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Found 24 results

  1. Chino Rheem is about as polarizing of a figure as you’ll find in today’s world of poker, but for all of the issues he’s had over the years, there’s no denying his ability to perform on the game’s largest stages. Rheem has won three World Poker Tour titles, final tabled the WSOP Main Event, and amassed more than $10.5 million in live tournament earnings. Coming off a first-place score for more than $1.5 million in the 2019 PCA Main Event, Rheem recently became the 41st poker player in history to win more than $10 million from live poker tournaments. Here’s a look at the five biggest scores of Rheem’s poker career. 7th in 2008 WSOP Main Event ($1,772,650) Rheem had been around the poker world for a handful of years before the 2008 World Series of Poker, and he even had a second-place finish in a gold bracelet event in 2006 that earned him $327,981. He truly made waves in the 2008 WSOP Main Event, though, when he aggressively splashed his way through the 6,844-player field to reach the final table in what was the first-ever WSOP November Nine. Rheem entered the 2008 WSOP Main Event final table in sixth position on the leaderboard. His run ultimately ended in seventh place after he got the last of his money in with the [poker card="As"][poker card="Kc"] against Peter Eastgate’s [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Qd"]. A queen hit the flop, and that was all she wrote for Rheem, who was sent to the rail with a $1.772 million prize. 1st in 2019 PCA Main Event ($1,567,100) The 2019 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event attracted 865 entries. With six players left, Rheem entered the final day with the chip lead. He busted all five of his opponents to win the 2019 PCA Main Event and capture its $1.567 million first-place prize. This result proved to be, at the time, the second largest of Rheem's career, just behind his WSOP Main Event seventh-place finish. It also moved him to more than $10.5 million in live tournament earnings and he became the 74th player to eclipse the $10 million earnings mark, per HendonMob. 1st in WPT Five Diamond ($1,538,730) Rheem was one of 497 entries in the World Poker Tour’s Five Diamond World Poker Classic event at Bellagio in 2008. The event was part of Season VII of the WPT and featured a buy-in of $15,400. The prize pool was $7.231 million, of which Rheem got the most of when he scored the $1.538 million top prize. It was the first of Rheem’s three World Poker Tour titles and came just a month after he finished seventh in the World Series of Poker Main Event. At this final table, Rheem had stiff competition in the form of Justin Young, Evan McNiff, Steve Sung, Amnon Filippi, and Hoyt Corkins. 1st in WPT World Championship ($1,150,297) To conclude Season XI of the World Poker Tour, Rheem won the $25,500 buy-in WPT World Championship. The event was held at Bellagio in Las Vegas in 2013 and attracted 146 entries to create a $3.54 million prize pool. In the end, it was Rheem against Erick Lindgren for the title, with Rheem coming out on top to win a $1.15 million payday and his second WPT title. 1st in Epic Poker League Event #1 ($1,000,000) Currently standing as the fifth largest score of Rheem’s poker career is a victory in the now defunct Epic Poker League. Rheem won the EPL’s first title, defeating a field of 137 entries in the $20,000 buy-in tournament to score the $1 million top prize. At the final table, Rheem out-battled runner-up Erik Seidel and third-place finisher Jason Mercier en route to the title and million dollar payday.
  2. [caption width="640"] Antonio Esfandiari is no stranger to high stakes, high pressure situations.[/caption] There are a number of ways in which a poker player can be disqualified from a tournament. On Sunday, Day 2 of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event, Antonio Esfandiari was disqualified and it had nothing to do with anything the Poker Tournament Directors Association has ever made a rule for. Esfandiari was disqualified for urinating into a bottle while at a table. You read that right. Mother nature called and rather than leave the table and head to the men's room, Esfandiari took care of business at the table. It turns out getting from the table to the men's room would have been all too painful thanks to a prop bet Esfandiari had made with Bill Perkins. To win the bet, Esfandiari had to lunge everywhere he went for 48 hours. Sunday was the second day of the bet and Esfandiari was apparently feeling the effects of lunging around the Atlantis Resort for two days straight. Before Day 2 began, Esfandiari took to Twitter to give an update on the prop bet and ended up foreshadowing the big incident of the day. Esfandiari's punishment was only for the Main Event and he is allowed to play other PCA events beginning Monday.
  3. There are only 38 players left to pursue the $5.1 million first-place prize of the $25,000 PokerStars NL Hold’em Championship. Day 3 of the record-setting tournament started with 207 players of which only 181 would make the money. By the end of the day, New York tournament pro Scott Baumstein flew into the chip lead with 4.24 million in chips, followed closely by Yiannis Liperis (4.21 million). However, before the stacks could reach such heights, there was a money bubble that needed popping. As one might expect in a tournament where there were over 300 players who gifted their $25K entry, plenty of players were hanging tough to pick up the $25,450 min-cash. With four players left to the actual bubble, the remaining 185 players went hand for hand. It took roughly an hour, plus a 20-minute break in the middle, but eventually, Team Ireland’s Paul Leckey ran pocket kings into Tianle Wang’s pocket aces. Leckey didn’t go home empty-handed though, as the official bubble boy received an EPT package worth over $11,000. After that, the bustouts were fast and furious, with the next pay ladder happening faster than tournament officials could break and rebalance tables. At the conclusion of Day 3, only Baumstein and Liperis have eclipsed the 4 million chip mark, but there’s plenty of top-flight competition left in the field. France’s Julien Martini (3,250,000), Canada’s Louis Boutin (3,040,000) and Platinum Pass winner Ramon Colillas (2,895,000) from Spain complete the top 5 chip leaders. Other notables still left in the field include Mikita Badziakouski (1,910,000), Dan O’Brien (1,765,000), Griffin Benger (1,560,000), Day 1 chip leader Talal Shakerchi (1,330,000), Brazil’s Pedro Padilha (1,315,000), Kristen Bicknell (1,115,000), Tony Gregg (905,000), Platinum Pass winner Jackie Burkhart (660,000) and Day 2 chipleader Farid Jattin (640,000). By the end of the day, 143 players found their way to the cashier to pick up their earnings. Including Felix Schneiders ($69,100), Max and Sam Greenwood ($69,100), Mustapha Kanit ($56,800), Christoph Vogelsang ($56,800), Ryan Reiss ($56,800), former PocketFives #1-ranked Bryan Piccioli ($56,800), Blair Hinkle ($56,800), Athanasios Polychronopoulos ($45,700), Victor Ramdin ($45,700), Benjamin Pollak ($45,700), Dan Shak ($45,700), Brandon Adams ($39,500), Darren Elias ($39,500), Christian Harder ($39,500), Dylan Linde ($39,500) and Matt Affleck ($35,000). Three of the winners of the $86 Moneymaker PSPC Tour made the money, however, all three failed to bag at the end of the day. Clifford Ellefson ($39,500), Anthony Maio ($35,000) and Ori Kossonogi ($35,000) all found a way to turn their Platinum Passes into five-figure scores. Additionally, there were plenty of big name pros who made the money but were unable to ladder up. Parker Talbot, Sam Grafton, JC Alvarado, Frank Kassel, and Sean Winter were just a few of the roughly 30 players to settle for the min-cash of $25,450. Play in the PSPC resumes when 38 players will play down to the final table at noon ET.
