Another high-roller event hit the airwaves this week as ESPN continued its coverage of the inaugural season of the North American Poker Tour. However, unlike the bounty shootouts at the Venetian and Mohegan Sun, the PokerStars Carribean Adventure’s $25,000 buy-in tournament went the traditional freeze-out route. Just 84 players including at least three World Champions (Greg Raymer, Peter Eastgate, and Joe Cada), bought in and the cameras picked the action up at the final table of eight. With a $576,000 first-place prize at stake, here’s how they stacked up as the cards went in the air.
2010 PCA $25,000 High Roller Final Table
Tobias Reinkemeier (1,072,000)
Adolfo Vaeza (790,000)
Will Molson (669,000)
William Reynolds (482,000)
Lisa Hamilton (440,000)
Michiel Brummelhuis (394,000)
Matt Marafioti (236,000)
Dmitry Stelmak (150,000)
Poker’s U.N.: The eight final-table players represented six countries — Germany (Reinkemeier), Uruguay (Vaeza), Canada (Molson, Marafioti), Russia (Stelmak), the Netherlands (Brummelhuis) and the United States (Reynolds, Hamilton).
Will Molson fun facts: As we were reminded incessantly during the broadcast, Will Molson finished second in this same even last year, losing to Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier in a heads-up match that lasted all of one hand. That’s gotta hurt. What’s even more interesting, though, is the fact that Molson is one of those Molsons, as in the family who founded Canada’s beloved Molson beer back in 1786. He has never had anything to do with the family business, however, preferring to stick to high-stakes cash games.
Done and dusted: Dmitry Stelmak came in to the final table with ten big blinds and was out right away in eighth place when his didn’t improve against Tobias Reinkemeier’s . Next to go was Matt Marafioti. With seven big blinds left, he opted to just open-raise his two black sevens to 45,000 instead of moving all-in. William Reynolds picked up and shoved behind him, Marafioti making the call. Although the flop was safe for the 21-year-old Canadian, Reynolds turned the to send him home in seventh place.
The Tobias Reinkemeier meltdown: It was an extremely rough final table for economics-student-turned-poker- pro Reinkemeier. Although he arrived at the final table as the chip leader, he found himself on the short stack after playing a huge pot with second-in-chips Will Molson.
Molson open-limped from the small blind with , Reinkemeier raised to 60,000 from the big blind with and Molson called. The flop was huge for both players, Molson hitting an open-ended straight draw while Reinkemeier flopped a flush draw and a gutshot. Molson check-raised the flop, Reinkemeier shoved for 865,000 and Molson made the call for his tournament life. Both players still had a 50/50 shot at the pot, but the cards fell in Molson’s favor, the turn and river falling the and the to give him a Broadway straight. With that pot, Molson became the dominating chip leader, while Reinkemeier was on the short stack.
It only got worse from there for him. Adolfo Vaeza snapped off Reinkemeier’s pocket queens when he rivered a flush with . Finally, he three-bet shoved on William Reynolds with pocket eights only to run into pocket kings, ending his run in sixth place.
The ESPN HUD: Through 48 hands, Reynolds had a VPIP of 38 percent, Reinkemeier 29, Molson 27, Vaeza 23, Lisa Hamilton 21, and Michiel Brummelhuis 15.
“Damn, girl, you’re aggressive”: High-stakes cash-game player and 2009 World Series of Poker Ladies Event champion Lisa Hamilton showed some brilliant flashes of aggression at this final table. In a hand in which both she and Reinkemeier picked up ace-jack, Hamilton raised Reinkemeier’s continuation bet on the flop and got a fold. Later, she four-bet Reynolds with and he mucked his before she even had the chance to count out the amount of her raise. Hamilton picked on Reynolds again, three-bet shoving with after he opened with . Again, Reynolds gave up his hand.
It was a simple coin flip, however, it spelled Hamilton’s elimination. Reynolds raised to 70,000 with and Molson flat-called with . Hamilton found pocket jacks in the big blind and three-bet to 180,000. Reynolds folded, Molson shoved, and Hamilton called. She lost the 1.2 million-chip race, when Molson turned a queen, and exited in fifth place.
Quote of the week: “I f***ing hate not having f***ing chips. F**k!”- Lisa Hamilton
Bluffin’ Brummelhuis: Michiel Brummelhuis was by far the tightest player at this final table and used his image to his advantage when he bluffed William Reynolds. On a flop, Reynolds led out holding and Brummelhuis floated him with . Reynolds made aces up when the hit the turn and fired again. Brummelhuis flat-called a second time. The river was the , putting a potential flush on the board. Reynolds slowed down and checked, opening the door for Brummelhuis to move all-in.
“You’re not bluffing,” Reynolds said as he folded his hand. He then watched in horror as his opponent showed his cards.
Stupid pro tricks: I really hope PokerStars pays its Team Pros bonuses for this stuff. In the first hour, Andre Akkari, Joe Cada, Victor Ramdin, and Hevad Khan raced down the Atlantis water slide. Ramdin beat Akkari, Khan beat Cada, and then Khan won in the finals. Let’s just say this didn’t quite have the appeal of say, Patrik Antonius racing Noah Boeken. The water slide race, however, wasn’t nearly as cringe-worthy as the goofy sumo wrestling match between Cada and Peter Eastgate, although we did “LOL” at the Team Pro patches on their fat suits.
The silent assassin: Everyone seemed to have kind words for Vaeza, the amateur player from Montevideo, Uruguay. Vaeza’s key hand came when Molson raised to 80,000 with and Vaeza defended his big blind with . Molson led out for 90,000 on the flop, Vaeza shoved with his two pair, and Molson called. It was all over on the turn when the fell, making him a full house.
Vaeza eventually went out to Reynolds after moving all-in on a flop holding . Reynolds called with and his hand held up, the and the falling on the turn and river to send him to the rail in third place.
Always a bridesmaid: Poor, pool Will Molson had to settle for another second-place finish at the PCA High Roller, losing heads-up to William Reynolds. Down to 955,000 while Reynolds was over 3 million in chips, he open-shoved with and Reynolds called with . Molson could not improve on the board and became this week’s Sam Stein while Reynolds took down his first major title and the $576,000 first-place prize.
The WSOP is right around the corner. Have you won your Main Event seat yet? Satellites are running daily on PokerStars.