$10,300 PCA Main Event
$10,300 PCA Main Event
Day 2 Completed

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

zedmaster84 • 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

2023 PCA Main Event: Day 3 Seat Draw

zedmaster84 • Level 13: Blinds 1,000-2,500, 2,500 ante
TableSeatNameCountryChipsBig Blinds
11Adrian MateosSpain57,00019
12Ben LambUnited States128,00043
13Ryan BlankUnited States161,50054
14Justin BonomoUnited States155,00052
15Taylor PaurUnited States239,50080
16Roger TeskaUnited States110,50037
17Allan RibeiroBrazil251,50084
18Dylan LindeUnited States80,00027
21Jean-Noel ThorelFrance255,00085
22Andrew MorenoUnited States328,000109
23John RacenerChina161,00054
24Gustavo MastelottoBrazil72,00024
25Jonathan LittleUnited States74,00025
26Nick PetrangeloUnited States261,50087
27Vladislav SolovevRussia152,00051
28John JuandaIndonesia176,50059
31Martin RausCanada33,00011
32Javier FernandezSpain74,00025
33Daniel GhionoiuCanada164,00055
34Cassio KilesBrazil100,50034
35Patros BenhamCanada113,50038
37Artur MartirosianRussia82,50028
38Joe McKeehenUnited States86,50029
41Justin SteinbrennerGermany160,50054
42Espen JorstadNorway36,00012
43David ColemanUnited States262,50088
44Mauricio Ferreira PaisGermany366,500122
45Chad EveslageUnited States257,00086
46Anthony HuUnited States135,50045
47Andy WilsonUnited Kingdom70,50024
48Michel DattaniPortugal194,50065
51Michael RoccoUnited States408,000136
52Mustapha KanitItaly366,900122
53Pascal HartmannGermany225,00075
54Jonathan ProudfootUnited Kingdom67,00022
55Brian KimUnited States98,00033
56Anton WiggSweden286,50096
57Chance KornuthUnited States380,000127
58Rudy CervantesUnited States202,50068
61Eric AfriatCanada301,000100
62Leonard MaueGermany224,00075
63Martin ZamaniUnited States145,00048
64Ionut-Lucian ColciarRomania57,50019
65Christopher FrankGermany169,50057
66Sergi ReixachSpain174,50058
67David MzareulovAzerbaijan127,50043
68Alex KulevBulgaria704,000235
71Robert HeidornGermany110,00037
72Sampson SimmonsUnited States63,00021
73Alberto MeranDominican Republic270,00090
74Pascal LefrancoisCanada158,00053
75Alexandros KoloniasGreece80,00027
76Ren LinUnited States207,00069
77Florian DutaRomania228,00076
78Yigit AksoyTurkey316,000105
81Yiannis LiperisCyprus92,50031
82Giuseppe PantaleoItaly196,00065
83Anatoly NikitinRussia80,00027
84Ramin HajiyevAzerbaijan150,50050
85Igor YaroshevskyyUkraine104,00035
86Gianluca SperanzaItaly81,50027
87Jesse LonisUnited States30,00010
88Noah SchwartzUnited States111,00037
91Justin SalibaUnited States116,50039
92Zevola MarcoArgentina134,00045
93James HarveyUnited States112,50038
94Daniel CustodioPortugal235,00078
95Paulina LoeligerUnited States68,50023
96Andre MachadoBrazil74,00025
97Sylvain LoosliFrance81,00027
98Robert CowenUnited Kingdom64,50022
101Michael GathyBelgium191,50064
102David StammUnited States44,00015
103Justin ZakiUnited States94,00031
104Stefan LehnerAustria18,5006
105David PetersUnited States154,50052
106Tamas KonyaHungary42,50014
107Dietrich FastGermany148,00049
108Ambrose NgCanada76,50026
111Lucas LandaArgentina257,50086
112Ramon ColillasSpain236,00079
113Jason MercierUnited States64,50022
114Sam GraftonUnited Kingdom119,00040
115Andras NemethHungary247,00082
116Thomas MuehloeckerAustria79,00026
117Philip ShingUnited States188,50063
118Evan SparlingCanada469,000156
121Alexander TkatschewGermany92,50031
122Maria HoUnited States96,50032
123Kelvin KerberBrazil154,00051
124Vladas TamasauskasLithuania86,00029
125Ignacio MoronSpain330,500110
126Darren RabinowitzUnited States170,00057
127Balakrishna PaturUnited States116,50039
128Johan GuilbertFrance265,00088
131Pedro NevesPortugal170,00057
132Mitchell HalversonUnited States123,00041
133Anthony SwiftUnited States100,00033
134Chino RheemUnited States428,500143
135Juan MembrenoEl Salvador100,00033
136Andre MarquesPortugal363,000121
137Thomas EychenneFrance141,50047
138Andre AkkariBrazil123,50041
141Rui BouquetPortugal161,00054
142James MendozaUnited States257,50086
143Giovani GouveiaBrazil135,00045
144Fabian QuossGermany112,50038
145Noah BoekenNetherlands144,00048
146Rehman KassamUnited Kingdom162,00054
147Eliot HudonCanada303,500101
148Colton BlombergUnited States318,500106
151Maria KonnikovaUnited States206,00069
152Luis Pinho De FariaPortugal328,500110
153Fabian BernhauserAustria263,50088
154Joseph DroryUnited States145,50049
155Christoph CsikUnited States451,500151
156Isaac HaxtonUnited States88,00029
157Pablo Brito SilvaBrazil87,50029
158Jamil WakilCanada313,000104
161Laszlo BujtasHungary229,00076
162Joni JouhkimainenFinland83,50028
163Alexandre RaymondCanada172,50058
164Lander LijoSpain117,50039
165Ian MatakisUnited States353,000118
166Scott BohlmanUnited States222,00074
167Mike WatsonCanada164,50055
168Anton AstapauBelarus98,50033
171Tobias SchwechtGermany198,00066
172James TolbertUnited States112,00037
173Brian EnglandUnited States106,00035
174Robert LofasoUnited States54,50018
175David MiscikowskiUnited States35,00012
176Dean MurphyCanada411,000137
177Tauan NavesBrazil105,00035
178Lewis SpencerUnited Kingdom228,50076
181Xuan LiuCanada182,50061
182Seth DaviesUnited States110,00037
183Rodrigo SelouanBrazil172,50058
184Andrew ChenCanada155,50052
185Pedro MarquesPortugal104,00035
186Giuseppe IadiserniaVenezuela280,00093
187Chris BrewerUnited States261,00087
188Ehsan AmiriAustralia518,000173
191Elio FoxUnited States234,00878
192Dimitar DanchevBulgaria93,00031
193Jose SeverinoPanama87,00029
194Alessandro SienaItaly138,00046
195Elias GutierrezSpain113,50038
196Samad RashidUnited States259,00086
197Franck MakaciFrance145,00048
198Steve O'DwyerIreland155,50052

