PCA 2016: Main Event Day 1B live updates

January 09, 2016

PCA Dealer_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 1B_Giron_8JG8504.jpg

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8:45pm: Play ends
Play ends on Day 1B. A full recap of the events can be found here: Late surge puts qualifier Alexander Komarov at Day 1B summit

8:32pm: Three more hands
Level 8 – Blinds 300-600 (75 ante)

There will be three more hands for each table, and then everyone will bag their chips for the night. We’ll be back with some chip counts and a daily wrap up in just a few minutes.

8:25pm: Smooth sailing for Jaffe
Level 8 – Blinds 300-600 (50 ante)

It’s been a steady day for Jonathan Jaffe. The US pro doubled up the first level of play today and is still going strong with more 100,000. There’s under half an hour of play left, so Jaffe is poised for a healthy return on Day 2. –JS

8:25pm: Patience proves a virtue for Eugene Katchalov
Level 8 – Blinds 300-600 (75 ante)

Eugene Katchalov has spent a lot of this day nursing a very short stack. Now he’s up to more than 33,000 after a profitable last level, and a three way hand a few moments ago against Jordan Tentori and Elie Saad.
The flop was 10♠6♦8♥ which Elie Saad checked from the big blind. Katchalov then bet 2,200 from middle position, which Tentori called in late position. Saad also called.

Then the turn card, a 2♠. Again Saad checked, leaving Katchalov to bet again, 6,500 this time. Tentori, who has had his own hot streak today, passed, leaving Saad to take on Katchalov. He didn’t, and after a tough day Katchalov is now back up to 33,500.

Eugene Katchalov_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 1B_Giron_8JG8468.jpg

8:20pm: Getting Randy
Level 8 – Blinds 300/600 (75 ante)

Ladies and gentlemen, we may have a new chip leader in the house! Step forward Randy Kritzer from Greensboro, North Carolina. He’s currently on 168,000 with about thirty minutes of the day remaining. Kritzer still has some work to do if he wants to catch Toby Lewis’s impressive Day 1A total of 188,000. – RJ

8:05pm: Negreanu folds Queens, Antonius arrives and Noah ends the rub
Level 7 – Blinds 250/500 (50 ante)
Here are three things happening in the tournament room just now….

1) There’s been a rare Patrik Antonius sighting. Sporting a new Travis Bickle-style* haircut Antonius marched down the main hallway of the convention center and late registered for the Main Event.

2) Noah Schwartz has finally stopped being massaged. The rubdown had been going on for several hours but now Schwartz is left all by himself to concentrate on the final hour of this day.

3) Daniel Negreanu folded pocket Queens pre-flop. There was a ton of action and, technically, it was the wrong decision because his two opponents both had Ace-King suited. However, the A♣K♣ made a flush so, in the end, Kid Poker’s mistake paid dividends. – RJ

8:00pm: Tamer Kamel enters last level with 80,000
Level 7 – Blinds 250-500 (75 ante)

Tamer Kamel just did his Main Event opening day some good. Pre-flop he opened for 4,100 from the button. That was then raised by Luiz Higashi in the big blind to 11,300. Kamel gave it some thought and then called for the flop.


Higashi checked to Kamel who made the decision more straight forward. The 54,000 he placed in the pot had Higashi easily covered. Then he waited, quietly, with his headphones on for Higashi to do something.

It took a while, and the level changed while they waited. Eventually he folded, leaving Kamel with a stack of around 80,000.-SB

7:55pm: A Harder pill to swallow
Level 7 – Blinds 250-500 (50 ante)

You’ve got to break a few eggs to make an omelette; likewise, you’ve got to bet a few chips to make some back, as Christian Harder just demonstrated.

He opened for 1,300 and found one caller in Steven Watchorn. The dealer spread a flop of J♠5♣Q♦ and Harder placed one 1K chip in front of him, as did Watchorn, which brought us to the 8♣ turn. There would be no bet this time as Harder checked it, as did Watchorn, resulting in the K♥ on the river. Harder opted to check again, and Watchorn followed suit quickly after, much to Harder’s chagrin. He turned over what he knew was the winning hand – his pocket kings for a set – and so was clearly hoping his opponent would do the betting for him. He won the pot, sure; but could he have got more? –JS

Christian Harder_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 1B_Giron_8JG8483.jpg

Christian Harder
7:30pm: The year of Urbanovich
Level 7 – Blinds 250-500 (50 ante)

2015 was a crazy year for Dzmitry ‘colisea’ Urbanovich. The Polish phenom won 4 different tournaments at EPT Malta, including a High Roller for $605,929. He also came 2nd in the Super High Roller in EPT Barcelona for $949,967, 2nd in the Super High Roller at the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo for $1,595,368, and he won his third COOP title on PokerStars.

There’s more too. Listing Urbanovich’s achievements is exhausting.

Well, he’s in the main event now here at the PCA and is looking to kick 2016 off in style. We just saw make him an impressive call and scoop a pot with just second pair, so he’s off to a good start. –JS

7:15pm: Tentori’s Yin to Yi’s Yang
Level 7 – Blinds 250-500 (75 ante)

Among the chip leaders now is Jordan Tentori from Australia. After winning a big pot earlier, he just won another, this time against Yi Yang.

After Yang opened for 1,200 Tentori joined him for a flop of 4♦3♠2♦ from the big blind. Then he checked before Yang bet again, 1,800 this time. Tentori called. Then the turn card, 5♣. This time both players checked, perhaps sounding out an ace somewhere.

On the river card Q♣ it was Tentori leading the betting. He had 3,500 in this hand ready, but bet 2,500 of it. It took the wind out of Yang’s sails. He paused, and then while saying something about an ace, folded his hand.

“Pick one,” said Tentori in a light hearted taunt. Yang did, and Tentori showed the 9♥. He’s up to 110,000.-SB

Jordan Tentori_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 1B_Giron_8JG8596.jpg

Jordan Tentori
7:10pm: No thrill for Gill
Level 7 – Blinds 250-500 (50 ante)

As you might have seen in our selected chip counts, Carter Gill’s current count is…well, we’ll let him update you.


Carter Gill_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 1B_Giron_8JG8294.jpg

Carter Gill in happier times
7:00pm: Paging the Greenwood boys
Level 7 – Blinds 250-500 (50 ante)

It’s 7pm. Do you know where your children are. One father does, and he knows boths of them are good for a good exchange rate. Read about it in Ross Jarvis’ Fathers and Sons.

6:55pm: Back from break

Everyone has returned to their seats for the final two hours of play.

6:30pm: Jaffe holds lead at break time

As players take off for a 20-minute break, Jonathan Jaffe has the chip lead. He’s sitting on 100,000 with two levels left to play in the night.

Jonathan Jaffe_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 1B_Giron_8JG8456.jpg

Jonathan Jaffe
6:29pm: Negreanu loves popcorn. FACT.
Level 6 – Blinds 200-400 (50 ante)

“Get your fresh, hot popcorn here!”

There were two things noticeable in the room right before the players went on break: A very strong smell of popcorn which has swept over the room from the player’s lounge, and Daniel Negreanu shouting at the top of his voice like a popcorn vendor at a baseball game.

“Mmmm delicious!” he said of the smell, and we’d have to agree. In fact it’s making us hungry; Negreanu will have to wait to get some popcorn, though, as he’s now busy posing for photos with fans. –JS

Daniel Negreanu_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 1B_Giron_8JG8473.jpg

Kid Popcorn
6:25pm: Ladouceur climbing
Level 6 – Blinds 200-400 (50 ante)

As the level came to an end Marc-Andre Ladouceur did his stack no end of good, taking it up to 51,000 after a hand against Max Batram.

The board read 6♦Q♥5♥8♠2♦ with a lot of chips in the middle. Playing from the big blind Ladouceur bet 20,000 which sent Batram into a long pause from the cut off.

“Why would you play a queen like that?” said Batram, not exactly expecting answer. Ladouceur said nothing and was about to call the clock when Batram folded.-SB

6:15pm: Taking on the champ
Level 6 – Blinds 200-400 (50 ante)

I’m not sure if the old adage remains that everyone wants to win a hand against the world champion, but Tomas Geleziunas just got his moment.

On a flop of 6♠10♠7♣, and with four players in the hand, the action was checked to Joe McKeehen in late position who bet 1,800. Geleziunas from Lithuania was in the small blind and took his chance, raising to 5,300. That got a fold from Dov Markovich in the big blind and Alexandre Araujo De Andrade in the two seat. The action was now back on McKeehen.

The reigning world champ kept it simple. He moved all-in.

I didn’t get the exact count but it was in the region of 30,000. Geleziunas called in a flash. McKeehen showed his two jacks, but he was up against pocket sixes, which had become a set on the flop. The turn was an ace, the river a nine.

McKeehen tapped the table, his stack now down to 14,500.-SB

Joe McKeehen_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 1B_Giron_8JG8516.jpg

Joe McKeehen
6:05pm: “Turn and river you were dead”
Level 6 – Blinds 200-400 (50 ante)

Some rumblings in the tournament room led us over to David ‘Chino’ Rheem and Noah Schwartz’s table, where the two were involved in a heads-up pot. Schwartz was squirming in his seat, and it wasn’t hard to see why; he was facing a huge bet for most of his chips.

The board was the 10♣A♣7♠J♥3♣ and there was around 18,000 in the pot before Rheem put out a bet of 40,000. He only had 300 in chips left behind, so this was essentially for it all. Scwhartz had enough to cover the bet, but it would have crippled him if he called and was beat.

Schwartz, with a sigh, eventually folded his hand face-up, showing the table his 8♣7♣ for a flush. Rheem teased like he was going to show his hand (Schwartz even seemed to be trying to buy a peek at his cards with a green 25 chip – or maybe he was just preparing his ante for the next hand). He didn’t show but Rheem would tell Schwartz: “On the flop you were ahead. Only on the flop. Turn and river you were dead.” –JS

5:30pm: Generation Twitch
Level 6 – Blinds 200-400 (50 ante)

Want to see what all the cool kids are doing these days? Check out PokerStars’ own Generation Twitch.

5:45pm: Tears for Spears
Level 6 – Blinds 200-400 (50 ante)

OK, so Andrew Spears didn’t actually cry, but being shown a bluff after you’ve laid down what was surely the best hand is always rough.

We arrived in the action to find Spears facing a tough decision: Should he call an all-in bet for his
tournament life? Brazil’s Leonardo Pires had moved all-in for 23,525 which was essentially what Spears had behind too. The board read as follows – 9♦J♠6♦ K♣ 8♦ – meaning flushes and straights were very possible.

After some careful consideration Spears laid it down and Pires proudly turned over the A♥10♦ for complete air. We’re not entirely sure, but we think we heard Spears tell his neighbour that he folded pocket aces. –JS

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5:45pm: For the love of the game
Level 5 – Blinds 150-300 (25 ante)

There is a divide forming in the tournament room, one that cannot easily be resolved. It’s not between good or bad players, big stacks and short stacks. It’s between those who can see the play-off game on the big screen, and those that can’t.

If you’re not familiar, this is a big weekend for the NFL, with play-off games today and tomorrow. Naturally a lot of players are interested, but only those near the big screen, towards the player lounge, can actually see it.
One player, recently moved, asked if the game could be put on the screen next to his new table. Alas, it was not that type of TV, and he returned to his seat to click refresh on his phone every few seconds.

