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Yaroshevskyy starts strong, finishes stronger to lead PokerStars Championship Panama

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Igor Yaroshevskyy gets off to a flier

Registration closed on the PokerStars Championship Panama Main Event today, leaving 366 players to do battle for a $293,860 first prize and knowing that consolations will be offered all the way down to 71st.

But from the very moment cards went in the air, second place seemed about the limit of anybody's ambitions. A man named Igor Yaroshevskyy apparently has the top prize already locked up.

Yaroshevskyy, a 31-year-old Ukrainian pro with nearly $2.4 million in live tournament earnings, was the leader coming into the day. Within a matter of minutes, he'd won 130,000 more when Vicente Delgado got creative with A♥2♥ and slammed into Yaroshevskyy's kings. Yaroshevskyy did nothing but accumulate even more chips for the rest of the day too as opponents across the room were scattered to the wind.

At close of play, which came at around 7pm and with 78 players still involved, Yaroshevskyy had a chip stack of 745,500. That would be the average if only 14 were still in. This has been an exceptionally dominant display.

Poker being poker, however, this is far from a done deal. Caufman Talley (546,000), Denis Timofeev (569,000), Pablo Gordillo (254,500) and Vincent Allevato (256,000) will think they all have Yaroshevskyy's total in their sights.

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Caufman Talley: Keeping tabs on Yaroshevskyy

At the past few PokerStars tour Main Events--in Malta, Prague and the Bahamas, at least--the money bubble burst towards the end of Day 2. But we trimmed a level off of the schedule today, which left the bubble hovering nastily overnight. Seven players will return tomorrow but go home empty handed.

Full counts for the remaining players are already over there on the chip-count page. The reputations of Steve O'Dwyer, Byron Kaverman, JC Alvarado, Martin Finger and Jason Koon will mean they remain a serious threat. Meanwhile Tito Ortiz fights on as well. The Friend of PokerStars (we can't risk being his enemy) finished with 270,500, which is fourth overall.

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Tito Ortiz: Headlining the feature table

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Steve O'Dwyer: Still in the hunt

It wasn't to be for Jaime Staples, Jake Cody, Ryan Riess, Anthony Zinno, Dermot Blain, David Peters, Bryn Kenney or Sergio Aido this week, although they have all found alternative entertainment in the many side events still running.

We will keep our eyes fixed on the Main Event tomorrow as the bubble is sure to burst early on. You can also watch all the action on PokerStars Live.

For now, that's goodnight from Panama City.

CHIP COUNTS | PRIZES | ALL PANAMA INFO | TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE | Follow @PokerStarsBlog


7:01pm: Three more hands
Level 13 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

You know the drill. --MH

7pm: Borrego adds more near the close
Level 13 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Jessica Perez Borrego bet small on the river -- just 18,000 into a pot that looked to be about four times that -- and after a long look at the J♦7♣8♥4♦2♥ board Pablo Gordillo finally called.

Borrego flipped over J♠8♣ for two pair, and Gordillo mucked.

Borrego is up to 230,000 now while Gordillo is at 155,000. --MH

6:55pm: Few more hands
Level 13 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

The remaining 80 players are going to work though just a few more hands and then bag up for the night. We'll be back soon with a full accounting of Day 2 and a full chip count. --BW

6:49pm: Wrong way for Gong
Level 13 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Sebastian Medina Echavarria just earned a small double-up through Jiachen Gong -- a kind of common occurrence here during the latter part of Day 2.

"That's four flips, right?" asked another player of Gong, who smiled and nodded. "Yep, lost all four," he replied, referring to all of the doubles he's suffered of late.

After fighting for the chip lead a while early on today, Gong has slipped to about 145,000 with about 20 minutes to go in Day 2. --MH

6:48pm: Slowplay backfire
Level 13 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Yesid Ramirez's elimination started out as a nice small pot with a lot of players. That's partly why his kings got cracked though.

Ramirez limped from under the gun with pocket kings and got four callers. The flop came 8♠8♦6♠ and Ramirez moved all-in for 16,400 when checked too. Luis Alejandro Mata was on the small blind and was holding trip eights with an ace kicker.

Mata raised but there were no other callers.

Ramirez turned over his K♥K♠ and shook his head when Mata tabled A♥8♥. A 5♣ came on the turn and the 7♣ completed the board as well as Ramirez's tournament. Ramirez hit the rail while Mata chipped up to 100,000. --AV

6:47pm: Tito gets his blinds back
Level 13 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 300)

There was a raise under the gun to 6,100 from Robin Wozniczek, Tito Ortiz flat called from middle position, and Yobrahin Larez did likewise out of the big blind. On the 3♠A♣2♦ flop Wozniczek fired out a c-bet of 6,200 and Ortiz quickly called. There was nothing swift about the actions of Larez though. He stared into space and riffled a few chips. This reporter was genuinely not 100% sure if he knew the action was on him. However, evidently he did as a couple of minutes passed and he then mucked.

The two remaining players then checked the 9♠7♠ turn and river. Ortiz showed A♠8♦ and he'd outflopped the K♣K♥ of Wozniczek. "I got back all the blinds I've been giving," said Ortiz as he took the pot. --NW

6:42pm: One good hand beats another
Level 13 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Tom-Aksel Bedell raised to 6,000 from the hijack seat and it folded to Steve O'Dwyer on the button who called. The flop came Q♠T♥Q♣ and Bedell led for 4,500, and O'Dwyer called. Another bet of 8,500 came from Bedell after the J♦ turn, and O'Dwyer stuck around once more with a call.

The river brought the 6♣ and a wary check from Bedell, and after sitting motionless for 10 seconds, O'Dwyer quickly set out a bet of 20,000. Bedell thought for nearly a minute before finally calling, and O'Dwyer flipped over Q♠9♥ for trips.

"Good hand," said another player at the table to O'Dwyer, and Bedell pointed at his cards, still face down. "I have a good hand, too!" he said with a grin, but he had to much as it wasn't quite as good as his opponent's.

O'Dwyer is up to 165,000 now, while Bedell has 132,000. --MH

6:30pm: Timofeev applying the pressure
Level 12 - 600/1,200 (ante 200)

We're on the pre-bubble bubble, which is not a real term but is a phenomenon we all know about: it's when lots of players suddenly seem to have really, really tough marginal decisions pre-flop, forcing them to think especially deeply about things, before opting to fold. Some commentators, noting that these tormented souls very frequently have short stacks, have rudely suggested that the decisions aren't quite as marginal as they appear, and that these players are merely hoping to stick around long enough for someone else to be eliminated--"stalling", by any other name. But we're not saying that. Really, we're not.

Anyway.

Over on table Wheeler/Cajelais, etc., Denis Timofeev is now the chip captain. And he is putting his near-400,000 stack to good use and inviting his opponents to play for their smaller stacks.

In a recent pot, Timofeev opened the cutoff and watched Erik Cajelais three bet to 14,000 from the button. Ricardo Chauriye Rabah called in the big blind, but then Timofeev moved all-in. He covered both of his opponents by a long way.

Cajelais quickly scooted. But Rabah delayed his decision long enough that a staff member was called and his one-minute countdown got to about 20 seconds left. And then he folded. -- HS

6:25pm: Bedell busts Sakhai
Level 13 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 300)

Hertsel Sakhai was one of half-a-dozen Panamanians who made Day 2 of this tournament. However, he's finished just short of the money after being busted in a hand against Tom-Aksel Bedell. It was a three-bet pot with both players putting in 15,500 each pre-flop.

