1.25pm: Level over, break time
Players are taking a 15-minute break at the end of level four.
1.24pm: Be careful what you wish for
Adriano Pucci was faced with Richard Lyndaker's all-in -- it would cost him 9,375 more to call. Pucci lifted up his sunglasses and stared at his chips, then at Lyndaker, then back at his chips. They fell back down as he looked at Lyndaker again.
"You want a call?" asked Pucci.
Lyndaker sighed and was in the middle of saying "I don't care," when Pucci jumped up, announced the call and threw 10,000 into the pot. He also showed 9♠9♣, Lyndaker tabled T♣T♠ and Pucci groaned.
"I even got your suits covered," said Lyndaker.
"That's O.K., a nine is all I need," replied Pucci.
The board came A♦2♠J♣6♠, and a 8♦ on the river brought brief gasps from the table before they realized it wasn't a nine.
"Wow, don't do that to me again," Lyndaker told the dealer.
Nick Mitchell looked at him and laughed, "What, give you a double up?" --AV
1.21pm: Late to arrive, early to leave
Pat White, who arrived into level three, has been eliminated before the end of level four. David Hilton got him. -- HS
1.20pm: Tournament housekeeping
As the Main Event took a break, Joe Gibbons swung by to check on his friend Adriano Pucci. He's doing just fine, Joe.
The tournament staff also made an announcement to the Bounty Shootout area: winners of the three eight-handed tables will get $36,000 each, and the winner of the nine-handed table will get $40,000. -- HS
1.15pm: Berg busts Peng
It's not a good day to be called Vanessa, as Ms Peng has just followed Ms Rousso out the door. Jonathan Duhamel started it, but Elijah Berg finished it, leaving the "Spades" table down to six.
Duhamel opened with a standard raise and it was folded to Peng on the button. She moved all in, and then Berg also moved all in from the small blind. Duhamel had the chance to eliminate both of them, but thought better of it and folded. That left just Peng and Berg, and Peng was in trouble.
The board ran blank and the ace high was decisive. Peng departs. -- HS
LEVEL UP. BLINDS 400-800-100 IN LEVEL 4
12.55pm: Survival of the fittest
Nicholas Petrangelo will not survive to see level 4.
In the last hand of level 3, Scott Blackman raised to 1,500 and was met with a 4,200 re-raise by Petrangelo. Blackman put his remaining stack of blue chips in the pot and announced all-in. Petrangelo called, putting his tournament life at risk.
Blackman tabled J♠J♥ and was flipping against Petrangelo's A♥Q♣.
The board came 6♠6♥9♣9♠2♠ and Petrangelo was eliminated. Blackman now has over 60,000 and is the chip leader at his table.
Around the same time, two tables away, Blake Purvis eliminated Lawrence Greenberg. --AV
12.50pm: Williams wasted
The feature table has lost another player - and arguably its main attraction. David Williams has now hit the rail, unable to hit his straight flush draw and losing to Paul Matteo's full house.
All the money went in on a board of 3♠J♦2♣. Williams had 14,150 and A♣5♣. Matteo had him covered in chips and had J♠T♦ in his hand. The J♥ on the turn only helped Matteo, and the T♠ made his hand even better.
Williams departs. -- HS
12.45pm: White in
Pat White, a late registrant, has arrived and paid his $10,000 for a seat at Eugene Katchalov's table. That one is now playing nine handed. -- HS
LEVEL UP. BLINDS 300-600-75 IN LEVEL 3
12.28pm: Pilgrim's bounty
Dwyte Pilgrim has just earned his first bounty, a shiny oversized chip with a PokerStars logo and Eric Wasserson's face.
Pilgrim and Wasserson went all-in in a fierce pre-flop battle. Wasserson, with 33,825, was at risk with his K♥K♣. His risk was even greater when Pilgrim showed pocket aces.
