2016 ACOP: Main Event final table live updates

November 12, 2016

Click for a full report from the final table. Take a look at the full results from the Main Event.

9:40pm: Vladimir Geshkenbein wins ACOP Main Event and $5,643,000
Neel Murphy out in second, for $5,143,000

Level 28 – Blinds: 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

This one is all over. They got it all-in on a flop of 10♣3♣7♦ and Geshkenbein, with his J♣6♣ was rooting for a club against Murphy’s 10♠4♣.

However, the J♦ that appeared on the river did just as nicely, and the 8♦ completed the board.

That was the end for Murphy, who took a 3-1 chip lead to heads up play but suffered a series of coolers–and ran into a man in Geshkenbein who is at the top of his game.

There’s more to come, so stick around for photos and a full report, etc.

9:40pm: Geshkenbein can’t miss–except value
Level 28 – Blinds: 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

On the first hand after the resumption, Neel Murphy raised to 110,000 and Vladimir Geshkenbein called. They saw the flop of Q♥7♦10♣ and Geshkenbein checked. Murphy bet 140,000 and Geshkenbein raised to 350,000.

Murphy took a little while to call, but did indeed pay the extra and they saw the A♣ on the turn. Check, check. The 4♠ came on the river and they checked again.

Geshkenbein seemed a little disappointed as he turned over his Q♦10♦ for flopped two pair. Murphy mucked.

9:35pm: Poker problems
Level 28 – Blinds: 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Neel Murphy is back, full of apologies. The reason for his delay? His flight was booked for tonight, and he’s just had to change it until tomorrow, for obvious reasons. They’re playing again now.

9:30pm: Paging Neel Murphy
Level 28 – Blinds: 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

The clock has run down and Vladimir Geshkenbein is back in his seat. However, there is no sign of Neel Murphy. They have indicated that they will wait for him to return, but Geshkenbein is getting antsy. If this was online, he could pinch his blinds with impunity, but we’re a bit more tolerant in the live arena.

9:10pm: Break time
Level 28 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Off they go to a break. Here are the stack sizes after a level of hefty betting and big swings.

Neel Murphy: 1.410
Vladimir Geshkenbein: 7.650

You would expect this to be over soon, especially since they have made a deal, but there have been numerous double-ups so anything could still happen.

9pm: Murphy on the ropes
Level 28 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Vladimir Geshkenbein got up from his seat and pointed at Neel Murphy. “You’re lucky you didn’t shove,” he said.

Murphy is down to his last 1.5 million regardless after losing another big pot to Geshkenbein.

Murphy bet 350,000 at the flop of 5♥3♣7♣ and Geshkenbein called. Then the A♠ appeared on the turn. Murphy bet 575,000 and Geshkenbein asked for a count, then called. It took them to the J♦ on the river.

Both players checked and Murphy showed his 2♥3♥. But bottom pair was not good. Geshkenbein’s 5♠6♠ won it.

8:50pm: Geshkenbein picks one off
Level 28 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Neel Murphy has made some excellent calls at this final table, picking off big bluffs. But this time it was him caught stealing as Geshkenbein called a bold bet on the river.

They built the pot pre-flop with a raise and a three-bet and call. Then the flop came 4♣K♥6♣. Geshkenbein bet 450,000 and Murphy called. Then they both checked the 3♥ turn, taking them to the 5♦ river. Geshkenbein checked and Murphy bet 650,000.

Geshkenbein thought about it for a while, but then called. He was instantly rewarded with a muck from Murphy, which allowed him to muck behind and scoop the pot.

8:45pm: Murphy back in it
Level 28 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

And the swings and roundabouts continue with a double up for Neel Murphy. He now has 4.1 million while Vladimir Geshkenbein has 4.9 million.

This one started with a raise to 135,000 from Geshkenbein and a three-bet to 450,000 from Murphy. Geshkenbein jammed, covering Murphy’s 2.055 million stack and Murphy called.

Murphy: 4♥4♠
Geshkenbein: 3♦3♣

Geshkenbein was already crestfallen, and by the time the 4♦ came on the turn, he was drawing dead. This one can go either way once again.

8:20pm: Geshkenbein takes charge
Level 28 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

It’s been one way traffic since the deal was struck and now Vladimir Geshkenbein, who is closing in on this title after a huge cooler. They got to a turn with the board showing J♥9♦K♥K♣ and Neel Murphy bet 275,000. Geshkenbein called.

The 10♣ came on the river and Murphy bet 300,000. Geshkenbein raised to 1.150 million and Murphy was put to the test. He clearly thought very hard about folding, but then called and Geshkenbein tabled K♠10♠ for a rivered full house.

Murphy showed his Q♣10♦ and began counting out the chips.

Geshkenbein has 7.4 million now to Murphy’s 1.6 million. — HS

8:20pm: Deal!
Level 28 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

They have officially agreed and signed for a deal. Here’s what they are taking. Both players have locked up $5.143 million and they are leaving $500,000 to play for on the side, plus next year’s ACOP Main Event seat and the trophy.

8:15pm: Hey, guess what…
Level 28 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Actually maybe they are going to do a deal. How exciting is this to follow in text form? I’m interested. It’s an absolute thrill ride in real life, I can tell you.

After Vladimir Geshkenbein stood up in front of the screen showing the payouts, and pointed at the numbers like a physics master in a 1980s Brat Pack high-school movie, Murphy and he finally shook hands on a deal.

The details are coming.

8pm: Deal negotiations resurface
Level 28 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

With the chip stacks now about even, the two players are taking about a deal again. Geshkenbein has 4.245 million and Murphy has 4.8 million, but Geshkenbein seems to want to take the lion’s share of the prize. “I’m sorry, man, I just can’t give up that much,” Murphy just said, so they are playing on.

7:50pm: Geshkenbein doubles back into it
Level 28 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

A huge double up for Vladimir Geshkenbein on the first hand of heads-up play. It might easily have been over, but as it is we may be heading long into the night.

Neel Murphy opened pre-flop, raising to 275,000. Geshkenbein called and they saw the flop of J♥6♦Q♣. Murphy bet 325,000 and Geshkenbein called.

The turn was the 8♣ and Murphy checked. Geshkenbein looked at a sea of yellow chips in front of him–all of his reds were gone–and said that he wanted to bet “half of this”. He made it a bit more precise and said it was 750,000.

Murphy called and Geshkenbein, pointing at the rest of his stack, said, “You could have got all that.”

“I want to leave you enough to bluff,” Murphy said.

The 7♣ came on the river and Murphy took away Geshkenbein’s bluffing option. He moved all-in himself. Geshkenbein couldn’t have been happier. Although Murphy’s A♦K♣ had been good for a lot of this hand, Geshkenbein’s A♣10♣ was now the nuts.

Geshkenbein now has about 4 million to Murphy’s 5 million.

7:50pm: No we won’t
Level 28 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Second thoughts on the second thoughts. They are not going to deal after all. So they’re definitely now playing it out.


Heads up in Macau

7:45pm: Actually, maybe we will deal after all
Level 28 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

With both players seated, and with the heads-up photos taken, the players had second thoughts. They are now renegotiating, and they will do a deal after all. We’ll have the details when we know it.

7:40pm: No deal, play on
Level 28 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

They looked at the numbers. They talked in a friendly enough fashion. They opted to play on without a deal. Fair enough.

First place is worth $6,684,000, including a buy-in to next year’s Main Event. Second is $4,202,000.

7:35pm: Heads up stack sizes
Level 28 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Here are the stack sizes heads up:

Neel Murphy: 6.76 million
Vladimir Geshkenbein: 2.3 million

They are taking an interested peek at the numbers and they may yet strike a deal.

7:30pm: Cooler accounts for Burns in third
Level 28 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Kahle Burns only had about 800,000 in his stack and he now has nothing. That’s the size of it. And one suspects he would be in a similar position right now no matter how big his stack was at the start of a cooler against Neel Murphy.

Murphy raised from the small blind, making it 120,000 to play, and Burns called in the big blind. They went to a flop of J♥5♣2♠ and Murphy check-called Burns’s bet of 95,000.

The J♦ came on the turn and Murphy checked. Burns moved all-in and Murphy called instantly. This was a sickener for Burns. His J♠8♦ was losing to Murphy’s J♣10♠.


Kahle Burns: Coolered

The 6♣ on the river was the final nail in the coffin for Burns. He takes $2,662,000 for third, and a greatly enhanced reputation.

7:25pm: Murphy dodges Geshkenbein’s straight
Level 28 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Vladimir Geshkenbein just won a small pot from Neel Murphy, but was gutted that it was only small. They both checked the flop of A♥7♥5♠ and then Geshkenbein check-called Murphy’s bet of 115,000 on the J♣ turn.

The Q♠ came on the river and Geshkenbein checked. Murphy checked it back.

Geshkenbein was devastated as he turned over his K♦10♠–the rivered nuts. Murphy showed his A♦4♠.

“You checked behind an ace?” and incredulous Geshkenbein said.

Murphy shot back: “That’s the second time, man. I’m trying to put you on major tilt.”

7:15pm: Murphy stations again, is right again
Level 28 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Another fine call from Neel Murphy, who has the chips to back up his reads.

In this pot, he opened from the button to 90,000 and both his opponents called in the blinds. After the flop of 7♠J♥2♦, both Kahle Burns and Vladimir Geshkenbein checked, leading Murphy to bet 150,000. Only Geshkenbein called.

The turn was the 4♦ and both players checked. Then the 7♦ came on the river and Geshkenbein bet 155,000. Murphy tried to extract some information with some chit-chat. It went unanswered. He dropped his chips in to find out and Geshkenbein showed 10♥8♥.

Murphy’s 5♠2♠–bottom pair–was enough.

7:05pm: Would you call here?
Level 28 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

A pretty extraordinary call here from Neel Murphy, who simply didn’t believe what he was seeing from Kahle Burns and picked him off with aplomb.

Burns raised his button pre-flop and Murphy called in the big blind and the both checked the flop of 7♠Q♦3♠. After the Q♠ turn, I think it was Murphy who bet 100,000 and Burns who called (although it may have been the other way around, I apologise). The 8♠ on the river made this a fairly dangerous board and Murphy checked.

Burns bet 300,000 and it didn’t take Murphy long to make the call. Burns showed J♦K♣ and although any spade would win it for Murphy, he didn’t have one either. His 6♦7♣ was, however, the best hand.

7pm: Anyone’s game again
Level 28 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)


Neel Murphy: 4.4 million
Vladimir Geshkenbein: 2.35 million
Kahle Burns: 2.15 million

6:55pm: Huge flip puts Murphy back ahead
Level 28 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Kahle Burns turned to his rail and said, “I think that was the biggest flip I haven’t been in.”

He was right. Vladimir Geshkenbein and Neel Murphy just tangled in a 4.7 million chip pot ending in a double up for the latter and bringing all three players right back into this game.

Burns folded his button and Geshkenbein raised from the small blind, making it 135,000 to play. Murphy three-bet his big blind, putting 465,000 out there, and then Geshkenbein found a new way to move all-in. He stood up, lent over the dealer’s shoulder, and picked up the all-in triangle before depositing it in front of his stack

Murphy, with the effective stack, called immediately. They fired the starter’s pistol:

Murphy: A♦Q♠
Geshkenbein: 10♥10♦

The flop vaulted Murphy into the lead. It came J♦6♥Q♣. Though the A♠ on the turn improved Murphy’s hand, it doubled Geshkenbein’s outs. He could now hit a King to win this. But the 4♠ on the river was good only for Murphy and he doubled his stack of 2.34 million.

6:45pm: Burns move back up
Level 28 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Players are being made to work for every chip here at this final table and it’s not for the faint-hearted. In the most recent big pot, Kahle Burns raised to 95,000 on the button and Neel Murphy three-bet to 250,000 in the big blind. Burns called.

The flop came Q♠3♦6♥ and Murphy bet 200,000. Burns called.

Then it slowed down. Both players checked the 5♦ turn and the K♥ river and showed a pair each. Murphy had A♣5♥ but lost to Burns’s Q♦10♦.

6:40pm: Back to the grind
Level 28 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

They are off again in Macau.

6:25pm: Geshkenbein fights fire with fire to regain chip lead
Level 27 – Blinds: 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Kahle Burns was in the bathroom, enjoying his 10-minute tournament break, as his two opponents played a pot that might have knocked one of them out. It actually ended with Vladimir Geshkenbein winning a monster from Neel Murphy and regaining the chip lead.

Murphy raised to 70,000 from the button and after Burns folded his small blind, heading off from the table, Geshkenbein called in the big blind. That meant two players saw a flop of 3♥Q♠3♠. Geshkenbein checked, Murphy bet 85,000 and Geshkenbein raised to 310,000. Murphy called.


Vladimir Geshkenbein: Back at the top

The 6♥ came on the turn and Geshkenbein bet 635,000 at it. Murphy called that too and they went to the 2♠ on the river.

Geshkenbein announced, “One million” and put out two towers of red chips. Murphy was now put to a tough test.

“Do I get to see two cards this time?” he said, referencing a time that Geshkenbein showed him only one after he folded the river. “Will you show me two cards this time?”

Geshkenbein just tapped the top of his big bet, indicating that there was a price for the information. “One card?” Murphy tried again.

Eventually, with only four minutes now remaining of the 10-minute break, Murphy folded. Geshkenbein showed one card to the spectators on the rail and then let Murphy into the secret too. He showed the 4♣.

Who knows what that means, but the bottom line is that they’re off to the break and will return to the following stacks:

Vladimir Geshkenbein: 4.815 million
Neel Murphy: 2.365 million
Kahle Burns: 1.880 million

6:15pm: Murphy five-bets Burns out of it
Level 27 – Blinds: 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

It’s aggressive stuff now at this ACOP final table, with Neel Murphy back in the kind of form that he found early on Day 3. He has the big stack and he’s making it consistently bigger, inviting his opponents only to play for all of their chips.

Vladimir Geshkenbein opened to 70,000 and Murphy three-bet the small blind, making it 220,000 to play. Kahle Burns four-bet to 490,000 and Geshkenbein folded and wandered away to the rail.

Murphy was going nowhere. He pushed out a five bet to 1.2 million–I think this is the final table’s first five bet–and it was enough to get Burns to fold.


Neel Murphy: Taking charge

Burns is now down to 1.85 million. There’s two minutes on the level and we’ll get full counts at the imminent break.

6:05pm: Murphy’s law
Level 27 – Blinds: 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Neel Murphy is laying down the law in this three-handed battle and may have now moved into the chip lead after taking a huge pot from Kahle Burns.

Burns started it, opening to 70,000 from the button and then Vladimir Geshkenbein called in the small blind. After a period of family pots, Murphy was in no mood to keep the pattern going and he three-bet to 225,000. Only Burns called.

The flop came A♠4♥3♥ and Murphy led 160,000. Burns called. They then saw the 10♣ on the turn. Murphy checked and Burns bet 300,000, but it was met by a check-raise to 750,000. Burns called.

The 10♦ came on the river and Murphy shoved for about 1 million. Burns snap-folded and began licking his wounds.

Geskenbein watched this from beside Tobias Zielger on the rail, leaving his 3.2 million stack easy to count. After the hand, Burns was left with 2.5 million and, with a little more than 9 million chips in play, it means that Murphy, who has the rest, has about 3.35 million.

5:55pm: Anyone’s game
Level 27 – Blinds: 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

This is definitely still anyone’s game with the three-handed stacks now evening out. Kahle Burns has moved into the lead, with Neel Murphy improving his short stack steadily.

Kahle Burns: 3.4 million
Vladimir Geshkenbein: 3.3 million
Neel Murphy: 2.2 million

5:40pm: Murphy wins one from Geshkenbein
Level 27 – Blinds: 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

After Kahle Burns folded his button, Vladimir Geshkenbein raised to 95,000 from the small blind and Neel Murphy called in the big blind. That led to a flop of Q♣10♦4♦.

Geshkenbein bet 130,000 and Murphy called and then Geshkenbein slowed down on the 10♥ turn. Murphy seized his chance and bet 315,000. The chips weren’t even really over the line before Geshkenbein folded.

5:20pm: Three-handed chip counts
Level 27 – Blinds: 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Vladimir Geshkenbein: 4.4 million
Kahle Burns: 3.2 million
Neel Murphy: 1.3 million

5:20pm: Murphy doubles, leaving Zhou short–and then he busts
Level 27 – Blinds: 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Jimmy Zhou’s title defence is over in fourth place after he lost significant pots back-to-back to bust.

In the first of those hands, he got his chips in good against Neel Murphy’s short stack. Murphy had 670,000 and A♦6♦ against Zhou’s J♣J♠ and a stack of about 1 million.

But the tables turned quickly after a flop of A♣A♥10♥, completed by a turn of 8♠ and a river of 4♣. That left Zhou with 225,000 and gave Murphy breathing space again.

On the very next hand, the last of Zhou’s chips went in the middle after an open from Kahle Burns to 70,000 and a call on the button from Vladimir Geshkenbein. Zhou jammed from the small blind and Burns was the first to call.

Geshkenbein also called, so they were three way, with betting on the side, to a flop of 9♠2♠4♠. Burns checked and Geshkenbein bet 125,000. Burns shrug folded, but Geshkenbein wasn’t bluffing into a dry side pot. He had flopped the nuts with A♠J♠.


Jimmy Zhou: Out in fourth

Zhou was already drawing dead with his A♦J♥ and headed off, picking up $2,101,000 for fourth place. His ACOP double dreams are over.

5:10pm: Murphy chopped down again
Level 27 – Blinds: 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Neel Murphy is now down to around 550,000 after losing a big pot to Kahle Burns–and a first hint of acrimony entering proceedings.

The hand began with Murphy raising the cutoff, making it 70,000 to go. Burns called on the button and they went to a flop of A♣5♥10♦. Murphy bet 90,000 and Burns called.

The 4♥ came on the turn and Murphy bet 145,000. Burns called again. The 7♠ came on the river and Murphy bet yet again, this time 225,000 leaving only about 550,000 back.

Burns went into the tank for a few minutes and, as he was thinking still, Vladimir Geshkenbein called the clock via a tap on his wrist to the dealer. It should be noted that play has been incredibly quick in this tournament at all stages, including at this final. Burns looked askance at Geshkenbein and the pair exchanged a couple of words. (I didn’t hear what was said.)

I’m also not sure that the tournament director did put the clock on Burns, but regardless of that, he put some chips over the line to indicate a call.

Murphy went to muck, but showed K♥8♥ just in case. It wasn’t good. Burns’s Q♠10♠ won this one.

5:05pm: Trouble for Murphy
Level 27 – Blinds: 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Neel Murphy is in a bit of trouble now, with slightly more than 1 million chips left. That’s the short stack of the last quartet, and he just lost a sizeable pot to Vladmir Geshkenbein.

Jimmy Zhou started it with a raise to 75,000 from under the gun. Murphy called on the button and Geshkenbein paid the extra from the big blind too. The three players surveyed a flop of J♣A♦3♦.

After both Geshkenbein and Zhou checked, Murphy bet 115,000. Only Geshkenbein called and they went to the 8♣ on the turn. Both players checked and the 2♥ on the river seemed inconsequential.

However, Geshkenbein bet 280,000 and Murphy called. And that deuce wasn’t inconsequential at all. It had made two pair for Geshkenbein’s 2♠J♠ and Murphy mucked.

4:55pm: Level up
Level 27 – Blinds: 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

My level numbering has been a bit wonky so far today, and I’m sorry about that. But I can tell you now that we’ve just entered Level 27 of this tournament, with blinds of 15,000-30,000 (5,000 ante). This new ante level allows us to colour up the blue 1,000-denomination chips.

4:50pm: Deeeeep
Level 26 – Blinds: 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

The harrowing chip stacks for anyone who wants this tournament to end soon are as follows:

Vladimir Geshkenbein: 2.9 million
Kahle Burns: 2.7 million
Jimmy Zhou: 1.6 million
Neel Murphy: 1.6 million

The average stack is presently 95 big blinds.

4:40pm: Shinobu Tanaka out in fifth, winning $1,541,000
Level 26 – Blinds: 12,000/24,000 (ante 3,000)

We are down to four in Macau after Shinobu Tanaka has gone out in fifth place, almost doubling the tournament’s other short stack, Jimmy Zhou, in the process. It leaves us with a super-deep last four.

On the hand in question, Vladimir Geshkenbein raised to 55,000 from under the gun and Zhou, to his left, made a three-bet. Neel Murphy folded, but then Tanaka jammed for his last 800,000 in the small blind. Geshkenbein folded, but Zhou called. (Geshkenbein showed his Ace-Ten after the call from Zhou.)

This was pair versus overpair. Zhou had J♦J♠ and Tanaka had 9♣9♠, and the flop came K♥10♣6♠. After the A♦ came on the turn, Geshkenbein may have been regretting his fold, thinking he could have knocked both of them out.


Shinobu Tanaka busts: Kosei Ichinose’s frown says it all

But then when the Q♣ came on the river, Zhou may have been regretting Geshkenbein’s fold. He now had a straight and could have tripled up.

As it was, Tanaka, who would have lost either way, is out, heading away and looking for the biggest pay-check of his poker career. Meanwhile Zhou is back in business and there are four left.

4:35pm: Murphy continues upward motion
Level 25 – Blinds: 12,000/24,000 (ante 3,000)

We pick this one up on the turn with Jimmy Zhou (SB), Neel Murphy (BB) and Kahle Burns involved. The board reads 8♣4♦8♦A♣.

Zhou checked and Murphy bet 60,000. Burns called, but Zhou folded.

The 7♠ completed the board and Murphy now bet 85,000 into a pot slightly smaller than that. Burns agonised but folded. More for Murphy.

4:30pm: Murphy moves on up
Level 25 – Blinds: 12,000/24,000 (ante 3,000)

Neel Murphy had one of the two shortest stacks at the start of the day and admitted his original plan was just to get a stack big enough that he could actually play some poker. He achieved the first part of that plan in the opening level, and is now going through with phase two.


Neel Murphy: Ever upward

On the first hand back from the break, he opened his button to 55,000 and Kahle Burns called in the big blind. They both checked the 2♥5♦Q♣ flop and the 10♠ came on the turn. Burns bet 64,000 and Murphy raised to 165,000. Burns called.

The J♥ came on the river and Burns checked. Murphy bet 375,000 and Burns folded. Murphy is moving on up.

4:25pm: Official counts
Level 25 – Blinds: 12,000/24,000 (ante 3,000)

Here’s the accurate chip counts as they return from the break:

Name Country Chips
Vladimir Geshkenbein Switzerland 3,101,000
Kahle Burns Australia 2,826,000
Neel Murphy USA 1,210,000
Jimmy Zhou USA 1,057,000
Shinobu Tanaka Japan 866,000

4:15pm: Break time
Level 25 – Blinds: 12,000/24,000 (ante 3,000)

Kahle Burns opened to 52,000 from under the gun and, with about 45 seconds only left on the clock, both Vladimir Geshkenbein and Shinobu Tanaka tank folded to make sure it was the last hand of the level.

We’ll have full chips counts with you shortly. I’m pretty sure Geshkenbein still leads from Burns, but we’ll make that official ASAP.

3:55pm: Burns draws even
Level 25 – Blinds: 12,000/24,000 (ante 3,000)

Kahle Burns and Vladimir Geshkenbein are now separated at the top of the counts by only the narrowest margins after Burns just flopped best in a battle of the blinds.

Burns completed from the small blind and Geshkenbein raised another 55,000 more. Burns called and they saw the flop of 4♥Q♥2♣. Burns check-called Geshkenbein’s continuation bet of 65,000.


Vladimir Geshkenbein and Kahle Burns, the two big stacks

After the 4♣ fell on the turn, Burns bet 111,000 and Geshkenbein called, leading to the J♦ on the river. Burns bet 163,000 and Geshkenbein called again, but Burns’s 4♦6♦ was now a monster and Geshkenbein mucked.

Geshkenbein has around 2.95 million while Burns has about 2.8 million.

3:45pm: Slow down
Level 25 – Blinds: 12,000/24,000 (ante 3,000)

Action has slowed slightly as we move towards the first break of the day. All the players are still really deep-stacked and so this might be about preserving energy for the long haul as much as anything else.

Here’s a small pot to stand as an example of what we’re seeing:

Kahle Burns opened his button to 54,000 and Jimmy Zhou called in the big blind. They checked the flop of 8♣4♥5♦ and they checked the turn of 4♦. Then after the 10♦ came on the river, Zhou bet 75,000, Burns called, and Zhou showed Q♦10♠, which was good.

There are 20 minutes left until they can take a brief rest.

3:25pm: Burns’s kings chip away from Tanaka
Level 25 – Blinds: 12,000/24,000 (ante 3,000)

Kahle Burns found K♥K♦ in the big blind at the same time that Shinobu Tanaka found A♠J♥ in the small blind. There seemed to be betting all the way, but I only saw it from the turn at which point the board read 5♦10♣6♣9♦ and Burns called Tanaka’s bet of 104,000.


Shinobu Tanaka

The 7♦ on the river was scary for everyone and they checked it. The kings were good.

