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For over a year poker players and lovers all across the world have been waiting for this day. The pathbreaking $25,000 PokerStars NL Hold’em Players Championship (PSPC) has concluded and crowned a champion in Platinum Pass winner Ramon Colillas (cover image).
The PSPC came about as a result of an innovative idea of the poker giant PokerStars’ desire to create the perfect poker tournament. The brand’s top management wanted to create a tournament that would not only be the biggest $25K tournament yet but would also include people from all walks of life. Thus, the Platinum Passes were invented. With over 320 Platinum Passes distributed, the event pulled in a record-shattering 1,039 entries, collecting a record-breaking prize pool of $26,455,500.
The hard-work and dedication of all those involved has certainly paid off. The dream is finally reality and what could be better than a Platinum Pass winner clinching the title!
30-year-old former fitness trainer from Barcelona, Spain, Ramon Colillas‘ name will forever be etched in history as ‘the modern-day Chris Moneymaker’. Earning his pass from topping the leaderboard of a small Spanish live tournament, Colillas turned his free chance into a win of a lifetime. Prior to this win Colillas only had four live cashes to his name. His present live winnings stand tall at $5,110,873.
While not completely an amateur player, Colillas did not have very high expectations of winning the event when he first came in knowing he was competing against some of the best in the business.
“Only excitement, the best wishes and enjoying my stay,” were his only expectation.
And now with one of the most coveted prizes of poker in his hands, the champion said, “A lot of players were saying this was the most important tournament in history, so now it’s only about happiness and enjoying the moment.”
The Spaniard had started the final day with the fifth-largest stack of 8,300,000 at the table. He steadily increased his count and along the way eliminated Marc Perrault and Jason Koonce. He squared off against Frenchman Julien Martini in the heads-up battle. Though Martini held a commanding lead over Colillas, the latter fought his way to the top and ultimately captured his maiden live title and best-live score.
You can watch the live stream of the action-packed final table right here.
From India a total of 10 players were seen in action including PSPC Platinum Pass winners Sumit Sapra, Nikhil Segel, Kavin Shah, Raman Gujral, Sharad Rao, Vivek Singh, Saurabh Sindhwani and Aneesh Nair, along with Team PokerStars pro Aditya Agarwal and World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner Nipun Java. Young Gun Rao topped the Indian contingent and progressed to Day 2 with a stack of 125,600. He was joined by Segel (90,200), Agarwal (80,600), Gujral (69,600) and Sindhwani (65,500). However, Team India’s run came to an end on Day 2 as all the challengers busted out before the money line was breached.
Taking a break from the nail-biting action at the PSPC, lets catch up with what one Mr. Joey Ingram has been up to. Almost everyone in the poker community is aware of the contentious relationship that exists between Ingram and PokerStars. The YouTuber-poker pro has never shied away from speaking his mind about the online giant which has mostly come in the form of criticizing the brand.
In the spirit of the holiday, PokerStars extended an olive branch to Ingram stating that they value Ingram for speaking his mind and as a respected voice in the poker world. Amidst a volley of criticism from his followers and inter haters, Ingram accepted the prestigious pass. However, he did not stop at that and made a counter-offer to the brand to get a pass for Tennessee amateur Jeremy Hilsercop.
Ingram failed to post a score at the PSPC, but he caught up with film producer, and amateur poker player Bill Perkins on his Poker Life Podcast on January 10 to talk about his PSPC experience.
“From a live perspective, it seems like they’re doing things better,” Ingram said. “I don’t have much personal experience with their live events outside of coming to the PCA once before. But in terms of online, it’s separate. The online world and who’s coming up with ideas for online is going to be a little bit different than who’s coming up and trying to manage these live events. So, in terms of the direction of what they’ve done with cash games online… I mean, I think it could be worse.”
While it seems that Ingram’s views regarding PokerStars hasn’t changed much, you can still catch the entire podcast here.
Final Day 5 began with USA’s Scott Baumstein in the pole position with Canadian pro Marc Perrault possessing the shortest stack.
