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2013 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $100,000 Super High Roller Day 1: Gruissem Leads

Philipp Gruissem

The 2013 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, kicked off on Saturday with the $100,000 Super High Roller from the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. The tournament, which is in its third year, attracted 47 players who accounted for 57 entries on Day 1 after 10 players fired in a second bullet. That number is set to increase, as registration is open until the first hand is dealt at the start of Day 2. When play wrapped for the day, leading the way was Philipp Gruissem, who bagged up 771,500 after eight levels.

Gruissem actually busted the tournament early on, but opted to reenter. It proved a fruitful decision, as he vaulted up the leader board in the last two levels of the night. For instance, in Level 8, 13-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth, who was playing at the PCA for the very first time, took his seat, and within 30 minutes, Gruissem sent him to the rail. Hellmuth was evidently heads up with Gruissem on a board of {j-Spades}{2-Clubs}{9-Clubs}{9-Hearts}{5-Spades}, and led out with a large bet. Gruissem had the bigger stack and moved all in. Hellmuth called off. Gruissem turned over the {j-Diamonds}{9-Diamonds} for a full house, and Hellmuth flashed the {9-Spades} before mucking and hitting the rail. Whether or not he’ll reenter remains to be seen, but he has opted to sleep on the decision.

Long before Hellmuth busted, one of the big stories entering the day was the fact that defending champion Viktor “Isildur1” Blom would not be returning to attempt a title defense. Nonetheless, plenty of pros turned out in force including the first-ever woman to play the $100,000 Super High Roller, Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Selbst. She was joined by the winner of this event in 2011, Eugene Katchalov, consummate high roller Phil Ivey; and fellow Team Pros Jason Mercier and Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier.

Eugene Katchalov
Eugene Katchalov

It didn’t take long for action to heat up. After just an hour into play, a huge pot developed that saw the aforementioned Katchalov jump out to the early chip lead. Things happened when a preflop raising war saw Katchalov have 22,500 of his chips in front of him only to face a raise to 45,000 by Fabian Quoss. Katchalov made the call and then check-called a bet of 40,000 on the {Q-Clubs}{3-Hearts}{2-Spades} flop. Both players then checked the {10-Diamonds} turn, and the {9-Hearts} completed the board river. Katchalov checked for a third time and then quickly called off when Quoss moved all in. Katchalov tabled the {Q-Diamonds}{Q-Hearts} for top set, which bested Quoss' {A-Spades}{A-Hearts} to score the first double up of the day.

Quoss was left with a few chips after that hand, but ultimately succumbed a short time later — but not before both Igor Kurganov and Jason Koon preceded him out the door. Speaking of which, Kurganov opted to take advantage of the event’s unlimited reentry option and fired a second bullet, though little good it did him as he was sent to the rail for a second time. Following his exit, David Benefield, Brandon Steven, Jeff Gross and Mike “Timex” McDonald soon joined him. None of those players opted to reenter, though each have the option of doing so prior to the start of play on Day 2.

Andrew Lichtenberger
Andrew Lichtenberger

Another man on the list of casualties was Andrew “Lucky Chewy” Lichtenberger. In one of the last hands of the evening, David "Doc" Sands opened to 11,000 on the button with the blinds at 2,500/5,000/500, and Lichtenberger three-bet to 33,000 from the big blind. Sands four-bet to 62,000, Lichtenberger moved all in for 210,000, and Sands called.

Sands: {a-Diamonds}{k-Spades}
Lichtenberger: {a-Spades}{a-Clubs}

The board ran out {q-Spades}{j-Spades}{5-Diamonds}{j-Hearts}... {10-Diamonds}, and Sands hit Broadway to crack Lichtenberger’s aces and send him to the rail.

With that said, there were a few eliminated players who opted to jump right back into the action. In the last level of the night with the same 2,500/5,000/500 blinds and antes, Daniel Negreanu open-shoved for his last 70,000 or so from early position holding the {K-Diamonds}{Q-Clubs} and received a call from Olivier Busquet, who held the {A-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds} in the big blind. The {4-Clubs}{q-Diamonds}{5-Clubs} flop gave Negreanu the lead, but the {j-Diamonds} gave Busquet extra outs on the turn. Unfortunately for “Kid Poker”, the {a-Spades} spiked on the river to give Busquet a winning pair of aces — with that, Negreanu immediately reentered. Others who busted and opted to reenter right away were Tobias Reinkemeier, Paul Newey, Tom Dwan, Bryn Kenney, Isaac Haxton and Cary Katz, though Newey and Kenney both busted a second time and will have to fire in a third bullet if they want to continue on Day 2.

Here’s a look at the top 10 chip counts at the end of Day 1:

The 2013 PCA tournament floor
The 2013 PCA tournament floor

PlacePlayerCount
1Philipp Gruissem771,500
2Scott Seiver729,000
3Dan Shak650,000
4Tom Marchese638,500
5Vivek Rajkumar608,500
6Jason Somerville604,500
7Nick Schulman580,000
8Steve O’Dwyer527,500
9Eugene Katchalov514,500
10David Sands505,500

Action is set to recommence at 1200 ET on Sunday as the remaining 37 players return for Day 2 action. Once again, that number will be increasing as more entries come in before the cards are in the air on Day 2. Be sure to join us then as the PokerNews Live Reporting Team brings you all the latest and greatest from the 2013 PCA!

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