horecki, Team PokerStars Pro – 3,445,000

ept prague_day 5_bottles.jpg

What awaits the winner here in snowy Prague




PokerStars Blog reporting team at EPT Prague (in order of baguettes dropped) : Simon ‘Sure hands’ Young (none), Stephen ‘Baguette catcher’ Bartley (none), Marc ‘Cheese dropper’ Convey (one) and Rick ‘Ham blunderer’ Dacey (also one). Photos by Neil Stoddart.



This EPT is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at Europe.

 

EPT Prague: Final table, level 26 & 27 updates (blinds 30,000-60,000, 5,000 ante)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg2.05pm: And relax…


That’s the end of level 27. Level 28 is up next, but first it’s a 15-minute break. — SY

2pm: Skripka poker


The level looks to be running down without further eliminations. Skripka and Romanello flirted in the blinds, Skripka completing, Romanello raising and Skripka re-raising to take the pot. Five minutes left on the level. – SB

1.55pm: Not a good flop for queens


Peter Skripka opened for 160,000 from the hijack and Roberto Romanello three-bet to 560,000 from the cut-off. Skripka made the call. Both players checked down the AClub SuitKDiamond Suit3Club Suit2Heart Suit6Heart Suit board at an incredibly fast rate with Skripka tabling ASpade SuitJHeart Suit to trump Romanello’s QSpade SuitQDiamond Suit. It was pretty far from being the perfect flop for pocket queens. — RD

1.45pm: Leonzio loosens up


Marco Leonzio started the day as chip leader but he’s hardly put his stack to work at all today. That just changed, though, as he played two hands in a row.

Firstly, he raised to 180,000 from the cut-off and was called by Roberto Romanello. There was no more betting through the QDiamond Suit6Diamond Suit8Spade Suit7Heart Suit10Spade Suit board and Leonzio took the pot after he revealed ace-ten.

That might have upped his confidence as the very next hand he raised to 180,000 from under the gun. Marcin Horecki called from the big blind to see the 6Spade Suit3Heart SuitJSpade Suit flop where he check-called a 220,000 continuation bet from the Italian. Both players checked the 8Diamond Suit turn before Horecki led out for 430,000 on the 4Spade Suit river. Leonzio thought for 30 seconds and slid his cards into the muck. — MC

1.40pm: A flop


A flop of 7Diamond Suit7Spade SuitAClub Suit and Marcin Horecki bet 65,000 from the small blind which Marco Leonzio called in the big blind. They both checked the 10Diamond Suit turn for a 10Club Suit river, at which point Horecki bet 275,000 to win the hand. — SB

1.35pm: More for Wales


Roberto Romanello has extended his lead a little further after taking a pot off Peter Skripka. Romanello raised to 135,000 from under-the-gun and Skripka defended from the big blind to see a 2Heart SuitJHeart Suit5Spade Suit flop. It can’t have suited him, though, as he check-folded to a 175,000 bet from Romanello. — MC

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Roberto Romanello

1.31pm: Double for Bono


Emilliano Bono has just doubled through Marcin Horecki. Bono is the tightest player at the table and has been a short stack for the majority of the last two days. He’s certainly been flipping well and that trend didn’t change when he flopped a set with his pocket fours.

The action passed to Bono in the small blind who shipped it in for 850,000. Horecki looked at his first card and didn’t look too interested but as he peeled the second his jaw dropped open a little; a sigh perhaps? The total shove was for 850,000, around a quarter of Horecki’s stack and the Team PokerStars Pro obviously had a decision in front if him.

Against some players I think Horecki would have snap called with his ASpade Suit6Diamond Suit but Bono had been showing down bigger hands only. “You want me to call?” asked Horecki. Bono shrugged.

“Do you want me to call or not?” he asked again. “So sick.” Horecki made the call.

Horecki: ASpade Suit6Diamond Suit


Bono: 4Diamond Suit4Heart Suit

The door card was the 4Club Suit and Bono leapt to his feet and started shouting in Italian (this has proved to be standard procedure for the player from Rome). The board ran out 4Club SuitQSpade SuitAHeart SuitKClub Suit9Spade Suit as Bono doubled to 1.7 million. Horecki down to 2.5 million. — RD

1.25pm: Rolling Romanello


Roberto Romanello has never sounded so sure of a call. After Peter Skripka opened from the button for 170,000, Romanello raised to 605,000 from the small blind. When Skripka moved all-in Romanello looked up to the floor staff calling the hand and in his clearest voice said: “Call.” Then, fearing this might be misconstrued, he said call again.

Romanello turned over KHeart SuitKDiamond Suit to Skripka’s 3Heart Suit3Club Suit. Breathing heavily, suspended in a black and white world of win or lose, Romanello waited for the board. First a flop of 7Club Suit5Spade Suit8Diamond Suit. Then a 4Heart Suit turn to give Skripka chop options. Then a 10Club Suit river card to double up the Welshman.

Romanello made no victory noise. Skripka tapped the table. Romanello up to around 5,500,000 chips now to Skripka’s 2,600,000, and now takes the chip lead. — SB

1.20pm: Chip leading double up…


… for Roberto Romanello. Details coming soon. — SY

1.18pm: Horecki lets one go


Peter Skripka is back into the chip lead after forcing Marcin Horecki off a hand. The Polish pro raised to 140,000 from the button and Skripka called to go to the 7Heart Suit7Spade SuitAClub Suit flop where the action went check-check. The turn came ASpade Suit and Horecki faced a check-raise up to 275,000 after he bet 105,000. Call. The river came 2Diamond Suit and the Russian led out for 925,000. Horecki thought for a long while but folded. — MC

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Marcin Horecki

1.15pm: Skripka on top


Peter Skripka has inched into the chip lead with more than five million. — SY

1.10pm: “Don’t bluff the Romanello!” – part two


It’s not the first time that we’ve heard Roberto Romanello talk about himself in the third person and, in fact, it’s not the first time we’ve heard him utter these words: “Don’t bluff the Romanello.”

Romanello opened for 155,000 and was called by Marco Leonzio in the big blind. Both players checked the 2Spade SuitADiamond Suit10Club Suit flop before Leonzio led 230,000 into the 6Heart Suit turn. Leonzio made a large 700,000 bet on the 10Heart Suit river, asking a question for over half of Romanello’s stack. The Welshman slowly but surely made the call and Leonzio quickly mucked his hand. Romanello said: “Don’t bluff the Romanello,” and showed the 9Heart Suit.

He is up to 2,800,000 now and has a favourable seat draw with Peter Skripka, arguably the other most aggressive player at the table, directly on his right. — RD

1.05pm: Marco the man


Flashes of action, sparked mainly by Marco Leonzio. After Marcin Horecki bet 120,000 from the cut off Leonzio called on the button for a flop of 7Club Suit2Club Suit5Club Suit. Horecki threw in another 115,000 which Leonzio bumped up to 410,000. Horecki paused for a moment but then passed. Leonzio took the blinds and antes on the next hand with a cut-off raise that went uncontested. — SB

1pm: Has he found what he’s looking for?


