After months of hype, promotion, and hundreds of Platinum Passes awarded, the PokerStars No Limit Hold’em Players Championship kicked off on Monday in the Bahamas as part of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA).
The event drew 1,003 players on Day 1, including more than 400 Platinum Pass winners. Players can still register on Day 2 as well, so the player pool should swell even more.
When the action concluded Monday, Chris Moorman and Tony Tran ended as chip leaders, both with 356,000 chips.
“I feel awesome, cool and relaxed,” Tran told USPoker . “I’ve never cashed in a $25,000 event, but I’ve only played in two other $25,000 events prior to this one.”
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Tran, Moorman lead the field in PSPC
The PSPC has been months in the making, actually longer when considering a COVID break. What originally had been planned for Barcelona, Spain , in 2021, was eventually moved back to the Bahamas . That included the revival of the PCA.
So far, players seem pleased with the tropical poker vibes and return to the PSPC action. PokerScout is at the event and speaking with players throughout the week.
Like Tran, Moorman (pictured in lead image courtesy PokerStars/Manuel Kovsca) was pleased with his run through the tournament. At one point he’d been down to only three 5,000 chips but was able to find a big bag by the time the day’s action concluded.
“Rolled back the years and bagged the chip lead for Day 1 of the PSPC,” he noted on Twitter.
Spun up a stack in the last couple of levels in the #25kPSPC @ACR_POKER pic.twitter.com/MlhA4PanL8
— Chris Moorman (@Moorman1) January 31, 2023
Some of the other players returning for Day 2 include Josh Arieh, Martin Zamani, Canadian PokerStars ambassador and streamer Arlie Shaban, three-time WPT champion Eric Afriat, Dario Sammartino, Sean Winter, Fedor Holz, Jeremy Ausmus.
Ramon Colillas, winner of the 2019 PSPC, also is back for the second day of action. He described Day 1 as a bit difficult but was looking to rebound.
Pasé a dia 2 del PSPC Bahamas, en un día bastante complicado. La media esta en unos 90k. Intentaremos arrancarlo bien hoy desde el inicio #daleRamon @PokerStars @PokerStarsSpain pic.twitter.com/U4OCgJmbsz
— Ramon Colillas (@Mr__Boxes) January 31, 2023
Michel Dattani takes down PCA Main Event
The PSPS obviously wasn’t the only major event of the series. The $10,000 PCA Main Event played out over the last week with Portugal’s Michel Dattani taking the title for $1.3 million.
The event saw 889 entries from 58 countries, producing a prize pool of $8.6million. This became Dattani’s first major tournament win and he now has total live tournament winnings of $2.4 million.
“I’ve played 40 main events and I’ve never passed Day 3,” he said, “So it’s hard to believe I’m here right now.”
Fellow Portuguese player Pedro Neves finished runner-up for $1.2 million after the two players reached a deal. Getting to the title didn’t come without some struggles and six long days of action.
“The competition was tough,” he said afterward. “My opponents were very good. But I think I played well and the cards helped a lot. We need to run good to win these kinds of things!”
Here’s a look at the final table payouts.
2023 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event
- Michel Dattani, Portugal – $1,316,963
- Pedro Neves, Portugal – $1,183,037
- Artur Martirosian, Russia – $677,400
- Alexandre Raymond, Canada – $519,600
- Christoph Csik, United States – $399,800
- Jamil Wakil, Canada – $307,500
A look at some other event winners
The winners keep coming at the PCA including several major recent events. That included the $10,200 PSPC Warm Up, with American Jesse Lonis scoring the victory for $367,400. The event produced a field of 162 entries for a $1.6 million prize pool.
In the $10,200 Mystery Bounty, Canada’s Andrew Chen secured a nice title and $144,800. This marked his third cash of the series.
In the $1,100 No Limit Hold’em Freezeout, Germany’s Christian Dressler found the win for $46,880. Argentina’s Nicolas Betbese Pueta took the title in the $1,100 DeepStack for $74,980.