Featured in this article:
  • Early Levels Take Out ‘TayPaur’
  • Raymond Hits the Rail
  • Dattani Wins After Rollercoaster Ending

5 Minute Read

Michel Dattani won the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event for a career-high score of $1.3 million.

The 2023 PokerStars Caribbean Aventure may not be over – there’s still the epic return of the PokerStars Players Championship (PSPC) to come – but the PCA Main Event has been won. Taking place for the first time in four years, the title was won by Portuguese player Michel Dattani after a heads-up deal with his compatriot Pedro Neves.

Early Levels Take Out ‘TayPaur’

It was a hugely successful return to the PCA Main Event after four years with an eventual prizepool of a staggering $8.6 million meaning there would be two millionaires when play concluded on Sunday evening. The official final table was eight-handed, and when the tournament made it that far, a minimum of $181,900 was guaranteed.

As it happened, the first player to lose their seat was Taylor Paur, known colloquially as ‘TayPaur’ to his friends. The American, one of only two at the final table of eight, was all-in pre-flop with ace-king, only for his caller, Russian professional and former Super MILLION$ winner on multiple occasions Artur Martirosian to flip over pocket nines. Those held through the board to reduce the field to seven.

Out in seventh place, and the last player to bust on the penultimate day of play, Day 5, was Greek player Alexandros Kolonias. He moved all-in with ace-jack and was licking his lips when Pedro Neves called from the big blind with ace-seven. The flop of T-9-7 turned that on its head, however, with the Portuguese player moving ahead. Suddenly, Kolonias was the ma needing help and while a jack was joined by the eights in terms of outs, the four on the turn and ten on the river were no good. Kolonias busted for $236,500 instead of running deep.

Raymond Hits the Rail

The elimination of Kolonias brought about the final table, with Neves leading the field from Canadian Alexandre Raymond. Others such as Martirosian, Michel Dattani and Chris Csik all made the final table in good chip health, but Jamil Wakil needed a lot of help, beginning the final day with just seven big blinds.

Some of the play earlier in the tournament was in favor of the biggest names, with Sergi Reixach on Day 3 one of many who thrived. The final day took off like a rocket, however. It took just a single hand to reduce the field from six to five and while it was Wakil who busted for $307,500, it was another unfortunate elimination for the player who was ahead at the start of their final hand in the tournament. Wakil held king-jack off-suit, but Chris Csik’s queen-jack, although behind, was in diamonds. They counted for everything when the flop came full of them, all three cards coming in the perfect suit for Csik, drawing Wakil dead to an inconsequential queen on the turn and deuce on the river.

Despite taking out Wakil, Csik was next to be taken out of contention. All-in for his tournament life with the best hand as well, his pocket kings couldn’t survive against Raymond’s ace-jack. That hit the flop of A-Q-2 square in the face and after the nine on the turn, only one of two kings would save Csik and that didn’t arrive on the ten river, sending the highest-ranked American player home in fifth place for $399,800.

Dattani Wins After Rollercoaster Ending

Four-handed, it was anyone’s title, but Dattani had a slim lead with 7,260,000 chips a three-bet ahead of Martirosian with 7,225,000. Pedro Neves sat in third place at that stage with 6.3 million chips, slightly ahead of Raymond with 5.85 million. That situation only got worse for Raymond when he walked into a monster in a cooler of an elimination. Raymond’s pocket queens were simply no match for Neves’ pocket kings and with all the chips in the middle pre-flop, a jack-high board sent the Canadian home with a consolation fourth-place prize of $519,600.

With two Portuguese players left and one Russian, it was Martirosian who couldn’t catch the two leaders from one country. After a period of play when Neves lost out with kings to Dattani’s aces to give the latter a big lead, the Russian shoved with queen-nine and lost to Dattani’s ace-jack when the board of 8-4-3-8-A board unnecessarily gave Dattani another pair of aces to send Martirosian home with a score of $677,400.

Heads-up, Dattani and Neves agreed a deal that saw Dattani bag the bigger amount and he went on to win the title as he got it all in with the worst of it but managed to overcome his countryman in the final hand. Dattani’s ace-five of clubs managed to hit runner-runner clubs on turn and river to make the nut flush against the superior starting hand of Neves’s ace-jack. That condemned Neves to the runner-up result of $1,183,037 and led to PokerNews announcing that Michel Dattani had won the 2023 PCA Main Event for $1,316,963!

2023 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event Final Table Chipcounts:

Place Player Country Prize
1st Michel Dattani Portugal $1,316,963*
2nd Pedro Neves Portugal $1,183,037*
3rd Artur Martirosian Russia $677,400
4th Alexandre Raymond Canada $519,600
5th Christoph Csik U.S.A. $399,800
6th Jamil Wakil Canada $307,500
7th Alexandros Kolonias Greece $236,500
8th Taylor Paur U.S.A. $181,900

 

Dave Consolazio

Dave Consolazio has been passionate about writing and sports journalism since his high school years. He has a degree in Broadcast Journalism from USC where he worked with the school's radio and television stations. His work has been featured in SportsbookReview, Sports Illustrated and SB Nation. Dave's experience ranges across multiple fields in the gambling industry. You can find his sports, casino, and poker articles in GambleOnline.co.

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