2011 PCA main event: Day 2, level 15 & 16 updates (blinds 2,500-5,000, 600 ante)

PCA-2010-thumbnail.jpg9.10pm: Play ends
Today's play has come to an end. We believe the overnight chip leader to be Adam Geyer on 909,000 chips. The official overnight counts will appear here later and a full wrap courtesy of Brad Willis be be up very soon for your reading pleasure. -- MC

8.57pm: Four more hands
Just four more hands are to be played before the end of the day now that the clock has been stopped. -- RD

8.55pm: Rheem shoved over by ElkY
"I can't keep raise-folding, buddy," said Chino Rheem to Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier. Rheem haad made it 12,000 and ElkY had moved all-in for 109,000.

"It smells like two sixes to me," he said as he slowly started clapping his hands. "Yeah, smells like two six-balls."

ElkY said nothing. Rheem kept talking: "Ahhhh, I really feel like I've got the best hand." But obviously not so much that he wanted to call. He passed and ElkY showed 8♠8♣. "Flip for sure," said Rheem, who is now down to 80,000. -- RD

8.53pm: Kings are his friend
Jake Cody famously cracked an opponent's pocket kings with ten-four in a huge pot on his way to winning EPT Deauville one year ago. Just now it was Cody himself holding the kings that enabled him to eliminate Lennart Holz of Germany.

Holz raised to 11,500 from the button with A♠2♠ before Cody three-bet to 27,500 from the big blind with K♣K♠. Holz four-bet all-in for 115,000 and soon found out the bad news. The board ran 2♦9♦4♦K♥T♣ to send Cody up 330,000. -- MC

8.50pm: William Reynolds out

The man who dispatched the bubble boy Marco Johnson, becomes the latest faller - William Reynolds, eliminated by Dwyte Pilgrim.

8.41pm: Big play falls flat for tennis ace
Gustavo Kuerten has just been knocked out trying to execute what I could only describe as a serve-and-volley style of poker. Kuerten, who started the hand with 78,500, limped from early position and was raised by Zuzhao Yang in middle position. The action folded back to Kuerten who moved all his chips across the line for a raise of 58,500. Yang shrugged and made the call.

Yang: A♦J♦
Kuerten: J♥T♥

Yang was a long way ahead but the 3♥J♠7♣Q♥ turn certainly gave him a sweat before a blank 5♣ dropped. Former tennis champ and PokerStars player Kuerten banks $15,000. -- RD

8.40pm: The old line up

lione at the payout desk_me_d2.jpg
Within minutes of the bubble bursting a long queue had formed at the pay-out desk which shows no sign of shortening. By 8.40pm, 45 players had been eliminated in the money.

8.38pm: Calvinism
On a flop of T♦5♣2♣ Chino Rheem bet 18,000 which was called by Bolivar Palacios before Calvin Andersen on the button raised to 46,000 ruining everything for the other two. Rheem tanked for some time before eventually folding. Then it was Palacios's turn to suffer. He spent what must have been around seven minutes agonising while Andersen waited. Eventually, after apologising for the others at the table for taking so long, he flipped his cards away. "Tell me what you had when the tourney is over," he said to Andersen. - SB

8.36pm: No cold call for Cody
Jake Cody is down slightly to 200,000 after a pot against Faraz Jaka. Cody opened for 11,500 and Jaka called from the cut off for a flop of 9♠T♠Q♦. Both checked for a 5♦ turn card which Cody checked, folding when Jaka bet to take the pot. - SB

8.35pm: Naujoks departs
She'd held on through the bubble and into the money, and looked to have survived the usual post-bubble madness, but now Sandra Naujoks is out. She pushed for her last 30,000 with [Q][7] but walked into [a][10] and got no help on the board. -- SY

8.30pm: More woe for Naujoks
As Nick Binger was walking to the pay out desk to pick up his min-cash, his brother, Michael, was in danger of following him as he shoved for 45,000 from under-the-gun. Sandra Naujoks was in the next seat and flat called. Everyone else folded to leave it heads-up.

Binger: T♣T♥
Naujoks: A♦Q♠

The board ran 4♦8♠9♦2♦8♥.

