Michael Gentili’s ends best of days with PokerStars Championship Bahamas chip lead

January 12, 2017

Rasmus Glæsel arrived at Michael Gentili’s table and looked at Gentili’s ridiculous stack. Glæsel appreciated it the way it should be appreciated, full of wonder, delight, and purposeful awe.

Gentili begged off. “I’ve had better days,” he said.

“You’ve had better days?!” Glæsel said with incredulity dripping from his face.

Gentili looked up, and said… “No.”

And there’s the truth.

NEIL3620_Michael_Gentili_PCB2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Michael Gentili

What better a day could a man have than running a stack of less than 700,000 all the way up to a chip lead with 16 players left? Well, there might be better days (think something with a fruity drink and a nice view) but none that Gentili has ever had at a poker tournament.

Three hours before the end of the day, he had 177,000. At the end of the night he was sitting on 3,708,000.

Truthfully, even with a few minutes to go in the night, it was impossible to say where the chip lead would land. Today, the PokerStars Championship Bahamas Main Event chip lead looked like a beach ball at a rock concert. It was batted around from table to table before landing on Gentili at the end of the night.

The final 16 is still star-studded, including Jason Mercier, Cliff Josephy, Christian Harder, former Bahamas champion John Dibella, and former WSOP champ Ryan Riess.

Here’s how the final 16 stack up going into Friday.

Michael Gentili Canada 3,708,000
Aleksei Opalikhin Russia 2,084,000
Nadezhda Magnus USA 1,877,000
Michael Vela USA 1,811,000
Rodrigo Cordoba Argentina 1,770,000
Cliff Josephy USA 1,331,000
Rasmus Glæsel Denmark 1,319,999
Christian Harder USA 1,305,000
John Dibella USA 1,294,000
Allon Allison Canada 1,150,000
Marcin Kapkowski Poland 955,000
Michael Bartholomew Canada 877,000
Alan Schein USA 635,000
Pedro Cabeca Portugal 540,000
Ryan Riess USA 371,000
Jason Mercier USA 340,000

While those still in the event are the story of tomorrow, the story of today was non-stop war between Nick Maimone and Michael Vela. Maimone had run roughshod over the field for two days, but today he couldn’t win a pot against Vela. The result was Maimone getting cut down before the end of the day and Vela stacking up enough chips to go to war with someone else tomorrow.

8G2A0965_Michael_Vela-_PCB2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Michael Vela

NEIL3048_Nick_Maimone_PCB2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Nick Maimone

To cull the field so fast meant saying goodbye to a long list of final table hopefuls. Among them were $10 Spin & Go qualifier Massimo de Mario, PokerStars Team Online’s Jaime Staples, and the well-known Pratyush Buddiga, Byron Kaverman, and Gaelle Bauman. You can see a full list of the tournament’s casualties here.

NEIL3164_Jamie_Staples_PCB2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Jaime Staples

The penultimate day of play will begin Friday at 12pm ET. We’ll have full live updates, a live stream, and a team of sweaty bloggers for a full day of coverage.

Bring your towel and join us then.

If you’d like to see how the whole day went, don’t miss our Day 4 coverage archive.

Day 4 coverage archive

6:56pm: Dibella ends the day, sends Clinkscales to the rail
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

And with 44 minutes left on the day we’re down to 16. Rex Clinkscales moved all in for 333,000 from early position. The action was folded to John Dibella in the big blind who asked for a count and then called.

Clinkscales: 8♥8♠
Dibella: A♦10♥

Dibella told the dealer to put an ace out there. Clinkscales asked her to put an eight right behind it. Dibella got just what he wanted, and more.


Dibella up to 1.3 million. – SB

6:59pm: Bartholomew calls it right, loses
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)

The first step to making a huge fold is to know when you’re beaten. The second step is to follow through on your hunch. Michael Bartholomew just made an outstanding read in a massive pot against the runaway chip leader Michael Gentili but couldn’t follow through and let his hand go. As a consequence, Bartholomew has just shipped about 750,000 to his neighbour.

It all started so quietly, with a raise to 56,000 from Bartholomew under the gun. Gentili called from one seat to his left and then Rodrigo Cordoba called too one seat further round. Michael Vela thought he knew where this was going, singing, “We. Are. Fa-mily!” But everyone else actually folded, leaving those three alone.

The flop fell 10♣7♠9♥ and Bartholomew checked. Gentili bet 115,000 and Cordoba folded, but Bartholomew called.

The turn brought the Q♠ and a repeat of the betting pattern. It went check, bet 250,000, call.

Then the 2♥ came on the turn and they did it again. Check, bet 400,000, call. However that call didn’t come for at least four minutes, during which time Bartholomew was put through the maximum amount of pain.

He thought through lots of options, and said at one point, “I feel that this is set under set.” He apologised to the table for taking so long, and Vela bluff-called the clock, saying, “Time…You have 51 minutes,” noting how long was left until the end of the day.

Eventually the clock was called for real and Bartholomew accepted his fate. Only about 20 seconds into it, he called. Gentili immediately tabled 10♠10♦ and Bartholomew shouted, “I knew it!”

He turned over his 7♥7♦.

“Nice hand,” Bartholomew said.

“Thanks,” Gentili said.

“Good hand, Michael,” Vela said. “Could I get a table change please.”

Gentili went up to 3.7 million. Bartholomew now has 905,000. — HS

6:57pm: Mercier loses some more
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)

Jason Mercier made it 51,000 from the under the gun and it folded to Aleksei Opalikhin who called. They saw a 7♥K♥K♣ flop, and Mercier made a 47,000 c-bet when it checked to him. Call.

The 2♦ came on the turn and Opalikhin checked again. Mercier continued for 92,000 leaving himself just 332,000 behind, and Opalikhin tanked for a while before matching the bet.

Finally the board was completed by the 5♦ and both checked. Mercier couldn’t hide his frustration when he saw Opalikhin’s J♣7♦, eventually mucking his hand as he knew he was beat.

With that one, Opalikhin rises to 2.08 million. –JS

6:55pm: Allison doubles again!
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

The Allon Allison comeback is real. He just cracked kings with ace-king to pass a million.

Cliff Josephy raised from the hijack and snapped Allison off after the three-bet all-in for 504,000 from the button.

