Kakhmazov leads Russian-heavy field, as ElkY and Moneymaker fly Red Spade still

Only 82 players remain in the Main Event at the inaugural PokerStars Championship Sochi. That's great news for them because the first prize today was revealed today as close to 30 million rubles--which is more than $520,000 in Uncle Sam's greenbacks.

You have to say, the high chance is that the winner is going to prefer his or her payout in local currency. It was also revealed today that 83 percent of the confirmed 387-strong field come from Russia.

One of that huge local contingent, Nadar Kakhmazov, is out in front at this stage. Kakhmazov bagged 481,500 tonight, finishing ahead of Seyed Ghavam's 415,500 in the counts. Those two were sat in separate rooms all day--Kakhmazov in the main room and Ghavam in the theatre--but the chip-lead pendulum swung back and forth for most of the day.

nadar_kakhamov_psc_sochi_day2_lead.jpg

Nadar Kakhamov: Leading the way

Ghavam is from Iran and just in case he wants to figure out how much he might take home, the first prize is close to 17 billion Iranian Rial.

seyed_ghavam_psc_sochi_day2.jpg

Seyed Ghavam: I wanna be a billionaire so frikkin bad

But there's still hope we'll be looking for the conversion rate to euros--or bitcoin or Ethereum or whatever currency a man named ElkY uses to buy bottles of peroxide and small Mau5 toys. The Team PokerStars Pro's return to tip-top form continues. The man nobody calls Bertrand has a stack of 265,100 tonight.

elky_psc_sochi_day2_wrap.jpg

ElkY: Is it his week?

His team-mate Chris Moneymaker remains involved too. Moneymaker began the day on the television stage, and finished it only a few yards away, sitting behind a stack of 118,000 chips. Moneymaker hasn't had an in-the-money finish in Europe since October 2015, but he's well set to break that drought here.

chris_moneymaker_day2_wrap.jpg

Chris Moneymaker: Turn that frown upside down!

Other notable stacks at this stage include:

Oleg Chebotarev: 371,500
Jonas Lauck: 218,800
Nacho Barbero: 216,000
Jason Wheeler: 210,000
Vladimir Troyanovskiy: 161,500
Max Lykov: 96,500

Full counts will be on the chip-count page very soon.

You can also allow yourself a peek at the payouts page, which will show you the full breakdown of the 150 million ruble prize-pool. But we're not actually in the money yet. Only 55 players will be paid, meaning we'll burst the bubble as the first order of business tomorrow.

Come back to join us then from noon. In the meantime, have a read through today's coverage below, then sleep well. Goodnight!

olympic_park_hotel_sochi_psc.jpg


Day 2 coverage archive:


• PLAYERS: 90 (of 387)
SEAT DRAW | CHIP COUNTS | PAYOUTS
ALL SOCHI INFO | SIDE EVENTS | DOWNLOAD POKERSTARS
WATCH THE ACTION LIVE ON POKERSTARS.TV!
• Follow @PokerStarsBlog on Twitter



7pm: Five more hands
Level 13 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

The clock is paused and they will play five more hands before bagging for the night. -- HS

6:50pm: Moneymaker stocks take a dive
Level 13 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Chris Moneymaker just lost a sizeable pot in a hand versus Pavel Shirshikov.

Moneymaker cold-called a 15,000 three-bet from Shirshikov before the 4♦T♣2♥ flop. At that point Shirshikov then checked, allowing Moneymaker to slide out 15,000. It was called. Shirshikov mixed it up on the T♥ turn by leading to the tune of 22,500. Now it was Moneymaker's turn to call.

Just as it was looked as though we were building a monster, both players checked on the Q♦ river. Pavel Shirshikov showed pocket jacks and they were exactly two notches higher than Moneymaker's nines.

chris_moneymaker_head_in_hands_psc_sochi.jpg

Late hit for Moneymaker



With little time left in the day, Moneymaker now has 145,000 while Shirshikov has overtaken him with 185,000. - RJ

6:45pm: Whole lotta shove
Level 13 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

We can barely keep up with all the all-ins, jams, shoves and the like taking place right now. You'd think some of these short stacks might tighten up and secure a spot on Day 3, but noooooooooo.

The latest one happened immediately after an all-in shove on another table went uncalled. This one, however, did not.

It folded to the humungous stack of Sergey Isaev in the hijack and he opened to 5,500. But when it got to Yehor Filipenko on the button, he jammed for 29,000. This put Iseav in the tank, despite it being less than 10 per cent of his stack.

The two started talking in Russian, meaning I didn't catch a word of it. But then out of the blue Filipenko said something which inspired an insta-call from Isaev and and insta-show from Filipenko: the 7♥7♠. Isaev had the A♦6♦ and needed some help.

The Q♠2♥3♦9♦3♣ was safe for the sevens though, and Filipenko doubles up. Isaev still has around 350,000 though. --JS

6:40pm: Nightmares for Vaskaboinikau
Level 13 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 300)

A passage of play that will keep Mikalai Vaskaboinikau awake tonight, or staring at the bottom of a bottle of vodka (other clichés are available).

Having opened a hand for 5,500 under the gun, he got pushed off his hand by Nacho Barbero, who three bet. Vaskaboinikau was curious as to what Barbero had ("A pair... bigger than deuces") and must have thought revenge would be sweet when on the next hand, having watched Barbero open for 6,000, he raised to 21,000 from the big blind with pocket kings.

Barbero called with A♦K♥, and would soon find the Gods were on his side, bringing an ace for him, and that vodka for Vaskaboinikau.

The board ran out 4♠4♥5♥A♥8♣

When the ace landed Vaskaboinikau said something in Russian, and then "Arghhh" which translates into English rather well. Barbero understood it: "Sorry," he said, before explaining he'd had 40 big blinds by way of justification.

The all in was for 109,000, which leaves Barbero with more than double that. Meanwhile Vaskaboinikau drops to 50,000. - SB

6:35pm: Troyanovskiy backs down
Level 13 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Abraham Passet just made Vladimir Troyanovskiy do exactly what his name said on the tin - pass it.

The pass came after Passet bet 7,000 on the turn of a T♥5♠4♣8♥ board. It means that Passet moves up to the 100,000 mark while Troyanovskiy is still above the average with 135,000. - RJ

6:30pm: Lykov shoves and wins. Shener shoves and loses.
Level 13 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Make that two pots in a row for EPT6 Kiev champ Maxim Lykov. First he jammed over Denis Davydov's and got him to fold. Then in the next hand, it was Lykov opening to 5,000.

Viktor Shener was sat to Lykov's left and he jammed for his short stack worth around 20,000. Back to Lykov, he made a quick call.

Lykov - T♥T♣
Shener - A♠4♦

The 6♣8♣4♥ gave Shener some additional outs as any four would now win it for him. But the J♣ and 5♦ hit the felt and he gave Lykov a firm handshake as he departed.

