PCA 2018: Seiver ends $100K SHR Day 1 on top

Y'know what? It's pretty damn sweet to have the PCA back in our lives after a one-year absence. Welcome back, old friend.

Today marked the first day of our 2018 coverage here on the PokerStars Blog, and we couldn't really have asked for a better tournament to kick things off with. The $100,000 Super High Roller is always a star-studded event, but it wasn't just poker stars out in the field today. We'll get to that in a sec.

In total there were 46 entries (including 12 re-entries) and any one of them ending as chip leader would be a headline-worthy, click-baity name. Ultimately today proved best for Scott Seiver, who bagged up the most with a stack of 804,000. He's only in front by a hair though, as Justin Bonomo went on a late tear to shoot up to 799,000. You can find the entire end-of-day chip counts here.

Seiver's leader

In case you were sleeping under a rock for our entire day of live coverage (which you can scroll down to read), Kevin Hart - yes, that Kevin Hart whose new film Jumanji has taken in $500 million at the box office - has returned to Paradise Island for his second consecutive year to take on poker's elite. He made quite an entrance, which we were on hand to film:

He busted his first bullet in a cooler situation against Scott Seiver. All of Hart's chips went in with the 8♣6♦ on a J♣5♦7♦T♥4♣ board, meaning he had a straight. Pretty good hand, right? Well, yeah, but not so much when Seiver was holding the 8♥9♠ for a better straight. Hart swiftly returned though, and his second bullet resulted in an overnight stack of 316,000.

PokerStars Team Pro was repped by Daniel Negreanu and Igor Kurganov. The former was here almost from the get go, only to bust his first bullet in gross fashion during Level 2 when he turned the second-nut flush against Sam Greenwood's nut flush. His second attempt proved far more lucrative, giving him an overnight stack of 438,000. Kurganov, on the other hand, turned up late, only playing around one and a half levels before ending with 233,000.

Bad start, good end for Negreanu

In other news, Daniel Dvoress - who ended the day with 332,000 - can not eat six small crackers in under a minute.

Nope. Can't. He can't do it.

Look, I'm telling you he can't! If you really need proof (and it sounds like you do), PokerStars Blog's videographer Nick Coole was on hand to film this cracking video. Steve O'Dwyer had laid Dvoress $4,000 he couldn't complete the prop bet, and here's what happened:

That's it for Day 1 then. We'll be back tomorrow at 12pm local time, and in the meantime you can find all of the end-of-day chip counts right here. See you on Day 2 for more live updates, videos, and cracker-eating.

Oh, yeah. And Usain Bolt showed up to cheer on Hart. Warning, this video gets a little profane...and hilarious.

--JS


Day 1 coverage archive


• ENTRIES: 33 of 46, including 4 re-entries. Registration open until Day 2.
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9:15pm: Full report on the way

Scott Seiver has a narrow lead over the field as players bag up. A full report from the day will be published here shortly. Check out the end of day chip counts at the link above. -- SB

9:12pm: King-deuce works for Hart
Level 8 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

Kevin Hart was fully prepared to buy in for a third time at the start of Day 2 after putting the last of his stack in with K♠2♣ just now. But he found himself up against Rainer Kempe's A♣Q♥, and as it happened Hart's plans would change.

Much to his delight, in fact.

Kevin Hart

The board rolled out 7♣4♠2♠5♦7♦, that deuce hitting Hart's hand and enabling him to double up over 300,000 just before the close. And he was ecstatic, shouting with glee and about having saved another hundred grand, and needling Kempe about losing with ace-queen.

Knocked down to around 70,000, Kempe wasn't quite so happy, but took the ribbing in good spirits. --MH

9:10pm: Rainer's got 99 problems but his chips ain't one
Level 8 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

Rainer Kempe was cheered on by his girlfriend Maria Ho as he won a race against Steffen Sontheimer to double up close to the end of play.

Kempe was down to 99,000 when he made his move from the hijack. Sontheimer was on the button and successfully isolated his fellow German with a shove of his own.

Kempe: 3♣3♥
Sontheimer: A♥Q♠

The board ran 8♦6♣T♠9♦4♦ to see the threes hold. Sontheimer dropped to 140,000. --MC

9:05pm: Small one for Musty
Level 8 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

It folded around to Mustapha Kanit on the button, and after checking his cards and exhaling he announced he was all in for his last 80,000 or so. It folded to Ivan Luca in the big blind who thought about it, but Luca let Kanit take it.

Kanit remains on the short stack, though, with the last level of the night about to expire. He along with Koray Aldemir and Orpen Kisacikoglu among the shortest stacks. --MH

9:02pm: Three more hands
Level 8 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

Three more hands will be played before players bag up their chips for the night.

8:56pm: The limping epidemic
Level 8 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

It's official: the hot new trend in today's Super High Roller tournament is the open limp from the small blind. Here are four hands by way of proof.

In the first, action folded around to Daniel Negreanu in the small blind and he limped. Timothy Adams, in the big blind, moved all-in for 180,000 and Negreanu made a chat-fold. (That is, he shot a few barbs to his neighbour, but let the cards go.)

Next hand: action folded to Adams in the small blind and he limped. Igor Kurganov, in the big blind this time, raised to 18,000. Adams wasn't going to lie down though and three-bet to 100,000. Kurganov folded.

Igor Kurganov

Next hand: action folded to Kurganov in the small blind and he limped. (A limp costs 5,000, by the way.) Seth Davies checked and they saw the T♠A♣9♦ flop. Kurganov bet 5,000 and Davies folded.

And then the next one. Action folded to Davies in the small blind and he limped in. David Peters checked his option and they saw the A♦J♦Q♥ flop. Davies bet 5,000 and Peters folded.

Just as we all prepared our pens to record another small-blind limp, Negreanu ruined things on the next hand with an open to 12,000 from under the gun. -- HS

8:52pm: A Bolt from the blue
Level 8 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

Sure, the 30-second "shot clock" is in play here in the Super High Roller, which means play has moved quickly all day.

But here in the last level, those playing in the tournament just got a visit from someone who really knows about speed. From out of the blue eight-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt just happened by, in particular chatting with Kevin Hart as Day 1 moves into the home stretch, so to speak.

With Bolt nearby, Hart opened for 7,000. But Rainer Kempe played his hand fast, going all in for about 100,000. It folded back to Hart who had just about that left behind, and he decided against risking it by tossing his cards away.

They're racing to the finish now -- less than half an hour away. --MH

Kevin Hart grinds while Usain Bolt looks on

8:50pm: Welcome to hell!
Level 8 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

If you saw our video of Kevin Hart entering the room, you might wonder, "I wonder if he only acts like that for the cameras?"

The answer is no.

If you walk through the tournament area when no cameras or reporters around, you'll still hear Hart's banter. It's non-stop.

So, now, he's in a hand with Daniel Dvoress. We missed the action until the turn when Dvoress bet into Hart and Hart called. The board read 4♣8♦A♥3♥.

The 5♦ came on the turn. Dvoress checked, and now Hart bet into him. Dvoress pondered it and asked if Hart had missed his heart flush draw.

"Yes," Hart admitted, and then thought better of it. "The book says don't talk!"

Dvoress, if not convinced by that speech, apparently didn't think Hart had enough. So, Dvoress called to see 2♠2♣ for the unlikely rivered straight.

"That's the thing about these wizards," Hart yelled. "Even if they know it, they still do the wrong thing."

There was a brief pause as Hart raked in the chips. And then he looked up again.

"Welcome to hell!" he said. -- BW

8:45pm: Not too many outs
Level 8 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

Kevin Hobbs seems to be really enjoying his first foray into Super High Roller land. He was asking table mates what it takes to get on the new, huge TV set. Jason Koon told him to keep playing well, be in tomorrow and he'll have a good chance. Moments later, he doubled up so has a great chance of being on " TV" tomorrow.

He got his last 87,000 in with K♦J♦ and found a customer in the shape of Stefan Schillhabel who held 6♣6♦. The board ran 9♦7♦8♣2♠J♣ to pair the Canadian's jack on the river. --MC

8:38pm: O'Dwyer over Dvoress (again)
Level 8 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

Daniel Dvoress lost once to Steve O'Dwyer today -- a hilarious prop bet that left Dvoress $2,000 lighter and with a mouthful of uneaten crackers. (See below, 5:31pm.)

Dvoress just lost to O'Dwyer again here in the night's last level, though this time there was less hilarity involved.

Daniel Dvoress spends some time bank cards

The hand started with Dvoress raising to 11,000 from under the gun and O'Dwyer calling from the button. The flop came a coordinated T♣7♠8♣, and Dvoress check-called a bet of 17,000 from O'Dwyer. The turn was the 5♣, putting a third club on the board, and this time Dvoress check-called another bet, this one for 42,000.

The 9♠ fell on the river, meaning the final board was wetter than the Aquaventure water park here at the Atlantis. Dvoress checked one more time, then O'Dwyer pushed all in for the 154,000 he had left. Dvoress thought a long while -- two time bank cards' worth -- before letting his hand go and conceding another challenge versus O'Dwyer.

O'Dwyer now has about 310,000 while Dvoress has about 270,000. --MH

8:33pm: Shak into action
Level 8 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

Both Dan Shak and Adrian Mateos have re-entered and both have taken a seat on Table 5. Shak played the first hand he found after taking his seat, and picked up a few chips to boost the 250,000 a $100,000 buy-in gets you.

Nick Petrangelo started it. The man who is essentially free-rolling after winning the POTY sit n go yesterday opened to 11,000 and Shak called in the big blind.

The dealer put the J♣K♦3♣ on the felt and Shak checked. Petrangelo bet 15,000 and Shak raised to 60,000. Petrangelo quickly folded and then looked with interest as Shak showed his K♣9♣.

That puts Shak up to around 280,000. Petrangelo now has 460,000. -- HS

8:29pm: Tricky Tollerene
Level 8 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

Steve O'Dwyer was left with fewer chips and a confused look upon his face after he tangled with Ben Tollerene.

The latter had opened from early position and O'Dwyer defended his big blind. He continued for 9,000 on an 8♦Q♠6♠ flop and O'Dwyer check-called. Both players checked the 2♥ turn before O'Dwyer led for 29,000 on the 6♣ river. Tollerene then came in with a raise to 130,000 and a puzzled O'Dwyer folded to drop to 225,000. Tollerene moved up to 240,000. --MC

8:22pm: Bonomo knocks off another one
Level 8 - Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

Just as they entered the last level of the night, Justin Bonomo eliminated another player; this time Dan Shak, who left his water and bag of peanuts to nip over to the cage for a re-entry.

Bonomo is up to 778,000 now, good for the second biggest stack. --JS

8:20pm: Luca shoves, Schillhabel concedes
Level 7 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

A board of K♠A♠A♦4♦2♠ and a pot of 210,000 represented a lot of action having taken place between Ivan Luca and Stefan Schillhabel. Then after a Schillhabel check Luca pushed all in, and upon getting a count Schillhabel learned the bet was worth more than the 250,000 or so he had behind.

Ivan Luca

In the end Schillhabel spent three time bank cards on the hand, but parted with no more chips as he decided to fold and preserve that 250,000. Meanwhile Luca jumps to 535,000. --MH

8:18pm: Hart doubles Dvoress
Level 7 - Blinds 2,00/4,000 (ante 500)

The roving television crew hastily swarmed into action around Table 2. It was clear what for: Kevin Hart was involved in a big hand against Daniel Dvoress.

It ended with a double for Dvoress and a barrage of (friendly) abuse from Hart--"I just can't beat you," Hart said, among other morsels--but this one played itself.

Hart had Q♣Q♠ to Dvoress's A♣K♦ and they got it all-in pre-flop, with Dvoress sitting with 181,500. The reason we know such a precise count, of course, is because Hart had to pay that amount following the 5♦J♦K♣2♥T♦ board.

That's a welcome fillip for Dvoress, who enters the day's late stages with about 400,000 now. Hart has around 330,000. -- HS

8:17pm: Badziakouski bluffs then busts
Level 7 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

If you're beat you're beat, no matter how good a price you're getting.

Mikita Badziakouski was involved in hand versus Christopher Kruk and the two had reached the river where a K♠3♣9♣6♠7♦ board rested. Badziakouski led out for what looked like 63,000 from the big blind before Kruk shoved on him. Badziakouski smiled as he only had 2,000 back and had no hand to call with. He mucked.