Josephy: K♣K♥
Allison: A♥K♦

The board ran 8♠J♣A♣5♥2♣ to see the Canadian spike an ace. Josephy dropped to 1.45 million. –MC

6:49pm: Magnus pulls off great call
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

Nadia Magnus might have thought she wasn’t able to make a call like she just did. She might have just decided “what the hell, I’m guessing, but I’ll call”. But whatever her reasons the call was a great one, and they’re still talking about it on the outer table.

It was perhaps in part to her appearance. Magnus rarely speaks, is never without at least two bottles of water, and her eyes are hidden behind mirrored sunglasses. What’s more it was the type of situation where you expect the fold. She was in the tank for more than five minutes, long enough for Cliff Josephy to joke to the TV camera man about his dwindling strength. But with three seconds left Magnus tossed in the call for her tournament life.

It had started against Alan Allison on a flop of K♠3♠8♠ which was checked for a J♥ turn card. Here Allison checked to Magnus who bet 80,000, at which point Allison raised to 250,000. After a pause Magnus called.

That brought the 4♦ river card, where things slowed down considerably and got tense. Allison announced he was all-in for about 800,000 (Magnus had back around 600,000). There followed the usual formalities of a moment like this. The cameras arrived, the press arrived, the spectators (always able to leap the security barrier) arrived. And they waited.

For his part Allison gave away nothing. He waited motionless for however long it was. Magnus got no reply when she asked if he would show. But her biggest question was to herself and whether her J♦8♣ was good.

I think I’m right in saying she called the clock on herself (the others at the table made it clear she had all the time she needed), and with it counting down from ten it seemed like the inevitable fold was on the way. Then she called.

“Arrrgh!” This was Allison. “Sh*t, I think I lost.”

Magnus didn’t wait to show her two pair. Allison though turned up A♠7♦. Magnus couldn’t believe it. She looked up, exhaled, and then ran to someone she knew on the rail to hug them. She stayed there for a while as the post-mortem of the call began, the consensus being that it was a great hand, well played, and a great call.

“Why did you put me through that if you were gonna call?” joked Allison, with remarkable good grace. He dropped down to 200,000 (which he turned into 400,000 with a double up on the next hand). But the moment belonged to Magnus, up to 1,950,000. – SB

6:45pm: Big stacks collide, but there’s not much damage
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)

The two biggest stacks over on the feature table belong to Christian Harder and Aleksei Opalikhin. They just played a pot together, and Opalikhin got the best of it.

It started with a 58,000 open from Harder in the cutoff and Opalikhin was his only caller from the small blind. The flop fell 8♣J♣Q♠ and interestingly Opalikhin opted to lead into the raiser with a 70,000 bet. Harder called.

The turn came the 10♠ putting plenty of straights out there, and both checked. When the 2♦ river, both checked again and Harder mucked when Opalikhin showed the K♦K♣. That pot brings him up to almost 2 million. –JS

6:36pm: The fall of Mateos, gone in 18th ($24,640)
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)

Action folded to Alan Schein in the cutoff and he jammed for 372,000. Adrian Mateos was to his left on the button, and he reshoved with a stack just 20,000 bigger. The blinds got out of the way and the cards were flipped.

Schein – K♥6♥
Mateos – A♣10♠
Mateos had the best of it but the Q♦4♥K♦ flop changed that. Schein paired his king and now it was only an ace or a jack that could save the Spaniard.

But the turn was the 7♦ and the river the 5♥ and Mateos was crippled down to 20,000. He’d be out in the next hand, when his less than one big blind stack was all-in with the J♥7♦ against Jason Mercier’s Q♣6♠. The board ran out Q♠7♠2♦9♥6♣, eliminating Mateos in 18th.–JS

6:34pm: Gentili takes Maimone out and takes over lead
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)

Huge pot alert. Michael Gentili has rocketed into the chip lead with 2.442 million after taking out long-time chips leader Nick Maimone.

The later raised to 60,000 from under the gun and was called in one spot before Gentili squeezed to 195,000 from the button. Maimone moved all-in for 720,000 and Gentili snapped him off when the action was back on him.

Maimome: A♠K♦
Gentili: K♣K♠

The board ran 3♠2♥J♦J♣10♦. “I think you’ll win it now,” said a gracious Maimone before he left in 19th place. –MC

6:26pm: Vela continues to torment Maimone
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)

Nick Maimone has not been faring well in pots against his neighbour, Michael Vela, this afternoon. He just lost another pot and didn’t take it too well.

Maimone opened from the cutoff to 60,000 and Vela called on the button. Then they both saw a flop of 8♣10♠7♦ and Maimone bet 80,000. Vela called.

The A♠ came on the turn and Maimone bet 127,000, which Vela called, and they then saw the 7♠ on the river. Maimone slowed to a check, but Vela took over and bet 100,000.

After a while to think, and to double check his cards, Maimone called. Vela showed the Q♠8♠ for a flush and Maimone mucked slowly.

“You’re so lucky,” Maimone said. “You don’t know how lucky you are.”

“You had the eight beat?” Vela said, and Maimone said emphatically that he did.

Vela, if he believed him, wasn’t unduly bothered as he stacked up more than 2 million chips. — HS

6:24pm: Harder doubles through Mercier
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)

Christian Harder just doubled through Jason Mercier on the feature table to bring Mercier down to 15 bigs and save Christian Harder’s tournament life.

6:23pm: Two all-ins to start the level
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (4,000 ante)

On the very first hand after the resumption in play, Rex Clinkscales opened to 50,000 from under the gun and action folded to John Dibella in the small blind. He moved all-in for 900,000.

“Big shove, buddy,” Clinkscales said. “Really big shove.”

Dibella grinned and muttered something back to Clinkscales, but then stacked up the chips when Clinkscales folded.

Maybe Allon Allison admired the play because on the next hand, he jammed from the small blind too after an under-the-gun raise from Marcin Kapkowski and a call on the button from Cliff Josephy. He got two folds too. – HS

5:45pm: End of the level

It’s break time again, the last of the day. The final level of the day starts in 20 minutes (unless we reach 16 players).

5:45pm: Gentili does it
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (2,000 ante)

Michael Gentili has evened up the stacks between himself and Rodrigo Cordoba after he hit a lucky river.

