2011 PCA main event: Day 2, level 13 & 14 updates (blinds 1,500-3,000, 300 ante)


5.54pm: Break
It's a 15-minute break as we complete our fourth level of the day, leaving us with two more. With around 280 players left in the field and 232 places paying we'll be making the money today for sure. Average stack is 167,000. -- RD

5.53pm: Buchman challenging
Eric Buchman, who came fourth at the WSOP Main event in 2009 for $2.5million, has shot up to 620,000 and fighting for the chip lead. Some 67,000 of those came just now when he busted the unfortunate Jack Kashishian, a PokerStars qualifier from the US.

We picked up the action when the board was 5♣4♥A♦2♠ and all the money had gone in. Buchman turned over 5♥5♦ for top set, but he was horrified to see Kashishian hold 3♥3♣ for the straight. But the river was a killer, coming A♣ to pair the board and make Buchman's full house. -- SY

5.52pm: Olsvik beached by Sands
David Sands has moved up to more than 415,000 after he eliminated Marius Olsvik.
Sands opened for 7,700 in early position which was called by Sands to his left and JP Kelly in the big blind. The flop came 3♠4♠7♠. Sands bet 12,400 which Olsvik called while Kelly passed. The turn, 8♣ and Sands made it another 18,700 to go.

Olsvik wasted no time moving all-in for around 80,000 and Sands snap-called, showing Q♠Q♣ to Olsvik's T♣T♥.

The river was a harmless 9♣ to send Olsvik to the rail. -- SB

5.51pm: Tigger railing Pooh Bear
Last time I saw Chris Conrad and Marty Mathis was in Peru at the final table of the LAPT Lima. Conrad had finished 11th in that event after getting cruelly sucked out on by Nacho Barbero, who went on to win the event. The pair were dressed up as Tigger and Winnie the Pooh to rail fellow American Ben Barrows so it's understandable that it took me a few seconds to recognise them.

"Hey man, how you doing?" asked Mathis, bounding out of his chair to greet me. Mathis, who is on 175,000, is a bundle of energy. He explained that he hasn't had the best table draws today but is upbeat nonetheless. I ushered him back to his chair before his hand was declared dead.

Conrad, on the other hand, seems far more mellow and explained how the two big buy-in tournaments that he played here hadn't worked out but that he was two from two from the $300 turbos. "I should just stick to them," he said suddenly pondering whether that was genuinely a good idea.

Both are genuine guys but how I still don't know how they got their costumes the wrong way around with the energetic Mathis as Pooh Bear and Conrad as Tigger. If Mathis can make the money this will be his second major PokerStars cash. -- RD

5.42pm: Perception of difficulty
It's funny how one can struggle with seemingly easy tasks and in turn excel at difficult ones. Team PokerStars JP Kelly has been at three tables today and the one he said was best for him was when he was sat to the right of Viktor Blom - a seat no sane man would voluntary choose. His stack touched 200,000 when he was moved to his third table and it was here his stack started to slide (not as much as Rick Dacey thought though).

PCA 2011_10K Main Event_Day 2_Joe Giron_JGP8473.jpg

JP Kelly (left) and soft spot Viktor Blom...

Kelly just took down a 60,000 chip pot though to shift his momentum back in a northerly direction. The action was three-way to the turn and the board read Q♦6♥Q♦5♣. Players in the first two positions checked to Kelly in the third position who bet 27,000 in the 60,000 or so pot. Both players folded and Kelly scooped to back up to 155,000 chips. -- MC

5:40pm: Notes from Moneymaker
We've mentioned this before, but it bears another note here: Chris Moneymaker has been doing a lot of writing in a small notebook during the first two days of play. When finally asked about it, he said, "I feel like I play better if I keep track of the hands I play and where I lose all my chips."

PCA 2011_10K Main Event_Day 2_Chris_Moneymaker.jpg

Team PokerStars Pro Chris Moneymaker

So, out came the notebook when he and three other people saw a flop for what
amounted to an early position player's min-raise. The board brought the J♠8♠8♣. A short-stack moved in for 27,900. Only Moneymaker called. He had a jack in his hand, which might have been good when the eight hit the river, if not for the fact his opponent had a queen. A small blip. really, but one that caused Moneymaker to pull out his pen.

