A little after midnight this morning, nine high rollers were sitting around a table when suddenly a lightning bolt struck. It came in the form of a pair of aces, in the possession of Shaun Deeb, a lethal combination that Micah Raskin had no way of knowing about.
At the same time Raskin had found a pair of fives that he felt convinced were good enough to take on anything. The chips went in and Deeb showed his cards. Raskin, hardly flinching, did nothing but grind his teeth and pay him off.
That hand put Deeb in front and shook Raskin to his bare bones. With only a handful of big blinds it seemed logical that Raskin would fall in ninth place, ending the day. But there's something about Raskin that defies logic. Instead he doubled up, and it was Chris Klodniki's exit that decided the final table.
It's that final that awaits us today, the last day of play at the tenth anniversary PCA, with the television cameras capturing everything, which you can see for yourself on PCA Live. All manner of records are at stake but chief among them is the prospect of Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Selbst becoming the highest earning woman in poker history. That happens if she finishes fifth or higher. Here's who she's up against.
Seat 1: Shaun Deeb - (2,536,000)
Shaun Deeb, 26, from the United States, enters the final table in front with more than 25 per cent of the chips in play. Deeb has amassed nearly $1.9 million in career live tournament earnings, including a runner-up finish in the $5,000 Bounty Shootout ($75,000) held at the 2011 PCA. His largest cash to date came in the star-studded, $25,300 mega satellite into the $1 Million Big One for One Drop this past summer, where he finished runner-up to earn a tournament buy-in. The event was capped however, so Deeb pocketed the million dollars. His previous biggest live win came in Kyiv, where he won the three-handed €20,000 High Roller Event in 2009. Deeb is well known for his dominance on the virtual felt. In 2012 he won four SCOOP titles and has two WCOOP bracelets to his name. He has also won an FTOPS jersey.
Seat 2: Vladimir Troyanovsky - (1,625,000)
Vladimir Troyanovsky, 39, from Russia, enters the final table second in chips. Troyanovsky has already had success at this year's PCA, finishing seventh in the $100,000 Super High Roller ($257,580). Prior to that Troyanovsky's largest career cash was for $29,983, earned in the 2012 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event where he finished 27th.
Seat 3: Ole Schemion - (1,227,000)
Ole Schemion, 20, from Germany, enters the final table fifth in chips. Schemion is the youngest player at the table but has already amassed more than $2.1 million in live tournament earnings, winning the 2012 Masters Classics of Poker in Amsterdam for $368,895, before winning the 2012 Partouche Poker Tour Main Event, worth $1,474,671.
Seat 4: Mike Watson - (1,620,000)
Mike Watson, 28, from Canada, enters the final table third in chips. No stranger to success in high rollers, Watson won the €50,000 Majestic event at the 2012 World Series of Poker Europe, earning $1,304,648, and finished runner-up in the €50,000 Super High Roller at EPT Barcelona, earning $490,847. Back in 2008, Watson finished third in a £20,000 High Roller event at the European Poker Championships, taking home $441,295.
Watson's largest cash to date came in July of 2008 when he won the $15,000 Bellagio Cup, worth $1,673,770. He has over $5.3 million in live career tournament earnings, and the Canadian has already seen a small bit of success here at the 2013 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, finishing 14th in a $5,000 side event for $16,080.
Seat 5: Bryn Kenney - (484,000)
Bryn Kenney, 26, from the United States, enters the final table seventh in chips. Kenney final tabled the 2011 PCA $100,000 Super High Roller, earning $643,000 for his third-place finish. It was his largest cash to date, nearly tripling the $255,242 he earned for finishing 28th in the 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event.
Kenney has more than $2.4 million in career live tournament earnings, and has seen a lot of success on the virtual felt under the screen name "BrynKenney."
Seat 6: Micah Raskin - (389,000)
Micah Raskin, from the United States, enters the final table as the short stack. When play was nine-handed he played a 2.4 million-chip pot with Shaun Deeb, calling Deeb's all-in on a board of 7♠2♦9♣8♦ holding just 5♥5♦. Deeb had that crushed with A♦A♠, which held when the 2♣ completed the board.
Raskin has amassed more than $1.3 million in career earnings, with his largest cash coming in 2009, when he won a Borgata $500,000 guaranteed ($320,231). He also finished sixth at EPT Sanremo last October for €312,000. At the 2011 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, Raskin finished sixth in the $10,000 High Roller for $39,575, and at the 2012 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, he took second in a $2,000 bounty event for $23,850.
Seat 7: Tobias Reinkemeier - (876,000)
Tobias Reinkemeier, 25, from Germany, enters the final table sixth in chips. Since 2010, Reinkemeier has reached the final table of seven high roller events, winning one; the €25,000 High Roller at the 2010 PokerStars EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo ($1,272,698). In 2012 alone Reinkemeier finished fifth in the €50,000 Majestic High Roller at the World Series of Poker Europe, second in the €100,000 Super High Roller at the EPT Grand Final, and third in the €10,000 High Roller at EPT Barcelona.
Reinkemeier has more than $4.2 million in career live tournament earnings, and is looking to best his sixth-place finish in the 2010 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $25,000 High Roller event.
Seat 8: Vanessa Selbst - Team PokerStars Pro (1,512,000)
Vanessa Selbst, 28, from the United States, enters the final table fourth in chips. In 2010, Selbst finished fourth in the £20,000 High Roller event at EPT London, which is one of twelve six-figure scores on her résumé. Selbst of course won both NAPT Main Events held at Mohegan Sun in 2010 and 2011, earning a total of $1.2 million, and took down the 2010 Partouche Poker Tour Main Event, pocketing $1,823,430.
With a fifth-place finish or higher, Selbst will take first in the all-time money list for female players, passing Kathy Liebert by a few thousand dollars.
Play officially starts now but you can watch it all for yourself on PCA Live, complete with whole cards. It should be a great day of poker.
Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter