The final table of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) Super High Roller has been reached and there is a Canadian at both the top and bottom of the overnight chipcounts. Overnight, 34 players were in the mix. By the close of play, only half a dozen hopefuls remained in with a chance of taking home the $1.5 million top prize. Two of those players hail from Canada.

Race to the Money

The penultimate day of action in the opening event of the 2023 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, the $100,000-entry Super High Roller tournament was a dramatic one. With just seven players being paid, the second day of action was all about getting towards the money.

A total of 49 entries meant a prizepool of over $4.7 million, and a surprise player to bust early was the man in second place on the all-time money list, Bryn Kenney. It might be argued that Kenney’s arrival at the event was made with the attendance of Justin Bonomo in mind as both men took to the felt yesterday. Kenney, however, couldn’t survive to make the money, busting to Juan Pardo’s pocket kings when holding king-queen after losing a lot of his chips to ‘The Cowboy’, Dan Smith.

Justin Bonomo had the opportunity to cash himself, but would eventually bust in 14th place, seven places short of the money and the opportunity to extend his lead over Kenney in the all-time money list. Dan Smith busted soon after Kenney, with his pocket queens losing out to ace-ten belonging to Ben Heath, a painful ace on the river sending Smith to the rail.

Other Big Names Fall Short of Profit

With only seven places paid, there were two dozen players who didn’t really get close. Busting in 33rd place, Russian poker professional Artur Martirosian lost out in his pursuit of live glory. Steve O’Dwyer busted following Martirosian’s exit and he was followed by other big players, as Nick Petrangelo and Joao Vieira both left before the final 25 players were reached.

As well as Dan Smith’s belated exit, he was joined on the rail by Mikita Badziakouski, Patrik Antonius and Sean Winter, whose run to winning the opening event in the 2023 PokerGO Cupdid not help him cash again in this super high roller tournament. When the overall winner of the PokerGO Cup’s leaderboard, Cary Katz busted in 19th place, just a dozen players needed to exit for those remaining to get into profit. Following the bust-outs of WSOP bracelet winners Byron Kaverman, Orpen Kisacikoglu, the aforementioned Bonomo and Aleks Ponakovs, just two tables remained.

British player Stephen Chidwick had ended Day 1 as the short stack of the remaining players, but he managed to last a long way on Day 2, only to crash out just before the money bubble. Chidwick, who is the most successful tournament player ever to come from the United Kingdom, ran king-queen into Pardo’s ace-nine and while a flop of J-T-3 gave the Brit hope with an open-ender to go with his picture cards, he couldn’t hit again and slid out of contention.

Ben Heath Bubbles, Spanish Duo Shine

With eight players remaining, only one player needed to bust to put everyone else into the money. As it happened, that player was another British professional, Ben Heath. He shoved with pocket nines for just under seven big blinds and was called and defeated by Adrian Mateos who held pocket jacks.

Timothy Adams scraped into the money, finishing in seventh place for $249,600 – a fine return on $100,000 in anyone’s book – when he fell to Seth Davies. Adams was the aggressor, open-shoving around 12 big blinds with jack-six of hearts, only to run into Davies’ king-queen of spades. The board of T-7-2-3-8 was no help at all to the Canadian, meaning that only two of his compatriots would make the final.

As the dust settled on the day, six players were distilled in the record books as coming in pairs from the United States, Canada and Spain. The chip leader at the close of Day 2 is Mike Watson, just as it was a day earlier when he led the field at the close of Day 1. He has 3,015,000 chips, good for 60 big blinds, but it is a field of shallow stacks, and Juan Pardo (2.2 million) is only 16 bigs behind the leader.

Elsewhere in the field, Mateos bagged up 2,035,000 (41 big blinds) and will fancy his chances of adding another major victory to his stunning career CV. Others, such as Seth Davies (1,870,000), Isaac Haxton (1,645,000) and short stack Daniel Dvoress (590,000) will all want to have their say in opposition to that ambition.

2023 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Super High Roller Final Table Chipcounts:

Position Player Country Chips Big Blinds
1st Mike Watson Canada 3,015,000 60
2nd Juan Pardo Spain 2,200,000 44
3rd Adrian Mateos Spain 2,035,000 41
4th Seth Davies U.S.A. 1,870,000 37
5th Isaac Haxton U.S.A. 1,645,000 33
6th Daniel Dvoress Canada 590,000 12


Arthur Crowson

Arthur Crowson writes for about the gambling industry. His experience ranges from crypto and technology to sports, casinos, and poker. He went to Douglas College and started his journalism career at the Merritt Herald as a general beat reporter covering news, sports and community. Arthur lives in Hawaii and is passionate about writing, editing, and photography.

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