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Buy-In: $100,000
Prize Pool: $3,743,000
Entrants: 38

PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Super High Roller

  • Jan 06, '11 - Jan 08, '11


Updates on Final Day (Jan 08, 11)


Nick Schulman leads in quick fire PCA Super High Roller


No one really expected Day 2 of the $100,000 Super High Roller to pass so quickly and certainly nobody expected such a spectacular ending, one that put a lid on the five-and-a-half hour day and sends seven players, not eight, into the final tomorrow for a shot at $1,500,000.

At the end of a rapid fire day it’s Nick Schulman who leads after a three-way all-in catapulted him to the top of the chip count list. It was a hand that eliminated Tobias Reinkemeier, the chip leader coming into Day 2, and the dangerous Vivek Rajkumar, and one which left Schulman with a stack of 2,990,000 at the close.


Chip leader Nick Schulman

Then the last hands of the day. With an all-in on each table, Daniel Cates moved in with pocket deuces and was called by Bryn Kenney with pocket eights. Then an arms aloft moment for Team PokerStars Pro Humberto Brenes, who took his stack up to 756,000 by eliminating short-stacked James Obst in eighth. For the first time ever there will be a seven-handed final table.


Humberto Brenes

Schulman had retuned this morning fourth in chips having had a solid first day and continued today in similar fashion, climbing past Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu who was also moving fast beyond the two million mark. Negreanu bags up 2,166,000 tonight in second place.


Daniel Negreanu

With such a talent-filled field the eliminations were always notable. They started with the departure of Justin Smith and then Phil Laak, which marked the loss of the tournament’s spokesman, but also gave the Public Address system, in operation at the cash game desk, a fighting chance to be heard.


Phil Laak

Soon the likes of Sorel Mizzi and Mike McDonald were gone, followed to the rail by Antonio Esfandiari, David Benyamine, Jason Mercier and Bryan Colin. Suddenly, after Schulman’s escapades with pocket aces, to eliminate Reinkemeier and Rajkumar, and then the staccato departure of Cates and Obst, we were looking at our finalists.

Here’s how they’ll line up…

Seat 1 – Nick Schulman, United States, 2,990,000 chips

Seat 2 – Sandor Denjan, Hungary, 379,000 chips

Seat 3 – Andrew Lichtenberger, United States, 373,000 chips

Seat 4 – Bryn Kenney, United States, 1,390,000 chips

Seat 5 – Daniel Negreanu, Canada, Team PokerStars Pro, 2,166,000 chips

Seat 6 – Humberto Brenes, Costa Rica, Team PokerStars Pro, 756,000 chips

Seat 7 – Eugene Katchalov, United States, 1,476,000 chips

Not that the work is done for those returning, only five will be paid. Two will leave empty handed, just like the other 31 players before them.

But regardless, what we have in store should be a good one, not least for the prospects of Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu. If he wins the Super High Roller, or finishes second, he will overtake Phil Ivey on the All-Time money list. It’s a big ask, but it’s not something you would want to miss.

flying fish.jpg

Not really sure what this is

And if you missed any of today you can catch up on everything that happened at the links below.

Level 10 & 11 updates

Level 12 & 13 updates

<href=“”>Level 14 & 15 updates

We’ll be back tomorrow for the final table of the Super High Roller, which starts at the later time of 1pm and will be filmed for broadcast. We’ll be there will all the action and atmosphere from what should be a thrilling finale to this first major event of the 2011 PCA.

If you like the sound of that you’ll love it even more written in German, a full blog of which can be found here. Our thanks also to Neil Stoddart who provided photos of today’s action.

Don’t forget that alongside the Super High Roller final table the PCA Main Event, one that this very minute is clogging the check-in desks of the Atlantis Resort, will begin with Day 1A scheduled to start at 12 noon.

That’s all for tonight. We’re off to toast our early finish good fortune. Join us again tomorrow.

This EPT is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at Europe.


2011 PCA Super High Roller: Day 2, level 14 &amp; 15 updates (blinds 12,000-24,000, 3,000 ante)


5.46pm: End of play

A seven-handed final table has been set for tomorrow after the simultaneous knockouts of James Obst (courtesy of Humberto Brenes) and Dan Cates (thanks to Bryn Kenney).

Cates had been crippled by Negreanu a few hands earlier trying to bluff him off second pair with a large river bet. The high stakes pro was then finished off by Kenney’s pocket eights. Obst, on the other hand, had shoved with 8Diamond Suit9Diamond Suit and was subject to a bit of a nit-roll from Brenes in the big blind with KDiamond SuitQSpade Suit. An eight on the flop looked good for the young Australian by a queen on the turn swung the percentages largely into Brenes’ favour. He couldn’t regain the lead and was left to take the walk of shame with Cates.

That double exit means seven players will come back to play down to the money tomorrow. Sandor Demjan and Andrew Lichtenberger are the two shorts stacks with less than 400,000 each. Full wrap and chip counts to come. — RD

pca_super high roller_dan cates.jpg

Dan Cates

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James Obst

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 12,000-24,000, ANTE 3,000

5.20pm: Huge hand for Kenney

Bryn Kenney has just won a massive pot from Daniel Negreanu after a demon draw on a JSpade SuitQHeart Suit[6s8Heart Suit board induced the Team PokerStars Pro to move all-in with KHeart Suit10Heart Suit. Kenney insta-called for his remaining 686,000 with a set of jacks and Negreanu failed to spike one of his flush or straight out. Kenney is up to around 1.7 million. Negreanu down to around 1.5 million.

Sandor Demjan and James Obst are our shortest stacks, but Dan Cates and Andrew Lichtenberger are hardly well stacked either. — RD

4.58pm: Three way all in and we’re down to 9

An enormous hand just resulted in a double elimination and a new chip leader in the form of Nick Schulman, who now has close to 3,000,000 chips. It also leaves just nine players

Schulman had opened the pot for 43,000 which Vivek Rajkumar called. The action was folded to Tobias Reinkemeier in the big blind who moved all-in for 270,000. Shulman called then watched as Rajkumar also moved all-in, which Schulman snap called, showing AClub SuitASpade Suit. Reinkemeier had turned over ADiamond SuitJClub Suit while Rajkumar had 10Heart Suit10Diamond Suit.

In what were amazing scenes two players stood on the brink, now quite expecting to be departing at such a critical stage.

The board came 2Spade Suit9Spade Suit8Spade Suit5Club Suit7Club Suit. Whether Schulman breathed at all during the hand was difficult to judge but Rajkumar was in mild shock, asking questions of Schulman to support his case for how he’d played. Reinkemeier said nothing. He was out, as was Rajkumar, and Nick Schulman takes the chip lead. – SB

4.48pm: Denjan makes a big fold as Kennney doubles

Andrew Lichtenberger opened for 52,000 and Snador Denjan called before Bryn Kenney moved all-in from the big blind for 320,000. Lichtenberger reshoved for around 860,000 eventually forcing Denjan to fold his hand: pocket jacks. Lichtenberger showed AClub SuitKDiamond Suit to Kenney’s pocket threes, which promptly flopped a set on the ten-high board. Had Denjan made the call he would have knocked out Lichtenberger and claimed a huge 1.9 million pot. — RD

4.35pm: So close, yet so far

That’s exactly how the next three players out of this tournament will feel. The action has turned short-handed with just eleven players left across two tables and that will continue to shrink down until we have eight players left. Three players will not make the final table and won’t be in the mix for the $1.5 million first prize payout. Play set to restart in two minutes. — RD

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Don’t start dancing yet, Humberto, you haven’t made the final table yet

PokerStars Blog reporting team in the Bahamas (in order of likelihood to commit an act of civil disobedience): Stephen Bartley (Never, not even if you put a gun to his head) and Rick Dacey (Never, not even if you offered him a free drink.. Oh, go on then)

This EPT is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at Europe.


2011 PCA Event #1: Pro baseball pitcher wins Fish &amp; Chips event

PCA-2010-thumbnail.jpgMinor League baseball pitcher Wade Townsend won yesterday’s inaugural Fish & Chips Showdown, the first event of the 2011 PCA.

