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PokerStars EPT Prague Main Event

  • Dec 01, '09 - Dec 06, '09


Updates on Day 4 (Dec 05, 09)


EPT Prague: Jan Skampa's into final table lead


At times it was fast, other times slow, but at the end of play on day four of EPT Prague few were left in any doubt that tomorrow’s final was likely to get a few pulses racing, be they Czech, Italian or neutral.

Jan Skampa, a student in Prague when not found at the poker table, makes his second consecutive EPT final table this weekend following his fourth place finish in Vilamoura just two weeks ago, a feat not achieved since season one. If his reputation hadn’t already been cemented in Portugal, this performance will.


Tournament leader Jan Skampa

Arriving today with nearly 1.3 million chips he was firing from the off, quickly adding to a three-tiered stack, peaking after a three-way Goliath of a hand against Anthony Roux and Stefan Mattsson that shipped more than three million his way. By the close that figure was 3,935,000, with daylight between him and second placed Mattsson.


Stefan Mattsson

Mattsson may sleep tonight dreaming of ace-queen, a hand that provided him relief not once but twice today, first against the ace-king of Juha Lauttamus, then again to bust Yann Brosolo, the latter’s elimination in 13th place bequeathing Mattsson the chip lead.

The Frenchman Anthony Roux, who started his day with a gutsy call to cripple Bastian Trachte, finished today in third place with 2,839,000 chips ahead of Eyal Avitan, the chip leader this morning. Avitan doesn’t smile much although he has reason to, bagging up 2,627,000 chips tonight.


Eyal Avitan

While the efforts of Skampa make the headlines the romantic sub plot belongs to an iconic Italian.

In conversations last night the Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano hinted at recent changes in his game, tweaks to a system that had already netted him record setting cash finishes but that now propel him to his record extending sixth EPT final table.


Luca Pagano

Pagano bags up 2,119,000 tonight. Two events ago he held the chip lead four handed in Warsaw before an outdraw ruined his title chances. It was a bitter defeat. This week he showed he is over that and more determined than ever to snatch that first title.

“This is going to be the sixth try,” said Pagano. “Let’s see if six is going to be the lucky number.”

Other notable performances included that of Juha Lauttamus, who recovered well from his earlier collision with Mattsson. He came close to a second Prague final, but was horse whipped by the poker gods when he least expected it.


Juha Lauttamus

Bad beats are plentiful but the Finn’s departure was worth recalling. All-in with jacks, Anthony Roux called him with ace-king. The flop brought a king and crucially a pair of threes to put Roux ahead but the turn came a jack, swinging things back in Lauttamus’s favour before a king landed on the river, poking Lauttamus in the eye and sending him to the rail in tenth.

What with that and the elimination of the last Englishman Priyan De Mel in ninth place the final table was set. When it starts at noon tomorrow it will look like this:

Seat 1 Anthony Roux – 2,839,000

Seat 2 Stefan Mattsson – 3,553,000

Seat 3 Laurence Ryan – 1,338,000

Seat 4 Gustav Ekerot – 502,000

Seat 5 Sven Eichelbaum – 658,000

Seat 6 Jan Skampa – 3,935,000

Seat 7 Eyal Avitan – 2,627,000

Seat 8 Luca Pagano – 2,119,000


An honourable mention goes to the heroics of one player not among those listed above. Antony Lellouche may feel a depressingly familiar sensation in his bones tonight after busting with three tables left for a third EPT event in succession. Earlier in the week we’d predicted a better score for the Frenchman. Apologies to Lellouche for this kiss of death.

As always, a good way to fill the time between now and noon tomorrow is to immerse yourself in today’s coverage. Find out who departed in 24th place for instance, how long we played 16 handed and who got a smile out of Eyal Avitan in the links below:

Day 4 table draw

Levels 20 & 21

Level 22

Level 23

Level 24

Level 25

That’s it for today then. Read all about day four on our foreign language blogs: German, Swedish and Italian. Our thanks to the video blog team and their tireless work getting Christmas videos up onto the internet. Find that and everything else over at Thanks also for the photography of Neil Stoddart, who brought us this…


And this…


All being © him.

Until tomorrow. High noon. See you then.

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 25 updates

ept-thumb-promo.jpgUpdates from day 4, level 25 of EPT Prague, brought to you by Stephen Bartley, Marc “The Conv” Convey, Howard Swains and Simon Young.

Latest selected chip counts are on the chip count page. The EPT tournament structure can be found on the EPT tournament structure page. Full details of the payout structure and prizewinners is on the payout structure and prizewinners page.


Level 25: 20,000-40,000 (4,000 ante)

8pm: Final table counts

We’re at our final table then folks. Here’s how it will look when they return tomorrow.

Seat one – Anthony Roux, France, 2,839,000

Seat two – Stefan Mattsson, Sweden, 3,553,000

Seat three – Laurence Ryan, Ireland, 1,338,000

Seat four – Gustav Ekerot, Sweden, 502,000

Seat five – Sven Eichelbaum, Germany, 658,000

Seat six – Jan Skampa, Czech Republic, 3,935,000

Seat seven – Eyal Avitan, Israel, 2,627,000

Seat eight – Luca Pagano, Italy, 2,119,000

A full wrap of today’s action is on its way. And prizewinners so far are all on the prizewinners page.

7.55pm: Priyan de Mel bubbles final table

Most viewers were expecting one of our two short stacks to bubble. However it was the poorest of our millionaire stacks Priyan de Mel who misses out on the final table.

Stefan Mattsson opened the pot with a raise to 88,000 from early position that De Mel three-bet to 218,000 from the big blind. Mattsson made a quick call that took us to a [4h][8h][3h] flop. This is where the fireworks went off as De Mel check-raised his opponent’s 201,000 bet all in and received a quick call. Show down:

De Mel – [ad][kh] for second nut flush draw.

Mattsson – [3d][3c] for bottom set.

The turn came [7d] and river [2c]. Mattson’s hand held up and De Mel went crashing out.


Priyan de Mel

7.45pm: Small one for Pagano

Laurence Ryan raised to 97,000 from mid-position and Luca Pagano defended his big blind. The two of them saw [3h][ad][10d] and both checked, as they did on the turn of [8c]. The river was [3d] and Pagano fired 130,000 at it. Ryan folded.

7.40pm: Ryan v Mattsson

Stefan Mattsson makes it 98,000 from the hijack seat, but Laurence Ryan makes it 281,000 from the cut-off. Everyone folds and it’s back to Mattsson. He’s not so keen on his hand now, and mucks.

7.35pm: Skampa and chips

The monster chip stack of Jan Skampa continues to grow, inch by inch. He bet out under the gun with 100,000, and it was folded around to Sven Eichelbaum in the big blind. He thought a little before making the call. The came [qh][4h][2c], and after that it was quite simple: Eichelbaum checked, Skampa bet 80,000 and Eichelbaum folded. Skampa flashed [ah] as he tossed his cards into the muck.

7.30pm: Raise and take it

Not a massive amount happening, but Sven Eichelbaum is at least getting involved. He moved all in and got no takers. But when he made it 103,000 to go, he still got no takers. Too bad. He flipped pocket aces.

