Friday, 23rd February 2024 03:57
Home / Uncategorized / PCA 2018: From short to stacked, Adrian Mateos takes lead to Main Event finale

Day 5 of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event was a topsy-turvy day of tournament poker, one in which chip leaders kept tumbling, short stacks kept climbing, and the day kept rolling on and on and on.

It was an unusual day, to say the least. But when the dust settled, there was nothing unusual about how things had wound up. After spending most of the day near the bottom of the counts, the 23-year-old Spanish wonder, Adrian Mateos, winner of multiple majors and over $12.2 million in career earnings, had claimed the chip lead among the final six.

Adrian Mateos, master of the end game

Going back to early afternoon, the focus initially was on start-of-day chip leader David Peters. After all, he was the one beginning the day best positioned to make a final table run, tops of the 16 survivors from a 582-entry field.

Peters was still ahead through one 90-minute level today, during which time Phillip Corion busted in 16th. But Peters began to slide shortly after Florian Maurer busted in 15th, and by the time Jean Ateba (14th) and Bartosz Stasiewicz (13th) were gone he was down to an average stack.

Jonathan West (12th) was next out after losing a big one (two pair vs. flush) to Koray Aldemir, the high rolling German pro. Peters then lost a key all-in versus Mateos when the latter’s A3 outran his 99. A wrongly-guessed hero call against Daniel Coupal cost Peters more chips, then Coupal took the rest (AJ losing to AK) and Peters was suddenly out in 11th.

Not according to plan for Peters

Pocket fives next failed Michael Farrow in a flip against Adalfer Morales’s ace-ten to send Farrow away in 10th, and the final nine reassembled around one table.

Aldemir brought a lot of chips with him to the stage to start that nine-handed table — almost exactly one-third of them, in fact.

Koray & Co. on the main stage

Aldemir kept collecting, but Maria Lampropulos swiftly closed the gap after her ace-king bested Patryk Poterek’s pocket queens to reduce the field to eight.

That pot allowed Lampropulos to get relatively close to Aldemir chip-wise compared to the rest of the table, and after a while she passed him to enjoy the lead for several hours. Half of the talented Argentinian poker couple with Ivan Luca, Lampropulos earned a £1 million first prize last spring, and here she is vying for another seven-figure score.

Meanwhile Shawn Buchanan, the Canadian pro with more than $6 million in live earnings who as “buck21” completed the first ever “Triple COOP” on PokerStars, had been nursing a short stack for much of the day. But after winning a series of pots including one with aces versus Aldemir’s jacks, Buchanan moved up into first position as the short stacks all hung on through another level change.

What was truly a marathon stretch of eight-handed play — extending more than five hours (!) — swiftly concluded with the eliminations of two short stacks: the mercurial Adalfer Morales in eighth, and the jovial Oleg Titov in seventh (see just below for details).

It was Mateos getting most healthy during the night’s final stage, including doubling through Morales then knocking him off. He was a card away from going out in eighth, but Mateos ends the night with a decent-sized chip lead.

What a final line-up! Here’s where everyone will be when play starts tomorrow, including the stacks to which they’ll return:

Seat Name Country Chips BBs
1 Maria Lampropulos Argentina 3,505,000 44
2 Shawn Buchanan Canada 3,755,000 47
3 Adrian Mateos Spain 5,675,000 71
4 Daniel Coupal Canada 1,275,000 16
5 Christian Rudolph Germany 905,000 11
6 Koray Aldemir Germany 2,350,000 29

And here’s what’s up for grabs tomorrow, when the final six will determine how they’ll divide up more than half of the tournament’s $5.645 million prize pool:

Place Prize
1st $1,081,000
2nd $672,960
3rd $481,560
4th $372,600
5th $293,560
6th $229,760

There’s a late start tomorrow — 3 p.m. ET — with the live stream with hole cards (and our coverage) picking up a half-hour after that. That later start means your indefatigable band of scribblers may just have to visit the waterslides one last time here at the Atlantis.

It should be an exciting day of poker, with the $25K High Roller finishing and no less than four Platinum Passes being won, including one by tomorrow’s Main Event champion.

Trusting we all survive the Leap of Faith, we’ll be here. Join us as we’ll find out together if tomorrow proves as wacky and wild as today — and who will be the next PCA Main Event champion! –MH

• PLAYERS: 6 (of 582)
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1:10am: Titov gives up the ghost, final six set for Sunday
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Oleg Titov has been folding since before my hair went gray (it was a while ago), but finally down to his last three big blinds, he could do little but get it in when he saw some paint.

Oleg Titov: The game is up

Daniel Coupal–also short-stacked–shoved from the button with AJ, and Titov was happy to see a king in his hand. He called with K2 and started hoping. That hope died almost immediately when Coupal hit an ace on the flop. Titov didn’t catch up and departed in seventh place for $169,920.

Oleg Titov: Heading home

That brings us to our final players who will come back here to start play at 3:00pm tomorrow. Action starts on the live stream at 3:30pm.

Stick with us for a full wrap-up of the day coming soon.–BW

12:55am: The resurgent Mateos
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

When Adrian Mateos started this level his plan was something along the lines of reaching the last six. Now it’s about leading it.

Having looked down at KK he opened from the hijack for 160,000. Koray Aldemir defended his big blind with Q5. They saw a flop of 69Q.

Aldemir checked and Mateos bet 250,000. Call. They each checked the 6 turn for the 10 on the river. Aldemir checked and watched Mateos bet 925,000. There was a pause as Aldemir thought over his options, but then he called.

It’s another key hand for Mateos who now has nearly 5.5 million, while Aldemir drops to 2.25 million. An enormous swing for Mateos. – SB

12:45am: Adrian Mateos destroys Morales, gets back in the game
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

I’d say “Wow!” but this is bigger than “Wow!” This is like crazy upside-down world, so we’ll say “Mom!” (It’s late, so roll with us here.)

On back to back hands, Adrian Mateos–who had been struggling with a short stack for as long as we can remember–simply eviscerated Adalfer Morales.

Adrian Mateos: Fine time for a double

On the first, Shawn Buchanan opened from the button with K3, and Morales three-bet with KQ, apparently not expecting Mateos to wake up with ace-queen. That’s what happened, and Mateos shoved for 875,000. Buchanan folded, Morales called, and Mateos held.

Adalfer Morales and Adrian Mateos watch the dealer deliver their fate

On the very next hand, Morales opened to 180,000 with 109 and got three-bet by Mateos for 500,000 who only had a king and eight in his hand. On the J68 flop, Mateos shoved with second pair, and Morales snap-called with his straight draw. Morales missed all of his outs and was eliminated in eighth place. He earned $116,860.

Mateos meanwhile seems like he has his eyes set on the chip lead.–BW

Adalfer Morales: What can you do but laugh?

12:45am: Dam bursts
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

It had to happen, and now it has. Someone is out. Details incoming.

12:30am: The pressure increases
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Players are now back and surely something has to give in this next level. — HS

12:10am: Break-time counts
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Here’s how they will stack up on their return, when the big blind will be 80,000. — HS

Name Country Chips BBs
Shawn Buchanan Canada 4,075,000 51
Koray Aldemir Germany 3,705,000 46
Maria Lampropulos Argentina 3,685,000 46
Adalfer Morales Colombia 2,375,000 30
Christian Rudolph Germany 1,245,000 16
Adrian Mateos Spain 905,000 11
Daniel Coupal Canada 890,000 11
Oleg Titov Russia 575,000 7

12:05am: Now is the time we fold
Level 27 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Who are we kidding? There has never been a time this table wasn’t folding. We’ve been eight-handed for nearly five hours. Put another way, no one has gone bust in eight hours. You know what’s required to make that happen? Lots of folding. Lots of big laydowns. Or witchcraft. Witchcraft works, too.

