The 2013 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, kicked off today 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 ten re-entries—bringing the total field to 57. That number will surely increase, as registration is open to the start of Day 2—which will see Philipp Gruissem begin with the chip lead holding 771,500.
Gruissem actually busted the tournament early on but opted to re-enter. It proved a fruitful decision as he vaulted up the leaderboard in the last two levels of the night. For instance, 13-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth, who was playing in the PCA for the very first time, took his seat in Level 8, and within 30 minutes, Gruissem sent him to the rail. Hellmuth was evidently heads up with the German on a board of , and led out with a large bet. Gruissem, who had the bigger stack, moved all in and Hellmuth called off. Gruissem turned over for a full house and Hellmuth flashed the before mucking and hitting the rail. Whether or not he’ll re-enter remains to be seen.
Long before Hellmuth busted, the big story of the day was the fact that Viktor “Isildur1” Blom, who won the event last year for $1,254,500, was not 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, Vanessa Selbst; the winner of this event in 2011, Eugene Katchalov; consummate high roller Phil Ivey; and Team PokerStars Pros Jason Mercier and Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier.
It didn’t take long for action to heat up; in fact, after just an hour a huge pot developed that saw the aforementioned Katchalov jump out to the early chip lead. It 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 flop. Both players then checked the turn and the completed the board river. Katchalov checked for a third time and then quickly called off when Quoss moved all in. Katchalov tabled for top set, which bested Quoss' to score the first double up of the Super High Roller.
Quoss was left with chips after that hand, but 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 re-entry option and fired a second bullet, though little good it did him as he was sent to the rail a short time later. It was there David Benefield, Brandon Steven, Jeff Gross, Andrew Lichtenberger and Mike “Timex” McDonald soon joined him. None of those players, with the exception of Quoss, opted to re-enter, though each have the option of doing so prior to the start of play on Day 2.
With that said, there were a few eliminations who opted to jump right back into the action. In the last level of the night, Daniel Negreanu open-shoved for his last 70,000 or so from early position holding and received a call from Olivier Busquet, who held in the big blind. The flop actually gave Negreanu the lead, but the gave Busquet extra outs. Unfortunately for “Kid Poker”, the spiked on the river to give his opponent a winning pair of aces—with that, Negreanu immediately rebought. Others who busted and opted to re-enter 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.
Action is set to recommence at Noon EST on Sunday as the remaining 37 players return for Day 2 action. Be sure to join us then as the PokerNews Live Reporting Team brings you all the latest and greatest from the 2013 PCA!