7.20pm: Avitan muscles out Eichelbaum

Sven Eichelbaum raised to 122,000 from the cut off and Eyal Avitan, in the small blind, first asked for a count. When he heard that Eichelbaum had about 600,000 more, Avitan re-raised to 315,000. Eichlbaum folded.

7.15pm: Skampa scurries out the gate

As befits the chip leader, Jan Skampa won the first two pots on the non-final final table, the first of which was interesting, the second of which was a standard raise from the small blind to take the big. But back to that first hand: Eyal Avitan opened to 90,000 from under-the-gun and Skampa called in the big blind. The flop came [6s][4d][10d] and they both checked. The turn was [3h] and Skampa bet 170,000. Avitan folded.

7.10pm: Final level of the day

Well, not necessarily. But we need to lose one more player until we’re at a final table of eight and it wouldn’t be too surprising to think it will happen in the coming 75 minutes.

The nine players are now around one table, where the order – and their chip counts – are as follows.

1 – Priyan de Mel – 1,181,000

2 – Anthony Roux – 2,854,000

3 – Stefan Mattsson – 2,429,000

4 – Laurence Ryan – 1,383,000

5 – Gustav Ekerot – 612,000

6 – Sven Eichelbaum – 780,00

7 – Jan Skampa – 3,571,000

8 – Eyal Avitan – 2,550,000

9 – Luca Pagano – 2,082,000

In other words, they’re chasing this man:


Jan Skampa

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 updates

ept-thumb-promo.jpgUpdates from day 4, level 24 of EPT Prague, brought to you by Stephen Bartley, Marc “The Conv” Convey, Howard Swains and Simon Young.

Latest selected chip counts are on the chip count page. The EPT tournament structure can be found on the EPT tournament structure page. Full details of the payout structure and prizewinners is on the payout structure and prizewinners page.


Level 24: 15,000-30,000 (2,000 ante)

6.45pm: Brutal exit – Lauttamus out of the game in 10th

Scared little children, look away now. As bust outs go this was pretty cruel for Juha Lauttamus, with Anthony Roux hitting his two-outer on the river.

It started with Stefan Mattsson betting 67,000 from the cut-off, called by Roux on the button. Lauttamus was in the small blind and calmly announced all in, for around 1 million. Mattsson scarpered, but Roux called instantly.

Roux: [as][kd]

Lauttamus: [jh][jc]

The flop was bad for the man from Finland, coming [kh][3c][3h] to give Roux the higher two pair. But the [jd] on the turn made his own full house, and sent his supporters on the rail shrieking with delight.

Tournament boss Thomas Kremser announced that now Anthony Roux could only hit a king to win the hand, one of two left in the deck – and the dealer promptly produced the [kc] river.

Lauttamus was aghast, and wandered off to regain his compsoure, before returning to shake Roux by the hand. Lauttamus collects €42,600 for his week’s work, but surely he will take a few days to recover from that.

What a game!

6.40pm: Lauttamus back in the game

Juha Lauttamus moved all in from the button for about 550,000. Jan Skampa, with so many chips that even the top tier of his tower is worth more than 1.5 million, re-raised all in, comfortably covering Gustav Ekerot, who was in the big blind. Ekerot folded and the cards were exposed:

Lauttamus: [8s][8h]

Skampa: [ah][jc]

The board proved that Skampa isn’t completely immortal. It ran [qh][10c][6h][7c][3c] and Lauttamus doubled up to 1.1 million.


Juha Lauttamus

6.30pm: The best dressed battle in the room

Luca Pagano and Priyan de Mel could probably chew the fat for a good while about designer clothing or man-bling. But right now most of their conversation is strictly in the language of poker. De Mel raised to 65,000 from the button and Pagano called from the big blind. The flop came [6h][qd][7d] and Pagano check-called De Mel’s 80,000 bet. They both checked the [10h] turn but Pagano led for 120,000 at the [6c] river. De Mel folded.

6.25pm: Blooming big pot

A seed can grow into a big flower and this flower started with a raise to 72,000 from Jan Skampa from under-the-gun. Stefan Mattsson called from the button before Anthony Roux three-bet to 220,000 from the small blind. Both players called and this flower was pushing up through the ground. All three players checked the flop so the board read [jd][6c][qd][7s] at the turn stage. Roux checked to Skampa who bet 470,000 and was only called by Mattsson. This flower was starting to grow tall as the river came [7d].

No fear from Skampa as he bet 900,000. Mattsson mouthed “Wow” as he pondered his decision. The rail crowded in close as this pot became the focus after the elimination was confirmed on the other table. Mattsson eventually let the pot go and Skampa plucked the flower from the middle and smelt the sweet smell of a pot worth well over two million.

6.20pm: Ryan’s slaughter

Kalle Niemi experienced a roller-coaster all-in – behind, then ahead, then behind again. Laurence Ryan had made it 88,000 on the button, and Niemi moved all in from the big blind for 423,000 more.

Ryan goes in to the tank, almost talking himself into a call, which if he did, and lost, was cost most of his own chips. Eventually he stood up, and called.

Ryan: [4c][4d]

Niemi: [ah][7d]

Niemi was the all-in player, and he needed to hit. And he did just that on the flop, which came [7h][8d][kh]. At that point Ryan looked resigned to losing, and started to count out his chips, but the turn was the [4h], giving him a set. That also gave Niemi the flush draw, but the [ks] river gave Ryan a full house and all of Niemi’s chips.

We’re down to 10.

6.10pm: You wait hours for one…

…and then three come along in quick succession. George Secara is out, the victim of Jan Skampa. Skampa raised to 140,000 from the button and Secara shoved all in from the small blind. He had about 600,000 and Skampa, who had more than two million, made an instant call.

Secara: [ad][jc]

Skampa: [kc][7c]

The flop brought something for everyone: [ac][9h][3c] but the turn only favoured Skampa. It was an emphatic [2c] giving him the flush. The river was a meaningless [qc]. Skampa sends Secara scampering to the rail.

6pm: Brosolo burned by Mattsson

Yann Brosolo is out – and he’s going to be cursing Stefan Mattsson and a queen. Brosolo raised to 70,000 and Mattsson bumped it up to 205,000. Brosolo moved all in for about 900,000 and Mattsson called. This whole process took less than about 30 seconds, and it included a celebratory fist pump when the hands were revealed:

Mattsson: [ad][qc]

Brosolo: [as][kc]

But things went quickly belly up for Brosolo. The flop was [10s][qh][4h] and Mattsson took the lead. The [9s] turn and the [2c] river were not the cards Brosolo was looking for and he leaves in 13th.

5.55pm: Evgeniy Zaytsev busted in 14th place

Anthony Roux came in for 75,000 from early position, and Evgeniy Zaytsev moved all in for around 900,000. Roux shrugged, and announced call.

Roux: [as][ks]

Zaytsev: [ac][qs]

The Russian needed a lot of help, but the dealer did not oblige. He dealt [3h][8c][6d][kh][2d], and that sealed Zaytsev’s fate. Roux, however, moves up to 2.3million.

