2011 PCA main event: Day 3 Level 19 & 20 updates (Blinds 6,000-12,000, ante 1,000)


6.18pm: End of the level
That's the end of level 20. Level 21 will begin shortly.

6.17pm: Kish gifts Oliver more chips
Acsinia Kish just bluffed off nearly half his 600,000 stack into Chris Oliver on a 2♣7♣5♣T♥9♦ board with Q♥9♥. Kish had bet 90,000 on the turn and 150,000 on the river. Oliver called with 7♥T♦.

I know that it wasn't a super thin value bet on the river because Kish said with a sigh, "That's the problem with trying to bluff the big stack." Kish was left with just over 300,000. -- RD

6.16pm: Lewis gets some back
Toby Lewis, the EPT Vilamoura champion, had lost much of his stack but managed to claw back to around 260,000 with this one.

He and Masa Kagawa saw an A♣K♣3♣ flop and Lewis check-called Kagawa's 34,000 bet. On the Q♠ turn, Lewis check-called again, 65,000 this time. Finally both checked the 2♦ river. A♥J♣ for Lewis, and that bested Kagawa's K♥J♠. -- SY

6.15pm: Stater stays alive
Darren Stater was all-in for 140,000 with A♦K♥, up against Max Weinberg's pocket sixes, and the Q♦J♣7♠A♦8♥ board ensured his safe passage to a double up. -- SY

6:13pm: Dwyte Pilgrim finally loses one
It seemed impossible, but Dwyte Pilgrim has just lost a hand. It will be his last of the PCA main event. He got pocket tens all-in against Timothy Finne's A♠Q♥. Finne hit his ace on the flop and Pilgrim's long run in the main event is done. --BW

6.10pm: Super High Roller busts
I mentioned earlier that Eugene Katchalov was nailed on to win this tournament after flopping sets on three of his earlier all-ins. That statement was obviously reaching a bit but when Katchalov got in with 8♦9♦ on a 7♠6♠2♦ flop against pocket kings there was a palpable sense of inevitability that he would hit. The 3♦ brought even more outs but the 3♠ river whiffed all of them. Katchalov will have to spend the rest of the day counting his $1.5 million Super High Roller winnings instead. Tough life. -- RD

6:03pm: Small blind shove sinks Hook
Short-stacked Charlie Hook saw everyone fold around to him and figured it was as good enough a time as any to get it in with Q♣J♣. Too bad for him that Masa Kagawa woke up with A♠K♣ in the big blind. Kagawa flopped his ace. Hook couldn't catch runner-runner and is now gone. --BW

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Charlie Hook

5.58pm: Great Scott
Scott Wilson is up to around 275,00o after doubling through Marcio Barbieri. The action folded around to Wilson in mid-position and he shoved for around 130,000 with T♠T♣ and was lucky enough to find Marcio Barbieri a willing caller in the big blind with 7♠7♦. The board ran 9♣6c]4♠K♦J♦ and the tens hold up. Barbieri down but still okay on 670,000. -- MC

5.55pm: Lewis loses a big one to Kamen
When you're playing on PokerStars money jumps and bubbles are easier to determine. You can even see who is shorter and whether you're going to hit a big blind before or after them. That's not the same case in the life arena as Scott Ward just demonstrated.

Ward had led 35,000 into the turn of a dangerous looking 7♥9♦7♠6♠ board when Anton Ionel moved in on him for his remaining 200,000. Ward wanted to know whether the cash payment had broken from $23,500 into $28,000 yet - we were on the cusp. A floor person arrived, told him that the 81 players left on the board was accurate. A player was all-in on another table. Ward looked likely to stall.

"Clock," requested Toby Lewis. A 60-second clock started counting down.

"It's $5,000 difference," said Ward, more apologetically than aggressively.

"Sorry, we're all pretty short here," replied Lewis who was sat with 300,000.

Less than halfway through the countdown news filtered through that all-in player was out and Ward loudly announced "Call."

Ward: K♦K♣
Ionel: T♦8♦

Ward was not in good shape. Only a king or a seven would fill the big man's boat. The board paired again with the 9♥. "Spend that $5k wisely," said Lewis with a smile. "Yeah, I just hope I got it," said Ward, still not sure that he'd bagged the extra pay jump. He had. The board flicked down to 79. -- RD

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Toby Lewis before he became a short-stacked clock caller

5.53pm: Heartless Pham beats Pilgrim
Edward Pham just doubled up through Dwyte Pilgrim. He got his 200,000 chips in with 8♦8♠ only to find himself behind against Pilgrim's 9♥9♣.

