Friday, 9th December 2022 13:42
Home / Uncategorized / APPT Macau: Nitsche bubbles giving Foxen a huge final table chip lead

What’s the best storyline to lead this ‘end of Day 2’ article with? We can’t decide.

Is it that Alex Foxen holds a massive chip lead (more than a third of the chips in play) going into tomorrow’s nine-handed finale? He bagged the chip lead last night too, and has carried it all the way to the final table without any major slip-ups. Could he now win a big tournament just two days after his girlfriend Kristen Bicknell did?

Foxen is dominating

Or is it that Macau’s favourite chatty poker player Shan Huang survived two late all-ins to reach back-to-back Super High Roller final tables at consecutive PokerStars events here in the City of Dreams (having finished eighth in this event back in October)?

Huang’s been very fun

Maybe it’s that Dominik Nitsche bubbled in the last hand of the night? Foxen had opened to 130,000 from the button and Nitsche made a big three-bet shove to around 1.35 million from the small blind. It folded back to Foxen who snap-called with the AK, which was dominating the German’s A3. He found no help, which also meant he earns no money.

Tough end for Nitsche

Or is it simply that we now have an incredible overall final table line-up that will be returning tomorrow, which also includes Patrik Antonius, Isaac Haxton, Christoph Vogelsang, Kahle Burns, Brian Rast, Sam Greenwood and Rainer Kempe?

They’re all pretty good storylines, aren’t they? And you won’t want to miss the end of the story, so make sure you join us back here on the PokerStars Blog tomorrow from 1pm local time as we bring you exclusive updates until a champion is crowned.

But how did we get to this point? Well, by lots of players being eliminated, basically. The aforementioned Kristen Bicknell couldn’t go deep despite her win the previous day, busting to Australia’s Kahle Burns when her pocket fours got rivered by queen-jack.

Burns delivered another beat to Nick Petrangelo, one far more brutal than just winning a flip. Petrangelo was all in with the AA against Burns’ AK, but when four spades were laid out on the board, Petrangelo was well and truly cracked.

Nice run for Burns

Spare a thought for Kazuhiko Yotsushika and David Peters too. They finished 12th and 11th respectively; just shy of the money.

Here’s how they’ll stack up when they return:

Name Country Chips
Alex Foxen USA 7,055,000
Kahle Burns Australia 1,865,000
Christoph Vogelsang Germany 1,780,000
Patrik Antonius Finland 1,520,000
Sam Greenwood Canada 1,440,000
Rainer Kempe Germany 1,190,000
Brian Rast USA 790,000
Shan Huang China 685,000
Isaac Haxton USA 675,000

And here’s a look at the seat order:

Seat Name Country Chips  
1 Patrik Antonius Finland 1,520,000  
2 Christoph Vogelsang Germany 1,780,000  
3 Alex Foxen USA 7,055,000  
4 Kahle Burns Australia 1,865,000  
5 Rainer Kempe Germany 1,190,000  
6 Shan Huang China 685,000  
7 Isaac Haxton USA 675,000  
8 Sam Greenwood Canada 1,440,000  
9 Brian Rast USA 790,000

They’re all chasing the HKD$7,560,000 first-place prize, while they’re all now guaranteed a min-cash worth HKD$750,000.

Scroll down to read all the day’s blow by blow action. Then how about we meet back here at 1pm tomorrow? Sounds good to us. –JS

Day 2 coverage archive

• PLAYERS: 9 (total 68 entries, inc. 19 re-entries)
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1:40am: Nitsche out on bubble, Foxen in the lead
Level 19 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

It took some time but the bubble has officially popped. Dominik Nitsche is the last player to bust without a payday in this event. The final hand began with Alex Foxen raising to 130,000 from the button and Nitsche making a big three-bet shove to around 1.35 million from the small blind. It folded back to Foxen who snap-called.

Nitsche: A3
Foxen: AK

The flop didn’t improve things much for Nitsche but he did pick up a gutshot as it rolled out 754. The turn and river were bricks, however, finishing out Q4 to make Nitsche’s exit official.

The remaining nine players are in the money and will return to play to a winner tomorrow. Stay tuned for official chip counts and a recap coming soon. –MS

Tough end for Nitsche

1:15am: Late night chips
Level 19 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 5,000)

Back to it. Let’s get this bubble burst. –JS

Name Country Chips
Alex Foxen USA 5,250,000
Christoph Vogelsang Germany 1,845,000
Kahle Burns Australia 1,665,000
Sam Greenwood Canada 1,560,000
Dominik Nitsche Germany 1,535,000
Isaac Haxton USA 1,500,000
Rainer Kempe Germany 1,200,000
Shan Huang China 965,000
Brian Rast USA 930,000
Patrik Antonius Finland 550,000

Foxen has huge lead

1:05am: Change of plan, guys

OK, here’s what’s happening. A decision has been made by all the players that instead of ending it, they’re going to keep playing (after a 15-minute break) until the bubble bursts.

It could take five minutes. It could take two more hours. Stick with us. –JS

1:02am: Huang doubles again!
Level 18 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Shan Huang has shown some serious tenacity on this bubble and he just scored another double-up to stay alive. He also took a big bite out of Isaac Haxton’s stack in the process.

The money went in before the flop once again with Haxton’s 99 a slight favourite over Huang’s AK. The flop came A33, vaulting Huang into the lead, and it ran out 108 to give Huang the double.

Huang is now on 940,000 while Haxton is down to 550,000. –MS

He’s Huanging around

1am: Vogelsang doubles
Level 18 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Christoph Vogelsang is right back in the hunt after finding a great spot to call all-in.

He was down to 755,000 in the big blind and called them off after Kahle Burns set him all-in from the small blind.

Burns: 67
Vogelsang: JJ

The board ran A10728 to safely see the jacks home. “I’m going to bubble now!” Said Burns who dropped to 1.6 million. –MC

Vogelsang doubles again

12:55am: Foxen extending lead
Level 18 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Alex Foxen has a big stack and he’s using it to beat up the rest of his table as we approach the end of the night. He’s got a wall of chips in front of him and he’s nearing the 5 million mark.

He’s been very active preflop, coming over the top with a squeeze almost every time there’s a raise and call in front of him. Most recently Rainer Kempe opened to 125,000 from the cutoff and Sam Greenwood called on the button. Foxen was in the small blind and started cutting out chips while eyeing down Dominik Nitsche who was still to act in the big blind.

Foxen announced all-in and the Nitsche, Kempe and Greenwood all sent their hands to the muck. –MS

12:45am: Huang’s deuces hold up to double up
Level 18 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Shan Huang has been the life of this tournament for the last two days and that energy didn’t let up for a second even when his tournament life was on the line on the bubble moments ago.

Huang open-shoved for 275,000 from under the gun and got a quick call from Kahle Burns one seat to his left. The rest of the table got out of the way and we saw it was a race with Huang’s pocket deuces the slight favourite against the A9 of Burns.

The flop gave Burns straight outs, coming KQJ but the turn and river missed completely to give Huang the double-up. Although Huang is still relatively short he’s got a bit more room to maneuver with about 655,000. Burns is still stacked with 2.3 million. –MS

12:30am: Bubbling away
Level 18 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

There’s now just half an hour left to play on the day. And we’re still on the bubble! Will it burst before the night is over? –JS

12:20am: River call sends big pot to Antonius
Level 18 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Patrik Antonius has been patiently working a middling stack for some time but just took a big step up thanks to a confident river-call against Kahle Burns.

Burns opened to 100,000 from the button and Antonius called in the big blind with just under 1 million behind. The flop came A66. Both players checked and the turn brought the Q. Antonius check-called 125,000 and the river was the J. Antonius checked and Burns slid a stack of 25,000 chips across the line, totalling half a million.

Antonius thought it over for about 15 seconds before making the call. Burns tabled J9 but Antonius had the best of it with A8 for aces up and the pot. Antonius is now on 1.85 million while Burns is down to about 2.4 million. –MS

Antonius on the up

12:10am: Vogelsang is five alive
Level 18 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Christoph Vogelsang survived an all-in race to double up to more than 770,000. He three-bet all-in for 330,000 after a raise to 100,000 from Kahle Burns.

Burns: KJ
Vogelsang: 55

The board ran 6Q428 and Burns dropped to a still considerable 3.1 million –MC

It’s good to be Vogelsang

12am: Peters’ valiant effort thwarted
Level 17 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Not long ago David Peters was down to less than two big blinds. He managed to fight his way back to a respectable 15-big blind stack but, sadly, that run has come to an end thanks to Kahle Burns.

His final hand began with Patrik Antonius opening to 80,000 from under the gun and Peters moving all-in for just over 500,000 from the cutoff. It folded to Burns in the small blind who quickly made the call. Antonius folded and the cards were revealed.

Peters: 1010
Burns: AK

Peters didn’t have much of a sweat as the flop came down K86. Things got even worse as the board finished out 79. Peters had made a straight but Burns had the best of it with the nut flush.

Peters is out two spots off the money but don’t feel too bad. He finished runner-up yesterday in the APPT Macau National High Roller for USD$188,000. Meanwhile, Burns is up to 2.65 million. –MS

Peters out in 11th

11:50pm: Foxen takes from Rast and gives to Nitsche
Level 17 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Alex Foxen settled on around 3 million after winning a bunch off Brian Rast but losing them straight to Dominik Nitsche the very next hand.

Rast raised from the cutoff and Foxen defended his big blind to see a J53 flop. Rast continued for 100,000 and called when check-raised to 315,000. The A turn was checked through before Rast folded to a 585,000 bet on the 6 river. He dropped to 1.5 million.

Foxen raised to 140,000 the very next hand and Nitsche peeled and called another 55,000 on an AA2 flop. Foxen then check-called 250,000 on the 10 turn before the 10 river was checked. Foxen opened 24 but Nitsche took it, and moved up to 2.1 million, after tabling A5. –MC

11:35pm: Second mission complete
Level 17 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

He’s done it again!

Kahle Burns opened to 85,000 from the cutoff and called after David Peters moved all-in for 300,000 from the big blind.

Peters: 88
Burns: KJ

The board ran a blank 64293. The bank of Burns dropped to 2.8 million and Peters is no longer the shortest stack with 650,000. –MC

Peters looking pleased, refusing to bust

11:25pm: Peters doubles but still short
Level 17 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Part one of David Peters’ comeback mission has been successfully completed after he doubled through Kahle Burns.

