Another year, another Bahamas High Roller for Jason Koon

January 11, 2018

Twelve months ago, Jason Koon took down the $100K Super High Roller here in the Bahamas. Tonight, he won yet another High Roller title to add to his ever-growing collection, defeating Belarus’ Mikalai Vaskaboinikau heads-up after a 13-hour tournament session in the $25K Single Day event, and banking $421,080 in the process.

Jason Koon

It was a pretty friendly heads-up match, with the two players chatting the entire way and showing each other hands. But while Vaskaboinikau was happy to admit that Koon is a better heads-up player than him, it didn’t stop him from almost clinching the victory a few times.

Ultimately Koon’s vast experience prevailed, but let me tell you: Vaskaboinikau is pretty darn good at these $25K tournaments, regardless of what he says. Having finished third in Prague less than a month ago, the Belarusian now has a runner-up finish here in the Bahamas and $304,580 to go with it.

“What can I say? You’re a nice guy,” Vaskaboinikau told Koon. “There are not enough nice guys in this game.”

Mikalai Vaskaboinikau

There was an air of calm and casualness about this whole tournament, in which 41 unique players ponied up $25,000 to enter (17 of whom re-entered). Right from the 12pm kick-off point, you’d never have guessed they were ultimately playing for such a big first place prize.

The tournament had all of the usual suspects. Honourable mention goes to Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu, who was among the two-time entrants to bust twice. We can’t possibly list all the players though, so let’s name a few whose surname begins with…oh, I don’t know…let’s say…K: Mustapha Kanit, Oleksii Khoroshenin, Jonathan Kamhazi, Chance Kornuth, Super High Roller champ Cary Katz, and defending champ Bryn Kenney are just a few of those who tried but failed to make the final table.

Things went pretty fast too, until we got close to the bubble that is. After Cary Katz busted in tenth, the final nine gathered around one (unofficial) final table, and it was Mikalai Vaskaboinikau who held the slight chip lead over Nick Petrangelo.

Bonus prizes (such as a GoPro and PS4) were handed out (and swapped), and then we got down to the poker. Chris Hunichen began the final as the short stack, but ultimately it would be Team Pro Igor Kurganov who last left with nothing after he ran his pocket nines into Timothy Adams’ pocket queens.

Igor Kurganov

Once everyone was guaranteed some money, Isaac Haxton was the first to fall when his A♣K♦ was outdrawn by Mikalai Vaskaboinikau’s A♥10♣, followed by Christopher Kruk in seventh, whose 8♥7♥ couldn’t do the same to Jason Koon’s Q♦10♦.

Chris Hunichen was then eliminated in sixth, when he shoved K♣2♣ into Koon’s A♦J♦ and saw his opponent flop the nut flush. Then Benjamin Pollak went broke in fifth, unable to outdraw with Q♣J♦ against Koon’s A♣10♣.

Koon had the chip lead and the momentum, but it waned after he doubled up Timothy Adams and lost a healthy pot to Petrangelo. At that point Vaskaboinikau took a big chip lead when he eliminated Petrangelo in fourth (nut flush versus king-high flush).

Heads-up play

He took the chip lead into heads-up play too after he rivered an ace against Timothy Adams’ pocket jacks to felt Adams in third. Vaskaboinikau started with 3.46 million to Koon’s 2.34 million, but it was clear who the more confident player was. “I’m not good at heads up,” Vaskaboinikau said. “It’s only been two hands,” Koon replied. Don’t be so hard on yourself!”

Koon showed his prowess and those chip counts switched. Then they balanced again. Then Vaskaboinikau repeatedly shoved. Then when Koon woke up with pocket aces versus Vaskaboinikau’s K♦6♥, all the chips found their way in front of Koon.

Scroll down to read all the blow-by-blow action. For now though, we’ve got to get our tired selves to bed, for tomorrow is the start of the $10K High Roller and Day 4 of the PCA Main Event. Action kicks off at noon, so we’ll see you then. Goodnight! –JS

Jason Koon


Players: 58 (including 17 re-entries)
Prize pool: $1,403,600

Place Winner Country Prize (USD)
1 Jason Koon USA $421,080
2 Mikalai Vaskaboinikau Belarus $304,580
3 Timothy Adams Canada $196,500
4 Nick Petrangelo USA $148,780
5 Benjamin Pollak France $115,100
6 Chris Hunichen USA $89,840
7 Christopher Kruk Canada $71,580
8 Isaac Haxton USA $56,140

Coverage archive

• PLAYERS: 1 of 58 entries (including 17 re-entries)
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2:30am: Koon takes it down, Vaskaboinikau finishes 2nd
Level 23 – Blinds 75,000/150,000 (ante 150,000)

After he doubled up, Jason Koon kept the pressure on and quickly passed the 3 million mark. Then it was Mikalai Vaskaboinikau who was moving all-in repeatedly.

Koon couldn’t find a calling hand the first few times, but then he found the best.

“I have aces I call,” Koon said after Vaskaboinikau moved all-in from the small blind. Vaskaboinikau turned over K♦6♥ while Koon showed his shiny A♠A♥. The Q♥8♦5♥J♣3♦ didn’t even bring much of a sweat for Vaskaboinikau and he was eliminated in 2nd place. Vaskaboinikau won $304,580 for the runner-up finish while Koon took the title and $421,080. –AV

Mikalai Vaskaboinikau

2:20am: Double up for Koon
Level 22 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 120,000)

Jason Koon was getting short, and a little frustrated. “Maybe next time I’ll get dealt seven-high,” he joked after being shoved on yet again and being forced to fold a weak holding.

So when Mikalai Vaskaboinikau shoved again and Koon peeked down at the A♦2♠, that was good enough for him to call all in for his last 1.35 million. Vaskaboinikau had the K♦3♥.

The board ran out 10♦7♦8♥8♠Q♥ to give Koon the double up to 2.82 million, putting Vaskaboinikau on 2.98 million. –JS

1:50am: Koon can’t call, Vaskaboinikau retakes leat
Level 21 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 100,000)

Mikalai Vaskaboinikau has taken back the lead with 3.45 million. There has been a few all-ins, but not many calls. And with 100,000/200,000 blinds, pots grow quickly. A lot of them have been settled on the flop after a limp, but a few have gone further.

In one, Koon raised to 200,000 from the small blind and Vaskaboinikau called. Both players checked the 3♥7♠4♦ flop and a 5♣ came on the turn. Vaskaboinikau bet 200,000 and Koon called, bringing a 10♣ on the turn. Vaskaboinikau made it 400,000 and Koon folded.

Then Vaskaboinikau took down another big pot on the turn. Koon called from the small blind that hand and Vaskaboinikau checked his option. Vaskaboinikau then checked again and Koon bet 150,000. Vaskaboinikau called and a J♦ came on the turn. Koon bet 400,000 when checked to and then Vaskaboinikau moved all-in.

“No, stop that,” Koon said.

Koon then thought for a while, picking up his hand and thinking out loud. He said he shouldn’t call, but a big part of him wanted to. Koon thought some more and eventually went with a fold. The pot left Koon with 2.35 million while Vaskaboinikau was up to 3.45 million. –AV

1:34am: Koon takes commanding lead
Level 21 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 100,000)

After a limp from Mikalai Vaskaboinikau and a check from Jason Koon, the flop fell 2♠3♥5♦ and both checked to the 2♥ turn. Koon checked again, then called when Vaskaboinikau bet 200,000.

The river was the 6♣ and now Koon led for 525,000. Vaskaboinikau reached for his time bank cards, but called before he needed them. “Straight,” announced Koon, turning over the K♠4♦. Vaskaboinikau mucked.

Vaskaboinikau is down to 1.38 million now, which puts Koon on 4.42 million. –JS

Jason Koon

1:20am: Koon fills up with cards and chips
Level 20 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 80,000)

Jason Koon has taken over the lead after flopping a full house.

The big pot started Koon was on the small blind with 5♠5♥ and called. Mikalai Vaskaboinikau then raised to 300,000 with ace-ten offsuit and Koon quickly called. The 4♠4♦5♣ flop was everything Koon could’ve asked for. On top of that, Vaskaboinikau bet another 300,000. Koon called and a K♦ came on the turn. Vaskaboinikau upped the bet to 600,000 and Koon called again. Then a 6♣ came on the river and Vaskaboinikau slowed to a check.

Koon moved all-in and that’s when Vaskaboinikau asked if Koon could beat ace-ten. Vaskaboinikau quickly flashed his hand and threw it into the muck.

“I beat it,” Koon said, turning over 5♠5♥ for the flopped full house. “I beat it pretty good.”

Koon chipped up to 3.3 million after the hand while Vaskaboinikau dropped to 2.5 million. –AV

Heads-up play

1:05am: Adams gets Greensteined, out in 3rd ($196,500)
Level 20 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 80,000)

Timothy Adams lost a few chips to Mikalai Vaskaboinikau and then Adams lost them all to him two hands later.

Adams raised to 160,000 from the button the first hand and Vaskaboinikau called from the big blind. Both players checked the 7♠5♦A♥ flop and checked again after the 6♠ came on the turn. This brought a K♣ on the river and Adams bet 225,000.

“Did you hit a king?” Vaskaboinikau asked. He thought for a bit and called in the final seconds. Adams didn’t have a king and flashed queen-jack instead. Vaskaboinikau on the other hand had J♦5♣ for a pair of fives. Vaskaboinikau took the pot and then he took the rest of Adams’s chips two hands later.

Vaskaboinikau raised to 200,000 from the button and Adams moved all-in for 955,000 from the small blind. Vaskaboinikau called and turned over A♣9♦ to Adams’s J♦J♠. The 10♥5♥3♣ flop was safe for Adams and so was the 7♠ on the turn. But then the river brought an A♥ on the river.

Adams was eliminated in 3rd and won $196,500 while Vaskaboinikau took the heads-up lead with 3.46 million to Jason Koon’s 2.34 million. –AV

Timothy Adams

12:45am: Adams doubles up
Level 19 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 60,000)

Timothy Adams has just doubled through Mikalai Vaskaboinikau with the A♣9♣ against A♥6♠. He’s up to 1.45 million, while Vaskaboinikau drops to 1.9 million. –JS

12:25am: Great call by Koon
Level 19 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 60,000)

After Jason Koon opened, Mikalai Vaskaboinikau called to see a 2♠10♠5h] flop. Both checked and the turn came the 4♥, on which Vaskaboinikau led out for 150,000. Call.

The 7♦ completed the board and Vaskaboinikau continued for 350,000. Koon tanked for a minute but eventually called.

“First time I bluff!” said Vaskaboinikau as he showed the K♥Q♥. Koon rolled over the A♣K♠ for just ace high, which was the winner. –JS

12:15am: Petrangelo flushed out in 4th ($148,780)
Level 19 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 60,000)

We’re down to our final three players after a king-high flush didn’t cut it for Nick Petrangelo.

Mikalai Vaskaboinikau started that hand off with a raise to 120,000 from the cutoff and Petrangelo called from the big blind. The flop came 9♣Q♥2♥ and Vaskaboinikau bet 150,000 when checked to. Petrangelo raised to 400,000 and Vaskaboinikau asked him how much he had behind. The answer: about 1 million.

The rest of the chips went in the middle and Petrangelo turned over K♥10♥ for a flush draw, but Vaskaboinikau showed a better one with A♥8♥. The 5♠ on the turn didn’t complete their flushes, but the 5♥ on the river did. Vaskaboinikau’s nut flush took it down and he took a massive lead with 3.16 million while Petrangelo won $148,780.

Timothy Adams will start three-handed play second in chips with 1.35 million while Jason Koon is in a close third with 1.30 million. –AV

4th-place finisher Nick Petrangelo

11:58pm: Petrangelo and Koon swap stacks
Level 18 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 50,000)

After Jason Koon limped the small blind, Nick Petrangelo popped it up to 225,000 from the big and Koon made the call to see the 2♥8♥A♠ flop. Petrangelo continued for 100,000 when it checked to him, and Koon matched it.

The turn was the A♦ and this time Koon check-called 200,000. When the 10♠ hit the river, Koon checked a final time and instantly folded when Petrangelo jammed.

That brings Koon down to 920,000 and Petrangelo up to 1.72 million. –JS

11:50pm: Adams doubles, breaks Koon’s streak
Level 18 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 50,000)

Jason Koon is capable of losing an all-in at the final table. It’s true, we saw it.

Koon started off the most recent all-in by raising to 110,000 from the cutoff and Timothy Adams moved all-in for 490,000 from the big blind. Koon called and showed J♥J♠ to Adams’s A♥8♦. Adams needed an ace and he got one on the flop of a 4♦A♠9♣Q♣10♦ board.

Adams doubled to about 1 million while Koon dipped to 1.6 million. Players then took a quick unscheduled break for a quick trip and drip in the bathroom. –AV

11:35pm: Vaskaboinikau makes Petrangelo pay
Level 17 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 40,000)

Mikalai Vaskaboinikau made it 100,000 to go from under the gun and it folded to the big blind of Nick Petrangelo who defended. The flop fell 7♣10♥5♦ which checked through to the 6♠ turn. Petrangelo led out for 85,000, and Vaskaboinikau matched it.

The board was completed by the K♦ and when Petrangelo checked Vaskaboinikau led for 200,000. Petrangelo gave it some thought and ultimately called, only to muck when Vaskaboinikau showed the A♠K♠ for a rivered top pair.

Vaskaboinikau is up to 1.5 million, while Petrangelo dips to 1 million. –JS

11:30pm: Koon keeps steamrolling, Pollak out in 5th ($115,100)
Level 17 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 40,000)

Another Koon KO. Jason Koon raised to 85,000 from the cutoff and Benjamin Pollak moved all-in for 675,000 from the button.
The blinds quickly folded, but not Koon. Nope. He’s been on an elimination heater and he wasn’t about to stop. Koon called and turned over A♣10♣ to Pollak’s Q♣J♦. Koon hit a ten on the flop of a K♥4♣4♠5♠ board and the tournament shrunk again.

Benjamin Pollak won $115,100 for finishing 5th while Koon took the lead with 2.15 million. –AV

Benjamin Pollak

11:20pm: Hunichen falls in sixth ($89,840)
Level 17 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 40,000)

Another one bites the dust as Chris Hunichen is our sixth place finisher. He jammed for around 300,000 in the cutoff and Jason Koon re-shoved the small blind (there was a dead button due to Chris Kruk’s departure).

Koon turned over the A♦J♦ and that was against Hunichen’s K♣2♣. The flop? J♦3♦9♦.

“That is not a good flop for me,” said Hunichen. Quite an understatement. Koon had flopped the nut flush and there was no way Hunichen could catch up, sending Koon’s stack up to 1.55 million. –JS

Chris Hunichen

11:10pm: Koon KOs Kruk in 7th ($71,580)
Level 17 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 40,000)

Christopher Kruk lasted one hand in level 17. Players came back from break and action folded to Kruk’s small blind on the first hand. Kruk moved all-in for 415,000 and Jason Koon called from the big blind.

Kruk turned over 8♥7♥ and Koon was in the lead with Q♦10♦. The A♦3♥5♠2♣6♠ board brought no help for either player and Koon took it down with ace-queen high. Kruk was eliminated and won $71,580 for the 7th-place finish while Koon chipped up to 1.17 million.

Christopher Kruk

10:45pm: Break
Level 16 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 30,000)

The final seven players are on a 20-minute break, here’s how they stack up:

Nick Petrangelo – 1,185,000
Mikalai Vaskaboinikau – 1,165,000
Timothy Adams – 1,100,000
Benjamin Pollak – 795,000
Jason Koon – 755,000
Christopher Kruk – 415,000
Chris Hunichen – 385,000

10:40pm: Haxton doubles Kruk, then busts in 8th ($56,140)
Level 16 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 30,000)

Isaac Haxton went from middle of the pack to first one out in just a few hands. First he doubled up the short-stacked Christopher Kruk. Kruk was down to just 170,000 and he moved all-in from middle position. Haxton rejammed from the small blind and Mikalai Vaskaboinikau folded from the big blind.

“You wanted me to call,” Vaskaboinikau said after Haxton turned over A♣K♦. Haxton agreed and Kruk turned over a dominated A♥10♣. The 10♠J♣8♦3♠A♦ board fell in Kruk’s favor though and he doubled up to about 360,000 with aces and tens. Haxton on the other hand was left with 260,000 and it went all-in a few hands later.

Haxton moved all-in from the hijack and Adams rejammed from the button. The rest of the table got out of the way and Haxton turned over 7♣7♦. Adams was in the lead with 10♥10♠ and the 5♦2♥3♣K♥J♦ board kept him there. Haxton won $56,140 for finishing 8th while Adams chipped up to 1.1 million. –AV

8th place finisher Isaac Haxton

10:30pm: Getting it through
Level 16 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 30,000)


That was the noise Isaac Haxton just made after his 60,000 min-open from under the gun made it all the way through. He showed the J♠10♠.

On the next hand action folded to Jason Koon in the cutoff. He opened to 65,000, and after Haxton gave up his big blind following all folds, Koon said “Woo, I got one through too, baby!”

He turned over ace-king. We’re no poker experts or nothing, but he probably would have liked some action. –JS

10:25pm: Final table time
Level 16 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 30,000)

The final eight

10:20pm: Kurganov bubbles
Level 16 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 30,000)

Igor Kurganov moved all-in for 330,000 from early position and then Timothy Adams rejammed from his immediate left. That wasn’t what Kurganov wanted to see on the bubble. The rest of the table folded and Kurganov turned over 9♦9♣ to Adams’s Q♦Q♣.

Kurganov threw his first nine into the muck when the flop came 2♥5♠4♦ and stood up when the 7♦ came on the turn. Then a Q♥ came on the river and Kurganov threw his second nine into the muck. Kurganov bubbled while Adams chipped up to 930,000 and the rest of the table got guaranteed at least $56,140. –AV

Igor Kurganov, the $25K Single Day High Roller bubble

10:10pm: Petrangelo gets paid by Pollak
Level 15 – Blinds 10,000/25,000 (ante 25,000)

On a 5♥3♦K♦ flop, Benjamin Pollak led for 30,000 and Nick Petrangelo made the call to see a 4♣ turn. Pollak didn’t slow down, making it 95,000, and again Petrangelo flatted.

The river was the 10♥ and Pollak bet big: 300,000. Petrangelo made the call, and was relieved to see Pollak turn over just the Q♦7♣ for complete air. Petrangelo took it down with his A♣A♦ and is up to 950,000 now, while Pollak drops to 650,000. –JS

10:00pm: Vaskaboinikau keeps rising
Level 15 – Blinds 10,000/25,000 (ante 25,000)

Most of the hands at the unofficial final table have been settled preflop, but Mikalai Vaskaboinikau recently took a big chunk of Christopher Kruk’s stack to extend his lead.

Vaskaboinikau raised to 50,000 from the hijack that hand and Kruk called from the big blind. The flop came 6♠6♦J♦ and Kruk check-called a bet of 50,000. Vaskaboinikau then upped the bet to 100,000 after the A♠ came on the turn and Kruk called again. A 2♣ completed the board and Kruk thought for a bit longer when faced with another bet of 100,000.

Kruk ended up using two timebank cards before calling. Vaskaboinikau then turned over A♥Q♦ and Kruk mucked. The hand left Kruk with about 340,000 while Vaskaboinikau chipped up to about 1.3 million. –AV

9:35pm: Unofficial final table
Level 15 – Blinds 10,000/25,000 (ante 25,000)

1. Christopher Kruk – 685,000
2. Jason Koon – 376,000
3. Benjamin Pollak – 980,000
4. Nick Petrangelo – 590,000
5. Isaac Haxton – 650,000
6. Mikalai Vaskaboinikau – 1,000,000
7. Igor Kurganov – 450,000
8. Timothy Adams – 580,000
9. Chris Hunichen – 342,000

9:30pm: No comeback for Katz
Level 14 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 20,000)

It looks like Cary Katz won’t pull off another spectacular ministack-to-champion run in this event. Katz was down to 60,000 and moved all-in from the button. Timothy Adams called from the big blind and showed 9♦8♥. Katz was in the lead with A♠5♦, but then Adams hit two pair on the flop of a 7♦9♣8♦2♦2♠ board.

Katz was out in 10th and the tournament paused so we could redraw to the unofficial final table. –AV

No more lives for Katz

9:25pm: At least an hour?
Level 14 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 20,000)

Following on from his double up, the players had some choice words to say about short stack Cary Katz.

“How do you do it Cary?” asked Chris Hunichen. “How do you do it?”

“We could all learn something for Cary,” chimed in Jason Koon. “He’s got some moves.”

“How long can I make five big blinds last?” Katz said. “At least an hour.”

THIS JUST IN: Katz has been eliminated in tenth. Details coming. –JS

9:15pm: Katz stays alive
Level 14 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 20,000)|

“The comeback begins,” Timothy Adams said as Cary Katz raked in his small double up.

“Unkillable,” Jason Koon added.

Katz famously rode his short stack to victory in the Super High Roller earlier this week and now everyone’s getting flashbacks. This double up started when Adams raised to 40,000 from the cutoff and Katz moved all-in for not much more, 45,000.

“You still got fold equity,” Katz said.

But Adams called anyways and showed A♦9♠ to Katz’s J♣8♣. Katz hit an eight on the flop of an 8♥5♥7♥3♥2♦ board and double to about 100,000. Can he run his short stack up to a win again? –AV

8:57pm: Koon doubles his stack and spirit
Level 13 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 16,000)

After Timothy Adams cracked Jason Koon’s spirit by cracking his aces, he injected a bit of hope by giving Koon a double up.

Adams raised to 32,000 from under the gun and Koon moved all-in for 91,000. Adams called and showed K♠7♠ to Koon’s 9♣9♥. Koon faded a king on the 2♠8♣A♣Q♥J♣ board and double up to 200,000 while Adams dipped to 750,000. –AV

8:52pm: Kruk gets Kurganov to pay
Level 13 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 16,000)

Igor Kurganov made it 40,000 to go on the button and Chris Kruk defended his big blind to see a 4♦3♥5♣ flop. It checked to the raiser and Kurganov continued for 52,000, which got a call from Kruk.

The turn was the 5♥ and both checked, bringing the Q♥ on the river. Kruk now took over the betting lead for 180,000, and Kurganov thought for a minute before making the call.

Kruk turned over the A♣5♦ for trip fives, and Kurganov mucked, taking his stack down to 525,000. Kruk is up to 700,000 now. –JS

8:44pm: Cracked aces crack Koon’s spirit
Level 13 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 16,000)

Jason Koon raised to 32,000 from the cutoff and Timothy Adams called from the big blind. Both players checked the J♦8♥Q♣ flop and a 10♠ came on the turn. Koon bet 42,000 and Adams called, bringing a 2♥ on the river.

Adams checked again and this time Koon checked behind. Adams turned over Q♥J♣ for two-pair while Koon flipped his pocket aces around in his hand before he threw them in the muck.

“Sixteen big blinds with aces,” Koon mumbled. “I hate these tournaments.” Koon then went into a soliloquy of frustration about the game, sparking laughs from the other players at the table. Koon’s down, but not out yet. He still has 173,000 and we’re one player away from the bubble. –AV

8:38pm: Pollak gets the double
Level 13 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 16,000)

The short stacks are making moves, and for Benjamin Pollak his move worked out beautifully.

He jammed for 231,000 in the cutoff. “Count please,” asked Igor Kurganov, clearly interested in whatever cards he’d looked down at. He then shoved over the top and got the blinds to fold, and the cards were on their backs.

Pollak had the K♠J♥ against Kurganov’s A♣Q♠, and the K♦Q♥8♣ flop gave the Frenchman the lead. He’d hold onto it past the 3♠ turn and 8♥ river, bringing his stack up to 500,000 and Kurganov’s down to 860,000. –JS

8:30pm: Dvoress makes fast exit
Level 13 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 16,000)

He came back as the short stack, so it wasn’t surprising to see Daniel Dvoress try and get it in quickly. After it folded to Mikalai Vaskaboinikau in the small blind he put Dvoress all in, and even though he didn’t like his hand, Dvoress made the call.

Vaskaboinikau – 10♥2♣
Dvoress – 7♣2♠

He had the worst starting hand in hold’em, and couldn’t find any help on the K♠Q♦J♦8♣5♥ board. –JS

Daniel Dvoress

8:25pm: We’re back
Level 13 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 16,000)

Our players are back from dinner break and ready to play down to a champion. Only 11 players are left and eight will make the money. –AV

8:15pm: Official chip counts

As players begin to return from their dinner break, here’s how the final 11 stack up. –JS

Isaac Haxton – 1,101,000
Igor Kurganov – 1,035,000
Mikalai Vaskaboinikau – 1,014,000
Timothy Adams – 805,000
Nick Petrangelo – 425,000
Chris Kruk – 398,000
Chris Hunichen – 319,000
Benjamin Pollak – 271,000
Jason Koon – 220,000
Cary Katz – 148,000
Daniel Dvoress – 65,000

7:06pm: Dinner time

The final 11 players have now gone on an 80-minute dinner break. We’ll be on the bubble when they come back, so make sure you join us then. –JS

7:05pm: Haxton sacks Sontheimer
Level 12 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 12,000)

Steffen Sontheimer almost made it to the dinner break. He and Isaac Haxton got into it from the blinds and all of Sontheimer’s 290,000 chips ended up in the middle. Sontheimer turned over A♦9♣ and was dominated by Haxton’s A♥K♦. Haxton was already in the lead, but improved to trips on the K♥J♥Q♣2♠K♣ board.

