PCA 2016: Day 3 $25,000 High Roller live updates

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9:20pm: Nick Maimone becomes the new PCA High Roller champion
Level 28 - Blinds 50,000 -100,000 (10,000 ante)

And then it was over. After Maimone took a big pot from Winter, the short stack shoved for less than 2 million. Maimone insta-called, flipping over A♣K♣.


nick_maimone_pca2016_hrd3_0059.jpgNick Maimone

"I'm dead," said Winter to his friends on the rail, but he did have a big smile on his face as he turned over his K♦T♣.

The players, and their friends, gathered around the table, one time when the "no members of the public" rule is relaxed. The board came 3♦3♣9♦Q♣9♣. Maimone was delighted, but Winter had ample consolation.

But it's Nick Maimone who becomes the PCA 2016 $25K High Roller champion. Full report to come on the PokerStars Blog. - SB

9:15pm: Maimone stretches his lead
Level 28 - Blinds 50,000 -100,000 (10,000 ante)

No monster pots as yet but the two biggest hands that reached the river went the way of Nick Maimone and as a result he's up to roughly 7,300,000, whilst Winter has dropped to 3,600,000.

In the first of the two hands Maimone raised to 225,000 on the button and Winter called. Maimone then bet 350,000 on the 3♠7♦J♠ flop and Winter called. The 8♥ turn checked through and the T♠ completed the board. Again Winter checked and he folded when Maimone bet 620,000.

We did get a showdown in the second big pot, it was limped pre-flop (Winter was on the button) and the Q♠9♦Q♥ flop also checked through. On the T♥ turn Maimone bet 300,000 and Winter smooth called.

The A♥ completed the backdoor flush, Maimone bet 500,000 and Winter called. The chip leader showed Q♦7♠ and Winter mucked. --NW

9:05pm: Levels shortened
Level 28 - Blinds 50,000 -100,000 (10,000 ante)

There's a nice feel to this heads up so far. The hard work is done getting here, and arranging the deal, now they can play, and at quite a high tempo. As well as that both players have agreed to shorten the levels from one hour to 30 minutes in length.

9:00pm: Level 28 - Blinds 50,000 -100,000 (10,000 ante)
"Sorry guys it's going to be a really boring heads-up match by the looks of it," said Nick Maimone to the media.

They're playing lots of hands, but not any big pots. Additionally Sean Winter is limping in from the button a lot which is keeping pots small. --NW

8.55pm: Play restarts

8:50pm: Deal talk
Level 28 - Blinds 50,000 -100,000 (10,000 ante)

The players have been thrashing out a deal for some time now, but have, in principle now agreed one. Sean Winter was the one who was initially reluctant to deal - some side bets he has complicated matters. But Calvin Anderson, who is Maimone's "deal advisor", talked things through with him and he changed his mind. To be fair Paul Volpe, who's got no allegiance to either party, also said to Winter: "I'd deal in your situation."

So once Winter had agreed to deal they then needed to talk numbers. To play it out they need to leave part of the prize pool to play for - in this case $30,000 - and the suggested revised numbers are as follows:

Nick Maimone: $966,480
Sean Winter: $914,580
Left to play for: $30,000

With these numbers on the table Winter wandered off for about 10 minutes, but when he returned he agreed to the deal straight away. Play should be starting shortly. Regardless of money though, the winner will be the player who wins the trophy. That's what is at stake now. --NW

8.25pm: Time to talk

There is now talk about a deal with each player conferring with teams of friends. Play will restart when they come to an agreement - or not.


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8.20pm: Heads-up chip counts
Level 28 - Blinds 50,000 -100,000 (10,000 ante)

We're heads-up for the title and it's Nick Maimone (6,445,000) versus Sean Winter (4,855,000) for the title.
A reminder that the winner will receive $1,142,100, whilst the runner-up takes home $768,960. --NW

8.15pm: Heads-up
Players have agreed to a short break before heads up play begins.

8:15pm: Dario Sammartino eliminated in third place ($542,160)
Level 28 - Blinds 50,000 -100,000 (10,000 ante)

We're now heads-up in $25,000 High Roller and it's Dario Sammartino who's busted in third place.


dario_sammartino_pca2016_hrd3_0058.jpgDario Sammartino

He was, by some way, the shortest stack of the three and after Nick Maimone raised to 250,000 on the button, the Italian three-bet shoved for 1,130,000. Sean Winter folded and Maimone snap called.

