RECAP: DAVID “CHINO” RHEEM WINS MAIN EVENT, $1,567,100
• Daniel Strelitz runner-up
• Amateur Scott Wellenbach third, donating profits to charity
PAYOUTS


8:01pm: Chino Rheem wins PCA 2019 Main Event
Level 31 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (BB ante 160,000)

It’s all over in the PCA Main Event.

Daniel Strelitz found A♠2♠ and seized the opportunity. He shoved form the button and was immediately called by Chino Rheem with 5♠5♦.

It made Rheem a 2-to-1 favourite, as his buoyant rail was all too aware.

The flop came K♥J♣T♣ leaving Strelitz needing either a queen or an ace (7 outs). The 3♥ turn wasn’t one of them. Neither was the T♠ on the river.

Chino Rheem – Main Event champion


Rheem embraced Strelitz as PCA Main Event champion. Rheem earns $1,567,100 for the title, and Strelitz $951,480 for taking runner-up. — SB

Daniel Strelitz – 2nd place


7:58pm: Living the dream with Rheem
Level 31 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (BB ante 160,000)

Daniel Strelitz picked up K♦T♣ on the button and raised to 325,000, and David “Chino” Rheem called with Q♠5♥.

The flop came Q♦6♥7♣, giving Rheem a pair, and both players checked. The turn was the 9♦. Rheem bet 400,000, and Strelitz called.

The river was the 2♠. Rheem bet 1.2 million this time, and after a short study Strelitz folded.

Now Rheem has almost 22.6 million to Strelitz’s 3.24 million. –MH

7:57pm: Unlikely flush gives Rheem even more
Level 31 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (BB ante 160,000)

Oh my.

Chino Rheem just extended his chip lead backing into a flush with 7♠2♣.

He opened on the button for 400,000 and Strelitz, with K♣6♣ called for a flop of A♣Q♣5♠. Strelitz checked to Rheem who pressed on, making it 600,000 to play. Another call.

The 8♠ turn was checked, but then the river card: 2♠

Suddenly Rheem was ahead. Strelitz, left with king high, checked to Rheem who bet 800,000. Could Strelitz make the call? No. Advantage most definitely with Rheem. – SB

7:45pm: Scott Wellenbach’s wondrous run ends in third
Level 31 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (BB ante 160,000)

The good times continued for David Rheem as he picked up A♣T♦ on the button and raised to 350,000. Scott Wellenbach had been dealt K♣Q♥ in the small blind and reraised all in for 1.79 million. Daniel Strelitz folded and Rheem called right away.

Wellenbach stood from the table while Rheem kept his seat, and the dealer put out the 8♥7♣K♥ flop to put Wellenbach in front with a pair of kings. The J♦ turn then provided Rheem more outs to hit a straight.

Then came the river… the 9♠! A straight for Rheem, and Wellenbach is out in third place, with the majority of his $671,240 cash destined to go to charity.

Scott Wellenbach – 3rd place


Rheem has 20.93 million to start heads-up play, while Daniel Strelitz has 4.9 million. –MH

7:40pm: Rheem adds, Wellenbach subtracts
Level 31 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (BB ante 160,000)

Scott Wellenbach had the button, and after being dealt 5♥3♥ he raised to 400,000. With A♣Q♠ in the big blind, David Rheem shoved all in over the raise and Wellenbach let it go.

Rheem is up to 18.9 million, Wellenbach down to 2.11 million.–MH

Wellenbach hanging on


7:40pm: Rheem up to 18 million
Level 31 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (BB ante 160,000)

Daniel Strelitz opened from the button for 320,000 with K♦5♠. Chino Rheem called form the small blind with Q♥J♠ and they saw the flop.

T♠8♠4♠

Both checked for the 9♠ turn, which they also checked.

By now both had a flush. Rheem bet 800,000 and left it to Strelitz to decide. He called, and dropped down to 4.82 million in the process. Rheem moves up even more to 18.42 million. – SB

7:32pm: Pavel Veksler falls in fourth place
Level 31 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (BB ante 160,000)

David “Chino” Rheem open-shoved with 6♠6♣ from the small blind, and after looking down at A♠Q♣ in the big blind Pavel Veksler called for his last 3.51 million.

Veksler stood from the table with a smile, and after a visit to his rail came over to bump fists with Rheem.

The flop came 2♦J♥T♠ to provide Veksler straight outs to go with his overcards, and the 8♥ turn meant there were more ways for him to make a straight.

But the river was the 8♠, and Veksler is out in fourth for $503,440, shaking hands with everyone before departing.

Pavel Veksler – 4th place


With three left, Rheem is up to 16.255 million now. Daniel Strelitz has 6.175 million, and Scott Wellenbach almost 3.4 million. –MH

7:26pm: Rheem wins three in a row, but not the fourth
Level 31 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (BB ante 160,000)

Chino Rheem wins three hands in a row uncontested, three betting on two of those hands to force folds.

Then came a hand against Daniel Strelitz.

