PCA 2016: Day 2 $25,000 High Roller updates (Levels 17-21)

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This is an archive of Levels 17-21 of the 2016 PCA $25K High Roller. Click here for a full recap of Day 2.

2:05am: Day 2 concludes

Back in a few with a recap of today's exciting Day 2 in the $25K High Roller. - MH

2:04am: Robert Gorodetsky eliminated in 10th place ($98,820)
Level 21 - Blinds 10,000-20,000 (3,000 ante)

On the very last hand of the night there was an elimination meaning the unofficial final table of nine has been set to start tomorrow's Day 3.

The hand started with Robert Gorodetsky opening to 40,000, Dario Sammartino three-bet to 135,000 and Gorodetsky smooth-called. The 7♠Q♥3♠ flop checked through and the K♣ hit the turn. Gorodetsky bet 120,000 and Sammartino smooth called.

The 2♦ fell on the river, Gorodetsky checked, Sammartino moved all-in for an effective 300,000, and Gorodetsky said: "Damn," and stood up from his chair. A couple of seconds later he sat back down and said: "Call."

Sammartino was first to show, the Italian had A♣K♠ and Gorodetsky couldn't beat it as he had K♦J♥. That brings Sammartino up to almost 1.9 million to end the night, though Beckley will still enjoy the overnight chip lead among the final nine - NW

1:58am: Beckley wins a big pot, takes chip lead
Level 21 - Blinds 10,000-20,000 (3,000 ante)

Late in the night Josh Beckley has surged back into the chip lead after winning a big pot against Brian Yoon. The latter opened to 45,000 on the button, Beckley three-bet to 165,000 from the big blind, and Yoon called.

The T♥7♠9♣ flop checked through and Beckley then check-called a bet of 180,000 on the 9♠ turn. The J♦ completed the board, Beckley bet 500,000, and Yoon folded.

"Show one for the fans," said Chance Kornuth and Beckley let him pick a card -- the A♦. Beckley is up to around 2,100,000 after that hand. - NW

1:50am: Jean-Paul Savard eliminated in 11th place ($98,820)
Level 21 - Blinds 10,000-20,000 (3,000 ante)

Josh Beckley opened for 50,000 from the cutoff seat, then Jean-Pascal Savard reraised all in with his last 160,000 or so from the button. It folded back to Beckley who called, and he tabled A♠J♦ while Savard needed help with his A♥T♠.

The board rolled out 7♥K♠J♠3♦K♥, giving Beckley two pair and ending Savard's run in 10th. That bumps Beckley up around 1.8 million, and it looks like he and Sean Winter are currently vying for the end-of-night chip lead as they enter into the last minutes of play tonight. - MH

1:41am: Big pots for Yoon and Maimone
Level 21 - Blinds 10,000-20,000 (3,000 ante)

Big pots for Brian Yoon and Nick Maimone have taken them both above the million-chip mark.

It's been a remarkable rise up the ranks for Yoon in Level 21. He started the level with just 310,000, got as low as 162,000, and now he's up to around 1,100,000. This is how he got there.

He opened to 45,000 on the button and called after Dario Sammartino three-bet to 118,000 from the small blind. Sammartino bet 80,000 and 140,000, respectively, on the J♥7♣4♥ flop and K♥ turn, and Yoon called him on both streets. Both players then checked the 4♠ river, with Sammartino showing A♣5♣ and Yoon holding A♦J♣. Sammartino is now down to 1,200,000.

Meanwhile over on the other table Chance Kornuth and Nick Maimone were embroiled in a pot. Kornuth had opened to 40,000 from under-the-gun, with Maimone smooth-calling. Both players checked the 8♦2♦7♦ flop and the 7♥ fell on the turn.