The flop came 4♥7♥2♦. The heart worried Pham.

"I got no heart," he joked. "That's my problem."

edward pham me d3.jpg
Edward Pham

Pham didn't get a heart, but he did get the 8♣, which doubled him up to around 400,000. Pilgrim is down to 320,000. -- SB

5.50pm: McCready wins small pot versus Oliver
On a flop of 3♣5♦Q♠ Aaron McCready checked to Chris Oliver on the button who bet 34,000. McCready called for a A♠ on the turn which both players checked before the T♣ river. McCready took the pot with a bet of 54,000. - SB

5.45pm: Another river for Oliver
Paulo Rink, the former German soccer centre forward, just felt the seemingly unstoppable force that is Chris Oliver. Rink, Brazilian-born but who traded his game in Europe with Bayern Leverkusen, among others, had raised to 33,000 and Oliver called.

The flop was 6♠9♣4♠ and both checked to see a 3♥ turn, check-check again. But on the K♠ river Rink checked and Oliver bet 62,000.

"You bet because you hit your king? A flush, maybe," said Rink. "I call."

Rink showed pocket jacks, but Oliver had A♦K♥ and had overtaken him on the river. Rink on around 300,000, Oliver on so many I can't count. But it's well over 3 million. -- SY


Chris Oliver

5.40pm: One for Colin
Bryan Colin opened with a raise to 24,000 before Dmitriy Stelmak made it 56,000. Call. The flop was 5♣8♠3♠ and Dmitriy bet 56,000 again, but this time Colin re-raised by another 113,000.

The Russian was not too impressed with that, and thought for a good couple of minutes before slowly and silently mucking. So slow and silent, in fact, that the dealer did not notice and everyone sat there for a moment or two before Colin piped up: "He mucked!". -- SY

5.38pm: Stelmak triples as De Korver busts
Team PokerStars Pro Pieter de Korver has been eliminated in a three-way all-in hand. Russian Dmitriy Stelmak was first to move all-in followed by De Korver and Bryan Colin.

Stelmak: K♥9♠
De Korver: A♥Q♣
Bryan: 9♣9♥

The board ran 6♣K♦J♦6♥5♥ to triple Stelmak up to 400,000. De Korver busted and Colin took small side pot to move to 640,000. -- MC

5:35pm: Dwyte Pilgrim may be Irish
At the very least, he's got the luck associated with it. He might as well have had a leprechaun under his hoodie for the last few hands. On the first, he was all-in with A♥3♥ versus A♠K♣. By the turn, the board read 4♦A♣4♣6♣. Pilgrim made no move to stand and collect his things. He knew what was going to happen.

The river? A♦ for the chop.

"Never stop believing," he said.

Two hands later, Pilgrim shoved all-in from late position with K♣6♣. Nikolai Yakovenko called him with A♥Q♦. The board by the turn: Q♥5♣2♠Q♣. Again, Pilgrim didn't move. And again, the river: T♣.

Pilgrim gave a little speech about how he doesn't know how to play, "I don't know all that EV, and pot odds" he rambled, which is clear BS...but that's Pilgrim. He now has a little mow than 400,000 --BW

5.34pm: Lewis loses a big one to Kamen
Nicholas Kamen stood up out of his chair, slapped his hands together and gave a small sharp cheer. Lewis yawned, his own personal brand of sigh. I arrived when the cards were on their backs and there was 850,000 in the middle but it would make sense that Lewis had opened from early position, Kamen had raised from the button and then called a Lewis four -bet shove. Probably.

