PCA 2013: Corina Lupascu wins 2013 PCA Women's Event

The Women's Event at the 2013 PCA was exciting from start to finish. A starting field of 66 players was reduced to only six on the first day of play, and those finalists returned on Sunday, January 13, to play to the end.

Initial chip counts of Day 2 were as follows:

Seat 1: Bernadette Martino (65,800)
Seat 2: Valerie Jensen (129,900)
Seat 3: Lexy Gavin (79,000)
Seat 4: Jamie Kerstetter (106,300)
Seat 5: Corina Lupascu (100,000)
Seat 6: Marguerite Spagnuola (179,600)

Action was strong from the beginning, as Kerstetter took substantial pots from Gavin and Lupascu to chip up. Gavin and Martino then got involved, and Martino pushed with pocket eights on a 2-3-K-8 board, and Gavin called all-in with pocket queens. She caught the queen on the river and doubled, leaving Martino with little more than 4K.

Martino then doubled through Gavin with pocket nines versus 10-9, then doubled through Lupascu with A-J over pocket tens with a flopped jack. Yet again, she risked it all with A-K against the A-5 of Spagnuola and held up for another double.

That was only Level 13.

Gavin lost some chips to Martino, and then Gavin got involved with Jensen. Gavin raised UTG to 6200, and Jensen called from the big blind. The flop of 6♦Q♦3♣ prompted Jensen to bet 15,000 and Gavin moved all-in with A-2 of diamonds. Jensen called with K-Q, and the board ended with Q♥7♠ to eliminate Gavin in sixth place. Her rail included Jesse Sylvia and Russell Thomas of WSOP Main Event final table fame, and they walked with her to collect her $3,200.

Lexy Gavin - Day 2 - 3.JPG

Martino then put her stack at risk again, this time with A♦4♦ on a flop of K♠Q♣A♠, and Jensen called with Q♠J♠. The turn was 6♦ and river was 5♠, making the flush for Jensen and eliminating Martino in fifth place with $4,480.

Bernadette Martino - Day 2.JPG

Jensen was the overwhelming chip leader at that point, though Kerstetter was able to garner a pot worth 100K going into Level 15. Spagnuola doubled through Jensen to lighten Jensen's load of chips, at which point Jensen joked in good spirits that she could finally have some room to move without those chip stacks in the way.

But Jensen came back. She took A♥A♣ into battle for her stack of about 140K against the A♦Q♦ of Kerstetter, and the board blanked to give Jensen the double and leave Kerstetter with about 15K. Just as Level 16 began, Kerstetter pushed all-in with 8♠5♥, and Lupascu called with K♦T♠, only to improve on the K-K-4-A-2 board. Kerstetter had to leave in fourth place to collect $6,080.


Lupascu was on a roll and doubled through Spagnuola with A-6 over A-3 on a 9-5-5-6-3 board. Lupascu climbed to more than 150K. Spagnuola found her opportunity in Level 17 to double as well, pushing with Q-9 against the Q-J of Jensen and hitting the river of the 5-6-Q-6-9 board to double up.

Jensen was fairly short-stacked at that point and made her move with 5♦5♠ against the A♥K♦ of Spagnuola, and the board came A♦A♠8♥Q♣8♦. Jensen departed in third place with husband Greg, her supporter on the rail throughout the day. She went to cash out for $8,320 and donate it to charity. That story will follow in our winner post.

Valerie Jensen - Day 2.JPG

Spagnuola had the chip lead going into heads-up against Lupascu, and action kicked off near the start of Level 18, with blinds at 4K/8K with a 1K ante. Spagnuola initially had a stack of more than 450K, but Lupascu took a series of pots and then doubled through her opponent. On a board of 9♥4♥A♦7♦, Spagnuola pushed all-in with 4♠4♣, and Lupascu called all-in with 6♦9♦ and hit the J♦ on the river for the flush and double-up.

That left Spagnuola with approximately 65K, which she pushed all-in with 7♥6♥. Lupascu called with A♦9♣ and only improved on the board of K♠2♣8♠9♥Q♣. Spagnuola accepted second place and left the tournament room with her supportive sister to collect $14,080.

Marguerite Spagnuola - Day 2 - 3.JPG

Corina Lupascu was full of smiles as she was dubbed the PCA Women's Event champion. With a hug from a friend and others, she controlled her emotions but never stopped smiling as she posed with her trophy, winning cards, and all of the tournament chips.

Congratulations to Corina from PS Women! We will have more of Corina's story in the winner's article coming soon.


The final payouts were:

1st place: Corina Lupascu $22,420
2nd place: Marguerite Spagnuola $14,080
3rd place: Valerie Jensen $8,320
4th place: Jamie Kerstetter $6,080
5th place: Bernadette Martino $4,480
6th place: Lexy Gavin $3,200
7th place: Xuan Liu $2,880
8th place: Tracy Rouse $2,560

Photo credits and thanks to Carlos Monti.

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Jennifer Newell is a PokerStars freelance contributor.

Jen Newell
@PokerStars in PS Women