  4. The final table for the PokerStars NL Hold’em Players Championship is set. On Thursday, the final eight players will take their seats to play for a massive $5.1 million first-place prize in what is the largest $25,000 tournament of all time. New York tournament professional Scott Baumstein once again finished the day as the overnight chip leader with 10,725,000 chips. Baumstein, had a roller coaster ride on Day 4, even finding himself all in, at risk and behind only to survive and go on an incredible heater. “It’s a little surreal at the moment, with all of the chips, getting lucky,” said Baumstein in an interview with PocketFives. Two Platinum Pass winners have made the final table including Marc Rivera, who sits right behind Baumstein in terms of chips (10,350,000). Rivera won his Platinum Pass by winning the APPT Manila National in August 2018 and is representing the Philippines at the final table. Rivera and Baumstein are the only two players of the final eight to have more than 10 million in chips which equates to more than 40 big blinds. France’s Julien Martini (8,600,000) continues to find himself towards the top of the end of day chip counts as he has since the completion of Day 2. Colombian pro Farid Jattin (8,525,000), the Day 2 chip leader, also had a very swingy day. He started Day 3 with his chip stack 36th out of 38. However, and with his well-timed aggression and plenty of rungood he, at one point, soared into the chip lead. Jattin finishes the day fourth in chips. The second of the Platinum Pass winners, Ramon Colillas (8,300,000) along with the U.S's Jason Koonce (7,125,000), Day 1 chip leader Talal Shakerchi and Canada’s Marc Perrault (2,275,000) fill out what looks to be an entertaining final table. Those players that were unable to make it through the day but still secured very healthy paydays by making the final two tables include Florian Duta (9th for $405,000), PocketFiver Pedro ‘PaDiLhA SP’ Padilha (10th, $328,500), Kristen ‘krissyb24’ Bicknell (11th, $328,500), Jake Schwartz (12th, $261,750) and Former PocketFives #1-ranked Griffin ‘Flush_Entity’ Benger (14th, $229,700). Other notable names who made it to Day 4 but were knocked out throughout the day include Scott Stewart ($202,400), Platinum Pass winner Michael Robionek ($150,600), Marvin Rettenmaier ($126,000), Dan O’Brien ($105,000), Mikita Badziakouski ($88,600), Tony Gregg ($86,400) and Platinum Pass winner from Boring, Oregon Jackie Burkhart who finished in 38th place for a career-high score of $86,400. There is still $15.4 million of the over $26.4 million prize pool to be fought over. Six of the top eight will earn themselves no less than $1 million. The final day of play in the PSPC resumes on Thursday a noon ET. 2019 PSPC Final Table Chip Counts 1. Scott Baumstein - 10,725,000 2. Marc Rivera - 10,350,000 3. Julien Martini - 8,600,000 4. Farid Jattin - 8,525,000 5. Ramon Colillas - 8,3000,000 6. Jason Koonce - 7,125,000 7. Talal Shakerchi - 5,500,000 8. Marc Perrault - 2,275,000
  5. The Imperial Ballroom at the Atlantis Resort & Casino in the Bahamas is full of some of the best poker players on the planet for the start of Day 2 of the PCA $100,000 Super High Roller. Of the original 56 entries, 33 players survived Day 1. With registration open through the beginning of Day 2, a number of pros who went broke in the first eight levels decided to fire another $100K bullet including Daniel Negreanu and Super High Roller defending champion Cary Katz. We decided to take a quick look around the room at some of the players who are taking part in the nosebleed tournament action. [caption id="attachment_622243" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Jason Koon (left) and Daniel Negreanu have combined lifetime earnings of over $63 million.[/caption] Jason Koon and PokerStars pro Daniel Negreanu are settled in and keeping the conversation casual. [caption id="attachment_622244" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Hungary's #1-ranked online pro Andras 'probirs' Nemeth has been seen playing the highest stakes live as of late.[/caption] PocketFives #4-ranked Andras ‘probirs’ Nemeth has over $2.7 million in live earnings along with his $9.6 million in online cashes. Nemeth had a breakout year in 2018 playing high rollers, winning the EPT Barcelona €25,000 Event for a career-high cash of $692,882. [caption id="attachment_622245" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Nick Petrangelo (left) took down the $100K Super High Roller at the WSOP in 2018 for $2.9 million.[/caption] Nick Petrangelo and U.S. Poker Open Champion Stephen ‘stevie444’ Chidwick survey their tough table. [caption id="attachment_622246" align="alignnone" width="1024"] GPI #1-ranked player Alex Foxen is off to a fast start in 2019.[/caption] Stare master Alex Foxen is looking to build on his impressive 2019 PCA campaign. So far he's cashed in the $25K Single Day event and finished as the runner-up in the $50K for $651,980. Foxen is now less than a half million away from $10 million in career scores. [caption id="attachment_622247" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Patrik Antonius (left), Talal Shakerchi (center) & Sam Greenwood.[/caption] Murderers row: Rail Heaven’s Patrik Antonius, PSPC eighth place finisher and regular high roller Talal Shakerchi and PocketFives #46-ranked Sam Greenwood battle it out on one side of a tough table. [caption id="attachment_622248" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Justin Bonomo (left) is looking to continue the massive success he found in 2018.[/caption] Chris Hunichen tries to get a read on the GTO sitting style of Justin Bonomo. Hunichen is coming off a third place finish in the WPT Five Diamond $100,000 Super High Roller for a live career-high $592,000 score. [caption id="attachment_622249" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Canadian Christopher Kruk finds the fun in high rollers.[/caption] Despite the massive stakes, Chris Kruk is still able to have a little fun. The prize pool for the $100,000 Super High Roller is over $5.9 million. For updates on the $100K as well as everything from the 2019 PCA, subscribe to The FIVES Poker Podcast.
  6. On a normal day, Jon West is involved with some of the most important people in the cryptocurrency world. The last five days haven't been normal for West though. And no, we're not talking about the swings in the price of Bitcoin. West is one of the last 20 players in the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event chasing down the seven-figure score that comes with first place. The 26-year-old isn't just some rich kid from the world of crypto splashing around in a poker tournament though. He's been playing poker since he was 14 years old. When he was five years old his father introduced him to chess. He picked that up pretty quickly and over the course of the next five years, he became one of the top-ranked players for his age in the United States. "I went to tournaments. I got up to #6 in America in sixth grade and used to travel all over America," said West. "I convinced my mom to take me to these chess tournaments and leave me there for the weekend in the hotel because I was an extremely responsible 11-year-old." He's not lying and no, there was never an issue that resulted in mom getting a phone call from a pissed off hotel manager. West understood that screwing up meant he'd soon find himself rooming with mom again. "If I messed things up, I wouldn't get this privilege anymore and then I wouldn't be able to hang out with the older kids and have the parties in my room," said West. "I was always the youngest, and it was super fun, especially since at that point I was getting bullied pretty hard in middle school. It was nice just to be able to hang out with all these 16-24 olds that just hung out with me all night." It was during one of those trips where he stumbled into poker. Literally. "I go to these chess tournaments and you know those guys who play speed chess in the park? There's every chess tournament equivalent of those guys in some side room playing chess for money - $1 or $5 per game, except they were playing poker," said West. "I was 11 and I was completely enthralled. So I stayed up until 2 or 3 am every night, watched them all play poker and I was like 'next year I'm going to come back and give it a whirl'." He went home and bought himself a copy of Super System and Harrington on Hold'em. Gave them a read and then just waited. He returned to that same tournament the next year anxious to play some cards. That weekend I ran super hot and won $2,000. This is as a 12-year-old - that's life-changing money. Gumballs galore!," said West. " I came home with a pile of all these $20s. I was like 'check it out' - stuffing them in my pockets." Two years later he signed up for his first online poker account under his mom's name and he dabbled in tournaments and cash games. Once he was done with high school he went off to Dartmouth to chase down a philosophy degree. While there he played even more online poker. Much to his parents' delight, he graduated on time. He played poker for the next year. In late 2009 he finished third in a Full Tilt Online Poker Series event for $97,737 and decided to head to PCA to try and run it up. He came home broke but learned a lot. "It was this life-changing moment where I learned about risk tolerance and pacing myself and all this kind of stuff," said West, who still considers PCA his favorite tournament because of those lessons. Once he got home knew had to find a real job. He wound up working for Citi in the Sales and Trading program. He spent two years there as a trader dealing in FX Forwards and credit default swaps.Za "Once I stopped doing that after my two-year period was over, I started working for Mike Novogratz, he's a hedge fund legend. He ran Fortress, one of the largest hedge funds in the world, he was the CIO there. He hired me to join his family office and be his execution trader," said West. While working for Novogratz, the pair started exploring the world of cryptocurrency. Novogratz's college roommate was Joe Lubin, one of the co-founders of Ethereum. They dove in head-first and West shifted all of his focus to the crypto market. He's now the co-founder of Omega One, a startup focused on increasing liquidity in the crypto markets. Even though this is only his second time playing any sort of poker in the last 18 months, he knows the poker world is infatuated with crypto and it doesn't at all surprise him. "It's the same group of people that like games, don't like having traditional jobs, don't like working for people, like to be able to wear whatever they want, like the power of the internet - online poker and that whole super exciting thing, like the power of technology and have a libertarian streak to them, where they don't like 'the man'," said West.
