PokerStars Championship Panama Main Event: Timofeev storms back to claim final table chip lead

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Final table chip leader Denis Timofeev

Denis Timofeev looked like he might be the man who entered the penultimate day of play with the chip lead and then failed to make the final table. In fact, just minutes before the end of the day, he made an excruciatingly tough call (read about it here) for his tournament life after tanking for nearly five minutes.

He was right.

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Relief

Moments later, with the chip lead firmly back in front of him, Timofeev knocked out James Salmon in seventh place, ending the day and cementing his chip lead for the final.

Timofeev, a 29 year-old Russian pro who has had tons of success in EPT side events over the years, is known as NEWFlat on PokerStars. In his time online, he's won a Super Tuesday and finished third in the Sunday Million. Now he's on the cusp of winning a major PokerStars Championship title.

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Denis Timofeev

Timofeev success came at the expense of Kenneth Smaron, a man who had run roughshod over the nine-handed final table and was just one bet away from finishing today with the chip lead.

After establishing himself as one of PokerStars' toughest players, Smaron found himself as one of many American Black Friday exiles. He began splitting his time between his beloved Philadelphia, PA and the Costa Rican sunshine. From there he's won a high buy-in SCOOP High Roller and finished runner-up in the Sunday Million. He also won an EPT Prague High Roller. That's a long way of saying, Smaron may be down friom where he was, but he's not out, and he's not the type of man to give up.

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Kenny Samron

Timofeev's success also put him ahead of another man who held the chip lead today, one who nearly never made it this far. Robin Wozniczek's tournament was almost over as soon as it began. On Level 2 of Day 1, Wozniczek appeared on the radar as one of the very first all-ins of the tournament. His 30,000 starting stack had fallen below the 10,000 mark when he picked up red aces in the big blind. He managed to get an opponent to pay him off with ace-king. Just like that, the German amateur had new life.

At just 22 years old, Wozniczek comes from the same German town as Fedor Holz. Wozniczek is a business studies student and won his seat to this event in an online PokerStars qualifier. He made it here showing a certain grit and courage against some of the better players in the game. At one point on the penultimate day of play, Wozniczek played a big pot out of position against Timofeev, and when he finally managed to get the Russian to fold, Wozniczek showed a stone-cold bluff.

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Robin Wozniczek

Rounding out the field are 40-year-old recreational player Harpreet Gill, 32-year-old Belgian Jonathan Abdellatif, and 30-year-old Canadian Anthony Diotte. All three have had notable successes around the world, but as the three bottom stacks at the table, they will need to do some early work if they have hopes of winning.

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Anthony Diotte

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Harpreet Gill

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Jonathan Abdellatif

Here's how the final six stack up as they go into the final day of play at 15,000/30,000/5,000 blinds and antes.

NameCountryChips
Denis TimofeevRussia3,905,000
Robin WozniczekGermany2,870,000
Kenneth SmaronUSA1,855,000
Jonathan AbdellatifBelgium1,155,000
Harpreet GillCanada735,000
Anthony DiotteCanada465,000


FROM 12 TO 6

Day 5 began with 12 players, and it took seven hours to get down to the final six. Short-stacked Luis Mata had a chance to triple up in the early going when he got in his last chips with 5♣6♣, but he was called in two places, one of which was Salmon's ace-king. That ended up being good enough to knock Mata out in 12th for $20,860.

Vincent Allevato managed to last another hour but ended up running his short-stack dry after shoving pocket threes into Wozniczek's pocket kings. Allevato made $27,260 for 11th place.

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Vincent Allevato

Next to go was Igor Yaroshevskyy, the man who led most of the first three days of this tournament. He shoved all-in with ace-queen over a raise and a call but ran straight into Smaron's ace-king. He earned the same as Allevato, $27,260.

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Igor Yaroshevskyy

That took us to the nine-handed final table where the short-stacks tightened up for a good long while before Michael Lech got pocket eights all-in in a three-way pot, but they failed to hold up against ace-king and ace queen. Lech had managed to ladder up to $35,920.


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Michael Lech


Byron Kaverman earned the same amount when he went out in eighth. Kaverman's day was a slow slide to the end. He finally got his last chips in with K♥J♣ which fell to Smaron's pocket threes.

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Byron Kaverman

It took a long time to dispatch the seventh place finisher, but when it happened, it came at the expense of Day 3 leader James Salmon. He held strong most of the day but ran kings into aces toward the end of play and never recovered. He finally got it in with ace-deuce but was up against Timofeev's ace-ten. Salmon earned $48,520 for seventh place.

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James Salmon's exit

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James Salmon

To read about the rest of the day, have a scroll below.

Final table play will begin at midday here tomorrow. Join us then as we crown the first ever PokerStars Championship Panama Main Event winner.

Until then, goodnight from Panama City.--BW
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7pm: James Salmon eliminated in 7th place ($48,520)
Level 24 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

On the very next hand after that big one ending with Denis Timofeev's big call, Timofev raised from the button, then James Salmon three-bet shoved for 570,000 total after posting the big blind, and Timofeev called in a flash.

Salmon: A♥2♣
Timofeev: A♦T♠

The 9♥4♣T♦ flop paired Timofev's kicker and left Salmon a huge underdog, although the 3♣ turn did leave him outs to a wheel to chop and survive. But the river was the 4♦ and Salmon has been eliminated in seventh.

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James Salmon: Last out on Day 5

That ends play for tonight, with Timofeev adding to his newly-earned chip lead to end with just over 3.9 million. Stay tuned for a full recap of an exciting day of poker. --MH

6:50pm: Got to have heart, Timofeev makes incredible call
Level 24 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Most pots at the final table during this level have been of the three-bet variety. In the latest bloated pot it was Kenneth Smaron (original raiser) and Denis Timofeev (three-bettor) who created the action and, boy, was it a lot of action.

