WCOOP Event #19 $25,000 Heads-Up live blog

Live blog coverage of WCOOP Event #19 $25,000 Heads-Up NLHE is brought to you by bloggers April Kyle, C.J Hoyt, Brad Willis, and Carol Kline. The event began with 64 players and will play down to the $560,000 first prize winner. Have a story for us? E-mail to blog@pokerstars.com. Click refresh to see the latest information.

1:20am--Snowmen in September mean WCOOP bracelet for stevesbets

At the start of the final hand, Steven "stevesbets" Jacobs had 398,080 chips to Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier's 241,920. With blinds only at 3,200/6,400, that didn't stop the players from getting all of the chips into the middle pre-flop. Jacobs opened with a raise to 19,200, followed by a re-raise by ElkY to 236,800 (leaving himself only 5,120 behind). Jacobs then re-raised all-in to put ElkY at risk of elimination. Both players held a pocket pair, but ElkY's 3h-3c was well behind Jacobs' 8s-8d. The board ran out Kh-5c-2c-7s-6s, improving neither player and giving Jacobs the Event #19 title, $560,000 and the WCOOP bracelet. ElkY collected $320,000 for his second-place finish.

1:13am--Fill 'er up, please

Now back to almost even in chips, Steven "stevesbets" Jacobs and Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier got into a huge confrontation for a 389,600-chip pot. Jacobs had the button and, as has been typical of heads-up play, min-raised pre-flop to 12,800. ElkY check-called each of Jacobs' bets on the flop (19,200), turn (46,400) and river (116,400). At showdown, the board read Ts-3s-5h-Qh-Td. Jacobs showed Qc-Tc for a full house, and ElkY mucked. ElkY is now down to 133,120 in chips.

1:05am--Pocket pair vs pocket pair

Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier min-raised from the button to 9,600, but Jacobs decided to apply maximum pressure with an almost 5/1 chip lead -- he re-raised all-in to 521,440. ElkY called all-in for less (108,960) and tabled Td-Ts. His had was best pre-flop, as Jacobs showed 5c-5d. The board ran out 9d-3h-Ac-Jh-7h, improving neither player. And just like that, ElkY doubled up.

1:04am--666 spells doom for ElkY

Steven "stevesbets" Jacobs continues to put the pressure on Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier. Jacobs min-raised from the button to 9,600 and fired another 9,600 after ElkY checked the Qh-6c-7c flop. ElkY raised to 24,000 and Jacobs called. The turn 6d resulted in a paired board, but that didn't stop Jacobs from firing another 24,000. ElkY called and checked after the 6h came on the river. This time, when Jacobs bet 67,200, ElkY folded. Jacobs' chip count soared to 490,240 after the hand, giving him a more than 3/1 advantage.

1:03am--Steve Jacobs makes a play for Team membership

Steve Jacobs, now with the lead, is hoping somebody powerful, say, the Wizard of PokerStars Oz, might be watching.

stevesbets: anyone from pokerstars listening
stevesbets: please put me on team pokerstars, i'll play heads up sngs ALL day i promise
StaffBryanS [Host]: Not really within my power, Steves.
FossilMan [Commentator]: will you play 250K HU sngs like this one?
stevesbets: cant promise that greg
FossilMan [Commentator]: ;-)

12:56am--The tide shifts again

This has been a very back-and-forth battle, with neither player able to maintain a chip lead for long. Steven "stevesbets" Jacobs just went on a hot streak of his own, going from 353,440 in chips to 437,440 in chips over the course of a few hands.

12:45am--Dead man's hand keeps stevesbets alive

Steven "stevesbets" Jacobs just picked up a 129,600-chip pot, which starts to erase the 3/1 deficit he faced going into the hand. With blinds now at 1,600/3,200, Jacobs raised from the button to 9,600. Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier re-raised to 25,600. Both players checked the Kc-Ah-Qh flop, and ElkY checked the 4d turn. Jacobs decided to fire 16,000, eliciting a call from ElkY. ElkY check-called another 23,200 after the river 8h, only to find that he was up against Jacobs' As-8s -- top pair on the flop and two pair on the river.

12:42am--No chopped elk

More than ten hours into the tournament, Steven "stevesbets" Jacobs raised discussion of a chop.

stevesbets: wanna chop?
ElkY: emm not really
stevesbets: heh ok

Elky current has 479,360 chips to Jacobs' 160,640.

12:38am--On a roll

Momentum has clearly shifted in the direction of Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier. He has now taken down six of the last ten pots and jumped to a more than 2/1 chip advantage.

12:28am--ElkY hits the turn to the tune of 259,200

Steven "stevesbets" Jacobs had recovered the chip lead from Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier over the course of a couple of hands, but quickly relinquished it when his top pair top kicker gave way to ElkY's turned two pair.

ElkY is now back in the lead with 392,560 in chips, compared to Jacobs' 247,440.

12:15am--Don't say we didn't tell you

Just like that, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier pulled ahead of Steven "stevesbets" Jacobs in the chip counts when he took down a 124,800-chip pot. Jacobs raised ElkY's big blind from 960 to 2,880 and ElkY made the call. Both players checked the 5c-Qs-Kd flop, but ElkY was the first aggressor after the turn fell Tc. He bet 4,800, and Jacobs remained in the hand to see the river Kh. ElkY checked, opening the door for Jacobs to bet 14,960. ElkY, who recently dressed as "The Joker" for the PokerStars APPT Macau Main Event, wasn't joking around when he re-raised to 54,720. Jacobs made the call and mucked when he saw ElkY's hand: Kc-Ts for a rivered full house.


12:11am--stevesbets jumps out to early lead

Steven "stevesbets" Jacobs has wasted no time in jumping out to an early 65K-chip lead over Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier. Jacobs has already guaranteed himself a higher finish than his 3rd-place showing in the 2004 WCOOP Heads-Up tournament, but a WCOOP championship is certainly his goal here.

Don't count ElkY out just yet. He finished 9th in Event #13 Pot-Limit Hold'em during the 2007 WCOOP, 13th in the $5,200 buy-in HORSE event during the 2006 WCOOP and 8th in the $1,050 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em event during the 2005 WCOOP.

Oh, and if you didn't know, ElkY won the 2008 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, so he has a little heads-up experience, too.

12:07am--New day, same stacks

After 75 hands of head-up play, the players have traded a lot of chips, but at this moment are sitting close to even.

11:49pm--ElkY faces Steven "stevesbets" Jacobs in final

The final table is now set. Players are starting with 320,000 in chips at 320/640 blinds. The runner up will earn $320,000. The winner gets $560,000.


11:46pm--Go ahead, hit your trips

With blinds at 1,200/2,400 the match between zivziv and Steven "stevesbets" Jacobs was almost even. zivziv had position and raised pre-flop to 4,800. Jacobs made the call. Jacobs check-raised after the 5d-Ad-2s flop from 2,400 to 9,600, but zivziv decided to stay in the hand. Jacobs continued to bet, this time 22,400, when the 8s hit on the turn. That wasn't enough to fold zivziv. The 5s fell on the river, and Jacobs moved all-in for his last 117,098. zivziv, who had him slightly covered, made the call and tabled Ks-5c for trip fives. Jacobs, however, held 2d-2c for a flopped set of deuces and a rivered full house. That hand dropped zivziv to only 12,204 in chips.

We've all heard the adage, "a chip and a chair," so the final table wasn't completely out of reach for zivziv. Blinds were still at 1,200/2,400 when zivziv decided to make a run for it with Qh-5c. He was all-in pre-flop for a total of 13,404. Jacobs held Kd-3d. The 2h-Qs-Jd flop hit zivziv in a good way, giving him top pair. The turn was another queen, but it was the queen of diamonds. That's right -- the card that gave zivziv trips gave Jacobs a flush draw. The river 8d sealed zivziv's fate, sending home with $160,000 for his third-place finish.

