Nick Schulman leads in quick fire PCA Super High Roller
No one really expected Day 2 of the $100,000 Super High Roller to pass so quickly and certainly nobody expected such a spectacular ending, one that put a lid on the five-and-a-half hour day and sends seven players, not eight, into the final tomorrow for a shot at $1,500,000.
At the end of a rapid fire day it's Nick Schulman who leads after a three-way all-in catapulted him to the top of the chip count list. It was a hand that eliminated Tobias Reinkemeier, the chip leader coming into Day 2, and the dangerous Vivek Rajkumar, and one which left Schulman with a stack of 2,990,000 at the close.
Chip leader Nick Schulman
Then the last hands of the day. With an all-in on each table, Daniel Cates moved in with pocket deuces and was called by Bryn Kenney with pocket eights. Then an arms aloft moment for Team PokerStars Pro Humberto Brenes, who took his stack up to 756,000 by eliminating short-stacked James Obst in eighth. For the first time ever there will be a seven-handed final table.
Schulman had retuned this morning fourth in chips having had a solid first day and continued today in similar fashion, climbing past Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu who was also moving fast beyond the two million mark. Negreanu bags up 2,166,000 tonight in second place.
With such a talent-filled field the eliminations were always notable. They started with the departure of Justin Smith and then Phil Laak, which marked the loss of the tournament's spokesman, but also gave the Public Address system, in operation at the cash game desk, a fighting chance to be heard.
Soon the likes of Sorel Mizzi and Mike McDonald were gone, followed to the rail by Antonio Esfandiari, David Benyamine, Jason Mercier and Bryan Colin. Suddenly, after Schulman's escapades with pocket aces, to eliminate Reinkemeier and Rajkumar, and then the staccato departure of Cates and Obst, we were looking at our finalists.
Here's how they'll line up...
Seat 1 - Nick Schulman, United States, 2,990,000 chips
Seat 2 - Sandor Denjan, 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
Not that the work is done for those returning, only five will be paid. Two will leave empty handed, just like the other 31 players before them.
But regardless, what we have in store should be a good one, not least for the prospects of Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu. If he wins the Super High Roller, or finishes second, he will overtake Phil Ivey on the All-Time money list. It's a big ask, but it's not something you would want to miss.
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And if you missed any of today you can catch up on everything that happened at the links below.
We'll be back tomorrow for the final table of the Super High Roller, which starts at the later time of 1pm and will be filmed for broadcast. We'll be there will all the action and atmosphere from what should be a thrilling finale to this first major event of the 2011 PCA.
If you like the sound of that you'll love it even more written in German, a full blog of which can be found here. Our thanks also to Neil Stoddart who provided photos of today's action.
Don't forget that alongside the Super High Roller final table the PCA Main Event, one that this very minute is clogging the check-in desks of the Atlantis Resort, will begin with Day 1A scheduled to start at 12 noon.
That's all for tonight. We're off to toast our early finish good fortune. Join us again tomorrow.