Sontheimer hit the rail in 12th while Haxton chipped up to 1.1 million. –AV

Steffen Sontheimer

7pm: Invincible Petrangelo
Level 12 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 12,000)

There’s no busting Nick Petrangelo from this one. He open-shoved under the gun for 144,000 and was called by Mikalai Vaskaboinikau on the button with the A♥K♠. Petrangelo took his time before turning over the 7♣7♥.

“That was a good slowroll,” he said.

The dealer put out a 6♠J♦8♣Q♥6♦ board, which meant Petrangelo secured yet another double up. He’s on around 300,000 now. –JS

6:55pm: Kruk’s up thanks to Haxton
Level 12 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 12,000)

Christopher Kruk has a new lease of life in this tournament thanks to an aggressive move by Ike Haxton.

Kruk opened to 28,000 on the button, and Haxton took a look at his stack then over to the big blind of Steffen Sontheimer. Once he got counts, Haxton moved all in, which got a quick fold from Sontheimer and a quick call from Kruk.

Haxton showed the J♠10♠ which was in bad shape against Kruk’s J♥J♦, and even though Haxton picked up plenty of outs on the turn, the 5♦Q♥8♠K♥K♠ board doubled Kruk up.

He’s now on 440,000, while Haxton has around 800,000. –JS

6:50pm: Dvoress denies Yaroshevskiyy
Level 12 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 12,000)

Despite the recent triple up, Igor Yaroshevskiyy was still short and moved all-in for 51,000 from under the gun. Daniel Dvoress called from the button and turned over A♠2♠ to Yaroshevskiyy’s 10♥8♥.

Dvoress then hit two-pair on the A♦2♦3♦ flop. The turn was a 6♥ and then a 9♠ finalized Yaroshevskiyy’s elimination. –AV

6:45pm: Kenney out
Level 12 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 12,000)

Isaac Haxton raised to 26,000 and Bryn Kenney moved all-in for 195,000. Action folded back around to Haxton and he called. It was an old-fashioned flip. Kenney tabled Q♦Q♣ and Haxton turned over A♦K♠.

Kenney was hoping to fade an ace or a king, but the K♦6♣J♠9♦J♥ board brought a king on the flop. Kenney was kicked out of the tournament while Haxton chipped up to about 820,000. –AV

Bryn Kenney

6:40pm: Loosli loses it all
Level 12 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 12,000)

Sylvain Loosli is the latest player to fall. He shoved for 104,000 from the big blind over Igor Kurganov’s 30,000 under-the-gun open, and with his 4♣4♠ he was flipping versus A♦J♠. However, the A♥A♣10♣ flop left him drawing very thin, and no four showed up on the turn or river.

Kurganov is up to 1.02 million now. –JS

6:35pm: Yaroshevskiyy dips, then triples
Level 11 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 10,000)

Igor Yaroshevskiyy lost a huge double up to Timothy Adams and was left with just 22,000 while Adams chipped up to about 620,000. Jason Koon then raised to 23,000 the hand after and Yaroshevskiyy called all-in. Daniel Dvoress called as well and the three players went to a K♥3♣10♣ flop. Koon bet 20,000 and Dvoress folded, guaranteeing Koon the 2,000 side pot.

The main pot was still live though. Koon turned over 7♠7♦ while Yaroshevskiyy tabled A♦J♠. Koon was in the lead, but then a J♥ came on the turn and a third jack, the J♣, fell on the river. Yaroshevskiyy tripled up to about 80,000 and he’s back in the game. –AV

6:25pm: Kurganov ousts Khoroshenin
Level 11 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 10,000)

Just like that we’re down to 15. In a small blind vs big blind pot, Oleksii Khoroshenin got all of his chips in from the big with the A♥9♦ against Igor Kurganov’s A♣J♣. The 10♣4♠8♥10♠Q♣ board was no good from Khoroshenin, and Kurganov is now up to 910,000. –JS

6:20pm: Two table draw
Level 11 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 10,000)

We’re down to our final two tables. Here’s how our final 16 stack up:

Table 1:
1. Mikalai Vaskaboinikau – 1.05 million
2. Daniel Dvoress – 235,000
3. Jason Koon – 375,000
4. Cary Katz – 230,000
5. Igor Yaroshevskyy – 275,000
6. Nick Petrangelo – 195,000
7. Timothy Adams – 201,000
8. Christopher Hunichen – 400,000

Table 2:
1. Igor Kurganov – 670,000
2. Oleksii Khoroshenin – 270,000
3. Christopher Kruk – 195,000
4. Isaac Haxton – 700,000
5. Bryn Kenney – 135,000
6. Steffen Sontheimer – 340,000
7. Benjamin Pollak – 265,000
8. Sylvain Loosli – 105,000

6:15pm: Greenwood gone, down to two tables
Level 11 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 10,000)

Only 16 players remain. In our most recent elimination, Chris Hunichen raised from under the gun and Sam Greenwood moved all-in from the cutoff for 155,000. Hunichen called when action folded back to him and he showed Q♠Q♥ to Greenwood’s J♣10♣.

Greenwood didn’t get any help on the 3♦K♣2♣8♦3♠ board and he exited the tournament in 17th while Hunichen chipped up to 410,000. –AV

Sam Greenwood

6:05pm: Kanit falls to Khoroshenin
Level 11 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 10,000)

We’ve lost Italy;’s most successful player, Mustapha Kanit. He was down to just 43,000 and shoved from the button, before Oleksii Khoroshenin called from the small blind. Daniel Dvoress let his big blind and ante go, and the cards were flipped.

Kanit had the J♣10♠ while Khoroshenin held the A♦8♣, and the 10♥9♣6♦A♣Q♦ runout meant Kanit was out. Khoroshenin now has around 600,000. –JS

Kanit can’t get there

6pm: Money money money
Level 10 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 8,000)

The payouts have been announced! We’ll be on the bubble with nine players left. –JS

Place Winner Country Prize (USD)
1     $421,080
2     $304,580
3     $196,500
4     $148,780
5     $115,100
6     $89,840
7     $71,580
8     $56,140

5:55pm: Yaroshevskyy doubles through Greenwood
Level 10 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 8,000)

Sam Greenwood opened to 20,000 from under the gun, but was three-bet to 100,000 by Igor Yaroshevskyy in the +1 seat. Interestingly, Yaroshevskyy left himself just 41,000 behind. But perhaps more interestingly, Greenwood just opted to flat the raise instead of getting all the chip in pre.

The flop came 3♣K♥2♥, and the inevitable happened. Greenwood check-called Yaroshevskyy’s shove with the 6♥6♠, but the Ukrainian had hit with his A♠K♠. The Q♣ turn and A♦ river only improved his hand, and he’s now up to 280,000 while Greenwood drops to 180,000. –JS

Igor Yaroshevskyy

5:50pm: A pair of doubles
Level 10 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 8,000)

Players are falling fast, but others are doubling up quick. Both Benjamin Pollak and Nick Petrangelo have recently doubled up.

Igor Yaroshevskyy doubled Pollak up. He shoved from the small blind after Pollak raised from the cutoff. Pollak called and showed A♣K♠ to Yaroshevskyy’s K♥Q♦. The J♠5♦J♣A♦4♦ board brought Pollak an ace and a double up. Pollak chipped up to 190,000 while Yaroshevskyy dipped to 135,000.

Then Nick Petrangelo got one.

Dvoress raised to 18,000 from the cutoff that hand and Petrangelo moved all in for 113,000. Dvoress called and turned over 5♠5♣ for a flip against Petrangelo’s K♥J♥. Things were looking bleak for Petrangelo until the river of a 6♣2♣9♣2♦J♠ board and he unexpectedly doubled to 260,000.

“I was already at Nobu,” Petrangelo said after the river hit. But now he’s still in fight for the $25K Single Day High Roller title. –AV

5:43pm: Great call by Vaskaboinikau
Level 10 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 8,000)

We didn’t see the whole hand, but we did just catch a great call by Mikalai Vaskaboinikau against Timothy Adams.