What we do know is that Kamen was ahead with A♥Q♣ to Lewis' K♠J♠ but was given an uncomfortable sweat on the 2♦7♠3♥8♠ turn. A black 4♣ dropped on the river. Lewis is down to around 250,000. Still enough for some fold equity in these later stages. -- RD

5.30pm: Pilgrimage
Dwyte Pilgrim and Josh Bergman got their chips in on a board reading 8♠5♣9♣5♦. Both promptly turned over aces, making for a split pot, but still had to wait for a third camera team to come over and capture the irrelevant 9♦ river. - SB

5.27pm: Bye-bye Brunetti
Franco Brunetti is out, dispatched unceremoniously by Sam Stein. Brunetti turned over 7♦7♥ while Stein showed A♣9♦. Brunetti braced himself for the board, which came K♥9♥6♦5♣Q♣. A disappointed Brunetti made his way to the rail. Stein back up to around 700,000. - SB

5.24pm: The Oliver effect
A word of warning - if you have ace-king stay away from Chris Oliver. Oliver charged into a temporary chip lead yesterday by winning two huge pots with ten-seven and ten-three, both times besting his opponent's ace-king. Fast forward one day and he's at it again. He's just eliminated Harry Kaczka in a pot worth over two million whilst holding 7♦5♦. Kaczka held A♦K♠ and all the chips went in pre-flop with multi-bets. The board ran K♣5♣5♥J♦6♥ to give Oliver trips and the monster pot.

Kaczka, just like one of Oliver's disgruntled opponents yesterday, smashed his chips all over the table in disgust and stormed off. Oliver didn't flap at the drama and why would he? He's stormed back into the chip lead with around 2.3 million. -- MC

5.23pm: No chicken dinner for Pouliot
Louis-Samuel Pouliot is out after being eliminated by the big stacked Max Lehmanski. Pouliot open shoved for 190,000 from the cut-off and was cold called by Lehmanski on the button.

Pouliot: K♣Q♥
Lehmanski: A♣J♣

louis pouliot me d3.jpg
Louis Pouliot (seated)

The board ran 8♥T♦8♦T♥2♦ meaning two-pair with an ace kicker was good. -- MC

5.20pm: Oh, my Oliver does it again
Chris Oliver continues his astonishing habit of hitting, this time busting Thomas Middleton by flopping a set of jacks to beat the Brit's pocket kings. Furthermore it was the case jack, as another had been folded.

With that, Oliver now goes over 3 million chips and is dominant chip leader of the PCA Main Event.

Oliver had raised to 29,000 before Aaron McCready bumped it up to 60,000 - only for Middleton to raise again to 155,000. Back to Oliver, who reached for yet more chips, making it 260,000. It was all a little too much for McCready who got out of the way, but Middleton pushed with K♥K♣, it was for 850,000 total.

Oliver called in an instant with his J♠J♣. Middleton looked to be in great shape to build a tournament-defining stack, but he must have been fearing Oliver's habit of hitting his hands. So it proved, with the board running 3♥2♠J♦4♦9♦. No histrionics for the Brit, who calmly headed over to the cash desk.

Oliver pulled in yet another huge pot as it was revealed McCready had folded a jack, meaning victory was through a one-outer. Ouch. -- SY

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Middleton suffers one outer

5.18pm: Mathis sticks it in Pilgrim's eye
Marty Mathis has been playing a careful game, raising and opening when he sees a good opportunity and has chipped up to 550,000, quite some improvement since coming back from the break. He just raked a pot of around 150,000 after moving all-in over Dwyte Pilgrim on a Q♣6♠K♠ flop. -- RD

5.11pm: McCready on a million
Aaron McCready joins the million club. Not only does he have a lot of chips but he's in great shape to get a whole heap more sitting as he does two seats to the left of Chris Oliver, who has been playing very loose and very fast.

McCready took down the last pot with an under-the-gun raise to 27,000 and didn't look that happy about it. Monster got no action? -- RD

5:06pm: Stein still here
"I'm feeling good about this," Sam Stein said as he got pocket nines all in against Eric Froelich's K♣Q♣. And well he should've, as the board ran out 4♣4♦3♥3♦[8♦. Stein is now up to 520,000. --BW

PCA 2011_10K Main Event_Day 3_Chris_Oliver.jpg

Running super hot

5pm: New level
Play re-starts in level 20.

4.45pm: Hellooooooooo Burkina Faso!!!
Granted, it may have been a misclick, but we'll take whatever we can get. Are you receiving us in Ouagadougou? Thanks to our one reader out there in that great west African nation. A branded sun visor is on its way to you as we speak. -- SB

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 6,000-12,000, ANTE 1,000

4.42pm: Break time
That's the end of level 19, onto level 20. After a 15 minute break of course.

