PCA 2015: So goes the journey from tourney to tourney
Day 2 presented one last opportunity for those who hadn't yet decided to join the 2015 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event to join the fun, although the decision had to be made prior to the start of today's first level as the registration door shut once and for all thereafter.
A handful of players made just that choice, accepting that by starting the tournament a day late they'd begin with still-workable stacks of 37.5 big blinds rather than the 300 BBs enjoyed by those who began the tournament at the start of its first day.
For some, the decision was made out of necessity. That group includes Jose Carlos Garcia and Martin Finger, both of whom negotiated their way through the huge 736-entry field of the LAPT Bahamas Main Event to make yesterday's final table that lasted into the early evening -- past the point when registering on Day 1 was still an option.
The 21-year-old Garcia -- a Polish pro whose savvy reminded us yesterday of his friend Dominik Panka, last year's PCA Main Event winner -- finished fourth in the LAPT event, earning $119,820 for a career-best cash. Meanwhile Finger made it all of the way to the final hand last night, losing that one to winner Josh Kay yet earning a cool $223,900 for his runner-up finish. Through one level today Finger's starting stack of 30,000 has been reduced to about half that amount.
Finger just missed creating a new version of a poker "Triple Crown," coming one spot shy of adding a LAPT win to his EPT and WSOP titles. He was part of a stacked final eight that included another WSOP bracelet holder, Taylor Paur, the 2013 PCA Main Event champion Dimitar Danchev, among other tough challengers, with 2011 PCA Main Event winner Galen Hall almost joining that group before going out in ninth place.
Jonathan Borenstein was at that final table as well, ultimately finishing seventh. That gave him a chance to jump into the Main Event near the end of Day 1, and he survived to today where he presently sits with just a little more than the starting stack.
The $51,540 Borenstein won for finishing seventh just exceeded his previous career-best score, and the experience of playing against players like Finger, Paur, Danchev, Hall, and others prepared him well for the table he's found himself at today. That group includes a couple of November Niners -- 2013 WSOP Main Event champion Ryan Riess and 2010 WSOP Main Event runner-up John Racener -- as well as two members of Team PokerStars Pro Online Marc-Andre Lacouceur (who has multiple deep WSOP Main Event runs himself) and Mickey Petersen.
Meanwhile one other LAPT Bahamas Main Event final tablist, Stefan Jedlicka, also made it over into the PCA Main late last night. Jedlicka took third in the LAPT event, good for $158,740, and as today's second level gets started the Austrian has already spun his starting stack up over 55,000.
The Main Event is just one of 35 events total on the 2015 PCA schedule. Over 100 players have already fallen early today, bringing the overall field size down under 400, and many are finding other tourneys in which to hop, much as Finger, Jedlicka, Garcia, and Borenstein have done here.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.