1. Scott Baumstein – 10,725,000
2. Marc Rivera – 10,350,000
3. Julien Martini – 8,600,000
4. Farid Jattin – 8,525,000
5. Ramon Colillas – 8,300,000
6. Jason Koonce – 7,125,000
7. Talal Shakerchi – 5,500,000
8. Marc Perrault – 2,275,000
Joe Stapleton announced the start of play and within the first six hands Julien Martini (10,450,000) overtook the chip lead from Scott Baumstein and by the seventh hand the first elimination had taken place. The player in question was UK’s Talal Shakerchi. When Marc Rivera opened for 500,000 with from the hijack, Martini raised to 1,325,000 with . In the small blind, Farid Jattin held but used multiple time extensions before mucking his hand. Beside him was Shakerchi who woke up with and moved all-in for 5,250,000, prompting Rivera to fold. Martini tanked for a while but eventually decided to call. The flop fell . Though Shakerchi was still in the lead, Martini had the outs for a straight and flush. The turn got Martini nearer to a spades flush which he finally hit on the river , ending Shakerchi’s run in eighth place.
Within 30 minutes Farid Jattin joined Shakerchi at the rail, when the former’s were cracked by Martini’s , with the runout missing both players. Jattin departed in seventh place.
On the 21st hand, Ramon Colillas opened to 650,000 from under-the-gun with and Martini called from small blind with . Marc Perrault jammed from the big blind for 425,000, holding . Martini checked to see the flop and Colillas led out with 425,000, causing Martini to fold. The and completed the board. Colillas’ pocket cowboys won him the pot ousting Perrault in sixth place.
11 hands later, Jason Koonce shoved all-in from the button with and Colillas called from the big blind with . The community cards read and did not affect either player. Colillas’s stronger pair of fives led to Koonce’s fifth place exit.
The next elimination came in almost 40 minutes later when the start of the day chip leader Scott Baumstein pitted his against Martini’s . The board fanned out and Martini picked up a pair of kings on the board to eliminate Baumstein in fourth place.
Baumstein’s exit brought the play down to the last three players, with both the Platinum Pass winners still in contention. For close to an hour 30 hands were player between Julien Martini, Ramon Colillas and Marc Rivera. During the course of play Colillas folded the best hand twice against Rivera.
On the 46th hand, with the flop open , Rivera bet 700,000 on the button with and Colillas called with from the big blind. The turn came and Colillas checked again. Rivera fired another 2,000,000 and Colillas laid down the best hand.
One hand later, Colillas raised to 800,000 on the button with and Rivera called from the small blind with . The flop brought and Rivera checked to Colillas who continued for 600,000. Rivera check-raised to 2,600,000 and Colillas let his hand go.
On the 55th Colillas got his revenge as he doubled up through Rivera. The latter raised to 1.1 Million with from the button and Colillas defended his big blind with . Colillas checked and Rivera quickly announced all-in on the flop. Colillas called for 3.7 Million and the turn revealed which brought more outs for Rivera in the form of a flush draw, but the river bricked his chances as Colillas raked in the chips.
Soon thereafter, Martini raised to 1,000,000 on the button with and Marc Rivera shoved all-in for 8,225,000 with from the big blind. Martini called and the rundown showed . Martini’s ace-king high was good enough to eliminate Rivera in third place.
The heads-up play between Julien Martini and Ramon Colillas began with the former taking a dominating lead of 42,000,000 over Colillas’ 19,450,000. The lone PSPC pass winner did not give up hope and kept trying to narrow the gap.
By the 79th hand, Colillas had chipped up to 24,650,000 and Martini’s stack had reduced to 36,800,000. The very next hand changed the dynamics completely. Martini opened with for 1.25 Million and Ramon Colillas called with . The flop came bringing a hearts flush for Martini who then bet for 1 Million. Colillas called and the turn was a . Martini made a big bet for 4.6 Million and Colillas called to see the river which brought him a full house. Colillas checked and Martini shoved all-in. Colillas called for his 17,050,000 and won the pot with his backdoor boat. Colillas’ chip count had reached 48,300,000, while Martini was down to 13,150,000.
Play continued for 22 more hands and on the 102nd hand of the day, which turned out to be the last hand of the event, Martini moved all-in for 8,900,000 from the button with and Colillas called with after asking for a count. With Martini’s tournament life on the line, the dealer turned over . Martini’s fantastic run ended in runner-up place as Colillas rivered two pairs of aces and fives to win the biggest $25K tournament in the history of poker and take home a life-changing $5.1 Million in prize money!
1. Ramon Colillas – $5,100,000
2. Julien Martini – $2,974,000
3. Marc Rivera – $2,168,000
4. Scott Baumstein – $1,657,000
5. Jason Koonce – $1,304,000
6. Marc Perrault – $1,012,000
7. Farid Jattin – $746,000
8. Talal Shakerchi – $509,000
While the PSPC has come to a close, seven more exciting events are still waiting to unfold at the 2019 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA), especially the $10,300 PCA Main Event that is expected to commence later today.
Content & Images courtesy: PokerStars, PokerNews
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