Nick Petrangelo leads first PokerStars Championship Bahamas Super High Roller

January 06, 2017

On most days, a tournament with a $100,000 buy-in is serious business. There are millions at stake, and the people who compete for that cash are businessmen more than gamblers. Today, however, the first tournament of the first PokerStars Championship was as much comedy show as it was poker tournament. Drawing 39 players and eleven $100,000 re-entries, the Super High Roller got rich fast. When this first day was done, Nick Petrangelo had run his 250,000 starting stack all the way north of 860,000. It’s a chip lead, but a tenuous one as Steve O’Dwyer sits on 801,000.

NEIL8889_Nick_Petrangelo_PCB2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Nick Petrangelo

NEIL8518_Steve_O'Dwyer_PCB2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Steve O’Dwyer

The comedy injection came by way of a tournament player we have never seen in a Super High Roller. That man? The multi-millionaire actor and comedian Kevin Hart. The highest paid comedian working in America (yes, he’s eclipsed even Jerry Seinfeld) decided he would try his poker chops against the best in the world today. And how did he fare? Well, he did fine until the last level of the night when he went bust. Nevertheless, earlier in the day Hart had vowed to buy in up to 22 times, so it was no surprise when he jumped immediately back in to finish off the night.

NEIL0604_Kevin_Hart_PCB2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Kevin Hart

Hart still has a long road ahead and will have work to do on Saturday against this list of top players at the top of the leaderboard tonight. Here are the top ten.

Name Country Chips
Nick Petrangelo United States 861,000
Steve O’Dwyer Ireland 801,000
Daniel Dvoress Canada 720,000
Connor Drinan United States 637,000
Jason Koon United States 624,000
Sam Greenwood Canada 605,000
Leo Cheng Canada 571,000
Koray Aldemir Germany 552,000
Jason Mercier United States 517,000

Not everyone was as lucky. Among the people who coughed up another $100,000 today: O’Dwyer, Daniel Negreanu, Christoph Vogelsang, Erik Seidel, and Timothy Adams. Adams busted his second bullet, too. Not to be outdone, Bill Perkins busted two bullets at bought in for a third time. It’s a crazy world out there.

NEIL8837_Bill_Perkins_PCB2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Bill Perkins

We’ll have full chip counts for the field over on our dedicated $100,000 Super High Roller chip counts page. Head on over there to see where your horse is running.

When you’re finished with that, you can scroll down through every report from the day below. We’ll be back at 12pm ET Saturday as the High Rollers work to play down to a final table.

Until then, goodnight from the first PokerStars Championship. –BW

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Day 1 coverage archive

9:27pm: Zinno busts on final hand
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

Anthony Zinno had an easy job during the bagging period at the end of the day. He just needed to sit there, send a few text messages, and wait for his friends. He had no chips to bag, having lost them on the final hand of the day.

They went to Daniel Dvoress, who ended his day in a similar manner to how he began it, by winning a big pot. It was actually a straight race: Dvoress opened to 12,000 and Zinno then jammed for 80,000. Dvoress called.

Dvoress: K♣Q♣
Zinno: 8♠8♦

The board ran 5♦4♠2♠Q♦2♦ and that was the end of the day in more ways than one for Zinno. Dvoress, meanwhile, was able to sign for 720,000. –HS

9:16pm: Four more hands
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

The remaining players are going to play four more hands and then bag up for the night. We’ll have a full report and chip counts shortly. –BW

9:16pm: Vogelsang felts Newey near finish
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

Christoph Vogelsang opened for 11,500 from the cutoff, then Paul Newey pushed his last 90,500 from the button, and once the blinds scattered Vogelsang had to think about it.

Noting that the reentry window was closing (it ends with the start of Day 2), Vogelsang hemmed and hawed a bit before finally calling with 5♠5♣. Newey tabled A♦J♠, and five cards later — 9♣2♦10♥9♠5♦ — Vogelsang had a set and Newey’s day ended just a little earlier than everyone else’s.

Vogelsang is back around the starting stack of 250,000. –MH

9:16pm: Carrel slows down Hart
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

When his conversation has turned to poker today, Kevin Hart has most often been talking about how he doesn’t like tanking. He likes his poker to move quickly. That’s all the more reason to think he had a genuine decision when he tank folded to some aggression from Charlie Carrel.

The pair of them had built a pot approaching 80,000 with only the flop out. It was 5♥8♥7♣. Carrel checked, Hart bet 28,000 and Carrel check-raised to 75,000. Hart called.

The turn was the 2♦ and Carrel fired 75,000 again. Hart took a long and silent while to ponder his move before opting to fold.

“I had a straight,” Carrel said.

“I thought you had an over-pair,” Hart said. “You play that the same.”

Either way, Hart is down to 150,000 on his second bullet.

On another table, Isaac Haxton was knocked out by Jason Mercier, and said he would immediately re-enter. — HS

9:15pm: Lefrancois sends stack to Peters
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

Pascal Lefrancois battled for much of the latter half of the day with a short stack, and just now got the last of it in behind A♠9♥ only to be looked up by David Peters who had A♣J♠.

The flop came A♦J♥6♠, giving Peters two pair and prompting Lefrancois to go ahead and stand up from his seat. The turn was the K♠ and river the 7♥, and Lefrancois hits the rail late on Day 1. Peters has 440,000 now. –MH

9:10pm: A boon for Koon
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

It’s that time of day. Things are getting a little shovy.

A recent example just occurred on Jason Koon’s table, where he pushed all in for his last 210,000 or so with the board showing 4♠K♠6♦3♦8♠ and about a quarter million in the middle.

Connor Drinan was Koon’s lone opponent, and after a longish tank he decided to step aside. –MH

9:05pm: A change of Hart
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

Kevin Hart was out, but not for long. He’s now back in again having re-entered. — SB

9pm: Hart failure
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

It was a lot of fun while it lasted, but Kevin Hart is out. Jason Koon was his assassin in a battle of the blinds.

Koon himself related the details: a limp from Hart in the small blind, followed by a raise to 20,000 from Koon. Hart called and they saw a flop of 8-8-9, with two hearts.

Hart checked and Koon bet 15,000. Hart shoved for about 80,000 and Koon called. Hart’s pocket fives were no match this time for Koon’s Jacks.

Kevin_Hart_PCB2017_out_6jan17Kevin Hart

Hart said earlier today that he was prepared to re-enter 22 times. We now wait to see if he’ll use the first of those tonight or tomorrow (or if it was all just a bluff). — HS

8:55pm: Mateos collects from Carrel
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

There was about 180,000 in the middle and a board showing 8♥8♥K♥5♦10♣, and Charlie Carrel was searching Adrian Mateos’s face for something — anything! — to help him decide what to do.

Mateos had pushed his last 70,000 or so forward as an all-in bet, and Carrel was fairly flummoxed. The clock finally had to be called, and after some more searching Carrel had to release his cards with just seconds left to go.

Mateos chips back up to 250,000 with that one, while Carrel slips to about 265,000. –MH

8:52pm: Negreanu nestles next to Mercier
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

“Chips please!” It was the distinctive voice of Daniel Negreanu, who has re-entered this event and came marching back into the room, tournament ticket in hand.

He got his stack of chips and found himself a seat next to his Team PokerStars Pro colleague Jason Mercier. — HS

8:50pm: Your jacket, sir
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

Bill Perkins lost most of his second stack quickly, then was felted with about 40 minutes to go in the night.

He left his jacket behind after busting, but that was no matter, as he was soon reentering again, firing a third bullet before tonight’s last level ends. –MH

8:48pm: Petrangelo takes over at the top
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

Nick Petrangelo now has close to 900,000 chips, which puts him in the tournament lead. His latest chunk came from Christoph Vogelsang, whose second bullet it not proving to be much more profitable than his first.

Petrangelo opened to 12,000 from early position and Vogelsang called in the big blind. The flop fell 3♣3♠4♦ and Vogelsang check-called Petrangelo’s bet of 10,000.

The 8♦ came on the turn and Vogelsang check-called a 37,000 bet this time. That took them to the 5♦ river.

Vogelsang checked again and Petrangelo bet again. This time it was 91,000. Vogelsang took a good while over his call, but tossed out the chips. Petrangelo showed him 8♣8♥ and that was good.

Vogelsang is down to 140,000 as Petrangelo soars. –HS

8:40pm: Adams busts for a second time
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

Timothy Adams is out. Again. The man from Canada has recently become the first player to bust this tournament twice.

It could easily have been Bill Perkins to suffer that fate because the two of them got their short stacks in pre-flop and Perkins overcame the odds to win what was roughly a 60/40 coup.

