Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Pokerstars Blog

March, 2016

  • 28 March

    Weekend Review: Big prizes in the holiday weekend Majors

    A look at all the major stories from this past weekend on PokerStars.

    Weekend highlights

    * João "XxJoaoFeraxX" Otávio wins more than $213,000 in the Sunday Million
    * miki21221 takes down the Sunday Warm-Up


    Round up of latest results

    A brief Easter update of the action on PokerStars. The extended weekend brought everyone out to play, many benefitting from a free holiday on Monday to throw caution to the work day wind and stay up late.

    As such the Sunday Million had a boost in turn out. Not quite the 55,000-plus players of the tenth anniversary edition last weekend, but the 7,124 was higher than usual, making for a prize pool in excess of $1.4 million.

    As Martin Harris reported, the top share went to João "XxJoaoFeraxX" Otávio of Brazil, who picked up a whopping $213,724 after a deal-free finale. He beat the sensibly named Canadian extragloves to the title, although second place paid an equally enticing $157,255. The report is well worth a read for all the detail in between.

    Meanwhile in the Sunday Warm-Up David Aydt reported on miki21221's win. A four way deal in that one meant a first prize of $58,000 to the Israeli, ahead of Eccentric_BG of Bulgaria. Not bad considering he'd been at a disadvantage chip wise at deal time.

    Here are those two results in full:

    PokerStars Sunday Million results (3/27/16)
    Entrants: 7,124
    Prize pool: $1,424,800.00
    Places paid: 1,080

    1. João "XxJoaoFeraxX" Otávio (Brazil) $213,724.92
    2. extragloves (Canada) $157,255.17
    3. gimpshow (Canada) $113,984.00
    4. LStrelec (Russia) $75,514.40
    5. Matt "OffTh3Radar" Davenport (United Kingdom) $58,416.80
    6. rodloiola (Brazil) $44,168.80
    7. navebit83 (Israel) $30,633.20
    8. omeriko (Israel) $17,097.60
    9. Calaviero (Netherlands) $11,042.20

    PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up results (3/27/16)
    Entrants: 2,414
    Prize pool: $482,800.00
    Places paid: 360

    1. miki21221 (Israel) $58,000.00*
    2. Eccentric_BG (Bulgaria) $47,000.00*
    3. SELOUAN1991 (Brazil) $51,068.92*
    4. neverfoldQ5 (Austria) $46,789.48*
    5. Hope_Flooky (Germany) $21,484.60
    6. luchowin (Chile) $16,656.60
    7. Eddy "eddymaksoud" Maksoud (Lebanon) $11,828.60
    8. LAWLSHOVE (Mexico) $7,000.60
    9. RuSSkiY.F (Russia) $4,103.80

    If any of this has inspired you a little, you can open a PokerStars account in just a few minutes. click here to get started.

    The weekend's top online tournament winners

    $215 Sunday MillionXxJoaoFeraxXBrazil $213,724.92
    $215 Sunday Warm-Upmiki21221Israel $58,000.00
    $530 Sunday 500bebaimis777Lithuania $51,780.46
    $215 Sunday Supersonic [6-Max]beukie555Netherlands $46,944.90
    $215 Sunday 2nd Chance42ayaySweden $39,846.33
    $109+R Sunday RebuyfvianaBrazil $37,214.10
    $22 Sunday Mini-Millionden0112Russia$33,109.00
    $11 Sunday StormavibinIsrael $29,432.92
    $109 Sunday KickoffBig HuniCosta Rica $26,953.64
    $320 Saturday Super-Knockoutradobelev28Bulgaria $24,655.67

    Click here for a complete list of major results on PokerStars for the weekend of March 26 to 27, 2016.

    That's everything for this short round-up from the Easter weekend on PokerStars. As always send your questions and comments to us on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog.

    Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

  • 28 March

    Sunday Million: João “XxJoaoFeraxX” Otávio ends up on top, earns $213K

    The Sunday Million returned to normal this week after last week's huge 10th anniversary bash that saw over 55,000 take part. Of course, "normal" is still something special, and this week's installment of the $215 no-limit hold'em event on PokerStars was extra special for João "XxJoaoFeraxX" Otávio of Brazil. That's because after battling for more than 11-and-a-half hours on Sunday, Otávio had accumulated every last chip and had earned a handsome first prize of $213,724.92. Here's the story of how he did it.


    There was a 7,124-player field for this week's Milly, meaning the total prize pool of $1,424,800 well exceeded the event's $1 million guarantee.

    The top 1,080 finishers made the money, a milestone that occurred shortly into the tournament's sixth hour. Later, near the end of the 10th hour they were down to 18, with Lucas "Sh0w3rs4u" Blanco and Markku "markovitsus" Koplimaa then battling for the chip lead with about 9.5 million each.

    Mor Havoc (18th), haidari13603 (17th), and bluffeverytm (16th) were the next knockouts, earning $3,989.44 apiece. AroNah (15th), banana0008 (14th), and xulescux (13th) followed, each cashing for $5,912.92.

    They crossed the 10-and-a-half-hour mark, then after having slipped in the counts Markku "markovitsus" Koplimaa was ousted in 12th, then Lucas "Sh0w3rs4u" Blanco also became short and was knocked out in 11th. toha_toha was next out in 10th -- like Koplimaa and Blanco earning $7,836.40 -- and with gimpshow the new chip leader, the final table was underway.


    Seat 1: extragloves (Canada) -- 5,420,000
    Seat 2: LStrelec (Russia) -- 13,278,282
    Seat 3: navebit83 (Israel) -- 3,003,123
    Seat 4: rodloiola (Brazil) -- 3,885,021
    Seat 5: gimpshow (Canada) -- 19,313,258
    Seat 6: omeriko (Israel) -- 2,574,346
    Seat 7: Calaviero (Netherlands) -- 1,057,120
    Seat 8: Matt "OffTh3Radar" Davenport (United Kingdom) -- 5,283,225
    Seat 9: João "XxJoaoFeraxX" Otávio (Brazil) -- 17,425,625

    On just the third hand of the final table, Calaviero open-shoved from under the gun for 967,120 (a little over three big blinds) then watched navebit83 reraise-push from late position to isolate. Calaviero had [Qd][Ts] and navebit83 [As][Js], and following a board of [6c][Kc][3c][8d][2d] Calaviero was out in ninth.

    Just four hands after that, a hand arose that saw omeriko open-push from the hijack for 2,604,346 (not quite 8 BBs) with [6h][6s] and get called by João "XxJoaoFeraxX" Otávio who had been dealt [Kd][Ks] on the button. The board came [2h][4h][7d][Ad][5d] and omeriko was done in eighth.

    About an orbit later navebit83 was the one open-raising all-in from early position for 3,700,243 (a little more than 12 BBs) and getting called by extragloves in the big blind. navebit83 had [Kd][Qd] but extragloves had woken up with [Ad][Kh]. Five cards later -- [7s][Js][Ac][Kc][Qs] -- both had two pair, but extragloves' were better and navebit83 was sent railward in seventh.

    The final six battled another 15 minutes as Matt "OffTh3Radar" Davenport and João "XxJoaoFeraxX" Otávio moved out in front and led with around 25 million each. Then a short-stacked rodloiola open-pushed from middle position for 1,065,021 -- just 2.5 BBs -- and was called by both gimbshow (cutoff) and extragloves (big blind).

    The latter two checked it down as the board came [9c][Jh][2d][3d][Qc], then extragloves showed [Qh][5h] for a pair of queens. That was good as both rodloiola and gimpshow mucked, and rodloiola was out in sixth.

    Five minutes after that the blinds were 250,000/500,000 when Matt "OffTh3Radar" Davenport open-pushed for 7,902,900 from the small blind and João "XxJoaoFeraxX" Otávio called from the big blind. Davenport had [Ks][Th] and Otávio [As][Kh], and after the [5s][Td][9c] flop and [Jc] turn Davenport was in front. But the [Qc] river made a straight for Otávio, and Davenport's run had ended in fifth.


    Matt "OffTh3Radar" Davenport

    A few hands later gimpshow min-raised to 1 million from UTG and LStrelec called from the big blind, then following a [Td][2d][Qh] flop LStrelec shoved all-in for 785,677 and gimpshow called. LStrelec had [8h][7c] and gimpshow [Kd][Jh], and after the [3d] turn and [Ad] river gimpshow had improved to a flush while LStrelec had but ace-high to finish fourth.

    Another 15 minutes passed with João "XxJoaoFeraxX" Otávio moving well out in front with nearly 44 million while extragloves and gimpshow hovered around the 14 million-chip mark.

    Then came a hand in which Otávio min-raised to 1.2 million from the button, extragloves called from the small blind, then gimpshow shoved all-in for 13,232,151 from the big blind. At that Otávio chose to reraise all-in over the top, and extragloves stepped aside.

    gimpshow had [6s][6h] but Otávio had [7s][7c]. The board came [Ts][Qs][9c], then [8h], then [2s], and the curtain fell on gimpshow in third.

    That boosted Otávio's lead even further, giving him 58,355,022 to start heads-up play versus extragloves' 12,884,978.

    The pair played 20 hands after which Otávio sat with nearly 61 million and extragloves had dipped to just over 10 million. That's when extragloves open-pushed from the button and got a call from Otávio, and the final showdown soon came.

    extragloves had [Jh][Td] and though behind Otávio's [Ah][Kh] did have two live cards. The board came all small, however -- [6d][6h][2d][5s][3s] -- and it was all over. Otávio had won.

    Congratulations to João "XxJoaoFeraxX" Otávio for beating out this week's huge Sunday Million field to earn a nice $213,724.92 payday.

    3/27/16 Sunday Million ($215 No-Limit Hold'em) results
    Entrants: 7,124
    Prize pool: $1,424,800.00
    Places paid: 1,080

    1. João "XxJoaoFeraxX" Otávio (Brazil) $213,724.92
    2. extragloves (Canada) $157,255.17
    3. gimpshow (Canada) $113,984.00
    4. LStrelec (Russia) $75,514.40
    5. Matt "OffTh3Radar" Davenport (United Kingdom) $58,416.80
    6. rodloiola (Brazil) $44,168.80
    7. navebit83 (Israel) $30,633.20
    8. omeriko (Israel) $17,097.60
    9. Calaviero (Netherlands) $11,042.20

    Haven't gotten a PokerStars account yet? Join the world's biggest site now.

    Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

  • 28 March

    Sunday Warm-Up: miki21221 is so fine with the four-way chop and $58K win

    With so many Sunday Majors on the agenda it is easy to downplay how much these players are vying for at the start of each week. Take for the example the Sunday Storm, which has a small buy-in of $11 but on the April 17th 5th Anniversary Edition there's...

  • 25 March

    There will be Sunday Majors in NJ this weekend (and more)

    Approaching the end of the first week of online poker in New Jersey for some time, it almost feels normal. Work behind the scenes to get PokerStars back in the United States had been so central to the company that now we're finally there it feels like we never left - although a few behind the scenes staff, exhausted, might think differently.


    But that does mean we can say this for the first time since 2010: there will be Sunday Majors in the United States this weekend.

    That felt pretty good.

    Obviously they might be a bit smaller than their foreign cousins - and let's not forget that there are 56 tournaments running every day - but one step at a time. What does that schedule look like?

    16:00 ET: $50 Sunday Warm-Up ($10,000 Gtd)
    17:00 ET: $10 Sunday Storm ($5,000 Gtd)
    18:00 ET: $200 Sunday Special ($50,000 Gtd)
    19:00 ET: $500 Sunday High Roller ($15,000 Gtd)
    22:00 ET: $75 Sunday Supersonic ($5,000 Gtd)

    Get all the details on the PokerStars NJ homepage.

    While that kicks off a new era of online poker in the United States, it's business as usual elsewhere with the usual roster of weekend majors, capped off with the Sunday Million.

    Last weekend was the Tenth Anniversary edition, won by a.urli who dominated the final table to take away a first prize of $970,000 after a four-way deal. You can read Martin Harris's report from the final table here.

    That was last week. What can you expect from this long Easter weekend?


    Our new promotion is now under way. We wrote about it earlier this week so it's best if you check out that post for how it works, because I'm not sure I could get it right a second time. Suffice to say you can win up to $5,000 each day for the duration of the promotion by winnings with particular hole cards that match a 16-20 piece puzzle that you'll find in your challenge window. Match them all and win money immediately. Check out all the details on the CardHunt homepage.

    EPT Not Live

    The latest episode is now available. We'll let the team introduce it...

    "Joe continues to enjoy the LA lifestyle, although he's starting to feel the pinch (as revealed in an impromptu game of 'How Much Does It Cost?'). Jason Mercier joins the boys to talk about his deep run in last year's EPT Grand Final - as documented in the latest TV episode - and his experience of playing on PokerStars in New Jersey. James is shocked (in a good way) at how many people have qualified for Monaco via Spin & Gos. Joe has some great stories about Antonio Esfandiari and Phil Hellmuth from a recent TV shoot in Las Vegas. And, after listening to this week's edition of 'Superfan vs Stapes', you'll probably conclude that Sam Worger from Sheffield regrets choosing 'Friends' as his specialist subject! James and Joe are taking a short Easter break. The next episode of #EPTNotLive will be released on Thursday 7th April 2016."



    Looking ahead

    As we announced this week there's $4 million up for grabs during the Mountain Series which starts next month. The ten-event series takes place over four days between April 7-10, 2016, each with increased buy-ins from Mount Sugarloaf ($11) all the way through to Everest ($2,100).

    Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.

    Then there's the new UKIPT season, the sixth, which starts in London next month. Satellites are already under way, but you can get all the details of this new festival by reading our post from this week. The Hippodrome Casino plays host once more. It should prove venue for the first festival of the year.

    That's everything. Play well on PokerStars this weekend, whether you're in New Jersey or anywhere else. As always send any thoughts and comments to us on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog.

    Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

  • 24 March

    Celebrate the Sunday Storm 5th anniversary

    We're not even a week removed from the monster 10th anniversary Sunday Million celebration, so we decided, "Why should we stop the party now?" After all, it's been five years since PokerStars introduced the Sunday Storm! Every week, the Sunday Storm p...

  • 24 March

    Jaime Staples Twitch Highlights - 17 March 2022

  • 23 March

    Begin your Card Hunt to win up to $5,000 in cash every day

    What are thoughts on $5,000 of free money? Well, if you're interested, that's on the table between now and April 15 during our new CardHunt promotion. All you need to do is complete a daily poker puzzle in your Challenge Window to be in with a chance. ...

  • 23 March

    AnyGameSir chooses no-limit hold’em, crushes 3/22/16 Super Tuesday for $103K

    This week's Super Tuesday featured another collection of top poker talent playing from all around the world, with a big group of 547 showing up for the weekly $1,050 no-limit hold'em tournament on PokerStars. The finish came more quickly than usual, with those 547 playing down to just one in a little over 10 hours. In the end it was Poland's AnyGameSir taking top honors, earning a big prize of $103,930 for doing so.


    The big field meant a prize pool of $547,000, well over the $425K guarantee. After about six hours of poker the bubble had burst and with 63 players left the top of the leaderboard was once again full of familiar names, with Pedro "PaDiLhA SP" Padilha on top followed by Tom "hitthehole" Middleton, Chris "Big Huni" Hunichen, Robin "robinho" Ylitalo, and Jonathan "OMGjonyctt" Concepion.

    About two hours after that they were down to 18 players, with Tom "hitthehole" Middleton (27th, $3,282), Jonathan "OMGjonyctt" Concepion (29th, $3,008.50), and Robin "robinho" Ylitalo (34th, $3,008.50) among the eliminated. Meanwhile Pedro "PaDiLhA SP" Padilha was still in with an average stack, Chris "Big Huni" Hunichen was in second position with about 285,000, and AnyGameSir had risen to the chip lead with a big stack of more than 445,000.

    Fernando "fer_90_1" Gutiérrez (18th), and1mad (17th), and Larry "BBOY3110" Sharp (16th) were the next out, picking up $4,376 each. ZaraJung (15th), Madridc@sh (14th), and Pedro "PaDiLhA SP" Padilha (13th) followed, each earning $5,470. Then M_Hiller (12th), shuv28 (11th), and CesarMorales (10th) were successively sent railward, cashing for $6,564 apiece.

    With flong78 having assumed the chip lead and AnyGameSir not far behind, the final table was underway.


    Seat 1: The Mooks (Canada) -- 98,628
    Seat 2: AnyGameSir (Poland) -- 568,452
    Seat 3: Jasven "jasven06" Saigal (India) -- 132,438
    Seat 4: oldchilli (Canada) -- 298,085
    Seat 5: Seth "SFisch4" Fischer (Canada) -- 220,703
    Seat 6: flong78 (United Kingdom) -- 639,280
    Seat 7: Bernd "LR-President" Vogelhuber (Germany) -- 117,036
    Seat 8: kartt (Brazil) -- 328,263
    Seat 9: Chris "Big Huni" Hunichen (Costa Rica) -- 332,115

    The first player out from this week's final table was the short stack when it began, Bernd "LR-President" Vogelhuber. The German businessman open-raised all-in from early position for his last 108,036 (15 big blinds) with [5h][5s], was called by AnyGameSir in the cutoff with [Ts][Td], and after the board came [8s][Tc][Qd][4h][Qc] AnyGameSir had a full house and Vogelhuber was out in ninth.


    Bernd "LR-President" Vogelhuber

    About 20 minutes after that -- in the last hand before the break that came at the tourney's nine-hour mark -- The Mooks opened with a 2x raise to 14,400 from early position, then a short-stacked Jasven "jasven06" Saigal three-bet pushed for 22,438 from a couple of seats over. It folded back to The Mooks who called, turning over [9s][9c] while Saigal had [Ac][6h].

    The board came [2s][Ks][Th], then [9h], then [Kc], again making a full house for the winner and reducing the field by one as Saigal was eliminated in eighth.

    On the third hand after play resumed, AnyGameSir opened for 17,000 (just over the minimum) from UTG, then Chris "Big Huni" Hunichen reraised all-in for 165,530 from the small blind and AnyGameSir called. Hunichen had [Ad][Qc] and was racing against AnyGameSir's [Js][Jd], and after the [6s][7s][Qd] flop and [Qh] turn, Hunichen had raced well ahead with trip queens.

    Then came the river... the [Jc]! It was a third straight full house for a pocket pair-holding bigger stack, and thanks to the two-outer Hunichen was ousted in seventh.


    Chris "Big Huni" Hunichen

    About 15 minutes after that, flong78 min-raised to 18,000 from UTG+1 and got two callers in AnyGameSir (small blind) and oldchilli (big blind). The flop came [3c][7h][5h] and it checked to flong78 who continued for 26,730. AnyGameSir called, then oldchilli shoved for 168,062. flong78 called the raise and AnyGameSir stepped aside.

    oldchilli was at risk with [Tc][7c] for a pair of sevens while flong78 was well ahead of that with [Qd][Qc]. The turn was the [2h] and river the [9d], and oldchilli was done in sixth.

    The remaining five battled onward, and by the 10-hour mark AnyGameSir had established a huge lead with over 2.2 million -- more than 75% of the chips in play.

    The short stacks hung on for a while, then The Mooks open-raised from UTG for 29,446 (just over two BBs), AnyGameSir reraised from the next seat, and the others scattered. The Mooks had [8d][7d] while AnyGameSir held [Ah][Js], and five community cards later -- [4s][4h][Qc][Ks][Jd] -- they were down to four.

    Ten hands after that kartt open-shoved for 107,898 over the small blind with [Js][Jh] and AnyGameSir called from the big blind with [Ac][7h]. The [8h][As][7s] flop hit AnyGameSir's hand twice, and after the [9h] turn and [Kc] river kartt was done in fourth.

    The end was fast approaching, and indeed would only take a half-dozen more hands to arrive.

    First flong78 open-pushed from the button 289,692 and after AnyGameSir folded Seth "SFisch4" Fischer called all-in with his last 73,060 (about 5.5 BBs) after posting the big blind. Fischer had [As][Qc] and a fighting chance versus flong78's [7d][7h], but the [4d][2c][6h][Jh][Td] runout was no help to Fischer who finished third.

    Even with that pot for flong78, though, AnyGameSir had things well in hand with over 2.34 million to flong78's not quite 390,000 to start heads-up play. They played a couple of small hands, then came one that saw AnyGameSir min-raise to 28,000 form the button, flong78 three-bet to 70,000, AnyGameSir shove, and flong78 call all-in with the just over 300,000 left behind.

    flong78: [Ah][Ad]
    AnyGameSir: [7d][7h]

    flong78 was in excellent shape to double-up and make a game of it, but the [7s][Jh][4c] flop swiftly put a big dent in those plans, giving AnyGameSir a leading set of sevens. The turn was the [2h] and river the [Js], and just like that it was over -- AnyGameSir had won.

    Congratulations to AnyGameSir for racing through this week's Super Tuesday field to collect handsome six-figure payday.

    3/22/16 Super Tuesday ($1,050 No-Limit Hold'em) results
    Entrants: 547
    Prize pool: $547,000.00
    Places paid: 63

    1. AnyGameSir (Poland)
    2. flong78 (United Kingdom)
    3. Seth "SFisch4" Fischer (Canada)
    4. kartt (Brazil) $42,666.00
    5. The Mooks (Canada) $30,085.00
    6. oldchilli (Canada) $23,247.50
    7. Chris "Big Huni" Hunichen (Costa Rica) $17,777.50
    8. Jasven "jasven06" Saigal (India) $12,307.50
    9. Bernd "LR-President" Vogelhuber (Germany) $9,080.20

    Want to compete for your own online championship? Click here to get a PokerStars account.
    Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

  • 22 March

    Mountain Series: Start climbing for millions

    George Mallory said it best. Asked by the New York Times why people climbed mountains, Mallory said, "Because they are there." Now, there is another reason: you could make a lot of money. In just a couple of weeks, PokerStars will launch the brand ...

  • 22 March

    Mixed Games for Beginners - Adrienne ‘talonchick’ Rowsome

  • 22 March

    UKIPT6 takes centre stage for season opener in London

    There was a time when the United Kingdom and Ireland Poker Tour played the role of the understudy. It was new, exciting, full of energy, but always in the shadow of its older, bigger, more glamourous European cousin, the one that had more money and boasted about spending spring on the Riviera.

    But after patiently filling in while the EPT was on repose, the UKIPT is finally recognised as the main feature it really is. No longer an understudy the UKIPT is its own main attraction, and we're excited to say it returns for a sixth season next month.

    What's more, you can win your way through to the Season opener in London, with a West End run from April 5 to 10 at London's Hippodrome Casino.


    If you haven't played at the Hippodrome Casino before you soon realise why it's among the best poker venues in the UK. A converted theatre, it combines performance and hospitality with five bars, a restaurant, live music and cabaret, a shisha terrace (you'll have to google that) and three floors of gaming. That's just inside the Hippodrome. Outside there's even more.

    Join us at UKIPT London by qualifying on PokerStars Click here to open an account.

    London is one of Europe's premier poker destinations. In some ways it's perfect. While it offers even the most eclectic of interests the perfect distractions during downtime, it will, like a good friend, help you celebrate your high points, and comfort you in your low points.

    Not that Rapinder Cheema would know about the low points. He won the Main Event last time around, collecting £78,825 ahead of a field of more than 700 players. That's a high point in anyone's book. The best of British are expected to play, including Team Pro Jake Cody.

    His success came in the Main Event, which this year has the same £700 + £70 buy-in. Of course you can earn that seat for as little as £1.10 in any number of online satellites now running on PokerStars. And if you prefer your satellites to have chairs and actual chips, there will be a £100 + £100 live qualifier at the Hippodrome Casino on Tuesday 5 April and Wednesday 6 April.

    It's not just the Main Event that captures attention and imagination. There's a £2,000 + £200 High Roller on the schedule as well as the £300 + £30 London Cup which this season will feature the familiar voices of Joe Stapleton and James Hartigan (along with their faces), who are registered to play.

    You can find all the key information about the London festival on the UKIPT Homepage, with details about events and satellites. Everything else you'll find out when you get there.

    We'll see you in London.

    Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

  • 21 March

    Blood type: AC+

    One of my mother's journals described how she and my father used to visit Resorts in Atlantic City for blackjack, back when rules were highly favorable to players: "Several times a week Mike and I left our little son with a babysitter, rode the chart...

  • 21 March

    Phoenix, New Jersey: Inside the re-launch of PokerStars in the USA

    You might have thought that it would look more impressive when it actually happened. About 90 minutes ago, at 12:01am on Monday, March 21st, 2016, PokerStars officially became a regulated online gaming operator in the Garden State of New Jersey. Perhap...

  • 21 March

    It’s back! Welcome PokerStars to New Jersey, USA!

    It's been nearly five years since Americans saw PokerStars shining on their screens inside the United States. It's been five years of watching players from nearly every other country in the world play Sunday tournaments, fun cash games, and satellites to live poker events. It's been five years of wondering just how long it would be before Americans could play the same game as the rest of the world from the comfort of their own home.

    For people in New Jersey, that day is today.

    Today, for the first time in history, PokerStars has a fully-approved license in New Jersey and is operating at full speed in that state.

    "We could not be more proud to bring PokerStars to New Jersey," said David Baazov, Chairman and CEO of Amaya. "Working with our partner, Resorts Casino Hotel, we look forward to providing the most exciting, innovative and secure gaming experience to New Jersey."


    This is a big milestone for the company and the industry. Starting today, anyone of legal age in New Jersey will be able to play PokerStars' most popular games, including the ever-popular Spin & Go tourneys which crowned 13 millionaires globally between October and December 2015.

    Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.

    Beyond that, New Jersey will have its own online promotions, bonuses, and live events, and players will be able to grind them all from desktops, tablets, and mobile phones.

    PokerStars New Jersey will also offer Special Sunday tournaments, as well as a selection of casino games such as Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat, and Slots.

    "This is a great day for online gaming, for state players and residents and for Atlantic City," said Morris Bailey, owner of Resorts Casino Hotel. "Resorts has worked diligently to build a home for globally renowned brands in New Jersey and, with the addition of PokerStars, is proud to introduce yet another respected partner."

    The PokerStars New Jersey software at www.pokerstarsnj.com will utilize its globally-established age and location verification protections, account segregation, and responsible gaming practices to oversee and control player activity. As one of the world's most regulated online gaming companies with licenses in more than a dozen jurisdictions and more than 100 million cumulative registered customers around the world, Amaya is committed to implementing the highest standards of regulation, safety and security.

    Customers who previously held a PokerStars real-money or play-money account are eligible for a welcome offer based on their play history. The free PokerStars New Jersey software is now available for download; players can create a new account using the log-in details from their previously-held account, and are eligible to receive their last held VIP status, Play Money Chips, and StarsCoin. StarsCoin, formerly known as Frequent Player Points, is PokerStars currency that players can use to purchase online tournament tickets, merchandise and even cash rewards from the PokerStars New Jersey VIP Store. This offer will be available until May 31, 2016. Players who set up an account on PokerStarsNJ.com will be able to avail of a first deposit bonus, as well as receiving a ticket into a $25,000 freeroll - freeroll tickets are only on offer for those who sign up within the first seven days.

    In the run-up to today, PokerStars held a soft launch period just to make sure everything was working as it should. During that time, it had a cap of 490 players, which it hit last night just before the official opening. Now, all eligible players inside the borders of New Jersey can play.

    Welcome back, PokerStars!

    Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.
    is the PokerStars Head of Blogging.

  • 21 March

    Weekend Review: A big win and a Jersey Bounce

    A look at all the major stories from this past weekend on PokerStars. Weekend highlights * a.urli wins the tenth anniversary Sunday Million * Mr. Bucis takes down the Sunday Warm Up * The countdown ends to PokerStars' New Jersey return Round...

  • 21 March

    Sunday Million: a.urli tops 55,059-entry field, wins 10th Anniversary Milly for $970,000

    A little over ten years ago PokerStars began what has become a signature tradition on the site, a weekly $215 no-limit hold'em tournament with a $1 million prize pool known as the Sunday Million. Or, more affectionately, the "Milly," the nickname perhaps sounding like something given to a family member or close friend.

    The Milly has indeed become a regular part of thousands of poker players' lives over the years, and it only seemed fitting PokerStars would make it something a little more special to mark its 10th anniversary, putting a hefty $10 million guarantee on this week's tournament with at least $1 million of that scheduled to go to the winner (barring a final table deal).

    The field was predictably enormous, and after 15-and-a-half hours of poker it was Canada's a.urli claiming the final pot and the victory, earning an incredible $970,000 payday following a four-handed final table deal.


    There were more than 22,000 players already seated around 2,500-plus tables when the first hands of the tournament were dealt Sunday afternoon. Three hours later late registration closed along with the re-entry option, a twist added to this special anniversary edition of the Sunday Million (usually a freezeout) that allowed players to enter up to three times.

    By then there were a whopping 55,059 entries total for the event. That added up to a $11,011,800 prize pool, making it the third-largest prize pool in a decade's worth of Sunday Millions -- click here for a historical walkthrough of the entire ten years -- with the top 8,208 places paid. In other words, more players cashed this week than typically play in the Sunday Million.

    Well over 25,000 were still left at the three-hour mark, and a hour after that the field had been carved down under 14,000. By the early part of the tournament's sixth hour the bubble had burst, and midway through the ninth hour they were down under 1,000 -- still a long way to go.

    They'd just crossed the 10-hour mark when the field was carved under 200 players, then by 12 hours there were less than 50. Thirteen hours into the event they were down to just 18 players around the last two tables, with juan_cde55 then leading with close to 80 million.

    IsItRoss? (18th), Gary "GaryT20" Thompson (17th), and Jamaikaner04 (16th) were the next players eliminated, each earning $38,936.62. SteRooney93 (15th), camachoycano (14th), and cojiño (13th) followed, picking up $52,416.16 apiece. After losing two big all-ins with pocket sixes, former leader juan_cde55 next was eliminated in 12th, followed by emicos (11th) and silasinho (10th), with those three each cashing for $70,694.65.

    With a.urli the new chip leader with more than 177 million and mladenova62 the nearest challenger with just over 95 million, the final table was underway.


    Seat 1: Superfizzy (Germany) -- 37,841,339
    Seat 2: mladenova62 (Bulgaria) -- 95,105,837
    Seat 3: prophetdream (South Korea) -- 28,756,039
    Seat 4: a.urli (Canada) -- 177,403,220
    Seat 5: ThreeBetting (United Kingdom) -- 52,587,466
    Seat 6: AttiIa88 (Russia) -- 57,563,515
    Seat 7: TottiLitti (Finland) -- 40,403,866
    Seat 8: canario508 (Argentina) -- 36,516,940
    Seat 9: Torsvik (Norway) -- 24,411,778

    Torsvik taken out in ninth

    prophetdream survived an early all-in with pocket sevens versus Attila88's ace-jack, then on the following hand canario508 did the same with ace-queen versus a.urli's eight-seven.

    On the next hand after that, the blinds were 1.5M/3M when Attila88 open-shoved from the cutoff seat and Torsvik called all-in with the 13,611,778 left after posting the big blind. Attlia88 had [5d][5s] and Torsvik [Ad][Kd], and five cards later -- [7c][Qh][9s][8h][5c] -- Attila88 had a set of fives and Torsvik was out in ninth.

    TottiLitti tumbled in eighth

    At that point deal discussion began in earnest in the chatbox, but play continued without the tournament being paused. Small pots (relatively speaking) were the norm over the next 15 minutes, then came a hand in which it folded around to TottiLitti in the small blind who pushed all-in with a stack of 40,803,866 (just over 10 big blinds) and canario508 called in a flash.

    TottiLitti had but [6c][2d] and was in bad shape as canario508 had woken up with [Ks][Kh]. The board came [2h][Jc][9h][9d][Ts], leaving TottiLitti with a lesser two pair and an eighth-place finish.

    Attila88 stopped in seventh

    Superfizzy next survived an all-in after chopping a pot with leader a.urli, then prophetdream doubled through canario508, and they reached the next break with a.urli leading by a wide margin with more than 227 million -- well over twice the nearest challenger and just about half the chips in play with seven left.

    Soon after play resumed it was Attila88 open-shoving from under the gun for 46,219,254 (just over nine BBs) then watching prophetdream reshove from the button to isolate. Attila88 had [Ah][Jh] and was dominated by prophetdream's [As][Kd]. Five cards later -- [3c][6s][Qd][2h][7d] -- Attila88 had been sent railward in seventh.

    Superfizzy fizzles in sixth

    Soon it was a.urli limping from the cutoff and ThreeBetting (button) and canario508 (small blind) both calling. Superfizzy then shoved for 6,253,873 total -- just a bit over the 5M big blind -- and all three of the others called.

    The remaining trio checked it down as the board came [Kh][Qs][Js][5h][3s]. SuperFizzy had [Ac][2h], but a.urli's [Ad][8s] meant a better kicker and no one else could beat that, thus ending SuperFizzy's run in sixth.

    ThreeBetting makes last reraise, ousted in fifth

    Five minutes later mladenova62 opened with a 4x raise to 20 million from the cutoff, then ThreeBetting three-bet to 27,121,059 and mladenova62 called right away, turning over [As][Kd] while ThreeBetting had [6s][6c].

    The flop was bad for ThreeBetting, coming [Kh][Kc][Js] to give mladenova62 trip kings. The turn was the [8d] and river the [3h], and ThreeBetting was eliminated in fifth.

    Doing the deal

    A short-stacked canario508 managed another double-up -- through leader a.urli again -- and a few hands later the tournament was paused so the final four could talk about a possible chop. With more than $2.85 million still left in the prize pool to be divided between the four, it was perhaps understandable negotiations wouldn't be simple.

    a.urli was still leading with a little over 206 million, prophetdream was next with about 159 million, mladenova62 was third with about 115 million, and canario508 fourth with a touch over 69 million. "Chip chop" numbers were provided (not "ICM") -- leaving $100K aside for the winner -- and this is how those proposed payouts looked:

    a.urli: $819,533.38
    prophetdream: $730,702.19
    mladenova62: $647,931.65
    canario508: $560,350.56

    a.urli wasn't satisfied, wanting $900K and not ready to budge. When the other three couldn't all agree to that ultimatum, the deal was scuttled and play resumed.

    Five small pots were won, and when a.urli typed "870k is fine if you guys wanna deal" during the fifth one the group managed to stop the proceedings once more with the stacks very close to what they were at the previous pause -- a.urli (207.8M), prophetdream (155.2M), mladenova62 (125.7M), then canario508 (61.8M). "Chip chop" numbers were provided a second time, again setting aside the $100K:

    a.urli: $821,794.69
    prophetdream: $722,787.61
    mladenova62: $667,152.78
    canario508: $546,782.70

    a.urli brought up the $870K figure again, and as that discussion continued canario508 asked to see "ICM"-based figures as well. Leaving $100K for the winner, the "ICM"-based deal looked like this:

    a.urli: $773,023.38
    prophetdream: $723,750.95
    mladenova62: $687,511.87
    canario508: $574,231.58

    prophetdream agreed to the latter set of numbers, but a.urli said "no deal" and it looked like the group was headed toward another impasse. That's when prophetdream came up with a new set of figures satisfying a.urli's desire for $870K, and the conversation was extended. Here's what those new numbers looked like:

    a.urli: $870,000.00
    prophetdream: $678,517.78
    mladenova62: $650,000.00
    canario508: $560,000.00

    A four-player chorus heralding "I agree" quickly followed, and the deal was done!

    canario508 cut down in fourth

    Not long after play resumed, the blinds were 3M/6M when canario508 open-pushed from the button for 46,243,590 holding [Ad][8c], and prophetdream called from the big blind with [Kc][Jd].

    The [8d][3c][Qd] flop was okay for canario508 as was the [9s] turn, but the [Ts] river filled a straight for prophetdream, and canario508 was done in fourth.

    prophetdream dropped in third

    Five minutes after that prophetdream open-raised all-in from the button for 70,487,000 -- about 11.5 BBs -- then a.urli reraised all-in from the small blind and mladenova62 stepped aside.

    prophetdream had [Ks][Qs] and needed help versus a.urli's [Ac][7h], and the [3c][9c][4d] flop didn't provide any. But the [Kc] turn did, putting prophetdream in the lead with a pair of kings. Then came the river... the [Qc]!. Two pair for prophetdream, but a club flush for a.urli and prophetdream was out in third.

    "Well, did you have a dream that you would prophet $678k?" quipped Lee Jones in the chatbox as prophetdream departed to leave the final two players to play out the tournament's conclusion.

    a.urli rolls over mladenova62, grabs extra $100k and win

    a.urli had the edge to start heads-up play with 321,470,104 (about 53 BBs) to mladenova62's 229,119,896 (38 BBs). The pair would quickly play 18 hands in six minutes, with a.urli chipping up further to more than 454 million while mladenova62 slipped to just over 96 million. Then at long last the final hand took place.

    With the blinds at 3.5M/7M, a.urli shoved all-in from the button and mladenova62 called in response, turning over [4d][4s] and hoping the small pair would hold against a.urli's [Ts][8s].

    The [8d][5h][Qh] flop hit the latter's hand, however, and after the [9d] turn and [Ks] river it was all over -- a.urli had won!

    Congratulations to a.urli who after buying in just a single time turned $215 into $970,000 -- over 4,500 times the cost to play! And kudos as well to mladenova62, prophetdream, and canario508 for each making it to the four-way deal and carrying off huge paydays as well in this week's Milly!

    3/20/16 Sunday Million 10th Anniversary ($215 No-Limit Hold'em, $10M Gtd) results
    Entrants: 55,059
    Prize pool: $11,011,800.00
    Places paid: 8,208

    1. a.urli (Canada) $970,000.00*
    2. mladenova62 (Bulgaria) $650,000.00*
    3. prophetdream (South Korea) $678.517.78*
    4. canario508 (Argentina) $560,000.00*
    5. ThreeBetting (United Kingdom) $318,415.00
    6. Superfizzy (Germany) $235,653.62
    7. AttiIa88 (Russia) $174,402.68
    8. TottiLitti (Finland) $129,071.51
    9. Torsvik (Norway) $95,522.96
    * = denotes a four-way deal leaving $100,000 for the winner


    Haven't gotten a PokerStars account yet? Join the world's biggest site now.

    Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

  • 18 March

    Sneak into the $10 million Sunday Million tenth anniversary

    Unless you've been locked in a very small pantry and surviving on dried foods for the past several weeks (and, if so, we're really sorry about that), you know that this Sunday PokerStars will celebrate 10 years of the world's biggest online tournament. It's going to be a $10 million guaranteed party that costs $215 to get in for all regular guests.

    But we were thinking...

    You ever had a time in your life that maybe you were a little short on cash, but there was a movie you just had to see? Or maybe your favorite band was playing in a venue that didn't allow people of your age in? Or what about that club that had a line for VIPs when you weren't a VIP?

    Did you ever find a way to get in anyway?

    Well, here's your chance to play in this weekend's $10 million event for less than it would cost you to buy lunch. Interested? Keep reading.

    Need a PokerStars account to play? Click here to get an account.


    Starting today, PokerStars is offering Sunday Million Spin & Go tourneys. For five bucks, you get a chance to get a $215 Sunday Million ticket.

    Here's how it works:

    You buy in for $5, and the spinner gets to spinning. It could spin up a little, or it could spin all the way up to a $215 Sunday Million ticket first prize.

    To see the odds on it happening and all the other details you need, visit the Sunday Million Spin & Go info page.

    If those don't suit your fancy or bankroll, there are also regular Sunday Million satellites running now for as little as $0.55 or just a few StarsCoin. To play in these satellites go to Tourney > Regular or Special tabs in the PokerStars lobby.

    So, go get your ticket today. And if you manage to sneak in through a satellite, let us know on our @PokerStarsBlog Twitter account.

    Wanna sneak in? Click here to get a PokerStars account.
    is the PokerStars Head of Blogging.

  • 16 March

    Victorious again: Artem “veeea” Vezhenkov tops 3/15/16 Super Tuesday

    It's never a surprise to see familiar usernames and avatars going deep in the Super Tuesday, PokerStars' weekly $1,050 no-limit hold'em tournament that routinely brings out the best and brightest in the poker world. This week was no exception, with several players returning to make deep runs in the tournament again, including this week's champ, Russia's Artem "veeea" Vezhenkov.

    Vezhenkov has won multiple Super Tuesdays before, in addition to a WCOOP title in 2013, a SCOOP win in early 2015, and a Sunday Million win the past November. For tonight's win, Vezhenkov picked up a cool $93,290 first prize for just over 11-and-a-half hours' of work. Here's the story of how he did it.


    There were 491 entries all told in this week's Super Tuesday, making for a $491,000 prize pool that topped the $425K guarantee.

    It took right around six hours for the bubble to burst and with 63 left SwalzB was leading with way. Also in the money and in the hunt was the Italian collector of high roller trophies, last year's SCOOP Main Event ("High") champion, and the most recent Sunday Million winner Mustapha "lasagnaaammm" Kanit with an average stack.


    Mustapha "lasagnaaammm" Kanit

    An hour-and-a-half later Kanit was still there with three tables left, then after reraise-shoving from the button with [6s][6c] got called by both a short-stacked V.bl0m from the blinds and original raiser Timo "heißtercamp" Pfützenreuter. V.bl0m's [Qh][9c] presented one issue, but Pfützenreuter's [Ad][As] was another more serious one for Kanit, and five cards later the aces had held and both he and V.bl0m were out in 24th and 25th, respectively, earning $2,946 apiece.

    Not long after that they were down to 18 players, with Pfützenreuter having claimed the chip lead and SwalzB still in the top five.

    Niklas 'Lena900' Astedt (18th), Matias "Festivuss" Gabrenja (17th), and Senor Pokes (16th) next fell, earning $3,928 each. Ole "wizowizo" Schemion (15th), Fernando "fviana" Viana (14th), and Pascal "Päffchen" Hartmann (13th) soon followed, with those three each taking away $4,910 cashes. Then Rhys "floppinhel" Jones (12th), Subv (11th), and Mike "AAcademiKK" Bartholomew (10th) successively hit the rail, picking up $5,892 each.

    With Pfützenreuter still in front, the final table was underway.


    Seat 1: SwalzB (Germany) -- 226,721
    Seat 2: Timo "heißtercamp" Pfützenreuter (Austria) -- 477,618
    Seat 3: EvnomiYa (Russia) -- 91,942
    Seat 4: Shankar825 (Canada) -- 359,399
    Seat 5: Artem "veeea" Vezhenkov (Russia) -- 158,925
    Seat 6: Pablo "Rhyno2008" Nerro (Uruguay) -- 106,968
    Seat 7: Sinoire (Slovenia) -- 97,610
    Seat 8: Breixo "Palomobuchón" Gonzalez (Czech Republic) -- 166,428
    Seat 9: Palmero92 (United Kingdom) -- 769,389

    It would take more than 45 minutes for the next knockout to come, during which time the blinds moved up to 3,600/7,200. That's when Sinoire open-raised all-in for 108,410 from middle position, Breixo "Palomobuchón" Gonzalez reraised all-in from a seat over, and everyone else folded.

    Sinoire had [Ah][Jc] and needed help against the [Td][Ts] of Gonzalez, but the [8c][Th][2d] flop gave the latter a set and by the [6d] turn Sinoire was drawing dead to finish ninth.

    Shortly after that hand, Pablo "Rhyno2008" Nerro was knocked down under 40,000 after losing a big one to SwalzB in which a river ace prompted the latter to push all-in and Nerro to call with [Ah][Qh] only to see SwalzB turn over pocket aces.

    On the next hand Palmero92 min-raised to 20,000 from early position and Nerro called from the big blind to commit more than half of what was left. An all-in push from Nerro then followed the [Jd][Qs][7c] flop, called quickly by Palmero92 who had [Ks][Qd] for top pair of queens. Rhyno2008 had [Ah][5d], and after the [Jc] turn and [5c] river Nerro was eliminated in eighth.

    On the very next hand, EvnomiYa open-pushed from middle position for 51,754 (just over five BBs), Shankar825 reraised all-in from a seat over, and the others stepped aside. EvnomiYa had [Qc][Td] and Shankar825 [7c][7s], and when the board came five-high -- [5d][3s][2d][4d][4h] -- EvnomiYa was ousted in seventh.

    They crossed the tournament's 10-hour mark, and not long after Timo "heißtercamp" Pfützenreuter made a just-over-2x button raise to 24,030, then Artem "veeea" Vezhenkov three-bet all-in from the big blind and Pfützenreuter called with the 213,735 he had left.

    Pfützenreuter turned over [Ah][Jh] and had the preflop edge over Vezhenkov's [Qd][8d]. The flop came [Ac][8c][9d], giving both players pairs, and the [4h] turn kept Pfützenreuter in front. But the [8h] landed on the river to make trips for Vezhenkov and end Pfützenreuter's run in sixth.


    Timo "heißtercamp" Pfützenreuter

    About seven minutes later the blinds were 7,000/14,000 when Palmero92 raised to 30,255 from UTG, then Shankar825 three-bet all-in for 174,712 total from the button. The blinds folded and Palmero92 called the shove, showing [Ah][7h] while Shankar825 had [Ad][8s].

    Once more the all-in player had the edge before the community cards came, but the [5h][7c][2s] flop immediately swung the advantage to Palmero92. The turn was the [2c] and river the [4c], and Shankar85 was knocked out in fifth.

    The final four all made it to the break that came at the tournament's 11-hour mark, at which point Breixo "Palomobuchón" Gonzalez led with just over 858,000, Palmero92 was close behind with about 828,000, SwalzB was third with a touch over 524,000, and Artem "veeea" Vezhenkov was fourth with almost 244,000.

    About 10 minutes into hour number 12, the blinds were 10,000/20,000 when SwalzB raised to 43,600 from UTG, then Artem "veeea" Vezhenkov three-bet to 67,200 from the button. The action moved to Breixo "Palomobuchón" Gonzalez in the small blind who shoved all-in, and it folded back to SwalzB who called with the 351,503 left before Vezhenkov folded.

    Gonzalez had [8s][8h] and SwalzB [Ah][Ks], and after the [5d][Jh][6c][Tc][4d] board the eights had held and SwalzB was out in fourth.

    Gonzalez was the leader with three left, but a few hands later a huge hand developed between him and Vezhenkov that saw the pair trade bets as the board came [4c][8s][3s][Qc][Qs], then Vezhenkov check-called an all-in shove from Gonzalez. Gonzalez showed [Td][Ts] for queens and tens, but Vezhenkov had [As][4s] for a spade flush and suddenly Gonzalez was down to just over 105,000 (a little more than four BBs).

    The next hand saw Vezhenkov open-raise all-in from the small blind with [9s][9h] and Gonzalez call with what he had left holding [7d][6d]. The board ran out [Kh][9c][7s][2h][5h], and after winning the Super Tuesday just a couple of months ago, Gonzalez added a third-place finish in the event.

    That gave Vezhenkov a big lead to start heads-up play with 1,978,415 to Palmero92's 476,585. Palmero92 was able to battle another 15 minutes and 20 hands, chipping up over 835,000 in the process. But then suddenly the final hand of the night took place.

    With the blinds 15,000/30,000, Palmero92 limped in from the button, then Vezhenkov shoved all-in and Palmero92 called with the just over 802,000 left behind. The players' hands were shown:

    veeea: [2s][2c]
    Palmero92: [Ad][Ts]

    Vezhenkov had the smallest pocket pair you could have, but Palmero92 still needed help from the community cards to beat it. The board then came [7s][Jd][4s], then [Jc], then [Js], making a full house for Vezhenkov and knocking Palmero92 one spot shy of the win. Vezhenkov had done it -- winning yet another Super Tuesday to go along with his WCOOP and SCOOP titles and Sunday Million win.

    Congratulations to Artem "veeea" Vezhenkov for taking down yet another big title on PokerStars by winning this week's Super Tuesday.

    3/15/16 Super Tuesday ($1,050 No-Limit Hold'em) results
    Entrants: 491
    Prize pool: $491,000.00
    Places paid: 63

    1. Artem "veeea" Vezhenkov (Russia) $93,290.00
    2. Palmero92 (United Kingdom) $68,740.00
    3. Breixo "Palomobuchón" Gonzalez (Czech Republic) $50,327.50
    4. SwalzB (Germany) $38,298.00
    5. Shankar825 (Canada) $27,005.00
    6. Timo "heißtercamp" Pfützenreuter (Austria) $20,867.50
    7. EvnomiYa (Russia) $15,957.50
    8. Pablo "Rhyno2008" Nerro (Uruguay) $11,047.50
    9. Sinoire (Slovenia) $8,150.60

    Want to compete for your own online championship? Click here to get a PokerStars account.
    Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

  • 15 March

    Jaime Staples Twitch Highlights - 10 March 2022

  • 15 March

    Beware the (sl)ides of March?

    If you've ever been told to beware the ides of March - and admittedly this usually only applies if you're a Roman general - those ides refer to this very day. The expression comes from Shakespeare, who in turn took it from the Roman calendar which di...

  • 14 March

    Weekend Review: Name change as Kanit wins Sunday Mmmillion

    A look at all the major stories from this past weekend on PokerStars.

    Weekend highlights

    * Mustapha "lasagnaammm" Kanit wins Sunday Million
    * Mayu "marroca5" Roca wins Sunday Warm-Up
    * Wang Ping Yuan is crowned P1M champion in Manila.

    Mustapha_Kanit_wins_14mar16.jpgYet another win for Mustapha Kanit

    Round up of latest results

    We binge on PokerStars. We told you that on Friday. Not just in promotions and giveaways, we binge on results too. We even have a favourite dish - it's called "lasagnaaammm".

    added the Sunday Million title to his ever growing resume of stupendous results this weekend.

    Less than a month ago he was posing with the winner's trophy having taken down the EPT Dublin High Roller. Six before that he was doing the same having won the EPT Barcelona High Roller. Three months before that he'd been doing the same having won the EPT Grand Final High Roller. And a month before that, he's been doing the same, albeit virtually, having won the SCOOP Main Event. Ridiculous, ridiculous, ridiculous... and wonderful.

    kanit_hugs_barcelona_14mar16.jpgWe're talking very well liked...

    It's impossible not to like Kanit, 24, whose infectious enthusiasm passes even to those he defeats, and whose fledgling English disguises a grasp of idiom and slang that cracks any poker face. In a game that often breeds natural enmity, Kanit is immune. His table is the fun table. And who doesn't want to be on that?

    Proof of that came in Dublin.

    We covered his campaign extensively, as he not only survived as a short stack, but then gleefully taunted one opponent after another (the most memorable being against Igor Kurganov, who grabbed Kanit's winning cards and joked about taking a peak. "You can see if you want," said Kanit. "After I call the floor. One round penalteeeeeee!" That last word sung at a falsetto that cracked everyone up**). As he waited for the official photographer to set up the winning shot, a string of player came up to Kanit wanting their own photos. Kanit's wore the same broad grin for each of them. And these weren't aspiring types. These were the high rollers he'd just beaten, including Chance Kornuth, who finished second.


    We don't really have favourites, we just like great players, and when they're fun to watch it's an even bigger bonus. So rejoice as you read the poker headlines, and the new name for the biggest event of the week, albeit for one day only: the Sunday Mmmillion.

    Here are those two results in full:

    PokerStars Sunday Million results(3/13/2016)
    Players: 5,717
    Prize pool: $1,143,400.00
    Places paid: 855

    1. Mustapha "lasagnaaammm" Kanit (Austria) $177,229.79
    2. XouLio131 (Greece) $131,491.00
    3. goodvibe1 (Germany) $92,615.40
    4. 147_star (United Kingdom) $64,201.91
    5. tracedyew (Cyprus) $48,022.80
    6. Beth Abbey (United Kingdom) $36,588.80
    7. anteen (Sweden) $25,154.80
    8. Pumpingpoker (Russia) $14,292.50
    9. uknowProsky* (Netherlands) $8,918.52

    PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up results (3/13/2016)
    Entrants: 2,216
    Prize pool: $443,200.00
    Place paid: 324

    1. Mayu "marroca5" Roca (Colombia) $70,912.00
    2. 747431973 (Estonia) $53,073.20
    3. Mike180373 (Russia) $37,672.00
    4. ISAAC201266 (Canada) $26,592.00
    5. Mikthepoker (Denmark) $19,944.00
    6. adv2mayfair (United Kingdom) $15,290.40
    7. roo_400 (Canada) $10,858.40
    8. Pr0fiteer (Thailand) $6,426.40
    9. HYZENBURG (Canada) $3,988.80

    ** Kanit was in great form on Day 2 of the €25K High Roller. The coverage is well worth looking back on. There are plenty of highlights. Ctrl-F the word "Kanit". There are 97 of them.

    The weekend's top online tournament winners

    Here are the big online winners from the weekend.

    $215 Sunday MillionlasagnaaammmAustria $177,229.79
    $215 Sunday Warm-Upmarroca5Colombia $70,912.00
    $530 Sunday 500BounatirouUnited Kingdom $55,993.25
    $215 Sunday Supersonic [6-Max]patoasArgentina $46,956.39
    $215 Sunday 2nd ChanceValterBr@ncoBrazil $41,184.00
    $109+R Sunday RebuyShippityShipAustralia $35,532.00
    $320 Saturday Super-Knockout10111420United Kingdom $25,461.82
    $22 Sunday Mini-MillionisikhombisaSlovenia $25,000.00
    $162 Sunday 6-Maxchess87Germany $22,684.50
    $11 Sunday Stormdramir100Colombia $21,595.84

    Click here for a complete list of major results on PokerStars for the weekend of March 12 to 12, 2016.

    P1M Guarantee

    It wasn't like the previous weekend when the LAPT and Eureka Main Events were win full swing, but there was a PokerStars live event with coverage taking place over the weekend, won by Wang Ping Yuan. The event was the P1M Guarantee at the City of Dreams in Manila. Yuan took honours ahead of second placed Seyedomid Hadipour from the United States and Dave Colclough, a familiar name on the UK poker scene, in third. The full result is below, and you can recap on the action Triccia David's reports here.

    P1M Guaranteed Main Event
    Entrants: 361
    Prize pool: P1,000,000

    1. Wang Ping Yuan (Taiwan) P332,648*
    2. Seyedomid Hadipour (United States) P212,400*
    3. Dave Colclough (United Kingdom) P134,500*
    4. Stanislav Malkov (Russia) P106,200*
    5. Soo Jo Kim (Korea) P77,900*
    6. Ronald Dimaano (Philippines) P63,700
    7. Seung Soo Jeon (Korea) P49,600
    8. Edwin Marzan (Philippines) P41,800
    9. Yongqi Ren (China) P34,000

    *The top five finishers each received a seat to the Manila Megastack 5. Seats are worth P25,000 each.

    Sunday Million Tenth Anniversary

    We're now just a week away from the tenth anniversary edition of the PokerStars Sunday MMMillion. As we mentioned last week there's a slight change to the format, with players permitted to re-enter three times before registration closes, not to mention a guaranteed $1 million to the winner.

    You can find details of that, as well as how to qualify for much less than the $215 entry fee, on the Sunday Million Tenth Anniversary homepage. And while you're clicking links take a look at the decade long journey of the Sunday Million.

    If any of this has inspired you a little, you can open a PokerStars account in just a few minutes. click here to get started.

    That's the binge over. Now the recovery period. As always send your questions and comments to us on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog.

    Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

  • 14 March

    Sunday Million: Mustapha “lasagnaammm” Kanit extends magnificent run, banks $177k

    There are hot streaks, great runs, and lucky breaks in poker... and then there is Mustapha "lasagnaaammm" Kanit's last ten months. The 24-year old not only won the SCOOP Main Event for $1.3 million, not only took the #1 spot on the all-time money list in his native Italy, but won three EPT high roller events (Monte Carlo €50k, Barcelona €10k and Dublin €25k) since last May, pushing his total combined live and online MTT earnings over the $10 million mark. Just last week, Kanit quietly shipped the Sunday Supersonic for $48,000 and tonight, he joined the ranks of Sunday Million champions, as he topped a field of 5,717 to win over $177k. 2016 may only be ten weeks old, but Kanit has already cashed for over $1.4 million this year, both online and live.


    Sunday Million champion Mustapha "lasagnaaammm" Kanit, pictured in victory at the EPT12 Dublin High Roller

    Another interesting footnote to this week's Million was the potential for another repeat champion. In the ten-year history of the Sunday Million, only nine players have won it twice. One of those nine, Hungary's twirlpro, finished in 14th place tonight and three other Sunday Million champions, goodvibe1 (3rd), 147_star (4th), and xKoSSSx (12th) were among the final 12.

    This week's Million drew 5,717 players, the prize pool topping out at $1,143,400.00. 855 places were paid with $177,229.79 set aside for first place.

    The blinds were up to 125,000/250,000 with ten players remaining. Vladlen911, the second-shortest stack remaining, open-shoved for 1.84 million on the button with [As][8d] and Mustapha "lasagnaaammm" Kanit called from the big blind with [Ac][9c]. The two appeared to be headed for a chop with the board reading [Qs][3d][6s][Tc] on the turn, but Kanit rivered the [9d] to make a pair of nines and sent Vladlen911 to the rail one spot shy of the final table.


    Final table chip counts

    Seat 1: lasagnaaammm (14,504,591 in chips)
    Seat 2: anteen (876,643 in chips)
    Seat 3: goodvibe1 (7,708,246 in chips)
    Seat 4: Pumpingpoker (3,687,804 in chips)
    Seat 5: uknowProsky* (2,897,137 in chips)
    Seat 6: Beth Abbey (6,375,763 in chips)
    Seat 7: 147_star (9,422,868 in chips)
    Seat 8: XouLio131 (7,278,599 in chips)
    Seat 9: tracedyew (4,418,349 in chips)

    The first five hands at the final table produced three eliminations. On Hand #1 the action folded to uknowProsky* in the cutoff and he moved in for 2.87 million with pocket sixes. XouLio131 called with [Ad][Jh] and rivered an ace on the [Ks][Td][Tc][3c][Ah] board to send uknowProsky* home in ninth place. Three hands later, Pumpinpoker picked up [9h][9d] and moved in for 3.58 million from UTG+1. Kanit called from the small blind with [Ac][Qs] and won the coinflip when an ace hit the flop, ending Pumpingpoker's run in eighth. Then, on the next deal, 147_star opened for 500,025 and anteen committed his remaining 501,643. Anteen's [5d][9d] did not improve against 147_star's [Ac][7s], and he went out in seventh place.

    Beth Abbey's stack took a hit when tracedyew's [Ad][Kd] held up against [As][Th], good for a double-up to 5.2 million. Beth Abbey fell to 3.26 million and with the blinds up to 150,000/300,000, she three-bet shoved from the small blind with [Ks][Qh]. Goodvibe1 called with [8h][8c] and the pocket pair held up to send Beth Abbey to the rail in sixth place.

    Four hands later, XouLio131 opened for 630,000 from UTG and tracedyew moved all-in for 4.45 million with [Kc][Qc]. XouLio131 called and his dominating [As][Ks] held up to eliminate tracedyew in fifth.

    Among the final four players were two former Sunday Million champions-- goodvibe1 snagged the title and $205k in August 2013 while 147_star picked up $258k back in April 2010. However, 147_star took a turn for the worse during four-handed play, losing over half his stack to goodvibe1. Holding [7d][8h], goodvibe1 limped in from the small blind, then fired three times on the [Jh][9d][5d][Ts][2h] board. 147_star called him down and mucked at the sight of his turned straight. 147_star was left with 3.99 million and three hands later, he open-shoved from the cutoff with [Jd][Td]. Goodvibe1 called with [As][Kh] from the big blind. 147_star unfortunately did not improve on the [8c][7h][6s][5c][Ks] board and finished in fourth place.

    When three-handed play commenced, goodvibe1 held a slight chip lead with 21.9 million, Mustapha "lasagnaaammm" Kanit had 21.3 million, and XouLio131 was the short stack with 14 million.

    Kanit dominated three-handed play and moved into the chip lead after taking two 8 million chip pots off goodvibe1. Then, in a three-bet pot vs. XouLio131, he turned a nine-high straight on a [Js][7c][5s][8s] board and bet 1.89 million. XouLio131 called. The [Ks] river put four spades on the board and both players checked. Although XouLio131 turned over pocket jacks for a set, Kanit's [6c][9c] took down the 9.18 million pot.

    Shortly thereafter, all three players agreed to pause the action and discuss a potential deal. Here's how they stacked up at the time:

    lasagnaaammm 34,551,451
    godvibe1 12,110,664
    XouLio131 10,507,885

    Per the players' request, both chip chop and ICM figures were presented. The chip chop deal offered virtually no downside for Kanit-- it guaranteed him a $155,160.95 share no matter where he finished, and with $20,000 still on the table, he'd still have the potential to walk away with $175,160.95 of the $177,229.79 published first place. Kanit declared he would only accept the chip chop deal, otherwise he was willing play it out. Although XouLio131 agreed to the chip chop, goodvibe1 would not accept it and cards went back in the air with no deal in place.

    On the second hand back, Kanit showed his first signs of vulnerability at this final table when he dropped an 11.4 million pot to XouLio131. In for 1.05 million apiece, both players checked a [Jc][8s][3s] flop. When the [As] turned, Kanit checked and XouLio131 made it 1,512,500 to go. Kanit called and the [4c] landed on the river. Kanit checked again, XouLio131 bet 2,821,250 and Kanit looked him up. XouLio131 revealed [Ac][3h] for aces up and Kanit mucked.

    Kanit retained the chip lead after that hand, but goodvibe1 snatched it away a short time later. With the blinds up to 300,000/600,000, Kanit opened for 1.38 million and goodvibe1 shoved for 11.77 million with [9h][9c]. Kanit called with [Ah][Kh] and lost the race when the board ran out [Qd][Ts][8s][4s][Qh]. Goodvibe1 doubled to 23.7 million while Kanit slipped to 15.3 million.

    Kanit rebounded when his [Ks][8h] flopped a pair of kings and rivered kings up vs. XouLio131. Kanit raked in an 11 million pot and moved back up to 23.4 million. Then, when the action folded to him in the small blind, Kanit made it 10.5 million to go with [Ac][6s] and goodvibe1 called all-in with [Kh][Js]. Kanit flopped aces and sixes on the [Ah][8d][6d][Kc][7d] board and goodvibe1 went out in third place, ending our shot at crowning a tenth repeat Sunday Million champion tonight.

    Heads-up chip counts

    Seat 1: Mustapha "lasagnaaammm" Kanit (36,518,554 in chips)
    Seat 8: XouLio131 (20,651,446 in chips)

    Kanit won seven of the first eight hands and chipped up to 48.3 million before XouLio131 picked up [Jh][Tc] and three-bet shoved. Kanit called with [Ah][Jc] and had XouLio131 dominated. It looked like curtains for XouLio131... until the [Ks][Kd][Th] flop made him two pair. Kanit never caught up and XouLio131 doubled to 19.4 million.

    With the stacks essentially back to where they started heads-up play, Kanit and XouLio131 exchanged almost a dozen small pots before all the money went in preflop. Kanit opened for a min-raise to 1.6 million, XouLio131 shoved for 16.6 million with [4h][4s] and Kanit called with [Jd][Js]. Kanit's pocket jacks held on the [Td][8s][7c][3c][7d] board and the young Italian added yet another title to his already-impressive poker C.V.

    Congratulations to the seemingly unstoppable Mustapha "lasagnaaammm" Kanit, our newest Sunday Million champion! He banked $177,229.79 for the win, while runner-up XouLio131 earned $131,491.00.

    PokerStars Sunday Million results for 3/13/2016

    Players: 5,717
    Prize pool: $1,143,400.00
    Places paid: 855

    1. Mustapha "lasagnaaammm" Kanit (Austria) $177,229.79
    2. XouLio131 (Greece) $131,491.00
    3. goodvibe1 (Germany) $92,615.40
    4. 147_star (United Kingdom) $64,201.91
    5. tracedyew (Cyprus) $48,022.80
    6. Beth Abbey (United Kingdom) $36,588.80
    7. anteen (Sweden) $25,154.80
    8. Pumpingpoker (Russia) $14,292.50
    9. uknowProsky* (Netherlands) $8,918.52

  • 14 March

    Sunday Warm-Up: Mayu “marroca5” Roca earns $70K victory

    Mayu "marroca5" Roca is one of Columbia's live top money winners claiming fourth place at the European Poker Tour Grand Finale two years ago earning $579,682. Roca was already established as a force online before that EPT final table winning a WCOOP br...

  • 11 March

    The decade-long journey of the Sunday Million

    For most people these days, it's hard to remember a time when there wasn't a Sunday Million. Some of 2016's best players hadn't even hit puberty when the Sunday Million first appeared ten years ago. Now, the world's biggest weekly tournament is about...

  • 11 March

    The decade-long journey of the Sunday Million

    For most people these days, it's hard to remember a time when there wasn't a Sunday Million. Some of 2016's best players hadn't even hit puberty when the Sunday Million first appeared ten years ago. Now, the world's biggest weekly tournament is about...

  • 11 March

    The PokerStars diet of cake and ice cream

    If a PokerStars weekend was a diet fad, it wouldn't be one to get you healthy any time soon. Let' face facts. We don't do kale, we do treats. We don't do moderation, we binge. And while this weekend promises a meat and two vegetables kind of menu, we made sure to throw in cake and ice cream along the way. We're like your favourite uncle.

    I can't promise this dubious analogy won't reappear below, but let me explain.

    First off let' get the formalities out of the way. You'll find everything you usually find taking place this weekend. That means all the weekend majors and the Sunday Million to cap it all off. Last weekend that went to CantWinAFlip who despite brazenly misleading us with his username took a first prize of $174,951.74 to headline the weekend.


    Whatever the current size of your bank roll there's plenty that will satisfy even the modest competitive urge, and there are satellites to get you a seat to the big ones for a fraction of the prize. Open up the PokerStars client, find the tournament lobby and enjoy having a look around.

    Talking of the Sunday Million....

    Sunday Million tenth anniversary

    We're now just a week away from what could turn out to be the biggest Sunday Million ever held. It's the tenth anniversary so we've kept the numbers simple: A prize pool of $10 million and $1 million to the winner.

    In terms of structure everything remains the same, but we've made a couple of temporary tweaks. The buy in is still $215 but if you're knocked out within the first three hours of play (before registration closes) you can re-enter up to three times. Whether that promotes prudence or recklessness remains to be seen, but either way it will be quite the event. Win it and you'll be telling your grandchildren about it.

    You can get details on the Sunday Million Tenth Anniversary homepage, along with information on how to qualify. You'll also find details of various bonus codes to take advantage of that will earn you a freeroll ticket. It's one thing to turn $215 into $1 million, something else entirely to do the same with $0.

    $1,000,000 Freeroll

    That's not the only guarantee we're making right now. This week we announced details of the first $1 million freeroll on PokerStars, which takes place a day before the Sunday Million Anniversary, on Saturday March 19 at 13:04 ET.

    Entry is open to every real money player on PokerStars, although you have to qualify first.

    To do that you must enter one of our 90-player Sit & Go qualifiers, which are running around the clock. From each Sit & Go the top nine players will advance, with the freeroll itself capped at 100,000 players.

    Want to take part and play in the $1 million guarantee freeroll? Click here to get a PokerStars account.

    To get a ticket simply open your Challenges window and opt-in. To release your ticket just play one hand of real money poker - at any stakes, and in either a cash game or a tournament. If you miss out first time round you can get a second ticket by depositing $20 or more using the bonus code "MILLION1". Get all the details of that event on the Freeroll homepage.


    It proved a week for appropriate and inappropriate names. First there was CantWinAFlip in the Sunday Million, who won flips, and more to take the title. It seems only wise to counsel against taking on players with usernames like "humblepiemmmm" or "OhFFS101!" this weekend.

    Of course in the real world people play it straight. Who knows if somewhere in the poker world there are struggling players called Trevor Weak, Pete Passive or Lionel Loose. But there is a Rodrigo Strong, and he won the LAPT Chile this week for $120,565.

    Jack Stanton and Will O'Connor were on hand to watch his show of strength, and their reports and updates are well worth a read even if we just spoiled it by telling you the result.

    While the LAPT might eclipse the Eureka Main Event in Rozvadov for prize money, in terms of a story it nudged them at the line.

    That was thanks to Ivan Luca's victory in the Main Event. There's no doubting the immense talent of Luca, a regular high roller and bracelet winner from last year. But this time it was not the win that caught the imagination exactly, but his heads up opponent - his girlfriend Maria Lampropoulos.

    I'm not sure I've ever seen anything quite like this in ten years covering poker. In the old days of the EPT Patrick Antonius was once moved to another table after his wife was moved to a vacant seat opposite. That's not really a practical policy at a final table.

    But in this case any such problems were pushed aside by the unique story of a great final table, told in typically compelling style by our man Nick Wright, whose reports you can read here. It's also worth mentioning that, in an age where it seems everyone is entitled to get involved in a winner's photo; Luca's win produced the most genuine one we've seen for a long time.

    Ivan_Luca_rozvadov_winner_11mar16.jpgRozvadov winner Ivan Luca with his girlfriend (and runner-up) Maria Lampropoulos

    Grand Final

    Luca and Lampropoulos will be likely contenders at the EPT Grand Final, still some six weeks away. But while that's still a ways off, the business of winning seats to the season finale has already started, and in fantastic style.

    As we wrote earlier this week a seat to the EPT Grand Final Main Event costs €5,300, but any number of our satellites can slash that price. Now though, our new Spin & Go promotion will slash the price to as little as €10, and the time it takes to win it to a matter of minutes.

    We launched this promo yesterday and already eight players have booked their ticket to Monaco. Remember that each package is worth €9,000. That includes your main event seat, accommodation for you and a guest at the Monte Carlo Bay Resort, as well as travel expenses. For €10 and ten minutes of your time, it's the best ticket in town, and you have until April 10 to give it a spin... so to speak.

    EPT Not Live

    While there is no EPT Live to keep us busy this month you get more form the #EPTNotLive team. We'll let those guys tell you what's in store this week...