He opened to 45,000 from the hijack and Cordoba was the only caller in the cutoff. The board rolled out 4♠Q♥7♦2♦K♥ with Gentili checking every street. Cordoba bet 51,000 and 129,000 on the flop and turn, was called both times, before the river was checked through. Gentili opened K♣Q♦ to beat Cordoba’s A♦Q♠. Both looked to have around 1.6 to 1.7 million but the break is upon us and we’ll have all the counts. –MC

5:40pm: Full 3D experience of a Glæsel double up
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

A big hand that turned into a 3D experience for anyone in the press area. On a flop of 4♦10♠6♠ Glæsel bet 140,000 which Alan Schein called without hesitation. On the J♣ turn Glæsel moved all-in which Schein called at light speed. Glæsel’s wince was audible.

Glæsel: A♣J♦

Schein: K♠Q♠

Schein needed a spade and didn’t get one. On screen Glæsel ran off stage. From our point of view it looked like he’d been thrown off it on a large elastic chord, and then pulled back. We got the complete experience.

A big pot for Glæsel as the level ends. He’s up to 1.5 million, while Schein takes a big hit, down to 204,000. – SB

5:30pm: Josephy and Clinkscales, chatting partners
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (2,000 ante)

There’s some decent conversation on each of the two outer tables, with Michael Vela leading the way on his table and Cliff Josephy and Rex Clinkscales sharing words on the other.

The latter two just both just had something to say as they played out a pot that left Clinkscales cursing and Josephy stacking some more chips with a devil-may-care, “What could I do?” kind of attitude.

The pot started with a raise to 44,000 from the hijack by Clinkscales, which was followed by a call from Marcin Kapkowski in the cutoff. Josephy called in the big blind and the three looked at three cards: Q♥Q♦5♥.

Josephy checked, Clinkscales bet 55,000, and then Kapkowski folded. Josephy thought for a moment, then called.

The turn is where the conversation started. It came Q♣ and Josephy quickly checked.

“[Bad word] that’s a bad card,” Clinkscales said.

Josephy snapped back, “Flopped fives full.”

Clinkscales spoke over him to add, “How can I bluff the queen now?”

Clinkscales checked.

The 3♣ came on the river and both players checked again, which meant Josephy turned over 8♠5♦ and seemed to know that was a winner.

“No respect!” Clinkscales said.

“Marcin drew me in,” Josephy said. “He does’t call, I let you have it.”

Kapcowski kept silent, but Clinkscales carried on.

“I had Ace King,” he said.

“I’ll give you Ace King,” Josephy said.

“I did. I had Ace King.”

It was still going on as the dealer prepared the deck for the next hand. It’s not unfriendly, but it was only a small pot. — HS

5:25pm: Dibella’s kings end Engledow’s day
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

John Engledow was down to his final 300,00. He shoved all-in with A♠Q♣ but ran directly into John Dibella’s kings in the big blind. Nothing strange happened, and Engledow was gone in a matter of seconds. Dibella is back up to a million in chips. –BW

NEIL3481_John_Engledow_PCB2017_Neil Stoddart.jpgJohn Engledow

5:15pm: Dibella pushes Kapkowski
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (2,000 ante)

John Dibella opened from the cutoff and took a flop with Marcin Kapkowski, who called in the big blind. An innocuous start to a hand that then got frisky on the flop of 5♠9♦5♥.

Kapkowski bet 75,000, then Dibella jammed for almost precisely 400,000. Kapkowski didn’t seem to like it, and liked the idea of calling even less. He folded, pondering aloud whether Dibella had pocket nines.

Dibella didn’t reply, but stacked 630,000 chips. Kapkowski will wait for another day with 1.14 million. — HS

5:10pm: Vela vs Maimone Redux
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

Michael Vela and Nick Maimone are still warring, and it’s not going Maimone’s way. On the latest hand, Maimone check-called a bet of 150,000 on the 4♠2♦8♠ flop. Both players checked though the 4♥ turn. Finally, on the J♣ river, Maimone checked again, and Vela bet 300,000. After thinking for a moment, Maimone called with a single chip.

“Eights full,” Vela said, tabling 8♥8♦.

Maimone muttered something under his breath before saying, “You got lucky. I had nines.”

Vela is up over two million and has the chip lead. Maimone is down to 830,000. –BW

5:05pm: Vela trips up Maimone
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (2,000 ante)

Nick Maimone didn’t hold on to the chip lead for long. He lost a big pot to Michael Vela to drop to 1.4 million. The latter moved up to 1.65million, good for second place.

We picked up the action on the 7♥10♠7♠ flop where Vela (small blind) check-called 75,000 from Maimone (button). Vela took over from there on in with bets of 175,000 and 275,000 on the 8♥9♣ turn and river. Maimone called the turn bet quickly but agonised over the river bet. No wonder either as he called, showed A♣7♦, and mucked upon seeing Vela’s J♣9♦ for a straight. –MC

5pm: Josephy on the rise again
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (2,000 ante)

Cliff Josephy is playing a lot of pots and accumulating a lot of chips, most recently pushing Marcin Kapkowski off a hand.

Josephy opened to 45,000 from UTG+1 and Kapkowski called on the button. The short-stacked John Engledow also wanted to see a flop from the big blind. His extra investment earned him the right to check the 6♥A♣Q♣.

8G2A0934_Cliff_Josephy_PCB2017_Neil Stoddart.jpgCliff Josephy, earlier today

Josephy now stated his intent with a bet of 60,000. Only Kapkowski called. The 3♠ came on the turn and Josephy fired again, this time 120,000. Kapkowski called again.

The board completed with the J♥ and Josephy put 360,000 over the line with a deliberate thump. Kapkowski looked Josephy up and down a couple of times, but folded.

Josephy moved to around 1.6 million. Kapkowski has 1.05 million, while Engledow has 280,000. — HS

4:55pm: Steel crushed, 20 remain
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

Down to less than 400,000 in chips, Damien Steel saw a chance to double up when Rodrigo Cordoba raised to 45,000. Steel shoved all-in and got the call from Cordoba. Steel had pocket fours to Steel’s pocket fours. Steel didn’t catch up, and he was gone in 21st place. –BW

b>4:50pm: Engledow doubles
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (2,000 ante)

Former champion John Dibella has taken a knock, doubling up John Engledow.

The latter open-shoved for 136,000 from the cutoff and was called by Dibella in the big blind.

