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Found 7 results

  1. [caption width="640"] The EPT wraps up its 13th season this week (Image c/o PokerStars)[/caption] It is hard to believe thirteen seasons of the European Poker Tour have passed. It is harder to believe the tour is no longer going to exist. Thankfully for the European poker scene, the newly created PokerStars Festival series will continue to deliver poker to the masses, just under a different moniker. With the EPT wrapping up its final season in Prague this week, we decided to look back at the highlights of more than a decade of tournaments in this edition of Number Crunch: 1 – Number of two-time EPT champions. It took until the tail end of Season 10 to crown the first two-time champion. Victoria Coren won EPT London in Season 3 and in seven seasons later took down EPT San Remo to become the first and, to date, only repeat winner. By contrast, the World Poker Tour had two repeat winners the first season it was on tour. 7 – Number of final tables for Luca Pagano, the all-time leader in that category of EPT stats. Pagano has not made a final table on the tour since 2012, he was one of the original big names on the EPT, final tabling the very first EPT event in Barcelona in 2005. In 2009, Pagano final tabled three EPT Main Events. He has also finished in-the-money of 21 EPT Main Events. 23 – Number of different cities which have hosted an EPT over the years. Only Barcelona has been a stop on all 13 of the seasons, while others like Loutraki were one-and-done stops. Germany is the most popular country for the tour with Baden, Dortmund, and Berlin all playing host to events. 23 - Number of Super High Roller events in EPT history. First introduced at Season 7’s PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, the tour slowly added them to the largest stops on the tour with $50,000 and $100,000 buy-in price points (the exact amounts vary slightly based on the local currency). The list of champions reads like a who’s who of the poker circuit, but Steve O’Dwyer leads the pack with three separate Super High Roller titles. 27 – Number of countries which can lay claim to an EPT Champion. They come from every continent, save Antarctica and Australia. Champs have come from surprising places like Iran and Venezuela. The most successful countries are Great Britain and the United States. Both countries have 17 EPT titles to their credit, but you might consider giving a slight edge to the States, as John Juanda is credited as Indonesian, but has lived in the States since he was 19. 76 – Number of months Ibrahim Al Mousa was sentenced to prison for his role as the mastermind behind the 2010 EPT Berlin robbery. Al Mousa and four other men stormed the tournament area of the EPT Berlin Main Event brandishing guns and machetes. Scary, yes, but thankfully no one was hurt in the altercation. Eventually the tournament staff managed to reconstruct the tournament and play down to a winner. Kevin 'ImALuckSac' MacPhee won the tournament, but admitted in interviews he would have rather they did not play it out after the crime. 216 – Number of times EPT Live host Joe Stapleton estimates he and fellow host James Hartigan have sung their popular line “Everyone loves a chop pot!” The duo have worked together for the livestream and televised episodes of the tour for six years and have a number of running gags that have won over fans from all over the world. 1,785 – Number of entries in the largest-field EPT Main Event in history. That tournament, Season 13’s EPT Barcelona Main Event, featured a €5,300 buy-in and generated a prize pool in excess of €8.6 million. A hefty €1.1 million went to eventual champ Sebastian Malec of Poland, who bested the record field to take down the last-ever EPT Barcelona Main Event. 9,314,495– Dollars won by the EPT’s number-one earner Steve O'Dwyer. The American pro is $2.5 million ahead of his next-closest competitor, Ole Schemion. It is hard to single out just one accomplishment on O’Dwyer’s extensive EPT resume, but his biggest win is probably from Season 9, where he took down the Grand Final Main Event in Monaco for over $1.6 million. He actually earned more money for defeating a smaller field in the 2015 PCA Super High Roller for over $1.8 million in 2015 though. He has won two Super High Roller events, also taking down the one in Prague in Season 12. He has also final tabled the EPT London Main Event twice. Like we said, it is tough to pick just one accomplishment for this guy. 15,132,000 – Largest single prize pool in EPT history. Thanks to a turnout of 1,560 runners in Season 7’s PCA Main Event, the tour generated the eight-figure prize pool. While other events have generated bigger fields, the $10,000 buy-in resulted in a record-breaking sum. A cool $2.3 million went to winner Galen Hall, but the top four spots all netted seven-figure paydays.
