The $10,300 Main Event of the 2019 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure is one step closer to crowning a champion at the Atlantis Resort & Casino, as just six players out of a 865-entry strong field remain in contention at the end of Day 4.
The penultimate tournament day was all about the David "Chino" Rheem show, who soared to the top of the leaderboard and remained there until all six finalists bagged their chips. Rheem will enter the final day with 7,550,000, followed by Canadian online qualifier Scott Wellenbach (6,015,000) and accomplished poker pro Brian Altman (4,995,000).
Vicent Bosca may become the second Spaniard to win a major event at the festival in the Imperial Ballroom after the triumph of Ramon Colillas in the $25,000 PokerStars NL Hold'em Players Championship. Daniel Strelitz (2,355,000) and Pavel Veksler (2,035,000) also have plenty of room to maneuver with 29 and 25 big blinds respectively.
All remaining finalists have $297,020 locked up, but all eyes are set on the trophy, payday of $1,567,100 and the bragging rights that come along with it.
2019 PCA Main Event Final Table
|Seat||Name||Country||Chip Count||Big Blinds|
|2||Daniel Strelitz||United States||2,355,000||29|
|3||Chino Rheem||United States||7,550,000||94|
|4||Brian Altman||United States||4,995,000||62|
Action of the day
The day started with 20 hopefuls remaining and early play was rather cautious with several short stacks doubling up. Rajesh Vohra and former November Niner Bob Bounahra were the first to fall, followed by Danny Tang and Enrico Camosci. This set up the final two tables and Wellenbach, who had qualified for this event in a $500 satellite, was second in chips behind Matthias Eibinger after doubling through start-of-day chip leader Tommy Nguyen.
Joao Simao was eliminated by Christoph Vogelsang and Matt Berkey bowed out next. They were joined on the rail by Eibinger, who suddenly went from hero to zero and out in 14th place. Within three big hands, Rheem had taken all chips off Eibinger and established a commanding lead. First, he rivered the nut straight and got paid off, then scored a massive double when turning a full house against the flopped trips of the Austrian. Eventually, Rheem finished the job with seven-six suited versus pocket queens, as his flopped middle pair and flush draw went runner-runner straight to oust Eibinger.
Nguyen and Ami Barer became the next two casualties and Rheem then sent Christoph Vogelsang to the rail in 12th place. Over on the outer tables, the jovial Rheem had said he wanted to "win just one hand against the best" and sure did so on the feature table soon after. Down to 12 big blinds, Vogelsang three-bet shoved with king-jack and Rheem called with ace-five to hold up on a ten-high board.
Jeff Hakim missed out on the unofficial final table after failing to improve with king-trey suited against the ace-queen of Pavel Veksler and the remaining nine players combined to one table with Rheem at the top of the counts. It didn't take long for him to further cement the lead, but Scott Wellenbach closed the gap only for Rheem to pull further away when his ace-nine suited rivered a straight against the pocket tens of Simon Deadman to reduce the field to eight.
As many players headed into the dinner break and the penultimate level of the day brought no elimination either. In the final level of the night, Marc-Andre Ladouceur ran with pocket tens into pocket kings and a few minutes later the final six were set when Mihai Manole ended up second-best with king-ten suited against the queen-jack of Vicent Bosca.
Not only did Rheem bag the lead for the final day, but he also ensured a very jovial table chat from everyone with lots of banter and a very friendly atmosphere. Whether or not that will still be the case with a seven-figure payday is on the line remains to be seen.
All remaining six players will return to the feature table on Wednesday, January 16, 2019, as of 1 p.m. local time and there are just under 74 minutes left at blinds of 40,000/80,000 with an 80,000 big blind ante. The PokerNews team will provide hand-for-hand coverage until a winner is crowned.