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  1. [caption width="640"] The Punta Cana Poker Classic[/caption] In just five days, poker players from all over the world will be sipping on complementary cocktails at the luxurious Melia Caribe Tropical Resort in the Dominican Republic, relaxing before the start of the seventh annual Punta Cana Poker Classic. The PCPC is the brainchild of online poker site True Poker, which conceived of the idea after asking themselves what was lacking from live tournaments at the time. After thinking over the possibilities, the site’s marketing team came up with the concept of offering a professionally-run, vacation-style poker tournament set in a picturesque locale. The team traveled to various tropical locations around the world in search of the perfect spot, and eventually settled on the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. The massive property offered players a variety of amenities, like the choice of dining in over nine restaurants, all under an all-inclusive system. From the beginning, the company advertised the event not so much as a True Poker-branded tournament, but as a chance for partner sites and affiliates to offer packages as incentives for their most valuable players. Pointpoker, DSI, Bodog Network, BetCRIS and Doyle’s Room all got involved, running qualifiers and sending dozens of players to the event. The tournament exceeded expectations from the very start, attracting over 200 players and doubling its $100,000 guarantee. Several big-name poker players made the trip, including Doyle Brunson, Mike Caro, Hoyt Corkins and Eli Elezra. But as it was in its first year of operation, however, there were still several kinks to work out. For the inaugural event, organizers decided to use dealers, tables, chips and cards all from the local area, instead of bringing in their own. The decision led to a major problem when officials realized that they were missing a crucial component of the tournament – dealer buttons. But organizers didn’t sweat it, and eventually made use of some very old, non-value casino chips, stamping the word “Dealer” on them. In the end, Canada’s Peter Cross emerged victorious, banking a $65,000 payday, while claiming the title of first PCPC champ. With the success of the 2010 event, organizers decided to fly in an elite team of Las Vegas dealers, along with experienced tournament directors for the second edition. The results were impressive; a total of 415 players showed up for the Main Event, prompting organizers to bump up the $500,000 guarantee to a total of $600,000. In 2012, player participation dropped slightly, but was still enough to beat the $500,000 guarantee by about $53,000. This time around, organizers had the experience to fix problems which had plagued them in previous years, and the tournament ran seamlessly. California native Matthew Weber took home first-place and a $135,475 prize in what was becoming a premier international poker event. The following year, the event boasted a record 490 entrants, which pumped up the prize pool to an all-time high of $712,950. Mexico’s Guillermo Abdel Olvera Acuña walked away with the title that year, adding $171,100 to his bankroll for the win. The bar was raised yet again and 2014, as 507 poker players from all over the globe bought into the Main Event. When all was said and done, Canadian pro Alan Ari Engel came out on top, taking home $177,045, the largest PCPC first-place prize which had been offered to date. Last year’s event turned out to be the biggest yet, with 567 entrants buying-in to battle for the largest PCPC prize pool ever. Venezuelan poker player Luis Yepez ended up besting the field, taking home a $185,615 payday. This year, organizers have decided to move the tournament from the Hard Rock Hotel to the Melia Caribe Tropical, renting out an entire level of the resort. They expect attendance to once again break records as players bask in the beauty of Punta Cana’s white sandy beaches, and vie for a slice of the $500,000 guaranteed prize pool.