On the 5♥6♠K♥ flop Sakhai checked, Bedell bet 17,000 and Sakhai snap shoved. Bedell broke into a smile at this point. He wanted a count and Sakhai had shoved for 30,200 total. Bedell gathered the necessary extra chips and called.

Sakhai: Q♣Q♠
Bedell: K♣J♠

The Norwegian's pair held on the 6♣A♠ turn and river and he's up to 145,000 as a result. --NW

6:24pm: Yaroshevskyy still soaring above the rest
Level 13 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

As the day's last level plays out, a quick circuit of the remaining tables confirms that as far as Day 2 has been concerned, one player has comfortably remained at the top of the counts throughout -- Igor Yarashevskyy.

After leaping up over 700,000 by mid-afternoon, he's remained at that level ever since, as though floating up in the skyyyyyy above the rest.

The Ukrainian is at 690,000 at present, although now seated at his table is his nearest challenger, Caufman Talley of the United States, who has 520,000 at present. --MH

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Igor Yaroshevskyy

6:21pm: No word on Guildenstern, but Rosenkrantz is not dead
Level 12 - 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Jose Rosenkrantz is rocking a bright orange baseball cap this afternoon. It will be especially bad luck if he gets knocked over by a car in that.

The good news is that no need as yet for him to go out wandering the terrifying streets of Panama City as he still has life in this PokerStars Championship Main Event.

In a recent pot, Samuel Gagnon opened to 4,800 from mid-position and Karim Zerzour called in the cutoff. Ari Engel seemed interested on the button, capping his cards, checking them, capping them again, but then passing, handing the action to Rosenkrantz in the small blind.

Rosenkrantz, from Costa Rica, three-bet his two significantly younger opponents, making it 13,600 to go. Both Gagnon and Zerzour called.

They saw the A♣T♠7♣ appear on the flop and Rosenkrantz and Gagnon both checked. Zerzour bet 13,000 and Rosenkrantz quickly shipped for 43,900.

Gagnon folded equally quickly, but Zerzour thought for a good couple of minutes. In the end, he folded too, showing Rosenkrantz the A♠6♠ as he did. Rosenkrantz, now with 110,000, gave a nod as if to say, "I've seen it all before." -- HS

6:20pm: Ades doubles through Lech
Level 13 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 300)

Daniel Ades and Michael Lech just faced off in another pot and this time it did end in an all-in showdown. Again Lech was the original raiser, he made it 5,500 to go and Ades then shoved for 23,300. Lech thought for a few seconds and then called.

Ades: 9♦9♥
Lech: 3♠3♦

A 5♥4♣4♠ flop hit the felt. "Close," said Lech. The 2♣ turn gave him straight outs but the 7♥ river kept Ades in front and he doubled up. --NW

6:13pm: Radoja defends, collects
Level 13 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Michael Lech opened for 5,100 from early position and it folded all of the way around to Mark Radoja who called from the big blind.

The flop came 2♣J♣2♥ and the action went check, Lech bet of 4,500, and Radoja call. Both checked the 3♦ turn, Radoja bet 12,000 after the 8♣, and Lech called.

Radoja tabled K♦J♦ for jacks and deuces, and Lech mucked to concede Radoja the pot. Lech still has 248,000 while Radoja climbs to 172,000. --MH

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Mark Radoja

6:10pm: King kicker no good for Koon
Level 13 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 300)

Jason Koon started Level 13 off by taking a big hit.

Koon and Aleks Dimitrov had already built a large pot on a 5♠2♥7♦T♥ board and Dimitrov bet 18,200. Koon called and a Q♥ completed the board.

Dimitrov bet 40,200 and Koon thought. He mused out loud, thinking what Dimitrov could have. The roving live stream camera heard him and buzzed over to record the action.

"My hand's too good, I call," Koon finally said. Koon turned over K♠T♠ for a pair of tens, but Dimitrov had him beat with A♥T♦. Koon's king had been outkicked.

"Not the turn I was looking for," Koon said. "Just one of those days I guess."

Koon dropped to just 40,000 while Dimitrov closed in on 300,000. --AV

6:07pm: Ades survives
Level 13 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 300)

Daniel Ades just showed that old guys can play too and put a move on his younger opponent. That opponent was Michael Lech. The American opened to 5,500 from late position and Ades smooth called from the small blind. Seems normal, but Ades had just 10,500 back. He committed them on the 5♥K♥3♠ flop and Lech thought for a while and then folded. Ades showed 8♣5♣ as he took the pot. --NW

6:06pm: King saves Sakhai versus O'Dwyer
Level 13 - Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Steve O'Dwyer raised to 6,000 from the cutoff seat, and when the action reached Hertsel Levi Sakhai in the small blind he didn't waste much time before setting the whole of his stack forward, an all-in reraise to 24,500 total. The big blind stepped aside and O'Dwyer was quick with the call.

Sakhai had A♥K♥ and was racing against O'Dwyer's J♣J♠. The K♣2♣8♥ flop gave Sakhai the lead, and after the 7♦ turn and 4♠ river he said "yes!" before collecting the pot.

Sakhai doubles to about 55,000 while O'Dwyer sits with just under 90,000. --MH

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Steve O'Dwyer

5:53pm: Final level of the night

The remaining 84 players are back for the final level of the night. We'll be playing another 75 minutes before bagging up for Day 3.

5:35pm: End of the level
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

That's the end of Level 12. We'll be right back with Level 13 in 20 minutes, and may well burst the bubble in what is the last level of today. -- HS

5:35pm: Wheeler gets rivered
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

On one of the last hands before the break Jason Wheeler opened to 4,500 and picked up a call from Erik Cajelais. Both players checked a J♠9♠7♠ flop and the 4♥ fell on the turn. Wheeler bet 6,000 and Cajelais called. The 9♣ completed the board and Wheeler bet again. This time he fired out 15,000 and again Cajelais called. Wheeler rolled over J♦5♦ but Cajelais had got there on the river with A♦9♦.

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Erik Cajelais

Despite that dent Wheeler is still well stacked, with 330,000, while Cajelas has 160,000. --NW

5:30pm: Bubble bluffing
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

As we near the end of this level, we're just a few spots off the money bubble. That is not stopping people from getting it in with air.

Witness the hand with Steven Thompson and Luiz Duarte. It was a three-bet pot with 15,200 going in for each man. The flop was A♦3♣9♠. Thompson check-called a bet of 14,100 from Duarte. On the 4♥ turn, Thompson checked again, and Duarte moved all-in.

Thompson didn't waste a lot of time before folding. Someone said, "Show the bluff," so Duarte flipped over the 7♦. There were some quiet oohs and ahs, enough to get Duarte to keep the show going. He showed the 6♦ to much merriment.

"I couldn't resist, man" Duarte said.

"It's okay," Thompson replied. "It's part of the game."

Thompson sat in mock rue for a moment before making clear, "I had you."--BW

5:26pm: Ponomarev gets paid
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Harpreet Gill started things off with a early-position raise to 4,400 and got a lot of callers. Four to be exact.

Five players saw the K♥T♠6♣ flop and all five of them checked. Then a Q♠ came on the turn and Gill bet 8,300. This whittled the field down a bit. Two players folded and Dmitry Ponomarev raised to 35,000 from the cutoff. Herstel Levi was on the big blind and thought until someone called the clock. The decision was for all his chips and Levi eventually decided to fold.