Townsend, 27, from Austin, Texas, picked up $6,375 for his win in the $2,300 event after scoring a total of 25 points – 20 points for winning the poker derby and five points for third place in the fishing derby.

Canadian mother-of-two Dana Weeks, 40, who runs fishing lodges in British Columbia’s Haida Gwaii islands with her husband Rick, won the fishing derby after reeling in a massive barracuda.

Weeks came joint second overall for $2,175. PokerStars SuperNova Calvin Anderson was also runner-up for $2,250. Team PokerStars Pro Chris Moneymaker came fourth and Kenneth Hicks, a regular qualifier for European Poker Tour events, came fifth.


Dana Weeks

This EPT is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at Europe.


2011 PCA Super High Roller: Day 2, level 12 &amp; 13 updates (blinds 8,000-16,000, 2,000 ante)


4.22pm: Colin caught short by Reinkemeier; 11 remain

We’re down to the final eleven and it’s Bryan Colin that has fallen. He failed to flip successfully with pocket sixes against Tobias Reinkemeier’s [a][t]. The German is back up to 310,000, for whom it’s been an extremely swingy day. — RD

4.10pm: Down to 12

Caio Pimenta is out, his all-in pre-flop with jacks falling to the king-queen of Vivek Rajkumar when he caught a king on the turn. We’re down to 12 players. — SB

3.55pm: Helloooooo Uzbekistan!

Yes, it’s time to acknowledge the true pioneers of the PokerStars Blog, those readers from countries we have to Google to find and who selflessly boost our readership figures in isolation while, we imagine, desperately searching for someone to play heads-up. This time it’s the Republic of Uzbekistan, made famous by all sorts of people, the names of which we’ll need you to email us with. — SB

3.49pm: Odds and ends

Bryan Colin is one of the short stacks and is facing a make or break period. He just moved all-in but found no takers. He’ll be trying again before too long.

Meanwhile at the same table James Obst has been forced out of two hands after raising pre-flop. In the first he made it 32,000 on the button which Nick Schulman raised to 90,000, forcing Obst to pass. Then a similar ending against Vivek Rajkumar. Obst opened once more for 32,000 before Rajkumar make it 76,000. – SB

3.36pm: Reinkemeier left short

Overnight chip leader Tobias Reinkemeier is down to just 170,000 after losing a 700,000 pot to Eugene Katchalov, who is fast clawing his stack back after that huge pot versus Negreanu (See 3pm: Negreanu roars into the chip lead leaving Benyamine for dead).

Reinkemeier opened for 35,000 in the hijack and was called by Katachalov in the cut-off. No one else came along for the ride. Reinkemeier check-called 50,000 on the KSpade SuitQDiamond Suit4Spade Suit flop and a further 100,000 on the 6Heart Suit turn. The AClub Suit river was checked by Reinkemeier to Katchalov who bet a final 165,000, half of Reinkemeier’s stack. The German made the call with QSpade SuitAHeart Suit and his head fell when he saw ASpade SuitKDiamond Suit. Katachalov is up to 900,000. — RD

3.25pm: No Mercier

Jason Mercier is out of the Super High Roller. The Team PokerStars Pro gave a short account of the hand from the rail, making it 78,000 in early position after a bet of 31,000. Nick Schulman was in the big blind and raised to 184,000 and Mercier shoved for around 600,000 with queens. Schulman turned over aces. – SB

3.15pm: The age gap

Team Pokerstars Pro Humberto Brenes pointed at Sandor Denjan, then at himself. “Two old men,” he said. Excluding Denjan and Brenes the average age in this tournament is somewhere around 24. – SB

3.10pm: Folding for Mercier

Vivek Rajkumar opened for 31,000 which Jason Mercier raised to 73,000 on the button. Ciao Pimenta performed a wide-eyed elaborate count of his green and blue chips and then folded, as did Rajkumar. – SB

3pm: Negreanu roars into the chip lead leaving Benyamine for dead

Yesterday, and for moments of this morning, this Super High Roller had felt like an extravagant home game. Jokes, japes and side bets had ricocheted around the tournament floor like a pinball machine on MULTIBALL MADNESS.

I think we have just seen the moment where this $100,000 tournament shifted from fun to focussed and it was all thanks to Daniel Negreanu and Eugene Katchalov. And I suppose David Benyamine deserves a mention for acting as the catalyst, if nothing else.

Team PokerStars Pro Negreanu opened for 28,000 under-the-gun and was called by Katchalov on the button. A short-stacked David Benyamine moved all-in from the button for just over 150,000 in a nice value-squeezing spot (so he thought). Negreanu looked at Katchalov’s stack (similar to his 1,200,000) and raised to 278,000. It looked likely to be the end of the hand until Katchlov pushed forward a large stack of murky green 25,000 chips for a raise to 528,000 total.

Railers attempted to push past the cordon only to be swiftly rebuffed by security as Negreanu leant back, linked his arms behind his chair with a slight grimace across his face. He looked down at his chips and then moved all-in for 1,200,000 total.

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Daniel Negreanu: One half of the biggest pot so far

This was not a snap-call situation from Katchalov whose face and lips started silently working overtime; calculating pot odds, hand ranges and equity. He shook his head and, for a moment, I saw the whites of his eyes as the brevity of his situation hit home. If he was to call and win he would have more than 2,000,000 chips and be a runaway chip leader going into the final 14. Call and lose and he would have thrown away a huge stack with a great shot at the big money final five places.

Benyamine by this time was making one of those faces to a friend on the rail. You know the one, it says: “Ahhh, maybe I’m not in great shape after all.”

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Katchalov down but certainly not out

Katchalov eventually took the tough decision of passing his hand and Negreanu turned over a monster KHeart SuitKClub Suit. The huge side pot was already his but the 480,000 in the main pot was still up for grabs. Benyamine’s hand was genuine, just not big enough with 9Spade Suit9Diamond Suit. The flop ran out 2Spade Suit4Spade SuitQDiamond Suit3Spade Suit3Heart Suit and if Katchalov had folded pocket queens or some other hand that would have come out on top, he did well to hide it. He’s down to 600,000 while Negreanu sits atop this tournament with 1,880,000. — RD

2.50pm: Kenney hit, Denjan into the lead

A huge pot just took Sandor Denjan past the million mark and left Bryn Kenney shaking his head. It was all down to a set over set encounter with a slight dash of slow roll that takes Denjan up to around 1,200,000 and Kenney down to 340,000.

Denjan opened from under-the-gun which Kenney called in the cut off. Benyamine then re-raised on the button which both players called for a flop of 9Heart SuitQClub Suit4Club Suit. Benyamine bet 80,000, leaving himself around 150,000 behind. Demjan called but Kenney raised all-in. Benyamine passed while Denjan called, putting himself all in for around 470,000.

Kenney showed 4Heart Suit4Diamond Suit while Denjan showed nothing, just spend a few moments sliding his chips in like a man with no appetite idly playing with the food on his plate before finally turning over QHeart SuitQDiamond Suit.

The turn 2Heart Suit and river 3Heart Suit couldn’t help Kenney. – SB

2.40pm: Seats and chips

The final two tables are as follows with table two hogging most of the larger stacks at the seven-handed table. The chips were harvested at the break so obviously there wil be some changes since then.

Table 1

1 James Obst, 280,000, Australia

2 Nick Schulman, 760,000, United States

3 Vivek Rajkumar, 800,000, United States

4 Daniel Cates, 245,000, United States

5 Bryan Colin, 425,000, United States, PokerStars Player

6 Jason Mercier, 620,000, United States, Team PokerStars Pro

7 Humberto Brenes, 575,000, Costa Rica, Team PokerStars Pro

8 Caio Pimenta, 540,000, Brazil

Table 2

1 Tobias Reinkemeier, 690,000, Germany, PokerStars Player

2 Eugene Katchalov, 1,190,000, United States

3 Bryn Kenney, 980,000, United States, PokerStars Player


5 David Benyamine, 380,000, France

6 Daniel Negreanu, 1,100,000, Canada, Team PokerStars Pro

7 Andrew Lichtenberger, 502,000, United States

8 Sandor Demjan, 535,000, Hungary

Play will become increasingly short-handed as we approach the final table (which is of course also eight-handed). Play will break when we’ve lost another seven. — RD

2.32pm: Nothing major

Just small pots so far to start this new level. Andrew Lichtenberger opened for 30,000 in early position and found callers in Sandor Denjan, Bryn Kenney and David Benyamine. The flop came 5Spade Suit4Club Suit4Heart Suit and Lichtenberger bet again, 62,000 this time which was enough to take the pot.

