Ask a Team PokerStars Pro: McEvoy's Caribbean Adventure
Tom, how was your PokerStars Caribbean Aventure?
by Tom McEvoy
I recently got back for the Bahamas where I participated in the 5th annual PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. For the first time, this was part of the European PokerTour. Already we have broken all previous records for attendance and prize money for a European Poker Tour event. This is quite impressive all by itself, to say the least. As a member of Team PokerStars Pro, I get to have a great vacation at the fabulous Atlantis resort and casino while competing for millions of dollars in prize money. I know, I know, it's a tough job, but somebody has to do it. While there was some early speculation that the number of entrants would be slightly down from last year's record of 937, this was quickly proved incorrect. We beat last year's record by almost 200 players when 1136 players showed up to begin play. Opening day had to be spread over 2 days to accommodate the overflow, and some of the early added events had to be cancelled as a result.
When the smoke cleared a member of Team PokerStars Pro captured the main event and $2,000,000 in prize money. Bertrand Grospellier, better known as "Elky" on PokerStars, was the lucky winner and played tremendously down the stretch, especially at the last table. 2007 Player of the Year David Pham came to the final table with the chip lead, but eventually had his 2 pair knocked off by Elky's flush and had to settle for 4th. In addition to the main event there was 4 other events, with buy-ins ranging from $1,000 to $3,000. In the last event former marketing director of PokerStars Dan Goldman came in 2nd for over $30,000.
My own result was somewhat disappointing. I finished the first day with about $49,000 in chips. This was above average. Everyone started with $20,000 in chips with a great structure and relatively small blind increases every 75 minutes. I thought I was on my way to at least a money finish when I inched my stack up to around $63,000 on the 2nd day of play, but it was not to be. I lost a series of small pots and with the blinds getting higher and higher, I made one mistake on one hand and that was the end of my tournament.
The blinds were now $1,000 & $2,000 with a $300 ante. I was on the button with pocket 7's. There was a very aggressive player at the table who had been raising with a lot of marginal hands. He had just raised the previous hand for about the 3rd time in the last 4 hands. A player on my right called the initial raise of $4,500. I decided that now was the time to make my move. I was sure the player on my right would fold, as I had a rather tight image and he had been playing with me all day. It was just a question of whether the initial raiser, Mr. Loose Goose I call him, would fold or not.
When I re-raised I had about another $37,000 so I had fold equity. Unfortunately, he called rather quickly and I knew I was in trouble. The player on my right folded quickly as I expected and we turned are cards over before the flop. AAARRRGGGHHH this time he had a real hand, pocket kings. They held up and I got up. I had to settle for 270th place. Since they paid 120 I fell well short of the money. I kept thinking about last year when they decided to pay 180 players and I finished 182nd. I had AK vs 77 on a flop of K, K, 7, and failed to improve. Therefore, both years 77's were my unlucky hand. Oh well, I can hardly wait until next year's tournament. Next to the World Series of Poker main event this is my favorite tournament of the year.