  2. After all the madness that was a record-setting Day 1C of the 2018 World Series of Poker Main Event, a rather modest 2,453 players made their way back to the Rio for Day 2AB. Just a little more than half - 1,244 to be exact - of those players managed to find a bag with chips in it at the end of the night after another five levels of play. Leading the way is California's Shawn Daniels who built his stack from 84,200 to a 532,000. Daniels was one of just five players to end the day with more than a half-million chips. Sean Ruane, younger brother of former November Niner and last year's 10th place finisher Michael Ruane, ended the day with 361,400. Some of the more well-known players to bag chips on Thursday incldued Ben Yu (311,000), Jason Strasser (283,900), Darryll Fish (278,800), Chris Klodnicki (266,900), Marvin Rettenmaier (256,400), Darren Elias (240,700), Mustapha Kanit (235,800) and Shaun Deeb (218,300). Michael Mizrachi Rides Roller Coaster All Day Long Over the first two days of play, poker fans at home have been tuning in to watch Michael Mizrachi play his aggressive style and he's rewarded them. Mizrachi finished Day 2AB with 62,500 after a day that the four-time WSOP bracelet winner described as frustrating. "I was playing a lot of pots, but I couldn't get anything going. All my big starting hands lost, which I didn't have many but every one I had couldn't hold or I got out-flopped," said Mizrachi. Mizrachi, who has cashed in the Main Event three times over the course of his career, knows that his strategy needs to change when he comes back for Day 3. "The first two days I'll play a lot more hands as I get a feel for the table and I can take those risks. The blinds are so small, so you try to flop hands and bust people and build a big, huge stack, so I'm prepared for Day 3, Day 4, Day 5," said Mizrachi. "Now, Day 3 is a totally different gameplan. I've got to just sit back and wait for good spots, look for the weaker players and attack them when you're in position. I've got to be patient." Not Everybody Found a Bag - Some Found the Exit There were some players who unfortunately saw their run at hte $8.8 million first place prize money come to an end on Day 2AB. Included in that group were David Tuchman, Dan Smith, Justin Bonomo, John Hesp, Erik Seidel, Joe Hachem, Tony Dunst, Andre Akkari, and Antoine Saout, Top 10 Day 2AB Chip Counts Shawn Daniels - 532,500 Eric Liebeler - 531,000 Samuel Bernabeu - 524,000 Michael Dyer - 502,400 Casey McCarrel - 501,800 Brian Borne - 496,000 Frank Bonacci - 486,300 David Cabrera Polop - 483,800 Smain Mamouni - 481,500 Mohamed Mokrani - 480,000 Galen Hall Goes from Retiree to Bracelet Winner The $888 Crazy Eights event was supposed to end on Tuesday, but the final three players decided to bag up their chips and return to play on Thursday to give each of them a chance to play Main Event Day 1C. Turned out to be a pretty good decision for Galen Hall. The now-retired poker pro started with the chip lead and finished off his final two competitors to win the first bracelet of his career. “I thought I definitely had an edge today. On Tuesday, after a whole long day of play, it's just harder to switch things up. People are a little tired, and I thought I had a good read on what was going on," said Hall. "Today, I had to scale it back for the first 30 minutes or so to see – a lot of times players will get coaching, or they get rest, they change their style a little bit if there's time off. Luckily, I ran hot, so it didn't matter.” Hall added $888,888 to his lifetime earnings which now pushes him past the $5,000,000 mark. It took a little bit more than 90 minutes for Hall to best Niels Herregodts in third and Eduards Kudrjavcevs in second. Hall won the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in 2011 but has spent less and less time playing poker over the last few years, focusing on his career as a hedge fund manager. Final Table Payouts Galen Hall - $888,888 Eduards Kudrjavcevs - $476,888 Niels Herregodts - $355,888 Andrey Zaichenko - $266,888 Alexander Kuzmin - $201,888 Jeremiah Miesen - $153,888 Martin Stausholm - $117,888 Philip Tom - $90,888