Elsewhere Ciao Pimenta opened a pot from the button and was called by Nick Schulman in the big blind for a flop of 5Spade SuitQHeart SuitQSpade Suit. Both players checked for a QDiamond Suit turn card. Schulman bet 45,000 and Pimenta thought for a while, stacking his chips for one last push and then folding. – SB

2.22pm: Chips and payouts

Latest chip counts are available on the chip count page, and you can track the order of elimination on the payout page.

2.21pm: Just a reminder

We play down to the last eight players today. They will then return tomorrow for a feature table final in front of the television cameras, competing for a first prize of $1,500,000. — SB

2.20pm: Cards back in the air

Or they will be shortly. Play resumes in level 12, with blinds at 6,000-12,000 with a 2,000 ante.


The Atlantis Resort from yet another angle

PokerStars Blog reporting team in the Bahamas (in order of disorder): Rick Dacey and Stephen Bartley

This EPT is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at Europe.


Welcome to the 2011 PCA

This EPT is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at Europe.


2011 PCA Super High Roller: Day 2, level 10 &amp; 11 updates (blinds 5,000-10,000, 1,000 ante)


2.05pm: End of the level

Players are now on the first 15 minute break of the day. — SB

2.03pm: Glantz-ing blow

Eugene Katchalov just put an end to Matt Glantz’s tournament, and the latest shift of the massage therapist working on his back.

Katchalov opened for 23,000 before Glantz moved all-in from the cut off for 103,000 more. Katchalov called, showing 6Diamond Suit6Club Suit to Glantz’s 2Club Suit2Spade Suit.

The board ran 4Diamond Suit10Heart Suit10Club Suit7Spade Suit4Spade Suit to send Glantz to the rail in 16th place. — SB

1.58pm: Robl rumbled

Andrew Robl has just fallen under the axe of James Obst and his demise marked the last hand played across three tables. Robl was dealt KHeart SuitKSpade Suit on the button and Obst AHeart Suit6Club Suit in the small blind. Both players were short stacked with around 15 big blinds apiece and it all went in.

The 3Heart Suit5Heart Suit4Heart Suit flop didn’t spike Obst an ace but it did bring a whole heap of opportunity. The 6Spade Suit brought Obst two more outs for the win, but dropped his straight outs into a chop. The river, however, had only the flush on its mind with the 9Heart Suit. To his credit Robl tried valiantly to look and sound like a gracious loser but he departed swiftly, obviously a little bitter that his kings couldn’t hold in this vital spot. — RD

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Andrew Robl’s pocket kings failed to hold against James Obst

1.48pm: Buchanan busted

Shawn Buchanan is out, eliminated by an apologetic Bryan Colin who held 10Spade SuitJHeart Suit to Buchanan’s 4Diamond SuitQClub Suit. The board caused a roar of surprise, coming as it did 10Diamond Suit10Heart SuitQHeart Suit7Club Suit5Club Suit. “Now go win the main event,” said Mercier as Buchanan departed. – SB

1.42pm: Double for Brenes, death for Buchanan

Team PokerStars Pro Humberto Brenes has just doubled up to 480,000 after getting it in good against a reluctant Shawn Buchanan. The Canadian had opened the pot for 24,000 and Brenes, in the big blind no less, had shipped it in for 241,000.

This was not snap call territory for Buchanan who tanked for maybe two minutes before giving a nod and sliding his chips forward. He had Brenes covered by just one solitary yellow 1,000 chip.

Brenes: QHeart SuitQDiamond Suit

Buchanan : 10Club Suit10Heart Suit

Brenes’ hand held on the 8Spade Suit9Diamond Suit5Diamond SuitKClub Suit4Club Suit board and Buchanan was out the next hand. — RD


Humberto Brenes celebrates with his two sons on the rail

1.35pm: Horecki sporting the summer catalogue

Where’s a photographer when you need one? Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki, who finished third in the most recent EPT, was railing the Super High Rollers in full PCA mode; yellow shirt, yellow shorts and big straw hat. It’s not a look you’d expect from a former champion skier. Put your legs away, Marcin, and get back on the slopes. — RD

1.30pm: Signal and manoeuvre

Vivek Rajkumar opened to 26,000 from the cut off and Daniel Cates, sitting next to him, raised to 62,000 on the button. The blinds folded, sending the action back to Rajkumar who tilted his head and looked at Cates’s chips, like he was checking his wing mirror before pulling out in to traffic. Cates, still asleep as he was yesterday, waited, then folded when Rajkumar made a raise. – SB


Vivek Rajkumar

1.20pm: Check check

Nick Schulman opened from the button before being raised by Ciao Pimenta in the big blind, another 28,000 more. Schulman called for a flop of 7Spade Suit3Heart SuitADiamond Suit. Both checked that for a 10Diamond Suit turn card which was also checked. On the 8Diamond Suit river card more checking, Pimenta showing KDiamond SuitKClub Suit to win the hand as Schulman, still on 438,000, mucked. Pimenta up to 420,000 now. – SB

1.10pm: Scores on the doors

Big movers today include Vivek Rajkumar who is challenging for the chip lead with around 950,000 (full chip counts will come after the next break) and Sandor Demjan who has 750,000.

Demjan just doubled through Bryn Kenney on a 2Club Suit3Heart Suit5Spade Suit3Spade Suit2Heart Suit board after calling from the small blind with 3Diamond Suit10Diamond Suit. Kenney, who has raised from middle position, didn’t look happy to be shown that hand after calling Demjan’s 225,000 shove on the river. In fact, he was still occasionally shaking his head as I walked back to report this hand. Kenney was a big chip leader at EPT Barcelona but things didn’t go his way later in the tournament, will the same happen here?

We’re updating as we go so click on latest chip counts and hit the refresh button (it won’t do it automatically unfortunately). — RD

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Bryn Kenney: When the light shines at the correct angle he can be seen from space (see below)

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 5,000-10,000, ANTE 1,000

1.01pm: Shining so bright

Bryn Kenney sparkles in three different places. He wears a diamond earring in each ear, a watch that glistens like frost and a gigantic diamond and silver crucifix on what looks to be a thick silver rope around his neck. He’s so colour co-ordinated he must have been getting ready for today yesterday afternoon. He wears a purple shirt, a purple and black “NY” cap which he wears to one side, Stan Laurel style, as if he’s just been slapped in the back of the head by a gang leader.

He just split a pot with Daniel Negreanu. Kenney opened for 20,000 in middle position which Negreanu raised to 60,000 on the button. Kenney called for a flop of 6Spade SuitKDiamond Suit10Club Suit. Both checked for a AHeart Suit turn. That was also checked for a 2Heart Suit river card.

At this point Kenney announced “98,000,” which Negreanu called. Both players showed ace-queen to get right back to where they started. – SB

12.54pm: Reinkemeier and McDonald, friends forever…

I arrived at the table just in time to see Mike McDonald stand up and say: “Well played, man. Whatever,” and then walk off. I couldn’t see whether Tobias Reinkemeier had sucked out on him or if it was just frustration from McDonald showing through given that Reinkemeier had four-bet him off a hand shortly before the final killer blow. Either way, McDonald, aka Timex, is out and Reinkemeier is back up near the chip million. Both he and Daniel Negreanu are soaring near the 1 million mark. — RD


Reinkemeier back at the top of the chip tree

12.45pm: Tooth and nail

Up for discussion are Mike McDonald’s teeth. Daniel Negreanu, who just dispatched Sorel Mizzi in 21st place when he used aces to dominate Mizzi’s queen-jack of hearts, wants to know how long McDonald has had braces.