The board brought no kings to rescue Wasserson and his bounty was claimed. --AV
12.25pm: Rousso put out of her misery
This has been a tournament to forget for Vanessa Rousso, who has just become the first player eliminated from Flight A. It was another massive confrontation on the feature table, a three way all in featuring these hands:
Eric Wasserson: 5♦5♠
Michael Pesek: K♣K♠
Pesek had both of his adversaries well covered in chips - Rousso's all in was for 2,150, Wasserson's 14,250 more - and also had the biggest pair. But the flop of 5♥9♦J♦ vaulted Wasserson into the lead, where he stayed through the 7♥3♣ turn and river.
Rosso departs, Wasserson triples and picks up the Rousso bounty to boot. -- HS
12.23pm: Safety first
Michael Pesek was short-stacked with A♠K♥ and he decided to go all-in. Team PokerStars Pro David Williams decided to call with A♦Q♦.
The flop came 6♣4♥Q♣, giving Williams the lead, but he knew how cruel poker can be.
"One more for safety," said Williams. "Queen of hearts, let's go!"
The turn did not heed to Williams' request and brought a K♦.
"I knew it," Williams sighed.
The river was a 2♠, giving Pesek the double up. "Good hand," said Williams. --AV
12.20pm: Always bet on Black(man)
"I'll be in the Borgata every weekend," said Scott Blackman as he raked in his freshly won double up. "And I'll get it in as a three-to-one dog as much as I can."
Although most statisticians would not recommend this strategy, it worked out for Blackman in this particular hand.
Blackman was all-in preflop against Nick Mitchell. Blackman's A♦Q♥ was up against Mitchell's A♠K♣ and Blackman was, indeed, an underdog.
The flop was 7♦6♦3♣, reducing Blackman's odds even more. But a Q♠ on the turn would put Blackman in the lead, and a 6♥ on the river would keep him there.
Blackman doubled up to 45,000 while Mitchell is now around the 15,000 mark. --AV
12.15pm: Small pot straightens into a larger one
Elijah Berg has added some more to his good-sized stack, rivering broadway to beat Paul Volpe. Berg opened pre-flop, making it 1,000. Volpe called from the big blind and they went to a 2♠T♥2♣ flop. They both checked.
They also both checked the turn of K♦ but when the J♣ rivered, the chips started moving. Volpe bet 2,850, Berg raised to 6,550 and Volpe called.
Berg tabled A♥Q♦ and Volpe mucked when he saw the big straight. --HS
12.10pm: Conley doubles, Rousso again plays the bank
Justin Conley has now got his short stack all in pre-flop on the feature table and again Vanessa Rousso took him on. This time Rousso had A♦K♦ but she was behind again - Conley had Q♦Q♥. The Q♣ was one of the flop cards and Rousso couldn't catch a miracle.
The Team PokerStars Pro is now very, very short. -- HS
12.05pm: Pilgrim doubles
On the TV table, Dwight Pilgrim had somehow found himself short stacked and got it all in, under-calling a Vanessa Rousso shove. He was ahead with A♦K♠ to Rousso's A♠Q♣ and stayed that way through a blank board.
As mentioned, it's a little tricky to see many of the subtleties going on over there on the television set, but I'm guessing that Rousso must now be a relative short stack after that skirmish. -- HS
12.00pm: Berg's kings
Elijah Berg and Blake Purvis found themselves in a multi-thousand chip pot.
The board read 9♦Q♣K♣ and Berg, from the small blind, check-called Purvis' 2,000 bet. The turn brought a heartier king, K♥, and a heartier bet, 3,300, from Berg. Purvis called and a 6♠ came on the river. Berg led out again with a 5,000 blue chip.
