Two Former World Champs Win Side Events at PCA

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2012 Pokerstars Caribbean AdventureCurrently in the Bahamas, the popular talks around town are about the current PokerStars Caribbean Adventure.  Whether it is the $100k entry High Roller event that drew in a first place prize of over $1 million, or the PCA Main Event which is nearly its way down to the final table, people are talking about this incredibly popular tournament series which has started 2012 off with a bang.  What many people aren’t talking about though is the fact that we have now seen two former World Series of Poker Main Event winners take down side events at the PCA this year as well!

The first big time player to take down a win was Jonathan Duhamel, who was in the news just a few weeks back for some non-related poker news, as his house was the target of a home invasion and a robbery.  Duhamel has recovered from everything though, and has pulled in some nice results at the 2012 PCA.  First off, Duhamel had a nice fourth place finish at the High Roller event, in which he took home a payday of $313,600.  Then came his win at the $5k No Limit Hold’em 8-max event this week, in which he had to beat out a star-studded final table that included Jason Mercier, Pius Heinz, gold bracelet winner Kevin Stammen, and two online poker pros in Owen Crowe and Laurence Houghton.  Duhamel beat out 157 other players, and won the first place prize of $249,830.

Cada’s win on the other hand came from the $2k No Limit Hold’em event, that drew in 348 players.  Cada won $175,550 for his strong run, and he beat out a player who many people feel is on the rise in Michael Telker in the end.  The final table of this event also included two well-known pros in Shannon Shorr who finished in 4th place, and a PokerStars pro in JC Alvarado who wound up in 6th.

Both Cada and Duhamel are two of the more liked poker pros in the game, and also two players who could be looking at having some impressive years in 2012.  Keep an eye out for them at some of the coming poker tournament series’ in the next few months, including the WSOP!

John Dibella: Winner of 2012 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event

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John Dibella was declared winner of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure 2012 main event. For his accomplishment, he claims a $1,775,000 grand prize, along with 2,400 points toward Card Player Magazine’s Player of the Year Award.

Dibella avoided the $10,000 buy-in into the 2012 PCA main event through a live satellite that cost $1,000 to enter. This made him one of three amateur players to make it to the final table. Considering there were only 8 players at the final table, that meant amateurs made up almost half the final table.

Runner-up in the event was Kyle Julius who claimed $1.5 million and 2,000 Player of the Year points for his accomplishment. Franz Jaka came in third place, for $775k and 1,600 POY points. Xuan Liu came in fourth place for $600k and 1,200 POY points. Mark Drover came in fifth place for $468k and 1,000 POY points. Anthony Gregg came in sixth place for $364k and 800 POY points. David Bernstein came in seventh place for $260k and 600 POY points. And Ruben Visser came in eighth place for $156,400 and 400 POY points.

Dibella claims this as his biggest cash win in live poker. His prior winnings include tenth place in a 2006 WSOP event ($1.5k NL Holdem) and he cashed for $16,000, previously his biggest win to date, as coincidence would have it, in the ’08 PCA main event.

Before taking down the 2012 Poker Stars Caribbean Adventure main event, John Dibella’s total poker career winnings was $42k.

PCA Main Event Down to 24 Players

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2012 Pokerstars Caribbean AdventureThe 2012 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure has had some exciting poker to this point, and it started off with their $100k buy-in High Roller event.  Now, the PCA Main Event is down to only 24 players at the end of Day 4, and one player finds himself at the top of the leaderboard and sitting pretty heading into Day 5.  Faraz Jaka may not be incredibly well-known to the common poker fan, but his play has been stellar, as he has found himself almost always near the top of the leaderboard throughout this tournament, and heading into Day 5 he sits alone at the top.

Jaka has a total of 4.1 million chips, and continued to grow on his lead throughout the day.  Currently, his closest competitor is Alex Fitzgerald (2.70 million), but he is still over 1.4 million chips behind Jaka.  There are quite a few players who are still within striking distance of course, and one hand can change everything, but it’s hard not to like the way that Jaka is playing currently.  To round out the top five, you’ll find Phil D’Auteuil with 2.28 million, Anthony Gregg with 2.14 million, and Byron Kaverman with 2.13 million chips. Close behind is Sam Greenwood in 6th with 2.10 million chips, but after that the remainder of the field finds themselves below 2 million chips.

As far as other players who are remaining in the field, there is one female player remaining, as Xuan Liu is sitting with over one million chips, at 1,082,000.  Liu has been impressive in this past year, as she had some nice cashes at the World Series of Poker, and also had a third place finish at the European Poker Tour’s San Remo event.  Some of the other players that you may know by name are Daniel Shiff with 834k, Ruben Visser with 461k, and David Peters 424k, who all have a shot to be able to make a run when it matters most.

Something interesting to note about the event in terms of players who were sent home already, was that well-known golfer Sergio Garcia took his seat, and even made a run into Day 4!  He was eliminated though when his A-J couldn’t catch up to the pocket queens of his opponent.  Garcia did make it into the top 50 though, and took home a payout of $35k for his efforts.  Other well-known players who have been sent home are Galen Hall, Chris Klodnicki, and Arnaud Mattern.  Barry Greenstein also has been sent home, but he made it into the cash, as he finished in 25th place and took home $46k.