To wit: Just now, Maria Lampropulos opened to 135,000 with AQ and got a call from Shawn Buchanan who had A6. But then Christian Rudolph jammed with kings for 905,000, and Lampropulos folded. (So did Buchanan.) So, we play on. Eight handed. Into the night. Toward our eventual and inevitable deaths.

Maria Lampropulos: Big fold

Also, to the break. We’ll be back in 20 minutes. –BW

11:55pm: Big hand for Buchanan
Level 27 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Another hit for Maria Lampropulos, to the benefit of Shawn Buchanan who is now up to 4 million chips. He was on the ropes for much of the earlier stages of today but is now chip leader.

Lampropulos opened for 135,000 with KQ which Buchanan called in the hijack with AK.

The flop came K57. Lampropulos checked, then called Buchanan’s bet of 100,000. On the A turn it was the same again, Lampropulos check calling Buchanan’s bet of 325,000. Then on the 6 river, when Lampropulos checked Buchanan went big, making it 850,000 to play.

Lampropulos thought for a while, but couldn’t make the call. A big hand for Buchanan. – SB

11:45pm: …want somebody to shove
Level 27 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Adrian Mateos, hanging just below 1 million in chips, picked up AQ and shoved his stack in. Koray Ademir had pocket sixes in the big blind, but elected to fold. On the next hand Oleg Titov shoved A10 and got that through as well. We’re not too far from a break, and as the big blind goes up to 80,000, we expect we’ll see a lot more of that shoving. –BW

11:40pm: Aldemir calls Lampropulos’s bluff
Level 27 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Maria Lampropulos just took a hit in a hand against Koray Aldemir.

Lampropulos opened from under the gun for 135,000 with KQ. Aldemir, holding Q10 called from the big blind to see a flop: 7210.

Lampropulos bet 130,000 and Aldemir called for the A on the turn. Both checked that for the 9 river. At which point Lampropulos took a stab at it, betting 300,000. Aldemir saw through the bluff and called, winning the pot. – SB

11:35pm: Titov shoving
Level 27 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Daniel Coupal limped from the small blind with K4 and Oleg Titov found AJ in the big blind and moved all-in for 595,000. With 650,000 in his stack, Coupal went through the motions of making a decision, but this was a fold all day long. And all night. Which is where this final seems to be going.

11:20pm: Buchanan bouncing back
Level 27 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Shawn Buchanan’s revival continues, this time thanks to a hand against Koray Aldemir.

Aldemir opened for 125,000 with JJ under the gun. Buchanan called with AA and they saw a flop of 4510. That was checked.

On the 9 turn Aldemir made it 280,000 to play. Buchanan called for the 8 river. This time Aldemir checked. Buchanan bet 430,000. Aldemir thought for a while, but folded, his stack dropping to 3.47 million.

Shawn Buchanan: Ever upward

Buchanan meanwhile continued to climb. He’s up to 3.5 million. – SB

11:10pm: Buchanan up to 3 million
Level 27 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Maria Lampropulos opened for 130,000 with A7, and that turned out to be good news for Shawn Buchanan who picked up two black queens. He just called, and let Adrian Mateos come along with K10.

They all saw the Q63 flop–more great news for Buchanan. The players checked it to the A turn.

Now, Mateos had a nut flush draw and led for 180,000. Both Lampropulos and Buchanan called. The river blanked with the 4.

Mateos and Lampropulos checked to a 600,000 bet from Buchanan.

Mateos snap-folded, but Lampropulos took her sweet time before eventually doing the same. She still has 5 million while Buchanan is up to 3 million.–BW

10:50pm: Titov seeking spots
Level 27 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Oleg Titov is short-stacked and looking for a double, or, in absence of that, for his shoves to get through. He achieved the latter just now with an open shove with A8. He needs a lot of those to get back in this. –BW

10:45pm: Lampropulos on the river
Level 27 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Maria Lampropulos opened for 135,000 in early position, getting a call from Shawn Buchanan one seat along.

The flop came 8310.

Lampropulos, holding KQ checked to Buchanan who bet 85,000. That was called for the 2 turn card. This time Lampropulos bet 225,000, which Buchanan called for a river card J.

Another 220,000 this time from Lampropulos. Buchanan thought for a while, but conceded the pot to Lampropulos, who is now up to 5.49 million. – SB

10:35pm: Break over
Level 27 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

And they’re back. — HS

10:18pm: Break time

The final eight players are off now for a 20-minute break. –MH

10:18pm: Buchanan’s big slick enables double through Titov’s tens
Level 26 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

In the very last hand of the level, Oleg Titov raised to 125,000 with 1010 and it folded to Shawn Buchanan in the cutoff who had picked up AK.

Buchanan riffled and looked out from under his cap and hood at Titov and his stack, then pushed all in for 1.11 million.

Shawn Buchanan: “Whew…”

10:17pm: Lampropulos over Titov
Level 26 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Oleg Titov opened to 125,000 from UTG+1. He had K10. Maria Lampropulos called in the cutoff. She had AQ. That’s the way this passage of play has been going.

The flop brought the 662 and Titov checked. (He’s been known to bomb flops like that.) Lampropulos did have a stab, for 115,000, and when Titov emerged from inside his T-shirt it was to fold and chuckle. — HS

10:12pm: Aldemir gets some back from Lampropulos
Level 26 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Koray Aldemir raised to 100,000 from the cutoff with Q8, and Maria Lampropulos called from the button with 98.

The flop came Q39, giving both players a pair — queens for Aldemir, nines for Lampropulos. Aldemir checked, and after Lampropulos bet 125,000 Aldemir called.

The turn was the K, and this time both players checked. The 3 put a pair on the board, and they both checked again, giving Aldemir the pot.

Aldemir closes the gap a bit, moving up to 4.11 million while Lampropulos has 4.67 million. –MH

10:11pm: Updated chips
Level 26 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Name Country Chips BBs
Maria Lampropulos Argentina 4,900,000 98
Koray Aldemir Germany 3,770,000 75
Adalfer Morales Colombia 2,470,000 49
Oleg Titov Russia 1,850,000 37
Adrian Mateos Spain 1,210,000 24
Shawn Buchanan Canada 1,150,000 23
Daniel Coupal Canada 1,130,000 23
Christian Rudolph Germany 990,000 20

10:04pm: Lampropulos extends lead
Level 26 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

On the hand immediately after Maria Lampropulos defaulted into the chip lead, she won a pot from Koray Aldemir to consolidate her position at the top of the counts.

It started with a limp from Aldemir in the small blind with K3 and a check from Lampropulos in the big blind with Q7. The dealer put the 94Q on the flop and Aldemir bet 50,000. Lampropulos called with her top pair.

The J river offered Aldemir reason to bet again, this time 320,000. Lampropulos still had top pair and called again, which brought the 9 on the river.

Aldemir missed, and checked. Lampropulos checked behind. Lampropulos won the pot and moves up to 4.8 million. Aldemir slips to 3.775 million.

“Perfect play by both, honestly,” Lex Veldhuis said. So there’s that. — HS

9:57pm: Titov doubles through Aldemir, Lampropulos now leads
Level 26 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

After a couple of raise-and-take hands (one won by Maria Lampropulos, one by Koray Aldemir), Oleg Titov raised to 125,000 from the button with QQ and it folded to Aldemir in the big blind with A7.

The flop came 578 and Aldemir checked. Titov bet 125,000 again, and after a half-minute Aldemir shoved. Titov didn’t call right away, but didn’t take too long before doing so and committing his last 645,000.

The turn was the K and the river the 8, and Titov breathed a big sigh of relief after winning the pot.

“So close,” said Titov afterwards. “You see?” he said to Aldemir. “The eight? If you have eight?”

Titov doubles to 1.86 million, while Aldemir slips to 4.2 million. That means Maria Lampropulos has now taken the chip lead as she has 4.36 million. As you chew on that, check out this brief photo essay from Joe Giron, which we’re calling “Oleg Titov Experiences Everything.” –MH

9:47pm: Mateos shoves, Aldemir concedes
Level 26 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Koray Aldemir raised to 100,000 from the hijack seat holding suited connectors — 76 — and it folded to Adrian Mateos in the big blind who reraised all in for 1.05 million with A10 and Aldemir folded in a flash.

Aldemir is down to 5 million even now, while Mateos has a little more than 1.25 million. –MH

Adrian Mateos

9:44pm: Great set-up for Buchanan; good folds
Level 26 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Here’s one of those intriguing final table spots, with Shawn Buchanan forcing Maria Lampropulos into a very good fold.

Action folded to Koray Aldemir on the button and he looked at 42. Good enough for a raise in his spot. He made it 100,000 to go.

Lampropulos then looked down at 66 in the small blind and called, but then Shawn Buchanan found 77 in the big blind and jammed. It was 1.025 million.

Lampropulos had 4.27 million in her stack, but this looked so strong from Buchanan that Lampropulos was able to let her hand go. (Oh, Aldemir binned his four high before that too.) — HS

9:40pm: Make that a couple for Coupal
Level 26 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

On the next hand after pushing with ace-deuce and winning the blinds and antes, Daniel Coupal picked up JJ in the cutoff and raised, picking up one caller in Koray Aldemir in the big blind with A4.

The flop came 652, and when Aldemir checked, Coupal pushed all in for 825,000 and Aldemir got out.

Coupal is at almost 1.15 million, while Aldemir has 5.25 million. –MH

9:38pm: Titov folds a big ace
Level 26 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Daniel Coupal was dealt A2 on the button and after pausing a few seconds pushed his full stack of 840,000 in the middle.

The action was on Oleg Titov in the small blind who looked down at A10 and his stack of 1.05 million. He chuckled and excelled, at one point turning to Shawn Buchanan in the big blind jokingly asking “How are you?”

Buchanan stayed mum, and so did Coupal when Titov turned back to him and asked “What do you want?”

Titov didn’t look like he wanted to call… and he didn’t, looking at the ceiling afterwards with a shrug. Buchanan folded, too, and they moved on to the next hand. –MH

Oleg Titov

9:31pm: Wild open, loose defend
Level 26 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

More from the mad world of Adalfer Morales here. He opened his button to 125,000 from a stack of 2.3 million, with 86. Daniel Coupal called in the big blind with Q7, the latest in a series of lose defends.

Both players checked the 5J5 flop, but then the 2 turn brought a check and a bet and Morales picked it up. — HS

9:28pm: Mateos wins small one from Aldemir
Level 26 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

With A6 in the hijack, and an enormous chip stack at his disposal, Koray Aldemir opened to 100,000. Adrian Mateos, with J7 in the big blind, defended.

The flop was interesting for both of them. It came 57Q. Mateos checked and that let Aldemir have a stab with his flush draw. He bet 85,000.

Mateos called, and the 5 turn was “kind of an action killer, in a way”. That was Lex Veldhuis’s judgment anyhow. Mateos checked, Aldemir checked, and so far Veldhuis was right.

The 6 river was also checked through–Aldemir picked up a pair so had some value. The pair wasn’t good enough, though, and Mateos picked it up to move to 1.16 million. — HS

9:23pm: Aces for Morales
Level 26 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Koray Aldemir raised the minimum to 100,000 with A2 from the cutoff, and it folded around to Adalfer Morales in the big blind who looked down at AA.

Morales three-bet to 290,000, and Aldemir only needed about a half-minute before letting his cards go.

Morales has 2.34 million now, while Aldemir still leads with 5.47 million. –MH

Adalfer Morales

9:22pm: Titov bluffs Buchanan
Level 26 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Neither Shawn Buchanan nor Oleg Titov really have the chip stacks to play all the way through the streets, but that didn’t stop them tangling in a recent pot. And it ended with a successful bluff from Titov and a nice sweetener to his stack, bringing it back to around 1 million.

Titov opened to 125,000 from the hijack with KQ and Buchanan called in the big blind with A8. Then they saw the 587 flop. Buchanan checked, Titov bet 125,000 and Buchanan called.

The J river still didn’t help Titov but he barreled again, this time 275,000. Buchanan folded and Titov moved up to 1.12 million as a result. Buchanan has 975,000. — HS

9:18pm: Rudolph gets a few back
Level 26 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Daniel Coupal raised from the hijack with A2. The bet was 115,000. Oleg Titov folded ace-trey from the cutoff, then Christian Rudolph looked down at AQ on the button and shoved for 880,000.

The blinds got out, and Coupal didn’t wait too long before getting out, too.

One hand after losing that pot to Maria Lampropulos, Rudolph looks like he’s still shaking his head in disappointment. But he has a few more chips back to get to 1.23 million. –MH

9:15pm: More for Lampropulos
Level 26 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

A crazy hand here between Maria Lampropulos and Christian Rudolph in which the latter was pushed into a really tight corner, but will possibly think he could have lost more.

Lampropulos found AA and opened from under the gun. Rudolph found JJ in the small blind and somehow didn’t three-bet. He just called.

The flop made Lampropulos stronger. It came A34. Lampropulos laid the trap with a check, but Rudolph checked behind.

The 7 turn was a whiff for both, and both checked, then the 5 completed the board. This was the last chance for Lampropulos to get some value and she made a polarising bet of 325,000, almost full pot.

Rudolph took off his sunglasses and chewed on its arm as he pondered what to do. With 1.33 million back, he shook his head…then called.

Rudolph was really angry with himself for the call on the end (he really looked like folding) but he really might be out. He has 1 million left with which to rebuild. — HS

Maria Lampropulos

9:12pm: Buchanan on the up again
Level 26 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Koray Aldemir raised to 100,000 from under the gun with K9 and Shawn Buchanan found the same hand as in the previous pot, and this time it was suited. With KQ, he called.

The flop hit Buchanan: AQ7 but both players checked. The 6 turn meant Aldemir was drawing dead, but he was smart enough to check again. Buchanan again checked behind.

The 8 came off on the river and Aldemir checked once again. Buchanan also checked behind and picked up the 315,000 pot.

“I really like that check,” Lex Veldhuis, in the commentary booth, said even as thousands of amateurs watching on the stream thought: “But he had a pair!” — HS

9:05pm: Lampropulos decides not to call Buchanan push
Level 26 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Maria Lampropulos was dealt a pocket pair — 55 — and raised to 115,000 from middle position. Shawn Buchanan was next to act from the hijack, and after looking down at KQ he decided to push all in for his last 800,000.

It folded back to Lampropulos and she considered it for only a short while before folding.

Buchanan has just a little over 1 million now, which means he and Adrian Mateos are close to even at the bottom of the counts. Lampropulos has just over 4 million. –MH

8:58pm: Fresh counts
Level 26 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Name Country Chips BBs
Koray Aldemir Germany 5,660,000 113
Maria Lampropulos Argentina 4,150,000 83
Adalfer Morales Colombia 2,210,000 44
Christian Rudolph Germany 1,520,000 30
Daniel Coupal Canada 1,240,000 25
Adrian Mateos Spain 975,000 20
Oleg Titov Russia 905,000 18
Shawn Buchanan Canada 810,000 16

8:58pm: Titov jams again
Level 26 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Oleg Titov moved all-in for 800,000 after finding AK. There was nothing wrong with that, but he didn’t get any callers. — HS

8:56pm: Small clash between chip leaders
Level 26 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

It folded around to the blinds where the two chip leaders were sitting, and both players were dealt an ace.