11:40pm--Rivered straight pulls stevesbets closer to even

Perhaps capitalizing on a momentum shift, Steven "stevesbets" Jacobs just doubled up again when he rivered a straight against zivziv in this hand.

A few hands later, Jacobs re-raised all-in for 147,232 after zivziv re-raised to 11,200 pre-flop. Jacobs took down the pot without seeing a flop and moved to almost even in chips.

11:32pm--El doble for stevesbets

Steven "stevesbets" Jacobs was down to 48,608 in chips when he decided to min-raise pre-flop to 3,200. Both players must have loved the 2d-6c-8c flop because Jacob's bet of 6,400 was raised to 268,192 by zivziv. Jacobs made the call for his tournament life and tabled Kd-8h for top pair king kicker. zivziv flopped top pair as well, but his kicker was one notch lower -- a queen. The board ran out 7c-Kc, giving Jacobs a much needed double-up.

11:31pm--Gavin Griffin eliminated in 3rd ($160,000), ElKY advances to finals

So much for this taking a long time. After taking an early lead, ElkY has finished off Gavin Griffin in relatively short order. It started when ElkY raised to 3,200 and Griffin called. The flop came out 2h-5c-9h. Griffin checked, ElkY bet, and Griffin raised to 11,500. ElkY put Griffin all in for 48,530 more and Griffin called. ElkY showed Ac_Ad. Griffin held 8d-9s. Griffin didn't catch on the turn or river and was out in fourth place for $160,000. See the hand below.

11:26pm--Chip counts at break

Table 1: stevesbets (58,208) vs. zivziv (261,792)
Table 2: ElkY (250,272) vs. Gavin Griffin (69,730)

Players will be coming back to 400/800 blinds.

11:15pm--What a set up

When Steven "stevesbets" Jacobs re-raised zivziv pre-flop from 2,400 to 8,000, Jacobs must have been thrilled to get the call. He was holding Kd-Ks. Jacobs elected to check the 8d-9c-Js flop, giving zivziv a free card. After the turn 2s, Jacobs bet 7,800, and zivziv called. The river was the 5d, and Jacobs bet again -- this time 20,800. zivziv made the call and flipped over 2h-2c for the turned set. zivziv took a 2/1 chip advantage after the hand. All Jacobs could say was, "wow."

11:20pm--ElkY pulls to 3 to 1 chip lead

Gavin Griffin's player avatar may be smiling, but we doubt he is at this moment. ElkY has opened up a 3 to 1 lead. Most recently, Griffin raise to 2,400 and ElkY called. The Flop came down Ac-As-Qs. Both players checked and saw the 3c on the turn. ElkY bet out 3,200 and Griffin called. On the 2c river, ElkY bet 8,800 and Griffin called again. Elky showed Ad-8H, good enough to beat whatever Griffin mucked.

11:11pm--Who is going to blink first?

zivziv and Steven "stevesbets" Jacobs finally mixed it up for a large pot. Jacobs was the initial aggressor, raising pre-flop to 2,400. zivziv then re-raised to 7,200. The 4c-Qh-Ac flop was checked around, but both players perked up when the 8c hit on the turn. zivziv bet 4,000, then Jacobs raised to 12,800. zivziv paused for a moment before re-raising to 44,000. Jacobs folded, prompting him to type, "i folded aq for you there."

11:10pm--ElKY straighten Griffin out and grabs lead

In what could reasonably be described as the first big pot of the Final Four, ElkY caught a solid turn to extract 42,000 chips from Griffin. See the hand play out below.

11:03pm--Getting to know you

In the early stages of play, we haven't seen much movement in stack sizes. Perhaps the players are still in "getting to know you" mode. Then again, it might be the fact that players started this round with 160,000 in chips and blinds of 160/320, giving everyone plenty of room to play.

10:58pm--Deeeeeep waters

In a blatant case of stating the obvious, we offer the following: with the blinds now at 240/480 the players are approximately 333 big blinds deep. This is the type of thing that could take a while.

10:50pm--Your Final Four

Here is a look at your Final Four (click the images for large versions).



10:45pm--zivziv outflops, then eliminates Rousso

After grinding Vanessa "LadyMaverick" Rousso down to 29,978 in chips, zivziv kept the pressure on the Team PokerStars Pro. At blinds of 1,000/2,000, zivziv raised pre-flop to 4,000 and Rousso made the call. Rousso check-called zivziv's 2,000 bet on the h-Kc-6s flop and check-raised all-in to 23,778 after the 7s hit on the turn. Rousso flipped over Qd-4c, for a pair of fours with a queen kicker. zivziv had her beat, holding Qc-6d for a pair of sixes with a queen kicker. The 7d on the river was not one of Rousso's two remaining outs, and she was eliminated in 5th place. Rousso will collect $100,000 for her efforts today.

10:44pm--Rousso eliminated, Final Four set

Vanessa Rousso has just been eliminated. Details to come on that hand. In the meantime, here are the match-ups for the Final Four.

Table 1: stevesbets vs. zivziv
Table 2: ElkY vs. Gavin Griffin

All players start with 160,000 chips at 160/320 blinds. Players who go out in this round will earn $160,000.

10:37pm--Griffin advances, Ramdin wins $100,000

And just like that, it's over for the Team PokerStars Pro match-up.

Gavin Griffin came in for a raise to 4,400 and Victor Ramdin re-raised to 12,000. On a flop of 7d-6d-4d, Ramdin bet out 22,000 and Griffin moved all in for nearly 40,000 more. Ramdin called and shows Kd-8h for the diamond draw and gut-shot draw. Griffin held Ks-6s. The river, a Kh, gave Griffin two pair. Ramdin didn't catch any of his many outs on the river and went out for a $100,000 payday. Griffin now moves on to the final four.

10:34pm--Battle of the sevens changes tide

Steven "stevesbets" Jacobs and PAW717 got their chips into the middle after a 3h-6h-7d flop. Jacobs, who started the hand with 61,157 in chips was at risk of elimination. Jacobs' 7h-Jh was ahead of PAW717's 7c-Tc in the kicker battle. To make matters worse for PAW717, one of his three outs was dead because it would have completed a heart flush for Jacobs. The board ran out 4c-3d, giving Jacobs a more than 3.5/1 chip advantage.

A few hands later, a short-stacked PAW717 check-called Jacobs' bets on the flop, turn and river, leaving his last chips in the middle on a board of Jh-Tc-2h-Kh-Th. PAW717 held the 8h in his hand, but Jacobs held the Qh for a higher flush. PAW717 was eliminated in 7th place for a $100,000 payday.

10:27pm--Back to even for Ramdin and Griffin

And we're just about back to starting stacks after an all-in pre-flop hand between Victor Ramdin and Gavin Griffin. Griffin made the all-in move and got a call he might not have wanted. He was behind, but not too far. Here's how Griffin came back.

10:16pm--Ace high gets stevesbets back to even

Hoping that our player feature on Steven "stevesbets" Jacobs wasn't akin to the Madden cover curse, we can now breathe a sigh of relief. For the time being. Jacobs turned an almost 2/1 chip disadvantage into a slight chip lead after winning a 52,000-chip pot. PAW717 raised Jacob's big blind to 4,800 but slowed down after the 6c-6d-4s flop. After Jacobs checked the 4h on the turn, PAW717 took a stab for 6,400. Jacobs made that call and a 15,000-chip call on the river (Td). Jacobs showed As-3c -- his ace kicker was good against PAW717, who had to play the board while holding 7d-9c.

10:16pm--Griffin doubles

It looked like do or die time for Gavin Griffin. With 24,000 left in his stack, Griffin re-raised all-in pre-flop. It was 20,782 more for Ramdin to call. He did with As-2c, behind Griffin's 6c-6s and nearly drawing dead on a 7c-3s-6d flop. The Tc on the turn sealed it and Griffin is back up over 43,000.

