PCA 2018: Main Event final table live updates

Maria Lampropulos wins PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event for $1,081,100
• Shawn Buchanan finishes second for $1,081,100
• Koray Aldemir third, Adrian Mateos fourth at stacked final table

Maria Lampropulos, 2018 PCA Main Event Champion

10:50pm: Maria Lampropulos wins! Shawn Buchanan runner-up
Level 33 - Blinds 125,000/250,000 (ante 25,000)

Down to about 2.3 million, Shawn Buchanan limped in from the button with K♥5♠ and the action moved over to Maria Lampropulos who'd been dealt T♣7♣. She thought a short while -- not as long as she's taken with other decisions at this final table -- then announced she was reraising all in.

Buchanan looked down at what he had left, and after thinking in through came up with a call. Suddenly Buchanan was the one all in and at risk, in this case with only a slight edge preflop.

The flop hit Lampropulos again -- just as happened in the first two heads-up all-ins -- coming 9♣5♦T♠ to pair her ten while also giving Buchanan a pair of fives.

The turn was the 2♥, and Buchanan was down to needing a king or five to survive. The dealer burned and turned over the river...

The 9♥!

It's over! Maria Lampropulos has won! Her boyfriend Ivan Luca has come down from the stands to congratulate her.

Luca and Lampropulos

Maria Lampropulos is the PCA Main Event champion and winner of $1,081,100 and a Platinum Pass, while Buchanan takes runner-up for $672,960. --MH

10:45pm: Lampropulos applies the pressure
Level 33 - Blinds 125,000/250,000 (ante 25,000)

A big move by Maria Lampropulos puts Shawn Buchanan on the ropes even further.

Buchanan called the small blind with Q♣7♥ and Lampropulos checked with 9♠6♠.

On the flop of J♥8♠9♥ the action was checked to Buchanan who made it 250,000 to play. That was called for the 3♠ on the turn.

Lampropulos checked and Buchanan bet 675,000. It took a while but Lampropulos finally made up her mind, moving all in to force a fold from Buchanan, who drops down to around 2.4 million chips. - SB

10:40pm: More for Maria! Lampropulos doubles again to take lead
Level 33 - Blinds 125,000/250,000 (ante 25,000)

Maria Lampropulos picked up A♥T♣ on the button. In typical fashion she sat motionless for a while with her hands over her mouth, then carved out a raise to 550,000.

Buchanan then checked his cards -- 9♥9♣, the hand he was dealt to start heads-up play. He riffled for a while, then picked out enough chips to reraise to 1.2 million.

Lampropulos had 6.2 million behind, and a decision to make.

After once again sitting in her statuesque position -- this time for nearly two minutes -- she announced she was all in and Buchanan called immediately.

Lampropulos was wincing as she showed her hand and looked across the table, but Buchanan had a smile as he showed his pocket pair. "Another flip," he laughed.

The flop came J♦6♣A♦, and just as happened before when she was all in, she'd picked up a pair right away to better Buchanan's pocket pair.

The turn was the Q♣ and river the 2♦, and suddenly Lampropulos has a better than 3-to-1 chip lead.

Buchanan watches another flip go the other way

Lampropulos has 13.55 million now, Buchanan 3.9 million. --MH

The tables have turned in favor of Lampropulos

10:30pm: Double-up for Lampropulos
Level 33 - Blinds 125,000/250,000 (ante 25,000)

A big hand for Maria Lampropulos who doubled up to get within three million of Shawn Buchanan.

Lampropulos called in the small blind with A♥8♠ before Buchanan shoved from the big blind for 13.9 million holding 4♠4♥. Lampropulos called.

A tense moment for Maria

Both players managed a grin, although Lampropulos looked most calm at one point turning to her rail to wave.

The board ran out 8♥J♦3♥2♠A♠, that eight on the flop giving Lampropulos the best hand.

Cheers from the rail as Lampropulos moved up to 7 million chips. Buchanan still has the lead, but is down to 10.4 million. - SB

10:20pm: Quads net Buchanan a few chips
Level 33 - Blinds 125,000/250,000 (ante 25,000)

A limped pot -- Shawn Buchanan (button) with 7♣6♥ and Maria Lampropulos with J♣5♦.

They checked the 6♦6♣K♠ flop, then after the 4♥ turn Lampropulos checked, Buchanan bet 250,000, and Lampropulos called.

