A full round-up of all the action at the PokerStars Championships in the Bahamas with Christian Harder, Bryn Kenney, and Dario Sammartino earning all the plaudits.
The PokerStars Championships in the Bahamas will always be known as the PCA. But this year it was different – new branding; new pomp and circumstance, and the beginning of an exciting new era for a consolidated PokerStars Live product.
Nothing had changed.
Everything had changed.
I’m not sure which PokerStars quote is more accurate, but one thing that did change was the level of attendees.
It cannot be the change in branding. One assumes the cost of flying, and living, in that neck of the woods, took it’s toll on the players who hang around in that middle strata where money is earned rather than handed to them on a paper plate.
The one thing that made the European Poker Tour (EPT) the premier live tour outside of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) was the ability to pick up significant six-figure sums in some of the best side event action in the biz.
All that changed this past fortnight. Fields were low; very low, and looking through the data, the event looked like a playground for the rich and famous with only the High Rollers turning out decent fields.
The Main Event was a throwback to the good old days, with Christian Harder facing WSOP November Niner, Cliff Josephy for the title. Harder eventually took the crown, his first major live title since he started racking up ‘$’ signs on the Hendon Mob way back in 2007.
The field of 738 entrants was the lowest since 2006 when 724 participants paid $7,800 to enter. For the past two years, the buy-in was reduced to $5,000 to allow more people to play. Last year, 928 entrants made the decision look like a sensible one. Now the jury is out.
PokerStars Championships Bahamas Main Event Results
1. Christian Harder – $429,664*
2. Cliff Josephy – $403,448*
3. Michael Vela – $259,980
4. Aleksei Opalikhin – $191,420
5. Michael Gentili – $140,940
6. Rasmus Glaesel – $103,780
7. Brock Allison – $76,400
8. John Dibella – $56,260
*Indicates a deal
Other notables who put in sterling performances were Jason Mercier (14), Ryan Riess (15), and Adrian Mateos (18).
The High Rollers
As the Global Poker Index (GPI) and Global Poker League (GPL) continues to promote poker as a game of skill played by the elite, the High Roller circuit has become poker’s Champions League.
All of the big boys turned up to compete in six events with buy-ins high enough to make the working class puke in their porridge.
The undisputed star of the show was Bryn Kenney. The GPL New York Rounders gaffer continued a run of form that cemented his place in the world’s top five, with six cashes – including five final tables, one final table bubble berth, and two titles.
Byron Kaverman also returned to form, making three High Roller Final Tables and cashing in the Main Event. Dan Colman made two High Roller Final Tables and cashed in the Main Event. Daniel Dvoress and Stephen Chidwick also made two High Roller Final Tables.
Dario Sammartino also put in a sterling shift with three High Roller Final Tables, including a victory in a $10k event and runner-up to Kenney in the first-ever Shot Clock game in PokerStars history.
The Shot-Clock seems to be the answer to the problem of slow-playing, but not everyone is a fan.
Some shot clock thoughts on this lovely Sunday morning pic.twitter.com/ZrtWTHce7Y
— Ari Engel (@AriBodog) January 14, 2017
I think PokerStars will keep the clock away from the recreational players for now, but expect to see it become mandatory in the High Roller events.
Here are the significant results from the Bahamas.
$100k SHR Results
1. Jason Koon – $1,650,300
2. Charlie Carrel – $$1,191,900
3. Dan Colman – $$759,660
4. Daniel Dvoress – $576,300
5. Byron Kaverman – $445,320
6. Connor Drinan – $$340,540
7. Bryn Kenney – $275,060
41 players and 13 re-entries.
$50k Single Day Re-Entry Results
1. Bryn Kenney – $969,075
2. Mustapha Kanit – $695,740
3. Byron Kaverman – $452,220
4. Dan Colman – $341,240
5. Stephen Chidwick – $265,040
6. Ben Tollerene – $205,400
7. Sergi Reixach – $162,340
8. Daniel Dvoress – $125,900
9. Cary Katz – $96,080
49 players and 20 re-entries.
$25k Single Re-Entry Shot Clock Results
1. Bryn Kenney – $392,876*
2. Dario Sammartino – $354,424*
3. Anton Astapau – $202,380
4. Oleksii Khoroshenin – $153,220
5. Igor Kurganov – $118,540
6. Bill Perkins – $92,520
7. Mike Watson – $73,720
8. Sean Winter – $57,820
*Indicates a deal
42 players and 17 re-entries.
$25k High Roller Final Table Results
1. Luc Greenwood – $779,268*
2. Nick Petrangelo – $740,032*
3. Michael Rocco – $409,020
4. Byron Kaverman – $335,020
5. Daniel Negreanu – $268,780
6. Nahco Barbero – $208,400
7. Stephen Chidwick – $154,260
8. Mark Radoja – $113,360
*Indicates a deal
121 entrants and 38 re-entries.
$10k Hyper Turbo Final Table Results
1. Dario Sammartino – $58,200
2. Murad Akhundov – $34,920
3. Ilkin Amirov – $23,280
$15k NLHE Single Re-Entry Final Table Results
1. Ben Heath – $141,440
2. Justin Bonomo – $97,460
3. Lawrence Greenberg – $62,100
4. Ramin Hajiyev – $44,900
5. Steve O’Dwyer – $36,300
PokerStars Championship Side Event News
The biggest side-event of them all was the $2,200 buy-in National Championship and a pretty decent final table formed, with Nicola Basile beating David Yan in heads-up action.
National Championship Final Table Results
1. Nicola Basile – $131,680
2. David Yan – $96,880
3. Marc-Andre Ladouceur – $71,160
4. Javier Gomez – $52,260
5. Maria Ho – $38,380
6. Chris Moneymaker – $28,200
7. Ramiro Petrone – $20,700
8. Ben Philipps – $15,200
313 entrants and 108 re-entries.
William Berman picked up two side event wins in low buy-in No-Limit Hold’em (NLHE) Flipout events (he also won one of these last year). WPT Champ James Romero beat 28 players to win a $3,000 NL Turbo Win the Button event for $28,100, and Jeff Gross beat nine players to win the $200 NL Hold’em Flipout 6-Handed for $886.
Salman Behbehani beat five players to win the $3,000 NL Turbo Win The Button event for $9,450, and also finished third in a $2k NLHE Hyper Turbo for $9,700. And Ryan Olisar beat 42 players in a $900 NLHE Turbo KO Deepstack for $10,960.
Sergi Reixach enjoyed a profitable time in the sun. The Spaniard cashed five times including two High Roller Final Tables, a runner-spot in a $3,000 buy-in event and victory in a $5k NLHE event for $50,000.
Isaac Haxton beat Ben Tollerene in the $25k PLO event for $49,867; only four players entered. Fatima Moreira de Melo beat 24 entrants to win the $5,568 first prize in the $600 NL Women’s Event. And WPT Champ Rocco Palumbo beat 38 players to win the $16,980 first prize in a $1,500 NLHE Hyper Turbo Win the Button. Bryn Kenney was fourth.
Finally, Oleksii Khoroshenin also had a spanking time in the Bahamas with three final tables, all resulting in top three finishes, crowned by victory in a $3k NLHE event for $39,660.
The next PokerStars Championships will take place in Panama, March 10.