Kornuth went for the delayed c-bet, and Maimone called the 45,000 salvo. On the T♥ river Kornuth bet a further 78,000 and Maimone snap called. Kornuth opened T♣5♣ but Maimone had 7♠4♠ for trips. - NW

Nick Maimone - 1,200,000
Chance Kornuth - 1,100,000
Dario Sammartino - 1,200,000
Brian Yoon - 1,100,000

1:31am: Yoon doubles again
Level 21 - Blinds 10,000-20,000 (3,000 ante)

Brian Yoon has found a second double-up and now sits with 700,000 or 35 big blinds. Dario Sammartino was his victim this time after Yoon's 7♦7♣ held against the A♦Q♦ of Sammartino after the community cards came 8♣3♥3♣8♥2♥. Sammartino has 1.65 million. - MH

1:21am: Brian Yoon doubles through Anton Astapau
Level 21 - Blinds 10,000-20,000 (3,000 ante)

Down to just 162,000, Brian Yoon got his short stack in with A♥J♠ and was in good shape against Anton Astapau's K♥T♥. The Belarusian had live cards, but couldn't land the knockout blow on the 5♣9♠4♣6♣2♦ board. - NW

Brian Yoon - 335,000
Anton Astapau - 520,000

1:14am: Jeff Gross eliminated in 12th place ($88,020)
Level 21 - Blinds 10,000-20,000 (3,000 ante)

A couple of hours ago Jeff Gross was sweating the bubble pretty hard, but he's managed to ladder all the way to 12th place in this tournament without ever during that period getting his hands on a stack with which to play.

On his exit hand, Gross shoved all in for roughly 180,000 with A♥3♥ and Ben Heath isolated from the small blind with K♦K♠. Josh Beckley was in the big blind and showed pocket twos as he folded.

That would prove significant as the board ran 2♦K♥8♣3♠7♦, which eliminated Gross. Had he folded, it's possible Heath and Beckley would've played a monster pot with their flopped sets. Heath now has 680,000. - NW

1:03am: Greg Merson eliminated in 13th place ($88,020)
Level 21 - Blinds 10,000-20,000 (3,000 ante)

Just after Michael Kamran was knocked out, Greg Merson followed him to the rail after getting crippled in that hand ace-jack versus ace-eight hand against Nick Maimone right before the last break.

Greg Merson_2016 PCA_25K HR_Day 2_Giron_8JG0165.jpg

Greg Merson

1:02am: Michael Kamran eliminated in 14th place ($79,920)
Level 21 - Blinds 10,000-20,000 (3,000 ante)

On the first hand back from the break, Michael Kamran busted out in a spot the kidz would call "standard."

Robert Gorodetsky opened to 45,000, Dario Sammartino flat-called, and Kamran moved all-in from the big blind for 262,000. Gorodetsky folded, but Sammartino got a count and then called.

Kamran: A♦K♣
Sammartino: 9♥9♠

The pair held up on a 8♦2♣Q♥5♥6♦ board, sending Kamran out. Meanwhile Sammartino is up to 2,000,000 and has taken the chip lead again. --NW

12:57am: Level 21 begins
Level 21 - Blinds 10,000-20,000 (3,000 ante)

The final 14 are back to play one more hour of poker. Here's a look at some updated counts as they get started once again:

Sean Winter -- 1,900,000
Dario Sammartino -- 1,722,000
Josh Beckley -- 1,530,000
Chance Kornuth -- 920,000
Nick Maimone -- 905,000
Robert Gorodetsky -- 765,000
Andrey Zaichenko -- 740,000
Anton Astapau -- 685,000
Ben Heath - 580,000
Jean-Pascal Savard - 350,000
Brian Yoon -- 310,000
Michael Kamran -- 285,000
Jeff Gross -- 253,000
Greg Merson -- 250,000

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12:43am: Break time

The final 14 players are taking what will be the last 15-minute break of the night, after which they'll return to play one more level before bagging up. -MH

12:42am: Nick Maimone doubles to dent Merson
Level 20 - Blinds 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

On the last hand before the break Nick Maimone got a fortuitous double-up.