Lykov is up to 95,000 after that knockout. --JS

6:25pm: Roman's empire crumbles
Level 13 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Alexandr Potievskiy raised under the gun and Roman Kundasov wasted little time shoving his last 24,000 into the middle. It was quickly called.

A classic race was coming up - Kundasov's pocket nines versus Potievskiy's A♥Q♠. An ace on the flop sealed it for Potievskiy and sent Kundasov packing.

Potievskiy is now playing 175,000 and looks set to be bringing a solid stack through to Day 3 here in Sochi. - RJ

6:20pm: Give the pot to Potievskiy
Level 13 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

A few minutes ago I told you about a "donk lead" by Pavel Kovalenko in a hand against Mikhail Rudoy. Well, here's another.

Chris Moneymaker opened the pot to 5,500 and Alexandr Potievskiy just flatted. Aram Vartevanyan then three-bet squeezed it up to 18,400, putting Moneymaker in the tank. He eventually gave it up though, but Potievskiy didn't budge. He called and it was flop time.

After the 4♥6♦7♦ had been laid, Potievskiy didn't follow the usual "check to the raiser" malarky. He led into the raiser with a 30,000 bet. Vartebanyan folded quickly.

That loss brings him down to 70,000, while Potievskiy sits with 145,000 now. --JS

6:16pm: Sharaskin suited
Level 13 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 300)

Another all-in, this one securing a double-up for Michal Majewski.

Majewski shoved for 25,900 in early position. Next to him was Igor Sharaskin who called, but there was no interest from anyone else.

Majewski: J♦J♣
Sharaskin: A♠T♠

Majewski allowed himself a quiet and brief private celebration when the jack hit the flop, with the board coming J♥4♠6♥9♦A♣. He doubles to around 55,000.

igor_sharaskin_psc_sochi_day2.jpg

Igor Sharaskin: Down a bit


- SB

6:15pm: Limpers? You can still find 'em
Level 13 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

We're in Level 13 of a major international poker tournament and there's one thing that you don't expect to see: a limp. Yet that's exactly what Andrei Shkerin did, and it encouraged Boris Yanpolskiy and Mikhail Soltanov to limp along for the ride too.

The T♣2♦J♣ flop was checked around to Yanpolskiy (he had position) and he bet 4,500. Only Soltanov called. It was checked by both on the K♦ turn before Soltanov took a 3,500 stab at the pot when the K♠ river hit. Yanpolskiy quickly called with the winner - J♥9♥.

He's now on 90,000, Soltanov has 34,000 and Shkerin's limping activity will be closely monitored. - RJ

6:10pm: Small win, big loss
Level 13 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 300)

Sergey Chernega is the latest to bust the Main Event. He moved all-in for very little and was called by Dmitrii Grinenko who didn't have much himself.

Chernega: K♠3♣
Grinenko: K♦K♥

The board ran out T♣6♣2♥2♣9♠ to send Chernega out while Grinenko restores his stack to around the 40,000 mark. - SB

6pm: Rudoy's rude awakening
Level 13 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

It's not been the best start to the level for Mikhail Rudoy, who returned from the break with 330,000. Nevertheless, his remaining 294,000 stack is still one of the tournament's largest.

First he opened to 5,200 but was three-bet to 15,200, so he folded. But doing as a big stack should, he opened the very next hand too - this time to 5,700. Pavel Kovalenko defended his big blind and it went heads up to a flop.

The dealer spread the 3♥2♠3♦, and interestingly Kovalenko decided to lead out (or "donk lead", as the kids say) for 6,600. Rudoy called.

On the 7♠ turn Kovalenko continued, this time for 14,700. Call again.
And when the 2♥ river completed the board, putting two pairs out there, Kovalenko fired a third bullet worth 24,500. Rudoy gave it up, giving Kovalenko a 160,000 stack. --JS

5:55pm: Videira is outta here
Level 13 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Hugo Dos Santos Videira has been rocking the short stack for most of Day 2 but he won't have the opportunity to do that tomorrow. He's out.

Videira shoved his last 15,800 on the button with K♣Q♦ and was called by big blind Daniyar Aubakirov's A♠6♥. The T♦T♣5♥4♠9♥ board didn't do Videira any favours so he packed up his things and made a hasty exit.

Aubakirov is now on 170,000. - RJ

5:45pm: Last level
Level 13 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

There are 104 players left and 75 minutes of play. What's your guess as to how many will be left? -- HS

5:26pm: Last break of the day

Join us back here in 20 minutes as we play the final 75-minute of Day 2. --JS

5:25pm: Yamada doubles
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Natan Chauskin opened for 4,500 under the gun. He's been doing this a lot, with a stack of something like 200,000 to play with. Junya Yamada though, the sole Japanese player in the field, was ready to take him on from the cut off, and raised to 12,000. Chauskin called.

The flop came 7♣2♣Q♠. Both checked that for the K♠ turn card. Chauskin checked again leaving Yamada to bet 25,500. Chauskin suddenly announced all-in and Yamada called instantly, turning over A♥K♦. Chauskin groaned and flipped up K♣J♠. Only the river would help him, but not the 3♥.

A double up for Yamada that takes him to 90,000. Chauskin drops some, but still has 150,000. --SB

5:20pm: No respect for the champ
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Chris Moneymaker's name still holds a lot of sway in the poker world, even if it is fourteen years since that win happened. However, Aram Vartevanyan is paying the Team PokerStars Pro little respect and just three-bet a Moneymaker open to take down a small pot.

Both are doing well; Vartevanyan on 85,000 and Moneymaker bettering that with around 200,000. --RJ

5:15pm: Bubnov KO's Kazaev and Kuvshinkov
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Timur Bubnov continues to climb - this time he did it at the expense of Konstantin Kazaev and Vadim Kuvshinkov. We arrived just in time to see the three-way all in with Bubnov covering both players in chips and holding the best hand.

Bubnov: A♠A♥
Kazaev: Q♣J♠
Kuvshinkov: 7♥7♣

Kazaev and Kuvshinkov needed a lucky break to remain in the Main Event but the 2♠2♦9♣6♠Q♥ runout saw Bubnov's aces hold to administer the double elimination.

timur_bubnov_psc_sochi_day2.jpg

Timur Bubnov: Double eliminator

Kazaev and Kuvshinkov hit the rail as Bubnov builds to 285,000. --BK

5:10pm: Lykov's hopes remain alive
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

The European Poker Tour only twice strayed east of Warsaw--and when it went to Ukraine in Season 6, Max Lykov was the champion.

Lykov has stuck around on the tournament scene since then, and is just about sticking around too in this PokerStars Championship Sochi Main Event--although he's going to need a real resurgence to claim another title.

He had only 27,000 when he got involved in one of two recent pots against Igor Sharaskin. And although he lost that one, he managed a double through the same player the next time they tangled.

