Event #45: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em

Kapalas is Crushing

Although he isn't officially a PokerStars Team Pro member yet, Georgios Kapalas is certainly on his way to becoming one.

Kapalas is one of the three "PokerStars Greece Challengers" who is competing to become a Team Pro representative from Greece. The PokerStars website explains, "Stavros 'IDOLLS' Kalfas, George 'gkap13' Kapalas and Alexis '[email protected]@' Zervos are competing to determine which one of them is the best all around player this year. The Challenge will take into account results from the European Poker Tour (EPT), SCOOP and WCOOP, as well as overall tournament performance both live and online."

In a recent hand, a player in middle position pushed all in for 24,000, the hijack called, and Kapalas pushed all in as well having both players covered. The hijack called off the rest of his chips and the hands were tabled.

Middle Position: {a-Spades}{7-Clubs}
Hijack: {a-Hearts}{10-Hearts}
Kapalas: {q-Spades}{q-Clubs}

The board ran true for Kapalas when it came {8-Clubs}{7-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds}{k-Hearts}{4-Hearts} and he eliminated both the other players. After the hand his stack grew to 310,000 so it seems that he is our current chipleader.

Kapalas will obviously be helped in his challenge to become a PokerStars Team Pro by a deep run in today's tournament. We'll be keeping our eyes on him to see what develops!

George Kapalas gr
George Kapalas
gr 310,000 217,400

Tags: George Kapalas

Radu Junc Rolling Through Day 2 and Representing the Deaf Poker Community

Throughout this Day 2, the PokerNews team has watched as a player continually won large pots and celebrated in silence. This player showed plenty of emotion, however, but his joy was expressed wordlessly through American Sign Language (ASL).

Radu Junc, who made his way to the Rio from California, is a deaf poker player making a deep run through Event # 45: No-Limit Hold’Em to put himself among the final 90 players still seeking a bracelet. With a few of his buddies signing their approval from the rail, Junc has had a seesaw session so far, but midway through the second day of play he has amassed over 170,000 chips.

His friends excitedly let us know that Junc had started at 53,000 chips to begin Day 1, climbed to 130,000 at one point and then plummeted to only 25,000 after a brutal beat. Junc then displayed the same perseverance he has shown throughout his life and battled back from the extreme short-stack. One huge hand that helped propel him back into contention saw his suited {A-}{K-} overcome the {J-}{J-} of an opponent. Junc now holds an above average stack and is poised to return on Day 3, as he tries to make a historic appearance at the final table.

Junc is no novice when it comes to tournament poker, having captured 1st place honors at the Fifth Annual Las Vegas World Deaf Poker Tournament held in 2009. This win came on the heels of his runner-up finish in the same event one year prior, and Junc has proven to be a formidable opponent on the felt in both deaf and open events.

Among his supporters on the rail are Brad Gibson and Patrick Burger, both of whom are founding fathers of the deaf poker community. Gibson’s name may be familiar to many poker fans, as he was the first deaf person to enter a WSOP event and is the founder of DeafRounders.com. His website is designed to connect the deaf community with the world of poker, and Gibson accomplishes this in part through the National Deaf Poker Tour.

With their friend Radu Junc going toe-to-toe with Phil Hellmuth, Antonio Esfandiari and many more of poker’s premiere players, Gibson, Burger and the rest of the deaf poker community certainly have something to be proud of. If Junc can complete his run to the final table here at the WSOP, the rest of the poker world will take notice of a player whose actions truly speak louder than words.

Radu Junc
Radu Junc
173,000 119,500

Tags: Brad GibsonPatrick BurgerRadu Junc

We're Back!

• Level 16: 1,500-3,000, 500 ante

The 79 remaining players have now returned from break.


Coloring Up

• Level 15: 1,200-2,400, 400 ante

Players are now on a 20-minute break so the black T100 chips can be raced off.

Hellmuth Lays One Down

• Level 15: 1,200-2,400, 400 ante

Action folded all the way around to the player in the small blind who raised to 7,500. Phil Hellmuth was in the big blind and tanked for a couple of minutes before deciding to call.