Koray Aldemir chose to limp with his A6 in the small blind and Maria Lampropulos checked her option from the big blind with A9.

The flop fell J62, and Aldemir checked with his pair of sixes. Lampropulos bet 50,000, and after riffling a while Aldemir called.

The turn brought the 7 and checks from both. The river was the 8, meaning Aldemir’s pair remained best.

Both checked again and Aldemir claimed the small pot, moving up to 5.68 million while Lampropulos has 4.19 million. –MH

8:50pm: Morales and kings
Level 26 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Maria Lampropulos found A7 under the gun, but only two seats around, Adalfer Morales looked down at KK. Morales made the expected three-bet, pushing it to 370,000, which gave Lampropulos reason to pause. She eventually opted to fold. — HS

8:47pm: First hand back, Rudolph reraise-shoves
Level 26 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

In the first post-dinner hand, Daniel Coupal opened to 125,000 from the button holding K10, and it folded to Christian Rudolph in the big blind who paused to consider what to do with JJ.

After a half-minute Coupal decided reraising all in was the thing to do — for 1.375 million total. Coupal took his time to act, but after nearly two minutes finally let his hand go.

Rudolph has 1.57 million now, Coupal 1.15 million. –MH

8:40pm: Back in the room
Level 26 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Back in the room.

8:05pm: Thirty-minute break

Break time. They are off for an extended 30-minute hiatus to give the TV crew a chance to nourish themselves and give us a chance to dig through our backpacks for some pretzels we might have gotten during our most recent flight in the economy section. We’ll be back with you soon. –BW

8pm: Coupal’s aces good for nothin’
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

It’s eight-handed at one of the biggest tournaments of the year. You’re at the final table. You get aces. You raise the standard amount, 85,000, and everybody (even the massive chip leader who has pocket threes!) folds. You get nothing but the blinds and antes. Congratulations, you’re Daniel Coupal a couple of minutes ago. –BW

7:55pm: Coupal shoves
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Daniel Coupal opened for 85,000 in the cut off with Q10. Koray Aldemir was in the big blind and called with A10. They saw a flop: 583

Aldemir checked before Coupal bet 100,000, then Aldemir called.

On the 4 turn Aldemir put Coupal to the test, betting 145,000. Seems Coupal was up to it. He moved all-in, forcing a fold from Aldemir. – SB

7:45pm: Rudolph gets no jacks-isfaction
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Koray Aldemir opened the action for 85,000 with an ace and offsuit seven, which made Adrian Mateos snap-muck pocket sixes. Play folded around to Christian Rudolph who moved all-in for a little more than a million with pocket jacks. Aldemir was gone before Rudolph finished his bet. –BW

7:34pm: Double shove
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Canada’s Daniel Coupal has assumed the role of short stack, but he found a hand good enough to ship his 765,000 stack with.

The hand started when Koray Aldemir opened to 85,000 from early position with K7 and it passed around to Coupal’s big blind. Peeking down at A9, Coupal jammed. Aldemir quickly folded.

Actually, something similar happened on the very next hand, with Aldemir’s 85,000 raise with 65 quickly bumped up to 805,000, which was all of Oleg Titov’s stack. Titov has AQ. Aldemir folded again. — HS

Daniel Coupal gets it in

7:34pm: Morales unafraid of Aldemir
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Adalfer Morales opened with AJ to 85,000 and got a call from Koray Aldemir’s Q10 in the big blind. Aldemir checked the 873 flop, and Morales checked back. On the 6 turn, Aldemir bet out for 155,000. Morales, unafraid of the big stack, raised to 365,000 and got Aldemir to fold. –BW

7:20pm: To the nines
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

There was nearly another all-in called a few moments ago when Oleg Titov opened and then Christian Rudolph shoved for 1.1 million with 99. That was a good hand to shove with, just not to call with. Titov had the decision to make and he also had 99. He let Rudolph have that one. – SB

Christian Rudolph: Nines and a shove

7:15pm: Kevin Martin all smiles
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Team PokerStars Pro Online Kevin Martin had to deal with a bad weather day. And he dealt with it in nearly the best way…a runner-up finish in a side event for a nice chunk of cash. We caught up with him right after he finished. –BW

7:10pm: Patryk Poterek out in ninth, winning $92,020
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Patryk Poterek has busted in ninth place in a hand against Maria Lampropulos that at one stage didn’t look like it would reach a flop.

Lampropulos opened for 90,000 under the gun with AK. The action reached Poterek who had QQ and three bet to 265,000. Now Lampropulos had a decision to make, and took some time over it, long enough for the clock to be called. The clock had nearly counted down when she moved all-in.

Poterek now had a decision, but made it pretty quickly. He reluctantly called all-in and was under threat.

Patryk Poterek: Didn’t like it, but called

The board made things quick for him. It came KK1025.

Poterek leaves in ninth, while Lampropulos climbs to 4.4 million. – SB

Maria Lampropulos: A stack to challenge Aldemir

6:55pm: Worst hand wins!
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Who needs to have the best hand to win? Not Adalfer Morales!

Christian Rudolph opened for 85,000 with AQ, Shawn Buchanan called with AQ, Patryk Poterek came along with pocket sevens, and Morales thought, “What the hell?” and called with A10.

Adalfer Morales: With the worst of it

The flop, K82, hit nobody, so everyone checked to Morales, who again thought, “What the hell?” and and fired 183,000 at it. Folds all around, and Morales wins with the worst of it. –BW

6:50pm: Aldemir in control
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Koray Aldemir won a small pot against Adalfer Morales, and then took another against Morales and Adrian Mateos, betting a board of A6K5. It’s not much to report but Aldemir is certainly in charge. He is through 6 million in chips. – SB

6:45pm: Interested parties
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Maria Lampropulos’s rail today includes her boyfriend Ivan Luca, who is also evidently watching the stream and preparing to reveal what he knows to Lampropulos as and when required.

Ivan Luca rails Maria Lampropulos

6:40pm: New level, new chips
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Here’s how they stack up heading into Level 25.

Name Country Chips BBs
Koray Aldemir Germany 6,140,000 154
Maria Lampropulos Argentina 2,790,000 70
Patryk Poterek Poland 1,745,000 44
Adalfer Morales Colombia 1,355,000 34
Christian Rudolph Germany 1,095,000 27
Shawn Buchanan Canada 1,210,000 30
Adrian Mateos Spain 1,145,000 29
Daniel Coupal Canada 1,040,000 26
Oleg Titov Russia 935,000 23

6:35pm: Flush for Titov
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Oleg Titov opened from the button making it 65,000 with KJ. The action was folded to Koray Aldemir in the big blind. He had A7 and called for a flop of 263.

Oleg Titov: Hidden face, hidden flush

That was checked for the 4 on the turn, which gave Titov a flush. He threw in a bet of 75,000 leaving it up to Aldemir. He called it quits and folded. – SB

6:30pm: First hand back
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

On the first hand back from the break, Maria Lampropulos opened for 70,000 with J10. The action was folded to Oleg Titov who looked down at KK. He shoved his 710,000 stack out, and that prompted Lampropulos to fold. – SB

6:25pm: Last nine back at it
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

There are 12 minutes left in Level 24 and the plan is to play them and head straight into Level 25 without a break.