  7. With the announcement that after 16 years PokerStars is putting an end to the long-standing PCA, there’s now room for new festivals to pick up where the PCA left off. Since before Black Friday, the PCA was a cornerstone of the poker calendar with players planning on grinding tournaments in the Bahamas at the beginning of the year. January belonged to the PCA. Now, without it, players are beginning to see that there are other options emerging on how to escape their winter situations and pick up a score that could set them up until the World Series of Poker. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="PokerStars NJ"] [ptable zone="GG Poker"] Here are a few of the festivals taking place this January that could fill the void left by the PCA. Aussie Millions Of course, the Aussie Millions is another poker calendar mainstay and it’s been a popular one for years. The difference in 2020 is that players may be more inclined to make the trip to the Crown Melbourne than in years past. Players who were wrapping up in the Bahamas and wanting to make their way to Melbourne were facing a flight time of no less than 19 hours. With connections in Miami and stops in the West Coast of the U.S., it could take well over a full day of travel before dealing with the extreme jetlag. However, other than the travel, by all accounts, the Aussie Millions has everything. A premier poker room with nearly 100 tables of action, a full slate of tournaments including high rollers to attract the best players in the world, and it’s located in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. In January, Australia is in peak summer and those looking for things to do outside of the poker room will have no shortage of options including the start of the Australian Open. This year the Aussie Millions takes place from January 4-24 with the $10,600 Main Event kicking off on January 17. MILLIONS UK The newest addition to January’s poker calendar is partypoker’s MILLIONS UK which boasts a $10,300 Main Event with a $5 million guarantee. Taking place from January 4-12 at Rob Yong’s Dusk Till Dawn card room in Nottingham, MILLIONS UK is a succinct set of tournaments with an eye at attracting the high rollers. In addition to the Main Event, the series has a $25,500 Super High Roller and a $10,300 High Roller both of which come with a $1 million guarantee. Additionally, there is the $1,100 MILLIONS Open. The tournament a $1M guarantee and also promises 20 seats to the $10K Main Event. Players can play the opening flight of the MILLIONS Open online as well as find satellites to the Main Event online. World Poker Tour Gardens Poker Championship The World Poker Tour is keeping it close to home as they bring back their Gardens Poker Championship from January 9-13 at the Gardens Casino in Hawaiian Gardens, CA (just outside of L.A.). The tournament is the first of the televised event of the current WPT season where the final table will be put on pause and moved to the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor in Las Vegas. The $10,000 buy-in assures that even with a modest turnout, the first-place prize will be a hefty six-figure sum. With the PCA out of the picture, it could be a good sign for the WPT as players from L.A., Las Vegas and even the East Coast may opt to spend their allotted PCA budget on a trip to So. Cal and take a shot at a WPT title. Lucky Hearts Poker Open Florida is another premiere warm-weather destination in January and the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, FL has been bringing players to their sun-soaked Lucky Hearts Poker Open festival since 2012. In 2020, the LHPO runs from January 9-21 and features a $1,000 World Poker Tour DeepStacks Main Event that begins on January 9 with a $1,000,000 guarantee. While the full 2020 schedule is still pending, players can expect more of the same from the LHPO. Traditionally the festival features modest price buy-in tournaments and more than your standard No Limit Hold’em spread as mixed games are sprinkled throughout the schedule. More To Come…? These are just four of options for players at the start of the year, but is there something else yet to be announced? Will PokerStars jump back into the frey? On a recent episode of DAT Poker Podcast, former PokerStars ambassador Daniel Negreanu hinted that there may be something new announced on the horizon. Speaking about the demise of the PCA Negreanu said, “I do believe that something will replace, how do I say this all cryptic…I think there will be something that we see in that time slot in January that will offer players something to play.”
  8. In news announced on Friday, the buy-in for the 2016 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Eventwill be cut from $10,300 to $5,300. PokerStars said the halved price tag was "in line with European Poker Tour Main Events." The 2016 PCA schedule features a record 104 events and kicks off on January 6 from the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. --- Tournament Poker Edgeis the only poker training site dedicated exclusively to MTTs and features over 1,000 training videos, blogs, articles, podcasts and a dedicated strategy forum for members. Check Tournament Poker Edge out on Twitter. --- Edgar Stuchly, Director of PokerStars Live Events, commented, "We have seen extraordinary growth in our live events in Europe and we're excited about emulating this success at the PCA. EPT Barcelona, which is running right now, is breaking records on a daily basis and our aim is to give PCA players the same kind of experience. We will do this by tripling the number of tournaments and offering a wider variety of buy-in levels to suit every player." To put the 104-event schedule in perspective, the 2015 PCA had a 35-event slate, meaning the tournament series is literally tripling in size. Besides making the PCA Main Event more in line with other EPT events, PokerStars dropping the Main Event buy-in by half could also have to do with dwindling attendance over the years. In fact, Main Event attendance has been declining since its apex in 2011: 2004: 211 entries 2005: 461 entries 2006: 724 entries 2007: 937 entries 2008: 1,136 entries 2009: 1,347 entries 2010: 1,529 entries 2011: 1,560 entries 2012: 1,072 entries 2013: 987 entries 2014: 1,031 entries 2015: 816 entries Kevin Schulz won the 2015 PCA Main Event and earned almost $1.5 million. According to PokerStars, "The packed schedule features a ton of fun and exciting variants including Win the Button and Deuces Wild, HOSE, PLO, and bounty tournaments. For high-stakes players, there will be plenty of prestigious events to tempt them off the beaches. The flagship $100k Super High Roller will start off the nine-day festival... with $50k and $25k High Roller events also on the schedule later on." The buy-in for the LAPT Bahamas event, which debuted last year, has also been reduced. In 2015, LAPT Bahamas had a $3,000 buy-in; in 2016, it will be $2,200. The PCA faces plenty of competition from local poker series that crisscross the United States like the MSPT and WSOP Circuit. Staying at Atlantis (pictured) can also be a costly proposition for players who do not win packages. As one user on TripAdvisor put it, "For dinner only for 2 adults, 2 kids (age 8 & 5), our bill was usually $150 (without drinks). If you eat at one of their upscale resort restaurants, it can easily be way over $200 for one meal! A take-out pizza is $30!" Dwindling attendance in the Bahamas also likely has to do with a lack of satellites for US players, who are in close proximity to the island nation. PokerStars withdrew from the US on Black Friday. Visit PokerStars for more details on the 2016 PCA. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  9. [caption width="640"] PokerStars includes New Jersey in their efforts to bring more qualifiers to the PCA.[/caption] New Jersey residents looking to escape the dead-of-winter winds may have just gotten their wish. For the first time since their re-entry into the United States online poker market, PokerStars is offering New Jersey online poker players a way to win a premiere package to fly to the Bahamas and take a seat in their flagship live event, the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA). As a part of PokerStars' greater effort to qualify “at least 400 players” to the revitalized $10,300 PCA Main Event in January, they are running a $1,000 1-package guaranteed satellite for all their players in the Garden State on November 5. With plenty of ways to qualify, every poker player in New Jersey has a path to taking their shot at winning the grand prize $15,855 PCA package to one of the premiere poker getaways of the year. For players that don't want to mess around, they can, of course, buy directly into the $1,000 PCA Qualifier through their PokerStars account and be assured a shot at the PCA Main Event seat and everything that comes with it. For those players looking to maximize their bankrolls and play their way into the $1K, PokerStars is running a series of $100 satellites to the PCA Qualifier. Additionally, and perhaps most alluring of all, from October 27-November 4 PokerStars is offering the PCA Freerolls, a daily super-satellite opportunity for players to win their $100 ticket. To grab a pair of PCA freeroll tickets, use the bonus code 'PCA' when reloading $10 or more between 10:00 ET on October 27 and 1:59 ET November 5. If you want to play the PCA Freeroll every day, just break up those reloads as you can claim additional tickets with every reload during that time. Earlier this year, officials at PokerStars announced a series of changes to the event at the request of the players. The changes made include streamlining the number of events, bringing back the PCA name (as opposed to the PokerStars Championship Bahamas) and a lower rake structure that will save players an estimated $300,000. An additional upgrade is all the benefits included in the $15,855 package. Naturally, players receive the $10,300 buy-in for the PCA Main Event. The PCA Qualifier Grand Prize also affords you nine nights stay for two at the home of the PCA, the Atlantis Resort, as well as $1,000 applied to that room to cover food and drink costs. Additionally, the winning player will have $1,000 deposited to their PokerStars account to assist with all travel expenses. Travel arrangements are the responsibility of the player in this case but a cursory look at flights from New Jersey to the Bahamas from January 6-14, the dates of the festival, find that one can fly round-trip for around $400. The travel budget is plenty to ensure enough coverage for a pair of attendees. Or perhaps just one baller who prefers travel in style. So take aim New Jersey, the PCA Qualifier tournament takes place on November 5 at 19:00 ET with $100 satellites and freeroll tournaments taking place daily. The 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas runs from January 6-14.
