2011 PCA $5,000 Bounty Shootout: Day 1, level 1, 2 & 3 updates (blinds 2000-400, ante 50)

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2.05pm: Break time
It's a fifteen-minute break and we only have one player through to the next round and it's Dario Minieri.* Hardly the biggest surprise now. -- RD

* I've just realised he's heads up and not through yet, but come on, why delay the inevitable?

2.04pm: Better to be lucky than good
Team PokerStars Pro Dario Mineri just said "I've never run so good, playing so bad" as he knocked out Matt Affleck. Affleck held pocket nines on a [j][9][2] flop to Mineri's [10][2] but the Italian hit running cards to make a straight. He's now heads-up versus Henrik Tollefsen and if he manages to win the table he will have knocked out every single player at his table. -- MC

2.02pm: Two kings.....not
Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu is back up to just under starting stack after doubling-up through Al Levon Grimes. Grimes raised to 1,100 from the cut-off before Negreanu moved all-in for 11,725 from the button. Grimes dwelled over his decision before calling. "Two kings" said Negreanu.

"Uh-oh" said Grimes as he tabled K♦Q♥ but Negreanu was chuckling as he had been
a little sparing with the truth as he tabled 3♥3♥. The board ran 2♥5♠4♣8♠6♥ to make Negreanu a straight. -- MC

1.52pm: Blom's gone
Team PokerStars Pro Viktor Blom is out. He was down to 7,000 and managed to double-up through James Demspey but just a couple of hands later he ran kings straight into the aces of Cliff D. Josephy. Ouch. -- MC


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Viktor 'Isildur1' Blom


1.45pm: Turbo table; Dyer and Ladny already heads up
Greg Dyer and Eric Ladny are the first players to make it heads up and no sooner than they found themselves equally stacked did they stop to discuss a deal. I think 65/35 was mentioned but whether that number stuck I couldn't be a 100% sure.

Either way, the dealer was left sitting glassy-eyed off to one side, given another 30 seconds I think she would have nodded off. -- RD

1.40pm: Two-pair good
Cliff D. Josephy managed to eek out two streets of value versus James Dempsey. He raised to 900 from under-the-gun and Dempsey called from the small blind to see the 2♣2♥8♣ flop. The Brit went into check-call mode with a Josephy 1,600 bet here and a 2,800 bet on the 3♥ turn. The river came T♣ and both players checked. "Two-pair" said Josephy and tabled J♥8♥. It was good as Dempsey mucked to drop to 20,000 whereas Josephy is up to 24,000. -- MC

1.28pm: General info
Today's $5,000 Bounty Shootout has been a sell-out with 36 tables packed full with 216 players. In case you don't know how a shootout works (come one, it's easy); One player will progress through from each table to the next round of six tables and those will go through to the final table.

Tomorrow will take place over two flights, one starting at 12 noon and the other at 7pm. Thanks TV people, you've ruined our day. -- RD

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 200-400, ANTE 50


1.24pm: Spinning it up
Toby Lewis was down to 425 chips after flopped a straight-flush-draw missed versus an opponent's top two-pair. Never one to be defeated he has now managed to turn that into 24,000 chips - just below starting stack. Not bad! -- MC

1.20pm: Old master Minieri
An 'old master' is the term for a European painter of great renown and quality; when it comes to sit-and-gos Dario Minieri certainly falls into that category. There are two empty seats at his table and a suspiciously large stack of chips in front of the little Italian. Peter Gould and Chad Brown are the players missing, painted out of existence by Minieri.

Matt Affleck, Henrik Tollesfsen and Jack Salter are the remaining players facing the bad news. -- RD


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Not-so-old master Dario Minieri


1.17pm: Dyer day for Weisner
Melanie Weinser is out after her aces were cracked by Greg Dyer's pocket eights. She three-bet Dyer who called to see the 8♦4♦2♠ flop. All the chips went in and the New Yorker failed to overcome Dyer's top set. -- MC

1.13pm: Queso grilled
Jim Collopy is out after back shoving with pocket fives but running into Márton Czuczor's jacks. Collopy started the hand with a raise to 700 from the hijack before the Hugarian three-bet to 2,050 from the small blind. Colloppy shoved for 14,600 and Czuczor snapped his hand off with his J♠J♦. Collopy tabled his 5♥5♦ but failed to hit through the 9♥3♠9♦6♣8♥ board. -- MC

1.05pm: Kravchenko taking an early lead
Alex Kravchenko is off to a flier after stacking fellow Team PokerStars Pro Florian Langmann and seems to be playing an uncharacteristically loose game because of it. I haven't seen him lose a pot yet. He does, however, have ElkY two seats to his right and we all know about him. An unknown quantity to most is Dean Lyall who is sandwiched between the two.