    "Joe Stapleton is in the closet. Literally. He whispers his way through the show, as he broadcasts from his temporary "home" in Los Angeles. The boys kick things off with a major Social Media Beef, before breaking down the first two episodes of the EPT 11 Grand Final (available to watch at pokerstars.tv). These TV shows feature a random Craig David gag, and showcase the talents of Ole Schemion, Maria Ho and Ludovic Geilich - who was booked to appear as the guest on this week's podcast, but never showed up. There's a reminder of the Club ID and Invitation Code for the #EPTLive Home Game Club, plus a preview of the UKIPT London festival, before Lucas Summers demonstrates his knowledge of 'Back to the Future' in 'Superfan vs Stapes'. #EPTNotLive"

    Listen to #EPTNotLive on the relevant links below:


    Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.

    So let's see now... that's $10 million guaranteed in the Anniversary Sunday Million next weekend, a $1 million freeroll next week, and a Grand Final package worth €9,000 for €10. That is a lot of cake and ice cream. But what the hell, it's worth it.

    Play well on PokerStars this weekend. As always send any thoughts and comments to us on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog.

    Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

  • 10 March

    Jamie Staples Twitch highlights - 6 March 2022

  • 10 March

    Spin & Go your way to the EPT Grand Final in Monaco

    It's the same old story. You're desperate to play the EPT Grand Final in Monaco - the most prestigious event of its kind - but finding the time to win your seat in a satellite is often impossible. What you need is a solution that factors in the promise of high stakes poker with the obligations of normal life. Does such a solution exist? We think it does. It's called Spin & Go, and should take you from 0-to-Monaco in about nine minutes.

    Nine minutes?

    Well that's about the average time it takes to play our a Spin & Go. They cost as little as €10 and will send some players to Monaco with a package that includes your Main Event ticket, eight night's accommodation at the five star Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort (along with a guest), and travel expenses of $1,125 (€988) paid into your PokerStars account. All in, that's €9,000.

    Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.

    What's more you can start playing now, with our special Spin & Go's starting today at 10:00 ET and running until 11:59pm on April 10. All you do is register, watch the wheel spin and see what comes up. They start from €10, with an even greater chance of booking your trip to Monaco with buy-ins of up to €500.


    Not bad for a trip to Monaco on April 29 all the way through to May 7, with some high stakes poker in one of games' premier venues, and all in nine minutes

    Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

  • 9 March

    ivanvilchez8 cruises to 3/8/16 Super Tuesday victory; Team Pro Lodden 5th

    It was another talent-rich field in this week's Super Tuesday, with a final table featuring several familiar names including the U.K.'s Erik "Popiedejopie" van den Berg, Hungary's Andras "probirs" Nemeth, and Norway's Johnny Lodden of Team PokerStars Pro. But ivanvilchez8 of Argentina began the final table with a sizable chip lead, and after scoring a big knockout on the first hand at the final table would hold the lead for the rest of the night to claim the win and a $92,910 first prize.

    A total of 489 entered the $1,050 no-limit hold'em tournament, creating a $489,000 prize pool that bested the event's $425K guarantee. They were about 10 minutes shy of the tournament's six-hour mark when the bubble burst, and with 63 players left none other than Team PokerStars Pro Johnny Lodden had pushed way out in front with nearly 175,000, with Erik "Popiedejopie" van den Berg then the nearest challenger with just over 105,000.

    About an hour-and-a-half later later were down to 18 players with Lodden having just surged back in front to retake the lead from van den Berg.

    Jerry "Perrymejsen" Ödeen (18th), Robin "robinho" Ylitalo (17th), and Ahhh Is It? (16th) were the next players eliminated, each earning $3,912. Then thagrinda444 (15th), Rui "RuiNF" Ferreira (14th), and gorgona66ret (13th) were knocked out, cashing for $4,890 apiece. Martin "martiniano07" Wagner (12th), Stanley "stanman420" Lee (11th), and BestRivenPS (10th) next went out, taking away $5,868 each from the prize pool.

    With ivanvilchez8 already enjoying a big chip lead with nearly twice the stack of those closest in chips, the final table was underway.


    Seat 1: saks80 (Lebanon) -- 164,000
    Seat 2: V.bl0m (Malta) -- 298,374
    Seat 3: ivanvilchez8 (Argentina) -- 628,880
    Seat 4: rudisf (Poland) -- 81,926
    Seat 5: Team PokerStars Pro Johnny "johnnylodden" Lodden (Norway) -- 329,885
    Seat 6: davidas75 (Israel) -- 168,984
    Seat 7: Timorm1 (Israel) -- 84,268
    Seat 8: Andras "probirs" Nemeth (Hungary) -- 323,974
    Seat 9: Erik "Popiedejopie" van den Berg (United Kingdom) -- 364,709

    Erik "Popiedejopie" van den Berg began the final table firmly in the mix as one of the chase pack behind ivanvilchez8. But after one hand van den Berg suddenly found himself on the rail in ninth.

    The blinds were 2,800/5,600 and van den Berg opened for 13,350 from middle position. It folded to leader ivanvilchez8 who three-bet to 39,200 from the hijack seat, then when the action got back to van den Berg he reraised back to 94,775 and ivanvilchez8 called.

    The flop came [2c][3c][2d], prompting a bet of 56,125 from van den Berg. ivanvilchez8 responded with an all-in shove, and van den Berg called with the 213,109 he had behind, turning over [Ah][Ad] for aces and deuces. ivanvilchez8 had [Kc][Qc] for a flush draw, and while the [Qd] on the turn didn't complete it the [Tc] river did, knocking van den Berg out in ninth.


    Erik "Popiedejopie" van den Berg

    That pot boosted ivanvilchez8 just barely over 1 million chips, at the time more than three times what any of the others had in their stacks.

    Just five hands later, a short-stacked rudisf was all in from the big blind after posting, with preflop raiser Timorm1 the only competitor. rudisf had [6s][3c] and Timorm1 [Kc][Qd], and the [Js][9h][4d][Ts][3d] added up to a straight for Timorm1 and an eighth-place finish for rudisf.

    A little over a half-hour later -- on the last hand before the tournament's nine-hour break -- Timorm1 had become short-stacked after losing a hand to davidas75, and was soon all in for less than a big blind with [Jd][5d] versus ivanvilchez8's [Ac][9d]. The board came [Kc][3h][2c][5c][4h], giving Timorm1 a pair of fives on the turn but ivanvilchez8 a wheel on the river, thus knocking Timorm1 out in seventh.

    The final six played on another half-hour with ivanvilchez8 maintaining a big lead. Then with the blinds up to 5,000/10,000, Andras "probirs" Nemeth opened for 22,500 from middle position, then saks80 three-bet all in for 201,078 from the next seat over. It folded back to Nemeth who called and turned over [As][Jc] while saks80 showed [7c][7h]. A [Jh][8c][Jd] flop then gave Nemeth trips and the [Ac] improved him further to a full house, making the river no matter and sending saks80 railward in sixth.

    The final five all made it to the 10-hour break, with ivanvilchez8 still setting the pace with about 1.04 million, Andras "probirs" Nemeth the nearest challenger with about 523,000, Johnny Lodden and davidas75 both sitting just under 320,000, and V.bl0m fifth with almost 238,000.

    About a half-hour more passed, then came a hand in which ivanvilchez8 -- still the leader -- open-pushed all in from the button and Johnny Lodden called with the 329,758 (just over 20 BBs) he had left after posting the small blind. ivanvilchez8 had [Td][8d] and Lodden [8s][8h], and after the [Kh][5d][Jd] flop Lodden was still in front. But the turn was the [2d] to complete a flush for ivanvilchez8, making the river [Tc] no matter and ending Lodden's run in fifth.


    Team PokerStars Pro Johnny Lodden

    The remaining players made it through another couple of orbits, then it was davidas75 open-shoving all in from the button for 211,321 (just over 13 BBs), Andras "probirs" Nemeth reshoving for more from the small blind, and V.bl0m folded from the big blind.

    Nemeth had [Ac][Kd] and the edge over davidas75's [Ad][Td]. The [Qs][Kh][8c][4c][Tc] board then gave both players pairs but Nemeth's was best, and davidas75 was out in fourth.

    From there just 14 more hands would be played, with ivanvilchez8 winning 12 of them on the way to scoring the last two knockouts and earning the victory.

    It was only a few minutes later that ivanvilchez8 open-raised all in from the button with [Kc][Jc] and V.bl0m called all in from the big blind for 348,445 (about 19 BBs) with [As][Jh]. The [6s][Ad][Kd] flop gave both players pairs, and the [7h] turn kept V.bl0m in the lead. But the river was the [Ks] to make trips for ivanvilchez8, and V.bl0m had been eliminated in

    With that pot ivanvilchez8 had 2,065,729 versus the 379,271 of Andras "probirs" Nemeth to begin heads-up play, a better than 5-to-1 chip advantage. Over the next four hands ivanvilchez8 had chipped Nemeth down to just over 307,000 (about 17 BBs). Then Nemeth min-raised ot 36,000 from the button, ivanvilchez8 shoved all in, and Nemeth called to put those last chips at risk.

    ivanvilchez8: [7s][7h]
    probirs: [Qc][Tc]

    Nemeth had a couple of live cards, but the [3d][9d][6c][3c][Kc] board didn't help him and he fell one spot shy of the win.


    Andras "probirs" Nemeth

    Congratulations to ivanvilchez8 for topping a big field and tough final table to win this week's Super Tuesday and a nice $91,910 first prize.

    3/8/16 Super Tuesday ($1,050 No-Limit Hold'em) results
    Entrants: 489
    Prize pool: $489,000.00
    Places paid: 63

    1. ivanvilchez8 (Argentina) $92,910.00
    2. Andras "probirs" Nemeth (Hungary) $68,460.00
    3. V.bl0m (Malta) $50,122.50
    4. davidas75 (Israel) $38,142.00
    5. Team PokerStars Pro Johnny "johnnylodden" Lodden (Norway) $26,895.00
    6. saks80 (Lebanon) $20,782.50
    7. Timorm1 (Israel) $15,892.50
    8. rudisf (Poland) $11,002.50
    9. Erik "Popiedejopie" van den Berg (United Kingdom) $8,117.40

    Want to compete for your own online championship? Click here to get a PokerStars account.
    Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

  • 8 March

    Eureka6 Rozvadov: Ivan Luca defeats his girlfriend, Maria Lampropoulos, to win title


    A big grin from Negriin

    Mysterious poker player takes the EPT by storm and over the course of 15 months final tables High Rollers and Super High Rollers for fun before bagging first major European title early in 2016. No we're not talking about Dzmitry Urbanovich, but Ivan Luca.

    Tonight in Rozvadov he added a Eureka title to the WSOP bracelet he won in 2015 and took his live tournament earnings for 2016 to almost $1,000,000.

    The Argentinian entered the final table as chip leader and it was always going to take something, or someone, special to stop him. By the time heads-up play began it was only his special someone who could deny him the title as he faced off against his girlfriend Maria Lampropoulos. She may not be as experienced as Luca in big buy-in tournaments but she can play, she can play very well as evidenced by her runner-up finish in a WPT National event in Brussels at the end of February.


    So whoever loses has to do the washing up for a month right?

    When heads-up play began Luca had the chip lead but soon lost it. Then he made a straight to her top pair, top kicker to take a big lead. When Lampropoulos made a straight of her own it would prove to be her downfall as Luca had rivered a flush. He shoved, she called and after 90 minutes of back and forth it was all over.


    Fancy meeting you here

    It's impossible to go any further at this point without mentioning the part David Urban played in this final table. When three-handed play began at 4:20pm CET he had the chip lead. He didn't lose that lead until 8:15pm and barely put a foot wrong despite being up against the two Argentinian's. Forty minutes later he was out in third place for €54,800 and wondering what might have been.

    It wasn't the money he was funking over though. "I really wanted to play Luca heads-up to play against a really top opponent," he told us. With an attitude like that we suspect we'll see more of Urban in the future.


    On another day Urban may well have won

    The blow-by-blow account

    There were eight players left when play got under way today and this is how they lined up.

    1Mick HederDenmark 1,370,000
    2David UrbanSlovakia 2,005,000
    3Hannes SpeiserAustriaPokerStars player445,000
    4Stoyan StefanovBulgaria 1,505,000
    5Maria LampropoulosArgentina 2,455,000
    6Ivan LucaArgentina 5,355,000
    7Peter SiemundGermany 2,845,000
    8Robert KokoskaCzech Republic 895,000

    Main Event final tv day  Eureka 6 Rozvadov Tomas Stacha-2602.jpg

    The elite eight

    Despite a couple of short-stacks I don't think anyone could have predicted the whirlwind start to proceedings as four players were eliminated in the opening 15 minutes. Hannes Speiser busted on the very first hand when he shoved [Kh][Qs] into Luca's [Ac][Jd].


    Speiser - bust on the first hand

    Ace-jack didn't work out so well for Robert Kokoska as he ran into the pocket kings of Lampropoulos, to finish seventh. A few minutes later Mick Heder picked the wrong time to shove for 20 big blinds with [Kh][Jh] as Luca woke up with aces. When Stoyan Stefanov lost a race with pocket fives to the [As][Kc] of Urban we wondered if we might be done in record time.


    Seventh place for Kokoska...


    ...Heder followed soon after in sixth...


    ...and then Stoyan, all in 15 minutes!

    In those opening 15 minutes Peter Siemund had earned €29,000 without playing a hand but his run would end in fourth place when he got very unlucky in a hand against Urban. The German flopped top pair and Urban - who'd three-bet out of position pre-flop - continued his aggression post-flop by setting Siemund all-in on the turn with just ace high and a gutshot straight draw. Siemund had seven outs to dodge then but an ace on the river sent him out in fourth.


    Siemund busted in a sick hand

    So that left us with just three. For the vast majority of three-handed play Urban was in control. He had over 50% of the chips in play for large swathes of the four and a half hours it took to go from three to two. Play slowed dramatically at this point with only one all-in and call - which ended in a chop - before Urban's exit in third. He can be proud of his performance today and impressed everybody, not only in the way he played but in how he handled being up against Luca and Lampropoulos when play was three handed.


    Urban - a classy competitor

    So that left us with the rare heads-up of boyfriend vs girlfriend and they struck a chip-chop deal before play started, leaving €5,000 and household bragging rights on the line. It took 90 minutes of play but eventually Luca's experience deep in big tournaments told and he prevailed to win a major title and add to his glowing reputation. As for Lampropoulos, she's having a breakout year of her own and has recorded her highest ever cash for the second time in a fortnight.
    Eureka6 Rozvadov Main Event
    Dates: March 4-8, 2016
    Buy in: €1,100
    Players: 682
    Prize pool: €661,540

    1Ivan LucaArgentina  € 124,890 € 106,186.00
    2Mraia LampropoulosArgentina  € 76,700 € 95,404.00
    3David UrbanSlovakia  € 54,800  
    4Peter SiemundGermany  € 41,500  
    5Stoyan StefanovBulgaria  € 33,100  
    6Mick HederDenmark  € 25,340  
    7Robert KokoskaCzech Republic  € 18,330  
    8Hannes SpeiserAustriaPokerStars player € 12,500  

    Click for full payouts


    All photos are copyright of Tomas Stacha

  • 8 March

    First look: 2016 SCOOP schedule first draft

    The people behind the Spring Championship of Online Poker might have a career in politics. Yesterday, for the first time, PokerStars players got to decide the format of one SCOOP event all on their own. It was democracy in action. Now, in what amou...

  • 8 March

    Eureka6 Rozvadov: Final table updates

    Main Event day 3 Eureka 6 Rozvadov Tomas Stacha-2935.jpg

    * 4 of 682 remain
    * Click for prize pool and payouts
    * Live stream here
    * Sprechen Sie deutsch? Dann klicken Sie rein beim PokerStarsblog DE

    * Want more tournament action? Click for LAPT Chile coverage

    3:55pm: Calm after the storm
    Level 27 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (10,000 ante)

    After that crazy opening 15 minutes of the final table the next 15 minutes have passed with little incident. David Urban took a small pot from Maria Lampropoulos and Ivan Luca then outflopped Urban's pocket queens with ace-seven. Urban checked flop and turn and folded to a river bet from Luca though.

    3:40pm: Chip counts
    Level 27 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (10,000 ante)

    Another elimination! Only joking, still four and this is how they stack up after that crazy 15 minutes.

    Ivan LucaArgentina 7,000,000
    Maria LampropoulosArgentina 3,600,000
    David UrbanSlovakia 3,500,000
    Peter SiemundGermany 2,845,000

    3:35pm: €29,000 for 15 minutes work, not bad if you can get it
    Level 27 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (10,000 ante)

    By our reckoning Peter Siemund didn't play a hand during the opening 15 minutes. In that time he's gone from being guaranteed €12,500 to €41,500. Tidy.

    3:30pm: Stoyan Stefanov eliminated in fifth place (€33,100)
    Level 27 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (10,000 ante)

    Scenes! What the hell is going on. A fourth exit in the opening 15 minutes of the final table. Do the players have somewhere to be?

    David Urban opened from the cutoff with [As][Kc], Stoyan Stefanov re-raised all-in for 1,345,000 from the button with [5d][5h] and when it folded back to Urban he called.

    They were off to the races and the [Ac][4s][Kh] flop turned it into a one sided affair. Neither the [Jd] turn or [Qs] river could save Stefanov and he exited in fifth place.


    Stefanov (right) shakes David Urban's hand on his way to the payouts desk

    3:25pm: Mick Heder eliminated in sixth place (€25,340)
    Level 27 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (10,000 ante)

    Another one's gone! Three bust outs in the opening 10 minutes! Mick Heder open shoved for 1,175,000 from the button with [Kh][Jh] only for Ivan Luca to wake up with [Ad][Ah] in the big blind.

    The [kc][7h][qh] flop was a dream for Heder but it didn't get any better on the [Ac] turn or [8c] river and he was eliminated in sixth place. Luca is up to around 7,000,000 in chips.


    Mick Heder - couldn't crack aces

    3:18pm: Robert Kokoska eliminated in seventh place (€18,330)
    Level 27 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (10,000 ante)

    Like London buses! Two exits in the opening orbit here in Rozvadov.

    Maria Lampropoulos opened to 125,000 with [Kd][Ks], Ivan Luca smooth called with pocket eights and Robert Kokoska looked down at [As][Jd]. He had just over 1,100,000 and elected to move all-in. Lampropoulos called and Luca folded.

    The [9c][5d][Kh] flop left Kokoska drawing thin and the [5s] turn left him drawing dead. The [2s] completed the board.

    Two early exits here and six remain.


    Kokoska - out in seventh

    3:12pm: Hannes Speiser eliminated in eighth place (€12,500)
    Level 27 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (10,000 ante)

    One hand, one out!

    Hannes Speiser was the short stack of the final eight and on the very first hand he moved all-in for 435,000 with [Kh][Qs] and Ivan Luca made the call with [Ac][Jd].

    The [Ad][Kd][8d][5s][Jh] board hit Luca harder than Speiser and the Austrian player was knocked out in eighth place.


    Speiser (standing) watches on as his fate is dealt

    3:10pm: The final begins
    Level 27 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (10,000 ante)

    Let's shuffle up and deal.

    3pm: The final countdown
    Level 27 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (10,000 ante)

    Welcome to the final table of the Eureka6 Rozvadov Main Event. 682 players have been whittled down to just eight. This is how the final table stacks up:

    1Mick HederDenmark 1,370,000
    2David UrbanSlovakia 2,005,000
    3Hannes SpeiserAustriaPokerStars player445,000
    4Stoyan StefanovBulgaria 1,505,000
    5Maria LampropoulosArgentina 2,455,000
    6Ivan LucaArgentina 5,355,000
    7Peter SiemundGermany 2,845,000
    8Robert KokoskaCzech Republic 895,000

    Ivan Luca leads the way as he did for much of Day 3. Should he look to his right he'll see his girlfriend, Maria Lampropoulos looking back at him. This is the first time they've both made the same final table together either online or live. It's International Woman's Day, could we have the first female Eureka Main Event champion.


    Maria and Ivan

    Here's a reminder of what the final eight are playing for:

    1    € 124,890
    2    € 76,700
    3    € 54,800
    4    € 41,500
    5    € 33,100
    6    € 25,340
    7    € 18,330
    8    € 12,500

    The final table is being streamed with cards-up so is being broadcast on a one hour delay. Play should start at roughly 3.05 CET.

    PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at Eureka6 Rozvadov: Nick Wright. Photos by Tomas Stacha. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog

  • 8 March

    Eureka6 Rozvadov: Final table profiles

    Seat 1: Mick Heder, 25, Them, Denmark - 1,370,000


    Mick Heder

    Mick Heder collected his biggest prize here in the King's Casino just two months ago when he was fourth in the EPSC Main Event, taking €24,603. He returned to Rozvadov and is now among eight finalists in the Eureka 6 Rozvadov Main Event. With a sixth place or better, the Dane would record a new best result. He's already guaranteed to add at least €12,500 to his $87k in live tournament earnings. Heder told us that his main discipline is cash game but he didn't have any time to play it for the last three days, being busy with the Main Event.

    Seat 2: David Urban, 26, Trebisov, Slovakia - 2,005,000


    David Urban

    Two seasons ago here in Rozvadov, Martin Meciar became the first Slovakian to win the Eureka Main Event. Now it's David Urban who'll try to emulate his fellow countryman. Urban lies in fifth place on his nation's all-time money list, just behind Meciar. Urban's live tournament winnings exceed $300k and the list of his cashes includes a mix of various flags. Urban has cashed as far as in Australia (4th in the A$1k Six Max at last year's Aussie Millions). Back in July 2014, he won the CAPT Velden Open in Vienna, bringing €50,000 back home from Austria.

    Seat 3: Hannes "suchadegen" Speiser, 30, Vienna, Austria, PokerStars player - 445,000


    Hannes Speiser

    Hannes Speiser comes to the final table with the shortest stack but will try to follow the footsteps of his fellow countryman Raphael Wimmer who won the Eureka Rozvadov Main Event last year. Speiser is living in Vienna and is mostly focusing on the online multi-table tournaments, using screenname "suchadegen" on PokerStars. On the live scene, Speiser has racked up winnings of $221,000 so far.

    Seat 4: Stoyan Stefanov, 25, Plovdiv, Bulgaria - 1,505,000


    Stoyan Stefanov

    Mainly a cash game player, Stoyan Stefanov started playing poker with friends seven years ago. Now he's active both live and online. As for live tournaments, he's had only one cash to date: last year's 98th place for €1,775 in the Estrellas/UKIPT Marbella Main Event. Stoyanov is now guaranteed to add much bigger prize by making the final table here at Eureka Rozvadov.

    Seat 5: Maria Lampropoulos, 36, Argentina - 2,455,000


    Maria Lampropoulos

    If anyone is regularly cheering for Ivan Luca in the tournaments, it's Maria Lampropoulos who's been railing her boyfriend during many deep runs over the last 15 months. This time, she'll only need to look left to see him but might not be interested in supporting him that much.

    The couple made the Eureka 6 Rozvadov final table and they'll be sitting next to each other on the feature table. While Luca is currently one of the hottest players in the world, Lampropoulos have also had a brilliant February at the poker tables. She cashed the EPT12 Dublin Main Event and then marched to the heads-up in the WPTN Brussels Main Event. Lampropoulos earned €68,200 for the second place - the biggest payday of her career. Now she has a chance to better her largest cash twice in less than two weeks - with another top two finish, she'd set her new top mark. The Argentinian couple is pretty much on the road all the time but they have plans to settle in London, trying to avoid flying overseas back and forth.

    Seat 6: Ivan "Negriin" Luca, 24 Argentina - 5,355,000


    Ivan Luca

    It's hard to find a table where Ivan Luca wouldn't be considered a superstar as he's been thriving in nearly all events including the EPT High Rollers. Aged only 24, Luca is already #2 in the Argentinian all-time money list with more than $2.8 million in live tournament winnings. He's been crushing the events all over Europe since December 2014 when he arrived to the Czech Republic for EPT11 Prague and made three top three finishes there. After that festival, Luca shined in the FPS Deauville Main Event, finishing fourth for €68,500 at the end of January 2015. Then he added his first EPT High Roller notch when he took €397,000 for a runner-up finish in the EPT11 Malta €10k High Roller.

    Luca also won his first WSOP bracelet last summer, banking $353k. He's now one of the regular heavyweights on the live circuit, having made several deep runs in the High Rollers and Super High Rollers. Since the beginning of this year, Luca has already cashed for more than $700k. The Argentinian is also an online beast, using a moniker "Negriin" on PokerStars. His numerous online achievements include a Super Tuesday title as well as a Sunday 500 victory. Luca has made a lot of final tables in his career but this one will be a unique experience for him. For the first time, he'll play against his girlfriend Maria on the final table. The couple tried to look back to remember if that had happened before but Maria said that they'd only played tournaments where they'd met on the last two tables. Luca is a huge favourite coming back for the Final Daywith 5,355,000 in his bag, he's entering the finale in chip lead.

    Seat 7: Peter Siemund, 45 years, Berlin, Germany - 2,845,000


    Peter Siemund

    Peter Siemund is the oldest player among the eight finalists in the Eureka 6 Rozvadov Main Event. The 45-year-old from Berlin has been playing poker for five years, choosing between both cash games and tournaments. Siemund has not much time to play as he's working as a CEO for a couple of companies. When off duty, he's watches a lot of poker videos, trying to learn from the pros. So far, his highlight of this tournament was a successful bluff against Ivan Luca on the feature table. Back in 2013, Siemund cashed the EPT10 Prague Main Event, earning €9,900 for a 118th place finish.

    Seat 8: Robert Kokoska, 27, Neratovice, Czech Republic - 895,000


    Robert Kokoska

    One of the top poker players from the Czech Republic, he was originally planning another career, playing football for Sparta Prague. But when Robert Kokoska injured his knee several years ago, he started taking poker seriously and turned professional soon after. Kokoska has been successful both live and online, playing since 2008. On the live circuit, he's amassed over $230k in live tournament winnings with the biggest prize of $52,430 earned for a first place in the Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza $1k Event back in 2012. Recently, he cashed in the PCA 2016 Main Event (93rd for $10,840). The 27-year-old from a small town Neratovice is still playing football. He's a midfielder for his hometown team which lies in the Czech fourth tier. Although seventh in chips, Kokoska can still hope to become the first Czech player to win the Eureka Main Event

  • 8 March

    Join Team Online’s ‘Katerina289’ on Twitch this week to win great prizes

    Katerina 'Katerina289' Malasidou is one of the fastest-rising stars on PokerStars Team Online and this week you have the chance to learn from her - and win prizes at the same time! The Greek poker pro will be hosting a special stream on the PokerSchoo...

  • 7 March

    Ivan Luca leads Eureka Rozvadov final table

    Guess who's chip leader!

    Was there ever any doubt? The Argentinian superstar started the day fourth in chips of the 63 returning players and quickly rose to the top. He stayed there for most of the day. When his compatriot, Andres Viola, was eliminated in tenth place to set the unofficial final table of nine he was actually in second place, half a big blind behind Peter Siemund.

    He soon put that right. He eliminated Domenico Gala in ninth place in a four million chip pot and will start the final table in pole position with almost double his nearest challenger. When play resumes they'll be 43 minutes left in the 30,000/60,000 (10,000 ante) level.

    1Mick HederDenmark 1,370,000
    2David UrbanSlovakia 2,005,000
    3Hannes SpeiserAustriaPokerStars player445,000
    4Stoyan StefanovBulgaria 1,505,000
    5Maria LampropoulosArgentina 2,455,000
    6Ivan LucaArgentina 5,355,000
    7Peter SiemundGermany 2,845,000
    8Robert KokoskaCzech Republic 895,000

    The eagle eyed amongst you may notice that we have a lady at the final table. What's more she and Luca are an item! For most of the past two days Maria Lampropoulos beat a different drum to stay in the tournament, playing a short to medium stack extremely well to stay alive.

    Lampropoulos is having a great 2016

    Today she showed she can play when she gets her hands on chips too. She eliminated Jonas Lauck in the third level of the day to win a huge 1,400,000 pot and climb to second at the time. She wouldn't be shifted either and will start tomorrow in 3rd spot with 2,455,000.

    To those who follow poker though her deep run should come as no surprise. She's been a tear of late. She finished 58th in the EPT Dublin Main Event and followed that up with a second place in a WPT National event in Brussels just 10 days ago. That result was good for €68,200.


    Siemund separates the two Argentinians

    The player who splits those two at the top of the chip counts is the only remaining German in the field. Peter Siemund largely flew under the radar today. That is until he would a 2,300,000 chip pot with ace-king against the ace-queen of Robert Kokoska. That explains why he starts tomorrow's final table with 2,845,000 whilst Kokoska, who was near the top of the chip counts until then, comes in with 895,000. He's the only Czech hope of a first Eureka Main Event title.


    Urban - well suited to the poker environment

    The only other player with a stack of over 2m is David Urban and he squeaks in with 2,005,000. Throughout the tournament we've seen him content to play post-flop poker and he's a danger, make no bones about it. He's got over $300,000 in lifetime earnings and can now add a Eureka Main Event cash to those he's had on the EPT, Estrellas and UKIPT.


    Stoyan Stefanov

    It's a cosmopolitan final table - Argentina (!) are the only country with more than one player - and the Eureka6 Rozvadov Main Event trophy could be heading to Bulgaria, Denmark or Austria tomorrow.

    Stoyan Stefanov (1,505,000), Mick Heder (1,370,000) and Hannes Speiser (445,000) may all find themselves in the bottom half of the chip counts but only Speiser is in the danger zone. They certainly can't be discounted. Heder, for instance, finished fourth in a massive 2,292 runner tournament here in Rozvadov in January and Speiser has over $220,000 in live tournament earnings


    Another cash for Kabrhel

    Whilst those eight will return tomorrow to play for the trophy and a first prize of €124,890 there were 55 players who had their Eureka title dreams ended today. Michael Eiler, who returned with 1.7 big blinds, was first out and was followed by the likes of: Martin Kabrhel (51st), Tonino Schmitz (39th), Andreas Gann (38th), Grzegorz Wyraz (16th) and Daniel Rose (13th) as the field was whittled down to the final eight. You can see who's won what so far here.

    Of more importance though is what's up for grabs tomorrow:

    1    € 124,890
    2    € 76,700
    3    € 54,800
    4    € 41,500
    5    € 33,100
    6    € 25,340
    7    € 18,330
    8    € 12,500

    We'll be back tomorrow from 3pm CET as final eight play down to a Eureka champion. Meanwhile you can catch up on all today's action here and here.

    Main Event day 3 Eureka 6 Rozvadov Tomas Stacha-2935.jpg

    All photos are copyright of Tomas Stacha

  • 7 March

    SCOOP 2016: The Players’ Choice vote is in

    The Spring Championship of Online Poker has been around for a long time, but now, for the first time ever, the players have decided what one of the events will be. As we told you last week, PokerStars decided to put the format of SCOOP Event 15 to a ...

  • 7 March

    Eureka6 Rozvadov: Day 3 live updates

    * CLICK TO REFRESH FOR LATEST UPDATES * CLICK FOR LATEST CHIP COUNTS * 21 of 682 remain * Play until final table today or 11 levels * Click for prize pool and payouts * Live stream here * Sprechen Sie deutsch? Dann klicken Sie rein beim PokerStarsblo...

  • 7 March

    PokerStars announces $1 million freeroll

    PokerStars today announced details of a new $1 million freeroll, with a chance for every PokerStars player to qualify, and win a first prize expected to be $20,000.

    Not only that, but between 30,000-50,000 players will finish in the money, from a starting field of 100,000. So on the one hand; you've got a good chance of reaching the money. Looked at another way, if you're going to win big, you may as well do it properly. Against 99,999 other players for example, each of them eager to stop you.


    Either way this is one of the biggest events we've ever hosted. Here's how to play the freeroll, which takes place on Saturday March 19.

    First you need to qualify, and every PokerStars player will get two chances to do that. Starting today March 7, at 15:00 GMT (10:00 ET), you can win your way through via one of the special 90-man Sit & Go's, and there are two ways to get hold of a ticket to play them - one through the Challenges window and the other by making a deposit.

    Now ouwld be a great time to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.

    Simply open your "Challenges" window to opt-in for a 'PokerStars $1 Million Freeroll' satellite ticket. Once you've opted in you just need to play one hand of a real money game or real money tournament, at any stake level, to release the ticket into your account.

    Then, you can use your ticket to enter any of the 90-player Sit & Go 'PokerStars $1 Million Freeroll' satellites which run around the clock (they start once 90 players are registered). That's the first step. The second step is to finish in the top nine places. Do that and you'll advance into the PokerStars $1 Million Freeroll.

    If you miss out the first time round, you get a second bite of the cherry. You can get a second satellite ticket by making a deposit of $20 or more using the bonus code "MILLION1"

    Don't forget, this is an exclusive tournament, with a cap of 100,000 players, so satellites will stop running the moment 100,000 players have qualified, or two hours before the freeroll begins, whatever happens first.

    Sure, that's a big field to steer past, but at least one player will know it was worth it.

    For more information go to the PokerStars $1 Million Freeroll homepage. Otherwise it's time to get started. Good luck.

    Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

  • 7 March

    Eureka6 Rozvadov: Day 3 live updates

    * CLICK TO REFRESH FOR LATEST UPDATES * CLICK FOR LATEST CHIP COUNTS * 63 of 682 remain * Play until final table today * Click for prize pool and payouts * Sprechen Sie deutsch? Dann klicken Sie rein beim PokerStarsblog DE * Want more tournament acti...

  • 7 March

    Weekend Review: CantWinAFlip wins flips and more to headline weekend

    A look at all the major stories from this past weekend on PokerStars.

    Weekend highlights

    * CantWinAFlip wins the Sunday Million
    * Riffa Kriffa wins the Warm Up
    * The LAPT Chile Main Event is down to 32 players
    * The Eureka Main Event plays on in Rozvadov


    Round up of latest results

    We promised a lot when we previewed the weekend on Friday. Seems we got what we asked for. Much of what took place happened in different parts of the world, but let's start with the online realm, our manor sop to speak, and the Sunday Million won by CantWinAFlip.

    Every so often the siren in the PokerStars Department of Accuracy in Usernames sounds, sending our Integrity Enforcement Officers into overdrive. Such as was the case this weekend, or would have been had such a department had existed. Because it turned out, as Kristin Bihr reported, CantWinAFlop actually won a good number of flips on his way to a first prize of $174,951.

    No such breech in truthiness in the Warm-Up however, won by Riffa Kriffa of the Netherlands. We're not sure what Riffa Kriffa actually means but guess something along the lines of "outlasting a pair of Brazilians while at a final table." Or something like that. David Aydt put it better in his report, which you can read here.

    Here are those two results in full:

    PokerStars Sunday Million results (3/5/2022)
    Players: 5,593
    Prize pool: $1,118,600.00
    Places paid: 810

    1. CantWinAFlip (United Kingdom) $174,951.74
    2. M.Strelskaya (Russia) $130,316.90
    3. spearjohn (Greece) $92,116.71
    4. anjuli777 (Germany) $63,200.90
    5. david owie (United Kingdom) $47,540.50
    6. trajna (Slovenia) $36,354.50
    7. Noah "dirty.brasil" Vaillancourt (Canada) $25,168.50
    8. Breakchips (Netherlands) $13,982.50
    9. cxde (Slovakia) $8,948.80

    PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up results (03-06-2022)
    Entrants: 2,322
    Places paid: 342
    Prize pool: $464,400.00

    1. Riffa Kriffa (Netherlands) $73,375.28
    2. UncleAnte9 (Canada) $55,110.34
    3. Angobet (Angola) $39,474.00
    4. João Mathias "joaoMathias" Baumgarten (Brazil) $27,167.40
    5. Carol "carolventura" Ventura (Brazil) $20,665.80
    6. Knightsgeee (Australia) $16,021.80
    7. KING BAIT (Canada) $11,377.80
    8. oceanemm (Mongolia) $6,733.80
    9. XX MUC XX143 (Germany) $3,947.40

    The weekend's top online tournament winners

    Away from the two big winners it was fun to pick out a few other names turning a profit this weekend.

    Team PokerStars Pro Kosei Ichinose won the $215 Weekly PLO Hi/Lo for $2,315, while Mustapha "Lasagnaaammm" Kanit won the Sunday SuperSonic for $47,999.

    KendrickBoy from the UK won two events over the weekend - the $215 Pacific Rim Special for $5,900 and the $55 NLH Hyper-Turbo for another $8,572. Meanwhile Dzmitry Urbanovich reached four final tables, winning one of them.

    Here are the big online winners from the weekend.

    $215 Sunday Million CantWinAFlipUnited Kingdom $174,951.74
    $215 Sunday Warm-Up Riffa KriffaNetherlands $73,375.28
    $530 Sunday 500 elmelogno4Uruguay $58,353.00
    $215 Sunday Supersonic [6-Max] lasagnaaammmAustria $47,999.89
    $215 Sunday 2nd Chance poosnack11Canada $37,620.00
    $109+R Sunday Rebuy farmjimUnited Kingdom $37,034.83
    $320 Saturday Super-Knockoutwilmy_xCzech Republic $25,237.20
    $11 Sunday Storm MiegstroemFinland $24,389.55
    $109 Sunday Kickoff KozirBelarus $21,237.25
    $162 Sunday 6-Max bigpapas1978Iceland $21,168.00

    Click here for a complete list of major results on PokerStars for the weekend of March 5 to 6, 2016.


    There was plenty of action in Chile over the weekend with Day 3 of the Latin American Poker Tour beginning later today, with the final 32 players working their way down to a final table to be played tomorrow. As our reporters Jack Stanton and Will O'Connor report, Ricardo Matamala holds the chip lead ahead of a field full of revenants. Read their round of yesterday's action here, which contains links to everything that's happened in Viña Del Mar up to now.


    Meanwhile back in Europe the Eureka Poker Tour is in Rozvadov, Czech Republic from where our man Nick Wright reports.

    It's the penultimate day there too as it happens, with 63 players left, led by Daniel Rose. Ivan Luca is among the notables vying for the lead there. Coverage from Rozvadov continues as we speak, all of which you can find here.

    MPC High Roller

    As if providing some sort of geographical balance, events at the Macau Poker Cup concluded over the weekend with Wayne Jun Wen Yap winning the High Roller event for a winner's cheque of HK$2,292,720. Brad Kain was there at the finish, and had this report. Keep an eye out for an almost weird performance by former EPT Grand Final runner-up Jack Salter and his brother Louis.

    Here's that result in full:

    MPC24 High Roller Final Table
    Entrants: 114
    Places paid: 9
    Prize pool: HK$7,514,720

    1. Wayne Yap (Singapore) $2,292,720
    2. Xixiang Luo (China) $1,528,000
    3. Quan Zhou (China) $934,000
    4. Jack Salter (United Kingdom) $722,000
    5. Louis Salter (United Kingdom) $552,000
    6. Wei Zhang (China) $467,000
    7. Ya Hui Xu (China) $382,000
    8. Vikram Nanda (Hong Kong) $340,000
    9. Wei Zhao (China) $297,000

    If any of this has inspired you a little, you can open a PokerStars account in just a few minutes. click here to get started.

    That's everything. As always send your questions and comments to us on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog.

    Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

  • 7 March

    Sunday Million: CantWinAFlip can win the Million, banks $174k

    Can't win a flip. We've all muttered it in disgust or frustration in the middle of a bad run. Can't. Win. A. Flip. Patience, keen reads, sound play, and good judgment can take a player far in tournaments, but when all is said and done, thousands of dol...

  • 7 March

    Sunday Warm-Up: Riffa Kriffa rips through field for $73K victory

    With the Turbo Championship of Online Poker finished and the Spring Championship of Online Poker waiting behind some blocks of ice and snow there is still the Sunday Majors to keep everyone warm. The $425K guarantee Sunday Warm-Up brought 2,322 players into the mix all hoping to taking away a Sunday Major title. After over 10 hours of play Riffa Kriffa would outlast a pair of Brazilians at the final table to take home first place and $73,375.28.

    Read on below for Riffa Kriffa's run at the Sunday Warm-Up title.

    A fast moving tournament for the Sunday Warm-Up as it reached the final two tables after eight hours of play.

    João Mathias "joaoMathias" Baumgarten would find myself in the mix for yet another Major final table. Baumgarten was at the final table here back in November placing ninth along a long list of -COOP final tables. He will be looking to use all that late-game experience and try to turn it into $73,375.28.

    Seven minutes before the end of the eighth hour of play, vicenfish, the 2014 WCOOP Event #23 champ that took away $637K, would expire in 11th place, opening up hand-for-hand play.

    Angobet would start the ninth hour of play with the chip lead holding 4.87 million chips and blinds at 40K/80K ante 8K. There was no wait for the spotlights of the final table as the first hand back from the five-minute break determined the final nine players. Brazil's Carol "carolventura" Ventura would raise to 205,460 chips as APonakov shoved for 1.2 million. UncleAnte9, in the big blind, did not wish to sit this one out and re-shoved for 2.2 million holding tens [Th][Td]. Ventura looked for something else to do as APonakov flipped up [9s][Ac]. No saving ace on the [Kd] [7d] [5c] [2c] [8d] board meant Ventura and Baumgarten were heading to the final table below:


    Seat 1: oceanemm (636904 in chips)
    Seat 2: Carol "carolventura" Ventura (3054982 in chips)
    Seat 3: XX MUC XX143 (2433066 in chips)
    Seat 4: UncleAnte9 (3797242 in chips)
    Seat 5: Angobet (4730036 in chips)
    Seat 6: Knightsgeee (2284020 in chips)
    Seat 7: Riffa Kriffa (1894353 in chips)
    Seat 8: João Mathias "joaoMathias" Baumgarten (1626861 in chips)
    Seat 9: KING BAIT (2762536 in chips)

    Four hands into the final table with the blinds moving up to 50K/100K ante 10K, Angobet went searching to pad the chip lead. Angobet would min-raise from early position as XX MUC XX143 three-bet to 740,000 chips. The chip leader would make the call to see the [Kd][8s][Kh] flop. XX MUC XX143 wasted no time to shove 1.65 million holding pocket aces [Ac][Ah] but Angobet equally quick to snap-call with trip kings [Ks][Jd]. No ace on the turn [Th] nor river [Qh] shipped XX MUC XX143 a bad beat and $3,947.40 for ninth place.

    Five minutes later with the blinds holding, Riffa Kriffa would raise to 215,000 as short-stacked oceanemm went all-in for 456,904 chips. Ventura however would re-shove from the small blind for 2.91 million knocking out Riffa Kriffa from the hand. Big slick [As][Kc] for Ventura flipping against oceanemm's jacks [Js][Jd] for oceanemm's tournament life. The flop and turn were clean but a dirty river [9c] [Qd] [9s] [6d] [Kh] sent oceanemm out to sea in eighth place ($6,733.80).

    Baumgarten is not the only player here with big final table experience. KING BAIT made the final table of SCOOP 2015's Event #23-L and nearly the Sunday Million. Unfortunately, prior experience needs cards once in a while to advance as KING BAIT held on to short-stack until finally finding a spot. With the blinds moving up to 65K/130K ante 13K Knightsgeee would shove 2.1 million from the cutoff as KING BAIT called all-in for a little less than two big blinds holding [9c][Kd]. Knightsgeee turned up [Ah][Qc] and coasted through the [Qs] [2d] [3d] [2c] [6c] board as KING BAIT earned $11,377.80 in seventh place.

    A little over 20 minutes later with the blinds moving up to 80K/160K ante 16K Uncle Ante9 would raise to 352,000 as Knightsgeee made the call from the big blind to see a [8d] [5d] [6s] flop. Both players liked it enough to shove all-in with Uncle Ante9 covering. Knightsgeee had kicker problems holding [Th][8h] to Uncle Ante9's [Qs][8c] and those complications did not improve on the [8s] turn nor [7s] river as Knightsgeee took away $16,021.80 in sixth place. Slightly less than the $23K Knightsgeee received for a fifth place finish here two years ago.

    Fireworks would go off right before the start of the tenth hour of play. Six hands after Knightsgeee fell off the horse, Carol Ventura would shove 1.3 million from the cutoff with a small ace [As][2c]. Optimal for Riffa Kriffa's [7d][Ad] as the big blind covered and made the call. No danger of a split after a seven appeared on the turn [4h] [Kh] [4s] [7c] [6h] as Ventura walked away with $20,665.80 in fifth place.


    Before the break with the blinds moving up to 100K/200K ante 20K it was the other Brazilian's time to exit the stage. Baumgarten's short-stack of 1.3 million tried to snag the blinds but instead both of them called. Both Uncle Ante9 and Angobet would check the flop and turn but on the [8h] [8s] [Td] [Qs] [Ah] river Uncle Ante9 broke the silence with a 1.1 million chip bet. Angobet folded as Uncle Ante9 showed [9s][Ad] to defeat Baumgarten's [7s][Kh] as João Mathias almost got there in fourth place ($27,167.40).

    After the break the final three, Angobet, Riffa Kriffa, and Uncle Ante9 settled into a flow of passing around chips like friends watching a football game. Like all bags of Doritos, someone would eventually get the last one. With twenty minutes left in the hour the blinds moving up to 200K/400K ante 40K, and Riffa Kriffa opening up a big lead, someone finally broke the circle. The chip leader would shove 14.2 million from the button as Angobet bravely called holding [5d][As]. Unfortunately, for Angobet Riffa Kriffa held the kicker advantage as well [Tc][Ad] and carried that lead through the [8c] [6c] [4c] [Th] [9c] board as Angobet earned $39,474.00 in third place.

    Heads-up play was not drawn out like three-handed play as Riffa Kriffa's 17.6 million to 5.5 million chip lead was too much to bear. Four hands is all it would take as Riffa Kriffa tried to limp in and Uncle Ante9 was having none of that and shoved 4.4 million chips. Riffa Kriffa immediately called with pocket tens [Tc][Th] as Uncle Ante9 went searching for an ace [As][3h]. The search for ace would need to continue in another tournament as the [Kd] [Qd] [8d] [8c] [2h] board shipped Riffa Kriffa the remaining tournament chips to turn into $73,375.28 in real money for this week's Sunday Warm-Up title!

    PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up results (03-06-2022)
    Entrants: 2,322
    Places paid: 342
    Prize pool: $464,400.00

    1. Riffa Kriffa (Netherlands) $73,375.28
    2. UncleAnte9 (Canada) $55,110.34
    3. Angobet (Angola) $39,474.00
    4. João Mathias "joaoMathias" Baumgarten (Brazil) $27,167.40
    5. Carol "carolventura" Ventura (Brazil) $20,665.80
    6. Knightsgeee (Australia) $16,021.80
    7. KING BAIT (Canada) $11,377.80
    8. oceanemm (Mongolia) $6,733.80
    9. XX MUC XX143 (Germany) $3,947.40

    Ready to make your Sundays more exciting? Click here to get a PokerStars account.

  • 6 March

    Eureka6 Rozvadov: Daniel Rose blooms late on to claim huge Day 2 chip lead


    Daniel Rose - two thumbs up for two big pots

    Sometimes the end of day chip leader is at the top of the counts throughout the day, steadily accumulating throughout to finish on top. On other occasions, like today at the King's Casino in Rozvadov, the chip leader bludgeons their way to the top by winning one or two massive pots.

    Daniel Rose is the man who tops the chip charts heading into Day 3 of the Main Event and his lead is massive as he has almost double that of his nearest challenger. His ascent to the chip counts came courtesy of back to back pots in the last level in which the German went from 400,000 to 1,600,000. He slipped a little to end the day on 1,570.000.

    Want to start your own Eureka campaign? Sign up for PokerStars and start your journey. Click here to get an account.

    In the first of the two big hands he flopped a straight to win a 600,000 pot against Mateusz Martewicz (who folded the flop) and Boris Andreev, who had top pair and a gutshot and missed. Had Martewicz called he'd have rivered his flush and eliminated both players. That was crucial because on the next hand Martewicz, Martin Ilavsky and Rose - who now covered Martewicz played a huge pot.

    The fireworks went off on the turn of a [Ts][8s][Jh][5h] board. Rose led, Ilavsky raised, Martewicz shoved for 570,000, Rose re-shoved for over 800,000 and Ilavsky had a decision for his final 400,000. His decision was to fold a set of tens. He folded the best hand as Rose had a set of eights and Martewicz [Kh][9h] for the combo draw. The river was a blank and Rose scooped that chip leading pot.


    Big fold, would you've called?

    To be fair to Ilavsky he didn't go on tilt after that hand and staged a late night comeback of his own to finish the day second in chips on 841,000. The rest of the top five is pretty menacing as it's made up of: David Urban (837,000), Ivan Luca (708,000) and Alexandru Farcasanu (643,000).


    Another deep run and big stack for Luca

    At the other end of the spectrum Martin Kabrhel (111,000) and Michael Eiler (17,000) will return tomorrow with a short-stack. To see the counts of all 63 survivors click here.

    Whilst the Day 3 seat draw can be viewed here.


    Guth (centre) looks on during his bubble hand

    At 2pm local time the 287 players who'd made Day 2 of the Main Event sat down, all hoping to finish in the top 103 spots to ensure some return on their investment. The bubble would burst just minutes before the dinner break and it was Martin Guth who ensured that 103 players would tuck into their dumplings with a cash to their name.

    It was a double bad beat for Guth as not only did he have his pocket jacks cracked by the [Ac][9c] of Karol Radomski but he had a chance to chop 103rd place prize money as there was an all-in at another table. It was Grzegorz Wyraz who was at risk, he was all-in with [Kd][Qd] and in bad shape against Arsenii Karmatckii's [Ac][Kd]. Guth had wandered over to watch the hand and looked on as the board made Wyraz a straight.


    Mulsow - out in time to play the Sunday Million

    Once the bubble burst there followed the usual rush to the exits and among those who cashed in but crashed out on Day 2 were: Lee Mulligan (96th, €1,800), Martin Muslow (91st, €1,920), Adam Jaguscik (82nd, €1,920) and Boris Andreev (71st, €2,120). You can see the payouts so far here.

    Whilst they won't be back tomorrow for the Main Event, we will be. Action starts at 2pm CET. You can catch up on all today's action in Rozvadov here, whilst Day 2 action from LAPT Chile can be found here.

    Main Event day 2 Eureka 6 Rozvadov winners trohys Tomas Stacha-1692.jpg

    All photos are copyright of Tomas Stacha

  • 6 March

    Eureka6 Rozvadov: Day 2 live updates


    * 263 of 682 remain (103 get paid)
    * Click for payout structure
    * Sprechen Sie deutsch? Dann klicken Sie rein beim PokerStarsblog DE
    * Want more tournament action? Click for LAPT Chile coverage

    2:45pm: Eiler flying
    Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

    It's been a great opening level for Michael Eiler. The EPT7 Vienna champion is up to 235,000.

    2:35pm: Seat open
    Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

    We've lost a remarkable 29 players in the opening 35 minutes. Among those to lose their chips are: Vladas Burneikis, Felix Kaltner, Huseyin Arkun, Roman Cieslik, Siamak Tooran, Oliver Dopp, Detlev Pantzek, Kai Kresovic, Martin Komprda, Patrik Meca, Branislav Ondrus, Bernd Leesing, Lionel Clerc and Sergei Petrushhevskii.

    2:30pm: Respect the raise
    Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

    If Ivan Luca isn't the best player left in this field (Martin Kabrhel perhaps?) then he's the best player with a big stack and he just put it to good use.

    Tamas Janicsak opened to 3,500 from the cutoff, Antonio Martins Pedro smooth called on the button and Luca, who was in the small blind, considered his options.

    He announced raise and slid out a bet totalling 12,700. Janicsak quickly folded and although Pedro looked interested he too folded to the Argentinian.

    2:20pm: Eights not so great for Tapelzon
    Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

    Down to just 12,500 Boris Tapelzon peaked down at [8d][8h] which was more than enough of a hand to take a stand with. Unfortunately for the Russian, Mateusz Bober picked up [Js][Jh] on the same hand and called his shove.

    The [2s][As][5s][Qc][3s] board didn't help Tapelzon and he's another early Day 2 casualty in Rozvadov.

    2:10pm: Short day for...
    Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

    Day 2 has not gone the way they'd have hoped for Frank Robotka, Tomasz Domaracki, Seballo Faldalarga, Michael Polchlopek, Frank Stumpf, David Dolak, Carsten Barth, Michael Koran, Petar Petrov, Tomas Pleticha, Adrian Esslen or Martin Bartos as they're all out.

    None of those players had over 20 big blinds to start the day.

    2pm: Shuffle up and deal
    Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

    Right on time the tournament is under way. Just before play started the Tournament director announced details of the prize pool. The winner will collect €124,890, whilst a 103 players will get paid, with a min-cash worth €1,800. See the full structure here.

    1:50pm: Day 2 set to start
    Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

    Welcome to Day 2 of Eureka6 Rozvadov. There were a total of 682 entrants into the Main Event and 287 of those have made it to Day 2. Leading the way is Quentin Dellis. The Belgian, who finished sixth at UKIPT5 Dublin in February, is the only player who'll begin Day 2 with over 200,000 as he bagged up 201,100 to top the Day 1B field.

    Quentin Dellis

    The plan for today is to play eight levels. The first four of those will be 45 minutes in length and then from level 15 onwards the clock is increased to 60 minutes.

    Play will start on time at 2pm. Stick right here for moving day.

    PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at Eureka6 Rozadov: Nick Wright. Photos by Tomas Stacha. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog

  • 5 March

    Eureka6 Rozvadov: Arsenii Karmatckii finishes on top after turbo Day 1C

    The third and final opening flight of the Eureka6 Rozvadov Main Event has just wrapped. The special turbo Day 1C - levels were 20 minutes instead of 45 - attracted 118 runners which took the total players 675, add in seven no shows and that takes the total entries to 682 .That's a record for this stop of the tour.

    Late in the day we got word of the official prize pool. The winner will receive €124,890, 103 players will get paid with a min-cash worth €1,800. To see the full payout structure click here.


    Arsenii Karmatckii

    This flight was a second chance for the all the players who took part - you could only play 1C if you had busted 1A or 1B - and it was Arsenii Karmatckii who took his second shot at the Main Event the best. The Russian player bagged up 166,200 to lead the 65 players who made it through from the third and final flight. They'll return at 2pm tomorrow to play Day 2.


    Martin Mulsow

    Others who made it through the repechage include: Dennis Brutscher (126,500), Maria Lampropoulos (79,000), Martin Mulsow (56,000), Martin Kabrhel (34,400) and Marius Pospiech (24,500).


    Hanno Offen - second time wasn't the charm for him

    For others the motto of 'if at first you don't succeed try and try again," did not ring true as Hanna Offen, Tobias Peters and Paul Michaelis all tried again but came up empty once more.

    The crucial information for Day 2 can be accessed via the links below:

    Click here for start of Day 2 Seat Draw
    Click here for start of Day 2 chip counts

    Whilst to catch up on the previous flights action click on the links below. We'll be back at 2pm CET for Day 2.

    Daniel Karacic leads Day 1A survivors
    Quentin Dellis tops Eureka6 Rozvadov Day 1B field

    Main Event 1a Eureka 6 Rozvadov Tomas Stacha-1518.jpg

    All photos are copyright of Tomas Stacha

  • 5 March

    Quentin Dellis tops Eureka6 Rozvadov Day 1B field

    If Day 1A of a poker tournament is an amuse-bouche then Day 1B is a hearty starter. A total of 338 players elected to start their Eureka6 Rozvadov adventure today, easily eclipsing the 219 who played yesterday.

    The format, of course, was the same, 10 levels each 45 minutes in length. When they'd been completed just 132 players remained and it was Quentin Dellis who topped the lot. If you recognise the name it's because the Belgian final tabled UKIPT Dublin last month. He finished sixth on that occasion winning € 31,880.

    Over 200,000 for Dellis

    By the time play ended today 27 year old poker professional had built his 25,000 starting stack all the way up to 201,100 and is the only player thus far to break the 200,000 chip barrier. Dellis has been playing for five to six years, professionally for the last three. The bad news for other players is that when Dellis cashes he makes the final table. He's got seven live cashes to his name and the lowest finish of any of them in sixth.


    Palovic powered through

    Whilst Dellis was the only player to break the 200,000 chip mark plenty of other players ran up big stacks. The likes of Martin Ilavsky (174,100), Jean-Marc Jelk (168,100), Jonas Lauck (159,300) Amir Mozaffarian (157,300) and Dag Palovic (132,600) will all be well placed when Day 2 starts tomorrow at 2pm CET.


    Martin Kabrhel

    There were also plenty of big names among the 206 players who busted out during today's action. Martin Kabrhel, who sits second on the Czech Republic all-time money list, couldn't get anything going today. Paul Michaelis, who has a WSOP bracelet to his name, got his hands on a stack but couldn't hold onto it and Antonin Duda (two EPT Main Event final tables) would've given anything to build a stack. He couldn't and also busted out.

    They'll perhaps try their luck in the turbo Day 1C which has just started. If they do they may well find themselves at the same table as: Martin Mulsow, Anthony Ghamrawi, Stefan Raab,
    Maria Lampropoulos, Marc Radgen or Mattias Ruzzi.

    That's it for Day 1B, you can catch up on all today's action here and view end of day chip counts here. Day 1C will wrap up around 2am CET and we'll bring you a recap of the final flight at that point.


    All photos are copyright of Tomas Stacha

  • 5 March

    Eureka6 Rozvadov: Day 1B live updates


    * Sprechen Sie deutsch? Dann klicken Sie rein beim PokerStarsblog DE

    * Click for end of Day 1A chip counts
    * Want more tournament action? Click for LAPT Chile coverage.

    1pm: Shuffle up and deal
    Level 1 - Blinds 25/50

    Right on time the action has started.

    12:45pm: Let's get ready for a super Saturday

    Let's do it again! It's time for Day 1B of the Eureka6 Rozvadov Main Event and as (almost) always we expect Day 1B to be significantly bigger than Day 1A. So with 219 players turning up yesterday the hope is that this could be the biggest ever Eureka Rozadov Main Event. If we get a little over double yesterdays runners we'll beat the mark of 664, which was set last season.

    Eureka Rozvadov Main Event history:
    Season 3: 421 players, €500,000 prize pool, Bart Lybaert from Belgium for €115,000
    Season 4: 493 players, €500,000 prize pool, Martin Meciar from Slovakia for €87,600
    Season 5: 664 entries, €644,080 prize pool, Raphael Wimmer from Austria for €99,695

    The target for anyone playing today is 194,400 as that's what Daniel Karacic managed to amass yesterday. He topped the 90 players who made it through. Full chip counts of the survivors can be seen here.

    Play is due to start at 1pm.

    Key Eureka6 Rozvadov Facts:

    - 25,000 starting stack
    - Blinds starting at 25/50 for 500 big blinds
    - Levels are 45 minutes on Day 1 and they'll be 10 of them. On Day 2 from level 15 onwards levels increase to 60 minutes.
    - Late registration is open until the start of level seven.
    - Day 1B is today and there's also a special Turbo Day 1C at 10pm CET. That's only open to players who have busted either Day 1A or 1B. The field will then combine for the first time on Sunday. Players will reach the money on Day 2 and then play down to a final table on Day 3. The final table will play out on Tuesday. Cue mad celebrations and swigging of pilsner from the trophy (possibly).
    - Full Eureka6 Rozvadov schedule here.

    PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at Eureka6 Rozadov: Nick Wright. Photos by Tomas Stacha. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog

  • 4 March

    Eureka6 Rozadov: Daniel Karacic leads Day 1A survivors

    Season six of the Eureka Poker Tour kicked off today at the King's Casino in Rozadov. A total of 219 players put up €1,100 to play some poker and when the ten levels were over 90 players had made it through to Day 2.


    Daniel Karacic, chipped up in the Czech Republic

    Topping the lot of them is Daniel Karacic. The Croat bagged up 194,400 and is no stranger to success in this casino. In September 2010 he scored his biggest career score to date when he collected €15,000 for winning a €330 tournament.

    He leads a chasing pack that contains: Harald Casagrande (155,000), Lazer Gjergji (151,800), Gaspare Leggio (147,700), Arturs Scerbaks (138,700), Jens Steuber (126,100) and Ivan Luca (124,800).


    Luca went on a late run

    The Argentinian high roller finished third in the €5,000 event that concluded here yesterday and showed up halfway through the day. He'd soon done half his stack, but a late night comeback, including a timely queens versus jacks coup, sees him in great shape for Day 2


    Eiler enjoyed a good day

    There were EPT, UKIPT, Eureka and even Who Wants to be a Millionaire champions in the field today and Michael Eiler - who won EPT7 Vienna - had a great day at the felt. He was always well placed and the 117,900 he bagged up means he'll be hopeful of a deep run.


    Eureka Hamburg winner Tom Holke

    Of course for some stacks to grow others must disappear. For the likes of Alex Kravchenko, Marius Pospiech, Jan-Peter Jachtmann, Josef Snejberg, Raphael Wimmer, Makarios Avramidis, Tom Holke and Daniel Stacey it was a day to forget. They aren't completely out of contention yet though as they'll be able to enter Day 1C, a turbo Day 1 that starts at 10pm tomorrow and has 20 minute levels.

    We'll be back before then though as Day 1B kicks off at 1pm CET. We'll see you then but you can catch up on today's coverage by clicking here. Whilst overnight chip counts are available here.

    There's a big tournament taking place in South America too. Follow live updates from LAPT Chile here.

    But until tomorrow, goodnight.


    All photos are copyright of Tomas Stacha

  • 4 March

    On happiness, confidence & gratitude

    People always ask me on Twitch or YouTube how I can be so "happy," motivated, and confident starting a brand new poker session every day - especially after I have had a stretch of big losses, bad beats, or bad play of my own. The simple answer to this ...

  • 4 March

    Eureka6 Rozadov: Day 1A live updates


    Let the season begin

    * Sprechen Sie deutsch? Dann klicken Sie rein beim PokerStarsblog DE

    1:50pm: Time to start Season 6

    For the fourth time the Eureka Poker Tour is back in Rozvadov and we're here to kick off the tour's sixth season. Playing host to the tour is the King's Casino, which is located on the border of the Czech Republic and Germany.

    The 22 event festival is already in full swing, but today our attention turns to the flagship €500,000 guaranteed Main Event, which year on year has attracted more players. It gets underway at 2pm CET.

    Eureka Rozvadov Main Event history:
    Season 3: 421 players, €500,000 prize pool, Bart Lybaert from Belgium for €115,000
    Season 4: 493 players, €500,000 prize pool, Martin Meciar from Slovakia for €87,600
    Season 5: 664 entries, €644,080 prize pool, Raphael Wimmer from Austria for €99,695

    Key Eureka6 Rozadov Facts:

    - 25,000 starting stack
    - Blinds starting at 25/50 for 500 big blinds
    - Levels are 45 minutes on Day 1 and they'll be 10 of them. On Day 2 from level 15 onwards levels increase to 60 minutes.
    - Day 1A is today, Day 1B takes place tomorrow and then there's a special Turbo Day 1C at 10pm CET. That's only open to players who have busted either Day 1A or 1B. The field will then combine for the first time on Sunday. Players will reach the money on Day 2 and then play down to a final table on Day 3. The final table will play out on Tuesday. Cue mad celebrations and swigging of pilsner from the trophy (possibly).
    - Full Eureka6 Rozadov schedule here.

    PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at Eureka6 Rozadov: Nick Wright. Photos by Tomas Stacha. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog

  • 4 March

    The perfect weekend ahead?

    Sometimes all the elements that make for a great poker weekend collide creating a weekends you want to dive into fully clothed. Whether it's something to play, something to inspire, or something to read, we seem to have it all.

    For one thing there are the usual assortment of weekend Majors, and the satellites that will get you into them at a discount. That culminates with the Sunday Million where someone will walk away with the biggest payday of the weekend.

    But size isn't everything (despite what you hear on TV). Other prizes might not match the million for magnitude, but they'll still put a smile on your face, starting with the conclusion of Team Pro Online week.

    Team Pro Online week

    If you've been reading the Blog this week you'll already know about this, but let me get you up to speed.

    Foremost was the Beat Them or Back Them element, whereby you had to beat the Online Pros heads-up to win a package to the EPT Grand Final, or Back Them to do the same thing. Then there's the $200,000 Bounty Freeroll, the Zoom Pools, and an opportunity to actually join Team Pro Online. If this last part appeals to you in particular, I can highly recommend the post by Katerina Malasidou this week who talked of her own application and the changes that has brought to her life.


    Liliya 'Liay5' Novikova wrote yesterdayabout her experiences at EPT Prague (good experiences). Meanwhile Malasidou's husband Andre Coimbra wrote about his latest challenge, to turn $10 into $1,000. It's not the first time Coimbra has attempted this kind of thing. Last time he tried to turn $1,000 into $100,000. He failed miserably, reaching only $70,000. A shortfall perhaps, but if that's considered a failure I'm not sure Coimbra will ever want to be right again.

    That takes care of the playing side of things. What to watch while all this is taking place?

    Well that's where Twitch makes an inevitable appearance. Various members of Team Online will be broadcasting their progress through the weekend, the schedule for which you can find here.

    While that's all taking place online, two festivals get started in the real world

    LAPT Chile

    The Latin American Poker Tour pulls into Chile this week. As always the LAPT knows how to put on a show, and a poker tournament, which our team of Jack Stanton and Will O'Connor will be on hand to report on starting later today in Viña del Mar.


    The LAPT homepage has all the details, while coverage begins on the blog later today.


    Those of us who have never been to Rozvadov hear it's a deceptive place. It's essentially a small town in the Czech countryside with an enormous casino in the middle of it. But while there might not be much to do outside, inside there's one of the best poker venues in the region. That's what we told our reporter Nick Wright as we packed him onto a plane yesterday to cover the Eureka Rozvadov festival, which starts today.


    But like many places that are far from anywhere, the reception is typically warm, as the thousands of players who have already given this theory a try will back us up on. We have full coverage of the Main Event in Rozvadov starting today.


    Lastly, and certainly not least(ly), the Macau Poker Cup 24 concludes today. You might have seen our coverage this week on the Blog which our reporter Brad Kain wraps up tonight. It's final table time, so check out the finalists then jump into the MPC:24 coverage.

    EPT Not Live

    In between all of the above there's another episode of the #EPTNotLive podcast to enjoy. Not only will James Hartigan and Joe Stapleton bring the irreverence, but there's also details of a freeroll being staged on Thursday March 10 which could earn you a ticket to the 10th Anniversary Sunday Million later this month, as well as signed "KidPoker" poster.

    That's our bit. Here's the official version:

    "It's a triple-header, as James and Joe bring Matt Broughton ("The Other Commentator") into the booth. Although, in the run-up to this week's recording, Stapes went missing, and Matt was on stand-by to play the role of Uncle Daddy! Luckily, Hartigan' s journalistic skills saved the day. After kicking things off with a few post-Dublin anecdotes - including James's near-death experience and an update on Matt's mouth - Joe recalls the glamour and glitz of the American Poker Awards and talks about his work as a "seat filler" during the ceremony. There are details of the forthcoming #EPTLive Home Game, including the all-important Club ID and Invitation Code. Plus, find out if Teun van Dijk from The Netherlands is a Muggle or a Wizard in a Harry Potter-themed edition of 'Superfan vs Stapes'. And the show concludes with the boys' (delayed) review of 'Deadpool'. #EPTNotLive"

    Tune in using your preferred link below:


    That's about everything you'll need going into the weekend, except a PokerStars account, which you can get here. In the meantime best of luck at the tables, both real and online, and as always you can send us your thoughts and comments on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog.

    Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

  • 3 March

    Low-rolling High Roller: The Life of an EPTourist

    Today we debut the first part of an upcoming occasional series from PokerStars' Innovation Coordinator & Ideation Manager, Christin Maschmann. When she isn't coming up with new ideas and fun stuff at PokerStars, she travels the EPT on a surprisingly low budget.


    "Sure, just show up at the venue. It'll be fine!"

    I couldn't believe it. The most famous German female poker player and WSOP bracelet winner, Katja Thater, had replied to my email, and I was excited to head to the event venue RDS (Royal Dublin Society) one November day in 2007 after work to visit my first ever European Poker Tour event.

    Only half a year earlier I had started playing online poker and quickly fell in love with everything PokerStars. I wanted to get my hands on as much branded merchandise as possible, and I wanted to learn to play poker like Daniel Negreanu.

    As I was living in Dublin at the time, my first live play experiences were €30 self-dealt tournaments at the "Fitz," the Fitzwilliams Card Club. When I heard there was a live PokerStars event for big money coming to Dublin, my fangirl heart leaped, and I knew I had to see that.

    But could I actually just go there and watch?

    So, I had written an email to the former Team Pro Katja to ask and got the above reply.

    I couldn't wait to get out of the office (I was working at Yahoo! at the time but had already sent my first applications to PokerStars) to get to the venue.

    When I arrived I was surprised I could just walk into the tournament room and in between tables. I quickly spotted the tall and charismatic Katja, and we chatted a bit until Annette Obrestad (who ended up runner-up in this event) stopped by as well. In all of the months I played poker I had wondered if a woman could exist in the male-dominated world. Suddenly I was standing next to two of the most famous female European poker players.

    Every day after work, I went to the RDS to watch people play poker. I didn't really know what was going on, but I just loved being there, listening to the sound of the chips and the cards, absorbing the atmosphere, and wishing that someday I could play in a tournament like this.

    Together with my Italian poker friend Enrico, I sat at a PokerStars branded table and we let our dreams take over.

    Want to roll with the high rollers? Click here to get a PokerStars account.


    First time at a PokerStars table 2007 - Dreaming that one day I could play at an EPT myself


    I guess it was because women just rarely show interest that I was given a lot of love at the event. I was invited to join the dinner buffet and got a player bag as a souvenir. I asked all my questions, which included how to get a job at PokerStars.

    Out of this conversation came an invitation to help out for IntelliPoker, PokerStars' poker school at EPT Dortmund in January 2008, which I gladly accepted. Ultimately I was offered the job for this daughter-company of PokerStars.

    At the time, Daniel Negreanu still was my poker hero. I did one interview with him, and it had convinced the team to hire me to do PR and Marketing.


