The PokerStars Championship Panama $25,500 Single-Day High Roller, which featured a 30-second shot clock, attracted 33 unique players to Sortis Hotel, Spa & Casino. Of those, 11 exercised their single re-entry option to bring the field up to 44 entries, which created a $1,078,000 prize pool.
After 12 hours of play, the United Kingdom's Stephen Chidwick emerged victorious to capture a $366,500 first-place prize. Chidwick, who currently sits second on England’s all-time money list just ahead of the late David “Devilfish” Ulliott but far behind Sam Trickett who leads, is no stranger to the high roller scene. In fact, back in January, he cashed in both the $25,000 and $50,000 High Roller events at the PokerStars Championship Bahamas, finishing seventh and fifth for $154,260 and $265,040 respectively.
However, until today, a high-roller title had eluded him. Now he’s got it along with another silver Spade trophy and the fourth-largest cash of his career.
Among those to take a shot or two in the tournament were Spanish pros Adrian Mateos, Sergio Aido, and Sergi Reixach; former High Roller champs Steve O'Dwyer, Isaac Haxton, and Jason Koon; and Ben Tollerene, who was just a couple days removed from winning the $50,000 Super High Roller for $538,715.
Once Erik Seidel exited as the bubble boy in seventh place, the result of losing a flip with ace-ten to Oliver Weis’ pocket eights, the final six players were guaranteed a minimum $75,460 payday.
Sixth place was a familiar spot for Timothy Adams, who two days back finished there in the aforementioned Super High Roller, good for $110,920. Adams shoved with ace-jack only to run into both the pocket eights of Weis and kings of Koray Aldemir, the latter more than doubling into the chip lead.
Not long after, there was a clash of Italian titans when Dario Sammartino got it in holding kings only to run into the aces of countryman Mustapha Kanit. No king came and Sammartino had to settle for fifth place and $97,020.
From there, Oliver Weis was crippled after his pocket nines were cracked by Chidwick’s ace-seven, and despite a couple doubles, he bowed out shortly thereafter when he jammed three-five suited from the small blind and Aldemir called with six-seven to run out a straight.
Aldimir went on to win a flip against Chidwick, one that left the latter extremely short. Still, he managed to rebuild, once due to a fortuitous four on the river to give him a wheel. Chidwick then got it in with tens against Kanit’s ace-queen, and while a queen flopped, another river would save Chidwick.
Amazingly, Chidwick hit yet another river a short time later to finish off Mustapha Kanit. The Italian jammed with ace-nine suited and improved against Chidwick’s pocket eights. It didn’t matter though as the two outer came through on the river.
In the final hand of the tournament, Chidwick picked up kings and held against the ace-five of Koray Aldemir, who is no slouch himself in high rollers having notched two seven-figure scores in such events.
There are still plenty of events left on the 2017 PokerStars Championship Panama schedule including a $10,300 PLO High Roller tomorrow, an equally priced High Roller on March 18th, and of course, the Main Event will run the duration. PokerNews will be here every step of the way to capture the action in all those events, so be sure to join us tomorrow and through the weekend.