  2. One of the premier poker tournaments in the Caribbean kicks off in about a month. The Punta Cana Poker Classic gets underway on October 25 at the Melia Caribe in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. There is plenty of poker action for those in attendance. The series features 15 events over the six-day series, highlighted by the $1,650 No Limit Hold’em Main Event. The four-day Main Event carries a $500,000 guaranteed prizepool and kicks off on Wednesday, October 26 with the first of two starting days. Since its inception in 2010, the event has only grown and this year is expected to be the biggest yet. “Back in 2010, the guaranteed prizepool was only $100,000 for the Main Event we barely had enough players to cover,” said Phil Nagy, Punta Cana Poker Classic President. “Last year, our prizepool exceeded $860,000 and we expect it to be even bigger this year.” Last year, Luis Yepez bested a field of 567 in the Main Event to take home $185,615. For players who are unfortunate enough to bust out early from their tournaments and want to take a break from the table, Punta Cana is the perfect place to relax and enjoy some fun in the sun. The Melia Caribe is an all-inclusive resort with private beaches, a golf course, and nightclubs that players will be able to take advantage of for no extra charge. “We’ve reserved an entire private win of the Melia Caribe Tropical just for our players where they can enjoy private beaches, restaurants, and nightclubs,” said Nagy. “Our players literally can leave their wallet at home after check-in and enjoy around-the-clock top-notch food and beverages.” Outside of the Main Event, and the fun atmosphere in the Dominican Republic, there are plenty of side events and satellites running. There is a Caribbean Poker Tour $900 No Limit Hold’em Main Event and a $3,200 No Limit Hold’em High Roller event that are two of the bigger attractions outside of the PCPC Main Event. Players can satellite into the High Roller for as little as $350 and the CPT Main Event for as little as $110. There are also plenty of satellites for the PCPC Main Event for $220. There is a $220 No Limit Hold’em Hyper Turbo satellite to the Main Event after the welcome party for players on Tuesday, October 25 to kick off the series. Players have been satelliting into this Main Event for several months online on the Winning Poker Network and with plenty of live satellites on-site, it’s only going to make the prizepool bigger than it ever has. “We’ve qualified a minimum of seven players with a $4,900 package ever week for months now through our $55 buy-in Beast and Sit & Crush satellites,” said Nagy. “We’ll continue to run these up until the week before the Main Event. So far, we’ve got 80 players qualified and we are expecting to hit over 120 in packages alone. With the bigger Main Event field, our side events should grow as well.” This is the first year that the PCPC will be held at the Melia Caribe. For the first several years, the event was held at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, but management decided that this venue would be an improvement. Along with the new venue, the PCPC is also offering a new way for players to blow off some steam after a bustout. It’s variation on everybody’s favorite carnival game, the dunk tank. “Our dealers are world class and flown in from around the world,” said Nagy. “But if things don’t go your way at the tables, we’re going to set up a dunk tank where you can dunk the dealer who dealt you a bad beat. This event is packed full of extras and fun additions.” With increasing popularity and growth in all field sizes, Nagy believes that this is going to be one of the more prominent tournaments series around. “PCPC players are guaranteed to have a good time no matter what. The vibe is just different,” said Nagy. “Our growth in regards to attendance speaks for itself. We draw new players from around the world each year, and the ones who’ve come back before make it a point to come back year after year. It’s that good.” For more information visit PuntaCanaPokerClassic.com.