Action will continue at Noon local time on Thursday, and players will play down until we have a final table set.

Viktor “Isildur1” Blom Wins PCA High Roller Event

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2012 Pokerstars Caribbean AdventureThe PokerStars Caribbean Adventure High Roller event featured an incredible $100k buy-in, which explains why there were only 34 total players who registered for the event.  Regardless though, 34 players with a huge buy-in like that, makes up quite a nice prize pool in the end.  While there were 34 players in the event, you can bet that it included quite a few well-known players, and also players with some deep bankrolls as well, in order to afford this buy-in.  When all was said and done though, it was a player who not all poker fans know well, but many online poker players are well aware of, who ended up taking down the championship.

Viktor “Isildur1” Blom is a big time high stakes poker player on the popular poker site PokerStars.  He decided to take his poker talents to the live tournament scene over the weekend though, and headed to the Atlantis Resort in Bahamas to compete with big names like Daniel Negreanu, Bertrand “ElkY’ Grospellier, Jason Mercier, Jonathan Duhamel, Dan Shak, Erik Seidel, and many others as well.  When all was said and done, Blom outlasted the rest, and beat out Shak for the nice payday of $1,254,000 in the end.

When the final day of action kicked off, Blom found himself right in the middle of the remaining eight players.  The issue was, that only the top five were able to make it into the cash, so all remaining players had to be careful with those chip stacks.  Blom didn’t do much until they were into the money, as he saw the likes of Mike “Timex” McDonald, Humberto Brenes, and Scott Seiver, all sent home in 8th through 6th place.  It was then that he turned up his aggression and started winning big pots, and actually eliminated every player at the final table on his way to the championship.  The first to go was Negreanu in 5th, then Duhamel in 4th, Galen Hall in 3rd, and then he eliminated Shak in their heads up match in 2nd place.

This would be Blom’s first live tournament win, and it was an incredibly impressive one at that, as he played with the biggest names, and beat out the biggest names on his way to the victory.

Player at PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Sets Guinness Record

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A player at this year’s PokerStars Caribbean Adventure set the new Guinness World Record for most hands of poker played in an 8-hour period of time. The player was Randy Lew, known online as nananoko, and over those 8 hours he played 23,493 hands. He played those hands on Poker Stars in a cordoned off table of his own at the casino hosting the PCA, surrounded by fellow PCA attendees.

In order for the record to count, according to Lew’s own self-imposed criteria, he had to have finished the 8 hours ahead, meaning he had to show a profit. Lucky for him he made it, but only by $7.65. Because he was playing on PokerStars, however, he also earned 22,784 FPPs for his effort. Those points can be used to enter online tournaments at the site or purchase gear at the PokerStars Store.

At one point, a few hands before the 8-hour clock was up, Lew closed down most of the tables he’d been playing–for most of the contest, he was multi-tabling at 40 tables at once–and focused on a single table, where he received pocket Aces. An observer shouted out for him not to play the hand as it was a three-way hand and he was so close to losing the small profit he had edged out. But he stayed in and luck was with him, all the way to Guinness Book of World Records.

Lew was in between days of play in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure main event, which he returned to the following day. As a point of comparison, whoever would go on to win the $2 million grand prize in that event wouldn’t have played more than 10% of the number of hands Lew played to claim his record.

PCA Super High Roller Event Draws 32 Players

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2012 Pokerstars Caribbean AdventureThe 2012 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) has one of the biggest poker tournament buy-ins that is offered on the board today.  The Super High Roller event is a $100k entry tournament, that has a smaller field than the normal big time events, but it also draws in a nice prize pool, and some of the biggest names in the game as well.  This year, the event drew in 34 total players, which means that the top five players will be making money.  What’s interesting about this, is that making the final table isn’t enough in this tournament, as they’ll have to make an even deeper run to get a big payday.  The perks of this event are big for both sides, but the fans definitely get a ton of action with quite a few of their favorite players.

As far as the players who are involved in this years Super High Roller event, you’ll see names like Jonathan Duhamel, Jason Mercier, Daniel Negreanu, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Erik Seidel, Viktor “Islidur1” Blom, and Eugene Katchalov.  As far as the top five players who cash, this is how the payouts will work:

  • First Place- $1.25 million
  • Second Place- $846k
  • Third Place- $470k
  • Fourth Place- $313k
  • Fifth Place- $250k

When Day 1 ended the top three players featured Ike Haxton in first, Viktor Blom in second, and Seidel in third.  Blom is one of the more interesting stories in this event, as he’s an online high stakes cash game player, who has made quite a bit of money in the past two years.  He doesn’t have very much live poker tournament experience, but he’s looking to bring in a big payday in one of his few tries.

Currently, the action is down to the final eight players though, with Galen Hall leading the way, and Blom and Negreanu still involved in the action.  One other name who is near the top of the leaderboard is Jonathan Duhamel, who is currently sitting in second place and has rebounded in a big way after the home invasion that three people had on his house in Canada.  He had his WSOP gold bracelet stolen, as well as a $5k Rolex, and over $100k in cash as well.