"That's what I get for speculating," he said. "Serves me right." --BW

5.37pm: Cody and Kelly
British young guns JP Kelly and Jake Cody are now sat at the same table and Cody has managed to get back up to around 200,000. He just scooped a 30,000 pot after leading 9,800 into Faroz Jaka on the turn of a T♣7♠J♦A♥ board. Jaka passed protecting his 370,000 stack. -- RD

pca_day 2_faraz jaka.jpg

An addiction to funny headgear ruined Jaka's fledgling basketball career

5.35pm: ElkY penalty
The rules here have been made quite clear - no players are to use communication devices at the tables, including texting, Tweeting, using an iPAD, tins connected with string. You get the picture.

Unfortunately, Team PokerStars Pro ElkY didn't and he has just been given a one-orbit penalty for attempting a Tweet at the table. He protested his innocence, claiming he had not heard the warnings earlier, but it was not good.

He's now pacing the sidelines, no doubt believing at least three of the hands he's missed already were aces. -- SY

5.21pm: Bansi bust
Praz Bansi has been eliminated. Fellow Brit and neighbour Stuart Fox told me he got lucky against Bansi to do most of the damage. The two got it in on an eight-high board with Bansi holding pocket jacks to Fox's ten-eight. An eight fell on the river to leave last year's 18th place finisher with just 5,000 chips. He won one all-in but lost the next one to go out. -- MC

5.10pm: JP Kelly out?
I had assumed that Team PokerStars Pro JP Kelly had been knocked but I've been reliably informed by fellow blogger MC that he's just been moved.

Kelly's previous seat is now vacant and Harrison Kaczka had suddenly amassed a suspiciously large stack of chips, all of which were stacked into two large towers, just waiting for a clumsy blogger (please be Alex Villegas) to bump into. I guessed it as 340,000 and a second and third opinion concurred. "Do you concur?" I asked. "Yes, we concur," they replied.*

*This conversation did not take place. Not in reality at least.

5.07pm: Dyer chipping up
It's been a while since Greg Dyer had a big live score but he's currently going the right way about making another, carefully chipping up up 190,000. He's not loud or exuberant but he's efficient. Expect him to make the money again (he did last year). -- RD

pca_day 2_greg dyer.jpg

Greg Dyer

5.05pm:There's a new daddy in town
Ilan Rouah announced his arrival at his new table with a cold four-bet to 38,000 after an under-the-gun raise and a mid-position three-bet. This all happened while he was telling me about the biggest hand he won before moving tables.

He was at in the small blind with J♥9♥ and called a raise along with a player on the button. The flop came down [k][t][8] with two diamonds and the aggressor c-bet an found both opponents calling. The turn came a seven and the aggressor bet 25,000 which forced out the button player but not Rouah who check-raised to 75,000. His opponent called to see a nine fall on the river. Rouah moved all-in and his opponent called all-in for about 70,000 with king-ten for top two-pair, losing out to Rouah's straight. -- MC

PCA 2011_10K Main Event_Day 2_Ilan_Rouah.jpg

New chipleader, Ilan Rouah

5pm: Moneymaker making money
Chris Moneymaker just took his stack up to the 300,000 mark after a pot against Brazilian Bruno Severino.

Severino had opened, then called Moneymakers's raise which left around 40,000 in the middle for the 4♦2♦3♦ flop.

Moneymaker bet again, making it 30,000 to play which Severino called for a 8♠ turn. Moneymaker took his time assembling a raise, ordering 74,500 into a suitable pile and pushing it across the line.

Severino thought, but eventually passed.

