Mike Watson Wins PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event

Mike ‘SirWatts’ Watson Wins 2016 PCA Main Event

The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure has often been the place where poker legends have their coming out party. The final table of the 2016 PCA Main Event, however, took on a different narrative.

The six-handed final table included former WPT champ Mike ‘SirWatts‘ Watson, One Drop High Roller winner Tony Gregg, and EPT Vilamoura champ Toby ‘810ofclubs‘ Lewisas well as Russia’s fifth all-time leading money winner, Vladimir Troyanovskiy.

Watson, who won his World Poker Tour title 7.5 years ago at the Bellagio Cup, ended up navigating his way to the third major title of career following a heads-up battle with former PCA Main Event runner-up Gregg. Watson knows the player he was then is very different from the player he is today.

“I look back and think about how I was playing in that main event. I was able to win, but I realize all of the fundamental errors I was making. My game has grown so much over that time and the player I was then wouldn’t have nearly as good of a chance of winning a tournament today,” said Watson following his PCA win.

Randy Kritzer, who came into play Thursday with the shortest stack, couldn’t get much going and was the first player eliminated. On just the eighth hand of the day, Kritzer raised to 225,000 and Phillip McAllister called from the big blind. The Qh 9h 6d flop got a check from McAllister followed by a bet of 325,000 from Kritzer. McAllister announced all-in and Kritzer called and flipped up Qs Tc for top pair. McAllister showed 8s 7h a straight draw and backdoor flush draw. The 4h turn and 8h river gave McAllister his flush and ended Kritzer’s run.

With the least experienced player gone, play tightened up. It wasn’t until almost four hours later that another player was sent packing. Gregg opened to 350,000 and Troyanovskiy defended his big blind. After the Ac 8h 4h flop, Troyanovskiy moved all-in for 700,000 and Gregg called. Gregg tabled As Qc for top pair and Troyanovskiy showed 7h 3h for a flush draw. Neither the Td turn nor 9c river helped Troyanovskiy and the Russian was out in fifth place.

It took 90 minutes to go from four players to three. McAllister called from the button and Toby Lewis moved all-in from the button before Watson came over the top of both players from the big blind. Lewis tabled Ks 9s and Watson showed Ac Jd. The board ran out Tc 6s 3h Kh Qs to send Lewis home in fourth.

Action folded to McAllister, who limped from the small blind. Watson raised all-in from the big blind and McAllister snap-called and showed Jd Jh, while Watson turned 8c 7c. The Tc 7s 5c gave Watson middle pair and flush draw and all drama ended with the 3c turn. The meaningless 5s river ended the hand and McAllister was out in third.

When heads-up play began, Watson held a nearly 2-1 chip lead over Gregg. The pair went on a dinner break and when they came back agreed to a deal that saw Watson take $695,325 and Gregg $612,175, leaving $33,000 on the table and, of course, the title.

Even with just 2.5% of the first and second place prizes still at stake, Gregg and Watson continued to play for over two hours. On the final hand, Gregg limped his button and Watson checked his option to see an 8h 6h 2h flop. Watson checked and Gregg bet 400,000, only to have Watson check-raise to 1,200,000. Gregg responded by moving all-in for 4,100,000. Watson took his time before calling and showed 7h 4s for a flush draw. Gregg tabled As 8c for top pair. The 7s turn gave Watson extra outs and the 5h turn filled his flush to win the 2016 PCA Main Event.

2016 PCA Main Event Final Table Payouts

  1. Mike Watson – $728,325
  2. Tony Gregg – $612,175
  3. Phillip McAllister – $356,020
  4. Toby Lewis – $267,340
  5. Vladimir Troyanovskiy – $207,940
  6. Randy Krizter – $153,920
  7. Ken Demlakian – $110,220
  8. Timothy Ulmer – $78,540