So, 13 players are left and we need to lose five more before packing up for the night.


Evgeniy Zaytsev

5.45pm: In with a monster

Stefan Mattsson just made a ballsy raise: four blue chips in two short piles, topped by one long tower of yellows with a red one on top making for an intriguing shape. It was 144,000 to play but the Swede got no takers, fearful perhaps that he was representing the nuts.

5.40pm: Chip leading pot accounts for Boyard

“This is a chip-leading pot,” said Priyan de Mel, watching Sebastien Boyard and Eyal Avitan go at it pre-flop. He wasn’t kidding. It was folded to Avitan in the cut-off and he opened to 90,000. Boyard made it 360,000 on the button – most spectators agreed that these bets seemed remarkably large given that the blinds are 15,000-30,000. Anyhow, things were due to get bigger: Avitan announced that he was all in, and Boyard called for all his chips – about 580,000 more than what he had already committed.

Big bets meant big hands: Boyard had [qs][qh] but Avitan had [kh][ks]. A king flopped and Boyard was busted. He takes €20,000 and leaves us with 14 players.

Eyal Avitan is now back in the chip lead.


Sebastian Boyard

5.35pm: Let’s hear it for level 24

For it is here. Players are settling back in their seats. We’re down to 15, edging ever closer to the required eight.


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 23 updates

ept-thumb-promo.jpgUpdates from day 4, level 23 of EPT Prague, brought to you by Stephen Bartley, Marc “The Conv” Convey, Howard Swains and Simon Young.

Latest selected chip counts are on the chip count page. The EPT tournament structure can be found on the EPT tournament structure page. Full details of the payout structure and prizewinners is on the payout structure and prizewinners page.


Level 23: 12,000-24,000 (2,000 ante)

5.20pm: Time’s up for Meelis

Priyan de Mel had his eyes on Eyal Avitan’s small blind when he made it 65,000 but found himself up against an all-in from Jolmer Meelis. Not that he minded. When the action got back to him he called, showing [ac][ah]. Meelis turned over [4c][4d]. The flop brought an ace and that was that. After more than two hours the next elimination – Jolmer Meelis in 16th place – and the end of the level.

5.15pm: Getting serious

Priyan de Mel is the opposite of Eyal Avitan. The latter is serious, gets up and down form his seat quite a lot. While De Mel would rather everyone was chatting and likes a bit of fun. Avitan was in the big blind and the action was on De Mel.

“Is it okay to raise your big blind?” asked De Mel.

“No” said a deadpan Avitan.

“You never smile!” said De Mel, prompting a grin from the Israeli.

“Be careful” replied Avitan as De Mel made it 60,000 to play. Avitan called for a flop of [tc][3d][6s]. Avitan checked and De Mel made it 80,000, although not before some small talk. Avitan folded and De Mel flashed a [ks]. He’d later admit he had a second.

“What you have?” said De Mel to Avitan.

“Nothing” replied Avitan.

5.10pm: One-on-one Nordic action

That headline is going to get stuck in the firewall, but it’s no more risque than a Finn and a Swede going at it over a table. He-he.

Anyhow, Juha Lauttamus raised to 64,000 from early position and Stefan Mattsson called in the big blind. The flop came [kc][10c][5d], check, check. The turn was [8h] and Mattsson bet 84,000. Call. The river was [ac] and now Mattsson bet 217,000. Lauttamus folded.

5.05pm: Weak or strong lead?

Anthony Roux opened proceedings with a 55,000 raise from early position that Jan Skampa called. Yann Brosolo three-bet to 147,000 from the small blind. Roux called but Skampa folded. Brosolo then led out for 120,000 on the [2d][6h][jc] board. It was too much for Roux to call and he slid his cards into the muck.

5pm: Meelis again

Jolmer Meelis just moved all-in. Again. It was the silent kind, nothing more than a wave from the small blind. Luca Pagano was in the big blind and started looking at chips, first his then Meelis’s. But no, he folded [qc][jc] instead.

Pagano was firing from the small blind a hand later, opening for 64,000. Laurence Ryan was in the big blind and raised to 195,000 total. Pagano passed this one.

4.55pm: Stalemate

After a flurry of early exits, it’s now been approaching two hours since the last bust out. With prize payouts jumping in ever increasing amounts, that’s perhaps understandable.

What it means is we are seeing very few flops, and those that we are seeing are over in a flash.

Kalle Niemi wants to get things moving, however. He’s down to 450,000 and needs action. It’s folded around to him on the button, and he pushes. But neither Priyan De Mel in the small blind, nor Sven Eichelbaum in the big, want to play along.

We move on.


Kalle Niemi

4.47pm: Get off this pot

Action folded around to Yann Brosolo in the small blind who completed before Steffan Mattsson checked his option to see the [9d][9h][as] flop. Brosolo led for 30,000. Call. The turn came [2h] and Brosolo led for 55,000 and was called again. When the river came [kc] Brosolo moved all in for 460,000 forcing the fold from the Swede.

4.45pm: Pagano power

Luca Pagano opened for 65,000 from under the gun. It’s folded to Eyal Avitan who calls after switching his buzzing phone off. They see a flop of [7c][4c][ah]. Pagano made it 90,000 which Avitan called for a [2c] on the turn. Now Pagano pushed in 240,000, two towers of yellow topped with blue – good for the pot when Avitan folded, showing [ad][jd].

4.40pm: Zaytsev dodges Ekerot’s trap

Evgeniy Zaytsev and Gustav Ekerot are the only two players involved and four cards are out: [9s][4d][8s][2d]. Ekerot bets 60,000 and Zaytsev calls on the button. The river is [7d] and Ekerot checks. Zaytsev checks behind and Ekerot rolls his eyes skyward. Ekerot shows [jc][10s] for the nuts but Zaytsev refused to bet into him. Ekerot wins the pot, but it might have been far bigger.

4.35pm: Boyard takes it

Laurence Ryan opens for 72,000 from the cut off, and Sebastien Boyard re-raises to 212,000 from the small blind. It’s folded back around to Ryan, who makes the astute observation: “If I call that then I have to call the rest.” He folded.


Laurence Ryan

4.32pm: Lauttamus doubles

Folded round to Anthony Roux and his big stack in the small blind, the Frenchman moved all in, effectively asking Juha Lauttamus to play for his tournament life. Lauttamus only had 450,000 total but called and was ahead.

Lauttamus: [ad][js]

Roux: [ks][9s]

Lauttamus stood as if to leave, but there was no trouble through any street: [4d][6c][2d][qs][ac] and he doubles to 950,000. Roux still has more than 1.5m.

4.30pm: The nuisance that is Skampa

Evgeniy Zaytsev would have been very happy with his seat draw at the start of the day. Not too much danger to his left and two aggressive Nordics to his right in the shape of Stefan Mattsson and Juha Lauttanus. Things have changed a little bit for worse with the arrival of Jan Skampa to his left.

