PCA 2016: Day 1 $25,000 High Roller updates

January 12, 2016


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* Late registration remains open until the start of Day 2
* 120 players remaining of 212 entries so far (42 re-entries)
* Click here for a full recap of Day 1 action

12:03am: Day 1 concludes
Level 10 – Blinds 800-1,600 (200 ante)

The bagging has commenced here in the back corner of the poker room as Day 1 of the $25,000 High Roller has come to an end. Dustin Johns looks to have assumed the chip lead at the end after pushing all of the way up close to 300,000 to end the night, with both Robert Gorodetsky, Jared Jaffee, and Brian Yoon also nearby in the counts.

Brian Tae-Hyun Yoon-Event 74-25K NLH-PCA 2016-5178.jpg

Brian Yoon
11:55pm: Four more hands
Level 10 – Blinds 800-1,600 (200 ante)

The tournament clock has been paused and the announcement made that they will be playing four more hands and Day 1 will be done.

11:49pm: Chip leaders
Level 10 – Blinds 800-1,600 (200 ante)

With about 20 minutes remaining in the day these are the top five stacks:

Robert Gorodetsky – 320,000
Jared Jaffee – 318,500
Brian Tae-Hyun Yoon – 275,000
Dustin Johns – 272,000
Olivier Busquet – 271,500

11:31pm: Double up for Rasulov
Level 10 – Blinds 800-1,600 (200 ante)

Agshin Rasulov finished 122nd in the Main Event, which was good for $8,860 and he’s parlayed those winnings into a shot at this high roller event.

He found himself short-stacked, though, and just a moment ago put his tournament life on the line. He shoved for 13,600 with K♦Q♣ and Georgios Zisimopoulos called from the big blind with A♥7♠.

A Q♦J♦2♥2♦4♥ runout was just what Rasulov needed, and he stayed alive in this tournament. -NW

Agshin Rasulov – 29,600
Georgios Zisimopoulos – 87,000

11:25pm: Kitai falls to Cada
Level 10 – Blinds 800-1,600 (200 ante)

Davidi Kitai has fallen here in the last level of the night, although he could still return at the start of play tomorrow. The Belgian’s final hand saw him all in with a short stack holding 2♠2♣ and being up against Joe Cada’s A♥A♦. The board ran out 10♥3♥6♣8♥8♣, and Kitai is out. Cada has 146,000. –MH

11:19pm: McDonald busts Carrel
Level 10 – Blinds 800-1,600 (200 ante)

Mike McDonald and Charlie Carrel have been getting along like a house on fire today. They were drawn to adjacent seats and we’ve noticed them merrily chatting away on a number of occasions. If they want to continue any of those conversations, though, it’ll have to be somewhere else than the poker table as McDonald just busted Carrel from this tournament.

It all went in preflop. McDonald opened to 3,500 from the cutoff, Carrel three-bet to 8,200 from a stack of around 40,000, McDonald set Carrel in, and the Englishman snap called.

McDonald: 9♣9♥
Carrel: J♦J♥

The 7♠A♠5♥ flop kept Carrel in front, but McDonald spiked the 9♠ on the turn and there was no way back for Carrel after the 8♦ river. He tapped the table and wished everyone good luck. That was his first bullet, so Carrel may well be back for another try. McDonald now has 110,000. –NW

Mike McDonald_2016 PCA_25K HR_Day 1_Giron_8JG9641.jpg

Mike McDonald
11:08pm: Last level of the day
Level 10 – Blinds 800-1,600 (200 ante)

The tenth and final level of the day has just started. Looking at the tournament clock it says that 130 players are left in and that there have been a total of 212 entries, 42 of which are re-entries. –NW

11:04pm: Busquet busts Kanit, now challenging for chip lead
Level 9 – Blinds 600-1,200 (200 ante)

Olivier Busquet is up to 268,500 after winning a 170,000-chip pot against Mustapha Kanit.

The cards were already on their backs by the time we arrived at the table. Busquet had A♠K♣ and the Italian pro had Q♣Q♥, with the latter being at risk for around 85,000.

The 4♠J♠K♠ flop gave Busquet the lead and left Kanit drawing very thin. He didn’t get any help on the 5♦ turn or 9♠ river, and Kanit passed his stack to Busquet before leaving the table. –NW

10:57pm: Sammartino surges on, Vieira getting short
Level 9 – Blinds 600-1,200 (200 ante)

Joao Vieira (under the gun) and Dario Sammartino (under the gun + 1) had reached the turn of a 7♥5♦10♣7♣ board by the time we arrived at the table. There was roughly 32,000 in the pot and Vieira, who had just 37,000 back, was pondering his options. Eventually he settled on betting, and decided 11,200 was the right amount.

Sammartino thought for about a minute and then called. The 3♦ completed the board and both players checked. Vieira showed A♦Q♣, but Sammartino had outflopped him with A♠10♠. –NW

Dario Sammartino – 140,000
Joao Vieira – 25,000

10:50pm: Eyster doubles through Frey
Level 9 – Blinds 600-1,200 (200 ante)

Kevin Eyster just earned a small double-up versus Kyle Frey, and needed every last community card to do it.

All in with K♠10♦ versus Frey’s A♥10♦, the pair watched the board come Q♣2♥2♦, then 7♥, then… K♦! The king saved Eyster, who still sits well below the average with 35,000. Meanwhiel Frey has 112,000. –MH

10:46pm: O’Hara over O’Dwyer
Level 9 – Blinds 600-1,200 (200 ante)

Steve O’Dwyer open-raised all in with his last 15,300 from under the gun, then Ian O’Hara reraised all in himself from a seat over for 18,400. Eventually the rest of the table folded, and O’Dwyer showed A♦J♥ while O’Hara had K♦K♥.

The 9♣8♣J♣ flop was a start for O’Dwyer, giving him a pair of jacks, but the K♣ fell on the turn to give O’Hara a set of kings. O’Dwyer could’ve chopped had another club come, but the river was the 7♥ and O’Hara won the pot.

“Maybe I’ll draw the same seat,” O’Dwyer said to the table as he rose to leave, heading straight to the cashier in order to re-enter. He’s back in the tournament already, although after drawing a seat at a different table he’ll have another tough set of opponents against whom to battle.

O’Hara has 36,000 now. –MH

Steve O'Dwyer-Event 74-25K NLH-PCA 2016-4839.jpg

Steve O’Dwyer
10:35pm: Double-bummer for Boeree
Level 9 – Blinds 600-1,200 (200 ante)

It has not been a good 20 minutes for Liv Boeree. She busted once after running a pair sevens into the pocket aces of Salman Behbehani. Then shortly after re-entering she busted a second time and is now out for good from this single re-entry affair.

It was Mustapha Kanit who got her second stack. He raised to 2,600 from under-the-gun and called when Boeree three-bet to 7,000 on the button. The flop fell 10♠6♣2♦. There then followed a check from Kanit, a bet of 8,000 from Boeree, a shove from Kanit, and an all-in call from Boeree. She was the at-risk player, all in for 28,000 total.

Once more Boeree had run into aces, as Kanit showed A♣A♥, and Boeree nodded as she showed J♥J♣. The 5♦ turn and 10♣ river didn’t save her, and she’s out. Meanwhile Kanit is up to 89,000. –NW

Liv Boeree-Event 74-25K NLH-PCA 2016-5182.jpg

Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree
10:23pm: Kamel cut down
Level 9 – Blinds 600-1,200 (200 ante)

Tamer Kamel has been felted, losing the last of his short stack following a preflop all-in confrontation with Michael Telker. Kamel had A♦Q♥ and Telker 9♣9♦, but the board provided no help for Kamel and he’s out.