The river was the 6♠, making quads for Buchanan. She checked this time, and when Buchanan bet 550,000 she thought a while before making the call -- another "hero" call of sorts (see below, 4:34pm).

Buchanan up to 13.925 million now, and Lampropulos down to 3.525 million. --MH

10:15pm: One each
Level 33 - Blinds 125,000/250,000 (ante 25,000)

Nothing decisive just yet. A pot goes to Shawn Buchanan after he bet the flop of 4♠Q♣K♦ with Q♠J♣. Lampropulos folded her 9♥5♣.

Then the other way around on a flop of Q♥5♣T♥. With the action checked to her Lampropulos bet 275,000 with J♥4♠, forcing Buchanan to fold his K♠9♠. - SB

Heads-up play continues

10:10pm: First two heads-up hands to Buchanan
Level 33 - Blinds 125,000/250,000 (ante 25,000)

Shawn Buchanan picked up 9♥9♣ on the first hand of heads-up and raised to 500,000 from the button. But Maria Lampropulos had but 9♠2♥ and let her hand go.

On the next hand Lampropulos had 6♠3♣ and limped in, Buchanan checked with T♥4♦, and the flop came 2♣8♣7♦. Both checked, then after the 6♣ turn Buchanan pushed out a bet of 825,000.

Lampropulos had both a pair of sixes and a flush draw and called the bet, then the Q♠ river arrived. Buchanan fired again -- 875,000 this time into a pot of 1.1 million -- and after a minute of thinking about it Lampropulos folded.

Buchanan has 12.6 million now, Lampropulos 4.85 million. --MH

9:59pm: Chip counts to begin heads-up
Level 33 - Blinds 125,000/250,000 (ante 25,000)

The final two players are taking a short break before starting their heads-up duel. --MH

NameCountryChips
Shawn BuchananCanada11,775,000
Maria LampropulosArgentina5,675,000

9:57pm: Aldemir out. The Main Event is heads up
Level 33 - Blinds 125,000/250,000 (ante 25,000)

Koray Aldemir's Main Event comes to an end in third place, busting moments ago in a hand against Shawn Buchanan.

Aldemir was dealt K♥7♥ on the button and moved all in for 3.5 million. Lampropulos folded the small blind but Buchanan had A♣8♣ on the button. After confirming the amount, he called.

The board ran out 8♥3♣9♠8♦K♣

Aldemir stood to leave, getting a hug from Lampropulos and the same form Buchanan, who now has more than 11.7 million. We're heads up.
- SB

Koray Aldemir departs with a hug

9:52pm: Last hand of the level
Level 32 - Blinds 100,000/200,000 (ante 25,000)

In the last hand of the level, Koray Aldemir picked up a pocket pair -- 5♦5♣ -- and limped from the small blind, Maria Lampropulos checked from the big with J♠7♠, and the flop hit her hand, coming T♣J♣2♥.

First to act, Aldemir led for 200,000, and Lampropulos. The 7♦ turn then brought a second pair for Lampropulos. Aldemir checked this time, and after Lampropulos bet 500,000 he folded quickly.

Lampropulos has 5,825,000 to start the new level, Aldemir 3,550,000, and leader Shawn Buchanan 8,075,000. --MH

9:45pm: A few for Aldemir
Level 32 - Blinds 100,000/200,000 (ante 25,000)

James Buchanan limped with Q♥8♠ from the small blind and the now-short-stacked Koray Aldemir checked from the big blind with 9♣7♦.

The flop came 9♦5♥8♦ giving each player a pair, and each of them checked. The 5♣ turn brought two more checks, then the 3♥ river completed the board.

Buchanan carved out a small bet of 325,000, Aldemir called it, and Aldemir won the pot.

Buchanan is on 8.1 million, Aldemir is back to almost 4 million. --MH

9:40pm: Lampropulos doubles. Aldemir now short
Level 32 - Blinds 100,000/200,000 (ante 25,000)

A big hand to double up Maria Lampropulos and put Koray Aldemir into a difficult spot.

Aldemir open shoved in the small bling for 5.9 million holding Q♥T♥. Lamprapulos was left to act in the big blind, and would be calling for her tournament life. She tanked, and then after the clock was called and counted down, she called for her tournament life, turning over K♦8♥.

An agonising decision for Maria Lampropulos

Aldemir looked uncomfortable as the awaited the board, which ran 8♦5♦4♥4♣9♦.

