The sun has set on the beautiful Mediterranean coastline of Monte Carlo for another evening and, with the coming of night, another day is in the books for the PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo. In the 100,000 Euro Super High Roller, Bryn Kenney heads the list of the final nine players while the remainder of those in Monaco for business prepare for the start of the Main Event on Saturday.
With 38 players remaining at the start of the day, four more entries were received to bring the final numbers of the Super High Roller to 61 total entries. The four players â€“ Alexander Uskov, Nick Petrangelo, Leon Tsoukernik and Dietrich Fast â€“ had all busted out previously on Thursday, but they took advantage of the re-entry option to dive back in on Friday (and keep the number of singular entries to 47). Even with another 300K in chips to go to battle with, none of the re-entries from the start of action on Friday would be around by mid-afternoon.
Most of the eyes in the Monte Carlo Casinoâ€™s poker room were glued to actor/comedian Kevin Hart at the start of action. Hart, who participated in the first-ever PokerStars Championship offering in the Bahamas and made Day Two of the Super High Roller, was in much better shape as he started the Monte Carlo Day Two. Alas, Hart was unable to make his 396,000 do any work for him as he demonstrated a bit of amateur play on the hand that broke him.
After limping into the pot, Hart saw Byron Kaverman move all in and called off the remainder of his stack. Hart was in the lead with his pocket sevens over Kavermanâ€™s A-4, but â€œconventional playâ€ would have dictated that Hart would have pushed with his middle pair rather than call off his chips. Regardless, Hart was all in and at risk as Kaverman was rewarded with two Aces on the flop to take the lead. Hart struck back, however, when a seven came on the turn to magically thrust him back in front with a boat. Just as quickly, a four came on the river to give Kaverman the most unlikely of full houses, Aces over fours, to top Hartâ€™s turned full house and send the star of Central Intelligence back to the set with no payday.
Although tournament officials would have liked to have seen the money bubble pop (eight players taking home some cash), they would have to settle for coming up just short. Nine players will come back on Saturday to first determine who will get paid (it isnâ€™t looking good for David Peters, on the short stack with 800K in chips) and then who will walk off with the top prize of 1,784,500 Euros. As it looks right now, Kenney is in the catbirdâ€™s seat for that potential payoff.
1. Bryn Kenney, 3.37 million
2. Viacheslav Buldygin, 2.975 million
3. Steffen Sontheimer, 1.91 million
4. Martin Kabrhel, 1.63 million
5. Isaac Haxton, 1.26 million
6. Ole Schemion, 1.25 million
7. Sam Greenwood, 1.15 million
8. Daniel Dvoress, 950,000
9. David Peters, 800,000
To say that Kenney has made a living off High Roller tournaments might be the understatement of 2017 (and weâ€™re not even halfway through the year). Of his 16 cashes in tournament poker this year, 12 of them have come in tournaments with a buy-in higher than $25,000 and six have been in the Aria High Roller series. Eight of those cashes have been for six figures, with the highest being Kenneyâ€™s win at the PSC Bahamas $50,000 High Roller (just under a million at $969,075).
When the tournament restarts on Saturday, one man is going to be pissed because he will receive nothing for three days of work. The remainder of the final table will receive six-figure paydays and the champion walks off with 1.7 million-plus Euros, not a bad way to start the Monte Carlo leg of the PokerStars Championships.
While these nine men do their work tomorrow, the first day of the Main Event will open for action. The 5000-Euro tournament, when it was under the auspices of the European Poker Tour, marked the end of the European tournament season and awarded the Grand Final trophy to its victor. Now, the Monte Carlo stop is simply another leg in a tournament poker season, so expecting it to bring in the 1098 entries that came out for the 2016 version might be asking too much.
PokerStars officials are expecting better attendance than the last two PSC events in Panama (366 entries) and Macau (536), but it will push the envelope to reach the 738 entries of the PSC Bahamas. At noon local time (6AM East Coast), weâ€™ll get our first indications of just how big the PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo might be.
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