The board showed the 3♣9♣10♠9♦4♥ and there was around 80,000 in the middle. That meant that Adams’s 86,000 river bet was around pot size, but he’d muck when Vaskaboinikau called and showed just the A♠3♠ for bottom pair.

The man from Belarus is now the chip leader with 750,000, while Adams dips to 265,000. –JS

Mikalai Vaskaboinikau

5:37pm: O’Dwyer is done
Level 10 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 8,000)

Mikalai Vaskaboinikau raised to 16,000 and Steve O’Dwyer shoved for about 200,000. Vaskaboinikau quickly called and showed A♥Q♥ to O’Dwyer’s J♥9♥. There was no help for O’Dwyer on the 7♠K♥6♣2♦3♥ board. O’Dwyer was out while Vaskaboinikau chipped up to nearly 675,000.

Over at table 1, Kelly Becker was also vacating his seat, bringing the number of players down to 21.

Steve O’Dwyer

5:30pm: Petrangelo denied, then doubles
Level 9 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 6,000)

Nick Petrangelo’s 59,000 was the shortest stack coming into three-handed play, and he’s wasted no time trying to find a double up. He’s also been picking up some hands to do that with.

First he open-shoved with the K♦Q♥–a decent holding–but was called by Sylvain Loosli with the K♠Q♦. Chop it up.

Then he shoved the next hand, having this time picked up the K♥K♠. That folded around to the big blind of Christopher Kruk and he called with the A♠Q♥. The board ran out 10♥J♥5♣5♦Q♠ to give Petrangelo a double up to 145,000 while Kruk dips to 120,000. –JS.

Kruk can’t beat those kings

5:26pm: Al Mobaress out
Level 9 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 6,000)

Oussama Al Mobaress was the first player out of the final three tables. He had the misfortune of running into Isaac Haxton’s aces. Al Mobaress raised to 13,000 from the cutoff that hand and Haxton three-bet to 38,000 from the big blind.

The flop came down J♥3♠Q♠ and Haxton bet 35,000. Al Mobaress moved all-in for about 120,000 and Haxton snap-called. Al Mobaress showed K♣10♣ for a straight draw and Haxton turned over A♦A♥. A 5♦ came on the turn and the 4♦ completed the board. Al Mobaress hit the rail while Haxton chipped up to about 580,000.

“I usually don’t see you win a lot of those,” Jason Koon said.

Haxton laughed and said “It’s a new year,” as he raked in the pot. –AV

5:17pm: Final three tables
Level 9 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 6,000)

The clock was just paused as we redrew for the final three tables. Here’s how they sit/stack up:

Table 1:

1. Jason Koon – 210,000
2. Mustapha Kanit – 280,000
3. Oleksii Khoroshenin – 328,000
4. Daniel Dvoress – 393,000
5. Oussama Al Mobaress – 161,000
6. Kelly Becker – 102,000
7. Isaac Haxton – 340,000
8. Igor Kurganov – 490,000

Table 2:

1. Sam Greenwood – 160,000
2. Igor Yaroshevskiyy – 240,000
3. Sylvain Loosli – 245,000
4. Bryn Kenney – 190,000
5. Christopher Hunichen – 193,000
6. Christopher Kruk – 130,000
7. Nick Petrangelo – 59,000
8. Benjamin Pollak – 100,000

Table 3:

1. Mikita Badziakouski – 100,000
2. Cary Katz – 260,000
3. Lawrence Greenberg – 80,000
4. Mikalai Vaskaboinikau – 390,000
5. Timothy Adams – 300,000
6. Steve O’Dwyer – 165,000
7. Ryan Riess – 120,000
8. Steffen Sontheimer – 400,000

That means Kurganov still leads, followed by Sontheimer. –JS

5:05pm: Vaskaboinikau whacks Watson
Level 9 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 6,000)

Mike Watson is out. He didn’t make it past the first 10 minutes of level 9 thanks to Mikalai Vaskaboinikau. Vaskaboinikau raised to 12,000 from early position that hand and Haxton called from the hijack.

Watson was on the big blind and moved all-in for 120,000. Vaskaboinikau quickly called and Haxton quickly folded. Vaskaboinikau turned over A♦Q♥ and Watson showed J♣J♥. The K♠10♠J♦ flop brought Watson a set, but it also gave Vaskaboinikau a broadway straight. The A♥ came on the turn to give Watson a straight draw as well, but a 6♦ came on the river to end Watson’s tournament. –AV

Watson’s gone

5pm: Oh no for Melogno
Level 9 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 6,000)

Sam Greenwood has just collected all of Jaoquin Melogno’s chips. The guy from Urguguay open-jammed for 91,000 from the cutoff and Greenwood called on the button with the slightly bigger stack.

It was the 6♦6♠ for Melogno up against Greenwood’s 9♥9♦, and the lower pair couldn’t improve on the 3♥10♦7♠A♦K♠ runout. Greenwood is up to 191,000 now. –JS

Joaquin Melogno

4:32pm: Take twenty

We’ll be back in 20 minutes when players return from their break. Here are the biggest stacks right now. –JS

Igor Kurganov – 535,000
Steffen Sontheimer – 350,000
Isaac Haxton – 328,000
Timothy Adams – 320,000
Oleksii Khoroshenin – 314,000
Igor Yaroshevskiyy – 310,000
Cary Katz – 300,000
Daniel Dvoress – 295,000

Igor Kurganov (right) and Oleksii Khoroshenin (centre)

4:30pm: Haxton beats Badziakouski
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 5,000)

The onslaught continues. Mikita Badziakouski and Isaac Haxton got it all in right before break and Haxton showed A♣J♣ to Badziakouski’s 9♣9♥. Haxton hit a jack on the flop of a 7♦J♣4♦3♥4♠ board and made the break with 340,000 while Badziakouski was left with nothing. –AV

4:28pm: Adams axes Petrangelo with a one-two
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 5,000)

Timothy Adams doubled up through Nick Petrangelo and then finished him off a few hands later. Adams got his double up on the river of a 2♥K♠A♣6♦K♥ board. There was about 60,000 in the pot and Adams moved all-in for 92,000 from the big blind. Petrangelo was on the cutoff and used a few time bank cards before he called.

Petrangelo showed top pair with A♥5♥ while Adam turned over rivered trips with K♦3♥. Adams doubled up to 240,000 while Petrangelo was left with just 60,000.

Those 60,000 went all in the next time Petrangelo was under the gun. Action folded to Adams’s button and he called. Adams turned over A♥Q♣ and had Petrangelo’s A♠5♠ dominated. Adams then hit a straight on the turn of a J♦2♣10♦K♠9♠ board and finished Petrangelo off. –AV

4:22pm: Negreanu and Tollerene felted a second time
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 5,000)

Kid Poker Daniel Negreanu’s run in this tournament is over as he’s busted his second bullet, as has Ben Tollerene. They’re down to four tables now. –JS

4:20pm: In da club
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 5,000)

Sylvain Loosli just found a perfect spot to collect all of Mustapha Kanit’s chips, but unfortunately for the Frenchman, the board had other ideas.

Kanit was all in for his 93,000 with the J♠J♦ against Loosli’s K♥K♠. The dealer put out five cards, all of which were clubs, meaning this one was a chop. –JS

4:15pm: Bonomo busts
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 5,000)

Justin Bonomo doubled up Oleksii Khoroshenin and then couldn’t survive a double up of his own. In the double up, Bonomo, Khoroshenin and Kevin Hobbs were faced with a 10♦J♣4♠ flop and there was about 20,000 in the pot.

Hobbs bet 18,000 and Bonomo moved all in. Then Khoroshenin called all in. Hobbs folded and Bonomo turned over A♦J♠ for top pair, but Khoroshenin had an overpair with Q♦Q♠. The turn and river brought low cards and no help for Bonomo. Khoroshenin doubled to 175,000 while Bonomo was left with 27,500.

Then Bonomo got it all in a few hands later and Dan Shak called. Bonomo turned over 6♠8♠ and Shak was in the lead with A♠3♠. Shak hit a three on the Q♦Q♥3♣7♥5♥ board and he took out Bonomo and chipped up to 125,000. –AV

4:10pm: Kenney collects from Negreanu
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 5,000)

Bryn Kenney opened from under the gun and it folded around to Daniel Negreanu in the big blind who defened. Heads up to the flop, it came 3♥4♥3♠ and Negreanu checked it to the raiser. Kenney made a continuation bet worth 12,000, only for Negreanu to raise it up to 32,000. Call.

The turn was the 5♠ and Negreanu slowed down. Kenney made it 26,500 when it checked to him, but the Team Pro stuck around to see a river: Q♦. He’d check, and immediately fold when Kenney bet 75,000. Negreanu showed his hand to Kenney as he mucked.

