Galen Hall Captures 2011 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event Title

Galen Hall

The 2011 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event has come to a close after an amazing day of action at the final table. Emerging victorious after about 10 hours of play is Galen Hall and he's now $2.3 million richer!

The first player to be eliminated on the day was start-of-the-day short stack Philippe Plouffe. He got all in early on with the {q-Spades}{q-Hearts} against Sam Stein's {a-Clubs}{k-Hearts}. An ace hit on the river and sent Plouffe out the door early on while Stein moved to second in chips.

Max Weinberg was the next to go and he fell after being crippled in a huge hand involving many of the players at the final table. From under the gun, Chris Oliver raised to 250,000 with the {a-Hearts}{2-Clubs}. Stein flatted in position against Oliver again, this time with the {8-Hearts}{7-Hearts}. Hall was on the button and went for the reraise to take down the pot with the {k-Hearts}{2-Spades}. He made it 735,000 to go, picking up on the play of the other two.

Mike Sowers was in the small blind and picked up on everything that was going on. He took his entire stack holding the {a-Spades}{j-Clubs} and shipped it into the middle, moving all in for 3.4 million. Weinberg shipped it in from the big blind after waking up to the {q-Diamonds}{q-Hearts}. Everyone else folded and Sowers and Weinberg were left heads up.

The flop came down {7-Spades}{6-Spades}{2-Hearts} and kept Weinberg's queens in front. The turn brought the {5-Spades} and gave Sowers a flush draw to go with his one overcard. The river completed the board with the {j-Spades} and Sowers nailed the spade he needed. That hand crippled Weinberg and he was eliminated shortly after.

Next to go was Bolivar Palacios in sixth place. After Hall opened with a raise, Palacios moved all in. Hall called him with the {a-Diamonds}{4-Spades}. Palacios held the {k-Diamonds}{j-Hearts}. A board of {9-Hearts}{8-Hearts}{4-Clubs}{q-Clubs}{3-Diamonds} followed and that was the end of the line for Palacios.

Sowers fell in fifth place at the hands of Oliver. The flop was {8-Hearts}{3-Diamonds}{2-Spades} when the money went in and Sowers was behind. He held pocket fours against the {8-Spades}{2-Hearts} for Oliver. The turn and river bricked off and $700,000 was all Sowers would leave with.

While Anton Ionel worked the short stack, Stein got frisky against Oliver and it wound up costing him his tournament life. Stein called off with the {a-Hearts}{9-Hearts} only to be dominated by the {a-Diamonds}{q-Diamonds} for Oliver. The {k-Hearts}{10-Spades}{5-Spades}{k-Diamonds}{3-Spades} board was no help for Stein and he was eliminated to give Oliver even more power.

Shortly after Stein fell, Ionel followed him out the door. His {k-Spades}{6-Spades} couldn't best the {k-Clubs}{q-Spades} for Hall and out the door in third place he went. With his third-place finish, Ionel did move into second place on the all-time Romanian money list and that set the stage for heads-up play.

Hall entered the day second in chips behind the massive chip leading Oliver. When they got down to two, Hall held 13.1 million to Oliver's 33.395 million. Right off the bat, fireworks struck in a hand that forced Hall to make an amazing fold to save his tournament life.

From the button, Hall raised to 450,000 holding the {8-Clubs}{4-Hearts}. Oliver defended from the big blind with the {a-Diamonds}{2-Spades} and the two were off to the flop. The first three community cards came down {5-Diamonds}{3-Diamonds}{2-Clubs}. Oliver took the lead with the best hand having flopped a pair of deuces. Hall added an open-ended straight draw. Oliver checked and Hall fired 575,000. Oliver made the call.

The turn brought the {2-Hearts} and paired the board. It also gave Oliver trips and took away the bottom end of the straight draw for Hall. Oliver checked his trips and Hall checked behind.

Jaws dropped and eyes popped from everyone watching the feed as the river hit with the {a-Spades}. Hall had made his straight, but Oliver had him notched with a full house. Oliver got sneaky with his full house and checked. Hall fired out a bet of two million and had walked right into Oliver's trap. Oliver thought for a little bit and started to cut out some chips. Then, he moved all in to go for max value and try and end this thing right here. Hall didn't snap-call. He tanked for a few minutes holding the wheel. Eventually, Hall gave it up and made one the best folds we've ever been witness to. Oliver scooped the pot and little does he know how very close he was to winning the event on this hand.

Hall's fold turned out to do more than just keep him alive for a little bit longer. He battled for a few hours with Oliver, but never seemed to get the big push he needed to in order to get back into the game. Finally though, Hall doubled with two queens on the board of {j-Diamonds}{10-Hearts}{9-Spades}{6-Clubs}{9-Diamonds}. Oliver had paid off his river shove holding the {8-Diamonds}{6-Hearts}.

From there, Hall seemed to have new-found confidence and then was able to find another big double after a big flop for both players. Hall flopped top two to Oliver's bottom two on an {a-Spades}{4-Hearts}{2-Clubs} board. All of the money went in and Hall's hand held up to put him up to 19,7 million, really closing the gap.

On the very next hand, Hall found two black kings and was able to get Oliver to commit all the chips holding the {a-Hearts}{9-Spades}. He doubled again and this time took a massive chip lead with just under 40 million to Oliver's nearly seven million.

On the final hand of the tournament, the two got all the money in with Hall having the {a-Clubs}{8-Clubs} to Oliver's {q-Hearts}{q-Clubs}. The flop came down {a-Spades}{k-Diamonds}{8-Spades} to put Hall in the leader and push Oliver out the door. He wasn't able to find any help on the turn ({2-Hearts}) or river ({k-Spades}) and it was all over. Oliver walked into the final table with a huge chip lead, but was only able to ride it to a second-place finish and $1.8 million.

Final Table Results

1Galen Hall$2,300,000
2Chris Oliver$1,800,000
3Anton Ionel$1,350,000
4Sam Stein$1,000,000
5Mike Sowers$700,000
6Bolivar Palacios$450,000
7Max Weinberg$300,000
8Philippe Plouffe$202,000

Congratulations to all the finishers, but especially to Galen Hall, the 2011 PCA Main Event champion and winner of $2.3 million in cold, hard cash!

Be sure to continue to follow our coverage of the 2011 PCA. Our Live Reporting Team has continued coverage of the NAPT Bounty Shootout and the $25,000 High Roller.

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Photo courtesy of PokerStars.

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