The first pot: Sharaskin opened to 4,500 from the cutoff and Lykov called in the big blind for a sixth of his stack. The flop came 3♦Q♠9♣ and Lykov bet 2,300. Sharaskin's call took them to the 9♠ on the turn. Lykov checked, Sharaskin bet 4,000 and Lykov folded immediately.

On the next hand, Sharaskin raised again, again to 4,500, and action got around to Lykov once more. This time Lykov moved all-in for 18,900 and Sharaskin gave him a spin.

Lykov was ahead with K♦Q♦ to Sharaskin's K♥9♥. There was nothing too dramatic on flop, turn or river, so Lykov scored a double. He has about 40,000 now. --HS

5:05pm: Blind battles
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

The natural order of poker says that if the action is folded to the button you can expect to see a raise. It happens nearly every single time. People are used to it, they deal with it and they like it. But when that doesn't happen - and the button selfishly neglects to raise - strange things occur.

The small blind and big blind are not happy bedfellows. Left to their own devices in what some may call a 'battle of the blinds' they tend to get overexcited and ultra-aggressive. As was the case when small blind Hugo Dos Santos Videira raised to 6,000 and was met with a quick all in from chip monster Seyed Ghavam. Videira called the hands were on their backs.

Videira: J♣J♠
Ghavam: A♥J♦

A T♠8♦4♦7♦Q♠ runout saw Videira double up to 60,000 and Ghavam drop slightly to a still-monstrous 230,000.

Now, if only the button had raised we might not have got into this mess... --RJ

5pm: Kovalenko vs Kakhmazov
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Pavel Kovalenko raised to 4,500 preflop before Nadar Kakhmazov three-bet to 13,800. Kovalenko reached into his stack and decided on a four-bet to 27,300 and Kakhmazov instantly moved all in with enough to cover Kovalenko's 75,000 behind.

Kovalenko took his time deliberating and after two minutes he called off for his tournament life.

Kovalenko: A♦K♣
Kakhmazov: A♣K♦

Kovalenko's mind was set at ease seeing Kakhmazov had the same hand, and Kovalenko was even freerolling running diamonds on the Q♠2♦9♦ flop. The 8♣ arrived on the turn though which meant the two players were guaranteed to chop the pot before the J♥ river even completed the board.

nadar_kakhmazov_psc_sochi_day2.jpg

Nadar Kakhmazov: Are these all mine?

Kakhmazov still sits with 380,000 in play. --BK

4:55pm: One of those days or one of those days?
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Yesterday, Jason Wheeler had one of those days. That is, one of those days where you end up tournament chip leader. Today, Jason Wheeler is having one of those days. That is, when the toast lands butter side down.

"Aah, going to be one of those f***ing days," Wheeler sighed as he counted out 20,400 from his stack to give to Viktor Sorokin, who doubles. They looked to have got it in pre-flop with Sorokin's A♥K♦ beating Wheeler's A♠Q♥. There was an ace on board, but even that didn't make it seem much more than a standard spot.

Just one of those things for Wheeler. He has around 150,000 still. --HS


NEIL0412_Jason_Wheeler_PCSochi2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Wheeler on one of those days (today)...

8G2A2060_Jason_Wheeler_PCSochi2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

...and one of THOSE days (yesterday)

4:50pm: Race to the rail
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Evgeny Nekrasov was looking at a bet of 5,500 from Denis Davydov. He looked at his stack of 32,000 and moved it all in.

Davydov didn't act immediately, the PokerStars qualifier took his time with the decision, and it looked like we were on for a standard fold. But suddenly he blurted out "Call!" and turned over A♣J♦ for a race against Nekrasov's 9♣9♥.

Nekrasov stood and waited as the board was dealt. He made it to the turn card safely, but no further.

3♦6♣3♠5♣...A♥

A staccato clap of celebration from Davydov, who now has more than 80,000 chips. Silence from Nekrasov, who slowly made his way to the rail. --SB

4:40pm: No more messing around
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Its all well and good poking in a few big blinds here and there but sometimes what you need is just one bloody big bet.

That's exactly what Aleksandr Denisov did on the turn of a 7♥T♣3♥Q♣ board. After a measly 4,500 bet was called on the flop by Igor Dimitrijevic, Denisov reached down and catapulted a stupendous 20,500 into the middle when it was checked to him.

Dimitrijevic wasn't interested and threw his hand away. Denisov moves up to 69,000 while Dimitrijevic remains above the average stack on 115,000. --RJ

4:30pm: Three players enter, two players leave
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Mikhail Rudoy just knocked out two players and took his stack up to around the 220,000 mark.

Denis Chignev opened the pot making it 3,500 to play from under the gun (this hand took place just before the blinds went up). Rudoy called on the button before Fiodar Skrunda called all-in from the big blind, for an amount covered by the others and quickly assimilated with the main pot. Skrunda stood to await his fate.

The flop came 8♥A♣J♥.

Chignev bet another 6,000 this time, which Rudoy called for the Q♦ turn. Chignev checked this time, leaving it to Rudoy to bet 12,000. Chignev was ready though, and check-raised all in for about another 50,000.

Rudoy winced, and rubbed his forehead. It would be a tough call but one he'd made after looking at his cards again. With the chips in the middle he watched as Chignev showed A♠K♦. Rudoy then showed his A♥Q♣. Skrunda showed his K♥8♦.

The 9♥ river sealed it. A big pot for Rudoy and two players sent to the rail. --SB

4:25pm: Two by two by two by two
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Maxim Panyak is still battling on. The man who made the final table in Monaco, and then backed it up with a victory in the National High Roller here last week, is down to around 65,000 in this tournament. But he is not out, and that's crucial given that all but 115 players are.

maxim_panyak_psc_sochi_day2.jpg

Maxim Panyak: Hot streak

Panyak played a small role in the following hand, but it wasn't one he'll remember too long. It ended up going to Dmitry Manakov, sitting to Panyak's right.

Igor Dimitrijevic got things started with a raise to 4,000 from the cutoff. Manakov called in the small blind and Panyak called from the big blind. They considered their options after a 3♥7♠Q♣ flop.

Manakov and Panyak checked to the raiser, but then called after Dimitrijevic bet 6,200.

All three checked the A♦ turn. Then Manakov pushed 13,200 forward after the J♣ river. That was two chips of each denomination: Two blues, worth 5,000 apiece, two yellows, worth 1,000 apiece, two pinks, worth 500 apiece and two browns, worth 100 each.

It was very meticulous and it got the job done. Both opponents folded. --HS

4:15pm: Minakov makes an exit
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Alexandr Minakov has just been eliminated at the hands of Mikhail Soltanov after getting the last of his chips all in and finding himself dominated.

After a preflop raise to 3,600, Minakov called before Soltanov slammed his chips into the middle and announced that he was all in. The initial raiser folded but Minakov called off with less before players revealed their hands.