Naujoks was left with 30,000 after the hand but she managed to steal the blinds and antes after shoving from under-the-gun and forcing folds from all. -- MC

8.18pm: Post bubble trouble for Naujoks
Sandra Naujoks has just 80,000 left after raising from the button to 16,000 and tank folding to the big blind's shove. It didn't seem like there was actually too much thought going into whether to make the call or not, more to do with keeping the story genuine that a raise was called for in the first place. That is, of course, just supposition based on nothing more than my own meandering experience of watching players at the table. On the upside Naujoks is still alive and will be able to find other spots to get involved in profitably. -- RD

8pm: Johnson bubbles and we're in the money
You've got to love the bubble, the highly-charged moment when everyone in the room will be paid except the next one to bust. You've got to love the bubble unless you are that player.

And that player today is Marco Johnson. The PokerStars qualifier from the USA will feel the most miserable and lonely person in Atlantis right now, and that's the irony of all this - he's also the most loved as well.

So how did it come to this? We went hand-for-hand two spots out. On the first hand we lost a player to reach the bubble proper - and it popped straight away. It was folded around to Johnson in the small blind and he shoved, getting an instant call from William Reynolds in the big blind. Johnson was in for just 26,000. Reynolds had many times more than that.
Before playing out the hand we had to wait for the action to finish on all other tables. It gave Johnson time to ponder his fate...

marco_johnson_ bubbles_pca.JPG

Marco Johnson

Finally, with crowds thronging around, pressing on the players' backs trying to get a view of the table, the action was played out:

Reynolds: A♦9♥
Johnson: K♣9♣

Johnson was dominated. Horribly. The 9♦2♣7♦ flop paired them both but changed nothing. The [10c] turn, however, gave Johnson a flush draw. He now needed any club or a king on the river to stay alive. It was Q♥.


Marco Johnson, seat 1, and William Reynolds in seat 2 watch the action unfold

With that, poor Johnson shook Reynolds' hand and departed. Empty handed. Everyone else in the room gets at least $15,000. As Johnson left, Reynolds acted out the popping of a bubble with an imaginary pin. -- SY


William Reynolds popping the bubble

7:30pm: Phil Sousa marches on
So, as we approach the bubble, one had to feel for Phil Sousa who got jacks in against aces and nines. He won a small enough side pot against the nines to put in his big blind and ante. He didn't even look at his cards as the board ran out with an ace, a deuce, and a five. Turns out Sousa had a three and four for the wheel and the triple up. He didn't rest on his laurels. He got it all in on the next hand with a naked ace versus Q♠T♠. His hand held and he now has more than 20,000. Will it be enough to hold on to the money? We'll see after the break?

7.28pm: Break
We're having a 20-minute break just to prolong the agony. We now have 234 players remaining. Two more to go. -- RD

7.26pm: Heartbreak from cracked aces
As players were standing up and leaving on the last break of the night, Ilan Rouah was faced with a 72,000 all-in bet from an opponent. He had just re-raised to 26,500 and the initial raiser folded. Rouah thought a couple minutes into the break before making the call.

When he did, his opponent stood up triumphantly, took off his hood and threw his A♣A♠ on the table. Rouah grimaced and flipped over K♣Q♦. But the hand wasn't over. The flop was 2♣K♠K♥, and the players expressions switched. Rouah smiled and his opponent looked defeated. The turn and river didn't change the outcome of the hand and Rouah eliminated another opponent, who slammed his chair into the table and stormed off the tournament floor, only two players away from $14,000. -- AV

7.18pm: Bubble time creates radio silence
The bubble is due to burst shortly with 235 players left in and 'just' 232 places paying. The entire blogging team - except for me who is stabbing at my keyboard doing this - is out on the floor, huddled together discussing what to have for dinner dispersed at equidistance intervals for optimum coverage. There will be a fair period of radio silence until the $15,000 bubble bursts. -- RD

7.07pm: Geyer knocks out Hinkle, up to 570,000
Adam Geyer is up to 570,000 after knocking out Blair Hinkle in a tough button versus big blind spot.