Zaytsev raised to 54,000 from the cut-off and was called by the aforementioned Skampa in the next seat and Gustav Ekerot in the small blind. The flop came [ad][th][9d] and Zaytsev’s 92,000 continuation bet was only called by Skapma. Zaytsev then check-folded to Skampa’s 180,000 bet after the turn came [3c].

Very difficult situation for Zaytsev as Skapma is capable of floating or calling with an ace in his hand on that flop.

4.25pm: Three in a row

Three hands and three all-ins, all from Jolmer Meelis, the short stack. First from the small blind, then the button and then from the cut off. The hand after that he folded. He’s up a bit.


Jolmer Meelis

4.20pm: Skampa v Ekerot

At the risk of turning this blog into a newsletter of the Jan Skampa fan club, here’s the bare details of another hand that the young Czech played impeccably. Skampa raised to 54,000 from mid position and was called by Gustav Ekerot immediately to his left. Everyone else left them alone to see a flop of [as][jh][5c]. Skampa bet 66,000, Ekerot called, and the [qd] turned. Both players checked that and the river came [2d]. Skampa bet 75,000 and Ekerot called, to be shown [ah][4h] in Skampa’s hands. Ekerot folded.

There’s quite the meta-game going on between those two. Skampa has raised out of the small blind a couple of times, with Ekerot forcing his opponent to fold with a big reraise. Skampa has the better of it so far, but that’s one intriguing personal duel amid the larger tournament scene.

4.15pm: Hidden talents

Warning! Marcel Luske singing alert! Here the video blog team reveal Team PokerStars Pro players’ hidden talents. It’s not that Johnny Lodden’s hidden talent is much to write home about…

Watch EPT 6 Prague: PokerStars Pro hidden talents on

4.10pm: It’s all gone a bit…

…. well, quiet. On Luca Pagano’s table we’re watching a series of raise and takes pre-flop. Only one bit of excitement is a potential conflict of the blinds when it’s folded around to Jolmer Meelis in the small. Crippled by Pagano’s aces a short while ago, he has only 244,000 left and moves all in.

Pagano in the big blind asks for a count, and while tempted to call and try and bust a player, the Italian thought better of it and mucked.


Luca Pagano

4pm: Back again

So the 16 remaining players, have returned to the two tables. That can only mean one thing – we’re ready to start level 23. I like a level 23, don’t you?

Here’s a splendid overhead shot of our final two tables. If you look closely, you might spot a couple of PokerStars bloggers hard at work, but I’ll be damned if I can see them…


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: Fight for a final table seat

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 22 updates

ept-thumb-promo.jpgUpdates from day 4, level 22 of EPT Prague, brought to you by Stephen Bartley, Marc “The Conv” Convey, Howard Swains and Simon Young.

Latest selected chip counts are on the chip count page. The EPT tournament structure can be found on the EPT tournament structure page. Full details of the payout structure and prizewinners is on the payout structure and prizewinners page.


Level 22: 10,000-20,000 (2,000 ante)

<3.35pm: End of the level

That’s the end of that level and 16 players will go into level 23. Full counts are imminent.

3.30pm: Pots brewing

Two big pots were brewing at the same time, and the short version is that Laurence Ryan doubled up, while Anthony Roux took a chunk out of Yann Brosolo.

The first of those went like this: Luca Pagano limped from the button, which tempted Ryan in the small blind and Eyal Avitan in the big blind to see a flop of [qc][6h][ah]. Ryan bet 46,000 at it, Avitan called and Pagano folded. The turn was [ad] and Ryan bet 105,000, which Avitan also called, and then the river came [3c]. Looking at only about 380,000, Ryan simply moved all in. Avitan didn’t think too long before calling, but his [qh][9d] was beaten by Ryan’s [as][7h].

In the second hand, Brosolo raised to 48,000 from mid position and Roux called from the button. Evgeniy Zaytsev came along from the big blind. The flop came [ac][2s][2h], which they all checked, but the [10d] turn brought some action. Zaytsev and Brosolo checked, but Roux bet 95,000 to which Brosolo alone was amenable. The river was the [6c] and Brosolo check-called Roux’s 220,000 bet. He might have wished he hadn’t: Roux showed [10s][10h] for the turned boat and Brosolo mucked.

3.25pm: Show me a winner

Evgeniy Zaytsev made it 45,000 from the cut off and went up against George Secara who called in the big blind. The flop came [td][jd][js]. Secara checked and Zaytsev made it 56,000. Secara called for a [7d]. Both checked that and the [jc] on the river. After a sheepish showdown Zaytsev took it down, showing [8c][8d].

3.20pm: Bravo, Luca!

Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano is up to well over 1.5million after this key double-up. The record-breaking player – this is his 13th EPT cash – found himself in the perfect spot with [ah][ac].

It all kicked off with Kalle Niemi opening for 51,000, only for Jolmer Meelis to make it 140,000 on the button. Pagano, sitting in the small blind, looked at his cards, dwelled a little, counted out a call, but then announced: “All in.”

Niemi didn’t like the look of this at all and got out of the way, but when it got back round to Meelis he seemed interested in calling the all-in, which amounted to 586,000 extra. He did make the call, and Pagano slapped down his aces, one either side of his five towers of yellow chips now sitting in the middle of the table. So, aces for Pagano and he was up against the [10d][10h] of Meelis.

“A ten would be nice,” pleaded Meelis. “No, an ace would be nice,” responded Pagano. And wouldn’t you know it? The Italian got his wish when the flop came [5d][8h][ad]. Meelis was the only one with a diamond, but he needed the runner-runner to get a flush. That proved fruitless when the [5s] turn completed Pagano’s full house.

“Bravo, Luca!” shouted the perhaps not impartial Italian media around the table. Bravo, Luca, indeed.


Luca Pagano

3.20pm: Zaytsev bullies Brosolo

Yann Brosolo bet 72,000 on a flop of [kc][jd][6c]. His solitary opponent, Evgeniy Zaytsev, called and they saw a [3h] turn. Check check. The river was [6h] and after Brosolo checked, Zaytsev bet 112,000 which was enough to persuade Brosolo that this really wasn’t worth it anymore. He folded.

3.15pm: One pair better than another

Jolmer Meelis made it 54,000 from under the gun and Priyan de Mel called from the small blind. The flop came [qs][6c][4h] and Del Mel check-called Meelis’ 66,000 bet. The turn was [jd], which they both checked, as they did the [as] river. Here’s why: Meelis’ pocket pair of fives were looking at fur overcards; De Mel’s pocket tens also had three overcards to contend with. But they were good nonetheless.


Priyan de Mel

3.10pm: Avitan busts another player

Andre Paiva is our 17th place finisher after falling Eyal Avitan. Paiva moved all in for 465,000 from under-the-gun and was looked up by the Israeli with [td][ts]. Paiva opened [ac][kd] and the board ran [as][3s][jc][6s][ks]. Avitan continues to run good and makes a flush to bust our last remaining South American representative.

3.05pm: Juha in trouble

Stefan Mattsson opened from the river and Juha Lauttamus, waiting in the small blind, raised to 150,000. Mattsson then moved all-in and Lauttamus called. Mattsson turned over [as][qs] but wore a bad smell face when he saw the [ah][kh] he was up against. But he needn’t have worried for long: [3c][qd][2h][3s][7h].

