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Buy-In: $6,314 + $379
Prize Pool: $2,388,481
Entrants: 384

EPT Vilamoura Main Event

  • Aug 28, '10 - Sep 02, '10


Updates on Final Day (Sep 02, 10)


EPT Vilamoura: Ask Fatima

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 Vilamoura Day 4: Level 23 updates (blinds 12,000-24,000, 2,000 ante)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg4.55pm: Play concludes

With that elimination play has concluded for today. Here’s how they will line up tomorrow:

Seat 1. Teddy Sheringham – 1,783,000

Seat 2. Toby Lewis – 3,322,000

Seat 3. Martin Jacobson – 441,000

Seat 4. Jason Lee – 1,167,000

Seat 5. Sergio Coutinho – 872,000

Seat 6. Sam Trickett – 3,318,000

Seat 7. Rob Hollink – 259,00

Seat 8. Frederick Jensen – 375,000

A full wrap of today’s play will up up on the blog shortly.

4.46: Final table set

The elimination of Erik van den Berg in 9th place means we have our final table of eight set for tomorrow. The Dutchman was the shortest stack at the table and had just been through the blinds without the opportunity to get his stack in but when the action folded to him on the button, in they went. Toby Lewis was in the next seat and peeled a few chips off his mountain to call.

Van Den Berg: [qs][6h]

Lewis: [kc][7s]

The board ran [8c][jd][3s][4c][5s]. Lewis’ king-high good enough to take the pot. — MC

ept vilamoura_day 4_erik van den berg.jpg

Erik Van Den Berg: ‘official’ final table bubble boy

4.35pm Early sparring

Two hands in and the same two players have been at each other’s throats (so to speak). On the first hand Sam Trickett raised under the gun to 40,000. It was folded around to Sergio Coutinho in the big blind who made it 120,000, forcing a fold from the Brit.

Next hand, and with the blinds having gone up to 12,000-24,000, it was folded around to Coutinho in the small blind who called. Trickett in the big blind raised to 60,000 and the man from Portugal called. Both checked the [ad][10h][4s] flop, but on the [qh] turn Coutinho made it 50,000 then folded when Trickett fired out 140,000. — SY

4.25pm: Pre-final table final table

EPT final tables are officially eight-handed but we do play nine-handed before the official final table begins. Don’t question it, just go with the flow.

Final nine seat draw with chip counts

Seat 1. Teddy Sheringham – 1,781,000

Seat 2. Erik van den Berg – 180,000

Seat 3. Toby Lewis – 3,084,000

Seat 4. Martin Jacobson – 481,000

Seat 5. Jason Lee – 1,300,000

Seat 6. Sergio Coutinho – 772,000

Seat 7. Sam Trickett – 3,355,000

Seat 8. Rob Hollink – 311,00

Seat 9. Frederick Jensen – 373,000

Cards are in the air and it’s looking like a final table that will dominated by Brits as the top three stacks are all English (Trickett, Lewis and Sheringham). In fact, Trickett and Lewis have over half the chips in play between them. — RD

ept vilamoura_day 4_sam trickett.jpg

Sam Trickett is leading the field with nine players left

PokerStars Blog reporting team at EPT Vilamoura (in order of number of friends on Facebook): Marc Convey (1,129), Simon Young (461), Rick Dacey (358) and Stephen Bartley (0 – “I think it’s evil”). 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 golfers hit the fairways (well, most of the time it's the rough)

ept-thumb-promo.jpgA host of stars took time away from Solverde Casino today to head for the beautiful Pinhal Golf Course – and the first stage of the PokerStars Fairways and Felts golf-and-poker contest. The €1,100 buy-in event even attracted England football legend Teddy Sheringham, although he had to cut his game short after just six holes to get back in time for the main event where he started the day with 301,000.

The 14 golfers were split into four teams and played the match as a Texas scramble – each player on the team hits their ball, the team chooses the best shot and then everyone takes their next shot (including putts) from that spot.


Teddy Sheringham, Daniel Negreanu and Marcin Horecki

The teams were as follows (nationality and handicap in brackets):

A) Team PokerStars Pros Daniel Negreanu (Canada, 11.5) and Marcin Horecki (Poland, 20.8)., Friend of PokerStars Sheringham (UK, 16) and golf pro Tom Larsen (Norway, 0.5)


Daniel Negreanu

B) Team PokerStars Pro John Duthie (UK, 24), Joachim Selzer (Germany, 24), former Dutch national team golfer Willem Vork (Netherlands, 2)

C) Team PokerStars Pro Pieter de Korver (Netherlands, 17), James Dempsey (UK, 18), Roderick van Welsun (Netherlands, 2), Eddie Tasbas (Sweden, scratch).

D) Team PokerStars Pro and Challenge host JP Kelly (UK, 24), Jeff Sarwer (Canada, 20), Gary Bain (Canada, 20)


JP Kelly

Part 2 of the Challenge takes place with a NLHE poker tournament tomorrow back at Solverde Casino in Vilamoura. Non-golfers can still compete in the poker part of the tournament if they wish (for €840), but lose the chance to win bonus chips by performing well on the golf course. Extra chips up for grabs include 500 chips for every stroke under par and 500 chips for the longest drive or putt. A hole-in-one on the 8th hole wins a WCOOP Main Event entry.


Oldest swinger in town: John Duthie

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 Vilamoura: Intro to Day 4

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 Vilamoura: Day 4, level 21 & 22 updates (10,000-20,000, 2,000 ante)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg4.28pm: Level over

The three minutes passed without any major incidents.

4.25pm: Back from break

The players are back to play the final three minutes of this level before they head straight into level 23.

4.10pm: 15 minute break

The players are on a 15 minute break as all the chip stacks are moved to one table.

Final 9 seat draw with chip counts:

Seat 1. Teddy Sheringham – 1,781,000

Seat 2. Erik van den Berg – 180,000

Seat 3. Toby Lewis – 3,084,000

Seat 4. Martin Jacobson – 481,000

Seat 5. Jason Lee – 1,300,000

Seat 6. Sergio Coutinho – 772,000

Seat 7. Sam Trickett – 3,355,000

Seat 8. Rob Hollink – 311,00

Seat 9. Frederick Jensen – 373,000

4.10pm: That bust-out in full

Fabrizio Ascari is our final player to get knocked out in double figures with his tenth place finish at the hand of the clinical Teddy Sheringham. The excitable Italian moved all-in under the gun (for the second hand on the bounce) and the action folded to Sheringham in the big blind. Sheringham asked for a count, it was around 250,000 and he calmly made the call with [jh][jd]. If there was touch of the slow roll about it, and there was, then it has to be understood that Ascari had done something similar to Sheringham with ace-king earlier.

Sheringham: [jh][jd]

Ascari: [ts][qh]

Ascari was the player at risk as Sheringham held some 1,500,000 at the start of the hand and the [ad][td][5h] flop gave Ascari some options to catch up, but blank cards on the [3c] turn and [2c] river saw the Italian rise out of his chair for the last time. Table redraw coming up for the final nine players. One more to leave before play stops for the day. — RD

4pm: We’re down to nine

This is going super quick. We’re now nine-handed – details of the latest elimination coming shortly – and the players have re-drawn to a single table. We’ll have that re-draw and full counts with after this brief message from our sponsors.

3.55pm: No stopping Trickett

Sam Trickett is up to 3.2million after busting Marton Czuczor in a pot worth over a million. Tricket min-raised to 40,000 to face a three-bet to 112,000 from his Hungarian neighbour. Trickett moved all-in and Czuczor snap-called. Showdown:

Trickett: [ah][qc]

Czuczor: [th][ts]

The board came [ac][8d][8h][5c][8c]. Czuczor is out 11th place finisher taking home €20,486 for his efforts.

3.50pm: Sheringham shoots and scores

More for Teddy Sheringham who just won a big pot against Rob Hollink. Sheringham opened for 44,000. Hollink was in the big blind and made it 71,000 more which Sheringham called for a [4c][7s][7c] flop.

Hollink then made it 120,000 which Sheringham called for a [9s] turn. Hollink checked. “How much?” asked Sheringham, Hollink showing 370,000 left. “All-in,” announced Sheringham, causing Hollink to instantly flick his cards into the muck. — SB

Sheringham turned up fresh-faced to the tournament today, despite indulging in some light refreshment with Team PokerStars Blog last night – and also playing golf this morning. He was part of the PokerStars Fairways and Felt event,. and you can read all about that on this rare blog post about golf. — SY


Teddy Sheringham (this morning – really)

3.45pm: Czuczor’s three barrel bluff

Marton Czuczor has just three barrelled Sam Trickett in a battle of the blinds. Trickett limped the small blind and Czuczor raised to 60,000. Trickett made the call and check-called 75,000 on the [5s][6s][th] flop. Czuczor fired a larger 150,000 bet at the [ah] turn. Trickett took some time to decide his action before sliding a stack of blue chips across

the line to make the call.

The river brought a second five with the [5d] and Trickett checked for a third time to Czuczor who counted out a 220,000 bet and Trickett called again showing [kh][6h] for two-pair. It’s a great call which wins Trickett a million chip pot and he’s approaching 3m now. — RD

3.40pm: Lee chops down Garcia

Jason Lee has more than doubled-up and knocked out Guillermo Garcia in the process. Garcia was down to his last 73,000 and these went in from early position before Lee moved all-in from the button. But the action wasn’t finished there as Martin Jacobson moved all-in from the SB to create a three-way showdown:

Garcia: [qs][5c]

Lee: [ts][tc]

Jacobson: [ad][kc]

The board ran [9c][3s][jc][6c][6s]. Garcia makes his exit in 12th (€20,486), Lee is up to 1.2 million and Jacobson slips further to around 500,000. – MC

3.31pm: Oh, Teddy Teddy

Teddy Sheringham just boosted his stack to 1.3 million, eliminating Nicolo Calia in the process.

Rob Hollink started it, opening for 53,000. Calia raised from the cut off to 120,000 before Sheringham announced all-in from the small blind. Hollink was forced to pass but Calia called, wincing audibly when he saw Sheringham’s [kh][kc]. The Italian could only offer [th][tc].

The board ran [ks][5h][ac][ah][2s] to eliminate the Italian, who was kissed on both cheeks by his countryman Fabrizio Ascari on his way to the payout desk. A big stack for Sheringham. Just 12 players remaining. — SB

3.26pm: Big stacks tangle

The action folded to Sam Trickett on the button and he min-raised to 40,000 and was called by Toby Lewis in the big blind. Both players checked the board down to the [8s][9h][8c][jd][ts] river which Trickett bet for 20,000. Lewis then check-raised to 67,000 making Trickett fold. — RD

3.13pm: Lewis on a tear

Toby Lewis has just taken out another player and this time it’s Mother Russia that takes the hit as Dmitry Gromov’s squeeze walked into a dominating ace. Marton Czuczor opened the pot under the gun for a little over 40,000 and Lewis called before Gromov squeezed all-in for 200,000. Czuczor made the call before Lewis reraised to isolate the action heads up. Czuczor quickly mucked.

