Before Level 23 could conclude, Helio Neves — the new short stack with six left — was in push-fold mode. And it went well for him, for a while, anyway,
Once the Brazilian was called after reraising all in over Colombian Daniel Ramirez’s middle position open, turning over A♠Q♥ versus Ramirez’s A♦K♦ and appearing in especially bad shape after a J♦8♥9♣ flop.
But the Q♣ popped out on the turn followed by a harmless river seven, and Neves’s normally stoic expression turned into a mischievous grin.
“I think he has me covered,” he said as the chips were counted, earning a chuckle as Ramirez had had about a 10-to-1 advantage preflop. Another push got through thereafter, and Neves was up over 400,000 again as they moved without a break into Level 24 (12,000/24,000/3,000).
About 15 minutes later Chadi Moustapha opened for 51,000 from the cutoff and Neves called from the big blind. The flop came 6♣4♠A♠ and Neves instantly checked. Acting with deliberation, Moustapha continued for 48,000 and after some thought Neves called.
The turn was the 4♣, and Neves tapped the felt right away once more. Moustapha looked across the table at him for several seconds, then pushed out a bet of 108,000. After some thought, Neves called again, leaving himself about 150,000 behind.
The river was the K♠, and Neves checked without hesitation a third time. The player from Lebanon watched his opponent once more for a short while, then set out a stack big enough to put Neves all in.
Neves tossed out a chip to call in a flash, and Moustapha quickly flipped over 8♠3♠ for a rivered flush. Neves nodded while pushing his cards face down toward the muck, then rose to depart having finished in sixth ($35,360).
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.