PCA 2016: Main Event final table live updates

January 14, 2016



12:26am: Mike Watson wins 2016 PCA Main Event


We have a winner and his name is Mike Watson. Tony Gregg has been denied a PCA title despite his third final table in this event over the years.

We’ll have a full wrap up of the day very shortly, but first here was the final hand.

Tony Gregg limped with the A♠8♣ and Mike Watson checked his option with the 7♥4♠.

The flop was an interesting one; 2♥8♥6♥. All hearts meant Watson had a flush draw, plus a straight draw. Gregg, meanwhile, had top pair.

Watson checked and Gregg quickly bet 400,000. But now Watson raised it up to 1.2 million, leaving Gregg with a big decision to make. He decided to shove for 4.1 million and Watson was priced in; he made the call and it was all down to these final two cards. Tony Gregg was ahead, but Watson had 12 outs.

The 7♠ landed on the rurn, giving Watson a pair and even more outs – 16 to be precise.

The 5♥ sealed the deal for Watson. It’s all over.


12:11am: Big chip swing
Level 34 Blinds 125,000-250,000 (25,000)

Tony Gregg opened to 500,000 with the A♦Q♥ only to see Watson put out a 3-bet to 1,350,000. Ace queen is far too good a hand heads up to fold to that kind of pressure though, and Gregg counted out a 4-bet of 2,875,000 and put it out in the middle. Watson called and we went to a flop.

The dealer spread out the J♥8♣5♠ on the flop and now Watson checked. Gregg opted to bet 1,650,000 but he’d been outflopped, so naturally Watson wasn’t done. Watson check-raised all-in and Gregg was forced to give it up.

There’s a big difference between the two now: Mike Watson has 22 million and Gregg is down to just 5 million. –JS

11:25pm: Watson hits his King and gets paid
Level 33 – Blinds 125,000 – 250,000 (50,000 ante)

Tony Gregg just can’t catch a break at the moment. He lost another one now when Watson’s K♠7♥ hit the K♥J♦4♦ flop much better than Gregg’s pocket Sevens. Watson check-called a 350k bet on the flop and both players checked the 9♠ turn. On the 6♥ river it was Watson’s opportunity to try and get some value with his pair of Kings. He bet a cool million and Gregg called, only to get the bad news. Mission accomplished for Watson. – RJ

11:21pm: A rare pre-flop 3-bet
Level 33, Blinds 125,000-250,000 (50,000)

Here’s something we haven’t seen much of in this heads up match – a pre-flop 3-bet.

Watson opened to his standard 500,000 with K♣9♣ but Tony Gregg must have seen something and 3-bet to 1,350,000 with the J♠10♦. Watson called.

The 7♥6♦5♠ flop missed both players, and when Gregg checked Watson won it with a 1 million bet. Watson has 15.3 million to Gregg’s 11.7 million. –JS

11:09pm: Watson bluffs, but Gregg’s got it
Level 33, Blinds 100,000-200,000 (50,000)

Watson opened to 500,000 with the Q♥3♥ and Gregg made the call with the Dolly Parton, 9♦5♦. The flop was the 2♦8♣7♥ and Gregg checked it to the raiser. Watson bet 500,000 again with complete air and Gregg called with his gutshot.

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BOOM! The 6♣ on the turn gave Gregg the straight but he chose to check it, as did Watson. The J♣ on the river may have completed a few potential hands such as flush draws and straight draws, and Gregg opted to check his straight once again. He was clearly hoping Watson would bet.

Gregg got his wish. Watson counted out a bet of 1.2 million and slid it across the felt. Gregg took his time before making a re-raise to 3 million exactly, and Watson snap folded.

The two are almost even in chips now, with Gregg having 13 million to Watson’s 14 million. –JS

Heads Up_Tony Gregg_2016 PCA_Main Event_Final Table_Giron_8JG0787.jpg

11:00pm: Watson’s lead gets bigger
Level 33, Blinds 100,000-200,000 (25,000)

We’ve just seen a huge hand which has sent Mike Watson’s stack over the 20 million mark.

Gregg opened to 450,000 with the J♥9♥ and Watson made the call with 8♣7♠. The flop came 9♠K♥10♥ – something for everyone – and Watson checked to the pre-flop raiser. Gregg made it 450,000 again with his pair of nines, flush draw and straight draw but Watson check raised up to 1,350,000 with his open ender. Gregg didn’t take too long to call.

The J♠ came on the turn and now Watson checked, allowing Gregg to put out a bet of 1,450,000 having hit two pair. Watson had made his straight though – albeit the low end – and he made the call, perhaps worried about a queen.

The 5♠ on the river wasn’t much of an action card and both players checked. Watson raked in the pot with his straight.

Mike Watson 20,630,000
Anthony Gregg 6,950,000 –JS

10:15pm: Deal
Level 33, Blinds 100,000-200,000 (25,000)

Players came back from dinner break and struck a deal. It was quick and simple. Tournament staff showed players the numbers and they instantly agreed. There was no debate, no negotiating, just a quick nod, a pair of signatures and a handshake.

Discussing a Deal_Gregg_Watson_2016 PCA_Main Event_Final Table_Giron_8JG0771.jpg

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Mike Watson: $695,175
Tony Gregg: $612,175

This leaves the players battling for $33,000 and the title of 2016 PCA Champion. It’s a title that would tick a lot of boxes off for Gregg.

Gregg’s made three PCA final tables and gotten heads-up and lost before. A win here would also give him the EPT title he needs for the Triple Crown. –AV

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8:50pm: Heads-up chip counts

Everyone is on a dinner break. They’ll be back at 10pm.

Name Country Chips
Mike Watson Canada 17,700,000
Tony Gregg USA 9,875,000

8:50pm: Phillip McAllister eliminated in 3rd
Level 33, Blinds 100,000-200,000 (25,000)

Phillip McAllister looked down at J♥J♦ and just called from the small blind.

Mike Watson then moved all-in from the small blind with 8♣7♣ and McAllister snap-called.

The flop came 10♣5♣7♠ to pair Watson’s seven and give him a flush draw. Then the 3♣ came on the turn to give Watson the flush and leave McAllister drawing dead. The river was an inconsequential 5♠ and the tournament went heads-up.

McAllister won $356,020 for finishing 3rd and Tony Gregg and Mike Watson took their 75-minute dinner break.

Mike Watson — 17,700,000
Tony Gregg — 9,875,000

Elimination_Phillip McAllister_2016 PCA_Main Event_Final Table_Giron_8JG0749.jpg

8:12pm: Tales from the rail part 3: The wasteland
Level 31 – Blinds 60,000 – 120,000 (20,000 ante)

The departure of Toby Lewis from the Main Event has also caused ruptions on the rail. With Chris Moorman, Ludovic Geilich, Maria Ho and their respective entourages all primarily supporting Lewis, there’s now a huge hole on the rail where they used to be.

Even though their bodies are no longer present there are definitely clear signs that the Lewis Rail was once in operation. Strewn among the floor are empty beer cans, half-full champagne flutes, a bucket of ice (that once housed Grey Goose) and, curiously, a ton of uneaten chocolate. Lewis and his friends are currently celebrating/commiserating in one of the Atlantis Resort’s fine establishments – as far as the rail is concerned, they will be greatly missed.

In other rail news, the large crews for Tony Gregg and Mike Watson – whose fans have taken to barking like a dog every time he wins a pot – are still intact. Spare a thought for the other Brit, Phil McAllister, as he seems to either be flying solo or have very, very quiet supporters. I’m sure he won’t mind however, as he’s crushing this final table. – RJ

Rail_Tony Gregg_2016 PCA_Main Event_Final Table_Giron_8JG0707.jpg

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7:55pm: Toby Lewis out in 4th for $267,340
Level 33, Blinds 100,000-200,000 (25,000 ante)

We’ve just lost British superstar Toby Lewis in brutal fashion.

Phillip McAllister limped on the button with 9♥6♥ and Lewis shoved all in from the small blind for 3,375,000 with K♠9♠. Mike Watson woke up with A♣J♦ in the big blind and moved all in over the top, and McAllister quickly got out of the way.

Lewis was behind, and remained so when the 10♣6♠3♥ flop was dealt. However, the turn card was the K♥, pairing Lewis and putting him well in front.

