PCA 2016: Pires leads Main Event for third consecutive day

With 19 players left in the 2016 PCA Main Event, finding the chip leader has been made all the easier by the fact that it's exactly the same man it has been for the past three days. Leonardo Pires has not backed off the gas once in 72 hours, and his efforts have resulted in a chip stack worth more than 4.5 million. Thats 187 big blinds.

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Leonardo Pires

In Brazil, finding a Pires is like finding a McDonalds. They are everywhere. Between the Portuguese Pireses and Brazilian Pireses, there are nearly 50 of them famous enough to have their own Wikipedia page. Leonardo Pires aims to increase that number by one.

The wild and crazy Brazilian finished Day 2 with the chip lead. Then he finished Day 3 with the chip lead. On Day 4, he did it again with his friend poker ally Marcelo railing him for most of the day. Marcelo told us a bit about the man of the moment.

Pires hails from the city of Belo Horizonte - the sixth largest in Brazil - and is a regular Omaha cash game player. However, after winning a casino tournament in Uruguay for $50,000 last month, he has decided to give poker tournaments a shot.

It has clearly been a good decision. The man who goes by the nickname 'Leo Burguês' (meaning a man of high class and wealth), is storming his way through this Main Event.

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It's tempting to keep our focus keenly on Brazilian, but it would be a mistake to not keep tabs on the smiling face of Phillip McAllister. After a steady rise through the field over the past couple of days, McAllister stuck his talons in the top of the leaderboard on Monday afternoon.

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His runner-runner royal flush on the feature table (read about at it 6:45pm here) will go down as one of the PCA's legendary hands, and it helped McAllister land in the top five.

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Phillip McAllister, all smiles

These two men spent the end of the day seated next to each other. If they had been the only show, it would've been enough. But just look at this remaining field. Look at it and imagine what might be. Fabian Ortiz made the final table a couple of years ago and has two LAPT titles to his name. Tony Gregg already has two PCA Main Event final tables and a Super High High Roller final on his resume. That doesn't even begin to consider the likes of powerhouses Stephen Chidwick, Toby Lewis, Mike Watson, and...oh just see for yourself. This could be a really good one.


Leonardo Pires (Brazil) 4560000
Randy Kritzer (USA) 2385000
Fabian Ortiz (Argentina) 2309000
Timothy Ulmer (USA) 2200000
Phillip McAllister (UK) 2152000
David Eldridge (USA) 2100000
Stephen Chidwick (UK) 1728000
Toby Lewis (UK) 1396000
Vasken Demlakian (Australia) 1394000
Matthew Waxman (USA) 1228000
Tony Gregg (USA) 1089000
Martin McCormick (UK) 1007000
Mike Watson (Canada) 952000
Paul Gooley (Australia) 705000
Ami Barer (Canada) 679000
Vladimir Troyanovskiy (Russia) 612000
Fabian Chauriye (Chile) 513000
Fedor Holz (Germany) 453000
Taylor Paur (USA) 404000

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Fabian Ortiz

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Stretch it out, Stevie

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Toby Lewis

The day was not without its casualties.

There are a lot of people you could call Mr. PCA--Tony Gregg comes to mind--but Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier is working his way into the running. When he busted in 20th place tonight, he recorded his third consecutive (and highest) in-the-money finish in the PCA Main Event.

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He might have made it all the way to the final table but for running kings into aces midway through Day 4. He picked up $32,360 for the finish (which, if he wanted, would be more than enough to buy in to the ongoing $25,000 High Roller happening now).

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Mercier was among several well-known pros to go bust on Day 4. When the day began, there were 73 people still in the running. Among those who made tracks for the cage were Jason Koon, John Racener, Jonathan Jaffe, Felipe Ramos, Ilkin Amirov, Shawn Buchanan, and Davidi Kitai. To see the full list of money-winners from the day, see our 2016 PCA Main Event winners page.


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Felipe Ramos


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Jason Koon

If you're still looking for more action tonight, we'll have live updates of the $25,000 High Roller going for another several hours.

Or, if you're ready to log off and get some sleep, join us back here tomorrow as the Main Event plays down to its final table.

See you then!


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is the PokerStars Head of Blogging.