Perkins opened to 15,000 from under the gun and Adams moved all-in for about 80,000 from the small blind. Perkins snap-called.

Perkins: Q♦10♦
Adams: A♦7♦

A brief and quiet lament over the fact that Adams even had his suit covered quickly ended when the flop fell 7♣Q♥6♥. The J♠ on the turn changed nothing and then the Q♠ river was overkill.

Perkins counted his chips. He had 84,500 and that was marginally more than Adams. — HS

8:35pm: Kid Termintor terminated
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

We picked up the pot on the 3♠8♦6♠ flop where David Peters had checked to Daniel Negreanu on the button. Kid Poker came out for 15,000 and Peters made the call. On the 7♥ turn, Peters checked again. This time, Negreanu hit it harder for 35,000. Again, Peters just called. The river brought the K♣. Peters checked for a third time and Negreanu shoved the rest of his chips in the middle. Peters? Well, he snap-called? Why?

NEIL8604_Daniel_Negreanu_PCB2017_Neil Stoddart.jpgDaniel Negreanu will be back

Well, not because Negreanu was running a bluff with J♠10♥. And not because he thought he was good. Peters snap-called because he knew he was good. He’d turned the nuts with 9♦10♠.

Negreanu stood, declared, “I’ll be back,” and presumably headed for the registration cage. PSA: Rebuys are allowed until the start of play tomorrow.–BW

8:30pm: Hart likes hearts
Level 8 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

After that hand with Joe McKeehen, Kevin Hart slipped back just a little, but gained a few chips back after a hand with Fabrizio Gonzalez.

Gonzalez opened for 10,000 from the cutoff and got one caller in Hart on the button. The flop then fell 2♠8♥4♥ and Gonzalez continued for 11,000. Hart studied the board and those two hearts for a moment, picked up calling chips and then eyed what was left, then grabbed his stack of 71,000 and set it forward as an all-in raise.

Gonzalez winced a little when Hart did that, and after thinking about 15 seconds let his hand go to preserve his 230,000. Hart has about 115,000. –MH

8:25pm: Hart “out-plays the shit” out of world champion McKeehen
Level 7 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

Kevin Hart was all-in on two consecutive hands. The first was an open-shove from the small blind, which got Connor Drinan to fold. The second, however, earned him a double up, from a World Champion no less.

Joe McKeehen was the man to keep Hart beating. The 2015 World Series champion opened to 10,000 from the cutoff and Hart moved all in from the button. It was 58,000 and, after the blinds folded, McKeehen called.

McKeehen had Q♦J♦. Hart had 5♣5♥. And after the flop of 5♠4♦7♠, Hart had raced into a big lead. The 10♥ on the turn ended it, rendering the 8♠ on the river an irrelevance.

“Did you blog that?” Hart wanted to know. “I outplayed the shit out of him!”

“I feel outplayed,” McKeehen confessed.

That jolt from the defibrillator gives Hart a bit more than 120,000. McKeehen still has 390,000. –HS

8:20pm: Carrel corrals Aido’s chips
Level 7 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

Sergio Aido opened for 10,000 from under the gun and was met with a button three-bet to 32,000 by Charlie Carrel. Aido chose to reraise back when he had the chance, making it 76,000 to go, and after some thought Carrel called.

Sergio_Aido_PCB2017_6jan17Sergio Aido

The flop came 8♠8♠Q♥ and Aido checked, calling after Carrel bet 40,000. The turn then brought the 3♦ and another check.

Carrel leaned forward, and Aido raised his hands in response to show his remaining stack. It didn’t take much longer for Carrel to push all in, and Aido quickly tossed his hand.

Carrel is up to 430,000 while Aido is working with 120,000. –MH

8:15pm: Vogelsang returns
Level 7 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

Christoph Vogelsang is back. His wander through the corridor eventually led him back to the buy-in desk where he has exchanged $100,000 for 250,000 tournament chips. He is now on Daniel Negreanu’s table. — HS

8:12pm: Vogelsang left with nothing to do
Level 7 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

Christoph Vogelsang, with backpack attached to his back via both straps, wandered aimlessly through the tournament area, pausing briefly beside Bill Perkins’ table, but then turning tail and heading to the door. He had all the time in the world. He is out.

Vogelsang was later seen wandering the corridor outside the Imperial Ballroom, perhaps pondering a re-entry. His walk is slow. We have seen this walk–the walk of the eliminated player–many times before and we will see it many times again. — HS

8:10pm: Adams mades shrewd call against Mateos
Level 7 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

Adrian Mateos had a crack at pushing Timothy Adams off of third pair, but Adams wasn’t going anywhere and left Mateos with one of the short stacks.

It began when Mateos opened his button, making it 8,000 to go. After asking for a count, and learning that Mateos had about 205,000 back, Adams three-bet to 31,000. Mateos called.

They went to the flop of 10♣7♦K♦ and both checked. They didn’t seem interested in the A♣ turn either. The A♦ on the river paired the board and Adams checked again.

Mateos pushed out 45,000 and after only a short amount of thinking time, Adams called and turned over 10♠J♠. It was good.

Mateos slumps to 131,000 while Adams is up to 270,000. — HS

8:05pm: Kisacikoglu felts Vogelsang
Level 7 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

Jason Koon bid Christoph Vogelsang adieu, albeit adding that he knew he’d be seeing Vogelsang again shortly as he no doubt intends to reenter.

Orpen_Kisacikoglu_PCB2017_6jan17Half a poker face: Orpen Kisacikoglu

Orpen Kisacikoglu was the one taking the last of Vogelsang’s initial stack. — MH

8pm: Plot takes a bad turn for Hart
Level 7 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

“Did you dirty on the turn there,” said Dan Colman across the table to Kevin Hart, alluding to a just-finished hand that saw Hart take a hit to his stack.

Hart nodded in response, saying “good hand” while counting his stack of just under 75,000. He then folded the next couple of hands, looking for the right cards to start his battle back. –MH

7:55pm: Danny Negreanu: Meat Eater?
Level 7 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

The game of Lodden Thinks between Dan Colman and Bill Perkins is in its eighth hour, and it’s got the Super High Roller players rapt. A few minutes ago, one question (for which Mustafa Kanit served as the brain) drew so much interest that Lodden Thinks was paused long enough to make a simple bet on the real answer to the question. That question:

How much would someone have to offer noted vegan Daniel Negreanu to eat meat for one week?

It’s a question that had everybody intrigued, and the bets started flying. Before long, Perkins was taking action from Justin Bonomo, Colman, and Kanit.

The bidding started, and before long, Perkins had bid it up to $2 million. Colman snap-took the under on it.

Perkins jumped to his feet and ran to Negreanu’s table. He said, “I hope you wouldn’t sell your integrity cheaply.”

Negreanu scoffed. What Perkins failed to consider was Negreanu’s pragmatism. Negreanu’s a vegan for a reason, but there’s a lot that can be done with money to further the causes he believes in.

“Do you want the number?” Negreanu asked. “It’s $850,000.”

Perkins was the only one who seemed surprised. To Negreanu et al, it made a lot of sense. His point was simple: $850,000 is a lot of money with which he could do a lot of good.

Meanwhile, Perkins hasn’t just had to rebuy in the $100,000. He owes a bunch of people sidebet money when the day is done. Chew on that for a while.–BW

7:50pm: Big double for Kaverman through Luca
Level 7 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

With the board showing 4♠J♣K♣Q♦8♥ and around 240,000 in the middle, Ivan Luca bet 77,000, then watched Byron Kaverman shove all in for 152,000 total.

Luca thought about a minute and called, and Kaverman quickly tabled A♣10♥ for an unbeatable Broadway straight. Luca hesitated a moment, then showed his A♦A♥ had been cracked.

Luca is down to just over 215,000 while Kaverman bounds up over 545,000. –MH


7:45pm: Perky Perkins returns quickly
Level 7 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

Bill Perkins, who was eliminated a short while ago, has reappeared. “I’m back bitches,” he said as he strode back into the tournament area, with a new ticket in hand.

Perkins visited the tournament officials’ table for a new seating assignment and quickly learned that he would be sitting between Timothy Adams and Steve O’Dwyer. “This is the re-buy club,” he said, evidently delighted. — HS

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7:42pm: Perkins’ stack goes poof
Level 7 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

After Koray Aldemir opened for 8,500 from the button, Bill Perkins committed his short stack of 46,500 from the small blind, and Aldemir called.