Lamprapoulos looked over the rail, doubling up to nearly 5.5 million. Aldemir is now the short stack, dropping to 3.2 million. - SB

9:33pm: Buchanan collects from Aldemir
Level 32 - Blinds 100,000/200,000 (ante 25,000)

Shawn Buchanan limped from the small blinds with big connectors -- Q♠J♦ -- then Koray Aldemir made it 650,000 to go from the big blind with suited big cards -- K♥T♥ -- and Buchanan called.

The flop came 4♦J♣A♣. Buchanan checked, and Aldemir took the opening to follow up with a bet of 475,000. Buchanan wasn't going anywhere.

The turn was the A♦, pairing the board. Check-check.

The 8♥ came on the river, and Buchanan bet 775,000 (one-third of the pot). Aldemir folded, and Buchanan now has 8.73 million. --MH

9:29pm: Aldemir and Buchanan a little more cautious
Level 32 - Blinds 100,000/200,000 (ante 25,000)

While they've been known to play fast and loose, Koray Aldemir and Shawn Buchanan aren't making big moves right now. Just now, Shawn Buchanan limped in from the small blind with K♣6♣ and Aldemir checked behind with an unsuited seven and five. On a K♠5♠4♠ flop, Buchanan led his top pair for 250,000, and Aldemir called with bottom pair. While it looked like Aldemir might be setting up a bluff, both he and Buchanan checked through the 3♠ turn and 8♦ river. Buchanan picked up the small pot with his pair of kings --BW

9:15pm: Still shovin'
Level 32 - Blinds 100,000/200,000 (ante 25,000)

Maria Lampropulos's options at this point are few. Fold. Shove. Maybe limp. Right now, she's choosing one of the first two with her most recent hand being a shove and take it with K♦J♦. -- BW

9:10pm: First post-break orbit
Level 32 - Blinds 100,000/200,000 (ante 25,000)

Koray Aldemir won the first post-break hand with a button min-raise holding Q♥9♦.

On the next one, Maria Lampropolus open-shoved from the button with A♠8♦, and that won her the blinds and antes.

They got to a flop on the third one, after Aldemir (SB) limped with 7♦5♥ and Lampropulos checked (BB) with 7♠6♣. The first three cards came 2♠4♣8♦ and both checked. Then the 8♣ turn card caused Aldemir to take a 200,000 stab, and Lampropulos folded. --MH

9:05pm: Three players, one title
Level 32 - Blinds 100,000/200,000 (ante 25,000)

The 30-minute break is over and they're back at it on the main stage. --MH

Aldemir, Lampropulos, and Buchanan


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8:35pm: Let's take 30

That's the end of Level 31 and players are taking a 30-minute break. When they return, the blue 5,000 chips will be gone and the big blind will be 200,000. Here's how they stack up:

NameCountryChipsBBs
Shawn BuchananCanada8,000,00040
Koray AldemirGermany7,300,00037
Maria LampropulosArgentina2,150,00011

8:30pm: Lampropulos calls on the river, loses big one
Level 31 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

Koray Aldermir called from the small blind with Q♥9♦. Maria Lampropulos meanwhile had Q♠8♠ in the big blind. This looked interesting, especially after the Q♣J♥3♦ flop gave them both top pair. Aldemir bet 160,000 and Lampropulos called.

On the 4♣ turn Aldemir bet again, 480,000 this time. Again Lampropulos called.

The river card was the J♦. Aldemir bet 420,000. Lampropulos, as is her style, took a while with the decision. Eventually she called but quickly regretted it.

Maria Lampropulos: Winces after a tough call

Aldemir took the pot and Lampropulos dropped a little more. - SB

8:20pm: SB from the SB
Level 30 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

Shawn Buchanan limped in from the small blind with K♣J♣, Koray Aldemir checked the big blind with 4♠2♥, and the flop came J♠4♦Q♦ to give both players a pair. Both checked, and the turn was the 7♥. Buchanan bet 200,000, and Aldemir called.

The river brought the 7♠, meaning both players ended with two pair. Buchanan made it 350,000 on this betting round, and after a bit of study Aldemir called.

That pot ticks Buchanan back up over 8 million, while Aldemir is just over 6 million and Maria Lampropulos almost 3.4 million. --MH

8:10pm: Weird folds
Level 31 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

Koray Aldemir opened from the button for 340,000. He had A♥5♥. Shawn Buchanan was in the big blind and three bet to 950,000 with a J♥. His other card wasn't picked up on the screen.

Aldemir thought for a while, before making his decision.

