Kulev Leads PCA Main Event After Day 2; Greenwood Tops $50K Chip Counts

Alex Kulev

Alex Kulev is the player to catch in the 2023 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) Main Event going into Day 3. The Ireland-based Bulgarian bagged up a tournament-leading 704,000 stack (235 big blinds) after the curtain came down on an exciting Day 2.

Some 249 new entries and re-entries took advantage of the late registration period and bought in on Day 2, taking the total attendance for the 2023 PCA Main Event to 889, surpassing the 865 entries from the 2019 edition. Only 151 of those hopefuls finished the day with chips in front of them, each now within touching distance of receiving a slice of the $8,623,300 prize pool.

PCA Main Event Day 2 Top Ten Chip Counts

PlacePlayerCountryChip CountBig Blinds
1Alex KulevBulgaria704,000235
2Ehsan AmiriAustralia518,000173
3Evan SparlingCanada469,000156
4Christoph CsikUnited States451,500151
5Chino RheemUnited States428,500143
6Dean MurphyCanada411,000137
7Michael RoccoUnited States408,000136
8Chance KornuthUnited States380,000127
9Mustapha KanitItaly366,900122
10Mauricio Ferreira PaisGermany366,500122

Kulev has a realistic chance of following in Dimitar Danchev's footsteps in becoming a Bulgarian PCA Main Event champion. Danchev triumphed in 2013, and has progressed to Day 3 this year, albeit with a much shorter stack (93,000) than Kulev.

Chino Rheem
2019 PCA Main Event champion Chino Rheem

Australia's Ehsan Amiri (518,000) is the player closest to Kulev in the overnight chip counts. Such luminaries as the 2019 PCA Main Event champion Chino Rheem (428,500), Michael Rocco (408,000), Chance Kornuth (380,000), and Mustapha Kanit (366,900) head into Day 3 with a top ten stack.

The Day 3 field is littered with stellar names, all of whom will have a say in where the $1,500,000 top prize heads. Day 1A chip leader Andre Marques (363,000), Andrew Moreno (328,000), Anton Wigg (286,500), Nick Petrangelo (261,500), Elio Fox (234,000), and Maria Konnikova (206,000) each have more than 200,000 chips in their arsenal.

Maria Ho
Maria Ho

Others like Fabian Quoss (112,500), Seth Davies (110,000), Maria Ho (96,500), Isaac Haxton (88,000), Joe McKeehen (86,500), and Jason Mercier (64,500) have some grinding to do to make it through to Day 4.

Three PokerStars ambassadors punched their Day 3 tickets, too. Former PSPC champion Ramon Colillas (236,000) is the best-placed of the Red Spade trio. Andre Akkari (123,500) and Sam Grafton (119,000) are also still in contention.

Play resumes at 12:00 p.m. local time on January 26, with the money bubble predicted to burst early into the action as 127 of the 151 returnees are paid. Don't miss any of the 2023 PCA Main Event action by tuning into the PokerNews live updates.

Greenwood Rises to the Top in the $50,000 7-Handed Event

Sam Greenwood
Sam Greenwood

A compact field of 18 entrants battled it out in the $50,000 7-Handed event, and 12 of those starters made it through unscathed. Late registration remains open for the first two levels of Day 2, so it is likely the attendance will grow as busted PCA Main Event players take another shot at glory in The Bahamas.

Sam Greenwood fared the best on Day 1, finishing with 329,000 chips, 40,000 more than Dan Smith in second place. Mikita Badziakouski (287,000), Jonathan Jaffe (285,000), and Fedor Holz (256,000) round out the top five going into the second day's play.

Stephen Chidwick
Stephen Chidwick

January 25 was not a day to remember for Stephen Chidwick. The British superstars fired two $50,000 bullets but still found himself watching the conclusion of the day from the sidelines. At least he had the company of Timothy Adams, Ben Heath, Cary Katz, and Imad Derwiche, who all crashed out. Those five high rollers can take another bite of the cherry if they so wish.

Full Chip Counts after Day 1

PlacePlayerCountryChip CountBig Blinds
1Sam GreenwoodCanada329,00082
2Dan SmithUnited States289,00072
3Mikita BadziakouskiBelarus287,00072
4Jonathan JaffeUnited States285,00071
5Fedor HolzGermany256,00064
6Conor BeresfordUnited Kingdom233,00058
7Sean WinterUnited States222,00055
8Michael AddamoAustralia220,00055
9Daniel DvoressCanada213,00053
10Juan PardoSpain143,00038
11Christoph VogelsangGermany124,00031
12Kannapong ThanarattrakulThailand114,00028

Play resumes at 2:00 p.m. local time on January 26, and you can follow all of the action, as it happens, right here at PokerNews.

  • Alex Kulev's hot form continues as he leads the 2023 PCA Main Event going into Day 3.

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