There is one way to guarantee you don’t miss a thing. The Single Day High Roller event is taking place right in front of it. Front row seats cost $50,000.-SB

5:40pm: “This is much more aggressive than the $100k!”
Level 6 – Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Ankush Mandavia started his stint here in The Bahamas by finishing third in the $100k Super High Roller (SHR) for a $787k score. Apparently the action in the Main Event today is quite different to what Mandavia experienced earlier in the week.

Speaking to British pro Tamer Kamel, Mandavia said, ‘People here are way more aggressive than in the Super High Roller. Every hand is 3-bet or 4-bet. There’s no pot control here!’ Kamel seemed to concur before the two new table buddies started discussing a tough hand Mandavia played on his SHR final table.

While they’re on the same page verbally, the two are having contrasting fortunes so far. Mandavia is down to 15,000 but Kamel is doing much better on 42,000. – RJ

Ankush Mandavia_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 1B_Giron_8JG8480.jpg

Ankush Mandavia
5:20pm: Something in the way, she moves
Level 5 – Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

One of the most exciting sounds you can hear when covering a poker tournament is a dealer shouting ‘FLOOR!’ in hurried tones. It could be anything – a dispute over a huge pot, a complicated ruling that we’ll be talking about for weeks, two players coming to blows or even a deck that contains five Aces. So, what was it going to be this time?

Well, a small piece of cardboard had fallen from the decorative PCA banner at the side of the tournament room and was now creating a trip hazard for players and staff. The situation was quickly fixed and the cardboard put back in place. It wasn’t one of the better FLOOR! adventures in recent memory but, rest assured that any future FLOOR! stories that do live up to their billing will be posted right here on the PokerStars Blog. – RJ

5:05pm: Shepherd rounds up the chips
Level 5 – Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

British player Mark Shepherd only plays poker recreationally but, after winning a satellite to come to The Bahamas for the first time, he’s off to a great start in the Main Event. Shepherd just won a big pot in some style versus Joao Fernandes to send him up to 46,000.

Shepherd raised pre-flop and called a three-bet from Fernandes, who was in position. The 9♣2♠J♠ flop was checked through. Shepherd now lead out for 1,400 on the turn only for Fernandes to bump it up to 3,325. Something didn’t add up for Shepherd and he called. The river was 3♣. Shepherd now checked and was faced with a bet of 6,200. He called instantly and the cards were on their backs. Shepherd showed A♥J♥ for top pair, top kicker while Fernandes could only produce A♦7♦ for a failed bluff.

Fernandes may have lost the hand but he’s still having a good day and has 53,000 in front of him. – RJ

4:45pm: Taking note
Level 5 – Blinds 150-300 (25 ante)

Sometimes you just want to see what the guy has. Whether or not that was true in Jonathan Little’s case we’ll leave to the notes he takes of the hands he plays.

On the K♥10♦6♣ flop the action was checked by Ema Zajmovic in the big blind, Little in the hijack, and Dimitrios Farmakoulis on the button. It was the same story on the Q♠ turn card which was checked all round for the Q♦ on the turn.

Zajmovic checked, as did Little. But Farmakoulis put out a bet of 1,500, which seemed not in keeping with the spririt of the hand up to this point. That got a fold from Zajmovic but Little was more sceptical, pausing for a second to look at his cards again and pick up the chips he needed to call. Then, with no shortage of nonchalance, he called.