Jean-Pascal Savard opened to 40,000 on the button, Maimone ripped 27 big blinds from the small blind, and Greg Merson then reraised all in from the big blind to force Savard out of the equation. The players showed their hands:

Merson: A♦J♦
Maimone: A♥8♦

Maimone was behind, but would flop better, though, as the K♠8♣8♥9♥A♠ board meant he doubled up to around 925,000 whilst Merson dropped to 245,000. --NW

12:40am: Samuel Chartier eliminated in 15th ($79,920)
Level 20 - Blinds 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

Moments after Andrew Chen's knockout in 16th, Samuel Chartier was felted at the same table after running king-queen into Sean Winter's pocket aces to go out in 15th as Level 20 nears its close. - MH

12:38am: Andrew Chen eliminated in 16th place ($71,820)
Level 20 - Blinds 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

Down to just a handful of big blinds, Andrew Chen found a good spot to get them in, as he had pocket tens. He looked primed for a double-up as he was facing off against Dario Sammartino's A♦2♠.

However, the 3♦9♣J♥A♣6♦ board gave the pot to Sammartino, and as a result the Italian increases his chip lead. --NW

12:30am: Redraw to final two tables
Level 20 - Blinds 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

The final 16 players have redrawn and are now seated around the final two tables as follows:

11Josh Beckley
12Jean-Pascal Savard
13Chance Kornuth
14Michael Kamran
15Nick Maimone
16Greg Merson
17Jeff Gross
18Ben Heath
21Andrew Chen
22Andrey Zaichenko
23Anton Astapau
24Sam Chartier
25Robert Gorodetsky
26Brian Yoon
27Dario Sammartino
28Sean Winter

Dario Sammartino is back in the lead with 1.8 million, followed by Josh Beckley with 1.7 million and Sean Winter with 1.55 million. The current short stacks are Jeff Gross (247,000), Sam Chartier (200,000), and Andrew Chen (130,000). - NW

12:20am: Down to 16
Level 20 - Blinds 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

Andrey Zaichenko opened for 32,000 from the button. Alexander Lynskey then moved all in from the small blind for roughly 375,000. To make things interesting, Dario Sammartino moved all in. Zaichenko thought for a second then folded, leaving the other two to it.

Lynskey: 2♥2♠
Sammartino: A♥K♥

The board ran 7♣4♦3♥A♠8♦, sending Lynskey to the rail in 17th place and leaving Sammartino with 1.8 million chips. That puts him back narrowly in the lead ahead of Josh Beckley on a little over 1.6 million.

There will be a short pause again while they redraw once for for the final two tables. - SB

12:09am: Winter check-calls his way to the win
Level 20 - Blinds 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

A big pot between Sean Winter and Chance Kornuth to tell you about now:

It folded to Winter who raised it up to 40,000, and Kornuth called on the button. Postflop Winter gave up the betting lead, but proceeded to check-call bets of 36,000, 67,000, and 172,000 as the 2♥9♣J♣K♠3♥ board came.

At showdown, Kornuth rolled over K♥Q♠ for top pair, but Winter had gotten tricky with A♦A♣ and he took the pot. Kornuth is down to 705,000 whilst Winter climbs to 1,400,000. -- NW

11:57pm: Maimone faced with another tricky decision
Level 20 - Blinds 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

Another tough river decision for Nick Maimone, but this time he was the one faced with losing all his chips if he was wrong.

It was a blind on blind pot with Josh Beckley raising from the small blind and Maimone calling from the big blind. Beckley bet every street of a T♣7♥4♥K♦3♠ board with his river bet being all in, an effective 590,000 into a pot of around 425,000 as he was the covering stack.

"Man these river bets have been so sick today," said Maimone as he pondered what to do. "Am I allowed to say what I have?" he asked the dealer.

Apparently he was: "I have J♥T♥," he revealed. "Great flop, but not such a good turn or river," he continued. It's worth noting that at the moment the average stack is 661,000, meaning a fold from Maimone would still leave him with plenty. That's what he elected to do and he showed his cards to the table to make it clear he wasn't tanking unnecessarily.

Maimone has 590,000 now, while Beckley looks to be the new chip leader with 1,575,000. - NW

Joshua Beckley_2016 PCA_25K HR_Day 2_Giron_8JG0421.jpg

Josh Beckley

11:48pm: Goredetsky doubles through Maimone
Level 20 - Blinds 8,000 - 16,000 (2,000 ante)

Another double-up to report, this time for Robert Gorodetsky. On a board of 7♦T♦7♥4♦4♠ and roughly 120,000 already in the middle, Gorodetsky moved all in for his last 165,000. He then had to wait for Nick Maimone to decide whether Gorodetsky had something or was bluffing. Maimone took his time, and Gorodetsky watched as Maimone moved his chips around. Maimone finally did call, assuming Gorodetsky had nothing.

He was wrong. Gorodetsky showed 5♠7♣ for sevens full of fours. Maimone mucked his hand, but tournament rules say he had to show, at which point the dealer turned over his A♠K♠. - SB

11:36pm: Level 20 begins
Level 20 - Blinds 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

The blinds and antes are going up as players continue on into Level 20 without taking a break. - MH

11:35pm: Chen doubles; still in the danger zone
Level 19 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

Down to just 75,000, Andrew Chen moved all in with A♥3♥ and got a call from Robert Gorodetsky who had K♥Q♣. "I was hoping for king-queen," said Chen when he saw the cards.

A 3♠5♥4♣6♥4♠ run out was good for Chen, and he doubled to 176,000. - NW

11:33pm: Zaichenko eliminates Jaffee and Mateos
Level 19 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

You don't see many celebrations in high roller events. The players in these big buy-in events are, for the most part, battled hardened veterans who've seen it all. That's what made Andrey Zaichenko's fist pump celebration at the end of the following hand a rarity.

But you sense that, given the way the board ran out, you'd have done exactly the same in his shoes.

To the hand then, the Russian opened to 27,000 on the button, Jared Jaffee shoved for 190,000 from the small blind, Adrian Mateos then reshoved for about 425,000, and Zaichenko called all in.

Jaffee: K♠J♥
Mateos: A♠J♠
Zaichenko: A♦K♣

"That's about as bad as it can possibly get for me," said Jaffee when he saw the hands. The Q♣T♠5♦ flop was a good start for him, though. It was now a case of the players needing each others' cards to make the best hand.

The board bricked off, however, and that was when Zaichenko celebrated. It gave him a stack of about 1,000,000, eliminated Jaffe in 19th, and left Mateos with just 16,000.

Those chips of Mateos's went in on the next hand with Q♠6♦, and Zaichenko finished him off in 18th with pocket jacks. - NW

11:27pm: Double-KO for Maimone
Level 19 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

Two hands and two eliminations over on Table 3 with Nick Maimone the common thread between them.

In hand one Faraz Jaka shoved for 180,000 with 3♠3♦ and Maimone snap-called with T♣T♠. The 5♣Q♥K♥4♠2♣ board then sent Jaka to the rail in 21st place.

On the next hand, it was Maimone with the pair of threes and he raised to 23,000, then he called when Kyle Frey shoved for about 80,000. It was a race as Frey held A♥J♠, but the 5♣6♦7♥3♦T♠ board eliminated Frey in the 20th spot. Maimone is up to 850,000 now. - NW

11:21pm: Jaffee and Gross double
Level 19 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

Jared Jaffee just doubled up, doing so with pocket tens against Adrian Mateos who had to take a break from stacking the chips he'd just won from Jaffee to play the hand. He had king-queen, and flopped a pair. But the board also brought Jaffee a straight and gave him the pot, but he's still down under 200,000.

There was similar news for Jeff Gross who got his shove with aces called by Andrew Chen, who turned over ace-king. Chen had outs to a straight on the turn, but nothing came of it. Gross is now up to 350,000. - SB

11:17pm: Brutal for Jaffee as Astapau doubles
Level 19 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

The words "sick" and "brutal" get overused in poker, but Jared Jaffee had every right to shake his head and damn near crush his hole cards in the palm of his hand when Anton Astapau flopped him dead in a pot that he was a 93% favourite to at least chop.

Jaffee had opened, Astapau had shoved for 279,000, and Jaffee had put him at risk. When the cards were exposed they both had the same hand -- well almost -- it was A♠K♠ for the Astapau and A♣K♥ for the American. But the 7♠5♠J♠ flop gave Astapau the nuts and an unbeatable hand.

Jaffee couldn't believe his luck and drops to 350,000 as a result, Astapau meanwhile is up to 580,000. - NW

11:07pm: Rubie out in 22nd
Level 19 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

Brendon Rubie is the next to fall. He found A♥2♦ and shoved, getting a call from Brian Yoon with Q♠Q♥.

The board didn't help Rubie, landing as it did 4♠7♠T♠7♥2♣. Rubie departs in 22nd place. - SB

11:06pm: Hall busts in 23rd as Winter puts the frost on him
Level 19 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

We reached the table to see Tom Hall facing a decision for his tournament life.

There was a complete board of Q♣4♣2♥3♠3♦ on the felt and around 275,000 in the pot. Hall had about 260,000 back and Sean Winter a lot more than that. The clock was called on Hall and as the countdown began he put forward a stack of chips to call. Winter rolled over A♥5♥ for the wheel, whilst Hall had Q♥J♣.

Hall tapped the table and said "Nice hand," to Winter. He collects $58,320 as Winter climbs to 1,220,000. - NW

11:02pm: Sammartino takes out Hook, Jr. in 24th

Shortly after the resumption of play following the redraw, Charles Hook Jr. was eliminated by Dario Sammartino in 24th. Be sure to check the payouts page for updates. - MH

11:01pm: Final three tables
Level 19 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

The 24 remaining players are back in their seats and below is what the redraw produced. - NW

11Anton Astapau
12Ben Heath
13Andrey Zaichenko
14Jared Jaffee
15Adrian Mateos
16Alexander Lynskey
17Dario Sammartino
18Charles Hook Jr
21Brian Yoon
22Greg Merson
23Michael Kamran
24Tom Hall
25Sean Winter
26Joshua Beckley
27Chance Kornuth
28Brandon Rubie
31Kyle Frey
32Jeff Gross
33Andrew Chen
34Jean-Pascal Savard
35Sam Chartier
36Robert Gorodetsky
37Faraz Jaka
38Nick Maimone

10:55pm: The march to the cashier's desk begins; 24 remain
Level 19 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

Following the knockouts of Keven Stammen and Pablo Melogno, there was a sudden rush of knockouts occurring at every table, and in a flash the field has been reduced to 24.

The short stacks who busted were Tyler Patterson (29th), Alexandr Komarov (28th), Marvin Rettenmaier (27th), Darren Elias (26th), and Nick Yunis (25th).

A pause in the action followed as the remaining 24 are redrawing to gather around the final three tables. - MH

10:48pm: Chen eliminates Melogno
Level 19 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

Pablo Melogno has followed Kevin Stammen out of this tournament as he couldn't mount a comeback. Down to just under 10 big blinds, he shoved with ace-five and Andrew Chen called with ace-queen. Melogno actually flopped two pair, but a queen on the river gave Chen a superior two-pair to eliminate the Uruguayan. - NW

Pablo Melogno_2016 PCA_25K HR_Day 2_Giron_8JG0396.jpg

Pablo Melogno

10:45pm: Anton Astapau doubles up
Level 19 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

After losing that hand to Sam Chartier (see below), it left Anton Astapau with just 145,000. He found A♣9♣ and moved all in from late position. He got a call from Michael Kamran who had him dominated with A♠K♦.

The 5♣8♣5♦ flop gave Astapau a bunch of outs and Kamran had the look of a man who knew what was coming. The T♥ was a blank but Astapau got there the hard way on the 9♦ river. - NW

Anton Astapau - 310,000
Michael Kamran - 305,000

10:41pm: Keven Stammen out in 31st place
Level 19 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

Keven Stammen's rear-guard action has finally come to an end. Short-stacked for the entire last level, he survived into the money, but leaves in 31st place.

He shoved for 26,000. Sam Chartier also moved all-in for 134,000, which Anton Astapau called.