Lewis: [ad][qc]

Gromov: [as][js]

The flop dropped [6c][th][jd] and Lewis tipped his head back and growled – yes, he actually growled – and then the [qs] hit the turn and Lewis was all smiles again. The [td] on the river changed nothing and Gromov bowed out in 14th for €16,762. — RD

3.05pm: Sheringham doubles

Friend of PokerStars Teddy Sheringham has doubled-up through Fabrizio Ascari. He open-shoved for 296,000 from the cut-off and sat there while the Italian dwelled over is decision from the next seat. The ex-footballer looked bemused when his opponent starting talking to a figurine he uses for a card protector. After about five minutes he made the call. Showdown:

Sheringham: [9d][6h]

Ascari: [ac][kc]

The board came [8s][tc][2h][4s][7s]. Sheringham spiked a straight on the river to move up to 620,000 chips. The Italian jumped out of his chair and bemoaned his luck. He’s down to 270,000 as a result. — MC

3.02pm: Johansen out to Lewis

On the next hand Tom Johansen moved all-in from the button for a little more than 200,000, over the top of Toby Lewis’ open raise. Not the best timing for the Swede who tabled [jh][qc] to Lewis’ [kd][ks]. Lewis and Trickett must be side by side in chips now. — RD

3pm: Advantage Lewis

Toby Lewis opened for 45,000 from the cut off and Tom Johansen called in the small blind. The flop came [ac][ad][2h]. Johansen checked and Lewis bet 55,000. Johansen then announced “raise,” adding another 75,000 on top which Lewis called in no time. The turn came [7h]. Lewis waited patiently as Johansen assembled a bet of 160,000, leaving himself 200,000 behind. Lewis called for a [jc] river card. At this point Johansen checked. In reply Lewis moved all-in.

Johansen went into a long thinking spell, leaning back then forwards, then back again, hands on his head, thinking things over. Eventually, after the clock was called, he folded, sending the chips to Lewis who now breaks the 2 million mark. — SB

2.55pm: Now we’ve won the lottery

We don’t actually recall entering the Australian State Lottery, but we seem to have won it, according the Rev Morgan Costa who kindly emailed us at So on top of the $11.7million we’re going to get this week from recently-orphaned African women, we can now add $500,000 from the lottery. We’ve sent off our personal details and await the money.

It really has been quite a week for PokerStars Blog writers. — SY

2.50pm: Back from break

Full chips counts are being posted.

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 10,000-20,000, ANTE 2,000

2.37pm: Break

That’s the end of level 21. Level 22 will be with you in around 15 minutes. — SY

2.36pm: ‘Sorry if it’s a slow-roll’

Sam Trickett has taken down monster pot five minutes in to the break to bust Italian Marco Leonzio. Trickett raised to 42,000 from mid-position to face a three-bet to 90,000 from Leonzio on the button. His response was to four-bet to 160,000 and the Italian called quickly.

On the [3h][qd][8s] flop Trickett led for 105,000 to face a quick 602,000 all-in bet from the Italian. Trickett took his time and kept asking his opponent if he’d show if he folded but he got no response. The Brit said he had a big hand and apologised if this turned out to be a slow-toll. It looked like he was about to fold when the word “Call” came out of his mouth.

Trickett tabled [ks][kd] and Leonzio opened [9h][9d]. The board ran out [7c][tc] to see Trickett take down the biggest pot of the tournament so far to take the chip lead with 2million chips. — MC

ept vilamoura_day 4_sam trickett.jpg

Sam Trickett: huge 2m chip stack leading the field

2.35pm: Ascari on silent running

Fabrizio Ascari, quieter than he has been these last few days, opened for 41,000. Rob Hollink then called from the button for a flop of [3s][kc][qd]. Ascari checked and Hollink bet 50,000 which Ascari wasted no time in calling. The turn came [qc]. Both checked that and the [8d] river, Ascari showing [ks][td] to take the pot as Hollink folded his hand. Ascari up to around 550,000. — SB

2.33pm: Down to two tables

Table 1

1. Tom Johansen

2. Sergio Coutinho

3. Frederick Jensen

4. Sam Trickett

5. Marton Czuczor

6. Toby Lewis

7. Marco Leonzio

8. Dmitry Gromov

Table 2

1. Teddy Sheringham – 310,000

2. Fabrizio Ascari – 610,000

3. Jason Lee – 410,000

4. Martin Jacobson – 840,000

5. Rob Hollink – 480,000

6. Erik Van Den Berg – 312,000

7. Nicolo Calia – 660,000

8. Guillermo Garcia – 480,000

End of the level in 3 minutes where a full chip count will take place. Toby Lewis is still chip leader and has second (Marton Czuczor) and third (Sam Trickett) in the two seats to his right. Trickett will need a top three finish just to cover his massage bill here – he seems to have been getting his neck rubbed for the majority of the last two days. — RD

2.28pm: Last lady falls

Filipa Lemos was the last lady standing in the tournament but she has just fallen to fellow countryman Sergio Coutinho. She opened shoved for around 200,000 with [5h][5c] but ran into Countinho’s [qd][qs]. The board ran [th][9h][4h][2c][js]. She received a generous round of applause as she left.

We’re down to two tables now and a seat draw is on the way shortly. — MC

ept vilmoura_day 4_filipa lemos.jpg

Filipa Lemos was the last lady standing in 17th

2.25pm: The Sheringham shove

Teddy Sheringham just moved all in on the button for just short of 300,000. Jason Lee was in the small blind and spent several minutes pondering the call but instead passed. Sheringham up to 320,000. — SB

2.22pm: The bank of Jacobson

Martin Jacobson had doubled-up another player as his stack continues to spiral downwards. He raised to 41,000 from the hijack and called when Erik van den Berg moved all-in for 160,000. Showdown:

Jacobson: [4h][4d]

Van Den Berg: [ah][jc]

The board ran [9h][2d][kd][ac][9s]. The Dutchman withdraws from the Swedish bank to the tune of 330,000. Jacobson’s balance is down to 720,000 chips. — MC

2.20pm: Man down!

This time it’s Konsta Vesterinen who has bitten the dust. He open-raised to 33,000 and Marton Czuczor re-raised to 80,000. Vesterinen then made it 210,000, Czuczoe moved all in and the Finn called.

Czuczor: [qd][qh]

Vesterinen: [ah][kc]

It was an expensive race at this stage of a tournament as the board ran [8s][4s][7h][10c][qs] to dump Vesterinen on the rail. Czuczor, meanwhile, moves up to 1.35million. We’re down to 17. — SY

2.17pm: Toby and Tom

Tom Johansen opened for 32,000 which Toby Lewis called in the big blind. The flop came [qh][6h][kd] which Lewis checked before Johansen made it 50,000 to play. Lewis called for a [4h] which both players checked. On the [6d] river Lewis bet 62,000. Johansen sat back, then forward, his shoulders hunched, then after a few minutes called. Lewis showed [ks][8s]. Johansen mucked without showing. — SB

2.15pm: Garcia loves a race

Guillermo Garcia must have a weighted coin because every flip I’ve seen him get involved in he’s come out on top. This one was no different. Erik Van Den Berg opened to 37,000 and Garcia moved all-in for 275,000. Van Den Berg made the call, leaving himself with 160,000.

Van Den Berg: [ts][th]

Garcia: [ad][ks]

Garcia instantly went a head on the [ah][8d][6h] flop and Van Den Berg counted catch up as the turn and river ran out [7h][js]. Garcia is up to 570,000. — RD

2.05pm: British millionaires

Toby Lewis is bashing up his new table by raising consistently, utilising his chip lead well. Over on the next table fellow Brit Sam Trickett has made an excellent recovery after losing that big pot early on and has just passed the million chip mark himself.

He called a 32,000 under-the-gun raise from Sergio Coutinho whilst sat in the bb. The flop came [td][6c][9d] and Trickett led out for 41,000. Call. The turn came [6s] and both men checked to the [jh] river where Trickett led for 60,000. The Portuguese player though for two minutes but let his hand go. — MC

1.54pm: Garcia getting pummelled

I’ve seen Guillermo Garcia get three-bet several preflop raises now. The Spaniard looks demoralised and was just pulled to one side by Team POkerStars Pro Juan Maceiras for a quick pep talk. — RD

1.47pm: Lemos!

Filipa Lemos just doubled up through Teddy Sheringham. Lemos moved in from the small blind for 100,000 with [ah][7c] and Sheringham called with [4h][4s] from the big blind. The board ran [7s][6d][tc][3h][as] to the delight of Lemos. Sheringham down to 275,000. — SB

1.45pm: More good fortune for bloggers

A lovely lady called Miss Josiane Adama from the Ivory Coast has written to to offer us a lump of her $3.5million fortune, left to her by her father. He’s yet another of these African business who has died in a tragic accident. I don’t believe there can be many African businessmen left alive.

Anyway, we’ve sent off our bank details as Miss Adama requested, and I believe Team PokerStars Blog is now up for the week to the tune of $11.7million.

As Miss Adama said: “May God bless you as you extend your helping hand to the needy.” What a woman! — SY

1.38pm: Chip lead swings to Lewis

Toby Lewis has just become the chip ledaer here in Vilamoura but was put through the wringer in doing so. Lewis had raised under the gun to 37,000 and was three-bet by Martin Jacobson to 87,000. So far, so standard. Lewis thought for a short while before grabbing a stack of blue 10,000 chips topped them with a few yellow 5,000 chips and made it 170,000. Jacobson moved all-in and Lewis made the call quickly turning [qs][qc]. Jacobson rolled over [as][kc] and Lewis pulled a face that seemed to encapsulate the notion: “Oh good, I’m flipping for a 1.46m pot in the last 18 of an EPT.”

The flop hammered Lewis in the face with top set on a [qd][jd][9d] flop. Then the turn dropped a gutshot to give Jacobson Broadway with the [tc]. Lewis started to look unwell but then a second ten, the [ts], appeared on the river giving Lewis queens full and a 1,460,000 king-sized stack. — RD

1.34pm: Bad timing

PokerStars qualifier Robert Cezarescu was down to his last 260,000 and these found their way in to middle. But unfortunately for him Marton Czuczor looked down and saw [as][ad] and made the call. Cezarescu had [7c][7s] and the board ran [qc][4c][5d][8h][2c]. Cezarescu is our 19th place finisher taking home €11,174. — MC

1.30pm: Unlucky Cichocki

Grzegorz Cichocki opened for 36,000 from the cut off and 203 moved all in from the big blind. With the action back on Cichocki he announced he would call the 372,000 more, turning over [ad][9d]. Trickett had that beat though, showing [ah][qc].