    Daniel was the main reason in 2007 that I became a poker and PokerStars fan. Not even a year later, I met him here

    I had taken my first step.

    Little did I know back then that when I eventually got the job at PokerStars, I would neither be allowed to play online on the site nor play EPT Main Events. I had to make a choice between the dream of being a poker player and the dream of working for PokerStars. I chose the safe option, took the job at PokerStars in 2010, and moved to the Isle of Man.

    After having worked at EPT Dortmund, San Remo, and Monte Carlo, my love for the game kept growing, and my fascination didn't wane. So I decided to become an EPTourist!

    My plan was to visit places I hadn't been to or wanted to visit again anyway and do so while the EPT was in town. I wanted to go sightseeing, play at least one side event at each stop, and spend time with friends I made along the way - staff, media, dealers, and players.

    Eight of the 15 EPTs I visited were mainly for holidays.

    3,000 DAYS LATER

    "Hurry up, will ya?" I said to Team PokerStars Pro Johnny Lodden who had just won a big pot and took forever picking up his chips while I waited to put my ante in for the next hand. He just smirked and raked the chips over the line.


    There I was more than eight years later at the same venue (with the same chairs!). In February 2016 PokerStars' European Poker Tour had made its return to the RDS in Dublin, and so had I.

    However, things had changed.

    I was still a poker fangirl, but I wasn't playing the EPT Main Event. I was still an employee and still not allowed to play those. I had come to Dublin to work a few of those days, play the UKIPT Main Event, the Women's, and Charity event. The last of those was one of the most exciting tournaments was another proof I had become an integral part of the poker world. The first table I sat down at I played with Team Pros Theo Jorgensen and Jake Cody. Andre Akkari walked past, greeting me cheerfully. I got moved to sit next to Johnny Lodden who, whenever I wasn't involved in a hand, showed me the cards he was playing (it was a fun charity event, so this wasn't an issue and they were always exposed to all in the end). The next table I got moved to, my seat was right next to Eugene Katchalov who greeted me with "Hi, Christin!" I had just enough time for a selfie with him before I busted the tournament. But my fangirl heart was very happy.

    All this was on Valentine's Day, and as it happened I ended up having an amazing steak dinner with a group of seven poker players that included two EPT champions.

    During the festival two people approached me, recognizing me from my Twitch streams. So, although the poker didn't go well for me on this trip, I was a very happy poker fan.


    Back in 2016 - tattooed and branded

    I have come a long way, and I know I am not gonna stop here.

    In this series of articles I will tell you about my adventures on the circuit and how I usually manage to hang out in places like London or Monte Carlo without spending a fortune. I am not a big money player, and I have a limited travel bankroll.

    Nevertheless, it is possible to mingle with the high rollers while low-rolling it almost all the way. Over the next few months, I'll show you how.

    My next EPT trip is probably going to be Barcelona, but I will look back on some of my previous travels in the meantime.

    Want to roll with the high rollers? Click here to get a PokerStars account.
    Christin Maschmann is the PokerStars Innovation Coordinator & Ideation Manager

  • 3 March

    Katerina Malasidou on joining Team Pro Online (and how you can too)

    How did you become a member of PokerStars Team Pro Online? If had to make a list of the all questions people ask me, that would definitely be among the top three.

    I've been familiar with Team Online since its creation in 2010 because my husband, André Coimbra, was one of its first members. Back then I was taking my first baby steps in the game. I accompanied my husband in his various poker trips and felt quite starstruck whenever I was around big poker players. Soon, I quit my 9-to-5 job and decided to chase the dream: the life of a professional poker player. The seed was already there, but when the time came to meet the rest of my husband's teammates my interest was sparked even more!

    I mean there I was, a small/mid-stakes grinder having dinner with some of the greatest minds of poker! I was surprised at how easy-going they were. I liked each and every one of them, because apart from great poker players they also had great personalities. Conversations with them were never boring, regardless of whether the subject was poker or something else.

    TeamOnline_Katerina_Malasidou_3mar16.jpgKaterina Malasidou

    Team Online members were all very different. Coming from countries all over the globe, they had interesting stories about how they became poker players (if you want to know more about that check the Team Online video of each member). They also represented different games, different stakes. There was diversity in all aspects, but they all had one thing in common: they were great poker ambassadors. Shortly after I met them, I was the biggest Team Online fan!

    Fast forward to some years later to when I was making a living out of Poker. During Team Online week in 2013 I heard that PokerStars was searching for new members and was accepting applications from players. I filled in the online application - not because I really thought I would get in but because I thought "What have I got to lose?" I hit the "Submit" button and forgot all about it.

    And I really mean I forgot all about it because a couple of months went by and I had no news. But then all of a sudden I got an e-mail from the Team Online manager saying that I was among the final candidates being considered, and that I had to answer some additional questions. I swear to you the mail was in very simple English but I had to re-read it a couple of times to fully understand it (I also asked my husband to read it and verify that I had understood well, for good measure). A couple of months later my joining PokerStars Team Pro Online was announced in public.

    Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.

    It has been a great journey ever since. I've been to places, and met people, that I wouldn't have had it not been for Team Pro Online. I've interacted with hundreds of players both on and off the online felt, shared my story and my poker experiences, and hopefully sparked some interest in them the same way that Team Online pros did with me when I was starting out. I truly enjoy being an ambassador for this wonderful game and for what I consider to be the best poker site.

    Another thing that I've gained from being on the Team is friends.

    Even though we live thousands of kilometers away from each other, we Team Pro Online members have almost daily interactions online. It can be because we're working on some PokerStars project, or because we're helping each other out with poker-related things, or maybe we're simply having a chat. Either way, there's a strong feeling of camaraderie.

    When André and I got married last summer we invited the entire Team Online to our wedding and were fortunate to have some of them with us on our special day. Needless to say when we all get together in one of the Team Online meetings, a live tournament or anywhere else, it's like a big party!

    team_online_wedding_summer_2015.jpgBack in the summer of 2015: A first Team Online wedding

    All of this started with one very simple thing: an online application. So if you are interested in joining PokerStars Team Pro Online, now's your chance: applications are open again during Team Online week so don't hesitate a second. And who knows? Maybe this could be the start of YOUR amazing journey with the Team!

    Katerina "katerina289" Malasidou is a member of Team PokerStars Pro Online

    Twitch: http://www.twitch.tv/katerina289
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/katerina0289
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katerina289
    Blog: http://fromzerotopoker.blogspot.com

  • 2 March

    Draft dreams

    Anthony Zinno stood against a wall at a posh Beverly Hills hotel. Dressed in a suit and blue tie, Zinno looked as if he'd plastered an irremovable smile from his face in lieu of shaving. A semi-circle had formed around him, a man who had earned more ...

  • 2 March

    Who’s your bet to win the Team Pro Online Heads-Up Challenge?

    You might recall how last week BetStars took bets on the winner of the EPT Dublin Main Event. It was the first instance of them laying odds on a final table with pre-match favourite Dzmitry Urbanovich proving that the odds setters knew a thing or two about compiling prices (or reading chip counts the night before).

    Now though, BetStars doors are open for a different poker contest.

    Betting has just opened its doors for the Team Pro Online Heads-Up Challenge, part of Team Pro Online week running until this Sunday.

    It's a 32 player slog, comprising of Team Pro Online and qualifiers who won their chance to take on the pros and (potentially) win big - now easy feat when you consider who they're up against.

    As you can see in the chart below, Randy "nanonoko" Lew leads the betting at 12/1, followed by a bunch of team mates whose odds range from 14/1 through to 25/1 (surely there's some value to be had on some "outsiders").

    randy_lew__2mar16.jpgRandy Lew: A favourite online, a favourite on Twitch, now the favourite on BetStars

    Then the qualifiers who won the right to take on the Pros at their own game, and win cash prizes and packages along the way. You can back these guys too, and at some enticingly long odds. Take a look at what's on offer:

    betstars_team_pro_online_odds.jpgClick to enlarge

    The Team Pro Online Heads-Up challenge starts this Saturday, March 5, at 14:00 ET, leaving you plenty of time to place your bet. That's when they play down from 32 to four remaining players. The semi-finals start on Sunday March 6 at 14:00 ET and feature a best of three contest, with the final at 16:00 ET, also best of three. If a qualifier steers past the pros and wins, they'll get a package worth €10,000 to the EPT Grand Final.

    It's obvious who's going to win, right? Well now you can make your choice.

    There are plenty of prizes still to be won this Team Pro Online week. Check out the homepage for details.

    Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

  • 2 March

    Andre Coimbra on his $1K Challenge: Level 1

    Some years ago I did a challenge where I tried to turn $100 into $100K over the course of a year playing only tournaments. I didn't reach the $100K goal (I finished with $70K), but I learned a lot about tournaments and what kind of content my followers...

  • 2 March

    TDO6H20G takes down 3/1/16 Super Tuesday, wins $101,080

    In the United States tonight a big round of primaries and caucuses in multiple states gave today the nickname "Super Tuesday." But on PokerStars every Tuesday is Super Tuesday, the name given to the popular weekly $1,050 no-limit hold'em tournament tha...

  • 1 March

    SCOOP introduces Players’ Choice event

    A funny thing happened on the way to this year's Spring Championship of Online Poker schedule. There, in the spot of Event 15, there was a little hole. Just what kind of tournament was that going to be? Turbo? Zoom? Ante-Up? That's when the brilliant...

  • 1 March

    From $10 to $1,000 the easy (smart) way

    Unlike many other players who turn pro after a big tournament score, my poker career started with $10 on micro-stakes. It has been a long grind to where I am today, so I am very familiar with how poker players with modest bankrolls trying to move up stakes feel. Naturally when I decided to LiveStream, I thought that showing others how I did this would be the way to go. So I decided to walk this path once again.

    Of course, I am not the player I was eight years ago, and it showed. Despite the games being a little tougher than they were in my early days, there is still a lot of people making a lot of big mistakes, and I breezed through the stakes to my $1,000 goal. I don't say this to brag but to demonstrate my initial objective: to show people that it isn't very difficult. I used a seven-buy-in bankroll management method (to move up or down). I didn't make any fancy plays (except for when I was trying to specifically teach a concept to the stream). I played a bit less than 10,000 hands of solid and basic poker, and that was all it took.


    So, to anyone who is stuck in micro-stakes or simply wants to do this, I strongly recommend you watch all the 32 episodes in my YouTube channel. Watch one before your session for motivation or binge watch them, whatever your style is.

    If you cant be bothered to watch hours of videos, then here is some pragmatic advice that I can give you after experiencing this grind again:

    I completed this challenge this quickly because I know more poker than the opponents I faced. So your only goal is to learn more poker. It isn't growing your bankroll, moving up stakes, or anything else. It is simply to get better at this game.

    Your bankroll is a tool to learn the game. Don't see it as money or goal or as any kind of metric. Lose any emotional attachment to it.

    Despite what you read elsewhere do not use a conservative bankroll management (using 50 buy-in rule for micro-stakes is a huge mistake). The lower you play, the less you will learn. Moving up is essential for the learning process, but don't overdo it. If you lose your bankroll, you can't learn any more. So, I'd suggest something like 15 buy-ins to move up or down, and obey it religiously.

    There isn't a big gap between skill level of stakes. Each stake higher is slightly more difficult than the previous one, don't be afraid, get frustrated, or be superstitious about a stake you have "bounced" back from a few times.

    When you are forced to move down in stakes don't feel bad about it. Again, your goal is to learn and only learn. It might help with these kind of distractions to use software to see the tables in big blinds and not money. That way, all the stakes will be the same.

    I know, easier said than done.

    So, get to work and see you at the tables!

    Jorge "Baalim" Limón is a member of Team PokerStars Pro Online

    Twitch: http://www.twitch.tv/baalshin
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/Baalshin
    Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/Baalshin
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BaalimTeamOnlinePS

February, 2016

  • 29 February

    Jaime Staples EPT Dublin Video Blog

  • 29 February

    Weekend Review: Hicks proves staying power with Sunday Million win

    A look at all the major stories from this past weekend on PokerStars.

    Weekend highlights

    * Kenny "LoneHixx" Hicks wins the Sunday Million
    * XingsMaster of Germany wins the Sunday Warm-Up
    * Team Pro Online week starts today


    Round up of latest results

    I remember a few years ago at an EPT seeing the name Ken Hicks on the player list. I noticed it because I noticed it at every EPT, one of those players who always qualified, and always played the Main Event. He'd do well, cash, and then show up at the next one, whether it was Dublin, Warsaw, London, Berlin or the PCA. Then just two years ago he reached the final table in Monaco, finishing seventh.

    I suppose my point here is that Hicks is one of those workmanlike players who may not light up internet forums, or grace high roller events, but is at least still here nearly ten years after his first live cash in a game that re-invents itself each year. This weekend he proved just how well he does that by winning the Sunday Million.

    As Martin Harris reported, Hicks even managed to secure the best deal for himself four-handed, to take away a first prize of $133,405.

    Elsewhere in the Warm-Up XingsMaster took the first prize of $74,828 in a deal-free final table. As David Aydt reported, the eventual winner took on the role of table bully with great results.

    Talking of which, here are those two results in full:

    PokerStars Sunday Million results (2/28/16)
    Entrants: 5,727
    Prize pool: $1,145,400
    Places paid: 855

    1. Kenny "LoneHixx" Hicks (Canada) $133,405.67*
    2. slayertompa (Sweden) $100,420.20*
    3. JanekJorgman (Norway) $135,141.73*
    4. _m0ney2_89 (Russia) $97,384.80*
    5. Armani1974 (Germany) $48,106.80
    6. pinkwins (Denmark) $36,652.80
    7. p€troceli (Hungary) $25,198.80
    8. Köstritzer83 (Germany) $14,317.50
    9. mo-big-big (Netherlands) $8,934.12
    * denotes a four-way deal leaving $20,000 for the winner

    PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up results (02/28/16)
    Entrants: 2,368
    Prize pool: $473,600.00
    Places paid: 342

    1. XingsMaster (Germany) $74,828.91
    2. Crashsite!! (Netherlands) $56,202.11
    3. cigarromata (Brazil) $40,256.00
    4. Peter "RcknTheSbrbs" Nigh (Costa Rica) $27,705.60
    5. Hoegh93 (Denmark) $21,075.20
    6. ciaca21 (Romania) $16,339.20
    7. olelemaiko (Bulgaria) $11,603.20
    8. Maxxx72alba (Russia) $6,867.20
    9. PataNegraXD (Czech Republic) $4,025.60

    The weekend's top online tournament winners

    $215 Sunday MillionLoneHixxCanada $133,405.67
    $215 Sunday Warm-UpXingsMasterGermany $74,828.91
    $530 Sunday 500Callisto 5Canada $53,148.75
    $215 Sunday Supersonic [6-Max]MONSTER_DONGAustralia $47,385.42
    $109+R Sunday RebuyStackedOffCanada $39,217.50
    $215 Sunday 2nd ChanceEvnomiYaRussian $37,404.00
    $22 Sunday Mini-MillionNikiforos86Greece $28,933.31
    $109 Sunday KickoffBusyman919Switzerland $28,816.65
    $11 Sunday StormWoody fingerPoland $25,707.84
    $162 Sunday 6-Maxbah23Bulgaria $20,655.18
    The Weekender: $530 NLHE [8-Max, 2-Day]DaNuts90Germany $20,227.50

    Click here for a complete list of major results on PokerStars for the weekend of February 27 to 28, 2016.

    Now is the perfect opportunity to get a PokerStars account. Open your account here.

    Team Pro Online week

    Team Pro Online week is upon us, giving you chance to Beat them or Back them. As we wrote last week there's plenty going on over the course of the next seven days that's Team Online orientated. But given they're not allowed to win anything other than bragging rights there are plenty of opportunities for you to profit, which you can read about in detail here. It's usually a lot of fun, so get involved. And you can follow the Pros minutely on Twitch. We have the full broadcast schedule here.

    Red Dragon

    Lastly, while it's one of the smaller events on the PokerStars calendar the Red Dragon events are always good for a few surprises. Coverage from Macau began over the weekend and is worth following to see a mixture of local and foreign talent competing on one o Macau's biggest stages. Brad Kain is our reporter in the field, with live updates on the PokerStars Blog.

    That's the weekend in a nutshell. As always send your questions and comments to us on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog.

    Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

  • 29 February

    Sunday Million: Kenny “LoneHixx” Hicks gets win, $133K after four-way deal

    We've seen Kenny "LoneHixx" Hicks of Canada deep in big events on PokerStars before, including winning a Super Tuesday once back in 2010. We've also seen him at various live events sponsored by PokerStars where among his cashes he made the final table of the EPT10 Grand Final in Monte Carlo two years ago, finishing seventh.

    Now we have another Hicks sighting to report, this time at the final table of the latest Sunday Million where he managed to survive to the final four, strike a deal at that point in which he asked for and received a little extra from his remaining opponents, then go on to win the whole thing for a big final payday of $133,405.67.

    The Norwegian JanekJorgman was chip leader at the time of the four-way chop and in fact would take a little more from the prize pool ($135,141.73) before finishing third. But Hicks would be the one scoring the final knockouts of the night, and here's the story of his triumph.


    Kenny "LoneHixx" Hicks

    With 5,727 entrants this week that meant a $1,145,400 prize pool, exceeding again the event's $1 million guarantee. It took almost five hours exactly for the field to play down to 855 players and the money. 2016 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event champion Mike "SirWatts" Watson had been sitting in first position as the bubble approached, and was still in the top five when it burst while Köstritzer83 moved ahead to lead the chip race.


    Mike "SirWatts" Watson

    Eventually Watson would fall back to the pack, then be ousted in 218th for a $595.60 cash. A couple of hours after that the field would shrink to under 100 players, with Köstritzer83 still above the average and one last red spade among the counts, Friend of PokerStars Felipe "mojave" Ramos sitting on the first page of the counts inside the top 20.

    By the nine-and-a-half-hour mark they were down to just two tables with Ramos still in with a short stack, then soon after getting the last of his chips in with ace-king versus Armani1974's ace-jack. Alas for Ramos a jack came among the community cards, and the Brazilian hit the rail in 18th place for $3,207.12.


    Friend of PokerStars Felipe "mojave" Ramos

    DuTTiFruTTi9 (17th) and Glenn_Dysja (16th) would soon follow, like Ramos earning $3,207.12. Then my1u (15th), artsi888 (14th), and jumbas1 (13th) were knocked out, cashing for $4,925.22 apiece. Jamie "pokerjamers" Armstrong (12th) and Artem "veeea" Vezhenkov (11th) next went out, picking up $6,643.32 each.

    With 10 left, hand-for-hand play followed, then came simultaneous knockouts on each of the five-handed tables.

    First it was Krouks all in and at risk with [Kh][5h] versus eventual winner Kenny "LoneHixx" Hicks's [7d][7s]. A seven on the flop meant Krouks was drawing dead by the turn, with a 10th-place finish equaling a $6,643.32 payday.

    Then on the other table mo-big-big appeared in decent shape all in behind [Ks][Kd] versus JanekJorgman's [Tc][Td]. But a ten came on the turn, and mo-big-big was knocked out in ninth for $8,934.12.

    With Köstritzer83 still there (though short), JanekJorgman the new chip leader with more than 20 million, and a seat already empty, the final table was underway.


    Seat 1: empty
    Seat 2: _m0ney2_89 (Russia) -- 3,217,146
    Seat 3: p€troceli (Hungary) -- 5,244,080
    Seat 4: Armani1974 (Germany) -- 3,153,952
    Seat 5: Kenny "LoneHixx" Hicks (Canada) -- 11,635,491
    Seat 6: Köstritzer83 (Germany) -- 1,065,810
    Seat 7: pinkwins (Denmark) -- 4,187,316
    Seat 8: slayertompa (Sweden) -- 8,225,628
    Seat 9: JanekJorgman (Norway) -- 20,540,577

    They were not quite an orbit into the final table when a hand arose that saw Kenny "LoneHixx" Hicks open-shove from the small blind, then Köstritzer83 call all in with the almost 1.71 million left after posting a 250,000 big blind.

    Köstritzer83 had [Kh][Qc] and two live cards versus Hicks's [2c][2h], and the [7s][8h][Ks] flop hit one of them to put Köstritzer83 in front. But the [2d] fell on the turn to give Hicks a set, making the [4h] river no matter and knocking Köstritzer83 out in eighth.

    A short while later leader JanekJorgman raised 3x to 900,000 from early position, then it was p€troceli three-bet shoving for about 3.25 million from a couple of seats over. The others folded and JanekJorgman called, turning over [As][Js] while p€troceli had [Kd][Kc].

    The [3s][Ac][2c] flop was bad for p€troceli, giving JanekJorgman the edge, and after the [6s] turn and [Jh] river, p€troceli was done in seventh.

    pinkwins next became the table's short stack and would be all in for less than a big blind shortly after with [9s][6d] and up against _m0ney2_89 in the big blind with [Qh][9h]. A [Kc][5s][3c][3d][8d] runout didn't help pinkwins who was ousted in sixth.

    The remaining five played on a short while, then agreed to stop the tournament to discuss a possible deal with JanekJorgman still on top with about 25.5 million, _m0ney2_89 next with 10.1 million, slayertompa third with about 9.1 million, Armani1974 fourth with just over 6.8 million, and Kenny "LoneHixx" Hicks the shortest with almost 5.7 million.

    "ICM"-based figures were produced (leaving $20,000 for which to play) and all agreed except for Hicks who wanted $10K more than what he was being offered. The others were not interested in considering that, and soon cards were back in the air.

    It wasn't long before Armani1974 had slipped back to become the short stack, then a hand came up that saw the table fold to Armani1974 in the small blind who pushed for about 4.28 million (about eight-and-a-half BBs), and Kenny "LoneHixx" Hicks called from the next seat. Armani1974 had [7d][6s] and needed help against Hicks's [As][Qs], but the [9s][5h][Qc][Ts][Js] board gave Hicks a flush and ended Armani1974's run in fifth.

    Deal talk immediately began again, and soon the tourney was stopped again with JanekJorgman at almost 30.5 million, Hicks now second with about 9.8 million, slayertompa third with 8.9 million, and _m0ney2_89 fourth with just over 8 million even.

    "ICM"-based numbers were presented again (again saving $20K), and once more Hicks asked for more than what he was being offered -- specifically $2,500 more from each of the other three. The others agreed this time, Hicks got his extra, and the deal was made.

    The final four battled on and after a while Hicks managed to wrestle the chip lead away, then slayertompa grabbed the top spot after doubling through JanekJorgman. The latter then appeared about to go out in fourth, but JanekJorgman doubled up to leave _m0ney2_89 the short stack.

    Soon _m0ney2_89 was reraising all in for almost 2.74 million (about 4.5 BBs) over a Hicks UTG open and Hicks called, showing [Qc][Js] while _m0ney2_89 had [8d][8s]. The board then came [5c][7d][3c][Qh][Jd] to give Hicks two pair and knock _m0ney2_89 out in fourth.

    About five minutes later JanekJorgman min-raised to 1.6 million from the small blind, Hicks reraised to 4.8 million from the big, JanekJorgman shoved for about 18.1 million total, and Hicks called.

    JanekJorgman had [As][9d] but Hicks had that dominated with [Ad][Qc]. The board came [7h][Td][7s], then [2h], then [Kd], the kickers played, and JanekJorgman's run was over in third.

    With that pot Hicks had a commanding lead to begin heads-up play with 43,771,350 to slayertompa's 13,498,650. The pair played 17 hands for small pots, with slayertompa getting whittled to just under 10.5 million. Then on the 18th hand between them, the end finally arrived.

    With the blinds 400,000/800,000, slayertompa open-pushed for 10,378,650 from the button and Hicks called, and their hands were revealed:

    LoneHixx: [Ah][7d]
    slayertompa: [Qc][2c]

    The [2h][Jc][Tc] flop was great for slayertompa, making a pair and providing a flush draw, and the [8d] turn card was fine as well. But the river brought the [As] to give Hicks the better pair, the final pot, and a Sunday Million title.


    Kenny "LoneHixx" Hicks

    Congratulations to Kenny "LoneHixx" Hicks for outlasting more than 5,700 opponents to win this week's Sunday Million, and kudos as well to slayertompa, JanekJorgman, and _m0ney2_89 for making it to the four-way deal and ensuring themselves handsome cashes as well.

    2/28/16 Sunday Million ($215 No-Limit Hold'em, $5M Gtd) results
    Entrants:  5,727
    Prize pool: $1,145,400
    Places paid: 855

    1. Kenny "LoneHixx" Hicks (Canada) $133,405.67*
    2. slayertompa (Sweden) $100,420.20*
    3. JanekJorgman (Norway) $135,141.73*
    4. _m0ney2_89 (Russia) $97,384.80*
    5. Armani1974 (Germany) $48,106.80
    6. pinkwins (Denmark) $36,652.80
    7. p€troceli (Hungary) $25,198.80
    8. Köstritzer83 (Germany) $14,317.50
    9. mo-big-big (Netherlands) $8,934.12
    * = denotes a four-way deal leaving $20,000 for the winner

    Haven't gotten a PokerStars account yet? Join the world's biggest site now.

    Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

  • 29 February

    Sunday Warm-Up: X marks the spot as XingsMaster earns $74K

    Lots of fun news flying around this week with the start of Team Pro Online week returns with EPT Grand Final packages ready for the lucky fans. To prepare for the upcoming Team Pro Online invasion, 2,368 players tried to acquire funds through the $425K...

  • 26 February

    Your guide to everything Twitch during Team Pro Online week

    Throughout this Team Pro Online week you'll be able to watch the action on various Twitch channels as the Pros themselves provide a player's eye view of the action. At least 12 Team Pro Online members will be twitching throughout the week. Ensure ...

  • 26 February

    Big Saturday ahead, and a big Sunday too. Then there’s next week…

    After a busy week wrapping up EPT Dublin, and then today's news that PokerStars will be back in New Jersey within a month, it's a relief to look ahead to what will be a relatively leisurely weekend. I'm kidding of course. The weekend is as busy as ever...

  • 26 February

    Beat them or back them: it’s Team Pro Online week

    There's a big week coming up on PokerStars, with cash prizes and EPT packages up for grabs starting on Monday. The reason: it's Team Pro Online week, a time when you the PokerStars player reap the rewards while they slug it out for nothing more than bragging rights. Allow us to explain how you cash in.

    In all there are three EPT packages and tens of thousands of dollars to be one, starting on Monday and running until Sunday March 6. PokerStars players will have the chance to take on Team Pro Online members and win big prizes in a special Heads-Up Challenge, $20,000 Bounty Freeroll, and special micro-stakes Zoom pools, among all sorts of other activities.


    "Team Pro Online Week is a great opportunity for all players to compete against a host of PokerStars pros and win some big cash prizes," said Andre "acoimbra" Coimbra of Team Pro Online. "The Heads-Up Challenge in particular promises to be a really fun competition and I can't wait to try to get my hands on the title."

    So here are a few details.


    The 'Beat Them' or 'Back Them' Heads-Up Challenge is the focal point of the week, running from Saturday 5 to Sunday 6 March from 14:00 ET.

    The 'Beat Them' promotion features 32 players, made up of Team Pro Online members and online qualifiers, battling it out to become the Heads-Up Challenge champion. The highest-placed online qualifier in the Heads-Up Challenge tournament will win $5,000.

    Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.

    If they then go on to win it they receive a $10,000 PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino European Poker Tour (EPT) Grand Final package. So the first thing you need to mark in your diary is the qualifying tournament. That runs on Tuesday, March 1 at 14.00 ET, with a buy-in of $11.

    But even if you don't reach the final stages there's more to keep you interested.

    You can still back the winners (yep, this is where the "Back Them" element comes into play), by predicting the winner of the Heads-Up Challenge and winning one of two $10,000 EPT Grand Final packages. Every player who plays the qualifier gets a "backing ticket", which allows them entry into one of 32 freeroll tournaments, with the finals of each streamed live on the PokerStars Twitch channel: http://www.twitch.tv/pokerstars/


    The $20,000 guaranteed Bounty Freeroll and takes place on March 6 at 15.00 ET. As the name suggests there's a $50 bounty on each Team Pro Online. All you need to claim a ticket is to deposit $10 or more using bonus code ONLINE2016 by 15.00 ET on March 6.


    It sounds like something you might find at a water park, but the Special Zoom Pools are actually a great way to play against Team Pro Online in micro-stakes games. The pros themselves will announce that they're playing on Twitter an hour before they log in, and if you make a profit against them within an hour we'll multiply your winnings by seven.


    While it's fun to play against Team Pro Online, we hear it's even better to be a Team Pro Online. PokerStars is also currently accepting applications to join Team Pro Online from Supernova VIP level players. Supernova players will have received an email for details of how to apply. What are you waiting for?

    For everything else, including ways to show your support for your favourite team pro, and all the terms and conditions, check out the Team Online Pro Week homepage.

    Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

  • 26 February

    PokerStars Blog photographer Joe Giron wins American Poker Award

    The PokerStars Blog team woke up to some great good news this morning. It wasn't just that PokerStars was heading back to New Jersey, but that the American Poker Awards once again recognised the contribution members of our team have made to the game. ...

  • 26 February

    Ever wondered what winning a million is like? This man knows…

    PokerStars is celebrating 100 million players this month. Today, we talk to an electrician whose life was changed forever by winning a million dollars Come on, admit it - you've often found yourself daydreaming about winning a million. How would you r...

  • 25 February

    Mark your calendars, New Jersey — PokerStars is coming

    Mark your calendars, New Jersey -- PokerStars is coming

    It's been nearly five years. Five years of hoping. Five years of waiting. Five years of anticipating the time I could write these words again:

    PokerStars is back.

    Just moments ago, PokerStars announced that it plans to launch in New Jersey on March 21 in partnership with Resorts Casino in Atlantic City, marking the first time in nearly five years that people living in America will have a chance to play for real money on the world's biggest online poker site.


    Want to play on your desktop or laptop in New Jersey just like you once did? That's coming back.

    Want to play on your tablet or phone? You'll now be able to do that, too.

    If you were once a PokerStars player and want to play from New Jersey, you'll be eligible to use your old PokerStars screen name and regain your former VIP status just as soon as you come back.

    Remember what Sundays used to be like? New Jersey will have its own Sunday Special to go along with all the other poker tournaments and games everyone remembers. What's more, for the first time, PokerStars players in New Jersey will be able to play Spin & Go tournaments as well as a wide variety of casino games.

    "PokerStars is the global leader in online poker and trusted by its customers for its robust and innovative technology, world-class security and game-integrity. We are honored and excited to now bring these experiences to New Jersey," said David Baazov, Chairman and CEO of Amaya, PokerStars' parent company.

    In September of last year, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement authorized PokerStars and Full Tilt to operate in that state. PokerStars expects to run a testing period and beta period with a limited player base beginning in mid-March in the run-up to the full launch.

    PokerStars is no stranger to the regulated gaming industry. It has licenses in more than a dozen jurisdictions. Worldwide, more than 100 million people have registered to play on the site. PokerStars is now set to bring its games and reputations back to the Garden State.

    For more information, visit the brand new PokerStars New Jersey web site.

    is the PokerStars Head of Blogging.

  • 25 February

    Win your share of $250,000 this coming “Super Saturday”

    What are you doing this Saturday? You have plans? Well, cancel them. Because this Saturday isn't just any Saturday on PokerStars, it's Super Saturday, with a combined prize pool of some $250,000 and a selection of VIP tournaments good enough to cancel ...

  • 24 February

    Mustapha Kanit’s Spectacular Bluff in EPT Dublin High Roller

  • 24 February

    Would you like to be tagged in this PCA photo?

    PokerStars is celebrating 100 million players this month. Today, we take a deep and sometimes unflattering dive into the PCA photo archives As you might have seen over the past couple of weeks, the PokerStars Blog has been taking look back at the past...

  • 24 February

    pucho2100 punches way to top of 2/23/16 Super Tuesday, wins $100K

    As usual, this week's Super Tuesday featured a number of poker's top performing tournament players going deep, with a final nine including Ivan "Negriin" Luca, Sam "aaajack" Chartier, Nick "FU_15" Maimone, Juan "Malaka$tyle" Pardo, and Lander "tua133" ...

  • 23 February

    ‘How I took my chance in 100 billion’

    PokerStars is celebrating 100 million players this month. Today, we hear from one who took part in our 100 billionth hand.

    The odds were huge. As PokerStars geared up to deal its historic 100 billionth hand, nearly 390,000 players were online trying to hit it. Many of those were multi-tabling, and so the chances of being dealt into the big one, and a shot at the $100,000 on offer for winning it, were remote in the extreme.

    But Clayton Tomkulak, 28, already felt lucky. See, for three years straight he was called into work each day, and therefore assumed his chances of playing in the 100 billionth hand promotion climax, predicted to hit on a weekday afternoon, were gone. Then, out of the blue, his boss rang at 6.30am as he prepared to leave home, telling him things were slow and he could take the day off.

    "It was the first time I had got a call like this in three years of working at the place," the Canadian said. And he didn't waste the golden and unexpected opportunity. He fired up 26 tables of microstakes no-limit and began to grind.

    "I played 28,000 hands that day, which was a record for me by far, in the hope hitting one of the smaller million hand milestones leading up to the 100 billionth hand. Then, as the big one got nearer, I closed some of my $0.02/$0.05 tables and opened up a $0.05/$0.10, a $0.15/$0.25 and a $0.25/$0.50 table because PokerStars would pay a bonus to any player playing the same stakes as the 100 billionth hand when it hit."

    clayton-tomkulak.jpgClayton Tomkulak

    The million hands came and went with no success. Then the 100 billionth hand, which was one of the milestones in PokerStars history that we are revisiting as part of our 100 Million player celebration, came around.

    "I wanted to sit out on my 26 tables so I could watch the 100 billionth hand unfold. I clicked the table ID in the lobby, and the table popped up on my screen but then instantly got pushed somewhere into my stack of tables so I didn't at that point see what was happening.

    "Then my girlfriend, who was watching on her laptop, yelled, 'You won!' I totally thought she meant I had won a stake share prize for playing on the same level as the 100 billionth (a $0.02/$0.05 table). But she said, 'No, it's you! Look!' and she showed me her screen and I saw myself sitting at the paused 100 billion hand table!"

    The action had been stopped to allow tens of thousands of players the opportunity to watch the huge milestone hand play out.

    Clayton, who plays with the screen name HeyitsClay, and who lives in Burnaby, British Columbia, explained: "At this point I was in a huge panic because I didn't know how long the table would be paused for, and I had lost it on my screen! I had 26 tables open and needed to find that one. I was scared the hand would start, and that I might be auto folded because my time bank had been used up during the day!

    "Thankfully I found it in time, and then I started getting messages on Skype, Twitter and Facebook, asking, 'Dude, is that really you?' Eventually the hand was played out, and I knew it was a snap all-in for everyone at the six-handed table.

    "I was dealt [kh][6c], which I wasn't thrilled about but I knew it could have been a lot worse. Once everyone duly moved all in, all the hands were shown, and I liked my spot even more. The flop came [Ac][2c][Jc] and someone had paired their jack. At first I was like damn! No king! Then I thought I had one over card and a flush draw as outs until I saw someone had the [7c] so my [6c] was useless. So after that flop I was hoping for a miracle."

    Clayton never caught up. The hand ran out with a [9d] turn and [Th] river, meaning microulis69 won with the paired jack, taking the $103,800 prize. Just for being on the table, however, still meant a $13,440 purse for Clayton. The hand, and all the milestones leading up to it were captured in a special live blog run by this writer and colleague Rick "Corporate" Dacey.

    100_billionth_hand.JPGThe 100 billionth hand in all it's glory

    "It was a crazy mix of emotions, that's for sure," he said. "It's hard to say how much was shock, poker discipline, or sadness at missing out on the added $85,000 - then happiness at winning £13,440.

    "I realise how lucky I was to be in the hand. It felt like I had used my life one-time on this, so it's too bad I didn't bink that 100k. But a 14k one-time is solid use, I think!"

    Of course, his luck was multiplied by being turned away from work that day for the first time in three years. The money was put to good use. As well as leaving extra cash in the bank for everyday provisions, Clayton splashed out on a luxury festival and camping trip. "It made the trip 100 times easier and more fun. It paid for our tickets, rental car, and nice camping equipment. I had the best time of my life there, and winning that money really helped make that happen."

    Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.

    Clayton may think he has already used his "one time" - but he plans to be around when PokerStars celebrates its 200 billionth hand. "I'll be there going for two in a row," he joked.

    But he was quite serious when asked what it was he liked about PokerStars. "When Stars does something it always does it right, with high quality. If there were any issues, you knew it would get sorted.

    "A huge part would be PokerStars' interaction with the community. At times it seems like it is building something together as a team rather than a pure customer/client relationship - and that builds loyal players, I think."

    PokerStars is celebrating 100 million players this month. See how you can join in the celebration and win some big money here.

    Other stories from this series:

    PokerStars has the need for speed
    Meet PokerStars' longest-serving player of all time
    The ghosts of WCOOP
    The Moneymaker Boom that almost wasn't
    Alexander Stevic and the start of a new era in poker
    The PokerStars Sunday Million Two-Timer Club
    Smile! You're on Kid Poker Camera!
    Biggest poker tournament ever? Check!
    So who was that first winner on PokerStars mobile?

    Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.

  • 22 February

    Weekend Review: Big winners online while events in Dublin turn heads

    A look at all the major stories from this past weekend on PokerStars. Weekend highlights * Stardust167 wins the Sunday Million * Vlad "dariepoker" Darie wins the Warm-Up and... *Dzmitry Urbanovich wins the EPT Dublin Main Event Round up of late...

  • 22 February

    Sunday Million: stardust167 has the luck of the Irish, defeats Nicolau “nicofellow” Villa-Lobos for $179k score

    This week, the Sunday Million produced yet another final table that was a virtual murderer's row of online poker success stories. Among them was 2014 ANZPT Perth champion Patrick "pmahoney22" Mahoney, who only last month captured a TCOOP title and over...

  • 22 February

    Sunday Warm-Up: Vlad “dariepoker” Darie notches $71K victory

    While attending the recently concluded PCA is on my bucket list, this added perk to the PokerStars VIP Store tops it all. As Brad Willis mentioned a few days ago tickets to the Grand Slam tennis tournament are now available with StarsCoin. A ways off W...

  • 21 February

    So who was that first winner on PokerStars mobile?

    So you're at home, playing a tournament on PokerStars and the internet goes down. Who knows what caused it, apart from one of those illogical and irrational assumptions anyone would make in a time of such crisis - bad weather, a piece of furniture blocking the signal, or an IP address conflict that not even switching everything off and switching everything on again can shift. And all the while you're being blinded away.

    In the old days this was a problem. But not anymore. The advent of mobile technology means you can download the PokerStars client on your smart phone or tablet, and always have a Plan B. So go ahead, kick your Wi-Fi router and shout a bit when the signal drops. Just be sure to grab your phone as you do so.

    For many PokerStars players playing on our mobile site is now a matter of routine. But it wasn't long ago that the technology was brand new. So thinking logically that means there was a day when it was first launched and first played on. There was a first hand played on mobile, a first pot won, then then a first tournament.

    That's how David "dmf81" Forsyth played a small part in PokerStars history.

    "I don't remember much about the win," said Forsyth. "But it's fun to think that I was the first winner of an MTT using the mobile app. It's also surprising too given I'm normally behind the times as far as tech is concerned!"

    david_forsyth_mobile.jpgFirst PokerStars mobile winner: David Forsyth

    It might not seem like an enormous achievement, but it was a first; one that represents one of the milestones PokerStars is celebrating this month to mark our 100 millionth player. Who cares that it wasn't a weekend major, or a COOP event?

    "The win itself sounds lame, but we all have to build a poker bankroll from somewhere!"

    Forsyth, 34, downloaded the PokerStars app on his phone after seeing an advert on his way home one day. He took part in a PokerStars promotion that was running at the time for UK players, whereby the winner of a monthly league would win a full package to a UKIPT event.

    Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.

    "Entry was £1.10 with a couple of hundred entrants and the win was for £50 or so," explained Forsyth. "I think I finished second in the league that month and won a $109 tournament ticket on top of my winnings from the MTTs."

    Not bad while using a screen the size of, well, a smart phone.

    Since then Forsyth, who usually plays $25 no-limit games on PokerStars, keeps his phone handy for those dreary bus rides home, or to simply unwind after a busy day. At the very least it's a way to make a commute profitable, or to make a few dollars while waiting for the lights to change.

    Like a lot of players Forsyth got interested in poker after watching Late Night Poker, and then started playing freerolls online (again, like others, taking a freeroll win as a sign of great things to come).


    "I was doing a lot of dumb things like misreading boards e.g. bet/calling huge river jams with top set when the obvious straight or flush came in because I thought I still had the nuts."

    But freerolls had another use, helping him grasp the rules and subtleties of the game without risking his own money. Then, armed with a small bankroll he began grinding micro-tournaments.

    "I was doing okay but wanted to get better."

    Reading articles and websites he began having some success, steps that ultimately lead to the games he plays now.

    "The most important thing I learned early on is that poker is a continuous learning process and to never assume that you're a good player."

    It's the kind of discipline that has helped him become the poker player he is, which, as we're saluting today, is one able to win anywhere, including on the move.

    If you want to join him you can download the PokerStars app here.

    Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

  • 20 February

    EPT12 Dublin: Dzmitry Urbanovich caps annus mirabilis with crushing victory in Ireland


    The most predictable winner's photo of all time: Dzmitry Urbanovich

    Poker has a habit of uncovering new sensations at intervals of about 12 months. We've had Mike McDonald, Jason Mercier, Ole Schemion, Dan Colman and the like, while others like Steve O'Dwyer continue hot streaks year after year.

    But for the past 12 months, there has been a new wunderkind in the halls of the European Poker Tour who may be the most sensational of them all. Dzmitry Urbanovich won four events at EPT Malta last season, including a €25,000 High Roller, and finished second in the first two Super High Roller tournaments he played.

    Now, not even a year since that breakout in Malta, Urbanovich is EPT Dublin Main Event champion. The €561,900 first prize takes his career winnings close to $5 million.

    Dzmitry Urbanovich, ladies and gentlemen, is 20 years old.

    "It feels very good, very good," he said. "It's been a long week."


    Dzmitry Urbanovich: It's his EPT, we just live in it

    This victory will rank among the most brilliant tournament displays of all time, with Urbanovich perhaps not putting a foot wrong ever since he joined the event in the late hours of Day 1. In the final today, he began with a huge stack, but lost an enormous flip to find himself on the ropes with four players left.

    Then, after clinging on to get heads up, he overcame a five-to-one chip lead to prevail just after 11pm local time. Urbanovich wasn't even feeling 100 percent -- he spent much of the first level or so running to the bathroom. But healthy or otherwise, Urbanovich truly does have the world at his feet.

    8G2A8530_EPT12DUB_Dzmitry_Urbanovich_Neil Stoddart.jpg

    Dzmitry Urbanovich: The boy can play

    It's impossible to go any further in this eulogy without mentioning the player vanquished heads up by Urbanovich. Gilles Bernies was chip-leader at the end of Day 1 and was that massive leader too when only two players were left.

    He was the man who had seemed most likely to halt the irrepressible Urbanovich. But Bernies, playing at his first EPT event, could not quite get over the line, and Urbanovich was there to pip him at the post. Bernies wins €349,800 and an enormous number of admirers.


    Gilles Bernies: A brilliant debut

    You can read how it all played out in two versions: the hand-by-hand as-it-happened updates and the precis about an inch down this page.

    The blow-by-blow account

    There were only six players left when play got under way today, but no one was expecting this one to be quick. Despite the one-man wrecking ball Urbanovich out in front, the stacks were remarkably deep for this stage of any tournament.

    Here's how they lined up at the start of play:

    Dzmitry Urbanovich, Poland, 5,125,000
    Patrick Clarke, Ireland, 4,300,000
    Kuljinder Sidhu , United Kingdom, 3,260,000
    Gilles Bernies, Germany, 2,735,000
    Iliodoros Kamatakis, Greece, 1,965,000
    Rhys Jones, United Kingdom, 740,000

    8G2A8241_EPT12DUB_Final_6_Neil Stoddart.jpg

    Final table players (l-r): Ilioros Kamatakis, Gilles Bernies, Patrick Clarke, Rhys Jones, Dzmitry Urbanovich, Kuljinder Sidhu

    The one exception to that rule was the stack in front of Rhys Jones. It was, by any standards, short. And he didn't take too long to find a hand worth getting it in with.

    The only problem for Jones, whose hand was [as][9h], was that Urbanovich had [ac][tc] and wasn't going to fold it. Jones did hit a nine on the board, but only after Urbanovich had already paired his ten. It meant Jones was first out today, sixth overall, earning €119,450.


    Rhys Jones gets his coat

    The most significant battle at this stage developed between Patrick Clarke and Kully Sidhu, two medium-sized stacks. They should really have just got a room. Clarke gave to Sidhu; Sidhu gave to Clarke. This sideshow at least kept Urbanovich quiet.

    However, Iliodoros Kamatakis could not find a way to get involved and his stack was dwindling. When he found kings, he got minimal action, and then with growing frustration he got his stack in with pocket tens.

    That was good for a double up through Sidhu's nines, but any momentum Kamatakis found soon evaporated. He picked up [ks][9s] under the gun and open raised. Bernies called with [as][qd] from one seat along and they saw a flop that had something for both of them: [qs][9h][5d].

    Maybe Kamatakis will live to regret his aggressive line -- betting, then three-bet shoving over Bernies' raise. But maybe he won't. Kamatakis had a ball during this tournament and, after a called from Bernies and a blank turn and river, he headed to the cage with a smile on his face.

    He found €152,600 waiting there for him, the fifth-place prize.


    Iliodoros Kamatakis: As worthy a fifth-placed finisher as any

    Bernies' stack enjoyed a huge boost after that coup, and the hand set up what seemed certain to become the tournament-defining pot soon after.

    Bernies, with close to 4 million in his stack, was really the only player at that stage who would hurt Urbanovich. And he managed in fact to inflict the most significant wound he could.

    He found [as][qs] in the small blind and opted to limp. Urbanovich, in the big blind, found [8s][8h] and raised to 300,000. Bernies now sprung a trap, and three-bet to 905,000. But Urbanovich responded with a four-bet shove, covering Bernies.

    Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.

    There has been a lot of talk all week about the relative ability of Bernies. He came to Dublin for his first ever EPT event after qualifying online, and without a huge number of live results to his name. He also had a peculiar breathing pattern when involved in pots that led more than one person to claim they could get a read on him.

    But despite the apparent trappings of a rank amateur, Bernies played with a huge amount of guile, and many other commentators believed his entire backstory to be a bluff. It was this kind of hand that gave weight to the latter argument. Bernies called all in.

    8G2A8397_EPT12DUB_Gilles_Bernies_Neil Stoddart.jpg

    Gilles Bernies is all in

    His courage was rewarded with the [ah] on the turn and no river re-draw from Urbanovich. This huge pot relegated Urbanovich back among the mortals and catapulted Bernies into a commanding four-handed chip lead.

    As the remaining four played for a couple of hours, the structure shallowed out the tournament a good deal. Bernies continued to build, but all of Clarke, Sidhu and Urbanovich returned for Level 30 with stacks of fewer than 30 big blinds.

    And both Clarke and Sidhu would go no further.

    First, Clarke found [ac][2d] and shoved for 2 million. Bernies woke up with [qs][qh] and there was a queen in the window. Clarke couldn't catch up after that blow, despite two clubs on the flop and another on the turn.

    Clarke, the last remaining Irishmen in this tournament, had a huge and vocal rail, bellowing for the fourth club to appear on the river. But it never came. He headed out in fourth, pocketing €193,650.

    8G2A8366_EPT12DUB_Patrick_Clarke_Neil Stoddart.jpg

    Patrick Clarke: Last home hope


    Clarke did Ireland proud

    Bernies had already established himself as a juggernaut at this final table, but knocking out two players in consecutive hands is not something we see very often. But that was Bernies' next trick.

    No sooner had Clarke wandered away than Sidhu found himself traipsing in the same direction when he called all in with [ah][6h] after Bernies shoved with [5c][5h].

    The board was totally blank and Sidhu, an eighth-placed finisher in London a couple of years ago, went looking for €250,300 this time. "Come on, let's get you drunk," a Sidhu supporter said on the rail. Sidhu seemed open to the idea.


    Kully Sidhu says goodbye

    So that left two: the 20-year-old "veteran", Urbanovich, and the total rookie, Bernies. The latter, however, had that massive chip lead, the best part of 15 million against Urbanovich's 3 million.


    Preparing for the final between Gilles Bernies and Dzmitry Urbanovich

    Urbanovich has seen a lot in his short career, including a short-stack comeback heads up for a major title. It wasn't him who did it, however. It was Erik Seidel, who gave Urbanovich a lesson in Monaco to take down a €100,000 Super High Roller title.

    And it appears that Urbanovich is a fast learner because he pulled off something similar here. First, he flopped a straight with [ts][9c] and got the maximum when Bernies flopped middle pair. (Urbanovich raised the flop, bet the turn and shoved the river.)

    The Urbanovich was waiting in the wings with middle pair and a flush draw when Bernies bluff-jammed four high. Bernies battled back, doubling with [ah][8d] against Urbanovich's [as][js] when he flopped an eight and Urbanovich missed a flush draw.

    8G2A8460_EPT12DUB_Gilles_Bernies_Neil Stoddart.jpg

    Gilles Bernies: Power poker

    This was far from over. The pair traded blows and Bernies managed to haul himself back into the lead with a series of small pots. However there then followed the hand that was the defining event.

    Bernies had a pretty decent lead then he limped with [6d][4d] and Urbanovich checked his option. They saw a flop of [as][ad][2d].

    Of course, nobody will have expected Urbanovich to check with an ace, but that's exactly what had happened. Urbanovich was sitting with [ac][3s].

    Bernies, however, had the flush draw and was still interested, so called Urbanovich's 150,000 tickle. The [ts] came on the turn and this time Bernies got aggressive. He raised to 1.4 million after Urbanovich fired 415,000.

    Urbanovich wasn't going to take this lying down and three-bet to 2.4 million, which committed him. Bernies shoved, Urbanovich called and had to fade a diamond.

    Actually, he didn't. There was a diamond on the river. But the [td] filled Urbanovich's boat and put him way ahead. He had slightly more than 12.5 million, with Bernies at 5.5 million.

    Bernies by this point seemed spent. He admitted to anyone who chatted to him that he was finding it tough to overcome his nerves. The heavy breathing, he said, was not an act. (A side point: when Urbanovich first played against Bernies yesterday, he was the only player to ask, "Are you all right?")

    Today, Urbanovich had slightly changed his tune. "It's not to easy to perceive [how he] plays," he said of Bernies. "Wth play like that, y'know? I mean, he's really too slow. Way too slow, than it should be."

    Sensing a beaten opponent, Urbanovich did his best to keep the pressure on, making his decisions almost instantaneously and keeping Bernies outside of any comfort zone. Eventually, with Bernies on the ropes, Urbanovich found pocket kings and a short-stacked opponent willing to go the distance.

    If Dzmitry Urbanovich has kings, there's only going to be one winner. That much is obvious. We are entering a whole new era, an era in which Dzmitry Urbanovich is the king.


    EPT Dublin Main Event
    Dates: February 14-20, 2016
    Buy in: €5,300
    Players: 605
    Prize pool: €2,934,250

    1 - Dzmitry Urbanovich (Poland) €561,900
    2 - Gilles Bernies (Germany) €349,800
    3 - Kully Sidhu (United Kingdom) €250,300
    4 - Patrick Clarke (Ireland) €193,650
    5 - Iliodoros Kamatakis (Greece) €152,600
    6 - Rhys Jones (United Kingdom) €119,450
    7 - Alexandre Meylan (Switzerland) €88,300
    8 - Ivan Banic (Croatia) €60,750

    Click for full payouts.

  • 20 February

    EPT12 Dublin: Samuel Panzica flops quads to win High Roller and €375,770

    The RDS is a huge venue. So big in fact that even while hosting one of the biggest poker festivals in the country, it can also host an even bigger convention in the hall next door called Divine Mercy** which, shall we say, has a different agenda to, say, a high roller event.

    But at the conclusion of that "holy" roller event tonight you couldn't help wondering what sort of influence divine mercy played in the outcome. At least new champion Sam Panzica will be thinking that tonight as he leaves the RDS tonight, passing several hundred evangelicals while carrying a shiny trophy and a first prize of €375,770.

    samuel_panzica_eptdub_winner_pic_20feb16.jpgEPT Dublin 10K High Roller winner Sam Panzica

    He got there thanks to a remarkable performance, but also a last hand that will be talked about for some time yet, one that depended upon (are you listening Divine Mercy?) three Kings.


    After a cagey heads up that had swung between Panzica and his opponent Akin Tuna, Panzica finally got a good hold on the edge he'd worked hard on. Then the last hand came. For Tuna jack-ten, for Panzica, well we'll get to that.

    akin_tuna_eptdub_hr3.jpgAkin Tuna

    After much time spend swapping chips; the three Kings arrived, together on the same flop. By the river it had given Tuna a full house, which for Panzica, holding the fourth king, must have felt like a miracle, even more so when Tuna called his all-in.

    samuel_panzica_eptdub_final_eptdub_hr3.jpgSamuel Panzica

    Watching from the rail it was hard to understand how Panzica had contained himself - one of many things perhaps that separate the pros from the giddy amateurs. While the rest of us looked on in wonder, Panzica and Tuna shook hands, both not quite believing how things had ended, but laughing nonetheless.

    The other clues came in the rest of Panzica's performance, a personal best on the EPT, and one fully deserving of the title and silverware. And to think he'd thought about skipping it.

    Looked at the 10k field and think I am going to skip. Anyone in Dublin want to get food and go do something fun hit me up #daysoff

    — Sam Panzica (@bestindabiz51) February 18, 2022

    Whatever it was that changed his mind (still with me Divine Mercy?) it was a career defining one. While high rollers often play the part of poor relative on what is the last day of the festival - permanently in the shadow of the TV lights and main event stage, it still appeals to players, many of whom stopped by to watch, drink in hand.


    Play resumed today with 13 players (full payouts can be found here), the first to go being Diego Ventura. He was followed by Sam Chartier and Christoph Vogelsang, then Jerry Odeen and Rocco Palumbo, who busted in ninth to leave an official final eight.

    There was no urgency to the eliminations. The Gods decided there would be double ups first to raise the blood pressure, seven to be exact, with Riess, Arruda, Kitai, Riess again, Adams, Patel and Arruda again, all doubling up before the first of them was sent to the rail.
    That would be Arruda, who ran jacks into Patel's ace-queen, which became a straight on the river. Adams followed a short while later when his ace-ten fell to the ace-queen of Panzica.

    william_arruda_eptdub_hr3_22.jpgWilliam Arruda

    Former World Champion Ryan Riess went later, having fought well with the short stack. He found pocket sevens just as Kitai found pocket eights. Not that it did Kitai much good. He busted next in fifth place when his ace-seven was undone by Tuna's ace-six, which with some good fortune was turned into a straight by the river.

    ryan_reiss_eptdub_hr3_222.jpgRyan Riess

    Patel got similar treatment, seemingly ahead with ace-ten only to watch Panzica's ace-eight overtake him on the turn.

    Then it was Lebedev's turn.

    Chip leader at the start of the day, the Russian will nurse bruises tonight having taken knocks in the run up to the final table. He lasted until third though, busting with threes against Panzica's nines, a hand that gave Panzica an edge going into heads up.

    sergey_lebedev_eptdub_hr3_final.jpgSergey Lebedev

    The two finalists quickly agreed to a deal, splitting the money marginally in Panzica's favour, with €65,770 (and the trophy) left to play for. It meant a first prize of €375,770 to the American, watched to the finish line by the likes of Mike McDonald and Chance Kornuth. Tuna, who let's not forget had played the game of his career, having been the first person to bust (and re-enter on Day 1) and the last, took away €290,000 as runner-up.

    And that was that - another champion, and arguably the most memorable final hand. Three kings bestowing riches on one man. What an incredible story.

    It's not the last story to play out at EPT Dublin. The Main Event continues with play now at the heads-up stage. Follow live updates on the PokerStars Blog.

    In the meantime congratulations to Samuel Panzica on a great victory.

    Event #54, €10,000 NL Hold'em (single re-entry)
    Entries: 185 (45 re-entries)
    Prize pool: €1,794,500
    Places paid: 27

    1. Samuel Panzica (United States) €375,770*
    2. Akin Tuna (Germany) €290,000*
    3. Sergey Lebedev (Russia) €184,650
    4. Emil Patel (Finland) €150,550
    5. Davidi Kitai (Belgium) €120,050
    6. Ryan Riess (United States) €92,240
    7. Timothy Adams (Canada) €67,120
    8. William Arruda (Brazil) €48,630
    * Denotes a two-way deal.

    Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.

    ** No divine intervention was implied. It was just coincidence.

    Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

  • 20 February

    EPT12 Dublin: Main Event final day live updates

    * Watch the action on EPT Live

    * 6 of 605 players remaining

    2:05pm: Rhys Jones is playing for more than the title
    Level 27 - Blinds 25,000-50,000 (ante 5,000)

    He might be coming in to this final table as the short stack with 740,000, but Rhys Jones has big plans if he should win the EPT Dublin Main Event:

    Hope I win. It's quite a lot of money but more importantly I need a new Twitter avatar

    — Rhys Jones (@floppinhel) February 20, 2022

    2pm: Off they go
    Level 27 - Blinds 25,000-50,000 (ante 5,000)

    Away they go. Here are your final six:

    8G2A8241_EPT12DUB_Final_6_Neil Stoddart.jpg

    Final table players (l-r): Ilioros Kamatakis, Gilles Bernies, Patrick Clarke, Rhys Jones, Dzmitry Urbanovich, Kuljinder Sidhu

    1pm: Preparing to crown a champion

    It's 1pm at the Royal Dublin Society and six players remain in the EPT Dublin Main Event, looking for that elusive first prize. Only one (Kuljinder Sidhu) has been at a Main Event final table before, but all eyes are surely on Dzmitry Urbanovich, poker's most wunderest of wunderkinds.

    Urbanovich is approaching the one-year anniversary of his explosive arrival on the global stage (that four-trophy sensation in Malta), so can be complete the most spectacular 12 months with a Main Event title? Only a fool would bet against him. Speaking of which...

    Play is getting under way in the tournament room here, but there's a one-hour security delay so that action can be shown as live on EPT Live with hole cards exposed. No spoilers until then. -- HS

    Here are the stacks at the beginning of the day. And why not take a look back and how they got them with last night's wrap.

    Dzmitry UrbanovichPoland5,125,000
    Patrick ClarkeIreland4,300,000
    Kuljinder SidhuUK3,260,000
    Gilles BerniesGermany2,735,000
    Iliodoros KamatakisGreece1,965,000
    Rhys JonesUK740,000


    Take a look at the official website of the EPT, with tournament schedule, news, results and accommodation details for the rest of the season.

    Also all the schedule information is on the EPT App, which is available on both Android or IOS.

    PokerStars Blog reporting team on the EPT12 Dublin Main Event: JAck Stanton and Howard Swains. His joie de vivre balances my world-weariness to produce a perfect mean. Photography by Neil Stoddart. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog.

  • 20 February

    EPT12 Dublin: Pick the Main Event winner on BetStars

    We're still half an hour away from the restart in the €10K High Roller in Dublin, and the Main Event does the same at little while later at 1pm (with EPT Live beginning the cards up broadcast at 2pm). That gives you plenty of time to consider a wager on the Main Event winner to make things "interesting".

    For the first time BetStars is offering odds on the EPT Main Event winner in Dublin, and is taking bets up until the start of play. Obviously, there will be no live odds, given that being in Dublin and watching the final table in real time would give you the kind of advantage not seen since Robert Redford and Paul Newman worked the system in the 1920s, but you have until 1pm to place your bets. If you're curious here's how the odds look:

    Dzmitry Urbanovic2.55
    Kuljinder Sidhu4.6
    Iliodoros Kamatkis8.5
    Patrick Clarke4.1
    Gilles Bernies6.5
    Rhys Jones18

    Got a favourite? Click here to go to the BetStars website.


    Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

  • 20 February

    EPT12 Dublin: €10K High Roller final day updates

    * 13 of 185 entries remain (140 uniques, 45 re-entries)


    12:35pm: Two all ins on the first hand of the day
    Level 21 - Blinds 10,000-20,000 (3,000 ante)

    Action right from the start with two all ins, one on each table. The first was technically that involving Emil Patel and Christoph Vogelsang. Patel shoved and Vogelsang called all in, with the cards as follows.

    [9d][8d] for Patel
    [ad][5h] for Vogelsang

    The board ran [qs][kc][6c][7s][2h]

    The turn meant a slight scare for Vogelsang but it was short lived. He doubles up.

    Meanwhile on the other table Rocco Palumbo opened from the button but quickly got out of the way of the small and big blinds who moved all in. That was Samuel Panzica and Jerry Odeen respectively.

    Penzica [ac][6s]
    Odeen [ah][th]

    But just as on the other table there would be no elimination (technically Penzica had been at risk). The board came [kd][3s][js][9c][9d] for a chopped pot. As one reporter put it, they effectively split the antes. But if you're making a profit you can't lose, right? -- SB

    12:30pm: Play starts
    Level 21 - Blinds 10,000-20,000 (3,000 ante)

    We're under way in the high roller with 13 players left. They'll be a redraw at nine.
    12:05pm: Pick the winner on BetStars

    We're still half an hour away from the restart in the high roller, and the Main Event does the same at 1pm (with EPT Live beginning the cards up broadcast at 2pm). That gives you plenty of time to consider a wager on the Main Event winner to make things "interesting".

    BetStars is offering odds on the EPT Main Event winner in Dublin, and is taking bets up until the start of play. Obviously, there will be no live odds given that being in Dublin and watching in real time would give you the kind of advantage not seen since the 1920s, but you have until 1pm to place your bets. If you're curious here's how the odds look:

    Dzmitry Urbanovic2.55
    Kuljinder Sidhu4.6
    Iliodoros Kamatkis8.5
    Patrick Clarke4.1
    Gilles Bernies6.5
    Rhys Jones18

    Got a favourite? Click here to go to the BetStars website.

    11:45am: Perfect conditions

    It's a wonderful grey and misty day in Dublin today, with light rain and no prospects of things brightening up. Quite frankly those are perfect poker playing condition.

    Players are arriving for what is the final day of the EPT12 Dublin festival. Today we'll play down to a winner in the High Roller, but also in the Main Event, coverage of which begins at 2pm on the Blog and EPT Live. We'll have live updates from both events. -- SB

    11:30am: Lebedev leads heading into final day
    Level 20 - Blinds 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

    Play restarts today with 13 players remaining. Sergey Lebedev lead when players bagged up last night. -- SB

    Sergey LebedevRussia1,522,000
    Emil PatelFinland1,339,000
    Ryan RiessUSA1,174,000
    Akin TunaGermany1,100,000
    Timothy AdamsCanada758,000
    Jerry OdeenSweden596,000
    Rocco PalumboItaly565,000
    Davidi KitaiBelgium512,000
    Willliam ArrudaBrazil458,000
    Sam ChartierCanada458,000
    Christoph VogelsangGermany310,000
    Samuel PanzicaUSA276,000
    Diego VenturaPeru157,000

    PokerStars Blog reporting team on the EPT12 Dublin €10K High Roller Day 2: Martin Harris and Stephen Bartley. Photography by Jules Pochy. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter:@PokerStarsBlog

  • 20 February

    EPT12 Dublin: Higher Roller final 13 led by Sergey Lebedev

    The penultimate day of the PokerStars Dublin Poker Festival also happens to coincide with the penultimate day of one of the most coveted tournaments on the EPT - the €10k High Roller Event. Winning this one really gives you street cred amongst the best high stakes tournament grinders around.

    Ten levels were played on Day 1 yesterday and another ten today. After three reentries and one new entry before play started, the final number of entries came to 185. The two major stories that stood out today included the end of day chip leader (Sergey Lebedev on 1,522,000) and the bubble boy (Vladas Tamasauskas).


    Lebedev leads after Day2

    The chip lead changed many times during the day but as the last level wound down, it became a two-way battle between Emil Patel and Lebedev. The latter had always been near the top of the counts whereas Patel had to deal with being a short stack before a late surge. He doubled up in the last level after making a flush to crack Christoph Vogelsangs kings. In the end though, his 1,339,000 wasn't enough to overtake the Russian who also won a crucial last-level pot, turning a set of queens versus Samuel Panzica, who said he had aces. He'll enter Day 3 as favourite for the €397,500 first placed prize (full payout details).


    Great end for Patel

    Lithuanian Tamasauskas was a player that must've been extremely confident coming into today. Not only because he won his seat in a live satellite, but also because of a little tournament he won earlier in the festival. The 21-year-old beat 1,001 players to become the UKIPT5 Dublin champion and collected the €176,900 that came with it. He failed to add any more cash to that pile after calling all in on the river of a [5c][7c][jh][8c][2s] board with [ah][7h]. His opponent, Jerry Odeen, had pocket nines and that was that.

    EPT12_Dublin_high_roller_Vladas Tamasauskas.jpg

    Tamasauskas trying to work out if he should call on the river

    Another player who's had an amazing Dublin experience is Dominik Nitsche. He took down the UKIPT High Roller event and came second in the single day €10k High Roller event for nearly €300k. He came back as the chip leader today and cruised into the money but a couple of coolers cost him:

    coolered twice and the dream is over #sorrychuck #eptdublin

    — Dominik Nitsche (@DominikNitsche) February 19, 2022


    Other notables who cashed but failed to make the final day were: Jeff Gross (16th), Ben Heath (17th), Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier (18th) and Scott Margereson (24th) fresh from his 19th place finish in the EPT Main Event.


    Another deep run for Mercier

    Here's how the final 13 line up tomorrow:

    Sergey LebedevRussia1,522,000
    Emil PatelFinland1,339,000
    Ryan RiessUSA1,174,000
    Akin TunaGermany1,100,000
    Timothy AdamsCanada758,000
    Jerry OdeenSweden596,000
    Rocco PalumboItaly565,000
    Davidi KitaiBelgium512,000
    Willliam ArrudaBrazil458,000
    Sam ChartierCanada458,000
    Christoph VogelsangGermany310,000
    Samuel PanzicaUSA276,000
    Diego VenturaPeru157,000

    Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.


    Photos by Jules Pochy

  • 19 February

    EPT12 Dublin: High Roller Day 2 live updates archive

    This is an archive of previous coverage. Please follow the live action on the live updates page .

    9:45pm: Vieira tanks, can't find a fold
    Level 17 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

    Joao Vieira and Sylvain Loosli had been sat side by side with four tables left, with the Portuguese player in position. With the three table redraw Loosli was now to the left of Vieira, but in the latter's exit hand he still had position as this was a button versus small blind encounter.


    Viera tank busts

    Vieira raised the button, Loosli defended the small blind and Arne Coulier ducked out the way from the big. On the [3s][8c][8d] flop Vieira c-bet 18,000, Loosli check-raised to 45,000 and Vieira, after a bit of a think, made the call.

    The turn was the [6s] and Loosli simply moved all in. He was the covering stack and the effective shove was for Vieira's final 152,000. The Portuguese player thought about the hand for ages and was looking at Loosli throughout. After about five minutes he appeared to be no closer to a decision and Coulier said to him: "In another minute I'm going to have to call the clock."

    Sixty seconds more ticked by and good to his word Coulier did indeed call the clock. With less than 30 seconds remaining Vieira called it off and showed [Kc][Kh]. He was behind to Loosli's [9h][8h] and didn't hit either of his outs on the [4c] river. Loosli's up to 550,000 after that hand. -NW

    Sylvain Loosli, 550,000
    Joao Vieira, 0

    9:35pm: Duarte up and then out
    Level 17 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

    Luiz Duarte's remarkable spin up has come to an end. Having been down to 4,000 at one point in this level, he spun it all the way up to 380,000 before spinning it down to zero.

    He check-raised all in on a [Ts][Tc][2h][8c] flop with [Qc][Jh] and Marco Leonzio was only too happy to call with [Ad][Th]. Duarte was drawing thin but spiked the [9c] river to survive and climb to 370,000.

    A few hands later he three-bet after Sergey Lebedev had opened, the Russian four-bet jammed with [Js][Jd] and Duarte called off with [Ah][Kh]. The [3h][7s][4h][5d][7d] board kept the pair in front and means Lebedev is up to 1,100,000.

    Sergey Lebedev, 1,100,000
    Marco Leonzio, 370,000
    Luiz Duarte, 0

    9:33pm: Margereson taken down by Kitai
    Scott Margereson was the first player out after played resumed.

    He was down to 97,000 when he moved all in from under the gun. Davidi Kitai was in the next seat and successfully isolated with a reshove.

    Margereson: [ad][9s]
    Kitai: [as][kd]

    The board ran [2h][3c][td][5d][7d] failing to improve either player. -- MC

    9:25pm: Final three tables redraw
    Level 17 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

    SeatTable 1Table 2Table 3
    1Jerry OdeenJeff GrossRocco Palumbo
    2Felix BleikerLuiz DuarteJoao Vieira
    3Scott MargeresonMarco LeonzioSylvain Loosli
    4Davidi KitaiRyan RiessArne Coulier
    5Samuel PanzicaSergey LebedevJacob Bazeley
    6Akin TunaBen HeathDiego Ventura
    7Emil PatelWillliam ArrudaTimothy Adams
    8Sam ChartierJason MercierChristoph Vodelsang

    9:16pm: Redraw
    Level 17 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

    There's a short break in play whilst there's a complete redraw of the final 24 players. Cards will be back in the air shortly. --NW

    9:15pm: Nitsche and Billard bust
    Level 17 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

    Francois Billard has just busted out in 25th place of this tournament. He moved all in for just over 120,000 with [As][Qh] and Felix Bleiker woke up with aces.

    The [ts][4h][Ad][4s][4c] board only strengthened Bleiker's grip on the hand and he's up to 490,000 after winning that pot.