We’re now basing our coverage on the cards-up live stream, so follow along with us!

Unofficial final table

5:30pm: Seating assignments for the nine-handed table
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

The final nine have drawn seats for the not-quite-final final table to which Koray Aldemir carries a huge chip lead. Here’s where everyone will be and how they’ll stack up when play resumes.

Seat 1: Maria Lampropulos (Argentina) – 2,875,000 (96 big blinds)
Seat 2: Shawn Buchanan (Canada) – 1,225,000 (41 bb)
Seat 3: Patryk Poterek (Poland) – 1,760,000 (59 bb)
Seat 4: Adalfer Morales (Colombia) – 1,370,000 (46 bb)
Seat 5: Adrian Mateos (Spain) – 1,160,000 (39 bb)
Seat 6: Daniel Coupal (Canada) – 1,070,000 (36 bb)
Seat 7: Oleg Titov (Russia) – 710,000 (24 bb)
Seat 8: Christian Rudolph (Germany) – 1,370,000 (46 bb)
Seat 9: Koray Aldemir (Germany) – 5,915,000 (197 bb)

With about 12 minutes to go in the level, players are now taking a 20-minute break before getting started again. After they return, we’ll be picking up our coverage to coincide with the live stream.

Stay tuned to see who among these nine make it to the final six and tomorrow’s last day! –MH

5:22pm: Standby, please.
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Now that we are down to nine players, we will be consolidating to one table. Out of respect for spoilers and such, we’re going to fall back in time with the stream. Players are now taking a 20 minute break. We’ll resume posting when the stream catches up to us. –BW

5:21pm: Coupal drops a million in oops moment
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)


Daniel Coupal was holding K8 on a board of 10586 and decided to shove all-in against Patryk Poterek. Problem was, Poterek had the nuts: 97. Coupal’s stack dropped by a million and Poterak climbed to nearly 2 million. –BW

5:15pm: Farrow falls in tenth; all round one table
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Michael Farrow is out, true to form losing in a blind vs. blind encounter. It was Adalfer Morales who profited, giving his own short stack a timely boost as they now gather around only one table.

Action folded to Farrow in the small blind and he open-pushed for 535,000. Morales looked down at his cards in the big blind and took little while to gather his thoughts. His next move was to gather calling chips and tell the dealer he was in.

Morales: A10
Farrow: 55

Probably both players would have taken the flip had they known each other’s holdings, but the problem with flips is that someone has to lose.

Michael Farrow reacts to seeing the ace

Oleg Titov came galloping down the steps from the feature table to watch what was happening, knowing that he could be on his way into the last nine if it went for him.

It did. The 47K flop meant little, but the A turn smacked Morales. Titov span around and went running back up the stairs, hand in air as though celebrating a soccer goal, singing, “Nine!”

It wasn’t quite official, of course, but the 10 river made it so.

So we’re down to nine now, and will have full counts imminently. Farrow wins $75,640 for his exploits. — HS

5:05pm: Whole lotta shove
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

The last five-handed orbit on the outer table saw a couple of preflop all-in shoves go uncalled.

The first was by Michael Farrow, coming on the heels of his having lost that big pot just now versus Shawn Buchanan.

After giving Adalfer Morales a walk in the first hand after that one, Farrow open-raised all in from the button to win the next hand.

A couple of hands intervened, including a three-bet pot in which Koray Aldemir and Buchanan got to the turn where an Aldemir raise over a Buchanan bet got the job done. Aldemir added more to his leading stack and is now up around 5.9 million.

Then it was Morales open-raising all in from the button to win some blinds and antes. He’s at 725,000 now, with Farrow the two shortest stacks among the final 10. –MH

4:55pm: Peters tanks five minutes, suffers Coup(al) de grace
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

David Peters’ day is nothing but a nightmare. In the most recent mile of the downward spiral, Daniel Coupal simply destroyed the overnight chip leader. The first shot was Coupal’s JJ, which he raised to 75,000 pre-flop and got a call from Peters’ AQ.

David Peters

Coupal led out for 100,000 on a 9103 flop and got the call. Both players checked the 4 turn. Then on 3 river, Coupal put out 275,000, and Peters tanked for five minutes before making the (anti)hero call.

Peters at the payout desk

After that, Peters got AJ all-in against Coupal’s AK. Coupal turned a king, and that was that. Peters, the odd-on favorite this morning to win this tournament is now out before the final table. –BW

4:50pm: Buchanan leaves Farrow in a furrow
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

It’s one of those uptick moments for Shawn Buchanan, who has been exploring all rungs of the chip-count leader board today.

Right now he is up to 1.7 million and has left Michael Farrow in a deep furrow.

Michael Farrow

This was another blind-on-blind scrap, beginning with Buchanan’s limp and then Farrow’s raise to 100,000. Buchanan called.

Again, there was a flop brimming with opportunities given the pre-flop action. It was J98.

Buchanan bet 100,000. Farrow raised to 270,000. Buchanan called.

The 7 turn offered even more opportunity. Buchanan checked, then Farrow carefully counted out 300,000, leaving himself 450,000 behind. Buchanan called.

The 6 completed the board and Buchanan checked again. Farrow wasn’t going to put anything more in this one and checked behind, seeming to say something about being pretty sure he wasn’t winning the hand.

Buchanan tabled 710, which was a flopped straight. Farrow showed the naked J as he mucked. It wasn’t good enough. — HS

4:35pm: Morales on the go
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

One way of summarizing the last several minutes from the secondary table would be to say that Adalfer Morales isn’t too interested in remaining the tournament’s short stack.

Adalfer Morales

The blinds are always difficult positions from which to play. But Morales found a solution during a recent orbit, reraise-shoving first from the big blind over a Shawn Buchanan open, then from the small over Michael Farrow’s preflop raise. He won the pots both times.

A little after that he opened again from under the gun for 90,000 (i.e., 3x), saw Christian Rudolph three-bet to 275,000, and when it got back to Morales he folded his hand face up — 108.

The next one after that saw him defend his big blind with 84 versus a Koray Aldemir raise, then both checked down the 9Q855 board. Aldemir had J8 and they chopped.

Morales is still the shortest with 750,000, but it feels like he won’t be content to remain in such a position for long. –MH

4:25pm: West wilts; Aldemir’s charge continues
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

We figured Jonathan West’s appearance on the outer table might change things, and it certainly did for him. He’s out.

Jonathan West

What it didn’t change, however, was Koray Aldemir’s charge at the top of the leader board. He is now sitting with 5.45 million after sending West home in a huge cooler.

It began with a limp. West completed from the small blind and then Aldemir bumped it up to 100,000. West called.

The flop was intriguing and packed with potential. It came 987. West checked and Aldemir bet 90,000. Then West raised to 600,000. Yes, it was that kind of intriguing.

Aldemir paused a few beats then moved all-in, with his stack dwarfing the 1.3 million West had behind. West called pretty quickly.

It suddenly got a bit chilly. West’s 97 had flopped two pair, but Aldemir already had the flush with his Q10.

West had outs to the full house (Aldemir had the potential to make a straight flush too) but the K turn and 8 river missed them both.

Jonathan West exits the Main Event

With that, West departs in 12th. But Aldemir now sits with more than a quarter of the chips in play. — HS

4:15pm: Peters’ decline continues, Mateos soaring
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

No matter how good you are, no matter how far ahead you might be, no matter if your decision is correct, sometimes it just doesn’t go your way. That’s what’s happening to David Peters. The most recent indignity was losing with 99 vs Adrian Mateos’ A3 after one ace had been folded and the other came on the flop. Peters is now down to 745,000 and Mateos is up to 1,850,000.–BW

4:05pm: West changes outer table dynamic
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Following Bartosz Stasiewicz’s elimination, Jonathan West has migrated to the outer table from the feature table to keep the tournament balanced. He brings just shy of 2 million and based on the first few hands after West arrived, it seems he might loosen it up out there.