Lauttamus took a walk to calm down. Mattsson’s friends on the rail were in victory mood but Mattsson just looked grateful. Up to around 2 million. Lauttamus will press on with 380,000.

3.02pm: Mattsson the man

Stefan Mattsson makes it 46,000 from under the gun and Juha Lauttamus makes it 134,000 from the next seat. Everyone else gets out of the way, and Mattsson makes the call.

They check the [10d][7c][9h] flop, and also the [qs] turn. On the [6c] river, Mattsson bets 120,000 – or at least he would have done if Lauttamus hadn’t mucked before his chips even crossed the line.

3.01pm: Skampa again

My pick (SY) on the media row last-longer bet is Jan Skampa. I first saw him play in the WSOP Main Event two years ago and was impressed then. I was more impressed last week at EPT Vilamoura when he finished fourth, and – surprise, surprise – I’m even more impressed that he is among the chip leaders here in Prague with 18 left.

Just now he bet out 46,000 from the cut-off, and only Sebastien Boyard called from the big blind. On the [kd][3s][10c] flop, Boyard checked, then folded in an instant when Skampa pushed 51,000 over the line. This kid, a business/economics student right here in Prague, is going to be a real force as we head down the home straight.

3pm: You, sir, are crazy

Priyan de Mel and Eyal Avitan are at it again. De Mel opens for 50,000 as Avitan lurks in the big blind. “You are the last player I want to play against,” De Mel tells him. “You are a crazy player.” This time though, when it is folded around to him, Avitan folds. De Mel shows A-J – “You know I always have it. You played with me on day one,” he added.

2.55pm: Scary board

Yann Brosolo opened to 50,000 from the cut off and Juha Lauttamus called from the small blind. Neither of them seemed at all interested in the flop of [qh][8h][10c] nor the turn of [jh] nor the river of [jd]. Brosolo’s [kc][8s] took it ahead of Lauttamus’ [3h][3d].

2.50pm: Commitment

Laurence Ryan made it 66,000 under-the-gun and Eyal Avitan called from his left. The flop came [kd][8d][7h] and Avitan said: “Don’t commit yourself.” Ryan did not feel under any threat and bet 100,000. Avitan folded.

2.45pm: Typical De Mel

Priyan de Mel defended his big blind to a button raise from Eyal Avitan. By the time it got to the river, there were two eights and a jack on the board, and Avitan did well only to ship a small pot to De Mel when the Englishman showed [3s][8c] to Avitan’s [ad][jh]. Anyone who’s played against De Mel would probably called that a classic Priyan hand.

2.42pm: Brutal river

Action folded around to Sebastien Boyard on the button who raised to 90,000 and then called when Andreas Eiler moved all in for about 360,000 from the big blind. Eiler had Boyard covered by less than 20,000 but had him dominated with his [as][jd] versus [kh][js]. The flop came [jh][2s][jc], which offered split pot outs for the Frenchman. The turn came [6d] prompting Boyard to call for a six, two or king. His wish came true as the river fell [kd].

Boyard ran off to celebrate with his supporters on the rail whereas Eiler sat there motionless in a state of shock. He was eliminated in 18th place soon after.


Sebastian Boyard

2.38pm: Lellouche predicts his own demise

Earlier this week we featured a story about Antony Lellouche, the talented French professional, who’s record of hoovering up chips and creating massive stacks has bedazzled EPT railbirds for several seasons. Yet, in the last two events, he has crashed out prematurely – 20th in Warsaw and 19th in Vilamoura. We wrote he was surely destined for better than 18th this time around.

Well we were wrong.

Once again Lellouche ran into a difficult situation, out, not 18th but 19th for the second event in a succession after a hand with Eyal Avitan.

On a flop of [4d][4s][8d] Avitan and Lellouche checked in the blinds before 203 made it 50,000 from the cut off. Avitan then made it 135,000 total and Lellouche called. 203 folded. Then, a [qs] on the turn.

Avitan asked Lellouche how much he had. 500k? “No, 476.” Avitan bet 170,000 before Lellouche moved all-in. Avitan asked how much it was again. It was still 476,000. Call. [4c][5h] for Avitan. [kd][kc] for Lellouche.

The Frenchman was out of his chair as the dealer waited for another all in to be completed on table one before he could proceed. Lellouche watched that then returned for the river card. He needed a king, he got a queen. Not good enough. Lellouche out in 19th place.

2.35pm: Gomes goes

Paulo Gomes is out. Sven Eichelbaum had open raised, and Gomes moved all in for 246,000 more. Eichelbaum called and yelped with delight when Gomes turned over [9d][9c] – and no wonder, he had [10c][10s]. Gomes needed to catch as nine, but the board ran a dry [ac][8s][2s][qc][kh]. So we’re down to 19.

2.30pm: Brosolo aggression

Evgeniy Zaytsev opens for 47,000, it’s folded around to Yann Brosolo in the big blind who wastes no time in moving all in for around 620,000. That was way too expensive for Zaytsev, who folds.

2.25pm: Chip leaders

The full official chip counts taken at the last break show that Juha Lauttamus is just ahead of Jan Skampa. Neither of these two look like they’d say boo to a goose. But they’re fierce.


Juha Lauttamus


Jan Skampa

2.20pm: Well hello, level 22

Yes we’re in to the second full level of the day. And wouldn’t you know it? As if by magic the video blog team have come up with their intro to the day. Click the little white triangle below. Go on, you know you want to…

Watch EPT 6 Prague Day 4 Intro on

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EPT Prague: Day 4, levels 20&amp;21 updates

ept-thumb-promo.jpgUpdates from day 4, level 20&21 of EPT Prague, brought to you by Stephen Bartley, Marc “The Conv” Convey, Howard Swains and Simon Young.

Latest selected chip counts are on the chip count page. The EPT tournament structure can be found on the EPT tournament structure page. Full details of the payout structure and prizewinners is on the payout structure and prizewinners page.


Level 20: 6,000-12,000 (1,000 ante)

Level 21: 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

2.15pm: Level over

That’s the end of level 22, and how all that action impacted the chip counts is best seen by heading right on over to the chip count page.

2.10pm: Zerbib unzipped

As Bevand was making his way out of the tournament, there was another all in on table three. Stefan Mattsson and Jerome Zerbib were involved, and all of Zerbib’s chips were in the middle. Zerbib had [kd][qh]; Mattsson had [ac][8c] and nothing changed through flop, turn and river. It came a meaningless [5c][5d][10s][8h][9s].


Jerome Zerbib

2.05pm: Bevand slain

Jan Skampa made it 36,000 on the button and Manuel Bevand called on the big blind. The flop came [8c][js][3s] and all of a sudden all of the chips were in the middle. Bevand’s final chips were being wagered on a check raise with his [9h][10h], or an up-and-down straight draw. Skampa had [jc][10c] and a dominating stack. Bevand needed to hit, but didn’t. The turn and river came [6d][3d], and the Frenchman is our third casualty of the day.