Only an ace or queen for a straight on the river would eliminate Lewis otherwise it would be a nice double up to 7 million. But the river was indeed a queen and Lewis went to hug his rail.

He takes home $267,340 for 4th. Mike Watson now has 12,880,000. –JS

Elimination_Toby Lewis_2016 PCA_Main Event_Final Table_Giron_8JG0726.jpg

Elimination_Toby Lewis_2016 PCA_Main Event_Final Table_Giron_8JG0723.jpg

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7:31pm: Chip counts at break

Players will be coming back to Level 33, Blinds 100,000-200,000 (25,000)

Name Country Chips
Mike Watson Canada 8,805,000
Tony Gregg USA 8,540,000
Phillip McAllister UK 7,735,000
Toby Lewis UK 2,855,000

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7:25: Aces for Lewis
Level 32, Blinds 80,000-160,000 (25,000 ante)

Toby Lewis opened to 320,000 from under the gun, and with good reason; he had pocket aces. He got exactly what he wanted to when Tony Gregg 3-bet from the small blind with K♦Q♥ to 890,000. A 4-bet from Lewis to 1,900,000 would take it down though. –JS

7:20: Watson’s one better
Level 32, Blinds 80,000-160,000 (25,000 ante)

Tony Gregg opened to 320,000 with the 10♥8♣ and Phillip McAllister opted to just call with pocket queens. Mike Watson was in the big blind and he called too.

The K♣2♣10♣ flop brought an overcard to McAllister’s hand, and middle pair plus flush draws for Gregg and Watson. However, all players checked. The 3♣ turn made it four clubs on board and gave Gregg and Watson the flush. Again, though, everyone checked.

And so we saw the A♥ on the river. Watson now correctly figured his flush was the best hand so bet 600,000 for value, Gregg called and McAllister threw his ladies away. Watson’s hand was one better than Gregg’s and he took it down.

Mike Watson 8,805,000
Tony Gregg 8,540,000
Phillip McAllister 7,375,000 –JS

7:15pm: Gregg doubles through Lewis, takes lead
Level 32, Blinds 80,000-160,000 (25,000)

Toby Lewis raised to 320,000 from under-the-gun and Tony Gregg three-bet to 875,000 from the small blind.

Lewis re-raised all-in and Gregg called.

Gregg was at-risk and showed 9♠9♦ to Lewis’s A♥K♦.

NEIL2416_PCA2016_Tony_Gregg_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Tony Gregg
The board ran 10♦4♠8♣Q♣9♠ and Gregg doubled up to 8.8 million while Lewis dropped to 3.8 million. –AV

Double Up_Tony Gregg_2016 PCA_Main Event_Final Table_Giron_8JG0701.jpg

Well, isn’t that special
6:55: Amazing fold from Lewis
Level 32, Blinds 80,000-160,000 (25,000 ante)

Toby Lewis just made a world class fold and has shown the skill level that has carried him this far in the tournament.

Tony Gregg limped the button with 10♣9♣ and Lewis checked his big blind with A♥8♣. The flop was kind to Gregg as the 5♥9♦4♥ gave him top pair. Lewis checked and Gregg bet 215,000 which was called.

The turn was the A♦ giving Lewis top pair and the lead in the hand. He checked it though and Gregg continued for 485,000. Lewis thought for a little while and decided to stick around.

The river flipped things once again, as the 9♥ gave Gregg trips. Lewis checked once more and Gregg put out a value bet of 790,000 into a pot of just under 2 million. Lewis looked confused and disappointed, but seemed to know he was behind. “This limping the button stuff is killing me,” he said, looking at the End Boss Tony Gregg.