Minakov: A♣J♣
Soltanov: A♥Q♠

Minakov was chasing a jack or some clubs and while the 9♠9♦T♣ flop brought one club and some outs to a split pot, the 4♣ turn improved Minakov to a flush draw. Ultimately it proved to not be enough as the 3♠ river bricked off to see Minakov depart and Soltanov stack a new total over right around 50,000. --BK

4:10pm: Walter waltzes out
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1600 (ante 200)

German qualifier Andreas Walter was good fun to follow in this tournament, constantly chatting away and trying to make things happen at the table. Unfortunately for all Walter fans around the world he's now been eliminated.

The end came when he shoved his 28,000 stack into the middle with A♦8♥ and was looked up by Daniyar Aubakirov and his A♠J♠. A jack on the flop was all she wrote for Walter.

It was just one more in a series of big pots shipped Aubakirov's way today. He's now on a whopping 270,000 and is one of the biggest stacks in the room/s. --RJ

4:05pm: Pie chart time
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1600 (ante 200)

Here's a look at how our field breaks down by nationality. --JS


PSC_Sochi_2017_Main_Event_player_nationalities.JPG

4pm: It must be fun having lots and lots of chips
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1600 (ante 200)

Igor Dimitrijevic has one of the largest stacks in the tournament and he's putting it to good use by steamrolling his table.

The latest example of this came after a raise from Ivan Glushkov that was called by Donatas Pilinkus. Action was then folded to Dimitrijevic in the big blind. He took a look at the stacks of both players and those two magic words, "all in".

It elicited two folds and Dimitrijevic's already sizeable stack got a boost of around 9,000. He's now up to 150,000. --RJ

3:55pm: Nearly 30 million up top!
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

That's Rubles, of course.

Tournament staff have just announced details of prize pool to the players, with the guarantee of ₽150 million coming into play. The 387-strong field didn't reach the guarantee, so there's a bunch of extra value out there folks!

The winner is going to get ₽29.1 million. Fifty-five places will get paid. The min-cash is ₽735,000.

We'll have the full break down on the payouts page very soon. --HS

3:50pm: An atmosphere of hatred
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

I've just discovered that Konstantin Puchkov, the World Series bracelet winner from Moscow, has a Twitter account. And although he tweets in Russian, it can be quite good fun to run it through the translations service provided by Bing.

Only two days ago, Puchkov was "Trying to display a third satellite in orbit" after "the first two were burnt in an atmosphere of hatred to moved to the opponents".

Let's keep it friendly now. That's enough hatred. --HS

3:45pm: More stacks
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Daniyar Aubakirov--remember him from Day 1A?--is back among the big stacks now. He's in the theatre now and sits with 260,000.

Other notable stacks in the side room:

Chris Moneymaker - 180,000
Seyed Ghavam - 165,000
Vladimir Troyanovskiy - 140,000
Aleksander Kosritsyn - 105,000
Konstantin Puchkov - 17,000 --HS


8G2A2123_Chris_Moneymaker_PCSochi2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Moneymaker still strong

3:40pm: Kuliev gets off the hook. Then gets hooked
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1600 (ante 200)

When Rustam Kuliev was all in with Q♠J♣ against Pavel Kovalenko's K♦J♦ he was in big trouble. However, a very kind 3♥4♦A♠5♠2♣ runout meant that he chopped the pot and lived to fight another day.

A day that lasted exactly one more hand. When Kuliev got his chips in this time he ran into Chris Moneymaker and couldn't get lucky a second time. He's out. --RJ

3:35pm: Ace on the flop seal's Makarov's fate
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Another departure, this time it's Alexey Makarov heading for the rail.

He moved all in with 4♦4♠ and got called by A♦K♠. The first card to hit the table face up was an ace, which ended Makarov's tournament. --SB

3:30pm: Kakhmazov KO's Timofeev
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Denis Timofeev's tournament has come to an end after a five-bet jam gone wrong versus Nadar Kakhmazov.

It was Kakhmazov who opened the action with a raise to 4,400 and after the player on the button called, Timofeev squeezed to 16,500 from the big blind. Kakhmazov played back at him with a four-bet to 36,000, and after the button folded, Timofeev ripped the rest of his stack in only to be snapped off.

Timofeev: A♣Q♦
Kakhmazov: A♦K♣

Timofeev was dominated and while there were some chopportunities by the turn on the 2♥T♠9♣9♠ run out, the 9♥ river meant that Timofeev was done and dusted.

He takes a walk as Kakhmazov climbs to an impressive 380,000. --BK

3:25pm: Hit the road, Jack
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Suleyman Suleymanov, Denis Timofeev, Van Thach Vu, Vladimir Lubyanov, Yeow Chung Chong, Ilya Sumzin, Laurynas Levinskas, Iamo Ut, Sertan Citinoglu and Vladimir Medvedev are all out. --HS

3:20pm: Galitski gaining
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Mikhail Galitski is now sitting with a whopping 250,000.

A few of those chips came from a recent elimination. Ilya Sumzin raised to 3,200 from the hijack that hand and Galitski three-bet to 12,000. Action folded back around to Sumzin and he moved all-in for a bit more.

Galitski quickly called and turned over A♥9♥ to Sumzin's J♠J♥ things were looking good for Sumzin on the 7♥7♦2♣ flop and then a 4♦ came on the turn to keep him in the lead.

Sumzin needed to dodge an ace on the river, but that's exactly what came down, an A♠. Sumzin hit the rail while Galitski chipped up to about 250,000.

Andrey Sakolishch and Tsogtjargal Yadamjav have also recently been eliminated. --AV

3:15pm: Big stacks in the big room
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

With only around 150 players now left, some big stacks are developing. Here's an assorted list from players in the main tournament room:

Big stacks:
Nadar Kakhmazov - 380,000
Jason Wheeler - 280,000
Timur Bubnov - 270,000

Big reputations:
Max Lykov - 105,000
Aleksandr Denisov - 170,000
Nacho Barbero - 49,000 --HS


NEIL0310_Max_Lykov_PCSochi2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Lykov's got plenty

3:05pm: That's one way to play Aces
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1600 (ante 200)

You get dealt aces under the gun with a 17 big blind stack. What do you do? If your name is Yury Filimonov you just ship it all in. And, when Dmitry Vitkind looks down and sees pocket queens, it will usually work out for the best too.

This was one of those occasions. The flop, turn and river failed to bring a queen - in fact, Filimonov even hit an unnecessary Ace on the river to add insult to injury.

Filimonov is now up to 62,000 after that hand while Vitkind could afford the damage - he's on 125,000. --RJ

3pm: Chauskin up to 170,000
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Ivan Arbatskii opened for 3,500 under the gun and found a caller in Natan Chauskin. Next to him Olga Finogenova was sitting side saddle in her chair and ready to raise, making it an even 10,000 to play. That made Arbatskii think again but Chauskin, one of the big stacks in the field, called to see the T♦8♦4♦ flop, taking out one earphone to show he meant business.

