PCA 2012: PokerStars qualifier Drover making mark

PCA-2010-thumbnail.jpgA message wings its way to PokerStars Blog HQ here at the PCA. "Get some coverage of Mark Drover already. Kid is killing it!" This was one of his friends from back home in Newfoundland, Canada. Always willing to please, we set about investigating Drover, who it turns out is one of three close friends who all qualified for the Main Event on PokerStars, and who are having a ball this week.

And although Drover had indeed been chipping up nicely, he has just knocked out Team PokerStars Pro Jan Heitmann and also Bill Chen in quick succession to shoot to over two million chips. He's now very much in contention toward the top of the chip counts.

One of his friends, Stephen Hickey, who is sweating Drover's table, takes up the story. "Mark, Doug Gosse and I all qualified on PokerStars and came here together from St John's in Newfoundland. Mark is the last one still in and is doing really well here."

mark_drover_pca_4.JPG

Mark Drover

Hickey explained that Drover is taking a masters in political science at Memorial University back in Newfoundland, and that although he plays a lot of mid-stakes tournaments on PokerStars, this is his first big live event score. Four Venetian finals and one WSOP side event finish have earned him live winnings $34,497, a total that will be more than doubled here. With 35 left, he's guaranteed $41,000 but looking good for a much bigger score.

All of that will be after making it to the Bahamas for much less than the $10,000 buy-in; he made it up to Step 5 on PokerStars in order to play the $700 qualifier.

Wrapped in a grey hoodie and sunglasses on the secondary feature table, Drover, 24, is now sitting behind towers of chips. Some 250,000 of those came from Heitmann. The German had raised, and Drover 3-bet to 85,000. Heitmann made a move, shoving for his remaining stack. Call.

Drover: A♦8♥
Heitmann: Q♠9♠

Heitmann was behind, but not by as much as he may have feared. But the board ran 5♣7♦A♣K♥[10c] to send the chips Drover's way. More were to follow when he busted Bill Chen, and Drover now sits in the likely top 5 of the chip counts.

jan_heitmann_pca_4.JPG

Jan Heitmann

"He's doing really well," explained Hickey. "We're all here following him on the rail, but it's been a great week whatever happens. It's our first PCA and has been everything I imagined and better - although the beer is a little expensive!"

If Drover continues in this fashion, let me tell you that the price of a beer at Atlantis will not be troublesome at all.