Maimone: 7♠7♥
Sammartino: K♣T♠

The A♥2♥8♠2♦J♣ board missed Sammartino and he looked crestfallen as he headed to the rail. There's now a short break before heads-up play begins. --NW

8:10pm: Maimone back in front
Level 28 - Blinds 50,000-100,000 (10,000 ante)

As the new level begins, Nick Maimone has retaken the lead after claiming a few small pots from both of his opponents. --MH

Nick Maimone - 5,700,000
Sean Winter - 4,400,000
Dario Sammartino - 1,150,000
8:10pm: Into level 28 with blinds at 50,000 - 100,000 (10,000 ante)

Chip counts:

Sean Winter - 5,100,000
Nick Maimone - 4,380,000
Dario Sammartino - 1,550,000

8:05pm: Winter takes the chip lead
Level 27 - Blinds 40,000 -80,000 (10,000 ante)

Two big pots in a row for Sean Winter who leapfrogs Nick Maimone to take the chip lead.

In the first pot Nick Maimone raised to 170,000 on the button and Winter called from the big blind. Maimone c-bet 135,000 on the 3♦9♦A♥ flop and Winter flat called. Both players checked the 2♠ turn and the A♠ then completed the board.

Winter was first to act and he bet 450,000. Maimone quickly called but mucked when Winter showed A♣K♥.

Whilst that pot put him on a par with Maimone, the next pot took him well clear. It was a limped family pot with Sammartino on the button, Winter in the small blind and Maimone on the big.

On the 8♥5♠T♥ turn Winter bet 135,000 and Sammartino was the only caller. Winter then bet 445,000 on the 9♠ turn and Sammartino once again smooth called. On the 9♠ river Winter bet 1,800,000, that was enough to set Sammartino all in as he had about 1,550,000 behind.

He tanked for almost five minutes, looking that the tournament clock for some of that time, before mucking his hand. He really wanted to see Winter's hand but Winter wanted an obscene amount of money to show so they went into the muck face down. -NW

7:55pm: Chip counts

Nick Maimone - 5,500,000
Sean Winter - 3,700,000
Dario Sammartino - 2,100,000

7:50pm: Josh Beckley eliminated in 4th place ($439,560)
Level 27 - Blinds 40,000-80,000 (10,000 ante)

Well, that was an exciting restart to the $25K High Roller. One hand, one knockout -- and what a knockout!

The hand started quietly enough with a raise to 180,000 by Sean Winter from under the gun/the cutoff, Nick Maimone calling from the button, and Josh Beckley calling from the small blind. All three checked the 8♠K♠A♦ flop, and when the turn brought the Q♠, two more checks, and a bet of 300,000 from Maimone, it still didn't seem like the hand had that much potential to excite.


josh_beckley_pca2016_hrd3_2306.jpgJosh Beckley

Beckley called the bet and Winter folded, then the two remaining players saw the T♠ fall on the river. That turned out to be a very key card. (Cue suspense-heightening stinger sound effect.)

Beckley checked, and Maimone pushed out a bet of 600,000, using the newly-introduced orange chips worth 100K per. Beckley didn't wait that long before announcing he was all in for his last 1.1 million or so, and Maimone hesitated, standing up from his chair and taking a couple of seconds before calling and showing his hand.

"I have a straight flush," he said, turning over J♠9♠. Beckley looked with dismay as he showed his A♠5♠, an ace-high flush that turned out not to be best.

Beckley is out in fourth and earns nearly $440K -- not bad for a first-ever high roller. Meanwhile Maimone is up to about 5.5 million. Afterwards Maimone explained he'd stood up to see if he was reading the board correctly. In any event, it was quite a turn of events to start play.

They're down to three, with Maimone the new leader. --MH

7:40pm: Play resumes
Level 27 - Blinds 40,000-80,000 (10,000 ante)

The four players are back -- as is Mustapha Kanit, railing his friend and countryman Dario Sammartino -- and play has resumed in the $25K High Roller. There are 33 minutes left in the level. --MH

6:15pm: Dinner break

With 30 minutes left on the level players have agreed to take a 75 minute dinner break. Play will resume at 7.30pm ET. Here are the chip counts at the break, with blinds at 40,000 - 80,000 (10,000 ante).