He moved all-in for 90,000 from the button and Burns called from the big blind.

Burns: 54
Peters: A9

The board ran 639A4 to make the American two pair. He’s up to 230,000 now, still the shortest stack of the 11 remaining players. –MC

11:15pm: Peters on fumes as he doubles Haxton
Level 17 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

David Peters has dropped down to 150,000 after he doubled up Isaac Haxton.

The latter moved all-in for 535,000 from the hijack and was successfully isolated by Peters who moved all-in from the seat seat.

Haxton: AQ
Peters: 99

The board ran 631010Q. Haxton had to wait until the last card but he got there. Peters has a lot of work to do now if he wants to cash. –MC

Haxton sees the miracle river

11pm: Back to business
Level 17 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Here’s how the stacks look as we return from the break. –JS

Name Country Chips
Kahle Burns Australia 3,330,000
Alex Foxen USA 2,700,000
Sam Greenwood Canada 2,460,000
Brian Rast USA 1,950,000
Dominik Nitsche Germany 1,940,000
Rainer Kempe Germany 1,240,000
Patrik Antonius Finland 1,085,000
David Peters USA 655,000
Isaac Haxton USA 610,000
Shan Huang China 505,000
Christoph Vogelsang Germany 500,000

Burns leads the bunch

10:45pm: Break time

Players are now on their last break of the night. When they return we’ll either play two more 60-minute levels or until we burst the bubble and get down to eight players – whatever happens first. –JS

10:45pm: Greenwood catches Nitsche bluffing for massive double
Level 16 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 4,000)

Dominik Nitsche has been one of the big stacks for the last few levels and he’s been very active putting those chips to work. It just backfired on him in a massive hand against Sam Greenwood.

Greenwood limped from the button and Alex Foxen called in the small blind. Nitsche raised to 150,000 from the big blind and only Greenwood called. The flop came out 996 and Nitsche bet 125,000. Greenwood called and the turn was the 2. Nitsche fired again, this time 200,000, and again Greenwood opted to just call.

The river was the 5 and Nitsche let the clock run down before announcing all-in. His chips were barely across the line before Greenwood had thrown in a single 25,000 chip, indicating a call.

Greenwood couldn’t call faster

Nitsche turned over AK for ace-high plus the pair of nines on the board while Greenwood quickly tabled A9 for trips and a huge double up. He had 773,000 behind which, when doubled and added to what was already in the middle, gave him 2.44 million. Nitsche is knocked down to 1.88 million. –MS

Nitsche gets caught

10:40pm: OK, NOW it’s hand for hand
Level 16 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 4,000)

Looks like Alex Foxen got his wish. It’s now hand for hand. –JS

10:30pm: Hand for hand? Not just yet
Level 16 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 4,000)

Alex Foxen has just asked the floor if it would be possible to go hand for hand despite not being on the direct money bubble yet. He’s got a point; there is a big chip disparity between the two tables currently, with far more chips and big stacks on the table with Foxen, Dominik Nistche, Brian Rast, Rainer Kempe and Sam Greenwood.

As of right now though, play is resuming as normal. –JS

10:20pm: Foxen, Nitsche Battling
Level 16 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 4,000)

Their chip stacks haven’t changed that much but Alex Foxen and Dominik Nitsche haven’t been shy about going toe-to-toe during this last level. Nitsche is sat to Foxen’s left and in their last confrontation Foxen limped when it folded to him in the small blind.

Nitsche pumped it up to 125,000 from the big blind and Foxen called, paving the way for a Q43 flop. Dom fired out 120,000 and after a few moments of thought Foxen called. The turn was the 4 and after checks from both players the river brought the 5.

This time Foxen took the initiative and pushed 175,000 into the middle. Nitsche didn’t take long to push his cards towards the dealer, sending the pot to Foxen.

Nitsche now has 3,35 million while Foxen is on roughly 2.25 million. –MS

10:05pm: Antonius on a (sushi) roll
Level 16 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Life’s pretty sweet for Patrick Antonius right now. He just had some pretty delicious looking sushi rolls delivered and then he three-outed Isaac Haxton to double up.

The Finn moved all-in for 482,000 from the cutoff and was called by Haxton on the button.

Antonius: A9
Haxton: 1010

The board ran A2438 to pair Antonius’ ace. Haxton dropped to 790,000. –MC

Nice hand(roll) for Antonius

9:55pm: Nitsche extends lead
Level 16 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 4,000)

German tournament crusher Dominik Nitsche just clashed with Alex Foxen in a big way, coming out on top to extend his chip lead.

Nitsche opened from under the gun to 75,000 and Foxen re-popped it to 315,000 from the big blind. Nitsche called and the flop rolled out 1097. After a check from Foxen, Nitsche cut out three short stacks of 25,000 chips totalling 300,000 and slid them across the line.

Foxen thought it over for a few moments before tossing his hand in the muck. His stack is down to 1.8 million while Nitsche is up to 3.35 million. –MS

9:45pm: Yotsushika falls to Rast
Level 16 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Kazuhiko Yotsushika from Japan was the latest player to depart, falling to Brian Rast who’s moved up to 2.3 million.

The action folded around to Yotsushika on the button and he moved all-in for 931,000. There was some confusion over the value of the shove as Rast asked for a count, then he moved all-in as well from the small blind.

Rast: AJ
Yotsushika: 99

The board ran K52A7 to pair Rast’s ace. Just three more will leave without a payday. –MC

Yotsushika’s chips go Rast’s way

9:35pm: Don’t fold, don’t fold … F*CK!!!
Level 15 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Shan Huang is hands down the most entertaining player in this field and right now he’s losing it precisely because his opponents keep laying their hands down.

Huang open-shoved the last two hands, first for 400,000 and then for 460,000, and as the action folded around the table he repeated the mantra, “Don’t fold, don’t fold, don’t fold.”

When the final player mucked each time, he let loose with a forceful expletive starting with the letter F, smacking the table with his palm as he yelled it.

He quickly apologized and tried to give Isaac Haxton a handful of 25,000 chips to make amends, pulling them back as Haxton reached across the table. “It’s okay. I’ll give them to you when I bust,” said Huang, smiling. He’s now up over half a million and showing no sign of slowing down. –MS

Huang, mid-expletive

9:25pm: Nitsche takes the lead after busting Bonomo
Level 15 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

A huge pot just went down that cost Justin Bonomo his tournament life and propelled Dominik Nitsche in to the chip lead with roughly 3 million.

Brian Rast had opened to 55,000 from early position, picking up calls from Nitsche and Bonomo in the blinds. All three checked the J107 flop before Bonomo led on the 8 turn. Only Nitsche check-called to the 4 river where he checked once more. Bonomo bet 125,000 and the bet sent his German opponent into the tank. Nitsche used a time bank chip before setting Bonomo all-in for about 1.26 million. The latter wasted little time in calling off with 95 for a flush, but Nitsche had A10, took the scalp and raked in the huge pot. –MC

Bad news for Bonomo

Nice news for new leader Nitsche

9:15pm: KKKK costs JJ
Level 15 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

It was a case of bad timing that cost John Juanda his tournament life in 14th place.

He was down to 190,000 when he made his move from the button. The Indonesian knew he was in bad shape when Christoph Vogelsang snapped in the big blind.

Vogelsang: KK
Juanda: J7

The board ran K87QK to make it death by quads for Juanda. Vogelsang moved up to 750,000. –MC

John’s long gone

9:05pm: Steicke de-stacked, down to 14
Level 15 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

David Steicke has been playing high roller tournaments here in Macau since 2007 but he won’t be adding another cash to his record today. The Hong Kong-based Australian was at the bottom of the chip counts coming back from dinner and didn’t waste any time putting his remaining chips to work.

Kahle Burns had raised the previous two hands and came in for 52,000 once again, this time from under the gun plus one. Steicke shipped it in for just over 400,000 when it folded to him in the big blind and Burns made a quick call after the remaining players cleared out.

Burns: AQ
Steicke: KJ

The flop came KJ3, putting Steicke out in front. That quickly changed when a ten hit the turn, giving Burns the Broadway straight. The river was a meaningless ace and Steicke hits the exit just a few spots off the money bubble. –MS

Steicke sees his fate

8:55pm: Blind three-outer aids Haxton double
Level 15 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Isaac Haxton found a good hand to go with, but had to get a bit lucky to survive.

He was down to 537,000 when he open-shoved from the small blind. David Peters was in the big blind and made a quick call.

“Ah, two overs!” said an optimistic Haxton when he saw his A5 was racing against Peters’ 44. The board ran a Haxton flavoured 10A10KJ and Peters dropped to 705,000. –MC

Haxton rakes it in

8:45pm: Rast times two
Level 15 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Brian Rast wasn’t exactly short but managed to pick a great spot to three-bet jam and score an important double-up as we approach the money bubble. Kazuhiko Yotsushika opened to 52,000 from under the gun plus one and Rast shipped from the next seat for a total of 527,000.

Yotsushika only took a few moments before making the call, groaning when he saw Rast table AK against his own AQ Things went from bad to worse as one king hit the flop and another landed on the turn. Rast is now on close to 1.1 million while Yotsushika is down to 700,000. –MS

Fast double for Rast

8:40pm: Back to work
Level 15 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

The final 15 have returned. –JS

7:40pm: Dinner time

With 15 players left and nine spots paying, they’ve reached the end of Level 14 and the 60-minute dinner break. Scroll down to see what’s happened so far today, and come back here to find out who from this group makes tomorrow’s finale. Meanwhile, below is a look at how everyone’s stacks rate at the moment. –MH

Name Country Chips
Alex Foxen USA 2,650,000
Rainer Kempe Germany 1,850,000
Kahle Burns Australia 1,780,000
Dominik Nitsche Germany 1,400,000
Justin Bonomo USA 1,390,000
Kazuhiko Yotsushika Japan 1,290,000
David Peters USA 1,270,000
Sam Greenwood Canada 1,250,000
Shan Huang China 740,000
Isaac Haxton USA 640,000
Patrik Antonius Finland 620,000
Brian Rast USA 558,000
Christoph Vogelsang Germany 510,000
John Juanda Indonesia 465,000
David Steicke Australia 430,000

7:39pm: Huang gets to go to dinner
Level 14 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Shan Huang is very excited right now because he gets to go to dinner.