End-of-Day 2 Counts (full)

zedmaster84 • Level 13: Blinds 1,000-2,500, 2,500 ante
Alex Kulev bg
Alex Kulev
bg 704,000 9,000
Ehsan Amiri au
Ehsan Amiri
au 518,000
Evan Sparling ca
Evan Sparling
ca 469,000 9,000
Christoph Csik us
Christoph Csik
us 451,500 206,500
Chino Rheem us
Chino Rheem
us 428,500 3,500
Dean Murphy ca
Dean Murphy
ca 411,000 127,000
Michael Rocco us
Michael Rocco
us 408,000 -7,000
Chance Kornuth us
Chance Kornuth
us 380,000 15,000
Mustapha Kanit it
Mustapha Kanit
it 366,900 -68,100
Mauricio Ferreira Pais de
Mauricio Ferreira Pais
de 366,500 66,500
Andre Marques pt
Andre Marques
pt 363,000 -59,000
Ian Matakis us
Ian Matakis
us 353,000 92,000
Ignacio Moron mx
Ignacio Moron
mx 330,500 44,500
Luis Faria pt
Luis Faria
pt 328,500 328,500
Andrew Moreno us
Andrew Moreno
us 328,000 -12,000
Colton Blomberg us
Colton Blomberg
us 318,500 13,500
Tinay Aksoy tr
Tinay Aksoy
tr 316,000 28,000
Jamil Wakil ca
Jamil Wakil
ca 313,000 -22,000
Eliot Hudon ca
Eliot Hudon
ca 303,500 70,500
Eric Afriat ca
Eric Afriat
ca 301,000 76,000
Anton Wigg se
Anton Wigg
se 286,500 26,500
Giuseppe Iadisernia ve
Giuseppe Iadisernia
ve 280,000 35,000
Alberto Meran DO
Alberto Meran
DO 270,000
Johan Guilbert fr
Johan Guilbert
fr 265,000 -38,000
Fabian Bernhauser at
Fabian Bernhauser
at 263,500 14,500

