And then there were six. It feels like the 2019 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure has been going on for a couple of months. The PokerStars Players Championship kicked off two weekends and for the get-go it was a smashing success. Records were made. Confetti rained from the sky. Umbrella cocktails were consumed. And the champ, Ramon Colillas, banked $5.1 million.
But now it's time to determine a winner in the marquee event. The PCA Main Event has always been the real reason they hosted the entire festival of poker in the Bahamas. Since its inception, the Main Event has been the cornerstone of the PCA. The first big-event winner of the new calendar year would often become the next rising star in poker. And if you were already a household name heading into the final table, the deep run put you ahead of the curve with a major score to jump-start the next year on the circuit.
Right now, only six players remain with one highly-recognizable name at the top of the standings. David Rheem. Chino, to you and me.
Chino Rheem is legendary, infamous, and notorious. Who knows how much money he's really won. Who knows how much money he's really lost. Who knows how much money he's really stuck. But we all know that Chino has finishing skills. If he amasses a stack and runs super deep in a tournament, he's probably going to go all the way. Chino bagged up the lead heading into the final table with 7.5M.
Only 20 players began the Day 4 of the Main Event and Tommy Nguyen was the big stack. Matt Berkey busted in 15th place and EPT Prague High Roller balla Matthias Eibinger hit the bricks in 14th place. Tommy Nguyen busted in unlucky 13th place, followed by Ami Barer in 12th place. The human hoodie a.k.a. Christoph Vogelsang was picked off in 11th place.
Jeff Hakim headed into Day 4 as one of the potential players to watch as he marched to the final table. Alas, Hakim's epic run ended when he was knocked out in tenth place.
Simon Deadman was a dead man walking in ninth place, followed by Canadian Marc-Andre Ladouceur in eight place. Romania's Mihai Minole bubbled the final table in seventh place, which paid out $208,920.
The final six were set and Chino was the obvious player to beat. Scott Wellenbach finished Day 4 with second overall in chips. He's become the feel-good story at the final table. The Canadian Buddhist will be donating his winnings to charity. How can you not root for a guy like that?
A pair of American pros were still left in the hunt. They were no slouches either and both had WPT titles to prove it. Dan Strelitz binked the 2017 LA Poker Classic and Brian Altman shipped the WPT Lucky Hearts back in 2015.
Two Europeans rounded out the final table. Vicent "Don't Call Me VINCENT" Bosca and Pavel Veksler from the Ukraine are the short stacks remaining.
Sixth place pays out $297K, so that's what everyone has locked up. Fifth pays a few grand shy of $400K. Fourth place will bank a half-million and third place gets $671K. All the cheesecake is at the top with $1.56 million to the inevitable champion and $951K doled out to the runner-up. Not too shabby, eh?
The Main Event attracted 771 original entries. They added another 94 re-entries for a total count of 865 entries. The prize pool was a hair under $8.4 million. They paid out 127 places with a min-cash worth $17,620.
2019 PCA Main Event
Prize Pool: $8,390,500
David Rheem (USA) 7,550,000
Scott Wellenbach (Canada) 6,015,000
Brian Altman (USA) 4,995,000
Daniel Strelitz(USA) 3,355,000
Vicent Bosca (Spain) 2,875,000
Pavel Veksler (Ukraine) 2,035,000
Final Table Payouts: