PCA 2012: Phil D'Auteuil leads sprint to finish
We were promised six levels for today. It was the sensible, prudent and time honoured choice; cutting the field by the required amount and leaving players a short day tomorrow. But in making that choice they could not have expected things to go so quickly. We mean really quick.
Returning with 184 players it took just 45 minutes to break the bubble, which flashed by without anyone really noticing what actually happened, other than that one minute it hadn't burst and the next minute it had.
With that done, and everyone guaranteed $15,000, the floodgates opened. After three levels fewer than 100 players remained, then 90... 80... until tournament staff, like traders watching the value of their stock free-fall, decided to cut their losses, calling it a day at 64 players and leaving themselves something to do tomorrow.
Firing up the payouts desk
With chips bagged up it left a new leader in Phil D'Auteuil, a one-time EPT finalist back in season six (where he finished 5th at EPT London), the biggest cash of his career by some way. The Canadian, who bags up 1,472,000, replaces Faraz Jaka at the top.
Jaka was the stand out player yesterday and continued with equal panache this afternoon; behind D'Auteuil perhaps, but one of six players to break the seven figure mark.
They may not have seven figures but six figures was enough for the Team PokerStars Pros still in the hopper, not to mention their cousins from Team PokerStars Online.
Chief among them is Luca Pagano (863,000) making his 19th cash, followed by Jan Heitmann (395,000), Barry Greenstein (379,000) and Arnaud Mattern (155,000). Javier Dominguez is the last of the online brigade.
Counts for all of the remaining players can be found on the chip counts tab in our live coverage where those who hold torches for the impossible - like a double PCA winner - will notice Galen Hall (168,000) still listed with chips. Sergio Garcia (235,000) is also listed, carrying the flag for golfers.
The field shrunk to a mere eight tables today, losing among others Leo Fernandez, Randy Lew, Noah Boeken, Liv Boeree and Juan Manuel Pastor. It will shrink further tomorrow when we play down to a last 24, regardless of how long it takes, but we're predicting dinner reservations in order earlier than usual.
In the meantime you can read up on all the stories from the day at the links below:
If you need more we have lots for those who like their images moving over at the PCA section of PokerStars.tv. We'll be back here tomorrow with live updates, stories and anything else that crops up. We'll expect you at noon.
Glad to be making some money: Sergio Garcia and Juan Manuel Pastor
Until then we bid you goodnight from Paradise Island.
All photography © Joe Giron/www.joegironphotography.com