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2012 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event Day 1b: Venovski Leads, Rheem Close

Chino Rheem

Day 1b of the 2012 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event is in the books and after nine hours of play, 327 entrants survived with Alex Venovski (193,000) leading the way. The second flight of the PCA Main Event attracted 654 entrants, bringing the total field for the event to 1,072, and creating a total prize pool of $10,398,400. Players who finish 160th or higher, are guaranteed a minimum of $15,000. Final tabling will earn players at least $101,000 and the player who runs white hot and wins the 2012 PCA Main Event will pocket a cool $2 million.

Venovski, a U.K. native, jumped out to a lead of 180,000 before dinner break and never looked back. After adding a few small pots during the last three levels of the day, Venovski bagged 193,000, making him the Day 1b chip leader. Ironically, Venovski will start Day 2 at Table 19, Seat 3. There were a handful of other players who crossed the century mark Sunday, including Chino Rheem (182,900), Jonathan Jaffe (182,000), Phil D’Auteuil (170,800), and Luca Pagano (136,300).

Rheem played a very bizarre pot to end the day. After a series of preflop raises against Tyler Kenney, all of the chips were in the middle and the two were battling for 120,000 chips. Kenney tabled two kings, and Chino said, “aces,” but flipped over {a-}{2-}. Rheem, who apparently misread his hand, was very perplexed, but an ace on the river saved him, and eliminated Kenney from play.

Team PokerStars Pro Lex Veldhuis flew out of the gate, doubling in the first half hour of the day. The Dutch pro flopped a set of sevens on a king high board, and was all-in on the turn against a player with top pair-top kicker. After a meaningless river, Veldhuis had doubled to 60,000. He peaked at around 90,000 during the middle of the day, but cooled off and finished the day with just 40,000.

Veldhuis may have started off hot, but no one ran hotter than fellow Team Pro Arnaud Mattern. In a ten-minute span during Level 3, Mattern was dealt aces twice and rocketed his stack to over 150,000 chips. After treading water for the next six levels, Mattern bagged up 139,300 chips, and is among the chip leaders.

Team PokerStars Pro was well represented on Day 1b, but unfortunately, a number of them were eliminated, including 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event Champion Pius Heinz, Martin Staszko, Jason Mercier, Daniel Negreanu, Vanessa Rousso, Eugene Katchalov, and Nacho Barbero. Other notables who failed to survive the day include, Olivier Busquet, Peter Jetten, Amit Makhija, Dan Shak, and Cliff “JohnnyBax” Josephy.

Viktor “Isildur1” Blom, who won the Super High Roller and over $1.25 million Saturday night, late registered and made a $10,000 last-longer bet with Harry “UgotaBanana” Kaczka. Kaczka won the bet without much of a sweat –- Blom busted in Level 5 when he lost a race with {a-Spades}{6-Spades} against an opponent’s {a-Hearts}{k-Clubs}.

Both Day 1 starting flights combine on Monday for Day 2. The action kicks off at 1200 EST (1700 GMT), and PokerNews will be on the floor providing all the live updates.

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