PCA 2016: Day 5 Main Event live updates

January 13, 2016

*Chip counts | Prizewinners so far

12:00: Midnight counts

On the stroke of midnight, here’s your final table chip counts. And here’s how all the action played out today:

Mike Watson Canada 6,585,000
Tony Gregg USA 5,690,000
Vladimir Troyanovskiy Russia 5,025,000
Toby Lewis UK 4,665,000
Phillip McAllister UK 3,040,000
Randy Kritzer USA 2,565,000


Mike Watson: Leading the way

11:55pm: Gregg hoovers last of Demlakian; final six set
Level 29, Blinds 40,000-80,000 (10,000)

On the very next hand after Tony Gregg’s massive double up, he took the last of Ken Demlakian’s stack. He opened from under the gun and then instantly called when Demlakian shoved for nine big blinds, one of which was already across the line in front of him.


Ken Demlakian: The game is up

Demlakian had found a pair: 4♥4♠. But Gregg had too: 10♠10♥. There was nothing on the flop, turn or river to represent a lifeline to Demlakian, and he is now free to join his family holiday in Dallas, $110,220 richer.


Ken Demlakian’s run is over

That’s our final six. We’ll have their official chip counts with you very soon. — HS

11:45pm: Gregg stays on course for PCA title
Level 29, Blinds 40,000-80,000 (10,000)

Here’s Tony Gregg doing what Tony Gregg does best: bossing PCA final tables. This latest skirmish leaves Ken Demlakian with a dreadfully small stack, and leaves Gregg closing in on 5 million.

Demlakian opened to 175,000 from under the gun and Gregg raised to 445,000 from one seat to his left. It folded back to Demlakian and he called.

Those two saw the flop of 2♦9♠7♦ and Demlakian checked. Gregg bet 1.86 million and Demlakian instantly moved all in over the top. Gregg, the effective stack, called.


Ken Demlakian and Tony Gregg get it all in

It was a spectacular mis-step from Demlakian, who had only A♣K♥. Gregg started the hand dominated with his K♠9♦ but caught up and showed K♠9♦.

It left Demlakian with only 800,000. — HS

11:40pm: Watson back in the lead
Level 29, Blinds 40,000-80,000 (10,000)

Mike Watson is back up to 6.8 million after taking a large pot off of Toby Lewis.

It started out with a simple limp from the small blind by Lewis. Watson then raised to 240,000 from the big blind and Lewis called.

Both players checked the 9♠Q♠7♣ flop and a 2♠ came on the turn. Lewis checked, Watson bet 600,000 and Lewis called.

The river brought a 5♦ and Watson bet 1.4 million when checked to.

It was too much for Lewis.

Lewis folded and was left with 4.7 million while Watson took back the lead with 6.8 million. –AV

11:35pm: McAllister stays cool; doubles
Level 29, Blinds 40,000-80,000 (10,000)

Phillip McAllister has had a brilliant tournament already–including that ridiculous hand yesterday when he hit a royal flush–but he was just all in for his tournament life for what was, I think, the first time.

It was a flip. McAllister, who had 1.645 million in his open-shoved stack, showed 5♠5♥ after Vladimir Troyanovskiy called him. Troyanovskiy had A♠Q♥ and McAllister had to survive an enormous sweat.


Phillip McAllister doubles

The flop came 10♥J♥7♣. The turn brought even more outs: 9♣. But the 2♠ was not one of Troyanovskiy’s 14 outs and McAllister picked up a very valuable double. — HS

11:30pm: Ulmer out, down to 7
Level 29, Blinds 40,000-80,000 (10,000)

A short-stacked Timothy Ulmer moved all-in for 1 million from early position and David Eldridge re-shoved from his left.

Action folded around and we had a final table showdown.

Eldridge: A♥Q♣
Ulmer: 6♦6♣


Timothy Ulmer: End of the road

The A♦Q♦7♥8♣K♣ board fell heavily in Eldridge’s favor and Ulmer was eliminated in 8th place.

Ulmer won $78,540 for the 8th place finish while Eldridge chipped up to 3.3 million. –AV

11:27pm: Lewis gets a few
Level 29, Blinds 40,000-80,000 (10,000)

Tony Gregg raised to 175,000 from the button and Toby Lewis called from the big blind. Both players checked the 2♥10♥9♣ flop and a K♦ came on the turn. Lewis check-called a 220,000 bet and both players checked the 3♠ on the river.

Lewis showed Q♣10♠ and Gregg mucked.

Then Lewis took down the next hand.

Lewis called from the small blind and Mike Watson checked his option. Lewis bet 125,000 on the 5♠9♣3♦ flop and a 10♣ came on the turn. Lews bet 225,000 and and Watson folded.

Toby Lewis is now up to 5.7 million.

11:15pm: Some for Kritzer
Level 29, Blinds 40,000-80,000 (10,000)

Randy Kritzer sparred with Vladimir Troyanovskiy a bit and came out on top both times.

In one hand, Kritzer raised to 175,000 from under-the-gun and Troyanovskiy called from the big blind. The flop came 4♠5♥2♥ and Kritzer bet 200,000 when checked to. Troyanovskiy called and an A♣ came on the turn.

Troyanovskiy bet 285,000 but then Kritzer moved all-in. Troyanovskiy folded and Kritzer took down the pot.

He won the next hand too.

Phillip McAllister called from the hijack, Troyanovskiy called from the small blind and Kritzer checked his option.

The flop came 7♣J♠2♣ and Troyanovskiy bet 130,000. Kritzer raised to 500,000 and both players folded.

Kritzer is now up to 2.6 million while Troyanovskiy dipped to second place with 5.89 million. Mike Watson is in the lead with 5.91 million. –AV

11:05pm: Gregg the monster
Level 29, Blinds 40,000-80,000 (10,000)

We trailed it all week, and now it has come true. Tony Gregg is at his third career PCA Main Event final table (plus one Super High Roller appearance). Tony Gregg = quite good.

Tony Gregg_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 5_Giron_8JG0331.jpg

Tony Gregg: Three times

10.55pm: Demlakian shoves, chips up
Level 29, Blinds 40,000-80,000 (10,000)

Here’s another strange one, with Ken Demlakian building his chip stack with an effective flop squeeze play.

Mike Watson opened from early position to 160,000 and Randy Kritzer called from the cutoff. Ken Demlakian also called from the small blind and three players looked at a 2♠5♦8♥ flop.

Demlakian checked, but Watson continued and made it 250,000 to play. Kritzer shaped to fold, but then called, and then Demlakian saw a fine opportunity. He shoved all in for 970,000 total.

Watson quickly folded. And although Kritzer asked for a count, checked his cards and deeply yawned, he then folded. — HS

10:45pm: Gregg the uncalled
Level 29, Blinds 40,000-80,000 (10,000)

A lot of pots this level have been settled preflop, but that doesn’t mean decisions have been.

In one, Tony Gregg raised to 175,000 from under-the-gun and Phillip McAllister re-raised to 460,000 from early position.

Action folded to Ken Demlakian who thought for over two minutes before he folded. Demlakian is the tournament short stack with slightly less than 1 million.

Gregg then moved all-in for 2.2 million and McAllister folded. The hand put Gregg up to 2.9 million while McAllister was left with around 1.7 million. –AV

10.35pm: They’re back
Level 29, Blinds 40,000-80,000 (10,000)

Here are the stacks for the final eight players. Vladimir Troyanovskiy has a narrow lead, while Ken Demlakian is now the tournament short stack with about 15 big blinds.

Name Country Chips
Vladimir Troyanovskiy Russia 6,965,000
Mike Watson Canada 6,425,000
Toby Lewis UK 5,090,000
Tony Gregg USA 2,255,000
Randy Kritzer USA 2,115,000
Phillip McAllister UK 2,060,000
Timothy Ulmer USA 1,425,000
Ken Demlakian Australia 1,235,000

10.20pm: End of the level. Break time
Level 29, Blinds 40,000-80,000 (10,000)

They’re on an extended break. Back soonish.