Anyone who follows the EPT will remember McDonald’s victory in season five, a gap toothed 18-year-old holding aloft the winner’s trophy. Now, thanks to the miracle of orthodontistry, they’re veneered and revered. “My teeth are probably the most expensive thing I own,” he said.


Mike McDonald

McDonald just lost a pre-flop pot to Tobias Reinkemeier though, costing him a little more. Reinkemeier make it 18,000 from the cut-off which McDonald bumped up to 42,000. Reinkemeier them made it 300,000 to play, forcing McDonald to fold. – SB

12.34pm: Benyamine doubles through Reinkemeier

David Benaymine has just doubled through Tobias Reinkemeier after turning a full house on a JHeart SuitQDiamond SuitJDiamond Suit2Diamond SuitKHeart Suit board.

Benyamine had opened the pot for 20,000 from the hijack and Reinkemeier had defended from the big blind. Both players checked the flop before the German led 22,000 into the turn, was called by Benyamine, and fired 58,000 into the river before calling the Frenchman’s shove for another 102,000.

Benyamine is up to 400,000. — RD

12.28pm: Another one gone

Shortly after Justin Smith departed Phil Laak was also out. He shoved with KDiamond Suit4Diamond Suit only for Ciao Pimenta to call with AClub SuitJClub Suit. The board ran 8Heart Suit10Diamond SuitJSpade Suit10Club Suit5Diamond Suit to send Laak out in 22nd place. — SB

12.25pm: One gone

Justin Smith is the first player to be eliminated on Day 2. He moved in once more for his last 100,000 chips and was called by Tobias Reinkemeier in the small blind. Smith turned over 9Club Suit7Club Suit against Reinkemeier’s goliath AHeart SuitADiamond Suit.

The board ran QDiamond Suit3Diamond Suit9Spade Suit5Spade Suit10Club Suit to send Smith to the rail in 23rd place. — SB

12.20pm: Laak bombing on as usual

No sooner than Phil Laak sits down does his table banter begin. Andrew Robl – two seats to his left as yesterday – and Nick Schulman seem to be the main targets for his spiel as he offers $1,000 a year to find out the net worth of high stakes online pros.

“I’m trying to track figures over ten years. I just want to know what I could be making by playing online,” said Laak, who also asked how he would get up to speed in the big online games.

“Go burn $30m,” was Nick Schulman’s suggestion before Robl pointed out that finding players net worth wasn’t a fair reflection of online winnings as it didn’t factor in major leaks such as the pits or extravagant lifestyles.

“Are you going to report us all for tax evasion?” asked Robl to much laughter.

“Maybe he’s going to be the greatest IRS agent ever,” said Schulman breaking a smile (that’s one of the 2011 poker quota used up – he tends to look pretty serious at the table). — RD

12.15pm: Colin power

Bryan Colin is the next to move all-in, shoving with QClub SuitQHeart Suit and called by Shawn Buchanen with 8Diamond Suit8Heart Suit. The board runs 3Diamond Suit3Spade SuitJClub Suit9Club Suit5Diamond Suit to double up Colin, who is now up to around 250,000. — SB

12.14pm: Obst looking casual

Okoay, it’s normal to turn up a little late for a tournament and what does missing a hand or two actually mean really? But in a $100,000 buy-in tournament? James Obst casually arrived a few minutes late with just a plastic bag of chips marking where he should be sat, just to the right of Nick Schulman. — RD

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James Obst (yesterday, of course)

12.12pm: Early action

A first all in, Justin Smith shoving for 100,000 but getting no callers. — SB

12.07pm: Cards in the air

Play begins.

12pm: About to start

The clock has ticked (tuck?) down and we haven’t started. — SB

11.50am: Ten minutes

The first players are beginning to arrive, all chatting together. The clock is ticking down – ten minutes until the start. — SB

11.20am: Hello fireball my old friend

Day 2 of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure also marks the return of a familiar friend, the Ferrara Atomic Fireball. Fireball everyone, fireball… — SB

11.15am: What’s the buzz, tell me what’s-a-happening

Well, not much at the moment. We’re still 45 minutes from the start of Day 2 in the Super High Roller. The three remaining tables have been cordoned off along one wall of the vast tournament room while at the other end the television set continues to be assembled.

Chip leader today is Tobias Reinkemeier and you can find his chip count, along with all the others, on the chip count page. — SB

10.30am: Day 2 of the Super High Roller

There’s a small gale blowing across Paradise Island today. This morning, after an extremely optimistic woman tried to sell me a sarong as I walked along the coast, I watched nine guys launch a rescue attempt on a life guard chair that had been blown over in the night and was being washed out to sea. Two of the group had been volunteered to mount the rescue operation and were sheepishly edging along the shore, occasionally looking back at their foreman to make sure he was serious. They returned soon after with wet boots and without the damn chair.


This is no time to take unnecessary risks

If there was ever a day to stay indoor in Paradise this might be it and with Day 2 of the $100,000 buy-in Super High Roller schedule to play down to a final table there’s really no reason to look anywhere else for your dose of pokering Paradise. A total of 38 players bought in yesterday for the noon start and nine levels later just 23 remained. Like the men on the beach this morning, returning empty handed will be par for course today as we work our way to the final table, starting at noon.

We’ll have coverage from the start here on the PokerStars Blog, along with chip counts, videos and all the eliminations. While we go launch our own rescue attempt on Simon Young, who has been blown over and is currently being washed out to sea, here’s how the players will line up today. — SB

Table 1

1 Shawn Buchanan, 209,000, Canada

2 Daniel Negreanu, 848,000, Canada, Team PokerStars Pro

3 Vivek Rajkumar, 483,000, United States

4 Daniel Cates, 622,000, United States

5 Bryan Colin, 134,000, United States, PokerStars Player

6 Jason Mercier, 459,000, United States, Team PokerStars Pro

7 Humberto Brenes, 318,000, Costa Rica, Team PokerStars Pro

8 Antonio Esfandiari, 330,000, United States

Table 2

1 Tobias Reinkemeier, 896,000, Germany, PokerStars Player

2 Mike McDonald, 269,000, Canada

3 Bryn Kenney, 828,000, United States, PokerStars Player

4 Sorel Mizzi, 249,000, Canada

5 David Benyamine, 202,000, France

7 Justin Smith, 116,000, United States

8 Sandor Demjan, 401,000, Hungary

Table 3

1 James Obst, 390,000, Australia, PokerStars Player

2 Nick Schulman, 705,000, United States

3 Andrew Lichtenberger, 494,000, United States

4 Matthew Glantz, 148,000, United States, PokerStars Player

5 Caio Pimenta, 409,000, Brazil

6 Phil Laak, 99,000, United States

7 Eugene Katchalov, 551,000, United States

8 Andrew Robl, 324,000, United States

This EPT is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at Europe.


Tobias Reinkemeier snatches Day 1 lead in PCA Super High Roller


The Super High Roller had all the trappings you’d expect from a PokerStars Caribbean Adventure opener. Like the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, Day 1 at the PCA was a grand procession of the games’ richest and finest players, each of whom, from the ranks of the wealthy both inside and outside of the game, paid $100,000 in the spirit of buoyant capitalism, to play the first event of its kind.


The Atlantis Resort

Their number, as the registrations were tallied this afternoon, reached 38. By the close that figure stood at just 23, and it was Tobias Reinkemeier leading the pack into Day 2. But only just.


Chip leader Tobias Reinkemeier

Reinkemeier finished the day on 896,000 chips, narrowly ahead of Daniel Negreanu on 848,000 and Bryn Kenney on 828,000. The German snatched the lead at the bell, his pocket jacks rivering a straight to defeat the pocket aces of Shawn Buchanan.


Daniel Negreanu

The day had started predictably, with a slow exhibition of poker that boasted an almost home game feel, players reunited after the Christmas/New Year break to have egos gently massaged. The early elimination of Koen Berendsen was the only blip in the festivities while the arrival of Viktor Blom turned a few heads, notably that of Vivek Rajkumar who would be on his right for the duration.


