Alex Venovski tops Pagano and Mattern to lead Day 2
In summing up the second day of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event here's what happened in the tournament room today.
Alex Venovski may not have planned to do so but finished chip leader on 194,000. Several people, like Phil D'Auteuil on 165,000 and Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano on 137,000 tried to catch him but none did.
Team PokerStars Pro Arnaud Mattern arrived at his table, sat down and promptly dubbed himself "the new ElkY" moving up to nearly six figures with ease. He finished fourth on the day on 136,000.
The other ElkY, the real one, arrived with a few minutes left on level one and got to work in what has proven to be his most profitable month, with past PCA main event and high roller wins making up more than a third of his career winnings. Numbers don't lie; he was a lock to return on day two and does, with 64,000.
Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier
In terms of their own winnings, players got a glimpse of what they were playing for, the 1,072-strong field amassing a prize pool of more than $10 million, and a first prize from that of $2 million.
The exploits of Grospellier and Dario Minieri were noted at the halfway mark, not their performances in live poker but online, from where they once came. They were two of an exclusive group of players that have amassed some five million VPPs on PokerStars, a landmark worth noting with the presentation of two specially engraved Tag Heure watches.
Bertrand Grospellier (left) and Dario Minieri examine their freebies
Elsewhere, while the Steelers of Pittsburgh were succumbing to the Tebow-ed Broncos of Denver on the big screen, Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree was playing offense and defence at the same time on one of the feature tables, as the lubricated Norwegian alongside sparred with her at the table and on Twitter, Boeree seeming to get the better of him on both. She returns with 34,000 tomorrow.
If Boeree was getting an earful Randy Lew was getting an eyeful.
Far away in the corner of the room, Lew, known by his Team PokerStars Online name 'Nanonoko', was busy playing eight hours of 40 tables to set a new Guinness World Record for the most hands played in eight hours. There was just one stipulation to this inaugural record, that Lew would finish the marathon in profit.
Randy Lew received official confirmation of his new World Record
He made it, comfortably as far as he was concerned, playing 23,493 hands and cashing $7.65. It's a great score for Lew who beamed as he was presented with his official Guinness World Record certificate, but that's still four cents short of a large bag of Funyuns from the Atlantis gift shop.
Yesterday's hero Viktor Blom returned to being Isildur1 today. Having played and then busted, Blom switched disciplines and, Tron-like, dived back into the internet to tear it up online.
As we predicted that Jason Mercier would reach a first PCA main event day two, the man himself defied us, departed some 20 minutes later.
There was company for him on the rail with several other notables also busting on day one. They included Jose Barbero, Pius Heinz (whose hoodie didn't prove as lucky as first thought), Vanessa Rousso, Daniel Negreanu, Andre Akkari, Eugene Katchalov and Jonathan Duhamel.
Some fared better, including Boris Becker and Kevin Thurman who will return tomorrow, their full chip counts and others available on the chips counts tab on this page. For now the day belongs to Venovksi. Alas it will likely be a short-lived celebration but there you go. Better than an early night with a bag of Funyuns.
Boris Becker being interviewed by Natalie Hof
Until tomorrow, you can read through the rest of today's coverage at the links below, starting with an early morning walk along the beach before we got a glimpse of what else was taking place in and around the tournament room, both on and off the tables, whether that was in the high stakes room, the smoking area or across the bridge and into Nassau. Then back inside and fighting out of Las Vegas Nevada, we found Heath Herring sticking around for a day of poker, then Luca Pagano, whose efforts at the table might just distract him from his troubles off it.
That should tide you over until tomorrow when we return for Day 2 of the main event. Until then it's goodnight from Atlantis.
All photography © Neil Stoddart and Joe Giron/www.joegironphotography.com