2011 PCA $25K High Roller: Day 1, levels 5 & 6 updates (300-600, 75 ante)

PCA-2010-thumbnail.jpg6.35pm: Moritz Kranich takes chip lead into the break
That's the end of level six. There will now be a 15-minute break. One man who will enjoy it most is Moritz Kranich, a former EPT Deauville and WPT Bellagio Cup winner. He's the first man to top 200,000 today. -- SY

6.30pm: Jaka gets the message
Fazaz Jaka opened under the gun with a 1,300 bet and it was folded around to Masa Kagawa on the button. Call. They saw a 2♣[10s]5♣ flop and Jaka check-called Kagawa's 1,800 bet. He then check-called Kagawa's 3,500 bet on the A♠ turn. But he finally got the message and check-folded when the man from Japan bet 6,500 on the 2♦ river. -- SY

6:17pm: Deeb doubles
Juan Maceriras and and Shaun Deen got tangled up in a pot and saw a flop of Q♦3♦4♠. Deeb checked, Maceriras bet 1,575. Deeb raised to 5,500, and Maceriras moved all-in, well covering Deeb. Deeb shrugged, called, and tabled 3♥4♥ for the flopped two pair. Maceriras had K♦9♦, turned a king, and then rivered his diamond. His problem: it was the 4♦ and gave Deen a full house. Deeb is back up over 40,000 now. --BW

6pm: Adios, Ramos
Felipe Ramos is out, his A-K hitting an ace on the turn - but unfortunately for him his opponent had made a set of sixes on the flop.

Also out recently was Friend of PokerStars Pierre Neuville. -- SY


Pierre Neuville

5.55pm: Julius sees her
Sandra Naujoks raised to 1,500 before Kyle Julius re-raised to 3,800 from the button. Call. On the 3♦2♠K♠ flop, Naujoks bet 3,500 and Julius called. Both then checked the J♦ turn, and on the 3♠ river Naujoks checked then folded when Julius bet 6,250. She's down to around 28,000. -- SY

5:50pm: 124 remain
We believe the field topped out at 137 today. After five hours of play, 124 of those players remain. Not among them? 2010 WSOP runner-up Joseph Cheong. Last we saw him, he was leaning against the rail and chatting with Erik Seidel. --BW

5:43pm: Annnnd ElkY's out
Just minutes after losing a frustrating pot to William Reynolds, ElkY gave the rest of his stack to last year's champion. We're told ElkY shoved it in with ace-queen versus Reynold's ace-king and couldn't improve for the suckout. --BW

5:40pm: Pantaleo busts Duthie, takes chip lead
Giuseppe Pantaleo now sits with around 160,000 and the chip lead. He'd been rising steadily throughout the early levels, but busting Team PokerStars Pro John Duthie just now gave him a nice boost. He takes up the story:

"Nick Schulman raised to 900 and there were two callers including John and I called with Q♠7♠ in the big blind. The flop was [7][6][2] and I bet 2,300 and John called. The turn was a queen giving me two pair and I checked, so did John. Then the river was another queen and I bet 7,400. Now John shoved for his last 10,000 or so and I obviously called with a full house. John had kings."

Thanks for the explanation! -- SY

5:38pm: In the game (for a moment)
We tend not to see Alex Kravchenko (49,000 chips) involved in many pots, but he just raised from under the gun to 1,200. Then the player next to him raised to 3,300 and when it was folded back around to the Russian, he folded as well. -- SY

5:37pm: Reynolds pecking away at ElkY
ElkY and Williams Reynolds saw a flop of Q♥9♦4♦, at which ElkY led for 1,775. Reynolds raised to 4,600 from the button and ElkY called. Both players checked the K♠ on the turn. The river, 5♦ drew another check from ElkY, but Reynolds insisted on a bet of 8,600. ElkY didn't look pleased but eventually tossed out the call. Reynolds turned over Q♣9♣, good against whatever ElkY shoved into the muck. --BW

5:22pm: Duthie triples up!
Please note, the exclamation point atop this post as a mark of a sad attempt at irony. John Duthie did, in fact, manage to triple up just now with A♥K♥ versus A♣Q♣ and T♠T♣. The problem was this: his aline was for 10% of a starting stack. He still has a long way to go. --BW