Mikita Badziakouski busts the Super High Roller

The Belarusian was all-in in the small blind the next hand and was isolated by Orpen Kisacikoglu who had raised from the cutoff with J♦7♦. Badziakouski had five-six but the 9♣5♣J♠7♣T♦ was not enough to save him. --MC

8:14pm: Hart takes from Kenney
Level 7 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

Three were in the hand when the flop came 6♥K♥7♠, and after it checked to Bryn Kenney he bet 14,000. That's when Kevin Hart check-raised to 32,000, knocking out the man in the middle but Kenney stayed in the hand with a call.

The turn was the 6♣, and this time Hart led for 37,500. Kenney called again.

Bryn Kenney: Still smiling

The river brought the Q♥, and Hart quickly bet 115,000 -- a bit over half of what he had left. Kenney thought a while before calling, and Hart turned over 7-6 for trip sixes. Hart waited to see what Kenney was going to do, and when it was clear Kenney was mucking Hart's poker face dissolved into a wide grin.

"I got him!" he said. "Yeah! Stick it to him," he added, and Kenney laughed in response. Hart jumps to 490,000 with that pot, while Kenney is back to 250,000. --MH

8:11pm: Hart dips, Dvoress doubles
Level 7 - Blinds 2,00/4,000 (ante 500)

Kevin Hart just lost back-to-back hands, doubled up Daniel Dvoress and dipped back down to 300,000. Hart raised to 9,000 from under the gun on the first hand and and Bryn Kenney called from the button.

"Wait wait," Hart told the dealer after the blind folded. "Don't deal the flop yet."

Hart took out his sunglasses, put them on and dramatically flipped up his white hoodie.

"Ok," he said. "Go."

The dealer fanned out a 7♠4♣Q♣ flop and both players checked. A J♣ came on the turn and Kenney bet 13,000 when checked to. Hart called and an 8♣ came on the river. Hart checked again and Kenney made it 35,000 to go to showdown. Hart folded and then he lost a bigger pot the following hand.

Daniel Dvoress raised to 10,000 from the button that hand and Stephen Chidwick called from the small blind. Hart was on the big blind and three-bet to 49,000. Dvoress thought for a few seconds and then moved all-in for 111,500. Chidwick quickly folded and Hart called with T♠3♠.

"See, I'm trying to do something here and I have a feeling it'll work," Hart said. He was cutoff mid sentence when the dealer fanned out an A♣A♥4♦ flop.

"Nope," Hart said. "Nope, absolutely not."

A 4♣ came on the turn to leave Hart drawing dead and the river brought a 6♥. Dvoress doubled up to about 250,000 while Hart was left with 300,000. --AV

8:06pm: Bonomo felts Sontheimer, Kanit crushed
Level 7 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

A big pot just played out which saw Steffen Sontheimer sent to the cage for a re-entry. It all started with a 9,000 open from the German, which Mustapha Kanit called. Justin Bonomo defended his big blind, and it went three-ways to the 6♣J♣3♣ flop.

Bonomo checked and Sontheimer continued for 10,000. Neither player budged, so it was still three-handed to the 3♠ turn. Bonomo checked once more, and Sontheimer jammed. Kanit asked for a count, and when he found out it was 65,500 he made the call.

He'd soon wish he hadn't though. Bonomo waved his hand up, signalling for Kanit to do the same so he could get a look at how much he had behind (70,000 was the answer). Bonomo then slid in enough to put the Italian all in, and Kanit looked crushed. He made a very frustrated fold.

He's probably happy he did, as Bonomo then turned over the A♣8♣ for a flopped nut flush. Sontheimer had some full house outs with his K♣J♥, but couldn't find help on the T♠ river.

That hand brings Bonomo up to 550,000. --JS

8:03pm: Seiver clobbers Mateos
Level 7 - Blinds 2,00/4,000 (ante 500)

The Scott Seiver wrecking ball remains highly destructive. It has just crashed into the stack of Adrian Mateos and left this field shorn of a Spanish master.

It was a fairly simple shove-call story pre-flop, with Mateos getting his last 90,000 in with A♦6♠. Seiver called from his mountain with 6♥6♦ and, after three blanks on the flop, the 6♣ turn was a killer.

Mateos leaves with about 90 minutes left on the day, and the chance to re-enter any time before play starts at noon tomorrow. Seiver, meanwhile, sits with about 865,000 and the chip lead. -- HS

8:01pm: Time bank committed?
Level 7 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

We're not good at this kind of thing. How much is a time bank chip worth in real dollars?

It's a $100,000 rebuy tournament. The shot clock is 30 seconds long. Each player is given six time bank chips.

How much is each worth?

Whatever that amount is, multiply it times five, and that's what Mikita Badziakouski just spent in a hand against Sam Greenwood.

Mikita Badziakouski likes to think...

We walked up with the entire board already out: 2♦3♠K♣A♣3♦. Badziakouski had checked to Greenwood, and Greenwood had put out 200,000. Badziakouski had around 135,000 behind and one decision to make.

Nearly 30 seconds passed, and Badziakouski casually tossed one of his red time bank cards in the middle of the table. Another thirty second passed. Badziakouski sighed and released another card.

Badziakouski likes to think a lot...

That's when he started groaning audibly, spinning in his chair, and taking glances at the board as he spun round and round. He spun as the seconds ticked down. With five seconds to go, he gave up a third card. That's when Chris Hunichen started laughing at me scratching out the time bank count on my notepad.

Badziakouski still thinking...

Badziakouski started scrunching his face, in and out, in and out. He stopped spinning in his chair and matched his face with his chair. In and out. In and out.

Another 30 seconds. A fourth time card.

Another 30 seconds. A fifth time card.

Badziakouski thinks some more

The clocked ticked. Badziakouski scrunched. 5...4...3...2...

And then in slow motion, he mucked with a barely audible, "I paaaassssss."

And finally...

It was almost enough to wonder if he was time bank committed. Is that possible? Probably not. But watching it play out, we couldn't help but think forward to the next big decision Badziakouski has to make and the one 30-second reprieve he has left. --BW

7:58pm: Big pair vs. big pair; Flush vs. flush
Level 7 - Blinds 2,00/4,000 (ante 500)

I'm sure it's nothing personal, but no sooner had Igor Kurganov taken his seat at Table 3 than Ben Tollerene was departing from the seat next along.

Yes, it wasn't that Tollerene didn't want to be there. It's just that he had Q♣Q♠ at the same time that David Peters had A♥A♠. I didn't see how the betting went, but if they didn't get it in pre-flop, the 3♣2♠3♠7♠K♠ board meant that both finished the hand with plenty of reasons to wager the lot.

Tollerene was second best at all stages and heads away, while Peters now stacks 490,000. -- HS

7:56pm: Kevin Hart demands respect
Level 7 - Blinds 2,00/4,000 (ante 500)

"No! No!" Screamed Kevin Hart. It was enough to make this blogger dash over and see what the fuss was about.

He was battling Rainer Kempe in the blinds. A flop was out reading 6♥8♣7♥ and Kempe caused the outburst by raising Hart's 14,000 bet up to 34,000. Hart called and then checked over the 9♦ turn to face a bet of 45,000. Kempe had 102,000 behind and after some more speech play, Hart raised him all-in. Kempe snap folded.

"I'm not playing with you no more!" yelled the comedian. "They treat me like a baby around here!" He continued to no one in particular.

Then he looked around for us bloggers and asked us write the following in a caption: "Don't f&*k with me!"

He moved up to 430,000. --MC

7:54pm: Haxton pushes, collects
Level 7 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

It was four-way to an all-diamond 7♦4♦2♦ flop at Isaac Haxton's table when Scott Seiver fired a half-pot bet of 20,000. Haxton then pushed all in over that, and his raise cleared everyone out including Seiver.

Haxton has about 205,000. --MH

7:51pm: Two in a row for Negreanu
Level 7 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

A big pot had built between Daniel Negreanu and Byron Kaverman by the time we arrived. There was 125,000 in the middle and a board showing the 7♠A♠5♦3♥ was out there. Kaverman checked, and Negreanu led for 80,000, which caused Kaverman to tank for a minute and a half before folding (and handing over a time bank card).

Two in a row for Negreanu

We were then planning to head back and write up that hand, but before we could get out Negreanu was involved once again. Picking up the action on a Q♠J♠5♠ flop, Ben Tollerene led for 8,000 and Negreanu called to see the J♥ turn. He decided to lead out for 10,000, which Tollerene called.

The 2♣ completed the board and Negreanu didn't slow down, betting 35,000. That was enough to get a fold, bringing his stack up 510,000. --JS

7:49pm: Kurganov takes a seat
Level 7 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

Here in the next-to-last level of the day, Team PokerStars Pro Igor Kurganov has taken a seat.

He looks comfortable in his DXRacer gaming chair, although it should be noted he is wedged in between last year's PokerStars Championship Bahamas Super High Roller winner Jason Koon and PokerStars Championship Prague Super High Roller winner Ben Tollerene.

Of course, Kurganov should be comfortable -- he won a SHR last year as well, taking the Super High Roller at PokerStars Championship Barcelona. --MH

7:45pm: Haxton gets cute with aces, doubles
Level 7 - Blinds 2,00/4,000 (ante 500)

Isaac Haxton has doubled his short stack and now takes about 130,000 into the deep stages of the day.

Isaac Haxton in action earlier today

The hand started with a raise to 10,000 from Stefan Schillhabel in the cutoff and Haxton called in the small blind. Those two were alone to the 9♦8♦2♦ flop and Haxton checked it over.

Schillhabel bet 9,000 and Haxton quickly moved all-in over the top for 57,500. Schillhabel called but knew his 9♥K♠ was likely behind.

He was right. Haxton had A♣A♥ (but maybe wasn't too thrilled by the all diamond board either).

The 5♣ turn and 6♣ river changed nothing and the aces held. Schillhabel still has around 340,000 even after handing the lifeline to Haxton. -- HS

7:42pm: A clash of pairs
Level 7 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

There was initial raise to 9,000 from early position and Isaac Haxton called from the hijack. Nick Petrangelo made it 35,000 from the cutoff and only Haxton called.

The flop came J♣8♥4♣ and Petrangelo bet 28,000. Haxton called and a K♠ came on the turn. Both players checked and then checked again after the river brought a 4♦. Haxton turned over 7♦7♠, but Petrangelo was holding a stronger pocket pair with T♣T♠.

Haxton was left with just about 75,000 while Petrangelo is up to 450,000. --AV

7:38pm: A Seidel-Shak split
Level 7 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

Dan Shak opened for 10,000 from middle position and got a single caller in Erik Seidel defending his big blind. The flop came Q♦Q♠7♠, and after Seidel checked, Shak continued for 18,000. Seidel didn't wait too long before check-raising to 43,000, and Shak called to leave himself about 155,000 behind.

The turn brought the 9♠ and a 40,000 bet from Seidel, and Shak only took a few seconds before raising all in. Seidel called in a flash, tabling Q♣J♣, then chuckled along with Shak when the latter turned over Q♥J♥. The 4♥ river was just a bit of trivia, and the pot was chopped between them.

Seidel has a little under 600,000 right now, and Shak about 260,000. --MH

7:33pm: Frank out to Hart
Level 7 - Blinds 2,00/4,000 (ante 500)

Christopher Frank came back as the shortest stack but failed to turn things around.

Christopher Frank heads to the rail

We missed the action but a kind producer from the TV crew filled the blog in on some of the details. Frank made his move with ace-ten but ran into Kevin Hart's pocket tens. The board ran blank and Hart moved up to a second bullet high of 300,000. --MC

7:28pm: Peters' 'blink and you'll miss it' bust and re-entry
Level 7 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

It probably took less than two minutes for David Peters to bust his first bullet before he was back getting assigned a new seat for his second.

David Peters

He lost all his chips to Erik Seidel, when a pre-flop all-in with his pocket queens ran into Seidel's pocket aces. The cooler gave the hall of famer 570,000.

Peters dashed off, and we stuck around for a quick hand in which Mustapha Kanit opened under the gun to 8,500. Seidel called, and Steffen Sontheimer defended his big blind to see the 7♦9♠2♠ flop. It checked to Kanit who put in a 16,000 c-bet. Fold fold.

And just like that, Peters was back. --JS

7:07pm: Break time

Players are on their last 20-minute break of the day. They will come back to play two more levels and then break for the night. --BW

7:06pm: Hart having a hard time
Level 6 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 500)

Kevin Hart's second bullet hasn't been going as well as he'd hoped. Hart's now sitting with about 175,000 and has been thinking about a recent fold to Stephen Chidwick.

Hart and Chidwick were faced with a J♦4♣3♠ flop and there was about 20,000 in the pot. Hart bet 10,000 from the button and Chidwick three-bet to 28,000 from the cutoff. Hart called and both players checked the Q♦. A 5♦ completed the board and that's when Chidwick bet 80,000 and Hart went into the tank.

Kevin Hart in the tank

Hart eventually came out with a fold and was left with 150,000.

He did win some chips back the following hand though. Hart opened to 7,000 from the cutoff that hand and Steve O'Dwyer three-bet to 23,000 from the button. Action folded back around to Hart and he called. Things slowed down after that though and both players checked down the 3♠9♠T♣T♥8♠ board. Hart turned over 7♣7♦ and O'Dwyer mucked.

Despite taking down the pot, Hart's mind was still on the Chidwick hand.

"Was it a good fold or a bad fold?" Hart asked Chidwick.

"What did you have?" Chidwick asked.

Hart said he had ace-jack and Chidwick told him that he had indeed made a good fold. --AV

7:00pm: Bluffing causes an itchy scalp
Level 6 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 500)

Stefan Schillhabel caused Adrian Mateos to scratch his head furiously after he admitted to bluffing. Was he telling the truth? We'll never know, but that doesn't matter.

They had amassed a pot worth around 200,000 by the time five community cards read Q♠J♥J♠4♠A♠. Mateos checked from under the gun and Schillhabel moved all-in for 135,000 from the next seat. Mateos - looking pained as he thought - used up almost all of his 30 seconds before mucking.

"You bluffed me?" Asked the Spaniard. Schillhabel nodded as he smiled. Mateos was left with 180,000 and a very itchy scalp. --MC

6:58pm: Negreanu wins the battle of the blinds
Level 6 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 500)

Action folded to Daniel Negreanu in the small blind, and he just called. Over to Timothy Adams in the big, he raised it up to 12,500, and the Team Pro made the call to see a flop.

Q♥4♣K♣

Negreanu checked and Adams continued for 7,000. Kid Poker had a plan though, check-raising to 32,000, which was good enough to shake off Adams and take this one down.

Adams is on 215,000 now, while Negreanu is up to 290,000. --JS

6:53pm: Small pots with Ben Tollerene
Level 6 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 500)

Ben Tollerene only has a little more than his starting stack, but seems to be the most active player on Table 3. This is a small sample size, admittedly, but here are three hands Tollerene played recently.

In the first, he opened to 7,000 from under the gun and Jason Koon called in the big blind. The dealer offered them the J♣5♥T♥ flop and Koon counted out a bet. There was no time to determine its size because Tollerene folded.

Not long afterwards, Tollerene was in the small blind and called a raise of 7,500 from Timothy Adams in the cutoff. Seth Davies also called in the big blind.

Both Tollerene and Davies checked the 8♣2♣Q♥ flop, then Adams bet 8,000. Tollerene flicked out 30,000 and his check-raise got both opponents to fold.

A few minutes later, Tollerene was in the cutoff and called Koon's 7,000 hijack raise. Daniel Negreanu also called from the big blind and the dealer turned over the 6♠8♠9♦ flop. Both Negreanu and Koon checked, leading to an 8,000 bet from Tollerene.

Negreanu called and Koon stepped aside. The turn was the 4♦ and Negreanu now check-folded to another bet from Tollerene.

The active Tollerene now sits with about 280,000. -- HS

6:50pm: Ten on the board helps Kruk double
Level 6 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 500)

After Chris Hunichen opeend for 7,500 from under the gun, it folded to Christopher Kruk who made it 22,000 to go from the small blind. The action returned to Hunichen, and after taking a look at Kruk's stack he reraised again to 75,000.

Kruk thought a short while, then announced he was all in, and Hunichen didn't take too long to call.

Kruk: T♦T♠
Hunichen: Q♥Q♠

Christopher Kruk considering his move

Kruk was in a tough spot, appearing he might be losing his stack for a second time today. But the flop came A♦T♦2♠ to give him a set, and after the 5♠ turn and K♣ river he had survived.

A count showed Kruk was in for 260,600 total, meaning he's now up around 530,000 while Hunichen has slipped to 215,000. --MH

Chris Hunichen

6:49pm: Thorel strikes back
Level 6 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 500)

Finally a hand between Orpen Kisacikoglu and Jean-Noel Thorel goes the way of the Frenchman.

There was some betting on each round, and while we don't have all the details Kisacikoglu made a set of sevens on the flop, while Thorel turned a set of eights.

Thorel is up to 350,000 now, while Kisacikoglu hovers around the 420,000 mark. - SB

6:40pm: Two tables, two sets of river betting
Level 6 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 500)

Ivan Luca and Stephen Chidwick are on the way up with 410,000 and 530,000 respectively. They're on adjacent tables and won tidy pots within a minute of each other.

Luca was battling Steffen Sontheimer and 150,000 chips lay in the middle by the board rested as J♦A♦7♥2♠3♦. Sontheimer checked from the small blind and watched as Luca used a time bank chip before betting 55,000. Sontheimer used a time bank chip of his own before folding. The German dropped to 200,000.

Chidwick's foe came in the shape of Daniel Dvoress. The two players had built a 125,000 pot after the flop. They checked the turn and the board read J♥7♥5♥5♣2♠ at the river. Chidwick led for 85,000 from the small blind and Dvoress called from the button and then mucked upon seeing Chidwick's Q♦Q♥. He dropped to 122,100. --MC

6:32pm: The mighty Thorel
Level 6 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 500)

Following a Jean-Noel Thorel open, Chris Hunichen made it 22,000 to go and Thorel called.

The flop came 5♣T♣J♠ and Thorel checked. Hunichen continued for 25,000, and Thorel instantly check-raised to 75,000. Hunichen called.

The turn was the J♦, and again Thorel acted without hesitation, pushing all in with the 133,600 he had left. Hunichen did hesitate, though, spending a time bank card before ultimately letting go of his hand even though it was clear he didn't like doing so.

Thorel cheekily showed one card -- 5♠ -- before collecting the pot. "Got another one of those?" said Hunichen with a grin, but Thorel wasn't saying.

Thorel bumps up to about 335,000, while Hunichen still has a healthy 435,000. --MH

PCA Super High Roller field

6:30pm: Hobbs heads off, but he'll be back
Level 6 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 500)

We've just lost Bitcoin investor Kevin Hobbs, who had been nursing a short stack for a while.

After Chris Hunichen opened to 6,500, Hobbs shoved for 34,000 on the button and when it folded back to Hunichen he asked for a count before making the call.

Hobbs had the best of it with his A♥Q♣ against Hunichen's J♠T♣, but the 6♦J♥6♠ flop changed that. The 4♣ turn and 8♠ river couldn't improve Hobbs' hand, and he was outta here.

It'll only be for a short break though. "Good game guys," he said. "Where do I go to re-enter?"

After his tablemates told him, Hobbs was also unsure of how the re-entry seating worked. "Do I come back here?"

"Nah, you'll get a new seat," said Hunichen, who now sits with 440,000. --JS

6:27pm: Gotta have Hart in this game
Level 6 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 500)

"Welcome back!"

"Cooler, cooler,"

That was Steve O'Dwyer with the welcome and Kevin Hart with the response. Hart is back in the game, having bought back in after losing his first stack in that hand versus Scott Seiver (see below). --MH

6:22pm: Greenwood takes on Tollerene who takes on Thorel
Level 5 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

When Jean-Noel Thorel plays a hand so too it seems does Orpen Kisacikoglu. This time was no different, except that Sam Greenwood came along as well.

The flop was dealt A♠9♦4♠. Thorel checked to Kruk, who also checked. Kisacikoglu then bet 14,000. Greenwood, playing from the button, called, prompting Thorel to fold. Kruk called from the big blind. The Q♦ came on the turn.

Now Kruk checked. Kisacikoglu, wearing a scarf over his face like a highwayman, bet 35,000. Greenwood, who by now had stopped watching the football game on the big screen, called. Kisacikoglu snuck a quick look at his cards.

The river card came 9♣.

Kisacikoglu bet another 85,000 this time. Seeing this Greenwood removed one of his headphones. With the numbers flashing down on the shot clock he called, turning over A♣8♣. Kisacikoglu could only manage 5♣5♥.

He drops to 480,000 while Greenwood moves up to 635,000. - SB


6:19pm: Kanit climbing
Level 6 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 500)

Mustapha Kanit came into the tournament a bit late, and lost a big chunk early on. Now he's fighting his way back up and is back above the six-figure mark.

Kanit started his most recent victory off with a raise to 6,500 from the button. Ivan Luca was on the big blind and called. An A♥6♠7♦ flop hit the board and Kanit bet 4,500 when checked to. Luca called and a Q♠ came on the turn. There was another check from Luca and another bet from Kanit, this time for 13,000. Luca called again and a T♣ completed the board.

Kanit bet again, this time he bet all of it, 57,600 to be exact. Luca had far more behind, 375,000, but opted for the fold. Kanit took down the pot and is now up to about 120,000. --AV

6:15pm: Seiver straightens out Hart
Level 6 - Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 500)

Kevin Hart is out--at least he is for now. "Alright, I'll be back," he said, at a volume somewhat lower than usual as he made his departure from the table.

The hand that ended it for him was long and convoluted, at least it sounded like it by the chit-chat around the table after Hart had left.

But the most important element is that Hart had 8♣6♦ on a board of J♣5♦7♦T♥4♣. That's a straight, and a pretty good hand. However Scott Seiver had 8♥9♠, which is also a straight. And a bit better.

Big chunks of gold went in on the river, including all of Hart's near 250,000 chips. Seiver took them all and now has about 760,000, which is the chip lead.

As promised, Hart will no doubt be back. -- HS

Kevin Hart goes down

6:12pm: Video poker
Level 5 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Adrian Mateos opened to 5,500 under the gun, which was called by a rather distracted Scott Seiver. You see, Seiver had a video playing on his phone that he was showing Stefan Schillhabel and Kevin Hart, all three of whom were in hysterics.

Back to the hand, Koray Aldemir came along too from the big blind, bringing a flop of T♣4♣A♦. It checked to Seiver who fired for 8,000, and only Aldemir called.

The dealer burned and turned the 3♥ and it checked through to the 5♣ river. Aldemir now led for 21,000, and Seiver let his hand go and got back to watching the video.

He's still got a very healthy stack worth around 520,000, while Aldemir is on 165,000 after that one. --JS

6:08pm: Seiver on form in more ways than one
Level 5 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

The problem with being sat at Kevin Hart's table is that it's too entertaining. The players are so busy swapping stories and having laughs that not many pots are getting past the raise and take stage. Scott Seiver is on form too, and actually stealing the limelight form Hart with the stories he's telling. Unfortunately, not many are blog publishable.

Seiver and Nick Petrangelo played and pot that made it to the turn and Seiver's stack rose to 590,000 after he took it down. Petrangelo had raised to 6,000 from under the gun and called after Seiver three-bet to 26,500 from the small blind. The flop spread T♣K♠9♥ and Seiver continued for 20,000. Petrangelo called but folded to a 40,000 bet on the 5♣ turn. He dropped to 183,000. --MC

6:05pm: Clock!
Level 5 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

By the way, as we said before this is a shot clock tournament, and these clocks are pretty darned cool. If you haven't see one already, here's how they are keeping track of the tankers today.

Clock!


6:03pm: Negreanu nudges Adams off one
Level 5 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Timothy Adams raised to 5,500 from under the gun and Seth Davies called from the button. Daniel Negreanu was on the big blind and threw in a three-bet to 28,000. Adams called, Davies folded and a 8♥2♦7♠ flop hit the board.

Negreanu kicked off the post-flop action with a bet to 16,000 and Adams called. This brought a J♣ on the turn and both players checked. A 4♦ completed the board and Negreanu made it 85,000 to go. Nope. No go from Adams. He folded his hand and was left with 240,000 while Negreanu rose to 340,000. --AV

6:00pm: Aldemir defends, collects
Level 5 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

With Level 5 about to end, Stephen Chidwick raised to 6,000 from the button, but Koray Aldemir made things less simple for Chidwick by three-betting to 19,000 from the small blind. Chidwick called the three-bet, then also called a 16,000 c-bet from Aldemir after the 6♣K♠T♥ flop.

Both checked the J♠ flop, then when Aldemir led for 44,000 on the 4♦ river, Chidwick stepped aside.

Chidwick is on 310,000 now, Aldemir 215,000. --MH

5:55pm: Shove, shove, fold, fold
Level 5 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

There were two river shoves on neighbouring tables and--spoiler warning--both got through. That means we will never know what any of the four players involved were holding, and you can stop reading now if you're a cards-up only kind of consumer.

Actually, there's even more information missing from the first hand as I only arrived on the turn. That's where Mustapha Kanit bet 47,000 with the 2♠3♦J♣5♦ exposed and Justin Bonomo called.

The A♣ fell on the river and Kanit now bet 110,000. Bonomo didn't quite take his full 30-second allocation before announcing that he was all-in, for what initially looked to be about 170,000. Kanit snap-folded, and by the time Bonomo had stacked up his newly acquired wealth, it was easier to measure at around 450,000. Kanit was left with 110,000.

Over on the other table, a smaller hand played out between Raine Kempe and Stephen Chidwick. Kempe opened to 5,500 from early position and Chidwick called in the big blind.

They both checked the flop of 7♣Q♥2♠ and then, after the 7♠ appeared on the turn, Chidwick bet an appropriate 7,000. Kempe called.

The 7♥ river now gave the board the appearance of a slot machine jackpot, but Chidwick checked. Kempe overbet, putting 36,000 out there, but it did not deter Chidwick.

Chidwick moved all-in, for about 130,000, and Kempe quickly passed. That left Kempe with 140,000 while Chidwick has 310,000. --HS

Mustapha Kanit

5:45pm: Seven to the flop
Level 5 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Following a 9♣T♠7♣ flop over at Table 3, we couldn't help but notice several players still had hole cards. In fact, all of them did.

That's right, it was a "family pot" for the seven-handed table, where Christopher Kruk, Orpen Kisacikoglu, Jean-Noel Thorel, Chris Hunichen, Mikita Badziakouski, Kevin Hobbs, and Sam Greenwood had all somehow remained in the hand through the preflop betting round.

The next betting round was almost as remarkable -- just a single, modest-sized leading bet from Thorel was enough to get six folds and earn the Frenchman the pot. All chuckled as Thorel showed the T♦ while collecting a little something from every single one of his opponents. --MH


5:31pm: Are you crackers Dvoress?

These Day 1s can be a bit of a drag for the players, even in a Super High Roller. Steve O'Dwyer and Daniel Dvoress just found a way to spice up their day with a little prop bet.

O'Dwyer's challenge to Dvoress was eat to six small crackers (three packs) in under one minute and he was offering odds of 2:1.

"It's making me nervous with how comfortable you are about this!" Dvoress said to O'Dwyer. "Let's go small, my $2k to your $4k."

"Okay, sweet." responded O'Dwyer and the bet was set for the break. Check out the hilarious video below to see what happened....

5:30pm: Kisacikoglu can take a hit
Level 5 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Orpen Kisacikoglu is a force to be reckoned with. He's sitting behind a fortress of chips worth nearly 650,000 and whenever he puts them at play, he suits up. The Turkish player has a blue and purple scarf that he pulls up to his nose every time he enters a hand.

It produced an almost Pavlovian response from the rest of the players. Nearly every time he does it and raises preflop, the rest of the players fold. With each small pot, Kisacikoglu's tower grows a little bit higher. But then the tower took a hit. It was small, but a hit nonetheless. Christopher Kruk rebelled against the norm that hand with a raise to 6,000 from the cutoff. Kisacikoglu lifted up his scarf and three-bet to 20,000 from the button. Action folded back around to Kruk and he reraised to 53,000. Kisacikoglu folded and then Kruk turned over J♦J♣ and laughed.

"It would've been a lot less funny if you had aces," Kruk said. Despite losing the hand, Kisacikoglu is sitting with a comfortable 640,000 while Kruk is back up to 275,000. --AV

5:30pm: There there
Level 5 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Christopher Frank is feeling a bit deflated right now, if his table posture is anything to go by. He's got his head in his hands, titled over to one side, sighing at what could have been. Daniel Dvoress felt sorry for the young German and gave him a reassuring tap on the shoulder. That's all very nice, but it was actually Dvoress who took Frank's chips!

Frank opened to 5,500 only for Dvoress to three-bet to 17,000. That raise was called, leading to a 9♥J♣6♦ flop, which both checked. The turn was the Q♦ which inspired Frank to lead for 25,000, but again Dvoress raised it up, this time to 67,000.

Frank tanked, ultimately using a time bank card before making the call. The 4♣ landed on the river and Frank checked quickly, with 105,000 behind and way more than that in the middle. Dvoress took a few seconds before moving in enough to put Frank all in, and Frank gave it up quickly.

Dvoress is up to 385,000 now. --JS

Christopher Frank

5:29pm: Tollerene up
Level 5 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Ben Tollerene opened for 5,500, which Byron Kaverman called. Jason Koon also called from the big blind.

The flop came 8♠4♣3♣

Koon checked. Tollerene, on the offensive, bet another 8,000. Kaverman called, Koon did too. They saw the A♠ turn card.

Koon checked to Tollerene once more. Tollerene bet 30,000 this time. Too much for Kaverman, and too much for Koon.

Tollerene up to 315,000. - SB

5:28pm: Kempe gets there on the river, finds value
Level 5 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Stephen Chidwick's recent ascent was clipped back after he lost a small pot to Rainer Kempe.

The two players were in the blinds and heads up to a K♦9♥5♠ flop. Chidwick checked from the small blind and called after Kemoer bet 5,000 from the big blind. Both players checked the K♠ turn before Chidwick check-called 10,000 on the 7♠ river. Kempe opened A♦7♠ and rose to 180,000 after Chidwick mucked to drop to 295,000. --MC

5:26pm: Greenwood clips Thorel's wings
Level 5 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Mikita Badziakouski won two pots on the bounce, both after players had limped pre-flop. But these were uninteresting compared with the third hand in this brief salvo, in which Jean-Noel Thorel took a leading role.

The boring hands: Chris Hunichen was the first limper, blind-on-blind, and Badziakouski's raise to 8,000 in the big blind took it. Then Thorel limped from mid-position and Badziakouski, in the small blind, three bet to 9,000. Thorel called, but then folded to Badziakouski's 17,000 bet after the T♥3♣3♥ flop.

That defeat was probably what convinced Thorel to open raise the next hand, making it 6,000 from under the gun. He got three calls, from Orpen Kisacikoglu (HJ), Kevin Hobbs (SB) and Sam Greenwood (BB).

All four players checked the 9♥K♥5♥ flop, but then the dealer put the 7♠ on the turn and, after Greenwood checked, Thorel bet 11,500. Only Greenwood now called.

The T♣ completed the board and Greenwood checked. Thorel bet 30,000. Greenwood took a few moments, but then placed a calling chip forward and was rewarded when Thorel turned over Q♦8♥.

Greenwood's K♣J♠ was good. Thorel now has 140,000. Greenwood is up to 480,000. -- HS

5:15pm: Adams establishing the ground game
Level 5 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

The first wild-card game of the NFL playoffs is now playing on the big screens in the players' lounge and around the Imperial Ballroom, in which the Kansas City Chiefs are off to a fast start with a two-touchdown lead over the Tennessee Titans in the first quarter.

By contrast, PokerStars Championship Prague Super High Roller winner Timothy Adams had a not-so-fast start today, slipping from the starting stack of 250,000 down to less than 100,000 in the day's first hour. He's recovered, though, and after just picking up another small pot off of Jason Koon has ground his stack back above the average.

The hand saw Adams open for 5,500 from the cutoff, Koon call from the button, then Adams check-call a Koon bet of 4,300 after the K♥5♣6♥ flop. Both checked the 7♦ turn and 9♣ river, and when Adams showed K♦Q♣ Koon mucked.

Adams is up to 315,000 now, while Koon has 270,000. The Titans, meanwhile, are still looking for points. --MH


5:13pm: Back to work for Schillhabel
Level 5 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

The players have now returned from their second break, and so far Level 5 has been kind to Stefan Schillhabel.

Koray Aldemir opened the cutoff to 6,000 and Kevin Hart called from the small blind, bringing in Schillhabel from the big. The trio saw a 6♠J♣J♥ flop, and it went check check check.

To the turn, then. It came the T♠ and Hart tapped the table again, before Schillhabel led out for 16,000. Aldemir made the call, but Hart let his hand go.

The A♥ landed on the river and Schillhabel didn't slow down, firing again for 37,000. Aldemir made a pretty quick call, but he'd muck with a smirk when Schillhabel flipped over the J♠8♠ for flopped trips.

Aldemir is now down to 230,000, Schillhabel is back to the 250,000 starting stack, and Hart leads them both with 280,000. --JS

Stefan Schillhabel

4:45pm: Break time

Players are on a 20-minute break.

4:35pm: The price of Hobbs has doubled
Level 4 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Kevin Hobbs managed to score himself a double up just before the break.

He and Justin Bonomo took to a 5♦2♦J♥ where the chips went flying in. Hobbs was the player at risk with 55,600.

Bonomo: Q♦J♦ for a flush draw
Hobbs: Q♣J♠ for top pair

The board ran out 7♠Q♥ to improve Hobbs's hand to two pair. Bonomo dropped to 345,000. --MC

4:33pm: Negreanu calls
Level 4 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

The board was already dealt: T♠7♦Q♦3♠2♣

Timothy Adams had bet 75,000 in the small blind and it was now up to Daniel Negreanu to act. It was a tough call, one that he made but not before spending a time bank card. It was worth it though.

Adams showed 6♣[x] to Negreanu's 7♥K♥. That was good to move Kid Poker up to 325,000 while Adams dropped to 230,000. -- SB

4:32pm: Kaverman and Koon collide
Level 4 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Jason Koon opened to 4,400 under the gun, and Byron Kaverman made the call on the button. Timothy Adams was getting a pretty good price to come along from the big blind, and he did just that.

The flop? That fell J♠2♣9♠. All three checked, so the dealer burned and turned the J♣, pairing the board in the process. This time Koon put out 3,800 after Adams had checked, and Kaverman was the only caller.

They saw the 3♣ on the river and Koon fired again for 19,500. Kaverman had something up his sleeve, and after a 30-second countdown he made it 63,000 to go. Koon gave himself time to think, even going so far as to use a time bank card. He'd eventually give it up, which meant this pot slid Kaverman's way.

After that hand both Kaverman and Koon have 280,000. --JS

Byron Kaverman

4:31pm: Kruk krushed
Level 4 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Christopher Kruk had only about 75,000 at the start of the following hand, but that's 75,000 more than what he finished it with.

He open-raised to 5,000 after action folded to him on the button, but then Sam Greenwood three-bet to 20,000 from the small blind. Jean-Noel Thorel folded his big blind, and it went jam/call in the blink of an eye.

Greenwood's A♥Q♣ was dominant against Kruk's A♦5♦ and stayed that way through the 7♣4♠K♥2♦K♣ board.

Greenwood now has 430,000 while Kruk has the decision of whether to re-enter. -- HS

4:20pm: Hart pushes out two
Level 4 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Not many high rollers celebrate winning a pot on Day 1 with a full-on whoop, but such behaviour is well within Kevin Hart's wheelhouse. Hart found full voice to celebrate pushing Koray Aldemir and Nick Petrangelo out of a recent pot.

Hart began things with a raise to 5,000 from under the gun. The supposed big guns then started butting antlers: Petrangelo three-bet to 11,000 on the button and Aldemir four-bet to 28,000 from the small blind.

Hart called. Petrangelo called. Nobody was getting pushed anywhere just yet.

"Alright, gentlemen," Hart said. "Looks like we got--what's it called?--a pot." He then continued with some stream-of-consciousness babble from which only "I'm sick of this shit" was audible.

The flop brought the 4♥7♣9♠ and Aldemir checked. Hart bet 65,000 with a flourish.

Petrangelo folded. Then Aldemir folded. "Whoooooooooo!" Hart said. -- HS

4:17pm: Winner winner, chicken dinner
Level 4 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Stephen Chidwick is enjoying a chicken and vegetable meal in between winning a couple of small pots on the trot. The wins got his stack back up to 260,000.

Daniel Dvoress opened to 5,000 off the button but folded when the British pro three-bet to 20,000 from the next seat.