Viktor Blom

But Blom, who looked exhausted from the start having spent most of the last 24 hours on board jet planes, was among those on the rail, at least until the Main Event starts on Saturday. Blom (eliminated by Rajkumar) joined the likes of Scott Seiver, Tom Marchese, Bill Chen, World Champion Jonathan Duhamel and Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier who were on the rail by the end of the day.


Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier

At the same time Jason Mercier, James Obst, Humberto Brenes and Nick Schulman were putting good form to best use and will return tomorrow, as will Antonio Esfandiari and Phil Laak. At stake is a first prize of $1,500,000 but with only five places paid we’re still some way from the business end of this most exclusive of tournaments.


Jason Mercier in action

We won’t get there tomorrow, but we will reach a final table. In the meantime fill your boots at the links below, featuring all of today’s action while the overnight chip counts can be found here.

Level 1 & 2 updates

Level 3 & 4 updates

Level 5 & 6 updates

Level 7, 8 & 9 updates

We’ll be back tomorrow at noon for the Day 2. If you’re a student of German you can read the same coverage as above in that language, and if you’re reading this on behalf of a German friend, point them to this link here. Our thanks also to Neil Stoddart who provided photos of today’s action.


Chips, chips

One down, nine more days (and 46 events) to go. That’s all for tonight. Join us again tomorrow.

This EPT is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at Europe.


2011 PCA Super High Roller: Day 1, level 7, 8 and 9 updates (blinds 3,000-6,000, 500 ante)


12.05am: Done for the day

That’s the end of play and it’s looking like Daniel Negreanu is the chip leader here in the Super High Roller. Oh no, he’s not due to a dramatic badbeat during the last hand of the day. But you’ll have to read the wrap if you want to find out. That will be coming in shortly. Full chip counts are also on the way. — RD

11.50pm: “God, I’m so bad.”

Bryan Colin was left scratching his head and wondering where it all had gone wrong. James Obst had opened the pot for 15,000 and been called by Colin before the action reached Tobias Reinkemeier in the big blind who three-bet to 35,000. Obst moved out of the way but Colin wasn’t ready to give up the fight quite yet. He made it 75,000 to go. Reinkemeier moved all-in for 204,000 total. This is not what was meant to happen, Colin must have thought: “God, I’m so bad at poker.” He eventually made the call of the additional 120,000 or so.

Reinkemeier: QSpade SuitQClub Suit

Colin: AClub Suit10Heart Suit

No ace hit the board and Reinkemeier doubled up to 420,000. The day is almost over. — RD

11.39pm: McDonald riding a rollercoaster towards the close of play

After losing a huge pot that would have seen him challenge for the chip lead Mike McDonald has chipped back up to 230,000 after getting it all with pocket aces against Bryan Colin’s KClub SuitQClub Suit.

Does McDonald have another big pot in him before the end of the day? I wouldn’tr rule it out. — RD

11.28pm: Not a good time for McDonald to flip

Mike McDonald has just lost a huge 700,000 flip to Shawn Buchanan and has been left with just 110,000. Buchanan opened the pot for 15,000 form the hijack and was three-bet by Tobias Reinkemeier to 35,000. McDonald cold four-bet to 73,000 from the small blind asking a large question, to which he got a large answer. Buchanan moved all-in, pushing Reinkemeier out of the way and leaving the pot heads up.

Buchanan: ADiamond SuitKHeart Suit

McDonald: QClub SuitQDiamond Suit

Buchanan flopped top two and McDonald was left short. Is time being called for McDonald? — RD

11.18pm: ElkY out

Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier is out. He first lost a critical flip against Sirel Mizzi which left ElkY with just 16,000. The coup de grace was delivered by both Mizzi and Daniel Negreanu in a Canadian double team. Mizzi raised the button and ElkY called all-in. Negreanu called from the big blind. Both players caught an ace on the 9Heart Suit3Club SuitAClub Suit flop and eventually chopped the pot.

ElkY mucked and departed in 25th allowing the tournament director to close the table. Down to three tables. — RD

pca_super high roller_elky.jpg

ElkY out

11.05pm: ElkY rivered by Rajkumar

Bertrand Grospellier may have been trapping or it may have been some some kind of hero call when he looked up Vivek Rajkumar on the river of a checked down KHeart SuitQSpade Suit4Spade Suit4Club Suit9Club Suit board. Rajkuma showed JHeart Suit10Spade Suit for the straight. ElkY was left with 220,000. — RD

11.02pm: Smith opens, Lichtenberger closes

As soon as Andrew Lichtenberger three-bet from the cut-off there was an inevitability that Justin Smith was going to pass. He just didn’t look like he wanted the action. Smith had made it 16,000 from middle position and Lichtenberger had made it 36,000. — RD

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 3,000-6,000, ANTE 500

10.52pm: Full chip counts

Fresh chip counts are here for your perusal leading into the final level fo the day. One Mr Daniel Negreanu is leading the field at the moment, you may have heard of him. — RD

10.42pm: Break time

That’s the end of the level. Players are taking a 15 minute break before returning for the last level of the day. Chip counts can be found on the chip count page. — SB

10.32pm: Punish the Mizz!

Sorel Mizzi has just passed to a three-bet from Daniel Negreanu and, yes, that is worthy of mention. The younger Canadian had opened from the cut-off to 12,000 and was re-popped to 27,500 by Negreanu. Mizzi appeared to be mulling a four-bet shove before he eventually passed.

“Daniel lit him up,” shouted Matt Glantz to Antonio Esfandiari. “Yeah, punish the Mizz!” replied Esfandiari. It was a slogan that was then somewhat bizarrely and enthusiastically echoed by Esfandiari’s father who had just appeared on the rail.

Shortly before that hand ElkY had been seated between the pair with around 150,000 to his name. — RD

10.25pm: Unlucky Lichtenberger

A long slow hand just ran its course between Daniel Cates and Andrew Lichtenberger, ending with Cates out on top.

The pot started with a bet of 10,000 from Ciao Pimenta which Cates called, as did Lichtenberger in the small blind and David Benyamine in the big.

The flop came 10Diamond SuitASpade Suit10Heart Suit which Lichtenberger and Benyamine checked from the blinds. Pimenta bet 14,000 which Cates called, as did Lichtenberger while Benyamine stepped aside.

The turn came JDiamond Suit. The action was checked to Cates who, with eyes slowly blinking and a head looking like it was losing a long term battle with sleep deprivation, bet 63,000. Lichtenberger called for a 7Heart Suit river.

Lichtenberger checked, leaving it to Cates to bet what looked to be 157,000. Given that his head looked ready to topple off, this took remarkable strength from Cates who then had to wait several minutes for Lichtenberger to respond. He did so by folding. Cates up to around 500,000. – SB

10.15pm: Blom gone

When Vivek Rajkumar found that late arrival Viktor Blom was to be sat to his immediate left, he’d looked over at Daniel Negreanu with a “why me?” cry for help. No, several hours later, it’s Rajkumar stacking Blom’s chips having just sent Blom to the rail in level 8.

On a board reading 9Club SuitADiamond Suit7Heart Suit9Diamond Suit3Heart Suit Vivek moved all-in for around 260,000 with roughly 200,000 in the pot. Blom, visibly exhausted after sitting down to play only a short time after he arrived after a tortuous journey here, had around 116,000 behind and took several minutes to think through his options, occasionally wiping his greasy looking hair from his forehead.

Eventually he called. Rajkumar showed KHeart Suit9Spade Suit leaving Blom no option than to tap the table and make ready to leave.

“Good game guys,” said Blom, walking away as Rajkumar stacked up his chips worth 500,000.

“All right buddy,” said Daniel Negreanu, who had sat opposite him all day. “Get some sleep.”

