PokerStars Championship presented by Monte-Carlo Casino®: Bryn Kenney leads talented nine into $100K SHR final

April 28, 2017

It’s a Super High Roller. The buy-in is six figures. You knew the field for this $100,000 Super High Roller in the PokerStars Championship presented by Monte-Carlo Casino® would be heavily stocked with top tournament talent, and from that field a final table would concentrate that talent down to handful of poker’s best and brightest.

Among those still alive is last year’s Global Poker Index Player of the Year David Peters. So, too, are many-times-over high roller crushers Isaac Haxton, Sam Greenwood, and Daniel Dvoress.

Martin Kabrhel is still in. He’s won a high roller at EPT Deauville, and has come close to winning several more. We saw Viacheslav Buldygin at a SHR final table at EPT Prague last December, and Steffen Sontheimer has been final-tabling those $25K high rollers at the ARIA. Those two will be back tomorrow as well.

So will Ole Schemion, who just won the €10K Opening Event here a day ago and was the SHR champ in Monaco last year.

But leading them all heading into tomorrow’s final table is a player who has a dozen career titles, half of which bear the “high roller” designation. He also happens to be the current leader for 2017 GPI Player of Year — Bryn Kenney.


Bryn Kenney, currently king of the counts

Let’s back up and discuss how this group has gotten here.

The re-entry window shut tight once play began today, and after the last few players rejoined there were 61 total entries (including 14 re-entries). That made for a huge €5,948,415 prize pool to be divided among the final eight finishers, with a handsome €1,784,500 first prize up top.

After a fast finish to Day 1 that included scoring a double-knockout with pocket aces, comedian and actor Kevin Hart returned today to further his efforts to “make poker cool again” and “take poker in a sexy new direction” as outlined during yesterday’s coverage.

Alas for Hart, he’d soon find himself short on chips and all in with pocket sevens against Byron Kaverman’s ace-four. Two aces on the flop were bad for Hart, a seven on the turn was fantastic, but a four on the river was the worst, making Kaverman a better full house.

To be honest, it was a pretty sexy hand.

PSCMON 2017 100k Kevin Hart SHRL day 2 Tomas Stacha-2470.jpg

This tournament had Hart

Hart was out, the only consolation being the PokerStars Blog congratulating itself on not indulging too greatly with the groan-inducing Hart-breaking puns.

By the day’s third hour they were down to 32 players, with start-of-day leader Daniel Dvoress still on top as the first player to 1 million. As more players fell (including Kaverman), Steve O’Dwyer, winner of eleventy-bagillion high rollers before, cruised into the chip lead.

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There were three Team PokerStars Pros left among the field, but soon Igor Kurganov was knocked out, then Daniel Negreanu lasted until the redraw to two tables before falling as well, leaving only Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier to sport a red spade.

ElkY managed to knock out Justin Bonomo in 14th, and was still in after Alexander Uskov fell. But Grospellier’s run finally ended in 13th after his ace-king couldn’t outrun Steffen Sontheimer’s pocket jacks.

PSCMON 2017 100k Elky SHRL day 2 Tomas Stacha-2516.jpg

Unlucky 13th for ElkY

Ole Schemion held the lead for a while, then Kenney took over the top spot while Dietrich Fast was eliminated in 12th followed by Stefan Schillhabel in 11th.

By the last break the Russian Viacheslav Buldygin had taken over as leader, then Kenney moved back in front. Then, somehow, O’Dwyer fell short in a big hand versus Schemion before getting felted in 10th by Dvoress to miss the cash.

The final nine trudged on another hour-and-a-half, but no one could be parted from his chips and so the night ended with the bubble still intact, just one elimination before the payouts could begin.

Here’s what the stacks will look like when tomorrow’s final day begins, with Kenney sporting that leading stack:

Name Country Chips
Bryn Kenney USA 3,370,000
Viacheslav Buldygin Russia 2,975,000
Steffen Sontheimer Germany 1,910,000
Martin Kabrhel Czech Republic 1,630,000
Isaac Haxton USA 1,260,000
Ole Schemion Germany 1,250,000
Sam Greenwood Canada 1,150,000
Daniel Dvoress Canada 950,000
David Peters USA 800,000

Take a downward scroll for a blow-by-blow account of the entire day. Then come back tomorrow starting at 1pm for exclusive live upates, hand reports, photos and more as we find out together who will emerge from this accomplished final nine to become the next PokerStars Championship Super High Roller champion. –MH

Day 2 coverage archive:

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1:20am: Day 2 concludes; bubble intact

As we suspected might happen, not everyone wanted to continue tonight, and so play has stopped with nine players still remaining. –MH

1:15am: Lots of shoving, no calls
Level 18 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

There’s been no shortage of action this past 10 minutes, but there has been a paucity of calls. It all means the bubble is still intact and looking like it won’t burst before the end of this level.

The end of Level 18 will mark the end of the scheduled 10 levels of play for the day. At that point the tournament director will offer the players the chance to continue should they wish to do so.

It needs to be a unanimous vote and at least one player has already said that he’d like to stop at the end of this level as planned.

So folks, it looks like the bubble won’t burst until Day 3 of this tournament. Back to confirm shortly. –NW

12:55am: Here’s what’s going down
Level 18 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Not a whole lot to report from the past orbit.

Sam Greenwood moved up to 1.1 million after he shoved over Viacheslav Buldygin’s under the gun open and got a fold, and then the only flop we’ve seen was when Buldygin opened to 105,000 from the cutoff and Bryn Kenney — a fellow big stack — called from the big blind. The flop was the A♦2♦Q♣ and Kenney check-called a 115,000 c-bet, before check-folding to a 225,000 bet on the 6♣ turn.

The players have all just been talking about possibly continuing play until the bubble bursts, and then stopping as soon they reach eight players. There’s now 15 minutes left on the clock for the day, so we’ll let you know what’s going down ASAP. –JS

12:45am: Bubble looks like extending overnight
Level 18 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

It’s slow going down there, with small pots and a lot of seconds being run down, almost invariably preceding folds. Some examples:

Viacheslav Buldygin opened to 105,000 and got folds around, then he tried it again on the next hand and David Peters called in the big blind.

Both players checked the 8♠J♣3♠ flop and then Peters bet 160,000 after the 2♦ river.

Buldygin took a long time to think about it, a full 30 seconds in fact, and then his hand was dead. Buldygin no longer has any time-bank chips left, so that’s the result.

Not long after that, Martin Kabrhel tried something new. He limped from middle position. Bryn Kenney followed suit in the hijack and although Steffen Sondtheim folded the cutoff, Isaac Haxton called on the button.

Once David Peters had completed from the small blind, Ole Schemion was the only one who could do something different. But he didn’t. He checked his option.

Five players had a glance at the 3♣J♣5♥ flop and action checked around to Kenney. He bet 65,000. Only his old sparring partner Kabrhel called.

They then both checked the K♥ turn. And they checked the 3♦ river.

Kabrhel opened A♦J♦ and it was good.

There’s about 20 minutes left on the day and I think we’re going to pack up for the night on the stone bubble. — HS

PSCMON 2017 future  ft100k SHRL day 2 Tomas Stacha-3087.jpg

Nine players, eight cashing spots. Sure, there’s a shot clock, but no one’s in a hurry

12:30pm: Greenwood gets a shove through
Level 18 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

It’s fairly close between Sam Greenwood and David Peters for the title of the shortest stack, but Greenwood just added about 25 percent to his stack to give himself a little breathing room.

Just now Greenwood three-bet shoved for 835,000 over the top of Ike Haxton’s opening raise. Although Haxton asked for a count, he opted to surrender the 125,000 he’d put into the pot. –NW

12:25pm: Buldygin takes a few from Greenwood
Level 18 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

There haven’t been too many noticeable pots of late (it’s all been table banter), but here’s one to keep you going.

Viacheslav Buldygin opened to 105,000 under the gun and it folded around to Sam Greenwood in the big blind who called. The dealer spread a 6♦A♠10♣ flop and Buldygin made an 85,000 c-bet when it checked to him. Greenwood didn’t budge.

On the 7♠ turn, both decided to check. That led to the 6♠ on the river, and after Greenwood checked again Buldygin fired another bullet. He made it 275,000, and at the bitter end of Greenwood’s 30-second shot clock, he laid it down.

Buldygin is now on 2.85 million, and Greenwood has 760,000. –JS

12:20pm: He’s offended
Level 18 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

“Can we play down to a winner if everyone except Martin agrees?” said Isaac Haxton, as part of some friendly table banter involving Martin Kabrhel. Everyone laughed.

“Or how about we play down to a winner, or at least until Martin busts!” he joked. Again, everyone laughed… but it turns out Haxton had gone too far this time.

“I’m offended! Shouldn’t he get a penalty?” Kabrhel asked the floor. No was the answer.

Oh well, it was water under the bridge after a moment or two. In fact, Kabrhel moved on to planning his route into the money.

“If I leave now, my stack will be okay?” he asked the floor. “You won’t let them play super fast to take my blinds?”

Again, no was the answer.

“Then I think I’m making money if I go! I think I’m a favourite!” –JS

12:15am: Buldygin trying to bully, getting bullied
Level 17 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Viacheslav Buldygin isn’t quite the chip leader anymore in this tournament — that’s Bryn Kenney — but Buldygin is still playing the part.

He opened three consecutive pots, but won only one of them.

On the first, he opened to 100,000 from the cutoff and Steffen Sondtheimer called in the big blind. They looked at the K♥10♦2♠ arrive on the flop and Sondtheimer check-called Buldygin’s bet of 90,000.

They both checked the Q♥ turn but Sondtheimer led for 160,000 after the 5♣ fell on the river. Buldygin folded.

Next up, Buldygin raised to 100,000 again and this time everybody folded. That prompted him to raise to 105,000 on the next hand (this time from UTG+1) and Martin Kabrhel moved all-in for 1.2 million.

Everyone behind Kabrhel quickly folded. And then Buldygin folded, too. — HS

12:05am: Haxton gets a bubble up
Level 17 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

From under the gun+1 Ike Haxton moved all-in. It was 840,000 to anyone who felt like calling and the first player to show interest was Daniel Dvoress. He was also interested in the stack of David Peters — who had folded by the way — as Peters had a very similar stack to Haxton. Peters had a couple of ante chips less than Haxton as it goes.

Having processed this information Dvoress moved all-in for around 1.95 million and everyone else folded. Haxton showed A♦Q♣ and was in big trouble against A♥K♠. The 9♠7♦Q♥Q♠2♠ board favoured Haxton, though, and he doubled up to around 1.765 million. Dvoress is down to 1.1 million. –NW

PSCMON 2017 100k SHRL day 2 Tomas Stacha-2926.jpg

Haxton hanging in

11:55pm: Nine-handed redraw
Level 17 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

A lot of things have just happened at once following Steve O’Dwyer’s elimination. Most significantly, the field has condensed around one table and we are also now on the stone bubble.

Here’s how they line up after the final re-draw of the tournament.

Seat 1: Sam Greenwood – 830,000
Seat 2: Viacheslav Buldygin – 2.75 million
Seat 3: Daniel Dvoress – 1.92 million
Seat 4: Martin Kabrhel – 1.3 million
Seat 5: Bryn Kenney – 3.15 million
Seat 6: Steffen Sondtheimer – 1.7 million
Seat 7: Isaac Haxton – 830,000
Seat 8: David Peters – 825,000
Seat 9: Ole Schemion – 1.78 million

Schemion, remember, is the defending champion of this Super High Roller event in Monaco. He also already won the opening €10,000 event here, so absolutely loves something about this city.