It was too much for Gill as well and he folded Q♦J♥ face up. Ponomarev showed nothing, took down the pot and chipped up to about 250,000. --AV

5:25pm: Gruber grabs from Wheeler
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Adrian Gruber just doubled his stack in a hand versus Jason Wheeler, doing something few have done today by taking some chips off of the player known on PokerStars as "jdtjpoker."

Gruber won the hand with a set of eights and now sits with 110,000. Meanwhile Wheeler has a wall built in front of himself still, and on the next hand was raising again with chips plucked off a stack of about 340,000. --MH

5:20pm: Right call, wrong fold
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

There are things you can say to a man to get him to reveal something about himself, his hand, or whatever else you might want to know. For instance...say you want to confirm for yourself that you didn't just get bluffed out of a key pot. You might say, "Nice bluff!" and hope your opponent is so offended with your suggestion that he shows you the nuts.

So, a minute or so ago, the board read 9♣A♠Q♦T♦T♠ and Tom-Aksel Bedell had moved all in. Hertsel Levi Sakhai only had 16,000 left in his stack, and he was holding an ace and jack in his hand. He stared at the board for a good long time before finally mucking his hand face-up.

"Nice bluff," Sakhai said. It was probably meant to get Bedell to show him the winning hand, something Sakhai could feel good about later tonight while he's staring at his hotel room ceiling and trying not to think about whether he should've called.

The verbal poke, in fact, did get Bedell to show his hand.

It was 7♠9♠. Bottom pair and a loser against Sakhai's now trashed holding.

Sakhai might just be staring at his ceiling for a different reason tonight. --BW

5:15pm: Zinno zapped
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Anthony Zinno got his final 26,000 in pre-flop with A♥K♠ and was dominating the A♣Q♠ of Allberto Meran Matias. However Matias flopped a queen, turned another and that was that for Zinno. --NW

5:10pm: Some players just have "it"
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

"It's kind of hard to have nonsense here," said Jason Koon, and the table chuckled.

Koon was referring to his opponent Steven Thompson's potential hand, arriving near the end of a lengthy, entertaining thinking-out-loud monologue that even Thompson was chuckling at throughout.

We arrived as big bets were going in following a A♣A♠T♥ flop. Then after Koon checked the Q♣ turn, Thompson had pushed all-in for his last 61,000 or so -- about two-thirds pot -- and Koon began talking.

"What is going on?" Koon asked, adding "I have it."

"You have it?" said Thompson.

"I don't have it," answered Koon. "I have that."

Thompson grinned in response while nodding.

"How do you feel about that?" continued Koon wryly, and the table broke up in laughter.

Koon continued to think. "I'm probably going to fold it," he said, continuing to employ pronouns with ambiguous antecedents.

"I'm confused... beat up... I don't know. I guess with all my 'its' I don't have it."

Finally, after a last request to Thompson that he not "windmill the bluff in my face," to which Thompson agreed, Koon folded.

Thompson didn't show -- "it" or "that" or anything else -- and he collected the pot, moving up to 155,000 while Koon is now at 128,000.

What does it all mean? It is what it is. --MH

5:05pm: Garg rivers Koon
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Tables keep breaking and players keep getting shipped off to faraway regions where mysterious new players and adventures await.

Jason Koon recently got moved to a new table and was quick to clash with one of his new tablemates, Lokesh Garg.

Koon raised to 4,500 from middle position and Garg re-raised to 11,500 from the button. Koon called and then checked the Q♦T♣3♦ flop. Garg bet 12,000, Koon called and a 6♦ came on the turn. Koon checked again and Garg did the same.

A J♣ completed the board and Garg fired away, this time for 22,000. Koon called and mucked when Garg showed A♠K♣ for the rivered straight.

"I had trips," Koon said as Garg raked in the pot. Koon was down to 145,000 after the pot while Garg closed in on 200,000. --AV

5pm: Finger's hand caught in the cookie jar
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Vincent Allevato (button) and Martin Finger (small blind) were heads-up to a 8♠J♣8♦ flop and Finger had checked the action to Allevato. Allevato checked behind and the K♣ landed on the turn. Finger reached for chips and bet 6,200. Call from Allevato.

The 9♠ completed the board and Finger bet again. He fired out what looked to be around 15,000. We'll never know the exact amount as Allevato snap called and showed A♦K♥. That was ahead of Finger's A♠T♥ and the dealer pushed Finger's bet into the main pot, making it impossible to know exactly how much he'd bet.

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Martin Finger: Trapped

What we do know is that he's down to around 29,000 after that setback. --NW

4:55pm: Guzman's aces hold
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Jose Guzman wasn't comfortable in the least, despite holding two black aces in his hand. First off, he was out of position against JC Alvarado and Tom-Aksel Bedell. Second, there was already 35,000 in the pot on a board reading J♦4♣T♦5♣. Third, Guzman checked, Alvarado bet 22,000 and Bedell made the call, but only after thinking for a full two minutes.

The river brought the 2♣, and that might have saved Guzman a lot more heartburn. He elected to put no more money in the pot, and Alvarado didn't like the look of the river either. He checked, as did Bedell. That gave Guzman the opportunity to turn up his A♣A♠ and breathe a little bit as both Alvarado and Bedell mucked facedown.

Guzman is now up to 140,000. Alvarado has fallen to around 70,000. Bedell is in dire need of a pot with only about 10 big blinds in front of him.-BW

4:50pm: Viard keeps chips with chop
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

All-in with K♣Q♠, Alexandre Viard needed help from the board to survive against Allberto Meran Matias's J♥J♦.

The board brought equal help to both, as it turned out, coming 5♣6♣9♦8♦7♠ to make the same straight for each player.

After the river, the dealer flipped the cut card in the air as if to signal the ensuing chopping of the pot, following which Viard had 42,000 and Matias about 150,000. --MH

4:45pm: Some more for Salmon
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

James Salmon raised to 5,000 from under the gun and Mikhail Zamyatin called from the hijack. Denis Timofeev, who has the table chip lead with a commanding 330,000, called from the big blind.

The flop came 2♦T♦A♠ and Zamyatin bet 7,500 when checked to. Timofeev folded and took refuge behind his giant stack while Salmon called. The turn brought a 3♥ and a bigger bet from Zamyatin. Zamyatin bet 21,500 and Salmon called, bringing a 4♦ on the river.

Salmon checked again and this time Zamyatin checked behind.

Salmon turned over A♦K♠ and it was good enough to take down the pot. Salmon chipped up to 165,000 while Zamyatin dipped to 135,000. --AV

4:40pm: Allevato over Diotte
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Vincent Allevato raised to 4,500 from under the gun, then Anthony Diotte three-bet to 12,600 from the cutoff. It folded back to Allevato who called, and the pair saw the flop come 7♣4♦J♥.

The action went fairly quickly, check-bet-call, with Diotte having continued for 11,800.

The 5♦ turn then brought a relatively quick check from Allevato, but Diotte took his time before acting in response. Enough time to notice Diotte's short hair, sunglasses, and clean shave and how it contrasted with Allevato's long hair, headphones, and mustache and beard, the seconds ticking, ticking, onward, into the late afternoon, the early evening, who else is hungry, there's an Italian place just a block or two away I've heard good things abo...

Check.

The river came 7♦, and things sped up again with two quick checks, the tabling of A♠J♣ by Allevato, and a rapid muck by Diotte.

Comparing their stacks afterwards, Allevato has 182,000 while Diotte is on 142,000. --MH

4:35pm: Catch him if you can
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Igor Yaroshevskyy continues to run roughshod over this Main Event. The Day 1A chip leader, who returned with 219,600, is now playing a stack of some 710,000. To give you some idea of how monstrous that is, he's got the average stack for when 16 players remain! There are currently 96 left. Even if he'd not won (or lost) a single chip today he'd still have almost double the current average stack (118,000).