Approximate stacks:

Neel Murphy: 1.3 million
Shinobu Tanaka: 850,000
Kahle Burns: 2.2 million
Vladimir Geshkenbein: 3.4 million
Jimmy Zhou: 1 million


Kahle Burns: Building a stack

3:15pm: Geshkenbein with million-chip boost
Level 24 – Blinds: 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Enough of this small-ball nonsense, here’s a proper pot. It was the last hand of Level 24 and probably the biggest we’ve seen today.

It started in the least incendiary manner possible, with Vladimir Geshkenbein completing from the small blind and Jimmy Zhou checking his option. But that’s as friendly as it got.

After the flop of 8♦6♦5♥ Geshkenbein checked and Zhou bet 40,000. Geshkenbein check-raised to 165,000 and Zhou called.

The 8♥ came on the turn — lucky eights! — and Geshkenbein bet 340,000. Zhou’s call put the pot at more than 1 million.

The K♦ appeared on the river and Geshkenbein quickly cut out a bet of 640,000. Zhou stretched both arms out behind his back, then flexed his fingers. But he was limbering up only to fold, leaving him with round about 1 million now.

3pm: Two steps backward, one forward for Geshkenbein
Level 24 – Blinds: 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

After losing two consecutive small pots, Vladimir Geshkenbein got the chips back in a slightly bigger one against Kahle Burns.

In the first, Geshkenbein opened from UTG+1 but then folded to Jimmy Zhou’s three bet. On the second, Geshkenbein opened to 45,000 and then called after Neel Murphy made it 115,000 on the button. After the flop of 9♠Q♥A♣, Geshkenbein check-folded to Murphy’s bet.

Then Geshkenbein was in the big blind and called Kahle Burns’s raise to 75,000 from the small blind. They both checked the 3♥K♠4♣ flop and Burns also checked the 6♣ turn. Geshkenbein bet 175,000 and Burns called.

The 5♥ came on the river and they both checked. Burns opened Ten-Four, I think, which was fourth pair. Geshkenbein seemed as surprised as any to see that his third pair — with Q♣5♣ — was good.

2:55pm: Counts
Level 24 – Blinds: 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

After those early skirmishes, here are the latest approximate counts:

Vladimir Geshkenbein: 2.5 million
Kahle Burns: 2.1 million
Jimmy Zhou: 1.7 million
Shinobu Tanaka: 1.5 million
Neel Murphy: 910,000

2:50pm: Tanaka wins more from Geshkenbein
Level 24 – Blinds: 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Shinobu Tanaka is battling back into contention and just took another 300,000 or more from Vladimir Geshkenbein. Actually, it would definitely have been more as Tanaka’s river bet, on a board of 6♠8♣10♥4♥6♦, was for 250,000 and Geshkenbein called that.

Tanaka showed K♦10♦ and Geshkenbein mucked.

2:45pm: Bryan Huang out in sixth, wins $1,261,000
Level 24 – Blinds: 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

That’s the end of the road for Bryan Huang as the Team PokerStars Pro from Singapore has lost a race to bust in sixth. He was one of the short stacks coming into today but couldn’t repeat yesterday’s early-level soar and is the first out from the final day.

Kahle Burns took him out. Burns raised from early position and Jimmy Zhou called on the button. Huang then moved all-in from the small blind for about 500,000 and Burns called. Zhou folded.

They strapped on the spikes and went to the track.

Huang: J♦J♥
Burns: A♦Q♥

There was a queen right there on the flop and the final board read 3♥Q♠6♥2♥10♥ meaning Burns actually made a bigger flush. Either way, Huang was toast.


Bye bye Bryan

2:40pm: Small one for Huang
Level 24 – Blinds: 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Bryan Huang wins a small pot, his first (I think) of the final table. It’s difficult to think it could have been any smaller without being a walk, but they all count.

Jimmy Zhou completed from the small blind and Huang checked his option. They both checked the flop of K♦10♠K♣ and saw the 9♣ on the turn. Zhou checked and Huang bet 25,000. Zhou called.

The 6♦ came on the river and Zhou checked. Huang checked behind. Huang had “got there” on the river with his 6♥8♦ and Zhou mucked.

2:35pm: Tanaka rebuilds
Level 24 – Blinds: 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

An agonised fold here for Kahle Burns in the face of a big shove from Shinobu Tanaka. Burns opened from under the gun and Tanaka called in the big blind.

