NAPT Mohegan Sun: Day 1, levels 7 and 8 updates (400-800, 100 ante)
9.15pm: Pre-wrap mini-wrap
That's your lot, and these are the big stacks at the end of the day:
David Williams 230,900
Vanessa Selbst 214,700
Lars Bonding 177,100
A full wrap is on its way. Go nowhere. Or go somewhere and then come back. But do come back.
9:10pm: Cada, Raymer fall as Day 1 wraps
Just before play concluded for the evening, both Joe Cada and Greg Raymer were eliminated from the tournament. Cada had been riding a short stack for most of the afternoon and couldn't get anything going. Raymer was down to his last 2,000 when he shoved with A♦7♠ and got two callers. One of his opponents (who called blind, by the way) turned up K-5 and hit a king to send Fossilman home.
The board currently shows 464 players remaining as the last seconds of Level 8 tick away. We'll have a full wrap for you shortly.
9:09pm: Faraz Jaka is a sick, sick man
Back in 2004, Ellix Powers etched himself a spot in poker history with his roaring exclamation of "He called me with jack high! JACK HIGH!" after playing a hand against Jim McManus in a WSOP limit hold'em event.
Well, Mr. Powers, Faraz Jaka just called for half his stack with an even worse holding. And he was right. You want to talk about soul-reading? Talk to the man otherwise known as "the-toilet."
The hand started off inconsequentially enough, Jaka opening for 2,000 from under the gun and earning two calls. The flop came down A♠6♣5♠. Jaka led out for 5,200 and one opponent called. The turn came the 3♥. Jaka bet another 5,200. His opponent tanked for a bit before making a sloppy call, one of his chips rolling off the table. The river brought the T♠, putting a possible flush on board.
Jaka asked his opponent how much he had behind. The man cut down the 9,700 remaining in his stack. Jaka paused, then checked. His opponent instantly moved all-in.
It was nearly half of Jaka's remaining chips to make the call. He didn't look like he wanted to do it. But Jaka sensed that something was amiss. He tossed in the 9,700 and the hands were revealed.
Unfortunate opponent 7♠8♣
"You are the sickest man alive!"
"That is the sickest hand I've seen live!"
"Oh my God!"
"Oh my GOD!"
Jaka's tablemates were utterly aghast as the hole cards went on their backs. Jaka's now-busted opponent slinked away as Mr. Soul-Read stacked up his 75,000 in chips.
"You put him on 8-7? Really?" asked one of his tablemates.
"Either that or a flush draw," Jaka shrugged.
9pm: Dwan downed
Tom Dwan has been downed by Ron Savageau. The board was all the way out when all the money went in: A♠A♣J♥9♦9♥ and it was for Dwan's last 16,000 or so. Savageau took a while but made the call, showing J♣Q♣. That was good as Dwan mucked and headed to the door - not before he had returned the Canada hockey jersey to Peter Jetten that he had been forced to wear all day.
8.55pm: Not so bad for Bordonaro
Daniel Negreanu raised to 1,800 from early position, but faced a raise to 4,000 from Steven Bordonaro. "I think this could be the last hand you play," said Negreanu. "I've got a bad feeling about this for you. I call."
The flop came 2♠4♥[10h] and both players checked but then Bordano bet 4,500 at the Q♦ turn. "You trying to trick me?" said Negreanu. "You have aces or something?" Bordonaro remained silent - "He doesn't want to talk," observed Negreanu - and eventually the Team PokerStars Pro thought better of it and folded.
Bordonaro showed A♦K♠ as Negreanu squealed: "No! Dammit. That was the one hand I could beat!"
8.45pm: Selbst emerges as contender
"It's weird because I haven't really shown a bluff." So said Vanessa Selbst to her table-mates, not all of whom seemed to agree. Who knows the truth of the statement, but Selbst was busy stacking about 195,000 chips at the time, so she has obviously just taken down a huge pot with a legitimate holding. She's now challenging David Williams for the chip lead.
8.30pm: Bonding, Rosen and Williams
If Lars Bonding isn't the current chip leader, he is very close to it. And yet we haven't witnessed many of the hands that got him to his 150,000 stack. Here's one he did play, sort of, but it actually lost him a few chips. It may, however, have been the absolute minimum, and that's a crucial part of tournament poker too.
Mike Gorham opened from the hijack, making it 2,000. It was folded to Bonding in the small blind, who re-raised to 6,300. Gorham called and the two of them saw a A♦2♠9♦ flop. Gorham instantly fired 10,000 and almost as quickly Bonding folded K♦K♠ face up.
On a nearby table, Robert Rosen, another big stack, had another big pair - but won with his. Rosen raised to 3,200 and only one opponent called. The flop was 9♦5♦9♠ and Rosen's bet of 8,500 was called, bringing a [10c] turn. Check, check. The river was 3♣. Check, check. Rosen tabled Q♥Q♣ and took it down.
As all that was being typed, we realised, however, that neither of these guys are the chip leader because David Williams has silently amassed 195,000. That, folks, is your chip leader.
Level up: Blinds now 400-800 with a 100 ante
This is the last level of the day. Play is paused for 10 minutes while the green 25 chip is coloured up. Antes will now be paid in a solitary black chip.
8pm: Ins and outs
Josh Prager is out. He had a tiny stack for much of the day and clearly shipped it in in the past ten minutes. His wife, Helen, remains in the field, however. She has about 35,000.
