2011 PCA main event: Day 4, level 25 & 26 updates (25,000-50,000-5,000)
5:40pm: Now down to 22 at day's end
Of the four tables in play, three lost a player at the very same time. As we mentioned below, Timothy Finne busted on the featured table. At the very same time, short-stacked Nicholas Kamen was getting all-in with A♦2♥ against Galen Hall's K♠Q♦. Hall hit a queen on the river to send Kamen packing.
Meanwhile, Josh Bergman got pocket queens all-in against Bryan Colin's big slick. Once again, it took until the river for the dealer to out out the king. That sent Bergman on his way.
We're now finished for the day with Ana Marquez in the chip lead and Chris Moneymaker in a very close second. Tomorrow is shaping up to be a very interesting day. --BW
5.35pm: Moneymaker busts Finne
This one was a battle of the blinds and about as standard as they come. It was folded around to Team PokerStars Pro Chris Moneymaker in the small blind, and when he came in for a raise, Tim Finne moved all-in from the big blind for 900,000. Moneymaker called instantly:
The flop was 5♦A♥Q♠, extending Moneymaker's lead but at least offering Finne a gutshot draw if a jack hit. But the turn was 5♥ and river 2♦ to send him home in 25th place.
That sent Moneymaker up to 3.7million and second in chips! -- SY
5.30pm: "I think I have the best hand" Bou-Habib cripples Kamen
Nick Kamen has just been crippled by Walid Bou-Habi, but it so almost didn't happen. Kamen moved all-in from the button for just over one million. Phillipe Plouffe passed in the small blind while Bou-Habib went deep into the tank with his 800,000 stack.
Was he running the clock down? It seemed like he might be for a little while. He wasn't. "I think that I have the best hand," he said, rising to his feet. "I call."
It wasn't exactly the best hand but it was certainly in good shape, especially when the board ran out K♥J♣2♦T♣8♥. Kamen down to 300,000. -- RD
5.25pm: And the rail goes wild
The rail was a group of Russians cheering on Dmitriy Stelmak and they went as wild as Russians do, i.e. a quiet cheer when he won a hand. The action folded around to him in the small blind and he raised to 140,000 and was called by Calvin Anderson in the big blind. The flop came 2♣5♥J♠ and Stelmak led for 155,000. Call. The turn was K♠ and Stelmak led for 275,000. Call. Both players checked the 8♥ river before the Russian revealed 4♣4♠. Anderson looked at his cards once more and threw them in the muck. -- MC
5:16pm: Back to eliminate one more
The final 25 are back. When when goes, the rest break for the night. --BW
5pm: Break time
Just one more player to lose before we break for the day. When that horse falls we'll wrap things up and prepare for three eight-handed tables that will play down to the final table and its $2.3 million first prize. -- RD
4.55pm: Bitter pill for Lehmanski to swallow
Max Lehmanski was one card away from the chip lead just a short while ago, now he's out.
Dmitry Stelmak raised from the cut-off and Max Lehmanski shoved from the button. The blinds passed. Stelmak did not.
The K♣6♠3♠ flop was great for the German but Stelmak looked as if he knew the ace was coming. There was no reaction on the Russian's face. Not until the A♥ appeared and he allowed himself a smile. The river was the 8♣ boosting Stelmak up to 2.8 million and booting Lehmanski out in 26th for $66,000. -- RD
4.53pm: St. Hilaire needs a miracle
James St. Hiliare just got the majority of his stack swiped by Michael Pesek in a blind-vs-blind battle. St. Hilaire held big slick to Pesek's 3♦3♥. A three on the flop and St. Hilaire is now down to just a few big blinds. --BW
4:50pm: Khanna makes a million
Chris Oliver raised to 90,000 and Shayne Khanna, with what's considered a short stack nowadays, moved all-in for 545,000.
Khanna showed K♥J♥, slightly behind Oliver's A♣9♥. The flop came 4♠J♠3♣, putting Khanna in the lead. "Runner-runner straight," screamed an audience member and, like clockwork, a 5♥ came on the turn.
The room was filled with suspense, some hoped for Khanna's double-up, others wanting the poker gods to lay down the cruel runner-runner straight. A [10h] came on the river, Khanna got his double-up and is now a chip millionaire with just over 1.1 million. -- AV
4.45pm: Rink out
Paulo Rink, the Brazilian who played professional soccer in Germany, is out. Mike Sowers had made it 90,000, and as Rink announced raise and moved his chips over the line, Sowers moved all-in and Rink called for the rest of his stack. He had 700,000.
