PCA: Day 1b Draws Large Field, Ashton Griffin Leads

Ashton Griffin takes the overall chip lead of the tournament.

The second of two starting flights of the PokerStars.net Caribbean Adventure Main Event has came to close. The Day 1b field more than doubled the Day 1a field with 649 and 320 players respectively, combining for a field of 987 total entrants. There were 151 survivors on Day 1a and 374 on Day 1b and the full 525 player field will combine for Day 2. Ashton Griffin leads the overall field after bagging up 253,700.

Trailing Griffin are Michael Mizrachi (216,900), Greg Mueller (181,100) and Simon Higgins (181,100). Giacomo Fundaro, Matt Waxman, Steve O’Dwyer, Olivier Busquet, Joe Serock, Carlos Mortensen, Jake Cody, Dwyte Pilgrim and Anthony Gregg managed to build healthy stacks.

Those moving on but without bag-busting stacks include Phil Hellmuth, Eli Elezra, Dan Smith, Michael Phelps, Victor Ramdin, David “Doc” Sands, Angel Guillen and Jeff Gross.

It wasn’t good news for everybody though Tom Dwan, Ben Lamb, Scott Seiver, Daniel Alaei, Marvin Rettenmaier, Chris Moneymaker, Jason Mercier, Huck Seed, Timothy Adams, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Shane Schleger, Jonathan Duhamel, Shaun Deeb, Harrison Gimbel and Vanessa Selbst were all eliminated in the day’s action.

The tournament room was packed wall to wall with poker celebrities, but some real star power also traveled to Atlantis to play. Olympic champion Michael Phelps joined Antonio Esfandiari and Gross to play in his major Main Event. Jason Alexander, “Seinfeld’s” George Costanza, also took to the felt today. Alexander did not make it through the day but Phelps will return for Day 2.

Grospellier’s tournament came to a close when Ivey opened to 1,300 in early position, two players called and then Grospellier three-bet to 5,250 from the small blind. Ivey called, the other two players folded and the flop came 8 K 9. The Frenchman led for 4,400, Ivey raised enough to put Grospellier all in and he called. Ivey flopped a set holding pocket eights and Grospellier held A K. The board finished 2 T and the pot moved Ivey to the top ten chip counts.

Defending champ John Dibella was eliminated after a hand with Fabian Quoss. Dibella and Quoss went to a flop of [Jx] [5x] [2x], Dibella checked, Quoss bet 1,000 and Dibella check-raised to 3,000. Quoss re-raised all in and Dibella called with Q 9. Quoss flopped two pair with with 5 2 and Dibella never caught up and was eliminated.

An interesting turn of events occurred when 2012 BLUFF Player of the Year Marvin Rettenmaier late registered and was and the same table as runner-up Dan Smith. Smith wasn’t left empty handed after his stellar year, he won the GPI Player of the Year honors. It all came to head in Prague where Rettenmaier took the lead in one of the last events of the year.

Hellmuth was seated at the feature table for most of the later part of the day and was never at a loss for words. He scored a key double up in the last level of the day when he moved all in preflop holding A K. An unknown player called holding A J and the board ran 4 2 Q 3 6. “Kid! Never leave a great player alive,” Hellmuth said to his opponent.

Top Ten Chip Counts for Day 1b PCA Main Event

  1. Ashton Griffin – 253,700
  2. Michael Mizrachi – 216,900
  3. Greg Mueller – 181,100
  4. Simon Higgins – 181,100
  5. Giacomo Fundaro – 165,700
  6. Kilian Kramer – 147,500
  7. Olivier Busquet – 130,000
  8. Joe Serock – 130,000
  9. Owen Crowe – 130,000
  10. Shawn Buchanan – 129,000
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Paul Oresteen

Senior Writer: Paul Oresteen originally joined BLUFF in 2008 as an intern. He covered two World Series of Poker’s before leaving to join PokerNews.com. After a two year hiatus Oresteen returned to BLUFF in November 2012. Since starting as a poker journalist Oresteen has covered the World Series of Poker, WSOP Circuit, World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour. He graduated from Georgia State University with a B.A. in Communications in 2008.
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