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Schulz, O'Dwyer and Garibli Big Winners at 2015 PCA

The 2015 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure is officially in the books and this year’s edition is heralded as a complete success. Despite the controversy surrounding re-entry events, both high roller events shattered records for entries and prize pools. Also, Kevin Schulz walked away with the PCA Main Event title and $1.49 million.

Kevin Schulz Wins PCA Main Event for $1.49 Million

The 2015 PCA Main Event drew a solid field of 816 players but for most of the first four days, the poker world was obsessed with the man known as Ronaldo. The retired Brazilian footballer went deep in the Main Event, ultimately finishing in 26th place. Once the obsession over Ronaldo died down, we could focus on who would take down the $1.49 million first place prize.

The final table of this event started with Chance Kornuth as chip leader and American pro Kevin Schulz second in chips. Kornuth would fall in third place, leaving Schulz to battle Diego Ventura for the title.

Schulz started heads-up play with over a 3:1 chip lead, and while Ventura closed the gap a little, he was never able to move into the chip lead. Schulz regained control of the match and would go on to win the title.

This is the first time an American has won the PCA Main Event since 2012 and this represents the largest live tournament cash of Schulz’s career.

Steve O’Dwyer Wins Record-Setting Super High Roller

The $100,000 Super High Roller ran from January 6 through January 8 and shattered records in terms of entrants and total prize pool. A record 66 entries were collected in this one, representing 50 unique players to create a prize pool of $6.4 Million. Two players walked away from the event as poker millionaires with Steve O’Dwyer taking the title.

The final table of this event lacked “celebrity” players but rather showcased some of the game’s top talent. Scott Seiver, Andrew Robl, Sorel Mizzi, Bryn Kenney, Roger Sippl, Christoph Vogelsang and Sam Greenwood made the final table and were the only players to receive a payday.

In the end, it was O’Dwyer vs. Sippl for the title. O’Dwyer started heads-up with close to a 3:1 chip lead over Sippl and was never in any serious danger. The final hand of the match saw O’Dwyer incredibly pick off a bluff with ace-high.

With the board showing #Qh#8d#8c#2s#3s and after an O’Dwyer check, Sipple moved all-in for roughly 3 million. O’Dwyer tanked for several minutes before eventually making the call. Sipple showed #Js#10d for complete air and O’Dwyer showed #Ah#10c for the win.

Sipple settled for second and $1.34 million while O’Dwyer walked away with $1.87 million and the trophy.

Duhamel, Bonomo and Volpe Take Down Side Events

The PCA is one of the few live events where you will regularly see big name pros competing in side events. These events tend to be bankroll builders and can serve as a springboard for the rest of the year.

Several big names took down side events or placed well during the 2015 PCA. Paul Volpe took down Event #14, $2,200 NL, for $89,140. Alexander Denisov won the $5,000 Turbo 8 Handed title for $117,250.

Former Main Event champion Jonathan Duhamel won Event 31, another $5,000 8-Handed Turbo Event, for $116,738. Justin Bonomo took down the Event #15 PLO title to earn $48,450.

Other big names performing well included Jonathan Little. He chopped Event #9 with Nick Petrangelo and walked away with $105,247 for second. Leif Force finished second in Event #12, PLO Turbo, for $80,970.

The side events saw one female walk away with an open-field title. Nicole Cervenka won Event #10, NL Double Bubble, for $22,220.

Live Tournament Rookie Wins $25,000 High Roller

When most poker players take a shot at a live tournament for the first time, they may risk a few hundred or maybe a thousand. In the case of Ilkin Garibli, he decided to make his first tournament the $25,000 PCA High Roller. Not only did he enter, but also he took down the event and $1.1 million.

This event also set a record for total entries with 269. The event was also the seventh largest $25,000 buy-in tournament in history. A total of 39 players received a payday, including Jake Cody, Jonathan Little, Davidi Kitai and Daniel Negreanu.

Scott Seiver, Dan Heimiller and Faraz Jaka all highlighted the final table, but none were able to make it to heads up. That honor belonged to Joe Kuether and Garibli. The pair decided to chop the prize money with Kuether receiving $1.05 million and Garibli $1.105 million.

Despite chopping the money, the two played on for two hours for the rights to the winner’s trophy and SLYDE watch. The lead traded hands several times, and in the end Kuether went all-in with pocket jacks and Garibli #Kd#8s. Garibli proceeded to spike a king on the flop and his pair held to give him a win in his first live tournament.



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James Guill

James Guill began his poker career in 2006, spending two years traveling the US tournament circuit. Since 2008, he has covered the game extensively for some of the biggest names in the industry. When not writing about the latest poker news, he can be found hunting for antique treasures in Central Virginia.