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2017 PokerStars Championship Bahamas: Michael Gentili Surges to Chip Lead on Day 4, 16 Players Remaining

It was a quick day of work for the players left alive at the 2017 PokerStars Championship Bahamas Main Event on Thursday. After only six hours of play, the field was whittled down to the final 16 players as Michael Gentili surged to the lead.

Nick Maimone was the chip leader at the start of Day 4, sitting astride a massive stack of 1.75 million chips. There were some notables looking to chop him down, however, as Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier was tucked in behind him with 1.333 million chips. Additionally, there was a chance at some history as John Dibella, who won this same tournament back in 2012 when it was the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (and a $ 10,000 buy in tournament), sat in third place with his 1.119 million stack.

The 32 players who started the day began the parade towards the doors of the Atlantis Resort and Casino almost immediately. Gaelle Baumann would put her short stack into the center with an off-suit Q-J, but it was topped by Rodrigo Cordoba’s pocket sevens. The flop would bring Baumann an Ace and a ten, but nothing else would come on the turn or river, as Baumann hit the rail within 20 minutes of the start of the day’s play.

Pratyush Buddiga would also fall victim early on. In a “blind versus blind” battle, Buddiga would push all in out of the small blind and found a willing participant in Marcin Kapkowski. Buddiga had larceny in his heart as he showed his 9 6, which was completely dominated by Kapkowski’s A 9. While he didn’t need it, Kapkowski got the A♠ on an all-black flop, virtually ending any chance at the hand for Buddiga. Once a King came on the turn, it was official and Buddiga was out the door.

As these players were departing, Maimone was finding the waters rough in the position of chip leader. After getting up over the two million mark (2.3 million, exactly, after eliminating Scott Stewart), he gradually saw those chips slip through his fingers. Maimone saw his flopped trip sevens eclipsed by Michael Vela’s turned straight to fall to 1.3 million and donated more to Vela’s cause moments later when Vela flopped a set of eights against what Maimone said were pocket nines. Gentili, who had been motoring on well through the day, was the recipient of Maimone’s final 700K in chips when his pocket Kings stood tall against Maimone’s Big Slick on a Jack-high board.

Gentili, who found himself with over 2.4 million chips after defeating Maimone, didn’t put it on cruise control after that clash. On a 10-7-9-Q-2 board, Gentili fired a river bet of 400K into what would eventually become a 1.2 million pot against Michael Bartholomew, sending Bartholomew into the tank. He considered the possibility of a “set versus set” situation, admitting, “That would be pretty sick,” as the clock was called on him. As the count went down, Bartholomew made the call and saw Gentili put down a pocket pair of tens for the set; Bartholomew was right as he disgustedly showed his pocket sevens for a lesser set as the pot went to Gentili.

When Dibella knocked off Rex Clinkscales in 17th place, his A-10 off-suit flopping two pair against Clinkscales pocket eights and turning a boat, the decision was made to halt the proceedings. With 16 players remaining, Gentili has put himself in a dominant position.

1. Michael Gentili, 3.708 million
2. Aleksei Opalikhin, 2.084 million
3. Nadya Magnus, 1.87 million
4. Michael Vela, 1.811 million
5. Rodrigo Cordoba, 1.777 million
6. Cliff Josephy, 1.331 million
7. Rasmuch Glaesel, 1.319 million
8. Christian Harder, 1.305 million
9. John Dibella, 1.294 million
10. Allon Allison, 1.015 million
11. Marcin Kapkowski, 950,000
12. Michael Bartholomew, 877,000
13. Alan Schein, 635,000
14. Pedro Cabeca, 540,000
15. Ryan Riess, 371,000
16. Jason Mercier, 340,000

Day 5 will commence at noon on Friday, with the goal to chop more than half the remaining players for the final table – and final day – of the 2017 PokerStars Championship Bahamas. In a break with previous traditions, the final table will be six handed and the players that earn their way there will come back on Saturday to play for the championship and the $ 480,012 first place prize.

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