Emilliano Bono seemed like he wanted to continue further in a hand versus Roberto Romanello but folded rather than pulling the trigger. Romanello raised to 145,000 from the cut-off and Bono was the only caller from the button to go to the AClub Suit8Heart SuitKClub Suit flop. Romanello continued with a 180,000 bet causing Bono to tank. The man from Rome kept looking back at his cards but ultimately folded to leave himself with just over one million chips. — MC

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Emilliano Bono

12.54pm: Post-flop poker


Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki had raised and taken the blinds on the previous hand when he opened for 115,000 from the hijack. He found call from Marco Leonzio in the cut-off and Peter Skripka on the button. Leonzio was the only player who claimed to like the 9Spade Suit5Spade Suit10Heart Suit flop and bet 350,000. Skripka quickly mucked and Horecki took a little longer to do so, but pass he did. Leonzio scooped 450,000. — RD

12.52pm: Level up


That’s the end of level 26. We move straight into level 27 without a break. Blinds are now 30,000-60,000 with a 5,000 ante. — SY

12.51pm: Another one gone


Jan Bendik has become the sixth-place finisher at EPT Prague after he was eliminated by Peter Skripka. Bendik, with AClub SuitKDiamond Suit, bet 150,000 from early position which Skripka raised to a little more than 2,000,000 from the big blind with 9Club Suit9Heart Suit. The flop was kind to Bendik, landing as it did JClub SuitKHeart Suit10Club Suit. But the 9Diamond Suit turn changed that, and the 4Spade Suit river card confirmed the man from Slovakia’s elimination. Skripka up to nearly 5,000,000. — SB

12.50pm: The storm before the calm


A quiet patch after two early eliminations. Raise and take being the order of the day, the only flop seen in anger came after a bet of 115,000 from Marcin Horecki on the button which was called by Marco Leonzio in the small blind.

The flop came 8Heart SuitQDiamond Suit5Diamond Suit at which Horecki bet 135,000 to win the hand. – SB

12.37pm: Bevand out in seventh for €71,000


Manuel Bevand has just been busted by Roberto Romanello who has now chipped up to around two million. Bevand shoved his remaining 500,000 into the middle from early position and Romanello announced all-in from the small blind. Jan Bendik passed in the big blind.

Romanello: 10Club Suit10Diamond Suit


Bevand: KDiamond Suit2Diamond Suit

“King!” pleaded Bevand, half-jokingly it seemed, as he stood and pumped his arms out wide. The Frenchman knew only too well that he was a dog to Romanello’s pocket pair and the 8Spade Suit7Heart Suit3Club Suit flop did him no favors. The ADiamond Suit turn failed to help either, and as the 7Spade Suit river fell the Frenchman nodded as if to acknowledge his solid run – and that today was not his day. Bevand scores €71,000 for his seventh-place finish. — RD

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Manuel Bevand

12.30pm: Video


12.28pm: Nulli and void


Roberto Nulli is the first player to be eliminated from this final table. He open shoved for 700,000 from under the gun. Bevan tank-folded what he later said to be king-queen, and it turned out to be a good fold as Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki flat called one seat later. Another player to wisely fold was Roberto Romanello in the big blind who open folded pocket nines.

Nulli: AHeart Suit10Club Suit


Horecki: QSpade SuitQHeart Suit

The board ran 10Heart SuitQDiamond Suit3Heart Suit4Diamond SuitJClub Suit hitting top set for the Pole to take us down to seven players. Nulli takes home for €54,550 for his efforts. — MC

12.22pm: Good hand for Bevand


Manuel Bevand just moved all-in on the button, getting called by Marcin Horecki and Marco Leonzio in the blinds.

They checked down the board of 4Heart Suit5Diamond Suit5Heart SuitJClub SuitJHeart Suit and Bevand tripled up, showing JDiamond SuitQHeart Suit to Horecki’s QClub Suit3Club Suit and Leonzio’s AHeart SuitKDiamond Suit. – SB

12.18pm: It’s Thomash Kremsher


Shocking evidence here of hard boozing by Thomas Kremser and his tournament team. It was only noon and already they were chucking it down their throats.

Actually, Kremser had just kindly bought Christmas champagne for his whole team, including dealers, as a thank you for their hard work this week. Team PokerStars Blog is still waiting for its bosses to buy them a Christmas drink. It may be a long wait…

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Thomas Kremser and team

12.16pm: The Bendik double


PokerSars qualifier Jan Bendik was the short stack at the start of play and got it all in on the very first hand. He shoved on the button and was called by Manuel Bevand in the big blind:

Bendik: ASpade Suit6Club Suit


Bevand: KDiamond SuitQHeart Suit

The board ran AClub SuitQClub SuitJSpade Suit9Club SuitJHeart Suit to double up Bendik but leave Bevand on around 130,000. — SY

12.13pm: Off we go


The final table at EPT Prague is under way. Sounds like we have a double up for Jan Bendik on the first hand. Details to come. — SY

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The final table

11.55am: Any minute now


There’s a raised stage at one end of the tournament room and players are taking their seats. We should be under way shortly. — SB

11.50am: Final table day


Welcome to live coverage of the final table of the European Poker Tour in Prague. A total of 563 players has been reduced to just eight who return today to play to a winner who will walk away, or be carried away if he’s Italian, with a first prize of €640,000.

Who are these noble gladiators? We’re glad you asked. Details of all the finalists, their likes and dislikes, or thereabouts, is all detailed below. — SB

Seat 1: Marco Leonzio, 38, Pineto, Italy – 5,075,000 chips


Leonzio, 38, has played poker for many years but only took up Texas Hold’em three years ago. The real estate agent, from Pineto on the Adriatic Sea, is usually a cash game player who uses his winnings to play live events.

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The EPT Prague final table is by far his best result, although he has two previous EPT cashes, finishing 16th in Vilamoura earlier this year and 118th in San Remo last season.




Seat 2: Peter Skripka, 24, St Petersburg, Russia – PokerStars player – 4,010,000


Skripka has been playing poker for six years, mostly as a professional, and usually focuses on multi-table tournaments with buy-ins ranging from $200 to $500.

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The PokerStars player has cashed online for $100,000, form he has brought with him to live poker in Prague. Skripka, a keen FC Zenit fan, said: ‘I will try to play some good poker at the final table, not just fold.’ It’s a mark of modesty from the Russian, who has impressed many people on his way to the final.




Seat 3: Roberto Romanello, 34, Swansea, Wales – 1,220,000


Romanello is a well-known figure on the international poker circuit, and has played numerous EPT events. His best result on the tour to date came in Copenhagen in February, where he finished sixth. He also cashed in Barcelona last month.

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Roberto Romanello


Since turning professional in 2005, Romanello has made nearly $900,000 in live tournament earnings. Romanello took up poker while convalescing from a sports injury and in the first two weeks of playing qualified for a WPT event. He also enjoyed a deep run at his first WSOP in 2006 and final tabled the £5,000 WSOP Europe pot-limit Omaha event last year.

Romanello, who comes from Swansea, in Wales, still helps his family run their chain of up-market fish-and-chip shops.




Seat 4: Roberto Nulli, 35, Italy – 745,000


Nulli began playing online poker in 2005 and plays at PokerStars.it under the name ‘nemo33838’. His best result to date is a 13th place finish at EPT London worth £30,000 and he’s now in the money again.

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This is his second live tournament final table, following his runner up finish in February at a €1,500 no-limit hold’em event in Portomaso, in which he earned €17,900.

The father of two prefers to play live cash games, principally pot-limit Omaha and 2-7 lowball. Nulli also loves to travel and while his prize money from Prague will go towards more poker, some will be used for a non-poker holiday.




Seat 5: Jan Bendik, 46, Poprad, Slovakia – 445,000


Bendik, who owns an electricity company, has been playing poker for six years now as a hobby, which now dominates his free time.

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Poker has been a very fruitful for Bendik and he’s amassed more than $600,000 in tournament winnings up to this event. This is his first EPT main event cash but he has finished in the money in three side events, including victory in the EPT Barcelona €1,000 event three weeks ago, worth €68,860. Jan is being vocally supported by friends on the rail.