Astapau: A♣J♠
Stammen: Q♦Q♣
Chartier: A♥K♣

The board ran out 3♦4♣8♦5♣A♠. Stammen had been fine until the river, at which point he made an "argh" noise, albeit with a grin on his face. He was happy to make the money. Chartier meanwhile is up to 330,000. - SB

Keven Stammen_2016 PCA_25K HR_Day 2_Giron_8JG0143.jpg

Keven Stammen

10:30pm: Level 19 begins
Level 19 - Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

Players are back and with 31 left it's time to start working out how they'll be dividing the $5.4 million prize pool. - MH

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10:13pm: Break time

One hand after the bubble burst, the level ended and players are on a 15-minute break, all with smiles from the knowledge they've made the money. - MH

10:12pm: The bubble bursts
Level 18 - Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

The bubble bursts, and it's Georgios Zisimopoulos who departs empty-handed. After Greg Merson bet from the button, Zisimopoulos called all-in with J♥J♠. Merson turned over K♦9♣ and 30 other players gathered around to watch.

The board came K♣4♥T♥3♠5♠, and Zisimopoulos wished everyone good luck and left for the rail. There are 31 players left. We're in the money. - SB

10:11pm: Maimone pays to see
Level 18 - Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

Fair play to Nick Maimone, he put his money where his mouth was.

Dario Sammartino had shoved for about four times the pot on the river of a 9♠6♣6♠Q♠3♥ board. There was roughly 100,000 in the pot and Maimone had 400,000 total. Sammartino is the chip leader, with just about 1,000,000 to start the hand. He had the chips and he had the power.

Maimone was in a world of hurt, compounded somewhat by the fact that earlier on the bubble he'd 'just called' with the second nuts. "I'm at the top of my range," he said before making a reluctant fold.

"Show the bluff," said Chance Kornuth to Sammartino.

"I'll pay $100 to see your hand," Maimone pleaded to Sammartino.

The Italian pushed both cards forward and said: "$100 for one, $100 for the other."

Quick as a flash Maimone pulled out his wallet and gave Sammartino two crisp $100 bills. Good to his word Sammartino showed 4♥2♠ for a pure bluff. To be fair to Maimone, he took he well and actually applauded the Italian for having the stones to pull that move. He then wandered off to chat to Calvin Anderson who's railing that event and the Main Event.

"Stupid play or genius play?" said Sammartino to the table! - NW

Dario Sammartino_2016 PCA_25K HR_Day 2_Giron_8JG0416.jpg

Dario Sammartino

10:06pm: Savard doubles
Level 18 - Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

A double-up for Jean-Pascal Savard. He had to wait a while as other tables finished their hands, but his pocket kings were good enough to beat Sean Winter's pocket nines and Robert Gorodetsky's ace-king on a board of 3♥8♣4♦Q♦4♣. - SB

Jean-Pascal Savard_2016 PCA_25K HR_Day 2_Giron_8JG0401.jpg

Jean-Pascal Savard

9:57pm: Pablo Melogno doubles on the bubble
Level 18 - Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

Another all-in and another double on the bubble:

Adrian Mateos opened to 20,000, Pablo Melogno shoved for 41,000, and when it folded back to Mateos he made the call.

It was Q♠8♦ for Mateos and Q♥Q♣ for Melogno. Melogno had Mateos dominated, but the Spaniard hit the 7♥K♣8♣ flop to pick up some outs. However, the 7♠ turn and T♣ river kept Melogno in front. Melogno has 115,000 now, while Mateos is still up at the other end of the counts with 735,000. - NW

9:49pm: Potential bubble boys
Level 18 - Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

There are three very short stacks right now as play continues hand for hand on the bubble. Georgios Zisimopoulos has 60,000 after he just shoved with ace-king (no callers). Pablo Melogno is in worst shape with 42,000, while Jean-Pascal Savard has 55,000. - SB

9:35pm: More for Beckley on the bubble as he wins a huge pot
Level 18 - Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

This has been a brilliant bubble period for Josh Beckley, he just won a large pot against Nicolas Yunis to climb to 950,000.

It was a very intriguing pot as Yunis opened from the cutoff, Beckley three-bet to 44,000 from the button, Yunis four-bet to 85,000, and Beckley smooth-called.