"I had a tell so I was sure that he (Geyer) was strong, but I looked down to see queens so then I'm trying to get it in," he told us. Hinkle had raised from the button with around 100,000 to start and had been three-bet by Geyer. "If I was deeper I'd have the option to flat, but with my stack I just had to get it in."

Geyer showed pocket aces and proceeded to river the ace-high flush for good measure. "That's just how it goes," said Hinkle philosophically before heading for the exit. Geyer is up to around 570,000. -- RD

pca_day 2_adam geyer.jpg

Big stack Adam Geyer

7.05pm: He can win with one card or cards face-up if you like
Team PokerStars Pro Marcel Luske won a hand a while ago in bizarre fashion against Charlie Hook. Hook raised from under-the-gun but Luske failed to notice this and when the action reached him he threw in 10,000 chips. When the big blind folded Luske thought he's won the hand and revealed ace-queen. His mistake was pointed out to him and the ruling was the he would have to play out the hand face-up.

The flop came [k][j][2] and Luske check-called a 7,000 bet. The turn came [4] and Luske check-called a 16,000 bet, still with ace-high and a gutshot. The river came an [a] and the action went check-check. Luske took the pot as Hook folded what he claimed was pocket eights. The Dutchman is up to 155,000. -- MC

7pm: Oliver caught thieving
He may have shot up to around 800,000 in the blink of an eye, but Chris Oliver has proved his weakness - amazingly he does not have the goods every time. He just lost 80,000 to David Boughner, betting 27,000 on a 7♥4♣8♦2♣ board and then 34,000 on the Q♥ river.

Oliver had 3♦5♦ for the missed straight, behind Boughner's pocket sixes. Oliver is pegged back to 740,000. -- SY

6.54pm: Isildur done
It was his first appearance since being outed as Isildur1, and Viktor Blom gave a good account of himself in the live arena. Playing with maturity and controlled aggression, he was almost like a toned-down version of his online persona. With 248 players remaining, and 232 of them getting paid, the Swede was close to cashing in the PCA Main Event.

But Galen Hall just ended those hopes, busting our Team PokerStars Pro and online warrior. Hall had made it 9,000 from the button, and Blom, sitting in the big blind, moved all in for around 105,000 with A-Q. He was up against Hall's pocket jacks, but no ace or queen turned up on the board to save his skin.

So farewell, Mr Isildur1, it's been fun to watch. -- SY

pca_day 2_viktor blom.jpg

The legend revealed: Blom's play thrilled, intrigued and entertained

6.47pm: Curtain yet to fall on Brazilian ace
Former tennis ace Gustavo Kuerten does not hide his tension well at the table. If he's aware of the poker face concept then he needs to do some work on it. After moving all-in for 70,000 over a 16,000 under-the-gun raise Kuerten started frantically nibbling at one thumb nail as his opponent weighed up whether to call or not.

As the dealer counted out his stack Kuerten starting rubbing his face in long strokes with his fingers going deep into his curly hair. Pass. Kuerten breathed a sigh of relief and flashed 9♠9♦. He may have faced balls served at him faster than 100mph but he looked a whole lot more nervous in those last two minutes. -- RD

pca_day 2_gustavo kuerten.jpg

Gustavo Kuerten serving up his best poker face

6.43pm: Playing the rush
Chris Oliver is up to around 840,000 after scooping a 600,000 pot. We got there just as the river was being dealt to complete the 5♥9♦9♣3♣7♥ board. It paired Oliver's T♠7♥ hand and sent his opponent into a sort of rage where he just shovelled the chips towards Oliver before storming out (hence we don't know his name).

The hand started with an Oliver raise, a three-bet from his opponent, four-bet from Oliver, five-bet back, six-bet shove and a call all-in with A♥K♣. Oliver's opponent looked good for the 600,000 pot until that river fell. Oliver's chips are now spread a third of the way down the table so a floorman is helping sort them out and colour some of them up. -- MC

PCA 2011_10K Main Event_Day 2_Oliver.jpg

Oliver got a lot more

6.38pm: Add your own colour
Team PokerStars Pro JP Kelly has moved up past the 200,000 mark after winning a pot worth around 50,000 against Faraz Jaka.

