World Cup heat 1 - all the action

Heat one results:

1 - Michael Watson (Canada) - 15 points, plus $5,000
2 - Razvan Bengulescu (Romania) - 12 points, plus $3,000
3 - Jorge Marques (Portugal) - 9 points, plus $2,000

4 - Greg Raymer (USA) - 7 points
5 - Patrick Kubert (Germany) - 5 points
6 - Antonio Childakis (Mexico) - 3 points
7 - Derek Murray (Ireland) - 2 points
8 - Friorik Jorgensson (Iceland) - 1 points

League table (after one heat):

Canada - 15
Romania - 12
Portugal - 9
USA - 7
Germany - 5
Mexico - 3
Ireland - 2
Iceland - 1

8.30pm: That's it. End of. A win for Team Canada. As we entered the heads-up battle, Michael Watson had a two-to-one lead over Romania and it wasn't long until they were all in the middle. Razvan Bengulescu, of Romania, moved in behind K-Q; Watson called with A-2. The flop and turn were favourable to Romania - it came Q-7-7-K. But the ace spiked on the end to give the decisive two pair to Canada, and suddenly the Catalonian air was full of maple leaves. First blood to Canada.

8.25pm: And then there were two. Team Portugal's Jorge Marques took the walk out the door with A-7 versus A-K, held by Michael Watson, of Canada. Marques takes nine points for third, as well as a $2,000 sweetener. We're now heads up between Romania and Canada (much to the delight of Daniel Negreanu, representing Canada but of Romanian heritage.)

8.20pm: There's no respect for reputations in Barcelona. Greg Raymer, Team USA's representative in heat one, is OUT. He got it all in with K-5, was called by Michael Watson's A-2 and the Canadian survived a gutshot straight draw to send the World Champ to face the TV cameras for an elimination interview.

8.15pm: Double up for Romania. Razvan moved in from the button for 4,800. Greg Raymer, of the US, defended his big blind with Kd-3d. Romania had J-J and wasn't threatened by the king-free board.

8pm: The game of poker we know and love is one of subtlety, guile and elan. Yet sometimes we also know that it's all about getting your chips in and hoping for the best. With the blinds here now at 600-1,200 and the chip leader sitting on just 12,000, it's all-in, double up or bust. Raymer has been all in twice in the past round, Razvan once. None were called and the chip stacks are now:

USA - 12,800
Portugal - 9,900
Romania - 9,000
Canada - 8,300

7.45pm: Another all-in and another knock out. This time it's Patrick Kubert, of Germany, who has taken the walk, beaten by Greg Raymer's rivered flush. They were all in pre-flop: Greg had J-8s, Patrick was ahead with K-9. But two spades flopped and a third came on the river. That sent the Germany player to the rail, clutching five point for his country.

7.40pm: The blinds have edged ever higher - 400-800 at the moment - and there's been a lot of pre-flop all-in movement. Razvan Bengulescu just made that movement and was called by Michael Watson, of Canada. The Romanian's A-8 stood up against Watson's K-10 for a double up.

7.30pm: Another one bites the dust, and Portugal again delivers the knockout blow. This time, Jorge Marques, the Portuguese player, raised from early position and Antonio Childakis, of Mexico, moved in over the top. He only had 200 more than the original raise and Marques called. He had kings and was up against Childakis's sevens. No help - in fact, a king flopped - and we're down to five. Chiladakis earns three points for his sixth place.

7.10pm: Latest chip counts:

1 - Derek Murray - Ireland - OUT - 2 points
2 - Razvan Bengulescu - Romania - 7,300
3 - Jorge Marques - Portugal - 10,800
4 - Greg Raymer - USA - 6,400
5 - Friorik Jorgensson - Iceland - OUT 1 point
6 - Michael Watson - Canada - 6,600
7 - Antonio Chiladakis - Mexico -5,100
8 - Patrick Kuberyt - Germany - 3,800

7pm: Excitement. We've been playing all-in poker here in Barcelona for a few hands: Ireland and USA picked up the blinds, but then there were fireworks when Portugal tried it. Jorge Marques moved in for 3,700 and Michael Watson, from Canada, moved in over the top for about 9,000. Ireland, represented by Derek Murray, undercalled for his last 3,800 and they showed down. Portugal had queens; Canada jacks and ace-king for Ireland. Again, the board brought nothing exciting and Portugal trebled up. Derek Murray was eliminated, earning two points for his country.

