2011 PCA Super High Roller: Day 1, level 3 and 4 updates (blinds 1,000-2,000, 300 ante)


5.02pm: Laliberte cartwheels out of the Super High Roller
Cirque de Soleil founder Guy Laliberte has departed the tournament floor. The Canadian started back from the break with just 24,000 so his death bell had been ringing for some time.

That's the end of the level. -- RD

pca_super high roller_guy laliberte.jpg

High Stakes Poker favourite Guy Laliberte is out most recent faller

4.54pm: Backhanded compliment to Mizzi
Phil Laak and Antonio Esfandiari are stood around Sorel Mizzi's table bantering at the Canadian's expense.

"I think this is the first time that I've seen Sorel when he's not been the best player at the table," said Esfandiari.

I didn't catch Laak's reply but it was typically filled with 'wohs', 'mans' and 'awesomes'. Mizzi didn't seem to know whether to take the comments as compliments or not, but given how tough the table is (Nick Schulman, Daniel Negreanu, Viktor Blom etc) it would be understandable not to feel insulted. -- RD

4.50pm: Mercier good
Sandor Denjan opened for 4,000 which Jason Mercier raised to 11,100. Denjan called with a green chip for a flop of 8♥J♥T♥.

Both checked that for a 3♣ turn. Denjan then bet another 22,000, Mercier, big square shaped mirrored glasses, reflecting the action like two TVs in the window of Radio Shack, tossed in a green chip to call.

The river came 9♥ which Denjan checked. Mercier did the same, although with some reluctance. "I imagine I had the best hand but don't have the best hand," he said. He did, turning over K♦J♦ to topple Denjan's 4♣3♦. Mercier up to around 140,000. - SB

4.42pm: Rajkumar takes the chip lead
Vivek Rajkumar has taken the chip lead with a hefty 720,000 stack beating Nick Schulman down to 280,000 in the process. Mike McDonald opened to 6,000 from the cut-off and was called by Rajkumar on the button before Schulman three-bet to 16,500 from the big blind. Rajkumar made the call.

Schulman c-bet into the K♦Q♠6♦ flop and Rajkumar made the call. How much was that bet? I couldn't say but given the size of the bet on the turn I'd hazard a guess that it must have be pot-sized. On the 5♠ turn Schulman fired another 80,000 and Rajkumar made the call.

The river brought a 130,000 bet from Schulman and Rajkumar matched that hefty stack of chips and showed K♠9♠ for top trips. Schulman mucked as Rajkumar leapt into the chip lead. -- RD

4.35pm: Helloooooo Niue!
Yes, it's shout out time, this time to our one reading in Niue, the Rock of Polynesia, a protectorate of New Zealand out there in the Pacific Ocean. Incidentally Niue is the world's first free WiFi nation, which leads you to wonder why more of the population aren't reading this. Anyway, hello down there. -- SB

4.25pm: Seiver out
Scott Seiver is out. Having come out worst in a hand against Andrew Robl minutes earlier, he encountered Phil Laak (Spell check name "Leak") and his pocket queens, getting his chips in on a board of 2♥8♦J♣3♦3♥. Seiver didn't show when Laak turned over the winner. Seiver becomes the third player to be eliminated. - SB

4.19pm: The importance of insurance
Following on from the last post it turns out that Mike McDonald is still in and it was a seat change. Good for him. He's been moved onto Sorel Mizzi's table. -- RD

4.16pm: Deep stacked poker
You'd think that in a tournament this deep stacked (i.e. that there's still 125 big blinds in the starting stack at this level) that it's almost impossible to go out. Not so. We've lost a small smattering of players; Koen Berendsen early on who has been joined by Bill Perkins and, I could be wrong here, Mike McDonald. The Canadian's seat is empty and there are no chips that I can see from here. It could just be a seat change - that's my insurance. -- RD

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 1,000-2,000, ANTE 300

3.58pm: Seiver Robl'd
David Baker opened for 4,200 from under-the-gun and Andrew Robl called on the button with a single blue chip worth 5,000. Next to act was Scott Seiver (spell check name "Shiver") who raised to 16,200. Baker passed. At which point the dealer gave Robl his change, which Robl had an issue with and asked for his blue chip back. After some fussing the issue was sorted after Robl called, and the flop was dealt 4♥8♥6♦.

Andrew Robl

At this point Seiver bet 28,000. He took his time but Robl called for a 6♥ turn. Seiver tanked for a while, usually animated now he was quiet, his hands covering his face almost as though he was playing the harmonica. He bet 52,000.

Robl looked at his cards again. Big shoulders, Robl called, looking at the table as if looking over the top of reading glasses, his forehead pointing directly ahead.

The river came J♠. Robl eyed Seiver who remained still, playing his harmonica. Then he broke the silence. "I'm all in," he said. "I call," replied Robl who turned over 8♠6♠ to win the hand. The price to Seiver was 146,000, taking Robl up to around 300,000 and taking him down to around 80,000. - SB

3.45pm: ElkY in genuine hand shocker
Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier is definitely one of those players that you expect to be turning over a wide range of hands at showdown so it was fair enough that Bryan Colin took his time deciding whether to call, raise or fold with A♥K♦ on a K♠Q♥4♥4♣J♦ board. ElkY's A♣K♣ chopped the pot. -- RD

pca_super high roller_elky.jpg

Even ElkY can have a hand fomr time to time

3.37pm: Also on the nod
On a flop of 9♦J♠6♦ Sandor Denjan checked in the small blind before Shawn Buchanen bet 4,200. Denjan called for a 9♠ turn card and both checked for a 2♦ river. Denjan then checked again, then called when Buchanen bet 8,100. T♦K♣ for Buchanen, A♥A♦ for Denjan who turned to some friends on the rail behind him and nodded. - SB

3.30pm: On the nod
A bet of 4,200 from Justin Smith on the button and a no hesitation call from Bill Chen in the small blind. Daniel Cates also called from the big blind for a flop of T♣9♥A♣.
There then followed a seemingly endless stream of checks. Three for a 7♦ turn. Then three more for a 8♥ river, followed by three more checks. Smith, the original raiser showed 8♦7♠. Chen and Cates nodded and Smith took the pot. - SB

3.26pm: Phone sex?
Andrew Robl was left looking slightly uncomfortable by the proposal of a bet that centred on the length of his longest phone sex conversation. Antonio Esfandiari was the player that put the idea forward: "He looks like he'd be a Romeo on the phone," Esfandiari suggested. Although there was a lot of enthusiasm for the topic the bet never took off. More's the pity.

Elsewhere Sorel Mizzi was three-betting Bill Perkins from the button and picking up a small pot with a post-flop c-bet. Expected behaviour from both Mizzi and Esfandiari. -- RD

3.20pm: Chip counts
We did a quick scan of the chips at the break and you can see them all in their technicolor glory here. Nick Schulman is still way out in front with 570,000 after his early knockout of Koen Berendsen. -- RD

3.10pm: We play on
Play continues, at the same break neck pace that ripped through levels one and two. Koen Berendsen is the only player eliminated so far. -- SB

3pm: Into level 3
And we're back from the break, refreshed with lattes and the Elton John of Starbuck's beverages, the caramel frappucino. Blinds are now 800-1,600 with a 200 ante. -- SB

The beach

PokerStars Blog reporting team in the Bahamas (by preparation taken for the PCA trip ): Stephen Bartley (extensive physical training while leaning to play a steel drum), Rick Dacey (extensive drinking then trying to lift a steel drum)