PCA 2014: Stephan Klam hits his one-outer; Klam's up

"I am Stephan Klam from Germany," said Stephan Klam from Germany. "But I am not one of the popular ones."

These were the last words exchanged between reporters and the otherwise unheralded player in seat seven of table 13 in the PCA Main Event this afternoon. But Klam will get his picture on a few blogs today as the very early chip leader in this event--and also the beneficiary of the first rivered one-outer of the week.

Klam was in the small blind when four players ahead of him called an opening raise to 450 from the player under-the-gun. Klam came along with his J♦8♠, even though he originally thought the raise was only to 350.

"The chips were out there," Klam said, explaining his decision to join the party. There was also some value out there with all the callers, and stacks are 30,000 chips deep at the start. Why not. (The betting, incidentally, is as reported by Klam. I did not see the action go down.)

The flop came J♠J♥Q♠ and then it all got a bit silly. The opening raiser fired again but then Marco Palombi also got involved. He put in a pretty hefty raise -- up to 8,000 -- and that took it back round to Klam with his flopped trips and a decision.

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Stephan Klam: One outer

He knew pocket queens had him beaten, but didn't think they could have been played that way. And he also knew his hand was in trouble to a bigger jack. But having seen Palombi bluff off five or six thousand earlier today, Klam decided to commit to the hand. "Maybe he has a flush draw or a straight draw," Klam reasoned, adding that even if it all went horribly wrong, he would still have about 8,000 behind.

By the time the 3♦ came on the turn, it was only Klam and Palombi still involved. Palombi announced that he was all in, even though it was Klam first to speak, and so Klam decided to tell Palombi that he too was pretty strong. He put out a bet.

Palombi, though, restated his intention to play for all the marbles, reiterating that he was all in. Klam made what was now a reluctant call.

Palombi turned over Q♣Q♦ and later confessed, "I thought the hand was over. I didn't even know there was another card to come." But there was indeed another card still to come and it was not just any old card. As if by magic, the J♣ appeared on the river, making quads for Klam and rendering Palombi's full house especially empty.

The first roar of shock, exhilaration and surprise rang out across the Imperial Ballroom. Palombi came over to shake Klam's hand and receive the heartfelt condolences of the small crowd of onlookers that had amassed.

Klam then turned to the dealer and shook his hand too. "You're the man," Klam said, with gratitude.

Klam is at his second PCA, having played here a few years ago, and is only in the Main Event thanks to a great spin up in a live satellite last night. Down to three big blinds at one point, he somehow managed to steer that stack into the last stages and earn a ticket.

"This is a run," he said. He has about 60,000 chips now, which is double the starting stack.

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 keep tabs in a similar fashion on the $100,000 Super High Roller page, which today plays to a winner. That tournament, headlined by Vanessa Selbst, will also be the focus of PCA Live.