Day 2 Completed
Day 2 Completed
Kulev Leads the Way After Day 2 As the Money Bubble Looms in the 2023 PCA Main Event
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
|Place||Player||Country||Chip Count||Big Blinds|
|4||Christoph Csik||United States||451,500||151|
|5||Chino Rheem||United States||428,500||143|
|7||Michael Rocco||United States||408,000||136|
|8||Chance Kornuth||United States||380,000||127|
|10||Mauricio Ferreira Pais||Germany||366,500||122|
"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.
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.
2023 PCA Main Event: Day 3 Seat Draw
|1||2||Ben Lamb||United States||128,000||43|
|1||3||Ryan Blank||United States||161,500||54|
|1||4||Justin Bonomo||United States||155,000||52|
|1||5||Taylor Paur||United States||239,500||80|
|1||6||Roger Teska||United States||110,500||37|
|1||8||Dylan Linde||United States||80,000||27|
|2||2||Andrew Moreno||United States||328,000||109|
|2||5||Jonathan Little||United States||74,000||25|
|2||6||Nick Petrangelo||United States||261,500||87|
|3||8||Joe McKeehen||United States||86,500||29|
|4||3||David Coleman||United States||262,500||88|
|4||4||Mauricio Ferreira Pais||Germany||366,500||122|
|4||5||Chad Eveslage||United States||257,000||86|
|4||6||Anthony Hu||United States||135,500||45|
|4||7||Andy Wilson||United Kingdom||70,500||24|
|5||1||Michael Rocco||United States||408,000||136|
|5||4||Jonathan Proudfoot||United Kingdom||67,000||22|
|5||5||Brian Kim||United States||98,000||33|
|5||7||Chance Kornuth||United States||380,000||127|
|5||8||Rudy Cervantes||United States||202,500||68|
|6||3||Martin Zamani||United States||145,000||48|
|7||2||Sampson Simmons||United States||63,000||21|
|7||3||Alberto Meran||Dominican Republic||270,000||90|
|7||6||Ren Lin||United States||207,000||69|
|8||7||Jesse Lonis||United States||30,000||10|
|8||8||Noah Schwartz||United States||111,000||37|
|9||1||Justin Saliba||United States||116,500||39|
|9||3||James Harvey||United States||112,500||38|
|9||5||Paulina Loeliger||United States||68,500||23|
|9||8||Robert Cowen||United Kingdom||64,500||22|
|10||2||David Stamm||United States||44,000||15|
|10||3||Justin Zaki||United States||94,000||31|
|10||5||David Peters||United States||154,500||52|
|11||3||Jason Mercier||United States||64,500||22|
|11||4||Sam Grafton||United Kingdom||119,000||40|
|11||7||Philip Shing||United States||188,500||63|
|12||2||Maria Ho||United States||96,500||32|
|12||6||Darren Rabinowitz||United States||170,000||57|
|12||7||Balakrishna Patur||United States||116,500||39|
|13||2||Mitchell Halverson||United States||123,000||41|
|13||3||Anthony Swift||United States||100,000||33|
|13||4||Chino Rheem||United States||428,500||143|
|13||5||Juan Membreno||El Salvador||100,000||33|
|14||2||James Mendoza||United States||257,500||86|
|14||6||Rehman Kassam||United Kingdom||162,000||54|
|14||8||Colton Blomberg||United States||318,500||106|
|15||1||Maria Konnikova||United States||206,000||69|
|15||2||Luis Pinho De Faria||Portugal||328,500||110|
|15||4||Joseph Drory||United States||145,500||49|
|15||5||Christoph Csik||United States||451,500||151|
|15||6||Isaac Haxton||United States||88,000||29|
|15||7||Pablo Brito Silva||Brazil||87,500||29|
|16||5||Ian Matakis||United States||353,000||118|
|16||6||Scott Bohlman||United States||222,000||74|
|17||2||James Tolbert||United States||112,000||37|
|17||3||Brian England||United States||106,000||35|
|17||4||Robert Lofaso||United States||54,500||18|
|17||5||David Miscikowski||United States||35,000||12|
|17||8||Lewis Spencer||United Kingdom||228,500||76|
|18||2||Seth Davies||United States||110,000||37|
|18||7||Chris Brewer||United States||261,000||87|
|19||1||Elio Fox||United States||234,008||78|
|19||6||Samad Rashid||United States||259,000||86|
End-of-Day 2 Counts (full)
Day 2 Completed
Around 151 players have bagged and tagged their chips to conclude the Main Event for the evening. Assorted counts will be published shortly. The full counts, Day 3 seat draw, and a recap of today's action are to follow.
Sparling Shoves RIver
Evan Sparling opened under the gun to 6,000 and was called only by Andrew Wilson in the cutoff.
The flop came out and Sparling continued for 11,000, which was called by Wilson.
The turn was the which saw a check from Sparling and a bet of 10,000 from Wilson. Sparling check-raised him to 31,000 and put the action back on Wilson, who eventually made the call.
When the fell on the river, Sparling announced he was all in, which prompted a hasty fold from Wilson.
Sparling was shipped the pot to boost his sizeable stack to 460,000.
Kulev Clear Chip Leader After Busting Tulin
Nikolai Tulin limped in from the small blind and called after Alex Kulev made it 10,000 from the big blind.
Tulin check-called a pot-sized bet of 22,000 on the flop which brought in the turn. Tulin checked once more and Kulev kept on the pressure by firing for another 65,000. Tulin thought over his options and then moved all in for around 140,000 and Kulev snap-called.
Kulev flopped a straight but wasn't the guaranteed winner just yet as Tulin had outs to the flush. The completed the board and Kulev hoovered in the massive pot.
Maue Wins at Showdown
Leonard Maue was in the hijack against Anton Astapau in the big blind.
There was 13,500 in the pot and the flop came . Astapau check-raised the 6,500 continuation bet from Maue to 18,000. Maue called.
The was the turn and action checked through.
Action checked through again on the river. Astapau showed for a pair of fives while Maue turned over for a pair of eights to take down the pot.
Racener Turns a Flush
John Racener called from the button after Kelvin Kerber made it 5,000 from middle position. Racener called a bet of 8,000 on the flop and then fired for 11,500 after his opponent checked the turn. Kerber called.
Kerber checked once more on the river and Racener put in another bet, this time sizing up to 28,000. Kerber called.
Racener turned over his for a flush and Kerber mucked.
Rocco Putting the Pressure On
Action was three ways to the flop with 24,000 in the pot. Michael Rocco was under the gun against Franck Makaci in middle position and Scott Bohlman on the button.
Action checked through on the flop.
The turn came the and action checked to Makaci who bet 6,500. Bohlman called before Rocco check-raised to 25,000. Only Bohlman called.
The was the river and Rocco announced a bet of 75,000. Bohlman went deep into the tank, pained over his decision, before deciding to fold. Rocco added to his big stack.