Kahle Burns opened the action for 44,000 in middle position and then Isaac Haxton bumped the bet up to 125,000. Folds all around to Shan Huang, who puts on a show in the big blind. “I think you bust me, Ike,” he kept saying before finally moving all 337,000 of his chips in the middle with a thud. Burns got out of the way and Haxton called with QQ, which was in a race with Huang’s AK.

“I need a king!” Huang shouted, and the poker gods delivered two of them — one on the flop and another on the turn to double Huang up at a key moment. “I get to go to dinner!” he shouted as he stacked up his chips.

On the hand that followed his running commentary continued with all the ways that hand could have been more hurtful for Haxton. “What if you had aces and I beat you? Much worse!” Haxton’s unlikely to care much, but Huang has plenty to celebrate as we head to the 60-minute dinner break. –JK

7:37pm: Greenwood happy to lose the minimum
Level 14 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Sam Greenwood flopped two pair but lost. And he was very happy about that, as it turned out.

Greenwood opened to 45,000 from the hijack and watched Dominik Nitsche pop it to 150,000 from the button. The blinds folded and Greenwood called, with the dealer dumping the handsome JQK on the flop.

They both checked this royal flush draw.

The 2 turn was ugly and incongruous, and both checked that. Then the 3 river was slightly more co-ordinated with what went before. However, they both checked again.

Greenwood turned over his QJ, which was particularly vulnerable. Nitsche had him beat, but only with a bigger two pair. Nitsche’s KJ was a winner.

“I guess that run-out was quite good for me,” Greenwood said as he handed Nitsche the chips. –HS

7:35pm: Patrik picks up a pot
Level 14 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Patrik Antonius was down to about 15 big blinds and took the opportunity to move all-in on the button when the action folded to him. Isaac Haxton thought it over and finally called from the small blind, putting his AQ up against Antonius’s AK.

Big Slick held up on the 681058 board to give Antonius a timely double to 625,000. Haxton drops to about 1,000,000. –JK

7:30pm: Yuan Li out, down to 15
Level 14 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Yuan Li was running on fumes with just 88,000 and put them all to work when it folded to him in the small blind. Rainer Kempe was in the big blind and decided to call even after looking down at 106. Li turned over AJ, but got out of his seat when the flop came Q63. Li began gathering his belongings as the board ran out 9Q.

Yuan Li, first out after two-table redraw

Kempe is now up over 1.7 million. –MS

7:25pm: Last two tables
Level 14 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Here’s how the last 16 line up after the redraw:

Table 1 Table 2
1 Alex Foxen – 2.58m David Peters – 1.28m
2 Dominik Nitsche – 1.24m David Steicke – 390K
3 Justin Bonomo – 1m Shan Huang – 270K
4 Kazuhiko Yotsushika – 1.2m John Juanda – 520K
5 Brian Rast – 635K Kahle Burns – 1.75m
6 Yuan Li – 121K Christoph Vogelsang – 650K
7 Rainer Kempe – 1.71m Patrik Antonius – 380K
8 Sam Greenwood – 1.3m Ike Haxton – 1.25m

Remember, the top nine finishers make the money. –HS

7:22pm: Double-up and a bust out, down to two tables
Level 14 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Dominik Nitsche just won a race to earn a double-up. Ho Kit Ng wasn’t so lucky and was the 17th-place finisher.

We missed the mechanics of Ng’s exit, but he fell to Kahle Burns holding J9. Burns held QJ and the board read 510665.

Meanwhile Nitsche got his 603,000 in preflop with 88 versus Kazuhiko Yotsushika. The latter opened A9 but couldn’t connect with a board that ran 22675.

We’ll bring you the two-table redraw very soon. –MC

7:20pm: Foxen fires, burns Burns
Level 14 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Kahle Burns and Alex Foxen have been tangling frequently, and Foxen got the better of their most recent exchange.

We arrived with the board already reading Q45 and a pile of chips in the pot. Burns checked the 7 turn and Foxen, in the cutoff, bet 148,000. Burns thought it over and called, bringing the J on the river. Burns checked once more and this time Foxen bet 371,000. Burns didn’t look happy but eventually called, only to muck his hand when Foxen turned over Q7 for queens and sevens.

“That was a pretty incredible turn,” Foxen said as he stacked up to 2,300,000. Burns falls to 1,500,000 with that loss. –JK

Foxen collecting

7:18pm: Big pot for Greenwood
Level 14 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Canadian Sam Greenwood just picked up a big pot from former chip leader Rainer Kempe of Germany. We picked up the action on the flop with the board reading 884 and Greenwood having bet 40,000. Kempe repopped it to 130,000 and Greenwood called.

The turn was the 3 and Kempe bet out 245,000. Greenwood had close to 900,000 behind and moved all-in. Kempe didn’t think too long before letting it go, his stack slipping to around 1,650,000 after the hand. Greenwood, meanwhile, is up around 1,400,000. –MS

7:17pm: Haxton’s all right in Juanda’s book
Level 14 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

John Juanda is in the Poker Hall of Fame, and Isaac Haxton may well join that club one day, too. But what does Juanda think of Haxton? This hand told us.

Juanda opened to 47,000. He was on the button, and his bet got a fold from the small blind of Patrik Antonius. But Haxton opted to defend his big blind, and the two went to a K35 flop. It went check check to the J turn, and again there’d be no more betting.

The board was completed by the A, and Haxton checked a final time. It looked like Juanda was going to bet for a moment, but he then checked and Haxton rolled over the Q10 for a flush (and a straight to boot).

Juanda seemed pretty happy with the result, despite losing the pot. He showed the A, and congratulated himself on a good check.

“Thank you,” he then said to Haxton, presumably because he got to a showdown for free. “You’re a nice guy.” –JS

Isaac Haxton, nice guy

7:15pm: Haxton pushes Antonius out
Level 14 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Goodness only knows how many hands Patrik Antonius and Isaac Haxton have played against one another at the online cash tables. Safe to say they’ve both managed to do quite well out of the nosebleeds, even in the other’s company.

They’re sitting next to one another in this tournament now, with Stephen Chidwick’s former seat between them now vacated. And they just added a tournament hand to their personal ledger, with Haxton the beneficiary.

It wasn’t all that dramatic. It started with a raise to 45,000 from Antonius on the button, which drew a three-bet jam from Haxton in the small blind. This was applying the pressure on the short-stacked David Steicke in the big blind (he folded) and Antonius, whose 295,000 was now effective.

Antonius surrendered a time-bank chip as he made his decision as to whether to go with this one. Eventually, he opted not to continue and tossed his cards away.

Haxton has about 1.25 million at present, which is more than three times what Antonius has. –HS

7:10pm: Li gets tripped up, goes short
Level 14 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Yuan Li has dropped to just 115,000 after he paid Justin Bonomo and his trips off on the river.

He opened to 40,000 from early position and Bonomo peeled from the big blind before both players checked the 4J8 flop. Bonomo then took over the initiative with bets of 60,000 and 175,000 on the 8 turn and Q river. Li called the turn bet quickly, but used a time bank and another 25 seconds before calling on the river.

Bonomo then opened 85 and Li mucked. Bonomo moved up to around 1.5 million. –MC

7:07pm: Antonius shuts down, getting short
Level 14 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

We honestly never thought we’d be writing these words in this order: Finnish high-stakes legend Patrik Antonius just missed an opportunity to bluff.

It started with Antonius opening to 40,000 from under the gun plus one and Christoph Vogelsang calling from the big blind. The flop came 1065 and Antonius fired 45,000 after a check from Vogelsang. He got a call and the turn brought the J. Vogelsang checked and Antonius did, too. The river was the J and Vogelsang checked one last time.

It looked painful, being so completely out of character, but Antonius checked as well and was clearly kicking himself when Vogelsang turned over Q5 to scoop the pot.

Vogelsang was up to 590,000 after the hand while Antonius is down to 230,000. –MS

No bluff this time from Antonius

7:05pm: Greenwood over a million, Wang eliminated
Level 14 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

It’s all over for Yong Wang, whose last chips (326,000 of them) went boldly into the middle as a three-bet jam over Sam Greenwood’s button open. Unfortunately for those 326,000 hardy soldiers, they were supported by an artillery comprising the Q and the 3. (Greenwood had called by this point.)

Greenwood’s KJ was ahead already, and Wang was drawing dead after the 10QA flop and 5 turn. The K river was academic.

So long, Yong

Greenwood now moves to around 1.2 million. — HS

7pm: JC takes a knee
Level 14 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

We don’t see many family pots in the Super High Roller, but one developed a few minutes ago that cost JC Alvarado his tournament life.

Alvarado opened the action in middle position for 50,000 and was called by Kazuhiko Yotsushika in the cutoff, Rainer Kempe on the button, and David Peters in the small blind. Peters checked to Alvarado after the 735 flop and he bet 75,000. Yotsushika called, as did Kempe, and then Peter raised the price to 280,000. Alvarado essentially called, having only 12,000 chips more than Peters’ bet, and that cleared the rest of the field out for a showdown:

Peters: 86
Alvarado: JJ

Peters’s straight draw came home and that was the end of JC Alvarado’s tournament. Peters is now up to 1,400,000. –JK

The end arrives for Alvarado

6:57pm: Foxen takes a handful from Li
Level 14 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Yuan Li has dipped below 500,000 for perhaps the first time since he won a massive pot from Kristen Bicknell earlier in the day. There was revenge of sorts for the now-departed Bicknell as Alex Foxen was the one taking a handful of Li’s chips.

Li, in the hijack seat, and Foxen, on the button, got around 250,000 into the pot pre-flop, then Li checked the flop of 2J4. Foxen bet 81,000 and Li called.

The Q turn was checked through, then the K completed the board. Li checked again but Foxen wasn’t allowing a cheap showdown. He bet 182,000 and a disappointed Li was forced to fold.

Li now has about 480,000. Foxen’s stack is difficult to count, but is comfortably still north of 1.2 million. –HS

6:55pm: Kempe clipped, Chidwick cut
Level 14 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

We were waiting for an interesting hand to spring up and then two arrived at once.

On one table, play had folded to the small blind of Kazuhiko Yotsushika, who min-raised to 40,000. Rainer Kempe made the call from the big blind, and the two saw an 889 flop, which Yotsushika then checked. Kempe came in for a 55,000 lead, and Yotsushika didn’t budge.