Both put in 210,000 pre-flop and watched on as a 9♦2♣8♣ flop hit the felt. It was Timofeev to act first and he fired out 225,000. Call from Smaron. The 4♥ fell on fourth street and with 935,000 in the pot and 1,180,000 behind Timofeev took his time on the turn before checking and Smaron did likewise

The J♣ river completed the board and completed a few draws. Timofeev took his time (but acted faster than on the turn) and fired out a bet of 375,000. Smaron then shoved!

Timofeev had 805,000 back and there was no snap call. Timofeev clearly had a close decision and the Russian went deep into the tank. He took over three minutes to come to the decision and then he called!

Smaron showed T♥8♥ for third pair and Timofeev showed J♥7♥ for a rivered top pair! What a call! That pot takes him to the top of the chip charts with 3.29 million while Smaron drops to 1.86 million. --NW

6:35pm: Four-bet alert!
Level 24 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

We may be on the final day bubble, but the last seven players aren't shy about playing big pots. Here's the latest example. Denis Timofeev opened to 60,000 from under the gun and Kenneth Smaron then three-bet to 165,000 from the button. Anthony Diotte folded the small blind but Robin Wozniczek wasn't going quietly. He four-bet to 325,000 and that was enough to get the job done. -NW

6:30pm: Smaron snares more from Abdellatif
Level 24 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

After a Jonathan Abdellatif raise to 65,000 from the hijack seat, Kenneth Smaron three-bet to 210,000 from the small blind and Abdellatif called.

The flop came 8♦9♥2♣. Abdellatif checked, Smaron bet 235,000, and Abdellatif called, bringing the pot up to 955,000.

The turn was the 6♣. Abdellatif checked again, and when Smaron bet 440,000, Abdellatif let his hand go.

Smaron increases his lead further, and now has 3.78 million --MH

6:28pm: Smaron not sharin'
Level 24 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Harpreet Gill completed from the small blind, Kenneth Smaron raised from the big blind, and Gill called.

With 235,000 in the middle, the flop came 5♦9♦K♣ and Gill led for 140,000. Smaron called. The turn was the 2♥ and Gill checked this time.

Smaron looked over at Gill's remaining stack of 760,000, then fired a bet of 255,000 and Gill folded right away. --MH

6:25pm: Sick cooler doubles Abdellatif
Level 24 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Oh boy! This was a cooler of the very premium variety. Kenneth Smaron - as has been his wont - got the action started with a raise to 70,000. The action folded to the button where Jonathan Abdellatif three-bet to 190,000 total.

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Jonathan Abdellatif and James Salmon either side of the dealer who dealt the cooler

James Salmon was in the small blind and he wanted to know how much the bet was. He then moved all-in for 1.36 million and, after Smaron folded, Abdellatif snap called. Abdellatif had A♣A♠ and Salmon couldn't believe it. He held K♣K♠ and had run into the only hand that could beat him. The A♥4♠6♦ flop meant Salmon needed running cards. He didn't get them and he's now down to 595,000.

As for Abdellatif, in the space of three hands he's gone from the shortest stack to 1.68 million and is now third in chips. --NW

6:15pm: Diotte drops a few more
Level 24 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

The table's new short stack Anthony Diotte raised to 70,000 from the hijack seat -- leaving himself 545,000 behind -- and it folded to Denis Timofeev on the button who made it 185,000 to go.

Diotte tanked for about three minutes, then the clock was called, giving him one minute more to decide what to do. He riffled and brooded nearly the whole minute, then finally folded. --MH

6:10pm: Abdellatif and Diotte trade places
Level 24 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

The two shortest stacks in the tournament just traded places after they clashed in a pot. Anthony Diotte raised from the cutoff and Jonathan Abdellatif defended from the big blind.

On the A♣6♦2♣ flop Diotte c-bet 65,000 and Abdellatif then sprung a check-raise. It was 180,000 total so another 115,000 for Diotte to continue. He had 620,000 back, so although he had Abdellatif covered if he continued in the pot it was going to cost him a fair chunk of his chips.

Diotte spent over three minutes in the tank and then folded his hand. He's down to 620,000 and is the shortest stack while Abdellatif climbs out of the basement and up to 795,000. --NW

6:04pm: Abdellatif looks to reverse course
Level 24 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

On the first hand back from the break, Denis Timofeev raised to 65,000 from the button, then the table's short stack Jonathan Abdellatif reraised all in from the small blind for 480,000, and Timofeev stepped aside. --MH

6:03pm: Seven back in action
Level 24 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

We're back with the final seven. One more elimination, and we'll be bagging and tagging for Day 6.

5:45pm: Break time
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

That's the end of the level and the seven remaining players are now on a 20-minute break. Here's how they stand:

NameCountryChips
Kenneth SmaronUSA3,188,000
Robin WozniczekGermany2,477,000
Denis TimofeevRussia1,518,000
James SalmonUSA1,428,000
Harpreet GillCanada1,063,000
Anthony DiotteCanada821,000
Jonathan AbdellatifBelgium484,000


5:40pm: Salmon in the tank
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Pre-flop Denis Timofeev opened to 55,000 from the cutoff and he called after James Salmon had three-bet to 130,000 from the button. The pot was checked to the river of a Q♥7♦9♦2♥3♠ board, at which point Timofeev bet 225,000.

While the rest of the players headed off on their break (it was the end of the level), Salmon settled into his seat. He tanked for over four minutes before folding. --NW

5:35pm: Gill gets double through Abdellatif
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

It was Kenneth Smaron starting things once more, raising to 65,000 from under the gun, and once again it was Jonathan Abdellatif stepping up against him, this time with a three-bet to 201,000 from the button.

Harpreet Gill was next to act in the big blind and he paused about a half-minute before shoving all in for 487,000 total.

Smaron folded quickly, then after getting an exact count Abdellatif called, tabling Q♣9♦. Gill meanwhile had A♥Q♥ and a big edge pre-flop.