  10. Pretty impressive news coming out of the Bahamas, the site of the 2015 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. The weekend's Sunday Supersonic on PokerStars brought out $1,238 entrants. The prize pool of the $215 buy-in tournament swelled to $291,000 and, when the smoke cleared, PocketFiver Carter cswidler Swidler (pictured) finished fourth for $21,000. While taking fourth in the Supersonic isn't a mind-numbing feat on its own, consider the fact that Swidler was playing the $10,300 buy-in PCA Main Event at the same time. He told PokerNews, "I don't ever do that, but I set my alarm for 6:25 to play the Supersonic knowing that it would take a really short amount of time. I somehow ran up a stack. It looked really strong when I was opening because I was playing on my phone and all the guys at my table were watching me play for $50K. Every time I raised it got through." Swidler parlayed his image into a 32nd place finish in the PCA Main Event for $31,000, or $10,000 more than his Supersonic hit. On his final hand of the live event, he 3bet all-in before the flop with A-Q and, after 10 seconds, Uwe Ritter called with A-K. Swidler, according to PokerNews, flamed the slow-roll, saying "Are you kidding me?" and "Took you that long?" Ritter's hand held and Swidler went busto. Swidler is nearing $4 million in online tournament cashes, the largest of which came in 2012 by virtue of a PokerStars WCOOP Second Chance victory for $115,000. He won the Supersonic last year for $51,000 and has seven online MTT cashes of at least $50,000 to his name. Congrats to Swidler on his successful multitasking. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  11. The highlight of the final day of the 2019 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure might have been the final table of the Main Event, but on one of the outer tables, Martin Zamani was putting on a show of his own in the $25,000 High Roller event. Zamani beat out a final table that included Thomas Muehlocker, Sean Winter and Dominik Nitsche to pick up $895,110 and just the second win of his career. Following Sam Greenwood's elimination in ninth place, the official final table was ready for action. It took just 10 minutes for a short-stacked Davidi Kitai to find a hand to attempt to double up with. Thomas Muehlocker raised to 45,000 from middle position before Kitai moved all in for 165,000. Muehlocker called and showed [poker card="jd"][poker card="td"] which put him well behind Kitai's [poker card="qd"][poker card="qc"]. The [poker card="kd"][poker card="ts"][poker card="8c"] flop was a safe one for Kitai as was the [poker card="5c"] turn. The [poker card="js"] river, however, gave Muehlocker two pair and sent Kitai to the rail in 8th place. Five minutes later, Sean Winter joined him in the payouts line. Winter raised to 100,000 from middle position, Tom-Aksel Bedell called from the cutoff before Zamani re-raised to 280,000 from the button. Winter called all in, Bedell also moved all in forcing Zamani to fold. Bedell tabled [poker card="ac"][poker card="ah"] while Winter showed {as][poker card="th"]. The [poker card="kc"][poker card="4s"][poker card="3h"] flop changed nothing and after the [poker card="4c"] turn, Winter could only collect his things and watch the meaningless [poker card="9d"] hit the river to confirm his seventh place finish. The pace of play took a significant hit as six-handed play continued for 2.5 hours before the next elimination occurred. Nitsche raised from the button to 60,000 and Gianluca Speranza called from the big blind. After the [poker card="qh"][poker card="3h"][poker card="2s"] flop, Speranza check-raised Nitsche from 50,000 to 185,000 and Nitsche called. The turn was the [poker card="5s"] and Speranza bet 220,000 and Nitsche called. Speranza then moved all in after the [poker card="6c"] and Nitsche called and showed [poker card="6d"][poker card="4d"] for a six-high stright while Speranza tabled [poker card="qs"][poker card="5h"] for two pair. Just 15 minutes later, two more players were sent to the rail. Markus Durnegger moved all in from the button, Bedell moved all in over the top for 1,625,0000 and Zamani called from the big blind. Durnegger showed [poker card="5c"][poker card="5s"], Bedell had [poker card="ah"][poker card="9h"] and Zamani was well ahead with [poker card="qc"][poker card="qs"]. The board ran out [poker card="8d"][poker card="3c"][poker card="2s"][poker card="js"][poker card="8s"] to give Zamani the pot and eliminate Durnegger in fifth and Bedell in fourth. A little over an hour later, Muehloecker's run was cut short. Nitsche folded the button, Muehlocker completed from the small blind before Zamani raised to 250,000 from the big blind. Muehloecker responded by moving all for 1,055,000 and Zamani called. Zamani had [poker card="ah"][poker card="8s"] while Muehloecker tabled [poker card="ks"][poker card="ts"]. The [poker card="6s"][poker card="3c"][poker card="3h"] flop was no help for Muehloecker and neither was the [poker card="9c"] turn or [poker card="8c"] river and Muehloecker was out in third. Heads-up play began with Zamani holding a 2.5-1 chip lead over Nitsche and it took just 20 minutes for Zamani to have all the chips. After Nitsche limped his button, Zamani raised to 360,000 and Nitsche called. The flop came [poker card="ac"][poker card="td"][poker card="7h"]. Zamani bet 300,000 and Nitsche called. The turn was the [poker card="9d"] and this time Zamani bet 2,000,000 and Nitsche called all in. Zamani showed [poker card="ad"][poker card="7d"] for two pair and Nitsche tabled [poker card="js"][poker card="9s"] for a pair and a gutshot straight draw. The river was the [poker card="2h"], completely missing Nitsche and eliminating him in second place and giving Zamani the first six-figure score of his career. Final Table Payouts Martin Zamani - $895,110 Dominik Nitsche - $606,360 Thomas Muehloecker - $404,240 Tom-Aksel Bedell - $331,100 Markus Durnegger - $265,640 Gianluca Speranza - $205,980 Sean Winter - $152,460 Davidi Kitai - $112,040
  12. Everyone in poker knows what January brings. It brings a fresh start to the poker year, it brings the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, and it brings a big result for Tony Gregg. This year, the PokerStars Players NL Hold’em Championship may have added an exciting new element to the poker world, but much was the same in regards to Gregg making a big splash in the Bahamas. Entering the 2019 edition of the PCA, Gregg had earned $3.096 million from the stop and sat third on the festival’s all-time money list. He added another $86,400 to his total haul from PCA after placing 36th from a field of 1,039 entries in the record-setting PSPC. “I guess it’s just one of those things that when you have continued success you’re going to have that much better of a feeling playing here,” Gregg said of his string of big results from the Bahamas. Gregg’s first result from PCA was also his largest. In 2009, he placed second in the PCA Main Event from a field of 1,347 entries to win $1.7 million. A few years later, in 2012, Gregg was back at the PCA Main Event final table from a field of 1,072 entries. This time around, he took sixth place and brought home $364,000. “I don’t think it specifically has anything to do with the Bahamas, I just think Tony is a fantastic poker player and some places you run good and some places you run bad,” Christian Harder, 2017 PokerStars Championship Bahamas winner and good friend of Gregg, commented. Another six-figure score from a sixth-place finish came in 2014 with Gregg earning $347,720 in the PCA $100,000 Super High Roller. Then in 2015, he took third in a $5,300 side event for $72,800. As if those results weren’t impressive enough, in 2016 Gregg reached the final table of the PCA Main Event for the third time. Again, he found himself heads-up. Again, he finished in second place. Although he didn’t land in the winner’s circle, Gregg added another $612,175 to his bankroll. “For me, living in the mid-Atlantic most of the time, getting out of that area in January and getting to come here, it just feels so good to be here that I guess it just motivates me to play better, be more patient, or have more faith in myself that things are going to work out,” Gregg said. “Any number of those things.” “It’s awesome,” Harder said of seeing Gregg’s continued success. “Tony deserves all the success he has. He’s a student of the game and always keeps himself sharp even when he’s not playing live much. He’s always watching live feeds, or videos, or playing online. I’m not surprised one bit he went deep in PSPC.” Prior to his PSPC result this year, Gregg’s last cash was in December 2017. He took a bit of a break from the poker grind, but it doesn’t appear to have caused any sort of drop-off in his play. Gregg was right back, true to form in the Bahamas, and making a deep run. “Seeing Tony go deep in something big again hopefully inspires him to play some more poker,” Greg Merson, 2012 WSOP Main Event champion and another good friend of Gregg, said. “Not for the financial gains, but to imprint his legacy on the game as one of the all-time legends that he is.” If it wasn’t for Louis Boutin hitting an ace on the flop with ace-king against Gregg’s pocket sevens, another final table run at this stop could have been in the cards. Ultimately, he’ll settle for the $86,400 score and look for the next tournament at Atlantis to crush. “It’s nice,” Gregg said of Merson’s comments. “He’s one of my best friends, so of course he’s going to say that (laughs). I’ve been around for a while and it’s always good to have respect from your peers.”
