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Maria Lampropulos Wins 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event

Argentinian Defeats Field of 582 Entries To Win $1,081,100 and Become The First-Ever Female PCA Main Event Champion


Maria Lampropulos has outlasted a field of 582 entries to win the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $10,300 no-limit hold’em main event, becoming the first ever female PCA champion. The 36-year-old Argentinian poker pro defeated a stacked final table to secure the $1,081,100 first-place prize, the second seven-figure score of her career. She now has more than $2.7 million in career live tournament earnings. Lampropulos also won her way into the PokerStars Players No-Limit Hold’em Championship in 2019, earning a Platinum Pass to the PSPC worth $30,000 as the champion of this event.

“I feel very, very happy. I know that it’s incredible. It’s great,” she told PokerStars reporters after coming out on top.

In addition to the title and the money Lampropulos also earned 2,100 Card Player Player of the Year points, taking the early lead in the 2018 POY race. She is now second on the Argentinian live tournament earnings list, sitting behind only her boyfriend, WSOP bracelet winner Ivan Luca. The two incredibly finished first and second in a €1,100 buy-in tournament back in 2016, outlasting a field of 682 entries together.

“I am extremely grateful for the people who believed in me, especially my boyfriend. Ivan always trusted me and helped me to improve and grow. Whenever I had doubts about how I’d played a hand, he helped me regain my confidence by telling me that I can get it,” Lampropulos said after winning this event.

Lampropulos entered the final day of this event in third chip position with six players remaining. She scored the first knockout of the day when her pocket sixes won a race against Christian Rudolph’s AClub Suit8Diamond Suit, sending him to the rail in sixth place with $229,760.

2007 World Poker Tour Mandalay Bay main event champion Shawn Buchanan facilitated the next two eliminations, including busting 2017 Card Player Player of the Year winner Adrian Mateos in fourth place ($372,600). With that Buchanan took the chip lead into three-handed play with Lampropulos and high roller tournament regular Koray Aldemir. The young German pulled off a huge bluff on Buchanan to take the lead before the dinner break, and seemed to have momentum on his side until Lampropulos doubled through him when he shoved QHeart Suit10Heart Suit from the small blind and she called with the KDiamond Suit8Heart Suit in the big blind, flopped an eight and had that hold up. Aldemir was left short after that, and a few hands later Buchanan sent him to the rail in third place with $481,560.

Buchanan began heads-up play with more than a 2-to-1 chip advantage and was able to extend that lead to roughly 4-to-1 before Lampropulos mounted a comeback. She got all-in with the AHeart Suit8Spade Suit and flopped an ace against Buchanan’s pocket fours to find her first double up. Two hands later she was all-in with the AHeart Suit10Club Suit against Buchanan’s pocket nines and again paired her ace to win the pot, this time taking the lead. A few hands later Buchanan limped in from the button and then called Lampropulos’ all-in with the KHeart Suit5Spade Suit from the big blind. Lampropulos held the 10Club Suit7Club Suit. Both players flopped a pair when the 10Spade Suit9Club Suit5Heart Suit rolled off, but the 2Heart Suit on the turn and 9Heart Suit on the river did not improve Buchanan to the best hand and he was eliminated in second place, earning $672,960.

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

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Maria Lampropulos $1,081,100 2,100
2 Shawn Buchanan $672,960 1,750
3 Koray Aldemir $481,560 1,400
4 Adrian Mateos $372,600 1,050
5 Daniel Coupal $293,560 875
6 Christian Rudolph $229,760 700
7 Oleg Titov $169,920 525
8 Adalfer Morales Gamarra $116,860 350
9 Patryk Poterek $92,020 175

Photo credit: Neil Stoddart / PokerStars.