Head over the payouts page to see what they’re all still playing for. If they can survive one more elimination, they’ll win a guaranteed €237,950. — HS

11:50pm: O’Dwyer’s outta here
Level 17 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

“We played together yesterday, not for too long though,” Steve O’Dwyer said to Martin Kabrhel, while both stood up from their different tables.

“We did? What table? Who else was there?” the ever-inquisitive Kabrhel replied.

“I only remember you, oddly enough,” O’Dwyer said with a smile.

Well, sadly, we won’t see those two play together again in this event, as O’Dwyer is now out.

His downfall started after he called Ole Schemion’s 900,000 cutoff shove out of the big blind with the A♠Q♠. He was dominated by Schemion’s A♦K♥, and the 10♣4♣4♦J♦6♥ runout saw the vast majority of his stack shipped the German’s way.

In the very next hand, Daniel Dvoress opened the button to 80,000 and O’Dwyer got in his last 235,000 with the Q♣J♦. Dvoress called, and had him dominated with K♠Q♦. An 8♣A♠9♠7♦Q♠ board meant that was all she wrote for O’Dwyer, who noticeably didn’t have any lucky mangoes with him throughout this event.

PSCMON 2017 Steve O'Dwyer 100k SHRL day 2 Tomas Stacha-3072.jpg

Au revoir, O’Dwyer

They’re down to nine now, and re-drawing for the unofficial final table. –JS

11:45pm: Greenwood doubles
Level 17 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

He’s a hard one to shake, that Sam Greenwood. After Ole Schemion opened to 90,000, Greenwood jammed for 445,000 and when it got back to the German he snap-called. He had A♠A♥, so it wasn’t hard to understand why he acted with such haste.

Greenwood held the 10♣10♠ and needed help, which instantly arrived on the 2♠10♥4♣ flop, much to the dismay of Schemion’s ever-growing German rail. The J♦ turn and 9♦ river didn’t help him, bringing Schemion down to 960,000 – ever so slightly more than what Greenwood has now: 950,000. –JS

11:35pm: Kenney turning the screw
Level 17 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Over on table two Bryn Kenney has taken the first serious pot of hand-for-hand play and it’s moved him up to challenge for the chip lead.

In the hand in question, Ike Haxton opened to 80,000 from the hijack and picked up calls from Kenney (cutoff) and David Peters (big blind).

The dealer fanned a 9♠6♦2♥ flop and all three players checked. On the 7♥ turn Kenney bet 115,000 and Haxton was the only caller. The 10♠ fell on the river, and with about two seconds left on his shot clock Haxton bet 175,000. This gave Kenney pause for thought and he then raised to 665,000. Haxton mulled it over but a call never looked likely. He’s now down to 1.175 million, while Kenney is up to 2.95 million. –NW

PSCMON 2017 100k Bryn Kenney SHRL day 2 Tomas Stacha-2661.jpg

Kenney collecting

11:30pm: Buldygin calls, loses, but can congratulate himself nonetheless
Level 17 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

With 10 players left on two tables, the tournament is now hand-for-hand. It was getting a little slow, with a few players routinely running down their 30-second allocation before folding, which means it makes sense to make it as fair as possible.

Viacheslav Buldygin just lost back-to-back pots, with the latter the more significant. It also boosted Daniel Dvoress, who was among the short stacks, but probably moved Buldygin out of the chip lead.

In the first hand, Buldygin raised to 85,000 from the button and Ole Schemion moved all-in for 1.3 million. Buldygin quickly folded.

On the next hand, Buldygin raised to 85,000 from the cutoff and Dvoress called in the big blind. The two of them saw a flop of A♠3♠10♠ and Dvoress bet 75,000. Buldygin called.

The 5♠ on the turn made the board more interesting still and Dvoress now checked. Buldygin bet 130,000 and Dvoress called.

The 2♥ completed the board and Dvoress led again, this time for 175,000.

After a little while in the tank, Buldygin said, “OK, call. Queen high flush.” He showed A♣Q♠.

Dvoress had the nuts with his K♠6♠. That’s a pretty spectacular “just” call with the second nuts from Buldygin.

He still has 2.4 million. Dvoress has 1.85 million now. — HS

PSCMON 2017 100k SHRL day 2 Tomas Stacha-3024.jpg

Hey Viacheslav, it’s all good

11:20pm: Schillhabel out in 11th
Level 17 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

He came back from the break as the chip shorty, and that short stack of Stefan Schillhabel now sits in front of Steve O’Dwyer.

Schillhabel open-jammed for 600,000 from UTG+1 and it folded to O’Dwyer in the big blind. He took one look at his cards — J♥J♣ — before making a quick call.

The German had the K♦9♦ and would need to hit one of those kings to take the lead. However, after the 4♦3♦7♣ flop, any diamond would just about give him the nuts, too.

The J♠ turn gave O’Dwyer a set, eliminating those kings as outs, but any non-board-pairing diamond would still do it. Instead, the river was the 7♠ and that was that for Schillhabel. He made his exit, and O’Dwyer stacked up 1.3 million. –JS

11:15pm: Play resumes; 11 remain (updated chip counts)
Level 17 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

They are back in action. Here’s a fresh look at the counts with 11 players left and Viacheslav Buldygin on top with nearly 3 million. –MH

Name Country Chips
Viacheslav Buldygin Russia 2,975,000
Bryn Kenney USA 2,725,000
Martin Kabrhel Czech Republic 1,770,000
Isaac Haxton USA 1,640,000
Ole Schemion Germany 1,385,000
Daniel Dvoress Canada 1,340,000
David Peters USA 995,000
Steve O’Dwyer Ireland 655,000
Steffen Sontheimer Germany 635,000
Sam Greenwood Canada 565,000
Stefan Schillhabel Germany 520,000

10:55pm: Break time

The last 11 players are now on a final 20-minute break. Two more one-hour levels to go — and three more eliminations until the money! –MH

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10:55pm: Kenney v Kabrhel: A Lesson
Level 16 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 4,000)

Three of the last four hands before the break on Table 1 were doozies and each featured Martin Kabrhel, of course. He won one of them and lost two others, with Bryn Kenney showing precisely why he is one of the best poker players in the world.

Kenney sat out the first. That was between Kabrhel and Steffen Sondtheimer, and wasn’t quite the friendly, happy-go-lucky pot between buddies that some of them are in this tournament. Quite the contrary. Sondtheimer was pretty irritated by Kabrhel’s continued requests to know his opponent’s stack-size, pointing out that Kabrhel had asked the exact same question on the last hand (“I haven’t played any other hand since”) and on the flop, and on the turn and on the river.

The pot began with a raise to 85,000 from the small blind from Kabrhel and a call from Sondtheimer in the big blind. They checked the flop of 9♥9♦2♥ and then Kabrhel led 215,000 at the K♠ turn. Sondtheimer called.

The 5♦ fell on the river and Kabrhel asked how much Sondtheimer had in his stack again. “Stand up and have a look!” Sondtheimer said. “Come on!”

Kabrhel said he couldn’t see the stacks, but then moved all-in. Sondtheimer folded, preserving his 600,000. Kabrhel moved up to 2.9 million.

Soon after, however, Kabrhel was under the gun and he opened to 65,000. Kenney called in the big blind and those two neighbours saw a flop of A♦6♣8♥. Kenney checked and Kabrhel bet 60,000. Kenney called.

Both players checked the 7♦ turn, and then the 2♦ fell on the river. Kenney checked and Kabrhel bet 110,000. Kenney check-raised to around 400,000.

It should be said that Kabrhel kept up a continual commentary through this hand, eyeing up Kenney’s stack, making comments about the exact number of chips he wanted to win, complimenting Kenney on his play, etc., etc. It was incessant. Kenney was happy to chat along, but the check-raise took everybody by surprise, and almost shut Kabrhel up. Almost, but not quite.

Kabrhel folded, but then wanted to know what Kenney had. “Nine-Ten?” Kabrhel said. “That’s a straight. Show one. Etc., etc.”

Kenney part-obliged and showed the 8♦. I think he may have actually shown the other too, but I didn’t see it. Kabrhel was happy enough.

But the very next hand was left to those two again as well, and again was fuelled by incessant chat. Kenney, in the small blind, checked the flop of 5♦4♥4♣ and then called when Kabrhel bet, with a whole lot of nonsense.

The J♥ fell on the turn and Kenney check-called Kabrhel’s bet of 80,000. There was more largely irrelevant chat. Then the J♠ fell on the river and Kenney checked again.

“You check-raise me on the river again?” Kabrhel said. But he then bet 210,000. The clock ticked down to the end of the level and Kabrhel got up and put his jacket on. “Come on, we go for a break,” Kabrhel said.

Kenney sat motionless as the tournament director told Kabrhel to remain in his seat. Kenney then announced a raise to 740,000. Again this represented a surprising escalation in hostilities. Kenney had been cheery and apparently benign to this point.

Kabrhel gave it some thought, but called and Kenney showed K♦J♣. He had rivered a full house. Kabrhel was finally silenced as he counted out the chips that left him with only about 1.7 million now, and put Kenney up to 2.725 million. — HS

10:50pm: We’re all in trouble now
Level 16 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Picking up the action on a 5♠10♣K♥ flop, there were four players in the pot: Bryn Kenney (in the big blind seat); Martin Kabrhel (under the gun); Steffen Sondtheimer (cutoff); and Ike Haxton (small blind).

Kenney checked it, which let Kabrhel in for a bet of 120,000. That shook off Sondtheimer and Haxton, but Kenney called to see the J♣ turn. He checked that, and Kabrhel continued for 300,000. Not many of the 30 seconds had ticked down before Kenney called again.

The board was completed by the 9♦ and when Kenney checked on fifth street Kabrhel shoved, putting the American all in. Kenney snap-folded, leaving himself with 1.35 million, and Kabrhel raked in another big pot, boosting him up to 2.4 million.

“Oh my God,” he said afterwards. “Now you’re in trouble.” –JS

PSCMON 2017 100k Martin Kabrhel SHRL day 2 Tomas Stacha-2829.jpg

Martin Kabrhel, maker of trouble

10:45pm: Dvoress doubles through O’Dwyer
Level 16 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Steve O’Dwyer is down to just 20 big blinds after doubling up Daniel Dvoress. In the hand, it was the latter who had to act first. The action folded to him in the small blind and with just three seconds left on his shot clock he limped in. O’Dwyer then elected to raise it up to 105,000, Dvoress shoved for 670,000 total and O’Dwyer called the extra.

Dvoress: 9♥9♦
O’Dwyer: 8♠8♦

Dvoress had O’Dwyer pipped, and the 10♥6♥4♥7♣4♦ board kept him in front. Dvoress doubled to around 1.36 million. As for O’Dwyer, he’s down to 580,000. –NW

10:40pm: Nice call from Greenwood
Level 16 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Sam Greenwood has been the shortest stack ever since Ike Haxton decided to start doubling up every hand, but he’s just picked up some needed chips thanks to a great call.

Stefan Schillhabel opened the button to 70,000 and Greenwood defended his big blind, despite only having around ten big blinds. The two went to a J♦K♥A♠ flop on which Greenwood checked and Schillhabel continued for 40,000. Call.

The turn was the J♣ and Greenwood checked again, only this time so did Schillhabel. That meant the dealer needed to lay a river card and it came the 3♠. Greenwood checked a third and final time, and Schillhabel put out a 150,000 bet.

That was most of Greenwood’s remaining stack, but after a little think he made a sheepish call with K♣7♠. That was good, though, as Schillhabel only had 6♣6♦.