At the more wealthy end of the chip ladder is Robert Rosen, who has emerged with about 115,000. Rosen only has two major tournament cashes to his name, but they are both final table finishes at WPT events, so not too bad at all.
As we prepare to enter the last level of the night, a lot of stuff has started to collect underneath the players' chairs. Match the player to what's underneath their chairs. Feel free to submit your answers with @PokerStarsBlog on Twitter. We'll give the answer there in a while.
1. Spilled popcorn, empty bag of potato chips, an empty chip rack
2. Bose headphone case
3. Empty coffee cup, empty bag of olive crackers
4. Half a package of AA batteries
5. Two empty bags of white kettle corn, two empty bottles of water
A. Michael Degilio
B. Sorel Mizzi
C. Daniel Negreanu
D. Kathy Liebert
E. Victor Ramdin
7.45pm: Selbst bullies Mahrenholz
With about 16,000 in the pot and the board fully exposed, Vanessa Selbst bet 16,000 and put a decision on Karl Mahrenholz. The board, which Mahrenholz examined once more, read: 6♦5♥4♠K♠3♥. Mahrenholz had about 20,000 behind so was essentially facing elimination should he call. Which is perhaps why he folded and stayed afloat.
There aren't many Brits here this week at Mohegan Sun, but Mahrenholz is one, and his friend James Akenhead is another. Akenhead has about 55,000 and is doing just fine.
7.40pm: More from Bonding
Lars Bonding now has about 140,000 and that probably puts him at the very summit at the moment. Another contender has emerged in the shape of Matt Woodward, the EPT Grand Final runner up. He couldn't pip Pieter De Korver, but he's doing nicely so far today and has about 125,000 at the moment.
There are 75 minutes left in the day and 563 players.
We're currently talking with our bosses abut re-naming PokerStarsBlog.com to EricLevesque.com, as he seems to be the only thing about which we can write today. A few minutes ago, we heard another monologue begin and made our way back into the fray. For some reason, Levesque quickly fell silent. He was looking at a 9♦6♥7♥J♣ board.
"I don't know what to do now," he said.
"What's going on? Your thing shrink up on you?" somebody asked form across the table.
It was weird seeing Levesque at a loss for words. Instead, his opponent Stephen Dellibovi was badgering him to make some sort of move.
"I should be smarter than this," Levesque said. "I changed my mind."
Then he put 3,200 in front of him.
"Thirty-two hundred?" his Dellibovi said. "I can call that."
Levesque bounded from his chair. "I thought you were stronger than that!" he exclaimed and then indicated in so many words that he was sure he had the best hand.
Both players checked a blank on the river and Levesque simply announced, "I have queens."
Queens were good against pocket fives and Levesque won another one.
"How does he do it?" echoed across the table.
7:30pm: Daniel's floating phone
"Hey, look over there! A guy is texting, you'd better get him!" Daniel Negreanu exclaimed to me.
Since the last thing we humble bloggers should be doing is disciplining the players, I wondered if the comment was even directed at me. But I saw Negreanu's own Blackberry lying on his lap and couldn't help but point to his PDA.
"Oh, that's legal. On your lap is legal. Believe me, I've asked. So is this," he said, as he placed his Blackberry atop his coffee cup. "Look! It's floating! It's not touching the table!"
Apparently, there have been some questions about the casino policy on texting at the table. This player pool is certainly used to having the freedom to SMS and Twitter to their hearts' delight and like Negreanu, some are grumbling about the rules here.
A floorman with a bemused expression on his face approached Negreanu's table.
"I think you should give a penalty to Daniel. Make an example of him," joked Kathy Liebert.
"You know I used to do this all the time in school. Breaking rules I thought were dumb," said Negreanu, returning his Blackberry to his lap.
7.25pm: Doing all right
All of the following players have six-figure stacks:
Lars Bonding 125,000
Brandon Cantu 125,000
Melanie Weisner 115,000
Eric Levesque 105,000
Aaron Lerner 105,000
They're not the only ones up there, but that's a pretty tidy quintet.
7:18pm: Levesque: "Who wants a beer?"
As he competes for the chip lead, Eric Levesque is in his typical form. He's been sipping Buds thoughout the afternoon and has now decided to buy drinks for his table. Two others decided to join him. Problem is, the law of the land here doesn't allow for one person to handle more than one drink [Note: We investigated this very rule last night and found it to be so strict that it's nearly impossible to buy a drink for somebody who has gone to the bathroom]. Hence, when Levesque returned from the bar, he only held his beer. The service here at Mohegan Sun is top notch as always, though. The bartender followed Levesque back to the table with the other two beers in hand. Drink up!
7:11pm: Double Dwan
It was three ways to a flop of A♥6♥8♦. Two players checked to Tom Dwan on the button and opened the dor for his bet to 3,000. The small blind immediate shoved for a little more than 14,000, covering Dwan. The man in the middle folded and Dwan called for his remaining chips. His opponent showed Q♥8♥ for the pair and flush draw. Dwan held A♣J♦. The turn and river came 7♣9♣ and Dwan doubled up to around his starting stack.
6.55pm: Level seven begins
After level six ended about 15 minutes ago, we are now entering what convention usually calls level seven. And we're nothing if not conventional.
We'll now play for another two hours before calling this a wrap for the day.
The big tournament screen informs us that an even 600 players remain from the 716 who started. Those include Greg Raymer, pictured below, but not John Duthie, who didn't play. But we're still feeling Duthie's presence.