10.15pm: Lewis finishes the job on Eldridge
Level 28, Blinds 30,000-60,000 (10,000)

Toby Lewis, having just found kings to double up and cut David Eldridge down to size, finished the job on the next hand. With aces.

Lewis admitted it was ridiculous, but it was the easiest call of his poker career when Eldridge shoved with 6♠6♥ and he found A♠A♥. He called, for all of Eldridge’s 175,000.


David Eldridge: All in


David Eldridge: All out

There were no miracles for Eldridge on the board of 4♦4♣K♦3♣2♥.

Eldridge goes out in ninth and wins $62,020. — HS

10:05pm: Lewis doubles right back
Level 28, Blinds 30,000-60,000 (10,000)

Toby Lewis dealt the first double up at the final table and now he got one for himself.

Ken Demlakian called from early position and Phillip MCAllister raised to 190,000 from middle position. Toby Lewis re-raised to 450,000 from the hijack and Eldridge moved all-in for 2.195 million from the big blind.

Lewis called with K♣K♦ and Eldridge tabled A♦K♠.

Eldridge was hoping for an ace but the J♠9♠3♣5♣6♥ board brought him none.

Lewis doubled to 4.5 million while Eldridge was left with just 175,000. –AV

9:55pm: Eldridge doubles through Lewis
Level 28, Blinds 30,000-60,000 (10,000)

Vladimir Troyanovskiy opened to 135,000 from under-the-gun and David Eldridge moved all in for 970,000 from early position. Ken Demlakian looked pained, rubbed his head and then verbally announced his fold.


David Eldridge: Lives to fight another day

Toby Lewis re-shoved from the small blind and Troyanovskiy folded.

Lewis: A♠K♠
Eldridge: J♠J♦

It was an old-fashioned flip that fell heavily in Eldridge’s favor.

Eldridge flopped a full house on the 4♦4♥J♣K♥10♣ board and doubled up to 2.23 million while Lewis dropped to 2.05 million. –AV


Toby Lewis: Takes a hit

9:40pm: Demlakian dips and rises
Level 28, Blinds 30,000-60,000 (10,000)

Ken Demlakian has been playing a lot of pots at the final table. He called two 135,000 raises from out of position and folded to continuation bets on both.

Then he took a big pot off Vladimir Troyanovskiy.

Troyanovskiy raised to 135,000 from early position and Demlakian called from the button. The flop came 7♣8♦6♣ and Troyanovskiy bet 165,000. Demlakian called and a Q♦ came on the turn.

Troyanovskiy upped the bet to 285,000 and Demlakian moved all-in. Troyanovskiy folded and Demlakian chipped up to 1.92 million. –AV

9:20pm: Troyanovskiy back out front
Level 28, Blinds 30,000-60,000 (10,000)

Vladimir Troyanovskiy doesn’t like being out of the lead for very long. He has just reassumed his place at the top of the counts after beating Ken Demlakian out of a hand.

Troyanovskiy opened to 135,000 from mid-position and Demlakian’s call from the small blind persuaded Tony Gregg to call from the big. That took them to a flop of A♠K♦4♥, which both Demlakian and Gregg checked. Troyanovskiy bet 235,000 and only Demlakian called.

Both remaining players checked the 3♥ turn, and then Troyanovskiy fired 550,000 at the J♦ river. Demlakian called, but then mucked when Troyanovskiy tabled A♦Q♣.

Troyanovskiy now has close to 9 million. — HS

9:10pm: Troyanovskiy closing in
Level 28, Blinds 30,000-60,000 (10,000)

In the first hand to make it to the river at the unofficial final table, Ken Demlakian raised to 135,000 from early position and Vladimir Troyanovskiy called from the button.

The flop came 2♦Q♠7♠ and both players checked. The turn brought the 5♣ and Demlakian bet 185,000. Troyanovskiy called and the 8♠ completed the board.

Demlakian checked and Troyanovskiy bet 435,000. Demlakian folded and Troyanovskiy chipped up to 5.9 million. –AV

9pm: Last nine
Level 28, Blinds 30,000-60,000 (10,000)

Here’s the line-up for the unofficial final table. That was the last redraw of the tournament. They need to lose one more player until they hit the “final” table; three more and and we’ll finish for the night.

Seat 1 – Mike Watson, 6,535,000
Seat 2 – Vladimir Troyanovskiy, 5,450,000
Seat 3 – Randy Kritzer, 2,110,000
Seat 4 – David Eldridge, 1,320,000
Seat 5 – Timothy Ulmer, 1,765,000
Seat 6 – Ken Demlakian, 2,260,000
Seat 7 – Tony Gregg, 2,410,000
Seat 8 – Phillip McAllister, 3,405,000
Seat 9 – Toby Lewis, 2,315,000

8:41pm: One day only; Waxman out
Level 28, Blinds 30,000-60,000 (10,000)

Well, Waxman did live to fight another day. But it was only that one day. He is now out. He shoved again, the second hand in a row, this time for about 1.2 million.

Mike Watson was lurking behind him this time, though, and he picked him off almost instantly. Watson had A♦Q♥ and dominated Waxman’s A♠7♥. That domination became even more emphatic on the Q♦10♠Q♣ flop and although the A♥ turn gave him chop outs, the 9♠ was a blank.


Matt Waxman sees the bad news

Waxman gets $51,260 for tenth. Meanwhile Watson takes the chip lead again, with 6.5 million.

They will now redraw for their places around the unofficial final table. –HS


Matt Waxman: Adios to Troyanovskiy

8:40pm: Waxman lives another day
Level 28, Blinds 30,000-60,000 (10,000)

Ken Demlakian opened from the cutoff and Matt Waxman moved all in from the small blind. Demlakian asked for a count–it was 1,010,000–and Waxman then pondered for a bit before folding A♥ face up. “You had three outs,” Waxman said, suggesting he had a big ace. Demlakian insisted he was able to fold ace-king, but didn’t confirm whether he had it or not. As it was, Waxman lived to fight another day. –HS

8:30pm: And they’re back
Level 28, Blinds 30,000-60,000 (10,000)

And they return. Action is under way again. — HS

That’s dinner!
And as Level 27 draws to a close, players are sent on a 75-minute dinner break. Here are the ten remaining players’ chip counts:

Name Country Chips
Vladimir Troyanovskiy Russia 5,845,000
Mike Watson Canada 5,250,000
Phillip McAllister UK 3,500,000
Tony Gregg USA 2,585,000
Ken Demlakian Australia 2,325,000
Toby Lewis UK 2,165,000
Randy Kritzer USA 1,835,000
Timothy Ulmer USA 1,650,000
David Eldridge USA 1,310,000
Matthew Waxman USA 1,100,000

7:20pm: The McAllister Gregg show
Level 27, Blinds 25,000-50,000 (5,000)

It’s all about two players out on the table, and their chip stacks are swinging back and forth.

McAllister made it 110,000 from the small blind and Gregg called from the big. We saw a flop of the 7♦5♣4♠ and McAllister reduced hit bet size to just 90,000; again, Gregg called.

The turn was the K♣ and now the bet from McAllister was 165,000. It didn’t take long for Gregg to call and we went to the river.

It was the 9♦ and with the pot quite large the bet needed to be too. McAllister put out 555,000 and Gregg went deep into the tank.


Tony Gregg: The thinker

Several times, while he fidgeted uncomfortably and repositioned himself in his seat, he put his hands into a praying motion – desperate to find answers. What did McAllister have?

Well we soon found out. Gregg made the call eventually and McAllister flipped over 8♠6♠. He’d flopped the nuts, and his straight had become even bigger by the river. Gregg mucked.

Anthony Gregg 3,025,000
Phillip McAllister 3,400,000 –JS

7:15: Demlakian checks when he gets there
Level 27, Blinds 25,000-50,000 (5,000)

Let’s just agree that there are different ways to play poker. One way is that when you call for a double-gutter and get there, you bet it. Another way is Ken Demlakian’s way. No judgments. That’s just a fact.