Somehow he managed to fold the ace – an incredible lay down. Lewis now have 6.32 million and Gregg has 2.98 million. –JS

Aces for Lewis
Level 32, Blinds 80,000-160,000 (25,000 ante)

Toby Lewis opened to 320,000 from under the gun, and with good reason; he had pocket aces. He got exactly what he wanted to when Tony Gregg 3-bet from the small blind with K♦Q♥ to 890,000. A 4-bet from Lewis to 1,900,000 would take it down though. –JS

6:38pm: Gregg 3-betting light
Level 32, Blinds 80,000-160,000 (25,000 ante)

Toby Lewis opened to 320,000 under the gun with A♠J♦ and Anthony Gregg, the shortest stack at the table, 3-bet to 865,000 from the big blind with just K♦3♠. It was enough to make Lewis fold and bring Gregg’s stack to 4.4 million. –JS

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6:33pm: Vladimir Troyanovskiy eliminated in 5th
Level 32, Blinds 80,000-160,000 (25,000)

Tony Gregg raised to 350,000 from under-the-gun and Vladimir Troyanovskiy called from the big blind.

The flop came A♣4♥8♥ and Troyanovskiy moved all-in for 700,000. Gregg snap-called and showed top pair with A♠Q♣ while Troyanovskiy showed a flush draw with 7♥3♥.

Elimination_Vladimir Troyanovskiy_2016 PCA_Main Event_Final Table_Giron_8JG0686.jpg

The turn brought a 10♦ and a 9♣ came on the river to eliminate Troyanovskiy.

Gregg chipped up to 4.06 million while Troyanovskiy won $207,940 for his 5th place finish. –AV

Elimination_Vladimir Troyanovskiy_2016 PCA_Main Event_Final Table_Giron_8JG0691.jpg

6:20: Watson playing cagey
Level 32, Blinds 80,000-160,000 (25,000 ante)

Most players who have turned a flush would bet their hand for value, but Mike Watson opted for a cagier route.

Phillip McAllister opened to 380,000 with K♣5♣ and Watson called from the big blind with 10♦8♦. The flop gave Watson a flush draw and it was middle pair for McAllister – 4♦9♥5♦. Watson checked his draw and McAllister continued for 365,000, and Watson was going nowhere.

On the turn we saw the J♦ hit the felt, giving Watson the flush. He checked it, clearly hoping McAllister would continue his aggression, but now he decided to check back. The Q♠ on the river didn’t change anything, and Watson checked again, again hoping to see McAllister put some more chips in the middle. Unfortunately for him McAllister checked. Watson won the pot, but could it have been bigger? –JS

6:10pm: Toby Lewis doubles through Watson
Level 32, Blinds 80,000-160,000 (25,000)

Toby Lewis doubled on the first hand back from break.

And he did it by limping from the small blind with 9♠9♦. Mike Watson looked down at 9♦7♥ and checked his option.

The flop came 4♥7♣2♥ and Lewis check-raised to 750,000 after Watson bet 200,000. A 3♠ came on the turn after Watson called and Lewis moved all-in for 2.02 million.

Watson thought for about three minutes and then threw in chips for a call.

Lewis showed the overpair and needed to dodge a seven on the river.

River: K♦

Lewis doubled up to 5.975 million while Watson dropped to 5.35 million.

Double Up_Toby Lewis_2016 PCA_Main Event_Final Table_Giron_8JG0675.jpg

Toby Lewis…did I hold?
5:43pm: Chip counts at the break

Players will be coming back to Level 32 – Blinds 80,000 – 160,000 (25,000 ante)

Name Country Chips
Phillip McAllister UK 11,415,000
Mike Watson Canada 8,200,000
Tony Gregg USA 2,885,000
Toby Lewis UK 2,960,000
Vladimir Troyanovskiy Russia 2,110,000

5:40pm: Troyanovsky down to 13 big blinds
Level 31, Blinds 60,000-120,000 (10,000)

A dangerous flop just cost Vladimir Troyanovskiy a big chunk of chips, and he’s well and truly in the danger zone now with just 13 big blinds remaining.

Mike Watson had opened to 250,000 with the Q♥Q♦ and Vlad 3-bet to 575,000 with the A♠J♦. Watson called and we went to a flop, which was the J♣4♦8♣. Watson checked to Vlad who continued for 425,000 having hit top pair, but he was still trailing the ladies of Watson.

The 10♣ on the turn slowed down the Russian as both players checked, taking us to the 6♦ on the river. The pot was 2,280,000 and Watson put out a bet of 1,125,000. Vlad didn’t take too much time to make the call, and was dissapointed to see that top pair was no good.

