And so the PCA Main Event rolled on today. It may occupy less space in the Imperial Ballroom, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in prestige, for the final table line up is now just a little more than 24 hours away.
Favourite for one of those eight seats, tonight at least, is the chip leader, Eugenio Mattar, who bagged-up 2,673,000 at the completion of five levels tonight, and with 24 players remaining. His stack is the high water mark and the target for those returning tomorrow. But the man who owns a car rental company in Brazil had to be the villain to get it. More on that in a moment.
Chip leader Eugenio Mattar
Behind him is the chase pack, eager to replace him at the top of the pile.
Chance Kornuth had another good day at the office, closing on 2,026,000 tonight. He’s closest to Mattar. Then there is the little known Frenchman Emrah Cakmak with 1,970,000, ahead of Andreas Samuelsson on 1,628,000. The familiar face of Pratyush Buddiga completed the top five. He ended the day on 1,624,000.
Pratyush Buddiga will return
Here’s the full chip count list with three tables remaining:
Eugenio Pacelli Mattar (Brazil) 2,673,000
Emrah Cakmak (France) 2,037,000
Chance Kornuth (United States) 2,026,000
Andreas Samuelsson (Sweden) 1,628,000
Pratyush Buddiga (United States) 1,624,000
Ratharam Sivagnanam (Canada) 1,341,000
Niklas Hambitzer (Germany) 1,317,000
Shyam Srinivasan (Canada) 1,310,000
Diego Ventura (Peru) 1,154,000
Juan Martin Pastor (Argentina) 1,085,000
Uwe Ritter (Germany) 1,062,000
Maurice Hawkins (United States) 962,000
Jim Collopy (United States) 799,000
Rami Boukai (United States) 769,000
Dylan Linde (United States) 709,000
Scott Baumstein (United States) 543,000
Juan Etcheverry (Argentina) 542,000
Benjamin Pollak (United Kingdom) 514,000
Tim Reilly (United States) 511,000
Ambrose Ng (Canada) 485,000
Kevin Schulz (United States) 441,000
Mayu Roca (Colombia) 313,000
Felipe Ramos (Brazil) 282,000
Noah Schwartz (United States) 238,000
But the stories of the day were not confined to the leaders.
If anyone was in any doubt as to how much former three-time World Footballer of the Year Ronaldo takes his poker, they need only look at the sporting headlines tonight for proof. Across the world his namesake Cristiano Ronaldo collected this year’s World Footballer of the Year award, from Fifa headquarters in Switzerland. It was a presentation will all the glamour such titles include, minus a certain Brazilian footballer turned poker player who was all set to be there. Only, he was too busy in the Main Event to attend.
There were times today when we began to think the unthinkable. Could Ronaldo reach the PCA penultimate day? Could he even make the final table?
Alas that was not to be when after valiant efforts, he was sent to the rail by his countryman, and chip leader, Mattar, in 26th place.
He’ll be back…
There would be no dream story, but the grin on his face as he presented his PS Live card encapsulated the entire story. The $42,180 was not important. He was now a poker player, and that actually was.
The success of those coming back tomorrow depended on the misfortune of others. That included Team Pros Naoya “nkeyno” Kihara, Jonathan Duhamel and Jason Mercier, but also the likes of Ole Schemion, Olivier Busquet, Shannon Shorr, former chip leader Walter Fisher, and JC Alvarado.
Naoya Kihara departed today
…so too Jason Mercier
… and Jonathan Duhamel
The full list of those who departed today, can be found on our live coverage page.
If you were with us throughout the day you might have read about:
Sticking around this time: Maurice Hawkins
… and then again how his day today went up and down
How Sarah Herring and Tito Ortzi got to grips with a rear naked choke hold
Everything you wanted to know about tournament poker (but were afraid to ask)
That hand between Sorel Mizzi and Igor Kurganov
How one deep run deserves another
How Andrew Wayman turned $11 into $36,560
Any of the links above will take you through to those posts.
For now, while the High Rollers play on, we look ahead to Day 5 of the PCA Main Event which begins at noon tomorrow. You can follow all the action from then on the PokerStars Blog, which EPTLive will be broadcasting from start to finish.
See you then.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.