10:10pm--Rousso rustles up chips

Vanessa "LadyMaverick" Rousso keeps hanging tight in her heads-up match against zivziv. She was down to 54,890 in chips, an almost 2/1 disadvantage, but she picked up a 28,266-chip pot to pull closer to even. With blinds at 600/1,200, zivziv raised to 3,333 from the button. Rousso checked the Qc-3d-6s flop but raised to 6,000 after zivziv bet 2,400. Rousso led out for another 4,800 after the turn (7h) and checked the river (4c). She showed 6c-d for a rivered two pair, and zivziv mucked. It's now 70,223 chips for Rousso and 89,777 chips for zivziv.

10:06pm--No crown for you!

Victor Ramdin must have been a little miffed about our prognostication surrounding Gavin Griffin's potential quadruple crown. Moments ago, Ramdin moved all in over a Griffin re-raise. Griffin thought for a moment before calling. It was the second-worse possible flop.

Ramdin now has around 135K to Griffin's 22K.

9:41pm--Steven "stevesbets" Jacobs in the zone

While Steven "stevesbets" Jacobs is battling it out for the Event #19 championship, we thought we'd bring you some insight into the man behind the avatar. Jacobs hails from the Philadelphia, PA area and has been playing online poker professionally for several years. Like many of his peers, Jacobs took up online poker as a career instead of the myriad opportunities available to him after his graduation from the University of Pennsylvania in 2005. Although Jacobs describes himself as an online pro, he has a couple of notable live tournament cashes under his belt. Jacobs finished 10th in the 2005 World Poker Finals Championship Event for $117,300 and 3rd in the 2006 WSOP Circuit Event in Atlantic City for $132,308. Jacobs also cashed in the 2007 WSOP Main Event, collecting $45,422 for his 229th-place finish.

Jacobs is currently sitting on Table 2 and is fighting to regain the chip lead against PAW717. After starting off with the lead, Jacobs has slipped to 41,201 in chips to PAW717's 118,799 in chips.

9:54pm--Maybe he really does have tells

In our last post, Victor Ramdin joked he had picked up some tells on Gavin Griffin. Seconds later, he won three consecutive hands to even the chip count at 80,000. The hand below was the biggest of the three.

9:50pm--Ramdin no superuser...Griffin has a tell

While we don't joke about such serious matters, we're happy to let the Pros do it for us. On three raises from Gavin Griffin, Victor Ramdin laid down preflop. That led to this exchange.

GavinGriffin: superuser
GavinGriffin: lol, AA, KK, JJ you've folded
VictorRamdin: lol
VictorRamdin: u got tells
GavinGriffin: k, afterwards you tell me so i can improve

9:46pm--Listen to live coverage of WCOOP Event #19

We are perfectly happy providing you coverage here on the PokerStars Blog, but we'd also recommend you take a listen over at PokerStars.tv where you can hear live audio coverage.

9:35pm--Rousso dodges outs to take 2/1 chip advantage

Vanessa "LadyMaverick" Rousso's pocket tens held up against zivziv's open-ended straight draw, giving her a 52,800-chip pot. Rousso raised pre-flop from the button to 800 and fired another 800 on the 6d-2d-9s flop. zivziv raised to 3,600, and Rousso smooth called. Action heated up yet again after the 4h fell on the turn. This time,zivziv led out for 7,777 and Rousso raised to 22,000. Both players checked the river Js. zivziv showed 7h-8d for the busted straight draw, and Rousso moved to 102,591 in chips.

9:23pm--My two pair is better than yours

That's exactly what stevesbets was saying when he took down a 55,360 pot from PAW717. With blinds at 120/240, Jacobs raised to 720 from the button and PAW717 made the call. After a check from PAW717 on the Kh-Ac-4d flop, Jacobs bet another 720. PAW717 made the call and checked again when the turn fell 8d. Jacobs continued his aggressive stance and fired 2,240, reeling PAW717 in for the call. The river 9c must have looked good to PAW717 because he check-raised Jacobs' 7,240 bet to 24,000. Jacobs called and tabled Ah-4c for two pair. PAW717 held Kd-9h for a smaller two pair.

Jacobs jumped to a more than 2/1 chip advantage, as he looks to improve on his 3rd-place finish in Event #2 Heads-up No Limit Hold'em of the 2004 WCOOP.

9:20pm--Gavin Griffin opens 2-1 lead

Gavin Griffin has picked up a 2-1 chip lead on Victor Ramdin in a match that has been as cagey as it is deep. This most recent hand moved Griffin over the 100,000 chip mark.

9:02pm - zivziv sniffs out a bluff

zivziv jumped out to an early lead over Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa "LadyMaverick" Rousso when he collected a 11,040-chip pot. Rousso called zivziv's pre-flop raise to 720 and check-raised zivziv's bet of 720 on the 7s-2d-Kc flop to a total of 1,440. zivziv made the call and called again when Rousso fired 3,360 on the turn (2c). Both players checked the 9c river. At showdown, Rousso had Td-5s, for a stone cold bluff. zivziv tabled Ad-7c for a pair of sevens to go with the pair of deuces on the board. zivziv chipped up to 87,907, while Rousso fell to 72,093.

9:00pm--Grab some popcorn

After nearly seven hours of heads-up play, the remaining seven players finally get an extended break. We'll be perfectly honest...our heads are fried right now. We can't even imagine how the players are handling it. Back in 15 minutes.

8:55pm--Cooler goes ElkY's way, sends brianm15 out in 8th place

What a time for a cooler. Brianm15 had proved his place in this tournament today and had played some fantastic poker. Doesn't seem likely he is going to get away from this hand at any point. The same could be said for ElkY. I mean...seriously? Queens vs. Kings on an all undercard flop?

Congratulations to brianm15 for his $100,000 win in 8th place. ElkY now moves on to the final four.

8:52pm--Quadruple crown?

It's probably way too early to be talking about this, but we're going to anyway. As you likely already know, Team PokerStars Pro Gavin Griffin is poker's only triple crown winner. He has won a WSOP bracelet, a WPT title, and the EPT Grand Final. As WCOOP is one of the world's three biggest tournament series (and this year may very well be the second biggest), if Griffin could somehow win tonight, he would have the quadruple crown.

8:47pm - stevesbets draws first blood

When you have top two against a huge drawing hand, a big pot is bound to result. It all started when PAW717 min-raised on the button to 320, and stevesbets made the call. After the 9d-Tc-2c flop, stevesbets check-raised PAW717's bet from 480 to 1,280. PAW717 responded by re-raising to 4,250, and stevesbets just called. stevesbets check-called PAW717's 8,880 bet after the 3h hit on the turn. stevesbet checked the 6c on the river, and PAW717 checked behind. Perhaps hoping to set a trap, stevesbet tabled Jc-8c for the flush and PAW717 lost with Td-9s, a flopped top two pair.

8:45pm--Round 3 matches

Each of the eight remaining players are guaranteed $100,000. They will be staring this round with 80,000 chips at 80/160 blinds.

Table 1: Vanessa "Lady Maverick" Rousso vs. zivziv
Table 2: PAW717 vs. stevesbets
Table 3: Victor Ramdin vs. Gavin Griffin
Table 4: brianm15 vs ElKY

8:44pm-stevesbets wins at least $100K

For stevesbets, a $25K entry fee is now worth at least $100K as he moves into the final 8.

The final hand was a rather sick cooler for stevebets opponent, Genius28, but that's poker for you.

All the money went in on a flop of Ad-Ac-5d. Genius28 had to be feeling pretty good, holding As-9h, but stevesbets was in even better shape with Ah-Ts. The Th on the river sealed it.

stevesbets is in the round of 8.

8:39pm-Victor Ramdin's made hand beats the draw

It seemed only a matter of time for Victor Ramdin. He had built a rather substantial lead and was waiting for just the right moment. 8d-4h doesn't seem like the best hand, but it did the trick.

With Hold_emNL sitting at just about 10K in chips, he decided to push all in with 5s-6h after a flop of 7d-As-8c. Ramdin figured his second pair would be enough and when he dodged the 4s and 9s on the turn and river, it was.

Victor Ramdin is through to the final 8.