"This is a weird fold," he said. - SB

8pm: The ten is good
Level 31 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

A pot worth 1.3 million goes to Maria Lampropulos as play reaches another break. Koray Aldemir limped the small blind with 5♦4♣ and Maria Lampropulos checked her big blind with T♠3♦.

The flop came A♥A♣T♥

Aldemir bet another 160,000 which was called for the A♦ on the turn. That was checked both ways to the river 2♣. Now Aldemir bet 340,000. Lampropulos paused, then called to win the hand with her ten and move up to 3.8 million chips. - SB

7:50pm: New chip leader
Level 31 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

A quick update of the counts after that big hand just below that put Koray Aldemir in front. --MH

NameCountryChipsBBs
Koray AldemirGermany7,435,00046
Shawn BuchananCanada6,915,00043
Maria LampropulosArgentina3,105,00019

7:45pm: Huge play by Aldemir forces huge fold from Buchanan
Level 31 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

Here's an enormous pot for Koray Aldemir, who has just pulled off the play of the final table so far. Just for old time's sake, let's play this one as though we didn't know the hole cards. It's nigh on impossible to figure out what each of them had, and you'll be amazed when you find out.

It started with a limp from Buchanan in the small blind and a raise to 375,000 from Aldemir in the big blind. Buchanan called, which bought them the A♣K♥8♠ flop.

Although Maria Lampropulos sat this out, texting on her phone, her presence (and her short stack) surely played a part, at least in ICM calculations. Buchanan checked and Aldemir began chapter two of his consistent story. He bet 275,000. Buchanan called.

The turn was the J♣ and we went through a familiar pattern. Buchanan checked, Aldemir bet 1.075 million and Buchanan called.

The river was the 7♥ and Buchanan checked again. Aldemir did what he had to do. He shoved for 3.935 million.

Koray Aldemir: Can you put this man on a hand?

Buchanan, always the most unflappable man at any table, looked properly anguished before he began chuckling at his predicament. He then picked up his cards and looked at them again, apparently in disbelief, and possibly also because the crane-necked German railers behind him may also have been able to see.

And then he turned them over for everyone, showing A♠7♦ as he tossed them into the muck. Aldemir pushed his hand away to a bellow from the crowd, building his stack into the lead.

What did Aldemir have? I'll tell you. He had 3♣3♠. Wowsers. Kid got game. And the chip lead now. -- HS

7:40pm: Lampropulos shoves (again)
Level 31 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

Maria Lampropulos limped in the small blind with K♦8♦ before Shawn Buchanan raised in the big to 445,000 with T♥2♣. After the usual pause Lampropulos then announced all-in for 2.6 million, getting a quick fold from Buchanan. - SB

7:35pm: Chips for Lampropulos
Level 30 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

Koray Aldemir limped in from the small blind with 7♠5♦, and Maria Lampropulos looked down at T♣9♦ in the big blind.

Lampropulos takes a look

She thought a while, then checked, and the flop came T♠4♥8♠.

Aldemir led with a bet of 155,000. After more than a minute of consideration Lampropulos called. The turn was the 3♣. Aldemir bet again, this time 455,000 (about 75 percent of the pot).

At that point Lampropulos had 1.58 million behind, and that was one of the factors she considered over the next two minutes-plus.

Finally she set her chips forward as an all-in raise, and Aldemir instantly folded.

Lampropulos has 2.64 million now, Aldemir 5.7 million, and Buchanan 9.12 million. --MH

7:30pm: Lampropulos shoves, collects
Level 30 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

Maria Lampropulos was dealt J♦7♦ in the small blind and after being folded to chose to shove her stack of 1.71 million.

Shawn Buchanan had J♣T♠ in the big blind and considered it, but eventually slid his cards away. --MH

7:25pm: Drama Queens
Level 30 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

So you get dealt pocket queens. You make a bet and everyone folds. If you're easily frustrated you get a little annoyed. If you're a seasoned veteran like Shawn Buchanan you laugh a little and move on to the next hand. Which for Buchanan was pocket queens again.

And so he opened, and saw a flop this time against Koray Aldemir.

The flop came K♣6♥4♥. Buchanan made it 120,000 to play which Aldemir, holding Q♠5♠ called. Both checked the 4♣ turn for the J♥ on the river.

Buchanan fired again with a bet of 275,000 to win the hand, moving his stack to the 9.1 million mark. - SB

7:15pm: Buchanan keeps lead versus Aldemir
Level 30 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

Shawn Buchanan limped in from the small blind holding J♣T♦, then Koray Aldemir raised to 375,000 from the big blind with A♥6♥. Buchanan called, making the pot 810,000 and ensuring whoever won this hand would be the chip leader.

The flop came 9♦8♠3♣. Buchanan checked, and with some deliberation Aldemir checked behind. The turn was the K♠. Both players checked again.

The river was the 2♥, and this time Buchanan bet 325,000 in an effort to steal the pot.

Buchanan keeps the lead with 8.12 million, while Aldemir has 6.93 million. --MH

Buchanan still the pace-setter

7:05pm: Pot to Aldemir
Level 30 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

Koray Aldemir opened from the button, betting 240,000 with K♥T♥. Shawn Buchanan was ready with the call in teh big blind with K♦5♥. They saw the flop T♣A♠4♦, and both checked for the 6♣ turn card. Buchanan then check-called Aldemir's bet of 360,000.

On the 6♦ river there was more checking, Aldemir winning the 1.3 million pot with top pair. - SB

7pm: Play resumes, 3 remain
Level 30 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

The final three players in the PCA Main Event are back to start a new level. Here's how the stacks look as play resumes.

NameCountryChipsBBs
Shawn BuchananCanada8,345,00070
Koray AldemirGermany6,460,00054
Maria LampropulosArgentina2,650,00022

Of important note, now that they are three-handed, levels will last 45 minutes. They'll play two of those levels before the next break. --MH


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6:35pm: And here are the two PSPC Platinum Pass winners...

Mike Ward and Joe Stapleton just drew for two PSPC Platinum Pass winners here in the main tournament area. They are... Steven Jost and... yep... David Peters.

6:33pm: Who needs a flop?
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 15,000)

One of those hands that gets interesting without even reaching the flop.

Maria Lampropulos, with K♥Q♥ limped from the button. Shawn Buchanan had K♠3♥ in the small blind and raised to 590,000. Then Koray Aldermir, operating from the big blind with 9♠9♣ three bet 1.5 million. That did it. Lampropulos folded, then Buchanan.

That's the last hand of the level, so players are now off on a 20-minute break. - SB

6:30pm: Binning a draw
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Koray Aldemir found 9♠6♠ on the button and raised to 200,000. Shawn Buchanan didn't know it when he called in the big blind with 3♠2♠ that his suit was dead.

The flop actually hit both of them. It came 6♦3♣5♦. It had the makings of a short-handed cooler, but these guys are too smart for that.

Buchanan checked it to Aldemir. Aldemir bet 330,000 with his top paor. And just like that, Buchanan binned his bottom pair and a draw. Buchanan ended the hand with around 9 million. -- HS

6:28pm: Open-shove time for Lampropulos
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Maria Lampropulos found 4♠4♦ on the button and, with a stack of 2.76 million, pushed it in. Koray Aldemir had a jack in the big blind, but that was the biggest card among her two opponents and so neither of them called. -- HS

6:25pm: Aldemir doubles through Buchanan
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Shawn Buchanan raised to 200,000 from the button with 9♠9♣, then Koray Aldemir looked down at A♦Q♦ in the small blind and shoved for 2.675 million. Maria Lampropulos folded, Buchanan called, and both turned over their hands.

Both were smiling in anticipation of the board cards coming. Aldemir was smiling even bigger after the Q♥7♥3♥ flop paired his queen. The 2♠ turn and J♦ river were both safe for him, and he doubles up.

All-in ends well for Aldemir

Aldemir is up to 5.48 million now, while Buchanan still leads with 9.16 million. Lampropulos is at 2.82 million. --MH

6:15pm: Three-bet defense from Lampropulos
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Shawn Buchanan raised to 200,000 from the button and Maria Lampropulos in the small blind looked down at 7♣5♦ and three-bet to 750,000.

Buchanan let it go, asking Lampropulos with a wide grin if he could see one of her cards (in return for the earlier showing of one card by him). She couldn't, though, and they shared a laugh.

Lampropulous has right at 3 million now. --MH

6:05pm: Buchanan over Aldemir
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Koray Aldemir raised to 200,000 from the button with A♦6♦ and Shawn Buchanan called to defend his big blind holding Q♣T♣.

The flop came Q♦8♣3♥, and Buchanan check-called a continuation bet of 140,000 from Aldemir. The turn was the 7♠ and both checked.