That brings Schillhabel down to 500,000 and Greenwood up to 650,000. –JS

10:35pm: Kabrhel sticking around with kings
Level 16 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 4,000)

Martin Kabrhel is going nowhere. The most animated and talkative player in the last 11 — for better or worse —
just earned a double up through Steffen Sondtheimer. To be honest, both of these hands played themselves. You or I would have done the same (once we’d sold all our worldly possessions, and our families’, to join the game).

It started with a raise to 65,000 from Bryn Kenney under the gun and a call from Isaac Haxton one seat to his left. Kabrhel then called from one seat further along and Sondtheimer, on the button, then saw all the chips out there and raised to 320,000.

Kenney and Haxton quickly scurried away, but Kabrhel said that he was all-in. It was 840,000 and Sondtheimer called. This was big pair versus big pair, but Kabrhel’s was biggest.

Sondtheimer: J♦J♣
Kabrhel: K♦K♥

The board was blank from start to finish. (For the completists it was A♥5♥10♥2♠A♦.) That put Kabrhel up to 1.8 million and left Sondtheimer with 1.12 million. — HS

10:25pm: Kabrhel talks his way into trouble
Level 16 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Martin Kabrhel is still yapping away during hands and you sense that it may have just cost him a pot that he played against Ike Haxton.

It was Haxton who started the action, raising to 65,000 from the button, with Kabrhel calling from the big blind. The flop fell 6♠Q♠4♥.

Even though the action was on him, Kabrhel seemed keen to probe Haxton for information but Haxton was staying quiet. “Why you no talk to me Ike? Are we not friends anymore?”

“I do talk to you,” replied Haxton. Kabrhel’s time was nearly up now and he checked to Haxton, who did likewise. The 8♣ fell on the turn. “I think I need to take it on the turn,” began Kabrhel. “I think I need to bet now.” Bet he did. He fired out 100,000 and Haxton called.

“You want to know my online sizing Ike?” asked Kabrhel and Haxton did. “I would’ve bet 89,000 on the turn online,” said Kabrhel and Haxton nodded in appreciation.

The river was the 6♦ and Kabrhel needed to dip into his timebank for this one. He took almost the full extra minute before he bet 339,000. Haxton needed about 20 seconds to act and he elected to call. Kabrhel showed 9♥7♦ for a missed draw and Haxton opened A♥8♥ to take the pot.

After that hand Kabrhel is down to 825,000 while Haxton is up to 1.875 million. –NW

10:15pm: Buldygin big stack, Dvoress diminished
Level 16 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 4,000)

Daniel Dvoress opened for 75,000 from under the gun, then Viacheslav Buldygin three-bet to 175,000 from the button. It folded back to Dvoress who called, and the flop came 4♣10♥Q♣.

Dvoress checked, then called after Buldygin bet 135,000. After the 4♥ turn Dvoress checked once more, and this time Buldygin bet 225,000. Dvoress called again, leaving himself only about 350,000 behind.

The river was the 8♠, and after one more Dvoress check Buldygin announced he was all in. Dvoress didn’t take too long before folding, and now he’s the shortest stack among those remaining.

Meanwhile Buldygin is way up to 2.45 million, currently leading the final 11. –MH

10:05pm: The Haxton comeback continues
Level 16 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Having had a sub-10 big blind stack earlier, Isaac Haxton is now over the million chip mark once again.

Bryn Kenney – who took most of Haxton’s chips earlier – opened to 65,000 under the gun, only for Martin Kabrhel to three-bet it to 220,000. It folded to Haxton in the big blind, and made a four-bet jam worth 469,000. Kenney let it go, and Kabrhel called after doing some maths.

Haxton had the Q♦Q♠ and was ahead of Kabrhel’s A♠J♥. The board fell 6♥3♠2♥8♠4♣ keeping Haxton in front. He’d win the next hand too, and now sits with 1.1 million.

“Nice hand sir,” Kabrhel – who dropped to 1.05 million – said after the double up. “Nice come back.” –JS

9:55pm: Sontheimer finishes off Fast
Level 16 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Shortly after Ike Haxton took the vast majority of Dietrich Fast’s chips, Steffan Sontheimer collected the rest. Fast shoved from the small blind for 204,000 with 8♥7♦ and Sontheimer had an easy call with A♦J♠.

The 9♥A♣3♣4♦Q♠ board meant Fast was eliminated and we’re down to 11 players. –NW

PSCMON 2017 100k SHRL day 2 Tomas Stacha-2943.jpg

Fast falls

9:55pm: Haxton doubles through Fast
Level 15 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 3,000)

In the last hand of Level 15, Isaac Haxton open-pushed all-in with his last 305,000 from middle position, and it folded around to Dietrich Fast in the big blind who called right away.

Fast tabled 10♠10♣ and for a moment had an edge over Haxton’s Q♠9♠. But a runout of K♦9♦Q♦Q♥A♥ made a full house for Haxton, and he’s now up around 640,000 while Fast is now the short stack of the final 12 with just 225,000. –MH

9:50pm: Mah-iiiin!
Level 15 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 3,000)

Martin Kabrhel is remaining active, even if he’s not playing a lot of hands. After each fold he’ll rise from his seat and wander over to the neighboring table to see what’s happening. During the last few visits, Steve O’Dwyer tried to engage him a few times.

O’Dwyer asked Kabrhel if he were familiar with the old TV sitcom Martin starring Martin Lawrence. Not too surprisingly, the Czech player didn’t know the U.S. television show.

O’Dwyer told Kabrhel he keeps hearing in his hand the sing-song way characters would address Lawrence’s character every time Kabrhel walks over.

“Sing it,” said Kabhrel. “Mah-iiiin!” said O’Dwyer, and the table chuckled.

All of this brought back memories for your humble scribbler who also happens to be named Martin and whose old college roommate invariably addressed him exactly the same way.


Kabrhel again said he didn’t know the show. Then he had a question for O’Dwyer.

“Why do I make you think of that?”

“Because that’s your name!” said O’Dwyer, and the table laughed again. –MH

9:45pm: Kenney takes the lead
Level 15 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Another enormous pot has just gone down, and the beneficiary this time is none other than Bryn Kenney.

He’d opened to 55,000 under the gun and it had folded around to Ike Haxton in the big blind. Haxton three-bet it to 215,000, only for Kenney to shove for 1.07 million which Haxton snapped off.

Kenney – K♠K♣
Haxton – A♣K♥


Bryn Kenney and Ike Haxton: Big skirmish

Haxton had three cards in the deck that could help him, but none appeared on the 9♥6♦4♠8♣J♠ runout. That dropped Haxton right down to 230,000, while Kenney has shot into the chip lead with a 2.15 million stack. –JS

9:40pm: Lots of shoving on Table 1
Level 15 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Three hands and as many shoves on Table 1. First to gets his chips over the line was Daniel Dvoress. He three-bet all-in for around 700,000 and took the pot. On the next shuffle Ole Schemion opened to 62,000 and Sam Greenwood then jammed all-in. When it folded back to Schemion there was no fuss or tanking, he simply mucked.

The last of the triumvirate was the most interesting. Dvoress opened to 60,000 from the cutoff, Viacheslav Buldygin three-bet to 225,000 from the small blind and action passed back to Dvoress. He moved all-in for around 800,000 and Buldygin swiftly folded. –NW

9:30pm: Brief table reports
Level 15 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 3,000)

Just small pots over the past 10 minutes or so at both of the six-handed tables. Nothing of great note, so we’ll write a small one.

At Table 1 there hasn’t been much post-flop maneuvering. Ole Schemion remains the leader over there with 1.9 million, but Viacheslav Buldygin has been inching upwards and is just behind him with about 1.85 million.

Meanwhile at Table 2, David Peters just three-bet twice before the flop to push original raisers off their hands and claim small pots. He’s up to 1.58 million at the moment, but Martin Kabrhel — who just three-bet himself over a raise-and-call to claim a pot — is the table’s leader with 1.92 million. –MH

9:20pm: Au revoir, ElkY
Level 15 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

The last remaining Team PokerStars Pro in the field is out.

After Steffen Sontheimer opened to 60,000 on the button, ElkY jammed for what seemed to be around 700,000, and Sontheimer quickly called after the big blind folded. ElkY had A♠K♣, while Sontheimer had J♦J♥.

“Good luck ElkY,” said Martin Kabrhel.


“Good luck, ElkY”

The flop was kind to ElkY as it fell K♦3♥Q♦. “Yes baby!” continued Kabrhel.

But the J♣ turn left him drawing very thin, as it had given Sontheimer a set. The river was the 7♠ and that was that.

“You know that I’m sitting right here?” Sontheimer said somewhat sarcastically in Kabrhel’s direction.

“I know,” Kabrhel replied.

Sontheimer is up to 1.38 million now, but it’s bon soir from ElkY. –JS


Literally the back of ElkY: We just saw it

9:15pm: Buldygin dents O’Dwyer
Level 15 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

The following hand cost Steve O’Dwyer two of his time-bank chips and, more importantly, almost 700,000 of his stack. His opponent was Viacheslav Buldygin, who raised to 53,000 from under the gun and O’Dwyer called from the big blind. The flop fell 4♦A♠J♣. O’Dwyer checked and Buldygin bet 50,000. As O’Dwyer was contemplating what to do Buldygin pushed one of his hole cards forward and pointed at it as if to say, “I’ve got an ace.”

This didn’t deter O’Dwyer as he check-raised to 185,000. Call from Buldygin. On the 10♣ turn O’Dwyer elected to check but Buldygin wasn’t giving any free cards here. He bet 100,000 and this is where O’Dwyer dipped into the tank for the first time.

O’Dwyer took 38 seconds to make the decision and it was to call.

The Q♣ river completed a couple of draws and once more O’Dwyer checked. Again Buldygin bet, he pieced together a wager of 350,000 and pushed it forward.


Steve O’Dwyer requests a ruling from Edgar Stuchly: Are they allowed to win pots?

O’Dwyer asked for a count and then went into the tank again. He needed another time-bank chip on the river but again his decision was to call. Buldygin showed A♦K♥ for a straight and O’Dwyer couldn’t beat it.

That big pot means Buldygin is up to 1.975 million and O’Dwyer is down to 1.4 million. –NW

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

9:10pm: Fast doubles through Haxton
Level 15 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Pretty simple one this. Dietrich Fast jammed for 287,000 with K♥J♠ and Ike Haxton, who was in the big blind, gave him a spin with A♠7♠. Fast got there though as the board came 10♠10♣J♣J♥8♠. Fast is up to 600,000 and Haxton is down to 1.59 million. –NW

9pm: Schemion applying pressure right off the bat
Level 15 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 3,000)

Ole Schemion — fresh off a victory in the €10K Opening Event yesterday here in Monaco — enjoyed the chip lead during the dinner break, and now that play has resumed he’s not unsurprisingly started applying pressure to his shorter-stacked table-mates.

Just now Viacheslav Buldygin opened for 55,000 from the cutoff, and when it folded to Schemion in the small blind he re-raised to 225,000, earning him the blinds, antes, and Buldygin’s open.

On the very next hand Schemion opened again from the button, and it folded over to Daniel Dvoress.

We’ve noticed this small plastic bat — about a forearm’s length — getting passed around some today, starting with Sam Greenwood, and now Dvoress has it. He checked his cards, then playfully produced the bat, leaning over and rapping Schemion on the shoulder with it before releasing his cards.

The table laughed, and with a grin Schemion responded by showing his hand to Dvoress — 6♠2♣. –MH

8:55pm: Back to the grind
Level 15 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 4,000)

Away they go. There are 13 left and one interested observer with a terrific view.


7:35pm: Dinner bell rings

With 13 players left they’ve reached the end of the level, and now it’s time for the 75-minute dinner break. When they return — at approximately 8:50pm local time — the schedule has them playing four more one-hour levels, with the money bubble bursting once they’re down to eight. Here’s how the counts look as they head off in search of nourishment.

Name Country Chips
Ole Schemion Germany 2,026,000
Steve O’Dwyer Ireland 2,015,000
Isaac Haxton USA 1,907,000
Martin Kabrhel Czech Republic 1,567,000
David Peters USA 1,488,000
Viacheslav Buldygin Russia 1,260,000
Bryn Kenney USA 975,000
Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier France 832,000
Daniel Dvoress Canada 736,000
Steffen Sontheimer Germany 705,000
Sam Greenwood Canada 695,000
Stefan Schillhabel Germany 645,000
Dietrich Fast Germany 399,000

And off we go as well. Back soon… bon appetit! –MH

7:32pm: It’s Schemion time
Level 14 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

It’s that time of the tournament where Ole Schemion wins every pot he plays.


Stefan Schillhabel limped from the small blind and Schemion checked his option. They saw the flop of 4♣9♦J♦ for cheap.

Schillhabel checked, Schemion made a small bet and Schillhabel called.

The 6♥ came off on the turn and Schillhabel checked again. Schemion bet 75,000 and Schillhabel called again.

The 9♥ fell on the turn and Schillhabel now took over. He bet 200,000. Schemion didn’t waste any time in calling and Schillhabel turned over a meek K♣10♠. Schemion’s 2♠9♣ had that beat.

Next hand: Schemion raised from the small blind after action folded to him. He made it 60,000. Sam Greenwood called.


Ole Schemion: An image in green

They checked all the way on a board of 2♠J♦3♣7♦10♠ and Schemion’s K♥Q♦ was good.

Schemion sat one out, but then raised from the cutoff to 47,000 and Steve O’Dwyer called in the big blind. The 10♥J♥Q♠ fell on the flop and O’Dwyer check-folded to Schemion’s 68,000 continuation bet.

Schemion is up to 1.6 million after that. Schillhabel had 710,000.

They are approaching the dinner break now. — HS

7:30pm: Kabrhel takes a heap from Fast
Level 14 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Dietrich Fast is down to his last 10 big blinds after losing a huge pot against Martin Kabrhel. This was full of the usual Kabrhel chit-chat on every street, but let’s stick to the basics.

Kabrhel opened his button and Fast called in the small blind. The two of them saw the 10♥2♠7♦ flop. Fast checked and Kabrhel bet 48,000 and then Fast raised to 135,000.

The general theme of the chatter was to do with the size of Fast’s stack. Kabrhel said he couldn’t see it from Seat 8 (Fast was in Seat 1) and so continually requested Fast to keep his big chips together and make them obvious. They were, it has to be said, pretty well organised, but this is the game Kabrhel plays.

Kabrhel called.

The Q♥ came on the turn and Fast checked. “One. Five. Seven,” Kabrhel said. Fast called.


Martin Kabrhel tells Edgar Stuchly all about it. What? No idea

The 7♣ completed the board and Fast checked again. After running down a few seconds, Kabrhel again clearly announced his bet. It was 389,000.

Fast allowed his 30 seconds to run to nothing, getting him another one minute in exchange for a time-bank chip. And then he called.

Kabrhel showed Q♠10♣ and Fast mucked. It left Fast with only about 190,000, while Kabrhel surges to 1.7 million. — HS

PSCMON 2017 100k Martin Kabrhel - SHRL day 2 Tomas Stacha-2729.jpg

Martin startin’ to move up

7:25pm: Big pot goes Haxton’s way
Level 14 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Ike Haxton and Dietrich Fast have just clashed in a massive pot which has given the former the second-biggest stack in the remaining field.

It started with a 45,000 open from Haxton against which Fast defended from the big blind. A 9♦A♠6♠ flop was dealt, and Fast check-called a 35,000 c-bet, resulting in a turn card, the K♠.

Fast checked fast, and Haxton continued firing. This time he made it 185,000, and once again Fast didn’t budge.

The board was completed by the J♣ and when Fast checked again Haxton counted chips. He counted out 152,000, but this wasn’t his intended bet. The rest of his chips were.

He kept the 152,000 back and instead slid in the rest of his chips: 585,000. The towers were so big they toppled over as he did so. Fast went in to the tank, and used a time bank chip before making his decision to call.

Haxton flipped over the Q♠3♠ for the turned nut flush, and Fast could only muck. He drops to 920,000, while Haxton is up to 1.85 million now.

“Wow, you had a flush?” said Martin Kabrhel after the hand. “You played it awesome. How much did you bet on the river please?”

“Five hundred and eighty five thousand,” replied Haxton.

“Wow, so small,” said Kabrhel. “Keep it cheap!”

As Haxton was stacking up chips, he remembered a conversation the two had had yesterday.

“You asked me if I had children and I said no,” said Haxton. “And then I asked you and you said you had three and I didn’t believe you.”

Kabrhel said nothing. He was focused on the next hand.

“Do you really have three children?” Haxton pressed.

The Czech kept shtum. –JS

7:20pm: Beware of Buldygin
Level 14 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

We don’t see Viacheslav Buldygin that often on the tour, but when we do he’s always a good watch. He doesn’t have a poker face, but boy does he pull some good faces. He’s also good for comedy value. He’s now out of time-bank chips and wanted to know what happened if he didn’t act within 30 seconds. The answer is that his hand is dead, unless it’s post-flop in which case it’ll go as a check if there’s no positive action already on that street.

Conversation over, he verbalised a raise but only threw out a single green 25K chip. “You’ve got to make it forty,” said the table almost in unison. Buldygin laughed and then put in the extra chips required. Sam Greenwood, who was in the big blind, was the only player who would pay that price to see a flop, and it fell 8♥7♥9♠.

Curiously Greenwood elected to lead — he bet 51,000 and Buldygin called. The 8♠ fell on the turn and Greenwood bet again. This time it was 105,000 to continue for Buldygin and he matched the bet. Greenwood slowed down on the 3♠ river, but Buldygin elected to take up the slack. He bet 250,000 and Greenwood made a reasonably quick call.

“Queens,” said Buldygin turning over Q♥Q♣. Greenwood couldn’t beat it as he’s down to 700,000. Buldygin is up to 1.45 million. –NW

8G2A2315_Viacheslav_Buldygin_PCMON2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Buldygin building

7:10pm: Bryn wins
Level 14 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Bryn Kenney just managed something that not many players in this tournament have today. Namely he won a big pot against David Peters.

It played out like this. Kenney raised to 45,000 from early position and Peters came along from the big blind. The Q♦6♠8♥ flop checked through and the 10♠ landed on the turn. Peters check-called a bet of 56,000, which took them to the 4♠ river. Kenney fired again. This time it was 141,000 for Peters to play and he needed time-bank chip to come to his decision.

His choice was to call and Kenney showed Q♠J♠ for flopped top pair, which had turned into a flush by the river.

It was the best hand and it means Kenney now has 1 million, while Peters is down to 1.25 million. –NW

PSCMON 2017 100k Bryn Kenney SHRL day 2 Tomas Stacha-2661.jpg

Kenney can do

7:05pm: Uskov’s fall is complete; 13 remain
Level 14 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

After losing that big pot, Alexander Uskov was short and needed to make something happen. He found a good spot for a double up, at least.

Sam Greenwood opened to 50,000 under the gun and Uskov jammed for 175,000 on button with the 8♣8♦. When the blinds folded, Greenwood called with 10♦9♦ and they went to a flop.

Greenwood took a big lead with after the 9♣Q♦4♣ flop, and now there were only two eights or running cards that could save Uskov. The A♦ turn and 9♠ river only improved Greenwood, eliminating Uskov in 14th.

Greenwood is up to 1.57 million now. –JS

7pm: Schemion leaves Uskov in peril
Level 14 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

It’s looking bleak for Alexander Uskov now after he just lost a chunk of his chips to Ole Schemion.

Schemion opened the pot, making it 45,000 to play, and after Viacheslav Buldygin called in the small blind, Uskov called in the big blind, too.

Three players went to the flop of 9♥2♠J♦ and both Uskov and Buldygin checked. Schemion bet 57,000 and only Uskov called.


Alexander Uskov barely survives against Schemion

The 8♦ fell on the turn and both remaining players checked. That took them to the Q♦ on the river.

Usmanov bet 60,000. Schemion raised to 180,000. Usmanov quickly called, and Schemion showed K♣10♥.

Usmanov slammed his cards down face up. I didn’t see precisely what they were, but there was a lot of paint —
queen-jack seemed the most likely.

Whatever it was, it was beaten by Schemion’s straight. Uskov was left with 180,000. Schemion moves up to 1.2 million. — HS

6:55pm: ElkY sends Bonomo out in 15th
Level 14 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Justin Bonomo is the latest departure from this tournament as Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier continues to fly the Team PokerStars Pro flag with pride. ElkY knocked out Bonomo to move up to around 950,000.

On what would turn out to be Bonomo’s final hand, he open-pushed from the button, a total of around 360,000. ElkY got a count, then re-shoved from the small blind, which persuaded David Peters to let his hand go in the big blind.

They were on their backs:

Bonomo: 8♠9♠
ElkY: A♣10♦

ElkY has been a bit of a magnet for outdraws late in major tournaments recently, but this time he was safe. The board ran Q♥2♦3♠K♣A♥ and that was the end for Bonomo.


Bonomo busts

ElkY is now into the last 14 — although there’s still plenty of chance for outdraws, he won’t be happy for us to remind him. — HS

6:50pm: O’Dwyer increases his lead
Level 14 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

It’s now over 36 hours of poker action since Steve O’Dwyer last busted a PokerStars Championship Super High Roller tournament. And, to be honest, that stretch doesn’t look like ending anytime soon as the PSC Macau Super High Roller winner just extended his lead at the top of the chip counts.

It happened in a hand against Stefan Schillhabel, in which O’Dwyer raised and Schillhabel defended from the big blind. On a 6♣2♠7♣K♠J♥ run out Schillhabel called bets of 65,000 and 150,000 on the flop and turn, respectively, but folded to a third barrel of 300,000 on the river.

Schillhabel is down to 980,000, while O’Dwyer is up to 2.25 million. –NW

PSCMON 2017 Steve O'Dwyer 100k SHRL day 2 Tomas Stacha-2604.jpg

O’Dwyer’s chips grow higher

6:45pm: Kabrhel’s new business venture
Level 14 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

These shot clocks are pretty new, and you can bet PokerStars spared no expense on them. But Martin Kabrhel isn’t happy with them. Then again, Kabrhel isn’t happy about a lot of things.

“Tomorrow I form a company making better shot clocks,” he told the table. “I think we will do very good business.”

“They’re clearly the best on the market!” laughed Ike Haxton. “If only there were a high-end option!”

Kabrhel opened to 40,000 in the cutoff, while Haxton, Kenney and Peters continued to chat. Dietrich Fast then three-bet to 120,000 on the button, and Kabrhel folded. Afterwards, Kabrhel turned to the floorman to complain, with a tongue firmly in his cheek.

“These two talk in my hand, I can’t focus. I don’t like it,” he said.

“You talk during everyone’s f**king hands!” replied Kenney, laughing. And he’s got a point. –JS

6:40pm: Negreanu’s gamble doesn’t pay off
Level 13 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

This tournament is minus one Daniel Negreanu. The Canadian busted in the following hand.

He raised from under the gun and the only caller was Viacheslav Buldygin, who was in the big blind. The J♣J♠9♠ flop then led to some serious fireworks.

Negreanu bet 50,000, Buldygin check-raised to 110,000, Negreanu splashed out a bet of 210,000 and Buldygin moved all-in.

“All right, I’ll gamble,” said Negreanu.

He called all-in for around 400,000 and showed A♠Q♠. Buldygin rolled over J♥10♥, so Negreanu needed a spade to survive.

He found one on the 3♠ turn, but the 10♠ river gave Buldygin a full house and sent Negreanu tumbling out.

“Good luck guys,” he said as he left. –NW

PSCMON 2017 Daniel Negreanu 100k SHRL day 2 Tomas Stacha-2403.jpg

No more Negreanu

6:30pm: Final two tables
Level 13 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Here’s how the final 16 look, plus their seat draw. –JS

Table 1
1. Viacheslav Buldygin – 530,000
2. Daniel Negreanu – 468,000
3. Alexander Uskov – 680,000
4. Stefan Schillhabel – 1.25 million
5. Ole Schemion – 625,000
6. Sam Greenwood – 900,000
7. Daniel Dvoress – 1 million
8. Steve O’Dwyer – 1.875 million

Table 2
1. Dietrich Fast – 1.65 million
2. Steffen Sontheimer – 880,000
3. Justin Bonomo – 400,000
4. ElkY – 805,000
5. David Peters – 1.64 million
6. Ike Haxton – 726,000
7. Bryn Kenney – 718,000
8. Martin Kabrhel – 880,000

6:20pm: Big hands all around; Kolonias busts, 16 left
Level 13 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

There was simultaneous action on all three tables — big hands all around — and the result is they are now down to 16 players.

Alexandros Kolonias is out of the tournament, having gotten his short stack in one last time versus Stefan Schillhabel. Schillhabel’s hand proved best, Kolonias is out in 17th, and Schillhabel now sits on a big stack of 1.39 million.

PSCMON 2017 100k Alexandros Kolonias SHRL day 2 Tomas Stacha-2735.jpg

Kolonias cut down

Meanwhile on the next table over Martin Kabrhel got his stack of 400,000 in the middle preflop with K♦K♠ versus Ole Schemion’s A♣Q♦. The board ran out 3♥J♦J♥4♦4♥, and Kabrhel is up around 830,000 now while Schemion slips to 680,000.

While that was happening a third big pot was brewing as players milled about in anticipating of the two-table redraw.

With about 850,000 in the middle and the board showing K♥6♦K♦9♦Q♠, Steffan Sontheimer checked and Dietrich Fast went all in for his last 809,000. Sontheimer had not too much more than that behind, and he tanked all of the way into his first time bank chip before finally let his hand go.

That catapults Fast up around 1.65 million as they now, finally, get to redraw to see where the final 16 will sit. Half of them will cash, half will go away empty-handed. –MH

6:15pm: Familiar faces
Level 13 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

The top two players on the chip-count page at time of writing are David Peters and Steve O’Dwyer. What a turn up for the books. When did those two guys ever win anything?

6:10pm: Action zone
Level 13 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

The players have really come out fighting during the first half of this level. On one table, Justin Bonomo opened to 35,000 and his only caller was Steffen Sontheimer in the big blind. They saw a 9♦2♠8♠ flop and it checked through, resulting in a 10♥ turn. Sontheimer then led out for 68,000, and Bonomo made the call.

When the K♣ river landed, Sontheimer slowed down and checked it. Bonomo slid out a big stack of chips worth 212,000, and yet the dealer didn’t toss him an all-in triangle. That’s because Bonomo had left himself 14,000 behind. Sontheimer made the call, but mucked when Bonomo revealed his A♥10♠ for second pair. That brought Bonomo up to 662,000, and Sontheimer down to 1.25 million.

Meanwhile, on another table, Ole Schemion was really putting Sam Greenwood to the test. There was somewhere between 200K and 300K already in the middle, and a completed board showing the 8♥10♣A♥5♠8♦. Greenwood checked, and Schemion made a bet of 150,000, which Greenwood had to use a time-bank on before deciding to lay it down.

Back to the other table, now Daniel Negreanu was heads up in a pot against Dietrich Fast. The flop was the K♠3♠7♠ and Fast check-raised all in after Negreanu bet 85,000. Negreanu called with the A♠A♦ for an over-pair and the nut-flush draw, but Fast was ahead with the 7♣7♥ for a set. The board bricked for Kid Poker doubling up Fast to 1.22 million, while Negreanu now has 550,000. –JS

6pm: Peters takes a bite out of Bonomo
Level 13 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

The trouble with blind-on-blind battles is that they can quickly escalate. Take this hand between David Peters and Justin Bonomo. The former limped from the small blind, Bonomo raised to 60,000 from the big and Peters called.

On a K♥2♣10♣ flop the players kept in friendly and the 9♠ rolled off on the turn. Peters bet 76,000 and Bonomo called. The J♣ completed the board and Peters elected to check it. Bonomo bet 140,000 and Peters flicked in a single chip to call. Bonomo showed 10♦3♠ but Peters held K♦Q♥ to take the pot.

That means Peters is up to 1.8 million while Bonomo drops to 360,000. –NW

5:55pm: Fatehi sacks his massage therapist
Level 13 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Ali Reza Fatehi had some bad news to impart to the massage therapist who was busy pummelling his back. He had just been knocked out. The massage therapist, rightly concentrating on her job and not Fatehi’s, was oblivious.

Sam Greenwood did the deed and Fatehi was clearly upset at how the hand played out. But there’s not a great deal anybody could have done about it.

Greenwood opened from under the gun pre-flop and Fatehi called on the button. They saw the 10♠A♠2♦ appear on the flop and both checked. Then the 5♥ came on the turn.

Greenwood bet 72,000 and Fatehi said that he was all-in. Greenwood didn’t need a count, but quickly double-checked his cards before calling.

Fatehi’s A♥J♣ was now in big, big trouble against Greenwood’s 5♦5♠ and the K♣ river was meaningless.

Fatehi thumped his chips down, angry with himself. He then had to turn to the massage therapist and tell her the game was up for both of them. Greenwood, meanwhile, edges up towards the millionaire’s club. — HS

5:50pm: Breaking: Fedor Holz is knocked out of poker tournament
Level 13 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Well that doesn’t happen very often. Fedor Holz has busted from a poker tournament. What’s more he’s busted short of the money. Look up to the sky and see if you can see any pigs.

It was Alexander Uskov who got Holz’s chip, gobbling them up in back-to-back hands. The first pot began with a raise to 38,000 from Holz. He was in the small blind and Uskov called from the big blind. On the 4♥7♦8♠ flop Holz bet 36,000, Uskov raised to 82,000 and Holz made the call.

The two players saw the 4♠ land on the turn. Uskov bet another 82,000 and Holz stuck around. The 2♥ completed the board and both players checked. Holz showed A♣7♠ but Uskov had him beat with 8♣6♦.

That left Holz with just 133,000 and he moved all-in on the following shuffle with 10♣6♠. Uskov called with Q♦Q♣ and hit a pretty favourable run out. It was all over on the Q♥9♦Q♠ flop as Uskov made quads. The J♠K♠ turn and river completed the board and Holz was on his way. –NW

PSCMON 2017 100k Fedor Holz SHRL day 2 Tomas Stacha-2447.jpg

Holz on just one second… Fedor is out?!?

5:45pm: All-in flurry
Level 13 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Level 13 has begun with a flurry of all-ins, starting with that one noted below in which Justin Bonomo reraise-pushed and Daniel Negreanu stepped aside.

After that Fedor Holz opened for 36,000, Stefan Schillhabel announced that he was all-in for 850,000. Holz’s 340,000 was effective, and Holz folded.

Alexandros Konias was also the effective stack when Steve O’Dwyer bet 250,000 on the river of the following board: 5♠8♦8♥4♥J♦. There was about 200,000 in the pot, but Kolonias had about about 230,000 in his stack, and he folded. –HS

5:40pm: Uskov doubles through Haxton
Level 13 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Alexander Uskov came back from the break to the shortest stack of the 19 players left, but he’s improved his situation a bit after doubling through Isaac Haxton.

Uskov opened for 183,000 from middle position, and it folded to Haxton in the big blind who weighed the situation a moment before calling.

Haxton had A♣8♥ and Uskov K♠J♠, then the flop fell A♦Q♣10♥ to give Uskov a straight right off the bat. The 6♦ on the turn made the A♠ no matter, and Uskov is back up around 380,000 while Haxton now sits with 840,000. –MH

5:35pm: Negreanu pushing, others pushing back
Level 13 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Daniel Negreanu just took a couple of hands in late position and did his best to take advantage, but it didn’t work out for him either time.

First he opened from the button to 35,000, then watched the big-stacked David Peters three-bet to 155,000 from the big blind. “Changed my mind,” said Negreanu as he folded.

He tried again from the cutoff, raising to 35,000, but when Justin Bonomo reraised all in for 321,000, Negreanu had to let his cards go again. –MH

5:25pm: Back at it
Level 13 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Here’s how the chip counts look coming back from the break. –JS

Name Country Status Re-Entries Chips
Steffen Sontheimer Germany   1 1585000
Steve O’Dwyer Ireland     1521000
David Peters USA     1500000
Daniel Dvoress Canada Live satellite winner   1403000
Daniel Negreanu Canada Team PokerStars Pro 1 1225000
Isaac Haxton USA   1 1010000
Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier France Team PokerStars Pro   837000
Stefan Schillhabel Germany     831000
Bryn Kenney USA     800000
Ole Schemion Germany     790000
Sam Greenwood Canada     685000
Dietrich Fast Germany Re-Entered on Day 2 1 607000
Ali Reza Fatehi Iran     500000
Martin Kabrhel Czech Republic     400000
Viacheslav Buldygin Russia     350000
Fedor Holz Germany     340000
Justin Bonomo USA     330000
Alexandros Kolonias Greece   1 275000
Alexander Uskov Russia Re-Entered on Day 2 1 199000

The road to Monte Carlo starts on PokerStars. Sign up and begin your journey. Click here to get an account.

5:05pm: Break time

They’ve reached the end of Level 12, which means it’s time for another 20-minute break. –MH

5:05pm: Peters over Negreanu
Level 12 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

While Daniel Negreanu has increased his stack today there’s one player he seemingly hasn’t been able to get the better of and that is David Peters. They may have played lots of pots that I’ve not witnessed, but of the ones I’ve seen Peters has won them all. Here’s the latest entry in that ledger.

From the button Negreanu opened and Peters called from the big blind. The latter then check-called bets of 30,000 and 90,000 respectively on a A♥7♥9♠ flop and 5♠ turn. On the 9♦ river Peters led for 180,000 and although Negreanu capped his cards and contemplated a call, he ultimately elected to fold.

That drops Kid Poker down to 1.075 million and boosts Peters to 1.4 million. –NW

5pm: Schemion scythes Seidel
Level 12 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Erik Seidel is our latest high-profile departure, making a stand from the small blind against Martin Kabrhel, but finding Ole Schemion lurking behind him with a routine decision. Schemion makes routine decisions as well as he makes complicated ones.

Kabrhel opened his button, making it 25,000 to play. Seidel then moved all-in from the small blind for 178,000. Schemion had asked for the count, and then moved all-in himself.

Kabrhel asked for an approximate count of Schemion’s jam, but folded as soon as he found out it was for more than 500,000. (Kabrhel has about 400,000.)

But Schemion, with J♠J♣, was now looking to stay strong against Seidel’s Q♠10♣. A runout of 3♦7♥6♠2♦A♠ kept the jacks ahead.

That was the end of Seidel’s tournament and puts Schemion up to around 800,000 — HS

4:55pm: Greenwood stays smart
Level 12 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Action gradually folded around Martin Kabrhel’s table, and when it got close to the button, the Czech player, in the big blind, rubbed his hands in anticipation. “First walk of the day!” he said.

Action got to Sam Greenwood in the small blind and Kabrhel turned his attention to his neighbour. “Don’t look,” Kabrhel said.

“I have to look,” Greenwood insisted, and peeked at his cards. But he then pushed them away dismissively.

“Smart guy,” Kabrhel said. — HS

8G2A2422_Sam_Greenwood_PCMON2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Didn’t want to play those, anyway

4:50pm: Bonomo narrowly escapes with a chop
Level 12 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

It was very nearly very gross for Justin Bonomo, but he narrowly avoided being four-flushed by Dietrich Fast.

Bonomo and Fast got into a raising battle, button versus small blind, and very soon it was all-in. Bonomo was at risk with a stack of 360,000. Fast had him well covered with 700,000.

The hands were essentially the same: Fast had A♥K♦. Bonomo had A♠K♥. Then the dealer made Bonomo sweat. The first four cards off the deck were 4♥10♦2♥6♥ and, phew, the K♣ river was a blank. They chopped that one. –HS

4:45pm: Vogelsang falls to Sontheimer
Level 12 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Two of the strong German contingent in this event just went to battle, and only one would survive. After Steffen Sontheimer opened, Christoph Vogelsang moved all in on the button and when it folded back to Sontheimer he made a fast call.

It was a race: the J♣J♠ for Sontheimer against the A♠K♠ of Vogelsang, meaning the latter would need to hit to survive.

Vogelsang couldn’t find any help on the Q♥5♥9♦3♠4♣ run out, though, and got up to say his goodbyes to his other fellow Germans, including Dietrich Fast and Stefan Schillhabel.

NEIL3970_Christoph_Vogelsang_PCMON2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Vogelsanging the bust-out blues

Sontheimer is up to 1.33 million now. –JS

4:40pm: No magic number for Mateos
Level 12 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

From early position Adrian Mateos moved all-in for 149,000 and the action folded to Ali Reza Fatehi. He requested a count, but then folded. All the info was therefore there for Viacheslav Buldygin and he didn’t take too long to decide that he too was all-in. His shove was for about 300,000 and that got rid of Bryn Kenney in the big blind.

Buldygin: 7♠7♥
Mateos: 3♦3♠

The 5♥6♣K♦A♥10♠ run out didn’t help Mateos and he headed to the exit. –NW

4:35pm: Kenney knows what he’s doing
Level 12 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

This hand left Martin Kabrhel a bit taken aback. “What do I know?” he said towards Bryn Kenney after it. “You know what you’re doing.”

It started with a 26,000 open from Kenney, which Adrian Mateos called from the big blind. The two saw an 8♣6♠A♥ flop, and Kenney continued for 24,000 when it checked to him. Mateos made the call and the dealer burned and turned the Q♠, which the Spaniard would also check.

Kenney didn’t slow down, this time making it 56,000 to go. Mateos didn’t take too long to make the call, but when the 4♥ river hit and Kenney bet 111,000 after it checked to him, Mateos did take a long time to decide on his action.

Two-and-a-half minutes went by before Mateos made the call, but he’d muck when Kenney showed the A♣9♠ for top pair and a weak kicker. Mateos handed the 111,000 chips to Kenney, plus two time bank chips to the dealer, to leave himself with 126,000. Kenney, meanwhile, is up to 550,000 now. –JS

4:30pm: Team Pros on stacked table
Level 12 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Two of the three Team PokerStars Pros in this field are seated next to one another, but ElkY and Daniel Negreanu (for it is they) are refusing to tangle just yet. There was the potential in a recent hand, but this was a big fat nothing.

ElkY opened to 26,000 from the button and Negreanu called in the small blind. Steffen Sondtheimer called in the big blind.

The flop brought the 4♠K♦4♣ and after Negreanu and Sondtheimer both checked, ElkY’s c-bet of 36,000 earned two quick folds.

This table has the most chips of any of the three now left. Negreanu has about 1.23 million, Sondtheimer about 1.2 million, David Peters 1.2 million and ElkY 880,000. — HS

PSCMON 2017 Daniel Negreanu 100k SHRL day 2 Tomas Stacha-2474.jpg

Negreanu negotiating his way through Day 2

4:25pm: Short-stack blind-battle collision
Level 12 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

We are down to 23 here in Monte Carlo after Rainer Kempe has just fallen at the hands of Bryn Kenney. This was both a “short-stack collision” and a “battle-of-the-blinds”. But which cliched headline to use? Tough choice.

Anyhow, action folded to Kenney in the small blind and he said to Kempe, “A hundred behind?” Kenney’s view of Kempe’s stack was obscured by the dealer. This was also Seat 1 versus Seat 8.

“Ninety-five total,” Kempe said.

Kenney had about the same in his stack and said that he was all-in. “Call,” Kempe said. The cards were just one more thing about this that seemed almost equal, although Kenney’s K♣10♠ was a significant favourite against Kempe’s K♠3♠.

The board just made Kenney stronger. It ran Q♦6♠10♥8♥10♦. “Good luck,” Kempe said, heading away. Kenney has 170,000 now. — HS

4:15pm: Seating assignments for last three tables; 24 remain
Level 12 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

They’re down to 24 now, which means the a redraw has occurred. Here’s how the players are currently situated. –NW

Seat Table 1 Table 2 Table 3
1 Rainer Kempe Steffen Sontheimer Daniel Dvoress
2 Martin Kabrhel David Peters Issac Haxton
3 Adrian Mateos Justin Bonomo Alexandros Kolonias
4 Erik Seidel Dietrich Fast Fedor Holz
5 Ole Schemion Sam Greenwood Alexander Uskov
6 Ali Reza Fatehi Christoph Vogelsang Steve O’Dwyer
7 Viacheslav Buldygin Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier Jason Mercier
8 Bryn Kenney Daniel Negreanu Stefan Schillhabel

4:05pm: Battle of the blinds sees Kaverman bust
Level 12 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

When action folded to Byron Kaverman in the small blind, he opened to 37,000 — just over three times the big blind. Ike Haxton was in the big blind, and he responded with a raise up to 100,000. Kaverman didn’t move all in, but he did put his most of his chips in when he slid in his remaining stack of green 25K chips. Haxton said “all in”, and Kaverman slid the rest in, too.

Kaverman – A♠K♠
Haxton – 10♣10♥

Racing through the board, at the end of it there was no ace or king. It read 8♦8♥6♠J♦7♥ to eliminate Kaverman. Both had very similar stacks but Haxton just had him covered and increases to 1.05 million. –JS

3:55pm: Would you like to take a walk?
Level 12 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

You’d have thought Ole Schemion had made an amazing hero call such was the ferocity with which he was celebrating. It turns out that all that had happened was that Viacheslav Buldygin had given him a walk. “Yes! A Russian walk!” joked Schemion as he proudly displayed 9♣5♠. –NW

3:50pm: Peters takes out Colman
Level 11 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Dan Colman has been ducking and diving with a short stack for most of the day, but his run has just come to an end. He shoved for 140,000 from late position with 5♦4♦ and David Peters called from the big blind with A♠K♠.

The 9♠3♠J♣ flop depleted Colman’s outs and the K♣ turn left him drawing dead. He tapped the table and was on his way before the meaningless 3♦ completed the board. –NW

3:45pm: Kabrhel takes one down
Level 11 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Martin Kabrhel opened and picked up two callers: Ali Reza Fatehi on the button, and Justin Bonomo in the big blind. The three players saw a K♠9♦9♠ flop, which Bonomo checked to the pre-flop raiser. Interestingly, Kabrhel opted not to c-bet, which let Fatehi in for a 23,000 bet when it checked to him. Bonomo folded, but Kabrhel called.

The turn came the A♦ and that checked through to the Q♦ river. Now Kabrhel reached for chips. “One eleven,” he announced, before putting in 111,000. That was an over-bet to the pot, and Fatehi had to think. Did he have it?

Whatever went through his head, Fatehi decided to lay it down and leave himself with 480,000. Kabrhel is up to a little more with 490,000. –JS

3:40pm: Action table
Level 11 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

There is both conversation and action on the table featuring Dietrich Fast, Isaac Haxton, Daniel Dvoress and Viacheslav Buldygin. Fast and Haxton are talking the most, Dvoress has the most chips, and Buldygin pulls the best facial expressions of anybody in poker. He lets his rubbery features do the talking.

Here are a couple of hands. Dvoress opened from the cutoff to 24,000. Buldygin screwed up his face and raised to 75,000 from the button, then Fast paused a conversation with the tournament director about the merits of Kevin Hart’s standup, to four-bet to 130,000.

Dvoress folded silently and quickly. Buldygin also followed silently and quickly, but with a customary grimace.

Shortly afterwards, Haxton opened to 22,000 from under the gun and Buldygin called in the cutoff. Fast then called in the small blind and Byron Kaverman announced that he was all-in from the big blind.

Haxton wanted a count, but as the dealer got up to about 400,000 (and still had some shrapnel to count), Haxton folded. Dvoress folded and Buldygin folded meaning Kaverman dragged back his 460,000, plus the rest. — HS

3:30pm: Does he ever really sweat?
Level 11 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier started this hand, but didn’t have a very big role to play in subsequent acts. The Team PokerStars Pro made it 21,000 to play from middle position and Erik Seidel called from the button.

Action passed to Alexandros Kolonias in the big blind and he moved all-in for 122,000. That’s where ElkY stepped aside.

However Seidel thought a little longer, then called from a stack of around 300,000. Kolonias was the man under threat — although his A♠K♥ was ahead of Seidel’s 10♥8♥.

The flop brought plenty of interest. It fell K♣Q♠8♦. The J♣ on the turn was a blank. Then the 5♥ on the river was a blank, too.

“Oh well, got a good sweat out of it,” Seidel said, with the tone and appearance of a man who hasn’t really sweated about a poker hand for maybe three decades.

Seidel slips to 175,000, while Kolonias is up to 270,000. — HS

3:25pm: Steve O’Dwyer in chip leader shocker!
Level 11 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Look who’s leapt to the top of the chip counts — yep, it’s Steve O’Dwyer. He climbed to the top by eliminating Patrik Antonius in a pot worth around 1 million.

It was Antonius who got the action started. He raised to 25,000 from under the gun, Justin Bonomo flat-called and O’Dwyer then raised to 87,000 from the button. It folded back around to Antonius and he moved all-in for just over 500,000 total. Bonomo folded but O’Dwyer made the call and it was time for the showdown.

Antonius showed A♦K♦ and it was that most classic of races as O’Dwyer held Q♣Q♥. The Q♦9♥J♦ was a doozy as it furnished O’Dwyer with a set but Antonius now had a royal flush draw, a flush draw and a straight draw.

Despite those outs, O’Dwyer was a two-to-one favourite and he held on through the 4♥7♣ turn and river. That meant Antonius was eliminated and O’Dwyer now has 1.4 million. Apparently, it’s tough at the top — you try telling that to O’Dwyer. –NW

3:20pm: ElkY puts Kurganov to the test
Level 11 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

It was a battle of the Team Pros just now, as Frenchman Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier gave Russia’s Igor Kurganov a very hard decision – one that would take several minutes to make.