Seat 6: Emilliano “MiloRomaAA” Bono, 35, Rome, Italy – 1,530,000 chips


Bono started playing poker live in 2007 and online a few months afterwards. Poker is still just a hobby for Bono, who works as a real estate agent, but he is a regular on PokerStars, mainly playing multi-table tournaments.

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The married father-of-two won his seat in the EPT Prague Main Event in a live satellite and this is by far his best live result to date, although he nearly made the final of the IPT Venice Main Event in January, where he finished ninth for €9,000. Bono loves fitness and travel and is excited to make the Prague final.




Seat 7: Manuel Bevand, 34, Paris, France – 615,000


Manuel Bevand played his first EPT in Warsaw in 2007 and since then has cashed six times, including in 23rd at last season’s Grand Final. Prague has been particularly good for Manuel. He finished 19th in Season 5, 22nd in season 6 and has now reached the final – his best live result to date.

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Originally from Lyon, the 34-year old turned pro in 2006. Bevand has always enjoyed games, programming video games on the family computer at age eight and becoming a noted computer game designer for a big French studio. Bevand also excelled at the card game Magic : The Gathering.

After cutting his teeth playing cash games – live and online – Manuel is now focused almost exclusively on multi-table tournaments. He has written an advice manual for aspiring poker professionals and is the founder of the popular “Club Poker Radio” show.




Seat 8: Marcin Horecki, 33, Warsaw, Poland – Team PokerStars Pro – 3,290,000


Born in Poland, Horecki is a former member of the national alpine skiing team but was forced to quit the sport due to injury. Horecki studied for BA and MA degrees and then worked in corporate finance. He also began playing Magic: The Gathering around this time, a game that would introduce him to the poker tables at PokerStars.

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In 2006, he came close to making the final table of the €1,000 NLHE event at the Barcelona Open and this gave him the confidence he needed to turn pro. He has a total of six EPT cashes to date including his career-best third place finish at EPT London in Season 5 earning £303,439.

Horecki joined Team PokerStars Pro during the WSOP in July 2008. He is currently leading the Polish All Time Money List.



This EPT is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at Europe.

 

EPT Prague: MacPhee crashes as Leonzio leads Italian charge

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It’s becoming clear that Prague is a home away from home for Italian players. It started two seasons ago when Salvatore Bonavena, accompanied by dozens of high-strung countrymen, dominated a televised event. Each of them in some way marked the start of Italy’s poker boom, and each of them also made it into the final winner’s photo. A new poker nation emerged that week, ready to take on the world.

Two years later and we’re seeing the continuation-bet of that Bonavena gambit. Tonight Marco Leonzio leads, with 5,075,000 chips, after four days at EPT Prague, performing in some high drama hands to seize the lead.

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Chip leader Marco Leonzio


The same passion that energised the Italians of Season 5 remains in the spirit in which they play. Often overly sentimental and flirting with poor etiquette, the Italian players make up for any failings with bravura and sheer weight of numbers, and three of them will return tomorrow.

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Italian Roberto Nulli celebrates


As the wise young pros of the internet weaved their way through the day’s carnage, the likes of Leonzio, Emilliano Bono and Roberto Nulli shocked and awed through the day. While swaggering in nature, and never really knowing how the cards would fall, they remained confident that if they fell towards them they would simply prove invincible.

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Emilliano Bono


But if Leonzio’s lead is a trick of the light it will be ruthlessly exposed tomorrow. The final table line-up is perhaps one of the most talent-filled finals in recent time.

Seat 1 – Marco Leonzio, Italy, 5,075,000 chips


Seat 2 – Peter Skripka, Russia, PokerStars player, 4,010,000 chips


Seat 3 – Roberto Romanello, UK, 1,220,000 chips


Seat 4 – Roberto Nulli, Italy, 745,000 chips


Seat 5 – Jan Bendik, Slovakia, PokerStars qualifier, 445,000 chips


Seat 6 – Emilliano Bono, Italy, 1,530,000 chips


Seat 7 – Manuel Bevand, France, 615,000 chips


Seat 8 – Marcin Horecki, Poland, Team PokerStars Pro, 3,290,000 chips

The name not appearing on that list is that of Kevin MacPhee. The American was eight places away from what would have been an historic double win, adding to his victory at EPT Berlin back in March and which would have made him the first player in the world to win two EPT titles. But that bid came to an end prematurely, MacPhee crashing out in ninth place.

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Nearly man: Kevin MacPhee


The chip leader coming into the day, MacPhee had his stack battered and slimmed down as play progressed, Leonzio finally seeing him off. The history books, or more accurately, a chunk of html on the EPT website, will be filed away for at least one more event.

But if there is a particular breed that doesn’t care for such administration it’s the rival player. Romanello, still wearing the spiky grey wig worn since Day 1, will count himself among them, finishing tonight on 1,220,000. A sixth place in Copenhagen in February left him feeling short-changed. The Swansea man must now believe he could be a step towards being a double-winner himself by this time tomorrow.

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Roberto Romanello


Marcin Horecki will feel the same. The Polish Team PokerStars Pro, who closed on 3,290,000 chips tonight, is as close to an EPT title for the first time since he finished third at EPT London in 2008.

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Marcin Horecki


The losses were significant, among those on the rail tonight are Rob Hollink, winner of the EPT Grand Final in season one, who departed in 14th-place, and that same Bonavena of Prague success two years ago, who was also eliminated today in a massive pot of ace-king against ace-king. He departed in 17th.

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Salvatore Bonavena


Bonavena’s fellow Team Pro Richard Toth, would also suffer cruel fortune. Toth lost a vital race to hyperactive Italian Emilliano Bono, whose peculiar affectation was to place a black cloth on his head, akin to a judge passing a sentence of execution, when all-in. As a gimmick it proved brutally effective. Toth crashed out in 15th place.

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Richard Toth


It was a day of drama, amateur and gut-wrenching, all of which is detailed in full at the links below. You can also find names of all those who were eliminated today on the prizes and pay-outs page.

Day 4 seat draw


Level 21, 22 and 23 updates


Level 24, 25 & 26

Play continues tomorrow when the field that was once 563 players strong will reveal its champion. For now, let us guide you to events in German, Dutch and Italian on the foreign blogs. Who knows, they may even have different winners. At the very least they are unlikely to have made over-optimistic predictions about the England cricket team. Thanks also to photographer Neil Stoddart.

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Players in action on Day 4


We’re now going to take advantage of the early finish. We’ll be back at 12 noon local time tomorrow in white tie. Until then it’s good night from Prague.



This EPT is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at Europe.

 

EPT Prague: Day 4, level 24, 25 & 26 updates (25,000-50,000, 5,000 ante)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg8.20pm: MacPhee out, final table set


After the hand below left him with around 60,000, Kevin MacPhee managed to triple up with ASpade Suit3Diamond Suit. But next hand he shoved again for 245,000 with 9Spade SuitQHeart Suit and was called instantly by Marco Leonzio with JSpade SuitJClub Suit. The board ran 7Heart Suit7Spade Suit5Diamond Suit7Club SuitKHeart Suit, giving Leonzio the full house and MacPhee the boot.

Marco Leonzio is our chip leader going in to tomorrow’s final table, which will begin at noon. A wrap of today’s action will be with you shortly.