Jonathan West

He saw two early flops, the first after Michael Farrow opened the cutoff and West called in the big blind. West check-folded the Q6J flop to Farrow’s 65,000 bet.

West didn’t win the next one either. In this instance, Shawn Buchanan opened to 60,000 from under the gun and Christian Rudolph called on the button. West called in the small blind too to make this a trio.

They saw the 537 flop and West led 75,000 at it. Buchanan had seen enough, but Rudolph wasn’t convinced. He raised to 210,000 and West folded.

West likes to see flops, it seems. It’ll be interesting to see if Adalfer Morales continues his hefty pre-flop raise sizing in the slightly changed circumstances. — HS

3:52pm: Buchanan busts Stasiewicz in 13th
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Bartosz Stasiewicz returned from the break to the shortest stack among the final 13, and when he started the new level looking down at KQ on the button, that looked good enough to put his last 280,000 in the middle as an open-raise.

Bartosz Stasiewicz

Shawn Buchanan was next to act in the small blind, and after checking his cards and the bet amount he went all in over the top, pushing out Michael Farrow in the BB.

Buchanan had 99, meaning Stasiewicz needed to improve with his king-queen to survive. But the board rolled out 5264A and Stasiewicz is out in 13th for $63,220.

Buchanan pushes up to 1.045 million with that pot. –MH

3:30pm: That’s the end of the level

We’ve reached the second break of the day. Back in 20 minutes. — SB

3:25pm: Rudolph ends level with double-up through Buchanan
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Shawn Buchanan was involved in the last three hands of the level. He won the first two — a medium pot off of Koray Aldemir, then a small one from Bartosz Stasiewicz — both without showdowns.

He didn’t win the third, though, one that did end with all the cards face up.

Shawn Buchanan

It began with Christian Rudolph opening for 52,000 from middle position, then it folded to Buchanan in the big blind who after getting a good idea of Rudolph’s remaning stack — not quite 450,000 — raised enough to put his opponent all in. Rudolph called right away.

Buchanan had 99 but Rudolph’s JJ was the the better starter. It was the better finisher, too, after the Q347K board and Rudolph goes to the break with about 1.02 million while Buchanan has 685,000. –MH

3:20pm: Working with scraps
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

It’s slow going now on the outer table, at least since Koray Aldemir and Shawn Buchanan shared that set-over-set encounter.

Here’s a couple of tidbits to tide you over:

• Michael Farrow opened to 52,000 under the gun and Buchanan called in the big blind. After a 76Q flop and a check from Buchanan, Farrow’s 65,000 bet took it down.
• Next hand: Buchanan completed from the small blind and Farrow checked his option. No more money went in through a board that ran 5K635 and Buchanan’s Q2 turned out to be best.
• Koray Aldemir opened to 52,000 under the gun and both Adalfer Morales and Christian Rudolph called in the blinds. Those latter two weren’t interested in the 933 flop, allowing Aldemir’s 54,000 continuation bet to be a winner.

The only other vaguely interesting thing that happened was when Morales made an opening raise that definitely looked to be 144,000. That’s big, even by his stands (especially when everyone else is opening 52,000). Bartosz Stasiewicz seemed agonised in the big blind, but opted not to call.

There are three minutes until the tournament break. — HS

3:10pm: Coupal survives
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Maria Lampropulos just lost her lead over the feature table after getting pretty unlucky. After David Peters opened for 55,000 with 95, Lampropulos just called with AK. Then Daniel Coupal woke up in the big blind with AJ and shove all in for 566,000. Peters folded but Lampropulos made the easy call.

Daniel Coupal

It only remained easy until a jack flopped. Coupal went ahead and stayed that way. That dropped Lampropulos down to 1.89 million and moved Coupal back up to 1.22 million.

“I’m back,” Coupal said. –BW

3:05pm: Set-over-set hand vaults Aldemir near 4 million
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Following Adalfer Morales’s shoves on the secondary table (see below), Christian Rudolph open-raised all in on consecutive hands, also getting no callers.

On the next hand Rudolph made a smaller raise fo 52,000. That got him some callers — four of them, in fact, as Koray Aldemir (cutoff) Bartosz Stasiewicz (button), Shawn Buchanan (small blind), and Michael Farrow (big blind) all came along.

Koray Aldemir

All five players checked the K89 flop. Then after the 3 turn it checked around to Aldemir who bet 160,000, and only Buchanan called.

The river was the 4. Buchanan checked, and Aldemir bet 480,000. Buchanan counted out chips to call, then considered the situation for a short while, about a minute perhaps.

Finally Buchanan called, turning over 33 for a set. But Aldemir had a better set with 99 to collect the big pot.

Aldemir vaults way up to 3.95 million and is now well ahead of the chase pack in the lead. Buchanan, meanwhile, did well to survive the set-over-set encounter, and continues on with 910,000. –MH

2:52pm: Morales shoves
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Adalfer Morales has been up and down today, and he is maybe growing a little frustrated. He just moved his 25 BB stack in as a three-bet shove over Shawn Buchanan’s button raise and Buchanan folded.

Adalfer Morales

Buchanan is moving through the gears very efficiently today, and he’s also keeping tabs on what’s happening on the feature table, trying to plot his route to the final. — HS

2:40pm: Jean Ateba eliminated by Michael Farrow
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Jean Ateba raised to 48,000 and got a single caller in Michael Farrow a couple of seats to his left. The flop came K8K. Ateba checked, Farrow bet 88,000, and Ateba called.

The turn was the 6. Ateba didn’t take too much time before announcing he was all in, and after his chips were counted out Farrow was able to see the shove was for 555,000. Farrow didn’t act right away.

“I feel like you’re not bluffing, but I’m going to call you,” said Farrow, turning over K9 for trip kings. That was well ahead of Ateba’s 77, and when the river brought the 4, Ateba was eliminated in 14th place for $55,380.

Jean Ateba

Farrow is playing 1.69 million now. –MH

2:36pm: Peters drops below 2 million
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

David Peters recently lost the chip lead, and now he’s dropped below two million. That happened when he held K10 on a 5K75J board.

David Peters

Jonathan West bet into him for 300,000 with KJ and got the call. That dropped Peters to 1.9 million and moved West up to 2.2 million. –BW

2:30pm: Rudolph up and down
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Christian Rudolph lost one. Christian Rudolph won one. Neither was enormous, but neither is his stack. And they all count.

Both hands began in the same manner, with a raise to 52,000 from our reindeer-named German. Bartosz Stasiewicz called the first in the big blind and those two alone saw the 6J8 flop.

Michael Farrow

It went check, check, leading to the 10 turn. It went check, check again, taking them to the 7 river. Now Stasiewicz bet 125,000 and after a while in the tank, Rudolph called.

Stasiewicz wasn’t bluffing. His 94 was a straight. It cut Rudolph down to around 400,000.

Next hand, after Rudolph’s 52,000 cutoff raise, both Stasiewicz (SB) and Jean Ateba (BB) made the call. The A4A flop connected more with a pre-flop raiser’s range than a couple of blind defenders, and after two checks, Rudolph’s 45,000 bet won it. — HS

2:22pm: Lampropulos sick and winning
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Maria Lampropulos is suffering from a pretty wicked cough today, but it hasn’t hurt her game. On a 82K flop, Oleg Titov bet into her for 55,000 with his A9. Lampropulos held AQ and called. The A came on the turn, and both players checked. The river was the 5, and Titov decided to bet big: 275,000. Lampropulos called quickly and won the 730,000 pot, moving her to up 2.6 million.