Perkins had Q♣J♠ while Aldemir showed K♣9♣. The 10♠2♣7♥ flop and 9♦ turn gave Perkins a good chance, providing straight outs along with his live queen and jack, but the river was the 2♥ and he was felted. Aldemir is up near 500,000 after that one.

“Go get a real stack now,” cracked Nick Petrangelo to Perkins, who is likely to reenter and start over with a fresh 250,000.

“What do you have against short stacks, bro?” said Mustapha Kanit to Petrangelo from across the table. Kanit has about 130,000 at the moment.

“You’ll have to get yours in soon, too,” said Petrangelo. — MH

7:40pm: Mercier ain’t afraid
Level 7 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

The board read 8♦5♦7♠ and Leo Cheng had led into it for 10,000. Adrian Mateos was next up, and he cut 38,000 out of his stack. Next to act, Mercier considered his play. He had two guys betting into him, and one of them was betting big.

What does Mercier do? Well, he does what Mercier does. He made it 96,000 to go. The only thing fast than Cheng’s fold was Mateos’. –BW

7:35pm: Jacks boost Bonomo
Level 7 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

A terrific start to the new level for Justin Bonomo, who has built his stack to 535,000 and sent Ben Tollerene to the rail in a set-over-set cooler.

Actually, I’m overselling this a little as all the money went in pre-flop. But the fact remains that Bonomo’s pocket jacks flopped a set, then Tollerene’s pocket nines also made a set on the turn. That was the end of that for Tollerene, while Bonomo takes a sizeable stack into Level 6 and beyond.

Tollerene immediately bought back in. — HS

7:30pm: New level
Level 7 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

Play has resumed in the Super High Roller. There are two more levels left to play before players bag up for the night. Steve O’Dwyer leads with 625,000. — SB

7:10pm: Break time

Players are now taking a 20 minute break, the last of the day before the play two more levels.

7:07pm: Drinan puts Colman through the wringer
Level 6 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 500)

The following pot started out without any indication as to the pain it would cause Daniel Colman. It didn’t cost him huge amounts of chips, but he was agonised over a decision on the river and could barely let his cards go.

Fabrizio Gonzalez started things off when he called the 3,000 required from the hijack. Connor Drinan called in the cutoff and then Colman called in the small blind. Justin Bonomo called from the big blind too.

The flop brought the K♠Q♣8♣ and three players checked. Drinan, with position, bet 7,000 and only Colman called.

The 2♣ came on the turn and Colman checked. Drinan bet 22,000 and Colman called.

The river was the 7♦ and Colman checked again. Drinan bet 75,000 and that’s when Colman went into spasms of pained thought as to what Drinan could possibly have.

Colman screwed up his face. Then he contorted his body as though attempting to resolve a particularly knotty conundrum. He then picked up his cards and held them a good five inches above the table, the launching position for a fold. But he couldn’t do it, and put them down again to go through the theatrics again.

Drinan, with mirrored sunglasses, gave little away. And then Colman folded.


Drinan: 290,000
Colman: 150,000
Bonomo: 460,000
Gonzalez: 395,000 — HS

7:05pm: Weatherman Dan Shak
Level 6 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 500)

Dan Shak is nothing if not prepared. He is wrapped in an expensive rain jacket. We are indoors.

“I’ve got that same coat,” Kevin Hart told Shak. It came out sounding like a compliment, but even Shak sensed Hart was goofing on him.

Shak fingered his protective gear. “Everybody laughs now, but wait until it rains for the next four days.”

Hart rolled his eyes to the high and well-sealed ceilings and mused, “If it rains in here…something happened.”

For what it’s worth, there is barely a chance of rain for the next few days here in paradise, so we’re not sure why Shak’s raincoat is in play. But hey, better safe than sorry, I guess. –BW

7pm: Kanit collects from Newey
Level 6 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 500)

With the board showing 7♦9♥8♦2♦, Mustapha Kanit checked, and Paul Newey bet 27,500 — about two-thirds pot. Kanit thought a bit and called, then both checked after the river brought the 3♦.

Kanit tabled Q♦Q♠, the river having made him a flush, and Newey shook his head and mucked.

“I flopped it,” Newey said. “Straight.” “Let him get there,” chimed Perkins. “Well… I didn’t really let him get there,” answered Newey with a smile, alluding to his turn bet.

Kanit has about 145,000 now, while Newey has a little less with 130,000. –MH

6:55pm: Tricky vovtroy
Level 6 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 500)

Vladimir Troyanovskiy is a tricky one, but if he thinks he’s going to win a pot with five high, he’s got another thing coming. Still, he gave it a go, limping from the small blind with 3♦5♥ and watching Christoph Vogelsang check his option.

They saw a flop of 8♠9♥J♥ and both checked, then the 2♠ came on the turn. Troyanovskiy had his stab at this point. He bet 5,500. Vogelsang called.

The 9♠ came on the river and Troyanovskiy gave up. He checked, Vogelsang checked, and the latter’s J♠7♥ was comfortably best.

Troyanovskiy has Vogelsang comfortably out-chipped, though. He has 215,000 to Vogelsang’s 73,000. –HS

6:50pm: O’Dwyer socking it to ’em
Level 6 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 500)

Steve O’Dwyer has been steadily accumulating chips over the last couple of levels, moving up to the top of the leader board as the next break approaches.

Meanwhile, as he collects chips his opponents have been collecting some personal info from O’Dwyer as he’s been sharing some of his superstitions with the table.

One is always to start a new tournament with a brand new pair of socks. “Only the really big tournaments,” he clarified, noting he thought he’d brought enough pairs for this trip.

“I have a lot of socks,” he added.

One other superstition he has — whenever the dealer tells the table “good luck,” he has to be the first at the table to thank him or her.

“I can’t believe you’re sharing all of these gems!” said Adams.

Yet another one has to do with what he’ll tell someone asking him on a break how many chips he has.

“If I have like 580,000, I’ll say 525,000 or so… I’ll exaggerate it lower,” as it might be bad luck to say he had more than he really did.

As noted, the break is approaching. In addition to a fresh pair of socks, O’Dwyer looks like he has about 620,000, although he’ll probably tell you differently if you ask him after this level. –MH

6:45pm: Not so perky
Level 6 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 500)

Bill Perkins can sense the end. It’s like a bright light at the end of a long dark tunnel, one where you can see your loved ones long after they’ve passed. With less than three hours left to play tonight, his stack sits at a paltry 60,000, and he’s tired of it looking that way. He shoved them in three times in four hands just now, desperately trying to double up or give him a chance to rebuy with a fresh 250,000 stack. –BW

Bill_Perkins_PCB2017_6jan17Bill Perkins

6:35pm: Negreanu pushes Perkins
Level 6 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 500)

Daniel Negreanu raised to 7,000 from early position, and it folded to Bill Perkins on the button who tossed out a three-bet of 30,000, leaving himself a little under 75,000 behind. The blinds got out, and Negreanu leaned forward to examine the situation a little more closely.

“Is that a do-or-die move?” asked Negreanu while pointing, and Perkins gave a slight shrug in response. Suddenly Negreanu set a stack of chips forward, enough to put Perkins all in, and the latter straightened up in his chair.

Daniel_Negreanu_PCB2017_6jan17Getting pushy: Daniel Negreanu

“Didn’t like that, huh?” chuckled Perkins, who with a wry grin pushed his hand away to preserve what he had left.

“You play that hand like me,” said the also-short-stacked Mustapha Kanit to Perkins, and both chuckled.

While Perkins perseveres below the average, Negreanu has over 380,000. –MH

6:30pm: Shak sends Seidel to the door
Level 6 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 500)

Erik Seidel is out, and if he was any lesser player he would be having nightmares about Queen-Ten suited. That was the hand with which he lost a chunk of chips to Stephen Chidwick, and it’s now the hand with which he has lost the last of them to Dan Shak.

On what would become his final hand, Seidel opened to 7,500 from UTG+1 from a stack of 58,600 and Shak called from one seat along. Charlie Carrel seemed to be reluctant to fold his big blind, but did let it go, leaving the two Americans to duke it out.

Erik_Seidel_PCB2017_6jan17Out… for now: Erik Seidel

The flop fell K♣J♣4♦ and Seidel checked. Shak bet 15,000 and Seidel check-raised all-in. Shak called immediately.

Seidel had outs with his Q♥10♥. But two of them were in Shak’s hand. His A♣A♦ was ahead and stayed that way through the 3♥ turn and 5♥ river.