Christopher Frank raised to 4,500 from the hijack in the next hand and was called by Chidwick and Steve O'Dwyer in the big blind. The flop fell 7♠5♠7♣ and the action checked around to Chidwick who bet 4,000. O'Dwyer was the only caller and neither player committed anymore chips as the 2♣3♦ turn and river were checked through.

O'Dwyer announced he had king high and opened K♠4♠ but Chidwick has one high card better with A♥J♠ and raked in the chips. --MC

4:14pm: The champ is here!
Level 4 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

No one enters a room like Kevin Hart. No one is safe. Daniel Negreanu on a scooter? Not safe! Anyone who stares too long? Not safe.

PokerStars Blog videographer Nick Coole captured it all this afternoon. Buckle up.

4:13pm: Kempe keeps thinking
Level 4 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Rainer Kempe wasn't sure what to do on the river even though he was first to act. Time ticked down to the final second and he threw in a time bank card. Then he threw in an other when that time ran down.

The board read 4♥K♥7♥4♣J♦ that hand and Stephen Chidwick started things off with a preflop raise of 5,000 from the hijack. Kempe three-bet to 15,000 from the cutoff and Steve O'Dwyer called from the button. Chidwick folded and the remaining two players checked after the flop.

Kempe then bet 14,000 on the turn and O'Dwyer called. Then came the river and Kempe tanked, he only had about 50,000 behind. After nearly 90 seconds of thinking and two time bank cards, Kempe made his decision.

Check.

O'Dwyer checked behind and then mucked after Kempe showed Q♥Q♠. Kempe took down the pot and chipped up to about 110,000 while O'Dwyer dipped to 290,000. --AV

4:12pm: A tough spot
Level 4 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Daniel Dvoress was in a pretty tough spot. But he wasn't facing an overbet, check-raise or all-in shove. In fact, he wasn't even in a hand. He was simply trying to figure out which mystery plate of food was his, after a waitress had wheeled over a table full of them complete with plate covers.

Chow time?

Koray Aldemir was expecting some grub too, so he came over to help solve the case. Then Bryn Kenney popped his nose in, and Stephen Chidwick turned around in his chair to lend a hand.

Plate lid after plate lid was picked up and placed down, and eventually Dvoress found what he was looking for. Both he and Chidwick picked up their chicken dishes, while Kenney left empty-handed. His food hadn't arrived, while Aldemir took a plate back to his table only to give it back to the waitress.

It's never easy, huh fellas? Best get back to the poker. --JS

Chow time!

4:08pm: Peters picks some off Bonomo
Level 4 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

David Peters raised to 5,000 from the hijack and Justin Bonomo made it 15,000 to go from the button. Action folded back around to Peters and he called. The flop came 6♥T♠2♦ and Bonomo bet 13,000 when checked to. Peters called and a 7♥ came on the turn. Both players checked and the river brought an A♦.

Action checked to Bonomo again and this time he upped the bet 28,000. Peters called and both players showed the rivered pai. Bonomo showed A♠4♠, but Peters had a better kicker with A♣Q♦.

Despite losing the hand, Bonomo is still standing strong with about 400,000 and Peters is now back up to about 220,000. --AV


4:06pm: "Don't be sad, be glad"
Level 4 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Walking by Jason Koon's table, we saw Koon tossing out a red time bank card in a hand versus Seth Davies that had reached the river.

The community cards were 4♠7♣6♥5♠8♥ -- a straight on the board -- and that seemed semi-interesting as well. That's when Koon pushed out a bet of 55,000, well over the 35,000 or so in the middle.

Davies took about 10 seconds, then with a slightly disappointed look had to push his hand away. Koon looked back at his cards and turned over one of them -- the 9♠, showing he'd had a better straight than the one on the table.

"Don't be sad," grinned Koon, having let Davies know he'd made a good fold. "Be glad."

Koon has 295,000 and Davies 220,000. --MH

4:00pm: Ace high good
Level 4 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

It was worth a stab, but Daniel Negreanu couldn't convince Seth Davies that ace-high was no good.

This was a small pot, with Davies open-raising the button and Negreanu calling in the big blind, taking them to a flop of 2♥K♥Q♠. Negreanu checked, Davies bet 4,500 and Negreanu called.

They both checked the 2♦ turn leading them to the 3♣ on the river. That's when Negreanu opted to take a shot at it, putting 10,000 forward. Davies only had A♣4♦ but called.

Negreanu's J♦9♥ was inferior and this one went to Davies. -- HS

3:55pm: Petrangelo trips over Aldemir's house
Level 4 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Nick Petrangelo dropped to around 200,000 after he made trips only to run into the full house of Koray Aldemir. Petrangelo was busy in a multi-way conversation but still had the brain capacity to play a hand in the blinds versus his silent German opponent.

Petrangelo completed from the small blind and Aldemir checked his option. The American bet 2,000 on a 5♦A♠7♦ flop and Aldemir called. Petrangelo then went into check-call mode on the 7♣9♠ turn and river when faced with bets of 5,800 and 16,000. He confidently opened J♠7♥ but Aldemir showed 5♠7♠ and scooped the pot to rise to 315,000. --MC

3:53pm: Kaverman and Luca
Level 4 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Byron Kaverman and Ivan Luca are now in the field. -- HS

Here's what (in addition to piles of cash) they are playing for

3:52pm: Hobbs down a bit(coin) more
Level 4 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Kevin Hobbs' stack has dwindled even further, having just lost a pot to Erik Seidel in a blind vs blind battle.

Hobbs limped the small blind when it folded to him, and Seidel was busy fiddling with the stuff in his pocket (he'd just paid for a massage, you see). When he looked up and saw that nobody else was in the pot, he made it 7,000 and Hobbs called instantly.

The K♦A♠8♣ flop brought two fast checks, taking them to the J♥ turn. Hobbs checked again, and this time Seidel made it 8,000 to continue. Hobbs matched it instantly and the river came the 9♠. Hobbs checked, and Seidel decided to check it back.

Hobbs turned over the A♥6♠ for top pair, but he had kicker problems against Seidel's A♦T♠, which took it down.

The Bitcoin investor is down to 36,000 now, while Seidel sits with 200,000. --JS

Kevin Hobbs, bitcoin investor & Super High Roller

3:46pm: Chidwick takes chips from Dvoress
Level 3 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Sitting side-by-side, Daniel Dvoress and Stephen Chidwick were just involved in a hand that saw Dvoress raise to 4,000, Chidwick three-bet to 13,500, and Dvoress call.

The flop came J♥A♦6♦, and Dvoress check-called a bet of 7,500 from Chidwick. The turn then brought the J♦ and another check from Dvoress. Chidwick took a long while -- relatively speaking in this "shot clock" event -- even using a time bank card before checking back.

The river was the 9♦. Dvoress checked, and this time Chidwick took only a few seconds before betting 45,000 -- just about the size of the pot. Dvoress thought a while, rechecking his cards and then finally let them go.

As Chidwick collected the pot, Dvoress looked at him and with a grin jabbed a finger in Chidwick's side -- a playful poke in response to the chips his neighbor had just taken away.

With Level 3 coming to a close, Chidwick is back up around 260,000 while Dvoress has 295,000. --MH

3:44pm: Adams hits to double
Level 3 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Timothy Adams spent the first couple of levels today on the slide while his table-mate Ben Tollerene was on the surge. But the tables turned in a recent hand in which Adams doubled up through Tollerene leaving their stacks much closer in size.

There was clearly some pre-flop jousting as the pair had built a pot of around 60,000 before the 3♠5♣4♣ flop. Adams bet 21,000 Tollerene called.

The turn brought the 8♠ and Adams, with around 120,000 back, moved all-in. Tollerene, with a stack of close to 500,000, made the call to put Adams under threat.

And he was indeed in peril. Adams's A♣8♣ had plenty of potential but was behind Tollerene's Q♣Q♠. But Adams got there on the end, and actually did it the hard way. The A♠ made him two pair and scored him the double.

Tollerene slipped to about 320,000 while Adams has close to 350,000 now. -- HS

3:43pm: Not to be sneezed at
Level 3 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Orpen Kisacikoglu sneezed really hard. It was one of those unexpectedly powerful sneezes that you emerge from smiling, proud somehow, as if you'd just bench pressed a personal best, or survived your first swimming lesson.

He would experience more good news.

The smile had only just faded from his face when he called a bet of 4,000, made by Christopher Kruk on the button. He'd opened, Jean-Noel Thorel called in the small blind, leaving Kisacikoglu to call in the big.

The flop came 5♣4♥9♣

Kisacikoglu, with his fingers against his ear, as if being beamed news via a satellite stuck in the 1980s, bet 11,000. Kruk, arm resting on the table, called. It would be just the two of them.

Now the 2♦ on the turn. Kisacikoglu first looked away, then refocused on the table, betting another 27,000. Kruk watched him, then looked down at the board, calling for the K♠ on the river.

Kisacikoglu checked this time. Kruk, with the timer counting down, bet 55,000. Kisacikoglu called at once, his A♠A♥ getting the better of Kruk's 7♥6♥. Another win for Kisacikoglu.

He's up to 600,000 now, while Kruk drops to 150,000. - SB

3:40pm: Hobbs still hobbling around
Level 3 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Kevin Hobbs, the Bitcoin investor extraordinaire, is having a hard time getting big ROI on his chips. Hobbs is the short stack of the tournament and moved all-in twice, but got no callers.

In the first, Hobbs raised to 4,000 and got called by Justin Bonomo in the small blind and Steffen Sontheimer from the big blind. Hobbs then jammed for about 25,000 on the 5♥6♣J♥ and the blinds folded.

Hobbs then tried again a few hands later. He raised from the button and David Peters called from the big blind. The flop came A♥2♣3♠ and Hobbs bet 7,000 when checked to. Peters called and a T♥ came on the turn. Jam time. Hobbs moved all-in for 29,700 and Peters let his hand go.

Hobbs is still short, but now he has 56,000 to work with. It might not be a lot of chips, but if that were Bitcoin, it would be nearly US$ 930,000,000. --AV

3:35pm: Adams wins battle of the blinds
Level 3 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Timothy Adams has got his stack going in the right direction. He won a blind battle versus reigning champion Jason koon to rise to 150,000. Koon's loss saw his stack shrink to 177,000.

Adams completed from the small blind and Koon checked his option. The flop spread T♦A♥7♦ and Adams bet 2,600. Koon called that bet and another 11,500 on the Q♣ turn before the 4♦ was checked through. Adams opened A♠3♠ and Koon mucked. --MC

3:33pm: Kempe vs O'Dwyer (and Frank) - part II
Level 3 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

It seems like every time Reiner Kempe is in a pot, Steve O'Dwyer's in there too. This time Kempe had opened the cutoff, O'Dwyer called on the button, and Christopher Frank defended his big blind. The three went to a 6♥3♦K♥ flop, and Frank checked to the aggressor. Kempe opted to check though, letting O'Dwyer take over the betting lead for 6,500. Both called.

The 3♥ hit the turn and that brought checks all round. The 2♦ completed the board and Frank checked it again, letting Kempe back into the driving seat. He decided to make it 35,000 (after a full 30 seconds of thinking), and that got two quick folds.

Chalk this round up to Kempe, who now has 170,000. Frank also has 170,000, while O'Dwyer is the big stack with 315,000. --JS

Rainer Kempe and Steve O' Dwyer still battling

3:31pm: Blind vs. blind intrigue
Level 3 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Nobody put a chip in the pot until the decision was on Koray Aldemir in the small blind. And he only barely seemed interested, investing only as much at it cost to call. In his case: 800.

Adrian Mateos, in the big blind, didn't want to let anyone see a flop for that price and raised to 4,800. But then Aldemir sprang a surprise with a three-bet to 17,000. Mateos called.

Interesting. Very interesting.

The 4♥6♣2♥ smashed ranges that could best be described as "wide" and Aldemir bet 13,000. Mateos called, and that brought the T♥ on the turn.

Now it went check, check.

The 5♥ on the river turned out to be an action killer as they both checked again. Aldemir said, "Eights" and showed 8♣8♠. Mateos mucked and maybe wondered whether he could have picked that up with a bet at the end.

As it is, both players are still comfortable with around 325,000 apiece. -- HS

3:28pm: Image versus function
Level 3 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

It is Level 3 and Kevin Hart continues to maintain a just-above starting stack of about 260,000. Before the last break he was moved to a new table, and not long ago was sitting among the new group when he was dealt a new hand.