Sean Winter - 3,840,000
Nick Maimone - 3,440,000
Dario Sammartino - 2,255,000
Josh Beckley - 1,715,000

6:05pm: Early dinner break
Level 26 - Blinds 30,000 -60,000 (10,000 ante)

Nick Maimone asked the table if they wouldn't mind pausing the clock for 30 seconds so he could run to the bathroom.
"I'm hungry," said Sean Winter. "Why don't we just take the dinner break now?"

They were 33 minutes from the end of the level, which is when the dinner break was scheduled, but they all like Winter's way of thinking so they've headed to dinner early. Play will resume at 7:30pm. --NW

6:00pm: Still to play for

Here's what the remaining places pay:

1st. $1,142,100
2nd. $678,960
3rd. $542,160
4th. $439,560

5:55pm: You bet the river, I bet you liked it
Level 27 - Blinds 40,000-80,000 (10,000 ante)

Sean Winter limped from the small blind, Nick Maimone raised to 205,000 from the big blind, and Winter called. Winter check-called a bet of 180,000 from Maimone after the 2♣2♠6♦ flop, then both checked the 2♥ turn.


sean_winter_pca2016_hrd3_2311.jpgSean Winter

The river brought the 6♠, putting a full house on the board, and Winter fired a bet of 560,000. Maimone only thought for a few seconds before folding.

"You like that river?" asked Maimone as he tossed his cards away. "I liked the flop," said Winter as he stacked his chips. "I bet you liked the river," responded Maimone.

Winter has 4.575 million now while Maimone is at 2.925 million. --MH

5:50pm: Chip counts

Sean Winter - 4,625,000
Nick Maimone - 2,850,000
Dario Sammartino - 2,150,000
Josh Beckley - 1,540,000

5:45pm: Level 27 begins
Level 27 - Blinds 40,000-80,000 (10,000 ante)

The final four move into Level 27, with Sean Winter still leading and Josh Beckley now the short stack. --MH

5:40pm: More for Sammartino
Level 26 - Blinds 30,000 -60,000 (10,000 ante)

Dario Sammartino's stack continues to grow and he's up to 2,350,000 after winning a three-way pot. The hand in question was started by Sean Winter. He raised to 135,000 from the cut-off, Nick Maimone called from the button and Sammartino came along from the big blind.
On the 7♣7♠6♣ flop Winter bet 145,000 and both his opponents called. The T♣ fell on the turn, on this street Sammartino elected to lead, he bet 340,000 and both Winter and Maimone folded.

The table wanted the Italian to show the bluff, he wouldn't but he did attempt to show the Luca Vivaldi - the Tournament Director - his cards but Vivaldi looked away. - NW

5:30pm: Spades serve Sammartino
Level 26 - Blinds 30,000-60,000 (10,000 ante)

Nick Maimone opened for 140,000 from the button and after pausing a beat Dario Sammartino called from the big blind. Both checked the Q♠K♣8♠ flop, Sammartino led for 125,000 at the 6♣ turn, and Maimone called.

The river brought the K♠. Sammartino sat still for a short while, then set out a bet of 375,000 that represented about half of what he had behind. Maimone reviewed the hand silently for about a minute, then gathered the chips for a call and set them forward.

Sammartino turned over 9♠7♠, showing that he'd turned a straight and flush draw, then hit the spade flush, and Maimone mucked. Sammartino bumps back up to 1.625 million, while Maimone has 3.95 million now. --MH

5:20pm: Seven in a row for Winter!
Level 26 - Blinds 30,000 -60,000 (10,000 ante)

As the title suggest Sean Winter is making hay whilst the sun shines. He's taken the last seven pots in a row. What's more, six of those were won pre-flop, either with a walk or with a simple raise and take. --NW


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5.15pm: Chip counts

Nick Maimone - 4,100,000
Sean Winter - 3,360,000
Josh Beckley - 2,825,000
Dario Sammartino - 1,100,000

5:10pm: Brian Yoon eliminated in 5th place ($347,760)
Level 26 - Blinds 30,000-60,000 (5,000 ante)

After Nick Maimone opened for 140,000 from under the gun, it folded around to Brian Yoon in the big blind who pushed all in. A count showed the push was for 1,035,000, and Maimone thought for about a minute before finally setting out the calling chips.