Mike Watson now has 8.2 million, while Troyanovskiy is down to just 2 million. –JS

NEIL2309_PCA2016_Vladimir_Troyanovskiy_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Vladimir Troyanovskiy
5:30pm: Tales from the rail part 2: Greg on Gregg
Level 31 – Blinds 60,000 – 120,000 (20,000 ante)

2012 WSOP Main Event winner Greg Merson is on the rail supporting good friend Tony Gregg. He’s sat with some other poker players and they were overheard discussing Gregg’s approach to tournament poker – it made for some fascinating listening.

One said that Gregg is, “the absolute worst at ICM*. He just wants to win.” Merson then concurred and told a story about Gregg being deep in the WSOP Main Event and five-bet jamming with air when he easily could have slowed down and moved up the payout ladder without taking any risks. In Merson’s language, “it was ICM suicide.”
With Gregg currently the short stack at the table it will be interesting to see which approach he takes for the remainder of the day. Don’t be surprised if it’s an aggressive one.

Meanwhile, Liv Boeree, Maria Ho and Jonathan Little have now showed up on the rail too. Boeree is extolling the virtues of the Burning Man festival. The others are watching the poker.

*ICM is a poker term that stands for Independent Chip Model. It’s a system that works out your best play, taking into account not only your cards but also the chip stacks of yourself and the other players at the table. But you knew that already, of course.

– RJ

5:15pm: Lewis takes one from Watson
Level 31, Blinds 60,000-120,000 (20,000)

Toby Lewis min-raised on the button to 240,000 with K♥4♥ and Mike Watson called out of the small blind with K♣10♦. Vladimir Troyanovskiy left the party and his big blind and we went to a flop of 4♣9♣Q♦, giving Lewis the lead with his pair of fours.

It was all quiet on the flop and the A♣ turn with both players checking, but the K♦ on the river was an interesting card. It paired Watson but gave Lewis two pair, and he decided to try and get some value. His 400,000 bet into the 700,000 pot was too tempting for Watson who made the call, giving Lewis the win in this one.

Toby Lewis 4,100,000
Mike Watson 4,960,000 –JS

5:08pm: Four-way pot
Level 31, Blinds 60,000-120,000 (20,000)

It was almost a family pot but Phillip McAllister folded from under-the-gun.

Toby Lewis raised to 240,000 from the cutoff and everyone else called. The flop came 9♣10♥10♠ and Lewis bet 350,000 when checked to. Watson called with A♥10♦ for trip tens.

Vladimir Troyanovskiy had a straight draw with Q♦J♣ but folded. Gregg missed the flop with A♦7♦ and folded as well.

Lewis, who had K♠J♠, checked when the 4♦ came on the turn and folded when Watson bet 700,000.

The hand put Watson up to about 7 million. –AV

Mike Watson_2016 PCA_Main Event_Final Table_Giron_8JG0664.jpg

Mike Watson
4:55pm: Lewis’ lady wins it
Level 31, Blinds 60,000-120,000 (10,000)

It just hasn’t been Anthony Gregg’s day so far. He’s getting no action when he has big hands, and has had the second best hand a lot of the time when he’s in pots that go to showdown.
Gregg opened to 255,000 with the 9♦7♦ on the button and Toby Lewis called from the big blind with K♦Q♠. The flop was 10♠Q♦8♦ and Lewis chose to check his top pair. Gregg checked his open-ended straight draw and flush draw too.

The turn was the 9♣, pairing Gregg. Both players checked again and we saw the 8♠ on the river. Now Lewis put out a bet of 300,000 and Gregg would call with his beaten pair.

Toby Lewis 4,220,000
Anthony Gregg 2,890,000 –JS

4:30pm: McAllister still rising
Level 31, Blinds 60,000-120,000 (20,000)

Phillip McAllister is up to 9.8 million.

He didn’t win a big pot to get up there either. McAllister has been raising and taking down preflops fairly frequently.

He took a slightly bigger pot off Tony Gregg too.

In that hand, Gregg called from the small blind and McAllister raised to 240,000 from the big blind. Gregg called and the flop came 8♥7♥7♦ and Gregg checked. McAllister bet 190,000 and Gregg folded.

