2010 PCA: D'Angelo and Duthie's change of plans
This was the day for the files of "men who were supposed to be somewhere else."
Ryan "g0lfa" D'Angelo had an appointment today. He was scheduled to have both of his wrists fitted with gold World Championship of Online Poker bracelets, his token prize to go along with the thousands of dollars he won for crushing not one, but two WCOOP events last year. There is an exclusive reception tonight for him and his fellow 2009 WCOOP winners. On any normal day, that would be the biggest thing on D'Angelo's calendar. Instead, he ends Day 4 of the 2010 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure with a 7,483,000 stack and as the runaway chip leader.
And then there is John Duthie. If the name does't ring a bell, you don't know very much about the European Poker Tour. Duthie is the man who created the EPT and grew it the behemoth baby it continues to be. In that time, Duthie has not once sat his rear end in an EPT chair for the purposes of playing a tournament. This year at the PCA, however, Duthie decided to take a seat and play. Now the man who also claims membership on Team PokerStars Pro goes into Day 5 with 5,304,000, the second biggest chip stack.
Both men were probably supposed to be somewhere else on Day 4. D'Angelo could've been off having cocktails with Slash and all the other celebs. Duthie could've been off pointing at things around the room and making them better with the mere suggestion of improvement. Instead, they are the men with the chips. They join 22 other players who will return here Sunday afternoon to play down to the 2010 PCA final table (PCA chip counts).
Day 4 began with 62 players and the potential for an early end. While it didn't go fast, the pain wasn't overly delayed for the 38 people who gave up the ghost. Among them were a host of names you know: Team PokerStars Pros Johnny Lodden and Florian Langmann; Huck Seed; Liz Lieu; Bill Gazes; Alex Brenes and many others who will have to settle for a bundle full of cash and the wait for the 2011 PCA Main Event (2010 PCA winners).
There are many threads running through this story and we're not sure where any of them lead yet. There are two, though, that we can't omit from this report.
If you've been following the coverage since the beginning this year, you know that Wayne Bentley finished Day 1A with the chip lead at 329,500 chips. The 28-year-old former truck driver and army man drives a cab back home, but plans to put an end to that if he can put together enough money here. He then went on to Day 2 and finished third in chips. Day 3 was a struggle, but he still came out with half a million. When play began today, it looked like our story might be coming to an end. Bentley's stack was picked apart in just about every possible way and he was at one point down to fewer than 80,000 chips. We were just about to sign his death warrant when he began to rally. At day's end, Bentley is swaggering away with 2,878,000 and a shot at the final table.
And then there is the Fabulous Growing ROI story in the form of Darren Keyes. Keyes is no stranger to live events. He was part of Team Moneymaker a couple of years ago at the World Series of Poker and, most recently, made the final table of the LAPT event in Playa Conchal, Costa Rica. Keyes remains in the field tonight as the player with the best possible return on investment. He got his seat here through one of PokerStars' Mega-Path satellites. He started his journey for 75 Frequent Player Points and worked his way up the ladder. Now guaranteed $75,000, it's almost impossible to calculate his ROI. It's somewhere in the 4,000,000% range. Is he excited?
"I may not look it, because I'm tired, but yeah I am," he told us at the end of play..
Those are the stories as we end this day of play. The vagaries of tournament poker could change everything by this time tomorrow, but tonight we're leaving it there. It's enough to hold the story until we return Sunday at midday.
If you'd like to start handicapping the rest of the field, here's a complete look of how they stack up on our PCA chip counts page. If you'd like to see everyone who has cashed so far, please head on over to our 2010 PCA winners page.
Not enough for you? Well, here's how the Day 4 went down, blow by blow, tear by tear, drop of blood by drop of blood.
Despite the winnowing field and scope of nationalities, our foreign correspondents are still click-clacking away at their keyboards. You like the hurdy-gurdy talk? Go Swedish. If that doesn't do it for you, we also have German, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese straight out of the mind of a Brazilian. That should be more than enough to keep you busy.
As always, a tip of the hat to our tireless and well-preserved photographers Joe Giron and Neil Stoddart.
We hate to leave you this early in the night, but our eyes and notebooks are required elsewhere. The PokerStars party featuring Kelly Rowland kicks off tonight at 9pm. If you are around, we'll be the pasty, pudgy white guys dancing like nobody's watching.