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Will Molson Wins PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $25,000 High Roller Event

After Two Runner-Up Finishes in a Row in this Event Molson Takes Home the Victory

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Will MolsonThe final day of play at the $25,000 high roller no-limit hold’em event at the 2011 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure welcomed back a dozen players from the record field of 151 players. They were all gunning for the handsome top prize worth $1,072,850 and Team PokerStars pro Jason Mercier was the chip leader when play began with 1,023,000. Here is a look at the chip counts when play began:

Jason Mercier, Team PokerStars Pro – 1,023,000
David Baker – 853,000
Max Lykov, Team PokerStars Pro – 835,000
Govert Metaal – 792,000
Leo Fernandez, Team PokerStars Pro – 784,000
Thomas Marchese – 728,000
Erik Seidel – 632,000
Brandon Steven – 571,000
Will Molson – 526,000
Matt Marafioti – 385,000
Shander de Vries – 325,000
Matt Affleck – 95,000

Matt Affleck was the first player to fall on the short stack. He moved all in shortly after play began with A-Q. Mercier made the call with 9-8 and hit an 8 on the flop to send Affleck home in 12th place. Newly crowned Card Player Player of the Year Thomas Marchese was the next player to bust in 11th place a while later. His K-9 fell to the pocket fives of Shander De Vries. Brandon Steven was dominated when he moved all in with A-8 in the hole against the A-K of Team PokerStars pro Leo Fernandez shortly before the first break and he was sent home in 10th place. After that the field settled in for a nine-handed final table. Here is a look at how the chips and players sat at that juncture:

Seat 1: David Baker, 560,000
Seat 2: Jason Mercier, 324,000
Seat 3: Govert Metaal, 755,000
Seat 4: William Molson, 645,000
Seat 5: Leo Fernandez, 2,050,000
Seat 6: Max Lykov, 1,548,000
Seat 7: Matt Marifioti, 355,000
Seat 8: Shander de Vries, 654,000
Seat 9: Erik Seidel, 625,000

It took all of five minutes to shrink the field to eight players after cards got back into the air. De Vries moved all in with K-8 preflop and Erik Seidel held a dominating hand with K-Q. The hand held and De Vries fell in ninth place. Mercier had a tough run on the final day of this event and it only got worse when he busted in eighth place. He moved all in with Q-6 and Govert Metaal made the call with pocket sevens. Matt Marafioti took the honors for seventh place next in a classic race situation. His A-Q found no help on the board against the pocket eights of Fernandez.

Fernandez and fellow Team PokerStars pro Maxim Lykov were at the top of the leader board at that point and they were quite active with their big stacks during a stretch of play with no eliminations. Fernandez then (A-Q hit a Queen on the turn) eliminated David “Bakes” Baker in sixth place (pocket fours). Will Molson got in on the act next by taking out Govert Metaal in fifth place.

Molson had finished second in the previous two years of this event and when play got to four handed he seemed poised to match or top that finish this year. He helped his cause by eliminating Seidel in fourth place. Molson held pocket fives against the A-Q of Seidel and Molson won the race against the noted multiple gold bracelet winner. That pot gave Molson more than half of the chips in play heading into three-handed play.

Fernandez kept moving all in at that point and he used the move repeatedly while the chip counts evened out among the final three. Molson then made things a lot more uneven when he eliminated Lykov in third place in a battle of poker pairs. Lykov was all-in preflop with pocket sixes and Molson held the lead with pocket tens. The board ran out 8-7-5-5-J to send Lykov home with $369,490.

Team PokerStars pro Leo FernandezMolson took a 3-1 chip lead in the final match, but Fernandez quickly caught fire and doubled up to take himself away from the danger zone. He moved all in with 2Club Suit 2Heart Suit and Molson made the call with KHeart Suit QDiamond Suit. The board ran out AClub Suit QClub Suit 9Heart Suit 2Diamond Suit 8Spade Suit and Fernandez doubled up to 3 million while the remaining rail went wild with excitement. Molson still held the lead with 4.5 million, but that would change the next time Fernandez moved all in.

This time he pinned his tournament hopes on 9Club Suit 7Spade Suit. Molson looked like a lock to win this event after two runner-up finishes when he work up with QDiamond Suit QSpade Suit. The board hit the table KDiamond Suit 9Club Suit 7Spade Suit JDiamond Suit 5Spade Suit and it appeared that either Molson was cursed or Fernandez was very lucky. Either way, Fernandez stormed into the lead with over 5 million.

Molson then took his turn to double up and even out the chip stacks. He held KHeart Suit JHeart Suit in the hole against the pocket fives of Fernandez. The board ran out 10Heart Suit 6Heart Suit 2Spade Suit 8Heart Suit 3Spade Suit and Molson avoided elimination. After all of that excitement the final two players went on a short break and Fernandez held a short lead when they returned.

That lead diminished when Fernandez moved all in preflop with ASpade Suit 3Club Suit at the wrong time. Molson quickly called all in with pocket aces and they held to double him up to a huge lead with 7 million. Fernandez wasn’t going to go away quietly though. He moved all in with QClub Suit 7Spade Suit and Molson made the call with ASpade Suit 5Club Suit. The board rolled out KClub Suit 7Heart Suit 6Club Suit 5Heart Suit 4Diamond Suit and Fernandez climbed back to 2 million. Fernandez made one final stand with JDiamond Suit 2Heart Suit. Molson held the lead with ADiamond Suit 5Spade Suit in the hole and the board settled the matter when it fell 7Club Suit 5Heart Suit 3Diamond Suit KHeart Suit QHeart Suit. Fernandez took home $554,925 for his resilient runner-up performance.

Molson was crowned the champion of the tournament and he has solidified his place as one of greatest high-roller tournament performers on the planet. This year he took home the top prize worth $1,072,850. Two years ago he battled Team PokerStars pro Bertrand Grospellier but came up short, taking home $228,000. He took second once again last year and impressed many with his consistency despite falling to the champion, William Reynolds. He took home $322,075 last year. This year he did the unthinkable, not only making the heads-up final for a third year in a row, but winning the tournament. He has now earned $1,622,925 lifetime at PCA high roller events.

Final Day Results:

1: William Molson, Canada, $1,072,850
2: Leo Fernandez, Argentina, Team PokerStars Pro, $554,9253: Max Lykov, Russia, Team PokerStars Pro, $369,490
4: Erik Seidel, USA, $295,960
5: Govert Metaal, Netherlands, $240,470
6: David Baker, USA, $203,475
7: Matt Marafioti, Canada, $166,480
8: Jason Mercier, USA, Team PokerStars Pro, $129,480
9: Shander de Vries, Netherlands, $110,985
10: Brandon Steven, USA, $110,985
11: Tom Marchese, USA, $92,490
12: Matt Affleck, USA, $92,490