Shak and Seidel shook hands and the latter left the tournament room. Four players have been knocked out so far: Ben Heath, Steve O’Dwyer, David Peters and now Seidel. Three have re-entered. Will Seidel? — HS

6:25pm: Ike’s maturation
Level 6 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 500)

It’s been a decade since we first laid eyes on Isaac Haxton. Back then, when we were all younger and more lithe, Haxton had flowing locks on his shoulders, sunglasses, and a disaffected slump that made him a decent doppelganger for Jim Morrison. We dubbed him The Lizard King and assumed the name would stick. Since then, however, Haxton has grown up, and he’s changed his look a lot. Today he’s wearing round spectacles and shorter (if still a bit shaggy) hair. He could pass for a latter day John Lennon if you look at him right. He’s changed in a lot of other ways, too. Back then, he was a young PokerStars qualifier. Today, he’s a Super High Roller and one of the most respected voices in the game. A lot can change in a decade, and for Haxton, it’s all been for the better. –BW

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6:15pm: Mustapha working through it
Level 6 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 500)

Mustapha Kanit has been getting a massage for the last hour or so. The muscles are loose, but he’s had to play a tight game as he’s been battling with a short stack the entire time.

Kanit began Level 6 with a sub-100K stack, but he just earned a small boost though in a multi-way hand.

After opening for 6,500 and getting three callers, Kanit’s postflop continuation bet earned folds all around and he’s now playing about 110,000. — MH

6:10pm: Three small, one big
Level 5 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Three hands played out simultaneously on neighbouring tables as Level 5 ticked to it conclusion. All of them were pretty uninteresting, and served only to distract attention from a fourth hand that was, by contrast, significant.

The appetisers were as follows:

Dan Shak opened the hijack to 5,500 and Charlie Carrel called in the big blind. They both checked the flop of 3♥10♣3♠ and then Carrel checked the 8♣ turn, allowing Shak’s bet of 10,000 to get the job done.

On another table, Christoph Vogelsang opened from the button, making it 7,200 to go. Pascal Lefrancois called in the big blind and they soon looked at a flop of 2♦6♠J♥. Lefrancois check-called Vogelsang’s bet of 5,500, taking them to the 5♥ on the turn.

Both players checked. They also checked the 7♣ river and both tabled Ace high. However Vogelsang’s Q♣ kicker was the best (Lefrancois had a four) and that went to the German player.

On another table, Sean Winter opened to 7,500 from the hijack to be quickly faced with a three-bet of 20,000 from Sergio Aido in the cutoff. By the time it got back to Winter, David Peters was also involved. He three-bet to 47,000 from the big blind and both Winter and Aido let it go.

Sean_Winter_PCB2017_6jan17Sean Winter

So now the main course. As all of that was going on, Dario Sammartino and Ivan Luca were building a pot of about 100,000. The river was out and the board read J♥K♥J♠A♥7♥. Luca checked and Sammartino bet 44,000. Luca responded with a check-raise to 98,500.

Sammartino went into the tank long enough that Cary Katz and Anthony Zinno began a conversation about the merits of shot-clocks in tournaments. But then Sammartino called.

Luca showed his K♦J♦ and Sammartino mucked. Sammartino still has 420,000 to play with, even after that hiccup. Luca has 395,000. — HS

6:05pm: Peters enduring Winter storm
Level 5 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Checking in on David Peters and Sean Winter, we spied Winter calling a river bet from Peters to claim a pot.

The board read 2♣8♠4♠5♦Q♥, which meant Peters didn’t improve on the flopped flush draw he’d had with K♠10♠, while Winter earned some value with the set of deuces he’d made with 2♠2♥.

Winter is hovering just under 500,000 while Peters is at about 150,000. –MH

6pm: Adams over Mateos
Level 5 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Timothy Adams opened for 6,000 from middle position, Adrian Mateos called from the big blind, and the flop came 4♣K♥2♥. Mateos checked, Adams bet 5,400, and Mateos called. Both then checked the 6♣ turn.

The river brought the 8♦ and a leading bet of 16,000 from Mateos. Adams thought a while and called, and after Mateos showed A♦3♣ for ace-high, Adams tabled his J♣J♦ to claim the pot.

NEIL0634_Adrian_Mateos_PCB2017_Neil Stoddart.jpgAdrian Mateos

On his second entry, Adams is up to 280,000 while Mateos has 260,000. –MH

5:55pm: Kanit clinging on; Peters out and in
Level 5 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

David Peters has been eliminated and re-bought. There’s no way the 2016 GPI Player of the Year, who is on poker’s biggest heater at the moment, is going to leave this tournament without a fight.

Meanwhile Mustapha Kanit is down to only about 80,000 but is still kicking. He just won a small pot from Daniel Negreanu and Nick Petrangelo when he called from the big blind following Petrangelo’s button-open to 6,500. (Negreanu called from the small blind.)

NEIL8498_Mustapha_Kanit_PCB2017_Neil Stoddart.jpgGame face: Mustapha Kanit

The flop brought the 6♥5♥3♥ and three checks. Then after the 10♦ turn and a check from Negreanu, Kanit bet 9,000 and took it down, bro.

Petrangelo has 460,000. Negreanu has 380,000. Bill Perkins, also at that table, has 140,000. Koray Aldemir, his neighbour, has 200,000. — HS

5:50pm: Like sands through the hourglass
Level 5 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

It’s not all action, exercise, and laughs. Sometimes poker is just boring, and perhaps never moreso than when keeping tabs on Christoph Vogelsang. At some point today, Vogelsang decided to buy a small quiche for his midday meal. He’s been picking at it off and on for the better part of an hour. I found myself wondering just how long it took him to make the quiche decision. It was among the many things I had time to consider while Vogelsang was deliberating his latest hand, one that was uneventful in almost every way. With a raise and call in front of him, Vogelsang sat in the small blind and thought long enough for Sam Greenwood to covet Jason Koon’s hand sanitizer, work up the courage to request a squeeze of it, and thoroughly cleanse himself before finally, resignedly, calling the clock on Vogelsang. Notorious for his, ahem, deliberative nature, Vogelsang finally mucked midway through his clock. And then he went back to picking at the quiche. –BW

5:40pm: Floor! Floor! Man eating watermelon
Level 5 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Kevin Hart is clearly enjoying life in this Super High Roller tournament, even if his schtick includes faux outrage and the taking of offence at perceived infractions. It’s keeping his table-mates equal parts amused and bemused–and he is also keeping the tournament supervisors on their toes.

His most recent exploits were as follows:

Ivan Luca raised to 6,000 from middle position and it folded around to Hart on the button who called. The flop came J♣A♠6♦ and Luca checked. Hart eyed his opponent as he fired a bet 17,000, and Luca took a bite from a plastic tub of fruit before calling.

Kevin_Hart_PCB2017_floor_6jan17Kevin Hart calls the floor

“Uh oh, he’s strong… he’s eating fruit,” Hart said. Both checked the 2♦ turn, then after the 10♦ river Luca checked while continuing to eat. Hart bet 17,000 again, noticing as he did what was on the end of Luca’s fork.

“Hey! This is the most racist thing I’ve ever seen!” Hart said. Luca’s fork, entirely by chance, had stabbed a piece of watermelon.

“Floor!” Hart said. “I’m calling the floor.”

Luca Vivaldi, the tournament supervisor, came over to hear the case. Hart explained that as he was making a bet his opponent had eaten a piece of watermelon.

“He’s going to get out some fried chicken next,” Anthony Zinno said, as six players around the table, and Vivaldi, barely suppressed giggles. Luca kept his poker face intact and check-raised to 75,400.

Hart thought for a while and said, “This is tough…I think it’s a move, but I’m going to go ahead and fold. Good hand.”

Hart mucked his cards, but turned to Vivaldi. “He still should get a penalty,” he said. — HS/MH

5:30pm: Vogelsang shoves, survives
Level 5 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

After Orpen Kisacikoglu opened for 5,500 from the button, Vladimir Troyanovskiy called from the small blind, then Christoph Vogelsang reraise-shoved from the big blind for about 75,000.

Kisacikoglu quickly folded, but Troyanovskiy tanked for a while, pinching his eyes with forefinger and thumb before finally overcoming obvious reluctance and making the call.

Troyanovskiy shook his head when he saw Vogelsang turn over A♥Q♠, as he had A♠10♠. The board then brought a bunch of diamonds, coming 9♦5♦8♦7♦… then… 10♦. A flush on the board meant a chopped pot, although the ten on the river did give everyone — Vogelsang in particular — a moment’s pause.

Troyanovskiy has 240,000 still, while Vogelsang sits with 85,000. –MH

5.20pm: Seidel’s blind defence proves costly
Level 5 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

The moral of the following story is that you can’t pinch Erik Seidel’s blind without a fight. But the coda is that if you’re prepared to stick around, it might be worthwhile.