10.04pm: Bucking Buchanan

Both Mike McDonald and Bryan Colin have got the better of Shawn Buchanan in this level and his stack is sliding in the wrong direction, down to 300,000. Colin checked behind with jacks on a board with at least one over on it, beating Buchanan’s low paired hand, while McDonald beat his fellow Canadian out before showdown on the river. — RD

9.54pm: Lichtenberger all-in

A bet of 68,000 in the pot from Andrew Lichtenberger followed by a re-raise to 150,000 from Caio Pimenta on the button. A pause followed, deep thought, then an all-in from Lichtenberger, making it 341,000 more to call.

This had a big effect on Pimenta who, with 430,000 behind, performed some extraordinary face pulling before eventually folding his hand. – SB

9.44pm: Griffin busted

Ashton Griffin is out. He got his chips in with queen-ten but ran into the ace-deuce of Nick Schulman. Schulman would storm through the hand on a board of ace-jack-deuce-king-ace. Griffin’s straight was worthless as he departs in 28th place. – SB

pca_super high rollers_ashton griffin.jpg

Ashton Griffin: What do you mean my straight’s no good?

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 2,500-5,000, ANTE 500

9.32pm: Robl and Obst go to war

Andrew Robl and James ‘AndyMcLEOD’ Obst are at each other like a pair of prize cockerels. Robl conceded the first pot to Obst after he bet 90,000 on the river of a 7Spade Suit5Club Suit3Spade Suit5Spade Suit6Diamond Suit board. “I’ve got a really big hand here,” he had croaked, obviously not enjoying the spot Obst had put him in. He passed (a queen-high flush he later claimed if I heard correctly).

The very next pot went Robl’s way. Robl bet 15,000 on a 7Club SuitAHeart SuitJClub Suit flop, 40,000 on the QClub Suit turn and large 100,000 on the 6Spade Suit river. The final bet wasn’t received well by Obst who deflated a little and said: “Jesus,” before dropping his head onto his arm. He finally passed while at the other end of a table a game of What Lodden Thinks raged on between Phil Laak, Antonio Esfandiari and Bryn Kenney. Obst is sat pretty with 570,000 while Robl was left looking healthy with 500,000. Obst claimed to have passed Broadway. — RD

9.15pm: Down to 28

Jason Somerville is the next player to depart. He opened for 10,000 which Antonio Esfandiari raised to 26,000 before Somerville moved all-in for 150,000. Esfandiari called, showing AClub SuitADiamond Suit to Somerville’s JDiamond SuitJSpade Suit. The board ran 4Club Suit10Club SuitAHeart Suit8Club SuitQSpade Suit to eliminate Somerville. — SB

9.05pm: Chen gone

Bill Chen is out. He got the last of his chips in with AClub Suit5Diamond Suit and looked good against David Benyamine’s QSpade Suit9Spade Suit until the board ran 5Club Suit7Club Suit5Heart Suit6Spade Suit8Heart Suit, giving the Frenchman a straight and sending Chen to the rail. “Oh my God!” yelled Chen as the river was dealt, but he’d seen this all before and good naturedly wished the others good luck. He’s out. 29 players remain. – SB

8.58pm: The rich keep on getting richer

There’s a theory that money attracts money and although that supposition is hard to put to the test when all 38 runners have staked themselves into an event for $100,000 it does seem to be working for Daniel Negreanu. The Canadian went into the break just behind Bryn Kenney in chips and he’s already raking more in.

Matt Glantz had been making odd faces from the button, all of which said “I don’t know if I should be calling this 42,000 river bet from beardy man.” But he did. Negreanu had made a near post-sized bet into the 50,000 in the middle on a 9Spade Suit9Diamond SuitAClub SuitJSpade Suit2Club Suit board. Glantz finally made the call and was shown QClub Suit9Club Suit by Negreanu for trip nines just as Antonio Esfandiari pitched up in time to say: “Weeeeeeeee.” The Canadian Team Pokerstars Pro is up to 675,000. — RD

8.50pm: The details

Just a reminder that we are playing nine levels today, meaning three more levels tonight. Players will then return tomorrow to play down to a final table that will be played on Saturday. — SB

8.45pm: We’re back

Play resumes in the Super High Roller with 30 players remaining.


The Atlantis Resort

PokerStars Blog reporting team in the Bahamas (in order of anything you like, we haven’t got time for this): Stephen Bartley and Rick Dacey

This EPT is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at Europe.


PCA 2011 Super High Roller: Day 1, level 5 &amp; 6 (blinds 1,500-3,000, 400 ante)


7.15pm: That’s the dinner break

That’s the end of the level and the start of the dinner break. Play resumes at 8.45pm local time. While we go track down some battered/breaded/frittered/microwaved conch check out the chip counts on the chip count page.

7.13pm: Super squeeze from SuperChen

Dan Cates opened under-the-gun for 7,000 and was called by Andrew Lichtenberger, David Benyamins, Jonathan Duhamel and Caio Pimenta before the action reached Bill Chen in the big blind. Chen announced that he was raising, put in 38,000 and then got to sit back and enjoy watching the dominos fall. — RD

7.07pm: Griffin refusing to let go

Ashton Griffin has managed to get back up to 84,000 after shoving from the big blind into Viktor Blom’s 8,000 middle position open. Griffin was down to around 50,000 jsust a short while ago and will need some help if he’s to stand a chance of making the final five (fifth place pays out $200,000). The dinner break is closing in fast. Full chip count to come then. — RD

7pm: Glantzing blow

Daniel Negreanu is up to nearly 600,000, winning his most recent pot against Matt Glantz.

Negreanu had opened, Glantz had raised to 19,500 and Negreanu called for a 4Club SuitADiamond Suit3Heart Suit flop. Both checked for a JSpade Suit turn card which Negreanu checked. Glantz then bet 22,500 which the Team Pro called.

On the 2Heart Suit river, Negreanu bet 65,000. Glantz thought for a moment, then called, mucking as Negreanu turned over 4Spade Suit5Spade Suit. Glantz down to 240,000. – SB

6.52pm: Shark attack

Humberto Brenes just picked up a nice pot either showing little respect for the current World Champion Jonathan Duhamel and online supreme Daniel Cates, or just having a monster.

Duhamel opened for 8,000 and was three-bet by Cates from the button to 22,000. Brenes came over the top from the small blind with a raise to 72,000. Duhamel quickly mucked and Cates didn’t seem to have the taste to play a big pot with his hole cards either. — RD

pca_super high roller_humberto brenes.jpg

“World Champion? In your eye!”

6.43pm: Hoyt uncorked

Phil Laak wants the dinner break lengthened. He’s claiming it’s a ten minute walk to the nearest restaurant, and his pal Antonio Esfandiari says that he wants to enjoy some dinner. There are two restaurants less than two minutes away, two more another four minutes away. But I’m merely someone who knows that the effects of jetlag are going to kick in sometime in the middle of level 7.

A vote was called for, then immediately overturned by tournament staff. Laak wanted an hour and 45 minutes, the compromise was an hour and a half, 15 minutes more.

In the meantime Hoyt Corkins was playing what would be his last hand of the Super High Roller. The board read 2Heart Suit9Diamond Suit6Heart Suit and was checked by Corkins and Brun Kenney. Then came the 5Diamond Suit turn. Corkins bet 50,000 which Kenney, diamond earring glinting, called for a 10Club Suit river card.

Corkins fired in another 100,000. Kenney looked at his cards again to make sure and announced that he was all-in, for around 265,000 more.

Corkins stood up, hunching over his stack to count it out (around 100,000 left). “Flopped the three nines?” he asked in thick Texan, but Kenny wasn’t talking. Corkins had removed his earplugs and looked unamused. He asked the dealer to spread the pot (worth around 160,000), then having sat down stood up again. Then he asked the dealer to pull in his 100,000. All was quiet, even Phil Laak, thinking about dinner perhaps, was keeping quiet. Corkins eventually sat down, dramatically stacked his chips and pushed them into the middle.

“Set,” said Kenney. Corkins had a set too, but his 2Spade Suit2Heart Suit was undone by Kenney’s 10Diamond Suit10Heart Suit.

