2011 PCA main event: Day 1B, level 3 & 4 updates (blinds 150-300)


4.16pm: End of level 4
And that's the end of the level. Players are taking a 15 minute break. -- SB

4.15pm: Meyrinck sunk
Team PokerStars Pro Maria Meyrinck is out. "Set over set," she said, which sounded harsh. Then she said it again to someone in Portuguese, and it sounded lovely. Anyway, it was her tens against kings on a [k][7][t] flop. Disaster followed. - SB

4:09pm: Daniel Negreanu eliminated
This just in: Kid Poker is gone. His final words:

"This will sound whiny. Haven't hit a str/flush draw in ages. Just went broke with 88 vs AK. Ran awful today."

Now he's looking to head off to the beach with his girlfriend. At least he has that million bucks he won yesterday. --BW

4:00pm: Tales from the TweetDeck
We're not only monitoring the floor here. We're also keeping an eye on TweetDeck. Here are some of the latest reports from the field. --BW

Bill Chen: "Three barreled on qsjs on flop of astd4s. 12k left"

Lex Veldhuis: "Made a 5-bet bluff vs 3 people. Did not work cause im an idiot. Then busted a dude with 97hh on T96 2 5 hxhh board. 42k now. Time to chill."

Vicky Coren: "Still no dramas here at the PCA. We started with 30k, I have 27k; all gentle sailing and the big hands can come when the blinds are bigger."

Daniel Negreanu: "Win a million one day steamed up the next. Taking some beats early down to 11,750 blinds 100-200"

3.57pm: Phillips loses some more
Things aren't going well for Carter Phillips. After that ace-high call against pocket deuces he's just lost another 23,000 after calling all-in on the river of a Q♥6♦6♥2♦7♦ board into queens full. -- RD

3.52pm: Money making
Is a finger massage a waste of money? Noah Schwartz doesn't think so. He's employed a massage therapist to do the job, presumably giving his other hand the day off. She's pulling his fingers in all directions, cracking knuckles, cutting off the blood supply. After that she grabbed his arm and began pulling it, then wheeling it, like she was trying to persuade Schwartz to tango her across the room. That didn't work so she took to squeezing his nexk together instead.

Kevin MacPhee is getting a similar treatment. His massage therapist pushes him repeatedly in the back, like she's trying to start a fight with him. But he has other interests, the action and chips of Chris Moneymaker.

Moneymaker is up slightly, sitting with more than 40,000 chips. He'd just won a pot off Marcel Schreiner on a flop of T♦Q♥5♠. When Schreiner bet 1,075, Moneymaker raised to 2,500 forcing the fold.

As the cards were dealt in the next hand Moneymaker took out a notebook and scribbled something down, a reminder to raise more, perhaps. He then looked at his cards and raised to 750 from early position.

MacPhee was waiting on the button and called for a flop of T♣6♥Q♦. Both checked that for a K♠ turn card and again for a J♣ river where Moneymaker bet 900. MacPhee called and Moneymaker mucked his cards immediately. We never saw what MacPhee had, apart from what I'd guess to be light bruising on his shoulders. But that's nothing compared to Schwartz. -- SB

3:50pm: At least it wasn't bottom pair
When out of position and raising David Williams, please be aware he might be hard to shake. That's exactly what Erika Cerasti did out of the blinds moments ago. Williams was more than happy to come along for the ride. Cerasti led out for 2,200 on a 8♠2♦5♣ flop and Williams made the call. When the T♠ came on the turn, Cerasti relented and checked. Williams did the same. The repeated the action on the T♥ river. Cerasti turned over big slick. Williams tabled A♠5♠ for the win. --BW

3.46: Boeree builds
Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree escaped her first table (the table of death) with zero pots won and half her stack. Her new table has been a lot kinder to her as she has more than doubled up to 50,000. There was an under-the-gun raise to 800 that Boeree called from two seats along which helped bring in the button and both blinds. The flop came Q♥6♦2♠ and the aggressor continued with a 2,200 bet that Boeree and Ben Greenberg (big blind) called.

The turn came 7♥ and Greenberg led for 4,875 and was called by the aggressor before Boeree moved all-in for 15,200. Greenberg went into the tank for six or seven minutes before calling off most of his stack. The original aggressor folded (kings he later said) and Greenberg piped up "You have sixes right Liv?"

She nodded and tabled 6♣6♠ for middle set, best Greenberg's bottom set with 2♣2♦. The river came J♠ and Boeree is a lot more optimistic about her chances now. -- MC

PCA 2011_10K Main Event_Day 1Bliv_boeree.jpg

Bouncing Boeree

3.37pm: Phillips lets rip
"You're steaming so hard you pick the worst spot ever," said Carter Phillips, now steaming himself. "So obvious," he added with an angry little shake of the head. The player in seat six, on the seat draw as Jaime Kaplan, was the player on the receiving end of the venom. Phillips actually looked like he wanted to reach across and slowly squeeze the oxygen out of his neck.

