PokerStars Championship presented by Monte-Carlo Casino®: €100K SHR final table live updates

April 29, 2017

Bryn Kenney wins Super High Roller for €1,784,500
• Viacheslav Buldygin finishes second for €1,290,800
• Dvoress, Peters, Schemion Sontheimer, Kabrhel, Greenwood final table

6:25pm: Bryn Kenney wins €100K Super High Roller (€1,784,500); Viacheslav Buldygin runner-up (€1,290,800)!
Level 23 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

The end has arrived. Here’s how the final three hands went.

In the first a river bet earned Bryn Kenney yet another small pot, and Viacheslav Buldygin was down to about 1.7 million.

The next hand saw Kenney open-pushing from the button, and after a look at his cards Buldygin gave a slight eye roll before folding. Down to about 10 big blinds, something was going to have to happen positively for the Russian soon.

On the next hand, Buldygin limped from the the button and Kenney pushed all in again, and Buldygin called right away. Kenney tabled 2♠2♦ while Buldygin had K♦Q♦ — a couple of live cards and a bit of hope.

Alas for Buldygin, the 3♣2♥6♠ flop all but sealed it for Kenney, giving him a set and only leaving Buldygin a very slim chance to chop. The 9♠ turn took that away, though, making the 8♠ river no matter. The last pot went to Kenney, along with the PSC Monte-Carlo Super High Roller title. –MH

PSCMON 2017 FT Bryn Kenney Viiacheslav Buldygin hedsup  100k SHRL final day Tomas Stacha-3454.jpg

A last look back by Buldygin as Kenney wins

6:15pm: The gap widens
Level 23 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

After a 350,000 Bryn Kenney open, Viacheslav Buldygin called and the dealer was kind enough to lay three cards in the middle of the felt – 4♥5♦J♦. Both checked the flop.

Kenney woke up on the 4♦ turn though, making a delayed c-bet of 450,000 after it checked to him. Buldygin called, and the 3♥ river hit. It checked to Kenney once again, but he decided to just check it back.

“Five,” said Buldygin hopefully, but that hope was crushed when he saw his K♠5♠ was behind Kenney’s 10♣10♥. It’s 13.65M vs 2.1M in Kenney’s favour right now. –JS

6:10pm: Limps and shoves
Level 23 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

Limped pots are becoming more common as the blinds get bigger. We just watched four hands in a row that began with button limps. A couple were resolved in small hands ended by a single postflop bet.

Then one was met with an all-in raise by Bryn Kenney, with Viacheslav Buldygin folding. On the very next hand, Kenney limped, Buldygin shoved, and Kenney got out of the way.

Kenney has about 12 million now, Buldygin about 3.2 million. –MH

6pm: The seven-deuce game
Level 23 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

Bryn Kenney opened to 350,000 and Viacheslav Buldygin defended, bringing a 4♥2♥3♠ flop on which the latter checked. Kenney continued for 400,000, and that bet was called.

On the 9♠ turn both players checked it, resulting in a river: the 2♣. Buldygin riffled his chips and rocked back and forth for a while before coming out with a bet of 500,000. Kenney called quickly.

“Deuce,” said Buldygin, flipping over the 7♦2♦ for trips. Kenney could only muck, bringing him down to 10 million against Buldygin’s 5.25 million. –JS

5:50pm: Heads-up resumes
Level 23 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

Back from the break, Bryn Kenney and Viacheslav Buldygin discussed a possible deal but ultimately decided the numbers weren’t quite right just yet and have decided to play on.

On the first hand of the new level, Buldygin said how he was ready to go and then announced “min-raise” from the button while tossing out chips. Alas, he hadn’t calculated quite right and had to call, and both he and Kenney laughed through the flop after which Buldygin bet and took down the small pot. –MH

5:30pm: Let’s make a deal?

Instead of using the bathroom or grabbing food, the two players are using their break to discuss a potential deal. In the meantime, here are the counts as they stand. –JS

Bryn Kenney – 11.38 million
Viacheslav Buldygin – 3.87 million

5:25pm: Kenney takes last notable pot pre-break
Level 22 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

The two players have now headed off on a 20-minute break, and not much happened in the ten minutes leading up to it. Kenney did take down a hand which is worth noting.

Buldygin opened to 250,000 on the button and Kenney defended to see the 9♣6♠5♠ flop. It went check check to the 7♠ turn, at which point Kenney made a bet. Buldygin called so quickly I didn’t catch the amount.