Read full

Day 2 Completed

zedmaster84 • Level 13: Blinds 1,000-2,500, 2,500 ante

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

Kirk.brown • Level 13: Blinds 1,000-2,500, 2,500 ante

Evan Sparling opened under the gun to 6,000 and was called only by Andrew Wilson in the cutoff.

The flop came out {8-Hearts}{5-Spades}{10-Clubs} and Sparling continued for 11,000, which was called by Wilson.

The turn was the {3-Hearts} 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 {4-Hearts} 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.

Evan Sparling ca
Evan Sparling
ca 460,000 10,000
Andrew Wilson gb
Andrew Wilson
gb 70,000 49,100

Tags: Andrew WilsonEvan Sparling

Kulev Clear Chip Leader After Busting Tulin

Calum_Grant • Level 13: Blinds 1,000-2,500, 2,500 ante
Nikolai Tulin
Nikolai 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 {9-Diamonds}{8-Spades}{6-Spades} flop which brought in the {a-Hearts} 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.

Nikolai Tulin: {j-Spades}{9-Spades}
Alex Kulev: {7-Hearts}{5-Hearts}

Kulev flopped a straight but wasn't the guaranteed winner just yet as Tulin had outs to the flush. The {a-Clubs} completed the board and Kulev hoovered in the massive pot.

Alex Kulev bg
Alex Kulev
bg 695,000 300,000
Nikolai Tulin ru
Nikolai Tulin
ru Busted

Tags: Alex KulevNikolai Tulin

Maue Wins at Showdown

lewispowell2000 • Level 13: Blinds 1,000-2,500, 2,500 ante

Leonard Maue was in the hijack against Anton Astapau in the big blind.

There was 13,500 in the pot and the flop came {10-Diamonds}{5-Spades}{3-Spades}. Astapau check-raised the 6,500 continuation bet from Maue to 18,000. Maue called.

The {q-Spades} was the turn and action checked through.

Action checked through again on the {7-Diamonds} river. Astapau showed {a-Hearts}{5-Hearts} for a pair of fives while Maue turned over {8-Diamonds}{8-Spades} for a pair of eights to take down the pot.

Leonard Maue de
Leonard Maue
de 215,000 -35,000
Anton Astapau by
Anton Astapau
by 103,500 -16,500

Tags: Anton AstapauLeonard Maue

Racener Turns a Flush

Calum_Grant • Level 13: Blinds 1,000-2,500, 2,500 ante

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 {q-Diamonds}{q-Spades}{4-Spades} flop and then fired for 11,500 after his opponent checked the {7-Spades} turn. Kerber called.

Kerber checked once more on the {2-Diamonds} river and Racener put in another bet, this time sizing up to 28,000. Kerber called.

Racener turned over his {k-Spades}{10-Spades} for a flush and Kerber mucked.

Kelvin Kerber br
Kelvin Kerber
br 172,000 -66,000
John Racener us
John Racener
us 155,000 123,600

Tags: John RacenerKelvin Kerber

Rocco Putting the Pressure On

lewispowell2000 • Level 13: Blinds 1,000-2,500, 2,500 ante
Michael Rocco
Michael Rocco

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 {a-Spades}{k-Clubs}{8-Clubs} flop.

The turn came the {5-Hearts} and action checked to Makaci who bet 6,500. Bohlman called before Rocco check-raised to 25,000. Only Bohlman called.

The {8-Diamonds} 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.

Michael Rocco us
Michael Rocco
us 415,000 65,000
Scott Bohlman us
Scott Bohlman
us 170,000 -118,000
Franck Makaci fr
Franck Makaci
fr 155,000 -5,000

Tags: Franck MakaciMichael RoccoScott Bohlman