First up, action folded to Charlie Carrel in the small blind and he raised to 7,200. Seidel put forward 24,000 from the big blind in defence and Carrel folded.

On the next hand, Stephen Chidwick opened to 5,500 from the cutoff and this time Seidel raised to 18,200 from the small blind. He wasn’t going to give that up lightly either. Chidwick called.

The two of them saw a flop of 9♠6♥3♥ and Seidel bet 22,500. Chidwick called.

The turn brought the 3♣ and Seidel continued with his aggressive line. He bet 42,000 and Chidwick called again.

The 8♦ appeared on the river and now Seidel shut up shop. He checked, allowing Chidwick to check behind.

Seidel didn’t have high hopes for his Q♠10♠. But Chidwick had been in even worse shape with his 7♠8♠–nothing but a straight draw–until the river paired him up.

Seidel now has only 70,000. Chidwick has 295,000. — HS

5:15pm: The Super High Roller Gym
Level 5 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Careful as you walk through the crowded Super High Roller area, because if you’re not paying attention, you might end up getting kicked by Jason Koon. A superman on any given day, Koon is not content to set sedentary in his seat for the next four hours. He’s currently engaged in some routine that involves high kicks, jumping, and waist twists.

“Warming up!” he declared. “Warming up!”

Meanwhile, a few feet away, the Lodden Thinks match between Bill Perkins and Dan Colman is getting expensive. Colman mused aloud he might be able to pay his buy-in with his Lodden Thinks winnings. He was joking (we think). As Koon kicked and jumped his way through his warm-up, a discussion of Bill Perkins’ push-up prowess became the topic of discussion (an artifact of a previous Lodden Thinks game where Liv Boeree set the line at 85 Perkins’ push-ups).

“Eighty-five is too much,” said Perkins from his spot deep beneath a massage therapist’s grip. “I can easily do 50. Touch the ground, full out.”

Suddenly, I’m feeling a lot more out of shape than I did when I started this day.–BW

5:10pm: Back from the break
Level 5 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Play continues after the break, into the fifth level of the day.

4:55pm: Colman pushes out Gonzalez and Drinan
Level 4 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

In the last hand before the break–one of those that slightly ate into the 20-minute pause–Dan Colman managed to four-bet both Fabrizio Gonzalez and Connor Drinan off of a pot. Pots that go on into the break are often quite interesting. There has to be a reason for players to hang around. However, this one was the exception to the rule. It was boring.

Gonzalez opened to 4,500. Drinan raised to 15,000 and then Colman four-bet his button to 38,000. Gonzalez folded, but stuck around to see where his chips were going. Then Drinan took a long while to think about it, before giving it up.

That sent the players off on their break. — HS

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4:51pm: Top three
Level 4 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Daniel Dvoress is still out in front at this stage with a stack of 550,000. Jason Mercier, with 515,000, is the only other player with more than half a million. Then it looks like Joe McKeehen, who has 410,000. — HS

Jason_Mercier_PCB2017_6jan17Jason Mercier

4:50pm: Two more on the list
Level 4 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Vojtech Ruzicka and Leo Cheng have just arrived to the Imperial Ballroom, just in time for a break. — HS

4:35pm: A powerful hand for Hart
Level 4 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 200)

A little while ago Kevin Hart wasn’t involved in a hand, and while others played it out he flagged a photographer to snap a photo of him sitting behind his stack. After being shown the photo, Hart offered a one-word commentary on the picture.

“Powerful,” he grinned.

A little later Hart was involved in a three-way hand we picked up on the 10♥9♦A♥ flop. It checked around to Daniel Dvoress on the button who bet 5,000 (a little over half-pot), and after Dario Sammartino folded the big blind Kevin Hart came along from the hijack.

The turn brought the 6♣ and a check from Hart, and after Dvoress bet 15,000, Hart called once more.

The river brought the K♠, and this time Hart led with a bet of 35,000. Dvoress thought about a half-minute and then called, and Hart tabled Q♣J♥ for a Broadway straight — the nuts — and after Dvoress mucked, Hart claimed the pot.

Hart is back up to 255,000 now, just over the starting stack, while Dvoress still has a very healthy stack of 535,000. –MH

4:33pm: Heath scorched
Level 4 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

As reported earlier, both Steve O’Dwyer and Timothy Adams have been knocked out of this tournament. O’Dwyer re-entered. Adams, at least as yet, has not.

As not reported earlier, Ben Heath has also been knocked out. He was not in any chair during a most recent chip-count sweep, and he was spotted a little while ago close to the rail.

He may buy back in, but equally he might not. He is, however, definitely out for the time being. — HS

4:17pm: Negreanu pays off Aldemir
Level 4 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Daniel Negreanu’s stack has been up and down this afternoon, and it just underwent another fluctuation. At the start of the following hand he had about 340,000, which seemed to be his tournament high point. But Koray Aldemir chopped it back to about 290,000.

Action folded to Negreanu on the button and he raised to 5,000. Aldemir called in the big blind.

The flop came 9♠7♦K♦ and Aldemir check-called Negreanu’s bet of 5,000. The 7♠ came on the turn and it was now Aldemir’s turn to throw out a solitary blue chip. The bet was 5,000 again.

Keeping things blue, Negreanu put three of those chips forward, representing a raise to 15,000 and Aldemir called.

The 3♦ came on the river and Aldemir now added some colour to proceedings. He bet 36,000. Negreanu capped his cards and began to think it through, calling out, “King seven” as the hand he suspected Aldemir of having.

But Negreanu decided he couldn’t fold, even if that was what he was facing. He called and Aldemir showed J♦7♣. “Aha. Jack high,” Negreanu said and mucked. — HS

NEIL8604_Daniel_Negreanu_PCB2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Daniel Negreanu

4:15pm: Hart’s quest for chips
Level 4 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Daniel Negreanu came over to talk to Kevin Hart. They shared a few words about the food options here at Atlantis which, for Negreanu in particular, aren’t as varied as he’d like. (Negreanu, a vegan, stocked up on vegetables from a local supermarket as he explained in his recent v-blog.)

Hart couldn’t help himself. He quickly blurted, “I’m just trying to eat these chips!” Negreanu wandered away.

Hart had a couple of stabs at gaining some nourishment shortly afterwards, winning a small pot from Anthony Zinno and Cary Katz, then giving it back to Ivan Luca.

In the first instance, Hart raised to 6,000 from mid-position and both Zinno (cutoff) and Katz (big blind) called.

The flop was all red: 6♥7♦8♥. Katz checked, Hart bet 22,000, and both opponents folded.

Shortly after, Hart was in big blind and called a raise from Luca, who was in the cutoff. They both checked the flop of 9♥3♣8♠ and then Hart bet 13,000 after the 2♥ turn. Luca called.

The 9♠ came on the river and Hart had another stab. He bet 24,000. Luca called pretty quickly, forcing Hart to reveal his J♠10♠. Luca turned over the winning A♥J♣.

Hart has 185,000 at present, which is less than he started with but still more than 90 big blinds. — HS

4:11: Win one lose one
Level 4 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

No big pots to talk of, just the regular kind.

David Peters has nudged his stack up towards the 300,000 mark with a handful of small wins. Nick Petrangelo has also been busy, forced off a hand by Daniel Negreanu he got back to where he started by taking a pot back against the Team Pro.

NEIL8608_David_Peters_PCB2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

David Peters

Petrangelo opened for 5,400 in early position, which was called by Negreanu in the seat next to him and Peter in the cut off. It’s at times like these, with three big players in the hand, that you look forward for some drama, but this one turned out to be more routine than anything.

On the flop of 6♣3♦Q♦ Petrangelo checked before Negreanu bet 8,000. That got rid of Peters but Petrangelo called for the 9♥ on the turn. That was checked for the Q♥ river card. Petrangelo took the pot with a bet of 33,000. – SB

4:10pm: Haxton has to have had it
Level 4 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 200)

Isaac Haxton just put Adrian Mateos to a big river test, with Haxton proving the beneficiary as a result.

Arriving on the river, we can’t say exactly how they got to a point where the board showed Q♣10♠A♣7♠7♦, about 80,000 sat in the middle, and Haxton was shoving for a little less than that.

Mateos thought a long while before folding, then eagerly leaned forward in the hope that Haxton might show what he had. Haxton paused several seconds then revealed one card — the 8♣ — while saying “I have to have had it,” and he collected the pot.

Both now sit with around 160,000. –MH

4:10pm: Mercier makes move on Musty
Level 4 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 200)

Jason Mercier has been steadily accumulating all afternoon since sitting down to start his first tournament of 2017. Just now he picked up a few more after a preflop standoff with Mustapha Kanit, a.k.a. “Musty.”

NEIL8498_Mustapha_Kanit_PCB2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg


A Mercier open to 4,300 from the hijack earned a 15,300 three-bet from Kanit in the small blind. Undeterred, Mercier made it 32,400 to go, and after a couple of minutes in the tank Kanit released his cards.

Kanit is down around 160,000 at present, while Mercier’s 515,000 has him edging close to leader Daniel Dvoress. –MH

NEIL8473_Jason_Mercier_PCB2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Jason Mercier

3:50pm: Hart giving value for money
Level 3 – Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Kevin Hart is keeping up what amounts to a non-stop monologue this afternoon and it is responsible for the permanent grins on the faces of Daniel Dvoress, Anthony Zinno, Cary Katz and Sam Greenwood, among others, who are sitting alongside him.

This is a man who sells out stadiums for stand-up gigs, and those players are enjoying a personal performance. There are probably several people in the United States who would pay $100,000 for that, whether or not poker was involved.

Recently, Greenwood asked for change from Hart for a purple 500-denomination chip, tossing it in his opponent’s direction. “Black,” Greenwood said–a perfectly innocuous request in a poker context, asking for the 100-denomination black chips.

“What!” Hart snapped back, seizing on the opportunity to twist the words into more dangerous, politically incorrect territory. The table chuckled along.

“You guys have no idea what you’re dealing with,” Hart said. “I’m playing penny poker.”

NEIL0574_Kevin_Hart_PCB2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Hart offered his compliments to Dario Sammartino concerning his choice of wristwear. Hart liked Sammartino’s chunky watch and thin bracelet.

“He has good taste,” Zinno said. “Italians have good taste. Clothes, women, pizza.”

Hart said that he agreed.

Shortly after, Hart stopped talking to play a small pot with Sammartino. It didn’t last long. Hart limped from the hijack and Sammartino raised to 6,600 from the small blind. Ivan Luca, who has just arrived and sat down, folded his big blind, but Hart called.

The flop fell 10♥5♣10♦ and Sammartino’s continuation bet of 5,500 was too rich for Hart. He flashed his watch and bracelet as he scooped in the pot.

Still, there’s no mistaking the truth of Hart’s claim. “You guys have no idea what you’re dealing with.” — HS

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3:45pm: Winner Winter takes Chidwick’s chips
Level 3 – Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Sean Winter and Stephen Chidwick strike similar figures at the poker table, both bald, bearded, and bringing intense, formidable games, not to mention impressive track records in tournaments.

Just now Winter opened for 4,000 from early position, Chidwick reraised to 12,000 from the hijack, then Winter four-bet to 38,800. Chidwick thought a while then called, then both checked through the 6♠A♠Q♣ flop and 10♥ turn.

With Winter studying Chidwick intently and the latter staring directly forward at the board, the 7♣ fell, Winter fired a river bet, and Chidwick relented.

Winter is among the bigger stacks at present with 430,000, while Chidwick has about 210,000. –MH

3:35pm: The Peters Principle
Level 3 – Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Ivan Luca is the latest player to take a seat, which he did so between Sergio Aido and Stephen Chidwick. He hadn’t even shown I.D. to the dealer before he got a tap on the shoulder telling him they needed a player from this table, and that it was him. So now Luca sits alongside Dario Sammartino.

Meanwhile another recent arrival David Peters was slowly chipping up. On a flop of 5♥Q♥8♠ Peters, Koray Aldemir and Christophe Vogelsang checked for the 2♦ turn. This time Peters bet 7,700 which forced out Aldemir before Vogelsang called for the 9♠ on the river. The action was slow but both players ultimately checked it, Peters showing J♣Q♣ to win the hand. — SB

3:27pm: Chips for all
Level 3 – Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Vladimir Troyanovskiy is the latest player to register for this event, taking his seat next to Jason Mercier.

“Noooo!” Mercier said as Troyanovskiy arrived.

“Happy new year,” Troyanovskiy said as he took his seat.

He gets 250,000 with which to begin his tournament, and finds himself a place on the chip-count page too. That is now bang up to date with the latest approximate counts and the full list of players. — HS

3:26pm: Some more for Sammartino
Level 3 – Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

It seems nearly every time we’ve passed the table at which Dario Sammartino and Sam Greenwood are playing, those two are involved in another heads-up postflop situation against each other.

Just now came another such spot, with the board showing J♣2♥7♥5♦7♠ and Greenwood contemplating whether or not to call a two-thirds pot bet of 38,000 from Sammartino.

Finally Greenwood called, then had to muck when Sammartino showed 7♣6♣ for rivered trips.

Sammartino has gotten the best of these skirmishes, it appears, as he’s up around 375,000 while Greenwood is at 230,000. –MH

3:14pm: At least 122
Level 3 – Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

The latest question posed by Bill Perkins: how many words will be written about this tournament, and published online? Well we can say at least 122.

There was some back and forth on this as a hand developed between Perkins and Christophe Vogelsang. Perkins opened for 4,000 in the cut off before Vogelsang, next to him on the button, raised to 12,500. Perkins called and they saw a flop.


It was a scary looking one and both players checked. They also checked the K♠ turn before the 10♦ on the river. Perkins bet and Vogelsang tossed in a tentative bet of 6,500. Perkins called, they both showed an ace, and they chopped it up. So at least 122 words. Make that 125. — SB

3:13pm: Kanit doesn’t bite
Level 3 – Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Mustapha Kanit raised from the button to 4,100 and both Steve O’Dwyer (small blind) and Paul Newey (big blind) came along. Only O’Dwyer called Kanit’s flop c-bet — also 4,100 — after the first three cards came 10♠8♥3♦.

Both checked the A♠ turn, and O’Dwyer checked again after the 3♠ river. Kanit paused for a bit before checking behind, and O’Dwyer exhaled a little in disappointment when he showed his 9♠8♠ for a backdoor flush.

O’Dwyer picks up the small one and sits with 225,000, just over the 215,000 or so Kanit is playing. –MH

3:01pm: POY Peters takes a seat
Level 3 – Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

“Congratulations, champ!”

So said Daniel Negreanu just now to another new arrival to the tournament, David Peters.

“Great year,” added Negreanu, alluding to a tremendous 2016 for Peters that saw him earn more than $7.5 million in live tournament cashes. The “champ,” meanwhile, was a reference to Peters clinching the 2016 Global Poker Index Player of the Year near the end of the final month.

Peters took third in the European Poker Tour Prague Main Event, enabling him to move past Fedor Holz into first position in the final POY rankings.

Speaking of position, Peters has it on Negreanu as he’s sitting on Kid Poker’s left behind a 250,000-chip starting stack. Negreanu had built up earlier, but now sits with about 265,000 himself. –MH

3:00pm: Mercier four-bets Mateos
Level 3 – Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Jason Mercier’s arrival is bad news for Adrian Mateos. Mercier is to Mateos’s immediate left and, if this one-hand sample size gives any indication, is going to halt Mateos’s lucrative three-betting operation.

Isaac Haxton tried to get something started with a raise to 4,000 from early position. Mateos three-bet the cutoff, making it 12,000, then Mercier four-bet to 35,000 from the button.

Haxton quickly released his hand, and Mateos did too after a pause long enough to make it seem like he had a decision. — HS

2:55pm: Hand out: Advantage Dvoress
Level 3 – Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Daniel Dvoress and Timothy Adams are friends, countrymen and squash partners–at least they were in Prague, where the Hilton hotel, which hosts the EPT tournament, has its own squash court.

One suspects they don’t take it easy on each other with racket in hand, and neither do they let up at the poker table, even with $100,000 on the line. Dvoress has just felted Adams in the early stages of Level 3.

In truth, the hand probably played itself. Adams opened his button to 4,500 and Dvoress three-bet to 16,000 in the big blind. Adams four-bet to 42,000 and Dvoress then jammed for roughly 160,000. Dvoress’s instant call signalled to Adams that he was in trouble.

Adams: Q♦Q♣
Dvoress: A♦A♥

The board ran 2♦9♥6♣J♦8♠ and that put Dvoress’s count to about 520,000. Adams’ first bullet was fired but missed. He vacates the chair next to Kevin Hart, but may yet return to this tournament. — HS

NEIL0631_Daniel_Dvoress_PCB2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Daniel Dvoress

2:20pm: Break time

Players are now on a 20-minute break.

2:15pm: Koon collects from Carrel
Level 2 – Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

In a hand that lasted well into the day’s first break, Jason Koon opened for 3,000 from under the gun, Charlie Carrel called from the big blind, and the pair watched a flop come 6♠9♦10♥.