The flop came {k-Hearts}{9-Spades}{4-Diamonds} and both players checked. The turn was the {10-Diamonds} and the small blind immediately announced he was all in. Hellmuth seemed almost shocked. The all-in was for around 25,000 and Hellmuth mumbled to himself a bit eventually declaring, "I have the biggest draw in the world" before folding his {a-Diamonds}{j-Diamonds} face up.

The other player seemed sad that Hellmuth folded, so we can only imagine that he did make the correct decision in laying his "big draw" down.

Tags: Phil Hellmuth

Antonio Staying Active

• Level 15: 1,200-2,400, 400 ante
Antonio Esfandiari Is Dominating the Day 2 Action
Antonio Esfandiari Is Dominating the Day 2 Action

Befitting his status as tournament chip leader, Antonio Esfandiari has been very active lately and engaged his opponents in three pots from late position.

In the first hand, a player in the cutoff raised to 6,000 and The Magician raised to 14,100 from the button. His opponent played back at the chip leader and four-bet all-in. Esfandiari mucked his cards moved on to the next hand.

On the next deal, a player raised to 6,000 from late position and Esfandiari tried, tried again, making it 14,100 to go for the second hand in a row. This time the power play worked and Esfandiari dragged the pot uncontested.

On the following hand, Esfandiari raised to 5,300 from the hijack and an opponent in the small blind called. The flop fell {4-Spades}{7-Hearts}{K-Spades} and both players tapped the table. When the turn came {Q-Spades}, the small blind fired 8,500 into the middle and Esfandiari released.

It appears that Esfandiari's huge chip stack has compelled him to open his game up, and he is playing pots frequently in an attempt to take control of both his table, and the entire tournament.

Tags: Antonio Esfandiari

Driscoll Draining Chips From Rest of Table

• Level 15: 1,200-2,400, 400 ante

On a board of {Q-Diamonds}{9-Diamonds}{9-Hearts}{J-Diamonds}{Q-Spades}, Jonathan Driscoll bet 30,000 into a pot containing nearly 65,000. His opponent went into the tank before calling, but he mucked his cards when Driscoll announced "I have a jack."

His {K-Hearts}{J-Hearts} was good enough to drag the pot and Driscoll appears to have his opponent's mesmerized, as they call him down with inferior holdings and ship more chips his way.

Tags: Jonathan Driscoll

From Sure Chop to Crushing Defeat

• Level 15: 1,200-2,400, 400 ante

With players pushing chips around the table everywhere we look, one all-in hand we witnessed appeared to be uninteresting initially.

One player had raised to 4,500 from early position and an opponent in the hijack reraised to 15,000. The original raiser quickly moved all-in for 45,000 more and, just as quickly, his opponent announced a call. The early position player showed down the {A-Spades}{K-Clubs}, while the hijack revealed his {A-Clubs}{k-Spades}.

A chopped pot was all but assured, but when the flop came {7-Clubs}{K-Hearts}{10-Clubs}, the hijack player stood up in anticipation, hoping more clubs were on their way.

The turn card came {3-Clubs} and now the whole table was watching and waiting to see if justice would be done.

River: {Q-Clubs}

The club on the river hit the early position player like a ton of bricks, and his entire stack was shipped across the table while he sat helplessly and watched. The winner of the hand was so stunned by his victory that he couldn't even summon his name when asked. The mystery man now holds a decent stack of nearly 100,000 and, if this hand is any indication, he has a horseshoe and some rabbit's feet hidden somewhere as well.

Luckychewy Gets....Lucky

[user196942] • Level 15: 1,200-2,400, 400 ante

A player in early position opened for 6,200 and Andrew "Luckychewy" Lichtenberger to his immediate left deliberated before announcing he was all in for 26,000. Everyone folded back around to the original raiser who called.

Lichtenberger: {10-Clubs}{10-Diamonds}
Opponent: {Q-Spades}{Q-Diamonds}

The {4-Hearts}{6-Spades}{10-Hearts} flop would give Lichtenberger a set to put him in the lead. The {4-Spades} turn and {3-Spades} river were no help to his opponent and Lichtenberger doubled up to about 55,000.

Tags: Andrew Lichtenberger