Both checked the flop which brought the A♠ on the turn. Chauskin went to his chips again and bet 15,000. It was a bet that made life difficult for Finogenova, who thought for a while before folding.

Another step up for Chauskin who now has around 170,000. --SB

2:55pm: The return
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1600 (ante 200)

Play has resumed for the third of five Day 2 levels. --JS

2:40pm: Break time

Players have gone on their first 20-minute break of the day. Remember, they're only playing five 75-minute levels today, so that means this is break one of two. Back at 2:55pm. --JS

2:38pm: Good call from Filipenko reaps rewards
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1200 (ante 200)

Yehor Filipenko completed from the small blind and called after big blind Arman Atshemyan bumped it up to 3,500. The two saw a 5♥J♠J♣ flop and both checked. Filipenko checked again on the 6♠ turn and now Atshemyan put out 6,000. It was called.

The river was K♦ and both players decided to keep it friendly and check. Filipenko's A♣6♦ was good and he moves on up to 63,000. Atshemyan is hovering around the 60,000 chip mark too after that hand. --RJ

2:36pm: Busto
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

With only a couple of minutes to go until the end of Level 10, there are only 165 players still remaining. The latest list of the departed includes:

Vitaly Karayan, Mikhail Chernyshov, Alexey Gatsko, Konstantin Ramazanov, Mikhail Manukyan, Andrey Gulyy, Andrei Narkevich, Vladimir Volov, Ekaterina Kaminskaia, Dmitry Yurasov, Danila Solovyev, Aliaksei Boika, Sarkis Karabadzhakyan, Ramil Boyazitov, Vadim Botosan, Dmitrii Makarov, Sergei Kan, Sergei Petrushevskii, Anton Pozdniakov, Matheus Duarte, Dmitii Merzlikin, Nikolay Fal, Robert Askarov, Ilost Allmy Chipski, Siarhei Buracheuski, Banjamin Lamprecht, Ihar Soika, Valerii Klimov, Iurii Simonov, Ricardo Tavares, Vyacheslav Bondartsev. --HS

2:34pm: Karayan KO'd
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Vitaly Karayan has been eliminated right before the end of Level 10 after he had kicker problems against Vsevolod Nikolaev.

Karayan raised to 2,500 preflop and Nikolaev flatted on the button before a flop of Q♥8♦9♦. Karayan continued for 3,000 and Nikolaev called again to see the 5♣ turn card.

After a check from Karayan, Nikolaev picked up the betting lead to the tune of 7,000 and Karayan snap-jammed all in for 24,000. Nikolaev called with just enough to cover and players revealed their hands.

Karayan: K♦Q♦
Nikolaev: A♠Q♠

They both had top pair but Karayan needed to find a king on the river to stay in the hunt. Unfortunately for him the A♣ river completed the board and he was sent packing as Nikolaev moved up to 67,000. --BK

2:30pm: River dilemmas
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Arash Khosravi was questioning his life.

His tournament life. Nacho Barbero had just bet enough chips to put him all-in on the river of a J♠2♣A♦4♣4♥ board. Khosravi counted out his stack, just 35,100 left. There was close to 20,000 in the pot before Barbero bet.

If Khosravi thought through the hand, here's what he should've remembered. Barbero started the hand with a raise to 2,600 from middle position and Pavel Kovalenko called from the button.

Khosravi called from the big blind and all three players checked the J♠2♣A♦ flop. Barbero bet 5,100 when the 4♣ came on the turn and Kovalenko folded. Khosravi called and that brought him to his dilemma on the river.

Call all-in or fold? Khosravi went for the fold. --AV

2:25pm: Big stacks
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Nadar Kakhmazov continues to dominate here and now has a stack of around 260,000. However, he is sitting to the right of Mikhail Rudoy and Rudoy is going to love that.

Those two were recently in the blinds and the rest of their table-mates left them to it. Kakhmazov limped from the small blind, Rudoy raised to 4,200 and Kakhmazov called.

They then saw a flop of Q♣2♥2♣ and Kakhmazov checked. Rudoy bet 3,800 and Kakhmazov didn't like it, but folded.

Rudoy has around 145,000 so there are potential fireworks. --HS

2:20pm: Where is Suleyman off to?
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

One player still in the tournament is right now not in the tournament, if that makes sense. By all accounts Suleyman Suleymanov arrived at the start of play, then excused himself, and has not been seen since. He's being blinded off slowly, with his starting stack of 57,000 buying him some time. However, he is already down to 29,000 so it can't last forever. --SB

2:18pm: Kan can
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Sergei Kan, one of three Uzbek's in the field today, limped from the button, which was called by Mikhail Galitski in the small blind and checked by Anton Gililov in the big blind, one of the players who bought in before the start of play today.

They saw a flop of 5♠T♥9♦.

It was checked to Galilov who bet 2,500. That got a call from Kan, but not Galitski. They saw the turn card J♠ and checked it for the T♣ on the river.

Galilov went to his stack again, and bet 5,800. Kan didn't respond immediately but when he did it was to re-raise, making it 13,500.

Galilov said something, but Kan didn't answer. After a few more words Galilov called. Kan showed a winner, Q♦8♥ and Galilov showed his A♣T♦ in response. --SB

2:15pm: Theatre play
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

The webcast table is literally in a theatre this afternoon. The tournament floor is now spread between the main function suite and the plush surroundings of an actual theatre, with seven outer tables and the webcast set on the raised stage.

It's a random table draw, but these seven tables have an array of talent around them. Chris Moneymaker is up there on the telly, but ElkY sits with Ramin Hajiyev, while Konstantin Puchkov neighbours Alexander Kosritsyn. We've also seen plenty of Dmitry Chop before, as well as Mikalai Vaskaboinikau, who came third in a High Roller event at EPT Malta.

It used to also be the case that Andrey Gulyy, the younger of the two poker-playing Gulyys, was here. But Vaskaboinikau just sent Gulyy to the rail, building his stack to around 142,000 in the process.

Chop was almost also responsible for an elimination a moment ago, but Vitaly Karayan found a fortunate run-out to survive. Karayan had A♦6♠ to Chop's A♠9♥ when they got it in pre-flop (Chop opened to 2,600, Karayan jammed for about 12,000 and Chop called). The flop brought the 6♣ and Chop never caught up.

Other stacks in the theatre:

Seyed Ghavam: 185,000
Mikalai Vaskaboinikau: 142,000
Chris Moneymaker: 120,000
ElkY: 94,000
Konstantin Puchkov: 52,000
Alexander Kosritsyn: 38,000 --HS

2:10pm: Everyone's a photographer
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1200 (ante 200)

Mikhail Sokolovskiy just made a huge call with pocket queens against Ramin Hajiyev's pocket sevens on the river of a T♥T♦3♦A♥9♥ board to double up to 110,000. He was pretty proud of it too.

