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$10 Million Guarantee Met On Day 1B of 2014 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event

Shankar Pillai Tops The Chip Counts After Day 1B

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For the first time event the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure featured a guaranteed prize pool in 2014, and this was not just some small token guarantee: PokerStars insured that players in the main event would be battling for their share of at least a $10,000,000 prize pool.

The PCA $10,300 buy-in main event has consistently been one of the largest tournaments of the year, drawing more than 900 players every year since 2007, with a high point of 1,560 entrants in 2011. The 2013 running drew 987 players, so it seemed like a sure thing that the $10 million guarantee would be meet this year.

And then winter storms and freezing cold swept across North America, causing massive delays and cancellations that left many players stranded at airports or stuck at home. Possibly as a result of those travel problems Day 1A of the main event had a somewhat low turnout of 295 players. That meant that more than 705 players would have to play on day 1B in order to avoid an overlay.

Atlantis Paradise IslandIn fact, 710 turned out, meaning that the guarantee was indeed surpassed.

Card Player spoke to David Carrion, PCA & Latin American Director of Live Poker Operations, about day 1B’s success.

“We had a very dedicated and detailed plan regarding how we promoted the event. The real risk, in terms of having a good number, was the cash buy-ins from the United States. So when the weather delays started it was like, ‘uh oh.’ But it is not so much about having to put up the money to meet the guarantee, but about fulfilling player expectations,” Carrion continued. “They want it to be big, and you want people to be happy and have a good experience. So it’s very thrilling to see it all coming together. We are still getting players arriving today after days of flight delays.”

Carrion also gave his thoughts on the continued success of this event over 11 years.

Day 1B chip leader Shankar Pillai“We were trying to make this PCA as accessible as possible, compared to previous years. I think that worked out well, and at the end of the day any event that grows these days is a success, but in a $10,000 event in a place like the Bahamas, it’s just remarkable. The event remains really relevant in the yearly calendar around the industry and we are thrilled to be able to continue to build on what we learned this year.”

From the 710 that played on day 1B only 448 survived to day 2, joining the 184 from day 1A to make 632 for day 2. The end of day chip leader was Shankar Pillai with 173,900. Other notables who survived the day with large stacks include Noah Boeken (117,000), 2012 PCA main event champion John Dibella (115,000), David “ODB” Baker (112,000) and Antoine Saout (105,000).

Here is a look at the top 20 chip counts from the end of day 1B

Rank Player Chip Count
1 Shankar Pillai 173,900
2 Rens Feenstra 148,400
3 Timothy Reilly 124,000
4 Kunal Patel 123,000
5 Noah Boeken 117,000
6 John Dibella 115,000
7 David “ODB” Baker 112,000
8 Antoine Saout 105,000
9 Daniel Weinman 104,000
10 Simon Higgins 97,000
11 Jude Ainsworth 96,000
12 Peter Jetten 96,000
13 Caio Pessagno 95,000
14 Greg Merson 90,000
15 Mateusz Moolhuizen 90,000
16 Slyvain Loosli 85,000
17 Zo Karim 80,000
18 Lily Kiletto 80,000
19 Bobby Oboodi 80,000
20 Jonathan Little 78,500