The board ran [6h][jh][6c][4s][2s] doubling Trickett but leaving Cichocki with just 15,000 chips. Inevitably they went in on the next hand but having found pocket jacks Cichocki quadrupled up when Trickett called with ace-six. This revival only lasted one hand though. On the next he shoved and let Trickett and Frederick Jensen check their way to the river, where Trickett bet to make it a heads up showdown. On a board of [4s][js][td][jc][qd] Ticket showed [ks][qh], easily defeating Cichocki’s pair of sevens.

Cichocki out. 19 players remain. — SB

1.25pm: Cecchi out

Claudio Cecchi hardly had enough time to settle back in his seat after the break before he was making his way to the cash desk. Konsta Vesterinen raised, Cecchi shoved for 180,000 with [ah][10h] and the man from Finland with [kd][qh].

The Italian was looking in good shape, with the [5s][7h][10c] flop serving only to confirm his lead. The turn was a harmless [jh] (although it did offer Vesterinen an open-ended straight draw, but it was the [qd] on the river which did the damage.

Cecchi is our 21st-place finisher, collecting €11,174. — SY

1.17pm: Play resumes

The players are back from break to play what will be the first full level of the day. 21 players still remain and no one has managed to catch up to overnight chip leader Martin Jacobson who is still half a million chips clear of his nearest rival. — MC


Rob Hollink dreaming of a second EPT Title

PokerStars Blog reporting team at EPT Vilamoura (in order of Club sandwiches consumed this week): Marc Convey – 2, Stephen Bartley – 3, Rick Dacey – 5 and Simon Young – do numbers go that high? . Photos © 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 Vilamoura: Day 4, level 19 & 20 updates (6,000-12,000, 1,000 ante)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg1.07pm: First break of the day

That’s 75-minutes gone and we’ve lost three players; Carolyn Gray, Eliran Argelazi and Kevin O’Donnell. Ten minute break. — RD

1.06pm: Jacobson piles on the pressure

Martin Jacobson is relentless and it doesn’t take a lot of analysis to see how he’s growing his stack. Jacobson opened the pot for 26,000 from the cut-off and was three-bet to 74,000 from the button by former EPT winner Rob Hollink to 74,000. Jacobson came back over the top for 163,000 and Hollink passed. That’s another 100,000 for Jacobson whose stack is frequently being stared at by Toby Lewis. — RD

1.05pm: Strangely quiet

The usually effervescent Italian, Fabrizio Ascari, is as quiet as a dormouse today. We’re used to hearing him from miles away, but so far he’s not said a word. Even just now, when it was folded around to him in the small blind and he raise-folded to Martin Jacobson in the big blind, a gentle tap of the table was all the Italian could muster.

However, I notice he is tucking into his first (I presume) cold beer of the day, so he could get lively again quite swiftly. — SY

12.59pm: Hmm, a queen, Mr Hollink?

Erik Van Den Berg and Rob Hollink were heads-up to a [qs][3s][9h] flop. Hollink check-called his countryman’s 14,000. Both then checked the [9s] turn, but on the [qd] river Hollink pushed 44,000 over the line. He looked desperate for a call. No call came. — SY

12.57pm: Folding an ace

Claudio Cecchi opened with a raise to 30,000 from mid position. He had around 175,000 behind. It was folded around to Nicolo Calia in the big blind, who elected to fold his [as][4c] face up, much to several players’ surprise. — SY

12.55pm: Action from table 2

Jason Lee has become the most active player at table 2 but it’s not working out for him at the moment.

Hand 1: Lee opened under the gun for 27,000 and was shoved on by Filipa Lemos for 152,000. Lee passed and Lemos chipped up to 200,000. — RD

Hand 2: Teddy Sheringham folded his small blind with Lee being the default blinds winner from the big blind.

Hand 3: Sheringham raised the button forcing Lee and Sam Trickett to pass their blinds.

Hand 4: Lee raised from the button and took the blinds.

Hand 5: Lee raised from the cut-off to 24,000 and was called by Sergio Coutinho in the small blind. Coutinho check-raised Lee’s 29,000 bet to 64,000 on the [jd][8c][3h] flop and Lee called. Coutinho led the [tc] turn for 110,000 and Lee passed. — RD

12.50pm: Kevin O’Dear

Kevin O’Donnell is our 22nd place finisher after succumbing to Marco Leonzio. Marton Czuczor opened to 26,000 and was called by Leonzio before O’Donnell moved all-in for another 137,000 from the BB. Czuczor folded but Leonzio made the call for a showdown:

O’Donnell: [as][jc]

Leonzio: [ts][th]

The board ran [6h][7h][td][4h][qd]. O’Donnell was drawing dead by the turn and Leonzio celebrated this by pumping his fists. O’Donnell wished everyone the best and went off to collect his €11,174.

12.45pm: Vesterinen up

Dmitry Gromov opened for 28,000 from under the gun and Konsta Vesterinen raised to 63,000. It was folded back to Marco Leonzio in the big blind who called Gromov’s bet and not the raise. Removing his headphones to hear the explanation, he paid up the extra, as did Gromov, for a flop of [ah][9h][6d].

The action was checked to Vesterinen who bet another 76,000. After checking amounts Leonzio announced he was all-in and Vesterinen snap-called as soon as Gromov had passed. He had good reason to, turning over [ad][as]. Leonzio couldn’t believe his bad luck, turning over [6s][6h] for bottom set.

The turn [qh] and river [qs] could not help him and he slips down to 570,000. Vesterinen on the other hand moves up to 700,000. — SB

12.35pm: Jensen finds a golden Trickett

Frederick Jensen is up to 680,000 after doubling through Sam Trickett. Both players saw a [7h][th][6c] flop before both players were all-in. Jensen was so keen to get his chips in that Trickett asked “Have you got a set?”

Jensen shook his head and tabled [ac][as] which was good versus the Brit’s [kh][kc]. The turn came [ah] to improve Jensen’s hand to a set but it opened up a flush draw for Trickett but it failed to come on the [9s] river. Trickett down to 300,000 now. – MC

12.30pm: Eliran Argelazi is second to fall

Eliran Argelazi got it in against Marton Czuczor in a straight foot race with [as][qc] against [6h][6d]. If you were to say it wasn’t the best of flops for Argelazi – [7s][9s][8h] – then you certainly say it wasn’t the best of turns either as the [ts] gave Czuczor the low end of the straight. Argelazi needed a jack or a spade to give him a larger staright but instead he got the [kc] and €11,174 for his 23rd place finish. — RD

12.15pm: First out: Carolyn Gray

It was a no-brainer for PokerStars qualifier Carloyn Gray from the UK when she looked down at [as][qc] with 101,000 in her stack. She moved all-in from the cut-off and found action in the small blind from Sergio Coutinho. Unfortunately for her Coutinho turned over [kc][kh] and the board ran out without a bullet, [6d][4h][8h][9h][2d] to be precise. Gray takes home €11,174 for her strong 24th place finish, not a shabby return for a $20 rebuy qualifier. — RD

11.50pm: Table draw

For today’s line up, and where they’ll be sitting, check out the table draw here.

11.45am: Back for day four

Welcome back to live coverage of EPT Vilamoura in an overcast but muggily warm Algarve. As you will have worked out from the text below, just 24 players remain in the main event, 24 that will become eight by the close of play today, ahead of the final table tomorrow.

So, as unbearable dance tunes turn the tournament floor into a giant headache, courtesy of a dealer team who reached the music button first this morning, we await the arrival of the players who right now are outside ready to be led in. I might go wait outside with them. — SB


Chip leader Martin Jacobson

6am: Sun up….

8.30pm: Sun down….

8.05pm: Play over

With that, players are bagging and tagging. Martin Jacobson is our chip leader. Full chip counts and a wrap of the day’s play will be with you shortly. — SY

8pm: Janos Toth last one out

That’s it. Play is over for the day after Hungary’s Janos Toth was busted by chip monster Martin Jacobson, leaving us with the required 24 players. Toth raised to 2,400, Jacobson re-raised to 61,000, Toth moved all in for around 250,000 and got an instant call. Toth found he was in a world of pain:

Toth: [as][qd]

Jacobson: [ad][ah]

There was brief hope on the [qh][5h][js] flop, but the [3h] turn and [6d] river kept Jacobson in front. — SY

7.50pm: Thorson out

William Thorson is out of EPT Vilamoura. Despite a long period of short stack play the Swede was finally eliminated by Guillermo Garcia. Thorson opened for 25,000 before Garcia moved all-in. Thorson called showing [qh][qd] while Garcia turned over [qs][ad].

Thorson needed to dodge an ace but the flop stuck a finger up at his needs, coming as it did [5d][6s][ac][ah][7c]. Thorson was out in 26th place. Garcia up to 570,000. — SB

ept vilamoura_day 3_william thorson 2.jpg

William Thorson lost two key pots against Guillermo Garcia

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 6,000-12,000, ANTE 1,000

7.45pm: Players return

Play resumes in level 20.

7.28pm: Break time

That’s the end of the level and time for another 15-minute break and chip count.

7.26pm: Lewis shoves it up Ascari

On the last hand before the break Toby Lewis opened the action to 23,000 and was three-bet on the button to 47,000 by Fabrizio Ascari. The action folded back to Lewis who moved all-in for around 300,000. Ascari took to his feet (again) for the usual Hollywooding before passing to Lewis. It’s a vital pot for the Brit who is still belwo the 443,000 chip average. — RD

7.18pm: Argelazi doubles through Ascari

It was action straight from the front of a telephone book when Fabrizio Ascari opened the action to 25,000 from early position and Eliran Argelazi moved all-in from the button for 80,000 more. Ascari stood up and started his usual shall-I-call-shall-I-fold histrionics before finally putting his chips in. Ascari’s pocket fours instantly fell behind Argelazi’s [qd][jh] and the Israeli is back up to 220,000. — RD

7.13pm: Berg sunk

Johan Berg is eliminated in 27th place. He moved in for 180,000 with pocket deuces only to be called by Erik van den Berg with pocket tens. There was no sign of a deuce on the [7c][ah][5s][9d][9h] board, leaving just 26 players remaining. — SB

7.10pm: Flush to the rescue for Cezarescu

Another double up, this time for Robert Cezarescu who moved in with pocket kings against the pocket nines of Eliran Argelazi. The board ran [jc][8s][7c][qc][5c] giving Cezarescu a king-high flush and leaving Argelazi with just 95,000. — SB

7.05pm: Calia likes top pair

Nicolo Calia took some time to mull a raise on the turn of a [5d][jd][5h][9d] board. Calia had led the flop for 20,000 and the turn for 25,000 when Marton Czuczor raised it up to 85,000. Calia sat tinkering with his chips for a good minute before raising it up another 66,000. Czuczor passed and Calia flipped [jc][qc] on its back. — RD

7pm: JP Kelly eliminated

British Team PokerStars Pro JP Kelly is out, busted by Martin Jacobson in a monster 800,000 pot. Jacobson had opened with a raise to 23,000, Kelly made it 45,000 more, Jacobson replied with a bet of 95,000, Kelly moved all in and the Swede insta-called.

