2011 PCA Super High Roller: Level 15 & 16 updates (blinds 15,000-30,000, 4,000 ante)


3.20pm: End of the level
Players are taking a 15 minute break.

3.18pm: Before the break
The level ends with a pot won for Nick Schulman. He completed in the small blind and Bryn Kenney checked in the big blind. The flop came 5♠6♦9♣ which Schulman checked, then called Kenney's bet of 63,000. Both players checked the 9♠ on the turn for an A♠ on the river. Schulman's bet of 155,000 was enough. - SB

3.10pm: Break approaching
The first 15-minute break of the day is just around the corner. Although the last few hands have been very much cat and mouse, the first two levels have been action packed with three players falling. Andrew Lichtenberger was the first to go and Sandor Demjan burst the bubble before Humberto Brenes stepped out with $200,000.

A full chip count will be conducted at the break. We're running through very rough guestimates in the meantime. -- RD

3.05pm: And another for Negreanu
Daniel Negreanu called on the button, Eugene Katchalov completed in the small blind and Nick Schulman checked in the big.

The flop came 4♥4♠Q♥ which all three players checked for a 5♥ turn. Katchalov checked before Schulman bet 75,000, which only Negreanu called for a 8♦ turn. Schulman bet again, 155,000 this time which Negreanu called. Schulman tapped the table and mucked as Negreanu showed his [a][2]. - SB

3pm: One for Negreanu
Daniel Negreanu opened from the small blind for 87,000 which Eugene Katchalov called from the big blind. On the flop of 2♠4♥7♠ Negreanu bet another 110,000 which Katchalov called for a 7♦ turn card. Both checked for an A♦ on the river. More checking, Negreanu turning over [3][4] to take the pot. - SB

2.54pm: The other big hand
As mentioned below there was another interesting hand (that we could barely hear or see) and it took place between Daniel Negreanu and Nick Schulman. On the turn of a K♥9♣A♦4♣ board Negreanu fired 125,000 and Schulman called. The Canadian fired another 125,000 on the 6♥ river and Schulman called again. Baby set for Negreanu with pocket fours. -- RD

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"Oooo, nice turn" Negreanu catches a set against Schulman

2.50pm: The big guns start firing
We've got four first rate players left in with Daniel Negreanu, Nick Schulman, Eugene Katchalov and Bryn Kenney and none seem to be phased by the amount of money on the table.

While two of the most interesting pots took place an electrician from the TV crew was wrangling a crackling set of plugs, just a foot away from us, which managed to knock out the announcer's microphone so you'll just have to cope with some fluffy details here.

In the first Kenney opened to 77,000 from the button and was called by Katchalov in the big blind. Katchalov check-called 94,000 on the 5♠K♣6♦ and then, I think, led the [3] turn for 200,000. Kenney called. The T♣ on the river was enough for Katchalov to fire another large bet, somewhere around 330,000 I believe. Kenney called and passed when shown K♦8♥ for top pair. -- RD

2.40pm: Two for Katchalov
Two pots going the way of Eugene Katchalov, combining for a boost of around 500,000 chips.

Katchalov opened one pot from under-the-gun for 70,000 which Daniel Negreanu called in the big blind for a flop of 2♦K♥K♦. Negreanu checked to Katchalov who bet 55,000. Negreanu called that for a J♠ turn card which both players checked for a Q♣ river. More checking and Katchalov turned over ace-jack to win the hand.

Katchalov took another a few moments later, opening for 75,000 which Nick Schulman raised to 210,000. Katchalov called for a 7♠3♦K♦ flop. Schulman checked and Katchalov made it another 215,000 to play. Schulman then called for a 2♠ turn card. Again a check from Schulman before Katchalov made it 600,000. Schulman tanked, then passed. - SB

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 15,000-30,000, ANTE 4,000

2.22pm: Brenes busts in fifth ($200,000)
Humberto Brenes is the next player out after shipping it all-in over the top of Bryn Kenney for the second hand on the bounce.

Kenney had opened for 52,000 and Brenes three-bet shoved for around 440,000 total. Kenney seemed to have a genuine hand but not a monster and asked for the chips to be pulled in.

Brenes, once again on his feet, begged: "Please put in your chips"

"You can put your chips in with me any day," Kenney replied - it was all beginning to sound a little too much like Top Gun. Kenney made the call.

Kenney tabled pocket nines to Brenes' A♥Q♥ and the pair were off to the races. The flop whiffed the Costa Rican with 6♦2♣J♠ as the audience continued to shout for a nine, queen or ace. None had come on the flop and that wouldn't change on the 2♠ turn or J♣ river. Brenes waved to his railers and departed, happy not to have bubbled, with $200,000 in his pocket (not literally).

This also takes Daniel Negreanu one place closer to taking the lead in the All-Time Money list from Phil Ivey (who is here playing the Main Event). -- RD

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Not even the shark could help Brenes, who departs in fifth

2.10pm: Return to Sandor
Sandor Demjan has been eliminated, the last player to leave empty-handed, bursting a sizable money bubble.

Demjan had opened for 62,000 from under-the-gun which Eugene Katchalov raised in the small blind to 185,000. The action was folded back to the Hungarian who called for a flop of 8♦8♥2♦. Katchalov bet another 155,000 before Demjan moved all-in for about 300,000. Katchalov called showing J♣J♠ which topped Demjan's T♣T♠.