    A few moments before Billard busted we lost Dominik Nitsche in 26th place. It looks like William Arruda got his chips and the Brazilian is now up to 960,000 as a result and has stretched his chip lead. -NW

    William Arruda, 960,000
    Felix Bleiker, 490,000
    Dominik Nitsche, 0
    Francois Billard, 0

    9:10pm: Duarte goes on and off life support
    Level 17 - Blinds 4,000-8,000 (1,000 ante)

    Luiz Duarte lost a big pot versus Sam Chartier and dropped down to just 4,000 chips, but managed to double and triple up to get back up to 138,000.

    His big loss came after he three-bet a Chartier 18,000 early position open up to 59,000. Jeff Gross tank-folded ([as][qs] he later said) before Chartier jammed for 266,000. Call.

    Duarte: [ah][kd]
    Chartier: [8s][8h]

    Chartier fell behind on the [7d][ad][kd] flop but found a winning set as the board ran out [2h][8c]. -- MC

    9:05pm: Odeen takes out another
    Level 17 - Blinds 4,000-8,000 (1,000 ante)

    Jerry Odeen burst the bubble and now he's taken out the first player into the money, Ibrahim Ghassan.

    Ghassan had fewer than 50,000 when he moved all in. Odeen had raised already and made the call with [jh][9h]. Ghassan was ahead with [as][5s] but couldn't stay there after a [6h][4s][2h][8h][qh] board made Odeen a flush to move up to 480,000. -- MC

    8:55pm: Vogelsang dents Chartier
    Level 17 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

    Christoph Vogelsang is up to 630,000 after winning a pot against Sam Chartier. The German online cash game wizard opened to 19,000 from under the gun+1 and called when Chartier three-bet to 63,000 from the small blind.

    "About three hundred behind?" asked Vogelsang to Chartier and the Canadian nodded confirming how many chips he had left. On the [7d][2c][Js] flop Chartier bet 47,000 and Vogelsang smooth called.

    On the [Jh] turn Chartier slowed down, checking the action to his opponent who bet 60,000. Chartier tanked for a good while before ultimately releasing his hand. -NW

    Christoph Vogelsang, 630,000
    Sam Chartier, 250,000

    8:50pm: Mercier evens up the stacks with Palumbo
    Level 16 - Blinds 3,000-6,000 (1,000 ante)

    Jason Mercier battled, and won, a hand versus Rocco Palumbo. At the end, both had stacks of around 360,000.

    The Team PokerStars Pro raised from under the gun and Palumbo peeled from the big blind to see a an [8s][jc][kh] flop appear. Mercier continued for 13,000 and Palumbo check-called. He did the same for another 26,000 on the [4s] turn before the river was checked down. Palumbo opened [ad][qh] but the pot went to the American after he opened [qc][qd]. -- MC

    8:40pm: Play resumes
    Level 17 - Blinds 4,000-8,000 (1,000 ante)

    Everyone got a full belly? Great, let the race to the final table commence. -- MC

    7:26pm: Dinner break

    The final 27 players -- all safe in the knowledge they've made the cash -- are taking a dinner break. It's actually lasting 75 minutes, so we'll be back along with them around 8:40 pm local time. --MH

    7:24pm: From hero to zero, Vladas Tamasauskas bubbles
    Level 16 - Blinds 3,000-6,000 (1,000 ante)

    Vladas Tamasauskas has had the week of his life, winning UKIPT Dublin for €176,900 and then winning a satellite to qualify for this event. That may well still be the case despite the fact he's the High Roller bubble boy.


    Deen (L) busts Tamasauskas (R)

    Jerry Odeen limped in from under the gun and picked up four callers, including Tamasauskas in the next seat. The flop was [5s][7c][jh] and Odeen continued for 15,000. Tamasauskas was the only caller to the [8c] turn where he called another 33,000. The board completed with the [2s] and Odeen set Tamasauskas in for his last 79,000.

    Tamasauskas went into the tank for several minutes as players ignored the "stay in your seat" instructions and gathered around. He eventually stood out of his seat and made the call with [ah][7h] for third pair. It was no good though as Odeen opened a winning [9h][9d]. --MC

    7:18pm: Bubble go pop!
    Level 16 - Blinds 3,000-6,000 (500 ante)

    For those who appreciate clean edges and tidy accounting, the cash bubble has very conveniently burst just a couple of minutes before the end of the level and the start of the dinner break. Stay tuned to discover who was the unfortunate 28th-place finisher. --MH

    7:16pm: Felix misclicked doubles
    Level 16 - Blinds 3,000-6,000 (1,000 ante)

    A funny hand just occurred and ended with Felix Bleiker doubling to around 140,000.

    Arne Coulier opened to 13,500 from early position before Bleiker went to call. He threw in too many chips though so was forced to min raise to 21,000. The action got back to Coulier who decided to four-bet big. Really big. He shoved for an effective 257,500 and Bleiker said he had to call, and did.

    Coulier: [ks][9h]
    Bleiker: [ah][kc]

    The board ran [qc][8h][2c][7h][kh]. Coulier dropped to 145,000. --MC

    7:07pm: Ghassan doubles through Mercier
    Level 16 - Blinds 3,000-6,000 (500 ante)

    Our first "all in and call" on the bubble happened when Lebanon's Ibrahim Ghassan three-bet shoved for 31,500 over Jason Mercier's 12,500 open. Mercier called.

    We then had a lonnnnnnng wait before the cards could be revealed, while we waited for action on the other tables to finish.

    Francois Billard was up on his chair trying to see the action play out on another table. Meanwhile, Timothy Adams nipped over to Mercier and the Team PokerStars Pro flashed him a peek of his card. Adams nodded casually. "Haha, I'm glad I have your approval!" said Mercier.

    Then, finally, the hands were revealed.

    Jason Mercier: [ad][4h]
    Ibrahim Ghassan: [js][jh]

    The board ran out [6c][5c][5s][ts][qs] and we're going to have to wait a bit longer to find out who will become our bubble boy. Mercier is still healthy, while Ghassan is up to 75,000. --JS

    6:52pm: Nice catch for Tuna
    Level 16 - Blinds 3,000-6,000 (1,000 ante)

    Hand-for-hand play on the bubble was due to start, but three tables were waiting for Akin Tuna and Vladas Tamasauskas to play out a big hand first.

    Tamasauskas opened to 12,500 off the button and called after Tuna three-bet to 33,000 from the big blind. Tuna continued for 45,000 on the [6c][8d][3d] flop. Tamasauskas called and did the same for another 70,000 on the [3c] turn. The [2c] completed the board and Tuna bet another 70,000. Tamasauskas called but couldn't beat Tuna's [7s][8c] and dropped to 142,000. Tuna, meanwhile, moved up to 610,000. --MC

    6:50pm: Rush to the bubble -- four quick knockouts, 28 remain
    Level 16 - Blinds 3,000-6,000 (1,000 ante)

    Whew. We walk over to look in on the last four tables and 32 players, and within the space of just a couple of minutes there were no less than four busts to bring the tournament right to the stone bubble and the start of hand-for-hand play. We'll try not to dilly-dally... here's the skinny:

    First it was Luuk Gieles reraising over a Jason Mercier open to 12,500, pushing all in for his last 115,000 and watching Mercier call. Gieles had [Jc][Tc] and Mercier [8s][8c], and the [Qs][Js][2h] was a nice one for Gieles. But the [8h] turn couldn't be worse, giving Mercier a set and leaving Gieles drawing dead. Mercier has 350,000 now.

    Second came the knockout of Romain Lewis who was all in for his last 55,500 with [3c][3s] versus Sam Chartier's [As][Kh]. The board came [Kd][Th][5c][6s][6c] to give Chartier the better pair and send Lewis out. Chartier up to 290,000.


    Romain runs out

    Third was knockout of Andrew Lichtenberger who took [Qs][Qh] up against Ryan Riess's [As][Ks]. The [3s][7s][2s] flop gave Riess a flush, and the [Kd][Kd] runout was just piling it on. Riess is up around 300,000.


    Lichtenberger bounced

    Finally Pierre Neuville shoved his last 125,000 behind [8d][8h] and was up against chip leader William Arruda's [Ac][Qd]. Again it was a nasty flop for the all-in player, coming [Kc][Th][Jd] to give Arruda a straight. The turn was the [9c] and river the [Td], and Neuville busted in 29th. Arruda continues with about 650,000.

    A brief pause to breathe and ready for hand-for-hand play. Stay tuned! --MH

    6:43pm: Srinivasan straight flushed by Vogelsang
    Level 16 - Blinds 3,000-6,000 (1,000 ante)

    Christoph Vogelsang's up to 540,000 after he eliminated Canadian online heavyweight Shyam Srinivasan.

    Vogelsang raised from the cutoff and Srinivasan called from the small blind to see a [jd][qc][6c] flop appear. Vogelsang continued for 18,000 and was check-raised to 60,000 by Srinivasan. His response was to three-bet all in for an effective 160,000. Call.

    Srinivasan: [kh][qh] for top pair.
    Vogelsang: [kc][tc] for an open-ended straight flush draw.

    The [3c] turn made the German's flush and the [9c] river completed the straight flush. --MC


    Shyam I am

    6:36pm: Ariel sunk
    Level 16 - Blinds 3,000-6,000 (1,000 ante)

    Ariel Celestino busted in 35th place after three roller-coaster hands. Before his bustout hand he had dropped down to 3,000 after running king-jack into aces. Then he won with jacks versus king-queen for a short-lived comeback.

    His final hand came after moved all in from under the gun with [9h][7h] and was called in the blinds by Vladas Tamasauskas, who held [ks][6s]. The board ran [2c][ad][3h][th][4c], and the Brazilan was ousted. --MC

    6:27pm: Loosli had him in the Palma of his hand
    Level 16 - Blinds 3,000-6,000 (500 ante)

    EPT12 Barcelona €50K High Roller champ Sylvain Loosli has just eliminated Nicholas Palma from this €10K.

    Loosli opened to 12,500 and Palma three-bet it up to 38,000. Then Loosli made a four-bet to 92,000, Palma insta-shoved for 240,000 more and Loosli insta-called.

    Nicholas Palma [tc][ts]
    Sylvain Loosli [qd][qh]

    That shove was exactly what the Frenchman was hoping for. But then, as Loosli himself pointed out, "Ahhh it's always a sweat!"

    He was referring to the [js][9c][8s] flop which gave Palma an open-ended straight draw. Loosli did not want to hit a set.

    The turn wasn't much better either! The [2s] gave Palma a flush draw to boot.

    But the [4h] river was safe. Palma is gone, Loosli has 640,000. --JS

    6:20pm: Level 16 begins
    Level 16 - Blinds 3,500-6,000 (1,000 ante)

    Just 35 remain as they move on into Level 16. Those making it through the next 60 minutes of poker will then go on a one-hour dinner break. --MH

    6:19pm: Sammartino races away
    Level 15 - Blinds 2,500-5,000 (500 ante)

    Dario Sammartino, who came third in the PCA $25,000 High Roller last month, had failed to cash in this High Roller.

    The Italian was in the big blind when he squeezed all in for 88,000. Willliam Arruda had opened to 10,500 from the cutoff and Pierre Neuville called from the small blind. Aruda raised to isolate and Neuville obediently left them to it.

    Sammartino: [ac][9d]
    Arruda: [7d][7c]

    The board came a blank [qd][kc][qc][3h][3s]. Arruda looks to have taken over the chip lead now with 625,000. --MC


    An early dinner for Dario

    6:18pm: Loosli eliminates the last Greenwood
    Level 15 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

    Luc Greenwood was the last of the three brothers Greenwood still in this event, but he, too, has been knocked out and it's Sylvain Loosli who got him.

    Pre-flop Loosli made it 11,500 to go and called when Greenwood three-bet to 27,500. On the [6h][9h][Qs] flop Greenwood bet 20,000, Loosli check-raised all in and Greenwood called all in for 116,000 total.

    Greenwood: [Kh][Kd] - a pair of kings
    Loosli: [Ah][Jh] - nut flush draw and over card to Greenwood's pair.

    The [8h] turn left Greenwood drawing dead and the meaningless [Ts] completed the board. --NW

    6:15pm: Battle of the Nordics
    Level 15 - Blinds 2,500-5,000 (500 ante)

    If you thought a hand involving players from Sweden and Finland could be described as a Scandinavian showdown, then think again. Finland, where Samuel Vousden is from, is technically not part of Scandinavia, but is part of The Nordics. As is Sweden, which is the country of birth of Jerry Odeen.

    It was Vousden who would provide the opening salvo to this big pot, he raised to 13,500 from under the gun and called when Odeen raised to 32,000 from middle position.

    Vousden would go on to check-call bets of 27,000 and 55,000 on the flop and turn of a [7s][5d][4h][2c] board before both players checked the [As] river. Odeen showed [Qh][Qs], which bested Vousden's [Td][Tc].

    Odeen is up to 352,000 whilst Vousden is down to 110,000. --NW

    6:08pm: MacPhee felted by Leonzio
    Level 15 - Blinds 2,500-5,000 (500 ante)

    Kevin MacPhee three-bet all in one hand and got it through. The next time he tried it, he was on the rail.

    Marco Leonzio opened to 10,000 from early position and called after MacPhee moved all in for 65,000 from the big blind.

    MacPhee: [9h][9s]
    Leonzio: [jd][js]

    The board ran [5d][4c][5c][qd][6s], MacPhee is out, and the Italian has moved up to 215,000. -- MC

    6:04pm: Mark Radoja - from huge stack to gone
    Level 15 - Blinds 2,500-5,000 (500 ante)

    Mark Radoja was right up there with the chip leaders at the first break of the day; in fact, the bracelet winner was in second place with 445,000.

    But now he's gone.

    It was his old nemesis William Arruda who did it. Arruda had doubled through Radoja not too long ago, and then the pair tangled in this fatal hand.

    It started with an open to 12,000 from Steve O'Dwyer and was followed by a 37,000 three-bet by Radoja. Arruda then put in a cold four-bet to 75,000, O'Dwyer folded, and Radoja shoved. Arruda called, but we weren't quite sure who was the player at risk just yet.

    Mark Radoja: [ah][kd]
    William Arruda: [jh][jd]

    The board ran out as follows: [tc][th][5h][7s][9d] -- and the chips were counted. Arruda only just had Radoja covered, meaning we lost the Canadian from this event. Still, he won €144,180 only a few nights ago in the €10K Single-Day High Roller, so we're sure he'll get over this.


    Radoja departs

    Arruda now has around 520,000. --JS

    6:00pm: Rocky spot for Rocco turns into double up
    Level 15 - Blinds 2,500-5,000 (500 ante)

    Rocco Palumbo has just doubled up through Samuel Vousden.

    Palumbo open-shoved the small blind with [kh][qh] and Vousden snap-called and had him dominated with the [as][qc]. However, the poker Gods were kind to Palumbo and the board ran out [kd][3h][6h][ks][jh]. --JS

    Rocco Palumbo -- 310,000
    Samuel Vousden -- 100,000

    5:56pm: Hook, line, and sinker as Drinan falls to Tuna
    Level 15 - Blinds 2,500-5,000 (500 ante)

    Connor Drinan has an amazing record in high roller events, the majority of his $8.6 million in earnings coming from them. He won't be adding an EPT Dublin High Roller cash to his stellar résumé, though.

    Dietrich Fast was kind enough to fill the blog in on the hand. Akin Tuna opened from under the guns with pocket threes and called after Drinan three-bet all in for 68,500 from the next seat holding [ad][ks]. Tuna flopped a set, but had to fade a flush draw after the turn brought a third spade. The river bricked and Drinan was on his way. Tuna moved up to around 280,000. --MC


    Drinan driven' out

    5:52pm: Patel dents Billard
    Level 15 - Blinds 2,500-5,000 (500 ante)

    I joined the action to see a [Kd][Tc][6d][4h] board on the felt and Francois Billard (button) betting 70,500. Emil Patel (big blind) was his lone opponent and he made the call.

    Both players checked the [Qc] river and Patel's [Td][2d] was the winner. "Were you half-expecting him to roll over a queen there?" said Jason Mercier to Patel as he raked in the chips.

    Patel's up to 355,000 whilst Billard is down to 160,000. --NW


    Emil keeping the Patel to the metal

    5:47pm: Wet board gets wetter
    Level 15 - Blinds 2,500-5,000 (500 ante)

    From late position Dario Sammartino opened to 11,500 and Mark Radoja defended from the big blind. The [7d][Qd][Th] flop wasn't exactly uncoordinated, but that didn't stop Sammartino betting 13,000. Call from Radoja.

    The [8h] turn meant the board got straightier and flushier and the action slowed, with both players checking. The [Qh] river both paired the board and completed the backdoor flush draw. Radoja led for 31,500 and Sammartino pitched his cards into the muck. --NW

    5:38pm: Three hands, two all-ins, one table, one elimination
    Level 15 - Blinds 2,500-5,000 (500 ante)

    I decided to park up at an interesting table featuring Christoph Vogelsang, Joao Vieira, Jeff Gross, Sam Chartier, and Scott Margereson. I only watched three hands, and all three had some action.

    Hand 1: Vieira opens to 12,000, Chartier calls, and Margereson shoves on the button for 138,000. Everyone folds.

    Hand 2: Gustav Nordh shoves on the button for 22,000, having been crippled in a hand we reported at 5:19pm when he ran jacks into Gross' kings. Vieira thought for a minute and ended up calling the 17,000 more. Nordh was in good shape with the [kc][9h] against Vieira's [9s][7c], but the flop paired Vieira's seven and gave no extra help. Nordh is out.

    Hand 3: It was folded around to Christoph Vogelsang on the button and he opened to 12,000. Vieira folded his small blind, but Gross put out a 3-bet to 38,000. It got the job done, as Vogelsang folded. --JS

    5:37pm: Small Lebedev battles
    Level 15 - Blinds 2,500-5,000 (500 ante)

    Sergey Lebedev seems pretty chilled, winning pots and losing pots, settling on 587,000.

    He raised from the cutoff and picked up calls from Diego Ventura (button) and Sylvain Loosli (big blind). The flop came [6c][2c][js] and the action was checked to Ventura who bet 17,000. Only Lebedev called and no more chips ventured forward as the [qd][kh] turn and river were checked through. Lebedev opened [ts][th] and Ventura mucked.

    The very next hand Lebedev raised to 11,000 from the cutoff but folded when Loosli shoved for 123,000 from the small blind. --MC

    5:31pm: Lebedev leading
    Level 15 - Blinds 2,500-5,000 (500 ante)

    Coming out of the last break, the Russian Sergey Lebedev had emerged as a new chip leader after building up to 580,000, with Dominik Nitsche, Jason Mercier, and Jerry Odeen all currently forming the chase pack.

    Mark Radoja had been in second position to start the new level, but fell back a bit after dropping that recent pot to William Arruda.

    Be sure to check the chip counts page for updates along the way as the field continues to shrink down. The top 27 finishers make the money. --MH

    5:23pm: Arruda-wakening for Radoja
    Level 15 - Blinds 2,500-5,000 (500 ante)

    Mark Radoja opened to 11,000 and faced a three-bet from William Arruda on the button. It folded back around to Radoja and he made the call.

    [9d][9h][6d] came the flop, and Radoja checked. Arruda made it 20,000, Radoja shoved, and Arruda called off his last 113,500.

    Radoja had an open-ender with the [8c][7c], while Arruda was ahead with his pocket jacks. The turn was the [6s], and the [qs] river changed nothing. Arruda bumps up to 288,000, just behind Radoja now who has 295,000. --JS

    5:19pm: Pretty Gross for Nordh
    Level 15 - Blinds 2,500-5,000 (500 ante)

    Gustav Nordh will have a battle to get into the money after he dropped to 38,500 by doubling up Jeff Gross.

    Nordh opened to 12,000 from early position and then moved all in after Gross three-bet to 31,000 from the button. The latter called all in for 139,500.

    Nordh: [jc][jh]
    Gross: [kd][kc]

    The board ran [ts][9c][9d][qd][kh] to hand Gross a full house. He blew out a sigh of relief and sat back down. --MC


    Gross grabs some

    5:13pm: Level 15 begins; 44 left
    Level 15 - Blinds 2,500-5,000 (500 ante)

    Level 15 is underway. Two more one-hour levels and they'll be taking a dinner break. --MH

    Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.

    4:55pm: Break time


    The remaining players are taking another 15-minute break. --MH

    4:54pm: Sam Greenwood eliminated
    Level 14 - Blinds 2,000-4,000 (500 ante)

    Sam Greenwood is no longer in the pack as he's been eliminated but Christoph Vogelsang. Sam Chartier was kind enough to fill in the blog on some of the details.

    Vogelsang opened from the cutoff and called when Greenwood three-bet from the small blind. The flop fanned [kd][7d][6h] and Greenwood continued. Call. On the [kh] turn Greenwood check-called all in with [ad][5d]. Vogelsang had the other flush draw with [ah][qh] and improved to it on the [8h] river.

    Vogelsang gave a lot of those chips back the very next hand. He opened and called after Romain Lewis moved all in for 64,800 from the small blind with [ah][9h]. Vogelsang opened [kh][qc] but the board came a French flavoured [as][2d][6h][2s][8c]. -- MC


    Down one Greenwood

    4:53pm: Wham, bam, thank you Shyam (says Billard)
    Level 14 - Blinds 2,000-4,000 (500 ante)

    A huge pot just played out between Francois Billard and Shyam Srinivasan. A flurry of raises ended with Billard four-bet shoving for 151,000 with pocket queens and Srinivasan snap-calling with [Ac][Kh].

    The [3s][4d][Js][4h][6c] board meant Srinivasan handed over the vast majority of his chips to the Canadian as he's down to 46,000. --NW

    4:47pm: Elevating Lebedev now among the big stacks
    Level 14 - Blinds 2,000-4,000 (500 ante)

    Sergey Lebedev has been on a good run since returning from the last break. Incidentally, the next break isn't far away, coming in about 10 minutes when this level concludes.

    In one big hand he busted Or Hadad with pocket aces against Hadad's pocket queens for a half-million pot. Then Lebedev just picked up a pot from Luc Greenwood where Greenwood bluffed the river on a [5h][2d][3d][td][jd] board with [ac][ks]. Lebedev called with just [6d][6h] and his diamond won it.

    Lebedev now has 600,000. --JS

    4:41pm: Luc Greenwood backhanded by Palma
    Level 14 - Blinds 2,000-4,000 (500 ante)

    "You actually had a hand this time, I'm impressed -- not ace-deuce or king-eight!" needled Nick Palma to Luc Greenwood after the latter hit quads to double through him.

    Greenwood had opened to 11,000 from the cutoff before Palma three-bet to 32,000 from the small blind. Greenwood then shoved and Palma said he didn't raise to fold and called all in for 129,500.

    Greenwood: [ah][qs]
    Palma: [7h][7c]

    The flop fell [kc][5h][as] to see Greenwood take the lead, but Palma came storming back to make quads as the board ran out [7d], then [7s]. Palma is up around 270,000 now while Greenwood drops to just a little more than that with 280,000. --MC

    4:38pm: Exits
    Level 14 - Blinds 2,000-4,000 (500 ante)

    Down to 46 now in the High Roller with Zvi Stern, Rui Ferreira, Joaa Simao, Jean Paul Zaffran, Bernardo Dias, Kyle Frey,Or Hadad, Fernando Brito, Rafael Da Silva Moraes, Anthony Zinno, Moshin Charania and Paul Dando among the latest players to bust out. --NW

    4:35pm: It took him a while, but Radoja makes great call to bust Zisimopoulos
    Level 14 - Blinds 2,000-4,000 (500 ante)

    Georgios Zisimopoulos had shoved all in two hands in a row, but on the second time he'd get called and be behind. It was Mark Radoja who played executioner, even if it did take him a good few minutes and the clock being called to make the decision.

    Zisimopoulos opened to 9,000 and Radoja three-bet to 25,000 on the button. Zisimopoulos then opted to four-bet jam for 89,400 and Radoja went into the tank.

    After a few minutes, Zisimopoulos told him: "If you fold I show."

    "If I call I'm really gambling," replied Radoja. "Do you wanna gamble?"

    Zisimopoulos didn't respond but he did call the clock, so Radoja only had a minute to decide. About 40 seconds later he stuck a big stack of 5K chips in and the cards were on their backs.

    Mark Radoja: [qs][9s]
    Georgios Zisimopoulos: [th][9h]

    It turned out to be a great call by Radoja as he was ahead with a better kicker to his nine. The flop paired both nines too - [ad][4s][9c]. The turn was the [8h] and the river the [2c], eliminating Zisimopoulos. "Good luck boys," he said as got his coat.

    Radoja now has 530,000. --JS


    Zisimopoulos down to zero

    4:31pm: Bleiker building
    Level 14 - Blinds 2,000-4,000 (500 ante)

    From the hijack Mark Radoja opened to 9,000, Felix Bleiker called on the button, and Dario Samamrtino did likewise from the big blind.

    The flop was a tasty looking [9c][Kc][Qs]. Radoja c-bet 11,500, but both he and Sammartino folded after Bleiker raised it up to 35,000. The Swiss player is up to 220,000, whilst Radoja has a very healthy 415,000. --NW

    4:25pm: Akin vs Arne
    Level 14 - Blinds 2,000-4,000 (500 ante)

    It was a case of who'd blink first in a recent hand between Akin Tuna and Arne Coulier. The former opened to 10,000 in the cutoff and Coulier then came over the top with a raise to 24,500 on the button. It folded back round to Tuna and he pretty swiftly four-bet to 65,000 straight.

    Coulier had about 89,000 back and decided to preserve that stack as he folded. Tuna is up to 230,000. --NW

    4:18pm: Nordh doubles through Sam Greenwood
    Level 14 - Blinds 2,000-4,000 (500 ante)

    Sam Greenwood spent most of Day 1 at, or near, the top of the counts. He's back in the pack with 180,000 though after doubling up Gustav Nordh.

    The Swede raised from the cutoff, then went on to bet 10,000, 25,000, then all in for 21,500 on a [5c][ts][7s][8c][5d] board. Greenwood was in the big blind and called all the way to the river where he tanked. He looked up at the sky and seemingly talked the hand through to himself. When he titled his head back down it was to reach for a calling chip.

    Nordh opened [jh][jc] and Greenwood flashed his [8d][9d] before mucking. --MC

    4:08pm: Ferreira is gone at the hands of Radoja; Nitsche gets stronger
    Level 14 - Blinds 2,000-4,000 (500 ante)

    Rui Ferreira jammed for his last 45,800 and was called by Mark Radoja on the button. Everyone else folded and the cards were on their backs: [as][8c] for Ferreira and [ahj][jh] for Radoja. No help came on the flop, turn or river for Ferreira and he was eliminated.

    Meanwhile, Dominik Nitsche has extended his chip lead even further. --JS

    Mark Radoja -- 460,000
    Dominik Nitsche -- 570,000

    3:55pm: Level 14 begins
    Level 14 - Blinds 2,000-4,000 (500 ante)

    The price of poker has just gone up. There are 49 players remaining. --MH

    3:54pm: Nitsche busts Kurganov in super-aggro preflop battle
    Level 13 - Blinds 1,500-3,000 (400 ante)

    Wow, that escalated quickly.

    Dominik Nitsche opened to 7,000 and Igor Kurganov put in a big 3-bet to 41,000. Nitsche then shoved and Kurganov called off his remaining stack for what looked to be roughly 160,000.

    Igor Kurganov [ah][kd]
    Dominik Nitsche [9h][9s]

    The board ran out [3d][qh][4c][8c][7d] and Igor was no more. Nitsche meanwhile, is almost certainly our new chip leader with 530,000. --JS


    Kurganov (center) has been cut down

    3:52pm: Drinan down flush street
    Level 13 - Blinds 1,500-3,000 (400 ante)

    Connor Drinan had dropped to around 61,000 after he paid off Luiz Duarte, and his flush, on the river.

    The latter had bet 32,100 from the small blind when the board read [7d][ah][jd][2d]. Drinan was in the hijack and made the call. The river came as [5s] and Duarte moved all in for 68,000. Drinan tanked for a few minutes before calling with [ad][tc]. It was no good as Duarte opened [8d][9d]. --MC

    3:51pm: Adams heroes river, is right
    Level 13 - Blinds 1,500-3,000 (400 ante)

    Timothy Adams was deep in the tank by the time I arrived at the table. The Canadian had been set all in by Ariel Celestino and was thinking over his decision. He was starring at a [2d][Ah][2h][4s][Qd] board and there was a pot of somewhere in the region of 72,500 in the middle.

    Adams had 54,400 back and the conclusion he came to was that they, too, should go into the pot. Celestino showed [Kh][9h] for the busted flush draw, whilst Adams had [Kd][Qh] for the winning hand. He's up to around 185,000 whilst Celestino slips to 65,000. --NW

    3:35pm: Luc loving those rivers
    Level 13 - Blinds 1,500-3,000 (400 ante)

    Luc Greenwood sat in his seat, thinking long and hard over whether he should call all in or not. He had 22 big blinds and had been asked the question for all of them.

    The action had folded around to Sylvain Loosli in the small blind and he set his Canadian opponent all in. It took around three minutes before Greenwood flicked in a chip to indicate a call.

    Loosli: [ac][7d]
    Greenwood: [kd][8d]

    The board ran [4c][ts][jc][7h][8h] with Greenwood getting out of it on the river. Loosli dropped to 61,000.

    Word reached blogging row that Greenwood was up to his old tricks the very next hand. The action folded around to him in the small blind and he moved all in with [ac][2s]. Fernando Brito was in the big blind with fewer chips and called all in with [ad][qs]. The board ran [6s][8c][9s][ks][2c] to hit Greenwood on the river again! He moved up to 225,000 as Brito was moved out. --MC

    3:21pm: Prize pool and payouts
    Level 13 - Blinds 1,500-3,000 (400 ante)

    Here's a full look at those payouts. The top 27 finishers are dividing up a €1,794,500 total prize pool. --MH

    1st - €397,500
    2nd - €268,270
    3rd - €184,650
    4th - €150,550
    5th - €120,050
    6th - €92,240
    7th - €67,120
    8th - €48,630
    9th - €40,200
    10th-11th - €34,100
    12th-15th - €29,610
    16th-17th - €24,220
    18th-20th - €21,530
    21st-23rd - €19,740
    24th-27th - €17,950

    3:14pm: Geilich gone
    Level 13 - Blinds 1,500-3,000 (400 ante)

    Ludovic Geilich just ran pocket kings into the pocket aces of Joao Vieira, and following a queen-high runout Geilich is out and Vieira up to 270,000. --MH


    Ludovic Geilich is gone

    3:02pm: So long, Soulier
    Level 13 - Blinds 1,500-3,000 (400 ante)

    Fabrice Soulier was just all in and at risk with pocket jacks against the ace-king of Marco Leonzio. Alas for Soulier, Leonzio won the race and the Frenchman is out.

    Leonzio is up to 175,000 with 60 players remaining. --MH


    Soulier sunk

    2:57pm: Mercier moves in front
    Level 13 - Blinds 1,500-3,000 (400 ante)

    Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier had a profitable first two levels today, moving up in the counts to claim first position with 61 players left to begin Level 13. He's up to 375,000 now.

    Mark Radoja has also moved way up over the 350,000 mark, while Dominik Nitsche sits just behind with about 345,000. Be sure to the chip counts page for the latest chip movement. --MH


    Jason jumps in front

    2:55pm: Level 13 begins
    Level 13 - Blinds 1,500-3,000 (400 ante)

    Players are back and play has resumed. --MH

    Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.

    2:40pm: Break time; 61 remain

    The remaining 61 players are taking their first 15-minute break of the day. --MH

    2:35pm: Stern's ticked off about clock
    Level 12 - Blinds 1,200-2,400 (300 ante)

    Zvi Stern is not happy right now, having branded the fact that the clock was called on him "rude".

    We're not sure who did the clock-calling, but here was the situation. Stern faced a big river three-bet from Ariel Celestino of around 60,000 with the board showing the [4c][kc][9s][5d][7d]. He'd obviously been taking his time in other hands prior to this, and his three-and-a-half minute decision was the last straw.

    About 30 seconds of the clock ticked down before Stern made the call and Celestino flipped over [kd][9c] for top two. Stern insta-mucked and then made his complaint.

    "It was not rude," said Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier, one of Stern's tablemates. "I think that every person would vote that you had long enough." --JS

    Zvi Stern -- 145,000
    Ariel Celestino -- 141,000


    He was given a Stern talking to...

    2:24pm: Kanit can't collect double in Dublin
    Level 12 - Blinds 1,200-2,400 (300 ante)

    Connor Drinan raised from the small blind and Mustapha Kanit reraised his short stack all in from the big blind, earning a quick call from Drinan.

    Drinan: [Js][Jd]
    Kanit: [Ac][7s]

    Kanit began rubbing his hole cards back and forth on the felt in anticipation of the flop, as if to conjure good things. The flop wasn't so bad for him, coming [5d][8h][4c] to provide a gutshot possibility.

    "Wow," said Kanit.

    The turn was pretty good, too, pairing him up with the [7d].

    "Send it!" Kanit petitioned the dealer.

    But the [5c] river didn't help the Italian, and he's out.


    I lose? What is happening, bro?

    With 64 players left, Drinan is up to 155,000. --MH

    2:15pm: NOW he talks
    Level 12 - Blinds 1,200-2,400 (300 ante)

    Fabrice Soullier was tangled up in a hefty pot with Samuel Vousden from Finland. Soullier began the pot with an open to 6,000 before Vousden 3-bet to 14,000. Soullier called and the two saw the [th][6h][5d] flop. It went check-check, and the [td] hit the turn. Now Soullier led for 17,500 and Vousden called. The river came the [4h] and Soullier checked, and now Vousden put out a big bet of 59,000.

    Soullier went deep into the tank on this one. He was chatting to Vousden, trying to get him to mutter anything of significance, but he got nothing out of him.

    He eventually folded, and after someone said nice hand to Vousden he responded with "Thanks".

    "Oh, so now you talk huh?" said Soullier, jokingly.

    "I'm just not as talkative as you," replied Vousden.

    Soullier thought for a moment and said: "Well, maybe that's because your hand was better, huh?"

    Fabrice Soullier 80,000
    Samuel Vousden 195,000 -JS

    2:05pm: Nordh beats Vieira
    Level 12 - Blinds 1,200-2,400 (300 ante)

    Joao Vieira opened to 6,400 and found one caller in Gustav Nordh. We saw a [kh][8c][ac] flop and Vieira c-betted for the same 6,400 after it was checked to him. Nordh made the call and the turn was the [tc]. Nordh checked again and now the bet from Vieira was 11,800. It would be called and the [3s] landed on the river. Both checked and Nordh flipped over [as][jd] for top pair. It was good. -- JS

    Gustav Nordh -- 190,000
    Joao Vieira -- 82,000

    2:01pm: Leonard loses, Ghassan gathers
    Level 12 - Blinds 1,200-2,400 (300 ante)

    Patrick Leonard got the last of his stack in on the turn with the board showing [2h][Th][7h][Ts] and Leonard holding [Ah][7d] for tens and sevens plus a flush draw. Too bad for him, Ibrahim Ghassan had [Kc][Tc] for trip tens, and after the [5s] river Leonard was eliminated. Ghassan is up around 145,000 now. --MH

    1:51pm: Either/or situation for Dvoress ends in favor of Or
    Level 12 - Blinds 1,200-2,400 (300 ante)

    Following a [4h][6d][Tc] flop, Daniel Dvoress was all in with his short stack versus Or Hadad. Either Daniel's [Kd][Td] would hold up, or Or's [Jh][Th] would outdraw him.

    The [Jc] that spiked on the turn meant the latter option had come true, giving Hadad two pair, and after the [Qh] river Dvoress was eliminated. Hadad now has about 225,000. --MH

    1:40pm: Simao doubles through Mercier
    Level 12 - Blinds 1,200-2,400 (300 ante)

    With the board reading [tc][4h][2c], Mercier had put out a bet of 7,000 and Brazil's Joao Simao shoved for his last 31,100. Mercier made the call with pocket sevens but was trailing the [td][9d] of Simao. The [6s] turn and [ac] river changed nothing. --JS

    Jason Mercier -- 105,000
    Joao Simao -- 62,000

    1:36pm: Vamplew sent home
    Level 12 - Blinds 1,200-2,400 (300 ante)

    David Vamplew has been knocked out at the hands of Mark Radoja, who finished third in the Single-Day €10K and came into Day 2 in this event 2nd in chips.

    Vamplew stuck the last of his chips in with the [qs][6s] on a [js][8s][6d][kd] board, and was unsurprisingly called by Radoja with his pocket jacks. The river was the [6h], giving Vamplew a pointless set and improving Radoja to a boat.

    Radoja now has 303,000. --JS

    1:34pm: Level 12 begins
    Level 12 - Blinds 1,200-2,400 (300 ante)

    Just 75 players remain as Level 12 gets underway, with Nick Petrangelo and Antonio Ferreira the last couple of players eliminated. Meanwhile Dominik Nitsche has added a few to stay in the chip lead. He has about 315,000 now.


    Dominating Dominik

    You can check the live chip counts page for updates on where the chips are going. --MH

    1:21pm: Stern takes a big pot from Adams
    Level 11 - Blinds 1,000-2,000 (300 ante)

    Timothy Adams opened to 5,000 (for the second hand in a row), which found three callers in Zvi Stern, Ariel Celestino and Francois Billard.

    The dealer put out a [tc][3s][jc] flop, which both Billard and Adams would check. That allowed Stern to open the aggresion with a 7,800 bet, and only Adams would call.

    We saw the [6d] on the turn, and here's where the pot grew substantially. Adams checked once more and Stern continued for 16,800, but now Adams opted to 3-bet to 44,000. Stern didn't budge.

    To the river we went - the [3c]. Adams checked for a third and final time and then folded to Stern's 46,000 bet.

    That takes Stern up to 225,000, while Adams dips to 70,000. --JS

    1:11pm: Chance a chancer
    Level 11 - Blinds 1,000-2,000 (300 ante)

    Chance Kornuth is among the latest to fall here in the early going on Day 2 after tangling with Luuk Gieles over a pot and being unsuccessful. Kornuth joins Darrell Goh, Emil Ekvardt, and Luis Rodriguez Cruz on the rail. Gieles, meanwhile, jumps up over 250,000.

    After busting, Kornuth has wandered back to the tournament area and is chatting with those still in about taking pieces.
    "You can take a piece of me, Chance," called Dietrich Fast just after losing small one to chip leader Dominik Nitsche. "I'm cheap!" he added with a grin.

    A smiling Chance is considering Fast's offer. --MH

    1:05pm: Full treble up for Neuville; just a double for Frey
    Level 11 - Blinds 1,000-2,000 (300 ante)

    2015 November Niner Pierre Neuville just locked up a rather nice treble up. He came in to the day short, but now sits with a playable stack of 30 big blinds.

    Georgios Zisimopoulos kicked things off with an open to 4,500 and Felix Bleiker called from the small blind. Pierre Neuville then took this opportunity from the big blind to get his last 18,800 into the middle, and both Zisimopoulos and Bleiker called.

    The flop came [7d][qd][jh], and Zisimopoulos and Bleiker commenced the side pot, although not much would happen. Both checked the flop, then Zisimopoulos put out a bet on the [9h] turn and Bleiker gave it up, so the cards were on their backs.

    Pierre Neuville [qh][qc]
    Georgios Zisimopoulos [qs][9s]

    The river was an inconsequential [4h] and Neuville shot up to 60,000.

    The next hand saw Kyle Frey double through Zisimopoulos. The two got it all-in after Zisimopoulos made it 5,000, and Frey shoved for 46,100. It was the [as][qc] for Frey which had out-run Zisimopoulos' [8d][8h] on the [2h][ac][6c][9d][9c] board. --JS

    Kyle Frey -- 95,500
    Georgios Zisimopoulos -- 35,000

    12:56pm: Money, money, money
    Level 11 - Blinds 1,000-2,000 (300 ante)

    With late registration now closed, we can share information about the prize pool and payouts.

    The total of 185 entries (140 uniques, 45 re-entries) generated a total prize pool of €1,794,500 that will be divided among the top 27 finishers. A min-cash will be worth €17,950, while the winner is scheduled to receive a nifty €397,500. --MH

    12:49pm: MacDonnell, Watson out
    Level 11 - Blinds 1,000-2,000 (300 ante)

    Marc MacDonnell and Mike Watson are among the early busts here on Day 2, reducing the field to 82 players. --MH

    12:42pm: Two black aces for Drinan
    Level 11 - Blinds 1,000-2,000 (300 ante)

    Connor Drinan raised to 5,000 from under the gun, then watched Alex Difelice three-bet to 12,500 from the button. Drinan called, and the pair both checked after the [9c][6c][7d] flop and again after the [Td] turn.

    At the [9s] river Drinan fired 18,000, and after some thought Difelice called. Drinan tabled [As][Ac] and Difelice mucked. Drinan is up to 170,000 now while Difelice slips to just over 37,000. --MH


    Connor Drinan

    12:36pm: Three returners and one newcomer
    Level 11 - Blinds 1,000-2,000 (300 ante)

    It looks like just four new players joined the field to start today's Day 2. Bryn Kenney, Rafael Moraes, and Kevin Killeen all re-entered to start play today, while Scott Margereson -- who finished 19th in the EPT12 Dublin Main Event yesterday -- has joined the field for the first time.

    That brings the total number of entries to 185. Prize pool information should arrive before too long, and we'll forward that along when it does. --MH

    12:34pm: Day 2 begins
    Level 11 - Blinds 1,000-2,000 (300 ante)

    Day 2 has begun! Back shortly with a report on the under-the-wire entries and re-entries. --MH


    Time to unbag the chips, and unleash the poker

    11:55am: Nitsche leads €10K High Rollers into Day 2

    Welcome back to the Royal Dublin Society where the €10K High Roller moves into its second day of play. Dominik Nitsche has already won the UKIPT High Roller and taken second in the EPT Dublin €10K Single-Day High Roller, and after a fruitful first day for the German yesterday carries the chip lead into Day 2. Here's a look at the top of the leaderboard to start play today:

    1. Dominik Nitsche (Germany) -- 305,600
    2. Mark Radoja (Canada) -- 280,000
    3. Jerry Odeen (Sweden) -- 250,000
    4. Sam Greenwood (Canada) -- 248,300
    5. Ben Heath (UK) -- 240,300
    6. Felix Bleiker (Switzerland) -- 212,000
    7. Vladas Tamasuaskas (Lithuania) -- 198,100
    8. Jason Mercier (USA) -- 189,300
    9. Sam Chartier (Canada) -- 187,400
    10. Luuk Gieles (Netherlands) -- 185,500

    Also returning to big stacks are Ariel Celestino, Shyam Srinivasan, Kevin MacPhee, Jeff Gross, and the EPT Dublin 25K High Roller champion Mustapha Kanit. You can click here for a full list of chip counts from the end of Day 1.

    Additionally, click here for a look through the Day 1 live updates, and click here for the Day 1 recap.

    Late registration and the last chance to re-enter ends with the start of play today, so we'll soon know just how many entries there are as well as prize pool information. They'll play six one-hour levels today, take a one-hour dinner break, then come back for four or five more levels or stop if they get to an eight-handed final table.

    Play begins a little over a half-hour from now. Join us then for start-to-finish coverage of Day 2! --MH

    Want to start your own EPT campaign? Sign up for PokerStars and start your journey. Click here to get an account.

    Take a look at the official website of the EPT, with tournament schedule, news, results and accommodation details for the rest of the season.

    Also all the schedule information is on the EPT App, which is available on both Android or IOS.

    PokerStars Blog reporting team on the EPT12 Dublin €10K High Roller Day 2: Marc Convey (rhythm guitar, vocals), Martin Harris (lead guitar), Jack Stanton (bass), and Nick Wright (drums and percussion). Photography by Jules Pochy. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter:@PokerStarsBlog

  • 19 February

    Get Wimbledon tickets in VIP Store today!

    So you want to see Wimbledon but don't fancy shelling out big bucks for tickets.

    That's fine. How about you just pick up some in the PokerStars VIP Club Store?

    Today, the PokerStars VIP Club store put up some sweet seats that you can get exclusively with StarsCoin.


    For the price of 80,000 StarsCoin, you will get two tickets to the Wimbledon Centre Court Ladies Semi-Final, Thursday 7th July with President's Suite Hospitality. If that sounds good, check out what you actually get in the President's Suite.

    • A reserved table throughout the day
    • Plated starter
    • Two-course buffet
    • Traditional afternoon tea with strawberries and cream
    • Drinks package of Pimms, wine, beer, and soft drinks
    • Insight into the day's play from a guest speaker
    • Open from 11 am until 9 pm or half an hour after close of play, whichever is sooner

    There aren't many left, so if you want them, get them today. Note: the tickets will be sent to a UK address one week before the match via Royal Mail Special Delivery and require a signature.

    For those tickets and more, check out everything in the PokerStars VIP Club Store.

    Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.
    is the PokerStars Head of Blogging.

  • 19 February

    EPT12 Dublin: Dzmitry Urbanovich leads final six of Main Event. Surprised?

    There was arguably a theme to this fifth day of the EPT Dublin Main Event. It was simple. The short stacks came and went, leaving the big stacks to lay claim to a final table spot. There was just one exception to this rule, and a familiar one too. It c...

  • 19 February

    Smile! You’re on Kid Poker Camera!

    PokerStars is celebrating 100 million players this month. Today, we celebrate its best-known.

    Say what you will about Daniel Negreanu. Go ahead. There's nothing that hasn't been said before. Talk about his eating habits. Talk about his ego. Talk about his intentions. You're not going to say anything new.

    Kid Poker is a polarizing figure in poker. There is no one in the game as successful as Negreanu who also lives his life so ear-shatteringly aloud. Negreanu is a man of opinions--some controversial--that he seems almost compelled to share with the world. For many people, this turns Negreanu into a figure one either loves or hates.

    Know this: if you're one of his haters, you're in the minority. There are a lot more people who are on the love side of that coin, and you only have to watch Negreanu for a few minutes to see why.

    By 2007, Daniel Negreanu had already established himself as one of poker's best and most beloved players. That year, PokerStars made what was unquestionably its biggest-ever pick-up when it signed Kid Poker to its Team PokerStars Pro stable.

    There are more than a few reasons why PokerStars put a red spade on Negreanu's chest. He's among the best in the game. He is a good spokesman. He works hard.

    Even if none of those things were enough, he'd likely still be a Team Pro based on one thing alone: his fans love him, and those fans outnumber everybody else's in a way that's hard to accurately quantify.


    One of countless photos Negreanu has taken with fans

    That fact was never more clear than this past summer when Negreanu came within a couple spots of making the WSOP Main Event final table. At no time in the WSOP's modern history has there been a crowd as big and supportive as there was when Negreanu looked like he might win the WSOP. Outside of Doyle Brunson (and, fine, maybe Phil Hellmuth), there is no one else who could draw as big of a crowd to watch nine people play cards.

    There are a lot of reasons for this. There is probably a book to be written about just how he's managed to turn himself from a pool hustler into one of the world's most recognizable poker players. Nevertheless, for the many reasons he is successful, there should be no discounting of what might be his greatest talent:

    He knows how to be nice to his fans.


    Over the past decade in poker, there has been a never-ending chorus of people who have spent countless hours whining about how they can't get a poker sponsorship. They're good at the game. They've won lots of money. "Why?" they have often wondered aloud. "Why won't a poker company sponsor me? How am I any different than Daniel Negreanu?"

    To answer that question, you only have to go on Twitter and ask, "Have you ever had your picture taken with Daniel Negreanu?"

    Want to join Daniel at PokerStars? Click here to get an account.

    Ten years ago, Lori Johnson started going to the World Series of Poker so her mother could see Daniel Negreanu. Each year, they would find him and spend as much time on his rail as they could.

    On one of those trips, Johnson and her mother were watching Negreanu and Todd Brunson at the same table during the WSOP Main Event. That's when Negreanu turned around and posed a question for Johnson's 72-year-old mother.

    "Have you ever smoked pot?"

    "I told her to plead the fifth. ESPN was there and dozens of other fans," Johnson said.

    But Mama Johnson wasn't going to miss her chance to talk to Kid Poker.

    "One time," she admitted for everybody to hear.

    Negreanu and the rest of the table laughed. "I want to hear the story," he said.

    "So, while they are all playing in the $10,000 Main Event, everyone at the table listens to my mom's story of how her and my dad somehow got a 'marijuana cigarette'," Johnson said.

    "A joint?" Negrenau said.

    "Yes. A joint," Mama Johnson said. "We went into the bathroom and each took one puff, and then my daughter came home and said that it smelled like pot in the house."

    Negreanu looked and the younger Johnson woman and said, "You are so busted."


    Though it was at least seven years ago, Lori remembers it like it was yesterday.

    "Now she is known as the pot lady on the rail," Loris said. "Each and every time we have seen him since then he has made it a point to wave my mom and I over if he is way back behind the ropes, or he comes up to the ropes and makes sure to take a picture of her. In fact last year when we were there, he was way in the back and waved us back. So, we walked back and he gave her a hug and took a picture. She looked at all the guys he was playing with at the table and said she was sorry but that she wanted Daniel to take all of their chips. They all laughed."

    Last summer, Negreanu had promised the Johnson women they would have a seat in he Penn & Teller Theater if he made the November Nine. They were crushed when he missed it, but it did nothing to stop their love for him.

    "All I know is just how great is treats my mom, and that's all I need to know about him," Johnson said. "He said she reminds him of his mother. Someone saying that--who truly loved their mom--really meant the world to me."

    lorpsie_2016-Feb-01 copy.jpg

    Lori Johnson with Negreanu

    If this were something that had happened once, it might be written off as a fluke or a flashing moment of charity.

    It is no fluke. This is how Negreanu lives his life. Though he is a guarded many who values his privacy and his time alone, he routinely goes out of his way to accommodate the people he puts above himself: his fans.

    There will be people--even smart, good people--who write off the above as hyperbole or will say it's all tainted by Negreanu's self-interest. They are free to believe that, but it will make no difference to Negreanu's fans. Even people who don't like his opinions end up liking him.


    Take Kyle Bernard, for instance.

    He loves Negreanu's game, and he hates his politics. Last summer, Bernard happened to see Negreanu talking politics on Twitter.

    "I decided to tweet at him because of our difference in views. I instantly got a response and was pretty pumped that my favorite player took the time to respond to me," Bernard said.

    It didn't end there. The conversation continued through the 2015 American political season.

    "It wasn't just tweets of politics," Bernard said. "There were others, like him playing soccer, being a beast pumping iron, something vegan, and some like his goal settings and other inspirational tweets. Most of the time he's debating someone because obviously not everyone agrees with everything he posts--he could say the sky's blue and he'd get debated."

    Last November, Bernard ran into him at Jennifer Harman's NSPCA charity event.

    "He was trying to get situated and find a table to be seated. so I walked up to him and said 'Hey, I'm Kyle' as I shook his hand," Bernard said. He replied quickly with, 'Hey, I know who you are' with a slight chuckle. The first thing he says is, 'This is the guy that talks trash to me on twitter all the time!' We go back and forth talking politics as usual, and I finally asked him for a picture, which is where that picture comes from with the look of 'It's this guy' on his face."


    The stories go on and on. There are the fans on the rail. There are the amateurs at the table. And then, there is the star-struck Seniors player who waited for Negreanu to finish eating at the Empire Casino before asking for a photo.

    "I liked him because of how much of an icon he is," Karl Parrish said. "Even now I have the photo framed and hanging on office wall."


    Karl Parrish and Negreanu

    Whether he is eating in a café, running out of the bathroom, or still stinging from busting out of a tournament, Negreanu still manages to find a smile for his fans.

    "He's someone I look up to not only as a player but as someone who is an ambassador for something he loves and has a great passion for," said Jose Miguel Meneses after meeting Negreanu at the debut of the documentary Kid Poker.


    Now in his 40s, Negreanu has been around long enough to see something not many pros do: his fans have become his opponents.

    Years ago, now EPT-champ Rupert Elder was a still a kid with a dream.

    "Back then the pool of top pros I recognised off TV was a lot less diluted than it is now," Elder said. "In the UK I watched WPT and WSOP coverage, and Daniel was very prominent in all of them. So I was without a doubt a fan boy. I'm still a fan, even though I disagree with him on many issues he has been vocal about. But I also see him more as a fellow professional now - poker player as well as superstar."

    What's more, Elder still has the picture he took with Negreanu after running into him at 5am in the Coral Lobby of the Atlantis resort.


    Baby Elder and Kid Poker

    There is no telling where Negreanu's career goes from here. These days, in addition to his vast tournament schedule, he's challenged himself to play 200 hours of high stakes cash games and win $250,000.

    For most of his fans, the idea of earning $250,000 a year is a dream that might never realize. Nevertheless, they flic to his rail, scrunch in for selfies, and proudly keep those photos on their phone to show off wherever they can.

    Before the end of the day, Daniel Negreanu will likely say something or post a Tweet that frustrates or angers a legion of people around the world. He'll probably pick a position and fight for it until there's nothing but scorched earth below his feet. He'll find some new and clever way to get under someone's skin. He will do all of this, seemingly, for the sport of it.

    And when he's done, no matter how many people are flaming him on the internet or mumbling curses under their breath, Negreanu fans will outnumber his detractors by a factor so big, it's not even worth calculating.


    It's simple, really.

    Because he's Daniel Negreanu. Love him or hate him, beyond being one of the best poker players in the world, he is hands down the best ambassador the game has ever had.

    Want to see more photos of Negreanu & fans through the years? We've posted a gallery below

    PokerStars is celebrating 100 million players this month. See how you can join in the celebration and win some big money here.

    Other stories from this series:

    Meet PokerStars' longest-serving player of all time
    The ghosts of WCOOP
    The Moneymaker Boom that almost wasn't
    Alexander Stevic and the start of a new era in poker
    The PokerStars Sunday Million Two-Timer Club

    2NoLimitNBeyond_2016-Feb-01.jpgcardplayerlife_2016-Feb-01.pngcourtiebee_2016-Feb-01.jpgEddySabat_2016-Feb-01.jpg JBeachnau_2016-Feb-01.jpg JimSinkovic_2016-Feb-01.jpg jizzildur_2016-Feb-01.jpg kissapig_2016-Feb-01.jpg woo_el_2016-Feb-01.jpg Arnthorsson_2016-Feb-01.jpg CasertaMaestro_2016-Feb-01.jpg dannysaddoo1_2016-Feb-01.jpg PDro_Almeida_2016-Feb-02.jpg coreysimon_2016-Feb-01.jpg CoryPansano_2016-Feb-01.jpg emd_2016-Feb-01.jpg Hulley16_2016-Feb-01.jpg ispeakFarC_2016-Feb-01.jpg jdgrover_2016-Feb-01.jpg KNQPL_2016-Feb-01.jpg L_Tse_2016-Feb-02.jpg lauriehawman_2016-Feb-01.jpg mgrish_2016-Feb-01.jpg mixmastered_2016-Feb-01.jpg Naughto89_2016-Feb-01.jpg NoChopBrock_2016-Feb-01.jpg Rejeena27_2016-Feb-01.jpg Thumbikin_2016-Feb-01.jpg trbrain_2016-Feb-01.jpg

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    is the PokerStars Head of Blogging.

  • 19 February

    EPT12 Dublin: €10K High Roller Day 2 live updates

    * 13 of 185 entries remain (140 uniques, 45 re-entries)

    1:10am: Play ends, Lebedev leads
    Level 20 - Blinds 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

    Play has ended for the day with 13 players remaining. Sergey Lebedev leads overnight:

    Sergey LebedevRussia1,522,000
    Emil PatelFinland1,339,000
    Ryan RiessUSA1,174,000
    Akin TunaGermany1,100,000
    Timothy AdamsCanada758,000
    Jerry OdeenSweden596,000
    Rocco PalumboItaly565,000
    Davidi KitaiBelgium512,000
    Willliam ArrudaBrazil458,000
    Sam ChartierCanada458,000
    Christoph VogelsangGermany310,000
    Samuel PanzicaUSA276,000
    Diego VenturaPeru157,000

    1am: Final four
    Level 20 - Blinds 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

    The clock has been paused and the players will play four more hands before ending for the day. --NW

    12:55am: Double up for Vogelsang
    Level 20 - Blinds 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

    Down to just 119,000 Christoph Vogelsang moved all in from under the gun and found a caller in the shape of Willliam Arruda.

    Vogelsang: [Qc][Qd]
    Arruda: [8h][8d]

    The [9s][Qh][7d][7h][3c] board meant Vogelsang had it wrapped up by the turn. He's doubled to around 276,000 as a result. --NW

    12:45am: Lebedev cracks aces to take the chip lead
    Level 20 - Blinds 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

    Sergey Lebedev is up to 1,691,000, good for the chip lead.

    In the hand that took him there Samuel Panzica raised from the cutoff, Lebedev called from the small blind and Diego Ventura did likewise from the big blind.

    On the [2h][Th][Kc] flop Panzica bet 43,000 and Lebedev was the only caller. On the [Qs] turn the Russian changed tactics, leading for 100,000. Call from Panzica. The [7s] fell on fifth street, Lebedev bet 225,000 and Panzica swiftly called. The former showed [Qc][Qd] for a turned set and although Panzica didn't show he said he had aces. He's down to 415,000 after that loss. --NW

    12:35am: Huge pot for Patel as Vogelsang misreads the board
    Level 20 - Blinds 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

    Emil Patel is up to 1,280,000 whilst Christoph Vogelsang is down to just 128,000 in a hand where we think Vogelsang misread the board as at first he thought he had the winner at showdown.

    We missed the pre-flop action but on the [9c][6h][Qd] board Vogelsang (under the gun) bet 55,000 and Patel (big blind) check-called. The pattern repeated itself on the [6d] turn with Patel calling a bet of 150,000.

    The [7d] rounded off the board and after Patel checked for a third time Vogelsang slid out a bet of 395,000 which was slightly more than the 375,000 that Patel had behind. The latter called and Vogelsang showed [Kd][Kc] and thought he'd won when Patel showed [Ad][9d]. But Patel had the nut flush for the winning hand and the majority of Vogelsang's chips were pushed his way. --NW

    Update: we spoke to Patel when play ended and he told us that Vogelsang didn't misread the board he just didn't see that Patel had a flush straightaway.


    Patel's shot up the chip counts

    12:25am: Tuna's comeback continues
    Level 20 - Blinds 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

    Akin Tuna has had a storming 20 minutes. He was as low as 160,000 and now he's up to 1,075,000 after winning a big pot against Chartier.

    The Canadian called bets of 55,000, 80,000 and 150,000 on a [4s][3c][5h][6d][Qc] board and lost out to Tuna's [Qd][2s]. As a result Chartier is in the danger zone with just 335,000. --NW

    12:21am: Last level of the night
    Level 20 - Blinds 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

    This is the last level of the night...probably. Christoph Vogelsang just asked the TD if they can play on should they not reach the final table. She told him that's an option, but only if everyone agrees. Which is unlikely. --NW

    12:20am: Panzica makes the nut flush
    Level 19 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

    Samuel Panzica just made the nut flush in a hand against Jerry Odeen and extracted two streets of value. They'd called from the blinds after Rocco Palumbo raised to 26,000 on the button. There was no betting on the [As][Qh][9s] flop but Panzica bet 48,000 and then 122,000 on the [2s] turn and [2d] river with Odeen calling all the way. Panzica opened [Ks][Js] for the nut flush and took the pot. --NW

    Samuel Panzica, 880,000
    Jerry Odeen, 530,000

    12:15am: Arruda can't can Tuna
    Level 19 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

    Sound the sick call klaxon!

    Willliam Arruda opened to 26,000 from the button, Akin Tuna called from the small blind and Sam Chartier stuck around from the big blind.

    On the [Ah][3c][Jh] flop Arruda c-bet 45,000 and Tuna was the only caller. The [5h] turn completed the flush draw and Arruda bet again, this time 90,000 and again Tuna called.

    The German had just 196,000 back and on the [7h] river Arruda bet enough to set him all in.
    He took off his sunglasses and headphones and tried to chat to Arruda, who stayed silent. Arruda was starring at Tuna though and the German put his headphones back in as he tried to work out what to do.

    After another couple of minutes he called all in and was handsomely rewarded. Arrunda had [5s][2s] for nothing but a pair of fives, meaning Tuna's [Ac][2c] was the winning hand. What a call! He's up to 760,000 now and has leapfrogged Arruda, who's dropped to 750,000. --NW


    Tuna is no fish, what a call

    12:05am: Felix Bleiker eliminated in 14th place (€26,910)
    Level 19 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

    By the time Felix Bleiker made his move, he'd just dipped below the stack of Akin Tuna, the player who sent him to the rail.

    Tuna opened to 25,000 from the hijack with [qd][jd] and then made a quick call after Bleiker three-bet all in for 156,000 with [5c][5h] from the next seat. The board came [as][8d][jc][8h][tc] to make the German two pair. --MC

    11:45pm: Tuna trying to swim upstream
    Level 19 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

    Despite being one of the shortest stacks of the remaining players Akin Tuna is playing the most pots of anyone. At the moment it's not working as he's seen his stack cut in half during level 19. He's lost two significant pots to drop to 160,000.

    The first was against Emil Patel, he raised to 30,000 and Tuna called from the cutoff. Patel then check-called bets of 40,000 and 80,000 on the [9c][Qd][2s] flop and [4s] turn before moving all in on the [Kc] river.

    He had Tuna covered and the German tank-folded. Having recovered by winning a few small pots - including one where he raised with aces and got no action - Tuna then tangled with Christoph Vogelsang. The high stakes cash pro raised to 28,000 on the button and Tuna called from the big blind.

    The [3c][Ts][Ad] flop checked through and Tuna then led for 25,000 on the [7s] turn. Call from Vogelsang. The [2h] completed the board and Tuna bet again. This time 45,000 was the price and it was a price Vogelsang was willing to pay. Tuna showed [Kd][7d] but Vogelsang had a hand, [Qs]][Qd] meaning Tuna is now the shortest stack of the remaining players. --NW

    11:30pm: Sylvain Loosli eliminated in 15th place (€26,910)
    Level 19 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)


    No second high roller title this season for Loosli

    EPT12 Barcelona High Roller champion Sylvain Loosli was the first player to depart this level.

    He opened to 28,000 from under the gun before Jerry Odeen three-bet to 70,000 from the button. Loosli went all in for around 350,000 and Odeen called.

    Loosli: [ad][kd]
    Odeen: [tc][ts]

    The board ran [7s][6h][js][qs][9c] failing to improve either player. Odeen's stack jumped up to around 970,000.

    That's two players out from Table 2 since the redraw so Ryan Riess has been moved into the seat vacated by Loosli so both tables are balanced with seven players apiece. -- MC

    11:10pm: Riess leads the final 15
    Level 19 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

    The players are back for the final two levels of the night, although should they reach the final table of eight then play will cease for the night.

    Ryan RiessUSA1,340,000
    Sergey LebedevRussia1,125,000
    Willliam ArrudaBrazil1,010,000
    Christoph VogelsangGermany980,000
    Sam ChartierCanada690,000
    Jerry OdeenSweden610,000
    Emil PatelFinland520,000
    Samuel PanzicaUSA500,000
    Timothy AdamsCanada490,000
    Akin TunaGermany385,000
    Rocco PalumboItaly383,000
    Sylvain LoosliFrance379,000
    Davidi KitaiBelgium325,000
    Diego VenturaPeru285,000
    Felix BleikerSwitzerland170,000

    10:58pm: Last break of the night
    Level 18 - Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

    The players are on a 20-minute break. Two more levels are scheduled for tonight; play will only stop before that time if the final table of eight is reached. -- MC

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    10:55pm: Jeff Gross eliminated in 16th place (€24,220)
    Level 18 - Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)


    Not too Gross a finish for Jeff

    Jeff Gross winced a little after he was called by Timothy Adams and saw his hand.

    Adams had opened to 23,000 from under the gun and called after Gross three-bet all in for 173,000 from the button.

    Adams: [ac][kh]
    Gross: [as][qd]

    The board ran [ah][9c][tc][2h][7h] meaning Adams' kicker remained in play and he moved on up to 500,000. -- MC

    10:45pm: Last 16 redraw
    Level 18 - Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

    This is the second to last redraw of the tournament. The final one will take place with nine players remaining. --MC

    SeatTable 1Table 2
    1Sam ChartierSergey Lebedev
    2Davidi KitaiDiego Ventura
    3Ryan RiessSylvain Loosli
    4Emil PatelTimothy Adams
    5Christoph VodelsangRocco Palumbo
    6Willliam ArrudaSamuel Panzica
    7Akin TunaJerry Odeen
    8Felix BleikerJeff Gross

    10:40pm: Two tables remain after Heath departs
    Level 18 - Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

    There are just two tables remaining after Ryan Riess took out another player, in the shape of Ben Heath.

    Riess opened to 25,000 from the button and called after Heath three-bet all in for 211,000 from the big blind.

    Riess: [kc][qc]
    Heath: [ah][5h]

    The board ran [qd][ts][3h][qh][2s] to make Riess trips. He moved up to 1,120,000.

    They'll be a short break in play while a redraw onto two tables takes place. -- MC

    10:37pm: No comeback for Mericer
    Level 18 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

    After losing that big pot against Ryan Riess (see 10:30pm post) Jason Mercier was left with just three big blinds. He folded one hand, but on the second he moved all in for 31,000 and Jeff Gross, who'd just been moved to the table, re-raised all in for about 150,000 total and everyone else folded.

    Mercier: [4d][4s]
    Gross: [Ah][5h]

    It was a race, but not for long as the [5c][5s][2s] flop favoured Gross. The [8c] and [7h] completed the board and Mercier wished the table good luck before heading on his way. --NW


    There was no miracle comeback for Mercier

    10:35pm: Diego doubles
    Level 18 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

    Diego Ventura is up to 300,000 after doubling through Christoph Vogelsang. The Peruvian shoved for 147,000 with [Ah][Jh] and Vogelsang called the all in with [Kh][Qh]. The [Ad][Tc][Kd][8c][7h] board ruled decisively in Ventura's favour and dropped Vogelsang down to 920,000. --NW

    10:30pm: Riess up to a million, Mericer left with fumes, Leonzio out
    Level 18 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

    A huge hand just went down at table two and it's left Ryan Riess with a seven-figure stack.

    The action was started by Marco Leonzio, who moved all in for 146,000 from under the gun. Next to act was Ryan Riess and he re-raised all in for 426,000 total. It then folded to Jason Mercier and the Team PokerStars Pro got a count of Riess' stack, capped his cards, thought for about 20 seconds and then called to create a three-way all in.

    Leonzio: [Ad][8s]
    Riess: [9h][9c]
    Mercier: [Ac][Ks]

    The [7c][Qc][6d][Js][3h] board kept the pocket pair in front. As a result Mercier is down to just 32,000, whilst Leonzio is the 19th place finisher. --NW


    Riess is on the rise

    10:25pm: Adams on the double
    Level 18 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

    Timothy Adams righted a little wrong of the world by holding with pocket kings versus Christoph Vogelsang to double.

    He opened to 23,000 from the hijack before Vogelsang three-bet to 61,000. Adams four-bet jammed for 157,000 and the German high roller called.

    Adams: [ks][kh]
    Vogelsang: [ah][jd]

    The board ran [th][qh][td][ts][5s] to make Adams a full house. Vogelsang still has over 1.1 million.-- MC

    10:10pm: Vogelsang eliminates Bazeley and takes the chip lead
    Level 18 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

    Oh boy! This is a sick one and a hand Jacob Bazeley won't forget in a while:

    The American raised it up from the cutoff and Vogelsang defended from the big blind. On the [4c][7d][9h] flop Bazeley c-bet, Vogelsang check-raised and Bazeley smooth called. The [Tc] fell on the turn and Vogelsang bet enough (203,000) to set Bazeley all in and he made the call.

    Vogelsang: [Kc][5c] - for a turned flush draw
    Bazeley: [Kd][Ks] - a pair of kings


    Lots of chips for Vogelsang

    The [5c] river completed Vogelsang's flush draw and Bazeley couldn't believe it. A horrible way to exit the tournament but he took it well and had a quick chat with Ryan Riess before heading to the payouts desk. Vogelsang is up to 1,280,000 which is good for the chip lead. -NW

    Christoph Vogelsang, 1,280,000
    Jacob Bazeley, 0

    9:55pm: Level up
    Level 18 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

    9:53pm: Coulier busts in classic race
    Level 17 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

    Christoph Vogelsang has gotten his stack up to 890,000 after he eliminated Arne Coulier.

    The latter opened from under the gun and then four-bet all in for 282,000 after Vogelsang three-bet to 59,000 from the button. Call.

    Coulier: [ts][td]
    Vogelsang: [as][kh]

    The board ran [ac][3h][7d][4d][4s].

    "Good game everybody," said a polite Coulier before exiting the room. -- MC

    PokerStars Blog reporting team on the EPT12 Dublin €10K High Roller Day 2: Marc Convey (rhythm guitar, vocals), Martin Harris (lead guitar), Jack Stanton (bass), and Nick Wright (drums and percussion). Photography by Jules Pochy. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter:@PokerStarsBlog

  • 19 February

    EPT12 Dublin: Main Event Day 5 live updates

    * Watch the action on EPT Live

    * 15 of 605 players remaining

    12:08pm: First hand, man down
    Level 24 - Blinds 12,000-24,000 (ante 3,000)

    Christopher Kruk's Day 5 lasted precisely one hand. He is now out. Action folded to Alexandre Meylan on the button and he opened to 50,000. Kruk, who had 450,000 at the start of play, moved all in and Meylan wanted a count and then a moment before calling.

    He was right to make the call. He had [ac][qc]. Kruk had [ah][7s]. The board ran [9c][jh][6d][jd][kh] and that was enough to send Kruk to the payouts desk. He'll get €25,820. -- HS

    11:58 am: Bags torn
    Level 24 - Blinds 12,000-24,000 (ante 3,000)

    The bags have been torn open and play will be under way any minute now. -- HS

    11:30 am: To lose ten players

    That's the plan for today: to lose ten players. And then we will bag up and prepare for tomorrow. That's the long game, but there will be many twists and turns along the way.

    When play gets ten-handed, they will be split across two five-handed tables. And then when it goes nine-handed, they will convene around a single table. At eight-handed, we'll have an "official" final table. But play will continue either for five levels or until six players are left, whichever is soonest.

    Got that? It's easy really. Just stick with us and watch it play out all the way.

    Before that, read yesterday's day-end report and look at the official chip counts. -- HS

    NEIL5993_EPT12DUB_Trophy_Neil Stoddart.jpg

    Take a look at the official website of the EPT, with tournament schedule, news, results and accommodation details for the rest of the season.

    Also all the schedule information is on the EPT App, which is available on both Android or IOS.

    PokerStars Blog reporting team on the EPT12 Dublin Main Event: Stephen "Five Pints" Bartley and Howard "Five Pints" Swains. Don't worry. We've been doing this a long time. Photography by Neil Stoddart. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog.

  • 19 February

    EPT12 Dublin: Dominik Nitsche leads final high roller of the festival

    As I'm sure you know by now the EPT Dublin Poker Festival is the biggest of its kind to be held on the Emerald Isle. As is the custom at PokerStars' EPT festivals the third and final high roller kicks off three days from the end of proceedings. Already this week we've seen big names with prior high roller success win the big events. On Sunday Mustapha Kanit took down the €25,000 High Roller and a day later Charlie Carrel triumphed in the 'Single-Day €10K'.

    After Day 1 of the 'Three-Day €10K' it's a player who's having an incredible festival who flew highest of all during the opening 10 levels. Dominik Nitsche finished runner-up to Carrel in the €10,000 Single Day High Roller. That result came just 24 hours after he'd won the UKIPT €2,000 High Roller. Those results combined earned him almost €300,000. That figure's just shy of the 305,600 chips he accrued today, he was the only player to break the 300,000 chip mark. He leads the 80 players who'll be back tomorrow. Given that reentry is open until the start of play we expect that number to swell considerably before another card is dealt.


    Nitsche's great week continues

    It's not surprising that an event of this magnitude attracted a stellar field dripping with poker talent. There was a slight delay in play but by the time the first level ended the likes of Jared Jaffee, Timothy Adams, Sam Greenwood, Daniel Dvoress, Joao Vieira, Christoph Vogelsang, Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari, and EPT12 Dublin €25K High Roller runner-up Chance Kornuth had taken their seats.


    Anton Wigg

    They were joined throughout the day by players busting out of the Main Event with Nick Petrangelo, Artem Litvinov, Pierre Neuville and Anton Wigg among those who immediately put €10,000 of their winnings back into play.

    By the time the dinner break approached it was Connor Drinan who had risen to the top of the chip counts, he was the first player past the 200,000 mark and he led from the likes of Shyam Srinivasan, Luuk Gieles, Jason Wheeler and Jason Mercier.


    Mercier doing what Mercier does best

    The American was one of just two Team Pros who entered the fray today and he enjoyed another good day at the felt. He won a big pot against Sam Greenwood to get his tournament moving in the right direction and steadily built throughout the day, he'll be back for Day 2 with plenty, 189,300 to be precise.

    Andre Akkari completed the duo and it was a mixed day for the Brazilian. By level three he was on his second bullet (he wasn't alone). By the start of the final two levels though he had over 100 big blinds and was one of the big stacks. It doesn't take long for a tournament to unravel and with 30 minutes left on the clock he had his coat on and was heading for the exit after jamming into Or Hedad's made straight on the river.


    Good day for Greenwood

    When play restarts tomorrow they'll be a chasing pack of poker sharks breathing down Nitsche's neck challenging for the chip lead. Mark Radoja (280,000), Jerry Odeen (250,600), Sam Greenwood (248,300) and Ben Heath (240,300) finished just a few big blinds shy of Nitsche's haul.


    Swing and a miss twice for McDonald

    Because this is a single reentry tournament we can't be sure that many of those who busted today are out for good as they still have the option to reenter. However we know for sure that as well as Akkari, Pratyush Buddiga, Jean-Noel Thorel, Ivan Luca, Jeff Rossiter, Max Silver and Mike McDonald are out of bullets.

    By the time the bell tolled to signal the end of level 10 roughly 84 players from the 181 players (139 uniques and 42 reentries) had made it through to Day 2. A full list of end-of-day-1 chip counts can be seen here, but the seat draw will not be available until play has started due to reentry still being open.

    Join us tomorrow starting at 12:30 GMT when Day 2 of the €10,000 High Roller continues.

  • 18 February

    EPT12 Dublin: Patrick Clarke, final home hope, bags most of last 16


    Patrick Clarke: Leading on home soil

    The European Poker Tour has a habit of setting records then breaking records, setting and breaking, setting and breaking, rinse and repeat. But through all of its 12 seasons, there has never been a level of deep-stack play like the one that kicked off Day 4 of this EPT Dublin Main Event.

    In the space of 90 minutes, the overnight field of 45 withered to 27. That's 18 eliminations (one every five minutes), from a field of players that did not appear especially short-stacked.

    Jaime Staples of Team PokerStars Online was eliminated within the first 15 minutes of play. But remarkably, he had laddered up into 43rd despite not even playing an orbit. It was that kind of day.


    The end of Jaime Staples

    Despite all the frantic early action, we still finished tonight with 16 players, the exact number anticipated. The pace did slow up a bit towards the end of the day, but we only played four levels, meaning an early night for all.

    Stack-sizes yo-yoed crazily throughout the day and the chip-lead was not established until its very final hand. In that, Patrick Clarke won a chunk from Christopher Kruk and vaulted close to 3 million.

    You can review all the hand-by-hand action on the live updates page, including that dramatic last hand.

    Clarke is the former Irish Open champion and has also made a final table on the UKIPT, so he knows how to handle the pressure. He'll need that knowledge because, as the last Irishman in this event, he carries the Emerald Isle's expectations on his shoulders.

    The final hand moved Clarke ahead of Gille Bernies, who seemed like he was going to return to the top of the counts after leading at the end of Day 1. That in itself bucked a trend for early chip leaders, who are usually out by now.

    Clarke and Bernies find some highly proficient campaigners behind them. Iliodoros Kamatakis, Dzmitry Urbanovich and Kuljinder Sidhu complete the top five. The full counts are over there on the chip-count page.


    Dzmitry Urbanovich: Best Main Event showing for the High Roller/Side Event beast

    The early carnage accounted for two of three former champions: Anton Wigg lost a flip to leave in 31st, while Dominik Panka, despite an early double up, couldn't get his pocket tens to beat Clarke's kings.

    dominik_panka_eptdub_med4.jpgNo second title for Dominik Panka

    Luca Pagano also bade a sorry farewell today, eliminated in 17th. The Team PokerStars Pro secured his 21st career EPT cash here this week--his third in Dublin--and his progress reminded us all of those early seasons of the EPT.

    But the throwback continued with the sight of Pagano sitting in anguish by the side of the table during a break after losing almost all of his stack to Adrian Mateos. Pagano turned a straight after Mateos had flopped two pair. Mateos filled up on the river.

    Pagano, who was out soon after, plays a lot less than he used to. But the sting of beats like that clearly still affects him. I wouldn't be surprised if this deep run persuades him back to the tables far more often.


    Luca Pagano: Torment ended on Day 4

    As for Mateos, he endures. The Spanish player will go to Monaco in a few weeks time to defend his Grand Final crown, and he does so in fine form. He confessed he wasn't enjoying his time on a table with the volatile talents of Frank Williams, Bernies and Alex Goulder, but Mateos stuck it out and returns tomorrow with 651,000.

    Tomorrow we play to a final of six. It genuinely is anyone's game.

    Have a look at the payouts to day on the payouts page. And follow the €10,000 High Roller event deep into the wee hours. Your hosts: Marc Convey and Nick Wright.

  • 18 February

    EPT12 Dublin: Main Event Day 4 live updates archive

    This is an archive of previous coverage. Please follow the live action on the live updates page.

    5:25pm: Full chip counts
    Level 22 - Blinds 8,000-16,000 (ante 2,000)

    Gilles BerniesGermany2,200,000
    Christopher KrukCanada1,900,000
    Ivan BanicCroatia1,800,000
    Patrick ClarkeIreland1,700,000
    Mikhail PetrovRussia1,320,000
    Alex GoulderUK1,305,000
    Rhys JonesUK1,122,000
    Matias RuzziArgentina1,0170,00
    Kuljinder SidhuUK963,000
    Iliodoros KamatakisGreece835,000
    Frank WilliamsUK798,000
    Tomas MacNamaraUK769,000
    Alexandre MeylanSwitzerland650,000
    Adrian MateosSpain647,000
    Dzmitry UrbanovichPoland477,000
    Jiachen GongCanada450,000

    5:15pm: Redraw (stacks coming)
    Level 22 - Blinds 8,000-16,000 (ante 2,000)

    Here are the final two tables of the EPT Dublin Main Event. Ordinarily, we'd stop at 16 players, but they're going to play to the end of this level (there are 20 minutes left) and then another one before bagging for the night.

    TV table

    1 - Kuljinder Sidhu
    2 - Matias Ruzzi
    3 - Frank Williams
    4 - Rhys Jones
    5 - Adrian Mateos
    6 - Tomas MacNamara
    7 - Dzmitry Urbanovich
    8 - Alex Goulder

    Outer table

    1 - Christopher Kruk
    2 - Iliodoros Kamatakis
    3 - Ivan Banic
    4 - Gilles Bernies
    5 - Jiachen Gong
    6 - Patrick Clarke
    7 - Mikhail Petrov
    8 - David Meylan

    5:15pm: Bernies wins a big one; takes chip lead
    Level 22 - Blinds 8,000-16,000 (ante 2,000)

    Gilles Bernies is up to 2,200,000 - good for the chip lead - after winning a big pot against Alex Goulder.

    Adrian Mateos opened pre-flop to 35,000 from under the gun and Goulder was joined by Bernies (small blind) and Matias Ruzzi (big blind) in calling.

    No one bet the [Jc][2s][Jh] flop, but the action picked up on the [7d] turn. Mateos bet 77,000, Goulder raised to 210,000, Bernies called and Mateos folded.

    The [8h] completed the board and Bernies starred at the community cards for longer than 30 seconds before sliding out a bet of 375,000. Goulder quickly called and saw the bad news when Bernies opened [7c][7s] for a turned ful house.

    After that hand Bernies is up to 2,200,000, while Goulder drops to around 1,400,000.

    With Luca Pagano's exit in 17th that means there's a complete re-draw of the final 16 players. They've taken the break that was scheduled for the end of this level now, so during that we'll bring you the re-draw and chip count information. --NW

    5:15pm: Banic flops trip treys - but the hand is rudely interrupted
    Level 22 - Blinds 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

    Ivan Banic limped on the button and then called a raise of 55,000 from big blind Tomas MacNamara.

    The flop came [3d][2c][3s] and MacNamara continued for 70,000. Banic called.

    The [jc] landed on the turn and now the bet from MacNamara was 150,000. Banic called once more.

    The river was the...well, actually I didn't quite catch it as that's when Alex Goulder shockingly hit the case queen on the other table. I have to admit, I got a bit distracted.

    What I can tell you is that both players checked, MacNamara had nothing with his [kc][th], and Banic won the pot with a set of threes holding the [3h][6h].

    Tomas MacNamara had 750,000 after that hand, and Banic was up to 1.8 million roughly. --JS

    5:10pm: Pagano departs
    Level 22 - Blinds 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

    Luca Pagano will have to wait a little longer for that first EPT title. His Main Event campaign just ended in 17th place after he shoved for his last 272,000.

    Rhys Jones opened for 36,000 which Christopher Kruk raised to 102,000 from the cutoff. Pagano shoved from the button, which Kruk called.

    Pagano: [ah][qc]
    Kruk: [kd][qh]

    This looked good for Pagano, or did until the flop of [kh][qd][3d]. That left him needing help, which didn't come on the [td] turn or the [4h] river.

    Another cash for Pagano - 21 now - but an elimination he'll consider to be premature. - SB

    5:05pm: Goulet-Ratelle's death knell
    Level 22 - Blinds 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

    We've just lost the longest name left in the field - Jean-Phillipe Goulet-Ratelle.

    He opened to 35,000 and faced a three-bet of 100,000 from Alex Goulder. Goulet-Ratelle shoved for roughly 410,000 and Goulder snap-called.

    Alex Goulder [qc][qd]
    Jean-Phillipe Goulet-Ratelle [ac][qh]

    Goulet-Ratelle was all smiles on the [as][2c][9d] flop and [7d] turn, and Goulder was down to one out. The [qs].

    And the river, you ask? The [qs].

    Goulet-Ratelle collects €22,880 for 18th, while Goulder now has 1.94 million. --JS

    5pm: Meylan's jacks hold against Mateos
    Level 22- Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

    This all in actually started after the Frank Williams double, but ended before it as the action was far swifter.

    Adrian Mateos opened from the cutoff and then called after Alexandre Meylan moved all in for 321,000 from the small blind. The Swiss player had [Js][Jd] and was looking to stay in front of the [Ad][Td] of Mateos.

    Although Mateos connected with the [7c][8s][3s][Tc][7d] board it was with his under, rather than over-card and Meylan survived. He's up to 672,000 while Mateos slips to 775,000. --NW

    4:50pm: Jones v Petrov
    Level 22 - Blinds 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

    Jiachen Gong opened from under the gun making it 38,000. Rhys Jones then three-Bet to 108,000. Mikhail Petrov though was ready with the four-Bet, making it 180,000 from the cutoff. Gong passed but Jones moved all in for 942,000.


    Rhys Jones

    If you were watching EPT Live you would have seen Petrov's reaction. Along with an expression that at best guess began with an "F", he sat up and removed his glasses. It was 762,000 to call, more than half of Petrov's stack. But he couldn't do it.

    It puts Jones up to 1.2 million. - SB

    5pm: Frank Williams doubles through Tomas MacNamara
    Level 22- Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

    There were all ins on the two outer tables almost simultaneously and on both occasions the short stack survived.

    That's good news for fans of Frank Williams. He raised to 35,000 on the button only for Tomas MacNamara to three-bet to 90,000 from the small blind. Iliodoros Kamatakis folded the big blind and Williams considered his options. He stacked up his chips - which amounted to 321,000 - and pushed them over the line. MacNamara got a count, tanked and then called.

    MacNamara: [Ks][Ts]
    Williams: [Ah][Qh]

    The [2h][8h][Ad][7s][Kc] board doubled Williams to 670,000 and dropped MacNamara to 1,460,000. --NW

    4:50pm: Williams on a slippery slope; MacNamara on the up and up
    Level 22 - Blinds 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

    Frank Williams's stack has taken a battering in the last orbit. Here's the latest hit.

    Williams opened to 35,000 and faced a three-bet to 85,000 from Tomas MacNamara to his immediate left. Williams called and the two saw the [jh][5d][th] flop. Both checked, and the [6c] hit the turn. Now Williams led for 92,000 and MacNamara called.

    The river was the [2c] and Williams calmly (and slowly) counted out a bet of 285,000 - all in blue 5,000 chips - and slid them over the line. It didn't take MacNamara too long to call, flipping over [qd][jc] for top pair. Williams had top pair too, but his [jd][8d] was out-kicked. He dropped to 246,000 while MacNamara shot up to 1.8 million.

    Williams would win a little back though on the next hand. He opened to 35,000 and it folded around to Ivan Banic in the big blind, who made the call. The flop came [9c][kh][3s] and Banic checked, resulting in a 33,000 c-bet from Williams. Banic called, the turn was the [2d], and Banic checked again. Williams bet 58,000 and took it down.

    After all that, he's left with 350,000. --JS

    4:45pm: Margereson's run ends
    Level 22 - Blinds 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

    Scott Margereson spent yesterday building a big stack, today he had to fight as the short one. That fight just came to an end in 18th place.

    8G2A7489_EPT12DUB_Scott_Margereson_Neil Stoddart.jpg

    Scott Margereson

    He shoved with [ac][9h] for 278,000 and looked good when Christopher Kruk called with [kh][qd]. But while Margereson hit the flop, so did Kruk.


    Margereson needed help, but none came on the [6d] turn or [qh] river card. -- SB

    4:40pm: Gong doubles
    Level 22 - Blinds 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

    A double up for Jiachen Gong who shoved with [ac][kh]. Mikhail Petrov called with [ks][js]. The flop came [qd][8c][qc], the turn [8s] and the river [2c]. Gong up to 540,000 while Petrov drops slightly to 1,390,000. - SB


    Jiachen Gong: Gone

    4:35pm: Dias done
    Level 22 - Blinds 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

    Bernardo Dias is out in a hand with some three-way drama. He was all in with ace-king and both Mikhail Petrov and Chrstopher Kruk saw a flop (Kruk betting and Petrov calling).


    Bernardo Dias: Dias is done

    The flop came [6d][9s][qh] which was checked. The turn came [6h] which Petrov checked. At which point Kruk bet 225,000. Petrov then called. They both then checked the [3c] river, at which point Kruk showed fives and Petrov aces. All of which meant curtains for Dias, out in 20th place. - SB

    4:30pm: Pagano pushes, misses double
    Level 21 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

    Luca Pagano moved all in from the cutoff and, one seat to his left, the other table short stack, Jean-Philippe Goulet-Ratelle, showed interest. After establishing that Pagano had 163,000 left, Goulet-Ratelle re-shoved over the top.


    More torment for Luca Pagano

    Everyone else folded and Pagano discovered that he was in good shape. He had [as][9s] to Goulet-Ratelle's [ah][8d]. The dealer took a while to get the full flop dealt as the television cameras needed to swarm over to potentially record the last Team PokerStar's Pro's elimination or double up.

    But they got neither. The board ran [qs][th][5h][7s][5d] and that's a chop. -- HS

    4:20pm: Nice call from Clarke
    Level 22 - Blinds 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

    Our sole remaining Irishman Patrick Clarke is now up to 1.23 million after making a nice river call to Frank Williams' bet.

    Williams kicked off the action with a 35,000 open under the gun. Two players called - the aforementioned Clarke on the button and Ivan Banic from the big blind.

    [qs][6d][th] came the flop, and Banic checked. Williams put out a c-bet of 62,000, and both Clarke and Banic would match it, making it three to the turn.

    It came the [7h] and went check-check-check. So, the dealer dealt the [6h] on the river. Banic checked once more, and Williams kicked back into life with a bet of 180,000. Clarke thought for a while, counted out calling chips, and shuffled them while seemingly trying to get a read on his opponent. He'd end up making a fantastic call with [qc][jc], Banic folded, and Williams showed [ad][kh] for nothing butst a busted straight draw.

    Williams is now down to 660,000, while Clarke races up to 1.23 million. --JS

    4:10pm: Ruzzi's river bet gets rid of Goulder
    Level 21 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

    It's a formidable job taking on Alex Goulder today, but somebody has to do it. Matias Ruzzi gave it a crack and added a few chips to his stack.

    Ruzzi opened to 35,000 and Goulder three-bet from the button 100,000. Ruzzi took a while before deciding to call and they went to a flop of [ah][qh][9c]. Check, check. The turn was [7h] and it went check, check. And then the [ac] came on the river.

    Ruzzi cut out a bet of 140,000 and that was finally enough to get rid of Goulder. -- HS

    4:05pm: Play re-starts
    Level 22 - Blinds 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

    Players are back in action in the Main Event after a 20 minute break.

    3:45pm: Pagano left with almost nothing after Mateos rivers full house
    Level 21 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

    It seems as though Luca Pagano just suffered a pretty horrific run out against Adrian Mateos and the Team PokerStars Pro is down to about 185,000. Pagano mucked on the end, but took so long to do so that it seems he must have had a huge hand too, but couldn't quite believe that it had lost.

    luca_pagano_med4.jpgLuca Pagano

    Mateos started the hand with a raise to 25,000 from early position and Pagano defended his big blind. Just the two of them saw the flop of [8h][9s][6h] and both checked.

    The turn brought the [5c], making any random big-blind hand look quite attractive. Pagano bet 33,000. Mateos called. The [9d] came on the river and Pagano bet 68,000.

    Mateos asked to see Pagano's stack and then measured a raise of 225,000. That was more than 50 percent of what Pagano had left, but the Italian didn't take any time at all to call.

    Mateos turned over [8s][9h] and Pagano seemed stunned. He tank-mucked, and wandered away wondering if his chance at a second EPT Dublin final table is now over. He'll return to 11 big blinds after the break. -- HS

    3:40pm: Goulder's raking them in
    Level 21 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

    Alex Goulder came into Day 4 with the chip lead and he's still right up there. He just took down a big pot that must make him a top three stack at least.

    alex_goulder_eptdub_med4.jpgAlex Goulder

    It started with an open to 27,000 from Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano, and that was met with a 3-bet to 81,000 from Goulder. Alexandre Meylan made the call, and Pagano really looked like he wanted to either call or perhaps even shove. He'd fold though, making it heads up to the flop.

    It came the [7s][4d][ah] and Goulder led for 115,000, which was called. It was a similar story on the [td] turn - a 200,000 bet from Goulder and a call. Then came the [kh] on the river. Goulder had Meylan covered and used that to his advantage by making him play for it all. It was too much for Meylan, however, and he gave it up.

    Alexandre Meylan 480,000
    Alex Goulder 1,890,000 --JS

    3:35pm: Shine burns out in 21st
    Level 21 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

    After Frank Williams opened for 27,000 from the cutoff, it folded around to Cathal Shine in the big blind who reshoved for about 310,000 total and Williams called right away.

    Shine: [Ac][9c]
    Williams: [As][Kd]

    The board came an uneventful [Td][6d][5s][Qs][5c], and Shine departs in 21st, leaving Patrick Clarke as the lone remaining Irishman of the final 20. Meanwhile Williams gets back to about 800,000. --MH

    3:30pm: Sidhu bounces Boyaciyan
    Level 21 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

    David Boyaciyan has now hit the rail, turning top pair and check-raising all in, but finding that Kuljinder Sidhu had also turned the same pair and had a higher kicker.

    Boyaciyan opened to 26,000 from under the gun and Sidhu called from a couple of seats along. No one else was interested. They both checked a flop of [3s][4s][js] and then all the action happened on the [kc] turn.

    david_boyaciyan_eptdub_med4.jpgDavid Boyaciyan

    Boyaciyan checked, Sidhu bet 36,000 and Boyaciyan shoved for about 200,000. Sidhu immediately called.

    Boyaciyan, with [kh][9h] had falled into Sidhu's slow-played [ad][kd].

    Boyaciyan heads home with €19,950 for 22nd while Sidhu is sticking around with about 1.4 million. -- HS

    3:20pm: Big stacks get four-betting
    Level 21 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

    The volatile Frank Williams has moved tables, taking a seat between Ivan Banic and Tomas MacNamara. Williams's stack has taken a slight dip of late -- down to about 550,000 -- and he is the thin sandwich between Banic (1.2 million) and MacNamara (900,000).

    He had a close-up view of this latest hand between his new neighbours, though. Banic opened from early position, making it 26,000 to play. MacNamara three bet to 70,000 and Banic four-bet to 175,000.

    MacNamara called, which took them to a flop of [4s][as][3s]. Check, check. They had done their pot-swelling pre-flop.

    The turn was the [qc] and Banic checked. MacNamara, despite intense scrutiny from Banic, found a way to bet 150,000 and Banic, despite MacNamara looking the other way, found a way to fold.

    On the table Williams just vacated, Alex Goulder has built his stack to about 1.6 million now. -- HS

    3:15pm: The end of Oliveira
    Level 21 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

    They are down to 22 after Francisco Oliveira departs. It's been a good festival so far for Portuguese players, at least in the side events, but their representation in the Main Event is now over.

    francisco_de_oliveira_eptdub_med4.jpgFrancisco De Oliveira

    This was a battle of the blinds, although with 248,000 total after the hand against Tomas MacNamara detailed below, Oliveira wasn't in a particularly good spot to get cute. He got it in with [6s][6d] and was, on balance, unfortunate to find Iliodoros Kamatakis with [ad][kc] in the big blind.

    He was even more unfortunate to see a flop of [kd][kh][jh] and then a turn of [9h] and a river [9d]. That's the end of Oliveira. -- HS

    3:10pm: MacNamara applies the pressure
    Level 21 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

    Four players went to flop, which came the [7d][8c][8h]. Tomas MacNamara, Francisco Oliveira, Kuljinder Sidhu, and Ivan Banic all checked. There was some action on the [7h] turn though; MacNamara checked but now Oliveira led for 31,000. Sidhu made the call, Banic folded, and MacNamara bumped it up to 93,000 to go. Oliveira called but Sidhu let his hand go.

    kuljinder_sidhu_eptdub_med4.jpgKuljinder Sidhu

    So, to the river. It was the [2d], and MacNamara shoved - putting Oliveira and his remaining 248,000 to the test. He'd give it up and MacNamara now has 1.4 million. --JS

    3:05pm: Goulet-Ratelle gets there versus Williams
    Level 21 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

    Down to his last 173,000, Jean-Philippe Goulet-Ratelle looked down at [Kc][Js] in the hijack seat, pondered for a few beats, then announced he was all in. The action folded to Frank Williams in the big blind who asked for a count, then called the push, turning over [Ac][Ts].

    The [Qs][5d][3s] flop was no good for Goulet-Ratelle, but the [Jc] turn certainly was. The [6d] river then meant the pair of jacks had held, and Goulet-Ratelle doubled to about 360,000. Williams now has exactly 600,000. --MH

    3:00pm: The calm after the storm
    Level 21 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

    We all agree -- TV crew, reporters and players -- we have never seen a Day 4 level as frantic as the first one today.

    But after the storm, now the relative calm. Things are a good deal more placid, at least for now, as the blinds try to catch up with the stacks.

    Three hands from Table 2 as evidence: Adrian Mateos opened from UTG+1 and Alex Goulder was his only customer, one seat to his left. They saw a flop of [9c][js][jd] and Mateos check-called Goulder's bet of 32,000.

    Both players checked the [7h] turn. Mateos bet 75,000 at the [2c] river and Goulder folded.

    Next hand, Goulder got back in the saddle with an open to 28,000 and everyone folded. And then on the next hand, it folded all the way around to Matias Ruzzi's small blind and he limped.

    Mateos checked his option in the big blind but then a bet of 16,000 from Ruzzi after the [4h][3d][2h] flop was the last action of the hand. Mateos flicked away his cards. -- HS

    2:55pm: MacNamara scores big double up through Kamatakis
    Level 21 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

    A dream start back from the break for Tomas MacNamara.

    Kuljinder Sidhu kicked things off with an open to 27,000, which Ivan Banic called. MacNamara then 3-bet to 82,000 on the button, and it folded to Iliodoros Kamatakis in the big blind. He then 4-bet to 210,000, which was too much for Sidhu and Banic. But MacNamara then shoved for 475,000 total and was called.

    Tomas MacNamara [kd][kc]
    Iliodoros Kamatakis [jh][jd]

    tomas_macnamara_eptdub_med4.jpgTomas MacNamara

    It was a great spot for MacNamara and one which would end well too. The board ran out [4c][qh][ac][4d][5s] and MacNamara now has 968,000, while Kamatakis has 749,000. --JS

    2:45pm: Redraw done
    Level 21 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

    Play has restarted earlier than expected. The remaining 23 players are back in action. -- SB

    2:30pm: Redraw details
    Level 21 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

    Here's how the final three tables line up at the EPT Dublin Main Event:

    TV Table

    1 - Bernardo Dias
    2 - Rhys Jones
    3 - Mikhail Petrov
    4 - Christopher Kruk
    5 - Scott Margereson
    6 - Dzmitry Urbanovich
    7 - Patrick Clarke
    8 - Jiachen Gong

    Table 2

    1 - Alex Goulder
    2 - Frank Williams
    3 - Alexandre Meylan
    4 - Gilles Bernies
    5 - Luca Pagano
    6 - Jean-Philippe Goulet-Ratelle
    7 - Matias Ruzzi
    8 - Adrian Mateos

    Table 3

    1 - Ivan Banic
    2 - empty
    3 - Tomas MacNamara
    4 - Francisco Oliveira
    5 - Iliodoros Kamatakis
    6 - David Boyaciyan
    7 - Cathal Shine
    8 - Kuljinder Sidhu

    They are taking a 30-minute break to do TV things. Whatever they are. -- HS

    2.30pm: Saout busts to Kruk, Zhang busts to Banic
    Level 21 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

    Two eliminations in the space of a minute to tell you about from before the pause in play.

    Frenchman and 2009 November Niner Antoine Saout is out of the Main Event. He got it all in with the [6h][6c] and was up against the [jh][qc] of Chris Kruk, but a queen on the flop and no help anywhere else sent him out of here in 25th.

    antoine_saout_eptdub_med4.jpgAntoine Saout

    Meanwhile, Yang Zhang was also all-in for around 430,000 with the [ah][qd] against Ivan Banic's [kd][kh]. A king on the flop gave Banic a set and sealed Zhang's fate as our 24th place finisher.

    We're not quite sure how much Kruk and Banic have, but the players have gone on a 10 minute break while we get official chip counts. Don't go anywhere. --JS

    2:25pm: Redraw
    Level 21 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

    With the latest elimination from the feature table, we are down to 24. That means a re-draw. Details of where they are all sitting will be with you shortly. -- HS

    2:23pm: La Boissonire on his way back to Canada
    Level 21 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

    Charles La Boissonnire is the next man out, sent packing by Alexandre Meylan. This was routine: La Boissonnire open-shoved for his last 250,000-ish and Meylan, one seat to his left, re-shoved for a covering stack. Everyone else folded.

    La Boissonnire: [ah][js]
    Meylan: [qs][qc]

    La Boissonnire hit one of his cards on the flop, but it was the wrong one. The [jd], nestled between the [9h][2h], was not enough to beat the queens. The [3s] on the turn wasn't enough either, and nor was the [ks] on the river.

    La Boissonire, who qualified for the event on PokerStars, heads back to Canada with €17,310.

    Of the remaining 24 players, ten qualified online, including the chip-leader Christophe Kruk. -- HS

    Ready to start your EPT campaign? Click here to get a PokerStars account.

    2:22pm: Shine shoves, Williams releases
    Level 21 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

    A blind-versus-blind battle saw Frank Williams (small) and Cathal Shine (big) reach a [4h][Ad][4s] flop, at which Williams fired 24,000 and Shine called. Williams then checked the [Ts] turn, inviting Shine to bet 47,000. After a moment of thought, Williams called.

    The river brought the [9h] and another check from Williams. This time Shine shoved all in for his last 160,000 or so, and after about a half-minute Williams released his hand.

    Shine is up to 365,000 now while Williams has right about 800,000. --MH

    2:21pm: Two hands worth mentioning
    Level 21 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

    Guy Goosens out. Having played a short stack for about two days, he laddered well, but departed a short while ago. -- SB

    2:20pm: Two hands worth mentioning
    Level 21 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

    I haven't seen any huge collisions since the players returned, but here are a couple of hands I caught over the last five minutes.

    One started with an open by second-shortest stack Bernardo Dias to 26,000. "You have 200 more?" asked Gilles Bernies from the big blind, and Dias nodded. He made the call.

    bernadro_dias_eptdub_med4.jpgBernardo Dias

    The two players saw the [6c][6s][js] flop and Bernies checked. Dias continued for 25,000 but there was a check-raise all-in from Bernies. Dias quickly folded and now has 175,000, while Bernies is up to 1.46 million.

    On another table, Ireland's Patrick Clarke opened to 26,000 also, which had one caller - Mikhail Petrov from the big blind. The flop came [ks][qs][8d] and Petrov checked to the raiser, who put out a c-bet of 31,000. Petrov called.

    The turn was the [3c], which both checked, taking us to the [8c] on the river. Petrov checked once more, but Clarke now bet 55,000. Petrov played with his chips, counting them out while trying to get a read from Clarke. He eventually made the call but we never saw his cards - he mucked when Clarke showed [js][qc] for a pair of ladies. Clarke has 625,000 now, while Petrov has 560,000. --JS

    2:10pm: Gong!
    Level 21 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

    Everything Rhys Jones touches this afternoon has turned to gold, but he just lost a few chips to Jiachen Gong.

    Jones opened to 26,000 from mid-position and Gong defended his big blind. He was the only man prepared to take on Jones's 1 million stack. They both checked the flop of [td][jc][8s] and then Jones bet 28,000 after Gong checked the [ts] turn.

    The [qc] came on the river and Gong checked again. Jones bet 87,000 but Gong found a call. Jones did show his hand, but mucked it so quickly when Gong flipped [8h][9d] that I missed it. Suffice to say, it wasn't as good as Gong's eights and tens. -- HS

    2:05pm: Goulet Ratelle shoves, collects
    Level 21 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

    Among the short stacks right now is Jean-Philippe Goulet-Ratelle of Canada, but he's trying to do what he can to change that circumstance.

    Just now Goulet-Ratelle watched Matias Ruzzi of Argentina open for 52,000, and when the action reached him he shoved with his last 288,000. It folded quickly back to Ruzzi who took a short while before letting his hand go. Goulet-Ratelle bumps up over 360,000 with that one while Ruzzi sits with 445,000. --MH

    2:00pm: Aces again for Urbanovich - doubles through Jones
    Level 21 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

    Dzmitry Urbanovich is running hot so far today; he's just doubled up for the second time in little over a level, and both times with pocket rockets.

    Rhys 'Floppinhel' Jones limped from the small blind, but Urbanovich bumped it up to 33,000. Jones then shoved (Urbanovich had 291,000 total) and the Polish wizard announced "I'm all in as he turned over [as][ac]. Jones held the [kd][qd].

    There was a queen on the [js][qs][4h] flop, but Jones would need to hit again if he was to eliminate Urbanovich. The [7s] turn made that harder to do, as it eliminated the [ks] from Jones' outs. In the end, the [8h] hit the river and Urbanovich is up to 582,000, while Jones slips to 630,000. --JS

    1:50pm: Next level
    Level 21 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (1,000 ante)

    After an exceptionally action-filled Level 20, we now move into Level 21, which promises more of the same. Full chip counts are on their way, while the payouts page is (nearly) up to date too. -- HS

    1:40pm: Frank Williams, doing stuff
    Level 20 - Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

    "You are doing all kinds of stuff," Scott Margeresen said to Frank Williams at the end of a hand that played into the break. It was complimentary, referencing Williams's apparent disregard for the gravity of the situation -- his first Day 4 at an EPT Main Event.

    Williams has actually got a stack now that's about the same size as the one he sat down with at the start of play (about 850,000), but he is among the more active players in the room.

    frank_williams_eptdub_med4.jpgFrank Williams

    Margereson and Gilles Bernies are also at that table, as is Adrian Mateos. It's a measure of how difficult it's become that Mateos, the EPT Grand Final champion, was eager to learn whether there would be a redraw when they got down to 24 players. "I don't like this table," he said.

    On the latest hand in question, Margereson opened to 22,000 from the cutoff and Bernies called from the button. Williams, in the small blind, evidently seemed tempted to find a three-bet, but eventually just called, which also persuaded Cathal Shine to call from the big blind.

    So it was four of them to a flop of [td][5c][5h] and Williams led immediately for 36,000. Shine and Margereson folded, but Bernies called. The [2d] came on the turn and Williams again bet at it, this time 92,000.

    Margereson, who had got up to begin his break, sat down again for a close-up view of proceedings. The cameras, with nothing else in the room, also zoomed in to watch. Bernies eventually folded and, with Margereson prompting Williams to "show one for the cameras", Williams turned over the [jh].

    "You are doing all kinds of stuff," Margereson said. -- HS

    1:36pm: Urbanovich doubles through Ruzzi
    Level 20 - Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

    Dzmitry 'Colisea' Urbanovich is still in the hunt for his first EPT Main Event title after doubling through Matias Ruzzi.

    Urbanovich opened to 22,000 on the button, and was 3-bet to 50,000 by Ruzzi. Urbanovich shoved for around 120,000 more and Ruzzi made the call with [qd][jd]. It's a pretty looking hand, but not as pretty as the [ah][as] that Urbanovich held.

    The double up was secured on the flop, and in the end here's how the board looked: [ac][5h][3s][8d][8c]. Urbanovich now has 272,000, while Ruzzi has 485,000. --JS

    1:35pm: Malone out in 28th place
    Level 20 - Blinds: 10,000-20,000 (1,000 ante)

    Stephen Malone is the latest faller from the TV table. He was all in with [td][tc] against the [jh][jd] of Iliodoros Kamatakis. The flop came [7d][qs][9d].

    "I'll take a jack," joked Malone, changing his tune.

    But the turn came [kc] and the river [7c] to end the Irishman's Main Event campaign in 28th place. - SB

    1:30pm: Panka pummelled
    Level 20 - Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

    dominik_panka_eptdub_med4.jpgDominik Panka

    Sorry Poles -- and poker fans the world over -- Dominik Panka is out. After Patrick Clarke opened to 23,000 from under the gun, Panka shoved for about 230,000 from the button and Clarke called.

    Clarke: [ks][kh]
    Panka: [th][tc]

    It was a tough break for Panka, particularly when the board ran [jd][jc][3s][jh][5d], leaving Adrian Mateos as the last remaining former champions. -- HS

    Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.

    1:25pm: Michalak out in 30th place
    Level 20 - Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

    Jakub Michalak is out in 30th place at the TV table, sent there by Kuljinder Sidhu who has doubled his stack since the start of play. He's on 1.5 million. -- SB

    1:20pm: Tough turn knocks out Wigg
    Level 20 - Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

    Over on the feature table, Anton Wigg opened for 23,000 then saw Kuljinder Sidhu reraise to 60,000 behind him. The action returned around to Wigg who shoved all in for 298,000, and after some thought Sidhu called the shove.

    Wigg had [Ah][Jc] and was hoping to improve versus Sidhu's [7h][7d], and the [6h][Ac][4d] flop brought such improvement by giving Wigg a better pair and a seemingly strong hold on the hand. But then the [7c] fell on the turn, and Wigg turned his head away from the table in frustration as Sidhu had made an unbeatable set of sevens.

    The [Qc] river meaninglessly completed the board, and Wigg is out in 31st. Meanwhile Sidhu is now up over 1.15 mllion. --MH

    1:05pm: Jean runs into Williams' bullets
    Level 20 - Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

    Frank Williams opens a lot of pots, so he has a very good chance of being paid off when he actually finds a hand. And he just found [ah][ad] versus Mikael Jean's [as][qh] and they got it all in on a flop of [qd][5d][8c].

    Jean's shove was for about 150,000 but after a turn of [7s] and a river [7c], that 150,000 was heading to Williams and increases his stack to about 850,000 -- HS

    1:00pm: Reeves out
    Level 20 - Blinds: 10,000-20,000 (1,000 ante)

    Lucas Reeves is out. He shoved all-in with [7h][7d] and got a call from fellow Brit Rhys Jones who held [ah][ks].

    lucas_reeves_eptdub_med4.jpgLucas Reeves

    The flop came [9d][9c][kd], which Reeves admitted was not good. The turn and river were both eights, which didn't change that. Reeves made his way to the rail while Jones now has 1.15million. - SB

    12:55pm Banic gets stronger
    Level 20 - Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

    Ivan Banic opened to 22,000 and found two callers in Patrick Clarke (on the button) and Tomas MacNamara (small blind).

    The three went to a flop which came the [9c][6h][4d]. Both MacNamara and Banic checked, leading to a 32,000 bet from Clarke. Only Banic would call, and we went to the [ah] on the turn. It was checked to Clarke again and now the bet was 56,000. Banic called and the two saw the [jd] hit the river. Both checked, and Banic took it down with his [as][kd]. Clarke mucked.

    Ivan Banic now has 1.2 million. --JS

    12:50pm: Akenhead croaks courtesy of Kruk
    Level 20 - Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

    By the turn, the board showed the [7h][8s][6s][4s]. James Akenhead had put out a bet, which was re-raised by Christopher Kruk. Akenhead then shoved for 274,000 total, Kruk asked for a count, and made the call.

    Akenhead was dreaming of spades as he had the [as][5d]. Meanwhile, Kruk wasn't afraid of a flopped flush, and called with [tc][9c] for a straight.

    Only a spade could save Akenhead, but the river was the [kd]. Kruk now has 1.4 million.

    Akenhead, another November Niner, is now free to join Neuville to relive the memories of Vegas. --JS

    12.45pm: November Niner Neuville out in 35th
    Level 20 - Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

    Pierre Neuville's turn now to head to the door, another victim of the Day 2 chip-leader, Ivan Banic.

    Banic opened from the hijack and Neuville called from the cutoff and it was only those two to a flop of [4d][8h][2d]. Banic checked, Neuville bet 50,000 and then Banic moved all in, comfortably covering Neuville's last 150,000 or so.

    Neuville called all in, but this was a misstep. He had his top pair with his [9s][8s] but was in trouble against Banic's [jc][js].

    The [kc][3s] completed the board and Neuville heads away. Banic is up to about 800,000. -- HS

    12:41pm: Teichert out
    Level 20 - Blinds: 10,000-20,000 (1,000 ante)

    Nikolaus Teichert is out. He and Iliodoros Kamatakis got their chips in on a flop of [td][th][6s]. Each had a ten, but Kamatakis had the advantage.

    Teichert: [tc][9h]
    Kamatakis: [as][ts]

    The turn and river brought nothing to change Teichert's fate. - SB

    12:40pm: Calamusa and Hadad - both gone
    Level 20 - Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

    So many bust-outs, such little time to sit down and type them up before hearing "All in and a call!"

    The first to tell you about is Pierre Calamusa. He got his last 140,000 in on the [9d][4h][ad] flop with the [qd][6d] and was called by Scott Margereson's [ac][td]. The turn was the [as], giving Margereson trips, and the [kh] river was not the diamond Calamusa was looking for in the rough.

    Then, after Gilles Bernies had checked the turn on a [2d][7d][qc][4h] board, Or Hadad moved all in for 119,000 into a 125,000 pot. Bernies called with [qs][th] which was ahead of Hadad's [8s][8d]. The [2s] hit the river and Hadad was eliminated.

    Bernies moves up to 1.4 million. --JS

    Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.

    12:36pm: The Adventures of Jaime Staples (Final scene)
    Level 20 - Blinds: 10,000-20,000 (1,000 ante)

    Who knew that moving all in for 2,000 could reap such an enormous return. But it does. None of which really meant anything to Jaime Staples, who just busted the Main Event.

    In reality it was the hand before the 2K shove that did the damage.

    He moved in from the hijack for about 245,000, behind a bet from Alex Meylan, who then called all-in himself.

    Staples turned over [9s][9c] but would need help against Meylan's [ks][kc].

    He didn't get it. The board ran out [4d][8h][qh][7h][tc] and the dealer did the calculations. Staples had him covered. Just. The dealer tossed him three yellow chips.

    "Chip and a chair, right?" he said.

    "Three chips," said Pierre Calamusa helpfully, as if that meant his predicament was actually three times better than that.


    Jaime Staples all in for not very much

    After coughing up the ante Staples shoved (can you shove two chips?) on the next hand. Remarkably it went rather well and at the end of the hand he had a flush and 16K.

    So much?

    Yang Zhang wanted to know why so much. To be honest I did too. So the dealer explained. Eight players (an ante each) and four players in the pot. Or something. It convinced Zhang. I'll work it out later.

    Still, it kept Staples alive for another hand. Another shove, this time with 15,000 (after another ante) and [kc][9c]. Zhang was his opponent, but he had jacks and had flopped a set. That would see Staples, with a "good game guys," to the rail (and ultimate the EPT Live booth). -- SB


    Jaime Staples heads to the booth

    12:35pm: Bernies missteps but gets lucky to bust Arruda
    Level 20 - Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

    This one happened a little while ago, but action has been so ridiculous we've not had a chance to publish everything just yet. But, to catch up:

    To quote Worm from Rounders: "Lot of action. Lot. Of. Action."

    Let's rewind five minutes. Brazil's William Arruda had opened to 21,000 - pretty standard. Then PokerStars Qualifier Gilles Bernies three-bet to 53,000. Both had started the day with similar stacks (603,000 for Arruda and 657,000 for Bernies).

    Next up was a four-bet from Arruda to 121,000, and we knew a massive pot was in the works. Bernies then bumped it up again, this time with a five-bet 253,000.

    Arruda didn't take too long to announce the sixth bet - an all-in shove for 550,000 more. Bernies stood, seemingly agitated. He eventually called with the [jd][js], which needed help to beat Arruda's [kc][kh].

    There was none on the [2d][4s][6s] flop. But the [jh] flew in on the turn like a helicopter to a stranded castaway. Bernies let out a huge sigh of relief, while there were a few groans around the room.

    The river was the [6h] and Arruda was sent packing. Meanwhile, Gilles Bernies is our new chip leader with 1.2 million. --JS

    12.30pm: Litvinov continues the race to the door
    Level 20 - Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

    Even by established standards, this had been a mad opening 30 minutes. Artem Litvinov is now also out, his chips sliding towards Christopher Kruk. Litvinov was the first man into the room today, taking his seat about 15 minutes before play began. But it was a short day nonetheless. -- HS

    12.23pm: Jones ousts Petrangelo
    Level 20 - Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

    Nick Petrangelo has become the latest casualty of this brutal opening 30 minutes. Petrangelo opened to 22,000 from early position and Jones three-bet to 56,000 one seat along. Action folded back to Petrangelo and he shoved for about 280,000 and Jones, after quickly double-checking his cards, called.

    Jones: [ah][ad]
    Petrangelo: [jc][jd]

    The board didn't quite have enough paint for Petrangelo. It came [6d][qd][th][kc][6h]. That was the end of that for the dominant force of Petrangelo. Lucky for him, the High Roller has just started.

    Jones has nearly a million chips. -- HS

    12.15pm: Kan can't
    Level 20 - Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

    Raiden Kan has had a fine run at this EPT Dublin festival, but he is now out. He became the first casualty from the feature table

    12.10pm: Jean genie
    Level 20 - Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

    Mikael Jean just survived a pair-under-pair skirmish, denying Cathal Shine the chance to vault beyond half a million. The pair both had premium hands: Jean had [qh][qc] while Shine had [kh][kd].

    The board ran [8c][jc][9c][4c][tc] and they both ended up playing the board. Jean began today with 228,400; Shine had 291,000. They still have about the same each after Jean found the genie in the bottle. -- HS

    12:02pm: Panka doubles through MacNamara - first hand of the day
    Level 20 - Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

    2014 PCA winner Dominik Panka has doubled up in the very first hand of the day. He came in with just nine big blinds (91,000), so it wasn't too surprising to see him get it in.

    He got it in with the [ah][td] from under the gun and was called by Tomas MacNamara from the big blind, who held the [5c][5s].

    The run-out was kind to Panka - [kd][tc][6d][qc][2h]. He won with his pair of tens and now sits with 192,000, while MacNamara has dropped to 474,000. --JS

    12pm: First man down
    Level 20 - Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

    We are down to 40 already after Adrien Allain became the first man out today. He got his last 84,000 in the middle with [ac][4c] and Adrian Mateos snapped him off with [9h][9c]. The flop was pretty emphatic. It came [9d][7d][7h] and Allain did not pull off the miraculous outdraw on the [ks][6c] turn and river. Allain will get €11,440. -- HS

    12pm: Play under way
    Level 20 - Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

    Play is under way on Day 4. They will play down to the last 16 players or five levels, whichever comes soonest.

    We will have full, official chip-counts at the end of every level over on the chip-count page. In the meantime, there will be approximations and eliminations featured there. -- HS

    11:35am: Day 4 preparation

    Play will begin at noon on Day 4 of the EPT Dublin Main Event. Alex Goulder is out in front. Luca Pagano is going deep having secured his 21st EPT cash, and Jaime Staples is recording his best ever live cash. Stick with us all day.-- HS

    8G2A7279_EPT12DUB_Jaime_Staples_Neil Stoddart.jpg

    Jaime Staples

    Take a look at the official website of the EPT, with tournament schedule, news, results and accommodation details for the rest of the season.

    Also all the schedule information is on the EPT App, which is available on both Android or IOS.

    PokerStars Blog reporting team on the EPT12 Dublin Main Event: Stephen Bartley, Jack Stanton and Howard Swains. One fresh, new, eager upstart and two grizzled old-timers. Photography by Neil Stoddart. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog.

  • 18 February

    The PokerStars Sunday Million Two-Timer Club

    PokerStars is celebrating 100 million players this month. Today, we celebrate nine of those players who are members of an exclusive club.

    At 55 years old, Dr. Diego Aizenberg isn't a man who spends every Sunday grinding away at the Sunday majors. Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Aizenberg has lots of other things on his plate. In addition to playing soccer and rugby, he's a marathon runner. When he's not doing that, he spends almost all of his professional life dedicated to Type 2 Diabetes clinical research. He is not a man who has time to waste.

    With that much understood, when he does have free time, he likes to play cards.

    "I really love my job, and I can't find enough time to play poker as I would like," he said.

    Over the years he has played, by his estimation, somewhere between 30 and 40 Sunday Millions.

    Now, get this: Aizenberg has won two of them.


    Dr. Diego Aizenberg

    In a few weeks, the Sunday Million will celebrate its tenth anniversary. It's hosted more than 3.5 million entrants and paid out more than $730 million.

    In all of that time, in the middle of all that money, with all those people fighting for the first place spot, Aizenberg is part of a very small club of players who have won the Sunday Million twice. In fact, over the ten years of Sunday Millions, only nine people have managed to join the Two-Timer Club.

    "I couldn't believe it. I didn't want to turn off my computer. It was really awesome, amazing, a dream come true," he said. "I thought 'Is this really happening to me?' After that, I became a 'celebrity' to my friends and to the poker community in my country. I traveled a lot, invited my friends, bought a brand new car, and I did a few interviews on poker magazines, radio and tv poker programs. I had my 15 minutes of fame."

    Aizenberg, known as diegoaiz on PokerStars, is simply a recreational player among the likes of twirlpro, WhatArunAA, vietcong01, VinceVegaMFR, robtinnion, kevsteele, KipsterDK, and bagoch, the eight other people who have two Sunday Million titles.

    "I'm an amateur player and a very successful physician," Aizenberg said. "Like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde."

    Want to start working on being part of the Two Timers Club? Click here to get a PokerStars account.

    It's 1,781 km north to Balneário Camboriú, SC, Brazil where you'll find Guilherme Cheveau, aka VinceVegaMFR. He's more Mr. Hyde than Dr. Jekyll.

    Today is Cheveau's 27th birthday. Five years ago, he signed up for PokerStars, and since that time, he's become a full-time pro and a manager of a 50-horse poker team. Since signing up for PokerStars, he's played more than 40,000 tournaments. He has no idea how many of them were Sunday Millions. He does, however, remember what it meant to play in one.

    "I used to play a lot of satellites for the Sunday Million, and I never actually played the Sunday Million," he said. "I used to un-register from it, because I couldn't afford those $215. I always dreamed about playing it and
    winning. Eventually, three years later, I did it."

    Winning the first was a big deal. Wining the second made him a local celebrity and resulted in one of the strangest reactions he's ever gotten about a win.

    He'd just moved in with the woman who would eventually be his wife. She had fallen asleep on the couch while he way playing. He was as quiet as could be after he won. He went into the living room and leaned in close to give her a kiss and reveal the good news. Apparently, his future wife wasn't one who liked to be surprised when she slept.

    "She got frightened, slapped my face, and started crying while my glasses flew away around the room," he said. "It wasn't the reaction I expected after I won $150,000!"


    Now THAT is true love

    That second win made his name on the Brazilian poker scene and changed his life. He gave some money to family bought himself an apartment, and traveled all over. He's since made two other Sunday Million final tables.

    "I went from a grinder to the guy that won the Sunday Million two times. Everybody recognizes me. It feels pretty good," he said. "People keep making jokes about about how great I run. Honestly, it feels awesome. It will never get old. I'm winning it for the third time real soon, so I hope the jokes keep coming."


    Two kisses for two wins

    Of the nine people who have won the Sunday Million twice, Jesper Hougaard is among those who have some worldwide success. Known as KipsterDK on PokerStars, Hougaard not only has two Sunday Million titles, he also has two World Series of Poker gold bracelets.

    The man from Copenhagen estimates he's played around 150 Sunday Millions in his life. The week before he won his first, he'd earned himself a little bit of good luck.

    "I had staked my upstairs neighbour to play the Sunday Warm-Up which he managed to win, so it was an exciting time for us," he said.

    The now-32-year-old entrepreneur is no stranger to success. He was one of the people behind Donkr.com, and was at one time a national table tennis champion. When it came time to win his second Sunday Million, he was already an established poker pro and one of the best big-field MTT players.

    "At that time, it was less about the money and more about the prestige and legacy," he said. "I was a very established sponsored pro at the time, and this win cemented my profile even further."

    Hougaard doesn't play as much poker any more. He's turned his focus to other ventures, but he's not forgotten how he earned his freedom.

    "Thinking back on 9-10 years as a poker pro, I'm very thankful and fortunate about the life I've been able to lead because of it," he said.


    Jesper Hougaard

    While everyone else estimates their count, Robert Tinnion knows exactly how many Sunday Millions he's played. It's 115. It's earned him what he jokingly calls, "a sliiiiiiiightly above average win-rate."

    The thing is, the 26-year-old from Somerset, England never planned to be a professional poker player.

    "I signed up in 2010 just looking to gamble. I hadn't even considered poker as a career and viewed it in the same light as roulette, blackjack, et cetera," he said. "With a background in mathematics from my Motorsport engineering degree, I eventually realised it's just a numbers game, and poker is just one infinitely long equation. You just have to keep solving problems and work hard. The harder I worked, the more money I made."

    Tinnion's two wins turned his life into one he would never have imagined. After the first, he felt like he'd won the lottery.

    "I'd love to say I was calm, collected, and very professional about it. But I was more in disbelief and hoping not to wake up and find out it had all been a dream," he said.

    The second win happened just five months later.

    "I felt a sense of fulfillment, as I feel I earned it more, as much as anyone can earn a Sunday Million win," he said. "I still reverted to a five-year-old on Christmas day mindset once the final hand had been dealt."

    Now, Tinnion does what he wants to do. And that's a lot.

    With the help of life coach Elliot Roe and personal trainer Naomi Male, Tinnion has transformed himself into a poker businessman. He hung up his mouse and started running Pocarr.com, a backing group with more than 140 horses. He's also launching a training site at the end of this month called Max-Value.com. He finds as much fulfillment helping others as he did making a fortune for himself.

    "We have countless rags to riches stories across the world. Now my time is focused on helping others all over the world replicate my success." he said.

    Asked to reveal his secrets, he's ready with a joke.

    "I want people to know that I'm a genius and that my accomplishments are only possible if you're me and only me," he said, before going on with the truth. "That's a lie. I'm just a normal person from a normal background who managed to find the right people at the right time in their life in order to make something of himself, almost exclusively thanks to Pokerstars and Pocarr. I also have every intention of becoming the first three-time winner, and I can''t think of a better way to do so than by winning the 10th anniversary Sunday Million."


    Rob Tinnion

    The 10th anniversary Sunday Million runs Sunday March 20th at 14:30. Satellites are running now. Whether you're looking to win your second title or still looking for your first, you can start working on qualifying for it today. Full details are here.

    PokerStars is celebrating 100 million players this month. See how you can join in the celebration and win some big money here.

    Other stories from this series:

    Meet PokerStars' longest-serving player of all time
    The ghosts of WCOOP
    The Moneymaker Boom that almost wasn't
    Alexander Stevic and the start of a new era in poker

    Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.
    is the PokerStars Head of Blogging.

  • 18 February

    EPT12 Dublin: €10K High Roller Day 1 live updates


    12:56pm: Litvinov lets it ride
    Level 1 - Blinds 100-200 (25 ante)

    More than 30 have registered so far according to the big board, and that number will be steadily increasing throughout the afternoon and evening as players continue to arrive, then eventually when the re-entries start picking up.

    Among players taking hands at the start of the level is Artem Litvinov who just moment ago cashed in the Main Event, having lasted into the top 40 over there for a €13,200 cash -- more than enough for one entry here. --MH

    12:50pm: Shuffle up and deal!
    Level 1 - Blinds 100-200 (25 ante)

    At last... cards are in the air! The starting stack is 50,000, and don't forget there is a single re-entry option. --MH

    12:37pm: Getting close

    A little bit of a delay here as the staff waits for the high rollers to start rolling in. Play should start soon. --MH

    11:45am: €10K High Roller Awaits!

    Welcome poker fans to Day 1 of the much anticipated €10K High Roller, the third and last of the high rollers here at the EPT Dublin festival.

    We've already watched a couple of previous champions of EPT high rollers pick up additional silver spades in the big buy-in events here this week, with Mustapha Kanit taking down the €25K High Roller and Charlie Carrel winning the €10K Single-Day High Roller.

    Meanwhile Carrel also took third in the €25K, and like Jeff Rossiter (who finished fifth in the €25K and seventh in the €10K Single-Day) will be going for the high roller trifecta here in Dublin in this one.

    The schedule calls for 10 one-hour levels today, with late registration and the option to re-enter -- only once! -- available all day and night up until the start of tomorrow's Day 2. There will be a 75-minute dinner break after Level 6. Play starts at 12:30pm local time -- stick close for start-to-finish coverage with live updates, photos, and more from the poker room here at the Royal Dublin Society! --MH


    Want to start your own EPT campaign? Sign up for PokerStars and start your journey. Click here to get an account.

    Take a look at the official website of the EPT, with tournament schedule, news, results and accommodation details for the rest of the season.

    Also all the schedule information is on the EPT App, which is available on both Android or IOS.

    PokerStars Blog reporting team on the EPT12 Dublin €10K High Roller Day 1: Stephen Bartley, Marc Convey, Martin Harris, and Nick Wright. Photography by Neil Stoddart. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter:@PokerStarsBlog

  • 18 February

    EPT12 Dublin: Main Event Day 4 live updates

    * CLICK TO REFRESH FOR LATEST UPDATES * CLICK FOR LATEST CHIP COUNTS * CLICK FOR UPDATED PAYOUTS * Watch the action on EPT Live * 18 of 605 players remaining 6:55pm: Banic stations Level 23 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000) Patrick Clarke has moved...

  • 17 February

    EPT12 Dublin: Alex Goulder looking golden, ends Main Event Day 3 on top

    It was another cool, crisp day in Dublin, though inside the Royal Dublin Society the EPT12 Dublin Main Event is just starting to heat up. Day 3 of the tournament saw the money bubble burst, the field narrow down to just 41 hopefuls, and the UK's Alex Goulder emerge from five levels' worth of hold'em with the most chips of anyone, bagging 1,020,000 to claim the overnight chip lead.

    A former poker dealer before becoming a live cash game pro, Goulder cut his teeth in Nottingham before moving to London. He's notched some impressive tourney results as well including an 11th-place showing in the EPT10 Deauville Main Event, a finish he'll keep trying to better here.

    8G2A7296_EPT12DUB_Alex_Goulder_Neil Stoddart.jpg

    Goulder a step closer to the goal

    From a field of 605 just 127 had survived through the tournament's first two days, and with only 87 making the money that meant a number would be exiting without earning a share of the more than €2.9 million prize pool.

    Ivan Banic began the day with the chip lead, and would remain near the top most of the day while others accumulated and the top spot changed hands. Tudor Purice would enjoy a short spell in first position, with Christopher Kruk and Frank Williams taking turns surging in front thereafter.

    NEIL5805_EPT12DUB_Frank_Williams_Neil Stoddart.jpg

    Frank Williams grabs a few more

    Meanwhile the field shrunk down with Jonathan Concepcion, Pratyush Buddiga, Ofer Zvi Stern, Ismael Bojang, Ben Heath, Diego Ventura, Steve O'Dwyer, Chris Moorman, Jude Ainsworth, and EPT11 Deauville champion Ognyan Dimov among those not lasting long enough to make the cash.

    NEIL5702_EPT12DUB_Ben_Heath_Dzmitry_Urbanovich_Neil Stoddart-thumb-450x300-283805a.jpg

    Heath heads for the exit

    The bubble finally arrived partway into the day's third 90-minute level, and in the first hand of hand-for-hand play Sven Magirius became the unfortunate 88th-place finisher after his ace-king failed to outrun Alexandre Rivero's pocket tens.

    8G2A7103_EPT12DUB_Sven_Magirius_Neil Stoddart.jpg

    Sven Magirius, bubblin' in Dublin

    By then earlier leader Tudor Purice had become short-stacked, and he'd begin the march to the cashier as the first of the min-cashers finishing in 87th. He was soon followed by Christoph Vogelsang (84th), EPT7 London champion David Vamplew (82nd), and EPT6 Sanremo winner and Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree (74th), all of whom also took away bottom-rung bounties of €9,100.

    8G2A7044_EPT12DUB_Liv_Boeree_Neil Stoddart.jpg

    Liv didn't survive the last jam-Boeree

    Fabrice Soulier (71st), LAPT4 Uruguay champion Alex Komaromi (69th), and Anthony Zinno (62nd) were part of the next wave of knockouts, with EPT4 Dortmand winner Mike McDonald soon following in 60th and like them cashing for €10,270.

    8G2A7091_EPT12DUB_Mike_McDonald_Neil Stoddart.jpg

    More money for Mike

    Two players remembered for deep runs and hands against one another in the 2012 WSOP Main Event were among those next to fall -- Andras Koroknai (56th, €10,270) and Gaelle Baumann (55th, €11,440). And as the last level concluded Timothy Adams (51st, €11,440) and Alex Difelice (49th, €11,440) were among the last to go.

    Looking at some of those who claimed the eliminated players' stacks, Frank Williams (881,000), Christopher Kruk (812,000), Ivan Banic (715,000), and Gilles Bernies (657,000) finished near the top. James Akenhead (626,000), Nick Petrangelo (326,000), Antoine Saout (325,000), and Dzmitry Urbanovich (164,000) also bagged up tonight.

    Three former EPT champions remain in the field -- EPT11 Monte Carlo Grand Final winner Adrian Mateos (631,000), 2014 PCA champ Dominik Panka (91,000), and EPT6 Copenhagen titlist Anton Wigg (345,000).

    Also returning for Thursday's Day 4 are a couple of red spade-sporters. Jaime Staples of Team PokerStars Pro Online bagged 241,000 and will continue what for him will ultimately represent a best career live score, no matter where he lands.

    8G2A6807_EPT12DUB_Jaime_Staples_Neil Stoddart.jpg

    Staples still has stack

    Like Staples, longtime EPT fave and Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano also endured a swingy day that ultimately ended well enough for him to bag an even 480,000. While Staples is earning his first career EPT cash, Pagano -- who has been making the money in EPT events since the first season -- is enjoying his 21st career cash in EPT Main Events.

    8G2A7171_EPT12DUB_Luca_Pagano_Neil Stoddart.jpg

    In the money... Pagano again!

    For start-to-finish coverage of the action from Day 2, check the live updates, and click here for chip counts for all those who remain.

    It's back out, then, into the chilly Dublin night, although there may be a pub or three between the RDS and the hotel to help keep warm on the way back. We'll be back at the crack of noon tomorrow, though, to see who from the remaining group of players can continue the quest to become the next EPT champion.


    8G2A6951_EPT12DUB_Snail_Card_Protector_Neil Stoddart.jpg

    * Relive the day's action on EPT Live

    Want to compete for your own online championship? Click here to get a PokerStars account.
    Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

  • 17 February

    EPT12 Dublin: Big names pick up big cashes in EPT side events

    As you have likely seen if you're keeping up with EPT Dublin action via social media, there have been some pretty high-profile side-event winners already so far this week.

    In addition to Mustapha Kanit and Charlie Carrel triumphing in the €25,000 and €10,000 High Roller events, players including Dominik Nitsche, Jeff Madsen, Sam Chartier and Jason Tompkins have also found themselves hoisting trophies aloft.

    Let's start this quick side-event round up with a look at the latter. Tompkins is perhaps best known to EPT watchers as the fifth-placed finisher at EPT Sanremo, the year Ludovic Lacay took first prize. But he has long been known on the Irish poker scene and also has a World Series final table to his name, plus a visit to a UKIPT final here in Dublin.

    It was appropriate that Tompkins prevailed in the PokerStars Dublin Cup: an Ireland native taking the prestigious crown. He had to beat 673 players to do so and took €27,400 after a deal also involving Alexandre Viard and Daniel Portiansky, who took €24,300 apiece.

    They are startling paydays for a tournament with a €330 buy-in.


    Jason Tompkins

    Chartier began this festival playing in the highest buy-in event of the week and although that was a whiff, he picked up €43,220 on Monday night in the €2,000 Turbo, and had many of his High Roller compadres for company right to the death.

    Keith Johnson, fresh from the final table in the €25,000 event, finished second, while Adrian Mateos and Mohsin Charania were also at the final, busting eighth and ninth respectively.


    Samuel Chartier

    Back now to Nitsche. The German globetrotter has most recently made Edinburgh his home, so in a sense this festival is about as close as they come. And he's doing all right too: on Monday he finished second to Carrel in the €10,000 single-day high roller, but came to that final fresh from victory in the €2,000 UKIPT High Roller.

    That's always an exceptionally popular event, and it was no different here in Dublin. There were 416 runners and Nitsche won €156,160 for first. Tom Hall (€98,460) was secong and Daragh Davey, another local player and last season's UKIPT leader board champion, was fifth (€43,990).


    Dominik Nitsche

    Madsen, then. The three-time World Series bracelet winner only visits the European Poker Tour every now and then and, until this past weekend, had never won a tournament outside of North America.

    That all changed when he played the €500 quadruple stud event and he was the best from the 28 runners. It won him €4,840 but, more than that, gave him his first EPT trophy.


    Jeff Madsen

    Other high-profile winners so far this week include Felix Stephensen, a former World Series Main Event runner up, who beat Sylvain Loosli, another former November Niner, in the €5,000 PLO on Tuesday night. Stephensen won €33,950.

    Jan Bendik won the €500 HORSE on the festival's opening night, the same time that Joao Vieira won the first €5,000 Turbo of the festival. Portugal--Vieira's home country--started brilliantly here in Dublin and, in the €500 NL Hyper Turbo the same weekend, finished in gold, silver and bronze place.


    Jan Bendik

    David Abreu won, Fernado Brito came second and Hugo Andrade was third, for €7,640, €5,515 and €3,515 respectively.

    All the winners so far are on the side-event results page.

  • 17 February

    Alexander Stevic and the start of a new era in poker

    PokerStars is celebrating 100 million players this month, so we looked back on the first ever EPT winner Alexander Stevic, and his part in changing the game.

    Looking back, there was no way to predict the magnitude of what happened in Barcelona in 2004. The event was called the European Poker Tour, there were nice new banners, new logos, and new chips to make everything seem special. But what would happen next was anyone's guess. One event would be followed by a full season's worth of tournaments. Then what?

    It's likely you've seen the footage, or read the story from that day. The EPT, the brainchild of John Duthie, who thought up the whole thing while in the tub, attracted 229 players, racking up what was then an enormous €229,000 prize pool. That meant €80,000 to the winner, a figure rarely seen outside Las Vegas, which was won by Alexander Stevic, a dashing 30-year-old pro from Sweden.

    Stevic_barcelona_etp1_17feb16.jpgStevic midway through the final hand at EPT1 Barcelona

    The expression on Stevic's face told most of the story. He'd just won the first ever EPT Main Event, a moment for the history books, even if no one really knew how big that history book would become. Regardless, it proved one neither he, nor the poker world, would ever forget.

    Heads-up that day he faced Irishman Dave O'Callaghan. Had a hand with queen-jack gone differently, it might be O'Callaghan we were talking about now. But his role was to be the vanquished, not the vanquisher. But then to be a great champion you have to beat great opposition. For his part O'Callaghan ensured Stevic got just that.

    alex_stevic_tears_ept1bar_17feb16.jpgStevic after winning the first ever EPT title

    The Swede was second in chips at the start of the final table. A self-confessed gambler, he described how his love of the game was based around the tactics, the strategy, and the people. "It's a beautiful game," he'd said back then. "I don't know what makes me a winner. I'm very often too aggressive, too loose. Yes, definitely too loose. I'm not a good tournament player. Just lucky!"

    Ready to start your own EPT campaign? Click here to get a PokerStars account.

    Irishman O'Callaghan had only begun playing online a year earlier. Like Stevic he'd had his moments on the way to heads-up (he got lucky in one notable hand against a previously unheard of Italian player named Luca Pagano) which ultimately lead to what is now one of the most watched hands in tour history.

    With Stevic holding king-queen and O'Callaghan queen-jack, both were delighted to see a queen on the flop, even more so when the case queen hit the turn. But with cards face up the full story was revealed. The players shook hands, Stevic fearful of the Irishman's "lucky jack", but O'Callaghan ready to accept his fate. No jack came, the players embraced, Stevic wiped away tears.

    That first season would prove momentous for Stevic, who bookended the year with a third place finish in the Grand Final in Monaco, worth more than double his Barcelona winner's cheque. It proved the calibre of Stevic, but it also demonstrated how rapidly the tour was expanding.

    "It was not just another tournament when I won," he said years later on the tenth anniversary of his victory. "I felt that this could be something big. And I knew that I was the first winner of something that will probably grow big. I remember people saying that they were going to play more on this tour."

    The tour has since awarded more than $500 million in prize money, but that 80 grand one by Stevic is still perhaps one of its most memorable shares.

    Stevic's story though goes beyond the EPT. He continued to play on the tour in the years after, but like many in the game took a step back as new players emerged, the game evolved, and, well, home life and family became his preferred focus.

    But he'd started something. Just as Chris Moneymaker had shown it was possible to turn cents into dollars and dollars into millions, new players began to emerge, rushing to a game that now promised millions to those who knew where to strike gold.

    Names like Pagano, Antonius, Gavatin, Williams and Iremark found themselves in the limelight. Some would not stick around for long - the rigours of such a highly competitive field proving too much - but others play on to this day.

    It was a big change for the older generation who had paid their dues in the casinos and back rooms of poker's yesteryear, including the likes of Stevic, who even talked fondly of the characters that frequented back room games.

