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EPT -- Poorya Nazari Wins the 2009 Poker Stars Caribbean Adventure

The Canadian Wins $3 Milllion in the Bahamas


PCA Treasure ChestThe final eight players at the 2009 European Poker Tour PokerStars Caribbean Adventure returned to the Imperial Ballroom at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas to play for the 10th-largest poker tournament top prize in history today. The massive field of 1,347 players made this event the largest ever hosted outside of the United States, and it also created a top prize worth $3 million. The final eight had accomplished much to make it this far, and even though they were each guaranteed to walk away with at least $214,000 -- the stakes and tension couldn't be higher.

The early going was rough on the Americans and poker professionals at the final table. Kevin Saul (eighth), Dan Heimiller (seventh), Dustin Dirksen (sixth), Pieter Tielen (fifth), and Team PokerStars pro Alexandre Gomes (fourth) fell during the first three hours, leaving a big oppurtunity for a new face to emerge in the world of poker, and Benny Spindler held almost twice the amount of both his opponents combined when three-handed play began.

The three-handed battle proved to be the major stretch at the final table, lasting five hours. The final three players continued trading chips as players doubled up, and action was slow otherwise. Spindler eventually fell in third place, and Canadian Poorya Nazari took an almost 2-1 lead into the heads-up match against American Anthony Gregg. In the end, it was Nazari who won the $3 million after a heads-up battle that lasted only four hands.

Here is how the major action played out at the final table, as featured in's live updates:

The final table began just after 1:30 p.m. EST, and here were the chip counts at the start of play:

1. Alexandre Gomes (Brazil) -- 8,080,000
2. Poorya Nazari (Canada) -- 6,790,000
3. Benny Spindler (Germany) -- 3,352,000
4. Pieter Tielen (Netherlands) -- 2,310,000
5. Anthony Gregg (USA) -- 2,245,000
6. Kevin Saul (USA) -- 1,640,000
7. Dan Heimiller (USA) -- 1,440,000
8. Dustin Dirksen (USA) -- 765,000

Kevin SaulKevin Saul Eliminated in Eighth Place ($214,000)

Poorya Nazari and Kevin Saul found themselves all in preflop. Saul was covered and in trouble with the worst hand.

Saul: K J
Nazari: Q Q

The board ran out J 8 7 3 2, and Saul's pair of jacks wasn't enough to give him the double up. Saul was eliminated in eighth place and earned $214,000.

Dan Heimiller Eliminated in Seventh Place ($300,000)

Dan HeimillerDan Heimiller moved all in, and Poorya Nazari isolated with an all in behind him. That didn't work, and Anthony Gregg snap-called all in after that. They all showed down pocket pairs.

Heimiller: 5 5
Nazari: 8 8
Gregg: 9 9

The board came K J J 6 7, and Heimiller was eliminated. Gregg's hand held up to triple him up to over 3 million in chips, and Nazari took a slight hit to his chip lead.

Dustin Dirksen Eliminated in Sixth Place ($400,000)

Dustin DirksenBenny Spindler raised to 300,000, and Dustin Dirksen reraised to 825,000. It was folded around to Spindler, and he moved all in, having Dirksen covered. Dirksen called quickly, and the players turned up their hands.

Dirksen: A K
Spindler: 10 10

The board came Q J J 6 3, and Spindler's tens held up to send Dirksen home in sixth place. He earned $400,000 for his final-table performance.

Pieter TielenPieter Tielen Eliminated in Fifth Place ($550,000)

Benny Spindler raised to 300,000, and Pieter Tielen moved all in for 2.4 million.

Spindler sighed a bit and made the call as both players showed their holecards.

Spindler: 8 8
Tielen: A Q

The board came out safely for Spindler in the form of 10 7 6 5 K, and Tielen was eliminated in fifth place. Spindler now has 9.7 million and the chip lead.

Alexandre Gomes Eliminated in Fourth Place ($750,000)

Alexandre Gomes raised preflop, and Benny Spindler made the call.

The flop came J J J, and Gomes continued with a bet of 535,000. Spindler raised to 1,350,000, and Gomes called.

Alexandre GomesThe turn was the 5, and Gomes checked. Spindler bet 2 million, and Gomes quickly raised all in. Spindler called and showed the bad news with the K J for quads. Gomes showed the next-best hand with A A.

The inconsequential river was the Q and Gomes was eliminated in fourth place. Spindler now sat with a massive chip lead and nearly 17 million in chips.

Ironically, Gomes' betting pattern was nearly identical to the one he employed the night before against Kevin Saul, when he also held aces on a board showing trips. This time, he failed to mix up his play, and Spindler picked up on the strength of his hand. This allowed him to play his flopped quads fast and for maximum profit.

Poorya NazariPoorya Nazari Takes the Lead

Anthony Gregg made it 245,000 to go from the button, and both Benny Spindler and Poorya Nazari made the call in the blinds. The flop was dealt K J 7. Spindler bet 250,000 from the small blind, and both players called. The turn fell 3, and Spindler bet 550,000. Nazari raised to 1,450,000 total, and Gregg got out of the way. Spindler made the call, and the river card was dealt 8. Spindler checked, and Nazari moved all in for 4,590,000. The clock had expired into the dinner break at this point, and Spindler decided to make the call. He turned over K 3, and Nazari showed down K 8. Nazari doubled on the hand to take the chip lead into the dinner break with 13,590,000, and Spindler was knocked down to 10,435,000.

 Dinner Break Chip Counts

Poorya Nazari -- 13,590,000
Benny Spindler -- 10,435,000
Anthony Gregg -- 2,865,000

Anthony Gregg Doubles Up

Anthony Gregg moved all in for just under 2 million, and Poorya Nazari made the call.

Gregg: K J
Nazari: A 5

The board came 10 9 5 J 7, and Gregg's pair of jacks was enough to double him up to 4 million.

Anthony GreggGregg Doubles Up Again

Anthony Gregg and Benny Spindler found themselves all in on a flop of J 8 7.

Gregg: J 7
Spindler: K 6

The turn and river came 9 6, and Spindler failed to hit his outs. Gregg doubled up again, and he moved into second place with 8.3 million. Spindler held 6 million.

Benny Spindler Eliminated in Third Place ($1,100,000)

Benny Spindler Benny Spindler moved all in preflop for 4.9 million, and Poorya Nazari made the call. Their cards:

Spindler: Q J
Nazari: A J

Board: K 4 3 10 K

Spindler was eliminated in third place, and he will take home $1.1 million in prize money.

Heads-up Chip Counts

Poorya Nazari -- 17,685,000
Anthony Gregg -- 9,210,000

Poorya NazariAnthony Gregg Eliminated in Second Place ($1,700,000)

Anthony Gregg found himself all in and behind against Poorya Nazari.

Gregg: Q 7
Nazari: A 10

The board ran out 10 6 5 3 9, and Gregg was eliminated in second place, earning $1.7 million for his runner-up performance.

Poorya Nazari Wins the 2009 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure ($3,000,000)

With the safe 9 on the river, Poorya Nazari is the 2009 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure champion. The Canadian fought hard all week long and topped a massive field for $3 million in prize money.

Here are the final-table results:

  1. Poorya Nazari -- $3,000,000
  2. Anthony Gregg -- $1,700,000
  3. Benny Spindler -- $1,100,000
  4. Alexandre Gomes -- $750,000
  5. Pieter Tielen -- $550,000
  6. Dustin Dirksen -- $400,000
  7. Daniel Heimiller -- $300,000
  8. Kevin Saul -- $214,000