Negreanu is down to 67,000, while Kenney is up to 290,000. –JS

4:02pm: Schillhabel’s gone for good
Level 7 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 4,000)

The day is done for Germany’s Stefan Schillhabel, as he’s just busted his second and final bullet. –JS

4:01pm: Yaroshevskiyy beats the Daniels
Level 7 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 4,000)

Daniel Negreanu made it 9,000 under the gun and it folded over to Daniel Dvoress on the button. He called, before the Ukraine’s Igor Yaroshevskiyy three-bet squeezed the small blind to 37,000. That shook off Negreanu, but Dvoress came along for a flop.

J♦8♥2♣ is what they saw, and Yaroshevskiyy took it down with a 27,000 c-bet. He’s up to 410,000 now. –JS

4pm: Koon KOs Kruk
Level 7 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 4,000)

Christopher Kruk got a lot of action after he moved all-in. Kruk was down to just 18,500 and shoved it in from the hijack. Timothy Adams called from the big blind and then Steve O’Dwyer re-raised to 50,000 from the button. Action was on Jason Koon and he moved all-in for about 190,000.

“Well, it’s been pretty fun boys,” Kruk said after Koon moved all in. It was too much action for Adams and O’Dwyer folded and they both folded. Kruk turned over 10♣9♣ and Koon tabled A♦K♥. Kruk paired his 10 on the 6♦Q♣10♦ flop, but Koon hit a king when the K♠ came on the turn. The river was a Q♥ and Kruk hit the rail while Koon chipped up to 290,000. –AV

3:55pm: Sontheimer stacks Stamm
Level 7 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 4,000)

David Stamm experienced a relatively rough beat in his first knockout today. With ace-king against two opponents each holding pocket queens, Stamm flopped a king, but then the others won with a runner-runner straight (for details, see below at 2:05pm).

Just now Stamm was all in again with his second stack, this time on the flop with the board showing 9♠8♠6♥. It appeared he’d bet 40,000, Steffen Sontheimer had raised enough to put Stamm all in, and after thinking about it the latter called with A♥10♥.

Sontheimer had 10♦10♠ and the edge, though the 2♥ turn card raised both Stamm’s hopes and Sontheimer’s eyebrows. The Q♣ river was a blank, though, and Stamm is out, this time without being able to re-enter.

Meanwhile Sontheimer is at about 350,000 now. –MH

Steffen Sontheimer, leaderboard climber

3:50pm: Can’t stay mad at Kanit
Level 7 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 4,000)

Chris Hunichen opened to 8,500 and Ike Haxton called on the button. Mustapha Kanit was in the big blind and he popped it up to 32,000, which got two folds. Hunichen and Kanit shared a tense look, before a huge smile spread over Kanit’s face. That got Hunichen laughing, as the Italian now sits with 145,000. –JS

There is only one Mustapha…

3:45pm: Greenwood gets Vaskaboinikau
Level 7 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 4,000)

Mikalai Vaskaboinikau was down to just about 30,000 and he moved it all in from the button. Action folded back around to Sam Greenwood, who raised to 8,000 from early position. Greenwood called and a flip ensued.

Vaskaboinikau showed A♠J♥ for his tournament life while Greenwood showed 6♦6♥. The 9♣K♦2♦4♣7♥ board did bring a face card, but it wasn’t the one Vaskaboinikau needed. Vaskaboinikau hit the rail while Greenwood chipped up to 120,000. –AV

3:40pm: Yaroshevskyy wipes out Engel
Level 7 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 4,000)

Ari Engel just lost his chips to Igor Yaroshevskyy in a hand in which Engel had queen-ten, Yaroshevskyy pocket jacks, and the board showed K♣9♦5♣3♣A♠. Not having the full story to share, we’ll let you write your own choose-your-own-adventure to imagine where the chips might have gone in.

Regardless, the story ends with Yaroshevskyy the only player of the two still at the table, sitting comfortably behind a big stack of 325,000. –MH

3:35pm: The small rise and fall of Schillhabel
Level 6 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 3,000)

We’re not sure how it happened, but Stefan Schillhabel was down to just 4,500. He shoved it in under the gun plus one, and when it folded to Benjamin Pollak in the big blind who had an easy call with any two. Those two were the 8♣3♥, up against Schillhabel’s A♥K♥. The board ran out 5♥5♦2♠9♣A♣ and the German took it down.

He jammed again the next hand for 13,500, and Chris Hunichen called in the hijack. Sylvain Loosli also came along from the cutoff, and the side pot began on the 3♠6♦3♥ flop. Hunichen led for 16,000 which was called, and Big Huni fired again on the 7♥ turn, putting Loosli all in. The Frenchman let it go.

Hunichen showed the A♥6♥ for a pair of sixes and the flush draw, while Schillhabel only showed the J♠ (his other was the A♦). The J♥ hit the river, and the pot shipped over the Hunichen.

Schillhabel looked a little confused. “Wasn’t it a jack?” he asked. “Flush,” replied Ike Haxton, pointing to Hunichen. The table laughed and Schillhabel made his exit before immediately re-entering. Meanwhile, Hunichen is up to around 230,000 now. –JS

3:30pm: O’Dwyer doubles
Level 6 – Blinds 1,000/2,500 (ante 2,500)

The deadly Steve O’Dwyer is now closing in on an average stack after doubled up through Jason Koon. Koon started the hand off with a raise to 12,000 from under the gun and O’Dwyer called from the big blind.

O’Dwyer then check-called the every street. Koon bet 13,500 on the K♠A♥9♣ flop and then 17,000 after the 2♥ came on the turn. When the river brought a K♥, Koon bet enough to put O’Dwyer all in. O’Dwyer called with a few seconds left on the clock and showed K♣8♣ for trip kings while Koon tabled A♦Q♥ for aces and kings. O’Dwyer doubled up to 210,000 while Koon dropped to 120,000. –AV

3:25pm: Sontheimer returns and doubles
Level 6 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 3,000)

Steffen Sontheimer was seated at a new table almost immediately after his earlier elimination. He then scored a double-up right away and moved up to 190,000. Here’s how it happened.

Sontheimer was in a hand with Kevin Hobbs and Christopher Kruk and the three were faced with an 8♣6♣10♠ flop.

Hobbs bet, Sontheimer moved all in and Kruk folded. Hobbs called and showed K♣10♦ for a pair of tens, but Sontheimer showed A♦10♥ for tens and a better kicker. A 5♥ came on the turn and then a J♠ completed the board. Sontheimer doubled while Hobbs dipped to about 200,000. –AV

3:20pm: Big stack update
Level 6 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 3,000)

Cary Katz keeps climbing. Here’s a peek at the biggest stacks right now as they move through Level 6. –MH

Name Country Chips
Cary Katz USA 295,000
Igor Kurganov Russia 260,000
Daniel Dvoress Canada 220,000
Jason Koon USA 180,000
Chance Kornuth USA 180,000

3:15pm: Negreanu’s ups and downs
Level 6 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 3,000)

Daniel Negreanu made it 7,000 to go under the gun and it folded around the Joaquin Melogno in the big blind. The Uruguayan wanted to defend his blind and ante and raised it up to 20,500, which Negreanu called.

The dealer spread a Q♥3♦K♣ flop and both checked, bringing the 2♣ turn. Melogno then took it down with an 11,500 bet as Negreanu let it go.

The Team Pro would be back in action the next hand, though. It folded to Daniel Dvoress in the cutoff and he opened to 7,000, which was immediately three-bet to 23,000 by Igor Yaroshevskyy on the button. Over to Negreanu, he jammed for 103,000 and got two folds.

Negreanu remaining active

That puts Negreanu on 137,500, Yaroshevskyy on 172,000, and Dvoress on around 220,000. –JS

3:10pm: Kornuth catches Sontheimer
Level 6 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 3,000)

Chance Kornuth raised to 6,500 from under the gun and Steffen Sontheimer re-raised to 19,000 from Kornuth’s left. Action folded back around to Kornuth and peered over at his neighbor. Then he bet a pile of chips big enough to put Sontheimer all in. Sontheimer quickly called and turned over 10♠10♦, but Kornuth had him beat with J♦J♥. The board ran K♦4♠Q♥J♠3♣ to give Kornuth a set and Sontheimer hit the rail.

“Thank you for the money,” Kornuth said as he grabbed his neighbor’s stack and chipped up to 180,000. –AV

3:05pm: Level 6 begins
Level 6 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 3,000)

You read that right. Level 6. Beginning. Right now.