"I knew you were bluffing," Phillips said and he was correct but it was one of those situations where your hero call is still behind to the bluff. I arrived at the flop to see Phillips lead 2,200 into 5♣6♥8♣. Kaplan raised to 5,000 and Phillips called. Phillips check-called 6,050 on the Q♣ turn and didn't take too long calling Kaplan's 12,800 shove on the 3♠ river.

It was a big call from Phillips and he was right on the bluffing front but Kaplan's 2♠2♣ still took the pot. Phillips looks ready to blow. -- RD

3:28pm: The elusive Carlos Mortensen
Anyone who has spent any time covering poker knows that it's usually Day 2 before they'll spot Carlos Mortensen. He's a shape-shifting chameleon who can go hours at a table before he's recognized. This is despite having nearly $10 million in career winnings.

Just three hours into Day 1B, I feel I may have cracked the Mortensen Code. What first drew my attention was the fact someone was playing chess on an iPad. No real surprise there, of course. There are more than a few players who made the move from chess to poker. The age of the iPad has made it all the easier to play both games at once.

As I watched this man play, I was taken by his get-up. He wore a floppy, khaki safari hat so far down over his head that it was almost impossible to see his eyes. Eventually, the man was forced to look up at the poker table. His upturned head first revealed a fairly new goatee around his mouth.

But, it was the eyes that gave him away. They met mine and shoved this thought into my brain, "You don't know me."

I stood there for a moment and thought, "I don't know you."

I was halfway back to my desk before the spell was broken and I remembered. I'm onto you, Carlos. --BW

3.19pm: Who will blink first?
Tyler Reiman came as close as you can get to a PCA title without winning won last year. He was runner-up to Harrison Gimbel and netted $1,750,000 for his mighty efforts. I would a say a lot of his success comes down to stubbornness if the hand we've just witnessed is anything to go by.

Reiman opened the pot from the cut-off to 425 before Brian van Bart three-bet to 1,000. Reiman thought and four-bet to 2,775 only to be five-bet to 6,200. The young American took a lot longer over his next move which was to six-bet to 11,350. Van Bart got the message and folded before sliding a little lower in his chair. Reiman is up to 58,000 chips now. -- MC

3.17pm: Towers of Tilly
Jennifer Tilly now sits with around 100,000 in front of her, thanks to the demise of Evelyn Ng.

After Giuseppe Pantaleo opened Tilly raised to 1,200 which was called by Dylan Hortin on the button. Pantaleo then raised to 3,375, bringing a handful of chips down onto the table, almost overarm. Tilly's no stranger to Hollywooding, but her call was more matter-of-fact than performance. Hortin also called. The flop came 6♣J♣J♦.

The German is in relaxed dress, a loose comfortable outfit, the type of clothes found in teenagers' rooms everywhere. He also wears a tattered plastic bracelet on his left wrist, the sort that gets you entry into places, in stark contrast to those worn by Tilly, diamond encrusted stunners, five actually, along with a sparkling watch and glitter nail polish, along with white plastics sunglasses, the type usually worn by Jason Mercier.

Pantaleo came out betting again, 4,075 which Tilly dismissed with a raise to 12,000. Hortin had had enough and folded leaving it to Pantaleo. What with the betting, the re-raising, the bling and the chip, Pantaleo knew his place. He folded. Tilly up to 110,000. - SB


Jennifer Tilly

3.12pm: Big bad Benyamine
David Benyamine can certainly be counted among the poker glitterati and his stack is certainly testament to that. He's already up to 110,000 putting him among the early Day 1b chip leaders. He's likely to keep chipping up playing a lot of pots with indifferent aggression. The last pot was another small win. Benyamine opened to 400 from the cut-off, was called in the small blind and summarily dispatched any further attention with a 600 c-bet on the 5♥7♠T♠ flop. -- RD

3.10pm: The Sal Bon Fashion Report
This event's fashion report is brought to you by the PokerStars Blog's Fashion Editor Simone Younge...

"Our Salvatore Bonavena is today wearing a fetching pink jumper, complete with his trademark grey, short-brimmed Trilby hat. This is the must-have outfit in this winter season, and will complement any man's wardrobe at this time of year. Accessories may inlclude a scarf (any pastel shade will do) but this is not being displayed today."

That concludes the Sal Bon Fashion Report, essential for any self-respecting Italian Team PokerStars Pro. -- SY


Salvatore Bonavena

3.05pm: Hellooooooo Saint Pierre and Miquelon
It's that time of day when we celebrate our isolated readers around the globe. Somewhere out there on the island Saint Pierre and Miquelon, a small French-owned territory just off north-east Canada, is a lone PokerStars Blog reader, according to our analytics.

