The Main Event of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) may still be a couple of days away, but the action on Paradise Island is already well underway thanks to the $100,000 buy-in Super High Roller event.
In the weeks leading up to PCA, many wondered if there were that many players who could really afford to play in such a high buy-in event. Skeptics suggested the tournament wouldn’t even fill two tables, but the tournament actually started with five tables thanks to a turnout of 38 players.
Even without Team Full Tilt players like Phil Ivey and Tom “durrrr” Dwan in the field, there were still plenty of players and tons of big names, including BLUFF Player of the Year Sorel Mizzi, Team PokerStars Pros Jason Mercier, Daniel Negreanu, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, and Humberto Brenes, and top online grinders like Andrew “luckychewy” Lichtenberger, Scott Seiver, Jason Somerville, Vivek Rajkumar, and James “ANDY McLEOD” Obst, just to name a few.
One amateur drew an especially large amount of attention. After a long absence from the tournament poker world, Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte returned to the felt for the big buy-in event, but failed to last through the end of Day 1 of play.
It actually took less than a level for a player to hit the rail, even though players started with 250,000 chips and blinds at 500/1,000. Coen Berende ran pocket kings into Nick Schulman’s pocket aces to bust midway through Level 1 and give Schulman the early chip lead. Other early eliminations included David “Bakes” Baker, Tom Marchese, Hoyt Corkins, and Scott Seiver.
One of the most notable bustouts out of the day is Viktor Blom. PokerStars refused to confirm whether or not the online pro is the mysterious Isildur1, though the virtual lobby for the event on PokerStars did list Isildur1 as one of the players registered in the event. Isildur1 will be officially unveiled on the 8th with a live 100-hand heads-up duel against Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, but Blom’s appearance in this event is yet another sign that Blom is our Mystery Swede.
Blom arrived late and left early after tangling with Rajkumar in the following hand: Rajkumar raised to 12,500 at the 2,500/5,000 ante 500. Blom popped it to 25,000 from the cutoff, Rajkumar called, and they went heads-up to a flop of A97. Rajkumar bet 14,000 and Blom called. Rajkumar checked the 9 on the turn and Blom bet out 32,000. Rajkumar check-raised to 65,000 and Blom called. The river brought the 3 and Rajkumar moved all-in, having Blom’s remaining 116,000 covered. Blom tanked for a few minutes before calling. Rajkumar flipped over K9 for trip nines and Blom quietly made his departure.
Of the 38 runners, only 23 survived the first day of this three-day event. In the waning stages of play, Bryn Kenney and Negreanu were battling for the chip lead and, but it was Tobias Reinkemeier who ended the day with a chip leading 896,000 after eliminating Dan Shak in the final level of the night. Negreanu was behind him with 848,000, while Kenney rounded out the top three with 828,000.
Negreanu may have fared well today, but he readily admitted that this tournament is a lot harder than your typical High Roller event. “It’s tougher, for sure,” he told BLUFF. “Some of those $25K events get up to 100 players. There were a lot of guys who wanted to play this, but were on the fringes. This event only gets the guys that are running good or have the bankroll.”
Negreanu’s estimation of the competition makes sense when you consider that the other big stacks heading into Day 2 include Reinkemeier, Kenney, Nick Schulman, Daniel “jungleman12” Cates, and Eugene Katchalov. Those guys and the other Day 1 survivors will be back at 12PM on Friday for Day 2 of action and BLUFF will be on hand to capture the action. For up-to-the minute updates, be sure to follow @bluffmagazine on Twitter.
Here are the top ten chip counts from the end of Day 1 in the Super High Roller event:
1. Tobias Reinkemeier – 896,000
2. Daniel Negreanu – 848,000
3. Bryn Kenney – 828,000
4. Nick Schulman – 705,000
5. Daniel Cates – 622,000
6. Eugene Katchalov – 551,000
7. Andrew Lichtenberger – 494,000
8. Vivek Rajkumar – 483,000
9. Jason Mercier – 459,000
10. Caio Pimenta – 409,000
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