The turn was the 6, and interestingly Yotsushika now led for 100,000. Kempe thought things through, and when he put in his calling chips he quickly diverted his stare towards his opponent to try pick something up.

Whether he did or not we don’t know, but Yotsushika continued betting on the J river regardless. He made it 175,000, and after calling Kempe could only muck when he was shown the KK.

At the same time on another table, David Steicke had moved all in for 232,000 from under the gun, and it folded around to the small blind of Stephen Chidwick. He then called all in for 156,000 with the A9, up against Steicke’s JJ. The 3Q8KQ board was no help to Chidwick, who made his exit.

After all that, Kempe dipped to 2.1 million, Yotsushika increases to 1.2 million, and Steicke moves up to 420,000. –JS

6:50pm: Burns jumps ahead of Foxen
Level 14 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

A decisive Kahle Burns has leap-frogged Alex Foxen and moved pass the the 2 million mark.

The two players were heads-up to a 42K flop where Foxen led for 85,000 (into more than 250k) from the small blind. Burns was in the hijack and called. Foxen then went into check mode to face quick bets of 170,000 and 556,000 on the AQ turn and river. Foxen called the turn bet with the clock almost at zero, and then folded on the river to drop to 1.636 million.

Burns and his 2.1 million only has Rainer Kempe ahead of him now. –MC

Burns heating up

6:45pm: A blast from the past
Level 14 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

John Juanda and Patrik Antonius just played a pot against one another. It was suddenly 2009 all over again.

This one went in the direction of Juanda, who opened to 47,000 from the button, only to be faced with a three-bet to 125,000 from Antonius in the small blind. Juanda moved in for 385,000 total and, after Antonius established the correct amount, he folded.

Antonius is now left with around 350,000. –HS

Poker Hall of Famer John Juanda

6:42pm: Juanda dodges everything to double
Level 14 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

John Juanda was down to just 165,000 but earned himself some breathing room in a hand against Stephen Chidwick and Isaac Haxton.

It started when Chidwick opened to 40,000 from under the gun plus one and Haxton called from the next seat over. It folded to Juanda in the big blind who just called. The flop came down K106 and Juanda shoved for 125,000. Chidwick took a few moments before calling and Haxton quickly got out of the way.

Juanda tabled K8 for top pair which was a slight dog to Chidwick’s JQ open-ended straight and flush draw. The board ran out 6K, completely missing Chidwick’s many outs and boosting Juanda’s stack to around 400,000. –MS

6:40pm: Aggressive Nitsche doubles through Yotsushika
Level 14 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Dominik Nitsche just picked up a healthy pot at Kazuhiko Yotsushika’s expense.

Yotsushika opened the betting for 40,000 in the hijack seat. David Peters called on the button and Nitsche called in the big blind, taking us to the 236 flop. Nitsche promptly led for 45,000, a bet which only Yotsushika was willing to call. Nitsche fired for 70,000 more on the 5 turn and, after Yotsushika called and the K came on the river, moved all-in for 189,000.

Yotsushika called and showed down AK for a rivered pair of kings, but Nitsche’s 43 had already turned a six-high straight for the win.

That drops Yotsushika’s stack to 850,000 chips, while Nitsche climbs to 790,000. –JK

Dominik doing it

6:35pm: Wu departs
Level 13 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

It’s been pretty quiet out there the past ten minutes or so, but eventually some action turned up. Kuisong Wu was all in and at risk with his KQ against Alex Foxen’s AJ, and couldn’t hit on the 99686 board.

Wu left with a smile on his face, though, and Foxen was pretty happy, too. He should be; he’s now got 1.8 million. –JS

Wu is me

6:30pm: Wu wins tu
Level 13 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Kuisong Wu has around 360,000 to play with now after shoving pre-flop in consecutive hands. The first was an open-push, which almost tempted Alex Foxen in from the small blind, but Foxen folded. The second followed an open to 35,000 from Ho Kit Ng. Ng also folded after Wu jammed.

Ng is now the short stack on that table with 265,000 back. –HS

6:25pm: Luc’s luck runs dry via Li
Level 13 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Luc Greenwood’s stay in this tournament has concluded at the hands of Yuan Li.

Li opened the hand for 40,000 in the cutoff and Greenwood, in the big blind, was the lone caller. He checked the K104 flop, Li bet 50,000, and Greenwood announced himself all-in. Before he could count his chips down Li had already called, tabling AK for top pair, top kicker.

Greenwood had a king, too, but his KJ needed help to keep him in the tournament. Neither the 5 turn nor the A provided that help, giving Li a boost to 640,000 chips.

As Luc Greenwood walked away, Shan Huang asked, “What happened? Where you going?”

“He had a king with an ace,” said Greenwood. “I had a king with a jack. Now I’m going to my room.”

“You should rebuy,” Huang said.

“I don’t think they’ll let me do that,” Greenwood replied. And then, looking over the tournament clock, “Although if they do…” –JK

6:20pm: Peters outraces Kenney
Level 13 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Bryn Kenney’s race is run. He lost the last of his chips to David Peters in what can only be described as a very standard spot.

Peters opened to 36,000 from the hijack and Dominik Nitsche called on the button. Kenney looked down at 66 and got it in from the big blind, and when it came back to Peters, he moved all-in, too.

Nitsche wanted nothing further to do with it and the two Americans duked it out. Peters needed to connect with his A10, and the turn card was his friend. After the 247 flop, the 10 turn was decisive.

The Q river mattered only to completists.

Peters now has a little shy of 800,000. Kenney can only dream of that. –HS

Kenney cut down

6:17pm: Three strikes and you’re out for Dvoress
Level 13 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Daniel Dvoress has busted for a third time today. This time it was final.

He open shoved from the button for 211,000 and was called by Christoph Vogelsang in the small blind.

Vogelsang: QQ
Dvoress: A4

The board ran 6K6710 to see the queens hold. That put the resurgent German up to around 600,000. –MC

Dvoress is done

6:15pm: Sing along everybody! “1-2-3-4…”
Level 13 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Christoph Vogelsang has been nursing a short stack for quite a while now, and Shan Huang has been paying close attention to it. So when Vogelsang jammed for 227,000 from the UTG+1 seat, Huang — over in the small blind — started singing:

“1-2-3-4! Christoph’s chips, I want more!” he bellowed, which got chuckles all round, including from Vogelsang. Action folded to an even shorter stack, David Steicke, who then called on in on the button for his remaining 84,000, but when it got to Huang, he couldn’t find something worth calling with.

That left Vogelsang’s KQ up against Steicke’s 77, and the pocket pair would hold up after the 29944 runout. Vogelsang has now dropped to 143,000, while Steicke doubles to around 200,000. –JS

6:10pm: Schwippert Ships Out
Level 13 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

You don’t have to spend much time playing poker to learn that luck is a fickle mistress, but it must be especially painful to be reminded of it in a Super High Roller. Jan-Eric Schwippert just got his money in good against Justin Bonomo and was rewarded with nothing but a one-way ticket to the exit.

The hand started with Kuisong Wu opening to 40,000 from the button and Bonomo moving all-in from the small blind. Schwippert mulled it over for a moment before also moving in and Wu quickly folded. Bonomo had Schwippert covered and made the call with AJ. Bonomo saw he was in bad shape against pocket kings but spiked an ace on the turn to take the lead. The river bricked for Schwippert and barely a flicker of emotion showed on his face as he gathered his things and left the table.

Schwippert sunk

Bonomo is on 1.2 million following that hand. –MS

6:07pm: Burns lays the hurt on Petrangelo
Level 13 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

We are down to 24 players, enough to fit snugly around three tables. There’s no room there for Nick Petrangelo, though, as he has just lost a real sickener to Kahle Burns. It means that Burns has around 1.6 million as he takes a new seating assignment.

The bare bones of this are as follows: Burns opened, Petrangelo three-bet and Burns shoved. Petrangelo snapped with AA. He had about 400,000 in his stack.

Burns was in a world of hurt with his AK, but the dealer helped him out a lot. The board ran 2J1058 and, as a spectating Dan Smith said, Petrangelo was dead on the turn.

Burns was suitably humbled as he raked in his ill-gotten gains. Petrangelo headed away, no hard feelings, as Burns moves into the top five. –HS

Petrangelo’s tournament concludes

6:05pm: Yotsushika rising
Level 13 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Kazuhiko Yotsushika’s tablemates look powerless to stop him right now. We just watched him take down three pots in a row against three different opponents without once showing down his hand.

First he called on the button after Long Wang opened for 35,000 in the cutoff. Yotsushika called 40,000 on the 5K8 flop and then took the pot down after bumping Wang’s 80,000-chip bet on the 8 turn to 175,000 total.

Yotsushika called in position again on the next hand, this time from the cutoff after Bryn Kenney raised to 35,000 under the gun. Kenney check-folded to Yotsushika’s 55,000-chip bet after the K34 flop.

Finally he opened the action for 40,000 in middle position. Dominik Nitsche re-raised to 140,000 on the button and Yotsushika called, bringing a 66A flop. Yotsushika bet 100,000, Nitsche called, and the 3 came on the turn. This time Yotsushika opened all-in, which had Nitsche shaking his head as he tossed his hand into the muck.

Yotsushika is building Alex Foxen-like towers of chips right now and is hovering around 1,300,000. –JK

Yotsushika, trending upwards

6pm: Greenwood a thorn in Petrangelo’s side
Level 13 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Sam Greenwood stuck it to Nick Petrangelo over the course of two hands to the displeasure of the latter.

Petrangelo opened to 35,000 from under the gun Greenwood called to a K27 flop where he checked. Petrangelo continued for 28,000 but folded when Greenwood raised to 90,000.

Two hands later, Greenwood raised to 35,000 from the button and Petrangelo three-bet to 108,000 from the small blind. Greenwood was having none of it though, and jammed for 540,000. Petrangelo folded to drop to 480,000. –MC

5:55pm: Rast up and fighting
Level 13 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Brian Rast doesn’t seem to have been involved in too many pots today, at least not those any of us have noticed. But there was no mistaking the red all-in triangle pushed forward in front of him, alongside his last 213,000 chips.

Action folded to Alex Foxen in the small blind and he thought for around 25 seconds before moving all-in too, essentially just designed to get Luc Greenwood to fold the big blind. That worked, but Foxen still wasn’t happy.