The hand put McAllister up to 9.8 million while Gregg dropped to 2.9 million. –AV

4:11pm: Tales from the rail
Level 31, Blinds 60,000-100,000 (20,000 ante)

At any EPT final table there are always lots of star poker players watching the action or cheering on their friends who are up there on the stage. That’s magnified even more when you’re at the PCA, and when the final table contains some of the most respected names in the game. The rail for today is packed – here are some of the highlights of what’s going on.

Chris Moorman, his friends and their WAGs are in the house to support Toby Lewis. They’re being very reserved right now but a huge, enormous bottle of Grey Goose is on ice at their feet. Once some of that sweet, sweet vodka starts taking effect I wonder if we will start to see the makings of another infamous British rail.

Toby Lewis Rail_2016 PCA_Main Event_Final Table_Giron_8JG0666.jpg

Meanwhile, the Greenwood family – the poker playing trio of Sam, Luc and Max and their parents – are making reservations for a dinner (we’re guessing Nobu) tonight that also includes Justin Bonomo and “Scott” (we’re guessing Seiver). With the net worth at that table, they might even be able to afford the astronomical sushi and black cod entrees – just.

Mike Watson Rail_2016 PCA_Main Event_Final Table_Giron_8JG0672.jpg

Finally, Tony Gregg has brought his parents along as he attempts to add yet another title to his already magnificent resume. They are seated in the front row and, after he folds a hand, Gregg is going over to sit down and chat with his family. Tenth place finisher Matt Waxman is also on the Gregg rail – nice to know that he has no hard feelings over just missing out on an appearance himself.

Rest assured that the PokerStars Blog will bring you any more developments, on the table or on the rail, as they happen. – RJ

3:55pm: Chip counts at the break

Players will be coming back to 60,000/120,000 (20,000 ante).

Name Country Chips
Phillip McAllister UK 8,775,000
Mike Watson Canada 7,615,000
Vladimir Troyanovskiy Russia 4,000,000
Tony Gregg USA 3,840,000
Toby Lewis UK 3,480,000

Phillip McAllister_2016 PCA_Main Event_Final Table_Giron_8JG0570.jpg

McAllister extends lead, first break of the day
Level 30, Blinds 50,000-100,000 (10,000)

In the last hand of the level, Vladimir Troyanovskiy raised to 225,000 from the button and Phillip McAllister called from the big blind. The flop came 10♦4♥2♥ and both players checked.

The turn brought a 9♠ and McAllister bet 325,000.

McAllister had just hit two pair with 10♣9♣ while Troyanovskiy just paired his nine with K♥9♦.

So Troyanovskiy raised, to 860,000.

McAllister called and an 8♦ completed the board. Both players checked and McAllister’s tens and nines took the pot.

The hand put McAllister up to 8.77 million while Troyanovskiy dropped to 4 million. –AV

3:44pm: Bluffing with six-high
Level 30, Blinds 50,000-100,000 (10,000)

There are no easy pots at the final table. With five professionals left, every pot won is hard-earned.

Toby Lewis raised to 200,000 from the button and Vladimir Troyanovskiy looked down at 6♦5♣.

It was good enough for a call.

The flop came Q♣3♦2♥ and Troyanovskiy checked. Lewis bet 250,000 with his pair of twos and Troyanovskiy thought. Then he raised to 580,000 and got Lewis to fold.

The hand put Troyanovskiy up to 4.2 million while Lewis was left with 4.1 million. –AV

3:35pm: Fives are good for Gregg
Level 30, Blinds 50,000-100,000 (10,000)

Anthony Gregg didn’t get out-flopped – that’s big news on this final table, as the tournament beast hasn’t had the luckiest start to the day.

Gregg opened to 225,000 on the button with 5♠5♣ and Toby Lewis defended his big blind with A♥10♣. The flop was the 9♥2♥2♣ and Lewis checked, leaving Gregg to make a 150,000 bet. Lewis called.

To the turn we went and it was another safe card for Gregg – the 4♠, however he opted to check as did Lewis before him.

The 3♥ came on the river and after Lewis checked Gregg made it 400,000. Lewis gave it up and Gregg raked in the pot.

