The remaining 11 High Rollers bag up on the penultimate day of the PCA festival tonight, set to return tomorrow to race the Main Event to the finish line. Today though, it was a race to the money.
But would prove something of an anti-climax. After several hours of play, thinning a field that was 129 strong as play began, the bubble proved a non-event, passing as it did in a blur lacking any drama. Both Jeff Rossiter and Paul Volpe departed within seconds of each other, popping the bubble even before tournament staff had stopped the clock for hand-for-hand play.
That meant those remaining had reached the money, a field that by this point still featured the likes of Team PokerStars Pros Daniel Negreanu, Andre Akkari and Jake Cody, as well as regular high rollers Scott Seiver, Bryn Kenney, Jonathan Little, Igor Kurganov, Davidi Kitai and others.
Chip leader Jean-Pascal Savard
Leading at that point though was Dan Heimiller, who would have a part in ending the day of one of those Pros, but by the close tonight, it is Jean-Pascal Savard who leads, bagging up 2,433,000 chips tonight and in pole position to reach the final table tomorrow.
The chip counts tonight are as follows:
Jean-Pascal Savard (Canada) 2,433,000
Oleksii Khoroshenin (Ukraine) 2,256,000
Dan Heimiller (United States) 2,123,000
Dominik Nitsche (Germany) 1,965,000
Ilkin Garibli (Azerbaijan) 1,410,000
Lee Markholt (United States) 836,000
Nick Petrangelo (United States) 800,000
Scott Seiver (United States) 761,000
Bryn Kenney (United States) 610,000
Joe Kuether (United States) 520,000
Faraz Jaka (United States) 368,000
Action in the money was at times dramatic. Jonathan Little, who talked to us about note taking earlier today, departed in 31st place after a race against Robert Tepper. Dominick Nitsche found aces on a king high board against Davidi’ Kitai’s ace-king, costing the Belgian enough to force him all in and out in 25th place shortly after.
Then with three tables remaining the last remaining member of Team Online, Vicente Delagado, who survived a table of death earlier, departed in 19th place, and when Garrett Greer left in 17th play was reduced to two tables.
Team Online’s Vincente Delgado
By now the lead was changing hands regularly, with Nitsche and Ilkin Garibli taking turns in front. Akkari’s high roller would soon be over, out in 16th place in a three way all in against Piotr Franczak and Jean-Pascal Savard. Akkari’s fives proved powerless against Franczak’s kings.
It left Negreanu as the sole remaining Team Pro, but he tenure was also be short lived.
On a flop of 5♦6♥7♠. With betting and raising, Heimiller was all in, with Negreanu calling, showing two pair with 6♠7♦. Heimiller was counting on help, showing 4♦2♦. To Negreanu’s chagrin he got it, a three on the river to make an unlikely straight, condemning Negreanu to a second consecutive 14th place finish in the PCA High Roller.
Play continued for another 30 minutes, with Savard finishing strongly to close on the lead. It remains to be seen tomorrow whether in a field stacked with talent he can hang on to it.
The Imperial Ballroom at Atlantis now grows quiet, as both the high rollers and the Main Event finalists leave for a night of rest before what will be a momentous day. They leave a few assorted side events and cash games playing on, and a steady and distinctly wobbly flow of revellers, returning from the PCA party, to check in on the action.
Action from the PCA continues tomorrow, with coverage of the High Roller event here on the blog through to the end. You can also follow the action from the final table of the Main Event, from six down to one, on EPT Live, with cards up, subject to a one hour delay.
Until then, good night from the Bahamas.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.