  3. [caption width="640"] Eduards Kudrjavcevs won the 2016 Punta Cana Poker Classic, 3,675.[/caption] After coming close to wins across the globe, Eduards Kudrjavcevs finally has his first career live recorded poker title. With $194,000 in tournament earnings to his name coming into this event, Kudrjavcevs was an accomplished player in his own right but is now the owner of the Punta Cana Poker Classic officially making his venture to the Dominican Republic a successful one. Kudrjavcevs has final table appearances in countries such as Cyprus, The Bahamas, and his native Latvia. Given his previous tournament experience, it seemed like only a matter of time before Kudrjavcevs earned his breakthrough victory. Eight players came into the final day of play and it would take over two full levels to score the first elimination of the day as it was Fernando Gordo would be the initial player to hit the rail. Gordo moved all-in with [poker card="kd"][poker card="qc"] and found a call from Kudrjavcevs, who held [poker card="jc"][10c]. The flop was clean for Gordo, but the [poker card="jd"] surged Kudrjavcevs ahead and Gordo would hit the rail earning $18,005 for his final table run. Two eliminations occurred during the next level bringing the field down to five players. First to exit was Jorge de Oliveira. Manuel Minaya was the player who sent de Oliveira to the rail as he flopped two kings with [poker card="kd"][poker card="5h"] to send de Oliveira and his [poker card="as"][poker card="4h"] to the rail earning $22,855. The next to go was Enrique Sikaria who shoved with [poker card="ac"][poker card="6d"] and found a call from Kudrjavcevs, who held [10s][poker card="8c"]. The [poker card="8h"] flopped for Kudrjavcevs and Sikiaria was eliminated in sixth place for a $27,705 score. Kudrjavcevs would continue his streak of eliminations in the next level as he sent John Curcury out in fifth place. Curcury was all-in with [poker card="kh"][poker card="7d"] and needed help against the two eights of Kudrjavcevs. A king would not come for Curcury and he headed to the payout cage to collect his $34,360 prize. Carlos Sobenes would take his leave in fourth place after running pocket fives into the pocket aces of Chris Cotton. Once down to three-handed play, the tournament ended in a span of only three hands. Cotton was felted first when he got all-in with [poker card="kh"][poker card="9c"] and was up against the [poker card="js"][poker card="7s"] of Kudrjavcevs. The flop netted Cotton the [poker card="kc"] but the board run out a flush for Kudrjavcevs to send Cotton out as he earned $60,600. Heads-up play did not last much longer as Minaya was all-in the next hand with [poker card="kd"][10c] against the [poker card="as"][poker card="qc"] of Kudrjavcevs. The board ran out dry for Minaya as he took second place for $88,895. It was a dominating final table performance for Kudrjavcevs as he was responsible for all but two of the eliminations on the last day of play. With the victory, Kudrjavcevs is now over $335,000 in career tournament earnings. Final Table Payouts Eduards Kudrjavcevs - $143,675 Manuel Minaya - $88,985 Chris Cotton - $60,600 Carlos Sobenes - $46,405 John Curcury - $34,630 Enrique Sikaria - $27,705 Jorge de Oliveira - $22,855 Fernando Gordo - $18,005 Jeffrey Cormier - $13,850
  4. For better or worse, lottery-style sit-n-gos have become an integral part of today’s online poker landscape. The tournaments, which can randomly pump up prize pools above and beyond what they would normally be, were popularized by PokerStars, after the site introduced its Spin & Go games in 2014. Since then, nearly every major poker site has developed its own lottery SNG offering, each of which features its own unique variations. A new contender has entered the mix and will make it's debut at the Punta Cana Poker Classic later this month. Sit-n-Go 2.0 was developed to be played either live or online. How it worksThe rules of Sit & Go 2.0 are no different than those of a standard nine-handed No Limit Hold‘em sit-n-go. The difference comes before players’ hands are even dealt, and only affects the prize pool amount and number of places paid. Before the tournament begins, each player receives one card face down. The player to the immediate left of the button then turns over his or her card, revealing it to be either red or black. A red card puts a stop to the pregame action and means that the prize pool will remain the same as it was outlined during registration. In that case, the total prize pool will be equal to 7X the buy-in, with only the top two players getting paid. When a red card is revealed, the cards are shuffled and a standard sit-n-go is played out. If the first player turns over a black card, however, the prize pool is increased to a factor of 9X the buy-in, and