  3. It’s finally here! After more than a month of awesome action and anticipation, the $10,000 Main Event is upon us at the 2018 World Series of Poker. Monday saw Day 1A kick off, but it also saw some other events begin to wind down. It’ll by no means be a quiet end to the PLO Giant, Crazy Eights, or $10K Stud 8 though, as they all have big names still remaining. Here’s all the news from July 2. $10,000 Main Event Kicks Off, Defending Champ Blumstein Out Well, one thing’s for sure right off the bat: we’re going to see a new champion this year. It was always going to be a super long shot that Scott Blumstein could go back-to-back (like, super long), but his elimination today means a new Main Event champ will be crowned in 13 days. The day saw 925 runners take their seats, and when all was said and done after five two-hour levels just 661 remained. Timothy Lau bagged up the chip lead, spinning his 50,000 starting up to 338,700 by the time the bags were brought out. He’s joined at the top by fellow American Truyen Nguyen with 324,800, and the UK’s Chris Fraser with 316,100. Matt Berkey had a good opening day, ending with 185,600, just behind Kevin ‘Phwap’ Boudreau with 186,300. Alexandru Papazian (147,100), Gordon Vayo (87,100), former Main Event champions Joe Hachem (84,700), Scotty Nguyen (84,400) and Joe McKeehen (36,200), as well as Erik Seidel (72,100) will all be back for Day 2. Alas, Blumstein won’t. He check-called all the way on a low board with pocket tens, only for Brian Yoon to hit running spades giving him the nut flush. He wasn’t the only former Main Event winner to bust though, with Qui Nguyen and Jerry Yang also hitting the rail, alongside the likes of Brian Rast, Christopher Andler, Felipe Ramos, Stephen Chidwick, Chance Kornuth, former football star Richard Seymour and Jonathan Little. Seymour repped the celebrity world away from the felt, and was joined by actor Kevin Pollak (71,300) and comedian Ray Romano (61,100). WSOP commentator David Tuchman (111,000) also advanced. Attention now turns to setting up for Day 1B tomorrow, which kicks off at 11am. Check back with PocketFives tomorrow for all the latest on that one. Top 10 Day 1A Stacks: Timothy Lau - 338,700 Truyen Nguyen - 324,800 Chris Fraser - 316,100 David McCaw - 220,400 John Vossoughi - 220,300 Matthew Davidow - 216,600 Frank Crivello - 215,000 Casey McCarrel - 206,200 Eric Hicks - 204,000 Tristan Bain - 193,200 Mizrachi Headlines PLO Giant Finale, Seeks 2nd Bracelet of Summer Whether the buy-in is $50K or $365, it doesn’t seem to stop Michael Mizrachi from playing his best. The Grinder ended Day 2 in Event #11: $365 PLO GIANT Pot-Limit Omaha fifth in chips out of the remaining nine, and will therefore headline Tuesday’s final table. Mizrachi came into the day as chip leader, and added to his big stack early in the day. He’d end with 10,150,000, putting him in the middle of the pack. It’s Srinivas Balasubramanian who holds a big chip lead though. His 18,325,000 is comfortably out in front of his closest competitor, Robert Cicchelli with 11,055,000. All players are now guaranteed $10,25, but there’s $116,015 up top for the winner. Can Mizrachi win his fifth bracelet and second of the summer? We’ll find out tomorrow when play resumes on the final table at 2pm. Final Table Stacks: Srinivas Balasubramanian - 18,325,000 Robert Cicchelli - 11,055,000 Pete Arroyos - 10,550,000 Tim Andrew - 10,425,000 Michael Mizrachi - 10,150,000 Kevin Nomberto - 7,700,000 James Sievers - 5,450,000 Sandeep Pulusani - 4,375,000 Raymond Walton - 3,075,000 Moorman Among Final 29 in Crazy Eights There was another big name headlining the 29 survivors over in Event #62: $888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold'em 8-Handed. Chris ‘moorman1’ Moorman ended Day 2 bagging chips, and will return tomorrow with 2,620,000. It’s Galen ‘Turk Malloy’ Hall who chip leads overnight though, ending the day with 6,595,000. He’s followed by Paul ‘pvas2’ Vas Nunes with 6,410,000, Hunter Frey with 5,730,000, and Men Nguyen with 3,350,000. There were a bunch of notable bust-outs today, including Martin Jacobson, Jeff Madsen, Eric Baldwin, Jeremy Ausmus, Mike Leah, and Ryan Riess. Day 3 begins at 2pm with blinds at 30K/60K. There’s $888,888 up top, and they’re all guaranteed $22,292 right now. Top 10 Stacks: Galen Hall - 6,595,000 Paul Vas Nunes - 6,410,000 Hunter Frey - 5,730,000 Men Nguyen - 3,350,000 Arthur Conan - 3,140,000 Alexandre Novaes - 2,835,000 Franz-Xaver Ditz - 2,745,000 Eduards Kudrjavcevs - 2,730,000 Chris Moorman - 2,620,000 Michael Barlow - 2,600,000 Vitch Leads Again With 14 Left in $10K Stud8 Defending champion Chris Vitch is once again the overnight chip leader in Event #64: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship. He’s putting up an incredible title defence, and leads the 14 Day 2 survivors with a 1,014,000 stack. Other notables through to tomorrow include Scott Bohlman (883,000), Bryce Yockey (539,000), and Ken Aldridge (538,000), Andrew Kelsall (506,000), Jesse Martin (506,000), Tom Koral (392,000), and Mike Watson (348,000). Vitch won $320,193 for his win in this one