Farmakoulis’s ace-ten was good. Little wrote it down in his book.-SB

Jonathan Little_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 1B_Giron_8JG8281.jpg

4:39pm: A kick to Ludovic
Level 5 – Blinds 150-300 (25 ante)

Ludovic Geilich opened to 700 and ran into a 3-bet of 2,000 from Bulgarian player Viliyan Petleshkov. He made the call and we saw a flop of 8♣8♠6♥. Ludo checked and Petleshkov continued for 2,200. Once again, Ludo called and the turn was the 7♠ which both players checked. Ludo checked once more on the J♠ river and then had a tough decision when he faced a bet of 7,800. He did indeed call and Petleshkov turned over the 6♠5♠ for a flush. Geilich mucked and is now down to 17,500. –JS

4:30pm: Breathe in, breathe out
Level 5 – Blinds 150-300 (25 ante)


4:20pm: Calvin Anderson grabs midday lead

As we reach the midpoint of the day, Calvin Anderson has the lead with 68,000. Players are on a short break and will be back soon to play the final four levels of the day.

4:11pm: Enter Mau5
Level 4 – Blinds 100-200 (25 ante)


3:50pm: You’re not singing anymore
Level 4 – Blinds 100/200 (25 ante

Great drama over on the table containing Joe Cada, Simon Deadman and our two protagonists in this hand, Charlie Carrel and Diogo Cardoso. I joined the hand on the turn – it quickly became clear that Cardoso had put Carrel all in and now he had a major decision to make.

The board was 8♦4♦10♠6♠ and I was able to deduce that Carrel had bet 5,300 on the turn before Cardoso check-raised an amount to put him all in. Carrel had 16,000 behind and there were a ton of chips in the pot. Just as everyone was wondering what Carrel might have to prompt such a dilemma he told us – Ace-Ten.

He began to voice his thought process, saying to Cardoso, ‘I have Ace-Ten. What do you think I should do? I’ve been so aggressive that I don’t think I can fold top pair, top kicker to you. I think I gotta do it.’ That’s what he said, but he didn’t do it. As each minute went by Carrel seemed to be talking himself out of calling and, eventually, he laid it down.

Cardoso showed the 5♦ to add to the mystery. Whether it was a good fold or not, Carrel has some work to do. He’s down to 16,000 as Cardoso moves up to 53,000.

Breaking News: Carrel is really not singing anymore. He’s out.- RJ

Charlie Carrel_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 1B_Giron_8JG8325.jpg

Charlie Carrel

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3:46pm: Difficult choices, easy solutions
Level 4 – Blinds 100-200 (25 ante)

Sometimes the simple option is best. When faces with a question with various answers turn it into a simple black and white issue. In this case all-in or fold.

It was Chris Moorman who made the choice. With the board reading 4♥3♦10♠6♠ he seemed to tank for a while, perhaps exploring his options. Then he put an end to that and lumped his chips in. What it lacked in finesse it made up for in style. Not to mention the fact that his opponent conceded a pot worth several thousands to him.-SB

3:45pm: No fear from Neuville
Level 4 – Blinds 150-300 (25 ante)

A great hand just took place over on Pierre Neuville’s table. Six players went to the flop which fell 5♥3♦A♠, and after Ben Heath bet 1,400, Neuville raised it up to 4,000 and everyone but Heath folded. The 6♥ arrived on the turn and Neuville continued, firing out 6,150. Heath made the call, and we saw the 9♣ on the river. Now Neuville shoved for his last 15,000, and after some deliberation Heath eventually laid his hand down. The enigmatic Belgian turned over his hand – 8♥4♥ – showing the brave bluff.

“I just thought he had an ace!” Pierre told the PokerStars Blog after the hand. “But there was a straight draw out there – I had to try!” –JS

Pierre Neuville_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 1B_Giron_8JG8367.jpg

Pierre Neuville
3:45pm: Chips shop
Level 4 – Blinds 100/200 (25 ante

Now that we’ve entered level four and the antes have come into play the tournament field is buzzing, the pots are getting bigger and the masseuses are working overtime. It seems as good a period as any to update you on how some of your favourite runners and riders are getting on:

Jennifer Shahade – 34,000
Joe Cada – 30,000
Simon Deadman – 13,000
Charlie Carrel – 33,000
Jaime Staples – 30,000
Eugene Katchalov – 18,000
Melisa Singh – 28,000
Michael Mizrachi – 33,000
Jake Cody – 30,000

3:30pm: Staples in action
Level 3 – Blinds 100-200

Perhaps his reputation precedes him, but when Jamie Staples got involved in a hand earlier, there was no shortage of respect sent his way.