Telker has 54,000 now. –MH

10:17pm: Assorted chip counts
Level 9 – Blinds 600-1,200 (200 ante)

If you look below you’ll see a list of some of the chip leaders as the last level was concluding. Right here is a smattering of other chip counts from around the room as Level 9 gets under way. –NW

Dario Sammartino – 140,000
Anthony Zinno – 98,000
Talal Shakerchi – 84,000
Christoph Vogelsang – 83,000
Adrian Mateos – 81,000
Igor Kurganov – 76,000
Connor Drinan – 76,000
Jeffrey Rossiter – 74,500
Marvin Rettenmaier – 73,000
Mike McDonald – 64,500
Charlie Carrel – 64,000
Sylvain Loosli – 58,500
Davidi Kitai – 56,000
Ankush Mandavia – 55,200
Scott Seiver – 52,500
Daniel Negreanu – 51,000
Joe McKeehen – 50,000
JC Alvarado – 49,000
Noah Schwartz – 43,000
Ole Schemion – 41,000
Liv Boeree – 39,000
Shaun Deeb – 38,000
Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier – 34,000
Andrew Chen – 31,000
Kevin MacPhee – 30,700
Mustapha Kanit – 30,600
Justin Bonomo – 30,600
Steve O’Dwyer – 24,400
Isaac Haxton – 24,200
Paul Volpe – 21,000
Eugene Katchalov – 10,200

10:09pm: Level 9 begins
Level 9 – Blinds 600-1,200 (200 ante)

Players are back in their seats for the final two one-hour levels of the night. At the moment they’ve reached 200 total entries even for the tournament (with 32 re-entries), with 135 players currently playing. –MH


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9:54pm: Break time

Players have reached the end of the level and are taking what will be the last break of the night, lasting 15 minutes. Two more one-hour levels and Day 1 will be done. –MH

9:49pm: Negreanu takes a few from Kuether
Level 8 – Blinds 500-1,000 (100 ante)

Joe Kuether — who just finished fourth in the LAPT Bahamas Main Event last weekend — opened with a raise to 2,500 from middle position, then Daniel Negreanu three-bet to 6,500 from the hijack seat. It folded back to Kuether who paused a beat, then called the reraise.

Both players then checked the 7♦8♠J♦ flop as well as the 4♥ turn. The river brought the 2♦ and another check from Kuether, and Negreanu took the opening to bet 11,000. Kuether paused a bit, then tossed his cards away.

Negreanu is at 62,000 now while Kuether has 54,000. –MH

9:39pm: Boeree takes a seat
Level 8 – Blinds 500-1,000 (100 ante)

Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree has taken a seat here as Level 8 is coming close to finishing. She helps push the total entries up to 198 now, with late registration/re-entries still open through this and the last two levels of the night on up to the start of tomorrow’s Day 2. –MH

9:34pm: Dietrich doubles
Level 8 – Blinds 500-1,000 (100 ante)

After a raise to 2,200 from Chance Kornuth, a short-stacked Michael Dietrich moved all in for 12,900. When it folded back to Kornuth he called.

Dietrich: A♠K♥
Kornuth: K♦Q♣

A 3♦5♣4♥K♠3♠ board kept Dietrich in front and he doubles to about 28,000. Meanwhile Kornuth dropped down to 60,000. –NW

9:31pm: The World Champion departs
Level 8 – Blinds 500-1,000 (100 ante)

Joe McKeehen finished second in the $100,000 Super High Roller at the beginning of the festival, but he’s found it harder to get going in this $25K high roller.

He was down to 23,200 when he limped in from the cutoff, then Jared Jaffee called from small blind only for Ivan Soshnikov to three-bet to 4,200 total from the big. The decision was on McKeehen and he moved all in total. Jaffee folded, but Soshnikov called.

McKeeehen: A♠4♥
Soshnikov: Q♦Q♣

The 9♠J♥8♥5♠J♠ board kept the queens in front and McKeehen has departed. –NW

Joe McKeehen_2016 PCA_25K HR_Day 1_Giron_8JG9621.jpg

Joe McKeehen
9:22pm: Ins and outs
Level 8 – Blinds 500-1,000 (100 ante)

There’s still a consistent drip of of players entering this tournament with the likes of Dzmitry Urbanovich, Salman Behbehani, Alex Lynskey, Kevin Stammen, Sam Chartier, and John Racener (fresh off a 21st place finish in the Main Event) having all entered since the return from dinner. Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier is also now part of the field.

Bertrand ElkY Grospellier_2016 PCA_25K HR_Day 1_Giron_8JG9979.jpg

Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier
Going the other way are Thomas Muehloecker, Bryn Kenney, Patrick Kelly, Matthew Volosevich, Anthony Newman, Shaun Deeb, Joe Kuether, and Scott Margereson, all of whom have been stacked post-dinner. Of course with late registration open until the start of Day 2, we may see a few of those players again. –NW

9:08pm: Baron leading among the big stacks
Level 8 – Blinds 500-1,000 (100 ante)

We’re back from a quick trip around the tournament area, which is bigger than it was earlier today. Some players’ stacks are considerably bigger, too, and here’s a glimpse of the biggest ones we spotted during our recent travels. –MH

Isaac Baron – 176,000
Brian Yoon – 165,000
Charles Hook, Jr. – 152,000
Nick Maimone – 148,000
Alexandr Komarov – 145,000
Olivier Busquet – 142,000
Ivan Luca – 140,000
David Peters – 134,000
John Andress – 126,000
Anthony Zinno – 125,000
Faraz Jaka – 110,000

9:02pm: Matthew Volosevich doubles through Ivan Soshnikov
Level 8 – Blinds 500-1,000 (100 ante)

Matthew Volosevich was down to 10 big blinds (well, 10.2 to be precise), and he moved all in from middle position with pocket eights. It folded all the way to Ivan Soshnikov, who was in the big blind, and he made the call.

The Russian has won two side events this week at the PCA, but he wouldn’t win this pot as he held 4♥4♠ and didn’t hit on the 3♥J♣K♠2♥J♦ board. –NW

Ivan Soshnikov – 35,200
Matthew Volosevich – 21,700

8:58pm: O’Dwyer wins the race
Level 8 – Blinds 500-1,000 (100 ante)

The Steve O’Dwyer high roller legend continues as he just doubled up through Mike Leah in a classic race.

In the hand in question Leah raised to 1,800, there was a three-bet to 3,800, O’Dwyer then four-bet to 10,000 (or part of it, there were two blue 5K chips on the felt), Leah five-bet to 17,100, then after it folded back to O’Dwyer he shoved for 29,000 total and Leah made the call.

O’Dwyer: A♦K♦
Leah: J♠J♦

The A♣A♠4♣10♥8♦ board ruled decisively in O’Dywer’s favor and he’s now right back in it. –NW

Steve O’Dywer – 63,000
Mike Leah – 49,000

8:53pm: Level 8 begins
Level 8 – Blinds 500-1,000 (100 ante)

A new level has begun, with the big board showing total entries have reached 187 (with 25 re-entries) and 140 players still remaining.

One of the newcomers recently joining the fun is Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier, just a short while removed from his 20th-place finish in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event. –MH

8:42pm: Cada all but trebles up in six-bet pot
Level 7 – Blinds 400-800 (100 ante)

There was a big pot brewing between Joe Cada, Davidi Kitai, and David Yan. When the PokerStars Blog reached the table Cada was faced with a difficult decision for his tournament life. But let’s back up to the beginning — our thanks to Justin Bonomo for filling us in on the action we missed.

It was David Yan who took the first aggressive action of the pot. The New Zealander raised to 2,000 from middle position, Kitai flat-called from the cut-off, and Cada then three-bet to 6,900 from the big blind.

This is where the heat really got turned up, though. Yan didn’t call, instead he four-bet to 14,000, but Kitai wasn’t done either — he five-bet to 23,000 total. And this is where we found Cada.

Quite the bind, not one but two raises since he last put chips in the pot and he only had 20,000 back. He tanked and then with the look of a man who simply didn’t think he could fold a hand as strong as he had, but a man who wasn’t loving life, he moved all-in.

The bet was counted down — it amounted to 26,900 total and at this point Yan wanted to know if he could raise. Very quickly it was established that he could, but that if he called Cada’s shove then Kitai did not have the option to raise. It all proved academic as Yan folded. Kitai Put the extra 3,900 in, and it was time for showdown.

Kitai: A♥K♠
Cada: Q♥Q♦

It was a classic race and one that the pair would win as the board came 2♠6♥10♣9♠5♠. –NW

David Yan – 112,000
Joe Cada – 79,000
Davidi Kitai – 48,400

Joe Cada-Event 74-25K NLH-PCA 2016-5057.jpg

Joe Cada
8:32pm: If at first you don’t succeed…
Level 7 – Blinds 400-800 (100 ante)

The total number of entries continues to inch upward, now having passed the 180-entry mark. Jeff Rossiter busted shortly after getting short earlier, but he’s come back to join the fray. So, too, have Antonio Buonanno, Dario Sammartino, Adrian Mateos, Tamer Kamel, and Andre Akkari re-entered. –MH

8:28pm: Maimone the man
Level 7 – Blinds 400-800 (100 ante)

A recheck of stacks during the dinner break revealed Nick Maimone had pushed himself up into the chip lead to start play when they resumed. He’s up over 190,000 now, with Brian Yoon, Isaac Baron, and Aleksei Platonov forming the chase pack. –MH

8:26pm: Deeb doubles
Level 7 – Blinds 400-800 (100 ante)

Shaun Deeb was down to 8,700, got those chips in preflop with 2♥2♣, and found a customer in Ankush Mandavia who had 6♥6♠.