4.41pm: Dan Heimiller out
Dan Heimiller is what you'd call a veteran of the game, but certainly one that has kept with the times. The American finished 7th here two years ago for $300,000 but has been playing and winning tournaments for years. He won't be doing the same again this year as he has just been knocked out from the TV feature table. No doubt he'll be back again next year beating the kids at their own game yet again. -- RD

4.40pm: Rink strikes Gould
Alan Gould got his chips in with 2♦2♥ and was called by Paulo Rink with A♥T♥. The race was on as the board was dealt: 3♣4♠6♣6♠5♠. Gould up to 420,000 now while Rink slips to around the 300,000. - SB

4:39pm: All all-in
Another all-in, this time a double up for Nikolai Yakovenko with K♦K♠ against the Q♣Q♦ of Jesse Martin. The board ran K♣4♠6♥J♥J♣ to send the chips to Yakovenko who now has 530,000 while Martin slips to 230,000.

Elsewhere Shawn Busse joins the massed ranks on the rail, busting when his pocket jacks were bettered by a pair of eights that found a third on the turn.-- SB

4:37pm: Hall takes over chip lead
Bahbak Oboodi is probably throwing up in a paring lot somewhere right now.

PCA 2011_10K Main Event_Day 3_Galen_Hall.jpgGalen Hall

We only saw the end of the hand, but on a board reading 2♠Q♦3♣A♣T♥, Oboodi had an ace and a deuce in his hand. All the money went in on the river against Galen Hall's K♣J♣ with Oboodu calling the all-in. Hall is now up around 1.6 million. --BW

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Eric Buchman

4:35pm: DeBora doubles
Canadian Team PokerStars Pro Greg DeBora hasn't had a huge stack at any point in this tournament, but he isn't giving up. He's just managed a double up with K♠Q♥ vs. A♣J♣ on a 2♦K♦2♥Q♠5♥ board. --BW

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Greg DeBora

4.33pm: Small lead wins pot?
I'm not sure if the small amount of chips (13,000) in front of David Sands signified an all-in or just the smallest of leads into a pot of over 100,000 on a 4♦5♣J♠ flop. Sands had around 160,000 behind. His opponent, Masa Kagawa, went long into the tank so much so that Toby Lewis took his headphones out to see what was going. Whatever the bet amount, Kagawa passed. Sands is back up to nearly 300,000. -- RD

4.30pm: Buchman falls in double coup
Eric Buchman had been one of the challengers for the lead, but now he's out, one half of a double elimination that benefited only James St Hilaire. When I got to the table, inching my way past gawping players and TV crews with heavy equipment, it transpired we had three all-ins:

St Hilaire, the big stack: A♦J♥
Buchman, the next big stack: A♠Q♣
Thomas Finneran, the short stack: 5♣5♦

Finneran was in much better shape than he could have hoped. The flop was 7♠8♦K♦, a good one for him. "No paint, no paint," he said. Buchman, who was looking to more or less double through St Hilaire with the side pot, said nothing.

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Eric Buchman

The turn was [10c]. "Deuce! Trey! Oh, and no nine!" said Finneran, suddenly spotting St Hilaire's gutshot opportunity. He should have remained silent, the river came 9♣ and Hilaire's straight scooped the pot, busting Finneran and a visibly shaken Buchman in the process. -- SY

4.28pm:Jacks are Back
Faraz Jaka raised to 22,000 and Ted Lawson thought it was a good time to go all-in. So he did. For 138,000 Apparently Eugene Katchalov thought the same thing. So he went all-in too. Jaka wasn't in the same time zone. His clock told him it was time to fold.

Katchalov showed a pair of jacks. Lawson tabled a lower pair, fours. The flop came A♥6♦6♥, Lawson leaned forward. The turn was a J♣, and Lawson stood up, said his goodbyes and went off to cashier. -- AV

4.25pm: Wilson woes
Scott Wilson just won a big pot to take him up to 700,000. Cashing his cheque was Chris Oliver who bet on the river of a 5♥A♣J♠T♦K♠ board. Wilson called, Oliver turned over 7♣2♦ which Wilson brushed aside easily with A♦5♣. - SB

4.20pm: De Leon isn't Kelly's hero
Hernan De Leon has eliminated Team PokerStars Pro JP Kelly in pre-flop all-in showdown. Kelly was down to his last 133,000 and they soon found their way into the middle when he picked up A♠T♦. Unfortunately for him, De Leon was a willing customer with a dominating A♣J♣ and it held through the K♥9♣K♠5♣3♠ board. -- MC

4.12pm: Heater pushes Lehmanski into the million club
Max Lehmanski has broken the 1 million mark after busting Jonathan Tamayo with kings to A♦7♣. Lehmanski, who had not long before won a large pot with a set, took Tamayo's 300,000 stack, which had been three-bet shoved all-in. Lehmanski looked a little shell shocked as he stacked his winnings.