The hand started with a bet of 475 from Rodolfo Nash in seat seven, which was called by Scott Hill next to him and Antonio Ferreira in late position. Staples was on the big blind, looked down at his cards and called.
The flop came 9♠10♠4♥. It was checked to Hill who bet 925. Ferreira called but Staples raised to 5,400. Nash folded, so did Hill. And Ferreira too for that matter, although not without looking again. Staples back up to 26,000.-SB

Jaime Staples_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 1B_Giron_8JG8329.jpg

Jaime Staples
3:20pm: Nice run out for Ramos
Level 3 – Blinds 100-200

Felipe Ramos just took down a nice pot. We arrived at the table to see Ramos throw in a bet of 5,100 against one opponent with the board reading J♠J♥8♦ 5♥ 4♠. A quick scan of the current pot showed that this was an over bet, but it was called off regardless. Ramos turned over his 6♣7♠ for a runner runner straight. –JS

Felipe Ramos_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 1B_Giron_8JG8429.jpg

Felipe Ramos
3:00pm: Calvin and the thin value bet
Level 3 – Blinds 100-200

On a flop of 9♥7♠8♠, Calvin Anderson chucked in a 1K chip and Jason Bigelow did the same. The K♠ came on the turn, completing any potential flush draws, and it was checked around. If the third spade on the turn was enough to slow down the action, then you’d imagine the A♠ river would calm things down even further. You’d be wrong of course; Anderson now bet 1,700 which was quickly called.

Who had the flush? Well, no one actually. Anderson flipped over the 7♣7♦ for a flopped set, and Bigelow mucked. How did Anderson know that his thin value bet would be called? How did he know Bigelow didn’t have a spade? It’s simple – he’s Calvin Anderson. –JS

Calvin Anderson_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 1B_Giron_8JG8419.jpg

3:05pm: They keep on coming…
Level 3 – Blinds 100-200

Level 3 seems as good a time as any to enter the action, and Chris Moorman, Chino Rheem, Nick Schulman and Matt Waxman seem to agree. They are just some of the notable names who have joined the field since the last level. –JS

2:50pm: The toilet’s on TV
Level 3 – Blinds 100-200

Faraz Jaka, known as ‘The-Toilet 0’ on PokerStars, just made a grand entrance into the tournament room. With a camera crew following him as he picked up his chips and was shown to his seat, we can only assume the TV crew are hoping The-Toilet 0 doesn’t get flushed out early. –JS

Faraz Jaka_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 1B_Giron_8JG8403.jpg

2:44pm: Them apples
Level 3 – Blinds 100-200

On a flop of 4♦K♥9♦ Ryan Reiss had something to prove. He checked it to Joao Ribeiro who bet 475. It was at this point that Reiss raised, making it 1,200. Ribeiro thought for a while, then passed, at which point Reiss said “I had it” and slammed down jack-ten. Ribeiro seemed unmoved.-SB

Ryan Riess_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 1B_Giron_8JG8374.jpg

Ryan Riess
2:43pm: A look around the field
Level 3 – Blinds 100/200

While the action is still in its early stages, let’s have a look around at some faces you might recognize.

Jennifer Shahade_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 1B_Giron_8JG8340.jpg

Jennifer Shahade
Alex Fitzgerald_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 1B_Giron_8JG8289.jpg

Alex Fitzgerald
Victor Ramdin_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 1B_Giron_8JG8309.jpg

Victor Ramdin
Yann Dion_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 1B_Giron_8JG8315.jpg

Yann Dion
Jaime Staples_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 1B_Giron_8JG8329.jpg

Jaime Staples
2:20pm: Time for Level 3

Everyone is now back to play Level 3 at 100/200 blinds.