The flop rolled out A♠A♣T♦, giving Gill trip aces and a near-hammerlock on the hand. The turn was the T♣ to make him a full house and make the river no matter.

Gill jumps to 1.08 million while Abdellatif becomes the short stack with just 488,000. --MH

5:30pm: Wozniczek wakes up
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Robin Wozniczek has had a quiet level, but he reminded viewers he was still in when he won a pot against, you guessed it, Kenneth Smaron.

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Robin Wozniczek: Wakes up

The chip-leader yet again brought it in for a raise. He made it 65,000 from UTG+1 and Wozniczek three-bet to 151,000. Call from Smaron. On the J♦3♠K♦ flop Wozniczek made a small c-bet of 76,000 and it was enough to win the pot. --NW

5:27pm: Another for Abdellatif
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Kenneth Smaron made it 65,000 to go from the hijack and got a caller in Jonathan Abdellatif in the big blind.

The flop came all hearts -- 5♥J♥3♥ -- and after Abdellatif checked, Smaron bet 60,000. Abdellatif rechecked his cards, called the bet, and the turn brought the 3♣. Abdellatif checked once more, and this time Smaron checked behind.

The river as the J♦, putting a second pair on the board. This time Abdellatif gathered some chips, rolling out a big bet of 290,000, and Smaron folded quickly.

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Jonathan Abdellatif: Moving up

Abdellatif moves up very close to 1 million after that pot. --MH

5:25pm: Addellatif limps in, collects
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Unlike the previous level, in which there was lots of limping, there's been very little of that in show during the current level. That's mostly been down to the pure aggression of Kenneth Smaron.

There was nothing the chip leader could do about Jonathan Abdellatif limping in from UTG though, James Salmon was next to act and he raised to 70,000. It folded back to Abdellatif and he called.

The 4♣7♠6♥ flop checked through and the 3♠ hit the turn. Abdellatif decided now was the time to act and his bet of 104,000 earned him the pot. --NW

5:20pm: Diotte shoves
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

For once Kenneth Smaron wasn't involved in the hand and it led to an all-in shove.

Denis Timofeev raised to 55,000 and Harpreet Gill called from the button. Smaron folded the small blind and Anthony Diotte then shoved for 578,000 from the big blind.

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Anthony Diotte

Both players folded and Diotte took the pot. He's up to 728,000 while Gill, who has 507,000, is now the short-stack. --NW

5:10pm: Smaron takes a sip, collects the chips
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Denis Timofeev raised from the hijack, Kenneth Smaron called from the big blind, and with 150,000 in the middle the flop fell 8♦4♠A♦.

Smaron check-called a bet of 45,000 from Smaron, then the turn brought the 6♣. Smaron checked again, and Timofeev bet 175,000. Smaron thought a while, then called, and the river brought the J♣.

Smaron checked quickly, but Timofeev took his time, meditating for nearly two minutes before betting 240,000.

Smaron took a sip of his red wine -- he and James Salmon ordered glasses a short while ago -- then after setting his glass down leaned forward to consider his options.

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Kenneth Smaron: Red wine for the soul

Eventually he found a call, and got to see he was right as Timofeev was bluffing with 9♦7♠. Smaron had A♥5♣ for aces, and now he's way up over 3.65 million while Timofeev is back down to 1.44 million. --MH

5:05pm: Smaron staying active
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Having just lost 117,000 to James Salmon, Kenneth Smaron got those chips back (and more) when he won a pot against Denis Timofeev. The chip leader raised from UTG and Timofeev three-bet to 175,000 from the cutoff. Call from Smaron.

Neither player bet the 7♣5♠9♣ flop and the 8♠ landed on the turn. Smaron bet 165,000 and he took the pot. The American is keeping up his record of playing every pot since they went seven-handed. --NW

4:55pm: Third in chips, third in the pot, three-bet
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Leader Kenneth Smaron was at it again, raising to 62,000 from the hijack seat, and his nearest challenger chip-wise Robin Wozniczek called from the button.

Denis Timofeev -- third in chips -- was third in the pot with a re-raise from the small blind, and that scattered everyone else.

Timofeev bumps up over 2.2 million, closing the gap between him and Wozniczek in second while Smaron still comfortably leads. --MH

4:50pm: Smaron in every pot
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Since the field was reduced to seven Kenneth Smaron has played every pot. He's not won them all, in fact he's only two from four, but he's clearly the table captain right now.

He's got 3,059,000 and leads from Robin Wozniczek, who has 2,404,000. Anthony Diotte is the short stack with 598,000 (24 big blinds). --NW

4:45pm: Byron Kaverman eliminated in 8th place ($35,920)
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Kenneth Smaron raised to 55,000 from middle position, then it folded to Byron Kaverman on the button who made it 147,000 to go. The blinds quickly stepped aside, and after a careful study Smaron decided to re-raise all in.

Kaverman smiled and rolled his eyes after Smaron's move, then riffled his chips while thinking for a couple of minutes about what to do.

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Byron Kaverman: Falls in eighth

Finally Kaverman called, committing his last 450,000 or so with K♥J♣ while Smaron showed 3♥3♠.

The 6♦3♦8♦ flop gave Smaron a set right off the bat and left Kaverman only with the slimmest of hopes, and even then only for a chop. The Q♠ on the turn ended those, and Kaverman is out in eighth.

Smaron retakes the chip lead, now up over 2.94 million. --MH

4:35pm: The haves and have nots
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

After that hand in which Robin Wozniczek took over the chip lead, it's became more evident there exists a big chip divide among the final eight.

Wozniczek, Kenneth Smaron, Denis Timofev, and James Salmon are all above 1.6 million, while Harpreet Gill, Jonathan Abdellatif, Byron Kaverman, and Anthony Diotte are all in the 550,000-800,000 range. --MH

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Kenneth Smaron: Still among the haves

4:30pm: Wozniczek takes the chip lead
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

A three-way pot ended with Robin Wozniczek overtaking Kenneth Smaron at the top of the chip counts. The latter raised to 55,000 from the cutoff, Wozniczek came along from the small blind and Denis Timofeev called from the big blind.

