The final Day 1 flight of the 2013 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event is officially in the books. The man sitting on all of the chips at the end of Day 1b was Ashton Griffin, who bagged up 253,700 in chips. Not too far behind him was Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi (216,900).
While Day 1a had a relatively small turnout with 320 entrants, Day 1b more than doubled that total with 649 entrants. After 18 no shows, the grand total was 987 entries. Seemingly every table was stacked with the familiar faces of poker superstars, tournament grinders and celebrities alike.
Two of the more interesting players to show up to the felt today were actor Jason Alexander and 18-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps.
Alexander, who is most famous for his role of George Costanza on the long-running television show Seinfeld, had a relatively short day of play as he ultimately saw his exit from the tournament before the dinner break.
Phelps, on the other hand, had a spectacular showing here on Day 1b. At one point in the day, we happened to catch him when he bested Jake Bazeley in a battle of the blinds. Could the most decorated Olympian in history make a run at one of poker most illustrious titles? Only time will tell, but he stands a good chance as he will be bringing 92,000 chips into play on Day 2.
Joining Phelps on the felt for Day 2 will be a veritable cornucopia of poker's elite. Olivier Busquet (130,000), Steve O'Dwyer (125,700), Matt Waxman (106,200), Aaron Massey (86,900), the newest Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody (84,400), Nacho Barbero (79,600), Greg Merson (63,200), Matt Salsberg (53,000) and Phil Hellmuth (24,800) are just a small sample size of those returning to chase the dream of becoming the 2013 PCA Main Event Champion.
Also returning tomorrow is none other than Phil Ivey himself. While Ivey seemed to crush in the early goings of the day, as play went on his stack gradually dwindled. At the height of his day, Ivey was able to send Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier packing.
During Level 7, Ivey opened to 1,300 before the flop. After two calls, Grospellier three-bet to 5,250 from the small blind. Ivey flat-called and the other players folded their cards. The dealer fanned the , and Grospellier led out for 4,400. Ivey tossed out four blue T5,000 chips, putting Grosspellier all in, and he called immediately.
The turn and river came the and , respectively, and Grospellier's hopes of a deep run were dashed.
By the end of the day, though, Ivey managed to just about all of his stack. A significant portion of this loss occurred when Owen Crowe was able to double through Ivey and cripple him. From there it was a downward movement that left Ivey finishing with a mere 5,600 in chips. Still, anything can happen moving forward as long as a player has chips.
Joining the likes of Grospellier on the rail are several other notable players. The PCA came to a quick end for Vanessa Selbst, Jonathan Duhamel, Kevin MacPhee, Huck Seed, JC Alvarado, Marvin Rettenmaier, Jason Mercier, Henry Tran and Shane Schleger. Chris Moneymaker, who finished 11th in this event last year, was also unable to get anything going today. Furthermore, the chances of having a repeat champion were dashed when the 2012 PCA winner, John DiBella, fell at the hands of Fabian Quoss.
One final notable elimination occurred toward the end of the night when recent 2013 PCA $100,000 Super High Roller champion Scott Seiver was eliminated. Seiver raised holding and then called off his 20-big-blind stack when an opponent raised with the . The flop was dangerous to Seiver as it gave his opponent the nut-flush draw and counterfeit options to go with his overs. The fell on fourth street, and Seiver was still in the lead. Much to his chagrin, however, the hit the river, and Seiver was forced to make his way to the exit.
Approximately 375 players from Day 1b will join with the 160 or so from Day 1a for Day 2. As we inch closer and closer to crowning a champion, be sure to stay tuned to PokerNews for all of the latest updates from Paradise Island!