Yoon: 5♥5♠
Maimone: K♠Q♥

The A♥9♥T♠ flop had Maimone suggesting a jack would be nice to see follow. But the next two cards were just fine for him as well, coming Q♠ and then K♥ to give him two pair and sent Yoon railward in fifth place.


brian_yoon_pca2016_hrd3.jpgBrian Yoon

Maimone is back up to about 4.1 million. --MH

5:05pm: A warm Winter in the Bahamas
Level 26 - Blinds 30,000-60,000 (5,000 ante)

Josh Beckley opened for 130,000 from the button and Sean Winter called from the big blind. The flop came 9♠4♣9♥, and Winter check-called a continuation-bet of 155,000 from Beckley. The turn then brought the 6♥ and another check from Winter, with Beckley betting 220,000 this time. Winter called the bet.

The river was the J♦. Winter checked, then after a short pause Beckley checked back. Winter playfully turned over his hand with some exaggerated drama -- J♥J♠ for a full house made on the river -- and Beckley chuckled a little as he mucked his cards.

Winter is now up to 4.85 million, with Beckley has 2.04 million --MH

5:00pm: Latest chip counts

Sean Winter - 3,360,000
Nick Maimone - 2,900,000
Josh Beckley - 2,825,000
Brian Yoon - 1,590,000
Dario Sammartino - 530,000

4:55pm: Winter is coming; doubles into chip lead
Level 26 - Blinds 30,000 -60,000 (5,000 ante)

Huge! Massive! Gargantuan! Three words that adequately describe not only the following pot but also the size of the momentum shift in this tournament.

Sean Winter opened to 130,000 from the hijack and Nick Mamoine called out of the small blind. The pot stayed small - for now - on the 5♥A♠Q♦ flop as both players checked.

The 6♦ turn is where the fun and games started though, Maimone checked, Winter bet 155,000, Maimone check-raised to 400,000 and Winter smooth called. The 7♥ completed the board and Maimone bet 520,000.

That was approximately half of Winter's stack (he had 1,100,000 back) and after tanking for a minute or so he moved all-in. Maimone wanted a count, he got one, stood up and then called.

Winter showed 9♦8♦ for a straight, whilst Maimone had 6♣6♠ for the turned set. After that hand Winter has taken the lead with 3,360,000 whilst Maimone drops to 2,900,000. --NW

4:49pm: Andrey Zaichenko eliminated in 6th place ($264,060)
Level 26 - Blinds 30,000-60,000 (5,000 ante)

On the first hand of the level, it folded around to Andrey Zaichenko in the small blind who open-pushed his last 830,000 and Nick Maimone quickly called from the big.

Zaichenko had A♠7♣ but needed help against Maimone's A♥J♦. The 3♦6♣6♠9♣T♥ board didn't provide any such help, though, and Zaichenko falls in sixth. Maimone now has close to 4.6 million and extends his lead. --MH


Andrey Zaichenko_2016 PCA_25K HR_Day 3_Giron_8JG0533.jpg

Andrey Zaichenko - 6th place

4:46pm: Level 26 begins; 6 remain

The final six are back in their seats and play has resumed with Nick Maimone and Josh Beckley still the big stacks and Andrey Zaichenko the shortest. --MH

4:39pm: Break time

Here are the updated counts of the final six players as they take their second 15-minute break of the day. --MH

Nick Maimone - 3,740,000
Josh Beckley - 2,385,000
Sean Winter - 1,665,000
Dario Sammartino - 1,505,000
Brian Yoon - 1,125,000
Andrey Zaichenko - 830,000

4:30pm: Sammartino ships it, Beckley can't call
Level 25 - Blinds 25,000 -50,000 (5,000 ante)

Wow! A bit pot for Dario Sammartino who added over 50 per cent to his stack without having to go to a flop, let alone a showdown.

Brian Yoon opened to 110,000 from under-the-gun, Nick Maimone smooth called and Josh Beckley then three-bet to 365,000 from the button. Dario Sammartino thought for a short while and then announced all in for 955,000.

