PCA 2011 $5,000 Bounty Shootout: Day 1, levels 7 to 12 (blinds 2,000-4,000, ante 400)
8.48pm: Epic heads-up match concludes
After around four hours of heads-up play the match has finally come to an end. It was lucky number seven for Michael Binger as he had his opponent in six times before and lost them all.
This time Binger had 9♣9♠ to his opponent's 6♦6♥ and the board ran 2♣Q♥J♦3♦7♥ to seal the win for Binger.
That concludes all the matches for today. A full wrap will be up shortly and tomorrow's seat draw will appear overnight.-- MC
8.40pm: Binger back in control, again
Darren Kennedy is down to 41,000 after tank-folding to a Michael Binger river shove on a T♠2♣6♣3♠J♠ board. It was the first time Binger had been the aggressor throughout the hand. He called 9,000 bet pre-flop, a 10,000 bet on the flop and a 18,500 bet on the turn before shoving the river for around 34,000. It looked like a strong play and it was enough to convince the Canadian to fold. -- MC
8.32pm: Six for six
Michael Binger had just lost the sixth hand out of six that he's had Darren Kennedy all-in. Binger open shoved form the button and Kennedy called all-in for his remaining 34,000 with K♥J♥. Binger tabled Q♠9♦ and failed to hit on the 2♥A♣4♣7♣7♠ board. Binger has the cut of a very frustrated figure right now and who can blame him? -- MC
8.25pm: Kennedy doubles
Michael Binger cannot finish off Darren Kennedy in this heads-up match that has been going on for well over three hours. Kennedy raised to 9,000 and called off his remaining 21,000 when Binger set him all-in. Binger tabled A♠J♥ to Kennedy's Q♦7♣ and the board ran 7♦K♠7♠4♣A♣ to double Kennedy up.
"Nick, this is absurd. I knew I wanted a fold" Binger said to his brother on the rail. -- MC
8.22pm: Binger re-takes lead
Michael Binger has re-seized control of his match with a 90,000 to 60,000 chip advantage over Darren Kennedy. Kennedy raised to 7,500 and called when Binger three-bet to 180,000. Call. The flop came K♣T♣6♥ and Binger led for 15,000. Call. The turn came J♣ and both players checked as they did on the 8♣ river. Binger announced "Flush" and when he got the nod from Kennedy he tabled 6♦5♣. -- MC
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 2,000-4,000, ANTE 400
7.57pm: Remarkable comeback sealed, just one table left
Toby Lewis had less than 0.3% of the chips in play at his table, a mere 425, but has just completed an amazing comeback to go through to Day 2. He doubled up to 143,000 after he and Luc Lafontaine got all the chips in on a T♠8♦6♥ flop. Lewis tabled A♠A♥ to Lafontaine's T♥4♥ and the board ran out 8♣A♦.
The very next hand Lafontaine was all-in with 8♠6♣ to Lewis 9♥8♥ but couldn't fade the three-outer on the 2♣3♥6♦3♦Q♥ board. Just one more table left to complete now. Michael Binger is currently a two-to-one chip dog against Darren Kennedy . --MC
7.42pm: Still going
Those two tables are still going on with Lewis v Lafontaine and Binger v Kennedy. We'll bring you the KO's as they happen. -- RD
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 1,500-3,000, ANTE 300
7.31pm: Lewis starts over
Toby Lewis is back down to around 50,000 after doubling-up Luc Lafontaine . All the chips went in on a 9♣7♥4♣ flop with Lewis holding 9♥5♥ to Lafontaine's A♦9♦. The 7♠K♠ turn and river failed to help Lewis who muttered to himself "Here we go again." --MC
7.27pm: Binger on the verge of victory..