As the players sit ten-handed, they are playing hand-for-hand, and it’s slow going. But that didn’t stop the action at the feature table where Vladimir Troyanovskiy raised to 110,000 and got a call from Ken Demlakian. On a flop of K♥10♦7♦, Troyanovskiy bet 140,000 and Demlakian called with…well, no need for drama here…he called with J♣9♦. It’s a double gut-shot draw at this point.

The 2♦ was a blank, but Troyanovskiy didn’t stop firing. This time it was 225,000. That makes sense. Troyanovskiy held K♠Q♣. Still, Demlakian called.

Onto the 8♣ river. If you’ve been keeping up, filled in the bottom end of Demlakian’s gutshot. Troyanovskiy backed off and checked.

This is the point at which we again are forced to agree that there are different ways to play poker, and that Demlakian’s way was the way Demlakian chose. He checked behind to reveal his straight, good for the win, the pot, and Troyanovskiy’s gratitude. –BW

7:05pm: McAllister the thinker
Level 27, Blinds 25,000-50,000 (5,000)

Tony Gregg made Phillip McAllister think a lot.

It started when McAllister raised to 125,000 from the button and Gregg re-raised to 345,000 from the small blind. McAllister thought and stared at Gregg. Then he called.

The flop came 3♠J♣9♥ and both players quickly checked. It was the fastest street of the hand.

When the 6♥ came on the turn Gregg bet 390,000 and McAllister took over a minute to call. Then came the river: Q♠.


Phillip McAllister, left, into the tank

Gregg upped the bet to 625,000 and McAllister went into the tank. He cycled his stare between Gregg, his stack and the board for more than six minutes.

Then he made his decision: fold.

McAllister was down to 2.3 million after the hand while Gregg chipped up to about 3.5 million. –AV

6:55pm: Gregg’s got legs
Level 27, Blinds 25,000-50,000 (5,000)

If Anthony Gregg makes the final table of this event, he’ll be the first person in history to make the final table of the same EPT event three times. There aren’t that many people who have been to three EPT final tables, period. And Gregg will do it all in the same spot.


Tony Gregg in the very familiar surroundings of the PCA

He’s moving into contention to do just that. His chip stack keeps getting bigger and it seems almost a certainty that he’ll do it.

In a hand against Toby Lewis, Gregg opened to 110,000 on the button and Lewis made the call out of the big blind. The flop was 5♠5♣4♣ and both players checked.

To the turn then, and it was the 7♣. Lewis now opted to bet 135,000 and Gregg matched it.

On the river the 10♥ fell and Lewis decided to check. Gregg’s bet of 290,000 was enough to force a fold from Lewis and grow his stack even more.

Anthony Gregg 3,400,000
Toby Lewis 1,565,000 –JS

6:50pm: The check-raise makes its comeback
Level 27, Blinds 25,000-50,000 (5,000)

Matt Waxman, with his new stack of chips, opened from under the gun and Ken Demlakian called from the small blind. It was only those two to a flop of 6♦8♠3♠ and Demlakian checked.

Waxman bet 140,000 and Demlakian found a check-raise, making it 365,000 to play.

“Do you have any more white,” Waxman asked, referencing the white 100,000-denomination chips.
“No,” Demlakian said. “I have about 1.4 something behind.”
“I trust you,” Waxman said as he threw his cards away.
“I don’t sell cars or real estate,” Demlakian said, offering his approval of Waxman’s decision to fold. — HS

6:44: Waxman lights his wick, doubles through Watson
Level 27, Blinds 25,000-50,000 (5,000)

Matt Waxman has been short-stacked for most of the afternoon, but just managed to get his last 665,000 in with A♣K♣. Mike Watson made the call with A♠J♥. The board stayed clean, and Waxman doubled up.

6:35m: Old new pro
Level 27, Blinds 25,000-50,000 (5,000)

Ken Demlakian has enjoyed taking on the young pros at their own game today, even consciously aping their habits and telling the table that he is precisely doing that. “They pretend to forget what they’ve got,” he said, as he peeked again at his hole cards going to a recent flop.

The hand started when he raised from under the gun (that’s a young guns’ trick too) and Randy Kritzer, from the old school, called. It was just those two to a flop of 4♥9♣5♦.

Demlakian bet 180,000 at it and Kritzer called. That took them to the 10♦ on the turn. Demlakian had another stab, this time for 325,000, but clearly smelled a rat when Kritzer called again, from a stack with only about 800,000 behind.

The 8♠ came on the river and Demlakian checked. That allowed Kritzer finally to get his stack in the middle with a shove. Demlakian quickly folded. — HS

6:25pm: McAllister moves all-in
Level 27, Blinds 25,000-50,000 (5,000)

We had an all-in, but no one called.

It was pure excitement compared to the action we’ve seen this last level though. The hand also took a chunk out of David Eldridge’s stack.

Eldridge raised to 130,000 from the small blind and Phillip McAllister called from the big blind.

The flop came J♥Q♠8♦ and Eldridge check-called a 110,000 bet. A K♠ came on the turn and Eldridge bet 265,000.

That’s when McAllister did it. He moved all-in.

Eldridge folded though and his stack dipped to 1.4 million while McAllister rose to 3.25 million. –AV

6:15pm: Play sloooooooooooows dooooooooooooown
Level 27, Blinds 25,000-50,000 (5,000)

With ten left we’re now hand for hand in this tournament, and play has naturally slowed down considerably. Players on the outer tables are getting up and stretching, grabbing some water, and even chatting with players from the feature table.

There was one hand worth mentioning: Toby Lewis made it 100,000 to go and two other players called: David Eldridge and Phillip McAllister.

The dealer spread a 10♥Q♠J♦ flop and McAllister checked to the pre-flop raiser. Lewis continued for 175,000, Eldridge got out of the way and McAllister made the call.

The turn was 5♥ and McAllister checked it one more time. Lewis continued once more for 275,000 and it was enough to take it down. The Brit is up to 1,640,000. –JS

6:10pm: New level, new chip-counts
Level 27, Blinds 25,000-50,000 (5,000)

Here’s another pot on the feature table that got very weird indeed. Mike Watson and Ken Demlakian were at a flop of 6♥8♣Q♥ and Watson checked. Demlakian bet 80,000 and Watson check-raised to 250,000.

Demlakian said, “I’m gonna have to put my glasses on now.” He took a deep look at the flop. Demlakian then put some chips into the middle, but didn’t announce if it was a call or a raise. “I’m sorry, I’m colour-blind,” he said, explaining the error.

But the problem was that nobody even knew his intention and Demlakian didn’t make it clear even now. He allowed the dealer to figure out that he was short of a raise so it had to go as a call regardless.

They saw the 9♣ on the turn and Watson bombed 450,000 at it. Demlakian took a while to make a decision again, but this time folded, showing the Q♦. — HS

6:00pm: Kritzer tries to bluff the ringer
Level 25, Blinds 25,000-50,000 (5,000)

There’s Rounders scene we all remember in which Mike is in the country club game and gets bluffed by the amateur. That scene alone has resulted in more bloated pots than the film’s makers likely ever imagined.

Fast forward to ten-handed play and Randy Kritzer raising to 135,000. He got calls from Matt Waxman and Mike Watson. On the 9♣10♠8♣ flop, Watson checked, Kritzer bet 105,000, and Waxman called. That’s when Watson put in a raise to 400. Kritzer stuck around while Waxman folded.

The turn was the Q♦ and drew two checks.

Once the Q♥ fell on the river, Watson checked again. He had a good reason. His 10♦8♦ had just been counterfeited.

So, when Kritzer bet 300,000, there was no easy decision. It took Watson two minutes to work it out in his head. Ultimately, he called, and it was a good one. Kritzer had A♣5♣ for the missed club draw.

