2009 PCA: Level 27 updates

Real-time updates from Level 27 of the 2009 PCA are brought to you by Howard Swains, Paul 'Dr. Pauly' McGuire, Stephen Bartley, and Brad Willis. Click refresh to see the latest updates.

Levels are 75 minutes long and blinds are 60,000-120,000 (15,000).

5.35pm: Chips for dinner.

The remaining players have been granted a 30 minute dinner break. Play will resume then. When they return it will be to stacks looking like this...

Poorya Nazari - 13,590,000
Benny Spindler - 10,435,000
Anthony Gregg - 2,865,000

Meanwhile, take a peek at Team PokerStars Pro Humberto Brenes and some lucky PokerStars qualifiers swimming with sharks dolphins here at Atlantis.

Watch PCA 09: Humberto and Qualifiers swim with the dolphins on PokerStars.tv

5.32pm: And action hand to end the level.

After a spell of nothing to report, and with just six minutes remaining on the level, Benny Spindler won a hand pre-flop with aces after Gregg and Nazari got involved. But it was the next hand that would change Spindler's fortunes the most.

Gregg made it 245,000 from the button. Spindler called in the small blind and Nazari did the same in the big for a flop of Kc-Js-7d. Spindler then made it 250,000 and again Nazari and Gregg called. Things kicked off on the turn. A 3h and a bet of 550,000 from Spindler followed. Nazari raised, 1,450,000 in total, which hadn't been counted before Gregg folded his hand. Spindler called for a river card 8c.


Spindler now checked before Nazari moved all-in. Spindler could only smile to himself as Nazari's chips were counted out - an all-in for 4,590,000. With the clock on empty this would be the last hand of the level. Spindler opted to call - a huge pot. Nazari held Kh-8s, making two pairs on the river ahead of Spindler's Ks-3s and moves into the chip lead.

5:22pm--Passive Play Three-Way

Action has slowed down considerably. The pre-flop aggressor has been taking down the blinds and antes. And if there happens to be a flop, whoever bets first at it has been winning. On the last hand, Poorya Nazari raised 300,000 from the button and Benny Spindler called from the small blind. Tony Gregg folded his big blind. The flop was 10s-9s-5d and both players checked. The turn was the 7h. Nazari fired out 390,000. Spindler folded and Nazari won the pot.

5:14pm--Temporary stalemate

After the huge Spindler-Gomes hand, the remaining three players are eschewing the original insanity and playing a tighter game. Based on previous experience, simply typing the previous sentence means something big is bound to happen soon.

4:50pm: The day of Anthony Gregg?

One of the three remaining players in the PCA main event is Anthony Gregg. Earlier on he spoke with the video blog team about his hopes for today...

Watch PCA 09: Tony Gregg on PokerStars.tv

4:42pm--Cooler of the night sends Gomes to rail

Alex Gomes came in for a raise to 305,000 and Benny Spindler made the call. The flop came down Jd-Jh-Js. "Rigged," somebody joked.

Gomes didn't care. He led for 535,000. Spindler refused to back down. He made it 1,350,000 to play. Gomes called. The turn was the 5s. Gomes checked and Spindler made it two million to play. Gomes struggled. His attitude was reminiscent of the hand he played last night when he held pocket aces against Kevin Saul.


Finally, Gomes announced all-in. Spindler couldn't call fast enough. He turned up Kc-Js. Gomes held Ah-Ac. Both players had deep stacks. Spindler now holds a huge chip lead with nearly 17 million.


Gomes finished in fourth place, earning $750,000. The three remaining players are all guaranteed a million dollar payout.

"You're smiling. That's amazing," said EPT hostess Kara Scott in a interview immediately after the hand.

"That's poker," said Gomes with a big smile. "It was a cooler of a hand. Benny played it very well. I put him on nines or tens. He's a very good player."


Watch the Gomes exit interview in full...

Watch PCA 09: Gomes Bust Interview with Kara on PokerStars.tv

4:35pm: Aren't you the man they call 'Humberto'?

The cameras spin round for a glimpse of Team PokerStars Pro Humberto Brenes arriving at the stage. But we heard him before we saw him.

"Brasil! Brasil!" cried Brenes from the wings, pinning his allegiances to Gomes and getting an "Hum-Berto! Hum-Berto!" in response from the Brazilian rail, that in truth didn't need any help making more noise.