Dibella: A♠Q♠
Engledow: A♥J♠

The board ran 9♦3♦4♥Q♦3♥ to make the Brit two pair. Dibella dropped to 830,000. –MC

4:45pm: De Mario De Partio
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (2,000 ante)

Massimo De Mario, who found his way to the Bahamas thanks to a $10 Spin & Go qualifier on PokerStars, is now free to enjoy the rest of his week by the pool. He ran his minute buy-in all the way to a 22nd-place prize of $24,640, but will go no further in this event.

NEIL3100_Massimo_De_Mario-_PCB2017_Neil Stoddart.jpgMassimo De Mario

In his exit hand, Michael Gentili opened from under the gun, making it 45,000 to play. Michael Bartholomew called in the small blind and then De Mario moved all-in for 541,000 from the big.

Gentili quickly folded but Bartholomew wanted that precise count. “Do you want a call?” he asked his neighbour, but learned nothing from De Mario’s silence.

Bartholomew had 980,000 still in his stack, so was being asked a question for more than half of it. But he threw one yellow chip forward to represent a call.

They were racing. Bartholomew’s 10♦10♠ took on De Mario’s A♥K♣.

The board helped nobody, which in effect only helped the pocket pair. The dealer tore through the 4♣3♣6♠8♥9♠ and that was the end of that.

Bartholomew moves up to about 1.5 million, while De Mario departs heroically. — HS

4:40pm: That one is going to leave a mark for Clinkscales
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

It was one of those pots that looked like it was going nowhere, with Nadia Magnus in the blinds and Rex Clinkscales playing in middle position. On the 4♥6♣2♠ flop, Magnus check-called the 36,000 bet. Both players checked the 5♣ on the turn. When the 3♠ hit the river, Magnus checked again, and Clinkscales put out a bet in the neighborhood of 130,000. Magnus announced she was all-in. Clinkscales called with 9♠7♥…which looked really damned good until Magnus rolled over 7♠8♠ for the nuts a pot worth 1.1 million. Clinkscales is down to 700,000. –BW

4:35pm: Stewart squeezed out by Maimone
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

Nick Maimone has moved back over 2 million again (2.158m) after he won a race to eliminate Scott Stewart.

Pedro Cabeca opened to 44,000 from the button and was flatted by Maimone before Stewart squeezed all-in for 570,000 from the big blind. Cabeca folded to leave Maimone to make the call.

Maimone: 7♦7♠
Stewart: J♠9♥

The board ran 7♦A♦J♦3♣4♣ to make Maimone a winning set to help him reclaim the chip lead. –MC

4:30pm: Gentili rallying and moving to top of leaderboard
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

Michael Gentili isn’t showy, loud, or in any way ostentatious, but he’s more than doubled his starting stack from the day and is, if not at the top, very close to the top of the leaderboard.

His most recent win came at the expense of Rodrigo Cordoba. It happened when both men called Michael Bartholomew’s raise to 47,000. Those three checked through the 3♦Q♠7♦ flop. On the 4♦ turn, Gentili checked, Cordoba led for 79, Bartholomew folded, and Gentili called. The river brought the 3♣. Gentili checked again and drew a 178,000 bet from Cordoba. Gentili snap-called with Q♦10♦. Cordoba had the 5♦6♣.

“Sneaky sneaky,” Bartholomew said.

Gentili is now sitting on 1.5 million to Cordoba’s 1.4 million. –BW

4:25pm: Magnificent Magnus
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (2,000 ante)

Nadja Magnus, who is carrying the hopes of half of the human species on her shoulders in this male-dominated world, has just doubled up to around 500,000.

Nadezhda_Magnus-_PCB2017_MED4_12JAN17A double for Nadja Magnus

These hands played themselves. Action folded to Magnus in the small blind and she open-jammed for her last 235,000. Cliff Josephy, beside whom Magnus seems to have sat for quite a while these past few days, saw an Ace and called from a stack of about 1.35 million.

It was a weak Ace. Josephy had A♣2♦ to Magnus’s 8♥8♣.

The flop brought a sweat. It fell K♦Q♥10♠. The turn made it even more anxious for womankind. It was the Q♠. “Outs,” Josephy whispered.

Any Ace, King, Jack or Ten would now represent a winner for Josephy, but the 8♦ made Magnus a boat.

Josephy still has about 1.1 million, while Magnus still has life in her yet. — HS

4:20pm: Andriamahefa goes first hand back from break
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

Kevin Andriamahefa lasted exactly one hand into level 22. He was the shortest player coming back (ten big blinds) and found a good enough hand to go with.

He moved all-in for exactly 200,000 and was isolated by Michael Bartholomew in the small blind who shoved as well.

Bartholomew: A♦10♣
Andriamahefa: A♠2♠

The board ran 10♠K♣7♣5♠10♦ and off Andriamahefa went. Bartholomew moved up to 800,000. –MC

4:15pm: Tight at the top
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 ante)

Cards are in the air again. There are two more levels planned for today. — SB

4pm: Tight at the top
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

There’s no runaway leader in this one. Here’s the top 10:

Name Country Chips
Aleksei Opalikhin Russia 1,776,000
Rodrigo Cordoba Argentina 1,760,000
Rasmus Glæsel Norway 1,449,000
Nick Maimone USA 1,438,000
Cliff Josephy USA 1,410,000
Allon Allison Canada 1,330,000
Jason Mercier USA 1,160,000
Marcin Kapkowski Poland 1,100,000
John Dibella USA 1,050,000
Rex Clinkscales USA 1,030,000

3:50pm: Slowdown, then break
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

Play took a bit of a slowdown after the redraw and they have now gone off on a break at the end of Level 21. We’ll have full counts with you soon. — HS

3:40pm: River raising
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

It’s a horrible feeling to bet out on the river and get raised when you have a marginal hand. Sometimes it’s the most profitable move in the long run, but it always feels a bit dirty.

Rex Clinkscales just bet-folded to Cliff Josephy and you could tell he wasn’t pleased about it. The board read Q♠K♦6♦10♣2♠ and Clinkscales led for 78,000 from the small blind and then watched as Josephy raised to 400,000. He tank-folded to drop to 851,000. Josephy rose to 1.4 million. –MC

3:35pm: Mateos moving chips
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

Aleksei Opalikhin limped from under the gun and Jason Mercier also offered the minimum from two seats along. When it got to Adrian Mateos in the small blind, he jammed for 259,000. That earned two folds, plus their chips. — HS

3:30pm: Hmm? Hmm. Josephy all-in. Hmm.
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

Cliff Josephy opened for 35,000 on the button. John Dibella was waiting in the small blind and raised to 110,000. Josephy’s response was clear. He moved all-in.