Watson: 5,545,000
Kritzer: 1,595,000

5:45pm: New level, new chip-counts
Level 27, Blinds 25,000-50,000 (5,000)

We’re heading into Level 27 now, and the latest counts are on the chip-count page. Vladimir Troyanovskiy, who was all in and called twice in the opening couple of orbits, is now the leader of this tournament. Poker, huh.


Troyanovskiy’s got chips

5:25pm: Trading blows
Level 26, Blinds 20,000-40,000 (5,000)

There’s not a lot of space to hide in a five-handed table David Eldridge and Timothy Ulmer keep going back and forth.

Ulmer raised to 100,000 from the button and Eldridge called from the big blind. The flop came J♥A♣J♠ and Eldridge check-raised to 220,000. Ulmer called and both players checked the 7♣ on the turn.

Eldridge checked again when the A♥ fell on the river and then folded when Ulmer bet 225,000.

Ulmer raised to 80,000 the following hand and Eldridge called from the small blind. McAllister called from the big blind and the flop came K♣Q♣4♦. All three players checked and a J♥ came on the turn.

Ulmer bet 160,000 when checked to and Eldridge raised to 360,000. McAllister folded and after about a minute of deep thought, Ulmer did the same.

The pot put Eldridge up to 1.9 million while Ulmer dropped to 2.3 million. –AV


Timothy Ulmer: A slight dip

5:20pm: McAllister and Gregg continue to battle
Level 26, Blinds 20,000-40,000 (5,000)

Blind on blind hands are very important in tournaments, and interesting developments can happen between players who sit next to each other for a while. Phillip McAllister and Anthony Gregg have played a lot of pots together today with the former in the small blind and the latter in the big. Here’s one more to add to the list.

It started off innocently enough: McAllister threw in another 20,000 to complete the big blind. Gregg then raised the price of poker up to 115,000 and McAllister made the call.


Phillip McAllister eyes Tony Gregg

The flop was K♣7♥3♠. McAllister kept things light by checking, Gregg bet 90,000 and was called.

The J♦ came on the turn and it slowed things down completely, with both players checking. The river was the 2♥ and play picked back up again – McAllister took the betting lead with a 140,000 bet. Gregg contemplated for a minute or so before making the call.

McAllister flashed queen-jack for a turned pair of jacks, but Gregg had him beat with the K♦10♥.

Anthony Gregg 2,365,000
Phillip McAllister 2,550,000 –JS

5:10pm: Eldridge dips
Level 26, Blinds 20,000-40,000 (5,000)

David Eldridge was bet out of a few pots and is down to 1.55 million.

In one, Eldridge raised to 85,000 and Timothy Ulmer called from the big blind. Eldridge bet 70,000 on the 7♦3♠3♦ flop and both players checked the 7♠ on the turn. Ulmer fired off a 500,000 when the 7♣ came on the river and Eldridge folded.

Then Eldridge lost a bigger one.


Down time for David Eldridge

Phillip McAllister raised to 90,000 from under-the-gun and Tony Gregg called from the cutoff. Eldridge re-raised to 240,000 from the big blind and McAllister made it 485,000. Gregg folded, Eldridge thought, Eldridge called.

The flop came 3♣5♦6♦and McAllister bet 260,000. Eldridge thought some more but decided to fold this time.

The pot put McAllister up to 3.6 million while Eldridge dipped to 1.55 million. –AV


Phil McAllister

5:00pm: Vladimir Troyanovskiy doubles through Watson, nears chip lead
Level 25, Blinds 20,000-40,000 (5,000)

Vladimir Troyanovskiy opened from the button to 90,000, and Mike Watson re-popped him to 240,000. Troyanovskiy didn’t back off and put in 610,000, essentially a quarter of his stack. Watson decided it was racing time and got Troyanovskiy all-in.

Troyanovskiy: A♥K♥
Watson: 9♦9♥

The run out favored the Russian in every way: A♦A♠3♥J♦8♦.

Now, Troyanovskiy is up to around 4.6 million. He and Watson are at the top of the leader board and setting up for what could be a pretty amazing final table.

4:40pm: The End Boss keeps crushing
Level 26, Blinds 20,000-40,000 (5,000)

When Anthony “End Boss” Gregg raised his button to 90,000, Toby Lewis three-bet to 275,000.

“How much did you start with?” Gregg asked.
“Around 1.9 million,” Lewis told him.

That was enough for Gregg to make the call and the dealer burned and turned the 4♠K♥J♦ flop. Lewis decided not to continue, instead checking it over to Gregg who bet 210,000. Lewis called.

The 4♥ arrived on the turn and both players checked, leading us to the 10♣ on the river. Lewis checked once more and Gregg thought about what he was going to do – eventually decided to bet 585,000. That was too much for Lewis who let his hand go.


Tony Gregg: No beating him

Toby Lewis 1,340,000
Anthony Gregg 2,000,000 –JS

4:30pm: McCormick, dry of good luck, goes blindly to 11th place
Level 25, Blinds 20,000-40,000 (5,000)

After days of drinking, needling, and staredowns, Martin McCormick has left the building.

He had just worked himself into a low boil, getting into a battle of barbs about Matt Waxman. It had started to get ugly, both of them taking shots at each other’s personalities, neither backing down. McCormick had vowed he was going to bust Waxman, and it appeared we were in for a night of nastiness.

Then play folded around to Ken Demlakian in the small blind, and McCormick wanted to have some fun. So, when Demakian limped from the small, McCormick played his hand blind.

On the 9♠6♠7♣ flop, McCormick convinced Demlakian to play nice and check to the A♠ turn. McCormick again appealed for a check, but now Demlakian bet a mere 60,000.

McCormick, on his feet, was annoyed.

“Now you’re going to bet and I’m going to have to do something,” he said. He peeked once at his cards and snap-announced, “All-in.”

The amount? 860,000. An overbet if there ever was one.

Demlakian barely thought about it. He sighed once and tossed a chip in the middle. “Ace,” he said.
“Well-played,” McCormick said.
“Not yet,” Demlakian protested. “You haven’t lost yet, brother.”

Demlakian: A♣5♥
McCormick: K♦7♠

Indeed, McCormick had outs with kings, sevens, and spades.

“I used up all my good luck,” McCormick said. And he was right.

And that was it. The Martin McCormick show was over. He shook hands with everyone except Waxman…with whom he hugged it out.

McCormick earns $51,260 for 11th place. — BW


Martin McCormick and Ken Demlakian at the former’s final hand

4:25pm: Gooley gone
Level 26, Blinds 20,000-40,000 (5,000)

Paul Gooley was down to just 400,000 and moved all-in from the hijack and got action from Tony Gregg.

Gooley turned over 10♦10♥ and was flipping for his tournament life against Gregg’s A♣Q♦.

Gregg paired his ace on the flop and Gooley hit the rail. –AV


Paul Gooley: Ouch

Tony Gregg — 1,950,000
Paul Gooley — 12th

4:20pm: No raise intended
Level 26, Blinds 20,000-40,000 (5,000)

Even after five days of play, you can sometimes see a mistake from these guys.

After David Eldridge called from the small blind and Phillip McAllister checked from the big blind, the two saw a flop of 5♥A♦3♣. Both checked and the K♥ on the turn resulted in a 50,000 bet from Eldridge.

McAllister meant to call but misread the bet – he threw in 75,000 and after the floor was called it was deemed a raise, so McAllister was forced to make it 100,000. Now Eldridge bumped it up even further to 310,000 and took it down.

David Eldridge 1,350,000
Phillip McAllister 1,750,000 –JS

4:15pm: Lewis moving in the right direction
Level 26, Blinds 20,000-40,000 (5,000)

Everything is going to plan for Toby Lewis right now, and he’s just won another pot.

He min-opened on the button to 80,000 and David Eldridge called out of the big blind. The flop came 6♠Q♣K♥ and Lewis continued for a single silver 100,000 chip. Eldridge obliged and called.

