PSPC: Scott Baumstein leads last 8 into final day

January 09, 2019inEvents

Day 4 of the PSPC ends with 8 players remaining. Here’s the full story of the day.

• Scott Baumstein leads PSPC with 8 remaining
• Platinum Pass winner Marc Rivera in second
• Martini, Colillas and Shakerchi in contention
• Tony Gregg, Evan Mathis, and Kristen Bicknell among the fallers today
• PSPC winner earns $5.1 million and the title tomorrow



Chip leader: Scott Baumstein

Scott Baumstein started the day with the chip lead, and would finish with it too, bagging up 10,750,000.

His day was not without its moments – like everyone, he faced the trials of short and volatile stacks – but his stack at the close is what counts.

He returns tomorrow best placed to claim the title, and that $5.1 million first prize.


Chip counts going into the final day

Name Country Status Chips
Scott Baumstein USA 10,725,000
Marc Rivera Philippines Platinum Pass winner 10,350,000
Julien Martini France 8,600,000
Farid Jattin USA 8,525,000
Ramon Colillas Spain Platinum Pass winner 8,300,000
Jason Koonce USA 7,125,000
Talal Shakerchi UK 5,500,000
Marc Perrault Canada 2,275,000


The Contenders

Baumstein is not without quality opposition.

Marc Rivera is his closest challenger. He’s also the best-placed Platinum Pass winner tonight.

Platinum Pass winner Marc Rivera: Second in chips

Known as more of a cash game player in his native Philippines, Rivera will need to rewrite his resume after his performance this week.

He bags up 10,350,000, second best tonight, but only just.

Frenchman Julien Martini is not far behind, a chip or two ahead of Farid Jattin who also excelled today. Also returning is the other remaining Platinum Pass winner, Ramon Colillas.

Ramon Colillas, one of two Platinum Pass winners remaining

Jason Koonce has enough chips to be a contender tomorrow. Talal Shakerchi may have less than 30 big blinds to play with, but is arguably the most experienced. Neither can be written off. Mark Perrault will also have something to prove.

It’s worth noting that first out tomorrow will go home with at least $509,000.


Today’s fallers


An event like this will always have its favourites, and not just those most likely to win.

Among the feel good stories were those of Platinum Pass winners on career best performances – the type than have made the PSPC so unique.

Jacqueline Burkhart was one of them. She may have busted first against Kristin Bicknell’s nine-high straight, but did so to earn $86,400.

Jacqueline Burkhart was out first today

Nor were the best in the game immune from early departure.

Tony Gregg, a former PCA runner-up, was unable to go one better, out in 36th place.

Gregg was followed by the likes of Evan Mathis (35th), Mikita Badziakouski (34th) Dan O’Brien (31st), Sosia Jiang (28th), Marvin Rettenmeier (27th), Joao Barbosa (25th) and Martins Adeniya (24th).

Martins Adeniya

Griffin Benger would follow later in 14th.

Griffin Benger

Kristen Bicknell, won of the stars of these latter stages, fell short of the final table in 11th.

Kristen Bicknell


The Exception

While for some elimination meant falling short of a dream payday, for others it meant career best results, and memories that will last a lifetime.

Count Michael Robionek among them.

Michael Robionek takes his turn in front of the TV cameras

Before this week Robionek’s best tournament finish had been worth $80. Today he smashed that by $150,000 (you’ll find more on his story at 3:38pm below).

A PSPC champion tomorrow

It leaves 8 players in the PSPC, and one day left to play.

It starts at 12pm tomorrow (Thursday), with the winner, whoever that is, set to earn a first prize of $5.1 million.

You’ll find live updates here on the blog, running at the same time as the live stream of that final. We’ll be on a 40-minute delay, but the cards will be face up. You won’t miss anything.

Until then a short reprieve to reflect on a memorable day, which you can read in detail below. An even bigger day is on the way tomorrow.

Join us then.


Day 4 coverage archive

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9:50pm: Jattin puts Duta down in 9th
Level 32 – Blinds 125,000/250,000 (BB ante 250,000)

Florian Duta was in survival mode for most of the end of Day 4. But all good things must come to an end.

Duta opened all-in for 2 million from middle position with A♣K♥ and Farid Jattin isolated on the button with A♥J♥ to get heads-up with him. Duta had the edge before the flop came 8♥6♥8♣, and even after it he was still a small favorite.

But when the 4♥ hit the turn he was drawing dead. The 6♠ river finished out the hand and Duta’s tournament. That’s all for today — with the exception of a full wrap of the action. –JK

9:28pm: Shakerchi survives, doubles through Baumstein
Level 32 – Blinds 125,000/250,000 (BB ante 250,000)

We’ve just had the first all-in of this official final table bubble, and yet the table remains “unofficial”. Spoiler alert: Nobody busted.

Talal Shakerchi moved all-in for 2.77 million with Q♠T♠ from middle position, and was called by chip leader Scott Baumstein with A♣T♣. There was a lot riding on this; a seat at the finale of the PSPC, and an extra $105,000 to boot.

Talal Shakerchi: Final table bubble-up?

Shakerchi took the lead on the 4♠Q♣5♦ flop though, so it wasn’t looking likely. Until the J♣ turn hit and suddenly Baumstein had a host of outs. Any club, king, or ace…

The river: 8♥

Shakerchi survives and doubles to 6.17 million. Baumstein is down to 10.73 million now. –JS

9:25pm: Perrault defends, regrets, clings to 5 BBs
Level 32 – Blinds 125,000/250,000 (BB ante 250,000)

The blinds are getting a bit oppressive, and it’s causing the shortest stacks at the table to resort to some passive hopeful play. So it was that Julien Martini could pick on Marc Perrault’s big blind. Martini min-raised to 400,000 from the cutoff, Perrault called with Q♣T♦ for the A♦K♠3♥. Perrault, always hopeful, check-called a min-bet of 200,000. On the 7♠ turn, Perrault had to check-fold and was left with only 1 million in chips. –BW

Marc Perrault: Five bigs

8:53pm: Final redraw
Level 31 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (BB ante 200,000)

Here’s how they line up on the last table. We will wrap for the night when one more player is knocked out:

1 – Jason Koonce – 11,750,000
2 – Julien Martini – 7,100,000
3 – Farid Jattin – 5,750,000
4 – Talal Shakerchi – 2,775,000
5 – Marc Perrault – 1,925,000
6 – Ramon Colillas – 8,800,000 (Platinum Pass holder)
7 – Scott Baumstein – 13,525,000
8 – Marc Rivera – 6,950,000 (Platinum Pass holder)
9 – Florian Duta – 2,875,000

8:53pm: Padilha’s Platinum Pass journey over in 10th ($328,500)
Level 31 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (BB ante 200,000)

Following a 400,000 under-the-gun open from chip leader Scott Baumstein, Pedro Padilha shoved for 1.77 million on the button. Baumstein could afford it, but gave it some serious though before slamming down a call.

Pedro Padilha, right, takes his leave

Baumstein’s A♦4♥ would need to improve against Padilha’s 5♥5♣, and when the Brazilian rail saw that their man was ahead the cheers started coming. “Cinco! Cinco!”

The 6♣3♣4♦ flop gave Padilha an up-and-down draw to go with the pair, and the crowd couldn’t contain itself.

Pedro Padilha awaits his fate with his rail

Everything changed on the A♥ turn though. Now Padilha really needed to hit.

He couldn’t find help on the 9♠ though, and Padilha’s amazing run had reached its end.

Andre Akkari consoles Pedro Padhila

Baumstein is up to 13.53 million now, as the final nine redraw for the final table. –JS

8:50pm: Koonce and Rivera clash again
Level 31 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (BB ante 200,000)

Marc Rivera and Jason Koonce collided again. This one was a bit smaller though.

Rivera started things off with a raise to 400,000 from the button and Farid Jattin, who had just gotten moved to the spot Bicknell vacated, called from the small blind. Koonce called from the big blind and the flop came 2♠Q♠3♠.

Koonce bet 700,000 and only Rivera called. The turn brought the T♠ and Koonce checked this time. Rivera fired off 700,000 and it was good enough to take down the pot.

Koonce dipped to 8.2 million while Rivera is up to 10.5 million

There was some commotion on the feature table while this was going on too. Catch it on the stream or come back in 30 minutes to see what happened there. –AV

8:45pm: Kristin Bicknell falls short of final table
Level 31 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (BB ante 200,000)

Down to about 2 million in chips, Kristin Bicknell sat in the big blind and in the danger zone. She had K♥J♦ and faced a raise from Julien Martini. She defended her spot and flopped top pair on a K♦3♦5♥ board. She checked to Martini who bet 400,000. Bicknell called for the 8♣ turn, and then called all-in for the remainder of her stack. Martini showed her the bad news. He had her pipped with K♣Q♠. The river bricked, and Bicknell was gone in 11th place for $328,500. –BW

8:38pm: Colillas collects from Jattin
Level 31 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (BB ante 200,000)

The hand after that Farid Jattin raised to 450,000 from UTG+1 with K♥J♣ and Ramon Colillas called from the big blind with A♥9♥.

The flop came 8♥6♥7♠ to give Colillas an open-ender and a flush draw. The turn was the J♥ to make Colillas his flush while also making a pair for Jattin. Colillas led for 650,000, and Jattin called.

The river was the 5♣, and after Colillas bet 625,000, Jattin called to see he was beaten. Jattin slips to 6.35 million, while Colillas now has about 8 million. –MH

8:37pm: Padilha captures Adeniya’s heart
Level 31 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (BB ante 200,000)

Martins Adeniya, who was eliminated in 24th place earlier today, has just returned to the PSPC set. And no, he’s not trying to re-enter.

Adeniya was the latest player in possession of the knitted heart made at the table by Platinum Pass winner Jennifer Carter. Since she gave it to Tim Reilly a couple of days ago (after Reilly busted her), the heart has been passed from player to player, bustee to buster.

The heart now belongs to Pedro Padilha, with Adeniya paying it forward on the feature table. Will he keep it until the end of the tournament? If not, who will be the next to capture the heart? –JS

8:35pm: Rivera takes one from Koonce
Level 31 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (BB ante 200,000)

Even a relatively small pot is significant at this point in the tournament. Like this one.

Jason Koonce opened in the cutoff for 500,000. The action folded to Marc Rivera in the small blind, where he looked at his cards and appeared to be ready to fold. Then he decided to call. Both players checked the 9♥Q♦8♥ flop and Rivera check-called 500,000 on the 7♠ turn. Then both men checked the 2♥ river as well. Rivera quickly turned up J♦9♣ for a pair of nines, which was good enough to win the pot.

Rivera is on about 9.7 million right now; Koonce, 7.8 million. –JK

8:25pm: Koonce takes a chunk out of Rivera
Level 31 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (BB ante 200,000)

There were a few uncalled all ins from the short stacks, but then the two big stacks at the secondary feature collided.

