2011 PCA main event: Day 1B, level 9 & 10 updates (blinds 600-1,200, 100 ante)

PCA-2010-thumbnail.jpg12.05pm: Play ends
That's the end of play, and players are bagging a tagging. Full chip counts will be with you as soon as they are made available, and a full wrap will be with you shortly. -- SY

11:58pm: Champion bluffs champion?
On a flop of 2♣4♥3♦ 2009 WCOOP champ Yevgeniy Timoshenko bet 12,300 and got a call from 2003 WSOP winner Chris Moneymaker. Both players checked the 3♣ turn. When the K♥ came on the river, Timoshenko bet out 24,500. Moneymaker considered his move for a couple of minutes before cutting out 60,000 and moving it forward. Then it was Timoshenko's turn to tank. And tank he did for a very long time. Moneymaker assured him he would show his hand no matter what. It still didn't make Timoshenko's decision any easier. He screwed up his face and seemed to replay the whole hand in his head about a dozen times. Finally, he folded. Moneymaker made good on his promise and showed Timoshenko two black fives. Yup. --BW

11.59pm: Hachem busto
Team PokerStars Pro Joe Hachem has just been eliminatd after failing to catch a monster draw.

Spencer Hudson raised to 2,800 from under-the-gun and Hachem called from the cut-off. Hudson bet 5,000 into the [10c]J♣4♦ flop and Hachem called. An A♦ came on the turn prompting a 12,000 bet from Hachem. Hudson responded by moving all-in.

Hachem called for his remaining 25,000 chips and showed Q♦9♦ for flush and open-ended straight draws. The river was the 7♣, Hachem hit the rail and not his draws. -- AV

11.56pm: Eight more hands
Play had slowed right down as we waited to find out how many hands we'd have to play through. An eight was drawn. Yes, eight. That could take an hour on some of this tables. Hang on in there. -- RD

11.45pm: ElkY and the PCA
Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier won this event three years ago, the year that he was on fire winning $3.6 million in live tournaments. After a small winning year in 2010 with 'just' $478,250 ElkY would love a deep run again here. He's currently on 95,000 after taking another three-bet pot. -- RD

11:40: Isildur1 and the river bet
There are scores of people out there who track the Viktor Blom betting patterns. Here's one for your files: Facing a raise to 3,000, Blom three-bet out of the small blind to 8,000 and got the call. He led for 13,500 on a 2♦Q♠3♣ flop and got the call. The turn 5♦ got a check out both men. Then the river 7♦? How about 57,600 from Blom? Seriously, why not, right? He got no call and resumed his chip-stacking. --BW

11:29pm: Jarzabek true to his screen name
It was the type of hand that makes people reconsider their lives. All in on a flop of A♥5♥Q♥ Casey "bigdogpckt5s" Jarzabek was holding his hand. And he'd flopped a set! Too bad for him that he was up against A♦A♠. Or was it? That 4♦ on the turn was close, but no cigar. One outer? Sure. Why not. There was the five on the river for quads. His opponent stumbled away before we could run him down. Jarzabek, meanwhile, is nearing 190,000. --BW

11.31pm: Lost in translation
Brandu Cantu just showed down a losing hand to David Benyamine thinking he was showing the winner. The turn was out to give a 2♥5♦Q♥T♦ board and Benyamine led for 4,800 from the big blind. Cantu called to see the A♠ river and faced a 8,100 bet. Cantu called and flipped over his hand (T♠8♥) when he heard "You win".

Beyamine actually said "Queen" and tabled Q♠4♠ and took the pot to recover slightly to 63,000. Cantu got over the confusion quickly and drops to 96,000 chips. -- MC

11.24pm: Did I see that right?
If there hadn't been such a commotion afterwards I don't think I would have believed that I'd seen this. On a J♥T♣4♦9♣2♣ board Yousri Mali, in the dying seconds of the clock being called on him, folded J♣K♣ face up. His opponent had shoved over the top of his 20,000 pot-sized lead for 102,300 and Mali had gone deep into the tank.

Roberto Romanello couldn't quite believe it either: "What a fold," he said, whether in praise or surprise I'm not sure. Men Nguyen didn't think it was a good fold and he wasn't even at the same table: "100% you have the best hand. He has just the ace," he said before wandering back to his table. -- RD

11.15pm: Isildur1's 5-bet shove... with king-jack off
You've got to love Viktor Blom. His online play using the moniker Isildur1 has won and lost him millions, swings generated by getting involved with monster pots, very often with nothing at all.