The turn was the 8♠ and Lewis made it 300,000 this time. That was too much for Eldridge and he threw his hand away. Lewis is up to 2,000,000. –JS

4:05pm: Meltdown complete: Watson sends Pires home
Level 26, Blinds 20,000-40,000 (5,000)

Here is a sentence I thought I would not write all week. But unfortunately it is true: Leonardo Pires is now OUT.


Leonardo Pires: In happy times

He has led for three days, and incredibly he managed to extend his chip lead today. But his descent was even more spectacular than his ascent, and Mike Watson has now just picked him off.

In the final hand Pires played, Watson opened to 90,000 from the hijack and Ken Demlakian called from the button. Pires doesn’t play it small ball and he shoved all in from the big blind for 1.6 million total. It was a squeeze play and a half.

Pires took a drink, but he put his glass down when Watson re-shoved over the top. Demlakian folded.

Pires tabled the monster 4♣3♥ and was in a lot of difficulty against Watson’s 10♥10♣.

There was hope on the board: K♥Q♣3♦. But the turn was the 10♦ and that is the end of the thrill ride for Pires. Watson now has 6.61 million.

“That was an absolute gift, Mikey-boy,” Martin McCormick said as Pires headed home in 14th. — HS


Leonardo Pires bids farewell

4:00pm: Demlakian takes over
Level 26, Blinds 20,000-40,000 (5,000)

They’re back from the break with a new chip leader. Ken Demlakian, the man who was due to be flying to Dallas yesterday for a family holiday, is making his decision to stay look very wise indeed. The latest counts are on the chip-count page.

Ken Demlakian_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 5_Giron_8JG0109.jpg

Ken Demlakian

3:35pm: Break time
Level 25, Blinds 15,000-30,000 (4,000)

They’re heading to a break in a moment, at which point we’ll have a full count from the remaining players, plus details from a couple of interesting pre-break hands.

3:35pm: An ace wins it for Lewis
Level 25, Blinds 15,000-30,000 (4,000)

Toby Lewis’ stack is looking healthier by the hand. After he opened to 60,000, he faced a 3-bet from David Eldridge to 140,000 and made the call.

The dealer spread a flop containing the A♦10♥J♠, and Lewis checked to Eldridge. He made it 133,000 and Lewis didn’t budge.

The turn was the 8♥, and it was enough to make both players check, so we saw the 3♣ on the river. There would be no more betting, and after both players checked Lewis flipped over the A♣5♣, and his pair of aces took down the pot as Eldridge mucked.

Toby Lewis 1,700,000
David Eldridge 2,320,000 –JS

3:35pm: McAllister powers through
Level 25, Blinds 15,000-30,000 (4,000)

Phillip McAllister has a big stack and has been putting it to good use. He’s opening a lot of pots, but the one we just saw was certainly one of the biggest.

It began with a 65,000 open from McAllister, followed by a 3-bet to 162,000 from Paul Gooley. The call was made and we went to a flop.

It was the 6♣K♠Q♣ and Gooley put out a bet of 145,000, which McAllister called. The 6♠ turn would be checked by both players, taking us to the 10♦ on the river.

Gooley put out a hefty bet of 354,000. But then Phillip McAllister shoved over the top, putting Gooley at risk.

He decided to let it go, and has dropped down to just 11 big blinds moving into the next level.

Paul Gooley 460,000
Phillip McAllister 2,600,000 –JS

3:34pm: Kritzer blitzes Pires
Level 25, Blinds 15,000-30,000 (4,000)

Yet another huge hand on the feature table right before the break. Randy Kritzer is the latest to help himself to a huge chunk of Leonardo Pires’s stack, doubling up to 2.235 million and leaving Pires with 1.788 million.

They got it all in on a flop of Q♣2♠2♥ when Kritzer had hit top pair with his Q♥J♠. Pires’s 10♠10♥ did not catch up on the J♦ turn or the 3♦ river. — HS


Randy Kritzer

3:20pm: Chidwick out in 14th
Level 25, Blinds 15,000-30,000 (4,000)

Stephen Chidwick was down to just about 250,000 and moved all in from under-the-gun. Action folded round to Toby Lewis’s small blind and he called.

Chidwick: 8♠7♠
Lewis: 10♥10♣

The board ran 7♥Q♥4♠2♣6♥ and Lewis’s tens took the pot.

Chidwick won $41,360 for his 14th place finish while Lewis chipped up to 1.7 million. –AV

Toby Lewis — 1,700,000
Stephen Chidwick — 14th

3:10pm: Eldridge takes a few
Level 25, Blinds 15,000-30,000 (4,000)

David Eldridge won a few pots and crossed the 2 million mark.

In one hand, Eldridge raised to 65,000 from the button and Phillip McAllister called from the small blind while Tony Gregg did the same from the big blind.

All three players checked the 7♥4♥10♦ flop and a 10♥ came on the turn. McAllister bet 138,000, Gregg folded and Eldridge called.

An A♠ completed the board and McAllister bet 346,000. Eldridge thought for some time, counted out the chips and called.

“Good call,” McAllister said and started mucking his hand even before Eldridge showed A♦5♣.

Then he took a bit more off McAllister and Timothy Ulmer.

Eldridge raised to 65,000 from the cutoff and both McAllister and Ulmer called from the button and big blind.

Ulmer checked the 3♠J♦A♠ flop and Eldridge bet 83,000. McAllister folded, Ulmer called and then both players checked the 9♥ on the turn and 10♣ on the river.

Ulmer showed 8♠5♠ and Eldridge took the pot with Q♣J♣. –AV

David Eldridge — 2,100,000
Timothy Ulmer — 2,940,000
Phillip McAllister — 1,835,000

3pm: Chidwick well in the danger zone
Level 25, Blinds 15,000-30,000 (4,000)

With Stephen Chidwick in the big blind, Phillip McAllister asked him how much he hand before opening, despite the fact that all other players were waiting to act (Chidwick had “around 500,000”). Anthony Gregg was the first person to call, everyone else got out of the way and Chidwick put in the extra 35,000.


Stephen Chidwick: Danger

The flop was the 9♥4♥Q♦ and it was checked all around. The 8♦ came on the turn and after Chidwick checked McAllister bet an 150,000. That was too much for Gregg who got out of the way, but Chidwick wasn’t budging. He made the call.

The river was another eight, the 8♣, and Chidwick checked once more. Now the bet from McAllister was 355,000. Chidwick only had 290,000 behind, so it was enough to put him all in. He decided to live and fight in another hand and laid it down.

Phillip McAllister 2,420,000
Stephen Chidwick 290,000 –JS

2:50pm: More mistimed aggression from Pires
Level 25, Blinds 15,000-30,000 (4,000)

The recent down-turn in events for Leonardo Pires has not curtailed his aggressive approach. But it just cost him another 400,000 chips, shipped to Vladimir Troyanovskiy.

The lone Russian player remaining in the field opened to 65,000 from under the gun and picked up both Ken Demlakian and Randy Klitzer. But then Pires raised to 384,000 from the big blind.

Troyanovskiy took a little while to weigh up his options and announced that he was all in, a total of 1.5 million. The other two got out the way and so, eventually, did Pires. — HS

2:50pm: Demlakian takes heaps from Pires
Level 25, Blinds 15,000-30,000 (4,000)

As spectacularly as Leonardo Pires accumulated his chips, he is now losing them. Ken Demlakian just took a load of them, bombing the turn and getting a fold.

It started with an open from Demlakian from early position, which Pires then made 162,000 from the cutoff. Demlakian called and they saw a flop of 5♠6♥K♠. Demlakian checked, Pires bet 150,000, Demlakian raised to 360,000 and then Pires four-bet to 925,000. Demlakian called.

That took them to the 10♣ on the turn and Demlakian bombed it, for 1.255 million. Pires only had 2.8 million in his own stack, and he finally thought better of it. He folded. — HS

2:45pm: Pires flopping well, Waxman chopping better
Level 25, Blinds 15,000-30,000 (4,000)

We are not without action here today. The latest bit came with Matt Waxman staring elimination in the face and getting bailed out.