8:27pm - Duthie eliminated

Sadly for our John Duthie, not all his hands were holding up today.

His double-up set him up for the road to recovery, but he was unable to get much going after that. He lost most of the chips he won there when PAW717 held Kh-4s on a 4d-Qs-Tc-Ks-6s board, with Duthie calling all the way down to the river for a total 14,000 pot.

That took Duthie's stack down to 5,600 and placed him squarely in push or fold territory. The deciding hand came two hands later, when Duthie pushed with Ad-Th into PAW717's Ks-7s. PAW717 paired the 7 on the flop, the board paired 8s on the turn and river, and Duthie never improved.

He finished today's event in 11th place.

8:31pm-stevesbets pulling away

For most of this match, stevesbets and Genius28 have been running about even. It's just in this last level that stevesbets has finally found a way to pull away. There haven't been many big hands and there haven't been many showdowns, but stevesbets has broken through 60K.

8:18pm - LadyMaverick moves on

She's done it again, sending another opponent to the rail while she will move on to face another opponent in round four of today's event.

With blinds at 300/600 and she in the small blind, Vanessa Rousso raised to 1,200 and her opponent ahh_snap called. The flop was all black - 9c-3c-Tc. Rousso, with Jc-5c in her hand, had just flopped a Jack-high flush. When ahh_snap checked it to her she checked behind to the turn, where the Ks hit.

ahh_snap checked again, but this time Rousso decided a slow play was not in order. She bet out 1,200 and when ahh_snap raised it back to 3,900 she played back with him, raising all-in to 66,070. ahh_snap called with Kh-9h, two pair, saw what he was up against, and hoped for some relief from the river. None came.

ahh_snap finished today's event in 13th place.

8:19pm - Double-up for Duthie

With his stack at just 9,950 and on the brink of elimination John Duthie was no doubt delighted to be dealt pocket Jacks against PAW717. Probably even more so when they held up, taking his stack up to 19,900.

8:18pm-ElkY defeats EC10, advances to Round of 8

After falling back in early action, ElkY came back to take the chip lead and, with the hand below, move on to the Round of 8. He is also now guaranteed $100,000.

8:14pm-Victor Ramdin extends his lead

Victor Ramdin has been up in his match since almost the beginning. And he's built his lead without having to show very many hands. Now he's up over 65K, holding a 50K advantage.

On the last hand, Ramdin's opponent limped in to see a flop of 3d-4h-8s. Ramdin was bet and called on both the flop and the turn of Kc. But when he put out a 10,800 bet after the 6c on the river, his opponent folded.

8:06pm - LadyMaverick puts on the pressure
Perhaps being seated with Isabelle "NoMercy" Mercier in her first round of today's tournament today stuck with Vanessa Rousso a bit. She's certainly been showing no mercy to her opponent ahh_snap in this third round, putting him to the decision for all his chips by pushing her monster 66,785 stack all-in preflop on back-to-back hands. He folded both hands.
Of course, eventually, they find one worth calling with. Rousso tried again with Ad-6h and this time ahh_snap called with pocket Jacks. They held up and ahh_snap doubled-up, taking him to 22,830 and Rousso to 57,170.

7:55pm - Well whatever it was, it couldn't beat that

PAW717 just took a 6,400 pot from John Duthie to knock the Team PokerStars Pro to a 14,450 stack. Duthie mucked his hand at showdown, but it's really no matter. PAW717 started the betting on the turn, when the board read 2h-Js-Ac-Jh, then upped the ante when the third jack hit, betting out 2,000 which Duthie called. You've probably guessed by now that PAW717 had that case Jack, and you'd be right. PAW717 has a 65,550 stack at the break right now.

7:55pm-Gavin Griffin closes the deal

He used a 7-outer on the turn a few hands ago to build a mammoth lead and now Gavin Griffin is guaranteed a $100K pay day.

His opponent, gunning4you, raised preflop to 1200 and Griffin called. The flop was 5c-3h-8h. Both players checked to see the 7c on the turn.

It was checked again before the biggest action card imaginable fell on the river, the 2c. It may sound like an innocent enough card, but it gave gunning4you a set of deuces and it gave Griffin the winning flush.

Griffin moves in to the round of 8.

7:54pm-Victor Ramdin wins two big hands

It's been a slow climb, but Victor Ramdin has cracked 50,000 chips in his match against Hold_emNL. The first hand found him holding pocket Tens with a couple of Jacks on the board. His opponent eventually called a big river bet for a pot of 12000.

The next hand didn't get past the turn. Hold_emNL had raised preflop and then called Victor Ramdin's re-raise. It was checked on the turn and Victor Ramdin won the pot of 5000 with his bet.

7:53pm - KidPoker out in 15th

Daniel "KidPoker" Negreanu was never able to recover from giving the lead over to zivziv and is the latest member of Team PokerStars Pro to be eliminated from today's event. He finishes in 15th place.

A moment ago though he was put to test by zivziv when KidPoker bet out on the turn on a 6h-4h-9s-4c board and zivziv raised him all-in with his monster 63,867 stack. KidPoker went in to the tank, finally typing in the chat "I don't believe you". Zivziv typed back "LOL". KidPoker continued to think as the clock ticked down, eventually deciding that whether he believed him or not, a better spot would come along, and folded his hand.

His better spot did come along, two hands later, when he found A-T, but unfortunately zivziv had found the same hand and they split the pot. Actually, as zivziv held the spade and the board brought out three of them KidPoker almost found himself out there, but his luck would hold a little bit longer.

Not much longer though. Take a look at the hand that saw him out of today's event:

7:48 -- ElkY rebounds

It was a raise from ElkY to 400 and a call from EC10. The flop came down 5h-2s-Qh. ElkY led at it for 600 and EC10 raised to 1,900. ElkY re-raised to 6,200. Then came the push from EC10 and the call for 17,920 more from ElkY. The turn was a Kh. The river a 5c.

The hands?

EC10: Qd-Ah
ElkY: Qc-5s

ElkY's boat was good for a double-up. At this hour, the players are nearly even in chips.

7:42pm-Gavin Griffin finds Cowboys again

It was pocket Kings that launched Gavin Griffin into the final 16 and it's pocket Kings that may have pushed him into the money. Griffin's opponet flopped nut straight, Griffin boated on the turn.

7:40pm - The Lady likes your chips

Vanessa "LadyMaverick" Rousso is off to a solid start in her match against ahh_snap, having won several sizeable pots off her opponent to get her stack above 50,000.

With Ah-Ts she called a pre-flop raise from ahh_snap and bet out on the Td-4s-8c flop, getting a call to see the Ac on the turn. There LadyMaverick checked, inducing a bet of 960 from ahh_snap which she called. On the river the Qs hit and she checked again, this time getting a bet of 3,840 from her opponent. She again called, showing down her two pair to ahh_snap's pocket 6s.

7:36pm-Gavin Griffin slow plays his set

If you want to get a sense of how this hand played out, here's the chat after Griffin raked in the pot of 1820:

gunning4you: tricksy!
GavinGriffin: wow, so sick you don't bet

Griffin caught his set of fours on the river and made a small bet, getting called by gunning4you. The river was a harmless 2h and Griffin checked, hoping to induce some kind of bet.

It didn't come.

7:35pm--Rousso with early lead

Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Rousso is out to an early lead in Round 3. if you're not familiar with Rousso and her game, check out this in-depth interview we did with her a few months back.

Watch Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Rousso on PokerStars.tv

7:27pm - Three for three

Recall how we said things weren't going to come cheap at KidPoker's table? Take a look at a recent hand that gave his opponent zivziv a commanding lead:

7:29pm--brianm15 defeats Dario Minieri

In the fastest match of Round 3, Dario Minieri has been eliminated, his top pair not being anywhere near good against brianm15's

7:24pm-Gavin Griffin wins a big pot

We told you it was early. Gavin Griffin is now back in front in his heads up match thanks to the nut flush.