Jacobson: [ah][ks]

Kelly: [ac][qd]

Kelly was aghast, but he perked up when the flop came [3d][5d][qs]. The turn was a safe [js] but the river was [kh], giving Jacobson the pot. Kelly watched his stack being pushed across the table and left.

Jacobson, meanwhile, now moves to 1.2million chips. — SY

6.52pm: Thorson misses monster draw

Guillermo Garcia opened to 21,000 and was called in the small blind by William Thorson who then led the [9h][3c][6h] flop for 27,000. Garcia raised it up to 84,000 and Thorson moved all-in. Garcia quickly made the call.

Thorson: [4h][5h]

Garcia: [ac][9c]

Top pair, top kicker versus a monster draw. Turn: [kc]. River: [as]. Thorson drops to just below 200,000 as Garcia doubles to 540,000. — RD

6.45pm: Kelly tumbled

Tom Johansen has doubled up through JP Kelly. He moved all-in with [th][ts] against Kelly’s [ah][qc]. The board ran [7d][6s][8s][7c][9s]. He’s up to 400,000 while Kelly slips to 460,000. — SB

6.34pm: Willis a gonner

Robert Willis is the latest to make the short walk to the cash desk. Grzegorz Cichocki had opened with a raise and Willis pushed for 100,000 with A-K, called by Cichocki with pocket jacks. No messing around on this one – a jack fell on the flop to give Cichocki a set and Willis never got a sniff. We’re down to 29 — SY

6.29pm: Ojala out

Toni Ojala has just bust in 30th position after getting it in with jacks. Sam Trickett had opened the pot to 20,000 and been three-bet by Gromov to 60,000. Ojala moved all-in from the small blind for only a little bit more and Trickett wisely stepped to one side.

Ojala: [jd][js]

Gromov: [kc][ks]

Ojala failed to catch a jack and that was him done for. — RD

6.25pm: News on the golf

As you may know, there’s a special golf/poker tournament here in Vilamoura this week called the Fairways and Felts Challenge. Pay a one-off €1,100 fee and you get to play a round of golf, and how well you do on the course reflects on how many extra chips you get at the start of the poker tournament half of the event.

Organisers have just announced that you do not have to play the golf – you can enter just the poker tournament if you wish. Thing is, you will start with 10,000 chips, while those who played the golf will likely start with more. Anyway, if you fancy playing just the poker, the cost for that is €700 €70 and it kicks off on Thursday at noon. — SY

6.20pm: Werzer hounded out

PokerStars qualifier Wolfgang Wurzer is out. His first attempt to leave was thwarted by an ace-queen vs ace-queen split pot against Marco Leonzio. This time though he lumped in his last 59,000 with [kd][6c], called by JP Kelly with [ah][3h].

The board ran [2h][qs][9s][td][2s] sending Wurzer out in 32nd place and JP Kelly to close to 600,000 chips. — SB

6.10pm: Play has now…

…got under way after the break. Blinds are now 5,000-10,000 with a 1,000 ante.


JP Kelly

PokerStars Blog reporting team at EPT Vilamoura (in order of favourite hand): Marc Convey (the winning hand), Rick Dacey (aces), Simon Young (ten-jack of diamonds) and Stephen Bartley (anything that doesn’t make him look like an idiot when eliminated). Photos © 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 Vilamoura: Seat draw with 3 tables remaining

With 24 players left in the EPT Vilamoura main event this is how the last three tables will reconvene:

Table 1

1 – Tom Johansen, Norway, PokerStars qualifier , 521,000

2 – Eliran Argelazi, Israel, 202,000

3 – Konsta Vesterinen, Finland, 284,000

4 – Kevin O’Donnell, USA, 196,000

5 – Marton Czuczor, Hungary, 440,000

6 – Robert Cezarescu, Romania, PokerStars qualifier, 457,000

7 – Marco Leonzio, Italy, 778,000

8 – Dmitry Gromov, Russia, 315,000

Table 2

1 – Jason Lee, USA, PokerStars qualifier, 600,000

2 – Carolyn Gray, UK, PokerStars qualifier, 103,000

3 – Sam Trickett UK, 712,000

4 – Sergio Coutinho, Portugal, 635,000

5 – Frederick Jensen, Denmark, 301,000

6 – Filipa Cerqueira, Portugal, 227,000

7 – Grzegorz Cichocki, Poland, PokerStars qualifier, 333,000

8 – Teddy Sheringham, UK, Friend of PokerStars, 381,000

Table 3

1 – Toby Lewis, UK, PokerStars player, 396,000

2 – Fabrizio Ascari, Italy, 485,000

3 – Claudio Cecchi, Italy, 168,000

4 – Martin Jacobson, Sweden, PokerStars qualifier, 1,362,000

5 – Rob Hollink, Netherlands, 696,000

6 – Erik Van Den Berg, Netherlands, PokerStars player, 554,000

7 – Nicolo Calia , Italy, 609,000

8 – Guillermo Garcia, Spain, PokerStars player, 766,000


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 Vilamoura: Jacobson swings into the lead with 24 left


One of the reasons the European Poker Tour has become so successful is that the destinations aren’t just great places to play, they are also great places to visit. No player likes to bust from a tournament but the blow is softened, and the mind happily distracted, when there’s a wonderful city waiting to be explored. PokerStars decided to take this idea a step further last season, stopping at destinations where great activities were on offer alongside the poker. EPT Snowfest was the prime example of this, where players could hit the Alpine slopes in the morning and the poker table in the afternoon.

Then there’s Vilamoura and golf…

Vilamoura is a relatively new resort (founded in 1974) on the Algarve. It’s a region famous for its outstanding golf courses and weather to match. There are four world-class courses nearby and PokerStars is utilising one of them for a unique tournament concept; the Fairways and Felts challenge. It’s a two-day event starting tomorrow combining golf and poker (if you hadn’t already guessed) and a great way for those who didn’t make the cut to enjoy time away from the baize without taking an eye off it completely.


Overnight chip leader: Martin Jacobson


3rd EPT cash for JP Kelly

If this was a golf tournament we are now into the weekend stages, and the player most under par, leading the way is Martin Jacobson from Sweden with 1,362,000 chips. He had a storming day three, his stack growing consistently before an Albatross of a pot against Team PokerStars Pro JP Kelly late on sent him soaring away from the pack. His ace-king bested the Brit’s ace-queen in an 800,000 coup.

A fair few shots back but still in with a chance in the closing rounds are Guillermo Garcia (766,000), Marco Leonzio (788,000), Sam Trickett (712,000) and Rob Hollink (696,000) who is the only former EPT champion remaining.

Friend of PokerStars Teddy Sheringham will have to miss the golf tomorrow as he returns with 381,000. His key day three moment came when he made a full house versus William Thorson, not long after he had texted a mutual friend of theirs that he planned to take the Swede’s chips. That pot crippled Thorson who went on to make a remarkable comeback, only to lose two big pots late on to Guillermo Garca and finish in 26th place (€9,312).


Former international footballer, Sheringham, continues to impress

It wasn’t the greatest of days for Team PokerStars Pro. All failed to make it through the day. In golf terms JP Kelly was hitting most fairways and greens in regulation until his ball found the water and sunk to the bottom (explained above) for a 29th place finish (€9,312). Luca Pagano achieved a record-breaking 16th cash with his 52nd-place finish for €7,263. Cashing for him is par for the course but the Italian craves an EPT title more than anything else and for the second EPT in a row he was eliminated by an opponent hitting a two-outer on him.

Marcin Horecki finished in 35th (€8,381) and Nuno Coelho and Andre Coimbra (PokerStars Team Online) also managed small cashes in this their home event, finishing in 54th and 49th respectively. Arnaud Mattern and Antonio Tarantino (PokerStars Team Online) both came back today but failed to make the cut (cash).


Mixed emotions for Luca Pagano

Notable players who made the cut, but who are not coming back for the rest of the weekend, are overnight chip leader Brandon Cantu (swung his driver wildly today) and Evgeniy Zaytsev (got stuck in the rough a lot). Those who didn’t even make the cut included Stephen Chidwick, Max Lykov and Paul Foltyn (out of bounds just short of the money).

So, the dynamics for tomorrow are simple; the 24 players remaining players will come back for the penultimate round of poker and we will play until our final table of eight remain.

And if a fish and chips styled blog isn’t your thing, then a try a foreign linguistic flavour by visiting the sites of our culinary cousins on Pizza loving Italian blog, Wiener Schnitzel loving German blog, Mayonnaise on everything Dutch blog, and the Piri piri spiced Portuguese blog.

Full chip counts are on the, chip count page, and you can watch all the video blogs and more on, while all exterior pictures (no internal shots allowed) are provided by a tanned Neil Stoddart.

Until midday tomorrow that’s all from us folks.

All pictures © 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 Vilamoura Day 3: Level 17 & 18 updates (4,000-8,000, 500 ante)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg5.56pm: Break time

Just 32 players are left here from a starting field of 384 and the big money is getting within tasting distance. Fabrizio Ascari seems particularly excited and is dancing around on the veranda outside the tournament room while shouting “All-in” and “I’m going to win the tournament.” — RD

ept vilamoura_day 3_fabrizio ascari 2.jpg

Ascari: more lively than a crate of Red Bull

5.54pm: Thorson sends Calo to the rail

Frank Calo was all in for 51,000 with [as][4s] but up against William Thorson’s [ks][kh]. “Good luck,” Thorson said, not really meaning it of course. The board ran a kings-friendly [2s][7h][10h][8h][7d] and Calo was done. — SY

5.51pm: The (bad) luck of the Irish

Joaquin Culebras was all-in and Robert Willis was in deep thought. He’d originally made it 23,000 from under the gun before Culebras shoved for 107,000 from the big blind. Now it was up to the Irishman. “Okay, let’s do it,” he said with appropriate gusto, and turned over [9c][9d]. Then he said “Oh s**t,” when he saw Culebras’s [ah][ac], which remained ahead on the [2d][jh][qs][kc][8c].