Mike Watson raised to 65,000 and got calls from Ken Demlakian, Leonard Pires, and Matt Waxman. The flop, 3♣4♦5♣ was a nasty little cooler. While Watson led for 125,000, he got out of the way after Pires raised to 350,000 and Waxman moved all in. Good thing, too.

Pires: 7♥6♣
Waxman: 6♥6♦


Matt Waxman: Good for a chop

Waxman looked ill, but it didn’t last too long. The 7♣ and blank river made for a chopped pot. –BW

2:30pm: Barer stripped naked
Level 25, Blinds 15,000-30,000 (4,000)

Ami Barer is out, becoming the latest player to fall foul of Mike Watson’s brilliant resurgence. There was not much either could do about it: they got it all in pre-flop–creating a 1.24 million pot–with Barer holding A♥K♥ and Watson with Q♣Q♠.

It toyed with his emotions a little when the flop came K♠7♦8♦, followed by a 6♠ on the turn. But the Q♥ swung it back towards Watson and sent Barer to the cage. — HS


Ami Barer: Out-raced

2:25pm: Smallball, Chidwick short
Level 25, Blinds 15,000-30,000 (4,000)

Play is slowing down and payouts are getting big.

Our final 15 players are guaranteed $41,360, but they all have their eyes on the $833K grand prize.

It would be the single largest payout for many of our players, including Stephen Chidwick. Chidwick famously won 100 seats to the WSOP before he was old enough to play and has more than $4.3 million in live tournament earnings.

He’s also the short stack.

Chidwick’s moved all-in once so far but got no callers. Then Paul Gooley moved all-in from the small blind while Chidwick was in the big. Chidwick thought for some time and the TV cameras came to watch the potential fallout, but Chidwick folded.

Chidwick is now at 460,000.

The other players have been small-balling.

In one hand, Tony Gregg raised to 67,000 from middle position and Timothy Ulmer called from the hijack. Both players checked the [4]A♥5♥ flop and Gregg bet 100,000 when the 2♣ came on the turn.

A 4♠ came on the river and Gregg upped the bet to 242,000. Ulmer folded and Gregg raked in the pot.

Timothy Ulmer — 2,900,000
Tony Gregg — 1,450,000
Paul Gooley — 980,000
Stephen Chidwick — 460,000

2:20pm: Demlakian got game
Level 25, Blinds 15,000-30,000 (4,000)

Another intriguing hand on the feature table when Matt Waxman led four players to a flop after raising to 60,000 from early position. They were Vladimir Troyanovskiy in the hijack, Ken Demlakian on the button and Randy Kritzer in the big blind.

The flop came 6♦4♠6♥ and Kritzer checked. Waxman bet 95,000 and all three players behind him called. Four way to a turn, which came 4♣.

After three players checked, Demlakian wanted to play for more and bet 262,000 last to act. Kritzman folded and Waxman too decided that he had seen enough. He folded, but Troyanovskiy called.

That took them to a Q♣ river and now they both checked. “You got unlucky,” Demlakian said, flipping over Q♠5♠ for a rivered pair of queens to go with the sixes on board.


Ken Demlakian: Creative

Troyanovskiy showed his pocket tens and said, “How did you call flop?”

Demlakian muttered something about being creative, and on they went. — HS

2:15pm: Pires running out of bombs, Watson new chip leader
Level 25, Blinds 15,000-30,000 (4,000)

Folks, the man some are calling the Brazilian Jamie Gold, is no longer the chip leader of the Main Event. After doubling up Mike Watson, Pires has just lost another pot, this time to Vladimir Troyanovskiy. Pires opened for 100,000 and Troyanovskiy called. On the 10♦5♦K♠ flop, Pires led for 150,000, and Troyanovskiy called again.


Mike Watson: All the chips

The dealer put out the J♣ on the turn, and for the first time in a long time, Pires backed off. Both he and Troyanovskiy checked.

That brought the Q♣ on the river. Pires woke up again and came out with a 350,000 bet. Troyanovskiy made it 750,000 to play, and Pires folded his bluff.

Pires is now down to 3.8 million. Meanwhile, Mike Watson is the chip leader with 4.1 million.

2pm: Breaktime chips
Level 24, Blinds 12,000-24,000 (3,000)

Toby Lewis 2,062,000
Paul Gooley 1,085,000
Stephen Chidwick 443,000
David Eldridge 1,580,000
Phillip McAllister 2,350,000
Anthony Gregg 1,324,000
Timothy Ulmer 2,520,000

Ami Barer 606,000
Matt Waxman 1,169,000
Vladimir Troyanovskiy 1,656,000
Mike Watson 3,668,000
Vasken Demlakian 1,931,000
Martin McCormick 1,065,000
Randy Kritzer 1,669,000
Leonardo Pires 4,588,000

1:55pm: Sir Double Up eyes Pires, chip lead
Level 24, Blinds 12,000-24,000 (3,000)

Mike “SirWatts” Watson, fresh off one double up, now has another after picking off Leonard Pires in a 2.6 million-chip pot.

Watson held 7♣7♦ and opened for 50,000. He got three calls behind…Randy Krtizer, Ken Demlakian, and, indeed, Leonard Pires in the big blind.

Getting ready for the air raid, because this is where Pires starts making it rain.

He bombed 214,000 on the 2♦4♣6♠ flop (only Watson called), 500,000 on the 3♦ turn (Watson called again), and then put Watson all in for 1 million on the J♦ river.


Mike Watson: Decision

Watson had just doubled, but now he was having to make another decision to decide whether he stayed or went.

After a good long think, Watson called.

“Six,” Pires said, and turned up K♥6♥…for the first time today…no good.


Mike Watson: Success

Now that Watson has a stack, get ready for a poker game, folks. –BW

Leonardo Pires: 4,500,000
Mike Watson: 2,600,000

1:50pm: Lewis takes one
Level 24, Blinds 12,000-24,000 (3,000)

Right before the break, Toby Lewis raised to 50,000 from the hijack and Paul Gooley re-raised to 130,000 from the cutoff.

Lewis called and both players checked the 7♠5♠3c] flop and a 10♣ came on the turn. Lewis bet 250,000 and Gooley called. The river brought a 5♣ and another round of checks.


Toby Lewis: The last day-end chip leaders since Leonardo Pires took over

Lewis showed to red nines and Gooley mucked. –AV

Toby Lewis — 1,800,000
Paul Gooley — 1,000,000

1:40pm: Fabian Chauriye out in 16th
Level 24 – Blinds 12,000 – 24,000 (3,000 ante)

That’s all she wrote for Fabian Chauriye as he has just been out-raced and knocked out of the tournament.


It started with an open from David Eldridge to 55,000, which was closely followed by a three-bet from Phillip McAllister to 142,000. Chauriye moved all in for 449,000 total, which got Eldridge out of the pot but not McAllister, who called after asking for a count.

Phillip McAllister 7♠7♦
Fabian Chauriye A♥K♣

The flop brought no help to the all-in player. It was the 9♦3♣4♦, and then the turn was another nine – the 9♠.

“Ace!” Chauriye called, his version of a “one time”.

It wasn’t to be though; the 9♥ completed the board and sent him to the rail, with $36,860 for his 16th place finish.

Phillip McAllister is up to 2,500,000. –JS

1:40pm: Watson doubles
Level 24, Blinds 12,000-24,000 (3,000)

Mike Watson has doubled his stack in the early stages of this two-table tournament. He got the maximum from Randy Kritzer with his nut flush–holding A♠4♠ on a board of 8♠10♠9♦3♠A♦. Kritzer had flopped a set of eights and couldn’t let them go.

Watson moves up to 1.4 million.