Rast: AJ
Foxen: A9

There was an ace on the flop, but lingering hopes of either a chop or an out-draw did not come to fruition for Foxen through the rest of the board. That dented Foxen to around 1.7 million. Rast now has about 440,000. –HS

5:50pm: More from the Huang show
Level 13 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Here’s another leaf in the big book of Shan Huang table chatter. He had all of Christoph Vogelsang, Daniel Dvoress and Ike Haxton entertained in a recent pot, even though it was the latter who ended up profiting most.

Shan Huang, storyteller

Most of the significant action had occurred wither pre-flop or on the flop as Haxton and Huang built a pot of around 190,000 to see the J32 flop and the 7 turn. They both checked.

The 4 completed the board and Haxton said, “Do you have a flush?”

Huang fired out a quick salvo of retorts.

“I have jack high… I have queen high… I have queen-nine off-suit.”

Haxton took all that as reason to bet and put out 65,000. Huang counted out his chips and established that he had precisely 365,000 in his stack, so an incorrect call here would leave him with an even 300,000.

Huang double-checked his cards and said, “I only have nine-high.” After a beat he added, “Nine-high flush.”

He threw in a time-bank chip, which Haxton quickly picked up and added to his stack.

“No, no, no, no, no, no, no!” Huang said. “Put it back!”

Haxton tossed the chip back into the middle, and then Huang sent his cards in the same direction. He’ll live to fight another day. –HS

5:45pm: Yotsushika chases Nitsche off
Level 13 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Kazuhiko Yotsushika isn’t messing around.

We missed the early action, but it appeared that he had raised on the button and tangled with Dominik Nitsche enough to get a few hundred thousand chips in the middle before the 585 flop. Nitsche led for 100,000 there and it didn’t take long at all for Yotsushika to announce himself all-in for 580,000. Nitsche considered the call long for about half of his shot clock before tossing his cards into the muck.

That puts Yotsushika up to about 900,000, while Nitsche drops to about 700,000. –JK

5:42pm: More green for Sam
Level 13 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

A cheeky limp with pocket jacks stirred up some action behind Sam Greenwood and he used it to double up.

The Canadian limped from the hijack and then called all-in for 223,000 after Yuan Li shoved from the button.

Greenwood: JJ
Li: AJ

The board ran K102K7 to see the jacks hold. Li dropped to 580,000. –MC

Sam I am

5:40pm: Bicknell busts
Level 13 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

About two minutes ago, Kristen Bicknell hadn’t busted a tournament despite playing for three straight days. Alas, she’s just been eliminated from this one, but having taken down the National High Roller for around $280,000 USD yesterday we’re sure she won’t be feeling too bad.

She did get felted a bit cruely, though. All in with her 44 against Kahle Burns’ JQ, the 93AAQ runout meant she was rivered. The queen brought a few sighs at the table, but Bicknell took it in her stride, wishing the table good luck.

One out of two ain’t bad for Bicknell

Burns is up to 1.16 million now. –JS

5:35pm: Play resumes
Level 13 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

They’re back at it, and so are we. The chip counts for all 27 remaining players have been freshly updated. Below find the current top five. –MH

Name Country Chips
Rainer Kempe Germany 2,500,000
Alex Foxen USA 1,800,000
Kahle Burns Australia 1,015,000
Dominik Nitsche Germany 907,000
Isaac Haxton USA 820,000

Don’t have a PokerStars account? Getting one couldn’t be easier and could mean a trip to the next big PokerStars series. Click here to get started.

5:25pm: Break time

Level 12 is done, and the 27 remaining players are now off on a 15-minute break. –MH

5:24pm: Steicke sticks around for now
Level 12 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Late-arriving David Steicke has enjoyed lots of high roller success here in Macau before, but he has a big task ahead of him if he wants to repeat it in this tournament. Maybe a little less of a task than before, after doubling his 48,000-chip stack with K3 against Stephen Chidwick’s Q8, but it would still make quite a story if he managed to find his way out of this wilderness. –JK

Steicke still staying

5:22pm: Flop a straight, get it in
Level 12 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

David Steicke is looking at a very short stay. Having bought in just before registration closed, the Australian high roller is now down to about 45,000 after paying off Christoph Vogelsang. There’s not a whole lot Steicke could have done about this.

It looked to have gone raise (Steicke), call (Vogelsang) in cutoff and big blind respectively. They then saw the 8109 flop. Vogelsang moved all-in for 75,000.

Steicke snap-called and turned over KK. But Vogelsang had flopped a straight with his 7J.

Steicke had outs to the flush, but whiffed through the 8 turn and A river.

“Good play, Christopher (sic),” Shan Huang said.

“Thank you,” Vogelsang said. “Flop a straight, get it in.”

Vogelsang now has about 170,000 while Steicke is very nearly unstuck. –HS

5:20pm: Petrangelo pushes the action
Level 12 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Rainer Kempe is still the runaway chip leader, as the only player with over two million chips. Only one other player even has more than one million, to put it into perspective.

Of course, that ain’t gonna stop people like Nick Petrangelo from going up against him.

Nick Petrangelo, undeterred

Petrangelo min-opened to 24,000 from under the gun and it folded over to Kempe who called on the button. Sam Greenwood sat in the big blind and made the call too, before checking the Q88 flop. Petrangelo opted not to c-bet, and Kempe checked it, too.

The dealer burned and turned the A, and when Greenwood checked Petrangelo came in for a delayed c-bet of 31,000. Kempe matched it, while Greenwood left proceedings before the 9 river. Petrangelo then slid out 112,000, a large chunk of his remaining stack. It would soon be returned to him though as Kempe took about 15 seconds before folding.

That pot brings Petrangelo up to 480,000, while Kempe sits with 2.5 million. –JS

5:15pm: Sevens not lucky for Ike
Level 12 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Isaac Haxton kinda shrugged at the showdown after his pocket sevens were outflopped by Stephen Chidwick’s J9.

Chidwick limped in from the button and called after Haxton bumped it up to 62,000 from the small blind. The flop fanned 596 and Haxton continued for 90,000. Chidwick called before the 10A turn and river were checked through. Haxton dropped to 880,000 after he saw Chidwick’s hand. The latter rose to 660,000. –MC

5:10pm: Kenney triples, but that’s not the half of it
Level 12 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Okay, settle in. This is the weirdest hand of the day and will need some explaining. Be prepared for a table summit, a TD ruling, a big bustout and then a 6 percent chance coming good in a three-way all-in showdown. Yes, settle in indeed.

This was the hand immediately following Dan Smith’s elimination (see below, 4:55pm), and the absent American pro actually played a part in it, albeit passively. What happened was this: Bryn Kenney, sitting under the gun, open-pushed his 99,000 stack into the middle, leading Yong Wang, one seat along, to fold.

But at right about this point, somebody noticed that the blinds weren’t right. Smith was knocked out from the big blind, so his seat would have been the small blind for the hand in question. In these circumstances, they play on without a small blind and Dominik Nitsche would have been required to post the only blind.

However, the dealer button had been moved after Smith’s bust, Nitsche had posted the small blind and JC Alvarado had posted the big. That was wrong.

As the table began its discussions, the dealer alerted a member of the floor staff. He came over and correctly deduced that there had now been “significant action” (i.e., Kenney’s shove) and so they couldn’t declare a misdeal.

In a bid to double check, this floorman called over Rex Cheung, the overall PokerStars Live supervisor. Cheung said that yes, the “significant action” meant they had to play this hand out as was, meaning JC Alvarado had posted a big blind early. If everyone had folded, this would have passed without comment. But they didn’t fold.

In fact, Mikita Badziakouski, with a stack of about 150,000, called on the button, and then Nitsche peeked at his cards in the small blind (which should have been the big blind). Nitsche liked what he saw and moved all-in.

Alvarado now had to look for the first time at his hand, knowing he could potentially nearly quadruple up if he saw something appealing. But he didn’t. He folded. However Badziakouski quickly committed his last 50,000 or so, and that meant Nitsche had both Kenney and Badziakouski at peril. And boy were they in bad shape.

Nitsche: AA
Badziakouski: 77
Kenney: A4

The flop appeared, and Wang was the most vocal in noting its potential. It came 236. Then everyone, including the onlooking Cheung, gasped when the 5 hit Kenney’s middle-pin and made him a straight.

That was actually also a good card for Badziakouski, as he was now drawing to a bigger straight. But the 8 river missed him.

It meant that Kenney’s raggy ace won the day and scored a triple up. Nitsche’s aces held against Badziakouski’s sevens, so Nitsche won a small pot and Badziakouski went home.

And after that, Alvarado posted the small blind and things continued as normal. –HS

5:10pm: Mateos Down, Up, Out
Level 12 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Adrian Mateos has racked up a long list of titles since he started playing live events in 2013, but he won’t be adding an APPT Super High Roller win to it this week. We just watched him take a big hit, then double-up, and then bust in the span of just a few hands.

It started with Mateos opening to 26,000 and JC Alvarado jamming all-in for 200,000. It folded back to Mateos and he quickly called, turning over 99. Alvarado had KJ and took a big lead when the flop came down AK2. The Q and K on the turn and river didn’t help Mateos, and he was left with about 20,000.

Mateos was on the big blind the very next hand and tossed his remaining few chips in after Yong Wang raised from the button. Mateos was in bad shape with J3 against Wang’s KQ but spiked a jack on the turn to double up.

Wang raised the next hand as well and Mateos moved all-in from the small blind holding A4. Wang called with pocket nines and they held up to send the Spaniard to the door. –MS

End of the road for Mateos

5:05pm: Luc Greenwood survives Foxen hunt
Level 12 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Luc Greenwood has been toiling with the short stack for a bit, but just bought himself a little bit of breathing room against Alex Foxen.

Foxed limped in from the small blind and Greenwood checked to see the 932 flop. As soon as Foxen decided to bet at the pot, Greenwood moved all-in for about 100,000. Foxen called with 96 but he was out kicked by Greenwood’s 98. That kicker became a second pair after the 7 turn and 8 river, giving Greenwood the double to 242,000. Foxen, meanwhile, is still building 40-chip-high stacks of the largest denominations. He currently has 1,840,000. –JK

5pm: Huanging around
Level 12 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

There’s never a dull moment when Shan Huang is out in the field. Action had folded to him on the button, and with just the two short stacks of Daniel Dvoress (small blind) and Christoph Vogelsang (big blind) in front of him, Huang started talking.

