The final table of the 2012 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $25,000 High Roller was set after just under 10 hours of play on Friday's Day 2. When play began 56 players remained, but by the end of the day the field had been whittled all the way down to just eight with Jason Koon topping the final bunch with 1.646 million in chips.
Koon is no stranger to big buy-in events, but he's never cashed in anything above a $10,000 buy-in (which is still pretty hefty). Since 2008 Koon has been grinding the tournament circuit, racking up $427,251 of prize money in the process. His largest live score came in October of 2010 when he placed fourth in the World Poker Tour Festa Al Lago at the Bellagio in Las Vegas for $225,680. Koon and the other seven players have locked up a minimum of $108,780 for making this final table, meaning he'll be adding plenty more to those lifetime tournament earnings.
With 56 players returning and only the top 16 spots making the money there were plenty of disappointed players who exited the tournament empty handed. Some of those players included Benny Spindler, Andrew Lichtenberger, Galen Hall, Kevin MacPhee, Jen Harman and Dan Shak. Team PokerStars Pro also had a few members head to the rail prior to cashing, those being Joe Cada, Barry Greenstein and Ville Wahlbeck.
As the bubble grew ever closer, Mike McDonald voiced on Twitter, "Approaching the 2nd biggest bubble of my life and the 2nd biggest bubble of this week." Then, after Keven Stammen and Manny Jo were eliminated in the same hand by Koon, 17 players remained and it was bubble time. Little did McDonald know that he would be bubbling the event.
McDonald found himself all-in with versus Bill Perkins' . The flop came down , which was followed by the and to send the chips Perkins' way, McDonald to the rail and the remaining 16 players into the money. At that point, the shorter stacks began quickly ducking out. Some of the notables to finish in the money were Elio Fox (16th - $58,020) and Matt Marafioti (11th - $72,250).
Nick Yunis' (9th - $79,770) exit burst the final table bubble. Yunis was one of the seven players to re-enter the event after he busted his first entry and then went on to win a single-table satellite to get back in.
Joining Koon at the final table will be an elite group of players. The 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Jonathan Duhamel, PokerStars Team Online's Randy Lew, fifth-place finisher from last year Govert Metaal, Isaac Haxton, Leonid Bilokur, Nicolas Fierro and Michael Telker will all be joining Koon at 1300 EST (1800 GMT) Saturday to play things out for the $1,134,930 first-place prize.
Final Table Seat Draw