1:30pm: Redraw
Level 24, Blinds 12,000-24,000 (3,000)

Here’s how they are lining up for the next phase of play:

Outer table

Seat 1: Fabian Chauriye — 488,000
Seat 2: Toby Lewis — 1,580,000
Seat 3: Paul Gooley — 923,000
Seat 4: Stephen Chidwick — 335,000
Seat 5: David Eldridge — 1,8250,000
Seat 6: Phillip McAllister — 2,093,000
Seat 7: Tony Gregg — 970,000
Seat 8: Timothy Ulmer — 2,550,000

Seat 1: Ami Barer — 712,000
Seat 2: Matthew Waxman — 1,208,000
Seat 3: Vladimir Troyanovskiy — 1,554,000
Seat 4: Mike Watson — 811,000
Seat 5: Vasken Demlakian — 2,0800,000
Seat 6: Martin McCormick — 1,183,000
Seat 7: Randy Kritzer — 2,539,000
Seat 8: Leonardo Pires — 6,263,000

1:20pm: Pires eviscerates Ortiz, sails over 6 million mark
Level 24, Blinds 12,000-24,000 (3,000)

There is no stopping Leonardo Pires. When he shouldn’t have it, he has it. When it looks like he’s bluffing, he has it. We’ve not yet seen a point today when he hasn’t had it. Fabian Ortiz just learned that the hard way.

Vladimir Troyanovskiy opened what turned out to be a massive pot for 55,000 from under the gun. Fabian Ortiz, still sore from giving up a big pot to Pires earlier, made the call. Over on the button, Pires raised to 155,000. Troyanovskiy wasted little time folding, but Ortiz was not yet convinced.

He called to see the Q♦7♦8♣ flop, then checked over to Pires who bet 175,000. Ortiz, holding Q♣J♣ wasn’t ready to fold top pair. He’d already seen Pires take suited undercards down to the river, and this was a draw-heavy flop.

The 5♥ came in on the turn, Ortiz checked, and Pires simply announced, “All in.” Ortiz had 1.1 million in front of him, and he looked miserable about it.


Fabian Ortiz: What could he do?

Why would Pires overbet the pot by so much?

“You have diamonds?” Ortiz asked. Pires said nothing.

Ortiz just couldn’t wrap his head around what was happening. He dropped a yellow 1,000 chip on the table, and he scrambled to retrieve it before someone thought he was calling.

Five minutes passed, and then a couple of minutes more, during all of which Ortiz struggled to figure out what the hell was happening. At the start of the day, he was third in chips. Now he had a decision for his tournament life.

Finally, he put out calling chips and waited. This time, no surprise, Pires had it again with K♥K♦.


Leonardo Pires always has it

Ortiz stumbled away with a dealer to get paid, Pires shrugged.

“He had the queen,” Pires said. “It’s very hard to fold.”

Ortiz finished in 17th for $36,860. Meanwhile, Pires has extended his chip lead once again. –BW

Leonardo Pires: 6,258,000
Fabian Ortiz: Eliminated

1:10pm: Scottish stare down
Level 24 – Blinds 12,000 – 24,000 (3,000 ante)

There are some amazing players who have come out of Scotland. EPT winners Niall Farrell and David Vamplew spring to mind, as does the hyper-aggro UKIPT champ Ludovic Geilich.

But none of them have a stare down quite like Martin McCormick’s.


Martin McCormick wants you!

It’s not unusual to see McCormick up and out of his chair during pots, much to the chagrin of dealers everywhere. But in this hand something was different; McCormick was as quiet as a mouse.

Let’s back up a little. It started with a huge open from McCormick – 125,000 to go with the blinds still at 12,000-24,000. It posed a tough decision for Ami Barer in the small blind. He clearly had something he wanted to see a flop with, but was 125,000 too much for a pre-flop investment?

As he thought about it, McCormick stood over the table, his focus solely on Barer and nothing else. He even took his sunglasses off to get a better view. After somewhere between three and five minutes, Barer eventually laid it down, as did Anthony Gregg in the big blind.

“Do you want me to show it?” McCormick asked. “It’s up to you.”
“Of course!” said Barer, and McCormick flipped over the A♥K♠.

That was one solid Scottish stare down. No doubt we’ll be seeing it again.

Martin McCormick 980,000
Ami Barer 613,000 –JS

1:05pm: Regrets, McCormick’s had a few
Level 24 – Blinds 12,000 – 24,000 (3,000 ante)

After just calling from his small blind when it was folded around to him, Martin McCormick waited to see what his new table neighbour Mike Watson would do in the big blind. The Canadian opted to check and we saw a flop of the 4♥4♠2♣. A cheeky check from McCormick resulted in a small 25,000 bet from Watson, just over one big blind.

“Gah. I should have raised,” McCormick said as he gave his cards to the dealer, face down. –JS

1pm: UhhMee takes one from 810ofclubs
Level 24 – Blinds 12,000 – 24,000 (3,000 ante)

On a 5♥6♠5♣ 10♣ board, Ami “UhhMee” Barer bet 47,000 into Toby “810oflcubs” Lewis who made the call. Another ten landed on the river – the 10♥ – and after Lewis checked the bet from Barer was a whopping 205,000. Lewis went into the tank for a good few minutes before deciding to make the fold. –JS

12:50pm: Holz sent packing by Demlakian
Level 24, Blinds 12,000-24,000 (3,000)

It’s not easy to push Fedor Holz around, but Ken Demlakian just put the WCOOP champion (and all round sensation) to a decision for his tournament–and got him to call off with a worse hand. That was the end of Holz’s tournament.


No third title in as many weeks for Fedor Holz

Demlakian actually won two hands on the bounce against Holz, the first when he managed to get some value with A♠2♣ on a board of 2♦K♠7♦3♥Q♠ (Demlakian bet the flop, but then checked through turn and river).

However, there was significantly more at stake in the next hand, and Demlakian confused Holz out of the tournament.

Holz limped from the small blind and Demlakian checked his option. It took them to a flop of A♣10♠7♥. Holz bet 30,000 and Demlakian called, which took them to a 7♣ turn.

Holz checked this time, but Demlakian bet, making it 70,000 to play. He also offered Holz a bit of chit-chat about the shirt being worn by the Australian today; it’s a Germany football shirt. Holz called.

The 5♥ came on the river and after Holz checked again, Demlakian shipped for 1.5 million, comfortably covering Holz’s last 248,000. “It’s so weird, you’re confident and nervous at the same time,” Holz said. “It’s so weird.”

Holz also said that he would have an easy decision here against any other player, but he didn’t know how Demlakian played. Eventually Holz opted to pay to find out what Demlakian had and was quickly shown 9♣7♦.

Holz had got cute with pocket queens from the small blind, but it had cost him. He was sent packing by Demlakian. — HS

12:45pm: Gooley incredulous, doubles through Chidwick with third pair
Level 24, Blinds 12,000-24,000 (3,000)

We’re running around with our heads spinning here (“lot of action….lot…of…action”), so we picked this one up on the river. Looking at a board of 9♠Q♥7♣10♣7♥, Chidwick had put out enough to get Paul Gooley all-in for his last 510,000. With about half a million in the pot, Gooley had a decision to make. His K♣9♦ was only good for third pair. Whatever happened in the early going made Gooley not believe. Though he thought about it for almost two minutes, he finally put out the call to see Chidwick’s bluff: 8♦5♦. –BW


Paul Gooley doubles

Gooley: 1,550,000
Chidwick: 600,000

12:40pm: Leonardo Pires back on the rise
Level 24, Blinds 12,000-24,000 (3,000)

Leonardo Pires’s stack dipped a bit when he doubled up Vladimir Troyanovskiy, but he went back to winning large pots fairly quickly.

Losing just hasn’t been his style this tournament.

Fabian Ortiz raised from the cutoff and Pires re-raised to 165,000 from the cutoff. Pires then bet 150,000 on the J♦2♠6♠ flop and Ortiz called. Both players checked when the K♠ came on the turn and then Pires bet 523,000 when a 5♦ fell on the river.