I know what you’re thinking: this is a 30-second shot clock event, right?

Right. But when ElkY jammed for 239,000 on a 4♣A♠Q♠9♥8♣ board into a pot of around 250,000, Kurganov had to use two of his one-minute time bank chips before he decided to fold.

That hand brought ElkY up to around 500,000, while Kurganov is now playing 415,000. Kurganov questioned ElkY after the hand about whether he was bluffing, but he gave nothing away from behind his black surgical mask. –JS

PSCMON 2017 100k Elky SHRL day 2 Tomas Stacha-2516.jpg

ElkY playing mum poker

3:15pm: Juanda jams, departs
Level 11 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Down to just 109,000 John Juanda moved all-in from early position. Action folded to the big blind and Fedor Holz looked at his cards one by one and then called. He had K♣K♠ and Juanda showed A♠Q♣. “You’ve got two outs,” joked Juanda to Holz suggesting that an ace was definitely on the way.

It didn’t arrive though as the board ran 3♠8♦6♥7♥J♣. –NW

NEIL4091_John_Juanda_PCMON2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg


3:10pm: It’s Rainering chips for Bonomo
Level 11 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Justin Bonomo came back from the break with one of the lowest chip counts and it had got even lower before this hand. He had 141,000 in front of him when he opened to 25,000, only for Rainer Kempe to three-bet to 62,000. Bonomo immediately announced he was all in, Kempe snap-called, and the cards were flipped. Praise the shot clock.

Bonomo – A♠K♦
Kempe – A♥Q♣

Bonomo’s big slick was dominating and remained ahead on the 10♥6♣9♣ flop. The J♦ turn was somewhat interesting in that it basically switched Kempe’s outs from queens to kings. The river was indeed the Q♦ giving Bonomo Broadway and a double up to 300,000. Kempe is also left with 300,000 after that hand. –JS

PSCMON 2017 100k Justin Bonomo Koray Aldemir SHRL day 2 Tomas Stacha-2509.jpg

Bonomo (left) is still in; Koray Aldemir (right) is not

3:05pm: That time when Kevin Hart guest edited PokerStars Blog
Level 11 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

You may have noticed yesterday that there were some unexpected pronouncements coming from the PokerStars Blog team, most of which proclaiming how Kevin Hart was revolutionising the game of poker.

More than that, actually. Hart was revolutionising the way poker is reported by, basically, telling us exactly what to write but adding, “It’s got to sound like it’s coming from you.”

We hope the following video will reveal exactly how all this came about. That is PokerStars Blog’s Jack Stanton taking dictation towards the end:

3pm: Early action
Level 11 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Once players returned from the break, Justin Bonomo didn’t waste much time getting his short stack in the middle. Action folded to him on the button and he shipped it in for about 100,000. There was a quick pass from the small blind and then a slightly longer pass from Steve O’Dwyer in the big. But a pass is a pass.

Action folded one seat further on a neighbouring table, all the way around to Erik Seidel in the small blind. He opted just to call and Jason Mercier rapped the table in the big blind.

Those two big spenders watched the dealer deposit the 5♠J♣5♣ on the table and Seidel checked. Mercier bet 10,000 and Seidel called.

The next card out was the 10♥. Seidel checked, Mercier bet 28,000 and Seidel called.

The 8♥ finished it off, and both players checked it. Mercier paused a moment before showing his cards, which was a very subtle indication that he knew he was beaten. Seidel accepted Mercier’s tacit invitation to show first and turned over A♥10♣.

That was indeed the winner as Mercier mucked. — HS

2:55pm: Play resumes; updated chip counts (32 remain)
Level 11 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

The 32 remaining players are back in their seats, eight each around four tables, and play has resumed.

We have a fresh update of the chip counts to share, and indeed Daniel Dvoress remains the leader with 1.2 million. Here’s a look at the top 10 currently, and you can always check the constantly updated chip count page to see where things stand. –MH

Name Country Chips
Daniel Dvoress Canada 1,200,000
Steffen Sontheimer Germany 995,000
Steve O’Dwyer Ireland 994,000
David Peters USA 980,000
Daniel Negreanu Canada 958,000
Ali Reza Fatehi Iran 741,000
Dietrich Fast Germany 700,000
Stefan Schillhabel Germany 620,000
Fedor Holz Germany 600,000
Igor Kurganov Russia 584,000

You shouldn’t leave these tournaments to the same old faces. Sign up for PokerStars and start building your bankroll. Click here to get an account.

2:30pm: Break time
Level 10 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

As they head to the break only 32 players remain. It looks as if Daniel Dvoress is still the chip leader. We’ll be getting full counts during the break, so will be able to confirm that shortly. –NW


Daniel Dvoress: Still leading

2:25pm: Aido busts in Fast-paced game
Level 10 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

I was in the middle of covering a hand between Dietrich Fast and Viacheslav Buldygin when I saw that Sergio Aido was all-in. Aido jammed for what looked to be only 45,000 with K♥7♠ and was called by Stefan Schillhabel who had him dominated with the K♠10♥. The board bricked for Aido, and that gave Schillhabel a 670,000 stack.

Even bigger than that stack though, Schillhabel’s fellow German Fast has been on a roll in these opening two levels. In his latest pot, Buldygin opened to 16,000 and Fast three-bet to 60,000. After Buldygin called, the two went to an 8♣7♣8♥ flop and it checked through. They’d also both check the 10♦ turn and J♥ river, before Fast showed the A♠J♠ for a rivered pair.

“Oh maaaaaaannnn,” sighed Buldygin, seeing that his opponent had got there. Fast has 725,000 now – good for one of the biggest stacks in the room – while Buldygin has 625,000. –JS

2:20pm: Fours fail Smith
Level 10 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

Dan Smith had been nursing a short stack for a while before finally putting his last 56,000 in the middle from the button, then watching a similarly-short Daniel Colman re-raise from the small blind to force a fold from Byron Kaverman in the big blind.

“I’m packing some real heat,” grinned Smith as he tabled 4♦4♥. As it turned out he was in relatively good shape as Colman had A♦4♠.

The 8♠9♣6♦ flop was okay for Smith, but the A♥ turn was not. The 10♦ completed the board, and Smith bumped fists with Colman before heading to the exit. Colman is still below average with 180,000. –MH

2:15pm: Petrangelo picks up a pot
Level 10 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

We are starting to see a few time-bank chips used and Nick Petrangelo is the latest to need added time to make a decision. It occurred in a pot against Steffen Sontheimer. Sontheimer raised from middle position and Petrangelo defended from the big blind.

On the 4♣8♠K♣ flop, Sontheimer c-bet 24,000 and Petrangelo called. The 6♥ fell on fourth street and Petrangelo checked again. Sontheimer took a look at what Petrangelo had left, which was just 88,000, and then checked behind.

The Q♥ completed the board and this is where Petrangelo dipped into his time-bank. There was some confusion over this. When Petrangelo’s 30 seconds ran out Sontheimer asked Petrangelo if he had checked. He had not. He took about five more seconds and then came to the decision to move all-in.

Sontheimer needed all his 30 seconds to make his move, which was to fold. Pot to Petrangelo.

“What did you have? Jacks?” said Petrangelo to Sontheimer, who shook his head. “Worse, but a better hand to call with, like ace-eight?”

Whatever Sontheimer had he wasn’t sharing. –NW

2:10pm: Prize pool announced!
Level 10 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

Full details of the prize-pool and payouts for this tournament have been announced.

Entries: 61 (including 14 re-entries)
Total prize pool: €5,948,415

Position Name Country Prize
1     € 1,784,500
2     € 1,290,800
3     € 832,800
4     € 630,600
5     € 487,715
6     € 380,700
7     € 303,350
8     € 237,950

2:05pm: Late night NBA
Level 10 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

In case you didn’t know, the NBA Playoffs are going on in America right now. Last night (spoiler alert – stop reading now if you don’t know the scores yet) the Boston Celtics took a 3-2 lead over the Chicago Bulls, the San Antonio Spurs eliminated the Memphis Grizzlies in game six, and the Toronto raptors eliminated the Milwaukee Bucks – also in game six.

But back to poker for a moment. Jason Mercier min-opened to 16,000 from the UTG+1 seat and it folded to Christoph Vogelsang in the cutoff who three-bet to 44,000. The Team Pro called and they saw a 10♠8♥7♣ flop. Both checked.

When the 2♠ turn landed, Mercier led out for 52,000, and that got Vogelsang to fold. The German is now playing 172,000.

While that hand was going on, Mustapha Kanit came over to take a look at the table. “Mustapha, is Dario not playing?” asked another Team Pro, Igor Kurganov, referring to Dario Sammartino. “No bro,” the Italian replied. “He stayed up too late last night watching NBA.”

As Mercier was raking in his new chips, he couldn’t help but overhear. “What psycho stays up to watch NBA?” he said, jokingly. “Who would do that?”

Mercier opened and took down the blinds and antes in the next hand too, bringing him up to 300,000.

“Call it a heater!” he said. Or perhaps…you might call it a…Miami Heater?

No. Actually don’t. That’s terrible. Forget I said anything. –JS

2pm: River hits Kaverman, Hart departs
Level 10 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

After losing a pot to Isaac Haxton, Kevin Hart was down to his last 150,000 when he limped in from late position.

It folded to Byron Kaverman in the big blind who considered for much of his allotted half-minute, then set out a stack big enough to put Hart all in. Hart called right away.

Kaverman: A♣4♣
Hart: 7♣7♥

Each postflop street provided drama, with Hart offering running narration as the community cards came.

Flop: A♥3♦A♦

“That’s it,” said Hart, shifting in his seat as he saw Kaverman was ahead with trips.

Turn: 7♠

“That’s good,” said Hart, now sitting up at the sight of his full house having put him in the lead.

River: 4♠

“That can only happen to me,” said Hart, shaking his head at Kaverman having hit a better full house to eliminate him. Kaverman had a “what can you do?” grimace on his face as the comedian departed.


Kevin Hart: Rough run-out

Kaverman is up to 515,000 now. –MH

1:55pm: Fast double
Level 10 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

Some raise, three-bet, four-bet all-in hands take ages to play out but not this one between Dietrich Fast and Viacheslav Buldygin, which played out at lightning speed.

The former opened to 18,000, Buldygin three-bet to 45,000, Fast shoved for 188,000 and Buldygin almost beat him into the pot.

First to show was Fast, he revealed A♣K♦ and Buldygin then turned over A♠Q♦. A 9♦J♠6♠7♦9♥ run out kept Fast in front and dropped Buldygin down to 610,000. –NW

1:50pm: Juanda doubles through Holz
Level 10 – Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

“A JJ double.”

So declared Daniel Negreanu after watching a hand play out between the players seated on either side of him.

John Juanda was all in and at risk with A♣10♣ versus Fedor Holz who had A♥K♣, but a runout of 9♦J♠6♠10♥5♥ hit Juanda’s kicker and now he’s up around 445,000. Holz slips back to 480,000. –MH

PSCMON 2017 100k SHRL day 2 Tomas Stacha-2506.jpg

Day 2 action

1:45pm: Kanit doubles, Kisacikoglu’s cracked, Kitai’s content
Level 9 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Two tables, two all-ins, two very different results.

Mustapha Kanit shoved first on his table from the button with the 9♣9♥. Adrian Mateos called the 63,000 out of the small blind with the A♣J♥, and they went off to the races.