The river brought the 4♠, and Buchanan bet 325,000. Aldemir paused a couple of beats, then called, and Buchanan picked up the pot.

Put Buchanan on 12.38 million, Aldemir 2.75 million now. --MH

5:56pm: Buchanan keeps building
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Following a few small hands to begin three-handed play, a hand arose that saw Maria Lampropulos limp from the small blind with K♣5♣ and Shawn Buchanan check his option in the big blind with T♣7♠.

The flop came 3♠8♠5♥, and Lampropulos check-called a min-bet of 100,000 from Buchanan. The A♠ came on the turn, and both players checked.

The river was the 2♠, putting a fourth spade on the board and giving Buchanan a flush. Lampropulos checked, Buchanan bet 250,000, and after thinking for more than two-and-a-half minutes Lampropulos folded.

Buchanan invited her to pick one of his cards to show, and both players smiled after she turned over the T♣.

Buchanan has just under 12 million now, while Koray Aldemir has 2.78 million and Lampropulos 2.7 million. --MH

5:48pm: Player Apprecation Drawing results

This week, players here had an opportunity to win a raffle as part of a Player Appreciation effort from PokerStars. That drawing just happened. Here are the winners.

$20,000: Andres Risquez
$10,000: Gautam Lillaney
$5,000: Randy Kritzer, Matthew Fergerbaum, Liam Heame, Marco Martinez

5:45pm: Adrian Mateos crashes out, Buchanan with huge lead
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 15,000)

A hand that suddenly blew up, sent Adrian Mateos to the rail and left Shawn Buchanan with an enormous chip lead. Wow.

Buchanan opened for 200,000 under the gun with an innocuous looking 8♦5♦. Mateos had a more significant looking A♣K♥ and three bet to 600,000. Others thought about it but only Buchanan called to see the 6♦Q♣K♦ flop.

Buchanan checked, leaving it to Mateos to bet 700,000. Buchanan applied the pressure, raising to 1.8 million which prompted Mateos, with 2.7m behind, to move all-in. Buchanan called and the cards were on their backs.

The turn was decisive, coming 4♦ to give Buchanan a flush. The 9♥ on the river was irrelevant. Suddenly we were down to three, with Buchanan up to more than 11.3 million, and an enormous chip lead. - SB

Adrian Mateos sees his fate

5:30pm: Aldemir shoves twice in one orbit
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Here's what happened during the last four-handed orbit, one that saw each of the four remaining players win a hand.

In the first hand it folded to Shawn Buchanan in the small blind who picked up T♠T♣ and Buchanan chose just to call. Adrian Mateos in the big blind was dealt 7♥6♠ and raised to 300,000, and when Buchanan limp-reraised to 1.1 million, Mateos instantly folded.

On the second Buchanan had the button and raised with A♣3♦, the bet begin 200,000. It folded to Koray Aldemir in the big blind who was dealt K♥Q♠ and he pushed all in for 1.72 million. Buchanan just took a few seconds to fold.

Koray Aldemir then limped in from the small blind with 9♥6♣, and Maria Lampropulos looked down at A♦J♥ in the big blind. She raised to 325,000, and Aldemir let it go.

Finally Adrian Mateos opened for 200,000 from the cutoff/under the gun with A♠2♠. Koray Aldemir then shoved for 1.89 million from the button, and the blinds and Mateos scattered.

Aldemir has 2.28 million after those two uncalled shoves, still fourth of the four. --MH

Koray Aldemir

5:26pm: Oh look, a straight
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Maria Lampropulos's A♠8♦ might not have looked like it would make a straight, but it did by the river to earn her a small pot against Shawn Buchanan.

It was between those two from the blinds. The flop came 7♣3♠9♥ which was checked for the T♠ turn. That was checked too for the J♣ on the river. That made the straight for Lampropulos, who bet 325,000. That was enough to stop Buchanan. - SB

5:09pm: Mistimed shove sends Coupal to rail in fifth
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

On the first hand of the new level, the chip leader Shawn Buchanan raised to 125,000 from the button with K♠J♠ and the short stack Daniel Coupal defended his big blind by calling with 8♦4♦.

The flop fell K♣5♣3♦, and despite missing Coupal chose to shove his last 845,000 in the middle. Buchanan called with his top pair of kings, and Coupal was in dire straits.

"Get lucky... really lucky," said Coupal quietly. The turn was the 8♥ to give him one pair and keep him drawing live. "Get super lucky," he continued. "Runner runner?"