“Hmm,” said Dibella staring at the table. “Hmm.”

Nick Maimone sprang up from the other table.

“Sit down Nick, nothing to see here,” said Josephy.

“Hmm,” said Dibella.


John Dibella: Channelling his inner Crash Test Dummy

“That’s three ‘hmms’,” said Josephy.

Dibella then folded, showing Ace Queen. Josephy up a little to 1.4 million. – SB

3:25pm: The new world order
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

Here’s how they line up now, with about 25 minutes left on this level:

Feature table:

1. Alan Schein – 750,000
2. Adrian Mateos – 300,000
3. Rasmus Glæsel – 1,500,000
4. Aleksei Opalikhin – 1,300,000
5. Michael Vela – 550,000
6. Jason Mercier – 1,250,000
7. Ryan Riess – 1,054,000
8. Christian Harder – 750,000


Jason Mercier: Headlines the feature table still

Outer table 1

1. Damien Steel – 522,000
2. John Engledow – 240,000
3. Nadja Magnus – 365,000
4. Cliff Josephy – 1,260,000
5. John Dibella – 1,170,000
6. Allon Allison – 1,450,000
7. Rex Clinkscales – 997,000
8. Marcin Kapkowski – 1,215,000

Outer table 2

1. Michael Bartholomew – 616,000
2. Massimo De Mario – 700,000
3. Michael Gentili – 530,000
4. Rodrigo Cordoba – 1,700,000
5. Kevin Andriamahefa – 745,000
6. Pedro Cabeca – 770,000
7. Nick Maimone – 1,500,000
8. Scott Stewart – 780,000

3:10pm: Maimone and Opalikhin clash in big hand before the redraw
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

With thanks to Shaun “The Dealer” Harris for the action on this hand, recalled from memory like a magic trick.

On the A♣J♦9♣ flop Nick Maimone checked to Aleksei Opalikhin who bet 38,000. Maimone raised to 63,000, which Opalikhin bumped up to 168,000. Maimone wasn’t done and made it 258,000. It was becoming the poker equivalent of the Beatles’ A Day in the Life, that bridge between John Lennon turning someone on and Paul McCartney waking up and getting out of bed, an unstoppable build-up of noise before the calm of what in this case was a call from Opalikhin, and a turn card 3♣.


Aleksei Opalikhin: Big double before last 24

With things calmed down, and perhaps feeling it would be easier to dispense with the time consuming re-raising, Opalikhin moved all-in. Maimone though the same and called.

Opalikhin: 10♣7♣
Maimone: A♦9♦

At first look Maimone’s two pair seemed good, until the suits came into focus. Opalikhin had turned a flush and the 4♠ on the river couldn’t help Maimone. A double up for Opalikhin who moves up to 1.1 million, Maimone meanwhile drops to 1.5 million as the remaining 24 players await the redraw. – SB

3:05pm: Redraw comin’
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

They might be down to the last 24 players, but the next player out with still get $19,000, the same as the previous seven eliminations. The pay-jump to $24,640 (nearly a full buy-in) comes at 23 left. — HS

3pm: Lopez bust brings full redraw
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

Alan Schein is playing a fast and loose game, so Jorge De Oliveira Lopez might not have seen it coming. Schein limped from the cutoff for 16,000, and Lopez shove all-in from the big blind for 153,000. Schein snap-called with Queens, which held up against Lopez A♦4♥. Schein had 700,000 at the end of the hand.

It’s now time for a complete redraw.–BW

2:55pm: Cabeca and the cookie jar
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

Rodrigo Cordoba moved up to almost 1.5 million after he caught Pedro Cabeca bluffing. The latter dropped to 735,000.

NEIL3439_Rodrigo_Cordoba_PCB2017_Neil Stoddart.jpgRodrigo Cordoba

Cordoba opened to 35,000 from the cutoff and called after Cabeca three-bet to 83,000 from the button. The flop fanned 5♥3♥2♣ and Cordoba check-called 100,000. Both players checked the 4♠ turn before Cabeca had another stab at the pot with a 130,000 bet. Cordoba check-snap-called with A♥2♥ to beat his opponent’s K♣J♦. –MC

2:50pm: Latz falls to Clinkscales
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

Hendrik Latz had been fighting the rearguard action for some time. He pushed more than once but got no takers until a few minutes ago.

He was all-in with his last 260,000 with K♥J♥ and had found a caller in Rex Clinkscales with A♠J♦. He needed a King and set about hoping for one, but the board wasn’t paying attention, landing as it did 3♥6♥7♦6♦2♠.

Lutz is out. Clinkscales meanwhile is up to 900,000, and there are 25 players remaining. – SB

2:47pm: Cheeky Glæsel
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

Rasmus Glæsel has a cheeky personality, and cheeky poker players like to show successful bluffs.

He and Hendrik Latz were at the turn stage of a hand where the board read 6♠4♠7♠K♥. Glæsel checked from the big blind and then shoved over a button 48,000 bet from Latz. The German dropped to 215,000 after he tank-folded. Glæsel opened a bluffing J♦9♠ and moved up to 1.3 million. –MC

2:45pm: Big double for Schein
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

Alan Schein has nearly a million chips after he doubled through Massimo De Mario in a four-bet pot. The latter dropped to 615,000.

Cliff Josephy opened the pot with a button raise to 35,000 before De Mario three-bet to 105,000 from the small blind. Schein was in the big blind and snap-moved all-in for 473,000. Josephy sniggered and folded, but Schein called after getting a count.

De Mario: 7♠7♦
Schein: 9♣9♥

The board ran A♥A♠K♦J♣6♣ to miss both players. –MC


Cheer up Alan Schein!

2:40pm: Chop it
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

Kevin Andriamahefa has been the short stack at the featured table for quite some time, and he got his last 302,000 into the middle pre-flop as a jam from the big blind. It was a great spot too: Adrian Mateos opened to 32,000 from the cutoff, Marcin Kapkowski three-bet the button to 90,000 and then Andriamahefa shoved.

Mateos folded but then, after Kapkowski called and showed 9♥9♦, Mateos said he had let pocket tens go. He would have been ahead because Andriamahefa had A♦Q♦.

