PokerStars Festival London: Koran scores first knockout on Day 1B

The topic of conversation at a number of tables during the opening orbit or two was the early start time. Well, that and the need for caffeine. This starting flight of the Main Event (and Day 1C) both kick off at 11am, whereas Day 1A had a more poker player friendly 2pm start time.


Caffeine to table one please

The first of 12 scheduled levels wasn't even halfway through by the time we witnessed the first elimination of the day. We'll be honest we caught it quite by chance as it occurred at the table nearest to our media booth and we probably would've missed it all had the dealer not announced all-in and call.

As such we didn't catch the action until the showdown when Michael Koran opened 6♣4♥ and a grimacing Paul McAuley showed [Ax][7x]. A glance at the K♥3♦2♦5♣Q♥ board showed just why McAuley was grimacing. Koran had the nuts. He also had him covered and McAuley was on his way.

But, just how had such a big pot occurred so early? We decided to investigate and between Koran and his tablemate Check Fan Lao, we were able to fill in the blanks.


Early double for Koran

It turns out this had been something of a nothing hand before the river with the pot totalling just a couple of thousand before fifth street. To get that far McAuley had opened from under-the-gun and Koran had called out of the big blind.

The original raiser had then fired bets on the flop and turn with Koran, a 33-year-old recreational player from Zurich in Switzerland, check-calling on each street. The river was where the fireworks went off, though.

At this stage Koran elected to lead out, McAuley raised it up and Koran, with the nuts, came back over the top. Koran was a little fuzzy on the bet sizing, but as is often the way a player not in the hand, was able to help out. Enter Lao, who is on Koran's direct right. "His (Koran's) three-bet was to 5,500 and he [McAuley) had around 20,000 total at this point."

As we already know McAuley elected to wager all his chips. "I had to double check my cards to make sure I didn't just have six high and then I called," said a smiling Koran to us. And just like that Koran was up to almost 60,000.

Some players don't like early starts but it's paid off for the Swiss player, it was perfect timing.


Koran's got his hands on more chips early on Day 1B

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Nick Wright
@PokerStars in Live Poker