The two of them saw a A♠J♦9♦ flop on which Yunis check-called a bet of 56,000. He then check-called a further 140,000 on the 6♥ turn, leaving himself just 160,000 behind. On the A♥ river then Beckley moved all-in and Yunis tanked for a few minutes before folding. - NW

9:17pm: Level 18 begins, bubble intact
Level 18 - Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

As hand-for-hand play continues, the blinds and antes have increased. 32 remain. - MH

9:16pm: Stammen shows stamina
Level 17 - Blinds 4,000-8,000 (1,000 ante)

"Never have I seen so many people rooting for the guy who's all in on the bubble," said a spectator as he waited to see if Kevin Stammen would double-up or bubble this tournament.

He was very short and had shoved over the top of a raise from Sean Winter, the latter instantly calling the few extra chips required. When play had finished at the other tables it was time for showdown:

Stammen: Q♣Q♠
Winter: K♥J♥

The 8♣5♦2♦2♠8♥ board kept Stammen alive as he doubled to around 71,000. He's still short on chips but healthier than before. - NW

9:13pm: Beckley wins a big one on the bubble
Level 17 - Blinds 4,000-8,000 (1,000 ante)

There might be a lot of money on the line but the players certainly aren't coasting into the money and waiting for the shorter stacks to bust, as evidenced just now by a hand between Josh Beckley and Alex Lynskey.

We missed the preflop action, but there was enough in the pot to suggest that Lynskey had raised, Beckley had three-bet, and Lynskey had called. The flop fell 2♥9♦8♣, Lynskey checked, Beckley bet 50,000, and Lynskey called.

More money went in on the 9♥ turn, with Lynskey check-calling a further 62,000. At that point both players were content to check back the T♠ river. Lynskey showed his hand first - J♥8♥ - but he'd been pipped on the river by Beckley's T♣7♣. - NW

Josh Beckley - 615,000
Alex Lynskey - 395,000

9:04pm: A-K fails Akkari, Sammartino leads with 32 left
Level 17 - Blinds 4,000 - 8,000 (1,000 ante)

Following an opening raise by Dario Sammartino to 24,000, Andre Akkari announced he was pushing all in with the just under 165,000 he had left, and when it folded back to Sammartino, he called right away.

Akkari had a big hand with A♣K♣, but Sammartino had a bigger one with A♠A♦. The board came Q♦5♠8♥9♥J♥, and Akkari is out in 33rd. Now Sammartino has moved into first position in the counts, having about 1.15 million as hand-for-hand play continues.

Just one more knockout before the bubble bursts! - MH

Andre Akkari-Event 74-25K NLH-PCA 2016-5091.jpg

Andre Akkari

9:01pm: Hand-for-hand on the bubble-bubble
Level 17 - Blinds 4,000 - 8,000 (1,000 ante)

With five short-handed tables left and two eliminations until the money, some tables were moving more quickly than others, and so after a short while considering the possibility the decision was finally made to go ahead and start playing the tournament hand-for-hand until two more knockouts occur and the money is reached. - MH

8:59pm: Hook doubles up
Level 17 - Blinds 4,000 - 8,000 (1,000 ante)

Charles Hook, Jr. just doubled up, although he's still in a dangerous position. After Chance Kornuth opened for 20,000 in middle position, Dario Sammartino called before Hook moved in for 63,000. Kornuth pushed 100,000 forward, giving Sammartino pause for thought before he got out of the way.

Kornuth: 8♠J♠
Hook: 8♦8♥

The board ran out 5♥6♠6♥Q♣2♥, and Hook is now up to 140,000. - SB

8:55pm: Stammen is the short stack
Level 17 - Blinds 4,000-8,000 (1,000 ante)

Keven Stammen has a WSOP bracelet and a WPT win to his name, but he's yet to win an event on the EPT. It's likely his mind is more focused on trying to make the money right now than winning the event, however, as with 33 players left he's bottom of the pile.

He was already short before losing a pot that's dropped him to just seven big blinds. From under the gun Michael Kamran opened to 17,000, Sean Winter called on the button and Stammen, who was in the big blind, went into the tank.

Fold or all-in surely? No, he elected to call, leaving himself 53,000 behind. He then checked the 5♦Q♥9♥ flop to Kamran who bet 18,000. After a quick look back at his cards Winter mucked but Stammen was not so quick to act.