However, any hope of a double up or an elimination was extinguished when the board ran 5♥3♠4♠7♣6♠ and they chopped it up. — HS

2:35pm: Some quick hands
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

Chips are flying, and not everybody is happy about it. Scott Stewart’s second level of the day has started terrible, and he’s down to 800,000 after being forced to an all-in check-raise from Michael Vela on a board reading Q♦2♥7♥3♥. The once jovial Stewart doesn’t seem to be in the mood for Vela’s jokes right now.

Meanhile, Hendrik Latz has just doubled through John Dibella with pockets nines versus ace-king. Latz is now up to around 500,000–BW

2:30pm: Gentili on a roll
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

Michael Gentili has had a prosperous 20 minutes, increasing his stack to around 710,000 having spent the early part of the afternoon as one of the short stacks.

He just won two hands. In the first he opened to 35,000 from early position, which Scott Stewart raised to 86,000 in the big blind. Call.

The flop came 7♠K♠7♥. Stewart bet another 62,000 and against Gentili called for the 3♥ turn card. Both checked that, and the 4♣ river. Stewart showed Q♦Q♠ but Gentili had a king, turning over K♣9♣. That left Scott on 900,000.

Gentili then took on Rex Clinkscales who had opened to 34,000 in early position. Gentili was in the big blind and called for the 6♣7♣3♥ flop. That was checked, as was the 9♣ on the turn. On the 3♦ river Gentili checked again. Clinkscales bet 53,000 and got the call. Clinkscales turned over 5♣5♦ but Gentili had one better, showing 6♠5♠ for the pot.

Clinkscales drops to 675,000 but the resurgent Gentili is on a roll. – SB

2:20pm: Schein dims
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

Here’s the hand trailed a little while ago, which sent Massimo De Mario up the counts:

Alan Schein is disgusted with himself. He just played a big hand with Massimo De Mario on the river of which De Mario checked and Schein bet 100,000 into an already swollen pot. De Mario snap-called and Schein rolled over and Ace and an eight. The way the board read, it meant Schein had a pair of Aces and was using the rest of the board to fill out his hand. De Mario meanwhile turned over an Ace and a nine, having made two pair on the river. Schein was sick.

“I thought I had Ace-nine,” he said. “I honestly thought I had Ace-nine.”

He did not, and that dropped him down to 300,000. The hand pushed the Spin & Go qualifying De Mario up to 1.7 million. –BW

2:15pm: Suck, re-suck double for Gentili
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

It’s no nice when you have fewer than 16 big blinds and you find a big hand to go with under the gun. Michael Gentili doubled after being in that spot but he had to re-suck out after Scott Stewart flopped best.


Scott Stewart flops best…


…but Michael Gentili doubles

He was down to 173,000 when he made his move and Stewart called him from the small blind.

Stewart: A♦10♥
Gentili: A♣K♦

The board ran 4♥3♠10♦K♣K♠ and Gentili’s hand eventually held up. Stewart dropped to 1.23 million. –MC

2:11pm: De “Super” Mario
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

Word reaches from the tournament floor that the last Spin & Go qualifier in this field, Massimo De Mario, is up to 1.5 million. That’s a very, very wise $10 investment. Details on how he got there are imminent. — HS


Massimo De “Super” Mario

2:10pm: Josephy with the good call
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 ante)

A good call by Cliff Josephy moved his stack up to around 870,000.

He opened for 35,000, which Michael Bartholomew called from the big blind. The flop came 9♣5♣8♦. That was checked for the 7♠ turn card. Now Bartholomew led the betting, making it 38,000 which Josephy called for the 9♠ on the river. Another 90,000 form Bartholomew, which gave Josephy something to think about.

Josephy was holding A♣10♦ and was trying to work out whether his ace-high was good. It was. He called and watched Bartholomew turn over J♣Q♣. Bartholomew down to 500,000. – SB

2:05pm: Suck, re-suck double for Gentili
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

It’s so nice when you have fewer than 16 big blinds and you find a big hand to go with under the gun. Michael Gentili doubled after being in that spot but he had to re-suck out after John Engledow flopped best.

He was down to 173,000 when he made his move and Engledow called him from the small blind.

Stewart: A♦10♥
Gentili: A♣K♦

The board ran 4♥3♠10♦K♣K♠ and (eventually) Gentili’s hand held. Engledow dropped to 360,000. –MC

2pm: Back to it
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

They’re back at it. Remember, we’ll play four levels today (this will be the second) or down to 16 players. At present, 26 remain. — HS

1:35pm: Break time
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

That’s the end of the first level of the day. Audit: Six bustouts, Maimone still leads. Chip counts are now fully updated. Here’s the top 10:

Name Country Chips
Nick Maimone USA 2,200,000
John Dibella USA 1,500,000
Jason Mercier USA 1,472,000
Scott Stewart USA 1,400,000
Allon Allison Canada 1,200,000
Rasmus Glæsel Norway 1,200,000
Rodrigo Cordoba Argentina 1,200,000
Pedro Cabeca Portugal 1,070,000
Ryan Riess USA 1,038,000
Massimo De Mario Italy 1,000,000


Nick Maimone: Keeping loose

1:30pm: Wheely nice hand for Clinkscales
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

“Wow!” said Michael Vela. “Wow,” after he snap-called Rex Clinkscales’ river bet and saw the bad news to drop to 660,000.

Clinkscales had opened to 27,000 from under the gun and was called by Vela in the next seat and Michael Gentili in the big blind. All three checked the 5♦4♦3♥ flop before Clinkscales led for 28,000 and 74,000 on the K♣ turn and 4♥ river. Gentili ducked out of the way on the turn but Vela called all the way then mucked upon seeing Clinkscales’ A♦2♦ for a wheel. Clinkscales moved back up to 440,000. –MC


Rex Clinksales: Wheeling on

1:25pm: Comeback on for Mateos
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

A wonderful couple of hands for Adrian Mateos, who is now back and fighting in this tournament. Having lost a big pot earlier today with flush-under-flush, Mateos had only about 10 big blinds.

But 10 became 20 and then 20 became 40 in back-to-back hands.

First up, Damien Steel opened to 27,000 from the hijack and Mateos shoved from the big blind for 100,000 total. Steel called but had the smallest pair around–2♠2♦. It was in particular trouble against Mateos’s J♠J♣. There were no dramas, and that was double up No 1 for Mateos.