Maria Lampropulos

On the next hand, Titov doubled through Peters with tens versus sevens. That let Titov recover to 884,000 and brought Peters down to 2.4 million. Lampropulos is now the chip leader at the table. –BW

2:20pm: Buchanan doubles through Morales
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Shawn Buchanan raised to 55,000 from the hijack seat, then two seats down on the button Adalfer Morales three-bet to 195,000.

It folded back to Buchanan who took a short while before acting.

Shawn Buchanan

First he grabbed what looked like calling chips — some blues (5,000) and greens (25,000) — and riffled those a while.

Then he put those back and grabbed raising chips — just greens this time — for some more riffling.

Then he said he was all in, and Morales called right away. Buchanan was the one at risk for his last 880,000.

Buchanan: JJ
Morales: 1010

The K6256 runout meant the jacks remained good, and Buchanan doubles up to around 1.85 million. Morales dips to 585,000. –MH

2:10pm: Straight means chips for Ateba
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Michael Farrow raised to 55,000 and Jean Ateba called from the small blind. The flop came 1085, Ateba checked, Farrow bet 60,000, and Ateba called. Both checked the 9 turn. Ho-hum stuff to that point.

The K river helped make things a bit more interesting. Ateba checked again, and Farrow hesitated before betting 105,000.

Ateba then check-raised the minimum to 210,000. As we saw once earlier, the dealer needed to assist a little when it came to the counting out of chips for the desired raise.

Farrow exhaled.

“I wanted to check this back so badly,” he said with a grimace. After considering the amount to call and the odds being offered, Farrow finally did call, and watched as Ateba showed 76 for a straight.

“Good hand,” said Farrow as he tabled his AK for a pair of kings.

Ateba has about 880,000 now, which is just a little ahead of what Farrow has now. –MH

TV Production Set

2:05pm: Maurer and Morales shove, Maurer busts
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Florian Maurer is out, sent to the rail by Adalfer Morales.

Morales opened the pot, making it 58,000, before Maurer moved all-in. Morales wasted no time in calling and the cards were flipped over.

Florian Maurer

Morales: AQ
Maurer: 66

The board ran K9K10Q

The river sent the chips to Morales. There was a moment’s pause to determine who the all-in player was, but it quickly became clear Morales had more with close to 600,000.

Morales is now up to 1.5 million, while the field is down to 14 players. Maurer gets $55,380 for 15th. – SB

2pm: Away they go again
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 3,000)

Players are re-seated and they now play on. — HS

1:50pm: Full counts
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 3,000)

Here’s how they will line up when they return to start Level 23:

Name Country Chips BBs
David Peters USA 2,918,000 122
Koray Aldemir Germany 2,611,000 109
Maria Lampropulos Argentina 2,224,000 93
Jonathan West USA 1,684,000 70
Michael Farrow Canada 1,214,000 51
Adrian Mateos Spain 971,000 40
Christian Rudolph Germany 819,000 34
Adalfer Morales Colombia 785,000 33
Oleg Titov Russia 730,000 30
Florian Maurer Austria 723,000 30
Shawn Buchanan Canada 719,000 30
Jean Ateba Norway 535,000 22
Bartosz Stasiewicz Poland 479,000 20
Patryk Poterek Poland 329,000 14
Daniel Coupal Canada 316,000 13

To the surprise of nobody, David Peters remains up top.

David Peters: Take Me To Your Leader

1:37pm: Break time

In real-time, that’s the end of Level 22. They’re playing on on the live stream with a 30-minute and we’ll back-date any action in this post, so scroll downward to catch that action. At the top, we’re getting full chip counts and taking 20 minutes. — HS

1:35pm: Morales grabs last pot of level
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

A few hands before the end of the level, Adalfer Morales three-bet shoved preflop to pick up a pot. Then on the last one before the break he raised to 47,000 from the cutoff and only Koray Aldemir called.

Aldemir check called Morales twice post-flop, the bet being 52,000 after the 67A flop and 110,000 after the 10 turn. Aldemir checked again after the Q river, but folded this time to Morales’s last bet of 150,000.

Adalfer Morales: Late boost

Aldemir has about 2.6 million heading to the break, while Morales is up around 795,000. Full counts of everyone coming on the other side. –MH

1:30pm: Farrow doubles
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

A double-up out of one of those hands that didn’t really look like leading getting that far.

Bartosz Stasiewicz opened and Michael Farrow called for a flop of K810. Farrow checked, then called Stasiewicz’s bet of 40,000. Then on the Q turn, Farrow checked again. Stasiewicz bet 115,000. Farrow looked like he was deciding how long to wait before folding, but eventually said he was all-in. A total of around 520,000.

Now it was Stasiewicz’s turn to think. He had around 1.4 million behind. Suddenly, and quietly, he called.

Stasiewicz: K2
Farrow: Q8

Farrow was ahead and stayed that way after the 9 river. He doubles to more than 1.1 million, while Stasiewicz takes a hit, down to 500,000. – SB

Michael Farrow: Double

1:15pm: Kevin Martin at side event final table
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

The weather was bad, so Kevin Martin jumped into a side event. Now he’s at the final table with one very supportive rail. -BW

1:10pm: Maurer wins one
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Florian Maurer has been getting involved quite a bit today, and opening for 45,000 from the cutoff just now. Koray Aldemir called from the button as did Jean Ateba from the big blind, and the flop came a coordinated 756.

Ateba checked and Maurer continued for 75,000, eliciting a quick fold from Aldemir. Ateba then put out chips to raise, needing a bit of an assist from the dealer to get the raise up to the minimum bet of 150,000.

Maurer instantly reraised all in for 315,000 total, and after thinking 10 seconds or so Ateba folded.

Put Maurer on 620,000 while Ateba is back down to 465,000. –MH

1:05pm: Maurer doubles through Aldemir
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Another all-in for Florian Maurer, who shoved for 180,000 with 10J. Koray Aldemir on the button, immediately to his left, called with 99.

The board ran 6A5108. Maurer performed a quiet and subtle celebration on the turn, and he plays on with a stack now of around 375,000. – SB

Florian Maurer: Doubles to stay alive

1:03pm: A is for Adrian…and ace
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Bad news again for Daniel Coupal. He opened with pocket eights, and Adrian Mateos shoved with A3. That made David Peters fold his ace-nine. Coupal came along…but what’s that card in the middle of the flop? Yep, that’s an ace. Coupal fell down to 161,000. Mateos is now up to nearly 900,000. -BW

1pm: Good call helps Stasiewicz add to stack
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

From underneath the bill of his Toronto Blue Jays cap, Michael Farrow raised to 43,000 from middle position. It folded around to Bartosz Stasiewicz in the big blind who is wearing a Miami Heat jersey today. Stasiewicz called, and the flop came 276.

Stasiewicz checked, then called Farrow’s bet of 50,000. Stasiewicz the led for 85,000 after the 5 turn. Farrow studied a while and called, then the Q completed the board.

Stasiewicz checked this time, and after a pause Farrow dug out a bet of 162,000. Stasiewicz looked like he was going to call right away, but after a look back at his stack he hesitated. Then he did call, showing K7 for a pair of sevens, and he was right as Farrow had A9 for a busted flush.

Stasiewicz jumps to about 980,000, while Farrow is now at 455,000. –MH

12:50pm: Aldemir pushes past 3 million
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Jean Ateba opened in early position for 42,000. The action was folded to Koray Aldemir in the big blind who put up a defence and saw a flop of 4Q5.