Here’s how they shape up:


Marco Leonzio, 5,075,000


Peter Skripka, 4,010000


Marcin Horecki, Team PokerStars Pro, 3,290,000


Emilliano Bono, 1,530,000


Roberto Romanello, 1,220,000


Roberto Nulli, 745,000


Manuel Bevand, 615,000


Jan Bendik, 445,000

— SY

8.18pm: For those who choose not to read…


Can’t be bothered reading the written wrap of the day’s events? Try this for size. — SB

8.15pm: MacPhee crippled


Kevin MacPhee is down to his last 15,000, not even enough for a small blind, after losing a race with Roberto Nulli. MacPhee open-shoved with 3Spade Suit3Club Suit for 370,000 and was called by Nulli with ADiamond Suit8Club Suit. Nulli had 355,000 and was at risk, but the flop was an emphatic 7Diamond Suit7Club SuitAHeart Suit, followed by a [10s] turn and KDiamond Suit river.

That sent Nulli up to 715,000 and left MacPhee hanging on by a thread. — SY

8.07pm: That’s how it’s done


The action folded around to Roberto Romanello on the button and he decided to put maximum pressure on the two short stacks in the blinds (Roberto Nulli and Jan Bendik) by moving all-in. It did the trick as they both folded. “That’s how it’s done Kevin” Romanello said to Kevin MacPhee.

“That’s it? That’s how it’s done right there” replied MacPhee. — MC

8pm: Leonzio applying pressure


Roberto Nulli opened for 120,000 and was shoved on by Marco Leonzio in the big blind. Nulli tossed his cards away with contempt and was left with 450,000 after his steal attempt.

Leonzio then raised to 225,000 from the small blind into Peter Skripka’s big blind. The Russian passed and Leonzio showed ADiamond SuitKHeart Suit. — RD

7.45pm: Play resumes


Play is back underway. It could take five minutes or five hours to lose one more. Nobody wants to be the final table bubble boy. — MC

7.30pm: Something in the water


Some of the players are acting a little strange, led mostly by Roberto Romanello. He said it’s boring when nobody talks and we agree. He table antics may be annoying to some but he’s getting everybody laughing and chatting so in our mind it’s a good thing.

The end of level 25 is upon us so the final nine players are off for a 15 minute break. — MC

7.25pm: ‘Spaghetti!’


Upon finding out there were four Italians at the table Marcin Horecki used the full force of his Italian linguistic skills: ‘Spaghetti!’ he cried. The debate was over how many there were, three or four.

Marco Leonzio, Emilliano Bono and Roberto Nulli were all obvious card carrying Italians but Roberto Romanello was the player being considered. ’I’m full blood Italian but I was born in Wales,’ explained Romanello.

Either way it’s the Italians that are winning a lot of the small pots here with Romanello, Nulli and Leonzio (twice) raising and taking pre-flop pots. — RD




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Marcin ‘Spag bog’ Horecki is on the verge of making the final table




7.10pm: Donk lead fails


Peter Skripka just took a chunk of Italian chips. He raised to 100,000 from the button and Roberto Nulli defended from the big blind. The flop came down ADiamond Suit6Diamond Suit9Spade Suit and Nuli led for 110,000. Call. The turn came 6Club Suit and Skripka bet 180,000 when Nuli checked to him. It did the trick as Nuli folded. — MC

6.57pm: Play resumes


Not much action so far at the baize but there’s been plenty just off it with Kevin MacPhee’s beer taking a tumble and Roberto Romanello’s hat being put on Charlie the dealer – with permission from Thomas Kremser first, of course! — RD

6.50pm: Seat draw for final nine


A re-draw has taken place for our final players that will stay the same (minus one player) for tomorrow’s final. Here’s how they line up:

Seat 1. Marco Leonzio – 3,832,000


Seat 2. Peter Skripka – 3,163,000


Seat 3. Roberto Romanello – 1,104,000


Seat 4. Roberto Nulli – 1,087,000


Seat 5. Jan Bendik – 953,000


Seat 6. Emilliano Bono – 1,532,000


Seat 7. Manuel Bevand – 842,000


Seat 8. Kevin MacPhee – 631,000


Seat 9. Marcin Horecki – 3,679,000

6.40pm: Losev loser


Marcin Horecki, the Team PokerStars Pro from Poland, continued his remarkable heater and is now up to around 3.5million. His victim this time was Nikolay Losev, a PokerStars qualifier from Russia, who leaves in tenth for €40,000.

Losev had raised to 95,000 and it was folded around to Horecki in the big blind. He asked how much Losev was playing—about 1.2million—and announced he was all-in. Losev called instantly:

Losev: ASpade SuitKClub Suit


Horecki: JDiamond SuitJHeart Suit

Horecki then dodged all the bullets as the board ran 5Spade Suit8Diamond SuitQClub SuitQDiamond Suit9Diamond Suit.

The two tables have now merged to one final, but not final, table. — SY

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Marcin Horecki

6.32pm: Horecki flips for two million


Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki is up to over two million chips after winning a flip against Kevin MacPhee. MacPhee raised from the button and snap called when Horecki moved all-in from the big blind.

MacPhee: 10Heart Suit10Club Suit


Horecki: KClub SuitQHeart Suit

MacPhee said that he felt a 10Diamond Suit but he was left disappointed as the board ran QDiamond Suit7Heart Suit4Diamond SuitKHeart Suit8Diamond Suit to make two-pair for the Pole. MacPhee left with around 680,000 after the hand. — MC

6.20pm: Ion up the creek without a Pavel


Perfectly slow-played aces by Roberto Nulli has brought Ion Pavel’s tournament to an abrupt end. Nulli limped from the small blind and Pavel checked his option. Both checked the 3Club SuitJDiamond SuitQSpade Suit flop, and on the 3Spade Suit turn Nulli bet 100,000. Call. On the 8Heart Suit river, Nulli bet another 100,000, Pavel moved all-in, call!

Pavel QClub Suit8Spade Suit


Nulli: AClub SuitAHeart Suit

With that, Nulli doubled up to a million and Pavel was left with just 27,000. In the small blind he shoved (not much choice) and doubled up with AClub Suit8Heart Suit against 8Spade Suit5Diamond Suit. Next hand he was all-in again for 62,000, but his QHeart Suit7Club Suit failed to catch up with Peter Skripka’s KDiamond SuitJSpade Suit. We’re down to 10. — SY

6.15pm: Stop and go


Roberto Nulli just pulled off the old stop and go manoeuvre on the other short stack at the table – Ion Pavel. Pavel raised to 81,000 from under-the-gun and Nulli called from the big blind. The flop came 8Heart Suit4Heart Suit7Diamond Suit and Nuli moved all-in for about 700,000. Pavel had 750,000 left and folded. — MC

6.10pm: Marcin on


Marcin Horecki is up to 1 million chips after four-bet shoving into Jan Bendik. The Team PokerStars Pro had opened for 92,000 and Bendik had three-bet to 205,000. Horecki shove was for just over 800,000, which was too much for the Slovakian to handle. He passed as Horecki continued his comeback. — RD

5.54pm: End of level


We’ll be back in 15 minutes and continue our play down to the final table.