The action folded to Hart, and he paused before checking his cards.

"Uh oh," he said. "UH OH," he repeated, much louder the second time. He then pulled back out his dark sunglasses, placing them on before checking his cards. A couple of seconds passed, during which the comedian-actor appeared the image of serious study.

Looking up, Hart had more to say.

"Guys... I can't see my cards."

"Shit!" --MH

3:18pm: Haxton jams
Level 3 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Isaac Haxton picked up a few chips after he jammed on the river against Nick Petrangelo. The hand started with a humble raise to 4,000 from the hijack. Petrangelo then three-bet to 21,000 from the cutoff and Haxton called.

The flop came down J♣3♣7♣ and Petrangelo bet 15,000. Haxton called and a 6♦ came on the turn. Both players eased to a check and a J♦ completed the board. Haxton looked down at his stack, all 96,600 of it, and shoved it all in.

It was too much for Petrangelo and he let his hand got. Petrangelo dipped to about 190,000 while the hand put Haxton back up to 175,000. --AV

3:16pm: Swinging this way and that
Level 3 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Dan Shak was left fuming at the run-out in a hand against Justin Bonomo, in which both players spent some time as strong favourite and also underdog, before getting their money back.

Arriving on the turn, there was about 20,000 in the pot already with the following four cards out: T♦6♦A♠Q♣. Shak and Bonomo were the only two players involved, with Shak in the cutoff and Bonomo on the button. Shak checked, Bonomo bet 12,000 and then Shak check-raised to 35,000.

A check-raise is always cause for a pause and Bonomo took a little while to gather his thoughts. But he called, and the dealer put the J♦ down.

Shak bet 60,000 and Bonomo quickly called. Shak turned over his J♠K♠ for the turned straight. Bonomo showed his A♣K♥ and had caught up on the river. -- HS

Dan Shak knows it's all about the swings

3:15pm: To be Christopher Frank
Level 3 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

The board was already dealt to the turn: 6♣J♠A♥2♣. The action was on new arrival Christopher Frank, his face half hidden behind the collar of a Hilfiger jacket. He'd checked, but his opponent Steve O'Dwyer had bet 8,000. Frank called.

The river card came 7♥. Again, Frank checked with an elaborate gesture with his hand, which kind of flopped weightlessly as he moved his wrist up and down.

O'Dwyer, face fully visible, and wrists firm, bet another 25,000. Frank, now fiddling with his chips at twice the speed of real life, lifted up his hand again to give up, flicking his cards forward.

Not a great start for him, down to 170,000. O'Dywer meanwhile is up to 360,000. - SB

3:07pm: Dvoress refuses to budge
Level 3 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Steve O'Dwyer bared his teeth in a pot against Daniel Dvoress, but skulked away after Dvoress growled back.

Dvoress opened to 4,000 from early position and O'Dwyer three-bet from the small blind, making it 15,500. Dvoress called.

After the T♠7♠8♥ flop, O'Dwyer began his retreat with a check. Dvoress put 18,500 over the line and O'Dwyer muttered, grinned and folded. -- HS

3:06pm: Adams doubles
Level 3 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Daniel Negreanu opened for 1,600 but wouldn't be part of the hand for long. Tim Adams raised to 3,600 and Ben Tollerene, sitting on the button, raised to 9,000.

That forced Negreanu to fold, but Adams, sitting with a little more than 50,000 behind, moved all-in. Tollerene called quickly, showing J♦J♥.

Adams meanwhile had A♠Q♠. He needed help, and got it on the turn, the board coming 9♣6♠3♠A♦7♠.

A double up for Adams. Tollerene can take the hit, his stack still around the 500,000 mark. - SB

Ben Tollerene dinged but not done

3:04pm: O'Dwyer collects from Kempe
Level 3 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Picking up the action on a Q♠8♠6♥ flop and with an attractive pot already out there, Reiner Kempe checked to Steve O'Dwyer and the 'Irishman' led for 17,000. The German made the call to see the Q♦ on the turn, pairing the board. He checked again and O'Dwyer let his clock almost count down entirely before announcing 32,000. Call.

The 8♣ completed the board, and it checked to O'Dwyer a third time. "85,000" he announced.

Kempe ended up using a time bank card after 30 seconds of thinking time wasn't enough. However, only ten seconds or so after that he announced he was folding. That brings Kempe down to 160,000, and takes O'Dwyer up to 290,000. --JS

3:01pm: Bonomo the bully
Level 3 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Justin Bonomo's stack has swelled to 430,000 after he bullied Erik Seidel off two hands in a row.

Seidel opened to 3,500 from the cutoff and folded after Bonomo three-bet to 17,000 from the big blind.

He put up a little more fight the next hand but lost out again to drop to 190,000. He raised to 3,500 once more and called after Bonomo reraised to 15,000. The flop came T♦K♥3♦ and Seidel folded when faced with a 20,000 c-bet. --MC

2:59pm: Kisacikoglu likes kings
Level 3 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Sam Greenwood opened for 4,200 from middle position, then watched Orpen Kisacikoglu three-bet to 16,500 from the small blind. Greenwood called, and the flop fell 4♦A♣K♥. Kisacikoglu checked, Greenwood bet 9,000, and Kisacikoglu called.

The turn brought the A♠ and Kisacikoglu checked again. Greenwood bet another 23,000, then Kisacikoglu made a check-raise to 56,000 that gave Greenwood a few seconds' worth of pause before he called.

The river brought the 3♦, a card that didn't seem too meaningful. It also brought a bet of 95,000 from Kisacikoglu that seemed plenty meaningful. Greenwood considered a short while then called, but mucked after seeing Kisacikoglu's K♦K♠ for kings full of aces.

Put Kisacikoglu on 435,000 now, while Greenwood slips back to 255,000. --MH

2:52pm: Adrian ascending, Haxton hurting
Level 3 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Adrian Mateos is young, but the Spaniard knows how to turn up the heat. In a recent victory he raised to 3,500 from under the gun. Isaac Haxton called from the button and Koray Aldemir called from the big blind.

There was a 3♦4♠7♠ flop and Haxton bet 5,000 when checked to. Aldemir folded, Mateos called and a Q♥ came on the turn. Both players checked this time and an A♣ completed the board.

Haxton bet 11,300 when checked to and Mateos grabbed the temperature knob and cranked it up to 44,000. It was too much for Haxton, who only had about 120,000 behind, and he folded. Mateos raked in the pot and his stack rose to about 390,000. --AV

Isaac Haxton not having the best day


2:50pm: Hunichen felts Schillhabel
Level 3 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Chris Hunichen's Level 3 got off to a fine start. He cracked Stefan Schillhabel's aces to leap to around 500,000.

Hunichen was under the gun pre-flop and Schillhabel was in the small blind. Lots and lots of chips made their way into the pot as the board gradually emerged Q♠6♦9♦Q♦7♠ and then, after Schillhabel checked, Hunichen moved all-in with a covering stack. Schillhabel's 110,000 or so was under threat.

After a delay that cost him a time-bank chip, Schillhabel called and was shown the hand he likely feared: Q♣K♣.

"Aces," Schillhabel said, and revealed his beaten A♠A♦.

That's a misfire for Schillhabel's first bullet. He heads away while Hunichen stacks up near the top of the counts. (Schillhabel quickly re-entered.)-- HS

2:21pm: Break time

That's the end of Level 2 and the first break of the day.


Fancy joining us at the PCA? Sign up for PokerStars and begin your journey. Click here to get an account.

2:20pm: Davies can't be stopped
Level 2 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

It's been a nice end to the level for Seth Davies.

First, Ben Tollerene made it 3,300 on the button and Davies three-bet to 15,000 from the small blind. Tollerene called, but folded to a 10,000 c-bet on the Q♠K♠5♥ flop.

Next hand, it folded to Davies on the button and he made it 3,000. Daniel Negreanu let his hand go in the small blind, and Timothy Adams did the same from the big.

Then it folded to Davies in the cutoff and he opened again for 3,000. This time Adams called from the small blind, and Jason Koon gave up his big blind (before getting up to give Tollerene a massage).

The flop came J♣2♣7♠, Davies continued for 5,000, and Adams folded.

Seth Davies: Ending the level strongly

With three hands in a row won and a stack of 240,000, I decided to call it a day on my reporting. Could Davies have made it four in a row? Possibly. But sometimes you've got to get out while the going's good. --JS

2:16pm: Mr. Personality
Level 2 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

"I've been working thirty-second staredowns followed by aggressive checks into my game," Kevin Hart said to his table. "I can't wait to stare one of you suckers down."

Kevin Hart in good staring form

All that talk of aggressive staring made Nick Petrangelo think of another player.

"Is Charlie Carrel coming?" Petrangelo asked. No one seemed to know and Kevin Hart didn't remember who he was until Petrangelo started listing his more notable traits: staring, funky clothes, yoga pants.

"Oh yeah, and the hair," Hart said and flipped his head in a dramatic fashion, imitating flipping bangs back. "I feel like everyone wants to be known for something at the table. They want to be that guy."

That started a debate at the table. Petrangelo was certain that all you needed to be a poker star was to focus on your game. Hart was confident that it was all about personality. Both are great examples of each and perhaps together they could create a the ultimate poker celebrity. --AV

2:15pm: There's really no point reading this one
Level 2 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Not great hands, but the best I could do. After all, they can't all be page-turners.

With the action folded to Jason Koon in the small blind, he limped, hoping to see a flop against Christopher Kruk. Kruk though was having none of it, raising to 4,200. Koon called.

That was pretty much the only excitement to the hand. The K♣6♥T♦ flop was checked, as was the 4♣ turn. When the 4♠ river arrived Kruk took a stab at it, betting 4,500. That was enough.

The next hand was equally dramatic.

Timothy Adams opened for 3,000 in the cut off which was called by Ben Tollerene in the big blind.

They saw the 8♥6♥K♠ flop. Checked it. Saw a 3♦ turn. Checked that too. Tollerene bet the T♠ river and that was enough. Adams folded. -- SB

2:10pm: Negreanu loses stack to Greenwood
Level 2 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Daniel Negreanu has become the second player to lose his starting stack today. It happened in a multi-way hand near the end of Level 2.

The hand began with Stefan Schillhabel opening for 3,000 from under the gun and getting no less than four callers -- Chris Hunichen (middle position), Sam Greenwood (button), Jean-Noel Thorel (small blind), and Negreanu (big blind).

Rough start for Daniel Negreanu

The flop came K♥9♣3♣, and the table checked around to Hunichen who bet 6,500. Greenwood called from the button, Thorel folded, then Negreanu check-raised to 20,000. That got everyone to fold (including Hunichen) except for Greenwood who stuck around.

The turn was the Q♣, and with only around 75,000 or 80,000 left Negreanu led with a small bet of 15,000. Greenwood then raised enough to put Negreanu all in -- or if not, Negreanu put it all in, anyway and Greenwood called -- and the pair tabled their hands:

Negreanu: K♣J♣
Greenwood: A♣T♣

Both had flushes, but Greenwood's was better and Negreanu was drawing dead, making the 2♠ river no matter. Negreanu is out (for now, at least), while Greenwood is at 435,000. --MH

2:05pm: A stare case
Level 2 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

When you're watching the upcoming PCA live streams (they start tomorrow, FYI), keep an eye on where the players are looking during the hand. Sometimes a quick glance or stare can tell the whole story.

Take this hand as an example. Ike Haxton opened to 2,600 under the gun, which got calls from Nick Petrangelo (UTG+1), Steffen Sontheimer (cutoff), and Scott Seiver (big blind). The four saw a T♠K♦4♥ flop and it checked around, and there'd be no more action on the 5♠ turn either.

The 8♣ river did bring a bet though. Seiver checked and Haxton made a very delayed c-bet of 17,000. Over to Petrangelo, he had a decision to make, and the way he'd make it was by looking at Seiver and Sontheimer rather than Haxton.

He gazed back and forth between the two, as if to say: "I want to call Ike's bet, and I really don't want either of you two to do anything but fold."

The sound of a saw started buzzing from across the room, prompting Seiver to glance over and see what was going on. All the while Petrangelo was sizing up the situation, and he eventually decided on a call. Whatever he saw in the two was clearly right, as both Sontheimer and Seiver folded quickly.