I'll be honest, the detail is sketchy. But on a board of 8♦A♠A♣Q♣8♣ Kelly bet 52,000 which sent Jaka into the tank. Eventually he passed. - SB

6:33pm: Rheeming Wade
We just walked up as Chino Rheem was getting paid, but the simple fact is this: Tristan Wade is not pleased right now, after having his A♠A♥ cracked by Rheem's T♠8♣ on a 9♣8♦4♠J♣T♣. Wade had Rheem covered by quite a bit, but it still stings.

"You didn't deserve that, kid," Rheem consoled. --BW

PCA 2011_10K Main Event_Day 2_Rheem.jpg

Feeling for his opponent

6:30pm: Team Pro roundup
For those who are looking to see how Team PokerStars Pro is doing, here's who we believe to be left in the field:

  • Chris Moneymaker
  • Pieter de Korver
  • Viktor Blom
  • Sandra Naujoks
  • ElkY
  • Marcel Luske
  • Victor Ramdin
  • Joao Nunes
  • --BW (Neither in this tournament, nor a Team Pro)

    6:29pm: Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!
    Hafiz Khan, runner-up to ElkY in the 2008 PCA, has been eliminated by Dwyte Pilgrim. --BW

    6.28pm: More, please, for Oliver
    Chris Oliver has enjoyed a splendid afternoon. Starting with 97,000 he's been more active than most, a fact supported by countless towers of black 100 chips. Someone has been thieving the blinds and antes. Anyway, he's up to more than 520,000 now, not that counting his sprawling stack is easy.

    More just came in an unconventional manner. David Boughner limped under the gun, Oliver completed from the small blind but then Babak Razi moved all-in for 10,500 more from the big blind. David Boughner called, but then Oliver re-raised to 34,000.

    That was too much for Boughner who folded, and was not impressed to see Oliver turn over J♥7♥. He was up against all-in Razi's A♦6♥, and the J♣5♥7♦[10h]Q♥ board filled Oliver's flush, sending the PokerStars qualifier home. -- SY

    6:22pm: Alaei dirtied by Harry
    Daniel Alaei has been eliminated by Harry Kaczka who moves up to 440,000. Kaczka raised and Alaei flatted in position to see a 4♣9♥A♥ flop. Kaczka c-bet and Alaei called before he moved all-in when Kaczka fired a second bullet on the J♠ turn. Kaczka called quickly with J♣9♣, ahead of his opponent's A♠T♣.

    The river came 2♥ and Alaei was gracious in defeat, as ever, before making his way out of the room. -- MC

    6:12pm: Happy Chino
    Chino Rheem had checked the turn on a 4♣K♣6♥3♥ board and Bolivar Palacios put him all in. Rheem didn't look like he wanted to let it go.

    "What do you have? Like nines?" Palacios said. "Just fold, man."

    Rheem looked cranky, but eventually folded pocket eights face-up. Palacios started to push his cards face-down into the muck.

    "You're not going to do that are you?" Sam Stein asked.

    Palacios smiled sheepishly and offered Rheem the chance to see one card.

    Rheem joked, "Isn't there some rule that she has to show me both of them if he shows me one?"

    He plucked up the 7♦.

    "That doesn't make me happy at all," Rheem said. "Not happy at all."

    Palacios relented and turned over the other card for him...5♦

    "That makes me really happy," Rheem said. "Really happy."--BW

    6.05pm: Play restarts
    Players are back from the break. Level 15 features blinds of 2,000-4,000 with a 400 ante. That, ladies and gentleman, is the first four chip ante of this tournament. -- SB


    Eric Buchman, doing well on Day 2

    PokerStars Blog reporting team in the Bahamas (according to nutritional intake in the last 24 hours): Brad Willis (conch chowder), Simon Young (mainly carbohydrate), Stephen Bartley (Burn energy drink), Marc Convey (the "frapp", from frappucinos), Rick Dacey (the "cino" from frappucinos), Alex Villegas (colours and preservatives).