"I'll let you see one card," said Moneymaker. Severino dutifully picked one, the 6♠. "You were supposed to pick the other one." - SB

4:53pm: Good information, if you can get it
Pieter de Korver came in for a raise to 7,500 and found himself out of position to Brandon Adams' re-raise to 21,000. De Korver called and they saw a flop of Q♣9♥[5♦. De Korver checked to Adams who bet 23,000. De Korver thought for maybe ten seconds before pushing out a full stack of blue chips worth 100,000 and enough to put Adams all-in. Looking mildly tortured (and maybe a tad homicidal), Adams folded.

Sam Stein looked at De Korver and said, "You want to show that hand so bad."

De Korver smiled. "It was my hand, my winning hand from Monte Carlo."

While no one at the table could be expected to remember how De Korver won the EPT Grand final in 2009, we do.--BW

Yes, that is 9♠6♠

4.45pm: Hellooooooo Turkmenistan
Yes, folks, it's that exciting time of day once again where we get to search through PokerStars Blog analytics and celebrate our lone readers in far flung corners of the world.

Today, it's the turn of one lonely sole in Turkmenistan, which nestles between Afghanistan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and the Caspian Sea. That's a lot of nestling.

I can also tell you our only reader in Turkmenistan tuned in from the city of Ashgabat.

We salute you! -- SY

4:41pm: New chip leader
At some point in just the last little bit, Ilan Rouah has emerged as our latest chip leader. He now sits at around 625,000. His table has now broken and he's on his way to Blair Hinkle's table, one that's been exceptionally active all day. Light the fuse, watch the show. --BW

4.33pm: LEVEL 14 BLINDS 1,500-3,000-300

4:18pm: Break time
It's now time for a 15-minute break

4.15pm: Benyamine busted by Santiago
Alex Santiago has just claimed a big scalp in David Benyamine. It was a fairly standard affair with all of the Frenchman's chip going in pre-flop with Q♣Q♥ against Santiago's A♥K♥. Benyamine had started with around 80,000. The board ran out 9♥J♦2♠K♣6♦ to chip Santiago up nicely to almost 400,000. -- RD

4:08pm: Note: Tom Marchese isn't here, man
Chino Rheem was having a nice long conversation with Tom Marchese. They were seated together at a table and really chatting it up. It was a fun mix of "remember that times" and "I remember whens." Suddenly Marchese realized something. He said to Rheem, "You're thinking of Tom Marchese."

"Wait," Rheem said. "You're not Tom Marchese?"

"No, I'm not," said William Reynolds. (If you're just catching up--like Rheem--Marchese busted out of the tournament a long time ago).

Eric Buchman was incredulous. "You're not Tom Marchese?"

"I'm Tom Marchese's roommate," Reynolds said.

"What's your name?" Rheem asked.

"William," Reynolds replied.

"I swear I thought you were Tom Marchese," Rheem said, as if he still wasn't entirely convinced.

It should be noted that Reynolds has about $2 million career winnings. Just saying'--BW

4.06pm: Leaking and sinking Brits
EPT London season one winner John Shipley is hanging on by a thread after losing a big race to Mustapha Kanit. All the chips went in pre-flop with Shipley holding pocket queens to his opponent's pocket kings. The board ran J♥2♣4♠2♦T♥ to drop Shipley down to 19,300.

Priyan De Mel fared even worse moments later than his counterpart. He got his last 17,500 in with A♠K♣ in three-way all-in versus a player holding J♥T♦ and one holding Q♣Q♦. The board ran 8♠Q♠7♣7♠4♦ to send De Mel on his not so merry way. -- MC

4.02pm: I played swingball once
Even Gustavo Kuerten's feet look good. He was walking without shoes the few feet from his table to where his wife was sitting, watching. Naturally, she is of equal magnificence, and obviously they shone together so brightly that I could only look for a short time before my retinas began to melt.

Gustavo Kuerten

The Kuerten's are among the beautiful people, making the blogging staff at least, look like inhabitants of Middle Earth. He speaks four languages (we shout two), can serve a tennis ball at 131mph, and as a former pro won the French Open three times. Right now he's still in the Main Event, with 70,000 chips.

