PCA 2014: McDonald and Muur lead the final 20, $1.8m to be won
Mike McDonald and Madis Muur lead the final 20 players of the PCA 2014 Main Event raising the question once again whether McDonald will be the first player to do the EPT double. The Canadian had looked likely to carry the chip lead through to Day 5, but Muur pipped him at the post, thanks to a four-bet clash with Roger Teska, who was the focus of much of today's discussion. He was certainly the focus of most of the TV cameras. Muur holds 3,515,000, McDonald just behind with 3,432,000.
The day did not start auspiciously for McDonald. He found himself locked in a lavatory stall. It's a situation which is pretty far from ideal when you're three days from a PCA Main Event trophy and a $1,820,420 first-place prize.
If anyone is at the cove breakfast buffet I'd appreciate being let out of the washroom pic.twitter.com/WURxNmXC9e— Mike McDonald (@MikeMcDonald89) January 11, 2014
"Got it sorted out. Ty for all the retweets- door handle was taken off from inside and I couldn't remove it from hinges," tweeted McDonald a little later.
The day started with 72 players, all of whom were guaranteed a minimum $22,800 payout. Chris Klodnicki and Bobby Oboodi were the first to the rail and the pace didn't let up for the first two levels as the field quickly shed 30 players including Vanessa Selbst (42nd), Marc-Andre Ladouceur (43rd), Yngve Steen (46th), Liv Boeree (50th), Marcel Luske (55th), Paul Berende (59th), Ismael Bojang (62nd), Tim Reilly (67th) and Sam Greenwood (68th).
Greenwood had come into the day with the 11th largest stack. His 68th place finish is certainly not what he would have expected this morning. His demise was the reason for Muur's early rise. Greenwood flopped top two with ace-queen, bet two streets and then check-raised all-in on the river. Muur had backdoored the nut straight. McDonald chipped up steadily and finished with a flourish knocking out two players in one orbit.
McDonald managed to arrive on time, as did Teska, not that he needed to. It's fair to say that Teska was a handful, both on and off the table. The calls for cocktails were frequent and Teska, who'd started the day serving a penalty for being a bad boy, kept the small table next to him loaded with a Bloody Mary throughout. The effects were clear for all to see. At one point, looking for a marginal short cut to the bathroom, Teska tried to enter the restricted backstage area of the TV and webcast. A security guard stopped him and sent him on his way, which was more than could be said for the rest of the Main Event field. Teska bagged up 874,000. Actually, the floor staff bagged his chips as Teska opted to leave with three hands left to play after losing a large four-bet to pot Muur.
"Seriously, someone bag me up," said Teska. "I'm outta here."
He'll be back tomorrow. We expect him to keep the cocktail waitress busy again.
McDonald may be the most decorated player left in the field with $5,904,927 in live tournament cashes, much of which comes from the many deep EPT runs he's scored, but he's not alone in giving these last three tables a touch of class. Antoine Saout (2,432,000), Pasal Lefrancois (2,401,000), Max Silver (2,359,000) and Isaac "westmenloAA" Baron are also well stacked.
Things that we learned today
Pascal Lefrancois told us that he didn't regret doing a nudie shot, Jake Cody explained that it had been a very busy year, Negreanu and Akkari waxed lyrical about the business of poker, and Josh Prager expounded on his magic hat.
And making sure that it's a two-way dialogue here at the PokerStars Blog, we told you how to get followed by us in big tournaments, and where you should go to watch the football here in The Bahamas, whether you like the European or American varieties of the game.
Celery for your Bloody Mary is optional. Joining us at noon ET as we play down to the final table is not.
Day 5 seat draw
1. Tom Hall, UK, PokerStars qualifier, 1,241,000
2. Fabio Freitas, Brazil, 231,000
4. Robert Auer, Germany , PokerStars qualifier, 522,000
5. Roger Teska, USA, 874,000
6. Madis Muur, Estonia, PokerStars qualifier, 3,515,000
7. Pal Zsibrita, UK, PokerStars qualifier, 907,000
8. Allon Allison, Canada, 1,000,000
1. Jorgen Sandvoll Lindebo, Norway, PokerStars qualifier, 1,097,000
2. Isaac Baron, USA, 1,556,000
3. Pascal Lefrancois, Canada, PokerStars player, 2,401,000
4. Grayson Ramage, USA, PokerStars qualifier, 571,000
5. Antoine Saout, France, PokerStars qualifier, 2,432,000
6. Dominik Panka, Poland, PokerStars qualifier, 1,474,000
8. Mike McDonald, Canada, PokerStars qualifier, 3,432,000
2. Fabian Ortiz, Argentina, 2,200,000
3. Daniel Gamez, Guatemala, PokerStars player, 1,494,000
4. Shayam Srinivasan, Canada, PokerStars qualifier, 2,129,000
5. Max Silver, UK, PokerStars player, 2,355,000
7. Adrian Bussman, Sweden, PokerStars qualifier, 898,000
8. Kyle Sorel, USA, 528,000
Click through to live updates, features and interviews from the $10,000,000 guaranteed PCA Main Event, the $25,000 High Roller and the $100,000 Super High Roller.
Rick Dacey is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.