    Those days are, perhaps happily, in the past. But the legacy of players like Stevic, is the thousands of players who play the tour, and that new breed who regularly score six figure cashes, in tournaments with buy ins that eclipse even Stevic's winner's cheque.

    Was that the sort of thing he ever thought about - preferring perhaps to have won a few years later than he did?

    stevic_with_dealer_ept10bar_17feb16.jpgStevic back in Barcelona

    "Always!" he'd said with a grin. "I would prefer to be runner-up three years later and never be a champion! It's a lot more money. But still it's fun to be the first winner, the most special guy. I always say that."

    Ten years on Stevic played the Main Event in Barcelona in Season 11 but he was mostly there to reminisce, as he did so in an interview with the PokerStars Blog. He still looked the same, and his enthusiasm was equally contagious. It was just the surroundings that had changed - the size of the field, the size of the tournament room, and the players competing in it. Most of them walked past Stevic without even noticing him, but each owed him something, arguably worth far more than that winner's cheque of €80,000.

    Don't miss your chance to win up to $100,000 in cash daily in the PokerStars 100M player celebration

    Other stories from this series:

    Meet PokerStars' longest-serving player of all time
    The ghosts of WCOOP
    The Moneymaker Boom that almost wasn't

    Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

  • 17 February

    EPT12 Dublin: Main Event Day 3 live updates

    * Watch the action on EPT Live

    * 119 of 605 players remaining

    12:44pm: None shall pass Baumann
    Level 15 - Blinds: 1,500-3,000 (400 ante)

    Gaelle Baumann is never intimidated. She is more than happy to do battle with anybody at the poker tables. Case in point, this hand, in which she pushed Sven Magirius out of a pot and took her stack to about double his.

    Baumann opened from early position, making it 6,500 to play. Only Magirius, one seat to Baumann's left, was in any way interested and only enough to warrant a call.

    The two of them went to a flop of [9d][jh][3d] and Baumann bet 7,600. Magirius called and they went to the [kc] on the turn. Baumann fired again, this time 12,500, but Magirius now tried to flex his muscles. He raised to 36,000.

    Baumann called and they went to the river: [qc]. Baumann checked this time, which prompted a bet of 36,000 from Magirius. But if he thought Baumann's long pause was prelude to a sigh-fold, he was wrong. Baumann instead raised all in.

    Baumann's check-raise was for about 150,000, which covered Magirius. And instead it was the German forced into the sigh-fold, preserving his tournament life.

    He now has about 120,000 left, while Baumann has about 260,000. --HS

    8G2A6624_EPT12DUB_Gaelle_Baumann_Neil Stoddart.jpg

    Gaelle Baumann (from Day 2)

    12:41pm: Boeree's barrels can't shake off Rudelitz
    Level 15 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

    Completing from the small blind is a trend that we've seen a lot in high buy-in events on the EPT this season, and that's exactly what Liv Boeree did when action folded to her. Enrico Rudelitz checked his option from a seat over, and the two of them saw a [5s][8h][Kd] flop hit the felt. Boeree then bet 3,000 and Rudelitz smooth-called.

    On the [7d] turn Boeree reached for chips again, betting 8,500, and again Rudelitz stuck around. Both players checked the [As] river and Boeree announced that she had nine-high. Rudelitz could beat that, showing [Kc][3d] to claim the pot. He's up to 170,000 now while Boeree slips a little to 116,000. --NW

    12:34pm: Akenhead makes Staples twitch
    Level 15 - Blinds 1,500-3,000 (300 ante)

    PokerStars Team PokerStars Pro Online member and Twitch sensation Jaime Staples spent all day yesterday on the feature table, and had a pretty solid day ending with 289,600 -- almost double the tournament average.

    Staples in his element, on the Day 2 EPT Live stream yesterday

    However, Day 3 hasn't begun quite as well for Staples as he's just lost a big pot to James Akenhead right before their table broke.

    Akenhead opened to 7,000 and Staples called on the button. The blinds folded and the two saw a flop of [3c][3h][7s], which Akenhead continued on for 9,500. Staples made the call once more and they went to the turn -- the [td]. Now the bet from Akenhead was 13,500, but again Staples went nowhere.

    Another ten -- the [tc] -- landed on the river and Akenhead counted out a bet of 48,500 and slid it across the line. "That's a big bet," said Staples.

    He thought for a minute and made the call, but mucked immediately when Akenhead flipped over his [th][jc] for a runner-runner full house. Akenhead now has 245,000, wile Staples has slipped to around 190,000. --JS

    12:31pm: Urbanovich more than doubles up
    Level 15 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

    Beware, Dzmitry Urbanovich now has a stack that's almost average and as we know his poker skills are anything but.

    He raised it up to 7,000 from under the gun and picked up four calls, including both blinds. On the [5d][4h][9d] flop the action checked to Vebjorn Monstad who bet 18,000. That got rid of Jude Ainsworth, Alex Goulder, and Ben Heath, but Urbanovich was not so quick to release. Instead he moved all in for 51,500 and Monstad called the extra.

    Urbanovich: [Ac][9c] - top pair
    Monstad: [Kd][Qd] - two overs and a flush draw

    Monstad was actually a 53.74% favourite to win the hand, but it would be Urbanovich's hand that would improve on the [As] turn and [Ah] river, and the Polish pro survived. --NW

    Dzmitry Urbanovich -- 141,200
    Vebjorn Monstad -- 97,000

    12:25pm: Dias the king of Dublin
    Level 15 - Blinds: 1,500-3,000 (400 ante)

    That's not quite true as Dublin is part of a republic, but Bernardo Dias is feeling king-like now after finding pocket kings to double up. The "president" of EPT Dublin doesn't get installed until Saturday anyway.

    The high-rolling Christoph Vogelsang opened from under the gun with pocket queens and made a quick call after Dias moved all in for around 65,000 with his kings. The board ran out [8s][5d][ad][6h][5s] and Vogelsang quietly paid his dues and dropped to 189,000. --MC

    12:20pm: Dzelinquent Dzmitry
    Level 15 - Blinds 1,500-3,000 (300 ante)

    At last the EPT11 Player of the Year has arrived -- only about 10 minutes after the start. That's everyone accounted for now, as Level 15 continues. --MH

    12:19pm: Side-event crushers

    It's not only about the Main Event here in Dublin this week and some big names and local heroes have been crushing the side-event schedule. Have a quick spin through our side-event review. --HS

    12:13pm: Where's Urbanovich?
    Level 15 - Blinds 1,500-3,000 (300 ante)

    All I know is that if I were playing in an event with a €5,300 buy-in and €561,900 for first, I wouldn't want to turn up late for fear of missing a hand. I think most people feel that way.

    Dzmitry Urbanovich is not like most people.

    His bag is open and his chips are out (so the dealer can put his blinds in), but he's not yet arrived for Day 2. Funny thing is, I saw him at the hotel this morning up and about, so at least we know he's not forgotten to set his alarm.

    Urbanovich might not like what he sees when he does eventually appear -- he's got what most people would consider a brutal table, hosting Steve O'Dwyer, Jude Ainsworth, Alex Goulder, and Ben Heath.

    Then again, Urbanovich is not like most people.

    We'll let you know when he shows! He starts the day with 67,000. --JS

    12:09pm: Pezelj the first player out today
    Level 15 - Blinds: 1,500-3,000 (400 ante)

    Ivica Pezelj could only giggle at the flop he was faced with after moving all in and getting called.

    Nikolaus Teichert had opened and made the call after Pezelj went all in for around 27,000 from the big blind with [kc][js]. Teichert opened [ts][9s] and hit the nuts on the [6s][7s][8c] flop. The board ran out [qc][qh], Pezelj is out, and Teichert's stack jumped up to 140,000. --MC

    12:01pm: Cards in the air
    Level 15 - Blinds 1,500-3,000 (400 ante)

    Day 3 of the EPT Dublin Main Event has begun. The tournament now moves to 90-minute levels, with five levels scheduled to be played today.

    With 127 players left, that means they are 40 eliminations away from the bubble bursting. A min-cash is €9,100, while all who remain continue to eye the €561,900 up top due to go to the winner. --MH

    11:45am: Chasing Banic

    Day 3 of the EPT Dublin Main Event begins at noon and all eyes will be on Croatia's Ivan Banic. He is the man to chase with 381,000 chips.

    There's a spectacular chasing pack. Have a look at how they line up at the start of the day on the seat-draw page. --HS

    8G2A6636_EPT12DUB_Ivan_Banic_Neil Stoddart.jpg

    Ivan "Banicivan" Banic: Dominant performance on Day 2 in Dublin

    Want to start your own EPT campaign? Sign up for PokerStars and start your journey. Click here to get an account.

    Take a look at the official website of the EPT, with tournament schedule, news, results and accommodation details for the rest of the season.

    Also all the schedule information is on the EPT App, which is available on both Android or IOS.

    PokerStars Blog reporting team on the EPT12 Dublin Main Event: Stephen Bartley, Marc Convey, Martin Harris, Jack Stanton, Howard Swains and Nick Wright. Two days on the spin. Photography by Neil Stoddart. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog.


  • 17 February

    Awesome win for “Dhr. Awesome” in 2/16/16 Super Tuesday

    When you're thinking about choosing a PokerStars screen name, and you decide that it's a good idea to include the word "awesome" in your name, then are setting yourself some pretty big expectations to live up to. Awesome is not just good. It's not jus...

  • 16 February

    EPT12 Dublin: Ivan Banic takes online form to live arena, leads star-studded field


    Ivan "Banicivan" Banic: Dominant performance on Day 2 in Dublin

    EPT12 Dublin is shaping up to be a cracker, both a throwback to the old days when the European Poker Tour last visited these shores, and a celebration of all that is brilliant about the contemporary game.

    As we head into Day 3 with about 130 of the original 605 still involved, there are superstars scattered throughout this field.

    There are eight former EPT champions still with chips -- Liv Boeree, Steve O'Dwyer, Mike McDonald, David Vamplew, Anton Wigg, Dominik Panka, Adrian Mateos and Ognyan Dimov -- as well as other leading lights whose absence of a title still baffles.


    Boeree, Pillar, Mateos: Three glorious champions

    That group includes Andrew Chen, Jude Ainsworth, Christoph Vogelsang and Tim Adams, among others, plus Luca Pagano, the Team PokerStars Pro who made a final table in this city in Season 1 of the tour.


    Luca Pagano: A throwback to Season 1

    Furthermore, the brave new world is also in the house: Jaime "Twitch" Staples, Chris "moorman1" Moorman, and Dzmitry "four-titles-one-stop" Urbanovich also have plenty of chips to be getting on with.


    Jaime Staples: A fine day on the TV set

    Tonight's outright leader fits most comfortably into that final category. Ivan Banic has no live tournament pedigree to speak of (a couple of side event places at EPT Prague last December is all) but Banic plays as "Banicivan" on PokerStars and has close to $1 million in recorded tournament cashes.

    He pushed 381,200 chips into his bag tonight, which is marginally ahead of Alex Dileface (359,500), Tudor Purice (323,700), Jiachen Gong (323,200), Mikhail Petrov (322,600), Mikael Jean (320,000) and Gilles Bernies (314,700).

    The most notable counts of the remaining players is over there on the chip-count page, and the full, official count will appear there in due course. It may even be there already.

    Today was not for the faint-hearted. We began with 359 players and they flew out the door at a blistering pace. Theo Jorgensen, Jeff Rossiter, Jason Mercier, Dermot Blain, Aaron Gustavson, Sebastian Pauli, George Danzer, Charlie Carrel, Felipe Ramos, Jannick Wrang, Bryn Kenney and Dominik Nitsche were among those who couldn't last the distance.

    Three other former champions also very nearly did, but Jake Cody, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier and Mickey Petersen all perished in the final level.

    The former got it in with kings against Raiden Kan's queens and Kan flopped a queen. ElkY lost a flip with tens to Staples' big slick. Petersen was flushed away by McDonald. That trio will continue to look for that second title.


    ElkY defeated at the last


    Dominik Nitsche hit the rail

    Oh yes, and one more thing. Day 2, as is customary, was the day on which we learned how much they were all actually playing for. When all the bean-counting was complete, the tournament staff offered up €561,900 to the winner, from a total prize pool of €2,934,250.

    The bubble will burst when the 88th player leaves the room. Player No 87 will get the first min-cash of €9,100.

    That player's identity will likely be discovered during the second or third level of play tomorrow. It'll be an even bigger day as we play deep into the money. Join us from noon.

    NEIL5286_EPT12DUB_TV_Table_Neil Stoddart.jpg

    * Relive the day's action on EPT Live

  • 16 February

    The Moneymaker Boom that almost wasn’t

    As PokerStars celebrates 100M players, we look back at one of the players who helped make it all happen.

    Even after the springtime sun had gone down that night, it was still warm in Tennessee. It was just before 10pm, and the thermometer was hanging around 65° F.

    It was April 23, 2003, and if the recent news was any indication, the world had reason to be optimistic. Private Jessica Lynch had just been rescued from captivity in Iraq. Troops had captured Baghdad and ended the Saddam Hussein regime. Scientists had just announced the mapping of the human genome. 50 Cent's "In Da Club" was in the middle of nine weeks as the number one song in the United States. After nearly three years of worldwide turmoil, anyone could've been forgiven for feeling like better days were ahead.

    On that warm Wednesday night, Chris Moneymaker was not yet one of those optimistic people. He had $8,000 in credit card debt and an already rocky relationship with gambling. Through some keen maneuvering and a little bit of luck, the as-yet anonymous amateur poker player had found a way to pay off his credit cards and go in to his accounting job on Thursday debt-free.

    And that's when everything happened.


    Almost everything you know about Chris Moneymaker begins with a story told so many times that it's almost impossible to convince people it's not entirely true.

    As the story was told and re-told over the years, Moneymaker parlayed $39 into a World Series of Poker seat, one that he used to beat the leather-assed pros of Las Vegas out of the $2.5 million first prize.


    Today, no one can tell us who first uttered "Thirty-nine dollars," but whoever it was turned out to be wrong. In fact, Moneymaker's first step toward Las Vegas started with an $86 feeder satellite into a $650 mega-qualifier. By the time registration closed, the satellite would award three packages to the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event.

    See, the buy-in of the now-historic story was forever reported incorrectly, but that's not the most interesting thing about how that final satellite played out.

    The most startling thing in a series of exceptionally startling things was that poker came very close to never hearing the name Chris Moneymaker in 2003.

    Why? It was all about fourth place. That was a cool $8,200, enough to pay off the credit cards and start over with $200 in his pocket.

    PokerStars is still running satellites to live events 13 years later. Get an account and win your seat here.

    The Field

    Getting to those top four spots would not be a simple task. Here are just a few of the people playing in the $650 mega that would eventually change the poker world.

    MultiMarine, the winner of the first WCOOP Main Event
    Julian Thew, eventual Team Pro and longtime UK grinder
    Anders "Donald" Berg, eventual Team Online member
    Harley Hall, 2002 WSOP Main Event (5th place)
    Josh Arieh, 2004 WSOP Main Event (3rd place)

    With the exception of MultiMarine who would turn into one of poker's ghosts, the rest would go on to be well-known names in the game. None of, them, however, made the final table or came close to a WSOP seat that night.

    Moneymaker, sitting in a dark home office, had seen them all fall as he worked his way toward those top four places. He wasn't thinking about Vegas. He wasn't thinking about Doyle Brunson, Binion's, or any of the things that might have fascinated Rounders' Mike McDermott.

    Moneymaker was only thinking about money. He saw the three seats at the top, and for a time, he decided he didn't want them. He wanted the cash to pay off his credit card debt.

    "I was attempting to do the responsible thing," he said.

    He had his reasons. There was the credit card debt, and there was a clear lack of confidence in his ability.

    "To be honest, the [WSOP] seat back then was non-transferrable. I was a recreational player. I literally played around the kitchen table with my friends," he said. "Back then, when you saw anybody from online, you targeted them. It was a different time, obviously. I just didn't think I had a real shot to go out to play in Vegas against the quote-unquote pros. I thought they would read me like a book and it would just be really bad."

    There might have been some truth to Moneymaker's assumption, because the bubble of that historic satellite was almost laughably unprofessional.


    The Bubble That Wasn't

    Moneymaker had all but decided to take the cash and be on his way. That's when a friend, Bruce Peery, convinced him via speakerphone to go for the seat. In a story that's been told a few times before, Peery offered Moneymaker $5,000 for half his action, and that was enough for Moneymaker to make the calculated decision to play for the seat and get some cash for his debt problems.

    "Back then, I would've been fine taking five grand from my buddy," he said. "If I could get the full $8,000 for fourth, I would've been happy with that as well."

    So, after some protracted discussion, with three seats on the line for first through third and $8,200 going to fourth, the remaining players cut through a raucous and rowdy rail to make a deal. It was a save for fifth place with each of the remaining players giving up $500 apiece.

    Everyone seemed to understand what was going on, except maybe for a well-known player who went by the name gotmilk. Reading the chat transcript today is still painful 13 years later.

    gotmilk said, "wait is the deal on or off"
    gotmilk said, "is the deal on or off"
    HostDavid [observer] said, "yes gotmilk"
    HostDavid [observer] said, "the deal is ON"
    Money800 said, "it is on"
    HostDavid [observer] said, "5th place gets $500 from each of 1 to 4"

    It seemed so simple. So easy to understand. So incredibly fair and equitable. Everybody understood that when gotmilk knocked out Bombardier in fifth place that Bombardier got the $2,000 and the remaining four players would play to determine who got the seats and who got the fourth place money.

    Well, not everybody understood.

    It was 9:47pm when Bombardier's ace-king crashed and burned against gotmilk's queens, and the chat box blew up.

    With the blinds at 600/1200, the chip counts looked like this:

    Seat 2: gotmilk (34,177 in chips)
    Seat 5: Hugefish2888 (18,370 in chips)
    Seat 7: Money800 (62,952 in chips)
    Seat 9: First Ward (52,001 in chips)

    Here's just some of what scrolled past in the chat box over the next few seconds.

    Hugefish2888 said, " STOP THE GAME"
    Hugefish2888 said, "STOP THE GAME"
    dpcusnavy [observer] said, "BLIG SLICK LOSES"
    Hugefish2888 said, "WE'RE DONE"
    TheHawk [observer] said, "I knew this was going to happen"
    gotmilk said, "were dibe"
    gotmilk said, "rught"
    Hugefish2888 said, "STOP THE GAME!!!!!!"
    Money800 said, "whew im happy"
    Hugefish2888 said, "GET SUPPORT"
    gotmilk said, "we are dibe right"
    gotmilk said, "its over"
    gotmilk said, "right"
    Hugefish2888 said, "WARD, MILK, ME GETS SEATR, OK???"
    Money800 said, "no"
    Money800 said, "not over"
    Hugefish2888 said, "GOD"
    JOHNY G [observer] said, "lol"

    If that wasn't confusing enough, the next hand blew up everything. Hugefish2888 got all his chips in against both gotmilk and Moneymaker pre-flop. Moneymaker held pocket sevens, and if they held, he would be in the WSOP Main Event.

    But when the flop fell [8s][5d][Qc], gotmilk did something confounding. He shoved into a dry side pot.

    Moneymaker was nonplussed.

    Money800 said, "why you do that milk?"
    Money800: folds
    Money800 said, "stupid"

    And why was Moneymaker so confused?

    Well, gotmilk held [5s][Ts].

    Hugefish2888, holding [2d][Ac] spiked his ace, and gotmilk was left with only 15,807.

    This, folks, is what was determining who would go on to play the most important World Series of Poker in history.

    The Rail

    To understand what happened next, you have to understand just how important the satellites of that day and age were.

    "Poker was in its infancy. Those satellites were really the biggest thing going at the time. People flocked to watch it," Moneymaker said.

    He's not exaggerating. The rail was swarming with fans, pros, and people who would someday be famous around the world. Just a quick scan of the chat box shows names historic online names like Spiro "55lucky55" Mitrokostas, Keith "TheHawk" Hawkins, Pete "TheBeat" Giordano.

    "It was the future Who's Who of poker on the rail watching that thing," Moneymaker said.

    How right is he?

    Well, you might recognize the screen name Kevmath, at the time an anonymous but very knowledgeable railbird, and now a poker household name. Mathers, now with PocketFives, remembers watching this very satellite from the rail and just how ridiculous everything was.

    Yet, there Mathers was on the rail 13 years ago watching with everyone else. He paid his bills by working in a customer call center and spent his free time doing what he still does today: explaining things to internet people who have a weak grasp on reading.

    "Working in poker was the farthest thing from my mind back then," Mathers said. "That was over seven years before anyone in the poker community met me in person, which is mind-blowing to think about."

    As Mathers and PokerStars support staff (including the also-now-famous Terrence Chan) tried to hold things together, the rail was off the chain.

    "PokerStars was in its infancy back in the day, and anyone could attempt to talk to the players, criticize a player or players not at that particular table and flood the observer chat," Mathers said. "It wasn't surprising there were plenty of low-stakes or freeroll players offering their opinions at that final table. People acting rude in chat, begging for a dollar and a host of other reasons caused PokerStars to turn observer chat off to players who didn't have at least the amount in their account as the buy-in of the tournament they were watching."

    In that kind of environment, the insanity of the non-bubble bubble was ripe for going rotten. As the players tried to figure out what was happening, the chatbox pundits laughed and laughed and laughed. Here's just a little bit of it.

    gotmilk said, "we made a deal david"
    gotmilk said, "its over"
    Hugefish2888 said, "WHAT DEAL??"
    HostDavid [observer] said, "support will transfer $500 to 5th place after the rourney i sover"
    JOHNY G [observer] said, "lol"
    Hugefish2888 said, "NOT YET"
    brocklanders [observer] said, "its not over milk. lol"
    gotmilk said, "DAVID"
    gotmilk said, "do we need to keep playing"
    Money800 said, "milk it aint over, should be"
    TheHawk [observer] said, "I dont think there was a clear understanding on the deal"
    Money800 said, "obviosly"
    nealjl [observer] said, "sure there ws"
    gotmilk said, "David please tell me what to do"
    GOLDAR [observer] said, "your an idiot milk"
    Hugefish2888 said, "NO OTHER DEAL"
    tomnshell [observer] said, "rofl"
    JOHNY G [observer] said, "lolGotmilk went in with that crap cause he thought he was guarenteed a seat"
    Fixxe [observer] said, "an idiot"
    nealjl [observer] said, "500 from 1-4"
    HostDavid [observer] said, "not sure what you mean"
    nealjl [observer] said, "to 5"
    TheHawk [observer] said, "they thought money was settlling for 4rth"
    First Ward said, "just cash to 5th milk - NO OTHER DEAL"
    gotmilk said, "money takes 4th"
    Drawmonster [observer] said, "MONEY HAS TO GIVE CHIPS TP SOME1"
    Hugefish2888 said, "YOU CALLED MY ALL IN WITH 10,5"
    HostDavid [observer] said, "you should play - there was no other deal"
    CaseAce [observer] said, "somebody better call time...got milk confused"
    Hugefish2888 said, "10,5"
    gotmilk said, "money said he takes 4th"
    55lucky55 [observer] said, "amazing"
    Hugefish2888 said, "10,5 YOU CALLED MY ALL IN"
    55lucky55 [observer] said, "milk you goofed"
    JOHNY G [observer] said, "Milk was juked"

    Perhaps the only thing that made sense in that moment was a couple sage comments from the rail.

    Big Ben 33 [observer] said, " this is a sad hour for poker world-wide, lol"
    55lucky55 [observer] said, "just amazing"

    The Bubble That Actually Was

    For the next fifteen minutes, gotmilk would try to mount a comeback. He doubled up once, and then battled some more.

    It would've been a better story if Moneymaker had done the final dirty work and sent the still-confused gotmilk on his way. Instead, that honor went to Hugefish2888. Ultimately, it was his [Ad][Kc] that beat gotmilk's [Ac][2s] to send Chris Moneymaker to the WSOP and turn the poker world upside down.

    Although the final three were guaranteed seats, the tournament didn't automatically stop. So, the three played it out over the next few minutes. As if portending what would happen in Las Vegas, Moneymaker won the final hand of that satellite, his [Ah][8d] standing up to Hugefish2888's [Jh][6d].

    On the rail, one chatterbox said this:

    SaminDetroit [observer] said, "I don't think I have ever seen a dumb tournament like this one before.......wonder what will happen in vegas....

    He only had to wonder for a month.

    That satellite finished at 10:14pm on April 23. Exactly a month later on May 23, Chris Moneymaker won the World Series of Poker Main Event.

    Kevin Mathers remembers what it was like trying to keep up with the action.

    "I was kind of following along with the WSOP through RGP, but it wasn't very easy to follow," he said.

    While he remembered some websites that were trying to follow it and a $25 live stream from Binion's on the internet, the full scope of what he'd seen on PokerStars wouldn't crystalize until later.

    "When the WSOP coverage started on ESPN that summer, it provided a better picture of what the 'Moneymaker Effect' would become to poker and the boom that followed after," he said.

    What (Horrifyingly) Could Have Been

    There is an alternate universe where Moneymaker never made that final table. There is another one in which he made it but took that fourth place money, paid off his credit card bills, and never went to Vegas. In those worlds, gotmilk and the rest of the clan went to Vegas and did something we can't even begin to predict.

    "I don't want to go down that road. That's a bad wormhole," Moneymaker said.

    Truly, who knows what would've happened. Poker may still have exploded like it did. Any of those other three might have won the WSOP. It's just impossible to say. But Moneymaker, when forced to think about it, knows what that would've meant for him.

    "I'd probably be an accountant still. Who knows where we would be?" he wondered aloud. "Everything personally in my life would change. I would never have met my current wife. I wouldn't have my current kids."


    Moneymaker and his gold bust at the 2013 WSOP

    Beyond that, there is the very real possibility that amateur players around the world would not have paid any attention to who won the WSOP that year and flocked to online poker in droves. Everything we know about poker might have been different if not for that one ridiculous, confusing, confounding satellite on April 23, 2003.

    "Things happen for a reason," Moneymaker said. "There's just no telling where I might be or where any of us who play poker might be today."

    Don't miss your chance to win up to $100,000 in cash daily in the PokerStars 100M player celebration

    Other stories from this series:

    Meet PokerStars' longest-serving player of all time
    The ghosts of WCOOP

    PokerStars is still running satellites to live events 13 years later. Get an account and in your seat here.
    is the PokerStars Head of Blogging.

  • 16 February

    EPT12 Dublin: Day 2 Levels 9-10 live updates

    This is an archive of previous coverage. Please click through for latest updates.

    8G2A6368_EPT12DUB_Trophy_Neil Stoddart.jpg

    2:39pm: Ace for Ventura
    Blinds - 500-1,000 (100 ante)

    Diego Ventura perhaps thought he wouldn't be around to see Level 11, which starts after the break. But he just managed to double up in the "fun way," as one player at his table put it, after looking rail bound.

    He shoved with king-queen and was called by Ognyan Dimov with queen-jack. The flop brought a jack, but the turn was a ten and the river an ace, to make Ventura the straight. He's doubled up to 24,000. Fun way indeed. - SB

    2:36pm: Jer el Salsero sunk
    Level 10 - Blinds: 500-1,000 (100 ante)

    Jer el Salsero of the Netherlands is out. He risked the last of a small stack [Ad][Kd] versus Alexander Goulder's [Kh][Kc], but the community cards -- [Qh][9d][2h][9c][Ts] -- were no help and Salsero hit the rail just shy of the end of Level 10.

    Goulder has 74,000 now. --MH

    2:35pm: Clock!
    Level 10 - Blinds 500-1,000 (100 ante)

    I arrived at the table to see a [8s][3c][9d] flop on the felt, a bet of 8,500 in front of Yiannis Liperis and an all-in shove of 37,800 in front of Jussi Nevanlinna.

    Liperis was deep in the tank. The call was most of his remaining stack and eventually time was called. The clock didn't reach zero though as Liperis released his hand.

    The consensus at the table was that Liperis had jacks, but he shook his head at that assertion. --NW

    2:30pm: Akenhead will settle for that
    Level 10 - Blinds 500-1,000 (100 ante)

    James Akenhead has won another pot to more than quadruple his stack from its Day 2 starting point. He took out Yen Chen in a hand that was a bit of a cooler.

    The latter raised from middle position and Akenhead peeled from the big blind to see a [ks][4c][qc] flop appear. Chen continued for 3,000 and was check-raised to 8,300 by the Brit. Chen then moved all in for around 45,000 and Akenhead called.

    Chen: [kh][qd] for top two pair
    Akenhead: [4h][4d] for bottom set.

    The board ran out [5h][6c] to see Chen sent to the rail.

    James Akenhead -- 157,000
    Yen Chen -- 0 --MC

    2:25pm: Viellevoije vanquished
    Level 10 - Blinds: 500-1,000 (100 ante)

    Leon Viellevoije was just all in and at risk with [Ad][8d] versus Michael Wang's [Kh][Qh]. The [Th][3c][Ah] flop improved Viellevoije to aces, although the table collectively made a noise at the sight of both a flush draw and gutshot for Wang.

    The [6h] filled the flush for Wang, making the two-pair making [8c] no matter for Viellevoije who hits the rail.

    Wang is way up to 180,000 now. --MH

    2:22pm: Orpen Kisacikoglu stands, Bernies delivers
    Level 10 - Blinds: 500-1,000 (100 ante)

    Gilles Bernies, who was earlier pushed off his four bet by a five bet shove from Alfie Adam, just set out to recoup some of his losses, this time against Orpen Kisacikoglu.

    Kisacikoglu, conspicuous for a large blue and yellow woolly hat with "Sweden" emblazoned on the front, opened from the hijack for 2,100. Bernies then raised from his position on the button, making it 5,400. Kisacikoglu called.

    The flop came [jh][jd][2s]. Bernies looked over at Kisacikoglu, who now had his face covered by a black scarf, making him look like he was about to hold up a stage coach, disguised as a Swede. Kisacikoglu had checked so Bernies raised, making it 6,100 to play. Kisacikoglu re-arranged his hat, removed his mask (no longer fearful of witnesses perhaps), and called.

    Both players then checked the [9c] turn, and also the [2c] river. Bernies's attempts to regain lost chips had been thwarted. He turned over [ac][7c] which was some way short of Kisacikoglu's [3d][3s]. Bernies's bad level continues. - SB

    2:21pm: Conan cut down
    Level 10 - Blinds: 500-1,000 (100 ante)

    Arthur Conan -- just Arthur Conan (no Doyle) -- is out, having lost the last of his chips to Maria Lampropulos. Conan was all in with [8h][8d] versus Lampropulos's [As][Js], and the [5d][Qs][Ah][Jd][Qh] runout gave the latter two pair and ended Conan's run.

    Lampropulos has right at 100,000 now. --MH

    2:20pm: Payout schedule announced
    Level 10 - Blinds 500-1,000 (100 ante)

    All the bean-counting is done and the full details of the EPT Dublin payout schedule has been announced.

    There were 605 players (including one no show). The total prize pool stands at €2,934,250 and top 87 finishers will get paid.

    The eventual champion will take €561,900 along with the trophy. Here's how the final table will be paid, while the full schedule is on the payouts page.

    1   €561,900
    2   €349,800
    3   €250,300
    4   €193,650
    5   €152,600
    6   €119,450
    7   €88,300
    8   €60,750

    2:15pm: Nitsche happy despite defeat
    Level 10 - Blinds 500-1,000 (100 ante)

    How can a player be happy when he busts a tournament with eights versus eights? When your name is Dominik Nitsche and you've already won €295,610 this week.

    The German star took down the UKIPT High Roller event three days ago and came second to Charlie Carrel in the one-day €10,000 High Roller at 4am this morning.

    "It was the dealer's fault!" he said. "She was supposed to put four suited cards out that matched my cards."

    "At least you lasted longer than in the Aussie Millions Main Event," needled someone close by.

    Nitsche managed to last just 20 minutes in that event last month after he stacked off with set-under-set. -- MC

    2:10pm: No flop but plenty of drama
    Blinds - 500-1,000 (100 ante)

    One of those hands that promises so much, doesn't really deliver in terms of a show down, but still provides some excitement.

    Alfie Adam opened from the cut off for 3,000 which was then raised by Jarkko Mammela on the button to 7,500. Waiting in the big blind though was Gilles Bernies, ready to four-bet to 14,500.

    The action was now back on Adam who displaying the character traits of a no-nonsense kind of player, announced he was all in for roughly 110,000 more. That forced a fold from Mammela but Bernies was forced to tank for a while. It would be almost everything he had left to call. There was a lot of staring.

    Finally Bernies folded.

    "Ace-jack... suited," Adam said, unable to contain his secret any longer. Bernies winced, but then he could have been thinking about something else. "I won a flip, ha, ha," he added. It wasn't really funny to anyone else. - SB

    2:06pm: From the UKIPT to the EPT
    Level 10 - Blinds 500-1,000 (100 ante)

    A perusal of the Day 2 seat draw unearthed four UKIPT champions who have made it to Day 2 of the EPT Main Event.

    Two of them are Dublin natives. Kevin Killeen was the last man standing at UKIPT Dublin in 2015 and since then he's finished third at EPT11 London and continued to put up good results online. He's playing 66,500 at the moment.

    The other local, via Canada, is Nick Abou Risk. He used to work for Full Tilt (there are actually two UKIPT champions and two runners-up who share that distinction) and Risk has two UKIPT titles to his name.

    While it took 98 events for the first double EPT champion to be crowned the UKIPT had that record in the history books after only ten events thanks to Risk. He's playing a stack of 57,000 right now.

    Dean Hutchison was in the field at the start of today. His original table has broken, but a double scan of the field has not yet found him. That said, we've yet to receive his bust-out slip so can't confirm that he's out or indeed in.

    Last, but not least, is David Vamplew. During Season 1 of the UKIPT, the Grand Final of the tour doubled as EPT London. It was there that Vamplew defeated John Juanda to win his EPT title, so does he consider himself a UKIPT champion?

    "If I wanted to brag then yes," he told us. "But technically no I don't think I am." And with that Vamplew went back to his stack of 84,000. -- NW

    2:04pm: Swing and a miss for Swidler
    Level 10 - Blinds: 500-1,000 (100 ante)

    Down to his last 11,900, Carter Swidler pushed all in from the button. Swidler is often seen going deep in Super Tuesdays, Sunday Millions, and other tournaments on PokerStars as "cswidler."

    Swidler watched Robert Sampson call his push from the small blind, and exhaled a little when he saw Sampson had [Ah][Td] versus his own [Ad][8c]. The [9c][4h][2d][Qh][Ks] runout was of no help to Swidler, and he heads to the exit. Sampson how has 62,000. --MH

    2:01pm: Meeting halfway
    Level 10 - Blinds: 500-1,000 (100 ante)

    They're halfway through Level 10, and the field has just shrunk to fewer than 300.

    That means roughly half the 605-entry field has been eliminated, and of course that means the average stack is a little over twice the 30K with which they started, up to just over 60,000. --MH

    2pm: Cathal takes the shine out of Tompkins' tournament
    Level 10 - Blinds 500-1,000 (100 ante)

    Earlier this week Jason Tompkins won the PokerStars Cup, pocketing over €27,000 for that win. He's just busted out of the Main Event to Cathal Shine. The latter flat called a raise with aces and Tompkins shoved behind with pocket tens and didn't get there. --NW

    1:55pm: Not such a sick brag bro
    Level 10 - Blinds 500-1,000 (100 ante)

    Dominik Nitsche sat down in the €10,000 Single Day High Roller yesterday and asked his tablemates whether any of them had played the Main Event yet. Most of them said they had, but Nitsche said he hadn't--in the process just casually mentioning that he had been busy winning the €2,000 UKIPT High Roller.

    "Sick brag, bro," Bryn Kenney said.

    Nitsche's week got even better. He came second in that €10K turbo too, meaning he had to wait until noon today to start his Main Event campaign. But he can finally now sleep. He is out.


    Dominik Nitsche: Sick bragging

    Here are the latest players to be eliminated: Norber Szecsi, Dominik Nitsche, David van der Weele, Jason Tompkins. -- HS

    1:50pm: Ace high good for Pagano
    Level 9 - Blinds 500-1,000 (100 ante)

    Luca Pagano is Italian and dresses as such. His pressed white shirt matches his white headphones, the red trim of which is in sync with the red spade stuck to his front. In a hand just now, the Team PokerStars Pro's read on Andrew Chen was as immaculate as his dress sense.

    Around 10,000 chips sat in small pile in the middle and Pagano (under the gun) checked to see Chen (button) bet 6,200. Pagano didn't give attention to the stoic Chen; his attention was on the board and inside his mind. He took his time, made the call, and checked over the [ts] river. Chen thought for a minute and gave up with a check behind. Pagano opened [ah][4h] for ace high and Chen mucked.

    In Prague at the end of last year, Johnny Lodden overtook Pagano as the player with the most EPT cashes. Lodden is out of this one, but Pagano could get back level if he carries on like this. -- MC

    Luca Pagano -- 85,000
    Andrew Chen -- 38,600

    1:45pm: Jorgensen headlines latest bill
    Level 10 - Blinds 500-1,000 (100 ante)

    It's not necessarily the kind of list you want to headline, but Theo Jorgensen is the most recognisable name among the latest clutch of eliminated players. They are as follows: Peter Akery, Natasha Barbour, Raffaele Carnevale, Yucel Eminoglu, David Lopez Llacer, Amgd Nadr, Daniel Wilson, Malkiel Berlianshik, Olov Jansson, Michael Ferrari, Kenny Hallaert, Theo Jorgensen, Samuel Vousden. -- HS


    Natasha Barbour

    1:40pm: Checking in on the leaders
    Level 10 - Blinds: 500-1,000 (100 ante)

    Back on Sunday, Gilles Bernies of Germany finished Day 1A bagging what would turn out to be the most chips of anyone who'd make it to Day 2. He's fallen back just a bit in the early going today, though still is quite healthy with 172,000.


    Gilles Bernies: Narrowly out of the chip lead

    Meanwhile Francisco Correia De Oliveira of Portugal bagged the Day 1B lead last night, and he's continued to add to his stack through the first level-plus today, pushing up to 228,000. --MH

    1:35pm: Advantage Ainsworth
    Level 10 - Blinds: 500-1,000 (100 ante)

    Michel Abecassis bet 2,200 in the cutoff which was called by Jude Ainsworth in the big blind. This was a tough table, featuring the likes of Luca Pagano, Tom Hall and Andrew Chen, all of whom watched the flop come [6d][2h][6c].

    Ainsworth then began a series of bets, leaving both of his hands resting outstretched in the table in front of him each time. The first for 2,400, which was called for a [3c] turn card. Another bet from Ainsworth, 5,800 this time, which the Frenchman called, his expression never changing from total concentration.

    Then on the [8d] river card another 13,500 from Ainsworth. Abecassis paused a moment but then called. Ainsworth flipped over his [ac][ad], prompting Abecassis to muck.

    He drops to 52,000 chips, which Ainsworth now sits with roughly 137,000. - SB

    1.30pm: Level up
    Level 10 - Blinds 500-1,000 (100 ante)

    They're into Level 10 now, playing blinds of 500-1,000. I say, "they" but it doesn't include this lot, who are the latest to bust:

    Aaron Gustavson, Gaetano Dell'Aera, Andrea Dato, Chan Pelton, Christian Thiry, Pawel Matloka, Casey Kastle, Jaroslaw Sikora, Erik Olofsson, Mustapha Kanit, Billy Chattaway, Barny Boatman, Tobias Peters, Antonio Fernandez, Mikko Saarremaa, Jimmy Kebe, Steven Warburton, Hugo Cesario Gomes Andrade. -- HS


    Jimmy Kebe

    1:29pm: In the Palma of his hand
    Level 9 - Blinds: 400-800 (100 ante)

    We're back at the "Show one card" table, where the talk is frequent and entertaining. Christian Thiry had opened from under the gun and it had folded around to Nick Palma who tossed in a call from the big blind.

    "I'm either ahead or I'm not, am I right?" grinned Palma as the flop came [9h][5d][7c]. Palma checked, Thiry bet 2,400, then Palma check-raised to 6,000. Thiry hesitated a moment before continuing.

    "You would have put it in already so I'm not worried," said Palma. "I'm a nit," responded Thiry with a nod before he finally called.

    The turn then brought the [4d], and Palma promptly set out 30,000 -- a bit more than what Thiry had behind.

    "You got me crushed probably with a set of fours," Thiry said. "You see my cards?!?" Palma instantly responded, and the table chuckled. Palma went on to note how he'd have to show one of them, should Thiry fold.

    The chatter continued. "You say one thing, I think you have it," said Thiry. "You say another, I think you don't." At last he decided upon the latter and called all in.

    Palma turned over his cards -- [4c][4h] -- and the table laughed again.

    Thiry shook his head with a smile and turned over his [8d][8s]. "I do have outs," he said, although the river [Qs] wasn't one of them and he was eliminated. They talked a little further about the hand, and Thiry wished the table luck before departing.

    Palma is up around 72,000 now. --MH

    1:25pm: Concepcion looking for a super result in the live arena
    Level 9 - Blinds 400-800 (100 ante)

    Jonathan "OMGjonyctt" Concepcion might only have $19,790 in live tournament winnings but he's got a bucket load online including two Super Tuesday wins in 2015.

    The Spanish player, who lives in the UK, is up to 83,000 after winning a hand against Jean-Noel Thorel.

    Thorel opened to 1,900 from early position, Concepcion three-bet to 6,000 from the button and Thorel he made the call when it folded back to him.

    On the [7h][5d][4h] flop Concepcion c-bet 7,000 and Thorel stuck around to see the flush come in on the [Qh] turn. He re-checked his cards quickly and then check-folded to Concepcion's second barrel. -NW

    Jean-Noel Thorel, 85,000
    Jonathan Concepcion, 83,000

    1:15pm: Cardoso's cards test Tedeschi
    Level 9 - Blinds: 400-800 (100 ante)

    Paul Tedeschi had the look of someone about to be handed an exam. He'd studied, he clearly knew the material, and after pausing just a beat to steel himself he was ready.

    The board showed [Ah][7d][3s][9c][6d], there was about 25,000 in the middle, and Diogo Cardoso had shoved all in for just under 40,000. The test was not a simple one, but with calling chips in hand Tedeschi felt ready.

    Tedeschi emphatically slammed the chips down in front of him to call, then looked Cardoso's way as he tabled his hand -- [3c][3d].

    Alas, a set of treys. Not what Tedeschi wanted to see, as he showed his [9d][7h] for two pair. The good news for Tedeschi is, we're still a long way from the final.

    Cardoso is now up over 100,000, while Tedeschi continues with 25,000. --MH

    1:10pm: Ruzicka gets value from Mayer
    Level 9 - Blinds 400-800 (100 ante)

    Nicholas Palma and Brian Reinert, among others, were involved in a conversation about the differences in poker tournaments in Europe and the USA. They're both American and Palma said: "Only in Europe do you get to the turn and not know who the action is on as everyone is just starring at each other." That made Liv Boeree and Adrian Mateos, who are sat side by side, chuckle.


    Liv Boeree and Adrian Mateos. The white fella in the middle doesn't say much

    Meanwhile a pot had broken out between Vojtech Ruzicka and Szabolcs Mayer. There was a [4d][7d][7s] flop on the felt and Ruzicka checked the action to Mayer. Ruzicka was in the big blind; Mayer the button.

    Mayer bet 2,200, Ruzicka check-raised to 6,500 total and after a bit of thought Mayer made the call. The turn was the [9h] and Ruzicka kept up his aggressive line. He bet 9,100 and again Mayer took some time to think through his decision before matching the bet.

    The [Jd] completed the board and Ruzicka emptied the clip. He bet 12,500 and, after about 30 seconds thought, Mayer called for a third time. Ruzicka opened [Js][7c] and Mayer nodded before mucking. -NW

    Vojtech Ruzicka, 98,200
    Szabolcs Mayer, 44,000

    1.05pm: Kanit departs
    Level 9 - Blinds 400-800 (100 ante)

    Mustapha Kanit has won all the High Roller events under the sun but is yet to take to the winner's enclosure in a Main Event. And he won't be doing so here either. Kanit is another of the big name early casualties, failing to get there with a nut flush draw apparently. -- HS

    1:05pm: Brian takes out Bryn
    Level 9 - Blinds 400-800 (100 ante)

    It was a short tournament for Bryn Kenney. The Super High Roller champion from this year's PCA was one of the last players to enter today and failed to make the end of the level.

    Brian Ganon opened to 2,000 from under the gun and was called in two spots (including Jason Mericer) before Kenney squeezed to 7,200 from the cutoff. Ganon came back with a four-bet to 7,200 which was enough to force out the two callers, but not Kenney, who five-bet all in for 40,000.

    After getting a count, his Argentinian opponent made the call.

    Ganon: [ad][qh]
    Kenney: [jh][jd]

    The board ran [7s][kh][qc][4s][2h] to pair Ganon's queen and vault him to about 165,000. Kenney has zilch. -- MC

    1pm: Carving the field
    Level 9 - Blinds 400-800 (100 ante)

    A few high rollers have been brought back down to size with a bump this afternoon. Take a look through the latest list of eliminations and you'll notice a few players with huge reputations, but who will not be cashing in this one:

    Bryn Kenney, Francesco Delfoco, Paul Delaney, Keith Johnson, Conor Beresford, Rui Ferreira, Ivan Luca, Daniel Mcaulay, Peter Murphy, Alberto Garcia, Luuk Giles, Michael Kopietz, Tomasz Raniszewski, Luciana Manolea, Jeff Rossiter, Dermot Blain, Richard Jones, Adrian Szuman. -- HS

    12:55pm: Rossiter sent to the rail by Palma
    Level 9 - Blinds 400-800 (100 ante)

    Jeffrey Rossiter came back with a sub 20,000 stack today and it had dwindled to 13,300 by the time he found a spot to get them in.

    Liv Boeree opened to 1,800 from under the gun before Rossiter three-bet all in from the cutoff. Nick Palma was in the small blind and he four-bet all in for around 35,000, which was enough to oust Boeree from proceedings.

    Rossiter: [ac][kd]
    Palma: [jc][js]

    The board ran an American flavoured [qs][8c][qh][5s][qc] to make Palma a full house.

    Nick Palma - 41,000
    Jeffrey Rossiter -- 0 -- MC

    12:50pm: River rescue for Ramos
    Level 9 - Blinds: 400-800 (100 ante)

    Felipe "Mojave" Ramos was on the super-short side to start the day, and just now we saw him folding a hand after an ace-high flop to a Piero Guido bet. Guido showed Ramos the [As] as he collected the pot, confirming that Ramos had chosen correctly.

    Soon, though, the chips Ramos had preserved -- just over 10,000 of them -- went all in from the button on the strength of [Kc][4d], and that decision didn't seem so great when Jon Clark in the big blind decided to look him up with [As][4s].

    The [9h][3h][5c] flop and [Qc] turn made things even less comfortable for Ramos, but the [Ks] falling on fifth street made things right again for the Brazilian.

    He survives, now back to about 22,000, while Clark is down to 32,000. --MH

    12:45pm: Aces cracked by a four in the door
    Level 9 - Blinds 400-800 (100 ante)

    Jeremy Wray used to be the chairman of a soccer club in the UK and he just made a new signing: a third of Hugo Andrade's stack.

    David Vamplew was the "gossip monger" in this transfer coup. He opened to 1,800 from early position and Wray then shoved for 13,500 total. It passed round to Andrade and his call was enough to scare off Vamplew.

    Wray: [4c][4h]
    Andrade: [Ah][Ad]

    The [4s][8h][7d] flop gave Wray the lead as his pair of fours turned into a set. The [9d] turn and [5s] river were both bricks and Wray survived. -NW

    Jeremy Wray, 30,900
    Hugo Andrade, 22,000

    12:40pm: Szuman sunk
    Level 9 - Blinds: 400-800 (100 ante)

    All in for his last 13,500 from under the gun, Adrian Szuman watched the table fold around to Koray Aldemir who reshoved from the small blind, forcing a fold from the BB.

    Szuman had [Kc][Qs] and needed to improve against Aldemir's [9s][9c], but with no king or queen on the flop and a nine on the turn, Szuman was done by the river.

    Aldemir has 80,000. --MH

    12:35pm: Erect a memorial...
    Level 9 - Blinds: 400-800 (100 ante)

    ...because the following are no more: Felipe Boianovsky, Pim Gieles, Diogo Veiga, Luiz Duarte Ferreira Filho, Carlo Savinelli, Dennis Berglin, Andy Black, Jose Carlos Garcia, Dany Parlafes, Michal Starzec, Winfred Yu, Jorma Nuutinen, Bartosz Ziolkowski, Breixo Bastian Gonzales Pena, David Peters, Daniel Chtrov.

    12:30pm: Akenhead relieved to win without showdown
    Level 9 - Blinds: 400-800 (100 ante)

    James Akenhead, who has already made deep runs in the UKIPT Main Event (24th for €4,950) and High Roller (10th for €12,185) this week, has got off to a great start here on Day 2 - winning a pot without showdown versus Luciana Manolea.

    Manolea raised to 1,900 from the button and then bet 2,100, 6,200 and 13,500 on each street of a [ks][2d][2s][qc][8c] board. Akenhead was in the big blind and stuck with her all the way.

    He winced a little when Manolea fired a third street, but after he called and she insta-mucked, he shoulders relaxed enough to enable his arms to stretch out and gather in his rewards.

    James Akenhead - 62,000
    Luciana Manolea - 32,000

    12:25pm: Yu, Peters out
    Level 9 - Blinds: 400-800 (100 ante)

    A quick postscript to Winfred Yu's day -- in short, it's over.

    All in for his last 7,000 or so with [Kc][Jc] versus Dominykas Karmazinas's [Ks][Kd], Yu was drawing dead by the turn as the board came [3c][Qs][4h][6h][Ts].

    "The most boring runout ever!" Dominik Nitsche said. Karmazinas -- who found the hand not-so-boring -- is now up to 75,000.

    Just ahead of Yu heading to the rail was David Peters, similarly short to start the day. --MH

    12:20pm: Death by quads
    Level 9 - Blinds 400-800 (100 ante)

    Jose Carlos Garcia made the final table at the EPT11 Grand Final and repeating that trick in Season 12 will be his last shot at EPT Main Event glory for this season. His EPT Dublin adventure is over early on Day 2.

    Coming into the day with 15,000 he needed a double up to get out of the danger zone. After Yiannis Liperis opened to 2,000 from early position, Garcia three-bet to 4,200 only for Diego Zeiter to cold four-bet to 9,500 in total. That got rid of Liperis but Garcia counted up his remaining chips and then moved all-in. Zeiter immediately called.

    Garcia: [Th][Ts]
    Zeiter: [Ks][Kd]

    Garcia was out of his seat after the [As][Kh][2d] flop as he needed runner-runner to survive. It didn't arrive on the [2h] turn or [Kc] river as Zeiter rubbed it in by making quads. -NW

    12:25pm: Buddiga doubles through Adams
    Level 9 - Blinds 400-800 (100 ante)

    Timothy Adams gave little reaction after Pratyush Buddiga got a little lucky to double through him in a battle of the blinds. He's been though enough in this game to worry about one lost pot.

    The action folded around to Buddiga in the small blind and moved his short stack (13,000) all in. Adams was in the big blind and made the call.

    Buddiga: [kd][qh]
    Adams: [ah][jh]

    The board ran [5c][kc][5d][5s][8d] to pair Buddiga's king. -- MC

    Pratyush Buddiga - 26,800
    Timothy Adams - 35,500

    12:23pm: I don't know about Yu, but this looks like a tough seat
    Level 9 - Blinds: 400-800 (100 ante)

    Winfred Yu finds himself in a less than comfortable spot to start Day 2. He had but 12,300 to start the day, making him one of the shortest stacks in the room. Then on his immediate right he finds Dominik Nitsche has been seated.

    Nitsche is just entering the Main Event today, having spent Sunday winning the €2K UKIPT High Roller, then Monday chopping and finishing runner-up in the €10K EPT Dublin Single-Day High Roller.

    On Nitsche's right is Steve O'Dwyer, and on his right is Dermot Blain. So you see why -- and Yu sees why -- his Day 2 starting assignment is less than desirable.

    Yu folded the first few hands today, but a similarly short-stacked Blain opened one just now to 1,600 and got a call from PokerStars qualifier Johannes De Vries playing from the big blind.

    The flop came [8c][8h][Js], and De Vries check-called a 2,100 c-bet from Blain. Both checked the [Jc] turn, then on the [4c] river De Vries pushed out 5,100 and Blain called.

    De Vries tabled [8d][8s] for flopped quads, and Blain grinned as he mucked. Now like Yu, Blain is down around the 10,000-chip mark while De Vries is up close to 70,000. --MH

    12:20am: And three out
    Level 9 - Blinds: 400-800 (100 ante)

    They have already started to fall today. Krzysztof Dulowski, Dario Cannistra and Jan-Eric Schwippert are out. -- HS

    12:15am: Another three
    Level 9 - Blinds: 400-800 (100 ante)

    I don't know how these people do it, but three more players have crept in today. They are Parker Talbot, Jussi Nevanlinna and Samuel Vousden. That should be it, but it's still going to take a while to ascertain final numbers for the tournament. -- HS

    12:05am: Away they go
    Level 9 - Blinds: 400-800 (100 ante)

    There are 11 new players involved for Day 2, buying in at the start of the action: Zvi Stern, Roberto Gazzola, Clement Thumy, Idris Ambraisse, Luuk Gieles, Jesper Hoog, Dominik Nitsche, Mark Radoja, Mustapha Kanit, Patrick Leonard, Bryn Kenney.

    Action is now under way. -- HS

    11:50am: Day 2 imminent
    Level 9 - Blinds: 400-800 (100 ante)

    We're preparing for Day 2 of the EPT Dublin Main Event, the day on which registration closes. There were 344 players returning from the combined Day 1s, but there may well still be some joining the action for the first time today.

    Not long after play starts -- a level or two, probably -- we'll have an official number plus an idea of the total prize pool for the event. Stick with us for blow-by-blow action.

    NEIL5178_EPT12DUB_Tournament_Room_Neil Stoddart.jpg

    Want to start your own EPT campaign? Sign up for PokerStars and start your journey. Click here to get an account.

    Take a look at the official website of the EPT, with tournament schedule, news, results and accommodation details for the rest of the season.

    Also all the schedule information is on the EPT App, which is available on both Android or IOS.

    PokerStars Blog reporting team on the EPT12 Dublin Main Event: Stephen Bartley, Marc Convey, Martin Harris, Howard Swains and Nick Wright. A fine bunch of strays. Photography by Neil Stoddart. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog.

  • 16 February

    EPT Grand Final schedule guarantees thrilling end to the season

    While the EPT Dublin is now in full swing, with live updates continuing from the Main Event on the PokerStars Blog, it's natural to look ahead to what will be the finale of the season, and the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino EPT Grand Final. Today we can provide all the details of what will be an EPT festival to remember.

    It all kicks off at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel, a destination that has become synonymous with the European Poker Tour since the first Grand Final in season one. The Salle des Etoiles will once again provide the backdrop to the 79 event festival, with plenty of highlights to whet the appetite of fan and pro alike.

    tournament_room_ept12_16feb16.jpgSalle des Étoiles tournament room

    Running from Tuesday April 26 to Friday May 6, it starts with a three day €10K High Roller single re-entry, at the unusual time of 6pm. Then, well, take a look at what's in store.

    FPS Main Event (April 27-May 1, 2016) - €1,000 + €100
    Super High Roller (April 28-30, 2016) - €98,000 + €2,000
    FPS High Roller (April 29-30, 2016) - €2,000 + €200
    EPT Main Event (April 30-May 6, 2016) - €5,000 + €300
    Single Day Super High Roller (May 1, 2022) - €49,000 + €1,000
    EPT High Roller (May 4-6, 2016) - €25,000 + €750

    From that you'll see the traditional Grand Final favourites, with buy-ins to make eyes water (in a good way). But there's also that eclectic mixture of alternative side events taking place that make festival one for every player, whether they're a Super High Roller, or Super Keen Amateur.

    Those alternative highlights include Open Face Chinese Pineapple (the first event of its kind), the €330 Monaco Cup, an assortment of Flip-outs, a deuces wild event, a seniors event, Omaha events (of the pot-limit, sextuple and turbo variety), and an FPS High Roller. There are also satellites from as little as €100 and a €200 buy-in Cote D'Azur Open, with three starting days and a final day of play to guarantee some season ending fireworks.

    Ready to sign up for PokerStars and make your own way to the EPT Grand Final? Click here to get an account.

    That's not even everything. The rest you can find on the EPT homepage, along with accommodation details and how to qualify for the festival in one of the countless satellites running from this weekend.

    monaco_outside_ept12_16feb16.jpgCasino Square in Monaco

    If it's anything like every other Grand Final festival staged in Monaco, it guarantees a fitting end to the season, complete with luxurious surroundings and great poker.

    We can't wait to see you there.

    Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

  • 16 February

    EPT12 Dublin: Main Event Day 2 live updates

    * CLICK TO REFRESH FOR LATEST UPDATES * CLICK FOR LATEST CHIP COUNTS * Watch the action on EPT Live 4:20: Great timing for Ruzzi Level 11 - Blinds 600-1,200 (200 ante) Of course it helps getting big hands in poker, but what really helps is getting on...

  • 15 February

    EPT12 Dublin: Francisco Correia de Oliviera takes Main Event lead on Day 1B

    Should we really be surprised how things went today? Probably not. For this was Day 1B, a day that could easily be summed up using the official EPT textbook*, with a well-worn blueprint that goes something like this. * Seats are filled * More seats ar...

  • 15 February

    Vladas Tamasauskas wins UKIPT5 Dublin and €176,900


    Vladas Tamasauskas - champion

    After a one-day hiatus the final UKIPT Main Event of Season 5 came to a conclusion today. After nearly seven levels of exciting play, Vladas Tamasauskas from Lithuania became the latest champion on the tour. He had a tricky period and had to win a race to survive when seven-handed but as the day progressed, so did his confidence along with his stack, and thoroughly deserves the trophy and the €176,900 that goes with it.

    "I felt that I could beat him; the chip lead helped!" said Tamasauskas of his heads up battle with Dave Pollock, but it was two hands before than, involving aces, that really went a long way to helping him take a dominating chip lead into their duel, a position he would never give up.


    Dave Pollock - runner up

    Four-handed he five-bet all in with pocket aces and scored a huge double up via Pollock who four-bet called with ace-queen. That gave the Lithuanian over half the chips in play and he cemented his position event further when, three-handed, he cracked Mark Reilly's aces to send him home (details below). Pollock fought valiantly and aggressively heads up and got his opponent off some better holdings, but his last aggressive move was one too many. He moved all in with ace high on a board containing two fives and was snap called by Tamasauskas who had flopped trips. Game over.

    He said he was both a little tired after the three days of poker, and also "very happy with my achievement, even though I might not look it!"

    About the UKIPT itself: "The structure was great, the dealers and staff are great - I couldn't say a bad word about it."


    Heads up on the EPTLive stage

    The final commenced at 12:30pm and the only British player represented at the table was the first player out. Marc Foggin indicated he was going straight to the bar to get drunk, rather than parlay his money into the EPT Main Event. His fourth final table of the year ended in defeat after his big-slick failed to find a pair on a queen high board. The Geordie has opened from under the gun before Samuel Vousden three-bet with pocket jacks. He did so for value and called when Foggin shoved and leapt into the chip lead as a result.


    Marc Foggin - eighth place

    It took over two hours for the next player to depart as a pattern of chip passing around the table emerged. There were plenty of big hands matching up but none decisive enough to send a player to the rail, until Jelcides Monteiro found himself all in. He can speak six languages but numbers are the same in all of them, and his odds were bad. He moved all in with ace-five and Pollock called with ace-queen, hitting his kicker to decide the hand.


    Monteiro - seventh place

    It only took a few more minutes to lose our next player, Quentin Dellis. He had left himself shallow after three-bet-folding a short while earlier. Tamasauskas set him all in with king-three from the small blind, and he called after looking at pocket eights in the big blind, but got unlucky when the board ran king high.


    Dellis - sixth place

    Vousden came into this final table as many people's favourite, due to his Sunday Million and SCOOP wins on PokerStars, but he became the third victim of the level, and another player to fall to Tamasauskas. He was down to 10 big blinds when he called all in with [qd][8d] from the big blind. Unfortunately for the Finn, Tamasauskas opened a flush-dominating [ad][7d], and he hit the rail after a blank board appeared.


    Vousden - fifth place

    The slender chip leader coming into the final was Adalsteinn Karlsson and he departed in fourth place. The 2015 Icelandic Poker Champion's aggressive game got him to the final in pole position but a similar approach cost him in the early stages today. Once short, he never lost heart and took on Tamasauskas in many pots whilst out of position - a period that defined the middle stages of the final. It wasn't to be for him in the end though and his exit hand had an interesting run out, and it inevitably involved Tamasauskas. He moved all in with queen-eight and his Lithuanian nemesis called with pockets eight. Karlsson grabbed the lead on a queen-high flop only for the case eight to appear on the turn to extinguish his hopes.


    Karlsson - fourth place

    Mark Reilly's story today was dominated by the amount of big hands he found in the hole. For the most part he used them to make profit but it was the biggest pair of all that cost him his tournament life in third spot. Tamasauskas had limped in from the button with jack-ten and he called after Reilly raised with pocket aces from the small blind. Tamasauskas flopped top two pair and got Reilly all in, and soon all out.


    Reilly - third place

    The last two players needed a breather after hard fought battle to get heads up, so they went off for a 75-minute dinner break. They came back fresh and had the tournament wrapped up in less than an hour. To read back through all the action as it happened in (almost) real time, click here.

    Here's a reminder of how much each player won today:

    1Vladas TamasauskasLithuaniaPokerStars player € 176,900  
    2Dave PollockIrelandPokerStars qualifier € 107,010  
    3Mark ReillyIreland  € 75,230  
    4Adalsteinn KarlssonIcelandPokerStars player € 56,470  
    5Samuel VousdenFinlandPokerStars player € 43,440  
    6Quentin DellisBelgium  € 31,880  
    7Jelcides MonteiroLuxembourg  € 23,520  
    8Marc FogginUK  € 16,840  

    This UKIPT Main Event attracted 1,002 players from 50 counties from around the world and Dublin has been an ever-present stop on the tour since the beginning over six years ago. It's hard to think of a better place to bring another amazing season to an end. Thanks to everyone that has played, read the updates and been involved in the best grassroots tour in Europe. Also congratulations to all the Season 5 champions featured below:

    London: Rapinder Cheema

    Series 1: Chris Young

    Nottingham: Sam Mitten-Laurence

    Series 2: Giovanni Canali

    Marbella: Isidoro Barreña

    Bristol: Pierrick Tallon

    Isle of Man: Dan Stacey

    Super Series: Dale Garrad

    Edinburgh: David Gomez

    Series 3: Elliott Panyi


    Many a trophy has been handed out this season

    No need to worry about missing the tour too much as Season 6 of the UKIPT is just around the corner. Keep an eye on the UKIPT.com homepage for all date announcements but we can tell you that PokerStars LIVE! at The Hippodrome Casino will host the first leg, April 5-10. See you all there! Satellites start as soon as Thursday on PokerStars.

    Photos courtesy of Mickey May

  • 15 February

    UKIPT5 Dublin: Final table player profiles

    Seat 1: Mark Reilly, Ireland - 845,000
    Mark Reilly, 36, has been a poker pro for the last 11 years, mainly playing medium stakes PLO, both cash games and tournaments. The €16,840 he's now guaranteed for making the UKIPT Dublin final table will be the third biggest cash of his live poker career - and brings his lifetime live tournament winnings to nearly $200k. His best live result to date was winning the $1k NL Hold'em Championship at Binions during the World Series in 2014 for nearly $41k. His best result at a PokerStars live event was tenth in a €1k event at EPT Prague in December. Online, he has a Sunday Warm-Up victory under his belt. He said: "I also final tabled a SCOOP or WCOOP event - I actually can't quite remember which!"

    Seat 2: Dave Pollock, Ireland (PokerStars Qualifier) - 4,335,000
    Dave Pollock, 40, has been commuting (with the exception of last night) back and forth from his hometown Cork in order to participate in the UKIPT Main Event. He's no stranger to a streamed final table, having finished 2nd in the Irish Open in 2014 for €130,500 (although tomorrow's top prize exceeds that). Pollock, a factory worker, has been playing poker for 10 years (live tournaments), and still competes weekly with friends in Cork, although says, "I can't seem to win there, against them. They know me too well!" Here on a UKIPT final table, he says he is more comfortable, and comes back as one of four very close top stacks.

    Seat 3: Adalsteinn Karlsson, Iceland (PokerStars Player) - 4,420,000
    Adalsteinn Karlsson, from Husavik, Iceland, started playing poker in 2010, first on Full Tilt Poker and then on PokerStars. He's been learning the game since then and only recently started to play live poker. He became the Icelandic Poker Champion in November 2015, beating a field of 140 players for more than £9,000, and this enabled him to take his game on the road. Karlsson competed at UKIPT5 Edinburgh and came third in the Edinburgh cup for £5,225. Away from poker Karlsson is a self-taught computer programmer and likes to travel. He's able to work from his laptop so can take his job on the road. He's been living, on and off, in Thailand for past four years, training in Muay Thai and enjoying life there.

    Seat 4: Jelcides Monteiro, Luxembourg - 1,025,000
    Jelcides Monteiro will be celebrating not only his first live final table on Sunday, but his first ever live cash. The 28-year-old has been a full time poker player for the last three years but mainly plays cash games. He was born in Cape Verde, a volcanic archipelago lying 500km off the coast of West Africa, but moved to Luxembourg when he was four years old (and now speaks six languages fluently). This isn't his first PokerStars live event - he also competed in the EPT and Eureka Prague Main Events in December but failed to cash. He's had considerable success online though including a deep run in the Sunday Million last week. A few months ago, he finished fourth in the Hot $109, and was then runner-up the following day.

    Seat 5: Vladas Tamasauskas, Lithuania (PokerStars Player) - 4,255,000
    Vladas Tamasauskas is a 21 year old Lithuanian poker pro who cut his teeth online playing the unusual combination of No Limit tournaments and Razz, before heading out on the live tour. He's only made two trips so far, the first being to the Bahamas (where he could legally play poker before his 21st birthday). At Eureka5 Prague he finished 11th for €19,460 and now here in Dublin he's about to cash for at least €16,840. Tamasauskas intends to stay for the full EPT Dublin Poker Festival (which runs until the 20th February). He may be new to the non-virtual felt but having found friends in Lithuania to discuss strategy with early on, he's comfortable heading into the final a close third in chips.

    Seat 6: Marc Foggin, United Kingdom - 2,220,000
    Marc Foggin, 32, was supposed to be flying to Las Vegas tomorrow for his friend's birthday and some deep-stack tournaments, but has had to cancel after making the UKIPT Dublin final. Foggin is a semi-professional poker player based in Newcastle who runs a property business with his dad - whom he is debating flying over to watch the final live on Monday. Foggin found the poker room in a casino while trying to hide from a friend of his one night, and having sat down at a table found the game suited him; he has almost $400,000 in live tournament cashes from America to Australia.

    Seat 7: Quentin Dellis, Belgium - 4,150,000
    Quentin Dellis, a 27 year old poker professional, came to Dublin for the UKIPT and its side events (the PokerStars Cup and High Roller) but has only been able to concentrate on the Main Event. It's worked out well for him; he'll soon add a UKIPT final table prize to his five cashes in EPT side events so far in the last year. Dellis was introduced to poker by friends, thought it was fun, and gradually became intrigued by its intricacies. He's been playing for 5-6 years, professionally for three (mainly tournaments) and although he is a fan of Turbo online tourneys, "can be more patient" when it's called for.

    Seat 8: Samuel Vousden - 3,675,000
    Born in Hong Kong, Samuel Vousden grew up in Salo, south Finland. He flew under the radar until last December, when he fell just shy of the EPT12 Prague final table finishing 14th and earning €45,930 - his biggest live result to date. Vousden has played only a few live tournaments just and on Monday he'll experience his first ever live final table. However, he's arguably one of the most experienced players among the final eight; he's been crushing the online realm for several years. Vousden has earned opponents' respect on PokerStars, having a Sunday Million title as well as a SCOOP title under his belt. Away from poker, he's a Manchester United supporter, and a big fan of David Beckham.

  • 15 February

    The ghosts of WCOOP

    Don't miss your chance to win up to $100,000 in cash daily in the PokerStars 100M player celebration Remind Ed Hill about his old PokerStars player icon. Remind him that it was a cartoon cat looking back at a wary dog just on the edge of the frame. ...

  • 15 February

    UKIPT5 Dublin Final Table: Level 27 (cont) updates (30,000 - 60,000, ante 10,000)


    12:45pm: UKIPT Season 5 set for thrilling finale
    Level 27 - Blinds 30,000-60,000 (10,000 ante)

    Today we bring the curtain down on Season 5 of the UKIPT, but it won't be going quietly. The final table of the final event of Season 5 will play out on the EPT Live TV table, with cards up coverage on a one hour delay.

    In real life the action is already under way as play was due to start at 12.30pm, you'll have to wait to 1.30pm to get moving pictures but as well as reading about it here you can watch it in the following places:


    And you can get involved in the conversation by contacting @PokerStarsBlog and @EPTLive on Twitter.

    A reminder that the winner of this event will pick up €176,900 and when play starts Adalsteinn Karlsson is in the box seat, although it's very close at the top as the chip counts below show:

    Seat NameCountryStatusChips
    Seat 1Mark ReillyIreland 845,000
    Seat 2David PollockIrelandPokerStars qualifier4,335,000
    Seat 3Adalsteinn KarlssonIcelandPokerStars player4,420,000
    Seat 4Jelcides MonteiroLuxembourg 1,025,000
    Seat 5Vladas TamasauskasLithuaniaPokerStars player4,255,000
    Seat 6Marc FogginUK 2,220,000
    Seat 7Quentin DellisBelgium 4,150,000
    Seat 8Samuel VousdenFinlandPokerStars player3,675,000


    The elite eight

    And a reminder of what's left to play for:

    1    € 176,900  
    2    € 107,010  
    3    € 75,230  
    4    € 56,470  
    5    € 43,440  
    6    € 31,880  
    7    € 23,520  
    8    € 16,840  

    Live coverage will begin at 13.30 GMT, see you then.

