2012 PCA $100K Super High Roller, Day Two: Galen Hall Leads Stacked Final Table

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On Friday afternoon, the final table for the first major event of the 2012 tournament poker season was determined in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure’s $100,000 Super High Roller event, with several top players looking to make some significant green.

18 men came back to the tables on Friday, looking to get down to at least the final eight handed final table and potentially all the way to the final five (the players who will cash in the tournament). Kicking off the action, Isaac Haxton was in charge, but in pursuit were Viktor ‘Isildur1’ Blom and a player who always seems to be in the mix when a High Roller title is up for grabs, Erik Seidel.

From the start, the leaders did not treat each other kindly. Haxton and Blom squared off in one of the first hands of the day, with Blom raising the pot to 13K and Haxton calling out of the big blind. A 3-2-4 flop brought more action, with ‘Isildur1’ laying out 22K and Haxton simply calling the bet. On the King turn, Blom decided to keep the pressure on, putting up 46K and Haxton just called again. Once a six hit the river, though, both men holstered their guns and checked, with Blom showing only an A-Q and Haxton turning up pocket deuces for the flopped set to take the pot.

The first elimination came about an hour into the action as Chance Kormuth left the event. After having his stack decimated by Daniel Negreanu, Kormuth was able to hang on for a bit, but he would be knocked out by Mike McDonald in eighteenth place. He would soon be followed by Tom Marchese, who met his demise at the hands of Blom.

Two of the shorter stacks left in the tournament, David ‘Doc’ Sands and Yevgeniy Timoshenko, battled it out, with one of the men not surviving the confrontation. After Timoshenko put in a raise and Sands defended his big blind, the J-7-7 brought out the fireworks.

After Sands checked his option, Timoshenko put in a 14K bet, which Sands check raised to 28K. Timoshenko made the three bet to 45K and, after some thought, Sands made his stand with the all-in move. Timoshenko made the call almost simultaneously and showed A-J for Jacks up; it wasn’t quite good enough, however, as Sands showed pocket Aces and, after a blank turn and river, knocked Timoshenko nearly to the felt. On the next hand, Sands would complete the job, knocking out Timoshenko and garnering some much needed chips.

With fifteen players remaining, Haxton was still in the lead, but he faced a new challenger. Scott Seiver used the early action to become a contender for the crown, while Blom maintained the pace to provide some pressure.

Over the span of the next few hours, two gentlemen would change the top of the leaderboard. Negreanu continued his good run after his hand against Kormuth, taking a nice stack of chips off of McDonald to move up to nearly one million in chips. Meanwhile, defending PCA Main Event champion Galen Hall began to make some noise after a particularly fortunate hand.

After a pre-flop raise by Hall, Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier made a stand for his final chips, which Hall called. He was way behind with his J-8 against ‘ElkY’s’ A-J, but a fortuitous flop and turn of 9-10-10-Q gave him a straight. After no king or eight came on the river, Grospellier was eliminated and Hall was up to nearly 650K in chips.

Negreanu was responsible for the departure of Erik Seidel, who seemed to win every High Roller event in 2011. After a raise from Negreanu, Seidel pushed his stack to the center of the felt with an A-J, finding an all too happy to call Negreanu sitting on pocket Queens. Seidel missed all of his outs to finish in twelfth place and push Negreanu to 1.5 million in chips.

The final table was determined in a stunning two hand fashion. Galen Hall took a big chunk of chips off of Haxton when he hit a baby flush with his 8-5 of hearts, and then the duo would battle it out on the very next hand. After Hall raised to 35K, Haxton popped him to 85K; Hall didn’t back down, instead three betting all in for Haxton’s stack. Haxton made the call, tabling a dominating A-K over Hall’s K-J, but immediately fell behind on the J-10-9 flop. With blanks on the turn and river, Hall jumped into the lead and Haxton was out of the tournament.

As the cards are getting set to fly in the Bahamas, here’s how the leaderboard shapes up:

1. Galen Hall, 1.748 million
2. Jonathan Duhamel, 1.336 million
3. Daniel Negreanu, 1.23 million
4. Viktor Blom, 1.228 million
5. Dan Shak, 1.199 million
6. Scott Seiver, 556,000
7. Mike McDonald, 360,000
8. Humberto Brenes, 343,000

With only five places paying in this Super High Roller event, three of these gentlemen will be walking away from their three days’ work with nothing to show for it. Hall seems to have the inside track, but Duhamel, Negreanu and Blom have been playing excellent poker. It sets up for an exciting final table at the Atlantis as the first champion is crowned for the 2012 tournament poker season.

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