A table along sits Orel Hershiser, a Cy Young winner from the baseball world, who also has 70,000, and a signed, boxed baseball ready to give to the player who eliminates him. Both playing cautiously as the field is slowly reduced. - SB


Fastball comin'

3.56pm: Why the long face?
Poker, like most games, is more fun when you're winning. There really is no doubt about that and it can be seen on plenty of players' faces. Praz Bansi is looking glum on 25,000, Vivek Rajkumar is shaking his head on 75,000 and Will Reynolds is crying behind his mirrored shades on 85,000. No-one should be happy with less than six figures right now.

Jake Cody is one player that craves a big stack and is desperately trying to make one. He squeezed all-in over Rajkumar's late position open to add 15,000 to his stack, which he promptly lost three-betting and folding during the next hand. He has around 65,000. -- RD

3.52pm: Nacho crisped
It had not been a good day at the office for Jose 'Nacho' Barbero. He had started with 60,000 and that dwindled to 25,000 before he lost the lot. He open-shoved, but looked a little alarmed to be called quickly by Horatio Kemeny from Canada. He had every reason to be concerned:

Barbero: [10d]J♦
Kemeny: K♠K♣

The board ran 7♣6♥6♦K♦4♦, meaning Barbero's rivered flush mattered not against the dominant full house. Barbero was up and off even before the river was dealt.

Still, the LAPT season starts soon and that is a happy hunting ground for the Team PokerStars Pro from Argentina. - SY


Nacho Barbero: all-in and out

3.50pm: 'I don't like to be the starter'
This sort of endearing English usually comes from the lips of Dario Minieri. Having picked up a pot pre-flop uncontested, he was refusing to show his cards. "I am not going to turn my cards. No one else is turning it, so I am not.

"I don't like to be the starter."

Minieri is on around 130,000. -- SY

3:48pm: Khan gets some of Heimiller
While it wasn't a massive pot, the outcome was clear as day. Hafiz Khan flopped aces-up against Heimiller and got paid for it. The double up was worth around 60,000 to the one-time PCA runner-up. --BW

3:45pm: Toby On top
Toby Lewis eliminates Hadj Grifart and propels himself closer to the chip lead in the process.

Grifart bet 11,200 into a 3♥[10s]Q♠ and Lewis raised to 24,500. Grifart re-raised all-in and the only way Lewis could have called faster was if he invented a time machine, travelled back in time, and called a millisecond before Grifart announced all-in.

The hand Lewis was so eager to call with was pocket kings. Grifart showed A♣J♣ for the inside straight draw. The turn, 3♣, and the river, J♣, were not the cards Grifart was hoping for and he was eliminated.

Lewis now has 362,000, making him one of the chip leaders at the moment. --AV


Toby Lewis

3:39pm: Missing in action
A quick glance at the floor has revealed two missing folks, one expected, one not. Liv Boeree had recently lost most of her stack, so her absence is not quite as surprising as that of Tommy Vedes who started the day as one of the chip leaders. We knew his day was gong badly earlier when he requested a sharp machete from us. Nonetheless, he's gone. I hope no one found a machete for him. --BW

3.42pm: Viktory Blom
Viktor Blom's stack dwindled a little to 61,300 after the Kelly hand before he got them all in the middle. One of our roaming photographers, Neil Stoddart, reported he held pocket aces to an opponent's ace-king. The board ran 5♦6♦5♣9♥Q♣ to give Blom a stack just over 125,000 chips. -- MC

3.35pm: Down to 400
Tagg, one of the chief floormen with the mic today, has announced to players that we will now continue eight-handed, with the main event field reduced to one half of the floor space. He's an efficient official, who addresses the players like the guy introducing the speeches at the retirement dinner for Larry from accounts, and his floor staff snap into action immediately, removing chairs away from the tables (forbidding players to do it themselves). The field is almost down to the 400 player mark.