Griffin raised pre-flop with Ac-5c and his opponent called. The flop was 3c-8d-9c and Griffin made a small bet, getting called. The turn was the 4c and this time, Griffin lead out for 1200, again getting called.

The river was the 9s and Griffin bet 3850. gunning4you called and mucked, seeing Griffin's flush.

7:16pm - Here z comes first

zivziv has taken the early lead in the match with Daniel "KidPoker" Negreanu, breaking out the yellow chips and then the blue and never looking back.

Pre-flop on one notable hand KidPoker raised and zivziv raised him back. KidPoker called and they saw the flop of Jc-2d-7d. zivziv bet out 666 and KidPoker called. Turn was the Ks and zivziv checked to KidPoker who bet out 1200. zivziv called to the 4h on the river, where both checked. zivziv showed his Ah-Kh and took the 5,012 pot.

It's looking as if pots won't be small on this table and as a result, the balance will shift to and fro several times before it's all said and done.

7:23pm--Minieri, brianm15 mixing it up

It's impossible to type as fast as Dario Minieri and brianm15 are playing. Of course, hands like this will lead to big action.

7:20pm-Victor Ramdin feeling out his opponent

We're just starting level 2 right now and Victor Ramdin is sitting almost dead even with his opponent Hold_emNL. Early in the match, Ramdin lost a few hands, dropping down as low as 36,000, but he's steadily fought his way back. There's been no big pots in this match thus far.

7:16pm--Minieri, ElkY off to bad starts

In early Round 3 action, ElkY given EC10 a 2-1 chip advantage. The same goes foe Dario Minieri who is similarly behind brianm15. Though it probably goes without saying, this round will get the players to money. Bottom payout for this event...$100,000.

7:11pm-Gavin Griffin in an early deficit

You can't get too worried this early in a heads up match, but the first big hand has gone to Gavin Griffin's opponent, gunning4you.

There was a preflop raise and a call, but then no betting until the river when gunning4you bet 2115 and was called by Griffin.

At the showdown, gunning4you had Js-9d with a board of 6d-Tc-Jh-6c-Td and Griffin just mucked.

7:10pm--Round 3 matches

The following 16 players are starting with 40,000 in chips with the blinds at 40/80

Table 1: Daniel "Kid Poker" Negreanu vs. zivziv
Table 2: ahh_snap vs. Vanessa "Lady Maverick" Rousso
Table 3: John Duthie vs PAW717
Table 4: Genius28 vs. stevesbets
Table 5: Gavin Griffin vs. gunning4you
Table 6: Hold_emNL vs. Victor Ramdin
Table 7: EC10 vs. ElkY
Table 8: brianm15 vs. Dario Minieri

7:05pm--Thorson struggling...and out

After looking like he might mount a valiant comeback, William Thorson lost this big hand.

Just a few minutes later he was out. We're now on to Round 3.

6:52pm--One match still in action

The only remaining game left in action is the contest between William Thorson and Genius28. As it stands now, Genius28 has a 2-1 head on Thorson.

6:49pm-Lee Nelson eliminated

He started the hand with just under 6000 chips and by the end, Lee Nelson would have none left. His opponent EC10 had gotten hyper-aggressive and was pushing preflop almost every hand.

This time, Nelson felt it was time to take a stand with Qc-9c. Unfortunately, EC10 held Kc-Tc. The Qd on the flop was nice, except for the fact that it came with a Ks. Nelson got no other help and was out.

6:42pm-ElkY completes his comeback

A few times in his match, ElkY found himself way down to his opponent, ILuvAntonius. But he never panicked and now finds himself in the final 16.

It started with ElkY leading 22K to 16K. His opponent raised preflop to 800 and ElkY called. The flop was 2h-2s-Qh. ILuvAntonius lead out for 800 and ElkY raised to 2400. ILuvAntonius re-raised to 5000 and ElkY pushed all-in.

ILuvAntonius didn't think long before putting his tournament at risk. The hands? ILuvAntonius had flopped a flush draw with 8h-Kh. ElkY flopped trips with 3c-2c. No heart came on the turn and ElkY filled his boat with a 3d on the river.

ElKy moves into the final 16.

6:40pm--Forget killing Phil, Lee. You have another target now

Lee Nelson has trailed in his heads up match for the last few levels. And with his chance to make a move, he folded on the river. What his opponent showed him couldn't make him happy.

6:26pm - Kid beats Man

As poker players, we live by the river and we die by the river. Mostly though we remember the times we die by the river. That will most certainly be the case for Greg "FossilMan" Raymer today.

Having lost the chiplead to Daniel "KidPoker" Negreanu in their heads-up match, Raymer was looking for a way to get back on top. A hand like K5-5h might not seem like the best way to do it, especially on a Th-2s-3s flop (hence the check-check), but once that Kh hit the turn, well... now it's a different story.

Still, not exactly bet the farm material yet, so check-check again it was, and off to the river. Like so many things in life, the 5c looked so beautiful but in fact was so very dangerous. FossilMan bet out 600. KidPoker raised him back to 2,400. FossilMan put it all on the line, raising all-in. With his Ac-4d in the hole and straight on the board KidPoker didn't hesitate to call, ending Raymer's run in today's event in 24th place.

6:35pm--Does it seem quiet to anybody else?

Usually when a tournament has this many famous names in it, it's impossible to read the chat box because f the rail. Today, that's not much of an issue. Remember, to chat in a tournament on PokerStars, you have to have the buy-in in your account.

6:30pm-Gavin Griffin rides Cowboys into the next round, Marcin Horecki eliminated

It was the kind of heads up hand bound to get the money all in. And with Marcin Horecki sitting on a short stack at just 4625, I'm not surprised this is where it ended.

Griffin raised preflop to 900 and Horecki wasted no time pushing all in with Ad-Qs. Griffin wasted even less time calling with pocket Kings. The King on the flop virtually ended it as the Ace on the turn was the only help Horecki would get.

Griffin moves into the round of 16 and Horecki goes home (assuming he's not already there...)

6:26pm-Victor Ramdin loves spades, moves on

Victor Ramdin liked the flop, enjoyed the turn and loved the river. Now he's in the final 16.

With As-3s, Ramdin raised preflop and was called by idoubleL. The flop was 5d-7s-Ah. Ramdin had top pair, but idoubleL lead out for 600. Ramdin called and the 9s on the turn gave Ramdin the nut flush draw as well.

idoubleL again lead out for 1400 and Ramdin called. The river brought the 4s, giving Ramdin the check mark. idoubleL bet 4400 this time and after feining a tough decision, Ramdin pushed all-in.

idoubleL thought for a moment before calling and showing his flush with Ts-6s. It wasn't enough and now Ramdin waits for his next opponent.

6:25pm--Cover your ears

We don't have a microphone on William Thorson right now, but if we didn't we probably couldn't broadcast it anyway. The following hand is more than a little ugly and exactly why Thorson is down to 5,000 from his starting stack of 20,000.

6:21pm - Switch!

The tide has turned completely at Raymer and Negreanu's table, with KidPoker now enjoying the chip lead and FossilMan now fighting to get back to his starting chip stack. Thanks to just one big hand KidPoker was able to grab the lead and hasn't let it go since. Take a look at how it all started for him:

6:20pm-Vanessa Rousso into the Round of 16

Vanessa Rousso's opponent was very short as it was, so the all-in hand was bound to happen. Down to just 1140, #1PEN moved all in preflop with Ks-3s. Rousso immediately called with 9d-Tc. The flop gave #1PEN some hope, pairing his 3, but being all clubs, it gave Rousso a flush draw.

The Ts on the turn however was enough for Rousso even though another club came on the river. And Rousso now awaits her next opponent.

6:15pm - Coren eliminated

If only her second round had gone half as good as her first, we'd be telling a different story. But alas, Vicky Coren leaves us today in 27th place when her Ad-9h falls to gunning4you's pocket jacks

6:19pm-ElkY nearly out

ElkY is suddenly sitting very short. Starting the hand with about 10K, ElkY min-raised pre-flop and was called. The flop came 5c-Qh-9c. Both players checked and saw the 2s on the turn. ElkY lead out for 600 and ILuvAntonius raised to 1600. ElkY called. The river was the Ks. ILuvAntonius bet 3850 and ElkY called.