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Igor Yaroshevskyy: Unstoppable



He's straight up crushing this. --NW

4:30pm: Scary Talley avoids trap
Level 11 - Blinds 600/1,600 (ante 200)

Caufman Talley continues to impress over on the other side of the room. He's apparently struck some fear in the heart of his opponents. Moments ago, with more than 70,000 in the pot, Denys Shafikov checked with less than 30,000 left in his stack. Talley moved all-in with the board reading 3♣7♦3♥5♦9♦, and Shafikov couldn't find a call. Talley stacked up his 360,000 and went back to work.

On the next hand, Pavel Veksler came in for a raise to 4,500 and Talley made it 12,000 to play. Veksler made the call and they went to the 7♦2♥4♠ flop. Veksler check-called Talley's 12,000 bet. When the turn came as the T♠ (remember this moment), Veksler checked, and Talley now checked behind. The river was the J♦, and Veksler checked for a third time. Takkey sussed it all out in his head and ultimately checked behind.

Good thing, too, as Veksler had turned a set of tens with T♣T♥. Trap avoided, Talley went back to work behind his big pile of chips.-BW

4:25pm: Big hand, small pot
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Peter Murphy picked up A♥A♦ and with those cards earned a double-up, albeit a small one, versus Roman Pavliuk's 5♠5♣.

The 8♦9♣T♥Q♦4♣ kept Murphy in the game, but he's still short with about 35,000. That's about what Pavliuk has now as well. --MH

4:20pm: A little easier
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Aha, a few more details about the David Peters elimination hand:

He shoved all-in for about 32,500 on the turn of a J♦K♥9♥8h] board with A♥T♠ for an open-ended straight draw and nut flush draw. Denis Timofeev called and he'd flopped the nuts (at the time) with Q♦T♦. Timofeev's hand held up on the 5♦ river. He' s up to 320,000. --NW

4:20pm: Chen grabs chips from Gruber
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

At the end of the previous level, Andrew Chen defended his blind versus a Adrian Gruber button open, then both checked the 9♦4♥5♥ flop.

Chen check-called a delayed continuation bet by Gruber after the Q♥ turn, then after the J♠ river Chen led with a big bet of 22,500 (about twice the pot size) and after some thought Gruber called.

Chen tabled A♥7♥ for a turned flush, better than Gruber's Q♠T♣, and Chen collected the pot.

Chen has 125,000 now, and Gruber is around 100,000. --MH

4:16pm: Diamond double
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Harpreet Gill opened to 4,200 from early position and James Salmon called from the cutoff. Steve O'Dwyer called from the button and Herstel Levi did the same from the big blind.

Four players saw the Q♥A♦2♦ flop and action checked to Salmon. Salmon made it 7,000, O'Dwyer called and Levi moved all-in for 29,800.

Gill and Salmon folded while O'Dwyer thought for a bit and then called.

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Steve O'Dwyer

Levi turned over K♦T♦ and O'Dwyer tabled a dominating K♠Q♣. Levi had several outs though and the 6♦ that came on the turn was one of them. Levi hit a flush and a K♣ on the river made the double up official.

Levi doubled up to about 80,000 while O'Dwyer dropped to 95,000. --AV

4:15pm: New level headlines
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Ninety-nine players made it into Level 12, but they do not include Dermot Blain nor David Peters. They are two of the most recent eliminations. Our chip leader, Igor Yaroshevskyy, however, is absolutely bossing. He now has more than 700,000 chips. -- HS

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Dermot Blain magic-ed away

4:10pm: Level 12 begins
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

It's a new level, folks, and an easy one to remember -- 1 (thousand) ... 2 (thousand)... 3 (hundred). --MH

4:05pm: Talleying up a big stack
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

He's gotten it quietly, but Caufman Talley is working his way up the leader board. The ragin' Cajun (he's probably not Cajun) from New Orleans, LA, USA is up to 330,000.-BW

4pm: Cameras and action
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

As well as the feature table, PokerStars Live have a roving tournament camera that captures action from the outer tables. Its lense was trained on Jason Wheeler's table which was a sure sign something important was happening there.

Turns out Wheeler had opened to 4,000, Vinicius Barrel Teles had flat called and Eder Takashi Murata had then gone all-in for 13,000 total. The action was now back on Wheeler and he soon plonked a tower of blue 5K chips over the line.

That bet was enough to cover Barrel Teles, as the Brazilian had about 35,000 in total. He tanked for a while and then decided to call all-in. It was time to turn the cards over.

Wheeler: A♦8♦
Barrel Teles: A♥J♥
Takashi Murata: K♠Q♣

Takashi Murata flopped a queen and Barrel Teles turned a jack meaning no Takashi Murata took the main pot, the side pot went to Barrel Teles and no one was eliminated. Wheeler is down to 236,000 after that hand. --NW

3:55pm: Borrego battles Gong
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

We just noted Pablo Gordillo facing up to the challenge of Jiachen Gong at his table. Jessica Perez Borrego just now also found herself up against an aggressive Gong, and she, too, made it through.

Arriving on the flop, appearances suggested a Borrego open from middle position, a Gong defense from the big blind, then after the T♣K♥2♦ flop Gong checked. Borrego bet 5,500, then Gong check-raised to 13,500 and Borrego called quickly.

The turn was the 7♦, and as Gong was betting 20,500 Borrego rechecked her cards, and called again without hesitation.

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Jessica Perez Borrego

On the 3♥ river, Gong paused just a few seconds before setting out a bet big enough to put Borrego all in, and she called right away again.

Gong showed K♦T♠ for two pair, and Borrego tabled K♠T♦ for the same hand. They chopped it up, and Gong is still with about 230,000 while Borrego continues with 108,000. --MH

3:50pm: Wheeler ends Schiffbauer's day
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Robbie Schiffbauer came in for a raise to 3,500, and Jason Wheeler re-raised him to 8,500. Schiffbauer came along for the ride to the 3♦6♦9♦ flop. Schiffbauer checked, let Wheeler bet 13,000, and then moved all-in for not a great deal more. Wheeler snap-called with 8♦8♣. Schiffbauer had quite a few outs with K♦Q♠ but he missed them on the 6♠ turn and 3♥ river. -BW

3:45pm: Ortiz enjoying the spotlight
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Tito Ortiz has been moved over to the feature table this level. While we might be keeping a distance when walking by so as not to obscure the cameras' view, it is easy enough to see from across the room that the MMA fighter is enjoying battling over cards quite a bit as he often has a big smile as he plays.

Having chips helps keep the spirits up, of course, and Ortiz still has a healthy stack of 135,000 with which to fight. --MH

3:40pm: Gordillo gets some from Gong
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Pablo Gordillo just four-bet Jiachen Gong and lived to tell the tale.

Gordillo opened to 3,300, then watched the big-stacked Gong make it 10,000 to go before the action returned to him. He sat for a short while, then made a hefty re-raise to 38,500, and after about a half-minute Gong relented.

Gong has 242,000, while Gordillo is at 142,000. --MH

3:35pm: Recent eliminations
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Sam Chartier, Ricardo Chauriye, and Patrick Serda were among the most recent wave of eliminations as the field shrinks down toward the 100-player mark.

The top 71 finishers make the cash. --MH

3:30pm: Count 'em
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

The field continues to shrink and just 106 players still have chips in front of them at this stage. Below are the counts of some of the names and notables who pepper the field. Both Day 1 chip leaders are continuing to accumulate chips.