  13. Even after the fanfare of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $100K Super High Roller died down with Canadian Sam Greenwood earning his sixth career seven-figure score of $1.775M, the Imperial Ballroom at the Atlantis Resort & Casino was still buzzing. Day 1B of the 2019 PCA Main Event was in full swing and, in the afterglow of the PokerStars NL Hold'em Poker Championship, players were eager for one more chance at a huge score to start the year. Along with the Main Event, the superstars of the high roller scene continued to battle it out on the felt - this time in a $50K Single-Day tournament. Enjoy some photos from around the room on this action-packed day. $50K Single-Day [caption id="attachment_622269" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Mikita Badziakouski is a high fashioned high roller.[/caption]   Mikita Badziakouski is a stone-cold killer in high roller tournaments and he’s got the results to prove it. He has over $20.8m in live earnings and also finished 34th in the 2019 PSPC as a Platinum Pass winner for over $86,000. [caption id="attachment_622270" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Christoph Vogelsang's decision to cover up in this manner has sparked some debate.[/caption] Christoph Vogelsang is at the center of an ongoing debate/discussion on how to handle it when players use extreme measures to cover up any facial tells. At first, it was just a scarf, but Vogelsang has now moved to this current look. Say what you want about the Super High Roller Bowl winner - he has results and is currently Germany’s #2 leader in all-time cashes, right behind Fedor Holz. [caption id="attachment_622271" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Kurganov is consistently finding himself at high roller final tables. His last victory came in Dec. 2017.[/caption] Daniel Dvoress (left) pocket nines outrace Igor Kurganov’s AJ. When a nine hits the turn, the Jack on the river is nothing but a needle for the PokerStars ambassador Kurganov. Kurganov is coming off a sixth-place finish in the PCA $100K for over $378,000. [caption id="attachment_622272" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Dominik Nitsche has amassed over $17M in lifetime earnings.[/caption] Dominik Nitsche reflects on his time in front of a solver while contemplating a decision as Timothy Adams (left) looks on. Nitsche’s most recent high roller success was a fourth-place finish in the WPT Five Diamond $100K for $370,000 in December. PCA Main Event Day 2 Shots from around the room shortly after the dinner break. [caption id="attachment_622273" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Poker legend Barry Greenstein mixes it up in the PCA Main Event.[/caption] Beresford and The Bear. Along with Scott Stewart (right), we look over the shoulder of top-ranked UK online grinder Conor Beresford as he sits with the legend Barry Greenstein. [caption id="attachment_622274" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Ole Schemion (left) won the 2019 PCA National for over $148K.[/caption] Two of the final four in the 2019 PCA National are side-by-side once again in the Main Event. National champ Ole Schemion (right) chats with Alexandre Mantovani. READ: Alexandre Mantovani WCOOP Score Into Live Success [caption id="attachment_622276" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Julien Martini finished as the runner up in the historic $25K PSPC for $2.9M.[/caption] PSPC Runner-Up Julien Martini (right) is still feeling good after his multi-million score. Here he sits with Netherlands pro Martijn Gerrits in the PCA Main. [caption id="attachment_622277" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Chino Rheem bubbled the final table of the 2019 PCA National.[/caption] Chino Rheem doing what he does best. Building big stacks in large field tournaments. [caption id="attachment_622278" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Leo Margets has over $1.1 million in live tournament earnings.[/caption] Winamax pro Leo Margets already made a deep run during the 2019 PCA National. Here's she's putting together some chips to make a run in the Main Event. [caption id="attachment_622279" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Has the covering of faces gone too far or is it just no big deal?[/caption] What do you think of this look? Hate it? Love it? Does it bother you or is it fair game? We want to know what you think - tweet at us @PocketFives
  14. Sometimes you just have to take a shot. That’s exactly what well-travelled New Jersey grinder Michael Azzaro thought when it came to the 2019 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure schedule. One look at Azzaro’s history, both live and online, one can see the bulk of his success has come from East Coast venues in buy-ins of up to $1K. But here at the start of 2019, Azzaro has fired in the $25,000 PokerStars NL Hold’em Players Championship and now, he’s deep in the $10K Main Event. “I’m definitely taking a shot,” Azzaro said. “I played this Main Event last year for the first time. I’ve played the WSOP Main Event three times but have not played any other $10K. So this is definitely one of the bigger buy-ins I’ve played.” Despite not normally playing in the larger Main Events, Azzaro isn’t phased. He’s an accomplished pro, a WSOP Circuit ring winner, with results dating back to 2010. He has over $500,000 in live earnings and another $850,000 online, where the PocketFiver is known as ‘MikeyCasino.' “Actually, I wasn’t even going to play until the day before Day 1 because I was going to go somewhere else, maybe to Choctaw to find something a little softer. But I was already here and I wanted to fire it and it’s been working out so far.” It’s always good when things go your way. However, that wasn’t the case for Azzaro in the $25,000 PSPC where, despite making Day 2, he was unable to cash in. “In the $25K there were a lot of satty winners, a lot of Platinum Pass winners and I thought it was going to be one of the easiest $25Ks I was ever going to play,” Azzaro said about putting together the biggest buy-in of his career. When that didn’t work out though, Azzaro quickly made up his mind to keep taking shots. “While I was here I just had rooms booked the whole series so I was like ‘lets just give this a shot.’” He played in the $1,100 2019 PCA National and picked up a min-cash. But then the decision was made to play the Main. “I thought if things just don’t go well, I don’t play many $10Ks so I at least give myself a shot at winning some big money.” As it turned out, everything has been going well - at least through the middle of Day 3. Azzaro has been holding his own with a chip stack sitting right in the middle of the pack. “It’s been going good, I got lucky on the live stream earlier today - that was great. I just want to play well, play all my hands the best that I can and let the cards do the rest. I don’t want to get my hopes up too high. I try to stay on an even keel at all times. "Even if I’m the chip leader or the shortest stack, I like to play one hand at a time and live in the moment rather than worry about the next day or two.” No small part of Azzaro’s success has been thanks to the support system of the East Coast poker community he is representing while in the Bahamas. A fixture on the scene, he’s been bombarded with support from those who he regularly tangles with on the felt. “I love it. A lot of people, a lot of friends have been hitting me up on Twitter and Facebook just telling me to play good and keep it going and ‘take it down’ and everything. I definitely have a lot of friends in the East Coast poker community and I appreciate all the support they give me.” And win or lose, what’s next for Azzaro? “After this is over…I’ll most likely be at Borgata.” UPDATE: Michael Azzaro's Main Event came to an end in 44th place earning $28,520.
  15. One of poker’s biggest stars from the last two decades is officially on the rail with Vanessa Selbst announcing her retirement. On Sunday, Selbst announced on her Facebook page that she is formally moving away from poker as her full-time career. The Yale law degree graduate now moves toward a life in the financial world. Selbst says she has been working for a hedge fund in New York City for four months with a focus in trading research and strategy. The 33-year-old Selbst accomplished nearly everything she could have wanted to in a poker career that earned her over $11.8 million in tournament earnings. Selbst first came into the national conscience by final tabling the $2,000 No Limit Hold’em event at the 2006 World Series of Poker. That final table aired on ESPN and the viewing audience was introduced to the aggressive 21-year-old. In her first ever televised appearance, Selbst finished seventh to win $101,285 and decided to take on poker as her full-time job. The career of Selbst took off in no time thanks to an incredible natural talent and a playing style that allowed her to always have opponents on edge. In 2008, Selbst won her first bracelet in the $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha event. Gradually, Selbst added to her growing list of accomplishments before officially breaking out in 2010. Selbst had her best year in gross tournament earnings and two major wins catapulted her into the discussion of best players in the world. In April, Selbst took down the PokerStars North American Poker Tour $5,000 Main Event at Mohegan Sun for $750,000. Five months and one continent later, Selbst shipped the Partouche Poker Tour €8,500 Main Event in Cannes, France. That win earned Selbst a career-best score of $1.823 million. Those wins added to Selbst’s legend and in 2013, she made history by winning one of the most prestigious events in the world. By taking home the gold medal in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $25,500 High Roller, Selbst became the leader on the women's all-time money list. With her poker tournament life formally behind her, Selbst retires as #41 on the all-time money list with the likes of Tony Gregg and Allen Cunningham on either side her. Selbst retires with three World Series of Poker bracelets, the last of which came in the 2014 $25,000 Mixed Max No Limit event. In respect to the reasoning behind her retirement, Selbst said, “The shift in the nature of poker and what it requires put me at a crossroads and asked the question of me whether I would rather change my relationship to the game or move on. To me, the opportunity to work hard and learn something totally new and get to keep poker in my arsenal of fun go-to hobbies feels like the right approach.” The poker world reached out on Twitter with kind words of Selbst with media members and players alike wishing her the best in her new venture. https://twitter.com/EricRaskin/status/947506527618916352 https://twitter.com/DougPolkPoker/status/947490183657558017  
  16. Over ten months after announcing what is expected to be the largest $25,000 tournament in history, PokerStars has finally revealed what players can expect when they take their seat at the upcoming PokerStars Players Championship. Everything from the tournament structure to the payout percentage was designed for the players by the players as well as members of the PokerStars team. The field is expected to be a mix of elite high-rolling players and the 300 participants that freerolled into the contest by way of winning a Platinum Pass. In total, the prize pool should soar past $10,000,000 with the winner of the inaugural PSPC becoming a millionaire many times over. How Players Helped The Process The only two aspects of the PSPC that was determined before consulting the players was that the event will take five days and it will be a freezeout. There will be no re-entries. After that, PokerStars sent surveys to players who will actually be participating in the event - both Platinum Pass winners as well as players that are expected to buy-in directly. In addition, a five-player panel was consulted that includes, former PocketFives #1-ranked player Shaun Deeb, 2018 PCA High Roller winner David Dvoress, high roller circuit grinder David Peters, author-turned-PokerStars sponsored player Maria Konnikova and Dragos Trofimov - those three all have already won a Platinum Pass this year. The surveyed players, the player representatives, as well as members of the PokerStars team, evaluated just about every aspect of the tournament. With all opinions accounted for the details of the event began to take shape. Player Comfort The question of whether play would begin eight or nine-handed was seemingly split down the middle. It was decided that Day 1 of the PSPC will play nine-handed. Then, as players bust the tournament, tables will be scaled down to eight-handed “at the start of Day 2 by the latest.” With the event taking place in the Bahamas, players overwhelmingly also opted for a shorter playing day. Roughly 70% of the players wanted to play for eight hours a day versus a ten hour day. The first two days of play will not have dinner breaks but will be introduced later in the tournament depending on field size. Places Paid PokerStars popularized the current trend of paying 15% and the polled players agreed that's what the PSPC should pay. However, since there is no rake for this event, the money that would have gone to rake will be redistributed to the prize pool. Before reaching what would be a traditional min-cash, there will be some players receiving their $25,000 buy-in back. For Platinum Pass winners, this will be a $25,000 profit as they will not have paid out-of-pocket to be in the tournament. Other prize pool numbers that have been revealed include first place paying out somewhere between 16.8%-17.5%. Though the survey favored a slightly higher percentage for first place, the player panel and the PokerStars team determined that with the additional $1,000,000 added to first place, a flatter payout structure would benefit more players. Tournament Details All of today’s modern high roller conventions will be enlisted during the PSPC. The big blind ante, which is currently used in all of PokerStars LIVE events, will be used. The tournament will also shift to a shot clock as soon as the money is reached, which is expected to be late in Day 2. The structure features 60-minute levels throughout the tournament. The starting stack of 60,000 at 100/200 starting blinds provides 300 big blinds when the first hand is dealt. The min-cash will be based on the total number of players who end up registering. The calculation will likely be between 1.27 and 1.45 the buy-in. This calculates into a min-cash of roughly $32,000 on the low end and $34,000 on the high end.
  17. 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.
  18. Not only did the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event wrap up on Wednesday with Kevin Schulz taking down the title, but the PCA High Roller Event also crowned a winner. Ilkin Garibli (pictured) won the record-breaking $25,000 buy-in tournament after a heads-up chop with PocketFiver Joe daPHUNNIEman Kuether. Interestingly, Garibli wasn't even planning on playing in the High Roller Event. The 26-year-old is from far away Azerbaijan and was vacationing in the Bahamas when he heard about the tournament and his friends coaxed him into entering. A few days later, Garibli was $1.1 million richer, while Kuether earned $1 million for second place. Garibli told PokerStars, "It's my first time I decided to play a tournament. I normally just play cash games with friends. And as you can see it has worked out quite well." Once the bubble burst, he seemingly portended his own finish, telling PokerStars, "To be honest I'm happy I cashed, but let's just say I'd rather win first place. The pay jumps between sixth and seventh don't really affect me that much. So, I'm going for the big money. I hope that can happen." Despite holding better than a 2:1 lead in chips at the time of the chop, Garibli agreed to split the prize pool evenly. The blinds were at 60,000-120,000-20,000 when the deal was struck, with one person commenting on Twitter, "Best chop ever?" The final eight in the High Roller Event included some of poker's top minds. Here's how the group cashed out: 1. Ilkin Garibli - $1,105,040 2. Joe daPHUNNIEmanKuether - $1,050,000 3. Oleksii Khoroshenin - $629,460 4. Jean-Pascal Savard - $508,080 5. Scott Seiver - $398,340 6. Nick Petrangelo - $301,500 7. Faraz The-Toilet Jaka - $221,440 8. Dan Heimiller - $162,700 Khoroshenin, who finished in third place, won EPT Vienna, while Seiver, who took fifth, took down the 2013 PCA Super High Roller Event. Kuether, meanwhile, won a $5K side event at last year's PCA and continues to churn out solid results. Jaka is a longtime member of PocketFives and #90 on poker's all-time money list, according to the Hendon Mob. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  19. Most High Roller final tables involve a level of conflict. Chip leads go back and forth and eventually one player rises above the rest to win an insane amount of money. That's not quite what happened Thursday night at the final table of the $25,000 High Roller event at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. Nick 'FU_15' Maimone started the final table fourth in chips and, over the course of nine hours of play, eliminated nearly every single player who stood between him and the title to walk away nearly $1 million richer. "My plan was just be really solid and tight going in and hope a couple of the short stacks would bust. All the ladders were huge," said Maimone. Short stacks did indeed bust early on, but rather than sitting back and watching others do the work, Maimone took on the role of executioner. From early position, Maimone raised to 110,000 and Ben Heath moved all-in from the cutoff for 570,000. Action folded to Maimone, who called and tabled [poker card="ad"] [poker card="8d"]. Heath was ahead with [poker card="7d"] [poker card="7s"]. The [poker card="as"] [poker card="jd"] [poker card="5s"] flop put Maimone ahead and the [poker card="9d"] turn and [poker card="8c"] river kept him there, sending Heath to the rail in eighth place. From UTG, Chance 'Chances Cards' Kornuthmoved all-in for 495,000 and Brian Yoon moved all-in over the top from the cutoff. Maimone called from the small blind. Kornuth showed [poker card="ad"] [poker card="9s"], Yoon had [poker card="ah"] [poker card="jh"], and Maimone had [poker card="4c"] [poker card="4s"]. The [poker card="td"] [poker card="8s"] [poker card="7c"] flop gave Kornuth and Yoon straight draws but left Maimone in front. The [poker card="9c"] turn gave Yoon a straight. The [poker card="5d"] river changed nothing for Kornuth and he was out in seventh. Working with a relatively short stack, Andrey 'Zaya' Zaichenko moved all-in from the small blind for 830,000 and Maimone called from the big blind. Zaichenko showed [poker card="as"] [poker card="7c"], but found himself trailing Maimone, who showed [poker card="ah"] [poker card="jd"]. The [poker card="ks"] [poker card="6c"] [poker card="3d"] [poker card="9c"] [poker card="th"] runout did nothing for Zaichenko and he was eliminated in sixth. After Maimone raised to 140,000 from UTG, Yoon moved all-in from the big blind for just over 1,000,000. Maimone called and tabled [poker card="ks"] [poker card="qh"], while Yoon showed [poker card="5h"] [poker card="5s"]. The [poker card="ah"] [poker card="ts"] [poker card="9h"] flop kept Yoon ahead but gave Maimone a straight draw. The [poker card="qs"] turn put Maimone ahead and the [poker card="kh"] river sealed Yoon's fate with a fifth place finish. November Niner Josh 'asdf26' Beckley was the next to go and his run ended in frustrating fashion. Winter raised to 180,000 from UTG, Maimone called from the button, and Beckley called from the small blind. The flop came [poker card="ad"] [poker card="ks"] [poker card="8s"] and all three players checked. After the [poker card="qs"] turn, Winter and Beckley checked before Maimone bet 300,000. Winter folded, but Beckley called. The [poker card="ts"] river got Beckley to check again. Maimone bet 525,000 before Beckley check-raised all-in for his last 1,225,000. Maimone called and watched as Beckley tabled [poker card="as"] [poker card="5s"] for what he assumed was the nut flush, but Maimone - after taking some time - flipped over [poker card="js"] [poker card="9s"] for a straight flush to send Beckley home in fourth. "I'm not an asshole, but (Beckley) just kind of bothered me a couple of times with his demeanour. He really just rubbed me the wrong way," said Maimone. "This was a dream spot to not slow roll. So I said, 'This is a tough one.' I think I asked him how many chips he had - like a jerk and he called and confidently tabled his ace-five of spades and I was like, 'I have a straight flush, sorry.'" With three players remaining, Dario Sammartino moved all-in for 1,130,000 over Maimone's initial raise to 225,000. Maimone called and turned up [poker card="7h"] [poker card="7s"], while Sammartino needed help with [poker card="kc"] [poker card="ts"]. The [poker card="ah"] [poker card="8s"] [poker card="2h"] [poker card="2d"] [poker card="jc"] board did nothing for Sammartino and he was out in third, leaving Maimone and Winter to play for the title. When heads-up play began, Maimone held 6,495,000 chips to Winter's 4,855,000. The two made a deal that left both with $900,000+ cash and left $30,000 to play for. It didn't take long for Maimone to claim his sixth final table victim. Maimone raised his button to 250,000 and Winter followed that by moving all-in. Maimone snap-called and tabled [poker card="ac"] [poker card="kc"], while Winter was way behind with [poker card="kd"] [poker card="tc"]. The board ran out [poker card="9d"] [poker card="3d"] [poker card="3c"] [poker card="qc"] [poker card="9c"] to give Maimone his first live win. Final Table Payouts Nick Maimone - $996,480 Sean Winter - $914,580 Dario Sammartino - $542,160 Josh Beckley - $439,560 Brian Yoon - $347,760 Andrey Zaichenko - $264,060 Chance Kornuth - $192,780 Ben Heath - $140,940
  20. [caption width="640"] After two third place finishes, Bryn Kenney finally got his hands on the PCA SHR Championship trophy Friday[/caption] Before the final table of the $100,000 buy-in PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Super High Roller began on Friday afternoon there were a number of storylines in play. Joe McKeehen, just two months from winning the WSOP Main Event was third in chips. Isaac Haxton, just weeks after leaving Team PokerStars Online, was fifth in chips at PokerStars’ marquee live event. Mustapha Kanit, who won the €50,000 buy-in Super High Roller at the EPT Grand Final last May, was looking for another title and seven figure score to add to his impressive resume. And then there was Bryn Kenney. Five years ago Kenney finished third in this event. He did that again in 2015, finishing third behind runner-up Roger Sippl and champion Steve O’Dwyer. But on Friday Kenney exorcised the demons and came through with a victory - and a $1,687,800 payday - against the stacked field. McKeehen got the party started in all in preflop confrontation with Haxton. With just over 14 big blinds left, Haxton moved all-in with [poker card="ts"] [poker card="9s"] on the button and McKeehen called from the big blind with [poker card="as"] [poker card="ks"]. The board ran out [poker card="ac"] [poker card="jd"] [poker card="4h"] [poker card="td"] [poker card="5s"] to give McKeehen top pair and eliminate Haxton in sixth place. Almost 90 minutes later David Peters was shown the door. Working with just over 10 big blinds, Peters moved all-in holding [poker card="ad"] [poker card="9s"], Kenney called from the big blind with [poker card="as"] [poker card="td"]. The [poker card="ks"] [poker card="qd"] [poker card="3c"] flop was no help for Peters but the [poker card="qh"] turn gave Peters some chops outs. The [poker card="ts"] river however sealed Peters’ fate with a fifth place finish. Ankush Mandavia completed from the small blind before Mustapha Kanit raised to 290,000 from the big blind. Mandavia responded by moving all-in and Kanit called. Mandavia was racing with his [poker card="ah"] [poker card="jh"] against Kanti’s [poker card="7c"] [poker card="7s"]. The [poker card="td"] [poker card="9h"] [poker card="8d"] flop gave both players straight draws. The [poker card="4h"] turn changed nothing the but the [poker card="qs"] river completed Mandavia’s straight and sent Kanit to the rail in fourth. Despite the chips he picked up by busting Kanit, Mandavia’s run ended not long after that hand. Mandavia moved all-in from the small blind for 2,135,000 and Kenney called from the big blind. Mandavia had kicker issues after turning over [poker card="ks"] [poker card="4h"] and seeing Kenney held [poker card="kd"] [poker card="9d"]. After the [poker card="jc"] [poker card="th"] [poker card="6s"] [poker card="3d"] [poker card="7d"] board Mandavia was out in third and Kenney was left to play heads-up with reigning WSOP Main Event champ McKeehen. When heads-up play began Kenney had the chip lead, holding 7,945,000 chips to McKeehen’s 6,550,000. The two played 46 hands of heads-up poker with both players taking turns with an overwhelming chip lead. On the final hand of the night McKeehen raised his button to 480,000 before Kenney moved all-in. McKeehen called and tabled [poker card="5d"] [poker card="5h"] while Kenney turned up [poker card="kh"] [poker card="7c"]. The [poker card="7d"] [poker card="7h"] [poker card="4c"] flop put Kenney ahead with trips and when the [poker card="3s"] turn and [poker card="js"] river failed to give McKeehen a full house, he was out in second place leaving Kenney as the champion. The event attracted a total of 58 entries - down slightly from the 66 that played last year. Final Table Payouts Bryn Kenney - $1,687,800 Joe McKeehen - $1,220,480 Ankush Mandavia - $787,640 Mustapha Kanit - $596,360 David Peters - $461,340 Isaac Haxton - $360,060 Daniel Dvoress - $286,920 Kathy Lehne- $225,040
