Ship it to Argentina! Maria Lampropulos took down the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event Championship. The pro from Argentina faded 582 to win the title and $1 million in cash. Lampropulos also made history in the process because she became the first woman to win the PCA. The victory was no easy task. Lampropulos had to survive and outlast vicious final table that included three sharks from different corners of the globe: Adrian Mateos, Shawn Buchanan, and Korey Aldemir. You can call her the shark slayer, but one thing is certain, Maria Lampropulos is the reigning PCA champion.
Maria Lampropulos pulled off an impressive victory considering the pedigree of her final table foes. Newly-minted Team Winamax pro, Adrian Mateos is one of the rising stars in Europe. Last summer in Vegas, he became the youngest player to win three pieces of bling and broke a record held by Phil Ivey in the process. In a short time on the circuit, Mateos eclipsed Carlos Mortensen for the most successful tournament player from Spain. Korey Aldemir is a part of a posse of German players who have taken the global poker scene by storm. His buddy Fedor Holz retired, but there were still a bunch of impossible-to-beat Germans ready to take Holz's place. And then there's the legendary Shawn 'buck21' Buchanan. Playing under the screen name 'buck21', Buchanan became the first player in the history of PokerStars to win a Triple COOP (or victories in WCOOP, SCOOP, and TCOOP). Buchanan is one of the most successful online tournament players... of all time... let alone one of the best pros from Canada not named Negreanu.
The final table also had a little side drama. Mateos and Aldemir battled each other in Las Vegas at the 2017 WSOP. Matoes defeated Aldemir heads-up to win a bracelet in 10K Heads-up NL Championship. That win marked a third bracelet for Mateos, who became the youngest player to win three pieces of bling (and he broke a record held by Phil Ivey in the process).
The win by Maria Lampropulos should not come to a surprise. After all, she was at the top of the chip counts over the last couple of days of action at the 2018 PCA Main Event. However, she was overlooked by the chip leaders and top-tiered pros with big stack -- David Peters on Day 5 and Adrian Mateos on Day 6. Alas, Peters' run fizzled out on Day 5 and Mateos busted in fourth at the final table. Lampropulos' survival instinct kicked in and she managed to get heads-up against Shawn Buchanan.
When heads-up began, Lampropulos trailed 2-1 in chips. Ah, no problem! She staved off elimination with a clutch double up (Ace-eight versus pocket fours) and the rest was history. Buchanan couldn't catch a break (like losing a flip with pocket nines versus Ace-ten) and he busted out in second place... with a runner-up payday worth $672,960.
Lampropulos shipped the PCA Main Event and small mountain of cash worth $1 million. That can buy you a lot of alt-coins right now!
2018 PCA - Main Event
Prize Pool: $5,645,420
Final Table Payouts:
1. Maria Lampropulos (Argentina) $1,081,100
2. Shawn Buchanan (Canada) $672,960
3. Koray Aldemir (Germany) $481,560
4. Adrian Mateos (Spain) $372,600
5. Daniel Coupal (Canada) $293,560
6. Christian Rudolph (Germany) $229,760