Strelitz opened for 320,000 under the gun with A♦K♣. Rheem — as he had done in the hands before — three-bet to 1.4 million, this time with K♦Q♥.

Strelitz shoved for 4.78 million, which gave Rheem something to think about. He counted out chips but thought better of it. – SB

7:20pm: Set of sevens for Strelitz
Level 31 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (BB ante 160,000)

Daniel Strelitz was dealt 7♣7♠ on the button and raised the minimum to 320,000. It folded to Pavel Veksler in the big blind who called with Q♠9♣, and the flop came 8♥2♠J♥. Both checked.

The turn was the 7♥, making a set for Strelitz. Veksler chose to lead for 530,000 with his gutshot straight draw, and after waiting a while Strelitz announced he was raising all in. Veksler folded in a flash.

Strelitz has 5.175 million now, Veksler 3.75 million. –MH

7:15pm: Rheem takes more from Veksler
Level 31 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (BB ante 160,000)

Chino Rheem opened for 350,000 under the gun with K♣K♠. Pavel Veksler was on the button and called to see a flop with K♥J♣.

8♦A♦T♣

That was checked, as was the T♦ turn.

On the 7♦ river Veksler bet 400,000, which Rheem called to win the pot. He’s now up to 13.31 million while Veksler drops to 4.76 million. – SB

7:10pm: Wellenbach doubles through Rheem
Level 31 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (BB ante 160,000)

Scott Wellenbach looked down at 9♠9♦ on the button and raised all for 2.175 million, and it folded to David Rheem in the big blind who had been dealt A♥2♥.

“How much?” asked Rheem who thought a short while before calling, then the pair waited for the community cards.

“Scott, I’m not gonna lie. Everyone is not rooting for you,” Rheem joked.

The flop came 8♦2♦6♥, pairing Rheem’s deuce, and the turn was the K♦. The river Q♣ completed the board, and Wellenbach doubled to 4.59 million. Rheem still has just over 11.5 million. –MH

Wellenbach keeps his seat


7:05pm: Strelitz shoves Wellenbach off hand
Level 31 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (BB ante 160,000)

On the first hand after the break, Scott Wellenbach picked up K♥9♦ in the small blind and raised to 640,000. Daniel Strelitz had been dealt A♠5♣ in the big blind, and after a pause chose to push all in, getting a quick fold from Wellenbach. –MH

7:03pm: Back to business
Level 31 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (BB ante 160,000)

Four players. One trophy. Let’s go. –MH

6:43pm: Break time

With four players remaining, everyone is taking a 20-minute break. We’ll be back in just a bit.

6:35pm: Vicent Bosca busts in fifth place
Level 30 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (BB ante 120,000)

This time Vicent Bosca was in the cutoff with A♦J♦ and after spending a time bank card he chose to raise to 260,000, leaving just 1.54 million back. It folded to Chino Rheem who called from the big blind with 5♣3♣.

The flop came 3♦T♦Q♣, giving Rheem a pair and Bosca both straight and flush draws. Rheem checked, Bosca bet 300,000, Rheem shoved, and Bosca called all in.

Rheem said “we’re ahead!” when he saw the cards, although in truth Bosca had about a 59% chance of drawing out.

The turn was the T♠, meaning Bosca theoretically had 20 outs (!) altogether to survive (actually 19, as one of them had been folded). But the 5♥ river wasn’t one of them, and he’s out in fifth for $396,880.

Vicente Bosca – 5th place


Rheem now has 14.4 million with four players left. –MH

6:30pm: Small one for Strelitz
Level 30 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (BB ante 120,000)

Vicent Bosca picked up A♦6♦ on the button and just limped in, leaving himself 1.8 million behind. Scott Wellenbach called from the small blind with 4♣3♥ and Daniel Strelitz checked from the big with J♣4♠.

All checked both the 8♦T♥6♠ flop and K♥ turn, then after the 9♥ river Wellenbach checked and Strelitz took a stab for 300,000, good enough to win him the pot. –MH

6:29pm: Notes from the last couple of hands
Level 30 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (BB ante 120,000)

Nothing too big to report from the last few hands.

Chino Rheem shoved on a 5♥J♠4♥ flop after Vicent Bosca bet. Rheem’s shove with Q♥9♥ persuaded Bosca and Veksler to fold.

In the hand that followed Veksler opened from the small blind with 9♦6♥ for 380,000. Bosca called form the big blind with 5♣2♣ for a flop of 4♠A♦J♥.

The hand came to a half when Veksler bet 275,000. – SB

6:15pm: Ace-king works for Strelitz
Level 30 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (BB ante 120,000)

Daniel Strelitz raised from under the gun with A♠K♠ and Scott Wellenbach called from the big blind with 4♠2♠.

The 4♣T♣3♦ flop paired Wellenbach, and so he check-called a bet of 275,000 from Strelitz. The turn was the J♥ and Wellenbach checked again. Strelitz bet 675,000 this time, and Wellenbach folded.

