Viktor ‘Isildur1’ Blom has started the year off in super fashion, winning the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Super High Roller event and the sweet $1.254m prize. A total of 29 big names each ponied up the $100k buy-in (some of them even re-bought in after busting out early), but only five would finish in the money, and Scott Seiver was the unfortunate bubble-boy who finished sixth. Daniel Negreanu finished fifth, earning $250k, while fellow Canuck Jonathan Duhamel took fourth place for a $313k payday (and the idjits who robbed and beat him spent the weekend in jail) and 2011 PCA Main Event winner Galen Hall finished third, earning $470k. The last to stand in Blom’s way was Dan Shak, who has $846k to help soothe his disappointment. It’s the first tournament triumph for online poker monster Blom, and he definitely picked a good one to pop his cherry.
As the Super High Roller wrapped up, the PCA Main Event got underway. Day 1a of the $10k buy-in event attracted 418 entrants, roughly half of which survived to move on to Day 2. Day 1b is currently underway, and its 654 entrants have pushed the total field well past the 1,000 mark. Those eliminated on Day 1a included Matt Stout, Shaun Deeb, Chris Moorman and Theo Jorgensen, while Day 1b’s early casualty list includes Blom, Duhamel, Eugene Katchalov and Jean-Robert Bellande.
Across the pond in Dublin, David Shallow has won the World Poker Tour Ireland, earning €222k and a seat at the upcoming WPT Championship in Vegas. The €2,500 buy-in event attracted a field of 338, eventually coming down to a five-handed final table on Sunday. Charles Chattha was your runner-up, earning €113k, while the rest of the final table finished as follows: Ronan Gilligan (€75k), Patrik Vestlin (€53k) and Steve Watts (€40k). Next up for the WPT is a return trip to Venice beginning Feb. 6.
But enough about 2012, who ruled the 2011 roost? CardPlayer has named Ben Lamb as their Player of the Year based on his impressive 2011, which included five live cashes at the World Series of Poker (among them, his first WSOP bracelet and third-place in the Main Event) for a total payday of $5.35m. Meanwhile, Bluff Magazine named Eugene Katchalov their Player of the Year for his 13 cashes (including his first WSOP bracelet and the PCA Super High Roller title) totaling $2.57m. The two prizes are awarded based on different point systems, meaning we’re comparing apples to oranges again, so we suggest Lamb and Katchalov get it on mano a mano like Bertrand ‘Elky’ Grospelier and Lex Veldhuis did in that kick-boxing match in Spain. Seriously, if we’ve learned nothing from the Highlander movies, it’s that there can be only one…