Like dust motes in a sunlit room, PCA players get hard to pin down on Day 4. One minute they're sailing carefree at the rafters, and in a blink they're gone and forgotten as if they weren't ever there at all. It's a fickle business, poker.
Defying that axiom, however, is one Faraz Jaka. Chip leader on Day 2 and Top 5 on Day 3, Jaka has been a mote who refuses to disappear in a shadow. Turn out the lights and he'll glow. Steady-stacking all day long, Jaka's turn-card semi-bluff with a little straight draw came in against Larry Greenberg for a massive pot that sent Jaka's stack over the 3 million mark and cemented his spot as day-end chip leader for the second time in this tournament. He finished the day with 4,114,000 and a giant lead on big pack of players with two million or more.
Though they don't sit in the top ten (you'll be able to find the full list of chip counts on the PCA Live Updates Chip Counts tab), two more names stand out for their performance today.
First Martin Jacobson. Note that at one point on Day 4 he had fallen all the way down to 200,000 in chips and then finished the day with 1,670,000. Now consider this: in the ten situations where he's made the top 25 players of an international tournament with $5,000 buy-in or more, he's made the final table nine times. We may be able to start writing our final table player profiles sooner than normal.
Now, consider Xuan Liu. Not only is she coming off an EPT San Remo final table, but she is also poised to break a record. Last year at the PCA, Ana Marquez went deeper than any other woman in main event history. Liu still has a shot at doing better. As the last woman still alive in this event, Liu has 1,082,000.
The low points of the day for PokerStars and PCA regulars were painfully easy to spot. 2011 champion Galen Hall was out within minutes of the day's start for a 64th place finish and $32,500. So went Chris Klodnicki, William Reynolds, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, golfer Sergio Garcia, and Team PokerStars Pros Arnaud Mattern and Jan Heitmann. Though a disappointing day for all, it's a good result nonetheless in one of the world's toughest fields.
Suffering a bit more tonight is Luca Pagano. After spending much of the last two days with a big stack, he suffered a staggering one-two punch from Martin Jacobson in back-to-back hands late in the day. The first was an out-kicked ace. The next was a short-stacked open-shove into ace-queen. There was no coming back from that, and Pagano was gone in 30th place.
After that it was like a birds falling off an electrified wire. Six more players fell in quick succession and the entire day was over before 5:30pm. Among them at the end was Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein, the last of the Team Pros in the field. Forced to grind a short stack all day, Greenstein busted out right at the day's end in 25th place for $46,000.
While our live updates were pumping, chip counts were jumping, and payouts were bumping (you can find all of those things right here on our PCA main event live updates page), we were also busy digging a little deeper into the finer machinations of the PCA and its remaining players. Here are all of those tales:
Though all matters of great import, by this time tomorrow we expect today's stories to be old news. The 24 remaining players will be back here at noon to play down to the final table. After five days of toiling in the anonymity of a mote, those remaining eight players will find their final sunlit spot in PCA history.
Until then, it's a Bahamian night's sleep under a Caribbean moon, one just dim enough that the dust motes of the day stay invisible until Thursday. Yes, just that dim.
All photography © Joe Giron/www.joegironphotography.com