Wednesday, 1st February 2023 05:19
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9:40pm: That’s that
Leonardo Pires is still the chip leader of the 19 players left. Click through for a full wrap of the day.

9:30pm: Lewis doubles through Waxman in the last hand of the day
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000 – 20,000 (3,000 ante)

What a way to end the day for Toby Lewis.

Lewis kicked off this pot with an open to 45,000, only for Martin McCormick to make it 100,000. Matt Waxman wasn’t going anywhere in the big blind – he made the call, but Lewis then felt the time was right to raise all-in for 629,000 total.

McCormick folded, clearly frustrated, and Waxman snap-called. McCormick then announced he had let go of pocket tens.

Toby Lewis AA
Matt Waxman QQ

If McCormick was frustrated before, he was even more so when the flop was dealt 1094 would have given him top set and the lead. Lewis was in good shape for the double up, and the 8 on the turn changed nothing immediately but gave Waxman a gutshot. However, it was another ace – the A – and Lewis shot up to 1,396,000. The last remaining former EPT champion in the field, and the last man to be day-end chip leader before Pires, is in good shape.

We bet Marty McCormick is glad he folded those tens now. –JS

Next year, it could be you! Click here to get a PokerStars account so you can qualify.

9:20pm: The end of things
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000 – 20,000 (3,000 ante)
There are only a couple of hands left in today’s action. We have details of that, then a full wrap, very soon.

9:20pm: McCormick’s bet didn’t look all that good – he won though
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000 – 20,000 (3,000 ante)

On a flop of J26, Martin McCormick checked over to his only opponent, Anthony Gregg, who bet 75,000. McCormick started moving his chips around and spilt a load of blue chips over the table. Without saying anything, he started scooping them back up, but it was taking longer than expected.

“Just leave it,” said Fedor Holz. “It’s fine.”
“No it’s not fine,” McCormick said. “I’m gonna raise though – I just want to make it look good.”

Well, it didn’t. McCormick intended to raise to 165,000 but a string bet resulted it being a min-raise to 150,000. Gregg called.

The 10 was dealt on the turn and both players checked, taking us to a river card of the Q. There was no more checking from McCormick who bet 320,000 into the 472,000 pot and took it down. –JS

Martin McCormick 1,070,000

9.15pm: Chidwick back beyond a million
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000 – 20,000 (3,000 ante)

A big hand just played out between Stephen Chidwick and Mike Watson, with the former coming out best.

With the board showing 3QJ10 there was already around 600,000 in the pot when Mike Watson, having watched Chidwick check, bet about 225,000. Chidwick paused, then called for the 6 river card.


Stephen Chidwick: Chipping up

Chidwick checked, evidently hoping that Watson would try something given that when Watson also checked Chidwick showed 89 for a turned straight.

Watson didn’t show. He’s down to 825,000 while Chidwick moves back past the million mark to 1.4 million. – SB


Mike Watson: Still healthy

9:10pm: Three pots for Pires
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000-20,000 (3,000 ante)

Leonardo Pires is still on the rise. He recently took down three pots by throwing around his massive stack.

The first was the smallest but it was against the second-largest stack in the tournament. Phillip McAllister raised to 44,000 from the cutoff and Pires re-raised to 150,000 and everyone else folded.

Pot for Pires.


Leonardo Pires: No stopping him

Vasken Demlakian raised to 46,000 from under-the-gun the following hand and Pires called from the cutoff. David Eldridge called from the small blind and the flop came AK3. Demlakian bet 86,000 when checked to and Pires raised to 250,000. Eldridge folded and Vasken called.

A 4 came on the turn and Pires fired off a bet of 500,000. Demlakian thought for a bit but then folded.

Pot for Pires.

The same three players then played the next pot.

Pires raised to 61,000 from the hijack and Eldridge raised to 131,000 from the button. Demlakian called and Pires four-bet to 500,000.

Eldridge quickly folded and Demlakian did the same after showing Pires AJ.

Another pot for Pires.

Pires min-raised from under-the-gun the following hand but ended up folding on the turn. The Brazilian is still comfortably in the lead with not much time left in the day. –AV

Leonardo Pires — 4,250,000
Phillip McAllister — 2,700,000
David Eldridge — 1,905,000
Vasken Demlakian — 1,750,000

9pm: Ging, gang Gooley
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000 – 20,000 (3,000 ante)

Paul Gooley just doubled. There was some confusion as to whether he was limping, raising and shoving from his place on the button, but either way Ami Barer was calling from the small blind.

QQ for Gooley
44 for Barer.

The board ran out K7266 changing nothing. Gooley’s shove was for 359,000, which takes him up to around 750,000. -SB

8:55pm: Fedor Holz: McCormick’s new sponsor?
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000 – 20,000 (3,000 ante)

“Would you sponsor me Fedor?”
“Would you sponsor me to play?”

Martin McCormick is setting up his new career path by badgering Fedor Holz into backing him – or “sponsoring” him.

“Sure, I’d sponsor you. But you’ve gotta work hard.”
“Oh, I’m not work shy,” said the Scot. –JS

8:50pm: Ami bears arms
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000 – 20,000 (3,000 ante)

A potentially huge pot just played out between Ami Barer and Stephen Chidwick. Barer raised pre-flop, Chidwick called. There was a bet and call on the A210 flop. The same pattern took place on the 6 turn but the bets were getting bigger – this time it was 128,000 that Barer put in the middle and Chidwick matched.

The river was 7. Chidwick checked a third time. Barer now pounded away with 282,000. Chidwick had a long think about it before finally folding. It was a decent-sized pot for Barer, but it was close to being much, much bigger.

Barer and Chidwick now share similar 1.1m stacks. – RJ

8:45pm: Big stacks side by side
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000 – 20,000 (3,000 ante)

There is a mixture of stacks left in the main event but two in particular stand out.

Leonardo Pires was on the feature table after the re-draw, but the departure of three players meant he was ordered back to the outer table, with his stack of around 4 million, where he now sits directly to the left of the other big stack of Phillip McAllister, who has 3.2 million. -SB


Phillip McAllister and Leonardo Pires: Stack daddies

8:35pm: Relative calm
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000 – 20,000 (3,000)

After the departure of Jason Mercier, the table he left has settled into a period of relative calm. Ami Barer gets involved in a lot of pots, Stephen Chidwick sits bolt upright, elbows out, whether he’s in a pot or not, and they all keep a watchful eye on short stacked Paul Gooley, who in turn regularly checks the tournament clock for any movement. None yet.-SB


The laughing stopped with Jason Mercier’s elimination

8:30pm: Troyanovskiy squeezes
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000 – 20,000 (3,000 ante)

Vladimir Troyanovskiy rarely looks happy. He might be smiling inside though after a well-timed squeeze play helped him take down 100,000 chips uncontested.


Vladimir Troyanovskiy: In rare chatty mode

Phil McAllister raised to 44,000, Randy Kritzer called on the button and then it was on Troyanovskiy in the big blind. He made it 185,000 to go and that was too big a price for his two opponents. They both folded. – RJ

8:25pm: Mercier out in 20th
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000-20,000 (3,000 ante)

The last Team PokerStars Pro in the field is gone.

Jason Mercier’s last hand of the 2016 PCA Main Event started when Ami Barer raised to 45,000 from middle position. Mercier moved all in for 365,000 from the button and Barer called.

Barer: AA
Mercier: 1010

Mercier was hoping for a set but the 269A3 board gave Barer one instead. Barer chipped up to 1.1 million while Mercier was eliminated in 20th.


The end of Jason Mercier’s third deep run

This is Mercier’s third consecutive PCA Main Event cash. The Team Pro finished 142nd in 2014 and 41st last year. Maybe next year he’ll win it. –AV

8:15pm: Racener eliminated by McCormick
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000-20,000 (2,000 ante)

John Racener found himself all in against Martin McCormick holding the A9 against pocket jacks for McCormick. The K1010 flop didn’t help the American, and nor did the 6 turn or Q river.


Martin McCormick: Racener’s executioner

John Racener was eliminated in 20th place and will take home $32,360. –JS


John Racener: Doubled early, but not for a second time

8:10pm: Barbuto loses the race
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000 – 20,000 (3,000 ante)

Some crazy pre-flop action has just resulted in the elimination of Ivan Barbuto in 22nd place.

Fabian Chauriye raised to 44,000 and Barbuto three-bet to 106,000. So far, nothing unusual. And then the action got to David Eldridge on the button. He cold four-bet all-in, covering both players.

Chauriye didn’t fold right away but eventually came to that decision. Barbuto called quickly – he had AK. Eldridge held QQ and we were off to the races.

Ivan Barbuto_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 4_Giron_8JG9937.jpg

Ivan Barbuto: The end of the road

The 8626J runout was perfect for Eldridge and disastrous for Barbuto. He collects $27,860 for his fine work this week. Eldridge will be looking to win significantly more than that as he now has 2.2 million. – RJ

8:05pm: Nanev not in
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000-20,000 (2,000 ante)

David Eldridge went from potential eliminee to eliminator and is now over 1 million.

Phillip McAllister raised to 44,000 from the hijack and Eldridge three-bet to 98,000 from the small blind. Rumen Nanev moved all in for 340,000 and only Eldridge called.


Rumen Nanev in happier times

Nanev showed AQ and had Eldridge’s AJ dominated.

But the 23105J board ended in a river defeat for Nanev. Eldridge chipped up to 1.17 million while Nanev hit the rail in 23rd.


Rumen Nanev hands over the last of it

8pm: Eldridge doubles
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000 – 20,000 (3,000 ante)

A crucial double up for David Eldridge against Randy Kritzer. Eldridge shoved for 370,000 with pocket fours, which Kritzer called with ace-king. The flop brought an ace, but also a four, which made a set for Eldridge.-SB


Double for David Eldridge

7:55pm: New line-up
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000-20,000 (3,000 ante)

Here’s how they are seated as we play the last level of the day:

Table 1

1 – empty
2 – Jason Mercier
3 – Timothy Ulmer
4 – Mike Watson
5 – Paul Gooley
6 – Ami Barer
7 – Taylor Paur
8 – Stephen Chidwick

Table 2 (feature table)

1 – John Racener
2 – Martin McCormick
3 – Tony Gregg
4 – Leonardo Pires
5 – Matt Waxman
6 – Fedor Holz
7 – Toby Lewis
8 – Fabian Ortiz

Table 3

1 – Randy Kritzer
2 – David Eldridge
3 – Rumen Nanev
4 – Vladimir Troyanovskiy
5 – Ken Demlakian
6 – Fabian Chauriye
7 – Phillip McAllister
8 – Ivan Barbuto

7:50pm: Redraw
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000-20,000 (3,000 ante)

They’re redrawing for the last three tables. New seating positions to follow momentarily.

7:50pm: Farid Jattin out in 24th
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000-20,000 (3,000 ante)

Before we could even break to the final three tables, we got down to 23 players.

Farid Jattin raised from under-the-gun and Vladimir Troyanovskiy moved all in from the small blind. Jattin called and showed JJ to Troyanovskiy’s KQ. The board ran 910Q27 and the dealer counted out Troyanovskiy’s stack: 326,000.


Farid Jattin: Out!

Jattin started counting out the amount to pay him and realized he didn’t have enough. Jattin only had 315,000 and was eliminated in 24th place while Troyanovskiy rose to about 800,000. –AV

7:45pm: Thomas Petre out in 25th
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000 – 20,000 (3,000 ante)

Minutes into the new level Thomas Petre moved all in without response. A minute later he tried again, this time getting a call from Leonardo Pires.

Petre on the button showed KQ with Pires showing A4. The board ran 210A96.


Thomas Petre: Out!

“Good luck guys,” said Petre as he made his way to the payout desk, out in 25th place.-SB

7:40pm: Heron gets fished out
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000 – 20,000 (3,000 ante)

Randy Kritzer opened to 45,000 in mid-position and Steven Heron jammed his 360,000 (18 big blinds) from the button. Krtizer got a quick count before calling.

Kritzer’s AK was way in front of Heron’s A8. The J2J flop offered hope of a chopped pot to Heron – the 3 turn was even better as he picked up a flush draw. But it was not to be – the 10 on the river meant all of Heron’s remaining chips went Kritzer’s way.


Steven Heron: Out!

Heron stood up, shook the hands of all on his table and wished them luck. He finished in 26th place for $23,360. Kritzer now has 1.76m. – RJ

7:35pm: Barer back
Level 23 – Blinds 10,000-20,000 (3,000 ante)
Ami Barer was the shortest stack at the feature table during the latest break–but not any more. He got his stack of 288,000 into the middle with pocket eights and picked up a call from Taylor Paur and his A10. Not only was the board absent an ace or a ten, but there was an eight on the turn. — HS

7pm: Break time
It’s a 30 minute break now for everybody to regroup. But we have the latest chip counts on the chip-count page.

7pm: Bayley out
Level 22 – Blinds 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

Lawrence Bayley busted on the penultimate hand of the level. He moved in with QA and got called by Fabian Ortiz with K6. Bayley was ahead, but nervous as the flop came 472. The turn card 8 was safe enough, but not the river, the 6. “It’s been fun,” said Bayley as he walked to the payout desk.-SB


Lawrence Bayley

6:45pm: One for the PCA Highlights reel
Level 22 – Blinds 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

Hold on to your hats, ladies and gentlemen. Here is the hand of the tournament so far.

It took place on the EPT Live feature table, so if you want to watch it play out, head over to the video coverage and scrub forward to about 6:45:00 and enjoy it. Alternatively, read below. But there will be spoilers.

It all started innocuously enough with Paul-Francois Tedeschi making an opening raise to 36,000 from early position and Phillip McAllister calling on the button. Fabian Chauriye probably considered it worth sticking around from the big blind. That would prove to be a little costly.

The flop fell Q84 and both Tedeschi and Chauriye checked. McAllister, with the biggest stack of the three, seized an opportunity to take over the betting and pushed forward 48,000. Tedeschi called and Chauriye called right behind him.

That took them to the J on the turn and a familiar pattern: check, check and then a bet from McAllister, this time 136,000. But there was nothing standard about what happened next.

Tedeschi took a moment or two but then announced that he was all in, pushing out his stack of 388,000. Chauriye called. And then McAllister called it too, which meant Tedeschi was potentially in line for a triple up.

But this was merely the start. The A game on the river, which filled all the draws in the world. And it certainly seemed as if Chauriye had hit one as he bet 300,000–a tiny bet, given that the pot was already at around 1.4 million.

But get this: McAllister, the biggest stack at the table, announced that he was all in. He still had 1.2 million behind, covering Chauriye’s 851,000, and the Chilean player was now being asked if he wanted to play for his entire tournament, despite sitting with one of the largest stacks in the room.


Fabian Chauriye put to an agonising decision
“Don’t let me bluff you off a chop,” McAllister said, but this lapse in etiquette was quickly seized on by Jason Mercier. The Team PokerStars Pro offered a gentle reminder that this was actually still a multi-way pot–Tedeschi was still in this too remember–and speech that is designed to influence action is not permitted unless it strictly heads up.

Tedeschi didn’t say anything and neither did Chauriye. The latter simply sat in abject anguish, pondering how he had got himself into a spot like this, and how to get out of it. The length of time he took over his decision suggested he had an enormous hand, but not the nuts.

McAllister told him that he could think for another two minutes, but they he would be calling the clock.

Eventually Chauriye made the pained decision to fold. But he received instant gratification: McAllister tabled K10, having gone runner-runner royal flush.

Tedeschi showed his cards too, of course, even though he couldn’t win. He turned over QQ and, having flopped top set, was knocked out by the best hand anybody can possibly get. Tedeschi wandered off in a daze.


A dazed and confused Paul-Francois Tedeschi

McAllister, meanwhile, moves up to more than 2.7 million chips, while Chauriye has about 850,000. Tedeschi is out.

They all have a story, but it’s going to be better if you hear it from McAllister. — HS


Phillip McAllister: Grinning like the cat who got the chips

6:35pm: Oliver out, Gregg crosses 1 million
Level 22 – Blinds 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

Kevin Wan raised to 42,000 from the cutoff and Justin Oliver re-raise all-in for 312,000 from the button. Tony Gregg called from the small blind and Wan folded.

Gregg tabled AK while Oliver turned over 88 for a flip. Gregg hit a king on the the flop and another on the river.

Oliver was eliminated in 31st while Gregg chipped up to 1.07 million. –AV


Tony Gregg: The man everybody wants to be seen with

6:20pm: Racener off to the races
Level 22 – Blinds 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

John Racener just doubled up through Italian Ivan Barbuto with QQ against AK. No help came on the flop, turn or river for Barbuto and Racener is now up to 310,000.

John Racener 310,000
Ivan Barbuto 620,000 –JS

6:13pm: Pires takes chips from Holz
Level 22 – Blinds 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

Fedor Holz is one of the best players in the world with more than $5,000,000 in live winnings since December 2015 alone.

But there’s only so much a player can do when they’re up a Goliath. Today’s Goliath is Leonardo Pires.

He seems to love nothing more than getting in big pots; sliding green stacks worth 500,000 into the middle. In a hand just now with Holz, the young German opened to 40,000 and both blinds called – Paul Gooley and Pires.

To the flop – 2K5. Both Gooley and Pires checked allowing Holz to bet 85,000. Gooley got out of the way but now Pires decided to raise, making it 317,000 to play. Fedor called.

The turn was the 7 and there would be no more checking from Pires. The Brazilian did what he loves to do. Bet. And bet big. He made it 405,000.

It was too steep a price for Fedor who let his hand go and dropped down to 620,000. Pires, meanwhile has
so many chips we couldn’t even count them until he organises them properly. It’s at least 3,000,000 though. –JS

6:12pm: Mercier left on fumes; Desferet not even that
Level 22 – Blinds 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

A big hand on the feature table ending with a stack of 1.65 million in front of Fabian Chauriye Rabah, but Jason Mercier in big trouble and Renaud Desferet out.

Desferet open shoved for 275,000 and Jason Mercier, one seat around the table, reshoved behind him for 785,000. Chauriye Rabah’s dream came true. He really did wake up with aces in the big blind. Naturally, he called.

The hands were as follows:

Chauriye Rabah: AA
Mercier: KK
Desferet: 66

And the board ran 9J48A. It left Mercier with about 110,000 and Desferet looking for the payouts table. Chauriye Rabah, meanwhile, is hanging around. — HS

6:06pm: Waxman doubles through Lewis
Level 22 – Blinds 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

Matt Waxman and Toby Lewis were heads-up on a 66358 board and there was about 500,000 in the pot.

“All-in,” Lewis said.

Waxman had 487,000 to Lewis’s 1 million and started thinking. A few minutes later, Waxman grabbed his cards and moved them out a bit before he shook his head and brought them back.

A few minutes after that Waxman stood up and kneeled on his chair.

Matt Waxman_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 4_Giron_8JG9839.jpg

Matt Waxman
“Call,” Waxman said a few minutes after that, about 9 minutes had gone buy since Lewis announced the all-in.

Lewis tabled 107 for a busted flush draw while Waxman showed a winning 99.

Waxman doubled up to 1.52 million while Lewis dropped to 550,000. –AV

6:02pm: Wan wins one, doubles up
Level 22 – Blinds 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

Kevin Wan has doubled to more than 520,000, clipping Rumen Nanev down to his last 150,000 in the process. I’m not totally sure of the betting, but they did get it in pre-flop and Nanev was way behind with his KJ to Wan’s QQ.

The flop seemed to help Wan when it came Q105 but the straight draw actually improved Nanev’s equity. However the K turn and 6 river was insufficient and Wan won. — HS

5:56pm: Koon and Rocco bust, four tables remain
Level 22 – Blinds 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

We’re down to our final 32 players.

We got down to 33 after Lawrence Bayley and Jason Koon got it in from the blinds. Bayley was on the small blind with about 340,000 while Koon was on the big with 154,000.

Koon tabled AK and was flipping against Bayley’s 1010.

The 72988 board left Bayley in the lead and Koon was eliminated in 34th place.

Jason Koon_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 4_Giron_8JG9817.jpg

Jason Koon
Then we lost another player and table.

Timothy Ulmer raised from the cutoff and Michael Rocco moved all-in from the big blind for about 415,000.

Michael Rocco_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 4_Giron_8JG9527.jpg

Michael Rocco
Ulmer called and showed a dominating AK to Rocco’s A10.

The board ran 393J4 and Rocco was eliminated in 33rd while Ulmer chipped up to 2.27 million. –AV

Timothy Ulmer — 2,265,000
Lawrence Bayley — 550,000

Michael Rocco — 33rd
Jason Koon — 34th

8G2A1123_PCA2016_Jason_Koon_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Jason Koon
5:46pm: It’s good to be Pires
Level 22 – Blinds 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

Everything is going right for Leonardo Pires right now. Here’s an example.

On a QQ38 board, Pires checked to Laurence Bailey who made it 40,000 to go. Joseph Drory called and Pires check-raised up to 100,000 even. Both his opponents called and the J landed on the river.

At this point, Pires wasted no time and slided a huge stack of green 25,000 chips – more than enough to put both of his opponents all in. Bailey removed himself from the hand immediately, but Drory called and was heartbroken when Pires showed his hand:

Leonardo Pires 33
Joseph Drory KK

Leonardo Pires_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 4_Giron_8JG9850.jpg

Leonardo Pires
Drory exited in 35th and takes home $17,420. Flopping full houses? More than 2,900,000 in chips? It sure is good to be Pires. –JS

Joseph Drory_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 4_Giron_8JG9808.jpg

Joseph Drory
5:45pm: Guest no longer welcome
Level 22 – Blinds 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

The eliminations come thick and fast including, sorry to say, Luke Guest.

The British player has been on the mother of all freerolls this week in the Bahamas having won a package in a special PokerStars promotion. Guest was one of a random table full of players who were given packages to the PCA during an online promo, and he bumped up his tournament folio with excellent results in a couple of early side events.

But he was down to his last 238,000 in the Main Event and got it in against Fabian Ortiz. Ortiz had by far the bigger stack–more than a million at last count–and also the bigger hand. Ortiz’s AK was dominant against Guest’s AQ.

Fabian Ortiz_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 4_Giron_8JG9778.jpg

Fabian Ortiz
The board gave some chop opportunities when it came 555, but the 2 turn and 3 river weren’t good enough and Guest hit the rail.

Luke Guest_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 4_Giron_8JG9799.jpg

Guest went out in 35th (tbc) and takes $17,420. Not bad given his cheap passage to the Caribbean. — HS

8G2A1263_PCA2016_Luke_Guest_Neil Stoddart.jpg

5:41pm: Lewis busts Jaffe
Level 22 – Blinds 8,000-16,000 (2,000 ante)

Jonathan Jaffe came back from break with just around 250,000 and got it all-in with AK against Toby Lewis’s QQ.

The board ran JJ10J8 and Lewis took down the pot with a full house. Jaffe won $17,420 for the 37th place elimination while Lewis’ stack grew to 1.35 million. –AV

5:41pm: Quick doubles before break
Level 21 – Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

David Eldridge and John Racener doubled up their short stacks shortly before break.

Both players were behind but paired the board to stay alive.

Eldridge was wall-in with QJ against Farid Jttin’s K10. Eldrige hit two pair on the 583JQ board and doubled up to 300,000 while Jattin dropped to 680,000.

Racener was down to just 89,000 and moved all-in with Q8. Fedor Holz called with 88 but Racener paired his queen on the turn of a J42Q2 board.

Racener doubled up to about 170,000 while Holz dipped to 855,000. –AV

5:35pm: Spears gone in 38th; Toby Lewis knocking on a million
Level 21 – Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

Andrew Spears has been eliminated in 38th for $17,420.

He’d min-opened to 24,000 and had just one caller – Toby Lewis from the big blind. The flop was the 947 and Spears continued for 36,000. He would be faced by a re-raise to 125,000 though, and after half a minute he decided to move all in for 220,000 more. Lewis snap called and turned over his 94 for a big blind special. Spears had the best starting hand in this game – AA, but the K turn and Q river were no help.

Toby Lewis is now on 970,000. –JS

5:00pm Demlakian happy still to be on solid ground
Level 21 – Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

Vasken Demlakian should have been in Dallas today. However he quadrupled his stack at the death last night and changed his flight to hang around in the Bahamas. Might as well see if you can pick up the best part of a million bucks, huh.

Demlakian has more than 600,000 chips right now, although his table has got significantly more difficult over the past 30 minutes. In addition to David Eldridge and Vladimir Troyanovskiy, both Michael Watson and Stephen Chidwick landed on Demlakian’s table when their own broke. There’s a whole lot of trouble coming with those two.

That said, Demlakian, in the big blind, took a small pot from Watson after SirWatts opened from the button. “I’ll donate to your healthy stack, young man,” Demlakian said.

The flop fell Q25 and Demlakian check-called Watson’s bet of 35,000. Both players checked the 4 turn but then Demlakian bet 59,000 at the J river.

“You got it,” Watson said as he folded. — HS

Vasken Demlakian_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 4_Giron_8JG9750.jpg

4:58pm: Waxman shoves on Heron
Level 21 – Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

Steven Barrie Heron from the UK kicked off a pot with a 29,000 open, called by Matt Waxman and Toby Lewis, who was in the big blind. The dealer laid out a flop of J102, Lewis checked and Heron made it 42,000, before being raised by Matt Waxman up to 104,000.

Only Heron made the call and we saw a turn – the 3. Both players checked it and next up was the A on the river. Heron checked once more and now Waxman shoved; he had Heron covered so it was a decision for Heron’s tournament. He laid it down and Waxman added another rack of blue chips to his stack. –JS

Matt Waxman 575,000
Steven Barrie Heron 340,000

4:50pm: Barnes out
Level 21 – Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

Barnes was eliminated a few hands later.