Marc Rivera started the hand off with a button raise to 450,000 and Jason Koonce three-bet to 1 million from the big blind. Rivera called and the flop came 8♠4♦5♠.

Koonce bet 1 million and then Rivera raised it up to 2.3 million. Koonce thought for a while, used a time bank card and thought some more. Then he moved all in. Rivera quickly folded and Koonce turned over 6♥4♥ for bottom pair and a gutshot straight draw.

The pot put Koonce up to 10.4 million while Rivera dipped to 7.2 million. –AV

8:24pm: BBS for Jattin
Level 31 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (BB ante 200,000)

Scott Baumstein kicked this one off opening to 400,000 with A♠T♣ from the cutoff, and Farid Jattin defended his big blind with K♥7♥.

The flop was what I believe you’d call a “big blind special”. It came K♣7♠2♦ and Jattin checked his top two pair. Baumstein continued for 325,000, and Jattin decided to make his move quickly.

He inflated the pot with a check-raise to 1.15 million, but with nothing to write home about, Baumstein let it go. –JS

8:18pm: Two in a row for Colillas
Level 31 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (BB ante 200,000)

Ramon Colillas picked up A♠K♥ sitting in the cutoff and raised to 425,000, and Talal Shakerchi called from the big blind holding 2♠2♦. The flop came K♦A♣Q♠, pairing both of Colillas’s hole cards, and Shakerchi check-folded to his opponent’s c-bet. Shakerchi has 2.825 million.

Colillas took the next hand, too, with an UTG raise holding J♥9♥, and he’s up to 6.175 million now. –MH

8:15pm: Baumstein builds
Level 31 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (BB ante 200,000)

Chip leader Scott Baumstein opened to 400,000 from the UTG+1 seat holding K♥Q♥, and it folded to Pedro Padilha on the button. He looked down at A♠6♦ and opted to three-bet to 1.1 million.

Baumstein used a time bank as he contemplated, and must have picked up something. He jammed to put Padilha at risk, and the Brazilian swiftly folded.

Scott Baumstein: Chip leading bully

That brings Padilha down to 2.68 million, and increases Baumstein’s chip lead to 11.8 million. –JS

8:11pm: Two hands, two shoves at the feature table
Level 31 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (BB ante 200,000)

On the first hand of the new level, it folded to Talal Shakerchi in the cutoff who open-pushed his 2.95 million and got it through, chipping up to 3.45 million.

Then it was Marc Perrault min-raising to 400,000 under the gun with K♥Q♦, and it folded to Farid Jattin who picked up A♠J♣ in the big blind. He sat quietly for a moment and then announced he was reraising all in, and Perrault folded to keep his 3.125 million. Jattin is now at 7.9 million. –MH

8:10pm: And they’re off
Level 31 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (BB ante 200,000)

Away they go again in Level 31. We are playing down to eight players or another two levels, whichever comes soonest. — HS

7:50pm: Chips!
Level 31 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (BB ante 200,000)

Here’s how they will line up after the break:

Name Country Status Chips BBs
Scott Baumstein USA 10,800,000 54
Marc Rivera Philippines Platinum Pass winner 9,200,000 46
Farid Jattin USA 7,450,000 37
Julien Martini France 5,200,000 26
Pedro Padilha Brazil Platinum Pass winner 5,100,000 26
Ramon Colillas Spain Platinum Pass winner 5,050,000 25
Jason Koonce USA 4,890,000 24
Kristen Bicknell Canada 4,300,000 22
Talal Shakerchi UK 4,110,000 21
Florian Duta Romania 2,800,000 14
Marc Perrault Canada 1,960,000 10

7:45pm: 30-minute break

Break time. Back in 30!

7:40pm: Schwartz out. Rivera moves into second
Level 30 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (BB ante 160,000)

It looked like we’d reach the break without incident, but then Florian Duta raised form the button and Jake Schwartz moved all-in.

He was in the small blind. Marc Rivera was in the big blind and wasn’t going anywhere. He called, forcing a fold form Duta and suddenly Schwartz’s tournament was on the line.

Schwartz: K♥J♣
Rivera: A♠K♠

The flop came 2♣8♦4♦

Schwartz sat back in his chair, almost resigned. Rivera meanwhile leaned forward, more curious than anything.

The turn came 8♣, then the river 7♦.

Schwartz stood to shake hands. He was out, and the field was down to 11.

Marc Rivera though, the Platinum Pass winner from the Philippines, was suddenly up to more than 9 million chips, good for second place. – SB

7:33pm: Duta downs Liperis
Level 30 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (BB ante 160,000)

Yiannis Liperis was in desperate straits with just 805,000 left and found A♦T♦ under the gun. Plenty good enough to jam. The action folded around to Florian Duta in the big blind and he thought for about 15 seconds before calling with Q♥8♠. Liperis still had outs after Duta made top pair on the 3♣4♣Q♠ flop, but he was drawing dead after the 8♣ turn. The inconsequential 7♠ river completed the hand to end Liperis’s tournament. Duta is on 2.8 million. –JK

7:22pm: Schwartz moves in again
Level 30 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (BB ante 160,000)

After tripling up Jake Schwartz got his chips in again a short while ago. This time in less dramatic fashion.

After Julien Martini opened for 320,000 Schwartz moved all in for around 2.7 million. Martini, sitting with 4.7 million thought about it, but eventually folded. – SB

7:22pm: Perrault rips it in versus Jattin
Level 30 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (BB ante 160,000)

On the very next hand after the “cheeky” one (see below), Farid Jattin limped in from the small blind with K♦4♠, and Marc Perrault checked from the big blind with 8♦6♥.

The flop fell 8♣A♦Q♥, and Jattin led out for 525,000, just about the size of the pot. Perrault had just a little over 2 million behind, and after thinking for a while he raised all in with his bottom pair. Jattin quickly let his hand go.

Perrault has 3.05 million now, while Jattin has 7.42 million. — MH

7:20pm: Triple for Schwartz in sweet spot
Level 30 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (BB ante 160,000)

All-in and called in two spots during the biggest tournament of your life, you’re likely going to hope for something better than king-ten — even if it is suited. But Jake Schwartz couldn’t have been happier when that was the precise situation he found himself moments ago. “I love it!” he said. “It’s a dream.”

It kind of was.

Dreamy Jake Schwartz

After a tense period of stalling, while the players at the outer table waited for the money jump (and someone on the feature table did indeed finally bust, details later) Schwartz open-pushed for 980,000 from under the gun. Julien Martini, on the button, put chips forward to call, and then Yiannis Liperis re-shoved from the big blind with about 800,000 more than Schwartz.

That’s when Schwartz turned over his K♥T♥ but was absolutely delighted to see Liperis table 7♠7♣ and Martini table 7♥7♦. Schwartz was flipping against two opponents, but neither of them could re-draw against him if he hit one of his over-cards.

And hit he did. The flop was 3♥6♦K♠ and Schwartz clenched his fists in delight. Then the 8♥ turn meant the other two were drawing dead and the triple up was complete. The 9♠ river was meaningless.

Schwartz moves up to 2.7 million; Martini dips to 5.2 million and Liperis is now the short stack with 890,000.

7:15pm: Cheeky three-bet from Jattin
Level 30 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (BB ante 160,000)

Ramon Colillas raised to 330,000 from the button with T♥8♥ and it folded to Farid Jattin in the big blind who made it 1.325 million to go holding T♠2♠.

“Frisky,” was the word used on the live stream to describe Jattin’s bet. Colillas let his hand go, and Jattin is now up close to 8.1 million. –MH

7:00pm: Platinum Pass millions
Level 30 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (BB ante 160,000)

Fun fact: As we near the final table, we have three Platinum Pass holders left in the field. Each is guaranteed at least $261,750.

We thought it would be fun to see how much the Platinum Pass crew had won so far. Thirty-eight of the Platinum Passers have cashed for a combined $1,960,550.

In the unlikely event that the next three bust-outs are Platinum Pass holders, they would cash for a combined $852,000 and bring the Platinum Pass winnings total to $2,812,550.

That said, the pay jumps are starting to get pretty steep, so, it’s very likely that money total is going to much higher. Not bad for a freeroll, huh? –BW

7:15pm: Slowdown and a turn
Level 30 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (BB ante 160,000)

Action slowed down considerably at the secondary feature table. That tends to happen when there’s a $30,000 payjump. Both Yiannis Liperis and Jake Schwartz are making sure to use up every second of their shot clock before they fold.

Most pots have been settled with a preflop raise, but one went to the turn.

Marc Rivera started that hand with a raise to 325,000 from the cutoff. Action folded to Julien Martini’s big blind and he called. The flop (yes, an actual flop) came 8♣K♠5♦ and both players checked.

The turn brought the A♠ and a bit of action. Rivera bet 350,000 and Martini raised to 975,000. It was too much for Rivera and he let his hand go. Martini took in the pot and rose to 6.1 million while Rivera dipped to 5.7 million. –AV

6:55pm: Martini takes out Johnson
Level 30 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (BB ante 160,000)

Chris Johnson’s tournament is over after he came out on the losing end of a race. Johnson jammed under the gun for 1.875 million and Julien Martini moved all-in on the button to isolate. That cleared out the blinds for the showdown:

Martini: 8♠8♥
Johnson: K♦Q♣

Martini had the lead and held onto it as the baord ran out J♥6♦6♠5♣9♦, ending Johnson’s run. Martini is now playing 5.2 million. –JK

6:55pm: All-in again, and this time all out for Benger
Level 30 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (BB ante 160,000)

With just two big blinds after his double up, Griffin Benger was all-in the very next hand.

Talal Shakerchi opened to 350,000 with J♣T♣ under the gun, and Benger raised all-in to 550,000 with K♦9♥ one seat over. “Ahhh, I should have just called,” he said after.

Griffin Benger: All in…

The dealer had to wait for a hand at the outer table finish before dealing out the board. By the end, it read: J♦7♠2♠7♦A♣.

That meant Benger’s PSPC has come to an end, following what can only be described as an unlucky couple of hours for the Canadian. He’ll collect $229,700 for his 14th place finish.

…and out

Shakerchi is on 4.11 million now. –JS

6:52pm: Colillas doubles, Benger down to fumes
Level 30 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (BB ante 160,000)

Griffin Benger looked down at A♣8♥ on the button and open-jammed his last 2.25 million. He ended up getting a caller in Ramon Colillas in the big blind with A♠J♥.

The J♦Q♥9♣ flop improved Colillas to a pair although did leave Benger with a straight possibility. He mimed aiming a rifle at the board as if to hit his desired target, but the 6♥ turn nor the 9♠ river cooperated and Colillas won the pot.

Benger had Colillas barely covered, so the latter doubled to 4.97 million while Benger fell to just 115,000.