3.30pm: Time to tango
It wasn't going to be too long before Team PokerStars Pros JP Kelly and Viktor Blom tangled and it was the Brit who came out of top. Kelly raised from the button and then four-bet when Blom three-bet from the small blind. Blom called to see the A♦2♠9♣ flop where both players checked. The turn came 7♦ and Blom went to bet 25,000 but changed his mind and checked. Kelly, once more, checked behind. The river came K♣ and Blom quickly led out for 15,000. Kelly sat stoic for a moment and then moved all-in prompting a quick fold from the Swede. Kelly is up to 195,000 and Blom is down to 75,000 chips.

The two went on the talk about the hand:

Viktor Blom - "Did you have two queens?"

JP Kelly - "No, but I obviously had the best hand then".

VB - "I guess so."

JP - "I didn't want to call and you just show me king-jack or something."

VB - "I didn't have a king but a king was good then?"

JP - "Yep".

VB - "Strong move". --MC

PCA 2011_10K Main Event_Day 2_Kelly_Blom.jpg

Team Pro battle

3.22pm: There's no shame in folding
It's the first time I've heard the phrase "There's no shame in folding" used this tournament and it was delivered by Evgeniy Zaytsev after he had shoved all-in for 52,000. The opening raise was 8,200 and Zaytsev seemed to be more comfortable as time went on and even called the clock while simultaneously asking a fellow player ifo he could have some chewing gum. He never received a call and is up to 65,000. A double up, probably courtesy of Dario Minieri who sits on 140,000, is desperately needed.

And just in case you're lazy and don't look at the widget, there are 414 players left from this monster field. -- RD

3:17pm: Super Novoa bad news for Boeree, better for Binger
British Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree had some in for a raise when Spain's Alberto Novoa put out a three bet. Boeree asked for a count before shoving all-in. Novoa made the call with kings, quite a bit better than Boeree's big slick. She missed her ace or any further miracles and is now down to 30,000. Minutes later, Novoa was confident enough in his A♦J♥ to call Nick Binger's 29,900 all-in. Binger's 8♣8♦ held up, seemingly a big surprise for him. "Are you sure I won?" he said. --BW


Nick Binger

3.15pm: A battle for Barbero
Nacho Barbero is probably still shaking his head, annoyed at a hand that just reduced him to 45,000 against Englishman Simon Taberham.

The two of them got to a turn card with 20,000 in the middle and a board reading 5♣4♠2♠K♦. Barbero, in the small blind, made it 15,000, and which point Taberham moved all-in and turned over his cards too soon, believing, perhaps, that he was covered and showing A♠3♠.

Barbero was priced in but was not pleased, tossing in the additional 11,500 and mucking his cards, although as the dealer pointed out he had to leave them face up for the 4♣ river card.

Taberham up to 75,000. - SB

3.05pm: Back for more carnage
Well, to say we have been shifting numbers quickly today is something of an understatement. We started only around three hours ago with 645 wide-eyed hopefuls, dreaming of zooming through the day hoovering up chips to carry them triumphantly into Day 3. Sadly, only 460 of them still have any chance of doing so.

Let's do the math: that means we have lost 185 players in two 75-minute levels. At this rate, we'll reach a final table tonight. Except, of course, we won't. It'll slow down all the way to the bubble - 232 players will make the money. Will we hit the bubble today? With four more levels it is a distinct possibility. We're running it through our calculators right now. Brad Willis sets the over and under finishing line tonight at 252. Hmmm, tempting.

Anyway, players are settling back in their seats with blinds at 1,200-2,400 and a 200 ante. Here's a picture of Team PokerStars Pro ElkY, who is up to 180,000, well up on the tiddly 8,600 he started with. -- SY



PokerStars Blog reporting team in The Bahamas (in order of the best 74th entry in Google when you search the name): Alex Villegas (Pretty girls makes graves on the Behance Network), Stephen Bartley (Genealogy Data Page 1124 Family Pages), Brad Willis (Brad Willis Plumber, Margate), Rick Dacey (Lawyer Richard Dacey - Waltham Attorney), Marc Convey (Using Mind Mapping for Master Mind Groups - Case Study) and Simon Young (in-cosmetics Asia-Dr Simon Young)