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The 2023 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA), taking place at the Baha Mar Resort in Nassau, The Bahamas, closed out one of the most popular events of the series, the $10,300 PCA Main Event, on Sunday, January 29. Michel Dattani (cover image) broke through an 889-strong player barrier to claim his career-best $1.32 Million top prize and the alluring PokerStars trophy.
One of Portugal’s most respected players, Dattani, locked horns with fellow countryman Pedro Neves in the heads-up showdown. The duo settled things rather diplomatically by agreeing to a heads-up deal, with $50,000 and the title left to play for. In the end, Neves settled for a runner-up finish worth $1.18 Million.
Dattani is well known for his modesty and has been around poker felts since 2008. His previous best score of $123,966 resulted from an FT finish in a €25K NLH event in the 2018 EPT. He is ranked #5 on Portugal’s All-Time Money List, and the Main Event victory has boosted his recorded live earnings to $2,367,545.
While his victory was phenomenal, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the Portuguese pro from the get-go. Dattani crashed out on Day 1B as he experienced death by quads courtesy of Manuel Ruivo. He fired a second bullet, and there was no looking back as he catapulted to chip lead on Day 4, finally taking down the Main Event title after a little over four hours of play on Sunday.
Pedro Neves is ranked #10 on Portugal’s All-Time Money List and boasts $1,594,865 in total live earnings. His previous best score of $124,756 was recorded in last year’s EPT London’s £2,200 NLH UKIPT London High Roller.
The $10,300 buy-in PCA Main Event registered 889 entries gathering a whopping $8,623,300 in the prize pool. The top 127 finishers got paid.
WSOP bracelet winners like Mitchell Halverson (11th for $112,600), Scott Bohlman (20th for $59,100), Giuseppe Pantaleo (27th for $44,700), Nick Petrangelo (27th for $44,700) and Justin Bonomo (44th for $29,400) were among the notables to cross the money line.
Three Indian bigshots, Abhinav Iyer (busted 212th), BSOP Bahamas Main Event ninth-place finisher Sriharsha Doddapaneni (busted 231st), and Rajat Sharma (busted 258th), made Day 2 but fell before the money bubble burst on Day 3.
The Indian rail still has the $25K PSPC Main Event (starting January 30) to look forward to as PSPC Platinum Pass winners Rajat Sharma, Sriharsha Doddapaneni, and Nikhil Segel will be eyeing to bring a title home from the Caribbean Island.
You can watch the replay of the live-streamed final table below.
Final Table Recap
Soon after the dinner break on Day 5, Taylor Paur became the first final table casualty. His could not hold up against Artur Martirosian’s , ending Paur’s run in eighth place.
Soon after the remaining seven players returned from a break, Alexandros Kolonias was eliminated in seventh place when his got out-flopped by Pedro Neves’ .
The play was paused following Kolonias’ exit on Day 5, and the six finalists, headlined by Neves, returned on Sunday to play down to a winner.
Final Day Recap
On the first hand of Day 6, Jamil Wakil’s were out-drawn by Christoph Csik’s that flopped a flush, sending the former packing in sixth place.
Christoph Csik was the next one to leave in fifth place as his fell flat before Alexandre Raymond’s .
A cooler sent the last PokerStars online qualifier, Alexandre Raymond, out of the competition in fourth place as his were bested by Neves’ .
The 2021 EPT Sochi Main Event champion, Artur Martirosian, rounded out the podium in third place as his were no good against Michel Dattani’s .
As Martirosian walked out, the Portuguese pair, Michel Dattani and Pedro Neves agreed to a deal, with both locking up seven-figure scores. The ICM numbers saw Dattani secure $1,266,963 while Neves locked up $1,183,037. They decided to play for the 2023 PCA Main Event trophy, with the eventual winner slated to take home an additional $50,000.
The final hand was a classic set-up of fate. Neves (11,495,000) raised it to 250,000 with and Dattani (151,800,000), who was in the big blind, made the call with . As the flop was tabled , both players made top pairs, but Neves moved into the lead with a better kicker. Neves led out for 225,000, and Dattani check-called to see the turn card open . With the turn, Dattani could now make the nut flush.
Neves fired a bet of 850,000, and Dattani called. The river was a , giving Dattani all he needed, but he slyly checked over to Neves, who bet 2.10 Million into a 3.10 Million pot.
The big raise after the river saw Dattani use one of his time banks before announcing all-in. All the pressure was now on Neves, who was left with 6,825,000, and after using all of his six time-banks for deliberation, he made the call only to see that Dattani had made nuts on the river.
Final Table Results (USD)
*denotes a heads-up deal
Content & Images Courtesy: PokerNews & PokerStars
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