5.10pm: Veldhuis takes chip lead
Team PokerStars Pro Lex Veldhuis has taken the chip lead with a stack of around 140,000. Thanks to the power of Twitter, we can get this info from both sides of the story:

@RasZi (Lex Veldhuis): Busted charder QQ vs JJ. Had just 6bet shoved succesfully to @farazjaka1 and other online kid in a sick spot. Have 140k now in 200-400/50a

@RealCharder30 (Christian Harder): Busto 6 bet Raszi with JJ and lost to QQ. Could have flatted his 3 bet but I thought hed 5 bet me light a lot. Meh, pretty disappointed :(

Gotta love Twitter. -- SY


Lex Veldhuis

5.05pm: Brenes gives nothing away
Humberto Brenes got in a hefty pre-flop raising war with Vanessa Rousso which ended with him moving all-in for his last 46,700. Rousso went deep, deep into the tank. She removed her cap, fiddled with her hair and then stared down her fellow Team PokerStars Pro, who was taking a sip from his fizzy drink.

"You know, I was told if someone takes a drink they are bluffing."
Brenes took another sip.


Bluffing? Humberto Brenes and Vanessa Rousso

Rousso was no closer to making a decision. A call would leave her only 20,000 behind. She counted out her stack once more... and folded.

Brenes slowly slid his cards into the muck and raked in the pot. He's up to 70,000. -- SY


5:03pm: Fernandez doubles through World Cup fighter
As the World Cup of Poker plays out a few feet away from the $25,000 High Roller, Leonid Bilokur is multi-tabling both events. Now, he may soon have more time to fight for his native Ukraine. Leo Fernandez just turned the nuts against Bilokur with A♥4♥ on a 6♥8♣Q♥2♥9♦ board. Bilokur is now down to less than 10,000 in chips.

4:50pm: Vanessa "Athena" Rousso?
So, Vanessa Rousso has shown up today with a Starbucks cup in front of her. No big surprise there, but the name scrawled across the top of it is "Athena." Now, we've heard Rousso called many things, but Athena is a new one. We first started to make a lot of assumptions, the most fun being that Rousso has created an alter ego for herself and checks into hotels (and Starbucks) as "Athena the Goddess of War." Further investigation, however, has revealed that Rousso employs an executive assistant named Athena. This first begs the question of whether Rousso is actually employing the Goddess of War. Further, it makes us wonder why Team Blog hasn't yet been afforded an assistant beyond the occasional services of Alex Villegas. We'd take a lesser goddess if Athena is busy getting coffee.--BW


Vanessa Rousso

4:48pm: Mortensen dismissed
Though the details are few, we can confirm that Carlos Mortensen has been eliminated from the event after his pocket kings were cracked by a set of queens. --BW


4:44pm: Welcome to the table, Shaun
If we were the type of people to try to identify a table of death in this field (every one is, really), we'd probably pick the one featuring William Reynolds, Viktor Blom, Sandra Naujoks, ElkY, Juan Maceiras, and Josh Arieh. Now Shaun Deeb has joined the table and immediately started tangling with ElkY. The Team Pro raised it up to 900 and Deeb called out of the big blind. Deeb then check-called a 1,225 bet on a 5♣4♠7♥ flop. Deeb check-called 2700 on the T♣ turn and then 6,600 on the 3♥ river. ElkY turned over 7♠5♠ for two pair and the win. --BW

4.35pm: Half way there
Players are returning from their break to blinds of 200-400 and a 50 ante. The board still shows 137 of them entered this thing, but I fancy it'll be one or two more than that.

At any rate, we've lost a fair few, and top of the pile appears to be Tony Gregg on nearly 130,000. Still in, and on around 50,000, is Viktor Blom (see pic below).

We've got half-way through the day, which means that given a fair wind we might get out of here in time for a quick cocktail at the PokerStars party tonight. -- SY


Viktor 'Isildur1' Blom

PokerStars Blog reporting team (in order of mess in front of desks): Brad Willis (three cans, one plate, one supersize cup), Simon Young (three cups, one supersize cup), Alex Villegas (one supersize cup which is bigger than him), Joe Giron (squeaky clean)