It was the third day of action down in the Bahamas on Saturday for the 2011 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and a huge day on the felt. Kicking off at 12:00 P.M. was the Main Event. Starting back up at 1:00 P.M. was the final table of the $100,000 Super High Roller event. This was one of the biggest days for poker that 2011 will see and it came just eight days into the new year. After it was all said and done, Eugene Katchalov stood atop the field in the Super High Roller while Pieter de Korver went on to lead the field after Day 1a of the Main Event.
$100,000 Super High Roller
Congratulations to Eugene Katchalov for taking down the 2011 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $100,000 Super High Roller event and winning $1.5 million! When this event began three days ago, Katchalov was just one of many in the impressive field of 38 players who ponied up the enormous $100,000 buy-in. At the start of the final table today, he sat third in chips behind best friend and chip leader Nick Schulman and Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu. From there, Katchalov went on to bust Sandor Demjan on the bubble with jacks versus tens to secure everyone left at least $200,000. He also busted third-place finisher Bryn Kenney with pocket queens to pocket eights.
With Schulman going out in fourth place and Kenney falling in third, the stage was set for a battle between Negreanu and Katchalov. When they began heads-up play, the two were virtually dead locked in chips and very deep compared to most tournaments. Shortly into their match, Katchalov scooped two big pots to take a commanding lead. First, he turned two pair against Negreanu to get to 6.9 million. Shortly thereafter, Katchalov boomed to 8.65 million after calling Negreanu's check raise on the turn before shoving the river. After those two pots, Negreanu fought as hard as he could in a time when many may just give up.
On the final hand, Katchalov smacked a set on the turn beat Negreanu's pocket fives with his pocket fours.
A second-place finish and $1 million would be all Negreanu would have to settle for, but not after becoming the leader on the all-time tournament money list. By making it to the top two spots in this event, he surpassed Phil Ivey and now leads the way.
The first-ever $100,000 Super High Roller event held here at the 2011 PCA was a huge success. Despite lacking a few big names in poker, the event drew a whopping 38 players when many were only suspecting a field of 20-30. A prizepool worth $3,743,000 was up for grabs with $1.5 million going to the winner. That winner turned out to be Katchalov and he can now add this title to his trophy case and stout list of tournament results.
$10,000 Main Event
Day 1a of the 2011 PCA Main Event welcomed 647 runners into the ballroom here at the beautiful Atlantis Resort and Casino, and after ten levels of play 272 players remain.
Team PokerStars Pro Pieter de Korver leads all players with 245,000 chips. The Dutchman won three key pots during the latter part of the day, one of which was a knockout wherein his pocket nines cracked a short stack's pocket aces. In another pot de Korver won a 30,000-chip race holding ace-king against an opponent jacks - an ace flopped and his hand held.
Ryan Olisar (227,700), Owen Crowe (213,000), Justin Scott (203,300) and Mathieu Martin (199,500) also ended the day with very healthy stacks.
The event saw plenty of big names come and go including Chad Brown, Arnaud Mattern, Noah Boeken, Ronnie Bardah, Vanessa Selbst and Dennis Phillips. There were plenty of survivors though including both Phil Ivey and Dario Minieri who had rollercoaster days but finished with 75,600 and 79,000 chips respectively. 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event Champion Joe Cada chipped up to 105,200, Bernard Lee bagged 163,000 chips and the defending PCA Main Event champion Harrison Gimbel barely survived with just 22,700 chips.
Day 1b of the Main Event kicks off tomorrow at 12:00 p.m. EST and both fields unite for Day 2 on Monday at noon. Make sure you follow the PokerNews Live Reporting Team for this and every tournament at the 2011 PCA!