It folded back to Beckley and he did the maths, tanked for a couple of minutes and then folded. So Sammartino is up to 1,600,000 as a result of that win. --NW

4:25pm: A winner for Winter
Level 25 - Blinds 25,000-50,000 (5,000 ante)

They're nearing the end of Level 25 and the next scheduled break, and most of the pots of late have been on the small side. On one recent hand, however, Sean Winter and Brian Yoon did manage to put in a few postflop bets each.

After Winter limped from the small blind, Yoon checked from the next seat and the pair saw a 3♦8♠4♦ flop. Winter led with a small bet, Yoon called, and the 3♥ fell on the turn. This time Winter checkd, Yoon bet 130,000, and Winter called.

The river was the 2♦. Winter checked again, and when Yoon bet 230,000, Winter called without too much hesitation. Yoon had 7♣3♠ for trip treys, but Winter had rivered a flush with Q♦7♦ to claim the pot. Winter has 1.38 million now, while Yoon has 1.07 million. --MH

4:15pm: Chance Kornuth eliminated in seventh place ($192,780)
Level 25 - Blinds 25,000 - 50,000 (5,000 ante)

A blockbuster of a hand to tell you about, featuring a three-way all in.

Chance Kornuth was the first to commit his chips, when he moved all-in from under-the-gun for 495,000. The action passed to Brian Yoon, who was in the cut-off. He requested a count and then moved all in of 515,000 total.

Andrey Zaichenko folded but Nick Maimone got confirmation of the size of Yoon's shove, took a look at Josh Beckley's stack (about 2,800,000) and then called from the small blind. Beckley folded the big and it was time for showdown.

Kornuth: A♦9♠
Yoon: A♥J♥
Maimone: 4♣4♠

The T♦8♠7♣ flop was a beauty with plenty of possibilities. The pair were still a 47% chance to win the hand but the 9♣ turn gave Yoon a near lock on the hand. Kornuth was now drawing dead to a chop and he was on his feet before the 5♦ hit the river.

"That's the best hand I had all day," said Kornuth as he picked up his things. "Nice playing with you guys," he added.

So a treble up for Yoon who climbs to 1,590,000. "I wasn't happy when you called with fours," he said to Maimone as play continued. After that hand Mainmone is down to 3,940,000. -NW


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4:05pm: The leader vs. the short stack
Level 25 - Blinds 25,000-50,000 (5,000 ante)

Chip leader Nick Maimone limped in from middle position, then watched Chance Kornuth fold from the small blind and the table's short stack, Dario Sammartino, check from the big.

Both checked the 6♣T♣5♠ flop, then Sammartino made a bet of 55,000 after the 8♥ came on the turn, leaving himself just 435,000 behind. Maimone called, then both checked the 8♣ river.

Sammartino showed K♦7♥, and it was enough as Maimone folded. Maimone still is well ahead of the final seven with 4.23 million, while Sammartino is still looking up from the bottom of the counts with just 715,000. --MH

4:00pm: Ben Heath eliminated in eighth place ($140,940)
Level 25 - Blinds 25,000 -50,000 (5,000 ante)

We're down to seven in the high roller. Ben Heath just lost a flip to Nick Maimone to exit in eighth place.


ben_heath_pca2016_hrd3.jpgBen Heath out in eighth

The latter opened to 110,000 from early position. Heath then three-bet all-in for 570,000 total and when it folded back to Maimone he thought for about 20 seconds and then made the call.

Heath: 7♦7♠
Maimone: A♦8♦

The A♠5♠J♦ flop gave Maimone the lead and he held onto it on the 9♦ turn and 8♣ river. With that scalp Maimone is playing 4,300,000. Good for a big chip lead and about 38% of the chips in play. --NW

3:50pm: Current chip counts

Nick Maimone - 3,680,000
Josh Beckley - 2,825,000
Sean Winter - 1,115,000
Andrey Zaichenko - 950,000
Brian Yoon - 780,000
Ben Heath - 665,000
Chance Kornuth - 660,000
Dario Sammartino - 530,000

3:45pm: Level 25 begins; 8 remain
Level 25 - Blinds 25,000-50,000 (5,000 ante)

As Level 25 begins, Nick Maimone and Josh Beckley have distanced themselves somewhat from the other six, chip-wise, as only Sean Winter has as much as a million among the rest of the group. --MH

3:40pm: Level 25 begins; 8 remain
Level 25 - Blinds 25,000-50,000 (5,000 ante)

The blinds go up while the antes stay the same as the tournament moves into Level 25 without a break. --MH

3:30pm: Maimone moves into lead
Level 24 - Blinds 20,000 -40,000 (5,000 ante)

The last hand of Level 24 saw Sean Winter limp in from middle position, Nick Maimone also limp from the button, and Chance Kornuth check from the big blind.

