PCA 2014: Muur, McDonald lead sprint to final table
If the 2014 PCA Main Event players weren't in a hurry to make the final table, they sure did a poor job of putting their feet on the brakes. It took less than five hours to make it from Day 5's starting 20 runners down to the final eight. When the smell of burnt rubber cleared from the air, Mike "Timex" McDonald sat in second place in his bid to be the first-ever two-time European Poker Tour Main Event champion. Meanwhile, Madis Muur--who started the day on top--held the lead going to the final.
Muur cashed for €58,000 at EPT Barcelona this year, but that is his only major finish on this tour. Meanwhile, McDonald--the man who has flirted with a second EPT title more than once in recent years--has been on good form and has run even better in the past few days, but he is up against an exceptionally talented final table. Included in the final eight are two online legends, a WSOP bracelet winner, and an LAPT champion.
Here's how they stack up headed into tomorrow:
Seat 1. Pascal Lefrancois (Canada) 5,595,000
Seat 2. Dominik Panka (Poland) 3,695,000
Seat 3. Shyam Srinivasan (Canada) 1,505,000
Seat 4. Isaac Baron (USA) 2,995,000
Seat 5. Fabian Ortiz (Aregntina) 3,040,000
Seat 6. Mike McDonald (Canada) 5,605,000
Seat 7. Madis Muur (Estonia) 6,205,000
Seat 8. Daniel Gamez (Guatemala) 1,885,000
We tournament reporters had barely unpacked our bags today before the newly-infamous Roger Teska busted out in 20th place. After two days of play in which no small amount of controversy surrounded Teska's relationship with the cocktail waitress, his exit was quick and quiet. Madis Muur's pocket sixes sucked out on Teska's pocket eights, and so ended the latter's ongoing infamy.
From there, it was an avalanche ride to the final ten players. Robert Auer's K♠Q♥ couldn't outrun Tom Hall's A♥T♠. Kyle Sorel ran pocket threes into Fabian Ortiz's aces. Max Silver put Adrian Bussman to rest in 17th place, a J♦T♦ enough for Silver when Bussman's pocket fives got counterfeited by a higher two pair. Antoine Sout got coolered with ace-king against Pascal Lefrancois' kings.
It didn't end there. Allon Allison blew up with pocket nines, three-bet shoving for a raise worth more than 40 big blinds out of the small blind. He was up against Shyam Srinivasan's queens. Pal Zsibrita's top-pair fell victim to McDonald's ongoing rungood after McDonald flopped two pair. Jorgen Sandvoll Lindebo lost a race with pocket sevens. Short-stacked Fabio Freitas had his kings massacred by a lowly A♥3♥, and then Grayson Ramage suffered a similar fate when his pocket tens got outrun by J♥9♥.
And then there were ten.
The fast pace took a pit stop for an hour or two as two five-handed tables ground through a level of play. That grind ended when a short-stacked Tom Hall went bust with K♠9♥ to Madis Muur's A♦8♠. It didn't take long for the unofficial final table to become official. Max Silver couldn't make A♦4♦ hold against Pascal Lefrancois' K♦T♥ and busted in ninth place.
Now it's time for the final table players to work through the pomp and circumstance that comes with making a major final. After some TV interviews and photo shoots, they'll be off to plan their attack for Monday.
In the meantime, everyone else (except for the High Roller players and us) is getting gussied up for the big PokerStars party tonight. It should be a rager. (Pro tip: keep your eyes on the skies).
We'll resume our Main Event coverage Monday afternoon. Until then, goodnight from Atlantis.
Our coverage of the 2014 PCA is comprehensive on PokerStars Blog, and it is simple to follow. The PCA 2014 Main Event page has a box at the top in which you'll find hand-by-hand coverage and chip counts after the action commences at noon. Below that are feature pieces, interviews and analysis updated throughout the day. You can also follow the action on PCA Live.
Brad Willis is the PokerStars Head of Blogging