Igor Yaroshevskyy - 485,000
Jason Koon - 260,000
Jiachen Gong - 243,000
Jason Wheeler - 200,000
Jonathan Abdellatif - 170,000
Mark Radoja - 155,000
Martin Kus - 152,000
Pablo Gordillo - 140,000
Sergey Lebedev - 129,000
Felix Bleiker - 124,000
Kenneth Smaron - 118,000
J.C.Alvarado - 108,000
Byron Kaverman - 104,000
Martin Finger - 96,000
Andrew Chen - 87,000
David Peters - 82,000
Sebastian Hinderoth - 78,000
Ari Engel - 72,000
Steve O'Dwyer - 56,000
Robbie Schiffbauer - 52,000
Dermot Blain - 34,200
Anthony Zinno - 26,600
Daniel Dvoress - 26,300

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Sergey Lebedev

3:25pm: New life for Chen
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Andrew Chen was down to his last 37,800 when he managed to get it all in versus Canadian PokerStars qualifier Kliment Tarmakov. Chen held A♦A♣. Tarmakov had ace-king, and though he managed to hit a king on the board, he couldn't further improve. Chen is now sitting close to 80,000. -BW

3:20pm: Kings fail Altimirando
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Tomas Altimirando got his short stack all-in with an open-raise from early position and it folded around to Fabrice De Benedictis in the big blind who called the push.

Prospects appeared positive for Altimirando as he turned over K♠K♦ while De Benedictis had J♣J♠. But soon Altimirando was throwing his hands up in the air as he saw the jack-in-the-window flop spread 2♦9♣J♥. The turn was the 3♦ and river the 2♣, and Altimirando is out.

De Benedictis has about 80,000. --MH

3:15pm: Kings kick tens
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Gad Morgenstern was hoping his pocket tens would be good enough for a double up, but Michael Lech put a quick end to those dreams.

Morgenstern moved all-in for about 90,000 with T♣T♦ and Lech called with K♠K♣. Morgenstern was hoping for a ten, but the A♣7♥7♠J♠A♠ board brought none. Morgenstern hit the rail while Lech chipped up to 255,000. --AV

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Michael Lech, ends Mogenstern's day

3:10pm: The Gong show
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Jiachen Gong scored a big pot near night's end yesterday to finish Day 1B with the biggest stack of those who played the second starting flight. He's been accumulating slowly here today as well, and we just saw him claim another pot to add to his total.

The hand began with Gong raising to 3,800 from the cutoff, then Marcelo Filartiga Villalba three-bet to 10,100 from the button. The blinds skedaddled, Gong called, and the dealer spread a flop of A♦K♣9♠.

Gong check-called a Villalba c-bet of 8,400, then both checked the 3♥ turn. The 2♠ completed the board, Gong fired a value bet-looking 5,500, and after a recheck of his cards Villalba had to let his hand go.

Gong is up close to 240,000 now, with Villalba sitting with 37,000. --MH

3:05pm: Bayley bounced, Zinno on the move
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

UK pro Lawrence Bayley has been eliminated from the tournament. No details I'm afraid, but he was busy chatting to a friend who was still in the tournament. He was still in the tournament room by the time Anthony Zinno was moved into the seat he'd just vacated. Zinno brought a stack of 24,500 with him. --NW

3:00pm: Back in action

We're back in action for another three levels. You can continue to follow our live updates here and watch the live stream (featuring Tito Ortiz right now) here in another window.

NEIL8498_TV_Crew_PCP2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

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TV star, Tito Ortiz

2:42pm: The bell tolls
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

That's two levels in the books and the players have been sent on a 20-minute break. Just 116 of the 366 players remain and the average stack is a little over 94,000. That equates to 58.75 big blinds when they return. --NW

2:41pm: Murata on the up again, felts Kenney
Level 10 - 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Bryn Kenney is out. He is the latest victim of Eder Murata, who has now risen to about 135,000. Murata went up and down yesterday, finishing at a low ebb, then found himself in tough company today. But he is gradually and single-handedly thinning the competition.

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Eder Murata

This one played itself really. Murata opened to 2,600 from the hijack. Kenney moved all-in for precisely 25,000 from the cutoff and Murata called after action got back to him.

Murata's T♥T♣ had a decent edge over Kenney's A♣9♠ and it got even more dominant after the flop of 3♣T♠4♥. The 2♠ turn and 3♠ river finished the job and sent Kenney out. -- HS

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Bryn Kenney: End of the day

2:35pm: Ponomarev punts Heath
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Ben Heath didn't make it to the first break of the day.

Dmitry Ponomarev raised to 4,500 from the cutoff right before the end of the level and Heath re-raised to 11,200.

Ponomarev four-bet to 27,000 and Heath thought. He paused the music he was listening to and thought some more. Then he moved all-in for 100,400.

It was Ponomarev turn to think and he called after about a minute. Ponomarev turned over K♠K♦ while Heath showed A♠K♦.

The 7♥7♦6♥J♣5♠ board didn't fall in Heath's favor and he hit the rail right before players went on break. Ponomarev on the other hand doubled up to about 230,000. --AV

2:34pm: Diotte flush foils Finger
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Martin Finger has been hovering right around the 65,000-chip mark so far today. He was a little above that heading into a hand with Anthony Diotte just now.

By the turn the board read 3♠6♥7♣6♣ and Finger was leading for 4,500 with Diotte calling. Finger fired again on the 3♣ river, this time for 10,000, and Diotte called once more. Finger tabled 9♠9♦, but Diotte had rivered a flush with A♣4♣ to claim the pot.

Diotte moves to 138,000 while Finger goes back to just about where he's been with 63,000. --MH

2:30pm: Pollak's jack whupped by nines
Level 10 - 600/1,200 (ante 200)

There's no good way to be knocked out of a poker tournament, but losing to a four-flushing under-pair in the hand of a vocally-celebrating local is never high on the list of preferred departure methods. Still, Benjamin Pollak is experienced enough to deal with it. He's going to have to be.

The pot started with a raise to 3,600 from Jeiko Kuzmicic. Hertsel Levi Sakhai, one seat around, called and action made its way to Pollak in the small blind. He raised to 13,000 from a stack of about 40,000.

Kuzmicic folded but Sakhai looked at his own stack--about 44,000--and moved it all-in. Pollak didn't wait to check who had whom covered. He called.

Pollak: J♥J♠
Sakhai: 9♥9♦

The dealer put the 5♦A♦T♦ onto the table and Pollak craned his neck to take a closer look at the precise brand of nines Sakhai was wielding. If he was disappointed to notice the diamond lurking there, that went double when the K♦ appeared on the turn.

Pollak was now drawing dead, rendering the 4♣ on the river redundant. It was greeted by a huge breath of relief, a hand-clap, and the makings of a whoop from Sakhai. The dealer counted out the stacks, determining that Sakhai had Pollak marginally covered.

So that was the end of it for Pollak, while Sakhai is nearing six figures and is sticking around. -- HS

2:28pm: A rivalry developing
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

At the moment it's just minor skirmishes, but there's a rivalry developing between J.C.Alvarado and James Salmon. In round one of their battle Benjamin Pollak opened, Alvarado flat called and Salmon then three-bet to 9,200. Pollak got out the way, but Alvarado called.

The two players checked down the 8♦8♠2♣8♣4♦ board and Alvarado's pocket fives proved the winner at showdown. On the next hand Alvardo opened and again Salmon three-bet. The price of poker was 6,800 and this sent Jeiko Palma Kuzmicic into the tank.