Mandavia busted out at the start of this level, but after rebuying he was hoping to score a bust out of his own. However the 9♠2♦5♠7♦K♠ board kept Deeb in front.

“That’s how you do it if you’re Shaun,” commented Daniel Negreanu after the hand. –NW

Shaun Deeb – 18,200
Ankush Mandavia – 41,300

8:22pm: Busquet bullies Drinan
Level 7 – Blinds 400-800 (100 ante)

Olivier Busquet and Connor Drinan both have six-figure stacks and they clashed in a sizeable pot shortly after the level began.

Jean-Pascal Savard was the guy who lit the kindling, raising it up to 2,000 from the hijack. Drinan then three-bet to 5,500 from the cut-off. Busquet was next to act and cold four-bet to 12,000. The raise got rid of Savard, but Drinan stuck around.

So heads-up to a 3♦J♣4♣ flop they went, and Drinan check-called a c-bet of 13,000. On the Q♠ turn Drinan checked again and Busquet announced that he was all in. He was the covering stack with 80,000+ whilst Drinan had about 77,000 back. The latter thought for less than 20 seconds before folding.

We earlier reported that Mustapha Kanit had busted, well he’s bought back in and is seated to the left of Busquet. –NW

Olivier Busquet – 142,000
Connor Drinan – 77,000
Mustapha Kanit – 50,000

8:19pm: Beckley takes from Dvoress
Level 7 – Blinds 400-800 (100 ante)

2015 WSOP Main Event runner-up Josh Beckley is here playing his first ever High Roller event today, and has been battling at around the starting stack for much of the day. Just now he was up against Daniel Dvoress in a hand. Dvoress has a bit of experience in these events, and in fact is just coming off cashing in both the $100K Super High Roller (finishing seventh) and in the $50K Single-Day High Roller (finishing sixth).

The hand began with a cutoff raise to 1,800 by Dvoress, with Beckley three-betting to 4,100 from the small blind and Dvoress calling. The flop came 5♥6♠9♦. Beckley led for 3,200 and after thinking a bit Dvoress called. The turn was the 8♠, and when Beckley bet 5,800, Dvoress again took a moment before letting his hand go.

Dvoress is down to 27,000 now while Beckley has moved up to 62,000. –MH

8:10pm: Komarov dents Hunichen
Level 7 – Blinds 400-800 (100 ante)

Daniel Negreanu has entered the tournament but as you can’t come in on the small blind he was forced to sit out the first hand at this table. It’s one that contains Chris Hunichen and Alexandr Komarov and after the first hand Hunichen was left wishing he’d been in Negreanu’s spot.

Komarov raised to 1,800 from early position and Hunichen defended from the big blind. Komarov then went on to bet 2,200, 4,700 and 8,800 on the flop, turn and river of a 6♠9♥A♥5♦2♠ board. Hunichen called all the way and mucked when Komarov showed 9♦9♣ for a flopped set. –NW

Alexandr Komarov – 134,000
Chris Hunichen – 49,500
Daniel Negreanu – 50,000

8:07pm: Mandavia busts to Greenwood
Level 7 – Blinds 400-800 (100 ante)

On the first hand back after the dinner break Ankush Mandavia busted out to Luc Greenwood. The latter raised to 2,000 on the button and Mandavia shoved for 21,600 from the small blind. Back on Greenwood he picked up a blue 5K chip and smiled at the decision he had. It seemed a close one and he pump faked to call a couple of times before throwing the chip in the pot.

Mandavia: A♠8♠
Greenwood: A♣9♥

The 4♣J♦3♥J♥9♠ board kept Greenwood in front and Mandavia tapped the table before leaving. Greenwood is up to 79,000 now. Meanwhile, Mandavia has already bought back in, however, and is walking to take a new seat. –NW

8:01pm: Night falls, Negreanu arrives
Level 7 – Blinds 400 – 800 (100 ante)

Among those who have joined the fun post-dinner is Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu.

Daniel Negreanu_2016 PCA_25K HR_Day 1_Giron_8JG9971.jpg

Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu
Right now the big board reports there have been 174 total entries with 17 re-entries, and 151 players currently playing. –MH

7:55pm: Level 7 begins
Level 7 – Blinds 400 – 800 (100 ante)

Players are back from dinner and Level 7 is underway. They’ll be playing four more one-hour levels tonight before bagging up, with the option to re-enter (just once) and late registration remaining open all night and up to the start of Day 2 tomorrow. –MH


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6:40pm: Dinner break

Players are now on a 75-minute dinner break. Play continues at 7:55pm.

6.36pm: Molson busts just before dinner
Level 6 – Blinds 300-600 (50 ante)

Between 2009 and 2011 Will Molson finished second, second and first in this event. If he’s going to repeat the trick this year then he’ll have to do it on his second bullet as he just busted to Brian Tae-Hyun Yoon.

In his exit hand Molson raised to 1,400 from middle position, Yoon three-bet to 4,000 on the button, Molson shoved for 20,225 and Yoon snap called.

Molson: A♣K♥
Yoon: A♥Q♦

Molson was in great shape to double up but the J♣9♦8♥6♥Q♥ board favoured Yoon. — NW

6:35pm: Akkari felted by Komarov
Level 6 – Blinds 300 – 600 (75 ante)

Just before the dinner break arrived, Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari lost the last of his short stack to Alexandr Komarov after his 9♥7♣ failed to improve versus Komarov’s A♠K♦. A nine did flop, but an ace came on the turn and Akkari hits the rail. –MH

Andre Akkari-Event 74-25K NLH-PCA 2016-5090.jpg

Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari
6:35pm: Rossiter hanging on
Level 6 – Blinds 300 – 600 (75 ante)

Jeff Rossiter was just all in before the flop for about three big blinds and up against three callers in Ole Schemion, Jean-Pascal Savard, and Rui Ferreira. The other three checked down the 9♠8♠3♦4♦9♣ board, and when Rossiter tabled 10♣10♦ it turned out to be best as Busquet had Q♦J♥, Savard 5♦3♣, and Ferreira 6♥6♠.

Rossiter open-raised all in the next hand to claim the blinds and antes, but as Level 6 nears its end he is still in the danger zone. –MH

Olivier Busquet – 115,000
Jean-Pascal Savard – 98,000
Rui Ferreira – 21,000
Jeff Rossiter – 7,500

6:30pm: Volpe crushes Kanit
Level 6 – Blinds 300-600 (50 ante)

Mustapha Kanit just ran a multi-street bluff and was picked off by Paul Volpe:

Pre-flop Kanit raised to 1,300 from the cut-off, Volpe called on the button and Ivan Luca did likewise from the big blind.

On the 3♥J♠Q♦ flop Kanit continued for 1,600 and Volpe was the only caller. Kanit only had 9,100 behind at this point and he bet 3,600 of it on the 9♦ turn. Call from Volpe. The Q♣ completed the board, Kanit moved in for 5,300 and Volpe took about 10 seconds before calling.

Volpe showed K♥J♦ and Kanit mucked face down, as this was an all-in pot the dealer showed his hand though and revealed 8♠7♦. So, even if Kanit had rivered his straight Volpe would still have won the hand with a better straight.

We suspect Kanit may be back, we’ll let you know if that occurs. -NW

Paul Volpe – 61,000

Mustapha Kanit-Event 74-25K NLH-PCA 2016-5009.jpg

Mustapha Kanit

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6:25pm: Updated chip counts, the sequel
Level 6 – Blinds 300 – 600 (75 ante)

We followed our early sojourn with a walk through the back half of the tournament room to collect some more selected counts. Scroll below and you’ll have the whole story. –MH

Tyler Patterson – 125,000
Anthony Zinno – 123,000
Ben Heath – 110,000
Keith Lehr – 106,000
Cary Katz – 105,000
Sylvain Loosli – 84,000
Marvin Rettenmaier – 80,000
Georgios Sotiropoulos – 78,000
Daniel Alaei – 72,000
Will Failla – 70,000
Christoph Vogelsang – 67,000
Talal Shakerchi – 60,000
Jeff Gross – 54,000
James Calderaro – 52,000
David Peters – 50,000
Dani Stern – 48,000
Sorel Mizzi – 45,000
Daniel Dvoress – 42,000
Jeremy Ausmus – 41,000
Sam Stein – 40,000
Joe Kuether – 37,000
Isaac Haxton – 36,000
Pablo Melogno – 32,000
Calvin Anderson – 32,000
Adrian Mateos – 25,000
Martin Finger – 18,000
Noah Schwartz – 18,000

Tyler Patterson_2016 PCA_25K HR_Day 1_Giron_8JG9706.jpg

Tyler Patterson
6:25pm: Do what I want you to do
Level 6 – Blinds 300 – 600 (75 ante)

Charlie Carrel checked the river with the board showing 8♠5♠J♥9♣Q♣ and, as Mike McDonald was thinking, Carrel stared him down. McDonald checked, and it wasn’t what Carrel wanted him to do.