Dan Shak is a late entrant, while David Stamm has rebought. –MH

3:03pm: Tollerene still in, but with less than one big blind
Level 5 – Blinds 1,000/2,500 (ante 2,500)

Ben Tollerene’s stack has just been decimated by Kevin Hobbs, after the businessman and cryptocurrency investor called a bluff on the river.

With 75,000 in the middle already, the board showed the Q♥7♠J♣8♠J♥ and Tollerene was in the tank when we arrived. Eventually he shoved his 99,000, and Hobbs quickly called off his 97,000 stack. Tollerene showed the A♣10♠ for a busted gutshot, and Hobbs secured the double up with his K♠Q♦.

Tollerene is down to just 2,000 now, while Hobbs is sitting pretty with 269,000. –JS

The day is looking up for Kevin Hobbs

3:01pm: O’Dwyer busts to Kurganov
Level 5 – Blinds 1,000/2,500 (ante 2,500)

$50K High Roller champ Steve O’Dwyer will now need a re-entry if he’s going to make it back-to-back PCA titles.

After Team Pro Igor Kurganov opened to 6,000 in the hijack, Chance Kornuth three-bet it up to 20,000 in the cutoff. over to O’Dwyer in the big blind, he had little behind having already put 5,000 in to cover the blind and ante, so essentially he undercalled all in.

Back to Kurganov, he then four-bet it to 56,000, and that got a fold from Kornuth.

Kurganov – A♠K♦
O’Dwyer – 3♠3♦

The 7♣10♦J♣ flop was safe for O’Dwyer, although it did give Kurganov additional broadway outs. Instead he’d hit the K♥ on the turn, and the board was completed by the 2♣ river.

O’Dwyer immediately went to re-enter, and has already taken his new seat in the time it has taken me to write this (which wasn’t very long; I’m a pro).

Kurganov is up to 275,000 now. –JS

3pm: The old triple bank fold
Level 5 – Blinds 1,000/2,500 (ante 2,500)

It was a tough river decision for Jason Koon. Tough enough that the clocked click down to zero nearly four times.

Koon started the hand off with a raise to 5,500 from the cutoff and Nick Petrangelo called from the button. Mike Watson called from the big blind and all three players went to the 3♥5♣7♥ flop. Koon bet 6,000 and only Petrangelo called.

The turn brought a Q♦ and a bigger bet from Koon, 21,000. Petrangelo called again and then Koon slowed to a check after the J♠ came on the river. It was Petrangelo’s turn to bet and he made it 65,000 to go. Koon thought until the clock hit zero and the he thought some more. Koon ended up using three of his time bank cards and he let his hand go on the last one.

Both Petrangelo and Koon are at about 200,000 after the hand. –AV

Petrangelo picks up pot

2:55pm: Melogno defends against Dvoress’ big stack
Level 5 – Blinds 1,000/2,500 (ante 2,500)

Would Joaquin Melogno have played the Q♠6♦ against the big stack of Daniel Dvoress were he in any other position than the big blind? It’s possible, but unlikely. However, when you’ve got 2,500 in the middle already for the antes, plus 2,500 in for your big blind, you better believe we’ll be seeing more big blind defends than usual.

Dvoress opened the button to 5,500 and Melogno called to see the 6♠4♦K♠ flop. Melogno checked it and Dvoress didn’t c-bet, bringing the 8♠ on the turn. Melogno now led out with his pair of sixes for 4,000 which was called.

Both checked the 2♦ river, and Dvoress mucked when Melogno showed. He’s still on the shorter side with 82,000, while Dvoress is still near the top of the counts with 225,000. –JS

2:50pm: Monday was great, but it could’ve been even better
Level 5 – Blinds 1,000/2,500 (ante 2,500)

Cary Katz is a University of Georgia grad. It goes without saying he took hard Monday’s loss of his beloved Bulldogs in the college football national championship. If you missed it, Georgia led the entire game before going to overtime, which is where Alabama won it 27-23.

The game somewhat echoed the Atlanta Falcons’ loss to the New England Patriots in last year’s Super Bowl, in which Atlanta also led most of the game only to lose in overtime.

“To have both your teams lose championships in overtime in the same year… unreal,” said Katz, with Nick Petrangelo among those nodding along.

“Monday was almost the greatest day of my life!” added Katz, and Petrangelo laughed.

“No, really… I win the $100K, and then if Georgia had won… it would’ve been the greatest day in my life.”

“Did you tell your wife that?” asked Petrangelo. “Yes,” said Katz. “She agreed!”

The day so far for the $100,000 Super High Roller winner has been better than so-so to this point, perhaps even good. A long way to go, though, in the overall rankings of his days. He sits with about 150,000. –MH

Bulldog Katz considering what might have been

2:45pm: Seidel sacked
Level 5 – Blinds 1,000/2,500 (ante 2,500)

Jason Koon raised to 5,500 from under the gun and a short-stacked Erik Seidel pushed for his last 47,000 from the cutoff. Action folded back to Koon and he picked up his A♠Q♥ for one last look. Then he called.

Seidel turned over J♣J♥ for a flip and was still in good shape after the 8♥3♥2♠ flop. But then an A♦ came on the turn and Koon took over the lead. A 9♦ came on the river to seal Seidel’s fate and he was eliminated from the tournament while Koon chipped up to about 175,000.

Jason Koon collects Seidel’s stack

2:35pm: Play resumes
Level 5 – Blinds 1,000/2,500 (ante 2,500)

They are back at it, with the total number of entries now having increased to 45. A reminder: they’re using a “big blind ante” which means the BB is contributing the antes each hand, with the cost being equivalent to the BB. –MH

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2:15pm: Break time big stacks
Level 4 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 2,000)

There are only two players over the 200,000-chip mark as players head off on their first break of the day.

Those lucky two are Timothy Adams with 230,000, and Daniel Dvoress with 215,000. –JS

2:10pm: Engel doubles up Kenney
Level 4 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 2,000)

Ari Engel raised to 5,500 from early position and Bryn Kenney made it 15,000 to go from middle position. Action folded back around to Engel and he raised again and then Kenney moved all-in for 100,000. Engel called and showed 6♦6♠ while Kenney table A♠A♦.

Pocket aces held up on the 10♥4♠K♦5♦3♦ board and Kenney doubled to 200,000 while Engel dipped to 130,000. –AV

2:05pm: Nothing funner than runner-runner, unless you’re David Stamm
Level 4 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 2,000)

“I’ll take it… I like my hand!”

So said David Stamm just now as he stood in preparation for a three-way all-in situation in which he was the shortest stack.

To summarize how they got there, Igor Yaroshevskyy had opened from under the gun and Ari Engel flat-called, then Daniel Dvoress raised from the small blind and Stamm shoved for his last 43,000 from the big blind which caused Yaroshevskyy to skedaddle. Engel then raised again, Dvoress went all in, and after thinking a bit Engel called. The hands…

Dvoress: Q♦Q♠
Stamm: A♥K♠
Engel: Q♥Q♣

The flop fell K♥8♠9♠ and things looked even brighter for Stamm. The 10♣ turn invited some “uh-oh’s” from around the table, then came the river.

You guessed it. The J♣. Straights for the big stacks, and Stamm is out.

Stamm took the beat in stride, laughing along with others at its unlikelihood. Meanwhile both Dvoress and Engel are at around 220,000 with just a few minutes to go before the break. –MH

1:55pm: Bonjour & adieu for Pollak
Level 4 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 2,000)

Benjamin Pollak was a recent entry. The past tense is necessary, as he’s already lost his starting stack in hand versus Timothy Adams, with Adams now bouncing back up around 180,000. We’ll see if the Frenchman comes back. –MH

1:45pm: Comings and goings
Level 4 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 2,000)

Jason Koon and Mustapha Kanit are among the latest to enter the fray. Meanwhile both Stephen Chidwick and Daniel Negreanu lost their first stacks and have re-entered, helping bring the total number of entries up to 41.

Negreanu among the re-enterers

Remember, late registration and the ability to re-enter extends through the start of Level 9. –MH

1:35pm: Vaskaboinikau doubles through Bonomo
Level 3 – Blinds 500/1,500 (ante 1,500)

Justin Bonomo has arrived, but has gotten off to a bumpy start after losing a preflop all-in to Mikalai Vaskaboinikau.

