2023 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure

$10,300 PCA Main Event
Day: 2
Event Info

2023 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure

Final Results
Winning Hand
Event Info
Prize Pool
Level Info
100,000 / 200,000
Players Info - Day 2
Players Left

Kulev Leads the Way After Day 2 As the Money Bubble Looms in the 2023 PCA Main Event

Level 13 : Blinds 1,000-2,500, 2,500 ante
Alex Kulev
Alex Kulev

Another busy day during the 2023 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) festival at the lavish Baha Mar Resort in The Bahamas has all but concluded. The flagship 2023 PCA $10,300 Main Event is one step closer to crowning a champion and a massive flow of new entries boosted the attendance significantly during the first two levels on Day 2.

Thanks to 249 new entries and re-entries, a total field size of 889 entries emerged and that tally surpassed the 865 entries of the previous edition in 2019. No portion of the $8,623,300 prize pool has been awarded yet but the money bubble will be looming early on Day 3 as the number of hopefuls has been whittled down all the way to just 151 remaining contenders.

Once the dust had settled after five levels of 90 minutes each, Alex Kulev had put some distance between himself and all those hoping to claim the $1.5 million top prize. Despite starting in the middle of the pack, the Bulgarian soared to the top of the leaderboard in the final stages and claimed 704,000 to his name. His nearest follower is Australia's Ehsan Amiri, who is the only other player with more than half a million in chips at his disposal (518,000).

Several other contenders are closely bunched together thereafter including Evan Sparling (469,000), Christoph Csik (451,500), and defending champion Chino Rheem (428,500). The overnight top ten also features the likes of Michael Rocco (408,000), Chance Kornuth (380,000), and Mustapha Kanit (366,500).

Top Ten Chip Counts after Day 2

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

"I am very fortunate to be in this position," Kulev said after the day had wrapped up and mentioned he will only try to make it to the end of the next day instead of muscling shorter stacks with his major chip advantage. The Bulgarian is very good friends with former PCA Main Event champion Dimitar Danchev, which he credited as a very big inspiration for his career.

"If I deal anywhere near as good as he did, I will be very happy with that," Kulev concluded. Danchev witnessed Kulev in action during the last few levels and advanced as well, albeit with a much shorter stack of 93,000. It is the first time Kulev is visiting The Bahamas but he has become a regular on the European Poker Tour (EPT) during the last few years. He already has more than $1 million in live cashes to his name and a deep run would further cement his status as one of the rising stars of the international poker circuit.

Some of the biggest names in poker made their way to the island on short notice and entered the fray. Among those, Chad Eveslage, Elio Fox, John Juanda, John Racener, Ben Lamb, Noah Schwartz, and Joe McKeehen all advanced.

Ramon Colillas
Ramon Colillas

Several PokerStars ambassadors were also involved in the action and bagged up chips tonight. Ramon Colillas made it through with 236,000 and will certainly aim to follow into the footsteps of his trademark victory in 2019 when the then online qualifier won the inaugural PokerStars Players NL Hold'em Championship (PSPC) for $5.1 million.

Andre Akkari (123,500) and Sam Grafton (119,000) were the only other representatives of the red spade to advance as Alejandro Lococo, Parker Talbot, Rafael Moraes, and Benjamin Spragg came up empty-handed. Friend of PokerStars Maria Konnikova, who reached the final table of the BSOP $1,100 Main Event earlier in the festival, claimed a healthy stack of 206,000 for Day 3.

Many other big names were not as fortunate as the list of casualties contains the who-is-who of poker. EPT Main Event champion Manig Loeser was among the victims of Kulev's hot run when his ace-king lost a flip to pocket queens.

Kevin Rabichow, David Yan, Erik Seidel, Juan Pardo, Yuri Dzivielevski, Joao Vieira, Sam Greenwood, Mikita Badziakouski, Fedor Holz, Martin Jacobson, Davidi Kitai, Stephen Chidwick, Chris Moorman, Ryan Riess and Benny Glaser were also among the hundreds of casualties as well.

The money bubble is expected to burst early on Day 3 when the action continues Thursday, January 26, 2023, at noon local time. Returning blinds will be 1,500-3,000 with a big blind ante of 3,000 and the levels continue at a 90-minute duration.

Stay tuned for all the upcoming action right here on PokerNews as the live reporting team will be on the floor to provide as many key hands as possible. The live stream action is also available on the PokerStars Twitch and YouTube channels with commentary and cards-up coverage on a 30-minute security delay.

Tags: Alejandro LococoAlex KulevAndre AkkariBenjamin SpraggChance KornuthChino RheemDavidi KitaiDimitar DanchevEhsan AmiriErik SeidelFedor HolzJoe McKeehenJohn JuandaKevin RabichowManig LoeserMaria KonnikovaMartin JacobsonMichael RoccoMustapha KanitParker TalbotPokerStars Caribbean AdventureRafael MoraesRamon ColillasRyan RiessSam GraftonYuri Dzivielevski