PCA 2013: Seven hands that changed the final table

Could that have been the most action riddled start to a PCA final table? Of any kind? As those watching the live coverage will attest, it probably was.

Anyone thinking they could tune in at their leisure to the live stream without missing much would have missed three eliminations, all in just a few hands.

Dan Shak would go first in a spectacular three-way jumble.

Scott Seiver, who in the previous hand had shoved with pocket queens without reply, now found aces and three bet. Shak had found king-jack and shoved for 500,000 on the ten-nine-nine flop. Greg Jensen had come this far with king-queen and tanked for several minutes before announcing that he too was all in. Seiver, who had waited patiently with his bullets, insta-called and watched the turn card deliver an ace.

Dan Shak

Shak was out in eighth collecting $228,960, although his face told a story of how little that meant. Jensen was crippled, and was left doubting the audacity of his call, although not for long. He'd depart in sixth place seven minutes later, although not before Vladimir Troyenovskiy went in seventh.

The Russian shoved with pocket tens which Nick Schulman called with aces. There was now a running theme of high pairs and Schulman got the most from his with an ace on the flop, Troyenovskiy collecting 257,589 on his way to the rail. Schulman then saw off Jensen with pocket kings this time, which toppled Jensen's ace-five.

The final was now five handed after just seven hands. On the eighth it was Cary Katz's turn to find pocket aces, which he shoved with, doubling through Schulman with ace-eight. To add insult to Schulman's injury he then realised the departed Shak had taken his iPad with him by mistake.

Nick Schulman

Schulman, who appears in black and white in the live coverage, wearing a dark grey t-shirt and a monochrome Cleveland Indians cap ("like he's in an A-HA video", according to Brad Willis), never looked more grey.

That took place in the opening 20 minutes. Just how long will this final table take?

Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter