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• Christopher Kruk wins the $25,000 High Roller and $836,350
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That’s it for the 2018 PCA High Roller. Congratulations to Christopher Kruk for taking the title. For more details on how Kruk accomplished a stunning comeback to win the biggest tournament of his career, just scroll down and read on. For a shorter version of the day’s events, check out the $25K High Roller wrap.

The 2018 PCA High Roller Champion, Christopher Kruk

5:15pm: Kruk completes stunning comeback to win the High Roller
Level 24: Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 50,000)

Christopher Kruk has completed the comeback and downed Jonathan Jaffe to take the title and $836,350.

The final hand saw him limp on the button and call Jaffe’s 438,000 all-in.

Jaffe: 44
Kruk: JJ

The board ran 285K8 to see Kruk’s jacks hold. Jaffe played a stunning final table and it went his way for 95% of the time. He’ll feel disappointed for sure, but the $569,760 prize for second place will ease some of the pain. –MC

Second-place finisher Jonathan Jaffe

5:10pm: Kruk takes a massive lead
Level 24: Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 50,000)

Christopher Kruk now has a dominating lead with 6.715 million to Jonathan Jaffe’s 485,000.

The massive pot started when Kruk raised to 125,000 from the button and Jaffe called from the big blind. The flop came 85K and Kruk bet 200,000 when checked to. Jaffe called and a 10 came on the turn. Jaffe then took the initiative and bet 450,000. Kruk called and a 6 completed the board. Jaffe bet a whopping 1.9 million and pained-looking Kruk thought. Kruk eventually called and Jaffe tapped the felt with his fist.

Jaffe showed air with A7 and Kruk showed AK for top pair. The pot put Kruk up to 6.715 million while Jaffe was left with just 485,000. –AV

5:05pm: Kruk takes the lead
Level 24: Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 50,000)

It looked as if Christopher Kruk was on the slide again after he lost a chunky pot but he immediately won an even bigger one to take the lead for the first time in this heads up battle.

Jonathan Jaffe called and then reraised to 550,000 after Kruk raised to 150,000. Kruk called but folded to a 325,000 bet on a 63Q flop.

The next hand saw Kruk raise to 125,000 and Jaffe call. A J59 flop appeared and Jaffe check-raised Kruk’s 200,000 bet up to 600,000. Call. The Q turn was checked through to the K river where Jaffe check-time-bank called a 750,000 bet. Kruk opened K9 for two pair and Jaffe folded.

Kruk now had 4 million to Jaffe’s 3.2 million. –MC

4:55pm: A bit more for Kruk
Level 24: Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 50,000)

Christopher Kruk is now up to 2.85 million.

Kruk took a hand down with a c-bet and another with a big river bet. Jonathan Jaffe raised to 175,000 from the button that hand and Kruk called. The flop came KA8 and Jaffe bet 125,000 when checked to. Kruk called and a Q came on the turn. Both players checked and a 2 came on the river. Kruk bet 455,000 and Jaffe folded.

The pot brought Kruk’s stack up to 2.85 million while Jaffe dipped to 4.35 million. –AV

4:42pm: Play resumes
Level 24: Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 50,000)

Both Jonathan Jaffe and Chris Kruk were back and ready with ten minutes left on their break, so action has resumed early. –JS

Jonathan Jaffe (left) and Christopher Kruk (right) battle for the title

4:35pm: Break time

Somehow this tournament has reached its second break. Here are the counts, and we’ll be back in 20 minutes.

Jonathan Jaffe – 4,830,000
Christopher Kruk – 2,370,000

4:30pm: Game well and truly back on
Level 23: Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 40,000)

Christopher Kruk has more than 40 big blinds to play with now after doubling once more.

He raised to 90,000 and then called all-in for 880,000 after Jonathan Jaffe shoved on him.

Jaffe: A2
Kruk: AJ

The board ran 10586K to see Kruk’s hand hold up. –MC

4:25pm: Kruk climbing
Level 23: Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 40,000)

Christopher Kruk doubled up and kept rising, but he’s still short with about 750,000.

Kruk was down to just 280,000 when he doubled up. Jonathan Jaffe raised to 300,000 from the small blind and Kruk called all-in from the big. Jaffe showed 98 and Kruk was in the lead with AQ. The board ran 53J37 and Kruk doubled to 620,000 while Jaffe dipped to 6.58 million.

Kruk then moved in the following two hands and won both preflop. Kruk then won a pair of pots with a c-bet and chipped up to 900,000. Jaffe finally struck back after that though. Kruk called from the small blind that hand and Jaffe checked his option. Jaffe then check-called a bet of 90,000 on the 532 flop and a K came on the turn. Both players checked and then Jaffe bet 220,000 after the 2 completed the board.

Kruk folded and was left with about 750,000 while Jaffe is up to 6.45 million. –AV

4:15pm: Kruk feeling crook
Level 23: Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 40,000)

Christopher Kruk has dipped below ten bigs (320,000) after folding on the river in a hand.

He limped in from the button and called after Jonathan Jaffe raised to 125,000. The board ran out 8K85Q with Jaffe emptying the clip with bets of 50,000 and 90,000 before shoving on the river. Kruk stuck around to the river where he folded. –MC

4pm: Jaffe keeps the pressure on
Level 23: Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 40,000)

Jared Jaffe keeps hacking away at Christopher Kruk.

Jaffe raised to 130,000 from the button one hand and Kruk called from the big blind. Kruk checked the 959 flop and Jaffe bet 80,000. Kruk raised to 200,000 and Jaffe called, bringing a 4 on the turn. Both players checked and then Jafffe moved all-in after the 2 came on the turn. Kruk folded and Jaffe took down the pot.

Kruk took down a few small pots with a preflop jam and a c-bet, but then Jaffe took another one down at showdown.

Jaffe then called from the small blind a few hands later and Kruk checked his option. The flop came K72 and Kruk check-called a bet of 40,000. Both players checked the A on the turn and checked again after the 8 completed the board. Kruk turned over a pair of deuces with 26 and Jaffe showed rivered eights with 108.

Jaffe is now up to 6.54 million while Kruk is down to just 750,000. –AV

3:50pm: Jaffe makes a straight before Kruk makes a set
Level 23: Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 40,000)

The heads up battle has been a ding-dong affair so far. Kruk lost a big pot to go low before quickly doubling back up.

Kruk raised to 100,00 and Jaffe called before both checked a 489 flop. Jaffe then bombed for 200,000 and 460,000 on the 77 turn and river. Kruk called both times and then mucked upon seeing Jaffe’s 106 for a straight.

Two hands later saw Kruk limp in and call after Jaffe raised to 130,000. Jaffe bet out for 90,000 on a Q8K flop and Kruk called. The 4 turn was checked to the 3 river where Kruk moved all-in for 365,000. Jaffe check-called with 64 but Kruk had KK for top set.

It’s 6.45 million plays 850,000 as the battle continues. –MC

3:40pm: Richard Seymour eliminated in third ($376,360)
Level 23: Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 40,000)

Richard Seymour just got the best result of his poker career. The former NFL star turned rising poker star’s final hand started when Jonathan Jaffe raised to 115,000 from the button. Seymour then moved all-in for 475,000 Jaffe snap-called and turned over QQ to Seymour’s A9.

“Come on,” Seymour said. “Gimme an ace.”

But the 6354J board didn’t compley. Seymour finished third and won $376,360, more than doubling his total live tournament earnings. Jaffe on the other hand started the heads-up match with a massive lead of 5.6 million to Christopher Kruk’s 1.6 million. –AV

Great score for Seymour

3:30pm: Seymour falls further back
Level 22: Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 30,000)

Richard Seymour will take just 12 big blinds into the next level after a failed bluff in the last hand of Level 22.