It's a pleasure to see him taking that fearlessness into the live arena.

I just watched him face a 3,000 opening raise and re-raise it to 8,500. His opponent, who had Blom covered, seemed to waste little time four-betting to 18,000, a move that Blom would have sneered at if he had not been so busy moving all-in - a five-bet shove for 49,300 more that forced a fold.

Aces for Blom, maybe? Kings, perhaps? Nope, it was the old K♣J♦. Yikes. Blom is up to 80,000. -- SY


Viktor Blom: Don't mess with this man

11:03pm: Raymer down
It's rarely a happy story when a member of Team PokerStars Pro tracks one of us down in the middle of the floor. This was no exception. Raymer just walked up with the report. "Kings into aces," he said. "An aggressive player (qualifier Jared Jaffee) had the aces and I couldn't get away from the kings." And that was all she wrote for the 2004 WSOP champ. That leaves Joe Hachem and Chris Moneymaker as the two remaining Team Pro WSOP champs left in this year's PCA main event.

Our leader Simon Young went over and took a look at Jaffee's stack after the hand with Raymer. Jaffee now has about 160,000 in his stack and a fossil signed by Raymer with the note, "You got me." --BW

11pm: ElkY wounded in hunt
Team PokerStars ElkY is down to 47,000 after losing a chunky pot to Adam Gabor. The river was just being dealt to leave a K♣T♦8♠9♣J♦ board and 45,000 had found it's way into the middle. Gabor checked from the big blind and called when ElkY bet 18,800. ElkY tabled J♠T♠ for two-pair but lost out to Gabor's 9♠9♦ for a set to move up to 160,000. -- MC

LEVEL UP: Blinds 600-1,200, 100 ante

10.52pm: Huge field, hidden players
In a field this large there are a always tonnes of top notch players that barely get mentioned because; a) they have a fairly pedestrian day, or b) any interesting action happens when we're running to Starbucks and back in desperate need to get jacked up on caffeine.

Players such as Jude 'j.Thaddeus' Ainsworth have gone without much mention but he's still up to 110,000. Another player is Eugene Katchalov, the winner of yesterday's Super High Roller, who is strolling along on 90,000. Katchalov bested Daniel Negreanu to claim the $1.5 million first prize. You can read all about it here. -- RD

10:40pm: Chris Moneymaker takes the chip lead
As one member of the media put it, "I thought they were giving away food, there were so many people here."

That was the scene around Chris Moneymaker's table as he took over the Day 1B chip lead. On a board of 9♠6♥5♣2♠, Brazilian 2010 WCOOP bracelet winner Joao Simao check-called an 18,000 bet from Moneymaker. The pot was already big, so when the T♥ came on the river, the bet from Simao made it monstrous. He cut out very chip in his stack, which amounted to 40,400. That left him a little more than 40,000 behind.

"What do you have? Seven-eight?" Moneymaker asked.

"You think I have seven-eight?" Simao said incredulously.

"You could," Moneymaker said and took to thinking. The moment didn't last long. Moneymaker announced that he was all-in.

The crowd grew bigger. Players from other tables came over to watch. At stake was no less than the chip lead for Day 1B, and if Simao called, the chip lead for the entire tournament. Simao anguished for nearly five minutes as Moneymaker sat stone-faced behind his chips. Finally, Simao folded nine-ten face-up.

Moneymaker was a gentleman about it and turned over 9♦9♣ for the flopped set.

Simao knew he'd made the right letdown, but that didn't stop him from wallowing. He flushed, took off his sweater, and put his face down on the table. He was still in the tournament, but with less than half the stack with which he'd started.

Moneymaker, meanwhile, stacked 202,000, which is almost certainly good for the chip lead at this hour.--BW


Chris Moneymaker

10.45pm: Greenstein signs out
A tour of the floor revealed an empty chair next to Kathy Liebert, a chair that used to belong to Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein. We need not be worried about missing Greenstein's exit hands because he always gives a copy of his book, Ace on the River, to his victor, signing it and filling in details of the fateful hand on the inside cover.

Thankfully for me, there was the book, sitting under Georges Tohme's chair. A nifty bit of investigative journalism (in other words: "Can I look at your book, mate?") revealed the following:

Greenstein was short and on an A-6-4-8-4 board his 10-8 was well behind Tohme's pocket jacks.