2:00pm: Break time

Players are now on a 20-minute break

1:50pm: He wrote the book
Level 2 – Blinds 75/150

Jonathan Little is one of the most prolific, and best, poker authors out there. He has tons of strategy books to his name, focusing on everything from small-stakes cash games to big buy-in tournaments. It’s the latter knowledge that Little will have to recall from today as he’s playing in the Main Event. It hasn’t been a fast start – he’s down to 28,000 from a 30,000 starting stack – but Little will know more than anyone that in tournament poker it’s not about how you start but how you finish. – RJ

Jonathan Little_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 1B_Giron_8JG8282.jpg

Jonathan Little
1:50pm: Shyam’s the man
Level 2 – Blinds 75-150

One man who knows a thing or two about going deep in this event is Shyam Srinivasan. He finished 10th in 2015 and 6th in 2014 for a combined $419,000, so don’t be surprised if you see the Toronto native still going strong a few days in.

We caught an interesting hand which Srinivasan was involved in. He opened to 400 and got a caller in Armen Khachatryan. Dylan Linde had other plans, though, and raised it up to 1,600, which the other two called. The flop came Q♠4♦8♥ and it was checked around to Linde who continued for 1,900. Srinivasan got out the way, but now it was Khachatryan’s turn to be the aggressor, making it 5,000 to go. Linde came along, and the 2♥ turn was checked by both players, leading us to a 5♦ river. Khachatryan checked and Linde’s bet of 6,800 was enough to win him the pot without showdown. –JS

1:40pm: It could have been worse
Level 2 – Blinds 75/150
A big hand just developed between Austrian Philipp Krummenacher and American Michael Esposito. Esposito raised to 400 from mid-position before Krummenacher three-bet to 1,000 straight from the big blind. It was duly called and the flop was A♦10♣J♠. Krummenacher bet 1,400 – so far, all very standard. Then Esposito decided that wasn’t enough and min-raised to 2,800. This seemed to really puzzle Krummenacher who thought for a while, at points looking like he might either call or raise again. In the end he settled on just a call.

The turn A♥ made a scary board even more threatening. This Krummenacher check-called a 3,300 bet from Esposito. The river was a blank 5♣. This had all the makings of a huge pot, but surprisingly both checked on the river. It was a shrewd move from Esposito because his A♠Q♥ was trailing behind the turned full house that Krummenacher owned courtesy of 10♠10♦. Krummenacher raked in the 14,000+ chip pot but must have been thinking that this one could have been worth so much more.

Krummenacher now moves up to 47,000 while Esposito drops to 26,000. – RJ

1:25pm: More names in the hat
Level 2 – Blinds 75-150
Marvin Rettenmaier, Noah Schwartz, Martins Adeniya, Peter Jetten, Marc-Andre Ladoucer and Brain Altman are now in the field. –JS

Tournament Area_2016 PCA_Main Event_Day 1B_Giron_8JG8255.jpg

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1:20pm: Jaffe doubles early
Level 2 – Blinds 75-150
Doubling up in the first level of the day – it’s the dream start. Well, US pro Jonathan Jaffe is living that dream. He’s up to 60,000 already and will be hoping to continue to run it up. –JS

1:15pm: Hat-trick hunting
Level 2 – Blinds 75/150
UK player Guy Taylor has already won two small side events at this year’s PCA and he’s hunting for a third in the Main Event. The United Kingdom is well represented in today’s field with Kevin Allen, Simon Deadman and many other Brits already seated. The PCA Main Event hasn’t had a UK winner since John Gale all the way back in 2005 – this could be the year to change that statistic. – RJ

1:10pm: Friends in high places
Level 1 – Blinds 50-100
Friend of PokerStars and one of the blog’s favourite people both on and off the tables, Felipe ‘Mojave’ Ramos, is playing today. The Brazilian, who finished 18th in last year’s PCA Main Event for $58,000, has almost a million in tournament cashes to his name. –JS