Nobody seemed very interested in the pot until the river of a 7♣6♠5♥J♠2♣ board was reached. It was checked to Timofeev, he bet 110,000, Smaron called and Wozniczek check-raised to 284,000 total.

Joe Stapleton seemed pretty convinced that Wozniczek had a flush, offering to eat his hat if the German player had anything else. We'd find out as Timofeev called and Smaron stepped aside. Wozniczek did indeed have a flush and his K♣9♣ won him the pot. He's up to 2,472,000 after that hand, Smaron is second with 2,413,000. --NW

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Robin Wozniczek, left, with the man who started as the leader

4:25pm: Three-way all-in results in Lech bustout
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Just as the new level was getting going, we had a quick three-way hand with two of the players all-in.

Anthony Diotte: A♦Q♦
Michael Lech: 8♣8♠
Robin Wozniczek: A♠K♣

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The game is up for Michael Lech

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Adios

The board came out 5♣Q♥J♥6♣4♦, trebling up Diotte and knocking Lech out in ninth place for $35,920 --BW

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Anthony Diotte finds reason for celebration

4:20pm: Jacks work for Timofeev
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Denis Timofeev raised to 55,000 from early position, and Harpreet Gill called from the cutoff.

The flop came K♣4♣9♦ and both checked. The 4♦ then turn paired the board, Timofeev checked, and Gill fired 65,000. Timofeev looked across the table, then focused on the board for another minute before setting out a raise to 200,000 that Gill called quickly, bringing the pot up over 580,000.

The Q♦ diamond completed the board, and both players checked. Timofeev tabled J♣J♦ and his pocket pair was good as Gill mucked.

Put Timofeev on about 2.1 million while Gill is at 860,000. --MH

4:15pm: Salmon hooks some chips
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

On just the second hand of the level a decent sized pot developed between Denis Timofeev and James Salmon. The former opened to 55,000 from UTG+2, Salmon three-bet to 140,000 from the cutoff and Timofeev called.

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James Salmon: Building up again

On the 3♣8♥A♠ flop Salmon c-bet 120,000, smaller than his pre-flop raise. Timofeev called and the 8♣ fell on the turn. Timofeev checked again and Salmon's bet of 275,000 was enough to win him the pot. He's up to 1,643,000, while Timofeev drops to 1,916,000. -NW

4:10pm: Level start
Level 23 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Just like that, we're back again. -- HS

3:50pm: Level end
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

That's your lot for Level 22. Here are the chip counts at the break:

NameCountryChips
Kenneth SmaronUSA2,565,000
Denis TimofeevRussia2,184,000
Robin WozniczekGermany2,156,000
James SalmonUSA1,322,000
Harpreet GillCanada1,004,000
Jonathan AbdellatifBelgium714,000
Byron KavermanUSA622,000
Anthony DiotteCanada240,000
Michael LechUSA172,000
Igor YaroshevskyyUkraine0
Vincent AllevatoCanada0
Luis MataVenezuela0

3:50pm: Gill gets double through Salmon
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

In the last hand of the level, Kenneth Smaron raised to 45,000 from middle position, and it folded to James Salmon in the small blind who three-bet to 160,000.

The action was on Harpreet Gill who smiled and exhaled, then set his entire stack of 466,000 out as a re-raise-shove. Smaron got out quickly, but Salmon made the call.

Salmon: A♣Q♦
Gill: A♦K♣

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Harpreet Gill

The board came 4♠T♥2♥, then J♦, then 7♠, and Gill survived with the double. He goes to break with about 1 million even while Salmon slips to just over 1.3 million. --MH

3:45pm: Abdellatif stares down chip leader
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Jonathan Abdellatif may be one of the shorter stacks, but he's not afraid to square off against chip leader Kenneth Smaron.

The latest faceoff came when Smaron came in for a raise to 45,000. Abdellatif called out of the small blind, and James Salmon called out of the big. On a flop of 3♦7♠2♣, Abdellatif and Salmon checked, opening the door to a bet of 57,000 from Smaron. Only Abdellatif called. On the T♣ turn, Abdellatif checked, and Smaron checked behind.

Finally, when the 9♣ river fell, Abdellatif decided to lead into Smaron for 155,000. Smaron quickly mucked and shipped the pot over to the man from Belgium. --BW

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Jonathan Abdellatif, centre, with Byron Kaverman

3:35pm: Someone needs to get that limp looked at
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

One player tries to open limp into a pot and suddenly everyone is at it. The latest exponent of this tactic was Jonathan Abdellatif. The Belgian limped in from UTG+1, Harpreet Gill came along for the ride and Kenneth Smaron then decided enough was enough and he raised to 85,000 from the cutoff.

That bet got rid of Abdellatif, but Gill made the call. The hand ended on the 9♥3♦Q♦ flop though were Smaron's c-bet of 90,000 was enough to win the pot. --NW

3:30pm: Small stuff
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

On the hand after Jonathan Abdellatif's double-up, Michael Lech open-pushed all-in with his last 172,000 from under the gun and everyone folded. Then it was Kenneth Smaron raising to 45,000 from under the gun, winning the blinds and antes.

On the next one, Denis Timofeev raised to 50,000 from middle position, Smaron called from the big blind, and the blinds stepped aside. The flop fell K♣3♦6♣, and Smaron check-folded to a 55,000 bet from Timofeev.

Robin Wozniczek limped in from under the gun, Timofeev did the same from the next seat over, Smaron called from the small blind, and Anthony Diotte checked the BB.

The flop came 9♠K♥K♠ and it checked to Timofeev who bet 25,000 and only Wozniczek called. The turn was the J♣. This time Timofeev bet 100,000, and Wozniczek folded.

tl;dr: Smaron still leads, and Lech is still the shortest stack. --MH

3:20pm: Final table bubble up for Abdellatif
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

The action folded to Jonathan Abdellatif in the small blind and he requested the triangle. His all-in shove was for 238,000 and James Salmon called from the big blind to put him at risk.