Corkins’ eyebrows moved up his face. He looked like he’d just emerged from a deep sleep. “That’s a cooler,” said Laak in sympathy. Corkins said nothing, and looked exactly how you’d expect to look after losing $11,000. He departed for the rail.

“I really didn’t think you had two tens,” said Jason Mercier. Kenney up to more than 500,000. — SB

6.32pm: McDonald under-the-gun shove

He either had a big hand or was feeling the pressure of four-bet shoving light under-the-gun for $100,000. Mike McDonald had a little more than 140,000 shoved into the middle following a three-bet from Sorel Mizzi on the button. Mizzi waited long enough to make McDonald sweat (perhaps literally) before tossing his hand into the muck. McDonald is now up to 170,000 or so. Ashton Griffin, also at the same table, is the current player on life support with just 50,000. — RD

6.24pm: ‘How to run good’ – A book by Jason Mercier

Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier has been on the poor side of the tournament street with around 125,000 just two hands ago. Now he’s busy looking for an upmarket condo having doubled through Bryn Kenney with ASpade SuitKDiamond Suit against AClub SuitQClub Suit before knocking out Tom Marchese with jacks against big slick.

Marchese had opened from middle-position to 7,000 and has been called by Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier on the cut-off before Mercier bumped it up to 19,200 from the big blind. Marchese wasted little time, in fact no time, getting his 100,000 stack in.

Grospellier, however, didn’t have such an easy decision and mucked his hand. Mercier made the call with JHeart SuitJSpade Suit and raked in the pot on the ten-high board to chip up to 380,000. — RD

6.15pm: Six to the flop

Six players saw a flop of 7Heart SuitQSpade Suit10Diamond Suit. Jason Somerville starting things off with a bet of 6,500 in early position which was called by Sandor Denjan, Bryan Colin, Antonio Esfandiari in the cut off, Tobias Reinkemeier in the small blind and Eugene Katchalov in the big.

With the flop on the board Reinkemeier and Katchalov checked to Somerville who bet 13,500. Denjan folded, as did Colin. Esfandiari broke the pattern, calling, before Reinkemeier and Katchalov also passed.

Heads up to the 5Diamond Suit turn. Somerville bet 38,000 this time. Esfandiari, having his shoulders tickled rather than massaged raised to 104,000, enough to force a fold from Somerville and take Esfandiari back up to around 270,000. – SB

6.10pm: Blom versus Negreanu

Viktor Blom and Daniel Negreanu have just tangled in an interesting pot. On the turn of a 3Diamond SuitJSpade Suit4Heart SuitQHeart Suit board Blom bet 35,000 from the button into a pot of 40,000, leaving himself around 110,000 behind. Negreanu made the call from middle position.

On the KClub Suit river the Canadian Team PokerStars Pro checked and Blom counted out 87,500 which he slammed down across the line. Negreanu didn’t seem to like it, muttering “pocket threes, pocket fours” under his breath. He finally made the call and was shown QSpade SuitJDiamond Suit for two-pair. What did Negreanu hold? Did Blom’s forceful shunt convince him he was bluffing? Only Negreanu knows. He is down to approximately 270,000 while Blom punts up to 308,000. — RD

6.02pm: Payouts

The prize structure has just been confirmed, with $1.5 million at stake for first place.

1 – $1,500,000

2 – $1,000,000

3 – $643,000

4 – $400,000

5 – $200,000

A $1.4 million profit from a 38 player field? That’s quite a return on your money. — RD

6pm: In the ear

There may be a reason Hoyt Corkins is wearing earplugs today. At his table is Phil Laak, you may be able to hear him, who was busy giving Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier a good natured hard time for betting under-the-gun, making it 5,500 to play. Laak wanted information from ElkY before deciding whether he had anything worth calling with. Several minutes had passed before ElkY pointed out that two seats along Jason Mercier had raised to 13,400.

This changed nothing. Laak continued his performance as Bryn Kenney folded in the small blind. Laak followed him, as did ElkY. Mercier up to around 150,000. – SB

5.56pm: Old McDonald

Mike McDonald is up a little more, this time beating Vivek Rajkumar to a small pot. On a flop of 4Heart SuitAHeart Suit10Club Suit McDonald bet 9,000 which Rajkumar called for a turn card AClub Suit. McDonald, typically still when in action, threw in another 21,500, enough to force the fold from Rajkumar. – SB

5.50pm: Viktor Victor

More from Blom who this time opened for 5,600 on the button. Nick Schulman, who has tangled several times with Blom, called from the big blind. The flop came 9Spade SuitKHeart Suit2Heart Suit. Schulman checked then folded to Blom when he bet another 10,300. Blom up to nearly 200,000. – SB

5.42pm: Down to 32

We’re down to 32 players and that means four talent-packed tables (all eight-handed).

Table 1

Seat 1 – Caio Pimenta

Seat 2 – Justin Smith

Seat 3 – Bill Chen, Team PokerStars Pro

Seat 4 – Daniel Cates

Seat 5 – Humberto Brenes, Team PokerStars Pro

Seat 6 – Andrew Lichtenberger

Seat 7 – David Benyamine

Seat 8 – Jonathan Duhamel, Team PokerStars Pro

Table 2

Seat 1 – Matt Glantz

Seat 2 – Nick Schulman

Seat 3 – Sorel Mizzi

Seat 4 – Ashton Griffin

Seat 5 – Daniel Negreanu, Team PokerStars Pro

Seat 6 – Mike McDonald

Seat 7 – Vivek Rajkumar

Seat 8 – Viktor Blom

Table 3

Seat 1 – Antonio Esfandiari

Seat 2 – Shawn Buchanen

Seat 3 – Tobias Reinkemeier

Seat 4 – Eugene Katchalov

Seat 5 – Jason Somerville

Seat 6 – Sandor Denjan

Seat 7 – Bryan Colin

Seat 8 – Dan Shak

Table 4

Seat 1 – Tom Marchese

Seat 2 – Bryn Kenney

Seat 3 – Phil Laak

Seat 4 – Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, Team PokerStars Pro

Seat 5 – Andrew Robl

Seat 6 – Jason Mercier

Seat 7 – James Obst

Seat 8 – Hoyt Corkins

There’s still plenty of banter but as the blinds creep up do we detect an edge of seriousness finally entering this event? I think so. — RD

5.32pm: The battles of Brenes

Earlier today Humberto Brenes sought assistance from his son watching from the rail, junior rubbing the shoulders of Brenes senior to work out the stress. The hand Papa Brenes just played against David Benyamine did nothing to ease any built up tension.

Brenes opened from middle position for 7,000 which Benyamine called from the button. The flop came 4Diamond Suit10Heart Suit6Heart Suit which Brenes fired at, 12,500 which again Benyamine called for a 6Diamond Suit turn.

Brenes checked this time, tapping his finger on the table before Benyamine bet 19,000. Brenes leaned towards Benyamine to count his stack. Regardless he passed. Benyamine flashed him a card which only seemed to bother Brenes some more. He’s down to around 150,000 while Benyamine climbs to around 415,000. – SB

5.25pm: Daniel Negreanu at the break

5.20pm: Baker cooked

David Baker was down to just a couple of big blinds when he stuck it in with 9Diamond Suit7Spade Suit. He was looked up by the big blind, Masa Kagawa, who showed 9Club Suit10Club Suit. Baker spiked top pair with his seven and then proceeded to lose to a straight on the river. — RD

5.15pm: Before the break (that, of course, means we’re back)

As level four ended Daniel Negreanu and Viktor Blom played a tentative hand together, first checking the 6Heart Suit4Club Suit3Club Suit flop, then the JSpade Suit turn before doing the same on the 7Club Suit river card; on each street Negreanu started at Blom as if expecting him to reach for a gun at any moment. Blom didn’t, instead he showed ADiamond Suit3Spade Suit to win the hand. – SB

pca_super high roller_chips.jpg

PokerStars Blog reporting team in the Bahamas (in order of giant meatballs eaten at Carmines last night): Rick Dacey (a gut busting two and a half) and Stephen Bartley (a team demoralising one)

This EPT is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at Europe.