On the 4♥ river, Kenney made it 570,000 and after that was called he tabled A♦3♣ for a rivered straight. Buldygin mucked. –JS

5:15pm: Status quo (Kenney still in front)
Level 22 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

We just watched another half-dozen hands, and another half-dozen smallish pots, with the end result not much change to the stacks.

Then came one in which Bryn Kenney raised to 250,000 from the button, Viacheslav Buldygin called, and the flop fell 7♠K♥J♠. Buldygin checked, Kenney bet 200,000, and Buldygin called. The turn was the A♠, prompting another check from Buldygin. Kenney bet 460,000 this time, and Buldygin called once more. Both players then checked down to 2♣ river.

Buldygin showed Q♦10♦ — he’d turned a Broadway straight, though there were three spades on board — and Kenney mucked.

Buldygin is at about 4.7 million, still well behind Kenney who has about 10.5 million. –MH

PSCMON 2017 FT Bryn Kenney Viiacheslav Buldygin hedsup  100k SHRL final day Tomas Stacha-3441.jpg

Two-handed poker

5:05pm: The house that Buldygin built
Level 22 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

Bryn Kenney opened the button to 250,000 and got a call, taking us to a 8♣7♥4♠ flop which both checked. On the 5♥ turn Viacheslav Buldygin led out for 200,000, only for Kenney to raise to 535,000. The Russian didn’t budge.

The 7♣ river paired the board, and Buldygin checked. He’d be disappointed when Kenney checked it back, as he announced “house” and flipped over the 4♦4♥ for a boat. Kenney could only muck.

Kenney won a few chips back in the next hand though, and right now he’s playing 9.6 million to 6.15 million. –JS

4:55pm: Kenney increases lead (again)
Level 22 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

After trading a couple of small pots, Bryn Kenney raised to 250,000 from the button, Viacheslav Buldygin three-bet to 800,000, and Kenney called.

The flop came 10♠10♣4♣, and after Buldygin bet 500,000, Kenney called again. The turn was the J♦, and this time Kenney led for 1.075 million. Buldygin folded right away.

Kenney is up to 11 million now, with Buldygin back down to 4.25 million. –MH

4:50pm: Bryn benefits, doubles through Buldygin
Level 22 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

The preflop back-and-forthing between Bryn Kenney and Viacheslav Buldygin resulted in a sudden, surprising all-in spot with Kenney at risk with 9♦9♥ versus A♥5♠.

The board ran out 8♠6♥Q♦8♦5♣, and Kenney earned a big double-up. When the chips were counted and Kenney was seen to have had 4.515 million in the middle, Buldygin showed that he had miscalculated what Kenney had behind, and perhaps otherwise might’ve played the hand differently.

“Misclick,” said Buldygin. “But your first one in the tournament, right?” said Kenney, and from what Buldygin replied it sounded as though it was.

In any case, Kenney retakes the lead on that hand, and now has about 9.1 million to the 6.15 million of Buldygin. –MH

4:45pm: Two huge pots go Buldygin’s way
Level 22 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

In the hand my colleague Martin Harris just referred to, Bryn Kenney opened to 250,000 and Buldygin called. The J♦7♦Q♥ flop brought checks from both, and the 4♦ turn brought a 150,000 bet from Buldygin, which was called. the Q♠ completed the board and Buldygin made it 675,000. After Kenney called, Buldygin announced he had a queen before showing the Q♣10♠. Kenney mucked.

A hand or two later, Buldygin opened to 250,000, which was called, and the flop came 5♠3♣6♣. Buldygin check-called 275,000, and then check-called 645,000 on the A♥ turn too.

When the 9♦ river fell, Buldygin checked a final time and Kenney bet big: 1.67 million. After a little think, Buldygin muttered something like “I think this is a call”, and he did just that. Kenney showed the Q♠4♣ for complete air, and Buldygin had made a great call with the K♣6♦ for third pair.

The momentum is swinging here, ladies and gents. Buldygin now has 11.2 million to Kenney’s 4.55 million. But that momentum could swing back at any moment… –JS

PSCMON 2017 FT Bryn Kenney Viiacheslav Buldygin hedsup  100k SHRL final day Tomas Stacha-3445.jpg

A see-saw battle

4:35pm: Buldygin takes lead from Kenney
Level 22 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

On the very next hand of Level 22, Buldygin managed to take another pot off of Kenney, and now he’s edged slightly in front with about 7.9 million to Kenney’s 7.35 million. –MH

4:30pm: Buldygin narrows the gap
Level 22 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

Level 21 ended with a few small hands and Bryn Kenney still enjoying a healthy lead over Viacheslav Buldygin.