Put Strelitz on 4.08 million, Wellenbach on 3.18 million. –MH

6:13pm: Veksler wins multi-way pot
Level 30 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (BB ante 120,000)

Scott Wellenbach picked up A♠5♠ in the cutoff and raised to 300,000. David Rheem looked down at A♦5♥ in the small blind and called. Then Pavel Veksler called as well from the big blind with Q♠2♠.

The 9♠Q♦5♦ flop was checked around, then after the 7♣ turn Rheem checked, Veksler bet 575,000, and both Wellenbach and Rheem folded, meaning Veksler moved up to 3.625 million. –MH

6:10pm: Rheem flops set
Level 30 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (BB ante 120,000)

Chino Rheem is up to 105 big blinds after taking more chips from Pavel Veksler.

On a flop of 7♠Q♣Q♥ Rheem, who had flopped a set with Q♦3♦ checked to Veklser who bet 200 with T♠T♦. Rheem came in with the check raise to 500,000, which Veklser called.

The turn came the 7♦. Rheem wasted no time betting 895,000. Veklser thought about it, but folded. – SB

6:08pm: The ol’ three-bet with eight-trey
Level 30 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (BB ante 120,000)

Pavel Veksler raised to 240,000 from the cutoff with Q♦9♣, then Daniel Strelitz three-bet to 800,000 from the big blind with 8♠3♠, earning a fold and the pot to climb to 3.44 million. –MH

6:07pm: Wellenbach moves into (a distant) second
Level 30 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (BB ante 120,000)

With more than 12 million to start the hand, Chino Rheem raised to 275,000 from the cutoff with 8♦5♦, and Vicent Bosca called from the small blind with Q♣J♦.

Wellenbach looked down at K♥J♠ and announced he was all in, and the other two quickly folded.

Wellenbach got to 4.175 million with that pot, and is actually second in chips now. That’s how big of a lead Rheem has. –MH

6:04pm: Rheem up to 12 million
Level 30 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (BB ante 120,000)

Daniel Strelitz moved all-in with Queens to force a fold from Vicent Bosca and take his stack to 2.6 million.

In the next hand it was Chino Rheem and Pavel Veklser playing it out again.

Rheem raised from the button with Q♦9♠ which Veklser called with A♥T♥ from the small blind.

8-figure Chino Rheem


On the 9♣T♠J♣ flop Rheem raised to 325,000 which Veklser called. They both checked the Q♠ turn, and the J♥. Rheem looked over at Veksler’s cards, then stacked up more than 12 million. – SB

5:54pm: Another one for Rheem
Level 30 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (BB ante 120,000)

David Rheem raised from the cutoff with Q♠T♣ and Wellenbach defended his big blind with J♥6♥.

The flop was 9♥7♥K♣, and Wellenbach check-called a bet of 400,000 from Rheem. The turn was the 3♣. Wellenbach checked, Rheem bet 800,000, and this time Wellenbach got out.

Rheem is back up to 11.55 million, while Wellenbach slips to 2.42 million. –MH

5:52pm: Rheem gets kings, no action
Level 30 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (BB ante 120,000)

Vicent Bosca won a raise-and-take with pocket tens.

Then Scott Wellenbach was dealt 2♦2♣ and raised to 300,000 from under the gun. Chino Rheem had K♠K♣ on the button and three-bet to 800,000. Veksler folded A♣J♣ from the small blind, and Wellenbach dodged Rheem as well. –MH

5:50pm: Wellenbach trying to climb back
Level 30 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (BB ante 120,000)

Chip leader David “Chino” Rheem raised to 275,000 from under the gun with 9♦6♦, and Vicent Bosca chose to call with Q♥8♥ from the button.

Scott Wellenbach — newly the short stack with 2.425 million — was dealt A♣T♦ in the small blind and shoved, and the others all folded.

Wellenbach opened for 300,000 from the button with A♦J♣ and won the next one, too, and he’s a little over 3.5 million now. — MH

5:49pm: Veksler makes a set on the river
Level 30 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (BB ante 120,000)

Scott Wellenbach just lost chips to Pavel Veksler whose pocket deuces made a set on the river.

Veksler raised to 240,000 from the button pre-flop with 2♠2♦ which Wellenbach called from the big blind with T♥9♦

Wellenbach got the better of the flop, which came 6♣4♦T♣

He checked, then called Veksler’s bet of 330,000. Both checked the 3♠ turn, which brought the 2♥ on the river. Wellenbach checked it. Veksler made it 875,000 to play, which Wellenbach thought about before calling.

He drops to 2.43 million now as Veksler moves up to 5.38 million. – SB

5:28pm: Wellenbach bluffs Rheem off hand
Level 30 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (BB ante 120,000)

With A♣T♠, Scott Wellenbach raised to 300,000 from under the gun and only David “Chino” Rheem called from the button with 7♥6♥.

The flop came 2♣Q♣7♠, and Wellenbach continued for 500,000. Rheem called. The turn was the 5♥. This time Wellenbach bet 1 million even. Rheem nodded, then pushed his (better) hand away.