“I should shove any two here right?” he asked the table, before moving all in to put the others to the test. Dvoress folded, but Vogelsang had a real decision. He was deep into the time bank, while Huang was standing up and talking all the way.

Eventually the two discussed showing their hands. “If you show one I’ll show one,” Vogelsang suggested, but Huang didn’t bite. Vogelsang eventually did flip over the A, but also announced fold as he did so.

“Which one you want to see?” asked Huang. “The deuce or the seven?”

“I want to see both or none at all,” replied Vogelsang.

“Deuce or seven? Deuce or seven?” Huang repeated, pointing back and forth between his two cards before ultimately picking one up and slamming it face down on the felt: the 7.

Did he really have seven-deuce? We’ll never know, but Vogelsang had no regrets. “I think I made a good fold,” he said afterwards, leaving himself with around 120,000. Meanwhile, Huang is up to around 500,000. –JS

4:55pm: Cooler in the blinds costs Smith
Level 12 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Dominik Nitsche just hit a three-outer in a blind-versus-blind cooler to oust Dan Smith from the tournament. Nitsche moved up to around 900,000 as a result.

We only caught the end of the hand, but seeing as Smith held KK in the small blind and Nitsche held AK in the big blind, we’re assuming the chips went in preflop. The board rested as 38QA6. Ouch for Smith, joy for the German pro. –MC

4:50pm: Li busts Li
Level 12 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

A battle of the blinds has just seen Yuan Li send Bjorn Li to the rail. Yuan made it 25,000 to go from the small blind when it folded to him, and Bjorn then shipped his entire stack in from the big (Yuan made the call before we could get a count).

It was the 44 for Yuan flipping against Bjorn’s AQ, and the pocket pair would hold up after the 23K88 runout. Yuan Li now has a stack around 750,000. –JS

Bjorn Li leaves us

4:45pm: Wang’s set wings Mateos
Level 12 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Yong Wang just stacked up thanks to a set of jacks. With the board reading 7J310, he lured Adrian Mateos into betting enough to put him all-in. Wang snap-called with JJ and Mateos’s AJ was already drawing dead. The 9 on the river made Wang’s double-up official.

Wang now has 760,000 chips, while Mateos is hanging on with 250,000. –JK

A win for Wang

4:40pm: Yotsushika increases through Smith
Level 12 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Dan Smith currently had wads of cash and a large glass of iced tea in front of him. He also now has less chips, after a heads-up pot versus Kazuhiko Yotsushika.

Danny98765 with lots of HKD

Smith got things going with an under-the-gun open to 26,000, which then folded to Yotsushika on the button. The man from Japan then three-bet it up to 80,000, and Smith gave it a lot of thought (about 30 seconds’ worth) before making the call.

The dealer spread a 746 flop, and Smith quickly checked it to the raiser. Yotsushika continued with his aggression, leading for 100,000, and Smith would make the call leaving himself 220,000 behind.

It would all be put to the test after the 6 turn, after Yotsushika shoved for 230,000 when checked to. Smith gave it up and is now below 20 big blinds, while Yotsushika’s stack increases to 620,000. –JS

4:30pm: Jack rues salty runout
Level 12 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Patrik Antonius has moved up to 650,000 after hitting a backdoor nut flush to bust Jack Salter, who held top pair when the chips went in.

Salter had raised to 20,000 from the button and was called by the Finn in the small blind. Fireworks went off on the 2310 flop as all the chips went in. The action was frantic, so apologies for not getting the specific amounts, but Salter was the all-in player holding 106. Antonius opened A2 and got there as the board ran out 5J. –MC

Jack hits the road

4:25pm: Nitsche a force
Level 12 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Dominik Nitsche only bought in during Level 10 today, but he is now stacking more than 670,000 after doubling up through Bryn Kenney. Kenney is now one of the short stacks, sitting with 135,000.

Nitsche opened the pot, making it 22,000 from the cutoff, and Kenney three-bet from the small blind, putting 67,000 out there. Nitsche then jammed for 327,000 and Kenney thought about it for a while, before calling from a bigger stack.

Nitsche was dominant, though, with AK to Kenney’s AJ. The board was dry and Nitsche scored the double. –HS

Bryn Kenney loses one

4:20pm: O’Dwyer ousted
Level 12 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

The defending Super High Roller champ from last year’s PokerStars Championship Macau, Steve O’Dwyer, has just been felted by David Peters.

With no action in front of him, Peters made it 23,000 to go from the cutoff and O’Dwyer, who had 172,000 in front of him, jammed all in on the button. It folded back to Peters and he made the call with the KQ, which was dominating O’Dwyer’s KJ.

The Q3K23 runout only improved Peters’ hand, eliminating O’Dwyer and bringing Peters’ stack up to 490,000. –JS

4:15pm: Loeser’s loss boosts Bonomo
Level 11 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Justin Bonomo continues to pick up big hands and get paid. Manig Loeser picked up a big hand too but it wasn’t quite big enough.

We arrived as Loeser was calling Bonomo’s 435,000-chip all-in bet with the board reading 109105J. Loeser turned over QQ but that wasn’t enough against Bonomo’s AA.

The dealer counted down Bonomo’s stack and it turned out that Loeser has exactly one 1,000-denomination chip remaining. That went in as the ante on the following hand and he lost out to exit this tournament. Bonomo, on the other hand, is now up to 900,000. –JK

Manig down

4:10pm: Haxton pushes Kempe off hand
Level 11 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

With the board showing K9AK, Isaac Haxton bet 70,000 and after a bit of a think Rainer Kempe called. The river then brought the J and after sitting quietly for a short while Haxton made a big bet of 340,000, leaving himself only about 40,000 behind.

The bet represented a significant percentage of the pot, which led Kempe to spend some time — and a time bank chip — thinking about it. Finally he folded, and Haxton collected the pot.

Haxton is at 970,000 now, while Kempe still leads comfortably with 2.75 million. –MH

4pm: A bark worse than his bite
Level 11 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

If ever there was any doubt that you can’t always believe what a poker player says, just look at Shan Huang. He talks an absolutely unexploitable game. But he doesn’t necessarily follow through.

In a recent pot, he watched Ike Haxton open to 23,000 from the hijack and then looked at his cards in the big blind. “I can’t fold this hand,” Huang said. He called.

Shan Huang: Don’t believe a word of it

As the dealer was dragging in the chips, Huang split his stack into three uneven piles. “Flop,” he said, pointing at the smallest tower. “Turn,” he said, indicating the middle-sized one. “River,” he added. Haxton said nothing.

The flop appeared. It was AK8. “Check,” Huang said instantly, having made a hasty reassessment.

Haxton bet 35,000 and Huang folded immediately. — HS

3:50pm: Alvarado ousts Hongjun Zhao
Level 11 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Hongjun Zhao is out, having gotten all in with A9, been up against JC Alvarado’s A10 and watched the board come 10J23J.

Zhao was out of his chair after the ten showed on the flop. Meanwhile Alvarado has 265,000. –MH

Hongjun Zhao is out

3:45pm: Dvoress shoves, earns folds
Level 11 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Jack Salter has appeared at Alex Foxen’s table, having just squeezed into the tournament as registration closed. Full prize-pool information will be with us shortly as we now know for sure the size of the field. There were 68 entries, including 19 re-entries.

Daniel Dvoress, who was in for three bullets, just got his chips in the middle again. He’s also on the table now featuring Salter. Dvoress opened the pot to 21,000 from under the gun, which picked up a call from Patrik Antonius in the cutoff.

Foxen three-bet to 80,000 from the small blind and Dvoress then pushed all-in for around 250,000 more. It went fold, fold fairly quickly. — HS

3:42pm: Bonomo back in the swing of things
Level 11 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Justin Bonomo entered the freezeout portion of this tournament with a little more than 20 big blinds, but he’s in better shape now thanks to a double through Brian Rast. Rast opened the action for 23,000 in the cutoff with A8 and, after some thought, called Bonomo’s shove for 204,000. The board fell Q64109 and Bonomo’s pair of queens were good for roughly 415,000 chips. –JK

The Bonomo bounce

3:35pm: Mateos mows down Addamo
Level 11 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Following a Bryn Kenney open, Michael Addamo reraised all in for 122,000 total from the button, and Adrian Mateos called from the small blind. The big blind and Kenney got out, and Addamo showed AJ. He’d need help against Mateos’s 77 to keep his seat.

The board ran out 5K636, bringing no such assistance to Addama, and he is out. Mateos sits with about 665,000 now.

“You saved me a hundred,” grinned Kenney afterwards. He’s playing 380,000. –MH

3:33pm: Li and the lucky eights
Level 11 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

We didn’t seen a great deal of lucky eights magic during the opening stages of this tournament, but that’s because we didn’t have Yuan Li with us for all of Day 1. But Li is here now, and so are the lucky eights.

This one was pretty brutal on Kristen Bicknell, whose QQ lost to Li’s 87. Again, I don’t know when the money went in, but it’s possible it was on the flop of 862. Bicknell had Li’s 182,000 covered by around 100,000.

The 9 turn changed little, but Li was quickly kissing his lucky orange after the 8 river. Bicknell will now have to rebuild from about 10 big blinds, while Li is at a 400,000 high point. — HS

Yuan Li: All you need are eights and an orange

3:28pm: Kenney with the early double
Level 11 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

I’ve no idea how any of this hand played out, but Bryn Kenney just doubled through Nick Petrangelo on what must have been one of the first hands of the new level. It ended with Kenney’s 56 beating Petrangelo’s Q7 on a board of 10KJ34.

Their table broke immediately afterwards, leaving us with five now in play. Kenney takes about 400,000 to his new assignment, while Petrangelo dips to around 300,000. — HS

3:25pm: Aido out
Level 11 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Sergio Aido is out here at the start of Level 11 after having committed all of his chips behind AK and encountering Kristen Bicknell’s KK. The 1045107 board was no help for Aido who exits, while Bicknell now has about 340,000 with which to work. –MH

Sergio Aido: Frozen out

3:18pm: Back from the break, entries closed
Level 11 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

We’re back from the break now. Registration is officially closed and all the chip counts are updated – have a look at the 35 players remaining in the field and where they stand as we resume play. –JK

Don’t have a PokerStars account? Getting one couldn’t be easier and could mean a trip to the next big PokerStars series. Click here to get started.