The flop came A♠7♦4♦, and after Kornuth checked, Winter bet 60,000. Maimone raised to 150,000, Kornuth folded, and Winter called. Both remaining players then checked the 5♥ turn.

The river was the 6♦. Winter checked again, and after Maimone slid out white chips (worth 25,000 each) as a bet of 250,000, Winter tanked for a couple of minutes before calling.

Maimone flipped over 8♠7♠ for a rivered straight, and Winter mucked. Maimone is now comfortably in the lead with 3.65 million, Winter is down to about 1.1 million, and Kornuth has 755,000. --MH

3:25pm: Sammartino slips further
Level 24 - Blinds 20,000 -40,000 (5,000 ante)

Dario Sammartino can't seem to win a pot against Nick Maimone and the American just took another chunk out of the Italian's stack.

Action folded to Sammartino in the cut-off. He opened to 90,000 and Maimone defended from the big blind. On the 6♣4♠T♠ flop Sammartino bet 70,000 but Maimone was not for budging.

A trend in this tournament has been bet flop, check turn, bet river and it happened again here as both players checked the T♥ turn to see the 6♥ complete the board. On fifth street Maimone check-called a bet of 195,000 and Sammartino mucked face down meaning Maimone didn't have to show his cards. -NW

Nick Maimone - 2,995,000
Dario Sammartino - 550,000

3:20pm: Heath doubles through Winter
Level 24 - Blinds 20,000 -40,000 (5,000 ante)

The mood is quite jovial among the final eight, despite the fact that the dividing up of the greater percentage of the $5.4 million total prize pool in this event is still to be determined.

Down to his last 315,000, Ben Heath watched the table fold around to him on the button, and he set his remaining chips forward as an all-in raise. The action moved to Sean Winter in the big blind who called, turning over 5♣5♠ while Heath tabled K♥3♦.

The K♦Q♠J♣ was good for Heath, giving him the better pair, and after the 7♠ turn and 6♥ river he moved back up to 705,000. Winter, meanwhile, slips to 1,420,000, though is still smiling and chatting along with everyone else. --MH

3:15pm: Maimone tied at the top with Beckley
Level 24 - Blinds 20,000 -40,000 (5,000 ante)

Nick Maimone is up to 2,640,000 after winning a big pot against Dario Sammartino. As a result he's basically tied for the chip lead with Josh Beckley, the latter has 2,680,000.

The hand that got him there started with him limping under-the-gun. Sammartino three-bet to 110,000 from the cut-off and Maimone smooth called.

Maimone then proceeded to check-call bets of 85,000 and 245,000 on the flop and turn of a J♣A♣9♥T♠ board. Both players then checked the 8♣ river. Maimone rolled over A♦7♦ and Sammartino rolled his eyes before mucking. He's down to 795,000. --NW


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3:05pm: Chip counts

Josh Beckley - 2,680,000
Nick Maimone - 2,640,000
Sean Winter - 1,940,000
Andrey Zaichenko - 1,040,000
Chance Kornuth - 990,000
Brian Yoon - 935,000
Dario Sammartino - 795,000
Ben Heath - 395,000

2:40pm: Beckley back to 2 million
Level 24 - Blinds 20,000 - 40,000 (5,000 ante)

A big hand for Josh Beckley earns him a big pot against Nick Maimone.

Maimone opened for 95,000 in middle position before Beckley raised to 245,000 from the next seat along. The blinds folded and the action returned to Maimone, who called for a flop of T♦A♠K♥.

Maimone checked, then called Beckley's bet of 275,000. The turn was the 6♠. Maimone checked again but this time Beckley moved all in for 825,000. Maimone asked for a count and thought about it, but passed. He drops to 2.66 million, while Beckley is now on 2 million. -SB

2:25pm: Play resumes in Level 24

2.15pm: Chip counts at the end of Level 23

Nick Maimone - 2,710,000
Sean Winter - 2,000,000
Josh Beckley - 1,750,000
Andrey Zaichenko - 1,605,000
Dario Sammartino - 1,265,000
Chance Kornuth - 855,000
Brian Yoon - 695,000
Ben Heath - 529,000

2:10pm: First break of the day

Players are on a 15 minute break.