Manuel Bevand

Two of the first three eliminations were sitting on table one, seat one. And two of them were the victims of Jan Skampa.

2.02pm: What flop are you looking for?

Jerome Zerbib raised to 42,000 from early position and was only called by George Secara in the small blind to see a [as][9s][jd] flop. Secara checked to Zerbib who bet 20,000. Secara responded by raising to 100,000. The pain across Zerbib’s face was evident and after staring up at the clock he passed showing one of his cards, the [ac].

2pm: Trachte broken

Bastian Trachte is out. After losing most of his stack in the earlier hand against Anthony Roux, he pushed in for 350,000 from the small blind behind a raise on the button from Sven Eichelbaum. Jan Skampa then pushed in himself from the big blind which kept Eichelbaum out of it. On the showdown Trachte showed [3d][3h] to Skampa’s [ts][th].

The board settled things quickly: [td][ad][7h][qs][3c]. We’re down to 22.


Bastian Trachte

1.55pm: Lellouche squeezes them out at second attempt

Manuel Bevand made it 38,000 to go from mid position and Laurence Ryan called from the seat to his left. This was like a red rag to Antony Lellouche on the button and he duly squeezed it, making it 110,000. Bevand folded, but Ryan was willing, and came along to a [kd][jd][jc] flop. Ryan checked, Lellouche bet 140,000 and this time he got it through.

1.50pm: Another shortie doubles

Action folded around to Stefan Mattsson in the cut-off who raised to 37,000 before Jerome Zerbib quickly moved all in for 84,000. Mattsson made the call with [4d][4c] and was in a coin-flip with Zerbib’s [ad][td]. The board ran [ts][5s][kh][jc][9s] to double the Frenchman up.


Stefan Mattsonn

1.45pm: Big hand alert… oh

It started routinely enough with Frenchman Antony Lellouche opening for 41,000 on the button. Kalle Niemi is in the small blind. He looks at his cards, reaches for chips and raises it to 110,000. Now it’s the turn of Priyan de Mel, the Englishman in the big blind. He too looks down at his cards, but instead of reaching for chips, he calmly announces: “All in.” It’s for 542,000 total.

Lellouche has seen enough and mucks, but Niemi is still interested. He thinks only a moment or two before calling. He has de Mel covered, but just as the excitement was soaring, they turned over their cards:

De Mel: [ah][qh]

Niemi: [as][qc]

The board runs a chop-tastic [ad][kd][5h][6s][7c], but de Mel had a word for his opponent: “You call off three quarters of your stack with ace queen? Come on, this is an EPT!”

Niemi said nothing. Move on, there’s nothing to see here.

1.40pm: Brosolo doubles through Zerbib

On a [3c][qd][ks] flop, Brosolo bets, Zerbib bumps it up – and Brosolo moves all in for around 131,000 more. Call!

Brosolo: [kh][kd]

Zerbib: [kc][jc]

The [10s] turn and [3s] river made no difference, and Brosolo flopped set means he is back up to 550,000, while Zerbib slips to 180,000

1.35pm: Ekerot makes statement

Jerome Zerbib bets 45,000 from mid position, but finds Gustav Ekerot is in no mood to give up his small blind, re-raising by another 49,000. That’s called by Zerbib and they see a [4s][7c][jh] flop. Ekerot checks, Zerbib makes it 64,000 – and now Ekerot check-raises another 116,000 on top.

That sends Ekerot into the tank. When he climbs out, he decides he’s behind and mucks.

1.30pm: Christmas carol

Slow going in the early stages of day four, so brighten up your day (!) with a Christmas song, featuring Team PokerStars Pro (and a load of other weirdos).

Watch EPT 6 Prague: The Christmas song on

1.25pm: Doubling down

A double up for Sebastien Boyard. Anthony Roux raised to 40,000 from the cut-off and Boyard moved all in from the small blind, a total of 159,000. Roux had significantly more than that so called, even though he only had [7s][8c]. Boyard showed [ah][6c] and stayed ahead all the way as the community cards came [3c][10d][5s][ad][6c]. Boyard now has slightly more than 300,000.

1.21pm: Caught in a Trachte beam

Every once in a while a great hand comes along that starts innocuously enough and finishes with gasps of delight and horror in equal measure. A flush? A busted flush? A set or nothing at all?

Bastian Trachte opened from late position, making it 35,000. Anthony Roux was in the small blind and called, for a flop of [kh][3d][kd]. Cue a first barrage from Trachte, which he announces audibly with a thick German accent: “Forty-four towsend.”

Roux called for a [4h] on the river. Again he checked and waited a minute or so for Trachte to act.

“One-hundred tirty-one towsend,” said Trachte. He’s an imposing figure, sat bolt upright, hood up, sunglasses on, not flinching, only moving to assemble chips and push them forward. And the voice. The voice.


Now the river card, [8h]. By now a long constellation of yellow chips was spread across the table. Again Roux checked, lightly tapping the table. As if getting more irritated Trachte fired an even greater salvo: “Three-hundred thirteen towsend.”

It leaves him with 400,000 from a stack that started today at 893,000. By now Roux has removed his sunglasses and had his hand over his mouth. If the repeated pressure being thrown at him had done anything to his mood it didn’t show. He still had 800,000 himself and disappeared into the tank to come up with an answer.

Life went on for several minutes. Luca Pagano picked fluff from his shirt, the ladies’ event was announced on the public address system, and Paulo Gomes went for a stroll. Trachte waited. Roux called.

Now Trachte moved, leaning forward not quite believing it. He’d been counting on a fold and didn’t like what he saw. Roux showed [5s][5d] and Trachte mucked his hand, turning red, probably exhausted. He’d hit harder and harder but Roux hadn’t been swayed. He’s up to nearly 1.7million now.

1.20pm: Boris bettered

Boris Yanpolskiy is our first eliminated player of the day. He moved his last 95,000 in from under-the-gun before Sven Eichelbaum also moved all in from the button for 244,000. Jan Skampa was in the big blind and after getting a count of his opponent’s stacks he made the call. Showdown:

Yanpolskiy – [ah][6d]

Eichelbaum – [qs][qh]

Skampa – [9s][9c]

The board ran [3s][jc][7s][ks][ts] to make a flush for the German to scoop the lot.

1.10pm: Avitan trims Lellouche

Antony Lellouche raised to 37,000 under-the-gun and picked up two callers: Priyan de Mel, two seats to his left, and Eyal Avitan, in the big blind. The flop came [9d][7s][kc] and Lellouche led for 64,000. De Mel folded, but Avitan began counting out a raise. Lellouche saved him the trouble and folded.

1.05pm: Zaytsev wins battle of the Zs

Jerome Zerbib raised to 42,000 from the cut off and Evgeniy Zaytsev made it 104,000 from the small blind. Call. The flop was [4h][3c][kc] and Zaytsev bet 108,000. Call. The turn was [ac] and this time Zaytsev’s bet of 300,000 was too much. Zerbib folded.