will guarantee payment to the top three finishers. The action then falls on the next player to the left, and continues until a red card is revealed. Each time a black card is turned over, the prize pool increases, creating a potential pool of up to 51.3X the buy-in, with six places being paid. The likelihood of all nine players receiving black cards is very low, of course, and happens around once every 1,180 trials. Roughly 75% of the time, the pregame action will end immediately with a red card or with just one player producing a black card. In the table below, you can see the payout structures and probabilities for a Sit-n-Go 2.0 game with $10 buy-in. # Black CardProbability# out of 1,180MultiplierPrizepool 9 Black Cards0.08492759%1.0051.3$510.00 8 Black Cards0.12267318%1.4540$400.00 7 Black Cards0.28408527%3.3530$300.00 6 Black Cards0.63919185%7.5420$200.00 5 Black Cards1.40013452%16.5217$170.00 4 Black Cards2.99119648%35.3015$150.00 3 Black Cards6.24249700%73.6613$130.00 2 Black Cards12.74509804%150.3911$110.00 1 Black Card25.49019608%300.789$90.00 No Black Cards50.00000000%590.007$70.00 Punta Cana Poker Classic debutThe game is set to make a big splash at the upcoming Punta Cana Poker Classic, which runs October 25-30 in the Dominican Republic, when it makes its debut. To help promote the game, Collin Moshman, who holds a theoretical mathematics honors degree from the California Institute of Technology, along with his wife Katie Dozier, a poker coach at DragtheBar.com, plan to release a Sit-n-Go 2.0 specific e-book on Amazon.com on October 17 - a week before the debut. The couple have already written several books on poker strategy. “We are so happy to have been brought on board in order to promote this exciting new format,” said Dozier. “My husband and I had a blast writing the book and thinking about the many ways in which the different payout structures within the format will change the optimal strategy.” Indeed, with so many recreational players leaving standard cash games and flocking to lottery SNGs, poker pros will no doubt be eager to learn how they can maximize their profits at Sit-n-Go 2.0 tables. In an excerpt from his upcoming book, Moshman explains the importance of learning the new variant. “The creation of jackpots created an opportunity,” he wrote. “Good poker players have a lot of strengths, but change is not one of them. Instead, they stick with their current format until they have no choice but to follow the recreational money.” Dozier will be playing Sit-n-Go 2.0 live on her new Twitch.tv channel, while interacting with poker players on social media who may have questions about the new format.
  5. [caption width="640"] Roberto Carvallo won the 2017 Punta Cana Poker Classic for ,590 (Codigo Poker photo)[/caption] Roberto Carvallo bested a competitive field of 382 players to take down the 2017 Punta Cana Poker Classic Main Event for $97,590. The Chilean's career-best live outing concluded with a heads-up final table chop alongside Michigan's Jamin Stokes, who also collected $97,590 cash for his effort, with final day chip leader Santiago Soriano of Spain placing third for just over $50,000. The $1,650 USD buy-in event easily surpassed $500,000 in total prize pool money, with the nine-handed final table playing out within the eastern Dominican Republic tourist-friendly region. A total of 45 players cashed in the PCPC Main Event. Big Win for Carvallo The $97,500 cash prize is by far Carvallo's largest live tournament take of his short career. In May of this year, he competed in the inaugural PokerStars Festival Chile and took home $7,450 upon winning Deepstack Event #20. Carvallo was down to ten big blinds once the final table played down to six-handed action, but bounced back after his A-J outflopped his opponent's A-Q to survive. The young Chilean was also able to best Soriano in an all in pre-flop scenario three-handed when his king-jack defeated the Spaniard's ace-four thanks to a fortunate turn card. Once heads-up, the young Chilean and his American counterpart battled back and forth and eventually played down to similar chip stacks -- which is when the duo decided to chop the prize money evenly before the trophy winner was determined. The final shove saw Carvallo's [poker card="td"][poker card="3h"] outperform Stokes' [poker card="9c"][poker card="8d"] on a [poker card="6d"][poker card="3c"][poker card="2h"] runout for the win. PCPC Main Event Final Table Payouts Roberto Carvallo - $97,590 Jamin Stokes - $97,590 (*2-way deal) Santiago Soriano – $50,025 Benjamin Craig - $39,185 Julian Kaplan - $29,180 Lucas Smith – $23,620 Cristopher Cardinale - $18,900 Kalman Dohany - $14,730 James Casement – $11,395