Then on the first hand of the new level, Buldygin opened for 250 from the button, then Kenney three-bet to 720,000. That interrupted the preceding pattern somewhat as most hands had not been reraised preflop, and Buldygin sat with a look of concern for a short while before calling Kenney.

Both checked the K♣5♠9♠ flop and 4♥ turn, then Kenney again checked after the Q♣ river fell. Buldygin paused a few seconds, then bet 450,000. Kenney didn’t act right away, but after a while raised big to 2.2 million.

Buldygin contemplated the situation for several seconds, then said he was all in, and after a count it was determined it was for just a hair under 3 million. Kenney shook his head, and with a recheck of his cards saw that he couldn’t call, and so let his hand go.

That one knocks Kenney down a bit to 8.35 million while picking Buldygin up to about 6.9 million, the closest this heads-up match has been so far. –MH

4:20pm: Kenney’s grinding him back down
Level 21 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Bryn Kenney is by far the more experienced live player of these two, and he’s showing that prowess here after the setback of doubling Viacheslav Buldygin up.

In one hand, Buldygin opened to 225,000 and Kenney called. The flop – 3♥6♣6♥ – was checked by Kenney, letting Buldygin make a 175,000 c-bet which was called. On the Q♦ turn both checked, and on the 5♦ river Kenney checked again. Buldygin made it 575,000, only for Kenney to raise to 1.74 million. That was too much for the Russian, who gave it up.

A hand or two later, Buldygin limped his button and Kenney bumped the price of poker up to 325,000. Call.

The dealer spread a 7♦8♦Q♥ flop. Check check. The 7♣ turn brought another two checks. And the 10♣ river? Kenney led out for 800,000. That got a quick fold. After all that Buldygin has 3 million and Kenney has 12.75 million. –JS

4:05pm: Buldygin earns a double
Level 21 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Bryn Kenney had just won a small pot that had gone to a showdown, knocking Viacheslav Buldygin just under 2 million before Kenney opened from the button for 225,000. Buldygin checked his cards and announced he was reraising all in, and Kenney called right away.

Buldygin: A♦9♦
Kenney: 7♥7♠

Buldygin stood from his chair while Kenney remained seated, then after the 5♠3♥A♣ flop appeared to put Buldygin in front he began patting his chest — kind of soft, applause-like gesture or more probably at attempt to calm his fast-beating heart.

The turn was the 8♦ and river the J♠, and Buldygin exhaled before going over to receive congratulations from Daniel Colman who has come around to watch and root him on.

Buldygin is up to just about 4 million now, still well behind Kenney with 9.25 million. –MH

PSCMON 2017 FT Bryn Kenney Viiacheslav Buldygin hedsup  100k SHRL final day Tomas Stacha-3437.jpg

A heart-racing runout for Buldygin

4pm: What are the chances?
Level 21 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

This hand wasn’t the most interesting, but it was the only flop they’ve seen recently. Kenney opened to 225,000 and Buldygin defended, so they went to an A♥2♥K♠ flop which both checked. The turn was the A♦, and Buldygin check-called 150,000 to see the 5♥ river. Buldygin checked, Kenney bet 525,000, Buldygin folded.

What was interesting though, was that Kenney has been opening almost every button to 225,000, and the one time he folded his small blind, what did Buldygin look down at? Only the A♠K♠.

“Gah!” he said in frustration. “What are the chances?!”

Kenney just cracked up. And wouldn’t you? Buldygin has 1.9 million, Kenney has 13.3 million. –JS

3:55pm: Heads-up begins
Level 21 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

“I have three heads-ups… at final tables, said Viacheslav Buldygin to Bryn Kenney as the first hand between the pair was dealt. “I lost them all,” he chuckled.

Kenney grinned and replied it could happen a fourth time. Given his chip advantage to start heads-up play — better than 5-to-1 — he might be right.

Kenney won two of the first three hands, all small pots. Then on the fourth one Buldygin said “I need a double” as he opened for 225,000 with the button and Kenney called.

The flop came 8♥A♦4♣. Kenney checked, Buldygin bet 175,000, and Kenney called. Both checked the 10♠ turn, then Kenney led for 335,000 at the 3♠ river.

Buldygin called quickly, showing Q♠Q♥, and that beat Kenney’s Q♣8♠.

Buldygin still needs to start building, as he’s at about 3 million to Kenney’s 12.2 million. –MH

PSCMON 2017 FT Viiacheslav Buldygin 100k SHRL final day Tomas Stacha-3389.jpg

Buldygin battling

3:50pm: Dvoress falls in 3rd (€832,800)
Level 21 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

The Bryn Kenney shove fest has come to an end, at least in three-handed play. In this one, Viacheslav Buldygin shoved his button and Daniel Dvoress called from the small blind. Kenney folded to let the short stacks fight it out for second place, with very similar stack sizes.

Buldygin – Q♠J♠
Dvoress – 6♠6♦

Dvoress led with his pair but the 9♣10♣A♣ flop gave Buldygin a whole bunch of new outs. The K♠ turn was one of them, giving Buldygin a straight and a lock on the hand. An inconsequential 3♣ hit the rivert (neither had a club) and Dvoress said his goodbyes.

PSCMON 2017 FT Daniel Dvoress 100k SHRL final day Tomas Stacha-3376.jpg

Another deep Super High Roller finish for Dvoress

It’s heads up time. Kenney vs Buldygin. 13 million vs 2.25 million. Goliath vs David. –JS

3:45pm: When push comes to shove
Level 21 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

It is truly all-in-or-fold poker now, thanks to the huge imbalance in chips in Bryn Kenney’s favor.

Just about every hand of three-handed play has seen Kenney raising all in to push out his two short-stacked foes, or occasionally one or the other of them shoving first if they can (and so far getting no calls). –MH

3:40pm: David Peters knocked out in 4th (€630,600); Kenney cruising
Level 21 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

We saw a sequence of five hands in which there were four preflop all-ins — one from each player — none of which were called. First Bryn Kenney from the button, then Viacheslav Buldygin from the small blind, then Daniel Dvoress from the small blind, then David Peters from the big blind after a Kenney SB raise.

On the sixth hand, Kenney opened again for 200,000 from the cutoff, and David Peters reraise-pushed from the button for about 2.2 million. It folded back to Kenney who called, and he turned over Q♠Q♦ while Peters showed A♠7♦.

The five community cards came 3♣5♦8♥, then K♥, then 9♠ — little drama, and not too much fanfare as Peters exited in fourth.

PSCMON 2017 David Peters 100k SHRL final day Tomas Stacha-3227.jpg

Another big cash for Peters

With three left, Kenney now has 10.6 million, way, way ahead of Dvoress with 1.6 million and Buldygin with 1.15 million. –MH

PSCMON 2017 FT Bryn Kenney 100k SHRL final day Tomas Stacha-3418.jpg

Bryn is in a groove

3:30pm: First hand back, first double for Dvoress
Level 21 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Having jammed all in multiple times without finding a caller, Daniel Dvoress has now doubled up his short stack to over 1 million.

Viacheslav Buldygin opened to 200,000 under the gun/in the cutoff, and Dvoress jammed for 540,000 on the button. Bryn Kenney and David Peters gave up their blinds, and Buldygin called instantly.

Dvoress – 9♥9♦
Buldygin – A♦2♠

The Russian needed an ace to taken the lead, but there’d be no rockets on the 2♣6♠7♦5♠K♣ runout, and one deuce wouldn’t do it either. Dvoress now has 1.27 million, while Buldygin dips to just under 1.9 million. –JS

3:10pm: Break time; updated counts (4 remain)

The final four are on a 20-minute break, with Bryn Kenney the big leader. Fresh counts below. –MH

Name Country Chips
Bryn Kenney USA 9,880,000
Viacheslav Buldygin Russia 2,430,000
David Peters USA 2,385,000
Daniel Dvoress Canada 1,050,000

3:10pm: Kenney tries to induce, but Peters won’t bite
Level 20 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

David Peters opened to 180,000 under the gun and Bryn Kenney defended his big blind to see the 6♣5♠3♠ flop. Kenney checked, and there’d be no c-bet.

On the Q♦ turn, it also went check, check. And on the J♥ river, you guessed it…check check.

Kenney turned over the 3♦6♦ for a flopped two pair, and the two exchanged a smile as Peters mucked.