5.53pm: Nulli tripped up


Roberto Nulli kicked this one off with a raise to 75,000 and got a call from Peter Skripka. The flop was JHeart SuitJClub Suit6Club Suit and Skripka check-called Nulli’s 50,000 bet. On the 9Spade Suit turn Skripka again checked, but this time check-raised to 250,000 after Nulli made it 100,000. Finally, on the [10s] river Skripka made it 200,000 and Nulli called. The Italian looked rather miffed, throwing his cards into the muck when shown QDiamond SuitJSpade Suit for Skripka’s trips. — SY

5.51pm: Squeeze from MacPhee


Kevin MacPhee just added to his stack with a squeeze to 202,000 from the big blind. Marcin Horecki had opened from the hijack for 68,000 and been called by Nikolay Losev in the small blind. Easy way to pick up 150,000. — RD

5.45pm: Weisner a little wiser


Melanie Weisner should prepare herself to dream of expressions such as “English only!”, “About 700,” and “Grande, Grande!” tonight. She may also wake up screaming. She just suffered a two pronged attack, a Russian-Italian Axis which culminated in her elimination and her chips forming part of the new chips leader’s stack, that of Marco Leonzio.

Leonzio stis with 3,800,000 chips now, the victor of the three-way all in started with a bet of 64,000 from under the gun before Weisner moved all-in. The action reached Peter Skripka in the small blind who also announced all-in. Marco Leonzio looked at his cards, looked up at the sky to say some word in Italian (English only please) before announcing call.

At this point Weisner turned over KClub SuitQClub Suit but Ion Pavel was still to act, although he was standing up and was holding his cards infront of him, showing them to everyone behind him before he folded.

His drama complete Leonzio turned over KDiamond SuitKHeart Suit and Skripka ASpade SuitQSpade Suit. “Oh my god,” said Weisner, knowing the situation to be desperate.

The board ran 2Club SuitQDiamond Suit8Diamond Suit6Heart SuitJHeart Suit. Leonzio yelled “Grande, Grande!” Weisner simply packed up her things ready to leave amid a barrage of Italian. Waiting for a lull in the hullaballo she wished them good luck and departed in 12th-place.

Leonzio up to 3,800,000 while Skripka is down to 2,000,000. – SB

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Melanie Weisner

5.40pm: Romanello bemoans his luck


Roberto Romanello was still fresh from the MacPhee hand when he doubled up Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki. Romanello opened to 75,000 and quickly called when Horecki shoved for 488,000 from the small blind.

Romanello: 10Diamond Suit10Heart Suit


Horecki: ADiamond SuitAHeart Suit

The board ran AClub Suit2Diamond Suit8Diamond SuitQClub Suit3Heart Suit to breathe new life into the Pole. Romanello said he could’ve had 2.5 million chips but now he’s short with around 550,000. — MC

5.35pm: Romanello wins 2.4 million pot!


Or rather he should have. In a battle of the blinds Roberto Romanello and Kevin MacPhee got in all-in with AHeart SuitQHeart Suit and ADiamond Suit10Diamond Suit respectively. The flop was clear of a ten or queen on the 5Spade Suit9Heart Suit5Club Suit flop but a second nine on the turn left both players with three outs not to chop it. A harmless jack fell on the river.

Romanello looked sick to his stomach and MacPhee, well, more than a little relieved. — RD

5.30pm: Getting bullied


Manuel Bevand’s tablemates are still showing no respect to his raises. He just raised to 70,000 from the button but folded when Kevin MacPhee three-bet to 188,000 from the big blind. — MC

5.25pm: Playing on


A quiet spell on the Italy v Melanie Weisner table. Raise, re-raise and take has been part of the menu, as has the all-in move, practiced by Roberto Nulli. No advances though and we play on with 12 players. – SB

5.15pm: Leonzio ships it


Peter Skripka opened for 70,000 on the button and was called by Marco Leonzio in the small blind and Roberto Nulli in the big blind. The AClub Suit3Diamond SuitQClub Suit flop was checked to Skripka who bet 130,000 and then passed to Leonizo’s 900,000 all-in. — RD

5.10pm: Don’t try and bluff Romanello


“You shouldn’t try and bluff Romanello”, said Romanello to Manuel Bevand after the Frenchman folded. Bevand started the pot with a raise to 70,000 from the cut-off only for the Brit to three-bet to 174,000. Bevand re-applied the pressure with a four-bet to 375,000 but quickly folded when Romanello shoved for around 900,000. — MC

5pm: Around 700


Three players saw a flop of 5Spade Suit3Heart Suit9Club Suit after Melanie Weisner bet 66,000 pre-flop from under-the-gun. First to act was Ion Pavel, who checked, then Weisner, head down, her Burburry iPhone resting on the edge of the table, raised to 150,000, leaving herself 300,000 behind. Emilliano Bono passed sending the action back to Pavel.

Suddenly Roberto Nulli and Marco Leonzio begin talking in Italian and Pavel laughs. The dealer snaps at them, reminding them that there’s a hand in progress and that only English is permitted. Nulli looks astonished, shocked, shocked, to be accused of such a thing. He passed.

On the next hand Weisner was in action again this time after Nulli had raised to 66,000 from the button. Weisner was in the small blind and announced that she was all-in.

Nulli paused, then asked how much. Weisner did a rough count and said 680,000.

“Right around seven,” repeated the dealer, about the same amount as Nulli had behind.


Another silence followed, broken by Nulli wanting a full count. He then got up, was reminded to sit down again as Weisner’s stack was counted out. 724,000 total.

“Right around seven,” repeated the dealer.

Nulli leant back, took a sip of water and folded his arms. Finally he folded, Weisner turning over 4Heart Suit4Spade Suit.

“Ace-nine?” asked Nulli. Weisner laughed and said she had deuces. She plays on. – SB

4.52pm: Action slowing


Things have slowed down on the Bevand/Losev/MacPhee/Romanello/Horecki/Bendik table with a series of raise and takes.

1) Romanello opens button for 75,000 and wins.


2) Romanello opens hijack for 73,000 and wins.


3) Horecki shoves the button and wins.


4) Bendik opens cut-off for 75,000 and wins.

These are stressful times and no-one want to make a major mistake so close to the final table and €640,000 first place prize. — RD

4.40pm: Bono a menace for Denis


Emilliano Bono, the hanky on his head wearing Italian, has eliminated PokerStars qualifier Denis Kipnis. Kipnis raised to 60,000 and then four-bet shoved for around 700,000 when Bono three-bet to 206,000. Bono snap called with AClub SuitADiamond Suit, way ahead of the Russian’s KDiamond SuitQSpade Suit. The board ran AHeart Suit5Heart Suit7Diamond SuitQDiamond Suit6Heart Suit sending the Italian into his usual frenzied celebrations. — MC

4.35pm: Moving pictures…


Amazing thing, technology.


4.30pm: Play is…


… about to start in level 24.

4.25pm: Numbers


Still in are a potential double winner in Kevin MacPhee and a Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki. Just 13 players remain.

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Chips in action on Day 4


PokerStars Blog reporting team in Prague (as played by): Simon Young (Timothy Spall), Rick Dacey (Matthew Modine), Marc Convey (Terry Tibbs) and Stephen Bartley (Sir John Mills).



This EPT is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at Europe.

 

EPT Prague: Level 21, 22 & 23 updates (blinds 12,000-24,000, 2,000 ante)

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4.20pm: End of level


It’s a 15-minute break as we play down to the final table.

4.20pm: Bevand busts Hollink


Kevin Macphee is the sole standing former winner after Manuel Bevand eliminated Rob Hollink. Bevand had queens to Hollink’s jacks and the board ran nine high. — MC

4.19pm: Hollink also out


Rob Hollink also busted on the last hand of the level. Details to come.

