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Cary Katz Wins 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $100,000 Super High Roller

47-Year-Old American Defeats Field of 48 Entries To Win $1,492,340


Cary KatzCary Katz has won the first major poker tournament in 2018.

The 47-year-old founder of College Loan Corporation defeated a field of 48 entries to win the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $100,000 super high roller no-limit hold’em event. Many may classify the Las Vegas, Nevada resident as a businessman and an amateur poker player, but the $1,492,340 he earned as the champion of this event brings his lifetime live tournament earnings to an impressive $13.6 million.

“I won some high rollers before but this is definitely the most prestigious one so I’m very proud of it,” Katz told PokerStars reporters after emerging victorious.

In addition to the title and the money, Katz also earned 600 Card Player Player of the Year points for the win. As a result, he will be one of the early leaders in the 2018 POY race.

Katz entered the final day of this event as the second lowest chip count with seven players remaining. He survived to four-handed play as the short stack. At that point it seemed that Bryn Kenney was going to run away with the event, sitting behind roughly two-thirds of the chips in play. Kenney also has a dominant history in this event. He has cashed in this tournament four times, including two third-place finishes and a title run in 2016. He had already accumulated $3,479,740 in earnings in this event prior to 2018, more than any other player. Despite his chip lead and an apparent “home court” advantage, Kenney lost several key all-in pots to eventually hit the rail in third place for $686,960.

Bryn Kenney“I felt it was definitely Bryn’s tournament. I think he just got really unlucky at the end. Nobody played better than Bryn this tournament. He definitely outplayed me,” Katz told PokerStars reporters.

After losing several big pots to Katz and giving him the lead, Kenney’s elimination ultimately came at the hands of Justin Bonomo, who had also sent all-time tournament earnings leader Daniel Negreanu to the rail (4th – $521,140). Katz began heads-up play with 6,695,000 to Bonomo’s 5,305,000. The final showdown lasted only seven hands. Katz made quad sevens over Bonomo’s sevens over aces to take a substantial lead, Katz then sealed the deal by winning a race with the 8Diamond Suit8Club Suit against Bonomo’s AClub SuitKHeart Suit. The board ran out 9Heart Suit3Spade Suit2Spade SuitQSpade SuitJHeart Suit and Katz’s pocket eights held up to secure him the pot and the title. Bonomo earned $1,077,800 as the runner-up, increasing his career earnings to more than $19.1 million.

This final table was live streamed on PokerStars TV, which is broadcasting for eight straight days from the 2018 PCA. Check out the schedule for the rest of the week’s action here. Five Platinum Passes to the 2019 PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship are going to be won by players during the 2018 PCA, but fans of the live stream should know that a sixth $30,000 package that can be won without playing a single hand. Fans interested in a shot at the PSPC Platinum Pass need to follow along with PokerStars TV’s broadcasts throughout the week for a chance to win. More details will be made available on the stream.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Cary Katz $1,492,340 600
2 Justin Bonomo $1,077,800 500
3 Bryn Kenney $686,960 400
4 Daniel Negreanu $521,140 300
5 Ivan Luca $402,700 250
6 Isaac Haxton $307,940 200
7 Samuel Greenwood $248,720 150

Photo credits: Neil Stoddart/PokerStars.