It was Vaskaboinikau’s 7♠7♣ versus Bonomo’s A♠K♣, and a K♦3♣J♥2♥Q♣ proved favorable to the at-risk player. Vaskaboinikau has 105,000 now, Bonomo 55,000. –MH

1:30pm: GG JNT
Level 3 – Blinds 500/1,500 (ante 1,500)

After losing most of his second stack in a hand versus Igor Yaroshevskyy, Jean-Noel Thorel lost the rest shortly thereafter to be eliminated from the tournament. –MH

1:25pm: Seidel at work with second stack
Level 3 – Blinds 500/1,500 (ante 1,500)

As expected, Jean-Noel Thorel did buy back in after busting in that hand versus Daniel Dvoress (see below, 1:05pm). So far Thorel and Erik Seidel are the only ones on their second entries, and just now Seidel was potentially in danger of losing his second starting stack after being all in on the river.

The hand began with Seidel raising to 3,500 from the cutoff and getting called by Ryan Riess (button) and Timothy Adams (big blind). The flop came 3♠10♦3♥ and it checked around to Riess who bet 4,500. Both Adams and Seidel called. The turn was the 9♦. Adams checked again, and this time Seidel bet 12,000. Riess folded and after thinking for 25 seconds Adams called.

Fifth street was the Q♥, and after Adams checked Seidel went all in. Adams thought for 25 seconds once more, but this time he released his hand.

Seidel is up close to 75,000 now, while Adams has swiftly slipped out of the chip lead and back to 92,000. –MH

1:15pm: Level 3 begins, Adams and Dvoress early leaders
Level 3 – Blinds 500/1,500 (ante 1,500)

They’ve moved straight into Level 3, with 35 total entries so far. Below is a glimpse at the big stacks through one hour of play. –MH

Name Country Chips
Timothy Adams USA 205,000
Daniel Dvoress Canada 200,000
Ari Engel USA 175,000
Nick Petrangelo USA 155,000
Kevin Hobbs Canada 150,000

1:05pm: Dvoress flops set, stacks Thorel
Level 2 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 1,000)

Daniel Dvoress opened for 2,500 from middle position and it folded around to Jean-Noel Thorel who three-bet to 7,500 from the big blind. Dvoress called, then watched Thorel lead for 8,000 after the 3♦A♦8♠ flop. Dvoress made it 18,000 and Thorel called, then the 5♥ came on the turn.

This time Thorel checked, but after Dvoress bet 28,000, Thorel check-raised all in and Dvoress called right away. Thorel tabled Q♣Q♠, but Dvoress had that crushed with 8♦8♣ for a set, and after the J♣ completed the board Thorel was out of chips.

We’ll probably see JNT jump back in. Meanwhile Dvoress is up around 235,000 or so. –MH

1pm: An Oleskii, a Nick, a Kevin, and two Igors
Level 2 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 1,000)

Team PokerStars Pro Igor Kurganov, Nick Petrangelo, and Oleksii Khoroshenin have all joined the fun.

Hello, Igor

Igor Yaroshevskyy and Kevin Hobbs are also here, both of whom recently busted shy of the cash in the Main Event where they are getting close to the bubble. –MH

12:55pm: Set of kings helps Melogno
Level 2 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 1,000)

Timothy Adams raised to 2,500 from under the gun, Joaquin Melogno called from the next seat over, and Riess called from the big blind. The flop came 2♠9♣A♦, and when checked to Adams continued for 2,500 and only Melogno stuck around.

The K♦ turn caused Adams to check, and he called after Melogno bet 4,000. The river brought the 6♠ and another Adams check, and this time Melogno fired 16,500. Adams thought a bit and called, but when Melogno tabled K♣K♥ for a set of kings, Adams mucked.

Melogno bumps up to around 140,000, which is just a little more than Adams at the moment. –MH

Joaquin rockin’

12:50pm: Chidwick cracks Kornuth’s aces
Level 2 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 1,000)

Chance Kornuth got off to a fast start today, claiming Erik Seidel’s first starting stack to jump up to 200,000. Kornuth just suffered a hit, though, in a hand versus Stephen Chidwick.

Kornuth had A♦A♣ and all sorts of promise in the hand. But Chidwick had 9♠9♣, and by the river the board showed 9♥8♣2♣K♥4♦ and Kornuth ended up delivering a few chips Chidwick’s way thanks to the latter’s set of nines.

Kornuth still has about 155,000, though, while Chidwick moves up to 140,000. –MH

It was a Chidwick-ed flop

12:45pm: The field continues to grow
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 1,000)

As the second level begins, Ryan Riess has now joined the fun, as have Joaquin Melongno, Oussama Mobaress, Mikhail Vasakaboinikau, Jonathan Kamhazi, Mike Watson, and the $100,000 Super High Roller champion Cary Katz. –MH

A reminder — they’re using a “big blind ante,” which in practice will mean all players needn’t put in antes each hand, with only the big blind paying 2x the BB each time. –MH

12:40pm: Kornuth felts Seidel
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 500)

Erik Seidel just joined Jonathan Jaffe as a first-level knockout after losing his starting stack. Seidel’s chips went Chance Kornuth’s way thanks to the latter making a full house and getting paid for doing so.

Kornuth collecting

Jaffe hasn’t come back as yet, but Seidel is already hopping back into the game. –MH

12:35pm: Jaffe first to fall
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 500)

The field keeps growing, although it was also lessened by one just now as Jonathan Jaffe became a first-level casualty. From the looks of things Timothy Adams appears the responsible party, given the fact that he’s sporting over 200,000 — i.e., twice the starting stack. –MH

12:30pm: More arrivals
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 500)

Add Isaac Haxton, Steffen Sontheimer, Ari Engel, Mikita Badziakouski, and $50,000 High Roller winner Steve O’Dwyer to the list of entrants here in Level 1. –MH

12:25pm: You can’t win if you don’t play
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 500)

David Stamm has taken his seat, the only player here so far not immediately recognizable at the start.

“I’m here to donate to the poker economy,” he joked when sitting down, and Stephen Chidwick cracked that was probably what he’d be doing today as well. They then spoke about Cary Katz trying to do the same in the $100,000 Super High Roller a few days ago, but of course things worked out quite well for Katz as he came away with the title. –MH

12:20pm: Who’s here?
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 500)

There are three short-handed tables to start, with familiar faces occupying every seat.

Jonathan Jaffe, Christopher Kruk, Ben Tollerene, and Stefan Schillhabel are at one table vying for pots. Timothy Adams, Chance Kornuth, and Stephen Chidwick are playing three-handed at another. And Erik Seidel, Daniel Negreanu, Daniel Dvoress, and Jean-Noel Thorel are in action at the third. –MH

Tollerene is on the scene

12:12pm: Recombine the cards in a way that randomizes them sufficiently and distribute two each to players in the proper order!
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 500)

The directive to dealers has been delivered, shortened handily to a simple “shuffle up and deal,” and play has begun. Players begin this first 30-minute level with stacks of 100,000, or 100 big blinds.

By the way, they’re using a “big blind ante” in this one, which means the big blind will be covering the tables antes each hand. For this level the big blind will be paying an additional 500 each round, then starting with Level 2 the big blind will simply be paying twice the BB each time.

Back in a moment to let you know who is here. –MH

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12:05pm: Almost there

Players are arriving and the staff is getting close to kicking off the first level of this $25K event in just a few minutes. Stay tuned! –MH

11am: $25K Single-Day High Roller kicks off at noon

It’s High Roller time again at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure with today’s $25,000 Single-Day High Roller event, a tournament certain once more to attract many of poker’s most talented tournament players.

Who will test the waters in today’s $25K High Roller?

As with the other high rollers, this one also will employ the 30-second “shot clock” to keep things moving. It will also feature 30-minute levels throughout, with a dinner break scheduled to arrive at the conclusion of Level 12. This is a single re-entry event, with late registration and the ability to buy back in extending to the start of Level 9

While Day 3 of the Main Event plays into the money and onward, the PokerStars Blog is your go-to place for live updates from this $25K event as well.

So far Cary Katz (the $100K Super High Roller winner) and Steve O’Dwyer (the $50K High Roller champ) have come away with trophies in the biggest buy-in events here so far. Play starts in an hour at 12 noon ET, so stick close to see who plays, who prospers, and who proves victorious in the effort to secure some high roller hardware here in the Bahamas. –MH

Download the PokerStars LIVE! app with all tournament information. Available for IOS and Android.

PokerStars Blog reporting team on the $25,000 High Roller One-Day Single Re-Entry: Jack Stanton (vocals, guitar), Alex Villegas (bass), and Martin Harris (drums and “effects”). Photography (and tambourine) by Carlos Monti.


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