2011 PCA Main Event: Oliver leads, Moneymaker in top five

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It was another hurried day in the 2011 PCA Main Event. After yesterday's speedy rendering of the field, some 400 players departing in the space of five hours, today was not much different. We started with 173 and had six levels planned. We ended 19 minutes short of that with just 48, when organisers decided to stop the fight early.

By that point one player had gorged himself readily on the needy sitting around him, amassing a stack of 3,675,000 at the close, good for the chip lead by more than 1.3 million. Chris Oliver gave a performance today that at times baffled and bewildered, then bemused, a truly barnstorming display that will leave a mark on those he encountered as they look back on what hit them.

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Chip leader Chris Oliver

Oliver, who would suffer our clichéd musical references, swaggered with all the grandeur of a Dickens' aristocrat. Seeming to live for big all-in pre-flop showdowns, Oliver cracked ace-king twice yesterday and again today, using hands such as ten-seven, ten-three and seven-five, a dedicated contrarian from start to finish.

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The feature table in action today

If Oliver was the boy who wanted more then it was Chris Moneymaker (a name worthy of Dickens), typecast as the Artful Dodger. He spent the day purloining the wares of those around him, finishing in clover with a 1,636,000 stack and a shot at the $1.5 million first prize. He can consider himself a friend.

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Chris Moneymaker

Amid the carnage that kept the pay-out desk operators permanently on station, there were success stories for other final table candidates.

Galen Hall was never far from the leaders, and without the swashbuckler approach favoured by Oliver, Max Lehmanski (2,324,000) and John Andress (1,985,000) secured their journey into Day 4. Tomorrow will also feature EPT7 Vilamoura winner Toby Lewis, the Englishman who created a mountain, lost that mountain, then created another one to replace it. He finished with 979,000 chips tonight having shown experience, and well-placed self-confidence, beyond his years.

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Toby Lewis

But things can change fast, as the last two days of play have demonstrated, and right now any of the 48 players returning tomorrow, including Galen Hall (1,677,000), Philippe Plouffe (1,566,000) and Matt Lichtie (1,463,000) could find themselves in Oliver's position this time tomorrow.

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Max Lehmanski

Unlike those we lost. There was money but not advancement for the remaining Team PokerStars Pros Greg DeBora (49th), Pieter de Korver (113th), JP Kelly (120th), Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier (149th) and Victor Ramdin (163rd).

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Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier

There was also an early finish for Dwyte Pilgrim, Super High Roller Champion Eugene Katchalov and Michael Binger.

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Greg DeBora

Defeat is one way to look at it; profit is another.

The two MEGA-Path qualifiers Tomer Aminpour, from Israel, and Sami Aro, can think that way with pride, each finishing in the money today having won their seats for the grand total of 40 and 100 Frequent Player Points respectively. Actually, perhaps they're more worthy of the tag Artful Dodgers. That goes for Asier Flores from Spain, who won a Jonathan Duhamel promotion to win his PCA seat, a free buy-in which today he turned into $20,000.

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The main event field earlier today

Have nothing to do tonight? Then you can read the full version, which includes the Director's Cut with bonus features and all the musical numbers, in the links below.

Day 3 seat draw
Level 17 & 18 updates
Level 19 & 20 updates
Level 21 & 22 updates

To find the chip counts of all the remaining players check out the dedicated 2011 PCA chip count page. You'll also find details of who has finished where up to now on the 2011 PCA prize winners page and all the video bits you could possibly want on PokerStars.tv.
If you've used Google translate to get this far you might be relieved to know there are versions of this in German, Italian, Portuguese and Dutch.

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Be back tomorrow

That's all we have for you until play resumes tomorrow at Noon. Don't be late. This field is likely to reach 24 in about a half hour.

Until then we're off to do anything, for you dear anything.

Photography © Joe Giron/Joe Giron Photography