Kevin Schulz Wins Main Event
After six days of poker action, the $10,000 Main Event of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) came to a close with a six-handed final table. While the European Poker Tour usually plays with an eight-handed final table, a decision was made to play down to six remaining on Day 5, ensuring a shorter final table day.
The plan worked, as the final table finished in under six hours. Chance Kornuth started the day with the chip lead, a full 1.7 million chips ahead of Kevin Schulz in second. Rounding out the final table were Diego Venttura, Niklas Hambitzer, Juan Martin Pastor, and Rami Bouki on a short stack of just under 10 big blinds.
The short day was signalled early when the first bustout happened on the fifth hand hand of the day. After shoving in the third hand to collect blinds and antes, Boukai looked down at and shoved again. Hambitzer called with , putting Boukai at risk. With an on the flop, Hambitzer jumped way out in front and held on to eliminate Boukai in sixth place for $285,740.
It took more than an hour to eliminate the next player — an hour that saw a lot of chip swings. Kornuth lost and regained the chip lead a couple times, giving it up alternately to Hambitzer and Schulz. Through it all, Pastor hung on to the small stack, looking to ladder another position. Finally, Pastor woke up with and opened into Schulz’ , and after the inevitable three-bet, shove, and call, Pastor pocketed $280,720 for fifth place.
For another 90 minutes, the final four exchanged chips and the lead before Hambitzer was eliminated when he got his money in good. Hambitzer four-bet shoved ten big blinds with over Ventura’s open and a three-bet from Schulz. Ventura folded , but Schulz, with a massive stack and getting good odds, called with . Hambitzer was drawing dead on the turn when a came on both flop and turn. Hambitzer earned $482,820 for fourth place.
Kornuth got to the final table with fearless aggression as well as a laugh and a smile, and he didn’t let up. Throughout the final table, his chips were in play more than anyone else, and he held the chip lead and a small stack several times. When play got three-handed, he was a short stack to Schulz’ massive wall of chips, but he remained active and engaged at the table. When he finally got his stack in against Schulz with a dominating hand, he was the picture of sportsmanship as Schulz rivered a wheel to knock him out. Kornuth went out in third place with a smile on his face and $641,140.
Schulz went into heads-up play as the overwhelming chip leader, and he never really relinquished that spot. Diego Ventura battled valiantly for over an hour but in the end was unable to overcome Schulz, collecting $907,080 for second. Schulz made a great call on the final hand to take down the biggest cash of his career by far at $1,491,580 to go with the title of 2015 PCA Main Event Champion.
Ilkin Garibli Wins High Roller
At the same time the final six were playing down in the Main Event, the $25,000 High Roller came back for its final day with 11 players remaining. Leading the way on the final day was French Canadian Jean-Pascal Savard (pictured above), with 2014 WSOP Senior’s Champion Dan Heimiller and Ukrainian boss Oleksii Khoroshenin both close behind with over 2 million in chips.
Once the final table was set, it was Khoroshenin leading the way. Joining him there were Savard, Heimiller, Scott Seiver, Faraz Jaka, and Lee Markholt. The final table went longer than 10 hours before finally deciding a winner. Along the way, Heimiller finished in eighth for $162,700, Jaka pocketed $221,440 for seventh, and tournament beast Seiver took down fifth place for nearly $400,000.
Savard, our Canadian hope, made it all the way to fourth place, collecting $508,080. After Khoroshenin busted in third for $629,460, that left Ilkin Garibli heads up against Joe Kuether. The two players worked out a deal where both took home more than $1 million, and after a two-and-a-half-hour heads-up battle, Garibli was left holding the 2015 PCA High Roller trophy.