Two hands later Benger was in the hijack with 4♠4♣ — a hand that served him well earlier (see 3:45pm). Eyeing a possible pay jump, Benger used up three time bank cards before committing his chips, and when Pedro Padilha three-bet from the small blind to 550,000 with K♣Q♦, Farid Jattin chose to let go of queen-jack in the big blind.

“Fours were good to me before,” Benger noted while waiting for the board. “Kept me in.” They kept him in again, as the board rolled out 6♠3♠6♥. The turn was the 9♠ and river the J♠, and Binger has survived but is still super short with 505,000. –MH

6:36pm: Vamos! Platinum Pass winner Padilha doubles
Level 30 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (BB ante 160,000)

We knew Pedro Padilha had doubled without even looking. Our ears are well versed in the cheers of a Brazilian rail.

Padilha open-shoved the cutoff for 2.43 million holding 4♥4♣, and it folded over to Griffin Benger in the big blind with A♠J♣. With wounds still fresh from doubling up Talal Shakerchi, Griffin made the call and tried again to secure a KO.

He couldn’t get it done though. The board ran 5♠7♥K♥K♠6♠, keeping the pocket pair in front.

The crowd went wild while Padilha remained composed, stacking up his 5.1 million stack. Benger, meanwhile, could only sigh. He’s down to 2.33 million – just 14 bigs. –JS

6:35pm: Rivera up to 6 million
Level 30 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (BB ante 160,000)

Julien Martini opened for 240,000 which Marc Rivera called from the big blind for a flop of K♣3♥T♥. Rivera checked. Martini bet 420,000 which River called for the 7♦ on the turn. Again, Rivera checked, then called Martini’s bet of 875,000 (after spending a time bank card). On the J♠ river, Rivera checked one last time, as did Martini.

Rivera turned over K♠9♠. Martini looked at it, and couldn’t beat it.

He drops to 2.3 million, while Rivera, a Platinum Pass winner, climbs to around 6 million. – SB

6:25pm: River saves Shakerchi in all-in versus Benger
Level 29 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (BB ante 120,000)

Talal Shakerchi open-shoved all in for 1.8 million from early position and it folded to Griffin Benger in the hijack. Benger thought a while and finally called, and when everyone left got out they showed their hands

Shakerchi: A♥9♥
Benger: A♦Q♣

Shakerchi was in tough shape, although the 2♥K♥7♣ flop brought some hope in the form of a heart flush draw. The 6♠ turn was no help to him, but the 9♠ river hit Shakerchi’s kicker to keep him in the tournament.

Shakerchi bumps up to 3.9 million, while Benger slips to just over 4.9 million. –MH

Easy game, Talal

6:20pm: No value for Padilha
Level 29 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (BB ante 120,000)

Marc Perrault opened to 250,000 in the UTG+1 seat with J♠9♠, and his only caller was Pedro Padilha out of the big blind with K♦T♣. They went to a T♥A♠J♣ flop, and both opted for a check.

That brought the T♠ on the turn, improving Padilha to two pair. He checked again, but Perrault didn’t bite.

The K♣ completed the board, filling Padilha up. He now led out for 525,000, desperate to get some value from such a strong hand.

Alas, Perrault let his jacks go. He drops to 1.95 million, while Padilha’s on 2.49 million now. –JS

Marc Perrault

6:20pm: Duta doubles through Liperis
Level 29 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (BB ante 120,000)

Florian Duta is showing some tremendous survival skills, and has just pulled off another double up to keep him in this tournament. This one wasn’t all that straightforward either — they rarely are — but the net result is a stack of about 2 million and a durable dream of a $5.1 million first prize.

Chris Johnson started the hand with a raise to 240,000 from under the gun. Everyone folded until it got to Duta in the small blind. He had about 950,000 in his stack but opted only to call, which then persuaded Yiannis Liperis to call in the big blind too.

So they were three-handed to the 9♦T♥3♣ flop, at which point Duta slid it in. His shove was for 710,000. Liperis quickly checked Johnson’s stack, learning it was about 1.2 million, and decided to call. Johnson quickly folded.

Liperis was ahead with his K♥T♦ but Duta had lots of outs with his Q♦J♦. The dealer put one of them on the turn, the K♠, which also happened to keep Liperis alive.

However the 6♣ river was a total blank and Duta scored the double. Liperis still has 2.3 million, so isn’t in exceptional peril, but even the small pots are highly meaningful at this stage. — HS

6:15pm: A pair of shoves
Level 29 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (BB ante 120,000)

We had a pair of shoves right after Kristen Bicknell’s double ups, but no calls.

Chris Johnson was the first to shove. He moved in from the hijack and everyone got out of the way. Jake Schwartz then shoved for 1.38 million the following hand and he took down the pot after everyone folded.

6:10pm: Bicknell doubles through Schwartz
Level 29 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (BB ante 120,000)

Kristin Bicknell just found a double in a really tough spot, and Jake Schwartz is in trouble now because of it.

Schwartz opened the action on the button for 265,000. Marc Rivera folded his small blind and Bicknell checked her cards, took about 15 seconds, and then announced she was all-in. Schwartz couldn’t have called any more quickly.

Schwartz: T♣T♠
Bicknell: A♦8♦

Bicknell needed a lot of help and she got it on the A♣Q♦A♠ flop. She still had to dodge the last two tens in the deck, which the 7♥ turn and 2♦ river helped her do. She’s now on 4.3 million to Schwartz’s 1.6 million. –JK

Kristin Bicknell

6:08pm: Feature table update, Baumstein still boss
Level 29 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (BB ante 120,000)

An update from the feature table, where things have quieted down following that knockout of Louis Bouton in 16th place. Scott Baumstein remains the leader there and overall with about 10.8 million right now.

First it was Baumstein raising to 245,000 from cutoff seat with A♦9♣, and it folded to Farid Jattin in the big blind who reraised to 840,000 with Q♥9♥. Baumstein folded.

On the next hand, Griffin Benger opened for 260,000 from early position holding Q♥J♦ and it folded around to Marc Perrault in the big blind who had been dealt A♠T♣. Perrault shoved all in for 1.52 million, and Benger let it go.

Benger tried again on the next one, raising from under the gun to 260,000 with A♥6♥, and it go through. He’s up to 5.76 million. –MH

6pm: Boutin busts to Benger
Level 29 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (BB ante 120,000)

We’ve just lost Louis Boutin up on the feature table, courtesy of a big flip.

Boutin kicked things off by opening to 1.25 million in the hijack with A♠K♥, leaving himself 365,000 behind. Griffin Benger looked down at J♦J♣ in the cutoff and three-bet to 4 million, setting Boutin all-in.

He was never folding, but Boutin decided to use up a couple of his time banks, just in case a player at the outer table busted first. Alas, that didn’t happen.

Eventually he made an inevitable call, and the dealer spread a flop: 2♣5♦7♣. Griffin’s jacks remained in front on the 6♥ turn, and the 5♥ river changed nothing.

That makes Bountin our 16th place finisher. He earns $202,400 for his efforts over the past four days.

Benger’s on 6.28 million after that one. –JS

Boutin bids goodbye to Benger and the PSPC

5:57pm: Busto? Boat trip!
Level 29 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (BB ante 120,000)

While we’re finishing out the PSPC, the Platinum Pass folks who weren’t fortunate enough to make it this far decided, “Hey, why not keep hanging out?” So, they chartered a boat and spent the day at sea under the sun. Honestly, we can’t say we’re not a little envious. –BW

Platinum Passers in the sun

6:02pm: Duta shoves but finds no takers
Level 29 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (BB ante 120,000)

Short stack Florian Duta just tried to make a move. He shoved for around 800,000. The action was folded to Jake Schwartz on the big blind who checked his cards three times before folding. — SB

5:58pm: More than one way to chop a pot
Level 29 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (BB ante 120,000)

There are many ways to chop a pot, and you’re about to read one of the most pernickety.

It came on the secondary feature table, where Marc Rivera opened from mid-position, making it 250,000 to play. It folded around to Florian Duta in the small blind, who had a stack of about 760,000. After a spell of fidgeting (around 29 seconds’ worth), he announced a raise, to 700,000.

“All-in,” a cameraman whispered into his mouthpiece, not quite attuned to the weirdness occurring in front of him. It actually wasn’t a shove, but Duta had actually left himself about half a big blind behind.

Then the decision was back on Rivera, who couldn’t quite work it out either. There was some chit-chat between dealer, Rivera and Duta, during which it seemed to be established that a “call” would have to be a raise as Duta wouldn’t have enough in his stack to do anything on the next hand should he lose this one. (This was all out of earshot.) So Rivera then put enough forward to put Duta all-in, and Duta eventually did commit the extra.

Neither man actually had a huge hand. But crucially, they both had the same mediocre holding. Duta’s was A♠T♠ and Rivera’s was A♣T♦. And it was a certain chop by the turn. The full board ran out: 8♣5♦J♣4♠Q♠.

File that under “a lot of fuss about nothing”. — HS

5:57pm: Liperis takes a little one off Duta
Level 29 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (BB ante 120,000)

Things have been small at the secondary feature table so far. Players are probably getting used to their new chairs, their new tablemates and are a little shy.

In the most recent small pot, Yiannis Liperis raised to 250,000 from under the gun and action folded around to Florian Duta in the big blind. He called and the flop came Q♦9♣3♣. Liperis bet 225,000 when checked to and Duta let it go.

Duta is starting to get a bit short though. He’s sitting with slightly less than 1 million while Liperis is up to about 4.2 million. –AV

5:52pm: Koonce flops set, but Benger and Martin both escape harm
Level 29 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (BB ante 120,000)

On the first hand after the break, Griffin Benger raised to 260,000 from under the gun holding K♣Q♣ and Julien Martin called from the cutoff with A♥Q♥. Jason Koonce called as well from the small blind with 4♠4♣, and the three players saw a flop come Q♠6♥4♥.

It was a highly intriguing flop, giving both Benger and Martin top pair and bottom set to Koonce. Koonce checked, and Benger bet 375,000. Martini called from the cutoff seat, then Koonce check-raised big to 2 million.

Benger thought a while, but managed to fold his pair of queens. Martini took his time as well, and also managed to fold.

Koonce bumps up to 6.4 million, Benger has 4.625 million, and Martini just over 4 million. –MH

5:51pm: Martini takes one from Bicknell
Level 28 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (BB ante 120,000)

Here’s a small one from our secondary table.

Kristin Bicknell opened for 300,000 on the button and only Julien Martini (big blind) called. Both players checked the 9♦Q♥5♠ flop and A♦ turn, and Martini checked again on the J♠ river. Bicknell saw an opening and bet 420,000; Martini called after a few seconds and waited for Bicknell to show her hand first. She was bluffing with T♥7♥, meaning Martini’s pair of aces with A♥6♥ was good for the pot.