4.18pm: Tothed out of the tournament


After losing that huge flip with nines to ace-king Richard Toth was forced to shove his button for around 250,000 with 10Heart Suit8Spade Suit. Skripka called with ADiamond Suit7Heart Suit in the big blind. Toth hit the QSpade Suit4Heart Suit8Heart Suit flop and a 6Heart Suit on the turn helped to cut out one of Skripka’s ace outs (although he picked up a gutshot as well) but the AClub Suit on the river sent the Hungarian Team PokerStars Pro to the rail, so close to the final table. — RD

4.13pm: Sanchez falls in 16th


Peter Skripka has added another 205,000 chips to his stack by eliminating Sergio Rodriguez Sanchez in 16th place. The Spaniard open shoved for 153,000 with 4Diamond Suit2Diamond Suit and Skripka made the call with JDiamond SuitJHeart Suit. The board ran JClub Suit8Spade SuitADiamond Suit4Heart Suit5Heart Suit to send the Spaniard packing and increasing Skripka’a stack. — MC

4.05pm: Toth nearly Toast


Emilliano just scored a dramatic double up to move past the million mark, to the great cost of Team PokerStars Pro Richard Toth.

Bono moved all-in for 600,000 which Toth went on to call. He showed 9Heart Suit9Spade Suit and after a short pause for effect Bono turned over ASpade SuitKDiamond Suit before placing a black tissue on his head.

If this was meant to spell doom for Toth it worked. Both players leaned over the table as the flop was dealt 7Spade SuitQSpade Suit10Spade Suit. Bono began calling for a spade while Toth called for his nines to hold.

8Heart Suit turn. 6Spade Suit on the river.

Bono erupted. He dashed around the tournament area punching the air as back a the table Toth prepared to pay him off. A big blow for the Hungarian, now down to 250,000. Bono meanwhile moves up to 1.1 million. – SB

3.56pm: Salvatore Bonvena out, down to two tables


Team PokerStars Pro Salvatore Bonvena has just been knocked out in the most horrible of ways. Marco Leonzio opened the pot for 60,000 from the hijack and Peter Skripka raised to 140,000 from the cut-off. Salvatore Bonavena counted out the 140,000 before thinking the better of it and moving all-in for 1.15 million. Leonzio passed and Skripka made the call.

Skripka: ASpade SuitKSpade Suit


Bonavena: AClub SuitKHeart Suit

‘Spades,’ said Skripa quietly. He was given one on the 2Diamond Suit8Club Suit6Spade Suit flop and requested another, a little louder this time: ‘One more spade.’ His wish was granted with the 8Spade Suit. ‘One more spade,’ asked Skripka for a third and final time. The 9Spade Suit hit the river shattering Bonavena’s dreams of winning for a second time here in Prague. Skripka’s hopes, on the other hand, have bloomed as he’s taken a huge chip lead into the final two tables with a mammoth 3 million stack. Table redraw. — RD

3.50pm: Nuli and nearly void


Roberto Nulli just got very lucky against Team PokerStars Pro Richard Toth to double-up. Toth raised from the hijack and the Italian defended from the big blind to see the 5Spade Suit5Heart Suit2Spade Suit flop. Nulli check-called a 75,000 bet, leaving himself with just 154,000 back. The turn came 9Heart Suit and Nuli checked again and Toth bet enough to put him all-in. Nuli stood to his feet and made a reluctant sounding call with 6Heart Suit3Heart Suit for a gutshot and flush draw. Toth was ahead with 9Diamond Suit8Club Suit but Nuli spiked a 2Heart Suit on the river to complete his flush. — MC

3.42pm: Footnotes


The short stacks seem intent on battling it out on table two. There have been several non-contested all-ins, usually involving some elaborate thought process followed by a fold and then a redemptive showing of the victors hand, reaffirming their immortality. Then will follow a short discussion in their native tongue. It’s poker with footnotes to explain everything at the bottom.

So it was no surprise that Jean Sami Souleiman’s departure was played out with this standard melo-drama. He shoved and was called by Ion Pavel. Neither of them wanted to turn their cards over but finally Souleiman relented and showed ASpade Suit10Spade Suit. Pavel showed AClub SuitQSpade Suit.

The board ran KDiamond Suit6Club SuitKHeart Suit8Diamond Suit2Spade Suit. Souleiman didn’t move. His four days of poker were at an end but he didn’t want to leave just yet. But he had to. Handshakes all round. Down to 17. – SB

3.37pm: Skripka stretches chip lead


Peter Skripka has just taken 350,000 from Marco Leonzio to push his stack beyond 2 million. Skripka had called Leonzio’s cut-off raise from the button and had bet 105,000 into the ADiamond SuitQHeart Suit3Diamond Suit flop. The Italian check-raised to 300 and Skripka three-bet to 550,000. Leonzio wasted little time in passing. — RD

3.34pm: Toth calmly chipping up


Team PokerStars Pro Richard Toth must be happy with his seat at the moment. He is at arguably the weakest table of the three left (Jean Souleiman, Roberto Nulli, Ion Pavel and Emilliano Bono) and has slowly and steadily built his stack from 680,000 up to 1.4 million. The other tables look far harder propositions right now. — RD

3.26pm: The Bonavena boom


Salvatore Bonavena opened for 64,000 from under-the-gun and two seats along Denis Kipnis called. The action as then folded to Peter Skripka in the big blind who also called for a 6Spade Suit4Heart Suit[qg] flop.

Skripka checked before Bonavena bet another 96,000. Kipnis called as Skripka folded. The turn came 7Club Suit which both players checked for a 3Diamond Suit river card.

Again Bonavena came out betting, 100,000 this time which after a short pause Kipnis called. Bonavena immediately flipped over 6Heart Suit6Club Suit to take the pot and move up to 1,150,000. – SB

3.20pm: Nulli makes big call, loses


Roberto Nulli shook his head with exasperation when Jean Souleiman’s 72,000 shove with KSpade Suit10Spade Suit out flopped his ASpade Suit5Diamond Suit for top pair. It was an intriguing call from Nulli who matched the 72,000 leaving himself with 250,000 and three players to act behind him. — RD

3.10pm: Vidal washed away


PokerStars qualifier Haykel Cherif Vidal is our 19th place finisher. The action folded around to him in the small blind and he shoved for around 125,000 with ace-eight and was called by Marco Leonzio in the big blind with ace-four. He didn’t manage to stay ahead through the KDiamond Suit4Spade SuitKClub Suit3Heart SuitQSpade Suit board. He gets €15,000 for his efforts this week. — MC

2.55pm: End of level


That’s a 15-minute break and we believe that Peter Skripka may be the chip leader now with 1,681,000 above Kevin MacPhee’s 1,648,000. — RD

2.45pm: Ferrari to the pits


Andrea Ferrari is out. He opened for 50,000 which Richard Toth raised to something in the region of 200,000. Ferrari turned to Toth, shook his hand, and pushed all-in. Toth made the call showing AHeart SuitADiamond Suit to Ferrari’s QClub SuitQSpade Suit.

With lots of noise the board ran 6Spade Suit6Heart Suit7Club Suit5Club Suit7Spade Suit sending Ferrari to the rail. Down to 19 players. — SB

2.42pm: Nulli dragging his feet


Roberto Nulli started the hand with 200,000 and rather than just ship it in he opened to 45,000 from the small blind and was called by Ion Pavel in the big. Nulli bet 40,000 into the 4Club SuitQHeart Suit2Spade Suit flop and then folded to a shove. He has left himself with 100,000 – five big blinds. — RD

2.40pm: Horecki in the mix


Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki is in the mix but he’s not getting it all his own way. He played three hands in a row but only won the first one after he three-bet all-in over the top of Kevin MacPhee’s opening raise.