The King filled ILuvAntonius' straight and Elky was down under 5K.

6:18pm In-game catch-up

Table 1: steamraise vs. zivziv (zivziv advances)
Table 2: Greg "FossilMan" Raymer vs. Daniel "Kid Poker" Negreanu (in progress)
Table 3: #1PEN vs. Vanessa "Lady Maverick" Rousso (in progress)
Table 4: ahh_snap vs. Alex Kravchenko (ahh_snap advances)
Table 5: John Duthie vs snake8484 (John Duthie advances)
Table 6: $tinger 88 vs. PAW717 (in progress)
Table 7: philivery2694 vs. stevesbets (stevesbets advances)
Table 8: Genius28 vs. William Thorson (in progress)
Table 9: gunning4you vs. Vicky Coren (gunning4you advances)
Table 10: Gavin Griffin vs Marcin "Goral" Horecki (in progress)
Table 11: Hold_emNL vs. supernova9 (in progress)
Table 12: idoubleL vs. Victor Ramdin (Victor Ramdin advances)
Table 13: EC10 vs. Lee Nelson (in progress)
Table 14: ElkY vs ILueAntonius (in progress)
Table 15: Dario Minieri vs Steve "stevejpa" Paul-Ambrose ((Dario Minieri advances)
Table 16: brianm15 vs. RunThisTable (in progress)

6:11pm - Comeback Kid

KidPoker found his spot, getting it all-in on the turn with 4h-3s and a 5s-8s-3c-Qh board. FossilMan put him to the test holding As-Js, hoping to catch his flush, but the river was no help to him. Instead a 3d floated in further helping KidPoker's cause and doubling him up to 11,840.

6:11pm-Gavin Griffin nearing victory?

Slowly but surely, Gavin Griffin has been chipping away at fellow Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki's stack. For the last level, Horecki has struggled to say over 6000 chips and Griffin has stayed agressive with numerous raises. We're likely to see Horecki take a stand sooner or later.

6:06pm - FossilMan dominating KidPoker

Things may be over soon between these two, as Raymer has won several big hands without showdown. Negreanu is down to under 6,000 in chips and will be looking to make his move soon.

6:06pm-Vanessa Rousso pulling away

The swings can come awfully fast in heads up play, but Vanessa Rousso is making her move.

She made her move with a rather marginal hand, 9d-6c. But her opponent limped in, and the 6 on the flop and the 6 on the river helped her rake a pot of 5100. She now has a 10,000 chip lead in her match with #1PEN.

6:05pm - Why can't we be friends?

Things continue to look bleak for Vicky Coren. Her stack is now down to 8,000 and she'll be looking to find a double-up soon.

The real loser her may be her opponent gunning4you though. Appears the old wisdom about not having friends at the poker table might have some truth to it and all that chip stealing came with a hidden cost.

Vicky Coren: I am going off you in a big way...
Vicky Coren: lol
Vicky Coren: oh, it's English for 'I don't like you any more'  ;-)

There's probably a way to fix that, but can you put a price on friendship? If so, is it more than $560,000?

6:01pm--Duthie skins snake8484

Team PokerStars Pro Alex Kranchenko and philivey2694 have been eliminated in recent action. That's not the biggest story of the moment though. For that, we have to go back to the bar in Barcelona where John Duthie just defeated snake8484 in one heckuva hand.

Just watch it play out here.

5:58pm--Duthie setting the bar

Team PokerStars Pro John Duthie is playing from a bar in Barcelona while the final table of the EPT event there plays out. It's not because he needs a drink (he doesn't touch the stuff, in reality). It's simply the best place he can find to play. Whatever it is, it is serving him well.


John Duthie, advancing to Round 2

In Round 2, he has already moved out to a 2-1 chip lead over snake8484. The hand below accounts for most of the chips he has taken off his opponent.

5:54 - Ambrose out, Minieri in

Dario Minieri has just knocked out Steve "stevejpa" Paul-Ambrose from today's match. Here's how the hand went down:

5:43pm - In a hurry?

Blinds are only 50/100 right now, so it was a little surprising to see Greg Raymer push all-in pre-flop with his 19,980 stack a moment ago.

Daniel "KidPoker" Negreanu was likely a bit confused as well, taking a moment to consider the move before deciding to fold and wait for a better spot.

As the chips slid his way, Raymer flashed his hand - pocket 8s - and typed "my hand, knew I was winning with call or fold".

You may recall that pocket 8s were the hand that Raymer held when he won the 2004 WSOP Main Event. Both he and David Williams had made a full house on the flop, but Raymer's 8s gave him the best.

5:45pm--Blessed break

When every hand required complete concentration (not to mention prevent bathroom trips), the breaks mean a lot more. We're on a five-minute hiatus right now.

5:40pm-ElkY doubles up

Down under 10K in chips in Level 3, ElkY has battled back to near even.

All the money went into the middle pre-flop and ElkY held pocket Ts while his opponent, ILuvAntonius showed Ah-Qh. ElkY dodged the six outs and now has his stack back up over 18,000.

5:33pm - Coren can't get it going

Did Vicky Coren lose the card magic that was surrounding her at the end of her last match? Barely into her second match and she's already lost 8,000 from her stack, having been pushed off one hand to the tune of 2,480 when gunning4you put her to the test with escalating pre-flop raises.
Then just a few hands later she lost another sizable pot after checking the 7s-Ks-4h flop, then getting raised on the Qc turn. She called to see the Ad river and checked the action to gunning4you and then called the 2,005 bet to her.
At showdown gunning4you revealed Kh-Qd and Coren mucked, giving the 6,370 pot and lead to her opponent.

5:30pm-Gavin Griffin battles Marcin Horecki

Two members from Team PokerStars are fighting for a spot in the sweet 16. Halfway through Level 2, Griffin and Horecki still sit at about even, with Goral having the slightest of leads. We'll keep our eye on this matchup and bring you all the big hands.

5:28pm - Minieri off in front
Chalk it up to youthful vigor, or, well, this hand probably hand something to do with it, but Dario Minieri has taken the early lead in his match with Steve "stevejpa" Paul-Ambrose and right now has just under 25,000 in chips.

Here's the hand that helped push him in front:

5:22pm--More heads-up?

If you're enjoying this heads-up tournament, check out the PokerStars.tv highlights show from the Event #15 heads-up event.

Watch WCOOP Highlights: Event 15 - $320 NLHE Heads-Up on PokerStars.tv

5:14pm - Take two

It's a poker cliché to reference the movie Rounders, but whatever, we're going to embrace the cliché and do it anyway.

You have to imagine that for certain members of Team PokerStars Pro this round feels a little bit like the scene from the movie where the crew has all set down at the table in Atlantic City only to realize they're pretty much playing the same game they'd be playing had they stayed at home.

We've got Dario Minieri up against Steve "stevejpa" Paul-Ambrose. Daniel "KidPoker" Negreanu up against Greg "FossilMan" Raymer. Vicky Coren drew an opponent not on the team, but if they've made it to round two in this tourney you can bet they're no easy takedown - gunning4you is the name and that's probably not far off.

It may not be new opponents for all Team PokerStars Pro, but it sure does make for great poker for us to watch.

5:13pm--Round 2 matches

Table 1: steamraise vs. zivziv
Table 2: Greg "FossilMan" Raymer vs. Daniel "Kid Poker" Negreanu
Table 3: #1PEN vs. Vanessa "Lady Maverick" Rousso
Table 4: ahh_snap vs. Alex Kravchenko
Table 5: John Duthie vs snake8484
Table 6: $tinger 88 vs. PAW717
Table 7: philivery2694 vs. stevesbets
Table 8: Genius28 vs. William Thorson
Table 9: gunning4you vs. Vicky Coren
Table 10: Gavin Griffin vs Marcin "Goral" Horecki
Table 11: Hold_emNL vs. supernova9
Table 12: idoubleL vs. Victor Ramdin
Table 13: EC10 vs. Lee Nelson
Table 14: ElkY vs ILueAntonius
Table 15: Dario Minieri vs Steve "stevejpa" Paul-Ambrose
Table 16: brianm15 vs. RunThisTable

5:12--Round 2 begins

Round 2 is now underway. Full details of the Round 2 games to come.