Adrian Mateos: El Comeback

On the very next hand, Mateos jammed again, with Q♣10♦ in the small blind. Martin Kapkowski called in the big blind with A♦K♦ and was obviously way ahead. But Kapkowski was drawing dead by the time the turn was out. The cards ran: 5♠J♦9♠K♠, rendering the river irrelevant.

That gave Mateos 450,000 and cut Steel to 856,000 and Kapkowski to 598,000. — HS

1:25pm: Into the hype void as Jaime Staples goes bust
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Allon Allison’s reign of terror continues, and this time it has take the king of hype from us.

Allison raised to 26,000 from the button, and Jaime Staples shoved all-in from the small blind to 134,000.


Jaime Staples: Out!

Allison knew he had to call, but it was clear he didn’t want to be the one to do it. Still, he did, showing A♥7♠. Staples only had K♠Q♥. Allison had made aces up by the turn, and Staples was gone. –BW

1:20pm: Vela back up
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

Michael Gentili opened for 27,000 which Michael Vela called from the button, as did Hendrik Latz in the big blind.

The flop came Q♣4♥5♠. Latz and Gentili checked, then called Vela’s bet of 30,000. Gentili did the same again on the 6♥ turn when Vela bet 65,000, with Latz getting out the way. Vela grinned.

On the 4♣ river Gentili checked again. This time Vela did too.

“I have a queen,” announced Vela, turning over Q♦8♦. It was good. Gentili mucked his hand, down to 230,000. Vela though is up to around 700,000. – SB


Michael Vela: Back up

1:15pm: Kaverman loses el classico to bust in 28th place
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

Byron Kaverman will have to settle for a $19,000 payday after he lost a race to Rodrigo Cordoba. To put that into perspective his two High Roller final tables earned him over $900,000 already this trip.

He three-bet all-in for 220,000 from the big blind after Rodrigo Cordoba had opened to 26,000 from middle position. Snap call.

Kaverman: A♣K♠
Cordoba: Q♣Q♠


Byron Kaverman: Heading to the High Roller

The board ran A♥4♥Q♦5♦8♦ to make Cordoba a set. He moved up to 815,000 while Kaverman will most probably jump in the $25,000 High Roller that started today. –MC

1:10pm: Bartholomew doubles
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

A double up for Michael Bartholomew. He found Q♦Q♥ and opened for 27,000 in early position which Cliff Josephy raised to 81,000 from the big blind. Bartholomew moved in and Josephy snap called with A♦K♥.

The board ran 7♣6♦J♥Q♠8♥ to double Bartholomew. He’s up to 750,000, which is about what Josephy is down to. – SB

1:07pm: Staples on the move
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

Jaime Staples has moved to Table 1, next to Cliff Josephy.

“Careful what you say guys, we’re going to be on the internet,” joked Josephy next to him. – SB

1:05pm: A German joke
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

As we mentioned earlier, the players at Jaime Staples’ table are test-running their jokes in the event they make it to the featured table. John Dibella warmed up with one we won’t be repeating here.

“You’re up next,” Michael Vela said to Hendrik Latz who had yet to find a smile. He wasn’t going to be telling any jokes.

“I’m German,” Latz said. “We don’t have humor.”

The table exploded.

“That’ll do!” someone yelled. –BW

1pm: Josephy takes out Weinman in 30th place
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

The dangerous Daniel Weinman is no longer a factor in the Main Event after he fell to neighbour Cliff Josephy, who moved up to 1.082 million.

Weinman opened to 24,000 from the cutoff before Josephy three-bet to 89,000 from the button. Weinman then moved all-in for what looked about 280-90k and the call was quick in coming.


Bad neighbours: Daniel Weinman, left, busts to Cliff Josephy

The board ran out 4♠7♦K♦10♥7♠ to see the jacks hold. Weinman won $19,000 for his efforts this week.–MC

12:55pm: Francisco Benitez forgotten as he busts (31st place)
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

It was sort of sad to watch as Francisco Benitez went bust. All the talk, all the excitement, all the drama…none of it really involved him, despite the fact he set it all in motion

Michael Bartholomew opened for 27,000 and Benitez shoved all in for 249,000. When the action came to Allon Allison, he put on a good show of thinking about it for a long while before just calling.


Francisco Benitez: Shoving, exiting

Play folded back around to Bartholomew who smelled a rat. He was–if he was telling the truth, and we believe he was–holding queens.

“If you had just shoved…” he said to Allison. He figured him for a monster and laid down his declared Queens.

Allison quickly rolled over Aces to crush Benitez’s pocket nines. Bartholomew was excited in just about every way for his monster fold. He grabbed Nick Maimone and said, “I just laid down Queens.”


Allon Allison: Cool customer

He had no sooner gotten the words out of his mouth than the dealer put a queen out on the flop.

“Nice fold,” somebody quipped.

But fate is a funny thing, and just to make Bartholomew feel better, the dealer peeled off an Ace on the turn to once again make the fold feel better.

Meanwhile, in all the excitement, no one saw Benitez wandering off to collect his 31st place payout. –BW

12:50pm: Allison makes good call
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

Allon Allison made a good call against Massimo De Mario just now to move up to 780,000. The Italian dropped to 866,000.

Allison had taken the blinds and antes with a 26,000 button raise the hand before, and came in with the same raise. De Mario called and then there was a lot of checking as the board rolled out 6♣5♠6♠8♦Q♣. De Mario led for 60,000 on the river and Allison tank-called while looking the other way. It was a good call though as his 3♠3♦ beat out his opponent’s K♣J♣. –MC

12:45pm: Good call from Glæsel
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

There was a flop of K♥J♦9♦ and two players to play it. Rasmus Glæsel checked to Rex Clinkscales, who bet 38,000. Glæsel called. On the turn card 8♠ they followed the same pattern. Glæsel checked, then called Clinkscales bet of 69,000 this time. And it was the same on the 4♥ river. This time Clinkscales tried again with 144,000.

That slowed Glæsel up. He set aside calling chips but took a few minutes to use them, trying to work out if Clinkscales had been chasing a flush.


Rasmus Glæsel: Calling good

He called, showing K♣Q♦. He was right. Clinkscales showed A♠7♥.

