PCA 2013: PCA main event players
The final eight players of the 2013 PCA main event will sit down at 1pm ET to fight for the championship. Here's a look at what they bring to the table.
Seat 1: Joao Nogueira, 21, Penefiel Portugal - PokerStars qualifier - 2,890,000
Joao Nogueira is a 21-year-old air conditioner installer from Lagares, Penefiel, Portugal, a small town in the northern part of the country that's home to only 2,500 people. Nogueira won his seat to the PCA in a $10 qualifier on PokerStars and is playing is his first live tournament. He's hoping to use part of his winnings to throw a massive party for everyone he knows, including his girlfriend, Diana, who couldn't make the trip because of school requirements.
Seat 2: Dimitar Danchev, 26, Plovdiv, Bulgaria - PokerStars qualifier - 1,995,000
Dimitar Danchev qualified through PokerStars in a $700 qualifier, and the 27 year old has been playing poker for over five years with more than half of that time as a professional. He generally doesn't play too many tournaments and prefers to concentrate on cash games. His choice of game is no-limit Hold'em cash games, and he regularly plays online.
In October of 2011, Danchev netted his largest live score ever when he final tabled the European Poker Tour Sanremo Main Event. There, he went on to finish in second place behind Andrey Pateychuk and took home a cool €600,000 after the two struck a deal.
Since his massive result in Italy, Danchev has added another $161,113 to his live tournament record. He has already surpassed the $1 million mark for career live tournament earnings and is top of the Bulgarian All-Time Money list. Some of his other notable results include a 20th-place finish in the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino EPT Grand Final of last season for €40,000 and a 31st-place finish in this season's EPT Sanremo Main Event for €19,000.
Danchev has the chance to bring Bulgaria its first EPT title, and he'll surely be aiming to finish one spot better than he did in Sanremo in 2011 in order to snatch up the victory.
Seat 3: Andrey Shatilov, 30, Nizhny Novgorod, - PokerStars Supernova Elite - 3,220,000
Russia's Andrey Shatilov already has a solid list of previous live event cashes, including a win at an event in the Dominican Republic in 2012 worth $108,000. This will be the 26-year-old's first major final table however, and his biggest cash to date. He's currently sitting in 120th place on the Russian All Time Money List, but victory in the PCA Main Event would instantly land him in 10th place, amongst the highest-earning players the country has ever produced.
Seat 4: Owen Crowe, 30, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada - PokerStars player - 2,900,000
Owen Crowe is a 30-year-old Canadian professional poker player hailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Crowe has tournament earnings that date back as far as 2005, but he truly burst onto the poker scene during the 2008 World Series of Poker. Crowe's 15th place finish out of 6,844 runners in the 2008 WSOP Main Event earned Crowe an incredible payday of $436,201. Since then Crowe has had tremendous success at the WSOP by making four final tables over the past four years. Despite his tremendous success, Crowe has been unable to earn a major tournament victory. He came the closest to attaining this goal in 2010 when he took 2nd place in Event 45: $1,000 No Limit Hold'em which, while it did not earn him a bracelet, did allow him to pocket $300,494 in prize money.
Since breaking onto the poker scene Crowe has been able to amass $1,797,915 in total live tournament winnings. Couple that with his massive success online playing under the name "ocrowe" over PokerStars and other sites and you have one deadly opponent. Crowe has felt the pressure of a final table before which may provide him with a significant edge over some of his opponents as he embarks on what could be the final steps of his journey to his first major tournament win.
Seat 5: Jerry Wong, 30, Plattsburgh, Brooklyn, USA - PokerStars player - 7,400,000
Jerry Wong didn't get a shred of sleep prior to Day 5 - a mosquito took up residence in his room and bit him all night. Tired though he was however, it didn't seem to have any effect on the 30-year-old's performance. Hours later Wong was soaring into the chip lead and takes the advantage into the final table.
Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Wong graduated from Plattsburgh University last year with a degree in finance but considers himself to be a professional poker player, with results stretching back five years. His biggest result to date came in 2008 at the World Poker Finals in Mashantucket. Whatever result Wong records in the PCA 2013 final, it will be a new best.
Seat 6: Jonathan Roy, 25, Boucheville, Quebec, Canada - PokerStars player - 1,525,000
Jonathan Roy closed out 2012 with a bang as he won the World Poker Tour Montreal Main Event for a payday of $755,601. There, he defeated a record field of 1,173 players to win the title and the largest score of his career.
Roy is good friends with Team PokerStars Pro Jonathan Duhamel, who was on his rail for Roy's big win in Montreal. We expect Duhamel to be sweating Roy hard from the rail here in the Bahamas as well.
Formerly an online player, the 25-year-old Roy has been transitioning into live poker a bit more recently. After Black Friday hit, Roy moved away from the virtual realm, claiming that he was "scared about online poker." Clearly the transition has worked out for him so far. Already earning $165,900 in prize money, Roy has locked up the second largest score of his career and pushed his live career tournament earnings up over $1 million.
Seat 7: Joel Micka, 24, USA - 6,475,000
Supernova player Joel Micka originally hails from Washington State, but now lives all across the world: in Thailand, Canada or Costa Rica. Micka plays under the name 'JMPRODIGY' on PokerStars where has won $352,842 in online tournaments. He has a string of live results with his best to date being $148,993 for a runner-up finish at LAPT San Jose in 2008. He also won the Macau Poker Cup High Roller event for $64,350 as well as a cash in last summer's World Series of Poker Main Event for $38,453. He's currently being railed by a number of Supernova friends who are trying to cheer him on to another win. (They also have a cut of Micka's action.)
Seat 8: Yann Dion, 29, Québec, Canada - PokerStars qualifier - 2,535,000
Yann Dion is 29 years old and hails from Québec. With more than $300,000 in live tournament winnings, Dion is no stranger to the live scene. His largest live cash came at the 2012 Aussie Millions Main Event when he finished in seventh place for A$170,000.
It's on the virtual felt, though, where "yadio" has made his mark with more than $2,000,000 in winnings. Aside from wins in the Bigger $109 and the Sunday $109 Rebuy in 2012, Dion closed out the year by winning the FTOPS Main Event for $453,229 and final tabling the Sunday Million the following week, finishing sixth for $46,308.
Brad Willis is the PokerStars Head of Blogging