2011 PCA $25K High Roller: Day 1, level 3 & 4 updates (150-300, 25 ante))

PCA-2010-thumbnail.jpg4:18pm: Level ends
We have reached the halfway point of the day. The players are out for a 15-minute break. We'll be starting a new post on the front page of the blog.

4.10pm: Are you a champion?
The board was 6♦9♠A♦5♣ and Joe Hachem was all-in for around 20,000 with A♥Q♦. When the 4♥ river hit the felt, the Australian Team PokerStars Pro, who won the WSOP in 2005, let out a horrified shriek, believing that he had been rivered and was out.

"Wait, you still win," he was told.
"How do I win?" insisted Hachem.

Another look revealed his opponent, Simoes Mesqueu from Brazil, still only had one smaller pair with 3♠6♠ and had NOT made a straight on the river.

After hearing the commotion, Freddy Deeb came over from a neighboring table. "You are a champion?" he needled Hachem.

"I really thought in my head that the four had made a straight," he replied.

Hachem now up to more than 40,000. -- SY

4.05pm: Duthie pegged back
After a raise to 700, John Duthie called and Giuseppe Pantaleo, who final tabled EPT Barcelona in Septmeber, re-raised from the small blind to 2,675. Only Duthie called. Both checked the A♣6♥4♥ flop, but on the J♦ turn Pantaleo bet 3,375, Duthie re-raised to 8,500 and the German called.

That put the wind up both of them, and they checked the 8♠ river. A♦[10c] for Pantaleo for a bigger pair than Duthie's 5♠6♠.

"Would you call a bet on the river?" Duthie asked. "Yes."

Duthie is down to 35,000, Pantaleo up to 80,000-- SY

3:59pm: Blom and Naujoks getting bloody
There may be a lot of Team PokerStars Pros in this field, but any sense of camaraderie rode out of here on a dolphin a long time ago. With play folded around to the blind, Viktor Blom made it 800 to play. Sandra Naujoks bumped it to 3,300 out of the big blind. Blom called and they saw a flop of 9♣J♠6♠. Blom checked to Naujoks' 3,500 bet. Then Blom put out a raise to 11,200. Naujoks called. The Q♠ turn completed the flush possibility and drew and immediate 21,775 bet from Blom. Naujoks thought for two minutes before folding. It's nothing if not entertaining. --BW


3:43pm: Stelmak rivered, clinging to felt
Though the details of the action are a matter of mystery, the upshot of the story is this: last year's High Roller final table player Dmitriy Stelmak just has his aces cracked by Rob Akery's pocket nines when a nine hit on the river. Akery is now up around 70,000, while Stelmak is all but gone. "Same dealer as yesterday," Stelmak moaned. --BW


Dmitriy Stelmak

3.45pm: ElkY rivers
ElkY is trying to work his way back up. He opened from the small blind for 775 and Craig Bergeron called from the big. Both checked the 4♣J♣7♦ river, and on the 3♦ turn, ElkY made it 950. Call. The river was K♣ and ElkY bet 2,225 this time, again getting a call. He showed K♦2♦ to take the pot and move back up to 24,000. -- SY

3.40pm: Making noises
Deep into level four, and those emerging at the top of the leaderboard are Tony Gregg on 126,000, Team PokerStars Pro Juan Maceiras on 122,000 and David Baker on 120,000. Gregg likes it here at the PCA - he came fourth in the main event two years ago. -- SY

3:35pm: Maceiras puts hurtin' on ElkY
Viktor Blom as he is wont to do, opened to 700. ElkY called from the button and Juan Maceiras called in the big blind. On the 4♠3♦8♠ flop, Maceiras checked, Blom bet 1,625, and ElkY called. That's when Maceiras raised to 4,750. Blom got out of the way, but ElkY raised to 8,725. Now it was Maceiras' turn to just call. On the 5♠ turn, Maceiras led for 16,175 and got a call from ElkY. The river was a nine and drew a bet of 21,000 from Maceiras. ElkY again called. Maceiras had turned his flush with J♠T♠ and is now up to 110,000. ElkY meanwhile is down to 24,000--BW


Juan Maceiras

3.21pm: Level up
We're in to level four. Blinds are still 150-300 but a 25 ante has been introduced. -- SY

3:20pm--Deeb smells a Serial Qualifier
It was an admirable bluff on he part of PokerStars Serial Qualifier Pierre Neuville. On a board reading Q♣K♣9♣9♥9♦, Neuville bet out 5,500. Freddy Deed, out of position, must have smelled something funny and made the call. Neuville turned over A♦3♦. Deeb tabled J♣J♦ for the win. --BW


Pierre Neuville

3:18pm--Reynolds doubles through Blom
Give it to Viktor Blom, he's happy to open with anything. The problems start when he makes a hand. In this case, Blom opted under the gun to 800. He only got a call from William Reynolds who sat in the big blind. On a flop of Q♥4♥3♣, Reynolds led for 1,200. Blom casually tossed out 3,050.

