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Live updates from Day 2, levels 12 & 13 of the $25,000 High Roller brought to you by Howard Swains, Brad Willis, and Simon Young.
Click refresh to see the latest updates below. Click through to the chip count page for the chip counts, updated regularly throughout the day.

Previous coverage: Day 1 wrap | Levels 8 & 9 | Levels 10 & 11 | Levels 12 and 13

Level 14: 2,000-4,000 (400 ante)
Level 15: 2,500-5,000 (500 ante)

4.40pm: Molson doubles
Tobias Reinkemeier raised to 12,500 under-the-gun and he was called by William Reynolds on the button and Adolfo Vaeza in the small blind. Will Molson, in the big blind, moved all in for what the dealer counted to be 98,000 more. Vaeza thumped the table with his fist, but the action was on Reinkemeier, who decided to call. That made Reynolds’ and Vaeza’s decision easy: they both folded.

On their backs:
Reinkemeier AJ
Molson: KQ

The flop swung it in favour of Molson, though: 4KQ and he faded the ten. The turn was 6 and the river A.

4.35pm: That’s how he rolls
Adolfo Vaeza min raises to 10,000 from early position and gets a call from Dmitry Stelmark two to his left, Greg Raymer on the button and Shawn Buchanan in the big blind. On the 538 flop Vaeza made it 20,000 and only Stelmark called. The pattern was repeated on the 9 turn, with Stelmark calling 30,000 this time. Finally, on the J river, Vaeza bet 50,000 and was again called.

“Two pair,” Vaeza announced, turning over 89, and that was good.

4.30pm: Shove goes awry for Raymer
Greg Raymer raised to 12,000 under-the-gun and Tobias Reinkemeier was the only caller, in the big blind. The flop came 93J and Reinkemeier checked, prompting a bet of 18,000 from Raymer. Reinkemeier called. The turn was K and Reinkemeier check-called Raymer’s 35,000 bet. On the river Q Reinkemeier checked, Raymer moved all in, and Reinkemeier called.


Tobias Reinkemeier and Greg Raymer during the hand

“You got me,” said Raymer. “Small pair.” He opened 77. Reinkemeier showed K8 for a flopped flush draw that became top pair and then completed. Raymer had Reinkemeier covered, but was still forced to match Reinkemeier’s 191,000 stack on the end. Reinkemeier is now nudging 530,000, while Raymer is down to 165,000.

4:26pm: Three way all-in results in man down, woman way up
Carter Phillips came in for a raise to 10,500 and James Calderaro re-raised to 25,500. That’s when Sandra Naujoks moved all-in for 151,000. Neither Phillips nor Calderaro wasted any time in calling. Here were the hands on their backs.

Carter Phillips: AK
James Calderaro: KK
Sandra Naujoks: 99

Phillips had both players covered, so his tournament wasn’t at risk. More than half his stack, however was, and when the flop came down JJ9, the balance shifted way over the to female side of the table. Phillips needed runners and Calderaro was left with the case king or two remaining jacks to get out of jail. Neither came and Naujoks tripled up to more than 450,000.


Sandra Naujoks back from the brink again

Phillips fell back to 130,000. Calderaro was eliminated in 16th place for $41,160.


James Calderaro, 16th place, $41,160

4.15pm: Stop raising my blinds!
For a few hours now Alex Brenes has been getting annoyed at the constant aggression of William Reynolds, who took advantage of the long bubble period to slowly build a nice stack of around 300,000. Once, Brenes told him: “The next time you do that, I am going to move all if I have any two picture cards. I am telling you, I don’t need the money. I don’t care. I will push.”

Then it seemed to die down a bit until this hand. Reynolds made it 12,500 and Brenes made the call. The flop was Q23 and Reynolds fired out an 18,500 continuation bet. Brenes went into the tank, and then re-raised to 60,000. That may have confused Reynolds, but whatever, he folded. Brenes turned over triumphantly…


Reynolds gave him a “so what” expression, and again Brenes reminded him: “You are raise, raise, raise. It’s too much.”

This personal battle is bound to end in tears for one of them very soon.

4.10pm: Raymer pushes out Brenes and Stelmak
Alex Brenes raised to 14,000 in early position and Dmity Stelmak called on the button, as did Greg Raymer in the big blind. The flop was Q3Q and it got interesting very quickly. Raymer checked, Brenes checked and Stelmak bet 16,500. Raymer called, and then Brenes raised to 50,000 – or 33,500 more. Stelmak dwell-called. Raymer called quickly.

The turn was 4. If anyone was trapping anyone else, they elected not to spring it on the 4 turn. Everyone checked. But on the 8 river, Raymer announced that he was all in. Brenes seemed very upset to be forced to fold. Stelmak took even longer, but he also laid it down. That might have been even bigger, but Raymer takes it down without showing.