The next hand he opened to 41,000 but folded to a 107,000 Melanie Weisner three-bet. The very next hand he raised to 41,000 again and MacPhee defended from the big blind to go to a 5Spade SuitAClub Suit10Heart Suit flop. MacPhee check-called a 42,000 c-bet but that was the last chips that went in as the two checked the 9Heart Suit3Heart Suit turn and river. MacPhee turned up 10Diamond Suit7Diamond Suit and took the pot as the Pole folded. — MC

2.30pm: Helloooooooo New Caledonia!


The PokerStars Blog has many readers from across the world, including one lone soul in New Caledonia, an island in the middle of the Coral Sea, who we can only assume finds it murder to arrange a home game. Hello down there, and thanks for reading. — SB

2.25pm: No more Pragers


The last of the Prager’s is gone. After he departure of Helen Prager on the last hand of Day 3 her husband Josh now joins her on the rail.

Denis Kipnis opened for 40,000 in the hijack which Prager (spell check name Prayer) raised to 110,000 from the cut off. With the action back on Kipnis he raised to 196,000 and Prager called for a flop of 2Diamond Suit9Club SuitADiamond Suit.

Kipnis immediately bet 77,000 and Prager moved all-in with pocket nines. Kipnis wasted no time in calling and turned over what to Prager would be dreaded aces. The turn JSpade Suit and river AClub Suit were effectively irrelevant. Prager out in 21st-place. – SB

2.20pm: Bevand v Hollink


Rob Hollink opened the pot with a raise to 55,000 from the hijack and Manuel Bevand called in the big blind. Hollink c-bet 85,000 on the AClub Suit10Spade Suit9Spade Suit flop before both players checked the 10Heart Suit turn before Hollink bet 115,000 after riffling his chips in a way I’ve never seen before (chopping the stacks and then ever so quickly sorting the remaining chips one by one on top of the split stack).

Bevand then check-raised to 300,000 and Hollink passed. The Dutchman is down 400,000. Bevand is up to 1.1 million. — RD

2.15pm: Two little ducks


Andrea Ferrari is trying to double-up but no one wants to play with him. He just shoved from under-the-gun and everyone folded and he showed the 2Heart Suit. The next hand the action folded around to Ion Pavel in the small blind who completed only to see Ferrari move all-in for 166,000. Pavel folded. — MC





2.05pm: Ferrari gaining speed


Despite an earlier set back Andrea Ferrari is still here. After being reduced to 40,000 he pulled back to more than 100,000, but remains there are moving all-in. Emilliano Bono thought about it, discussed it, then passed. Ferrari still alive. – SB

2.02pm: Hollink hates poker


No one really likes folding and Rob Hollink is no exception. He’s shaking his head after folding two hands in-a-row. The first hand he raised under-the-gun but folded when Kevin MacPhee three-bet him from the next seat.

The next hand he called a Melanie Weisner button raise whilst sat in the big blind. The flop came down 2Diamond Suit10Club SuitQClub Suit and the Dutchman check-folded to a continuation bet. — MC

2pm: Toth stepping up


Team PokerStars Pro Richard Toth has moved up the gears and become by far the most active player on his table since the break, picking up small pots to build up his stack. Ion Pavel raised to 46,000 only for Toth to re-raise to 110,000. Call. On the AClub Suit9Heart SuitJClub Suit flop, Pavel checked and Toth bet 135,000, sending Pavel deep into the tank. So deep that he did not come out for at least five minutes. And that was to fold. — SY

1.58pm: Skripa skipping along nicely


Nikolay Losev has just managed to lose a chunk of the chips that he took from Marcin Horecki to Peter Skripka. Losev opened for 45,000 on the cut-off and was three-bet to 130,000 from Skripka on the big blind. Losev took an eternity (okay, a couple of minutes) to call.

Skripa led 130,000 into the 10Club Suit7Club Suit2Club Suit flop and Losev made the call. At this point Kevin MacPhee changed what he was listening to on his iPad and started bobbing his head as he silently sang along to whatever it was he was listening.

The 7Diamond Suit turn was good enough for Skripa to bet 250,000 and it was too much for Losev who mucked his hand. — RD

Kevin, if the poker career takes a turn for the worse do not try and become a pop/hip-hop/rock star. Really.

1.48pm: Two bullets needed


Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki could stand the heat he was receiving from Rob Holllink until the turn but gave up at that point. Hollink raised to 45,000 from the cut-off and Horecki called from the big blind to see the 3Spade SuitJDiamond Suit6Diamond Suit flop. The Pole check-called a 55,000 bet but check-folded to a 120,000 bet on the QSpade Suit turn. — MC

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Marcin Horecki


1.35pm: Blind battle


The action folded Roberto Nulli in the small blind and he completed before Ion Pavel checked his option. The flop came 6Diamond Suit9Club Suit5Diamond Suit and Nulli check-called a 35,000 bet before both players checked down the QHeart SuitQSpade Suit turn and river. Pavel tabled 9Heart Suit2Heart Suit for the pot as Nulli had a smaller two-pair with 8Club Suit6Spade Suit. — MC

1.15pm: Break


That’s the end of the level. There will now be a 15-minute break while Team PokerStars Blog scoffs some delicious biscuits brought to us by an angel disguised as EPT boss Kirsty Thompson. — SY

1.12pm: Bono crashes Ferrari


Andrea Ferrari is down to just 40,000 after moving all-in with pocket sevens. He turned them over, then watched Emilliano Bono call and perform an elaborate overarm show, cartwheeling his arm to slam down pocket queens. In terms of etiquette it was like bringing a sub-machine gun to a knife fight. The queens held, the board running 8Heart SuitKDiamond Suit5Club SuitQDiamond Suit. At this point Bono cried “Go papa, go!” A 7Heart Suit on the river was useless to Ferrari now close to the felt. — SB

1.10pm: The Sal Bon fashion report


Today’s Sal Bon fashion report is brought to you by PokerStars Blog fashion editor Simone Young:

Salvatore Bonavena today showcases his grey, short-brimmed trilby hat, a blue and checked casual shirt and complementary pastel blue scarf. He has blue tracksuit bottoms in the Chelsea Football Club style. — SY

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Salvatore Bonavena, multi-tasking


1.08pm: Kings a winner for Losev


Nikolay Losev has just doubled through Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki to over 800,000. Losev had opened the pot to 37,000 and was three-bet by Horecki to 88,000 from the small blind. Losev instantly reached for chips and re-raised for most of his stack and Horecki moved all-in.

Losev: KSpade SuitKHeart Suit


Horecki: 8Heart Suit8Club Suit

The board ran out 3Diamond Suit9Club Suit9Spade Suit3Club Suit5Spade Suit and Horecki dropped to 600,000 as Losev closed in on 900,000. — RD

1.05pm: Party time


PokerStars knows how to throw a good party and last night’s Christmas celebration went down a treat. Held in a nice little place I know down by the river, players and guests enjoyed a Christmas dinner, free-flowing booze and dancing girls. Aww, the dancing girls. — SY.

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Dancing girls

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Place I know by the river

1pm: Premature celebration


Never ever celebrate too early as the poker gods frown at such things, just as Marco Leonzio found out. Jan Bendik opened the pot with a raise to 36,000 before Josh Prager moved all-in for 395,000. Marco Leonzio was in the small blind and cold called the shove which was enough to scare off Bendik.