Abdellatif: Q♦9♦
Salmon: A♥Q♣

It was bad timing on Abdellatif's part and he was just a 29 percent shot to survive. The J♦3♠A♦ flop improved his odds to 37 percent. The 8♦ turn gave him a flush and a lock on the hand and he doubled to 503,000. Salmon is down to 1,918,000. --NW

3:15pm: Kaverman dropping, Smaron on top
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Kenneth Smaron came in for a raise to 45,000 and got calls from Byron Kaverman and Jonathan Abdellatif out of the blinds. Both Kaverman and Abdellatif checked on the Q♣T♦3♠ flop, opening the door for a Smaron bet to 60,000. Kaverman made the call and Abdellatif got out of the way.

The turn was the T♠. Now Kaverman came out firing for 115,000. With more than 2.1 million in front of him, Smaron made the call. The river brough the T♣, and Kaverman, now with only 700, decided to bet out 145,000. Smaron was finished with just calling. He shoved, Kaverman snap-folded, and Smaron took over the chip lead. --BW

3:10pm: Two for Timofeev
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

After Denis Timofeev won a small limped three-way pot with a single bet on the turn, on the next one Kenneth Smaron raised to 45,000 from the hijack, Timofeev three-bet to 170,000 from the small blind and all folded including Smaron. --MH

denis_timofeev_panama_day5.jpg

Denis Timofeev

3:05pm: Gill gets some back
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

After playing the past two hands aggressively Harpreet Gill limped in from the hijack, Kenneth Smaron called from the button and both blinds came along as well. All four players checked the 8♣2♠3♠ flop but the first aggressive action of the hand would come on the 8♦ turn. Gill bet 25,000 and Smaron was the only caller. Both players then checked the J♥ river and Gill's A♦2♦ was good. Every little helps. --NW

3pm: Keep showing those bluffs
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Byron Kaverman came in for a raise to 45,000, and Harpreet Gill three-bet him to 130,000. Kaverman wasn't having it. He made it 490,000, basically enough to put Gill all-in. Gill thought for a good while before giving it up, showing his A♦Q♦. Kaverman kept the bluff show going by turning up the 2♥.

Gill shoved all-in pre-flop on the next hand. Read into that what you will.--BW

2:55pm: Wozniczek, Smaron each take one
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

The table folded around to Anthony Diotte and he opened again to 45,000 from middle position, then Robin Wozniczek three-bet to 135,000 from next seat over and everyone folded, including Diotte.

On the next hand, Kenneth Smaron was first to act and he raised to 45,000 from under the gun, and it folded all of the way around to Michael Lech in the big blind who called.

The flop came 5♦A♦T♥, and after being checked to Smaron bet 36,000 and Lech folded.

Leader Smaron is very close to 2.4 million now. --MH

2:50pm: Timofeev versus Wozniczek: round two
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Another big pot between Denis Timofeev and Robin Wozniczek just went down. Anthony Diotte opened to 45,000 from early position, Wozniczek called from the hijack and Timofeev then three-bet to 160,000 from the cutoff. Diotte folded but Wozniczek was not for budging. On the 5♥2♠Q♣ flop Wozniczek checked it over to Timofeev and his bet of 125,000 was enough to win the pot. --NW

2:45pm: Robin Wozniczek, bluffer, unafraid
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Robin Wozniczek may be an amateur poker player, PokerStars qualifier, and business student, but he isn't afraid of this final table crew. The latest hand proved it.

Kenneth Smaron started the action with a raise to 45,000. Wozniczek made the call from the cutoff. The action moved to Denis Timofeev on the button, and he made it 160,000 to play. Both blinds folded, as did Smaron. Now it was back to Wozniczek. After just calling the original raise, he decided to put in a four-bet to 320,000. He failed to get rid of Timofeev, however.

robin_wozniczek_panama_day5.jpg

Robin Wozniczek: Does this man look afraid? Because he isn't

With 742,000 in the middle, they saw a flop of J♦3♥3♣. Wozniczek was sitting with about 1.4 million in front of him, slightly smaller than Timofeev's 1.85 million. Nevertheless, Wozniczek came out firing again, this time for a relatively small 183,000. Timofeev wasn't ready to relent, and made the call.

Now there was 1.1 million in the middle when the T♣ came on the turn. Once again, Wozniczek cut chips out for a bet. He pushed 285,000 forward. Timofeev decided he's had enough and folded.

With nary a smile, Wozniczek flipped over his cards anyway, showing 7♥8♥, a nothing sandwich of the first order. --BW

2:35pm: Diotte reraise-shoves, wins
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

It folded around to Kenneth Smaron who made it 45,000 to go from the button. Anthony Diotte was in the small blind with 377,000 left and he shoved all-in, and that prompted folds from both Robin Wozniczek in the big blind and Smaron. --MH

2:30pm: Timofeev empties the clip
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

One hand at the feature table and one big pot. The hand was started by Denis Timofeev, he raised to 45,000 from UTG+1 and Jonathan Abdellatif was the only caller.

Timofeev bet 45,000 and Abdellatif made the call. The J♣ fell on the turn and Timofeev fired again. This time it was 125,000 for Abdellatif to continue and that's what he did. Abdellatif only had 355,000 back now and Timofeev made him play for it all on the 2♣ river.