“You have anything?” asked Rheem after. “Two cards,” said Wellenbach with a slight grin. “I thought they were better than your two… maybe they weren’t.”

The conversation continued with Rheem declaring he had a pair and Wellenbach saying “maybe I had outs.”

One thing all can see — Wellenbach has 4.91 million chips now, while Rheem slips a little to 9.33 million. –MH

5:26pm: Three-way pot? Check
Level 30 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (BB ante 120,000)

Daniel Bosca called under the gun with Q♠J♦. Chino Rheem called from the small blind with 4♦3♦, and Pavel Veksler checked the big blind with J♥9♥.

On the flop of 9♣2♦K♠ Rheem bet 300,000, which would be the last of the betting for this hand. Veksler and Bosca called, then they all checked the 8♠ turn and the Q♣ river.

That queen gave Bosca the pot, which was worth 1.38 million, and took his stack to 4.34 million. – SB

5:15pm: Bosca three-bet shoves with sixes
Level 30 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (BB ante 120,000)

Scott Wellenbach picked up K♣J♥ under the gun the first hand back from the break, and he dug out chips to raise to 300,000, and that was enough to win the first pot.

On the second hand, Daniel Strelitz was under the gun and with A♠9♣ he raised to 240,000. David “Chino” Rheem had A♣T♦ in the cutoff and called, then Vicent Bosca looked down at 6♠6♥ and jammed for 2.655 million total. It folded back around to Strelitz and Rheem, and they stepped aside as well.

Bosca chips to 3.375 million, while Rheem still has almost 11 million. –MH

4:53pm: Back from break

Still five handed, the final table action has resumed.

4:53pm: Break time, 5 remain

The last five players are taking another 20-minute break, and Chino Rheem is still the big chip leader. See the updated counts below. –MH

Name Country Status Chips BBs
David “Chino” Rheem USA 11,205,000 112
Pavel Veksler Ukraine PokerStars player 4,860,000 49
Daniel Strelitz USA 3,840,000 38
Scott Wellenbach Canada PokerStars qualifier 3,025,000 30
Vicent Bosca Spain 2,895,000 29

4:52pm: Last pot of the level to Bosca
Level 29 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (BB ante 100,000)

In the final hand of the level, Vicent Bosca picked up A♣Q♣ from under the gun and just limped in for 100,000. Chino Rheem called from the small blind with A♥6♣ and Veksler checked from the big blind A♠8♥.

The flop came K♦9♦T♥, it checked to Bosca who bet 275,000, and the others folded. Bosca has 2.9 million going to break. –MH

Niall Farrell on the rail for Strelitz


4:50pm: Strelitz raise takes it
Level 29 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (BB ante 100,000)

Bosca called from the cut off with K♥J♦ and Scott Wellenbach did the same from the button with 4♠2♠. Daniel Strelitz though looked down at A♠J♣ in the small blind and raised to 550,000. That got folds from everybody else. –SB

4:45pm: Wellenbach fills straight, takes from Strelitz
Level 29 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (BB ante 100,000)

Daniel Strelitz raised to 200,000 from under the gun with A♦4♦ and Scott Wellenbach called from the big blind with J♠T♣.

The flop came 9♦K♦7♠. Wellenbach checked, Strelitz bet 200,000, and Wellenbach called.

The turn was the 8♥, filling Wellenbach’s gutshot draw for a straight. He checked again, and Strelitz checked behind.

The river was the K♥ and Wellenbach led out for 500,000, forcing a fold from Strelitz.

Wellenbach has 3.53 million now, while Strelitz has 3.04 million. –MH

4:40pm: Woah, Chino. Easy there big fella
Level 29 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (BB ante 100,000)

Chino Rheem came in for a raise to 225,000 from the button holding 8♠7♣. Vicent Bosca called out of the big blind with A♠9♥. The flop came 5♦K♦9♦. Bosca check-called 400,000 from Rheem. Both players checked the 5♥ turn.

On the K♣ river, Bosca decided to take a shot at Rheem and bet 600,000. What seemed like a clear fold became a wild bluff that worked. He raised to 1.5 million and got a quick fold from Bosca. –BW

4:35pm: Wellenbach four-bet shoves
Level 29 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (BB ante 100,000)

A small boost for Scott Wellenbach who four-bet shoves for 3.4 million with pocket kings. Daniel Strelitz, who opened the hand, folded his K♥Q♥, and Pavel Veklser, who had three bet, folded 9♠8♠.

Wellenbach up to 3.38 million. –SB

4:30pm: Vicent Bosca doubles through Rheem
Level 29 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (BB ante 100,000)

Daniel Strelitz came in for raise to a 200,000 with A♣5♣, and Rheem three-bet to 800,000 with A♦Q♣. His timing couldn’t have been worse. Vicent Bosca looked down at A♥K♦ and shoved for two million. Strelitz folded, but Rheem made the call.