Carrel checked, then after Koon continued for 2,800, Carrel check-raised to 8,000 and Koon called. The turn was the 7♦ and Carrel checked again. Koon took his time on this round, then fired 20,000 and after thinking a few beats Carrel called.

The river was the 2♣ and Carrel checked once more. Koon fired 47,000 this time, and after tanking a few minutes into the break Carrel called.

Koon tabled 9♠9♣ for a set and Carrel folded. Koon is up around 365,000 going into the break, while Carrel is under 110,000. –MH

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Jason Koon

2:06pm: A misclick to start for Shak
Level 2 – Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

It was a curious scene to stumble upon. Dan Shak — who only just arrived — was sitting quietly, a huge open-raise to 75,000 sitting in front of him, and it had folded to Christoph Vogelsang in the small blind.

Was that right? 75,000? Indeed it was.

Even more interesting… Vogelsang was thinking about it.

Later we’d learn the raise was unintentional — having just joined the party, Shak thought he was raising to 3,000 not 75,000 when he’d tossed out those three yellow chips.

Finally after a long time in the tank Vogelsang let his hand go, and after a quick check Paul Newey tossed away his cards from the big blind, too.

“You’re not going to believe this,” said Shak with a big laugh. He then showed his hand — A♣A♦.

The table roared as Shak explained. “The yellows are always thousands,” he said. Meanwhile Vogelsang revealed he’d folded “a good pair,” adding “Wow, I feel so good.” –MH

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2:00pm: Career advice from Jason Koon
Level 2 – Blinds 600/1,200 (100 ante)

“I had a job for two weeks,” said Jason Koon. He’s a man who likes conversation at the table, and knows how to tell a story.

“I had a job for two weeks, I relocated and everything,” he said. “I was on a conference call and falling asleep because I’d been up all night playing poker. I was asked a question about a product. I hung up, picked up my jacket and walked out.”

As Koon would explain, any sense that he was sticking it to the man was short-lived.

“I felt like a hero for a month until I lost everything. Not such a good idea.” – SB

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Jason Koon

1:58pm: New arrivals
Level 2 – Blinds 600/1,200 (100 ante)

Jason Mercier, Dan Shak, and Erik Seidel have all entered the field, bringing the number of players up to 30.

1:56pm: Paul Newey living the dream and dreading the nightmare
Level 2 – Blinds 600/1,200 (100 ante)

Paul Newey might be living the dream, traveling the world playing poker, but in one sense he’d rather it didn’t become reality. As he confessed to Nick Petrangelo next to him he has a recurring dream. Or should that be nightmare?

“I’m playing poker,” explained Newey, “and I think I’ve got the nuts. But then I turn my cards over and I’ve got f*** all.”

This made Petrangelo laugh, Newey too, but only nervously given it sounded like a nightmare.

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Paul Newey

Meanwhile Ben Heath is living the nightmare. He just busted in a hand against Dario Sammartino. As he makes his way out Steve O’Dwyer is making his way in for a second go, seated between Mustapha Kanit and Isaac Haxton. – SB

1:50pm: Pot to Negreanu
Level 2 – Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Daniel Negreanu opened to 3,000 from under the gun and got two callers in Koray Aldemir (hijack) and Bill Perkins (button). All three checked the 9♦Q♦K♠ flop, then after the 6♠ turn Negreanu bet 10,000 and only Aldemir called.

The river was the J♥. Negreanu checked, and when Aldemir made a bet, Negreanu called it in a flash. Aldemir briefly showed his king-queen for two pair, but Negreanu turned over 10♦8♦ for a straight and took the pot.

Negreanu is up around 300,000 now while Aldemir is down to just under 170,000. –MH

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Koray Aldemir

1:45pm: How many big buy-ins can you take?
Level 2 – Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

There are long and in-depth discussions going on on Table 2 today about the prospect of adding more high buy-in events to the tournament schedule.

There’s already this $100,000 buy-in tournament scheduled, plus two single-day High Rollers, plus the “regular” $25,000 High Roller event (click to see the full tournament schedule), but it’s just not enough. The likes of Bill Perkins, Christoph Vogelsang and Charlie Carrel are talking with Neil Johnson, of PokerStars Live, about adding a few more.

Perkins was pretty clear where he stands. “Stick as many as you possibly can,” he said.

Johnson said he would do what he could, although there’s a hard stop at 4am at this venue, meaning they would need to look very carefully at structures. The general gist was that levels might need to be about 20 minutes long, with a starting time of 4pm, if they were going to get these tournaments finished. But Johnson was definitely amenable, and they then started discussing just how many they could possibly fit in, and whether or not they would have bounties.

“Why not do an hourly version?” Daniel Negreanu said, and he was only slightly joking.

There is also a $25,750 PLO tournament on the calendar this week, scheduled for Tuesday, with some players expected to make the trip especially for that event.

“I don’t think you can kill the PLO,” Isaac Haxton cautioned from a neighbouring table. “And if you run a big buy-in hold’em you’ll kill it.”

Johnson agreed and said that he would definitely not sanction that clash. However, one thing seems very clear: there will be a good deal more high buy-in events at this festival. Watch this space for what they eventually decide. — HS

1:41pm: So you’re saying there’s a chance…
Level 2 – Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Bill Perkins and Dan Colman have been playing the “Lodden thinks” game for the first level-plus today. Just now Perkins got the massage therapist at Colman’s table to be the “thinker” for another round.

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Dan Colman

The question was what she thought the odds were that both Perkins and Kevin Hart would make the final table of this one. Not sure where exactly the guessing game concluded, although Perkins was thinking 150-to-1 would be a good estimate.

Both laughed, though — as did others — when she revealed her odds:


“I’ll take action on that!” said Perkins afterwards. –MH

1:35pm: Greenwood grabs a few
Level 2 – Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Sam Greenwood opened for 3,000 from the cutoff, getting a single caller in Timothy Adams sitting behind the button on Greenwood’s left.

The flop came Q♣10♣8♥, and after Greenwood checked, Adams fired a bet of 5,5000 and Greenwood called. The turn brought the 3♦ and another Greenwood check, and this time Adams made a big bet of 28,400. Greenwood had to think about that one for a half-minute or so before calling again.

The river was the 10♦, both players checked, and when Greenwood opened K♥K♠ Adams rechecked his cards before mucking.

“Might have folded if you bet,” said Greenwood with a grin.

He’s up to 275,000 as the day’s second level begins, while Adams has about 230,000. –MH

1:27pm: O’Dwyer becomes the first faller
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Steve O’Dwyer has become the first elimination of the day, minutes before the end of the first level. Ben Tollerene sent him to the rail but really it was Joe McKeehen who did the damage.

O’Dywer had opened the pot which McKeehen raised from the small blind to 11,000. O’Dwyer then 4-bet to 29,700 which McKeehen called to see a flop.


McKeehen check-called O’Dwyer’s bet of 15,000 for the 8♥ on the turn. Then he check-called O’Dwyer’s bet of 50,000 for the Q♥ river card. Then things got big. With the action checked to him once more O’Dwyer announced he was all in. McKeehen took no time at all calling, turning over J♠10♠ to O’Dwyer’s A♠5♠.

That put McKeehen on more than 500,000 while O’Dwyer was left with less than 20,000. It took three attempts to move all-in with it before he got a call. Tollerene had found pocket kings with which to take on O’Dwyer’s pocket sixes. The board of 3♥8♣7♦4♠9♠ sent O’Dwyer to the rail, for now. – SB

1:20pm: Petrangelo dodges Negreanu’s bullets
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Nick Petrangelo, sitting to Daniel Negreanu’s right, is one of the first players to build his stack past the 300,000 mark. He has about 330,000 at time of writing, and isn’t giving any of them away in a hurry.

In a recent hand, he and Negreanu were all the way to the river and looking at the K♣6♠7♦K♥10♦ exposed on the table in front of them. There was about 19,000 in the pot.

Petrangelo checked and Negreanu bet 6,000–less than a third of the pot. Petrangelo thought about it, but folded, and Negreanu couldn’t resist. He showed Petrangelo the A♣ and then, after a pause for effect, also showed the A♥. It built Negreanu back to around 230,000. — HS

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Nick Petrangelo

1:15pm: Can Kanit do it again?
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

With about 15 minutes to go in the day’s first level, the total entries is now up to 27, having gotten there thanks to the arrival of none other than Mustapha Kanit.