Carrel had A♠10♠ for a straight, McDonald mucked. “Why won’t you do what I want you to do?” asked Carrel. Timex stayed quiet – probably for the best with the form that Carrel is in today.-RJ

Carrel: 90,000
McDonald: 56,000

6:20pm: Updated chip counts
Level 6 – Blinds 300 – 600 (75 ante)

A walk through the front half of the tournament gives us a chance to provide an update of a few counts from halfway through Level 6. –MH

Olivier Busquet – 125,000
Connor Drinan – 110,000
Michael McDonald – 108,000
Richard Seymour – 92,000
Davidi Kitai – 80,000
Jared Jaffee – 63,000
Mukul Pahuja – 62,000
Charlie Carrel – 60,000
Luc Greenwood – 60,000
Bryn Kenney – 58,000
Igor Kurganov – 55,000
Thomas Muehloecker – 50,000
Andre Akkari – 44,000
Ankush Mandavia – 36,000
Faraz Jaka – 35,000
Justin Bonomo – 35,000
Joe McKeehen – 32,000
Eugene Katchalov – 30,000
Sam Greenwood – 24,000
Sean Winter – 24,000
Jeff Rossiter – 22,000
Shaun Deeb – 21,000
Joe Cada – 19,000
Ole Schemion – 18,000
Aaron Massey – 13,000

olivier_busquet_pca2016_hrd1.jpgOlivier Busquet
6:15pm: Akkari’s comeback well and truly on
Level 6 – Blinds 300-600 (50 ante)

Team PokerStars Pro’s Andre Akkari was as low as 9,250 in level four. He’s rebounded since, doubling up, and is up to the giddy heights of 42,200 after getting river value from Tom Hall.

They were heads-up on a 7♣2♣10♦Q♠4♥ board and Akkari had bet 3,100 into a pot of 6,500. Hall went into the tank for a couple of minutes before calling. Akkari showed Q♥J♠ and Hall nodded as he mucked. -NW

Andre Akkari – 42,200
Tom Hall – 48,000

6:10pm: Unlikely fanboy
Level 6 – Blinds 300 – 600 (75 ante)

As fans of poker, we all love to see an incredible bluff that works. One of the best bluffs of all time happened right here at the Atlantis Resort, back in 2007. It was heads-up between Isaac Haxton and Ryan Daut and they were playing for a $1.5m first prize. It’s a long hand but to keep things short, Haxton had 3-2 off suit and after a crazy series of raises, he jammed the river with complete air and made Daut fold.

You’ve probably seen it. One other person who has seen it is Noah Schwartz, and he was just asking Haxton about it at the table. “Didn’t you have like 3-2 and just slam it on the table when he folded?” Ike smiled – yes, he did. Haxton took it from there. “We played outside and it was so windy. The dealer had to really push the cards to us so they didn’t flip into the air. I was crazy back then, I wouldn’t do that now!”

Schwartz said how cool it was, and they got back to playing poker. It’s good to know that even players at the very top of the game still love watching a good ol’ crazy bluff. – RJ

6:05pm: Beardy business
Level 6 – Blinds 300-600 (50 ante)

A hand that didn’t involve Bryn Kenney was in progress at his table so he stood up to talk to Tim Reilly, stroking his beard as he did so. Reilly asked Kenney if he needed a shave.

“This beard is two for two for high roller final tables,” said Kenney referencing his $100,000 Super High Roller Win and seventh place finish in the $50,000 Single-Day High Roller. “I can’t shave it off yet,” he added.

Hand over he sat back down, will his beard power him to another final table?–NW

Bryn Kenney – 56,000
Tim Reilly – 23,000

6:00pm: “Show me a bluff”
Level 6 – Blinds 300 – 600 (75 ante)

Following a Patrick Kelly shove on a 3♦K♦3♣6♣ board, James Calderaro hemmed and hawed a bit before finally releasing his hand. As he did, Calderaro spoke the line so many folders have uttered before.

“Show me a bluff.”

Kelly did show his hand — 8♦6♦ — a semi-bluff, at least, and Calderaro thanked Kelly as he noddingly said the hand did conform with his thoughts about what Kelly might have had.

Chip-wise, Kelly has about 45,000 now, while Calderaro sits with 60,000. –MH

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5:55pm: We meet again
Level 6 – Blinds 300-600 (50 ante)

High Roller and Super High Roller events are made up of a small pool of players and that means they face off against each other reasonably often. Such is the case today at table three where Steve O’Dwyer and Ivan Luca are sat side by side. They finished first and third respectively in the Single-Day $50,000 High Roller earlier in the week.

Another player at that table is Paul Volpe, he’ll have painful memories of that event as he finished on the stone bubble. – NW

Steve O’Dwyer – 62,000
Ivan Luca – 46,800
Paul Volpe – 48,000

5:50pm: Chip leader
Level 6 – Blinds 300 – 600 (75 ante)

Brian Altman looks like the chip leader in the high roller right now with 135,000.

5:50pm: Antonius busts
Level 6 – Blinds 300 – 600 (75 ante)

Olivier Busquet shoved and Patrik Antonius called with pocket Queens. The only problem was that Busquet had A♠A♥. A 6♣2♥8♦10♥9♥ board didn’t help the cash game legend catch up and he’s out – for now. All players are allowed one re-entry and Antonius was spotted enquiring how to do just that.

Busquet is now contending for chip leader status with 155,000. – RJ

5.45pm: Level 6 begins
Level 6 – Blinds 300 – 600 (75 ante)

They’ve moved on to Level 6 without a break, with the big board now showing 160 total entries (with 11 re-buys so far) and 139 players remaining. –MH

5.45pm: Flush eludes Reilly, Kenney chips up
Level 5 – Blinds 200 – 400 (50 ante)

With the board showing 5♦6♦J♠2♣, Bryn Kenney made an almost half-pot bet and after some thought Tim Reilly called, bringing the pot up to about 32,000. Kenney then fired at the 4♠ river and Reilly folded.

After the hand Reilly asked Kenney what he’d have done had he pushed on the flop, and Kenney said he wouldn’t have let his hand go. “On a draw, I guess?” asked Kenney, and Reilly confirmed he’d held the ace-queen of diamonds. “Haven’t hit a flush draw all day,” Reilly added.

As players near the end of Level 5, Reilly has 26,000 at present, while Kenney is sitting at 64,000. –MH

5.40pm: New table
Level 5 – Blinds 200-400 (50 ante)

Late registration is open until the start of Day 2 in this event and as a result new players continue to arrive. When there’s nowhere to seat them tournament staff have to open a new table.

To ensure fairness they don’t put all the new arrivals at one table, rather they randomly select the next big blind from a bunch of tables to form one new table. Such a situation just occurred and it’s resulted in Jonathan Little, Cary Katz, Emil Patel, Guillermo Olvera, and Georgios Zisimopoulos becoming table mates.

As they were moved a diet coke arrived for Katz but he was fresh out of dollar bills to pay the waiter, luckily Little stepped in to save the day. –NW

5:35pm: McKeehen’s river push nets chips
Level 5 – Blinds 200 – 400 (50 ante)

Greg Merson opened for 1,000 from middle position, then Matthew Volosevich called from the cutoff. Joe McKeehen was next to act on the button, and he made it 4,000 to go.

greg_merson_pca2016_hrd1_2233.jpgGreg Merson
The blinds folded, and the 2012 WSOP Main Event champion leaned forward to see how many chips the 2015 WSOP Main Event champion had left. Merson then folded, Volosevich called, and the flop came 8♣5♥3♣.

Volosevich checked, McKeehen bet 3,500, and Volosevich called. The turn was the 4♣. Volosevich checked again, and this time McKeehen bet 8,200. Volosevich thought a bit, then called.