last year, and if he can take it down again he’ll bank more than that, with $364,387 up top. A few notables who cashed in this one today include Andrew Yeh (22nd - $14,739), Tim Finne (21st - $14,739), Daniel Negreanu (20th - $14,739), Yuval Bronshtein (19th - $14,739), Jose Paz-Gutierrez (18th - $14,739), Tim Marsters (17th - $14,739), and Richard Sklar (16th - $16,439). The same can’t be said for Benny Glaser, Adam Friedman, Shirley Rosario, Shaun Deeb, David Benyamine, and bubble boy Chris Klodnicki, who all busted prior to the money. Final 14 Stacks: Chris Vitch - 1,014,000 Scott Bohlman - 883,000 Bryce Yockey - 539,000 Ken Aldridge - 538,000 Andrew Kelsall - 506,000 Jesse Martin - 506,000 Dan Matsuzuki - 418,000 Tom Koral - 392,000 Mike Watson - 348,000 Jack Duong - 343,000 Jerry Wong - 340,000 Andrew Rennhack - 338,000 Daham Wang - 284,000 Joseph Michael - 250,000 Roland Israelashvili - 231,000
  4. Just like every other year going back to 2004, a fresh start to poker's yearly tournament calendar kicks off with the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas. This year brings a heightened level of excitement with the PokerStars Players NL Hold’em Championship headlining the event in what is lining up to be a record-setting PCA. Speaking of records, in anticipation of the 2019 PCA festival, PocketFives went looking through the poker history books at HendonMob to find the biggest winners in history from PCA. Here’s what was found. Thanks to a gigantic $3 million payday in 2009, Poorya Nazari holds the record for the largest first-place prize at PCA. He won the 2009 PCA Main Event from a field of 1,347 entries to claim that prize. Three other times in history has the PCA Main Event winner taken home at least $2 million. In 2008, Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier took home $2 million, Harrison Gimbel won $2.2 million in 2010, and in 2011 it was Galen Hall scoring $2.3 million. But, none of those players is the top all-time money earner from PCA. That title currently belongs to Bryn Kenney, and it doesn’t appear that Kenney is going to be caught anytime soon. Top 25 PCA All-Time Money List PLAYER EARNINGS 1 Bryn Kenney $6,245,111 2 Steve O'Dwyer $3,800,542 3 Tony Gregg $3,096,596 4 Poorya Nazari $3,000,000 5 Scott Seiver $2,970,620 6 Galen Hall $2,877,080 7 Vanessa Selbst $2,824,640 8 Isaac Haxton $2,583,616 9 Jason Koon $2,555,555 10 Daniel Negreanu $2,521,490 11 Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier $2,484,120 12 Harrison Gimbel $2,329,220 13 Dan Shak $2,278,140 14 Cary Katz $2,257,420 15 Byron Kaverman $2,213,355 16 Mustapha Kanit $2,020,200 17 Justin Bonomo $1,991,372 18 Dimitar Danchev $1,985,000 19 John Dibella $1,955,300 20 Ty Reiman $1,937,770 21 Chris Oliver $1,834,160 22 Eugene Katchalov $1,763,220 23 Will Molson $1,750,735 24 Daniel Dvoress $1,607,302 25 Nick Petrangelo $1,581,665 As you can see, Kenney is worlds ahead of the competition, winning more than $2.4 million more than anyone else on the list. That $2.4 million gap alone is good enough for 12th place on this leaderboard. Kenney's largest score from PCA came in the 2016 Super High Roller, an event with a buy-in of $100,000 that saw him win $1.687 million. The following year, Kenney won a $50,000 and $25,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em events for $969,075 and $392,876, respectively. He also has a trio of third-place finishes over the years worth $873,880, $686,960, and $643,000. Steve O'Dwyer is the second highest money earner from PCA entering 2019, taking home more than $3.8 million in prize money throughout the years. O'Dwyer's a pretty good chunk of change away from Kenney, and he's also more than $700,000 ahead of Tony Gregg in third place. Knowing some of the performances O'Dwyer has put together over the years combined with what's on the schedule for 2019 doesn't make it out of the realm of possibilities that he can catch Kenney in 2019. O'Dwyer has one win in a $100,000 buy-in event and two wins from $50,000 buy-in events at PCA for $1.872 million, $945,495, and $760,500, respectively. The 2019 schedule features the $25,000 buy-in PSPC, three additional $25,000 buy-in tournaments, one $50,000 buy-in event, and two $100,000 tournaments, there certainly won’t be a lack of opportunities for O'Dwyer to win a ton of money in the Bahamas this January. That's not to mention the PCA $10,300 Main Event as well. Looking at the rest of the list for players we could see make big moves on the leaderboard after 2019, Isaac Haxton, Jason Koon, and Daniel Negreanu are a few of the ones to watch, given their appetite for and success in high