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PokerStars European Poker Tour Vilamoura -- Day 2 Recap

Chess Champ Chips Up to Top of Leader Board on Day 2 of EPT Vilamoura


Anthony LelloucheThe European Poker Tour Vilamoura continued yesterday with day 2 of the €5,300 buy-in main event, which saw all the survivors from both day 1A and 1B come together for the first leg of the long journey to the final table and the top prize of €404,793 ($601,171). There were 177 of them altogether but with the loss of 108 players that number became 69. With 48 getting paid from a total prize pool of €1,561,700 ($2,319,434), the bubble will surely burst today.

Players moved up and down the leader board throughout day 2 but two players who didn’t stray too far from their starting positions were Jeff Sarwer and Ruben Visser. These two started the day in the top five and ended it there also with Sarwer moving to the very top with 549,800, and Vissa, still in third place, with 484,700. The player in between them is Frenchman Anthony Lellouche [pictured right] with 549,800.

This is interesting as during the last EPT in Warsaw, Lellouche led the troop after day 1b and Sarwer was the leader by a long shot at the end of play on day 3.

The official top 10 in chips going into day 3 are:

Jeff Sarwer — 549,800
Anthony Lellouche — 484,700
Ruben Visser — 389,500
Ljubomir Josipovic — 371,700
Martin Wendt — 360,300
Luis Rodriguez — 321,500
Pierre Neuville — 270,500
Gino Gabriel — 264,800
Johan Van Til — 259,500
Jude Ainsworth — 230,600

Other notables who are also through are Jan Heitmann, Alexander Kravchenko, Johannes Strassmann, and local favourite, Nuno Coelho.

Andy BlackOne player who just missed out on being part of the upper planes of the leader board is Andy Black [pictured left]. If this hand didn’t occur with only moments left of play then Ruben Visser would not be in the position he is now and the Irishman would not be going into day 3 as the shortest stack with 19,400.

Black gradually built his chip stack throughout day 2, knocking out opponents and taking pots down with ease. He was sitting around the 200,000 mark when Thomas Kremser announced the last five hands of the day. Nicolo Calia raised to 11,000 from early position and Black called. Visser reraised to 40,000 and Calia folded. Black quickly announced all-in, and Visser instantly made the call. Black was in trouble with 10Spade Suit 9Diamond Suit versus Visser’s ASpade Suit KDiamond Suit. The board was dealt QClub Suit 8Heart Suit 5Spade Suit 3Heart Suit 8Spade Suit and Visser moved up to 389,000.

Fellow Irishman Jude Ainsworth went the opposite direction and stayed there. He started the day as second last in chips with 13,100, but ended it in 10th place on the leader board with 230,600, lengthening his debut as a Team PokerStars Pro member.

One member of the Team PokerStars Pro who didn’t hang around was Chad Brown. He became the first casualty of the day when after limping under the gun, he then called a raise from Antonio Matias to his left. The flop fell 7-6-3 and Brown moved all in, prompting a call from Matias. Brown showed pocket fours while Matias revealed pocket kings which stayed ahead on the turn and river.

Katja ThaterGerman Team PokerStars Pro player Katja Thater [pictured right] went out early at the hands of another Team Pro player Jason Mercier. Mercier’s short stack went into the middle with ASpade Suit 9Spade Suit, and Thater’s even smaller stack joined it with 4Heart Suit 4Club Suit. The fours were no good this time either as the board brought an ace for Mercier and ended Thater’s tournament life. Mercier went on to improve his stack by knocking out Luc Greenwood, but he couldn’t last the day and won’t be taking his seat in Casino Vilamoura today.

One of the players to exit at the hands of chip leader Jeff Sarwer was Shaun Deeb. His destruction came about when a player in early position raised to 5,000, Deeb made the call, as did Sarwer in the big blind. The flop came down J-10-7 and all the chips went in the middle, bar the initial raiser’s. Deeb had top pair with top kicker with A-J but Sarwer had flopped a straight with 9-8, and with that the chess phenomenon sent the online phenomenon back to where he came from.

Some other notables who hit the rail throughout the day were Maria Maceiras, Rino Mathis, Luca Pagano, Henrique Pinho, Nicolas Levi, and Praz Bansi.

Day 3 kicks off at noon (local time) today and all of the action can be followed as it happens at the PokerStars blog in the live tournaments section on during the entirety of this event. On Saturday, Nov. 21 and Sunday, Nov. 22 you can also watch all of the action on the EPT Live video feed.

Card Player Europe will continue to supply a daily recap for each day of this exciting event, so stay tuned.