We salute you sir/madam/puffin. -- SY

3.02pm: Isildur1 cruising
Team PokerStars Pro Viktor Blom is up to 70,000. He bet 7,800 on the river of a 5♠4♣K♣Q♣Q♥ board with A♠K♠ and got a call to pick up another nice pot. -- SY

3pm: Table of Death collapses
Our table of death, which included Sorel Mizzi, ElkY, Liv Boeree, Will Falia, Chris Lee, Carter Phillips and Yevgeni Timoshenko, has finally broken up. The occupants have dispersed around the room, with ElkY joining the table that includes Team PokerStars Pros Pat Pezzin and Anh Van Nguyen, while Boeree sits down with Gualter Salles from Brazil.

Just before they split, Boeree had a decision for her tournament life. On a board of 4♦5♣K♠6♣J♦, and with around 15,000 in the middle already, Chris Lee had bet 18,500 - enough to put Boeree all-in. She gave it a good dwell, staring down Lee. Unfortunately he stared straight back at her, giving nothing away whatsoever. She mucked. -- SY

2.55pm: Flushed with success
Roberto Romanello is the most current EPT champion after taking down EPT Prague just before Christmas and netting a cool €640,000. He's playing today and doing alright so far. He was just witnessed betting 4,200 in to a 3,000 pot on the river of a Q♥K♦A♦T♦6♥ board. Fellow Brit Craig Hopkins was his opponent in the hand and called but mucked upon seeing Romanello's 5♦2♦ for a flush. The Welshman is up to 34,000 as a result. -- MC

2.44pm: Rousso river bluff not believed
Vanessa Rousso has just taken a hit after making a large 15,000 bluff on the river of a 3♣T♣3♠8♥6♠ board. The betting had been fairly pedestrian until the river at which point Rousso overbet the pot in an attempt to blow her opponent off his hand. A tank call with queens for a cagily played over pair crushed Rousso's ace-high. She's down to 14,000. -- RD

pca_day 1b_vanessa rousso.jpg

Rousso saw weakness, pounced and fell badly

2.40pm: News from the land of Twitter
Evelyn Ng was nice enough to tweet her exit during the break. She explained:

"i'm out level 2! Jenn Tilly raised to 5k (i think by accident) on 75-150 blinds, and i shoved for 30k & she called w AKo, Ace on the flop :("


"oh, i had QQ btw..." -- MC

2:28pm: Bellande and Brenes and Snakes on a Train
It was three ways to a 3♦3♥5♣ flop with some apparent serious action before the flop. Jean Robert Bellande was out of position and had check-raised Humberto Brenes with Team Online's Randy Lew in the middle. Lew and Brenes both folded with Brenes looking less than happy about it. There began the Bobby Belande show, in which he intimated that he figured he was probably in third place, then thought for two seconds before reversing himself and telling Brenes, "You were in third. (Lew) had you beat, but I had you both beat." Brenes simply shook his head. "I play with you too much," Brenes said. "You're crazy."

While it was almost impossible to tell how, the conversation then drifted to a discussion of Denzel Washington films and the Samuel L. Jackson classic, "Snakes on a Train" (sic), which was eventually corrected by another player at the table to "Snakes on Plane" which was eventually reworked to be "Snake with a Vein" which is the point at which the conversation was no long appropriate for a family audience. All of this is taking place about six feet from where the Table of Death (see below) is playing with decidedly less film criticism. --BW

2:26pm: Iron Maiden remains at Table of Death
Despite promises that their table would be first to break, the unlikeliest field of players (see 12:51pm of this post for reference) remains in action. Still among them is Liv Boeree who has revealed her shirt choice for the day: Iron Maiden. --BW

2.30pm: Guga Guga Guga!
He won $14,807,000 in carer earnings which is around $800,000 more than Daniel Negreanu got up to yesterday as leader of the all-time tournament money list. He's won three major titles and was ranked number one in the world. I think it's safe to say that Gustavo Kuerten, the Brazilian tennis superstar, achieved almost as much as he could've dreamed of in the tennis world. But you don't get to achieve these fetes without a fierce competitive spirit, something of a must to be a success at poker.

He's in the field here today and sits on 21,000 chips at the first break. Recent years have seen a flow of sports stars use poker as a way to channel their competitive spirit: our very own Boris Becker and Fatima Moreira de Melo have succeeded and just yesterday we saw golf super star Sergio Garcia try his luck.

In his home town he in known as "Cachorro Grande" which literally translates as "Big dog". Let's see if he can make that name stick in the poker world. -- MC

PCA 2011_10K Main Event_Day 1B_gustavo_kuerten.jpg

Brazilian tennis legend Gustavo Kuerten

2.25pm: The scores
Don't forget you can find approximate chip counts for a selection of Day1B players on the chip count page.

2.20pm: Play restarts
Card are in the air again for level 3, with blinds at 100-200. -- SB


PokerStars Blog reporting team in the Bahamas (in order of time wasted thinking up these "in order of's"):Brad Willis (couldn't sleep last night), Stephen Bartley (At least since that "Arab Detroit" thing at 2pm), Simon Young, Rick Dacey and Marc Convey (yet to be determined). We don't ask Alex Villegas. Now go to the top of this post and start reading the updates.