1.00pm: Eiler moves out Zerbib

Andreas Eiler made it 36,000 to go from mid-position and attracted Stefan Mattsson, on the button, and Jerome Zerbib, in the small blind, along to the flop. It came [9h][6s][10d] and after Zerbib checked, Eiler moved all in for about 320,000. Mattsson let it go, as did Zerbib.

12.55pm: Quiet times

You can tell we’re getting to the business end of things as concentration levels are up to 11. The downside of that for observers is that no players are talking. It’s eerily quite in the far corner of the room where our three final tables reside but there is a lot of money at stake so we can’t really blame them.

In the latest pot on table three Evgeniy Zaytsev raised from mid position to 38,000 and was called by Gustav Ekerot in the cut-off. The flop came [th][7d][ad] and the Russian continued his aggression with a 56,000 bet that the young Swede bumped up to 135,000. The raise did the trick as Zaytsev gave up the pot.

12.50pm: End of the level

The Bevand/Niemi hand was the last of level 20. We’re now just in the opening stages of the 75-minute level 21.

12.47pm: More for Meelis

Jolmer Meelis has made his intentions clear from the start – he means business. The Dutchman is involved in many early skirmishes and his aggression is paying dividends. These two hands in a row are a good example:


Andre Paiva bets out 32,000 from early position, but Meelis re-pops to 90,000, enough to send everyone else packing – and back around to Paiva who thought better of getting involved any more, and mucked.


This time it’s Meelis who opens for 30,000, and it’s folded around to overnight chip leader Eyal Avitan on the button, who elects to call. Everyone else folds. We see a [6d][ks][jh] flop, and Meelis puts out 45,000, enough to chase Avitan away.

Two hands, then, and an additional 62,000 to Meelis’ stack, plus around 50,000 in blinds and antes.

As the floorman running the cash games here keeps saying over the microphone: “Easy money here.”

12.45pm: Rag ace danger

Manuel Bevand raised to 30,000 mid-position and Kalle Niemi called in the small blind. Just the two of them saw a flop of [2c][4d][7h] and Niemi check-called Bevand’s continuation bet. The turn was [10c] and the process repeated. Niemi checked, Bevand bet 76,000, Niemi called. The river was [5h] and Niemi checked again. Bevand seemed to toy with the idea of a bet, but checked behind. The Frenchman was forced to show first: [ac][8s] and Niemi tabled [9h][9c], which was good.

12.40pm: Meelis feast from Avitan; Mattsson broils Brosolo

There’s been a lot of chip movement this morning, but no one as yet is out. Jolmer Meelis took a sliver from the dominant stack of Eyal Avitan when he bet 165,000 on the river on a board of [2s][5c][6s][4d][ad]. Avitan called but was shown [4s][5s] for two pair. Avitan flashed an ace as he mucked.

On the neighbouring table three, Stefan Mattsson frustrated Yann Brosolo on the following hand: Brosolo made it 35,000 from the cut off and Mattsson called on the button. The flop came [8h][5s][qc] and Brosolo bet 50,000, which Mattsson called. The turn was [4h] and Brosolo this time made it 92,000 to go, which Mattsson called. And then they both checked the [jc] river. Brosolo showed [ac][kc] for a genuine hand, but one that had been out-flopped by Mattsson’s [qs][9s].

12.32pm: Me strong

Jerome Zerbib didn’t say his hand was strong. He just pointed at his bicep like a weight lifter and Stefan Mattsson got the message. It came after hand that Mattsson had paid a lot to play. A raise pre-flop, called by Zerbib for a [kc][7h][2c] flop. Mattsson then fired out 38,000, raised by Zerbib to 100,000 which was then called. Then on the [4c] Mattsson checked to Zerbib who pushed out 175,000. Mattsson thought about it but figured he was beaten. As he folded Zerbib did the arm thing before showing him, and then the table, [qc][9c] for the flush.

12.30pm: Roux bets Trachte out of it

There was only about 70,000 in the pot, two players in the hand, and the board dealt to the turn: [ad][kc][3h][4s]. Bastian Trachte bet 49,000, Anthony Roux made it 125,000 and Trachte called. The river was [5s] and after Trachte checked, Roux fired 210,000 at it, which made Trachte think, but eventually think better of it. He folded.

12.25pm: Rich get richer

Jerome Zerbib opened with a raise from the cut-off and was only called by table chip leader Juha Lauttamus in the next seat to see a [kd][th][2d] flop. Zerbib led for a bet at this stage and on the [7h] turn. The Finn called both bets and then bet 158,000 on the [3h] river when checked to him. The Frenchman called with king-queen but Lauttamus took the pot with [as][kc].

12.20pm: More early aggression

An aggressive tone has already been set on all three tables. After the hand below, raising battles also broke out on tables one and three that went like this. Bastian Trachte opened for a standard raise in late position and Jan Skampa, to his left, made it 80,000. Trachte four-bet to 227,000 and Skampa called. The flop came [ks][2h][4h] and Trachte mechanically announced “Two. Hundred. And. Ten. Thousand.” After he slid out that amount of chips, Skampa passed.

On the button on table three, Jerome Zerbib raised to 36,000 and Juha Lauttamus re-raised to 101,000 from the small blind. Zerbib announced that he was all in and Lauttamus folded instantly. “You explain to him,” Zerbib said to the man on his right, Stefan Mattsson. “You tell your friend.” Mattsson looked at his fellow Nordic Lauttamus and said: “He’s all in.”

12.10pm: For starters

After a pre-flop raise from Manuel Bevand, Andre Paiva shoved all-in for around 250,000. Bevand called, showing [7s][7h] while Paiva had made this bold move with [3c][5c]. Bevand nearly choked on the toothpick he was chewing when he saw the flop: [5d][ac][5h]. The turn [4d] and river [4s] couldn’t shift the look of pain on his face as he got sympathy from everyone. Except Paiva.

Jolmer Meelis was smiling and turned to Paiva. “You had your luck today,” he said.

12.05pm: The penultimate stretch

Well then, this is it. There are three eight-handed tables in the room and by the end of the day only one will remain. Action is now under way.

There are 39 minutes remaining in level 20. This post will have all the action from that level, and the whole of the next. Stick around.


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 four table draw

ept-thumb-promo.jpgIt’s day four, which means three tables, 24 players, and the target being the final table of eight.

The Israeli player Eyal Avitan leads at this stage, from the 2007 final tablist Juha Lauttamus. The full list, and where they are sitting, is below.