Ateba could be thinking he was ahead. He was holding QJ and the action was checked to him. So he bet, 48,000, which Aldemir called.

There was a similar pattern on the 3 turn. Aldemir checked. Ateba’s queen still looked good, so he bet 125,000. Aldemir called again.

On the 2 Aldemir checked. Only this time Ateba sensed something was up. So he checked too. He was right to be suspicious. Aldemir showed 53 for two pairs and the pot. He’s now up to more than 3.1 million. – SB

12:45pm: Corion jacked, out in 16th
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

After David Peters opened to 45,000 with two red fours, Jonathan West found AA and raised it only a little more to 100,000. That was bad news for Phillip Corion who looked down at jacks and shoved all-in for 365,000. Peters got out of the way, but West made the easy call and held up. Corion finished in 16th place for $49,680. –BW

Phillip Corion’s dream dies

12:40pm: River gives huge double to Aldemir through Gamarra
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Big pot alert! With a dramatic river, too.

Koray Aldemir opened for 44,000 from middle position and got two callers in Shawn Buchanan (button) and Adalfer Gamarra (big blind).

The flop came K4J. Gamarra checked and Aldemir continued for 90,000. Buchanan folded, but Gamarra stuck around.

The turn brought the Q and another check from Gamarra. With some deliberation, Aldemir bet 185,000 this time, and Gamarra instantly announced he was check-raising all in. Aldemir didn’t hesitate at all before calling, either, and each player showed his hand.

Gamarra: 109
Aldemir: JJ

Koray Aldemir: Big double

Aldemir had flopped a set, but Gamarra had taken the lead on the turn with a straight. Then came the river… the K! The lead changed hands again as Aldemir made a winning full house to claim the huge pot.

Aldemir leaps up the counts to about 2.85 million, within shouting distance of leader David Peters now. Meanwhile Gamarra slips to 425,000. –MH

12:35pm: Small pot to Ateba
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Nothing much to report from the outer table, for now at least.

Florian Maurer, one of the short stacks, moved all-in, but got no takers. So he plays on. Then Jean Ateba won a small pot against Christian Rudolph.

Rudolph opened for 42,000 under the gun. The action was folded to Ateba on the button who called for the 396 flop. That was checked, as was the 9 turn. They checked the 2 river card too, Ateba showing A10 to Rudolph’s KQ to win this one. – SB

12:29pm: Peters can’t win them all
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

David Peters, holding K10, got involved with Oleg Titov’s A10. The both flopped the 10. While they both slowed down when a queen hit the turn, Peters bet out 80,000. Titov worried for a while that he was beaten, but ultimately made the call and put a very small ding in Peters’ stack. –BW

Oleg Titov: Dressed to kill in the Bahamas

12:28pm: Peters avoid getting pipped
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

David Peters opened to 45,000 with A9 under the gun and play folded all the way around to Adrian Mateos in the big blind. Mateos held A10 and moved all-in for 179,000. Peters considered the shove for only a couple of moments before folding. –BW

Adrian Mateos: Early shove, but Peters dodges bullet

12:25pm: Ateba doubles through Rudolph
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Christian Rudolph had just lost a small pot to Koray Aldemir with two black fives versus Aldemir’s pocket sixes.

On the next hand, Rudolph looked down in the small blind at another pocket pair — 88 — and watched as Jean Ateba opened from middle position for 45,000.

When the action reached Rudolph, he asked Ateba how much he had behind and saw it was around 300,000. Rudolph then reraised all in, and after Florian Maurer folded from the big blind Ateba called.

Ateba had KQ to compete with Rudolph’s eights, and when the flop came 6Q5 the at-risk player pulled ahead. The 7 turn gave Rudolph an open-ended straight draw, but the Q river completed the board to give the hand to Ateba.

Jean Ateba: Early double

Ateba jumps close to 690,000 after that one, while Rudolph slips to 905,000. –MH

12:20pm: Maurer leads, Farrow wins
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Florian Maurer opened the pot making it 40,000 to play. Michael Farrow obliged from the big blind for a flop of 6105. Maurer bet another 50,000, which Farrow called and then both players checked the 5 turn.

On the 7 river the momentum swung in Farrow’s favour. He bet 67,000, which after a few moments brought about a fold from Maurer.

Farrow increases his stack, but it’s Maurer who is on the critical list, his stack down to around 250,000. – SB

12:16pm: Coupal shoves first hand
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Daniel Coupal, beginning the day with 385,000, open-shoved for A10, but he got no callers. That’s one way to start! –BW

Daniel Coupal: First shove

12:15pm: And they’re off
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Play on the secondary feature table began with the short stack Jean Ateba raising and taking from under the gun, then Koray Aldemir also won some blinds and antes with a late-position open.

On the next hand Aldemir opened again, raising to 40,000 from middle position, and Shawn Buchanan called from the big blind. Both checked the 81010 flop and 2 turn, then the 8 double-paired the board.

Shawn Buchanan: Dug out a winning bet

Buchanan dug out a 42,000 bet on that river, Aldemir called, and Buchanan’s ace-kicker with A3 was best. –MH

12:05pm: Cards are in the air/How to avoid spoilers
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

And that’s it. With a minimum of fuss, Day 5 play is under way.

A word about our coverage: The live stream is operating with a 30-minute security delay for their cards up coverage. We’re reporting here what is happening on the OUTER table in real time (i.e., 30 minutes ahead of what you’ll see on the stream) but we are reporting the feature table at the same time as the broadcast. You therefore won’t see anything on this blog from the feature table until it has been screened.

We will go back and add in feature table action to our coverage when we’ve watched it on the stream. — HS


Good afternoon one and all and welcome back as sun rises over the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas for the penultimate day of the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA).

The Atlantis Resort, our home for the PCA

From a starting field of 582 players in this $10,000 Main Event, only 16 remain. They currently fit around two eight-handed tables, but the plan for the day is to shrink them so they fit around only one. Today we’re aiming for our final six.

Right now, everyone is guaranteed at least $49,680, but as ever the biggest money is on offer to the finalists. The pay-jumps are a minimum of $6,000 today, and it gets pretty steep as players fall by the wayside. The first six-figure payout will go to whoever makes it to eighth, while the winner is set for seven figures: $1.0811 million to be precise. (Click for full payout schedule.)

Last night we waved goodbye to the last remaining Team PokerStars Pro in the field. Liv Boeree’s 17th-place elimination closed the action for Day 4. But we have grown to know plenty about Adrian Mateos, Shawn Buchanan, Koray Aldemir and Maria Lampropulos over the past few years at the high-stakes tournament tables, and they are four of the star names returning.

But top billing belongs to Ohio’s David Peters. He is the 2016 GPI Player of the Year (Mateos won it last year), he has $18.4 million in live tournament winnings already, and he has the biggest chip stack by a long way coming into today. (Click for full chip counts.)

“Everything’s going very well, smooth,” Peters said yesterday. “I have a very nice chip-position so I’m able to apply some pressure. I’m feeling great. I’m loving my situation.”

There’s no flapping him. “I just play hand by hand, just go with the flow, not trying to look into the future, just playing my game,” he said.

The others now have the job of trying to rein Peters in, otherwise this could become the most one-sided poker tournament in history.

It would surprise few if Peters managed to coast all the way to the title, but everyone here–Peters included–is wise enough to expect a few bumps in the road.

Strap in. We’ll guide you through it all the way.


PokerStars Blog reporting team on the $10,000 Main Event: Stephen Bartley, Marc Convey, Martin Harris, Howard Swains, and Brad Willis. Videos by Nick Coole. Photography by Neil Stoddart and Joe Giron/

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