Eric Liu potted preflop and Jason Mercier re-potted. Liu called, and they saw a flop. All the chips went in.
A third spade dropped on the turn, making Liu a flush. Mercier sat there for a moment, before pushing his whole stack over to Liu. While Mercier looked rather dejected as he trudged to the payout desk, Liu moved to the upper echelons of the chip counts on 980,000.
Ali Aljenabi potted preflop, and Ryan D'Angelo pressed repot, leaving himself 30,000 behind. Aljenabi matched G0lfa's bet of 168,000 to see the flop fall . Aljenabi tossed in a handful of pink chips, and D'Angelo called all in.
D'Angelo: for top two pair
Aljenabi: for top pair, top kicker and some backdoor draws
The turn ended Aljenabi's shot at a runner-runner straight or flush, and he was down to looking for a better two pair. But the on the river actually improved G0lfa's two pair, giving him the win with jacks and tens.
"It's a gambling tournament," D'Angelo said. "You gotta go with it."
D'Angelo moved back up the ladder to 350,000 after losing a huge hand earlier. Aljenabi was left with just 85,000. "You shouldn't have told me you didn't like to flip," D'Angelo said to him. "I wouldn't have shoved then."
Jose Nacho Barbero limped in early position; behind him David Iammarino and Gary Bolden (cutoff) followed suit, as did both Scott Mandel and Julian Gardner in the blinds.
All five players saw a flop, and four of them checked. In position, Bolden bet pot with just a few chips behind. It folded back to Barbero, who squirmed for a minute or two. Then he reraised all in. Iammarino folded but Bolden made the call and they were on their backs.
Bolden: for a set of tens
Barbero: for a flush draw
Barbero made his flush and Bolden failed to fill up, meaning that we are down to 16 players.
Gary Bolden isn't a player to mess with. His biceps are in danger of ripping his shirt, and he exudes a "tough guy" attitude without appearing to try. From a few tables over, where he is waiting for the limit hold'em shootout to begin, Allen Kessler took notice of Bolden.
"Do you do personal training?" he asked. "I need a personal trainer."
Bolden said he didn't, but that they could probably work something out.
"Good," Kessler said. "I jogged here from the parking lot and I ran out of breath."
Another player at Kessler's table laughed. "You can't get personal training comped, so you're never going to do it." But if he does, we'd pay money to see it.
Mark Eddleman raised to 47,000 in early position, and Joe Beevers moved all in behind him. Eddleman made the call to put Beevers in danger.
Beevers' kings were second best, but he did have club and spade flush draws to go with them. Eddleman was the one who picked up a flush draw on the flop, however, as it came . The on the turn sealed the deal, giving Eddleman both a flush and top set. The river was unimportant, and Beevers was sent to the payout desk in 18th, making him the first to collect $19,479. Eddleman moved up to 550,000.
Jose Nacho Barbero potted under the gun and Scott Mandel called on the button. Over in the big blind, however, Niall Charlton re-potted, with not many chips behind. Barbero tanked up for a while but folded. Mandel also tanked up - but when he emerged from the tank, he called.
Charlton's queens held up and he doubled to 400,000. Mandel's face fell as he realized his flush draw wasn't coming in, and he fell to 210,000.
Two tables left, and indeed two Team PokerStars Pros - one at each table.
Representing for North America (USA), at Table 345 we have Jason Mercier. He's currently above average on a very comfortable 450,000 after knocking out Ayaz Mahmood.
And for South America (Argentina), at Table 344 is Jose Nacho Barbero. Fresh off of winning two LAPT titles back to back earlier this year, Barbero is a little below average on 285,000, but is certainly running hot and we wouldn't be surprised if he ends up taking a serious shot at this bracelet.