  6. [caption width="640"] The Punta Cana Poker Classic offers players a little bit of poker paradise[/caption] “Sun, fun, amazing poker and good people...” As the Punta Cana Poker Classic (PCPC) enters its eighth year, Phil Nagy, President of the PCPC, says players can expect more of the same good times they've experienced in the past when the five-day festival kicks off on October 24. “...and a bar at the cash games,” Nagy adds. “It makes for better games.” The desirable tropical destination of the Dominican Republic's Punta Cana combined with a full slate of cash and tournament poker action has made the PCPC one of the most anticipated poker vacations of the year. Besides the guaranteed great weather and incredible amenities, the PCPC boasts prize pools worth playing for including their $500,000 Guaranteed Main Event, the $1K Second Chance, the $3200 High Roller and new for 2017, something extra for players that like to test their heads-up skills. “Every year we like to switch things up,” Nagy said “This year we have a multi-day high-stakes heads-up tournament that runs basically all day. As soon as two people sign up, they'll play to move on to Day 2.” The new event, along with the constant refinement in the PCPC marquee events, is a direct result of Nagy being open to the wants of his player base, one that consists of a wide international gathering that the festival has historically enjoyed. “We definitely have built a following over the years for an overall great tournament that lets you take a break from the regular casino grind,” Nagy explained about the festival's evolution. “But listening to what the customer wants and letting it evolve into what people wanted it to be. It's amazing what happens when you just listen to your customers and do what they ask you to do to.” This includes the experience away from the table. The PCPC is headed into its second year at the Melia Caribe Tropical Resort, providing an all-inclusive experience (except for the poker buy-ins). With a year under the PCPC's belt, players can expect an even smoother experience between the poker and the outdoor pools with Nagy and his team constantly working to enhance the player experience. “We made some changes to the restaurants, more nightlife, and some super-secret fun stuff,” Nagy said. “Most importantly year after year our customer knows what quality experience they can expect. I joke about being the 'King of the PCPC' but we really work to make the players the Kings and Queens.” When it comes to those 'super-secret' activities planned, Nagy wouldn't budge “You'll have to ask your VIP Host, Irene.” Looking to the future of the festival Nagy seems hopefully for another historically successful event. In addition to all of the action, “I'm hoping to see some new faces...and beer pong,” Nagy added, “Two years ago it was amazing and I'm looking to bring that one back.” The 2017 Punta Cana Poker Classic takes place from October 24-29 with the $500,000 Guaranteed Main Event kicking off on October 25.
  7. [caption width="640"] The 2017 Punta Cana Poker Classic is right around the corner[/caption] Paradise seekers get ready: the Punta Cana Poker Classic is right around the corner. Bountiful beaches and jam-packed poker action, the five-day affair is a dream poker vacation for both players and adventure seekers alike. Check out a few reasons why perhaps you should consider hopping a flight to the “Coconut Coast” and play some poker in the Dominican Republic's lap of luxury, Punta Cana. 1. Non-Stop Poker It's five days of non-stop big-time action at the poker tables and whether you are a high roller or a heads-up aficionado the Punta Cana Poker Classic provides a little something for everyone. You can jump right into the PCPC main event ($1,500 + $150 No Limit Hold'em) or take your shots at a satellite for just about every event, including the two-day High Roller ($3,200 No Limit Hold'em). If that's not enough card squeezing for you, the 13-event PCPC offers a number of one-day Turbo events, a $1K Second Chance and, of course, the debut of live versions of Sit & Go 2.0. But if you want more than poker, you can always check out... 2. The beautiful beaches of Punta Cana Palm trees and white sand beaches, Punta Cana's renown coastline is revered as one of the most visually stunning and inviting the Dominican Republic has to offer. From walks on the soft white sand to exploring more of the secluded portions of the 32 km coastline, if you are a beach freak the various hot spots in Punta Cana are something you are going to want to experience for yourself. But if sun and sand aren't your idea of a good time you can always find something to do at... 3. The Melia Caribe Tropical Resort When you are going on a “poker vacation” it’s imperative that you take good care of the “vacation” aspect of your trip and, by all accounts, the Melia Caribe Tropical package has everything one would want