2:59pm: Finding his Nitsche
Level 10 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

Dominik Nitsche didn’t have to wait very long after buying in to find his first big hand. He had built a large pot by the time the board read K7762, where he moved all-in and put Michael Addamo to a decision. Addamo eventually did make the call and had count out a stack to pass to Nitsche when Nitsche turned over AA. Addamo flashed pocket eights as Nitsche dragged the next-to-last pot before the break. –JK

Late arrival, quick start for Nitsche

2:50pm: Juanda shoves, slams, perishes
Level 10 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

John Juanda is the latest to perish, open-pushing the button for 180,000 but then slamming into Jan Eric Schwippert’s KK in the small blind. Juanda’s A2 never caught up through a board of 6761010.

John Juanda: Out

Juanda may yet reappear, but with about 400,000 now, Schwippert should be sure to stick with his single bullet. — HS

2:47pm: Zhou loses the last
Level 10 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

After losing that big pot to Isaac Haxton, Quan Zhou is now out. He got his last 100,000 in the middle as a cold four-bet from the small blind, following Luc Greenwood’s open to 18,000 and then David Peters’ three-bet to 50,000 from the button.

Greenwood folded but Peters called the extra and Zhou’s 99 were in bad shape against Peters’ 1010.

The board ran 46JAK allowing a rueful Greenwood to say he folded a suited ace, which would have been good. Coulda, woulda, shoulda.

As it is, Zhou is out and has about 30 minutes to decide if he wants in again. — HS

Quan’s gone

2:45pm: Haxton cripples Zhou
Level 10 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

Quan Zhou’s excellent run on Day 1 won’t be duplicated here on Day 2 unless he opts for a second bullet, and it’s all thanks to Isaac Haxton.

The action began with Haxton raising to 18,000 in the cutoff. Zhou called from the big blind and the two saw a KQ5 flop. Zhou checked and called when Haxton bet 34,000, bringing the Q on the turn.

Zhou checked once again and called again when Haxton bet 145,000, taking us to the 2 river. Zhou checked one more time and Haxton quickly announced himself all-in. After getting a count of Haxton’s 440,000-chip bet, Zhou snap-called and tabled J10 for a spade flush. Unfortunately for him Haxton’s 55 had turned fives full.

“That was a very good turn card,” Haxton said as the pot was shipped to him. “That was exactly the one I was looking for.” A despondent Zhou was left with just 100,000 chips, while Haxton stacks up to 1.4 million. –JK

2:43pm: Li more than doubles through Luo
Level 10 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

Xiaoyang Luo opened for 17,000 from late position, then watched Yuan Li raise to 50,000 from the button. The action moved to Bjorn Li in the small blind who jammed for 170,000, and when it folded back to Luo he reraised all in for 217,000 total. Li thought about it but got out, and the two remaining players tabled their hands.

Luo: AK
Bjorn Li: AA

It was a nice spot for Li, and after the 43327 runout he’d bounced up around 400,000 while Luo was knocked down under 50,000. –MH

2:40pm: Aces aid Alvarado against Addamo
Level 10 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

JC Alvarado just doubled his short stack through Michael Addamo. Alvarado was at risk with AK versus Addamo’s 22, but the AA4J10 board was amenable to Alvarado who now has about 305,000. Addamo slips to 305,000. –MH

2:40pm: Welcome David and Dominik
Level 10 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

There’s now less than an hour to get registered for this event, and late entries now include both Dominik Nitsche and David Steicke. Their 250,000 starting stacks are worth 31 big blinds right now, but only 25 when we head into Level 11. — HS

2:33pm: Wang doubles back up
Level 9 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

That loss moments ago didn’t hit Yong Wang too hard. He just doubled through Adrian Mateos. All the money went in on the 9410 flop, with Wang holding 98 for a pair of nines and Mateos drawing to a club flush with A2. The turn and river came 10K and Wang climbed back to 370,000. –JK

2:32pm: Peters out and in again
Level 10 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

David Peters lost the last of his stack with 55 to Rainer Kempe’s QQ but quickly re-entered and drew the exact same seat he had departed, though now will look to his right and see Kempe’s near 2.1 million chip-leading stack. — HS

2:31pm: Addamo doubles through Wang
Level 10 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

When it looks like a cooler, sounds like a cooler and smells like a cooler, it’s a cooler. Such was the case in a recent hand between Michael Addamo and Yong Wang when Wang’s queens lost to Addamo’s kings, all-in pre-flop.

Michael Addamo: Double up

Brian Rast played a cameo with an open to 18,000. Wang called on the button, then Addamo raised to 68,000 from the small blind. Rast folded, but then Wang moved all-in, covering Addamo’s 230,000 total. Addamo called it off.

Addamo: KK
Wang: QQ

The board bricked and that doubled Addamo to around 470,000. Wang is left with 190,000. — HS

2:30pm: Tollerene busts Yotsushika
Level 10 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

Kazuhiko Yotsushika was one of the players buying in today on Day 2, but he’s already departed after losing the last of his stack in a hand versus Ben Tollerene. Tollerene is up to 450,000 now.

The comings and goings keep happening at a rapid clip. Right now they are up to 61 total entries with 36 players in action with a little over half an hour left before late registration and the ability to re-enter ends. –MH

2:28pm: Greenwood outdraws Dvoress
Level 10 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

“Sam, you always get lucky,” Shan Huang said. This is typical. He can’t resist giving a running commentary on everything he sees.

He was right, though, and doesn’t Daniel Dvoree know it. Dvoress had watched his pocket jacks cracked by Sam Greenwood’s pocket nines on a Q9576 runout. (Not sure when the money went in, but it may have been pre-flop.)

Daniel Dvoress: Second bullet didn’t last long

Greenwood had about 200,000 in his stack and Dvoress, who only just re-entered, was left with only 30,000 after losing the hand. He was out again soon after, and firing a third bullet. — HS

2:16 pm: High-rent chop
Level 10 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

Kuisong’s Wu wild ride at the high-rent Table 1 continued moments ago in a pot with Alex Foxen.

Foxen opened the action for 18,000 under the gun, drawing calls from Wu in the hijack seat and Ben Tollerene in the big blind. Tollerene checked the 104Q flop and then got out of the way after Foxen bet 28,000 and Wu called.

Foxen led again, this time for 58,000, after the 7 fell on the turn. Wu ran the clock down a bit and then raised to 150,000. Foxen took a bit and then just called, bringing the 8 on the river. He checked and Wu almost put out a bet before deciding on a check instead. Both players tabled the same hand – KQ for Foxen and KQ for Wu – and chopped the pot.

“If I bet you call?” asked Wu. Foxen shrugged casually and then added, “Well, I do have a bet on the number of entrants, so…” –JK

2:10pm: Kempe keeps collecting
Level 10 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

“Hey Rainer… how come you get so lucky?”

So called Shan Huang from across the room just now to Rainer Kempe after the latter won another big pot to boost his chip lead even further.

I came upon the hand amid the preflop back-and-forthing* between the Kempe and Yuan Jiang. From the looks of things Kempe had opened from the hijack and Jiang three-bet from the cutoff to 25,000. Then Kempe made it 147,000, Jiang shoved for more than 600,000, and Kempe called.

Jiang had A5 and needed help against Kempe’s AK. The J2K flop was promising, pairing Kempe’s king but giving Jiang a flush draw. The 2 turn and 8 river bricked, however, and Jiang is out.

Lucky or not, Kempe is still stacking, but looks to have a touch more than 2 million now. –MH

*An all-purpose poker term you may feel free to use, if you wish, to describe any action you might not have actually witnessed.

2:05pm: Wu fold, fold
Level 9 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Kuisong Wu faced back-to-back shoves in consecutive hands and both times had to fold despite clear temptation to stick it in.

In the first instance, Wu was at the turn in a pot against Ben Tollerene, with the board showing 6AKJ. Wu checked, Tollerene bet 45,000 and Wu called.

Wu checked the J river too and Tollerene moved in for 162,000. Wu, after getting the count, made his first agonised fold.

On the next hand, Kazuhiko Yotsushika opened to 13,000 from under the gun and Tollerene called from one seat over. Wu then three-bet from the button (this is a six-handed table) to 45,000. Yotsushika then jammed for 195,000 and Tollerene folded. However Wu went through the motions again.

Yotsushika shot out of his seat and produced a fistful of gleaming red plaques from his pocket, announcing “Rebuy!” as he did so. It seems he may have had a good night at the baccarat tables.

Wu was suitably cowed by Yotsushika’s show of force and folded. — HS

2:00pm: Rast stacks Loeser
Level 9 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Manig Loeser and Brian Rast just had an all-in confrontation, with Rast’s 360,000 or so well covering the 210,000-ish Loeser put in the middle.

We arrived late in the proceedings, but it looked like the money got in on a truly action flop of A9Q. We can call it an “action flop” because of the player’s hands — Rast with AQ for two pair, and Loeser with 99 for a set.

Whatever happened before that point, the A on the turn changed everything, giving Rast the better full house which remained best after the 3 river. Rast is up around 580,000 now while Loeser must start over if he wishes to continue. –MH

1:55pm: Addamo felts O’Dwyer
Level 9 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Steve O’Dwyer is out, although surely not for long as there is still another hour-plus to go before re-entering no longer is an option.

O’Dwyer put his last 65,000 forward from middle position with 77 and got one customer in Michael Addamo who had A10. The board rolled out 926109, the ten on the turn doing O’Dwyer in.

Addamo has 330,000 now, and O’Dwyer will probably have another starting stack of 250,000 shortly. –MH

1:54pm: The power of the big stack
Level 9 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Of all the benefits a big stack brings, the ability to pressure opponents at will is probably the most important. Our incoming chip leader just showed exactly why that’s true.

Alex Foxen had position on Ben Tollerene and 100,000 chips in the pot when we arrived to a 102810 board. Tollerene, who had opened under the gun before the flop, bet 52,000. Foxen considered his options and went with a call, bringing the dangerous 9 on the river.

Tollerene checked and Foxen let his shot clock run all the way down before announcing himself all-in. That put Tollerene in a spot where he had to decide on risking his last 226,000 chips, and it was clearly a tough one. He used one of his time-bank chips to buy another 30 seconds, and when that wasn’t enough he used his other time-bank chip for the same purpose. A minute and a half didn’t look like enough time for a proper think as Tollerene eventually folded.