buy-in tournaments coupled with the robust schedule to suit their palate. Negreanu's largest score out of PCA came in 2011 when he finished second to Eugene Katchalov in the event’s inaugural $100,000 Super High Roller. Negreanu earned a cool $1 million for that result. He followed that finish up by returning to the final table of the event in 2012, when he took fifth for $250,900. In 2018, he took fourth in the same event for $521,140. Another big score Negreanu had from PCA came in the 2017 PCA $25,000 High Roller. In that one, he took fifth for $268,780. Byron Kaverman and Justin Bonomo are also ones from this top 25 list to keep an eye on. For players not currently in the top 25, don't be surprised if you see Mikita Badziakouski, Alex Foxen, Stephen Chidwick, or David Peters take home a ship full of money from the Bahamas and find themselves listed on the updated list of top 25 winners from PCA when the 2019 version is all said and done. Action from the Bahamas kicks off Sunday, January 6, 2019, with the $25,000 buy-in PokerStars Players NL Hold'em Championship from Atlantis Resort & Casino. PovketFives will be on site all the way through until the event's final day on January 16, so stay tuned for more coverage from the 2019 PCA poker series.
  5. The PokerStars Players NL Hold'em Championship is one of the most highly anticipated poker tournaments ever. The event comes with a rake-free $25,000 buy-in, hundreds of Platinum Pass qualifiers and $1 million added to first place prize. The momentous event takes place January 6-10 in the Bahamas and the PocketFives team will be there to cover it from start to finish. The biggest question ahead of the event is, of course, just how big will it be? Poker pro Chance Kornuth recently asked the question on social media and it appears many are pegging PSPC to be enormous. https://twitter.com/ChancesCards/status/1078708641665073152 The largest $25,000 buy-in poker tournament in history was the Season V World Poker Tour World Championship. The event took place in 2007 when poker was booming all across the globe. It attracted a whopping 639 entries who ponied up $25,500 each to create a $15.495 million prize pool. Carlos Mortensen won the event for $3.97 million, and the top three spots each took home seven-figure paydays. If the PSPC generates 640 entries, it will become the largest field ever in a $25,000 buy-in live poker tournament. That would also set the record for largest prize pool from a $25,000 buy-in live poker tournament, but the fact that the PSPC event is a rake-free tournament means it needs just 620 entries to set the record for largest prize pool generated by a $25,000 buy-in live poker tournament. Here's a look at the top 10 largest prize pools in poker history from live tournaments at the $25,000 buy-in level. YEAR TOURNAMENT ENTRIES PRIZE POOL 2007 Season V WPT World Championship 639 $15,495,750 Winner: Carlos Mortensen ($3,970,415) 2006 Season IV WPT World Championship 605 $14,671,250 Winner: Joe Bartholdi ($3,760,165) 2008 Season VI WPT World Championship 545 $13,216,250 Winner: David Chiu ($3,389,140) 2005 Season III WPT World Championship 452 $10,961,000 Winner: Tuan Le ($2,856,150) 2018 partypoker MILLIONS World 394 $10,000,000 Winner: Roger Teska ($2,000,000) 2004 Season II WPT World Championship 343 $8,342,000 Winner: Martin de Knijff ($2,728,356) 2004 Season VII WPT World Championship 338 $8,196,500 Winner: Yevgeniy Timoshenko ($2,149,960) 2014 EPT10 Grand Final High Roller 214 $7,257,852 Winner: Philipp Gruissem ($1,378,059) 2016 EPT12 Grand Final High Roller 231 $6,531,825 Winner: Alexandru Papazian ($1,381,499) 2015 PCA High Roller 269 $6,456,000 Winner: Ilkin Garibli ($1,105,040) Another question some have had is whether or not the PSPC will replace the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event. That seems unlikely. It's more likely that the PSPC is a one-off event that doesn't happen every single year. That said, what does the PSPC need to do in order to become the largest prize pool in PokerStars Caribbean Adventure history? Here's a look at the biggest prize pools to come out of the PCA. YEAR TOURNAMENT ENTRIES PRIZE POOL 2011 PCA Main Event 1,560 $15,132,000 Winner: Galen Hall ($2,300,000) 2010 PCA Main Event 1,529 $14,826,800 Winner: Harrison Gimbel ($2,200,000) 2009 PCA Main Event 1,347 $12,674,400 Winner: Poorya Nazari ($3,000,000) 2012 PCA Main Event 1,072 $10,398,400 Winner: John Dibella ($1,775,000) 2014 PCA Main Event 1,031 $10,000,700 Winner: Dominik Panka ($1,423,096) 2013 PCA Main Event 987 $9,573,900 Winner: Dimitar Danchev ($1,859,000) 2008 PCA Main Event 1,136 $8,562,976 