Ortiz thought for some time and then called. Pires turned over 4♠3♠ and Ortiz looked at his cards one last time before mucking. –AV

Leonardo Pires — 4,800,000
Fabian Ortiz — 1,470,000

12:38pm: Paur eliminated in 19th
Level 24 – Blinds 12,000 – 24,000 (3,000 ante)

We’ve just lost Taylor Paur from the Main Event.

When it was folded around to him in the small blind, Paur open shoved for around 340,000 into Timothy Ulmer who snap-called.

Timothy Ulmer A♣Q♦
Taylor Paur K♠5♣


Bad news for Taylor Paur

The flop was the K♦9♠A♥, pairing both players. The turn was the 4♦, changing nothing, and the river was the 6♣, ending the PCA Main Event for Paur. He’ll collect $32,360 for his trouble.
Timothy Ulmer now has 2,800,000. –JS

12:37pm: Paur talks him into it
Level 24 – Blinds 12,000 – 24,000 (3,000 ante)

“Damn! How did I talk him into folding?”

Those were the words of Taylor Paur after he was chatting away to Martin McCormick, big blind to small blind. McCormick is being aggressive as usual so Paur might have expected – and wanted – him to raise, but instead the Scot gave up his 12,000.

Paur showed pocket nines, a hand he clearly wanted some action with. –JS

12:36pm: You can’t make an End Boss nervous
Level 24 – Blinds 12,000 – 24,000 (3,000 ante)

Marty McCormick is continuing to be the entertainer, and the aggressor. After Anthony Gregg made it 52,000 on the button, Toby Lewis folded his small blind and so it was over to McCormick in the big.

He wasted little time in sliding out a stack amounting to 300,000, and Gregg wasted no time in folding.

“Am I making you nervous?” McCormick asked Gregg.
The answer was a simple “No”.


Tony Gregg: Nobody makes him nervous

McCormick turned over his cards and showed the A♥7♥. –JS

12:35pm: Vladimir Troyanovskiy doubles again
Level 24, Blinds 12,000-24,000 (3,000)

One double up wasn’t enough for Vladimir Troyanovskiy.

Troyanovskiy raised to 55,000 from under-the-gun and Leonardo Pires called from the button. The flop came 9♦7♠5♣ and Pires bet 107,000 after Troyanovskiy checked.

Troyanovskiy called and a 4♠ came on the turn. Troyanovskiy checked again and Pires bet 400,000. Troyanovskiy only had 466,000 behind and moved all in. Pires called and showed Q♦J♥ for queen-high while Troyanovskiy showed a set of sevens with 7♣7♥.


No need to leave yet, Vladimir Troyanovskiy

The river brought a 3♦ and another double up for Troyanovskiy. –AV

Leonardo Pires — 4,000,000
Vladimir Troyanovskiy — 1,200,000

12:30pm: McCormick will shove if everyone else does, too
Level 24, Blinds 12,000-24,000 (3,000)

Martin McCormick is ready to get it all in right now, but only if everyone else at his table does as well.

“Has there ever been a Main event where everyone has gone all-in blind?” he asked. Taylor Paur figured not.

“Let’s do it!” McCormick said.

Already a polarizing figure in this Main Event, McCormick is the wild one. Hehas had some drinks over the past few days. He has had some penalties. He has, by his own admission, eaten little and lost weight. He’s having trouble keeping his trousers up.

And now he just wants to get it all in, essentially flipping everyone at the table for all the chips on the felt.

“For all the chips on the table?” Paur said. “Yeah, I’d do it.”

Tony Gregg, perhaps the most laid-back poker player in history, looked around the table.

“It’s like the ‘Discuss a Deal’ button on Stars,” Gregg said. “It’s two out of six right now.

McCormick doesn’t quite understand the reactions people have had to his antics so far, and Gregg was happy to offer some advice.

“Just cool it down,” Gregg said.
“I think I am being calm,” McCormick protested. “Just me being me.” -BW

12:25pm: Kritzer wins it on the flop
Level 24, Blinds 12,000-24,000 (3,000)

Matters got interesting on the feature table when three players: Ken Demlakian, David Eldridge and Randy Kritzer got to a flop without a pre-flop raise. They saw the 2♥2♦6♣ fall and everyone seemed interested.

Kritzer bet 60,000; Demlakian called; Eldridge raised to 168,000; and Kritzer three-bet to 400,000. There then followed some verbal jostling, but two folds. — HS

12:24pm: Vladimir Troyanovskiy outraces Ortiz
Level 24, Blinds 12,000-24,000 (3,000)

Vladimir Troyanovskiy must have received his shipment of alligator blood, because no matter how low he gets in chips, he’s found a way to stay alive. The latest version of this story has Pauly Gooley opening to 50,000 and Troyanovskiy shoving for 265,000. Fabian Ortiz sat on the button and just called. Gooley folded his open raise and it was off to the races.

Troyanovskiy: 9♣9♦
Ortiz: A♠Q♠


Vladimir Troyanovskiy: Alligator blood

It was a fun board from beginning to end, but the 7♠3♣6♦K♠4♦ runout doubled up the Russia. — BW


12:21pm: Pires still stacking
Level 24 – Blinds 12,000 – 24,000 (3,000 ante)

It’s tough being the chip leader isn’t it? Especially when you have to stack tons and tons of chips.

Leonardo Pires hasn’t stopped stacking chips since he sat down – any bets as to when he’ll finally have his chips (more than 4,600,000) in a neat and tidy arrangement? –JS


12:20: Bad start for Troyanovskiy, Ortiz on the up
Level 24 – Blinds 12,000 – 24,000 (3,000 ante)

Vladimir Troyanovskiy started the day with 612,000 in chips, but after just a few hands he’s down to less than half of that.

In a pot against the big stack of Fabian Ortiz, Troyanovskiy called from the small blind after it was folded around to him, but Ortiz in the big blind raised it up to 60,000. After Troyanovskiy called, the flop came the K♠Q♣8♠, which was checked over to Ortiz. He now made it 65,000 and got another call.

The 3♥ landed on the turn, and it was a similar story here. After Troyanovskiy checked, Ortiz slid out 83,000 and was looked up again, taking us to the 7♦ on the river. A final check from Troyanovskiy resulted in a 100,000 bet from Ortiz and Troyanovskiy made the call. Ortiz turned over the K♣J♣ for top pair and that was enough to win him the pot.

Vladimir Troyanovskiy 286,000
Fabian Ortiz 2,900,000 –JS

12:15pm: Holz moving chips
Level 24, Blinds 12,000-24,000 (3,000)

Fedor Holz is the most active player at the feature table at the moment, twice committing all of his stack pre-flop and getting no callers. The first time was a big raise from the small blind; the second a shove from the button after Phillip McAllister limped the cutoff. Holz had 448,000 at that point, one of the smaller stacks, but is not prepared to play short. — HS

11:10am: Day 5 ready to go

It is Day 5 of the 2016 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) Main Event, and the race for the final table is entering its latest stages. There are 19 players left, but only eight seats at the final. Furthermore, only six will be invited back tomorrow.

Before anything gets under way, let’s take a look at today’s table draw:

(Table, seat, name, country, chips)

1 1 Phillip McAllister UK 2152000
1 2 Fedor Holz Germany 453000
1 4 Mike Watson Canada 952000
1 5 Ken Demlakian Australia 1394000
1 6 Matthew Waxman USA 1228000
1 7 David Eldridge USA 2100000
1 8 Randy Kritzer USA 2385000

2 1 Tony Gregg USA 1091000
2 3 Toby Lewis UK 1396000
2 4 Martin McCormick UK 1012000
2 6 Taylor Paur USA 400000
2 7 Timothy Ulmer USA 2200000
2 8 Ami Barer Canada 679000

3 1 Stephen Chidwick UK 1428000
3 2 Paul Gooley Australia 705000
3 3 Vladimir Troyanovskiy Russia 612000
3 5 Fabian Ortiz Argentina 2309000
3 7 Fabian Chauriye Chile 513000
3 8 Leonardo Pires Brazil 4566000

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

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

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

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

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