He completed from the small blind and Jonathan Jaffe checked his option from the big blind. Both players checked the A107 flop before Seymour led for 50,000 and 130,000 on the 59 turn and river. Jaffe called both bets with 85 to beat out Seymour’s J4. –MC

3:20pm: A double double for Kruk
Level 22: Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 30,000)

Christopher Kruk has now jumped to second place after a pair of double ups from Richard Seymour.

In the first double up, Kruk was down to just 295,000 and moved all-in from the small blind. Seymour called from the big blind with A10 and Kruk turned over a dominating AJ. The 5K365 board kept Kruk in the lead and he doubled to 620,000 while Seymour dipped to 1.58 million.

Seymour then raised to 75,000 from the button a few hands later and Kruk called from the big blind. Both players checked the 5J5 flop and a 4 came on the turn. Kruk bet 135,000 and Seymour called. A Q completed the board and Kruk moved all-in. Seymour quickly called and turned over Q4 for queens and fives, but Kruk showed trip fives with 85.

Kruk doubled to 1.375 million while Seymour became the short stack with 875,000. –AV

3:10pm: Jaffe takes firm control after busting Bonomo in 4th ($310,150)
Level 22: Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 30,000)

Well that was a shock! Jonathan Jaffe has moved up to 5.04 million after busting the player who was second in chips, Justin Bonomo.

Jaffe had three-bet his opponent every time he’d opened in the last three orbits, applying huge amounts of ICM pressure with Christopher Kruk being so short and Richard Seymour being the least experienced.

Bonomo’s last hand started with him raising to 75,000 from the cutoff before Jaffe three-bet him (again) to 280,000. Bonomo called and a board rolled out 7AJ5K with Jaffe leading for 200,000, 340,000 and all-in (effective) for 1.12 million. Bonomo called all the way and all-in with AQ but Jaffe tabled A5 for two-pair. –MC

A surprising result for Bonomo

3pm: Kruk bluffs, doubles up Jaffe
Level 22: Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 30,000)

Once again, the snap-call on the river shove is never a good sign for the shover. That’s exactly what happened to Christopher Kruk and he ended up doubling up Jonathan Jaffe.

Jaffe started the hand off with a raise to 90,000 from the button and Kruk called from the small blind. Bonomo called from the big and all three players went to the 874 flop. Kruk bet 100,000, Bonomo folded and Jaffe called. The turn was an 8 and Kruk upped the bet to 350,000. Jaffe called and then a 3 completed the board. Kruk moved all-in and that’s when Jaffe snap-called.

Kruk showed air with J10 while Jaffe had trip eights with K8. Jaffe doubled up to 2.875 million while Kruk was left with just 350,000. –AV

Christopher Kruk

2:50pm: Jaffe gets them back off Kruk
Level 22: Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 30,000)

Jonathan Jaffe has moved back up to 1.5 million after hitting a pair on the river in a blind battle against Christopher Kruk.

He completed from the small blind and called after Kruk raised to 105,000 from the big blind. The flop spread 5A8 and Jaffe check-called 60,000 before both players checked the 2 turn. Jaffe then led for 105,000 on the K river and Kruk called but mucked upon seeing Jaffe’s K9. He moved down to 1.75 million. –MC

2:40pm: Kruk takes a pair off Jaffe
Level 22: Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 30,000)

Chris Kruk and Jonathan Jaffe sparred a bit after break and Kruk came up on top both times.

Jaffe raised to 75,000 from the cutoff in the first hand and Kruk three-bet to 225,000 from the button. Jaffe called and a J33 flop hit the board. Kruk bet 175,000 when checked to and Jaffe folded.

A few hands later Kruk raised to 70,000 from under the gun and Jaffe called from the big blind. The flop came 1088 and Jaffe check-raised to 150,000 after Kruk bet 60,000. Kruk called and a J came on the turn. This time both players checked and the river brought another jack, the J. Jaffe bet 270,000 and Kruk used up two time bank cards to think. Then he called.

Jaffee tapped his fist on the table and showed 66 and Kruk turned over 107 for jacks and tens. Kruk took down the pot and chipped up to 1.90 million while Jaffe dropped to 1.05 million. –AV

2:30pm: Back to it
Level 22 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 30,000)

Here’s how our final four stack up:

Name Country Chips
Richard Seymour USA 2,150,000
Justin Bonomo USA 2,100,000
Jonathan Jaffe USA 1,830,000
Christopher Kruk Canada 1,120,000

2:10pm: Break time

It’s been a hectic first two levels with half of the starting field remaining. But don’t get ahead of yourself; these guys are super deep with a 60-big blind average. They’re now on a 20-minute break, so we’ll be back soon. –JS

2:05pm: Power play from Seymour
Level 21 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 24,000)

Christopher Kruk opened to 60,000 only for Richard Seymour to three-bet to 180,000 from the small blind. Jonathan Jaffe four-bet to 415,000 from the big, Kruk folded, and Seymour five-bet jammed! That got a quick fold.

A nice pick up for Seymour who now sits with 2.08 million to Jaffe’s 2.1 million. –JS

2:03pm: Igor Kurganov eliminated in fifth ($249,160)
Level 21: Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 24,000)

Igor Kurganov was on the big blind and down to just 225,000. Action folded to Justin Bonomo on the small blind and he bet enough to put the Team PokerStars Pro at risk. Kurganov called and showed K6 to Bonomo’s QJ.

Bonomo paired his jack on the A7J flop and Kurganov hit a six when the 6 came on the turn. The river brought a Q to give Bonomo two-pair and Kurganov hit the rail in fifth while Bonomo chipped up to 1.75 million. –AV

Igor Kurganov

1:55pm: Mikita Badziakouski busts in sixth ($195,150)
Level 21 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 24,000)

After many all ins and a few doubles, Mikita Badziakouski’s run in this event is over.

Action folded to the Belarusian in the small blind, and with just Jonathan Jaffe in the big blind to get through, he announced “480,000 and I have 20,000 behind.”

That wouldn’t matter as Jaffe instantly shoved and Badziakouski called. Jaffe had woken up with the AA in a great spot against Badziakouski’s A9, and the 8792J board kept the rockets in front.

Jaffe is once again chip leader with 2.46 million. –JS

Badziakouski. Busto. Banana.

1:47pm: Another Badziakouski double
Level 21: Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 24,000)

Mikita Badziakouski is a fan of almost going all-in. Richard Seymour kicked off the action in Badziakouski’s most recent double up with a raise to 50,000 from under the gun. Badziakouski was on his left and three-bet to 200,000, leaving himself with just 45,000.

Action folded back around to Seymour and he re-raised all-in. Badziakouski called and showed a dominating AK to Seymour’s KQ. The 3J462 board dodged both players and Badziakouski took the pot down with ace-high. Badziakouski doubled up to about 550,000 while Seymour dipped to 1.65 million. –AV

1:33pm: Kruk vs Bonomo, round 87
Level 21 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 24,000)

Christopher Kruk and Justin Bonomo have played plenty of heads-up pots so far today, but none bigger than this one. It’s seen Bonomo overtake the chip lead.

It started with a 50,000 button open from Kruk, which Bonomo then three-bet to 185,000 in the small blind. Back to Kruk, he called and the dealer put out an 4K3 flop. Bonomo continued down the betting path with 110,000 out there, only for Kruk to pop it up to 340,000. Bonomo called, and this pot was already huge.

Everyone at the table was silent for this one, as they recognised whoever won it would become the new chip leader. The two saw a J on the turn, and now Bonomo checked it. Kruk continued for just 170,000 into a pot of over a million, and Bonomo made the call.

The 9 completed the board, and both decided to check. Bonomo showed the AJ, which had paired a jack and turned the nut flush draw which missed, and the jack was good as Kruk mucked.

Bonomo is at the top of the counts now with 2.245 million, while Kruk drops to 880,000. –JS

Your new chip leader

1:25pm: Stefan Schillhable eliminated in seventh ($146,360)
Level 21: Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 24,000)

Stefan Schilhabel was down to 335,000 and moved the vast majority of his stack in preflop. Schillhabel raised to 300,000 from the button and left himself with just 35,000 behind.

Jonathan Jaffe called from the small blind and Christopher Kruk thought for a while from the big blind before folding. Jaffe thought Schillhabel was all-in and started turning over his hand before the dealer stopped him.

“What did he show?” Schillhabel asked. He was answered with laughs from the table and a 1092 flop from the dealer. The remaining chips went in and Jaffe showed his cards again, 1010 for a set of tens. Schillhabel showed QJ for queen-high and then a 2 came on the turn to leave Schillhabel drawing dead.

Jaffe chipped up to 2.03 million while Schillhabel won $146,360 for the 7th-place finish. –AV

Stefan Schillhabel

1:15pm: Bonomo chips up
Level 21 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 24,000)

The blinds are now up to 12,000/24,000 with a 24,000 ante, but in the last hand of the previous level Justin Bonomo took down a decent pot.

Chris Kruk had opened three hands in a row and got a walk in the big blind before it was his turn in the small. Action folded to him and he made it 70,000 to go, which Bonomo defended to see a 539 flop. Kruk continued for 55,000. Call.

The turn was the J and now Kruk slowed down, letting Bonomo take over the betting lead for 110,000. Kruk wanted to see a river though, and it came the 2 after he called. Kruk checked again, and Bonomo continued his aggression for 250,000. Kruk had a decision that required a time bank card, but he opted for a fold in the end.

Kruk dips to 1.77 million, while Bonomo is at his tournament peak right now with 1.35 million. –JS

1:01pm: Back-to-back aces for Kruk
Level 20: Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 20,000)

“Come on,” Christopher Kruk said. He’d just gotten a walk on the big blind and turned over AA. Kruk won a paltry pot for the walk, but then he got a significantly bigger one with pocket aces the very next hand.

Igor Kurganov raised to 40,000 from under the gun and Kruk three-bet to 160,000 from the small blind. The flop came down 58A and Kruk bet 80,000. Kurganov called and a 7 came on the turn. Kruk checked the seven and Kurganov bet 170,000. Kruk called and a 6 completed the board. Kruk checked again and this time Kurganov checked behind.

Kruk turned over AA for a set of aces while Kurganov only had a pair of aces with AQ. Kruk chipped to nearly 2 million while Kurganov dropped to just 300,000. –AV

Christopher Kruk

12:48pm: Bonomo bombs the river
Level 20 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 20,000)

Chip leader Jonathan Jaffe made it 50,000 from the hijack when it folded to him, and Justin Bonomo made the call on the button. That brought in Richard Seymour from the big blind too, and the three saw a 6K2 flop. It checked to Jaffe who continued for 60,000, and only Bonomo would call.

The turn then came the 5 and that inspired no more betting. But when the 10 hit the river Jaffe led again, this time for 135,000. Bonomo, forever poised and postured, took his time and then shoved all in for around 600,000. That got a fold, and brings Bonomo up to 1.03 million while Jaffe dips to 1.81 million. –JS

Bonomo on the up

12:37pm: A small double for Badziakouski
Level 20: Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 20,000)

Everyone seems pretty keen on busting Mikita Badziakouski. Well, except Mikita Badziakouski. The short stack was down to just five big blinds and a few players seemed intent on getting him out to secure that $50,000 payjump. When Badziakouski was on the big blind, Richard Seymour moved all-in from the small blind. Badziakouski squeezed his cards but didn’t find anything worth calling with.

Next time Badziakouski was on the big blind, Igor Kurganov peered over at Badziakouski’s stack and asked how much he had. He had just 100,000 left. Kurganov raised that hand, but Badziakouski folded. Kurganov then took that hand down with a c-bet after Seymour called from the small blind.