The river was the 6♣. Volosevich checked a third time, and McKeehen pushed all in with the 21,000 or so he had left. The bet represented about half of what Volosevich had left, and after nearly two minutes of thought Volosevich decided against calling and let his hand go. –MH

Greg Merson — 85,000
Joe McKeehen — 58,000
Matthew Volosevich — 42,000

5:30pm: Selected chip counts
Level 5 – Blinds 200 – 400 (50 ante)

Olivier Busquet – 83,000
Greg Merson – 72,000
Elliott Smith – 65,000
JC Alvarado – 64,000
Sorel Mizzi – 62,000
Daniel Dvoress – 61,000
Ivan Luca – 55,000
Patrick Antonius – 52,000
Simon Deadman – 51,000
Sam Greenwood – 42,000
Adrian Mateos – 42,000
Justin Bonomo – 38,000
Isaac Haxton – 28,000
Bryn Kenny – 24,000
Sean Winter – 17,000
Will Molson – 16,000

5:20pm: PA system
Level 5 – Blinds 200 – 400 (50 ante)

This is one for the ladies: Patrik Antonius is in the house. He’s just taken his seat in the High Roller on a table that includes Connor Drinan, Jeff Rossiter and Olivier Busquet. – RJ

5:15pm: Nice turn, horrible river
Level 5 – Blinds 200-400 (50 ante)

Antonio Buonanno could hardly believe his luck. He was out but he couldn’t take it in. He sat at the felt motionless, not moving as his chips were pushed in the direction of Elliot Smith.

The pot had been three-way on the flop with Calvin Anderson holding the betting lead. He’d fired out 2,000 on the 10♦K♣J♣ flop, but swiftly got out the way when Smith called and Buonanno moved all-in for 15,125.

Action was now on Smith and he cut out the required amount to call from his stack and dwelled. Then he called.

Buonanno: K♠2♥
Smith: K♦Q♦

Buonanno, the EPT10 Grand Final winner, was in a world of hurt. The 2♦ turn bailed him out but the J♠ river gave Smith a better two pair and although someone at the table said ‘chop’ it wasn’t, and a stunned Buonanno is out. –NW

5:10pm: Greenberg grabs a few
Level 5 – Blinds 200 – 400 (50 ante)

With the board showing K♣A♣5♦J♦ and about 3,000 in the middle, Pablo Melogno bet 1,450 from the small blind, Lawrence Greenberg called from the big blind, and John Andress folded from late position. The 2♥ river then brought a check from Melogno, a bet of 1,500 from Greenberg, and a call from Melogno.

Greenberg turned over A♦3♥ and Melogno mucked, conceding the small pot. –MH

John Andress — 127,000
Lawrence Greenberg — 84,000
Pablo Melogno — 18,000

5:05pm: Busquet gets lucky
Level 5 – Blinds 200 – 400 (50 ante)

Olivier Busquet bet enough to put Sam Greenwood all in – 21,000 – on the turn of a 2♠J♣J♥9♥ board. It was causing Greenwood a large amount of concern. One problem was that there was only about 10,000 in the pot to begin with. Greenwood eventually came to the conclusion that he should call; it was a great decision.

Greenwood’s 10♠10♦ was in front of Busquet’s K♥10♥, but the newly pumped-up American had plenty of outs. One of those dropped on the river, the Q♣. That gave Busquet a straight and sent Greenwood on a stroll out of the tournament room. Busquet is now up to 52,000. – RJ

5:00pm: Soup-er hand for David Yan
Level 5 – Blinds 200-400 (50 ante)

It’s been a topsy-turvy tournament for David Yan so far. Shortly after doubling up Davidi Kitai he got an (almost) double-up of his own.

It was actually Kitai who got the action started in this hand. He raised to 1,000, Leo Fernandez called on the button and Yan then raised to 4,500 from the small blind. That got rid of Kitai, but Fernandez, who was busy spooning soup into his mouth, stuck around.

The flop fell: K♣4♥5♠

Yan continued for 4,400. Fernandez didn’t even look at Yan but continued to sup on his soup instead as he weighed up his decision. A couple of mouthfuls later he flicked in one 5K chip to signify a call.

The K♠ fell on the turn and Yan didn’t slow down (nor did Fernandez’s soup eating!). He bet 8,000 and after a glance at the board, and a sideways look at Yan, Fernandez stuck around to see the 2♥ complete the board.

Within five seconds Yan announced all in, he was the covering stack so it was an effective shove of about 27,500. Fernandez sat motionless – save for eating some soup – but after a minute or so he cut down his chips to see what he’d be left with should he fold. He had a few more spoonful’s of soup and then flicked in some green T25 chips to signify a call.

Yan rolled over A♣K♥ and Fernandez mucked, the dealer turned over his cards (it was an all in pot) to reveal the Argentinian had called with 10♣10♦. With that Fernandez got out of his chair, picked up his bowl of soup and wandered off to finish it. – NW

David Yan – 89,000

5:00pm: Selected chip counts

Jani Sointula – 135,000
Andrew Chen – 95,000
Charlie Carrel – 94,000
Richard Seymour – 92,000
Keith Lehr – 85,000
Jonathan Little – 77,000
Nick Maimone – 66,000
Andrey Zaichenko – 66,000
Luc Greenwood – 66,000
Talal Shakerchi – 64,000
Christoph Vogelsang – 57,000
Steve O’Dwyer – 50,000
Dani Stern – 50,000
Mike McDonald – 49,000
Ole Schemion – 48,000
Faraz Jaka – 41,000
Joe McKeehen – 39,000
Shaun Deeb – 38,000
Andre Akkari – 38,000
Calvin Anderson – 30,000
Mustapha Kanit – 26,000
Scott Seiver – 24,000
Eugene Katchalov – 16,000
Anton Astapau – 12,000

4.55pm: Straight versus bigger straight
Level 5 – Blinds 200 – 400 (50 ante)

Jean-Pascal Savard just got a lovely double-up courtesy of Yingui Li. The Chinese player bet 13,625 on the turn of a 10♣9♦J♦8♣ board. There were four to a straight out there already so Savard would have to have something good to continue. That’s what he did when he check-raised all in.

Li called and the cards were on their backs.

Savard: K♥Q♥
Li: A♣Q♣

Li was drawing dead to a chop and didn’t even get that on the offsuit Ace river. Savard now has 95,000 but Li is in big, big trouble on just 3,000. – RJ

4.50pm: The re-entry situation
Level 5 – Blinds 200 – 400 (50 ante)

A check of the big board to begin Level 5 shows 135 total entries thus far, with 126 players remaining.

There have been four re-entries to this point: Faraz Jaka, Christoph Vogelsang, Francisco Benitez, and Dani Stern. Players are allowed at most just one re-entry, and that option stays open along with late registration all of the way through to the start of Day 2. –MH


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4.40pm: Crikey, what a call!
Level 4 – Blinds 150 – 300 (25 ante)

(From the end of Level 4)

Charlie Carrel was facing a bet big enough on the river to put him all in. Anton Astapou was the one firing away as the board read J♠8♠8♥7♣3♥. As I arrived, Carrel said, “I’m thinking of making a hero call. The only problem is that I have no pair.”

Not to be cynical but this is a refrain we hear a lot. There are loads of poker players who ‘think’ about making a hero call but much fewer who actually have the guts and instinct to go through with it. Which category would Carrel fit into? As he continued to ponder, some other players at the table started to leave. Noticing that the break had begun gave Carrel an unexpected boost – “Oh, it’s the break. Nobody will call the clock on me!” Now with the added luxury of unlimited time, Carrel continued to probe Astapou but the Belarusian would not say a word.

anton_astapau_pca2016_hrd1_2146.jpgAnton Astapau
Carrel, as if trying to convince himself to call, said, “Well, it is a rebuy…”, and put the chips into the middle. Astapou flipped his hand and it took a few seconds to conclude that his Q♣10♥ equated to absolutely nothing. Carrel didn’t have too much either, just A♥K♥, but it was better than Astapou.

After that tremendous call Carrel is up to the heady heights of 100,000. Astapou drops all the way to 8,500 and will have been thinking about that hand all the way through the fifteen minute break period. – RJ

4:35pm: Play re-starts

We’re into level 5 with blinds of 200 – 400 (50 ante).-SB

4:30pm: Break time

After four levels players are currently taking another 15 minute break.