Rink was in all sorts of the trouble. The flop came 8♥Q♣6♦, and the 9♥ turn meant that if Sowers did hit a set it would make a straight for Rink. But the river was 2♥ and Rink's tournament is done. -- SY
4.41pm: Rink risks it to try and eliminate Anderson
Paulo Rink called a big raise on a 9♥7♥K♦ flop in an attempt to eliminate Calvin Anderson. Rink led the flop and then moved all-in when raised by Anderson, who took a long time to call with T♣J♣ for a double belly-buster straight. Rink tabled K♥7♠ and faded outs through the 5♦6♠ turn and river to move up to 1.3 million. -- MC
4.40pm: Huge bluff adds to Hall's stash
Galen Hall just ran a large bluff to blow Philippe Plouffe off of his winning hand. Plouffe opened for 85,000 from the cut-off and Hall three-bet from the button to 210,000. Plouffe made the call.
Both players checked the A♠7♥6♥ flop and the 2♥ turn. Plouffe checked one final time on the river and Hall bet 210,000 for the second time. Plouffe didn't want to release his hand but neither did he want to call. He passed J♠J♣ face-up. Hall showed 4♥5♦ for a huge bluff. Hall is up to 1.6 million now. -- RD
4:29pm: Golka still running good
PokerStars qualifier Rafael Golka told Matt Lichtie that he runs good just before their board was dealt and he was right. Golka opened with a raise from mid-position and called when Lichtie shoved for about 460,000 from the big blind.
The board ran K♦9♣8♣A♥5♦ to prove Golka right by the turn card. We're down to 27 players now. -- MC
4.17pm: More for Marquez
Ana Marquez continues to build, attacking whenever the opportunity presents. It was folded around to her in the small blind and she made it 110,000. Paulo Rink gave it a little thought in the big blind and elected to call. They saw a 7♣3♣[10s] flop, and Marquez counted out another 150,000, and that was too much for the former soccer star from Brazil, who folded. --SY
4:10pm: In case you didn't hear the screaming in Panama
In one of--if not the biggest--pots of the day, Bolivar Palacios got 1,485,000 all-in pre-flop against Max Lehmanski. The hands:
It's always the river. Isn't it? The first four cards were rainbow babies, but the river hit as the K♥. The normally laid-back and reticent Palacios exploded in a chorus of "Vammmmooooooooo!" and the like. Lehmanski is still in this thing, but now has less than a million. Palacios, meanwhile, moves into the top five. --BW
4:09pm: Gray is the new 100,000
Tournament officials have introduced a new chip into play. The gray chips you see in the stack below are worth 100,000 apiece. --BW
4.10pm: Bou-Habib getting battered
Walid Bou-Habib opened from the small blind to 90,000 into the big blind of smiley Galen Hall. The American promptly moved all-in putting Bou-Habib's remaining 600,000 at risk. He looked a little frustrated and passed. Hall is now up to 1.3 million. No wonder he looks so happy. -- RD
3.58pm: Great Hall
Galen Hall is up to around 1.2 million after eliminating PokerStars qualifier Aaron McCready. Hall raised from under-the-gun and called when McCready shoved for 570,000 from the small blind.
McCready : A♦Q♣
McCready asked the dealer to put an ace out there but he was sorely disappointed with the 9♦T♦8♣8♥K♦ board. It was all over by the turn with Hall making a full house. -- MC
3.56pm: That'll be quads
Aaron McCready made it 80,000 and got a call from Joel Patchell to see a 9♥J♦2♣ flop. Both checked that, but on the J♠ turn McCready made it 65,000 and got another call. On the 9♦ river McCready made it 325,000 and again Patchell called - only to be shown 9♣9♠ for quads. Nice! -- SY
3.53pm: Big chips
This level has seen the introduction of a rare beast - the white 100,000 chip. Not seen one of those for a while. -- SY
3.50pm: Finne almost fried by Stein
Tim Finne just breathed a huge sigh of relief after getting it in with A♦8♣ against Sam Stein's pocket sevens and not hitting until the river. Finne doubled up from 600,000 to 1.2 million. It's a minor hit on Stein's stack which now stands at around 2.5 million. -- RD
3:40pm: Sowers gets Sabat
It was an all-in battle on the first hand back form break between Eddy Sabat and Mike Sowers. Sabat got in the last of his chips with A♥K♦. He was up against Sowers' pocket eights. The dealer was a tad cruel, putting the K♠ out first, before revealing the Q♦ and 8♠ on the flop. Sabat was dead by the 6♥ turn and headed off to collect his winnings. --BW
3:28pm: Back in action
With 30 players left in the field, we're back to action. It could be over this level (but it won't be if I have anything to say about it). In the meantime, here's the last woman sitting, Ana Marquez. If she doesn't have the chip lead, she's close to it.--BW
PokerStars Blog reporting team in the Bahamas (in order of relative health vis a vis activities of the past 24 hours):Brad Willis, Rick Dacey, Joe Giron (Tip-top, got to bed early and now hopped up on caffeine), Simon Young (apoplectic, watching his football team play and screaming at his computer), Stephen Bartley (activities unknown, but pretending he feels fine, and going to win an Academy Award for it), Alex Villegas (here in body, hoping housekeeping gets to his hotel room fast), Marc Convey (redacted for the sake of brotherhood and good taste)