“I can’t fold after I make it 800,” Rheem said. “There’s still three queens in the deck.”

Nevertheless, he couldn’t find one, and doubled Bosca to 4 million. –BW

4:25pm: “Pavel’s crazy, bro.”
Level 29 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (BB ante 100,000)

A great hand between Chino Rheem and Pavel Veklser played out just now.

Rheem called from the small blind with 9♥5♦ and Veksler checked his open in the big blind with K♠4♠. The flop came 6♠5♠9♠ giving Rheem two pair, but also giving Veklser a flush. Rheem bet 150,000 and Veksler called.

The turn came the Q♦. Again Rheem bet, 425,000 this time. Veklser, thinking a moment, raised to 1.1 million, which Rheem called.

Now the A♥ river card. Rheem checked. Veksler moved all in for 2.66 million, giving Rheem a decision. He spent three time bank cards on it — he’ll play the rest of the final without any. Then he folded.

“You bluff me?” asked Rheem in what was a monologue that had Veklser giggling form start to finish. “You bluff me? You did, you’re smiling. You bluffed me. You’re smiling, I’ll let you live. It’s okay buddy. This is not the way we stick to the plan by the way, I’m just going to remind you. You’re f***ing that up! It’s annoying me right now!”

“Pavel’s crazy bro,” Rheem continued. “He’s a crazy f***ing Ukrainian. Think I don’t know you’re crazy? I flopped two pair. Nine-five I had. That’s my hand. Crazy f***ing Ukrainian. Nice hand.” –SB

Rheem talking, Veksler smiling


4:22pm: Veksler reads Wellenbach’s hand, gets away
Level 29 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (BB ante 100,000)

Pavel Veksler opened to 200,000 with A♦4♠ from the cutoff. Vicente Bosca called from the button.

That’s when Scott Wellenbach woke up with K♥K♣ in the small blind. He picked at his chips for a minute before announcing he was all-in. Both players responded with immediate folds (and Veksler immediately calling Wellebach’s hand). –BW

4:20pm: More chips for Chino
Level 29 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (BB ante 100,000)

David “Chino” Rheem keeps adding to his lead. His now up over 13 million, with his nearest challenger sitting with less than 5 million. –MH

Name Country Status Chips BBs
David “Chino” Rheem USA 13,325,000 133
Pavel Veksler Ukraine PokerStars player 4,310,000 43
Daniel Strelitz USA 3,870,000 39
Vicent Bosca Spain 2,395,000 24
Scott Wellenbach Canada PokerStars qualifier 1,975,000 20

4:15pm: Rheem takes more from Wellenbach
Level 29 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (BB ante 100,000)

Scott Wellenbach and Chino Rheem just got to the river for a pot worth 1.5 million.

Wellenbach opened with A♣K♥ under the gun for 250,000. Rheem called on the button with 4♥4♦. The flop came 9♦3♥8♦. Wellenbach check-called Rheem’s bet of 400,000. Both players checked the 3♦ turn, and the J♥ river to send the chips to Rheem.

He’s now on 11.7 million, to Wellenbach’s 2.18 million. – SB

4:10pm: Altman’s next shove ends his tournament
Level 29 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (BB ante 100,000)

The courage Altman showed in his shove against Pavel Veksler a few minutes ago just cost him against Chino Rheem.

Altman raised to 200,000 under the gun with A♦3♦ and Rheem three-bet to 700,000 from the big blind with Q♦Q♥. Altman read it wrong and shoved more than 3 million. Rheem called and after the 8♥7♣8♣3♥T♠ board his queens had held. Altman left in 6th place for $297,020.

Brian Altman – 6th place


“You’re welcome, boys,” Rheem said. –BW

4:05pm: Strelitz hits river to double up
Level 29 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (BB ante 100,000)

Daniel Strelitz just spiked a three on the river to double up through Scott Wellenbach.

Wellenbach opened for 400,000 from the small blind with A♠J♥. Strelitz was in the big blind and found Q♣3♠. He shoved for 2 million. Wellenbach called.

The flop came 9♠4♣9♣, but the turn card A♥ put Wellenbach ahead. Strelitz looked like he was on his way out until the 3♥ hit the river, to the delight of Strelitz’s rail.

And to Strelitz, who now has 4.12 million. Wellenbach, down to 2.8 million, also managed a smile. – SB

4pm: Altman scares off Veksler with “gangster shove”
Level 29 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (BB ante 100,000)

Brian Altman came in for a raise to 9♦8♦ to 220,000 and Pavel Veksler responded with a three bet to J♠9♠ to 525,000. Altman, unafraid, just shoved and scared Veksler immediately away. Lex Veldhuis said in the stream, “What a gangster shove.” Whatever that is, we agree.

Altman has 3.2 million now, Veksler 3.7 million. –BW

3:55pm: Rheem up to more than 9 million
Level 29 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (BB ante 100,000)

Scott Wellenbach opened for 250,000 in early position. He had Q♠J♦. Chino Rheem called form the button with A♠7♠. They saw a flop come 5♦A♦J♣. Wellenbach check-called Rheem’s bet of 300,000, and did the same on the 8♣ turn card — 400,000 that time.