4:28pm: Loosli aggressive
Level 4 – Blinds 150 – 300 (25 ante)

In the last hand of the level, Sylvain Loosli opened for 800 from middle position, then Yingui Li reraised to 2,650 from the small blind. It folded back to Loosli who called, and the flop came 6♣3♥10♣.

Li checked, Loosli bet 2,100, and after some thought Li called. The 7♠ turn went similarly, with a quick check from Li, a bet without hesitation of 4,000 from Loosli, and again after taking some time to think, Li called.

The river was the K♣. Li checked one more time, and Loosli fired once again, this time 11,000. Li took a couple of minutes and then called, then mucked his hand when Loosli showed 7♥6♥ for two pair.

Loosli has 68,000 to end the level, while Li has 64,000. –MH

4:25pm: Davidi doubles through David
Level 4 – Blinds 150-300 (25 ante)

We arrived at the table to see Davidi Kitai receiving a large portion of David Yan’s stack. Kitai’s cards – A♠Q♥ – were still face-up, as were the community cards, and he had turned the nuts on a 6♣10♣J♣K♠2♠ board.

Another player at the table was kind enough to tell us that Yan had [J][T] and that the majority of the chips had gone in on the turn. Kitai is up to 75,000 whilst Yan drops to 27,000. –NW

4:25pm: Seymour fumbles
Level 4 – Blinds 150 – 300 (25 ante)

Three-time NFL Superbowl champion Richard Seymour is in today’s High Roller field and doing pretty good. He’s up to 62,000. He just lost a small one to Sean Winter when the latter three-bet him on the button to 2,600. Seymour found the fold, giving Winter respect for a good hand. – RJ

richard_seymour_pca2016_hrd1_2150.jpgRichard Seymour
4:25pm: Selected chip counts
Level 4 – Blinds 150 – 300 (25 ante)

Andrew Chen – 115,000
Richard Seymour – 80,000
Keith Lehr – 78,000
Jonathan Little – 75,000
Calvin Anderson – 70,000
Nick Maimone – 65,000
Talal Shakerchi – 63,000
Andrey Zaichenko – 63,000
Ole Schemion – 62,000
Luc Greenwood – 61,000
Anton Astapau – 52,000
Charlie Carrel – 51,000
Steve O’Dwyer – 50,000
Leo Fernandez – 50,000
Joe McKeehen – 42,000
Faraz Jaka – 42,000
Christoph Vogelsang – 42,000
Scott Seiver – 40,000
Shaun Deeb – 32,000
Andre Akkari – 26,000
Mike McDonald – 22,000
Eugene Katchalov – 21,000

4:25pm: Six-figure stacks
Level 4 – Blinds 150-300 (25 ante)

Ian O’Hara and Jani Sointula have both more than doubled their stack during the opening four levels. The American is up to 109,000 whilst Sointula has 104,000. –NW

4:20pm: Ike gets some back
Level 4 – Blinds 150-300 (25 ante)

Ike Haxton had slipped to about 21,000 but is back up to 32,000 after winning a pot against Sam Stein. There was 22,325 in the pot by the time the two players reached the river of a 6♥A♠J♦A♥K♣ board. Haxton (cut off) and Stein (button) both checked and Haxton was quick to show 6♦6♣ for a full-house and Stein mucked. “Scary run out,” said Haxton as he stacked the chips. -NW

isaac_haxton_pca2016_hrd1_2152.jpgIsaac Haxton
Ike Haxton – 32,000
Sam Stein – 34,000

4:15pm: A house full of kings and aces for Rettenmaier
Level 4 – Blinds 150 – 300 (25 ante)

It’s quite the field in the $25K High Roller, full of ace players and poker kings. Just now one of them, Marvin Rettenmaier, made an opening raise of 625 from middle position, and another, Kenneth Smaron, responded with a three-bet to 2,200 from the hijack seat. Everyone else let their hands go, and after a short pause Rettenmaier called.

The flop came 10♦9♣A♦, and Rettenmaier check-called a bet of 2,250 from Smaron. The K♦ then fell on the turn, and both players checked.

The river was the K♥, putting a second king on the board. Rettenmaier studied for a moment, then pushed out a bet of 5,425, and after a similarly-lengthed pause to consider the situation, Smaron tossed out a chip to call. Rettenmaier then tabled A♠K♣ for kings full of aces, and Smaron mucked.

Rettenmaier has 56,000 now, while Smaron slips to 33,000. –MH

4:10pm: Kamel tamed
Level 4 – Blinds 150 – 300 (25 ante)

Apologies if this is the curse of the poker writer but, after penning a comeback story from Tamer Kamel, he’s now out. It was a pretty interesting hand versus Luc Greenwood that put the fork in Kamel’s potato.

Kamel raised to 750, got one caller and then Luc Greenwood came along in the small blind too. The Q♣A♥8♣ flop was checked by all. Greenwood then led for 1,700 on the 8♦ turn and only Kamel called. The river was 10♥ and now Greenwood asked Kamel if he had any blue chips. Those are the coveted 5ks. Sadly for Kamel, he had no blue chips and only a mixture of lesser ones that added up to 9,000. Greenwood stuck him all-in.

It didn’t take long for Kamel to call, and he must have thought there was a decent chance his A♣10♦ was good. However, Greenwood had hit trip Eights on the turn with 8♠7♥ to relieve Kamel of his chips once and for all.

Of course, this event does allow for a single re-entry so there is a chance it won’t be the last we see of Kamel today. Greenwood is now on 72,000. – RJ

4:05pm: Welcome, and welcome back
Level 4 – Blinds 150 – 300 (25 ante)

As we thought he might, Faraz Jaka indeed rebought soon after being felted a little while ago by Tyler Patterson. Meanwhile Martin Finger and Dario Sammartino are among the latest newcomers to join the field. –MH


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4:00pm: Akkari survives all-in
Level 4 – Blinds 150 – 300 (25 ante)

Mohsin Charania opened for 800 from the cutoff seat, then Shaun Deeb made it 2,500 to go from the small blind. Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari then chose to four-bet all in from the big blind for 9,250. Charania thought a few beats and called, while Deeb stepped aside.

Charania tabled 9♣9♠, which meant Akkari had a couple of live higher cards with J♥10♥. The board ran out 8♦K♦J♠8♥10♠, hitting Akkari’s hand twice and helping him keep his seat about halfway through Level 4. –MH

Shaun Deeb — 33,000
Mohsin Charania — 24,000
Andre Akkari — 22,000

3:55pm: Wounded warriors
Level 4 – Blinds 150 – 300 (25 ante)

Earlier on, we reported that Tamer Kamel and Noah Schwartz were both enduring horrid, costly starts to the day. The good news for them is that they are both still in and their chip stacks are now heading in the correct direction.

Kamel has turned 2,000 into 10,500. He’s now officially back in the game. Schwartz lost most of his chips in an Aces-getting-rivered-by-Kings farce an hour ago. He was down to 9,000 but now he’s up to 19,000. Everybody loves an underdog, so come on Tamer! And come on Noah!*

*Disclaimer: We are impartial. We want everyone to win equally. – RJ

3:50pm: Zinno’s paradox forces Foxen fold
Level 4 – Blinds 150 – 300 (25 ante)

Okay, it wasn’t necessarily a paradox… but it was a puzzle that Anthony Zinno presented William Foxen just now.

anthony_zinno_pca2016_hrd1_2049.jpgAnthony Zinno
Preflop back-and-forthing between the pair resulted in a button reraise by Foxen, then an all-in push by Zinno from the cutoff. Zinno’s push easily covered what Foxen had left behind, and after a lengthy tank he finally let his hand go. Zinno is up around 65,000 now, while Foxen (fresh off a top 100 finish in the PCA Main Event) is down to 24,000. –MH

3:45pm: More for Anderson
Level 4 – Blinds 150-300 (25 ante)

Calvin Anderson is a tricky opponent and, as a result he often runs up big stacks during the early stages of tournaments. He’s increased his starting stack of 50,000 to 69,000 already and got his latest boost in a hand against Anthony Newman.

It was a blind on blind pot, with Newman in position, and by the time they’d reached the turn of a K♥9♦J♣7♥ board there was roughly 4,975 in the pot. Action was on Anderson, he splashed 2,800 into the pot and Newman made the call.