Alas for Coupal, the K♦ came on the river and he is out in fifth place for $293,560. Not a bad return for what had been a $530 investment for Coupal who won his way in via one of the Ultra Sats.

With four players left, Buchanan has extended his lead. He now has 7.53 million. --MH

Daniel Coupal takes his leave

5:50pm: Back to business
Level 29 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Five players remain, and cards are back in the air with increased blinds. Here's how the stacks look to begin the new level. --MH

NameCountryChipsBBs
Shawn BuchananCanada6,395,00064
Adrian MateosSpain4,860,00049
Maria LampropulosArgentina3,265,00033
Koray AldemirGermany1,880,00019
Daniel CoupalCanada1,055,00011

4:45pm: Break

The players are now on a 20-minute break.

4:44pm: Last three hands of the level
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Maria Lampropulos got a walk in the big blind, then Koray Aldemir won one with a button raise holding A♠6♥.

The final hand of the level saw it fold around to chip leader Shawn Buchanan who limped from the small blind with 4♠4♣. Adrian Mateos then raised to 240,000 from the big blind with 3♣2♠, and Buchanan called.

The flop came 2♦K♣A♠. Buchanan checked, Mateos bet 175,000, and after a bit of thought Buchanan let it go.

Buchanan goes to the break with the chip lead with 6.4 million, while Mateos has 4.86 million. --MH

4:42pm: Lampropulos, ahead, folds
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

It looked like another hand on its way to Maria Lampropulos. She'd found T♥T♣ under the gun and opened for 170,000. Shawn Buchanan called with 6♠5♠ and they saw a flop: K♠3♦7♦.

Both checked, then Lampropulos checked the 8♦ turn. Buchanan bet 425,000. Lampropulos, looking at all the combinations of bigger hands on the board, took the safe option and folded. - SB

4:34pm: Buchanan seizes lead after Lampropulos tank and call
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

It folded around to Maria Lampropulos in the small blind who looked down at Q♣3♠. She raised to 275,000, and action moved to Shawn Buchanan in the big blind who had been dealt A♦7♠. Buchanan called, and the flop came 4♠7♥2♦.

Lampropulos sat quietly for a short while, then bet 230,000. Buchanan called right away. The turn was the 7♣, making trip sevens for Buchanan. Lampropulos checked this time, and again acting quickly, Buchanan bet 375,000.

Lampropulos sat motionless for a full minute-and-a-half, and after the clocked was called on her she set out chips to call. Pot 1.81 million.

The river brought the 4♣ and 45 seconds later Lampropulos checked. Buchanan quickly set out a bet of 1.1 million.

Lampropulos would spend three-and-a-half minutes deciding what to do this time, and once again the clock was called on her. Finally she made her decision, choosing to make the call with her queen and the two pair on board.

Buchanan's showed his hand and full house, and he claimed the big pot. Now he's the chip leader, moving up to 6.41 million, while Lampropulos falls to 3.6 million. --MH

4:23pm: To the river with nothing
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

When the action was folded to the blind Koray Aldemir looked down at K♦7♥ and figured it was worth a call at least. So he did, paying the 40,000 and hoping Maria Lampropulos in the big blind would agree to see a cheap flop. She did, and they did.

A♥A♠3♣

This is where the delicate dance began. Aldemir bet 80,000, and Lampropulos called. Both checked the 5♥ turn card on the 2♥ river Aldemir checked the action once more. Lampropulos, again taking her time, finally bet 250,000. Aldemir was prepared to let this one go.

Pot to Lampropulos. - SB

Maria Lampropulos

4:14pm: Rudolph first to fall in sixth, Lampropulos in front
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Maria Lampropulos opened for 170,000 from early position holding 6♠6♣ and it folded around to Christian Rudolph in the big blind who shoved all in after being dealt A♣8♦.

Lampropulos took a short while considering the pros and cons of the situation, then decide on calling and the players tabled their hands.

Rudolph sat with his arms crossed until the 6♦8♠7♣ flop fell to give Lampropulos a set, and after the Q♣ turn he began moving from his seat as he was drawing dead.

Rudolph takes sixth for $229,760. Meanwhile that pot makes Lampropulos the chip leader with 5.4 million. --MH


Christian Rudolph accepts the bad news

4:13pm: A big pot for Lampropulos
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

When you get the river with the nuts, is your naturally slow and measured response time considered normal, or is it theatrics? It wasn't clear in this hand, opened by Koray Aldemir with 9♥9♥ in the cut off for 170,000.