Anthony Gregg 3,480,000
Toby Lewis 5,040,000 –JS

Toby Lewis_2016 PCA_Main Event_Final Table_Giron_8JG0574.jpg

Toby Lewis
3:20pm: Another loss for Gregg
Level 30, Blinds 50,000-100,000 (10,000)

Things haven’t been going well for Tony Gregg so far.

Things looked good at first, he found pocket jacks from under-the-gun and raised to 225,000. Vladimir Troyanovskiy called from the big blind with A♣10♠ and paired his ace on the A♥9♥9♦ flop.

Both players checked and an 8♦ fell on the turn. Troyanovskiy bet 225,000 and Gregg called.

River: A♠

Another ace for Troyanovskiy and another bet, this time for 415,000.

Gregg folded and was down to 3.19 million while Troyanovskiy chipped up to 4.1 million. –AV

Vladimir Troyanovskiy_2016 PCA_Main Event_Final Table_Giron_8JG0600.jpg

3:06pm: A million for kings
Level 30, Blinds 50,000-100,000 (10,000)

Tony Gregg raised to 225,000 from under-the-gun with Q♣10♣ and Mike Watson re-raised to 625,000 from the small blind with pocket kings.

Gregg called and the flop came A♠J♠9♣. Watson checked and Gregg bet out 465,000. Watson called and a 9♦ came on the turn.

Both players checked and checked again when a third 9 came on the river.

Watson’s kings took the pot and he chipped up to 6.8 million while Gregg dipped to 3.4 million. –AV

Tony Gregg_2016 PCA_Main Event_Final Table_Giron_8JG0559.jpg

Tony Gregg
3:02: Watson plays it safe
Level 30, Blinds 50,000-100,000 (10,000 ante)

Vladimir Troyanovskiy opened under the gun to 210,000 with suited connectors, the 10♥9♥. It was folded around to Mike Watson in the big blind who 3-bet to 575,000 with A♣Q♣.

The board was all diamonds – Q♦3♦9♦ – and with neither playing holding a diamond both players checked. Watson was ahead with top pair to Vlad’s second pair.

The 2♦ landed on the river and you started to get the feeling that whoever bets would take the pot down. However, both players checked once again.

The river was the 8♣ and both players continued the safe play by checking. Watson took down the pot with his pair of queens.

Mike Watson 5,570,000
Vladimir Troyanovski 4,370,000 –JS

2:45pm: (Hiccup)

For anyone wondering what happened last night, you’re not alone. Check out a quick speculative reflection on last night’s PCA party.

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2:45pm: Pairs versus pairs, McAllister takes the lead
Level 30, Blinds 50,000-100,000 (10,000)

Phillip McAllister took the lead after two pair bested Mike Watson’s.

McAllister raised from the button and Watson defended his big blind. Both players connected with the J♠8♥4♦ flop, but McAllister’s J♦8♣ connected a bit more than Watson’s J♣5♠.

Watson check-called a 380,000 bet and did the same when the 7♣ came on the turn. A 5♥ completed the board and paired Watson’s five.

Watson checked again and McAllister bet 730,000. Watson quickly called and showed the inferior two pair.

Watson dropped to 5 million while McAllister took the lead with 7.4 million. –AV

Mike Watson_2016 PCA_Main Event_Final Table_Giron_8JG0581.jpg

Mike Watson
2:30pm: A crestfallen Kritzer talks
Level 29, Blinds 40,000-80,000 (10,000)

The only recreational player at the final table was understandably deflated at the end of his remarkable run. “I’m so let down right now but I’ll get over it in a little bit, it’s been an amazing experience,” he said. “I’ll probably go cry for a bit.”


A crestfallen Randy Kritzer

Kritzer acknowledged that this was by far the best result he had ever had and expressed how sorry he was that it was over. “I really just want to play more, man, out in 20 minutes.”

Although he held his own in some esteemed company, Kritzer said it remains anyone’s game. “They’re all good, I couldn’t say [who will win].”

He added: “I really liked this tournament because it fits my style more. I’m a relatively conservative guy and these long levels worked well for me.”

