2008 PCA: News in brief

Sparkling conversation and incisive observations are common fare on media row. Put a bunch of hacks together in a confined space and some of the chatter is pure poetry.

"What's going on over there?" asked one noted journalist, spotting a colleague returning from the thick of the action.
"It's a poker tournament," was the weary reply. And that, for the moment, was that.

OK, so sometimes the dazzling repartee loses a little in translation to the page. But the key point behind this small exchange was that nothing can really be said with any conviction this early in proceedings. There's plenty to look at during a quick stroll around the tournament floor, but whether it will have any lasting bearing come the end of the day is not yet certain.

That said, it's always kind of interesting, and so here's a quick news in brief wrap from the early stages of today's play:

- Andre Akkari doubles up
The Team PokerStars Pro member from Brazil got an early boost to his chances here, taking five pots down without a showdown to get up to the 90,000 mark. The last of these, he confided, involved aces and a jack-high board. But he never had to show. That's poker.


- Rivered quads
An anguished yelp from table fourteen could mean only one thing: a bad beat, and they don't come much worse than a rivered one-outer. Pre-flop it was jacks against nines; on the flop, it was set over set. The money goes in, and Trevor Williams, the PokerStars qualifier holding the nines, is half-way to the beach. But the river brought the last nine in the deck, and David Lacoste, whose jacks had been cracked, was squealing.

- Noah Boeken in good company. Again.
Noah, the Team PokerStars Pro member from Holland, celebrated his 27th birthday yesterday by finding himself next to team-mate Hevad Khan. Today, after a redraw, he's a couple of seats down from another member of Team PokerStars Pro, former World Champion Tom McEvoy.

- Table of death develops
After the flurry of early all-ins, a few tables were broken, and the players scattered among the remaining field. Among those on the move was Eric "Rizen" Lynch, and he found his way to the table already featuring William Thorsson and Thierry Van Den Burg, fiercely aggressive EPT regulars from Sweden and Holland, respectively. Fireworks will no doubt ensue.

- Chris Moneymaker's reputation precedes him
No matter how many big hands he shows down, no one believe Chris Moneymaker, and that suits him fine. He bet out 17,000 on a board of 3d-8s-2s-9c-9d and was called by an evident disbeliever in Robert Wisiak, next to him. Moneymaker flipped his 9-7h and added a few more chips to his stack.


- Arnaud Mattern misses out
The most recent EPT champion, Arnaud Mattern, who won in Prague last month, will not be claiming back to back titles. He found jacks, his opponent found kings, and it won't be Mattern who becomes the first ever two-time winner. Julian Thew remains in the hunt, but is scratching the felt with about 16,000.

- Liebert's day is done
Kathy Liebert headed straight to the cash tables after busting from the tournament. Her departure leaves just a handful of women in the PCA field: Team PokerStars Pro's Isabelle Mercier among them. Two of the other remaining female players, Wilhelmina Detz and Rosamelia Ferreira, are seated next to one another.

- Brenes busted
The very latest news is that Humberto Brenes is out. He was busted by David "The Dragon" Pham.

All photos © Neil Stoddardt