The board read K6910 and Barnes was standing up while Vasken Demlakian was reaching over to take his chips.

While Barnes had AA in front of him he was drawing dead against Demlakian’s 87.

The river was an inconsequential 4 and Barnes was eliminated in 39th while Demlakian chipped up to 1.45 million. -AV

4:48pm: Barnes back down
Level 21 – Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

Farid Jattin is steadily building a stack today and now has about 630,000 after bullying Allan Barnes out of a pot.

Barnes, with his newly acquired stack, opened to 28,000 from early position and Jattin called from the button. Eldridge also called, from the big blind, and that meant three of them saw a flop of 836.

Both Eldridge and Barnes checked, but Jattin bet 24,000, which proved to be enough to persuade Eldridge out of it. However Barnes called and saw the 8 fall on the turn.

Barnes checked, Jattin bet 65,000 and Barnes called again. That meant they saw the 4 on the river and Barnes kept up his passive line. Jattin now bet big — covering Barnes’s 235,000 — and Barnes folded. –HS

4:48pm: Ulmer takes out Tarmakov
Level 21 – Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

Another flip, another elimination.

Kliment Tarmakov got it all-in for about 350,000 from the small blind and against Timothy Ulmer on the big blind.

Tarmakov showed 88 and had to survive against Ulmer’s AK. But the K54A7 board paired both of Ulmer’s cards.

Tarmakov was eliminated in 40th place while Ulmer chipped up to about 1.64 million. –AV

Timothy Ulmer_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 4_Giron_8JG9783.jpg

Timothy Ulmer
4:40pm: Barnes boosted at Eldridge’s expense
Level 21 – Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

A double up for Allan Barnes, who won a race for his tournament life against David Eldridge, leaving the latter with only about 190,000. Barnes meanwhile has about 325,000.

The details are as follows: Eldridge opened from the hijack, making it 28,000 to play. Barnes shoved from the small blind for his last 162,000 and Eldridge called.

Eldridge was ahead at this stage with his 88 to Barnes’s A9. But the flop of A5J launched Barnes into the lead, which consolidated through the A turn and the 4 river. — HS

David Eldridge_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 4_Giron_8JG9753.jpg

4:38pm: Pires gets frisky, doubles Petre
Level 21 – Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

Having a ton of chips and being the current tournament boss can have an effect on a player. We’re not saying that’s what’s going on with Leonardo Pires right now; we’re just saying he’s getting a little frisky when it comes to throwing his chips around.

Thomas Petre opened on the button to 26,000 but Pires raised it up from the small blind to 106,000. After Petre shoved for 361,000 Pires snap called, so we were expecting him to turn over a big hand. What we ended up seeing was the 106.

Petre was ahead with his A9 and the K89 paired him up, leaving Petre needing a ten or seven for a straight. The 9 on the turn eliminated the tens from Pires’ outs, and the A secured the double up for him.

Thomas Petre 748,000
Leonardo Pires 2,200,000 –JS

NEIL9725_PCA2016_Leonardo_Pires_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Frisky Pires
4:33pm Cracked aces and strong numbers
Level 21 – Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

“I kind of wanted it to happen,” said Matt Waxman after his aces got cracked.

He’d just got it all-in with AA against Andrew Spears’s KK and the KQ679 board gave Spears a set on the flop.

“I think I’ve lost like over 50 percent of pair of pair situations over the last year,” Waxman said as he counted out 145,000 to pay Spears.

“That’s definitely a made-up number,” said Fedor Holz.

“Well it’s only been like eleven days this year,” said Jonathan Jaffe. “Could be.”

“No,” Waxman said. “Like the past 365 days.”

“I was trying to help,” Jaffe laughed. “But I’m out of your corner now.”

“One of these days it’s going to turn around” Waxman said. –AV

Andrew Spears — 320,000
Matt Waxman — 420,000

Matt Waxman_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 4_Giron_8JG9542.jpg

Matt Waxman, unluckier than most
4:16pm: Leonardo and Laurence
Level 21 – Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

Table neighbours Leonardo Pires (our chipleader) and the UK’s Laurence Bailey have been battling quite a bit, despite the fact that Bailey’s stack is little over a tenth the size of Pires’.

We just caught a hand in which Pires made it 29,000 to go and Bailey 3-bet to 67,000. The Brazilian made the call and the flop came the 3AQ, which Pires would check. Bailey now bet 62,000 but Pires check-raised to 175,000.

Bailey took his time, but would eventually throw his hand away claiming that: “I was so close to calling. So, so close.”

Jason Koon called to Pires: “Show the bluff!”

Pires smiled and said he had an ace, but as he never actually turned his hand over, we’ll just have to take his word for it. He seems a trustworthy chap. With 2,800,000 in front of him right now, he doesn’t really need to lie. –JS

Leonardo Pires 2,800,000
Laurence Bailey 270,000

Leonardo Pires_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 4_Giron_8JG9509.jpg

Leonardo Pires
4:12pm: No stopping Chidwick; Milhomens ousted
Level 21 – Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

A simple all in pre-flop skirmish has accounted for Rui Milhomens. He had A10 while Stephen Chidwick had KK. And the board of 82347 was no good for a man trying to outdraw a big pair.

Milhomens’ departure ends Portuguese participation in the PCA Main Event. — HS

NEIL9766_PCA2016_Stephen_Chidwick_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Always stretch before you bust someone
4:07pm: Crawford crushed by Ulmer
Level 21 – Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

Not even support from Leonardo Pires could save Brandon Crawford, whose tournament has come to an end in the first orbit of Level 21.

Crawford was down to his last 14,000 and he got it in from early position. Tony Gregg raised to 35,000 from the cutoff, but it didn’t work if he was trying to isolate. Timothy Ulmer called from the small blind.

Pires scampered over to fist bump Crawford and to hang around to see it play out. “I could quadruple up,” Crawford said to his new supporter as the dealer delivered a flop of A38.

Brandon Crawford_Leonardo Pires_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 4_Giron_8JG9734.jpg

Both Ulmer and Gregg checked that, but Ulmer bet at the 10 turn. Gregg folded and it left two only for the money. Ulmer hadn’t got there yet. He had KJ.

“I’m live!” Crawford said when he turned over his Q9 and for a moment he thought he’d won it when the 9 came on the river. “Oh, you’ve got a flush,” he soon said, however. And that was the end of that. — HS

4:05pm Ramos out in 45th
Level 21 – Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

Friend of PokerStars Felipe Ramos was holding on for dear life in level 20 but couldn’t make it past the first few minutes of level 21.