The Panamanian player stacked his chips of 23,800 into a couple of neat towers and looked for all the world like he was about to move all-in. He then looked back at his cards and waited...and waited. He eventually moved all-in and Alvarado quickly released his hand. Salmon wanted a count though, but he couldn't call either and said 'nice hand' as he mucked. --NW

2:18pm: Chip inequality
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

"The rich get richer," a player at Igor Yaroshevskyy said as the chip leader raked in a massive pot.

Yaroshevskyy had just eliminated two players and extended his lead to about 450,000.

The double K.O. started when Thomas Altamirano raised to 3,000 from middle position. Rafael Moraes called from the hijack and Yaroshevskyy did the same from the cutoff. Ambrose Ng, who bought in at the start of Day 2, moved all-in for 16,000.

Altamirano folded and Moraes called. Yaroshevskyy looked over at Moraes' stack and decided it was worth the gamble. Yaroshevskyy plunked in a pile of his highest denomination chips. It was more than enough to put Moraes all-in and Moraes quickly called.

Ng turned over 4♦4♠ while Moraes tabled A♥Q♥. Yaroshevskyy turned over T♠T♣ and improved to a set when the 8♥T♦7♥ flop hit the board. The turn and river brought a cruel A♣ and Q♣ for Moraes and he hit the rail along with Ng.

Yaroshevskyy on the other hand got richer. --AV

2:15pm: Prize information
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

The tournament staff has released the prize pool and payouts for the Main Event. The tourney will be paying 71 places. A min-cash will be worth $7,720. The winner will get $293,860. For a full payout schedule, see our PokerStars Championship Panama Main Event results and prizes page.

2:05pm: Dominguez picks up chips from Koon
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Jason Koon raised to 2,800 from middle position and got a couple of callers behind him, then Jose Ruiz Dominguez three-bet to 12,700 from the big blind and only Koon called.

The flop fell K♣5♥3♣, with Dominguez continuing for 12,200 and Koon calling again. Then the turn brought the J♥ and an all-in shove from Dominguez, and Koon relented.

Koon is still among the leaders with 245,000, while Dominguez now has 113,000. --MH

NEIL8418_Jason_Koon_PCP2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Jason Koon

2:00pm: Hoyos heads home
Level 10 - 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Caufman Talley's fine tournament continues and he is now up beyond 180,000 having just sent Colombia's Miguel Velasco Hoyos to the rail.

Hoyos open-jammed his 22,900 stack in pre-flop and action folded around to Talley o the button. He asked for a count and then called, with both players in the blinds slipping away.

Talley: 9♦9♠
Hoyos: A♦K♥

The board was a blank T♣6♦7♥5♠J♠ and that was the end of the road for Hoyos. -- HS

1:54pm: Cajelais folds queens preflop to Wheeler
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Jason Wheeler opened to 2,800 from under the gun and his neighbor to the left, Adrien Allain, three-bet to 7,500. It folded over to Erik Cajelais in the hijack seat who reraised again to 17,000, and the action circled back to Wheeler.

Wheeler took just a moment, then tossed out chips to reraise again himself, a bet worth 36,000 total. That chased Allain, but Cajelais tanked for a while, counting out his stack and brooding before finally making a decision.

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Jason Wheeler: Getting queens to fold

Cajelais let his hand go, tossing them down face up -- Q♦Q♥.

"When was the last time somebody folded that to you?" he asked Wheeler, then added what sounded like "a long time?" and Wheeler answered "probably."

Cajelais keeps his 130,000, while Wheeler is now up to 245,000. --MH

1:52pm: Tito takes one down
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Tito Ortiz has dipped a bit since his start-of-day high of 181,000, but the former MMA champion is fighting his way back up.

Ortiz, Pouliot Serge and Jose Gonzales were in a raised pot with a 6♠6♥8♦ flop and action checked to Serge. The Canadian player made it 4,500 to go.

Ortiz called while Gonzales folded, took off his flip-up sunglasses, put on his regular classes and checked his phone.

Both remaining players checked the 3♥ on the turn and a J♠ came on the river. Ortiz bet 3,000 and Serge thought for a bit before calling.

Ortiz turned over 8♠8♣ and Serge mucked. Serge dropped to 120,000 while Ortiz is now at 161,000. --AV

NEIL8383_Tito_Ortiz_PCP2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Tito Ortiz

1:50pm: Wheeler wastes Fernandez
Level 10 - 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Jason Wheeler and Bryn Kenney, who are sitting next to one another, both have massage therapists kneading their backs. All four of them are yukking it up too, like they're on a double date.

Wheeler was discussing his troubles with food (sample conversation snippet: "If they put it on your plate, you'll eat it. Sometimes you'll leave a little bit of rice if you want to feel better about your life, but that's it") and everyone was chuckling along as if they knew precisely what he was on about.

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Wheeler and friend

Wheeler stopped the chit-chat to play two hands. In the first, the last of Level 9, he raised to 2,300 and picked up two callers: Vinicius Teles in the cutoff and Erik Cajelais on the button. After a flop of 7♥4♦J♣, Wheeler bet 4,000 and won.

The blinds went up, but Wheeler opened the next hand too. This time he made it 2,800 to play. Pablo Fernandez, who began the day with 133,700 but who was down to only around 45,000 now, three-bet to 8,700 from the small blind. Wheeler called.

The flop brought the A♣K♥5♥ and Fernandez bet 7,000. Wheeler called. That brought the 3♣ on the turn and Fernandez picked up the remainder of his chips and put them over the line.

"How much is it?" Wheeler asked. It was 27,500. Wheeler then said, "I got outs" and called from a stack of more than 100,000.

Fernandez showed 7♥9♥. It meant that Wheeler's 7♣6♣ offered him only a 30 per cent chance. "I knew he didn't have the ace, but I didn't know he had a flush draw," Wheeler said.

Fortunately for Wheeler, the dealer turned over the 2♣ on the river, hitting him decisively. Fernandez flew too close to the sun and heads home short of the money. Wheeler, however, has about 190,000 now.

As I drifted away from the table, Wheeler and Kenney had begun talking about how the young players don't respect their elders. More great double-date chat. -- HS

1:47pm: Fernandez falls
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Jake Cody is the last remaining Team PokerStars Pro in the field as Leo Fernandez has just been knocked out of the tournament. I joined the action to see the Argentinian betting 5,000 on a 7♠7♦9♠ flop. His lone opponent in the hand was Eric Wasylenko, and the Canadian raised it up to 11,000.

This sent Fernandez into the tank, when he emerged he moved all-in for around 36,000 and Wayslenko snap called. Fernandez rolled over J♦J♣ and he was in trouble against the A♥A♦ of Wayslenko. The A♣ turn meant he was drawing dead, and the T♠ completed the board.

Also out are: Erik Seidel, Tobias Peters, Gavin O'Rourke and Lucas Greenwood. --NW

1:39pm: Duarte collects from Kaverman
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Byron Kaverman raised from middle position and the button called, then Luiz Duarte made it 11,000 to go from the small blind. It folded back to Kaverman who called, the middle man stepped aside, and the flop came a coordinated 7♣8♣9♦.

Duarte didn't waste much time before announcing he was all in, and after getting a count Kaverman saw the bet was for about 36,000.

Byron spent a little time in the Kave of Kontemplation before emerging having decided to release his hand. He preserved his stack of 115,000, while Duarte darts upward to about 60,000. --MH

1:34pm: Peters over Chartier
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

David Peters has been on a slow but steady rise. In his most recent victory, Peters raised to 2,500 from UTG+1 and it got to the small blind before he got a call.