    PokerStars Blog reporting team on the UKIPT5 Dublin Main Event: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photography by Mickey May. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog.

  • 15 February

    Weekend Review: A look back on (and ahead to) the week’s winners

    A look at all the major stories from this past weekend on PokerStars.

    Weekend highlights

    * Sr.Rouquinho wins the Sunday Million for $171,000
    * shtruddle does the same in the Sunday Warm-Up
    * EPT Dublin Main Event gets started


    Round up of latest results

    A short and sweet round up of the weekend news this Monday given that we write this ahead of Day 1B of the EPT Dublin Main Event. That also explains why both of this week's major write ups were tasked to our intrepid reporter Jason Kirk who doubled down on usual duties. We're pleased to say he coped manfully.

    In his first the story was one of resilience on the part of Sr.Rouquinho, who took down the Sunday Million title ahead of a field of 5,494. That meant a deal-free first prize of $171,854, which you can read about here.

    In the Warm-Up meanwhile shtruddle took honours in a three way deal with Pokerfan89Gr and arturuz77, to claim a first prize of $64,427. Read Jason Kirk's report of that one here.

    Check the results in full below.

    2/14/16 Sunday Million ($215 No-Limit Hold'em) results
    Entrants: 5,494
    Total prize pool: $1,098,800
    Places paid: 810

    1. Sr.Rouquinho (Czech Republic) $171,854.75
    2. NEMEZIS JT (Russia) $128,010.20
    3. amar11111 (Germany) $90,486.18
    4. ismo 5. 163Andrey63 (Russia) $46,699
    6. marcel389 (Canada) $35,711
    7. Camari (Norway) $24,723
    8. woopwoopster (Norway) $13,735
    9. sslazio904 (Russia) $8,790.40

    2/14/16 Sunday Warm-Up ($215 No-Limit Hold'em) results
    Entrants: 2,250
    Total prize pool: $450,000
    Places paid: 324

    1. shtruddle (Switzerland) $64,427.98*
    2. Pokerfan89Gr (Greece) $53,416.40*
    3. arturuz77 (Uzbekistan) $46,293.12*
    4. LlKE A G6 (Czech Republic) $27,000
    5. Nicolau "nicofellow" Villa-Lobos (Brazil) $20,250
    6. 0$kar15 (Germany) $15,525
    7. pr0fes0rul (Romania) $11,025
    8. Caz_Carneiro (Brazil) $6,525
    9. Steve "Illini213" Barshak (Costa Rica) $4,050
    * Reflects the results of a three-way deal that left $8,000 in play for the winner

    The weekend's top online tournament winners

    Here's a look at this week's big winners.

    $215 Sunday Million Sr.RouquinhoCzech Republic $171,854.75
    $215 Sunday Warm-Up shtruddleSwitzerland $64,427.98
    $530 Sunday 500 omaha4rollzHungary $57,750.00
    $215 Sunday Supersonic [6-Max] calo88Argentina $44,737.31
    $215 Sunday 2nd ChancevicenfishUnited Kingdom $35,784.00

    You'll find the complete list of major results on PokerStars here for the weekend of February 6-7, 2016.

    Now is the perfect opportunity to get a PokerStars account. Open your account here.

    As we mentioned earlier this big focus of this week on the Blog is the European Poker Tour. We're up to Day 1B of the Main Event which kicks off any minute, alongside the always entertaining Single Day High Roller, which will keep at least one of us awake into the early hours of Tuesday. Then on the main EPT Live stage the UKIPT Main Event final table will play out for all to see.

    What's more you can follow all three events via the PokerStars Blog, with live updates for all three events taking place today.

    Here you'll find UKIPT live updates from start to finish. Bear in mind what you read here will be on a one hour delay from what is actually taking place in the room a few feet from where we're sitting. That's for the cards up coverage you can find on EPT Live.

    The Main Event just got underway. Live updates can be found here.

    Finally the Single Day High Roller, which really should be renamed the day and a half high roller, starts at 12.30pm. Live updates will begin then.

    That's all for now. Congratulations to all of this weekend's winners. Now back to Dublin. As always you can keep in touch with us on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog.

    Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

  • 15 February

    EPT12 Dublin: €10K Single-Day High Roller live updates


    * 22 remain from 89 total entries

    7:34pm: A couple for Riess
    Level 13 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

    Ryan Riess is having a good level. He just won a nice pot against Sergey Lebedov - here's how it played out.

    Riess limped from the sb and Lebedov checked from the bb. The flop was the [3s][js][7h], and both players checked. The same thing happened on the [8c] turn. Then, on the [4h] river, Riess checked but Lebedov bet 20,000. But now Riess decides to 3-bet to 75,000, and finds a caller. Riess flipped over his [4d][4c] for a set of fours confidently, and Lebedov let out a wince and a sigh.

    The next hand, Mark Radoja opened to 28,000 and Riess 3-bet to 64,000, taking it down. He's up to 600,000 now, while Lebedev has slipped a little to 760,000. --JS

    7:25pm: A whole lot of 3-bets
    Level 13 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

    3-betting is the order of Level 13 - all the cool kids are doing it. Everywhere we look it's happening.

    Sam Greenwood opens to 30,000, Dominik Nitsche 3-bets to 77,000, Greenwood folds.

    Mark Radoja opens to 30,000, Jeff Rossiter 3-bets to 82,000, Radoja folds.

    Paul-Francois Tedeschi opens to 26,000 Reiner Kempe makes it 81,000 to play, and Tedeschi gives it up.

    All three of this took place on different tables. We've only got three tables left! --JS

    7:15pm: Level 13 is a go
    Level 13 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

    We're down to 26 players as we enter Level 13. --JS

    7:00pm: Lebedev takes the chip lead
    Level 12 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

    We just caught the end of a huge pot between Sergey Lebedev and Orpen Kisacikoglu. The board read [th][ah][4h][5c][ks] and Kisacikoglu checked over to Lebedev (bear in mind there was around 427,000 already in the middle!). Lebedev put out a bet of 200,000 and Kisacikoglu had a long think. He'd eventually make the call, but mucked when Lebedev flipped over the [kh][3h] for the stone-nuts.

    With that hand, Lebedev has taken a good chip lead with 960,000, while Kisacikoglu has 245,000 remaining. --JS

    6:50pm: Players are back - except this lot
    Level 12 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

    We now have 29 players remaining. Adrian Mateos, Jean-Noel Thorel, Piotr Franczak, Rocco Palumbo, Scott Margereson, Georgios Sotiropoulos, Davidi Kitai, Alexandru Papazian, Dzmitry Urbanovich, Martin Jacobson, and Max Silver have all been eliminated. --JS

    6:40pm: A few chip counts
    Level 12 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

    Here are a few unofficial chips counts at the break:

    Jason Wheeler 520,000
    Daniel Dvoress 510,000
    Sam Greenwood 430,000
    Dominik Nitsche 400,000
    Paul-Francois Tedeschi 375,000
    Viacheslav Goryachev 344,000
    Kevin MacPhee 288,000


    Wheeler leads at the break

    6:30pm: Break time

    Players are now on a 20 minute break. When we return the blinds will be 5,000/10,000 with a 1,000 ante. --JS

    6:24pm: Nitsche wins big from Zisimopoulos, then doubles Sormunen
    Level 11 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

    The clock had been called on Georgios Zisimopoulos, as he was taking a heckuva long time to make a decision as to call Dominik Nitsche's all-in shove. The board was [qh][8h][4d][2h][8s], the bet was for 185,000 more and the pot was already huge, but with just 191,000 himself it would basically be for Zisimopoulos' tournament. As it ticked down to 5 seconds his hand hit the muck.

    Nitsche scraped in the pot and now had 430,000. "I had ace queen, you had king queen," he said afterwards. Juding by Zisimopoulos's reaction, he may have been on the money.

    The next hand Nitsche was right in the thick of the action again, opening and then calling a shove from Pasi Sormunen for 48,000. Nistche held [ad][5d] while it was [ks][qc] for the Finnish player, and a king on the flop secured him the double up.

    Dominik Nitsche 375,000
    Pasi Sormunen 108,000
    Georgios Zisimopoulos 191,000 --JS

    6:14pm: Habib busts to Lebedev
    Level 11 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

    Walid Bou Habib was all-in with [ah][kh] but would need to hit to beat Sergey Lebedev's [2h][2d]. The board ran out [5d][3d][js][8s][jc] and the deuces held, eliminating Habib, while giving Lebedev around 600,000. --JS

    6:04pm: Prize pool and pay-outs
    Level 11 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

    The 89 entries in this event created a prize pool of €863,300, and 13 people will be paid. Here's a look at how the pay-outs breakdown:

    1. €229,200 
    2. €159,280 
    3. €105,320 
    4. €82,450 
    5. €66,480 
    6. €51,800 
    7. €41,000 
    8. €31,940 
    9. €24,170 
    10. €18,560 
    11. €18,560 
    12. €17,270 
    13. €17,270 

    There are 37 players remaining. --JS

    6:00pm: Level 11 underway
    Level 10 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante)

    The blinds continue to go up, and many stacks are entering the danger zone. Don't go anywhere - we'll be back with knock-outs and the prize pool/pay-outs in just in a sec. --JS

    5:50pm: Buddiga loses the race
    Level 10 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

    Pratyush Buddiga had got it all-in with [qh][qd] against Orpen Kisacikoglu's [ah][ks], and the two were off to the races. Kisacikoglu has an interesting look today - a ski woolly hat and a scarf covering everything but his eyes. The board ran out [9c][as][5h][4c][2h] and that ace ended Buddiga's tournament. It was a pretty large pot, and Kisacikoglu now has more than 500,000. --JS

    5:45pm: Kanit can't make it two in a row
    Level 10 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

    The enigmatic, entertaining, and effervescent Mustapha Kanit won't win two High Rollers in a row, as he has been eliminated from this event. Will we see him hop into the Main Event on Day 1B? --JS

    5:40pm: Mercier eliminated - no chance to re-enter
    Level 10 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

    What an annoying time to bust your first bullet - right after entry is closed! Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier is gone and will have to find new plans for the day. --JS

    5:30pm: Level 10 begins
    Level 10 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

    Play has now entered Level 10 which means there are no more entries allowed. A total of 66 players entered this event, with 23 re-entering. As it stands 43 remain - we'll have the prize pool details as soon as they're announced. --JS

    5:23pm: Greenwood doubles through Vogelsang
    Level 9 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

    Jean-Noel Thorel kicked off the action with an open to 12,000, before Sam Greenwood decided to shove for 98,000 on the button. Christoph Vogelsang looked interested, and thought for a little while before raising to 225,000. Thorel quickly got out of the way, and the cards were on their backs.

    Sam Greenwood [7d][7s]
    Christoph Vogelsang [ah][tc]

    There was an ace in the window on the flop, but also a 7 - giving Greenwood a set. At the end, the board read [as][4d][7h][qd][ks] and Greenwood doubled up. He now has 124,000.

    There are 45 players remaining. --JS


    Sam's happy

    5:10pm: McDonald, Kurganov, Drinan, Chartier, Charania - all eliminated
    Level 9 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

    There have been plenty of bust-outs since the players have returned for Level 9. Igor Kurganov, Connor Drinan, Sam Chartier, Mohsin Charania, and Mike McDonald have all been felted.

    In Mike McDonald's case, it was by the hands of Davidi Kitai. McDonald had got all his chips in with [ac][5c] on the turn of the [4s][kd][2c][9c] board, and needed an ace, club or 3 to beat Kitai's [td][tc]. The river was the [9s] though and McDonald is outta here. Kitai now has 115,000.

    52 players remain, with one more level before entry is closed. --JS

    4:50pm: One last hand

    While all other players had gone on their break, two remained. I went over to see what was going on and found Francois Billard and Sergey Lebedev playing a pot together which would stretch five minutes into their comfort time.

    The board had already reached the river, showing [qh][td][jd] and Billard checked, before Lebedev put out a 36,000 bet into a 90,000 pot. Billard went deep into the tank - for so long that Ryan Reiss - who had hung back to watch his tablemates play - had a chance to do an interview and still come back in time to catch the end of the hand. Billard would eventually fold though, and now sits with 168,000, while Lebedev is up to around 205,000. --JS

    4:46pm: Break time

    Level 8 has concluded and players are on another 15-minute break. This will be the last chance for anyone to enter or re-enter, as that window will close with the start of Level 9. --MH

    4:42pm: Mercier doubles through Kurganov
    Level 8 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

    Jason Mercier was just now all in and at risk holding [Ad][Kc] versus Igor Kurganov's [Ac][Jd]. The [9h][Qd][9c][3c][Tc] board was okay for Mercier, and he doubles to about 180,000 while Kurganov slips to just over 85,000. --MH

    4:37pm: Assorted chip counts
    Level 8 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

    They are about halfway through Level 8 -- almost four hours into the tournament -- and at the moment Daniel Dvoress looks like the leader as he's pushing up toward the 500,000-chip mark.

    Here's a glimpse at how several of the stacks look at present, including all the big ones:

    Daniel Dvoress - 475,000
    Jason Wheeler - 390,000
    Christoph Vogelsang - 328,000
    Charlie Carrel - 318,000
    Martin Jacobson - 353,000
    Senh Ung - 290,000
    Pratyush Buddiga - 244,000
    Adrian Mateos - 220,000
    Ryan Riess - 196,000
    Jeffrey Rossiter - 186,000
    Nick Petrangelo - 145,000
    Sam Greenwood - 120,000
    Igor Kurganov - 118,000
    Rocco Palumbo - 107,000
    Bryn Kenney - 105,000
    Connor Drinan - 91,000
    Mustapha Kanit - 88,000
    Steve O'Dwyer - 82,000
    Dominik Nitsche - 80,000
    Max Silver - 75,000
    Davidi Kitai - 73,000
    David Peters - 60,000
    Jason Mercier - 54,000

    With about 15 minutes of late registering and re-entering to go, there are 89 total entries so far. --MH

    4:35pm: Jacobson felts Watson, while Heath hits the rail again
    Level 8 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

    Two more players have exited this event, one of whom has become our first to bust twice.

    Ben Heath, who has now used both of his entries and can't re-enter, was putting on his backpack and making his way out of the tournament area while we were watching a hand between Martin Jacobson and Mike Watson.

    Jacobson min-raised from UTG and it folded around to Watson in the big blind. He made the call the two saw the [4c][3c][td] flop, which Watson would check to the pre-flop raiser. Jacobson c-betted for 13,000, but Watson 3-bet shoved for around 40,000. Jacobson made the call with the [ts][qc] and was ahead with a pair of tens against Watson's [ac][8c]. The [8h] on the turn gave SirWatts some hope, but the [6s] river sealed his fate.

    It's likely we'll see Mike Watson again in this event, but he only has one and a bit levels to re-enter. Meanwhile, Jacobson is storming up the counts with 350,000. --JS

    4:22pm: Kanit's back in
    Level 8 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

    There may only be one Mustapha Kanit, but there are two Mustapha Kanit buy-ins in this event. The Italian High Roller champ is back in with 100,000. --JS

    4:17pm: Zisimopoulos doubles through Silver
    Level 8 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

    Before Level 7 ended, Georgios Zisimopoulos found a double up when he shoved from the small blind into Max Silver's bb. It was only for 26,300, so Silver made the call with [8h][6h], in bad shape against Zisimopoulos' [th][8d]. It would get worse for Silver on the flop as Zisimopoulos flopped the nut straight. The board ran out [9c][jh][7s][as][kh] and Zisimopoulos is up to 54,000, while Silver is in trouble with 33,500. --JS

    4:16pm: Level 8 begins
    Level 8 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

    They're up to Level 8 now, the last full level before late registration and the ability to re-enter ends. --MH

    4:12pm: Gieles felts Kanit
    Level 7 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

    We're trying to keep our cool and not get too excited around here whenever someone loses an all-in. Not yet, anyway. With late registration and the ability to re-enter available through the start of Level 9, nothing is final, really... unless, of course, a player busts for a second time, which is something we haven't seen happen yet.

    Case in point, just now we were reporting how Steve O'Dwyer had responded to being knocked out once by re-entering and knocking out Luuk Gieles. Well, Gieles then performed a similar feat, immediately buying back in and then felting yesterday's €25K High Roller champ, Mustapha Kanit.

    Following an open from the button, Kanit had shoved for about 58,000 from the small blind, and Gieles reshoved from the big to isolate. Kanit had [As][8d] and Gieles [9s][9d]. The [7d][4h][6d][8h][5h] put a straight on the board, but Gieles was able to make a better one and Kanit was out... but likely not for long.

    Gieles is at 145,000 now. --MH

    3:58pm: O'Dwyer felts Gieles
    Level 7 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

    Steve O'Dwyer was nursing a short stack up through the last level when he finally busted and then re-entered. Shortly after that, he was the one felting another in a hand versus Luuk Gieles.

    Gieles had open-pushed his last 38,000 from early position and O'Dwyer called from late, with the blinds stepping aside. Gieles showed [Ac][3c] while O'Dwyer had picked up [Ah][Ad]. The board ran out [2s][3d][4c][7c][6h], and Gieles moved to the rail.

    On his second try, O'Dwyer has 142,000 now. --MH

    NEIL4961_EPT12DUB_Steve_O'Dwyer_Neil Stoddart.jpg

    Steve O'Dwyer

    3:48pm: Seeking more silver spades
    Level 7 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

    They're up to Level 7, and as it happens there are now 77 total entries in the event. Which will be the lucky one?

    Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.

    3:43pm: Seeking more silver spades
    Level 6 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (300 ante)

    "You guys play the Main yet?"

    So asked Dominik Nitsche, one of the late arrivers for this event. Most at the table had, but Nitsche said he hasn't as yet. At that revelation, Bryn Kenney -- another of the latecomers -- had a ready rejoinder.

    "Sick brag, bro."

    The table laughed, as they all knew along with Kenney why it was Nitsche has yet to play the EPT Dublin Main Event. The German was otherwise occupied during yesterday's first Day 1 flight, busy winning the €2K UKIPT High Roller where he topped a 416-entry field to earn a cool €156,160.

    Speaking of players who collected silver spades a day ago, another one has also now joined the €10K SDHR field -- Mustapha Kanit, winner of the EPT Dublin €25K High Roller. --MH

    3:27pm: Kempe snares Neuville's stack
    Level 6 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (300 ante)

    In a battle of the blinds, Pierre Neuville found himself all in and at risk with [Kd][2s] versus Rainer Kempe's [3d][3c].

    The [7c][2c][Jh] flop gave Neuville one pair, but the [8s] turn and [9h] river provided no further improvement and he was felted. Kempe has about 120,000 at present. --MH

    3:18pm: Level 6 begins
    Level 6 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (300 ante)

    As Level 6 begins the big board shows 67 total entries, with 57 players in action. --MH

    3:16pm: Vogelsang stacks Silver
    Level 5 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

    Christoph Vogelsang opened for 4,800 from under the gun and Nicholas Palma called from the next seat over. It folded around to Max Silver in the big blind who then reraise-shoved for 42,000 total.

    Vogelsang paused about a half-minute, studying Silver's bet and the counting through his own chips. Finally he reraised all in over the top, and Palma quickly folded.

    Silver: [Ts][Td]
    Vogelsang: [Ad][Ah]

    Silver immediately stood from his seat at the sight of Vogelsang's rockets, and five cards later -- [Js][8h][7c][3s][Kd] -- he departed. Vogelsang now has about 290,000, while Silver is already re-entering to try and take a second crack. --MH

    8G2A5153_EPT12DUB_Christoph_Vogelsang_Neil Stoddart.jpg

    Christoph Vogelsang

    3:05pm: Jacks hold for Luca
    Level 5 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

    Following a Martin Jacobson open from the button, Ivan Luca reraised all in from the big blind for 12,900 and after thinking for a short while the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event champion called.

    Jacobson showed [Ac][Qc] while Luca had [Jc][Jd]. The board came [Ks][4s][Kc][8s][8h] -- safe for Luca who doubled to just under 30,000. Meanwhile Jacobson slips to about 75,000. --MH

    2:59pm: Surveying the big stacks
    Level 5 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

    A quick survey of the tables seeking the biggest stacks reveals that Senh Ung -- one of the players who has re-entered -- looks to have the most chips at present. An unofficial top five:

    Senh Ung - 310,000
    Daniel Dvoress - 290,000
    Jeff Rossiter - 220,000
    Nicholas Palma - 215,000
    Christoph Vogelsang - 215,000

    8G2A5203_EPT12DUB_Daniel_Dvoress_Neil Stoddart.jpg

    Daniel Dvoress

    2:48pm: Level 5 begins
    Level 5 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

    Players are back and cards are in the air once again. Now the total number of entries is up to 61, with late registration continuing to stay open through the start of Level 9.

    Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.

    2:33pm: Break time

    Players are now taking their first 15-minute break of the day. --MH

    2:23pm: Field increases, becomes increasingly tough
    Level 4 - Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

    Some more latecomers to tell you about -- Steve O'Dwyer, Martin Jacobson, Igor Kurganov, Sam Greenwood, Ivan Luca, and Jared Jaffee are further helping fill out a stellar field in this one.

    Right now there are 58 total entries with 50 players sitting behind stacks. --MH

    2:11pm: Serving treys
    Level 4 - Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

    With the board showing [3h][3c][9d][9c][3d] and a small pot having developed, Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier made bet from the small blind with the full house on the board and Georgios Zisimopoulos couldn't resist calling from the button.

    Mercier then showed [Qc][3s] for quads and Zisimopoulos mucked. Mercier is at about 118,000 right now while Zisimopoulos sits with just over 160,000. --MH

    NEIL4953_EPT12DUB_Jason_Mercier_Neil Stoddart.jpg

    Jason Mercier

    2:01pm: Level 4 begins
    Level 4 - Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

    Another half-hour level has started. After this one, players will be taking their first 15-minute break of the day. --MH

    1:53pm: More KOs, Dvoress chips up
    Level 3 - Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

    We just saw Daniel Dvoress claiming the last of Sam Chartier's stack to send the latter to the rail. Dvoress has about 245,000 now. Ben Heath was also standing with his backpack, having likewise lost the last of his starting stack.

    The big board is showing 54 total entries to this point, with 48 players in action. --MH

    1:42pm: Lebedev knocked out
    Level 3 - Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

    Sergey Lebedev has become the third player stacked so far after a confrontation with Georgios Zisimopoulos near the beginning of the day's third level.

    Lebedev was all in and at risk with [9c][9s] versus Zisimopoulos's [Ah][Kh], but the [3c][7s][Qh][7c][Kd] board had brought a better pair to Zisimopoulos, and Lebedev is out. Like the others felted early, he can re-enter up until the start of Level 9.

    Zisimopoulos is up to 175,000 now. --MH

    1:31pm: Level 3 begins
    Level 3 - Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

    They continue on into Level 3 without a break, with 40 total entries so far. --MH

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    1:27pm: Gieles grabs from Neuville
    Level 2 - Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

    We arrived on the river to see a provocative-looking board-and-hands combination in a hand between Luuk Gieles and Pierre Neuville.

    The board read [8h][Ks][8c][Ad][4s], and Neuville's [Jc][8d] meant he'd flopped trips. But Gieles's [Ac][Ah] meant he'd turned a full house, and the Dutchman profited well by doing so, earning a big pot off of the Belgian.

    Gieles is up around 215,000 now while Neuville slips back to 70,000. --MH

    1:20pm: Bleiker bounced
    Level 2 - Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

    Felix Bleiker has followed Senh Ung to the rail as the second knockout of the day after losing his stack to Kevin MacPhee in a set-over-set situation. --MH

    1:17pm: Ung felted; Kempe, Adams on the rise
    Level 2 - Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

    The day's first knockout has already occurred here in the middle of Level 2.

    A preflop raising war between Senh Ung and Rainer Kempe saw Ung all in and at risk with ace-king versus Kempe's pocket nines. The nines held, Ung is out (perhaps to re-enter), and Kempe is now sitting with about 200,000 or twice the starting stack.

    Meanwhile Timothy Adams took a decent-sized pot off of Charlie Carrel a short while ago, and he sits with about 160,000 in the early going. --MH

    1:01pm: Level 2 begins
    Level 2 - Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

    It's a new level already, but there's no increase in either the blinds or antes. --MH

    12:53pm: All-ins aplenty
    Level 1 - Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

    We've already seen a couple all-ins even in the first level of the tournament.

    In one instance, Mike McDonald raise-shoved over a river bet by Orpen Kisacikoglu to claim a decent-sized pot. McDonald is up around 130,000 at present.

    8G2A5208_EPT12DUB_Mike_McDonald_Neil Stoddart.jpg

    Mike McDonald

    Meanwhile on the next table over, Christoph Vogelsang and Nicholas Palma got it all in on only to discover both had been dealt pocket kings. The board provided no four-flushes, and the pair chopped the pot. --MH

    12:46pm: More arrivals
    Level 1 - Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

    The empty seats are starting to fill and a fifth table has been opened as more than 30 players are in action now. Adrian Mateos, Jeffrey Rossiter, and Anthony Zinno are among the latest to claim seats. --MH

    12:39pm: The usual suspects
    Level 1 - Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

    A couple of minutes into today's event and the big board is showing 19 players registered so far, with 17 of them in their seats and playing short-handed at four tables. Late registration is open until the start of Level 9.

    At one table is Mike McDonald, Daniel Dvoress, Kyle Frey, and Demetrio Barreca. At another we find Sergey Lebedev, David Peters, Ryan Riess, Senh Ung, and Fernando Brito.

    Nearby at a third table are seated Pierre Neuville, Christoph Vogelsang, Laui Varonen, and Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier. And at the fourth we find Timothy Adams, Pratyush Buddiga, Ben Heath, and Charlie Carrel. --MH

    12:31pm: Shuffle up and deal!
    Level 1 - Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

    The first hands of the €10K Single-Day High Roller are being dealt. Play is eight-handed and players are starting with deep stacks 100,000 chips, but the blinds and antes will start increasing soon thanks to the short 30-minute levels. Also, players can re-enter once, which ought to inspire even more action from the start. --MH

    12:00pm: €10K Single-Day High Roller starting soon

    Welcome back to the Royal Dublin Society where among today's busy schedule the €10K Single-Day High Roller will be playing out starting at 12:30pm. With half-hour levels the pace promises to be a quick one, and many of poker's biggest names are expected to take part today.

    Back soon for the beginning... and the middle... and the end, as we bring you start-to-finish coverage of the "SDHR"! --MH

    Want to start your own EPT campaign? Sign up for PokerStars and start your journey. Click here to get an account.

    Take a look at the official website of the EPT, with tournament schedule, news, results and accommodation details for the rest of the season.

    Also all the schedule information is on the EPT App, which is available on both Android or IOS.

    PokerStars Blog reporting team on the EPT12 Dublin €10K Single-Day High Roller: Jack Stanton and Martin Harris. Photography by Neil Stoddart. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter:@PokerStarsBlog

  • 15 February

    EPT12 Dublin: Main Event Day 1B live updates

    * Follow the UKIPT final table
    * Follow the single-day high roller
    * 367 of 434 (so far) players remaining

    7:30pm: Nuff respect
    Level 6 - Blinds: 200-400 (50 ante)

    Martin Jacobson is among the most respected men in poker: by all estimations, he is the World Champion who deserves the crown. He is in the EPT Dublin Main Event today, with a stack of 33,000, and just got moved to a new table.

    First hand: he raised to 1,000 and it folded to Shyam Srinivasan in the big blind. Srinivasan folded too. Next hand, Jacobson mucked. Hand after that, Jacobson opened to 1,000 and everybody folded again.

    There's a thing as too much respect, guys. -- HS

    7:21pm: QQ > KK
    Level 6 - Blinds: 200-400 (50 ante)

    Preflop back-and-forthing between Germany's Adrian Apmann and Andrea Dato of Italy concluded with Apmann five-bet jamming and Dato calling all in for about 22,000 total.

    Dato had [Qh][Qc] and appeared in dire straits versus Apmann's [Kd][Ks], but the [8c][Qs][Ad] flop suddenly brightened Dato's prospects. The turn was the [Jd] and river the [9c]. and Dato survived with a stack a little north of 45,000. Dato now is the one with about 22,000. --MH

    7:15pm: A sprint, not a marathon
    Level 6 - Blinds: 200-400 (50 ante)

    Johnny Lodden's race is run. He lived fast, he died young. Lodden made a king-high flush, but Richard Dubini made a full house. That's the end of that for Lodden. -- HS

    7:09pm: Level 6 begins
    Level 6 - Blinds: 200-400 (50 ante)

    Let's take this to a new level, shall we? Bigger blinds, bigger antes, and just 75 minutes removed from the dinner break now.

    The big board says there have been 434 entrants here on Day 1B, with 355 still with us. Late registration remains open until the start of Day 2 tomorrow. --MH

    7pm: In or out?
    Level 5 - Blinds: 150-300 (25 ante)

    A pretty tough table has developed over on the far side of the tournament room featuring players often seen in the High Roller events. Kim Wittendorff and Anton Bertilsson are there, as is Andrew Chen.

    I actually thought both Wittendorff and Bertilsson might have been out. Neither is in his original seat and, well, Scandis gonna Scandi. But they were simply moved earlier in the day and now command stacks of about 51,000 (Wittendorff) and 39,000 (Bertilsson). Chen has about 44,000.

    Wittendorff was the man involved in a recent pot, pushing Rafael Porzecanski to the brink of extinction.

    Porzecanski opened from under the gun, making it 700 to play. Wittendorff called on the button, Peter Murphy called in the small blind and Chen came along too from the big blind.

    Those four took a flop of [2c][8c][7s] and both Murphy and Chen checked. Porzecanski bet 1,500 but only Murphy let it go. The other two called.

    The turn was the [9c] and it went check, check, allowing Wittendorff to take over the betting lead. He bet 3,600. Chen folded, but Porzecanski called and they went the the river of [3h].

    After Porzecanski checked again, Wittendorff carefully calculated a bet of 13,000. That was just a bit less than the total sum of Porzecanski's remaining stack. The Uruguayan was playing for his tournament.

    After a requisite period of huffing and puffing, Porzecanski folded, preserving his life for now. Wittendorff, having already risen from the dead, battles on too. -- HS

    6:58pm: Petrov pushes, river sinks Reilly
    Level 5 - Blinds: 150-300 (25 ante)

    With the board showing [8s][2c][9d][Qs], Tim Reilly watched as Mikhail Petrov pushed all in, forcing Reilly to a decision whether or not to risk the last of his short stack. Finally he called, turning over [Qc][Jd] for top pair. Petrov meanwhile had [3s][2s] for a pair of deuces and a flush draw.

    Reilly might have been thinking "no spade," but the [2h] river was a bad card for him, too, giving Petrov trips and ending Reilly's day at the very end of Level 5. Petrov now has 115,000. --MH

    6:42pm: A Wrang turn
    Level 5 - Blinds: 150-300 (25 ante)

    With the board showing [Kd][3c][7d][Td] and about 12,000 in the middle, Team PokerStars Pro George Danzer was wondering whether or not to call the all-in shove for just under 10,000 by Jannick Wrang. He studied for more than a minute, then finally pushed his hand away.

    Danzer continued to sport an uncertain look as Wrang gathered the chips. Then from across the table, Iliodoros Kamatakis was able to make a declaration that was undoubtedly true.

    "If it was a bluff, it was a good one," he said.

    Danzer grinned and nodded, and he and Wrang continued to discuss Kamatakis's observation and the importance of that ten on the turn. Danzer is up around 65,000 now while Wrang has about 20,000. --MH

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    6:25pm: Gordillo trying, failing to get things going
    Level 5 - Blinds: 150-300 (25 ante)

    Pablo Gordillo continues to attack despite a tough table (he has Rhys Jones, Kenny Hallaert and Mickey Petersen for company) and not an enormous stack (a little less than the starting 30,000).

    It got a little shorter after this coup, where he ran into Fabrice Halleux, who hit a pretty good flop and only watched his hand get better.

    Gordillo opened to 900 from under the gun and Breixo Gonzales called from two seats to the left, as did Halleux on the button. All three of them checked a flop of [jc][5h][2h]. The turn was the [9d] and Gordillo and Gonzales both checked again, before Halleux bet 1,300. Gordillo alone called.

    The [js] came on the river and Gordillo checked again. Halleux bet 3,150 and Gordillo tank-called. Halleux turned over his [jh][kh] and Gordillo mucked. -- HS

    6:25pm: Farrell is a busted flush
    Level 5 - Blinds: 150-300 (25 ante)

    Say what you want about Niall Farrell, but he's not one to go out with a whimper. According to sources in the tournament room, he three-barrel bluffed [ts][js] and never had more than a flush draw (busted, of course). There were pocket sevens elsewhere and that did for the EPT Malta champion. -- HS

    6:19pm: How much?
    Level 5 - Blinds: 150-300 (25 ante)




    A statement from Slaven Popov. Then a question from Corey Hochman. A clarification from Popov. Then a third player piped up.

    "Is it eight-fifty?"

    "How much is it again?" added Ludovic Geilich.

    The table chucked in response. A poker hand had momentarily turned into a who's-on-first routine, but soon the focus was back on the cards.

    Speaking of, the three on the board were [9c][7c][Qs], and Popov had led with that bet of 850. Hochman called, then called again after the [3c] turn. That time the bet was 1,900, clearly made with repetition unneeded.

    The river brought the [8h] and a check from Popov, after which Hochman bet 4,000 and Popov folded. "Nice hand," he said to Hochman. "I like it."

    Hochman nodded and ordered what is now about 75,000-chip stack. Popov has liked a lot of hands so far today, as he currently has 125,000. --MH

    6:05pm: TV time for ElkY?
    Level 5 - Blinds: 150-300 (25 ante)

    During a spell in the EPT Live commentary booth yesterday, ElkY told viewers that he was looking forward to seeing them "on the other side of the stream" soon. He was meaning on the feature table, rather than with mic in hand. It's been a while for the Team PokerStars Pro.

    But with coverage starting tomorrow from the Main Event, ElkY has put himself in a good position to feature. He has about 68,000 in his stack now, even after the following hand.

    elky_cameras_eptdub_med1b.jpgElkY getting some attention

    Stefan Ivanov opened to 750 from UTG+1 and after action folded to ElkY's big blind, he called. The two saw a flop of [6d][kc][4h] and ElkY checked. Ivanov bet 600, which ElkY called, and they went to the [ks] on the turn. Check, check.

    ElkY then led 1,250 at the [7d] river, but Ivanov raised to 4,000. After pondering for a while, ElkY whipped his cards from beneath his Mau5 card protector like a party entertainer deals with a tablecloth beneath a tea service.

    He is still well stacked, however, as they play towards the dinner break. -- HS

    6:00pm: More red wedding than red carpet for Veldhuis
    Level 5 - Blinds: 150-300 (25 ante)

    It's been a while since Lex Veldhuis visited the European Poker Tour, but the welcome--at least in the case of a recent pot--is more red wedding than red carpet.

    There certainly was a lot of red. When I arrived, the board was out to the turn: [9h][as][5h][5c] and Fergal Cawley, who won a late satellite to play this event, bet 6,000 at it. Veldhuis called.

    lex_veldhuis_eptdub_med1b_22.jpgLex Veldhuis

    The river was the [6h] and Cawley moved all in for his last 13,600. Veldhuis pondered the call and seemed to sense something was amiss. But he did eventually call and was shown another splash of red: [7h][8h] for a straight flush.

    Veldhuis wanted to muck but the dealer told him he had to show. It's a called all-in bet and new-ish rules (probably brought in since Veldhuis was last with us) obliged the Team PokerStars Online to reveal his [7d][5d].

    Yep, lots of red. But it was Veldhuis's blood that was shed. He has about 13,000 left now. -- HS

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    6:01pm: Liv to fight again
    Level 5 - Blinds: 150-300 (25 ante)

    With the board showing [Jh][4c][8c][Jc][7h] and about 4,000 in the pot, Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree pushed out a bet of 2,500 in an effort to claim those chips in the middle. But when Peter Akery raised to 10,000 in response, Boeree released her hand, giving up that battle with eye toward later ones.

    liv_boeree_eptdub_med1b_22.jpgLiv Boeree

    Boeree has won more than she's lost so far today, however, having built her stack up to 64,000 during the first four-plus levels. Akery has about 20,000. --MH

    5:51pm: Gordillo grabs a few
    Level 5 - Blinds: 150-300 (25 ante)

    Spaniard Pablo Gordillo has made two EPT Main Event final tables before, taking fourth at EPT10 Vienna and eighth at EPT11 London. He's back here in Dublin trying to make a third.

    Just now Gordillo was raising (as usual) from early position, making it 700 to go, and got a call from the UK's Rhys Jones. The flop came [Jc][7c][Qh], and after Gordillo checked, Jones fired a bet of 1,000. Gordillo then check-raised to 2,600, and that was enough encouragement for Jones to let his hand go.

    Both Gordillo and Jones are hovering around the 25,000-chip mark at present. -- MH

    5:45pm: Welcome to Level 5
    Level 5 - Blinds: 150-300 (25 ante)

    They're off again. The latest list shows 439 registered for today.

    5:24pm: Break time

    Having reached the end of the level, players are now taking a 20-minute break. --MH

    5:20pm: In Celtics cap, Cody collects
    Level 4 - Blinds: 100-200 (25 ante)

    Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody is sporting an appropriate-seeming green Boston Celtics cap while playing the EPT Dublin Main Event today. Just now he looked out from under the brim of that cap at his hole cards, then tossed out a raise to 500.

    jake_cody_eptdub_med1b.jpgJake Cody

    Connor O'Driscoll then reraised to 1,300 from a couple of seats over, both blinds called as well -- including Ian Nelson in the SB -- and Cody called, too.

    The flop came [Kh][Qh][6h] (hearts!), and it checked all of the way around. The turn then brought the [2d] (blank!), and Nelson led for 2,500.

    It folded to Cody who studied the situation once more from under that green brim, and he decided to raise to 8,100. That was enough to scatter everyone, and Cody claimed the pot.

    Cody's up to about 50,000 now. --MH

    5:10pm: Not all big pots and showdowns
    Level 4 - Blinds: 100-200 (25 ante)

    Three small hands from neighbouring tables:

    1 - Jannick Wrang raised to 525 from mid-position and picked up three callers: Brian Reinert on the button, Antal Roth in the small blind and Alessandro Sarro in the big. The flop came [5s][as][6s] and after three quick checks, Reinert's bet of 1,500 took it down.

    2 - Pablo Gordillo raised to 525 from early position and Oliver Morelato called from his left. Breixo Gonzales (full name: Breixo Bastian Gonzales Pena, but I'm not sure which to pick) made it 2,300 from the button and it got back to Gordillo. Gordillo (full name: Pablo Gordillo Caballero but well-known enough that it's just Pablo Gordillo) five bet to 5,500 and both opponents folded.

    liv_boeree_eptdub_med1b.jpgLiv Boeree

    3 - Michael Howard, former leader of the Conservative Party*, raised to 500 from the cut-off and Liv Boeree called from the small blind. The flop came [5h][ks][6d] and the Team PokerStars Pro check-called a bet of 500 from the former politician**. Both players checked the [7c] on the turn, and then Boeree bet 1,000 at the [qs] river. Howard called but mucked after Boeree tabled [th][qh].

    **see above -- HS

    4.55pm: Persson back and back in style
    Level 4 - Blinds: 100-200 (25 ante)

    Ji Zhang still has a stack of about 70,000 and there was no surprise to see him raise to 550 from under the gun. Ezequiel Lebed called from two seats to his left and action passed to Simon Persson on the button.

    You might remember Persson from the Eureka Prague Main Event, when he was a dominant force at one of the most entertaining final tables we've seen for quite some time. Persson finished third there, but has reinvested some of the bankroll boost in this EPT Main Event.

    Persson raised to 1,700. That's the kind of thing he was doing a lot in Prague.

    Both Ji and Ezequiel called, which meant three layers saw the flop of [4c][kh][4d]. It went check, check, bet of 2,400 from Persson, and then fold, fold.

    Persson looks the part. He's wearing a similar dark polo-neck sweater to the one he modelled in Prague. Can the Milk Tray Man deliver again? -- HS

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    4.45pm: Set over set again
    Level 4 - Blinds: 100-200 (25 ante)

    David Lappin would certainly fall into the category of "Friend of PokerStars Blog". We don't have patches and there's no financial bonus to accompany the title, but we'll always have a chat when our paths cross and hear the latest from the Irish poker scene.

    Among other dubious benefits is an increased chance of having details of a mundane hand reported on the blog. We'll usually stop by tables of folk we know to see how they're getting on. It's why Lappin said recently, "I look forward to reliving it in ten minutes" having noticed the reporter lurking to watch the following horror show play out.

    Robert Heidorn opened from under the gun, making it 525 to play. Lappin was the only caller from the cutoff and that took the two of them to a flop of [jh][5h][qd]. If Lappin was excited by this, he didn't show it. He casually called Heidorn's continuation bet of 700.

    The turn came [2c] and Heidorn bet again. I think it was 1,900, for which he threw in two yellow 1,000-denomination chips. Lappin called and change was given to both of them quicker than I could register the precise amount.

    Anyway, the river brought the [ac].

    Heidorn bet 4,300 and Lappin called instantly, tossing only one chip over the line to indicate the call. Heidorn then turned over [as][ad], which was a rivered set. Lappin couldn't resist showing the [5d][5s] for a flopped set of fives, rendered redundant by the end.

    Hope you didn't read this far, David. You already knew the ending. -- HS

    4.05pm: Set over set boosts Madsen
    Level 3 - Blinds: 100-200

    Jeff Madsen was one of the early side-event winners this week, picking up a trophy in the €500 Quadruple Stud and €4,840, which is almost a buy in for the Main Event.

    His stack hadn't changed much from its 30,000 starting level by the time I wandered past his table a few minutes ago and watched it double in size.

    They were at the turn, with the four community cards showing [ks][qd][7c][5d]. Madsen bet 3,400, Mudasser Hussain made it 8,800 and Madsen shoved for something like 24,000. Hussain called.

    This made grim reading for Hussain. He had flopped a set with his [7d][7s]. Only problem: so had Madsen with his [kd][kh].

    Hussain counted out the double up and looked at the shrapnel left in front of him. Meanwhile Madsen is cooking with about 50,000 now. -- HS

    3:55pm: Scattered information
    Level 3 - Blinds: 100-200

    Some tournament tidbits:

    * There are now 413 players registered.
    * Ari Engel is out.
    * Joachim Gong has about 88,000. I've seen nobody with more than that.

    3:50pm: Cheated out of a showdown
    Level 3 - Blinds: 100-200

    Every so often you see one of those hands which, if it were pay per view, you'd want your money back.

    Not that it was anyone's fault.

    I caught up with it on a [qc][8h][2s] flop. Pierre Calamusa was in the cutoff and bet 600. Johan Verhagen meanwhile was on the button, and called for a [5c] turn card. Calamusa checked this time leaving it to Verhagen to bet 2,200. Calamusa called though, for the [3h] on the river.

    Again he checked leaving it to Verhagen to bet 4,200. Seeing this Calamusa recoiled slightly, then tanked for a few moments. It was a tense one, but when Calamusa called it meant we would at least get the answers.

    Actually we wouldn't. Calamusa did call, but Verhagen immediately mucked. With no reason to show Calamusa passed his cards to the dealer as well. - SB

    3:45pm: No room at the inn
    Level 3 - Blinds: 100-200

    Table 1 is an uncomfortable place to be this afternoon, with Steve Warburton, Simon Persson and Ji Zhang over there, all of whom have had significant success on at least one European Poker Tour stop over the past couple of years. Mick Graydon and Kim Wittendorff with both attest to that. They started on that table but have since departed.

    Ji, who made the final table in Barcelona a couple of seasons ago, seems to have been the man to profit most from the early exchanges. He has about 68,000 in chips.

    However uncomfortable the table already is, there was a threat to make it even more incommodious recently when Sylvain Loosli wandered over with a fresh rack of chips. Not only that, he had a ticket for the table--specifically for the seat already occupied by Ji.

    With nine men already there, there was no room at the inn and so this tough table denied access to another fierce competitor. A floorman came over to fix the problem and send Loosli on the lookout for a more spacious place to reside. -- HS

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    3:30pm: De Meulder v Ainsworth again
    Level 3 - Blinds: 100-200

    Jonathan Concepcion has Mattias de Meulder to his left. And Mattias de Meulder gives up the same positional advantage to Jude Ainsworth. Pity Concepcion.

    On a recent hand, he raised to 525 from mid-position and De Meulder called. So did Ainsworth. That took the three of them to a flop of [js][5s][6d] and both Concepcion and De Meulder checked.

    Ainsworth rarely checks. He bet 1,250 and Concepcion's participation was over. De Meulder, however, called and the saw a turn of [ad]. De Meulder checked. Ainsworth bet 1,250. De Meulder called.

    That meant a river of the [jd]. Both players now checked and De Meulder turned over his [as][9s] with the conviction of a man who thought he was good. He was right. Ainsworth folded. -- HS

    3:25pm: La dolce vita
    Level 3 - Blinds: 100-200

    It's been a good festival already for Italian players, especially after Mustapha Kanit's victory in the €25,000 yesterday. Rodrigo Portaleoni isn't quite the household name that Kanit is, but he has a stack closing in on 80,000 already, so he's enjoyed his first two levels today. -- HS

    3:20pm: Van Gent on Black list
    Level 3 - Blinds: 100-200

    A flop of [6c][5d][js] and a pot that Andy Black had his eye on. Cornelis Van Gent was in the big blind and checked to Black who bet 675. Craig McCorkell in the cut off called, as did Van Gent.

    andy_black_eptdub_med1b.jpgAndy Black

    The turn was the [5s]. Van Gent checked again and Black bet 1,200. That forced a fold from McCorkell but Van Gent stuck around for a [6d] river card. Check-check.

    Black waited for Van Gent who turned over [jh][kh]. That was enough. Black mucked. - SB

    3:10pm: Aces for Difelice
    Level 3 - Blinds: 100-200

    Andre Difelice, noticeable for a good sized stack and for a bright yellow hoodie, bet 700 in early position, getting a call from Julien Rouxel in the hijack. So far so good for the Canadian who had found pocket aces.

    They saw a flop: [tc][7s][4s]

    Difelice bet another 700, which Rouxel called for a [7d] turn card. Difelice had faith in his aces though and bet again, 1,600 this time. Rouxel called once more.

    The river was the [kc]. Difelice fired again, another 3,500. Rouxel tossed a single chip in to signify a call.

    Difelice showed his aces.

    At this point you can usually tell how good your hand is by the speed at which your opponent turns their cards over - if they show you at all. Rouxel didn't delay though, and he didn't muck. It meant trouble for Difelice's aces, which were beaten by Rouxel's [9c][7c]. He's up to 34,000, while Difelice drops to 40,000. - SB

    3:05pm: O'Rourke o'roaring
    Level 3 - Blinds: 100-200

    Of a strong Irish contingent on home soil, Gavin O'Rourke appears to be do the best so far. He is possibly the tournament chip leader in these admittedly very early days, with about 70,000.

    Some other counts:

    Dominik Panka - 34,000
    Niall Farrell - 20,500
    Theo Jorgensen - 28,100
    Dermot Blain - 23,000
    Lex Veldhuis - 30,200

    Plus those on the chip-count page.

    2:55pm: Level up
    Level 3 - Blinds: 100-200

    It's Level 3 now and you have to pay 200 if you're in the big blind. Outrageous.

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    2:35pm: Break time
    Level 2 - Blinds: 75-150

    That's the end of Level 2 and players will now go for their first 15-minute break of the day. We'll try to update those chip counts too. -- HS

    2:30pm: The only way to deal with Ainsworth
    Level 2 - Blinds: 75-150

    Jude Ainsworth has got himself up to around 60,000 chips, which is totally in keeping with his smash and grab approach to the game. Mattias de Meulder is the man in the unfortunate position of playing directly into Ainsworth, but is not overawed.

    On a recent hand, De Meulder opened from UTG+1 to 400. Ainsworth raised to 1,100. De Meulder came back over the top to 2,750 and Ainsworth reluctantly folded. That's how you do that. -- HS

    2:20pm: If we could just get to showdown
    Level 2 - Blinds: 100-200

    Sometimes you manage to catch the action, the hands that play to showdown. Other times you're left wondering what could have been. To be honest, this latter category vastly outnumbers the first.

    Take Felipe Ramos for instance. He just won a pot against David Maudlin by betting on a flop of [6h][4h][6c]. Excitement pre-flop quickly brought to an end.

    The same goes for a hand involving Matthias de Meulder. You hope to have more to report than "he folded to a bet on the flop," but most of the time there isn't. But at least you now know that De Meulder is here.

    Then there are those pots that somehow become bigger than expected, like that between Anton Bertilsson (the High Roller finalist from earlier this week) and Marcin Chmielewski.

    Chmielewski bet big on the turn and river (we knew they were big bets because they involved blue chips worth 5K). Bertilsson called the first time but not the second in a pot worth 25,000. That was close to what some players would pay just to see what each player had and satisfy their curiosity. Turns out we'll never know. - SB

    2pm: More Lodden
    Level 2 - Blinds: 75-150

    Sometimes it just happens that one player hogs all the early updates--and very often that player is Johnny Lodden. He simply plays a lot of hands at all stages of the tournament. Walk past his table, the chances are you'll find something to write about.

    johnny_lodden_eptdub_med1b.jpgJohnny Lodden

    This one was at the flop of [3h][kc][td] and Anton Bertilsson, who would have been in the big blind pre-flop, checked. Luc Greenwood, who would have been under the gun, bet 800 and that got John Haigh, in for the ride, to fold.

    Lodden, in the cutoff, called. Bertilsson folded.

    They both checked the [qh] on the turn, but Greenwood bet 1,750 on the river of [8s]. Lodden called pretty quickly and now had Greenwood's [as][ks] beaten with his [8h][th]. -- HS

    1:55pm: Abecassis with great call on the river
    Level 2 - Blinds: 100-200

    A great call by Michel Abecassis just took his stack up towards the 50,000 mark. It came against Istvan Pilhofer, who had led much of the betting.

    On a board of [2h][kh][7s][6d] Pilhofer had bet 4,100 after Abecassis checked. He eventually called and watched the [kc] land on the river. That put two kings on the board, which would ultimately play on the Frenchman's mind. Pilhofer bet another 8,500 to leave his opponent with a tricky decision.

    Abecassis, a veteran of the tour, took a moment. "Will you show me if I fold?" he asked Pilhofer, who was noncommittal. Did Pilhofer have a king? Finally Abecassis decided there was only one way to find out. He called.

    Pilhofer immediately conceded, showing [ah][jc]. Abecassis turned over [qs][qh], vindicated. - SB

    1:45pm: Up and down with Conor O'Driscoll
    Level 2 - Blinds: 100-200

    You win some, you lose some, and in the end it all balances out. That's about the size of Conor O'Driscoll's main event campaign so far. He just played three hands in a row, losing the first two, but wining the third to get back to where he started.

    In the first it was Jake Cody opening for 400 in the cutoff. O'Driscoll was in the small blind and called, as did Tomas MacNamara in the big.

    The flop came [ah][5c][kh] and the hand was put to an end immediately when Cody bet.

    It was Cody raising again in the next hand, another 400, which O'Driscoll called. The flop came [8d][5d][ts] this time. This time the hand was checked down, through the [8h] turn and [ah] river card. Cody showed [3s][3c] to win the pot.

    Then O'Driscoll finally got his chips back. After Evagoras Hadjispyrides bet 400 from the hijack, O'Driscoll raised to 1,200 from the cut off. Hadjispyrides called for a [6h][4d][8d], but when he checked to O'Driscoll, and he made it 1,200 to play, the hand was over.

    All square. - SB

    1:35pm: Getting shot of Lodden
    Level 2 - Blinds: 75-150

    I'm not at all certain how this one played out pre-flop, but somehow there were five players still involved and some heavy betting action. The board was there on the table -- [3c][ts][9d] -- and Marcin Chmielewski, who was under the gun pre-flop, bet 850.

    John Haigh, one seat to Chmielewski's left, called the 850 but then Johnny Lodden--yes, him--raised to 2,350. That persuaded Sandrine Zeitoun and Anton Bertilsson, who also had cards, to let their hands go.

    Back to Chmielewski, however, and he was still interested. He three-bet to 6,850. Haigh sigh-folded, but Lodden called without emotion.

    The turn came [tc] and both remaining players checked. The [qh] came on the river. Chmielewski bet 7,000 and that finally got shot of Lodden. -- HS

    1:25pm: The Scandinavian connection
    Level 2 - Blinds: 75-150

    Ireland's position in the EU accounts for a healthy contingent of Scandinavian players here in Dublin. Many of the tax issues they face when travelling the globe are not so complex inside this zone.

    It means that on a table only a short step from media row, Sweden's Simon Persson sits beside Kim Wittendorff, of Denmark. And a few tables over, Norway's Johnny Lodden is opposite another Swede, Anton Bertilsson, whose festival is already €176,640 to the good.


    Anton Bertilsson: On a roll

    Luc Greenwood and Casey Kastle are also on that table, but no one will be surprised to learn that it's Lodden making the early running.

    After Greenwood opened from early position, making it 300 to play, Lodden unloaded 1,025 from the small blind and took the small pot with a minimum of fuss. He had to work a little harder on the next hand, against Sandrine Zeitoun, but he won it nonetheless.

    This time action folded to Lodden on the button and he raised to 300. Zeitoun called from the big blind and the two took to the flop of [4d][qh][js]. Zeitoun checked, Lodden bet 400 and Zeitoun called.

    The turn came [kh] and Zeitoun checked again. Lodden bet again, this time 900, and Zeitoun called. That took them to the [qs] on the river. For a third time, Zeitoun checked. For a third time, Lodden bet. He made it 2,100 this time.

    For a first and only time, Zeitoun folded. -- HS

    1:15pm: Modest gains and modest losses
    Level 1 - Blinds: 50-100

    You might think moving all-in would be rare with two minutes left on the first level of play, but it does happen. Such as in the case of Derek Chisholm, who with the board dealt, and a pot to be one, went nuclear. It worked. A modest gain that amused some players at the table. But a win is a win.

    Elsewhere Jen Shahade dropped to around 24,000 after a hand against Alberto Garcia of Spain.


    Jennifer Shahade: Sheepish

    With the board dealt [5c][tc][2h][8h][th] Garcia bet 1,400 which Shahade called. She mucked after Garcia showed [jh][td]. For his part Garcia is up to around 42,000. - SB

    1:05pm: Welcome Wigg
    Level 1 - Blinds: 50-100

    The table that already features Ari Engel, Dietrich Fast, Steven Watts and Iliodoros Kamatakis now also seats Anton Wigg. It's not getting any easier.

    It's a conversation-filled table too, both among its participants and further afield. Fast was chatting away to a friend on the rail when action folded to Wigg in the hijack and he bet 300. It got to Fast in the big blind and he folded too, tossing his 100 big blind theatrically in Wigg's direction.

    "I take advantage when you are talking to a woman," Wigg said.

    The on-table conversation is being led by Engel. He seems to be discussing his recent huge score at the Aussie Millions, where he prevailed from a 732-strong field to win AUD $1.6 million.


    Ari Engel: Aussie champion

    The specifics of the conversation seems to be the heads up duel he had with Tony Dunst, and Engel's attempts to make a deal. It's fascinating. You should hear it. (But you'll need to buy in and sit down at that tough table first.)
    -- HS

    12:55pm: Ivanov forced a Vamplew fold
    Level 1 - Blinds: 50-100

    As you'd expect, there are no earth moving hands played in these early stages. Among those folding early hands of little note either before or on the flop are Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Andy Black, Jen Shahade, Eugene Katchalov and Kitty Kuo.


    Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier

    Meanwhile David Vamplew did at least get to the river.

    Stefan Ivanov opened from under the gun for 300. The action was folded around to Vamplew in the big blind who called for a flop of [jc][ks][4s]. A check from Vamplew and another 550 from Ivanov, which Vamplew called.

    On the [6h] turn card both players checked for a [qc] on the river. Vamplew bet out his time, making it 1,000. Ivanov paused, much like a player about to fold. But he didn't. Instead he lumped in 4,200. Vamplew wasted little time folding. - SB

    12:45pm: Oops
    Level 1 - Blinds: 50-100

    Serdar Demiroglu stood up, put his sweater on and seemed irked that the dealer would not allow him to leave. It seemed for all the world as though he was the first elimination of the day.

    Here's why: he opened from the button and ignited a raising war with Breixo Gonzales, one seat to his left. When I arrived, Demiroglu had 5,100 in front of him, Gonzales had 12,500 out and then Demiroglu shoved. Gonzales called.

    Demiroglu knew this was bad news as he turned over his [ac][kc]. Gonzales showed [as][ah]. The board didn't help. It came [4h][7d][jc][jh][9s].

    Demiroglu got up and prepared to leave, but the dealer wasn't convinced that this was terminal just yet. He counted down the stacks and Demiroglu actually had 150 more than his neighbour.

    So as Gonzales was stacking a chip-leading stack (early days, early days), Demiroglu was pondering what to do with his 1.5 big blinds. -- HS

    12:40pm: A taste of what is/might be to come
    Level 1 - Blinds: 50-100

    Dara O'Kearney has Jennifer Shahade for company this afternoon. He's on the button when she's in the big blind and they may tangle plenty this afternoon. This hand is a small hors d'oeuvre: O'Kearney opened his button, making it 300 to play and Shahade defended.

    The flop fell [9d][jd][2s] and Shahade checked. O'Kearney continued, betting 400, and Shahade called. That took them to the [2h] turn. Check, check. And the checking continued after the [9c] river.

    O'Kearney opened [ad][kd] and Shahade mucked. -- HS

    12:20pm: A busier day
    Level 1 - Blinds: 50-100

    A quick glance across the room finds Jake Cody, Antoine Saout, Andre Akkari and ElkY also already among today's crowd. Liv Boeree, Jen Shahade, Lex Veldhuis, Theo Jorgensen, George Danzer and Jaime Staples are also expected. -- HS

    12:10pm: No messing
    Level 1 - Blinds: 50-100

    There's a tough-looking table only a matter of steps inside the main entrance to the tournament room today, around which we find Ari Engel, Dietrich Fast and Steven Watts.

    Iliodoros Kamatakis is also there. He's the man presently sitting eighth on the all-time Greek money list and a regular on the EPT. If Fast didn't know much about him before today, he has had an early introduction with what is likely the first five bet of the day.

    Fast opened to 250 from the cutoff and Kamatakis raised to 750 from the button. Fast was prepared to invest more, making a four-bet of 2,100, but it didn't get rid of Kamatakis. He five-bet to 6,000.

    Perhaps accepting this to be a possibility, Fast immediately put a contingency plan into action: snap folding and waiting for another hand. -- HS

    12pm: Among others...
    Level 1 - Blinds: 50-100

    Our confirmed list of players today includes the following:

    Mickey Petersen, Johnny Lodden, Eugene Katchalov, Anton Bertilsson, Ari Engel, Fabian Ortiz, Dietrich Fast, Gavin O'Rouke, Dara O'Kearney, Per Linde, Alexander Ivarsson, Thomas Butzhammer, David Lappin, Dominik Panka, Felipe Ramos, Ognyan Dimov and Slaven Popov.

    When they actually turn up and start playing is anyone's guess, but they are among those on the early list expected to the Royal Dublin Society (RDS) headquarters this morning to get this show on the road. -- HS

    11:55am: Readying for the deluge
    Level 1 - Blinds: 50-100

    Want to know what a busy day looks like on the European Poker Tour? Your answer is: today. Not only is it Day 1B of the €5,300 EPT Main Event, but also the final table of the UKIPT Main Event and the €10,000 Single-Day High Roller. We are stretched to breaking point.

    You're in the right place here for the beginning of the EPT Main Event, but click thorough the scattered links for all that other fun. And it should be a good one: eight 75-minute levels for us, taking us through beyond midnight. Find some coffee and stick with us. -- HS


    Want to start your own EPT campaign? Sign up for PokerStars and start your journey. Click here to get an account.

    Take a look at the official website of the EPT, with tournament schedule, news, results and accommodation details for the rest of the season.

    Also all the schedule information is on the EPT App, which is available on both Android or IOS.

    PokerStars Blog reporting team on the EPT12 Dublin Main Event: Stephen Bartley and Howard Swains. Back together again. Lanky and ginger, as you'll maybe know us. Photography by Neil Stoddart. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog.

  • 14 February

    EPT12 Dublin: Mmmmmustapha Kanit chammmmmpion of €25,000 High Roller in Dublimmmm


    Mustapha Kanit: Champion!

    Close to the dinner break during yesterday's action in the €25,000 High Roller event at EPT Dublin, Mustapha Kanit seemed tired, frustrated and was nursing a short stack. It didn't suit him. Kanit is the most gregarious of players: he is a shaman around whom all others gather when they are looking for filip in a world of often stone-faced solitude.

    But although Kanit was down, crucially he was not out. He hit a couple of cards when he needed them and confided in Chance Kornuth, "I'm playing bad but getting lucky."

    By the end of yesterday, he was runaway chip leader heading to today's final. And now look at him:


    Kanit is the champion of the biggest buy in event of this EPT Dublin festival, winning €501,640 for a dominant victory today. Kanit was back in brilliant form, both with his chips and with his quips.

    "I feel like I'm really good at talking and I'm Italian!" he said. "I love to trash talk and feel like I have an edge on talking because I've talked more than all the others in my life and, for me, it's fun and I enjoy my day way more like that."

    He continued: "I really love these EPT trophies, because when I start to play I watched EPTs, so this means so much to me. EPTs mean more than bracelets, this win really is for me."

    Kanit was never out of the lead until he got heads up with the same Kornuth he was confessing to yesterday evening. Kornuth, at his third €25,000 buy in final table of the year (a year that is not yet two months old), had to make do with second and €360,150.

    That too is a marvellous achievement. He started with only about 26 big blinds and marshalled a short stack brilliantly. Both these players deserve every penny of that prize money. They prevailed from a scintillating final and an action-packed heads up phase.


    Chance Kornuth eyes Mustapha Kanit

    Play resumed at 12:30pm with a final table of superstars. So much so that even though Martin Jacobson was eliminated late last night, the absence of a world champion didn't massively reduce this final's quality. Here's how they looked at the start:

    Mustapha Kanit (Italy) -- 5,460,000
    Anton Bertilsson (Sweden) -- 3,850,000
    Charlie Carrel (United Kingdom) -- 2,755,000
    Chance Kornuth (United States) -- 1,310,000
    Ivan Luca (Argentina) -- 1,265,000
    Jeffrey Rossiter (Australia) -- 1,120,000
    Keith Johnson (United Kingdom) -- 1,150,000
    Nick Petrangelo (United States) -- 570,000


    Final table players (l-r): Ivan Luca, Mustapha Kanit, Keith Johnson, Anton Bertilsson, Charlie Carrel, Chance Kornuth, Nick Petrangelo, Jeff Rossiter

    Two of world poker's form players -- Ivan Luca, from Argentina, and Nick Petrangelo, from the United States -- were among this glittering line-up, but their participation in total lasted only three hands today.


    Ivan Luca: I'll get my coat

    The day's opening shuffle sent pocket jacks to Luca and he made what would have been a standard call after Keith Johnson moved all in for a stack of a little more than 1 million. Johnson was in trouble with [ac][js] but flopped an ace to leave Luca on the rack.

    Kornuth took care of Luca's shrapnel on the next hand, with Petrangelo, the overnight short stack, successfully laddering up as a result.

    It was only one rung, however. Petrangelo got his stack in on the next hand, with [ad][jh]. But although he was ahead against Jeff Rossiter's [qh][8s], Rossiter hit a queen on the flop to end Petrangelo's day.

    Luca earned €65,170 for eighth and Petrangelo €84,040 for seventh. Small fry compared with the riches both have amassed over the past 12 months, but a decent start to the festival.


    Nick Petrangelo: :(

    It would have been difficult for the rest of the final to keep up with the high-octane opening, but Charlie Carrel certainly tried. He was by far the most active player for the relatively brief period when all were deep.

    However Carrel got into trouble when he slow played kings against Kanit and the Italian made a straight. It kept Carrel a little more quiet for a while and let the others carry on their battles.

    Johnson had not played a great deal since his early double up and dwindled to be in possession of the tournament's shortest stack. Noticing that, he Johnson open-shoved for about a million -- 12 big blinds -- with [ad][th], which got folds all around. But the next time he got his chips over the line, he never got them back.

    Action folded to Anton Bertilsson in the small blind and, with a 3 million stack, he raised. Johnson found [as][5h] in the big blind and couldn't fold the ace. It was bad news for Johnson because Bertilsson had [6s][6d] and this time there was no ace on the board. Johnson was out in sixth.


    Keith Johnson reads it and weeps

    Rossiter was now the short stack and it got even shorter when he hit a flush with [jh][9h] at the same time that Carrel also had a flush with [ah][8h]. There was no getting away from it and Rossiter ended the hand with one big blind.

    Kanit picked it up with a couple of hands when he found [as][kc] and Rossiter committed his "stack" with [ks][jh]. No miracles and Rossiter headed out with €137,200 in his pocket.


    Jeff Rossiter bids farewell

    Four-handed play looked a lot like five-handed (and, for that matter, six, seven and eight handed). Kanit had heaps and the others had to make do with scraps. It didn't help that Kanit was now making moves too and one audacious bluff in particular, with [qd][9d] and a blank board, was spectacular. It got Bertilsson off pocket queens.

    Bertilsson had a brilliant tournament here -- leading at the end of Day 1 and for huge lengths of Day 2 too -- but he also had one bad level, which ended his tournament. That bluff cost him a chunk; he then doubled up Kornuth with [kc][js] against Kornuth's [ad][7s]; and Kornuth eventually took the last of his chips.

    The last hand Bertilsson saw was [kd][td] and Kornuth had [ad][6d]. Bertilsson won €176,640, a sizeable spin-up from a €3,000 satellite investment.


    Fourth place for Anton Bertilsson

    Kanit had about 10 million chips more than his two opponents combined when they went three-handed, and when they briefly talked about a deal, Kornuth saw no point as his share would be so meagre.

    NEIL4415_EPT12DUB_Deal_Negotiations_Neil Stoddart.jpg

    A brief look at the numbers

    So they played on -- and Kornuth quickly found he had made the right decision. There was a three-way all in very quickly after a break and it could have ended it all. As it was, Kornuth came out smiling broadly.

    That hand is worth repeating in full, from our blow-by-blow coverage:

    Mustapha Kanit was on the button and raised to 325,000. Here's the reason: he had [kh][kc]. Charlie Carrel, with about 2.75 million shoved from the small blind. He had [5h][5c]. And then Chance Kornuth found [ad][9s] in the big blind and wanted a count. He called too!

    Kanit was a 65 percent favourite at this point to end the tournament. And his odds got even better through a flop of [qc][3h][4h]. Carrel loved the [5d] turn, though, as it gave him a set and seemed likely to triple him up. But then it got even weirder. The [2c] came on the river!

    Kornuth therefore tripled through with his straight. Carrel won the side pot against Kanit, but ended up losing chips, and Kanit lost loads.

    Carrel wouldn't last much longer. He got it in with [ah][4h] but had fallen into Kanit's trap with [js][jd]. There was no ace for Carrel and he went out in third, taking €234,100. Carrel, however, left an indelible mark on this tournament. He was excellent today.

    The heads up battle was always likely to be fun with the tournament's two most talkative players going mano-a-mano. There was plenty of chit-chat and some explosive hands too--again best relived via our hand-by hand coverage.

    Kornuth pulled ahead at one point, but Kanit quickly reined him in again. And then came a big heads up flip to end it all. Kanit shoved with threes; Kornuth called with ace-ten. Nobody hit anything and Kanit was champion.

    There are few more popular winners than Mustapha Kanit.

    "If I lose, I'm happy for you," Kornuth said. "But I wouldn't mind playing a bit longer." It was not to be.

    What a way to start a festival.

    €25,000 High Roller
    Players: 58
    Re-entries: 12
    Prize pool: €1,715,000

    1 - Mustapha Kanit, Italy, €501,640
    2 - Chance Kornuth, United States, €360,150
    3 - Charlie Carrel, United Kingdom, €234,100
    4 - Anton Bertilsson, Sweden, €176,640
    5 - Jeff Rossiter, Australia, €137,200
    6 - Keith Johnson, United Kingdom, €106,330
    7 - Nick Petrangelo, United States, €84,040
    8 - Ivan Luca, Argentina, €65,170
    9 - Martin Jacobson, Sweden, €49,730

  • 14 February

    EPT12 Dublin: €25K High Roller final table live updates


    * Watch along on EPT Live

    1:40pm: Immediate action! Johnson cripples Luca
    Level 19 - Blinds 30,000-60,000 (10,000 ante)

    The very first hand of the final table and a pivotal moment for Keith Johnson. He open shoved from the cutoff with [ac][js] and Ivan Luca called from the small blind. Johnson was in trouble. Luca revealed his [jd][jc]. But the fat lady lost her voice and spare Johnson when the board came [6d][as][3d].

    Luca now had one out, but neither the [ts] turn nor the [6h] river was it. Johnson doubles to 2.4 milion, while Luca has not even two big blinds. -- HS

    1:30pm: Of we go
    Level 19 - Blinds 30,000-60,000 (10,000 ante)

    And away we go. Here are your finalists for today's jamboree:


    Final table players (l-r): Ivan Luca, Mustapha Kanit, Keith Johnson, Anton Bertilsson, Charlie Carrel, Chance Kornuth, Nick Petrangelo, Jeff Rossiter

    They actually have also just begun Level 19 too, with blinds at 30,000-60,000 (10,000 ante).