Michael Binger has just doubled Darren Kennedy up two hands in-a-row. The first hand saw Binger shove with jack-five and lose out to Kennedy's king-four. Binger flopped a five but Kennedy turned a king. The next hand Kennedy shoved with pocket deuces and was called by Binger with ace-three. The deuces held despite Binger saying he had thirty outs going to the river. Good fade for Kennedy who is back up to 40,000 chips. -- MC
7.14pm: Flowers wilted
Randall Flowers has just been plucked by Christopher Klodnicki heads-up. Flowers was crippled when he called off all but 5,400 if his stack against Klodnicki's K♦8♦ nut flush on a A♦7♦8♠3♦5♦ board. He was all-in blind the next hand with A♣6♦. Klodnicki had K♣K♦ and the board ran Q♣Q♠Q♦J♣4♣. Klodnicki goes through. -- MC
7.03pm: Brenes beaten
Team PokerStars Pro Humberto Brenes has fallen at the last hurdle. He was out-chipped three-to-one when he got it all-in with A♥T♥. Andrew Cheney Seidman was victorious with his 5♥5♦ on the 7♠2♦6♦Q♣A♥ board. Brenes tried everything in his poker to win it, which included putting his PokerStars branded shoes on the table and shouting for an ace on every street. -- MC
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 1,200-2,400, ANTE 300
6.52pm: The final push
The heads up have to finish this level surely? Players are back in their seats and ready to go. -- RD
That's another 15 minutes of leisure time for the remaining few players.
6.35pm: Great flop turns sour for Lewis
Luc Lafontaine led 8,300 into the T♥J♥A♥ flop and Toby Lewis raised to 17,000 looking to get it all-in. Lafontaine took his time shoving and Lewis snap called.
Lewis: Q♠K♥ for Broadway and a royal flush gutshot draw
Lafontaine: 9♥3♠ for the flopped flush
Lewis uttered an expletive. Then another as the board ran out Q♦A♦. They were red, just the wrong shape for Lewis who is short with around 40,000 of the 150,000 on the table. The EPT winner is back to grinding. -- RD
6.28pm: Brenes heads-up finally
Team PokerStars Pro Humerto Brenes is finally heads-up at his table with Andrew Cheney Seidman. I write finally as Brenes was moaning the rail before that he had Seidman all-in three times and Shyam Srinivasan all-in twice without winning. Well, it was third time lucky for Brenes versus Srinivasan.
Srinivasan pushed from the button for just under 20,000 and Brenes followed him in from the small blind for another 10,000 on top. Seidman thought about calling with the chance to win it there but open folded K♦T♦ and it was a good fold too.
The board ran 4♠A♠9♠9♣A♣ to send Srinivasan to the rail. -- MC
6.21pm: Amichai the Barer of bad news
Amichai Tzvi Barer dispatched of Daniel Negreanu some time ago. His heads-up battle with the blinged-up Al Levon Grimes took a long while to complete with the latter treading water on a stack between 20,000 and 40,000. Barer now has a big smile on his face, as the winner, which is a good thing as he was snatched off to have his picture taken.
6.17pm: Debora dispatches Moreira de Melo to make the cut
Fatima Moreira de Melo is tenacious to say the least but Team PokerStars Pro Greg Debora has finally managed to knock her out. Moreira de Melo open shoved from the button with J♦K♥ for close to 30,000 and Debora made the call with pocket deuces. The board ran out Q♥4♦A♣4♠6♣ to put Debora through to Day 2. Just a few tables left. -- RD
6.06pm: Kessler falls on Filippi's chainsaw
Amnon Filippi has beaten Allen Kessler heads-up to win his table. It's always nice to get you're opponent all-in and drawing dead and that's what happened. Filippi had top two-pair with ace-nine to Kessler's ace-three. Kessler is now debating whether to jump in the Omaha Stud tournament about to start. -- MC
6.01pm: Binger dragging it out for a rubdown?