Kanit is seeking yet another big buy-in title to add to his collection, having won the €50,000 Super High Roller at the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo to end Season 11, the €10,000 High Roller at Barcelona to start EPT Season 12, and the €25,000 High Roller at EPT12 Dublin, all helping boost his now $7.7 million-plus in live tournament cashes. –MH

1:04pm: Three in a row for Mateos
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Adrian Mateos is remaining active here in the day’s first level, and is accumulating chips as a result.

One hand saw Mateos open from the small blind, then call a big blind three-bet from Stephen Chidwick on his left. Mateos check-called Chidwick’s flop c-bet after the first three cards came 8♥J♦2♠, then both checked down the A♣ turn and J♠ river.

Mateos showed 9♣9♥ and Chidwick mucked, giving the Spaniard the pot.

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The next hand saw Mateos raising his button, getting called by Sergio Aido in the big blind, then claiming a small one after a flop c-bet.

Then it was Mateos getting involved again from the cutoff against Orpen Kisacikoglu, battling his way to the river as the board came 3♥8♣6♣9♣Q♥. Kisacikoglu fired a bet of 7,000 into the approximately 10,000-chip pot, and after a long think Mateos called.

Kisacikoglu showed 7♠6♥ for sixes, but Mateos’s A♣9♠ for nines was best and he claimed a third straight pot. –MH

1:01pm: Deuces. Never. Loses.
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Jason Koon and Sam Greenwood played a pot that will likely not go down as tournament defining, but which featured some delayed gratification for fans of poker aphorisms.

Koon opened the button, making it 2,500 to go, and Greenwood three-bet his big blind, pushing it up beyond 10,000. Koon called.

The flop fell 3♦J♣3♥ and Greenwood bet 7,000. Koon called.

Both players checked the 4♠ on the turn and the 3♠ completed the board. Greenwood checked, then Koon bet 18,000.

After a short time to think it through, Greenwood put forward the calling chips. Koon turned over 2♦2♠ and Greenwood mucked.

There was silence all around the table for at least 30 seconds. Then Koon delivered the words that surely everyone was hoping for, one of poker’s most durable sayings.

“Deuces never loses?” he proffered quietly, as tumbleweed drifted through the tournament room. –HS

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12:59pm: Petrangelo flush
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Nick Petrangelo just took his stack up past the 300,000 mark after a hand against Bill Perkins. On a board of J♥Q♠8♠5♠10♥ Petrangelo’s A♠6♠ was good. After Perkins had paid him off he was down to 175,000 while Petrangelo now has 335,000. – SB

12:50pm: Bonomo on the move
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Justin Bonomo, with hair coiffured in shocking pink, just moved table, part of the balancing act as more players arrive. He’s now next to Dan Colman, who he engaged in a pot almost immediately.

Colman opened for 7,000 on the button, which Bonomo, headphones in and a massage therapist elbowing his back, raised to 22,000 from the small blind. Colman then called for the 3♦7♥9♦ flop.

Bonomo bet 15,000, which Colman called for the A♣ turn. That was checked ahead of the 5♥ on the river. Bonomo then forced Colman to fold with a bet of 75,000. That took his stack up to around 300,000, which Colman dropped to 200,000. – SB

12:45pm: The $2.2m commitment
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

“Me and the actor Kevin Hart, the guy who doesn’t give a damn?”

This was Bill Perkins, engaging in loud table talk early in Level 1 of this event. Hart, sitting a few paces away, responded with a quizzical look over to his friend’s table.

“We’re try to get odds on you and me both making the final table,” Perkins said. Hart chuckled at what both tacitly admitted was an unlikely prospect.

They then began chatting across the room about the one area of their game that puts them ahead of their opponents: their willingness to re-enter as many times as it may take. “I’m prepared to go to 22,” Hart said, committing himself to a $2.2 million investment.

“Oh, and then you’re going to stop?” Daniel Negreanu piped up. If there’s a conversation about numerous re-entries, Negreanu is going to be in it.

Hart then suggested that he and Perkins have a last-longer. Perkins was immediately amenable. “Fifty?” he said. (One suspects this is not $50.)

Hart then laid out the terms of the deal: it was only for the first bullet. However, once that last longer is decided (and it might not take long), there may be a few expensive fireworks flying. — HS

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Kevin Hart

12:35pm: New year resolution
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

A postflop bet earned Nick Petrangelo a pot, and as he collected his chips he resisted the urging of Bill Perkins to show his hand.

“In 2017 I will not be showing any cards,” said Petrangelo with a smile. “Not even one?!” said an incredulous Perkins.

“It’s going to be the most boring year of your life!” called Charlie Carrel from across the table.

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Charlie Carrel

Perkins began the next hand with an early-position raise and Carrel called. The flop saw Carrel check and quickly fold to a Perkins c-bet, and Perkins won a small one.

And no, Perkins didn’t show his hand. –MH

12:30pm: Old Man Koon
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Jason Koon’s claim to be an old man is a little hard to take when you know you’re a full decade older than him, but his point was still a good one. Koon was lamenting the good old days, when he’d come to play and party at what was then the PCA. Now, with a girlfriend and being “all grown up”, it’s a different experience.

The Bahamas has been a good hunting ground for Koon, with cashes each year since 2012. The highlights being fourth place in the $25K High Roller back in 2012 ($271,950), and third place the following year in the $10K six-max ($167,165).

The day has started in much the same way. Old Man Koon is up to 300,000 after forcing a fold from Ben Heath with a bet of 105,000 on a board of 10♥4♦K♠7♦. – SB

12:25pm: It is unlimited re-entries
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

“Are you prepared to go eight rebuys today?” called Kevin Hart across to Bill Perkins at a neighboring table. “Depends!” Perkins chuckled in response.

Hart, Jason Koon, and others at his table talked further about the prospect of entering multiple times into a super high roller, with Koon noting he’d once fired three times in one.

“I’m prepared for… 22,” said Hart with a big grin, and the table laughed. “Yeah, $2.2 million.”

“That’d be a big boost to the prize pool,” answered Koon. –MH

12:20pm: The early arrivals
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Twenty-one players are now seated in this event, with the number sure to rise. The full list as we get it will be over on the chip-count page.

In short, it’s a lot of familiar poker faces plus Kevin Hart, who is very familiar for reasons other than poker. — HS

12:17pm: Wait…is that…yes it is!
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

There are a lot of familiar faces sitting down to play right now, but one of them is a man we have never seen in a Super High Roller. Actor Kevin Hart is taking his seat among the world’s best right now. Yes, Kevin Hart. –BW

12:10pm: Cards in the air
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Play is now under way at the $100K Super High Roller at the PokerStars Championship Bahamas. The new era has begun.

11:50am: Nearly there
Level 1 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

The early-arriving players are taking their seats and action is imminent. We’ll likely get started at 12:10pm. All the information you need should be in those links above. –HS

11:50am: Unlimited re-entries

As tournament officials go about their final preparations, players are likely also getting their heads in the right place for their shy at the title. The place those heads need to be is the Imperial Ballroom at the Atlantis Resort.

The buy-in is $100,000 and that gets you 250,000 chips. It’s also worth remembering that this is a re-entry event, with players allowed to buy-in again should they lose their full stack before the start of Day 2. Point being, $100,000 is the minimum investment. There is no maximum. –HS

11am: The calm before the storm

Welcome one and all to the Bahamas for the start of a new year and a new era. The first major tournament on the poker calendar of 2017 is also the first ever PokerStars Championship event–the new flagship tour under the PokerStars LIVE banner.

The location is familiar: we are in the Atlantis Resort & Casino, on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, the home for the past 13 years of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. For obvious reasons it feels somewhat similar, but this is a brave new world.

Today we kick things off with the $100,000 Super High Roller event. Only the best players and those with the deepest wallets will play and we are expecting a bumper field. We know that Daniel Negreanu is here, as well as his Team PokerStars Pro colleague Jason Mercier. Various other high rollers have been spotted across the property in the past day or so.

Play kicks off at noon. They have a starting stack of 250,000 chips and we’ll play eight one-hour levels. We have exclusive hand-by-hand updates here at PokerStars Blog, so stick with us from start to finish.

Ready to embark on your own poker adventure? Sign up for PokerStars and begin your journey. Click here to get an account.


Take a look at the official website of PokerStars LIVE, with tournament schedule, news, results and accommodation details for the PokerStars Championship Bahamas and all other Festival and Championship events.

Also all the information is on the PokerStars LIVE App, which is available on both Android or IOS.

PokerStars Blog reporting team on the $100K Super High Roller: Stephen Bartley, Martin Harris, Howard Swains and Brad Willis. Photography by Neil Stoddart. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog


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