Haxton flipped over the 5♥5♦ for a turned set, and we never saw Petrangelo's hand as he mucked. He's down to 210,000 now, while Haxton is on 230,000. --JS

2:01pm: What would you put JNT on?
Level 2 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Good luck to anyone trying to put Jean-Noel Thorel on a range of hands. The Frenchman is capable of playing any two cards in a variety of ways. Orpen Kisacikoglu is probably still trying to figure out what he had in a hand between the two.

Thorel opened from the cutoff and was called by Kisacikoglu in the big blind. The flop fanned T♣J♥6♣ and Thorel continued for 4,000. Kisacikoglu check-called and then watched his opponent check out of turn on the 5♦ turn.

Jean-Noel Thorel: Can you put this man on a hand?

Kisacikoglu bet 10,000 and Thorel made a quick call. Kisacikoglu bet another 25,000 on the T♠ river and was very quickly raised up to 50,000.

Kisacikoglu smiled and let his hand go to drop to 280,000 on his second bullet. Thorel is making a recovery and back up to 200,000. --MC

1:55pm: Tollerene bombs river, gets value
Level 2 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

It didn't seem like much of a pot. The board showed 5♣T♦6♦8♦Q♠, and acting first David Peters bet 7,000, perhaps a bit more than a third of what was in the middle.

But then Ben Tollerene tossed out two yellow chips to raise big to 50,000, which caused your humble scribbler to start scrambling to write down the details. Peters didn't take too long before calling, and when Tollerene showed Q♥Q♦ for a rivered set of queens, Peters mucked.

Peters slips to about 185,000, but Tollerene gets the headline as he now is up around 520,000, extending his chip lead as he becomes the first player to double the starting stack. --MH

1:50pm: Walk of shame excitement
Level 2 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

"I was excited when I saw the flop," Ike Haxton said looking down at a 5♦K♦J♣ board.

But across the table, Kevin Hart was betting into Haxton and, as is his wont, showing no fear. And, you know, expressing that fact. Hart wears his heart on his sleeve. And his pants. And whatever else he's wearing.

So, now Haxton's joy was tempered. He was no longer excited about the flop.

Nick Petrangelo piped in, "Now he's excited to rebuy!"

"It's so easy," Scott Seiver said pointing to the cage 30 yards away. "It's right there!"

Nevertheless, at this stage the room is relatively empty, an anyone who has to go to the cage is going to be conspicuous. The Walk of Shame, they call it.

In the end, it turned out Hart was bluffing with Q♣J♥. While he improved with a J♣ on the turn, Haxton had K♠Q♥, won the small pot, and avoided the Walk of Shame. --BW

1:48pm: O'Dywer up to 280,000
Level 2 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Mikita Baziakouski had opened for 3,500 on the button. Now, though, he had a decision to make. Rainer Kempe had called in the small blind, but Steve O'Dwyer had raised in the big, making it 15,000 to play. Baziakouski was fine with the amount he'd bet, but not that of O'Dwyer. He folded. Kempe though was ready to play.

The flop came 4♥7♣6♣. Kempe checked leaving it to O'Dwyer to bet an inaudible amount, but somewhere between 15-20,000 (he bet four blue chips). Whatever the amount, it didn't stop Kempe from raising. He made it 48,000.

Steve O'Dwyer: Building early

O'Dwyer looked back at the board, then called for the J♥ turn.

Kempe checked this time. O'Dwyer bet again, 62,000 in total. This time that was enough. Kempe folded, down to 185,000. O'Dwyer moves up to 280,000. - SB

1:45pm: Greenwood over Bonomo
Level 2 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Justin Bonomo opened for 3,200 from the button with Sam Greenwood calling from the big blind. Both checked the 8♠A♣K♠ flop and 8♦ turn, then the 8♣ river put a third eight on the board. This time Greenwood fired 4,100 and Bonomo called, and when Greenwood showed K♥4♥ for kings full of eights, Bonomo mucked. --MH

Sam Greenwood: Can you beat a boat?

1:43pm: Kisacikoglu dips and busts
Level 2 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Justin Bonomo opened to 3,000 from the hijack and Sam Greenwood called from the cutoff. Orpen Kisacikoglu called from the small blind and Stefan Schillhabel did the same from the big blind.

A 5♥7♥4♦ flop hit the board and Greenwood bet 3,300. Kisacikoglu called, the other two players folded and the 8♥ came on the turn. Greenwood upped the bet to 15,000 and Kisacikoglu called again, bringing the K♦ on the river.

Orpen Kisacikoglu becomes the first player out

Greenwood put out a final bet when action checked to him, this time he made it 60,000 to go. This gave Kisacikoglu some pause and he thought until there just a few seconds left on the clock. Kisacikoglu called and then mucked after Greenwood turned over T♥9♥ for a flush.

The pot left Kisacikoglu with about 170,000 while Greenwood rose to 340,000. Things didn't get better for Kisacikoglu as he busted soon after and became the first elimination of the 2018 PCA. --AV

1:41pm: Haxton bluffs into quads
Level 2 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Scott Seiver made the easiest river call of his life just now. He snapped Isaac Haxton's all-in bluff with quads eights to get a full double up to 300,000.

Seiver had opened the pot with a button raise and he called after Haxton three-bet to 13,500 from the small blind. The flop spread K♦8♦7♣ and Haxton continued for 20,000. Call. Haxton continued for 50,000 on the 6♠ turn and then shoved on the 8♣ river. Seiver went nowhere.

"No good!" said Haxton about his own hand, a bluffing J♣T♥.

Scott Seiver: quad eights good

Seiver tabled 8♣8♥ and Haxton had to pay out another 115,600. Haxton dropped to 110,000. --MC

1:40pm: It's uphill for Adams
Level 2 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

The first level wasn't the best for the last player to win a PokerStars Super High Roller: Timothy Adams. He's doing what he can, though, here at the start of Level 2 to turn things around.

Just now he three-bet from the big blind over a Daniel Negreanu button open to win a small pot. Then on the next hand Adams tried to limp from the small blind, but Jason Koon wasn't having it as he raised to 4,400 from the big blind and Adams called.

Timothy Adams in action at the 2018 PCA Super High Roller

Both checked the K♦4♥9♥ flop, and Adams also checked the K♠ turn. Koon bet 5,000 and Adams called, then the pair checked the 9♦ river.

Adams quickly flashed J♥6♥ (a flush draw that never came), and Koon's A♥8♠ won the small pot. Koon is at around 270,000, while Adams continues to toil with 90,000. --MH

1:38pm: You're freaking me out man
Level 2 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

After getting a cloth to wipe his sunglasses, Kevin Hart saw something he liked and opened to 3,500 under the gun. It folded to Daniel Dvoress in the small blind who came along, as did Stephen Chidwick from the big.

The dealer spread a 7♣K♦4♦ flop and Dvoress decided to lead right out for 7,000, which got a fold from Chidwick. Hart quickly bumped it up to 22,000 though, and that got Dvoress thinking...and listening.

"You're so quiet all of a sudden," Dvoress said to the ever-talkative Hart. "You're freaking me out man!"

"I'm quiet?" Hart replied, as Dvoress made the call. The A♦ hit the turn and Hart wasn't so quiet anymore.

"Shit," he said.

Dvoress checked it and Hart did the same, bringing the 8♣ on the river. Dvoress tossed out 10,000, and Hart made the call.

"That means you win," said Dvoress, mucking while Hart turned over the 4♥4♠ for a flopped set. Hart was then told he'd be moving to a new table.

"Oh c'mon man! I just doubled up!" he said, racking up his chips. He hadn't, but that pot does bring him up to around 230,000. --JS

1:30pm: Raffle time!
Level 2 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

You wouldn't necessarily expect players in a Super High Roller to pay much attention to a raffle. In this case, though, there is value.

As Level 1 ticked over to Level 2, tournament organizers began circulating through the tables handing out big blue and black raffle tickets to the best players in the world. Why? They were in their seats before Level 2.

Raffle tickets

PokerStars is going to be giving away $50,000 at the end of the PCA...just because. They're calling it the Player Appreciation Drawing. Here's how it works:

In all the PCA events, players who are in their seats by Level 1 get five raffle tickets. Anyone who busts on the bubble gets five tickets, too. Everybody who finishes in the money of a tournament gets a ticket.

Over in the cash games area, anyone dealt a full house gets a ticket. Quads is worth two tickets. A royal flush is worth three tickets.

At the end of the PCA, there will be a drawing for these prizes:

1st: $20,000
2nd: $10,000
3rd-6th: $5,000

So, while the prizes are a long way off and only worth half the buy-in of this event, we have our first raffle ticket holders at the PCA. --BW

1:25pm: Hunichen betters Bonomo
Level 1 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Chris Hunichen just won a sizable pot as the end of the first level approaches.

Justin Bonomo opened the betting from under the gun, making it 2,500. Jean-Noel Thorel called in mid position, as did Stefan Schillhabel on the button and Hunichen in the big blind.

The flop came 6♥3♦J♣. Hunichen checked to Bonomo, hair parted and pink, who bet 3,000. Thorel passed and Schillhabel called before Hunichen raised to 11,000. Bonomo called, as did Schillhabel.

Justin Bonomo gives Chris Hunichen the stare-down

On the 9♠ turn Hunichen bet 31,000. Bonomo called, forcing out Schillhabel and bringing the A♥ on the river.

Hunichen had one last go, a bet of 68,000 this time. Bonomo had had enough, and passed. Pot to Hunichen, who moves up to around 280,000. Bonomo drops to 205,000. - SB

1:20pm: Petrangelo catches Seiver at it
Level 1 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Scott Seiver just mucked his cards and dropped to 210,000 when Nick Petrangelo called his river bet. The latter rose to 265,000 as a result.

The two were heads up to a 4♠3♠T♦ flop where Seiver led for 3,000 from the hijack and called after Petrangelo raised to 12,500 from the button. The turn brought a third spade in the Q♠ and both players checked to see the 5♣ complete the board.

Nick Petrangelo catches Seiver in a bluff

Seiver was peering down at his stack and Petrangelo was watching his every move. Seiver grabbed 16,000 and bet before mucking when he was called. --MC

1:15pm: A whole lot of goings on
Level 1 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

There are sometimes lulls in poker tournaments, during which us poker scribblers have to work hard to bring you the amazing content you're currently reading. And then there are tournaments like this one, where there's so much happening you actually have to choose which thing you're going to write about.

For instance, we've just seen Rainer Kempe turn up and fist pump literally every single person in the field before eventually deciding to casually stroll over to the registration desk (that alone could probably have been stretched to a couple of paragraphs).

Then there was a hand. Christopher Kruk made it 3,000 on the button and Jean-Noel Thorel defended his big blind. The two saw a 4♣J♦J♣ flop, and Thorel check-called a 2,200 c-bet bringing the T♥ on the turn. Thorel checked again, Kruk continued for 5,500, and that got a fold.

Two new players then joined the table. Justin Bonomo and Chris Hunichen both arrived with 250,000, and Bonomo got involved right away, three-betting Stefan Schillhabel's 2,500 open to 8,500. Schillhabel let it go. --JS

1:12pm: Tollerene building
Level 1 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Ben Tollerene raised to 2,500 from the hijack seat and got two callers in the blinds -- Timothy Adams (SB) and Jason Koon (BB).

The flop came 3♦K♦2♥, and it checked around to Tollerene who continued for 2,500. Adams woke up with a check-raise to 8,000, and both Koon and Tollerene called. Adams then led for 25,000 after the Q♠ turn card, and after Koon bowed out Tollerene matched the bet.

Acting with deliberation, both players checked the J♥ river, and when Tollerene turned over A♦J♦ -- his busted flush had backed into a pair of jacks -- and Adams mucked.

Tollerene is up around 410,000 now, the biggest stack we're seeing early, while Adams is down around the bottom of the counts with about 95,000. --MH

1:10pm: Mateos thumps Thorel
Level 1 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Orpen Kisacikoglu opened to 3,000 from under the gun and Adrian Mateos called from the cutoff. Nick Petrangelo was on the button and threw in chips for the call as well. Jean-Noel Thorel didn't want to miss out on the fun and called from the big blind.

The four players got dealt a 8♣2♣4♦ flop and Kisacikoglu bet 10,000 when checked to. Both Mateos and Thorel called, while Petrangelo folded. A J♠ came on the turn and this time action checked to Mateos, who bet 27,000. Thorel called, Kisacikoglu folded and the 9♦ completed the board.