The turn 3♦ and river 9♠ ended Demjan's tournament in sixth place. It means the remaining five players will also finish in the money. -- SB

2.02pm: Demjan fighting back
Sandor Demjan should be the next player to go out. That's not a demand, just the theoretical likelihood given that the Hungarian has the least amount of chips and arguably the least amount of poker experience. It turns out no-one has told him this yet as he is valiantly battling to stay alive. He's won two of the last three hands, opening for 57,000 and taking Humberto Brenes' big blind in one, and successfully three-betting Nick Schulman's 52,000 raise to 166,000. Demjan showed A♠K♦. He's got going to go without a fight, that's for sure. -- RD

1.57pm: Demjan wins a bigger one
Eugene Katchalov opened for 55,000 before Nick Schulman raised to around 130,000 and Sandor Demjan moved all-in for 271,000 more. Katchalov passed and Schulman tanked for a while, ultimately passing. Demjan, the "1980 Time Man of the Year" by the way, heading in the right direction. - SB

1.52pm: Demjan wins a small one
Sandor Demjan won a small pot. When Daniel nregreanu opened for 55,000 Demjan and Bryn Kenney called for a flop of 8♦J♠3♥. All three players checked to the 8♠ turn at which point Demjan bet to force Kenney and Negreanu to fold. - SB

1.46pm: Big time bubble
Bubbles simply don't come bigger than this and that fact allows the likes of Nick Schulman to apply immense pressure on the shorter stacks. Humberto Brenes opened from the cut-off for 60,000 and Schulman, in the small blind, raised it up to 712,000. Importantly the only other player left to act was short stack Sandor Demjan in the big blind. The raise would put either to the test for their tournament life, and that's a $200,000 question right now. Great raise by Schulman.

"I pass, one time," said Brenes on his feet and leaning on the table. It's unlikely to be the last tough decision. -- RD

1.42pm: Cautious times
We've had a walk for Daniel Negreanu, a raise and take for Nick Schulman and a single T♣A♠6♥ flop, which Eugene Katchalov led into for 32,000 to take the pot. -- RD

1.34pm: Andrew Lichtenberger eliminated empty handed
Eugene Katchalov won the first pot of the day, raising Nick Schulman's bet on a flop of K♠9♣6♦. Then the first elimination of the day.

Daniel Negreanu opened for 55,000 from under-the-gun which was called by Sandor Demjan in the small blind before Andrew Lichtenberger moved all in from the big blind for 370,000. Negreanu asked for a count, then called as Demjan passed. Lichtenberger showed A♦T♣ but needed help as Negreanu turned over K♣K♥.

The board came T♠4♥J♦9♦K♠ to seal Lichtenberger's fate, out in seventh place. We're now on the bubble. - SB

1.26pm: Shuffle up and deal
Play has started at teh Super High Roller final table with the audio backdrop of hundreds of main event players riffling their chips. It's a glorious noise, reminiscent of crickets in Mykonos. -- RD

1.22pm: More snaps
The final group photos are being taken and that means we're just minutes away from take off. There's a terrifying amount of money to be won here; $1.5 million for first and $200,000 for fifth, which makes for a major bubble. Sandor Demjan and Andrew Lichtenberger are the two most at risk with less than 400,000 apiece but Humberto Brenes with 756,000 could easily get sucked into the bubble battle.

Final tables announcements have just begun. -- RD

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The finalists

1.15pm: The line-up
While the players take their seats, and that means you too Kenney, here's a reminder of how they'll line up:

Seat 1 - Nick Schulman, United States, 2,990,000 chips
Seat 2 - Sandor Demjan, Hungary, 379,000 chips
Seat 3 - Andrew Lichtenberger, United States, 373,000 chips
Seat 4 - Bryn Kenney, United States, 1,390,000 chips
Seat 5 - Daniel Negreanu, Canada, Team PokerStars Pro, 2,166,000 chips
Seat 6 - Humberto Brenes, Costa Rica, Team PokerStars Pro, 756,000 chips

Seat 7 - Eugene Katchalov, United States, 1,476,000 chips

1.10pm: Players settling down
Several of the players have arrived at the TV table, including Team PokerStars Pros Daniel Negreanu and Humberto Brenes. The small matter of getting some good headshots for use in TV graphics has to be resolved before things can kick off (if Bryn Kenney was here that would help too).

We just saw Hungarian businessman Sandor Demjan scurrying across the tournament floor and looking somewhat surprised to get blocked off by a feisty redhead. Demjan is a man unlikely to allow many people to seize him by the arm, but he's never come across PokerStars photographer Kim before, a no nonsense antipodean who will-get-her-shot-whether-you-like-it-or-not. Play due to start shortly. -- RD

12.45pm: Calling all players
So far only Andrew Lichtenberger has arrived to play the final, the other players no doubt on their way. It's a new set for the PCA, a plush backdrop of brown and golds (as seen previously on the European Poker Tour) as opposed to the darkened arena of years gone by. -- SB

12.15pm: Super high roller coverage - with the protein
We're a Jamba Juice to the good and ready to go. Now all we need are some players.

The final table will be played on the feature table stage, to be recorded for broadcast at some later date. Remember, two players will leave here empty handed (and probably walk straight into the Main Event), while the top five will finish in the money. -- SB

11.30am: Final table day
Welcome back to the final day of the $100,000 Super High Roller. What was once a field of 38 players is now one of seven, one short of a full complement thanks to a dramatic finale last night in which Daniel Cates and James Obst were eliminated to end the day's play.

Leading today is Nick Schulman, who powered to the lead yesterday when he eliminated Tobias Reinkemeier and Vivek Rajkumar in one fell swoop, followed by Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu, who stands on the brink of assuming the lead in the All-Time Money list, should he pull off the less than straightforward task of finishing either first or second.

Chip leader Nick Schulman

That's all coming up. Play starts at 1pm. -- SB

PokerStars Blog reporting team in the Bahamas (with Jamba-juice drink preference): Stephen Bartley (Caribbean passion, with the protein) and Rick Dacey (Razzmatazz, with antioxidant)