Culebras doubles up, while Willis is down to just 60,000. — SB

5.41pm: Big race sends Czuczor up

Marton Czuczor and Toni Ojala got all-in on a huge race. The Romanian had [js][jd] and was all-in for 336,000, while Ojala had him covered in chips and was holding [ad][kc]. The flop was emphatic for Czuczor, coming [jc][2h][5h], and while the [3c] turn offered Ojala brief hope, the [qd] river killed it off.

As a result Czuczor is up to nearly 700,000 while Ojala slips to 70,000. — SY

5.33pm: Lewis loses some

More woes for Toby Lewis. The Englishman, who is a composed youngster at the table, showed a first flash of emotion when he called Erik Van Den Berg’s all in with [7d][7c] with his own [jh][ah]. The emotion – a wince – came on the [jc][ac][7h] flop which rendered the [9h] turn and [ks] river. Van Den Berg moves up to 350,000 while Lewis slips to a not unworkable 500,000. — SB

ept vilamoura_day 3_toby lewis.jpg

Toby Lewis still battling for the big stack

5.27pm: Thorson doubles again

William Thorson has just crippled Frank Calo with a Broadway straight. Thorson is up to 260,000. Calo was in trouble with 30,000 but has since got a shove through. — RD

5.22pm: Horecki out

Marcin Horecki is out. It was a standard preflop affair between the Team PokerStars Pro and Sam Trickett with king-queen versus ace-four. Trcikett won the race and Horecki was forced to bow out. — RD

ept vilamoura_day 3_marcin horecki.jpg

Marcin Horecki: busted but ready for golf

5.18pm: Cantu crashes out

Brandon Cantu may regret this tournament. He had a huge stack only an hour or two ago, around 800,000, but now has 0 chips. Cantu opened the pot for 21,000 and was three-bet to 51,000 by Dmitry Gromov. Cantu shoved all-in for just over 100,000 more and Gromov made the call.

Gromov: [9d][9c]

Cantu: [ac][kd]

The flop was not a good one for Cantu; [9h][3s][ah] and the turn and river did little to change the situation. Cantu out. — RD

5.15pm: Nearly our first millionaire

Toby Lewis was ever so close to being our first chip millionaire but a six on the turn snatched a near half-million pot away from him. We’re not sure how the chips got into the middle but Lewis was sat in the cut-off and Frederick Jensen was sat in the SB with his 217,000 stack over the line. Showdown:

Lewis: [ah][kd]

Jensen: [6s][7s]

The [7c][8h][kh] flop was good for Lewis but as we mentioned he didn’t like the [6c] turn much and the [jd] river failed to change anything. He’s still going well on around 750,000 though. — MC

5.10pm: Cantu dropping more

Brandon Cantu started the day as chip leader but it’s gone downhill ever since. He just lost another chunk. After opening raising, Dmitry Gromov moved all in over the top for 70,000. Cantu called, but his [kh][9h] was behind Gromov’s [10h][10s]. The flop came [qd][9d][8d] and the turn [2d]. With no diamonds on either player’s hands, Cantu called for a diamond on the river so the pot would be chopped. It didn’t come, and he’s now down to 150,000. Gromov up to 400,000. — SY


Cantu no longer in cruise control

5.05pm: Toth takes one

Janos Toth has eased up to 570,000 after taking a pot of Martin Jacobsen. With around 100,000 int he middle already, the board was [js][8s][2c][2s] and Toth had bet 35,000. Call. Both then slowed to a check on the [5s] river. “Flush,” said Toth, turning over [ks][qs], and that was enough to take it. Jacobsen slipped to 400,000. — SY

5pm: Second place (in this hand) for De Silva

Janos Toth min-raised to 16,000 and was shoved on by online qualifier Joao De Silva for 161,500. Toth did not call, but the small blind, Marco Leonzio, did.

Marco Leonzio: [ah][qc]

De Silva: [as][js]

The flop was a big one for De Silva who needed to catch up to stay alive and [4h][2s][ks] gave him a flush draw. The turn and river blanked out with the [5c] and the [6c]. — RD

4.57pm: Horecki hurt

Marcin Horecki is down to just 80,000 after a run in with Sergio Coutinho. When the chips went in Horecki was ahead, having called Coutinho’s king-queen with ace-king. But the queen on the flop sent the chips to Coutinho who is now up to 160,000. — SB

4.55pm: Wolfgang in tune

PokerStars qualifier Wolfgang Wurzer is hanging in there with a double-up to 125,000. The action folded to the German in the SB who looked flummoxed as to what to do with his holding. He ended up raising to 24,000 and calling all-in after Sergio Coutinho set him in from the BB.

Wurzer: [ad][qc]

Countinho: [ah][ts]

The board ran [9s][8d][5c][6h][4c] meaning Coutinho is the more at risk now with 90,000. —MC

4.50pm: Carry on without Carron

Patrick Carron is the latest faller after moving all-in for 123,000 with [ad][td]. Toby Lewis called, showing [ah][jd] once Fabrizio Ascari folded his big blind.

The board ran [kh][4d][8c][6c][ks] and Carron stepped away from the table. Ascari applauded Carron and then gave Lewis a slap on the back, jolting him forward. It leaves Erik van den Berg as the only ginger haired player remaining in the event. — SB

ept vilamoura_day 3_fabrizio ascari.jpg

There’s only one word to describe Fabrizio Ascari. Excitable.

4.45pm: Back in the game

Toby Lewis kicked this one off with a raise to 18,000 before Erik Van Den Berg made it 40,000 from the button. Robert Cezarescu woke up with a hand from the small blind and moved all-in for 114,000. Lewis got out of the way, but Van Den Berg made the call.

Van Den Berg: [ah][3h]

Cezarescu: [qh][qd]

The flop was [kd][3d][7h] and the [4h] turn gave Van Den Berg more outs, but the river was [4d] to send the PokerStars qualifier from Romania up to 240,000. Van Den Berg, a PokerStars qualifier from Holland, slipped to 150,000. – SY

4.42pm: Those that have fallen

We now have 38 players left here at EPT Vilamoura and that means that 18 players have thus far finished in the money, which includes Luca Pagano and his record-breaking 16th EPT cash. — RD

4.42pm: Play restarts

Play restarts

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 4,000-8,000, ANTE 500

4.30pm: Break time

Players are enjoying a 15 minute break in the action. Tea time for the blog team.

4.28pm: Cantu losing chips at a rate of knots

Brandon Cantu had some 800,000 chips earlier but that his stack has crashed to around 160,000. He just lost another chunky pot to Toni Ojala from Finland. Ojala has scored some good results at the EPT having final tabled EPT Barcelona last season with another four cashes to his name.

Ojala check-raised all-in on for 140,500 on a [4c][2d][kc][jd] board causing Brandon Cantu to let out a loud (and somewhat anguished) “Ahhhh.” Cantu had bet the turn for 21,000 and had been called by Kevin O’Donnell before Ojala had squeezed his chips in. Cantu moved in behind. There was already around 70,000 in the pot.

Cantu: [qd][qh]

Ojala: [kh][td]

The normally reserved Finn let out a stressed “Yes” when he saw how far ahead he was. The river blanked and Ojala moved up to 360,000. — RD

ept vilamoura_day 3_toni ojala.jpg

Toni Ojala’s top pair held to severely damage Cantu

4.28pm: Thorson on the road to recovery

William Thorson continues to claw his way back into this event, now up to 150,000 after winning a hand against Joaquin Culebras. Culebras had made it 17,000 on a flop of [8s][8h][kh]. Thorson then raised to 37,000 leaving Culebras with no option but to fold. Thorson allowed Culebras to turn over the [9c] before stacking his new chips. Culebras down to about the same. — SB

4.25pm: Double for Thorson

William Thorson got it all in (40,000) against Robert Willis, but his [ad][qs] was behind Willis’ [kd][kh]. No matter, an ace popped up on the [ac][9d][5h] flop and Thorson remained in the lead through the turn and river. He’s now on more than 40,000. — SY

4.23pm: Nice flop

Wolfgang Wurzer was desperately short with 27,000 and thought he had found the perfect spot to move all-in from the small blind after Rob Hollink had raised to 12,000 from under the gun. But to Wurzer’s horror, Sergio Coutinho then moved all-in as well from the big blind for 150,000. Hollink got out of the way.

Wurzer: [ac][qh]

Coutinho: [ah][ks]

Wurzer was ready to pay for the massage he had been enjoying and leave the room, but the flop was a pleasant [as][5d][qs], shooting him into the lead, where he remained on the [6h] turn and [10s] river. — SY

4.21pm: Konsta’s snowmen good

Konsta Vesterinen is up to 240,000 after busting local boy David Metelo. Vesterinen raised to 12,000 and then said “I have to call” when Metelo moved all-in for 118,000 with [ad]kd]. Vesterinen tabled [8h][8d] which turned out to be very good on the [9d][9h][8c][7h][ts] board. – MC

4.18pm: Argelazi dodges Berg and sails towards 400k

Johan Berg opened for 16,000 and Erik van den Berg made the call from the cut off. Over in the big blind Eliran Argelazi was thinking and thinking hard. He had 190,000 left and was working something out in his head. Sure he had the right move he raised to 39,000. Berg passed but Van Den Berg was not so quick to act. After confirming the amount he then said he was all in. Argelazi couldn’t get his chips in fast enough, turning over [ah][ac] to Van Den Berg’s [9h][9c].

The board ran [3d][8d][qs][7s][as] to send the chips to Argelazi, now on 380,000. Van Den Berg slips down to 240,000. — SB

4.16pm: Horecki up and down

Marcin Horecki is living in swing town at the moment. He was up over 200,000 then down to 80,000 at which point the shoved from the hijack. Guillermo Garcia moved all-in behind putting Carolyn Gray in a difficult position. She shook her head and passed leaving the players heads up.

Horecki: [kh][qh]

Garcia: [7d][7c]

Garcia was looking good until the turn on the [4s][ah][2d][qc] board and failed to catch the river (it was the [9h]). Horecki is back up to 170,000. Garcia is down to 140,000. — RD

4.02pm: Thorson all-in

“I think I have the best hand,” said William Thorson as he tabled [ah][9h] all-in for 27,000 against Frank Calo. The American had taken a little time deciding whether to call or not from the small blind so when he did Thorson had felt he was ahead.

He was not. Calo turned over [ad][ks] and Thorson said: “Wooh, you needed time with that hand?”