Sokolovskiy quickly whipped his iPhone out and took a picture of the dozens of chips splayed across the table, presumably to arrive on a social media site near you very shortly. High roller regular Hajiyev, meanwhile, is out. --RJ


8G2A2193_Chips_Selfie_PCSochi2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Hajiyev's out, photos are in

2:05pm: Boyazitov busts
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Ramil Boyazitov has hit the rail after getting it in with the best of it but coming up short against Mikhail Galitski.

Boyazitov was all in preflop for 11,600 and having already put chips in the middle Galitski called it off with an optimistic holding to put Boyazitov at risk.

Boyazitov: A♣9♠
Galitski: 6♠3♠

Boyazitov was in front but things changed on the Q♠3♥6♥ flop with Galitski spiking two pair. Down to running cards Boyazitov couldn't recover as the J♣ turn and 7♦ river meant his tournament was over.

Boyazitov departs as Galitski's stack improves to 185,000. --BK

2pm: Jolly Gillov
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Anton Gillov was entertaining the table with his tank.

He'd just raised to 3,500 from middle position and Ramil Boyazitov moved all-in for 13,700 from the cutoff. The rest of the table got out of the way and that's when Gillov went on his seemingly entertaining tirade in Russian.

Gillov also tried to extract some information from Boyazitov and asked him a few questions. Boyazitov's response elicited more laughter and a call.

Boyazitov turned over T♠8♠ for his tournament life while Gillov showed A♣Q♥. Boyazitov was in need of some help and he got it on the 7♥8♣3♦9♠7♦ board. Boyazitov doubled to about 35,000 with his pair of eights while Gillov dropped to 84,000. --AV

1:55pm: Duarte departs
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1200 (ante 200)

Brazil's Matheus Rodrigues Duarte is the latest player to be eliminated, having shoved preflop with A♥J♠ and running into Aram Vartevanyan's pocket queens.

The T♥Q♦6♣ gave Duarte a gutshot but there was no king on the turn or river and so he was off to get his coat. Vartevanyan is now over the six-figure milestone and sitting on 105,000. --RJ

1:50pm: Bubnov building
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Dmitry Yurasov raised to 2,600 preflop and Alexey Chukhnin called next to act, but when it got to Timur Bubnov in the big blind, he squeezed to 7,500. Both Yurasov and Chukhnin called to see a flop of 6♣Q♣4♣.

All three players checked and the A♥ arrived on the turn. Bubnov then opted to pick up the betting again with a bullet for 14,100. Yurasov let it go and while Chukhnin gave it some thought he ultimately did the same.

Bubnov moves up to 190,000 following the hand. --BK


8G2A2202_Timur_Bubnov_PCSochi2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

The Bubnov hubbub

1:45pm: Some action not involving Petrushevski
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Sergii Petrushevski is down to around 25,000 and I hovered around his table in the expectation that he might try to do something about that. Petrushevski might look like a placid computer engineer, but he doesn't mind playing a few poker pots aggressively.

However, he had absolutely no input into the following three hands, all of which instead featured Vladimar Shashkov, to a greater or lesser extent. Shashkov has around 90,000 chips to play with, but it didn't go so well for him during this small sample.

In the first hand, Yehor Filipenko opened to 2,700 from under the gun and Oleg Chebotarev called from one seat along. Shashkov also called from the hijack and then Dmitry Nikitin bumped it to 13,000 from the big blind. Obly Shashkov called.

The dealer offered up the 9♠T♠K♠ and Nikitin led 17,000 at it. Shashkov sighed deeply but let his hand go.

On the next hand, Chebotarev raised to 3,000 from under the gun and Shashkov three-bet to 8,000. It certainly looked a little like a tilt-raise. Everyone passed back to Chebotarev and he moved all-in for around 60,000.

Shashkov again puffed out his cheeks and folded.

Next up, Shashkov was UTG+1 and he opted for a limp. That allowed Ilya Sumzin to limp from the hijack too and then our old friends Filipenko and Chebotarev came along for cheap from the blinds.

Four players looked at a flop of 9♠4♥A♦ and four players checked it. Then the 2♦ appeared on the turn. Filipenko bet 2,500 and now only Sumzin called.

The dealer completed the board with the 7♦ and Filipenko checked. Sumzin bet 2,800 and Filipenko called. Sumzin proudly showed K♦Q♦, which was otherwise known as the nuts. --HS

1:38pm: Huge pot, average hands
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1200 (ante 200)

Arash Khosravi was in the big blind and facing a 15,500 four-bet from Lavrentiy Ni. After a fair degree of deliberation Khosravi moved all in for around 65,000 total. There was no snap call or snap fold from Ni. He looked at the bet, counted his own stack and then finally moved sufficient chips into the middle to call.

Here were the hands, and they weren't of the premium variety:

Ni: 8♣8♦
Khosravi: K♦Q♦

A 3♣3♥5♥ flop prompted Khosravi to stand up and look for his coat but a crucial K♠ on the turn sat him right back down. A blank river ensured he doubled up to 145,000. Ni still has 90,000 to play with. --RJ

1:32pm: Two more down
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

If you're walking around the tournament room looking for Maksim Bura or Denis Gashko, you're going to be there a while. They're the latest to bust out, so why not go get a beer instead? --JS

1:30pm: ElkY boost
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

ElkY came into the day with only about 10,000 more than the starting stack, but he is now up to around 80,000. ElkY found aces and a willing opponent in the form of Daniil Goldshteyn. Goldshteyn flopped a straight and a flush draw with his T♦7♦, but didn't connect.

Maybe this will be ElkY's week after all. --HS

1:28pm: Shamrayevsky the rule breaker
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Anton Shamrayevsky is one of the bigger stacks in the field right now. He wears a Fight Club hoodie, which, I think I'm right in saying, violates rules one and two of Fight Club. Either way, it's all part of the image he's projecting, which has helped him increase his stack to around the 120,000 mark after a hand against Evgeny Nekrasov. Nobody has gone limp just yet, but Shamrayevsky seems in control. --SB

1:26pm: You dare to bet the turn!? Take this!
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1000 (ante 100)

A check-raise all in on the turn is one of the more adventurous moves one can see at the poker table and it was Daniil Kiselev demonstrating this fine art a few moments ago to excellent effect.

Daniil Goldshteyn was the victim, after he dared to bet 12,000 on the turn of a [td8♣5♠2♥ board. Kiselev was having none of it and shipped his entire 100,000+ stack into the middle. It was met with a swift fold from Goldshteyn.