On the 3♠ river both players checked. Rheem’s ace was good. He moves up to 9.33 million to Wellenbach’s 5 million. –SB

3:52pm: Wellenbach unafraid to rep big
Level 29 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (BB ante 100,000)

Scott Wellenbach came in for a raise to 250,000 with pocket fives, and Brian Altman called out of the big blind with 9♦8♣. On a flop of K♠3♥8♥, Altman moved ahead but still check-called Wellenbach’s 350,000 bet. The turn was scary: A♠. Altman checks and Wellenbach kept up his story with a bet to 800,000. Altman believed him and folded. –BW

3:45pm: Bosca wins with two pair
Level 29 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (BB ante 100,000)

Vicent Bosca was dealt K♦5♦ on the button and raised to 220,000, and Daniel Strelitz defended his big blind with J♣7♥.

The flop came J♠4♠K♣ giving both players pairs, and after Strelitz checked, Bosca bet 200,000 and Strelitz called. The 9♠ on the turn brought another check from Strelitz, and Bosca checked behind.

The river was the 5♥, and after Strelitz checked Bosca bet 500,000 with his two pair. Strelitz used a time bank before folding.

Bosca has almost 3 million now, and Strelitz 2.41 million. –MH

Bosca adds to stack


3:35pm: Rheem wins pot with a three
Level 29 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (BB ante 100,000)

Chino Rheem called from the small blind with K♥3♥. Brian Altman was the big blind and raised to 400,000 with A♥K♦. Rheem called.

They saw a flop come 5♥3♠2♠, and the three on the board put Rheem ahead. Both checked for the 5♦ turn, which changed nothing. Rheem bet at it, making it 400,000 which Altman called.

On the Q♥ river Rheem checked. So, too, did Altman, which gave Rheem the 1.9 million pot. He’s up to 8.16 million. Altman is on 2.63 million. – SB

3:30pm: Deuces good? Deuces good.
Level 29 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (BB ante 100,000)

Scott Wellenbach came in for a raise to 250,000 and Daniel Strelitz elected to just put it in–nearly 2.5 million in chips–with pocket deuces from the small blind. Chino Rheem woke up with fours in the big blind but decided not to risk it. Wellehnbach gave up, too and Strelitz raked the pot.

Strelitz chips to 2.93 million, Rheem still leads with 7.46 million, and Wellenbach has 4.94 million. –BW

Strelitz shove gets through


3:25pm: Bosca shoves for 2 million
Level 29 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (BB ante 100,000)

Vicent Bosca just moved all-in. It came after Brian Altman opened from the cut off, making it 220,000 with A♠8♥.

Bosca shoved with 2♣2♠ for 2 million. Scott Wellenbach folded pocket sixed to take the action back to Altman, who passed. Bosca has 2.5 million to work with now. – SB

3:20pm: Play resumes
Level 29 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (BB ante 100,000)

The players are back, and the first hand of Level 29 is being dealt. –MH

Rheem: Still setting the pace


3pm: Off to the break they go
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (BB ante 80,000)

On the last hand before the break, Vicent Bosca opened to 160,000 with K♥J♥ from the cutoff and Chino Rheem had J♣7♦ in the big blind and called.

The flop was the 2♥4♣A♠ and Bosca’s continuation bet got Rheem to fold.

With that, they went on break. When they return stacks will be as follows, with a 100,000 big blind.

Name Country Status Chips BB
David “Chino” Rheem USA 7,225,000 72
Scott Wellenbach Canada PokerStars qualifier 5,435,000 54
Brian Altman USA PokerStars player 4,100,000 41
Pavel Veksler Ukraine PokerStars player 3,960,000 40
Daniel Strelitz USA 2,800,000 28
Vicent Bosca Spain 2,275,000 23

— HS

2:55pm: Small but well-judged fold
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (BB ante 80,000)

Chino Rheem opened to 200,000 with A♠Q♥ and Vicent Bosca somehow managed to find a fold with K♦Q♠. That’s a pretty amazing fold in the circumstances. Bosca is still the short stack and Rheem is opening plenty. — HS

2:50pm: Men at work
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (BB ante 80,000)

Play has slowed somewhat, which creates better circumstances for table talk. Scott Wellenbach asked Chino Rheem just now what he did before becoming a poker pro. “All of it,” answered Rheem, listing waiter, telemarketer, dishwasher, and bartender among his former occupations.

Wellenbach responded that he’d driven a cab and worked as a security guard before, and Rheem asked him which he preferred.

“Cab driver by a million miles,” said Wellenbach, explaining that it was much more interesting than being a security guard.