Ramos moved all-in for 78,000 from the button and Justin Oliver called from the big blind. Ramos’ 66 was a favorite against Oliver’s 55, but then there was a slew of diamonds.

The board ran 210437 and Oliver hit a flush to knock out Ramos in 45th place.

NEIL9769_PCA2016_Felipe_Ramos_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Felipe Ramos
4:00pm Gregg and Ortiz double, Pires loses a hand
Level 21 – Blinds 6,000-12,000 (2,000 ante)

Brandon Crawford is down to just a few big blinds after doubling up Tony Gregg.

It was a classic flip with Gregg’s QQ against Crawford’s AK. The board brought all low cards and Gregg doubled up to 1.1 million while Crawford was left with less than 25,000.

Leonardo Pires and Fabian Ortiz got it all-in as well a few moments later.

Ortiz showed A10 and Pires confidently slammed KJ on the table. Ortiz walked away while the dealer fanned out an A4J29 and started counting Ortiz’s stack.

“I win?” Ortiz said when he came back to the table. “My god.”

“I gotta say,” Jason Koon said. “The way he slammed that king-jack on the table, I was feeling nervous for you too.”

Pires has been on a roll since the day started and is still in the lead with 2.34 million despite losing the hand. Ortiz on the other hand doubled up to 1 million.

Leonardo Pires — 2,335,000
Tony Gregg — 1,100,000
Fabian Ortiz — 1,000,000
Brandon Crawford — 20,000

Tony Gregg_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 4_Giron_8JG9718.jpg

3:30pm: Break time
Level 20 – Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

That’s the end of Level 20. They will play Level 21 in about 15 minutes.

3:15pm: Double for Troyanovskiy
Level 20 – Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

Not long before the break, Vladimir Troyanovskiy found aces and turned them into a double up thanks to David Eldridge picking up AQ at the same time. Troyanovskiy ended the hand with 572,000 while Eldridge has only 245,000 left now. — HS

Vladimir Troyanovskiy_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 4_Giron_8JG9519.jpg

Vladimir Troyanovskiy
3:10pm: Mercier slides; Paul climbs
Level 20 – Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

It’s a pretty exceptional feature table today, headlined by Jason Mercier but also including Phillip McAllister, Taylor Paur and the outspoken Martin McCormick.


Jason Mercier receives some amusing news

At the break, the counts are as follows:

Phillip McAllister 1,524,000
Taylor Paur 997,000
Dorian Rios 830,000
Jason Mercier 592,000
Fabian Rabah 494,000
Martin McCormick 481,000
Krasimir Yankov 326,000


Taylor Paur


Phillip McAllister

2:55pm: Hajiyev’s star declines
Level 20 – Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

Rumin Hajiyev has spent the best part of two days at the feature table, but his time in the spotlight is now over. He lost the most classic of all poker races: QQ into Dorian Rios’s AK.


Ramin Hajiyev: Out of the spotlight at last

Hajiyev had slightly less than 200,000, while Rios had him comfortably covered, even though Rios had the big slick and needed to improve. He did just that on a flop that featured the A and the king on the river was overkill.

Rios now has 760,000, about as many as Jason Mercier, who is also up there on the feature table. — HS

2:50pm: Six tables left, Watson over 1 million
Level 20 – Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

We’re now down to our final 48 players after Jonathan Jaffe and Mike Watson knocked out a couple of players.

A short-stacked Hans Winzeler moved all in from the button and Jaffe called from the big blind. Winzeler showed 1010, a favorite against Jaffe’s A7. But Jaffe paired his ace and brought the tournament down to 48 players.


Hans Winzeler: Out!

But before a table could break, Tomas Geleziunas and Mike Watson got it all in. Watson showed KK while Geleziunas was hoping for an ace with AQ. But Geleziunas was drawing dead after the flop.

Watson hit quad kings on a 9KKQ4 board and chipped up to 1.05 million while Geleziunas was eliminated in 48th. –AV

2:45pm: Spears down but not out
Level 20 – Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

After Andrew Spears doubled up John Racener to 166,000, he was left with just 29,000. However, two double ups in a row have shot him back up, albeit modestly.

First he doubled with pocket jacks against Matt Waxman’s A7–eventually making quads by the river–and then he did it again in the next hand against Fedor Holz. Spears had the KQ against Holz’s KJ and the best hand help up.

Andrew Spears 208,000
Fedor Holz 520,000
Matt Waxman 702,000
John Racener 166,000 –JS

Andy Spears_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 4_Giron_8JG9587.jpg

Andy Spears
2:40pm: Racener doubles Lewis; Racener crippled
Level 20 – Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

Toby “810ofclubs” Lewis took on the former November Niner John Racener and got paid off in full. Lewis jammed on a flop of 658, but only after he first checked, Fedor Holz bet 48,000 and Racener called.


Toby Lewis: More to talk about

Lewis had about 150,000 and after Holz folded, only Racener called.

John Racener 1010
Toby Lewis 56

Lewis was ahead with his two pair, and the 9 turn and J river changed nothing. Racener is down to just 8 big blinds. –JS

Toby Lewis 425,000
John Racener 86,000


John Racener: In trouble

2:30pm: Aye aye, SirWatts
Level 20 – Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

Mike Watson just scooped a nice pot. After the turn, the board was the Q1075. Watson bet 35,000 but was 3-bet to 125,000 by Canada’s Marco Lang. Watson would 4-bet shove, though, and with 215,000 behind Lang would lay it down and opt to fight another day. Mike Watson now has 630,000. –JS

2:25pm: Zamani, Brinker and Huinan out
Level 20 – Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

“You’re like a vacuum,” Giulio Spampinato told Leonardo Pires.

Pires had just eliminated Benjamin Zamani and his stock was nearing 2 million again. It was a now routine short-stack bust out for Pires.

Pires raised from the cutoff and Zamani moved all-in for 106,000 from the small blind. Pires called and showed KQ to Zamani’s AJ.


Human vacuum cleaner: Leonardo Pires

Zamani needed to hold up to survive but Pires paired his queen on the flop. Zamani was eliminated in 52nd place while Pires chipped up to 1.9 million.

Dalton Brinker followed Zamani shortly after that and then Stephen Chidwick eliminated Wu Huinan.

Chidwick raised to 22,00 from the cutoff and Huinan moved all-in for 130,000 from the button. Chidwick called and showed 66 for a flip against Huinan’s KQ.

The board was a lowly 97325 and Chidwick’s sixes took the pot. Huinan was out in 50th place while Chidwick’s stack rose to 850,000. –AV

Leonardo Pires — 1,900,000
Stephen Chidwick — 850,000

Wu Huinan — 50th
Dalton Brinker — 51st
Benjamin Zamani — 52nd

2:20pm: Koon wounded, but recovers quickly
Level 20 – Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

Poker is a swingy game. Jason Koon knows this too well.