They’re now on a 20-minute break. We’ll have chip counts for you shortly. –JS

3:05pm: Two tournaments, two final tables; Ole Schemion out in fifth (€487,715)
Level 20 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Ole Schemion opened for 175,000 from the cutoff and it folded around to Bryn Kenney in the big blind. He paused just a beat or two, then announced he was re-raising all in. Schemion snap-called.

Schemion: Q♠Q♥
Kenney: A♥9♦

The 3♣10♦6♣ flop and 8♦ turn both kept Schemion in front, but the 7♣ filled a gutshot straight for the red-hot Kenney, and Schemion is out. Still, after winning €274,750 just two days ago after topping a 110-entry field in the €10K Opening Event, Schemion adds nearly half a million more Euros to his winnings.

PSCMON 2017 Ole Schemion 100k SHRL final day Tomas Stacha-3219.jpg

Schemion collects another big cash

Kenney, meanwhile, is up to 8.15 million now and is closing in on having half the chips in play with four left. –MH


Bryn Kenney: Close to double the rest

3pm: Whole lotta shove
Level 20 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

With all five players having comfortably locked up close to half a million euros, it’s become a bit of a shove fest here as the shorties try and make a run at the title. Schemion, Buldygin and Dvoress have all moved in in the last orbit; no calls yet though. –JS

2:55pm: Sontheimer sunk in sixth (€380,700); Kenney rockets upward
Level 20 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

On the very next hand after cracking Viacheslav Buldygin’s aces, Bryn Kenney opened for 175,000 from middle position and watched Steffen Sontheimer three-bet push his stack of less than 1 million from the next seat over. It folded back around to Kenney who called instantly, then tabled his hand — A♠A♣!


Steffen Sondtheimer: Downed in sixth

Sontheimer shook his head as he showed his dominated A♥6♥, and five cards later — Q♣Q♦3♣7♦2♣ — Sonthemier was ousted in sixth.

That little two-hand rush has catapulted leader Kenney up to about 6.75 million. –MH

2:45pm: Big stack battle
Level 20 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

We might have just had the biggest pot of the entire tournament so far, and it has created one hell of a chip leader.

It started with a 165,000 UTG+1 open from Viacheslav Buldygin, which Bryn Kenney called on the button and David Peters defended his big blind. They went to a flop: 2♥10♠4♦. Peters checked it, and Buldygin continued for 225,000. Kenney called, but Peters got out of the way.

The turn came the 6♠ and Buldygin didn’t slow down. He slid out 400,000 in even 100K piles, and it didn’t really take Kenney too long to call. Finally the K♦ completed the board, and Buldygin this time bet 1 million. Kenney called quickly.

“Aces,” said Buldygin. But they were no good.

Kenney rolled over the K♠10♣ and the rivered two pair was better than the A♥A♦. “Sick,” said Buldygin, understandably.

He drops down to 2.75 million, while Kenney has more than double that with 5.9 million. –JS

PSCMON 2017Bryn Kenney100k SHRL final day Tomas Stacha-3236.jpg

Bryn Kenney back into the chip lead

2:30pm: Kabhrel busts in seventh (€303,350); Buldygin new leader
Level 20 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

The table talk had turned to Ole Schemion going for a second title already this series, as he won the €10K Opening Event just a couple of days ago. Schemion was recalling having once won three events at a single series in the past, adding how he’d have to go for three here if he won today.

“I don’t think I’m going to win this one,” said Martin Kabhrel as the cards were being dealt. Then chip leader Bryn Kenney folded from under the gun and Kabhrel’s face brightened.


Martin Kabrhel: First to bust in the money

“Ah! You were my biggest problem in this hand,” said Kabhrel as it folded around to Viacheslav Buldygin who opened for 160,000 from late position.

The action reached Kabhrel in the big blind who uncharacteristically acted quickly by three-betting all in for his last 1 million or so, and Buldygin called in a flash.

Kabhrel: 3♦3♥
Buldygin: 10♣10♦

The board ran out 7♥J♣A♠4♦8♣, and Buldygin’s tens held. “Close,” said Kabhrel, who indeed won’t be winning this one, but does earn a nice payday nonetheless.

After earning the first two post-bubble knockouts Buldygin is the new chip leader, having moved up to 4.55 million. –MH


Viacheslav Buldygin: New leader

2:25pm: Greenwood’s gone in eighth (€237,950)
Level 20 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Just seven remain now as Sam Greenwood has been eliminated. After Viacheslav Buldygin opened under the gun to 160,000, it folded to Greenwood who defended his big blind to see a 3♣8♠K♠ flop. He checked it, and Buldygin continued for 150,000.