Speaking of things getting interesting, while they talked Pavel Veksler raised to 160,000 from the button with 8♣6♥, but Vicent Bosca shoved from the small blind with K♣2♣ to take the pot away. Bosca is at 2 million now. –MH

2:48pm: Tale of two pocket pairs
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (BB ante 80,000)

After Vicent Bosca and Scott Wellenbach folded, Daniel Strelitz looked at his cards in the cutoff and saw K♦K♣ in the hole in front of him. Lovely stuff. Strelitz raised and Chino Rheem instantly called on the button with K♠6♠. The flop was a little dangerous. It came 4♦9♦9♥ and they both checked. Strelitz’s delayed continuation bet after the 8♦ river got it done.

On the next hand, it was Rheem in the cutoff with the pocket pair and a raise of 200,000 with his 4♠4♦ picked up a call from Bosca in the big blind with T♣5♣. Bosca check-folded the K♣2♦9♦ flop to Rheem’s continuation bet. — HS

The final table continues


2:45pm: Small one for Wellenbach
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (BB ante 80,000)

Scott Wellenbach came in for a raise to 200,000 from the cutoff with 8♣9♦. Brian Altman called out of the big blind with 7♦5♠. On a flop o T♦2♠Q♣ flop, Altman check-folded to a 300,000 bet form Wellenbach. –BW

2:40pm: Action flop leads to Strelitz taking from Veksler
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (BB ante 80,000)

After a few small-pot hands, the 24th hand of the day began with Daniel Strelitz opening from under the gun with Q♥T♠. It folded to Pavel Veksler who had J♠9♠ on the button, and he chose to call with position.

The blinds got out, and the flop came 9♥2♥J♦ giving Strelitz an open-ended straight draw and Veksler two pair. Strelitz checked, Veksler bet 135,000, and Strelitz called.

The turn was the A♥, meaning Veksler was still in front. Strelitz checked again, and Veksler checked behind.

The river brought the 8♥ which improved Strelitz to a flush, and he led for 425,000. Veksler studied for a half-minute, spent a time bank card and thought a little longer, then folded.

Strelitz has 4.32 million now, Veksler 3.08 million. –MH

2:32pm: Wellenbach flops well, beats three others
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (BB ante 80,000)

Chino Rheem opened to 200,000 from under the gun with J♣7♣ and Pavel Veksler looked down at A♣T♣ and called. Scott Wellenbach had K♠9♠ and called in the small blind, and then Daniel Strelitz had 6♠5♠ in the big blind and he called too. There was a lovely symmetry to it all.

The flop brought the T♦K♦2♣ and that put Wellenbach into the lead. He led out for 500,000, removing Strelitz and Rheem from the equation, but Veksler stuck around with his second pair and backdoor flush draw.


Scott Wellenbach: Building back into second


The Q♠ fell on the turn and Wellenbach bet 1.1 million, which is one of the biggest bets of the tournament so far. “Good flop for me,” he said as Veksler folded.

With that Wellenbach moved back into second place in the counts with 5.28 million. — HS

2:30pm: Bosca semi-bluff gets through
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (BB ante 80,000)

Daniel Strelitz came in for a raise to 160,000 with A♣T♥. Vicent Bosca came along out of the big blind with 9♣4♣. Strelitz missed the flop and Bosca picked up a flush draw with J♣2♥3♣ on the flop. That led Bosca to check-raise Strelitz’s 125,000 bet to 390,000. Strelitz gave it up.–BW

2:18pm: Wellenbach and Strelitz each take from Rheem
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (BB ante 80,000)

Chino Rheem opened to 200,000 with A♠J♥ from under the gun, then Scott Wellenbach three-bet to 800,000 from the small blind with 9♥9♦. Rheem studied Wellenbach’s remaining stack — about 3.1 million — then folded. Wellenbach inches closer to 4.2 million after that.

On the next hand Daniel Strelitz limped from the small blind with Q♠7♣, Rheem checked the big blind with 6♥4♠. Strelitz bet 100,000 after the 6♣5♠Q♣ flop, and Rheem called. Both checked the 5♥ turn, then the 7♠ came on the river.

With the better two pair, Strelitz bet 400,000, and Rheem folded. Strelitz has 2.75 million, while Rheem has 7.06 million. –MH

2:15pm: Bosca shoves short stack, collects
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (BB ante 80,000)

After winning that hand with pocket jacks (see below), Veksler kept his foot on the gas with a raise to 160,000 from the button with J♠2♠. Vicent Bosca responded with an all-in push from the small blind with 3♥3♣ and Bosca got it through to chip to 1.87 million. –MH

2:14pm: Veksler continues upward motion
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (BB ante 80,000)

Scott Wellenbach opened to 200,000 with 9♦8♦ and Chino Rheem found A♦Q♦ and three-bet to 600,000. Pavel Veksler then saw the J♠J♥ in his hand and opted to rip it in for 4.475 million. Wellenbach quickly folded.

