PCA: Maria Lampropulos Wins Main Event, $1.08M, Platinum Pass

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Maria Lampropoulos won the 2018 PCA Main Event for $1.08 million (PokerStars photo).

Nine months ago very few poker fans had ever heard of Maria Lampropulos. Outside of a runner-up finish in Eureka Poker Tour Main Event in March 2016, her poker resume wasn’t much to write home about. She changed that last April, winning the partypoker MILLIONS Main Event at Dusk Till Dawn for $1.25 million.

Late Sunday night at the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, she picked up her second seven-figure cash by beating Shawn Buchanan heads up to win the 2018 PCA Main Event for $1.08 million and a Platinum Pass, which gives her free entry to the $25,000 PokerStars Players Championship next January.

“It’s magic. It’s a dream. It’s incredible,” said Lampropulos. “Sometimes they tell you that have to visualize that you, for example, winning the tournament or holding the trophy and I always try to do that, and it works.”

Lampropulos came to the final table sitting third in chips behind Shawn Buchanan and Adrian Mateos and didn’t take the chip lead until just four hands before the event was over. She was, however, responsible for the first bust out.

Lampropulos raised from early position to 170,000 and Christian Rudolph moved all in from the big blind. Lampropulos called and tabled [6c][6s] while Rudolph showed [ac][8d]. The board ran out [8s][7c][6d][qc][7d] to give Lampropulos a rivered full house while Rudolph was eliminated in sixth place.

Just over an hour later, Buchanan picked up his first victim of the day. Buchanan raised to 125,000 from the button and fellow Canadian Daniel Coupal called from the big blind. Coupal then moved all in for 845,000 after the [kc][5c][3d] flop and Buchanan called. Coupal showed [8d][4d] which put him well behind Buchanan’s [ks][js]. The [8h] turn gave Coupal some hope, but the [kd] river ended his tournament with a fifth-place finish.

Just 30 minutes, Buchanan and start of day chip leader Adrian Mateos clashed in a massive pot that propelled Buchanan to a nearly overwhelming position atop the chip counts. Buchanan raised from UTG to 200,000, Mateos re-raised to 600,000 from the button, the blinds folded and Buchanan called. The flop came [kd][qc][6d]. Buchanan checked, Mateos bet 700,000 before Buchanan fired back with a raise to 1,800,000. Mateos didn’t slow down, moving all in for 2,700,000 total and Buchanan called. Mateos showed [ac][kh] for top pair while Buchanan had [8d][5d] for a flush draw. The drama was over quickly as the [4d] hit the turn, completing Buchanan’s flush. The river was the [9h] to officially eliminated Mateos in fourth place.

Almost four hours into three-handed play, Lampropulos doubled through Koray Aldemir, setting up the German’s elimination. Four hands after that hand, Aldemir moved all in for 3,525,000 from the button and Buchanan called from the big blind. Aldmir showed [kh][7h] while Buchanan was ahead with [ac][8c]. The [9s][8h][3c] flop gave Buchanan middle pair and the [8d] turn gave him trips to seal Aldemir’s fate. The [kc] river was too little, too late for Aldemir and he was out in third.

Buchanan began heads-up play with a 2-1 chip lead, but over the next hour Lampropulos chipped away before eventually finding back-to-back double ups to take a 3-1 lead. Buchanan limped before Lampropulos raised all in. Buchanan called and flipped over [kh][5s] while Lampropulos showed [tc][7c]. THe [ts][9c][5d] flop put Lampropulos in front, where she stayed through the [2h] turn and [9h] river to eliminate Buchanan and capture her second seven-figure score in the last nine months.

Final Table Payouts

  1. Maria Lampropulos – $1,081,100
  2. Shawn Buchanan – $672,960
  3. Koray Aldemir – $481,560
  4. Adrian Mateos – $372,600
  5. Daniel Coupal – $293,560
  6. Christian Rudolph – $229,760
  7. Oleg Titov – $169,920
  8. Adalfer Morales Gamarra – $116,860