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One of the biggest attractions at the ongoing 2019 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA), the $10,300 Main Event is fast striding towards it finale. The event played out its third consecutive day of play on January 14 that saw the 79 survivors returning to action from the giant starting field of 865 entries. Of them, only 20 made it through to Day 4, and Tommy Nguyen (cover image) remains at the forefront, with a massive stack of 2,705,000.
Nguyen is fresh off his title win in the $1,520 NLHE Six-Max at the 2018 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic ($60,157). But for the World Series of Poker (WSOP) fans, Nguyen inspires admiration for his bracelet win at WSOP 2018 where he took down a monster field in the $1,500 Monster Stack to win a career-best $1,037,451.
Other big stacks returning on Day 4 are 2018 EPT Prague $50K High Roller champion Matthias Eibinger (2,485,000), WPT champion Brian Altman (1,785,000) and high stake regs Matt Berkey (1,570,000), David ‘Chino’ Rheem (1,425,000), Christoph Vogelsang (1,240,000) and Scott Wellenbach (1,135,000).
Each of the 20 remaining finalists has already locked up $60,840 for their efforts but all eyes are on the $1,567,100 top prize and the bragging rights that come with winning the PCA Main Event. There’s also the prized PokerStars spade to fight for, and it`s not going to be easy for Nguyen, as when Day 4 opens, he will have to face tough competition from a lineup of accomplished players including Jeff Hakim (2,640,000) and Daniel Strelitz (2,615,000), who are hot on his heels with big stacks.
Two players from the Indian contingent, PSPC Platinum Pass winner Kavin Shah and Team PokerStars Pro Aditya Agarwal, both played the PCA Main Event. While, Shah made an early exit on Day 1A, Agarwal did better the following day where he bagged almost double his starting stack for Day 2. However, that is how far Agarwal could manage, as he busted short of the money line.
While the money line was crossed on Day 2, with the best 127 players assured at least a min-cash worth $17,620, Day 3 saw many notables hit the rail, albeit with payouts added to their bankrolls.
These included Team PokerStars pro Andre Akkari (24th for $44,060), Day 2 chip leader Pierre Calamusa (25th for $44,060), Maria Ho (29th for $38,180), Glenn Miller (35th for $33,060),Team PokerStars pro Randy Lew (43rd for $28,520), Anthony Zinno(46th for $28,520), Mike Leah (58th for $24,760), Sam Greenwood (73rd for 20,980),and Michael Gathy (75th for $20,980).
The day began with 79 returning players and 59 among them perished through the course of play with only 20 runners making the cut for Day 4.
Bagging the overnight chip lead was Tommy Nguyen (2,705,000) who will be leading the 20 remaining players on Day 4, but Nguyen has his work cut out given the competition.
Chances of the event going down all the way to the wire are very high with heavy hitters like Matthias Eibinger (2,485,000), Danny Tang (245,000), Brian Altman (1,785,000), Matt Berkey (1,570,000) and Christoph Vogelsang (1,240,000), all in the running for the title.
The top 10 on the leaderboard features big names with many among them boasting of poker resumes with figures north of $1 Million in lifetime winnings One of the biggest names and also one of the most controversial pros remaining in the field is American pro David ‘Chino’ Rheem, who carries the seventh biggest stack of 1,425,000 to Day 4. The Rheem’s poker career has been full of feathers including title wins at the 2013 WPT ($25.5K NLHE for $1,150,297) and at the 2016 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown ($10K NLHE- $705,885), but he has been in the news for the all-wrong reasons as many players have complained of his unethical behavior in the past. Coming into Day 4, Rheem narrowly missed being eliminated at the hands of Eibinger but rivered a straight to remain in contention.
While Rheem’s name doesn’t find favor with many players, high on popularity charts is 66-year old Buddhist translator from Canada, Scott Wellenbach (1,135,000) who has announced that he will donate all his winnings in the event to charity.
Indian-origin player Rajesh Vohra (585,000) chipped up well for the better half of the day and was close to crossing the 1 Million mark in stacks. However, Vohra suffered a bad beat as the evening neared an end, and first lost a hand to Nguyen and then lost another to Daniel Strelitz, ending up with only an average stack for Day 4. Danny Tang (245,000) has also managed to play through the day but will really have to work on improving his chances on Day 4.
The play was rife with surprise knockouts and heady spin-ups. For Maria Ho, elimination came in Level 20 when her pocket sevens were busted by Mihai Manole’s pocket nines that flopped a set. Ho was out in 29th place.
Pierre Calamusa, who came into Day 3 in the chip lead with 1,500,000 in chips, was eliminated in 25th place after his ten-four was cracked by Daniel Strelitz’ ace-six that improved to two pair on the board.
While Team PokerStars pro Randy Lew fell out mid way through the day at 43rd place, the only other Red Spade pro in the field, Andre Akkari managed to slog it out all the way till Level 21. Soon after winning a hand, Akkari ended up face-to-face with David ‘Chino’ Rheem. Akkari held versus Rheem’s . Rheem had Akkari covered and the latter got no luck from the community and crashed out in 24th place.
Felipe Oliveira returned to the rail in 21st place after losing all his chips to Vogelsang in a hand where he held against the latter’s . On the runout , Vogelsang’s turned pair of aces won him the pot.
After Oliveira’s elimination, play continued for a less than an hour before the remaining 20 finalists bagged up for the day.
1. Tommy Nguyen – 2,705,000
2. Jeff Hakim – 2,640,000
3. Daniel Strelitz – 2,615,000
4. Matthias Eibinger – 2,485,000
5. Brian Altman – 1,785,000
6. Matt Berkey – 1,570,000
7. David ‘Chino’Rheem – 1,425,000
8. Mihai Manole – 1,325,000
9. Pavel Veksler – 1,320,000
10. Christoph Vogelsang – 1,240,000
As these 20 finalists gear up for Day 4, the penultimate day of the 2019 PCA Main Event promises more nail-biting action!
Image & Content courtesy: PokerStars/PokerNews
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