Day 5 of the 2015 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event dragged on far longer than any of the previous days, but the stakes grew ever higher throughout the day as players fell one by one.
With a final flurry just before the stroke of midnight, the final six players were confirmed and the stage was set for an epic conclusion Wednesday afternoon. After another dominating day Chance Kornuth carries the chiplead into the final table with 7,860,000 as things went his way for the majority of Day 5.
“I’ve had a pretty health stack for pretty much the entire tournament,” said Kornuth shortly after the chip bags came out. “I got lucky with, maybe, 150 players left and I got a pretty big suckout. Coasting might be the right word – winning a lot of small pots, having the nuts in big pots. I even had a set where I would have called 3 million more on the river and the guy didn’t shove [with a rivered flush].”
Kornuth’s had a lot of good fortune so far in this tournament, and while a victory would be huge for him he’s already enjoyed much of his run so far.
“It would be an amazing step in my future with my fiancée,” said Kornuth, “A little financial security and three times my biggest score. It’s surreal. Yesterday was already the greatest poker day I ever had – I got to play with Ronaldo all day. I’m a huge soccer fan.”
After a double up late in the day, Kevin Schulz took out the final two players – and he’s by far the closest to Kornuth’s stack with 6,155,000. Diego Ventura (3,980,000), Niklas Hambitzer (3,100,000), Juan Martin Pastor (2,655,000) and Rami Boukai (780,000) round out the 2015 PCA Main Event final table.
The final table seemed miles away at the start of Day 5, with only one-third of the 24 players who started destined to make the final table. Mayu Roca was the first to fall, with Tim Reilly close behind in 23rd after running pocket eights into Maurice Hawkins’ Q Q. Noah Schwartz came into the day the shortest stack of all, and after good chunks of battling through such a detriment on Day 4 and Day 5, he was ultimately destined to fall in 22nd after running pocket queens into Jim Collopy’s pocket aces.
Collopy wasn’t far behind as his fate was 21st; his A Q was no match for Kornuth’s A A. Kornuth also picked off Felipe Ramos in 18th with quad queens against a boat, and the chips just kept piling up for him as Day 5 rolled along. With the fall of Juan Etcheverry, a former chipleader in this event, in 17th place, the final two tables were redrawn.
Maurice Hawkins was blinded down to almost nothing and eventually fell in 16th. Scott Baumstein four-bet all in in a battle of the blinds with K J and became another victim for Kornuth and his A Q as the board bricked out. Emrah Cakmak four-bet all in with K Q but Ventura beat him into the pot with A A – and with a dry board the field was reduced to 13.
The better hand kept holding and Pratyush Buddiga got himself an elimination as A Q bested Ratharam Sivagnanam and his A 9. Eugenio Mattar shoved a flop of A T 3 with A J, but Boukai had A T for a flopped two-pair with A T. Two blanks and the last Brazilian in the field – the man who dispatched Ronaldo on Day 4 – was out in 12th.
Benjamin Pollak fell below 10 big blinds but picked up just the hand you’d want at that point – A A. Buddiga called with 2 2, but he found an ideal flop as it came down T 7 2; his set held, and Pollak’s ouster in 11th put the field one elimination away from combining to a single table.
Shyam Srinivasan had a chance to be the first player to make back-to-back PCA Main Event final tables, but he fell short in brutal fashion. He open-shoved the button for 750,000 with J J, Schulz called in the big blind with A 7, and the 9 6 3 5 4 runout gave Schulz a straight to knock Srinivasan out in 10th.
The final nine were reseated at the featured table, but no one would go out before they took a 75 minute dinner break. Uwe Ritter got crippled just after they returned from eating, and lost the rest in a coinflip as his 7 7 couldn’t hold off Kornuth’s K Q on a K 8 6 flop.
Though they had officially set the final table of eight, they played on in an effort to reach six players for the tournament’s final day. Things stagnated for some time eight handed, but after a couple of days near the top of the counts Buddiga started to slide towards the bottom.
Schulz got a double when Buddiga committed himself with A T against Schulz’s A Q, and then Hambitzer and Buddiga played a flip for over 3 million. Buddiga’s A K connected on the K 9 3 and had Hambitzer’s Q Q on the brink, but a Q river changed everything and put Buddiga in the bottom half with eight left. Kornuth took another chunk, and Buddiga was suddenly left with less than 20 big blinds.
There were a number of shrinking stacks at this point and Dylan Linde was the first to take a stand. He three-bet shoved for 1.9 million and Schulz called – setting up a race between Schulz’s T T and Linde’s A K. The board ran out clean for Schulz, and Linde was out in eighth place.
On the very next hand Buddiga shoved for 1.4 million from under the gun and again it was Schulz making the call. Buddiga’s A J paled in comparison to Schulz’s A A until a J 8 6 opened up a world of outs. The 7 turn and 8 river were blanks however, and after a long period of playdown the final day’s lineup was set in a flash.
The final six return to battle it out for the title and $1,491,580 at 1 pm ET Wednesday, with a live stream of the action with hole cards set to stream on PokerStars.TV on a one hour delay.
2015 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event – Final Table Chip Counts
- Chance Kornuth – 7,860,000
- Kevin Schulz – 6,155,000
- Diego Ventura – 3,980,000
- Niklas Hambitzer – 3,100,000
- Juan Martin Pastor – 2,655,000
- Rami Boukai – 780,000
- Pratyush Buddiga – $203,420 (out)
- Dylan Linde – $140,900 (out)
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