4:03pm: Marafioti, quieter
Matt Marafioti is not a quiet guy. A few minutes ago, he raised pre-flop and everybody folded. He showed big slick. “It’s okay! You guys can fold to me.”

James Calderaro smirked and said, “It was the first time you shut up.”

While Isaac Baron was polling his rail to see who had headphones, Marafioti was put all in by Lisa Hamilton. He tanked for a good long while before calling to see Hamilton’s pocket queens. Marafioti turned over AQ. The board didn’t offer the young cash game hero any help, and he’s back down to around his starting stack.

3:48pm: New table draw
Here’s how the new table draw looks.

Table 1
Seat 1: Matt Marafioti
Seat 2: Carter Phillips
Seat 3: Michiel Brummelhuis
Seat 4: Isaac Baron
Seat 5: James Calderaro
Seat 6: Sandra Naujoks
Seat 7: Lisa Hamilton
Seat 8: Joe Cada

Table 2
Seat 1: Alex Brenes
Seat 2: Shawn Buchanan
Seat 3: William Reynolds
Seat 4: Adolfo Vaeza
Seat 5: Will Molson
Seat 6: Dmitry Stelmak
Seat 7: Tobias Reinkemeier
Seat 8: Greg Raymer

3.45pm: Redraw
There’s a quick break while we lose a table and redraw for the last 18 players.

3.44pm: Minieri the bubble boy
He was the overnight chip leader, but now he’s out. Dario Minieri, the Team PokerStars Pro, is the bubble boy of the $25,000 High Roller and is the last player in the field to leave with absolutely nothing. All remaining players are now guaranteed $41,160.

Minieri pushed all in for 109,000 and it’s folded to Alex Brenes, who clearly has a decision to make. Minieri assumes he will fold.

“You always fold,” the Italian said. “Here, let me see what I have,” and he fumbled around in his pocket for some change. “I bet bet you $5 you will fold. Wait, make that $10,” and he slaps the two notes on the table.

But Brenes is having none of it.

“This is very close,” he said. After a few minutes of pacing and working out the possibilities, he announced: “I call.”


Alex Brenes ponders the call

Minieri: AQ
Brenes: 99

Minieri fancied his chances, but the flop was an emphatic one for the Costa Rican, coming 6Q9. “Oh,” Minieri said. The turn was 3 and the river J and the young Italian star is outta here.


Dario Minieri eliminated from High Roller event

3.41: Bubbles bursts on Minieri
Dario Minieri is our bubble boy. Full details to follow.

3.40pm: Bubble up for Marafioti
With a stack of only about 60,000 Matt Marafioti was under extreme bubble pressure. Nevertheless, he raised to 12,000 under-the-gun and Carter Phillips went into the tank of confusion on the button. Eventually, Phillips raised to 25,000 and Marafioti moved all in. Phillips couldn’t fold. Marafioti showed AA and Phillips opened AQ. The flop was not great for Marafioti 79Q but he faded the other two queens in the deck – or the runner, runner heart flush to chop – and doubled up.

Phillips quizzed him about the play and Marafioti said: “I’m the most obscure player you’ve ever seen.”

3:32pm: The three short-stacks Here are the three guys sweating hardest on the bubble.

Matt Marafioti — 60000
Shawn Buchanan — 72500
Isaac Baron — 105000

3.20pm: Back in action
With the black 100 chips gone, the players are back in action. We’re still on the bubble, folks, so expect a slow down in reporting for a little while yet.

3:05pm: Color up
The bubble must wait. We’re coloring up, getting rid of the 100 denomination chips, and getting ready to move up a level.

2.40pm: Bubble
With 17 players left, they’re currently playing hand-for-hand on three tables. The bubble’s bursting is imminent.

2.30pm: That Naujoks hand – a pictorial guide
Our photographer Joe Giron was on hand to record the full drama of that Sandra Naujoks versus Vivek Rajkumar hand (see 2.13pm below). Here’s the story in pictures:


Sandra Naujoks moved all in on the river, leaving Vivek Rajkumar, foreground, with a tough decision


Rajkumar called and Naujoks thought she had been caught on a bluff – she only had ace-high


The other players called Naujoks back to the table as she hadn’t looked properly at her opponent’s hand. Rajkumar also had ace-high, but with an inferior kicker


Naujoks couldn’t believe it, staring inquisitively at Rajkumar


“Did that just happen?” Naujoks confirms with the dealer


Naujoks retakes her seat…


… and begins stacking her newly renovated chip stack

2.30pm: Rajkumar eliminated, one off the bubble
Vivek Rajkumar has now departed, leaving us on the bubble. The newly chipped up Carter Phillips raised to 8,000 pre-flop and Rajkumar, newly, chip-downed, shoved from the button. Call. Rajkumar had A10 but Phillips had AJ. A jack flopped and another turned, sending Rajkumar to the rail. Or maybe the six-max tournament starting in the Imperial Ballroom about now.