Understandably Abdellatif took some time to come to his decision, but he elected to fold and is now down to 17 big blinds. Timofeev is up to 2,200,000. --NW

2:25pm: Lech with the least to lose
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

As the unofficial final table begins it's Michael Lech who's the shortest of the nine remaining players. He's playing a stack of 275,000 which is just over 13.5 big blinds. --NW

2:15pm: Final table redraw
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Here's how the final table looks after the redraw:

1. Anthony Diotte
2. Robin Wozniczek
3. Denis Timofeev
4. Byron Kaverman
5. Jonathan Abdellatif
6. James Salmon
7. Michael Lech
8. Harpreet Gill
9. Kenneth Smaron

2:10pm: Yaroshevsky goes big, goes home
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

In what quickly turned into a massive pot, James Smaron came in for a raise to 45,000 and got a call from Harpreet Gill. When played reached Igor Yaroshevskyy, he came in for a massive all-in three bet shove: 682,000.

igor_yaroshevskyy_out_panama_day5.jpg

Igor Yaroshevskyy

Smaron wasted no time in announcing he, too, was all-in. Gill quickly mucked pocket deuces face-up, and the live card went on their backs

Yaroshevskyy: A♦Q♠
Smaron: A♣K♥

The board ran out K♠Q♥3♥T♣7♦, and the man who led this tournament for most of three days finally exited in tenth place earning $27,260.

yaroshevskyy_smaron_day5.jpg

Igor Yaroshevskyy bids farewell

With nine players left, they are consolidating the field around one table. We'll have the new line up soon. --BW

2:05pm: Shove and lots of folds
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

First hand back from the break, Michael Lech moved all-in with his short stack on the outer table. No takers. -- HS

michael_lech_panama_day5.jpg

Michael Lech

2:02pm: Smaron snares one
Level 22 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

The first feature-table hand after the break began with Kenneth Smaron opening for 45,000 from the button and Harpreet Gill defending his big blind with a call.

Both checked the K♠8♥Q♦ flop, then after the 6♦ turn Gill led for 56,000 and Smaron called.

The river was the Q♣ and it went check-check. Smaron tabled A♣8♦ for queens and eights, and that beat Gill's J♠T♣. --MH

1:43pm: Break time

With ten players remaining, we're on the first 20-minute break of the day.

1:42pm: Kaverman over Lech
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Michael Lech's good start at the outer table just unravelled when he lost the last hand of the level to Byron Kaverman.

Lech elected to limp on the button, Kaverman completed and Anthony Diotte checked his option. On the 5♣9♦2♠ flop Lech bet 24,000 and Kaverman was the only caller. Neither player bet the 6♠ turn, and the 5♦ completed the board. Kaverman came out firing. H bet 46,000, and Lech flicked in a single chip to call. Kaverman rolled over 7♦5♥ and Lech mucked. He's down to 227,000 as they head to the break. --NW

1:36pm: Double and a new chip leader
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Two headlines to this update: 1) Jonathan Abdellatif has just doubled again and 2) James Salmon is the new tournament chip leader.

The two things are obviously related, but only indirectly. Abdellatif's double came at the cost of Denis Timofeev, which allowed Salmon to move to the summit by default.

The pot played out as follows: Timofeev opened to 37,000 from under the gun and Abdellatif called in the big blind. They then looked at a flop of J♥Q♠3♣ and, after a check from Abdellatif, Timofeev had a stab. He bet 45,000. Abdellatif called.

The 9♣ came on the turn and Timofeev fired again. This time, following Abdellatif's check, Timofeev made it 110,000 to go.

Abdellatif took a while, but then shoved for 308,000 total. Timofeev called quickly and here's why:

Timofeev's K♠Q♦ was top pair, with a draw too. Abdellatif's J♠Q♥ was top two pair. The 7♣ on the river was irrelevant.

Abdellatif now has 798,000 while Timofeev has a little less than 2 million. -- HS

1:35pm: Salmon fetches from Lech
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

James Salmon has added a few more to his stack, this time after a small-pot hand with Michael Lech.

Salmon raised 3x to 48,000 from the button and Lech called the big blind, then it went check-check and check-check through the 2♦Q♥J♥ flop and 7♦ turn. Lech checked again after the K♠ river, Salmon bet 110,000, and Lech called.

Salmon showed K♦4♥ for a rivered pair of kings, and Lech mucked.

Salmon moves up to 2.35 million, while Lech is at about 320,000 now as the day's first level nears its end. --MH

1:29pm: Lech gets busy
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Since getting moved to the outer table Michael Lech has been getting busy. Busy winning chips. On his first hand he defended his big blind to a button raise from Robin Wozniczek. The K♥3♥5♠ flop was checked through and Lech then led for 38,000 on the 3♣ turn. Call from Wozniczek.

The Q♦ rounded out the board and Lech announced that he was all-in. It was 285,000 for Wozniczek to call and although the German PokerStars Qualifier gave strong consideration to doing just that he ultimately elected to fold.

On the very next hand James Salmon opened to 40,000 and Lech pretty swiftly made it 110,000 to go from the button. When he got back to Salmon he wasted little time in releasing his hand. Lech is up to 520,000 now. --NW

1:24pm: Allevato eliminated in 11th
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

They're down to 10 now after the knockout of Vincent Allevato.

In Allevato's last hand, Robin Wozniczek limped from the small blind, Allevato raised all in for his last 85,000, and Wozniczek called right away, tabling K♣K♠ while Allevato had 3♣3♠.

The board came an uneventful T♣5♥8♥4♣6♦, and Allevato departed to collect 11th-place prize money of $27,260.

Michael Lech has now joined the outer table, balancing the two remaining tables at five apiece. --MH

NEIL7215_Vincent_Allevato_PCP2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Vincent Allevato

1:23pm: Limp, jam, win
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

In a move straight out of Super System-era poker, Harpreet Gill just limp-jammed from under the gun and got it through. Jonathan Abdellatif was caught in the crosshairs, raising to 60,000 on the button after Gill's suspicious limp. Then Gill sprang the trap and Abdellatif let it go. -- HS

1:22pm: More for Salmon
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

James Salmon had the button and opened for 65,000 -- that's right, a little over 4x the big blind -- and when it folded to short-stacked Vincent Allevato in the SB he did a double-take before comfirming the raise amount and then folded.

Byron Kaverman was in the big blind and he folded, too, after which Allevato spoke up.