First, his stack took a hit when he doubled up Luke Guest. With the board showing 10J256, Guest shoved and Koon debated long and hard before making the call with the QJ. He was out-kicked against Guest’s KJ though, and lost an extra 186,000. This took him down to 560,000, while Guest moved up to 485,000.

Then, the next hand. Farid Jattin opened to 22,000 and Anthony Gregg and Koon made the call. The flop was the 86Q and Jattin’s 33,000 bet was enough to get rid of Gregg but not Koon.


Jason Koon: No moving

The Q arrived on the turn and this time the bet was 55,000. Koon called again and we saw the 9 land on the river. Now Jattin checked and Koon took control of the pot with a big 185,000 bet. He took it down and his stack returned to normal.

Koon now has 760,000, while Jattin is down to 480,000. –JS

2:15pm: Barer pushes two out
Level 20 – Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

There were three players in the pot and about 80,000 in the middle. Vasken Demlakian checked, Vladimir Troyanovskiy checked but that allowed Ami Barer to have a 46,000 stab at it.

Demlakian, with about 520,000 behind, asked Barer if he could show his chips more clearly. He saw that there was still about 300,000 in Barer’s stack and folded.


Ami Barer, right, pictured earlier with Giulio Spampinato

Vladimir Troyanovskiy_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 4_Giron_8JG9517.jpg

Vladimir Troyanovskiy: Not interested

Troyanovskiy, who had about 280,000 called and they saw the 3 on the turn. Troyanovskiy checked and Barer bet again, this time 98,000. It didn’t take Troyanovskiy that long to get out of the way. He has about 240,000. Barer has 490,000 and Demlakian 520,000. — HS

2:10pm: Hot chips
Level 20 – Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

The chip-count page couldn’t be more fresh if it was living in the 1950s and slapped your momma’s butt.

2pm: Cantos out
Level 20 – Blinds 5,000-10,000 (1,000 ante)

Vasken Demlakian raised to 21,000 from middle position and action folded to Jorge Cantos on the big blind.

Cantos was down to about 110,000 and moved all-in. Demlakian called with A3 and Cantos showed a dominating A8.

But Demlakian paired his three on the turn of a [4]71035 board and Cantos hit the rai.

Demlakian chipped up to about 555,000 while Cantos won $14,900 for finishing 53rd. –AV

1:55pm: One from the last level; Lawrence double through Pires
Level 19 – Blinds 4,000-8,000 (1,000 ante)

This happened just before the break:

Leonardo Pires and Lawrence Bayley were heads-up on a 344 flop and Pires bet 30,000 from the small blind. Bayley raised to 60,000 from the big blind and Pires tried to call by adding two 25,000 chips.

“Is that a raise?” Bayley asked. The floor came over and the television cameras flocked over once they heard discussion.

Players at the table all agreed that Pires wanted to call, but the chips he put out were more than 50 percent so the floor ruled that Pires had to raise to 120,000.

Bayley only had 132,000 total and moved all in. Pires called and showed 35 to Bayley’s Q4.

“Oh, I got a feeling this might be dirty,” Bayley said.

Then a 6 came on the turn to give Pires a flush and open-ended straight draw.

“We would’ve gotten it on the turn anyways,” Bayley added.

The river brought an 8 and Bayley doubled up to about 34,000 while Pires dropped to 1.58 million.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t want it to go down that way,” Bayley told Pires and another player advised him to verbally announce any action before moving his chips. That’s good advice for everyone. –AV

1:36pm: Level end
Level 19 – Blinds 4,000-8,000 (1,000 ante)
That’s the end of the day’s first level. They’ll take a 20-minute break.

1:35pm: Wow. What a call.
Level 19 – Blinds 4,000-8,000 (1,000 ante)

Leonardo Pires, the tournament chip leader, put Fabian Ortiz all in with the board reading as follows: 878310. If Ortiz folded he’d be left with just 250,000, so it was clearly a tough decision. He spent several minutes debating it before the clock was eventually called; this, however, confirmed the decision he would make. He made the call. He turned over 57 for one pair. And he was right.


Leonardo Pires: Putting players to tough tests

Pires was on the bluff with just 45. It was an amazing call by Ortiz who now has 700,000, while Pires has slipped to 1,700,000. He’s still the biggest stack in the tournament though. –JS

1:30pm: An orbit with Stephen Chidwick
Level 19 – Blinds 4,000-8,000 (1,000 ante)

What an orbit for Stephen Chidwick. First he doubles up, then he knocks out the guy he just doubled through.

The Brit opened to 18,000 only to face a three-bet from Justin Ouimette to 51,000. Chidwick then shoved over the top for 253,000 and we had a call. It was the 99 for Chidwick, against the AJ for Ouimette, and we went to the board:


Nice and safe for Chidwick who doubled up to 520,000. Then, two hands later, Chidwick and Ouimette were at it again, and this time the Canadian player was all in.


Stephen Chidwick: Up and up

Justin Ouimette 10J
Stephen Chidwick QQ

The dealer burned and turned a board showing 9327Q, making a set for Chidwick and home time for Ouimette. Chidwick now sits with 630,000. –JS

1.25pm: Heron hacks Halac
Level 19 – Blinds 4,000-8,000 (1,000 ante)

Steven Heron and Fernando Halac got it all-in with pocket pairs.

The at-risk Halac tabled 77 and Heron showed a slightly better pair of 88.

The J644A board brought no help for Halac and he was eliminated in 59th place while Heron chipped up to 390,000.

1:25pm: Watson doubles
Level 19 – Blinds 4,000-8,000 (1,000 ante)

The board read 9K93J and there was about 250,000 in the pot.

Mike Watson moved all in for 150,000 and Ivan Barbuto thought. He looked down at his stack. It was now about the same size as the pot, 400,000.

Barbuto called and tried to muck when Watson showed AA, but the dealer made Barbuto show his KQ.

Watson doubled up to 580,000 while Barbuto was left with 395,000. –AV


Mike Watson: Double

1:20pm: Tedeschi takes one from Spears
Level 19 – Blinds 4,000-8,000 (1,000 ante)

Paul-Francois Tedeschi has just given his chances in this tournament a big boost by winning a hefty pot from Andrew Spears.

The Frenchman made it 16,000 to go and Matt Waxman called from the small blind. Over to Spears in the big blind, the New York pro made it an even 60,000, which wasn’t quite enough for Tedeschi. He raised it up to 142,000 and Spears made the call.

