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Bringing an energetic start to the year, the 2019 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) has played out a number of big tickets events this month. With the much-anticipated PokerStars Players NLHE Championship (PSPC) done and dusted, the spotlight has since shifted to the PCA Main Event that has enraptured the global poker audience for the better part this past week. The fourth and penultimate day of the event played out on January 16 and has now whittled down to the final six players. Holding the lead firmly in his reins is former November Niner David ‘Chino’ Rheem (cover image).
Rheem has been known to court as much controversy as he is credited for his prowess on the felts. After Gus Hansen, Carlos Mortensen, and Anthony Zinno, he happens to be the fourth player in the history of World Poker Tour (WPT) to have won three WPT titles. However his success has largely been overshadowed by his drug issues and reputation of owing money to other poker players. Last year in April, Rheem was charged of lying about the way he busted out of a WPT tournament to the people who had staked him for the event. Will Molson and Joseph Cheong have in the past, taken to online poker forums to narrate how they were “cheated” by Rheem after each of them lent him $40,000 and were not repaid. Rheem is also said to owe Tom Dwan an undisclosed amount.
Controversies apart; Rheem was undoubtedly the leader of the pack when the 20 Day 3 survivors returned to resume play. He soared into the top of the rankings and thwarted any attempts by his opponents to snatch the lead. When the final six bagged up, Rheem was the only player above the 7 Million-mark, bagging 7,550,000 in chips.
Canadian online qualifier Scott Wellenbach (6,015,000) and seasoned pro Brian Altman (4,995,000) round up the top three stacks coming into the final day.
Following Ramon Colillas`s historic victory in the $25K PokerStars NLHE Players Championship (PSPC) last week, the pressure is now on fellow Spaniard Vicent Bosca (2,875,000) who is among the six finalists in the PCA Main Event. Bosca has advanced to the final day with the fourth largest stack.
The six finalists are assured at least $297,020 and the battle will now take off for the trophy and the hefty $1,567,000 that comes with it.
Players fell thick as bricks on Day 4 and some of the biggest names that saw their deep run ending short of the finish line were Jeff Hakim (10th for $96,080), Christoph Vogelsang (11th for $96,080), Day 3 chip leader Tommy Nguyen (13th for $86,000), Matthias Eibinger (14th for $77,620),high stake regular Matt Berkey (15th for $77,060), Joao Simao (16th for $69,220), Danny Tang (18th for $60,840) and Indian-origin Rajesh Vohra (20th for $60,840).
The last elimination of the day was that of Mihai Manole (7th for $208,920) whose king-ten were crushed by Vicent Bosca’s queen-jack that flopped a pair and then further improved to two-pairs on the river.
Filipe Oliveira`s (21st for $52,440) elimination towards the fag end of Day 3 signaled the end of play as the 20 remaining survivors bagged chips for the day.
Day 4 began with Tommy Nguyen starting off as the chip leader with 2,705,000 in chips. Alongside Nguyen, the next top stacks belonged to 2018 EPT Prague $50K High Roller champion Matthias Eibinger and WPT champion Brian Altman who held 2,485,000 and 1,785,000 in chips respectively. Rheem started off with an above average stack of 1,425,000.
However, as it turned out, many of the top stacks came spiraling down, while the shorter stacks improved their position.
Indian-origin Rajesh Vohra (20th for $60,840) was the first player to exit, with November Niner – Bob Bounahra (19th for $60,840) following him out next.
Play came down to the final two tables with the elimination of Danny Tang (18th for $60,840) and Enrico Camosci (17th for $60,840).At this point, Wellenbach, who had won his ticket to the event through a $500 satellite, was second in chips behind Eibinger.
Joao Simao (16th for $69,220) was the next elimination and he was shunted out by Christoph Vogelsang who made it 65,000 from middle position and Simao moved all in with 460,000 from the small blind. Vogelsang made an instant call.
The duo saw the opening on the flop that added outs to a flush for Simao. The turn reduced Simao’s chances and the on the river was the final blow as Vogelsang hit quads.
After Matt Berkey`s (15th for $77,620) departure, Matthias Eibinger (14th for $77,620), who had won a big pot off Nguyen then found his stack severely decimated in just three hands that he played with Rheem. First Rheem rivered the nut straight and collected the pot. He then scored a massive double up by turning a full house against Eibinger’s flopped set. Eventually, Eibinger open-raised from the cutoff for 80,000 and Rheem called from the button. Eibinger checked the flop , and Rheem bet 125,000. Eibinger moved all in for about 1,045,000 and the cards were on their backs.
Eibinger with his pocket queens was looking in good shape though Rheem had many out. The on the turn however was not one of them but as luck would have it, the on the river completed a ten-high straight for Rheem, who collected the pot eliminating Eibinger in the process.
Several hands into play, Day 3 chip leader Tommy Nguyen (13th for $86,000), moved all in for over ten big blinds from the small blind and Rheem called from the big blind.
The flop brought and Nguyen was already standing to leave by the time the landed on the turn. The river ended Nguyen’s deep run.
Rheem had mentioned on the outer tables that he had wanted to “win just one hand against the best,” and he got that opportunity soon thereafter. Christoph Vogelsang (12th for $96,080), who was down to 12 big blinds, responded to Rheem’s raise of 125,000 from the button by making a 3-bet all in move for 590,000 and Rheem made the call.
The board ran and Rheem kept his lead to eliminate Vogelsang.
Jeff Hakim (10th for $96,080) missed the unofficial final table by a whisker after his were cracked by Pavel Veksler’s .
The play was halted for the evening after Mihai Manole (7th for $208,920) found his run cut short, in a hand where Vicent Bosca limped the button with and Manole checked his option from the big blind with . The flop fell and Manole checked his gutshot and flush draws. Bosca led out 90,000 and Manole check-raised to 240,000. Tanking for a while, Bosca made the call to see the landing on the turn. Left with only 475,000, Manole moved all in and Bosca called. Manole was at risk but the on the river sealed his fate.
Following Rheem in the chip lead are the other top stacks – Scott Wellenbach (6,015,000), Brian Altman (4,995,000) Vicent Bosca (2,875,000), Daniel Strelitz (2,355,000) and Pavel Veksler (2,035,000). A winner will be crowned soon, as each of the six contenders buckle up for an important day of poker!
1. David ‘Chino’ Rheem – 7,550,000
2. Scott Wellenbach – 6,015,000
3. Brian Altman – 4,995,000 62
4. Vicent Bosca – 2,875,000
5. Daniel Strelitz – 2,355,000
6. Pavel Veksler – 2,035,000
Image & Content courtesy: PokerStars/PokerNews
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