12:55pm: Hawkins is in the building
Level 1 – Blinds 50-100
The charismatic Maurice Hawkins is back in action at the PCA today, hoping to better his great run last year which saw him take home $65,940 for his 16th place finish. He’s at a table with Robert Mizrachi and John Racener, just another example of the strong tables that are starting to emerge. –JS

12:40pm: Pedigree chums
Level 1 – Blinds 50/100
Kevin MacPhee and Tony Gregg have just taken their seats for Day 1B. The two Americans have had tremendous success in their careers, with MacPhee taking down the WSOPE Main Event last year and Gregg winning a tournament at the 2013 WSOP for just under $5m. Both will be looking to add a few zeroes to their career tournament winnings at the PCA this week. – RJ

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12:35pm: Andy Frankenberger – business as usual
Level 1 – Blinds 50-100
Andy Frankenberger is known in the poker world for two things: His great success (almost $3,000,000 in tournament winnings), and his unorthodox plays. We might have just seen one.


It was checked over to Frankenberger on a board of 7♥J♥J♠, and he led out for 825 into a pot of just 650. After being raised to 1,825, however, Frankenberger let his hand go. –JS

12:25pm: Early contender for the table of death
Level 1 – Blinds 50-100
What happens when you put three excellent players right next to each other in one of the biggest tournaments of the year?

We’re about to find out.

Despite the size of the field, Joe Cada, Charlie Carrel and Simon Deadman have found themselves sat right next to each other. We’ll be keeping a watchful eye over that table for sure. –JS

12:25pm: Where are you from?
Level 1 – Blinds 50/100
Everybody loves a talker at the table. Over on Table 15 American Paul Snead is taking on the role of chief socialiser. There are only five players sitting down so far (players are still streaming into the room) and Snead took it in turn to ask them all where they are from. Their answers – America, Canada, United Kingdom and Norway – illustrate just what a global game poker is. After Snead started the discussion, they’re now all chattering away like long lost friends at a dinner party. I wonder if they’ll be so friendly once the pots get a little larger later today… – RJ

12:15pm: Barry G ready to go
Level 1 – Blinds 50/100
On Day 1 many leading professional poker players won’t be sat down at the table for the very first hand. Late registration is open all day long and, given that players begin with 300 big blinds, there is plenty of time before the blinds and antes begin to affect the starting stacks. Still, there are positives to turning up at the start of play too – maybe you’ll be the lucky recipient of a weaker player’s chips, or maybe you just want to be there for the love of the game.

barry_greenstein_pca2016_me_d1b_1848.jpgBarry Greenstein
Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein is one of those who has arrived on time and ready to play from the start. Greenstein has a reputation as one of the best high-stakes cash game players in the world but hasn’t been able to take down an EPT Main Event in his distinguished career. Could 2016 be his year? – RJ

12:05pm: Early bird catches the worm
Level 1 – Blinds 50-100
The room is starting to fill up as more and more players take their seats. Here are just a few of the notable names who have arrived for the first level of play:

Joe_Cada_pca2016_me_d1b.jpgOne of the early birds: Joe Cada
Joe Cada
Victor Ramdin
Charlie Carrel
Shyam Srinivasan
Ari Engel
Tim Reilly
Allen Kessler
Simon Deadman

Stay tuned for more updates as players continue to arrive. –JS

11.55am: Play about to start
Welcome to Day 1B of the PCA Main Event. Play starts at 12 noon, with eight levels of play.

This is the second flight of the opening day. You can find updates and all the stories from yesterday here, as well as our end of day report. You can also find all the counts from Day 1A here.

Want to be here next year? Sign up for PokerStars and start your journey. Click here to get an account.

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: Stephen Bartley, Ross Jarvis, Jack Stanton 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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