in a getaway. Boasting nine outdoor pools to relax in, all inclusive dining and drinks (even the good stuff), spas to help you get over those stressful all-in calls and a clean, comfortable room full of tropical opulence, the “vacation” aspect of your trip is in good hands. Of course, if you're the adventurous type there's plenty of... 4. Activities Outside The Resort Like any great vacation destination, in addition to plentiful poker, Punta Cana offers experiences you won't soon forget. Hit the links at Cap Cana, visit the Altos de Chavón Amphitheatre, swim with the dolphins at the Dolphin Explorer seaside park, visit the Manati Park zoo as well as adrenaline pumping activities like scuba-diving, snorkling, zip-lining, deep-sea sport fishing and more. But if all of these aren't quite enough, here's 500,000 more reasons to check out the PCPC... 5. $500,000 Main Event Guarantee The Punta Cana Poker Classic seemingly has everything you would want in a tropical poker destination and that includes a healthy $500,000 guarantee on their 4-day Main Event. With 50 minute levels and a 20k starting stack, there's plenty of room to maneuver en route to what should be a 6-figure first place prize. If, by chance, you happen to get too “cooled off”, there's both 7 levels of re-entry and event a Second Chance event so you can stay in action all week long. Make your plans early to visit poker paradise as the Punta Cana Poker Classic gets underway from October 24-29.
  8. Poker is always being innovated further and Sit & Go 2.0 is the latest in that creative development. Sit & Go 2.0 debuted at the Punta Cana Poker Classiclast October and will return when the series kicks off on October 24. The gameplay is designed to combine poker with the chance element of table games but still provides a skill factor on all sides. Similar to other lottery-style sit-n-gos, the prize pool is determined before the game takes place but unlike the more common format, Sit & Go 2.0 allows for full ring action and opportunity for the prize pool to change. How To Play The rules of Sit & Go 2.0 are the same as a standard nine-handed No Limit Hold‘em sit-n-go. The difference comes prior to hands being dealt, The changes affect the total prize pool and number of places paid. The rules are same for Sit & Go 2.0 as they are for a regular sit-n-go with a few exceptions. Prior to play starting, all players are dealt one card face down. The player to the left of the button reveals their card to the table, showing it to be either red or black. Should the card be red, the action is completed and the prize pool is the same as it were when play started. If that is to happen, the prize pool is identical to the 7x buy in and only the top two players make the money. When the red card is turned over, play resumes as a standard sit-n-go would. If a black card is turned over by the first player, the prize pool is increased to nine times the buy in and the top three players will be guaranteed payment. The process of turning over cards continues until a red card is shown. Every time a black card is shown, the prize pool grows. The largest possible prize pool is 51.3x the buy with six places paid. It is obviously highly unlikely for all nine players to receive black cards and takes over 1,100 simulations to happen. Approximately three-quarters of the time, the pre-action portion will end right away with a red card or only one player having a black card. The table below shows the payout structures and probabilities for a Sit-n-Go 2.0 game with $10 buy-in. # Black CardProbability# out of 1,180MultiplierPrizepool 9 Black Cards0.08492759%1.0051.3$510.00 8 Black Cards0.12267318%1.4540$400.00 7 Black Cards0.28408527%3.3530$300.00 6 Black Cards0.63919185%7.5420$200.00 5 Black Cards1.40013452%16.5217$170.00 4 Black Cards2.99119648%35.3015$150.00 3 Black Cards6.24249700%73.6613$130.00 2 Black Cards12.74509804%150.3911$110.00 1 Black Card25.49019608%300.789$90.00 No Black Cards50.00000000%590.007$70.00 The Punta Cana Poker Classic is teaming up with the husband and wife combo of Collin Moshman and Katie Dozier. The pair are promoting the game with Moshman’s e-book already released and Dozier planning to play the game live on Twitch. Players from all poker backgrounds have shown they are open to trying out “lottery” forms of gaming on poker sites and Sit-n-Go 2.0 fits that model. “The creation of jackpots created an opportunity,” Moshman said in his book. “Good poker players have a lot of strengths, but change is not one of them. Instead, they stick with their current format until they have no choice but to follow the recreational money.” The Punta Cana Poker Classic is only a few weeks away and once it gets started, there will be plenty of chances for players onsite to learn more about this new model of poker.
