2011 PCA main event: Day 1A, level 5 & 6 updates (blinds 200-400, 50 ante)

6:37pm: Dinner break
The players are now on a 75-minute dinner break. Play will resume around 8pm. --BW

6:36pm: Showing the young gun
Phil Ivey has shown young gun Jake Cody a thing or two by doubling-up through him. The two were heads-up to a 3♦4♠2♠ flop where Ivey (small blind) check-raised Cody's (dealer) 2,100 bet up to 6,200. Cody called to see the 3♥ turn where he tank-called Ivey's 10,000 bet. The river came J♦ and Cody called when Ivey committed his final 9,575 chips.

Ivey tabled 4♥4♣ for a full house and the pot. He's up to around 58,000 whereas Cody drops to 22,000. -- MC

6:35pm: Leo Fernandez on on the move

All 36,500 of Team PokerStars Pro Leo Fernandez' chips were in on a J♦K♠2♠6♦ board. The story of how we got to this point is short, but filled with action.

Amadou Romero open raised to 2,025 and action was folded around to Fernandez. Fernandez re-raised to 7,050 and Romero called. After the flop fell both players check. It was on the turn where Fernandez made his move and Romero tanked.

Fernandez had Romero covered, the call would put his tournament life at risk. Aware of his situation, Romero removed his headphones and thought. Hard. Romero flipped over a K♥ and slowly pushed his hand into the muck, holding on to his hand till the very last second.

Fernandez showed no cards or emotions and raked in the pot. He's now up to 43,000.

6:27pm: The brothers De Meulder
The hand itself turned out to be pretty boring and not worth reporting, but three members of the media stood around the table looking at at a player. They knew his last name, and had a 50/50 shot at his first. "I think it's Matthias," said the nearly-always-correct Gloria Balding. I refused to guess. If you don't know Christophe and Matthias de Meulder are twin brothers. It's the type of thing we have to deal with from time to time (see, Lerner, Derek and Aaron), but never with such difficulty as the brothers De Meulder. When our man finally folded, Balding took the initiative and leaned in. Turns out it's Christophe, which means Balding has burned her one incorrect assumption of the month. --BW

6.15pm: Ivey all-in
Phil Ivey will be hanging around a little while longer (at least) as his all-in bet got through against Bruno Francesco. The turn was out to give the board a J♦7♥6♣Q♥ look and around 6,500 chips had made it into the middle. Ivey was sat in the big blind and checked to face a 4,400 bet from Francesco that he treated to a 15,225 all-in bet. Francesco thought for a while before sliding his cards in to the muck. Ivey up to around 27,000 in chips. -- MC

6.05pm: Made in Holland
A bizarre hand just played out between fellow Dutch players Rien Wijermars and Paul Berende. Wijermars raised from the button to face a big blind three-bet from Berende. His answer was to four-bet only for Berende to five-bet to 25,000, enough to cover Wijermars' remaining 22,000. Then there was silence as everybody watched on Wijermars as he made the decision (or so we thought) for his tournament life. Five minutes passed by before a third party at the table called the clock. A floor man came over and counted down the minute and declared Wijermars' hand dead. The dealer took Wijermars cards and handed the pot to Berende.

"What's going on?" asked as a very confused looking Wijermars.

It turned out that Wijermars somehow though the decision and the subsequent clock calling was all aimed at Berende and not himself. It was too late for anything to be reversed and a very relieved Berende, especially after Wijermars revealed he had kings and would've called, kept the chips. -- MC

5.55pm: Serial man out
Pierre Neuville, the Friend of PokerStars and Serial PokerStars Qualifier, is out. "I had a consistently bad day," he said as he wandered out of the tournament room. -- SY

5.50pm: Double for Tran
JC Tran has doubled up to a slightly more comfortable 24,000 after his 7♣7♠ made a set on a 4♣7♦2♠ flop. A player had bet 2,000, Tran had called and Team PokerStars Pro Chad Brown bumped it up to 6,000. The original better moved all-in - as did Tran - and Brown got out of the way. He would have been up against a pair of aces and also Tran's set.

In the event, the turn was 9♠ and river K♠ to keep the set ahead. Brown is going along quietly with around 32,000. -- SY

5.35pm: LEVEL UP: Blinds 200-400, 50 ante

5.30pm: Negreanu's needling
Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu is heads-up against Eugene Katchalov in the Super High Roller event. The $1,000,000 guaranteed for 2nd is the minimum place he needed to finish to overtake a certain Mr. Phil Ivey at the top of the all-time tournament earnings list. It wasn't lost on Negreanu that Ivey is playing in the main event so just before his heads-up battle was about to commence he wandered over to Ivey to let him know the situation. Ivey was in the middle of losing a hand but still managed a wry smile. -- MC

PCA 2011_10K Main Event_Day 1A_Ngreanu_Ivey.jpg

Negreanu needles Ivey

5.25pm: Shaky foundations?
Jake Cody seemed surprised to see his opponent check the turn and river with his holding (4♠4♣). Cody had called a pre-flop raise and a c-bet on the A♥4♥3♦ flop before checking behind on the 3♠9♥ turn and river. Cody's cards quickly hit the muck on the showdown of his opponent's full house and he's down to 28,000 chips. -- MC