I first came across Lyall at the UKIPT Manchester final table, which he probably should have won unfortunately Lyall got absolutely smashed on RedBull vodkas to the extent that he could barely pick up his cards. He was the closest I've ever seen anyone coming to getting disqualified from a final table. Suffice to say, he's a livewire and could be a thorn in the side of Kravchenko who he has position on. -- RD


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Big picturem big stack


12.55pm: Big Binger
Time for a bit of action from the older Binger brother, Michael. He raised to 700 from under-the-gun and was called by Team PokerStars Pro Victor Ramdin and James Mackey in the blinds. The flop came down J♦5♥7♥ and Binger c-bet for 1,300 only to face a check-raise up to 3,500 from Ramdin. Mackey folded but Binger made the call. The 6♣6♥ turn and river were checked down and Ramdin tabled 8♣8♦ but lost out to Binger's K♦J♠. -- MC

12.45pm: Binger does the damage before Pezzin goes in for the kill
Justin Bonomo is the second player to fall today. His was crippled down to 1,500 after getting all his chips in with ace-king but running into Nick Binger's pocket rockets. Then Team PokerStars Pro Pat Pezzin came in and took the rest and the $1,000 bounty chip. He really should go halves on that with Binger but I doubt he will. -- MC

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 150-300, ANTE 25


12.35pm: Raymer on Moneymaker
Nick Binger opened the pot under-the-gun for 500 and was called in two spots, first by Sean Lefort in the cut-off and then Greg Raymer in the big blind. Raymer and Binger checked and Lefort bet 1,025. Raymer mucked and Binger called.

Binger check-called 1,425 on the T♠ turn before both players checked the 6♥ river. Lefort showed A♥J♥ and Binger T♥J♣ for top two.

After mucking Raymer had started talking to Justin Bonomo about Chris Moneymaker's second place chip stack in the final 22 of the main event and the fact that the PCA final table is going to shown live with hole cards and all. "It's one of those things," pondered Raymer, "that if it's not me, you should want it to be Chris."

Moneymaker's WSOP win was attributed as a key factor in the explosion of online poker, could he be there for another major moment of poker history? -- RD


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Greg Raymer: champ on champ


12.25pm: Langmann plays hangman
Team PokerStars Pro Florian Langmann is the first player out today after falling to fellow Team Pro Alex Kravchenko. There was a cut-off raise to 525 that Kravchenko called from the button before Langmann three-bet to 2,000 from the small blind. The original raiser called but Kravchenko was having none of it and four-bet to 5,200. Langmann went all-in and Kravchenko called.

Langmann tabled A♦K♦ to the Russian's pocket nines and the board ran [t][t][9][k][q]. Langmann hit his king but it was no match for Kravchenko's flopped full-house. -- MC

12.05pm: Cards are in the air
Play is underway in the Bounty Shootout. Every player starts with 25,000 chips and a bounty chip. If a player knocks another out they claim the chip and can exchange it for a cool $1,000.

12pm: Start delayed
There has been a lot of last minute juggling around with the field as some players have unregistered due to illness, sunstroke, still in other events or the like. Those seats are being filled in with suitable alternates as we write. We'll have a full player list after play begins. For now, here is a list of players we can spot from our vantage point:

Team Poker Stars Pro Jude Ainsworth
Team Poker Stars Pro Florian Langmann
Team PokerStars Pro Anh Van Nguyen
Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akari
Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier
Toby Lewis
Kevin MacPhee
Daniel Alaei
Chino Rheem
Cater Phillips
Greg Dyer
Allen Kessler
Jeff Madsen
Ricky Forenbach
Nick Binger

11.30am: Bounty shootout revving up
The $5,000 bounty shootout is getting ready to go. There's a 216 player cap across 36 tables. We'll play three rounds across three days. Full details to come.

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Oh think twice, it's just another day in paradise


PokerStars Blog reporting team in the Bahamas (in order of freshness): Marc Convey (mountain daisy) and Rick Dacey (old fridge).