The young German, who won the €3,000 heads up tournament at EPT Vilamoura in August for €41,904, is now up to 1.25 million. -- RD

4.11pm: Kelly's rail
There are a couple of Brits on JP Kelly's rail but the one that stands out - due to height and volume - is WSOP bracelet winner James Demsey who looks like he's started early, i.e. I'm sure that's not just coke in his cup. Team PokerStars Pro Kelly is up to around 160,000 and will need all the support he can get to double up. -- RD

pca_day 3_jp kelly.jpg

Team PokerStars Pro JP Kelly

4:09pm: Sabat hooks Lawson
Eddy Sabat raised to 21,000 and both blinds came along for the ride. All three players checked down the 2♦4♥J♦ flop and a K♥ came on the turn.

Joel Patchell, in the small blind, checked again, and Ted Lawson bet out 32,000. Sabat called and Patchell decided to let his hand go.

The Q♣ on the river prompted another bet from Lawson, this time for 35,000. Sabat raised to 75,000, sending Lawson into the think tank.

"You have ace-ten?" asked Lawson. Sabat offered no response, his hand, covered by his sweater, was shielding his mouth. Lawson made up his mind and threw the extra 40,000 into the pot. "Jacks," said Sabat.

"How many? Asked Lawson. Sabat flipped over a J♥J♠, three jacks. Lawson threw his hand into the much and shrugged. "I had a king," said Lawson, as he riffled his remaining 60,000 in chips. Sabat is now flirting with the 600,000 chip mark. --AV

4:08pm: The face of set over set
Take a look at Max Lemanski below. Does he look like the man who has just won set over set? We didn't think so either. --BW


4:05pm: green chips back in play
If you were missing the green of the Day 1 25 chips, we now have green back in play. This time they are worth 25,000.--BW


4:04pm: Ward enjoying himself
We get a fair few emails at blog@pokerstars.eu asking for info a favourite player's progress. One just came in from Tom asking about Scott Ward, a PokerStars player from the US. He'd not really been on our radar so far, finishing last night with 86,000. He's still in, however, and now up to around 315,000.

"It's a great experience so far," he said.

So there you go, Tom, that's your personal update from the tournament floor. -- SY

3.55pm: Khanna get nothing on the river
Scott Wilson opened for 27,000 which Chris Oliver made 52,000 more from the small blind. Wilson called and the flop came 7♣6♥9♠. Oliver then bet 36,000 but folded sharpish when Wilson moved all-in.

Behind them Alexander Haber was all-in on a board of T♠9♠5♠6♥. He'd been called by Shayne Khanna whose 7♥8♣ was ahead of Haber's 3♣3♠. The 2♥ couldn't help Haber who becomes the latest player to be eliminated. - SB

* The Shane Khanna hand was originally reported incorrectly. Apologies.

3:43pm: Short-stacks doubling
With the blinds now requiring lots of blue chips, the short-stacks are having to take their shot. Clark Hamagami just gave the majority of his short-stack to even more short Gregory Baksic in a A♦T♣ vs. A♥K♠ fight. Hamagami is now down to less than 90,000, while Baksic is up to 260.000.

Moments later on another table, Simon Taberham (just back from a beer on break and down to fewer than four big blinds) managed to get pocket sevens to hold against Alexander Haber's K♥T♥.

"Beer break inspiration works!" Taberham said.--BW


Simon Taberham all smiles after break, double up

3:09pm: Moving on up
With the blinds now at 5,000-10,000-1,000, the players are on their way back to the felt. We should note that at the end of the last level, Jake Cody ran queens into kings and is now out.


PokerStars Blog reporting team in the Bahamas (in order of ability to make owl noises with his hands): Brad Willis (Expert/Tutor/Noisy), Rick Dacey and Alex Villegas (Novice, but learning), Marc Convey (Uninterested), Joe Giron (tried it once), Stephen Bartley (like a child who wants to read but can't), Simon Young (slobbery)