Thorson hit his nine on the turn of a [tc][jc][7d][9d][4h] board and doubled up to 60,000. Still short but always in with a shout. — RD

ept vilamoura_day 3_william thorson.jpg

William Thorson will be a danger if he keeps doubling

4pm: Lucky escape

Evgeniy Zaytsev pushed all-in for 61,000 with [as][3s] and it was folded around to Frank Calo who made the call from the small blind with [ad][7d]. The flop was an intriguing [3d][7c][9d], giving Zaytsev bottom pair, but giving Calo second pair and also the nut flush draw. The turn then came [3h], shooting Zaytsev into the lead, and the [9h] river kept him there. — SY

3.59pm: The Beach Boys

While we’ve been busy working away indoors, Team PokerStars Pros Dario Minieri and Arnaud Mattern have been messing around on the beach…

3.58pm: Miss Marcelin Bamba

We on the PokerStars Blog are still waiting for the money from two separate ladies who emailed us yesterday promising riches for taking care of their dead fathers’ millions.

But fear not, Miss Marcelin Bamba has now emailed us from Abidjan asking for help getting hold of her father’s $5.7million fortune. He, you guessed it, died mysteriously on a business trip.

What makes this even more shocking is that Miss Bamba, who sounds rather lovely, thinks it was her uncle who killed him. What a scandal!

We’ve duly sent off our bank account details as she requested. — SY

3.56pm: The Cantu man can

Brandon Cantu just reversed the current trend that had made his stack one of the shorter ones. After Marton Czuczor opened for 14,000, Konsta Vesterinen called and Cantu announced all-in. It was folded back to Czuczor, who passed, but Vesterinen called, showing [kc][ad]. Cantu turned over [9d][9h], arranged the cards neatly side by side and asked for a nine.

Actually, he wouldn’t need one. The board ran [8h][jh][qh][ah][5s]. Cantu got excited on the turn, which had made him a life saving flush. He’s now back up to nearly 400,000 while Vesterinen slips down to around 180,000. — SB

3.52pm: Van Den Berg’s open range

Robert Cezarescu opened under the gun for 14,000 and was called by Fabrizio Ascari (cut-off), Frederick Jensen (button) and Erik Van Den Berg (big blind). Van Den Berg was priced in to call with pretty much any two cards – very profitably as it would turn out.

All four players checked the [5h][as][ks] flop but Van Den Berg led the [4h] turn for 26,000 only getting action from Ascari. The [3s] dropped on the river completing a couple of the draws and Van Den Berg fired a small 30,000 bet into the middle. Ascari called.

Ascari: [4d][5d] for bottom two-pair

Van Den Berg: [2c][3c] for the wheel

Nice pot for Van Den Berg and it must have kept the exuberant Ascari quiet for all of ten seconds. — RD

3.45pm: Bye bye Boyen, Boyen goodbye

Boyen Bonev moved all-in from under-the-gun. Jason Lee asked how much but it wasn’t a lot, about 30,000, and immediately called showing [7c][7d]. Bonev turned over [js][ks]. The board ran [2d][ah][9s][6d][ac]. Down to 41. — SB

3.42pm: Tip of the Van Den Berg

Erik van den Berg opened for 13,500. Patrick Carron then announced raise, to 31,500. At this point Fabrizio Ascari said “Wow, wow,” in a manner that suggested either irony, or that he was taking all this far too seriously. Van Den Berg asked him how much he had and Carron showed about 140,000 behind. Van Den Berg then announced he was all-in, forcing Carron to pass. — SB

ept vilamoura_day 3_erik van den berg.jpg

Van Den Berg: a lucky hat can take you far

3.40pm: Classic cooler

Henrique Custodio has been eliminated after running pocket kings into the pocket aces of Joaquin Culebras. Custodio opened to 14,500 from the button to see Culebras move all-in for 130,000 from the SB after some thought and a shrug. Custodio snap called and as he had less was the player at risk. The board ran [7s][2h][qc][jd][qh] and the Portuguese player was consoled by his table mates before heading to the pay-out desk. – MC

3.34pm: Horecki busts one

Marcin Horecki busted Thorsten Schafer in a battle of the blinds. The German only had 40,000 or so and got it in with 4-4, but Horecki with K-6 his a 6 on the flop. — SY

3.30pm: Dancing queen

This race was lost and then won on the river. Claudio Cecchi got tricky and called from the small blind, only for Andre Andrade to move all-in from the big with [ac][kd]. Cecchi had [qc][qh] up his sleeve and the race was on. The flop was a bad one for the Italian, coming [5s][9h][as], the turn was [5c] but the river was [qs] sending him wild with delight. He’s now up to 230,000, leaving Andrade with just 16,000.

Next hand Andrade found the perfect spot to double up, getting it in with [ah][9h] against Wolfgang Wurzer’s [ad][2c]. But the board came [5h][6s][3s][6d][5d] for a split pot. — SY

3.28pm: Kelly bashes Bonev

JP Kelly is moving up the chip ladder here with a plum aplomb. He has just been moved table and on his first hand he has snagged a huge pot from Bulgarian Boyan Bonev. The Team PokerStars Pro opened for 15,000 and was three-bet from the small blind to 41,500 by Bonev. Kelly made the call. Both players checked the [kd][9h][3c] flop but Bonev couldn’t contain himself on the [5h] turn which he led for 48,500. Kelly called. Bonev attacked the river with a large chunk of his chips, 68,500 to be precise, and Kelly moved all-in. Bonev did not look thrilled with life at this point and mucked his hand leaving himself with about 90,000. Kelly is up to 640,000 and very near the lead. — RD

ept vilamoura_day 3_jp kelly.jpg

JP Kelly has built a stack that gives him a great shout to make the final table

3.22pm: Dominating but dumped

All you can do in this game is to get your chips in good and that exactly what PokerStars qualifier Michal Karolak did but that still didn’t stop him from exiting. He moved all-in for 38,000 from the SB when the action folded around to him and was called by Tom Johansen in the BB for a showdown:

Karolak: [ah][ks]

Johansen: [kd][jc]

The board ran [js][qh][2s][jh][3d] to seal the Pole’s fate. — MC

3.20pm: Curses for Cantu, Can do for Czuczor

Brandon Cantu opened for 16,000 in early position. Kevin O’Donnell called on the button while Marton Czuczor in the small blind seemed in no rush, pottering around a bit before announcing he was all-in. When the action returned to Cantu he announced all-in too, leaving O’Donnell to fold.

Czuczor turned over [9c][9h] and Cantu immediately yelled “Come on,” as he showed [ah][qs]. It seemed things were going Cantu’s way on the [qh][8h][4h] flop but when the [9d] turn hit he made an involuntary “oooh,” sound. On the [ac] river he referred to a certain gentleman popular among religious groups and counted out what he now owed. Czuczor is now up to around 400,000, leaving Cantu with 320,000. — SB

3.14pm: Lewis takes out Coimbra…

…and we’re not talking about a candlelit dinner. These two had been slugging it out all morning and something had to give (and it did, just before the break). Coimbra raised from early position to 10,000 and Lewis three-bet from middle position to 24,500. Coimbra came back over the top for 60,000 and Lewis moved all-in. According to our sources Coimbra made a quick call for the rest of his 190,000 stack with [a]8 offsuit which was in big trouble against Lewis’ big slick. The queen-high board blanked out as Coimbra, a member of Team PokerStars Online, left the tournament in 49th and Lewis chipped up to 680,000.

Lewis isn’t chip leader but he’s not far off. — RD

3.12pm: Cantu calling

Nicolo Calia is up to 650,000 after doubling through Brandon Cantu just before the break. When he got his chips in on the turn, with a board reading [tc][3d][jc][9c] with king-queen Cantu called with nine-three. The [6h] on the river sent the chips to the Italian. Cantu down to 580,000. — SB

3.10pm: Fast and furious

Players are back. And there are only 47 of them as we lost 23 in the first two levels of play. A quick tap on the calculator reveals only another 23 need to go and we’re done for the day.

It looks like Martin Jacobson could be chip leader with more than 700,000, but other big stacks include Brandon Cantu, Toby Lewis and Teddy Sheringham, who recently doubled up through William Thorson.

Still going strong is Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki. The man from Poland has 260,000.


Marcin Horecki

PokerStars Blog reporting team (in order of interest shown in shapely blonde woman walking by media area): Rick Dacey (nearly fell off his chair trying to get a look), Marc Convey (drooling), Simon Young (subtle sideways glance) and Stephen Bartley (deliberately looked away)

All pictures © 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 Vilamoura Day 3: Levels 15 & 16 updates (2,500-5,000, 500 ante)

ept-thumb-promo.jpg2.55pm: END OF LEVEL 16

The players are on a 15 minute break before level 17 begins.

2.53pm: Sheringham scores big double-up

Friends of PokerStars Teddy Sheringham is up to nearly half-a-million chips after doubling-up through and crippling William Thorson. The river was out leaving a [jh][9c][6h][9s][2c] board and Sheringham moved all-in for 127,500. Thorson called but mucked upon seeing Sheringham’s [jd][jc] for a full-house.

The darkly funny thing about this scenario is that that Sheringham jokingly texted Erik Adielsson earlier to say he was going to take all of Thorson’s chips. Adielsson (famous Swedish jockey) is a close friend of Thorson’s whom Sheringham met at the PCA earlier in the year where they golfed together. Another text might be composed soon! Thorson down to 30,000 now. – MC

2.42pm: Record extension fails to lift Pagano’s spirits

Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagaon’s record 16th cash is a min-cash and his exit had a similar feel to his exit in Tallinn just two weeks ago. One word: Brutal!

Marco Leonzio raised from early position and was only called by Pagano on the button to see a [3c][2d][jc] flop. Leonzio check-raised Pagano’s 17,000 bet all-in and Pagano called off the extra 50,000 to be the all-in player. He was in good shape with [as][js] to his fellow countryman’s [tc][th] and the [4d] didn’t change a thing but the river was [td]! Leonzio hit a two outer to make a set and send the Team Pro packing who was understandably upset and was heard muttering: “Every time,” as he left. — MC

2.34pm: Coimbra loses more

Andre Coimbra is on the slide. After losing a big pot with a bluff a little while ago against Toby Lewis, he just lost another 95,000 to Carolyn Gray. It was folded around to Coimbra in the small blind and he raised to 15,000. Gray re-raised to 45,000 – around half her stack – and the man from Portugal called.