The 1064 flop was dealt, and after a little consideration Tedeschi slid out a bet of 104,000. It was enough to make Spears lay his hand down.


Andy Spears: Forced to lay down

Paul-Francois Tedeschi 830,000
Andrew Spears 645,000 –JS

1:15pm: Payouts
Level 19 – Blinds 4,000-8,000 (1,000 ante)

All the payouts and prizewinners to date are on the payouts and prizewinners to date page. You could have worked that out for yourself maybe, but no shame.

1:05pm: Aces Nguyen
Level 19 – Blinds 4,000-8,000 (1,000 ante)

A severely short-stacked Binh Nguyen moved all-in for about 55,000 from the hijack and Vasken Demlakian called from the button.

Demlakian turned over 99 but Nguyen showed the biggest pocket pair with AA.

The A52Q6 board gave Nguyen a set and he chipped up to 112,000 while Demlakian dropped to 230,000.

1pm: Paur sends Buchanan packing
Level 19 – Blinds 4,000-8,000 (1,000 ante)

Aces won again.

Taylor Paur raised to 17,000 from the cutoff and Shawn Buchanan moved all-in for about 180,000. Paur called and showed AA to Buchanan’s 77. Aces held up again and Buchanan was eliminated in 60th while Paur neared 800,000. — AV


Shawn Buchanan: Early exit

12:45pm: Spampinato says ciao for now
Level 19 – Blinds 4,000-8,000 (1,000 ante)

We’ve just lost Italian player Giulio Spampinato. Fabian Rabah made it 17,000 to go and Spampinato made the call, as did Jason Koon in the big blind. The 5J5 flop was spread, and Koon and Rabah checked over to the Spampinato who made it 23,000. Koon got out of the way but Rabah came along.

The turn was the Q and Rabah checked again. Spampinato shoved for his last 135,000 and was quickly called.

Giulio Spampinato 88
Fabian Chauriye Rabah AA

The Q on the river changed nothing for Spampinato, and he exited the Main Event in 63rd place, takling home $12,880 for his efforts. Rabah is now sitting pretty with 730,000. –JS

12:40pm: Isenthal all-in and all out
Level 19 – Blinds 4,000-8,000 (1,000 ante)

Frank Isenthall just got his last 37,000 all in in a three-way pot with KQ but couldn’t make it hold against Matt Waxman’s J7. Waxman paired both his cards on the flop and held on for the victory. –BW


Frank Isenthall: Out

12:35pm: Milhomens doubles through Ortiz
Level 19 – Blinds 4,000-8,000 (1,000 ante)

Fabian Ortiz feels like playing today. He just got aggressive against Portugal’s Rui Milhomens, raising all-in pre-flop with his KJ. Milhomens made the call with his pocket tens and secured a nice double up.

He’s up to around 360,000 now, while Ortiz slips to 500,000. –JS


Fabian Ortiz: An early hit

12:30pm: Chidwick takes out Qu
Level 19 – Blinds 4,000-8,000 (1,000 ante)

Boyuan Qu moved all-in for 97,000 from the cutoff and was up against Stephe Chidwick, who didn’t have much more.

Qu tabled 77 while Chidwick showed A7. Odds were in Qu’s favor but the 39A610 board fell in Chidwick’s.


A short day for Boyuan Qu

Chidwick is still below average with 260,000 while Qu won $12,880 for finishing 67th. –AV

12:25pm: Early eliminations
Level 19 – Blinds 4,000-8,000 (1,000 ante)

These are the first five to leave today.

69. Carter Swidler (Canada) $12,880
70. Davidi Kitai (Belgium) $12,880
71. Leonardo Maria Armino (Netherlands) $12,880
72. Neeraj Madhvani (UK) $10,840
73. Jonathan Crute (UK) $10,840

12:20pm: Gross is gone
Level 19 – Blinds 4,000-8,000 (1,000 ante)

We joined the action after the turn had been dealt, with the board reading as follows: 4533. Taylor Paur had put Jeff Gross all in, so it would cost him his remaining 123,000 if he called and was wrong.


Jeff Gross is gone

After five minutes thinking time the clock was eventually called, and 30 seconds later Gross’ chips were in the middle and the cards were on their backs.

Taylor Paur 44
Jeff Gross JJ

Only a jack on the river could save Gross (giving him a bigger full house), but it wasn’t to be. Gross will take home $12,880 for 68th place, while Paur is up to 450,000. –JS

12:15pm: Crute falls to Ulmer
Level 19 – Blinds 4,000-8,000 (1,000 ante)

Ilkin Amirov raised to 16,000 from the button and Jonathan Crute re-raised to 44,000 from the small blind. Timothy Ulmer, who had both of the players covered, moved all-in from the big blind.

Amirov folded but Crute called.

Crute: AQ
Ulmer: AK

Crute was dominated and couldn’t improve on the 798K2 board.

Crute won $10,840 for his 73rd place elimination while Ulmer chipped up to about 1 million.

Timothy Ulmer — 1,000,000
Ilkin Amirov — 145,000
Jonathan Crute — OUT –AV

12:10pm: Gregg busts Madhvani
Level 19 – Blinds 4,000-8,000 (1,000 ante)

Two hands in and we’ve just lost Neeraj Madhvani. He shoved his 116,000 stack holding the AQ, and Anthony Gregg made the call on the button with pocket eights. An eight in the window on the flop made it trips for Gregg, and Madhvani hit the rail. Gregg now sits with 710,000. –JS


Tony Gregg: Another deep run at the PCA

12pm: Dealers, start please
Level 19, Blinds 4,000-8,000 (1,000 ante)

No “Shuffle up and deal” in these parts. It’s a more measured, “Dealers, start please.” The button is in seat two and action is under way. — HS

11:30am: Five levels, is that all we’ve got!

It’s the day before the penultimate day at the $5,000 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event. This tournament has played through three days; it has three more left. You could call this the halfway point.

Today’s schedule is pretty simple: we’ll play five 90-minute levels and get down, probably, to around 20-30 players (give or take.) The day after that is when we’ll need to get down to a final.

There are 73 still involved at the moment, each of whom is already guaranteed $10,840. But the aim getting towards that final–and the $833,260 first prize. Play begins at noon.

Next year, it could be you! Click here to get a PokerStars account so you can qualify.

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

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

PokerStars Blog reporting team on the $5,000 Main Event: Jack Stanton, Howard Swains, Alex Villegas and Brad Willis. Photos by Joe Giron and Neil Stoddart. For more photos from this event by Joe Giron visit Poker Photo Archive.


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