After that nifty play Kiselev is playing 118,000 while Goldshteyn is on just 27,000. --RJ

1:24pm: Timofeev continues to climb
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Denis Timofeev continues to build and has now approximately doubled his starting stack. The latest boost came via a hand against Alexey Fedin and Roman Seleznev, respectively, who were in the blinds when Timofeev was on the button.

Timofeev opened the button and picked up those two callers. Then the flop came J♠2♠6♥ and both Seleznev and Fedin checked. Timofeev bet 2,500 and only Fedin called.

The 8♥ came on the turn and Fedin checked. Timofeev, who has never seen a turn card he didn't like after a check from a lone opponent, bet 5,500. Fedin folded. --HS


8G2A2220_Denis_Timofeev_PCSochi2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Timofeev on the up

1:22pm: Barbero takes a bite off Li
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Nacho Barbero is closing in on the six-figure mark.

In a recent victory, Barbero raised to 2,500 from the cutoff and Lavrentiy Ni three-bet to 6,700 from the small blind. Barbero called and a 9♠A♥Q♣ flop hit the board.

Li led out for 6,100 and Barbero called, sparking an even bigger bet on the turn. Li upped the bet to 13,800 after the 4♠ came on the turn. Barbero called again and another four, the 4♦, completed the board.

Li slowed down to a check and Barbero made it 14,000 to go. Li thought for a bit and then released.

Despite the loss, Li is still sitting with a healthy 165,000 while Barbero's stack rose to 95,000. --AV


8G2A2229_Jose_Barbaro_PCSochi2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Nacho's chips

1:20pm: Cut it short
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

We thought this might be the case, and we're just had it confirmed that we'll be playing five rather than six 75-minute levels today. That will mean play will end at around 7pm.

It's irrelevant for Dmitry Shutenko, Alexey Sorochinskiy, Sinopiants Arkadii, Alexander Lukyanov, Igor Arekin and Igor Yaroshevskyy as they are already out. --HS

1:15pm: Sorokin sends Arkadii packing
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Sinopiants Arkadii is the most recent Main Event evictee after finding himself down to essentially two big blinds before running into the pocket aces of Viktor Sorokin.

Nadar Kakhmazov raised to 2,000 under the gun and when it folded around to Arkadii in the small blind he committed his last 2,300. Sorokin sat in the big blind and he attempted to isolate with a raise to 8,300.

Kakhmazov called and the dealer spread a flop of A♠7♣4♥ before the action went check check. The K♠ turn, however, saw Arkadii bet 11,500 and Kakhmazov folded to see he'd made the right decision.

Sorokin: A♥A♣
Arkadii: 3♠3♣

Arkadii was already drawing dead and left his seat before the river was even dealt. With that pot Sorokin moves up to 74,000. --BK

1:12pm: Lykov bluffs some off
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1000 (ante 100)

Maxim Lykov started today with a healthy 78,700 but he's below that mark now after bluffing off some chips to Sergey Feklisov.

It was Feklisov who raised preflop and Lykov called to see T♣6♥7♣ hit the table. Lykov then lead out for 2,500 and Feklisov called. The 4♥ turn was checked by both but Lykov then went big on the river, betting 9,500. This gave some Feklisov some serious thinking to do but when he finally called he was happy to see Lykov holding K♦J♦ for a complete air-ball.

Feklisov had made a brave call with A♦7♦ for just a pair of sevens and it was good. He moves up to 87,000 while Lykov is now on 72,000. --RJ

1:10pm: More knockouts
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

In real terms, this tournament has a long, long way to go. These are still only the opening stages of Day 2 and we're not due to be done until Wednesday. Yet already we're seeing a rash of all-in flips.

Grigorii Rodin won his, when his T♦T♣ held up against Vitaly Karayan's A♥K♣. But moments later, Evgeniq Alikin was knocked out by Konstantin Puchkov when they went at it pre-flop.

Other eliminations already include: Alimbay Sultanov, Artem Nosach, Yerlan Aisin, Andrey Shatilov, Aleksei Dedov and Sergei Hohlov. --HS

1:08pm: One for Lykov, one for Yamada
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Two hands between Junya Yamada of Japan and Russian pro Max Lykov leave things, well, back where they started. In the first Yamada opened to 2,000 from under the gun, then folded to Lykov's three-bet in middle position. In the next hand Lykov opened to 2,200 before Yamada three-bet to 7,200. This time Lykov folded. --SB

1:05pm: Beware 666
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1000 (ante 100)

Natalia Panchenko has had a great start to Day 2, helped in no small part by hitting a set of sixes and getting paid off to the tune of 8,700 on the river.

She started the day with 51,000 and is now up to 74,000. --RJ

1pm: Bura's boost
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

We saw yesterday that Seyed Ghavam is capable of making big folds, or at least think about making big folds. When he was one of the tournament short stacks, he pondered long and hard about possibly folding top set (it wasn't the nuts) before eventually making a correct decision to call for his tournament life. After that, he went on a surge up the counts and was fourth of all in the room coming back today.

However, he'll maybe think he could have found a fold in a recent pot against Maksim Bura. But instead he called and it cost him about 30,000 chips.

It started with an early-position open from Bura and then a three-bet to 8,300 in the big blind from Ghavam. Bura then jammed for 29,000 and Ghavam went into the tank.

As he did last time, Ghavam emerged from his reverie with a call. But this time his A♦J♥ was behind Bura's Q♦Q♥ and stayed there after a board ran 4♥5♠8♣8♠T♥.

That gives Bura a lifeline. He's up to about 60,000 now. Ghavam sits with around 100,000 still. --HS

12:55pm: Scene stealers
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1000 (ante 100)

ElkY is in the starring role on Table 1 today, but it's his tablemates Alexander Nekrasov and Daniil Goldshteyn who are stealing scenes so far.

A third participant, Mikhail Sokolovskiy, kicked off proceedings with a raise to 2,200 from early position. Neksarov and Goldshteyn both called. Nobody showed much interest in the 7♦3♥K♦ flop as all three checked.

Neksarov now bet 3,500 on the 6♥ turn. Sokolovskiy folded and Goldshteyn now raised it to 8,500. After a bit of deliberation Neksarov called and it looked like we might have a big pot on our hands. However, it was a bit of an anti-climax as both players then checked the 8♠ river card.

The hands they turned over were quite surprising. Neksarov had 8♦4♦ for one pair and Goldshteyn won the pot with K♠T♦ for one bigger pair.

Neksarov is now on 76,000 and Goldshteyn gets a little bump up to 70,000. --RJ

12:50pm: Set over set helps Kakhmazov
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Nadar Kakhmazov is now sitting with a stack of 190,000 after he ended up on the right end of a set-over-set scenario against Andrey Morgun.

We picked up the action on the turn with the community cards reading 9♥2♦5♠4♠ to see Morgun lead out from the big blind for 3,000. Kakhmazov was in the cutoff and he played back at Morgun with a raise to 12,200.

