Last year at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event it took 16 hours for a winner to be determined. In the 2015 version, the final day was done in under six hours and it was American Kevin Schulz who came out on top winning the prestigious title and $1,491,580.
Schulz, whose best live cash prior to this tournament was a fourth place finish in a World Series of Poker event in 2012 for $267,792, defeated Peru's Diego Ventura heads up when he made a brilliant call on the final hand. Ventura had check-raised all in on the river with the board showing with and after thinking it through for several minutes, Schulz made a quiet call with . His friends, including his poker mentor Faraz Jaka, mobbed him as they celebrated his accomplishment.
The day began with six players and it only took five hands for the first elimination to occur. Rami Boukai came in as a short stack and moved all in for a little more than 11 big blinds with . Niklas Hambitzer called with and delivered the knockout blow when the board ran out for a pair of aces.
Things went back and forth between the remaining five for a bit as the chip lead swapped hands several times between Hambitzer, Schulz, and start of day chip leader Chance Kornuth. Juan Martin Pastor picked up Big Slick at the wrong time as he ran into the of Kevin Schulz. After opening for 230,000 with , Pastor moved all in for his last 1,700,000 after Schulz three-bet. Pastor hit a king on the flop but that was all the help he would get and he'd be eliminated in fifth place.
Ventura patiently picked his spots throughout the final table and secured a crucial double up against Chance Kornuth midway through play. With a flop of , Kornuth checked with and Ventura bet 230,000 with . Kornuth check-raised to 490,000 and Ventura shoved all in with his pair of queens, ten kicker. Kornuth immediately called and received a few more outs to eliminate Ventura when the turn was the . The river did not bring any of those outs, however, as it was the and Ventura was well on his way to making a much deeper run.
The chip lead continued to change hands with Kornuth retaking it at one point before Schulz started to pull away from the pack, mostly by chipping away and picking up several medium sized pots off of Kornuth. Hambitzer and Kornuth would tangle in a key hand that saw Kornuth move all in with and get called by Hambitzer's . The flop had Kornuth in bad shape as it gave Hambitzer a pair of kings. Kornuth did hit a pair of sevens and it was a third seven on the river that kept him alive and crippled Hambitzer while doing so.
Hambitzer's bad luck continued and he was eliminated in fourth place when he four-bet shove his last 1,285,000 with and was called by Schulz who held . A nine on the flop and another on the turn had the German drawing dead when another nine hit.
Kornuth never seemed to have things go his way and he was eliminated in third place when he moved all in with and the big stack of Schulz called with . He looked as if he was going to secure a double up when the flop came . Schulz picked up an inside straight draw on the turn and hit that draw when the was delivered on the river. To his credit, Kornuth left with a smile on his face.
Heads up play saw Schulz start with a commanding chip lead of nearly four-to-one entering heads up play but Ventura doubled up by winning a race with against Schulz's . Schulz continued to apply pressure though until the final hand and the great call he made that delivered him the title. Congratulations to Schulz who earned $1,491,580, the trophy, a SLYDE watch, and a prominent place in poker's history books.
Final Table Results
|5||Juan Martin Pastor||Argentina||$380,720|
Season 11 of the EPT continues in less than two weeks with EPT Deauville, and PokerNews will be on hand to provide live updates. Thank you for following our coverage of the 2015 PCA!