The final eight of this tournament should be fun to watch, and the winner will definitely have to earn their way to the big payday by beating out a stacked field.

PCA Main Event and High Roller Event To Feature Live Webcast

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2012 Pokerstars Caribbean AdventureThe PokerStars Caribbean Adventure has quickly become one of the most interesting and exciting poker tournaments offered, and they’ve done a little something to make their events even better overall.  Fans of the game of poker will get a great opportunity to be able to follow the action throughout the tournaments this upcoming year, with a live stream that will give players the chance to see hole-cards as well.  The stream will be on a 40-minute delay that players can see on

Players who tune in will not only get to see all of the action and get to see the hole cards on the delay, but they will get analysis and live broadcast from the likes of Joe Stapleton, James Hartigan, and a poker player who a few people may know the name of, Daniel Negreanu.  It will feature the final tables of two events with huge buy-ins, the $10,300 Main Event, and one of the largest buy-in tournaments on the planet in the $25,500 buy-in High Roller event.

The PCA Main Event draws in a huge number of players in especially the past two years.  The event has had over 1,500 players each year, and the first place prize for last years winner, Galen Hall, was over $2.3 million, which probably comes in second to about one other tournament series; the World Series of Poker.  For this coming year, there are actually a total of 800 players registered already, and there’s a chance that this could be one of the largest events in their history.

As far as the High Roller event goes, it has been around since back in 2009 and last season featured 151 players.  Last years winner was Will Molson who won over $1 million for beating out those 150 other players.  While this event is obviously a huge buy-in, PokerStars has actually decided to go even bigger in 2012.  They are introducing a $100k Super High Roller tournament, that already has a total of 20 players registered including names like Negreanu himself, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Brian Rast, Dan Shak, David Sands, Jason Mercier, Jonathan Duhamel, and many other big names as well.

Action for the PCA will kick off on January 5th and runs through January 14th.

Randy Lew to Attempt to Break World Record at PCA

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2012 Pokerstars Caribbean AdventureMany people in both the online poker world and the live poker world know the popular name Randy “nanonoko” Lew.  He is an online juggernaut and has brought in some incredibly impressive results in recent years.  In a bit of interesting news, Lew will attempt to become a Guinness World Record holder, by breaking a poker record at the 2012 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure tournament.  As far as the world record goes, no one, not even Lew knows exactly what world record that he will be looking to break.  The reason for this is that both PokerStars and Lew have decided to let the poker world make the decision for them.

The decision will be made on the popular online poker forum, Two Plus Two.  PokerStars VIP Manager “PokerStarsCaleb” posted that they were looking for a world record for Lew to break this upcoming January.  It can be a wide range of things, but the general idea behind the record has to be something simple and straight forward that even someone who doesn’t play poker could understand.  They also are hoping that it can have something to do with online poker in some way, which will be interesting as it is a live poker tournament.

While there have been many different ideas coming out for the world record, PokerStars and Lew are looking for something that stands out above the rest.  PokerStars has offered to give the person who comes up with the best suggestion a free entry into the $215 Sunday Million on their site this upcoming weekend.  When all of the world record options are up, both PokerStars and Lew will make the decision in the end.

Lew is incredibly popular in the game of poker, and has hit Supernova Elite status four years straight up until 2011.  His streak came to an end when Black Friday hit unfortunately, but he is back in action after he moved to Vancouver to continue playing on PokerStars.  Now, the action at PCA will kick off at the Atlantis Resort and Casino in the Bahamas on January 5th.  This event is a part of the always popular European Poker Tour, so keep your eye out for Lew in it!

Join Pokerstars Women Live at 2012 PCA

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In addition to the satellite series for the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in 2012 that are open to all its players, Poker Stars is also hosting a special, separate satellite tournament series strictly for its female players.

Held as part of the larger 2012 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, the PokerStars Women Live Caribbean Adventure is a separate event from the main event running from January 12 – 14, 2012. Unlike the PCA main event, the PokerStars Women Live Caribbean Adventure is a ladies only event. Satellite qualifier tournaments are on now at Poker Stars for this event, offering up prize packages worth $3,250 to the most successful.

These prize packages include the main event buy-in, hotel accommodations and $1K in spending cash. The 2012 PCA and PokerStars Women Live Caribbean Adventure takes place on Paradise Island in the exotic Bahamas. Prize packages will be awarded at weekly satellite finals taking place every Saturday between now and December 31, 2011 for a direct buy-in of $215. Each weekly final starts at 2:30 pm ET and awards one PCA Womens Live package for each $3,250 in the pot. Instead of paying the $215 buy-in, ladies can win seats in one of the weekly finals via lower-cost qualifier tournaments. There are even freeroll qualifier tournaments that can ultimately land you a PokerStars Women Live Caribbean Adventure weekly final qualifier ticket for nothing.

The 2012 PokerStars Women Live Caribbean Adventure will the be the latest in the string of ladies-only special events held around the world. Previous such events have including European Poker Tour (EPT) main events taking place in London, Monte Carlo and Madrid.