2:02pm: Players on break
After playing two levels at 100-200, the $25K High Roller players are now headed off on their break. They'll be back in 15 minutes, as will we in a new post on the home page. --BW
1:57pm: Seats still filling in
Being an untelevised $25K that follows a few days after $100,000, I would never have predicted this $25K would be crushing last year's numbers. Players are still walking in (including NAPT Venetian winner Tom Marchese...who just happens to be the roommate of last year's PCA High Roller winner, William Reynolds...oh, it's all so incestuous) and we;ve already crested the 130-player mark, up from last year's 84. --BW
1.57pm: Viktor Blom hits quads
"So sick." This was Viktor 'Isildur1' Blom's reaction to this hand, one in which he made quad tens on the river. The board was T♦9♦A♣4♣ and Blom made it 2,300, getting a call from Craig Bergeron. The river was T♥ and now Blom made it 11,000, again getting a call. Blom turned over his T♠T♣.
"Oh, that's good," remarked an admiring Johnny Lodden. Indeed it was. -- SY
1.55pm: Duhamel up
New Team PokerStars Pro and WSOP champ Jonathan Duhamel is up to around 68,000 on a tough table that also also features the man he inherited the WSOP crown from, Joe Cada. -- SY
1.50pm: Mizzi busts
Sorel Mizzi's stay in the PCA High Roller was a short one - he's just busted to Daniel Alaei. The flop was J♦4♣J♣ and Mizzi bet 4,000 then called Alaei's raise to 17,000. Both checked the A♣ turn, and on the 9♠ river Mizzi bet 15,000 and Alaei announced he was all-in.
It was a tournament-defining moment for the man from Canada, and he gave it several minutes of thinking time before making the call. Alaei showed 4♣4♠ and the flopped full house was good. He's up to over 100,000.
"Easy game," Humberto Brenes remarked. -- SY
1.45pm: Hachem takes a hit
Team PokerStars Pro Joe Hachem is down to 17,000 after being forced to let go on the river of a 8♦T♦6♠2♠J♣ board. There was already 58,000 in the middle when Steve Levy moved all-in for around 25,000 on the river.
Hachem went deep into the tank before eventually folding. -- SY
1:37pm: Tobias Reinkemeier eliminated
In a small blind versus button confrontation, Tobias Reinkemeier has run black kings into Tony Gregg's black aces and is out. --BW
1:26pm: No flush wins
On a diamond-encrusted A♦5♦J♦K♦8♥ board, Sandra Naujoks bet 1,500 and got a call from ElkY in the next seat. His A♠K♠ bested her A♣4♣, with no diamond in sight. -- SY
1:22pm: Maceiras struggle
Team PokerStars Pro Juan Maceiras is not enjoying the early going. He's down to 20,000 after losing a chumk just now to defending champion William Reynolds. The board was A♣4♦9♦6♦K♥ and Maceiras checked before Reynolds made it 7,500.
Maceiras shrugged and made the call:
Reynolds' turned set was good for the pot. He's up to 58,000. -- SY
1:02pm: Level up...sort of
In this particular tournament, the structure is a little weird. While we're playing hour-long levels and have now gone up to level 2, the blinds remain the same. To keep you being surprised like we were, levels 3 & 4 will be be at 150-300. After that, we'll resume a normal structure in which the blinds go up every level. --BW
1:01pm: Battle of the Team Pros
On a board reading 6♠T♥5♠4♥Q♥, Alex Gomes bet out 9,000 and got a slow fold from Humberto Brenes. There was already quite a bit in the pot and Brenes didn't look happy about folding.
"You bluuuuuuuff Humberto?" he said.
"I never bluff Humberto," Gomes replied.