5:10pm - Yes Greg, you did!

It took him over two hours, but Greg "FossilMan" Raymer finally bested TIJO to win his first match in today's heads-up event to move forward to the next round. He took the lead in the fight with 8c-Tc, pairing the 8 on the river along with the two queens it came with and bet out 1,200; then slowed down on the turn and checked the Jd. On the river he checked the 7h to TIJO who bet out 4,400 and FossilMan called, showing down his two pair to TIJO's bluff with 5s-4s. Just a few hands later TIJO would be forced to take his stand and push all-in preflop with Ah-5s to Raymer's Ks-Js. Two spades hit the flop, the third on the turn giving Raymer the flush and moving him forward to the next round. Afterwards in the chat, after congratulating his opponent on his play, Raymer typed "what?  I won a 46%?" Jokingly, pal Dario Minieri responded "incredible bad beat. its unreal how could u make this huge suckout". They then parted, Minieri with "nh buddy" and Raymer with "ty, cya in later rounds". We'll see if these two end up together in the future; if KidPoker was right he and Raymer are destined to be seated together coming up.

4:59pm--Negreanu looking for more competition

As we mentioned earlier, Daniel Negreanu has advanced to Round 2 from his hotel in Barcelona. While waiting for his next game, Negreanu has gone down to the bar to find other players who are competing in the same event. PokerStars' Swedish Blogger Lina shot this picture of Negreanu and our friend Rikard checking checking out the action.


4:50pm--Live look at the Pros

So, our friend Lina from the PokerStars' Swedish Blogger is in Barcelona for the EPT event there. She tracked down a couple of Team PokerStars Pros who are currently playing in the $25,000 Heads-Up event from the bar there. She went above and beyond and shot a couple of pictures to give us a look at the guys as they play.


John Duthie, advancing to Round 2


William Thorson, also advancing to Round 2

4:47pm - No pressure though

Daniel Negreanu just dropped by Greg Raymer's table to say hi... and to check on his upcoming competition.

Seems KidPoker has figured out the bracket method for selecting the next round's opponents and wanted to see what he might be up against.

KidPoker [observer]: hola tico
KidPoker [observer]: winner plays me

Raymer and TIJO's table has now turned into a virtual who's who of railbird chat as KidPoker and Dario Minieri take in the action while joking it up and teasing others in the room.

4:40pm--William Thorson advances, Tom McEvoy does not

Team PokerStars Pro William Thorson (playing from a bar in Barcelona, incidentally) has defeated thorladen and advanced to Round 2. Tom McEvoy however, has been eliminated.

Since we won't be seeing any more of McEvoy today, now seems as good a time as any to show you an interview we have from PokerStars.tv.

Watch Team PokerStars Pro Tom McEvoy on PokerStars.tv

4:34pm--Victor Ramdin advances to Round 2

Team PokerStars Pro just defeated Sauce123 in Round 1. His money went in ahead and stayed there. See the hand below.

4:32pm - Paul-Ambrose advances

Steve "stevejpa" Paul-Ambrose is the next member of Team PokerStarsPro to move forward to the next round in today's tournament, thanks to a pocket pair of 7s and a little help from a King. When playing heads-up, you often find yourself doing things you wouldn't normally do in a full ring game of poker. Like calling an all-in raise with pocket 7s. It's very often the right move in heads-up play though, and was very much the right move for Steven Paul-Ambrose today. Pre-flop Empire2000 raised his big blind to 500, and naturally stevejpa defended. Empire2000 then raised him back with his entire stack, having him covered. stevejpa chose to call with his pocket 7s, putting his tournament life on the line. The board came down Qc-Ts-6d-Th-6s, no help to Empire2000's Ac-Jh and gave Paul-Ambrose the pot. With the lead firmly in place for stevejpa it was only a few hands later that Empire2000 had to make a move of his own. When stevejpa raised him all-in pre-flop with Kd-5h he called with his Qc-Td and hoped he'd hit and could build his way back up. The cards had other ideas. stevejpa paired his King on the turn and Empire2000 got nothing but a trip to the rail, finishing today in 43rd place.

4:30pm--Event #16 winner Andy McLEOD won't be winning today

And just like that, after holding a big lead for most of the time, Andy McLEOD is out. After falling behind, he got A-T all-in in a very bad spot....against genius28's aces. Genius28 has advance to round two and Andy McLEOD is going to have to wait until another event.

4:20pm--Event #16 winner Andy McLEOD looking for more money

You might remember (I'm mean, it's only been a day ago) that Andy McLEOD won Event #16 for $98,280. Today, he's he'd a strong lead over genius28 for some time. Just seconds ago however, the stacks drew even when genius28 got all in with K-J vs Andy McLEOD's A-J. Genus28 flopped a jack and it's back to work for the Event #16 winner.

4:09pm - Slowly...

Greg "FossilMan" Raymer is another member of TeamPokerStars Pro that has been battling it out with his opponent for more than an hour now. For the bulk of that time they had been trading off the lead, then maintaining an even stack but with one hand Raymer just stole the lead away from TIJO. With Raymer raising pre-flop to 750, TIJO called to see the flushtastic 4s-7s-Js flop. FossilMan bet out nearly the pot, 750, and TIJO called. The turn brought a card of a different color - the 8h - and here FossilMan bet 1,500 which TIJO again called. On the river the Ad hit and FossilMan didn't hesitate betting 4,000. Had he been value betting his flopped flush and was waiting for the final payoff? TIJO wasn't going to stick around and find out, folding on the river and shipping at 6,050 pot to FossilMan.

4:08pm--Rousso defeats Mercier in Round 1

Down to 4,260 at the 100/200 level, Isabelle Mercier must have been tired of Vanessa Rousso. Rousso came in for a raise and Mercier pushed over the top all-in. Bad timing for Mercier, as Rousso held pocket aces. NoMercy only held Td-3h and never got close to catching up. Rousso will now move on to Round 2. Not a bad little rush for the lady who likes her adrenaline.

Watch Vanessa Bunjee on PokerStars.tv

4:02pm-Andre Akkari eliminated

iDoubleL has defeated Team PokerStars Pro in decisive fashion and advanced to Round 2. Check out the final hand below.

3:55pm-Negreanu gambles and wins

theASHMAN103 was down to 3,260 in chips. Faced with a raise from Daniel Negrenau, theASHMAN103 pushed all-in.

KidPoker said, "i feel like doin a bit of gamblin my friend"
theASHMAN103 said, "yay"
KidPoker said, "so I will"

And so he said, calling the final 2,860 with Jh-Th. theASHMAN103 held 9d-9c.

The board ran out 3d-Jd-Ad-3c-Tc and Negreanu's two pair was good enough to advance to Round 2.

3:50pm - Coren moves on

Wrap it up she has, as Coren has just eliminated -BBJ- from today's event. Following a push by -BBJ- all-in where Coren thought for a moment before deciding to fold, on the very next hand it was she who took the lead and raised -BBJ- for all his chips. When he called, the cards were revealed: Kd-Qs for -BBJ- and As-7c for Coren. Coren matched her Ace on the flop along with two sixes, the turn a 3s and the river a Jc. -BBJ- finished today's event in 49th place and Coren plays on, currently awaiting her next opponent.

3:54pm -- The math

In case you haven't taken the time to do the simple math yet, whoever wins this event today will have won six heads-up matches in a row. In this field, that's not an easy prospect. Regardless, the $560,000 payday for first place seems like a decent amount of compensation.