Lampropulos called that on the button, as did Adrian Mateos in the small blind, to see the T♣7♠A♣ flop.

That gave Mateos top pair, while Lampropulos was drawing to a (potential Royal) flush. Mateos checked, Aldemir checked, and Lampropulos bet 220,000, which Mateos called for the 2♣ turn.

Lampropulos now had the nuts, and when the action was checked to her bet 415,000. Mateos though was not going anywhere. He called.

On the Q♦ river Lampropulos appeared deep in thought. She is usually a player who takes her time to act, but in this case it would have been interesting to know what Mateos was thinking. Whatever it was, by the time Lampropulos bet 1.5 million he'd folded.

A big pot for Lampropulos, now up to 4.51 million. - SB

4:08pm: A hand about nothing
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

There wasn't much to talk about in terms of the quality of hands when Maria Lampropulos opened in the small blind with T♦3♠ and when Shawn Buchanan called in the big blind with J♦8♣. But they saw a flop anyhow.

7♥5♠7♦

Lampropulos bet 90,000 with nothing. Then, gambling that his nothing was worth more than Lampropulos's, Buchanan raised to 235,000. A hand that started with nothing, but ending with a small victory for Buchanan. - SB

3:53pm: First pot to Buchanan
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Shawn Buchanan got things going in Hand #1 today with a raise to 160,000 from the hijack seat holding A♣J♣. It folded around to Koray Aldemir in the big blind with K♦8♥ who made the call.

The day's first flop came Q♦5♣Q♣. Aldemir checked, Buchanan continued for just 85,000 into the 420,000 pot, but that was enough to get a fold from Aldemir. --MH

Shawn Buchanan draws first blood

3:50pm: The final day begins!
Level 28 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

The players have been introduced and the first hand of the last day is being dealt. There are about 53 minutes left in this level. --MH


3:48pm: Introductions underway

Player introductions are happening now, so we're about to get down to business.

2018 PCA final table


3pm: Two ways to watch

Play is just getting under way in the "real" world, but we will be reporting here alongside the PokerStars.tv live stream, which broadcasts its cards-up coverage with a 30 or 40-minute security delay.

We are entirely spoiler free. You won't read anything here unless it has been broadcast already on the stream.

There's no stream of the $25K High Roller final table, however, so check out our live updates of that.

Preparing for the final:

Good afternoon one and all and welcome back to the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas...for the final time in 2018.

Today is the last day of this year's PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) and the $10,000 Main Event has served up one of the best final tables any open event has ever seen.

We have superstars from North America and Europe, players with many millions in career earnings. And there are a couple of lesser known players preparing to emerge into the spotlight.

Click through for full player profiles.

Here's the day's line-up:

NameCountryChipsBBs
Adrian MateosSpain5,675,00071
Shawn BuchananCanada3,755,00047
Maria LampropulosArgentina3,505,00044
Koray AldemirGermany2,350,00029
Daniel CoupalCanada1,275,00016
Christian RudolphGermany905,00011

The top four are established among the game's elite. Adrian Mateos is a three-time WSOP bracelet winner plus a former EPT Grand Final champion. He has more than $12 million in live tournament earnings.

Adrian Mateos: Raring to go with the chip-lead

Shawn Buchanan is one of the online tables' most celebrated talents, with bags of live experience too.

Maria Lampropulos had an exceptional breakout couple of years in 2016/17, winning £1 million in an event in the UK and also finishing in a heads-up chop for a Eureka Poker Tour Main Event.

Koray Aldemir is the inevitable representative of the clutch of German crushers who have been dominating the tournament scene for the past five years.

Admittedly, we didn't know much about Christian Rudolph before this week, but he is a former winner of the Sunday Million and Sunday Warm-Up on PokerStars and is therefore no slouch.

Only the Saskatchewan farmer Daniel Coupal can upset the pro's apple-cart this afternoon. He clung on with a short stack for much of yesterday, and today we'll see if he has the moves to match his patience and stoicism.

Click through for full player profiles.

There's going to be no hiding out there today. These final stages will take place cards-up on the PokerStars.tv live stream.

Download the PokerStars LIVE! app with all tournament information. Available for IOS and Android.


PokerStars Blog reporting team on the $10,000 Main Event: Stephen Bartley, Martin Harris, Howard Swains and Brad Willis. Photography by Joe Giron/PokerPhotoArchive.com

Live reporting team
@PokerStars in Live Poker