Winner: Betrand Grospellier ($2,000,000) 2015 PCA Main Event 816 $7,915,200 Winner: Kevin Schulz ($1,491,580) 2007 PCA Main Event 937 $7,063,842 Winner: Ryan Daut ($1,535,255) 2015 PCA High Roller 269 $6,456,000 Winner: Ilkin Garibli ($1,105,040) The largest prize pool in PCA history belongs to the 2011 PCA $10,300 Main Event. That year, the PCA Main Event drew 1,560 entries and generated a $15.132 million prize pool, with a $2.3 million first-place prize that went to Galen Hall. The PCA Main Event was also above $10 million in prize pool money for the years of 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2014. The largest first-place prize in PCA history went to Poorya Nazari, who won $3 million when he took down the 2009 PCA Main Event. So there you have it. For PSPC to become the largest prize pool for a $25,000 buy-in tournament, it needs to surpass the WPT World Championship's figure of $15.495 million. To become the largest field size ever in a $25,000 buy-in poker tournament, it will need 640 entries. To become the largest first-place prize from $25,000 buy-in tournaments, the $3.97 million that Mortensen won is the number to beat. For PCA-only records, PSPC will need to surpass a $15.132 million prize pool and a $3 million first-place prize. Action from the Bahamas kicks off Sunday, January 6, 2019, with the $25,000 buy-in PokerStars Players NL Hold'em Championship from Atlantis Resort & Casino. PocketFives will be on site all the way through until the event's final day on January 16, so stay tuned for more coverage from the 2019 PCA poker series.
  6. The march towards a record-breaking World Series of Poker Main Event field continued on Thursday, with 1,914 players playing Day 1B to push the total field to 3,250 with Day 1C yet to come. That pace is actually slightly behind 2018 when 3,303 players sat during the opening two flights. WSOP officials are expecting a massive Day 1C and registration is open until the start of Day 2C, giving plenty of opportunity for the record of 8,773 to fall. Adam Owen Climbs to Top of Chip Counts Adam Owen finished with 351,800 at the end of Day 1B, which landed him squarely atop the biggest counts from Thursday, but behind Day 1A big stack Bryan Camponello. Gary Blackwood and Asi Moshe rounded out the top three with 330,200 each. With a bag full of chips, Owen is looking to make plans for his off day Friday. Kevin Roster Headed to Day 2 Kevin Roster knows this is likely his last chance to play the WSOP Main Event. Suffering from sarcoma, Roster has played a steady schedule of events this summer with the goal of raising awareness for the disease that will take his life before the year is over. Greg Merson heard his story and offered to put him in the Main Event and the former New Jersey poker player is making the most of it. Roster finished Day 1 with 153,300 to end up just outside of the top 100 stacks. A handful of Main Event Champs Advance to Day 2A Having made their way through a massive Main Event field once before, five former Main Event champions survived their opening day of play on Thursday. The biggest stack belongs to Ryan Riess with 89,300. Greg Raymer (73,100), Joe Hachem (61,000), Chris Ferguson (36,100), and Greg Merson (25,000) also advanced to Day 2. Yuri Dzivielevski Leads Former #1s Yuri Dzivielevski, who rose to the #1 spot on the PocketFives Rankings in 2015, won his first WSOP bracelet this summer and now he appears ready to conquer the Main Event. The Brazilian finished Day 1B with 221,900 for the 14th biggest stack overall. He wasn't the only former #1 player who managed to bag and tag on Thursday. Taylor Paur finished with 139,000, just ahead of Ari Engel and his 128,000. Paul Volpe, who has cashed in the Main Event four times in his career, survived with a 70,300 stack. Joao Simao was not as fortunate and busted on Day 1B. Pennsylvania Contingent Grows on Day 1B After 17 players from Pennsylvania made it through Day 1A, more than double that worked their way through 1B. The top Pennsylvania poker player on Thursday was Arthur Schiavo with 149,400. The rest of the top five Keystone State stacks belong to Leon Foong (137,900), David Meschel (137,000), Aaron Overton (128,400), and Kelly Jones (125,700). Daniel Negreanu Headlines Notable Day 1B Survivors With 1,417 players making it through the day on Thursday, there was bound to be more than a handful of familiar faces among them. None bigger though than Daniel Negreanu, who spent the entire day playing on the ESPN feature table. The six-time WSOP bracelet winner finished with 71,800. Olivier Busquet ended the day with 180,300 to sneak into the top 50 