Badziakouski got his stack in the following hand though. Seymour raised to 60,000 from the button and Badziakouski moved all-in for 99,000. Badziakouski turned over AJ and had Seymour’s J6 dominated. The AKK flop brought Badziakouski an ace and a 10 on the turn killed any chances of a Seymour flush. The K on the river filled Badziakouski up and doubled him up to 200,000. –AV

Mikita Badziakouski

12:24pm: Felipe Ramos falls in eighth ($108,030)
Level 20 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 20,000)

We’re sad to report it’s been a very short day for Felipe Ramos. Two hands could have gone his way, but instead he’s our eighth place finisher.

Ramos at the start of play

First Justin Bonomo shoved all in for 360,000 under the gun. It folded around to Ramos in the small blind and he went into the tank before eventually reshoving for 400,000. The big blind folded, and it was Ramos’ AJ that was flipping against Bonomo’s 88. The board ran out 71054K to keep Bonomo’s eights in front.

The next hand, it folded to Ramos on the button and he shoved for 40,000. Chris Kruk then moved all in from the small blind, and Ramos had the best of it with his 77 against Kruk’s 55. Alas, the Brazilian saw his opponent hit a set on the 65JA6 board, and Ramos was eliminated.

GG Mojave. For his efforts, Ramos collects $108,030. –JS

Ramos says goodbye

12:20pm: Mikita almost shoves, Seymour trips up Ramos
Level 20: Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 20,000)

We’ve had a showdown and a short-stack getting most of his chips in so far. Mikita Badziakouski is down to just 125,000 and has kind-of shoved already. Action folded to him on the button and he raised to 94,000, leaving himself with 30,000 behind. Everyone got out of the way that hand, but then Felipe Ramos and Richard Seymour had a bit of a tussle.

Seymour raised to 47,000 from the hijack that hand and Ramos called from the big blind. Both players checked the 4QQ flop and a 10 came on the turn. Ramos checked again, but this time Seymour bet 50,000. Ramos called and a 2 completed the board.

There was another Ramos check and a Seymour bet, this one for 115,000. Ramos thought, used a time bank card and thought a bit more. Then he called. Seymour turned over trip queens with QJ and Ramos mucked. Seymour chipped up to 1.62 million while Ramos dipped to 400,000. –AV

12pm: Bags are emptied
Level 20: Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 20,000)

Play is about to get underway here at the final table. Make sure you keep hitting that refresh button. –JS

10:45am: Time to crown another champion

Cary Katz. Steve O’Dwyer. Jason Koon.

That’s some fine High Rollin’ company to be in right there. All of them have taken down a High Roller here at the 2018 PCA, and today one of these final eight is going to be joining them in the winner’s circle. All eyes are on the $836,350 first-place prize, but currently they’re all guaranteed $108,030.

Name Country Chips
Jonathan Jaffe USA 2,143,000
Christopher Kruk Canada 1,420,000
Richard Seymour USA 1,400,000
Igor Kurganov Russia 660,000
Felipe Ramos Brazil 633,000
Stefan Schillhabel Germany 480,000
Justin Bonomo USA 361,000
Mikita Badziakouski Belarus 134,000

It’s final table time in the $25K and we’ve got quite a line up for you. Jonathan Jaffe leads coming into the start of play, but he’ll have stiff competition from a table full of the usual suspects. The biggest story of this event might be that former NFL player and SuperBowl winner Richard Seymour has battled his way to his first ever final table, and he’ll begin proceedings third in chips.

Jonathan Jaffe

Richard Seymour

If you want a recap of how we got to this point, check out our Day 2 blow-by-blow coverage here.

Otherwise, put the kettle on, get comfortable, and bookmark this page as we bring you all the live updates as they play down to a champion. –JS

PokerStars Blog reporting team on the $25,000 High Roller: Marc Convey, Jack Stanton and Alex Villegas. Photography by Carlos Monti.

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