Michel Dattani Conquers First PCA Main Event in Four Years for First Live Major Title ($1,316,963)

Michel Dattani 2023 PCA Main Event Champion

After just more than 4 hours of play on Day 6 of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $10,300 Main Event, Portugal's Michel Dattani was crowned the champion after defeating compatriot Pedro Neves in heads-up play.

Following the elimination of Artur Martirosian, the two players agreed to an ICM deal which saw Dattani lock up $1,316,963 while Neves banked $1,183,037. Upon the agreement of the deal, it was confirmed that the Portuguese pair were playing for $50,000 and the title.

The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) festival marks the first time that PokerStars has returned to The Bahamas in four years, and it was all worth the wait as what followed was a week's worth of epic poker action inside the Baha Mar Resort.

The tournament saw a total of 889 entries and attracted a host of the world's best players, who battled it out for the lion's share of the $8,623,300 prize pool.

Dattani fired two bullets into the PCA Main Event as he busted late on in Day 1b. He experienced death by quads courtesy of Manuel Ruivo, but that would be the last time Dattani spent any time on the rail over the last few days.

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Dattani, who likes to keep a low profile, has been playing poker professionally for just over 13 years and has been a regular on the PokerStars European Poker Tour since 2010. He is one of the best and most respected players in Portugal and has had huge success on the virtual felt where he plays under the "FreelancerZZ" alias on PokerStars.

Champion Michel Dattani
PCA Main Event Champion Michel Dattani

PCA Main Event Final Table Results

1Michel DattaniPortugal$1,316,963*
2Pedro NevesPortugal$1,183,037*
3Artur MartirosianRussia$677,400
4Alexandre RaymondCanada$519,600
5Christoph CsikUnited States$399,800
6Jamil WakilCanada$307,500
7Alexandros KoloniasGreece$236,500
8Taylor PaurUnited States$181,900
9Jonathan LittleUnited States$139,900

*Denotes Heads-up deal

Action of the Day

Coming into the final day of play, just six players returned following the departure of Jonathan Little, Taylor Paur and Alexandros Kolonias towards the tail end of Day 5.

On the very first hand of the final day, short-stack Jamil Wakil was all in and at risk. He was immediately drawing dead after Christoph Csik flopped a flush despite being dominated. Wakil, who had $444,870 in live tournament earnings, picked up the biggest cash of his career and collected $307,500 for his deep run.

The second casualty then took place during the last hand of the first level of the day. Csik was the next player to fall on the wrong side of lady luck. Csik opened the action with pocket kings. Martirosian three-bet with ace-deuce before online qualifier Alexandre Raymond four-bet jammed with ace-jack. Csik called off his slightly shorter stack but was immediately drawing to two outs as Raymond found one of the two remaining aces on the flop. Csik could not find his own two-outer and he departed in fourth place for $399,800.

Alexandre Raymond
Alexandre Raymond was the last PokerStars online qualifier standing.

The players then went on a brief break and when they returned the action refused to slow down. Raymond was the next player to hit the rail after his pocket queens ran into pocket kings held by Neves. It was the biggest pot of the tournament at that stage and Neves was the recipient of it as no queen appeared on the runout.

Neves was the clear chip leader for a brief period of time until he doubled up Dattani following another preflop cooler. Neves had pocket kings again and his compatriot had him pipped with pocket aces and he flopped a full house to become the new big stack.

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The next elimination took place during the following level and it was Martirosian who took bronze. Martirosian was looking to make poker history, as he had the opportunity to become the first player to win an EPT and PCA Main Event but fell short by two places. Martirosian took down the 2021 EPT Sochi Main Event for $325,000 and has won numerous online titles under his "mararthur1" screen name.

Pedro Neves & Michel Dattani Deal
Pedro Neves & Michel Dattani agreed to a heads-up deal

When heads-up play was confirmed, Dattani and Neves then agreed to the aforementioned ICM deal. Heads-up lasted less than twenty minutes and the final hand of the PCA Main Event saw Neves call off his stack with top pair while Dattani had the nut flush.

The win meant Dattani passed the $2 million mark in live tournament earnings, while Neves eclipsed the $1 million mark.

This marks the end of PokerNews live coverage of PCA Main Event, but be sure to stick around as the live reporting team will be on the ground for the PokerStars Players No Limit Hold'em Championship, which kicks off on Monday, January 30 at 12 p.m.

Champion Michel Dattani
  • Check out our recap of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event, with Michel Dattani taking home $1,300,000 after his victory

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Editor & Live Reporter

Calum has been a part of the PokerNews team since September 2021 after working in the UK energy sector. He played his first hand of poker in 2017 and immediately fell in love with the game. Calum's proudest poker achievement is winning the only tournament he has ever played in Las Vegas, the prestigious $60 Flamingo evening event.

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