2.15pm: Anton Astapou eliminated in ninth ($116,640)
Level 23 - Blinds 15,000 - 30,000 (4,000 ante)

The first hour and forty-five minutes of this High Roller final table have been much like watching a Floyd Mayweather boxing bout. At times, a fight has threatened to break out but mostly it's been a succession of pitter-patter jabs that don't really hurt anybody and, quite frankly, aren't that exciting to watch. Then, just as the break was looming, a huge knockout blow from out of nowhere has knocked out one player from this field and crowned a new chip leader at the same time.


anton_astapau_pca2016_hrd3.jpgAnton Astapau

Anton Astapou jammed his 380k stack from early position and Dario Sammartino called. Things took a turn for the better when Nick Maimone unexpectedly shoved himself from the blinds. It was a huge bet of 1.08 million. Astapou remained calm - his work was already done. Sammartino, on the other hand, was in a great deal of distress. He rolled his eyes, took his headphones out of his ears and went to ask Maimone a question. The dealer reminded him that players are not allowed to talk in all in situations. Maimone just smiled.

All of this went on for five minutes and Chance Kornuth, now standing talking to Greg Merson on the rail, wasn't happy. "He doesn't need this long to tank pre-flop, I'd understand if it was on the turn and there had been action." Kornuth called the clock and now Sammartino had one minute to act.

The clock struck thirty seconds and nothing. Ten seconds remained and nothing. When the floor staff indicated there were two seconds remaining Sammartino pushed forward a stack of chips to signal a call. It was a big mistake.

Sammartino: 9♠9♥
Astapou: T♥T♣
Maimone: J♦J♥

A Nine would eliminate two players and give Sammartino an overwhelming chip lead. But the best hand, Maimone's Jacks, held up and we lost Astapou in ninth while Sammartino lost a good portion of his stack too.

The Italian now has 1.25m but Maimone is the new man to beat with 2.45m. The players are now in the midst of a fifteen minute break. - RJ

1:55pm: More for Zaichenko
Level 23 - Blinds 15,000 - 30,000 (4,000 ante)

Andrey Zaichenko just took down a pot against Brian Yoon. He opened for 65,000 under the gun, which Yoon called when the action was folded around to him in the big blind. The flop came 2♣J♣9♦ which Yoon check-called Zaichenko's bet of 77,000.

The 3♥ turn was checked, as was the T♣ river. Yoon flashed his cards, but only briefly, until he saw Zaichenko's winner - K♥Q♥. - SB

1:45pm: Winter is here
Level 23 - Blinds 15,000 - 30,000 (4,000 ante)

Sean Winter opened to 75,000 under the gun and was called by Brian Yoon, Andrey Zaichenko and Dario Sammartino. It created a pot of 300,000 before we had even seen the flop.


sean_winter_pca2016_hrd3.jpgSean Winter

That flop was a good one too - T♦J♦K♠. It was almost impossible for everyone to have missed but, after he bet 95,000, Winter met no resistance and the other three players all folded.

Winter is battling it out with Sammartino for the chip lead. Both players have around 2 million chips to their name. - RJ

1:35pm: Winter takes on Zaichenko
Level 23 - Blinds 15,000 - 30,000 (4,000 ante)

Sean Winter's stack just went up a little after a hand against Andrey Zaichenko. Winter opened for 70,000 in middle position which Zaichenko raised to 200,000 in the cut off. Winter called for a flop of 3♦T♥2♠.

Both players checked the flop, and the T♦. The river card was the 8♦. Winter bet 136,000 forcing a pass from Zaichenko, who drops slightly to 1,150,000. - SB

1:25pm: Sammartino going well
Level 23 - Blinds 15,000 - 30,000 (4,000 ante)

Dario Sammartino has assumed the chip lead on the final table after winning a three-way pot versus Nick Maimone and Andrey Zaichenko. Sammartino was the pre-flop aggressor, raising to 65,000. Both Zaichenko (small blind) and Maimone (big blind) called.