  9. [caption width="640"] In its eighth year, the Punta Cana Poker Classic continues their rich tradition[/caption] The Punta Cana Poker Classic has established itself as one of the most inviting poker vacation tour stops of the calendar year. Since their inaugural tournament back in 2010, they have created a must-play event that has blended plentiful poker and beautiful beaches into a one-of-a-kind experience. Now in their, eighth year, PocketFives decided to take a look back at some of the highlights of the PCPC in years past. 2010 The Punta Cana Poker Classic more than doubling the initial $100,000 guarantee in its first year. Highlighted by the attendance of “The Godfather of Poker” Doyle Brunson the event was won by Canadian player, and PocketFiver, Peter 'peterhammer' Cross. Cross' victory was worth a career-best $65,000. 2011 In the shadow of Black Friday, the 2011 PCPC was a ray of light. On the heels of the success of 2010, organizers increased the guarantee to the modern-day mark of $500,000. Taking place at the Punta Cana Hard Rock Hotel, 415 runners took their shot at becoming the second ever champion. The event was won by professional poker player, 20-year-old Toronto native Demo Kiriopoulos. Kiriopoulos took home the $136,949 first place prize, only the second recorded tournament of his career. 2012 Matthew Weber became the first American to take down the PCPC Main Event as he defeated Canadian Kelly Kellner in a lightning fast heads-up match. Weber added over $135,000 to his bankroll for his efforts and it marked the second time in as many years that the Main Event crushed it's $500,000 guarantee and offered a six-figure score for first. 2013 In 2013, the player pool swelled to nearly 500 runners, pushing the prize pool higher than it had ever been to over $700,000. Mexico's Guillermo Olvera Acuna bested the packed field, which included World Poker Tour Champion Jonathan Roy, former November Niner Marc McLaughlin, prior PCPC Champion Kiriopoulos and Anthony Zinno, who would go on to become a three-time World Poker Tour Champion. Zinno made the final table but bowed out in fourth place. Acuna's score of $171,000 would be a career high for him. 2014 Once again the Main Event reached new heights attracting more runners and a larger prize pool than any previous years. One of those players would be former #1-ranked PocketFiver Ari Engel, the then, self-described “homeless” poker player was simply traveling the world from tournament to tournament when he arrived in Punta Cana to win the Main Event for over $177,000. 2015 By now, word of the value and experience in Punta Cana was well-known and players flocked to the poker destination to, yet again, make the Main Event the largest in its history. Returning PCPC Champion, Ari Engel, looked to defend his title, making an extremely deep run. Though Engel would make his way to the final table, he would fall in fourth place as Venezuela's Luis Yepez would score the victory this year, netting over $185,000 for the largest cash of his life. 2016 Organizers of the PCPC switched the location of the series from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino to its new home at the Melia Caribe all-inclusive resort. In an effort to give poker players a more exclusive experience the resort carved out a special section, called The Level, where players would have access to more amenities than in previous years. In another first, the PCPC crowned its first European champion when Latvia's Eduards Kudrjavcevs took home the trophy and over $143,000 for first. Here in 2017, the Punta Cana Poker Classic continues to write history. Returning to the Melia Caribe all-inclusive resort for a week's worth of poker and palm trees from October 24-29, the PCPC is sure to bring with it both large prize pools and poolside memories. For more information visit PuntaCanaPokerClassic.com.
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