2011 PCA Super High Roller: Day 1, level 3 and 4 updates (blinds 1,000-2,000, 300 ante)


5.02pm: Laliberte cartwheels out of the Super High Roller

Cirque de Soleil founder Guy Laliberte has departed the tournament floor. The Canadian started back from the break with just 24,000 so his death bell had been ringing for some time.

That’s the end of the level. — RD

pca_super high roller_guy laliberte.jpg

High Stakes Poker favourite Guy Laliberte is out most recent faller

4.54pm: Backhanded compliment to Mizzi

Phil Laak and Antonio Esfandiari are stood around Sorel Mizzi’s table bantering at the Canadian’s expense.

“I think this is the first time that I’ve seen Sorel when he’s not been the best player at the table,” said Esfandiari.

I didn’t catch Laak’s reply but it was typically filled with ‘wohs’, ‘mans’ and ‘awesomes’. Mizzi didn’t seem to know whether to take the comments as compliments or not, but given how tough the table is (Nick Schulman, Daniel Negreanu, Viktor Blom etc) it would be understandable not to feel insulted. — RD

4.50pm: Mercier good

Sandor Denjan opened for 4,000 which Jason Mercier raised to 11,100. Denjan called with a green chip for a flop of 8Heart SuitJHeart Suit10Heart Suit.

Both checked that for a 3Club Suit turn. Denjan then bet another 22,000, Mercier, big square shaped mirrored glasses, reflecting the action like two TVs in the window of Radio Shack, tossed in a green chip to call.

The river came 9Heart Suit which Denjan checked. Mercier did the same, although with some reluctance. “I imagine I had the best hand but don’t have the best hand,” he said. He did, turning over KDiamond SuitJDiamond Suit to topple Denjan’s 4Club Suit3Diamond Suit. Mercier up to around 140,000. – SB

4.42pm: Rajkumar takes the chip lead

Vivek Rajkumar has taken the chip lead with a hefty 720,000 stack beating Nick Schulman down to 280,000 in the process. Mike McDonald opened to 6,000 from the cut-off and was called by Rajkumar on the button before Schulman three-bet to 16,500 from the big blind. Rajkumar made the call.

Schulman c-bet into the KDiamond SuitQSpade Suit6Diamond Suit flop and Rajkumar made the call. How much was that bet? I couldn’t say but given the size of the bet on the turn I’d hazard a guess that it must have be pot-sized. On the 5Spade Suit turn Schulman fired another 80,000 and Rajkumar made the call.

The river brought a 130,000 bet from Schulman and Rajkumar matched that hefty stack of chips and showed KSpade Suit9Spade Suit for top trips. Schulman mucked as Rajkumar leapt into the chip lead. — RD

4.35pm: Helloooooo Niue!

Yes, it’s shout out time, this time to our one reading in Niue, the Rock of Polynesia, a protectorate of New Zealand out there in the Pacific Ocean. Incidentally Niue is the world’s first free WiFi nation, which leads you to wonder why more of the population aren’t reading this. Anyway, hello down there. — SB

4.25pm: Seiver out

Scott Seiver is out. Having come out worst in a hand against Andrew Robl minutes earlier, he encountered Phil Laak (Spell check name “Leak”) and his pocket queens, getting his chips in on a board of 2Heart Suit8Diamond SuitJClub Suit3Diamond Suit3Heart Suit. Seiver didn’t show when Laak turned over the winner. Seiver becomes the third player to be eliminated. – SB

4.19pm: The importance of insurance

Following on from the last post it turns out that Mike McDonald is still in and it was a seat change. Good for him. He’s been moved onto Sorel Mizzi’s table. — RD

4.16pm: Deep stacked poker

You’d think that in a tournament this deep stacked (i.e. that there’s still 125 big blinds in the starting stack at this level) that it’s almost impossible to go out. Not so. We’ve lost a small smattering of players; Koen Berendsen early on who has been joined by Bill Perkins and, I could be wrong here, Mike McDonald. The Canadian’s seat is empty and there are no chips that I can see from here. It could just be a seat change – that’s my insurance. — RD

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 1,000-2,000, ANTE 300

3.58pm: Seiver Robl’d

David Baker opened for 4,200 from under-the-gun and Andrew Robl called on the button with a single blue chip worth 5,000. Next to act was Scott Seiver (spell check name “Shiver”) who raised to 16,200. Baker passed. At which point the dealer gave Robl his change, which Robl had an issue with and asked for his blue chip back. After some fussing the issue was sorted after Robl called, and the flop was dealt 4Heart Suit8Heart Suit6Diamond Suit.


Andrew Robl

At this point Seiver bet 28,000. He took his time but Robl called for a 6Heart Suit turn. Seiver tanked for a while, usually animated now he was quiet, his hands covering his face almost as though he was playing the harmonica. He bet 52,000.

Robl looked at his cards again. Big shoulders, Robl called, looking at the table as if looking over the top of reading glasses, his forehead pointing directly ahead.

The river came JSpade Suit. Robl eyed Seiver who remained still, playing his harmonica. Then he broke the silence. “I’m all in,” he said. “I call,” replied Robl who turned over 8Spade Suit6Spade Suit to win the hand. The price to Seiver was 146,000, taking Robl up to around 300,000 and taking him down to around 80,000. – SB

3.45pm: ElkY in genuine hand shocker

Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier is definitely one of those players that you expect to be turning over a wide range of hands at showdown so it was fair enough that Bryan Colin took his time deciding whether to call, raise or fold with AHeart SuitKDiamond Suit on a KSpade SuitQHeart Suit4Heart Suit4Club SuitJDiamond Suit board. ElkY’s AClub SuitKClub Suit chopped the pot. — RD

pca_super high roller_elky.jpg

Even ElkY can have a hand fomr time to time

3.37pm: Also on the nod

On a flop of 9Diamond SuitJSpade Suit6Diamond Suit Sandor Denjan checked in the small blind before Shawn Buchanen bet 4,200. Denjan called for a 9Spade Suit turn card and both checked for a 2Diamond Suit river. Denjan then checked again, then called when Buchanen bet 8,100. 10Diamond SuitKClub Suit for Buchanen, AHeart SuitADiamond Suit for Denjan who turned to some friends on the rail behind him and nodded. – SB

3.30pm: On the nod

A bet of 4,200 from Justin Smith on the button and a no hesitation call from Bill Chen in the small blind. Daniel Cates also called from the big blind for a flop of 10Club Suit9Heart SuitAClub Suit.

There then followed a seemingly endless stream of checks. Three for a 7Diamond Suit turn. Then three more for a 8Heart Suit river, followed by three more checks. Smith, the original raiser showed 8Diamond Suit7Spade Suit. Chen and Cates nodded and Smith took the pot. – SB

3.26pm: Phone sex?

Andrew Robl was left looking slightly uncomfortable by the proposal of a bet that centred on the length of his longest phone sex conversation. Antonio Esfandiari was the player that put the idea forward: “He looks like he’d be a Romeo on the phone,” Esfandiari suggested. Although there was a lot of enthusiasm for the topic the bet never took off. More’s the pity.

Elsewhere Sorel Mizzi was three-betting Bill Perkins from the button and picking up a small pot with a post-flop c-bet. Expected behaviour from both Mizzi and Esfandiari. — RD

3.20pm: Chip counts

We did a quick scan of the chips at the break and you can see them all in their technicolor glory here. Nick Schulman is still way out in front with 570,000 after his early knockout of Koen Berendsen. — RD

3.10pm: We play on

Play continues, at the same break neck pace that ripped through levels one and two. Koen Berendsen is the only player eliminated so far. — SB

3pm: Into level 3

And we’re back from the break, refreshed with lattes and the Elton John of Starbuck’s beverages, the caramel frappucino. Blinds are now 800-1,600 with a 200 ante. — SB


The beach

PokerStars Blog reporting team in the Bahamas (by preparation taken for the PCA trip ): Stephen Bartley (extensive physical training while leaning to play a steel drum), Rick Dacey (extensive drinking then trying to lift a steel drum)

This EPT is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at Europe.

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