“You so lucky!” exclaimed Kuisong Wu, who’d folded before the flop. “I have the nuts. Ten-nine.”

“Now you’re just making him feel bad about folding,” said Foxen.

Foxen built his stack ever taller, while Tollerene saved that 226,000 for another spot. –JK

Foxen’s flying high again

1:45pm: Dvoress downed, back
Level 9 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Daniel Dvoress is out, though I’d be amazed if he’s not back in pretty soon. His chips went to Justin Bonomo, but it looked as though Yuan Li had also been tempted to get involved at one point.

Dvoress opened his button to 15,000 and Bonomo moved all-in from the small blind for 189,000. Li, who covered both opponents, pondered for a long time in the big blind before folding. But Dvoress counted his stack (he had 140,000), looked at the clock (15 minutes left in Level 9) and then called it off with 44.

He was in OK shape against Bonomo’s A8 but if the flop of 28J wasn’t bad enough, the turn Q and river J was emphatic. Bonomo’s flush won the day.

And, yes, in the time it took to write this, Dvoress found a chunk of change to re-enter. — HS

1:42pm: Rast back and pushing
Level 9 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Brian Rast is back in action, having re-entered during today’s first level. He just applied the pressure on JC Alvarado, forcing a river fold.

It started with Alvarado’s 12,000 raise from under the gun. Rast’s call in the big blind was the only other pre-flop action. The dealer offered them the A106 flop and Rast check-called Alvarado’s 11,000 bet.

They both then checked the J turn, before the 5 river completed the flush draw (had that been what either of them was on). Rast jammed and his 250,000 covered the 90,000 Alvarado had back.

Alvarado peeked at his cards again, but only as he waved them farewell. –HS

1:37 pm: Chen checks out
Level 9 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

James Chen doubled up late last night but only came into Day 2 with 79,000 chips. Those all went in the middle moments ago with 109 on the turn of a board that gave Chen an open-ended straight draw. Unfortunately the draw didn’t come home and Chen’s first bullet has missed its target. Perhaps we’ll see him return to take advantage of the extended registration period. –JK

Chen takes it on the chin

1:36pm: Two pushes, two wins
Level 9 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Within the space of a few minutes, the short stacks of Daniel Dvoress and JC Alvarado were in the middle on neighbouring tables. Nobody tangled with them, so they built up a little.

The first push came after Yuan Li opened to 15,000 from UTG+1 and Stephen Chidwick called in the small blind. Dvoress then pushed for 135,000 from the small blind ad watched his reluctant opponents both fold.

On the other table, Michael Addamo opened to 12,000 from late position and Alvarado jammed for 93,000 from the big blind. Addamo folded. — HS

1:35pm: Burns busts Badziakouski
Level 9 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

“All in.” “Argh!”

That was the sequence of table talk just now between Kahle Burns and Mikita Badziakouski. After a 3K6 flop Burns had bet 37,000 from the hijack seat and Badziakouski had called from the button, with the latter’s call leaving him just 42,000 behind. Then after the Q fell on the turn Burns had made the quick push, and Badziakouski had exhaled his frustration.

After spending a couple of time bank chips Badziakouski finally made the call, then saw to his dismay Burns quickly turn over A8 for the nut flush. Badziakouski was drawing dead with K9, and after the meaningless river was dealt out he stood to leave — perhaps to re-enter (we’ll see).

Time’s up for Badziakouski

Burns bumps up to 290,000 after that one. –MH

1:30pm: Haxton hacks at Greenwood’s stack
Level 9 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Luc Greenwood brought a healthy 441,000-chip stack into Day 2 but he’s seen that total cut nearly in half thanks to a recent pot against Isaac Haxton.

We picked up the action after the 9Q4 flop with nearly 300,000 chips in the middle and Greenwood having just called a lead bet from Haxton. The 4 didn’t change Haxton’s posture and he bet once more, this time for 130,000. Greenwood took a bit but eventually folded, surrendering the pot to Haxton.

Haxton now has 670,000 chips, while Greenwood drops to 230,000. –JK

1:28pm: Bicknell in the mix
Level 9 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Kristen Bicknell has pulled up a seat in the Super High Roller. She becomes the first woman to play this event and, as she mentioned in yesterday’s interview, women are crushing it in 2018. Here’s her chance on the biggest stage. — HS

Bicknell looking to bink another one

1:25pm: Early cooler boosts Kempe at Kenney’s expense
Level 9 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Rainer Kempe was jostling for the chip-lead late last night, but eventually had to settle for second thanks to Alex Foxen’s tight grip on top spot. But Kempe has now put clear air between himself and the rest of the field by knocking out Bryn Kenney in the day’s first cooler.

The pot began with Dan Smith opening to 14,000 from the cutoff, a bet that Kenney called on the button. Kempe then three-bet to 110,000 from the small blind, persuading Smith to let it go, but Kenney jammed for something like 350,000.

Kempe didn’t wait for a count. He snap-called and turned over AA and Kenney was in trouble with his AK.

There were no miracles on the 54865 runout and Kenney departs, most likely to the cash desk where he is highly likely to re-enter. Kempe, meanwhile, stacks up around 1.4 million. — HS

Kempe new king of the counts

1:20pm: O’Dwyer pushes, collects
Level 9 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Michael Addamo opened for the minimum from under the gun and got a couple of callers in Adrian Mateos one seat over and Steve O’Dwyer playing from the small blind.

The flop fell 56A and after O’Dwyer checked Addamo put out 12,000 once again. Mateos folded, but O’Dwyer responded with a check-raise shove all in and that forced Addamo to step aside.

O’Dwyer still sits with just 105,000, Addamo has 255,000, and Mateos 490,000. –MH

Small one for Steve-O

1:16pm: Antonius hits the ground running
Level 9 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Patrik Antonius spent yesterday piling up the chips, and he’s off to a similar start here on Day 2.

We picked up the action on a recent pot that had been raised on the button before the flop by Yuan Li. Christoph Vogelsang joined in from the small blind and Antonius came along from the big to see a flop of AJ4.

They both checked to Li, who bet 27,000. Vogelsang folded but Antonius called, bringing the 7 turn. Another check, another bet (50,000 this time), another call. Antonius offered Li one more chance to bet after the 8 river but he declined, and QJ for a pair of jacks was good.

Antonius now has 675,000 chips, while Li has about 160,000. –JK

1:15pm: Two more
Level 9 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Two more players have arrived this afternoon, bringing total entries up to 54 so far. They are Kazuhiko Yotsushika, from Japan, who seems to be a newcomer to this level of competition, and Yuan Li, who is much better known.

Welcome, Yuan

Li won the Super High Roller here at the 2016 Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP) and has had a decent string of results since then too. — HS

1:10pm: Whole lotta shove
Level 9 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

The short stacks are getting after it early on Day 2, looking either to double up early or bust and re-enter while there is still time.

James Chen just managed a double after getting his short stack all in with AK versus JC Alvarado’s KQ. A board of 86695 was safe for Chen, and he survives though is still well below the average.

Meanwhile Aaron Been got his last 54,000 in with A7 versus Mikita Badziakouski’s A7. Been only added a couple of chips after a 923KJ produced a split pot over Badziakouski’s mock cry of “So many red cards, why no flush?”

Been down so long it looks like up to me

Like Chen and Alvarado, Been and Badziakouski are both still on the short side, too.–MH

1:05pm: New day, new arrivals
Level 9 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Players are seated and Day 2 of this Super High Roller event is now under way. With registration still open for another two levels, we may yet see some new arrivals. At starts of play, the following sat down for the first time:

Zhao Hongjun
Dan Smith
Yong Wang
Jan Eric Schwippert — HS

Enter King Dan

12:30pm: Day 2 awaits

Good afternoon from Macau, where the skies are cloudy but the temperatures comfortably warm here on the Cotai Strip.

We return to the PokerStars LIVE card-room at the City of Dreams, where the poker action has already warmed up plenty. Today’s highlight is Day 2 of the $400,000 Super High Roller, where Alex Foxen will be coming back to the biggest stack of the 31 survivors from yesterday’s exciting Day 1.

Day 1 Super High Roller action at the City of Dreams

Yesterday’s eight one-hour levels saw plenty of bustouts and re-entries, with 47 entries altogether and late registration still open through the first two levels today. Foxen began accumulating early and kept right on doing so to be the only player to grow the 250,000-chip starting stack to more than a milly, ultimately bagging 1,287,000 at night’s end.

The New Yorker is continuing a recent rush that has included a win in the WPT L.A. Poker Classic late last month, bringing him just outside the Global Poker Index Top 10 at No. 11. Rainer Kempe is just one spot back of Foxen in the GPI rankings at No. 12, and the German is also a spot behind him in the chip counts as he returns to the second-largest stack of 915,000 with Quan Zhou, Patrik Antonius, and Yuan Jiang rounding out the current top five.

Unsurprisingly, there’s plenty of other tough competition remaining to challenge the leaders, including current GPI No. 1 Adrian Mateos who also returns to an above-average stack. One of the last players to enter yesterday was David Peters (GPI No. 4), who walked over right after taking runner-up in the APPT National High Roller event won by none other than Foxen’s girlfriend, Kristen Bicknell.

Foxen to Bicknell: “Now I’ll just have to win one, too”

Bicknell talked with us after her big win about the tournament and how “women are crushing it” this year. Take a look:

In this event the field will surely grow some more before it gets smaller (until the late reg option ends) for this $400,000 HKD event (equal to around $50,000 USD). We’ll keep a close watch to see how the final turnout compares to the 88 total entries (64 uniques) who played this event last year when Steve O’Dwyer won it to earn a first prize worth nearly $8.5 million HKD.

Play starts back at 1pm today with a plan to play ten 60-minute levels or down to eight players, whichever happens first. We’ll be here all day and night with all the big hands, photos, videos, and more, so stick close and we’ll find out together who will make the money, then who will make it through to tomorrow’s finale. –MH

Download the PokerStars LIVE! app with all tournament information. Available for IOS and Android.

PokerStars Blog reporting team on the $400,000 Super High Roller: Marc Convey, Jason Kirk, Martin Harris, Matt Showell, Jack Stanton and Howard Swains. Photography by Joe Giron/PokerPhotoArchive.

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