3:51pm -- Rousso leading Mercier

In a battle of two Team PokerStars Pros, Vanessa Rousso has taken a second hour lead over Isabelle Mercier. We're not seeing many showdowns in the game yet. At this moment, Rousso holds a 3-1 lead over NoMercy.

3:49pm - Card rack Coren

Vicky Coren has a good sense of humor and probably wouldn't mind us calling her a card rack. What's more, she knows we know she is a good player. She has also has been on a run of good cards, winning 14 of her last 15 hands. She has now whittled her opponent -BBJ- down to 2,500 and by the looks of things she may have her match wrapped up soon.

3:46pm--#1PEN eliminates Barry Greenstein

#1PEN jumped out to an early lead over Barry Greenstein and never gave it up. #1PEN has already made two final tables in this year's WCOOP. Here's how he started his quest to make it to a third.

3:41pm-Eliminations thus far

53. Bill Chen
54. Zugwat
55. BrynKenney
56. Bebop86
57. Dolcetrix
58. Katja Thater
59. Iftarii
60. samh133
61. Allingomes
62. Ray Rahme
63. evanski
64. Exclusive

3:35pm - Bill Chen falls to steamraise

Despite picking up a handful of sizeable pots off his opponent, Bill Chen still found himself in a position where he needed to take a stand. With 6,285 in chips versus his opponents 13,715 he knew it was time to force the issue if he was going to have be able to make a real run at taking it down. Finding Ad-Kc and a raise from his opponent Chen pushed back to 900. Both saw the flop of 3s-Qd-Td and Chen took the initiative to push all-in. steamraise called, the turn was a 4h and river was 9c - no help to Chen and eliminating him from today's event.

3:30pm--Dario Minieri advances to Round 2

Team PokerStars Pro Dario MInieri has advances to Round 2. He ground Zugwat down to 3,000 chips and then called Zugwat's all-in pre-flop. Here's how the hand played out.

3:22pm - Ambrose holding steady

For nearly an hour now Steve "stevejpa" Paul-Ambrose and Empire2000 have been playing quiet, patient, steady, heads-up poker. The result? Well, they're each right about where they started. They raise pre-flop most hands, as they should. Often times that'll end it right there. If they should see a flop, many a times a bet from one of them will result in a fold from the other. Same story on 4th street, and it's a rare occasion indeed to see a river. To look at them you'd think they were just two good pals, playing a friendly little poker game, not two competitors out for WCOOP gold. No worries though; at some point the cards will fall just right and the truth will come out.

3:25pm--Advancing to Round 2

Here are some of the players who have already locked up their Round 2 seats.

  • gunning4you
  • philivery2694
  • snake8484
  • Gavin Griffin
  • Hold_emNL
  • Lee Nelson
  • ElkY
  • ILuvAntonius
  • RunThisTable
  • 3:22pm--Recent eliminations

    Taking a look at some of the "outer tables" we've seen a few first hour eliminations. Among this who won't see round 2 are: Alexandre "Allingomes" Gomes, Noah "Exclusive" Boeken, Ray Rahme, samh133, avanski, and Iftarii.

    3:16pm--Greenstein clawing his way back

    Once down below 2,000 chips, Barry Greenstein is indicating he won't just throw in the towel. He's worked his way back up to around 5,000 chips. With 50/100 blinds, that's well enough to keep him in the game long enough to make it a challenge for two-time 2008 WCOOP final tablist #1PEN.

    3:08pm - Trouble for Chen With blinds at 25/50 and his stack at 3,810 let's not be counting Bill Chen out just yet. However, when you're playing heads-up it is awfully daunting to have your opponent out-chip you by about 4-1. But this is all beginning to sound a lot like a math problem, and that's one thing that Chen has a pretty good grasp on. Take a listen to him on math and poker:

    Watch WSOP 08: Bill Chen's Top 5 Maths Tips on PokerStars.tv

    3:08pm - Raymer slips

    Greg "Fossilman" Raymer has just lost the lead in his match with TIJO. With blinds at 25/50 FossilMan raised from the small blind to 100. The flop was 5d-Qc-6c and TIJO checked. FossilMac bet out 100 and TIJO raised him back to 200. FossilMan called to see the turn of 7s. TIJO then lead out with a 300 bet and FossilMan raised him to 1,000. TIJO called for the river 9s and bet 1,100. FossilMan called to see TIJO's Ac-8c, giving him the straight. FossilMan mucked his cards as the 4,800 pot shipped TIJO's way putting his stack over 11,000.

    3:06pm-Exclusive gets it in good, comes out bad

    "You really thought you were good there?"

    That's what Noah Boeken wanted to know after the final hand of his game. He got it in ahead, but not far enough ahead. Here's how Boeken's exit looked.

    3:01pm - Coren jumps ahead

    Vicky Coren has just taken the lead in her match with -BBJ- thanks to a little trip to Broadway. See how the hand played out here: (hand #6485)

    3:00pm--Standing room only folks given a seat

    Just moments ago, PokerStars decided to give the players who couldn't get into this event a chance to fight it out.

    Administrator: We've added an overflow event to accommodate those who were automatically unregistered from WCOOP Event 19. Buy-in is $25,500. There will be no byes, and this is not a bracelet-awarding event.Tourney begins at 15:30 ET. T#200801019, Events/WCOOP

    2:55pm--Greenstein close to felt

    Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein is hurting early and down below 2,000 chips, thanks in large part to the hand below.

    2:51 pm - Slow start for Coren and Chen

    Heads-up play often comes down to trading chips, but Vicky Coren and Bill Chen the trading hasn't been much in their favor. Both are behind their opponents by nearly 3,000 in chips at the moment, though this is heads-up play and the balance can shift quickly.

    2:50pm--Negreanu setting up another game?

    As Daniel Negreanu continues to lead against theASHMAN103 (a player who has just described himself as "just some random kid" and "the biggest loser" online), he is also chatting with Team PokerStars Pro William Thorson. Both are in Barcelona and apparently looking for action.

    KidPoker: you in sweden?
    William [observer]: no still in barca u?
    KidPoker: ya in my room you?
    William [observer]: in lobby with john..
    KidPoker: I'll come down after this

    2:45pm--Bang for your buck

    $25,000 will buy you a lot at PokerStars. Today, it has bought the 64 players in this big event a 10,000 starting stack and 30 minute levels starting at...wait for it...10/20 blinds.

    2:41pm-Negreanu scores early

    Daniel Negreanu has emerged with an early lead against theASHMAN103 and moved up to more than 13K from his 10K starting stack. Check out the hand below.

    2:33pm--More big tables

    In other feature table action, we'll be keeping an eye on several members of Team PokerStars Pro. First up for Greg "FossilMan" Rayer is TIJO, while Vicky Coren battles it out against -BBJ-. Bill Chen has to get through steamraise while Steve "stevejpa" Paul-Ambrose takes on Empire2000 in his first round of today's HU championship.

    2:34pm--Every table has a name

    It's nearly impossible to pick one feature table in this event, so we're going to be watching as many as we can. Among some of the first round matches we'll be watching.

  • Barry Greenstein vs. #1Pen
  • Dario Minieri vs. Zugwat
  • Noah "Exclusive" Boeken vs gunning4you
  • Daniel Negreany vs theASHMAN103

  • 2:24--$25,000 Heads-Up event to begin with 64 players

    The $25,000 Heads-Up event was initially capped at 64 players. PokerStars found there was some more interest out there and re-opened registration. To avoid first-round byes, the event had to get to 128 players. A few minutes ago, it was up to 82 players, not enough to have a 128 player tournament. Now, we'll be watching 64 players fight it out for the $1.6 million prize pool and the $560,000 first prize.

    9:00am-- Are you ready for this?

    Seriously? Are you ready to watch this? At 2:30pm ET, WCOOP will kick off its first $25,000 buy-in ever. The no-limit hold'em heads up event starts in just a few hours. Join us for beginning-to-end live blogging when the event begins.

    Brad Willis
    @BradWillis in WCOOP