They saw a flop of 2♣5♣4♣ and Tanaka checked. Burns bet 60,000 and Tanaka very quickly check-raised to 127,000. Burns called. They then saw the 8♦ on the turn and Tanaka instantly moved all-in for 595,000.

Burns went through a full range of grimaces before folding with a flick of the right hand.

2:30pm: Two for Geshkenbein, and lunch
Level 24 – Blinds: 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Vladimir Geshkenbein picked up a decent pot from Shinobu Tanaka when his K♥J♠ was better than Tanaka’s J♣10♣ on a board of 6♠4♥9♠J♥Q♣. And then Geshkenbein also three-bet Bryan Huang off a pot after Huang had opened to 55,000 from under the gun and action folded to Geshkenbein in the small blind.

Geshkenbein had taken delivery of a beef and courgette dish in the gap between these hands and Huang’s thinking time after the three-bet to 230,000 allowed Geshkenbein to pick up a couple of spears of vegetable and get himself some vitamins as well as some chips.

Huang folded in the face of such culinary insouciance.

2:25pm: Four to a flop
Level 24 – Blinds: 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Jimmy Zhou opened to 50,000 in the cutoff and Neel Murphy called on the button. Both blinds also called–that’s Shinobu Tanaka in the small and Kahle Burns in the big–but after the 4♠A♦K♠ flop, only Zhou was interested. His c-bet of 75,000 got everyone else out.

2:22pm: Murphy gets his chips in
Level 24 – Blinds: 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Three players were at the flop of 4♥4♦8♦. They were Kahle Burns UTG+1, Jimmy Zhou on the button and Neel Murphy in the big blind. Murphy checked, Burns bet 55,000 and Zhou called, but then Murphy jammed for about 450,000. Burns folded and, after a pause for thought, Zhou folded too. “I thought you were trapping me,” Murphy said. He wasn’t.

2:20pm: Another look at this handsome bunch
Level 24 – Blinds: 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)


2:15pm: Here’s Jimmy
Level 24 – Blinds: 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Jimmy Zhou just won his first pot of the day in his back-to-back bid, but maybe will have hoped to get more chips. Shinobu Tanaka opened to 50,000 from under the gun and Zhou called in the big blind.

They saw the A♦7♣8♥ fall on the flop and Zhou check-called Tanaka’s 51,000 bet. The 7♥ fell on the turn and both players checked. And then the 2♣ brought two more checks. Zhou turned over A♥7♦ for an early monster, and Tanaka will consider it a victory to have lost only about 100,000 chips.

2:15pm: Murphy wins after first flop
Level 24 – Blinds: 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Neel Murphy and Kahle Burns saw the first flop of the day after Murphy raised his button to 50,000 and Burns called in the big blind. It came J♣6♠4♥ and after Burns checked, Murphy bet 55,000 and won.

2:10pm: Away they go
Level 24 – Blinds: 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Cards are in the air and play is under way. Vladimir Geshkenbein raised to 42,000 in the cutoff and took it down.

1pm: Champion to be crowned today
Level 24 – Blinds: 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Welcome back to the PokerStars LIVE card-room at the City of Dreams Casino for the final day of Main Event action. The final six are now looking to divide the lion’s share of this $28 million prize pool, with HK$6,684,000 for the winner.

The table looks like this as we get under way at 2pm:

Seat 1: Neel Murphy, USA, 449,000 (22 BBs)
Seat 2: Shinobu Tanaka, Japan, 1,200,000 (60 BBs)
Seat 3: Kahle Burns, Australia, 2,211,000 (110 BBs)
Seat 4: Vladimir Geshkenbein, Switzerland, 2,958,000 (148 BBs)
Seat 5: Jimmy Zhou, China, 1,642,000 (82 BBs)
Seat 6: Bryan Huang, Singapore, 595,000 (30 BBs)


Left-to-right: Neel Murphy, Bryan Huang, Jimmy Zhou, Vladimir Geshkenbein, Kahle Burns, Shinobu Tanaka.

Although we have grown accustomed to speedy conclusions to tournaments in Macau, this one could very easily run a long, long time. Those stacks are exceptionally deep and the structure remains very flat. Strap in for the long haul.

Read how we got here in last night’s recap.

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PokerStars Blog reporting team at 2016 ACOP: Marc Convey, Brad Kain and Howard Swains. Photography by Long Guan/Kenneth Lim Photography. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog


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