“Fish,” joked Clinkscales.

“I know! Fish don’t fold,” replied Glæsel, who stacks up 1.2 million now to Clinkscales’s 340,000. – SB

12:40pm: Allison raise-folds again
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Allon Allison hasn’t had much luck today with hands where he’s put in raises. He just left more chips in the pot without getting the chance to showdown.

Cliff Josephy opened to 28,000 from under the gun and was called by Allison and Daniel Weinman in the blinds. The flop spread 9♦9♥3♠ and Josephy continued for 31,000.

Allison then threw in some chips that weren’t enough to raise but more than 50 percent of a call, therefore he was forced to min-raise. There was a moment of silence where you could see Weinman and Josephy wondering if he just meant to call.


Allon Allison: What could I do?

That was broken by Weinman announcing he was all-in for 159,000. Joesphy folded and Allson did too, after tanking for a couple of minutes.

Allison – 580k
Weinman – 325k
Josephy – 780k

12:35pm: Kapow! Kapkowski felts Buddiga
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Pratyush Buddiga, a man who has made the final table in this room in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, will not be returning to that hallowed felt. He has become the 31st placed finisher here, taking $19,000.

Buddiga began the day with 140,000 and a place on the featured table. But he was down to his last 70,000 when action folded to him in the small blind and he open-jammed. Marcin Kapkowski was the only man still with cards, but he saw they were good enough.

Buddiga’s 9♥6♥ were dominated by Kapkowski’s A♦9♦ and there was the A♠ in the window. The rest of the board ran 2♣8♣K♣10♦ and that was the end of the line for Buddiga.


Pratyush Buddiga: End of the line

The $25,000 High Roller is kicking off, and I’ll be amazed if he doesn’t join that tournament very soon.

Kapkowski, meanwhile, now has about 710,000.– HS

12:30pm: Fashion Report from Table Staples
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

The happiest table in the room is the one that features Jaime Staples. No surprise there. It’s like a home game there as he and the rest of the table laugh it up in conversations ranging from the amount of Johnny Walker Blue John Dibella drinks in a given night (half a bottle most recently) to the jokes they are saving up to use if they get put on the featured table.

While the pots aren’t big, the fashion sense is. Scott Stewart has shown up in a Carolina Panthers t-shirt (a daring choice given the Panthers’ last season effort). Rex Clinkscales has gone full retro with a Space Jam homage. Michael Vela is sporting his usual fedora (and claims to have three jokes ready for the featured table if he makes it there). Meanwhile, Staples has donned–as if we need to say it–a Twitch-branded Summit 1G hoodie, and a Team PokerStars Online patch. –BW

12:25pm: Gaelle Baumman first out; Magnus last woman in field
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

Gaelle Baumann had spent the first few hands of the day taking a long hard look at her cards as the blinds edged nearer. She couldn’t find anything to move her stack of around 100,000 into the middle until she was in the small blind.

At that point, she shoved for 84,000 with Q♦J♠ and was immediately called by Rodrigo Cordoba in the big blind who turned over 7♠7♣.

The board didn’t bring anything to help Baumann, landing A♠6♣10♥5♣8♦ and sending her out in 32nd place. Nadja Magnus is now the last woman left in this tournament. – SB

12:20pm: Good start for Baptista
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

Aleksei Opalikhin opened form under the gun to 31,000. Gaelle Baumann, the short stack in the tournament, thought before folding and the action reached Pedro Cabeca who raised to 92,000. Opalikhin called.

They each checked the 4♥5♥K♥ flop, and the 9♥ turn. On the Q♠ river it was checked to Cabeca who bet 128,000. Opalikhin took his time, but called. Cabeca showed Q♦Q♥ to win the hand and take his stack up to 1 million. Opalikhin is now on 250,000. – SB

12:15pm: Easy quarter of a million for Josephy
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

It’s nice to be able to add a quarter of a million chips to ones stack without having to showdown. Just ask Cliff Josephy who’s up to 850,000.

Allon Allison opened to 26,000 from the cutoff before Josephy three-bet to 76,000 from the small blind. Allison tanked for two minutes and then four-bet to 250,000, leaving 466,000 behind.

“I’m just going to wait for the pay jump before I move all-in,” said an honest Josephy. There were a few smiles at this statement but no one said anything. The November Niner sat there for a minute and then moved all-in.


Cliff Josephy: Raking chips without showdown

“It’s good that he paused!” Josephy said when the call was not immediately forthcoming. It never came. Allison folded after thinking for a minute. –MC

12pm: Day four? Four levels
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

Cards are now in the air on Day 4 of the $5,000 PokerStars Championship Bahamas Main Event. Stick with us all day. There are four levels scheduled, but we’ll also stop if they hit 16 players sooner than that. — HS

11:45am: Welcome back to Day 4 of the Main Event
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

We’re back for Day 4 of the PokerStars Championship Bahamas Main Event at the Atlantis Resort in Paradise Island. The weather has changed sufficiently enough (from terrible to pretty good) for the old cliche to be pressed into service again – that it’s a bad day to be stuck inside. But when you look at the field you realise why people like us (and we suspect you too) find it easy to turn our backs on sunshine, sand, and those pink drinks with umbrellas in them, to watch a great day of high stakes poker unfold.


Last night it was Nick Maimone who bagged up the lead with 1.75 million, some way ahead of the next guy. That the next guy was Team Pro Jason Mercier, with 1.3 million, serves as some indication of the level of talent in the field today. They’ll be joined by former Bahamas winner John Dibella, former World Champion Ryan Riess, former WSOP Main Event finalist Cliff Josephy, an EPT winner in Adrian Mateos, as well as Jaime Staples, Scott Stewart, Christian Harder, Byron Kaverman, Pratyush Buddiga and Gaelle Baumann.

History lessons would also suggest that there are names in the field yet to become familiar that will become household names before the weekend. At least figuratively. Don’t ask when you get home.

Such was the pace of the action yesterday that the scheduled five levels has been reduced to four today, which should take us to around 7pm. We’ll have live updates until then here on the blog, and you can start off by getting an idea of how things stand on the chip count page, which is updated every few minutes through out the day. That’s two pages, this one and that one, to keep open from the start at 12 noon today. — SB

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 $5K Main Event: Stephen Bartley, Marc Convey, Howard Swains and Brad Willis. Photography by Neil Stoddart. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog


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