That drops Bicknell to around 2.2 million, while Martini is playing about 5.4 million. –JK

5:42pm: Perrault doubles through Shakercki
Level 29 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (BB ante 120,000)

It folded to Marc Perrault in the cutoff seat who open-raised to 500,000 with K♣5♣ from the cutoff, leaving himself just 170,000 behind. Talal Shakerchi had A♦Q♣ and reraise-shoved, and when it got back to Perrault he called.

The flop came 4♥K♥6♠ to give Perrault top pair, and after the 6♣ turn and 8♦ river he doubled to 1.64 million. Meanwhile Shakerchi now has 2.1 million. –MH

5:40pm: 16 players, new seat draw
Level 29 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (BB ante 120,000)

TV Table
1 – Talal Shakerchi
2 – Louis Boutin
3 – Griffin Benger
4 – Scott Baumstein
5 – Ramon Colillas
6 – Pedro Padiha
7 – Farid Jattin
8 – Marc Perrault

Outer table
1 – Julien Martini
2 – Florian Duta
3 – Yiannis Liperis
4 – Chris Johnson
5 – Jake Schwartz
6 – Marc Rivera
7 – Kristin Bricknell
8 – Jason Koonce

5:30pm: Shakerchi sacks Stewart
Level 29 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (BB ante 120,000)

We’re down to our final two tables.

Talal Shakerchi moved all in for 1.55 million from under the gun in the first few minutes back from break and Scott Stewart called all in for 920,000 from the cutoff. The rest of the players folded and we had a flip.

It’s PBR time for Scott Stewart

Shakerchi tabled 5♠5♦ while Stewart showed A♥9♥. The J♦3♠2♦J♠7♣ board didn’t bring an help for Stewart and he busted in 17th. Stewart got $202,400 for his finish while Shakerchi’s stack rose to 2.675 million. –AV

Scott Stewart on his way out

5:28pm: Two for Rivera, one for Bicknell
Level 29 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (BB ante 120,000)

Following the break, the first three hands at Table 3 went as follows.

Marc Rivera won the first two, initially by three-betting Yiannis Liperis and getting a fold, then by open-raising the next one and getting folds all around. Rivera chipped up to around 4.6 million just by picking up those two pots.

Rivera tried again with a raise to 250,000 from the cutoff on Hand No. 3, but Kristen Bicknell reraised all in from the small blind and Rivera folded. Bicknell has around 3 million at present. –MH

5:27pm: Chip leader abuse
Level 29 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (BB ante 120,000)

First hand back after the break, action folded to Scott Baumstein in the cutoff and, noticing the three shortest-stacked remaining players to his left — that’s Scott Stewart (980,000), Florian Duta (1.14 million) and Marc Perrault (1.27 million) — Baumstein just dumped a stack of 2 million over the line, tacitly asking if any of them wanted to play for their stack.

One by one, they declined the offer, prompting Stewart to cough into his hand and proffer a sotto voce, “F— you.” Chuckles ensued as Baumstein added some blinds and antes. — HS

5:26pm: Koonce and Benger clash
Level 29 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (BB ante 120,000)

Action folded to Jason Koonce on the button and he opened to 240,000. He had K♣2♣, and when Griffin Benger called out of the big blind with K♠T♣ that meant Koonce was in bad shape.

Things got worse when they both paired their king on the 4♦5♥K♥ flop. Benger check-called a 315,000 c-bet, then both checked the A♦ turn.

The 9♥ river landed and Benger checked a final time. Koonce led for 400,000 hoping for some value, but turns out it was Benger set to increase when he made the call.

Benger’s up to 4.78 million, while Koonce drops to 5.39 million. –JS

5:21pm: Back from break

With 17 players remaining, we’re back from break.

5:02pm: Break

Players are now at the midpoint of the day and on a 20-minute break.

5:00pm: Blumstein flops well, gets paid
Level 28 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (BB ante 100,000)

Scott Blumstein just managed to extract two million chips from Marc Perrault after flopping two pair with A♠9♦. Perrault mucked his hand after paying off the river. The live stream later revealed Perrault had A♥J♠

5:00pm: Faria felted
Level 28 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (BB ante 100,000)

Ramon Colillas raised to 230,000 from the button and then Luis Faria re-raised all-in for 1.37 million from the small blind. Yiannis Liperis reshoved for more than that and the rest of the table got out of the way.

Liperis turned over A♦T♠ while Faria showed K♥J♣. The A♥9♣T♦ flop brought Liperis two pair, but it also gave Faria a straight draw. Faria didn’t hit it though, since the turn and river brought the 3♠ and 4♥.

Luis Faria is out
Faria won $175,300 for his 18th place finish while Liperis chipped up to 3.95 million.

Players are now on their second 20-minute break of the day. –AV

4:55pm: Colillas with a low key double
Level 28 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (BB ante 100,000)

A double up for Ramon Colillas after he shoved with Q♣Q♥. Yiannis Liperis called with T♦T♠.

The board came J♠A♠6♦K♠4♣

There was little reaction from either player, although Colillas’s girlfriend looked relieved. He’s up to 2.85 million. Liperis meanwhile slips to 2.2 million. – SB

Ramon_Colillas (front right)

4:45pm: Duta doubles through Stewart
Level 28 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (BB ante 100,000)

Score a much-needed double for Florian Duta. After being crushed by Scott Baumstein a few minutes before he was down to 445,000 and facing elimination before the next pay jump. Then Scott Stewart opened all-in for 1.625 million under the gun, leaving Duta with a decision. The Romanian used all five of his time-bank cards before calling off his remaining chips with J♦T♦. The rest of the table folded and Stewart turned up 3♠3♥.

“I can’t believe you had two overs,” said Stewart. “I figured you had jacks.”

The end result was the same, though, as the board ran out 4♠4♦T♥J♥Q♥ to give Duta the win with jacks and tens. He’s now on 1.14 million, while Stewart is on 1.18 million. –JK

Scott Stewart offers dealer three time bank cards in exchange for a three

4:40pm: Baumstein doubles, wins 9 million-chip pot to retake lead
Level 28 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (BB ante 100,000)

Scott Baumstein was involved in the biggest pot of the tournament yesterday (to that point), winning a 4 million-plus pot to end the night as the chip leader.

Baumstein was just now involved in yet another huge one, again the biggest of the tournament so far. And he won it again, this time claiming a 9 million-plus pot in a big pre-flop all-in clash with Florian Duta.

Duta had just taken a few more chips from Talal Shakerchi to move up to 4.8 million when he watched Baumstein open for 225,000 from late position. Action moved to Duta in the small blind and he three-bet to 775,000. Baumstein sat quietly, spending a time bank card before announcing he was all-in for his entire stack of just over 4.4 million.

Duta exhaled and with eyebrows raised thought a short while before making the call, tabling J♠J♣. Baumstein showed A♠T♣, and got up and slung his bag over his shoulder as though anticipating walking away.

But the 5♦A♦4♥ flop kept Baumstein near his chair, giving him the lead in the hand. The turn was the 7♠ and river the 2♥, and Baumstein is suddenly up around 9 million. Duta, meanwhile, has slipped to just 450,000, meaning Baumstein is now the leader and Duta the shortest stack among all who remain. –MH

4:35pm: Bicknell getting bigger
Level 28 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (BB ante 100,000)

Kristen Bicknell took down another pot against Luis Faria and she’s now up to about 3.65 million.

Faria raised to 225,000 from the cutoff that hand and Bicknell called from the big blind. The flop came 7♠5♣4♦ and they checked their way to the 7♦ turn. Bicknell bet out 325,000 and Faria called.

The river was the 8♥ and Bicknell bet big, 650,000. Faria thought and used his last two time bank cards. Then he folded. Faria dipped to 1.55 million after the pot while Bicknell is now up to 3.65 million. –AV

4:28pm: Bicknell back after double up
Level 28 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (BB ante 100,000)

Kristen Bicknell just doubled up through Luis Farria.

Bicknell open shoved for 1.32 million with A♠K♠ which Farria called with A♥J♣.

The cameras moved in. Bicknell, clutching her phone, a Cliff bar and a Starbucks coffee, waited. Farria’s friends arrived, and provided a monologue of commentary in Portuguese.

Kristen Bicknell: Doubles to stay alive

The board ran: 6♠Q♣5♥T♣3♦

Bicknell started breathing again. She’s up to 2.8 million now. Farria now has a little more than 2 million. – SB

4:25pm: Baumstein takes two
Level 28 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (BB ante 100,000)

Two pots for Scott Baumstein — one small, and one a little larger.

In the first hand, Talal Shakerchi called from the small blind and Baumstein checked in the big blind. Shakerchi led for 225,000 on the A♣J♠5♦ flop and Baumstein called. Both players checked the 7♠ turn and Shakerchi check-folded to Baumstein’s bet of 235,000 on the Q♣ river.

Florian Duta opened the next hand for 210,000 under the gun and picked up three callers — Marc Perrault (hijack), Baumstein (small blind), and Scott Stewart (big blind). Baumstein and Stewart checked to Duta, who bet 220,000 on the 2♣8♦6♠ flop. Perrault called and then Baumstein made it 885,000 to go. That chased away the other three players to earn him the pot.

Baumstein is now on 4.35 million. –JK

4:22pm: O’Neill’s out
Level 28 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (BB ante 100,000)

We’ve just lost Jack O’Neill from the feature table.

O’Neill moved all-in on the button for 1.85 million with K♦J♠, and Julien Martini looked him up from the big blind holding A♠T♠. O’Neill–who was trying his best to avoid looking at the board–took the lead on the 9♣J♦8♥ flop.

Julien Martini: Unforgiving

The turn was the 3♥, changing nothing. One more card and O’Neill was home and dry.

The river was the Q♦ though, giving Martini a straight. Unlucky for O’Neill, who exits in 20th place. Martini is up top 4.16 million now. –JS

4:20pm: Duta over Shakerchi (twice)
Level 28 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (BB ante 100,000)

Florian Duta and Talal Shakerchi just tangled in a couple of pots, the result being Duta is on the rise while Shakerchi has slipped a little.

In the first hand Shakerchi raised from early position to 210,000 and Duta called from the button. Shakerchi check-called bets from Duta after both the T♦6♠8♥ flop and K♣ turn, the first bet around 260,000 or so (as well as I could see), and the second 525,000.

Both checked the 6♣ river, and Duta showed 9♦8♦ for eights. That beat Shakerchi’s A♥J♠, and Duta won the handsome-sized pot.

The next hand saw Duta raise preflop and keep the initiative with bets on the flop and turn, with Shakerchi finally dropping out after the latter.

Duta is up around 4.35 million now, while Shakerchi has 2.8 million. –MH

4:15pm: Knoppers knocked out
Level 28 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (BB ante 100,000)

Luigi Knoppers is no longer.