    1pm: Nearly there
    Level 18 - Blinds 25,000-50,000 (5,000 ante)

    Don't forget, action gets under way here at 1:30pm. A reminder of what they're playing for (and a reminder that Martin Jacobson has already cashed in ninth yesterday night).

    1 €501,640
    2 €360,150
    3 €234,100
    4 €176,640
    5 €137,200
    6 €106,330
    7 €84,040
    8 €65,170
    9 Martin Jacobson, Sweden, €49,730

    12:30pm: Real life gets under way
    Level 18 - Blinds 25,000-50,000 (5,000 ante)

    It's the final day of the EPT €25,000 High Roller event, with live streaming action available on EPT Live. That's on a one-hour security delay, with pictures starting at 1:30pm, but "in real life" proceedings are due to have started.

    A reminder of the start-of-day chip counts:

    Mustapha Kanit (Italy) -- 5,460,000
    Anton Bertilsson (Sweden) -- 3,850,000
    Charlie Carrel (United Kingdom) -- 2,755,000
    Chance Kornuth (United States) -- 1,310,000
    Ivan Luca (Argentina) -- 1,265,000
    Jeffrey Rossiter (Australia) -- 1,120,000
    Keith Johnson (United Kingdom) -- 1,150,000
    Nick Petrangelo (United States) -- 570,000

    And a reminder of how they got to the final, via last night's end-of-day wrap up.

    In case you hadn't heard, Mustapha Kanit is the chip leader. You will likely hear a bit more about that too.

    NEIL3360_EPT12DUB_Mustapha_Kanit_Neil Stoddartb.jpg

    Mustapha Kanit: Out in front

    Take a look at the official website of the EPT, with tournament schedule, news, results and accommodation details for the rest of the season.

    Also all the schedule information is on the EPT App, which is available on both Android or IOS.

    PokerStars Blog reporting team on the EPT12 Dublin Main Event: Marc Convey and Howard Swains. In many ways, the Dream Team. In other ways, not so much. Photography by Neil Stoddart. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog.

  • 14 February

    Watch the EPT Live stream from Dublin

    Here's all the action from EPT Live, broadcasting from the Main Event at EPT Dublin. * CLICK FOR HAND-BY-HAND UPDATES * CLICK FOR LATEST CHIP COUNTS

  • 14 February

    EPT12 Dublin: Main Event Day 1A live updates

    * CLICK TO REFRESH FOR LATEST UPDATES * The first EPT Dublin Main Event for eight years 12:10pm: Introductions complete Level 1 - Blinds 50/100 The welcomes have been made, and cards are in the air. As the introductory film showed a short while ag...

  • 14 February

    EPT12 Dublin: The one and only Mustapha Kanit takes €25K High Roller lead to final day

    As players bagged up to conclude Day 2 of the €25K High Roller at the EPT Dublin festival tonight, we recalled the scene about 24 hours before at the end of Day 1.

    Mustapha "lasagnaaammm" Kanit was in a bit of a hurry, and once the bags were produced he grabbed one and hastily began scribbling his name. The dealer called out to him, asking him please to write legibly, as he was soon to be tasked with the duty of transcribing the Italian's name and count. Kanit looked up.

    "There is only one Mustapha, and there is only one Kanit!" he said, and the table broke up in laughter.

    Kanit did more to distinguish himself during today's second day of play, grabbing the chip lead during the early evening and keeping it all of the way to tonight's bagging and tagging. With just eight players left, Kanit will carry the chip lead to tomorrow's final table after finishing with a healthy 5,460,000.

    NEIL3360_EPT12DUB_Mustapha_Kanit_Neil Stoddartb.jpg

    Mustapha Kanit

    Anton Bertilsson of Sweden will start tomorrow as Kanit's nearest challenger after finishing with 3,850,000.

    NEIL3492_EPT12DUB_Anton_Bertilsson_Neil Stoddart.jpg

    Anton Bertilsson

    Meanwhile Charlie Carrel, Chance Kornuth, Ivan Luca, Jeffrey Rossiter, Keith Johnson, and Nick Petrangelo round out what will be a star-studded final table tomorrow.

    Late registration extended to the start of play today, and after the latest of the latecomers came (as well as the last to re-enter), the total settled at 70 entries with 58 uniques. That meant a total prize pool of €1,715,000 to be divided by the top nine finishers, with a cool €501,640 scheduled for the winner.

    Bertilsson began the day as the chip leader, and he continued to maintain a big stack throughout the afternoon as the field winnowed down to the final few tables. Others would eventually battle Bertilsson for the lead, with Nick Petrangelo the most significant challenger as he and Bertilsson traded the top spot back and forth until Petrangelo carried it to the dinner break.

    NEIL3367_EPT12DUB_Nick_Petrangelo_Neil Stoddart.jpg

    Nick Petrangelo

    By then just 21 players remained, with Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier, Niall Farrell, Rocco Palumbo, Max Silver, Ariel Celestino, and Mike McDonald among the most recently eliminated.

    Post-dinner, the pace of eliminations kept steady as Mike Watson, Paul Newey, Ben Heath, Kevin MacPhee, and Daniel Dvoress were knocked out. Meanwhile Keith Johnson -- who only satellited into the event yesterday and began at the start of Day 2 -- surged into the chip lead with 16 left.

    Christoph Vogelsang was the next out, then came a big hand between Kanit and Anton Bertilsson in which the latter shoved with pocket eights and Kanit found a call with pocket queens. Kanit catapulted up over 3 million with that hand, grabbing the chip lead he'd carry all of the way to night's end.

    After the eliminations of Timothy Adams, Winfred Yu, Davidi Kitai, and Kim Wittendorff, Bertilsson would be involved in another dramatic hand on the money bubble with 10 left. Dario Sammartino check-shoved the turn with two pair and Bertilsson called with a flush draw and gutshot, and the straight draw came through for Bertilsson to knock Sammartino out in 10th.

    NEIL3301_EPT12DUB_Dario_Sammartino_Neil Stoddart.jpg

    Dario Sammartino

    They played on another 40 minutes or so and into the start of Level 19, then finally Ivan Luca took the last of Martin Jacobson's stack to send the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event champion out in ninth for a €49,730 cash.

    NEIL3622_EPT12DUB_Martin_Jacobson_Neil Stoddart.jpg

    Martin Jacobson

    Here's how the stacks will look to start tomorrow's final day of play:

    Mustapha Kanit (Italy) -- 5,460,000
    Anton Bertilsson (Sweden) -- 3,850,000
    Charlie Carrel (United Kingdom) -- 2,755,000
    Chance Kornuth (United States) -- 1,310,000
    Ivan Luca (Argentina) -- 1,265,000
    Jeffrey Rossiter (Australia) -- 1,120,000
    Keith Johnson (United Kingdom) -- 1,150,000
    Nick Petrangelo (United States) -- 570,000

    And good news! You'll be able to watch the one and only Mustapha Kanit try to hold off this talented group tomorrow on the EPT Live stream. Play begins at 12:30pm local time on Sunday, and the stream will start at 1:30pm with start-to-finish coverage with hole cards. Meanwhile, check the Day 2 live updates to review the full story of what happened here today.


    Want to compete for your own online championship? Click here to get a PokerStars account.
    Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

  • 13 February

    Adalsteinn Karlsson leads UKIPT5 Dublin final table


    Adalsteinn Karlsson, final table chip leader

    When play began today Adalsteinn Karlsson was right in the middle of the pack, in twelfth spot of the 24 remaining players. After a quick fire Day 3 in the UKIPT Main Event he tops the lot. In no small part that's thanks to eliminating Adam Owen, who was the overnight chip leader. The king is dead, long live the king!

    That pot played out with 16 players remaining, all the chips went in on a [Ad][5s][4s] flop with Karlsson holding [As][Kc] and Owen the superior [Ah][4s]. A king on the turn gave Karlsson a pot worth over 5,300,000 and left Owen a little shocked. Given that Karlsson starts the final table with less than that pot was worth, it shows just how crucial that hand was.


    Nasty turn of events for Adam Owen

    It's incredibly tight at the top of the chip counts, with Karlsson's lead from David Pollock under 1.5 big blinds and the top four separated by fewer than five big blinds. When they resume on Monday they'll be 20 minutes and 24 seconds left in the 30,000 - 60,000 (ante 10,000) level.

    Seat NameCountryStatusChips
    Seat 1Mark ReillyIreland 845,000
    Seat 2David PollockIrelandPokerStars qualifier4,335,000
    Seat 3Adalsteinn KarlssonIcelandPokerStars player4,420,000
    Seat 4Jelcides MonteiroLuxembourg 1,025,000
    Seat 5Vladas TamasauskasLithuaniaPokerStars player4,255,000
    Seat 6Marc FogginUK 2,220,000
    Seat 7Quentin DellisBelgium 4,150,000
    Seat 8Samuel VousdenFinlandPokerStars player3,675,000

    Our chip leader is 28 and became the Icelandic Poker Champion in November 2015, beating a field of 140 players to win more than £9,000. This money enabled him to take his game on the road, he competed at UKIPT5 Edinburgh and came third in the Edinburgh Cup for £5,225. He might be going further afield if he takes this one down for €176,900.


    A royally good day for Pollock

    Want to start your own EPT campaign? Sign up for PokerStars and start your journey. Click here to get an account.

    The man who'll start second when play resumes at 12.30pm on Monday, looked for much of the day like he'd be the one bagging up the biggest stack. Back to back hands against Benjamin Saada propelled him towards the chip lead just 30 minutes into the day.

    The Irish PokerStars qualifier has shown throughout that he's not afraid to play big pots and was often the one putting other players to the big decisions and he also made a royal flush today! He and Karlsson clashed in a few pots late on, it's a rivalry to keep an eye on when the final table starts, especially as they're in adjacent seats.


    Vladas Tamasauskas

    In contrast to Pollock, Vladas Tamasauskas didn't show his hand to late on, very late on. He eliminated Christophe Bouziane on the final hand of the day to ascend to third in the chip counts. He's no stranger to success on PokerStars' regional tours having finished 11th in Eureka Prague in December 2015. Not bad for a 21-year-old who's only played a handful of live tournaments.

    Dellis does (well in) Dublin

    The Lithuanian isn't the only player at the final table who had some success in Prague in December. Quentin Dellis cashed four times for a combined €26,293. Dellis's day basically came down to two big hands where he had big pairs. He doubled through David Pollock with jacks against ace-king and knocked Patrick Rooney out in tenth with queens against eights.


    Vousden - bringing his online skills to the live arena

    Another player who had some success in Prague is Samuel Vousden. The professional poker player was born in Salo, south Finland and finished 14th in the EPT Main Event in the Czech capital. He has played only a few live tournaments, however, he's arguably one of the most experienced players among the final eight, he has a Sunday Million title as well as a SCOOP title under his belt, to name just a few of his numerous online achievements. 

    Apart from when he eliminated James Akenhead with kings against jacks, Vousden seemed to run fairly bad in all-in situations today, but each time he got knocked down he built back up again, winning many pots without going to showdown. If that trend continues on Monday he may well be the one posing for the winner's photos.


    Marc Foggin prays for aces

    There's some drop off between the chip stacks of the top five and the other three players at the final table. Leading the charge for the 'have nots' is Marc Foggin. He was supposed to be on a plane home tomorrow, not back to England, but to to Las Vegas for his friend's birthday and some deep-stack tournaments.

    Those plans have been cancelled and it continues what's already been some year for Foggin. He came second in a $2,000 side event at The PCA - winning over $45,000 - and finished seventh in a £1,000 event in London at the end of January, good for another $37,000.


    Jelcides Monteiro - fluent in six languages and poker

    Only two players are in what could be deemed short stack territory, Jelcides Monteiro will start the final table with 17 big blinds and it's hard to know if he'll be happy or down in the dumps. He had far more at one stage and far less at another. In the end he's ended up somewhere in the middle. The player from Luxembourg, who's fluent in six languages, is still in with a shot at the title and that's what really matters though.


    Marc Reilly

    Mark Reilly is the second player from Ireland at the final table and whilst he'll start as the shortest stack he's shown he's got the patience to wait for a spot and turn that stack into something more workable. Throughout today he played a patient game and players seemed to respect his all ins when he was forced to put his tournament life on the line.

    We've had the final table short stack come back to win before (Nicolau Villa-Lobos did it in Edinburgh) so don't count Reilly out.


    Another fine run from Finneran

    Twenty-four into eight doesn't go of course and as well as James Akenhead and Adam Owen, more fine players found their journey to the UKIPT final table derailed today. Thomas Finneran was looking to win a second UKIPT Main Event title but he had to settle for 17th place whilst Jeffrey Brouwer was looking to make a second UKIPT final table. He fell short in 12th place.

    To see who finished where and to catch up on all today's action click on the links below. We'll be back from 13.30pm on Monday for the final table. You can watch that on EPTLive.com, YouTube, Facebook and right here on the blog. They'll be another live final table before then though as the €25,000 High Roller final table plays out tomorrow on EPTLive.com. You can follow updates from that one right here.

    Prizepool and payouts
    Levels 23-27


    All photos are copyright of Mickey May.

  • 13 February

    “Everyone should play live poker”

    "Everyone should play in a live PokerStars tournament!" exclaimed Donatas Vlasovas after his experience of playing in the PokerStars Cup in Dublin over the weekend. "It was an amazing experience and I would highly recommend it to everyone." Don won h...

  • 13 February

    EPT12 Dublin: €25K High Roller Day 2 live updates


    * Day 2 runs for ten one-hour levels, or until final table of eight is set
    * Registration closes at 12:15pm

    11:45am: Eyes on the prize

    Good morning everybody and welcome back to Ireland for Day 2 of the €25,000 High Roller event at EPT Dublin. Here are the important things to look out for today.

    * At the end of play last night, Anton Bertilsson led the field of 42 players, all of whose counts are on the chip-count page.
    * Registration closes shortly before the start of play today, at which point we'll have a seat draw and know the total number of entries.
    * This is a single re-entry event, meaning anyone knocked out yesterday, who did not re-enter, can try again today.
    * After 12:15pm, however, it's a freezeout.
    * Prize pool information will be published some time today.
    * They will play ten one-hour levels, or until a final table of eight is reached, whichever comes soonest.
    * There's a dinner break at the end of Level 16.

    Play will start at 12:30pm.

    Take a look at the official website of the EPT, with tournament schedule, news, results and accommodation details for the rest of the season.

    Also all the schedule information is on the EPT App, which is available on both Android or IOS.

    PokerStars Blog reporting team on the EPT12 Dublin Main Event: Stephen Bartley, Martin Harris, Jack Stanton and Howard Swains. Photography by Neil Stoddart. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog.


  • 13 February

    UKIPT5 Dublin Day 3: Level 23 updates (12,000 - 24,000, ante 3,000)

    * CLICK TO REFRESH FOR LATEST UPDATES * Day 3 starts at noon: RECAP OF DAY 2 HERE * OVERNIGHT CHIP COUNTS * DAY 3 SEAT DRAW * Players remaining: 24 of 1,002 (average stack is 1,044,000) * Day 3 ends when eight players remain * Top 151 players get pai...

  • 13 February

    UKIPT5 Dublin Day 2: Adam Owen leads final 24 heading into Day 3

    Owen leads the final three tables Day 2 of the UKIPT certainly lived up to the "moving day" tagline today after the 273 returning players were whittled down to just 24 over the course of ten one-hour levels. As the dust settled on a long day, one man ...

  • 12 February

    EPT12 Dublin: Dream start for Anton Bertilsson in 25K High Roller

    It's not uncommon for a player to come out of nowhere, take the lead and stay there for a while, but at some point you expect the run to falter. Not so with Anton Bertilsson today in the €25K High Roller event in Dublin.

    It's not that Bertilsson is unknown to us - the Swede came second at EPT Prague in Season 11, missing out to Stephen Graner, and has since scored well in EPT side events. But today his attention was well and truly on bigger things, and the high roller, which he leads tonight with 1,375,000.

    anton_bertilson_eptdub_leader_12feb16.jpgChip leader Anton Bertilsson

    His day was one of those which as a player you sit back and enjoy. He'd played well to amass a big stack by the third break of the day, then promptly found aces as he sat back down, and someone to pay him off. Before long he was the first player to the million mark. Actually you can make that the only player.

    So he'll be the player to beat when play restarts tomorrow, the point where this event switches from an all-welcome jamboree to a freezeout.


    With the (albeit quite expensive) safety net withdrawn it will be all or nothing for the remaining players as the money becomes the focus of the day. Joining Bertilsson for the trip will be a list of players with chips, which includes the following top ten:

    Nick Petrangelo 878,000
    Kim Wittendorf 852,000
    Timothy Adams 729,000
    Davidi Kitai 696,000
    Charlie Carrel 613,000
    Daniel Dvoress 565,000
    Jason Mercier 555,000
    Paul Newey 482,000
    Sam Chartier 469,000
    David Peters 461,000

    charlie_carrell_eptdub_12feb16.jpgA late but successful entry for Charlie Carrel

    If you're wondering what it looks like in the middle of a high roller event like this, "volatile" would be one half-good description. All but Bertilsson endured the high rolling swings from one extreme to another.

    Chance Kornuth, Andrew Lichtenberger, Mike McDonald, Daniel Dvoress, Max Silver, and Steve O'Dwyer could vouch for that. They were among those firing second bullets at this event having found the first one to be a dud. O'Dwyer also lost all that his second bullet could bring, and that's that for him.

    chance_kornuth_eptdub_12feb16_w.jpgChance Kornuth

    steve_odwyer_eptdub_12feb16_wr.jpgSteve O'Dwyer: Cannot win

    Others slipped away today, although we're reluctant to report them permanently gone until they decline a re-entry before tomorrow. That's when play, and our live updates from Dublin, resumes. But officially there are 42 players remaining from 66 entries (from 56 unique players).

    For now, get the complete chip count list on our chip count page, and update yourself on all the action from today with our live updates page.


    If you're still looking for some action though you'd do well to check in on our UKIPT Main Event live updates. Coverage started on Wednesday, and the money bubble burst today. They play on until the small hours tonight, and you can follow updates here.

    High Rollers meanwhile will be back at 12 noon tomorrow. Join us then.

    Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.

    Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

  • 12 February

    “Enjoy the moment!”

    "Enjoy the moment!" That was the number one piece of advice that Felipe Mojave bestowed upon Donatas Vlasovas before the start of Flight 1C of the PokerStars Cup event tonight, and solid advice it is. To the casual passer-by Don (as we now call him) m...

  • 12 February

    UKIPT5 Dublin Day 2: Level 19 updates (5,000 - 10,000, ante 1,000)


    * LIVE UPDATES of the €25,000 High Roller can be found here.
    * Day 2 of the UKIPT Main Event - we're in the money!
    * Day 2 consists of ten 60-minute levels - currently playing level 19
    * Players remaining: 70 of 1,002 (average stack is 357,500)
    * Top 151 players get paid, payouts can be viewed here

    8:10pm: Four more levels
    The final 70 players are back in their seats for level 19, and they will play four more levels for tonight. Play should end around around 12:25am. One player who won't be back is PokerStars Live at The Hippodrome Casino Team Pro Chris Gordon, who busted in 90th place. -- MC

    @PSLive_Hippo busted in 90th. Got my last 6 bigs in a5 vs k3, ace in the window but still couldn't hold. #greatsupport #ukiptdublin

    — Chris Gordon (@CCG_85) February 12, 2022

    PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT5 Dublin: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog

  • 12 February

    Premier League additions to the VIP Club Store

    Browsing the PokerStars VIP Club Store just got very interesting for sports fans. Starting today we've added a range of packages to major Premier League football matches in the coming weeks, offering great value, with more sports packages lined up for ...

  • 12 February

    EPT12 Dublin: €25,000 High Roller Level 1

    * Day 1 runs for eight one-hour levels
    * Registration open until start of Day 2

    11.45pm: Preparing for the start of the EPT

    Although the UKIPT is already well under way, it's today that the big boys of the EPT amble into town. They kick off with the €25,000 High Roller event--the biggest buy in event of the festival.

    Play begins at 12.30pm and, if previous experience tells us anything, the field will begin small. But it should grow considerably and they'll contest a mighty prize pool. We'll have blow-by-blow action from the outset. -- HS

    Want to start your own EPT campaign? Sign up for PokerStars and start your journey. Click here to get an account.


    Starting the EPT grind

    Take a look at the official website of the EPT, with tournament schedule, news, results and accommodation details for the rest of the season.

    Also all the schedule information is on the EPT App, which is available on both Android or IOS.

    PokerStars Blog reporting team on the EPT12 Dublin Main Event: Stephen Bartley, Martin Harris, Jack Stanton and Howard Swains. Photography by Neil Stoddart. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog.com.

  • 12 February

    EPT12 Dublin: €25,000 High Roller Level 1

    * Day 1 runs for eight one-hour levels
    * Registration open until start of Day 2

    11.45pm: Preparing for the start of the EPT

    Although the UKIPT is already well under way, it's today that the big boys of the EPT amble into town. They kick off with the €25,000 High Roller event--the biggest buy in event of the festival.

    Play begins at 12.30pm and, if previous experience tells us anything, the field will begin small. But it should grow considerably and they'll contest a mighty prize pool. We'll have blow-by-blow action from the outset. -- HS

    Want to start your own EPT campaign? Sign up for PokerStars and start your journey. Click here to get an account.


    Starting the EPT grind

    Take a look at the official website of the EPT, with tournament schedule, news, results and accommodation details for the rest of the season.

    Also all the schedule information is on the EPT App, which is available on both Android or IOS.

    PokerStars Blog reporting team on the EPT12 Dublin Main Event: Stephen Bartley, Martin Harris, Jack Stanton and Howard Swains. Photography by Neil Stoddart. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog.com.

  • 12 February

    UKIPT5 Dublin Day 2: Level 13 updates (1,200 - 2,400, ante 300)

    * CLICK TO REFRESH FOR LATEST UPDATES * CLICK HERE FOR LATEST CHIP COUNTS * Day 2 of the UKIPT Main Event * Day 2 consists of ten 60-minute levels - currently playing level 13 * Players remaining: 273 of 1,002 * Top 151 players get paid, payout stru...

  • 11 February

    UKIPT5 Dublin: Stefan Schillhabel tops Day 1B field on record breaking day


    Schillabel showed his skill to lead the way

    We love breaking records on the UKIPT and we smashed two of them out of the park today. A massive 788 players turned up to play Day 1B of this event, eclipsing the previous single day attendance record for a UKIPT Main Event of 736 (set at UKIPT4 London 2).

    Add them to the 214 who put their faces above the parapet on Day 1A and it meant the total number of runners in this huge UKIPT Main Event was 1,002, some 142 more than pitched up at UKIPT4 Galway, our previous best on Irish soil.

    Want to start your own EPT campaign? Sign up for PokerStars and start your journey. Click here to get an account.

    All told those 1,002 players created a prize pool totalling € 971,940. Over the next four days that'll be split 151 ways with the winner collect €176,900. You can see the full payout structure here.


    It was a busy day in Dublin

    There was actually a third record broken today, but we didn't break it, Stefan Schillhabel
    did. His gargantuan end of day stack of 352,000 is a UKIPT Day 1 record, just eclipsing the 351,200 tht Neil Van Der Merwe bagged up in Bristol earlier this year. The 28-year-old German, who finished fourth in the EPT11 Malta Main Event hails from Dusseldorf and started playing poker in 2006 with friends and is still a recreational player. He is currently studying for a Masters in sociology and also has a part-time job in sales.

    Other players who turned 25,000 into substantially more today include:

    Thomas Boivin, 342,400
    Olivier Ferrero, 315,500
    Adam Owen, 252,900
    Adam Milewski, 232,900
    Thomas Finneran, 216,000
    James Akenhead, 182,500
    Padraig O'Neill, 181,700


    A good day for Akenhead

    If you searched hard enough in the huge Day 1B field you'd have found half a dozen players sporting various versions of the famous PokerStars Red Spade.

    Representing Team Pro were ElkY and Eugene Katchalov. Neither will be back for Day 2 though. The Frenchman ran kings into aces to bust #sosick.


    Not a good day at the office for this pair of poker sharks

    Team Pro Online's sole representative proved he can cut it in the live arena too. That should come as no surprise given his name's Mickey Petersen. EPT champion Mickey Petersen. The Danish online tournament beast looked like he was going to reach Day 2 but busted on the final hand of the night.

    Still going strong though is Felipe Ramos. It was easy to miss people in this hectic day, the Friend of PokerStars flew under the radar but flew he did as he'd turned his 25,000 starting stack into 78,200 by the time play ended.


    Ramos is through

    We saw a new type of patch on the tour today, one that read, 'PokerStars Live at The Hippodrome Casino Team Pro'. The Hippodrome Casino in London's West End is PokerStars home in the UK and they recently sponsored two players to reprensent them at poker tournaments.

    Both are tour regulars but it was a case of contrasting fortunes for the pair as Chris Gordon navigated the choppy UKIPT waters to finish on 88,700, whilst Kelly Saxby, who had a deep run at UKIPT Bristol earlier in the season, busted during level eight.


    EPT11 London High Roller champion Andrew Chen

    With so many well known players in the field today - there were 10 EPT champions just for starters - it's no surprise that plenty of them will be back for Day 2. Among the sharks hungry for UKIPT cash on Day 2 will be:

    Charlie Carrel, 157,200
    Andrew Chen, 149,900
    Jeff Madsen, 138,900
    Nick Newport, 125,400
    Patrick Leonard, 83,000
    Jamie Sykes, 76,400
    Dara Davey, 71,200
    Dara O'Kearney, 57,000
    Surinder Sunar, 53,000
    Gareth Chantler, 44,700
    Keith Johnson, 24,600

    Of course for some their tournaments went the other way. EPT11 Malta champion Niall Farrell was pretty vocal about the early 10am start time not being to his liking (not the only dissenter to be fair) and he was even more vocal about the bar not opening until 3pm. He busted out shortly after midday and tweeted - in jest - the reason for his quick exit.

    Was forced to bust the UKIPT immediately in protest of the late bar opening. Stand with me brothers.

    — Niall Farrell (@Firaldo87poker) February 11, 2022

    He wasn't the only EPT champion who found the UKIPT a tougher nut to crack. Sebastian Pauli, Kevin MacPhee, Jannick Wrang, Ognyan Dimov, Dominik Panka, David Vamplew and Anton Wigg all busted out.


    Kevon MacPhee - all ten EPT champions in today's field busted

    You could also set fire to the tournament slips of Chris Moorman, Ben Heath, Chance Kornuth, Max Silver, Matthias De Meulder, Jude Ainsworth and Fergal Nealon. As the day progressed, they did not.

    Around 222 players made it through the day, add them to the 52 who advanced from Day 1A and somewhere in the region of 275 players will be back to play Day 2 from noon tomorrow. The march to the money begins in earnest then. We'll be back as we burst the bubble and move towards the final table during 10 one-hour levels.

    Join us then, you can catch up on all today's action via the links below, and overnight chip counts and the seat draw will be posted shortly. Keep an eye on the widget to the right (or at the bottom if you're on mobile) and the @PokerStarsBlog and @UKIPT accounts for that information.

    Until tomorrow good night from Dublin.

    Levels 1-7
    Levels 8-12


    All photos are copyright of Mickey May

  • 11 February

    UKIPT5 Dublin Day 1B: Level 8 updates (400-800, 100 ante)

    * CLICK TO REFRESH FOR LATEST UPDATES * Day 1B consists of twelve 45-minute levels - currently playing level eight * Day 1B players (779 so far - a record for single day attendance in a UKIPT Main Event) * Late registration has closed 4:25pm: Sister...

  • 11 February

    Last chance! Earn millions of Stars Coin in VIP Steps Challenge

    You can't say you weren't warned. We told you about this a couple of weeks ago. Now, it's almost too late to get in on millions in StarsCoin giveaways. As you might have heard (ahem), PokerStars is celebrating 100 million players by throwing a month-...

  • 11 February

    UKIPT5 Dublin Day 1B: Level 1-2 updates (75-150)


    * Day 1B consists of twelve 45-minute levels - currently playing level two
    * Day 1B players (515 so far)
    * Late registration is open until the end of level 6 (approx 3:15pm)

    11:14am: Aces and faces
    Level 2: Blinds 75-150

    As you would expect plenty more known faces have joined the party and they include: Kevin MacPhee (fresh in from the other side of the planet), Joey Lovelady, Anton Wigg, Anton Saout, Seth Webber and Ian Simpson.

    Simpson had a few extra cups of coffee this morning hoping it would help him with the early start time, but he hasn't gotten off to the best of starts. Maybe the caffeine has made his calling hands a little twitchy.

    He and Robert Beer were heads up to the river of a [qd][7s][jd][5d][9d] board and around 4,500 lay in the centre of the table. Simpson checked from under the gun and tank called when Beer bet 5,000. He was shown [ad][ac] for a flush and mucked his hand to dropped to 15,300. -- MC

    11am: Keep 'em coming
    Level 2: Blinds 75-150

    Over 515 players have now taken their seats on this bumper Day 1b and the big names just keep on coming. Due to the bigger buy-in events on the schedule - there's a €25,000 event tomorrow for instance - there are some well known players here that you'd never normally see on this tour. Like Chance Kornuth and Andrew Chen. Regulars on the EPT yes, the UKIPT, not so much.

    A player who battles against them on the EPT regularly, but is a UKIPT regular, is Max Silver. He's also a Dublin native but due to a tram strike he drove to the venue today. He had to park someway from the venue though and was delighted to learn that the first break was 20 minutes long, rather than 15, as it gives him more time to move his car. If Silver has a Day 1 anything like he did last time the tour was in town, he'll likely be the chip leader.

    He ran up a stack of 311,700 in Season 4, slightly more than Vladimir Velikov (301,500) managed yesterday, but in four fewer levels, unbelievable! Silver went on to finish runner-up to Kevin Killeen, almost adding to the UKIPT title he won here in 2010. Another UKIPT champion who's come close to a double is Brett Angell, he's also playing today as are:

    Richard Hawes
    Ben Winsor
    Andrew Sweeney
    David Clarkson
    Neil Rawnsley
    Jon Wong

    10:40am: Earphones needed for Saxby?
    Level 1: Blinds 50-100

    Deborah Worley-Roberts and Kelly Saxby are great friends and hang out at many UKIPTs. The table they normally share is close to a bar but today, chips and cards have replaced the glasses and wine bottles as they have been drawn together.

    Worley-Roberts is known for her quiet and shy demeanour at the table.....not! Her vocal ability is already being tested to its limits and Saxby, looked up at the blog and said in jest, "All day. All day!" -- MC

    Want to start your own UKIPT campaign? Sign up for PokerStars and start your journey. Click here to get an account.

    10:25am: Who's about? Part two
    Level 1: Blinds 50-100

    Forgive us, but we're about to do some more name dropping. Those spotted in t'other half of the room include:

    Jamie Sykes
    James Akenhead
    Tom Hall
    David Hills
    Nick Newport
    Andrew Hulme
    Gareth Chantler
    Keith Johnson
    Mike Hill
    Ari Engel
    Alex Goulder

    10:15am: Who's about? Part one
    The tournament is growing minute by minute and smoke must be coming off the ticket machines at registration desk. The day has swelled to almost 500 entries players at the time of publishing.

    Confirmed sightings in one half of the tournament room: PokerStars' Filipe Ramos, Mickey Petersen and Jen Shahade; Dan Charlton, Dara O'Kearney (after he faked playing Day 1A), Chris Gordon, Dan Charlton, Fergal Nealon, Vojtech Ruzicka, Tim Reilly, Kerryjane Craigie and Balazs Botond. --MC

    Me and most of my fellow players at #UKIPTDublin today, gl all! https://t.co/gtBI6nCqym

    — Mickey Petersen (@mickeydp) February 11, 2022

    10am: Cards are in the air!
    Level 1: Blinds 50-100

    Day 1B has gotten underway.

    9:45am: Bumper Day 1B about to commence
    Day 1A attracted 214 players yesterday and today promises to be a lot bigger. The first ever champion here, back in Season 1, was Max Silver, and he'll be in attendance today. He tried to come and play yesterday but getting out of one's own bed (Silver lives in Dublin) tends to be a lot harder than a strange hotel bed. Back in 2010 Silver had a day job working for Full Tilt Poker, but the €72,000 he won was partially behind his decision to go pro, and what a good decision that's been - the Brit has more than £2.3 million in winnings on his poker resume now! Will another Silver-type case be born in Dublin this week?

    Team Online's Mickey Peterson has been spotted in the RDS over the last 24 hours and is expected to be in the field today. Social media had also been flooded with photos of players making - or trying - to make their way to Dublin. Many added holidays on to the PCA and a fair few have made/are making the long trip back from the Aussie Millions, including the champion Ari Engel.

    Cards will be in the air at 10am.

    ukipt dublin_day 4_max silver winner shot.jpg

    Silver looking for a double on home soil

    Key UKIPT5 Dublin Facts:

    - 25,000 starting stack
    - Blinds starting at 50/100 for 250 big blinds
    - Levels are 45 minutes on Day 1 and they'll be 12 of them. From Day 2 onwards levels increase to 60 minutes.
    - Day 1B takes place today, the field will then combine for the first time on Friday. We'll reach the money during the 10 levels of play on Day 2 and then play down to a final table on Saturday. Sunday is a rest day, and then on Monday the final table will play out on the TV table on EPTLive with cards-up coverage and bring Season 5 of the UKIPT to a close. Cue mad celebrations and swigging of champagne from the trophy (possibly).
    - Full UKIPT5 Dublin schedule here.
    - It's not all about the poker here in Dublin. There are plenty of #StarsFun activities including Dodgeball Trampolining. Yes, you read that right Dodgeball Trampolining.

    PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT5 Dublin: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog

  • 10 February

    Vladimir Velikov streaks clear of UKIPT5 Dublin Day 1A field


    That's what a 300k smile looks like

    The second day of the EPT Dublin festival took place today and central to the day's festivities was Day 1A of the UKIPT Main Event. The tour is in its fifth season and Dublin has been an ever-present stop, producing four champions in the shape of Max Silver, Joeri Zandvliet, Richard Evans and Kevin Killeen.

    The latter was one of the 214 players to take to the felt today and by the end of twelve 45-minute levels, 52 remained. Vladimir Velikov has the overnight bragging rights of being chip leader after he amassed an impressive 301,500, 12 times more than starting stack. He was potentially the leader before he cracked an opponent's aces at the death when he flopped a straight with jack-nine. The Bulgarian is no stranger to success as he's a former Sunday Million winner and at December's Eureka Prague he scored a €170,180 payday by finishing second in the High Roller event.

    Other big stacks and notables to make Day 2 were: Joao Simao (253,600), David Pollock (240,000), Vladas Burneikis (199,800), Ranno Sootla (191,300), Dan Carter (186,600), Peter Eichhardt (170,300), Domenico Vivolo (169,500), Erik Olofsson (160,600), Scott Margereson (123,600), Dermot Blalin (111,200), Chris Dowling (103,800) and reigning champion Kevin Killeen (48,000)


    Reigning champ Killeen safely through

    Mr UKIPT himself Jake Cody played today but had one of those days at the tables. He busted midway through the day but a lot of the damage occurred earlier when he turned two pair only for his opponent, Sean Prendiville, to river a straight. No doubt we'll be seeing the Team PokerStars Pro in the UKIPT High Roller and EPT Main Event, two of the marquee tournaments of a festival that promises to be Ireland's biggest and richest ever.


    Cody was, as ever, philisophical in defeat

    Cody wasn't the only player to find it a struggle today. Former champions Nick Abou Risk and Josh Hart both got off to a good starts but busted with decent holdings; Steven van Zadelhoff recently won a triple crown online but couldn't transfer that hot streak over to the live arena; Andy Black was back on vocal form but the cards didn't fall his way; Marc Macdonnell's aces couldn't hold against an opponent's queens and former EPT Grand final champion Mohsin Charania went from big stack to out after losing big pots with kings and ace-king in quick succession.


    Andy Black's look says it all

    Other notables to hit the rail included: Emil Patel, Jack Sambrook, Rasmus Agerskov, Senh Ung, Jason Wheeler, Emmett Davis, Aaron Gustavson, Jared Jaffe, Dietrich Fast, Jacob Bazeley and November Niner Pierre Neuville.


    The poker wheels will keep turning for Jason

    This UKIPT stop has been predicted to have a big turnout by the powers that be, so a packed room is expected tomorrow as the tournament aims for four-figure status. The 10am GMT start time stays in place for one more day so that should help stagger the flow of hopefuls. Another 12 levels will be played out before all survivors will convene for Day two on Friday.

    Join the blog back here then, but for now, click the links below to catch up on the day's action:

    Level 1-8 updates
    Level 9-12 updates


    PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT5 Dublin: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May. She's been dosing up on Penicillin for the last five days so is ready to fight any bacteria who try to steal her pictures! Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog

  • 10 February

    UKIPT5 Dublin Day 1A: Level 9 updates (500-1,000, 100 ante)


    * Day 1A consists of twelve 45 minute levels - currently playing level 9
    * 120 of 214 players remain
    * Late registration is closed
    * You can catch up with Level 1-8 coverage here

    5:45pm: Dinner break
    Level 9: Blinds 500-1,000, 100 ante

    The remaining players are now on a 75 minute dinner break. Play will re-start at roughly 7pm. --NW

    5:40pm: Defending champion still in
    Level 9: Blinds 500-1,000, 100 ante

    There's been a few good UKIPT title defences in Dublin on the UKIPT and Kevin Killeen, who triumphed last time the tour was in town, is still going strong on Day 1A this time round. He's got about 28,000. After he won his UKIPT title he moved to Mexico but is back in Ireland at the moment.

    "Living here at the moment, I'll stay here to after the Irish Open at least," he told us. "After that probably Vegas and then maybe back to Mexico. We'll see."

    As reported below the other UKIPT Main Event winners in the field today - Nick Abou Risk and Josh Hart - are both out. However, we do still have an EPT champion in the field in the shape of Mohsin Charania. He's got around 71,000. -- NW
    4:55pm: Long dinner break for....
    Level 9: Blinds 500-1,000, 100 ante

    Those who failed to make the upcoming dinner break included: John Hanaphy, Anders Overland, Sean Prendiville, Rasmus Agersov, Counstrain-Jean Edmond, Bruno Lima, Eldon Orr, Vaino Nevanlinna, Cesar De Leon, Victor Pastor, Jussi Nevanlinna, Senh Ung, Gareth Jennings, Andy Black, Chris Simpson, Josh Hart, Laurence Ryan, Steven van Zadelhoff, Miguel Suarez, Ezequiel Lebed, Matis Ruzzi, Jason Wheeler (pictured)UKIPT5_Dublin_Jason_Wheeler.jpg, David Burke, Keith Brennan, Anthony Ainscough, Guillaume Nolet, Emmett Davis, Jochen Kaiser, Dan Borlan, Ryan McEathron, Alexandre Schifa, Ricardo Ibanez, Burak Kavas, Donal Kennedy, Alan White, Ronan Gilligan, Pierre Neuville, Sszoto Merceron, Frederic Bertrand and Mark Ballesty. -- MC

    5:30pm: There's a new chippie in town as Abou Risks busts
    Level 9: Blinds 500-1,000, 100 ante

    Nick Abou Risk will not become a three-time UKIPT champion in his hometown after he busted in a big pot that made Ranno Sootla the (likely) new chip leader.

    Sootla told the blog that Abou Risk raised from under the gun and he defended his big blind to head to a [k][j][5] flop that contained two hearts. A four landed on the turn and Sootla bet 18,000 (into what he thought was 23k) and called when Abou Risk shoved for 30,000.


    Sootla leading the way

    Sootla opened king-jack and survived a blank river against Abou Risk's ace-king.

    Ranno Sootla, 160,000
    Nick Abou Risk, eliminated
    -- MC

    5:15pm: Cody can't stop the rot
    Level 9: Blinds 500-1,000, 100 ante

    At the very end of level eight we lost Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody. Sadly for him is stack only went in one direction today. Still he's got the chance to bounce back tomorrow - literally - as he's going to be taking part in the Dodgeball Trampolining.

    Gg either ran into it a lot or got run over #UKIPTDublin

    — Jake Cody (@JakeCody) February 10, 2022

    5pm: End of the road for Ruzzi
    Level 9: Blinds 500-1,000, 100 ante

    I arrived at the table to see the cards already on their backs, it was Matias Ruzzi who was all in, the Argentinian had [Ah][Js] whilst Amgd Nadr had [As][Qc].

    The [6c][7h][6s][Kh][Qh] board eliminated Ruzzi and boosted Nadr to 70,000. --NW

    Key UKIPT5 Dublin Facts:

    - 25,000 starting stack
    - Blinds starting at 50/100 for 250 big blinds
    - Levels are 45 minutes on Day 1 and they'll be 12 of them. From Day 2 onwards levels increase to 60 minutes.
    - Day 1A is today, Day 1B takes place tomorrow, the field will then combine for the first time on Friday. We'll reach the money during the 10 levels of play on Day 2 and then play down to a final table on Saturday. Sunday is a rest day, and then on Monday the final table will play out on the TV table on EPTLive with cards-up coverage and bring Season 5 of the UKIPT to a close. Cue mad celebrations and swigging of champagne from the trophy (possibly).
    - Full UKIPT5 Dublin schedule here.
    - There's a boat load of other events today including a €5,000 (!) Hold'em event and two live satellites to the Main Event tonight. Those satellites start at 16.00 GMT and 21.30 GMT.
    - It's not all about the poker here in Dublin. There are plenty of #StarsFun activities including Dodgeball Trampolining. Yes, you read that right Dodgeball Trampolining.

    PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT5 Dublin: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog

  • 10 February

    UKIPT5 Dublin Day 1A: Level 1 updates (50/100)

    09:50am: Top o' the mornin' to ya
    Good morning! It's a brisk sunny winter's day here in Dublin and an earlier start than usual on the UKIPT. For most folk 10am would be considered a late start but in the world of poker 10am is positively the crack of dawn.

    The UKIPT Main Event is the first of the big events in the 67 tournament schedule that makes up the UKIPT/EPT Dublin festival that runs until the 20th February. Whilst the EPT last touched down in Dublin in October 2007, the UKIPT has been heading to Dublin on the regular and was last here at the end of February 2015.

    There have been some memorable final tables in Dublin, Max Silver obliterated the competition in four hours, Joeri Zandvliet won his second UKIPT title here and last year we had, perhaps, the most memorable UKIPT final table of all time.

    In the red corner was Max Silver, he just loves playing in Dublin on the UKIPT, one win and a fourth prior to last year and he was chasing his second UKIPT title in his home city, a win that would put him in exalted company.


    Killeen's friends carried him to victory

    In the blue corner was Kevin Killeen, one of the bright young things of Irish poker and a tour regular who'd not had a big result on the UKIPT...yet. Backed by a vociferous rail, who were all dressed in onesies, they sung their man to victory: "We don't take silver we only take gold," was the chant that lives long in the memory.

    Over the next six days we're hopeful this edition of UKIPT Dublin will more than match those that have gone before.

    Key UKIPT5 Dublin Facts:

    - 25,000 starting stack
    - Blinds starting at 50/100 for 250 big blinds
    - Levels are 45 minutes on Day 1 and they'll be 12 of them. From Day 2 onwards levels increase to 60 minutes.
    - Day 1A is today, Day 1B takes place tomorrow, the field will then combine for the first time on Friday. We'll reach the money during the 10 levels of play on Day 2 and then playing down to a final table on Saturday. Sunday is a rest day, and then on Monday the final table will play out on the TV table on EPTLive with cards-up coverage and bring Season 5 of the UKIPT to a close. Cue mad celebrations and swigging of champagne from the trophy (possibly).
    - Full UKIPT5 Dublin schedule here.
    - There's a boat load of other events today including a €5,000 (!) Hold'em event and two live satellites to the Main Event tonight. Those satellites start at 16.00 GMT and 21.30 GMT.
    - It's not all about the poker here in Dublin. There are plenty of #StarsFun activities including Dodgeball Trampolining. Yes, you read that right Dodgeball Trampolining.

    PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT5 Dublin: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May

  • 10 February

    mahmuttt88 goes all the way in 2/9/16 Super Tuesday

    The largest weekly buy-in online poker tournament in the world continues to attract the world's best players and showcase some tremendous poker, and today's Super Tuesday was no exception. When it came down to the final two players we saw two Scandinav...

  • 9 February

    Jason’s Journey

    Greek mythology tells of a famous adventurer called Jason, who sailed the ship Argo, searching for the "golden fleece." Here in the poker world, we have a Jason who has experienced many adventures of his own - I thought this would be a good time to sto...

  • 9 February

    Live coverage from the EPT Dublin festival begins tomorrow

    The European Poker Tour returns to Dublin tomorrow after an eight year break. It should only take a hand or two to feel back at home.

    Dublin is a poker town, and while the EPT has been away the UKIPT has made it home, so in many ways the UKIPT Main Event, which gets the festival started, is a fitting way to mark our return to the Royal Dublin Society.

    The UKIPT Main Event will look a little different this time around, with three days of action before play takes a day off ahead of the final table on Monday. You only have to take a look at the schedule to see why.


    There are 67 events planned over nine days, and while the UKIPT gets up to speed the €25K High Roller event will run alongside, starting on Friday and ending on Sunday.

    Sunday also happens to be when the EPT Main Event kicks off, something no player would wish to miss, including those at the UKIPT Main Event final table. The least we can do for them is pause the action while they join the festival's main feature. They then play down to a UKIPT champion on Monday.

    At which point the Single Day High Roller will have started, with a €10,000 buy-in for those with richer tastes. That should have its winner a few hours ahead of the closure of late registration in the EPT Main Event 15 minutes before Day 2 starts on Tuesday.

    The last marquee event of the festival is the €10,000 High Roller starting on Thursday February 18, which will race the Main Event to a winner. The three-day event ends on Saturday just as the Main Event does the same.

    So there you have it. The nine day, 67 event Dublin festival wrapped up in just over 300 words.

    Regardless of whether you're in Dublin to play any of these events, or indeed any of the side events designed to suit all tastes and bankrolls, be sure to follow everything on the PokerStars Blog. Our team will be covering all of the above with live updates from start to finish each day. You'll also find regular reminders on our Twitter account which you can follow: @PokerStarsBlog.

    Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.

    Furthermore much of what takes place will be on EPT Live from Day 2 of the Main Event, a great way to stay up to speed on the general sense of what's going on, even if you just leave Joe and James talking to themselves while you get on with something else.

    Like I said, it all starts tomorrow at 10am, unusual given that's the middle of the night for some players. Nevertheless, that's when we'll be there, having stayed up all night giddy with excitement.

    And if you make the trip to Dublin, be sure to stop by and say hi.

    Find full details on the EPT Dublin homepage. Bookmark our Dublin coverage on the PokerStars Blog to ensure you don't miss a thing.

    Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

  • 8 February

    PokerStars guarantees $10 million in 10th Anniversary Sunday Million

    So where were you on Sunday March 5, 2006? I know, it's not easy to remember that far back. But one thing's for sure, you'll want to remember where to be ten years later.

    That date was the day of the first ever Sunday Million, won by "aaaaaaaa" from Canada who picked up $173,843.50 from a prize pool of $1178,600. Back then there was a field of 5,893, an enormous number. Let's just say the field will be slightly bigger for the tenth anniversary Sunday Million which was announced today, with a $10 million guarantee and all to play for on Sunday March 20.


    Each year PokerStars marks the anniversary of what is the highlight of the online poker week. The largest and richest Sunday Million took place during PokerStars' 10th Anniversary celebration in December 2011, when 62,116 players set a record online poker prize pool of $12,423,200 that still stands to this day. That tournament was won by 'First-Eagle', also from Canada, for $1,146,574.65.

    Last year's Sunday Million 9th Anniversary tournament, which took place in March 2015, was won by 'BRAYDEN93' from Mexico, who topped a field of 50,432 players to pocket $597,719.60 after a seven-handed deal was done at the final table. The total prize pool then was some $10,086,615.

    It's a good time to open a PokerStars account. Click here to get one.

    But this is the ten year anniversary of the tournament, which means were in the mood to break records. That's why this time round they'll be a slight change to the format that will allow you to enter not once, not twice, but three times if you need to, boosting the prize pool and leaving at least $1 million to the winner.

    It all takes place at 14:30 ET (19.30 GMT/20:30 CET) on Sunday March 20, with the usual buy-in of $215, with late registration for those firing bullets two and three open for the first three hours of play. It's set to be one of the biggest online poker tournaments of the year.

    What's more Team PokerStars Pro Jaime Staples will be hosting a live Twitch stream of the tournament while playing himself.

    "The Sunday Million Anniversary tournament is one of the biggest events on the poker calendar," said Staples. "And when you throw in a $10 million guaranteed prize pool and more than a thousand free seats as well, it's a tournament that every poker player should aspire to play."

    The thousand free seats he mentioned make it within the reach of any player, regardless of bank roll.

    Players can qualify for free via weekly Hyper-Turbo Freerolls taking place every Saturday between February 13 and March 19 at 13.47 ET (18.47 GMT / 19.47 CET). Some 1,200 free seats to the 10th anniversary tournament are up for grabs across six freerolls (200 seats per freeroll).

    To get a freeroll seat simply make a real money deposit of $20 or more in each qualifying week using the bonus code "MILLIONFREE1" (which come to think of it would make a good username if you need to open a PokerStars account" target="_blank">need to open a PokerStars account. That code changes each week to MILLIONFREE2, all the way to MILLIONFREE6. Full details can be found on the Sunday Million 10th Anniversary homepage.

    As well as freerolls, there will be two Deadline Satellites on the day of the tournament. An $11 Deadline Satellite at 13.45 ET will guarantee 1,000 seats, and a $33 Deadline Satellite at 14.05 ET will guarantee a further 333 seats.

    Four VIP Bash satellites on consecutive Saturdays from February 27 to March 19 at 15.00 ET will feature 50 Sunday Million 10th Anniversary seats to each of the first three Bash Satellites, with 100 seats available in the final Bash Satellite on March 19. The buy in is just 1,000 StarsCoin.

    Then there are the regular cash satellites running around the clock, with buy-ins to suit everyone, with prices starting at $1, all of which can be found on the PokerStars client or app.

    Ten years, double figures, with ten figures in the prize pool. Set an alarm, write the date on the wall, and cancel all appointments. In ten years you'll want to be able to say you were there.

    Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.

    Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog. Follow the blog team on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog

  • 8 February

    Top of the Tables for ‘Tsitsomitsos’

    PokerStars player 'Tsitsomitsos' from Greece is not a newcomer to the game. In fact he's been a PokerStars player since 2008 and joined our official poker school, PokerSchoolOnline, in 2011. It took those three tentative years playing recreationally fo...

  • 8 February

    Spin & Go delivers first 2016 millionaire

    Four hands. Just four hands.

    That's all one PokerStars player from Russia needed to win $1 million on Sunday.

    Around dinner time, Rainman751 entered a $100 Spin & go. Within a few seconds he saw his My Little Pony avatar (that's Princess Luna for the uninitiated) land squarely on a $1 million jackpot table.

    It was the fastest-ever million-dollar Spin & Go. Taking less than two minutes to play and--again!--only four hands, that game delivered Rainman751 his $1 million, and the runner up $100,000 prizes to Canada's Kman_AP2 and Mexico's pablotenisis

    Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.
    1_million_luna.pngYes, it's Princess Luna

    How did he do it. Just like this.

    Hand 1: After pablotenisis raised to 41 from the button, Kman_AP2 re-raised to 122 from the small blind. Rainman 751 overcalled. After a flop of [9s][3h][Qh], Kman_AP2 led for 60, and Rainman751 shoved, enough to win the whole pot.

    Hand 2: Kman_AP2 put in a button raise and took down the blinds.

    Hand 3: If you have been keeping count here, you know there are only two hands left. The first one was a cooler. Rainman751 got it all in with pocket kings vs pablotenisis' pocket tens. The kings held, and pablotensis was gone.

    Hand 4: This is where it all came together for the Russian. After calling Kman_AP2's raise with [6h][7h], he made middle pair on a [Qh][6c][5c] flop. He didn't know Kman_AP2 had flopped top pair with [Qd][Ts], but by the turn it didn't matter. The [7s] turn gave Rainman751 two pair, enough to check-raise all-in, and enough to hold on for the $1 million win.

    While Rainman751 is the first Spin & Go millionaire of 2016, he has lots company in the millionaire club. Here are all the people who have won since October.

    •February 7: Rainman751 from Russia won $1 million from a $100 tournament in 4 hands and 104 seconds.
    •December 14: GrindHeaps from Australia won $1 million from a $100 tournament.
    •November 21: Koovoon from Canada won $1 million from a $100 tournament.
    •October 28: ifipushud325 from Australia won $1 million from a $5 tournament.
    •October 26: handbt1 from Germany won $1 million from a $5 tournament.
    •October 26: barrakuuda4 from Estonia won $1 million from a $100 tournament.
    •October 25: prophethicks from England won $1 million from a $5 tournament.
    •October 22: wrawras from Brazil won $1 million from a $100 tournament.
    •October 21: Samara Lúcio from Brazil won $1 million from a $5 tournament.

    If you'd like to try to be the next Spin and Go millionaire, check out the details here.

    Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.
    is the PokerStars Head of Blogging.

  • 8 February

    Weekend review: Comeback win for LilFishAtL headlines PokerStars weekend

    A look at all the major stories from this past weekend on PokerStars. Weekend highlights * LilFishAtL pulls off a remarkable heads-up come back to win the Sunday Million * Bica999 takes down the Sunday Warm-Up worth $75,000 * Jean Issa wins the Ann...

  • 8 February

    Sunday Million: LilFishAtL thrives in big pond, banks $141k

    When this final table was down to its last three players, all signs pointed to a win for Grayson "gray31" Ramage. Only last week, Ramage took down a TCOOP title and over $213k for his victory in the $2,100 NLHE High Roller event and was riding a wave o...

  • 8 February

    Sunday Warm-Up: bica999 dominates final table for $75K win

    This was both the fastest and slowest Sunday Warm-Up final table I have covered in the past seven years. First the slow, as bica999 came into the final nine holding a sizable lead but no one busted in the first hour despite many attempts to do so. The ...

  • 5 February

    Listen to the latest #EPTNotLive podcast

    The latest edition of the #EPTNotLive podcast is now available. We'll let the good folks behind it all provide the detail... "James and Joe haven't been anywhere, and their TV shows aren't currently on the air, but they still have plenty to talk about...

  • 5 February

    $100NL Zoom Poker Strategy - Randy ‘Nanonoko’ Lew

  • 5 February

    How to combine karma, trampolines and Steve O’Dwyer in one article

    This was another of those weeks where you look back and wonder where the time went. Often in our case we spend so much energy looking forward to a festival that it's hard to envisage it ever being over with. But time passes, events finish, but then new ones appear on the horizon.

    That's something of a theme this week. Last weekend we saw the end of two great festivals, one live and the other online.

    Death, Taxes and O'Dwyer

    Down under in Australia one of those festivals was coming to an end in the usual style. The standard pattern is simple: lots of players take part, lots of money is won, and at the end Steve O'Dwyer wins big. The Aussie Millions was no exception.

    steve_odwyer_7_5feb16.jpgLooks familiar? Steve O'Dwyer

    If you haven't read the story of Steve O'Dwyer's win in the LK Boutique $250,000 Challenge, it's worth catching up on. It was a typically tough field in Melbourne, which makes O'Dwyer's achievement even more compelling. For the record it was his seventh seven-figure cash of the past 12 months. It was also the 99th of his career. More on where he might reach 100 in a moment.

    Before O'Dwyer, American journeyman Ari Engel won the Aussie Millions Main Event. Engel is a regular on the European Poker Tour, and one of that small band of players who prefers a suitcase and the road, to mortgage payments and a front lawn to mow.

    ari_engel_aussiemillions_5feb16.jpgAussie Millions Main Event champion Ari Engel

    Last weekend he demonstrated why, defeating the likes of Kitty Kuo and Samantha Abernathy on his way to a heads-up contest against Tony Dunst. That lead to the Main Event title and a first prize of $1.6 million. The option of a mortgage is now available if he wants it. Something tells me he'll pass.

    The COOP de Grâce

    While all that was taking place at the Crown Casino TCOOP was coming to a close, notably event 49 of 50, the $700 buy-in Main Event. That's where Dinesh "NastyMinder" Alt was putting the finishing touches to his TCOOP series, winning the first prize of $396,691 ahead of a field of more than 4,000.

    dinesh_alt_5feb16.jpgDinesh Alt

    Alt joked in an interview with the Blog that it was all about Karma and cows (read the full interview with Dinesh Alt to see what we mean), but it was more a case of the usual hard work and practice. At least that's what we like to think. Martin Harris had the final table report to shows why.

    Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.

    Two is company, 100 million is a crowd

    Elsewhere on PokerStars Nacho Barbero won the Super Tuesday this week. This midweek contest is always one of the toughest events to play, having such a serious buy-in and serious field. So it's only right that the payoff is usually significant, in this case $92,720 for Barbero.

    Still online I hope you noticed something we mentioned last week that will take up much of this month, the PS100 Celebrations.

    That's the short way of saying that we're celebrating our 100 millionth player on PokerStars in February, and given that it is our players who have made PokerStars what it is the month is given over to them.

    You can find all the details of that on the PS100 Celebration homepage, which describes all the challenges, contests and tournaments we're running. In terms of our contribution on the PokerStars Blog we'll be running a series of articles celebrating certain player milestones over the past 15 years. Having been privy to discussions about what they are I can say that all of them will make for interested reading, but one or two surprised even us. Look forward to those later this month.


    That leads on to what is coming up over the next few days, and by that we mean EPT Dublin.

    Back to Dublin

    As we reported this week it's been eight years since the EPT last hosted a festival in Ireland (the UKIPT meanwhile has been doing just fine), with Reuben Peters and Annette Obrestad playing the last hand that year (Peters on the winning end of it). Back then it was a relatively small festival, but this time there will be 67 events at the Royal Dublin Society, starting on February 9, and running through to February 20. The EPT homepage has all the details.

    We mentioned Steve O'Dwyer earlier. He's now one short of his 100th career live cash, which could easily come in his adopted home of Dublin next week (should he make the trip from Australia to the Emerald Isle). It's a story we'll be keeping a close eye on when our coverage begins next week. He's also about $66,000 short of $15 million in career earnings. Surely he can reach that figure in Ireland?

    Still in Dublin, it's not all fun and games at the poker table, it's fun and games off it also. As we outlined this week on the Blog, EPT Dublin will suit Dodgeball enthusiasts. I thought it was a made up "sport", then I saw this picture...


    So however ridiculous (it's played on trampolines), it's definitely real.

    Players heading to Dublin have something else to bear in mind - the new registration process we're using for the festival. Essentially it allows you to register for an event online until the usual late registration deadline using your PokerStars account (.com and .eu only for now). There are a couple of important exceptions to note, but we hope it'll make the process easier and queues at the registration desk a lot shorter.


    Lastly that sound you heard earlier this week, a kind of boom sound, was Tom Middleton, the former EPT Barcelona champion, for whom this happened in the Super Tuesday. When you see the flop you understand why you can still hear the echo.

    That's everything for now. Good luck to everyone at the tables this weekend. Let us know how you get on, or send thoughts and comments to @PokerStarsBlog.

    Come join us on PokerStars. Click here to get an account.

    Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

  • 4 February

    PokerStars cash gamers pick up $1 million

    You don't have to be a high-roller to pick up some big money in PokerStars cash games. Just look at the people who collectively pocketed more than $1 million during the month of January in the PokerStars Cash Game Quests. The idea was simple. Players...

  • 4 February

    Jump the queue with new online registration at EPT Dublin

    Sometimes the little things can make all the difference. That's why we're always trying to make the player experience better, whether it's better chips, better tables, or even the process each player goes through before that -- like registration.

    At EPT12 Dublin players will notice a few improvements in this department. Given that nobody really likes queueing players can now avoid it entirely by taking advantage of extended online registration.

    Players can register on the PokerStars client right up until an event's late registration period. Do that, and then make your way to the Ticket Collection desk from 5pm the day before the tournament starts to get the seat draw.


    Right now this applies only to .COM and .EU accounts, and if you need a PokerStars account you can download one here.

    To find the full schedule of every EPT Dublin event go to "Live Events"/ "Europe"/ "EPT Dublin" in the PokerStars Client, then the "Event Schedule" tab in the main lobby.

    Seats will be reserved for players who register online. Remember however, that you cannot unregister once a tournament has started. It's also worth noting that while online registration for events at EPT Dublin will be available up until the end of late registration, there are a few exceptions:

    Event #3, €1,100 UKIPT Dublin Main Event
    Event #8, €330 NL - PokerStars Cup
    Event #28, €5,300 EPT Main Event
    Event #53, €330 NL - Hold'em

    Otherwise you'll all set. Give it a try and let us know what you think in Dublin, which is now just a few days away. For all the details of the EPT Dublin festival, go to the EPT homepage.

    Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

  • 4 February

    Main Event champ Dinesh “NastyMinder” Alt on karma and TCOOP success

    So what's the single best quality you can have to ensure success in the TCOOP Main Event? Easy according to Dinesh "NastyMinder" Alt: Karma. Well, sort of. Last Sunday Alt did what 4,076 other players tried to do. But while they fell short Alt went...

  • 3 February

    Nacho “PokerLoans1” Barbero nabs 2/2/16 Super Tuesday for $92K

    This week's $1,050 buy-in Super Tuesday at PokerStars drew the typically tough field, with another big turnout of 488 adding another challenge to those hoping to win. During the tournament's final stages there were several familiar players making it close to the final table, and a few more among the final nine, too, including Sweden's Daniel "42ayay" Erlandsson and Canada's Robert "Little Kraut" Deppe.

    In the end, though, it was Argentina's Nacho "PokerLoans1" Barbero grabbing the chip lead with five players left and never looking back, with the two-time Latin American Poker Tour champion ultimately taking down the tournament for a handsome $92,720 first prize.


    Nacho "PokerLoans1" Barbero

    That big field meant a $488,000 prize pool, besting the $425K guarantee. It would take about five-and-a-half hours for the 488 who started to play down to 63, at which point BARBARVSSA2 was leading the chip counts by a wide margin.

    Also still in the hunt at that point were a couple of red spade-sporters, Team PokerStars Pro George Danzer and Naoya "nkeyno" Kihara of Team PokerStars Pro Online, both with below average stacks.

    Danzer managed to last a short while longer. His end came in a hand that started out four-way, then by the river involved just himself and Seth "SFisch4" Fischer. At that point Danzer committed what he had left with the board showing [Qs][6s][Jh][5c][4h] and Danzer having two pair with [5s][4s]. But Fischer called with [8s][7s] for an eight-high straight and Danzer was done in 47th ($2,293.60).

    Kihara made it a bit further before finally committing the last of his stack with [Jd][Jc] versus BARBARVSSA2's [Ah][Kh], and when an ace came among the community cards Kihara hit the rail in 27th ($2,928).

    A while later they were down to 18 gathered around the final two tables, with Robert "Little Kraut" Deppe the new chip leader and BARBARVSSA2 still near the top of the counts in second position.

    Miltos "Miltos14″ Kyriakides (18th), Pedro "PaDiLhA SP" Padilha (17th), and Seth "SFisch4" Fischer (16th) were the next three to be eliminated, earning $3,904 apiece. They were followed by bolivianSWAG (15th), Carter "cswidler" Swidler (14th), and Dani "supernova9" Stern (13th) who took away $4,880 apiece. Then RunLkMercier (12th), Dönig (11th), and Benjamin "SPEKTAH" Leblond (10th) were knocked out, earning $5,856 each for not quite making the final nine.

    They'd just crossed the tourney's eight-hour mark, and the final table was underway with Robert "Little Kraut" Deppe the new frontrunner.


    Seat 1: Daniel "42ayay" Erlandsson (Sweden) -- 354,750
    Seat 2: all in 2526 (Israel) -- 170,577
    Seat 3: gnetaren (Sweden) -- 667,967
    Seat 4: antispeed (Lebanon) -- 104,451
    Seat 5: brights88 (Lebanon) -- 222,477
    Seat 6: katenok3388 (Russia) -- 137,140
    Seat 7: BARBARVSSA2 (Russia) -- 132,088
    Seat 8: Nacho "PokerLoans1" Barbero (Argentina) -- 171,957
    Seat 9: Robert "Little Kraut" Deppe (Canada) -- 478,593

    The very first hand of the final table saw an elimination.

    katenok3388 opened with a min-raise to 11,200 from middle position and BARBARVSSA2 called from the next seat. The flop came [9c][4h][Ts], prompting a bet of 14,840 from katenok3388. BARBARVSSA2 then raised to 81,620, katenok3388 reraised again, and BARBARVSSA2 called all in with the 38,568 behind.

    BARBARVSSA2 had top pair with [Ac][Td], but katenok3388 had that beat with [Qh][Qc]. The turn was the [6s] and river the [Kh], and BARBARVSSA2 was out in ninth.

    A little less than 15 minutes later the blinds were 3,200/6,400 when all in 2526 -- who has won multiple Super Tuesdays in the past -- open-pushed from the cutoff for 47,743 holding [Qc][Td] and brights88 called from the big blind holding [Ah][3d]. The flop came [2h][5c][4s], giving brights88 a wheel and leaving all in 2526 essentially drawing dead. The [Qs] and [Jh] completed the board and all in 2526 was eliminated in eighth.

    A few minutes later they were in the same level when brights88 min-raised to 14,400 from the button, katenok3388 reraise-shoved for 66,426 from the small blind, and brights88 called. katenok3388 had [6s][6h] and brights88 [Ks][Th], and five cards later -- [4c][Js][Ts][Qs][2s] -- brights88 had made a flush and katenok3388's run was over in seventh.

    They moved past the nine-hour mark, with brights88 the new leader and Nacho "PokerLoans1" Barbero the short stack. Barbero would soon manage a double-up through brights88, however, to tighten things up again a bit among the six players. Then a little later Barbero min-raised to 18,000 from the cutoff, Daniel "42ayay" Erlandsson reraised all in for 100,821 from the small blind, and Barbero called.

    Barbero had [As][Qd] and the edge versus Erlandsson's [Ac][6c]. The board came [Kc][3d][2d], then [9c], then [3h], and Erlandsson had been ousted in sixth.


    Daniel "42ayay" Erlandsson

    Play continued, with Barbero eventually moving into the chip lead with five left. Then came a hand in which antispeed min-raised to 20,000 from the cutoff and got two callers in Nacho "PokerLoans1" Barbero (small blind) and Robert "Little Kraut" Deppe (big blind).

    The flop came [2d][Kd][3h] and Barbero led with a bet of 24,567. Next to act, Deppe responded with a raise to 76,000, then antispeed shoved all in for 246,005. At that Barbero folded, but Deppe called all in with the 152,331 he had behind.

    Deppe showed [Td][6d] for a flush draw while antispeed had top pair, top kicker with [Ac][Kh]. The turn was the [5h] and river the [9s], and having failed to improve his hand Deppe was knocked out in fifth.


    Robert "Little Kraut" Deppe

    As they moved through the tournament's 11th hour Barbero continued to pressure the others, and when the topic of a possible deal arose he said he wasn't interested. Then after winning a big hand versus gnetaren, Barbero had moved up over 1.1 million while the other three all were hovering between 400,000 and 500,000.

    By the time they crossed the 11-hour mark and moved into hour number 12, Barbero was pushing up close to 1.5 million with gnetaren closest with just over 600,000, antispeed third with almost 208,000, and brights88 fourth with just under 147,000.

    Soon it was brights88 open-raising all in from UTG for 144,328 (a little over seven big blinds) and Barbero the only caller from the small blind. brights99 had [9s][6s] and Barbero [Ac][Td]. The flop came [6c][Ts][4c] to give each player a pair, then after the [7d] turn and [4h] river brights88's Super Tuesday ended with a fourth-place finish.

    That knockout just improved Barbero's position even further, and a while later when antispeed open-pushed from the small blind for 315,484 (just under 13 BBs), Barbero called from the big blind in a snap. antispeed had [Jh][8h] but Barbero had picked up [Ac][Ah]. The board came [Kd][Qh][Qc][3h][2s], and antispeed had been stopped in third.

    That put Barbero up over 2 million to start heads-up play, and with 2,032,776 had almost a 5-to-1 chip lead over gnetaren's 407,224. Their duel would last almost 15 minutes, with gnetaren earning one double-up along the way but getting whittled back down under 200,000 when the last hand finally took place.

    With the blinds at 15,000/30,000, gnetaren open-pushed for 171,848 over the small blind and Barbero called. gnetaren had [Jh][6s] and a couple of live overcards to Barbero's [3d][3h], but the [Kc][4d][Ac][9d][Ts] board kept the treys in front and it was over -- Barbero had won!

    Congratulations to Nacho "PokerLoans1" Barbero for topping this week's Super Tuesday field for a $92,720 first prize!


    Nacho "PokerLoans1" Barbero

    2/2/16 Super Tuesday ($1,050 No-Limit Hold'em) results
    Entrants: 488
    Prize pool: $488,000.00
    Places paid: 63

    1. Nacho "PokerLoans1" Barbero (Argentina) $92,720.00
    2. gnetaren (Sweden) $68,320.00
    3. antispeed (Lebanon) $50,020.00
    4. brights88 (Lebanon) $38,064.00
    5. Robert "Little Kraut" Deppe (Canada) $26,840.00
    6. Daniel "42ayay" Erlandsson (Sweden) $20,740.00
    7. katenok3388 (Russia) $15,860.00
    8. all in 2526 (Israel) $10,980.00
    9. BARBARVSSA2 (Russia) $8,100.80

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    Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

  • 2 February

    PokerStars named Best Online Poker Operator

    For the fourth consecutive year, the International Gaming Awards has awarded the 'Poker Operator of the Year' title to PokerStars, an Amaya Inc. (Nasdaq: AYA; TSX: AYA) brand.

    "We are proud that the independent judging panel named PokerStars as the 'Online Poker Operator of the Year'," said Eric