The 5♦K♠Q♥ flop meant any ace, jack or ten would give give Mateos the lead, but the 4♠ turn and 2♦ river didn’t help him. Kanit increased to 135,000 and Mateos dipped to 178,000.

On another table, Orpen Kisacikoglu had opened to 13,000 only for Davidi Kitai to jam with the bigger stack. Kisacikoglu snap-called off his 98,000 stack with the A♠A♣ and that was obviously beating Kitai’s 10♠10♦. But when the board ran out 7♣9♦8♣J♠K♦, Kitai had made a straight and that sent Kisacikoglu out the door. Kitai sits with 265,000 now. –JS


Orpen Kisacikoglu: Out the door

1:40pm: Kanit’s in trouble bro
Level 9 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

The Super High Roller’s favourite bro is down to just 10 big blinds after losing a sizeable pot to Leon Tsoukernik. I picked up the action on a 6♥6♣10♥ flop and at this stage Viacheslav Buldygin was driving the action. He bet 20,000 and was called by Tsoukernik and Mustapha Kanit (the aforementioned bro, of course).

The 9♦ turn was checked through and then Kanit took the betting lead on the 2♦ river. He fired out 45,000, Buldygin released whatever he was holding and Tsoukernik then raised to 105,000.

Kanit wanted to know how much Tsoukernik had behind and the Czech casino owner lifted his hands so Kanit could see. It wasn’t much, perhaps 35,000, if that. Kanit had seen enough and dropped in the call. Tsoukernik showed Q♠6♠ and Kanit took a rueful look back at his hole cards before mucking.

That skirmish has left him with just 60,000, whereas Tsoukernik now has 380,000. –NW

1:35pm: Peters busts Carrel
Level 9 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Only arrived at the end for this one, but the gist was clear enough to explain the headlines.

The board read 5♦8♦J♠2♠10♣, and it appeared after a David Peters check that Charlie Carrel chose to put the last of his chips in the middle as an all-in bet.

Peters called right away, not a good sign for Carrel who tabled J♣7♣ for jacks. Peters turned over J♥5♠ for two pair, and Carrel wished the table good luck before departing.

Hey, David Peters… how much you got? About 780,000. –MH

1:30pm: Kabrhel getting shorter
Level 9 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Patrik Antonius raised to 15,000 from early position and a short-stacked Martin Kabrhel called from the big blind.

Following the all-heart K♥8♥4♥ flop, Kabrhel check-called a bet of 15,000 from Antonius. Then the Q♥ put a fourth heart on board, and Kabrhel checked again. Antonius bet 40,000 this time, and after rechecking his cards and hesitating for 20 seconds, Kabrhel folded, preserving his last 130,000. –MH


Martin Kabrhel: Getting short

1:25pm: Carrel collects Chidwick’s chips
Level 9 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Stephen Chidwick was just now all-in for his last 100,000 or so with A♠4♠ and needed some help versus Charlie Carrel’s 8♠8♦. The 6♣6♦Q♣2♦J♠ didn’t help Chidwick, however, and one Brit busted another.

After Carrel lost a few to Sergio Aido in that small double-up earlier, he’s back to about 355,000. Chidwick, who was in for two bullets, is now looking for something else to do. –MH

1:20pm: So weird
Level 9 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

One player who wasn’t caught in a single hand during yesterday’s play was Monaco resident Patrik Antonius. Yet he still quietly managed to build a 336,000 stack by the time chips were bagged.

He’d already managed to increase that stack significantly this morning by the time we finally saw him in the act. Rainer Kempe opened to 15,000 in the hijack and Antonius three-bet to 38,000 from the cutoff. Back to Kempe, he called and the two saw a 10♦8♣K♣ flop. Kempe checked to the last aggressor and Antonius continued for 25,000. Kempe then check-raised it up to 71,000.

Thing is, Kempe has a weird betting style. You know how Jack Salter carefully counts out his bet, and then holds it out in front of him for a second or two before dropping it down in a perfect straight line? Well Kempe does something similar. Except he holds out his bet for a second or two, but then moves it slightly to drop it in a different location.

This must have been the first time that Martin Kabrhel and Justin Bonomo have played with Kempe, as they were both a bit taken by it. Kabrhel – stood up behind Kempe – started mimicking the betting motion. Bonomo summed it up simply: “So weird.”

Back to the hand: after a think, Antonius called and the dealer burned and turned the 6♠. Action was on Kempe, now the last aggressor, but he went into the tank. His first 30 seconds ran down, resulting in a time-bank chip tossed in the middle. Another half a minute went by, and with around 10 seconds left on the clock he moved all in.

Antonius now had a big decision. He had a bigger stack, but it would be for a large chunk of it. In the end, after checking his hand a few times, the Finn folded.

That brings him to 430,000, and brings Kempe up to an identical stack of 430,000 too. –JS

1:15pm: Aces for Aido
Level 9 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

There’s never a bad time to find yourself looking down at aces, but as for a good time? Well, when you’ve only got 10 big blinds left is definitely on that list.

That’s the situation Sergio Aido just found himself in and he dutifully committed his final 65,000 with A♥A♠. Charlie Carrel had a hand too – A♣Q♦ – and he put Aido at risk.

A 7♥8♣10♥3♦K♥ board was sweat-free for Aido and he doubled up. –NW

1:10pm: Czechs not checking, but betting
Level 9 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

There are two players from the Czech Republic left in the field, although both are below average and striving to do what they can to get back to more comfortable chip status.

Martin Kabrhel was just all-in before the flop from the button and got no takers. He’s at about 170,000 at the moment.

Meanwhile Leon Tsoukernik was among those re-entering to start today and he’s chipped up a bit to get over 300,000. Just now Tsoukernik shoved on a ten-high flop versus Dietrich Fast, and Fast wasn’t slow about folding. –MH

PSCMON 2017 100k Leon Tsukernik SHRL day 2 Tomas Stacha-2462.jpgTsukernik shoves, collects

1:05pm: Bet friends
Level 9 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

A table break has reunited the three main protagonists in yesterday’s press-up prop bet. Kevin Hart is now sat to the right of Dan Smith, with Smith sat to the right of Daniel Colman. — NW

1pm: Crazy runout saves Kaverman
Level 9 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Whether you believe in the Poker Gods or just good old fashioned variance, Byron Kaverman must be feeling a little lucky to still be alive in this thing.

He jammed on the button for his last 93,000 and that was called by Steffen Sontheimer in the small blind. Steve O’Dwyer let his hand go in the big blind and the cards were on their backs.

Sontheimer – 10♦10♥
Kaverman – K♠Q♦

It was a race, and Kaverman shot out in front on the 8♠Q♥Q♠ having made trip queens.

The turn? 10♠.

That now gave Sontheimer the lead with a full house, tens full of queens.

The river?


Kaverman had re-taken the lead with a bigger boat–queens full of eights–and that meant he’d double up to a little over 190,000. Everyone at the table (including Sam Greenwood and Dan Colman) smiled at each other; all except Sontheimer, who dropped to 550,000. –JS

12:55pm: Badziakouski busts
Level 9 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

A tournament labelled as “unlimited re-entry” may seem to represent unlimited possibilities, even in an event with a €100K buy-in. But when the allowed period to do that re-entering ends, such a tournament becomes like any other do-or-die freezeout.

Such was the truth understood by Mikita Badziakouski of Belarus just now. He returned as one of the shortest stacks among those remaining, and in one of the first hands of the day lost that stack to Isaac Haxton, forcing Badziakouski to depart for good.

Haxton is up around 415,000 now. –MH

12:50pm: Three in a row for Peters
Level 9 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

If David Peters carries on the way he has started Day 2 then he’ll have all the chips soon enough. That’s because he has won every single pot that’s been played so far at Table 4. All three of them.

The first two involved the same three players: Peters, Fedor Holz and Daniel Negreanu. On each occasion, Peters was the pre-flop raiser and both times a flop c-bet got the job done. The third was a little more interesting. Peters opened to 14,000, Negreanu called from the button and Charlie Carrel did likewise from the big blind.

The 7♦Q♥J♥ flop checked through and the J♠ turn paired the board. The action was checked to Negreanu and he bet 17,000. Peters was the only caller and the 4♥ landed on the river. Fairly swiftly Peters checked it to Negreanu, who took his time before he too checked. Peters showed K♥Q♦ and it was the best hand. –NW

12:45pm: Oh yes, baby!
Level 9 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Kanit be? Yes it Kanit.

In the very first hand of the day, Italy’s all-time leading money winner Mustapha Kanit has doubled up. He had the shortest stack coming into play, but thanks to Oleksii Khoreshenin he’s right back in it.

The two got the money in with A♠Q♥ (Kanit) against K♦K♣ (Khoreshenin), and the board was favourable for the former. In fell A♣8♦5♠A♥4♠ and with trip aces Kanit doubles to 215,000. Khoroshenin is now playing 240,000.


Mustapha Kanit: Early double

“Oh yes, baby!” Kanit shouted in a way only Kanit can. –JS

12:40pm: It’s that time
Level 9 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

“It’s ass whoopin’ time!”

Play has begun on Day 2, and while Kevin Hart’s pronouncement at his table isn’t exactly the traditional “shuffle up and deal,” it serves exactly the same purpose.


Kevin Hart: Ass-whooping time

It looks like there are four new re-entries to start the day, players who busted yesterday and are taking advantage of the last opportunity to re-enter today before the late registration window closes.

John Juanda, Alexander Uskov, Leon Tsoukernik, and Nick Petrangelo are all back in the mix with new 250,000-chip stacks. In fact, Petrangelo has drawn a seat to the left of Hart — the player who busted him late last night — and so has a chance to extract a measure of revenge.

Because, well, it’s that time. –MH

12:35pm: Three re-entries…at least
Level 9 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Official numbers are still coming, but there are at least three players who have re-entered today. They are Alexander Uskov, Nick Petrangelo and Leon Tsoukernik. But there may well be more.

We have some inside information as to where Tsoukernik’s buy-ins came from in this event. A source very close to the Czech high roller said, “Leon won one 100K entry in one hand v Gus, 100k from Jedlicka, 100k from Ronny Kaiser.” He added, “Every river goes to the sea!”


Leon Tsoukernik: Playing with someone else’s money

12:30pm: Players seated
Level 9 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Players have now arrived to the tournament tables and action is getting under way. We’ll have full details of new arrivals and re-entries very soon.

A quick word about the plan for the day: They will play ten one-hour levels, with a dinner break after eight of those–Level 14 on the tournament schedule. — HS

12pm: Day 2 starting up; another thrill ride in store

Good afternoon once again and welcome back to Monte Carlo for the PokerStars Championship presented by Monte-Carlo Casino®. It’s Day 2 of the €100,000 Super High Roller event, a day on which the action will be even more significant than it was yesterday.

That’s because registration closes at the start of play today, so anybody who is knocked out it out for good. They’re rushing to the cash desk to get their last-minute ticket.


Take a look at the overnight chip counts, where you’ll see a list of very familiar names, including Daniel Negreanu second in counts. Negreanu was on the receiving end of some Kevin Hart barbs yesterday, but will hope to have the last laugh on the comedian when they resume at 12:30pm.

Hart, however, is back. There’ll be a lot more from him too. Stick with us for exclusive updates.

The road to Monte Carlo starts on PokerStars. Sign up 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 presented by Monte-Carlo Casino® 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 €100,000 Super High Roller: Martin Harris, Jack Stanton, Howard Swains and Nick Wright. Photography by Neil Stoddart.



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