Late last night Peter Jetten won the $2,150 Open-Face Chinese tournament, the first of its kind, here at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. The Canadian claims the first scheduled Open-Face Chinese poker title having come out on top of a field packed with the game's most vocal - and high stakes - proponents.
The likes of Jason Mercier, Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu and Shaun Deeb, all of whom have blasted the Twittersphere with their love of the game, took part - although Scott Seiver was too busy winning $2,003,480 in the Super High Roller. Cross-booking and side bets were rife, as were re-entries, all 19 of them which helped to boost the prize pool up to $149,380. It's an astonishing figure for the debut of a tournament format (although some players from Miami claim an impromptu tournament with around six or seven players taking part, we at the PokerStars Blog are still going to consider this is the first official showing of tournament OFC).
The $52,380 first place prize will be a nice boost to Jetten's $2,057,110 career earnings but, as we found out from speaking to the man himself, it's not just about the money.
"I wasn't particularly motivated to be the first Open-Face champion but I was really interested to be involved at the start. Last year myself and a couple of friends invented this game called 19-19 which is a Chinese variant but Open-Face came along afterwards and kinda took over. I felt like I needed to get in the mix and be involved," said Jetten.
""I've only played for small stakes with friends on a plane, poker friends with brilliant minds but not necessarily brilliant Open-Face minds. I didn't have much experience in terms of the top ten players in that field... I'm a professional gambler which means I should make sensible gambling decisions but it also means that you should have a little fun and gamble it up sometimes. I knew there were some players that had been playing a tonne of Open-Face for high stakes in the tournament but I knew there were other players I would be better than also. I thought my chances were okay and I ended up winning, so it turns out to have been a pretty good decision," he said.
It was a pretty good decision which netted him $50,000. Winning aside, what did Jetten think of the game's transition from cash to tournament?
"It was extremely similar to whenever I've played with friends which is the sign of a good tournament, particularly when you're running something for the first time. There were some interesting components to it that favoured having very little chips. Say you only had two units you could lose 20 in a hand and be out of the tournament but obviously you don't have to pay the other 18 but you're still in the position to win the maximum. In a No-Limit tournament you can only double up the chips you have. That aspect is good for tournaments. Whenever you're making a decision it should always favour the short stack and the comeback. That's what is exciting about tournaments," said Jetten.
That and winning, of course.
PCA 2013 event #41
Date: 7 January
Game: Open-Face Chinese
Players: 59 (plus 18 re-entries)
Prize pool: $149,380
1. Peter Jetten, Canada, $52,280
2. Nikita Nikolaev, Russia, $32,860
3. Maslak Konstantin, Russia, $19,420
4. Maxim Panyak, Russia, $14,200
5. Florens Feenstra, Netherlands, $10,460
6. Melissa Burr, USA, $7,460
7. David Baker, USA, $6,720
8. David Bach, USA, $5,980
Jump through to the PCA Main Event coverage or take a look at how Scott Seiver won the $100,000 Super High Roller. Follow the @PokerStarsBlog Twitter account to keep up-to-date with all the PCA action.
Rick Dacey is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.