6.40pm: Double up for Mexico, courtesy of the USA. Antonio Chiladakis, the Mexico team captain, moved all in pre-flop for his last 2,500. Raymer, for the US, called from the big blind. He had A-K, the all in player had 6-6. Nothing of note came on flop or turn, and the six on the end was overkill.

Mad Harper, our reporter here in Barcelona, caught up with the chip-leader during the previous break:

As if coming to Barcelona wasn't exciting enough for Razvan Bengulescu, the Romania team captain, he now finds himself playing at the same table with his all-time poker hero Greg Raymer.

Razvan, a 25-year-old stockbroker from Timisoara, said:

"I think he's a great player. Impossible to read. He's like a stone. A few months ago I was playing against him an online PokerStars Lo-Ball game and I took 30 screenshots of the table to prove to myself it was really happening. So it's really amazing for me to playing against him live here in Barcelona. That said, he's sitting on my big blind and that's giving me a few problems. I just can't steal a thing off him!"


6.15pm: It took us a while - more than two hours - but we've just lost a player. In fact, we almost lost two. Friorik Jorgensson, from Iceland, moved in for his last 2,700 pre-flop and Patrick Kuberyt, of Germany, instantly also moved in - for 1,700. Razvan Bengulescu, the chip leader from Romania, called and we had a three-way showdown. Iceland had eights, Germany aces and Romania tens. Despite boisterous calls from the rail for a ten, led by Daniel Negreanu, remembering his Romanian roots, it failed to materialise and the aces held up. That tripled up Kuberyt but sent Jorgensson out. Down to seven.

6.00pm: Players are taking a 10 minute break. Many are consulting with their teammates, who have been watching from the rail. Others are grabbing a quick drink and dealing with other biological necessities. Thomas Kremser, tournament director, is conducting a colour-up.

Here are the chip-counts at the break:

1 - Derek Murray - Ireland - 2,800
2 - Razvan Bengulescu - Romania - 12,800
3 - Jorge Marques - Portugal - 3,700
4 - Greg Raymer - USA - 8,700
5 - Friorik Jorgensson - Iceland - 2,700
6 - Michael Watson - Canada - 5,100
7 - Antonio Chiladakis - Mexico - 3,600
8 - Patrick Kuberyt - Germany - 2,300

5.40pm: Still no eliminations from this first heat in Barcelona, but the price of poker is now 100-200 in the blinds and there has been some movement in the chip stacks. Greg Raymer, of the United States, and Razvan Bengulescu, of Romania, are the probable chip leaders, while Friorik Jorgensson, of Iceland, and Antonio Chiladakis, of Mexico.

5.15pm: There might be eight players around this table, one of them a former world champion, but currently all the action is between just two of them: Razvan Bengulescu, of Romania, and Friorik Jorgensson, of Iceland. They just exchanged two sizeable pots: Razvan rivering a set of 10s to beat Friorik's top pair kings, then, on the next hand, Friorik flopping and check-raising a set of jacks to win it back.

4.45pm: As expected for a deep-stack sit n go (players start with 5,000 in chips), the pots have been small and the action cagey during the opening levels. We did just have our first all in, however. After some pre-flop betting and raising between Germany and Romania, the board came all clubs, king high. The Romanian player (Razvan Bengulescu) bet 1,000 and the German player (Patrick Kubert) moved in for his last 2,170. Call. Both players flipped A-K, no clubs, and a split pot was already guaranteed. "You guys are crazy," shouted Daniel Negreanu from the rail.

4.30pm: Friorik Jorgensson just took down a nice pot for Iceland, allowing Derek Murray, of Ireland, to make all the betting, then firing out 500 after the 10h completed a ragged board. Ireland was forced to pass - possibly/probably caught at it.

4.10pm: Action slows for a while, until Michael Watson steals a couple of pots for Canada. The first is a standard pre-flop raise, the second after he calls a pre-flop raise then check-raises a low rainbow flop. Greg Raymer, of Team USA, then joins the fun, raising from the cut-off, slipping on the lizard-eye specs, then taking it down on the turn with a 400 bet.

Michael Watson, of Canada, in red


3.55pm: The World Cup is under way, and it's first blood to Romania. Pre-flop, it's passed round to Derek Murray, of Ireland, on the button, who raises. Razvan Bengulescu, in the small blind, calls. Both players check an all-diamond flop, then Derek bets 300 when a fourth diamond turns. Razvan calls. On the jack of spades river, Ravzan bets 1,000 and Derek folds.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in