Luis Faria kicked that hand off by moving all-in from the hijack. Knoppers was on the button and had about half of Faria’s stack. He called all-in and the rest of the table got out of the way.

Luigi Knoppers: No more

Knoppers showed A♠Q♠ and Faria turned over 8♦8♥ for a flip. The 6♠T♣J♥3♥2♥ board didn’t bring Knoppers an ace or a queen and he hit the rail. Knoppers won $175,300 for the 20th place finish while Faria chipped up to 2.95 million. –AV

4:10pm: Perrault poppin’
Level 28 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (BB ante 100,000)

Marc Perrault is either picking up great hands or pushing his opponents around right now. It’s hard to tell the difference because he isn’t being forced to show his cards.

Perrault opened in the lojack seat for 200,000 and the action folded around to Scott Baumstein in the small blind. He asked for a count of Perrault’s stack — 3.15 million, it turned out — and then re-raised to 725,000. But Baumstein insta-folded when Perrault announced himself all-in.

The next hand saw Perrault raise to 200,000 again, this time under the gun. Pedro Padilha was next to act and made it 560,000 to go. Cue folds around the table, putting the action back to Perrault. Then the Canadian moved all-in again, prompting an immediate fold from Padilha.

After those two hands, Perrault is now on 4.6 million. –JK

4:01pm: Whole lotta shove
Level 28 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (BB ante 100,000)

The blinds just went up, which tightens the screws a bit on the short stacks. At Table 3 two of them are trying to do what they can to improve their situation.

Luigi Knoppers has open-raised all in a couple of times without getting any callers, which has helped him chip up to 1.15 million.

Meanwhile Kristen Bicknell just did the same once Level 28 began, and she, too, won the blinds and the big blind ante. Or should I say the big big blind ante. Bicknell is on 1.315 million now. –MHf

4pm: Benger finishes off Marsh
Level 27 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (BB ante 80,000)

Luke Marsh didn’t last long after he doubled up Florian Duta.

Griffin Benger raised from under the gun and Marsh, who was down to about 450,000, moved all-in from the button. Benger called and both players tabled their hands. Marsh showed A♦3♦ and Benger had him dominated with A♠Q♥.

Luke Marsh: End of the road

“You can have this one,” Benger said. But the T♥6♠Q♣4♠3♣ board didn’t comply. Marsh was out while Benger chipped up to 3.45 million. –AV

3:55pm: Duta doubles. Marsh now short
Level 27 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (BB ante 80,000)

Florian Duta just doubled through Luke Marsh.

Duta moved all-in on the button, for about 1.3 million, with A♥J♠ and was called by Marsh who turned over K♦J♣.

Double for Florian Duta

The board came 4♥3♦3♣6♥3♥ to keep Duta alive. He’s up to 2.85 million, while Marsh is short, dropping to 500,000. – SB

3:48pm: Three hands from Table 2
Level 27 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (BB ante 80,000)

Things are a little tense right now on Table 2. Everyone wants to pick up the blinds and big blind ante, but nobody wants to risk too much in the process. Here are three hands that just played out.

Marc Rivera opened for 180,000 in the cutoff seat and Ramon Colillas called in the big blind. Colillas check-called 100,000 on the 6♠6♦2♦ flop and then check-folded to Rivera’s bet of 250,000 on the 4♠ turn.

Louis Boutin opened for 160,000 on the button on the following hand. Luis Faria jammed for 1.185 million in the big blind and Boutin declined to come along.

Faria then called from the small blind on the following hand, only to fold when Yiannis Liperis raised to 280,000 in the small blind. –JK

3:45pm: Nice turn for Benger gives him big double
Level 27 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (BB ante 80,000)

A big double just took place on Table 2, a.k.a. “The Deuce.” The hand involved Griffin Benger and Luke Marsh, and began with Marsh opening for 160,000. Benger re-raised all in for what turned out to be 1.38 million, and Marsh called.

Benger had 4♠4♣ and Marsh A♠Q♥, and after the Q♦5♣J♦ flop Marsh had the advantage and Benger was in dire straits.

Then came the turn…the 4♥! Benger sprang up from his chair in at the sight of that red four, and after the 6♣ inconsequentially completed the board, Benger is now up to about 2.95 million. Marsh is down to 1.95 million. –MH

3:40pm: A note on deal-making
Level 27 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (BB ante 80,000)

As we get closer to the final table, it’s worth noting the policy that will be in place at the final table in terms of deal-making. Danny McDonagh, PokerStars’ Executive Tournament Director, tells us players will be free to adjust the set prizes as they wish, but the added $1 million for first prize cannot be part of that deal. The added $1 million will be awarded to the first place finisher regardless of any official deal struck between or among players.

3:38pm: Platinum Pass journey ends for Robionek
Level 27 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (BB ante 80,000)

Germany’s Michael Robionek–who won his Platinum Pass in a social media contest–has just been eliminated. He’ll collect $150,600 for his efforts, not bad for a guy who has never played poker for money before.

Michael Robionek: The end of the road

Farid Jattin opened to 160,000 under the gun with A♠5♠ and it folded to Robionek in the small blind. He moved all-in for 565,000 with A♣5♣, only for Julien Martini to wake up with A♥A♦ in the big blind. He just called, and Jattin sensed something. He folded.

The 8♠K♦4♣4♠9♠ board gave no help to Robionek. As he left he shook hands with all at the table, and received a huge round of applause from just about everyone nearby.



An amazing run ends, while Martini now sits with 2.54 million. –JS

3:35pm: Tsehai taken out in 23rd
Level 27 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (BB ante 80,000)

Samuel Tsehai had just doubled up, but he still needed more chips. He moved all-in again from the button for 860,000 and Louis Boutin used a pair of time-bank cards before calling from the big blind.

Tsehai was in the lead with a dominating A♠9♣ to Boutin’s K♦9♦. But Boutin then hit a king-high straight on the turn of a Q♠7♣T♦J♥8♣ board.

Samuel Tsehai: So near but yet so far

Tsehai won $150,600 for finishing 23rd while Boutin chipped up to 2.275 million. –AV

3:30pm: Shakerchi on 3.5 million
Level 27 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (BB ante 80,000)

Talal Shakerchi moves up to 3.55 million after a hand against Scott Stewart.

Shakerchi opened for 170,000 in the cut off, which Stewart called for a flop of 7♠J♥8♥. Stewart checked and Shakerchi bet another 175,000 and again Stewart called.

Now the turn card J♠. Stewart bet this time, making it 240,000 to play. Shakerchi called, bringing the Q♠ river card.

Another bet from Stewart, 620,000 this time. Shakerchi’s response was to shove. The dealer counted it out, but the Stewart stopped her before she’d finished, ready to fold.

While Shakerchi is up, Stewart drops to 2.1 million. – SB

3:25pm: Tsehai doubles through Knoppers
Level 27 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (BB ante 80,000)

I have an all-in-and-call situation to share with you, one that involved a couple of the shorter stacks left among the last 23 — Samuel Tsehai and Luigi Knoppers.

The hand began with Knoppers opening with a min-raise from the button for 160,000. Action moved to Tsehai in the big blind who thought a short while before calling.

The flop came K♥4♥Q♦, and Tsehai didn’t waste too much time before pushing all in for his last 230,000. Knoppers confirmed the amount and called, and both players showed they were drawing — Tsehai with J♥T♦ (an open-ender) and Knoppers with J♣9♥ (a gutshot).

The turn was the Q♠ and the river the 6♥, and now the two players are close to even in chips, with Knoppers on about 830,000 and Tsehai 820,000. –MH

3:15pm: Break and then redraw
Level 27 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (BB ante 80,000)

Players are taking a break as the new seating line-up is confirmed. Here’s how they will line up on their return:

Feature table
(Watch on the stream)

1 – Michael Robionek
2 – empty
3 – Julien Martini
4 – Farid Jattin
5 – Jason Koonce
6 – Jake Schwartz
7 – Jake O’Neill
8 – Chris Johnson

Table 1

1 – Griffin Benger
2 – Scott Baumstein
3 – Scott Stewart
4 – Florian Duta
5 – Marc Perrault
6 – Luke Marsh
7 – Pedro Padilha
8 – Talal Shakerchi

Table 2

1 – Kristen Bicknell
2 – Louis Boutin
3 – Ramon Colillas
4 – Luis Farria
5 – Yiannis Liperis
6 – Luigi Knoppers
7 – Marc Rivera
8 – Samuel Tsehai

Chip counts are on the chip-count page.

3:03pm: Adeniya busts to Padilha
Level 27 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (BB ante 80,000)

Pedro Padilha opened for 160,000 from middle position, and it folded around to Martins Adeniya in the big blind. Adeniya checked his cards, paused a beat, then announced he was all in for his last 730,000 or so and Padilha called in a flash.

Adeniya had picked up Q♠Q♥, but alas for him Padilha had been dealt K♥K♣. The board came jack-high — 4♥7♥J♣6♣7♦ — and Adeniya is out in 24th place. Padilha has 2.95 million now.

Pedro Padilha: Felts Adeniya

That happened before the three-table redraw was able to take place, so there will be one empty seat when that happens. –MH

3pm: Jattin busts Barbosa
Level 27 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (BB ante 80,000)

Joao Barbosa moved all in for about 800,000 after Farid Jattin opened for 190,000. Jattin called fast and turned over 9♣9♦ to Barbosa’s 4♦4♣.

Joao Barbosa: Former EPT champion heads out

The board ran K♣2♣3♠8♠Q♦ bringing nothing for Barbosa. Jattin, who has not put a foot wrong today, is up to 7.3 million. – SB

2:56pm: Johnson trips up Baumstein
Level 27 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (BB ante 80,000)

Down to 1.1 million, Chris Johnson shoved from the button with Q♣T♥. Not a bad shove in his position, but bad timing as Scott Baumstein woke up with 9♥9♠ in the blinds. Baumstein made the call but was quickly put way behind when two tens flopped. Baumstein didn’t bink a nine, and Johnson doubled to 2.2 million. Baumstein has fallen back to around 4.5 million. — BW

2:55pm: Showers for Echave, stacked by Stewart
Level 27 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (BB ante 80,000)

We’ve lost another one.

With no action in front of him, Scott Stewart slid out 1.8 million on the button – more than enough to cover Adrian Echave in the small blind and Martins Adeniya in the big.

Echave called all-in quickly for around 700,000, while Adeniya got out of the way. Stewart had 6♣6♠ versus Echave’s A♠Q♥, and they were off to the races.

No more Adrian Echave

Echave couldn’t improve one bit on the K♠2♥4♠K♥2♦ runout, and said his goodbyes as he headed to the cage.

Stewart is playing 3.6 million now. –JS

2:52pm: Liperis shakes up Martini
Level 27 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (BB ante 80,000)

Yiannis Liperis just picked up a healthy pot from Julien Martini.