  21. One of the most prestigious high rollers of the year came to a conclusion on Saturday as Sam Greenwood defeated the 61 player field in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $100,000 Super High Roller for $1,775,460. Late on Friday night, the tournament saw the money bubble burst when Gregory Jensen bowed out in ninth place. The players could have opted to end the day of play right there returning for the live streamed final table with a full table. However, they continued to play to the end of the level. During that time they lost three of the eight remaining players including U.S. Poker Open champion Stephen Chidwick in eighth ($236,720), Steffen Sontheimer in seventh ($301,820) and PokerStars ambassador Igor Kurganov in sixth place ($378,760). When they returned on Saturday, the table was five-handed with Canadian Chris Hunichen with the chip lead. LISTEN: The FIVES Poker Podcast LIVE from the Bahamas with guest Chris Hunichen The first elimination of the day took place during a clash between Talal Shakerchi and Greenwood. Greenwood raised holding [poker card="qh"][poker card="qd"]. When the action made it to Shakerchi, he shoved just over 20 bigs with [poker card="js"][poker card="9c"]. Greenwood made the quick call. The [poker card="3c"][poker card="9h"][poker card="th"] flop paired Shakerchi and the [poker card="qs"], while improving Greenwood’s hand, provided Shakerchi even more outs. The [poker card="7c"] river was not one of them and Shakerchi, who made his second final table of the PCA in as many events, settled for fifth place and another $485,300. This result brings Shakerchi's total 2019 PCA earnings to $994,300. Hunichen had lost his chip lead after taking providing Greenwood a double up earlier in the day. He quickly found himself with a 10 big blind stack. Hunichen subsequently lost another hand to Greenwood and was running on fumes. His tournament came to an end when he made an all-in call holding [poker card="ah"][poker card="6d"] against Henrik Hecklen’s [poker card="ac"][poker card="jh"]. The [poker card="3s"][poker card="9c"][poker card="ks"][poker card="4d"][poker card="5c"] board never really provided much of a sweat and ‘Big Huni’ bowed out in fourth place for $627,340, a new career-high cash. Hunichen has been on a run as of late as this result comes on the heels of his third-place place finish in the WPT Five Diamond $100K, where he won his previous largest cash of $592,000. Greenwood then separated himself from both Jesus Cortes and Hecklen and at one point had a greater than 2:1 chip advantage over each of them. Not long after Hunichen's departure, Greenwood and Cortes faced off in a massive cooler that claimed Cortes’ tournament life. Greenwood opened on the button with [poker card="jc"][poker card="td"] and Cortes flatted on the big blind with [poker card="qd"][poker card="qc"]. The [poker card="9h"][poker card="qs"][poker card="ks"] action flop provided Greenwood a flopped straight and a set for Cortes. Cortes checked, Greenwood bet, Cortes flat called. The turn was the [poker card="6d"] and after Cortes checked again, Greenwood placed in a larger bet. Cortes, again, just called. The river brought the [poker card="2s"]. Cortes checked for the third time. Greenwood, covering Cortes, shipped all-in. Cortes could not get away from the hand and after seeing the results, headed for the cashier in third place. He collected $828,560 for his efforts. The score almost exactly doubles the total of his previously recorded live cashes of $828,201. With a commanding chip lead headed into heads-up, it didn’t take long for Greenwood to close out the tournament. Greenwood open limped from the small blind with [poker card="7s"][poker card="7d"] and Hecklen moved all in with [poker card="ad"][poker card="6d"]. Greenwood instantly made the call and the pair saw the flop of [poker card="8c"][poker card="8d"][poker card="3s"] leaving Hecklen with very few outs. The turn was the [poker card="4s"] providing no help. The [poker card="2d"] river sealed the deal for Greenwood, giving him the victory. This was another amazing showing for Denmark’s Hecklen, who finished in second place for a career-high cash $1,284,260. It comes on the heels of his victory in the EPT Prague €10,300 High Roller where he dominated the table from start to finish picking up $568,680. In total, Hecklen now surpasses $3M in total career live earnings. Greenwood, a PocketFiver, picked up the PCA Super High Roller trophy and takes home $1,775,460 for his performance. This is his second largest cash in his impressive career, one that now includes six seven-figure scores. Greenwood now exceeds $14.5 million for his career and climbs to 37th place on the All-Time Money List. PCA $100K Final Table Payouts 1. Sam Greenwood - $1,775,460 2. Henrik Hecklen - $1,284,260 3. Jesus Cortes - $828,560 4. Chris Hunichen - $627,340 5. Talal Shakerchi - $485,300 6. Igor Kurganov - $378,760 7. Steffen Sontheimer - $301,820 8. Stephen Chidwick - $236,720
  22. The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $10K Main Event came to a conclusion on Wednesday night and it was veteran poker professional David 'Chino' Rheem who finished in first place taking home the $$1,567,100 first place prize. For Rheem, it seemed as if he was simply finishing what he started. On Day 4, Rheem ran hot and surged to take a chip lead that he would never surrender while at the final table. Throughout the day, Rheem continually put pressure on all of his opponents, opening liberally, flatting to take flops in position and staying active both with his play and his table talk. It was a dominating performance that saw Rheem eliminate every single one of the other final table participants. The entire final table took just under eight hours, including breaks, and at no point in time did it seem that Rheem was in trouble despite facing some very talented opposition. The final table was tense for a number of hours until, finally, the bustouts began. One-time WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open champion, Brian Altman, found himself trending downward and sitting on one of the smaller stacks. He was the first to clash with Rheem. Altman opened UTG with [poker card="ad"][poker card="3d"] and it folded back around the Rheem in the big blind who looked down at pocket queens and piled in a big raise. Altman took a moment and put his remaining chips in the middle. Chino, still with his dominating table chip lead, snap-called. The [poker card="8h"][poker card="8c"][poker card="7c"] flop provided no help to Altman. The [poker card="3h"] turn kept the door open but the [poker card="ts"] river ended the run for Altman. Altman finishes the day in sixth place, picking up $297,020 to send his recorded career cashes to over $3 million lifetime. It took nearly two more levels for the next elimination to occur. Vincent Bosca, with roughly 14 big blinds, opened from the hijack with [poker card="ad"][poker card="jd"] prompting a big blind defend from Rheem with [poker card="5c"][poker card="3c"]. The flop came [poker card="3d"][poker card="td"][poker card="qc"] and Rheem checked. Bosca put in a roughly half pot bet and Rheem check-shoved on him with bottom pair. Bosca made the call with overcards, the flush draw and gutshot straight outs. The [poker card="ts"] turn only gave Bosca more outs and he needed one of 19 cards to hit the river. But the [poker card="5h"] was not one of them and the Spaniard fell in fifth place for $396,880. After a short break, the action picked up considerably. Roughly half an hour into the next level Ukranian by-way-of Israel Pavel Veksler also found himself facing the wrath of Rheem. Rheem, still having the table covered, open shoved [poker card="6s"][poker card="6c"] from the small blind into Veksler, who looked down at [poker card="as"][poker card="qc"]. Veksler made the call and the pair saw a [poker card="2d"][poker card="jh"][poker card="ts"] flop giving Veksler some additional outs. But as happened to Bosca before him, the [poker card="8h"] turn and [poker card="8s"] river provided no help and Veksler bowed out in fourth place for $503,440. With Rheem in firm control of the table, both he and the tournament went into overdrive. From the bu,tton Rheem opened with [poker card="ac"][poker card="td"] and Scott Wellenbach, the Buddist translator who has promised all of his winnings to charity, made his final stand by shoving [poker card="kc"][poker card="qh"]. Rheem called and the flop came [poker card="8h"][poker card="7c"][poker card="kh"], putting Wellenback in the lead. The turn brought the [poker card="jd"] giving Rheem open-ended straight out to go along with his over card. The river was the [poker card="9s"], once again giving Rheem the cards he needed to win a big hand. Wellenback’s journey ended in 3rd place and he takes home $671,240, all of which is seemingly destined to be put to good use. Heads-up play between Rheem and Daniel Strelitz didn’t take very long with Rheem having a nearly 8:1 chip advantage. Rheem then wrapped up what he started from way back in Day 1 when he ended his opening flight with heaps of chips. From the button, Strelitz open shoved the [poker card="as"][poker card="2s"] and Rheem snap called with…pocket fives, [poker card="5s"][poker card="5d"]. The flop came [poker card="kh"][poker card="jc"][poker card="tc"] keeping Rheem in the lead. The [poker card="3h"] turn was of no help to Strelitz and the [poker card="ts"] on the river sealed the deal for Rheem to win the 100th cash of his accomplished career. For his runner-up finish, Daniel Strelitz takes home $951,480. Chino Rheem is the 2019 PCA Main Event Champion and awarded the $1,567,100 first-place prize. PCA 2019 Main Event Final Table Payouts 1. Chino Rheem - $1,567,100 2. Daniel Strelitz - $951,480 3. Scott Wellenback - $671,240 4. Pavel Veksler - $503,440 5. Vicent Bosca - $396,880 6. Brian Altman - $297,920
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
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