Prager: KSpade SuitKDiamond Suit


Leonzio: AHeart SuitJSpade Suit

The door card flashed as ADiamond Suit prompting the Italian to shout in celebration but his celebrations were premature as the other two flop cards were 9Diamond SuitKHeart Suit making Prager a set. The 9Heart Suit2Heart Suit turn and river came and went to double Prager up to around 850,000. — MC

12.55pm: Fighting talk


Josh Prager and Roberto Romanello are either set to become drinking buddies for life, like Richard Harris and Peter O’Toole, or become the first pair to be disqualified from the final 21 players of an EPT for brawling.

The action passed to Prager on the button and he open shoved 400,000 (25 big blinds).

‘You being serious?’ said Romanello in the small blind. He’d only recently sat down and still had most of his chips in a rack. ‘Come on, make a proper raise.’

The dealer confirmed that Prager had announced all-in.

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Josh Prager


’What’s going on? Really? I suppose I’m going to have to fold,’ said Romanello, who by this point had actually looked at his cards.

Prager, who has rivalled Romanello, Peter Hedlund and Mike Adamo as the most vocal player in the tournament, then broke radio silence with a simple, ‘Come on, man.’

‘I didn’t understand. I thought you were joking,’ claimed Romanello, now having tossed his hand into the muck. ‘That hand wasn’t real, was it?’

‘You saying I’m crazy or stupid or something?’ asked Prager, hackles rising, now into the next hand. As Romanello opened his mouth to reply time was suddnely called on him.

‘Who called the clock?’ demanded Romanello. The dealer, a barrel-chested chap by the name of Charlie, indicated Jan Bendik. Romanello thought he was pointing at Denis Kipnis. ‘Why did you call the clock on me?’ he asked.

‘I didn’t call the clock,’ replied Kipnis with a slight panic, understandably not wanting to be in the Romanello firing line.

Charlie chopped his hand out to Bendik in seat seven once again. ‘Ahhh, the guy with all the chips,’ said Romanello before tossing his hand into the muck.

‘I see what you’re doing,’ said Prager, ‘Trying to get five thousand more euros. I like the speeches, just not when I’m playing.’

While we on the PokerStars Blog are professionally impartial I must admit to hoping for a Prager-Romanello heads up. It would be a classic. — RD

12.45pm: Tanking on the river


A flop of 4Diamond Suit8Heart Suit7Spade Suit and a bet of 53,000 from Kevin MacPhee in the big blind. Manuel Bevand called from the hijack while Rob Hollink folded on the big blind. The turn came 5Diamond Suit which both checked, the a 5Spade Suit on the river. MacPhee moved a bet of 106,000 into the middle and waited for a response. It didn’t come.

Bevand went into the tank, occasionally moving chips around but not acting. MacPhee waited. When he’s made a bet MacPhee sits still, staring forward, his face relaxing into what could be a sulk. After four or five minutes Bevand passed. MacPhee showed 3Spade Suit and raked in the pot. – SB

12.40pm: River action


This one is a book-ended action hand. Emilliano Bono raised from the cut-off and was called by Sergio Rodriguez Sanchez on the button and Roberto Nulli in the big blind. There was no more betting until the river where the board read QDiamond Suit3Heart SuitJDiamond SuitAClub Suit9Spade Suit. Bono decided to have a stab with a 45,000 bet but couldn’t stand the heat when Sanchez raised another 80,0000. There were shouts of “Vamos” from the rail when Bono folded. — MC

12.36pm: Horecki power


Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki is up to one million. On a board of JSpade SuitASpade Suit9Diamond Suit8Heart Suit he bet 101,000 and Nikolay Losev, the Russian PokerStars qualifier, called. On the 3Heart Suit river, Horecki, huddled under a black hoodie, asked to see how much Losev had left. It was around 300,000. “I bet 200,000,” Horecki said, seemingly forgetting that he had to push the chips over the line. He obliged, pushing two towers of yellow, 5,000 chips. Losev folded. —SY

12.34pm: Chop chop


Jan Bendik opened with a bet of 35,000 with AHeart Suit8Spade Suit before John Prager re-raised all-in with AClub Suit4Diamond Suit. That was trouble for Prager, but the board ran JClub SuitQClub Suit3Diamond Suit9Heart SuitKDiamond Suit for a chop. Move along. Nothing to see here. — SY

12.32pm: So Leonzio Szabo


Zoltan Szabo was the latest to move all in, and the most recent to depart. He shoved with JDiamond SuitJSpade Suit for 256,000 chips and was called by Marco Leonzio of Italy with ASpade SuitKHeart Suit.


The board ran 6Spade SuitADiamond Suit6Heart SuitKDiamond SuitAClub Suit much to the delight of Leonzio who celebrated with casual disregard for the feelings of Szabo. Anyway, down to 21. – SB

12.30pm: Video interlude


We apologise for the break in our usual written coverage. There will now be a video intermission. — SY

12.29pm: The shape of things to come


Roberto Romanello has just three-bet Jean Souleiman from 42,000 to 99,000 and taken the pot down with a 81,000 c-bet on a 4Diamond Suit7Club Suit9Club Suit flop. I expect that Romanello will rinse and repeat this play as often as possible. — RD

12.25pm: Romanello plays it safe


Roberto Romanello just took a small pot off Roberto Nulli after he raised from the button and Nulli called from the small blind. The flop came ADiamond SuitAHeart SuitJDiamond Suit and Nulli check-called a 34,000 c-bet before both players checked down the 9Diamond SuitQClub Suit turn and river. Nulli tabled 6Diamond Suit6Heart Suit but lost out to Romanello’s ASpade Suit4Spade Suit. — MC

12.15pm: Woman up


Another elimination? No, a double up. This time for Melanie Weisner. She moved in from the button for 224. Next to her was Nikolay Losev in the small blind who announced call. Rob Hollink was next to act in the big blind. He thought about it but passed, later saying he folded pocket fives.

Weisner showed AClub SuitKDiamond Suit to Losev’s AHeart Suit8Diamond Suit. The board ran out 4Club SuitQSpade SuitADiamond Suit2Heart Suit3Diamond Suit. Weisner moves up to nearly 500,000 chips. – SB

12.10pm: Man down


Well, that didn’t take long. We’re down to 22 after Ludovic Marguerat lost out to former EPT Monte Carlo winner Rob Hollink. Hollink had raised to 35,000 and Marguerat moved all-in for around 167,000 total. Hollink called instantly:

Hollink: JHeart SuitJDiamond Suit


Marguerat: 2Diamond Suit2Heart Suit

The board ran an uneventful 8Diamond Suit8Heart Suit4Club Suit3Diamond Suit7Diamond Suit, and Marguerat stood up, shook Hollink’s hand and headed off to the cash desk to collect €15,000. Nice. — SY

11.55am: Start you engines


Thomas Kremser gives the order to players to take their seats. We’re minutes away.

11.45am: I did what?


It’s the morning after the Christmas party. Party hats are strewn everywhere, plates of cold sprouts lying around and Christmas sweaters are stained red with cranberry sauce. In the corner someone’s grandfather is asleep and a bowl of eggnog has an ashtray in it. Welcome to Day 4 of EPT Prague.

Today the task at hand is simple. The 23 remaining players will be reduced to eight finalists who will return tomorrow to compete for that €640,000 first prize. Those about to depart will be guaranteed €15,000.

We’re still in level 21, our chips leader is Kevin MacPhee. Play gets under way at noon. — SB

chips_d4.jpg


Chips, on day four


PokerStars Blog reporting team in Prague (in order of condition): Stephen Bartley (Brilliant, could have driven to work this morning), Simon Young (Fine, could have given directions to Bartley), Marc Convey (Not too bad, but would need a lift) and Rick Dacey (Massive physical collapse.)



This EPT is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at Europe.

 
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