“I’m going to show you a good hand,” Rheem said as he postured to fold. He then did indeed toss them away, and another nice pot went in Veksler’s direction. He is now up to 5.435 million, which is now second in chips. He has had a great start to the day and is up more than 3 million. — HS

2:13pm: Strelitz gets there extracts some Altman chips
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (BB ante 80,000)

Brian Altman decided to come along when Strelitz raise pre. Altman had A♣3♣ to Strelitz’s Q♦J♥ Altman flopped his ace, but Strelitz both flopped and rivered a jack for a win that was worth 675,000. –BW

2:05pm: Veksler continues fast start
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (BB ante 80,000)

Pavel Veksler opened to 260,000 from early position with A♣4♣, and Scott Wellenbach called the raise from the button with 5♥4♥. Chino Rheem then looked down at K♥K♦ in the big blind and three-bet to 420,000, and both Veksler and Wellenbach called.

The flop came 7♥Q♦A♥, giving Veksler top pair of aces and Wellenbach a flush draw. All three players checked. The turn was the 9♠ and Rheem checked again. Veksler bet 625,000 this time, and Wellenbach called with his flush draw. Rheem studied the situation for just a few seconds, then let his kings go. Pot 2.63 million.

The river was the 8♣ and after both remaining players checked, Veksler picked up a nice pot. He’s already up to 4.64 million (third in chips), while Wellenbach has 4.06 million (fourth). –MH

Fast start for Veksler


2:02pm: Wellenbach gives to Rheem, gets from Bosca
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (BB ante 80,000)

Chino Rheem opened to 200,000 from UTG+1 with A♠9♣ and Scott Wellenbach defended his big blind with 3♠2♠. Three high! The game is gone!

Rheem flopped better with the A♠7♦6♥ appearing and, after Wellenbach checked, Rheem’s reaching for chips was enough to get Wellenbach to fold.

Wellenbach got the chips back on the next hand, however, when Vicent Bosca opened the button to 180,000 with J♠7♠ and Wellenbach three-bet to 740,000 from the small blind with A♠J♥. Bosca folded. — HS

2pm: Altman shoves with ace-king
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (BB ante 80,000)

Scott Wellenbach raised to 200,000 from early position with 3♠3♥ and Chino Rheem called with T♦9♠ from the button. Brian Altman then shoved all in over both from the small blind with A♠K♦ and everyone got out.

Altman moves up to 5.32 million with that pot — in second position now behind Rheem. –MH

1:55pm: Wellenbach donates a bit to Veksler
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (BB ante 80,000)

Scott Wellenbach will play A♦9♦ six-handed. Keep that in your notes. It may work out for him at some point, but the first time he tried it today, he was up against Pavel Veksler’s A♣J♥, and that rarely ends well. Veksler raised under the gun to 160,000 and Wellenbach came along from the cutoff (as did Brian Altman from the big blind with 9♠3s]. Veksler got two streets of action from Wellenbach, but checked the river on a board that ran out 2♦A♥6♥Q♠K♥. Veksler extracted 935,000 from Wellenbach by the time the hand was finished. –BW

1:50pm: Rheem flops Broadway, takes from Bosca
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (BB ante 80,000)

On the first hand of the day there was a dead small blind, and it folded around to Scott Wellenbach on the button who raised. Daniel Strelitz folded the big blind, and Wellenbach took the day’s first pot.

On the second, Vicent Bosca raised to 160,000 with T♥9♦, Chino Rheem defended his big blind with K♥T♣, and the flop came A♠J♣Q♥ to give Rheem a Broadway straight. Rheem check-called a bet of 225,000 from Bosca, then the 5♦ came on the turn. Rheem checked again, and Bosca bet 600,000. Rheem called again, bringing the pot to 2.09 million.

The river was the J♥ and Rheem checked his straight a third time. Bosca sat with his mouth covered for a while and chose to check behind.

Rheem scoops a nice pot to start the day, and he’s up to 8.58 million while Bosca slips to sixth position with 1.89 million. –MH

1:45pm: Let’s go!
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (BB ante 80,000)

Play has begun! There is still almost an hour and 15 minutes to play in Level 28. –MH

1:20pm: Final table set to begin

Last night, we walked away thinking, “This might be one of the best final tables in PCA history.” We woke up feeling no differently. We have a seasoned and talkative pro leading the pack. Chino Rheem talks as fast as he acts and looks like he thinks he’s playing among children. Scott Wellenbach is a recreational player who says he is giving all is money to charity. You couldn’t ask for a better top pairing. Oh, and the rest of the guys are sharp as hell and hoping to walk through those two minefields. You can read all about them here in our 2019 PCA Main Event final table player profiles.

The final six


Action begins in just a few minutes. Here’s how those guys are seated and stacked. Stick with us until we have a champion.–BW

Name Country Status Chips Seat
Scott Wellenbach Canada PokerStars qualifier 6,015,000 1
Daniel Strelitz USA 2,355,000 2
David Rheem USA 7,550,000 3
Brian Altman USA PokerStars player 4,995,000 4
Pavel Veksler Ukraine PokerStars player 2,035,000 5
Vicent Bosca Spain 2,875,000 6
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