The sun has set on Day 1b of the PokerStars.net Caribbean Adventure, but not before another record-setting field was assembled. The Imperial Ballroom saw 846 players file in this afternoon, bringing the total for this seventh annual PCA to over 1,500 — an increase of more than 10 percent over last year’s turnout. At the end of another eight-level flight, more than 500 survived to fill out the triplicate paperwork and bag their chips for the overnight lockdown.
The scoreboard was tightly clustered throughout the day as the action was once again surprisingly calm and measured. Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Rousso was the first to really assert herself in the early levels. Rousso flopped a lucky set of nines and collected two opponents' stacks, cracking both pocket kings and pocket aces to push her way over 100,000 almost immediately.
Rousso stagnated for the rest of the day, though, and another dangerous lady took over the spotlight. Annette Obrestad was the midday big stack with about 125,000, though her charge was slowed a bit as well. Anibal Tacla, who calls Brazil home, snuck himself into the overnight lead with 166,000 chips.
Behind the leaders lurks a dangerous group of sharks who also nurtured their stacks into formidable towers. Matt Graham and Darryll “DFish” Fish moved steadily in the right direction all day, and they’re both hot on the heels of the leader. And don’t look now, but there’s a Phil Ivey in the mix as well. Ivey chipped up slowly for much of the day and finally found a big payoff during the penultimate level. After he opened the pot with a raise, Chris Klodnicki stuck in a three-bet. Dominik Nitsche then moved all in on a four-bet, and Ivey was the lone caller, tabling . Nitsche’s was in trouble, and a board full of blanks sent him to the rail. That pushed Ivey toward the lead, and he ended in a very comfortable position with 115,700.
As expected, the Team PokerStars Pros were out in full force once again on Day 1b. The vast majority of the site’s team had made the trip down to the Bahamas, so, essentially, any who didn’t play yesterday played today. Peter Eastgate had a good day, finishing well above average at the end of the night. JC Alvarado had a similarly productive flight, and William Thorson and Victor Ramdin are also right there in contention.
Not all of the Team Pros were lucky enough to be cracking aces and kings today, though. The newest addition to the team, Joe Cada, had to deal with his share of distractions as he drew a table with Playboy Playmate Jayde Nicole. Cada grinned and flirted and nursed his stack as long as he could, but he eventually ran out of chips toward the end of the day. With Cada gone, Nicole had nobody left to chat with, and she was eliminated just a short while later. It’s not often a Playmate has to share the celebrity spotlight in a poker room, but Nelly was in the house as well. His day, though, was a much shorter one. The multiplatinum hip-hop star lost a big chunk of his chips early on when he flopped top two pair against an opponent’s bottom set. A few hands later, he once again caught top two on a board showing A-4-5-K. All the money went in right there, but his ace-king was in trouble against his opponent’s deuce-three. Unable to fill up, Nelly was wheeled out just after the first break.
Tomorrow figures to be another busy day of poker as the remaining survivors from the two opening flights join forces for the combined Day 2. Play kicks off at noon once again, and our intrepid Live Reporting team will be pacing between the tables, catching all of the action as it unfolds.