"You don't want to see a flop, Byron?" Allevato grinned. "A little much?"

"I don't want to get bluffed anymore," answered Kaverman (alluding to Salmon's bluff of him a short while before), and the table chuckled.

Soon Kaverman had the button and he raised to 40,000 with Salmon calling from the big blind. Both checked the T♠8♠5♥ flop, then Salmon check-called a bet of 63,000 from Kaverman after the 9♣ turn.

The river paired the board, coming T♦, and Salmon led for 112,000. After another Kaverman tank he called, and Salmon showed he wasn't bluffing this time -- he had K♦T♣ for trips.

Salmon is up to 2.22 million now while Kaverman slips to 880,000. --MH

1:13pm: Allevato down but not out
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

On the outer table it's all been about Vincent Allevato this past orbit with the Canadian playing two big pots. He opened to 32,000 from UTG and picked up calls from Anthony Diotte (button) and Robin Wozniczek (big blind).

So three to a 2♠8♥6♥ flop then. Allevato c-bet 47,000 and Wozniczek was the only caller. On the 2♣ turn Wozniczek check-called a further 70,000 and the 6♦ completed the board. On fifth street Wozniczek elected to lead out. He bet 178,000 and Allevato looked pained by this turn of events. He had just 263,000 back and tanked for over a couple of minutes before flicking in a single chip. Wozniczek turned over J♣6♠ for trip sixes and Allevato wore the face of a man who'd been rivered.

He mucked his cards and then just sat there shaking his head until the next hand. He folded the big blind - to a Byron Kaverman raise - and then folded the small blind, giving Kaverman a walk. On the next hand though he moved all-in from the button for 55,000. "I've got to call," said Diotte who was in the big blind. Allevato showed K♦T♣ and was up against 5♣2♣. The T♦9♦8♥Q♠8♣ run out kept his hopes alive and he doubled to 128,000. --NW

1:02pm: Queens and a double for Abdellatif
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Jonathan Abdellatif is back and running, scoring a double up with the easiest decision he had to make all day. After Harpreet Gill opened with T♠T♥, Abdellatif shipped for around 245,000. He had Q♦Q♣, so that was quite standard.

The flop fell 9♥9♣7♥, followed by the A♥ on the turn. "More of a sweat now than it ever was," Abdellatif said, indicating that any heart would now win it for Gill.

The 5♠ on the river was blank, however, and he doubles to 518,000, which is 32 big blinds. Gill drops to 800,000. -- HS

12:56pm: Salmon bluffs and shows
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Byron Kaverman made a biggish opening raise to 43,000 from the button, James Salmon called from the big blind, then the flop fell 4♠J♥7♥. Salmon led for 52,000, and Kaverman called.

Things began slowing down a bit after the 4♦ turn, after which Salmon checked relatively quickly, but Kaverman took a half-minute before checking behind.

After the 5♥ river, Salmon took a full minute before betting 180,000, and Kaverman sunk deep into the tank. After four minutes he emerged to begin talking out loud to himself and chuckling a bit, and another minute after that finally decided to fold.

Before doing so, Kaverman asked if he were to show his hand would Salmon do the same. "That's fair," answered Salmon.

Kaverman showed he had J♠8♥ for jacks and fours, and Salmon flipped over 9♠8♣ for an airball.

Kaverman congratulated Salmon. "I'll probably regret that," said Salmon afterwards.

Salmon is up to 1.985 million, while Kaverman has 1.05 million. --MH

12:64pm: Lech adds a few more blinds
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Michael Lech has one of the tournament short stacks but just proved that there's still room to play poker with it. After Harpreet Sill opened from under the gun, Lech three-bet to 83,000 from the small blind, from a stack of only about 340,000, and Gill folded, perhaps realising he would soon be playing for all of it.

Gill has right around a million still. -- HS

12:45pm: Diotte drops some
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

The bottom five in the chip counts are all closely bunched together, with stacks ranging from 300,000 to 462,000. Second-shortest of all - albeit with 25 big blinds - looks to be Anthony Diotte as he just lost a couple of hands to slip to 400,000.

In the first of the two hands he opened to 34,000 from the cutoff and Robin Wozniczek called from the small blind. The K♦Q♣4♣ flop checked through and the 4♣ turn paired the board. Wozniczek didn't check, instead he bet 22,000 and Diotte made the call. A flush completing 8♣ river was checked down and Wozniczek's K♠T♦ was the best hand. As Diotte mucked his cards one of them - the 9♣ - flipped over.

Two hands later he was in the big blind and Byron Kaverman limped in from the small. Diotte decided to raise it up to 47,000 but the betting wasn't done there. Kaverman limp re-raised, making it 117,000 to go. Diotte dwelled, but ultimately released his hand. --NW

12:44pm: Timofeev picks on Abdellatif -- again
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Jonathan Abdellatif is in a wretched spot today, to the immediate right of Denis Timofeev. The latter has already shown that he's in the mood to get his chips in--and Abdellatif has just given him some more.

Abdellatif raised to 37,000 in the hijack and Timofeev three-bet the cutoff, making it 90,000 to go. Abdellatif called and the two of them saw a flop of K♠5♠A♦. Check, check.

The turn was the 6♣ and it went check, check again. Then the 9♣ fell on the river.

Abdellatif had a stab. He bet 58,000. Timofeev made a one-chip call, forcing Abdellatif to show his T♥J♥ and Timofeev's K♥T♣ was better.

Timofeev is now up to about 2.3 million, while Abdellatif has a little bit more than 300,000. -- HS

12:36pm: Timofeev picks on Abdellatif
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Jonathan Abdellatif has made some tremendous calls in this tournament so far, and Denis Timofeev just asked him, via the medium of a massive over-bet on the turn, whether he wanted to find one more huge call for his tournament life. Spoiler: he didn't.

The hand began with action folding to Abdellatif on the button and he called. Timofeev raised to 50,000 and Michael Lech surrendered his big blind. Abdellatif called in position.