Greenwood then jammed for roughly 750,000 and Buldygin snap-called with the A♣A♦. It was a bit of a cooler for Greenwood who have flopped top pair with his K♥J♥, but he couldn’t find any help on the rest of the runout.

Buldygin is up to 3.32 million now. –JS

2:20pm: Haxton bubbles, Peters nearly doubles
Level 20 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

They’re in the money!

On one of the first hands of Level 20, Isaac Haxton open-raised all-in for 1.23 million from under the gun. David Peters was next to act, and after taking nearly 30 seconds he announced he was all-in as well for about 1.4 million.

The other seven players collectively took less than 15 seconds to discard their hands, and the cards were revealed.

Haxton: A♦Q♦
Peters: J♦J♣

There was a queen on the flop, but a jack as well as the first three community cards came J♥2♠Q♣. That meant the 6♦ turn already made the 10♦ river no matter, and Haxton departed. Peters — who started the day as the short stack — is now in second position with a stack of about 2.7 million.


David Peters: Standing tall

They’ll pause just a moment for an official final table photo, then continue their battle to see who gets the €1,784,500 first prize. –MH


Final table of Monte Carlo Super High Roller: Back row (l-r): David Peters, Steffen Sondtheimer, Martin Kabrhel, Sam Greenwood, Daniel Dvoress. Front row (l-r): Ole Schemion, Bryn Kenney, Viacheslav Buldygin

2:15pm: They’re turning on you, Martin
Level 20 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Things are starting to get a little testy here, mostly due to Martin Kabrhel. After Bryn Kenney opened to 160,000, Ole Schemion shoved and while Kenney was thinking Kabrhel started talking to the dealer. I didn’t catch what he said, but several players – including Schemion and Sam Greenwood – didn’t like it.

“I honestly thought she made a mistake,” pleaded Kabrhel afterwards.

“You’re just an unkind person,” said Schemion, disappointed. –JS

2:10pm: New level, same leader
Level 20 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

They’ve played an hour, and the bubble remains intact. Bryn Kenney has benefited, adding to his lead during today’s first level. A glimpse at the counts moving into Level 20:

Name Country Chips
Bryn Kenney USA 4,050,000
Viacheslav Buldygin Russia 2,550,000
Steffen Sontheimer Germany 1,600,000
Ole Schemion Germany 1,400,000
David Peters USA 1,350,000
Isaac Haxton USA 1,300,000
Martin Kabrhel Czech Republic 1,250,000
Daniel Dvoress Canada 1,100,000
Sam Greenwood Canada 1,000,000

A reminder — it’s a €237,950 bubble, as that’s the payout for eighth place. –MH

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2:10pm: Buldygin takes from Sontheimer
Level 19 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

In the last hand of the level, Steffen Sontheimer raised to 135,000 and Viacheslav Buldygin called from the big blind. The flop came 7♥Q♥5♦, Buldygin checked, Sonthemier continued for 100,000, and Buldygin called. Both checked the 5♣ turn.

The river was the Q♥, and Buldygin bet 125,000. Sontheimer called quickly, and when Buldygin turned over 6♠5♠ for trip fives, Sontheimer mucked.

Buldygin begins the next level with 2.55 million, while Sontheimer has 1.6 million.

Seems it was a good idea to finish when we did last night. Wouldn’t have lost one even if we’d played on. –MH

2:05pm: Kenney’s revenge
Level 19 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

In that last hand, Viacheslav Buldygin’s shove forced Bryn Kenney to fold. Now they’re even.

Buldygin opened to 130,000 like he did before, and this time Kenney three-bet again, sizing a little bigger to 370,000. It folded around and there’d be no shove from Buldygin this time. He folded.

Kenney then turned over seven deuce offsuit, which got the table talking.

“Wowwwwww,” said Martin Kabrhel. “What a beast. What a boss.” –JS

2pm: Buldygin four-bet shoves, Kenney lets it go
Level 19 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Short stack David Peters opened all-in again and won the blinds and antes, then followed that with a standard open and earned folds once more. He’s now at 1.3 million.

Shortly after those two hands, Viacheslav Buldygin raised to 130,000 from middle position and it folded to Bryn Kenney on the button who made it 360,000 to go. The blinds stepped aside, and after hesitating about 15 seconds Buldygin said he was all in and Kenney quickly pushed his cards away.