2.25pm: Edler out
Bill Edler is gone, beaten by Dmitry Stelmak. The Russian defended his blind to an Edler pre-flop raise and they saw a flop of 103Q. The action didn’t get too hairy until the 9 turn, which is when Stelmak checked, Edler bet 12,000 and Stelmak moved all in. With only about 50,000 left, Edler had little choice but to call, but saw bad news straight away.

Edler: AQ for top pair. Stelmak: KJ for a straight. Edler leaves us.

2.23pm: Phillips doubles on the river
Michiel Brummelhuis makes it 27,000 and Carter Phillips moves all in for another 129,300. Call.

Phillips: AQ
Brummelhuis: 1010

The board ran J87K and Phillips was on the verge of elimination – until the river came A. Phillips is up to more than 300,000, Brummelhuis drops to around the same.

2.20pm: Baron time for Minieri
Dario Minieri, the overnight chip leader, continues to bleed chips. He just lost a vital coin flip against Isaac Baron. All in pre-flop it was 2-2 for Baron and 8-8 for Minieri. All well and good for the Italian – until the board ran AA245. He’s now down to 90,000, while Baron doubles up to 170,000.

2.13pm: Come back Sandra! You’ve doubled up
Sandra Naujoks has just doubled up, although she was convinced she had been eliminated when Vivek Rajkumar called her all in shove on the river. Naujoks button raised and Rajkumar called from the big blind. The flop was 792 and Rajkumar bet 18,500, which Naujoks called. The turn was 3 and Rajkumar’s check prompted a 25,000 bet from Naujoks. Call. The river was 3 and after Rajkumar checked, Naujoks moved all in.

Rajkumar wanted a count. The dealer told him it was “about 90,000” and Rajkumar asked him if he could get a precise count. The dealer obliged and told him that Naujoks’ all in was 89,500. “I don’t think I can fold,” said Rajkumar and called. Naujoks got up to leave, showing AJ for ace high. Rajkumar then tabled A8, for an inferior ace high.

“Where are you going?” Rajkumar said. “You win.” Naujoks couldn’t quite believe it, but sat back down and began stacking 295,000 chips. Rajkumar is down to 78,000.


Sandra Naujoks

2:12pm: For Richey, for poorest
Brett Richey is on the rail after his pocket tens couldn’t outrun Joe Cada’s pocket queens all-in preflop. Richey finished in 20th place.


Brett Richey

2:10pm: Hamilton shows Minieri a lady
Lisa Hamilton just doubled through Dario Minieri for 84,300 apiece. Hamilton’s KQ bested the Italian’s 44 when a queen came on the turn.

2.02pm: Richey aggression
Brett Richey makes it 11,000 and is called by Michiel Brummelhuis. In the small blind, Sandra Naujoks fancies her hand and re-raises to 37,000. Richey thinks only for a moment before moving all in. It’s around another 78,500 to Naujoks, and she decides to let it go.

1.57pm: Molson all-ins
Matt Marafioti makes it 10,200 and Will Molson wastes no time in moving all in. It’s 44,600 more for Marafioti, and that’s too much. This is the second time Molson has moved his stack over the line in ten minutes.

1:53pm: Fish Dario becomes Super Dario
After his early stumbles in the first level, Dario Minieri (who called himself “so fish!”) has returned from break in the all-too familiar Super Dario form. He came in for a raise under the gun and Lisa Hamilton raised him to 28,000 out of the small blind. Hamilton was leaving herself only 60,000 behind and out of position to Super Dario. Minieri immediately announced, “All-in.” Hamilton, the winner of the 2009 WSOP ladies event, tanked. She took a peek at the tournament clock. It told her what the blinds were and that the event is just four players off the money. She looked back at her chips, looked at the clock again, and then folded.

Soon thereafter, Isaac Baron came in for a raise and play folded to Dario in the blinds. Minieri immediately announced all-in and Baron insta-mucked.

Somewhere in there, Minieri began a discussion of the Q9. “I get so excited when I see suited cards in the blinds. Queen-nine suited is the nuts in the blinds!”

When it came time for Minieri’s button, he raised and got a call from James Calderaro. The flop came down 8JA, Calderaro checked and Minieri fired out a bet. Calderaro folded, asking, “Queen-nine of spades again?”

“I will not answer any more questions,” Minieri proclaimed, “but it was not queen-nine of spades.”

1:40pm: Moving on up
Players are coming back from their break. And so are we.


Adolfo Vaeza

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