Sam Chartier called from the small blind and Norberto Korn did the same from the big blind. A Q♦3♦8♣ flop greeted players and action checked to Peters. Peters bet 4,600 and only Chartier came along to see the turn, a 5♦.

Both players checked and then a 4♠ completed the board. Chartier took the initiative that time and bet 6,700. Chartier quickly turned over 9♦9♠ after Peters called, but the 2016 GPI Player of the Year had him beat with K♥Q♣.

Chartier dropped to 81,000 while Peters rose to 145,000. --AV

NEIL8488_Sam_Chartier_PCP2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Sam Chartier

1:27pm: Level 10 begins
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

You heard it here first.

There are 144 players left. Break coming after this level. --MH

1:26pm: Koon KOs Echeverri
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

In the last hand of Level 9, four players saw a flop come 8♥A♠3♥, and of the group only two would stick around to fourth street -- Gustavo Echeverri who bet 11,000, and Jason Koon who called.

The turn was the J♥, after which the betting saw Echeverri all in with A♥J♦ for two pair while Koon had him covered and beaten for the moment with T♥7♥ for a flush.

"Pair the board!" said Echeverri, although in truth another heart would have served him fine, too. The river did pair the board, in fact, coming 8♦, but it wasn't the pair he needed and he's out.

Koon is up to 262,000 now. --MH

1:25pm: No good for Nagrani
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Earlier we reported a hand in which Ajitkumar Nagrani was, perhaps, fortunate to survive (see 1:02pm post). It was a short lived reprieve as he's just been eliminated in a hand against Luis Alejandro Mata.

I picked up the hand on a 6♥7♥K♠ flop on which Nagrani had bet 3,500. The action was on Mata and he raised to 15,500. That bet got rid of Martin Kus and Mark Radoja. Nagrani now had a decision for the rest of his stack.

He thought for about 15 seconds, shrugged, and then moved all-in. Mata put in the little extra required, and it was off to showdown. Nagrani showed A♥5♥ for the nut flush draw, while Mata held K♣6♣ for two-pair. The K♦ turn improved him to a full house and the 6♠ fell on the river. --NW

1:16pm: Short day for...
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Uri Reichenstein and Martin Jacobson are among the early fallers on Day 2. Jacobson only bought in today and lasted not even a level. Ruslan Khadartcev, Michael Schmitz, Ivan Sergeyev, Ionut Zamfir, Alberto Speranzoni and Marc-Olivier Perrault are also out. --NW

1:15pm: Engel eliminates England
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Ari Engel opened for 2,300 from the cutoff seat, then Brian England made it 7,400 to go from the big blind.

The action back on Engel, he paused a few seconds then set out chips while announcing an all-in reraise, and England called with what he had left, putting himself all in for around 38,000 total.

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Ari Engel

England: A♠Q♠
Engel: 6♣6♦

The 7♠K♣J♦ added straight outs to go along with England's overcards, but neither the 4♦ turn nor 7♣ helped him and he's out. Engel is up to 133,000. --MH

1:04pm: Too much heart
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Luiz Duarte raised to 2,000 from the button and Jorge Arias called from the big blind. The flop came A♥K♠7♥ and Arias bet 4,100. Duarte called and a 2♥ came on the turn. Arias fired again, but upped the bet to 6,600.

The river brought another heart, the 8♥. Both players slowed down to a check and Arias turned over K♣7♦ while Duarte mucked.

"I missed two flush draws against you," Arias told Duarte. "And now this."

The heart-filled board came when Arias needed it the least and spooked him out of another bet.

"And this is the dealer from my home game," Arias told the table. "You're fired."

The table laughed, Arias reassured the dealer he still had a job. While Arias didn't win as much as he'd hoped, the hand put him up to about 50,000. --AV

1:03pm: Adieu Aido; Erling's day ends early
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Sergio Aido is out, having lost the last of his stack just now after running into Gad Morgenstern's full house. Put Morgenstern up to 105,000 now.

Meanwhile Erling Voje's day is done after a confrontation with Jose Moran Guzman, who is now sitting with about 125,000. --MH

1:02pm: No one wants to see that
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Angle shooting is one of the worst breaches of etiquette in poker, and Ajitkumar Nagrani just went very close to the line, if not right over it in a hand against Daniel Ades.

The action was actually started by Rodrigo Dos Santos who raised to 2,200 from the cutoff. Nagrani - who bares a passing resemblance to the Dos Equis man - three-bet to 5,500 from a stack of just 17,000, Ades called from the big blind and Dos Santos folded. The two protagonists are sat in seat six and eight respectively so can see each other's chips. That's quite important for what comes next.

The flop fell J♦4♠A♣ and Ades checked. Action was on Nagrani and he picked up all his chips in one hand and moved them - in the air - well past his cards with forward motion but crucially never released them. Still, it was almost certain Nagrani meant to bet them all, and upon seeing this Ades reached for chips to call. Well, Nagrani saw that and moved his hand back and dropped his chips on his cards.

Ades (who let's remember had checked) then pushed a tower of chips forward, as he believed Nagrani had bet. The floor was called and the ruling - delivered in Spanish - was that Nagrani had clearly meant to bet and so he 'must generate action'. Still, it meant Nagrani only had to bet the minimum (1,000) instead of the maximum, which he'd been set to do. Ades wasn't happy about this, but he then bet enough to set Nagrani all-in and the Panamanian folded K♠K♥ face up. Ades showed A♦Q♥ as he took the pot.--NW

12:59pm: Inconsequential Day 2 action
Level 9 - 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Here are the details of three small pots on three separate tables. None are going to be looked back upon as the moment the tournament was won, but they all count in some way or another.

First up, Daniel Ades opened to 2,500 from under the gun and Mark Radoja, who was one of yesterday's stars, called in the hijack. Only those two players were involved.

The flop brought the 7♣8♣4♥ and Ades checked, leading to a bet of 3,200 from Radoja. Ades called.

The turn card was the 9♠ and Ades checked again. Radoja made the price a good degree higher, plonking 8,100 over the line. Ades wasn't paying that much.

A few tables away, Steve O'Dwyer watch six players fold in front of him, leaving him with the chance to do as he pleased from the small blind. He opted to complete and watched Jeiko Kuzmicic check in the big blind.

This had all the hallmarks of a hand report that quickly gets scribbled out in the notebook and, reader, it probably should have been. However we've come this far, so what the hell.

The dealer placed the A♦9♦6♣ on the flop and O'Dwyer checked. Kuzmicic bet 2,000 and O'Dwyer called. Then the 5♦ came on the turn and O'Dwyer checked again. Kuzmicic bet 4,000 and O'Dwyer folded. Kuzmicic had the decency to show his J♦3♦ for a turned flush.

Eder Murata was another of yesterday's busy players, even though he finished the day with only 45,500 having soared beyond 100,000 at one point. He has a tough assignment today as well, with Pablo Fernandez to his right and Bryn Kenney to his left, as well as Jason Wheeler, Adrien Allain and Erik Cajelais for company.

For all that, Murata still opted to open to 3,000 from under the gun and picked up calls from Kenney (UTG+1), Vinicius Barrel Teles (cutoff), Cajelais (button) and Fernandez (BB).

All four players checked the J♣Q♣6♣ flop, bringing the 4♠ on the turn. Both Fernandez and Murata checked but Kenney bet 8,200. That led to three very quick folds from Teles, Cajelais and Fernandez and one very slow fold from Murata.

