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2011 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event: Moneymaker, "Isildur1" & Pilgrim Thrive on Day 1b

Day 1b of the 2011 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure was expected to have a huge turnout and that is exactly what happened. While Day 1a drew 647 players, Day 1b saw 913 players enter, bringing the total number of entrants to 1,560. That is a 31-player increase over last year's PCA Main Event and created a prize pool of $15,132,000, which will be paid to the top 232 players. The winner will be taking home a whopping $2.3 million.

The day started with a laundry list of big name players. Team PokerStars Pros in attendance included Jonathan Duhamel (Canada), Daniel Negreanu (Canada), Maria Mayrinck (Brazil), Lex Veldhuis (Netherlands), Vanessa Rousso (USA), Greg Raymer (USA), Jason Mercier (USA), and Barry Greenstein (USA), just to name a few. Unfortunately, none of those players managed to make it through the day. While some failed to survive, others stayed alive. Members of the team who navigated through Day 1b and will return for Day 2 include Liv Boeree (UK), Sandra Naujoks (Germany), Viktor "Isildur1" Blom (Sweden), and Chris Moneymaker (USA), who finished toward the top of the chip counts with 217,600.

Moneymaker's defining moment came when his pocket nines defeated an opponent's {10-}{9-Clubs} on a board that contained both a nine and a ten. It took the 2003 WSOP Main Event Champion over a minute to stack his new chips, but when it was all said in done, he had 175,000 in front of him. From there, he continued to add chips to his stack.

Team PokerStars Pros were not the only big names in the field. Among the fallen were Phil "Unabomber" Laak, Eric Baldwin, Sorel Mizzi, Tom Marchese, Matt Affleck, John Racener, Antonio Esfandiari, Matthias Habernig, David Oppenheim, and Jonathan Little. While many top pros were eliminated, there is no shortage of big names making it to Day 2. Daniel Alaei, Praz Bansi, Alex Kostritsyn, Brazilian tennis superstar Gustavo Kuerten, and Dwyte Pilgrim, who shot up from 9,000 to 194,200 in the last two levels of the night, are all still in contention.

Joining Pilgrim and Moneymaker at the top of the chips counts are Walid Bou-Habib, the Day 1b chip leader with 239,000, as well as Timothy Finne (225,100), Carol Ventura (225,000), Ilan Rouah (224,900), Tommy Vedes (220,200), and Adam Gabor (207,900).

All told, 373 players survived Day 1b and will join the 272 remaining players from Day 1a tomorrow for the start of Day 2, which is scheduled to begin at 12 P.M. EST. Be sure to follow along right here on PokerNews as our Live Reporting Team brings you all the action, eliminations, and drama from the 2011 PCA at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas.

If you want more updates from the PCA delivered straight to your social media, be sure to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook. Also, don't forget to take advantage of an exclusive three-day FREE trial for everyone who follows our PCA coverage to PokerNews Strategy. Just enter the code "PCA2011" when signing up to get three days free and 20% off any subscription you continue with.

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