Zaichenko led out for 75,000 on the A♥4♠8♣ flop and both players called. A big pot was brewing but the action slowed down when all three players checked the 3♠ turn. The river was J♥ and the check-fest continued with both Zaichenko and Maimone declining the invitation to bet.

Sammartino had other ideas and put out 120,000. It was called by Maimone but he couldn't beat the Italian's A♣T♠ and mucked. Sammartino now has 1.9m and Maimone 1.2m. - RJ


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1:15pm: Into level 23

Blinds are now 15,000 - 30,000 (4,000 ante)

1.10pm: Zaichenko moving up
Level 22 - Blinds 12,000 - 24,000 (3,000 ante)

Zaichenko is winning pot after pot at the moment. The latest came versus Dario Sammartino. Zaichenko called a 118,000 bet on the turn of a 3♣8♦5♦T♦ board. He was in position and Sammartino checked to him when the 9♦ river put four diamonds on board. No Zaichenko put out 280,000. It was a big bet and gave Sammartino some pause for thought.


andrey_zaichenko_pca2016_hrd3.jpgAndrey Zaichenko

He eventually folded and Zaichenko is now on 1.4m. Sammartino still betters him with 1.55m. - RJ

12:55pm: No passengers for American Airlines
Level 22 - Blinds 12,000 - 24,000 (3,000 ante)

Chance Kornuth opened the pot with a raise to 60,000 and Sean Winter called on the button. He asked Kornuth if he was nervous. No response. An entertaining tete-a-tete was forming but then Andrey Zaichenko came along to spoil the party.

From the big blind he made it 225,000. Both players folded and Zaichenko proudly displayed A♠A♣. He will have wanted more action that what he got. Zaichenko moves up to 1.2m. - RJ

12:40pm: Astapau shoves
Level 22 - Blinds 12,000 - 24,000 (3,000 ante)

Sean Winter opened and when the action was folded to Anton Astapau he shoved. Winter insta-mucked with enough melo-drama to make everyone smile. - SB

12:30pm: Maimone double barrels to glory
Level 22 - Blinds 12,000 - 24,000 (3,000 ante)

It wasn't a huge pot but Nick Maimone just took one down versus Dario Sammartino. The American bet 70,000 on the T♠3♥8♣ flop and was called by Sammartino. Maimone bet again on the 5♠ turn, this time for 108,000. After a look of disgust, Sammartino folded to give Maimone the pot.


nick_maimone_pca2016_hrd3.jpgNick Maimone

Not much change in the chip counts as both players are still over 1,000,000 and doing fine. - RJ

12.10pm: The big kick-off
Level 22 - Blinds 12,000 - 24,000 (3,000 ante)

Play is underway here on the High Roller final table and it's been a slow start. No hand has got beyond the flop and most have been concluded pre-flop. It's only just past noon here in The Bahamas though, and poker players don't tend to wake up until at least 1pm. The action will heat up soon enough. - RJ

12:05pm: Play begins


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11.55pm: Play about to start
Level 22 - Blinds 12,000 - 24,000 (3,000 ante)

Players are unbagging their chips, and preparing to start. A reminder that the live stream for the PCA Main Event final table begins at 2pm on EPT Live.

11.45am: High Rollers return for the final day of the PCA 2016 festival

Play restarts with nine players left at 12noon. Look back on yesterday's action in our end of day wrap.

Here's how the players will line up:

Seat 1: Sean Winter (USA) 1,799,000
Seat 2: Brian Yoon (USA) 953,000
Seat 3: Andrey Zaichenko (Russia) 1,036,000
Seat 4: Nick Maimone (USA) 1,191,000
Seat 5: Josh Beckley (USA) 2,146,000
Seat 6: Chance Kornuth (USA) 972,000
Seat 7: Ben Heath (UK) 738,000
Seat 8: Anton Astapau (Belarus) 565,000
Seat 9: Dario Sammartino (Italy) 1,892,000




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Take a look at the official website of the PCA, with tournament schedule, videos, news, blogs and accommodation details for the Atlantis Resort in The Bahamas.

Also All the schedule information is on the EPT App, which is available on both Android or IOS.

PokerStars Blog reporting team on the $25,000 High Roller: Stephen Bartley and Ross Jarvis. Photos by Joe Giron and Carlos Monti.

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in High Roller