Nick Binger passed through into the final 36 some time ago, Michael Binger is making more of a meal about it. He currently holds a two-to-one lead over Darren Kennedy. Maybe he's just enjoying the massage. -- RD
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 1,000-2,000, ANTE 200
5.55pm: Jason Senti home
If there was one player in the field you would expect to go through then it would have to be Johan "busto soon" Van Til. The Dutchman is one of the most feared players when it comes to high stakes sit-and-gos on PokerStars. WSOP Main Event finalist Jason Senti was his final victim. -- MC
5.51pm: Moreira de Melo refusing to let go
Team PokerStars Pro Greg Debora is not having a lot of fun beating down Fatima Moreira de Melo. The Dutch former hockey player just shoved for 32,000 into a pot of around 20,000 on the river of a 2♥6♣J♣5♥6♠ board. Debora looked pained, as if he was trying to pull a thorn out of the roof of his mouth with his tongue. He passed and Moreira de Melo is up to nearly 55,000. Debora holds a two-to-one chip lead. -- RD
5.45pm: Czuczor fixes Fitzgerald
Alex Fitzgerald had a sizable lead against Marton Czuczor is their heads-up battle but the Hungarian came back and snatched an unlikely win. The final hand was an all-in pre-flop with Fitzgerald holding 8♥8♠ to Czuczor's A♠T♠ and the board came K♦T♥2♠6♥9♥ to pair Czuczor's ten. -- MC
5.35pm: Two more tables finished
Seat one was unlucky for both Ali Eslami and Matt Mezvinsky. They both made it to heads-up but lost out to Alex Wice and Shaun Deeb respectively. There are 11 tables left out of the 36 that started. -- MC
5.33pm: Double celebration
Luc Lafontaine and Toby Lewis were all-in pre-flop, both started celebrating but they couldn't both. It was the Canadian who was premature as, even though he filled in a straight, Lewis had four-flushed on the river. Lewis held A♠J♥ to Lafontaine's A♦8♣ with the board running 9♥4♥T♥7♦6♥. Lewis is up to 85,000 chips now. -- MC
5.30pm: Catching up with the sit-and-go guru
Dario Minieri was the first player through and swiped all five bounties on his way. The video team caught up with the Team PokerStars Pro just after his speedy victory.
5.20pm: Transferring online success to the live arena
Team PokerStars Online's George Lind has taken down his table. He was heads-up with Gregory Merson and at one stage it looked as if Merson was on his way back. He doubled-up his micro stack after coming from behind with Q♥8♦ to best Lind's A♠3♣ - hitting 8♣ on the river.
A few hands later Lind got it in good again with A♥8♥ to Merson's K♦J♦. The board ran 9♦A♠3♣Q♦4♣. Merson picked up a straight-flush draw on the turn but missed to be eliminated. -- MC
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 800-1,600, ANTE 200
5.13pm: Debora and Moreira de Melo
Fatima Moreira de Melo and Greg Debora did manage to turn their fortunes around after all. Both players were short but now they're heads up for a berth in the final 36. Debora just knocked out Cornel Cimpan with A♠8♥ to A♣9♠ after catching an eight on the turn. The two PokerStars sponsored pros are pretty much equal stacked. -- RD
5.08pm: Madsen finds winning play
Jeff Madsen has come back from being one of the shortest stacks at his table to win. The final defense in his way was Dan O'Brien's but Madsen found a way through to progress. -- MC
The unmistakable cry from Huberto Brenes from across the room prompted us to run over and see what was occurring. The Team PokerStars Pro was all-in along with his remaining two opponents; Andrew Cheney Seidman and Shyam Srinivasan . By the end of the hand all three stacks were evened up as no one was eliminated.
Srinivasan : K♦Q♥
The board ran 3♣5♠6♣4♥A♥. Seidman made a wheel by the turn to triple-up. Brenes took the side pot and Srinivasan's lead was abolished. -- MC
4.57pm: The Bear and Cairns win their tables
Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein and David Cairns are through to the next round, which takes place tomorrow. Greenstein took care of the formidable Scott Seiver to progress, while Cairns dispatched Brian England to make the final 36. -- MC
4.54pm: Dyer out, Ladny through
That heads up battle we mentioned at the beginning of the level? Between Greg Dyer and Eric Ladny? It is over, and it's Eric Ladny who is through. I believe some deal was made at the beginning of their long heads up so it's not all bad news for Dyer. -- RD
4.50pm: Brutal board for Hunichen
Chris Hunichen was crippled then eliminated after a cooler of a hand versus Andrew Chen. Hunichen held T♦7♥ to Chen's 3♥3♦ and the board ran T♠3♠3♣5♣T♥ with all the chips going in on the turn. I was asked to report they went in on the river but that wouldn't be right, would it? -- MC
4.40pm: Fitzgerald through
No sooner are we back from the break but Costa Rican Alexander Fitzgerald has gone through. Greg Dyer and Eric Ladny were the first two players to reach heads up - they're still at it. -- RD
PokerStars Blog reporting team at the shootout (in order of appreciation of the southern fried chicken eaten from the food court during the break): Rick Dacey (just about edible) and Marc Convey (liked it).