4:30pm--Tielen to tie one on

Pieter Tielen was happy, but had a familiar 1,000-yard stare common among people who have busted from big events. EPT presenter Kara Scott had to chase him across the room. "Drag me back in, sure," Tielen said, donning an orange stocking cap worn by his supporters. "It's a nice color. It's the national Dutch color!"

Tielen made it here by way of a $3 satellite that led to a $33 qualifier to the PCA. His total cost for getting here: $33. "Nice investment, huh?" he remarked. "It still has to sink in."


Now $550,000 richer, Tielen plans to play some more live events in the future. In the meantime, he's going to go out on the town for a few cocktails.

"That's the first thing I'm going to do is take everyone out," he said. "I was cutting back on the drinks, but now I'm not going to do that."

If you're thirsty and in Nassau tonight, look for a bunch of guys in orange hats. You can probably get a few Bahama Mamas on the cheap.

4:20pm--Pieter Tielen Eliminated in 5th Place ($550,000)

Benny Spindler raised 300,000 from UTG. Action folded around to Pieter Tielen in the big blind. Tielen announced that he was all in. Spindler had him covered and called with 8c-8h. Tielen was behind with Ac-Qh. The flop was 10h-7c-6d. The turn was the 5s and the river was the Kd. Spindler won the hand when his pocket eights held up and the young German knocked out another player.


Pieter Tielen from Holland went out in 5th place and collected $550,000.

4:17pm: Cameras, action!

Get too close to the final table here at the PCA and you'll likely be wrestled away by a floor manager, if you haven't already tripped over the camera wires, before you can ask who the chip leader is. That is unless your name is Greg Raymer.

The Team PokerStars Pro dropped in to ask who the chip leader was, shortly before his shift in the EPTLive commentary booth, getting the attention of the cameras, dressed in a standard Bahamian tourist uniform of pastel coloured shirt and shorts.

It's the same for everyone on the rail with a few exceptions looking to get some similar attention.

If you're Brazilian you're wearing your national colours of yellow and if Dutch, railing Peter Tielen, you're sweating under the TV lights in orange woollen hats. Then there's the other exception of Marianella, the Costa Rican PokerStars presenter, dressed in elegant black evening wear. In hindsight, Greg never stood a chance.

4:11pm--Dirksen to celebrate quietly and with a smile

Upon his exit from the stage, the man known online as JohnSmiley1 was appropriately all smiles. He praised his fellow final table players, declaring them all good in their own way. Upon stepping out of the television lights, Dirsksen's smile didn't disappear, but he did remark, "Well, that sucked." He declared the day "my ten seconds of fame." When told he would be back for another final table, he was confident. "For sure," he said.

His friends asked if he was going to out and party tonight. "I only like it when it's my party," he joked.

4:01pm--Dustin Dirksen Eliminated in 6th Place ($400,000)

Benny Spindler opened for a 300,000 raise. Dustin Dirksen popped it up to 825,000. Spindler moved all in (for around 4 million total) and had Dirksen covered. Dirksen called all in for approximately 3 million or so. Spindler tabled 10s-10c and was ahead of Dirksen's Ad-Kd. The flop was Qh-Jh-Js. The turn was the 6d and the river was the 3h. Spindler's tens held up and Dirksen headed to the rail in 6th place.


The American collected $400,000 for his work this week in the Bahamas. Down to five players. Spindler increased his stack to over 7 million and has taken over the chiplead.

3:58pm--My kingdom for a flop

It took more than ten minutes into this level to see our first flop. It came in a battle of the blinds on a 9d-4h-Ah flop. Poorya Nazari bet 165,000 and Tony Gregg called. ON a 6c turn Poorya checked and Gregg bet 295,000. Nazari called. The Js river drew a 510,000 bet from Nazari. Gregg folded. While that is not exceptionally interesting...the very next hand--going on at this second--is a lot more exciting. Standby for a Dustin Dirksen elimination.


Players are just returning from the break and they will find these chip stacks in front of them:

Poorya Nazari - 6,985,000
Alexandre Gomes - 6,540,000
Benny Spindler - 4,105,000
Anthony Gregg - 3,750,000
Dustin Dirksen - 3,280,000
Pieter Tielen - 2,130,000

3:35pm--Players on break

We're heading into Level 27 with six players remaining. Players will be back in their seats in a few minutes.