The 2011 PokerStars.net Caribbean Adventure kicked off this week with the $100,000 Super High Roller tournament. This has inspired us to take a look back to less than a year ago when the 2010 PCA Main Event reconvened with the final eight players of an astounding 1,529-player field. At stake was the first North American Poker Tour trophy and a $2.2 million first-place prize. Come Day 6, only eight players had a shot at glory.
Seat 1: Zachary Goldberg - 2,340,000
Seat 2: Ryan D'Angelo - 10,090,000
Seat 3: Aage Ravn - 1,600,000
Seat 4: Tom Koral - 5,370,000
Seat 5: Harrison Gimbel - 6,000,000
Seat 6: Barry Shulman - 6,805,000
Seat 7: Benjamin Zamani - 3,700,000
Seat 8: Ty Reiman - 9,350,000
Early Double for Gimbel: The final table was dominated by young poker players (you only have to be 18 to play in the Bahamas), with the exception of the 2009 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event winner, Barry Shulman. While D’Angelo entered with high hopes and the chip lead, he had an early setback on Hand #6. It all began when D'Angelo raised to 220,000, Gimbel reraised to 650,000 from the big blind, D'Angelo four-bet to 1.3 million, and Gimbel moved all-in.
The pot was around 12 million and it was off to the races for the chip lead. The flop thrust Gimbel to the lead and the turn strengthened his position. D’Angelo needed a jack on the river but couldn’t catch as the fell. Gimbel doubled early while D'Angelo lost about half of his stack.
Tom Koral Eliminated in 8th Place: On Hand #14, Koral found himself all-in with after a series of preflop raises against Reiman who revealed . This hand played out differently than one would expect as Reiman limped into the pot, disguising the strength of his hand. Running a big pair into another big pair often creates a monster pot and this was no exception. Unfortunately for Koral, the board ran out and he was eliminated in eighth place, earning $201,300 for his efforts. Meanwhile, Reiman moved into the chip lead with over 15 million.
Zachary Goldberg Hits the Rail: Action folded to Reiman and he raised to 280,000. Goldberg moved all-in only to have Ravn come over the top. Reiman folded and it was off to the races yet again, Ravn’s up against Goldberg’s . The flop kept Goldberg in the lead but the on the turn changed all that. The peeled off in the river and Goldberg hit the rail in seventh place for $300,000.
Zamani Loses Three-way All-in Pot: After some raises and over-the-top shoves, Zamani and Ravn were both all-in and called by the bigger stack of Gimbel in the big blind.
Zamani was in rough shape but quickly turned that around when the flop came down , giving him the best hand with top set. The turn and river changed nothing and Zamani, the shortest stack in the hand, triple up; meanwhile, Gimbel took down the side pot and eliminated Ravn in sixth place, worth $450,000.
D'Angelo Loses Race, Out in 5th Place: On Hand #95, Shulman made it 340,000 to go under the gun only to have Reiman three-bet to 995,000. On the button, D'Angelo moved all-in for 6.75 million, Shulman got out of the way, and Reiman called. Not surprisingly, it was another race.
D'Angelo was in good shape as the flop fell . All he needed to do was survive the turn and river to double and looked as if he might as the hit the turn. "Deuce! Deuuuuuce!!!" D'Angelo’s supporters yelled from the rail. The river is not a deuce — but it was the! D'Angelo reacts as if he were struck by lightning, backing away from the table slowly as he's just seen his final river card of the day. While he was clearly disappointed with his fifth-place finish, he had $700,000 to help ease the pain.
PCA’s First Millionaire: Sixteen hands later, Zamani opened the pot with a raise to 400,000. Gimbel responded by moving all-in from the big blind. "Wow," mouthed Zamani as he considered his decision. A long three minutes passed before Zamani made the call. Guess what - it was another race. Gimbel was ahead with against the of Zamani. The dealer burned and began to put out the flop, with the in the door! The and followed, putting Zamani in a disastrous position. The on the turn gave him a gut-shot straight draw, but the river was not the nine he needed, instead coming the . Zamani was sent packing in fourth place worth a smooth $1 million.
Shulman Bounced in 3rd Place: Shulman was the short stack during three-handed play and moved all-in on the button. Gimbel called the 4.165-million-chip shove from the big blind with his and found himself ahead of Shulman’s . An uneventful board of board ran out and Shulman was knocked out in third place. He took home an impressive $1,350,000 for his performance.
Reiman vs. Gimbel: Heads-up play lasted 46 hands and it was a battle of epic proportions. On the final hand of the tournament, Reiman had the button and raised to 620,000. Gimbel thought long and hard, which was uncharacteristic for him, before reraising to 1.8 million. Reiman took another peek at his cards before announcing an all-in. Gimbel asked for a count, and it was just over 10 million. "Okay, I call," he said as he turned over . Reiman, who was the one at risk, was dismayed as he revealed his inferior .
Reiman's fans pleaded for an eight, but their cries fall on deaf ears as the flop fell and gave Gimbel top set. Reiman was drawing to runner-runner and managed to hit the on the turn. To survive, he needed the unlikely on the river. The dealer burned and turned over the , locking up the pot and the championship for Gimbel. Reiman took home $1.75 million for his runner-up finish while 19-year-old American Harrison Gimbel, who won his way in via a $1,000 satellite tournament and whose prior largest cash had been a first-place finish in the Florida State Poker Championships back in June of 2009 ($67,860), became the first NAPT champion and claimed the $2.2 million first-place prize.
The 2011 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure is underway with the $100,000 Super High Roller Tournament. Our live reporting team is on the scene and you can follow all the action in our “Live Reporting” section.