stacks. Maria Ho somehow managed to pull off double duty on Thursday. She bagged up 60,100 despite spending some of her day working the ESPN break desk analysing hands and providing commentary on the day's events. Other notables who survived the day include Christoph Vogelsang (172,100), Kenny Hallaert (159,900), Jonathan Little (110,400), Prahlad Friedman (152,400), Brian Yoon (151,500), Darryll Fish (151,400), Eric Baldwin (132,600), Antoine Saout (117,300), Phil Hui (113,600), Mike Watson (109,500), Andre Akkari (103,600), Conor Beresford (101,400), Scott Seiver (89,600), and Arsenii Karmatckii (53,500). It wasn't all smiles and bags for some of the game's best though. Anthony Zinno, Craig Varnell, Cord Garcia, Dan Shak, Max Pescatori, Frank Stepuchin, John Hesp, Valentin Vornicu, Kane Kalas, Mike Sexton, Pierre Neuville, and Sam Grafton were all among the players who busted on Day 1B. Top 10 Day 1B Chip Counts Adam Owen - 351,800 Gary Blackwood - 330,200 Asi Moshe - 330,200 Tyler Gaston - 329,200 Allen Kessler - 301,800 Brandon Fraizer - 298,400 Galen Hall - 295,700 Gerald Claunch - 252,900 Gregory Tyer - 236,600 Yue Du - 236,300
  7. All good things must come to an end. And that end has come for the PCA. As PocketFives reported, when PokerStars announced the return of the PSPC in 2020 they also, unceremoniously, announced that the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure would not be back in 2020, ending its run of 16 years. For many, the PCA kicked off the yearly poker calendar with players making plans to escape their winter hardships for weeks of poker, sun and waterslides. At the height of the poker boom, the PCA was one of the most popular stops on the tour as winners of the Main Event added millions to their career earnings and a marquee victory to their resumes. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="888poker"][ptable zone="PokerStars NJ"] However, as many tour stops experienced, the numbers began to decline after Black Friday and the fatigue of making the trip to the Atlantis Resort & Casino began to weigh on the players. Now, PokerStars has pulled the plug on one of the most enduring poker stops of the last two decades. But even though it’s gone, it certainly won’t be forgotten. With that, we’ve compiled nine of the most memorable moments in the history of the PCA. Gus Hansen’s On A Boat Before the PCA became the flagship stop for PokerStars, it has a very different look. In fact, in 2004, the first year it ever took place the PCA was then a World Poker Tour event. Also, it took place on a boat. The Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas to be exact and just as poker was about to hit mainstream a young up-and-coming player from Denmark, Gus Hansen, was in the middle of making a reputation for himself, a reputation that lasts to this very day. Hansen bested the likes of Daniel Negreanu for the $455,780 first-place prize and his third WPT title. Right from the get-go, the PCA drew premier poker star power and eventually the PCA would be the engine to create that star power. Ryan Daut And Isaac Haxton Take It Outside In 2007, rising online phenom Isaac Haxton was in prime position to take down the 2007 PCA Main Event and it’s massive $1.5 million first-place prize. Ryan Daut had other ideas and the pair put on a famous heads up battle at the final table which took place…outside. The weather outside was nearly as volatile as the play on the felt. The winds whipped as evening fell and it looked like the sky was going to open up and pour at any moment. In the eye of the storm was Haxton and Daut who played an iconic hand where both players had “absolute Garfunkel!” Haxton won the famous battle of the bluffs but Daut took home the PCA title. ESPN Took The PCA Live The PCA made history in 2011 when PokerStars struck a deal with ESPN to bring ‘near-live’ coverage of the PCA final table to the network. The final table was shown on ESPN2 and online on ESPN3.com on a one-hour delay so viewers could see the hole cards. According to the PokerStars Blog, it was the first time that poker fans were able to see a final table, every hand, every decision completely unedited. “For the first time viewers at home will see a poker telecast from start to finish, with all the strategy of world class-poker players playing in real-time,” said ESPN’s Matt Volk back in 2010. Galen Hall Finds A Fold Not only did 2011 produce one of the first unedited accounts of a final table, but it also produced one of the finest folds every caught on camera. Former #1-ranked PocketFiver Chris ‘Getting Daize’ Oliver was cruising in the PCA Main Event and at the