The action folded to Liperis in the small blind, where he made it 240,000 to go. Martini didn’t take long before deciding to call and the flop was A♣K♦T♣. Liperis ran his shot clock all the way down and bet 185,000, and Martini called relatively quickly.

The turn was the 9♥ and once again Liperis ran his clock all the way down before betting, this time 555,000. Martini used up his own clock and then called again.

Liperis looked ready to use the same move on the 8♥ river, but after 30 seconds he checked this one. Martini looked to be considering a bet but decided against one in the end — a good thing, as Liperis rolled over A♠A♦ for top set. Martini shook his head and tossed his cards into the muck.

Martini is now down to 1.65 million, while Liperis climbs to 4.5 million. –JK

2:51pm: Benger doubles through Shakerchi
Level 27 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (BB ante 80,000)

Griffin Benger returned from the break with just seven big blinds. He’s found a double up on the feature table, but still remains in the danger-zone.

Benger was all-in with A♦K♣ versus Talal Shakerchi’s A♠J♣, with a 9♦Q♣6♣ flop already dealt. The K♦ turn paired Benger, but actually gave Shakerchi one extra out.

He couldn’t find a ten on the 8♥ river though. Benger is up to 1.4 million now, while Shakerchi dips to 1.81 million. –JS

2:50pm: Baumstein roasts Rettenmaier
Level 27 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (BB ante 80,000)

Another of the field’s undisputed titans has hit the rail, with Marvin Rettenmaier sent packing by Scott Baumstein.

Rettenmaier open-pushed his last 920,000 with K♠T♠ and Baumstein clipped him with A♣Q♦. The board hit nobody and that was the end of that for the much decorated German. We are left with 26. — HS

2:45pm: Platinum Pass winner Jiang out in 28th
Level 27 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (BB ante 80,000)

As the new level began, Platinum Pass winner Joao Barbosa open-shoved his short stack over on Table 4 and got no callers, and he now sits with 840,000.

On the next hand another Platinum Pass winner, Sosia Jiang, also open-pushed all of her chips, but alas for her she wasn’t able to survive doing so.

Sosia Jiang: No more

Jiang’s raise was for 1.435 million from middle position. Marc Rivera — also a Platinum Pass winner — was next to act, and when he reraised all in everyone else stepped aside.

Jiang: A♦9♦
Rivera: A♣K♥

Jiang stepped a couple of steps away from the table to watch from a distance. The board ran out somewhat uneventfully, coming Q♥8♠2♣4♠K♣, and Rivera quickly stood and stepped over to shake Jiang’s hand. “Good game… good luck,” said Jiang before heading to the payout desk to collect her 28th-place cash of $105,000. Rivera now has 3.55 million.

That’s a pay jump, by the way, as 24th-27th all pay $126,000. –MH

2:40pm: Stewart doubles through Adeniya
Level 27 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (BB ante 80,000)

It took just a couple of hands after the break for Scott Stewart to find a double up.

Stewart opened to 160,000 under the gun, which Martins Adeniya three-bet to 400,000 in the cutoff. It folded back to Stewart, who shoved for 1.3 million.

Adeniya used two of his time-bank cards before making the call, showing A♠Q♠. His aces were live as Stewart had K♠K♦.

The T♣9♣Q♦ flop paired Adeniya, but he still needed a queen or ace to win. That meant the J♥ turn–which gave Stewart a straight–was really bad news. Adeniya could now only chop with one of the two remaining kings.

Martins Adeniya: Couldn’t beat kings

Instead the river was the T♥, and the pot shipped Stewart’s way. He is up to 2.76 million, while Adeniya drops to 960,000. –JS

2:35pm: Robionek more than a winner
Level 26 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (BB ante 60,000)

As we told you last night, German Platinum Pass winner Michael Robionek could barely afford to come play the PSPC, despite the fact he had a free entry and some travel cash. He had to borrow money to come here. This was all due in large part to losing his job a couple of years ago. Nevertheless, this morning when we congratulated him on his continued deep run (he’s now guaranteed $105,000), he shrugged it off. “I was a winner the moment I got the Platinum Pass,” he said. Here’s some of our conversation with him.

2:30pm: Let’s deal again
Level 27 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (BB ante 80,000)

Off they go once more. Deal!

Shuffle up and deal

Break-time reading: Comedy comes to Atlantis

Poker is no laughing matter. Or is it? Last night at the PSPC, Joe “Stapes” Stapleton hosted comedy legend Norm Macdonald, on a bill with Clayton Fletcher and Ben Ludlow in an exclusive show at the Atlantis Theater. We had a front-row seat. Read Jason Kirk’s report.

Joe Stapleton hosts the first comedy night at the PSPC

2:10pm: Break time
Level 26 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (BB ante 60,000)

That’s the last action for Level 26. We have 28 players remaining and they’re pausing for 20 minutes. — HS

2:05pm: Koonce scores huge double
Level 26 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (BB ante 60,000)

Jason Koonce has just doubled up his stack to 5.3 million, good for second place right now.

He opened to 175,000 and Yiannis Liperis defended his big blind to bring a 7♥T♣7♦ flop. It checked to Koonce and he opted not to c-bet.

The J♥ hit the turn and now Liperis led out for 325,000. Koonce stuck around, and the 3♠ completed the board. Liperis now fired 975,000, but he’d soon get some bad news.

Koonce jammed for 2.09 million.

Liperis was forced into the tank where he remained for a few time banks. Eventually he tossed in a call, only to see Koonce roll over T♥T♦ for a flopped full house.

Liperis revealed A♣7♣, showing he’d flopped trips. He’s still got a healthy 2.9 million after that cooler, while Koonce is sitting pretty near the top of the counts. –JS

2:05pm: Robionek picks up a few
Level 25 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (BB ante 50,000)

Michael Robionek is settling in at the feature table and recently picked up pocket queens and a few chips.

Robionek raised to 160,000 from the hijack that hand and Marc Perrault called from the button. Jake Schwartz called from the big blind and all three players went to the 5♣6♠7♠ flop.

Welcome to the TV table Michael Robionek

Schwartz, who was holding an underpair with 3♠3♣, checked. Robionek had an overpair with Q♥Q♣ and bet 300,000. Perrault folded his K♥9♥ and Schwartz followed suit. Robionek is now up to 1.8 million. –AV

2:02pm: Perrault picks one up
Level 25 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (BB ante 50,000)

Marc Perrault raised to 125,000 from early position and Jake Schwartz called from the cutoff. Jack O’Neill three-bet to 450,000 from the button and Perrault moved all-in for 2.92 million.

Schwartz, who was up to 4.43 million, asked for a count. Once again, it was a tough decision, there was a trio of strong hands. Perrault was holding A♥K♦, Schwartz was sitting with J♥J♣ and O’Neill had A♦Q♥.

Schwartz went for the fold though and so did did O’Neill. Perrault took down the pot and chipped up to 3.65 million. –AV

2pm: Tyson Apostol: Peace maker
Level 26 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (BB ante 60,000)

For the past few days, Survivor star Tyson Apostol has been on the floor for us as a roving reporter. Yesterday during the bubble, he set out to relax the people who were sweating the $25,000 moment.

1:55pm: Johnson and Baumstein tangle twice
Level 26 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (BB ante 60,000)

Scott Baumstein and Christopher Johnson just tangled in a couple of pots in close succession.

In the first Johnson raised to 120,000 from late position, then Baumstein three-bet to 285,000 and Johnson called. The flop came 8♦6♠2♦, and when Johnson open-shoved Baumstein stepped aside.

Baumstein got a few chips back on the next hand after three-betting over Pedro Padilha open and winning.

Then right after that it was Johnson and Baumstein again getting involved. Picking it up on the 4♠3♣Q♦ flop, Johnson led out for what looked like 250,000, Baumstein made it 575,000, and Johnson called.

The turn was the 8♥ and Johnson checked. Baumstein bet 405,000, then after taking a long while and spending time bank cards Johnson pushed all in and Baumstein called.

Baumstein showed K♣Q♠ and smiled a little when he saw Johnson turn over K♦Q♣ for the same hand. “I thought you were going to show me two fours after all that,” said Baumstein as the meaningless 9♥ completed the board.

Baumstein is at 3.55 million currently, while Johnson has 1.65 million. –MH

1:50pm: Perrault sends O’Brien packing.
Level 25 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (BB ante 50,000)

Action folded to Dan O’Brien’s button and he moved all-in for 610,000. Marc Perrault called from the big blind and we had another feature table showdown.

O’Brien showed A♦6♣ and he was dominated by Perrault’s A♥T♥. The board ran 8♥T♠J♠3♦J♥ and O’Brien was eliminated in 31st.

O’Brien won $105,000 for his finish while Perrault chipped up to 2.19 million. –AV

1:48pm: Duta down, Duta up
Level 26 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (BB ante 60,000)

Florian Duta is hanging on with one of the shortest stacks in the room. That means he’s doing a lot of folding with an occasional all-in bet. Take these two hands as examples.

In the first, Jason Koonce opened for 130,000 in the hijack seat. Duta called in the big blind, check-called 200,000 on the 5♦2♠3♥ flop, and then check-folded to an all-in bet from Koonce on the K♦ turn.

Duta was the pre-flop caller again on the following hand, this time from the small blind against a 130,000 button raise from Luke Marsh. Duta check-called 125,000 on the 8♠2♠5♠ flop and then both he and Marsh checked the 8♣ turn. Duta didn’t need any prodding — he jammed for his final 600,000 and Marsh promptly folded.

Duta is now on 1.15 million, while Marsh is on 2.1 million. –JK

1:45pm: Not much to report on Table 4
Level 26 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (BB ante 60,000)

A period of inactivity on table 4. Few flops, all played out in total silence.

There has been one all-in though, it just didn’t get anywhere. After Kristen Bicknell opened for 130,000 in the cut off, Sosia Jiang moved all-in. Bicknell folded. – SB

1:35pm: Wild encounter between Koonce and Marsh
Level 26 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (BB ante 60,000)

This blind vs. blind clash between Jason Koonce and Luke Marsh certainly got a few oohs and ahhs from the table.

Action folded to Koonce in the small blind, and he made it to 200,000 to go. Marsh looked at the 3.3x open from the big blind, and popped it up to 560,000.

Back to Koonce. He announced all-in, and when the chips were counted the amount was 2.7 million. Call.

Marsh showed 9♠9♥, but it was Koonce’s holding that brought some murmurs. He had made a super-aggressive play with Q♦2♥, and would now need some help to remain in the PSPC.

He picked up a little help on the A♠2♣5♦ flop. Any queen or deuce would do it for him now.

The 3♠ turn changed nothing.

The 4♦ river changed everything.

Jason Koonce: Queen-deuce good enough!

