Thursday January 17, 2019 at 2:36 am
Breaking News

The 2019 PCA Main Event Championship is in the books and American pro Chino Rheem survived a field of 865 runners to win $1.5 million. Rheem came into the final table with the lead and knocked out all five opponents en route to a quick and efficient victory in the Bahamas. Rheem picked off Daniel Strelitz heads-up for the trophy. Rheem has officially passed $10 million in career earnings.

ChinoWinsPCA2019main
(Pic by Carlos Monti, PokerStars Blog)

No one saw that coming. It's not like Chino isn't someone who has never won a tournament. He knew a good spot when he saw one and he flew to the Bahamas and took down the PCA Main Event. It was a quickie smash and grab job. Five days of action and no one got hurt. For a mere $10K investment, Chino shipped $1.5 million.

If Chainsaw binked the PCA Main Event, then that would be a Spanish Inquisition moment. Chino has finishing skills. He's shipped three WPT titles but has yet to win a WSOP bracelet. If you count the PCA as an EPT event, then Chino is 2/3 of his way through a Triple Crown (WPT, EPT, and WSOP bracelet).

The prize pool in this year's PCA Main Event topped nearly $8.4 million for a $10,300 buy-in re-entry event. The top 127 places paid out with the champ walking away with $1.5 million.

Chino bagged up the lead heading into the final table. He led with 7.5M with Canada's Scott Wellenbach in second. The final table included a qualifier from Canada who is a Buddhist without a cell phone. You gotta love that guy. Of course, Scott Wellenbach was also playing for charity and donating his winnings. Too bad he didn't win. Scott Wellenbach managed on a third-place finish, which means a lot of people will benefit from his $671K score.

Brian Altman was the first player to bounce at the final table. He became Chino's first victim. Vicent Bosca a.k.a. Don't Call me Vincet gave Spain a chance at winning both the PSPC and the PCA Main Event. Alas, Bosca's run ended in fifth place.

Pavel Veksler's got under Chino's skin with his Eastern-Euro-Untz-Bluffs. However, it was not enough to keep him alive. Chino picked him off in fourth place.

Canada's Wellenbach qualified for the PCA through a satellite. He was freerolling since his arrival and managed to win $671,240 for third place.

With two to go, it was Chino heads-up against Daniel Strelitz. Heads-up went quick. If you blinked, you missed it. They got it all-in quick. Chino's pocket fives versus Strelitz's Ace-deuce. Chino's fives held up. He shipped the PCA, hoisted the trophy, and the mountain of cash.

Chino now has to figure out how to get $1.5 million back to the States undetected by the federales and then slip by the massive line of creditors currently forming at LAX awaiting his arrival home from the Bahamas. All kidding aside, Chino passed into eight figures territory. According to Hendon Mob, he's now won over $10 million in poker tournaments.

2019 PCA Main Event

Buy-in: $10,300

Entrants: 865

Prize Pool: $8,390,500

Payouts: 127

 

1. David Rheem (USA) $1,567,100

2. Daniel Strelitz (USA) $951,480

3. Scott Wellenbach (Canada) $671,240

4. Pavel Veksler (Ukraine) $503,440

5. Vicent Bosca (Spain) $396,880

6. Brian Altman (USA) $297,020

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