Kenney keeps chipping up, and despite losing that one is at about 3.65 million. Buldygin is close to 2.3 million now. –MH

1:50pm: Dvoress puts his foot down
Level 19 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Bryn Kenney has been opening every hand that’s folded to him (and always to 135,000, in case you thought I was paying close enough attention). That’s what the big stack is meant to do on the bubble, right? Abuse the shorter stacks? Well, Daniel Dvoress had had enough.


Daniel Dvoress: Had enough

He’d either had enough, or he just found a very good hand. Kenney opened UTG+1 and it folded to Dvoress in the big blind. He jammed for around 700,000, and Kenney went into the tank. His 30 seconds ticked away, and with a second to go he gave the dealer his cards. –JS

1:45pm: Schemion shoves, Kenney concedes
Level 19 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Bryn Kenney opened again for 135,000 — this time from middle position — and it folded to Ole Schemion in the big blind who called.

The flop came all hearts — 8♥4♥3♥ — and Schemion checked. Kenney continued for 120,000, and Schemion responded with an all-in check-raise. Kenney folded, prompting a big exhale and a “Whew!” from a grinning Schemion.

Put Kenney at 3.3 million still, while Schemion has 940,000. –MH

1:40pm: Kenney still first, Peters still ninth
Level 19 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Chip leader Bryn Kenney has been aggressive, as to be expected. After winning two small pots in a row, then sitting out the next hand, he was open-raising just now once again, this time to 135,000 from the cutoff seat.

It folded to the table’s short stack, David Peters, in the big blind, and after sitting quietly for a few beats he announced he was reraising all in. Kenney quickly folded.

Kenney is still on top with 3.45 million, while Peters has 820,000. –MH

1:30pm: Interesting move from Greenwood
Level 19 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

When action folded to Sam Greenwood in the cutoff, he took his time and eyed up the stacks of every other player. What he’d decide to do turned out to be a little unusual.

Greenwood announced “five hundred thousand,” and slid in a stack of green 25K chips (totalling 500,000, obviously). That was nearly half his stack, so was he pot-committed now? Or could he still get away it? The message Greenwood was sending was open to interpretation.


Sam Greenwood: Open to interpretation

That bet folded to Martin Kabrhel in the big blind, and instead of taking the whole 30 seconds he folded after 15.

Greenwood said something like, “I appreciate you folding quicker” as he mimicked his heart-beat pumping. “Stalling is fine when you’ve already locked up a couple of hundred thousand.” –JS

1:25pm: A duck for Kenney
Level 19 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

After yet another Martin Kabrhel tank fold (the Czech player is using all 30 seconds of his shot clock, even when the other players think it’s clear he’s going to fold), Bryn Kenney opened to 135,000 in the UTG+1 seat. Viacheslav Buldygin called from the small blind and they went to a flop.

It came J♦9♠2♠ and both checked to the Q♣ turn. Again, it went check check. The 6♥ completed the board, and when both checked a final time it was time to see some cards. “Ace king?” asked Buldygin, thinking that might be good. Nuh-uh – Kenney showed the A♦2♥ to best the A♠K♣ with one pair of deuces.

Buldygin might be kicking himself for not playing the big slick more aggressively now. –JS

1:20pm: Greenwood pushes, collects
Level 19 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Sam Greenwood was just now the latest player to open-raise all-in — this time from the small blind — and win the blinds and antes after his neighbor Viacheslav Buldygin folded. –MH

1:15pm: Schemion finally uses a time bank chip
Level 19 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Steffen Sontheimer is one of the bigger stacks at the table, and just now he open-raised that big stack all-in from the cutoff. It folded to Ole Schemion in the big blind who thought for his allotted half-minute, then took nearly another minute more before folding, having to expend one of his five time bank chips to do so.

“You made me lose my chip lead,” grinned Schemion afterwards, holding up his remaining time bank chips. Indeed, he had been tied with Isaac Haxton as the only player with all five time bank chips to start this final table.


Ole Schemion: Time bank spent

Discussion followed, with Martin Kabrhel suggesting the fast-playing Haxton was a good bet to end the tournament not having spent one of his time bank chips.

Haxton accepted that as a compliment. As if to prove the point, on the next hand it was Haxton open-raising all-in — and not taking long before doing so — and he won the blinds and antes. –MH


Isaac Haxton: Quick thinker

1:10pm: Show one show all? No, Martin
Level 19 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Viacheslav Buldygin has the second biggest stack at this final table, and he’s not afraid to put those chips to use early on. He’s opened the first two hands in a row, but neither went his way.

In the first, he opened to 125,000 and got one caller: Steffen Sondtheimer in the small blind. They saw a 6♣Q♥6♥ flop and Sondtheimer checked it. Buldygin opted not to c-bet, checking it back to the K♥ turn. Both checked that one too. When the 8♥ river landed, it put four hearts on board. Pretty scary, so it wasn’t a surprise to see both check it. Sondtheimer rolled over the A♣Q♦ for second pair, and Buldygin had neither a king or heart as he mucked.

Buldygin opened the very next hand to the same amount, and this time it folded to Ike Haxton in the small blind. He shoved, and got a pretty quick fold. Buldygin flashed the A♠ as he gave his cards to the dealer.

“Show one show all!” said Martin Kabrhel, excitedly. “You show one card, you must show both cards!”

Sorry Martin – it doesn’t work that way. –JS

1:02pm: Day 3 begins
Level 19 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Cards are in the air! Nine players, eight cash prizes, and one trophy.

Everyone gets one extra time bank chip to start the new day, with Viacheslav Buldygin the most thankful of the bunch as he was down to none. –MH

12:55pm: Hip, hip, hooray! Hippo found

Play ended last night with the tournament in relative crisis mode.

Sure, with nine players left and only eight cashing, they’re on the bubble, so the next player who gets knocked out gets nothing while everyone else will be guaranteed at least €237,950 and a continued shot at the €1,784,500 up top.

But that wasn’t the real crisis. No, the more serious tension had to do with a missing hippo.

That would be Martin Kabrhel’s hippo, always kept nearby to help guard his chips. He seemed to have lost it during the bagging, and as players returned today, everyone had the same question on his mind.

“Martin… did you find your hippo?”

The answer was yes! “It was on the floor!” explained Kabhrel repeatedly to those who were inquiring.

The nine players — and one hippo — are almost in place. Play starts in a few! –MH

11:30am: It’s time to find a champion

Did you manage to get a good night’s sleep? It was a late finish last night here at the PokerStars Championship presented by Monte-Carlo Casino®, as our €100,000 Super High Roller tournament played down to a final table. When all was said and done, at around 1am last night, only nine players remained. We’d reached a final table.

8G2A4344__PCMON2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Almost go-time in Monaco

Not really though. Not only are we on the official final table bubble, we’re also on a massive money bubble. Only eight players will get paid in this thing, meaning the difference between finishing ninth and eighth is an incredible €237,950.

Out in front and leading the pack towards the staggering €1,784,500 first-place prize is a man no stranger to any of us, and certainly not to big final tables. Bryn Kenney ended the day with 3.15 million and sits atop the chip counts, while the guy who lies at the bottom coming into the final day is very capable of making a comeback. David Peters has just 825,000 coming into the 30K/60K level, but…this is David Peters we’re talking about. Anything could happen.

NEIL3886_Bryn_Kenney_PCMON2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Kenney has the power…

PSCMON 2017 100k David Peters SHRL day 2 Tomas Stacha-2639.jpg

…But never underestimate the power of Peters

Here’s how the final table stacks up right now:

Name Country Chips
Bryn Kenney USA 3,150,000
Viacheslav Buldygin Russia 2,975,000
Ole Schemion Germany 1,780,000
Isaac Haxton USA 1,765,000
Steffen Sontheimer Germany 1,700,000
Martin Kabrhel Czech Republic 1,300,000
Daniel Dvoress Canada 1,100,000
Sam Greenwood Canada 980,000
David Peters USA 825,000

To find out how we got here, check out our coverage from yesterday’s busy Day 2. Martin Kabrhel was being his usual chatty self, while Isaac Haxton forged a fantastic comeback to go from around eight big blinds up to the fourth biggest stack.

Play kicks off at 1pm local time today so make sure you stick with us all day as we play down to find our next Super High Roller champion. To remind yourself of what they’re playing for (one hell of a lot of cash) click here. –JS

Take a look at the official website of PokerStars LIVE, with tournament schedule, news, results and accommodation details for the PokerStars Championship Macau and all other Festival and Championship events.

Also all the information is on the PokerStars LIVE App, which is available on both Android or IOS.

PokerStars Blog reporting team on the $100K SHR: Martin Harris, Jack Stanton and Howard Swains. Photography by Tomas Stacha.

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