Reynolds thought for a moment for moving all-in for around 25,000. Blom peeked at his cards one more time then called, quickly turning over 4♠3♠ for the flopped bottom two pair. Reynolds tabled A♥T♥ for the heart flush draw. He got there on the 7♥ turn. Blom couldn't boat up on the river and Reynolds made it back to his starting stack. Blom is now down to around 44,000. --BW

3.17pm: Big chop
Vanessa Rousso and Daniel Alaei had got to the river on a 8♥5♥7♦7♠4♣ board. Rousso bet 7,500, Alaei re-raised to 41,000 and Rousso went into the tank. Eventually she called:

Rousso: 6♦6♥
Alaei: 4♠6♣

Chop it up! -- SY


Daniel Alaei


Vanessa Rousso

3.15pm: Maceiras doubles
"Oh, well played," William Reynolds said to Juan Maceiras. What was not clear was whether he was being genuine or sarcastic.

The board was K♦5♠Q♥ and Reynolds had bet 5,600, called by the Spanish Team PokerStars Pro. The turn was 9♠ and Reynolds bet 9,000, but this time Maceiras counted out his remaining chips and moved all-in - it was for around 24,000. Reynolds called and was shown [10d]J♦ for Maceiras' nut straight.

Reynolds had [a][k] and was drawing dead. Maceiras now up to 65,000 and Reynolds down to 22,000 -- SY

3.12pm: Boeree pays a visit
Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree is busy captaining Team UK in the World Cup of Poker, but she popped over just now to see how the High Roller was getting on. "We're doing OK," she reported of her team's progress. -- SY

PCA 2011_25K High Roller_Day 1_Joe Giron_JGP0337.jpg

Liv Boeree chats up Jason Mercier

3.10pm: The Mortensen hour
Normally we do not spot Carlos Mortensen until Day 2 of a particular event. But today we set ourselves a new record - both Brad Willis and I spotted the Spaniard right here independently in level three. He had just called a bet of 800, then called Andre Akkari's re-raise to 2,000 to see a 3♥J♣[10c] flop. Mortensen checked then folded when Akkari continued his aggression with a bet of 3,700. -- SY

3.06pm: Lodden building
Johnny Lodden is up to 72,000. There was an opening raise to 2,500, called by Christian Harder before Lodden made it 7,050. Only Harder called. The flop was 4♥9♦K♣ and Lodden bet 12,900, enough to force a fold from Harder. -- SY


3.04pm: Flopping the nuts
Leo Fernandez, the Team PokerStars Pro from Argentina, is down to 20,000 after tangling with McClean Karr on a A♥7♥4♥3♣K♠ board. Karr had flopped the nuts with K♥[10h] and that was never likely to end well for Fernandez. -- SY

3.02pm: Hi-tech event
Although mobiles and iPads were forbidden from the Main Event, they are allowed here for the High Roller. Team PokerStars Pros and neighbors here, Joe Hachem and Jason Mercier are both spending time browsing on their iPads as a result. -- SY

3pm: Micah Raskin eliminated
Micah Raskin is no stranger to bigbluffs (see 1:40pm of this post from NAPT LA), so a bluff worth less than 12,000 from Raskin was easy enough for Nick Schulman to call. On a board reading J♠4♣2♥8♠T♣, Raskin moved all in and Shulman called. Raskin had A♥3♥ (aka ace-high), to Schulman's A♦T♥ for the rivered pair. Raskin is now gone. --BW


Micah Raskin

2:54pm: Looking back on 2010
Several of the final table players from last year's $25,000 High Roller event have shown up today to see if they have similar success. Among the players from last year's final table who signed up today: Adolfo Vaeza, champion William Reynolds, Dmitry Stelmak, Tobias Reikemeier, and Matt Marafioti. Reikemeier, it should be noted, has already been eliminated. --BW

2:40pm: Schwartz building back
After falling down beloe the 30,000 mark from his initial 50,000 stack, the notorious Luke Schwartz is making his way back to even. Most recently, he and Super High Roller winner Eugene Katchalov got tangled up in a pot in which Schwartz bet 2,600 on a board reading 5♦K♥J♥4♥. Katchalov made the call and they saw the a ten on the river. Schwartz bet out 8,000 and Katchalov made the call to see Schwartz's 8♥5♥ for the flush. --BW

2:28pm: Schedule amendment
In a slight amendment to the earlier announcement that we'll be playing seven today, it's been revealed that the field will be playing eight levels and finishing around 8:45pm. --BW

2.20pm: Bigger numbers
We're now up to at least 134 players in the High Roller - that's 50 up on last year! -- SY

2:17pm: Players returning from break
With the first two levels of the day behind us, the players are headed back to their seats for

While we wait, he he is a picture of the early day leader, Fernando Britto.


PokerStars Blog $25K reporting team (in order of height): Simon Young; Brad Willis; Joe Giron; Alex Villegas