The river was the 4♦ and again Anderson bet. Only this time he was very deliberate and careful about the way he put his chips into the pot. His bet totalled 8,600 and Newman had seen enough a he folded his hand. -NW

Calvin Anderson – 69,000
Anthony Newman – 39,000

3:35pm: Selected chip counts
Level 4 – Blinds 150 – 300 (25 ante)

Andrew Chen – 115,000
Keith Lehr – 100,000
Nick Maimone – 76,000
Jonathan Little – 72,000
Calvin Anderson – 65,500
Charlie Carrel – 64,000
Richard Seymour – 61,000
Ole Schemion – 55,000
Luc Greenwood – 54,000
Joe McKeehen – 53,000
Shaun Deeb – 50,000
Greg Merson – 48,000
Scott Seiver – 47,000
Anton Astapau – 46,000
Talal Shakerchi – 29,000
Mike McDonald – 24,000
Eugene Katchalov – 19,000
Andre Akkari – 13,000

3:30pm: Huge double for Zaichenko
Level 4 – Blinds 150-300 (25 ante)

Andrey “Kroko-dill” Zaichenko already has one EPT High Roller title under his belt, having triumphed at EPT11 Prague. He just did his chances of winning a second title the world of good, doubling up through Govert Metaal.

I missed the pre-flop action, but the fact that there was already around 7,000 in the pot suggests that Metaal (under-the-gun) had raised, Zaichenko (under-the-gun+1) had three-bet and Metaal had called.

They went heads-up to a J♥7♦4♥ flop. Metaal checked, Zaichenko bet 3,500 and Metaal stuck around. The pot had therefore swelled to almost 50 big blinds by the time the 2♠ hit the felt. Again Metaal checked, once more Zaichenko bet – 8,200 this time – and Metaal was not for moving.

Time to upgrade this pot from sizeable to big! The 8♣ completed the board and Metaal completed his trio of checks. After about ten seconds Zaichenko moved all-in for 14,675 and Metaal tank called. The Russian showed A♦A♣ and although Metaal mucked, as it was an all-in situation the dealer was duty bound to show his cards, he’d looked Zainchenko up with a bluff catcher, 7♠6♠. –NW

Andrey Zaichenko – 59,550
Govert Metaal – 8,500

3.25pm: Level 4 begins
Level 4 – Blinds 150 – 300 (25 ante)

They’re taking it to a whole new level in the $25K High Roller, although the blinds and antes are staying right where they were in Level 3. The big board is showing 122 entries so far. –MH

3:20pm: Patterson picks up chips, Jaka felted
Level 3 – Blinds 150 – 300 (25 ante)

Nick Petrangelo raised to 800 from early position, and it folded around to Tyler Patterson who called from the button. Faraz Jaka called as well from the big blind, and the three players saw a flop come 4♦4♣Q♦.

nick_petrangelo_pca2016_hr_d1_2042.jpgNick Petrangelo
It checked around to Patterson who bet 1,500, after which Jaka put the rest of his stack all in as a check-raise to 7,125 total. Petrangelo thought for a short while, then called Jaka’s shove, and Patterson called as well.

faraz_jaka_pca2016_hrd1_2050.jpgFaraz Jaka
The Q♥ turn brought a second pair to the board and a couple of checks from the remaining players, and both Petrangelo and Patterson again checked the 5♠ river.

Patterson showed his hand — 5♥4♥ for fours full of queens — and after looking across the table for a few seconds Petrangelo mucked his. Jaka headed to the rail, perhaps with an intention to exercise his option to enter a second time (we’ll keep an eye out for that).

Meanwhile Patterson is up to 96,000 now while Petrangelo has 33,000. –MH

3:15pm: Yoon flops set, cracks Benitez’s aces
Level 3 – Blinds 150 – 300 (25 ante)

Catching an already begun big three-way hand over on Table 15 involving Brian Yoon, Francisco Benitez, and J.C. Alvarado, the board showed 5♦9♠Q♠ and after both Yoon and then Benitez committed the rest of their stacks, Alvarado stepped aside.

Yoon turned over Q♦Q♥ for top set, while Benitez had A♥A♦. “Kings, right?” asked Yoon of Alvarado of the hand he’d let go, who nodded to affirm.

The turn was the J♠ and river the 8♣, and as Yoon had Benitez covered he departed. Yoon meanwhile is up to 138,000, while Alvarado has a little under 30,000. –MH

3:05pm: “I’d be outraged!”
Level 3 – Blinds 150 – 300 (25 ante)

That was the outcry from Scott ‘Aggro Santos’ Margereson after a ruling that left a few members of his table dumbfounded. Before we get into it further, let’s rewind a second.

Charlie Carrel was facing a raise and considering his options. It looked like he was about to three-bet. But then the dealer pushed the pot to his opponent and started shuffling the deck. Whoops! Carrel’s cards were right in front of him and now we had a problem.

Nobody was annoyed with the dealer. When you’ve been dealing for twelve hours straight day in and day out, mistakes are just a part of the game. The best dealers, like we have here on the EPT, don’t make many of them but they’re only human too. The problem the table had was with the floor manager’s ruling that there was to be no more action in the hand and that pot had to be split between the two combatants.

Now we’re up to speed. Margereson said his piece and Carrel looked perplexed too. A second opinion was sought, this time from Tournament Director Luca Vivaldi. He agreed with the verdict, saying that if they continued to play the hand out things could get ugly. Cards that other players had folded would now be back in action and weirdness would ensue. So, after all that, the pot was chopped. And even Margereson now conceded that it was the right call. – RJ

pm: 2:55pm: Luca takes a seat
Level 3 – Blinds 150 – 300 (25 ante)

The Argentinian Ivan Luca has joined the field halfway through Level 3, taking a seat in between Mihails Morozovs on his right and Steve O’Dwyer on his left. Speaking of the latter, Luca is hoping here to improve on his third-place finish in the $50K Single-Day High Roller which was won by O’Dwyer. That finish was good for a career-high $494,080 score for Luca, who has nearly $2.6 million in career tournament earnings.

The big board shows 112 entries so far. –MH

2:40pm: Contrasting fortunes
Level 3 – Blinds 150 – 300 (25 ante)

In order to win a poker tournament it’s not essential that you get off to a great start. Countless players have lost a ton of chips early and made a stunning comeback to win all of the chips in the room. That’s the path that Britain’s Tamel Kamel will have to take if he wants to win any cash in this event. Through a series of unknown circumstances Kamel is down to just 2,000 and shoving at will.

<center<shaun_deeb_pca2016_hrd1_2009.jpgShaun Deeb

Just one table away it’s going much better for Shaun Deeb. He just jammed the river and escaped without getting called to take him up to 56,000. – RJ

2:25pm: Selected chip counts
Level 3 – Blinds 150 – 300 (25 ante)

Andrew Chen – 95,000
Ole Schemion – 80,000
Ian O’Hara – 78,000
Calvin Anderson – 67,000
Jonathan Little – 58,000
Charlie Carrel – 58,000
Joe McKeehen – 57,000
Talal Shakerchi – 55,000
Andre Akkari – 43,500
Mike McDonald – 37,000
Shaun Deeb – 36,000
Eugene Katchalov – 23,000

2:20pm: Play resumes
Level 3 – Blinds 150 – 300 (25 ante)
Players have returned for the third level of play. There are now 103 registered.-SB

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2.10pm: End of Level 2
Players are now on a 15 minute break. Some 98 players have registered so far.-SB

2:05pm: Latest arrivals
Level 2 – Blinds 100 – 200 (25 ante)

Thomas Meuhloecker
Tamer Kamel
Steve O’Dwyer
Andrey Zaichenko
Calvin Anderson
Marvin Rettenmeier
Sorel Mizzi
Isaac Baron
Justin Bonomo

2:00pm: Aces vs Kings
Level 2 – Blinds 100 – 200 (25 ante)

Noah Schwartz is not happy. Ole Schemion was causing the problem.

noah_schwartz_pca2016_hrd1_1940.jpgNoah Schwartz
There was plenty in the middle from earlier action in the hand, but on a board of 9♣6♠9♦8♥, and both players playing out of the blinds, Schwartz moved all-in for around 28,000, easily covering what Schemion had left. Schemion called and nodded when Schwartz turned over pocket aces. Schemion had kings.