You should note there is not a comma between bluff and Humberto in that previous sentence. That is, Gomes may bluff, but he never bluffs Humberto.--BW
12:58pm: The Veldhuis Paradox
Lex Vehldhuis just came in for a raise to 400, which is the equivalent of a min-raise at this point. When probed for an explanation, he offered this: "I figure I'm not folding to a re-raise anyway, so I might as well make a small raise." Indeed, Lex. Indeed. --BW
12.55pm: Seidel takes one
There was a raise to 600 which was called by Kyle Julius, David 'Chino' Rheem and then Erik Seidel on the button. The flop came K♣2♥2♣ and it was checked to Julius, who made it 900. Rheem called but Seidel bumped it up to 3,200. Only Julius called and then he and Seidel checked down the 6♥ turn and T♣ river. Seidel turned over K♠J♠. It was good. -- SY
12.50pm: Numbers up
We are on 109 players so far and registration will be open for a while yet. That's already well up on last year's 84-strong field. -- SY
12.45pm: Tough table just got harder
The table described below, featuring Isildur1, ElkY, Naujoks, and Arieh, just got a little tougher after defending champion William Reynolds took his seat. Reynolds bagged $576,240 for his efforts last year. -- SY
12.40pm: It's been a good trip already
Just a few days after bagging the first ever PCA $100,000 Super High Roller for $1.5million, Eugene Katchalov has returned to try and make it back-to-back high roller titles. He's sitting with Dmitriy Stelmak, who finished ninth in the Main Event yesterday for $155,000, and Tobias Reinkemeir. -- SY
12:35pm: Fun match-ups
As players continue to walk in, tables are being shuffled, created, moved, and broken. It's hard to keep track of who is sitting where, but for the moment, see below for some interesting table match-ups. --BW
12.30pm: Isildur1 in the house
This being a high roller, there's little surprise to see the Isildur1, the new Team PokerStars Pro, taking his seat. Viktor Blom has got Matt Marafioti to his left, and one further seat along is Friend of PokerStars Pierre Neuville. -- SY
12.25pm: More for Britto
Early chip leader Fernando Britto adds a few thousand more to his stack. On a 6♣8♦9♦ flop, Jason Koon bet 1,600 and Britto re-raised to 3,500. Both then checked the 2♦ turn, and on the 4♦ river Britto led for 2,500 and that was enough to chase off Koon. -- SY
12.20pm: Early pot for Benyamine
David Benyamine took an early pot of WSOP 2010 runner up Joseph Cheong. With the board showing A♣6♠3♥4♥6♣, the Frenchman bet 3,000. Cheong called then mucked swiftly when shown Benyamine's A♦J♥. --SY
12:17pm: Dan Kelly flops nuts, eliminated
This wasn't how Dan Kelly envisioned flopping the nuts would be. He got in a pre-flop raising war with EPT leaderboard Fernando Britto. Then, on a flop of 6♦5♥8♦, Britto check-raised, then called all-in to see Kelly's 9♠7♠, trouble for Britto's A♥A♠. Then in a $25,000 bad beat, the dealer put out running eights to give Britto the full house and send Kelly on his way. --BW
12:07pm: Taking their seats
Here are a few of the people we've seen sit down so far: Phil Collins, Masa Kagawa, Scott Sevier, Jon Little, Joe Cada, Felipe Ramos, Josh Arieh, John Duthie, Pierre Neuville, Dan Kelly, Cliff Josephy, Isaac Haxton, Matt Affleck, Shannon Shorr, Nick Schulman, Johnny Lodden, Justin Bonomo, and Humberto Brenes.
12:02pm: Shuffle up and deal
As players begin to take their seats (they are the laid back sort), the dealers have taken to dealing to all the dead stacks. People will show up eventually. Trust us.
11:25am: Another Day 1?
Well, we're back, rested, and feeling much better than we should at this point in the PCA. Somehow it's like we're back at the beginning. The main event has taken a break for a day, so were turning our attention to the $25,000 High Roller event starting at noon ET today.
Tournament Director Mike Ward has just announced that the players will be playing seven one-hour levels today before breaking for the PokerStars party tonight.
With half an hour still to go before the start of the event, we're not entirely sure who is showing up today. There are 15 tables set up with chips. If that is anywhere close to full, it will beat last year's $25,000 field of 84 people.
Cast ye back your memory to one year ago when William "I'm not Tom Marchese" Reynolds took down the 2010 PCA $25,000 High Roller. Ah yes, those were heady days, days when $25,000 was the biggest buy-in around, days when we pictured Reynolds opposite Brooke Shields in the "Blue Lagoon."
As soon as we know who is playing (and as soon as we have had our Jamba Juice --official breakfast of the PokerStars Blog) we'll be back.
PokerStars Blog $25K reporting team (in order of previous belief in a particular pigeon's ability to breathe): Brad Willis (it's just sleeping); photographer Joe Giron (it moved when we hit it with a peanut); Alex Villegas (the pigeon is dead); Simon Young (there is no pigeon):