Day four seat and table draw:

Table one

1 Boris Yanpolskiy 138000

2 Anthony Roux 903000

3 Paulo Gomes 241000

4 Sebastien Boyard 258000

5 Sven Eichelbaum 368000

6 Bastian Trachte 893000

7 Jan Skampa 1288000

8 Luca Pagano 648000

Table two

1 Kalle Matti Niemi 619000

2 Priyan de Mel 691000

3 Andre Paiva 252000

4 Jolmer Meelis 654000

5 Manuel Bevand 719000

6 Laurence Ryan 740000

7 Eyal Avitan 1900000

8 Antony Lellouche 625000

Table three

1 George Secara 733000

2 Yann Brosolo 689000

3 Stefan Mattsson 1000000

4 Jerome Zerbib 860000

5 Juha Lauttamus 1311000

6 Evgeniy Zaytsev 804000

7 Andreas Eiler 403000

8 Gustav Ekerot 928000


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: Eyal Avitan &apos;avin it largest of final 24

ept-thumb-promo.jpgDay three on the EPT means the race to 24. Although our opening flights are dictated only by the clock, furniture becomes the crucial concern in these later stages. There is only room on the penultimate day for three tables, around which there are only eight chairs apiece. The scrap to determine their occupants is often bloody: there has to be casualties, it’s the way of the poker world.

The Israeli player Eyal Avitan locked up his chair significantly earlier than everyone else – and it’s a jewel-encrusted throne. Avitan remained untarnished and golden throughout the wanton slaughter, bagging up a chip lead of 1,938,000 tonight.


Eyal Avitan

He claimed countless scalps as the overnight field of 95 was reduced to those final 24. The highest profile of those was the the EPT Grand Final champion Pieter de Korver, who lost two crucial and massive hands to Avitan. The second sent De Korver to the rail. He only had aces.


Pieter de Korver

Avitan’s closest challenger tomorrow will be Juha Lauttamus (1,311,000), a Finn who made the final table here in 2007, during season four. According to Nicolas Levi, who played with Lauttamus during that tournament as well as this, the Finn’s game has developed a good deal in those two years. He now has the chips to make him a hot tip for Sunday’s final table.


Juha Lauttamus

Local hopes are in extremely safe hands. Jan Skampa might be the only Czech native still in the field, but this kid can play. He was fourth in Vilamoura last week, has barely blinked in the intervening days, and now has 1,288,000 going into day four. Stefan Mattsson, who also cashed in Vilamoura, and in Prague last year, has more than a million too.


Jan Skampa

The aforementioned Levi was among today’s notable fallers, and his countryman Arnaud Mattern, who won here in 2007, was another one. Levi left us in 52nd, Mattern in 63rd. All the prizewinners so far are on the prizewinners page.


Nicolas Levi

You might notice that Luca Pagano’s name isn’t there. The reason? You mean you need to ask? Yet again – for a record-extending 13th time – Pagano made the money on the EPT, and he isn’t done yet.


Luca Pagano

Pagano has 648,000 going into day four. It really is the most familiar of all familiar tales in poker and we might just save ourselves some time and write this paragraph at the start of the whole tournament from now on.

Another name not on the payout page is that of Tim Kahlmeyer. He became the bubble boy when he departed in 81st, not able to get his [ah][jc] to stand up against De Korver’s [ad][td].


Bubble trouble for Tim Kahlmeyer, centre

There was no shame in missing the money here: the Team PokerStars Pro duo of Sandra Naujoks and Jude Ainsworth also departed the wrong side of the bubble. (Not so Marcin Horecki. The Polish pro finished 29th in what was his fifth cash on the EPT.)


Marcin Horecki

But all eyes now focus on the 24 survivors whose names you can still see on the chip count page. A good deal of them also crop up in the numerous video blogs always available at or in the frames of Neil Stoddart’s peerless pictures on PokerStars Blog, which are all © him.

Take a look back at the hand-by-hand action in any of the following links:

Level 16 updates

Level 17 updates

Level 18 updates

Level 19 updates

Level 20 updates

And read it all too in the following languages:

Group D: German (will play Australia, Serbia, Ghana)

Group F: Italian (will play Paraguay, New Zealand, Slovakia)


Swedish (did not qualify).

Good 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: Day 3, level 20 updates

ept-thumb-promo.jpgUpdates from day 3, level 20 of EPT Prague, brought to you by Stephen Bartley, Marc “The Conv” Convey, Howard Swains and Simon Young.

Latest selected chip counts are on the chip count page. The EPT tournament structure can be found on the EPT tournament structure page. Full details of the payout structure and prizewinners is on the payout structure and prizewinners page.


Level 20: 6,000-12,000 (1,000 ante)

8.30pm: Play concludes for today

With that the day has come to an end here in Prague. The 24 players will return tomorrow at 12pm local time where we’ll play down to our final table of 8 players. Overnight chip counts and a full wrap will be on the way shortly.

8.25pm: Swede on Swede

Stefan Mattsson raised and then called the all in push from countryman Jakob Carlsson. The former had [as][kc] to the latter’s [ac][9s] and the board ran [8s][8h][3d][jh][2h] to eliminate Carlsson in 25th place.

8.15pm: Way to bluff off your stack

Jan Skampa came in for a bet of 27,000. It’s not the first time the aggressive Czech had done that, which may explain why Karl Heinz Klose felt he could push him off the pot by moving all in for 440,000.

Unfortunately for him, Skampa called in a flash with [ah][kh] – and he could only table [js][7c]. The board ran out A-5-7-8-5, and we lose the oldest player who remained in the field.

Just 25 left, one to go!

8.10pm: Quad-tastic bust out

On a [2c][7h][5d] flop, Peter Hendriks and Anthony Roux get it all in. Roux has [7d][7s] for a set, a mile ahead of Hendriks’ [10h][10c] – and it got even better when the turn came [7c] for quads. The river was [9c] and Hendricks’ 300,000 moved across the table to Roux.

8.05pm: Toby’s jug emptied

Toby Lewis is our 28th place finisher after falling to local lad Jan Skampa. Lewis raised before Skampa put him all in. He called for his tournament life with [ah][th] and was racing against Skampa’s [9d][9h]. The board ran [6d][4s][tc][jc][9s]. A cruel way to go; hitting one of your outs only to be re-outdrawn.

8pm: Why why why… Andreas Eiler

Evgeniy Zaytsev’s money went in on the [9s][qh][tc] flop. He had [th][td] and was called by Andreas Eiler who turned over [qc][ad]. “Okay, I’m drawing dead,” said Eiler who waited for the turn and river: [qd][6c]. A huge hand for Zaytsev who is up to 850,000. Eiler is down to 450,000.

7.50pm: Marcin Horecki out

Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki is out. Short-stacked, he’d been pushing a few hands and, as you well know, that works every time until the last time.

Well, this time Priyan de Mel raised to 35,000 and Horecki pushed for around 90,000. Call.

Horecki: [ac][7c]

De Mel: [as][jc]

Horecki needed help, but it all went downhill once the cards were delivered – [2s][9s][6s][ah][8s]. Just a nut flush for de Mel, then.

7.55pm: Would that be a turbo?

Tournament staff amused themselves by playing the noise of a throaty car revving up and speeding off over the loud speakers – to announce the start of the nightly turbo tournament. “Players, we have a special tournament director for you tonight. It’s Turbo Tony.” Unfortunately, they’re here all week.

7.45pm: Twenty-nine, 29, twenty-nine

There are 29 players returning at the start of level 20. Five more will depart and then we will be finished for the day.

The runaway chip leader, consolidated after that bust out of Pieter de Korver, is Eyal Avitan. He has more than two million. And probably more than that too.


Eyal Avitan

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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