Morgun stuck around and the dealer revealed the 8♠ river card. Morgun checked on the end and snap-called when Kakhmazov fired for 20,000.

Kakhmazov tabled 5♥5♦ for flopped middle set and Morgun flipped up pocket deuces to show that he'd been coolered. Morgun is still in contention however, now down to 20,400, while Kakhmazov moves up to 190,000. --BK

12:45pm: Another shove from Reshetov
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

There doesn't seem to be any reluctance to get chips into the middle on Table 19.

Sergey Feklisov opened again for 3,000, which Maksim Reshetov called. He'd just lost a pot and was looking to regain lost ground, so when Yulius Sepman made it 12,400 to play from the button and Feklisov folded, Reshetov saw his chance. He shoved. Sepman wasted little time folding.

Reshetov back up to 58,000. --SB

12:40pm: Seat open!
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

The race to the exit has begun in earnest, with the following heading to the side events already: Pedro Lamarca, Mikhail Medvedev, Aleksei Savenkov, Stanislav Vlasov, Nikita Bochkin and Dzmitry Rabotkin.

There are 216 players left. --HS

12:35pm: Two plus two
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

There's never exactly a bad time to turn the nut flush, but some times are clearly better than others. In this instance, it was Denis Gashko hitting gin with A♠J♠ after the first four community cards brought the 4♥K♠3♠5♠. But he only actually had 1,900 in his stack--not even two big blinds--and he was all-in for peanuts.

Maxim Mamonov and his A♣9♦ paid Gashko off (the river was the meaningless 9♣) which means Gashko stays alive. But he's still sitting with only about five big blinds and is still up against it to make this week profitable. --HS

12:30pm: Lively start
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

A lively start on table 19.

Sergey Feklisov opened for 2,000 which Nikita Bochkin raised to 5,500 from the cut off. That's the kind of three bet that often wins a hand, but Maksim Reshetov on the button next to him, called, which forced out Feklisov.

The flop came 6♦3♦4♠.

Bochkin bet another 4,200, but Reshetov came in with the raise, making it 10,000 to play. Bochkin, perhaps sensing danger, perhaps not, called.

The turn came 9♣. This time Bochkin checked, then visibly winced when Reshetov moved all-in. He thought for a few moments, but knew he was beaten. He folded, his stack dropping to 21,500, having been 37,000 at the start of play. Reshetov meanwhile moves up from 44,000 to 67,000. --SB

12:25pm: Lamarca leaves us
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Pedro Lamarca has been eliminated in the first orbit of the day after he came up short with pocket queens.

It was Yurii Zdanovskyi who kicked things off with an early position raise to 2,000 before Lamarca three-bet to 5,800 on the button. The action folded back around to Zdanovskyi and he moved all in for 58,900 to cover Lamarca by just a couple of chips.

Lamarca called off for his tournament life and the cards went on their backs.

Lamarca: Q♥Q♦
Zdanovskyi: A♣K♣

By the turn the board read T♣7♦9♦7♣ and Lamarca was a favourite to double up. The deck had other ideas, however, as the J♣ river improved Zdanovskyi to a flush and signalled the end of Lamarca's tournament run.

Zdanovskyi fist pumped at the sight of the river card and climbed to a new total of 120,000. --BK

12:20pm: No warm-ups here
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1000 (ante 100)

It may be early in the day but there's no gentle warm-up going on. Players are battling it out in big pots from the very start and, over on Table 7, it's working out well for Artem Savchenko and very badly for Sertan Citinoglu.

Savchenko raised under the gun to 2,000, picked up a call from Konstantin Kostyakov and then faced a three-bet to 7,500 from Citinoglu in the small blind. Savchenko called and Kostyakov folded.

The 8♣A♥7♥ flop brought a bet of 6,200 that was called by Savchenko. The two decided to play nice on the 6♥ turn, both checking. Citinoglu checked again on the K♠ river but the hand wasn't over just yet. Savchenko bet 5,000, got a call and was out in front with A♣Q♠.

Savchenko added the chips to his 72,000 chip stack and was all too willing to show me his name on the player badge in front of him as he did so. Citinoglu, meanwhile, drops to 42,000. --RJ

12:15pm: Timofeev off to a start
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Denis Timofeev is the most recognisable of the new buy-ins today. He was one of the dominant forces at the PokerStars Championship Panama Main Event, eventually beaten into third place by only Kenny Smaron and Harpreet Gill.

Neither of those players have showed up to Sochi, but Timofeev made a last-gasp dash to play.

He found his seat, two seats to the right of Jonas Lauck, and an empty seat between them. Said Butba, who should be sitting there, hasn't yet arrived.

Before the dealer could deal the first hand, Timofeev needed change as he was in the big blind. It meant they were slightly late in getting going. But then the dealer pitched the cards, six folds quickly followed, and Lauck opened to 2,200. Timofeev called.

The first flop was Q♣T♦6♦ and they both checked. The turn was the 8♠ and they both checked. Then the river was the 9♠ and they both checked.

Timofeev turned over K♥8♦ and Lauck mucked. That's not exactly a flying start for Timofeev, but it is a start. He has more than his starting 30,000 already. --HS

12:10pm: The names
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Andrei Narkevich, Andrey Razov, Mikhail Chernyshov, Anton Gililov, Alexey Gatsko, Dmitry Ponomarev, Valerii Klimov, and Denis Timofeev.

Those are your new entrants. They all start with 30,000 and they're all Russian. --JS

12:05pm: Let's get going
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Cards are now in the air here on Day 2. We're being told there were seven new entries this morning, so we'll bring you those names when we get them. --JS

11am: All in one room

Good morning all and welcome back to the mountains just outside the Black Sea resort of Sochi in Russia. This is your home for coverage of Day 2 of the PokerStars Championship Main Event.

Today the field combines under one roof, with survivors of Days 1A and 1B returning to play what is scheduled to be six 75-minute levels. It's not a huge field, so that may alter. But that's the plan.

There's a ₽150 million guarantee on the prize pool, and we're not there yet, so there could be an overlay. The full details of all the prize structure will be revealed after registration closes at noon.

After that, it's a pure freezeout over the next few days until we crown an inaugural champion in these parts.

PSC_Sochi_Manuel_Kovsca_Branding 17.jpg

PSC Sochi major trophies

The seat draw, chip counts, etc. are all available via the links at the top of the page.


Ready to embark on your own poker adventure? Sign up for PokerStars and begin your journey. Click here to get an account.

Take a look at the official website of PokerStars LIVE, with tournament schedule, news, results and accommodation details for the PokerStars Championship in Sochi and all other Festival and Championship events.

Also all the information is on the PokerStars LIVE App, which is available on both Android or IOS.

PokerStars Blog reporting team in Sochi: Stephen Bartley, Ross Jarvis, Brad Kain, Jack Stanton, Howard Swains and Alex Villegas. Photography by Neil Stoddart.