start of heads up play he had a 3:1 chip advantage over fellow online pro Galen Hall. On the third hand of play, the pair both make monster hands by the river. Hall rivered a straight while Oliver had just gone runner-runner to a full house. After being checked to by Oliver, Hall put out a bet and was check-raised for his tournament life. “If Hall calls it’s all over,” said commentator James Hartigan. “I don’t see Hall getting away from this hand,” declared Daniel Negreanu. After minutes in the tank, Hall makes the laydown of his poker life and ended up turning the tables on Oliver to become the 2011 PCA Main Event champion for $2.3 million. Antonio Esfandiari DQ’d From Main Event Antonio Esfandiari loves to prop bet. So does Bill Perkins. When the two of them got together at the 2016 PCA they agreed to a bet that had Esfandiari only able to perform lunges when moving for 48 hours. Sore and not wanting to lunge himself to the bathroom, Esfandiari made the unfortunate decision to go to the bathroom in a bottle…under the poker table. When officials caught wind of Esfandiari’s makeshift restroom he was quickly disqualified from the Main Event. However, the prop bet continued and he got up and lunged his way out of the tournament area. Read: Antonio Esfandiari Disqualified from PCA Main Event Vanessa Selbst’s Big Bet So the story goes…after a night of having (perhaps too much) fun in the Bahamas, Vanessa Selbst made a big bet against her friend Jason Mercier that he couldn’t win three WSOP bracelets the following summer. It’s hard enough for pros to count on winning one WSOP bracelet, much less three and so she ended up giving 180:1 odds on a $10,000 wager. The bet was made in a bit of an 'altered state' and when Selbst woke up the next day, she tried to cancel it but according to Mercier, the bet was booked. She offered Mercier a $1K buy-out, he declined. Mercier went on to pick up two bracelets that summer and finish second in another tournament nearly completing the challenge that would have paid him $1.8 million. Christian Harder Battles Bax Long-time online and live pro Christian Harder became a bit of a footnote in PCA history in his 2017 Main Event win. That’s because, technically, it wasn’t the PCA. That year PokerStars shelved their popular PCA brand and tried to rebrand the tour stop the ‘PokerStars Championship Bahamas’. That is the year Harder fought through the field of 738 entries to find himself heads up for the title. When he looked up he saw he sitting across from him was his former backer (and PocketFives Legacy Award winner) Cliff ‘JohnnyBax’ Josephy. Josephy was a bit of a mentor to Harder and had put him in the PCA in the past so when they got heads up, a deal was quickly struck between the two friends with Harder going on to take home the extra $10K and the first (and last) PSC Bahamas trophy. Maria Lampropulos First Woman Winner of PCA Argentina’s Maria Lampropulos made PCA history in 2018 by becoming the first-ever female to capture a PCA Main Event title. She overcame a 2:1 heads up chip deficit to defeat Canadian crusher Shawn Buchanan and take home the $1,081,100 first-place prize, her second seven-figure score in under 12 months. The Main Event final table was not only notable for who won the title but how she won it. Lampropulos was quite visibly extremely sick throughout the final day, having fits of coughing and seemingly struggling to stay focused. This also led to her taking a long time on many decisions, which prompted other players to call the clock on her on a number of occasions. In the end, she fought through the sickness, made the right decision and won some crucial flips to become the first (and now last) female PCA champion. The PSPC Breaks Records In 2019 PokerStars has a plan to revitalize the PCA and that was by hosting the largest ever $25,000 buy-in tournament - the PokerStars No Limit Hold’em Player Championship. The PSPC was the culmination of a year-long marketing campaign. One that doled out over 320 Platinum Passes, a ticket worth $30,000 that allowed players from all over the world to live their dream of playing in a tournament with life-changing money on the line. When the event got underway, the tournament room was electric with players of every skill level giddy with excitement over such a special event. The tournament exceeded all expectations with 1,039 players registering for the event creating a prize pool of $26,455,500. In fairytale fashion, Platinum Pass winner Ramon Colillas from Spain ended up as the winner and took home the massive $5.1 million first-place prize.
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