The flop was [7s][7c][4d], Coimbra bet 20,000, Gray moved all-in for her last 45,000 and Coimbra called with a shrug of the shoulders. He had [kd][qs] but was dominated by Gray’s [ad][ks]. The turn and river changed nothing, and Gray is up to 185,000 while Coimbra slips to 230,000. — SY

2.28pm: Calio up, Guedes out

Nicolo Calia made the final of EPT Tallinn earlier this month and he’s getting himself in good shape to make it back to back FT’s. Pedro Guedes raised to 15,000 and Calia shipped it in for 170,000 with jacks. Guedes made the call with ace-jack. The Italian’s hand held up and he doubled up to 340,000. Guedes? He has 1,000 left. Yes, that’s two antes and a quarter of the big blind, which is what he happened to be in the next hand. No chip and a chair comeback for Guedes who becomes our next KO. — RD

2.24pm: Double up for Benzinou

Joel Benzinou shoved for 31,000 from middle position with [ac][4h] and was called by his neighbour Andre Andrade with [kc][kh]. Benzinou quickly stood and just as quickly sat back down as the board ran out [2c][4d][4s][6s][as] to give the Belgian a full house. He’s up to 70,000. — RD

2.20pm: Team Pro down

Nuno Coelho, the Team PokerStars Pro from Portugal, is out of his home EPT. It was folded around to Grzegorz Cichocki in the small blind and he called with A-9. Coelho shoved for 60,000 with K-9, Cichocki called, and with no dramas on the river we’re another man down. —SY

2.16pm: Another knock out

For many players a min cash is almost like a final table. When you’ve been grinding a short stack for some hours and just sneak into the money the relief can be so much that when you do get knocked out it’s a not really a problem. That was the look painted all over Vegard Nygaard’s face, he’d qualified to play through a Nordic promotion, so the €7,263 he got when he was knocked out by Janos Toth will be much appreciated. — RD

2.15pm: Pagano power

Think of this as tapping on a wine glass with a knife and calling for your attention. A hat tip to Luca Pagano for what is now his 16th cash on the European Poker Tour, a resume that includes no less than six final tables. He has 150,000 with which to work on reaching a seventh? — SB

ept vilamoura_day 3_luca pagano.jpg

“I make cashes. I break records. I smile. I am Luca Pagano”

2.10pm: Smart way to get played

There were three hands in progress when Tournament Director Thomas Kremser announced play would be going hand-for-hand. One was the bubble bursting hand just explained and one was a hand containing PokerStars qualifier Joe Ebanks.

He was short stacked and raised from late position and was called by William Thorson in the SB before Teddy Sheringham three-bet to 50,000 from the BB.

Ebanks smartly sat and waited for the outcome of the other hands and when he knew he was in the money he moved all-in and was called by Sheringham after Thorson folded.

Ebanks: [as][qs]

Sheringham: [kc][ks]

The board ran [8d][td][5h][jh][6s] to eliminate the American. There are many short stacks around the room now – watch the chips go flying. — MC

2.07pm: Pfff. There goes the bubble

One of the shortest bubbles in EPT history just passed by with hardly a murmur. As players were told to pause at the end of their current hand one hand continued between Ayez Manji and Martin Jacobsen, and it was a big one. On a flop of [th][5d][2h] Manji, who had more than 300,000 at the start of the hand, bet 27,500 which Martin Jacobsen, who had a touch more, raised to 84,500. Manjo then announced all-in which Jacobsen called, and with good reason.

Manji turned over [js][jd] but Jacobsen was ahead with [ad][as]. The turn [5s] and river [2s] sent Manjo to the rail without a single hand for hand deal. Jacobsen is up now to 680,000. We’re down to 56 and into the money at EPT Vilamoura. — SB

2.05pm: Thangs sets up the bubble

Thomas Thang has just been knocked out by Brandon Cantu to set up the bubble… and that’s just burst. Details to come. — RD

2.02pm: Pre-bubble bubble

We’re down to 58 players. One more to go and we’ll be hand-for-hand on the bubble proper. — SY

2pm: When bluffs go bad

Andre Coimbra picked a bad time to make a move from the button. He’d open-raised to 12,500 only for Toby Lewis to re-raise to 27,500 from the big blind. Team PokerStars Online player Coimbra then reached for two towers of yellow 5,000 chips – 200,000 worth and enough to put Lewis all in – and pushed them over the line. The Brit wasted no time in making the call.

Lewis: [9d][9s]

Coimbra: [2s][6h]

Whoops! Coimbra had been caught out and the [9c][qc][10d][kc][as] board brought no surprises – simply increasing Lewis’ strength to a set. Lewis is not up to 385,000 while Coimbra slips to 368,000. — SY

1.55pm: Foltyn faulters

Paul Foltyn is out, sent home within inches of the bubble by Martin Jacobsen who called Foltyn’s pocket jacks with his own ace-king, which caught an ace on the flop. — SB

1.52pm: Cichocki rocks up

Grzegorz Cichocki won a huge pot against Dario Minieri at the beginning of Day 2 and has strode on since then. The Pole raised to 13,000 from the cut-off and was three-bet by Marco Leonzio in the big blind. Leonzio c-bet 46,000 into the low [8c][7h][4s] flop and Cichocki called. That was the end of the betting as the [7s] and [3h] peeled off on the turn and river. Leonzio showed [ad][jh] and Cichocki a smallish over pair to the board with [9s][9h]. — RD

1.50pm: Tim not Finne-ished

Suddenly everyone starts passing. First Rob Hollink moves all in for 90,000, getting no takers and then showing an ace to the others at his table. A table along Giacomo Maisto was opening for 15,000. The action reached Tim Finne, one of several short stacks at a table of short stacks, who moved all-in for his last 57,000. Maisto took a while but passed. Just 59 players remain, with three more to leave empty handed. — SB

1.45pm: Three outs

PokerStars qualifier Joaquin Culebras was sat with eight big blinds and in the BB facing a raise from William Thorson. The Spaniard took a long time to ponder the raise before he moved all-in. “Now I know I only have three outs” said the Swede but he made the call anyway.

Thorson: [ah][ts]

Culebras: [jh][jd]

The board ran [6s][qh][2h][9s][8s] to double-up the Spaniard. — MC

1.38pm: Back from break

There are 60 players left here in the EPT main event and that means that there are just four left who will not score a good chunk of money. Brandon Cantu is pretty much the only player that this could not happen to. He has a huge stack and not many players that can do much damage to him on his table. — RD

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 2,500-5,000, ANTE 500

1.23pm: End of level

That’s the end of the level and as the players escape for a 15-minute break the dealers are busy colouring up the black chips (100 denomination).

Right at the end of the level Antonio Tarantino, member of Team PokerStars Online, was knocked out by Thomas Thang when his ace-ten failed to catch up against Thang’s ace-king. — RD

ept vilamoura_day 3_chip race.jpg

The black chips are dancing their way out of the front door

1.22pm: Coimbra re-raising

With the bell for the end of the level sounding in the ears of the last 61 players Toby Lewis re-raised Andre Coimbra to 28,700 pre-flop. Coimbra then spent a short time compiling his own raise, lumping yellow chips together in his hand before stacking them up in the middle – 80,000 of them. Lewis took this well, not moving, just looking at the raise, remaining calm, headphone wires running down from his ears, ready to fold. — SB

1.21pm: Cantu using his bulk for bubble abuse

Brandon Cantu has some 600,000 and appears to be happy about getting his chips in. Kevin O’Donnell started things rolling with a raise to 10,500 from middle position and was called by Toni Ojala in the hijack. Thomas Thang passed the button and Brandon Cantu shoved all-in from the small blind.

O’Donnell sat back with his hands linked behind his head but decided to preserve his 130,000 remaining chips. Ojala also passed. Easy chips for Cantu whose stack just keeps getting bigger so close to the bubble. — RD

1.15pm: Coimbra keeps betting

Toby Lewis is sat two seats to the left of Andre Coimbra and looks like he’s happy to tangle with the Team PokerStars Online member. Coimbra opened to 10,000 and was called by Lewis in the hijack. Coimbra fired 15,000 at the [qd][2d][5s] flop and Lewis slowly called. Coimbra now took his time on the [qc] turn that paired the board. He picked up 25,000 and put it across the line. Lewis paused, looking out of the corner of his eye at Coimbra, but decided to opt for the fold button. — RD

1.10pm: Nod Kelly

JP Kelly opened for 10,000 which was called by Sergio Coutinho on the button. Nicola Callia also wanted in form the big blind and the three of them saw a flop of [2d][2c][6c]. Callia checked to Kelly who kept up the pressure with another 17,000. Coutinho called by Callia stood aside as the turn came [3c]. Kelly bet again, 31,000 which Coutinho was in no mood to challenge. Kelly up to more than 300,000 now. — SB

1.05pm: Lykov lynched

Maxim Lykov, our second-to-last EPT champion, has fallen at the hands of Paul Foltyn. Foltyn raised to 9,000 and then called the Russian’s all-in push for around 70,000 with [th][td]. Lykov was dominated with his [8c][8d] and failed to find the two-outer needed on the [qd][jd][ah][5s][jc] board. Foltyn up to 190,000 chips now. Rob Hollink remains the only player in with chance of slaying that damn monkey. — MC

1pm: Steady Teddy

Friend of PokerStars Teddy Sheringham is one of the quieter players at the table (unlike on the soccer pitch where he electrified England fans), but his poker game gets respect as a result. He is rarely involved in hands, so when he raises he generally takes the blinds and antes. And that’s what happened just now. We move on. — SY

12.57pm: I like to move it, move it

Brandon Cantu has been running over tables since yesterday afternoon, but he tripped up a bit on this hand, sparking wild celebrations from Pedro Guedes.

The board was [3d][5d][qs][as], and with around 100,000 already in the middle, Guedes had checked and Cantu, the overnight chip leader, put in a tower of yellow chips – around 100,000 and enough to put the man from Portugal all in.

He did not seem to like that, muttering something under his breath that we presume was not kind about Cantu. Then he stood up, was ordered to sit down again by the dealer, and looked to make a fold. With that, he suddenly changed his mind. “Call!” he exclaimed.

Cantu: [8h][8c]

Guedes: [ah][2h]

The river came [4c]. “Yeeees!” screamed Guedes, before bursting into song in a manner that would never get him through the audition round of The X Factor. “I like to move it, move it,” he sung, several times over. “Thank you sir,” he added looking at Cantu. “I even do a straight on the river,” he concluded in dodgy English.

Guedes moves up to 240,000, while Cantu still has more than half a million. — SY

12.52pm: Three way dance

Martin Jacobson opened the action to 9,000 and was three-bet to 22,500 by Ayaz Sadrudin Manji, who I have been told has a nickname of ‘Mr Machine’ which is quite possibly the worst poker I have ever heard. Before the action could get back to Jacobson Eliran Argelazi tipped his hat in with a four-bet to 46,500.