Without knowing what his cards were it genuinely seemed as if Stammen had a legitimate decision -- this didn't look like a Hollywood bubble. By this stage plenty of players from neighbouring tables had stopped by to watch including: Jeff Gross, Andrew Chen, Andrey Zainchenko, and Jared Jaffee. Eventually Stammen folded and he lives continue fighting with a short stack of 53,000. - NW

8:45pm: Olvera out
Level 17 - Blinds 4,000 - 8,000 (1,000 ante)

We're down to 33 players after the elimination of Guillermo Olvera.

Alexander Lynskey opened with a bet of 16,000 from the cutoff. Olvera was in the small blind and raised to 44,000, holding A♦A♠. Nick Yunis was in the big blind and thought for a second before he folded, sending the action back to Lynskey who made the call.

The flop came 6♦7♣9♦ which Olvera checked. Lynskey now bet 47,000 which Olvera called for the 7♥ turn card. Olvera checked again. Lynskey took his time, but pushed out a stack worth 82,000. Olvera now paused. He had 270,000 behind and announced he was all in. Lynskey called in a flash, and with good reason, turning over 7♠7♦ for quads.

The 3♣ on the river was irrelevant, with only the chip counts left to determine. Lynskey had him covered, and now has roughly 500,000. Olvera meanwhile is out. - SB

Guillermo Olvera_2016 PCA_25K HR_Day 2_Giron_8JG0182.jpg

Guillermo Olvera

8:33pm: Calderaro falls to Astapau
Level 17 - Blinds 4,000-8,000 (1,000 ante)

James Calderaro is the first player out after dinner and it was Anton Astapau who got him. Sean Winter opened to 18,000, Calderaro called from a stack of 76,000, and Astapau then three-bet to 75,000 total.

That got rid of Winter, but Calderaro now dwelt up, wondering if he should call off for his tournament life. He tanked for a few minutes and then slammed the rest of his chips into the pot. It was just 1K more for Astapau to call and he duly did.

Astapau: A♠A♥
Calderaro: K♦T♦

The 7♥9♥9♠5♠8♥ flop eliminated Calderaro. 34 players remain. - NW

8:24pm: Crucial double for Yunis
Level 17 - Blinds 4,000-8,000 (1,000 ante)

Nicolas Yunis was the shortest stack of the 35 remaining players, but on the first hand back from dinner he doubled up. He was all-in for 85,000 with A♠7♦ and up against Josh Beckley, who had A♣K♣. The 7♠5♠8♠ flop hit Yunis and he only improved on the T♦ turn and 9♠ river. He now has 178,000. - NW

8:16pm: Mateos gets it through
Level 17 - Blinds 4,000-8,000 (1,000 ante)

Never has a hand with so many checks taken so long! This pot lasted about eight minutes and there was no aggressive action on two of the streets.

If there's anyone to blame, it's Adrian Mateos. He was the one who started it all by raising to 17,000 from under the gun. He was called by Andrey Zaichenko (UTG+1), Andrew Chen (button), and Greg Merson (big blind).

The flop fell T♣5♣4♣ and although there was no betting Mateos and Chen spent the most time considering their options. So to the 6♠ turn we went, again it checked through although Chen, who was in position and seemed to consider betting when his three opponents had checked to him.

So they rolled on to the 6♦ river. Merson checked and Mateos went for a double-delayed c-bet of 35,000. There followed a quick fold from Zaichenko, but Chen then went into the tank. He folded, then it was Merson's turn to tank. He went as far as cutting out the requisite calling chips before folding. He was smiling as he did so. - NW

8:06pm: Level 17 begins
Level 17 - Blinds 4,000-8,000 (1,000 ante)

The 35 remaining players are back in their seats and play has resumed. Four more eliminations, and the tournament will reach the money.

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Click through for previous Day 2 action, Levels 11-16.

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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 $100,000 Super High Roller: Stephen Bartley, Martin Harris, Ross Jarvis, and Nick Wright. Photos by Joe Giron and Carlos Monti.