Both players made a straight, and the pot was chopped. Whether Koonce looks back on that risky play fondly or not, he’s still in. And right now that’s all that matters. –JS

1:35pm: Oliveira out
Level 25 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (BB ante 50,000)

Filipe Oliveira is out and we’re down to 28.

The short-stacked Oliveira got the rest of his stack in with ace three and was up against Jake Schwartz’s ace queen. Ace queen held up and Oliveira was sent packing. Schwartz is now up to about 4.4 million.

The feature table was a bit short-handed after Oliveira’s departure, so they brought in Michael Robionek to fill things out. –AV

1:24pm: Liperis is in his comfort zone
Level 26 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (BB ante 60,000)

Yiannis Liperis is getting a massage over at Table 3. Unsurprisingly, he looks relaxed. Perhaps that impression is also being given off by the way he keeps pressuring his opponents and adding to his chip-leading stack.

Just now Luis Faria had opened from middle position, then Liperis three-bet from the small blind and Faria called. The 2♠4♣3♣ flop saw Liperis lead for 375,000 with Faria calling, then after the Q♠ turn Liperis jammed all in and Faria had to fold, preserving hsi 1.775 million.

On the next hand it was Jason Koonce opening with a mid-position raise to 175,000, but Liperis wasn’t going to let him try to take the initiative, as he three-bet to 390,000 from the button. The blinds skedaddled, and so did Koonce.

Liperis is now having work done on his upper back and shoulders. He is also now up over 5.5 million. –MH

1:21pm: Jattin pummels Pavlov
Level 26 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (BB ante 60,000)

Score another knockout for Farid Jattin, in one of the biggest pots of the tournament so far.

The action opened with Ramon Colillas, who made it 175,000 to go on the button. Jattin was in the small blind and took most of his time bank before calling. Then Platinum Pass winner Atanas Pavlov jammed in the big blind for his remaining 1.245 million.

The unforgiving Farid Jattin

Colillas used his clock and called. Then Jattin also moved all-in, putting Colillas to a decision. He clearly wasn’t happy with this development and took about 20 seconds before folding. That set up the biggest race we’ve seen so far in the PSPC:

Pavlov: J♠J♥
Jattin: A♦Q♠

Pavlov was already out of his seat and collecting his belongings when the flop came Q♦2♦5♥. The 8♦ turn and T♠ river changed nothing and Pavlov’s tournament reached its end.

The end of the road for Atanas Pavlov

Colillas — who told our Spanish reporter Jorge Iglesias that he folded pocket nines — was left with 2.2 million. Jattin climbs to right around 6 million. –JK

1:20pm: Bicknell forces Boutin fold
Level 26 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (BB ante 60,000)

A four-bet shove from Kristen Bicknell takes her stack up to around 2 million.

Bicknell opened for 130,000 before Louis Boutin raised to 315,000. Bicknell didn’t take long over her decision to shove. Boutin didn’t take long to fold either. – SB

1:18pm: Shakerchi doubles through Knoppers
Level 25 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (BB ante 50,000)

Luigi Knoppers raised from early position with A♥Q♥ and a short-stacked Talal Shakerchi looked down at K♠K♥ on the cutoff. He moved all-in for 910,000 and Knoppers quickly called when action folded back to him.

The 7♦7♠Q♦3♠5♣ board was devoid of any aces and Shakerchi doubled to 1.95 while Knoppers dipped to 1.29 million. –AV

1:15pm: Samu collects from Baumstein
Level 25 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (BB ante 50,000)

Coming into the day as chip leader can be a double-edged sword. You’ve got the biggest stack and that’s obviously where you want to be. But lose a few pots and it can feel like things are slipping away, despite the fact you’ve still got more than double the tournament average.

It’s probably not fazing Scott Baumstein, but his stack is now a million shorter than it was at the beginning of play today.

Scott Baumstein: A million down

Action had folded to Baumstein on the button and he opened to 115,000. Adrian Samu defended his big blind to bring a Q♣5♣3♥ flop, which he’d check to the raiser. Baumstein continued for 80,000, and Samu stuck around.

The 9♠ hit the turn which both checked, and the A♥ river completed the board. Samu now seized the betting lead for 225,000, which Baumstein called quickly. He’d muck though, as Samu showed A♣5♥ for a rivered two pair.

Baumstein is now on 3.7 million, while Samu increases to 1.3 million. –JS

1:10pm: Koonce collects from Martini
Level 25 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (BB ante 50,000)

Following a Julien Martini cutoff open, Jason Koonce defended from the big blind and the pair saw a flop fall 3♠K♣9♠. Koonce led out for 205,000 and Martini called, and after the A♠ turn Koonce kept right on going, betting another 565,000. Martini took a bit of time, then called again.

The river was the 4♥, and this time Koonce bet all in for his last 1.405 million. Martini ended up spending a couple of time-bank cards, but no more chips as he decided he’d rather not call the shove.

Martini slips back to 2.875 million while Koonce moves up around 2.7 million. –MH

1:08pm: Colillas quietly collecting
Level 25 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (BB ante 50,000)

Speaking of players who are doing their best work under the radar, we also find Spain’s Ramon Colillas. The Platinum Pass holder is up now to 3.55 million after picking up a small pot from Farid Jattin.

Jattin has been involved in significantly more thrills and spills, but this pot represented a measure of restraint from both men. It was an open to 165,000 under the gun from Jattin and a call in the big blind from Colillas after everyone else folded.

The flop was the K♥8♦A♥ and it went check, bet, call. Jattin’s stab was 195,000.

That was the final betting, with both the Q♣ turn and 6♦ river checked through. Colillas had K♣J♣ and took it down when Jattin mucked. — HS

Ramon Colillas

1:06pm: Martini up to 3.7 million
Level 25 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (BB ante 50,000)

Julien Martini just moved up to 3.7 million in a hand against Yiannis Liperis.

On the flop of J♦Q♥7♠ it was Liperis leading the betting. That changed after the checked 5♠ turn and 3♣ river. A bet of 625,000 from Martini was enough to win the pot. – SB

1:01pm: Jattin jettisons Levinskas
Level 25 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (BB ante 50,000)

Farid Jattin is back near the top of the chip counts after picking off Laurynas Levinskas.

Jattin used up most of his time bank before he min-raised to 100,000 in the lojack seat. Levinskas, in the cutoff, didn’t take long before he moved in for his last 800,000 or so, and Jattin snap-called when the action got back to him.

Jattin: A♣A♥
Levinskas: A♦J♦

Levinskas never got closer to winning than a backdoor flush draw on the flop of the 7♦T♠2♥T♣7♠ board. He’s now at the payout desk, while Jattin climbs to around 5 million. –JK

12:53pm: Rivera rolling
Level 25 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (BB ante 50,000)

Marc Rivera raised to 110,000 and only Samuel Tsehai called from the big blind. The flop came J♥3♦A♦ and Tsehai checked. Rivera bet 85,000, and Tsehai called. The 4♣ turn brougt another check from Tsehai, and this time Rivera announced he was shoving all in. Tsehai folded in a flash.

After knocking out Mikita Badziakouski just a short while ago as well, Rivera is now up around 1.85 million. Meanwhile Tsehai is down to 720,000. –MH

12:55pm: O’Brien dips
Level 25 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (BB ante 50,000)

There was 545,000 in the pot, a T♣4♦5♦ flop on the board and one Dan O’Brien and one Jake Schwartz in the pot.

Schwartz had bet 70,000 when checked to and O’Brien did the old check-raise to 190,000. Schwartz called and then they both checked the 8♥ on the turn.

The 7♦ completed the board and O’Brien threw out another bet for 430,000. Schwartz snap called and showed Q♦J♦ for a flush while O’Brien showed K♦9♣ for air.

O’Brien was left with just 690,000 after the hand while Schwartz chipped up to 3.39 million. –AV

12:52pm: Duta bogged down by Marsh
Level 25 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (BB ante 50,000)

All the attention is inevitably drawn to the hands that result in double ups or eliminations, but some players manage to do their chipping up without ever getting involved in major skirmishes.

Luke Marsh is gliding upward quite effectively today, and now sits with 2.35 million after winning a small pot from Florian Duta.

Duta opened to 100,000 under the gun and it folded all the way around to Marsh in the big blind. He three-bet to 375,000.

The dealer put the 8♥5♦3♠ flop out there and Marsh bet 250,000. Duta called.

The hand fizzled to inaction through the Q♣ turn and J♣ river. The fact that Marsh then showed T♦T♥ and Duta couldn’t beat it explained why neither man was interested in piling anything in after the turn.

As it was, Marsh picked that up, leaving Duta with 690,000. — HS

12:52pm: River sends Sousa out
Level 25 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (BB ante 50,000)

The latest player to fall is Portugal’s Rui Sousa.

After Martins Adeniya opened to 125,000 in the hijack, it folded to Sousa on the button. He jammed for 395,000, and action was on Pedro Padilha in the small blind.


Adeniya folded quickly, and Sousa saw his K♠J♣ was dominated by A♠K♥. The Q♠J♥3♣ flop was a welcome sight for him though, pairing his jack to put him in front.

He remained there after the Q♣ turn, but the A♥ river improved Padilha to the winner.

Sousa’s gone, and Padilha stacks up with 1.55 million now. –JS

12:46pm: Rivera topples Badziakouski
Level 25 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (BB ante 50,000)

A battle of two Platinum Pass winners has ended the tournament for one.

Mikita Badziakouski opened the action in middle position for 500,000, leaving himself just 60,000 behind. The action folded to Marc Rivera, who moved all-in from the small blind, and Badziakouski called after the big blind got out of the way.

Rivera: A♦7♣
Badziakouski: A♣T♦

Badziakouski was in great shape both before and after the 9♦K♣5♠ flop, but the 7♦ turn gave Rivera a pair of sevens. The 6♠ river wasn’t the ten Badziakouski needed, bringing his latest deep tournament run to its conclusion.

Rivera now holds about 1.4 million. –JK

12:45pm: More feature fireworks; Schwartz doubles, Oliveira dips
Level 25 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (BB ante 50,000)

Another trio of big hands brought us to another all-in.

Dan O’Brien looked down at A♥Q♣ and raised to 110,000 from the hijack. Jake Schwartz looked down at ace king again, this time it was A♣K♠ and he moved all-in for 1.215 million.

Filipe Oliveira was holding J♥J♣ and re-shoved from the big blind. O’Brien got out of the way. The 3♦Q♥A♦3♠9♠ board brought Schwartz the ace he needed and he doubled up to 2.6 million while Oliveira dipped to 680,000. –AV

12:44pm: Jattin doubles. Badziakouski in trouble
Level 25 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (BB ante 50,000)

Farid Jattin’s great start continues as he just turned a set to double up against Mikita Badziakouski.