The flop brought the T♣6♠5♣ and Timofeev continued for 75,000. Abdellatif peeked at his cards and called.

The turn brought the 2♥ and Timofeev pushed a full tower of yellow chips forward, totalling more than Abdellatif's 462,000. Abdellatif pondered for a long time, twirling chips between his fingers as he did, but elected to fold.

Timofeev moves up to 2.12 million after that. -- HS

12:30pm: Kaverman defends, collects
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Robin Wozniczek opened again, this time for 36,000 from the hijack, and Byron Kaverman defended his big blind again with a call.

The flop fell J♣Q♦5♣ and both checked, then Kaverman led for 28,000 at the J♥ turn and Wozniczek called.

The river brought the 2♥, and when Kaverman dug out a bet of 127,000 Wozniczek leaned back in his chair and winced. He leaned forward and thought for a full minute, then slid his cards away.

Wozniczek has 1.17 million, while Kaverman has 1.09 million. --MH

12:29pm: Four-way nothing
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Kenneth Smaron opened to 37,000 from UTG+1 and three opponents called. Harpreet Gill was in the cutoff. Jonathan Abdellatif was in the small blind. Denis Timofeev was in the big blind.

They all checked the flop of 3♥8♥7♥. They all then checked the 9♠ turn. Then they all checked the 2♠ river.

Gill had pocket fives--5♦5♠ to be precise--and won despite three over-cards. -- HS

12:24pm: Chop pot and no song
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

The good thing about reading your updates here rather than watching them on PokerStars Live is that you don't have to wait three or four minutes for a hand to play out in full when it ends in a chop. We also don't sing.

Denis Timofeev and Igor Yaroshevskyy played all the way to a river on the following board: 6♦3♥8♦9♠2♥. Then they showed A♠3♦ and A♦3♠ respectively and split it.

Enjoy the silence. -- HS

12:20pm: No Mata
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

We're down to 11 runners in the Main Event, and it's no surprise that it's Luis Mata who's the first man out today. The Venezuelan was the clear short stack coming into play and went for a double up during the first orbit of play.

In fact, had he survived it would've been a treble up as both Byron Kaverman and James Salmon called his shove of 148,000. The two active players checked it down on the 6♠2♥2♣T♠K♥ board and Salmon instantly turned over A♥K♦. Mata showed 6♣5♣ and it looked like he'd been rivered. However, Kaverman was forced to show his hand too and he held A♦6♦ meaning Mata was toast no matter what.

Mata earns $20,860 for his 12th place finish. --NW

NEIL0235_Luis_Mata_PCP2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Luis Mata

12:19pm: Smaron pinches some from Timofeev
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

They got to a river for a second time on the feature table, and again Denis Timofeev was involved in the pot. This time, however, he didn't win: Kenneth Smaron prevailed.

Timofeev opened to 40,000 from the button and Smaron called in the big blind. Those two took to a flop of 6♣5♣4♠ and both checked. The 9♣ turned and Smaron was now interested. He bet 42,000. Timofeev called.

The Q♦ completed the board and Smaron bet again, this time. Timofeev called but Smaron's J♣9♠ was good. -- HS

12:16pm: They're checking to Wozniczek
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Robin Wozniczek has settled in at the outer table, having taken the first two pots without much resistance.

The first hand of the day at the six-handed table saw Wozniczek raise to 32,000 from the cutoff, Byron Kaverman defend his big blind, and the flop fall Q♠9♥5♥. Kaverman checked, Wozniczek bet 27,000, and Kaverman got out.

The second hand also started with a Wozniczek open, this time from the hijack for 33,000, and Anthony Diotte called from the big blind. No bet on the J♠6♦7♠ flop, but a delayed c-bet of 27,000 from Wozniczek on the 8♥ turn was good enough to take it down. --MH

12:10pm: First blood Timofeev
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

The first hand on the feature table was...deeply uninteresting. Action folded to Harpreet Gill and he raised to 37,000 from the cutoff. Denis Timofeev called in the big blind and they both then checked a flop of 2♥4♠4♦. They checked the 3♠ turn and the 3♣ river. Timofeev's J♥9♦ won.

Well, they did see a river card so not the most uninteresting hand that will happen today. -- HS

12:05pm: Away they go
Level 21 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

They are all seated and cards are now in the air. Stick with us for as long as it takes to get down to the last six players. -- HS

11:30am: 12 left at start of Day 5

This has gone, in the words of my forefathers, pretty damned quickly (they never said that).

We began with 366 players six days ago. Today, we have 12 men left to sit down. Our job today is to see six of them off into the Panamanian sunset. It conceivably could be over as quickly as it begins. Or, because poker is a funny game, we could be here all night.

No matter what happens, we have our reporting team ready to roll. We'll be watching chip leader Denis Timofeev. He's put some distance between himself and the rest of the field. To get a full accounting of where things stand right now, you can check out our wrap up from last night.

NEIL0456_Denis_Timofeev_PCP2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Denis Timofeev

NameCountryChips
Denis TimofeevRussia2,070,000
James SalmonUSA1,612,000
Byron KavermanUSA1,236,000
Robin WozniczekGermany1,194,000
Kenneth SmaronUSA1,104,000
Harpreet GillCanada1,080,000
Jonathan AbdellatifBelgium670,000
Anthony DiotteCanada558,000
Michael LechUSA457,000
Igor YaroshevskyyUkraine422,000
Vincent AllevatoCanada420,000
Luis MataVenezuela162,000

If you need some other reading material to keep you occupied, have a look at some of these other stories from around the floor.

Sam Greenwood leads Day 1 High Roller field


Tito Ortiz and Felipe Ramos: The student becomes the master

Kristen Bicknell's race to the top

Play kicks off here in just a few minutes. Stay tuned.


The PokerStars Championship Panama Main Event live reporting team is Martin Harris, Howard Swains, Brad Willis, and Nick Wright. Photography by Neil Stoddart


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