The Bear will have to wait another year for a shot at the PCA. -- SY


Barry Greenstein: you can read him like a book

10.42pm: Doubled Duthie
John Duthie has doubled-up through Evgeniy Zaytsev. It was all played at speed chess pace; Duthie opening for 2,500 which Zaytsev raised to 6,600 before Duthie moved all-in, to be immediately called by Zaytsev.

6♠7♥ for Duthie, A♣K♦ for Zaytsev and a board of 5♥J♦7♦4♥8♣. Duthie moves back up to around 65,000 while Zaytsev slips to 60,000. - SB

10.37pm: The way of Duhamel
Two minutes after explaining Jonathan Duhamel's exit to us, Jason Mercier was following him out the door. The action folded around to him in the cut-off and he moved all-in for his remaining 13,500 with K♦6♦ and he was looked up by the big blind holding A♥6♠. The board ran a Mercier unfriendly T♠3♣Q♠4♠5♣ to end his day. -- MC

10.33pm: Duhamel got Viveked
Team PokerStars Pro Jonathan Duhamel's seat was empty so we feared the worst. His former table mate, Jason Mercier, explained that he got Viveked referring to Vivek Rajkumar. The flop was out as [9][7][4] and Duhamel got it in with seven-three for middle pair to Rajkumar's seven-four and two-pair. -- MC

10.29pm: Phillips not a happy camper
Carter Phillips has had the happiest of days. He started off by being put on the table death with Sorel Mizzi, ElkY, Liv Boeree etc (see 12.51pm: The undisputed table of death) then he made a large hero call, only to actually be behind to the bluff, and has now just got slow rolled for all but his entire stack. On the river of a 7♥9♠J♣J♥K♠ board Phillips had bet just over 5,000 only for Sami Antero Aro, a 100 FPP Mega-Path winner no less, to raise him to 15,000.

Phillips wasn't thrilled by the raise he set his iPad down by his chair with the video left playing. The EPT winner took the length of the Brad Pitt bare-knuckle boxing match at the end of Snatch and more to make the call. The Finn didn't hurry revealing that he had T♥Q♥ for the nut straight. Phillips tabled T♦J♦ and looked like he might follow in Brad Pitt's footsteps and start swinging. He's done to just a few thousand now. -- RD

10.22pm: Bye bye Brenes
Humberto Brenes is out, seen off by Redmond Lee. Brenes moved in with A♦Q♦ and was called by Lee with J♦J♠. The board ran K♥5♠7♣K♣7♠. Brenes busted. - SB


Humberto Brenes

10.15pm: Isildur1 lost and found
I felt a bit like the teacher who had lost his star pupil on a school outing.

Only yesterday did we reveal Viktor Blom was Isildur1 - and today would be our first chance to cover him live as a Team PokerStars Pro. All was going well; Blom was chipped up to around 70,000 and on the same table for hours. We got lulled into a false sense of security, and next time we checked up on his his table it had broken.

Isildur1 was nowhere to be seen.

A search of the room revealed nothing, and then there was the 15-minute break. Isildur1 had disappeared, likely busted, and we had missed it. Bloggers get sacked for less.*

After the break, another sweep of room. Finally there he was, happily playing on a table in the middle of the back section, unaware of the trauma he had caused. Thankfully he was nowhere near out and instead still had 65,000 in front of him. We're going to plug a beacon device on him.

Welcome back, Viktor. -- SY

* No they don't

10.10pm: Akkari out
Andre Akkari is among the latest to be eliminated. He moved in for around 35,000 with ace-king only to run into pocket kings. Scratch one Brazilian, so to speak. - SB

10pm: The final push
We're done with breaks here in the PCA. No more of them, not for Day 1B. Just two final one hour levels to play through with a fair smattering of glory, heartbreak and general mischief (see Luca Pagano below).

pca_day 1b_luca pagano2.jpg

Luca Pagano has rediscovered his mojo (thanks to a rivered set)

PokerStars Blog reporting team in the Bahamas (in order of progeny): Simon Young (Three - which is why he's always broke), Brad Willis (Two, currently stuck in snowdrifts), Stephen Bartley (Two, currently with fingers stuck in ears), Marc Convey (0 - suspected mini-Conv's in Asia), Rick Dacey (0 - but has fellow blogger Nick Wright as a flatmate, does that count?) and Alex Villegas (Yet to hit puberty).