Kritzer’s performance gives hope to all recreational players. “I have a home game back home with like 25 to 30 guys,” Kritzer said. “That was sandlot baseball and this was like they threw me into the World Series.”

That was the end for Kritzer, and now he returns to his other somewhat pressurised other occupation of neurosurgery. “When surgery goes bad, things can go really bad, but when things are going well, this is definitely more stressful,” he said.

2:30pm: Kritzer eliminated in sixth; wins $153,920
Level 29, Blinds 40,000-80,000 (10,000 ante)

Randy Kritzer has been eliminated in sixth place for a payday of $153,920. All we can say is, he got it in good.

Kritzer opened to 225,000 from the button and Phillip McAllister defended his big blind. The flop was the 9♥6♦Q♥ and McAllister checked over to the neurosurgeon who made it 325,000 to go.

McAllister check-raised all in and Kritzer quickly called, and the cards were on their backs:

Randy Kirtzer Q♠10♣
Phillip McAllister 8♠7♥

Kritzer was ahead with top pair, but McAllister had up and down straight draw outs. He’d pick up flush draw outs too on the 4♥ turn.

The river was a heart. The 8♥ to be precise. And the doctor was gone. McAllister is up to 5,800,000 – good for second place. –JS


Randy Kritzer heads home at the end of a spectacular run

Taking turns to 3-bet
Level 29, Blinds 40,000-80,000 (10,000)

We’re only a few hands into this final table but the 3-bets have come thick and fast. First off was Mike Watson who 3-bet to 500,000 and forced Anthony Gregg to fold and abandon his 175,000 open.

Next up it was Toby Lewis, who 3-bet Phillip McAllister’s 175,000 to 475,000 and took it down. –JS

2:10pm: McAllister cracks Gregg’s aces
Level 29, Blinds 40,000-80,000 (10,000)

In the first few hands of play, Tony Gregg lost a pot with pocket aces.

Gregg called from the small blind and Phillip McAllister checked his option with Q♠4♠. Both players checked the 8♣Q♥2♠ flop and a J♠ came on the turn. Gregg bet 125,000 and McAllister called.

The river brought a 4♦ and another pair for McAllister.

Gregg bet 285,000 and McAllister raised to 615,000. Gregg called with his cracked aces and dropped to 3.9 million while McAllister chipped up to 4.8 million. –AV

Phillip McAllister_2016 PCA_Main Event_Final Table_Giron_8JG0568.jpg

A bright start for Phillip McAllister

2.05pm: Players, start please
Level 29, Blinds 40,000-80,000 (10,000)
And they’re off.

NEIL2090_PCA2016_Final_Table_Neil Stoddart.jpg

2pm: Very nearly ready
Level 29, Blinds 40,000-80,000 (10,000)

There were 11 minutes left on the clock in Level 29 when yesterday’s action concluded. So they will play out that time before we go into Level 30, where blinds will be 50,000-100,000. The players are now being introduced. Play will start very soon.

1:00pm: Standby for a champion

It’s final table time in the 2016 PCA Main Event. Action is just now starting, but in an effort to avoid spoilers, we will be working on the same schedule as the live stream. For now, you can read all about the players here on our PCA Main Event final table player profiles.

Seat 1: Mike Watson (Canada) 6,585,000
Seat 2: Vladimir Troyanovskiy (Russia) 5,025,000
Seat 3: Randy Kritzer (USA) 2,565,000
Seat 4: Tony Gregg (USA) 5,690,000
Seat 5: Phillip McAllister (UK) 3,040,000
Seat 6: Toby Lewis (UK) 4,665,000

8G2A2175_PCA2016_Final_Table_Neil Stoddart.jpg


Next year, it could be you! Click here to get a PokerStars account so you can qualify.

Take a look at the official website of the PCA, with tournament schedule, videos, news, blogs and accommodation details for the Atlantis Resort in The Bahamas.

Also all the schedule information is on the EPT App, which is available on both Android or IOS.

PokerStars Blog reporting team on the $5,000 Main Event: Jack Stanton, Howard Swains, Alex Villegas and Brad Willis. Photos by Joe Giron and Neil Stoddart. For more photos from this event by Joe Giron visit Poker Photo Archive.


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