Marc Rivera opened for 110,000 under the gun. Jattin called that from the cut off before Nikita Badziakouski moved all-in on the button.

Rivera folded. Jattin was ready with the call.

Jattin: 9♥9♣
Badziakouski: A♠Q♦

The board went Badziakouski’s way at first, but only to the turn.


A double up for Jattin who now has 2.7 million. Badziakouski drops down to a critical 435,000. – SB

12:39pm: Liperis tackles Mathis
Level 25 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (BB ante 50,000)

Yiannis Liperis looks to be in the chip lead after tangling with past Super Bowl winner Evan Mathis. Liperis opened with Q♠8♠ and was the only caller when Mathis shipped it for a bit over 500,000. Mathis had the lead before the flop with his A♦J♥ but the T♥8♦3♠T♣K♦ runout gave Liperis tens and eights to end Mathis’s best-ever tournament run.

Evan Mathis’ best ever run comes to an end

Prior to showing his poker chops here, Mathis was an NFL player who played for the Super Bowl wining Denver Broncos. Prior to that, he played for the University of Alabama. In recent years he’s become known as a high-dollar baseball card collector who once sold a Mickey Mantle card for nearly $3 million.

Liperis is now on around 5.1 million. –JK

12:38pm: Oliveira doubles through Benger
Level 25 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (BB ante 50,000)

It was almost a three-way all in, but Jake Schwartz decided to fold A♦K♦.

Schwartz started the hand with a raise to 105,000 from under the gun and Filipe Oliveira moved all-in for 715,000 from early position. Action folded to Griffin Benger on the cutoff and he re-shoved for 1.94 million.

It went back to Schwartz, whom Benger had covered. Schwartz was in a tricky spot asked for a count. He was at risk, facing a three-way all in, but he was also holding A♦K♦. Schwartz decided to fold and let the other two go at it.

Oliveira turned over A♥J♦ while Benger tabled Q♥Q♦.

The board came 8♥A♣8♣T♥T♦ and Oliveira doubled to 1.66 million while Benger dipped to 1.22 million. –AV

12:35pm: Feature chop
Level 25 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (BB ante 50,000)

We had our first all in situation at the feature table and it was…underwhelming.

Talal Shakerchi raised to 110,000 from the cutoff and Filipe Oliveira moved all-in for 540,000 from the small blind. Action folded back around to Shakerchi and he called.

Oliveira showed A♦J♦ and Shakerchi turned over A♣J♠. The 4♦T♦9♥ flop did give Oliveira a flush draw, but he didn’t hit it after the K♣ and 3♥ completed the board.

Chop it up. –AV

12:34pm: There goes one of the favourites
Level 25 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (BB ante 50,000)

Undoubtedly one of the best and most accomplished players in Day 3’s field, Tony Gregg has just lost a flip to bust in the opening level.

Florian Duta had opened to 100,000 from the lojack and when it folded to Gregg in the cutoff he shipped it in for 780,000. Louis Boutin then woke up with something he liked on the button, moving all-in over the top and getting Duta to fold.

Gregg showed 7♥7♠ and was up against A♣K♥. We saw a rare moment of emotion at the poker table from Gregg, whose eyes rolled as he saw an ace in the window of the A♦8♥4♣ flop. He couldn’t find a seven on the 3♠2♦ turn or river, and the two fist-bumped as Gregg slid his chips Boutin’s way.

Boutin’s up to 3.17 million now, and you can bet Gregg will be deep in another major tournament soon. –JS

12:33pm: Robionek shoves, Knoppers relents
Level 25 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (BB ante 50,000)

Michael Robionek started today with 720,000 and had lost a few chips in the early going before opening from the hijack seat for 150,000.

Luigi Knoppers was in the next seat in the cutoff. He started with more than 2.7 million, and so it was less of a big deal for him to three-bet to 360,000. It folded back around to Robionek who spent two time bank cards before calling, and the pair saw the flop fall Q♥4♦K♠.

Robionek sat quietly for about 15 seconds, then tossed a chip forward to say he was all in. The bet was for 235,000, and now Knoppers was the one spending a time back chip. “Pretty good hand,” he said, referring to his own with a slight smile, before ultimately letting his cards go.

Robionek pushes onward, now with 1.065 million, while Knoppers is at 2.35 million. –MH

Michael Robionek

12:30pm: Rettenmaier doubles
Level 25 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (BB ante 50,000)

Rui Sosa is in the danger zone after doubling up Marvin Rettenmaier.

Sosa started the hand off with a limp from under the gun and and Martins Adeniya called from the small blind. Rettenmaier was in the big blind and moved all in for 580,000. Only Sosa called and we had a showdown.

Easy double for Marvin Rettenmaier

Sosa turned over T♥T♦ while Rettenmaier showed A♣9♣. Rettenmaier was hoping for an ace and he got that, plus a nine, on the J♠A♠4♦K♦9♦ board.

Rettenmaier doubled to 1.2 million while Sosa was left with just 210,000. –AV

12:25pm: Faria doubles
Level 25 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (BB ante 50,000)

The chips are flying in, at least in these early stages, and Luis Faria just became the latest man to double up.

This was about as easy as it gets for Faria, who was sitting in the big blind and watched everyone fold around to Louis Boutin in the small blind. Boutin pushed all-in, putting Faria’s 1.105 million stack under pressure. Faria looked at his A♥K♣ and that represented a very easy call.

Boutin showed his J♠Q♣ and so was plenty live, but the 5♦6♦9♥6♥5♣ board kept the better hand ahead.

That meant Boutin is down to 2.2 million, which is almost exactly the same as what Faria now has. — HS

12:18pm: Go West
Level 25 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (BB ante 50,000)

Jonathan West came into play today with the shortest stack – less than six bigs. He had to make a move early on, and having just paid the big blind and ante, he decided to go for it the next hand.

Scott Stewart had opened to 100,000 in the cutoff, and it folded to West in the small blind. He moved all-in for 180,000, and action was on Martins Adeniya in the big blind. His gaze was firmly planted on Stewart, and after 20 seconds or so Adeniya moved all-in to put Stewart to the test. He folded, quickly.

West showed J♣9♠, and was in rough shape against Adeniya’s 9♥9♣. With only three outs in the deck, the 5♦6♦3♣6♠9♦ board didn’t even provide a sweat.

West hits the rail early on, while Adeniya increases to 1.83 million. –JS

12:17pm: Bicknell breaks Burkhart
Level 25 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (BB ante 50,000)

Jacqueline Burkhart’s Platinum Pass adventure is at its end after an unfortunate hand with Kristin Bicknell.

Bicknell raised under the gun and everyone else folded around to Burkhart in the big blind. “Oh good, my first pot with Kristin Bicknell!” she said. “I call.”

Burkhart checked the 8♦6♥5♣ flop and called Bicknell’s bet of 100,000. Then came the 7♦ turn. Burkhart checked again. Bicknell thought for a few seconds and announced a bet of 125,000. Almost as soon as the words were out of her mouth, Burkhart said, “All-in.” And as soon as those words were spoken, Bicknell called. The cameras swarmed in to capture the situation:

Burkhart: 6♦5♦
Bicknell: 9♥8♥

Bicknell already had the lead with a nine-high straight, while Burkhart was drawing to both a straight flush and a full house. Neither draw came home on the 4♠ river, though, ending Burkhart’s impressive PSPC run.

Bicknell is now on 1.7 million. –JK

Jackie Burkhart last stand

12:15pm: All-in. Drama. Ish.
Level 25 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (BB ante 50,000)

Drama on the first hand, just not of a very exciting kind.

Joao Barbosa opened for 115,000, which Roman Colillas called from the seat next to him.

Next to him was Farrid Jattin who spent a time bank card before he moved all-in.

The action was folded back to Barbosa. He also moved all-in (Colillas got out of their way).

Now the disappointing part, that would lead to a chop pot.

Barbosa: A♦K♦
Jattin: A♣K♣


All square. Both players took their chips back and returned to square one. – SB

12:13pm: They all count
Level 25 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (BB ante 50,000)

Marc Rivera just added a quick 200,000 to his stack, check-shoving on the flop in a pot versus Samuel Tsehai.

Tsehai got the ball rolling with a raise to 11,000 from the button, which Rivera called in the big blind. The two looked at a flop of Q♣4♦J♥ and Rivera checked. Tsehai bet 85,000 and Rivera moved in for 605,000. Tsehai folded instantly.

That nudge Rivera past 1 million. — HS

12:10pm: Uncharted territory
Level 25 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (BB ante 50,000)

Platinum Pass winner Jacqueline Burkhart finished day 3 in her comfort zone, with an above average stack. She finished yesterday a bit shorter, with about 13 big blinds.

She tried to unwind by catching the PokerStars comedy show but was falling asleep in her chair. But when she got back to her room, she couldn’t sleep. She wasn’t restless, she wasn’t nervous, she just couldn’t shut down.

This is the first time Burkhart has made day 4 of a poker tournament. Most tournaments she’s played in would have been done in two. But since Sunday she’s been playing a solid eight levels of high-stakes poker every day.

In that time, Burkhart has managed to double her total Hendon Mob earnings. Before this tournament, her live tournament earnings totaled $80,520. Her biggest cash was a 45th place finish in the 2015 WSOP Monster Stack for $29,710. Then she finished 5th in last year’s WSOP Ladies Championship for nearly the same amount.

Now she’s guaranteed $86,400 for making the final 38 of the PSPC. If she makes the final 20, her Hendon Mob earnings will triple.

Burkhart’s feeling good and thinks there’s no reason she can’t take the whole thing and the $5.1 million that comes with it. She did her morning yoga, her husband is bringing her some fresh oatmeal and she’s confident in her short stack game.

Cards are in the air and we’ll see how far she can take her Platinum Pass ride. –AV

12:09pm: Day 4 begins

Just a few minutes past the hour, cards are in the air. The plan is to play eight levels, but that will depend on how fast the folks play.

11:15am: Back for Day 4

It’s Day 4 of the PSPC. After breaking the money bubble yesterday, today we play down to a final table. We’ll start with 38 players. In around eight levels time, that figure should be down to less than ten.

There are questions to be answered along the way. Not least whether Scott Baumstein will parlay his chip lead into a spot on the final table. And how many of the nine Platinum Pass winners still in the field will survive the day?

All of which makes this another day to keep in touch with, and you can do that right here.

Live updates start when play begins at 12 noon ET (5pm UK, 6pm CET), and the live stream begins on a 40 minute delay (you can find the link at the top of this page).


Download the PokerStars LIVE! app with all tournament information. Available for IOS and Android.

PokerStars Blog reporting team at the PSPC: Stephen Bartley, Martin Harris, Jason Kirk, Jack Stanton, Howard Swains, Alex Villegas and Brad Willis. Photography by Carlos Monti and Neil Stoddart.


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