Adrian Mateos makes himself a target on Day 1

Thorel checked again and this time Mateos checked behind. Thorel turned over K♣5♣ for a busted flush draw and Mateos tabled two red queens for the win. The hand put Mateos up to about 290,000 while Thorel's stack dropped to 220,000. --AV

1:05pm: Super High Roller through the ages
Level 1 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

While we're still a long way away from knowing how big this prize pool will get, we do have seven previous Super High Rollers with which to compare it. Here's how this event has broken down since its inception in 2011. --BW

POKERSTARS CARIBBEAN ADVENTURE SUPER HIGH ROLLER HISTORY

2011: 38 entries, $3,743,000 prize pool, Eugene Katchalov, Ukraine - $1,500,000
2012: 32 entries, $3,136,000 prize pool, Viktor Blom, Sweden - $1,254,400
2013: 59 entries, $5,724,180 prize pool, Scott Seiver, USA - $2,003,480
2014: 56 entries, $5,433,120 prize pool, Fabian Quoss, Germany - $1,629,940
2015: 66 entries, $6,402,000 prize pool, Steve O'Dwyer, Ireland - $1,872,580
2016: 58 entries, $5,626,000 prize pool, Bryn Kenney, USA - $1,687,800
2017*: 54 entries, $5,239,080 prize pool, Jason Koon, USA - $1,650,300
* (held as PokerStars Championship Bahamas in 2017)--BW

1pm: Edge of the seat stuff
Level 1 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

There are new chairs in play for the Super High Rollers, ergonomically constructed to suit the needs of those anticipating a long session at the tables.

That's the idea anyhow. The players are still getting the hand of things. Daniel Negreanu was trying to get comfortable, while Jason Koon, not sure he was happy with the arm rests, demonstrated what could become his signature move - a rapid use of the recline option, that will have him as far away from bad cards as possible.

They look different though, and the only people wary of them are the massage therapists. Thee chairs are either going to make their work obsolete, or more in demand than ever before. - SB

12:56pm: The champ is here and Tollerene wins off Adams
Level 1 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Defending champion Jason Koon made the headlines last year by winning the Super High Roller and he's taken a seat the same table as his best friend in poker, Ben Tollerene. It was the latter making the headlines in a sizeable pot versus Timothy Adams though.

The two were heads up to a 5♦8♠Q♠ flop with 25,600 already in the middle. Tollerene led out for 15,000 from the big blind and Adams called. The T♠ turn was checked through to the 7♣ river where Tollerene bet 80,000. Adams called and a sheepish looking Tollerene opened for T♦7♦ for running two pair and Adams mucked.

Tollerene - 340,000
Adams - 130,000
--MC

12:55pm: Kevin Hart rules
Level 1 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

The rules for no-limit hold'em are easy enough to learn. But if you play with Kevin Hart, those rules are just the beginning.

"Rule No. 1," Hart announced a short while ago. "Don't stare at me."

Not long after Isaac Haxton raised to 2,400 from late position and Stephen Chidwick called from the small blind. Next to act in the big blind, Hart checked his cards and raised to 6,000. Haxton looked over at Hart before acting, prompting Hart to speak.

Kevin Hart arrives to the 2018 PCA

"Rule No. 2," he said with a grin. "When I raise, don't ask me how many chips I have." Haxton grinned in response as he folded. Chidwick then called, and Hart spoke again.

"Rule No. 3," he said. "No slamming your calls."

The table chuckled as the flop fell K♣2♠9♥, and a leading bet of 12,000 from Hart was enough to get a fold from Chidwick.

"Ship it," said Hart. "Gonna be a lot more of that today... get used to it!" --MH

12:50pm: Distractions
Level 1 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

There's a good buzz in the poker room at the moment, with more and more people arriving and wishing each other well. Of course, all that hubbub can sometimes distract from the poker.

After Mikita Badziakouski opened to 3,000 on the button, the action was on Steve O'Dwyer in the small blind. He folded, and was more interested in new arrival Daniel Dvoress' hat, which reads 'Ich. Atme. Ein., Ich. Rastes. Aus.'. If Google Translate is to be believed, that means 'I breathe in, I ran out'. There must be a story behind it which I'm not cool enough to know, as O'Dwyer found it hilarious.

Daniel Dvoress unveils a new hat at the PCA Super High Roller

But anyway, back to the cards. Ike Haxton called from the big blind to see a K♦2♦5♦ flop, which both checked to the 7♠ turn.

It was at this point that one of the world's biggest movie stars arrived at the table. "Seat 1 Table 1?" asked Kevin Hart as he was handed his seat assignment. "Sounds like a winner to me." He took his seat.

But anyway, back to the cards. Haxton had checked, but in the midst of all the movie star commotion Badziakouski hadn't noticed. When it was pointed out to him, he led for 5,000 and Haxton called.

The river came the 7♣, and Haxton checked a final time. Badziakouski continued for 35,000, and Haxton didn't take too long to call. Badziakouski flashed something he sensed wasn't going to win (it was either eight-nine, pocket eights or pocket nines), but his suspicion was right; Haxton rolled over the 6♥7♥ for trips.

Mikita Badziakouski in early action at PCA

Badziakouski's starting stack has dipped to 220,000, while Haxton is up to just shy of 300,000. --JS

12:45pm: Mikita making some
Level 1 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Super High Rollers tend to be more friendly and lighthearted than people expect. Isaac Haxton started the day talking about his recent experiments with soup making and then discussed the weather with Steve O'Dwyer. They talked about the recent cyclone bomb pounding the northeast United States and reminisced about another storm that happened 25 years ago. While they were going down the snowy memory lane, Mikita Badziakouski was taking down some pots.

In one hand, Badziakouski flatted from the small blind and O'Dwyer made it 3,500 from the big blind. Badziakouski responded with a three-bet to 15,000 and O'Dwyer laid it down. Badziakouski then raised to 3,000 from the button the following hand and took down the pot. Then he won a slightly bigger one off of Stephen Chidwick.

Badziakouski opened to 3,000 from the cutoff and Chidwick called from the big blind. The flop came A♥6♦K♠ and Chidwick checked. Badziakouski bet 1,500 and a 3♥ came on the turn after Chidwick called. There was another check and Badziakouski upped the bet to 10,000.

Stephen Chidwick takes a slight hit

Chidwick called and a 5♥ completed the board. Action ended with a round of checks and then Mikita took it down with with A♣8♦. Badziakouski is now up to about 275,000 while Chidwick dipped to 235,000. --AV

12:40pm: Kenney and Hart make different entrances
Level 1 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

PokerStars Ambassador Kevin Hart and Bryn Kenney were the latest two players to make an entrance. One of them slipped in quietly and one of them made a grand entrance. Can you guess which was which?

"The champ is here, the champ is here!" Hart said as his strode into the room with his entourage.

He spotted Daniel Negreanu's scooter (he has a leg requiring surgery) and said, "Daniel, you got to get this shit out of the way!" before he went off to get his seating assignment. He was drawn alongside Isaac Haxton, Steve O'Dwyer, and Mikita Badziakouski.

Kenney let Hart do his thing and waited back, so we're not sure where he's been drawn as yet. --MC

12:35pm: Kisacikoglu scarfs up chips
Level 1 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Christopher Kruk and Orpen Kisacikoglu battled over the first pot at their table, and soon after they were at it again.

With about 25,000 in the middle and the board showing 2♥8♣3♦K♣, Kisacikoglu fired 10,000 and Kruk called, then the pair saw the Q♥ fall on the river.

Kisacikoglu sat quietly for about 15 seconds, the lower half of his face characteristically hidden behind his scarf, then made a big bet of 46,000. Kruk re-checked his hand, gathered calling chips, and after some thought called the bet, and when Kisacikoglu showed K♠8♠ for two pair Kruk mucked.

Kisacikoglu jumps to about 330,000 in the early going while Kruk slips back to around 200,000. --MH

12:30pm: First hand action
Level 1 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

While new players continue to arrive (2016's High Roller champ Bryn Kenney just walked in, for example), it hasn't prevented the short-handed tables from putting chips in the middle. It must have taken just a few seconds for Orpen Kisacikoglu and Christopher Kruk to reach the turn in the very first hand, by which they had already built a 14,000 pot.

The board read 4♦5♣2♦9♦, and Kisacikoglu led for 10,000 from the small blind position. Kruk called in the big blind, and the J♦ river put four diamonds on board. Kisacikoglu checked it this time, and Kruk stared at the board. Meanwhile, 2017's GPI player of the year Adrian Mateos took his seat.

A decent start for Christopher Kruk

Kruk reached for his recently-purchased chips and placed 24,000 of them over the line, which prompted Kisacikoglu to look back at his hand before letting it go.

A nice start for Kruk then. --JS

12:28pm: Settle in
Level 1 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

"This is like playing online," cracked Ben Tollerene as he sat down in the oversized DXRacer gaming chairs provided for the Super High Rollers.

As Tollerene made is observation, Koray Aldemir was making himself comfortable in his seat by three-betting an opening raise from Daniel Dvoress, then taking the day's first pot after a flop continuation bet. --MH

12:25pm: Winners all around
Level 1 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

"You played in Prague?" asked Steffen Sontheimer of his tablemate Timothy Adams just prior to the first hand being dealt at Table 3, alluding to the Super High Roller at the most recent PokerStars stop.

"Oh... you won in Prague," he added. "Congratulations!"

Indeed, Adams topped a 34-entry field in the €50,000 SHR in Prague to earn the trophy and a €555,000 first prize. Sontheimer is due some congrats as well after a big 2017 that included no less than four victories in tournaments with buy-ins of $25K or more during the year. --MH

12:20pm: The early seated
Level 1 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Twelve players were in their seating assignments for the first cards off the deck and they were: Stephen Chidwick, Christophen Kruk, Steve O'Dwyer, Mikita Badziakouski, Isaac Haxton, Orpen Kisacikoglu, Sam Greenwood, Timothy Adams, Steffen Sontheimer, Ben Tollerene, Daniel Dvoress and Koray Aldemir.

They will soon be joined by Scott Seiver and Nick Petrangelo who took down the PokerStars Championship Player of the Year sit and go yesterday for a cool $100,000. That's the first bullet for today sorted for the American pro. --MC

12:10pm: Players SHRolling in
Level 1 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

It's about 10 minutes past noon and while several Super High Rollers have arrived they're still all in circling-the-tables mode rather than sitting-down-and-playing mode.

The players and others are all marvelling at the new TV stage at the far end of the Imperial Ballroom. That's the desired destination for all who enter this event, as the final table will be live streamed on Monday (as will action from tomorrow's Day 2).

Meanwhile, the first hands of Day 1 should be happening any minute now. --MH

12:05pm: Cards nearing the air
Level 1 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

With the scheduled start time now passed, cards will be hitting the air imminently. -- HS

11:45am: Kicking off the PCA in style

Good afternoon all and welcome to the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure from poker's most exclusive address: the Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island, the Bahamas. It's good to be back.

This is the 13th consecutive January during which poker's eyes have all focused on the Bahamas. This tournament series is among the most prestigious in the game, and has launched the careers of countless superstars. The trophy is among the most sought after, and the money...well, there's some prize-money too.


Fancy joining the PCA fun? Sign up for PokerStars and begin your journey. Click here to get an account.

The tournament series itself has grown massively through the past decade, and there are 31 events taking place over the coming nine days. Today we start with the biggest of them all: the $100,000 Super High Roller. It is quite the curtain raiser.

All of the game's leading lights are expected, and I think it's a fair bet we may see some Hart at some point too. Last year, Jason Koon was the champion from a 41-player (plus 13 re-entry) field. That was worth $1.65 million.

There are unlimited re-entries available to players until registration closes at the start of Day 2, so expect the prize-pool to tick ever upward. We're playing eight one-hour levels.

Key tournament info:

Starting stack: 250,000
Starting blinds: 500/1,000 (ante 100)
Levels: 1 hour

Play is eight-handed throughout
30-second shot-clock; six time-bank chips (60 seconds each)

Download the PokerStars LIVE! app with all tournament information. Available for IOS and Android.


PokerStars Blog reporting team on the $100,000 Super High Roller: Stephen Bartley, Marc Convey, Martin Harris, Jack Stanton, Howard Swains and Alex Villegas. Photography by Joe Giron/PokerPhotoArchive.com.


The silverware comes out at the 2018 PCA