5:20pm: No hat for Hoyt
A short editorial message: When Hoyt Corkins trades his cowboy hat for a baseball cap, it shifts the balance of the universe in the wrong direction. If you're friends with Mr. Corkins, please advise him that he's making me feel uncomfortable. --BW

PCA 2011_10K Main Event_Day 1A_Hoyt_Corkins.jpg

A fairy just died somewhere

5:15pm: Ramdin gets Boosted
it was three ways to a A♣5♠T♥ flop with Victor Ramdin in position. After two checks to him, he made it 2,000 to play. Only Justin "Boosted J" Smith called. On the K♦ turn, Smith check-called Ramdin's 2,700 bet. Both players checked the irrelevant river. Smith turned over A♣Q♣. Ramdin just shook his head and pushed his cards face-down into the muck. No worries for Ramdin. It was a smallish pot and he still has a playable stack. --BW

5.15pm: Minieri loses huge pot
A little earlier we told you how Dario Minieri would invariably build up an early big stack only to lose it just as fast. And that's exactly what he's just gone and done, semi-bluffing his way out of 38,000 to Dan 'Lenny' Heimiller.

I picked up the action on a [10c]7♣5♣8♠ board where, with around 16,000 in the pot already, Minieri had shoved, covering Heimiller who had that 38,000 behind. Minieri then went on the speech play in typical fashion.

"You have outs, maybe, but fold. I will show. I want you to fold! I think I am ahead but I have a bad feeling. I have a very bad feeling. You must fold," he said.

Heimiller, who is far too old and wise to fall for any trickery, replied: "Trouble is, not only do I have outs I also feel I may be ahead anyway."

"No! Don't do it. I have a bad feeling. You are not pot committed. Count the pot! Take your time."

"There's another tournament tomorrow," Heimiller said. "I can play another."

"Not as big as this one. This is the Main Event," pleaded the Italian.

"Sorry, I have to call."

Heimiller: J♣J♦ for overpair and flush draw
Minieri: 3♣9♥ for open-ended straight draw and losing flush draw

"I have a very bad hand," Minieri said. And it got worse as the river was A♣, filling up Heimiller's flush. He moved up to more than 80,000, Minieri was left with 21,000. -- SY


Dario Minieri

5.05pm: Some numbers
Well, one number. We have an official field today of 647. Tomorrow will be much bigger (in traditional fashion), so we could be looking at anything up to 1,700 total. That is biiiig. -- SY

5.02pm: Run good time over
PokerStars qualifier Dominik Nitsche had a great end to 2010 by final tabling and cashing in numerous live and online tournaments. He admitted to running really well during the period, as well as playing well of course. His run good time has officially come to an end (for now) here in the Bahamas.

He was cruising until he ran pocket kings into pocket aces for a 70,000 pot and then he got his last 4,000 chips in with pocket aces but ran into, wouldn't you know it, pocket aces again. Good game mate. -- MC

4.53pm: Doubting one's ability
Eric Froehlich just caused Stephen Chidwick to doubt his own ability after check-shoving on him on the river. Froehlich raised from mid-position and was only called by Chidwick in the cut-off to go to a 5♣9♥3♠ flop. Froehlich check-called a 1,500 bet here and a 3,500 bet on the 2♠ turn. The river came 7♠ and it looked as though Froehlich was happy to check-call again when he checked but he had other ideas in mind.

Chidwick took longer than the other two streets to fire his third bullet and when he did, for 4,000, his American opponent picked up a big pile of chips and moved all-in. Chidwick had 25,000 back and this was the shorter, effective stack. The young Brit stared at his opponent for a while and folded saying "I'm no good at this game". Froehlich is up to 55,000 chips as a result. --MC

4:43pm: Boeken gets his answer, walking papers
You might remember our earlier report in which Boeken laid down a queen high flush (second nuts) to Corey Burbick. At the time Burbick didn't reveal his hand. Short-stacked, Boeken just got it all in with A♠7♦. Burbick (otherwise known as Comandr_Cool) was there again, this time with pocket jacks. The all-heart flop had a jack right in the middle of it. All but drawing dead, Boeken stood and watched the board run out his inevitable demise. Boeken couldn't help himself. He turned to Burbick and asked, "Did you bluff me?" Burbick shook his head. "No. I had king-ten (diamonds)." That would've been the nuts. So, Boeken can comfort himself in having made the right laydown, despite it all being moot now anyway. --BW


Boeken in happier times

4.35pm: You want more?
Then more poker you shall have. This is the start of level five. We'll do this and level six before taking a dinner break of 75 minutes.

As players settle back in their seats, they'll be playing blinds of 150-300 with, for the first time, an ante of 25.

Here is how some chips looked a little earlier. -- SY


PokerStars Blog reporting team (in order of carbs consumed so far): Brad Willis (buckets), Marc Convey (tubs), Alex Villegas (whatever is in rum and coke), Simon Young (none - carb-free diet since yesterday morning)