The river came K♥

ole_schemion_pca2016_hrd1_1940.jpgOle Schemion
Schemion leaned over and dropped his kings onto the river card, as if playing snap. Schwartz walked off, muttering something, returning to his stack of 9,000. Schemion though is up to 81,000.-SB

1:55pm: Not this time buddy
Level 2 – Blinds 100 – 200 (25 ante)

When it was folded to Sean Winter on the button he made it 600. Mike McDonald was in the small blind and wouldn’t stand for this button abuse; he three-bet to 2,200. Now Charlie Carrel’s interest was piqued in the big blind. He gave Timex a good old stare and seemed to be thinking about getting creative before a begrudging fold.

charlie_carrel_pca2016_hr_d1_1938.jpgCharlie Carrel
Winter had had some time to think while Carrel was posturing. So when the action was back on him he moved quickly and four-bet to 5,800. McDonald folded. Maybe Winter did really have the goods, or maybe he just wasn’t prepared to lose this hand no matter what. He’s now back to his starting stack and ‘Timex’ is on 30,000. – RJ

1:50pm: Sean Winter has not been thrown out
Level 2 – Blinds 100 – 200 (25 ante)

“Can you believe I got 86th?” he said.

“You got 86’d?” someone asked.

“No, I finished in 86th place,” replied Winter.

Winter finished in 86th place in the Main Event. He was not “86’d”, which refers to being kicked out of a casino or bar.

1:45pm: Did he have quads?
Level 2 – Blinds 100 – 200 (25 ante)

The Greenwood twins continue to frustrate the field here in the High Roller with their solid play. This time it was Sam’s turn to win a pot and it was against Ole Schemion.

Schemion check-raised to 4,500 on the 5♠4♣5♦ flop and Greenwood called. The turn was 5♣, making quads for one of these players a very real possibility. Schemion checked now and Greenwood bet 3,000. It was enough to take the hand. Greenwood has 47,000 and Schemion is down to 41,000. – RJ

Ole Schemion – 41,000
Sam Greenwood – 47,000

1:35pm: This could get good
Level 2 – Blinds 100 – 200 (25 ante)

Charlie Carrel and Sean Winter are having a fun back-and-forth on their table. Carrel had cold four-bet pre-flop and was called by both Winter and Talal Shakerchi. A bet on the turn of a A♦2♦K♣6♣ board took it down for Carrel.

As he raked in the chips, Carrel took the time to compliment Sean Winter on his stare that had been in place during the hand. However, there’s a problem. Carrel is from England and has a thick, non-RP accent. Winter is American through and through and had no idea what Carrel was saying. So Winter took the time to point out how skinny and pale Carrel’s arms were instead.

“That’s why I don’t play these much”, said Carrell, “I give someone a compliment and they’re like f**k your arms!” It’s all fun and games – until the blinds increase later on, of course. – RJ

1:30pm: New arrivals
Level 2 – Blinds 100 – 200 (25 ante)

Shaun Deeb
Sean Winter
Andrew Chen
Nick Petrangelo
Noah Schwartz
Eugene Katchalov
Joao Veira

1:25pm: Andress wins against Shakerchi
Level 2 – Blinds 100 – 200 (25 ante)

Talal Shakerchi opened for 1,600 under the gun. The action was folded around to John Andress in the big blind who called for a flop of 4♠Q♦3♦.

talal_shakerchi_pca2016_hrd1_1940.jpgTalal Shakerchi
He then checked to Shakerchi who bet another 2,100, and Andress called again. The turn was the 10♠. It looked like the pattern would continue as Andress checked to Shakerchi who bet 4,100. But this time Andress raised to 13,500.

Shakerchi called and watched as the A♥ landed on the river. Andress immediately bet 17,000 and waited for Shakerchi, who looked at his cards again, eventually folding.-SB

Talal Shakerchi – 44,000
John Andress – 59,000

1:20pm: The other Greenwood is good
Level 2 – Blinds 100 – 200 (25 ante)

We just reported that Luc Greenwood is off to a good start, but he has a twin in the High Roller crowd today and he is doing just fine too. Sam Greenwood squeezed to 2,500 from the small blind after a raise and call from Jeff Rossiter and Christoph Vogelsang. It was enough to make both men fold and pick up the pot. Greenwood is just over his 50k starting stack now. – RJ

Sam Greenwood – 50,000

1:10pm: Greenwood gets his way
Level 2 – Blinds 100 – 200 (25 ante)

Andy Philachack is complaining that he just can’t win a pot against Luc Greenwood today. The latest loss came when both checked the river of a 8♠5♥9♠9♣5♣ board. Greenwood’s Ace-King was good enough to beat the K♥Q♥ of Philachack, who is down to 39,000.

Greenwood is up to 60,000 after a good start. – RJ

1:05pm: A new level
Level 2 – Blinds 100 – 200 (25 ante)

Play has entered level 2, however the blinds are repeated for a further hour.

1:00pm: Lovely Carrel
Level 1 – Blinds 100 – 200 (25 ante)

It’s never quiet when Charlie Carrel is in town – either visually or aurally. The Brit is looking resplendent in Aladdin-style flowing trousers, a bright orange vest and flowery scarf. In fact, he has brought a collection of loud scarves with him today and dished one out to compatriot Simon Deadman, who is sat on a neighbouring table.

charlie_carrel_pca2016_hr_d1_1830.jpgCharlie Carrel
Carrel will have a tough time in front of him on the poker tables today, though. He’s seated with Talal Shakerchi, Mike McDonald, Peter Jetten and NFL legend Richard Seymour. It’s started just fine for Carrell, he has 50,000. – RJ

12:55pm: Latest arrivals
Level 1 – Blinds 100 – 200 (25 ante)

Just arrived to take their seats are:

Andre Akkari
Govert Metaal
Daniel Dvoress
Ole Schemion
Jeff Rossiter
Christoph Vogelsang

andre_akkari_pca2016_hr1_1830.jpgAndre Akkari has taken a seat
12:45pm: Magic Ike
Level 1 – Blinds 100 – 200 (25 ante)

Isaac Haxton is having a good PCA with two final tables and over $700k in winnings so far. He’s started well in this one too, winning a pot versus Tyler Patterson just now.

Patterson check-raised on the 5♠6♣7♣ flop and Haxton called. The action slowed down on the 6♦K♠ turn and river, both going check-check. Haxton turned over 7♦5♦ for a flopped two pair and it was good against Patterson’s J♥9♣. Ike is now on 55,000. – RJ

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12:30pm: Shakerchi wins an early pot
Level 1 – Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Talal Shakerchi is up to 53,000 after a hand against Brian Tae-Hyun Yoon. After some pre-flop betting and calling the flop came 6♣3♥10♥. Shakerchi check-called Yoon’s bet of 1,800 for the 8♥ turn card. Both checked for the 4♣ on the river. Here Shakerchi bet 6,600. Yoon thought about it but was forced to pass.-SB

Talal Shakerchi – 53,000

12:25pm: Merson is not turbo-charged
Level 1 – Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

It’s the first sighting of Greg Merson in one of the marquee High Roller events this week. Acclaimed poker author (and tablemate) Jonathan Little wondered why Merson didn’t play the one-day $50,000 event.

The reason? “I hate turbos.” Merson also said he had no idea what to do in them – though we suspect Merson’s version of no idea is significantly better than ours… – RJ

12:15pm: World champion of world champions
Level 1 – Blinds 100 – 200 (25 ante)

High roller poker players are very good at some things – mainly poker – but tend to be very bad at another thing, turning up on time. Today’s $25k event officially started at noon but quite a few tables are only now starting to fill up. And it’s a certainty that there will be a steady stream of players filing in throughout the day too.

Two players who did show up bang on time are 2012 WSOP world champion Greg Merson and his 2015 counterpart Joe McKeehen. They’re seated across from each other and will be out to prove who wears that shiny gold bracelet better than the other. – RJ

12:05pm: Among those who have taken their seats
Level 1 – Blinds 100 – 200 (25 ante)

Jonathan Little
Joe McKeehen
Olivier Busquet
Mike McDonald
Talal Shakerchi
Luke Greenwood
Simon Deadman
Isaac Haxton
Charlie Carrel
Scott Seiver
David Peters
Greg Merson
Will Molson
Richard Seymour
Keith Lehr

11.45am: Re-enter the high rollers

As the Main Event plays on into Day 4 the high rollers return for a three-day $25,000 buy-in single re-entry contest. Play starts at noon today, with three days of play ahead.


Want to be here next year? Sign up for PokerStars and start your journey. Click here to get an account.

Take a look at the official website of the PCA, with tournament schedule, videos, news, blogs and accommodation details for the Atlantis Resort in The Bahamas.

Also All the schedule information is on the EPT App, which is available on both Android or IOS.

PokerStars Blog reporting team on the $100,000 Super High Roller: Stephen Bartley, Martin Harris, Ross Jarvis, and Nick Wright. Photos by Joe Giron and Carlos Monti.

Atlantis_pca2016_hr_d1.jpgAtlantis resort, Paradise Island


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