Jacobson thought unmoving at the end of the table before sliding forward a large stack of yellows. Manji folded and strutted off to the rail while Argelazi calmly folded. — RD

12.45pm: The fall of Arnaud Mattern

In the movies you see two types of death scenes. Firstly you have the quick death where a character will fall to the floor and remain motionless. The second is the slow drawn out death where a character will fall to his/her knees then to the ground and in a last ditch effort will raise an arm before finally succumbing to the darkness.

Team PokerStars Pro Arnaud Mattern just suffered the latter style of death from this tournament. He was brought to his knees to start with after losing a 100,000 pot to Claudio Cecchi (the villain in this movie) whilst holding pocket queens to the Italian’s ace-eight. Cecchi found an ace to double-up and Mattern was left with just 4,000 chips. Mattern was still alive though and moved all-in for a big blind the next hand. Cecchi was in the BB this time and checked it down with the SB and ended up chopping the pot with Mattern. Torturing the Frenchman if you like.

Mattern was still alive and his last hooray was the next hand where he moved all-in for 7,800 after a Max Lykov raised to 9,000. Thorson called but the villain Italian moved all-in from the SB to isolate and it worked as Lykov and Thoson folded.

Mattern: [ah][jh]

Cecchi: [kd][kc]

The board ran [6s][2h][kc][8s][9c] and Mattern’s heart finally stopped beating. — MC

ept vilamoura_day 3_arnaud mattern.jpg

Arnaud Mattern: didn’t run well (maybe he needed his stick?)

12.35pm: That’s the Trickett

Sam Trickett opened for 10,000 from the cut off. Waiting for him was Martin Jacobsen in the small blind who then raised to 31,000. The action was folded back to Trickett. He thought for a while, rubbing his head which ironically there was no need to do as he was already paying a massage therapist to do just that at the time. That done he fired out a re-raise to 56,000, at the same time silencing an incoming call.

Jacobsen didn’t do moving, and instead sat thinking quietly. After about a minute Trickett asked for a clock. The dealer called over Thomas Kremser who conferred with the dealer first before telling Jacobsen that he would give him a few more seconds before starting the clock. There was no need. Jacobsen folded before it was required. Trickett took the phone call. — SB

12.32pm: Chidwick out, not out, now out

The UK’s Stephen Chidwick got himself all-in for around 105,000 with [8c][8s] but was up against Filipa Cerqueira’s [qd][qh]. The board ran [2c][3d][4s][kc][5c], and with that river Cerqueira let out a loud “Numshka!” noise, which is probably a very bad interpretation but was certainly some form of Portuguese celebration.

Chidwick assumed he was covered and made to leave the arena before being called back by Thomas Kremser. A check was made and Chidwick was not out. That was the good news, the bad news was he was left with just one 100 chip.

That was enough for one quarter of the ante on the next hand, so he sat there with little more than dreams of making one of the most amazing comebacks in poker history. It did not happen – with his chip in play, it was folded around to Joe Ebanks in the small blind who moved all in for 50,000. The big blind folded and Ebanks showed [qc][jd], leaving Chidwick to turn over his cards. The [4c] first – not a good start – and [6d] second, not much improvement there. But the flop came [3s][jh][5d], offering Chidwick an open-ended chance, but the [js] turn and [10d] river only served to make trips for Ebanks. — SY

12.22pm: BB King

Boyan Bonev has taken down the first sizable pot at table three in a hand with Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano and Grzegorz Cichocki. 35,000 made it into the middle before the flop came [6h][3d][5s] and Bonev’s 26,700 bet was only called by Cichocki. Both players checked the [6c] turn before Cichocki led for 34,000 on the [7s] river. Bonev called quickly with [kc][kh] and was against the Pole’s [tc][th]. —MC

12.18pm: Buananno no-no

Antonio Buonanno opened for 10,200 before Ayaz Manji raised things to 35,000 in the cut off. The action went back to Buonanno who slowly stacked his chips into one big impractical tower and moved all-in.

“How much?” asked Manji, moving his sunglasses onto his forehead and looking around. It was 88,900 more to call. “Uh, I call,” said Manji and turned over [kh][kc].

Buonanno turned up [ac][qd] and awaited his fate, which looked like this: [7c][th][9d][jh][5d]. Manji banged the table with restrained delight. Buonanno was gone. — SB

12.15pm: Seat draw

Okay, there have been some players knocked out since but here is this morning’s seat draw for you anyway. Oscar Pelayo was the first to fall. Catch up with the others shortly.

Table 1

1. Brandon Cantu. USA, 557,400

2. Oscar Pelayo, Spain, 33,100

3. Antonio Tarantino, Italy, PokerStars Team Online, 72,600

4. Dmitry Gromov, Russia, 305,200

5. Kevin O’Donnell, USA, 125,900

6. Pedro Guedes, Portugal, 237,500

7. Toni Ojala, Finland, 208,200

8. Thomas Thang, Denmark, PokerStars qualifier, 100,600

Table 2

1. Teddy Sheringham, UK, Friend of PokerStars, 204,500

2. Nuno Capucho, Portugal, 92,400

3. Nuno Coelho, Portugal, Team PokerStars Pro, 73,100

4. Filipa Cerqueira, Portugal, 108,000

5. Joe Ebanks, USA, PokerStars player, 50,600

6. Joaquin Culebras, Spain, PokerStars qualifier, 66,600

7. Robert Willis, Ireland, 178,600

8. Stephen Chidwick, UK, PokerStars player, 126,000

Table 3

1. Grzegorz Cichocki, Poland, PokerStars qualifier, 339,500

2. Boyan Bonev, Bulgaria, 191,100

3. Marco Leonzio, Italy, 85,900

4. Jason Lee, USA, PokerStars qualifier, 196,000

5. Gyula Szilagy, Hungary, PokerStars qualifier, 134,900

6. Luca Pagano, Italy, Team PokerStars Pro, 105,000

7. Michal Karolak, Poland, PokerStars qualifier, 38,400

8. Frank Calo, USA, PokerStars player, 253,300

Table 4

1. Erik Van Den Berg, Netherlands, PokerStars player, 62,000

2. Robert Cezarescu, Romania, PokerStars qualifier, 138,700

3. Patrick Carron, USA, PokerStars qualifier, 117,200

4. Henri Kasper, Estonia, 53,400

5. Tom Johansen, Norway, PokerStars qualifier, 273,000

6. Danny Neess, Denmark, 61,100

7. Frederick Jensen, Denmark, 275,000

8. Johan Berg, Sweden, 384,000

Table 5

1. Nicolo Calia, Italy, 114,100

2. Frank Stumpf, Germany, 59,100

3. JP Kelly, UK, Team PokerStars Pro, 314,000

4. Joel Benzinou, Belgium, 152,700

5. Andre Andrade, Portugal, 78,400

6. Wolfgang Wurzer, Germany , PokerStars qualifier, 193,200

7. Sergio Coutinho, Portugal, 155,400

8. Rob Hollink, Netherlands, 88,200

Table 7

1. Giacomo Maisto, Italy, 147,200

2. Joao De Silva, Portugal, PokerStars qualifier, 133,100

3. Thorsten Schafer, Germany, 62,100

4. Henrique Custodio, Portugal, 101,200

5. David Metelo, Portugal, 90,800

6. Andras Nemeth, Hungary, PokerStars qualifier, 54,000

7. Tim Finne, USA, PokerStars player, 64,900

8. Marton Czuczor, Hungary, 126,200

Table 8

1. Ayaz Sadrudin Manji, Portugal, 227,500

2. Konsta Vesterinen, Finland, 180,000

3. Eliran Argelazi, Israel, 221,100

4. Paul Foltyn, UK, PokerStars qualifier, 102,600

5. Sam Trickett, UK, 351,900

6. Vyacheslav Goryachev, Russia, 182,800

7. Antonio Buonanno, Italy, 127,500

Table 9

1. Vegard Nygaard, Norway, Winner Promo Nordic Promotion , 86,400

2. Andre Coimbra, Portugal, PokerStars Team Online, 476,400

3. Carolyn Gray, UK, PokerStars qualifier, 104,500

4. Toby Lewis, UK, PokerStars player, 236,700

5. Janos Toth, Hungary, PokerStars player, 253,800

6. Guillermo Garcia, Spain, PokerStars player, 238,100

7. Evgeniy Zaytsev, Russia, 154,800

Table 14

1. Lothar Meier, Germany, 76,900

2. William Thorson, Sweden, 259,100

3. Claudio Cecchi, Italy, 60,000

4. Fabrizio Ascari, Italy, 254,700

5. Max Lykov, Russia, 109,100

6. Marcin Horecki, Poland, Team PokerStars Pro, 280,500

7. Martin Jacobson, Sweden, PokerStars qualifier, 301,100

8. Arnaud Mattern, France, Team PokerStars Pro, 59,900

12.07pm: First hand, first first KO

Oscar Pelayo is the fiurst faller of the day after getting his 33,100 short stack in with [kh][kc] against Brandon Cantu’s [ad][ah]. When you’re running hot, you’re running hot. The chip leader is up to nearly 600,000. — RD

12.05pm: Off and running

Play is under way on day three with blinds of 2,000-4,000 with a 400 ante.

11.45pm: Welcome back to day 3

While the dealers at EPT Vilamoura may have free reign over the music selection in the half hour preparation time before players arrive, it doesn’t excuse the blast of MC Hammer that belted out over the sound system, nor the arm-waving at least one was spotted performing as he rolled his trousers down to his ankles and shuffled across the floor.

Some of us thought that noise like that had been sealed in a tomb, stored in a crate and shipped off to a secret location in the desert. It was a definite blast from the past, to a time when there was no such thing as a European Poker Tour. A time when Mansour Matloubi was one of 194 players to swagger into downtown Las Vegas, and win the World Series.

Now, 20 years later, poker has been transformed from a curiosity into a mainstream competitive juggernaut. Just ask staff at Casino Vilamoura, which this week plays host to the biggest poker tournament ever to be held in Portugal. Mr Hammer meanwhile has reverted to a curiosity

Today is day three of poker’s latest show stopper. Just 70 players of the 384 who started on day one return today. For most it will have a profitable conclusion, but for 14 of them it will end in fruitless disappointment. Only 56 will be paid today and we’ll play down to 24 today, which Tournament Director Thomas Kremser estimates will take five levels of play. We in the blog team are a little more optimistic than that, and have taken the under.

That’s all ahead of us. Now we just need some players. Time to get cards in the air. Hammer time?


Casino Vilamoura

PokerStars Blog reporting team at EPT Vilamoura (in order of music taste): Stephen Bartley (Eclectic), Marc Convey (electronic), Simon Young (electric) and Rick Dacey (Erasure “No, it’s bloody not!”). 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.

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