Purvis called and Berg showed A♦K♦, good for trip kings and the pot. Berg is now over the 40,000 mark while Purvis' stack dwindled to 12,025. -- AV
LEVEL UP. BLINDS 200-400-50 IN LEVEL TWO
11.55am: Paging one world champion
There are still a couple of empty seats here, with stacks being blinded away. Those players have registered but were clearly frightened out of their wits by the 11am start and haven't yet showed. One of them was Jonathan Duhamel, whose seat on the spades table remained empty for the first 45 minutes. But someone has now located the World Champion, and he has arrived. -- HS
11.50am: Joey boy!
Adriano Pucci has been railing his friend Joe Gibbons all the way to the final three tables of the Main Event, but has today taken his own seat in the $10,000 Bounty Shootout. He's started well, too, and has just taken a pretty good early pot from Richard Lindaker.
In the cut-off, Lindaker raised to 500, and Pucci called from the button. It was just the two of them to a flop of 8♦J♠7♦. Lindaker bet 700, Pucci called, and the 4♣ turned.
Lindaker bet 1,800 at that, which Pucci also called, and the pattern repeated on the river of Q♦. Lindaker bet 3,500 and Pucci called. Lindaker showed his 8♥4♥ but Pucci had been ahead at all stages with his Q♣J♦.
"Joey boy!" Pucci said with a smile directed to Gibbons, who is repeating the favour and railing Pucci in the hour before he returns to Main Event competition. -- HS
11.35am: Featured table
The Team PokerStars Pro duo of Vanessa Rousso and David Williams were the obvious choice for the feature table. That's good news for television viewers later in the year, but less so for us live bloggers; we can barely see the action on the TV set. I can hear Rousso doing a lot of raising - there's a man with a microphone calling the action - but it'll be a bit tough to see exactly what's going on. -- HS
11.30am: Early action
With the 25 ante and 100-200 blinds, play is already pretty hasty. On the "hearts" table, Nick Mitchell bet 850 at a flop of A♥T♥3♠, which Scott Seiver called. The 2♣ turned and Mitchell checked, prompting a bet of 1,200 from Seiver. Mitchell responded with a raise to 3,500 and Seiver let it go. -- HS
11.25am: Play is under way
We're playing blinds of 100-200 with a 25 ante in level one. The starting stack is 25,000.
Morning all, and welcome back to NAPT Mohegan Sun for the start of the $10,000 Bounty Shootout. This event has become a regular and popular fixture on the North American Poker Tour - and on the television screens of millions of households worldwide.
It's a format that lends itself wonderfully to television. On day one, we play eight sit-and-goes and the winner of each goes through to Thursday's final.
Essentially it's a winner-take-all prize structure, with the added complication/excitement of a "bounty" chip.
To explain: at the very start of the day, each player is also given a big chip with a picture of their face on it, which is their bounty. When that player is eliminated, they hand over the bounty chip to their assassin, and the sniper earns $2,000.
The winner of the most bounties will also win a seat at the next NAPT Bounty Shootout event.
Here's how they line up for the first flight today:
1 Richard Lindaker
2 Adriano Pucci
3 Scott Blackman
4 Nick Mitchell
5 Scott Seiver
6 Nicholas Petrangelo
7 Dan O'Brien
8 Matt Glantz
1 Curt Kohlberg
2 Eugene Katchalov
3 Robert Dalton
4 Steven Kelly
5 David Hilton
6 Chau Giang
7 Nick Schulman
8 Michael DeGilio
1 Jonathan Duhamel
2 Melanie Weisner
3 Paul Volpe
4 Jimmie Guinther
5 Vanessa Peng
6 Elijah Berg
7 Blake Purvis
8 Lawrence Greenberg
1 Paul Matteo
2 Vanessa Rousso
3 Eracles Panayiotou
4 David Williams
5 Eric Wasserson
6 Michael Pesek
7 Dwyte Pilgrim
8 Justin Conley
Play was due to start at 11am, but as I write this there are still more members of television crew than there are players in front of me and it's already 11.10am. -- HS
Reporting team: Howard Swains and Alex Villegas. Photography: Joe Giron.