But a fold is a fold no matter how long it takes, so Kenney added a few more chips to his starting stack. -- HS

12:56pm: Trips mean chips for Phillips
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Michael Phillips doubled his short stack just now with T♣8♣ versus Sergey Lebedev's A♦Q♦.

The board brought a pair of eights, coming 8♥6♦J♦8♠2♠, giving Phillips trips and letting him continue with about 50,000. Lebedev still has 129,000. --MH

12:50pm: Ventura vanquished
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

The Peruvian Diego Ventura, runner-up finisher in the 2015 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event, is one of the early knockouts here on Day 2. He joins Rumen Nanev, Francisco Benitez, and Freddy Otero on the rail.

The field has been carved down to 162 players. --MH

12:46pm: Bayley bounce
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Lawrence Bayley has found a double here in the early going, bringing his stack up to around 65,000.

All in with A♥Q♥ versus the T♥T♠ of Miguel Velasco Hoyos, a board of K♦Q♠9♦3♣6♣ gave Bayley the better hand and the pot. Hoyos slips to 22,000. --MH

12:45pm: Death by quads
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Team Pro Online's Jaime Staples came back today with just 4,700 and it was also going to be an uphill struggle to run up a stack. He was moved to a new table and on his first hand there he went all-in for 7,500. Lawrence Bayley flat called, Allberto Meran Matias then squeezed to 30,000 and that got rid of Bayley.

Staples opened A♥6♦ and was in big trouble against Meran Matias's Q♦Q♠. The Q♥6♥Q♣ flop meant Staples was drawing dead as his opponent flopped quads. The 9♥K♣ turn and river were a mere formality and Staples was on his way. --NW

NEIL8119_Jamie_Staples_PCP2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Jaime Staples

12:37pm: Chartier hits to double into action
Level 9 - 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Sam Chartier was staring at the exit door early here on Day 2, but hit one of his outs on the river to turn around again and continue playing.

Chartier was heads up to a turn against Norberto Korn and checked the board of 6♥K♥5♠T♠. Korn bet 6,500 and Chartier jammed for the 34,000 he had behind. Korn quickly called.

The explanation for all of these moves? Chartier had A♥Q♥ for flush and straight draw. Korn had K♦K♣ for top set.

Chartier was about a three-to-one underdog, but the 4♥ river proved that every dog has its day. Chartier now has about 80,000. -- HS

12:30pm: Staples doubles, Acevedo wastes his one time
Level 9 - 500/1,000 (ante 100)

While there were plenty of stacks towering over Jamie Staples's tiny stack, the Team Pro doubled through the second-shortest stack at his table.

Staples moved all-in for a mere 4,200 from middle position and Michael Acevedo called from the hijack. The rest of the table let the small stacks duke it out and Staples turned over a dominating A♥T♠ to Acevedo's A♣7♣.

"So sick you have ace-ten there," Acevedo said.

The flop came 2♥4♦6♠, and Acevedo was hoping for an upset.

"One time," Acevedo said as a J♦ hit the board. The poker gods didn't fulfill Acevedo's request, and a 5♣ completed the board.

"You use your one time for this?" Felix Bleiker asked. "Now it's gone." The table erupted in laughter.

Staples doubled to about 10,500 while Acevedo dropped to about the same amount. --AV

NEIL8468_Michael_Acevedo_Felix_Bleiker-_PCP2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Michael_Acevedo and Felix_Bleiker

12:27pm: That's a good one
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

With just 25 big blinds to start the day Martin Finger couldn't afford to lose too many, but he suffered an early set back in a hand against Dmitry Ivanov. The EPT8 Prague Main Event champion opened to 2,200 from the cutoff and called after Ivanov three-bet to 5,100 from the button. The T♦Q♥Q♣ flop checked through, and the 3♠ landed on the turn. Again Finger checked, but he wouldn't get a free card as Ivanov bet 4,200. Finger mulled it over and then mucked. Ivanov showed the Q♦ as he took the pot. "That's a good one," joked Finger. --NW

12:22pm: High Rollers converge on Table 17
Level 9 - 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Erik Seidel has taken a seat in today's tournament and has a high roller compadre across the table from him. That's Daniel Dvoress, who finished second in the $50,000 Super High Roller event earlier in the week.

Seidel was a spectator as Dvoress won an early pot from Denys Shafikov to push his stack just over 70,000.

Shafikov opened to 2,100 from the hijack and Dvoress three-bet the button, making it 5,800 to go. Shafikov called and the two of them saw a flop of A♠3♠3♣. Shafikov checked and Dvoress bet 4,000. Shafikov called, but gave up when faced with a bet of 10,000 after the 9♠ turn. -- HS

12:15pm: Six-bet shove with ace-deuce ends Delgado's day; Yaroshevskyy increases lead
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Jaime Staples returned to almost the shortest stack in the entire room today -- just 4,700. And unfortunately for him, the chip leader Igor Yaroshevskyy was sitting on his right with 219,600 to begin the day.

Staples got the button to start the day, though, and so was able to fold a couple of hands, then watch some serious fireworks occur between Yaroshevskyy and Vicente Delgado who started the day sitting a couple of seats to Staples's right with 138,000.

On the day's second hand, Delgado opened for 2,300 from early position, then Yaroshevskyy made it 7,500 to go from the button. It folded back to Delgado who four-bet to 21,200.

Yaroshevskyy asked how much Delgado had behind, and the latter opened his hands to show the roughly 115,000 he had in front of him. Yaroshevskyy then reraised again to 47,500, and after just a few moments Delgado said he was all in. Yaroshevskyy called right away.

Yaroshevskyy tabled K♥K♠, and Delgado showed... A♥2♥. Delgado pointed at the ace with a smile, hoping the dealer would pair it with one of the community cards.

Alas for him, the board came J♥5♠T♠9♣8♦, and just like that Delgado is out. Meanwhile Yaroshevskyy's lead balloons even bigger, as he now sits with 355,000. --MH

NEIL8424_Igor_Yaroshevskyy_PCP2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Igor_Yaroshevskyy

12:10pm: Two more new entries
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

We'd already got word that Bryn Kenney and Erik Seidel had bought in before the start of Day 2 and there were another two players who did likewise. Ambrose Ng and Martin Jacobson were the two other players who picked up a fresh stack of 30,000 to the start the day. --NW

12:00pm: Day 2 underway

Alright, here we go. Let's get Day 2 going. Strap in and watch out for Tito. --BW

11:30am: Day 2 about to begin

Welcome back to our coverage of the PokerStars Championship Panama Main Event. It's now Day 2 when the survivors from both Day 1 flights meet to battle it out on the same felt. Igor Yaroshevskyy leads them all with nearly 220,000 in chips. He and the remaining field of 171 are expected to play six 75-minute levels today and finish up in the 8 O'clock hour.

It appears we will also see a couple of entries to start Day 2. We're told Erik Seidel and Bryn Kenney have both joined the field as new players.

Day 2 will also mark the return of Tito Ortiz, the big time MMA fighter who finished Day 1A second in chips. It's now up to him to prove what happened on Day 1 wasn't a fluke. Doubt doubt The People's Champion.

8G2A5963_Tito_Ortiz_PCP2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Tito Ortiz

We'll be kicking off in about 20 minutes. Join us for a full day of live coverage then.--BW


PokerStars Championship Panama live reporting team is: Martin Harris, Howard Swains, Alex Villegas, Brad Willis, and Nick Wright.

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